Welcome back everybody!! June is over and summer is in full swing, along with comic events like Civil War II and Rebirth. Canada was wonderful, and although there was very little Canadian X-Men representation in the only comic shop I went to, they had a shrine to Captain Canuck which was pretty cool (Happy Belated Canada Day btw). Thanks to Al again for putting the finishing touches on last week’s Lightning Review, but this week is all me! The last two weeks have averaged 75% pull rate. Will this week yield a hat trick or will the streak end? Keep reading to find out! Enjoy!
Amazing Spider-Man and Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect #4- PULL! My, what great closure for this time- travelling tale! While there is some action in this comic, the real beauty is in the relationships and connections. Silk gets to see her family while Peter has a much treasured reunion for May and Ben. Also, Ines convinces herself that the past is set and attempting to change it only leads to disappointment. However, the series ends on a high note and I am very pleased with this as a whole. I am excited they just announced Nauck’s latest project about Deadpool saving “funny” characters from death this week. I literally cannot wait…
Extraordinary X-Men #11- PULL! Talk about being pleasantly surprised! This still isn’t doing justice to the team in discussion, but there are some great moments in this issue. Each of the new Horsemen of the Apocalypse are dueling with a member of the EXM, while Storm and Nightcrawler seek the ark of unborn mutants protected by Apocalypse himself! Great fight scenes, relationship building, and artwork (considering I’m not a fan of Humberto Ramos). One issue is not enough to make me consider buying this title past the current arc, but it is enough to make me hopeful. However, considering the current state of Marvel concerning the X-Men, that hope may be all for naught. I’m just glad Nightcrawler is getting actual attention in the books he appears in rather than be just a background character.
Haunted Mansion #4- PULL! As far as this title goes, if you pick it up you know what you’re getting. It’s aimed towards kids and the plot is pretty predictable, but it delivers. The barbaric bride ghost of the attic is scary enough for kids workout being overwhelming, and Pickwick redeems himself nicely. Danny is one again aided by his memories of his grandfather and this one ends on a cliff hanger, so to speak. I’m just ready to wrap this one up. It’s fun and stuff, but I can already see where this one be headed. Heh heh, get it?
Mae #2- PULL! This gives us a much fuller vision of the world Abbie is fleeing by introducing several different races from the land of Mnoukove. I really enjoyed this book, but I honestly thought the end of this issue wouldn’t be a cliffhanger due to it’s status as a kickstarter project. However, it’s a brilliant move by Gene Ha because he creates a demand for more story that Dark Horse can provide. Art, colors, lettering, and writing are all spot on and I feel as though the story is just now heating up. For a full review of Mae #1, click HERE or to read my interview with creator Gene Ha, click HERE.
My Little Pony Friends Forever #30- PULL! For a “kids” comic, My Little Pony really addresses issues that people struggle with into adulthood, as can be witnessed in this pairing of Princess Cadence and Twilight Sparkle. They go out into the public incognito to experience life as a non-celebrity but Cadence soon discovers that she is known as the “pretty princess” whose contribution is limited to being a public figure. This story handles typecasting, depression, and identity crisis in a way that children can understand. This is not a funny book, but needs read nonetheless thanks to Garbowska’s lively art and great plot by Rice.
Spider-Man/ Deadpool #6- PULL! When presented with this fill-in issue by Scott Aukerman and Reilly Brown, I was disappointed that McGuinness & Kelly were taking a break. However, this comic is amazing. Set up as a flashback, this revolves around Deadpool starring in his own movie and Spidey hangs on for the ride. Not only is it a well crafted story, but the jokes and fourth-wall breaking is abundant. So much awareness with respect to the actual movie that I was amused the entire time. Pointing out harsh truths concerning the X-Men movie rights and comic book references, this is an essential one shot for any Deadpool fan, with a dash of Spider-Man for fun. I highly recommend this.
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #5- PASS! More like Worst Ending Ever. Like, this got the How I Met Your Mother treatment. What was otherwise a pretty good mini-series is just ruined for me. Set in the figure after the events of the last issue, the world has gone to hell thanks to the mutant known as Riches and everyone just lets it happen. Bailey does the only thing he’s good for, only 10 years too late, and all-powerful friend Miranda does nothing to help. So much bad stuff in this comic, I can’t even. I read a super advanced review of this issue a while back and was appalled by how bad the writer’s opinion was of an okay comic book. Now, I see why. There are so many things that could have been done to fix this, but it wasn’t, and for that Max Bemis will not be forgiven.
4 Kids Walk into a Bank #2- PASS! I missed the first issue, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have read this one of I had. The story involves four friends who apparently witness a crime and decide to go all Mystery Gang to figure out who dunnit and all that, but honestly they just seem like a bunch of punks. In one issue, these kids are arrested for assault, break into some guys house, and light that guy on fire, not to mention having the nerd do their homework and causing an explosion in the chemistry lab. It’s not really fun or funny and the art is nothing to brag about. Don’t bother.
Black Star Line #2- PASS! Two full-length stories are contained in this comic and aside from the cosmic powers known as the Universals, they are completely unrelated. The first is about a newlywed power couple that are gunned down by those they have vowed to take down through law and order. The Universals grant them life and superhuman abilities due to their unyielding love, but at a great cost. The second is about Enigma, a hero whose momentary lapse of judgment leads to the destruction of a civilization. There are cool parts to both stories, but the religious undertone (from Advent Comics, of course) and odd writing style is a turn off.
Clarence Quest #1- PASS! Ed, Edd, and Eddy was a stupid show, but this comic takes that concept and makes it that much dumber. Three boys, each stupider than the one before him, accidently let their teacher’s cat out and must fight past crazy cat worshipers and allergies to rescue it. I had no motivation to read past the first page except to provide a review here. Time wasted. The art is also straight from the Cartoon Network “How to Draw” guidelines with touches of the “Y U No” meme. Beauford is so dumb, he confuses open and close, and for that, I’m so done…
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #3- PULL! After three disappointing comics in a row, this was a breath of fresh air despite my lack of knowledge of the ninth Doctor. Stranded on an alien planet, Rose is unwillingly paired with a local planning to use her as a suicide bomb, and it’s up to Captain Jack and the Doctor to save her! Fun and unique races of extraterrestrials add texture to an otherwise average seek-and-rescue story. Nice ending to this arc. The one big problem for me was that I use inner monologue when I read comics and it was impossible for me to say Raxacoricofallapatorian in my head.
Orphan Black: Helsinki TPB- PULL! I’ve never seen Orphan Black so this started off a bit confusing for me, but once the story began to take shape, I really enjoyed this comic. An ensemble of cloned teenage girls join forces against all odds to take down the organization responsible for their condition, but big brother and current events make this a very difficult mission indeed. The writing is wonderful, with each clone exhibiting unique personalities, while the artist achieves the same, by using the same template of facial and body structure to make the clones identifiable yet different. This is great for fans of the series that are looking for an interesting backstory set in the same universe.
The Rocketeer at War #4- PULL! This is a great period piece full of action, romance, and humor. The Rocketeer is on a mission to stop the Nazis from crashing a plane into the Empire State Building and is accompanied by his USO girlfriend and a lovely British ally. Together, they must fight evil with plenty of panache and save the day like only the Rocketeer can. The writing is full of forties lingo that adds legitimacy to the storytelling, while the art has very heavy influences by the late Darwyn Cooke, who has a memoriam on the back cover of this comic. A very lovely read for anyone and everyone.
Saga Volume 6- PULL! I have wanted to pick up this series for a while now, and now I’ve finally had the chance to. This is such fantastic exhibition of social commentary, dealing with topics like mixed marriages, homosexuality, sexual ambiguity, exile, revenge, and trustworthiness. Hazel, the young lovechild of two warring races, is imprisoned with her grandmother under the guise of refugees, and it is up to her parents to save her. Meanwhile, two journalist partners seek the same ends, with different motives, but are intercepted by a man hellbent on making the Robot Prince pay for killing his lover. Wonderfully written, with art to match, this has mature themes but maintains a childlike outlook that is just fantastic.
Satan’s Hollow #4- PULL! I wanted to rate this as a pass, but there’s nothing I can really say all that negative about it. Sure, it’s Zenescope so there are plenty of needlessly naked ladies, but as a horror comic, it works fairly well. A woman returns to her childhood home with her husband and is tormented by the site of a cult murder twenty years ago. There’s a lot of demonic content, with fiery pits and pentagrams, to fuel the fear and a helpless victim being strung along. The revelation at the end heats things up for sure. None of this is groundbreaking or even all that impressive, but the plot is clear, the art is good, and the intent is well received.
X-O Manowar #47- PULL! Coming off the high point that was the last issue, I was curious to see where they would take this. I did not enjoy it as much as the last one, but that isn’t to say I didn’t still appreciate the comic and have a blast reading it. We discover the origins of the massive, god-like party crashers from the end of the last arc and their relationship with the Vine. They are truly a force to be reckoned with, and I believe it will take the combined forces of X-O Manowar, the Vine, and the Visigoth Elite to bring them down. Backstory was elaborate and fun to read, but the art didn’t make a much of am impression as last issue. But like I said, still a very good comic.
Zoe Dare #1- PULL! Much like Flash Gordon, this is the story of a professional athlete (daredevil motorcycle stunts, to be specific) contracted by the government to become a space adventurer. Zoe, her sister, and their team of robots are going to stop an asteroid aka “The Disasteroid” from hitting Earth. Aliens are involved. Overall, this is a fun origin issue with exciting illustrations and quirky supporting characters, but it’s not going to be the next big hit. We get some good insight into certain relationships and their motivations. I wouldn’t add this to the pull list just yet, but I won’t be disappointed if I get to read the next issue.
So, with a score of 13 pulls out of 17 total, the rating for this week is averaged and rounded to
3.8 out of 5 Lightning Bolts
The streak continues and I swear this isn’t planned ahead of time! Granted, the last two weeks were rounded up while this week rounded down, but still! What are the odds?! So, a bit of bad news. My computer battery died, so until further notice, I will only be posting Lightning Reviews and special articles like interviews. Plus, I’ve been playing Marvel Contest of Champions like crazy preparing for Nightcrawler to debut, and any gaming addict knows how hard it is to put down! We’ll see how things go. Have a happy Independence Day and be sure to watch those firecrackers go BAMF!