Review Roundup for the Week of December 27th
This week will be heavily DC centric with several big releases, as well as some critical Marvel series. There are links to full reviews of the two books of the week. Please let us know what you’d like us to review by leaving a comment on our Facebook page, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging any of us directly. Keep in mind that the format we’ll follow will be as follows:
Book Title and Number(Story Arc Name)*
*Denotes Book of the Week
Here we go!
Doomsday Clock #2 (Places We Have Never Known)
This issue builds on the last one in a big way. We get some insight into why Marionette and the Mime are important to the story. We also get the Watchmen characters in the DC Universe. Bruce Wayne is involved a little bit in this issue. Rorschach and Ozymandias split up to meet a couple of iconic DC characters which in turn leads to a couple of interesting confrontations. There is a big cliffhanger ending that will make you want the next issue sooner rather than later. Check out our full review.
Story – Progress is made. Answers questions, and poses more of them. We get Doc Manhattan and Batman in the same issue 9/10
Art – The art continues to be excellent. One of the best-looking books you could find. 9/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – It seems like the time differential has been addressed this issue between the 2 universes, however, we’re still a little off with where this falls in DC Continuity, since this apparently takes place a year in advance of current continuity. The characterizations are still spot on thus far. 8/10
Twist Factor – A highly anticipated meeting finally occurs in this issue, and one huge surprise during another big meeting. 9/10
Final Score – Easily the book of the week. Looking forward to the next issue. 9/10
Phoenix Resurrection #1 (The Return of Jean Gray pt 1)*
A strange phenomenon involving 2 children draws all of the X-Men out for an investigation. After splitting up into 3 teams in 3 distinct locations, they all run into some trouble, and all 3 of them see an omen in the sky. This is also seen by a familiar figure working at a diner. We follow Jean for the rest of the issue where we see other familiar faces and names, specifically one on the last page that should make some X-Men fans very happy. Check out our full review.
Story – It’s a mystery, with action and beloved characters. It’s a good start, we’ll see where it goes in the next few weeks. 7/10
Art – I’ve always loved Leinel Francis Yu’s art work and this issue does nothing to pull away from that. His characters always look splendid, especially his work with shadows. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – We are not sure where this falls in continuity yet. The characters are also balanced and true to who they are thus far, with the exception of those in the Jean section of the book, but we don’t quite know what’s going on there yet. 6/10
Twist Factor – The end of the issue that incorporated several X-Men characters, including one of my personal favorites. 8/10
Final Score – This is your Marvel book of the week right here. 9/10
Nightwing the New Order #5 (Chapter 5)
One of the biggest set pieces is the escape from Jake’s captors early in this episode. We get a good idea about who the Titans are as they rescue Dick and Jake. The team now consists of Starfire (Jake’s mom), the Flash (Wally West), Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Lois Lane with a Blue Lantern ring. As they escape their fight with Mr. Freeze, Nightwing explains that he will give them a head start, but he must tell the government about their hideout, which leads to him being knocked out. They run for Metropolis, where they are attacked and rescued by a redesigned, mostly depowered Superman who has been working with Lex Luthor to protect the city. There is an amazing reveal about the death of Batman in this world. Even though Dick is trapped, he finds himself in communication with Kate Kane about how to end the struggle against those with powers for good.
Story – The answers we recieved and gaps filled in about certain characters was well worth the wait. However, the story being relayed through Jake’s eyes may not be best. 7/10
Art – Designs were cool, especially for Superman and the Titans, but it seemed rushed and sloppy at times. 6/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – At it’s heart, this is a Nightwing story and it shows. His convictions remain as strong as ever. The other characters hold many of their classic traits as well. 8/10
Twist Factor – How Batman dies on this Earth/future. 9/10
Final Score – 7.5/10
The Flash #37 (A Cold Day In Hell pt 2)
The Flash has been up and down lately, and thankfully this issue is more of an up than a down. Juggling many pieces of continuity, this story pushes forward, establishing the Rogues as a force to be reckoned with, even from prison. Barry looks to be more responsible in his job and his Iron Heights partner, Kristen. As the two of them investigate the murder of a Rogue named Turbine allegedly committed by The Trickster, something seems amiss, especially when they are told to ignore the evidence they’ve found. Godspeed, a speedster and former friend who Barry put away, gives Barry a tip. Of course, this tip is a trap, set by Godspeed and Captain Cold who trap Flash in an Iron Heights cell. Flash’s cell is designed to slow him down using the same tech from Captain Cold’s Cold Gun. The issue ends with a slowed, partially frozen Flash at the mercy of Captain Cold, who looks prepared for a physical confrontation.
Story – Despite previous issues, this book quickly gets things moving, building more toward a crescendo. 7/10
Art – At times the art is really good, but other times, it falters looking more cartoonish than in other parts of the book. 6/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – This installment leans heavily into the continuity. Incorporating Godspeed, the Rogues, Iris’ nephew Wally as Kid Flash, and Barry’s new job at Iron Heights into one story isn’t easy, but it all works out here. 8/10
Twist Factor – Rebranding Captain Cold. He’s always been a mastermind, but the end of this issue makes him a physically imposing force. 7/10
Final Score – 7/10
Hawkman Found #1
A Dark Nights: Metal tie-in, this book spins directly out of last weeks Metal #4. It centers on the story of Carter Hall, who has been tied into the books mythology through his journal. We finally get a little backstory in this one-shot issue. It opens with a recurring nightmare that Carter has been having about him falling. He wakes up to a different type of nightmare where he and other prisoners are terrorized by Manhawks who take the prisoners and they are never heard from again. Carter fights back and breaks into the ship the Manhawks have used where he fights a captor to the death. As the fight/flashback occurs, it’s discovered that it was his duty to man the Forge of Worlds that Batman and Superman sought in Metal #4. Carter viciously beats his captor and steals his wings to escape. Here, his nightmare comes to life and he falls, leaving us with the massive hawk guardian of the forge that we found at the end of the last issue of Metal.
Story – While pivotal, this story feels a little bit incomplete. We get some good insight, but this story feels really short. 6/10
Art – The visceral nature of this story really comes through in Bryan Hitch’s work in this issue. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – This is not the Carter Hall we’re used to, but he feels at home in the larger narrative. 7/10
Twist Factor – Carter Hall. It’s nice to finally get some answers where he is concerned in this series. 7/10
Final Score – 7/10
The Amazing Spider-Man #793 (Venom Inc. pt 4)
Continuing this crossover, the story takes a bit of a leap forward in this issue. It begins with a symbiote masked Spider-Man doing some very unfriendly things to some crooks. He then steals what they were stealing from a caterer. Meanwhile Anti-Venom (Flash) is rescued by Mania, the former host to the symbiote that Lee Price has. Venom and Black Cat are hunting the cure to having a symbiote so Price can be stopped. Mind-controlled Spidey goes to the Daily Bugle to draw out Black Cat. He briefly battles Anti-Venom until Black Cat shows up and cures him of the symbiote. Once all the main players are together, Lee Price’s motivations are made clear. He is using his ability to take over the 5 biggest crime families in the world.
Story – This issue FINALLY moves this story forward. With 2 issues left in this crossover, it is good to know what to look forward to in the future. 7/10
Art – I wish Ryan Stegman could draw Spider-Man, Venom, and their world all the time. His style is perfect for them. 9/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – This story is built on it’s own continuity and continues to do so while respecting who the characters are. 7/10
Twist Factor – Dan Slott’s dark humor. He clearly takes pleasure in writing a villainous Spider-Man. 8/10
Final Score – 8/10