Batman/Shadow #1 (DC/Dynamite) I’ve always been partial to the Shadow, and his influence on Bill Finger’s early Batman stories can be felt heavily to this day, so whenever I get a chance to read stories featuring the two characters it’s always a treat. Especially when Scott Snyder has a hand in the story. Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider#1 (Marvel) I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I gave up on the newest Clone saga-like story (the actual name escapes me), so I’m not as aware as perhaps I could be as to Ben’s mental state, but it seems quite fractured. While this issue was interesting, I don’t know how well it’ll translate into a long term series. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Kill Or Be Killed #8 (Image) If you’re reading this series, you’ll love this issue. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Old Man Logan #23 (Marvel) My LCS got shorted by Diamond and never received any copies of this, which is neither here nor there, because the flow to this issue is fantastic – having recently reread Wolverine’s debut, I love how Lemire has woven the original (at least it feels original) dialogue into the scenes. This is a brilliant nod to Old Man Logan’s past, and I am loving every page. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
X-Men Blue #2 (Marvel) While I’m still not sure why Angel has fire wings, I am enjoying the dynamic of the Young X-Men working with Magneto. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
X-Men Gold #2 (Marvel) I’m loving the classic X-Men feel of this comic, and the mutant/human tensions haven’t felt this relevant in almost ten years. Just when I’d started to give up on Marvel completely, this series comes and reminds me why I used to love them so much. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Weapon X #2 (Marvel) There’s a little plot, some frenemy interactions between Logan and Sabretooth, and a fair amount of fighting. Popcorn comics at it’s finest. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Batman/Shadow #1 (DC/Dynamite) Written by Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando Art by Riley Rossmo – If you like stories that show how badass the Shadow is here’s a book for you. Mostly told from the perspective of Batman chasing leads on case that connects to the Shadows alter ego Lamont Cranston, we see how the Shadow is always 3-4 steps ahead of Bats. A great nod to one of my favorite Bat stories with the use of the character Henri Ducard, Batman Shadow is a solid read with great art, and would be a great addition to the proper Bat mythos. And if you’ve never heard of the Shadow, he’s one of the influences for Bob Kane when he created Bats way back when. Definite recommend.
24 Legacy: Rules Of Engagemenr #1 (IDW) Written by Christopher Farnsworth with art by Antonio Fuso – On the heels of the season finale of the tv reboot, we get to see the “spider bite” of our new main character Eric Carter. If you haven’t seen the show it’s cool, all you need to know is that before he became the new go to guy at CTU, Carter was an Army Ranger, taking on classified missions not for the faint of heart. This prequel comic takes us to his early days as a Ranger interwoven with the events that showcase his time before that as a drug dealer. 24 is a solid read, the gritty art makes for a very moody book, the comic doesn’t exactly feel like the show, but it does give us a sense of the character. If you’re a fan of the show and like these origin type stories, buy it.
Big Moose #1 (Archie) Except for his role as the “antagonist” of Reggie and Me, Moose Mason is one of the characters in the Archie Universe that hasn’t been fleshed out beyond not being too bright and love his girlfriend, Midge. The three stories in the Big Moose one-shot set out to change that. Sean Ryan and Cory Smith’s first story is slapstick-y fun for anyone who has had issues getting an old, wrinkly dollar to work at the vending machine or has random, midday food cravings. Ryan Cady and Thomas Pitilli’s story is a standout as it shows there is more to Moose than his stereotypical portrayal, and he is another high school student struggling to balance school, relationships, and extracurricular activities. Pitilli has a gorgeous wavy line that works for both romance and football action. Gorf and Ryan Jampole’s final story is all about a young freshman who looks up to Moose and is determined to be just like him. Even tertiary Archie characters deserve to be heroes for one day… Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Supergirl Being Super #3 (DC) Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones, and Kelly Fitzpatrick get into the weird alien stuff in Supergirl Being Super #3 as Kara starts to understand her extraterrestrial origin. But Tamaki doesn’t neglect her humanity spending time on Kara and her friend Dolly’s grief and reaction to their best friend’s death. It’s powerful to see a superhuman have such a human reaction to loss, which is one of the mini’s strong points. The plot also starts to pick up with a pair of small twists towards the end, and a bit of a conspiracy as Kara slowly begins to understand who she is. Joelle Jones’ big, open page layouts and attention to detail when characters emote is the beating heart of this beautiful series that shows the potential of superhero comics. Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1 (Marvel) – I will admit I expected this book to be much different than it was, but I will also admit that is a good thing. The story was original enough and keeps Ben on the dark side of things, so don’t expect a full redemption story just yet, or ever. The art was solid and I could see myself continuing this, as I found it pretty interesting as a starting point. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Stray Bullets #23 (Image/El Capitan) – Growing up watching hockey and football, and as the son of a nurse, it always disturbed me when people in comics got knocked out. I understood that it was just comics, but still – being knocked out by a punch (or, in Annie’s case here, by a pot) has serious consequences. Those consequences are what drives David Lapham’s latest issue. Annie is a mess: her house has been wrecked, her boyfriend got shot in the face, Monster is on the loose, she has no makeup, and her daughter Beth just dumps her into it, blackouts, headaches and all, to try and sort it out. This goes about as well as can be expected from Annie. And then Spanish Scott shows up. Another stellar issue. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
The Old Guard #3 (Image) – Where did Greg Rucka dig up this Leandro Fernandez guy? ‘Cause he really draws the hell out of this story, which veers from Napoleon in Russia (with what was, to this prairie boy, a quite convincing depiction of snot freezing) to the back stairs of contemporary Paris. And I don’t know if this is really a thing, or if Rucka has just basically invented the genre of paramilitary action-romance, but whatever, I’m down. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Kill Or Be Killed #8 (Image) – After a couple of issues off, demon-driven vigilante Dylan is back in the spotlight. The depiction of New York under police lockdown is excellent, in that the situation is clearly not normal, but everyone is just trying to go about their business as normally as possible. Including Dylan. But – and here’s where Brubaker’s skill shines – the net of unintended consequences draws slowly tighter. Nothing is out of place and, like in a horror movie, you just want to shout, “Don’t go in there!” Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Bitch Planet #10 (Image) – Hard to know what to make of this issue. As ever, the plot is the least interesting part of this series, and this one – as the prson riot continues – is mostly plot. I’m not sold on the revolution yet, but I look forward to next issue, when we get the story of the High Father’s blonde daughter Kylie. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: buy. The backmatter is truly worth the price of admission.
Hillbilly #6 (Albatross)** Far and away the most enjoyable issue of Eric Powell’s inconsistently-released series to date, this yarn spun by our protagonist is of a more personal nature and tugs at the heartstrings while delivering plenty of the same artistic awesomeness we’re used to from this book — and all things Powell, for that matter. All kinds of back-country fun and goodness. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Black Road #9 (Image)** With one installment to go, Brian Wood and Garry Brown set Magnus The Black up for what looks to be an epilogue-style conclusion, given that his remaining foes (of a physical nature, at any rate) are dispatched with brutality and ease (those two don’t often go together) this time out. More sumptuous and atmospheric illustration from Brown is the highlight of this issue, but the story’s not too shabby, either. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Doom Patrol #6 (DC/ Young Animal)** Gerard Way and Nick Derington put the wraps on their first story arc with a chapter that re-introduces a beloved character from the Grant Morrison/Richard Case era that’s sure to make old-time fans like me happy — but in all honesty events here will likely only confuse the hell out of newer readers given that the main storyline is left dangling in service of an admittedly fun nostalgia romp that got dropped on us more or less out of nowhere on the last page of the previous issue. All in all DP is feeling pretty disjointed at this point, but it’s the kind of disjointed I find intriguing and rather engrossing. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
The Flash #21 (DC)** Joshua Williamson is joined by ever-serviceable guest artist Howard Porter on this one, presumably to give “The Button” a uniform look across the board, but the story remains uniformly mediocre and seems to be dovetailing more with “Flashpoint” than it does with “Watchmen” — which, hey, is probably not such a bad thing given what a lousy idea bringing the Moore/Gibbons characters into the DCU has been from the outset. The two best words to sum this up, it seems to me, are “nothing special.” Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Deadpool Vs Punisher #2 (Marvel) In the second installment of this dark comedy, we find our protagonists on the hunt for the Mariana. As the Accountant’s clients are now coming for him and the key to everything is Mariana and her son. So Don Of the Dead and his crew accept a contract to capture her. By issue’s end, the titular heroes are at odds again, even though thy are more aligned than either would believe. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Batman Shadow #1 (DC) Definitely a great story,a perfect blend of inspiration and offshoot. As we see Batman as a true detective tracking down both incarnations of the Shadow. It starts with a murder, which leads Bruce to question what is real. This leads Bruce to Henri Ducard,the original Shadow. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy