Justice League /Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1
DC Comics/Boom! Studios Writer Tom Taylor, Artist & Colorist Stephen Byrne, Letterer Deron Bennett
While I’m a fan of comic company crossovers, I am not a huge fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I have unfortunately had to suffer through the show at work where I quickly discovered that every single episode is the same thing but with an even wilder looking villain/monster each episode. So I was a little hesitant going into this series. I really have to give Taylor credit for writing a surprisingly fun little first issue. While this is not going to win any awards for greatness, he did manage to make the Power Rangers more palatable to readers that are not huge fans of the show while still keeping with the tone and feel of the show. I think where the comic works so well is that once they crossover is when it shifts away from the silly monster of the week format and works better than the show. As with nearly all crossovers mixing the two universes together is a basic transporter sending them to the DC Universe and then they start fighting each other. Somehow Taylor is able to at least makes it try to feel fresh. One huge plus is that he doesn’t waste time introducing the characters that tend to bog down most crossovers. One of the big plusses for this book is Bryne’s artwork that is a real standout. It has a nice simple yet detailed style that really make the book pop. I have to also give him credit for the very nice coloring work on the book. It gives it a nice darker tone that serves the book nicely.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book gets off to a good start and is surprisingly good considering that I’m not a huge fan of the Power Rangers. Tayor wisely dispenses with the introduction/exposition that was nice to see for a change. Add in Bryne’s very good-looking artwork and you have a fun little romp of a comic. Worth checking out if the concept and characters appeal to you.
God Country #1
Image Comics Writer Donny Cates, Artist Geoff Shaw, Colorist Jason Wordie, Letterer John J. Hill
God Country is one of those book that starts off with a story that is a classic MacGuffin twist that leads you down a story path then throws a curve ball at you and changes direction but in a very pleasing way. Cates sets things up nicely in this first issue with laying the ground work for an interesting concept for the series. What impressed me was how he handled the exposition of the first issue that set the stage for the series but still kept the story moving along nicely. The story was very well paced for a first issue. I was very impressed with Shaw’s artwork on the book because he not only delivered the huge scope of the action but really nailed the subtle dramatic moments in the story that really made the story work so well. He gave the book a nice cinematic visual flavor but made it work so well as a comic book.
Is this book worth your time and money? The first issue gets off to a very nice start but the key is going to be the second issue. Cates sets up some very interesting ideas in this book and the question is where is it going to go? Hopefully they are able to keep the momentum of this issue going for the story arc. I like this book and it’s worth a buy this week.
Justice League of America: Vixen #1
DC Comics Writers Steve Orlando & Jody Houser, Artist & Colorist Jamal Campbell, Letterer Clayton Cowles
After last weeks Atom special that was a bit of a letdown, I was hesitant to pick up this second one shot but it is a great improvement over that book. I think was helps this book is that Vixen is a lesser known character from the Justice League and this book does a nice retelling of her origin for both old and new readers. While Orlando is a good writer this book seems to have benefitted with the addition of Houser with the scripting duties here. While the issue is exposition in setting up unfamiliar readers with Vixen the story moves along at a nice pace and does a good job of showing her powers and back story. Campbell’s artwork is a big plus for this book. It has a nice painted style that gives the book a great style. Where it really impressed me was when she is using her animal powers and the way that he illustrated it was both beautiful and powerful. Campbell use of color was very impressive and really added to the overall look of the comic.
Is this book worth your time and money? Like the previous Atom one shot this book is not a necessary read for the upcoming Justice League of America book but an introduction to Vixen and her origin. This was a better read than last weeks Atom and for $2.99 is worth reading if your either not familiar or a fan of Vixen.
Reggie and Me #2
Archie Comics Writer Tom DeFalco, Artist Sandy Jarrell, Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, Letterer Jack Morelli
This book has been a read pleasant surprise in the new re-imagined Archie Universe. DeFalco has taken the threads from the regular Archie and Jughead series and has done a nice job of giving Reggie a good back story that is making him a more three-dimensional character instead of just the “bully” of Riverdale. The great hook that DeFalco has found in the book is that the story is told from his dog Vader’s point of view and that is giving the book a nice charm and different approach. What made this issue was the back story of Archie and Reggie as kids and how the rivalry between the two started. He also does a nice job of moving the story forward with spot on pacing of the book. Jarrell continues to deliver some very nice artwork on the book. Her style fits the tone of the story perfectly with a simple and yet detail that is able to capture all of the details of DeFalco’s script. She does a wonderful job this issue with the flashbacks of them as kids and really captured the innocence of childhood.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is another solid book in the new Archie line. DeFalco is setting up a nice little story here and I like how he gives Reggie a great back story and is developing him as a strong character. While he may be the “villain” most of the time there is more than that and that is where this book really works so well. Jarrell’s artwork on the book brings it all together quite nicely. RECOMMENDED!
Motor Crush #2
Image Comics Creators Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
The first issue of Motor Crush got off to a good start and this second issue does a very nice job of keeping the pacing on the book going forward quite well. They do a nice job of moving the story along but mix in some great action and back story that continues to intrigue. While the story on the surface seems familiar they do a nice job of making it fresh and giving it the story a good pace that makes for a solid read. Where the book really shines is Tarr’s gorgeous artwork that really makes this book visually pop and a unique look. She really impresses with the layouts of the artwork and is not afraid to take chances with it. This is one of those comics where the artwork and story blend so well together that makes for an exciting comic book.
Is this book worth your time and money? What I love about this book is that Domino is a flawed character and she doesn’t do everything right all of the time. She is both broken and badass at the same time that makes her that much more relatable. She does the best she can with what she has to work with. With Tarr’s amazing artwork to help drive the story this is a book that is well worth picking up. RECOMMENDED!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16
Marvel Comics Writers Ryan North & Will Murray, Artists Erica Henderson & Steve Ditko, Colorist Rico Renzi, Letterer Travis Lanham
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the debut of Squirrel Girl with original co-creator writer Murray penning the 15-year-old Doreen’s story and co-creator Ditko’s original series art for Doreen’s 10-year-old design of her costume really makes this issue a wonderful anniversary. This has been one of the best Marvel comic going now and every issue has been solid. North has delivered one of the best issues to date with a wonderful story of her early days and framed the story around Murray’s story of her early encounter with the Hulk that was a real treat. Henderson as always delivers the perfect mix of art for the book. Her style gives the book its charm and sweetness that makes you fall in love with Doreen that much more. This issue she really pulls out all of the stops and delivers some of her finest work on the book yet.
Is this book worth your time and money? I love this book and is always a must read every month. North and Henderson always deliver a fun and sweet comic every month but this issue is a great nod to the original creators of the book and was very touching. While Marvel may struggle with the majority of their comics, one thing for sure is that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will always be a fun and great read every month. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!