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Winnebago Graveyard #2 Review

The strength of Winnebago Graveyard is, by far, its artwork. It is dark and horrific and sets the mood independent of any narrative. It is beautiful and intricate with every line and color full of detail to set realist scenes. Cinematic and tense, the Horror story hangs on the look and the feel and Sampson delivers.

I wish I could say the say for the writing. The story has yet to move beyond the familiar chestnut of the troubled family stranded in the spooky hotel in the creepy town with the sheriff who is no help at all. Will they pull together and survive? Will they be stronger for their ordeal? Should we care? That they have to ask what the people with the black robes and torches are up to just shows how lame the dialogue is and promises a fairly unsurprising tale of some mysterious cult.

That the story actually picks up when the words are removed may just mean that the dialogue and plot are the problem. Niles may have scripted the scenery and provided the imagery, but the people with the moving and the talking is not an area of expertise. This is a visual narrative with each frame giving the necessary information and moving the story along, but that’s all we get.

6.5
Score
Winnebago Graveyard #2
The Bottom Line
Winnebago Graveyard is nothing more than a typical horror movie idiot plot where if the main characters weren’t such idiots, the event would never have occurred.
Yes!
Beautifully and carefully rendered.
No...
No surprises.

Orphan Black: Deviations #3 Review

I feel like I’m betraying the sestras by not liking this comic. I want to like it. I’m curious about what could have happened under different circumstances. Certainly, the vast Neolution et al. conspiracies are fertile ground for plenty of drama, action, and intrigue. Unfortunately, none of that shows up in this issue. Instead, we get info dumps and name checks.

What’s going on with Vic? Well, let’s pretend he is a viable suspect. Katya’s still alive, let’s inexplicably give her knowledge of MK. With so many clones aware of each other at the same time in the same place, there is just not enough for them all to do.

Helena’s finally introduced, but by way of explanation she just happens to drop a Ukrainian manufactured pistol that Beth finds and immediately recognizes. Duko and the ambulance crew find Beth in the gutter and deliver her to Evie Cho. Everybody except the Castors and the Duncans are present, but none of this version of the story makes sense unless the reader is familiar with the show and has stayed with it as far as the fourth season.

5
Score
Orphan Black: Deviations #3
The Bottom Line
Fans of the show might like this, but any chance of engaging a new audience has been abandoned.
Yes!
Scott makes his first suitably awkward appearance.
No…
Sarah is conveniently in a place to witness the nighttime probes and no one notices her.

Dark Days: The Casting #1 Review

As we fall headfirst into a tale older than recorded time (it seems), the light from the DCU fades away into a darkness so pure that the mere thought of something being birthed from this abyss is frightening. This deep, dense darkness threatens existence; there is a war coming.

As much as I would like to call this issue a teaser, I can’t because of the sheer amount of story that Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV have packed into this book. Dark Days: The Casting #1 does so much more than tease, it thrills. This book is a perfect prelude to what feels as though it will be a perfect event. Comic book fans rejoice; the story you’ve been waiting for is finally here…

When writing this story, I find it very hard to believe that both Snyder and Tynion weren’t reading/re-reading a good deal of H.P Lovecraft, as his influence, on this book, in particular, is obvious. The Old Gods – the looming darkness that inconspicuously runs through the veins of mankind – the curses and ancient stories – it’s all there.

With so much going on at once, pacing, in a story like this, is directly correlated to success. And as far as I am concerned, this book’s pace is perfect. At times, the writing is dense and the pages of Dark Days: The Casting #1 are weighed heavily with words. But, thankfully, readers are given enough time to process the information that they’re receiving prior to falling deeper down the rabbit hole.

I can go on and on about this book, but I’m going to stop here because I think that it is clear that I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to see what Snyder and Tynion have in store for us…

10
Score
Dark Days: The Casting #1
The Bottom Line
As we fall headfirst into a tale older than recorded time (it seems), the light from the DCU fades away into a darkness so pure that the mere thought of something being birthed from this abyss is frightening. This deep, dense darkness threatens existence; there is a war coming. Buy this book!
Yes!
Everything about this book

Black Cloud #4 Review

Zelda is far more important and far more powerful than we had originally been led to believe. She dispatches her enemies with the snap of her fingers. Now that she has come home the extent of her influence is revealed and suddenly Black Cloud is a far more complex story as a result. Zelda is perhaps the most powerful being left alive in her world and she is responsible for the mess that the rest are forced to live in. Her accountability is what the story is all about. She needs to figure out how to repair the world and fix herself which makes for a fascinating story. Frank may or may not help her, but things are about to get even more perilous.

Meanwhile, Todd is stomping about like some addle-brained white bread kaiju. He is horrifying and hilarious. Now that he has sniffed out Zelda’s return, it will be interesting to see how he reacts and what she does about it.

Black Cloud is bigger and broader with each installment. Smart pacing and intrigue combine with intricate and devastating art. There is more going on here than is initially apparent and it is very well crafted.

8
Score
Black Cloud #4
The Bottom Line
A strong and unique tale of magic, power and revolution and how no one escapes their own skin.
Yes!
A new meaning to cat fight.
No...
I forget the point of the lizard guy.

The Divided States of Hysteria #2 Review

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the end of the first issue, New York City is destroyed, the United States is devastated, and the government is proven ineffectual. Only a private security firm, a disgraced former FBI agent and a bunch of murderous miscreants can save the day. This unlikely alliance hinted at last time is not an especially original concept and their efforts are not likely to succeed. Nor are we given any reason to care about them as they were all presented as repellent. So all that really leaves as the primary focus of The Divided States of Hysteria is the brutality and that is not a sustainable position. It does nothing to support a story and it doesn’t add to an intelligent discourse either.

Where the first issue was successful in its outrageousness, the second has nothing to build on and none of the characters have been given anything resembling a redeeming feature. So where do we go from here? Seems to me Chaykin has backed himself into a corner, but he’s still got a few more chapters to create a more satisfying story.

I haven’t given up as not all the pieces have been set yet. I appreciate the artist/writer as provocateur. I am worried that this is all noise and no signal, but I will keep tuning in.

7
Score
The Divided States of Hysteria #2
The Bottom Line
Shock value has limited staying power and the story suffers as a result. Time to dial in on a more compelling tale.
Yes!
Unapologetic shock and awe is encouraged.
No...
Unless it leads nowhere.

Regression #3 Review

Regression #3, Image Comics, Review

If you go back and read my last Regression review, you’ll see that I was concerned about the direction of this series as well as its progression. After reading the second issue, I felt disconnected – I felt as though I was missing the point. Clearly, though, I wasn’t concerned enough to give up on the series and quit reading. Going into this issue, I was leery, but overall, I’m glad that I picked this one up. Did Issue #3 redeem the series? Perchance.

Exactly what is going on isn’t clear, but in Issue #3, writer Cullen Bunn reveals information that sheds light into some of Regression’s darker corners. I welcome this light, as it has inspired me to continue reading.

I had expected the story to continue to shock me, but again, as I had referenced in my last review, Issue #1 came out swinging, and thus since then, I don’t think that Bunn has managed to raise the stakes enough. The plot is becoming darker as it thickens. But, while I am mostly pleased with this issue, I still would like to have another issue of Regression turn my stomach some before it progresses too much further.

Artist Danny Luckert does a well enough job with this one, but I prefer it when Regression’s pages are infested with bugs and littered with guts. I don’t blame Luckert for the recent lack of nasty stuff, but I certainly do prefer his more brutal work.

Issue #3 is an improvement from Issue #2, but there is still some work to do. Regardless, I’ll be reading the next issue.

7
Score
Regression #3
The Bottom Line
Regression has improved since the last issue, but I am still looking for more than I am getting. There is potential, but changes have to be made. I'm still looking for more of the intensity that the initial issue offered.
Yes!
We're getting back on track
No...
Still isn't turning my stomach
What happened to the intensity?

Green Lanterns #26 Review

Green Lanterns, Issue 26, Comic, DC, Review

Albeit entertaining, Green Lanterns #26 feels miscalculated and out of place. A whole lot of momentum was lost with this issue, and whether the series will recover relies on Green Lanterns #27. This issue is far from being ‘bad’ or poorly written, but the timing is off. Despite knowing otherwise, this issue feels like the start of a new arc rather than the continuation of one. Overall though, as a long time Green Lantern fan, I did enjoy the issue.

This issue’s pacing was slower than I prefer, but it wasn’t boring. Not necessarily action packed, Green Lanterns #26 crept along and retained interest and excitement by digging deep into the history of the GLC. Reading about Volthoom and essentially what was the birth of the GLC kept me turning pages, and smiling throughout my read.

Not knowing what happened to Simon and Jessica after they disappeared in the previous issue left me feeling out of touch with them and the story that they were a part of. Readers are promised that they’ll catch up with the newest Green Lanterns next issue, but I would have preferred a cliffhanger this issue that offered a glimpse at their whereabouts.

I can keep nitpicking, but I think I’ve made my point. I’m still a fan and plan on sticking around, this one just didn’t work for me.

7
Score
Green Lanterns #26 Review
The Bottom Line
A whole lot of momentum was lost with this issue, and while there was an interesting unloading of information, not seeing Jessica or Simon left me feeling disconnected.
Yes!
Volthoom insight
No...
No Jessica. No Simon.
We know a lot of the backstory already.

Green Arrow #26 Review

Green Arrow, the Flash, Review, DC Comics

More so than the Green Arrow/Flash team-up, I was excited to see that artist Stephen Byrne tackled the inking and coloring of his illustrations. Having one artist focus on all aspects of an issue’s art typically results in a solid end-product that rivals even the finest and most cohesive artistic collaborations. Green Arrow #26 serves as a great example of what happens when an artist is put in the driver seat and is allowed to take control of the look of a book – Green Arrow #26 is visually stunning.

As one would have guessed, there is some tension between the Flash and Green Arrow, and initially, teaming up seems unlikely. The Flash raises a good point in bringing up Green Arrow’s ‘limited abilities’ by questioning how Green Arrow could possibly help a super-powered hero like the Flash. Frankly, I agree with the Flash here and think that the Green Arrow doesn’t bring nearly as much to the table as other non-super-powered heroes like, I don’t know, Batman. Members of a team should mutually benefit from each other’s skills, and here, that’s not the case.

The idea of there being a disturbance in the Speed Force which leads to a sort of ‘leak,’ is one that I can get behind. I wish though that this disturbance would have negatively affected the Flash and rendered him weaker or slower than normal. If this was the case, the Green Arrow’s involvement would have been justified. Maybe this will happen next issue, but as of now, I’m not feeling this arc, and I’m really not looking forward to reading Green Arrow #27.

7
Score
Green Arrow #26
The Bottom Line
This issue is visually stunning, but as of now, I'm not feeling this arc, and I'm really not looking forward to reading Green Arrow #27.
Yes!
Fantastic art by Stephen Byrne
No...
Why does the Flash need help from Green Arrow?
The issue is wrapped up quickly with an unsavory ending

Deathstroke #21 Review

Deathstroke #21, Comic Book, Review

As the line on the cover suggests, Deathstroke #21 marks a bold new era for Slade Wilson and the Deathstroke series, that is if the change that has been made to this series ends up sticking for more than a few issues. Deathstroke is no longer a lone wolf – now, Slade Wilson is the member of a team called Defiance. And while I initially struggled with the thought of having a changed Deathstroke lead a motley crew of young heroes into battle, now that I reflect on the change, I welcome it.

The addition of Defiance to the DC roster, for me, comes as a well-timed change of both pace and direction for the Deathstroke series. For readers looking for a jumping on point, this is it. From here on out, however, this may not be your Dad’s Deathstroke…and that’s alright.

Without giving away too many details, there is a moment, after the typical round ‘em up the introduction where Deathstroke tells Cyborg and the Justice League to stand down from a tackling a threat and he advises that his new group will handle the situation. I like the idea of Defiance working alongside the Justice League, but I find it hard to believe that without any sort of introduction the Justice League will allow this sort of behavior from a new group.

Dabbling in the Speed Force has left Slade a changed man, and while only time will tell whether or not this new era of Deathstroke will be bold, the decision to change direction showcases confidence.

Thanks to artist Diogenes Neves, this book has a fresh, well-polished look.

As long as Defiance stays a part of the Deathstroke series, I think that it’ll go far. On its own though…well, I need to see more of the group in action before I can comment on that. Regardless, Deathstroke #21 is a promising start.

8
Score
Deathstroke #21
The Bottom Line
As long as Defiance stays a part of the Deathstroke series, I think that it'll go far. On its own though…well, I need to see more of the group in action before I can comment on that. Regardless, Deathstroke #21 is a promising start.
Yes!
There's a new group in town
Matching outfits
No...
This is okay with the Justice League?
Slade is a changed man...for now...

Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1 Review

Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1, Comic Book, Review, DYnamite

Now that the formal introductions are out of the way, and Ash Williams has stood up before a bunch of post-pubescent punks and scribbled his name on the chalkboard, school’s in session. Ash vs. The Army of Darkness has taken off, and oh what a hellacious ride it will be.

In Issue #1, Ash has officially taken on his new role as the substitute teacher of a high school World History class, and it doesn’t take long for the proverbial shit to hit the fan. As one would expect, Ash vs. The Army of Darkness #1 is filled with one-liners and zingers that only our favorite boomstick-wielding badass could deliver. Reading through this book is an extremely enjoyable experience thanks to Chris Sims and Chad Bowers’ writing. I’m unsure of how these two managed to split up the writing responsibilities, but regardless of who did what, the finished product is exactly what Evil Dead fans are looking for.

Mauro Vargas’ artwork is quirky and satisfying and fits perfectly with the script. Vargas’s work here highlights the script’s more ridiculous aspects, and overall, adds to the hilarity of the book.

From here on, I am confident that Ash vs. The Army of Darkness will continue to get better and better, and thus, it is a must-read for those who enjoy dancing with deadites and a good soul sucking…

9
Score
Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1
The Bottom Line
Ash vs. The Army of Darkness will continue to get better and better, and thus, it is a must-read for those who enjoy dancing with deadites and a good soul sucking…
Yes!
Through and through, this is exactly what fans are looking for
General-DC Comics

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