One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews 07/23/14

Best of the Week

buffseason10-5

Title:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #5

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon

Artist: Rebekah Isaacs

Review:  ★★★★★

With Dracula quickly turning into Maloker, an extremely large version of him, very quickly.  While Xander has been the center of the joke this arc being under Dracula’s control, now that his master is changing, he begins to regain control of himself and steps up in a big way.  Taking care of the threat, Xander and Dawn finally get to have a conversation about the state of their relationship, which Gage and Brendon nail as if Whedon himself were penning the emotional but awkward scene.  Just because the arc is over doesn’t mean that the threat is gone as the team still has a long way to go to restore the rules of magic.  While it is sad we won’t have the continued presence of Dracula to muck things up, everything is clicking beautifully in the Buffy-verse.

thegoonoccasionofrevenge1

Title:  The Goon: Occasion of Revenge #1

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Eric Powell

Artist: Eric Powell

Review:  ★★★★★

Wow!  Having not read much of The Goon in the past, this was an issue that makes we want to go track down more of the series.  The remnants of the Zombie Priest’s witches is intent on taking over the Goon’s town, but the gang and him quickly show them they won’t role over so easily.  We get action, a possible romance for the Goon, and Powell’s amazing pencils that are mesmerizing.  The series pulls inspiration from a lot of settings and sources, but Powell weaves them together perfectly for a knockout story.


The Weekly Rundown

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Title:  Archer & Armstrong #22

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist: Pere Perez

Review:  ★★★★☆

With Dracula quickly turning into Maloker, an extremely large version of him, very quickly.  While Xander has been the center of the joke this arc being under Dracula’s control, now that his master is changing, he begins to regain control of himself and steps up in a big way.  Taking care of the threat, Xander and Dawn finally get to have a conversation about the state of their relationship, which Gage and Brendon nail as if Whedon himself were penning the emotional but awkward scene.  Just because the arc is over doesn’t mean that the threat is gone as the team still has a long way to go to restore the rules of magic.  While it is sad we won’t have the continued presence of Dracula to muck things up, everything is clicking beautifully in the Buffy-verse.

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Title:  Armor Hunters:  Bloodshot #1

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment

Writer:  Joe Harris

Artist:  Trevor Hairsine

Review:  ★★★★☆

Going into this week, this was easily my most anticipated book to read. I love Bloodshot and I have been loving Armor Hunters.  I can’t really blame Harris that it did not quite live up to the hype.  We see Bloodshot running from soldiers in Columbia before Livewire brought him in. Except we really already saw that.  We see Bloodshot prepping to defend the base from the Armor Hunters.  Except again, we already saw that.  It is still a good issue with some nice scenes such as Bloodshot conversing with Malgam and taking out several hounds around the perimeter.  Overall it was a good read, but it would have been nice if it hadn’t ended at a point we were already at a couple of weeks ago.

axecopamericanchoppers3

Title:  Axe Cop:  The American Choppers

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Malachai Nicolle

Artist:  Ethan Nicolle

Review:  ★★★☆☆

While I have been enjoying the series, by this third and final issue the end is most definitely welcome.  The American Choppers go to heaven where they learn Axe Cop’s true origin and are bestowed heavenly powers and axes to defeat Satan and his evil axe army.  Only the Satan they kill is a clone so they go and kill the real Satan.  Again, this turns out not to be the real Satan, so they finally kill the real deal.  Only he’s cloned himself hundreds of billions of times so the American Choppers have to clone themselves hundreds of billions of times to kill all of the Satan clones.  As you can see the book just jumps all over the place.  It is amusing and thoroughly enjoyable, but at the same time I don’t think I could handle yet another issue for quite some time.

conantheavenger4

Title:  Conan The Avenger #4

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Fred Van Lente

Artist:  Eduardo Francisco

Review:  ★★★★☆

Conan the Avenger continues to grow on me every issue.  Conan gets to take charge in his first battle as captain of the guard and it is brutal with men being cut in half and otherwise chopped up.  He rallies the troops like no other with his snarling speech and leads them to a quick victory.  Things are starting to heat up in the kingdom and surely will hit boiling point soon.  The pig monster we saw previously looks as though he will leave his mark very soon.  I still wish Francisco drew Conan a little bit bigger, as at times in the battle he looked more like a teenage boy than a hulking warrior.  Otherwise his battle scenes are very impressive and very gruesome as it should be.  If you want a good, old-fashioned Conan adventure, make sure you’re giving this a look as each issue is better than the last.

dreamthiefescape2

Title:  Dream Thief:  Escape #2

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Jai Nitz

Artist:  Greg Smallwood

Review:  ★★★★☆

Last issue we found out that the spirit of John’s father was residing in a convict, unable to get revenge for his murder in jail.  While he wants John to break him and his killer out so he can finish the task, John has a better idea by using some of his previous ghost possession’s law knowledge.  Unfortunately even the beat laid plans can’t stop a ghost from possessing John when he falls asleep, wanting his own revenge.  The story begins to slow briefly as John is questioned about Claire and visits the father of his last ghost possession to check on him.  While it is slow during these parts, it is far from being uninteresting as we see the toll being possessed can have on John even after.  Then the end comes and we’re thrown for marvelous loop that makes you want to scream for more.  Is it next month yet?

groovsconan1

Title:  Groo vs. Conan #1

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones

Artist:  Sergio Aragones and Thomas Yeates

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

You would think going into a book called Groo vs, Conan, you would find a lot of Groo and Conan inside.  That is not the case.  Instead we are given very little of the two main characters while caricatures of the two writers discuss making a crossover book between the two.  While their back and forth in the “real” world is amusing, it shouldn’t have cut into half of the issue.  Instead of feeling like the first issue of this crossover, it feels more like an outline for the idea of what could happen when the two meet.  Of course crossing over these two can not be done by taking it serious, at least let the two characters be the stars of the story.  While I’m not ready to kick this crossover to the curb just yet, it was a mediocre start at best.

haloescalation8

Title:  Halo:  Escalation #8

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Brian Reed

Artist:  Sergio Arino

Review:  ★★★☆☆

Master Chief has returned.  Or did return as this story takes place 8 months in the past.  Picking up after the end of Halo 4, Master Chief is assigned with a new team of Spartans to investigate the loss of contact from a science team.  The Prometheans appear to be behind it and who better to send in the Chief.  If you are a Halo fan this already is a must read, especially if you want to see what happens to Master Chief between Halo 4 and Halo 5 coming next year.  The story is already off to a strong start, especially with a surprise ending that we won’t spoil for you.  At the same time if you are a Halo fan, chances are you already picked this up, so get reading.  If you have not played Halo 4 yet, it is still a solid story, but be warned that it will spoil the ending of the game if for some reason you have yet to get to it but still want to.

letter44-8

Title:  Letter 44 #8

Publisher:  Oni Press

Writer:  Charles Soule

Artist: Alberto Jimenez Alberquerque

Review:  ★★★☆☆

The secret of the aliens is at the tipping point of coming out to the world.  President Blades uses the technology to aid America soldiers in Afghanistan and everyone knows the weapons are more advanced than anything that has been seen before.  Yet even in the US government President Blades is hesitant to reveal the technologies source.  As for the astronauts, they take the backseat to affairs back on Earth, but if the ending is any indication, next issue things are going to get very busy up there.  The best thing about the issue is Soule’s portrayal of the politics involved.  If Obama had these advanced weapons, would he be open about them with the world?  The interactions and dialogue feel spot on for the situation which can be easy to misstep.

masseffectfoundation13

Title:  Mass Effect:  Foundation #13

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Mac Walters and Jeremy Barlow

Artist:  Tony Parker

Review:  ★★☆☆☆

While I was not a fan of the Mass Effect games, Foundation had been one of my favorite series each month.  Unfortunately the conclusion of the series has turned into a big disappointment.  Rasa makes her move as we learn a little more about her rough childhood.  The biggest problem comes from how rushed everything felt, from the actions to the art. By the end I was still flipping back and forth trying to figure out what had all happened.  There is a little too much going on in each panel and when Rasa and Lawson face off in the end, the two look way to similar making it hard to follow who is who.  Perhaps another issue would have helped space the finale out, but as it stands, this was a major letdown for what has otherwise been a fantastic series.

starwarslegacy17

Title:  Star Wars:  Legacy #17

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

Artist:  Brian Albert Thies

Review:  ★★★★☆

Things just want from bad to worse for Ania and her friends.  While they easily find their kidnapped friend Jao, the army of Sith after Darth Wredd descends down after him with them stuck in the middle.  Even with the calvary called in, they’re stuck in a giant battle.  You have to give it to Bechko and Hardman, they really know how to make an epic finale for this series.  Not only are we getting a full-out war, Dredd still has his own plans that should make things even more exciting.  Will Jao turn against his friends and turn to the dark side with Dredd or die staying a good guy.  Anything here could happen which is what is making it so damn good.

tombraider6

Title:  Tomb Raider #6

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics

Writer:  Gail Simone

Artist:  Nicholas Daniel Selma

Review:  ★☆☆☆☆

As much as I hate to say it, I did not like this series, especially this quick ending we’re given. I love Gai Simone’s work and the Tomb Raider game was easily my Game of the Year when it released.  Yet this series missed a big opportunity to explore fresh ideas to continue Lara’s adventure.  Instead we’re back on Yamatai in a situation that is way to similar to the original story.  In the final issue of the story, there was one last chance to make everything come to together.  Unfortunately it continued to underwhelmed as the bad guys complete their task, but a few pages and panel later it didn’t matter.  Then we’re given a un-compelling twist with a new character we just haven’t been given time to care about.  Both Croft and Simone can do much better than what we were given.

zombietramp1

Title:  Zombie Tramp Vol. 3 #1

Publisher:  Action Lab Comics

Writer:  Dan Mendoza

Artist: Jason Martin

Review:  ★★★★☆

After killing some men generous enough to give her a ride, but not generous enough to keep their hands to themselves,  Zombie Tramp finally arrives to a city she was made for, Las Vegas.  To keep money in her pocket and hunger quenched, she starts taking on clients and killing them.  The one true king and pimp of Vegas doesn’t take kindly to her killing potential clients of his business.  What you get is what you want from the series, gratuitous sexual references and gore.  What else could you possibly want from a series titled Zombie Tramp.  It what it’s meant for, it definitely hits the mark!

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