Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 6/2/2021

Here are some comic book reviews for this week, as of this writing: * Batman #23 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo * Harley Quinn #1 by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti * The Vision by Tom King & Gabriel Walta * The Green Lantern by Peter Tomasi & Fernando Pasarin * Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy & Patrick Zircher * Aquaman by Dan Abnett & Vicente Cifuentes

Anthony’s comic book reviews will be back on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021! You can check out his comic book reviews and his other reviews on the verifiedtasks blog. He reviews comics, graphic novels, manga, and other media here.

It’s time to get back into the groove by reviewing comics for the week of June 2nd, 2021. The release schedule for this week is as follows:. Read more about marvel comics february 17 2021 and let us know what you think.

to this week’s comic book reviews! Staff has read and reviewed almost everything that came out today. It’s not absolutely all-encompassing, but it covers just about everything from DC and Marvel, as well as the main books from Image, Boom, IDW, Scout, Aftershock, etc. The overview articles that can be found here are usually complemented in part by individual reports on important topics. This week, it’s The Nice House On The Lake #1, Iron Man Annual #1, and Basilisk #1. And in case you’re wondering, our reviews are pretty simple: We give a whole number of five, that’s it! If you want to read our previous reviews, you can find them all here.

DC #1

Stylistically, Batman #109 is very good. With the exception of the fact that all the female characters Jimenez drew look pretty much the same – including the gardener to some extent – the issue is visually appealing. After that, however, everything more or less falls back into the same chaotic, unfocused stagnation that has characterized the series for some time now. Once again we have a new character who seems rather pointless and is poorly introduced – Gardner appears to be nothing more than a messenger, as she is introduced here. Most problematic, however, is that as Ghost Maker’s story finally develops, Tynion attempts to address the character’s mental health in a way that shows a lack of understanding of the issues being used to benefit the story. Everything else just continues on the same boring, largely formulaic line we’ve seen in this series. — Nicole Drum Score: 2.5 out of 5 It’s been a long time since Batwoman/Catwoman lived up to the hype that preceded the series, but Batwoman/Catwoman #5 may be the weakest episode yet. The frustrating thing is that there are things that are promising but never materialize. King’s three-pronged plot actively undermines the book as a whole – whatever his story is at this point, since it seems to be skewed – and frankly, it feels like it needs to be slowed down by someone. Moreover, Mann’s usually steady art, though absolutely gorgeous on some pages of the issue, also fails when it comes to drawing an aging Selina. The only thing that really works here is the way the exit sinks in Selina a bit. The way Selina sees herself in the future and the way she looks in the present are contradictory, and it makes you think about the character as a whole. Unfortunately, given King’s apparent inability to focus on plot and his reliance on wasted space to fill pages (the beginning literally consists of panels of Jingle Bells lyrics as Selina sits in the house by the fireplace), it seems, like most of this series, to be based on nothing substantial. — Nicole Drum Score : 2 out of 5 The Batman/Fortnite series may be almost entirely housed in Fortnite Island, but the tone is sort of split between the two properties. In this fourth installment, we’ve fully transitioned into the Batman vibe, and with that transition comes some decidedly dark moments and behaviors. It’s becoming easier and easier to imagine Batman alongside Fortnite characters thanks to the art-style that unites them no matter what run or world they’re in, even if Batman sometimes seems a little on edge against his new companions. This latest release builds on perhaps one of its strongest features and continues to offer something for both those who are passionate about Fortnite’s story and those who just want more Batman. — Tanner Dedmon Score : 4 out of 5 In her second semester of college, Jessica struggles not only with her studies, but also with her relationships. Readers also get a glimpse of the dark forces at play, and Jessica is sure to face more challenges in the future. In terms of story, we get minimal details, and the foundation laid is rather primitive, but even with the bare bones of the plot, it seems to fit into the spirit and tone of The Conjuring series itself, by reminding us that otherworldly horrors can attack anyone for any reason. Illustrator Garry Brown and colorist Mike Spicer know how to capture the atmosphere of the film’s world well, mixing dark, macabre tones with a touch of nostalgia and taking the story to new heights. While there’s not much to discover in this first issue, it’s a promising start that paves the way for a third Enchantment and is itself a scary story. — Patrick Cavanaugh. Score : 4 out of 5 Crime syndicate number four turns to the Power Ring, aka. Jon Stewart: The various factions of meta-humans on Earth-3 begin an arms race after Starro’s arrival. The Ring of Power is the most powerful man without much intelligence. This change creates much needed space to explore the characters and setting of the series beyond the repetitive cycles of the first three issues. Something new happens to all the main characters, but these events unfold in different ways; one can imagine that almost every sequence in this issue could be rearranged without much effect. Also, all the characters continue to play to the same tune: Luthor is good, Quick and Atomica are sociopaths, the Ring of Power is weak. As Crime Syndicate enters its second half, it becomes clear that the film has little of interest left. Maybe this cliffhanger will at least offer a glimmer of hope, but from what we’ve read so far, I wouldn’t count on it. — Chase Magnett. Score : 2 out of 5 Kush breaks the fourth wall on the first splash side of Crush & Lobo, as if to say: Get in, losers, we’re gonna kick your ass. It’s a facade, with the creators presenting their character-driven story under the guise of a full-blown action comic, just as Crush hides his insecurities under his too-cool-for-you punk rock exterior. The fact that the main character addresses the reader directly in this way is often a sticking point. Author Mariko Tamaki uses it so thoughtfully that it is not only a time saver, but also allows the reader to become fully immersed in the world of Crush. This world is one of simple and fascinating backyard sensations. Artist Amankai Nauelpan uses exaggerated movements and fast lines to convey the energy of a Shonen-style fight. At the same time, colorist Tamra Bonvillen uses a neon color palette with a strong purple slant to evoke the spirit of John Wick, which seems to perfectly sum up how Crush sees himself. This inspiring self-image begins to crumble when Crash’s world collides with that of her friend Katie at a birthday party that has turned into a disaster zone. This scene misses a chance to show how different their worlds are, since Bonvillain doesn’t change color, but the idea is conveyed, as is the feeling that Crush is doing self-sabotage because of his father’s unexpected phone call. Crush & Lobo #1 introduces readers to Crush’s history and internal conflict, which will almost certainly manifest itself in an external kick in the ass in later issues. — Jamie Lovett. Score : 4 out of 5 Previous – Next

DC #2

(Photo: DC Entertainment) After the heavy shock at the end of the previous episode, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Green Lantern #3, but even though I went into it with a fairly open mind, I managed to exceed all preconceived expectations. That’s what’s so appealing about Jeffrey Thorne’s Green Lantern, and it continues here, as we follow the misunderstood Jon Stewart as he adapts to new circumstances and perhaps even finds pleasure in them, while remaining the compassionate hero that fans have long supported. The second half of the song then deals with macro-level issues, which Joe addresses admirably and effectively. I can’t tell you how great it is that Jo is appearing in the main series, but it’s also impressive what Thorne has done with the dynamic between Keli and Simon Baz in such a short time. Tom Rainey’s work fits perfectly into Stewart’s story, as does Marco Santucci’s work on the events on Oa, and the colors of colorist Michael Atiyeh help bring the two stories together. The styles are different, but they work well in one issue, and the change in style isn’t so jarring that it takes you out of the story, although I hope Dexter Soy comes in the next issue. Green Lantern unfolds an intriguing mystery on a grand scale, but it’s the stories of the corps that make their way through all the chaos, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. -Matthew Aguilar Score : 4 out of 5 In issue 62 of Justice League, we continue in Naomi’s devastated world and learn the reasons for the Justice League’s superpowers and Aquaman’s whereabouts. This issue is smoother and feels short due to the large number of pulls and action scenes, but it’s still an enjoyable read. Justice League Dark remains a mixed bag – there’s a clever twist where the comic characters read notes from the comic’s actual author to figure out a lingering subplot, but the rest of the comic just can’t be very interesting. — Christian Hoffer Score: 3.5 out of 5 This miniseries is the first to tell the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jekyll. Hyde in the foreground. Finally we get to see the hero take a serious look at himself, and that’s where this story really succeeds. The end comes quickly, but the return to the roots in this issue helps the plot. — Adam Barnhardt. Score : 4 out of 5 It’s hard to write this review. It’s not because you have nothing to say: There’s a lot to be said for The Nice House On The Lake magazine, and it only published one issue. The problem is that the beginning of the series benefits from not talking about it beforehand. Opening the pages of this comic with few expectations (namely, Tynion’s devised horrors), the reader, like the many guests in this beautiful home, is led to a mysterious destination. It’s a useful research experiment that bears fruit in the back pages of the issue. My advice is this: Look at this. — Chase Magnett. Score : 5 out of 5 While the ever-changing cast of Suicide Squad is one of its strengths, this episode focused on Red X, but thankfully the guest star didn’t get all the attention for a mere appearance. Instead, her presence heightened the tension between Peacemaker and Amanda Waller, throwing the book and the group itself into welcome chaos. Red X always seems to be one step ahead of Waller, and writer Robbie Thompson had fun with that, because few characters can take on Waller in that position. Not only did we get revelations about the team and Waller, but X’s actions will affect the team in a new way in the future. While I didn’t expect his influence to be so great, I think this is ultimately what the book needs to maintain its edge. Artists Eduardo Pansica and Marcelo Maiolo bring their quintet here and do a good job of creating one-on-one scrums, with both styles being colorful. Suicide Squad continues to exceed my expectations, and I’m really enjoying a brutal and exciting ride. -Matthew Aguilar Score : 4 out of 5 Levi and Jennifer complete their exploration of Green in The Swamp Thing #4 and discover that it is a land of metaphors that has existed since plant life allied itself with humanity on Earth. It ties in with the introductory songs that established the notion of the story as a powerful force in the universe, but acts as an additional prologue to the story to come. Woodrue’s presence remains unreliable, and a few new characters also make their appearance in the villain’s room. His additions are intriguing and even show a connection to the story’s classic anatomy lesson, but by the last page of issue #4 we feel it’s time to move on, anyway. Although the plot here focuses on definitions and introductions, Mike Perkins’ imagery of Green and the increasing number of characters lift the comic above the slow pace. Green’s explanation of the four panels is excellent, and each of the double-page spreads presented here meets that standard. His illustration of Vaudevos in The Swamp Thing #3 makes you want to see more than a few glimpses here, and it sets the mood for what’s to come. — Chase Magnett. Score : 4 out of 5 Previous – Next

Marvel #1

The Amazing Spider-Man begins with new storylines that will complicate Peter’s life. An unexpected pregnancy, a dead clone, and a failed experiment get in Spider-Man’s way in this issue. It takes some dexterity to tie all these storylines together, but their introduction goes smoothly for fans of the city. – Megan Peters Score : 3 out of 5 I usually hate storylines that end with a neat little box, but Black Cat #7 brings everything together in a neat way, without too much action, but with a really great story. Felicia manages to find a way to save the situation, but it comes at a cost. Without taking up pages to show how to do it, the song tells the story almost like a textbook, and it works very well. You don’t get an abundance of detail or mechanics, but you do get the emotional focus of events in a way that feels authentic to the character and pays off the reader’s investment. Feeling a little ambushed? Yes. But it is well done and very interesting to read. This is a solid conclusion to the series. — Nicole Drum Score : 4 out of 5 This is the funniest issue of superhero comics I’ve read this year. Not a page goes by without a laugh when the Hellions disrupt the Hellfire gala. It’s definitely as chaotic and violent as readers of the series are used to, and it happens in a way that adds depth to the characters and advances many plot points. The Hellfire Gala event could have been written as a brief diversion, but instead Hellions #12 makes it clear that this summit meeting has the potential to both enhance current stories and provide a colorful break from scheduled stories. Everything from the gaudy outfits of the guestellions to Nannie’s drunken threats to Sinister clearly falls within the standards of the series and really offers something out of this world. Plus, this issue is a good introduction to the whole Gala story, with plenty of cameos and little moments that readers of other contemporary X-series will appreciate. It’s a glorious (and irritating) celebration of Krakoa’s quirky new society, where the dark humor inherent in Hellions has found a wonderful application. Good job. — Chase Magnett. Score: 4.5 out of 5 Heroes Reborn #5 is a bit of a mess. At this point, each issue feels like a strange one-shot for each of the Squadron Supreme characters – this week it’s the turn of Nighthawk in an issue that feels like a Batman story where Marvel would have put Spider-Man elements in instead of the Joker – with a few bits of story in a sparse narrative that seems to be leading somewhere? That’s a question, because as a reader, I’m not sure. There is nothing here that, apart from the idea that it is part of the event, is bad. Nighthawk’s story is an interesting one to read. But as part of a larger series of events, there’s not enough here to keep me interested. You could say that this is the structure, but this series and this number do not match. — Nicole Drum Score: 2.5 out of 5 Heroes Reborn gave Marvel readers one of the best alternate realities in recent memory, and this latest issue is another great example of how strange the Supreme Squadron-led universe can be. This story is very interesting, it borrows a page from The Dark Knight but puts Nighthawk in the lead role. Grist manages to tell an interesting story, but Chris Allen’s artwork could use a fresh take on the details. This issue has some memorable alternate versions of beloved Marvel characters, but it’s still a little rough around the edges. — Evan Valentine. Score : 3 out of 5 Note that the double action in Heroes Reborn: Marvel Double Action refers to the length of the story it contains; it’s a story that collects several classic issues from the golden age of Amazing Spider-Man and focuses on the night of Gwen Stacy’s death. This issue is entirely devoted to the subject: Several iconic signs have replaced the characters, and there are small advertisements along the strip. Originally it was a fun concept with a treasure hunt in a 70’s inspired scenario. The premise quickly runs out of steam when it becomes clear that the events taking place here won’t have much impact beyond these pages. This era illustrates the intertwined nature of Marvel’s superhero comics with constant references to non-existent old issues and ghostwritten side series. But because there is no connection to the story that is remembered, the events that take place there have no weight, and are nothing more than a repeat of a story that all Marvel fans know. Something like this can only be done very well, and the creative team is doing their best, I assume. — Chase Magnett. Score : 3 out of 5 And so the final pieces fall into place and it’s time for the final act of Hulk Immortal. This battle against the Avengers proves to be even more brutal than their first appearance at the beginning of the series, and the Hulk pulls some particularly nasty tricks out of his sleeve. The fight is well rendered and enjoyable in its pacing and creativity, but it still reads like part of an ongoing story from several previous issues. With the addition of a nearly absent cast member, Jennifer Walters, the outing becomes more of a necessity than a multi-episode battle with the U-Foes. Her current status as an Avenger places her at the center of this fight, with the conflict centered on the connections to the Green Gate. In the final pages, we understand who will participate in the final battle against Samuel Stearns’ new infernal form, and that more madness awaits us in these pages. It’s a welcome invitation that promises this finale will be worth the wait. — Chase Magnett. Score : 4 out of 5 Previous – Next

Marvel #2

(Photo: Marvel Entertainment) Despite the convoluted plot of this mini-volume, Dragon Heart #6 does a good job of slowing the pace so readers can catch their breath and figure things out. In fact, the events of this series may forever change Danny Rand’s future as the plot progresses. Of course nothing lasts forever in the comic book world, but at least here Danny Rand’s journey comes to a poignant end, in keeping with the character of the immortal Iron Fist. Heart of the Dragon gets very tense, and the exploration of the book’s vast ensemble can be very uneven as the book progresses. Nevertheless, this story solves many of the problems that have remained unresolved in the character’s mythology in recent years, and provides an excellent ending for the character in the near future. — Adam Barnhardt. Score : 4 out of 5 While you could argue for a separate mini-series to tell Infinite Damages instead of a yearbook, Iron Man Annual #1 starts off intriguingly. The story balances the jerky dialogue that fans have come to associate with the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Iron Man with the deeper potential that Tony Starks solo stories have shown in recent times. With inspiring, if somewhat predictable, art and some unanswered questions about the larger event, Iron Man Annual #1 is far from a perfect Marvel Comics Iron Man interlude, but it turns out to be a reasonably well-executed stand-alone story, of sorts. — Jenna Anderson. Score : 3 out of 5 The Hellfire Gala is in full swing, and I was curious to see how some of the starters would handle the event, since they didn’t highlight some of the big reveals in the main event. In fact, there was nothing to worry about, at least in the case of Marauders, as the song contained its usual mix of humour, style and intrigue, while contributing to the atmosphere leading up to the main event. Emma Frost, played by screenwriter Jerry Duggan, is an absolute delight, and it’s lovely to see her in her element at work. Characters from outside Krakoa also bring welcome contrast and conflict to the X-Men world, and illustrator Matteo Lolli and colorist Edgar Delgado know how to make every costume and location look good. The last few pages wrap it up with a great hook and show why Marauders is the best X book. -Matthew Aguilar Score: 4.5 out of 5 Joe Kelly’s script for Non-Stop Spider-Man seems to have lost the adrenaline rush of the beginning, which is a shame considering the series’ title. When things slow down, it feels more like a traditional Spider-Man comic, and that’s nice. Chris Bachalo remains one of Marvel’s most underrated artists. He brings a raw energy and a unique look to the characters and environments that others so rarely show. I have to reiterate how unique this series’ approach is to the Spidey line, which should be the gold standard for this cast. — Spencer Perry. Score: 3.5 out of 5 It took Duggan and the team a while to finally get the old Johnny Blaze to appear in a look that was perfect for the Savage Avengers. After his throne in hell is transferred to Mephisto, the vengeful spirit begins a hunt for Kulan Gath, but the Ghost Rider suggests that Conan is the agent of an evil sorcerer. While this is an annoying story, the miscommunication between the characters keeps the story moving at a steady pace. At least it’s a sight to behold when Ghost Rider and Conan meet the sinister line of Patch Zircher. — Adam Barnhardt. Score : 4 out of 5 Han Solo’s path to Boba Fett was not an easy one: The frozen pilot fell into the wrong hands, and the entire galaxy turned against Fett. But as we have learned, fat is only one small piece of a much larger puzzle: Han Solo has proven to be an interesting prize for characters in the galaxy. While the various previews for Bounty Hunter War were promising, the real Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter series has largely failed to live up to its hopes for action rather than an exciting story, but if the entire series was just a build-up to this event, it seems worth it. This should come as no surprise given screenwriter Charles Soule’s previous forays into a galaxy far, far away, as he once again delivers the melodrama of the franchise, but without forgetting the sense of humor and quirkiness that characterizes Star Wars as much as the futuristic adventure. Draughtsman Luke Ross and colorist Niraj Menon also do a good job of conveying the darker side of the franchise without being too crude. Whether it’s 4-LOM, Tsukuss, Aphra, or the Hutts, this story also manages to combine different angles of the comic book canon and captivate the viewer. As if the book wasn’t already strong enough, it brings a truly shocking and delightful final reveal that takes not only the issue, but the potential of this event to a whole new level, making War of the Bounty Hunters #1 a must-read for fans and the best Star Wars comic of the year. — Patrick Cavanaugh. Score : 5 out of 5 Hellfire Gala is an opportunity to look back at some of the biggest mistakes X-Force has made, both in the current series and in the distant past. Despite Gala’s colorful diversions – beautifully rendered with rich backgrounds and an appropriate mix of episodic appearances and interactions – this issue of Secret Forces remains as relevant as any, using the larger event to tell its own story. It’s all about consistency and ego, which means the beast is the focus. One informative page in particular changes his role as the main villain of the series from subtext to text, and it becomes clear that Krakoa’s relatively short adventures will have a major impact on the team and its future. This attention to detail, combined with the lightheartedness and character moments, shows what makes X-Force one of the most intriguing X-series, as well as the impressive build-up to the month-long event. — Chase Magnett. Score : 4 out of 5 Previous – Next

Other publishers #1

Apex Legends is no stranger to comics, having already been introduced via in-game activities, but the debut of Apex Legends: Overtime shows that real estate can not only survive, but thrive in this environment. Crypto’s stoic, cynical nature and Revenant’s unapologetic, disrespectful attitude fit well with Overtime’s playstyle: Both characters look exactly as you would expect. Mirage’s silliness is harder to convey visually, but his dialogue is so accurate that you read it in his voice. The first issue casts a wide net to capture all types of Apex lore, which can be promising, but hopefully it manages to bring it all together in a four-part series instead of overwhelming newcomers with mandatory reading and homework to understand the story. — Tanner Dedmon Score : 4 out of 5 Cullen Bunn may have cut his teeth at Marvel and DC Comics, but apparently Boom Studios is letting him flourish when it comes to his vision for horror; Basilisk #1 has all the makings of a new horror classic. The former creator of The Empty Man in Boom, a horror story that became a completely forgettable horror film, Basilisk is a completely different animal. While the backbone set up in the introductory track works well enough, there are moments in Basilisk #1 that are brighter than others. — Evan Valentine. Score: 3.5 out of 5 If you thought Occupy had already explored Japanese folklore, prepare yourself for a surprising number of introductions. When Emrys and Mullins meet the unexpected Shibas, they gain a clear understanding of how magic works in Japan, including a detailed look at the Yokai. It’s nice to see Benjamin Dewey portray such a diverse pantheon of mythical creatures, which makes it possible to ignore the many debunks and dialogues in this issue. Fans of Beasts of Burden know that danger is never far away, and before this song ends, there’s a creepy sequence that plays with light and shadow to ramp up the tension. Occupied Territory proves to be an ever engaging new story in the Beasts of Burden storyline, even though it’s almost 80 years older than the current story. — Chase Magnett. Score : 4 out of 5 In the latest episode of Betty Page, the iconic pin-up girl travels to Ireland to try and solve a murder mystery and the alleged appearance of a mythical banshee. The first issue is the usual page-turner – a Scooby-Doo mystery, up a level or two for a slightly older audience. Unfortunately, neither the mystery nor the monster are particularly interesting, so there’s not much to hang on to. — Connor Casey. Score : 2 out of 5 Bliss has officially ended, and with a bittersweet but mostly satisfying ending. As Benton and Perry’s journey reaches an unexpected climax, many of the themes of the series – grief, legacy, trauma and regret – are revisited. Overall, the finale decides to focus less on the sci-fi hooks of the series and more on the deeply human elements, and once the source of the conflict in the episode is scaled up and made human, it becomes largely effective, as does the coda that brings it all home. Bliss is not perfect, but like the topics it covers, it is an emotional and cathartic journey. — Jenna Anderson. Score : 4 out of 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer returns from her journey through the multiverse and seems intent on establishing a new status quo in Sunnydale. Jeremy Lambert spends much of the story establishing a new order for the trio of guards and involving the mayor, as mentioned earlier. Marianne Ignazzi has adopted the visual design of the series, with more realistic characters and subtle expressions, and the understated presence of a peeping tom is a nice touch. But ultimately, it’s an outing that’s just a set-up for future events with a clumsily handled cliffhanger at the end and no good build-up. This story also highlights the problematic cycle this version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is stuck in. The series constantly piles on the big bad guys, one threat after another, without giving them much emotional resonance. She’s spent time creating Xander as an antagonist with no satisfactory solution, then Anya and her secret slayer, but now that Morgan no longer feels the need to save the slayers from their watchers, why does she care so much? Turns out there’s another super-secret villain waiting in the wings, who she didn’t mention, probably for reasons. Buffy’s story could lose momentum without a seasonal structure that marks the important passage of time, periodically allows it to reach a climax, and organically marks the beginning of a new chapter in the characters’ lives. Instead, it becomes the worst kind of superhero story, an endless series of events that only happen to keep happening, which is disappointing considering all the potential there is in the building blocks of this revamped timeline. — Jamie Lovett. Score : 2 out of 5 By the Horns #2 continues the compelling fantasy story of a woman who takes revenge on unicorns. I’m a little disappointed with the almost immediate return to the idea that unicorns are evil creatures, since we see some of them doing non-evil things. It’s a fun fantasy comic, but nothing too complicated or groundbreaking. I hope it continues to evolve beyond the standard fantasy style characters into a unique story. — Christian Hoffer Score : 3 out of 5 Previous – Next

Other publishers #2

As we approach the final tracks of Commanders in Crisis, the eclectic and sporadic array of superhero elements in this issue begin to collide, which is both intriguing and a little unsettling. Without going into too much spoilers (which, frankly, is impossible without context), this issue takes Crisis Command’s mission into new territory as the battle for the fate of the world unfolds. I still don’t know what I think of Commanders in Crisis: For every episode where Steve Orlando’s dialogue sings or Davide Tinto’s art is effective, there are episodes that are completely bizarre or feel like you’re trapped in a mid-2000s video game. Still, there is enough in his story and execution of his ideas that I want to see the story. — Jenna Anderson. Score : 3 out of 5 The final episode of Dead Dog Bite still has a lot of interesting things to offer, and most of them are tangentially related to the mystery uncovered in the first three episodes of the series. The explanation, if it comes, is about the ubiquitous peculiarities of this small town. This explanation also raises a lot of questions that the previous story didn’t even allude to, which already makes its resolution confusing. There are some fine lines of social criticism here, but their imprecise positioning and inability to build on what’s been done before means that nothing really connects. Instead, it’s a dazzling wheel that plays with an absurd tone that can only dazzle, but never illuminate. This is another strong point, and the final twists and revelations make for an enjoyable story. Still, Dead Dog Bite is something I was looking forward to because it held my attention; I don’t think I’ll remember it after this ending. — Chase Magnett. Score : 3 out of 5 Deadly Class #46 begins the new status quo in a quiet but energetic way, by telling viewers what happened between the last meeting with Marcus on Kings Dominion and 1997, the year in which the story takes place. There are some pretty serious quirks, and it seems more or less inevitable that after a fun, character-based outing that felt like a cold drink in the desert, fire is just around the corner. As always, Wes Craig’s stylized pencils make this feel like one of the boldest books on the market, though in some episodes the fact that it’s hard to follow the plot, even if intentional, is a bit distracting. — Russ Burlingame. Score : 4 out of 5 While it’s nice to see a story that doesn’t present the aliens as the enemy from the start (who knows what will happen in later parts of the story), Deep Beyond #5 still doesn’t feel like the story has really progressed. This time we get answers, but the way things are connected doesn’t add up. As for the plot, everything is still a bit bloated, and it feels like we get to hear a bunch of technobabble by way of exposition without anything really bringing us closer to understanding what’s going on. There are a few revelations in the issue that offer an unexpected fate for both characters, which is nice, but it feels unearned and, frankly, a little far-fetched. As a reader, I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on, and with such distance, that’s troubling. — Nicole Drum Score: 2.5 out of 5 Family Tree #12 moves quickly to the finish line, and this tense pace combined with the overall clarity of the exposition results in a tense finale where the sacrifices and short resolution feel more personal. This is a series that has always tried to combat change, especially the amazing, accelerating, and frightening changes brought on by climate change. They affect both the righteous and the unrighteous, and even though the action takes place in blockbuster style, Family Tree doesn’t shy away from the price of violence. What stands out the most is how much this family has grown since it started just 11 years ago. Ian Malcolm comes to mind: Life will find a way. These feelings are offered with a realistic tone, with surprise and fear present in the concept. Family Tree wanted to reflect the great changes that are coming, and this resulted in a powerful and personal story that touches on the personal complexities of our time. — Chase Magnett. Score: 4.5 out of 5 Inkblot is releasing a new issue this week with brand new main characters. While the cat continues to wreak havoc everywhere, two thieves are surprised. A vicious war begins, sparked by one of the cat’s previous adventures, and the cat-domino effect seems endless. – Megan Peters Score : 3 out of 5 Invincible Red Sonja #2 is very similar to the first song, and overall it’s not bad. The art remains a bit weak – again, the characters are made exclusively for the male gaze, which is usually a hallmark of Red Sonja, but add in other characters that don’t seem fully fleshed out from an artistic standpoint. On top of that, the fun and adventure of the pirate story that started the story has given way to politics and the slow drama of a royal court trying to keep the plot moving without really succeeding. It’s not bad, it’s just weak to average with no strong action to give it a boost. — Nicole Drum Score : 3 out of 5 Previous – Next

Other publishers #3

After an excellent debut, Jenny Zero returns, and it’s a pastel journey as exciting as ever. The song focuses on the immediate aftermath of Jenny’s fight with the kaiju, and balances surprising revelations, emotional storytelling, and world building with ease. The interpretations of Dave Duonch and Brockton McKinney are a real treat and at the same time so compelling that readers yearn for a sequel. Magenta King’s artwork masterfully captures the frenetic yet elegant chaos of the main character (and deftly handles sequences that might have been sexier in the hands of another artist), and Dame’s color work makes this book unlike any other giant monster book currently on the shelf. If Jenny Zero can keep the momentum going, I have a feeling I’m going to like it. — Jenna Anderson. Score: 4.5 out of 5 The world doesn’t have to deal with the events of 2020, even though studios, networks and publishers are almost demanding that creatives find new ways to tell their stories about the pandemic. However, the moth seems to be the exception to the rule. It’s not exactly Covid-19 or the specific circumstances we just experienced, but it comes pretty close. What makes the film special is its ability to balance the fear and crushing gravity of reality that we know all too well with a fresh plot that presents a genuinely interesting idea. Combining this focus with a unique artistic style, Moths is a readable book that seems to capture the moment we live in better than almost anything that has preceded it. -Charlie Ridgely Score : 4 out of 5 Nocterra #4 slows down a bit and largely stops the world building to focus on some intimate character touches. The book is better for it, with an emotional core that makes this edition the best of the first, and a dynamic pace that takes your eyes off the page. Tony Daniel continues to refine the design of the monsters, and Tomeu Morey’s colors are integral to the book’s work, as it is based on a fixation on darkness and light. If there’s one (rather mild) criticism of this issue, it’s that Daniel portrays Val as a balanced and effective character, which is great for her, but her young protégé is far less well written, and there are moments in the script where the art doesn’t match the writing, with panicked or surprised exclamations combined with static images of two characters holding each other. — Russ Burlingame. Score: 4.5 out of 5 Orville: In the second and final episode, Digressions proves to be a totally pointless exercise. In a way, it serves the stated function of filling the seven years that have passed in the alternate universe between Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and The Road Not Taken. However, in both episodes it failed to add anything meaningful to the story, it just showed us all the things we already knew had happened when we got to know these characters in the finale of season two. The shower might have been less redundant if it had been useful, but it’s not. David Cabeza’s artwork fits the actors perfectly, but it is stiff and often leaves them empty during emotional moments, such as the cheap death used to emphasize the threat of Kylon. Considering that David A. Goodman writes the song as an episode of the show, which is to say that it’s essentially a talking head, the lack of accurate representation of the characters is a bitter omission. There is a spectacular splash page showing the invasion of Kylon, but overall it’s not exciting footage. At best, it’s a story for those who finish the Orville series and are desperate for something new during the long wait between seasons, but even they will probably find the story uninteresting. — Jamie Lovett. Score : 2 out of 5 Out of Body is interesting, but I’m still not sure what I think of it. The story is about a man lying unconscious in a hospital bed after a sexual assault. Although he cannot communicate with those around him, his mind still works and he tries to gather information about those who may have wanted to harm or kill him. There are elements of mysticism in the book that are totally incomprehensible to me at this point. The characters associated with these magical properties are also currently unspecified. Overall, I’m looking forward to the sequel to Out of Body, but so far I don’t know what to say about the book as a whole. — Logan Moore Score : 3 out of 5 Rick and Morty finally returns at the end of this month with a fifth season, but already the duo conquered comic book screens with Rick’s new hat. Like the series, the new series has just as insane a plot as most episodes of Rick and Morty you’ve probably seen in the past. The most impressive part of the book is that author Alex Firer managed to find the same tone and voice that Rick and Morty exudes from the TV series and adapted it well to the writing. If you’re a fan of the series and looking for something to keep you busy before the start of season 5, this first issue should get you at least a few laughs. — Logan Moore Score: 3.5 out of 5 Previous – Next

Other publishers #4

(Photo: Boom Studios) Conceptually, I would have liked Sam and his talking gun better than I do now. While the series has admirable qualities, this issue proves to me that the story cares more about style than substance. The scenes in the song are so sporadic that it takes a while to figure out what’s going on. When the song reaches its fiery final chord, it’s aesthetically interesting, but it feels like it’s only touching the surface of the story it wants to tell. Lee Ferguson’s art does fascinating things with color and negative space, but I wish the story was just as compelling. — Jenna Anderson. Score: 2.5 out of 5 Savage Dragon #259, coincidentally the North Force’s Image Free Comic Book Day issue #0, is an effective introduction for fans who haven’t followed Savage Dragon in the 30+ issues since it moved to Canada. Filled with cool character designs by Erik Larsen and solid characterization, it’s weak in the same way Larsen’s single issue of Savage Dragon Legacy was on FCBD a few years ago: it tries to pack a lot into one issue. This issue definitely works better than those, it introduces a cast of new characters instead of trying to introduce readers to 200+ issues of the book ….. and the issue has a great bug that will make Dragon fans laugh, but mostly it’s a great fight scene with lots of exposition. — Russ Burlingame. Score: 3.5 out of 5 With the end of the World of War series, the Transformers series is slowly getting out of its rut. With the introduction of Pyra Magna, Brian Rackley gets an intriguing character to ask Optimus Prime some tough questions. She’s seen what kind of war Prime will fight against the Decepticons. He has turned her into a monster, and she suspects he will do the same to him. Their long-winded pragmatism contrasts well with Prime’s determined and probably naive optimism, even if the discussion of war between breeding monsters to stop other monsters remains in the most general children’s cartoon terms. Anna Malkova does an impressive job of dramatically framing these conversations, with the indispensable help of David Garcia Cruz’s colors to maximize the mood and tone of the robotic characters. At the same time, the plot remains tense and hard to follow. Now, with conflict in full swing and 30 issues continuing a Game of Thrones-level plot, there’s reason to believe Transformers is about to get hot. — Jamie Lovett. Score : 3 out of 5 Transformers: Beast Wars remains a simplified, distant relative of the main Transformers series. Set in a different time period and resembling its cartoon predecessor, the story remains a simple good guy/bad guy story with little meaning. Eric Burnham’s dialogue makes the scenes with Nix and Dinobot fun, although Dinobot’s speech calling on him to join the Maximals is a vulgar and clichéd speech from a noble warrior. There’s a certain amount of introspection as Predators humorously growl and Megatron’s monologue is implied, and Josh Burcham offers a simple but vivid drawing style. Yet there is little here to captivate the reader. — Jamie Lovett. Score: 2.5 out of 5 Paul Levitz’s revival of the Valiant property culminates in an issue that highlights the ups and downs of the series as a whole. While the visitor of the title is a unique and interesting character to follow, the modern version of the plot he seeks is unable to generate as much interest as his hero. In fact, the major narrative elements are downright boring. In these moments, however, cartoonist Soo Lee becomes a saving grace, creating a series of stunning pages that present the simultaneous action in a way that is unique and clever for this material. — Spencer Perry. Score: 2.5 out of 5 The title and the album cover are enough to know that this is an album by The Worst Dudes. It’s about three incredibly unsympathetic characters – a space cop, a teenage god and a drug-addicted alien jungle cat – who bicker and argue as they try to solve the mystery of a missing pop star. The book has only two hooks: a great art style with beautiful alien drawings and a clear willingness to make you hate everyone who appears on the page. The three main characters are pretty obnoxious, so if you like the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia approach, you might like this movie. — Connor Casey. Score : 3 out of 5 The latest installment of Mike Mignola and Thomas Sniegoski’s new spin-off about the world of B.P.R.D. ends as planned, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t land on its two feet. Artist Craig Russo turns what seems like a fairly standard Hellboy story into something unique, as the clash of the titans kicks off the ending. The beginning of young Hellboy gave the impression that perhaps this series would soon develop into a well-developed chapter in his life through other miniseries, hopefully not dragging on like this one did at the end. — Spencer Perry. Score: 3.5 out of 5 previousI try to read at least a couple issues of a couple different comics every week.  I have given a couple titles a try, but I am still on the fence about them.  This week was no exception and I did not either of the comics I read.  I am a fan of The Man Without Fear and I am hoping that this will be my year to finally give it a try.  I have also been hearing good things about Black Widow, but I am not a huge fan of the character.  As for the books I did read, I did like them, but I just have not had the time to sit down and read them.  I have been waiting for the books to. Read more about generations forged one shot and let us know what you think.

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