One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews 05/28/14

Best of the Week


Title:  Harbinger #23 

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Joshua Dysart

Artist:  Clayton Henry and Khari Evans

Review:  Two Thumbs Up!

There solicitations talked about a death occurring this issue and sure enough, one of the team didn’t make it to the end.  While I won’t spoil who died, I will say that it was executed perfectly, as they gave their life to save an incapacitated teammate.  Beyond the death, it was a solid issue overall.  Peter and the team were able to give Harada the finger without him and realizing what was going on.    Yet things are not looking very good for the team all over.  The issue left us at a pretty big cliffhanger from all directions meaning that they the next two issues should be just as fantastic as this.


Title:  Star Wars:  Rebel Hesit #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist: Marco Castiello

Review:  Two Thumbs Up!

Princess Leia has never been close to being a favorite character of mine in the Star Wars universe, but this issue gives her at least a week to be my new favorite character.  The story is narrated by a rebel spy whose cover is blown, and disappointed to find her only hope is Leia, a sentiment I shared.  As the story goes on, Leia is quickly shown to be a complete spy bad-ass.  She easily blends into every situation thrown at her to deceive those around her and get the job done.  It really does feel as though Kindt wanted to turn her into James Bond for the issue.  It works much better than expected, and makes me wish Kindt could continue writing her more.  A must pick up for Star Wars fan or not!

The Weekly Rundown


Title:  Batman #31

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Scott Snyder

Artist:  Greg Capullo

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Batman finally is ready to take the Riddler on after getting some help from Gordon and Fox.  One would think that he would have prepared an excellent riddle to try and beat the villain at his own game, but instead just just tries to bait him by making him angry.  This is not as exciting as having Batman use his mind, but he does get to use his strength by taking on two lions at the same time.  Watching him wrestle a lion whose face he burned off just a few moments earlier is fun, but a little to over the top to take seriously.  It would have been better if Batman was actually able to flex his intelligence more.  I have enjoyed the current Batman series, and some issues have been phenomenal, but I still think it gets a little to much praise.  This issue just goes above average, and much of that thanks can go to Capullo’s art which is always a joy to view.


Title:  Captain Midnight #11

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Joshua Williamson

Artist: Fernando Dagnino

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Captain Midnight gets partial revenge for Rick’s murder, but he is not able to completely stop his former sidekick.  Helios though had a pretty bad day by the end of the issue.  The future continues to be an interesting place for the hero.  You can compare it to Captain America coming back from his long, ice slumber to find out Bucky had become a pretty big bastard, well at least one of his own free will.  The issue packs some pretty slick action scenes to close out this latest arc while leaving the characters to mourn.


Title:  Conan:  The Avenger

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist: Brian Ching

Review:  Thumbs Down!

The thing that most bothered me with the issue as it has before, is that Ching draws a very scrawny Conan.  Conan should ripped, but I feel like I’m seeing bones being showed.  How he’s drawn he actually would be a perfect fit for a Tarzan book, but that’s not what we have here.  You do get to see what Conan does best though as he takes on wave after wave of foe.  At least he got his armor back in the end so he doesn’t have to keep running around in his underwear.  Fighting zombies though is uninspired, luckily the last page looks to add in an interesting beast for Conan to combat soon.


Title:  Dexter:  Down Under #4

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lindsay

Artist:  Dalibor Talajic

Review:  Thumbs Up!

While I never had ready any of the actual Dexter novels, I was a huge fan of the show.  Down Under has been better than most of the last few seasons that the show put it out.  We finally get to see the dark passenger come out, even if ever so briefly and in defense, but it probably was long enough for Shawna to start to suspect not all is right with her companion.  It is great to see Dexter who usually is the hunter, literally turned into prey for Grigsby to hunt.  The tables seem as though they are about to be turned next month as Dexter finally has the perfect excuse to make Grigsby disappear.


Title:  Furious #5

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Bryan J. L. Glass

Artist:  Victor Santos

Review:  Thumbs Up!

This easily was my favorite issue from the series thus far.  Furious has to battle her past demons, specifically her former friend Jodie, while having to save a life.  It turns for some great action scenes and really shines on Cadence truly being a hero.  Interwoven in the current action, we get a look at Cadence and Jodie meeting for the first time, serving as an interesting origin for the both of them.  We still have awhile to go to see what will become of Jodie, but this was a great ride on the way for both characters.


Title:  Halo:  Escalation #6

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Chris Schlerf

Artist: Ricardo Sanchez

Review:  Thumbs Down!

This was not a terrible issue.  If you are a super Halo fan than you can change this to a thumbs up.  The problem comes from how tidy everything gets wrapped up.  The UNSC Infinity appeared to be in real peril, but the Spartans come to save the day and eliminate the threat in one fell swoop.  Anticlimactic doesn’t even cover it here.  That’s why the issue ultimately got a thumbs down, the expectations they raised just were not even close to being met.  On the positive side, the ending gives us a sneak into what next problem will be arising for the crew, and it’s an old nasty one.


Title:  King Conan:  The Conqueror #4

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Timothy Truman

Artist:  Tomas Giorello

Review:  Thumbs Down!

This gets the distinction of being the best Conan book this week, but still was not quite good enough.  Easily the best thing about the book is Giorello’s art.  His Conan is big and angry, just as I like him.  His action scenes are gruesome and bloody, a very interesting sight to behold.  The story has yet to capture my attention, however, which is were fails.  Whether or not the resurrection happens, it just has not been given a reason to be captivating with only two issues to go.


Title:  The Massive #23

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Brian Wood

Artist:  Danijel Zezelj

Review:  Thumbs Down!

While not a complete waste of your money this week, The Massive just was not above average.  The water convoy comes under attack from bandits and Mary takes charge.  It gave her character a great story to prove her leadership, but it never goes any further than that.  It simply lacked a wow factor to hook you into the story this week.


Title:  Mass Effect:  Foundation #11

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Mac Walters and Jeremy Barlow

Artist:  Tony Parker

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Zaeed Massani is a bit of a dick, but you can’t help but love him.  The story takes focus on him, exploring his infiltration and destruction of The Verrikan.  His team he assembles is almost as interesting as he, but in the end he easily steals the show through a little skill with a little luck.  Allowing him to narrate the story lets you inside his head which comes off calm and collected, even with the worst odds.  I admit, I have never played more than a hour of Mass Effect, and still love this series.  This issue specifically though, has easily been the best yet.  Make sure to check it out even if you’re not a fan of the game.


Title:  Mind MGMT #22

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  Matt Kindt

Review:  Thumbs Up!

As the team tracks down the Magician, it is a trip down memory lane.  She tells them the story about her time with Management, and it was not always pretty.  She was manipulated and boxed out one to many times.  Kindt’s art continues to be wonderful and makes this book worth picking up every time.  That’s not to say the story isn’t good, because it is.  Seeing the origin story told was fascinating and let you step out of the current conflict for a moment.  Another excellent addition into the series.


Title:  Nightwing #30

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Tim Seeley and Tom King

Artist:  Javier Garbon, Jorge Lucas, and Mikel Janin

Review:  Thumbs Down!

During Kyle Higgins fantastic run, Nightwing was always on of my most anticipated comics every month.  With the new direction beginning here, I have to say I’m very worried.  Dick turning into a super spy I have no problem with, but this book was just bad.  Bruce and Dick beat the crap out of each other, in what seems like training exercise gone horribly wrong.  It takes a majority of the issue as Bruce wants to make sure Dick still has it in him, but the two are beaten and bloodier than I have ever seen them fighting any villain.  Perhaps it was just the art going over the top, but the two maintain a ongoing conversation while looking like roadkill.  The new premise seems fine for now, but it does not completely sell the idea here of why the threat it as big as it is made out to be.  Plus, I don’t understand why even Alfred cannot know that Dick is alive.  Hasn’t the poor guy been through enough to be able to handle a secret as he already does.  Hopefully Grayson turns out to be much better than this first attempt.


Title:  Pariah #4

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt

Artist:  Brett Weldele

Review:  Thumbs Up!

There are so many stories about teenagers being grouped by themselves and having to survive that it gets hard to be excited for yet another entry into the fray.  Pariah beats the odds by actually doing something different.  The Vitros find themselves fighting for their survival as Earth below bands together to shoot nukes at the Vitro satellite.  What this leads to is a quick change in leadership from a character you wouldn’t have expected to step up, and making the Vitros’ a nuclear power through a little ingenuity.  This issue could have easily been subtitled “How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”  If I subtitled the review, it would go something like “How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Pariah.”


Title:  Shadowman:  End Times #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Peter Milligan

Artist:  Valentine De Landro

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Jack now knows that his father is actually alive and takes a journey to find the man who abandoned him.  To get to him he has to abandon the thing he loves most, which to get his revenge he is willing to sacrifice.  Will he really have it in him to kill his father and let the loa take control?  His journey has been full of many curves and this may be his last.  If it is, the ship is going down in a blaze of glory.  Watching his anger grow more and more makes you wonder if he will make it through this.


Title:  The Star Wars #8

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Jonathan Rinzler

Artist: Mike Mayhew

Review:  Thumbs Down!

The Star Wars has been an interesting book if nothing else, showing us what could have been on film if Lucas had stayed with his original vision.  Now with the final book complete, I think it is safe to say it’s a good thing he changed what he did.  It has not been a bad journey, but how things actually played out was much more interesting in the film, even if we get to basically the same end.  For hardcore Star Wars fans it will probably be to hard to stay away from this alternate tale, but for the rest, pull out a copy of the movie.


Title:  Star Wars:  Legacy #15

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

Artist:  Gabriel Hardman

Review:  Thumbs Up!

Ania finds herself in trouble as the bounty hunter tracks her down once more for a final showdown.  It gives the issue a huge fight scene that is pretty spectacular, but also finally clears Ania’s name.  Except things didn’t quite go so well for Jao as he takes her place in a cell for his desertion.  While I still cannot say that I’m totally sold on Ania Solo as an interesting character, this does serve as one of the best issues in the series.  With the countdown beginning for the Star Wars rights to return to Marvel, you can expect this will go out with a bang.


Title:  Tomb Raider #4

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Gail Simone

Artist:  Nicolas Daniel Selma

Review:  Thumbs Down!

With as exciting as the first issues were, this just was not on par.  It became a issue long journey that seemed to similar to the opening of the game, just a quick way to get her back to the island where she had lost so many friends.  What she has going for her, and the next issue, is that she is back on the island, but this time she has her gear and is ready to kick some ass.  If only it hadn’t taken an entire issue to get her to that position, things might have been more interesting this week.  Alas, we’re stuck waiting for next issue to see if it can live up to expectation.


Title:  Vandroid #4

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Tommy Lee Edwards and Noah Smith

Artist: Dan McDaid

Review:  Thumbs Down!

Vandroid is like the movie that it was based on, a bad over the top comic.  Just like a bad B-movie though, Vandroid does have things to enjoy, even when it’s bad.  You get lots of action, a little bit of sex, and a death that gets glossed over pretty quick.  The silliness of the entire thing does have some charm like Vandroid himself, but that still does not make it good enough to be worth picking up.


Title:  X-Files Season 10 #12

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Joe Harris

Artist:  Matthew Dow Smith

Review:  Thumbs Up!

After last issue I was hoping for some answers, this is X-Files after all.  What that means is that there are no answers here, but more questions are created throughout the issue.  Having Krycek back is great as he has always been one of my favorite side characters in the series, but just as quick as he’s back, he’s gone once more.  What would X-Files be if not for an alien abduction, and if it is an abduction, it’s a pretty big one.  The series is solid as ever and once again leaves us at a cliffhanger that will make you want to pull out your hair until next month!

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