Comic Book Reviews 06-01-16

Review Scale:

A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.
A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters
B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.
C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.
D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.
F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

green arrow rebirth 1

Green Arrow: Rebirth #1 – A
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt

The Green Arrow title has had its fair share of high and low points, so it’s exciting to see the Rebirth one-shot focus on a few key aspects of the character that have withstood the test of time. True to the spirit of the Rebirth concept, there’s really not much you need to know coming into the story, so it is accessible. It’s also a breath of fresh air for Green Arrow, with a number of nods to past continuity, but actually focused on where Oliver Queen is today and where he’s going. Having hit another rough patch in his dating life, it’s fortuitous that he crosses paths with the Black Canary while going into action to protect a young homeless boy. All the right notes are hit (sometimes a bit overmuch), and we are reminded that Oliver chooses to be a hero against social injustice, perhaps in spite of his wealth. It doesn’t necessarily keep him from caring about the common man as much as it augments his crusade. Tackling a tough subject in human trafficking, the story sets up some mysterious and shady new opponents while shining a light on the plight of families in poverty. Throughout, the time lost lovers Arrow and Canary get to know each other better, and the banter between them feels natural and honest. For a Green Arrow comic, this book didn’t miss a beat, it felt fresh, and it brought the most memorable features of the character back to the forefront. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here. – Travis

Other Comic Book Reviews:

BOOM! Studios Comic Book Reviews:

Might Morphin Power Rangers: Pink Ranger – B+
Writer: Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Colorist: Sarah Stern

I haven’t exactly been keeping up with this series as closely as I should be but I was surprised to find out that they finally decided to give some back story to the original Pink Rangers disappearance. I really like the fact that Zordon had a contingency plan for Kimberly should she ever need the Rangers again. It is also nice to see that even though she didn’t have Pink Ranger Powers anymore, she isn’t a pushover without them. That was something that the TV show never managed to portray from what I remember. This series has been pretty solid and it should be interesting to see what kind of individual stories they can come up with for the Rangers. – Robert

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Superman: Rebirth #1 – B
Writer: Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Colorist: Wil Quintana

Whereas the shorter format of the Rebirth issues has somewhat plagued the ability for the books to tell a full story, it is a perfect fit in this Superman issue. While the New 52 Superman is decidedly dead and gone (For now? Forever? Who knows?), the pre-New 52 Superman, the one fans grew up loving, is back to take the helm. It’s a seemingly simple solution that leaves the readers with complex emotions to deal with. Yeah, we have a “new” Superman, but we just saw another Superman die. It’s difficult to say whether I walked away feeling satisfied or duped or even comprehensive of the situation. What unequivocally DOES work is the creative team here. Seeing Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason team up again has been worth the wait, and Doug Mahnke’s pencils always seem to solidify a book’s legitimacy even before reading it. – Sherif

Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 – B-:
Writer: Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes
Colorist: Jason Wright

I know that we are rebooting things but I really don’t think I am fond of giving us two more human Green Lanterns, especially ones that are so new booty. Watching them argue over petty things is not going to be enjoyable but I think there is an opportunity here to try something special that they haven’t done before. Making their powers be reliant on each other is an interesting twist that I personally haven’t seen done before in the Lantern series. Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, you still have Hal Jordan’s series to tide you over. – Robert

Batman: Rebirth #1 – B-
Writer: Tom King and Scott Snyder
Artist: Mikel Janín
Colorist: June Chung

While I’m trying to go into Rebirth with an open mind, I can’t help but feel the cheapened nature of the bi-monthly titles. It’s not necessarily that the story didn’t feel worthy of the $2.99 retail price, but rather that by making the issues 20 pages long, the story that fits within it isn’t very fleshed out. That being said, it’s still an enjoyable book. The new twist on Calendar Man, and the introduction of Duke Thomas as a ward of Bruce’s feels new and fresh, not recycled as a cynical comic book fan would anticipate. Batman: Rebirth is a new, fun series and I’m excited to see where it goes from here, even if that means paying for two short stories per month instead of one fully fleshed out one. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1- B-
Writers: Ben Bates and Dustin Weaver
Artists: Sophie Campbell, Dustin Weaver, Ben Bates, and Giannis Milogiannis

Here we have a new weekly series dedicated to the two most baddest baddies in the TMNT universe! Although we still get some of the TMNT crew, this series is dedicate to exactly what it sounds like – how Bebop and Rocksteady destroy everything. We learn these two have been trying to find a stable gang job to no avail and eventually they get ahold of a time control device through their many rampages. Because of this, Renet shows up to help the Turtles in finding how Bebop and Rocksteady became such a huge part of history’s most destructive times. With a large amount of artists, and a large story this story is bound to be a fun ride, but may not be the best one TMNT has offered us in other spinoff titles. That being said, a weekly TMNT title is always ok with me! – Jacob

Satellite Falling #2 – B-
Writer: Steve Horton
Artist: Stephen Thompson

I know the “all comics should just convert to the TPB/GN format” wheel is the squeakiest on my cart of 2,000 wheels, but issues like this are evidence of why the sentiment exists. The twist at the end of the issue? I didn’t like it. So the bummer about that is all I know is that it weakened this issue, though the twist that was revealed might not turn out to be the twist it is. Without spoiling too much: it’s the kind of twist that shrinks the entire universe in a universe that should be vast and bizarre. It normalizes it a little too much and shrinks it intolerably. It makes everyone else’s motivation within the world weaker, and the overall plot less engaging. In a pretty real way, the twist would be as if Dorothy found the Wizard, and then discovered the Wizard was really her uncle this whole time, and he brought her to OZ to teach her a lesson about proper apple harvesting. The art is fantastic, and I enjoyed the story (a solid A) up until the last page… but the twist gets a D. And hopefully the twist we saw won’t be the twist it is, or else the whole book might be ruined for me. – Montgomery

Image Comic Book Reviews:

The Goddamned #4 – A
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: r.m. Guera

Goddammit, this book is so good. I mean, Cain hangs on a cross built by Noah for 9 days? God, Noah’s an asshole. The whole Ark narrative is always sanitized for children and turned into a story about preservation. I deeply love that, here, the story of preservation is actually one about supremacy and violence. – Montgomery

Deadly Class #21 – A-
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Colorist: Jordan Boyd

When it was all said and done and I flipped the last page closed, I cannot say that I felt good about anything that happened in this issue. That’s largely a compliment, as it’s so seldom that a fictional story has made me feel so emotionally entrenched that blows like the ones felt in this issue. Where will they go from here? There was so many betrayals, hurtful origin stories, and sorrowful twists that it left me wondering if Remender and Craig are going to continue this book past Freshman year – and that was before the crazy last page twist. High school sucks, but Deadly Class does not. – Sherif

The Walking Dead #155 – B+
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

It’s been a long time since I’ve genuinely cared about what is to happen next in The Walking Dead. It’s not a bad book, and there are actually some pretty interesting tangential storylines happening as the group inches towards another inevitable war, this time with The Whisperers. What really caught my attention about this issue was the amount of sarcastic dialogue to let the reader know that this flagship title isn’t taking itself too seriously. Maybe that can be credited to Negan’s role, which is refreshing and hilarious, but hopefully this means we can go back to enjoying The Walking Dead and stop looking for a deeper meaning behind it. – Sherif

Elephantmen #71- B-
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artist: Carlos Pedro

This issue is the end of the short two issue arc The White Elephant and it delivers quite a few secrets and revelations to long time Elephantmen readers while giving the whole thing a very film noir feeling.  We start off where issue #70 ended, with Obadiah Horn entering the scene causing a huge standoff between him and everyone else in the room. This issue basically deals with Hip Flask talking everyone down from their vendettas and what is due to them to find out who should get the White Elephant. In the end, most people may not like the outcome and who gets to leave with it but it all makes sense once you read the letter on the last page. This issue does end on a high note as we finally are able to see Hip Flask relax once he gets home and Miki is waiting for him. I just love this series and how deep it goes into things even with a two issue arc and just love the art throughout the whole series. Carlos Pedro did a fantastic job these past two issue and hope to see more of him in the future. – Jacob

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Civil War II #1 – A-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

I was immediately apprehensive about the idea of a sequel to Civil War, especially so soon after the original and this closely to the movie. I was especially afraid of what would happen after they decided to make a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverines that was terrible. I was wrong. If nothing else in this book draws you in, the panel with Thanos and War Machine made this book worth it to check out. Amazing artwork. I like that they have kept the same level of worldly threat at stake but this time around have made it so that Tony isn’t necessarily the bad guy. I feel that there are merits to both sides whereas I didn’t feel that way with the first book. I do see myself siding with Tony in this series but it being so early, anything or anyone’s death could change that.  My first thought ran to who would be the major death in this series but we’ve just begun and already lost some big names. Side note, I really like that they are including multiple versions of each character such as Spiderman and Captain America. It gives all the fans someone to root for. – Robert

Deadpool #13- A-
Writers: Gerry Duggan, Charles Soule, and David Walker
Artists: Jacopo Camagni, Guillmero Sanna, Elmo Bondoc, and Paco Diaz

Damn this issue was a beast! With four separate issues in on combining the talents of Deadpool, Daredevil and Power-Man and Iron fist into one massive crossover we get and absolutely insane story about a crooked bank owner who has lost money of many of the city’s most violent gangs. So he enlists Deadpool to help, but in typical Deadpool fashion, all he does is make things ten times worse. Bringing in Daredevil, Power-Man and Iron Fist to help (Reluctantly!), they all try and help this man find his laptop, which Deadpool lost, and get him able to be in court and hand over evidence to take down many of the gang leaders in New York. This was a blast to read and all the creative teams worked incredibly well together to form a fun and well worth $10 story. This definitely is my favorite issue of this volume of Deadpool yet. – Jacob

A-Force #6 – B
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Ben Caldwell

I have generally enjoyed this series, but this issue seemed rather rushed and a bit confusing. It all made sense in the end, but some major plot points seemed to not be touched which made for some weird parts. Overall, though, this story is shaping up to be better in the long run than the first arc and hopefully at some point we cant figure out what the heck went on during Secret Wars so we can figure out why there is a Dazzler Thor around and how people like Old Man Logan are in the main universe now. For once, I am really enjoying the character Dazzler and really hope she doesn’t succumb to this dumb M-Pox virus from the Terrigen Mists. I definitely cannot wait until the next issue though as it seems to be getter better as it goes storytelling-wise and only felt confused a bit likely the same reason everyone of the charades was during the first few pages.  Now can we all agree and petition Marvel to grant Joss Whedon’s wishes to make an A-Force movie? – Jacob

Old Man Logan #7 – B
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

If you thought this series was brutal before, just wait until you read this issue! The brutality of it all as it is very much like Wolverine first was: animalistic, brutal, near emotionless, and just out to kill. However, it still rubs me the wrong way as they are turning Old Man Logan into a character he never was to, in my mind, never should be. The whole point of the character in the first series was that he overcame the need to be brutal; he found other ways of dealing with problems, and although he ended up ending that series much like he is in this issue, he still wandered off as if he was starting a new adventure where he could be both people. So seeing this undying brutality really takes away some of the heart of why I loved Old Man Logan to begin with. I still love this series as a Wolverine title and Logan’s battle with the reavers is one not to be missed, but it still is leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth I hope can be remedied by the next arc. – Jacob

X-Men ’92 #4 – B-
Writers: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims
Artist: Alti Firmansyan

As we come to the end of the first arc of this series, we see the X-Men in their final battle with Alpha Red, and a new adversary finds his way into the series, The Darkhold. I have to say this series is absolutely fantastic art-wise, but after reading this first arc, I really hope for a few improvements in the story going forward. Although I absolutely love the characters present, it will be cool to see more of Cyclops and Jean next issue and hopefully the roster of characters will continue to grow and have more diversity like the animated series always had. I did enjoy the hologram cameo of Blade and the one panel of Doctor Strange as that was very reminiscent of 90’s X-Men. I just have a feeling with some very small tweaks this could be the best X-Men book since… well, the 90’s. – Jacob

Moon Knight #3 – D+
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Three issues deep, and we’re still dancing around the “is he crazy or not?” trope. This entire issue focuses on Marc Spector’s escape from the mental hospital he’s being kept in. There are mummies and homeless people and orderlies trying to sedate him, but Marc is having none of that. Instead, he punches his doctor lady in the face and takes the magic raft/public transportation to escape the orderlies and get back on the streets. This story has clung on way too long to the concept, and that’s uncharacteristic for Lemire, who excels at feeding crazy plot twists one issue at a time. Unfortunately, Moon Knight #3 is just too bland and repetitive to make itself enjoyable. – Sherif

Panel Surfing:

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken credited to their respective publishers and creators; thanks to all the for putting out great books!

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