Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Superman #30

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Superman #30
AUTHOR: Philip Kennedy Johnson, Sean Lewis
ARTISTS: Scott Godlewski, Sami Basri, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Ulises Arreola (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer). Variant cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

Philip Kennedy Johnson must have kids, given the way he writes Superman’s narration to Jon. It hits me in the feels every time. I mean, maybe he’s just that good a writer. But it feels like he has to be pulling this stuff from his own life…

So its official: These issues are paving the way for Jon to take over as Superman. Granted, you could see it coming a mile away. But now we know for sure. I just wish they weren’t relaunching Superman yet again with a new issue #1. I get why they’re doing it. But man…

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Deep Dive Reviews

A TMNT/Ghostbusters Deep-Dive Review – Bustin’ in a Half Shell

TITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters #14
AUTHORS: Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz
ARTIST: Dan Schoening
GUEST ARTISTS: Charles Paul Wilson III, Cory Smith, Ronda Pattison (Colorist)
COLORIST: Luis Delgado
LETTERER: Neil Uyetake
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
COLLECTED IN: Paperback, Deluxe EditionTMNT: The IDW Collection, Vol. 5
RELEASED: October 2014 – January 2015

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition’s TMNT Deep-Dive Review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

If you were a kid in the ’80s or ’90s, chances are you’ll find something appealing at IDW Publishing. That’s not me kissing ass. It’s simply the law of averages. Their collection of licenses includes Transformers, My Little Pony, Sonic the Hedgehog, Back to the Future, among others. That’s to say nothing of two iconic staples of the ’80s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters.

And of course, IDW loves them a good crossover. It was only a matter of time before the boys in green met the boys in grey.

So what do people want to see from a story like this? What’s the appeal of a crossover? The answer is fans like it when things…well, cross over. We like to see different characters from different worlds meet, interact, team up, or even fight. Often it’s a combination of all four.

But how do you mash up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Ghostbusters? On the surface, they have very little in common.

The answer is: Find common ground. Take something the two properties have in common and use it to bring them together. Thus the question becomes, what do the TMNT and the GBs have in common? Well, simply at face value…

  • They’re both four-man teams.
  • They both fight the supernatural and/or the extraordinary.
  • They’re both from New York City.

That, especially that third point, is apparently a good enough starting point. TMNT/Ghostbusters sees an accident with the Turtles’ dimensional portal send them to the Ghostbusters’ incarnation of New York. The accident also frees Chi-You, a Chinese warrior god hell bent on ruling the Earth. Caught up in his plot is none other than a demonically possessed Casey Jones.

These issues feel very much like the Turtles are guest-starring in a Ghostbusters story. That’s because artistic team behind IDW’s Ghostbusters books, penciller Dan Schoening, colorist Luis Delgado, and letterer Neil Uyetake handle most of the pages. The common threads between IDW’s Ghostbusters and TMNT books? Tom Waltz, who co-authored TMNT with Kevin Eastman, was the editor on Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters author Erik Burnham had worked on plenty of supplemental material for the TMNT series as well. So the ground was fertile for a crossover.

Said crossover is in good hands. Over the last decade, Burnham, Schoening, Delgado, and Uyetake have been responsible for what in my opinion are the best Ghostbusters comics ever made. All parties involved clearly had a reverence for the source material, and Burnham was turning in amazing scripts.

But what really sets the material apart is Schoening and Delgado. As is the case with TMNT comics, my argument when it comes to Ghostbusters comics is that a lot rides on how you draw the heroes themselves. Because of likeness issues, most pre-Shoening artists tended to draw the movie-based Ghostbusters as guys who looked loosely like the actors. As in this case the characters are so closely identified with their performers (Can you picture someone other than Bill Murray playing Peter Venkman?), what we got were essentially Ghostbusters stories with characters who looked like they were standing in for the genuine article. 

Then along came Shoening who took a more animated, cartoony approach to the movie Ghostbusters. His Egon Spengler doesn’t look like Harold Ramis. But like an impressionist channeling a specific person, he captures the feel of the characters in a way no other artist ever has. So to see him take on the Ghostbusters and the Ninja Turtles, in the same story no less, is very special.

Issues #2 and #3 are where we get a lot of those “common ground” scenes. The two teams share pizza in the firehouse. Donatello compares tech geek notes with Ray. Raph and Venkman make wisecracks to each other. And of course, we get our first obligatory shot of a Ninja Turtle wearing a proton pack. Along those lines, Cory Smith’s variant cover for issue #3 (shown left) is my favorite in the entire series. If you’re an ’80s or ’90s kid, the smart bet is this would have made your head explode back then.

By villain standards, Chi-You isn’t very memorable at all. He’s essentially a generic, grand-standing, monolouging bad guy. He does, however, manage to look pretty bad ass in Casey Jones’ hockey mask. But the strange thing about this story is that the bad guy is almost an afterthought. The main event is that interaction between the two teams. With only four issues to work with, you almost don’t have the time to properly build up a brand new villain while still delivering on what fans want to see from a crossover.

And did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters deliver on what fans wanted to see? I’d say so. I’d like to think no one realistically came into this thing expecting a grand masterpiece. But it wasn’t a small task either. It’s job was to deliver on a scenario dreamed up by many an ’80s or ’90s kid: What if the Ninja Turtles met the Ghostbusters? And the answer we get is perfectly serviceable. It isn’t contrived, or forced, or hokey, or stupid, all of which it easily could have been. The IDW crew delivered on the crossover, just like they delivered on the two books individually.

What more could a kid who grew up watching these characters on worn out VHS tapes possibly ask for?

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Children of the Atom #2

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Children of the Atom #2
AUTHOR: Vita Ayala
ARTISTS: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by R.B. Silva & Erick Arciniega.
RELEASED: April 14, 2021

For whatever reason, Marvel’s teenage superhero books have historically had an authenticity to them that DC’s simply don’t. That’s the case with Champions, and it’s the case here too. For instance, early on we have Gabe, a black teenager, narrating about how people “assume they know who I am.” Even as someone who’s never experienced racism, it felt powerful.

On an entirely different note, Gabe has a line about action figures that hit home for me as a toy geek. Multiple levels, people. The series is working on multiple levels!

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Weekly Comic 100s: Mighty Morphin #6

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Mighty Morphin #6
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli & Sara Antonellini (Color Assistants), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: April 14, 2021

This issue shows us a couple of things we don’t traditionally see in Power Rangers. The first is the Rangers interacting with the military, with a specific reference to the president of the United States. It’s a hint at the Rangers having some king of ongoing relationship with the U.S. government, and an allusion to the idea that the government has an idea the Rangers are teenagers. There’s a good amount of meat there, and I hope Parrott explores it further down the line.

The other is bunks in the Command Center. That’s a cool thing to see.

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

Posted in Toys

Toy Chest Theater: Hulk vs. Doomsday by Anthony Mattea

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m a sucker for a good water shot. So naturally, this shot from Anthony Mattea has a lot of appeal for me. Mattea has a lot of shots like this on his page. But in this one I can practically hear the respective roars of Hulk and Doomsday. Any time a toy pic can activate one of your other four senses, chances are it’s a good one.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Unexpected Guest” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E8 – “Unexpected Guest”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
GUEST-STARRING: Kelson Henderson
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 17, 2021
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers get some unexpected aid from Mick, who has followed the Nexus Prism back to Earth.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Nice high-energy start to the episode as we see the end of a Megazord battle. We see the Megazord fail after taking Wolfgang’s energy blasts. Not sure if I’ve ever seen a Megazord crumble like that before. It crumpled like it was made of Legos.

Moments after the battle we get the return of Mick from Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Not sure why they opted to have Kelson Henderson return as the character, but I certainly won’t complain. It’s always good to see him.

Zayto was kind of a jerk to Mick. The Rangers had no time to help him? At all? I mean, granted their Megazord had just fallen apart. But he is a visitor from another world. Couldn’t they have given him an I.O.U.?

Ah yes, a cake gag. Straight out of the Bulk and Skull playbook.

So Mick has a handheld database with info on all the other Ranger teams. That’s how he fills the Dino Fury team in on the Nexus Prism. Seems like it’d be kinda catastrophic if that thing were to fall into the wrong hands.

Not that I’m pitching a fanfic or anything…

Good use of footage from past seasons during the Morphing Masters sequence. That’s the kind of thing that seems really small and obvious. That’s the kind of thing that seems so small and obvious. But it does a lot in terms of reminding us these seasons don’t take place in a vacuum.

The Morphing Masters are always watching, huh? That seems like the kind of thing we’d want to stash in our memory for later this season.

Unlike last week, Boomtower did bite the dust this time. How much you wanna bet Void Knight’s new “general” shows up in the very next episode? Hardly a guarantee. But possible.

We see Void Knight has a woman he calls “my love” in stasis in a secret chamber. Looks like our villain has a Mr. Freeze complex…

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “A Friend Indeed” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E7 – “A Friend Indeed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Emmett Skilton (voice)
WRITERS: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 20, 2019
SYNOPSIS: The Rangers take their Beast Bots for granted. Evox’s forces, however, do not.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We see Ravi attempting to spar with his Beast Bot, a big blue mechanical gorilla. Later in the episode we’ll see Zoey talking to a yellow mechanical bunny. I can’t help but wonder what that’s like for these young actors, and what they were thinking during some of these early episodes…

These Rangers are obnoxiously ungrateful, considering they essentially have friggin’ robot butlers. Though I guess that’s the idea, isn’t it?

We continue to foreshadow the idea of Nate having wanting a brother. It won’t be too long before that comes to fruition…

Emmett Skilton, the voice of Jax, is the low key MVP in this episode. He had to maintain that cartoony New York accent while also doing some serious emoting, particularly late in the episode when Jax gets his “feelings” hurt. Now that’s a voice actor, ladies and gentlemen.

Toward the end of the episode, Devon, Zoey, and Ravi wind up throwing a party for the Beast Bots. Remember the scene during the first act of Star Wars, when C-3PO gets an oil bath? That’s what I imagine an actual robot party would be like.

That, and maybe a table full of spare parts.

I was surprised to see this episode end on something of a cliffhanger, as Scrozzle tells Blaze and Roxy he’s working on a “cybergate” to move Evox out of the Cyber Dimension.

So let me make sure I understand this…the Cyber Dimension is a place where beings can assume “digital” forms, while also being able to exist outside the dimension in physical form. Evox, however, is too powerful to be transported to Earth without a certain amount of Morph X. Thus, the need to steal it.

So wait, do Blaze and Roxy’s avatars use a certain amount of Morph X every time they transport in and out of the Cyber Dimension? If so, you’d think Evox would want them coming and going as little as possible, thus conserving what Morph X they have. Maybe they’re already doing that? I’unno. Maybe this is one of those things it’s best not to apply too much logic to…

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: The Joker #2

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: The Joker #2
AUTHOR: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns
ARTISTS: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo, Arif Prianto (Colorist), Romulo Fajardo Jr., (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer) Ariana Maher (Letterer). Cover by March & Tomeu Morey.
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

In two issues, The Joker has become the most interesting thing James Tynion IV is writing right now. It’s more interesting than his Batman run. I say that despite not really caring much about Punchline’s back-up feature.

Last time I compared this book to Mindhunter. But because of the Gotham City influence, these first two issues have also felt a little like Gotham Central. And God help me, it just occurred to me that book came out almost 20 years ago.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #1

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #1
AUTHOR: Chip Zdarsky
ARTISTS: Pasqual Ferry, Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED: April 14, 2021

So what if Peter kept his black symbiote costume? That’s the question this book asks, and the answer is pretty much what you’d think it is. Under the symbiote’s influence, Peter pushes things too far.

I’ll say this much: It’s a little refreshing to go back to a simpler time in Spidey’s career. Even if things are about to get really dark.

Weird is it may sound, I appreciate the depth of the black Joe Caramagna uses for the symbiote costume. You stare into it, and it feels like you’re looking into some kind of twisted abyss…

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Weekly Comic 100s

Weekly Comic 100s: Batman: The Detective #1

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Batman: The Detective #1 (of 6)
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: Andy Kubert, Brad Anderson (Colorist), Clem Robins (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

I was tempted to close this one early. Not because this isn’t a talented creative team. It just isn’t my cup of tea. Not just because Batman is wearing the ridiculous jacket and goggles, but because it feels like Tom Taylor is doing his best Frank Miller impression. The dialogue and narration is very terse and blunt, and there’s no shortage of blood. Bruce Wayne even has a military-style short haircut for no apparent reason. Kubert’s work is fine, but the fact that he did DKIII makes this feel all the more Miller-ish.

I’ll pass, thanks.

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