Kenneth Bowden's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Bastards, Comic Watch Reviews: 31
6.5Avg. Review Rating

8.0
Archer & Armstrong #8

Mar 14, 2013

This issue displays a lot of what makes this title exceptional, we’re dealing with extremely high stakes dealt with in a low stakes manner, but done with style. The ridiculously silly is balanced with the right blend of action and suspense giving us a unique title unlike anything out from the “Big Two” and unique even among Valiant’s own books. Looking for something fresh and different, look no further Archer & Armstrong’s quality storytelling and solid art will definitely itch that scratch and leave you wanting more.

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4.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth #103

Jan 11, 2013

To be frank, this issue isn’t really all that exciting throughout; not a terrible read, but I suspect one could glance through it in the store and get the gist of it for later issues without missing anything important. Like I said, the key artifact’s origin story is the most interesting part of this issue, BUT the most interesting part of the ongoing story is the interactions between Gell Dennar and the tribe’s shaman. The shaman is clearly a lot more potent in mysticism than his tribe believes and is slyly manipulating his own agenda. The swap in minds of Gell Dennar and Agent Howards seems to be more his doing than the magic weapon in question, but why and to what end is yet to be seen. All in all I didn’t hate it, and as a fan of Mike Mignola’s creations I will most likely keep an eye on this…but if I just so happen to miss an issue or two I definitely won’t miss any sleep.

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8.0
Bloodshot #7

Jan 16, 2013

With the seeds planted in this issue and the actual event not kicking off until around Bloodshot #10, my faith is reinstated. The connection built here just makes perfect sense as to what Bloodshot and Psiots have in common, but also there is ample time to develop that before "Harbinger Wars" begins. With those two facts in mind I am definitely looking forward to what Valiant has in store for us this spring.

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6.0
Bloodshot #8

Feb 13, 2013

Duane Swierczynski as I’ve declared numerous times is a fabulous writer making an amazing book since #1 and that remains true here as well. If you’ve been reading up until now prepare for more awesomeness and if you’re just hoping on the wagon then prepare to be intrigued. As far as the art goes Manuel Garcia does a great job matching the action, flow and tone already established in this title. While you will notice there is definitely a different artist on this one compared to #7 and the like, you won’t be disappointed nor is his style so wildly different it’s jarring to the arc’s vibe. All in all just more Bloodshot goodness coming your way.

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6.0
Conan the Barbarian #13

Feb 24, 2013

This issue is a great jump on point for old fans new to the current series and new Conan readers alike. Also despite my reservations for “Conan-in-love”, he is the most dangerous when shit gets personal and being abducted to fight against his own woman is not going to sit well with Conan for too long. Even with said minor gripes I am definitely looking forward to see how this goes down when it all comes to a head so I’ll be reading.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #14

Apr 4, 2013

I will say that the way it is shaping up I could see how one might be tempted to wait and read the “Woman on the Wall” in a trade so as to get a deeper enjoyment of the pacing and style of the story, but A) we still haven't seen the ending so I don't want to jump the gun and B) really how many comics AREN'T more enjoyable in a completed arc via a trade collection?

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4.0
Conan the Barbarian #15

Apr 18, 2013

Still though this issue is enjoyable and shows yet again that while Brian Wood may not be the perfect Conan writer he does know the character and the world, while not afraid to try and break away a bit from the typical Conan formula and try to keep things fresh. While I would probably put this on the lower end of books I'd suggest to a new reader of Conan anyone familiar with the story or who's been following it up until now should shed all doubts and give this a read.

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6.0
Dark Horse Presents #20

Jan 27, 2013

Overall this is a mixed bag of good, great and meh; hence my mixed feelings on it. But really that has more to do with personal preference than the quality of the stories in the book. In my opinion even the ones in genres I don't particularly care for are done pretty well. Also for this much content for under ten bucks is a pretty decent deal. I mean hell this is same price as Amazing Spider-Man #700 but with considerably more bang for your buck, so it's not a bad deal to pick this up. Would I recommend this book yeah probably but let's say it's not necessarily on the top of my pull list. I'd say thumb through it at your L.C.S. and if you don't hate what you see then yeah dude give a shot and cop one.

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6.0
Emily and the Strangers #1

Feb 7, 2013

Artistically, Emily Ivie does a perfect job for this book. She is clearly familiar with the imagery and style Emily the Strange is known for and nails it down without a hitch. I’ll admit I’m a tad unfamiliar with her work up until now, but between this and some Google Fu, I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else she does in the future. Her quirky, cartoony style blends the right amount of noir and sass for a book like this and I’d love to see how she handles other works. All in all, this is definitely gonna be a book where either ya love it right away or dodge it like the plague while a very small portion may give it a fair shot or two and in time it may grow on them, who knows right?

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6.0
House of Gold & Bones #1

Apr 17, 2013

The other downside is just that you really have no clue what is actually going on by the end, save bad guy is bad and don't get your shit pushed in or what have you so despite its unique presentation it is not the most unique set up. It isn't terrible just a tad irritating to when you are actually engaged in the story and are racking your brains trying to put clues together. Still the downside could be much worse and really don't take too much away from the story if you're interested in giving this a once over.

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8.0
Incursion #1

Feb 23, 2019

With the unique blend of sci fi and magical elements there's something for just about any fan of comics regardless of the genre you prefer.

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6.0
Invincible Universe #1

Apr 10, 2013

Still though not letting the soon to come idiocy of trolls ruin a good thing, this book is already spot on what you'd expect from a good title set in the Invincible universe w/o starring the titular character. All in all, whether you agree with the Guarding the Globe repackaging or not, just be thankful you still get to see all your favorites somewhere and if this launch goes well then I'd expect to see many more spin-offs in the same vein.

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7.5
Livewire (2018) #1

Jan 12, 2019

All in all this is exactly what Valiant needed to do, Livewire is shown to be relatable yet wildly capable as a hero and they found a way to tweak the lighthearted tone of Secret Weapons with the adrenaline thumping nature of Harbinger Wars. Bottom line: Livewire #1 is lit, this is the perfect introduction to the character for anyone who's never read her with just enough sauce on it to get you hungry for the next issue.

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8.5
Livewire (2018) #2

Feb 5, 2019

This issue has amazing pacing and is over way before you're ready like an episode of your fav show leaving you hyped up and anxious to hop on the next installment.

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4.0
Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters #1

Jan 20, 2013

I don't want to give away too much as this is a one-shot deal so there's not a heap of things going on. Even if you're totally new to Ghostbusters you can pick up this issue, read and fully enjoy the story as is. While that makes for an easy read it does go a bit light on any real character development or a deep story (whether the latter is a good or bad thing is up to the read considering the comedic nature of the story.) We do however learn about Dr.Ray Stantz's childhood interest in aliens and outer space before becoming infatuated with the paranormal. All in all what we have here is a short and sweet tale that is a good quick read and has some cool antagonists- Martian ghosts. Between that and the quality humorous dialogue this book is worth the time if you're looking for a quick distraction though I wouldn't call it essential reading unless you just really dig Ghostbusters.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 10, 2013

Now mind you this IS just the first issue so maybe I’m a bit hasty in that statement, but I’m thinking not. Either way though the material presented thus far is pretty damn good. Jonathan Hickman has knocked out enough quality material in his Marvel tenure to warrant plenty of good faith in what is to come. This title will also feature the biggest Avengers line up we’ve seen in a very, very long time if not ever. So keep your eyes on this one it will be something you won’t wanna miss.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #2

Jan 24, 2013

Like I said Jonathan Hickman is doing big things here without apology. With Steve Epting’s unmistakable art knocking out awesome imagery to accompany this killer writing this issue continues what is one of the best things to happen to the Avengers books in quite some time. In fact one the best things about what we got going on here is we FINALLY have a truly Avengers level threat actually happening and contained in one book. In all reality this is easily the biggest threat they’ve faced in recent memory and there’s not a zillion loosely connected tie-ins or a crap load of bs pumping up an event that does deliver… I’m looking at you Fear Itself and AvX. If more mainstream comics went back to this like they did in the old days I’m pretty sure comics in general would be in a much better state than they currently are. All in all I’m loving every moment and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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2.0
Nova (2013) #2

Mar 25, 2013

Bottom line the only way I could possibly recommend this book is for anyone who wants to find a comic appropriate for young kids and I mean like kids who just learned or are learning how to read. If you're a serious reader of comics then just step away from this one. This isn't necessarily the worst book Loeb has ever done, I mean he ruined an entire franchise with Ultimates 3 but then topped that by ruining an entire line of comics with Ultimatum, but still I cannot and will not recommend this book to anyone who enjoys quality comics. If ya get a copy for free or something I'd say leave this puppy on the back of your toilet so next time you drop a deuce BAM you don't even need teepee for your bunghole cuz ya got twenty odd jumbo sheets in waiting for ya already.

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6.0
Shadowman #3

Jan 10, 2013

All in all, this issue is definitely a solid read, first off New Orleans and mysticism is a no-brainer to go hand and hand. It’s a nice change from the usual places like New York and adds unique flavor to the book. If you’re a fan of the previous Shadowman runs I doubt you’ll be disappointed by this one. It’s off to a great start and at this pace it can only get better. Writer Justin Jordan knows how to mix humor, the occult and action without overdoing any one aspect. Slap that together with some solid art from Patrick Zircher and you’ve got a sure-win with Shadowman. Easy on the eyes and fun for the mind, do yourself a favor and give this a peep ya dig?

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8.0
Shadowman #4

Feb 6, 2013

As far as the writing and the art in this issue goes I can keep that short and sweet, as I said before in my last review both are stellar. They represent all the various themes: comedy, the occult, the bayou vibe, etc, very, very well without making a joke out of it or taking itself way too seriously. By #4 I think it’s safe to say Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher have definitely hit their stride and they know what they are doing with this book.

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6.0
Shadowman #5

Mar 12, 2013

Not to mention the art has also remained seriously badass from the first panel of the first issue and this is no exception, guest artist Roberto Delatorre definitely makes his splash in this issue handling the Deadside scenes, adding his own personal deliciously dark touch to the book without breaking up the flow visually or breaking away from the authentic feel the art of previous issues featured. All in all it’s a damn good read with plenty of future promise for an already promising series, check it out.

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8.6
Shadowman (2018) #11

Jan 28, 2019

In traditional Valiant form the story does wrap up in the 4 issue structure but in this instance it feels a bit rushed which is unusual for the brand. The addition in the last issue or so of another artist to fill in some pages is also somewhat detracting from the INSANELY beautiful color pencil inspired art of Renato Guedes. That being said if youre a Shadowman fan, enjoy mystery and mysticism or a reader of comics like Doctor Strange, Curse of Brimstone, or even the Punisher then this action filled tale will have something for you in it. Andy Diggles writing is solid even when it feels like hes being forced to push things forward faster than youd usually see in a story like this and Guedes art will make your eyes gluttonous wanting to devour more of it as you absorb each panel.

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4.0
Son of Merlin #1

Feb 6, 2013

Now all that being said there in fact are two major saving graces for this book, it is fu-cking gor-ge-ous. Zid’s art from cover to the final page is outstanding. This is easily some of the best illustrations I’ve seen in comics in recent memory, seriously even if it had no words this would be worth looking at from cover to cover just to say “Damn that’s pretty.” The other thing is the book is only a damn dollar, seriously, that’s it. There are tons of comics out there DEFINITELY far inferior to this one despite its flaws for a lot more cheddar. So if you’re debating what to spend some chump change on well Hell this is a great way to spend 100 pennies, 4 quarters, 10 dimes or any other sum of a dollar.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader (2017) #25

Jan 2, 2019

Soule has a talent for balancing sledgehammer heavy action with artful plot seed planting, and the way he uses both here shows that hes truly gets Vader. Not just as a battle-hardened killing machine (although he nails that too) but also as the tragically flawed man underneath the mask. If ever you needed a simple example of why Vader is so great and enduring this run is it, consistent in quality from start to finish. Soule brings an epic run to rollercoaster conclusion that will have any fan needing a minute to truly digest all that hes revealed while also clamouring for the next chapter in Vaders history to see how these things play out.

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6.0
The Walking Dead #107

Feb 14, 2013

So while this issue might not have been very action packed nor has the many twists and turns we're used to in this series, but lulls have happened before right before shit got real. So if you take away anything from this issue know that very, very soon it is going down. Negan has kept Rick and many others in a tight stranglehold for long enough and he's about due for a reckoning. Next issue will introduce us to a new mystery ally and bring us one step closer to seeing the final clash between Rick, Negan and the Saviors. So keep reading cuz if you've kept up until now you'd be loony to skip out before the showdown pops off.

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2.0
The Walking Dead: The Governor Special #1

Feb 13, 2013

I'm a firm believer in "ya can't knock the hustle" so while this review has a sour taste in its mouth towards this issue I understand completely why it exists and how it is a smart move business wise. Kirkman may be an "ar-teest" as a writer and all that "I'm dedicated solely to my craft" hipster pretentious nonsense however bills don't pay themselves, so yeah I get it Mr.Kirkman, I do. Still though as I mentioned with Michonne he's played this card before and it turned out quite awesome, had he done something similar this time then I'd have no qualms singing its praises. Sadly that is not the case and it's pretty plain to see.

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8.0
Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots #4

Feb 24, 2013

Keep an eye out for the Dinobots next adventures in the “Beast Hunters” because if this is any indication the hits are gonna just keep on coming.

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8.0
Transformers Spotlight: Megatron #1

Feb 6, 2013

I highly recommend this book to anyone who digs Transformers or kick ass machines/robots. If ever you wanted to know how Megatron keeps an ever growing army of evil robots in line then this is the book for you. If Megatron is one of your favorite Transformers then this is the book for you! The writing of the Spotlight series as I've noted before is excellent, exemplifying what makes each character great and this is no exception. If anything this issue raises the bar for those to follow. Nick Roche handles both the art and writing and the art is definitely good. It isn't totally mind-blowing per say but it does a great job portraying the characters, fits the genre and meets expectation at the very least. Here I'd say Nick's characterization and quality dialogue outshine really everything else involved in this issue; this guy gets Megatron, of that there is no doubt. If ya like great comics then do yourself a favor and read this nice, thick slice of awesome sauce

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6.0
Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker #1

Jan 20, 2013

To find out just what they are and the outcome of the Seekers hunt for Metroplex you'll have to read for yourself, but if you are a fan of Transformers I do recommend you give this book a read, it may not be a splash with readers unfamiliar with the franchise I'll admit but that doesn't take away from the quality of this issue on its own merit.

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8.0
X-O Manowar #10

Feb 24, 2013

Now on one hand that is some selfish shit right there, but on the other considering dude sold out his parent race to save the world he is a survivor. How exactly will Alexander stay alive riding solo with a worldwide secret alien empire gunning for him? One can only speculate so far, but considering that the only other person fully aware of the invasion is the sick shinobi Ninjak. Well I’m thinking if Alexander is any kind of smart he knows exactly where to go to get help and while I don’t doubt that subplot will probably be overshadow by Aric’s one man campaign against a whole world, I am also sure it will just add one more layer of flavor to this big bucket of awesome sauce we have already.

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9.5
X-O Manowar (2017) #24

Mar 4, 2019

Bottom line, if you ever wondered..."what would happen if you put Jason Aaron's Thor, Ed Brubaker's Captain America and Matt Fraction/Warren Ellis Iron Man into a blender and only kept the amazing parts that really worked?" well wonder no more, because that's exactly what X-O Manowar is. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you aren't reading Valiant you're cheating yourself of some of the greatest art and writing on the market the since they relaunched in 2012 and they've shown the ability to maintain that 7 years later with no signs of slowing down.

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