Sunday, March 24, 2019

Frontline Reviews For The Week Of March 20, 2019 - Secrets & Spies!


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 Jay, & Kat giving reviews for books from Archie ComicsDC ComicsIDW Publishing, 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!



ARCHIE #703
Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Sandy Jarrell
Letters By: Jack Morelli
Colors By: Matt Herms
Cover By: Marguerite Sauvage
Variant Covers By: Tula Lotay, Chip Zdarsky
Price: $3.99



Jughead is drawn deeper into the disappearance of Rick Mantle as Betty & Veronica bring in Cheryl to help figure out who Archie's new girlfriend is. Nick Spencer is writing a very different, more Riverdale-like Archie and I am actually enjoying it. Despite all of the Riverdale influence Spencer still keeps the heart of characters intact with Archie being the same loveable clueless guy he has always been. What intrigues me the most is the mystery with Rick Mantle, and Spencer has managed to make me like Reggie for the first time. The art here keeps a quaint charm that fits Archie and the Riverdale crew perfectly. While this isn't the Archie I grew up with Spencer has made it one that has grown up with me. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars






BATMAN #67
"Knightmares Part 5: All The Way Down"
Written By: Tom King
Art By: Lee Weeks & Jorge Fornes
Colors By: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Lee Weeks & Breitweiser
Variant Cover By: Dave Johnson
Price: $3.99



Knightmares continues in a largely silent issue as he chases a masked man through Gotham. As far as silent issues go this one was done very well. Tom King's story is easily translated visually by Lee Weeks and Jorge Fornes. I felt the fast pace of the issue the adrenaline of the chase, the danger of jumping from rooftop to rooftop and the urgency behind it all. The part that falls flat in this issue is the story arc, while I have been enjoying Knightmares overall I think this was the weakest issue due to the lack of emotion or context. With all of that said this wasn't a bad issue and still gave me a very solid enjoyable "story". ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars





TEEN TITANS #28
"The Terminus Agenda Part ONe"
Story By: Adam Glass & Christopher Priest
Written By: Adam Glass
Art By: Bernard Chang
Colors By: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith & Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover By: Alex Garner
Price: $3.99



The Teen Titans have a new mission: take down Deathstroke! This was another solid issue, Glass does a great job making these characters feel true and feel like teens. This is a more proactive team of Titans and this is the most ambitious mission they went on yet, the danger is really felt here with the team expressing their apprehension about apprehending the most dangerous assassin in the world. Things like that really make this team fee more relatable, these are teens thinking they can do anything, they know this is next level, it also brings the threat level of Slade back up. Another way Glass brings that realism in is by making them emotionally vulnerable like Damian after the nightmare, and the jealousy of Crush over Djinn and Damian's relationship. Chang and Maiolo make a great team for the art, the fight scene was great including Roundhouse falling apart. This issue has me looking forward to the next issue of Deathstroke with that ending!  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars








NAOMI #3
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis & David Walker
Art By: Jamal Campbell
Letters By: Wes Abbott
Cover By: Jamal Campbell
Variant Cover By: Emanuela Lupacchino
Price: $3.99



Naomi confronts Dee about the picture she found in his garage and discovers more than she bargained for. Walker and Bendis do a great job with world building here. Even though this is the main DCU, they are creating this new corner of it in this book and it has me turning the pages wanting to know more of its secrets. Dee being a Thangarian, and Naomi's father being a Rannian makes me wonder if this small town is so boring by design? What other species could be inhabiting this tucked away town? This series is some of Jamal Campbell's best work to date. I can't explain it, but the whole thing has this social media vibe to it, where It looks like you are watching a vlog or something. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars









MARVEL ACTION: AVENGERS #3 
Written By: Matthew K. Manning
Art By: Jon Sommarvia
Colors By: Photobunker
Letters By: Christa Miesner
Cover By: Jon Sommarvia
Variant Cover By: Ryan Jampole
Price: $3.99



The Avengers have to face off against the Advanced Iron Mechanic who is the brainwashed Tony Starke while also taking on Fin Fang Foom and A.I.M. Meanwhile, Madame Masque and the U-Foes break out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier. These Marvel Action books are fun! I am really enjoying the continuity-light fun approach to them. I think it is the fun that I enjoy most! When was the last time Thor had some good quips? It is hard to remember when any of these Avengers last smiled and here they are enjoying being Avengers while not taking away from the gravity of their situation. The art here really does a nice job giving it an animated feel. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 Stars











FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4
Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Juann Cabal, Douglas Franchin (Finisher 18-20)
Colors By: Nolan Woodward
Letters By: VC’s Travis Latham
Cover By: Andrew C. Robinson
Marvel Meow Variant Cover By: Nao Fuji
Price: $4.99



The Under Yorkers come to wage war on the city to get back Leilani and her children. Tom Taylor has brought back the Friendly Neighborhood back to Spider-Man! I missed the fun that Spider-Man gave us, even when he was facing death Peter always had some great quips to dole out. It isn't just Peter though, it is the world feels different here, even with the danger of the situation we have folks in the neighborhood taking a stand for Spider-Man because he does the same for them. Another nice little piece here was the commentary on immigration in America, Taylor made it work into the story without having his politics overpowering the scene. But it is the moment in the end with Aunt May that really hits us in the feels and has me both anticipating and dreading that next issue. Woodward helps feed that sense of the classic feel in his colors that perfectly fits the simplistic yet detailed art of Cabal. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars




THE IMMORTAL HULK #15
Written By: Al Ewing
Art By: Joe Bennett
Colors By: Paul Mounts
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $3.99



The Immortal Hulk hits it out of the park once again as Al Ewing takes an even deeper look at the connection between the Hulk family through the point of view of Doc Samson and his experience with death. I love the psychological narrative that Ewing has been producing, and connecting Bruce's death with the rest of his family makes me even more invested in the story. This series shows that there are actual consequences to death in comic books! Joe Bennett on pencils does a great job at bringing that horror, monster tone that helped many people fall in love with this series. It's some of the best artwork at Marvel right now. The Immortal Hulk #15 is a great follow up to the last issue, which was my favorite of the series and one of my favorite comics of the year. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars




JESSICA JONES: PURPLE DAUGHTER #3
Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Filipe Andrade & Mattia De Iulis
Colors By: Stephanie Paitreau & Mattia De Iulis
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $4.99



Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter #3 is a bit of a disappointing last chapter compared to the fantastic penultimate issue. I enjoyed the unique spin with Purple Man’s son, but this issue shifts the focus back on to his father and that was a letdown. We’ve seen enough Purple Man stories with Jessica, and I wanted something new. Even though I didn’t love the plot, Kelly Thompson does a good job of displaying the emotional battle between Jessica and Purple Man. On art, there were two illustrators - Filipe Andrade and Mattia De Iulis. Andrade drew the dream sequence with Jessica as a housewife. I didn’t love his lanky art style, but it did fit Jessica’s dream state. For the rest of the narrative, as always De Iulis aces the visuals, and I wish he could have been the artist on the whole issue. His art especially shines when Jessica has to fight herself to defeat Purple Man. He really composes those emotions perfectly. Overall, I enjoyed Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter, even if it fumbled at the end. Although, the digital format is frustrating since we don’t know when or if the series will return for another story arc. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 3 Stars




MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: CITY AT WAR #1
Written By: Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum
Art By: Michele Bandini
Colors By: David Curiel
Letters By: V.C.'s Travis Lanham
Cover By: Clayton Crain
Variant Covers By: Various Artists
Price: $3.99



Set in the GamerVerse Spider-Man takes down Kingpin and with a power vacuum in the city, Mr. Negative tries to fill that void. I am not a gamer and have only played the PS4 Spider-Man sparingly with my nephew, but I have seen the "cut scenes movie" online so I have an understanding of the basic story. If you are someone who either played this game or like me watched the cut scenes, don't worry, while they do tell the same story overall, this issue adds new dimensions to it. I really like the added depth and story we got here, they really give me a better feel for the GamerVerse world. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars






MEET THE SKRULLS #2 
"Family Unit"
Written By: Robbie Thompson
Art By: Niko Henrichon
Colors By: Laurent Grossat
Letters By: V.C.'s Travis Lanham
Cover By: Marcos Martin
Variant Cover By: Rahzzah
Price: $3.99



The Warners continue their mission while their handler Moloth informs Carl that the man hunting the Skrull sleepers could be after his daughter Alice. I love how complex these characters are. These are Skrulls, who should be just seen as evil threats but through their backstories, we see maybe there is more to them? Then that rug is pulled from under us when we see apparently Carl doesn't care that his own daughter could be killed by the hunter. Even Alice herself is complex she seems to be the one who is the best of them, then she goes total Mean Girl on a girl from school. I can't wait to see what Thompson has planned for the next issue! Niko Henrichon's style is the perfect fit for this Twilight Zone meets Riverdale vide this book has. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 4 ½ Stars





WEST COAST AVENGERS #9
Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Gang Hyuk Lim
Colors By: Tiona Farrell
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99



West Coast Avengers #9, sadly, marks the penultimate issue of this amazingly fun team book. This issue not only starts to wrap up the team’s narrative but plot lines from Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye series as we learn what Kate’s mom has been up to for the past decade. The vampire cult isn’t exactly the strongest plot line to end the series, but the character narrative that weaves through it is what makes this a solid end. Gang Hyuk Lim’s pencils do a great job at capturing these character moments and hysterical comedic beats Thompson aces with this series. If you aren’t reading West Coast Avengers, do yourself a favor and pick it up so we can get another volume. ~ Kat @ComicUno
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,  at 10:00 PM ET!

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