Capsule Comic Reviews 05/20/15

Best of the Week


Title: Archie Vs. Predator #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Alex de Campi

Artist:  Fernando Ruiz

Inker:  Rich Koslowski

Colorist:  Jason Millet

Letterer: John Workman

Cover Artist:  Dan Parent and Jason Millet;  Dustin Nguyen;  Robert Hack and Downer

Review:  ★★★★★

The first issue of this epic crossover event had us the most excited over anything Archie related than we ever had been.  The second issue took those expectations and blew them away.  The gang has returned to Riverdale after their Caribbean cruise where, unknowing to them, the Predator had killed two of their “friends” and followed them home.  While the opening issue took awhile setting the scene until we saw any actual violence, things jump into gear quickly with Archie’s father getting killed brutally in front of them.  A trip to Sabrina the teenage witch for help ends with plenty of gore, leading up to Juggie in drag and plenty more carnage in the hopes of trapping the alien.  The contrast of the crossover is what makes this book so humorous and exciting.  Everything is so bright and cheery in Riverdale until it is covered in red from some of the most brutal deaths we’ve seen outside of Mortal Kombat.  This book is so entertaining, if you are not grossed out by spines being ripped out, it might become one of your favorite stories this year.


Title:  Bloodshot Reborn #2

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Mico Suayan

Colorist:  David Baron

Letterer:  Dave Lanphear

Cover Artist:  Mico Suayan;  Dave Johnson;  Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Ulises Arreola;  Marguerite Sauvage;  Ryan Lee and Allen Passalaqua

Review:  ★★★★★

While we have always been a fan of Bloodshot since his 90’s debut, he has never been better than in Bloodshot Reborn.  After seeing a killer on television that looks like his old self, Bloodshot heads out to put a stop to him, with his imaginary versions of Kay and Bloodsquirt in tow.  It seems his old nanites aren’t quite done with him and are calling him out for a reunion already.  Further complicating things, the FBI is on the trail of this killer as well, meaning Bloodshot is bound to find himself in trouble.  Mico Suayan is at the top of his craft in this series as his style is a perfect fit for Bloodshot in this tale.  While that would be enough on its own to sell us on this series, watching Bloodshot’s mental instability talking to his hallucinations adds some comedic relief when it comes to Bloodsquirt, but it also adds a fascinating psychological side as we understand home lost and broken our hero is.


Title:  Wytches #5

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Scott Snyder

Artist:  Jock

Colorist:  Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer:  Clem Robins

Cover Artist:  Jock

Review:  ★★★★★

Wytches was a series that we weren’t completely sold on from the start, but it slowly picked up steam and raised our interest each subsequent issue.  In the end it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, as we never should have doubted Snyder’s ability to stick the landing beautifully.  Charlie has finally found his daughter, but he still has to contend with the Wytches.  And the whole town.  And the ultimate betrayal.  The issue is gripping from the first page to the very last and even had our eyes starting to water the whole way through.  In the end we definitely feel this story is much more suited for trades, so whether it be the collection or this issue, it is a must read.

The Weekly Rundown

Aero-Girl_Alternate Cover0 copy

Title:  The Adventures of Aero-Girl #1

Publisher:  Action Lab Entertainment

Writer:  DeWayne Feenstra

Artist:  Axur Eneas

Colorist:  Juan Paul Reibeling

Cover Artist:  Axur Eneas and Juan Paul Reibeling;  Joel Gomez and Beth Sotelo

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Aero-Girl is a young superhero sidekick who defends Foxby with her father Battle Jack.  She is fairly powerful in her own right and thinks its time she could start fighting crime a little on her own, but her parents are still against it.  When an old villain strikes, it looks like Aero-Girl is going to have to step up whether she is ready or not.  As an all-ages story, it is a pretty solid beginning that everyone in the family could enjoy.  It sticks to some amusing villains so far and light subject matter.  The twist that finds her having to strike out on her own promises some interesting things to come.


Title:  Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 #15

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Christos Gage

Artist:  Rebekah Isaacs

Colorist:  Dan Jackson

Letterer:  Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Cover Artist:  Steve Morris;  Rebekah Isaacs and Dan Jackson

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The demon that began the bloodline Spike became part of with his vampire side has gotten into Spike’s head, trying to get him to kill Buffy.  It causes a physical and mental assault that Spike has to wade through to break free and not kill the woman he loves.  While we are all for Spike centric stories, the big bad demon just doesn’t feel that threatening considering he his supposed to be an ancient whose line the biggest vampires in the series came from.  It didn’t help that a lot on the mental front seemed like retreading ground we just visited in the last few issues.  The arc isn’t over yet and there is still time for things to turn around, especially with an Angel crossover on the horizon.


Title:  Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Chris Ryall

Artist:  Tony Akins

Inker:  John Livesay

Colorist:  Leonard O’Grady

Letterer:  Robbie Robbins

Cover Artist:  Tony Akins and Paul Mounts;  Rob Guilory;  Robert Hack and Stephen Downer

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

Of Douglas Adams amazing work he created during his life, Dirk Gently was always the odd man out when compared to the popular juggernaut that The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series always has been.  Dirk is an unusual character to be sure, but he lacks the charm to make his holistic approach work.  The same continues into his latest outing from writer Chris Ryall as Dirk finds a suitcase at the airport which is leading him towards his new agency and new investigation.  To their credit, Ryall does a great job of bringing the character to life along with Akins fitting art style, but being as Dirk Gently is not that interesting to begin with, they did what they could.


Title:  Empire Uprising #2

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mark Waid

Artist:  Barry Kitson

Colorist:  Chris Sotomayer

Letterer:  Troy Peteri

Cover Artist:  Barry Kitson

Review:  ★★★★☆

Golgoth’s empire is starting to crack from the inside and out. His top ministers continue to question him after the events of last issue, but a monarch subservient to him has secret plans to destroy their precious resources Golgoth needs.  While the seeds of mistrust grow at home, there is still room for plenty of action as Xanna is sent to gather information on the monarch.  It doesn’t help that she goes in without all of the information about what’s going on, causing everyone to wonder whether Golgoth purposefully withheld information, or he just didn’t know what was going on.  The series is quickly turning into a Game of Thrones for superheroes and we’re loving it.  Waid is doing a terrific job of injecting political intrigue into old school comic charm as no one else in the business can.


Title:  The Goon:  Once Upon A Hard Time #3

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Eric Powell

Artist:  Eric Powell

Cover Artist:  Eric Powell

Review:  ★★★★☆

While last week felt underwhelming to us, Powell picks things back up to continue the tale at hand.  The Goon has become even more dangerous since the betrayals in his life and looks to finish up one enemy quickly.  His friends try to ease him back from the brink, but from the looks of things it will only end one way at this point.  We also find out a little more back-story about the witches that makes them all a little more terrifying.  It is all about the title character though, as this issue continues the deeply personal and emotional journey he has found himself on.  As we follow him down the journey of his own mind, we don’t believe we have ever been as terrified of the Goon as we are now.


Title:  Insufferable #1

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mark Waid

Artist:  Peter Krause

Colorist:  Nolan Woodard

Cover Artist:  Peter Krause

Review:  ★★★★☆

Superheroes have had sidekicks or protegés nearly since the beginning of the genre.  What happens when the sidekick gets older and becomes a complete arrogant a-hole?  That is what Waid and Krause explore as Nocturnus finds himself outshined in the public spotlight by his son and former sidekick Galahad, who happens to be that arrogant a-hole and hate his father.  Beyond being a glory-hog though, Galahad has not shown to be completely “insufferable” yet.  In fact the ending of the issue is focused on explaining from his side why he grew to resent his father.  While he isn’t as bad a person as the series tries to make him out to be in the beginning, the background between the two has our interest piqued.  The dynamic between them should be fun to watch, especially as we learn if this is a book about reconciliation, or the two just getting on each others nerves.


Title:  Ninjak #3

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  Clay Mann;  Butch Guice

Inker:  Seth Mann

Colorist:  Ulises Arreola

Letterer:  Dave Sharpe

Cover Artist:  Lewis LaRosa; Dave Johnson;  Rafa Sandoval;  Antonio Fuso and Brian Reber

Review:  ★★★★☆

Ninjak is the worlds greatest ninja, assassin, and spy.  In his latest mission trying to take down Kannon, one of the world’s most powerful arm dealers, he thinks he has the entire situation under control.  We get to watch him exit, re-infiltrate, and non-lethally take out guard after guard while erasing all evidence of Ninjak being there.  He is graceful and deadly, but he finds that he might not be in control of the situation as he thought.  We haven’t caught gotten to the point where we find how his origin story is connected to the present, but it is still entertaining to watch him make an explosive out of a toy car to injure his gruff butler.  The backup story continues to please, we imagine leading us towards the closed off hero of present.  It has already been announced that the artist will be rotating for the next arcs;  even as amazing of artists as they have lined up, we will sorely miss Clay Mann on this title as his artwork his perfect in showcasing off the fluidity of Ninjak in action.  Now all we’re hoping and begging for is an all out fight between Ninjak and Roku next issue to drive this part of the overreaching story home.


Title:  Stray Bullets:  Sunshine and Roses #4

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  David Lapham

Artist:  David Lapham

Cover Artist:  David Lapham

Review:  ★★★☆☆

We had previously heard of Beth’s former best friend Nina who now hated her.  Now we finally find out what caused the two to drift apart as Nina searches for Beth with information that may finally get her out of her call girl life.  It adds in some humorous moments as Sonny joins her in the search, but it also adds in the biggest tragic moments of this volume.  It gets much darker than the first three issues, but it adds in plenty of emotional weight that will keep us guessing what is going to happen until the very end.


Title:  Transformers #41

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  John Barber and Mairghread Scott

Artist:  Livio Ramondelli

Letterer:  Tom B. Long

Cover Artist:  Casey W. Coller and Joana Lafuente;  Livio Ramondelli

Review:  ★★★★☆

Just when Starscream thinks he has it all; the Enigma of Combination, control of both Cybertron and Caminus and not one, but two combiners on his side, not to mention most of his enemies locked up in his secret prison, things coming crashing down all around him. Menasor escapes to the struggling colony world of Caminus with Devastator in pursuit, and then Superion and Defensor join the fray. It’s all out combiner on combiner action as the massive gestalt tear each other and the world around them to pieces. With all this insanity going on around them, Optimus Prime and his cohorts realize that they may be the key to ending the Combiner Wars once and for all.


Title:  The X-Files Season 10 #24

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Joe Harris

Artist:  Matthew Dow Smith

Colorist:  Jordie Bellaire

Letterer:  Chris Mowry

Cover Artist:  Francesco Francavilla;  Matthew Dow Smith

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

While Mulder attempts to escape from Gibson’s facility, Scully continues her investigation locating him which takes an unexpected detour right to Gibson.  Gibson’s motives continued to be explored as we find out how Mulder’s former friend and ally has become so twisted.  Even with explanation, Gibson still is one of the less exciting characters in the X-Files mythos.  His return and mission continue to be over-convoluted with the explanations and legion of clones.  With one issue left, we’re hoping Gibson can be left in the past once and for all.


Title:  Zombie Tramp #11

Publisher:  Action Lab Entertainment

Writer:  Dan Mendoza and Jason Martin

Artist:  TMChu

Colorist:  Jason Martin

Letterer:  Adam Wollet

Cover Artist:  TMChu;  Dan Mendoza;  Winston Young;  Monte Michael Moore

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Zombie Tramp gets a little emotional this issue.  Fighting the hulking zombie beast created from her bath water, she realizes that if Walt became a zombie because of her, it was almost like he was her “son”.  It does take her awhile to realize this, so we still get to see a little craziness as she creates her own giant patchwork zombie to fight on her behalf.  It doesn’t happen often, so we’re not quite sure how we feel of Zombie Tramp getting to existential about her purpose.  It takes away from the mindless mayhem that we love it for.  Vampblade pops up again, but you can’t help but feeling she was just thrown in so they could do the Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade special coming soon, as her she contributes very little to the actual story.  Otherwise she could have been completely left out of this arc and we would have been missing only a few pages and still had a complete story.

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