Capsule Comic Reviews 09/02/15

Best of the Week


WeStandOnGuard03_Cover

Title:  We Stand On Guard #3

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Brian K Vaughan

Artist:  Steve Skroce

Colorist:  Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer:  Fonografiks

Cover Artist:  Steve Skroce

Review:  ★★★★★

Torture gets taken to a whole new, completely uncomfortable level, as the US aggressors attempt to get the location of the Canadian Resistance out of their leader.  It’s a futuristic twist, but it’s hard not to wonder and be disturbed about how far an unchecked government would go to get answers, especially given the troubling reports from the last decade.  What makes it even more horrifying is what Skroce chooses to show us and what not to show us.  Its brutal enough that not every detail was needed, but we see and hear enough to know how horrible it is.  It’s a mad world in We Stand On Guard, but one we can’t get enough of.


The Weekly Rundown


angelandfaithseason10-12

Title:  Angel & Faith Season 10 #18

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Victor Gischler

Artist:  Cliff Richards

Colorist:  Michelle Madsen

Letterer:  Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Cover Artist:  Scott Fischer;  Mike Norton and Michelle Madsen

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Drucilla is back and behind the increase of vampires at the high school Faith and Fred are investigating.  Using her as a villain was a nice way to tie into the events currently going on in Buffy with Archaeus, though we never really quite find out what her grand scheme is.  There were some problems with Drucilla herself, as at times her personality didn’t really seem to fit.  Fitting Koh in was nice so we could see this new “team” working together, but it would have been preferable to see him integrated in early and not just used as a save from left field.  Though the issue was a little rough around the edges at points, it still had plenty of excitement and an ending that left us curious.


barbwire3

Title:  Barb Wire #3

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Chris Warner

Artist:  Patrick Olliffe

Inker:  Tom Nguyen

Colorist:  Gabe Eltaeb

Letterer:  Michael Heisler

Cover Artist:  Adam Hughes

Review:  ★★★☆☆

To save her bar, Barb is determined to arrest Wyvern Stormblud for the bounty, all while keeping it on her reality show.  Though Stormblud is an idiot, things still don’t go according to her plan which puts the television crew, and especially herself, in big danger.  Focusing on Stormblud’s capture gave the issue a clear direction which also lightened Barb’s personality up for some fun and frantic moments.  While Barb Wire still failed to really standout, beyond from Adam Hughes beautiful covers that is, the issue was a step in the right direction compared to the first two issues.


doctorwhofourdoctors4

Title:  Doctor Who:  Four Doctors #4

Publisher:  Titan Comics

Writer:  Paul Cornell

Artist:  Neil Edwards

Colorist:  Ivan Nunes

Letterer:  Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Cover Artist:  Neil Edwards

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The Doctors greatest enemy has turned out to be a disillusioned version of themselves who is tired of the pain and sadness in the world.  While this version knows everything about the Doctors, making escape from them more difficult, he doesn’t know everything about their companions giving Alice and Gabby a chance to right things before it’s too late.  Using the “fourth” Doctor as a villain took time to settle, but it works perfectly to show that anything could happen to one of them in the right, or wrong circumstances.  Using the companions as the last hope also is a great change of pace and roll reversal, really showing how pivotal they are for each Doctor.  Ultimately the event could have skipped in issue getting to this point, but now that we are here it if firing on all cylinders once again.


DyingandDead03_Cover

Title:  The Dying and The Dead #3

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Ryan Bodenheim

Colorist:  Michael Garland

Letterer:  Rus Wooton

Cover Artist:  Ryan Bodenheim

Review:  ★★★★☆

After taking a much longer break than we would have prefered, Hickman and Bodenheim are back with a new issue.  While some of the steam has been lost in the break between issues, they do come back with a very important issue that gives us the full history of the mysterious Baduri who we previously knew nothing of.  It frames it in a very unusual depiction of events from World War II that actually fits well given what we know about this world and makes for an interesting villain from our unretired squad.  Considering how long we have been away we wish the main characters could have been used in this issue in some form, but without them Hickman was able to create even more foundation for the series so it was something we could mostly forgive.


IMPERIUM_008_VARIANT_HENRY

Title:  Imperium #8

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Joshua Dysart

Artist:  Scot Eaton;  Cafu

Inker:  Wayne Faucher and Sean Parsons

Colorist:  Brian Reber

Letterer:  Dave Sharpe

Cover Artist:  Kano;  Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Ulises Arreola;  Clayton Henry

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

Toyo’s trot through space and time with Divinity finally comes back to the assault on Leviathan.  Since Divinity still has a mind, Harada tries to take on the god-like man through unsuccessful psychic attacks.  Just as with the last issue, jumping from random points in time keeps things from flowing smoothly, but luckily that only takes half of the issue before we finally get to see Harada’s team escape.  Having Divinity in the issue seemed completely forced and never became more than a marketing stunt to add in this new popular character.  However, the end gave us several glimpses of what is to come for Imperium and several reasons to get excited even if this arc was disappointing.


JupiterCircle06_CoverA

Title:  Jupiter’s Circle #6

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Mark Millar

Artist:  Wilfredo Torres

Colorist:  Ive Svorcina

Letterer:  Peter Doherty

Cover Artist:  Frank Quitely

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The final chapter for Jupiter’s Circle book 1 came to a close with an important member of the team leaving under very tenuous circumstances.  Skyfox cannot take his girlfriend leaving him for a teammate and implodes around everyone before he leaves for good.  On a whole Jupiter’s Circle never felt “necessary”, though it did show that there were plenty of cracks in these heroes before Jupiter’s Legacy.  We enjoyed being able to see these characters under a better microscope, but hopefully the upcoming book 2 will show us a greater connection to future events.


Plutona01_Cover

Title:  Plutona #1

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Emi Lenox

Colorist:  Jordie Bellaire

Letterer:  Steve Wands

Cover Artist:  Emi Lenox

Review:  ★★★★☆

Only one issue in and Plutona is already one of the most interesting perspectives on the superhero genre that we’ve seen in a while.  Lemire and Lenox have created a world full of super heroes, but one we witness from the eyes of five children who happen upon the body of a fallen hero in the woods.  Just from the first issue, we would lie if we said we knew where things were going, but the pair have already created a dynamic cast from these children who have plenty of things to like about them as well as plenty of flaws to despise.  Their dynamic is enough to keep us interested so we are more than content to sit back and watch how things are going to unfold.


transformersmorethanmeetstheeye44

Title:  Transformers:  More Than Meets the Eye #44

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  James Roberts

Artist:  Hayato Sakamoto

Colorist:  Joana Lafuente

Letterer:  Tom B. Long

Cover Artist:  Alex Milne and Josh Perez;  Nick Roche and Josh Burcham;  Agnes Garbowska

Review:  ★★★★☆

Everything is back to (relative) normal for our space faring heroes, which means, once again, the crew of The Lost Lights finds themselves getting sidetracked, this time in search of the maybe-mythical, Grim Reaper-like Necrobot. Rodimus, Megatron and crew have questions. Who’s alive? Who’s dead? Only the Necrobot knows for sure. IF he’s even real. While some of the crew finds the answers they’re looking for, some others are faced with the reality of their pasts, and of course, more questions.


XO_040_VARIANT_GILL

Title:  X-O Manowar #40

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Robert Venditti

Artist:  Rafa Sandoval

Inker:  Jordi Tarragona

Colorist:  Ulises Arreola

Letterer:  Dave Sharpe

Cover Artist:  Rafa Sandoval and Ulises Arreola;  Tom Fowler and Brian Reber;  Robert Gill and David Baron

Review:  ★★★★☆

After last issue felt a little weak, things get back on track as Aric finally takes control and shows both sides who is in charge.  Not only that, but we also find out about a former Vine commander who has been hiding on Earth since the last invasion attempt.  His presence is certainly going to shake things up, as it seems this underground network of hidden Vine will be spilling out into other Valiant books as well.  Aric really was the center of the issue, as should be, and made up for his near slapstick appearance last issue of being blown back and forth by explosions.  How he deals with being between these two civilization is what will really make this arc stand out and so far it seems like it should be.


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