Capsule Comic Reviews 08/12/15

Best of the Week


Title:  Beauty #1

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley

Artist:  Jeremy Haun

Colorist:  John Rauch

Letterer:  Fonografiks

Cover Artist:  Jeremy Haun and John Rauch;  Jenny Frison;  Kevin Wada

Review:  ★★★★★

In the world of this brand new series, Beauty is the name of a new STD.  Unlike other diseases though, whoever catches it becomes more physically beautiful, with the main side effect of occasional fevers.  Some go out seeking it, while others still view it as a disease that should be eradicated.  When a Beauty death occurs on a subway, which most assume is a hate crime, two detectives are put on the case and quickly find out there is much more to the story than appears.  It is a very unique idea that Haun and Hurley are able to insert and pull off so Beauty seems real.  Much of that comes from our two protagonists that they do a wonderful job of setting up, both who have a strong connection to Beauty themselves.  To fit with the title of the series, Haun’s art is just that, making the world and characters look and feel like our own.  A wonderful new story right from the start, Beauty is a must read.


Title:  Sonic the Hedgehog #275

Publisher:  Archie Comics

Writer:  Ian Flynn

Artist:  Tyson Hesse

Inker:  Jim Amash

Colorist:  Matt Herms

Letterer:  Jack Morelli

Cover Artist:  Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante and Matt Herms;  Edwin Huang;  Lamar Wells, Rick Bryant, and Matt Herms;  Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, and Steve Downer;  Rafa Knight;  Ben Bates

Review:  ★★★★★

If you are either a Sega or Capcom fan, this issue will be like seeing the Arc of the Covenant opened in front of you, minus the eye-ball melting and head bursting.  Heroes and villains from both publishers come together to take down Sigma in the second to last issue of this giant crossover.  I count myself as a huge fan of both, but after witnessing Billy Hatcher, Golden Axe, Nights, Skies of Arcadia, Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Street Fighter, and more come together, I honestly started to lose track of everyone in here and what series they were from.  And that is simply wonderful.  Hesse has a tremendous amount of characters to represent and he does a fantastic job showing them and their fighting abilities in this gigantic battle for the ages.  The entire issue is just pure video game nostalgia insanity of the very best kind.

The Weekly Rundown


Title:  21st Century Tank Girl #3

Publisher: Titan Comics

Writer: Alan Martin

Artist:  Jamie Hewlett;  Brett Parson;  Warwick Johnson-Cadwell;  Jonathan Edwards;  Philip Bond;  Jim Mahfood;  Craig Knowles

Letterer:  Jim Campbell

Cover Artist:  Brett Parson

Review: ★★★☆☆

This week Tank Girl’s crazy adventure finds her meeting an undercover cop who she takes with her on her latest heist of the holy relic, God’s underwear.  There is much more to the officer than meets the eye which lends itself to the unpredictable antics of the series  The backup stories are once again amusing and offer short bursts of craziness.  You must imagine that reading Tank Girl is a little like dropping acid;  its one interesting trip where just about anything and everything does actually happen.  Whether that is good or bad probably will depend on your mood.


Title:  Boy-1 #1

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  H.S. Tak

Artist:  Amancay Nahuelpan

Colorist:  Sebastian Cheng

Letterer:  Dezi Sienty

Cover Artist:  Zach Howard and Paulius Zakarauskas;  Amancay Nahuelpan and Sebastian Cheng

Review:  ★★★★☆

Boy-1 is an odd, but interesting science fiction title from IDW which follows gifted researcher Jadas as he works on unlocking the full human potential at his father’s former company.  His company starts to press him to move his testing from primates to humans, but during his research questions begin to be raised about what happened to his father who has missing for years.  We quickly find out not everything is as it seems at Jadas’ company.  A mystery is set up fairly quickly, making us wanting to know more about what is actually going on behind the scenes.  Nahuelpan’s art is compelling and works to ground the science fiction elements, though it is a little inconsistent at times.  We’re left in the dark on what the story is really reaching for, but that has just made us want to read more.


Title:  Descender #6

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Dustin Nguyen

Letterer:  Steve Wands

Cover Artist:  Dustin Nguyen

Review:  ★★★★☆

Dr. Quon’s dark secrets stand revealed as he spills the details of how he stole the technology for all of his robotics.  He and his former mentor stumbled upon an ancient robot that was created long before any known technological advancements were recorded.  While he was given plenty of reason to fear this robot, his pride and arrogance took hold of him.  Any hope of Quon being more than a pathetic, weak character were crushed as its even hard to feel compassion for him over his torture.  Not only was much revealed about Quon, but a picture also started to form showing us what makes Tim-21 so special, even if perhaps not wholly unique as we come to find out.  Threads are really starting to come together making Descender’s stock rising quick.


Title:  Doctor Who:  Four Doctors #1

Publisher:  Titan Comics

Writer:  Paul Cornell

Artist:  Neil Edwards

Colorist:  Ivan Nunes

Letterer:  Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Cover Artist:  Neil Edwards

Review:  ★★★★☆

Titan Comics kick off their giant Doctor Who crossover event this week with an issue that brings together three of the Doctors, the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth.  Clara has seen a future event that is tied to the Doctor meeting himself and brings about the end of the universe.  Hoping to avoid the dire future she witnessed, she has a sit down with Doctor’s previous companions to stop the Doctors from meeting which doesn’t go according to plan.  At times the story feels a little jumbled and forced, but that is easily forgiven when you see how the Doctors different forms take to one another.  Their different personalities really come through, though their companions are more their to push the story forward than anything else for now.  We still have one more Doctor to go for this quasi reunion, with the last one promising to be the most interesting change to the dynamic.


Title:  Empire Uprising #4

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mark Waid

Artist:  Barry Kitson

Colorist:  Chris Sotomayer

Letterer:  Troy Peteri

Cover Artist:  Barry Kitson

Review:  ★★★★☆

Golgoth has perverted religion with him as God through fanaticism and drugs.  Yet, when his high priest has started to notice the cracks in Golgoth’s facade, things are becoming more and more troublesome for the dictator.  Seeing how Golgoth has secured his religion is quite interesting, especially with the use of a highly addictable drug which has severe withdrawal problems.  Before we’ve only seen the seeds of doubt amongst his officers, though now we finally have one that is ready to be openly against him.  Empire has been solid week in and week out but it is time for us to actually see this Uprising.  Hopefully this issue is pointing towards that being right on the horizon.


Title:  Orphan Black #5

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, and Jody Hauser

Artist:  Alan Quah and Wayne Nichols

Colorist:  Chris Fenoglio

Letterer:  Neil Uyetake

Cover Artist:  Cat Staggs;  Corbyn Kern

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Of all of the main, featured clones in Orphan Black, Rachel has been one who we’ve gotten to know the least in the actual series.  Being the antagonist we’ve only seen pieces of her upbringing which this issue changes in a big way.  We follow her becoming self-aware and growing up within Dyad, being formed to take a role in its leadership.  Seeing the details of her childhood, it is hard not to feel much more sympathetic towards her as she really didn’t have a choice in becoming the hardened, distant clone she became.  Once again, as with Helena in the second issue, this was a great opportunity to expand on a character with tons of insight the show never had a chance to show us.  It is crafted for fans of the show, meaning others will find it less accessible and exciting.  Fans though will be all over this latest entry into the clone we love to hate.


Title:  Star Trek/Green Lantern #2

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Mike Johnson

Artist:  Angel Hernandez

Colorist:  Alejandro Sanchez

Letterer:  Neil Uyetake

Cover Artist:  Paul Pope and Jordie Bellaire;  Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez;  Garry Brown and Doug Garbark

Review:  ★★★☆☆

With several of the rings having chosen new hosts, Hal Jordan steps in to save the Enterprise from a yellow lantern attack by the Klingon Chang.  Chang isn’t the only fast learner, however, as Chekov puts his blue indigo ring to use in helping Jordan.  Typically we are not ones to complain about a big fight, but the battle against Chang goes on a little longer than it should considering it ends in a stalemate.  Watching the two other rings pick bearers from the Gorn and Romulans further eats time away from the Enterprise crew who get very little attention this issue.  It is nice that they are encompassing a giant portion of the Star Trek universe in this crossover, but we don’t want to see it done at the expense of the crew and Hal Jordan getting less page time.  The two worlds are having no problem melting together, now it just needs to focus down a little more on the great characters it has in the middle.


Title:  Starve #3

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer:  Brian Wood

Artist:  Danijel Zezelj

Colorist:  Dave Stewart

Cover Artist:  Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart

Review:  ★★★★☆

Starve continues to be such a strange series;  a Food Network style show based in a dystopian future.  I have to admit though, it is growing on me more with each issue.  Cruiskshank continues to work on his relationship with his daughter no matter what his ex-wife, or anyone for that matter thinks.  It gives us some of the most endearing parts of the series yet.  The heartwarming relationship is not the only point where Wood is spot on, but also with his portrayals of the process of slaughtering a pig from butchering to cooking.  While it certainly is extreme and some may be turned off, the slaughtering is a specific process which is shown plenty of respect.  The dishes Cruiskshank creates from the pig are things I probably would never try, but the rich and artistic descriptions will give you a sensory overload.  It’s like listening Anthony Bourdain, perhaps just even a little more entertaining if that’s possible.


Title:  Unity #20

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  Jose Luis and Alisson Rodrigues;  Jefte Palo

Colorist:  Andrew Dalhouse

Letterer:  Dave Sharpe

Cover Artist:  Kano;  Sina Grace and John Rauch

Review:  ★★★★☆

Many times when a new villain is introduced, we very rarely actually find out much about their motivations or past.  For War Monger we are learning plenty about her past, even though her motivations are pretty much one-sided.  Considering how amusing it has been to watch her go through iteration after iteration of Unity, we can’t complain too much.  The current Unity team really hasn’t played much into the current proceedings, but we find out that is actually by design, using her love of explaining out her plans to their advantage.  Kindt has created a great villain with War Monger so we hope she doesn’t get taken care of to swiftly or permanently for that matter.


Title:  Velvet #11

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer:  Ed Brubaker

Artist:  Steve Epting

Colorist:  Elizabeth Breitweiser

Letterer:  Chris Eliopoulos

Cover Artist:  Steve Epting and Elizabth Breitweiser

Review:  ★★★★☆

After a very long break, Velvet returns in style.  We had worried with several months having gone by our enthusiasm for the series may have gone down, but the issue just reminded us how good it is.  Velvet makes her way into the United States to continue her investigation over who ruined her life.  She enlists the help of a former agent and lover who thinks he is playing her, while of course Velvet has the upper hand.  The espionage tale is still in top form as we remember why we missed the book so much during its absence.


Title:  X-O Manowar #39

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Writer:  Robert Venditti

Artist:  Rafa Sandoval

Inker:  Jordi Tarragona

Colorist:  Brian Reber

Letterer:  Dave Sharpe

Cover Artist:  Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona

Review:  ★★★☆☆

This latest issue could be subtitled a series of unfortunate events.  The Vine refugees have come to Earth looking for a new home and protection from their savior, Aric.  However, being so recent after the Armor Hunters saga the military is not happy to see a big fleet of aliens drop from the sky, especially a certain fighter pilot who lived through the invasion.  When his post traumatic stress kicks in, he inadvertently starts a war between the two races with Aric in the middle, unable to stop it.  It felt a bit unlikely that the events could escalate as they did, especially as they continued to get worse and worse.  You would think there would be something better in place technologically to stop one man from starting a war.  The biggest problem was the entire issue felt like a series of explosions tossing Aric around over and over again.  It does offer several interesting possibilities from the military sorting out another alien presence to Aric’s people dealing with the very race that enslaved them for so long.  The issue just lacked the little extra depth it needed to really stand out this week.


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