My comic book reviews for the week starting May 14, 2017( some spoilers )

Birthright #24- am not a huge Image fan but mostly because it seems they push the envelope of good taste just because they can.  That being said, there are a few excellent titles that are worth picking up.  One of those comics is Birthright.  Birthright is the story of Mike, a young boy who is playing ball by the woods with his father, when he disappears.  Fast forward only a few years in the comic and he returns but now as a fully grown man.  Come to find out, he was transported to a magical land called terrenos where he becomes a sort of savior to the masses by going to war with an evil sorcerer.  He is given an opportunity to return home to earth and he takes it.  Come to find out he has been inhabited by a nevermind, which in essence is a demon.  The story continues when different family members of mikey’s family become embroiled in the battle for mikey’s soul.

In issue 24 we learn that Mikey has been tricked in to believing that if he kills all the good mages that evil will have no more reason to fight and terrenos can be at peace.  Rya, his pregnant girlfriend from terrenos with wings, tries to stop him from killing them.  The issues is bloody and violent but it’s still as fun to read as the previous issues have been.  Sometimes the art in the book can seem a bit muddled and unspectacular but not enough to detract from the story.  If you like good fantasy stories this book should be right up your alley.  Great story.  Grade: A

2.  Secret Empire #2-  Secret Empire has turned out to be one of those comic events I never expected to like.  Mostly because I haven’t been reading any of the Captain America books.  However, I am intrigued by the story.  As many of you may remember, Maria Hill had used a cosmic cube, kobik, to trick marvel villains into believing they were peaceful.  However, Red Skull stole the cube and with the help of Professor X’s brain, which he had also stolen, used the cube to rewrite Captain America’s history and fooling him into believing he was a sleeper agent for Hydra.  Cap kills Red Skull and takes over hydra and starts a war with The Avengers and the rest of the Marvel Universe with the help of the Chitauri, a race of aliens that are attacking from outer space.  Several heroes in Las Vegas are fighting the Hydra regime while some are trapped under a dark force bubble in new York city.

In issue 2, a video of Rick Jones makes its way to our heroes and he explains that Kobik has been shattered and it’s pieces scattered.  This leads to what, undoubtedly will be the main plot point of the series.  Since the cosmic cube has the ability to re-write history, our heroes have to find all the pieces before Hydra does.  Not only does that need to happen, it needs to happen before another faction of heroes decides to kill Captain America.

There is a lot of info to absorb in this issue and maybe too much.  The tension is growing and the final panel throws a curve ball that leaves it’s readers wondering exactly what is going on.  This issue was still very intriguing but the coloring and art are a little too abstract for me.  All in all, I’d say it’s a good issue but not as good as past issues.  Grade: B+

3.  This week I learned that Marvel will be changing the art in one of its comics.  In X-men Gold #1 the artist made reference to a verse in the Koran that says that Christians and Jews should not be allowed to be leaders.  Marvel’s second printing of that comic is removing those references.  The artist of the book has been fired and the value of the book has skyrocketed to close to $35.00 on Ebay.

Issue #004, on newsstands today, is the first book of the series that doesn’t have some controversial message to it (and it’s about time).  In this issue Gambit is the main character.  He has been asked by Bolivar Trask’s daughter to steal what we learn later is nano technology.  His luck runs out and it causes all sorts of trouble.

We also learn that the captured member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is nothe even a mutant and lastly, Old Man Logansport and Storm visit a morgue to pick up a dead mutant.  Right now all these incidents seem unrelated and I’m sure they will be all tied together but for now there is no cohesion in the stories.

The art in this book is very Saturday morning cartoonish.  Syah, the artist who was fired with good cause, was still a better artist.  I enjoyed the story, and though the art was not as good as previous weeks, I enjoyed reading this comic book.  I’m giving the book an A-.  It wasn’t perfect but it felt less like a commentary on something and more of just an enjoyable book.

4.  For the past two weeks I’ve been reading Star Wars:  the Screaming Citadel and I have been enjoying the artwork immensely.  Last week Checcheto was the artist.  His art focused on landscape and scenery and his artistry in issue 1 was breathtaking in its rendering.

This week the story is continued in Star Wars #031 and this week it is drawn by an artist with the last name of Larocca.  His specialty is faces.  Each frame the characters are drawn to look exactly how they looked in the movies.

The writing in the Star Wars comic book has always been top notch.  This issue is no different.  Each narration and speech bubble does a great job at capturing the cadence and sound of the characters on film.

The story surrounds Luke being approached by Doctor Aphra, an archeologist who has found an artifact she believes contains the consciousness of a Jedi Master.  However, she can’t activate it and the only person who might be able to is a queen who likes to kidnap and collect things she shouldn’t be able to have.  In this issue we learn the queen”s intentions for Luke and the doctor.  We also see Han and Leia gearing up to rescue them.

I found nothing wrong with this comic.  I’m giving this book a grade of A+.  I’m having a ton of fun reading it.

Those are my reviews for the week.  You should also pick up Luke Cage #1.  It’s funny and serious and intriguing all at the same time.  My only gripe:  the type face is too small.


Reviews of Marvel and Image books released on 6/10/15 part 1

Hi everyone.  Welcome back.  This week I’m doing things a bit different.  Since I don’t have enough Marvel books outside of Secret Wars, I’m adding a review of one of my favorite non marvel titles to the review list.  But let’s start with Silk.  Spoilers abound:

1.  Silk has been a pretty big surprise for me.  I don’t think Marvel has created too many new heroes that are memorable and flourished in the Marvel Universe in recent years.  There have been incarnations that have been very popular( Superior Spider-man being one) but the quest to build new characters is often futile( DC’s The Movement and Green Team to name two).  

It is very clear that Silk is written and drawn  for a specific audience but it’s also very clear that the writing( at least) transcends the teenage girl demographic.  

Cindy Moon is Silk, a teenage girl who was locked in a bunker when she was bit by a radioactive Spider.  She was locked away to be protected from the Inheritors( see spider-verse).  During Marvel’s Original Sin event, Peter Parker set her free when he learned of her existence.  Since then she’s played a part in destroying the inheritors and has also pissed off Black Cat whom wants her dead.

That’s where things begin in Silk #005.  An old minor villain that Cindy met up with in issue 3 has returned for Cindy’s help because Black Cat, who is no longer an anti-hero, has kidnapped his daughter.  With the help of Spidey they go after Black Cat.

Another story is also developed a little bit in this issue as well.  Cindy finds an unlikely ally in finding her parents.  With what we learn about at the end of this book, it should be interesting to see what happens in the next issue.  I have to keep some things secret.  All in all, this was another great issue.  I’m not a huge fan of the art because it reminds me a bit of the powerpuff girls.  Grade: B+

2.  Spider-Gwen #005 was annoying. I could end the review there and that was all you would need to know, but I won’t.  If you have teenage girls, or are a teenage girl then I could see you enjoying this book.  Gwen is Spiderwoman in a different part of the multiverse where daredevil works for kingpin.

Everything was high drama and the entire book read as a teenage soap opera.  For a teen this might be something a teen could get behind.  For an adult, like myself, it reminded me of everything I hated about being a teenager.

The art has been as consistent with that graffiti-esque as previous issues.  I have actually liked this series up until now.  It’s been fun to see Gwen again but this issue was not for me.  Grade: C-

3.  So if you have been a follower of my blog then you know there are two or three Image titles that have grabbed my attention and have not let go.  One of those titles is Birthright.  It has done a great job combining real life and fantasy to create a compelling comic book.

Birthright Issue 8, while being a tad unusual this month, has not let me down again this week.  If you are a reader of this series then you know Mikey’s brother, Brennan, has been shot and he is bleeding profusely.  This entire issue focuses on the police trying to find Mikey while Mikey attempts to find a way to heal his brother.

Of course there are obstacles along the way.  The demon controlling him is one.  Another group is the police and a third group are 3 men who are transformed into monsters by, what appears to be, a spirit in the sky.

If this all seems frenetic and just a little crazy, it’s because it is a little crazy and frenetic. this issue is not as strong as previous issues but it’s not a weak issue by any means either.  There were moments when the men turned into monsters felt a bit too campy for my taste.  But we learned one big thing this issue.  Brennan knows what his brother is.  That should be an interesting thing to watch develop in coming months.

The writing in the book is still compelling even if it did push the reader pretty close to the line of believability and maybe a little over it.  I’m giving this book a grade of B.  I want the book to move quicker in its plot development now.

 4.  Battleworld Ultimate End #2 was different than the first book in that it has a much more serious tone.  The Ultimates and earth’s heroes have combined forces( mostly because they have been forced to) and now they are ready to figure out how to get things back to normal.  What’s standing in their way?  The Thors.  They have informed the heroes of Manhattan that they need to peacefully coexist.  Someone dies as a result of challenging that order.

There are three stories in this issue.  Ultimate Tony and Earth Tony working together to find a solution, Peter visiting Uktimate Gwen and his aunt and Ultimate Hulk vs our Hulk.  The third story has all the amount of mayhem you’d want in a fight against the two.  It’s great.

The art in this book is really great.  There is no artistic license taken with any of the characters so you know who everyone is.  There are two months left in this series, and rumor has it, it might go longer due to delays of issue 5 and 6 of the main title.

I’m giving this book a grade of B.  I keep waiting for the ball to drop and the title to get worse.  That has not happened so far.

5.  Secret Wars 2099 #2 was probably as unusual as its variant cover suggested with no Spider Gwen in it as the variant cover might have you believe.  Most of this book covers the team’s extra-curricular activities but there is also a plot line that is examined where Ms. Captain America has been attacked by an assassin.  She goes after the person who hired the assassin and ends up being attacked by Hulk 2099.

This book takes some getting used to.  Different heroes are in the avengers now, and although each one is familiar, their stories are different.  I have not read any other titles than Spider-Man 2099 so I am at a distinct disadvantage.

It was a fun issue and the hulk of the future has a venom feel to it.

The whole book is a build up to a new team that is introduced to the secret wars story.  The Defenders.

I’m not sure where this book is heading and it’s refreshing to not know.  I look forward to learning more about each character as the mini series continues.  Grade: B

Part 2 comes tomorrow 

Review of Image Comics Birthright issue 6 

 I know that I mostly only review Marvel comic books but there are a couple of series out there that deserve as much praise as can be heaped on them.  Image Comics( skybound) Birthright is one of them.

While the book has borrowed from other stories in the past, this comic book has offered a very cool story that has kept me engaged with the characters.

The basic plot:  Mikey and his dad are playing catch near some woods.  When his ball gets lost in the woods, Mikey disappears.

Mikey’s parent’s relationship is falling apart because dad is falling apart and then Mikey comes back.  Mom doesn’t believe it’s her son.  Why?  He came back looking like Conan the Barbarian aged and telling stories about being a leader in a place Terranos.  Terranos is another land in what seems like another dimension.  When he comes back to earth he stops at his local police department where he is freed by his father and younger brother.

They end up on a camping trip where they face evil from Terranos.  Now Mikey and Brennan are on their own.  There is some very realistic dialogue in this book and some insanely shocking moments where Brennan has to begin questioning his brother’s motives.  And that’s part of the story that is shocking.  Mikey’s brother hasn’t questioned things in depth yet because he wants to trust his brother implicitly.

The writing was great between the parents.  It’s refreshing to see a family that genuinely wants things to work out.

There is a 2-page spread in this book of the evil king that is absolutely creepy and stunning at the same time.  I’m giving this book an A+.   This book is not for kids but it is incredible.


Comic book reviews for the week of 2/2/15 part 2

These last few books will be divided into 3 categories: Marvel, DC and Image. Let’s get started

Marvel Comics

1. Angela Asgard’s Assassin #003 Might be one of the most beautifully rendered books I’ve seen in a while. The artwork in this comic book is nothing short of stunning. Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans should be congratulated on a beautifully done job.

In order to fully understand this comic book you have to have read Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm. But in a very quick synopsis: Angela was banished from her land by her people and when that happened she stole the heir of Asgard

This issue is a continuation of of The Tenth realm and takes place prior to Loki Agent of Asgard #10. Angela and her friend Sera are on the run with the baby they kidnapped. As they are on the run they make a pit stop and pick up some armor.Again the art is great during the scene. There are some cameos in the book too.

I found this issue to be incredibly satisfying. Seeing Odinson act outside the confines of being Thor sheds a light on how his life as changed as a result of losing Mjolinar.

There is not a lot of action in this book. It is most character development but it works. Great comic. Grade:A

DC Comics

1. Green Lantern #39 has a cover that is a bit of a fake out. There is judgment, but it’s not as dire as it looks on the cover.

As some of you may not know, DC Headquarters are moving. As a result, for two months there won’t be new adventures in the current timeline of the books. That may be why a new Green Lantern event has not started up. In addition, it looks like GL Corp and Red Lanterns may be discontinued and Green Lantern might face a overhaul. In addition, an event just ended and that usually means characters need to regroup

That’s what this issue is about. The GL Corp has been saving the universe time after time. The problem: the universe just wants to be left alone and Hal Jordan is being told to go home and not show his face. In addition, there is in fighting in the corp

The Guardians recognize all this too and have summoned Hal to talk to him about the problems facing The GL Corp. how do they repair their image?

If you’re looking for an answer, you won’t find it here.

This was an okay issue. Nowhere near as good as past issues. I think the script to the story tried way too hard to drive home the unpopularity of the corps. It all seemed too deliberate.

It wasn’t a bad issue, just not great. The art was decent but not always stupendous. Grade: a weak B. It felt like the comic was trying too hard.

Image Comics

1. Velvet Secret Lives of Deadman number 9 Before you go and ask why did I write out the word “number” it’s how it was written on the cover. To my continual readers, they know Velvet continues to be one of my favorite books. I love the idea that there’s a strong female spy in the 70’s with all the strength and ferocity of James Bond.

The who story is very complex but the long and short of it is that Velvet Templeton is being framed for the murder of another agent and as she’s trying to clear her name she determines that she was framed because she was married to a man who was deemed a traitor but was falsely accused.

What makes this book so good is its believability. In most thrillers the chase is only a chase. Here it is much more. Velvet spends time actively trying to clear her name. It’s believable and it’s fun. This is not a typically written book. It is worth the money in spades. Grade: A

2. The last book I read this week is beginning to be one of my favorite new series. Birthright #5 continues the story of Mikey, a young boy who is transported to another world where he is groomed to be a savior of the people. Along the way he gets himself possessed by, what looks like a demon called The Nevermind. Nevermind sends Mikey back to earth to kill a series of mages that are holding up a barrier between Terranos and Earth so that his armies can invade. Mikey says he’s doing it to get back to earth to see his family but his family doesn’t know what he’s up to.

About half of the book is flashback so we can see the things Mikey had to go through in Terranos but the other half of the book is his confrontation on earth with one of the wizards.

There is some great dialogue in this book that moves the story along quickly. It also hints at some darker turns to the series and some upcoming confrontations. If you like fantasy stories you should definitely pick up Birthright. I love this book. Grade: A

Those are my reviews for the week. Join me next week for more