StoryBabbler's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Comicbook Dispatch Reviews: 35
7.5Avg. Review Rating

Action Comics #1039 shows the new life of Superman on Warworld. The comic shows Superman fight to survive and endure the brutal environment he's in. Phillip Kennedy Johnson delivers some interesting world-building of Warworld, which goes hand in hand with the artwork from Riccardo Federico and Lee Loguhridge that characterizes the planet as a cruel and soul-crushing place waiting to grind Superman into fuel.

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Amazing Spider-Man #87 shifts back to Peter Parker as Black Cat and Captain America help him recover. Zeb Wells delivers not only a fun but positive story as we see Cap and Black Cat help Peter in this vulnerable state in ways only they can.Meanwhile the Beyond portions show that something's up with Ben Reilly after the last issue, and sets things up for the next part in the Beyond storyline.

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Mary Jane and Black Cat: Beyond #1 gives a cool team-up between the two leading ladies. The story provides a solid reason why they team up so it doesn't feel forced, and the adventure they have is actually fun. The comic keeps both MJ and Black Cat distinct heroines and delivers some sincere emotional development between the two. This comic works in the Beyond storyline and as a great standalone story featuring these two characters.

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Amazing Spider-Man #86 shows Ben Reilly trying to process what he's learned about Beyond from Doctor Octopus last issue. However, Ben's actions in this issue were kind of foolish given who he's dealing with. The only one who does anything sensible and interesting in this situation is Janine, while things play out as they would with a shady corporation in Marvel Comics. However, the comic's ending does leave potential for an interesting direction for Ben in the next issue.

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Avengers #52 has Captain America and Captain Marvel square off against two members of the new Multiversal Masters of Evil. The artwork, colors, and action between the heroes and villains are the saving grace of this comic issue. The story's focus on the kid Starbrand is underwhelming, but the comic evens it out with the Avengers facing the new Masters of Evil.

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Eternals #9 is a more exciting issue as it continues Thanos' invasion of the Deviant city of Lemuria. Once again, the comic focuses more on Thanos and his interactions with the city then it does on the Eternals except for a couple of them. The second artist on the book was a surprise, but their portion of the comic was well-drawn.

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Venom #4 continues the story with Dylan captured and the Venom symbiote racing to the rescue while dealing with the Life Foundation. Some character decisions make more sense than others here, and the action between the Venom symbiote and Spearhead is fine but not fun. However, it all comes together and the ending shows that pieces of a bigger plot are moving into place, which will lead to something interesting in the next issue.

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Amazing Spider-Man #85 delivers on the second round between Ben Reilly and Doctor Octopus. The comic's writing, pacing, and dialogue was solid and the art continued to bring in dynamic energy and action. This story not only resolves the fight between Ben and Otto, but it also moves the Beyond storyline forward and leaves Ben in an interesting position for the next issue.

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Fantastic Four #39 resolves the court battle between the Fantastic Four and The Wizard with unsatisfying results. This issue was more uneventful compared to the last issue, but the art team does a solid job trying to portray the more emotional scenes. There is another “big reveal” made in the comic about The Wizard, but once you know the truth about it you might end up questioning where Dan Slott is going with it. Ultimately, this two-part story just feels like filler.

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Nocterra: Blacktop Bill Special #1 gives an inside look into the nature of Blacktop Bill. It doesn't give any big answers for Nocterra's main story, it just shows what makes Blacktop Bill tick. The pacing, dialogue, and narration mixed with the art makes this book a rough but fun ride to read as it highlights what kind of character Blacktop Bill is and what fans can expect in the main series.

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Amazing Spider-Man #84 delivers a solid comic book as Ben Reilly comes face-to-face with Doctor Octopus. The writer nails down the pacing, dialogue, and characterization of both main characters, while the art team make the comic book look good and dynamic from start to finish. On top of that, this comic actually moves the Beyond storyline forward a bit, and hopefully we get more in the next issue.

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Wastelanders: Doom #1 delivers a post-apocalyptic story with Dr. Doom as the lead character. This works for and against the comic since the writer gets Dr. Doom right as a character, but mileage will vary if readers wanted to see a far more different version of Doom. The story, dialogue, and pacing are good, and the art team does a solid job to make Dr. Doom and the rest of the comic look good from start to finish.

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Action Comics #1038 keeps up the momentum from the previous issue. The story shows the aftermath of Mongul's victory, highlighting the brutal struggles that Superman and his team will have to overcome. All while showing that the Warworld Saga is as much a moral battle as it is a physical one. The writing by Phillip Kennedy Johnson continues to capture Superman's heroic spirit, while the art by Miguel Mendoca and Adriano Lucas' colors make this an amazing comic to look at.

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Amazing Spider-Man #83 delivers a heartwarming story with Spider-Man in time for the holidays. It follows Peter Parker's road to recovery as he tries to get back into the literal swing of things while dealing with his injury. There's solid action, dialogue, and the story and art by Patrick Gleason really make this a cool Spider-Man story, both on its own and as part of the Beyond storyline.

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Avengers #51 kicks off the new story arc with the Avengers vs. the new Multiversal Masters of Evil. The comic has a rough beginning, but when the new Masters of Evil show up, it gets much better. It's a good-old-fashioned clash between the heroes and villains, the art team do a great job illustrating the characters and action, and it's clear by the end that the fight has only just begun.

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Kang The Conqueror #5 delivers a series finale that winds up bringing everything in this series full circle. Kang enacts his final plot in the series in his greatest attempt to save Ravonna from her fate, and it all spirals out of control the only way a Kang time-travel plot could. The artwork by the art team is the biggest star here as every major shot of Kang is nothing short of epic for the series' conclusion.

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S.W.O.R.D. #11 delivers the series finale that concludes this battle between S.W.O.R.D., the Lethal Legion, and Henry Gyrich. The art and action in this book are solid, and the writing is good with some fine pacing. The only problem is it's pretty predictable until the third act, where it drops a huge revelation that could definitely impact things for the X-Men and S.W.O.R.D. going forward.

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X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 brings this chaotic mini-series to a close with unsatisfying results. The comic answers who killed Wanda, but the reveal is not as impactful as expected. On top of that, the comic adds a big revelation on top of the other that doesn't make things clearer but more confusing and convoluted than this series already is.

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Amazing Spider-Man #81 delivers a fun, if not predictable, superhero clash between Ben Reilly and Miles Morales. Nothing significant really happens here, other than the formulaic encounter between Ben and Miles. The comic is at it's best when they're fighting, both each other and the villain, visually speaking thanks to the art team. The story is very predictable, but hopefully we get better interactions between the two heroes later.

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Eternals #8 continues to show more of the slow but steady progress of the small group of Eternals learning to change their ways. The book tries to show how each of them are trying to change in themselves while living among Deviants. Some are better executed than others, to say the least. The real stars are Thanos and Druig, who steal the show again as they are the ones driving the plot forward in this series right now.

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The ending, when it comes to the matter of Aunt May and Doctor Octopus, is the only real downer of this comic. It's fairly predictable how it ends for those two, and it feels both sad and telegraphed while reading it. But that doesn't bring this comic down since it has two consequences that will actually matter in the main series, making this a must-buy for anyone invested in the Beyond storyline.

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Green Lantern #9 finally reveals who the main villains are and their objectives in the series. It picks up where it left off with John Stewart having an action-packed story confronting the forces of the Lightbringer. While Jo continues her investigation into the Central Power Battery's destruction and actually makes some headway. The issue delivers some progress on both storylines with some big reveals that, while not world-shattering, will have immediate impact in the next issue.

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The Swamp Thing #10 concludes the brothers' battle while setting up the next storyline for the series. The fight between Swamp Thing and Hedera reaches its end and is illustrated well, while the comic does its best to bring more emotional impact to their fight. Some of it works, some of it doesn't, but it lands for the most part and the comic looks good from start to finish.

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Amazing Spider-Man #80 delivers a fun and surreal Spider-Man story as Ben Reilly faces Kraven The Hunter. The story is well-written as Ben struggles to fight Kraven on two fronts while trying to keep a foot in reality. The art team does an amazing job with the art and colors, especially the surreal visual designs for Kraven and the imagery in Ben's mind. It's a fun conclusion to this two part Kraven story with Ben.

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Fantastic Four #38 tells a fun story that is a bit of a jumping back on point for Fantastic Four readers. The story has its flaws, notably the comic introducing a potential retcon for one of the main villains in the comic. However, the comic book still manages to be fun for what it is, and the art and colors by Francesco Manna and Jesus Aburtov are pretty good.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader #18 starts Vader's hunt for Crimson Dawn, and things take a more unconventional approach. We get to see more of Vader's motives for why his fight against Crimson Dawn is more than just fulfilling his imperial duties. The comic introduces some new characters, has some solid action, and begins the next storyline for Darth Vader.

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In X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #4, Magneto's almost nowhere to be seen. The real focus is on the Scarlet Witch as she struggles to get herself together in the middle of all this chaos. However, the comic raises more questions than it answers, and the process of how Wanda resolves it, especially with her sons, is poorly executed. The only interesting thing left in this series is finding out who the killer is.

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Avengers #50, or Avengers #750, is more about celebrating the Avengers as a concept than the characters. It wraps up the World War She-Hulk storyline and brings some closure to several other characters in the series. However, the big story is the formation of the new Multiversal Masters of Evil, which has some promise as the comic sets up the next big storylines. The Thor backup story is well-written with excellent art and is an enjoyable comic book short story from Christopher Ruocchio and Steve McNiven.

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Action Comics #1037 delivers on giving readers the big fight between Superman and the new Mongul. The fight itself is well-paced with solid dialogue by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, while the art by Miguel Mendonca and colors by Adriano Lucas make this a fun and dynamic comic book. The biggest problem is the predictability of the fight and how it all ends. But now that the series is going full-throttle with the Warworld Saga, readers will be getting more from this new Mongul storyline.

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Amazing Spider-Man #79 continues the Beyond storyline with Kraven The Hunter as the lead villain. The story explores more of Ben Reilly's emotional stakes not just for this comic but for the Beyond storyline as a whole. Readers will also get some cool, good-old-fashioned Spidey super-heroics. When it finally transitions to Kraven's part in the comic, the art is well done, the characters look good, and the action is clear, dynamic, and easy to follow.

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Black Panther #1 by John Ridley does a fine job setting up a new adventure for T'Challa. It has a solid opening and establishes the new threat along with the emotional stakes for Black Panther going forward. However, some of the main plot elements were partly underwhelming, but the subject matter leaves room for a good storyline that can go well if handled properly in the series.

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Fantastic Four Anniversary Tribute #1 delivers a solid comic remake of some of the Fantastic Four's seminal stories. It provides a comic where readers can enjoy the original stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with modern artists redrawing the stories in new and striking ways. It's a comic book that both new and longtime fans of the Fantastic Four can appreciate.

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Amazing Spider-Man #78.1 is a fun little tie-in to the main series but doesn't really add much to the main Beyond storyline. It feels like non-essential reading and is more of a fun misadventure starring Misty Knight and Colleen Wing on a side-mission for Maxine Danger and the Beyond Corporation. The quirky tone is in overdrive with Misty and Colleen as they face the new "villain" in the comic, who is unimpressive yet functional to get the plot going.

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Kang The Conqueror #4 brings the story of the young time traveler full circle as he returns to the far future. But this is where the story shifts from Kang's war against himself to his romance with Ravonna. The series and this comic hinges on the relationship between Kang and Ravonna, and that takes center stage with all the battles and conflicts as window dressing for the comic. The art and colors by Carlos Magno and Espen Grundetjern are spectacular with imagery that does Kang The Conqueror justice.

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S.W.O.R.D. #10 continues the series' new story arc which is in full-swing in this issue. After the revelation in the last issue, Wiz-Kid takes center stage in this comic. At first, some of the things he brings up are interesting, then it gets repetitive and uninteresting as the comic goes on. Mileage will vary on on whether what he says is compelling or not. The fight with the Lethal Legion gets some development, and introduces a neat concept for this current iteration of the villains, but not too much happens there.

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