Friday, June 29, 2018

Frontline Reviews For Week Of June 27, 2018!

Join us on the Frontlines with our weekly review roundup. This is where we have assembled to give our thoughts on various issues that are released each week. This week we have BrantJayJesseJustinKat, & Louis giving reviews for books from AftershockBOOM!  StudiosDark HorseDC ComicsDynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing Image ComicsMarvel Comics, and Titan Comics! Check out the reviews below and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter. Welcome to the FRONTLINE REVIEWS, hope you enjoy the experience!

Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Mirko Colak
Colors By: Maria Santaolalla
Letters By: Simon Bowland
Cover By: Mirko Colak With Maria Santaolalla
Price: $3.99

"Hunters & Prey" the third issue starts off and ends with a baby being protected, which lets yu know that this baby has to play into the future, but how? I don't know but I am honestly loving this book. Cullen Bunn is at his best when he writers thrillers, I don't know why but that is his sweet spot for me at least and this is one of his best. I love and honestly miss the old school Vampire or Vampir as they are known here, no sparkly misunderstood broody heart throbs, these are raw savage beasts and demons and Vlad, Radu and maybe even Mehmed are not having it. Bunn keeps the animosity brewing between Vlad and Mehed, I can't wait to see Mehmed knocked on his privileged little rear by Vlad. The art just keeps it that right about of detail to keep it from being gore porn, everything looks savage but not so much that you lose your appetite after reading the book. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Josh Trujillo
Art By: Cara McGee
Colors By: Brittany Peer
Letters By: Aubrey Aiese
Cover By: Cara McGee
Price: $3.99

I always loved dodge ball in school and I love it in comics. Dodge City does a great job of bringing that "Bad News Bears" underdog spirit to a Dodgeball team and I guess that is part why I enjoy it so much. Philly is the home of the underdogs and I think I relate to the team on some level because of it. The team each have their own distinct personality and subplot going on which I find really enjoyable, it isn't about the game, but about the players. A downside here would have to be when Tomas talks to Abril in Spanish. I love that they have that connection, but this was a nice scene that sets up something while the overall tone is there, unless you know Spanish or are willing to type it out in Google Translate it is lost on you, this could have been fixed with some translation boxes. Other than that this is another great fun issue that brings me back to gym class. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

"Pet Project"
Written By: 
Art By:
Colors By:

"Golden Ideas"
Written By: Sina Grace
Art By: Sina Grace
Colored By: Eleonora Bruni

"The Sweetest Of Dreams"
Written By: Magdalene Vissagio
Art By: French Carlomagno

Written By: Matt Groom & Michael Busuttil
Art By: Lucas Werneck
Colored By: Eleonora Bruni

"The Trial Of Astronema"
Written By: Trey Moore
Art By: Da Jung Lee
Colors By: Marcelo Costa

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover: Steve Morris
Incentive Cover:  Rahzzah
Incentive Cover: Joe Quinones
Retail Price: $7.99

Power Rangers turns 25 this year and it has only gotten better over time. I remember reading the early comics and strips from like FOX Kids Magazine and the first two stories were like them, fun, silly stories like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers the show used to be. I didn't like that they were both Season 2 stories though. The third story was a nice prelude to Mystic Force while the fourth was a nice story uniting the original team with the new team sort of a passing the torch thing, a great Legacy piece. But it was the final story that I loved. The Trial of Astronema felt like it was ripped from the current comics and had me wanting even more! My only issues with the book is that I would have preferred maybe an Alien Rangers and another team instead of two Season 2 stories, and the Morphers in the last story were on the wrong wrists. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Power Bolts

Written By: Nick Keller
Art By: Conor Nolan
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: John J. Hill
Cover By: Conor Nolan
Price: $3.99

The book starts off in present day with our main characters Avery, Owen and Jamie meet up to enter this cave that leads into an Academy. They check it out and agree to return after school so they are not caught. We get some flashbacks for Avery and Owen, which I thought really helped me get to know them more as up until now they have been pretty generic. We get a few clues and a few classic mistakes here. The clues are seen in the flashbacks and in the lake where I presume the missing boy from 1995 is along with the ominously glowing "Bedtime Games" book and the flashbacks as we see in the end Owen's comes into play as Mr. Bedtime is introduced to Charlie. This had some good solid points like getting to know some about the main kids, but I felt maybe they held back a little too or was too vague like with what Charlie has. But overall it did have enough to get me to come back for the next issue to see how it plays out. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 3 ¾ Stars

Written By: Rafer Roberts
Art By: Kristin Gudsnuk
Price: $3.99

Sage of the Riverlands dreams of being an adventurer in a fantasy world. Instead, she’s a data entry specialist in a world full of fantasy creatures living fairly mundane lives. But her day takes a drastic turn as by the end of the issue she is caught up in her first adventure. It might not be the kind she imagined, as it involves kidnappers and gangsters, but at least it’s not another boring staff meeting! This book wasn’t exactly what I expected story-wise, and the art could have been stronger for me, but it was a fun and silly story. The simple and cartoony art provides a nice contrast to the more mature themes and language of the book and fits the tone the story is going for. All-in-all, an enjoyable read, but probably not enough to hook me personally. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Tim Seeley
Art By: Sami Barsi, Otto Schmidt
Colors By: Jessica Kholinne
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Rafael Albuquerque
Price: $3.99

What is a wedding without a KISS - keep it simple, stupid. A lesson Harley learns going toe-to-toe with her ex-lover. If you are going to read any of the Batman Prelude Wedding issues this is the one to pick up. It’s the most entertaining, it has good character growth, and actually, somewhat, moves the plot. In this issue Harley gets her revenge on the man who’s abused her for years. She wants him to feel trapped just liked she did. Seeley sprinkles some classic Harley Quinn quips in a fun, new way - making a serious issue a bit more whimsical. Sami Barsi’s pencils were very clean and crisp, this style especially worked with the issue’s cartoon mascot sequence. Even though I usually like my Joker artwork a bit grittier, this fit for a Harley Quinn centric story. Batman Prelude To The Wedding: Harley Vs. The Joker #1 is a solid prequel to get readers ready for the chaos the Joker is about to ensue. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Howard Porter
Colors By: Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Howard Porter & Hi-Fi
Variant Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Price: $3.99

The race between Barry Allen and Wally West continues. This time we see the destruction the race is doing to the Earth. Also no one can stop Barry and Wally. An entertaining example is Superman trying to match their pace but he can’t even say one word to them.
Ultimately Wally manages to outrun Barry but instead of breaking the Speed Force, the race breaker the Force Barrier. Hunter Zolomon shows up and harnesses two additional forces (the sage force and strength force). The revelation of the Force Barrier is a great way to tie the Flash title into the Source Wall’s destruction. Plus this continues Joshua Williamson’s tend of expanding the Speed Force lore which will probably become a memorable aspect of his Flash run. Overall, Flash War continues to raise the stakes and add new elements to the Flash mythos. Plus this issue brought back Barry’s pre-Crisis costume and that made me happy. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Rating: 4 ½ Lightning Bolts 

Written By: Robert Venditti
Pencils By: Fernando Rasarin
Inks By: Oclair Albert and Eber Ferreira
Colors By: Jason Wright
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Barry Kitsonand and HI-FI
Variant Cover By: Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #47 sees the continued escalation of the Darkstars Rising storyline with part 4.  Robert Venditti does a stellar job of keeping four separate stories going at once while the importance of the main story is never lost.  Jumping from Hal to Guy to Kyle, and then to Mogo and Kilowog, the stage is set for a massive show down with the Darkstars in the next issue.  Fernando Rasarin’s art captures the full scope of the sector spanning adventure in awesome detail.  I’m already ready for the next issue, if you’re a Green Lantern fan this book is definitely for you. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 stars

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Adam Hughes & Jason Fabok (pages 8-11)
Colors By: Adam Hughes & Alex Sinclair (pages 8-11)
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

This issue sees the battle between Superman and Rogol Zaar continue as we see more or less what happened off panel in the last issue. The two battle to a point where Superman is defeated and missing until Supergirl finds him. This eventually leads to a terrible revelation by Batman and Superman that sends Supes hurtling off to the hidden location of Rogol Zaar. The rest of the story aptly focuses on the other characters involved, including the rest of the Justice League and the fire chief, who is still trying to find the pattern of the fires.

This issue is probably the best crafted story since the first issue, bringing all the pieces back in play and on the same page. We get a little more information about Jor-El and what happened with Lois and Jon, and a swift advancement of the plot in this penultimate issue. Where the book fell short a bit was the art for the main part of the story. At times, it was gorgeous, in your face, full of emotion and beauty, like the final page or several close-ups throughout. At other times, the shift to a flat color palette and weaker art hindered it at times for me, knocking down my overall score. Still, quite a good issue that leaves you hanging and wanting to get your hands on the final chapter. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 Stars

"Robin In: Things Done Changed"
"Red Arrow In What's Beef?"
"Kid Flash In Going Back To Cali"
Written By: Adam Glass
Pencils By: Robson Rocha
Inks By: Daniel Henriques
Colors By: Sunny Gho
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Robson Rocha, Trevor Scott & Hi-Fi
Price $4.99

This book was three stories of the three known Teen Titans, Robin (Damien), Red Arrow (Emiko) and Kid Flash (Wallace), and how they pretty much are done with the "old ways". Robin learns by failing to stop gangster from blowing up an immigrant family's restaurant killing the father. Red Arrow fails to stop her mother from killing someone. Then Kid Flash listens to Wally and the League allowing the Suicide Squad take in a criminal who they wind up killing. This leads each decide they need to change the way they do things. This was a solid book, but wasn't about the team, it was just about these three and their personal lessons. I would have preferred to see something with the new characters. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Doc Shaner
Colors By: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Dale Eaglesham & Will Quintana
Price: $2.99

The Terrifics has it’s positives and negatives. On the positive side there are some references to these characters history. Plastic Man is seen trying to call the mother of his son to reconnect. Mr. Terrific is upset when Linnya (Phantom Girl) asks about his family. Of course the biggest easter egg is this issue’s antagonist, Algon the Ancient Element Man. This is a deep cut to Metamorpho’s history. I really enjoy how these references allow fans of one particular character to find a reason to read this book. However other than the dark matter keeping them together, there is no reason this team should exist. The proof of this idea is in the issue’s panel layouts. Each page has no more than four panels, giving each character their own panel. If two characters are in the same scene then those two panels form one, and if the entire team’s together then that’s a splash page. This layout design is brilliant and shows that even though these characters work together, they are not a real team. Overall, the Terrifics is an interesting but average read. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: John Layman
Art & Covers B&C By: Joe Eisma
Colors By: Celeste Woods
Letters By: Taylor Esposito
Cover A By: David Finch, Jimmy Reyes, Triona Farrell
Price: $3.99

The story of Jill, Kelly and Sabrina continues in the pages of this new series from Dynamite Entertainment, and is a nice and welcome change of pace. I wasn’t an avid watcher of any incarnation of Charlie’s Angels, but I saw enough of those TV shows, and the movies to get a feel for the characters and the tone of the show. I think Layman really nailed that from the cheesy accents to the almost comical subterfuge of the Angels. He understood the pacing and the cadence of the show, and the voices of each of the characters. Eisma equally shines here only enhanced by Woods’ colors that really pop the Angels off the page. The plot was a simple one, saving Ted Gardner from a bad deal with a bad guy, that leads into a larger story by the end. An enjoyable, fun read that you don’t have to think too hard about. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Ian Flynn
Pencils By: Tracey Yardley
Inks By: Jim Amash
Colors By: Matt Herms
Letters By: Shawn Lee
Cover A By: Jonathan Gray & Matt Herms
Cover B By: Tracy Yardley
Cover RI-A By: Nathalie Fourdraine
Price: $3.99

A sonic story where Dr. Eggman is good? Is he Dr. Eggman or Mr. Tinker? That is just some of the fast paced fun that this issue plays with. Sonic and the Chaotix discover Mr. Tinker a man who appears to be Dr. Eggman but who has no memories of ever being evil. Sonic is set to believe him and then Shadow and Rouge enters quick to assume he is faking and that spins off into Sonic Vs Shadow where Sonic reminds Shadow that he wasn't always on the side of good and if he doesn't believe that Dr. Eggman could change then why should Sonic believe that Shadow could? This spin on a moral lesson while remaining true to the fun and adventure of the Sonic franchise and the twist at the end is what makes this such a solid read for all ages. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Golden Rings

Written By: Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins
Art By: Atilio Rojo
Letters By: Troy Peteri
Cover By: Atilio Rojo
Price: 3.99

Cyber Force #4 sometimes to save the future you have to go back in time and destroy the past? Who is trying to kill Stryker, we get that answer in this issue and it’s a solid twist. Carin chooses her code name in this issue also and as we all hoped, it’s Velocity!  Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins keep the pace up and give us a massive clue as to what the larger story is becoming in Cyber Force.  If you’re a fan of any previous Cyber Force series or looking for a new title, this one is worth a read. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ stars   

Written By: Ed Brubaker
Art By: Sean Phillips
Colors By: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters By: Sean Phillips
Cover By: Sean Phillips
Price: $3.99

“Life doesn’t have a narrative structure.”

Kill or Be Killed #20 marks the conclusion of one of my favorite indie titles on stands, and the finale doesn’t disappoint. One of the most fascinating aspects of this series is Dylan’s point of view. In any other series Dylan would be the villain because he kills people, but with Kill or Be Killed Ed Brubaker takes you into the head of a story’s “stereotypical” bad guy. Everything is about perspective, and the finale keeps that theme very much alive. Brubaker and Sean Phillips gives us a world where Dylan lives happily ever after. He gets the girl and makes a friend who understands his twisted views on the world.

But just like Dylan says in the issue’s opener, life isn’t as perfectly structured as stories makes it out to be. Life is chaos, and with due time our minds just try to make sense of the chaos., and does so by creating a story. It helps us adapt to the next chaotic moment that life throws at us. By the end of the issue we learn that Dylan did die outside the mental hospital, and I couldn’t ask for a better ending. Dylan for one last time goes on a tangent to tell us the story we want to hear, and then throws in our faces that life isn’t perfect, it’s messy. And wasn’t that the message the series was trying to teach us the whole time? - told you perfect. Kill or Be Killed #20 ends on a very satisfying note, and sets up for a potential sequel that keeps the importance of perspective at its heart. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 5 Stars

Written By: Seth Peck
Art By:  Jeremy Haun
Inks By: Jeremy Haun
Colors By: Nick Filardi
Letters By: Thomas Mauer
Cover By:  Jeremy Haun & Nick Filardi
Price: $3.99 USD

As seems to be the norm with ongoing image titles, we had a little break in-between story arcs for the Realm. Issue seven seemingly begins a new arc as a brand new mysterious character named Neera visits Johnny, very soon after using her telekinetic ability to kill one of Johnny’s soldiers. Peck and Haun are a great team and Haun’s art style compliments the gritty nature of the story Peck is telling us. The Realm continues to be one of my favorite non-superhero titles and I am glad it is back! ~ Jesse @ComicsJLS

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Jim McCann
Art By: Dario Brizuela
Colors By: Chris Sotomayor
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Jacob Chabot
Price: $3.99

Wow that title is a mouth full, but it’s a good indicator for what you’re going to get with this issue. Kate Bishop, Cassie Lang, and Spider-Man team up to save Cassie’s father, Ant Man. This is a great all-ages series that helps young readers learn more about less mainstream heroes like Stature and Kate Bishop Hawkeye. Dario Brizuela’s artwork is cute and perfectly fits the tone of this book. As a big fan of all four of these characters I had a fun time with this not too serious tale. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Hasan Minaj, Rainbow Rowell
Art By: Nico Leon, Gustavo Duarte, Bob Quinn, Elmo Bondoc
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Valero Schiti, Rachel Rosenberg
Price: $4.99

Ms. Marvel #31 is the perfect celebration for everything Kamala Khan stands for! The issue has multiple stories, but a brilliant structure to string these diverse voices together. In this monumental issue, Kamala tries to throw a slumber party to talk about her boy problems with Zoe, Mike, and Nakia, but every time she settles in another crisis comes knocking on her door (literally). The heart of this book is Kamala’s supporting cast. So I was very happy to see Zoe, Mike, and Nakia at the forefront of this issue, they were the foundation that kept this narrative so closely knit. The ending of the story was perfect, Kamala reveals to her friends she’s Ms. Marvel and….they all obviously knew. It plays on the classic secret identity superhero trope, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I can’t wait to see how Zoe, Mike, and Nakia will become involved in Ms. Marvel’s upcoming adventures. Ms. Marvel #31 continues to make Kamala one of Marvel’s most relatable characters, and is a must read! ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Matt Rosenberg
Art By: Andy MacDonald
Inks By: Andy MacDonald
Colors By: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover By: Marcos Martin
Price: $3.99 USD

When I first heard there was going to be a Multiple Man solo series, I did not know what to expect but, at the same time, I was not expecting much. What made me give it a chance is that I am a fan of the writer of the book Matt Rosenberg.  That last I had read about Jamie Madrox, he had died of M-Pox during the Death of X event.  This book sets off immediately to answer this question. How is Multiple Man back?  Rosenberg’s story is compelling and ends the premier issue with enough questions to want to pick up the second issue. I was, however distracted by MacDonald’s art. It felt rushed to me, some characters were missing facial features and, while subtle stood out to me and was a distraction and a detractor from the book overall.  ~ Jesse @ComicsJLS

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Kim Jacinto
Colors By: Rain Beredo
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover By: Brian Hitch & Marcio Menyz
Price: $3.99

I’m one of those readers that never minded The Sentry. I thought the concept of this hero that was erased from memory was intriguing and enough of a hook to invest me. Was he always handled well once brought fully into the Marvel Universe? Maybe not, but I still liked the character. Introducing the twist of this nefarious villain The Void as a counterpart released by the existence of The Sentry was even more compelling.

This series picks up where Bob Reynolds, the former Sentry, is working at a fast food establishment, living his life as a normal person. The catch is he’s using a device provided by Doctor Strange called the Conflucter that allows him to enter a mindscape every 24 hours to become The Sentry once more for the purpose of keeping The Void at bay. Obviously, the logical place to go here is what happens when he’s not able to do that anymore?

Lemire does a fantastic job here reintroducing us to The Sentry and his family of characters, and painting the portrait of what Bob’s life is post-Sentry. It’s not a glorious life and is filled with regret and pain. He’s a flawed character, which Lemire tends to shine with. Marry this with Jacinto’s moody, yet dynamic artwork and you have a very interesting story on your hands. The difference between the real world and the mindscape is different enough to distinguish the two without being a complete shift from one to the other. And the story moves along at a nice pace, delivering a fair amount of characterization and plot points to keep you invested until that inevitable event happens. It sold me and left me wanting more. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ½ stars

Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Mike Del Mundo
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Mike Del Mundo
Variant Cover By: Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson; James Harrn and Dave Stewart; Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin

Thor #2 ramps up the stakes for the fate of the ten realms with the possible merger of Muspelheim and Niffleheim. Plus, we see a full reunion of the brothers Odinson, a boat flying through Hel driven by a goat, and the return of the Queen.  This issue puts all the pieces in place for the coming battle to stop Malekith and gives us another villain for our heroes to deal with as well. Jason Aaron continues to weave his Asgardian tale and expertly places fragments from the stories he’s already told in his run on the title throughout the book.  The next issue promises to be epic with the last page reveal we get here, a solid issue indeed.  ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 ½ stars

Story By: Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins
Written By: Max Allan Collins
Art By: Marcelo Salaza & Marcio Freire
Letters By: Tom Williams
Cover A By: Robert McGinnis
Cover B By: Alex Ronald 
Cover C By: Mack Chater 
"Trouble.... Come And Get It"
Prose Written By: Mickey Spillane
Price $3.99

I LOVED THIS! This book was made for me. I love the old classic private eye novels that feature the classic tropes and this it it brought to life in comic book form. Every thing about this from the cliche voice overs to the hot to trot more than meets the eyes secretary to the mysterious lady in red asking for help is just an awesome throwback to the 1940's-1950's crime novels my dad had and that I would read as a kid. The art in here can not be overlooked, Salza and Freire bring this story to life, when the shots ring out you almost hear the guns, just phenomenal work. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Stars

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