Review Roundup for the Week of April 18th, 2018
There are links to the full review(s) of the spotlight book(s) 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!
Action Comics #1000*
Celebrating this milestone issue, we get 10 stories by some of the biggest writers and artists who have worked for DC. We also get a couple of art pinups in the issue too. One of the biggest stories is by Brian Michael Bendis, who will be taking over Superman. This celebrates who Superman is and what he represents. Click here for our Full Review.
Story – A bunch of stories, but they are all indicative of Superman and his lore. Touching, action packed, impactful. Well done. 9/10
Art – It’s hard to complain at all about any of the art here. I just wish the Pinups were actual posters. 9/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – There is nothing better here. This issue captures the essence of Superman. 10/10
Twist Factor – Lois and the Justice League conspiring to give Clark the thank you day he deserves. 10/10
Final Score – 9.5/10
Amazing Spider-Man #799 (Go Down Swinging)*
Well, Spider-Man has been taken out of the fight, but Peter Parker hasn’t. He sends his allies (Johnny Storm, Miles Morales, Silk, and Anti-Venom) out to protect his loved ones from Red Goblin. Liz Allan, Mark Raxton and Harry Osborn wake up and go to find their children who have been taken by their nanny. JJJ confesses that it’s all his fault and when Pete hangs up on him, JJJ promises to make it right. The parents catch up with their kids and the nanny and are immediately found by the Red Goblin. The nanny is revealed to be Harry’s mom. Johnny and Clash arrive and meet Red Goblin, except their attacks don’t do anything to Red Goblin, who has all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses. He takes them out as Spidey’s other allies show up, only to get taken down. Flash does some damage, but opts to help save others, leaving himself vulnerable. Against his better judgement, Spidey shows up and is healed by Flash. Norman finds Harry and company again and takes Normie and converts him into a symbiote as well.
Story – Foreboding story, showing off Norman’s new-found power. I wish it was longer so we got more drama out of it. Even though we did get nuggets leading up to it, this story feels a little rushed but still good. 8/10
Art – Despite a lack of classic Spidey, Immonen is the right guy to draw this story. His design on Red Goblin sells this entire story. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – All of the history of these characters is on full display, most maddeningly, Flash. He seemed to have a chance to stop Norman, but focused on his fallen allies, which is exactly who he is. 7/10
Twist Factor – Harry’s mom is alive?! What a twist! 8/10
Final Score – 8/10
Avengers #689 (No Surrender)
This oversized issue focuses on the Avengers and their struggle against the Challenger and the Grandmaster. The Avengers rally the best way they can to attempt to reclaim their world. One Avenger makes a huge difference, and it shows. Big fight scenes, big team ups, interesting conclusion all setting it up the final issue of the story. Click here for our Full Review.
Story – Mainly about the perseverance of the Avengers, this story was filled with action, but not much substance. This is more a love letter to the Avengers, than the penultimate chapter of an epic. 6/10
Art – The art in this is nice, but at times, detail is missing when it would enhance the content. Tons of characters drawn is a huge bonus. 7/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – A lot of the team members showed long standing traits, while establishing those of newer characters. Hopefully the final issue tells us more about when this takes place. It’s clearly before the Death of Thor. 7/10
Twist Factor – Lightning’s big gamble. 8/10
Final Score – 7/10
Batman #45 (The Gift)
It really feels like the DC universe is interested in bringing Booster Gold back into the mix of the DCU on a regular basis. This story is based on Booster doing something nice for Batman. Right away, several things are off. Green Lantern blasts himself in the side of the head with his ring. Tim Drake works in an office. Oswald Cobblepot is president. Booster encounters Batman, who is using guns and grenades. Jason Todd has a tire company and Duke Thomas has been mentally incapacitated. It’s revealed that Batman is Dick Grayson and that Bruce is celebrating his birthday. He is dancing at his party with his mom when Booster shows up. Talia fights her dad, Ra’s, and explains that there will be no heir and she will be the last of their line. Booster explains that everything is different because as a gift, he gives Bruce a glimpse of his life where his parents weren’t murdered in crime alley and that their time is up and it’s time to go back. Bruce destroys Skeets along with the time machine he housed.
Story – I love stories that don’t reveal what is happening until the end like this one. What a weird future, all stemming from no Thomas and Martha Wayne. 8/10
Art – This book constantly looks good, but the Dick Grayson Batman is the visual standout. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – Because it’s a time travel story, much of this category gets thrown out the window, with the exception of Booster. It’s largely a Booster story, and his motivations are true to the character. 7/10
Twist Factor – Bruce’s selfishness as it relates to his parents. 8/10
Final Score – 8/10
Infinity Countdown #2
Groot battles Scar and emerges victorious and sends the Guardians off to join Drax at the Power stone. As Eve goes into labor, Galactus (which is actually Rocket fit in disguise) comes to the rescue. Nova, Gamora, and Ant-Man enter battle against the Chitauri. Nova encounters a Talon that turns out to be his brother. Ant-Man tries to shrink the Power stone and Eve’s baby is born. Adam Warlock emerges from a Pyramid on Earth and heads toward Saiph to recover the Soul stone. He fights through Ultron’s minions to find Ultron holding Silver Surfer prisoner.
Story – Big, epic story that feels like its heading towards redefining the cosmic Marvel universe. Brings several stories together effortlessly. 8/10
Art – There is a scratchy, yet detailed style that works really well for this book. Tons of action don’t kill the level of detail. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – Uses the rich history around Infinity gems to alter them and move things forward. 7/10
Twist Factor – A couple of options here, but Richard Rider reuniting with his brother. 8/10
Final Score – 8/10
Justice League #43 (Justice Lost)
This is the finale of this story arc and I couldn’t be happier. The Fan has been killed and the JL blames Deathstroke who claims innocence and points out the political messiness of the situation that they are in. Raven helps heal Diana physically, but she must fight her way back from Thanatos, God of Death. Meanwhile, Deathstroke engages the JL, taking them down. Diana and Barry rejoin the fight where she goes after Slade, who explains that they took a fall to get the crowd to disperse. The League leaves and moves on realizing they can’t win the day. The issue wraps with a few epilogue pieces (Simon’s lunch with Superman, Jess going to confront Bruce about their kiss and meeting Catwoman, a meeting between Cyborg, Superman and Batman, and Diana with kids in Africa), which all while mildly entertaining, ultimately fall flat. It ends with a tease for No Justice, which will hopefully be better than this was.
Story – Disappointing, convoluted, and hollow. Despite some action, there are several logical and story-based gaps. 4/10
Art – Good, but not Great. Hoped for something a little more epic considering that these are the biggest superheroes in the world. 6/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – Just didn’t feel good. They worked to get back to the No Justice story at the end, but until then, it wasn’t strong. 5/10
Twist Factor – Jess and Selina. 7/10
Final Score – 5.5/10
Mister Miracle #8*
This consistently strong book follows Scott Free’s journey through the early stages of parenthood while simultaneously fighting a war. His ability as a tactician is on full display on the battlefield, while his inexperience of his parenthood shines through. We see the ferocity he has on the battlefield coupled with a touch of the overprotective nature of a first time parent. He spends much of his time talking to Big Barda, coordinating their son’s care.
Story – Just an excellent story, told in a creative way. Read this book. Please read this book. 10/10
Art – The art presentation here is spectacular, which leads you to believe that something big is coming later. 10/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – Outside of Scott and Barda, not many continuity concerns here. That said, I would like to see this connect to the rest of the DCU that we know and love sometime soon. 9/10
Twist Factor – Scott’s collection of DC Hero T-shirts. 10/10
Final Score – 10/10
Super Sons #15 (End of Innocence)
Jon and Damian face off against Kid Amazo, who has attacked them in their hideout. He’s become a sentient suit of armor. During the fight their hideout is damaged and begins to flood. There is some great drama when they actively work to save each other. Damian loses his rebreather as Jon gets taken and gets rescued by Cyborg. Kid Amazo explains how he’s changed so much and explains that he intends to absorb the powers of the Justice League. He has captured the Trinity, as well as the Flash that we can see.
Story – The story moves until most of the way through where there is some needed villain monologuing to explain what’s going on. The focus on Jon and Damian is what makes this book so strong. 7/10
Art – Creative moments in this book, especially the underwater sequence. 7/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – This story begins way back in an earlier arc, which is nice since these characters don’t have a ton of shared history. 8/10
Twist Factor – Jon interfering with Damian’s workout. 8/10
Final Score – 7.5/10
The heroes fight off the Poisons, some infected with symbiotes, some not. As they fight on a bridge, Carnage is turned by Poison Thanos and Dr. Doom. Spidey, Venom, and Anti-Venom argue about the best course of action. Back on the bridge, Kid Kaiju comes to the rescue to help people get off the bridge. Further in the city, the Defenders fight off Poisons when they take Devil Dinosaur. Spidey, Venom, and Anti-Venom arrive and join the fight. Anti-Venom tries to use his powers and melts one of the Poisons. They send Carnage out to neutralize Kid Kaiju and Anti-Venom.
Story – Action packed story, with some good conflict between the main characters. It feels like they are doing all they can to incorporate Venom to the universe over the last 6 months or so. 7/10
Art – Looks good, but there are too many variants in regular characters, but Poisoned versions of characters look cool. 7/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – Building on other events, some of which were subpar may not be the best of ideas, but they are built on nonetheless. 6/10
Twist Factor – Devil Dinosaur symbiote. 8/10
Final Score – 7/10
X-Men: Gold #26 (Till Death Do Us Part)
This story makes strides in the Kitty/Peter relationship with the marriage in sight. We see Kitty’s first thoughts about meeting Peter as the team hunts down Mesmero. Some pretty sweet combo moves between Rogue, Nightcrawler and Storm take Mesmero down. After some quick interludes involving Linda Nance as well as Kitty and Iceman, Nightcrawler finds Colossus in the Danger Room working off frustration. He volunteers himself to plan his bachelor party. Kitty asks her mom to walk her down the aisle, in a really sweet moment. At his bachelor party in Vegas, the party has some fun conversations that seem to make Peter uncomfortable and he excuses himself to go to the bathroom. He gets attacked by a nanite based Sentinel who takes him hostage.
Story – While slow at points, it’s a set up issue mostly, with some humorous moments. When the action kicks in, it becomes fun, but feels like it could have used a little more focus. This may pay off later, however. 7/10
Art – It seems like we’ve changed artists and it’s a good looking book. Love the combo move. 8/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – A lot of building off of previous story arcs which is nice. This wedding seems like it’s building to something kind of big. 7/10
Twist Factor – The previously mentioned combo. 8/10
Final Score – 7.5/10