Fracadactyl's Profile

Joined: Aug 29, 2019

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8.3
Overall Rating
7.5
80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Aquaman #1

Aug 31, 2021

There were so many pieces of Aquaman's epic that made Arthur Curry into such an interesting character. His relationship with Mera, the fears of not being good enough for her or as King of Atlantis. I also enjoy seeing him as a family man between him, Mera, Garth, and eventually Andy and Jackson. Plus the way they all handle the more bizarre encounters like the Lady in the Lake looks okay. Then there are the times when he and Ocean Master express themselves in artistic fashion. But there are a few things that don't seem quite right like epilogues to previous runs like in Dan Watters instance. Only thing missing is how Arthur actually interacts with Black Manta. It annoys me a little in how Aquaman (or even Jackson) practically had no part in Manta's upcoming run, like he was just something to latch onto. But at least it goes into Jackson's uneasy relationship with his father because it feels like a genuine conflict of interests.

8.0
Action Comics (2016) #1032

Jun 23, 2021

Action Comics #1032 challenges the symbol of Superman as hope, where a possible Kryptonian's torture gives her understandable distance with Superman. Then of course when the surface and Atlantis are ready for another conflict, Superman's got his work cut out for him.

8.0
Action Comics (2016) #1033

Jul 27, 2021

Having power in such a situation can be felt throughout in this issue. Superman knows that there is a huge threat coming. His struggle to be the thing to give people hope feels genuinely tense. That's especially in regards to the Fortress' guest who is only just coming to learn what hope even feels like. But when different sides of a conflict are ready to blow down the doors for some form of dominance; what will Superman do to resolve this?

8.0
Action Comics (2016) #1034

Aug 24, 2021

Why do governments always have to be portrayed as being so dumb and trigger happy in comics? Sure I felt the tension but it's like nobody even bothers with diplomatics. Hence why Superman has to step in. But it doesn't seem like the best option, just the only one that could prevent a war. Tension only rises when people feel like they don't have a choice. Gotta say, I like the back-up's depiction of Shilo a bit more than the solo series. Here he has a bit more personality, especially when acting as a sanity foil to Midnighter. Leaves me wondering what going to happen after the ending.

8.0
Action Comics (2016) #1035

Sep 28, 2021

I have no idea which is the real timeline, especially since elements just seem to jump around. Grant Morrison's the Authority shows up, Tom Taylor's run has Superman leaving for a different reason. But it feels on point when it comes to Superman's actions in this run, and taking on the source of a problem before it grows out of control. Just wish somewhere down the line things make some sort of sense.

7.5
Action Comics (2016) Annual: 2021

Jul 13, 2021

Nothing special, just an in between events chapter of House of El. But at least we get to see the culture of the House of El in regards to honor.

7.5
Action Comics (2016) Annual: Midnighter 2021

Aug 31, 2021

I'm a fan of how Oeming's artwork gives space and action the anticipation needed for abstract scenes. Plus I really like how Midnighter's relationship with Apollo plays out, especially since it goes into fears of a partner drifting away. Only problem is there were too many moving parts to make this into something bigger. I understand Mister Miracle (Shilo) for his Mother Box and the maniacal billionaire with the name of Trojan, but it felt like the plot was dragging along.

7.0
Alien (2021) #5

Jul 21, 2021

I could feel the tension in this issue once Cruz finally recalls everything from his past. But at the same time, I feel like this issue is bogged down by the same tropes as most of the Alien franchise: characters who sell out their fellows for whatever gains they want. I know that it's kind of a staple, but after a while it gets frustrating to look at how common it is.

7.0
Aliens: Aftermath (2021) #1

Jul 14, 2021

I don't really know how to interpret this other than how things like influencers continue to be a problem. Selling out to an enemy, and preferring to capture data of being the hero taking risks rather than deal with some minor elements.

9.0
Amazing Fantasy (2021) #1

Jul 28, 2021

That's one way to make a good first impression. We have characters who haven't quite become the versions people have grown to love. And before they had a chance to, they're thrown into a world where they're probably dead. Whether it's a fantasy world, the afterlife, or just a dream before it all ends, these heroes are going to have to grapple the decisions, responsibilities, and perspectives they have.

7.5
Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #69

Jun 23, 2021

Man... I wish if people are going to write for trade, Marvel can redirect their efforts into graphic novels. So many plots make this go at a snail's pace. There're good stories but there are too many in this issue. For the love of Peter Parker, I'm way more invested in the Sinister Six War brewing up in the epilogues.

8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #70

Jul 8, 2021

Questions are asked with answers, villains are gathered, small-term goals had been achieved. With only four (and more) issues left, Nick Spencer sets the stage for a final showdown. After so much of the run is spent cleaning up the ideas and messes left by those who came before, will Marvel allow Spider-Man to confront the publisher's arguably greatest sin involving the Wall Crawler?

7.5
Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #71

Jul 28, 2021

Padding, padding, padding! Padding, padding, padding! Didn't mind the MJ parts but everything else, just dragging the heels a bit too much.

7.5
Amazing Spider-Man (2018) Annual #2

Jul 8, 2021

I didn't really like this annual that much. If anything it's just a way to show Star off as a foil to Peter Parker. But really it isn't even about him and we don't feel Star's decision to go back to villainy that much either. After the events of Thunderbolts, did Marvel think it would've been too similar to Suicide Squad? At the very least seeing Nighthawk try to force Fury to his side is more compelling. As someone who read the entire Heroes Reborn saga, I find Nighthawk to be a compelling character in his motivations to be a hero. He might even be trying to fix some of the more insidious parts like Mutant genocide and Canada stripping, but considering the toxic nature of that world it's hard to say if it's a good thing.

7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2018): Chameleon Conspiracy #1

Jun 30, 2021

Why can these never just be released in a graphic novel? It's just continuing a story going off on tangents. All this really did was get the Chameleon ready for the Sinister War, if also to ease fans about debates in relation to Spider-Man's sister. With the natural conclusion being: Nobody Cares!

8.0
America Chavez: Made in the USA #4

Jul 8, 2021

I feel like what came on here is what Marvel had planned for Chavez since the idea to get her first solo series. To rediscover herself after being so sure of her identity, something that past depictions fumble in. Once you look past the idealized version of events, you have to look at the reality of a situation. Personally I would've preferred if Chavez faced off against Superia in confronting the nature of her origins. But really, this is to assure readers that even with a more dramatic origin, Chavez is still the hero they've come to love.

8.0
America Chavez: Made in the USA #5

Aug 11, 2021

So now with some of the fantastical side of America Chavez cast away, she's got a new status quo. One that's going to be pretty tough with her power fluctuating but has potential for more stuff down the line.

8.5
American Vampire: 1976 #10

Aug 4, 2021

Pretty much ended the way it was supposed to, with Skinner's arc ending while confessing he doesn't know himself that well. Beneath all that rough and huxter attitude, was a whole lot of insecurities. But that's also part of what made him a good character, he's a survivor who knows he doesn't have it all. He's also willing to make risks when he believes he can count on people like Pearl. Because at the end of the day, I think he was really looking for somebody to make a better impression on him than anything else.

8.5
Aquaman: The Becoming (2021) #1

Sep 22, 2021

I really appreciate how the creatives are making Jackson's life so important if a little self-conscious. He's got a good life and someone is ready to take it all away. Just when people know how to root for him. So I'm rooting for this guy all the way.

9.0
Archer & Armstrong Forever #1

May 18, 2022

Am I giving the first issue way too much credit? Possibly. But the premise of Armstrong's immortality on the fritz with him and Archer trying to find ways of doing that has a lot of nuance that gives me time to think. Am I trying to raise my own website while doing this? I guess, but unlike Comical Opinions most of my reviews requests are for Kickstarters. Except for Valiant and Mad Cave and I regular get advance copies for reviews from them. Anyway I'll be updating this page as the series goes on: https://gutternaut.net/2022/05/archer-armstrong-forever-how-to-prolong-longevity/

9.0
Astonishing Times #1

Jul 28, 2021

Pretty good start by looking at how superheroes don't seem special unless a scandal starts up. It perfectly captures oversaturation. Gotta like the action and crazy technology employed too, a katana with a taser in the handle, that's cool.

7.5
Avengers (2018) #46

Jul 8, 2021

This felt a little awkward going in after Heroes Reborn. Plus the motivations feel like they happen out of nowhere for Gorilla-Man. I just hope Starbrand and Phoenix get more focus this time around.

8.5
Batman '89 (2021) #1

Aug 11, 2021

The story the makers wanted but couldn't. Including Billy Dee Williams' likeness on the road to becoming Two-Face and Dick on his first steps to becoming Robin. Not just that, but it presents why Robin will be necessary; he's a street vigilante wanting to help people who are struggling in Gotham. But it looks like it's going to require both him and Batman to be steered in the right directions. I'm already wanting this more than Batman Forever; no executives to meddle here.

8.0
Batman '89 (2021) #2

Sep 14, 2021

I know that this is going to feel like a cash grab on interracial communications to some people, but come on Drake Winston and Marlon Wayans were waiting 30 years to make their debut. Besides seeing Batman struggle after much loss and seeing him on the brink of losing his sanity when it looks like Catwoman's back calls for a Robin. Especially one who sees the problems of Harvey Dent. Plus it looks like Two-Face here represents his split between people; the underprivileged people he was born into and the ones he tried to fit into. Just look at how Drake's neighborhood are always on guard when it looks like somebody comes in to offer easier solutions.

7.5
Batman / Catwoman (2020) #6

Aug 17, 2021

Nothing special, just a bit of camp on all sides. Especially when it comes to confronting Selina's need for a little company. As well as how it's at risk when Helena confronts her mother about her murder of the Joker.

7.5
Batman / Catwoman (2020) #7

Sep 7, 2021

I could really feel like how the Bat and Cat's relationship is enough to provide insight to Helena. It's dysfunctional as it can get, almost dependent, but it's authentic on how real their relationship is. It's what allows Bruce to pull off such crazy acts to hide in plain sight; probably not the most realistic, but that's besides the point. Just makes me wonder where this is going to go.

8.0
Batman / Superman (2019) #18

May 25, 2021

This might as well be satire on both sandbox games and with fan filmmaking. There's so much storytelling potential, that it's hard not to overlook the creative introductions like Bruce Wayne as a Bizarro Two-Face.

8.5
Batman / Superman (2019) #19

Jun 23, 2021

The magic of world building and the inclusion of underutilized DC characters decorate this issue.

8.5
Batman / Superman (2019) #20

Jul 27, 2021

I'm never not going to enjoy creatives just having a good time with their content. The inclusion of different guest characters, while using many elements just feels kind of good. Like the Fortress's giant key and Etrigan hurling it at the door, it's impossible not to be impressed. Plus I always find myself amused by the rhyming.

8.0
Batman / Superman (2019) #21

Aug 24, 2021

As a sucker for camp, I felt good reading this. Sure the conflict with Etrigan ended a little too quickly, but last issue did make him out to be something other than a henchmen. As for El Diablo and Alanna, a bit too quickly a move for relationships, but hey more room for the imagination. I just really liked how well Batman and Superman bounce off each other despite being from different worlds and having the time to work everything out. It's like the voids in their respective worlds filled when meeting each other. Their presence even makes sense of Auter.io's development.

10
Batman / Superman (2019) #22

Sep 28, 2021

What a way to close stuff out, not by going into a new story or setting the stage for someone else to succeed it, but just having fun with complementary franchises and characters. Who would've thought Mxyzptlk and Calendar Man would have good chemistry. And the way it uses the comic structure itself to mess around with Batman and Superman is phenomenal. It's just sad that most comic creatives aren't enjoying themselves as much.

9.0
Batman / Superman (2019) Annual: 2021

Aug 31, 2021

This feels like the perfect follow-up to that Batman/Superman story by Yang and as a standalone epic. Between the two worlds, you have Superman fill in a sense of hope lost in the World of Knight complete with a unique art style by Francavilla where Superman stands out so much in the noir-like world. Plus in the World of Tomorrow, the cinematic brightness of Batman's presence feels like a synthesis of the Adam West campiness with the Batman depiction from the Brave and the Bold. Especially since it deals with Bruce finally finding a little closure with his mother's death when meeting her counterpart. Plus it's one of the only times that a flipbook feels like a good idea in terms of stylizations.

7.5
Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf In Gotham #1

Sep 28, 2021

I like how this crossover series goes on its own tangent when it comes to Batman. Rather than stick to continuity, it uses a familiar Batman to just have fun with. Batman and three Robins anyway. But it looks like the mystery is off to a slow start, with Batman just meeting his only lead Bigby. Something is certainly going to come out of this, it's just the execution I'm wary of.

7.0
Batman: Reptilian #1

Jun 23, 2021

Admittedly, the artist admits the writer was supposed to be someone else. But the artwork and presentation is very powerful, especially in how it makes Batman feel fearsome. Makes me wonder what he'll be up against.

8.0
Batman: Reptilian #2

Jul 27, 2021

Whatever monster is skulking around is keeping everybody on edge. I'm curious to see what kind of monstrosity it is since this confirms it's not Killer Croc. It's common to see crooks feel like they disrupt stuff. But whatever this monster is, it feels more like a predator ready tear apart everything in its way thanks to the atmosphere.

8.0
Batman: Reptilian #3

Aug 24, 2021

This felt genuinely scary. There's a predator stalking Gotham that might be connected to Killer Croc (a character in my opinion, is underappreciated most of the time); and Joker's running around causing a distraction from a good mystery. He's blaming Batman for something going around because he's that much of a troll; so seeing him actually scared of the monster came as a cathartic surprise. I'm admittedly a little more intrigued by this series.

8.0
Batman: Reptilian #4

Sep 28, 2021

I have to admit, this made me appreciate Killer Croc's role. It's a development no one saw coming and it required the World's Greatest Detective to figure out. By using a strange event as a basis, it creates a campy monster literally from Croc. I enjoyed this development because it has some of the best when it comes to Batman's detective skills and oddities that can happen only in comics.

8.5
Batman: Secret Files (2021): Clownhunter #1

Aug 17, 2021

A little more development on Clownhunter goes a long way. Bao Pham feels alone and has had to deal with predators for a lot of his life. It's no wonder that even with a therapy session, he still feels the need to punish bullies like Punchline's clown army. Only problem is, he doesn't have a lot of people to count on despite being able to take a hit. So having Red Hood show up looks like a good development. They're alike in a lot of ways, plus Jason's willing to help those who have lost their way in life by supervillain activity; as his interactions with Duela Dent show. Who knows, maybe he and Pham can get more development together than apart. Gotta say though, it's getting difficult to know when these issues take place as they change between his Outlaw outfit and his New 52 gear.

8.5
Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season Two #1

Jun 3, 2021

Batman: The Adventures Continue Season 2 starts a new chapter to the classic franchise by introducing an intriguing take on the Court of the Owls. Because it looks like it's going back towards Dick Grayson and Deadman.

8.0
Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season Two #2

Jul 8, 2021

I'm always going to be annoyed by the false advertisement on the cover but I liked Batman and Deadman's chemistry when it comes to their life (and afterlife)'s purpose. I just hope we can see more of the Court down the line.

8.0
Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season Two #3

Aug 11, 2021

A pretty familiar feeling from the show, even if it does deal as a sequel of sorts. One that puts two people related to Batman in conflict. Barbara has me going when it comes to looking for vengeance or justice. Makes me wonder if Huntress' presence made her go for the latter. Gotta say though, the Jazzman didn't exactly cover his bases, if anything he was just a plot element than a character.

8.5
Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season Two #4

Sep 22, 2021

Gotta love this episodic take on events. It really allows characters on different sides of the cast to shine. Here, Renee Montoya gets some pretty impressive dynamics between her and Batman. She's capable enough for crime families to send hitmen after anyway. Plus the way Bruce has to play with timing just to be able to keep up with other is great.

8.5
Batman: The Detective (2021) #3

Jun 8, 2021

You gotta love how Batman's relationships with his mentors are complicated. There's always something in Bruce Wayne that he wants to overcome, including the moral gray areas. Frankly it's hard to tell if Ducard meets his fate here or if he's trying to get Bruce out of his hair.

8.5
Batman: The Detective (2021) #4

Jul 13, 2021

So now Batman faces his polar opposites while being able to throw them off his secret identity. Unfortunately, Bruce's beliefs in making the smart choices come into conflicts with the moral choices. With Equilibrium becoming more and more ruthless, it's time to get as absurd as they are with a mobile Batcave.

8.5
Batman: The Detective (2021) #5

Sep 22, 2021

I feel like every other time I see Tom Taylor, he's taking on pieces of Grant Morrison's run. Not just the Batman Inc. members and gadgets, but how global Batman really is. I mean, the way Batman talks about what good he might've actually done, especially on individual levels is really solid here. It goes into the ripple effects and I have a feeling that's what's going to get Bruce to realize how much good he does do in the world. And how people like Equilibrium who are stuck int their toxic thoughts and helplessness at senseless tragedies really fit in that puzzle.

8.0
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #5

Jul 13, 2021

Looks like the Bat Family are going through some growth problems. I enjoy how Stephanie and Cassandra like to complement each other when it comes to simulations vs reality. Sometimes you have to make a bluff to get somebody's attention with some people. Tim meanwhile looks like he needs a new alter-ego after being Robin or a variation for so long. Finally while I believe Jason works better as a saboteur than a detective, the skills do go hand-in-hand. Plus the big surprise with Grifter at the end is something to behold. All of the bluffs, the intelligence and counterintelligence, looks like Wildstorm content is coming in strong.

8.0
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #6

Aug 11, 2021

I kind of like how the Red Hood storyline goes. The older New 52 Red Hood costume is a symbol of trust between Batman and Jason, even though I had my own hopes on where Jason could go; but then again DC wants to keep him as Red Hood for the Titans TV show and the Gotham Knights video game. As for those joy fantasies between Batman and Jason, it says a lot. Batman and Jason really just want to be done with the Joker. And while Batman should never go down actually ending that clown, he can't help but be sick of him. Hence why these fantasies exist, to show that Batman and Jason are more connected than they like to think. But it also raises questions about when some of Red Hood's other appearances take place, because there are times when he's in his outlaw getup and his New 52 gear. I don't know much about WildCATs but it's a little surprising to see one of them appear with Wonder Woman in a Batman title, it's like this is just a cheap means of advertising. Unlike Black Canary because as part of the Birds of Prey, she and Barbara fit in nicely. Especially since Barbara makes the decision to stay being Batgirl, because she and Oracle can coexist. Batgirl Oracle in a manner similar to Batgirls Spoiler and Orphan. As for Tim coming out as bi... whatever. I was kind of expecting him to find a role outside of being Robin, but okay... maybe he can do after this rediscovery.

8.0
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #7

Sep 14, 2021

The future never looked so uncertain; so rife with prospects but full chances to mess up. I've seen so many takes on Batman Beyond, that what came after the show felt like parodies. Yet, what's a tribute like the Batman Beyond when a new year starts with Gotham City ready to start a new chapter? In the Future State chapter, I think I'm seeing in there what a lot of American comics are lacking. A focus on making action and panel progression instead of just making pin-up art. That's what I felt from the Batman 666 chapter. As for the One Million chapter, it captures the best of Batman in terms of legacy, action, and the spirit of the Dark Knight.

9.0
Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn Collected

Jun 30, 2021

Someone needs to fill in the role of Batman when Gotham's infamous hunger sets in, and the GTO might not be enough. Everybody wants Harleen Quinzel to just act as a criminal consultant, but she's denying a part of herself in the process. Sure Harley came with damage, but she had more than that too. And trying to stay the course might just keep her what made Batman fall out of favor. Because keeping the past buried doesn't seem to help anyone; Harley, a GTO officer, and not even Jason Todd who apparently refuses anything to do with his past. So now, Harley has to choose a path that has no easy answers. There's genuinely a lot of tension between everyone. Gotham has certainly changed where Batman doesn't need to be around 24/7. But there's a feeling of emptiness that predators want to fill in. Even Harley's domestic life while warm still has an emptiness to it.

9.5
Beta Ray Bill (2021) #3

May 26, 2021

Beta Ray Bill #3 doesn't just bring epic scale battles but a challenging new dynamic where Bill finds his needs closer than he believes.

10
Beta Ray Bill (2021) #5

Jul 28, 2021

Probably the best way to end this particular character story. Bill finds not just what he wants with the Blade of Twilight but gets to confront what brought him there in the first place. Surtur is like a living reminder of everything Bill lost; his original appearance, his family, and by extension his original weapon that was like a symbol of self-worth. So seeing Bill get some cathartic payback on Surtur is a sight to behold. Especially since his struggles seem so believable and the friends he has put so much on the line to help him out. Skurge in particular finds what he wants in one last hurrah where Scuttlebutt does something so ridiculous, readers can't help but look in awe as Skurge weeps a bit at it. Which is why it's so tragic to see Bill at the end. I dare not give away any spoilers but it feels very appropriate.

8.0
Black Cat (2020) #7

Jun 3, 2021

Black Cat is a complex and thought provoking character, I really enjoy how she makes use of every trick she and Black Fox make use of to one up each other. It shows how much of a father-daughter figure relationship they have and why it hurts to deceive one or the other. Although what Felicia does near the end might come across as queer-baiting; it just doesn't have the same impact as her relationship with Fox. But it does mesh together with the overall series, transactional methods of comfort.

7.5
Black Cat (2020) #8

Jul 28, 2021

Always gotta love the energy these issues bring. Even if it does come with questions like how did Star get into Fury's custody? Man... a lot of these work better in trades.

7.5
Black Cat (2020) Annual #1

Jun 30, 2021

I like the witty Banter from Black Cat, nice to see the Tiger Division up close too. But fanservice aside, I really have to ask why. I know Black Cat was working on a heist for the Infinity Stones but does that mean that the annual was changed because of it? This has nothing to do with the Infinity People. Maybe the villain was the Mind or Soul Stone user, but there was nothing to say he was. Fortunately, the Fury story has more room in this development. The surprise guest kept me thinking that his ability to perceive reality might be tied to that.

8.5
Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #3

May 19, 2021

I've been liking what I see so far in Curse of the Ebony Blade and this issue highlights a bit of where Dane Whitman is going. He wants to be loved and admired while living up to the legacy he inherited. Unfortunately, nobody actually gets what they want; Elsa (always a pleasure to see) steals the show with a carefree attitude that Dane could use; that scholar girl meanwhile finds out a little more about how misleading myths and folktales can actually be. Going back to the Black Knight legacy, turns out Dane's figure of reference Sir Percy wasn't all that heroic. Between him and Mordred, Mordred is arguably the bigger man because despite his wishes he knows he can't have it. Dane meanwhile has to be shaken out of his delusions by others. Now with the end of this issue, I can't wait to see where it all goes.

8.5
Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #5

Jul 28, 2021

There are plenty of surprises this time around, this time not quite as founded. I might've missed the part that says the therapy app Dane was using is owned by Mordred. But I guess Jacks' involvement is one that fits if looked at hard enough. Plus the conclusion kind of fits together with her and Dane sharing the role of Black Knight. Because as most mental health cases in superhero narratives tell, it is best to share the burden than keep it all to themselves for self-destruction and delusion. Because as these narratives tend to go, similar problems will always come back.

7.5
Black Manta (2021) #1

Sep 7, 2021

This could become something very interesting. Black Manta's trying to define himself as something other than his rivalry with Aquaman and Jackson. I'm not exactly sure where this is all going to fit in with apparently people including himself tied to some rock, but his piracy business is opening up a bit. The new characters even seem to bounce off of him a bit, so this looks like it could lead to somewhere.

9.0
Black Widow (2020) #7

May 26, 2021

The Widows' challenge this time around comes from a desire to preserve the people looking up to them. Seeing Natasha as a maternal figure is a compelling thing to see as danger lurks around several corners. Plus we get to see the return of Anya Corazon.

9.5
Black Widow (2020) #8

Jun 30, 2021

Hard not to feel the anxieties in this issue. Between a cult of power brokers, Black Widow is grappling with some difficult feelings. A scenario was forced on her but she loved it anyway, to have it ripped away is anguishing. It's why she wants to protect who she can like her current ward after being coerced into getting powers. Also the dynamic between her Yelena is great, having the White Widow as the muscle looks and feels pretty good. She's the straight/blunt foil to keep Natasha on the path. She doesn't even keep Natasha from being the nurturer, because Yelena is lucky to have Natasha watching her back. Also the whole presentation of working in plain sight works wonders. The way people go about their day is so captivating while the Widows practically work directly in shadows. It also serves as a window to what Black Widow lost. The way, Spider-Girl Anya is taking the spy angle and still learning the ropes feels like something for the ward to have too. This keeps getting better.

9.0
Black Widow (2020) #9

Jul 28, 2021

Everybody could use a little help this time around. It's also what raises the tension as every costly decision is like a countdown and one wrong move can mean tragedy. Just ask Yelena who if not for Lucy would've been dead. And that's a problem considering Lucy's powers are killing her. I like how Olio comes in from all of this. Somebody who like Yelena trusted his keen instincts but still has a chance of failure. It's what allows him to learn from his mistakes and try to make something good out of everything.

7.5
Bloodshot (2019) #5

Jan 11, 2020

I admit this is a step up and some interesting angles. Bloodshot is still the generic action hero but has some agency and tact, especially in how he makes a move. Not to mention it's nice to see how writers and artists make use of his nanite powers. Still again with the process of where Bloodshot fits in the world. If the public know about him, why is he just the scary guy when he also plays hero? Eidolon certainly seems likable enough too; especially when it's becoming harder to determine if Black Bar actually see her as a person or just a piece of equipment. Then there's this new group that comes up, practically out of nowhere. Whatever their connection with Eidolon is (probably from Project Rising Spirit) it looks like an already complicated premise got even more complicated. I don't know what the future holds but if it becomes anything more like this, I'm going to be losing more and interest with that Bloodshot movie.

7.0
Bloodshot Vol. 1

Jan 10, 2020

Had to admit that issue from FCBD looked really good unfortunately its also what leads to some realizations. By all accounts, this is good when it comes to reminding people on who Bloodshot is and what he does. But with the Bloodshot movie coming out, I can see this being little more than a generic action flick. Even when going through some parts of the comic I can tell that's the case too. You have a group dedicated to bringing down Bloodshot because he 'might' be a threat, especially one member who is out for some payback. It's almost as if they're not paying attention to what's been going on and are just a cabal of paranoids who do shady stuff too. It's a weak premise and sometimes its hard to tell who's speaking in a very small number of panels. Admittedly there is also a transition where the plot of soldiers who have to go underground come up. That's certainly interesting and the action that goes on can certainly bring some readers to that. But for me, I'm going to have to wait and see if it's worth the price of admission.

8.5
Blue & Gold (2021) #1

Jul 20, 2021

The boys are back! People always called Booster Gold a superhero influencer and now he's going onto social media. Sure this might seem like a regression after his time traveling days and being a timekeeper. But... after all the drama with Heroes In Crisis, maybe it's time to go back to basics with some light hearted times. Besides, having Ted Kord around to be the straight man is always good, especially since he needs a win after the events of Taylor's Suicide Squad. This hits some of the same notes as Justice League International; not only that this duo fills niches the Justice League doesn't touch. It feels like it's good to just live in the moment with these two.

8.5
Blue & Gold (2021) #2

Sep 7, 2021

I just love how this issue adds more context to the decision of previous issues and series. Ted makes it clear that his relationship with Booster isn't just because he needs to look smart. If he was back on the Justice League, he would've just been a wallflower. Booster has enough confidence for the both of them... maybe too much. I really like seeing the banter between these two and how the situations they find themselves in get so ridiculous, it's too hard not to get amused.

8.0
Cable (2020) #11

Jun 30, 2021

I guess if Old Man Cable had to come back, this was the way to do it. There's a whole lot going on and there's a lot of the nonsense that comes with being Cable. I mean secret bases, battle vehicles, and over-the-top battles against Stryfe. It has that campy Action Movie cheese where it looks like people are celebrating and ready to have a good time.

7.5
Cable (2020) #12

Jul 28, 2021

I know this was a bit rushed but I kind of like how the dynamic between Stryfe and Cable exists. They appear at any point in time and nobody can ever know where it begins or where it ends. Just wish it had more room to buffer out.

7.5
Captain America (2018) #29

May 19, 2021

At this point, the series feels like it's rushing towards the end.

7.0
Captain America (2018) #30

Jul 8, 2021

I'm going to ignore all of the political commentary, I'm going to ignore all of the hard-ons people get over Captain America depictions or Coates. I'm going to talk about what I think about this. The ending is a very played version of events between antagonistic influencers. But as a plus, Sin is going back out of her father's shadow. In all honesty, I've been more interested in the United States of Captain America even before this conclusion. There are a lot of tropes in Coates' run that have been played out and I found Steve to be the least interesting character. I prefer Peggy and Sharon's depictions above all else. I can only hope they get more appearances.

8.5
Captain Marvel (2019) #29

Jun 23, 2021

I'm really beginning to enjoy this arc into Kelly Thompson's time with Captain Marvel. She's addressing a modern issue that has been plaguing Carol Danvers for a long time. Carol believes she needs to be more powerful than she needs to be to prevent catastrophe, like the only good thing about her is her strength and power. So when she pulls a double standard to learn magic, she could very well have set off the events of that apocalyptic future she visited. By all accounts, I had more fun with the references Carol makes in her inner monologues; heck it's why I like Superman worrying about mundane things more than the fate of the world. Which is why this issue might be building up to Carol confronting her insecurities.

9.0
Captain Marvel (2019) #30

Jul 21, 2021

Captain Marvel and Kelly Thompson come to an apex in this issue. Carol all but allows the events of her future arc to unfold. But during her state of helplessness, she feels that her plan still went wrong with how many people's lives she comes to love would also be prevented. It's what calls back to her depiction in Civil War II; despite her good intentions, Carol failed to see the ripple effects of her actions. People like War Machine love Carol for how she likes to live in the moment. Because worrying about the future all of the time like she's been doing is just too stressful. Which is why the bonus feature has Carol visit Ms. Marvel. One where she opens up about her vulnerability instead of trying to hide it. One that fully acknowledges Carol's stubbornness as being a blessing and a curse. She would like her superhero life a little more if she wasn't in constant strife with events. But she's too stubborn to just give it all up. So Ms. Marvel shows the ripple effects that regular people Carol helped turned their lives around. Because it's a little more important to live in the moment than constantly worry about the future.

8.5
Captain Marvel (2019) #31

Aug 11, 2021

A very good episodic turn that feels like a reward for all of the stuff from last arc. Enough to just love living in the moment with some wits. Even if it does technically begin a new arc with something ready to challenge Carol again.

8.0
Catwoman (2018) #32

Jun 16, 2021

Catwoman #32 is saving time and plot by focusing on how much of a legendary figure Selina Kyle can be. Her exploits and relationships put her in a position not unlike Batman's.

8.5
Catwoman (2018) #33

Jul 20, 2021

It's time to take a leap of faith. Catwoman is dealing with big things coming to her side of town and she's feeling the pressure. But seeing some of Gotham's Rogues ready to take the fight for their city lead by Clayface felt pretty good, because they really do believe in redemption beyond their villainous roles. They're not going to let figures like Simon Saint or Father Valley tell them there's only Hell waiting for them. But even then, when things mount up, it's okay to ask and get help.

9.0
Catwoman (2018) #34

Aug 17, 2021

This issue really pushes Catwoman to her limits, in terms of her vows and relationships. There are a lot of people who count on her, and she believes in doing something before getting back into familiar comforts. This is coming from somebody who was a fan of her depiction from Ed Brubaker. Some of the people who believe in her the most are also the ones most at risk. Like the detective, her estranged sister, and of course Batman. All of these people love Selina in their own way and they intermingle with each other to try and get the best results for one another. Enough to put some things like their careers or lives at risk. Bruce and Selina's relationship is on full display here, including the necessary boundaries between two people in love. So when the battle with Father Valley is in full effect, there's some tragic overtones that may suggest a long defeat. In fact, this development actually fits pretty well into the coming Fear State crossover.

8.0
Catwoman (2018) Annual: 2021

Jun 30, 2021

Just a little side story about the villain of a trade. It is nice to see Catwoman get her own equivalent to Azrael and maybe even Joker. Only problem is, while this is a compelling look at a character, he doesn't have much to offer in contrast to Selina.

7.5
Checkmate (2021) #1

Jun 23, 2021

I am seeing way too many Bendis haters with hard-ons around here. This isn't a perfect series since it goes off on an event that wasn't too creative. But crime dramas are where Bendis shines, even if he does make Damian a bit more annoying than he should.

8.0
Checkmate (2021) #2

Jul 27, 2021

All of the slow burn fits pretty well here. You never know when something will happen. With just trick arrows making an impact, it all feels pretty wild. Everybody's trying to get the upper hand and the counters in play are presented so over-the-top, it makes Leviathan's threat pretty overwhelming. I'm just hoping the end of this has a decent payoff.

8.5
Children of the Atom (2021) #5

Jul 8, 2021

I must be really in tune with my inner adolescent because I felt the pains of it in this issue. The idea of identifying with someone you don't share traits with and the idea of something being your fault when it was beyond your control. I went through so many scenarios in my head on why these teens like the X-Men so much. Unlike the Avengers, they take of each other and don't get into too many petty internal conflicts. They reward people for discovering themselves after not fitting in. So when revelations are made disappointment follows. And that's despite the fact I was spoiled by Carmen's appearance at the Gala. Makes me wonder if the rest of COTA can develop powers the way other heroes developed theres to make commentary about why it's hard to identify with certain heroes. Hulks for getting angry even for justifiable reasons to the point of self-loathing, Ant-Men for problematic relationships, Spider-Men's reputation for self-destruction, patriots always at odds with their country, etc.

8.0
Children of the Atom (2021) #6

Aug 11, 2021

So here it is, the end to a period of adolescence and coming into the full acceptance of self. Teenagers always have to deal with complicated stuff at home, especially when words go certain ways. I certainly agreed with Carmen's dad's concerns. Politics can be a messy field once you immerse yourself into them. In fact, Carmen going to Krakoa to learn about her developing powers feels like a need to stay on toes. And that's despite the fact it has a character from X-Factor I really like.

8.5
Crossover Vol. 1: Kids Love Chains

Jun 13, 2021

It genuinely does feel like a Donny Cates crossover series. The problematic father figure tropes, addictions, and a whole lot of characters. It was a genuine surprise to see other characters like Madman and how it dives into debates around comic books. There's a strong sense of love towards the characters and how they have value. Not to mention the criticisms they have towards event fatigue, the anti-comic cults, and toxic fandoms.

8.0
Crush & Lobo #1

Jun 3, 2021

Crush and Lobo has a good start with all of teen dramedy with Crush's superhero life, her self-consciousness, and her daddy issues. All while having a reason to try and better for someone she loves.

8.0
Crush & Lobo #2

Jul 8, 2021

I still find myself liking Crush's quirky nature, like there are parts she doesn't know about herself and letting herself go to enjoy herself without consequence. Plus there's how it got her to her girlfriend and the tragedy of their breakup. But I am a little annoyed that relationship is going to be spread out to the point of not feeling it that much. Gotta love the slapstick action sequences of how Crush deals with her opponents too. The absurd situations she finds herself in is too good to resist. Makes me wait in anticipation on how her interactions with Lobo are going to go down.

8.0
Crush & Lobo #3

Aug 3, 2021

I guess when parental issues are concerned, Crush has plenty to worry about. Between her role as a superhero and having a bastich like Lobo as a dad, she seems to have plenty of concerns on meeting other people's parents. Because let's face it, meeting parents of a significant other is nerve wracking, especially when your own parents can lead you astray. Just look at how Lobo uses Crush's need for therapy to escape from prison. And she's stuck with some other problem children too. Man, the people running this prison must've skimmed on the lowest possible budget when it comes to security.

8.5
Crush & Lobo #4

Sep 7, 2021

If I didn't like Crush before, I'm starting to like how she's reacting to everything. It's almost slapsticky in how ridiculous the situations get. Plus, Crush does it all with a purpose in mind. She knows enough on how to take advantage of a situation and present it in such a crazy enough way to work. Not that it makes her situation any easier, but it raises the stakes by a bit because Lobo's going to be one big challenge and she's going to have to pull out all of the stops.

8.5
Daredevil (2019) #31

Jun 30, 2021

Between this tale of two Daredevils comes a story of pent-up aggression ready to burst. Both Matt and Elektra have fumbled in the tasks they done, trying to do things by guidelines. But the status quo's not working out so it's time to go hard. Only the real attraction is a building showdown between rivals for next issue.

8.5
Daredevil (2019) #32

Jul 28, 2021

One Daredevil finds herself stump and devoid of action. But it where she takes a breather and see what her ward offers in strength more than her fists. The other Daredevil finds himself with corrupt guards locked in with him. No more time to think after doing too much of that, but that might not have been a good thing either. Who really knows where this is all going.

8.5
Daredevil (2019) #33

Aug 11, 2021

Time for some action to ramp up. Elektra's dealing with her own Clone Saga and is lucky enough to receive help in some of the right places. As for Matt, I don't know what happened, I mean there's a good chance he's acting to get intel out without raising too much suspicion. But what was in that tank last issue? Too much needing to know what happens next.

8.5
DC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #4

Sep 7, 2021

The boundaries between a curse and mental illness never felt so profound as before. With Jessica's overbearing mother, it's hard not to see her situation as a lot of stress that came from an environment. Then there's the backup story, the ambiguity of the situation of a wife and aspiring mother over the loss of her child has her grapple on what happened and how much of it is driven by an otherworldly force. It feels like these demonic instances are preying on vulnerable people, because they're the easiest to influence.

8.5
Deathstroke Inc. (2021) #1

Sep 28, 2021

This feels like a good followup to Christopher Priest's run. Slade Wilson still wants to be loved and provide a good example to the people he loves. But when he feels good doing the morally gray things, he feels authentically at odds with himself. So seeing him essentially in a parody of Batman Incorporated to the point of using stolen Bat tech, feels like an attempt at reinvention by following Batman (and Grant Morrison's) example. Or at the very least trying to show Batman up. Which ironically feels like another reason Black Canary is in the same boat at Deathstroke in showing up Green Arrow's espionage antics in Checkmate; that's despite the fact she's really in on favors. Plus, with how a bigger plot is building behind the scenes, I feel more inclined to follow this than the direction of Leviathan in Checkmate.

9.5
Demon Days (2021): Mariko #1

Jun 16, 2021

So much better than the last Demon Days comic. Such a simple idea and it remains that way throughout. It's a compelling, mystifying take on a Marvel character who was always tied to Wolverine. But here, there's something alluring about Mariko, not just in her heritage but a duality that compromises her humanity and something that was long locked away. Her relationship with Kuroki (Black Widow) is absolutely endearing. We as the audience know she's a spy, but we also know that Black Widow's wants and needs keep her from going over the edge. Since the beginning, there is a tragedy just waiting to happen, but for who leaves readers in suspense.

8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1037

Jun 8, 2021

A short, notable, if messy piece of a larger narrative surrounding Batman. Probably the loudest voice here is Gotham calling back to Snyder. There's a hunger that acts through different forces of people. That angry father Worth appears to be more furious somebody messed with his family title than his own daughter's death. I'm really starting to like that reporter Deb, she doesn't just follow the outrage, she tries to find the source and make the absolutely best guess. Finally the most controversial part, fans will be a little annoyed that Lucius Fox gets a retcon in his working relationship with Batman. Especially since he's been echoing critics of Batman when before he's always been supportive of Bruce and the Bat family even before meeting Robin. Granted there's some wiggle room and the way its presented makes Lucius' decision very believable.

8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1038

Jun 23, 2021

A short brawl is ready to distract Batman from a bigger plot brewing. Not that the distraction won't be a big threat with how Worth makes an alliance with Penguin. Who in this case is ready to take back his place as a major villain in Gotham.

7.5
Detective Comics (2016) #1039

Jul 13, 2021

I like how the hunger of Gotham attracts anyone with a similar attitude. Only problem is, the backstory kind of gets in the way of the pacing.

9.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1040

Jul 27, 2021

You really have to appreciate what the creatives put into effect for Bruce Wayne's ability to avoid detection. Not only does he efficiently plan to clear up misunderstandings but his identity in the secret of the people. He's no Clark Kent but I don't think people want to believe that Bruce is Batman. It shows just how much influence Batman as an icon really has. Pretty sad way for Man-Bat to go out. I read his story and really fell for the character there. He tried so hard to be better and was in a state of vulnerability that would've forced him back into old habits. Makes me wonder what's going to happen to Francine.

8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1041

Aug 11, 2021

Are people here judging this issue because Tamaki's name is on this? I kind of like the setup here, Batman is trying to use whatever resource he can muster. Including the nostalgic Neal Adams Batsuit. But... I have to admit using nostalgia is kind of cheap move. It doubt it's going to stick around. Personally I wouldn't mind a new midnight blue batsuit that use the best elements from Jim Lee and Greg Capullo's batsuits. As for the characters, I'm seeing plenty of the chaos going around distracting everyone from the answers that're right in front of them. Nakano couldn't figure out that one of his own staff is the one causing most of this chaos. And with the way things are going he'll want to cover it up to save face for his campaign going forward. Unlike say Worth who is way more concerned with punishing anyone who stepped on his family's path for dominance. It's that chaos that attracted this parasite to Gotham, and it's ready to reek havoc as people scramble around to try and make sense of everything.

7.5
Detective Comics (2016) #1042

Aug 24, 2021

This wasn't the best thing to end on. Sure there were plenty of thrills to be had with all of the activity, but it feels like everything wrapped up for Fear State. I liked the Deb Donovan and Red Hood dynamic a little better. Jason's going into using more creative sources to tackle cases Batman's too busy with. But it's good to see that Deb has her limits, she actually feels like a person than a stereotypical journalist chasing a good story. Which is also why she feels so vulnerable to who Red Hood's tracking.

8.5
Eternals (2021) #5

Jun 30, 2021

We continue to see how the Eternals have a very different view of consequences. Some of them despite working for a goal to better the world still do pretty bad things. Sersi for example is more than willing to twist truths to her whim. So seeing Gilgamesh/Forgotten One be the one to explain his need to punish and set boundaries for the Eternals is a step up. Because past issues continue to show how Eternals like to play the long game and see their actions as no big deal, with Sprite bringing up some of the misdeeds she did in a casual manner. It's like everybody stops caring in time. So is that why the traitor is siding with Thanos? To bring in that sense of balance back. The way the art and interactions with the great machine are all practically seeing Eternals as gods.

9.5
Eternals (2021) #6

Jul 28, 2021

Probably the best way to end this arc; by showing how the actions of the Eternals actually factors into the lives of mortals. And how the influence of these godlings continue on because of systemic problems of their own. The vast majority either don't care what this means for others or they keep their heads down because they'd rather not know. By all accounts Thanos actually fits well into the Eternals' paradigm in a twisted sense. Because Thanos is doomed to be at war with himself as much as the more heroic Eternals are willing to go to war with their superiors.

8.0
Extreme Carnage (2021): Alpha #1

Jul 8, 2021

I can't help getting annoyed that covers keep making false advertisements because I do not see Scream anywhere. That said, I like how Carnage goes into demagogue politics. Unlike most real politicians on either side, he's under no delusions of helping others, Carnage is just riling everybody up while laughing at them from behind everyone's back in safety. Even if it does make me wonder how he managed to avoid Eddie Brock's range after some encounters.

7.0
Extreme Carnage (2021): Scream #1

Jul 14, 2021

As much as I like the art of Mooneyham, it annoys me that Scream is making a reversion. But at least this explains why Carnage was able to avoid detection by Eddy. Although I can't help but feel, that's handwaving that Marvel is trying to profit off his appearance in the Venom movie.

8.5
Extreme Carnage (2021): Phage #1

Jul 21, 2021

I guess Phage liked being a dog and found a simple life to be okay. So when Carnage dives in to brainwash, that really feels like a violation. They really like to draw parallels to those brigaders. Alchemax might have well meaning scientists but the way in how one of the guardsmen speak about owning superhuman DNA rights feels dominating. And the guy in charge of guardsmen operations, he's someone I feel is projecting his feelings onto others the way Carnage is. Scream was kind of lucky to have Andi around. But with Carnage around, it feels like whatever lives people can have will be taken away.

8.0
Fantastic Four (2018) #33

Jun 16, 2021

I was really feeling the suspense here. It felt like the Fantastic Four were walking right into a trap. I can't help but feel like Doom is a real Charismaniac (Magnificent Bastard) with how he arranges everything.

7.5
Fantastic Four (2018) #34

Jul 28, 2021

Gotta like the art, action, and what pieces of the narrative will come back to bite everyone. I just wonder if everything Doom did in this arc really was just for appearances like he said. Like maybe he put things together... but I'm having trouble believing that myself.

8.0
Fantastic Four: Life Story #1

May 19, 2021

I like that something I predicted years ago came true. But more than that, this issue recontextualizes the Fantastic Four in a way that can fit modern times. For one Sue isn't that passive like in her debut and is actually a real part of the process that leads to the Fantastic Four's development. Although I might have to wait and see where this all goes in next issue.

8.5
Fantastic Four: Life Story #2

Jun 23, 2021

I gotta love how Russell makes Sue's inner turmoil feel so plausible. TBH, seeing Reed getting obsessed with Galactus still doesn't quite feel right. But the way he spends so much time in the lab to the point of neglecting his son Franklin feels very on point. I mean yeah, Sue not being with the Fantastic Four in battle might look like a good strategy, but it feels patronizing as well. In this case, it's like she's not really a member of the Fantastic 3, just a token member. Don't forget the inclusion of Doctor Doom, whose origin and dynamic with the Fantastic Four is a lot better here than in other depictions. It makes him feel a little less petty... but not by much. Finally gotta love the growing dynamic between Ben and Reed, makes their friendship feel a little more powerful. Considering next issue, I wonder where it's going to lead them.

8.0
Fantastic Four: Life Story #3

Aug 11, 2021

I guess Search For Galactus references were off the table. Pity really, it would've fit well into the growing narrative. But I guess commentary about the 80s is better than nothing. Would including HERBIE be too big of a spoiler in this issue? It does fit well into the relationships Reed has with others and the recognition of his obsessions. I felt really bad Thing was being left out for the most part. I wonder if this means Valeria will make an appearance or not. As for Johnny I really do empathize a lot of what he was saying; I wonder if some of those are Russell's words when it comes to being a teenager in the 80s.

8.5
Flash (2016) #771

Jun 16, 2021

Fans get to enjoy glimpses of other realities through different artist, while Wally starts to find purpose in being the Flash despite his slip-ups. Which is why whatever's effecting the speed force brings him to the biggest folly in recent memory.

9.0
Flash (2016) #772

Jul 20, 2021

The everyman Flash is back! Seeing Wally struggle to find work after everything from previous issues felt so relatable. Course I was a little jealous with my lack of connections. But hey, he's tried and deals with the everyday life as much as everybody else. It felt good to be back in all of this after a brief stint of feeling mortality. That is until a blast from the past is ready to go out in a blaze of glory because he's feeling his mortality.

9.0
Flash (2016) #773

Aug 17, 2021

Wally really is fitting back into a familiar setting. He's good at his job, even if it does make his co-workers look a little dumb to do that. Plus, he confronts the heart of a problem Heatwave is facing. Instead of just another superhero/villain clash, he finds a way to give comfort to Mick as his cancer takes hold. Which also brings a bit of tragedy when he's drafted into the Suicide Squad.

8.5
Flash (2016) #774

Sep 22, 2021

False advertising on the cover but I really like how the Wally Flash comics are leaning into everyman with kids scenarios. There are risks especially since this part of the Flash family can't use their speed. But the pure enjoyment I get from seeing how Wally interacts with his daughter I just can't enjoy enough. Why can't more comics just have these episodic periods?

8.5
Flash (2016) Annual: 2021

Jul 13, 2021

This issue really fixed up the messes at Heroes In Crisis. That plot hole with the speed force explosion becomes relevant with the return of a villain who gets a pretty nice redesign. Which is kind of ironic since Wally gets his old costume back. I know it's nostalgic, especially since he gets his trademark optimism back. Plus I wonder if this played a part in Roy's resurrection.

8.5
Future State: Gotham #3

Jul 13, 2021

Things are really heating up and the manga-styled artwork really allows Milonogiannis to use the page elements to their fullest. Especially with how the action plays out with fights feeling really intense with the angles on display. Although I'm a little perplexed with how many more characters appear like Punchline and Harley Quinn in reaction.

7.5
Future State: Gotham #4

Aug 11, 2021

Not that great, I mean I like the action going on in ways that bring out the manga aesthetic. But this felt more like padding even if it does make some sense since this is about Gotham not Red Hood and the Bat Family. Even if I was waiting for what happens in this brawl between Red Peacekeeper and Next Batman. And what the Bat Family would do. But I have to admit there was something cathartic about Harley getting some payback on Punchline Plus I have a funny feeling on who this Next Joker is...

8.5
Future State: Gotham #5

Sep 14, 2021

I can't help that the manga-like art is so thrilling to witness. The action and tension feel raw, putting more emphasis on presentation. From the look of things, it seems a villain is building up that will make Future State something to remember. I just hope the Bat Family doesn't tear itself apart in the process.

8.0
Gamma Flight #1

Jun 23, 2021

I don't know when this issue takes place, but I don't really care that much. Seeing Gamma Flight try to progress comes across as a little challenging to say the least. Not for me but them, Absorbing Man and Titania wanna tie the knot; Sampson wants to get back into his own body and is having trouble relating to his situation even to the disfigured Rick Jones whose fused to another gamma. Then there's Dr. McGowan who doesn't really know where she wants to go. And Puck's here because... shut up he's cool! There's a lot of real potential in storytelling here. Seeing them come to the aid of a gamma mutate to try and make something out of their little progress is genuinely good. Only problem comes in the form of the return of a cult favorite character, Skaar whose shaky entrance leaves a little more bewilderment than nostalgia.

8.0
Gamma Flight #2

Jul 21, 2021

I hate false advertising, Skaar on the cover doesn't have his design in the comic. Maybe the fingers will be removed from his head down the line but still. Plus the reveal near the end with a familiar villain who brings up where those forehead fingers come from was kind of inevitable. You can't really fit all familiar elements in Hulk lore in one run. Pacing can be a little off when it comes to the panel placement and dialogue. But, the action's still good and the risks Gamma Flight take feel alright. Kind of makes me wonder what abomination will come out of that teleportation attempt.

8.5
Going to the Chapel #1

Aug 29, 2019

Got an advance issue from Pepose himself as my first User Review. Username's Fracadactyl of https://gutternaut.net After all of the praise the guy gets for Spencer & Locke I wondered if he could deliver again. Gotta say he doesn't disappoint. Not sure if there are any parodies in this as there are in the other series but this one definitely helps set a tone that people can follow. I love all of the characters and how they put themselves on display. You feel nervous how Emily is because of how her family operates. I especially like her grandmother in that regard with her resourcefulness. The groom, Jesse seems like a very decent guy people can't help but love, especially if those plans for a chapel come full circle in later chapters. And then there's Tom, you never seem to know what he's thinking on a first impression and his actions really propel the story forward. There's a sense of distinct humor in this series, the family ensemble, character interactions, the whole thing delivers. If there's anything I don't like it's probably Emily's dad and his extravagance. And then there's one scene where Jesse's hair seems to blend into the background a bit. But those are mostly nitpicks I think people will really like what this series has to offer.

10
Going to the Chapel #2

Oct 17, 2019

Oh god, I can't get enough of this stuff. It's like watching a dysfunctional animated sitcom where the writers actually use their brains. The family is so hilarious with all of their antics. I could laugh out loud if there were voices in these. For that matter, this is one of the few comics that's like reading anyone's first issue. People know about the premise in the first pages without backtracking and without anyone actually hammering it into their heads. Gotta say that the surprises that come up genuinely hit home. Who would've thought having a phone with no call features could be both useful and had joke potential. Emily is the one wild card where anything can go with her; I mean even she doesn't know what she's doing half the time. She has a way out but it might not be what she actually wants. She wants something more out of her life. With her crazy family, who can blame her? Yet even Emily looks like she could very well pull off the heist here. Man where has this series been all my life?

9.0
Going to the Chapel #3

Nov 3, 2019

Gotta say it looks like things are getting a little clearer. This is slowly becoming like a Tarantino movie in just one setting. The gags are great as always with an 'episode-of-the-week' style. But the overall story just comes along nicely. There's a bigger meaning with all of this; the sacrifices people make for love are crazy if not outright heartbreaking. As for Emily herself, I think it's safe to say that she's finally coming out of her shell. In fact, all preconceptions about these characters are crumbling down here. Jesse certainly wants to be the best man he can be for Emily; but he's just not what Emily needs. The revelation at the end of it all is just heartbreaking. Heck, Tom's pretty decent himself, especially on the nature of his and Emily's breakup. Gotta love the rest of Emily's family too, especially Harriet. Regardless of how this ends, it looks like someone's getting what they really need out of it. Maybe not a boyfriend but finally finding that thing that makes them tick. I know Harriet's gonna be proud of her granddaughter.

8.5
Going to the Chapel #4

Dec 20, 2019

Gotta say while the introduction does this series justice to tell people what's happened so far, I feel like the reader needs to see the whole story before reading this issue. I mean this issue deals with resolutions not pulling any more punches. Because let's face it, any more than four issues than the timing would've been off. That being said, the Bad Elvis Gang was ready to turn their back on their leader so I kind of want to know what happened to Tom after all of this. As for Emily's decision, it's definitely in character for her, the smartest thing to do as well. Not to mention this made Harriet more than just a nutty eccentric. The funny stuff is good and all but the LOL moments have to end some time. It's nice to add more depth to things a whole lot. I definitely had fun but I still have a couple other questions.

8.5
Green Arrow (2016): 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Jun 30, 2021

If anybody needs to look at what can make the Green Arrow so enjoyable, this anthology is a good place to look. The campiness from the Gold and Silver ages are good places to start in regards to humble beginnings. I mean the boxing glove arrow came as a result of Oliver training with a friend of Black Canary, Wildcat. I almost can't get enough of how lovable that couple is in such absurd ways. Also seeing Connor Hawke in action with a unique fighting style really got me hoping to see more of him down the line. Then there's how Roy's daughter Lian tells her father's story to Oliver, encompassing everything Roy is as a hero. Can't forget about the modern takes where Oliver's story that serve as epilogues to their runs. No definite endings, just open ended discussions on where they'll go. But I gotta ask how or even if some of these characters are going to reappear after this. I mean, I like the idea of two Shados, the original with the complicated relationship with Oliver and the newer one whose his half-sister's mother; and then there are the characters who looked like they were supposed to be important only to get pushed to the side like Star. Or how Mia Dearden and Arrowette can coexist with everyone else.

7.5
Green Lantern (2021) #5

Aug 3, 2021

I like how Teen Lantern still has kind of a disconnect from everyone with how she speaks Spanish despite the rings' power to translate. She's powerful with how she can take on the Sinestro Corps with the power of her gauntlet to the point of overriding some of their functions. But she needs a bit more discipline before she's a true Green Lantern. Then there's how John's status as a leader comes into effect, because the rest of the Corps are going to need it coming up.

7.0
Green Lantern (2021) #6

Sep 7, 2021

A whole of false advertising with that cover. This covers multiple lanterns at once, without anything to unify them too. If anything this just provides context for last issue and feels out of place. Fortunately, it keeps most people in character when the building antagonists come up.

8.0
Green Lantern (2021) Annual: 2021

Sep 7, 2021

I like how some people are taking risks with some characters. Jessica Cruz has always been defined by her anxieties for a while. So with a chance to take control of her fear, it's always welcome. Especially since she's not magically better at it than with other emotions. She still messes up sometimes but takes the way to fix it. Even Hal's impressed with how this develops, even if he is a little cautious about it. Probably because Sinestro plays a charming sociopath around this time. I just wish the cover didn't false advertise so much.

8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2020) #16

Jul 21, 2021

Another mini-crossover event... I must be feeling the fatigue of recent events and the several tie-ins because it all keeps happening. And that's despite all of the suspenseful scenes where if things didn't happen in time, the Guardians would've been sunk. But right now, things are just starting.

8.0
Hardware (2021): Season One #1

Aug 11, 2021

Full disclosure, Curtis wasn't what drew me to this title the most, it was Alva as a villain. Alva is someone with the discipline(?) and resources to believe his own lies. Unlike the original Milestone comics, this version can't distinguish family from business and genuinely believed in Curtis like a wayward son. But it's those polar opposites in treating one like the other that he's able to pull off his schemes. One where instead of firing or humiliating Curtis, he has plausible deniability in hiding the fact he was a bad boss and is trying to make a return on his investment with Curtis. It also adds another layer to the Big Bang. It was started not just because of police mishandling their equipment but as a petty feud between people who would never see eye-to-eye. And a lot of people got caught in the crossfire because of Alva. Makes crossover potential all the more higher.

8.0
Harley Quinn (2021) #4

Jun 23, 2021

When life gets you down you can count on the absurd to change perspectives. That's what Harley does here.

8.5
Harley Quinn (2021) #5

Jul 27, 2021

I like the banter and how Strange and Harley try to stay on top of one another. This seesawing effect feels genuine in terms of strength, power, and trying to get in one another's mind. It shows off the level of psychology they possess and how to get one over the other.

7.0
Harley Quinn (2021) #6

Aug 24, 2021

Ugh... this felt more like a tie-in than anything else, probably because of the art change. But silver lining, a reunion with Poison Ivy is coming up.

8.0
Harley Quinn (2021) Annual: 2021

Aug 31, 2021

Now this feels like a real Harley Quinn story devoid of the Fear State Tie-ins. Because it has all of the wackiness and heart that comes from a Harley story. It shows that Harley has help and inspired people around her to go in, even if they fumble about it. That said, they still take a long time expositing. Besides Keepsake feels like such a good villain for Harley to deal with; his status as a former henchmen trying way too hard makes him a good foil. As are Harley's co-stars attempts to locate him. Not to mention some of the more cartoony artwork that fits Harley's personality.

8.0
Hellions (2020) #12

Jun 3, 2021

I don't know why but for some reason the Hellions just feel so lovable here, self-conscious to a fault and their dynamics always around to pick each other up.

8.5
Hellions (2020) #13

Jul 8, 2021

Mr. Sinister is nobody's friend, even to himself. Throughout the run, he's used his status and planning to stay above scrutiny and consequences. So when there can only be one Sinister, someone is going to pay and the Hellions might be more than willing to oblige. Which considering their development after not fitting in, they might earn the right to break off from sinister. But I can't help but feel a sense of tragedy because even if a Sinister does come out of this, I doubt Professor X or Magneto will keep him locked up with Sabretooth. They're more than likely going to keep him out of sight. In short no consequences, just a minor inconvenience on Sinister's part.

8.5
Heroes Reborn (2021) #4

May 26, 2021

After a couple of issues where things are good enough in this new status quo, Heroes Reborn surprises everyone by showing just how sinister the new world really is. Turning Doctor Spectrum into a full-on Redneck stereotype is just what was needed to show how absurd everything is.

8.0
Heroes Reborn (2021) #5

Jun 3, 2021

Gonna be honest, this issue feels more like trying to shoehorn as many Batman references as possible. But at least it takes the time to show comparisons between him and the Supreme Power Nighthawk through Craven. Makes me wonder what Night Gwen is going to be like. The Avengers' segments surely are building a lot of stuff up.

8.0
Heroes Reborn (2021) #7

Jun 16, 2021

At first it was nice seeing the Squadron bounce off one another as they begin to confront the Avengers. But rereading the flashbacks it becomes apparent how villainous Coulson has become. He's essentially a Fix Fic writer who despite making objectively better depictions of Civil War and its fallout, takes away the efforts, sacrifices, and mistakes creators made and owned. There's nothing more toxic than selling out, manipulating, if not outright killing your allies in order to force your vision on the world. Compare this to Quesada's infamous One More Day for comparison.

8.5
Heroes Reborn (2021): Magneto & The Mutant Force #1

May 26, 2021

Just when you think you know the world, Magneto and the Mutant Force go into how the changed world has messed up so much. Not only are mutants once again reduced to objects of persecution, the conflicts bring back an old enemy whose developments from previous runs actually fit well into this narrative.

8.5
Heroes Reborn (2021): Young Squadron #1

May 26, 2021

The Young Squadron retains their true identities as the Champions by doing what teens do best, challenging the world's new status quo. It's only by applying pressure in developments do these characters retain their real selves.

7.5
Heroes Reborn (2021): American Knights #1

Jun 3, 2021

This feels pretty lacking in comparison to everything else in this week's Heroes Reborn. Like trying to shoehorn Luke Cage as Commissioner Gordon. The inclusion of Misty and Jessica is good, even showing how messed up Daredevil is when his faith is replaced. But the problem is, nobody seems to bounce off one or the other that much other than Nighthawk's assignment of Cage.

9.0
Heroes Reborn (2021): Double Action #1

Jun 3, 2021

I gotta appreciate how Nighthawk shows some layers here. He genuinely believes in doing the right thing and it shows how people connected to him steer him in the right direction. And how the death of one, while it didn't push him over the edge did lead him to becoming more ruthless. By Mephisto, he's got one over Spider-Man by living up to his great power and responsibility ethos.

8.5
Heroes Reborn (2021): Weapon X & Final Flight #1

Jun 16, 2021

Oh man... this depiction of Weapon X and Department H is the most heartbreaking I've ever seen. Because of some ultranationalist's programming, Canada becomes a war zone. The usually evil Weapon X come out pretty decently, the calamity really did bring out the best in them. And let's not forget how this warlike scenario affects everyone in this scenario. Just when you think people can win, it just gets worse. If you ever thought the Squadron was Sinister before, this might make you think otherwise.

8.0
Heroes Reborn (2021): Heroes Return #1

Jun 23, 2021

You can't keep a real hero down in Heroes Return. While I have a couple questions like why Peter Parker was here after getting turned into a bug in another issue, that's not important. What is important is how obnoxious Fix culture can be. You ever see those social media battles where people try to fix artwork or stories people outraged about like Last of Us Part II? Coulson optimizes it all, he willingly hurt and killed people to twist the world into an escape fantasy while holding some people back to see it through. Seeing Carol give him a good smack from her jet felt pretty good. Just because some people don't get their origins, that doesn't mean they can't be heroes. Unlike the Squadron who are little more than fantasies; without Coulson, they're nothing as Blur's sentence suggests. Now for the things that will get on my nerves. How Blade and Nighthawk retain memories of the other world feel like a deus ex machina. Sure the supernatural parts of their powers and equipment suggest that, but why did other supernaturally powered characters not get this? The Ghost Riders? The mages? And let's not forget the Council of Red, full of different Mephistos. Why? Does Mephisto tie back to the prehistoric Avengers? Overall, I liked this little exercise; sure it does a little too much roasting of DC, but it's nice to see artists go at it with little restraint.

7.5
I Am Batman (2021) #0

Aug 11, 2021

As someone who follows John Ridley's work since the American Way, I'm recognizing the same tropes he uses from his Wildstorm days. For example, access to power and the means to change systemic problems but none of the insight to do it well. I actually see a lot of similarities between Jace and Jason Todd, but to a lower degree. Jace believes in justice and using the systems people gain power from against them. But it also goes into how psychologically difficult it is to support such a crusade. Only problem is, Jace can't live for others for his mistakes because his parents took his ability to take personal responsibility away from him. No amount of therapy, let alone family ones will be able to fix anything. It's a pretty nasty family drama; Luke loves his family too much to see how much of it is affecting his brother until it was too late. And with Lucias under some influence along with the past event, he won't allow his son to drag his name through the mud no matter how much it pains him. Because he's convinced of the illusion of doing the right thing. Problem is, this works way better as a trade. This painted his world view as seeing the rich have power over everyone and using capital to brush away problems. Hence why Jace sees Batman as a tool for the rich; he has no insights to Batman, neither does he know that using Batman's tech will put the blame on Bruce. He's selfish enough to focus on how this would affect him because all his life he was able to walk away blameless. Jace is an interesting character, and while I doubt he'll be the Batman (Bruce is too iconic), he'll be a Batman to remember.

7.5
I Am Batman (2021) #1

Sep 15, 2021

Serves as a more streamlined setup compared to the #0 issue.

8.5
Icon & Rocket (2021): Season One #1

Jul 27, 2021

Kind of a slow start but one that establishes a bit of character. It presents Augustus' character pretty well. He has the instincts to do good but past tragedies tell him to keep his head down. Then there's Raquel who is practically the same character of old just with a bit more awareness(?) of the modern world's lack of privacy. She really wants to turn her life around but wants guidance from Augustus. But it looks like they're going to need to be one another's Icon before Augustus even takes the title.

9.0
Icon & Rocket (2021): Season One #2

Aug 24, 2021

Strongest thing to come out of DC this week. It looks like the start of Icon and Rocket tackling the symptoms of Dakota's issues. The people of parts of the neighborhood look and feel safe for once. That is until a few ugly supporters of the status quo show up. The kind that have to justify Icon's earlier need to keep his head down. The cops who come knocking on Rocket's door don't seem to want to bring her in on just vigilantism, but to protect her from something. Only problem is, they believe it's Augustus when it is really someone else. A person that even a government official trying to keep Augustus down fears. Makes me wonder if people support problematic status quos not because they benefit but because there are no safety nets to whatever makes people feel normal.

8.5
Icon & Rocket (2021): Season One #3

Sep 28, 2021

I'm really liking where this run is going. Sure there are those talks Isaiah gives Raquel about venture capitalism. But more importantly it's about how consequences are faced and how psychologically based they are. Sure how the war on drugs actually happened is important, but how the president looks like he feels pressured by his advisors/lobbyists to meet their demands humanizes him instead of those inept politician tropes. He looks more like he's scared of them and the alien they work with. The fact this assassin is essentially this universe's killer of Superman shows how he has the power to steal away any people's hopes for any real peace. As for why Isaiah still went alongside Raquel despite the dangers, well he had to show her how dire the situation actually is after experiencing it. But also because, I think he still believes in the ideals she presents to him.

8.5
Immortal Hulk #47

Jun 3, 2021

It's pretty clever to have She-Hulk be the perspective character. Any readers looking at this for the first time in this series will see her relationship with her cousin as well as her inner conflict of loyalties between him, Betty, and the Avengers. There's something bigger clearly going on especially when Rick Jones enters the scene. Makes me wonder what this is all leading towards in Red Harpy and the newer Hulk's relationship and where Bruce fits in.

8.5
Immortal Hulk #48

Jul 8, 2021

I can really feel the complicated relationship between Hulk and Betty here. They've been through so much and although all parts of the Hulk love Betty, Betty was never given a chance to love all of the Hulk. They're all trying to improve themselves by growing more dimensions, but everybody really does go at their own pace. By the time this series ends, it looks like there's going to be a long journey for the Hulks going forward.

10
Immortal Hulk: Time of Monsters #1

May 19, 2021

I don't think I can get enough times when Marvel takes the time to fill space with topics just for fun. Makes me wonder if this prehistoric hulk will play a role down the line. With how much rage and disgust at humanity he displays, it's not hard to see why. It kind of makes me think of Conan's war with civilization and if Ewing would do something with the Cimmerian. That B-Story is equally chilling. Seeing a teeter-totter between Hulk and Marvel's Scarecrow really brings out something from Home Invasion movies.

8.5
Infinite Frontier (2021) #2

Jul 13, 2021

There's a real struggle to find even ground with everyone on this stage. Especially since some villainous characters seem to be under the influence of the eternal Darkseid. So while everybody's trying to look for control where there is none, the real threat is ongoing.

8.5
Infinite Frontier (2021) #3

Jul 27, 2021

There's a real sense of struggle of trying to get back some equilibrium in this issue. From Roy trying to focus on finding his daughter, President Superman finding out something might be wrong on his Earth, and Barry trying to escape a loop he's found himself in. Let's not forget the DEO trying to find it by trying to dominate the forces at play. Because trying to maintain normalcy even if it is trying to do good is dirty work.

8.5
Infinite Frontier (2021) #4

Aug 11, 2021

Characters feel very human in this place. The DEO is starting to feel like there is a lot of complicated factors because no one seems to be communicating. Especially since Bones doesn't appear to be the person we think he is at all. One character is driven by her trauma of losing her Earth and is taking her frustrations out on the wrong people because "Bones" is leading her astray. Finally I sense an authentic drive that comes from writers fatigue. Crossover events getting in the way of development and dynamics, and the desire to stop them because people are genuinely getting sick of them. Which is pretty tragic considering the company these creatives work for don't seem to ever be willing to compromise or find new strategies. Even as other publishers use innovative ideas.

9.0
Infinite Frontier (2021) #5

Aug 31, 2021

Looks like secrets and motivations are finally revealed among tributes to the old days. Glimpses into characters in previous issues show their motivations including Mr. Bones original appearance from the 80s. It feels like a reminder on where they all came from and how the changes to their character from the crisis-style crossovers affected their traumas. It's what allowed the likes of Psycho Pirate and Omega Darkseid to get into their minds. Also it feels like comic fans' disillusionment with how the crises and never ending crossover event fatigue can infect what people used to love about DC. But to do so they manipulate others to do their bidding like how Psycho Pirate uses Barry's optimism to do good and using Roy's love for his daughter. I can only imagine Chase seeing her own counterpart go down his bad row makes her think where she went wrong for trusting Bones so far.

9.5
Infinite Frontier (2021) #6

Sep 7, 2021

This felt extremely satisfying with how things have built up and ended. It accepts the bad that happened to everybody but make it all feel like it's just part of life. I mean come on, the multiverse has always been part of DC, it just takes some normalization to make it acceptable. The possibilities are endless, especially with the return of characters like Roy. Too bad Barry never seems to catch a break with the return of Wally.

7.0
Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #6

Jun 3, 2021

Still a fan of the action and quirky characters but I'll admit this all leads to some division in opinion. Like where is Iron Fist going after this?

8.5
Iron Man (2020) Annual #1

Jun 3, 2021

Pretty impressive start to this saga. By character strengths and how it applies to how they all interact, it shows the layers to characters. This genuinely feels like the Iron Man from the Kurt Busiek days. Miles speaking to Iron Man for an experience that left a lot of trauma shows his willingness to ask for help. Because if those villains who tortured him came back, it would just play into those stereotypes on how you can solve mental issues with violence. Iron Man meanwhile feels like a superhero, he knows a kid like Miles didn't deserve remotely similar to his origin. Better yet, he's following up on his promise to ensure no one ends up like him. Also there's something interesting to the circuit of the Infinity Stones and how to separate them from the Cosmic Cube. It makes the Infinity Gauntlet setup feel more stable, easier to control. Just imagining what all the stone hosts in the same place brings up a lot of thoughts when it comes to dynamics.

7.5
Justice League (2018) #63

Jun 23, 2021

Seriously I am feeling way too much negativity towards Bendis for some of the wrong reasons. He's not a bad writer, he's just a very commercial one focusing on some sensational stuff. Admittedly, that's on display here with how this arc kinda wraps up to happen further down the line. That said everybody stays in character when placed into such a situation. I also admit that I preferred the Justice League Dark story where magic and art get pretty good to follow.

7.5
Justice League (2018) #68

Sep 28, 2021

I actually thought Bendis' portion was entertaining and not so bad, but it didn't really have anything to offer. In fact nothing actually happened. Justice League Dark continues to be interesting and why I try to stick to this stuff. Maybe it's because I'm a Ram V fan. Having a villain who can actually and believably one-up John Constantine will certainly help in that regard.

8.5
Justice League Infinity (2021) #1

Jul 8, 2021

I admit seeing this made in the Timm-verse made me feel nostalgic. What's more characters are in the process of learning more about themselves including Martian Manhunter and Amazo. Of course that curiosity leading to Amazo setting off the series catalyst is a good way to explore a wider multiverse. Like all of the familiar elements of Justice League Unlimited that fans love are under attack by new developments.

8.5
Justice League Infinity (2021) #2

Aug 3, 2021

Identity becomes a greater issue around this chapter. Martian Manhunter returns after living so many lives and hopefully a lot of that comes up in character down the line. As for Superman, his contrast with Overman brings out why a symbol is a can change with the smallest deviation. Which might relate to how Amazo looks for meaning in his own identity, only to grow so powerful that changing course could lead to disaster.

8.5
Justice League Infinity (2021) #3

Sep 7, 2021

There's something about nostalgia that permeates through this issue. I don't know if it's the spaceship designs, the character relationships, or how Superman can immediately recognize the goodness in another Superman. In any case, this feels like a genuine celebration of the DCAU.

8.5
Justice League: Last Ride #3

Jul 13, 2021

I don't often see Superman as being the one to disrupt everything. Especially since Batman seems to be the most troubled and Superman is getting on his case too hard. It's really refreshing for Wonder Woman being the one to talk him down. Because from what I understand about Superman, he works best as a public figure, not a soldier. I mean Flash gets to get a couple over Batman and Superman with just a campfire.

8.5
Justice League: Last Ride #4

Aug 11, 2021

Now this brings some context and reaffirmation on what I said last time. Superman and Batman's character dynamic remains impressive with how Superman trusted Batman to be his buffer on his shortcomings. Which again, Superman is a boy scout not a good soldier. He's very human in this depiction when it comes to a feeling of helplessness and the narrative of being a paragon. And why his feelings against Batman feel so believable; when the buffer fails Superman blames Batman for failing the role he relied so much on. Now sins past might be the only thing that can allow the League to fight back.

9.0
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land (2021) #1

Sep 8, 2021

This felt similar to Jeff Lemire's Animal Man but unlike so many other comics. Maybe it has to do with how it's a family drama. Ka-Zar for one really feels like he's struggling to adjust to the changes in his life especially with how he's gaining Animal Man-like powers. He feels like he doesn't quite know himself but still feels like himself. Shanna by all accounts represents the aspirational potential Ka-Zar can look forward to. Then there's their son Matthew at the age of adolescence and trying to make an identity for himself, even if it does look costly. But maybe this clash with where to go in life is what Ka-Zar has going for him by building off of his old identity.

8.0
King In Black: Thunderbolts Collected

Jul 28, 2021

Can't say I like the inclusion of the Marauders in this trade. There's very little synergy between that and the Thunderbolts. Not to mention there's a lot of wasted potential on what comes after. Star and Taskmaster's directions practically take a 180 because other lines still wanted to use them in other places, unlike what the finale would. Which is a real shame because there's a lot of good chemistry and action going around. I especially loved Batroc the Leaper and how he complements a number of characters including Star and Batroc. Not to mention many of the characters looked at risk of dying. Even if some changes come a little suddenly like Taskmaster's last minute decision. All in all, a good piece full of potential that Marvel wasted.

8.0
Marauders (2019) #21

Jun 3, 2021

I really hope this chapter is collected as its own story. Because this feels like a cheap way to make sure everybody buys the rest of the Hellfire Gala tie-ins. But at least the character interactions are fun to witness.

7.5
Marauders (2019) #22

Jul 21, 2021

After everything at the Hellfire Gala, I'm feeling like there's too many cooks in the kitchen. I liked the flashback and artwork calling back to long ago, but I feel like these issues were built strictly for omnibus form sometimes. Especially with how these end up going in several directions.

8.0
Marvel's Voices: Pride #1

Jun 23, 2021

I gotta say how it still annoys me how these voices covers feature characters who don't have staring roles. This might as well have been an X-Men title with how many mutants decorate these pages. Not that there's anything wrong with that, from my experience X-Men are huge fan-favorites. Also a plot where somebody comes back from the dead where he doesn't need to hide himself to start a new life is perfect for future Reign of X titles. I mean we get to see characters from so long ago get a place here. Then there's that one featuring a cosplayer and how much some character still appeal to some people more than others. It's one of the reasons superheroes' appeal is universal. I just would really have liked to see Angela and Lightspeed do something other than just attract niche readers.

7.5
Marvel's Voices: Heritage #1

Jan 12, 2022

It really does feel like half of these were made in a rush with how the dialogue sounds like memes half the time. I swear the editors are too overworked/underpaid to catch stuff like that. Gotta be honest the only bits I actually liked was the American Eagle story and the Kickapoo Captain America preview. America Eagle wasn't perfect with bits of cringey dialogue but it captures that feeling of being overlooked, feeling burned out, and there's a little more nuance to the imagery on display. Meanwhile the Captain America preview shows a guy just enjoying life while trying to help anybody out. I'm just wondering if his full appearance is worth the 2 dollars to a company that celebrates filling out a checklist with no effort.

8.5
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2018) #26

May 26, 2021

This series really shows Miles as being the best successor to the Spider-Man name. As the presence of clones affect his life so much, it really shows how much of his troubles can affect those closest to him. Being a teenager never seemed so dire.

8.5
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2018) #27

Jun 16, 2021

You gotta love how much an origin ties into what's happened before and how it relates to the present. Selim and the Miles mutants have some genuine motivations and drives to survive. Unlike Miles who had a family, the fact these dangerous clones aren't even a year old, didn't have parental figures, and are deteriorating makes them rather tragic. It's completely understandable that they go to extremes towards people who threaten the lives they have left, even if it does go off the rails.

8.5
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2018) #28

Jul 21, 2021

Another story ends with how Miles influences the best in some people. I still felt a little sorry for Selim because of how much stress he went through. He did some bad things, but he was still wasn't even a year old yet and only recently became a teenager... dude's got issues. Shift and Mindspinner certainly showed off their personalities. Shift especially has that childlike malleability to him in more ways than one. But now I wonder what's going to happen next for Miles. Some of Selim's actions still occurred and if Miles isn't careful, he's going to have a lot more stress come his way.

8.5
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2018) #29

Aug 11, 2021

Probably the only way to end this series on a positive note. It does make wonder what happened to Selim's victim in how he planned to frame Miles. Plot holes aside, I like the redesign to Mile's costume. He'll probably change it down the line but until then it looks like fun. Besides it all comes from people he inspired including the complicated relationships he has with people. Not to mention a bit of a tragic irony since Shift is sticking around after a simple fix from an unlikely place; unlike the fate of Selim and Mindshift.

7.5
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom (2021) #2

Jun 23, 2021

This issue answers some very necessary questions about the controversies surrounding this version of Shilo Norman. This is another reality where Scott Free and Big Barda never showed up. Also the original Mister Miracle, Thaddeus Brown was black here too. This is something that really should've been in the first issue; but at least the plot is moving a little smoother.

7.0
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom (2021) #3

Jul 27, 2021

I'm a little annoyed at this whole slowburn effect, that and the lack of Thaddeus in-story despite being on the cover. I mean I like how show business is depicted as being rather parasitic but it doesn't feel great. It's like the humor and address bit was shoehorned in. And I see N'Vir's motivations just a little better. I doubt that it has to actually do Scott and Barda, more like her insecurities about not leading up to their example. Which is what makes her a foil to Shilo in that regard where the cover tells the story.

7.0
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom (2021) #4

Aug 24, 2021

Probably the high point of this series after so much padding. At the very least, this series explores the relationship between this Elseworld's Shilo and Thaddeus and what Mr. Miracle can mean. It doesn't just mean escaping from tyrants, but the need to escape limitations; something that Shilo struggled with for so long. But why did N'vir's plan never come up?

7.5
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom (2021) #5

Sep 28, 2021

Why is it this is the part of the series that actually feels any good? Rhetorical question, I know my feelings when it comes to this Elseworld's Shilo and how his internal conflict was handled. But maybe it's finally getting N'vir's motivations and how there's more to it when it comes to the truth of it. Especially since how different this Earth compared to the mainline's version. I have a feeling that N'Vir isn't the real villain, just a puppet.

9.0
Moon Knight (2021) #1

Jul 21, 2021

Way to make a first impression. Moon Knight continues his nightly crusades but without the problem of trying to reinvent himself like a lot of comics try to do. Because in Moon Knight's case, that would undermine what came before with Jeff Lemire; I think the comic acknowledges this too. It felt like I was reading different issues at once, just enough to see the different sides of Moon Knight. Gotta love how Cappucino and Rosenberg keep up that contrast with the costumes. Also with a rival who might or might not be Black Spectre, which calls into question their rivalry.

8.5
New Mutants (2019) #18

May 26, 2021

New Mutants is really showing the cracks in the promise of Krakoa, with Tran and her connection to her brother being what holds them back. And the younger of younger mutants' troubles with controlling their powers and not being able to connect with their seniors shows how much of the strain is taking a toll on them. All while people like Shadow King taking advantage of them and the people closest to the cracks in Krakoan society.

8.5
New Mutants (2019) #19

Jun 16, 2021

There were some enjoyable moments between all kinds of friends and how far they go to help one another out. Some of them have a lot of quirks, others express how well they treat each other. But it's probably Gabbi's efforts to convince her other friends about Shadow King's manipulations and her lack of contact with Laura that strikes the hardest.

8.5
New Mutants (2019) #20

Jul 21, 2021

Hard not to feel like there's stress going all around with the young mutants. Krakoa's cracks have surfaced, and people separate themselves from the context of circumstances. I really gotta love how Gabby is what drives some of these characters forward. She fulfills a wish from last issue while also allowing the Wild Pack to think for themselves. And it looks like they and Rahne have some things they can work out together... hopefully.

8.0
Nightwing (2016) #81

Jun 16, 2021

Admittedly the ending is kind of lame, but I like how Dick's attitude towards Melinda is something that gets under the skin of someone usually so level-headed and sociable. Not to mention, there's a great celebration of past Nightwing creators in a time of crisis.

8.5
Nightwing (2016) #82

Jul 20, 2021

Well this made that last "revelation" a bit more relieving. We as well as Dick and his team don't know if Melinda Zucco is really the love child of Tony Zucco's paid for wife and the Flying Grayson patriarch, or just a fantasy Melinda's mother had to escape from abuse. Fortunately, that doesn't seem too much of an issue. Everyone's on their guard, trying not to let one person get an edge over the other. There's a strong feeling of safety being compromised around some of the characters. Something that I feel ties back to the themes of this series: What's the point of feeling safe when it might come from a lie that people believe?

9.5
Nightwing (2016) #83

Aug 17, 2021

This issue really shows off Dick's humanitarian qualities. While he still has a few worries to think about, it's high time to get back to Dick's task at hand. Dick takes inspiration from a number of sources including Alfred, hence why he names his plan after him. Also his networking to make his plan work. In terms of the overall goal, it might just touch a piece of real world efforts by non-profits. A number of them work way better than government plans to get people off the streets or prevent the deaths of the homeless. Pardon me if I don't remember all their names. But then there's the conflicts I feel Nightwing will be facing. Bludhaven, true to its name feeds off the suffering of the people Dick tries to help. With threats like Blockbuster and Heartless prowling about, Dick is going to face an uphill battle. Dick/Nightwing may be resourceful, but he's still liable to human error. As the last and current issues display when confronting Melinda display. And that's just in this book. Considering developments in the Batman and Titans books, he won't have as good of the support when his relationships between Lucias and the Titans will be in jeopardy.

8.5
Non-Stop Spider-Man (2021) #3

Jun 3, 2021

You gotta give credit for how people keep the action going. Spider-Man has so much to grapple, having a supporting character bring up the nuances of the conflict enhances the experience. It really ties character motivations and how people who could use the background threats end up being used. Now I'm looking forward to see Spider-Man's inevitable clash with Baron Zemo.

8.5
Pennyworth (2021) #1

Aug 11, 2021

Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! That's the criticism I keep hearing when it comes to certain comics. Sure admittedly, I got a little tired of reading some of this issue's but the way it was presented enamored me. It shows personality on Alfred's part and his experience as a spy. The way he had a pretty interesting life before meeting Batman made me more interested in the show this spun-off from. The artists use their skills to make a good presentation of the actions taking place. And it adds to how Alfred has some important people in his own life. Complete with a cliffhanger that leaves the audience a little concerned for him. Good way to advertise a show and display the strengths of character and comic books.

8.5
Pennyworth (2021) #2

Sep 15, 2021

I really like the presentation with the lettering, especially how Alfred takes the time to reflect on things. The way his dad prepared him for a life he never knew would turn out, and the suspense of how this might turn out. I mean what happened to Shirley? And what's Alfred's current predicament about if it's related to his spying days?

8.5
Phoenix Song: Echo #2

Dec 1, 2021

Alright a lot less cringey dialogue and a pretty good change in art in the middle of the issue to reflect the era Echo debuted. That gives the impression of Maya's beginnings being under attack. It feels like the editors are taking things a little more seriously in terms of Echo's presentation, what with her appearance in Disney+'s Hawkeye. It's interesting to see where this is going with how her supporting character stands in terms of morality. Who's he actually helping Maya or this wannabe Shadow King? Plus the way this issue ends is interesting with some more details about the Phoenix's role in Earth's history because this was always alluded to Marvel's mythos.

8.0
Phoenix Song: Echo #3

Dec 23, 2021

I always enjoy a callback to a character's creation. The whole reason Echo was made a Native American was because her creator learned hand signs from his Native relative. Sure the pace felt a bit rushed in this issue but I like how Echo communicates with some people. Plus now Forge isn't just a plot element, having the Adversary as a villain feels right to connect Echo to more characters.

9.0
Planet-Size X-Men (2021) #1

Jun 16, 2021

Nothing short of epic. Who needs reality warpers when mutant's specific powers bounce off one another to truly change an entire world. And all to give a home to one of their neighbors of warring mutants. I wonder what the grand finale of the Hellfire Gala will be.

8.5
Power Pack The Powers That Be

Jun 16, 2021

The Power Pack makes an appearance that will probably go unnoticed, especially the ending. The pack continues to have good chemistry with how they operate and how they interact with a bigger Marvel Universe. Although I don't think I could find Jack's segments that good. That said, it explores superheroism and how being a kid with powers can bring perspective on the impact they make.

9.0
Reptil (2021) #1

May 26, 2021

Have to say, Reptil #1 defies my expectations. I was expecting this to build off of Reptil's appearance in King In Black, but admittedly that was kind of dumb. Instead, we go back to a teenager questioning his worth while reconnecting with his family. Seeing Hispanic cultures in this manner like it's normal just feels so right. Because how it relates back to family looks like it's going to be big with this issue's developments.

8.5
Reptil (2021) #2

Jun 23, 2021

This issue has some really solid buildup and payoffs. The intro to how cultures integrate themselves through some means have some meaning here. It's what Reptil's family want with him being a hero to help get some representation. I mean that's one of the reasons his cousin decided to study magic. But... It also goes into how Reptil's insecurities considering his superpowers can limit his confidence in being a representative. After seeing him do pretty well in King In Black without much, this still feels a little jarring. But a teenager being an aspirational figure when he still has issues to work out? That's a universal feeling of insecurities. I do like how Balam makes it clear who the villain is and what his motivations are without directly telling the reader. Both he and Blas know readers aren't stupid.

8.5
Reptil (2021) #3

Jul 21, 2021

Revelations are made, more than a few even. Reptil finds inspiration from the people around him after going through an episode, so that he doesn't have to take the lonely burden of being the paragonal hero. But I gotta say Megalith is kind of a lame villain, as generic as they come when it comes to foils, especially in regards to how families act. Thankfully, Reptil's abilities manifesting in creative ways always helps. Besides it looks like there's going to be a big family gathering in the coming final issue.

8.5
Robin (2021) #2

May 25, 2021

This issue properly sets up the rules of the Lazarus tournament while setting up actual characters to properly enjoy. Not to mention it's the beginning of another arc for Damian Wayne.

8.5
Robin (2021) #3

Jun 23, 2021

I really felt the pressure Damian was facing in this circumstance. I've always had trouble of trying to relate to others. An island full of assassins ready to kill you? That's worse. Sure Damian can impress them, but actually making friends in this circumstance is a real challenge. So when he finds someone who can be a good friend in Connor Hawke, I found the chemistry in them to be really good. Only for how deep Hawke is in with the League of Shadows to get in the way. Kinda tragic really.

8.5
Robin (2021) #4

Jul 27, 2021

The action's always great as are the character interactions. Ra's al Ghul still finds purpose in what he does and tries to keep what he love close. For someone who's lived so long, he might be the right person to teach Damian patience. Then there's how Ravager interacts with Respawn, is he just a fan of Deathstroke or is there something more to him?

9.0
Robin (2021) #5

Aug 24, 2021

It's a Robin Free-For-All! Everybody who was Robin is ready to bring Damian back home. But Damian finds everything he needs to overcome with how he exploits the found family dynamics. But that's why Dick understands a bit of milestone in regards to the Robin mantle. They need time away from the Bat family to readjust themselves and maybe find a new purpose. That scene with Dick's gift to him felt pretty heart-warming, because he understand finding a purpose better than anyone.

8.0
Robin (2021) #6

Sep 28, 2021

I like how this isn't the manga stylizations of tournaments. I think that might be why Damian prefers slice-of-life manga. Instead it focuses on the character interactions and Damian's detective skills on this series' plot.

8.0
Rorschach (2020) #10

Jul 13, 2021

It feels like everybody is twiddling their thumbs and are dumbstruck at all of the hows of the actions of Rorshach. But of course the more our detective uncovers, the more it looks like there's a greater conspiracy.

8.0
Rorschach (2020) #11

Aug 11, 2021

A pretty nice display of characters speaking to one another in presentation through the power of comic books. It's like talking to people across time with different panels and perspectives. As well as how the idea of Rorschach spreads to people. People who are alone with their thoughts and can't find the support to keep going turn into a fantasy to feel less powerless. Truly the power of comics in a nutshell.

8.0
Rorschach (2020) #12

Sep 15, 2021

I guess this maxi had to end someway, what better way than tributing its source material.

8.5
Runaways (2017) #37

Jul 8, 2021

There really are no words to speak about this. The Runaways have all built up lives for themselves but not exactly on stable foundations. Now they all have to deal with the consequences that could impede the progress some of them have made and the reactions of the future Gert imply a tragic fate for one character. To rub salt on the wound, it looks like one of the Runaways is in trouble from her past. Pure expressionism in motion.

9.0
Runaways (2017) #38

Aug 11, 2021

A whole lot is happening and there's not enough time to process it all. Some things really are easier with the threat of things changing for the worse. It leaves me thinking about Nico in this instance. Sure she's let go of something that's addictive, but what's going to happen now that she's cut off from her power and (for the time) someone she loves. And there's something big coming for all of them in the form of someone "special".

9.0
S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #6

Jun 23, 2021

SWORD gives what I loved about Planet-Sized X-Men a darker side to it. The mutants pulled off a miracle, but they've effectively locked Earth down and are now holding everybody else back. Loyalties are definitely going to be tested now between people the X-Men called allies. I'm always on edge on how with Storm running some events how a conflict with Wakanda will be inevitable. God, Hickman's the one who broke them up in the first place. Plus with how dysfunctional Wanda and Magneto's relationship is, seeing Magnus try to make amends is refreshing. The way he makes it look like he resented her brings layers to his beliefs. He knows that Scarlet Witch caused a lot of grief to mutants and isn't even a mutant anymore because of her mind's ties to her powers. A lot of mutants fear her for that, and Magneto is reflecting that attitude towards people. The way he wants to make amends keeps me guessing; is he acting to try and make sure something like M-Day never happens again, is he trying to secure a hold with the Kree/Skrull Empire through Wanda, or is this going to lead into something reflecting Marvel Studios completely reclaiming the X-Men? I need to know man!

9.0
S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #7

Jul 28, 2021

A bit of political intrigue here. A lot of the Krakoan people really want to get alliances with the Kree/Skrull Empire. This time to the point of completely isolating friends from one another. I mean hate Gyrich too but going so far as to not notify the Avengers just to secure a foothold? But I guess sharing is a hard thing to do when the people like Dr. Doom are always around the corner to try and steal glory for their own ends.

8.0
Savage Avengers (2019) #22

Jul 21, 2021

Conan goes through some weird stuff that some fans will find familiar. Thankfully one of those familiarities comes with the fear of Conan dying alone and weakened in old age. But this doesn't seem to bother him that much. It's like he resigned himself to this fate and isn't going to let some demon hold that over him. In fact it presents the height of the legend that is Conan, a constant that can almost never be stopped only for a tragic fate to befall him during his reign as king.

8.0
Savage Avengers (2022) #1

May 18, 2022

Conan's actually the least interesting thing about this issue; he's just doing his thing when Deathlok shows up. I'm more interested in the number of B-C listers of this team; because unlike Duggan's series, this team's here to stay rather than revolve around. You can tell a lot of thought was put into this group and how dynamics can affect the run, no matter how short it is. Elektra for example isn't just the star power to get casual fans interested, she's the most aspirational and most fitting to be leader with her experience and developments; okay Agent Anti-Venom does this to a degree too. But the relationships and inner demons all of these characters have make for great stages of pushing Cloak, Dagger, Dane Whitman, and Weapon H into the next chapters of their lives. Although that also makes me concerned that Conan could be reduced to a third wheel. I have a page going into more details on my thoughts here: https://gutternaut.net/2022/05/savage-avengers-introducing-david-peposes-new-posse/

8.5
Scout's Honor #1

Jan 6, 2021

I did not know what to expect going into this. In real life there are some issues of what gender scouts should be in. But what happens when the traditional way of scouts becomes a means of ruling the world. Building discipline might be good for personal development, but making that a way of life can be rather cruel. So when a girl disguises herself as a Scout and proves to have the mettle, I can't help but feel for her. The way the scoutmaster leads the scouts like a cult makes me feel uneasy. Like any cult, a prophet's words are taken to such extremes, it becomes a means to dominate. Say what you will about trying to discipline psychopaths, anything that can justify toxic masculinity is nothing but an excuse to be a bully.

9.0
Scout's Honor #2

Feb 8, 2021

Coming into another issue after the last's startling revelations, tensions are high. Kit knows more than ever how dangerous the Ranger Scouts really are. She believed in the values they represented and now she's disillusioned. When she was in a state of dropping to the ground, I felt fear for her the way her father was. But I was even more surprised by the actions following a message. I was afraid for Kit and her dad, especially when inside the compound since no one knows who to really trust. Does this mean the scouts' enemies have spies in their ranks? Is there a coup coming and will Kit join it? I'm staying tuned for more. How about all of you?

8.0
Shang-Chi (2021) #1

May 19, 2021

At this point, it feels like Marvel's just cashing in on Shang-Chi. Not that they shouldn't the action on this is good and plays off of Shang's connections.

8.5
Shang-Chi (2021) #2

Jun 30, 2021

Looks like a plot between Shang-Chi is continuing to build up from the last mini-series. It looks like the reader is starting to feel Shang go down the path his father wanted for him. The way his interactions with Saber flares up, considering what he saw, there's an uneasy tension between them. It feels like Takeshi is looking for his reason to betray Shang; me I can only hope that these half-brothers come to an understanding, talking about Shang's anxieties and entrusting Takeshi with a task of preventing him from becoming like Zheng Zu.

9.0
Shang-Chi (2021) #3

Jul 28, 2021

Now here're the bits of Shang-Chi that I like to see. Shang has always been someone willing to support family rather than try to push them apart, even if he fumbles about it. So when the new Sister Staff turns out to be a mutant, it's nice to see how many people are willing to go to her defense. As well as the spectrum when it comes to anti-mutant attitudes. The people filming Sister Staff really are the kind of people just looking for attention, because apparently a lake monster isn't really that buzzworthy. I mean getting a little fame for finding someone who can control it certainly sends people a little more fame. As can the people who are mobbing just to have something. The real conflict comes between Shang-Chi and his siblings and how their father raised them to be anti-mutant. As well as Wolverine who is always a sight to behold in combat. More importantly how Shang tries to keep his family together and allows outside assistance to do so. It's not the end as down the line something might happen, but for now things are going at a steady pace.

7.5
Shazam! (2021) #1

Jul 20, 2021

In media res, Billy Batson is having an identity crisis. He's losing his connection to his powers and his sense of self that comes with it. While Billy left his older solo series questioning what good superheroes can do in the long term, he didn't want to just give it all up. Plus off-screen, it's affecting his foster family too and Billy doesn't want to feel powerless. It's hard not to feel hopeless when the Big Red Cheese isn't even around to provide the fantasy. But... as somebody familiar with the Future State Storylines, I have a feeling where it's all going and it involves Black Adam.

8.0
Shazam! (2021) #2

Aug 17, 2021

Well this was an amusing look at Hell. Billy especially feels vulnerable as he feels he has to juggle duties of finding the Rock of Eternity and keep Dane safe. Dane makes a good impression as well with how his powers work and who he might be related to. Also I wonder what the demon girl might be up to when it comes to her interactions with Billy.

8.0
Silk (2021) #4

Jun 23, 2021

So now the villain is just a little less villainous because her dad and an oni are stepping up to fill that role. Makes me wonder how Silk will deal with this situation.

9.0
Sinister War (2021) #1

Jul 14, 2021

Everything has been building up to this moment and tensions are high as can be. People Spider-Man cares about are at high risk. And as someone who saw the preview for the post-Spencer run, it's all going to end in tragedy. I can't help but feel like something is going to blow up... and maybe just maybe confront that tumor that turned some fans away from Spider-Man.

9.0
Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow #5

Aug 11, 2021

Everything we love about Spider-Man and removing some of the things holding him back too. Because here, Peter really does live up to the Great Responsibility factor along with a clever tactic to get one over Venom. Plus there's a tribute to another What If? story to go along with the new status quo. Gotta admit the ending also filled me with a sense of anticipation on what Venom related stuff can happen here.

10
Spider-Woman (2020) #13

Jul 14, 2021

That took my breath away, I couldn't look away with the high octane action and movement! And it was all paced with campy humor that didn't feel out of place. I know Jessica doesn't want to be compared too much with Spider-Man but this felt as good as his best.

8.5
Spirits Of Vengeance: Spirit Rider (2021) #1

Aug 4, 2021

I know that there were some problems in regards to how this might go, especially since it still touches upon problematic tropes in regards to Native American characters. Kushala is yet another character from the 1800s instead of the modern day which brings up the problem that say certain nations of people are extinct. People will tell you that the Apache's are still around. She's also a magic user which ties into a stereotype of Native depictions, and she's presented as being the solution to a problem that white characters can't figure out. In spite of all of that, I like Kushala's easygoing personality in regards to what's happening in this issue. She still has a few concerns as they happen and instead of going through the full journey throughout Ghost Rider's soul, it gets sidetracked. Because, let's face it people this isn't meant to be about Johnny becoming enlightened by a mentor. It's about Kushala distinguishing herself. Not that Johnny isn't interesting; he's masking his own fears and insecurities like the traumatizing aspects of his life are normal. But it still has an effect on him especially after his run left him in a bittersweet place. As for Kushala, it's her connection to what's affecting Johnny and how its presented in the art that's pretty good. It's wild presentation allows the awe-inspiring moments to sink in. Yet Kushala treats it as pretty normal, because living like a death metal album character is going to do that. It all just feels so musical in that regard.

8.5
Stargirl Spring Break Special #1

May 25, 2021

With Stargirl's TV appearances, I guess it was a matter of time before she got back onto the comic pages. And what a way to start a new series than with the original Seven Soldiers of Fortune, golden age characters with a story ready to tell. The way Courtney interacts with the other young heroes like Speedy is also something to add since it gives her more room to bounce off of.

9.0
Static (2021): Season One #1

Jun 16, 2021

Going in after seeing some disappointing stuff about this depiction of Virgil Hawkins, this issue surprised me. This incarnation is very different from the beginnings of the classic versions, he's unsure of where he wants to go in life after some things went sideways. He didn't really even join in the protest that lead to the Big Bang for altruistic reasons, he just wanted to impress a girl. Unlike the classic version who knew when not to cross dangerous lines that showed himself off as a hero. That is until my inner critic hit back on my nostalgia by reminding me that Virgil is still a teenager. I can only imagine how Vita Ayala felt when taking on the legacy of Dwayne McDuffie. Right now, this feels like Virgil is still the awkward teen trying to figure out his life. The way he speaks with his family is tense but endearing. He has all the knowledge and some of the power. But the full transformation into Static genuinely feels like a journey this time around.

8.5
Static (2021): Season One #2

Jul 27, 2021

Kind of false advertising when it comes to descriptions. Virgil's parents don't seem upset with him, they seem kind of understanding actually. But it's that whole concept of being concerned for him that hits home. Have you ever had smothering parents who want what's best for you but often scramble for solutions that make things worse? That's pretty much what Virgil's feeling. And now he just wants to find ways to make his powers work without being too big an inconvenience.

9.0
Static (2021): Season One #3

Aug 31, 2021

This feels good and thrilling in all of the right ways. There's how Virgil can evade the cops who think he works for Hardware and how his relationship with his family leads into his further development like how he makes his costume and talks things out with his dad and friends after all of the concerns. It feels like a big win that gets spoiled when a (understandably) panicking law enforcement flies by the seat of their pants to contain Bang Babies as Hotstreak manages to convince them to allow him to target suspected Bang Babies. This feels like when people reported on others during the Covid panic just for annoying them. I guess this is what they some people mean when applicability is the best kind of social commentary.

8.0
Strange Adventures (2020) #11

Jul 27, 2021

Adam Strange gets an appearance that evokes more of a noir type vibe in characters. I know people don't like how Silver Age concepts of pulpy adventure won't always sit right with people. But with how often past titles with Strange deal with war, maybe it's time to stop sugarcoating that aspect. Because let's be real this issue goes into how the stress of fighting such a war affects people. Real wars don't have epic battles, most of them are driven out by policymaking. And as real world politics suggest, they often come with impossible standards that affect soldiers' psyches. You might even say marriage is like a war, a struggle to maintain a healthy relationship. But with how conditional some parts of that maintenance is, it can seem too overwhelming.

7.0
Suicide Squad (2021) #6

Aug 3, 2021

I gotta be honest while I like how some things about Superboy get more revelations, it leaves more confusion. Also it becomes apparent that a lot about this series is just an ad for The Suicide Squad movie with the inclusion of Bloodsport in this regard.

8.0
Suicide Squad (2021) #7

Sep 7, 2021

Looks like after shaking off the forced cash grabs, Suicide Squad is going full in on the referential humor and just running with it. Because when you go into literal Hell full of ex-Suicide Squad members like Weasel, you're gonna need Ambush Bug around.

8.0
Suicide Squad (2021) Annual: 2021

Sep 7, 2021

Something about this revelation just felt so right. Maybe it was because the character Superboy turns out to be has been underutilized and it clears up any confusions regarding Kon-El. In any case, it will make Waller's war with Flagg all the more intense. Waller's pulling out all of the stops to stay in control and Flagg's the biggest monkey wrench in her plans.

8.5
Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #1

Aug 3, 2021

This series is off to a good start with its portrayal of Jason Todd/Red Hood. A lot of people can't decide what to do with him, so his directionless attitude feels right. As his induction into the Suicide Squad on a mission to kill the Joker. It has potential for a dynamic with Harley Quinn as well as a number of other vigilante characters like Mad Dog. Also Amanda Waller gets a bit more character than just the sociopath recruiter holding the trigger, she has a bit more personality and nurturing about her. Which belies her tragic fate and with this being an out of continuity story, really brings up the question on who will live or die in this Russian Roulette.

8.0
Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #2

Sep 7, 2021

I know people are getting tired to seeing Harley and Joker piss-takes, but it goes full in on character dynamics. Especially between Jason and Harley on how they still feel Joker's bad influence on them. Meanwhile the other character interactions feel pretty nice like how Plastique and Mad Dog interact. Of course, I could've done without a summary spoiling what's supposed to be a surprise cliffhanger.

8.0
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1

Jun 16, 2021

Before becoming a Superwoman, Kara awkwardly enters adulthood. I like how Tom King writes Kara like a legendary hero in a similar manner to Red Sonja. She's found a world to thrive on and isn't held back by her past here. But she doesn't quite understand what it means to be an adult yet; does anybody who turns 18 or 21 feel any different than they do as teenagers? So when a child asks for her help after everything, Kara's journey truly begins.

8.0
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2

Jul 20, 2021

I know people are going to complain about some things. Supergirl needs to sober up after not recovering enough in time. To the point where King comments on Red Kryptonite's effect as an unpredictable drug to the point of commodification; as least it cures Kara's hangover. As for why Krypto might or might not be dead, to the comic reader, it's because without a whole lot of popularity like Kara, nobody can know how dire the tasks she faces really are. And since she'll be doing traveling where she won't always be near a sun or Red Kryptonite, the tension rises. I'm really hoping Superdog pulls out of this run somehow. Because I am not a fan of the trope to kill pets as a coming-of-age plot device; that's an equivalent of fridging. Kara is showing some genuine care for Ruthye with just how she shows her how to wash hands properly. Which I feel is going to continue with some genuine development down the line.

9.0
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3

Aug 17, 2021

The book is aware of the criticisms facing Supergirl's run by taking her away from her TV depiction. But in all honesty, what made Supergirl stand out for me is her willingness to dive into the ugliness of a situation instead of always hoping for the best; otherwise she's just a blonde gender-flipped Superman. Plus she's authentic in how she has no patience for the outright racism on display. While Clark would be willing to be more subtle in his approach, Kara refuses to play by such cruel rules. Hence why she goes to the lengths to expose the town's crime they were accomplices of. There is no greater blow back to an otherwise normal town than showing the ugliness they benefitted from. It also gives the reader a better reason to root for Kara and Ruthye to overcome Krem since he was the one who instigated everything.

8.5
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4

Sep 22, 2021

Amid all of the troubles, it feels like Supergirl is really picking up on the horrors of the cosmos. I can almost feel that sense of compassion on several different levels. The way she gives someone repressing their emotions is very good. But what's really important is how Kara is beginning to feel and understand adulthood. She's taking on a responsibility to help her dog and take a girl around so that she doesn't have to experience some of the worst of it all. Because Kara's already got her hands full. So wherever this leads, the journey reminds all that chasing a scoundrel isn't always that great. But it does allow people to feel the love some characters are hiding.

8.5
Superman '78 (2021) #1

Aug 24, 2021

The nostalgia train continues! Like the Batman series, it uses plans from Superman III to take the movie in a new direction. Hopefully Brainiac can be a better villain than what that movie became in his place. Because Venditti and Torres capture the likeness of the actors and the personalities of their characters so well.

9.0
Superman '78 (2021) #2

Sep 28, 2021

I gotta admit when I saw Lex talking, I imagined the transatlantic accent and performance of Gene Hackman. He really nails a character who's trying to be larger than life, especially when he's trying to prove himself the superior mind to Brainiac. Seeing him look at Superman surrendering to him makes me wonder what's going through Luthor's head. I'm filled with anticipation on the next steps with this series.

8.5
Superman and the Authority (2021) #1

Jul 20, 2021

I love how Grant Morrison is not afraid to get weird! Also screw mainstream continuity that doesn't make a big impression! It's part of why an older Superman from the 60s is around. I don't know if this is an Elseworlds story or not but I don't really care! Gathering underutilized heroes and villains for a smorgasboard is good in my book. Also I realize why Manchester Black is around! Aside from acting as a foil, it can challenge reader's expectations. With Superman able to tackle the absurd like those weird aliens with help, what about the more complicated stuff? Would Black seeing Superman do what he normally would cause a change of heart? That's what I wanna find out!

8.0
Superman and the Authority (2021) #2

Aug 17, 2021

Gotta love how some of these characters genuinely believe in the ideal of Superman, whether it's Steel or Apollo. For that matter, they're all working for a better tomorrow especially in terms of Midnighter and Apollo's relationship. As for Enchantress, it took a few reads, but she's also looking for a better tomorrow and maybe having an aspirational figure like Superman would do that. Plus Grant Morrison found a way to make the Supermobile work!

8.0
Superman and the Authority (2021) #3

Sep 15, 2021

It's about time the cast got together. Especially with a classic villain that will challenge Superman in so many ways. Including a few other challenges for Black himself. I guess the only real way to enjoy everything is to embrace the madness.

8.0
Superman vs. Lobo (2021) #1

Aug 24, 2021

A just for fun story about a cat and mouse dynamic between the Man of Steel and the Main Man. I'm always entertained by Lobo's crude personality even if he is the biggest bastich in the universe. An important thing to note that this comic brings up is that despite Lobo's attitude; he's not really stupid. He's a genius egotist always looking to upstage everybody around him for a few seconds of fame. It's why he's usually clashed with Superman; they're both extremely simple character who can make creative situations. But while Superman's aspirational hopes and dreams; Lobo's every fantasy fans are inhibited from doing. Lobo taking the influencer route to get a few over Superman fits well into his character. Lobo will do whatever it takes to come up on top, including over something Superman dislikes with Lex's YouTube app. How many influencers do you see that criticize something happening in the real world for a few likes? As are the reactions to Lobo's campaign. But even this felt more like a preview because some Water Bear's plot for Supes and Lobo feels more interesting.

9.0
Superman: Red & Blue (2021) #5

Jul 20, 2021

Everything a fan can love about Superman is here. Gotta be honest, as a guy who can't help seeing a dog give love to lonely people it hit me in places. Plus Clark Kent interactions with the people around him including his father Jonathan make him feel as heroic in just his street clothes.

8.5
Superman: Red & Blue (2021) #6

Aug 17, 2021

All good things must come to an end. I'm definitely going to keep parts of this issue to heart. Especially King's issue where the black and white contrasts with the lively blue and red that tribute every milestone in Superman's domestic life. Of course, I'm going to love the campy Streaky piece; anybody have days where trying to move a cat can have some drama yet be kind of satisfying?

8.5
Superman: Son of Kal-El (2021) #1

Jul 27, 2021

For the parts that annoy me, why does Damian look closer to Jon in height and age when Jon is basically an adult while Damian isn't even 16? I read the Robin books recently and this is going to be annoying. But I like just about everything else, for Jon to truly be "Super" he has to find himself a foothold first. Naturally, that includes his newer origin that retroactively fits him into DC's continuity. It's also why he's questioning the role of such a Superman. Instead of just trying to replace his father and be constantly compared to him, Jon wants to do things his father couldn't do. Best of all that's based on character and taking inspiration from people around him like Lois.

9.0
Superman: Son of Kal-El (2021) #2

Aug 24, 2021

I can feel that Jon feels utterly lost and confused. He was ready to start a new chapter of his life but it seems the world won't let him. When support systems crumble away, especially when so much was put into it, it's easy to feel directionless. It's why when Jon let out his frustrations, it feels like he blamed his father a bit for how his symbol wasn't enough to prevent a disaster like the school shooting attempt that forced him to reveal his secret identity. But Superman believes in Jon's potential to make change. Only thing is, Jon wants to be unique from Clark. He couldn't make it as a normal person, so now he tries to be an active Superman that tackles issues too politically divisive. But when he's able to save refugees from both treacherous waters and cops who were flying by the seat of their pants with cuffs, he now has to confront a dictator. And now for the part that gives this a high grade; one of the biggest themes of DC's mythos is the man vs the super. Now that Jon doesn't have a secret identity and is actively being a Superman, I worry this may come into that problematic Future State depiction since he's now wearing the costume(s). Jon I feel is becoming more and more like Superboy-Prime; he was forced to grow up too fast in bad environments and being connected to every world issue puts pressure on him. And with Clark in danger of disappearing, Jon might be putting too much weight on his shoulders. While he wants a better tomorrow, I don't think he's going to get enough time to enjoy the journey.

8.0
Superman: Son of Kal-El (2021) #3

Sep 28, 2021

There's definitely character development alongside the political landscape, even if the police acting by the seat of their pants feels a little ham-fisted. But seeing Jon with family and friends on a journey in trying to make the world a better place feels okay, especially with how Lois feels like the most important part instead of Clark. Not to mention the inclusion of Bendix's insane absurd plans is entertaining. Forcibly mutating a girl into a heavyweight will certainly do that to make him villainous. It wasn't until actually researching his past from Wildstorm and Midnighter that I find why he's an antagonist in this run; he's an ideological foil to Jon in trying to make the world a better place. But Bendix has long given up on just doing his part for the world and wants to be in charge of it. Hence why he built his own country and wants his refugees back, he believes that only he can provide the best life possible after Jon prevented them from being made into an example. Unlike most supervillains, Bendix can handle and manipulate the political landscape, it's superheroes like Jon he can't handle. Also I can't help that there's a joke in Bendix's name somewhere. As for my chief complaint, it's that none of the DC creatives are working together for some continuity. Apparently this is where Superman vanishes unlike in Action Comics where he leaves to solve a Warworld problem.

8.5
Swamp Thing (2021) #5

Jul 8, 2021

I guess if anybody was going to make a tribute to Alan Moore, Swamp Thing is the place to start. The inclusion of John Constantine and humanity's absurd human nature will certainly give that feeling. With the Green's new status of data outpouring everything and how it ties to magic, seeing a bit of data going out, something has to be done to show how it affects regular people. My interest in the mechanics of magic certainly let me immerse myself into this. Like a single idea that never came up and demanding it be released. That's something writers deal with on a constant basis. Especially in comic books with how some ideas are left on the back-burner never to be touched again by forces beyond their control.

8.0
Swamp Thing (2021) #6

Aug 3, 2021

Looks like Levi confronts the essence of the Green's access of memory as his flashbacks look like they're going to drive him towards a conflict with his former employers. And all it took was the Suicide Squad throwing a bio-agent to drive him towards it and feel the full strength of the Green.

9.0
Swamp Thing (2021) #7

Sep 7, 2021

Finally getting into what makes Levi the newest Avatar of the Green. His ties to his homelands have the Green confront his humanity in the best and worst way. He made a choice that in his eyes would've helped people like him but not so much for everybody else in his village. It really brings out that sense of isolation common in Swamp Thing. But now he gets a chance to see things more clearly with a stronger sense of connection after retreating into his mind for so long. And if the Suicide Squad want to do that to the Green much like how Levi's handlers did to his village, he won't have it. It's a very good story structure that speaks to character and themes.

7.5
Teen Titans Academy (2021) #4

Jun 23, 2021

Admittedly, I like the Bat Pack and how it interacts with the rest of the cast. Their quirky and flawed characters in the shadow of other Batman characters and are trying their best to find the identity of Red X. They almost relate to the audience in that regard. Unfortunately, this issue is purely reactionary to everything that already took place which I did not find fun.

8.5
Teen Titans Academy (2021) #5

Jul 27, 2021

Pretty decent origin story of the Bat Pack. Diego is certainly a compelling character in his own regard. His admiration of the Bat family is a constant source of inspiration. It's what allows him to take heroic risks like when his friend is in danger and giving the others a chance to show off their skills to assist. So that makes me wonder how Red X revealing their identity to the Bat Pack and their in-group loyalties will come out of this.

8.0
Teen Titans Academy (2021) #6

Aug 31, 2021

Admittedly this was a good way to break off from the Red X story before coming back to it as this deals more with the students making an impression. It feels like some good downtime where students interact and deal with their limitations to build on and maybe overcome. Especially since it got at my anxieties of dealing with a mob that have turned violent. Plus when a classic villain and the ties to a character come up, it feels like conflict and stakes feel real. My only gripe is why have such a large group of students if not all of them are going to show up down the line?

8.5
Teen Titans Academy (2021): 2021 Yearbook #1

Jun 30, 2021

Well this gave me the downtime I never got in Titans Academy. Nice to see characters interact and try to discover themselves. I definitely relate to Stitch in wanting to keep my head low throughout school. Also I think I might have an idea on who Red X is among the students.

9.0
The Dreaming: Waking Hours (2020) #12

Aug 4, 2021

An ending fit for Ruin, one where he finds being who is not being a bad thing. And finds acceptance from the person he wanted. It's just a bit bittersweet because no one knows where the characters will go now that the plot's over. For one Ruin will now have to deal with the struggle of maintaining a relationship and the faeries are left questioning where to go after the whole debacle. Even Heather and the Angel guy while seeming to get the endings they wanted might have to keep enduring the difficult labors. But you know, that's for the best. Life's not always about getting what you want, it's living with and accepting the uncertainties.

8.5
The Joker (2021) #4

Jun 8, 2021

There's a real sense of madness throughout Tynion's Joker and how it affects Gordon, I mean he's showing way more invested creativity here than in the Batman title. Curse you publisher mandate! Not to mention the inclusion of influence from Snyder is getting plain as day; not just the court of the owls but with the tension building up.

8.0
The Joker (2021) #5

Jul 13, 2021

I don't like the flashback that interrupts the flow of the story, but I like how Joker's influence clashes with Jim's sense of justice. It really shows the threat Joker presents and how the efforts to keep him contained have a number of personal costs. In hindsight, it looks like Jim played his part in Arkham's revolving door. So who other than Punchline to back him up? She created a scenario where she gets more power and influence than ever before. Bluebird meanwhile is getting desperate when it comes to her family. Her brother certainly is seeing the more toxic sides of the Punchline influence and her father might become an obstacle later on.

8.0
The Joker (2021) #6

Aug 11, 2021

Pretty impressive work. Last issue left me wondering if something happened to Oracle, maybe the Talons didn't want to make a move just yet, or maybe they did. As for Gordon, he looks burdened by a lot of things. His sense of justice and everyman mistakes feel pretty authentic. Plus he's smart enough to look for help where he can and take full advantage of his situation. Not to mention how character from different chapters come back. And how the Joker is the one pulling the strings to people playing a big game of cat and mouse.

7.5
The Joker (2021) #7

Sep 15, 2021

Well this answered a few questions about that Talon, he was taking his time and is a different breed. Also apparently, Gordon's going to be around for more content with some sources of some extra crime rinks. Finally, the return of a Pennyworth.

8.0
The Marvels (2021) #8

Feb 5, 2022

Nothing too major, just a superhero story with a pretty good origin for this issue's poster character. Just a little and a lot of everything going on to keep track of.

8.0
The Mighty Valkyries (2021) #3

Jun 16, 2021

If there's anything that brings the Valkyries together other than Loki, it's their nurturing nature. Runa is quickly becoming very enjoyable, especially when her wits can complement Jane's willingness to defend even the monstrous beings of the Nine Realms.

7.5
The Mighty Valkyries (2021) #4

Jul 28, 2021

Is it odd seeing how the differing art between this issue bring out some small instances of question. Like why is Runa's hair braided in one instance while next isn't? But what I'm more interested in is what Hela and Karnilla had been trying to achieve. Maybe something to do with the Midgard Serpent. I like all of the questions about identity and where everyone wants to fit into everything. Maybe even find answers in places none thought possible. Gotta admit I liked how Runa downplayed this issue's talk with Thor by bonding over drinks.

8.0
The Nice House on the Lake #1

Jun 3, 2021

Nice House on the Lake has a fun quirky cast in juxtaposition to an apocalyptic scenario. Just gonna have to wait for further developments.

9.5
The Nice House on the Lake #2

Jul 8, 2021

After the events in last issue, I now have a greater appreciation of the artists of this series. The page layouts leave an impression that the reader is an accomplice to the series antagonist. We watch as the cast try to make sense of everything while we look at them from a very safe distance. We empathize with the questions the cast asks like what happens, but we don't have the slightest idea of what they're going through. Worse for them yet, we're still curious what the host wanted from them all. The reader's are now in too deep and we're the host's accomplices.

9.0
The Nice House on the Lake #3

Aug 3, 2021

In this chapter comes a real sense of helplessness. Sam using his investigative journalism skills tries to make sense of the surrounding environment. Readers and theorists would certainly attach themselves to him in trying to figure it all out. Unfortunately, all that he finds is nothing but disappointment in that nothing about everything seems to make any sense. Imagine the frustrations an invested fan would feel when they come up with nothing.

9.5
The Nice House on the Lake #4

Sep 7, 2021

I guess comedians really do see the world differently, like they point out the absurdities of their situation. That's what David does anyway as genuine comic relief. He's not just some jokester, he wants to connect to people through a sense of understanding. In fact, it's what allows him to figure out what one character's going through better than others, including her roommate. It's also another layer to how the host arranges the way everybody. He gathered everybody at the house for a purpose and David was selected because he would be the one to tell the others what's actually going on. Sometimes laughter isn't really the best medicine, it's just another pill.

8.0
The Other History of the DC Universe (2020) #5

Jul 27, 2021

I will always prefer more action oriented comics more than illustrated books. But I like how this series goes into characters and how the illustrations show moments frozen in time with just their minds to keep them company. What goes on is a lot of neurotic thoughts, for Anissa in particular being a person who has to deal with struggles; both are in the form of teammates and family who often gets undercut by activity. The situations Anissa has with her dad are so intertwined with complications it's hard to know who's in the right. But maybe that's something with Ridley, things are complicated and there are no easy solutions. Just the first steps to letting things get easier with some therapy.

8.5
The Trials Of Ultraman (2021) #4

Jul 8, 2021

The panel layouts really bring out the tensions Shin is dealing with. There are big world changing events going out and Shin can barely keep his own house in order. Fortunately, he still believes and is willing to take action to help others. Just because he fumbles about, he still has people to count on like Kiki who in turn counts on him. I'm really hoping Dan's time comes to shine as well.

8.5
The United States of Captain America #1

Jun 30, 2021

Time to ask what Captain America means to people while Steve Rogers is still active. I like how unlike previous times, Steve isn't being replaced or being reinvented; rather he's a source of inspiration for the American Dream involving prosperity. Hence why I like how Aaron Fischer is introduced. I always liked the idea of a homeless superhero who isn't a Hancock, were taken in by heroes, or dealing with mental illness; Aaron is purely a victim of circumstance who took the inspiration of Captain America to help the people around him. He has little hope of going up the social ladder, but he decides to help and fight for people being oppressed and those in need of a hand for its own sake. Seeing him try to help people really brings out how the mantle of Captain America inspires everyone regardless of their background. And I really want to know what this Shield thief's motivations are. There might be something beyond trying to wreck Steve's good name again, and it might have to do with a network of Captain Americas.

8.0
The United States of Captain America #2

Jul 28, 2021

This one felt a little lackluster from last issue. But for the reason some vocal people will think. Really it's because this series tries to do what Coates' run on Captain America fumbled with. One with arguably better planning with how to sabotage the appeal of Captain America by using a speedster in costume to wreak havoc. And for Sin to kill the Captains America network because to the world at large, they're easy targets to tarnish the Cap brand because they're nobodies who have no infrastructure to support them. Unlike say the police who due to their problematic infrastructure gain support from the wrong kind of powerful people. Which brings us to Nichelle. I will always have a problem with how activism is used in modern comics. Most of the time it's to try and find simple answers to complicated problems. Other times if people try to get the full nuance, it might come across as long winded. Which is why I like how the writers ensure that it's the crooked cops like the Sheriff that're in the wrong. And why cops like that cause police to try to self-preserve by proxy. Like one cop coming to the defense of a spoiled ex-cop's kid waving a gun around and the citizens who want to avoid trouble by keeping their heads down. Fortunately it also goes into how activism can also get the wrong people blamed for others mistakes. That guy's father was probably a flawed cop, but that doesn't mean he deserved to be a scapegoat in water poisoning. That said the police can't handle all problems like a lack of security so it's good to have Nichelle around to help out the town's people who are on the fringes.

8.0
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #4

Jul 8, 2021

This was a fine campy end to a mini-series. Thors and Lokis getting under each other's skins can lead to some self reflection. Enough for Loki to know the full weight of his actions. He'll still be up to his antics but at least he can count on Thor to at least get one over himself for a few important moments.

7.5
Thor (2020) #15

Jul 14, 2021

Kind of a slow and awkward transition from last issue. But one that comes back to Thor going through an identity crisis. He feels himself losing connection with the hammer again after being king. All that Thor's been doing up until now was distract himself from the coming separation of him and his hammer. Now there's little to distract him.

8.5
Thor (2020) Annual #1

Jul 21, 2021

This genuinely feels like a tribute to the Jason Aaron run of Thor with War of the Realms guest characters. That and the mythical heights on the idea of what could've been. Just look at who I believe is Soul infinity person, a person whose goals reflect the antagonist of Infinity Fury, Nighthawk. Nighthawk knows his world's imperfections came from the wish that was beholden towards Mephisto. But with the Infinity People and Fury's help, he wants to recreate the world that won't be under a god's or devil's thumb. He genuinely speaks like a politician who wants to put the people first. With his record in the Heroes Reborn tie-ins he would have the heroic drives to do so. But therein lies the problem, he uses social engineering where the art distorts Fury's mind. Also it still has the problem of that America first policy where Nighthawk was directly part of why parts of the world were a wasteland. Nighthawk genuinely feels like a real-life villain in this context.

7.5
Titans United (2021) #1

Sep 15, 2021

I like how well presented this is, but I really hate how this is mainly a cash grab for Titan's 3rd season.

8.0
U.S.Agent Vol. American: Zealot

Jun 23, 2021

Finally, released in the way it was meant to be. I've got a more in depth review for this series here: https://gutternaut.net/2021/04/us-agent-american-zealot-the-best-john-walker-story/

9.5
Venom (2018) #35

Jun 16, 2021

Eddie and Cates have earned a grand finale. After such a long and complicated journey, Eddie finds himself retiring with an important job. So who can succeed him with all of the heavy metal action? Well there's Flash Thompson as Anti-Venom ready to deal with the fallout of King in Black. Then there's the new Venom Dylan who Donny instills his love of the 90s with a Venom redesign. Anyone wonder what would happen if Venom, Ghost Rider, and Spawn were in the same room? Finally the readers are left waiting for the big return of the Ultimate Universe. I wonder if that's why Al Ewing is taking over Venom, both he and Cates are the ones bringing the Ultimate Universe back.

8.5
Way of X (2021) #3

Jun 23, 2021

There's a very strong sense of helplessness this time around. Nightcrawler's scrambling to try and make some spiritual sense around Krakoa's way of life, while a threat is appearing from within. Some people are doing better than others and it looks like Kurt can learn from them. Also some of the people who languished in the change in status quo are starting to question it. The way Pixie tries to keep healthy boundaries around stuff is refreshing after dabbling in some of the earlier deviancy that made mutants a little reckless. Plus Legion tries to multitask while doing everything I said.

9.0
Way of X (2021) #4

Jul 14, 2021

I could really feel the tensions building between some characters. I mean with Fabian Cortez around, you'd want someone to punch in the face! He's such a troll, but I never wanted Nightcrawler to do that. I like the Bamfer way too much to get suckered in like that. So it's good when Nightcrawler shows him up. Plus it's really good to see the dynamics taking place in settings and characters. Between all of the ideals, there's not enough buffering to handle everything else. But it's good to see Dust handle the immense dust storms. Plus with how the tension around Onslaught is, the reactions to contain activity feel real campy, which I am in all favor of.

8.5
Winter Guard (2021) #1

Aug 25, 2021

I must be a sucker for spy thrills because I can't stay away from anything related to Yelena Belova (except the Black Widow movie). Plus this really gives more depth to characters who needed more time to breathe. The Winter Guard have pretty decent personalities when it comes to their operations. It comes as a surprise when there's a (spoiler). There's a real sense of camaraderie among some of them to warrant more looks into them all. Also it's pretty good to see the stakes and interactions with some characters. The way some people talk about Red Guardian to the point of Vanguard (his replacement) coming into conflict with him is pretty interesting. Finally there's Red Widow, she always felt like a threat but here she feels like someone getting between everything to worm in and take control. She's more of a killing machine than the knock-off vision. Sure the artwork's not the cleanest but Ryan Cady and Jan Bazalda bring out the best in each other. The way the scenes are presented with the lettering and actions are very smooth. Marvel really should've tried to market this title just a little more.

8.5
Winter Guard (2021) #2

Sep 29, 2021

I just love spy action and how characters are ready to question themselves on their next move. Amid all of the redirects, some characters have to wonder who actually benefits from all of their actions. Ursa certainly feels like he's doing his fair share of questioning; and Darkstar of all people just wants to be a hero. But how can she do that when it seems their superiors aren't clear with them. And that ending is just so out there, I couldn't help but enjoy myself.

8.0
Winter Guard (2021) #3

Nov 3, 2021

I guess the revelation came up including how Yelena found herself in a heated situation. Plus there's what I always felt about Alexei and Yelena's dynamic. Alexei believes in the dreams of Stalin so much he's ready to let the public burn it all to the ground. Which is why I like Yelena as a character; while she expressed similar feelings when it comes to billionaires and world leaders, she refuses to bend a knee to anyone willing to hurt people. But then there's why this issue slowed down a bit in my opinion, like most exposition this didn't feel as all encompassing just a way for background stakes to raise. I'm mostly just waiting for what the bigger revelations are and if they're worth a payoff.

8.5
Winter Guard (2021) #4

Dec 1, 2021

I love spy thrillers, especially when superheroes are thrown into the mix. Everybody in this cast is looking to be a hero but is grappling on what that means. I mean the Winter Guard practically tears themselves apart over who could be working with or against them. It sure means a lot when a god feels humble actually wanting to serve and help others for morality's sake. Also the way characters bounce off one another speaks volumes over their wants and needs. It's why when the Winter Guard comes out at the end does it feel like they really developed. And how much of a threat the Red Widow is. Although I have to admit, not circling back to that explanation with the Black Widow from the beginning is kind of disappointing. It feels like it needs to be picked up in Jason Aaron's run. Not a bad thing, but it comes across as a little codependent.

8.0
Wolverine (2020) #14

Jul 28, 2021

Good presentation and designs of characters but false advertising when it comes to Solem since he barely even appears.

9.0
Wonder Girl (2021) #1

May 19, 2021

I fell in love with Yara Flor's debut in Future State and the wait to see her in full was something big. I just didn't know how big, because people are prepping themselves to stop her from becoming Wonder Woman. But before all that goes down, fans like me get a chance to fall for Yara all over again by seeing her rush into action like a tried and true hero. Not to mention she's not trying to be the center of attention, Yara's just trying to find the rest of herself. And if that means she has to fight a chunk of the DC universe to do it, she certainly has my support.

8.5
Wonder Girl (2021) #2

Jul 8, 2021

A brave new world is unfolding exciting audiences with its coming. So when the Amazons want to prevent it, it's understandable but the reader can't help but loathe them for it.

8.5
Wonder Girl (2021) #3

Aug 31, 2021

Well that's going to leave quite the impression. It's hard not to get attached to the character of Yara; ever so the heroic figure and the cover makes her look twice as desirable. But I will admit it's odd to see Artemis and Cassie's interactions with those Themyscrian amazons turning into a fight when the amazons were just leaving last issue. I just really like how Cassie and Artemis interact as their methods clash but work out to a degree. Plus Yara is still growing as a character after being exposed to a couple weaknesses. It's what'll make her growth all the more compelling.

7.5
Wonder Woman (2016) #774

Jun 23, 2021

Diana has her work cut out for her, because now we have context on that vision she had in the form of a new villain. Sigh... never enough time to relax in this content is there? At least it feels like the feeling of going in blind is universal.

7.5
Wonder Woman (2016) #775

Jul 13, 2021

Pacing felt off a bit in this issue, a little too much time with characters who are just plot elements for me mostly. But Diana continues to be the one who has to keep the gods in line, not through force but her integrity. You really have to appreciate her attitudes throughout.

8.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #776

Jul 27, 2021

I had a pretty good time with this issue; maybe it was the art reminiscent of Sandman, maybe it was the odd situations that occur, maybe it's how the magic works and how Diana uses it to her advantage, maybe it was Diana giving the blooming fairies a little payback. In any case, I like the character interactions going on and I wonder what's to come now that everything's reached the end of this issue.

7.5
Wonder Woman (2016) #778

Aug 24, 2021

A bit of an awkward issue between reality hopping that's mostly for fun like the 5th dimension and the more serious confrontation with Janus. Then there's Janus' rant that I feel comes from the writers' frustrations with modern comics. Most of them are so focused on nostalgia that the past is dependency. She's practically an advocate for "let the past die". But like most narratives where characters like Janus are the villains, she's just an empty echo. It's tragic really. This especially comes from the back-up stories where the past staying buried is a point of conflict. What's the point of a present or future if you never learn from your mistakes?

7.5
Wonder Woman (2016) #779

Sep 15, 2021

This is something I'm beginning to see Wondy tackles more than others. In this and JMS' run, it's the talk of how gods are practically stand-ins for executives and the side of Janus are no different. The past guy is all for nostalgia, while the future prospecting lady wants the past to die because people attach themselves to it. Only problem is, this same argument just seems to be stuck in a limbo, kind of like the Norns themselves. Wonder Woman earned her place in the greats, but she and all of her contemporaries seem doomed to be repeating this conflict. I'm glad this story arc ended, but it seems it just more creators' angry rants on how the DC executives won't take chances and how many creators stick so closely to their nostalgia.

7.5
Wonder Woman: Black & Gold (2021) #1

Jun 23, 2021

This trend of limited color stories continues. Some are fun in this issue, some are kind of bland.

8.5
Wonder Woman: Black & Gold (2021) #2

Jul 27, 2021

Truly captures the epic nature of Wonder Woman and her exploits. Not only that but a reflection of her character. Even my least favorite part has her as a force of trying to find common ground with an enemy.

8.5
Wonder Woman: Black & Gold (2021) #3

Aug 24, 2021

Wonder Woman is DC's Spirit of Truth and this issue proves it. While she's a warrior, she's also a diplomat, to the point some writers seem to forget that. Plus she's aspirational enough for people to want to be her and find the confidence to show truths about themselves. Some truths are hard, kind of like with how despite a legendary feat of moving the Earth away from the sun, it can't stop global warming. Some truths are so absurd that people will refuse to believe them; like saying that even in her spy days Wonder Woman stayed the warrior.

8.0
Wonder Woman: Black & Gold (2021) #4

Sep 28, 2021

Highlighting this issue in the anthology is Wonder Woman's compassion when facing hard truths. A bit of love towards a griffin who tragically died after a long journey and comforting a friend trying to keep herself in nostalgia to ward off her death. Plus just a little fun when she calls a girl Batman like she somehow knew that's who she's playing as. Not a great issue but it highlights that Diana's not the judgmental type.

8.5
X-Cellent (2022) #1

Feb 5, 2022

Might be a bit of a surprise if you haven't read the X-Statix Giant issue with the new cast. But as a fan of camp I have to love this stuff. No situation is ever boring and the characters personalities fill up scenarios left and right. Plus there's a real sense of suspense on the feeling anyone can die... Okay, yes mutants can always come back to life with the Five these days. But come on, this is one X book that doesn't stay connected with Krakoa, they feel like superheroes on a variety show. In fact that's one of the appeals of Milligan and Allred's saga, it's very much its own identity devoid of relationships with other Marvel stories. That's what helps make this series so notable, it does whatever it wants without getting roped into the insanity of the Marvel universe; because it has plenty of its own.

7.5
X-Corp (2021) #2

Jun 16, 2021

X-Corp is what happens when the absurdities of big business mix with superheroes; the absurdity becomes public.

7.5
X-Corp (2021) #3

Jul 14, 2021

I gotta be honest, I was way more invested in Madrox's portion of this series. He has that everyman charm you can't resist when it comes to these corporate office settings. Especially since along with his abilities, he's juggling with responsibilities. I can't imagine how paradoxically hard and easy it is to be in two places at once. At one point, he can enjoy a break through, on another he wants to be around for his son's first steps. The total investment between being the original and being a dupe can be really tough some times. As for everything else, I've never been that interested in office comedies, even with corporate warfare. But maybe that's because I'm a hopeful distributist.

8.0
X-Factor (2020) #10

Jun 30, 2021

This was a pretty good time of this team getting together one last time before Polaris joins the X-Men. I'm still a little peeved about that since Williams nominated her. I know there were reasons but still, it felt like giving the position because of how popular characters are. Anyway, I was a little surprised to see developments like Prodigy hunting down a rich serial killer. Because I really enjoyed seeing the bizarre outfits and the fun these people were having. Only for it all to turn into the attraction of another event.

7.5
X-Force (2019) #21

Jul 8, 2021

Nothing special but I welcome a chance to explore Man-Thing without the actual Muck Monster. Especially when it comes to how it relates to Weapon Plus and its ties to Wolverine.

8.0
X-Force (2019) #22

Aug 11, 2021

Still find that Beast rubs me the wrong way, as much as XENO does in how they manipulate events in their favor. Makes me wonder if more stuff involving people like Man-Thing and Man-Slaughter will show up.

9.0
X-Men (2019) #20

May 26, 2021

The return of an old enemy not only begins yet another war between mutants and haters, but a division in mutant preservation.

8.5
X-Men (2021) #1

Jul 8, 2021

The X-Men have moved in and feel right at home alongside the Avengers and Fantastic Four. They still live by their rules, but hey so does the rest of the universe that does stuff on a whim. Only this time, it looks like people are unraveling the once untouchable parts of Mutantdom. The mutants better be ready to share more than just their space for what's coming.

8.0
X-Men: Legends (2021) #5

Jul 21, 2021

This feels kind of fun with the quirky personalities of the characters and the absurd setups. Nothing big or interesting, just a little thing for it's own sake.

7.5
X-Men: Legends (2021) #6

Aug 11, 2021

Nice but not very memorable. It looks like something David wanted and just took the opportunity to create.

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