New Comic Book Reviews Week of 3/26/14 New Comic Book Reviews Week of 3/26/14
Another huge week of books bombed the comic book shelves again this week and managed to squeeze in both new and returning champs into... New Comic Book Reviews Week of 3/26/14

Another huge week of books bombed the comic book shelves again this week and managed to squeeze in both new and returning champs into the mix. So let’s get to it!

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Deadly Class #3

Image Comics Writer Rick Remender, Artist Wes Craig, Colorist Lee Loughridge, Letterer Rus Wooton

After a rocky second issue Deadly Class get back on track for issue 3. The plot from Image is, Tasked with their first assassination mission, Marcus and Willie roam the sad and lonely streets of San Francisco in the dead of night, stalked by a shadow from Marcus’s mysterious past. Remender story for this issue really does a great job of balancing new story and bringing in some back story to Marcus. I also liked the small bits of humor to balance the mission of going out for their first target to kill.I actually laughed out loud a couple of time when I read this.  Remender is crafting a really compelling tale with this book that is keeping the readers on their toes. After reading this issue all bets are off on where you thought the book might be going and that was a great relief. Craig’s art just keeps getting better each issue. His layouts for this issue are just stunning. The way that he captures the story without dialog is quite breathtaking and fresh. Loughtidge’s color while on the surface seems simple really sets the mood to Craig’s artwork very nicely.

Is this book worth your time and money? I was a bit worried because the second issue was a bit disappointing for me but my fears were laid to rest with this issue. I like how the book is going for the long haul with the story and pacing it out quite well. By adding Craig’s great artwork is making this a must read book every month. Very Recommended!

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Star Slammers #1

IDW Writer and Artist Walt Simonson, Colors Len O’Grady, Letterer John Workman

While this is a reprint book, I doubt most people have seen the original Marvel graphic novel from 1983 so for most people this is pretty much a new book. The plot from IDW is, Star Slammers, a series first devised by Simonson during his college days. The Slammers would later be resurrected as a Marvel Graphic Novel, and then a mini-series. Simonson describes it thus: Once upon a time, there was a race of men who could outshoot, out-fight, and out-kill anybody. They were paid fabulous sums to act as mercenaries. The practice became so lucrative, they decided to go into business. They became the most successful businessmen in history, and they called themselves…The Star Slammers! The first issue covers the first 1/3 of the original graphic novel and IDW plans to reprint all of that and the mini series that followed years later. If you are a fan of Simonson and have never read this story then you are in for a real treat. Simonson has a great knack for creating epic stories such as his amazing run on Thor back in the 1980’s and Star Slammers is no different. The first issue does a nice job of introducing the Slammers and starts to delve into the background of them. While it’s not the most original idea, the thing that Simonson is good at is knowing how to balance his story with his art. And the art is where this book really shines! Simonson is a master visual storyteller and this book is no exception. O’Grady has done a really nice job of updating the color for this new release based on the original colors by Walt and his wife Louise work. And long time Simonson letterer Workman really shows why is one of the finest letterers in the business.

Is this book worth your time and money? For sure but you might want to make a decision on if you want to buy the individual issues now or wait until the inevitable collection that will collect all of the issues when the monthly books are finished.  I can say with a fair amount of certainty that it will be collected in a hardcover edition. So the decision is not if this book is good because it’s pure Simonson doing what he does best, do you want to read it now or when the collected edition is coming out. That will be your decision on this book.

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Real Heroes #1

Image Comics Writer and Pencils Bryan Hitch, Inks Paul Neary, Colors Laura Martin, Letterer Chris Eliopoulos

Hitch does his first writing for a book for Image Comics this week. The plot from Image is, They are the six most famous actors in the world and together they play The Olympians, the biggest superhero movie franchise in history. Would you ask them to save the world? They may be our only hope. Not the most original idea for a story because this type of story has been told many times before so on that level it’s not the most amazing book you will ever read. Getting that out-of-the-way it was a nice little fun read and for most people they will pick the book up because of Hitch’s gorgeous artwork. The story does the job adequately and will not really shock you in any way but, the real question is the book going to do any more than it does in this first issue? It’s only a four issue mini series so he does not have a lot a room to tell his story. Hitch’s art is top-notch as you would expect from him and Neary does a very nice job of inking his pencils.

Is this book worth your time and money? While it isn’t going to win any awards for originality the bigger question can Hitch bring a different take to the idea. The first issue doesn’t seem as if that is going to happen. It’s a nice read but it ends up neither good nor bad. It falls in the middle of the pack.

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All New Ghost Rider #1

Marvel Comics Writer Felipe Smith, Artist Tradd Moore, Colorist Nelson Daniel & Val Staples, Letterer Joe Caramagna

Ghost Rider has graduated from a horse to a motorcycle and now can drive a car. The plot from Marvel is, “ENGINES OF VENGEANCE” PART 1 A street race leads a young man on the FAST and FURIOUS road of destiny. Amid an East Los Angeles neighborhood running wild with gang violence and drug trafficking, a war brews in the criminal underworld! With four on the floor, Marvel’s newest GHOST RIDER puts vengeance in overdrive! I had seen previews of this book and it did look a little strange but, when you see it on the printed page it really looks quite nice. Smith sets up the series in a pretty standard way but does do a nice job on setting up the characters with some motivation in the short amount of pages that he has to work with. The story is not going to blow you away but does a nice job to set up the story arc for the next issues. I am glad that Smith does a nice job of setting the book up for new readers that is so often forgotten in these type of reboots. Moore is a real nice find for this book. He really bring an energy to the artwork that breaks this book away from the standard “marvel style” that a lot of books suffer from. The character designs have a nice exaggerated reality that really lend itself to the story. His layouts are a real joy to see and does a very good job at both the dialog and action scenes. The coloring by Daniel’s and Staples really add a great level to Moore’s artwork and is very well done.

Is this book worth your time and money? The first issue gets off to a really good start but the key to this book is where Smith takes the story to in the future issues. This book could very quickly fall into standard fare area. Visually the book is just drop dead gorgeous and is worth the $3.99 cover price by itself. I just hope that the creators have some wildcards up their sleeves. I want the next issue to really catch me off guard with the story.

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The Bunker #2

Oni Press Writer Joshua Hale Fialcov, Art, Colors and Letterer Joe Infurnari

The first issue of this book was a must read and thankfully it was no fluke. The plot from Oni is, Grady receives a strange package in the mail, prompting him to make a tough decision. Will he shape the future or be shaped by his future? Down in the bunker, Billy continues to search for evidence of his own future, with the help of an old friend. This is one of those books that just keeps reeling you into its web. Fialkov is weaving a nice mystery that is unfolding at a nice little pace.  Just when you think that you might be guessing what the story is he takes in another direction that throws you for a loop, but in a really good way. The thing that I love about the story is that the story is unfold for you as it is for the characters.  That takes a really talented writer to pull that off well and Fialkov does it so effortlessly. Infurnari captures the characters emotions of the situation with such meticulous detail with both the art and coloring in a richness that he bring the story to life that it just sucks you even deeper into the story. This is going to be one of those books that you will want to go back and read again when it’s over.

Is this book worth your time and money? Few creators are able to pull this type of story off and do it well. Fialcov and Infurnari pull it off with such ease and that is what makes this book such a great read. The only thing that I would suggest it that you might want to read the book in multiple issues at a time. The story is really dense and make sure you take you time with it. This is a book that should not be missed. Highly Recommended!

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Silver Surfer #1

Marvel Comics Writer Dan Slott, Artist Michel Allred, Colors Laura Allred, Letterer Clayton Cowles

I was really looking forward to this book being a huge Allred fan so was it worth the hype? The plot from Marvel is, The universe is big. Bigger than you could ever imagine. And the SILVER SURFER, the lone sentinel of the skyways, is about to discover that the best way to see it… is with someone else. Meet the Earth Girl who’s challenged the Surfer to go beyond the boundaries of the known Marvel U– into the strange, the new, and the utterly fantastic! Anywhere and Everywhere. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little weary of Slott writing this book because I am not one of his biggest fans. For me he is an average comic book writer. Not good nor terrible but has for me not written anything spectacular. While I did like this first issue, I did not love it. The story really seems overstuffed and bogged down with dialog and plot. The writing seems too involved with itself. This should have been a really fun book but instead I felt that it tried to be bigger than it needed to be. Slott really needed to better balance the story and not take it so seriously. The humor really fell flat and Silver Surfer does not play well as the straight man. Allred delivers the goods in the art department at least. I loved how it was very much his style but does give a very nice Kirby nod to the artwork. His wife Laura does a really nice coloring job and I liked the airbrushed tones to Surfer.

Is this book worth your time and money? I am not sure yet. I was disappointed by the story it was not awful, it just wasn’t very fun either. The tone of the book was the really big problem. It’s one thing to mix thing but you have to strike a balance when you do it. I honestly not sure what the point of the story was. Allred’s artwork will only save this book for so long. There are some good ideas here it just seemed to much to dig through and find them.

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Alex + Ada #5

Image Comics Writers Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn, Art, Colors, and Letterer Jonathan Luna

I give up on you people who are not reading this great book. The plot from Image is, Ada has been unlocked and will she be able to handle it? Ada will never be the same again. This book is the top of the must read list every month. Both the story and art by Luna and Vaughn have such emotion about it. It’s one of those books that you relate to on such a human level that it just touches you. It really gets in to you head and soul at the same time. You feel everything that is happening to both Alex and Ada. The only complaint that I have is that this story is only going to run twelve issues. I wish that this story could go on forever.

Is this book wort your time and money. I will not only by this book every month I hope that there is a grand hardcover of it to reread again once it is finished. This book is my current gold standard of quality. It’s sometimes hard to read other books after I get done with this because I know that they will not be as good as this. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! 

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Rocky & Bullwinkle #1

IDW Writer Mark Evanier, Artist Roger Langridge, Colors Jeremy Colwell, Letterer Roger Langridge

As a proud graduate of Wossamotta U I was very excited to read a new story from one of our former students Bullwinkle J. Moose. The plot from IDW is, They’re finally here! Welcome Bullwinkle the Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel back to comics, in this very special first issue by fan-favorites Mark Evanier and Roger Langridge. Rocky and Bullwinkle must stop the evil Boris and Natasha from duping a wealthy philanthropist in THE PSYCHIC SIDEKICK. And when Dudley Do-Right tries to woo the beautiful Nell, will Snidely Whiplash get away? I doubt that you couldn’t find a better suited writer than Mark Evanier to pen the adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. This man knowledge is incredible and grew up watching the original animated show that this book is based on. First and foremost Evanier gets it, he understands what made the original show so great. He definitely knows that it’s not broken so you do not need to change it. It was like watching the show and you could hear all of the wonderful voices in your head while you were reading it. He even broke the story in half like the original show and told the Dudley Do-Right story in the middle. The only thing that Evanier did change is he updated the dialog to reflect current things like eBay and smart phones but beyond that minor updating he really captured the heart and soul that Jay Ward put into the original show. Getting Langridge to do the artwork for the book was pure magic. I am a huge fan of his work from the Muppet books that he did for Boom! a few years back and he does not disappoint here. He captures the characters from the animated show but very much puts his personal spin on the art. Doing a straight copy of the animated show art would have not made this book look as great as it does. He puts so much detail into the artwork that it puts other all ages books to shame.

Is this book worth your time and money? If you are a fan of the original show then this is a no brainer purchase. If you are not familiar with the original show then will you like this book? If you are looking for a really fun book with a great story and wonderful artwork then this book is the best $3.99 you can spend. I was really disappointed with IDW previous Jay Ward release Mr. Peabody & Sherman that really missed the mark and was a mediocre book. Rocky & Bullwinkle runs circle around that mess. While this is a great book to give to kids as with the original show it’s not necessarily made for kids but really written for adults disguised as a kids book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Steven Howearth

Steven Howearth

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