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All-Star Batman #11 Review

It should come as no surprise that All-Star Batman #11 is an amazing comic book that I highly recommend, because as of late, Scott Snyder’s work has been second to none, and in an issue like this, where he is teamed with an artist, Rafael Albuquerque, whose artwork brings scripts to life, Snyder soars miles above his competition. But that’s enough love for Scott Snyder (for now), you’re here to read about what of think of his latest work, so here it is…

This, the second part of The First Ally, was worth the wait, and thanks to yet another helping of Alfred’s backstory – as we were promised – I’m looking forward to seeing what dark corner of Alfred’s past All-Star Batman #12 will illuminate. Alfred, I believe, is a character that is often overlooked, or, taken for granted by Bat-fans, so placing his history at the forefront of this story is an interesting choice. Regardless, Alfred’s story is one of intrigue, and thus this book works well.

Batman comes face to face with a new adversary in this issue, and their clash is short but intense. To avoid spoiling the book I won’t say too much, but I will say that this issue’s ending has me feeling quite concerned about the Dark Knight’s well-being.

Man, I can’t wait for the next issue.

9
Score
All-Star Batman #11
The Bottom Line
Part 2 of the First Ally story arc illuminates some of the darker corners of Alfred's past. Action-packed and emotional, this issue is yet another must-read from Scott Snyder.
Yes!
A relatively Alfred-centric issue that entertains
Action-packed

The Old Guard #5 Review

Fast moving and smart, this is one title that sustains the excitement from issue to issue. The Old Guard is constant and gripping on every page. Regardless of how or why they got to be the way they are I am with them every step of the way. Eternal warriors are nothing new, but these seem entirely believable. World-weary and philosophic, but deadly and unremorseful, except when it comes to family, as it should be. I want them to win. I cringe when they bleed and their treacheries are mine as well.

This badass actioner never slacks, never relents, and never gives up. The pain of living with the affliction of near immortality vies against the need to find something worth living for and after thousands of years, the conflict is crushing.

The life of violence and destruction is met with a betrayal from one of their own, but after retrieving the rest of the crew Andy does the worst thing possible the un-killable traitor: she exiles him. “Life means nothing if it isn’t worth living.” This is one comic worth reading.

9
Score
The Old Guard #5
The Bottom Line
A non-stop thrill ride with intelligence and heart.
Yes!
Firepower.
No...
No complaints here.

Royal City #4 Review

The ponderous reflections of a self-doubting writer return in the fourth issue, this time with some character growth. Pat seems to be able to leave the ghost of Tommy behind, though his mother is still incapable of doing so and his other brother is falling deeper into his self-inflicted chaos.

This soft and moody story maintains the unease of growing older and captures the heartbreak of family in crisis, but does anyone want to read about it? Is there a story there? Well, yes and no. Stories about real people and the ghosts of the past can be interesting and compelling, but this one borders on sentimental and self-indulgent.

Whether the intention is to tell a supernatural or psychological tale, some of the components are there, but they just don’t land with enough power. I’m not easily scared or sufficiently compassionate I guess.

The problem is that although the story appears to be moving it never seems to get anywhere. It doesn’t have to come to a massive climax, but it does have to come to a point.

6
Score
Royal City #4
The Bottom Line
Lemire tells a good story and these characters are recognizable, but I’m caring less the deeper he goes.
Yes!
Intelligent and thought provoking.
No...
A little self-absorbed. The bleakness of the art.

Spencer & Locke #3 Review

The thrilling tale of the hard-boiled detective trying to track down the killers of his childhood sweetheart continues with our hero captured and tortured, but somehow, our plucky gumshoe prevails. In a similar fashion Spencer & Locke triumphs against all odds. The seemingly unconquerable difficulties of the premise fall away with each issue. As unlikely as it may seem, and contrary to reasonable expectations as it truly is, this is an excellent story and exciting comic. The struggle is riveting and the protagonist is insane (probably).

Not only is Locke more fractured than we knew, there are reasons for his behaviors. The nonsensical and fantastical elements of Spencer & Locke are starting to make sense. The detective is damaged, and we are seeing the beginnings of his madness. Guilt and rage drive him and he really is delusional. How would he have survived otherwise?

Yet, despite the drugs and trauma, we get scenes from Spencer the stuffed animal’s point of view. He has agency and problem-solving skills and he is loyal and brave. How is that even possible? This high concept noir detective story inspired by the funny pages continues to surprise. There is depth and psychological complexity in a story about a boy and his stuffed animal and after three issues, beyond any reasonable expectation, the unreal pastiche has not fallen apart. It holds to its internal logic while still delivering on an action packed and thrilling story.

9
Score
Spencer & Locke #3
The Bottom Line
I keep expecting this unique story to fail under its own weirdness, but instead it gets better.
Yes!
The daring and originality is unparalleled. How can anything so dumb come off as so smart?
No...
Is it getting too dark?

The Flash #24 Review

This is worse than TV. The wait between issues seems to take forever. Only getting 32 pages after two weeks of thumb twiddling is killing me. I have no patience. I wish every issue was a trade paperback or complete arc. Part One of “Color of Fear” was enough to keep me up at night. If this vibe continues in The Flash #24, I might end up having Reverse Flash nightmares.

What’s The Flash #24 about? From DC:

“RUNNING SCARED” prelude—guest-starring Hal Jordan! Green Lantern Hal Jordan has recruited Barry Allen for a dangerous mission that only The Flash can accomplish! Unfortunately, that mission is on a hostile space station deep in the cosmos, which means leaving Kid Flash alone to defend his and Barry’s loved ones from a deadly attack by their greatest enemy…

Okay, so yeah, bring on the nightmares, I guess. Eobard Thawne might have just entered my Top 5 DC Villains. It was bad enough the guy came back after being turned into something that looked like a hotdog that was left on a grill for far too long, but the lengths he goes to hurt Barry Allen, is unreal. If Joshua Williamson’s story has Thawne obtain a power ring that matches his suit, I might never sleep again.

The Flash #24 is one of, if not the most, satisfying comics I’ve ever read. If I didn’t know better I’d think I was watching a movie. The pages containing the two simultaneous battles of Barry and Wally are absolutely incredible. And, for the final ingredient of my new night terrors, I have the final page burned into my mind. When I wake up in a cold sweat, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Pop Mhan are the first two people I’m calling.

9
Score
The Flash #24 Review
The Bottom Line:
I haven't been doing this for long but The Flash #24 is easily my favorite of the series so far.
Yes!
"The Color of Fear" might give 34 year old me nightmares.
No...
Nothing. Nothing was bad.

Kill The Minotaur #1 Review

A modern retelling that is sure to please even the most demanding of fans, Kill The Minotaur is a fresh take on an old tale that promises readers an epic experience with each turn of the page.

So, what’s Kill The Minotaur about? From Image:

“Athens lost the war to Crete. Now, they pay tribute to King Minos by sacrificing their best citizens to his unearthly labyrinth. Conspirators believe Theseus can be the hero they need to end the mad king’s bloody reign…but no one on this world has ever encountered anything like the savage minotaur. CHRIS PASETTO, CHRISTIAN CANTAMESSA (Red Dead Redemption) and LUKAS KETNER (WITCH DOCTOR) reinvent the most fearsome beast of all with this horrific tale of heroism. Each issue features 30 pages of story!”

Typically, comics like this don’t appeal to me as I don’t really like the retellings of classic stories, or, for that matter, Historical Fiction. But, with a title like Kill The Minotaur, I figured that I would give this one a chance and peer at some of the pages. After glimpsing through some of the book’s early pages, I was convinced that it was going to be good. In short, Kill The Minotaur #1 is a fantastic comic.

Written by Christian Cantamessa and Chris Pasetto, Kill The Minotaur #1 reads like a well-written novel, as one of the books obvious strengths is its dialogue work. Theseus speaks and acts uniquely and honestly. No cardboard cutouts here folks.

Pick this one up.

9
Score
Kill The Minotaur #1
The Bottom Line
A modern retelling that is sure to please even the most demanding of fans, Kill The Minotaur is a fresh take on an old tale that promises readers an epic experience with each turn of the page. Pick it up.
Yes!
Excellent dialogue work

Regression #2 Review

This, the second issue of the series offers some added insight into our protagonist’s plight and showcases a darker and perhaps eviler side of him, but despite this, there are still so many questions left to be answered. While often having questions at the beginning of a comic series, novel, or film can be a good thing, I still find myself searching for the story and asking, “What’s going on here?” It feels to me like each time a door opens, another closes, and I questioned whether I was missing the point or had somehow overlooked something, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Although there was a good deal of blood, guts, and bugs, Regression #2 didn’t have nearly the same visual impact that Issue #1 had. Is this the comic’s fault? I don’t know. Issue #1 came out swinging in terms of being visually unsettling and left quite an impression on me. I went into my reading of Regression #2 expecting to be shocked, and that just didn’t happen.

Regression #2 didn’t work for me, as it wasn’t nearly as intense as I had hoped it would be.

Still, I am going to continue reading the series because I believe that it is going to be great. I see this issue as a bit of a misstep, but am confident that it will soon find its way back to being an awesome series.

6.5
Score
Regression #2
The Bottom Line
I'm unsure of whether I went into my reading of this issue expecting too much, but for me, it just didn't work. I'm hoping though that this issue is only a speed bump of sorts, and before long, we'll be back on track.
Yes!
Still has the potential to be amazing
No...
We learn more, but not enough
Lacked the 'Wow' factor that Issue #1 had

Winnebago Graveyard #1 Review

When are people going to realize that creepy roadside carnivals always represent manifestations of evil, and stopping at them at the spur of the moment never ends well? Add the overbearing Dad, obnoxious kid, whiny Mom and the last minute decision to leave the phones in the Winnebago (which is both their lodging and only source of transportation), to get exactly what you would expect to find.

In Winnebago Graveyard there is a whole lot of cliché to overcome. Not that a familiar opening is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not left with much of an incentive to care what happens next. The characters are thin and so far at least, the plot is worn out.

In order to stand out in an already crowded field of the supernatural, there has to be a hook, there has to be something special. I see none of that here. I do like the art, though. It is suitably dark and gross where required and does more to set the tone than the writing. Overall there’s not much to see here. Move along.

5.5
Score
Winnebago Graveyard #1
The Bottom Line
I like stories about demonic cults as much as anyone, maybe more so, and I’m pretty forgiving about slow builds, but the pace and originality need to pick up right quick. This is not a promising start.
Yes!
The art is evocative and moody as it should be and does much to set the tone and tell the story.
No...
There is nothing here that we haven’t all seen before.

Black Cloud #3 Review

Zelda is a creator and destroyer and is far more powerful than we knew. In its third issue, Black Cloud has also grown to become more than just a story about mayoral politics. We’ve got a bigger picture now – a far more interesting one with time travel, multi-dimensions, and such, but it’s still about politics, isn’t it?

As the story gets broader and the worlds get wider, the role of Zelda in it all gets quite a bit more important, and more interesting. We find that the revolution has succeeded after a fashion, but what has been wrought is not the ideal the rebels strived for. And beyond that, Zelda made it worse, then ran away. There might be fantastical elements, but where an individual stands in the midst of conflict is where the drama lives.

The questions of who is the monster and the why of the monster are great themes for the continued series. Zelda is flawed and cowardly and faced with the consequences of her actions. The story is how she will deal with it all. Is she a hero and leader or just a culprit? I’m not sure where all of this is going and that is a good thing.

7.5
Score
Black Cloud #3
The Bottom Line
Quality art and intrigue. Hinkle blends the real and unreal to the right kind of unease for the reader. Latour and Brandon deliver a layered story in a complex world that defy expectations.
Yes!
Zelda is a rich character with conflicting motives and history. We can think we know what she should do, but never what she will.
No...
Zelda needs to take responsibility sooner rather than later, or at least step up. Running away only captures interest for so long.

GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 Review

Yet again I found myself asking, “What the f*** did I just read.” But this time, after asking the question, I immediately answered, saying “I don’t know, but I liked it…I liked it a lot.” Off the bat, I’ll say that this book will not appeal to everyone, but then again, who cares? If you picked up a copy of GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 expecting an intellectual masterpiece…let’s just say it’s not the writer’s fault that you were disappointed.

What’s GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 about? From Dynamite Entertainment:

“From the depths of outer space to the frozen wasteland of Antarctica, punk rock and heavy metal’s most shocking and blasphemous band of intergalactic blood spewing alien monsters has returned to kill everything and respect nothing in the pages of GWAR: Orgasmageddon!  Banished to the past by the cold and calculating Mr. Perfect, the heroes of GWAR trample through time like a deranged Bill and Ted on bath salts – antics ensue as they stomp and smash and shape human history to what we accept as our current reality.  Co-written by GWAR themselves and Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit), GWAR: Orgasmageddon is a love letter to comics, Grindhouse movies, and heavy metal – sure to appeal to the most die-hard fan and the comics fanboy/fangirl intrigued by the prospect of social awareness drowned in geysers of blood and alien goo.”

In the book’s description, it’s said that GWAR tramples through time like a “deranged Bill and Ted on bath salts,” and having read the comic, I must say that that is as close to a perfect description as one could come. GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 is unlike anything that I’ve read, and that’s putting it lightly.

Laden with violence and smart, fittingly distasteful writing GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 offends in all the right ways. Readers don’t need to be fans of GWAR the band to enjoy this series, in fact, I think that readers who’ve never heard of GWAR will enjoy the series more than those familiar with the band.

GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1is f***ing Metal! Read it.

8.5
Score
GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1
The Bottom Line
GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON #1 is a bloody good time - totally NSFW - totally awesome.
Yes!
Great writing, great art. A wicked good time
No...
Readers will either love or hate this
General-DC Comics

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