A Superman #2 Micro-Review – Superman vs. Zombies

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Superman 2, cover, March 2023, Jamal CampbellTITLE: Superman #2
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Jamal Campbell, Ariana Maher (Letterer)
RELEASED: March 21, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Tremendous cover. The deep black of Marilyn Moonlight’s outfit is a great contrast to the bright primary colors of Superman’s costume. And his eyes draw focus nicely.

Nice to see the Parasite getting some love in this first story. If you’ve ever wanted to see Superman face a zombie outbreak in Metropolis (And why wouldn’t you?), this issue will interest you.

Most of the extended Superman family now have a jacket/pants aesthetic going with their costumes. This issue made me realize that such a look doesn’t really work for Supergirl. At least as far as I’m concerned.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 Micro-Review – Refresher Course

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Batman Superman World's Finest 13, cover, March 2023, Dan MoraTITLE: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13
AUTHOR: Mark Waid
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain (Colorist), Steve Wands (Letterer)
RELEASED: March 21, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue dives into Metamorpho’s origin story. It’s a nice little refresher course for readers who aren’t familiar with him.

Waid, Mora, and Bonvillain also give us some quality work with Jimmy Olsen here. Hat-tip to them for that. A more modern take on Jimmy Olsen can be tough to get right. They do a pretty good job, though.

Also? Batgirl is in this issue. Very nice to see Mora and Bonvillain work on her.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A TMNT #138 Micro-Review – “Gettin’ Way Too Big For Us”

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

TMNT 138, variant cover, March 2023, Kevin Eastman, Sophie CampbellTITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #138
AUTHORS: Sophie Campbell, Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz (Story Consultants)
ARTISTS: Fero Pe, Ronda Pattison (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letterer). Variant cover by Eastman & Campbell.
RELEASED: March 22, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Raph has a line early in this issue: “This is gettin’ way too big for us, Leo.” That feels like a thesis statement for this Armageddon Game stuff at large. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to see a TMNT story wrapping up.

On the plus side, I’m still really enjoying Fero Pe’s work. Ronda Pattison compliments him very well, as she’s done for virtually all the artists she’s worked with on this series. I’m hoping he sticks around post-Armageddon Game.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A GCPD: The Blue Wall #6 Micro-Review – Series, Please!

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

GCPD The Blue Wall 6, cover, March 2023, Reiko MurakamiTITLE: GCPD: The Blue Wall #6
AUTHOR: John Ridley
ARTISTS: Stefano Raffaele, Brad Anderson (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer). Cover by Reiko Murakami.
RELEASED: March 21, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The last page, more specifically the last panel, of this issue comes off a little hokey. But all in all, a perfectly serviceable and satisfying ending.

I maintain that, especially at a time when they’re doing this Dawn of DC initiative, GCPD: The Blue Wall should be a series. Something like this is tailor-made for John Ridley’s voice. This is the spiritual successor to Gotham Central that some of us have been waiting decades for.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

MMPR: Once & Always – 5 Questions Heading In…

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The Power Rangers franchise is about to celebrate 30 years of action and adventure with an anniversary special, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, that’s set to release April 19 on Netflix.

The much-anticipated special got a long-awaited trailer this week…

Once & Always promises to be something special for Power Rangers fans, specifically those of us who grew up with the original Mighty Morphin show. But while the trailer answers a few lingering questions fans have had relating to the story, a few lingering queries and doubts remain. At least in my bulbous, German head. Let’s touch on some of those, shall we?

MMPR Once and Always, Trini photo

1. The question of Trini’s death
We’ve known for awhile now that actress and martial artist Charlie Kersch would be playing a character named Minh, the daughter of Trini, the original Yellow Ranger. Naturally, this sparked questions about how the franchise would, decades after her actress Thuy Trang’s tragic death in 2001, handle her not being there. Thanks to the above trailer, we now have an answer: The Trini character, in her Yellow Ranger outfit for obvious reasons, is killed off by Robo-Rita. It looks like she gets zapped trying to save Billy, and then falls off a cliff.

That’s…not how I would have handled it, necessarily. I’d have done it off screen, and maybe kept things a little vague as to how it happened. Maybe not have her death be the inciting incident that it apparently is here.

But at the same time, I understand that fans have had more than two decades to think about Thuy Trang’s death, the Trini character, etc., and come up with different scenarios in their own minds. When something like this actually plays out on screen, and it’s different than you envision, it can be jarring. In truth, based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s nothing wrong with how Once & Always handles Trini’s death. At the very least, it gives the character the heroic send-off she deserves.

David Yost, Billy Cranston, MMPR Once and Always

2. When did Billy get back from Aquitar?
David Yost, who played the original Blue Ranger Billy, was famously absent from the show when his character was written off. (David Yost had walked off the set, for reasons we wouldn’t know until many years later.) They slapped together a story about him suddenly aging rapidly and having to journey to the aquatic planet of Aquitar to get better. An older actor was brought in to play Billy, an the character was sent off never to be seen again. Until now.

Given the attention Once & Always appears to be giving to to details, as well as the show’s history, I can only assume we’re going to get some sort of explanation for why and when Billy came back. It doesn’t have to be much. A simple expository line would be fine.

Either way, as much as anybody else’s return to the show, David Yost’s comeback deserves to be celebrated.

Rocky, firefighter, MMPR Once and Always

3. What have the Rangers been doing since we last saw them?
Some of these characters have been back before. Johnny Yong Bosch came back for a pair of episodes in 2007 to celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary. Steve Cardenas (Rocky) and Catherine Sutherland (Katherine) were both back as recently as the 25th anniversary episode of Power Rangers Ninja Steel. But Once & Always will be the first chance we’ve had to place emphasis on some of those characters since we last saw them. So naturally, certain questions come to mind. What they’ve been doing, whether they have families and children, etc.

Again, these aren’t things we need to devote extensive time to. Simple expository lines will do. But it can obviously be more than that. Based on what we’ve seen, Adam and Aisha have obviously been up to something together (more on that in a moment). You’ve got to be quick to catch it in the trailer, but Rocky can be seen in firefighter garb (shown above). We also know that Tommy, who we don’t see in the special, has a son named JJ. If we’re to believe, as we’ve been told, that the BOOM! Studios comics are (at least somewhat) canon, then Katherine is JJ’s mother.

These are the kinds of little details that geeks like me obsess over. Here’s hoping we get some more.

Aisha, Adam, MMPR Once and Always

4. What is S.P.A.?
When the first images from the set were released online, fans were quick to notice that Adam and Aisha were wearing matching shirts with tags that read “SPA.” Assuming they don’t work at some kind of intergalactic health spa, this invited plenty of speculation about their connections to SPD, the interplanetary law enforcement agency we saw in 2005’s Power Rangers SPD. As SPD took place in the future (the year 2025, to be specific), are we to assume SPA is some sort of predecessor to SPD?

Again, little details…

5. Where did Robo-Rita come from?

Our enemy for Once & Aways is a robotic version of Rita Repulsa, the original Power Rangers baddie. Her line, “I found a new body!” is a little perplexing. It seems to imply she was drifting around in some invisible, perhaps spiritual form for a long time. That doesn’t fit with what we saw happen to Rita in “Countdown to Destruction” back in Power Rangers in Space. But we’ll see what the special tells us…

So where did this new Robo-Rita come from? It could have been any number of places, I suppose. But I do know one guy who could very well have had a hand in it…

Robo-Rita Repulsa, MMPR Once and Always

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Flash #795 Micro-Review – “Flash Family, Forward!”

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

The Flash 795, cover, March 2023, Taurin ClarkeTITLE: The Flash #795
AUTHOR: Jeremy Adams
ARTISTS:  Roger Cruz, George Hambadais, Fernando Pasarin, Wellington Dias (Inker), Oclair Albert (Inker), Luis Guerrero & Matt Herms (Colorists), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Cover by Taurin Clarke.
RELEASED: March 21, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

For the record, nobody dies in this issue, as the cover suggests.

Barry Allen says a couple of interesting/fun things, though. At one point, he flat out tells Linda that speedsters exist outside of time. Specifically, that they’re “separate from our regular…’continuity’ for lack of a better word.” If that’s not a meta moment, I don’t know what is.

Barry also gives the speedsters an “Avengers Assemble!” type battle cry: “Flash Family, Forward!” Not nearly as catchy. But it works, I suppose.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 19: The Convert” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: The Mandalorian
S3:E2 – “Chapter 19: The Convert”
Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Omid Abtahi, Katy M. O’Brian, Emily Swallow
Jon Favreau, Noah Kloor
DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
March 15, 2023
Now in an amnesty program, Dr. Pershing seeks to do more for the New Republic.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!**

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I recently stumbled across an article from ComicBook.com in which Jon Favreau briefly discusses all the Mando/Grogu stuff that took place on The Book of Boba Fett. As I’ve talked about that in this space, it’s worth looking at now.

Favreau said: “I knew that I didn’t want to dedicate a lot of screen time within The Mandalorian to a period of time where there wasn’t a lot of character progression. Both [Din Djarin and Grogu] were kind of stuck, as far as character progression goes, until they were reunited. So, my feeling was that it would allow me to do both of those things and freed me up now two years later to have a whole new context for these two characters to have a relationship and move forward.”

While I acknowledge and respect on Jon Favreau for having led the creation possibly the best Star Wars content since the original trilogy, I don’t buy his reasoning there. Having Mando in The Book of Boba Fett was fine. Heck, him acquiring the N-1 during Boba Fett was fine with me. But the reunion between Mando and Grogu should have taken place on The Mandalorian. They could, and should, have led off this season with it. You talk about character progression? Grogu abandoning his training with Luke is a hell of a progression in my book…

This might be the only episode of The Mandalorian we’ve seen thus far that won’t hold up well to repeated viewings. Not because it isn’t a good episode, per se. But because it’s a fairly quiet episode. We spend most of  it in one place, in settings that are mostly pretty mundane. We get a lot of what I call the “domestic” side of Star Wars. What a bedroom looks like, for instance. What food is like in the Star Wars universe, and how some of it is different. What a large assemblage of wealthy people looks like. Stuff that’s all fine, but doesn’t always make for thrilling television.

As a Star Wars geek, this episode held my attention. But Mrs. Primary Ignition was not impressed. She actually fell asleep during the last 15 minutes or so.

On the subject of me being a Star Wars geek, I knew immediately what the TIE Interceptors and TIE Bombers were when they attacked Mando and Bo. They’ve been part of Star Wars lore for decades, dating back to the original trilogy.

Noah Kloor is listed as a writer for this episode, alongside Jon Favreau. His previous credits include working as as a staff writer on The Book of Boba Fett, and as a co-writer TV movie called Alien Xmas. I’m curious as to what his specific contributions to this episode were. Did he write  the Pershing/Elia Kane stuff, while Favreau did the Mando/Bo stuff?

It’s interesting to me that they had a character talk about getting the Empire, the Rebels, and the New Republic all confused. As if these wars barely effected some of the wealthy on Coruscant. I like that idea. It feels very true to the real world.

We get a little more info in this episode about Pershing’s research, his work for the Empire, etc. We knew he was a cloner, a geneticist, etc. But having some of that stated plainly is nice.

It’s also worth noting that in The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine was a clone. I assume that’s what at least part of Pershing’s research will lead to.

Those yellow biscuits, complete with the Imperial logo on the packaging, served as a nice little temptation metaphor. Well done.

Having Pershing and Elia Kane explore the abandoned Star Destroyer is obviously reminiscent of what Rey did in The Force Awakens. But they made this one look different enough that, as a set, it stands well on its own.

Two questions:  Firstly, was Pershing’s mind, in fact, wiped at the end of the episode?

Secondly, is Elia Kane about to become our big villain for the season? Or is she simply one of the main villains? I assume one of her priorities is going to be to free Moff Gideon…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Sana Starros #2 Micro-Review – Family Connections

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

TITLE: Star Wars: Sana Starros #2
AUTHOR: Justina Ireland
ARTISTS: Pere Perez,  Dono Sanchez-Almara (Colorist), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Ken Lashley & Juan Fernandez.
RELEASED: March 8, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue ties Sana to her ancestor Avon Starros, who we’ve seen in some of the High Republic books. That’s not a coincidence, as Justina Ireland has written her.

I appreciate that Thea Starros, Sana’s grandmother, is in this story. It feels like we don’t see a lot of characters like her in Star Wars. Meaning in terms of both her age and her general look.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Yoda #5 Micro-Review – A Planet of the Apes Vibe

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Yoda 5, cover, March 2023, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Yoda #5
AUTHOR: Jody Houser
ARTISTS: Luke Ross, Nolan Woodard (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED: March 15, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Luke Ross is a tremendous Star Wars artist at large, beyond simply drawing an amazing Yoda. There are a lot of wookiees in this issue, and Ross does a fine job making them distinct from Chewbacca. I get a little bit of a Planet of the Apes vibe, which works for me.

As a longtime Star Wars geek, I appreciate Houser incorporating the feud between wookiees and Trandoshans into this story. That’s been a part of Star Wars lore for a long time, dating back to a feud between Chewbacca and Bossk.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.