One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews 09/10/14

Best of the Week

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Title:  Archer & Armstrong 

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Karl Bollers

Artist:  Clayton Henry

Review:  ★★★★★

Next month brings us the giant sized Archer & Armstrong anniversary issue, but until then regular creators Fred Van Lente and Pere Perez take a breather from the title.  So do the main duo of the book.  Instead the story focuses on the side character Mary-Maria and shows her origins from a young age.  The book starts before she was taken in as Archer’s foster sister and continues on to after as she hunts down the man she blames for ruining her life.  The story is a very poignant emotional roller coaster that throws in a twist that I didn’t see coming.  When you have a guest artist and writer, there is no way to tell how they will fit into the book.  On one hand the humor you would expect from Archer & Armstrong is gone with them this week.  However, they bring an incredibly powerful story that you might not have expected from this title, but surely should not miss.

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Title:  X #17

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Duane Swierczynski

Artist:  Eric Nguyen

Review:  ★★★★★

After X’s brutal beating at the hands of the Archon, a time jump of a few months was in order for our broken hero to heal.  Now his journalist friend Leigh Ferguson has come back to his side and seeks his help in stopping a series of grisly mutilations occurring to local prostitutes by someone called the Pig Man and his crew.  Leigh goes undercover to act as bait so X can take them out, but is he quite ready to jump back into action?  The story adds a little bit of humor seeing the sleezeballs that try picking Leigh up, but of course has the balls out action that we expect from the title.  At this point I’m beginning to wonder if X will be able to finally get a win under his belt anytime soon, but that’s just an after thought.  This book is so good you just want to hang on and enjoy the wild ride.


The Weekly Rundown

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Title:  Abe Sapien #16

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Mike Mignola and Scott Allie

Artist:  Sebastián Fiumara

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Abe has finally made it back to where his transformation occurred after being shot.  Yet, he really is making it clear to just about everyone, he doesn’t want any help finding answers, beyond his traveling companion Grace.  The BRPD have finally been able to track him down, but fearing a trap, he tries to run away until they the two agents sent are able to help him out.  It does not seem that we are any closer to any answers, but more trouble definitely seems to be brewing.  Fiumara’s art is gorgeous, especially here, but the transition between panels seems slightly off.  Its as if we’re missing certain things in between that can be jarring.  The issue was not bad, but it just felt like more filler until the wheels stop spinning and we actually began to move forward.

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Title:  Armor Hunters:  Harbinger #3

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Joshua Dysart

Artist:  Robert Gill

Review:  ★★★★☆

Armor Hunters:  Harbinger is the first tie-in to the event to end, and arguably the furthest away from the main action.  While it is the east necessary to enjoy the event, if you pass it because of that, you’re going to miss out.  The situation in Mexico city is becoming increasingly worse as the alien larvae left behind after the blast that destroyed the city are beginning to hatch and replicate themselves from hosts within minutes.  Generation Zero, Torque, and Faith are in way over their heads and find themselves in a losing battle as two teammates are taken down.  Cloud being infected starts to kill her, but she becomes the only way to stop the aliens from killing them all.  The series does a good job of balancing between Faith and Torque and Generation Zero so everyone gets a good chance to shine.  Time is spent on the new President of Mexico as it has the entire series, but his part felt like a waste of time as he was completely unnecessary to the story on a whole.  Gill’s art must be commended here as the story really allows him to let loose with the carnage the aliens bring around them.  While perhaps it was weak as an Armor Hunters tie-in, it was a solid Harbinger book in general.

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Title:  Dark Ages #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Dan Abnett

Artist:  I. N. J. Culbard

Review:  ★★★★☆

The bizarre tale of aliens invading during the dark ages just keeps getting more and more strange.  As the survivors collect themselves at monastery, they try to come to terms with what has happened.  Believing the aliens to be demons, they believe this to be the biblical end of days.  This belief becomes strengthened when the aliens attempt a siege with the living dead of mercenaries’ fallen comrades.  The monks are no help as they continue their vow of silence, except for one whose ramblings may lead them to answers.  Abnett is crafting a wonderful story that is fun and full of excitement.  Even as things continue to go down a super natural/sci-fi direction, the story melds both together perfectly while somehow still staying grounded.  Culbard’s art felt a little more vivid last issue, but it is still a perfect complement to the story.  If you’re a fan of Abnett’s previous space adventures, make sure this is on your pull list.

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Title:  Prometheus:  Fire and Stone #1

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Paul Tobin

Artist:  Juan Ferreyra

Review:  ★★★★☆

Prometheus:  Fire and Stone is a sequel to the original film, taking place many years later as a new team tries to uncover the disappearance of the original mission.  If you have not watched the movie, the events might be hard to jump into, but any fan of Aliens will love what Tobin is brewing.  A majority of the issue is spent exploring the new crew of salvagers, including their captain Angela Foster, who wants answers about the original mission for than salvage.  When they land on LV-223, things are much different than they expect.  Exploring this new planet, it is not towards the end where we finally see the trouble awaiting them.  The issue is light on action, but does a good jump of setting up and framing the narrative.  The last few pages are where Aliens fans will jump with glee, as you can begin to see the hell that is about to be unleashed on this new crew.

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Title:  Terminator Salvation:  The Final Battle #9

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski

Artist:  Pete Woods

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The final battle is finally here, or at least almost, probably.  A cover does not always convey what’s going to be inside the book, but when it says Machine vs Machine, you might expect that what’s left of Skynet would be battling against Parnell’s terminators inside.  Not quite. Things are looking bleak for both the human race and Skynet now that their chance to kill Parnell in the past has failed.  Parnell gains an even better advantage is taking full control of Skynet, leaving John and the A.I. to form more of an alliance than they already had.  The issue was still a solid read, but was not as strong as what we’ve been getting.  This was more of a pause before the actual final battle begins.  It reaffirms the stakes, but we already know the great advantage Parnell has anyways.  All it really needed was a bit of a kick in the butt to pick up the pace and it would have been a better issue for it.

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Title:  Zombie Tramp #2

Publisher:  Action Lab Entertainment

Writer:   Dan Mendoza and Jason Martin

Artist:  TMChu

Review:  ★★★★☆

The undead King, Elvis himself, has his eyes set on Janey, seeing her as his new zombie Priscilla.  Sending his goons after her does not go well as she puts up a bigger fight than they expect.  She ends up losing her body, but is quickly able to find a new one so she can track down then two that attacked her.  Of course this leads right back to the new Graceland where she has no idea what is in store.  The issue brings plenty of quirky charm and strange humor the series is known for.  The King being offered a PB and brains sandwich had me chuckling more than I should have.  The series might not be for everyone, but if you can embrace it for what it is, you’ll have a great time.

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