Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: TMNT #116

***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: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #116
AUTHOR: Sophie Campbell, Tom Waltz & Kevin Eastman (Story Consulting)
ARTISTS: Campbell, Ronda Pattison (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 21, 2021

There’s a little reference in this issue to a song from the old Ninja Turtles Coming Out of Their Shells Tour. And a fairly organic one, given how music-oriented these last several issues have been. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Also, apparently Raphael can rap. Who knew?

I’m curious to see how they pull off this battle of the bands, which is apparently coming up next issue. Music and comics don’t always mix well, because obviously you can’t hear the music in question. This is going to be interesting…

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Champions #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: Champions #6
AUTHOR: Danny Lore
ARTISTS: Luciano Vecchio, Federico Blee (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Toni Ifante.
RELEASED: April 21, 2021

This issue re-purposes the Roxxon corporation as a company trying to rehab its image by manipulating teens via a new app. I like the teens and tech angle. That’s the kind of thing you can’t necessarily do with a regular superhero book.

I also appreciate the way Lore writes the tension between Ironheart and the rest of the teens. It feels authentic. Like the kind of thing that could happen in a real group of high-school-aged friends.

Then again, it’s been a good 20 years since high school. So I could be way off.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Robin #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: Robin #1
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Gleb Melnikov, Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 27, 2021

It’s good to have a Robin series again. This is one of those books that should always be around in some form.

Gleb Melnikov is really good, handling the pencils, inks, and colors. There’s a little bit of Greg Capullo in there, I think…

It feels serendipitous that this issue, about Damian Wayne entering a combat tournament, came out around the same time as the new Mortal Kombat movie. And at our end cliffhanger, we get a moment that wouldn’t be out of place in the bloody, gory world of Mortal Kombat.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Teen Titans Academy #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: Teen Titans Academy #2
AUTHOR: Tim Sheridan
ARTISTS: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona (Inker), Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 27, 2021

I rolled my eyes a couple of times during this issue. First at the on again/off again romance between Nightwing and Starfire, which is still a thing. Second, that our cliffhanger sees another superhero team butting into this book, and we’re only on  issue #2.

On the plus side? We get to know a young speedster named Bolt in this issue, who wears blades in place of her lower legs like Oscar Pistorious did. I like that juxtaposition. It catches you by surprise.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Justice League #60

***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: Justice League #60
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTISTS: David Marquez, Tamra Bonvillain (Colorist), Josh Reed (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 20, 2021

Having “Bendis banter” in a Justice League book takes a little getting used to. But all in all I think Bendis is proving to be a good fit for the League, just like he was a good fit for Superman.

On that topic, David Marquez draws a hell of a Man of Steel. Pay attention to him in the group shots. There’s an earnestness to him that you don’t often see, but suits the character perfectly.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Rorschach #7

***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: Rorschach #7
AUTHOR: Tom King
ARTISTS: Jorge Fornes, Dave Stewart (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 13, 2021

If you’d asked me what real-world figures I had expected to see pop up in a Rorschach series, Frank Miller would not have been on the list. And yet, here he is. Or at least an allegorical Frank Miller who wrote The Dark Fife Returns.

Seven issues in, though it may be politically incorrect, I’ve enjoyed the majority of this book so far. Out of all DC’s attempts to cash in on Watchmen in the last decade, Rorschach feels the most faithful to the original. That’s a pretty high compliment, in my book.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

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. 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: 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.