One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews 07/16/14

Best of the Week

theauteur5

Title:  The Auteur #5

Publisher:  Oni Press

Writer:  Rick Spears

Artist:  James Callahan

Review:  ★★★★★

Last issue felt a more subdued in terms of the of the outright craziness of the series, at least as subdued as The Auteur can get.  Now we’re back in the thick of things with a party to celebrate the films finish which includes crazy psychedelic drugs made from exotic spider venom that cause streams of blood from all orifices, talking vomit, hookers, and a gruesome death before finishing with the movie’s premiere.  In between all of that it actually has some deep insightful dialogue and a little romance.  This has been one of those strange little comics that against certain odds is enjoyable as hell.  If you want something completely different from anything else you’ll read this week, month, year, make sure to pick this up.

HAR_025_COVER-A_SUAYAN

Title:  Harbinger #25

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer: Joshua Dysart, Justin Jordan, and Lucy Knisley

Artist:  Khari Evans, Dan Goldman, Barry Kitson, Andrew Pepoy, Rafer Roberts, and Riley Rossmo

Review:  ★★★★★

Toyo Harada might have recently suffered a great setback, if the Renegades thought he was just going to rollover they were completely wrong.  With nothing left to lose, Harada puts his plans in motion for his first strike to topple the world’s governments.  With a small army of psiot’s completely dedicated to him, there maybe no stopping him now, especially with the Renegades broken.  In the main story we only get to see whats left of the team briefly as Kris parts ways with Torque and Zephyr while Peter tries to stay hidden away.  Being the anniversary though, we are treated with several mini stories focusing on the Renegades before they made their last stand.  Some of them will make you laugh while others are quite emotional, but they’re are excellent.  In celebrating the series, the whole package nailed the mark with the start of a new arc and great backup stories to show off all of the characters.


The Weekly Rundown

brpdhellonearth121

Title:  B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #121

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Mike Mignola and John Arcudi

Artist:  Laurence Campbell

Review:  ★★★★☆

This is how you do a quick two issue story.  It was short and sweet while finishing extremely satisfying.  Kate’s possession by the deceased necromancer Captain Breccan starts to raise a few eyebrows with the returned team.  As Professor Panya learns the full story of Professor Broom and Hellboy’s encounter with Breccan, he learns of the terrible mistake he made to accidentally release the evil spirit.  He finds out just as Breccan comes to the front to face the team.  Mignola and Arcudi did a great job to interweave an unearthed tale from Hellboy’s past and have it solidify together with the current team.  It was nice to see everyone alive and contained in one issue again, even if it they were separated by 50 or so years.

brainboythemenfromgestalt3

Title:  Brain Boy:  The Men From G.E.S.T.A.L.T.

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist: Freddie Williams II

Review:  ★★★★☆

As the reader we are thrown into a confusing place in the story which is not quite where we last left Brain Boy.  This continues for about 75% of the issue until we, and Brain Boy, find our minds have been played with and we are indeed where we should be.  It was a great effect that Van Lente pulled off flawlessly.  The trade off, however, is that because of this, the overreaching story doesn’t propel further but by a crawl.  This is easily forgiven considering how entertaining the issue was and the tense action filled ending.  Brain Boy continues to be top notch, so much so that I really would like to see what could come from an ongoing series rather than just a miniseries.

eyeofnewt2

Title:  Eye of Newt #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Michael Hague

Artist:  Michael Hague

Review:  ★★★★☆

The biggest draw for this series continues to be Hague’s beautiful art.  Every page is a magnificent tapestry bringing his unique vision to life.  The tale itself finds Newt continuing his quest to become a wizard, now joined by an aggressive witch apprentice and a few friends they meet along the way.  We are given a couple of indications that there is also a big connection to the King Arthur legend.  The story does jump at times between lighthearted fantasy fare to something a little darker, such as when Newt shoots arrows through a beasts eyes to save his companion.  He later goes back to retrieve the arrows and finds the beast blind and helpless so throws it off a cliff for mercy.  Things such as this make it a little intense for a younger reader, but makes it a good mix for young adult and up.

ghost6

Title:  Ghost #6

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Chris Sebela

Artist:  Jan Duursema

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Elisa had found herself in a bit of a bind, quit literally, but lucky for her the bad guys still love to divulge their origins and plans, giving her time to make her escape.  Yet even after she’s escaped she still has to deal with the TV celebrity that his sold his soul for power, plus a mercenary that is fast closing in on her.  Von Ghastly taking the time to explain out everything to Elisa did fill a little cheap, that is a stereotype of villains that you don’t see very often anymore and for good reason.  At least he is coming off as an interesting villain for the arc, even if he may be boxed out as new danger lurks right behind our heroine at the end.  Having Elisa trying to put herself back into her old life is interesting, especially as crime fighting is becoming her outlet to avoid it.  The issue had some hiccups, but was able to overcome them, mostly, to still be a good read this week.

princessugg2

Title:  Princess Ugg #2

Publisher:  Oni Press

Writer:  Ted Naifeh

Artist:  Warren Wucinich

Review:  ★★★★☆

Poor Princess Ugg just cannot fit in with the other princesses at her new academy.  The entirety of the issue gives little hope that anything will change in that regard as she is constantly belittled for being very different than the others.  Her rising rage is sometimes brought out in humorous ways, such as when she pictures beheading her roommate, but many times its just sad to watch.  Much of that can be credited to Naifeh in how he has crafted such a likable and interesting character for which as the reader you don’t want to see bullied as she is.  Possibly a little hope is shown at the end, but it is to early to say what type of interest or help one of her instructors has for her.  The tale feels like a Disney princess movie unfolding in front of us.  Brave comparisons are not unwarranted, but that is not a bad thing by any means.

starwarssonofdathomir3

Title:  Star Wars:  Darth Maul — Son of Dathomir #3

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Jeremy Barlow

Artist:  Juan Frigeri

Review:  ★★★★☆

While Obi Wan and his squad come closer and closer to Darth Maul’s fleet, Maul shows Sidious his two captured generals.  Sidious however cares little for either of their lives, which echoes at least Dooku’s fate in Revenge of the Sith.  Maul cares little for Grievious, but his mother and him work on swaying Dooku to their side, which seems to work in the end.  When the Jedi finally arrive, we get a pretty amazing battle with Maul and Dooku fighting side by side, killing a Jedi master in the process.  We know Dooku’s fate and can assume Maul’s as well, but regardless it is a hell of a lot of fun seeing the two side by side. With only one more issue there is not much longer for everything to play out, but I’m on the edge of my seat waiting.

UNITY_009_COVER_SUAYAN

Title:  Unity #9

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  Stephen Segovia

Review:  ★★★☆☆

As before, the team is split into two.  Ninjak and Eternal Warrior are left to fight the hounds released by the Armor Hunters while Livewire is back at headquarters dealing with her own personal crisis to which she explains to Bloodshot.  This issue does many things well, but more than anything it shows bad motherf***** that Ninja is.  Why is he not in his own solo series yet?  I did have to question why one page is entirely devoted to panels of an Asian backdrop while Ninjak slices a falling flower petal in half with his sword.  Watching him take down the hounds was more than enough to assure me of his skill.  The pieces with Livewire felt unnecessary though.  It wasn’t uninteresting, but considering the danger going in the world around them, it was something that could have been better explored after the current threat has been taken care of, especially since it put her and Bloodshot on the sidelines.  The issue just felt more like filler than anything else before the main Armor Hunters book actually progresses things forward next.

thewitcher5

Title:  The Witcher #5

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Paul Tobin

Artist:  Joe Querio

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The Witcher series has drawn to a conclusion and actually ended on a high point.  While I have not been a fan of the series as you can tell from my previous reviews, this issue actually was pretty good.  The dark secrets about Jakob and Marta finally come to the open after Geralt has a revealing conversation with Marta.  What is revealed does a good job of tying everything together and actually making sense.  The issue was better, but not without its faults.  Geralt really does not have much part in the resolution of the story beyond setting Jakob and Marta on a collision course towards each other as he simply tries to leave.  It would have been better to see the main character actually play an integral part in the ending.  We also leave without finding more about Vara which felt a little cheap.  The conclusion draws rather quickly and Geralt is gone just as fast.

witchfinder2

Title:  Witchfinder:  The Mysteries of Unland #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Kim Newman and Maura McHugh

Artist: Tyler Crook

Review:  ★★★☆☆

It takes awhile for the story to get moving, but once it does the end half of the issue serves up some interesting mysterious for Sir Edward Grey in his main investigation of Poole’s Elixir.  Edmund Poole’s wife Anna most definitely seems to have been painted as one of the most likely suspects here, quite literally, with how Crook portrays her as almost unemotional.  Whether that is a red herring or not will most likely be revealed soon enough.  Either way we get quick glimpses of the super natural in play at the factory which definitely tie into the serpents that attacked Grey previously.  The case is gearing up and I’m definitely ready for more.

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