Friday, September 21, 2018

Frontline Reviews For The Week Of September 19, 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 BrantJayJustin, & Kat giving reviews for books from Abstract StudiosAftershockBOOM! StudiosDC ComicsIDW PublishingImage Comics, and  Marvel 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: Terry Moore
Art By: Terry Moore
Colors By: Steve Hamaker
Letters By: Terry Moore
Cover By: Terry Moore
Price: $3.99

Strangers in Paradise XXV #6 does a good job at balancing both Katchoo and Francine’s separate stories. I was especially delighted by Francine here because, up to this point, the series hadn’t provided much spotlight for her. Moore gives fans a glimpse at Francine as a mother and her dynamic with her children. I really enjoyed seeing the similarities the kids have with their mothers. Katchoo’s arc is classic Katchoo. She continues to put more distance between her and her family to protect them from her past and Stephanie. This will probably build a lot of tension between Francine and Katchoo soon, but I'm sure they'll be find because as fans know the couple is no stranger to drama. Terry Moore as always aces the facial expressions for this book, but my favorite sequence is the “Kill Stephanie” double page spread. Strangers in Paradise XXV #6 is a solid story that finally gives some deserving panel time to Francine. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written / Created By: Zack Kaplan
Art By: Alvaro Sarraseca
Colors By: Dee Cunniffe
Letters By: A Larger World's Troy Peteri
Cover A By: Rafael De Latorre  & Marcelo Maiolo
Price: $3.99

One of the best books by Aftershock. This issue Hel and the group discover the water creature and proof that her father is still alive sends Hel into the moon pool. This story never settles, it never relaxes, it keeps you on your toes as a reader constantly engaging you to remain a part of it. That is what I love so much about this book, I never feel this is a "filler issue" even an issue like this that gives us some insight into our cast, I still left this book wanting the next and needing to know where they stand next issue. The art team really did a great job conveying the urgency, the fear, the disgust, the action, the intensity and the emotions on every page, they help the reader feel like we are more than just spectators. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

"Craft! Vocation! Self-Belief! 
Written / Co-Created By: Patrick Kindlon
Art / Co-Created By: Marco Ferrari
Colors By: Patrizia Comino
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover A By: Marco Ferrari with Patrizia Comino
Cover B By: Robert Hack
Price" $3.99

The story is simple in the year 2040 a former crimelord is dumped by his crime syndicate and left in the desert where he's had Patience, Conviction and now it is time for his Revenge! This is billed as a crime comedy and the main character isn't someone even the reader can trust as he says right off the bat that he is an unreliable narrator of his own story. Yes Renny isn't reliable or even all that likeable Robot Paul though is the hook for me! He has all of the charm and humor this series needs I loved his constant irritation when the leader of The Free People of The Mojave keeps using a hard "J" in Mojave, and when he questions how he is perceived when he is called "effeminate". This looks like a blast and I am on for the ride. The art really sells the setting a futuristic western steampunk vibe that makes the book all the more appealing. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Marguerite Bennett
Art By: Ilaria Catalani, Jordan Gibson, Derek Charm, Xiao Tong Kong, Jon Lam, Jim Towe
Colors By: Walter Baliamonte, Joahna Lafuente
Letters By: Ed Dukeshire
Cover By: Dan Mora
Price: $7.99

Go Go Power Rangers: Back to School #1 is a solid palate cleanser post “Shattered Grid”, and a good sample for what fans can expect from Marguerite Bennett’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The issue showcases what the rangers were up to during spring break, and presents us with what special attributes they have as heroes outside of punching putties. The two narratives I enjoyed the most were from Jason and Kimberly. I liked Kimberly’s pure passion to be a superhero. Most teenagers sneak out to go to parties, but not Kimberly - she does it to help people. Jason’s story was inspiring. He becomes a sign language assistant teacher at the children center, and is able to connect to a little girl by learning more about her love for dinosaurs. The different art styles for the book helped diversity the stories of each ranger, and I enjoyed how Bennett weaves the narratives all together with an epic Mega Zord battle. Go Go Power Rangers: Back to School #1 is a bit pricey, but is a good filler leading into the new chapter of the Power Rangers comics.  ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Dennis Hopeless
Art By: Hyeonjin Kim
Colors By: Wesllei Manoel
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover By: David Nakayama
Subscription Variant Connecting Cover By: Marco D’Alfonso
Price: $3.99

The latest issue of the NXT Takeover one-shots was billed as an Asuka issue, but that wasn’t really what we got. We see Paige coming back to NXT trying to recruit for a new faction that we fans would later come to know as “Absolution.” This was Paige’s comeback after being on the injured list for nearly a year. Sadly, as things would take a turn, her career ended shortly after her return with a serious injury. But I’m getting WAY ahead of myself here.

This issue follows Paige as she scouts a few of the women of NXT, namely Asuka and Ember Moon before turning her sights to a few others. Through Paige’s eyes, we get to see these women compete and ultimately stand up to and blow off Paige to make their own path, which is commendable, of course. Paige, in the end, finds her faction in the least expected place as the issue comes to an end, leaving us one more to go.

While the issue wasn’t exactly what it promised, it was still a solid story that put the spotlight on several of the great women wrestlers (or just great wrestlers) in NXT and now WWE as they have all made the move up. I continue to feel like Hopeless not only has these characters’ voices down, but he also has their accents down, and their motivations. He gets these characters. Kim’s artwork really jumped out to me here as well, with imperfect likenesses, but enough to get the point across of who was who. And the attention to the moves and in-ring action was equally impressive.

Overall, it was another fun and fantastic read in this extended world of the WWE. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

"Beast Of Burden Part 1"
Written By: Tom King
Pencils By: Tony S. Daniel
Inks By: Tony S. Daniel & Danny Miki
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Tony S. Daniels And Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Price: $3.99

Dick Grayson is trying to help Bruce by going on patrol with him and keep his mind off of the more serious things by making jokes as he do. Meanwhile the KGBeast comes to Gotham and has someone in his scope. This was an awesome issue for me. I loved the casual throwback relationship with Batman and Nightwing, that trip down memory lane for some of us seeing them together again. Love the humor, King really understands these characters on a very personal and intimate level and that is displayed here. The KGBeast story is done so perfectly with subtly, yet has this ominous feel that lets you know something big is coming, and it does. Daniel's brings it with the art here giving us a Gotham in all its glory both good and bad. mThe big question is though where do we go from here? I hope and expect King to use this to tell real character exploring stories bringing in the rest of the Bat-Family, seeing their reactions and how they handle it explored.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Brian Azzarello
Art By: Lee Bermejo
Letters By: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover By: Lee Bermejo
Variant Cover By: Jim Lee & Alex Sinclair
Price: $6.99

Batman finds himself stabbed and on a bridge then awakes with John Constantine watching over him and finds out the Joker was found dead in the same area. This book is making news because of the "Bat Dick", grow up. If those two panels are your takeaway from this well written and beautifully drawn book, then you really need to check your age, this is a mature book in a mature line of comics. I loved the "unreliable narrator" of the issue but that is where my problem comes in, because the lettering for narration is hard to fully take in at times. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Mike Perkins
Colors By: HI-FI
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Mike Perkins with Andy Troy
Variant Cover By: Chris Stevens
Price: 3.99

Green Lanterns #55 turns up the arc of Evil’s Might to eleven, with Cyborg Superman revealed as the leader of the Eon and the vast armada of Ravagers that awaits his arrival.  Last issue Green Lantern Simon Baz freed him from prison in the Fortress of Solitude, it was all a trick set in motion by Cyborg Superman who now also has control of the phantom ring.  Cyborg Superman and the Ravagers fleet attack Mogo, home of the Green Lanterns and in a short fight are victorious.  We are left with Cyborg Superman with seemly total control over all the energy spectrums and the Guardians defeated, will only Hal Jordan’s ring unaffected.  What does Dan Jurgens have instore for us in issue #56 I wonder, I know I’m not going to miss it. ~ Justin @ExileState
Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

"City Of Darkness"
Written By: Tim Seeley
Art By: Freddie Williams II
Colors By: Jeremy Colwell
Letters By: Wes Abbott
Cover By: Freddie Williams II & Jeremy Colwell
Price: $3.99

He-Man and his team must infiltrate the Oracle while Cyborg, and his team must help protect Eternia. Tim Seeley does a great job here making these two very different worlds feel like they exist in a larger world together, He simultaneously maintains the almost innocence of the He-Man world while not shying away from the darkness that is the Injustice world. Williams II is killing it with the art finding that same balance with the light and dark together this team has found this great common ground for fans of both.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

"Legion Of Doom Part 2"
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Mikel Janín
Colors By: Jeromy Cox
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Mikel Janín
Variant Cover By: Jimm Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

Cheetah and Black Manta join the Legion of Doom with revenge in their eyes while Lex makes a deal with the captive Batman Who Laughs. Snyder is doing a great job setting up a larger story here and really delving deeper into the mythos of the Justice League, The Legion of Doom and the DCU as a whole. This story also sets into play the big Aquaman/Justice League Drowned Earth crossover and gives new fright to The Batman That Laughs. Mikel Janín does a great job bringing  this story to us great eye to detail. I also have to shout out Jeromy Cox who really shows his skill by choosing a palette that keeps the serious tones of the story while keeping the brightness of the DCU ever present.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Adam Glass
Art By: Bernard Chang
Colors By: Marcelo  Maiolo
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Nick Derington
Variant Cover By: Alex Garner
Price: $3.99

Being a Titan isn't easy. There is the getting to being a team factor, especially when your leader is keeping secrets and being a Titan also comes with dealing with the loss of a member. All the Wallace West fans out there this is a highlight on him but while keeping the focus on the team as well through team building exercises. Glass does a great job balancing out this cast and the different plotlines going on keeping you interested in all of them, while really giving us that Kid Flash spotlight. Chang does a great job bringing a young fresh energy to the book keeping the characters all distinct and unique.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Lee & Michael Allred
Pencils By: Rich Tommaso
Inks By: Michael Allred
Colors By: Laura Allred
Letters By: Shawn Lee
Cover By: Michael Allred & Laura Allred
Variant Covers By: Various Artist
Price: $3.99

Dick Tracy is kicking ass and taking names which kind of ruffles some feathers and keeps getting him fired because he doesn't care who you are, you commit a crime, you get taken down. This was a fun throwback to old school Dick Tracy but with some modern themes and ideas thrown in it. This can be a little disjointing with the very '40s pulpy feel to it like the Tommy Gun, old cars, and even lingo then we see a "burner" cell phone being used. But the story itself is very classic DickTracy which I loved. The art also did a great job making me feel like I went back in time and grabbed some old Dick Tracy strips to read.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Dennis Culver
Art By: Geoffo
Colors Flats By: Lauren Perry
Letters By: Dave Dwonch
Cover By: Chris Burnham & Allen Passalaqua
Price: $3.99

The stoners, we all knew who they were in High School the kids that had no purpose but to get high, but what if they were fighting a secret fight that only a few will ever know? That is the premise of this book, when we first see the stoners or burnouts in this book they look like delinquents and thugs assaulting an older man just walking from the store. Even later on they just look nuts yelling at a dog, but what we don't know until Andy sneaks out to a party and gets high for the first time is that aliens are possessing people and only certain people can see them and only if they are stoned. I gave this book a shot because it is a #1 but I am coming back for #2 because of the hook here has me interested. Geoffo does a great job on the art making it feel a bit disjointed and trippy, very fitting in the tone of the story.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Saladin Ahmed
Art By: Garry Brown
Colors By: Lee Loughridge
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Aco & Marcelo Maiolo
Variant Cover By: Gabriele Dell’Otto
Spider-Man Game Variant Cover By: Dennis Chan
Price: $4.99

This annual featured a “lost tale” chronicling some of the adventures of Spider-Man when he was bonded to the symbiote. In this story, we got to see elaboration of what would happen when the symbiote would take Peter’s body out for a spin while he slept, and how that, in turn, affected his entire life at the time.

Ahmed did a great job of speaking the symbiote’s motivations to the reader through inner monologue as he told himself why he needed to help his “friend”. It was a very interesting story illustrated just how far the symbiote would go. And as a result, every aspect of Peter’s life was falling apart due to him basically sleeping his life away exhausted by the exploits of the symbiote at night.

Ultimately, we get to the point where Reed reveals to Peter that the suit is alive and attempts to separate them. In answer to this, the symbiote is hurt, confused and vengeful, as we know it to be.

The one part the story fell apart a little for me was the kid the symbiote meets during an outing that somehow gets through to him and sets him on a just path for a short time. That seemed a bit forced and convenient for my liking.

The art throughout I thought felt like a product of the era, and thus it fit the story very well.

So while I really enjoyed the story for the most part, it wasn’t perfect and had some missteps. This felt like a story you might find in an annual in the past, though, and I appreciated the effort put into the book. I enjoyed that time in Peter’s life, and it was fun to relive it for a few minutes. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 3 ¾ Stars

Written By: Chris Eliopoulos & Marc Sumerak
Art By: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors By: Gurihiru, Brad Anderson, Lovern Kindzierski, Chris Eliopoulos
Letters By: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover By: Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $7.99

Franklin Richards: A Fantastic Year takes a newspaper strip approach to storytelling in this adorable all-ages comic book. I picked this up for the Katie Power appearances, and I wasn’t disappointed by Franklin and the youngest Power Pack member's blossoming friendship. Chris Eliopoulos art style is cute, and brings a timeless feel to this Fantastic Four tale. Franklin Richards: A Fantastic Year #1 is a bit pricey for it’s material, but if you have kids in your life this could be a fun read for you to share with them. Although you may want to do this in multiple sittings since there are a lot of stories to read through. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Margaret Stohl
Art By: Carlos Pacheco, Marguerite Sauvage
Colors By: Marcio Menyz
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Julian Totino Tedesco
Price: $3.99

This title just keeps getting better and better, and is quickly becoming one of my favorite Carol Danvers' stories. I love how much this series has grounded Carol as we learn more about her life before she became Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel. I really like her growing romance with her childhood friend, and all the awkwardness that follows suit. It helps the reader remember that even though Carol is a high ranking air force pilot and superhero, she’s still just a normal girl. Stohl ups the action and use of super powers in this issue, which allows Carlos Pacheco to find a great balance between the mundane and super heroics of this story. Life of Captain Marvel #3 left my jaw on the floor, leaving me with so many questions that I’m excited for the rest of the series to answer. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

MR. & MRS. X #3
Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Oscar Bazaldua
Colors By: Frank D’Armata
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
Variant Cover By: Phil Noto
Price: $3.99

While I enjoy Thompson’s other book a bit more, I have really been enjoying this series as well. I’m a ‘90s X-Men fan, meaning of the comics and the cartoon, and so Rogue and Gambit hold a dear place in my heart. Seeing them finally together for real, but thrown for a loop in an instant is gratifying and frustrating in a good way.

In this issue, we learn just who this girl that looks like a naked younger Rogue is that came out of the egg. With that revelation, we understand the importance of her protection and why Kitty had to interrupt their honeymoon to get this mission completed.

We are treated with a couple of spreads of Deadpool and Gambit fighting Shi’ar soldiers while bantering back and forth. Both script wise and artistically, this was a fun scene that resulted with some serious consequences for ol’ Wade.

What I didn’t like about the issue was toward the end when characters were popping in seemingly out of nowhere. While I get the intended effect, both the writing and the art failed to properly convey it in my opinion. Also, while the issue overall was a great chapter in this tale, and while we did learn some things and get some solid comedy, most of the issue was the group fighting Shi’ar, so there wasn’t quite as much movement as there could have been.

Still, I thoroughly enjoy this series. Nitpicks aside, I am happy that Thompson has such a love for these characters and has given them new life in recent months. Not to mention the implications going forward for the X-Men. Nice job. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 3 ¾ Stars

Written By: Charles Soule
Pencils By: Steve McNiven
Inks By: Jay Leisten
Colors By: Laura Martin
Letters By: VC's Joe Sabino

Wolverine is back, he is free and he is going after Soteira and Persephone. Is he still the best he is at what he does? Does he remember what he does? Charles Soule does a great job putting the reader in the head of Wolverine, we feel as lost as Wolverine at times which feels intentional because we like Wolverine are trying to piece together the events of what has been going on. I really like that it helps the reader connect more. One of my favorite artists is Steve McNiven due to his incredible detail, and this issues showcases it nicely. Love the little flashbacks and visions Wolverine experiences but what is real? What is programming? We have to come back to figure more of it out. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

THOR #5 / #711
Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Christian Ward
Lettering By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Esad Ribic
Variant Covers By: James Harren, Dave Stewart; Ema Lupacchino and Jason Keith
Price: 3.99

Thor #5 finally sends us back to the end of the universe with All Father Thor and Wolverine who is possessed by the Phoenix Force and has been for a long long time.  Thor tells Logan of his plan to rekindle the universe and restart life but Logan is not having any of it.  He’s ready for the universe to die and him along with it.   The battle is epic and massive in scale, Christian Ward art echoes the power and scope of it all.   Jason Aaron continues to tell this end time story in a way that makes you want the next issue right now.  Logan gives Thor a warning that because he restarted life on a great evil has noticed it and will soon be there, where the granddaughters of Thor have been left to protect it.  At the end the great evil is revealed but can the Goddess’s of Thunder stand before the might of an all power Doom? ~ Justin @ExileState
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Stefano Caselli
Colors By: Triona Farrell
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Stefano Caselli & Nolan Woodard
Variant Covers By: Tony Fleecs; Tim Tsang
Price: $3.99

Okay, I just love that they addressed the elephant in the room (or on the beach as it were) within the first pages of this issue. Yes, of course B.R.O.D.O.K. is just M.O.D.O.K. (though I still think he’s modeled after Tyler Crispen of CBS’ Big Brother 20), and it was fun seeing the team break that down within minutes of meeting the giant-headed heartthrob.

What follows is a great story of the team getting the upper hand on Tigra only when B.R.O.D.O.K. intervenes, then inviting him back for tap water and popcorn! The team needs to find out what happened to their friend, how B.R.O.D.O.K. and his Advance “Image” Mechanics (A.I.M. for those keeping score) are involved, and how to stop them.

I love this team more and more the more I read them. They are at the height of disfunctional, which adds to the charm and comedy of the group, like the makeout session between Quire and Gwenpool, and more importantly, the reaction to the makeout session. I’m loving the inclusion of the reality TV confessionals interspersed throughout the story as well.

I think Thompson is hitting this book out of the park so far, and I can’t wait to read the next issue! ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Pere Perez
Colors By: Jay David Ramos
Letters By:  VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Phil Noto
Price: $3.99

X-Men Gold #36 marks the last chapter of this shaky X-series. Guggenheim once again fumbles on executing a correct wrap up for Kitty and Peter’s break up. Kitty calls him because she wants to, which ends up being a two page conversation that goes nowhere. The rest of the issue is a solid one-shot story that shows that not all humans are bigots, and that the X-Men’s time during this series was at least able to change some people’s opinions about mutants. Pere Perez provides some solid pencils throughout the issue that balances the emotional beats and action sequences pretty well. X-Men Gold #36 isn’t a strong finale issue, but was X-Men Gold really that strong of a series to begin with?  ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

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