Saturday, February 9, 2019

Frontline Reviews For The Week Of February 6, 2019 - Midwinter's Dream!

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 Aftershock, Ahoy ComicsArchie ComicsBOOM! StudiosDark HorseDC ComicsDynamite EntertainmentIDW Publishing, & 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!

Created & Written By: Ryan Parrott
Art By: Milos Slavkovic
Letters By: Charles Pritchett
Cover By: Milos Slavkovic
Incentive Cover By: Marco Rudy
Price: $3.99

Bonnie Blair is home-schooled, has no friends, and just found out that her life has been a lie by the banished King of Fairies, Oberon himself. Ryan Parrott (Go Go Power Rangers) has done it again! With just one issue I am hooked! I love mythology and ever since I read A Midsummer Night's Dream as a kid I have loved the world of Oberon and the rest of the characters, then came Gargoyles which took my love for the characters in a new direction and now I am at my third tier of fandom thanks to Parrott. The characters are engaging, I feel for Bonnie, who is just finding her life has been a lie, and I am thoroughly intrigued about Oberon and his servant Nicholas. The art by Milos Slavkovic is AWESOME! He uses the art perfectly sets the tone of the series and makes you feel like you are in this magic world of the King of the Fairies. The second issue can't get here fast enough. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 5 Stars

"The Wrong Earth Chapter Six" 
Created By: Tom Peyer And Jamal Igle
Written By: Tom Peyer
Pencils By: Jamal Igle
Inks By: Juan Castro
Colors By: Andy Troy
Letters By: Rob Steen

"Dragonfly: Rage Of The Dragonfly, Part Two: Dawn Of Hope"
Written By: Paul Constant
Art By: Gary Erskine
Colors By: Andy Troy
Letters By: Rob Steen

Written By: Carol Lay
Art By: Carol Lay

"Not Required Reading: Robotic Arms " 
Written By: Matt Brady
Art By: Joe Orsak

"Teenage Troubles" 
Written By: Steffie De Vaan
Art By: Cayetano Valenzuela
Cover By: Jamal Igle
Price: $3.99

Dragonfly and Dragonflyman get set to stay on their new Earths and each has a Stinger by their side to help them. This book is one of my favorite indie titles of the last year! It started off as this stark contrast of two Batman-esque characters or the worlds with Dragonflyman being like the Batman '66, and Dragonfly being more like Dark Knights Return versions of Batman. That in and of itself was a unique spin, but then we got the blurring of the lines where they start to take on some of the other's traits as they adapt to their new worlds that really holds my attention. The writers and artist all do such a great job blending their voices and styles to where it reads like a symphony. The only thing wrong about The Wrong Earth #6 is that we have to wait until 2020 for the next chapter of this world, especially after that ending! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Marguerite Sauvage (1-4) & Sandy Jarrell (5-20)
Inks By: Matt Herms (5-20)
Letters By: Jack Morelli
Cover By: Marguerite Sauvage
Variant Covers By: Jen Bartel And Thomas Pitilli
Price: $3.99

While Riverdale PD investigates the disappearance of Rick Mantle, Reggie follows his dad's instructions and Betty & Veronica start investigating Archie. I really enjoy this title, I shouldn't but I do. I grew up on classic Archie, and Waid's run was a nice modern wholesome, but Spencers puts a little something to it that I really like. Spencer does a great job balancing the number of characters and story in this issue we have Jughead's, Archie's, The Pussycats', Cheryl's, Reggie's Midge's and more and yet I never felt overwhelmed by it, instead I felt more a part of it. The art does a great job balancing the two artists who both have a great updated classic style. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

ARCHIE 1941 #5
Written By: Brian Augustyn & Mark Waid
Art By: Peter Krause
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: Jack Morelli
Price: $3.99

Archie 1941 marks the last issue for Mark Waid’s monumental run on Archie, and it sadly doesn’t close with the same revolutionary feel of his main Archie run. I was especially upset with the representation of Betty & Veronica here. Waid’s main Archie run reinvented these characters to become defined as individuals, while still building their relationship with Archie. In this series, Betty is so defined by her relationship with Archie to the point where she felt weak. Archie 1941 had an opportunity to show how much Archie has grown as a franchise, but instead, the series revels a bit too much in the past. Peter Krause’s artwork has been the strongest aspect of this series. His inking style brought the perfect tone to the dark, gloom of Waid and Augustyn’s script. Archie 1941 is a standard mini-series that doesn’t do enough to celebrate Waid’s contribution to reinvigorating Archie Comics and leaves me unsatisfied to an otherwise perfect run. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 2 ½ Stars

WWE #25
Written By: Dennis Hopeless
Art By: Serg Acuna
Colors By: Doug Garbark
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover By: Marco D’Alfonso
Variant Covers By: Marco D’Alfonso, Xermanico, Eric Garza
Price: $3.99

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe. As a wrestling fan, this is one of those feuds that is kind of a dream come true.

If you followed AJ Styles and Samoa Joe on the indie circuits, through Ring of Honor, and their epic years-long feud in TNA/Impact, you know what I’m talking about. Seeing these two finally tear it up on the big stage of the WWE was not just a treat, but almost like a reward for sticking with them for so long. We, as fans were able to partake in the validation of these two phenomenal athletes (pun very much intended).

The WWE version of their feud took things to a personal level with Joe inserting himself into AJ’s family. What we got here in this issue of BOOM! Studios’ retelling was a very nicely condensed version of the month-long drama without missing a beat or feeling like anything was left out. In fact, things were added to make the story even more well rounded!

The way AJ’s wife Wendy was written in this issue added a new layer to the story that painted a beautiful picture of family and of a wife knowing her husband so well as to push just the right buttons to get the best out of him she could. Even though we never saw her face (I’m assuming it was a rights issue, and Acuna handled the placement of her hair and turns of her head perfectly without it looking too obvious), we got just the right amount of emotion and input from her to sell this story.

The action between AJ and Joe was done extremely well as usual. I will continue to reiterate that Hopeless knows these characters like the back of his hand, and Acuna can draw their likenesses and always excels on getting the in-ring (and out of the ring) action just right.

This issue lived up to the story it represented, and this entire arc with AJ Styles has been one of my favorite stories to date. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Corin Howell
Colors By: James Devlin
Letters By: Clem Robins
Cover By: Corin Howell
Price: $3.99

The Girl in the Bay is an intriguing resurrection story centered around a troubled teenager in 1960s Brooklyn. Kathy lives in the time of drugs, sex, and rock’n’roll and has embraced every most of it to the fullest. Sadly, that leads her to make some poor decisions that ultimately lead to her demise, setting us on the twisted tale of her return.

DeMatteis brilliantly captures both the era of the story and the location, referencing key events in that time frame like the Manson murders and the Summer of Love. Kathy very much feels like a girl of the times, quoting meaningful song lyrics while high on an acid trip and rebelling against every type of authority.

Howell’s artwork is equally skilled as we see the subtle differences between 1969 and 2019 Brooklyn with the rich history and the classic dwellings remaining intact, only updated for the times. And the emotional impact that flows off of Kathy whether she’s scared, angry, high or any other emotion resonates with the reader making us feel what she feels.

The interesting thing about the story isn’t just that Kathy dies and comes back 50 years later. It’s a decent hook, and when matched with Howell’s art, is intriguing enough to make you want to read the story. But the twist of what she finds when she does come back takes the story in an unexpected direction leaving the reader both captivated and confused enough to want to find out the answers almost as badly as Kathy does.

This book is rich with mysteries at every turn, some sort of supernatural element that we can’t quite yet define, and at the center of it, a girl in turmoil over a lost life and a sadness for what she left behind. Excellent first issue. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

"Noir Town" 
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils By: Carlo Barberi
Inks By: Matt Santorelli
Colors By: Protobunker
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

 The Super Sons are on a prison planet for kids and they are determined to break free but first Damian has to find Jon. Every month I can count on one book to make me smile, entertain men, and make me love comics all over again and this is it! The story is simple with Damian looking for Jon, but Tomasi makes it fun and entertaining. To see Damian gong through this planet to find Jon shows the bond they have. While Damian is looking for Joker Jr. and Jon, Rex Luthor is creating a new Gang all around the planet and I have to say I loved the scene where the new Gizmo captures Damian. It is great to have Carlo Barberi on the book again, he brings great energy to the book that makes me feel like I am watching Saturday Morning Cartoons again. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

"The Price: The Price Of Justice Part 1 of 4 A Batman/Flash Crossover Event"
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Guillem March
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover By: Sean Murphy
Price: $3.99

The Flash and Batman team up again, this time to solve the Sanctuary murders which include, Wally West. Joshua Williamson is on a roll! Between last week's Flash Annual and this, he is in the zone! I want to ask why isn't he working on more books for DC? The way Williamson writes the Justice League here has me yearning for a Williamson Justice League book! I love a great mystery and that is what Williamson is so great at doing which makes him the perfect person to write the two greatest detective minds in comics. The ending here leaves me wanting and needing to know more, could Gotham Girl be a bigger piece to a bigger puzzle? March does a great job setting the darker tones of the Batman atmosphere while balancing it out with the lightness of the Flash along with great attention to details has him the perfect match for this story. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By: Marv Wolfman
Art By: Claudio Castellini
Colors By: Hi-Fi
Letters By: Tom Orzechowski
Cover By: Claudio Castellini And Alex Sinclair
Price: $9.99

Look up in the sky... It's a bird... It's a plane... It's a story we have heard a hundred times before, but never this well done! I just read the best Superman movie n/ever made! Marv Wolfman has shown that writers can get better with age, yes he wrote this over a decade ago, but you wouldn't know that by the story. Wolfman knows these characters like his fans do like they are a part of his family, each voice is perfect, every nuance of the character is perfect. This is the best I have ever seen Lois Lane or Clark Kent portrayed in any medium. Where has Castellini been? I feel like a dolt not noticing his talent before this. His Lois is the best I have ever seen, he somehow has managed to capture her very essence in every panel she is in, you feel like Clark feel, your heart races, she is amazing and Castellini brings it all to life like never before. Perfect for the new and veteran comic book fans alike, but leaves me wondering two things; 1.) Why it took DC over a decade to publish this? 2.) Why isn't Marv Wolfman writing Superman monthly with Castellini on art? ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 5 Stars

"Seven Crises Part 2"
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Patrick Gleason & Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks By: Ray McCarthy (pp 9-18)
Colors By: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Patrick Gleason & Alejandro Sanchez
Variant Cover By: Sanford Green
Price $3.99

The team begins to find each other and meet Amethyst on Gem World while in a flashback Cassie runs into her Grandfather Zeus. Bendis is doing a great job continuing the main story with Gem World but giving longtime fans some answers we wanted about Cassie without laying it all out at once. I really like the way Bendis used Zeus reminds me of classic DC where the Gods were shaped by the world today, also a nice way to bring in more of that air of mystery surrounding her in the first issue. I am looking forward to seeing the next issue to find out about Conner. Gleason and Lupacchino did a great job bringing the classic feel of Young Justice with the same youthful energy that the original series brought.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Sergio Davila
Colors By: Ulises Arreola
Letters By: Simon Bowlan
Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Variants By: Ed Benes & Dinei Ribeiro, John Royle & Juan Fernandez, Diego Galindo, Stephen Segovia & Elmer Santos, and Sergio Davila & Felideus
Price: $3.99

The final showdown with P:Andora is here and the world is at stake. I am a sucker for a good inspiring speech and this one had one with the newest member of the team Imani. This new team could become a favorite one of mine, I love the group dynamics of them and Samson may be the best Superman analog I have seen yet. The ending has me looking forward to the next book. The art here is beautiful. Sergio Davila makes every page into a canvas invoking the epic feel of Alex Ross but using a more traditional style. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

"The Iron Mechanic Part 2"
Written By: Matthew K. Manning
Art By: Jon Sommarvia
Colors By: Photobunker
Letters By: Christa Miesner
Cover By: Jon Sommarvia
Variant Covers By: Nelson Daniel
Price: $3.99

 A.I.M. has control of Iron man and plans to use him to control their newest weapon, Fin Fang Foom. Meanwhile, the Avengers are hunting down clues to find Tony Stark. This book is fun! I love Marvel Action: Avengers, it is the Avengers book for me, I have all the heroes I want on the team, they all feel like the characters I know and love and it is not bogged down by events or anything else. I also have to hand it to Manning, this is the best Madame Masque I have seen in a long time with the spunk and sharp-tongued wit I love her, I want to see more of her. Sommarvia brings a fun animated feel to the story. And the Advance Iron Mechanic armor looks sick!  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Art By: Marco Failla
Colors By: Matt Milla 
Letters By: VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Phil Noto
Variant Covers By: Victor Hugo; Inhuyk Lee; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Forteriz & Nolan Woodard
Price: $3.99

The world is perfect, or at least that is what Nate Grey wants everyone to believe. For the most part, this wasn't anything flashy, but it had its moments like with X-23 regaining her memories, Nature Girl asking about how people used to be born, and the end knowing that Apocalypse, Genesis, and Kitty are the resistance. The art here is nice, a simple style to feed the illusion of this Stepford Wives-esque world they are in.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Jim Zub
Art By: Steven Cummings
Colors By: Marcio Menyz With Erick Arciniega
Letters By: VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Kim Jacinto & Rain Beredo
Variant Cover By: Pepe Larraz & David Curiel
Price: $3.99

The Champions have failed but can a deal with the devil make everything ok? Jim Zub is KILLING IT! I love the Champions ever since he took over and this is a perfect example of why. The emotional depth and intensity in this issue are palpable. The moment when Miles has to make the choice, and after stepping up as the leader is the best that MIles has been in years. Marvel hasn't had a long running ongoing teen team (Young Avengers never really went one too long) since the original X-Men to take on DC's Teen Titans and now they do in Champions and that is due to Jim Zub. The art here was nice with little hints planted early like the girl with the bracelets who we see die at the end, and it makes me wonder was the deal to swap lives?  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Chip Zdarsky
Art By: Marco Checchetto
Colors By: Sunny Gho
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Julian Totino Tedesco
Variant Covers By: Alex Maleev, Joe Quesada, Skottie Young, Gabriele Dell’Otto
Price: $4.99

Daredevil #1 kicks off the newest volume of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen’s adventures with the storyline “Know Fear.”  In this issue we see Matt Murdock returning to life outside the hospital that he’s been in for weeks while recovering from getting hit by a truck, again. We see him suit up as Daredevil for the first time since the accident and Marco Checchetto art gives us great images of Daredevil traversing the rooftop of the gritty city with a deep perspective feel and conveys Daredevil’s feeling as he moves.  It feels like a daredevil book and that means a lot for us fans.   Chip Zdarsky does an awesome job walking us through who Daredevil is, from childhood to now and letting us know what still bothers Matt Murdock about his first accident.  This issue ends setting up what we have been waiting for since Kingpin took the office of Mayor several issues ago and now Kingpin knows Daredevil is back.  The next issue cannot get here fast enough! ~ Justin @ExileState
Verdict: 4 Stars

Find out where these books and more fall in the Frontline Six's Top 5 on this week's Frontline LIVE Tuesday Night at 10:00 PM ET!

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