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New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 8/28/19

New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 8/28/19

Marvel Comics #1000

Marvel Comics Writers Various, Artists Various, Colorist Various, Letterers Various

I found it very ironic that Marvel choose to release this one thousand issue considering that none of their current titles are even close to 1000 but it would have been more appropriate to call this Marvel 80th but I guess they couldn’t let DC Comics do it only. We with that being said there is quite a lot to take in here with 96 pages of history from 1939 to 2019 with 80 creative teams one would think that one would have been more impressed with the final product. While there are some solid creative teams overall there was nothing that really stuck with you beyond nostalgia. The problem is that it reads like an encyclopedia than a comic and there is no depth to the “stories”. The creative teams are limited to one page and there is just not enough room to do anything more that highlight the event of a particular year and that ends up being both good and bad. Some of the choices for the highlights of a particular year are sometimes very puzzling. For instance 1972 highlights Tomb of Dracula but it’s all about Blade who didn’t show up until issue 10 in 1973. 1941 has Thunderer over Captain America is a fail on many levels then in 1979 they highlight Night Raven from Marvel UK over Frank Millar’s debut on Daredevil. One also wonders who decided that in 1994 the Spider-Man clone saga was a more important event than Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’s Marvels that is a real head scratcher. One of the worst ones was 1982 with Hercules in his own mini series over The Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin is just embarrassing but the winner of the worst one is 1986 highlighting the Howard the Duck film that was bad back then when you could have highlighted The “Nam debut or Elektra: Assassin or the Punisher mini series but you went with Howard the freaking Duck? This is not to say that there are not better ones like 1951 debut of Strange Tales or one of my favorites 1953 using Not Brand Echhh to highlight Crazy magazine or 2014 Marvel starts to publish Miracleman and that one page is more than we have seen sense then but thats a whole other story. One of the nicest touches is the In Memoriam page with creators from nearly every company and not just Marvel was a really nice touch the only odd omission was Jean Giraud aka Moebius that did draw the Silver Surfer story in 1989 written by Stan Lee that was a surprise and a bit of a disappointment but never the less a great tribute to comic creators that formed the history of comics. 

Is this comic worth you’re time and money? The closes comparison of this is obviously Action 1000 and Detective 1000 from DC Comics and they had the advantage of celebrating a specific character not an entire company but Action 1000 is still the one to best because it truly celebrated Superman. I think the problem here is that the concept worked better on paper than the final product and maybe an editor with a better understanding of the history might have helped this one out. For ten bucks you want to feel as if your money was well spent and I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The best thing that it has going for it was the talent involved in the book was impressive but talent will only get you so far and with only on page to work with there is only so much you can pull off here. As a celebration of Marvel Comics it’s a nice try but once you have read it the trip down memory lane is only so memorable. Nuff Said!

Batman/Superman #1

DC Comics Writer Joshua Williamson, Artist David Marquez, Colorist Alejandro Sanchez, Letterer John J. Hill

I think at this point we don’t really need yet another Batman or Superman series and yet DC still thinks we do. I get sales wise this one is going to do well but after reading this first issue I’m not so sure that I cared that much. It’s certainly not to say that the book is bad by any means but the problem was that it wasn’t really much that we haven’t seen before. Williamson script is decent but it wasn’t very compelling in the end in that it didn’t feel much different or fresh here and that is where it struggles. I will give him that he doesn’t use a lot of the cliches or relationship tropes that previous team up books struggle with and just went straight to the story that I appreciated but that was about it for the plus side. The artwork on the other hand was really good and tended to make you forgive the fairly forgettable story. Marquez is sadly wasted here on this title but while it was not that great of a read it sure looked really good. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? It’s not like I was expecting a whole lot out of this title but the only good thing that this first issue had was the cliffhanger but the fact that the set up was so weak there really isn’t a lot of hope for this one, SKIP IT!

Mountainhead #1

IDW Writer John Lees, Artist Ryan Lee, Colorist Doug Garbark, Letterer Shawn Lee

This is one of the more interesting comics that I have seen lately and gets off to a very intriguing start. Lees script has a lot of great twist and turns for a first issue. One of the things that impressed me the most with Lees script is that the set up to the story seems to take you in one direction but he then gives the story a great twist and changes things on you but there is still the undertones of the set up and it takes you for quite a ride. This is a very interesting take on the dysfunctional family concept and the way that he writes Abraham really captures all of that quite well here. There is also the beginning of the mystery of the mountain but that is just lightly revealed here. There is a lot of take in here on this first issue but Lees set up to the story is solid and gives you a good reason to come back to see where it goes from here. I really liked Lee’s artwork on the book that had a lot of great detail to it and gave the story a unique look and feel that really brought the story to life. He does a great job with the expressions of the characters and that brings both the horror and the mystery to great life here. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? This is defiantly something different and that is where this book really works. I like that you’re never quite sure what to make of all of this but Lees sets things up well here and you get to know the characters well and that is a big plus. Lee’s artwork on the book really sets this apart from the pack and helps it out immensely. This one is well worth checking out. 

Power Pack: Grow Up #1 

Marvel Comics Writer Louise Simonson, Penciller June Brigman, Inker Roy Richardson, Colorist Tamra Bonvillain, Letterer Joe Caramagna Artist Gurihiru (The Gift)

Nostalgia is a very tricky thing because there are comics that you fondly remember but when you go back and read them again sometimes they are not as good as you remember them to be. Power Pack Grow Up is another of the Marvel 80th Year celebration and is a bit disappointing in some ways. Simonson delivers a classic Power Pack story and that is maybe where this becomes either good or bad depending on if you remember the original series from 1984. The book is very much a product of it’s time and was great for younger readers but now with so many other great younger reader comics and graphic novels this story really shows it’s age. The biggest problem with it is that its not very memorable in that after your done reading it you barely remember what it was about. Brigman’s artwork is nice here and recaptures the looks and feel of the original series and brings all of that original visual charm perfectly. I personally didn’t really care for Gurihiru style but for fans of the more recent series they will be pleased.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I really wanted to like this more that I did because of the fond memories of the original series but either my memories have more nostalgia than I remember or this one shot is simply to basic. On the plus side it is a decent book to give to a younger reader and they would probably enjoy it but if you have never read Power Pack then this is probably not the best place to start.

Tommy Gun Wizards #1

Dark Horse Comics Writer Christian Ward, Artist Sami Kivelä, Colorist Christian Ward with Dee Cunniffe, Letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Back-up story artist Christian Ward

This is an intriguing take on the Elliot Ness and Al Capone that instead of prohibition with liquor they have replaced it with magic. Ward script offers a great amount of classic noir to the story that is one of the reasons why it works so well. This first issue has a solid set up to the story that is a big plus for a first issue. Ward does a nice job of introducing the cast of characters for readers who might not be familiar with the story but also keeps the momentum of the story moving forward very nicely. While the structure of the story is loosely based on the Untouchables Ward very much makes this his own with some great plot twists and keeps you guessing as to where the story is going to go. Kivelä’s artwork on this book is really nice and is able to capture both the noir aspect of the story but the darker side of magic that is a key part of the story and is able to blend it together very well here. There is a back up story by Ward that doesn’t appear to connect to the main story and is intriguing but to early to tell if it’s part of the main story or just an off shoot but the artwork is really nice.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I was really surprised at this comic that took a story that I knew pretty well and gave it a fresh take on an old story. One of its best assets was that it surprised me and that is pretty hard to do in comics today. Solid story with great artwork makes this one to check out. RECOMMENDED!

Fantastic Four 4 Yancy Street #1

Marvel Comics Writer Gerry Duggan, Artists Greg Smallwood, Mark Bagley, Luciano Vecchio, & Pere Pérez, Colorist Greg Smallwood & Erick Arciniega, Letterer Joe Caramagna

I have a real fondness for The Thing and the Yancy Street stories over the years that lean towards the more humorous side and I was excited to see this new comic take a stab at the idea. While the story by Duggan was fun it never quite elevated itself to the level it needed to. I think one of the problems was that he didn’t capture the humor of The Thing vs Yancy Street that has been done over the years. In fact if you removed the Yancy Street from this story it really doesn’t change it and that is where the problem lies with this book. It was really missing the humor that has always been the charm of solo The Thing stories but here it ends up being just an average superhero story that doesn’t really go anywhere and has a weak payoff at the end. The only saving grace of this book is the round robin artwork by the team of four that do their best to visually make this book appealing but as hard as they try there is just not much story wise for them to save this one.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? I really wanted to like this one shot special but it simply was not that fun and is a pretty by the numbers story affair and for five bucks there is little here to justify that price. SKIP IT!