Sunday, February 17, 2019

Frontline Reviews For The Week Of February 13, 2019 - Outlaw Nostalgia!

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 AftershockBOOM! StudiosDark HorseDC ComicsImage ComicsMarvel  Comics, and Zenescope Entertainment! 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!

 "Things That Go Bump In The Night"
Co-Created & Story By: Adam Glass & Aiden Glass
Written By: Adam Glass
Art By: Deigo Yapur
Colors By: DC Alonso
Letters By: Sal Cipriano
Cover A By: Robert Hack
Price: $3.99

Nick discovers his lineage and finds more surprises as he joins the Lollipop Kids. I am loving this book, honestly, the only negative thing about it is that it takes so long to come out. Seeing Nick's Arca from her mother's side, actually seeing his mother's message, very much like Clark seeing Jor-El, I loved the inscription into his weapon from the Arca of Zion. But I have to say the best part of this book is how genuine it seems, everything feels natural and organic, nothing is forced or cliche. Yapur's art brings a certain cinematic experience to the whole thing. The Lollipop Kids makes me feel like I am a little kid watching Goonies for the first time again. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By:  Ryan Parrott
Art By: Eleonora Carlini
Colors By: Raúl Angulo
Letters By: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover By: Marcus To
Intermix Cover By: Miguel Mercado
Preorder Cover By: Audrey Mok
Homage Incentive By: Gleb Melnikov
Retail Price: $3.99

Rita needs help unlocking the power of the Green Power Coin, meanwhile, the Power Rangers get help from an old friend. Two weeks in a row Ryan Parrott has blown me away! The attention to Power Rangers lore is incredible every time I read an issue I find little gems that call back to lore, like Rita's mom looking like the Mystic Mother. But Parrott doesn't only give us that he continues to build upon that lore making it deeper and richer, from exploring Zordon's youth to the God Shield of the Green Ranger being from Fienna. He also did something I never thought I'd see a badass Alpha! But I have to also give credit to Eleonora Carlini no just for her gorgeous art but also for her ability to use that art to tell the story, especially through the facial expressions. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict 5 Power Bolts

Written By: Sherri L. Smith
Pencils By: Jan Duursema
Inks By: Dan Parsons
Colors By: Wes Dzioba,
Letters By: Michael Heisler
Cover By: Doug Wheatley & Wes Dzioba
Price: $3.99

Journey back to the world of James Cameron's Avatar. Sherri L. Smith continues to do a great job getting us into the world of Avatar. This issue felt like deleted scenes from the movie with them training and everything. This does a great deal more in the world building refamiliarizing us with it. The art here continues to be what really sells the book, just like the movie the visuals are outstandingly beautiful. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

"Mythology: Hell And Back" 
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils By: Doug Mahnke
Inks By: Jaime Mendoza And Mark Irwin
Colors By: David Baron
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza & David Baron
Variant Cover By: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson
Price: $3.99

Batman continues to seek out who is responsible for the attack on those he holds closest to him. What I really like about this arc is the build-up to the big 100th issue is really a look back on what made Batman into the man he is today, that is something Tomasi does great, looking back while moving forward. Tomasi really knows how to bridge the new and the old in story and in fans. But I have to say the Etrigan stuff here felt like filler, which I understand but it does take me out of the overall story a bit. The art here is very strong, every page Mahnke does a great job making each page and every panel feel vital to the story and that detail is great. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

A Batman/Flash Crossover Event, Part 2 of 4 “The Price”
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Pencils By: Rafa Sandoval
Inks By: Jordi Tarragona
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover By: Tom Raney & Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

The first issue of this crossover I felt was pretty solid, a 4-star book for me. This issue stepped it up a notch, giving us great inner monologue from Batman and Flash mirroring each other, showing us once again how well these two relate to each other. The emotional tension was still thick, but as happens in real life when you’re around someone for any length of time, those walls slowly start to come down. That was handled masterfully in this issue.

The story of Gotham Girl and her quest to be a “hero” is a nice plot for this crossover but definitely feels like a subplot for a larger story going on around us, being Heroes in Crisis and the tragic events at Sanctuary. It’s referenced several times, and it would appear that everything is ultimately tying into the cabal looking to take Batman down piece by piece.

Regardless if that’s true, the character moments here of Batman, Flash and Gotham Girl were well worth the read, as were the additional clues we got in both cases going forward. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out and ties together.

Sandoval’s art was also very well done in this issue, showcasing some great comparisons of Batman and Flash throughout, and showing just how dynamic Gotham Girl can be as well. Not to mention the ominous shadowed figure.

Definitely the better half of the crossover so far, but all together, a very strong tale is being woven together before our eyes. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Bryan Hitch
Inks By: Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie
Colors By: Jeremiah Skipper
Letters By: Starkings and Comicraft
Cover By: Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover By: Shane Davis
Price: 3.99

Hawkman #9 Cataclysm part two gives us the end of the search as they have finally arrived.  The Deathbringers are on Earth and they have found their great Betrayer, Hawkman. Now Earth and all the planets he has ever lived on are set for the Deathbringers ultimate judgment.  Well, unless Hawkman can find a way to stop them or is it already too late?  Robert Venditti keeps the story and action fast paced in this issue to set up the epic battle between Hawkman and now leader of the Deathbringers, Idamm.  Bryan Hitch’s art shines in this issue with a full page of the Deathbringers’ arrival over London, then hits a higher note two pages later with a full page Hawkman that needs to be a poster.  Next issue is what we’ve been building toward since issue one, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out and what it means for the future of Hawkman. ~ Justin @ExileState
Verdict: 4 Stars

"Outlawed And Ordered"
Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Pete Woods
Colors By: Rex Lokus
Letters By: ALW's Troy Peteri
Cover By: Matteo Scalera & Moreno Dinisio
Variant Cover By: Marie Javins
Price: $3.99

Red Hood's journey to end the Underlife concludes with connections to his past and maybe a new set of Outlaws in his future? I loved seeing Solitary and his possible connection to Jason, it feels like they really came full circle with this story and it is nice seeing it move on. I have to admit I am interested in seeing how Bunker pairs up with Red Hood and Wingman, and how Red Hood's return to Gotham will affect the Bat-Family. Pete Woods does a great job bringing the right amount of darkness to his art here, it walks the line as to not go too dark but really gives us enough.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars

"The Unity Saga: The House Of El Part 2"
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Ivan Reis (pp 05-13) Branson Peterson (pp 01-01, 14-23) 
Inks By: Joe Prado (pp05-13)
Colors By: Alex Sinclair
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, & Alex Sinclair
Variant Covers By: Rob Liefeld
Price: $3.99

Jon is back and he fills his parents in on his time away in space with his Grandfather. I feel so bad for Jon, he is just this fun bubbly kid who is trapped in space with a man who was broken by cheating his death. The effects of being with Jor-E wear on Jon and it is a nice touch showing us this isolation he experiences and his guilt about wanting to go home. I would say the downside is not seeing the passage of time more clearly here. But the seeing how Clark deals with all of this was nice. The art is great, especially how it is divided between present and past events it helps the settings. I also appreciate getting to see the evolution of Superboy and his costume. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Mark Russell
Art By: Stephen Byrne
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Stephen Byrne
Variant Cover By: Dustin Nguyen
Price: $3.99

Zan and Jayna are new to the world and are trying to navigate High School while trying to use their abilities as heroes. This is such a nostalgic fun book! I felt like I was watching a reboot of the Super Friends made for today. The downside of this book is that it is just a mini-series and not an ongoing, we need more fun books on the shelves, especially ones that can use the fun campy feel of the Super Friends while adding in some nice modernization of such beloved characters like Mark Russell does here. I think Super Computer may be a new favorite character! Stephen Byrne does an excellent job with the art, you have that simple throwback style that like the story balances the right amount of nostalgia. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Mark Millar
Art By: Olivier Coipel
Colors By: Dave Stewart
Letters By: Peter Doherty
Cover By: Olivier Coipel with Dave Stewart
Variant Cover By: Karl Kerschel
Price: $3.99

At first reading this I felt the ending was abrupt, and parts of it were, but thinking about the entire tapestry, this was a fitting conclusion to the arc and the story of the Moonstones. Cordelia really stood out for the first time in a while here. Even though that was clearly always the intention, she took a backseat to other characters in the book. It made sense, though, to build others up to deliver the surprise of her being the ultimate hero of the day.

I loved the ironic twist revealed in the last issue and played out here of the golden boy, Gabriel, being the ultimate letdown (even if it was for a good reason), and the screw up in Cordelia becoming the shining knight. But I think Madame Albany was taken out a bit too quickly, and it made the threat of her all series long lesson in the end.

The secret of Uncle Edgar was interesting as well, and I do hope we get to explore more of this series in the future, should the Netflix show be successful. 

Coipel’s art sung as usual here, with beautiful lines and dark, moody inks setting the ominous tone of the magical battle. 

All in all, this ending gave us closure, delivered a massive, if short, battle, and left us emotional and satisfied with the results ultimately. Great issue. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Ed Brisson
Art By: Marcus To
Colors By: Jason Keith
Letters By: VC's Clayton Cowels
Cover By: Chris Bachalo
Variant Covers By: Lee Garbett; Inhyuk Lee; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & Nolan Woodard
Price: $3.99

A dream has been made real and will be kept at all cost, but what happens when the next generation wants to forge a new dream? I really didn't know what to expect here, and I have to say I was pleased. The way Brisson uses some of the younger students was really well done. I also really loved the use of Bling and Anole and the analogy of any form of physical intimacy is outlawed be used as an analogy of how some see homosexuality as well by using these characters. I also have to add I felt an extra sense of enjoyment with the nod to the Academy X days. Marcus To kills it on the art here he speaks so much through his art that it tells the story just on its own. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Nick Spencer
Pencils By: Chris Bachalo
Inks By: Livesay, Vey, Faucher, Olazaba & Townsend
Colors By: Chris Bachalo & Jim Campbell
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Paolo Rivera
Variant Cover By: Lee Garbett
Price: $3.99

This issue sees Spider-Man searching frantically for Aunt May while allowing the Rhino to be captured by Taskmaster and Black Ant. We also see more of the Lizard’s family drama and get more answers behind the villains’ kidnappings.

While I did feel this issue was stronger than the last, it’s just not grabbing me yet and I think it may be the art and coloring. I’m usually fine with Bachalo’s art, but some of the paneling is underserved for me, and the coloring is drab and doesn’t fit the tone of the book. There’s a sequence where Spidey is pummeling Taskmaster, but the punches and Taskmaster are completely off panel for a 3-4 panel sequence. It’s a confusing mess that doesn’t do the story any favors.

As for the story, it was stronger this issue than last. I felt for Lizard’s son, desperate to be free and to fit in even to the point of risking exposure. Spidey’s diehard attempts to find Aunt May were fitting as well, both his desperation and his anger with Taskmaster.

My issue with that scene, though, is he took the time to beat down Taskmaster, but when Rhino was screaming for help, he just let them take him. That was completely out of character and poorly contrived in my opinion.

I think the plot of Kraven’s master hunt is interesting, but the lead up to get there has been less than stellar, and has ultimately taken some of the impact away for me.

Still, we got some emotional punches and we saw Aunt May as tough as nails as always. So hopefully the story will continue to get stronger, but I do look forward to Ottley or Ramos returning to the pages.  ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, & Jim Zub
Pencils By: Paco Medina
Inks By: Juan Vlasco
Colors By: Jesus Aburtov
Letters By: VC's Cory Petit
Cover By: Yasmine Putri
Variant Covers By: Mark Brooks; Juan Ferreyra; Adam Hughes; Mico Suayan & Rain Beredo
Price: $3.99

 The light is going out in the universe and Voyager must return to Earth to gather a team of heroes to save everyone. This team of writers is golden! I never felt overwhelmed by the large cast of characters or the fast-paced introductions. I also really loved how they wrote Hulk here, he had the right amount of the man and the monster in him. I am in for the ride! Paco Medina brings great energy to the book that really grabs you and makes you feel the urgency of this threat. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: G. Willow Wilson, Devin Grayson, Eve L. Ewing, Jim Zub, Saladin Ahmed
Art By: Nico Leon, Takeshi Miyazawa, Joey Vazques, Kevin Libranda, Minkya Jung, Juan Vlasco
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99

I’m sad to see G. Willow Wilson leaving Ms. Marvel, but I couldn’t have asked for a better finale. Ms. Marvel #38 highlighted everything I love about this title and more. It was SO geeky, but most importantly it not only embraced Kamala as a character, but it also did a beautiful job at highlighting her individual relationships with her supporting cast. I especially enjoyed Zoe and Nakia’s sections. Zoe is my favorite character from the series! She could have easily been a background mean girl character, but Wilson allowed her to grow way past that stereotype to become a fully layered character. Her RPG scene really showcased that character growth beautifully as she rips her armor off to help Kamala save the day. Then Nakia’s section finally tackled the big elephant in the room as Kamala and Nakia finally have a discussion about their growing distance from each other. The individual narratives were really nice, but the last section with the group as young kids is what really made this issue for me. I love Kamala’s voiceover as she sees how much her group has changed, but they are also still the same people from Mrs. Bartholomew’s class. This scene was written by Saladin Ahmed who is taking over the series, and I hope he keeps this theme at the center of his book as well. Ms. Marvel #38 was the perfect send off to the person who created one of comic book’s most important new characters of the decade, and I look forward to seeing what Kamala’s stories will bring decades to come. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 5 Stars

Written By: Rainbow Rowell
Art By: Kris Anka
Colors By: Matt Wilson
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99

Marvel says goodbye to another creator as Runaways #18 marks the last issue of Kris Anka’s interiors on the title. Rainbow and Kris have been one of my favorite creative teams. So it’s sad to see half of the team go, but this issue was a good send off as it wraps a big battle and has a huge cliffhanger that will surely shake up the team. As always Kris really aces the balance of emotion and action, and I will especially miss his fashion choices for all of the characters. Runaways #18 marks an end, but Rainbow also proves she has a lot more to say with these characters and I can’t wait! ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Seanan McGuire
Art By: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99

“You’re so vain you probably think this song is about you.”

Spider-Gwen returns to its regular narrative following Spider-Geddon, and I’m quickly falling in love with Seanan McGuire’s voice on this title. This issue seamlessly explores the complexities of young adulthood, and for Gwen, it’s with the added stress of everyone knowing she’s Spider-Woman and not being able to escape her own casting shadow. Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #5 sets up for a lot of interesting interpersonal narratives, even a brewing love triangle between Harry, Gwen, and MJ with GWEN at the center of it all. I’m especially excited to see what McGuire will do with MJ and Gwen’s relationship. Latour teased this potential relationship, but McGuire has been really marinating the story. Especially with the pretty obvious else world’s versions of MJ and Gwen being together in the series’ first arc.  As for the artwork, I love Takeshi Miyazawa’s addition to the title. I first fell in love with his art style with his work on Ms. Marvel, and I’m glad to see him jumping onto another favorite title of mine. He does a great job of expressing complicated emotions. Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #5 is the best issue to date, and I’m totally sold with this new creative team! ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

THOR #10
Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Mike Del Mundo
Colors By: Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Mike Del Mundo
Variant Covers By: Khary Randolph and Morry Hollowell
Price: $3.99

Thor #10 “A Boy and his All-Father” mainly focusing on Odin, this issue shows us some of Odin’s past growing up and how that influenced how he fathered his children.  While realizing he probably went about it all wrong, even though he can’t bring himself to change now.  And when Thor returns for my hammers, He and Odin have a hammer brawl beat down of epic proportions. We also see Loki back with his people in Jotunheim as they continue to invasion plans for Midgard.  This issue ends with Odin calling the only Avenger he knows that has had the same problem is now faced with, how to kick the mead habit.  Can Tony help the All-Father before the War of Realms is finished?   Great story by Jason Aaron as we get more insight into Odin’s life from young to a new father to now. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Kyle Higgins
Art By: Rod Reis
Letters By: VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Rod Reis
Variant Covers By: Bill Sienkiewicz; Butch Guice & Frank D'Armata
Price: $3.99

Bucky tries to earn R.J.'s trust while trying to continue his mission. I have to say Kyle Higgins has created a unique, fun, interesting new character with R.J., we need to see more of R.J. in the greater Marvel Universe after this mini-series (which should be an ongoing) because I need to see him on a team. Young Avengers? This book has a little of everything, even some low-key shade at "Ric Grayson" in Nightwing, Yeah I saw that LOL. But the best part is how we have a book with two main characters where both are equally represented, this is Marvel's Dynamix Duo right here! The art by Rod Reis does a great job using a very muted pallet so the big splash isn't the colors but the emotions and actions of the characters.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

"Run... Now"
Story By: Dave Franchini And Howard Mackie
Written By: Howard Mackie
Art By: Babisu Kourtis
Colors By: Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letters By: Tayor Esposito (of Ghost Glyph Studios)
Cover By: Sean Chen & Ivan Nunes
Variants Covers By: Igor Vitorino & Hedwin Zaldivar; Ula Mos; Riveiro & Ceci de la Cruz; Leonardo Colapietro
Price: $3.99

Robyn is back in New York, and someone os setting her up and Robyn is once again an outlaw. YES This is the Robyn Hood I want! I missed her certain sense of snark and sass. The action here is right from the start that it makes you feel like you are watching a fast-paced summer blockbuster. The art flows so nicely from one page to the next and Babisu Kourtis does a great job of making Robyn beautiful but deadly.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

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

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