Weekly Comic 100s: Batman, Power Rangers, Magneto, and More!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Been a rocky couple of weeks on the comic book front for yours truly. Wasn’t able to get to the shop a couple weeks ago. Then last week my local shop had a problem with Lunar Distribution, the company that now distributes DC in the wake of their split from Diamond. So there are still some holes left to be filled in my pull list. In the coming days, expect to see the most recent issues of Superman and Detective Comics, along with the final issue of Greg Rucka’s Lois Lane maxi-series.

But still, the train rolls along. I was even able to throw an issue of Batman: Gotham Nights in for good measure.

TITLE: Batman: The Adventures Continue #8
AUTHORS: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
ARTISTS:
Ty Templeton, Monica Cubina (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 16, 2020

This one went by pretty quickly. But it does Azrael some nice justice. We put over the violent tendencies we saw all those years ago in the comics, while also tying yet another classic Batman villain into the story.

With few exceptions, Ty Templeton and the artistic team have been as consistent as you could hope for on this title. What we see is more or less what we remember from those old tie-in comics, and I’m not sure what more you could ask in that sense.

TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #51
AUTHOR:
Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Moises Hidalgo, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Jamal Campbell.
RELEASED:
July 15, 2020

Not a huge fan of Moises Hidalgo on this book. I usually like my MMPR art on the crisp, clean side. His has a little more of an exaggerated look. And as nitpicky as this is, I don’t enjoy the way he draws Tommy or Rocky’s hair.

As good as it got at various points, I’m very happy to see we’ve mostly moved on from “Necessary Evil.” We’ve got Zedd back, as well as Lord Drakkon. Yes, I’ve heard about the upcoming “split.” But hopefully we can enjoy ourselves in the meantime.

TITLE: Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto
AUTHOR: Jonathan Hickman
ARTISTS: Ramon Perez, David Curiel (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Ben Oliver.
RELEASED: July 15, 2020

In this issue, Emma Frost recruits Magneto to find her an island where she can set up a base. Fair enough. If you want somebody to find an island for you, Magneto’s not a bad choice. Good call, Emma.

But yeah…that’s about it. Certainly not worth the $4.99 cover price. Completely and utterly skippable.

TITLE: Batman #94
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Guillem March, Rafael Albequerque, David Baron (Colors), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Tony Daniel & Tomeu Morey.
RELEASED:
July 7, 2020

Not necessarily the strongest issue we’ve seen from Tynion and the crew thus far. But I will say that this issue goes a long way in creating that vibe of foreboding dread that comes when an event comic villain really ramps it up.

Batman #94 is, for my money, the first time we really start to deal with the ramifications of Alfred not being around. Lucius is treating an injured Batman, and at one point laments that he can’t be as focused or single-minded as Alfred was.

No offense Lucius, but we knew you weren’t gonna cut it.

TITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #106
AUTHORS: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz (Story Consulting), Sophie Campbell (Story), Ronda Pattison (Script)
ARTISTS: Nelson Daniel, Pattison (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letterer).
RELEASED: July 15, 2020

This issue is refreshingly Turtle-centric. That sounds odd for a book called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But the TMNT have such a vast crew of supporting characters, it can work against them in that they feel lost in their own book. This issue gives us a chance to catch up.

Nelson Daniel is doing a fine job with the Turtles. I’ve said this before, but for some reason TMNT artists are make or break for me based on how they draw the bandanas in relation to the faces. Daniel does that very well.

TITLE: Something is Killing the Children #8
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Werther Dell’Edera, Miquel Muerto
RELEASED:
July 8, 2020

This issue brings up an interesting question: How do you walk the line of good taste in a book about monsters eating and dismembering children? Or do you? If your book is already about that, do you just embrace the uncomfortable gore of it all?

Issue #8 shows us part of a dismembered corpse and a bloody shoe. As long as the art isn’t going for photorealism, I’d say that’s a nice balance. Werther Dell-Edera’s combination animated/painterly style works well with it too.

TITLE: Young Justice #16
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker
ARTISTS: Scott Godlewski, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer). Cover by John Timms & Eltaeb.
RELEASED: July 7, 2020

Now that we’ve taken a dive into what Conner Kent’s relationship to the space-time continuum is, this issue dives into Impulse’s. I’ll say this much: I didn’t expect it to involve Arkham Asylum.

It’s interesting that Bendis has continued to portray Superboy and Impulse as outliers from another reality. They don’t really belong. And as we’ll see next issue, he’s about to open it up that much further by bringing the in the Justice League. It gives this team an enduring misfit quality. That sort of thing is great if you like some teen angst in your superhero books.

TITLE: Marvels X #4
AUTHORS: Alex Ross (Story), Jim Krueger (Story and Script)
ARTISTS: Well-Bee, Cory Petit (Letterer). Cover by Ross.
RELEASED: July 8, 2020

This issue gives us a nice old-school Avengers moment. It’s very Alex Ross, with the heroes in their classic outfits. Well-Bee’s style darkens it. But that makes the colors pop that much more.

There’s an exchange in this issue that I love between Kraven the Hunter and Captain America. It’s about how anyone can put Cap’s costume on, and it’s simply a disguise. But of course, that’s not true. The costume is part of something much larger than the sum of its parts. Again, very Alex Ross.

TITLE: Batman: Gotham Nights #12
AUTHOR:
Tim Seeley
ARTISTS:
V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea (Inker), Andrew Dalhouse (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 7, 2020

A nice little Robin reunion that I was at one point convinced was drawn by Brett Booth. Is it common knowledge among supervillains which heroes used to be Robin? That’s what this issue seems to suggest. And if so, why? How would they know?

Interesting that they put Spoiler among this little alumni group. I was under the impression Stephanie Brown’s tenure as Robin wasn’t canon. I won’t complain, though. It’s actually rather refreshing to see.

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

A Titans #2 Review – The Path to Redemption

Titans #2, 2016, Brett BoothTITLE: Titans #2
AUTHOR: Dan Abnett
PENCILLER: Brett Booth
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: August 24, 2016

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

By God, I knew it! The dastardly villain responsible for making Wally West “disappear” from the timeline is none other than…Abra Kadabra? The guy with the top hat and the magic wand? I’ll say this much, I didn’t see that coming…

But indeed, in following up on the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, Abra Kadabra is the first villain the Titans come up against. He hits them with a classic supervillain plot: Mirror opponents. In this case, the Titans fighting younger versions of themselves. Nightwing against Robin, Wally West against Kid Flash, etc. Though I may jest, this is actually quite fitting. We’re still re-establishing the idea that these characters were a team. So in effect, Dan Abnett is giving us a fight, and adding depth to the team at the same time.

Our penciller for the series thus far is Brett Booth. Objectively, there’s very little wrong with what we get here. Booth injects a nice energy into things. During action sequences his characters have a great sense of motion, Wally and Kid Flash in particular.

Titans #2, group shot, Brett BoothBut justified or not, I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Brett Booth and anything Teen Titans-related. The Teen Titans haven’t been good for years. That isn’t his fault. He didn’t write any of the material he’s worked on. But Booth was the penciller when things really started to go south: The New 52 reboot. He spent over a dozen issues on the interiors, and even more on cover duty. I’m sure everybody tried their best. But during that time the book was, by most accounts, bad . Booth drew some god awful costumes, too. From that horrible Red Robin look, to the seemingly TRON-inspired suits they wore in the “Culling” crossover. It’s been a dark time for DC’s younger heroes. So to see Booth attached to Titans didn’t fill me with confidence, despite the solid work he’s since done on books like The Flash and Nightwing.

Perhaps, like Wally West, he hopes to find redemption in these pages…

There’s an undeniable sentimental quality in seeing these characters together, especially after having them apart for so long. Abnett tugs at our heartstrings a little bit with Wally and Linda Park, and the question of whether she’ll remember him. We also have what appears to be a revelation from Roy Harper, which definitely catches Donna Troy off guard.

Titans #2, variant cover, Mike ChoiThere’s been confusion on my part regarding Bumblebee. The solicits have her entering the series at issue #3, but she was on the regular cover for issue #1, and the Mike Choi variants (lovely, by the way) for issues #1 and #2. I’d rather not tell you how long I spent looking at the Choi cover for this issue trying to figure out who that top left person was. Hopefully next issue will alleviate any future confusion.

I’m interested to see just how close the Titans get to uncovering the real mystery behind the DC Universe’s wonky timeline. But either way, this is a solid series for the time being. The band is back together, and it’s nice to hear them playing some familiar tunes.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

A Nightwing #19 Review – Sweet Home Chicago

Nightwing #19 cover, Brett BoothTITLE: Nightwing #19
AUTHOR: Kyle Higgins
PENCILLER: Brett Booth
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: April 17, 2013

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Pre-New 52 Nightwing was one of my absolute favorite characters. But these days? Not so much. Not only has the novelty of his red costume worn off, but this Dick Grayson feels like he’s been robbed of so much of his depth and intrigue. He feels like just another one of Batman’s stringers, as opposed to a man who decided to forge his own path. While he’s moved to a new city, this is hardly a fresh start for our hero.

After learning that Tony Zucco, the man who murdered his parents, is still alive and in Chicago, Dick Grayson relocates to the Windy City. But in the DC Universe, Chicago has a strict “no capes” policy. This means Nightwing is as much an outlaw as the criminals he’s pursuing. As our hero works to track down Zucco, a masked villain called the Prankster wreaks havoc, and is undoubtedly on a collision course with the former Boy Wonder.

Nightwing #19, 2013, Brett Booth, two-page spreadI’ve had it out for Brett Booth for a couple of years now. I’m completely and utterly sour on the direction he helped take Teen Titans in when the reboot happened. It’s going to take a long time for me to forgive him for the mess that is Red Robin’s costume. He does alright this issue despite having to draw Dick with the red costume. The opening sequence with him running from the police across the rooftops is fairly reminiscent of the way Justice League #1 opened. But I do have a question: In the shot you see on the right here, why are Nightwing’s legs wide open like that? This issue dedicates a two-page spread to our hero assuming a position that’s often seen in the adult film industry. He’s supposed to be jumping across a rooftop, right? That hardly seems aerodynamic…

The Prankster we see here is a revamp of a classic Superman villain. The last time we saw him, he was a game show host-looking Joker knocking off with a green suit and a goatee. This Prankster is much more menacing, with a black and yellow outfit, a long coat, and a mask not dissimilar to the white ones we’ve seen the Court of Owls wear. His pranks are cruel, but he apparently has a sense of social justice about him. He could prove to be an interesting friend or foe for Nightwing.

Nightwing #19, 2013, Brett Booth, runningAs a Chicago native, I’m not sure what I expected this issue to be from a “Hey, that’s where I live!” standpoint. The Willis Tower (remember, it’s not the Sears Tower anymore) is prominently on display, and some of the architecture looks vaguely familiar. But the art doesn’t scream Chicago. I wonder if this is how New Yorkers feel when they read Spider-Man or Daredevil

Since the reboot, I’ve actually come close to dropping Nightwing from my pull list a couple of times. It’s not necessarily Kyle Higgins’ fault. With the New 52, he company forced ALL its characters to drop some of their baggage, but as such they also lost a lot of the depth and backstory that made them interesting. I wasn’t enamored with Dick coming back to the circus either. We’ve seen that story a bunch of times. I was hoping Nightwing #19 would start the character down a path that would freshen him up a bit. But despite its strong points, I’m not sure this issue gave us that.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.

A Green Arrow: The Midas Touch Review – A Writer’s Redemption

Green Arrow, Vol. 1: The Midas TouchTITLE: Green Arrow, Vol. 1: The Midas Touch

AUTHOR: J.T. Krul, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens
PENCILLERS: Dan Jurgens, Ignacio Calero
. Cover by Brett Booth.
COLLECTS: Green Arrow #1-6
FORMAT: Softcover
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $14.99
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2012

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Few characters got a bigger overhaul via the New 52 than Green Arrow. And as much as I enjoyed the old version of the character, he needed it. Let’s take a look at just how much baggage our old buddy Oliver Queen had picked up in the years prior to the reboot…

– Became mayor of Star City, only to be removed a short time later.

– Married and divorced Black Canary.

– Killed a supervillain for murdering Roy Harper’s young daughter, and destroying much of Star City.
- Unmasked by a corrupt police chief after being arrested for said murder.


- Moved into a forest that suddenly grew in the middle of the city, and started living with a guy named Galahad who thought he was a knight.

Green Arrow #1, 2011In Oliver Queen’s case the reboot was certainly justified, and I’m a big fan of what DC has done with this character.

In the world of the New 52, Oliver Queen is the owner of Queen Industries, which is a global leader in “energy, transportation, infrastructure — virtually every aspect of civilized life.” Most notable is Q-Core, the company’s technology division and seemingly this world’s equivalent of Apple. Instead of iPads and iPods, this world has Q-Pads and Q-Pods. Little do (most of) the folks at Queen Industries know that Oliver uses Q-Core technology in his career as Green Arrow, Seattle’s bow-wielding superhero. In this book we see GA take on a gang of murderous internet celebrities, and a duo consisting of a deadly female ninja and a human toxic waste dump. Not a bad way to make your re-debut!

Green Arrow, Dan Jurgens, The Midas touchI really dig the “What if Steve Jobs was Green Arrow?” approach here. The talk about Q-Pads and what not gives readers an immediate correlation between Oliver Queen and a real world figure. Thus, we get an idea of just how important Oliver is in this fictional world. It provides some nice tangible imagery that we don’t always have with say, Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises.

J.T. Krul didn’t do Green Arrow any favors in books like Rise and Fall and Into The Woods. But with this fresh start, he excels. He only writes the first half of the book, but with those issues he does a wonderful job of establishing who Oliver Queen is, both as a businessman and a superhero. Like the old Green Arrow, this version cares more about social justice than anything else. He’s not afraid to let you hear about it either, as we learn in issue #3. Krul also gave GA a compelling supporting cast right off the bat, with tech wizards Jax and Naomi (the latter of whom looks a lot like Rihanna to me) helping him out at Q-Core, his assistant Adrien helping him out on the business end, and the ever-frustrated CEO of Queen Industries, Emerson. The club of internet killers were also a nice choice for GA’s first opponents, as their modus operandi strongly lends itself to what’s obviously meant to be a modern day reinterpretation of the character.

Green Arrow #4, Dan JurgensKeith Giffen tends to be the guy DC calls when somebody suddenly leaves, or to clean up a mess, i.e. his work on The Outsiders and The Authority. So when I saw him attached to Green Arrow as a co-plotter, I panicked. But the transition is fairly smooth. Ignacio Calero jumps in as penciller for issue #6, which proves to be a bit rockier. But not so much that the book gets thrown off course. The villains we get for the second half, Blood Rose and Midas, aren’t as compelling as their predecessors. But they do okay.

I walked away from this book with renewed enthusiasm for Green Arrow, as well as J.T. Krul’s writing. It also gave me a new appreciation for Dan Jurgens’ art, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Midas Touch loses some momentum in its second half, and the creative shakeups hurt it a bit. But from a conceptual standpoint, I think it’s one of the most fun relaunches the New 52 has produced.

RATING: 7.5/10

Image 1 from 4thletter.net. Image 2 from dc.wikia.com. Image 3 from simplydcu.wordpress.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition/

First Impressions: Superman, Aquaman, Ghostbusters, Teen Titans

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Superman #1 (2011)TITLE: Superman #1
AUTHOR: George Perez
PENCILLER: Jesus Merino
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

This was a FANTASTIC first issue, which carried over one of my favorite elements from Action Comics #1: Superman searching for truth and justice on the social level in a world that seems dominated by corporate interest.

In this issue we learn that The Daily Planet has been sold to a corporation called Galaxy Communications, which apparently uses illegal tactics and yellow journalism in its reporting. Furious, Clark Kent refuses to attend the big gala in honor of the sale. Galaxy proceeds to change it’s name to the Planet Global Network, and names Lois Lane as their nightly news producer and executive vice president of new media. Suddenly, the city is attacked by a giant fire monster (who apparently has ties to Krypton). Superman battles the creature, and at the end we get a glimpse into Clark and Lois’ personal lives in the new DCU (Remember, they’ve never been married in this continuity.).

Superman #1, 2011, Clark and Lois, Jesus MerinoAs a former reporter, I found the insight into the current state of the news industry to be an effective way to illustrate Superman’s views on white collar corruption. We also see the battle between Superman and the monster from PGN’s vantage point, which is very effective. During the fight, much of the narrative consists of text from a news story later written by Clark Kent, which is cheesy. Still, it’s forgivable.

Superman spends a portion of this issue brooding, which is something we’re not necessarily used to. When the old Superman got angry, often times he was like a parent who’d lost his temper. This character isn’t like that. He seems inclined to be much more emotional, which isn’t a bad thing. I just hope we get a balance between the grim and the optimistic. Superman has been a rather angry young man this month, and he has reason to be. But let’s not turn him into Batman, okay?

All in all, a complete 180 in quality from what we’ve been seeing in Superman recently. I’m very excited about this book.

***

Ghostbusters #1 (2011)TITLE: Ghostbusters #1
AUTHOR: Erik Burnham
PENCILLER: Dan Shoening, Tristan Jones
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

I once said that any writer of a Ghostbusters comic book would likely never recapture the magic Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis created in the movies. I maintain that to this day. However, the first issue of IDW’s new Ghostbusters series comes the closest out of any GB book I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a few).

We start the book with Ray having a nightmare, which features a delightful appearance by Ray’s brother, who looks exactly like John Belushi’s character from Blues Brothers. It’s a very endearing tribute. We then go into Winston and Peter tracking down a ghost at an apartment complex, who turns out to be someone that fans know VERY well. Then, in a back up story, we see that Walter Peck (William Atherton’s character from the first movie) will be butting into our heroes’ lives very soon.

Ghostbusters #1, 2011, Dan ShoeningThis book really has the total package for Ghostbusters fans. Burnham’s writing is solid. It’s not too corny, but not too serious either. To me, there’s a delicate balance that goes into creating a Ghostbusters story. You’ve got to make the threat believable and scary, but also be lighthearted and funny. That’s tough to do. But Burnham’s off to a great start.

Dan Shoening’s art is always a treat for me. I’ve loosely followed his Deviant Art page for a few years now, and it’s obvious he’s a Ghostbusters nut. He even co-manned a pitch for a new Ghostbusters comic a few years ago. His art fits the style and tone of the story, and it’s obvious he’s as passionate about the content as any diehard fan would be.

If the book keeps up with this kind of content, Ghostbusters #1 could very well become one of my favorite ongoing titles. I could gush about this book for awhile, but I’d prefer you go out and read it for yourself.

***

Aquaman #1, 2011TITLE: Aquaman #1
AUTHOR: Geoff Johns
PENCILLER: Ivan Reis
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

Well, how about this? An Aquaman who’s aware of his status as a pop culture punch line.

The most interesting moments in Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’ first issue of Aquaman are when ordinary citizens are either chuckling at the character, or saying weird things to him. At one point, Aquaman attempts to have lunch at a seafood restaurant, and someone says: “You can’t get the fish and chips…you talk to fish!” The character himself is getting a chance to respond to the public’s perception of him, which is interesting. Though, I find the idea of Aquaman sitting down in a seafood restaurant in full costume to be pretty stupid.

As a threat known as The Trench makes its way up from the Atlantic ocean, Aquaman and Mera decide that they’re going to live on the surface, and attempt to start a new life. One would assume their lives as superheroes won’t allow this transition to be easy.

Fans have wanted to see Geoff Johns tackle Aquaman for awhile now. They got that in Brightest Day, and they’ll get more of it here. I’ll stick with this series for the near future, simply out of interest for what Johns will do. Plus, Ivan Reis’ art is always lovely.

***

Teen Titans #1, 2011TITLE: Teen Titans #1
AUTHOR: Scott Lobdell
PENCILLER: Brett Booth
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

I don’t think I’m ever going to dig Red Robin’s new costume. It’s just…wrong. It just looks way too cumbersome and silly. In this issue, Tim Drake uses his new wings to block a storm of bullets coming at he and Wonder Girl courtesy of a helicopter. That’s great and all, but the old Red Robin would have simply EVADED THE GUNFIRE!!!!

My disgust with the costume aside, Teen Titans #1 isn’t so bad. We kick the issue off with Kid Flash (who is apparently still Bart Allen, not Wally West), rushing to help with a burning building, but ends up making the situation a LOT worse. This apparently adds fuel to the media’s claims that many teenage meta-humans are menaces. Meanwhile, Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. (see Superboy #1) is hunting down teenage metas, and the poorly dressed Red Robin rushes to save Cassandra Sandsmark, who the press call Wonder Girl. In response to the resulting battle, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. decides to release their secret weapons (or at least one of them): Superboy.

Teen Titans #1, 2011, Brett BoothA few things that caught my attention in this issue:
– It seems to run side by side with the current Superboy story arc.
– Tim Drake will apparently be the one who to bring the Teen Titans together, much like Batman will be the one to form the Justice League (according to solicitations at least). Funny how these two loners are inclined to create superhero teams…
– Wonder Girl’s costume is slightly reminiscent of Donna Troy’s, from the standpoint of the stars in space design. Curious.

Will I come back for more Teen Titans? Probably. The concept of teenagers being reckless with their superpowers intrigues me, as that’s something real teenagers would likely do. But I’m telling you, Red Robin’s costume might ruin it for me. I’m THAT bothered by it.

Interior image 1 from insidepulse.com. Interior image 2 from bleedingcool.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition/