Ryan Pagella's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: AIPT Reviews: 44
7.8Avg. Review Rating

5.5
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #3

Feb 21, 2020

The comic book of Cobra Kai expands on what we have been learning in its associated TV show: The Karate Kid. There is nothing new to add in this particular comic, save a few bits of Johnny crying to show that he is in fact human, and some additional content with John Kreese. The real reason I am here is because I love The Karate Kid. In terms of story, there is hardly anything new, but the artwork is beautiful.

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5
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #4

Jun 10, 2020

This final issue is great for the 'Karate Kid' collector. Lucky for me, I am a big fan of the 'Karate Kid' franchise, so I enjoyed this fun little revisit down memory lane. This is also a good gateway for a younger 'Cobra Kai' fan whose knowledge of this universe may solely be through the YouTube series, and they have not seen the original films. But for someone who is looking for a new angle on the story of Johnny Lawrence, that is not going to be in this comic.

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7.5
Excalibur (2019) #7

Feb 12, 2020

Whether or not this storyline has any greater impact on the X-Men universe, it's still fun. Sometimes the X-Men need to tear away from their usual mutant politics to just run around, having fun, showing off their power sets. This story embraces that it's a wacky comic book by having the X-Men hunt mutant wolves against an eccentric half-human half-tentacle monster. I also am digging this new take on Apocalypse. He has been long overdue for a rewrite.

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9.5
Excalibur (2019) #8

Mar 4, 2020

Tini Howard writes a fun version of Excalibur. Serious moments are broken up with witty and realistic dialogue that makes me laugh. The characters are all spot-on. She even goes as far as to having multiple characters from the LGBTQ community in one issue. Honestly, this is some solid writing, and reminds me of everything that is weird and fun about the X-Men.

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10
Excalibur (2019) #9

Mar 18, 2020

This issue of Excalibur full of intensive emotion, magic and action. The writing and art is beautiful. It also presents a very real problem: What are the repercussions of mutants toying with magic? Similar to this week's X-Force, the X-Men and the world of Krakoa may not be as perfect as it me seem from the outside.

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10
Excalibur (2019) #10

Jun 10, 2020

Regardless if the story was re-written or not, Tini Howard delivers us a harsh truth about our current political reality.

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10
FCBD 2020: X-Men #1

Jul 15, 2020

This year's Free Comic Book Day book is not for the faint of heart, but these are some really good and emotionally powerful stories. Make sure you pick up a copy with this week's comic book haul.

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6.5
Flash (2016) #88

Feb 12, 2020

For a new comic book villain, this is not bad. The writing is a little clunky, but it's a new and interesting concept, and one that I have not really seen before. The downside is that there is no real development spent with who this man was before he had this life-altering change. But hey, if it gives him the power to fix the DC Universe, then by all means: Do it.

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3.5
Flash (2016) #750

Mar 4, 2020

Aside from the short story on Captain Cold, this 750th issue of the Flash is lacking in any value. I hate to say it, but The Flash is dying as a series, despite its fairly successful TV show -- and it's all a product of DC's inability to keep their own universe straight. Almost none of these stories offer anything new to the greater universe for the Flash, and even their new supervillain gets sidelined in favor of boring comic book tropes.

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10
Giant-Size X-Men (2020): Magneto #1

Jul 15, 2020

Jonathan Hickman continues to blow me away with his work on the X-Men. Ramon Perez and David Curiel animate every page of this book beautifully, and they capture the very essence of Magneto. This is the X-Men we deserve.

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7.5
Giant-Size X-Men (2020): Nightcrawler #1

Mar 23, 2020

This one-shot is fun and action-packed with dizzying panels. It is abstract and weird, just like the X-Men are supposed to be. While the emotional stakes are very low, I enjoy this little team-up as it puts focus on some lesser called upon X-Men.

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5.5
Magnificent Ms. Marvel #12

Feb 5, 2020

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #12 concludes this story arc of fighting Stormranger and saving Kamala's father from a bone disease. It offers a little insight into the mind of Kamala and her superhero duties, but only for a split second. I would love to see this side of her fleshed out beyond a couple of panels in one issue. Kamala deserves that respect.

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9.5
Magnificent Ms. Marvel #13

Mar 3, 2020

This comic book explores the dynamic between a teenage superhero and her parent. It's sweet and full of love. Amulet seems like a great fit to fight alongside Kamala. It's about time she got a sidekick! The art is beautiful and every bit of writing was something I could relate to in my own life. Bravo, Ms. Marvel team! You've done it again.

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5.5
Marauders #7

Feb 5, 2020

The writing in Marauders is great if you are here for the character development. This is strong issue for Callisto, and drawing the parallels of her life to other more privileged mutants around her. The story itself is lacking and is convoluted to a point where it can't be followed. And honestly? With a character like Kitty Pryde being missing, the stakes are low because we all know she has survived worse situations and she can phase her way out of anything.

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9.5
Marauders #8

Feb 19, 2020

This comic book is beautiful. And while death does not last forever within the X-Men, seeing the writers explore them dealing with tragedy is very real.

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10
Marauders #10

May 27, 2020

Marauders #10 reminds us that dealing with the emotional weight of grief and anger is such an intense and volatile experience for those with superpowers. They are also a class of minorities, who are fighting for their equal rights. This story platforms all of that, and most importantly, it platforms Emma Frost.

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10
Marauders #11

Aug 11, 2020

With so many questions regarding Kate Pryde's death, Gerry Duggan makes it clear that he has a plan. Without many spoilers, let's just say that Kate's betrayer should run, because Emma Frost and Storm will be coming, and they will not show mercy.

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9.5
New Mutants (2019) #7

Feb 19, 2020

The New Mutants has always been about the relationship between these friends since they were teenagers. Seeing Mirage, Karma, Wolfsbane, Cypher, Cannonball and Sunspot all interact with each other like they did in their original run was nostalgic and hit all of those wonderful heartstrings. It is a story about friendship, and especially that between Cannonball and Sunspot. It's been many years since we have been able to see the dynamic between these two mutants. While the story is clunky, I am willing to push that aside to typical Shi'ar bullsh*t, because the character interactions in this are far too wonderful to miss.

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4.5
New Mutants (2019) #8

Feb 26, 2020

This is a filler issue at best. Nothing important seems to happen in the issue, and the characters seem kind of like they don't want to be hanging out with each other. It's disappointing to see them return to a staple location from New Mutants and have it be lackluster, and spotlighting a villain who likely last two seconds.

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10
New Mutants (2019) #9

Mar 11, 2020

I love anything Boom Boom related, but Ed Brisson takes her to a new level by allowing Boom Boom to evolve into a leadership role, all while retaining her renegade-like nature. The writing is fantastic, and the dialogue is in character. The art illustrated by Flaviano is beautiful and should be framed on my living room wall.

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10
New Mutants (2019) #11

Jul 22, 2020

New Mutants continues to stand up as a great title for Jonathan Hickman's world of X-Men, bringing both the vibes of The New Mutants and Generation X into one title.

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9
New Mutants (2019) #12

Sep 2, 2020

This issue of New Mutants is powerful in speech and providing metaphors for the fight among marginalized classes through mutants. It may not be action oriented, but it is the content that really breathes life into this incredible issue of New Mutants.

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7.5
Nightwing (2016) #70

Mar 18, 2020

Nightwing #70 is short and doesn't feature a lot of story; however it does offer us an inside look at Ric's mind as he slowly recovers his past and life, while battling the inner turmoil of deciding what kind of person he wants to be in this new reborn life.

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6.5
Runaways (2017) #30

Feb 19, 2020

Runaways has the capacity to tell a compelling story with these lovable characters, and other times they are just filler material. This storyline feels like filler material. It also doesn't allow a lot of time for any of the characters to show any of their distinct personalities beyond one saying "Yeah!" or "I'm uncomfortable in this costume." The only character who really excels is Gertrude. It's a fun story, but it lacks depth, character development, or even a unique story.

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7.5
Runaways (2017) #31

Mar 18, 2020

This issue of Runaways is light-hearted and a quick read. It's designed for young teens to enjoy and relate to, so of course another parental figure turns out to be a villain. I do feel like this is the quintessential Runaways team, but it does sometimes lack the depth the original run had back in the early 2000s.

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3.5
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) #25

Feb 11, 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog has a lot of fun characters, but without any development they fall flat and boring. Too many characters are introduced in this one issue and it feels like they are being all smashed in together with no real reason other than "There are zombies! The stakes are high!" If you want a fun, light Sonic story " sure, this is readable. But it completely lacks the heart of the original Sonic the Hedgehog run, and it's very obvious in this issue.

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8.5
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) #27

Mar 24, 2020

While the lead-up to this story had been a bit lackluster, the story turns around when these teams work together to save their planet. The stakes are pretty high, and while much of the reasoning as to why any of it's happening in the first place makes little to no sense, the story is playing out in a way that's fun and even gives us hope during a time in which we are fighting our own viral pandemic.

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6
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) #29

Jul 22, 2020

While this particular story seemed fun and interesting, it also felt rushed. This issue provides more emotional stakes for Sonic and his friends, but it definitely feels like a quickly edited season finale when the production team finds out that they have been canceled from TV.

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5
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) #30

Aug 18, 2020

Unlike Sonic, this story needs to slow down. There are too many characters and the reader is whipped around at the speed of light between them. There are unfinished concepts here and too many perspectives, which loses character development and personality.

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3
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) #31

Sep 3, 2020

The interesting part about this issue is that for a brief moment, the reader gets to see a world without Sonic, allowing other heroes to step into the spotlight. Unfortunately, there are so many that we only get about a page with each one, quickly dropping exposition in under a page crammed with many lines. Sonic the Hedgehog needs to slow down and allow the reader time spend some time with these characters, get to know them.

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10
Sonic The Hedgehog (2018) Annual #2020

Jul 8, 2020

This is a really good compilation of stories. There are five stories all together and they are all worth reading. I hope this issue sets the tone for the future of Sonic the Hedgehog comic books!

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9
Spy Island #1

Apr 24, 2020

Spy Island does a great job at creating the right feelings of a very specific espionage story. What is more fun about this particular world is that it also sets up some of the more fantastical and mystical aspects of spy stories of the '70s. I would read more of this, so keep them coming!

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10
Wolverine (2020) #2

Mar 25, 2020

Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert have nailed down Wolverine's personality. Together they can tell a tale of Wolverine that has been told many times before, yet they keep it fresh. I am excited to see where the story goes with the Pale Girl. I am also here for more naked Wolverine.

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10
Wolverine (2020) #3

Jul 22, 2020

This issue of Wolverine is very good. We get to see the deeper side of Logan in a way that is not shown enough to the reader, which is handled beautifully by Benjamin Percy.

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8
Wolverine (2020) #4

Aug 19, 2020

Benjamin Percy writes a good Wolverine. He is so close to actually evolving Logan as a character. While Omega Red fighting Wolverine is overdone, this issue (and series) is diving a little further into Logan's psyche. He keeps doing the same things, making the mistakes, and giving into the same toxic habits over and over instead of healing -- and this series is addressing that.

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4
Wolverine (2020) #5

Sep 2, 2020

If you want a fun one-off story of Wolverine fighting vampires, this is definitely for you. It's very "comic books". Unfortunately, it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the world Jonathan Hickman is building for the X-Men.

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9
X-Factor (2020) #1

Jul 28, 2020

Leah Williams understands these characters and writes them with the perfect level of snark. I would have never thought to put any of these mutants together, but it works and creates a very interesting dynamic. Plus Northstar is in charge, and that's awesome.

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8
X-Factor (2020) #2

Aug 26, 2020

In terms of the story, not much happens in this issue. I am finding that this series is carrying itself on the snark and dialogue alone, but that's okay because I could read a full day's worth of banter between X-Factor members, especially when Daken is involved. If you are looking for some classic X-Men snark, you have come to the right place.

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8.5
X-Force (2019) #7

Feb 12, 2020

If you are a fan of espionage films, or straight up just Domino, this is a great comic for you. Even if you don't know much about the X-Men, this is an easy self-contained story that any reader can follow. Aside from the spy bits, it deals with trauma and PTSD. Being a superhero is hard, and some really messed up stuff can happen. This comic doesn't shy away from that. In conclusion: I want more Domino and Sage, 007 style.

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9.5
X-Force (2019) #8

Feb 26, 2020

The writing of Bejamin Percy on X-Force is truly a work of art. It is poetic. To dive so deeply into a character's inner psyche, exploring facets such as trauma and anxiety, is not easy to write. I commend Percy for his ability to sew these so beautifully together through Domino. I cannot recommend this run of X-Force enough.

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10
X-Force (2019) #9

Mar 18, 2020

Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara deliver another incredible issue of X-Force. I have not been this into a comic book series in such a long time. The way Percy understands these characters touches every part of my heart that loves the X-Men. He just gets them. Thank you so much for putting Sage in the spotlight again. Also a shout out to Joshua Cassara for these beautiful panels that weave in and out of cartoon-like comic books, and horrifying watercolors.

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7
X-Force (2019) #11

Aug 12, 2020

While I completely respect the team behind this current run of 'X-Force', this issue seems out of the left field and hard to follow. The dialogue and art are fantastic, but it is not easy for the casual reader.

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6
X-Men (2019) #11

Aug 26, 2020

Overall, this story has no bearing on the greater X-Men universe, but if you are a fan of Magneto, this issue will still be worth a read.

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10
X-Men/Fantastic Four (2020) #3

Mar 25, 2020

X-Men/Fantastic Four is one of the best titles being put out by Marvel right now. The politics are heavy, thought-provoking, and written with beautiful ease by Chip Zdarsky. I am down to see where this goes, and the characterization of our favorite mutants is spot-on perfect!

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