Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe (#4 or 4) (Valiant)
The final issue that is the companion to the coming web series (to be released in just a few days) is here, and what an action packed conclusion it is!!! If the web series follows this is 4 issue mini series and looks good, then I will be more than happy to see the Valiant world on screen, even if it is the small, small, screen. I have to say, I love the art in this mini series and I actually like Ninjak’s costume better here than in his main series. It really comes off as being very tech ninja, which is what Ninjak is all about. So check this series out and get ready for the web series coming in just a few days!!!
Superman SALE on Comixology
There wasn’t any other new releases in my subscriptions this week so I’d like to point out that Comixology has a massive Superman sale going on in honor of his 80 years. While I already have the physical copies of the Death, Reign, and Return of Superman, I couldn’t resist picking these up again along with some other stuff, like the excellent Birthright and All-Star Superman. So if you like Superman or just want to revisit stuff you had before, now’s an excellent time to stock up on the digital side.
Ninja-K #6 (Valiant)
What an awesome issue and a great jumping on point for new readers. This issue sets Ninja-K vs Ninja-K-2 who was originally chosen to be Ninja-K but who was downgraded when Colin King came along (Why not just make Colin King Ninja-J then Mi6??? But I digress). The art is superb and there is some nice ninja action going on within these pages. It looks like this new coalition is going to be more than Ninja-K can handle so by the sound of it, we’ll be getting some guest stars next month to help Ninja-K out. I have to say, in this new series, this has been the best issue yet and it has me excited for the next one!!!
Bloodshot Salvation #8 (Valiant)
YES!!! Back to the Bloodshot we all know and love after that lazy “artless” last issue. As for the art here, it is beautiful and how Bloodshot art should be done. Much like Ninja-K it also has the realistic painted look which I’ve really come to love. In this issue, Bloodshot and Bloodhound fight through the Deadside to save his daughter. A deal is made that saves her but in the process, Bloodshot and Bloodhound are transported to 4002 AD to assassinate someone to fulfill the deal. This makes sense as the timeline becomes more clear and the reader understands those first issues where the fighting was taking place in 4002 AD. I really hope this is a second wind in the Bloodshot title and that it can sustain it into what appears to be an awesome direction.
Gideon Falls #2 (Image)
This is the second issue of a deep mystery and it’s hard to review. It’s hard to review because I don’t know what is going on yet. The crazy guy in the city that collects nails has his apartment broken into and when he goes to tell his therapist, she doesn’t believe him. Meanwhile, The new Father to Gideon Falls is arrested for a murder he didn’t commit and the police think he is crazy because he says he followed Father Tom (the last preacher) out to the Black Barn, which is not there. Father Tom supposedly drowned 2 weeks before. Then Father Tom turns up dead in the woods and he’s holding a nail. It ends with the therapist seeing the Black Barn in the streets of the city. Gideon Falls is just getting started and the horror and “what the fuck” elements are all being layered and put into place. I love the atmosphere and the tension in the book. I really can’t wait to see where it goes!!!
Scooby Apocalypse #24 (DC)
24 issues and Daphne FINALLY says YES to Fred’s marriage proposal!!! And then there is a great disturbance in the fabric of reality as we prepare for something big from the 2 groups of “consumerist monsters” fighting for dominance of the mall. I know I’ve said this before but, The Walking Dead has nothing on Scooby Apocalypse. Great characters, complex motivations, and survival made entertaining vs TWD’s slog fest boredom. Now if only Shaggy gets some courage to tell the woman he likes that he actually likes her…
God Complex #5 (Image)
Only one new comic in my subscriptions released this week and that is God Complex #5 from Image. In this issue, Seneca has become a halfbreed in recreation and resurrection from death from the last issue. The “Gods” have given him this gift but he’s not too happy about it. Then again he’s in complete pain because the cybernetics haven’t meshed with his organic system just yet and all he cares about doing is getting back out there to fight the Trinity. A cool new feature he gets is his ability to go into “cyberspace” at anytime from anywhere so that’s a plus. Great art and the story is cyberpunk as anything so I’m still loving this series. Guess what? This was actually last month’s issue so this month’s issue supposedly hits next week!!!
Saga #50 (Image)
I can state with 100% authority that Saga is my favorite monthly book to read. This issue starts out with… sex. Specifically Marko going to town down under on Alana. Hey, it’s date night!!! They discuss whether they should really run or if they should take the reporters deal for a new life. They know they have to run run though because both Alana and Hazel would never be able to stay satisfied with staying on one planet for the rest of their life while in hiding. Meanwhile Robot and his son are handing over the political intrigue to the reporters so they can take the deal and get a new life, hidden from King Robot. Hazel takes in some practice fighting and magic time and is disappointed that the “family” is splitting up and she blames Robot for taking the deal. Robot’s son is planning on doing what “all adults do when they get into trouble… runaway.”
The quality of this book is like no other. On the one hand, I WANT more every month but on the other, I wouldn’t want to hurt the quality of the book by having more rushed out. These characters really have become as close to real as characters can get from the page. This book is simply amazing. Pick it up and pick up the entire series. It is worth it!!!
Spawn #284 (Image)
My second favorite read of every month is Spawn. This issue is CREEPY. The art is wonderfully horrifying too. We the reader don’t know what Spawn’s plan is right now but in this issue, he allows the police/government to capture him. Though, they can’t get his mask off, take X-rays of him, or identify him in anyway. So the police fly off the handle and beat him when he refuses to answer questions. With no pulse, and not moving, they take him down to the morgue to be autopsied and have his mask cut off. The last panel is of the saw getting closer to the mask. What a way to end on a cliffhanger and leave me wanting more!!!
X-O Manowar #13 (Valiant)SMDH… It’s the same rudimentary art from the last issue. None of the beautiful paintings or sweeping scenes that this series started with. And the really bad part… This doesn’t explain how the armor broke free of the force field in the last issue. It makes the stand alone bounty hunter issue completely worthless because it wraps up their story in a much too easy way. It wraps up the entire series 1 – 13 to date with a tidy bow even offering up the reason why Aric left Earth in a couple of panels. It’s like, they had to wrap it up quick and neat and do it as fast as possible in this last issue before Aric heads back to Earth for the coming Harbinger Wars 2. It even goes through several panels dedicated to wrapping up all of the politics of the world that Aric failed to rule when he was on the throne. Everything is pretty damn perfect there now.
This second volume of X-O Manowar started off promising but over the last several months completely went off the rails. The last several issues (since that wasted bounty hunter set up) have felt scattered and now completely rushed. Why can’t we have a better artist for this too??? The art looks like it would fit better on the Sunday newspaper comics panels. It just doesn’t live up to the art that this book started off with.
We’ll see how the next book goes. I’ve been waiting for this next one (issue #14) just because the cover art looks so damn good, but if the interior art is more of the same and the story doesn’t quickly move to something interesting… I may end up dropping it. We will see…
Ninja-K #5 (Valiant)
This one wraps up the arc for going down memory lane of the lettered Ninja under MI6 (I believe). Ninja-C and Ninja-K assault the shadowy hidden branch of MI6 that has manipulated the Ninja since the beginning of the program. Once the information is secured, C turns on K and wants to just dump it all, for all to see. K understands that if they dump it all instead of selective parts of it, that innocent people will be harmed in the process so this leads to C vs K and a last ditch battle.
The art is once again beautiful in this book and it does turn out to be a pretty good ending to an arc that I felt was full of setups. I’m going to have to go back and reread it all together now that it is all out. Sometimes a binge can make it feel more complete than reading and waiting for the story to build monthly (just like in TV). On a side note, I did enjoy Colin calling LiveWire at the end and getting closer to her. I do hope they can be together after the coming Harbinger War 2 tears them apart.
Ninja-K was the only new book this week so that’s all I have for review. Additionally, I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite arcs in The Uncanny X-men and X-Factor on Marvel Unlimited: Inferno. The cover art, especially the art for the X-men books is quite literally epic in these. It’s been a long time since I have reread them and it’s just as enjoyable now. I remember being mesmerized by the events of Inferno on the page when I was a kid. It felt so “adult” to me, which is kind of what the X titles should feel like to young readers. There should be a level of maturation when moving from something like Avengers to X-men. Back in the day, the Marvel group of excellence was X-men. Avengers were that superhero-y team that always had happy endings. Whereas the X-titles took you on a journey that really put all of the characters through an emotional ringer.
While I’ve read, and enjoy several of the current X-titles, they don’t come off as being the same as the X-titles from the 80’s and 90’s. It doesn’t feel like they are on another level from the “goody-goody” Avengers. Marvel really should get back to using the X-men as the mature titles that readers “move into” when they are ready. Bring back the more complex plots and deeper emotions that were once pivotal to an X-story from the 80’s and 90’s.
HellSpawn The Complete Collection (Image)
The issues of Hellspawn take place sometime between when Al Simmons defeated Malebolgia and when he tried to kill himself with his own powers. The most important story here deals with Malebolgia’s concubine being born into the Earthly realm and trying to convince Al to become the ruler of Hell, which he was entitled to after winning the throne.
I love the art throughout this series. Spawn is at it’s best when it is dealing in the horror and occult genre and has the dark painted panels of art that go along with it. There are some genuinely creepy and horrifying panels of art in this book. The first several issue have the Bendis dialogue, which works well with the Sam & Twitch series but not so much for Spawn. Too much of the Bendis Dialogue really wears a person down. Make no mistake, he’s a great writer but the stutters, repeating of words, and ticks he uses may emulate some real world conversation but not to the overuse that he does it. He really uses these gimmicks way too much. Thankfully… by the time we get to Hel showing up, the dialogue is being tempered and much more easy to read (I didn’t catch who was doing the writing at this point).
A word of warning (since so many are easily offended wussies these days) if you want to pick this up, this is an adult comic with cursing, nudity, and violence. If hard fantasy and horror are too much for you, go grab yourself an Archie and leave this stuff alone for the rest of us. It’s an excellent series and a welcome addition to the continuing mythology of Spawn.
Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe #3 (Valiant)
I’m actually liking this series for the coming web series more than the current title. There has been way more action in it, while the regular series keeps wasting time on introducing and then giving a whole issue over to each lettered ninja. I’m tired of setup issues Valiant. Give me the damn story in a more interesting way!!! This book is doing just that. Plus… It’s the closest thing we have to a Unity book right now. Why is there no ongoing Unity book??? So yeah… right now, Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe is my favorite Valiant title. Only one more to go and the web series should also be released in April I believe… Don’t quote me on that.
Side note: I like Ninjak’s costume better in this than in the regular series too. It looks way more high-tech!!!
Scooby Apocalypse #23 (DC)
The gang are taking refuge from the monsters of the apocalypse in a mall and this issue is mostly prep. Though we do get to see Scoob take on a monster to protect the kid who is becoming his friend. I get TWD Carl vibe from the kid… I hope he grows out of that. It’s still really good art and an interesting story (BETTER than TWD!!!). My only complaints are the first page or two being used to summarize what happened last issue in character dialogue. Just make a paragraph summary and get to it. We already lose precious pages to this damn Secret Squirrel back up story which I NEVER read. That being my second complaint. All in all… good issue, nice art, and at least things are moving forward!!!
That’s the only NEW stuff this week so far. If I get anything else I’ll review it in a supplemental. Read on comics fans!!!