Hello comic lovers! Welcome once again to Lightning Reviews, the run down of the world of comics according to me, Bamfing Bob. This week was interesting because my computer is still in a coma due to assaulted battery (heh heh) and I didn’t pick up my pull list until yesterday (Saturday). That means my plate was pretty empty all week but I got the whole buffet on the weekend! Either way, we have an exciting week for you. Will Lightning Review #13 prove unlucky? There’s no way the average rating will be 3.8 for the fourth week in a row… right?
Civil War II X-Men #2- PULL! Two very different mindsets from two very different teams are fleshed out nicely in this second issue, with loyalties shifting amongst teammates and very popular guest stars. Nightcrawler has a very important role to play in this story, along with Psylocke and Sabretooth. Storm and Magneto run the show though, which is quite evident. Cullen Bunn kills it once again, with art to match. Most fans will really love the infiltration of New Attilan, because I sure did enjoy seeing some familiar faces. Also, while I love Deadpool, I’m glad he’s absent in this one. I feel this is a more enjoyable title than the main Civil War II story and can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Deadpool: Too Soon (Infinite) #1- PULL! So, as I plan to buy this when it debuts as a floppy copy in October, I will not spoil a single plot point. I will say the writing is quite humorous, which is great for a comedy book, and Todd Nauck nails the “funny” characters’ quirks. My one gripe is that the Punisher is included in the line up. I like him, but he’s not “funny” at all, to me. The Infinite digital effects are fun and practical. You all know I love me some Deadpool, and having Nauck on the art is icing on the cake. I plan to interview him soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Deadpool v. Gambit #2- PULL! First issue was better, but only because of the epic superhero dress-up fight scene that spanned the majority of the issue. This one has Wade and Remy teaming up to lift fingerprints from a very rich and dangerous man, which will be used to steal from him a priceless relic, for a fee of only $3M each. The art lacks at times, but the flow is good so it’s whatever. The awareness in this book is the funniest part, with Deadpool breaking the fourth wall frequently enough to be a theme but sparsely enough to not feel beaten over the head with it. Discussing their respective films was especially grin-inducing.
Miraculous #1- PULL! I took a huge leap of faith and preordered the trade paperback of this having never read it or even knowing if it would be any good, and I’m very glad I did. I feel like this is from an existing show on Disney or Nickelodeon, but if not, this is a great comic. Two teenagers are granted superpowers by small miraculous animals called akuma and must team up to defeat their new foe Stormy Weather! The art style is very Pixar, with much appeal toward kids and anime fans. I only got to read the first 60 pages, but if the whole TPB holds up the standard, I’m glad I took the gamble. I just hope I can get more backstory on the origins of the akuma.
Moon Knight #4- PULL! I’m officially confused. I was sure things were as they seemed, despite seeming far-fetched and mythological, but now I’m questioning, is this all happening in Marc’s head? Greg Smallwood’s art is impeccable, as always, and I’m so happy the final splash page features Moon Knight! Like, classic Moon Knight, not Mr. Knight like we have seen in the last couple issues. I swear, if Jeff Lemire wrote Extraordinary X-Men as well as he writes this, I’d have no complaints. His is never really a happy story, but I sure hope the end of the arc next issue leaves our title character at least not completely miserable.
Rough Riders #4- PULL! Well, things sure do get more interesting in this issue. I love how each rough-rider gets a proper chance to exhibit their talents, personality, and expertise in pretty much every issue. This is quite a testament to Adam Glass, whose writing hits the spot for me on all levels. I’m especially fond of Annie Oakley in this, as she is the most uncouth and temperamental. We discover the truth about the sinking of the USS Maine as well as Custer’s last Stand. I believe this is historical fiction at its finest, taking legends and making them even more so. Can’t wait till the next one.
Spidey #8- PULL! What I sigh of relief that I really enjoyed the new artist for this title! Nate Stockman adds some flair that has been lacking since Nick Bradshaw left that I am quite enamored with, and since Robbie Thompson has yet to disappoint, this issue is a home run. Peter Parker is forced to abandon his “not date” with Gwen Stacy to face the source of a city-wide blackout… Electro!! I’m also glad this is not a team-up issue like the last two, because he shows off his chops and his skills all on his own. The splash page leads into great things to come and with this team, I’m thrilled about it.
Totally Awesome Hulk #8- PULL! Now this has even more Amadeus than the last one, and I find it so nice that we get to see some real bonding with the man who has battled the Hulk for the better part of a lifetime. Bruce Banner infects himself with influenza because he knows the Hulk shuts that down, and he is just loving the misery. Rick Jones and She-Hulk make appearances to show their support, turning the secret desert bunker into a house party. Alan Davis’ art is just as wonderful as always. The real tie in to Civil War happens next issue, so I’m curious to see how Bruce and Amadeus play into this. Oh, and a feat of strength shows that Amadeus truly is “totally awesome.”
Baltimore Empty Graves #4- PULL! I still don’t like the art style of this book, but there is way more happening in the story, with mythology and some cool fight scenes, that justify pulling this comic. Baltimore and his crew have found the skeletal wise men who divulge the history of the Red Witch, which turns out haunting them in the present. This horror comic is very much a Mignola creation, which I am not necessarily a fan of, but I can understand the appeal and recommend this to those who appreciate Dark Horse comics. Interesting coloring and intriguing plotlines give this a thumbs up for me.
The Discipline #5- PULL! I recommended the last issue of this series for its incredible alien species and interesting storyline, and this issue gets a recommendation for different reasons. With the new arc, we find our young Discipline shipped off to Rome to kill a Stalker, but the bulk of the issue is a historical tie in to the main story involving Caesar, Cleopatra, and the hidden war raging between monsters. This is a very bloody and sexual comic, which keeps the reader on their toes and looking over their shoulder while reading it at work (guilty). I enjoyed the shaded art style and rich historical context, but be sure to put it out of reach of children and religious parents.
Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #1- PASS! Okay, one Doctor at a time please! This comic features the last FOUR incarnations of Doctor Who (ninth through twelfth) all with separate yet connected stories and it’s quite overwhelming for me. Fans of the BBC hit series may love this epic crossover but I’m just so confused by it all that I couldn’t enjoy it. Also, there are multiple artists so the styles are incongruent, which I can admit is not unjustified on a premise spanning the space-time continuum, but I struggled placing the characters to the televised counterparts. This is probably setting up a big meet & greet for different incarnations, but this one is just a scattered mess.
Faster Than Light #8- PULL! Space comics are quite common, but this one blends elements of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica into a nice take on the genre. The opening pages have beautiful spreads displaying the cosmos and the content that follows is much like a civilized version of the Cantina scene. A group of space explorers using stolen alien tech arrive on a planet compared to Port Royal where appearances are deceiving and motives are questionable. The art is pleasing and the writing builds drama well. This was the start of a new story arc, but I kind of wish I’d started at the beginning (assuming I had the time to read it).
Invader Zim #11- PASS! I was never really a fan of Invader Zim, and this comic supports that decision. In this issue, Zim discovers that Dib is allergic to cats, so the half-baked plotting to end his nemesis via fluffy things. The art is very reminiscent of the show and the recap page was pretty awesome, so brownie points for that. In fact, the writing isn’t even that bad for a “kids” comic, but I’m just not a fan of many Nickelodeon properties. (This includes Spongebob, although it has its moments). Zim fans are sure to be pleased, but give me Dexter’s Lab any day over this.
Kim & Kim #1- PULL! Okay, I’m gonna be completely honest here… I wasn’t a huge fan of this comic at first. It focuses on two down-on-their-luck intergalactic punk rock bounty hunters, both named Kim, who intercept a contract for a lucrative bounty from a company run by Kim Q’s estranged father. What made things interesting was the blunt and open discussion about sexuality and acceptance. You see, Kim Q is a transgender woman and I just so happen to work with a member of that community. She was thrilled to hear that she was represented in comic books as a main character. Story and art are decent, with plenty of conflict of interests, but the main draw of this comic is inclusion of LGBT themes.
King’s Quest #3- PASS! The appeal of this title lies in the motley crew of crusaders on a quest to stop Ming the Merciless of his tyrannical conquering of the universe. This issue has all of our heroes captured and trapped by the unlikely bride of Ming, Dale Arden! The whole of the story is dedicated to explaining what occurred to bring this into being, and I was pretty disappointed by this. Creatively, this is on part with the first issue, but reading this as a stand alone gives me nothing from the many main characters, instead focusing on the villain. Maybe they can escape in the next issue…
Switch #4- PULL! I’ve heard of Witchblade before, but this is something else entirely! A painfully average teenage girl comes across the mystical weapon and must use it to battle monsters that always seem to want to attack her. I love the characters in this and the final fight is visually just badass. Can’t spoil it though… sorry. Also, the fact that Mary can draw upon the personalities and experiences of past wielders of the Witchblade provides a level of complexity to the story. Allegiance is a strong theme in this book, with many groups attempting to persuade Mary for their cause. This is great for lovers of modern fantasy comics, because I really enjoyed it.
Transformers: Till All Are One #2- PULL! I was underwhelmed by the last Transformers comic I read, so I entered this issue with skepticism. Turns out, when they focus on the characters and actual conflict rather than “PEW PEW PEW EXPLOSION PEW PEW”, a great experience is had. In this issue, Starscream is at the receiving end of a mob of transformers demanding justice for victims of hate crimes and flat-out murder, and it is up to his council of allies to find a solution. This resonated with me, given the recent tragedies across the country and world lately. The art is bright and has the feel of the 80’s cartoon, which I really liked. What it lacks in action, it makes up for in the solid plot.
What a great week for comics! Thanks to a perfect Pull List, the total comes to only 3 Passes out of 17 reviews, yielding an overall rating of
4.1 out of 5 Lightning Bolts!
We broke the 4 star barrier! I hope this doesn’t mean I’m becoming too lenient in my reviewing. Also, I must confess that I have been playing Marvel Contest of Champions A LOT. I spent over 2000 units to try and get Nightcrawler, with no luck, so I’m playing like a man possessed trying to win him in the arena. We’ll know this afternoon (Sunday) whether my efforts pay off! I’ll be sure to post that on my twitter (@bamfingbob) for anyone interested. Wish me luck! Until next week, bye and BAMF!