Comics reviewed by the Part-Time Henchmen
Comic releases for the week are reviewed by the Part-Time Henchmen to see if these issues are the stars of their run, or headed for the bins!
Reviewer – Jeremy
Writer – Chad Bowers
Artist – Jim Towe
Price – $3.99
I was a fan of the original Youngblood series. However, looking back, the series often leaned from salacious to ridiculous storylines. Now, with the latest issue, I’m satisfied that this series has a good future ahead of it.
Chad Bowers does a terrific job balancing action, character moments, and dialogue throughout the issue, giving characters distinct voices and backgrounds, from hard boiled hero to lost victim. He also introduces two different countries’ ideas of what Youngblood could embody, and also leads readers to ask if one of the parties is doing it just to get political leverage on the other.
The art by Jim Towe looks somewhat simplistic. His sharp lines and youthful energy are well suited to this story of younger heroes. In earlier issues, Towe had some strange slips, however, he’s settled in well and has found his footing with these characters. I’ll be sorry to see him go. He’s already signed a contract with Marvel Comics and will be leaving this series soon.
There’s still a couple of mysteries that need answering, including the background the newest character called Vogue, but there’s still so much going on, that I felt like the comic is still worth it’s cover price, and potentially more.
Hunt for Wolverine – Adamantium Agenda #1
Writer – Tom Taylor
Artist – R.B. Silva
Price – $3.99
While this issue is enjoyable, I can understand why some readers would be upset after reviewing this particular issue.
It’s no secret that Logan has returned in Marvel Comics, but the ‘how’s’ are still unknown. And, this issue, while titled “Hunt for Wolverine,” really only features Logan in a flashback regarding him volunteering to detonate a booby-trap bomb and letting the local authorities, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones get to a safe distance.
This issue talks about Wolverine a bit, but he quickly becomes an afterthought to Iron Man recruiting Spider-Man, Cage, and Jones to go to an underworld arms deal because it may have to do with the disappearance of Wolverine’s body.
Writer Tom Taylor is having fun writing these particular characters. The issue reads similarly to how the Marvel Cinematic Universe sounds on the big screen. Given the ending of Infinity War, this is just the kind of read to remind you of when your heroes were in a happier place.
And R.B. Silva is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists in the modern era. His style is detailed, with healthy shadows adding a lot of detail and depth. But, he retains a near cartoon-like quality, and his characters appear very clean. Visually, this is a treat for the eye.
While I understand why this comic has this title, those looking for the details on Wolverine’s resurrection in this issue may be disappointed. This issue reads more like a mini-revival of the second volume of New Avengers. Unless you’re very invested in the stories of Stark, Spider-Man, Cage, or Jones, this could feel like a bait and switch.
Justice League – No Justice #1
Reviewer – Jeremy
Writers – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
Artist – Francis Manapaul
Price – $3.99
This story is one of the benefits of the fallout of the recent Dark Nights: Metal event, and this has a chance to be a landmark story in DC’s current continuity.
Braniac has abducted a number of heroes and villains from Earth. However, conquest isn’t his goal, but his salvation. A new force based on an ancient, and previously unheard of, legend has arrived from a break in the Source Wall. And, Brainac believes that members of the Justice League, Titans, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, and a few other villains are his best bet to save his own homeworld.
This issue reads very tightly. There is limited exposition, and it clearly updates you on the current status. I’m not sure which of the writers has primary control in this issue. This is a good introductory story, as well as giving you a glimpse into the current status of a lot of the characters involved. In fact, this comic even has some great quips in it that took me off guard and made me laugh.
The art can sometimes feel a bit over-textured and gritty. Francis Manapaul will surprise you by successfully showing various age ranges, and making them strikingly different. Unfortunately, there isn’t much action in the comic. Most of it is over by Page 7. Then there is a lot of characters posturing and standing around. Hopefully, in the next issue, we’ll find out what it’s like when Manapaul flexes his fingers.
This is a promising start to an event that helps us get to the new versions of the Justice League and the Titans. Unlike DC’s latest events, there may actually be something to the the journey.
CASEY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
Writer :Rainbow Rowell
Artist: Kris Anka
Rowell and Anka have continued to make this newest run of Runaways the best since the very first by focusing on the kids’ interactions with each other as they try to deal with the real world struggles that are thrust upon them. Troublesome hurdles like getting a job, taking care of the younger siblings, trying to maintain relationship or mending damaged ones. This issue reveals the Dr. Doom the team fought last issue was, in fact, the Doombot from the Avengers A.I. comic. He was here to reunite with his friend Victor Mancha. Doombot made me laugh out loud constantly and to say he stole every scene he was in would be an understatement.
Molly continues to mull over a magical cupcake of eternal childhood her bestie Abbie offered her. This pushes Molly to question her friends about how they view her and about the pitfalls of pending adulthood. All of this has given Molly quite a bit of depth she may not have had previously. Julie Power, Karolina’s girlfriend, is alone at the house after the kids take off to see a movie. The magical cupcake is on the table and in a moment of frustration Julie eats it. We have the cliffhanger of Julie possibly stuck at adolescence forever.
I’m a Runaways fan. I was apprehensive that this run started without creator Brian K. Vaughn. That concern has completely evaporated with Rainbow Rowell delivering consistently. Honestly, I should have known this would be in good hands with Rowell history of excellent young adult storytelling. Kris Anka’s fresh, clean art fits right at home with the Runaways kids. He is quickly becoming a personal favorite of mine. I hope this particular run is a long one.
JEREMY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
Writer – Gail Simone
Artist – David Baldeon
Price – $3.99
Sophomore issues can be tricky. First issues are easy sellers. You have a challenge in keeping people engaged enough for a second look at your comic. I do think that this issue takes that challenge and defeats it.
Gail Simone is one of the people who made Deadpool famous, so you know that she can take tricky writing assignments or pitches and find the character beats to make special moments, but she manages to bring out an understandable vulnerability in the usually cocky Domino. This is the character at the most relatable and normal that I have ever seen. Simone cements her place as one of my favorite working writers with this work.
David Baldeon is not my favorite artist, however he’s quickly finding his level in this book. Some of the body proportions can be jarringly off. He does enough solid and dynamic work that you can overlook the parts of the art that don’t mesh in favor of the moments where the women here take control and show why they’re dangerous. He can grow the further this series goes and the more chances he has to draw this cast.
I think this is a comic that more people need to read. It shows the hero at her best and worst and several levels in between. This comic is full of possibilities. Both the artist and writer are taking chances writing vibrant characters. Their fondness of the cast shows.
What is on your radar? Are you reading any good comics you’d like me to check out? Leave us a comment below!