AJ Zender's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comicsverse Reviews: 46
8.8Avg. Review Rating

8.8
Action Comics (2016) #980

May 24, 2017

While some of the more emotional moments are dulled, ACTION COMICS #980 thrusts Superman into conflict with a cadre of his villains. With a focus on developing Cyborg Superman, issue #980 is a setup issue for an intense battle to come.

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9.7
Angelic #1

Jul 12, 2017

ANGELIC #1 is a stellar opening issue for a story of flying monkeys and armored dolphins. With themes surrounding gender roles and autonomy, don't let ANGELIC's cartoony art deter you. This is a must-read comic for speculative fiction fans.

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9.7
Batman (2016) Annual #2

Nov 29, 2017

BATMAN ANNUAL #2 gives readers a glimpse of Batman as he struggles into his future role as husband and human being. With a brilliant focus on characterization, the plot feels like a tender balance to the punching and kicking of other BATMAN stories.

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9.0
Batman: The Merciless #1

Oct 25, 2017

BATMAN: THE MERCILESS #1 isn't the strongest of the Dark Batmen tie-ins to DARK NIGHTS: METAL. However, it is still a fantastic comic book, worthy of the god of war it depicts. With fantastic characterization and amazing work by Francis Manapul, this issue is a must-read.

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8.0
Black Magick #7

Aug 31, 2017

Greg Rucka's BLACK MAGICK #7 is a hard book for new readers to immerse themselves in. However, fans of the Urban Fantasy genre will easily enjoy the weighty plot and the beautiful art by Nicola Scott.

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9.5
Coyotes #1

Nov 18, 2017

COYOTES #1 is a brilliant foray into paranormal action/horror. With an interesting lead and supporting cast, as well as a breakneck plot, fans of Urban Fantasy need to read this series.

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9.0
Curse Words #6

Jul 19, 2017

CURSE WORDS #6 is a perfect entry point into this rockin' Image series. With stellar art and interesting villains, the only thing holding this issue back is some faltering characterization and pacing. Follow our villains on a sunny picnic in the fires of Hole World, while Wizord attempts to ally with former villain, Ruby Stitch.

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9.0
Generation X (2017) #3

Jun 15, 2017

GENERATION X #3 has a certain unerring charm with its focus on the new team's dynamics. With a deeper focus on the psychometric mutant, Nathaniel, each of the mutant misfits gets a time to shine. Narrative hiccups do distract a bit, but with hints of plotlines to come, bright days are ahead for GENERATION X.

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9.3
Generation X (2017) #5

Aug 22, 2017

Despite some minor hiccups in the characterization of our main baddie, GENERATION X #5 is a brilliant one-shot spotlight on one of the X-Men's greatest misfits: Eye-Boy. Overall, a very relatable human narrative.

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7.7
Ghost Station Zero #1

Jul 29, 2017

Carrying a female lead, GHOST STATION ZERO #1 is the second mission of the CODENAME: BABOUSHKA series. With a high-intensity opening, this issue's primary failing is a lack of character depth. However, with an interesting protagonist and plot, it is worthy of past spy thrillers.

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9.5
God Complex (2017) #1

Oct 16, 2017

GOD COMPLEX #1's sci-fi adaptation of ancient gods is both fresh and brilliantly executed. While character motivations at one point drag the story down a bit, the overall experience culminates in one of the best new comics of the year.

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9.7
God Country #6

Jun 21, 2017

With a renewed focus on Emmett Quinlan's motivations, GOD COUNTRY #6 approaches the epic final confrontation with care. Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw are at the top of their game with this over-the-top godly brawl, while its ending leaves behind a few shed tears.

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8.0
Hack/Slash: Resurrection #1

Nov 10, 2017

While undercut by over-the-top costume decisions, HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION #1 is filled with brilliant comedy, satire, and characterization. Not for every reader, but those who take to it will obsess.

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9.3
Heavenly Blues #1

Jul 19, 2017

HEAVENLY BLUES #1 is a wholly unique take on a Hell-scape narrative. With surreal art, a fascinating setting, and some of the best flawed protagonists in comics, HEAVENLY BLUES #1 from Scout Comics is a must-read!

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9.0
Heavenly Blues #2

Jul 27, 2017

With stellar characterization of the Salemite girl, Erin Foley, HEAVENLY BLUES #2 explores the farthest reaches of Hell as our thieves build their team. With Purgatory looming, Isaiah and Erin must find a way through the Archangel's labyrinths before Hell comes calling. Can our ragtag heroes survive?

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6.7
Justice League (2016) #20

May 3, 2017

A new storyline takes off for the Justice League, but the day that never ends for the World's Greatest Heroes loses focus quickly.

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9.5
Justice League (2016) #27

Aug 18, 2017

Utilizing its slow paced narrative, Bryan Hitch earns JUSTICE LEAGUE #27's high action ending. At the center of this brilliant issue is the characterization. Hitch digs into the heart of the League's core members, as well as their future children.

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8.0
Justice League (2016) #30

Oct 8, 2017

Despite excellent worldbuilding and art, JUSTICE LEAGUE #30 fails in its pacing. By bouncing between a number of story elements too quickly, none receive the spotlight they're due.

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8.3
Justice League (2016) #31

Oct 18, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE #31 lovingly completes the "Legacy" arc with an incredibly illustrated battle sequence. The story was strong throughout, despite some rushed moments, but an unexplained shift in the main villains holds this story back from perfection.

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8.7
Kingsman: The Red Diamond #1

Sep 6, 2017

While KINGSMAN: THE RED DIAMOND #1 has some continuity issues, the overall plot and themes of elitism were incredibly interesting. Eggsy is back on the page with another lighthearted romp through the world!

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8.7
Nightwing: The New Order #1

Aug 23, 2017

While the story suffered from some slow moments, Nightwing's futuristic journey to end all superhumans is filled with interesting moral discussion, brilliant characterization, and fast paced action.

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8.7
Packs Of The Lowcountry #1

Oct 30, 2017

PACKS OF THE LOW COUNTRY details an apocalypse consumed by nightmarish monsters. With a high-paced plot and brilliant heroes, PACKS OF THE LOW COUNTRY deserves your support during its Kickstarter Campaign.

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8.5
Poe: Stories And Poems #1

Aug 9, 2017

While it brings little new to the original stories, POE: STORIES AND POEMS is a beautiful and dark adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's work. By adding concrete settings and characters to these narratives, a new depth is achieved that only enhances these iconic tales.

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9.7
Ragman #1

Oct 14, 2017

RAGMAN #1 is an excellent revisioning of an iconic DC superhero. With a deep focus on protagonist Rory Regan's battle with PTSD, this comic should be read by fans of all stripes.

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9.3
Realm #1

Sep 20, 2017

THE REALM #1 is a fantastic opening issue, dealing with dark, gritty post-apocalyptic America using a serious tone and fantastic artistry. Seth Peck introduces characters to a large, interesting cast of characters to drum up interest in this teeming, living world.

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8.3
Retcon #1

Sep 17, 2017

RETCON #1 is an imaginative, trippy new military fantasy from Image Comics. While some of the promised plot lines aren't fully explored in this issue, the stellar art style and interesting characters make me want to stick with this story into this future.

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8.8
Robotech #1

Jul 25, 2017

Readapting THE MACROSS SAGA for new readers, ROBOTECH #1 takes on the source material in brilliant ways. With a potent plot and highly detailed art, this issue's only failing is in its development of its supporting cast. If you are a fan of giant robot fights, this comic is definitely for you.

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8.3
Runaways (2017) #2

Oct 18, 2017

RUNAWAYS #2 shines in its characterization. Gertrude Yorkes, Nico Minoru, and Chase Stein all leap off the page as they explore the events of the last several years. However, the plot suffers for the repetitive, summary feel of the entire issue.

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9.2
Scales And Scoundrels #1

Aug 11, 2017

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS is at its best when it leans on its lighthearted nature. It steps outside of typical contemporary fantasy in those moments. While other characters don't receive the same amount of characterization, protagonist Luvander is steeped in enough mystery to keep me reading.

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9.3
Secret Warriors (2017) #2

May 21, 2017

Focusing on the early days of Captain America's regime, the new spotlight on the Inhuman, Inferno, gives this story a powerful character arc to follow. While the rest of the characterization does falter, the art and compelling plot make this a must-read for any SECRET EMPIRE or INHUMANS fans.

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9.3
Spirits of Vengeance (2017) #1

Oct 16, 2017

SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE #1 features some of the Marvel Universe's darkest supernatural antiheroes joining forces to take on the coming dark. Though Daimon Hellstrom doesn't receive the same level of characterization as his co-conspirators, this investigative fantasy is a lot of fun.

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8.2
Star Wars: Droids Unplugged #1

Jun 29, 2017

STAR WARS: DROIDS UNPLUGGED #1 is a deceptive story. Bearing the name STAR WARS elicits thoughts of deep, intricate characters and storylines. This story, however, is a light-hearted romp through the binary lives of our favorite droids. This fun factor makes for a strong comic strip, but it may not be right for every reader.

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9.7
Star Wars: Mace Windu #1

Sep 10, 2017

MACE WINDU #1 is one of the best opening salvos in comics, giving the reader a welcome mix of high action plot and unique characterization. With a theme steeped in wartime doubts, this is a must read issue for Star Wars fans.

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7.7
Star Wars: Mace Windu #2

Oct 7, 2017

With an epic battle sequence and incredible art, MACE WINDU #2 seems like a perfect follow-up to the stellar first issue. However, with characterization problems and an anticlimactic feel, one can only hope that future issues find their voice.

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7.8
Superman (2016) #27

Jul 19, 2017

With a family centric story, SUPERMAN #27 isn't a superhero tale. As the opening to the "Declaration" arc, writers Tomasi and Gleason give us a taste of Super-Dad and some American history -- although the textbook feel might not appeal to every reader.

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9.0
The Evil Within (2017) #1

Sep 6, 2017

Based on the hit horror video game, THE EVIL WITHIN #1 is a trippy and dark opening issue that perfectly mirrors the air of the original game. However, the comic comes with its own problems as the transitions between reality and the dream state can confuse readers unfamiliar with the original game.

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8.5
The Hard Place #1

Aug 25, 2017

Wagner and Rummel explore a new side of the crime thriller genre in HARD PLACE #1. By focusing on a reformed criminal and themes of forgiveness, HARD PLACE #1 worms its way into the reader's mind. While plotting and characterization can feel a bit rushed, AJ Gurney is a relatable and interesting human character with deep potential.

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9.7
The Jetsons (2017) #1

Nov 8, 2017

THE JETSONS #1 gives a brilliantly realized look at everyone's favorite space-age family. With nods to the original series and potent world-building, new fans should be excited about this series' continuation!

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8.3
Thor: Where Walk The Frost Giants #1

Nov 3, 2017

THOR: WHERE WALK THE FROST GIANTS #1 is not for every reader. It's campy aesthetic and beautiful cartoony art style makes this story a perfect gateway for young readers and a great story for those wanting some Silver Age nostalgia. However, there is little grit for other readers.

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9.7
Titans (2016) #14

Aug 9, 2017

While our villains rarely break through into relevance, the greater fighting within the team takes center stage in this issue as tensions boil over. With a potent spotlight on Tempest, TITANS #14 is the best issue so far.

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9.5
Titans (2016) #15

Sep 13, 2017

TITANS #15 is easily the best issue in the series. With a strong focus on Wally West and the high tension of the H.I.V.E. story arc, TITANS #15 is a must-read story for any comic book fan!

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9.0
Titans (2016) #17

Nov 7, 2017

While a bit underwhelming in terms of its big reveals, TITANS #17's focus on Donna Troy's character gives it a lot of worth. Also, the brilliant art from Minkyu Jung adds a moody new tone to proceedings!

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8.8
Warframe #1

Oct 10, 2017

WARFRAME #1 is a striking adaptation of the hit video game. With a high-action plot and incredibly detailed art, fans of this free-to-play series should prepare their wallets for the arrival of this fantastic comic book.

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9.3
X-Men: Gold (2017) #7

Jul 6, 2017

Tying into the SECRET EMPIRE event, X-MEN GOLD #7 drips tension as the team finds themselves trapped in the Darkforce Dimension. With a serial killer on the loose in the mansion, Kitty Pryde's Gold team must band together to save Manhattan and themselves before it is too late. This story is brilliantly plotted, despite suffering from some pacing problems.

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8.7
X-Men: Gold (2017) #8

Jul 25, 2017

Kitty Pryde takes up her sword again in X-MEN GOLD #8, rushing into battle against the new X-Cutioner. With an intense focus on her battle and the imposing stakes, this issue is a must-read for any X-Fan.

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8.3
X-Men: Gold (2017) #10

Aug 31, 2017

X-MEN GOLD #10 is a fast paced narrative detailing the return of one of the team's greatest villains. As a superhero story, it shines in its dark tone. However, the characterization that has defined the series thus far faltered.

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