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Nova #1 Review

Written by on Feb 20, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  No Comments »

Nova #1

Rating: 2/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:

Sam Alexander is a kid bound by the gravity of a small town and a father whose ridiculous, drunken fairy tales about a “Nova Corps” were just another heavy burden in a life full of them. But luckily for Sam Alexander… soon gravity won’t even matter.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Nova #1 has many things going for it things that should have made this issue an amazing starting point for this new character. Instead we get something ham fisted and stale, a story completely devoid of heart and soul. The fact that Jeph Loeb wrote this didn’t really surprise me at all. His signature tropes are all there and they don’t work here any better than they did in his other works.

Meanwhile on the art side of the equation the book is really well done. Unfortunately we all know that good art can’t save a poor story but a good story can survive poor art. There are a lot of little touches that make the book visually striking but they are all for naught. If the narrative was a little more original and daring the book could easily have been considered a modern classic at least in my opinion. Sadly that’s not the case here.

I have been a Nova fan for years and I really wanted this new title to hit the ground running. I was able to forgive the fact that Marvel still hasn’t explained the final fate of Richard Ryder following “The Thanos Imperative” for a while at least. Suddenly out of nowhere Thanos returned and not far behind him was Star Lord both characters that seemingly died alongside Ryder as the Alternate reality known as the Cancer-verse was collapsing, With Ryder gone so went the Nova force from the universe or so we thought. Not giving the original Nova some kind of finality seems like an insult to the character. Hell even Star Lord could have mentioned what happened in an offhanded remark but we don’t even get that much.

As far as the new Nova goes it seems like a rough start for the series. Especially considering what we are actually reading takes place in the past. This version of Nova made his first appearance just before the kickoff of Avengers vs. X-Men desperately trying to out run the Phoenix force in an attempt to warn any worlds in its path of the coming destruction. I’m guessing we will tie back in to that eventually.

To wrap things up this was an extremely lack luster issue. The series may get better but with Loeb at the helm I won’t be holding my breath or anything.




Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #1 Review

Written by on Jan 31, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: IDW
Writer: David Tipton,Scott Tipton
Art: Simon Fraser
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:

November 23, 1963: A day that changed the world forever. That day saw the broadcast debut of Doctor Who, which was to become the longest-running science-fiction series on television. And now 50 years later, we pay tribute to one of the greatest pop-culture heroes of all time with this special series, which tells an epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the intrepid traveler through time and space known simply as… the Doctor.

Reviewer’s Comments:

IDW kicks off the first issue of it’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary comic series Prisoners of Time. Issue #1 of course follows the 1st Doctor originally portrayed by William Hartnell. The man who launched the BBC’s fledgling science fiction show following the enigmatic time lord that would eventually grow to become a global phenomenon with countless generations of fans.

I will admit that the 1st Doctor is the version of the character i am least familiar with. When i became a fan of the show and discovered just how many years of material i had to catch up on i only glazed over Hartnell’s run. I picked up on Patrick Troughton’s offbeat 2nd Doctor and kind of ran with it from there. I do plan to go back at some point to watch the original run or what’s available of it at least.

The first issue of Prisoners of time is a nice set up to the series. We have a mysterious enemy plotting against the Doctor but not just a single incarnation, all of them in fact are his targets. The main focus of this issue is the 1st and his companions looking in to the missing students of one of his friends a university professor. The mystery brings back an enemy from the past the Doctor clearly wasn’t expecting to see again.

Overall this issue was a very enjoyable reading experience. Despite my lack of familiarity with the 1st Doctor i didn’t feel as if i couldn’t connect with him as the protagonist. It was clear right from the start that this is THE Doctor even if it may not be your favorite version of the character. There were a few moments that dragged on but they didn’t damage the story in any noticeable way.

I found the art to be not as nice as i would have expected. It has the feeling of being very rough around the edges and in some instances generic. The character designs while passable could probably have been refined a bit more. I’m uncertain as to whether IDW is rotating the creative teams on the book or if it will be the same group throughout. I think there could be better art that’s all i’m saying.

This is the first issue of the 12 issue 50th Anniversary special series. Each Doctor will get their own story that adds to the greater arc. I feel like this series could really turn out to be something special. I personally plan on picking up every issue of it and i recommend the book to any true Doctor Who fan.




Deadpool Killustrated #1 Review

Written by on Jan 28, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  No Comments »

Deadpool Killustrated #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Pencils: Mateo Lolli
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Deadpool has already killed every hero in the Marvel Universe. He isn’t through. This time… Deadpool’s gonna take down the most famous characters in classic literature!

Reviewer’s Comments:

The Merc with the Mouth may have killed the Marvel universe but his mission is far from over. Deadpool Killustrated features the continuing misadventures of the alternate reality Deadpool that began a one man war on creation itself. Now he has his eye set on the metaverse and the greatest characters of classic fiction are on the top of his hitlist. How can these classic characters hope to survive?

Picking up where the previous mini-series left off we find that this penultimate homicidal version of Wade Wilson has been on a multiversal killing spree. He has bested countless versions of Marvel’s greatest heroes, villains and even himself but found no resolution to his compulsion to free everyone from the cycle of existence and suffering. However the Mad Thinker and a cadre of evil scientists have pointed him towards a new target one that could unravel existence itself if he succeeds.

This issue builds up on the previous series well and propels Deadpool forward toward new worlds and interesting opponents. You have to wonder whether any of them will be able to stop such an efficient killer. Personally i’m wondering how much longer Marvel can drag this concept out for. As we all know Marvel Zombies ended up beating a dead horse for far too long and had way too many spin offs. It feels like this series could end up going the same route. As much as I love Deadpool as a character I think it might be best to dial back on using him for a while.




Young Avengers #1 Review

Written by on Jan 24, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  1 Comment »

Young Avengers #1

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton
Colors: Mathew Wilson
Number of Pages: 21
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Legacy isn’t a dirty word? but it’s an irrelevant one. It’s not important what their parents did. It matters what they do. Someone has to save the world. Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye unite with Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America to do just that!

Reviewer’s Comments:

Kieron Gillen weaves a new web of action, adventure and betrayal in Young Avengers #1. What has easily been one of Marvel Now’s most anticipated titles finally arrives but will it be all we hoped for?

This issue starts off with a bang or actually after a bang(sorry bad joke). The story immediately escalates as Noh-Var and Kate Bishop take on a Skrull hit squad. Back on earth Hulkling is finding the simple life less than ideal and takes up super heroics once again, Much to the chagrin of his partner Wiccan who is about to make a very terrible mistake. Now it’s up to Loki the god of mischief himself to put together a team that can face the threat Wiccan sets in motion but of course if Loki is involved nothing is as it seems.

This issue is quite frankly amazing. Gillen once again delivers us what no other could. The pace of the story and it’s somewhat chaotic setup work perfectly on every level. The art is great and suits the book quite well. There was one small thing that bugged me it seemed like many of the characters faces were stuck in these kind of overly emotive expressions. It just seemed weird for them to constantly look shocked or surprised.
All of that aside I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. I wouldn’t presume to guess what master plan Gillen has in mind for the series but I have no doubt it will be great.




Ursa Minor #4 Review

Written by on Jan 22, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Ursa Minor #4

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Big Dog Ink
Writer: Tom Hutchison
Pencils: Ian Snyder
Inks: Sony Merbitt
Colors: Luis Guerrero
Number of Pages: 26
Price: 3.50
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Naomi and company have to find a way out of Tokyo and when you are wanted by the local Yakuza Vampire coven, that is no easy task.

Reviewer’s Comments:
Secrets are revealed and friends are lost in Ursa Minor #4. Following the pulse pounding events of issue 3 we catch up to Naomi and her allies as they prepare to leave japan. April the witch proceeds to drop some heavy knowledge on the group while they are waiting at the airport. Meanwhile back home things continue to take a turn for the worst as the vampires begin systematically destroying everything they can in their search for presumably last of the werebear.

This issue has a combination of elements to it that really propel the story forward. It’s clear here that Naomi’s heroic journey has really begun. There is no longer a status quo or safe haven for these characters and it seems no one is safe from death. One of my personal favorite characters of the series Onyx meets his end in this issue and I was sad to see him go. It’s that attachment though that shows just how carefully crafted the story has been so far and it’s only 4 issues in.

On the art side the (A) cover of this issue is just plain awesome, it’s one of three variants and it’s a clear homage to A Nightmare on Elm Street. It is really quite striking visually. In fact the art for the entire series overall is fantastic. There isn’t a single moment where it fails to convey the story properly.

This is a book that really grows on you quickly. I did have to suspend certain preconceptions about it before I started in on it initially. There are so many books containing Vampires, Werewolves and the like out there today and it does feel like the market has hit saturation on the genre to a degree. It was difficult for me to give Ursa Minor a shot because of this. After reading it though I’m glad I did. The creative team seems to have strived hard to keep away from the standard tropes that can plague titles with this kind of concept.




Army of Darkness #9 Review

Written by on Jan 21, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Dynamite Entertainment Reviews  |  No Comments »

Army of Darkness #9

Rating: 3/5
Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: Elliot R. Serrano
Pencils: Jose Malaga
Colors: Arison Aguiar
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Lost in time. Low on gas. Surrounded by dames. As Ashley J. Williams tries to find his way back into the present, he lands in 1920’s Chicago smack in the middle of the clash between Eliot Ness and Al Capone, but a time-lost copy of the Necronomicon threatens to change the course of history!
It’s a hot time in the old town tonight when Ash finds himself exchanging his boomstick for a tommy-gun, butting heads with deadite mobsters and crossing paths with dangerous dames. All new adventures! All new enemies! Featuring the hero from the classic horror/adventure movie!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Ash has been transported back in time yet again. Now trapped in prohibition era Chicago he faces off against some of history’s most notorious gangsters. Of course as always the Necronomicon is causing trouble. How much longer can Ash survive this time travel craziness?

New time period aside the story here is still the same. Ash gets thrown through time and there are deadite shenanigans afoot. I don’t typically disapprove of time travel as a plot point. It can be very useful and fun but after a while it kind of feels less special. Obviously Ash will be spending at least another issue in this time frame minimum. That means things could get more interesting story wise. At the moment however it feels like things have slowed down. The tone of the story has changed and it’s so abrupt it throws off the momentum gained in the previous issues.

With the arc stretching on like it has I find myself wondering what the end game might be. With so much jumping around through different time periods and locations and introducing alternate versions of the main character things can get convoluted quickly. I’m not necessarily saying that’s has happened here yet but it could. I would hate to see a story that has been so much fun become bogged down under the weight of its own narrative. The art in this issue seemed cleaner to me than in #8 for some reason. The colors felt washed out which was probably meant to represent the era better but I’m not sure quite gets the desired effect.

Overall i liked the issue but it felt like there was a definite shift in tone that i wasn’t expecting. It could go either way at this point it all depends on how the story and future issues unfold.




The Legend of OZ: The Wicked West #3 Review

Written by on Jan 20, 2013
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The Legend of OZ: The Wicked West #3

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Big Dog Ink
Writer: Tom Hutchison
Pencils: Alisson Borges
Colors: Kate Finnegan
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.50
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
The first ever ongoing series based on L. Frank Baum’s amazing world of Oz continues! The Wheelers have been called in to find the escaped Scarecrow. But the young girl has an army to help keep her safe. An army of field mice.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Oz as you’ve never seen it before!

I will admit I was not versed in any of the books produced by Big Dog Ink a small press company that’s putting a very interesting spin on L. Frank Baum’s classic tale. I recently caught up on their current ongoing series The Legend of OZ: The Wicked West. What I found is a wholly new take on the world of Oz where things have a very weird western feel to them. The ongoing is a continuation of the mini-series of the same name and picks up where it left off. It also expands on many of the supporting characters.

The story so far, Dorothy Gale has been taken by the Wicked Witch of the West. Meanwhile her friends have been captured by the evil General Jinjur who controls the Emerald City. Luckily Scarecrow has escaped and found new allies and along the way and joined up with old friends. However they aren’t out of the woods just yet. They have a bounty on their heads and the villainous gang the Wheelers are hot on their tails.

The art of the book is really detailed and beautiful, It complements the story in every way imaginable. It’s obvious Big Dog Ink is dedicated to producing high quality comics. At $3.50 it is a bit on the pricier side especially for a small press book but I have to say it’s worth every penny. If you’re looking for something with an engrossing story, memorable characters and top notch art Legend of Oz is for you. If you are a hardcore fan of the Wizard of Oz but yearn for more than what Zenescope offers or something different than Marvel has put out again this book is for you.




Todd, the Ugliest Kid On Earth #1 Review

Written by on Jan 17, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Image Comics Reviews  |  No Comments »

Todd, the Ugliest Kid On Earth #1

Rating: 3/5
Publisher: Image
Writer: Ken Kristensen
Pencils: M.K. Perker
Colors: Cemal Soyleyen
Number of Pages: 38
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
This series, a collision of comedy, sex, and violence, follows the misadventures of America’s most dysfunctional family as they go head-to-severed head with an Oprah-loving ax murderer, a cult-crazy soap opera star, and a neo-Nazi prison gang. First issue: Todd wants desperately to make friends, but every kid he approaches winds up decapitated. Or worse. Meanwhile, Todd’s mother is on a mission to get even with her husband who she believes is having an affair.

Reviewer’s Comments:
Image brings us a new four issue series in Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth. While reading the book I immediately began to notice distinct similarities to Johnny the homicidal maniac by Jhonen Vasquez. Albeit not quite as gory I mean there is still gore there’s just not as much. The story follows a good natured boy who always wears a box over his head. As he navigates the very unpleasant world around him, which includes parents that treat him like crap, bullies and a psychopathic killer that’s stalking his neighborhood. It becomes abundantly clear that though Todd may be physically ugly under his box it’s the characters that surround him are the truly ugly ones.

Like I said earlier there are major similarities here to Johnny the homicidal maniac. Like Squee from that series Todd is the constant victim of circumstance. People either using him to get what they want or blaming him for things that he had nothing to do with. Obviously there are differences too but they aren’t as big as the similarities in my opinion.

The art is cartoonish and has a distinct dysmorphic quality to it. The characters are exaggerated in many ways and overall the style suits the book very well. The story is kind of predictable but it’s clear by the end of the issue that things aren’t going to progress the way you might assume they would. I liked the book but there was a lot to it that I could easily spend more time picking apart. In fact I felt I had to rein it in on this review and limit just how much of that I did. There is definite potential here as long as they don’t rely too heavily on being outlandish. With a book like this where you are juggling crime, horror and dark comedy it can be difficult keep the story balanced.




Dark Avengers #185 Review

Written by on Jan 16, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  No Comments »

Dark Avengers #185

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jeff Parker
Pencils: Neil Edwards
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Skaar, Moonstone & Ragnarok go to war with the deadly Dr. Strange! “The Witch” Dr. June Covington is turned loose in Tony Stark’s Frankensteinian Laboratory. Her first subject? Ragnarok!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Jeff Parker really kicks things in to high gear in this issue and that’s a really good thing. When we last left the splintered team Skaar and Moonstone were at the mercy of Doctor Strange. Meanwhile June Covington the Dark Scarlet Witch has been manipulating Hank Pym into restoring the rest of the team to health. Doctor Strange has put a plan in motion to pit his enemies against each other. Using Moonstone disguised as Captain Marvel to attack the Yancy street territory and it’s leader the thing while simultaneously sending Skaar to attack Iron Man. Elsewhere in Pym’s labs Covington has begun to “improve” the members of the team who are out of commission. Including brain surgery on Thor’s clone Ragnarok and bringing about the return of John Walker as U.S. Agent. Repairing his missing arm and leg but things may not be all that they seem and there may be a hefty price to pay.

There is a lot of action in this issue and a lot of development character wise. We really start to get a feel for the earth the group is stranded on and it is a stark contrast to the regular Marvel universe. It’s not yet clear what happened that caused the schism between all these heroes but it’s obvious it has changed the face of the New York and the planet. So far the Dark Avengers have had little impact but it’s obvious we are building toward a huge conflict.

Things for this series are really starting to look up. I was very apprehensive when the book split from the Thunderbolts but now I’m starting to come around. I’m really hoping that U.S. Agent steps in as team leader and points the group in the right direction or maybe manipulates them whatever works. It’s obvious this world needs heroes, and these villains may just be the right ones for the job.




Scarlet Spider #13 Review

Written by on Jan 14, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews, Marvel Reviews  |  No Comments »

Scarlet Spider #13

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Number of Pages: 22
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Mysteries come to light as a threat from Mexico comes for Aracely. An old Spider-Man foe returns, and he’s not alone. Plus: What is the secret of Kaine’s new powers?

Reviewer’s Comments:
Issue #13 kicks off a brand new arc one and it’s obvious that this one is going to get personal. The Scarlet-Spider has been laying the human trafficking business in his adopted city of Houston to waste. However there doesn’t seem to be any real end to it in sight.

Meanwhile over the course of the book Kaine has gathered together a motley assortment of friends and allies. They aren’t really his family but they might as well be. Here we finally delve in to the background of Aracely the young enigmatic girl that Kaine rescued earlier in the series. Who is in far greater danger than anyone could have realized and is far more mysterious as well. If that wasn’t enough this new threat has a big vendetta against Spider-Man but they seem to have no qualms about substituting the Scarlet-Spider in his place.

There is some real emotion to this issue and it deals with some pretty dark subject matter. I don’t remember Peter Parker ever having to deal with human traffickers or the like. What’s worse is that these aren’t your run of the mill criminals. This is a fight where Kaine isn’t only outmatched in strength but in ferocity a place where he typically comes out on top. Even with his mysterious new powers he may not be able to take on this challenge alone.

Once again Chris Yost brings us a great issue. It’s obvious that this arc will finally shed some light on some things readers have been wondering about since the series started out. At the same time we are getting some powerful villains who feel like they will really give Scarlet-Spider a challenge. This issue is pretty much non-stop action but it delivers a fair amount of story progression as well. While Kaine may not have a signature arch enemy yet it’s obvious he is going to rack up quite the rogues gallery. I look forward very intently to the next issue. Once again Scarlet-Spider delivers a solid story with great action and character development.


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