Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Micro-Reviews

A Robin #4 Micro-Review – Some Time With Grandpa

***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

Robin 4, cover, 2021, Gleb MelnikovTITLE: Robin #4
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Jorge Corona, Luis Guerrero (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer). Cover by Gleb Melnikov.
RELEASED: July 27, 2021

Jorge Corona tags in for what winds up being a pretty good looking issue. Still, it takes a hit from a consistency standpoint without Gleb Melnikov.

I can’t say this story was dying for a Ra’s al Ghul appearance. But it gives the story a little extra dimension it wouldn’t have otherwise had. So no harm done. In any event, Damian’s relationship to Ra’s doesn’t get looked at quite as much as his relationship to Talia. So a little time between grandfather and grandson doesn’t necessarily hurt.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Micro-Reviews

A Robin #3 Micro-Review – Kickin’ It With Connor

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Robin #3
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Gleb Melnikov, Luis Guerrero (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED: June 22, 2021

I’m completely unfamiliar with the post-New-52 version of Connor Hawke. (Is this the first time we’re seeing him?) But evidently, he’s still Green Arrow’s son. In this issue he and Damian have a nice little bonding moment over their daddy issues. I’m not sure how old Connor is supposed to be. But he’d be a nice replacement for Jon Kent as Damian’s best friend.

Three issues in, and Damian’s gray Robin costume remains an acquired taste. Though I will say it’s probably a better fit for this particular story than the more traditional one would have been.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Micro-Reviews

A Robin #2 Micro-Review – Damian Cuts Loose

***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

Robin 2, cover, 2021, Gleb MelnikovTITLE: Robin #2
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Gleb Melnikov, Luis Guerrero (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED: May 25, 2021

There’s a sequence in this book where Damian gets to let loose and kill a bunch of enemy combatants (They come back.). Have we seen that before? That feels like the kind of thing we should have seen before.

The initial supporting cast for Robin is pretty strong, and includes the likes of Ravager and Connor Hawke. We meet several other supporting players in this issue. Williamson is doing a really nice job setting up a story that’s fun, but also has a good amount of meat to it.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Robin #1

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Detective Comics #1034

***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: Detective Comics #1034
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Gleb Melnikov, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Aditya Bidikar (Letterer), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED: March 23, 2021

Gorgeous issue, whether you’re talking about Mora’s Batman or Melnikov’s Robin back-up.

In terms of hammering home that Bruce Wayne now has significantly less money, there’s a great little scene in this book of our hero doing some manual labor to set up one of his “DIY caves.”

I’m really optimistic about Tamaki and Mora’s run on this book. There’s tremendous potential for both great storytelling and great art. Here’s hoping this is the start of something great.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Batman #106

***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: Batman #106
AUTHOR: James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Jorge Jimenez, Gleb Melnikov, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Troy Peteri (Letterer). Cover by Jimenez & Morey.
RELEASED: March 2, 2021

Tomeu Morey is the star of this issue. It’s a symphony of gorgeous colors, each playing a distinct role in their respective scenes. A true masterclass in the work of a colorist.

Is Harley Quinn considered a member of the Bat-family now? Ugh.

Story-wise, I was drawn to the back-up more than the feature. We see Damian, complete with a new, far less colorful Robin suit (shown right), return to his mother to take back his role with the League of Assassins. The purist in me doesn’t like that costume. But for now, I’ll bite.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Future State: Dark Detective #4

***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: Dark Detective #4
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Giannis Milonogiannis
COLORIST: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERERS:
Aditya Bidikar, Troy Peteri
RELEASED: February 23, 2021

This one felt like it still had a lot of gas left in the tank. It’s always a good thing to leave your audience wanting more. But here’s hoping we more of Dark Detective Bruce Wayne somewhere down the line.

Thankfully, we will indeed see a continuation of the Red Hood back-up, via a new ongoing series. Reportedly, it involves Jason Todd hunting down his former cohorts. Throw in the romance between Jason and the Ravager, and it’ll definitely be worth a look.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Future State: Dark Detective #2

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Future State: Dark Detective #2
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Giannis Milogiannis, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)
LETTERERS:
Aditya Bidikar, Troy Peteri
RELEASED: January 27, 2021

In this issue, Tamaki gives Bruce Wayne a crappy old bunker to live in, along with a cooky old roommate. I don’t know if it’s intended to be funny. But it is.

The Red Hood back-up puts this issue over-the-top in terms of quality, as we see Jason Todd working with the authorities. That’s, of course, a complete reversal of his traditional M.O. Throw in some really cool “sketchy” art from Giannis Milogiannis, and a new partner in the Ravager, and you have one of the highlights of Future State thus far.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: “Joker War,” Billionaire Island, Fantastic Four, 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: Red Hood: Outlaw #48
AUTHOR: Scott Lobdell
ARTISTS: Brett Booth, Danny Miki (Inker), Arif Prianto (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer). Cover by Dan Mora & Tamra Bonvillain.
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

These “Joker War” tie-ins are giving me New 52 flashbacks. When “A Death in the Family” was running in Batman, it seemed like they couldn’t crank out enough tie-in issues.

But as far as Joker-themed tie-in issues go, this is a pretty decent one. It’s suitably focused on Jason, pits another Bat-family character against him, and incorporates a location that’s been a mainstay in the book.

On the downside, they kill off a character for no good reason. One that I thought had a decent fan following too…?

TITLE: Detective Comics #1026
AUTHOR: Peter Tomasi
ARTISTS: Kenneth Rocafort, Daniel Brown (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

There’s a panel on the opening page of this issue that’s markedly similar to an Alex Ross painting of Batman standing between stone gargoyles. Anyone else notice that? Or am I just an Alex Ross buff?

Actual exclamation in this issue: “Murderize him!”

I’m not the biggest Kenneth Rocafort fan. But in this atmosphere, Batman vs. Killer Croc in the Gotham sewers, he’s at home. His work here is enjoyable.

Tomasi, who has run hot and cold on Detective, is on his game too. This is the best issue this series has seen in many weeks.

TITLE: Batgirl #48
AUTHOR: Cecil Castellucci
ARTISTS: Robbi Rodriguez, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Andworld Design (Letters). Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

I’ve been away for awhile (mostly because I don’t like Batgirl’s current costume)…since when does Commissioner Gordon call his daughter “Babs?” That feels weird to me.

After reading this issue, I feel bad sleeping on Cecil Castellucci. She writes a damn good Barbara Gordon. Robbi Rodriguez and Jordie Bellaire are a great team too. There’s a really nice fluidity to the work here. And as this issue happens to be the first of a new story, I just might stick around.

For all the good it’ll do. This series ends with issue #50.

TITLE: Billionaire Island #5
AUTHOR: Mark Russel
ARTISTS: Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 26, 2020

The art by Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry has highlighted Billionaire Island for me. Almost every expression is exaggerated to the point of caricature. But in a dark comedy you can do that.

I’m not sure who that’s supposed to be on the cover. I mean, it’s the President of the United States, obviously. But I thought Billionaire Island had cast a Kid Rock stand-in as POTUS. This guy looks more like Carrot Top with blond locks. *shudders*

I wouldn’t say this book has maintained the same level of interest from me, but it’s still worth a look.

TITLE: Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1
AUTHOR: Mark Waid
ARTISTS: Neal Adams, Mark Farmer (Inker), Laura Martin (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 26, 2020

This book gave me not-so-nice flashbacks to Adams’ recent Batman work. That’s a shame, as Adams is legitimately an innovator who’s earned his place in American comic book history. His art looks great here (though Thing’s face looks a little awkward), and Laura Martin’s colors pop beautifully. I just wouldn’t hire Adams as a writer.

Thankfully, you won’t find many writers (if any) better than Mark Waid. So Adams is in good hands for what is apparently his first-ever full-length FF story.

TITLE: Suicide Squad #8
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS: Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

Deadshot has a puppy named Dogshot? That is absolute perfection, and needs to be in both the new video game and the new movie.

Given both the announcements we just got at DC Fandome, it’s surprising this book is on the recent list of casualties over at DC. It’s a shame for so many reasons, not the least of which is the effort the creative team have put into the creation of new characters. Case in point, this issue, in which we dive into some backstories. Hopefully we can bring them back at some point.

TITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #108
AUTHORS: Sophie Campbell (Story), Ronda Pattison (Script), Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz (Story Consultants)
ARTISTS: Nelson Daniel, Pattison (Colorist), Shawn Lee (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 26, 2020

This issue brings up something I never, ever thought we’d have in a TMNT story. With Mutant Town now existing essentially it’s own city within a city, our heroes are now pondering if they should form their own government and police force. Are the Turtles getting into politics? By God, some things are too evil for even the boys in green to take on…

For whatever reason, since issue #101 the Turtles have been wearing clothes more. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that.

TITLE: Wonder Woman #761
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS: Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli (Inker), Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer). Cover by David Marquez & Sanchez.
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

Barberi does a fine job on this issue. To the point that I wouldn’t mind him being the regular artist. But because he drew the last two issues, I quickly found myself missing Mikel Janin.

As for Tamaki, she gives Maxwell Lord a great “history is controlled by the victors” speech. Diana refers to him as the villain, and she talks about the Justice League controlling “the flow of justice in this world.” In the context of the story it’s very convincing, and a great character moment for Max.

Then I got to the last page, and my heart broke.

TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Moises Hidalgo, Walter Baiamonte & Katia Ranalli (Colorists), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Jamal Campbell
RELEASED: August 26, 2020

I’m diggin’ the designs of these new Dark Ranger suits. Their identities seem like a missed opportunity to introduce new characters. But then again, this series is ending soon. That seems to be a theme this week…

This is the first issue where Moises Hidalgo impressed me. He gets a nice, long battle sequence between our good and evil Ranger teams. So he’s able to really spread his wings, and it shows.

Grace (Remember her?) makes a truly stupid suggestion in this issue. So stupid, in fact, that I’m sure it’ll come to pass.

TITLE: Action Comics #1024
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTISTS: John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson (Inker), Brad Anderson (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

There are a lot of Super-people in this book. We’re up to five. If the “Superman family” gets too big, it pretty much makes the Justice League obsolete, doesn’t it? Plus, they spend part of the issue flying over Metropolis, scanning it with X-Ray vision. Creepy much? We’ve also got all the usual problems with John Romita Jr’s sloppy art.

Why am I still buying this book?

TITLE: Batman/Superman #11
AUTHOR: Joshua Williamson
ARTISTS: Clayton Henry, Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), John J. Hill (Letterer). Cover by David Marquez.
RELEASED: August 25, 2020

This story about the Ultra-Humanite and Atomic Skull is essentially three issues of filler. But it’s good filler, I’ll give it that. Clayton Henry and Alejandro Sanchez turn in work that crackles with that great comic book superhero energy.

There’s a subplot in here about Superman not asking for Batman’s advice before he revealed his true identity to the world. It’s a little too far in the background for my taste, though. I’d have liked to see them explore that with some of the page space they used for textbook hero/villain dialogue with the Ultra-Humanite.

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

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

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.