It’s Lightning Review time! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this when there is so much news and excitement coming from the big convention this weekend (and I’m not talking the Republican National Convention). While you’re with us, you’ll get a triple dose of Deadpool, crazy cartoons, scary serials, and much more. Some are worth pulling while others take a pass, and with last week barely getting 3 out of 5 Lightning Bolts, this week has plenty of room to improve! Question is… will it? Without further ado… LIGHTNING REVIEW!
Deadpool: Too Soon #2- PULL! So, following the murder of a member of the group Deadpool assembled for a gag, Deadpool is on the hunt for the killer. Unfortunately for him, Squirrel Girl (and Tippy Toe) are along for the ride! I will maintain a spoiler free review for those waiting for the print, like myself, but I really enjoyed this comic. It’s goofy and funny and, at one point, downright gnarly. I wish this had more of the extended cast, but I feel like they’re going to explore any suspect over time. Also, kudos for a well placed “nutsack” joke. It captures the nature of Deadpool nicely and the infinite comic structure is so cool. I love Todd Nauck too. Just saying.
I Hate Fairyland #7- PULL! I’m glad Skottie Young decided to add a new child to the roster of characters subjected to the demented Gertrude. With the burden of being monarch lifted, Gert is free to explore alternative ways home to earth and her prayers are answered with a van that runs on dragon piss. The art isn’t as violent as some previous issues, but the art is just as colorful and whimsical as ever. My hope is for Gertrude to grow as a caretaker and adult in the coming issues with the young boy, Duncan, in tow. Realistically though, she’s just gonna treat him like crud and take advantage of his status as a visitor of Fairyland. Much praise for this title.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5- PULL! We depart from the Tommy-centric plot in this issue to focus on another ranger that is rarely in the spotlight: Zach, the Black Ranger. Some time before Tommy ever emerged as the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa offered that position to Zach, whose quick thinking and natural leadership saved Jason from certain destruction earlier that day. I love getting back stories on popular characters and storylines through comics and this is extremely effective in growing my love for the MMPR. Also, new artist this issue brings a different take by presenting the characters with a more angular aesthetic, especially Zordon. It’s good stuff. Also, side note, what did everyone think about the new photo from the movie? I get more and more excited the closet we get.
Spider-Man/ Deadpool #7- PASS! It’s sacrilege, I know, for me to be hating on a title starring two of my favorite characters, but I’m gonna call a spade a spade. I am not a fan of these throwback filler issues from the Marvel vault (nor am I too fond of the 2099 stuff in Deadpool’s main title, but that’s for another Review). It’s just an excuse to poke fun at past styles (very successful ones, I might add) while messing up continuity and providing Deadpool the opportunity to “see the future” through reference to present day comics. Duggan should focus on making his book better rather than make a good book worse. I do love this cover though. Can’t wait for Ed and Joe to return next issue…
Assassin’s Creed #10- PASS! After reading the entire first arc a while ago and loving it, I thought for sure that I’d love this too. However, this story lacked much of the appeal of the first, despite having the same creative team. If anything, that makes it more disappointing. Charlotte lives the life of Quila, a 14th century Peruvian woman who must fight her way past the government to save the Emperor and retrieve a password for use in the present day, which has its own battles to fight. This comic lacks the dual inner monologues that I liked in the first issues, and the subject matter just wasn’t as cool as the Salem Witch Trials. The art holds up, but the writing lacks. Whose idea was it to have a whole page of the team complaining about airline amenities? Seriously…
Black Road #4- PULL! This comic reminded me of Lord of the Rings in that our main characters are traversing a frozen wasteland, injured and being pursued, with only their stories to pass the time. The art in this reminds me of what I loved about Huck (art by Rafael Albuquerque, TPB out this week) and since the story is heavy on flashbacks, I didn’t mind the lack of action in the present day. Histories of the characters take precedence over driving the plot in this issue, yet I was never bored and that is key to good writing. I can’t even tell you the bigger picture of this series. All I know is that I enjoyed reading this and that’s more than I can say for many of the comics that come through here.
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #143- PULL! Taking this at face value, it is what you come to expect when you pick up a comic featuring the BPRD. We got a giant sea monster called Ogdru Jahad getting shot with rockets, Liz and some guy fighting other smaller monsters, and a creepy blonde girl leading Director Nichayko through a hellish landscape. Other stuff happens, but it mostly centers on destroying the leviathan. As always, Mike Mignola creates a great narrative, paired with Laurence Campbell who seems to really capture the characters and art style for a book such as this. With context, I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it even more though.
Brickleberry #1- PULL! Daniel Tosh had nothing to do with this comic book, yet still has a strong presence in this irreverent and revolting comic book. All those things you can’t do on cable TV are explored in print, such as gratuitous foul language and full frontal nudity of both sexes (assuming we count Connie). The recap page is exceptionally funny and the jokes throughout are hits, for the most part. Also, the artwork is practically a carbon copy of the show, so kudos for that. Future Steve is sent back to 2015 to assassinate Woody and, by doing so, prevent an alien bovine takeover. The characters exhibit an awareness of the show and it’s production details, which definitely needed addressed. This is a terrible comic book, but it is very good at it.
Casanova: Acedia #6- PASS! Insanely weird comic with way too much genitalia for my taste. It’s hard for me to put this into words, actually because of how different this comic is. It involves satanic rituals and two guys who are both being unsuccessfully persuaded to kill the other. Also, this comic features a scene where a character is reading the previous page of this comic and works it into the narrative. I have no idea why this happens and is just kinda plopped into the story. Also, any comic that uses the caption “This next trick is called ‘The Magic Negro.’ Stop me if you’ve seen it before.” and has the outline of a giant ugly female demon with huge boobs (and nipples) and distinguishable labia is just something I have no interest in reading, let alone on the same page.
Chew #56- PULL! You know, if I didn’t know this wasn’t a ripoff of iZombie, I’d swear it was. However, since I read the first TPB of Chew before I’d even heard of the CW show, I know it’s legit. This issue involves Detective Chu using his unique abilities to dive into the past of his nemesis; only problem is that the body ate nothing but beets before his death, leaving Tony unable to properly use his unappetizing power. The effect is a haunting of sorts, interrupting Cho’s thoughts while on an unrelated case and, by doing so, endangering his partner. I like the cartoony artwork, especially paired with such revolting subject matter, and think it’s a fun read too.
Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #1- PASS! You saw this coming… So Comic Crusaders sent me this title by mistake with my other two DP comics, and I thought I’d try it out, to humor Marvel. I like Cullen Bunn, but I just don’t like this concept. I would hope a title like this would make me like Deadpool more, but instead he comes off as a prick and all these really cool Mercs end up standing in his shadow. It’s far from a team book, so much as it is a “Sidekick” book. Like, if Captain Planet was always around, saving the day and giving the Planeteers no credit, that show would have sucked. This is just a bad execution of a neat idea. And for the record, not getting the second issue.
Escape from Monster Island #4- PASS! Zenescope abandoned their go-to formula for comic books on this one, and I wasn’t all that impressed by the results. This is the final issue of a 6-part miniseries about an island of monsters ruled by a shape-shifting elf queen, and it is up to the military and a group of select monsters to defeat her and save the island from a barrage of missiles. I don’t exactly know why I didn’t like this, because the art is decent and the writing is okay, but I just thought this was uninspired I guess. The ending was terribly cliché and there was no sense of sacrifice or urgency because everything conveniently fell into place. It’s an ok comic, but I wasn’t into it.
Exodus: The Life After #6- PASS! Clearly, the quote on the cover starting this is “simply one of the best books” is rubbish because this comic lacked in pretty much every area that defines greatness to me. A young woman happens upon a cult that worships a potato. The recap talks about Jude being kicked out of the afterlife and him being mad at God, but the comic never even references it. It’s not funny, with no action or suspense or anything that would compel me to pick up the next issue. The characters are all drawn with “smush face”, with lack of dimension and odd proportions. Reading Exodus was just a time waster that I wouldn’t bother with if I were you.
The Joyners #2- PULL! This isn’t something I would normally recommend, but the story flows well and the art is unusual, but in a good way. Set in 2062, a self made millionaire gets caught up in the woes of his autistic daughter’s babysitter and must confront a business competitor about his methods of seeking insider information. The tech is somewhat believable for 50 years down the road, although flying cars are still far fetched. Most characters are fully realized but our protagonist, Mr. Joyner, is often drawn without a mouth or eyes, and only the hint of a nose, which is odd but abstractly satisfying. This is completely character driven and was interesting despite the lack of bells and whistles.
Joyride #4- PULL! This is a beautiful sci fi adventure comic with characters to care about and art to adore. A nice blend of New Mutants and classic space-themed pop culture, most of our characters are teen runaways who each have their own crosses to bear. The writing really is wonderful, both dialogue and narration capturing the emotion of the players. Family is a major theme in this issue, both blood relations and the bonds of a family unit, which I loved. The art covers beautiful space scenes with colors across the spectrum and unique technologies. This is an excellent choice for teens wanting a first time comic book and is my favorite variety comic of the week. I hope I can get the next issue.
Weird Detective #2- PASS! This does give the feel of older “weird” comics from decades past, but I feel like that era is past for a reason. An alien is disguised as a detective who is after the “Juice Box Killer” who leaves the skins of his victims, but it’s secretly dealing with much more. It’s hard to tell who is suppressed to be the questionable characters because everyone looks creepy, even the cat. Also, Det. Green reads mind by licking them through the ear canal. Gross. I will say it lives up to the title, and the style and writing are on par for this genre, with shadowed tones and cryptic speech. Too bad I don’t appreciate it.
So, the verdict is in! 9 pulls and 7 passes gives us the worst rating so far!
2.8 out of 5 Lightning Bolts
This next week better be awesome, but even if it isn’t, there are a ton of new comic book related trailers to watch! I didn’t see Batman v Superman, but Wonder Woman and Justice League look amazing. Also, Fantastic Beasts, Dr. Strange, Legion, Luke Cage, LEGO Batman, and much more! Follow me on the Twitters (@bamfingbob) and this site (@ComicCrusaders) for cool comic stuff. Just remember to love one another and remember the golden rule.
I say this because Leslie Jones, of the new Ghostbusters movie, was victim to racist and morally hurtful attacks on social media and was bullied into taking leave from the site. This isn’t acceptable in this day and age, and collectively, we should be held accountable for our actions or lack thereof. She’s not my favorite actress or anything, but human decency warrants my input, regardless of the target. Just don’t be hateful towards others, that’s all I have to say. In the mean time, check out my Ghostbusters review linked below and feel free to share your thoughts on the matter. Till next week, keep on BAMFING!