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…
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.
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…