New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 4/11/18

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…

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 3/7/18

Bloodshot Salvation #7 (Valiant)

From the summary: Master Storyteller Jeff Lemire takes the helm for the year’s most terrifying, most memorable special issue – told entirely in PITCH-BLACK DARKNESS!

The Reality: This is the “artless issue” and I paid $3.99 for pages of blurb story on black panels with a final page of actual artwork. I’ve been dreading this issue because I knew this crappy gimmick was coming and here it is. Does it work? NO!!! It’s disappointing and lazy. At least put some effort into it and make shapes on the panels in some fashion, not black panels. $3.99 for no art is a rip though. Was the story worth it? Not for $3.99. The entire “story” could have been written out in 3 pages without breaking it up into panels and then you could actually have art throughout the rest of the book. You get your “tension” in the first three pages followed by some action. Nope… just black panels. Valiant should give everyone a free comic for this transgression.

Gideon Falls #1 (Image)

This is the first issue of a new ongoing series that is creator owned by Jeff Lemire (same guy who wrote the above BloodShot), and Andrea Sorrentino. So far… I LIKE IT!!! It’s got that really dark and moody art that swims in realism while giving you those tinglies down the back of your neck. This is just the first issue and it’s a really intriguing set up. One man in the city appears to be somewhat crazy and a collector of nails and hinges that he believes to be evil, and talking to him, while a new Catholic Priest to a small town is pulled into creepy mystery of how the prior Father died and that Father’s ghost leading him through a field to a black barn.

Okay… I’m hooked. I want to know more. The Horror/Occult genre really works well in comics. Spawn proved that and Gideon Falls has the feel of the most occultish Spawn books. It’s got an interesting story with some impressive visuals. I’ll be getting issue #2!!!

That’s all for this week!!!

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 2/14/18

Ninja-K #4 (Valiant)

There’s this trend happening throughout Valiant and I’m hoping it comes to an end soon… That trend is what I call: The Set Up. It seems like month after month each book is doing a set up. Recently it has been set ups for the bad guy or group (Bloodshot – Rampage, X-O Manowar – A bad guy group). In Ninja-K it has been a set up for each ninja of the alphabet that MI6 has used. In this issue, it is Ninja-G, a black woman betrayed by MI6. The entire book is her history so basically Ninjak just stands around listening. Thankfully, by the time I got to the end, the blurb said that this arc will conclude next month. This volume started out well enough but it is really no match for the prior volume. It really does feel like Valiant is spinning its wheels and doesn’t want to let anything get started before the coming of the Harbinger War 2 event. It’s been frustrating to say the least. Art was once again beautiful but the story and direction don’t live up to the “Ninja Spy” tales we had been promised so far. Ninjak is a character with so much more storytelling potential, hopefully it moves in a direction more like the last volume and less like what we have been getting.

 

Bloodshot Salvation #6 (Valiant)

Bloodshot takes his baby to the Deadside in this issue, in the hopes of finding some way to save her life. This issue flies by mainly because you are hypnotized by the beautiful artwork that is on every single page. Oh yeah… and at least we get some more Ninjak here!!! There really isn’t much action in this one and I’m already dreading issue #7 because it is the “blind issue” where every panel but the last page is black. I don’t feel like skimping on artwork next month, at $3.99 an issue, is a nice thing to do, but I will give them credit for the art in this issue which again, was beautiful in every panel.

 

Scooby Apocalypse #22 (DC)

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… Scooby Apocalypse is way better than The Walking Dead. Same premise… monsters instead of zombies, but a much better and humorous story. The art is always fun to see and the bickering between the members of the team are hilarious. In this issue, they want to finally settle down and take over a mall as a base of operations. It was brought up in the last issue that that is the major mistake that happens in every zombie movie, but hey… why not? Daphne and Fred go into the mall to scope it out and they see two different sides of warring monsters, but because they are warring on each other, none of the monsters from outside are trying to get in. So Thelma thinks it’s still a good idea to take over some part of the mall and fortify it while these two groups kill each other off. I’m still happy with this series. It’s an enjoyable read. I do wish they would kill of the backup Secret Squirrel story and devote more pages to Scoob and the gang but… oh well…

My Current Comics Subscription List through Comixology

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Ninja-K (Coming in November from Valiant): This is the next series in the Ninjak line. Which is my current favorite character to read. The last series was excellent and just came to an end recently. Ninjak #0 just came out as a recap and jumping on point for the new series. I highly recommend this one!!! Get the prior series too!!! Excellent writing and amazing art.

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X-O Manowar (Valiant): This is the second series of X-O Manowar (in the Valiant reboot). The first series was excellent and this one picks up sometime in the future, from where that series ended. We don’t know how or why Aric of Dacia is where he is but I’m sure it will all be revealed as keep going. We pick up with Aric on another planet, trying to live a normal life without the X-O armor, when he is pulled into a massive war.

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Harbinger Renegade (Valiant): The current series continues to follow our favorite bunch of psiots as they try to keep it all together. As far as I’m concerned, the Harbinger story line is the best group superhero story line in comics today. It’s intricate and complex but it always seems to reward you with a great payoff.

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Rapture (Valiant): This was a 4 issue series that just came to an end. It’s hard to explain this one if you don’t know anything about the Valiant Universe. Basically, the Geomancer has assembled a Valiant team (Ninjak, Punk Mambo, Shadowman) to stop a demon from breaking through the Deadside into the Liveside on the Tower of Babel.

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Faith and the Future Force (Valiant): This is another 4 issues summer series that features Faith in the lead role. Faith has to assemble a team of virtually every Valiant character to stop a villain that is changing time. Anyone who has read the Faith series will know that there are a ton of pop culture references and humor that a Faith book excels at doing.

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Secret Weapons (Valiant): This is another 4 issue summer series that features my favorite female hero: Livewire. This one has been fun because Livewire is looking for the unfortunate psiots who have been activated, but their powers are far over in left field (talking to birds, turning to immovable stone, Etc…). It also shows more of that romantic connection between Livewire and Ninjak that we are all cheering for!!!

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Bloodshot Salvation (Valiant): This is Bloodshot’s third series and the first was just released. So far it sets up the characters and is getting us introduced to how things will move forward. So we’ll see how it goes.

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Spawn (Image): You know who he is. Issue 300 is on the horizon and with it, it will become the longest independent comic to be published. Good stuff!!!

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Scooby Apocalypse (DC): Someone did a “What if the Scooby gang was in the Zombie Apocalypse” photo shoot, and I believe that is where this idea came from. This is the monster apocalypse, where almost all the people in the world have been transformed into monsters. This is close to Rated “R” Scooby here. They kill the monsters and they fight to survive. It’s better than watching The Walking Dead… Just saying…

As you can see… Most of what I collect is in the Valiant Universe. I haven’t collected new issues of my favorite superhero (Spider-man) ever since Marvel retconned his history by ending the Peter/MJ  marriage. I still see that as the biggest travesty to ever happen in comics. I don’t have any current Marvel subscription because they have double downed into the SJW political nonsense to the point where it is annoying as hell. I like the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) way better than their comic universe these days. Both Marvel and DC keep rebooting in odd ways too. At least with this Valiant run, they started everything over with no connection to the past run. That’s really the only way to reboot a universe. Valiant also seems to have the most adult story lines and the best art out there right now. It really is a refreshing and awesome universe to read stories in. Check it out if you get a chance!!!