A Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 Micro-Review – Bringin’ Down the House

***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

Superman Son of Kal-El 4, cover, 2021, John TimmsTITLE: Superman: Son of Kal-El #4
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: Danielle Di Nicuolo, Gabe Eltaeb & Hi-Fi (Colorists), Dave Sharpe (Letterer). Cover by John Timms.
RELEASED: October 19, 2021

Heard any interesting news lately?

The news about Jon Kent being bisexual shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who read the previous three issues. It was obvious something was going on with Jon and Jay Nakamura.

I was happy to see a couple of characters from Tom Taylor’s Suicide Squad run pop up in this issue. I figured it was inevitable that they’d show up in a future Taylor project.

As we can see by the cover, the Kent household gets blown up here. I wonder how many times they’ve pulled that stunt. Feels like a lot.

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

A Superman: Son of Kal-El #3 Micro-Review – From Out of the Shadows

***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

Superman Son of Kal-El 2, cover, 2021, John TimmsTITLE: Superman: Son of Kal-El #2
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
RELEASED: September 28, 2021

I can see more conservative readers turning away from Superman: Son of Kal-El, for obvious reasons. The book is unabashedly liberal. But it is nice to see Superman tackling the issues. As he should, quite frankly.

It’s also nice to see the book is about to address the issue of Jon being in his father’s shadow. The classic Superman is going away, at least for awhile. As that’s the case, I’m happy he’s had a presence in this series early on. It gives us a nice sense of where Jon’s values come from…as if it wasn’t obvious already.

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

A Superman: Son of Kal-El #2 Micro-Review – “Why Don’t You Do More?”

***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

Superman Son of Kal-El 2, cover, John TimmsTITLE: Superman: Son of Kal-El #2
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 24, 2021

This whole “Jon Kent is Superman” thing would have been a lot more effective if his dad, the classic and traditional Superman, weren’t still around. Normally I’m not a fan of “substitute hero” stories where they replace classic characters. But in this case it might work.

Taylor is leaning heavily into Superman’s social justice roots here. An interesting direction to take things, with the potential for a lot of meat on the bone. At one point Jon even flat out asks his father, “Why don’t you do more?”

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

A Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 Micro-Review – Are We in the Future Yet?

***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

Superman Son of Kal-El 1, cover, 2021TITLE: Superman: Son of Kal-El #1
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
RELEASED: July 27, 2021

This feels like it should have been part of Future State. It feels like they’re setting up Jon Kent to be the one and only Superman, as opposed to one of two Supermen alongside his father…

That being said, Taylor proves he knows how to write Superman, be it Jon or Clark Kent. The hero we see here is compassionate, as opposed to combatant. That’s a side of Superman a lot of creators get wrong.

We also get to see what the Justice League was doing on the day Jon was born. That manages to be pretty cool.

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

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.

Weekly Comic 100s: Superman #29

***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 #29
AUTHOR: Philip Kennedy Johnson, Sean Lewis
ARTISTS: Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur (Inker), Hi-Fi (Colors), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Sami Basri, Ulises Arreola (Colorist). Wrap-around variant cover by John Timms & Gabe Eltaeb.
RELEASED: March 9, 2021

Absolutely gorgeous work from Hester, Gapstur, and Hi-Fi, on something of an emotional issue as Jon ponders his father’s mortality. They’re taking on a series of galactic breaches that are apparently connected to Amanda Waller.

Our back-up looks at, of all character, Bibbo. Metropolis’ resident common-man bartender now writes a column for the Daily Planet apparently. I can get behind that. We don’t see Bibbo very often, so it’s nice to see him get some love.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: The Next Batman #3

***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 Next Batman #3
AUTHOR: John Ridley, Brandon Thomas, Paul Jenkins
ARTISTS: Laura Braga, Nick Derington (Breakdowns), Sumit Kumar, Raul Fernandez (Co-Inker), Jack Herbert
COLORISTS:
Arif Prianto, Jordie Bellaire, Gabe Eltaeb
LETTERERS:
Clayton Cowles, Steve Wands, Rob Leigh
RELEASED: February 2, 2021

Drones are a big part of Batman’s side of Future State. This issue sees Batman defeat a drone using the oh so super-heroic method of throwing a rock at it. I got a kick out of that.

There’s already a Future State Suicide Squad story. That being said, this Arkham Knight back-up, with its team of Batman villains assembled under the title character, has a definite Suicide Squad vibe to it. And Arkham Knight, the Peter Tomasi Detective Comics version that is, actually makes a pretty good leader.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #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: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2
AUTHORS: Sean Lewis, Brandon Easton
ARTISTS: John Timms, Valentine de Landro, Cully Hamner
COLORISTS:
Gabe Eltaeb, Marissa Louise, Laura Martin
LETTERERS: Dave Sharpe, Andworld Design
RELEASED: February 2, 2021

The main story didn’t blow me away. But thematically, it’s on point. It’s about Jonathan Kent embracing what it means to be Superman. It’s the right story to tell.

The Mister Miracle and Guardian back-ups are set during and amidst the events of the main story. As such, there are some interesting bits and pieces in there, and the new heroes themselves are fine. Cully Hamner and Laura Martin make the Guardian look fantastic. But the stories themselves just aren’t that interesting.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: Future State Continued…

***”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: Future State: The Next Batman #2
AUTHOR: John Ridley, Vita Ayala, Paula Sevenbergen
ARTISTS: Laura Braga, Nick Derington (Breakdowns), Aneke, Emanuela Lupacchino, Rob Haynes (Breakdowns), Wade Von Grawbadger (Inker). Cover by Ladronn.
COLORISTS: Arif Prianto, Trisha Mulvihill, John Kalisz
LETTERERS:
Clayton Cowles, Becca Carey
RELEASED: January 19, 2021

Our Batgirls and Gotham City Sirens back-up stories are underwhelming. It’s also a little disappointing to see Nick Derington strictly on breakdowns this time around (though Laura Braga is more than capable). But I’d still call The Next Batman among the best, if not the best, of Future State.

John Ridley is giving us a slightly more realistic, tech-conscious look at the Batman mythos. There’s a heavy emphasis on facial recognition technology, which we don’t necessarily see in the regular books. This is a smarter, more socially conscious Batman.

TITLE: Future State: Justice League #1
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson, Ram V
ARTISTS: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques (Inker), Marcio Takara. Cover by Dan Mora.
COLORISTS:
Romulo Fajaro Jr, Marcelo Maiolo
LETTERERS:
Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh
RELEASED: January 12, 2021

The main story here is among the best released under the Future State banner, and one of the more fun Justice League stories I’ve read in awhile. We don’t focus on the heroes as individuals, but rather the League as an organization and what it’s become. There’s an intriguing idea here about keeping the group small and impersonal.

The Justice League Dark back-up story didn’t do much for me. But there is an interesting, somewhat funny character bit between Detective Chimp and Etrigan. It doesn’t make or break the story. But it’s fun.

TITLE: Future State: Dark Detective #1
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Carmine Di Giandomenico
COLORISTS: Jordie Bellaire, Antonio Fabela
LETTERERS:
Aditya Bidikar, Andworld Design
RELEASED: January 19, 2021

Really happy to see former Power Rangers artist Dan Mora get a big shot on a Batman book. Hopefully this is just the next step in what will be big things for him.

The Batman portion of this issue has a lot of intrigue to it, with a sort of gritty, Commando-type approach to the Dark Knight. There’s not a lot of substance to it, but they’ve got the luxury of four issues to expand on things.

Oddly enough, the Grifter back-up story is the superior of the two. It’s not every day Grifter outdoes Batman…

TITLE: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1
AUTHORS: Sean Lewis, Brandon Easton
ARTISTS: John Timms, Valentine de Landro, Cully Hamner, Michael Avon Oeming
COLORISTS:Gabe Eltaeb, Marissa Louise, Laura Martin
LETTERERS: Dave Sharpe, Andworld Design
RELEASED: January 5, 2021

I miss the cape. It’s just not Superman without it.

In this issue, Jonathan Kent has supposedly been in the Superman role for about a decade. And yet, there’s some doubt as to whether he truly deserves it or is ready for it. There’s a weird disconnect there. Seems like if he’s had the job for 10 years, he must be pretty good at it…

Still, I like the notion of the Superman legacy casting a long shadow, while also trying to be his own man. It feels natural.

TITLE: Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1
AUTHOR: Dan Watters
ARTISTS: Leila Del Duca, Nick Filardi (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer). Cover by Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson.
RELEASED: January 12, 2021

So in this one he does have the cape? What the hell?

This one was disappointing, as there wasn’t much of substance between our two title heroes. I gather there’s supposed to be some kind of intriguing dynamic between Jonathan Kent and our Future State Wonder Woman, but I don’t see it.

One thing I will say: This issue’s introductory Superman scene is pretty awesome, showing us that a “mundane” morning for the Man of Steel is anything but mundane. Plenty of charm to go around.

TITLE: Future State: Green Lantern #1
AUTHOR: Geoffry Thorne, Ryan Cady, Ernie Altbacker
ARTISTS: Tom Raney, Sami Basri, Clayton Henry. Cover by Henry & Marcelo Maiolo.
COLORISTS: Mike Atiyeh, Hi-Fi, Maiolo
LETTERERS: Andworld Design, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands.
RELEASED: January 12, 2021

Our main story here is about John Stewart and a group of now powerless Green Lanterns. We’ve also got a back-up about Guy Gardner. But the back-up about Jessica Cruz is what steals the issue.

Jessica Cruz has a special place in my heart because of her battle with an anxiety disorder. This story sees her trapped on a space station with three Yellow Lanterns, who are literally powered by fear. But as she stays hidden, she’s got the element of surprise, and thus has the ability to turn the tables on them.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: Black Widow, Batman, 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: Black Widow #1
AUTHOR: Kelly Thompson
ARTISTS: Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Cory Petit (Letterer). Cover by Adam Hughes
RELEASED: September 2, 2020

This one’s fairly low on action considering it’s the debut of a Black Widow series. The issue tries to make up for it with intrigue, but there isn’t quite enough to wet my appetite for more.

This, despite some awesome art from Elena Casagrande and Jordie Bellaire. I found it had a slightly similar vibe to the Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye stuff. And of course, yet another breathtaking Adam Hughes cover.

TITLE: Batman #98
AUTHOR: James Tynion IV
ARTISTS: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by David Finch.
RELEASED: September 1, 2020

As the cover suggests, there’s a big fight between Harley Quinn and Punchline in this issue. As obvious as her inclusion is given the nature of the story, “Joker War” has been a little too Harley-heavy for my taste. It feels like yet another case of DC shoehorning her into a story that’s not necessarily about her.

On the plus side, Jimenez and Morey are on their game here. So is Tynion, as as get a pretty powerful exchange between Batman and…Alfred’s memory? It’s not Alfred’s ghost, I know that for sure.

TITLE: We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1
AUTHOR:
Al Ewing
ARTISTS:
Simone Di Meo, Mariasara Miotti (Color Assistant), Andworld Design (Letterer)
RELEASED:
 September 2, 2020

Spaceships that carve up space gods to mine humanity’s new resources? Alright book, you’ve got my attention…

This first issue is a little hard to follow, as we’re getting adjusted to how the book works and what’s going on. But by the end we get a decent hook to bring us back for next issue. Take into account how gorgeous this issue is, particularly from a coloring standpoint, and they’ve got me signed up for next time.

TITLE: Shazam #14
AUTHOR: Geoff Johns
ARTISTS: Dale Eaglesham, Scott Kolins, Michael Atiyeh (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Variant cover by Dale Keown.
RELEASED: September 1, 2020

Ugh. What an awful final issue. It feels like they tried to cram in about two years worth of content. The resolution of the plot threads with Mr. Mind, Billy’s dad, and Black Adam. A pathetically condensed fight with Superboy-Prime. Then of course, they have to end the series on a happy note, though it’s hard to imagine this issue making anyone happy.

It’s not the creators’ fault, mind you. The book got cancelled. But still, the characters, the creators, and the series itself deserved better.

TITLE: Lonely Receiver #1
AUTHOR: Zac Thompson
ARTISTS: Jen Hickman, Simon Bowland (Letterer)
RELEASED: September 2, 2020

I’m not sure what I expected from Lonely Receiver, but it wasn’t what I got. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This strikes me as a story with a lot of layers to it. It’s a story about a woman falling in love with a robot designed specifically to be her partner. But we’ve got undertones dealing with our needs as human beings that are really interesting. Thus far, this books is a little like I, Robot meets an old fashioned romance comic, with some more, shall we say, mature elements mixed in.

TITLE: Star Trek: Hell’s Mirror
AUTHOR: J.M. DeMatteis
ARTISTS: Matthew Dow Smith, Candice Han (Colorist), Neil Uyetake (Letterer)
RELEASED: September 2, 2020

What we have here is a look at the Khan Noonien Singh of the Mirror Universe. And with that in mind, the story and the characters are about what you’d think they’d be. In that sense, this one-shot almost writes itself.

The solicitation heralded the return of J.M. DeMatteis to Star Trek after almost 40 years. For what it’s worth, I can see why. This issue feels just like an episode of the original series. Definitely worth a look for fans.

TITLE: Young Justice #18
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker
ARTISTS: Scott Godlewski, Michael Avon Oeming, Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer). Cover by John Timms & Eltaeb.
RELEASED: September 1, 2020

Had a nice Powers flashback looking at Michael Avon Oeming’s work. Seeing him work on the Spoiler is a little surreal.

This wasn’t quite the “Tim and Stephanie go on a date” issue that I was hoping for. That makes this one a disappointment for yours truly.

By the end of this issue Drake is back to being Robin. But is he actually Robin, or is he Red Robin? Just when we thought Tim had his identity crisis solved…

TITLE: Justice League #52
AUTHOR: Jeff Loveness
ARTISTS: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques (Inker), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer). Cover by Cully Hamner.
RELEASED: September 1, 2020

Way too much Batman to cap off a two-part filler story before the book starts to tie in with…*sigh*…Dark Nights: Death Metal.

We’ve seen all kinds of stories that dive into the psyches of various League members. It always seems like five or six issues is too long. But I’d have been happy to see “The Garden of Mercy” go another issue or two. What Loveness, Rocha, and Henriques turn in here is perfectly fine.

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