¡Hola amigos! Thanks for checking out this week’s Lightning Review! Last week’s article was pretty rough, but this one is gonna be better! It’s a little late, but can you blame me? Cinco de Mayo, Star Wars Day, the Civil War premiere, Free Comic Book Day, and Mother’s Day all crammed into a six-day period! Plus, my sister graduated with her associates degree and I started a new shift at work, so it’s been hectic adjusting to everything… Anyway, here’s the deal for those of us just now joining Lightning Reviews: every week, I review 2-3 comics (or related material) but I end up reading 10-15. So, here I write summary reviews of the comics in my personal pull list and what I call the “cut list”, or the ones up for review that didn’t make the cut. I rate them PULL (yay!) or PASS (boo!) and will try to keep them under four sentences that may or may not be run-on sentences. This time, I’m going to include links to my full reviews in the section in which a Lightning Review would appear so you know whether or not I normally pull that title. Now, without further ado… LIGHTNING REVIEW!
Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: The (Spider)fly Effect #3: PULL! I wish Marvel included Digital Copies for all comics, including those that are originally released digitally, because this series is something I want accessible at all times. Robbie Thompson & Todd Nauck do a great job bringing Uncle Ben to life and we finally get a clear picture behind the motivations of Chronosaurus Rex. I love the cover art, the time travel paradoxes, and the story in general. I’m just disappointed that I have wait till the end of June for the final issue!
Moon Knight #2: PULL! The developments in this issue are out of this world, as Marc Spector faces Khonshu himself, who explains what is going on and what Marc must do to conquer the forces in his way. The art is still amazing and Jeff Lemire has a Grade A story for this first arc. I love that this iteration slowly introduces new readers to the idea of Moon Knight while including long time fans with references and characters from the comics they fell in love with. Mr. Knight is back and ready to kick ass!
My Little Pony Friends Forever #28- PASS. While I love MLP, this issue just didn’t hit the standard I’m used to. The story pairs the Cutie Mark Crusaders with Princess Luna at a slumber party, which is a solid story for a kids comic, but my complaint lies in the art. Jay Fogsitt is unique in his designs, but the fillies and ponies are too similar in proportion to differentiate them. Also, note that this has spoilers for anyone not caught up to date in the show, which is evident on the cover.
Rough Riders #2: PULL! If the first issue was the appetizer, then this is the main course. Now that all the set up is done and out-of-the-way, the action really heats up as the Rough Riders are fully assembled and see their first taste of team action. It’s cool seeing all these historical figures using their talents in a special ops mission and I love it. Both art and plot impress, and I recommend it for comic fans and history buffs alike.
Baltimore Empty Graves #2: PASS. The thing is, there’s nothing particularly bad about the writing or art, it’s just… not memorable. I’m not invested in this series, so maybe it’s just a slow issue, but there’s no big appeal for me. The flashback story involving a impish possession is pretty good, but considering it’s the only thing I can actively recall says something about the rest of the book. I wouldn’t recommend against it, but I just didn’t dig it. Heh heh, get it?
Dragonlance Classics Volume 3: PULL! I know this is a collection of comics from 1990, but I really enjoyed these! Knights, wizards, and a lot of dragons, plus a cornucopia of fantasy creatures and elements provide some good old-fashioned storytelling. The writing is very good and the art definitely reflects the period; for reference, see cartoons of Dungeons & Dragons from the eighties or The Hobbit (the old one, not the trilogy). I started reading this expecting to put it down after a couple of issues and BS-ing the rest into a neutral review, but it’s good stuff and I recommend this for nostalgia if nothing else.
Giant Days #14: PASS!! This comic is one of the worst I’ve read in a long time. I actually didn’t hate the artwork, on the whole, as it has a cartoony fun style. HOWEVER, the best art on the planet couldn’t save a crap story about some college girls finding a place to live. Seriously, don’t waste your time or money on this stinker.
Serving Supes #4: PULL! So, this issue, each character is attempting to earn awards based on their skills as a process-server, and it’s pretty damn funny. I’ll be the first to admit is not my favorite art style, but the writing is great, despite its lack of depth. If a comic can make me truly laugh, it gets a this up from me, and this one delivers good adult humor. Also, you can pick it up as a one shot, no strings attached, so check it out!
Soft Spots #1: PULL! So, this is a great comic for young kids just entering comics who like things like My Little Pony and Care Bears. The book is about a girl with six colorful puppies with “soft spots”, or knacks for certain activities, and each has a given characteristic, like Smurfs (i.e. sad, happy, grumpy). This comic serves the same purpose as Playhouse Disney or Dr. Seuss: to teach and entertain young minds. Personally, I’m past the kid stuff, but when I have kids, I think a book like this would be a great introduction to comic books.
Alright! That wraps things up this week! I have a couple of closing remarks. First, as I mentioned before, this weekend was Free Comic Book Day and I picked up over a dozen issues. In addition to my regular comic reading and reviewing, I will be reading everything I grabbed Saturday and including them in the Lightning Review #5. Quite an undertaking, but I think I can do it. I hope. Secondly, remember to follow me on Twitter (@bamfingbob) for links to this article every week and other things that I decide to share. Lastly, when I visited Indiana Comic Con last weekend, I saw plenty of comic creators spreading the word on their books and one of them was Ryan Howe, the artist for HENCHMEN. I volunteered to read and review his comic. The link for that review is below. See you next week for a jam-packed edition of Lightning Reviews! And as always, BAMF on!