Power Rangers Dino Fury, “The Truth” Review

Amelia antennae, Power Rangers Dino Fury, The TruthSERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury

EPISODE: S29:E21 – “The Truth”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez, Jordan Fite
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE: September 29, 2022

SYNOPSIS: Amelia learns the truth about her parents…and herself.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

In viewing Pop-Pop’s memories, Amelia learns that her parents were from Rafkon, and gave her up to save her from the destruction of Area 62. Thus, Amelia is able to sprout antennae like Zayto and Aiyon.

This was out of left field for me. But not in a bad way. It was a genuine surprise, and a nice way to connect Amelia’s family drama to the Rafkon story.

My only big complaint about the reveal of Amelia as a Rafkonian is that they didn’t give us a scene, or even a single line of dialogue, where Ollie is shocked and has come to grips with the fact that his girlfriend is…y’know, an alien. I’m assuming there just wasn’t time to do it. But it would have been fun.

One more minor complaint: Amelia’s subsequent line, “Guys, I think my parents were from Rafkon.” It comes off a little air-headed. I mean…duh? You’re standing there with antennae jutting out of your head just like the Rafkonians. Where else would they have been from? Aquitar?

Amelia, Rafkon reveal, Power Rangers Dino Fury, the Truth

Seeing Void Queen and Mucus on the Buzzblast set was cool. Sort of a “worlds colliding” type thing.”

Low and behold, Void Queen destroys Mucus to further empower herself in her cocooned form. Great villain moment for her.  Only a true heel would sacrifice her comic relief minion…

One thing I loved about this episode: It set up very specific, concrete stakes. We learn that if Void Queen’s cocoon explodes as she intends it to, “everything in a 30-mile radius will be vaporized.” We even get a little visual via the computer simulation. They could easily have gone with a much more vague, generic set-up. Something like, “Void Queen will become so powerful she’ll take over the world!” This was better. Much, much better.

Amelia gives Ollie a kiss on the cheek just before the other Rangers spring into action. If they were going to give those two a proper kiss this season, that might have been a good place to put it. Oh well. There’s always Cosmic Fury

As if it’s not obvious, Amelia gets a lot of emphasis in this penultimate episode of the series. I can appreciate that. She’s been one of the better developed characters in Dino Fury. She and Izzy might be the top two. Dino Fury has definitely been one of the strongest shows on the female side of things that PR has ever done.

The Rangers whipped up a new morpher for Amelia pretty fast. A little too convenient, don’t you think?

When Amelia opens the safe from Pop-Pop’s memories and finds it empty, Izzy says, “I’m sorry Amelia. That really sucks.”Is that the first time someone has said that something “sucks” on Power Rangers? As far as I can remember, it is. Yet another memorable line for Izzy, I suppose.

The music during the flashback sequences was pretty effective. Kudos to Bert Selen.

Amelia learns that Santaura (Void Queen) is her mother and Tarrick (Void King) is her father. Also, they are all Rafkonians.

The revelation of Santaura and Tarrick as Amelia’s parents wasn’t a surprise, based simply on the flashback we saw in “The Invasion.” It was clearly them. Also, Amelia’s been talking about her parents for two seasons now. So you knew there had to be some kind of big reveal involving them. And the idea that it would been Void Queen and Void King made sense from a story and drama perspective. So it wasn’t entirely out of left field.

That being said, it’s a cool moment and a nice pay-off to all the build-up. Also, I didn’t expect them to be from Rafkon. That was a neat way to weave this family drama into the larger story of the series.

Once Void King realizes Amelia is his daughter, he reverts back to Tarrick. So Void King was defeated by…wait for it…love. Very cheesy. But not to the point that I don’t buy it.

There is, however, a giant plothole here. So two decades ago, Tarrick placed Santaura in suspended animation after she’s hurt in Area 62’s explosion. He then uses the Dino Knight morpher to become Void Knight. And then…nothing for 20 years? So what was he doing for all that time while Amelia was growing up? Did he also go into suspended animation for some reason? Was he off on some kind of quest? Could he have encountered other Power Ranger teams along the way? That’s a pretty frustrating plothole, and one uncharacteristic of Dino Fury. Unless I’m forgetting something…?

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

Astonishing Art: Power Rangers by Carlos Zarur Jr.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Goni Montes’ “helmet” covers for the various issues of BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers comics (most notably issue #0 back in 2016) are pretty darn iconic. So it’s no surprise that they’d inspire other artists to take a foray into the PR universe.

Carlos Zarur Jr. is one such artist, whose work is modeled after the Montes covers. I’ve pulled a few of my favorites from his portfolio. Including one of the Pink Operation Overdrive Ranger, which is the piece that originally drew me to him. That season doesn’t get a lot of love. So it’s nice to see Zarur Jr. give it some attention.

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

A Mighty Morphin #22 Micro-Review – Forever Pink

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

Mighty Morphin 22, cover, 2022, InHyuk LeeTITLE: Mighty Morphin #22
AUTHOR: Matt Groom
ARTISTS:
Moises Hidalgo, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED:
August 3, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Considering what happens with Kimberly in this issue, it’s kind of a wonder that there’s no trace of the Pink Ranger on the cover. (It is a really pretty cover, though.)

Kim gets some reinforcements from the future in this issue, leading to a team-up one might call “Forever Pink.” It doesn’t get a huge number of pages, but what we get is short and sweet. As far as BOOM’s Power Rangers comics are concerned, this is a red-letter issue for this team-up alone.

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Cut Off” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E9. “Cut Off”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Guy Langford, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: June 15, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Ollie takes too much technology on a camping trip. Then, Void Knight cuts the Rangers off from their tech.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Episodes 9, 10, and 11 of Dino Fury are the first episodes of Power Rangers to premiere on Netflix, along with the eight episodes that had already aired on Nickelodeon. I’m curious as to why those last three episodes hadn’t aired beforehand. Still, it makes for a nice little mini-binge.

What’s more, apparently season two of Dino Fury will be exclusive to Netflix. As someone who’s been having a lot of fun following the series on a week-by-week basis again, I’ve got mixed feelings about that. But you certainly can’t argue with the distribution Netflix has. And if it turns out to be good for the show overall, then I can’t complain. It may just take some getting used to.

When the Rangers realize they’re cut off from their tech, Amelia says she’ll “call the old fashioned way,” and goes to find her smartphone. As an adult fan who was around before the age of the iPhone, that line makes me feel old.

So the premise is that the Rangers are “miles from the city,” and can’t teleport in case Void Knight launches an attack. I appreciate that Zayto brought up the fact that they could walk there, despite how long it would take. I was ready for them to simply stay stuck in the forest until they found a solution.

They literally built a giant crossbow to fire Ollie’s arrow at the big tech-blocking balloon. Pure insanity, and I kinda love it.

Based on their interaction in this episode, I’m convinced we’ve got an Ollie/Amelia romance coming our way. I mean, why not?

So…where was Zayto going with the “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke? Especially if he didn’t know what the punchline was? Not the most important detail in the world. But it’s nagging at me.

Right before the zord battle starts, Ollie says that the bird monster is about to be “all out of cluck.” *cringes* Really? You sure about that?

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Superstition Strikes” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E6 – “Superstition Strikes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 3, 2021
SYNOPSIS: After walking under a ladder, Amelia believes herself cursed with bad luck.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Amelia walks under a ladder and thinking she’s got bad luck is pretty hokey. But I’ll say this much: It’s consistent with what’s been established about her character. Remember, she believed in fortune tellers too.

Mucus: “You just fell for a classic bit of Mucus misdirection!” If “mucus misdirection” isn’t the name of a medical condition, it absolutely should be. Get on it, doctors!

I loved the squish sound effect when the monster smacked Mucus on the head. Small details like that make all the difference sometimes.

Solon, the team’s resident cyborg dinosaur, is actually voiced by Josephine Davison, who played Morgana back in S.P.D. She also voiced Itassis in Mystic Force. Her performance here has a motherly quality to it that fits the character really well. Even if you don’t expect it to come from a dinosaur.

On the subject of S.P.D., that’s the last season I remember the music being this catchy. And that was more than 15 years ago. Hat tip to Bert Selen.

So Amelia gets her friggin’ morpher stolen?!? Thus, Boomtower gets into Dinohenge? Really bad rookie mistake, kid…

It’s extremely difficult to say “Boomtower” and not “Boomhauer.” And I’m not even that big a King of the Hill fan.

Nice, hard-hitting zord fight. Plus, there’s something oddly satisfying about watching the Megazord smash a monster with a giant hammer. “Mega Hammer Slam” indeed.

Izzy seriously says, “Okay boomer.” They continue to give her the best lines in the show.

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Lost Signal” Review

Zayto, Power Rangers Dino Fury, Lost SignalSERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S26:E3. “Lost Signal”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Kira Josephson, Victoria Abbott
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTORS: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 6, 2021
SYNOPSIS: After receiving a message from Zayto’s home planet, the Rangers must fight a monster blind.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Sometimes, in the back of my mind, I’ll hear my mother asking nitpicky questions. One came to me as I was watching the opening credits sequence this week: “Why is it called Dino Fury? What are they so mad about, anyway?”

Oh jeez. We’re seeing more tentacled people? I can’t say that’s the route I’d have gone. I’d have forgone the tentacles altogether. Back in the day, Andros was able to pull off the alien look just by putting blonde streaks in his hair. Couldn’t they have done something like that with Zayto?

You’d think I wouldn’t have rolled my eyes so hard at Amelia thinking a psychic could unravel the mystery of the message from Zayto’s planet. This is, after all, a show with tentacled people, an anthropomorphic talking dinosaur, and a cyborg walking around like normal in everyday life. By Power Rangers standards, who’s to say it’s that far-fetched?

It looks like Jane and J-Borg are our comedic duo this season, in the spirit of Bulk and Skull or Ben and Betty. These pairs are usually an acquired taste. But I’ll say this much: They found two funny actresses in Kira Josephson and Victoria Abbott. Dino Fury is also the first season to give us two women in these roles, as opposed to two men, or one man and one woman.

Pine Ridge. That’s our city name in Dino Fury. Pretty generic. But it beats no name at all.

Solon would be such an awesome sidekick for the Rangers if only her lips moved a little bit. Those zoom lenses on her eyes are pretty cool, though.

I enjoyed that little fight sequence between Zayto and Vypeera, and I like the idea of the Rangers having to fight a monster blind. I only wish it could have gone a little longer.

I talked last week about the zord sequences having too much CGI for my taste. Cast in point: The Tricera and Ankylo zords. Whenever they were on screen, it looked like the show jumped right into a video game. And not in a good way.

So Ollie and Amelia teleport into the Megazord cockpit, and one of the first things Amelia says is: “We’ve got to get a selfie in this thing!” Please tell me that’s not how kids talk these days. Tell me they don’t go around asking to take selfies in things. Please? Pretty please…?

I like the T-Rex Champion zord better than the Megazord. The latter just has too much going on. It’s almost overwhelming on the eyes. That’s a common problem with modern Megazords, I think.

This episode had its high points. But overall, I’d call it a step down from the first two. Here’s hoping next week’s will be better.

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury: “Sporix Unleashed” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S28:E2. “Sporix Unleashed”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Shavaughn Ruakere, Kira Josephson
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: February 27, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Ollie devises a plan to catch the Sporix monsters on the loose, and executes it without the knowledge of his teammates.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve got a beef with modern day morphs: They’re way too wordy. It goes, “It’s morphin’ time! Dino Fury key, activate! Link to Morphing Grid!” C’mon, folks. We’ve only got about 22 minutes here. Let’s move things along…

Also, link to Morphing Grid? I suppose that’s practical. But much like “Activate Beast Power!” in Beast Morphers, it’s not very creative. What’s the deal? If you can’t think if something quick and catchy for them to say, just stick with “It’s morphin’ time!”

I suppose I’m just old, but the notion of drones being used on Power Rangers is quaint to me. It’s a good thing, though. The more this show can keep up with the times, the better.

When Zayto, who’s been asleep since prehistoric times, asks where all the dinosaurs are, Amelia says: “Well, they’re mostly in the movies.” Mostly. I love that. Nice subtle nod to…you know…28 years of continuity.

Hartford Robotics, Jane, Power Rangers Dino Fury, Sporix Unleashed

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive doesn’t get a lot of love. Simply put, it wasn’t very good. That being said, I did enjoy the small Overdrive reference in this episode. During the scene at Buzz Blast, “Hartford Robotics” is printed on the box the android comes in (shown above). That kind of thing is cute, harmless, presumably easy to do, and fans get a kick out of it.

So the henchgirl’s name is Mucus. Again, I’ve got to call them out for lack of creativity on this one. Was Phlegm taken? I do like that she can turn into green slime, though.

While I’m not a fan of the morphing call, the CGI portion of the morph sequence is pretty awesome. I can’t bring myself to complain about that.

Thus far the music, composed by Bert Selen, really adds a lot to Dino Fury. It’s heavily synthesized, which I’m sure isn’t for everybody. But it gives the show a particular flavor, and the heavy percussion adds a lot to the fight sequences.

The “toyification” of Power Rangers, which many see as the show’s entire purpose for existing, is in full effect here. The Rangers have swords with a t-rex head on the hilt, and can manipulate the jaw to do various super-powered stuff. Are they selling that sword at Wal-Mart yet? Even as an adult, I’ve got to admit it’s pretty cool.

I saw some fans on Twitter were happy to see the Rangers teleporting. Frankly, it’s hard to believe teleportation ever left Power Rangers. During the first several years of its existence, it was a big part of the show’s DNA.

You know what would be nice? If Ollie’s mom figured out he was a Power Ranger. Not because he told her, but because she…you know…recognized her own son’s voice and body language. I don’t expect characters on a kids show to be that competent. But this woman is supposed to be a brilliant scientist, right?

I hope kids get a kick out of the zords they see on Power Rangers. Because as an adult, they generally don’t do much for me. All the CGI that’s been integrated into zord sequences for the better part of 20 years now muddies them all together, making them less distinct.

That said, the T-Rex Champion Zord looked pretty good. The CGI and practical effects were blended together fairly well. By modern zord standards, it scores high.

Well how about that? The Rangers are, in essence, using crowdsourcing as their monster alert system. Civilians can call, text, or DM Sporix sightings to the Rangers. I like that a lot, and I don’t believe anything like it has been done before.

Void Knight and Mucus (shown above) are using an abandoned base called “Area 62” as their lair. I’ve got no issues with that. Obviously it’s a take-off of Area 51. It does, however, make me wonder what happened to Areas 52-61…

Dino Fury has come out of the gate strong. I’m mostly pleased with what I’ve seen so far. I’m legit looking forward to the next episode!

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

 

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Destination Dinohenge” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S28.E1. “Destination Dinohenge”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: February 20, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Two youngsters uncover Dinohenge, a lair containing secrets from 65 million years ago…

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I like that Amelia, our new Pink Ranger, is a reporter. It creates a cool little Clark Kent/Superman vibe. More importantly, reporters are the often unsung heroes of our society. So it’s nice that Power Rangers is creating that connection for kids. I also like the name of the web site she works for: “Buzz Blast.” It’s a thinly veiled allusion to BuzzFeed.

Apparently Amelia is also a Ghostbuster. That “spook snare” reminded me of the Ninja Steel premiere, when Sarah showed up with an honest-to-God hoverboard.

So Dinohenge is filled with “Hengemen,” who will apparently serve as the henchmen for this season. Get it? Hengemen? Henchmen? Brilliant…

As the Hengemen are preparing to attack, Amelia says she’s taken three years of karate. Ollie, our new Blue Ranger, replies with “Yeah, me too.” Does that mean Ollie has taken three years of karate too? If so, that’s a remarkable coincidence even by kids show standards. I’d like to think it was just a general affirmation that he too knows karate.

After they’ve morphed, and Amelia asks Ollie what else they get with these new powers, he says: “If you watch the news, zords!” I like that line a lot. Not only does it tie into Amelia’s job, but it’s a nice reference to the fact that the Power Rangers get plenty of news coverage in their universe.

Design-wise, those helmets are pretty busy. They’re going to be an acquired taste. But I’ll get there.

The bad guy’s name in this episode is “Void Knight.” I can’t decide if I like that name. Look at a thesaurus, and you’ll see it’s a degree or two away from “Bare Champion.” You don’t want a Bare Champion on Power Rangers. Bear Champion? Maybe. Bare Champion? No.

After we get acquainted with Zayto, our new Red Ranger freshly awakened from a 65 million year hypersleep, he reads Amelia and Ollie’s minds. He calls Ollie “a rational, logical adventurer and scientist.” He refers to Amelia as, an “imaginative, unstoppable truth seeker.”

It’s rare that a show flat out gives you the rundown for some of its characters. It’s contrived, yet amusing.

I wonder what Russell Curry, who plays Zayto, thinks of those tentacles he has to wear. You think they told him that at the audition? Probably not.

Solon, our resident helper (a la Alpha 5 or Redbot) this season, is a cyborg dinosaur. That’s amazing. Have we not had a cyborg dinosaur in two and a half decades of Power Rangers? I’m thinkin’ we haven’t…

We see the Morphing Masters (or is it Morphin Masters?) in this episode. That name dates all the way back to an expository line from season one. But we’ve never seen any characters called the Morphing Masters until now. That level of attention to detail, especially on a show primarily meant for young children, is really cool.

Zayto says the other Knights of Rafkon were “lost” in battle. Which, in Power Rangers speak, means they probably died. So who wants to bet on when one or all of them shows up in an episode? Are we thinking end of season one? Or are we going into season two?

Overall, I dug this premiere. I tend to like it when the show paces itself like it did here. We haven’t had any zords or big city battles yet. The show took its time and allowed us to get to know Amelia and Ollie a little bit. Things felt like they unfolded organically.

A good start to what will hopefully be a good series.

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

Weekly Comic 100s: Drakkon New Dawn, Star Wars, 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: Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn
AUTHOR:
Anthony Burch
ARTISTS:
Simone Ragazzoni, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Jung-Geun Yoon.
RELEASED:
August 19, 2020

I’m starting to get a little weary of all this Drakkon-verse stuff. It works as part of a story where the Power Rangers go to a dark alternate universe. But as an island unto itself? Meh. As time progresses, it feels like all we’re doing is answering where this person or that person are in the Drakkon-verse. That’s not enough to justify a miniseries like this, in my view.

Then again, it must be selling. So what do I know?

TITLE: Batman #97
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Guillem March & Morey.
RELEASED:
August 18, 2020

The central story of “Joker War” has lots of intrigue. But there are little things that throw if off-balance. For instance, there’s a really cool moment where Batman has to fight a bunch of “Joker zombies” blind-folded. I love that. It’s a wonderful use of all Bruce’s training. But much like Joker’s facial expression at the end of last issue, a small detail taints it…

Batman says, “A good bat knows how to fight blind.”

Ugh. Why? Whatever happened to Batman being the strong silent type?

Also, why does Joker have abs?

TITLE: Justice League #51
AUTHOR: Jeff Loveness
ARTISTS: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques (Inker), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer). Cover by Philip Tan, Jay David Ramos, & Nick Derington.
RELEASED: August 18, 2020

Robson Rocha really gets to flex here with an beautiful two-page montage of some of the League’s most iconic moments. Beautiful work.

The narration in this issue is a little confusing. It takes some time to catch on to not necessarily who it is, but who they’re talking to. Still, you should catch on by the end. I love me a good Black Mercy story. So it’ll be interesting to see what they turn in here.

TITLE: Dead Day #2
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho! (Colorist), Charles Pritchett (Letterer). Cover by Andy Clarke & Jose Villarrubia.
RELEASED: August 19, 2020

“Nice to see you two lovebirds back together, though. I’m sure rigor mortis has it’s advantages.”

Ew.

These fashionable guys on the cover are “Lifers,” a group of religious extremists somewhat ironically opposed to the whole resurrection thing. They make for a nice bit of world-building. I like ’em.

TITLE: Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #4
AUTHOR: Ethan Sacks
ARTISTS: Paolo Villanneli, Arif Prianto (Colorist), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Lee Bermejo.
RELEASED: August 19, 2020

Story-wise, this isn’t the most engaging book you’ll find. I’ve almost completely lost the plot. But Paolo Villanneli and Arif Prianto are killing it on the art. The opening page is beautiful. It’s got a gritty texture, yet is still as colorful as you want Star Wars to be. And of course, Lee Bermejo’s covers are awesome.

TITLE: Darth Vader #4
AUTHOR:
Greg Pak
ARTISTS:
Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED:
August 12, 2020

Vader basically gets swallowed by a whale in this issue. I mean, c’mon. You’ve gotta love that. A friggin’ whale!

In contrast, this story is trying to get a lot of mileage out of trotting out characters from prequels. As if we care that much what happened to Ric Olie. Don’t know who Ric Olie is? You’re not alone. There was a way to do this without scraping the bottom of the barrel. It might have only been a one or two-issue story where Vader simply visits Padme’s tomb. But sometimes, less is more.

TITLE: Something is Killing the Children #9
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Werter Dell-Edera, Miquel Muerto (Colorist), Andworld Design (Letters)
RELEASED:
August 12, 2020

There’s a fantastic image in here that takes us into our first ever flashback scene with Erica Slaughter. She’s curled up in a cupboard, and one eye is staring straight out at the reader. That and all the deep blacks make it a really spooky shot.

Should this book count as a guilty pleasure? Because of all the…y’know…child death? Either way, I’m enjoying the hell out of it. It’s one of the best indie comics on the market right now.

TITLE: Wonder Woman #760
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer). Cover by David Marquez.
RELEASED: August 18, 2020

I find it so amusing that Maxwell Lord, the character created for Justice League International, has evolved into such a formidable villain for Wonder Woman. And low and behold, he’s once again  casting her in an unfavorable public light.

Last issue, we were introduced to Diana’s new neighbor Emma, who I get the sense will be a civilian-level friend for her. Almost a Jimmy Olsen equivalent. I’m very curious to see how that evolves, as it’s not often we get to see Wondie have that kind of relationship.

 

Weekly Comic 100s: Ranger Slayer, Joker War, 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

DC’s decision to get in bed with Lunar Distribution is starting to feel like a mistake. Because out in my neck of the woods (the mid-west), it seems like Lunar is crapping said bed.

My local comic shop just went three weeks without receiving any product from DC. (Any DC books you’ve seen here in the last few weeks have been purchased digitally.) I’ve been going to comic shops for almost 20 years now and I’ve never see that happen. Not only is it unacceptable from a simple customer service perspective, but it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Retailers are already being hit by the fallout from COVID-19. The least publishers can do is put the damn books in the stores…

Bad form, folks. Bad form.

TITLE: Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer
AUTHOR:
Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS:
Dan Mora, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July  22, 2020

Not really my cup of tea. But if you were into Lord Drakkon’s dark alternate universe, or the “Coinless” Universe as it’s now called, you’ll be into this.

I was hoping for something more tightly focused on this alternate version of Kimberly. But the scope of this story is more about the Coinless Universe at large. Fair enough. I just wish they’d called this issue something different.

This issue gives us something I never thought we’d see, though in hindsight seems obvious for a universe like this: Ghost/Zombie Power Rangers. It was inevitable, I tell you!

TITLE: X-Men/Fantastic Four #4
AUTHOR:
Chip Zdarsky
ARTISTS:
Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson & Ranson Getty (Inkers), Laura Martin (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 22, 2020

This one ends on something of a whimper, rather than a bang. Which is to say it more or less ends the way you think it will, with Franklin ending up where you think he will.

Still, the appeal of a mini like this is to see characters from different books rub against each other. X-Men/Fantastic Four does that.

There’s also a curious little scene at the end with Reed Richards that I’m curious to see if they follow up on.

TITLE: Batman #95
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 21, 2020

We kick off with kind of a dumb “retroactive foreshadowing” scene with Batman and Alfred. “Good thing Alfred will always be here,” and all that. Lame.

It occurred to me during this issue that “Joker War” is just a sophisticated version of that New Batman Adventures episode, “Joker’s Millions. That’s not a knock. I’m just sayin’.

Now that Joker knows Batman’s secret, it’s extremely foreboding to see him messing around with movie theaters. Especially the one Thomas and Martha Wayne went to with Bruce before their murder…

TITLE: Shazam! #13
AUTHOR:
Geoff Johns
ARTISTS:
Dale Eaglesham, Michael Atiyeh (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer). Variant cover by Julian Totino Tedesco.
RELEASED:
July 21, 2020

Well damn. If this book is ending in September, we’re not going to get a pay-off for this Superboy Prime stuff are we?

As the book really cranks up the father/son drama with Billy and his dad, I’m struck by just how great Dale Eaglesham has been on this title. It’s clean. It’s expressive. It’s versatile. He fits Shazam like a glove, to the point that this series has become one of my favorite takes on the character. Frankly, his work with Michael Atiyeh is worth the cover price on its own.

TITLE: Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #1
AUTHOR:
Dan Jurgens
ARTISTS:
Travis Moore, Nick Filardi, Marshall Dillon. Cover by Evan “Doc” Shaner.
RELEASED:
July  17, 2020

Now that the Shazam! book is ending, I’m particularly grateful to see the Big Red Cheese join DC’s line of digital-firsts.

What we get here is nice and kid-friendly. One of Billy Batson’s classmates is bragging about knowing Shazam. So Billy shows him up precisely the way you think he will. From there we segue into a fight with a villain.

Travis Moore’s Shazam looks a lot like Zachary Levi in the movie. I wonder if that’s intentional, or just how the character came out…

TITLE: Wynd #2
AUTHOR:
James Tynion IV
ARTISTS:
Michael Dialynas, Aditya Bidikar (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 22, 2020

So far, this book feels a little bit like Saga for young people. It’s got whimsy and wit, but a lot less sex stuff.

After reinforcing some of the world-building they did last time, this issue cranks up the emotion with the prospect of separating Wynd from his adopted family. It’s very well done, and has me invested in not only Wynd, but his sister Oakley.

We also meet a character called “the Bandaged Man.” I really dig how he’s designed, though that may just be my love for Batman: Hush sneaking through.

TITLE: Action Comics #1023
AUTHOR:
Brian Michael Bendis
ARTISTS:
John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson (Inker), Brad Anderson (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer). Variant cover by Lucio Parillo.
RELEASED:
July 21, 2020

This is typically the part of “Weekly Comic 100s” where I complain about John Romita Jr. So here you go: I don’t like JRJR’s art here.

I just wonder if this book is getting over-crowded with Super-people. Remember, that’s part of what prompted the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Superman didn’t feel as special because he had too many sidekicks, cousins, stringers, etc.

At the end of this issue Jimmy Olsen says, “Guess we’re not putting out a paper today.” That line should have had a lot more weight to it. If you’re a newsman, that’s blasphemy.

TITLE: Detective Comics #1023
AUTHORS:
Peter Tomasi
ARTISTS:
Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy & Norm Rapmund (Inkers), Brad Anderson (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 21, 2020

A team-up between the Joker and the Court of Owls? Now that’s the stuff of nightmares.

Detective Comics hasn’t felt like a Tomasi book in awhile. There’s a certain refinement that’s missing. In particular, Batman is a little too talky for my taste.

In this issue, Batman performs brain surgery on Two-Face out in the streets of Gotham (Because why not?). The comic book science regarding how Harvey’s brain is being messed with is a little confusing. Not that I’d put too much stock in it. At the end of the day, he’s still Two-Face.

TITLE: Billionaire Island #1
AUTHOR:
Mark Russell
ARTISTS:
Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer)
RELEASED:
March 4, 2020

A brutally honest, unfiltered look at where our society may be going sooner rather than later. And in all honesty, a clever premise for a book. I was expecting things to get Survivor-esque right off the bat. But they’re taking the time to build to that.

The most unsettling part of this issue? Our lead villain puts his opposition (journalists, etc) into a giant hamster cage. Complete with an oversized water dispenser. The sad thing? That doesn’t even seem that far-fetched anymore.

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