New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 5/23/18

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X-O Manowar #15 (Valiant)

Aric is headed back to Earth but the armor wants to remind him of how worthless humanity is, so this is a flashback tale to times before Aric ever had the armor. The art inside is just as beautiful as that of the cover art… however… this is a flashback issue. So no real X-O Manowar here. For much of this run, Aric has been separated from his armor in some way and all I can think of for a reason, is the Superman effect. X-O Manowar is just too powerful of a character and the current writer doesn’t seem to be capable of figuring out how to let him be full on X-O and have an enemy.

Don’t get me wrong here, I like the current writer but as we have seen from years and years of Superman, only certain writers can get powerful characters correct and make them interesting. The other nagging feeling is that this is just more “filler” in the lead up to Harbinger Wars 2. I’ve said this about this series and the current Bloodshot series lately, and it just feels like both are offering up filler to hold off on doing anything exciting until the summer HW2 event has completed.

HW2 looks to be awesome but I feel like X-O needs a new writer for a fresh infusion and a change of pace. Hopefully the main event this summer will lead to that.

 

 

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 4/25/18

X-O Manowar #14 (Valiant)

This has to be one of the BEST covers of the year!!! I also love that the art inside is now back up to a gold standard. The last several issues, the art had been pretty sub par. I’m happy to say, every panel of this issue looks beautiful.

Aric returns to Earth, just in time for the Harbinger Wars 2 Event that starts next month. We don’t know where the battle lines are drawn but I’m willing to bet that LiveWire and Capshaw are on alternate sides here, both vying for X-O’s to join their side. We also get to see how the armor has grown in character too. I like that the armor can now speak, it makes for more character depth as the armor really is another aspect of the X-O character. You should definitely pick this one up!!!

Saga #51 (Image)

This starts out as more of an in between issue for our characters. We get to see daily events pass as they wait for the reporters to come through on the identity changes for Robot and his kid. Yet, don’t think it is all just normal life playing out. We lose a character in this book and I’m willing to bet there will be some major fallout in the next issue. Saga is still one of the BEST books out there and you can’t help but to be moved by these complex and interesting characters every month. Pick it up!!!

New Comic Book Reviews for the Week of 2/28/18

Spawn #283 (Image)

Another month another excellent Spawn cover and beautiful interior art. In this issue, Al and Cyan are returning from Japan, where things didn’t go so well, as far as protecting Cyan was concerned. We also get to see some new powers that Cyan can use. Is it just me or does a spin off book or series starring Cyan seem to be making more and more sense now?

To protect Cyan from the evil that wants her, Spawn comes up with a new idea, one that requires him to kidnap a rapper, who seems to be part of that evil, and then get publicly linked to him via pictures and every social media known to man. I’m not sure what the overall plan is but color me intrigued!!! Also, the return of an all new Violator is coming next issue, so this promises to be an interesting direction. Spawn is by far my favorite book right now. The quality of art, occult horror story, and reality (the way dialogue is spoken) based dialogue make it such an interesting book to follow. I’d encourage anyone who likes adult based comics to get on board!!!

X-O Manowar #12 (Valiant)

X-O Manowar recently has been… “Damn look at the awesome cover art!!!” Then open the book and … “Oh… well this is somewhat regular.” Issue #12 is no different there. I’m really underwhelmed by the inside art and layouts. We start out with a naked Aric by a pond who is set upon by some stragglers. There’s a fight, he takes their clothes. Then he sets out to confront the council who deposed him. Meanwhile, there are panels of the bounty hunter group discussing what to do with the X-O Manowar armor, followed by one of them wanting to try it on, which is yet again another retread of what happens when someone not suited for the armor tries it on. When Aric confronts the council, Bruto gets the drop on him after the bounty hunters show up. All but one on the council is struck down and then Aric welcomes the armor back to him as a second skin. There are no panels to show the armor escaping the containment field it was in, or flying to the council room, or even a hint of how it got there.

The best way for me to describe this issue is “janky.” I get the feeling that the bounty hunters will be disposed of in the next two issues which really makes that bounty hunter origin issue a complete waste of time. This second volume started out really well but has since dropped off with the current story. Like I said in an earlier posting, Valiant is spinning wheels in prep for the Harbinger War 2 event and as such the monthly’s are suffering for it.

Saga #49 (Image)

I can’t review this yet because I’m not caught up with my past reading but issue #49 of this excellent series came out today and this series is a no-brainer to pick up because it so damn good!!!

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!!!