Comic Book Reviews: Books Released on January 25, 2016

I didn’t review anything last week because nothing looked good. Found some this week though.

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #10

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/57875/captain_america_steve_rogers_2016_10

Not my favorite book of the week, but still something I keep coming back to. This book is mostly a retelling of evil Captain America’s origin as it was rewritten by the Cosmic Cube and the unfolding of evil Captain America’s grand plan. It’s not an emotional book. It just lays out the series of events in order. I read it mostly because I want to see where it’s all going, which seems to be a big Marvel event that is coming down the road.

Score: 5/10

 

Civil War II: The Oath (2017) #1

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/60574/civil_war_ii_the_oath_2017_1

The only reason this book is worth mentioning is that the end of the book gives you a glimpse at evil Captain America’s end game. I probably wouldn’t buy the book. Just walk into your local comic book store and read the last few pages.

Score: 3/10

 

Doctor Strange (2015) #16

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55430/doctor_strange_2015_16

Bachalo’s art. That’s the main reason to buy this book. The story is fine, I just don’t like that Doctor Strange has become a mystical Tony Stark. Doctor Strange used to be a more wise, mysterious character. Now her cracks jokes and reminds me more of the Doctor Strange in the movies. A big change to attract a more mainstream audience I guess.

Score: 6/10

 

Infamous Iron Man (2016) #4

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61550/infamous_iron_man_2016_4

Likely my favorite book of the moment. I’ve seen Maleev’s art before and I’ve always enjoyed it. That doesn’t change here. It’s just fun to see this spin on Doctor Doom. Not much progression in this issue, but still all right.

Score: 6/10

 

Inhuman V. X-Men (2016) #3

http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61596/inhumans_vs_x-men_2016_3

Another fine issue. Worth the purchase if you’ve been following along.

Score: 6/10

 

Justice League v. Suicide Squad (2016) #6

http://www.dccomics.com/comics/justice-league-vs-suicide-squad-2016/justice-league-vs-suicide-squad-6

Not a great book, but I can see the appeal if you’re interested in the Justice League or the Suicide Squad.

Score: 4.5/10

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Comic Books Reviews: Comics Released On December 28, 2016

Got a lot of books this week. Here they are in alphabetical order.

All Star Batman (2016) #5

Official preview: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/all-star-batman-2016/all-star-batman-5

One of the best books on the shelf. Anytime you get Snyder writing Batman, you’re in for a treat. Going along with the style Snyder established from his run on the main Batman book, Snyder explores the mythos of Batman’s history, in this case Two-Face, and puts forth an opinion and a statement about this character. I’ve loved all the insight Snyder has offered towards Batman and that adoration continues here. I don’t love Romita’s artwork, but I felt like it was fine here.

Score: 8/10

 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #8

Official preview: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/57873/captain_america_steve_rogers_2016_8

There have been lots of times in comic book history when a publisher decides to take a hero into completely new territory. Sometimes it goes terribly, sometimes it comes out great. This is one of the times where it comes out mostly great. The character of evil Captain America possesses everything that made good Captain America who he is; he is devoted, idealistic, relentless, and he believes in his ideals to an extreme degree. Watching the evil Captain’s machinations is an interesting experience in that it gives insight into what makes people evil. In another way, it shows us that there is no such thing as good or evil, just people fighting hard for different beliefs. This is a great twist and given what happened in Civil War II, I’m very interested in seeing how things play out for Cap’.

Score: 7/10

 

Civil War II (2016) #8

Official preview: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/62349/civil_war_ii_2016_8

What was the point of this book? Nothing happened. Nothing was achieved. They killed off some major characters to little fanfare. This just felt like an enormous waste of time. The main point of this book was mainly as a preview for upcoming story arcs that Marvel intends on putting out. The only salvageable thing was the art, which was great. Even so, the story is such shit that I would not recommend picking this book up.

Score: 2/10

 

Dark Knight III: The Master Race (2015) #6

Official preview: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/dark-knight-iii-the-master-race-2015/dark-knight-iii-the-master-race-6

Not a story on par with the prior Dark Knight books, but a fun story nonetheless. There are no great themes at play, no greater meaning to this story, and no big emotions to be felt. It’s just a fun continuation of the characters Miller established all those years ago.

Score: 5/10

 

Hulk (2016) #1

Official preview: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61531/hulk_2016_1

I feel like there are many different tones for comic books and this book shows off one of them. This is not the kind of superhero book where heroes smash everything. This isn’t an action book. This also isn’t Archie. This is something in between. If you’ve read Soule’s She-Hulk miniseries, then you’ll have a taste of the kind of book this is. It’s a book that centers more on the legal profession mixed with the strangeness of super powers. It’s an interesting book which I’m probably not going to continue reading because I’m not in the mood for a story like this. I can happily recommend it to anyone else who is though.

Score: 5/10

 

Infamous Iron Man (2016) #3

Official preview: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61549/infamous_iron_man_2016_3

Infamous Iron Man has consistently attracted my attention and is once again my book of the week. Similarly to how Captain America is now evil, Doctor Doom is now good. Even better, Doctor Doom’s transformation into a superhero from a super villain does not come from some magical cube, it is a decision he makes after realizations he has on his own. Reading this book is an exploration into the character that is Victor Von Doom and an observation watching a bad man try to be good, something completely foreign to him. Maleev’s art is also pretty great.

Score: 8.3/10

 

Spider-Man (2016) #11

Official preview: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55705/spider-man_2016_11

The cover of this book has nothing to do with the story inside. This book is about Miles’ father and his involvement with SHIELD. It’s an okay story, but I read Spider-Man to get that mix of superhero action mixed with the antics of a middle school student. I did not get that here.

Score: 4/10

Comic Book Reviews: December 14, 2016

Got three comics this week. Here they are.

Spider-Man (2016) #10

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55704/spider-man_2016_10

I usually hate tie ins to big comic book events, but this was pretty good and added a little bit to the character of Miles Morales. Miles returns and hints at what will happen in the next Civil War II issue. It’s somewhat emotional and definitely got me a little hyped for the final issue of Civil War II.

Score: 6/10

 

Suicide Squad (2016) #8

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/suicide-squad-2016/suicide-squad-8

If you like Jim Lee’s art, then buy it. If not, there is nothing for you here. The story is meh.

Score: 4/10

 

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #1

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61594/ivx_2016_1

This was my favorite book of the week. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Lenil Yu’s art. While many may not like it, I really do so that was nice. The story was pretty good and served the purpose of a first issue; it set up the massive action that will likely come in future issues. The motivations for both sides are simple, but make sense unlike in Civil War II. I’m looking forward to where this series goes. Most of all, I’m just happy that Marvel is giving the X-Men some attention. I feared marvel was going to kill the X-Men books because they didn’t have the film rights. Let’s hope that is not the case.

Score: 6.5/10

Comic Book Reviews: December 7, 2016

Four books caught my eye this week. Here they are in alphabetical order.

 

Batman (2016) #12

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2016/batman-12

This whole issue is Batman working his way towards where he was last issue. I can see that the writer made the attempt to shed light on Batman’s psychology and perspective, but all of Batman’s narration sounded really corny. I just felt myself getting yanked through the fourth wall with how cheesy some of these lines are. Also, when you repeat the same line over and over again, it can either make the line more meaningful or draw attention to a badly written line. This issue drew my attention to some really cheesy writing. The art was nice though.

Score: 3/10

 

Justice League (2016) #10

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/justice-league-2016/justice-league-10

An okay issue. Just more Justice League stories. I feel like there is definitely a desire in the market for more Justice League stories and this scratches that itch. Nothing spectacular unfortunately.

Score: 3/10

 

The Unworthy Thor (2016) #2

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61719/the_unworthy_thor_2016_2

The best comic book I read this week. Coipel’s art is awesome and need not be further discussed. This issue of Thor felt very much like an issue of the Silver Surfer or another cosmic space book. It also somewhat ties into what happened in Secret Wars and acknowledges what occurred there. Great book and the only real book that was worth purchasing this week.

Score: 6.7/10

 

The Walking Dead #161

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-walking-dead-161

I’m so tired of this book. Kirkman has not thrown that many curveballs or plot twists since the television show came out. Any twists he throws out feels like it lacks impact. I’m about ready to drop this series.

Score: 2.5/10

Comic Book Reviews: November 30, 2016

Only two comic books picked up last week. Here they are.

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #0

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61593/ivx_2016

This is an issue setting up the next big event. I was filled with dread when I read this book. I fear it is just another step in shitting on X-Men because Marvel/Disney does not own the movie rights. I hope they don’t kill off the X-Men. The story is just Emma Frost going around preparing for war with the Inhumans.

Score: 3/10 Please stop fucking up the X-Men Marvel. For crying out loud, without Sony making the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, superhero movies wouldn’t even exist.

 

Suicide Squad (2016) #7

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/suicide-squad-2016/suicide-squad-7

I enjoyed half the book… because only half of the book is of Jim Lee’s art. I skimmed the other story, but I didn’t love it. Only buy this book if you like Suicide Squad and you need Jim Lee’s art in your life.

Score: 4/10

Comic Book Reviews: November 23, 2016

Just three comics caught my attention this week. Here they are.

 

Chew #60

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/chew-60

The final issue of Chew. Something I’ve always appreciated about this book is that it is a funny book. There are some serious parts, but I never felt that that was where the book shined. The book shined when it was telling food based jokes. And with the end of this series, we end with a mostly funny issue. This was a good series and I would easily buy the trade paperbacks as a gift for a friend. So long Chew, you were fun.

Score: 6.5/10

 

Death of X (2016) #4

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/60432/death_of_x_2016_4

Man, I freaking hate Marvel/Disney sometimes. The story in this book played out exactly like I thought from the first issue. This really is series whose main purpose is to kill Cyclops, which was entirely unnecessary. Damn the person who decided that not having the movie rights to X-Men meant giving the green light to completely destroying the X-Men comic book line. What a damn fools. If Marvel/Disney was being honest with itself, then they’d give Sony some credit for creating the superhero genre in the first place. Instead, we get another shitty X-Men book that kills what was once a great character for no good reason.

Score: 3/10

 

Civil War II (2016) #7

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/59847/civil_war_ii_2016_7

Like the past couple of books in this miniseries, nothing much happens until the end and we’re left with another cliffhanger. At least this series is ending soon. The art is good though.

Score: 4/10

Comic Book Reviews: November 16, 2016

Here are the books I picked up this week and my opinions on them.

Batman (2016) #11

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2016/batman-11

Batman’s and his new crew have broken into Bane’s jail in hopes of abducting Psycho Pirate and using him to cure Gotham Girl. As I’ve written on in the past, Batman is often times a team book. You can only explore the character so much before that becomes redundant, so exploring the other character in Batman’s world becomes a necessity if you want to delve further into Batman lore. There are a number of mysteries at play here, primarily the circumstances around Catwoman committing mass murder and the true nature of the Ventriloquist’s mental illness. I guess we’ll learn more about this in the future since only crumbs were dropped in this issue.

Score: 5.3/10

 

Doctor Strange (2015) #14

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55428/doctor_strange_2015_14

Bachalo’s art is great as always and the first thing I love about this book. The other thing is the trippiness of the story. Doctor Strange to me is the gateway to the kind of trippy, magical, horror stories that can’t be told through other superheroes. In this issue, Doctor Strange is in hell and needs to use his astral projection to go inside his own stomachand defeat some evil bacon he ingested before it kills him. Yeah, there’s some trippy shit going on here. This is a funny, weird, gross issue and my favorite book of the week.

Score: 7.7/10

 

Infamous Iron Man (2016) #2

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61548/infamous_iron_man_2016_2

I am seriously loving this book. The concept of a reformed Doctor Doom trying to be a good guy is so fun. It’s also really interesting to see this super villain try to reason and figure out what a superhero would do because he simply has no conscience. Additionally, I love Maleev’s art and it suits this book perfectly. I feel like Maleev’s ability to draw magic, darkness, and mystery is just impressive. I’m definitely going to keep up with this book and this is my second favorite book of the week.

Score: 7.5/10

 

Invincible #131

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/invincible-131

So, Kirkman’s out of ideas for Invincible and  has decided to end the series. I guess this is the beginning of the end and who knows how he’ll write it. Maybe they get a happy ending. Maybe they all die. I’m hoping for an ending that offers a critique of the superhero comic book genre, some sort of statement about the current state of comic books. That was what the point originally was. Kirkman seemed to want to subvert the standard superhero story when he first started writing this book. Who knows what he wants to do now.

Score: 5.4/10

 

Justice League (2016) #9

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/justice-league-2016/justice-league-9

I think Hitches best work was on Millar’s Ultimates series. His subsequent work hasn’t felt as detailed or fluid. Or maybe it’s just that the stories he’s been given aren’t great. Either way, this isn’t a great book.

Score: 3/10

 

Reborn #2

Official site is https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/reborn-2

If you’ve ever read a Millar book before, you should know what to expect here. If not, then expect to find a bunch of big ideas, imperfectly stitched together with some light humor thrown in. This is not a serious book, nor is it a fantasy book. It feels like any other Millar book where he takes some ideas he had and throws them all together. The story isn’t particularly meaningful, but it is fun to explore this new world. Also like past Millar books, Millar has managed to land another amazing artist in Capullo. There is some amazing art here and that alone could justify a purchase.

Score: 6/10

 

Spider-Man (2016) #9

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/55703/spider-man_2016_9

A Civil War II tie in. Nice to get some color on the other characters in Miles Morales’ world, but nothing much happens here.

Score: 3/10

 

Suicide Squad (2016) #6

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/suicide-squad-2016/suicide-squad-6

I read this for Jim Lee’s art and for some reason, they decided to have even less of his art than normal. Lee illustrates only half of this book, which in my opinion means the price should be half off.

Score: 3/10

 

Thanos (2016) #1

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/61697/thanos_2016_1

I was curious what happened to Thanos after Secret Wars and now I get my answer. Thanos is dying and some characters I’ve barely ever seen before seem to be scheming around it. Not a great issue and I’m not really interested in reading the next one.

Score: 2.5/10

 

Trinity (2016) #3

Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/trinity-2016/trinity-3

My goodness,, Clay Mann’s art is amazing. It just has this very mythological, epic feel to it. I would buy this book just for the art, but any book that tries to delve into the mythos of a long standing superhero like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, deserves a purchase in my opinion. If you like these characters and like the art, you should definitely buy this book.

Score: 6.5/10

 

Comic Book Review: Suicide Squad (2016) #5

The official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/suicide-squad-2016/suicide-squad-5

After reading through five issues of this new series, there is really only one reason to pick this series up: Jim Lee’s art. That’s it. Jim Lee stars as the penciler in this new series and he does exactly as great a job as you’d expect from him.

I guess you could also pick up the book if you like the Suicide Squad. I imagine most people will pick it up after watching the movie. A substantial number of readers may just be Harley Quinn fans as well. But mostly, it’s for Jim Lee.

Score: 3.5/10 The story is meh. Jim Lee’s art is as good as always.

Comic Book Review: Civil War II (2016) #6

Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/issue/58683/civil_war_ii_2016_6

Another month, another issue of Civil War II. Nothing much happens in this issue. Everyone just saw the vision of Spider-Man killing Captain America and everyone cools off. The ending is the only noteworthy part of this book. Spider-man goes to Washington DC, the very site where the vision is supposed to take place, thus setting the stage for the vision to potentially come true. We will see.

Score: 4/10 Marquez’s art is always nice to see. If only there were some narrative beats worth his illustration.