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New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 2/14/18

New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 2/14/18


Death of Love #1

Image Comics Writer Justin Jordan, Artist Donal Delay, Colorist Omar Estevez and Felipe Sobreiro, Letterer Rachel Deering
This book is quite a wild ride and while I liked it there is still a lot of mystery left to uncover and this is a good way to start things off. Jordan does a nice job of setting things up with this first issue but wisely keeps a lot of cards close to his vest for future issues. I some ways you not quite sure what is going on but that’s ok here because he sets up the characters well here especially with Philo. What I really liked here is how Jordan plays with the dichotomy of love and is it good or evil and that is basically the question that we get from this first issue. The first issue is pretty exposition heavy but has a nice flow to it and he moves it along briskly. Delay is a very good choice for the artwork on the book because he has a bit of a cartoony style that gives this book a great charm that brings Jordan’s script to life quite well. Delay really captures all of the humor of the story very well with lots of nice little subtle facial expressions that work so well in the book.

Is this book worth your time and money? There was something about this book that I found quite charming and Jordan and Delay have set up things nicely in this first issue. While it probably blow you away but it does have a good look and feel to it that gives you a good reason to come back for a second issue. It’s worth giving the book a shot if you’re looking for something different to read. This book has a lot of promise so I hope that Jordan and Delay can deliver from this first issue.


Sideways #1

DC Comics Writers Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio & Justin Jordan, Artist Kenneth Rocafort, Colorist Daniel Brown, Letterer Carlos M. Mangual

The third new age of heroes from DC and is a bit middling for a first issue. The problem that I had with this first issue was that it falls into the been there and done that type of story. While it’s not bad but you have read it a million times before. It’s like Spider-Man, Firestorm, etc where a young kid gets super powers and is trying to balance school, life and learning how to be a superhero that it ends up being pretty average. It wasn’t a bad read but it didn’t really bring anything new to the table. The script has a few moments that helps it along but is overall pretty forgettable. The thing that nearly salvaged the whole thing was Rocafort’s artwork that was a real stunner and gave the book a great visual pop that made reading it a huge improvement. He really puts a lot of detail into the artwork that is very impressive but I had really wished that the story wasn’t so two-dimensional.

Is this book worth your time and money? While not a total train wreck it was pretty disappointing story here. While there may be some better ideas down the line it’s really hard to see it from this first issue. The story is simply too derivative and brings nothing new to the party. The only that keeps it from being a total disaster is the gorgeous artwork by Rocafort but that was it’s only saving grace. SKIP IT!




Bingo Love OGN

Image Comics Writer Tee Franklin, Artist Jen St-Onge, Colorist Joy San, Letterer Cardinal Rae

A rare return of the Comic Book of the Week award has been absent for a while but Bingo Love Original Graphic Novel is more than worthy addition to the few titles that have earned it.

The huge Kickstarter hit comic finally comes to the comic shelves thanks to Image Comics and what a beautiful treat this book is. This is a comic that simply blew me away with its emotional ride of love and loss. What sets this story apart from many comics is that Franklin tells a story that speaks to everyone no matter what your ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. It simply speaks from the heart and that is why it works so well. Franklin has crafted a story that tackles many tough issues but she script it with such care and depth that from the first page you are with the story and it never lets you down. One of the books best assets is that it doesn’t waste anything or stray from the path. So many comics have focus issues but Franklin keeps the story so precisely spot on that makes this comic a real page turner. It’s also an emotional rollercoaster ride that will have you feeling the emotions of both the characters and the story so much that it’s hard to simply put into words. She has a wonderful way of capturing that human spirit that is sometime difficult in comics but again she does it with such ease that makes this book such a treasure. It’s one thing to have a great story but you need an artist to bring it to life and luckily St-Onge brings this script to visual life perfectly. He style on the surface has a cartoony look but that actually gives this story the perfect visual tone that I fell in love with. This is proof that sometimes a simpler visual look is better. I think if the artwork was say more realistic I don’t think that it would have worked as well as it does. Another big win for this book is San’s wonderful color work on the book that not only complements St-Onge’s live work but brings it to life in a way that works on the emotions of the story and art.

Is this book worth your time and money? I haven’t read a comic this emotional in a long time and that is a very rare feat. Not only is this a book that is great but is truly needed now. It simply tells a timeless love story that is true to life. I’m and old white male and am not ashamed to say that this book made me cry but truly touched my heart. This is what great comic books can and should be. Not only is it a great read but I have already read it a few times and simply gets better with each reading. This is a comic that you will not only want to read but will make a great gift for others to read. Franklin and St-Onge have created a truly great comic that I hope they have many more stories to tell because we certainly need more like this now more than ever. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! AND MUST BUY!


Kick-Ass #1

Image Comics Writer Mark Millar, Penciller John Romita Jr., Inker and Colorist Peter Steigerwald, Letterer John Workman,

For me the Kick-Ass comics have been both hit and miss for me but this new incarnation does get off to a good start. The one thing that Miller does well here is set up Patience character here and while it’s not super original it did come off well with all things considered. The one thing that Millar does struggle with is coming up with new takes on an old story and while this first issue is good, it does not really break any new ground with this new series. This first issue sets things up well for the story and I did like Patience in this story and she did make it better than I thought it was going to be. As with most of Millar’s work there is not a lot of fresh ideas here but it was a decent read nonetheless. Romita Jr’s art he is surprisingly good here with none of his sketchyness that has plagued a lot of his artwork over the years. I imagine that Steigerwald’s inks helped that out also.

Is this book worth your time and money? If you’re looking for a fresh take on the Kick-Ass universe there is a bit here but it does play by the numbers overall. If you’re a fan of the previous books then your going to buy this book anyways but, for new readers is there enough here to get you to buy it? Maybe. It does tell a decent story and does look nice but it certainly won’t blow you away or anything. It simply more of the same and if that’s what you’re looking for then it will work for you. For me it was OK.


Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1

DC’s Young Animal Writer Cecil Castellucci, Artist Mirko Andolfo, Colorist Marissa Louise, Letterer Saida Temofonte

Part Three of the Milk Wars crossover was a bit of a letdown but not bad by any means. I think that where I struggled with this part of the story is that it works fine as a stand alone stories but they are not really adding much to the overall story. I mean I get that the milk is a controlling the characters but there is little connecting the overall story beyond Cave Carson’s eye popping up now and then. With saying that the story does work fairly well on it’s own and while not as fun as the Batman and Mother Panic special last week I will give Castellucci does a great job of having Shade as individual emotions that was quiet fun in the story and gave it a nice charm. I wasn’t so much sold on the Wonder Woman as Wonder Wife that didn’t connect with me as much as I would have liked but it was not fatal to the story. It did however fit the tone of the regular Shade the Changing Girl series and that was what worked well in this story. Andolfo artwork on the book is very nice here and captures the facial expressions of each Shade emotion quite well and is one of the reasons that they story does work well when it does. This is a really nice looking book and she delivers with it on many levels.

Is this book worth your time and money? This issue was a little disappointing but not enough to skip. I wished that these stories in-between the two main specials added more overall story instead of stand alone ones. While these one offs are fun if your going to have an event it would make more sense that they were more connected. I love the Young Animal comics but for new readers it’s sadly not the best jumping on point that I had hoped it would be. It’s still worth buying just know that it’s a standalone story ahead of time.


Giants #3

Dark Horse Comics Writers/Artists/Letterers Carlos and Miguel Valderrama

This third outing of Giants is a real game changer in many ways. Each issue has done a nice job of moving the story along but this issue tells both past and present story at the same time and gives you more insight to Gogi and why he is now torn between two worlds. What I am finding fascinating with this book is how Carlos and Miguel blur the lines between monsters, meaning that monsters in this world come in many forms. It also reveals why Gogi is a reluctance hero in this story because of his past and the way that the underground city has shaped him. This is the first time in his life that he has found a real family with the forsaken group and he doesn’t know how to handle it all. Carlos and Miguel have crafted a tale of regaining of ones humanity and it quite impressive here. There are a lot of undertones to the story that is making it quite an impressive tale and while the story is not necessarily original they have found a way that makes it feel fresh and new. They are not trying to reinvent the wheel here but simply telling a good story in a way that is impressive. A comic script is as only good as the artwork and this is where the book really exceeds at. Carlos and Miguel give the book great visual heft and scope but it’s the smaller more intimate moments in the book that is where the artwork really shines. They really impress with the visual emotions that they infuse the characters with that is making this book such a winner.

Is this book worth your time and money? Each issue of this book just gets better and better and I’m really getting excited to see where the story goes in the end. I hope that there are more stories to tell after this series because Carlos and Miguel have created a wonderful world here and I hope that this is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak. VERY RECOMMENDED!


Captain America #698

Marvel Comics Writers Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, Artist Chris Samnee, Colorist Matthew Wilson, Letterer Joe Caramagna

Who know that throwing Captain America into a dystopian future would resemble the current world and seem more reality based than fiction. Well that is what Waid and Samnee have done here and you know it’s a tough read but does give you hope and that is what Captain America is all about. There is no grey area that Waid and Samnee are telling here and as recent event in America have been this story is basically happening now but most of us are just ignoring it. In a weird way as politically charged as this story is, it does embody what Captain America means to us. No matter what is happening Cap always fights for things that matter to him and should matter to us. Sure they are using Nazi overtones that is a staple of Cap’s history but it should show us all that we are the heroes and need to stop relying on others to do what we all need to do, help each other and love unconditionally. Some will read this issue and be upset how Waid and Samnee could turn this book into a political statement but I say that sometimes you need to create fiction to mirror reality and that is what they have done here with this storyline. While the future is always uncertain it should never prevent us from being a hero and helping our fellow human beings and that is what I am taking away from this story. As always Samnee delivers gorgeous artwork that captures the emotions of the story in such a beautiful way that is always a pleasure to read. He captures the pain in Rogers that will shake you to the core and that is what a great illustrator will do and Samnee is one of the best. I have to mention that this issue is particularly impressive with Wilson’s color work that really captures the tone of the story and as always complements Samnee’s line work perfectly. He could have went with really dark tones in this story but he always keeps it bright along the way that helps deliver the hope that Waid and Samnee are doing with this story.

Is this book worth your time and money? This issue is going to really divide a lot of readers but it’s a story that is timely as it is timeless. I have to give Waid and Samnee props for telling a story that is a real history lesson that shows that we need to learn from our history so we don’t repeat the same mistakes again. Hopefully we can find the Captain America in all of us because as this story proves we need him now more than ever. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Baby Badass #1

Action Lab Danger Zone Writer David Schrader, Artist/Colorist/Letterer Tim Larsen

Baby Badass is the debut book from newcomer David Schrader and Tim Larsen that is a mix of humor and tons of violence but done in a tongue in cheek tone.The first issue gets off to a decent start but I would have liked a bit more back story for a new book that the second issue might be a little while away for a self published book. Schrader’s script is good but a little disjointed with the delivery. I liked a lot of the ideas but I felt the narrative of the first issue could have been a bit stronger. There is just not enough story there to make the book come together for a first issue.  I was worried that Joey would be a more T & A character at the outset of the story but he keeps that to a minimum and by the end of the issue she is a little stronger than when the book starts off. I did like the humor and the silliness of the violence but he balances that part pretty well. Larsen’s art for a newcomer is pretty impressive. While there are a few perspective issues and some of his color choices were not so great, but overall the art is quite nice. I have seen other books from bigger publishers that don’t look this good in the art department. The color is a bit all over the place and during the fight scenes the orange color is a bit too overwhelming on the art. I do have a PDF of the book that looks better so something could have gone wrong on the printing end of the book so I will give Larsen a little bit of a pass.
Overall the book is a little hit and miss. While there is a good amount of promise in the book and I do look forward to the second issue, the first issue is a little shaky out of the gate. I wish that Schrader had tightened the story in the first issue instead of having ideas that are not as strongly put together as I would have liked. In the end I will say that he got more right than wrong and for a newcomer to comic writing I hope that the book will have improvements with the story in coming issues. On the art side of the book Larsen does a very nice job on the art and I hope to see him improve from this good start for a newcomer. In the end if you like the concept of the book I would give it a shot as long as you are not opposed to violence because it’s a real blood bath in the first issue. I will give the book points for not being like anything else in comics right now.