Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 Micro-Review – Checked Out

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

Dartk Crisis on Infinite Earths 6, cover, 2022, Daniel Sampere, Alejandro SanchezTITLE: Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 (of 7)
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Rafa Sandoval (Layouts), Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)

RELEASED: November 8, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I hate to say it, but I’ve pretty much checked out of Dark Crisis at this point. The book has simply lacked tension or grip. It might have made for a mildly compelling storyline in the pages of a Justice League series. But a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths? No. Just no.

One of the real shames here is that, while the writing has been a let-down, the art has largely been spectacular. I can’t find many, if any, bad things to say about the performance Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez have turned in.

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

A Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 Micro-Review – “We’re the Titans!”

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

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths 5, cover, 2022, Daniel Sampere, Alejandro SanchezTITLE: Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)

RELEASED: October 4, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The momentum from last issue continues here, as this finally starts to feel like a Crisis-level story with world-shattering implications. But it’s too little, too late at this point. If Dark Crisis had this level of tension and energy at the beginning, that would have been one thing…

This issue does include a really nice rallying moment for Nightwing and the Titans, though…

“You are not the Justice League!”

“We never were…we’re the Titans!”

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

A Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #4 Micro-Review – Where’s Our Big Bad?

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

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths 4, cover, 2022, Daniel Sampere, Alejandro SanchezTITLE: Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #4 (of 7)
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)
RELEASED:
September 6, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Things ramp up a little bit this month. But by and large, my complaints about Dark Crisis still stand. I’m still waiting for this to feel like a Crisis-worthy event.

I’m wondering how much of that has to do with our villain choices. Right now we’ve got Pariah and Deathstroke working for something called the “Great Darkness,” which is a fairly vague concept. Did I miss some kind of required reading before Dark Crisis?

Maybe what we’re missing here is a big bad. Somebody like the Anti-Monitor or Darkseid.

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

A Dark Crisis #3 Micro-Review – Longing For Doom

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

TITLE: Dark Crisis #3
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)
INKERS:
Sampere, Daniel Henriques, Danny Miki
RELEASED:
August 2, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Three issues in, and Dark Crisis still hasn’t quite found its legs. What we’re missing is that sense of impending doom that’s so prevalent in a lot of the great event comics from the big two. It’s certainly prevalent in all of DC’s Crisis stories.

There’s a sense of disorganization to Dark Crisis that doesn’t do it any favors. I understand that some of that is the nature of the story they’re telling. But the fact that DC is renaming the series Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths makes me wonder how much of this is being adjusted on the go…

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

A Dark Crisis #2 Micro-Review – Conflict De-Escalation

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

Dark Crisis 2, cover, 2022, Daniel SampereTITLE: Dark Crisis #2
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)

RELEASED: July 5, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The idea with an event comic is that the threat continues to escalate throughout the story, right? And you build to the big climax toward the end. Dark Crisis #2, on the other hand, seems to de-escalate the conflict and end on a premature note of hope for the heroes. That’s an odd choice for a book like this.

I appreciate the incorporation of the Teen Titans Academy into the proceedings. I maintain that book was cancelled way too soon.

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

A Dark Crisis #1 Micro-Review – Crisis-Worthy?

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

Dark Crisis 1, cover, 2022, Daniel SampereTITLE: Dark Crisis #1
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS:
Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)

RELEASED: June 7, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This book seems, thus far at least, to be less about a big Crisis-level threat and more about whether Jon Kent and the other heroes can band together after the death of the Justice League. A perfectly viable premise for an event comic. However, whether it’s worthy of the Crisis name remains to be seen.

This all feels a little hollow though, as we know the League is inevitably returning.

Daniel Sampere’s art is very much worthy of a big event comic like this. He’s got a lot of characters to draw here. But his execution is on point.

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

A Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 Micro-Review – Nightwing’s Bad Hair Day

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

Justice League Road to Dark Crisis 1, cover, 2022, Daniel SampereTITLE: Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1
AUTHORS: Joshua Williamson, Various
ARTISTS:
Dan Jurgens, Various. Cover by Daniel Sampere & Alejandro Sanchez.

RELEASED: May 31, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Not the most thrilling collection of short stories I’ve ever read. I still don’t have a strong sense of what exactly Dark Crisis is about, outside of the fact that the Justice League is “dead.” Is that it? Is that our premise?

The best thing in here is probably the opener by Joshua Williamson and Dan Jurgens. It’s a story about Jon Kent and Dick Grayson coming to grips with a world without a Justice League. But oddly enough, what stuck out the most to me was the awkward way Jurgens drew Nightwing’s hair…

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

Weekly Comic 100s: TMNT Double-Feature, Wonder Woman #759, and More!

***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps 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 #107
AUTHOR: Sophie Campbell (Story), Ronda Pattison (Script), Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz (Story Consultants)
ARTISTS: Nelson Daniel, Pattison (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letterer). Variant cover by Eastman.
RELEASED:
July 29, 2020

The Turtles have an “old days” moment here where they head down to the sewers and fight a bunch of Mousers. It’s just a couple of cutesy lines. But it does serve as a reminder of just how different this series is from the standard TMNT status quo. Instead of four Turtles striking from the shadows, we’ve got five Turtles living openly in a town full of mutants.

As they roam the sewers, the Turtles mix it up with what basically amounts to an undersea monster. It’s played like a horror movie. Kinda fun.

TITLE: TMNT Annual 2020
AUTHOR: Tom Waltz
ARTISTS: Adam Gorham, John Rauch & Michael Garland (Colorists), Shawn Lee (Letterer). Variant cover by Kevin Eastman and Fahriza Kamputra (Colorist).
RELEASED:
July 29, 2020

This annual mainly serves as a check-in with our villains. Most notably Shredder, who we haven’t heard much from since issue #100. They color his costume purple and silver, like the old cartoon. I won’t complain about that…

As the cover indicates, they’re doing a symbiosis story with Krang and Leatherhead. Yet another example of how this series continues to bring these characters into uncharted waters. Given how much has been done with the Ninja Turtles universe, it’s pretty amazing to see how much hasn’t been done.

TITLE: Wonder Woman #759
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer). Cover by David Marquez.
RELEASED:
July 28, 2020

So we’ve got Mariko Tamaki, who wrote Supergirl: Being Super, and Mikel Janin, one of the stars of Tom King’s Batman run. On paper, this new team should be great.

Their first issue is pretty ground level. Lots of flowery narration about what a hero is, what heroes do, etc. My only big problem is that Tamaki gives in to the temptation of putting Wondie in an everyday situation, shopping for furniture, and making it seem foreign to her. She’s been in “man’s world” for so long, yet she has no idea how to shop for furniture? Yeah, right.

TITLE: Darth Vader #3
AUTHOR: Greg Pak
ARTISTS: Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Inhyuk Lee.
RELEASED:
July 29, 2020

How many times have we seen Darth Vader cross paths with characters from the prequels and then get all feelingsy? Enough that I rolled my eyes when Captain Typho showed up in this issue.

However, as someone who read Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston, I appreciated the inclusion of Sabe and another character from that book. It’s a nice little tie-in that doesn’t take anything away from the story being told here.

TITLE: Batman: The Adventures Continue #9
AUTHORS: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
ARTISTS: Ty Templeton, Monica Cubina (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer). Cover by Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera.
RELEASED:
July 30, 2020

In this issue we finally get into Jason Todd’s origin story, his connection to Batman, etc. It’s not drastically altered from the comics. But it’s altered just enough to distinguish it. I liked what I saw.

Frankly, I hope they portray Jason Todd as having been with Batman for only a short time. In the DCAU I’d like to see him portrayed more as a tragically failed experiment than a lost son. Again, it would be different. But not so much that it’s unrecognizable. That’s the formula that seems to work best.

TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrot
ARTISTS: Moises Hidalgo, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Jamal Campbell.
RELEASED:
July 29, 2020

We’re still following Jason, Zack, and Trini, despite the events of this issue occurring after “The Power Transfer.” Not a bad thing, but not what I expected either. Especially since they’re getting their own book in a few months.

I’m not sure how I feel about the way Jamal Campbell posed Aisha on the cover. It’s like she’s showing off her butt or something…

We introduce a civilian character in this issue who worries about the holding the Rangers accountable for their actions. Sort of a “don’t trust the Power Rangers” mindset. Very curious to see where that goes.

TITLE: Batman/Superman #9
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Clayton Henry, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), John J. Hill (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 28, 2020

In almost 20 years, I can count the number of Ultra-Humanite stories I’ve read on one hand. So this story is cool for me in that sense.

This issue, and this team, have a really nice energy. Joshua Williamson is often hit-or-miss. But he, Clayton Henry, and Alejandro Sanchez make for a winning combination with these characters. Not a perfect combination per se, but a winning one.

TITLE: Suicide Squad #7
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer). Variant cover by Jeremy Roberts.
RELEASED:
July 28, 2020

Our Tom Taylor original characters get a new team name in this issue: The Revolutionaries. Not bad. I don’t know how much of a life they’ll have out from under the Suicide Squad name. But still, not bad.

For at least one issue, Taylor brings Floyd Lawton’s young daughter into the sandbox and gives her a a bow and arrow and a hero name: Liveshot. She almost reminds me of a kid version of the Kate Bishop Hawkeye. Interesting…

TITLE: Billionaire Island #2
AUTHOR: Mark Russell
ARTISTS: Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 2, 2020

It seems that in addition to the absurdly rich, Billionaire Island is home certain rich, famous, and disgraced. We get an actual Kevin Spacey cameo in this issue. Yes, I wretched. But it’s also a funny little moment.

We haven’t gotten into the bloodshed yet. But the book does crank up the action a little bit with this issue. Something tells me it’s going to be worth the wait.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Batman, X-Men, and More!

***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Not A Doctor. Even in Space.

So it looks like, at least as far as the comic book industry is concerned, our long global nightmare is finally starting to wind down.

Between the launch of Lunar and UCS as new alternative distribution, and Diamond announcing a return to form on May 20, the comic book industry is a few steps closer to being back in business. In the meantime, last week Marvel published Doctor Aphra #1 in celebration of Star Wars day. Meanwhile, issues of Justice League, Lois Lane, among other issues from DC are set to hit the stands tomorrow. I knew I liked Rucka’s Lois Lane maxi, but I had no idea absence would make the heart grow this much fonder…

I also tacked X-Men #2 on. I don’t know that I’ll start picking up the book after it starts shipping again. But curiosity has been getting the better of me. Plus, there’s no better time than now, is there?

TITLE: The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #3
AUTHOR: Gail Simone
ARTISTS: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Cover by V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, & Maiolo.
RELEASED: May 8, 2020

This issue is titled, “The Accelerated and the Infinitismal.” Heh. I dig it.

The Infinitismal in this case is the Atom, a.k.a. Ryan Choi, as opposed to Ray Palmer. Some dialogue between them suggests this story takes place early in Flash’s career. Which doesn’t necessarily jive with the timeline as I know it. But oh well.

As their target audience is the superstore crowd, most of these DC Digital-Firsts are drawn very accessibly with new readers in mind. As it’s a little more cartoony, Clayton Henry is able to separate himself from the pack.

TITLE: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1
AUTHOR:
Alyssa Wong
ARTISTS:
Marika Cresta, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Valentina Remengr.
RELEASED:
April 6, 2020

This series, at least at this early juncture, more or less casts Aphra as the Indiana Jones of the Star Wars Universe. She’s an archaeologist looking for priceless artifacts.

Despite enjoying her Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series, I could never get into Aphra as a solo act. In all honesty, not much has changed now. I just don’t think she’s the flavor of Star Wars I’m looking for at the moment. But the book is written and drawn just fine. Also, good on Marvel for hiring a mostly-female team for this one.

TITLE: Batman: The Adventures Continue #3
AUTHORS: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
ARTISTS:
Ty Templeton, Monica Cubina (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer). Cover by Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth.
RELEASED: May 6, 2020

Now this is more like it. A slightly different take on Deathstroke. Not changing him too much. But just enough.

Jason Todd continues to look on. Is it a coincidence that he looks a little bit like the DCAU Jason Blood? Or are they just giving him the white streak in his hair from the comics? I imagine it’s the latter.

My sole artistic critique? Some bad coloring on the steam rising from Bruce Wayne’s coffee. Or maybe it’s tea.

TITLE: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #3
AUTHORS: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
ARTISTS:  (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Chad Hardin & Paul Mounts
RELEASED: May 6, 2020

Diana attempts to take a vacation day with Steve Trevor in this issue. Bad call. That’s always when the bad guys strike. In fact, Wondie then has an extremely busy couple of days stopping a meteor from colliding with Earth, then solving a murder mystery in Gorilla City. It’s all very nicely drawn by Daniel Sampere.

I always thought the Gorilla City idea was a better fit for Wonder Woman and the Amazons, rather than the Flash. Both are more or less primitive societies. But we get the best of womankind against the worst of mankind’s primate impulses.

TITLE: Superman: Man of Tomorrow #3
AUTHOR:
Robert Venditti
ARTISTS:
Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Dan Mora.
RELEASED:
May 4, 2020

Dan Mora drawing Superman? Yes please.

Yet another awesome “shirt opening” sequence by Pelletier and the team this week. This one actually lasts a page and a half.

I don’t know if it’s because I have a baby girl now and it hit me in the feels to see Big Blue save a mom and daughter, but I can’t get enough of “boy scout” Superman.

Though at one point while dismantling a robot he gives us, “This game will cost you an arm and a leg!” Even I have my limits, folks.

TITLE: X-Men #2
AUTHOR:
Jonathan Hickman
ARTISTS:
Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan (Inker), Sunny Gho (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer).
RELEASED:
November 13, 2019

I haven’t done the research yet on how a teenage (?) Rachel and Nathan Summers are with Cyclops in he present so that they can “help your old man beat up some monsters”. I’m just going with it. That’s pretty much what you have to do with most X-Men books.

Some cool creature art from Leinil Yu in here, though. Along with an awesome line from Cyclops: “I’ve got more hours in a cockpit than I do in therapy, son, and let me tell you…I have done the work.”

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

Weekly Comic 100s: X-Men #1 For the Heck of It, Plus DC Digitals

***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Calls it Soda. Not Pop.

The other day I said I wanted to feature the X-Men a little more. So this week I tossed in X-Men #1 from back in November. Along with DC’s digital-first stuff, of course.

TITLE: X-Men #1
AUTHOR: Jonathan Hickman
ARTISTS: Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan (Inker), Sunny Gho (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer).
RELEASED: November 14, 2019

Jonathan Hickman intimidates me. He tends to go a little too far out of this world, and I get lost.

Thankfully, X-Men #1 is relatively straightforward. Mutants have established their own nation on the island of Krakoa. And of course, there’s a group of humans that don’t like mutants that are trying to destroy them.

Had do to a Marvel Wiki search on Cyclops to see how the hell he could be leading the team again. He’s a more interesting character than most casual fans give him credit for.

TITLE: The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #2
AUTHOR:
Gail Simone
ARTISTS:
Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Cover by Cully Hamner and Dave McCaig.
RELEASED:
May 1, 2020

Clayton Henry’s style, let’s call it moderately cartoony, is a perfect fit for Flash. When Barry’s zipping around in the costume, Henry stretches his body just a bit for effect. But at the same time, all the scenes about his civilian life have the weight they need. He can exaggerate, but he doesn’t overdo it.

Once again Simone gives us a scene that’s unintentionally poignant given the times, as Flash saves a pair of kids whose mom is a nurse.

Cool time-travel shenanigans make this the highlight of DC’s digital releases this week. (Or at least the ones here.)

TITLE: Aquaman: Deep Dives #2
AUTHOR:
Michael Grey
ARTISTS:
Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colors), Wes Abbott (Letters). Cover by Philip Tan and Elmer Santos.
RELEASED:
April 30, 2020

Aquaman vs. Russian Mobsters? Not a pairing I expected, I’ll give you that. But it works.

The Sea Devils make an appearance in this issue. If you have no idea who they are, I was right there with you. Somehow they’re in one of the few corners of the DCU I haven’t explored yet.

Not an amazing issue from a story perspective. But mad respect to Aaron Lopresti, who’s low key one of my favorites, for drawing fish deformed by poison dumped into the sea. Legit creepy.

TITLE: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #2
AUTHORS: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
ARTISTS: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colors), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Conner and Paul Mounts.
RELEASED: April 29, 2020

So here we have Diana in another team-up issue, this time with Lois Lane. I’m curious if this is just a coincidence, of if they wanted to throw another big name character in there to help support her. With the Gal Gadot movie under her belt, and another one coming out in the near future, I’m not sure Wondie needs it right now.

We get a really nice fight sequence between her and what basically amounts to a demonic abominable snowman who spouts textbook supervillain speak. (“Give up impudent morsel! Death awaits!”) Steve Orlando gets Wonder Woman and knows how to write her. But from a story perspective, I haven’t been overly impressed by these last two outings.

TITLE: Batman: Gotham Nights #2
AUTHOR: Michael Grey
ARTISTS: Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend (Inker), Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer). Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Lucas.
RELEASED: April 28, 2020

Pretty standard Batman stuff here. It’s not bad, but it’s not overly remarkable either. Crime involving an old theater, theater lead traces back to…well, you can probably guess based on the cover.

My favorite line in this issue: “Who was it that said every villain is the hero of their own story? Probably a villain.”

TITLE: Superman: Man of Tomorrow #2
AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS:
Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey.
RELEASED:
April 27, 2020

Another great issue from Venditti, Pelletier, and the crew as our Man of Steel faces off against a new villain called the Gambler.

In addition to a great “shirt opening” sequence, this issue contains a panel reminiscent of a famous Alex Ross painting where Superman is sitting in a chair with his shoulders slumped a bit. Like he can feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. Only in this issue, he’s holding what looks like a beer bottle. It’s soda, of course. I love that.

He’s got a few great one-liners too. “Don’t bet on it, Gambler!”

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