Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #4 (9/10 Lugos) –SAM
Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man was one of my favorite books for the longest time. Right up until the death of Ultimate Peter Parker. It was one of the best comic book deaths I have ever read, but it still sucked to see one of my favorite characters bite the big one. Miles has been a great replacement, but I still prefer Peter. Bendis always said “dead is dead,” and “Peter ain’t coming back.” So, if that is true, then who the fuck is running around this book looking like Pete?
Obvious answer is clone, but to his credit, Bendis has thrown that idea into the mix in such a way that if it were the case, it would feel like a cop out. As skeptical as I am, so is Miles, but I am into each and every issue waiting to see when the truth comes out. Ultimate Pete was absent last month, but he’s back in all his glory in this issue… So, is the Goblin… Interesting new stuff with Miles’ girlfriend…There is so much to like about this book right now. The story is tighter than it has been in a long time. The art is amazing. Whether or not Ultimate Pete is back, Ultimate Spider-Man is once again one of my favorite books again.
The Legendary Starlord #2 (7/10 Lugos) –SAM
Did you love Guardians of the Galaxy as much as I did? If you did, pick up this book. It’s full of the Starlord comedy and action that worked so well in the movie. It picks up threads of Starlord stories from the past, but at the same time, this is the continuation of the trend that Bendis started transforming Peter Quill from the character he was during Annihilation to the character he is in the movie. I get what they’re doing, but at times it can be obvious that the characterization has completely changed. If you
aren’t familiar with old Starlord stories, or if you can easily get over it, don’t worry. If you are, it can be a bit jarring at times. Still, I loved Guardians, and I am getting more Starlord stories, so I can’t complain.
Flash Gordon #4 (7/10 Lugos) – SAM
Well, this is a strange one to review. It’s the end of the first arc, so why am I bringing it up? Because I never imagined I would enjoy a Flash Gordon book as much as I do this one. Instead of trying to set it in the past where most Flash stories happen, this one is set in the modern day. Jeff Parker continues being a surprisingly good writer, updating classic characters in ways that change little but make the characters shine more than ever before. This issue sees Flash and co. make new allies and spark the seeds of rebellion against Ming.
This issue isn’t a great jumping on point, but you should definitely pick it up (along with 1-3) either now or when it comes out in trade. It’s fun and exciting in the best ways possible. Extra credit: Pick up King’s Watch, the mini-series that led into this series starring the Defenders of the Earth.
New Avengers #22 (9/10 Lugos) – ISAAC
Everything Jonathan Hickman has been building since issue #1 of New Avengers has led to here. The cold war between Namor and Black Panther heats up in this issue, and all the secrets that have been hidden come to light. This issue continues from last issue where, Namor did what no one else on the Illuminati could do. He destroyed an Earth to save two Universes. I’m a big fan of Jonathan Hickman, and his long range plans, and there is nothing I love more than when those plans come together, and the grand tapestry starts to be revealed. Kev Walker, the artist on Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover, joins New Avengers on art, and adds a suitably dark tone to the book. By the End of this book the Illuminati has been shattered, and Time is running out. I have no idea where things go from here, but I am definitely on board for the ride.
Moon Knight #6 (8/10 Lugos) – ISAAC
How can one book be so good, and so disappointing at the same time? Moon Knight by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey has been a great series, and this issue is no different. Like the other issues of the series it is a done in one story. The Problem with this book is that it is the last issue of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s run. The first issue of this series seemed to promise a deeper examination into the mythology of Moon Knight. This deeper examination never materialized, and what should have been a longer run, that might have gone down as one of the great Moon Knight runs is no only six very good standalone issues. This issue introduces a new foe for Moon Knight, and also reintroduces two of Moon Knight’s previous Supporting characters. Ellis does a great job in a few pages at showing what being close to Moon Knight does to the people closest to him. Not enough can be said about the contribution of Declan Shalvey to this book. I wasn’t familiar with his work before Moon Knight, but I will definitely be following where he goes next. Whether it was ghosts, or fighting his way through a building like in the raid his art was always top notch. I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing with Moon Knight after this issue. I read a preview for the next issue with the new creative team, and I wasn’t that impressed, but will see.
Moon Knight # 6 gets 8 out of 10 Lugos, but the fact that it’s the last issue, when there were so many more stories I can imagine being told is very disappointing.
Green Arrow 34 (9/10 Lugos) – JARRYD
Wow! That was some good ole fashion’ super herorin’. Green Arrow and his Arrowettes (it’s gonna be a thing) brought the fight to the Richard Dragon/Count Vertigo alliance in this standout issue, that could very well serve as the cap to Lemire’s fantastic GA run. This issue is filled with outstanding action and “holy shit!” character moments for every single supporting member of Green Arrow’s gang as well as his newly rejuvenated rogues. Oliver is hell bent on taking back his city and he is taking no prisoners, Emiko is quickly becoming a fan favorite, proving she is more than capable to be the GA’s apprentice, Diggle is proving just as awesome and necessary to Oliver’s mission as his tv counterpart, and Naomi and Henry (two characters that I deemed forgettable early on) are beginning to grow on me as well. Naomi especially proves herself capable in this issue. Now that the heroes are out of the way let’s talk about how much of a completely badass Richard Dragon is. As fantastic as Lemire’s script is the praise here belongs to Andrea Sorrentino. His breakdown of Richard Dragon’s threat assessment is perfectly displayed. It depicts Dragon as one part Iron Fist, one part human Terminator, with a little bit of Agent Smith thrown in; the way he boasts and grandstands. And let’s not forget about Count Vertigo. Sorrentino has always excelled at portraying the Count’s ability on page, this issue is no different. The damage shown being done to Seattle by Vertigo really amps up the tension and the urgency for Ollie and the crew to wrap things up quickly. If there are any complaints to be had for this issue, it is that the conflict is resolved a little too fast, but when it’s this enjoyable who can really complain?
Grayson #2 (8/10 Lugos) – JARRYD
“This book has no business being as good as it is.”- Sam Platizky.
I could not agree more! Grayson has managed to capture everything that makes the original Robin such an endearing character; his playfulness, charm, charisma, and fearlessness are all present and accounted for in this second issue. This issue finds Dick settled in as the new hot shot agent at Spyral, he and his not-Huntress partner Helena Bertnelli, are sent on a mission to cleanup another agents’ mess. What starts as a monster of the week outing; as Dick and Helena do their best James Bond impersonations; quickly becomes a game of cat and mouse involving another shadowy organization aptly named THEY (seriously DC?) and one of their rogue agents absconding with some stolen tech that imbues the host with a familiar power set, but comes with a grisly side effect. What makes this issue so enjoyable is Grayson’s altruism in the dour world of espionage and intrigue, his jovial playfulness helps alleviate the at times ridiculousness of the plot. He is out of his depth but his bravado and confidence keeps him in the game. There are also some real feels in this issue. Dick is the heart and soul of the DCU, what makes him such an integral player is his relationships with the DC families, and that is touched upon in a very sentimental but not overly sappy moment from his past. This series continues to shatter expectations and reaffirms my love for Dick Grayson, I highly recommend you add it to your pull list.
Side note: there is an agent of Spyral in this book that goes by the name of the Hood, he wasn’t a big part of it but he was in fully superhero garb, which leads to the question of why did Dick have to abandon the Nightwing moniker? He could have changed the costume and kept the name, Spyral knows who he is and who he worked for. It’s not a big deal it just bothered me a tad bit.