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New Comic Book Reviews Week of 9/11/19

New Comic Book Reviews Week of 9/11/19

The Riddler: Year of the Villain #1

DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Artist Scott Godlewski, Colorist Marissa Louise, Letterer Travis Lanham 

Most of DC’s Year of the Villain fiesta I could really care less about because I’m so done with crossover events that most of the time ruin you’re favorite series just to shoehorn in a crossover panel to get people to buy the book but there was the Sinestro special a few weeks back that really blew me away. As with that special they had one thing in common that was Mark Russell who has become a must read writer with his top notch work and he continues to impress with this new one focusing on the Riddler story. What is so fascinating about this and the previous Sinestro story is how he is able to take a villain and infuse the story with drama and a much deeper story than you usually get here and delivers a real thought provoking story that actually stick with you long after you’re done reading it. It’s a flawless character introspective that gives great depth to not only the story but the characters themselves and quite honestly you will never see the Riddler the same way again. The artwork by Godlewski does a nice job of catching both the lighthearted and drama moments in the story well here. When a story is pretty much character study you need an artist that is able to capture the emotions of the characters and he does that spot on here.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? If you are reading or not reading the DC Year of the Villain’s storyline this is truly a must read story but not because of the event. This story totally stands on it’s own and that is why it works so well. Rarely do you get these deep human character driven stories in a mainstream company comic let alone an event special. This is one of those rare instances where the story is not what you expect and that is one reason it works so well is that is surprises you and that honestly doesn’t happen that much with superhero comics today. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

Pandemica #1

IDW Writer Jonathan Maberry, Artist Alex Sanchez, Colorist Jay Fotos, Letterer Shawn Lee

Doing a comic that reflects current social issues is a tricky subject with all of the problems that the world is facing on many levels and that is why this new comic by Maberry is on the surface a tough sell and while I think that the idea is a bit better than the execution of this first issue there is enough here in this set up to give the book a chance. Maberry throws a lot at the reader in this first issue with both apocalyptic and social overtones that make for a very creepy reading experience because the sad fact is that this could really happen in the world today. This first issue is filled to the brim with exposition that is a lot to get through here and while there are a few pacing issues here and there but once you get to the end of this first issue there is enough to give this story a second issue to see where he takes it. The artwork by Sanchez was a bit of mixed bag for me because it had some rather obvious inconsistencies throughout the entire issue. I will say that there are more pluses than minuses overall but there were many times that the art became a bit distracting and that hurt the book a bit.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? If you’re not bothered by a ripped from the headlines type of story that is a bit depressing when you read it then you might want to steer clear of this one, but if that doesn’t bother you then you might want to give the book a chance if conspiracy and apocalyptic storytelling is what you like. I would have like the artwork to be more strong but it never kills the reading experience. I’m willing to give this one a second chance to see where he take it from here. 

Show’s End #1

Mad Cave Studios Writer Anthony Cleveland, Artist Jef Sadzinski, Colorist Julian Gonzalez, Letterer Justin Birch 

This was a nice little surprising comic this week but it actually came out back in the middle of August I found out. While Show’s End may not be the most original story that you have ever read it did have a certain charm and feel that did help it move along nicely for a first issue. Cleveland does a nice job of setting up the story here by taking the time to introduce the characters and the premise that gave the story a nice weight to it as you’re reading it and gives you a reason to care about the characters as the story goes along. While the mystery isn’t that huge of a surprise Cleveland doesn’t quite reveal all of the secrets to Loralye there are still some things yet to discover. He also keeps the dialog tight and doesn’t overplay the story to heavy and just lets it unfold nicely. Sadzinski’s artwork is quite nice here and for a very small press comic it’s puts many more higher profile comics to shame. The biggest thing that impressed me was that he took the time to fill the panels with detail and not just let the colorist fill it all in. Sometimes it’t the little things in the artwork that really makes a comic work and there is a lot of that here in the artwork. Sure there are very familiar things in this story that you will notice but they do a good job of mixing things up so that it doesn’t try and be one specific story element that you feel as if you have read it before. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? While this comic didn’t blow me away it did however do its job of telling an interesting story and giving you a reason to come back for a second issue. In the end you have a comic that delivers a solid story with nice artwork that is well worth checking out. RECOMMENDED!

Gotham City Monsters #1

DC Comics Writer Steve Orlando, Artist Amancay Nahuelpan, Colorist Trish Mulvihill, Letterer Tom Napolitano

I really wanted to like this book more than I did because I’m a sucker for monster comics and while this book is not a total train wreck it does however end up being all over the place with the story. I think one of the problems here is that Orlando is trying to set up all of the characters that he ends up not focusing on the underlying story of the series. It comes off as rather confusing and unfocused that made it a real challenge to read. The Frankenstein story came off the best but the others didn’t really land as well as his story and that is where the problem lies with this book is that by the time you get to the end of the issue you really don’t care whats going on here. The really sad thing here is that Nahuelpan’s artwork is really great on this book and he really does his best to try and save this mess of a story visually but as hard as he tries there is little he can do beyond the gorgoeus artwork here on the book. 

Is this book worth you’re time and money? It’s entirely possible that the second issue might turn this mess around but with this first issue being such a mess there is really no incentive for the reader to even bother coming back again. SKIP IT!

King Thor #1

Marvel Comics Writer Jason Aaron, Artist Esad Ribić, Colorist Ive Svorcina, Letterer Joe Sabino

Spinning out of the War of the Realms crossover that I and most other didn’t bother to get involved with come this future tale of Thor in his later years and the question is can you read this series without having to slog though War of the Realms? The good news it pretty much yes because there is a recap on the first page that cover the main gist of the story up to this point. Honestly I wasn’t overwhelmed by Aaron’s take on Thor not that it was bad but never really quite hit the spot for me (and not because it was a female Thor BTW) and this story kind of falls into that category. It’s a decent read but in the end it didn’t really elevate to a must read status. There is nothing here that goes beyond basic good vs evil and the end of the universe. The script just felt very standard and that is where landed for me. As always Ribić’s artwork is the big win for this book and has always been the bright spot for Aaron’s Thor run. His gorgeous artwork does make this book shine but in the end he can save a middling story from itself.

Is this book worth you’re time and money? If you’re a fan of War of the Realms or Aaron’s Thor then your going to buy this comic no matter what I say, but the question is for readers who haven’t read either of those and should they buy this. While the book is not bad it’s just not good enough compared to other much better choices and that is where it lands for me. 

This is What Democracy Looks Like

Center Cartoon Studies/CBLDF Lead Cartoonist Dan Not, Additional Cartoonists James Sturm, Naomi Kane, Michelle Ollie, Eva Sturm-Gross, Summer Pierre, Hallie Jay Pope,

This comic is the best bargain of the week considering it free but that is only part of the story. Considering the train wreck that our country has turned into this is a great way for us all to see how our founding fathers set up this country and how far it has truly fallen. This is basic civics 101 and yet I wouldn’t be surprised that a lot of adults have forgotten how our government actually should work. This wonderful comic goes through all of the steps of the branches of the government and how they function and work together and yet are separated on purpose as a checks and balance. It also is not afraid to show the flaws of our government has fallen into over the years and how each individual person needs to step up and turn this country back into for the people and by the people. One of the most impressive things about this comic is how bipartisan it is. There are some that will not see it that way but those people have made up their minds about our government. This is not only a great read but a real eye opener too. This comic has book great and straight forward dialogue that makes it very clear how the government works and the multiple artist bring a nice style of art to each part of the story that makes this a great pleasure to read even though on the surface it seems like homework. But you know maybe we all need to re-learn this stuff so we can actually have a government that works for us instead of against us.

Is this book worth your time and money? Who doesn’t want a free comic book but this one is so much more than that. With the help of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund who help get this book out to local comic shops. Hopefully your local retailer got copies of this comic so that you can either learn or refresh how our government works. This is probably one of the best comics that you need to read this week or even this year. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!