COMIC REVIEWS BY OUR OWN COMIC BOOK PODCASTERS, THE PART-TIME HENCHMEN!
Wednesday is our favorite day of the week! This is the day of the new comic releases! Which ones caught our eye?
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – Shattered Grid #1
Writer – Kyle Higgins
Artist – Danielle di Nicuolo & Diego Galindo
Price – $7.99
I was in high school when the Power Rangers TV show came out. My interest came and went fast. Does this comic do anything to renew that interest
Coming in at the end of an event is usually a bad decision. Moreover, I didn’t understand everything at the beginning of Kyle Higgins’ story. I am also astonished that I caught up fast. There is no exposition page. Actually, there is almost no exposition at all. I only know a good amount of the story of the original Rangers. Somehow, that is enough to keep up with the myriad of changes and updates since I read issue #6. Higgins has made this entire convoluted universe accessible.
The art in this story is very stripped down when it comes to people. Faces can be a bit bland, however, there is enough detail to tell people apart… mostly. The art by Nicuolo and Galindo really comes together well when the characters are in costume or when it comes to the Zords. Moreover, I would like to see more balance in the art by making the characters as important as their hero counterparts. With that said, the art isn’t bad at all.
BOOM! Comics let Kyle Higgins take a bold approach by updating the mythology of the Power Rangers. He then expanded on it in a classic sci-fi fashion and the result is a good comic. I can’t say it will please everyone, although it is more accessible than other stories with decades of back issues.
Writer – Ed Brisson
Artist – Pepe Larraz
Price – $3.99
Yes, I reviewed the first issue and it was good. I wanted to see if the second issue continued with the high bar set by the first.
Ed Brisson is very much on his game in this comic. He has to balance a horde of X-Men dealing with two different attacks. Despite not being related attacks, everything feels well connected and the threats presented by Ahab and Young Cable are very palpable. Meanwhile, Brisson carefully balances character moments as both young and old heroes struggle with what to do next and which threat to answer. The conversations between Young Jean Grey and Cyclops had an emotional weight I wasn’t ready for.
Pepe Larraz’ work in the first issue felt good. His work here cements him as one of my top 5 X-Men artists. He doesn’t burden images with too much detail. He balances shadows and composition to make scenes have gravity. Additionally, I even love the backgrounds he puts in his panels. The art in this comic could be used as the basis of an X-Men TV show.
Extermination is running on all cylinders with three issues left. The story is still unfolding and the art is sharp. I do think the story of the Young X-Men in the present has run too long. However, if their story ends here, Brisson and Larraz are making very sure that they get a worthy send off.
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Alex Maleev
Price – $3.99
This is Bendis’ first original story in his current run at DC Comics. He made Superman interesting, but can this character rival his last company contributions, Jessica Jones and Miles Morales?
Bendis drops you right in the middle of an unknown dystopia with young people being killed over supplies. He handles these characters with his signature touches and idiosyncrasies that make them feel real. Bendis also made his main character an in-story expostiion machine. You know Scarlet is talking to “you” when her word bubbles become square. It makes an eye-catching moment to let you know the dialogue has shifted. I am surprised I gravitated to this story as much as I did.
Alex Maleev has the right art style for this story. His expressions can have a bit too much detail for my liking, however he does express the dingy situation with detail and panache. When pouring over a page, I could smell the concrete dust and bleak situation. The facial details and expressions can be a bit inconsistent, although that is only when you are paying a lot of attention to it.
Scarlet turned out to be the right comic to break up my reading of superhero stories and has a moral question that feels very relevant today. Moreover, I do want to see what story Bendis and Maleev tell, however DC has a history of cutting this kind of story short.
PICK OF THE WEEK
HUNT FOR WOLVERINE – DEAD ENDS #1
Writer – Charles Soule
Artist – Ramon Rosanas
Price – $4.99
I flipped through most of the mini-series in the Hunt for Wolverine line. Only one stuck with me. Meanwhile, we have a tie-up one-shot comic before the Return of Wolverine.
Charles Soule summarizes three different mini-series in this one shot. Moreover, he manages to put the stories together with the same kind of flair of a mystery show when the disparate details finally point to one party. I didn’t feel drawn into the mini-series, however this brought it into one conspiracy that has undermined the Marvel Universe with a new enemy. The fact that they have gone unnoticed this long is a bit terrifying.
Meanwhile, Soule really knows how to make characters stand out. When Tony Stark, Daredevil, and Kitty Pryde pour over the details, their dialogue is easy to tell apart. None of the dialogue drags too long or over-explains. Soule even worked in a couple of careful homages to the past of a few of these characters that long-time Marvel readers are sure to pick out.
Ramon Rosanas handled the art here. I will not lie; his images started out a bit rough. Early on, Rosanas preferred very angular backgrounds. Additionally, his characters can come off a bit featureless although recognizable. However, in the latter half of this comic, he found his stride. The action scenes (both fighting and evacuation) had a sensible tension to them. Moreover, his characters and expressions sharpened up. Finally, the scene with a ritual lay out of corpses was truly unsettling in a superhero comic.
Wolverine is one of my least favorite major heroes. Even though this issue bears his name, he plays a small part in a larger conspiracy. With S.H.I.E.L.D, Hydra, and A.I.M. diminished or gone, Marvel has poised this new entity to do serious damage with a mysterious new character and leader. Finally, this comic has me hopeful that the new Uncanny X-Men series has something big ready for its release.
Which comic was overlooked? Also, which do you enjoy? Let us know in the commen! Meanwhile, we have added a link to the latest episode of our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!