Joe Grunenwald's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Beat Reviews: 61
6.9Avg. Review Rating

6.0
Absolute Carnage (2019) #1

Aug 7, 2019

There's some really exciting visuals and solid storytelling throughout, even if the mid-section of the issue drops off a bit, and I'm interested to see how what appears to be Marvel's first horror event plays out. At eight bucks for 60 pages of story, this book's a big commitment both financially and time-wise, especially if you're even a little bit on the fence about it.

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6.0
Aero #1

Jul 3, 2019

Overall Aero #1 does a nice job introducing English-reading audiences to two new international heroes they may not have met before. Pak presents a pair of entertaining stories, and the art on both tales fits the flavor of each piece well. If you're in the market for some superheroes who don't look like most other superhero out there, this book should leave you satisfied.

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6.0
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #1

Mar 13, 2019

If you've been following Age of X-Man all along you won't want to miss it; if you're casually dipping in and out of the event, I'd give this one a browse.

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7.0
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #1

Feb 13, 2019

NextGen is another solid entry for the Age of X-Man event. The structure may feel familiar for those who've read the event's previous issues, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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8.0
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #1

Mar 6, 2019

The trappings of the story might be somewhat familiar, but the excellent character work and strong art make this a BUY for me as well. I really expected by this point one of the tie-ins would be a dud, but I'm pleasantly surprised that hasn't been the case, and this one feels pretty vital to how Age of X-Man is going to play out.

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8.0
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #1

Feb 6, 2019

With exciting superheroics and intriguing world-building, Age of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #1 is a solid beginning for this tie-in miniseries. Thompson and Nadler's script paired with vibrant art from Failla and Milla is a winning combination. Last week I expressed some trepidation about there being six different tie-in series for the Age of X-Man event; if all of them are as well-done as this issue, readers are in for an entertaining ride.

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8.0
Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) #1

Jun 6, 2018

Buy if you like big, clever concepts and entertaining banter between an unlikely set of characters.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men (2017) Annual #1

Aug 15, 2018

In all, Astonishing X-Men Annual #1 is a solid X-Men comic, filled with entertaining character interactions and featuring an ending that somewhat turns on its ear the notion of what readers have come to expect from an X-book. It made this casual X-fan want to read more. What more can you ask of a comic?

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7.0
Black Cat (2019) #1

Jun 5, 2019

I definitely think this first issue is worth a look, and the series and character have a lot of potential.

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8.0
Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1

Oct 24, 2018

This is a great, fun comic with an unlikely pairing that works really well together in part because of how unlikely it is.

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8.0
Captain America (2018) #1

Jul 4, 2018

This issue is certainly a lot of setup for what's coming, but I can't bring myself to be upset about it when Coates nails Steve so perfectly. Coates using Nuke right off the bat feels very much like a statement of intent as well. And the whole thing is drawn beautifully by Leinil Yu.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2019) #1

Jan 9, 2019

Thompson's script is on-point and she clearly has great affection for the characters she's working with, and Carnero's art is generally pretty solid. This is great set-up for what's to come for Carol.

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6.0
Captain Marvel (2019): Braver & Mightier #1

Feb 27, 2019

For existing fans of Captain Marvel there's nothing new here, but for everyone else, BROWSE this title to get a taste of what Carol's adventures are like.

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6.0
Champions #24

Sep 12, 2018

I think it does what it sets out to do fine, but whether or not that's enough or what you're looking for in a comic is entirely a personal call.

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8.0
Champions (2019) #5

May 1, 2019

If you're not reading Champions already, it's absolutely worth going back and checking out the first four issues, but as an entry point that displays what's great about the series as a whole, Champions #5 is great.

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8.0
Crypt of Shadows (2019) #1

Jan 23, 2019

Buy for a set of chilling, mind-bending tales from a creative team at the top of their game.

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6.0
Daredevil (2015) Annual #1

Aug 29, 2018

It's a pretty average self-contained story. If you've got five bucks burning a hole in your pocket for a Daredevil comic you could do worse than this, but you could also probably do better.

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7.0
Daredevil (2019) #1

Feb 6, 2019

I'm enthusiastic about this book as both a fan of Daredevil and of Chip Zdarsky, and the latest Daredevil #1 did not disappoint me. That said, I can see how mileage may vary for longtime readers.

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6.0
Daredevil (2019) #3

Mar 27, 2019

This run has been great entry-level stuff for fans coming to DD from the Netflix series, and there's compelling conflict between Matt and the authorities, but I can see how it could be dull for longtime Daredevil readers.

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8.0
Exiles (2018) #1

Apr 11, 2018

Exiles #1 is a strong debut. The writing is smart, the characters are entertaining, and the art is fantastic. I'm looking forward to the whole team is assembled and the real fun begins.

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6.0
Extermination (2018) #1

Aug 15, 2018

I wouldn't want to jump into this without knowing at least a little bit of what's come before with the Original Five.

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6.0
Fantastic Four (2018): Wedding Special #1

Dec 12, 2018

There's no shortage of wedding tie-in comics from 2018 to compare this one to. If the whole thing had been of the same quality as the Slott and Buckingham story, I would say this is the best of all of them; as it was, one great story out of three isn't quite enough to elevate this book past a BROWSE for me. Maybe I've just grown fatigued from all of the comic book event weddings this year.

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) Annual #1

Jun 5, 2019

This issue doesn't feel essential even for regular GotG readers, but the stories presented are entertaining and deal with some complicated topics relatively well.

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8.0
History of the Marvel Universe (2019) #1

Jul 24, 2019

The History of the Marvel Universe #1 is the complete package. Waid accomplishes the gargantuan feat of coherently integrating 80 years of continuity, and establishes an emotional core to what might otherwise have been a bland recounting of events. He also smartly stays out of the way and lets the work of Rodrguez and Lpez shine through as the star of the book.

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8.0
House of X #1

Jul 24, 2019

This is a challenging comic, but in the way that I want comics to be challenging, filled with new concepts and spins on existing character, and challenges to the form itself. I can't wait to read more of Hickman's take on the X-Men.

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8.0
House of X #2

Aug 7, 2019

Even if you haven't read the preceding two issues of HoX and PoX, House of X #2 stands alone as a compelling and incredibly crafted comic.

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8.0
Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends #1

Aug 29, 2018

This is a solid entry point, nicely tying up the threads from the stories that came before it and kicking off the proper return of Wolverine in an interesting way.

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8.0
Immortal Hulk #9

Nov 21, 2018

The Immortal Hulk is a rich book, both thematically and tonally. I've never been the biggest Hulk fan, either, but Al Ewing is pushing the character in new and interesting directions and it's been really enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend jumping on with this week's issue, but the series is worth going back and catching up on.

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8.0
Invaders (2019) #1

Jan 16, 2019

Invaders #1 is a strong first issue for the series. The team has a compelling, character-driven reason for coming together, made all the more urgent by the fantastic twist at the end of the issue. The creative team is firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

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8.0
Invisible Woman (2019) #1

Jul 10, 2019

I was enthusiastic about this book from the jump and it didn't disappoint me. Sue Richards is such a rich character, and it's great to see her have a chance to shine in the hands of a seasoned writer and an artist who's really coming into his own.

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8.0
Jessica Jones #18

Mar 28, 2018

Bendis and Gaydos go out on top with a final story that showcases everything great about Jessica Jones.

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6.0
Loki (2019) #1

Jul 17, 2019

Loki #1 is a decent start for the new series. A somewhat overwritten script is bolstered by the strength of the issue's art. The dialogue and plotting in the issue is entertaining, and there's clearly some really fun potential in the premise of the series. I'm hopeful that future issues will rely less on narration " or at least tweak the narration to be less 'on the nose' " so that this title, and Loki himself, can reach their full potential.

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8.0
Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

Mar 13, 2019

This is a compelling first issue that clearly lays out who Ms. Marvel is and what makes her great, and I can't wait to read more of it.

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6.0
Major X #1

Apr 3, 2019

Browse this comic if you're an X-fan from way back. Otherwise, there are other, better books to consider spending your money on.

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6.0
Man Without Fear (2019) #1

Jan 2, 2019

It's fine. It's inoffensive, but it doesn't feel essential. I don't hate that I read it, and I liked Beyruth's art a fair amount.

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4.0
Marvel Knights: 20th #1

Nov 7, 2018

Remember how Marvel used to bill stories as "offbeat"? This comic needs that stamp on the cover. It's strange and disorienting, which are good things, but it's also confusing, and not in a good way.

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5.0
Marvel Rising (2019) #1

Mar 27, 2019

I'd feel comfortable handing this to a new young reader to get them interested, but I wouldn't recommend it to an older reader.

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8.0
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1

Jun 13, 2018

Put plainly, Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1 is an excellent comic. Zdarsky, Shalvey, and Bellaire deliver superior work that examines and enhances one of Marvel's best villains, and introduces the potential for a lot of future stories.

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8.0
Mr. and Mrs. X #1

Jul 25, 2018

In all, Mr. & Mrs. X #1 is a really enjoyable read. The character work is entertaining and the art fits the story well

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #38

Feb 13, 2019

This is a great standalone showcase for Kamala, and an excellent tribute to the work that G. Willow Wilson has done with the character.

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8.0
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1

Jun 20, 2018

BUY for JJJ shenanigans, excellent art, and a story with a solid emotional core.

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8.0
Powers of X #2

Aug 14, 2019

If you're already into what Hickman's doing with the X-Men, I don't think you'll be disappointed by this issue; if you're still on the fence about it, Powers of X #2 just might give you the nudge you need to get on board.

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4.0
Punisher (2018) #1

Aug 22, 2018

This is an action-heavy comic, but the visuals are so ill-defined that it's easy to lose track of what's supposed to be happening. A truck explodes at one point and I have no idea why. Things happen and there's no continuity between panels. It's very strange.

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4.0
Return of Wolverine #1

Sep 19, 2018

I like Charles Soule a lot, and after the Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends one-shot I was excited to see what he did with the proper return of Wolvie, but after an exciting dozen or so pages, this issue just goes nowhere. The potential is there, I think, but we haven't gotten there yet.

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4.0
Spider-Geddon #5

Dec 22, 2018

Ultimately, Spider-Geddon was an event with some nice character work but very little substance. It's pretty clear this was put out solely to capitalize on the release of the Into the Spider-Verse animated film and the heightened interest in that stable of Multiversal spider-heroes. It's a shame that this series couldn't live up to the potential of its conflict.

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6.0
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #1

Oct 24, 2018

The work that McGuire, Kmpe, and co. put forth on this issue is solid, even if the issue overall is hindered by having to tie in to Spider-Geddon. Once that event is in the rearview, I'm looking forward to seeing what this new series has in store for Gwen.

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6.0
Superior Octopus #1

Oct 3, 2018

I thought the overall package here was decent. The main story sets up Otto's new status quo effectively, though at this point I'm more interested in his personal troubles than his super-heroics. The backup story setting up Spider-Geddon was lackluster.

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7.0
Symbiote Spider-Man #1

Apr 10, 2019

I thought Symbiote Spider-Man #1 overall was a pretty fun throwback issue about a period of Spider-Man's history that I already loved. I wish it had a stronger artist on it, but even as is I'd give it a STRONG BROWSE as well.

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6.0
The Prodigal Sun: Fantastic Four #1

Jul 3, 2019

Fantastic Four: Prodigal Sun #1 is a solid one-shot tale. The characterization both in the script and the visuals is great, and the introduction of Prodigal is done really well. I left the issue wanting to know more about him, and excited to see his upcoming interaction with the Silver Surfer. This isn't an essential book by any stretch, but it's still a really entertaining read.

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7.0
Thor (2018) #1

Jun 13, 2018

The comic felt like a story of Thor going through the motions to hunt down a series of MacGuffins.

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6.0
Tony Stark: Iron Man #1

Jun 20, 2018

I'd give this book a solid, middle-of-the-road BROWSE. It has some fun ideas in it and decent action, though the characterization could use some work.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2018) #1

Nov 14, 2018

I'm not sure if it brought anything new to the table at this point. The 'mutant vaccine' is an interesting idea, but similar to things we've seen in the past. That said, I don't mind a familiar concept if the execution is strong, and I think it definitely is here. As a book that brings all of the disparate threads of the various X-titles back under one roof, I think this is a solid first issue.

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8.0
Venom (2018) #1

May 9, 2018

It's accessible for new readers and I'm intrigued by where it's going.

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8.0
War of the Realms #1

Apr 3, 2019

Aaron's script is accessible and compelling, and the art from Dauterman and Wilson is spectacular.

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8.0
War of the Realms #4

May 15, 2019

This is a great book, and some of the most fun, exciting comics on the stands right now.

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8.0
War of the Realms: Omega #1

Jul 10, 2019

War of the Realms: Omega is less of an epilogue to the event than I expected it to be, but it does nicely pick up on dangling threads from the story, either resolving them or putting them in place for spin-off titles. It's an anthology of trailers for forthcoming series, but it still manages to be a satisfying read on its own.

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6.0
War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1

Apr 17, 2019

Overall it's a pretty strong package, but it's probably not going to be for people who aren't following War of the Realms already (though the Howard story barely has anything to do with it).

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8.0
West Coast Avengers (2018) #10

Apr 17, 2019

This was a damn fun series and I'm sad to see it go, but excited for what the team and the creators do next.

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4.0
Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1

Feb 20, 2019

The bait-and-switch of Logan returning to the school was a frustrating way to start the issue, and it didn't get better as things progressed. As I said earlier, I think continuity nerds will probably love this, but it did nothing for me

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6.0
X-Men: Black (2018): Magneto #1

Oct 3, 2018

Overall I'd say this is a decent comic for the casual X-fan, but there's probably nothing new here for longtime readers. I'd give it a BROWSE.

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6.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #26

Apr 18, 2018

Browse for some decent punching, questionable conflict, and to check outKitty's weird Rogue portrait.

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