Capsule Comic Reviews 03/25/15

Welcome to Capsule Comic Reviews. Same great taste, same low calories, brand new name.

Best of the Week


Title:  Transformers:  Windblade #1

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mairghread Scott

Artist:  Sara Stone

Inker:  Rachel Dodson

Letterer:  Clayton Cowles

Cover Artist:  Casey W. Coller

Review:  ★★★★★

The Combiner Wars kick off as the Decepticon gestalt known as Menasor is released on Windblade’s home planet of Caminus;  as the struggling planet’s security forces scramble to contain the monster, Optimus Prime and Starscream dispatch the Autobots’ own combiner, Superion, into the fray for the first big battle of the series. While Starscream does his best to work the situation to his advantage, Windblade reveals details of her home world that may complicate first contact with Cybertron in ways that no one could have seen coming.


Title:  The Valiant #4

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt

Artist:  Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera

Letterer:  Dave Lanphear

Cover Artist:  Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt;  Francesco Francavilla

Review:  ★★★★★

The Valiant never really lived up to the promise of combining the Valiant universe against one threat considering just the Eternal Warrior and Bloodshot received the focus, but it comes through with a finale that will have a giant, lasting impact on the two heroes.  With the scope of the miniseries narrowed, the action is better and the poignant character interactions are top-notch.

The Weekly Rundown


Title:  Captain Midnight #21

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Joshua Williamson

Artist:  Manuel Garcia

Inker:  Bit

Colorist:  Javier Mena

Letterer:  Nate Piekos

Cover Artist:  Michael Broussard

Review:  ★★★☆☆

We love X and we love Captain Midnight, so the thought of the two crossing over once again had us very excited as the two shared information on how to stop the Archon once and for all.  While great in theory, the two characters are so drastically different with their overall tones that the contrast was to high a hurdle to completely pull off even though watching the two argue was amusing.


Title:  Chew #47

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  John Layman

Artist:  Rob Guillory

Colorist:  Taylor Wells

Cover Artist:  Rob Guillory

Review:  ★★★☆☆

While Agent Colby starts worrying that his murder of Agent Polo is going to come to light, lucky for him other crime and Savoy awaking from his coma keep his former partner from taking up an investigation into the disappearance.  While true Colby has started to unravel, putting Poyo’s carcass in the trashcan is a very odd move for someone who should be smarter than that, unless of course he wants to be caught which could continue to keep things interesting.


Title:  Conan The Avenger #12

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist:  Brian Ching

Colorist:  Michael Atiyeh

Letterer:  Richard Starkings and Comicraft

Cover Artist:  Dan Scott

Review:  ★★★★☆

If you were looking forward to a big showdown between Conan Thoth-Amon, you won’t get that, but watching them having to work together is a twist that works even better than the two clashing.  How the arc wraps is more of a happy ending then you would expect from the title, feeling a bit out-of-place for the darker tone of the series, though it is not enough to distract from otherwise a solid issue.


Title:  D4ve #2

Publisher:  IDW Publishing 

Writer:  Ryan Ferrier

Artist:  Valentin Ramon

Cover Artist:  Valentin Ramon

Review:  ★★★★☆

D4ve’s life continues to get worse as his wife leaves him and he fails to find any affection for his new son.  A possible alien invasion could turn his life around once more, even though considering the ending he could either become the hero he once was or completely screw things up;  we’re good with either way as long as the series continues to stay as fresh as it’s been.


Title:  The Empty #2

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jimmie Robinson

Artist:  Jimmie Robinson

Cover Artist:  Jimmie Robinson

Review:  ★★★☆☆

After the first issue we believed it, and second issue in we feel the same;  The Empty could easily be a new JRPG and we wouldn’t be surprised as the motley crew of misfits adds a new traveling companion and the source of the poison is much more technological than anyone had thought.  Some of the interactions are too convenient to feel natural, but it continues to have all the trappings for an exciting adventure.


Title:  Grindhouse:  Drive In, Bleed Out #3

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Alex De Campi

Artist:  Chris Peterson

Colorist:  Nolan Woodard

Cover Artist:  Francesco Francavilla

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The latest story in Grindhouse really reminds us of the film Eight Legged Freaks, except for with giant ticks instead of spiders.  While the idea didn’t seem overly fresh, compared to the last arc the series has gotten back to what it does best which is just have fun with the horror genre on whole.


Title:  G.I. Joe:  Snake Eyes:  Agent of Cobra #3

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mike Costa

Artist:  Paolo Villanelli

Colorist:  Joana Lafuente

Letterer:  Neil Uyetake

Cover Artist:  Paolo Villanelli and Joana Lafuente;  Drew Johnson and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Review:  ★★★★☆

Imagine that, a book about Snake Eyes that actually only features him in a couple of pages and we found ourselves completely content with that.  Instead of spending time with our favorite ninja, we meet up with Billy and his protector as they’re in hiding, for what is easily the best story we have ever read showcasing Cobra Commander’s son.


Title:  The Goon:  Once Upon A Hard Time #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Eric Powell

Artist:  Eric Powell

Cover Artist:  Eric Powell

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

Taking a break from really propelling the story forward, Powell opts to use the book to retell the story of The Island of Doctor Moreau, specifically how it parallels the Goon’s decent into a “beast” from his rage.  While it is easy to appreciate the comparisons, the entire issue didn’t have to be used for the retelling of a story that most people will know so well.


Title:  Morning Glories #44

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Joe Eisma

Colorist:  Paul Little

Letterer:  Johnny Lowe

Cover Artist:   Rodin Esquejo

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The origin of Vanessa and her mother Ellen is revealed along with the lengths the school goes toward making sure the two have no contact with one another.  It raises some interesting questions about the nature of the school and why Ellen was brought in the first place, but of course we’re still a long way off from more solid answers.


Title:  Quantum and Woody Must Die! #3

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  James Asmus

Artist:  Steve Lieber

Colorist:  Dave McCaig

Letterer:  Dave Lanphear

Cover Artist:  Mike Hawthorne and Jordie Bellaire;  Kano

Review:  ★★★★☆

Where else could you get a zoo full of animals trying to kill a superhero duo, along with a few exploding panda bears, and actually make it work?  Quantum and Woody continues their own brand of outrageous excitement and adventures in this latest mini series that is quickly showing there is more than one way to “skin a cat.”


Title:  Skullkickers #31

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jim Zub

Artist:  Edwin Huang

Colorist:  Misty Coats

Letterer:  Marchall Dillon

Cover Artist:  Kody Chamberlain

Review:  ★★★★☆

Skullkickers is completely upfront that this latest issue and start to the arc is a giant barroom brawl, but there is nothing wrong with that. While it is a giant fight, there is plenty of opportunity for the series’ trademark brand of humor to shine through while seemingly putting our heroes against insurmountable odds.


Title:  They’re Not Like Us #4

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Eric Stephenson

Artist:  Jordie Bellaire and Simon Gane

Cover Artist:  Fonografiks

Review:  ★★★☆☆

After seeing how her new housemates treat normal people, Syd has been given enough reason to question their motives and specifically how far the Voice goes to keep them in line.  When we first jumped into the series, we had worries about following such deeply disturbed individuals, but now Syd is taking the reader’s position which is leading us in a direction we are extremely excited for.


Title:  The Wicked + The Divine #9

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Kieron Gillen

Artist:  Jamie McKelvie

Colorist:  Matthew Wilson

Letterer:  Clayton Cowles

Cover Artist:  Casey W. Coller;  Livio Ramondelli;  Sara Pitre-Durocher

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Since Lucifer’s death, the series hasn’t had the focus it began with;  the latest issue doesn’t change that, though it does give us a wealth of background on the gods, as well as revealing the final piece of the Pantheon.  Our biggest complaint is that we would have preferred seeing more of Laura in the issue, but now that all the pieces are aligned, we hope the series gets back on solid course.


Title:  Wytches #5

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Scott Snyder

Artist:  Jock

Colorist:  Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer:  Clem Robins

Cover Artist:  Jock

Review:  ★★★★☆

Things are heating up as Charlie refuses to let anyone stop him and goes to the wythches burrow to save his daughter.  We find out quite a bit more about the town’s compliance in the evil lurking below and the series horror roots dig deeper in one of the most terrifying issues yet.


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