Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 11/14/15
Comic reviews are back! After a whirlwind vacation in England, I’m back reading comics and sitting on my butt in America! I missed a lot of good titles last week (including the long-delayed Uncanny X-Men #600), but I’m hopefully going to make up for that with some solid comics this week. I’d review Uncanny X-Men #600…but I wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t worth the wait. And the new Extraordinary X-Men left me a little cold. Not a good time to be an X-Men fan, I don’t think.
Anyway, this week has a lot of goodies! We’ve got the All-New, All-Different Avengers, we’ve got the All-New Wolverine, we’ve got Web Warriors, and we’ve got a bunch of goodies from DC Comics. This was definitely a good week to come back to, I’d have to say. I missed comics!
Comic Book of the Week goes to All-New Wolverine #1. I rather liked this story, despite not being a particular fan of X-23. But I like the idea that she’s going to carry on Wolverine’s legacy.
Plus, Angel makes for a really great sidekick.
Comic Reviews: All-New, All-Different Avengers #1, All-New Wolverine #1, Batman #46, Starfire #6 and Web Warriors #1.
All-New, All-Different Avengers #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar
Right off the bat, I’m somewhat hesitant about this new Avengers book. We don’t know yet how Miles Morales fits into the 616 Marvel Universe, and I think it’s way too early to make Ms. Marvel an Avenger. I get that she’s a super popular character right now, but part of the charm of her comic is that she’s so low key. She protects Jersey City, not the entire world. But I have an open mind.
Sam Wilson and Tony Stark meet up while the former is saving people from falling off a bridge. They talk about life and how Tony isn’t rich anymore, including the fact that he had to sell Avengers Tower. Speaking of the Tower, a new businessman super-villain is inside with a cleaning crew taking the place apart. Suddenly, a Chitauri warlord teleports into the building to wreak havoc, and the new villain starts chatting with him about their mutual goals. Then randomly, Miles Morales happens to be hiding in the corner spying on them. He says he was swinging by when he saw a burst of energy inside, and he decided to check it out. Miles gets blasted out of the building, and he’s rescued by Sam and Tony, who are flying by. Then the three of them head back inside to take on the warlord.
Meanwhile, in a back up feature, we see Ms. Marvel and Nova’s first encounter. The human rocket kid arrives in Jersey City fighting a monster, and they quickly team up to subdue the beast. But he’s terrible talking to girls, and she’s kind of pissed at him for wanting to beat up a helpless animal monster, and the meeting is awkward and terrible.
Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.
This was a fine start to Mark Waid’s Avengers, though it was a little light on anything noteworthy. Sam Wilson, Tony Stark and Miles Morales just kind of crash into each other fighting a pretty boring bad guy. A Chitauri warlord, teamed with some vaguely evil businessman? Yawn. Tony Stark having to sell Avengers Tower is pretty interesting, but nothing much is done with it. There’s no mention of Tony being particularly broke in the pages of Brian Michael Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man though. Basically, the first part of this book is standard team-building. A couple of the members bump into each other during a pretty nasty threat, and that’s it. I’d hoped for more from Mark Waid, but maybe he’s going somewhere with this. Kubert’s art on the opening segment is standard Kubert, so it’s good stuff.
The best part of the book is maybe the second half with Sam and Kamala.
It’s a cute little bit, showing a few other upcoming team members meeting for the first time. But it’s also kind of light on storytelling. Nobody will ever get Kamala’s voice as perfect as G. Willow Wilson, but Waid does an alright job. I’m a little surprised at how quickly Sam and Kamala dislike each other, but drama like that is exactly what you need in a team comic. And Marvel’s premiere teenager superheroes should be having awkward meetings like this. I just hope he’s going somewhere with this one too.
All-New Wolverine #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: David Lopez and David Navarrot
I’ve never been a big X-23 fan. I’ve also never been a particularly big Wolverine fan. But I’m way into the current movement to have more starring female superheroes, so I was definitely on board to see what happens here. Making X-23 take up Wolverine’s mantle following his death is a pretty stellar idea (even if it’s slightly tarnished by Old Man Logan wandering around Marvel 616 these days). Taylor and his art team make solid work of this new status quo.
X-23 is in Paris to prevent an assassination at the Eiffel Tower, and gets shot in the head for her troubles. Once she wakes up and the would-be target gets away, she dons her new Wolverine costume and rushes up the Tower for a badass fight with the shooter. But then the shooter gets away and calls on a drone to blow up the target’s getaway vehicle. So Wolverine calls on her boyfriend Angel to help take down the drone. Once the day is saved, Wolverine unmasks the shooter and discovers that she’s another clone like her!
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
If you can ignore a little thing like context, this is a really fun story and a great introduction to the new Wolverine. I have no idea why she’s in Paris, why she’s protecting this assassination target, or anything of the sort. But who cares? Maybe it’ll come up later. For now, it’s X-23 and Angel doing that heroic thing with a lot of kickassocity. Taylor has a lot of fun with their partnership/relationship, with a true standout scene of an awkward Angel trying to find another way to comfort Laura while she’s healing (can’t hug her while her ribs are mending).
If this series can maintain fun character development like that, coupled with the action one expects from a Wolverine comic, then this could become a real standout. It’s time for X-23 to really make a name for herself. She’s the new Wolverine, she’s got quite the legacy to uphold, and I think this comic is in the right hands.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
If this were how Batman chose his next Robin, if the Duke Thomas subplot from Snyder’s Batman was how it all went down, I would be so happy. The kid is on fire! He’s got a great Robin costume, he’s getting into some real trouble, and I’m having a blast. But oh yeah, this issue of Batman is mostly about Batman.
Mr. Bloom monologues and kills people at the gala until Batman shows up and defeats him with an electro-magneto, but Bloom still manages to get away. Later, while conversing with his staff, the higher ups want to send their entire fleet of robo-Batmen after Bloom, but Gordon convinces them to let him go in alone first. When he arrives and finds a weakened Bloom, the villain takes control of his armor!
Meanwhile, Duke Thomas, in a pretty awesome Robin costume, breaks into the Iceberg Lounge to get some info on Bloom, but he’s ambushed by the Penguin and several other villains!
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
I’m still not a fan of Mr. Bloom, but the rest of the issue was a good read. Gordon remains a strong, convincing Batman, and his courage to go it alone in the face of danger is quite heroic. Commissioner Gordon is just that kind of man. Hopefully Snyder has plans in place for when Gordon steps down. The Duke Thomas scene was great, and I’m loving everything about how Robin is being handled in this Batman comic. I know Damian is still around somewhere, but with Gordon as Batman in a robot suit, it makes sense that Robin be something so completely different as well.
I may be an old school Robin fan, but I’m loving everything happening in the Bat-world these days. Bring on the weirdness, bring on the altered status quos! I want to see the very concept of Batman and Robin run through the wringer! I only wish Snyder had a more interesting villain. Nothing about Mr. Bloom interests me right now. He’s just some weird, gangly, super-powered nutter who kills indiscriminately, to the point that nobody really seems to care that he murdered so many people so grotesquely. It’s just business as usual.
Writers: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Everybody loves a good Starfire comic! In this issue, she gets to be friendly and badass in equal measure.
Starfire beats up Soren by holding him under the pool water, keeping her grip even as she’s given more visions of his life as a murderer. Sol comes to and immediately starts giving Soren mouth-to-mouth, greatly impressing Kori. Meanwhile, the bounty hunter hired to catch Kori arrives on Earth and starts killing humans in an effort to find her. He finds her, alright, and Kori is in no mood to play games. She kicks his butt five ways to Sunday and sends him packing in his ship. And the end of their fight is witnessed by a newly arrived Dick Grayson!
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
This was another fun, solid entry in the Starfire series. We finally see what happens when that alien bounty hunt comes to town, and Kori does not disappoint. She’s a warrior born, despite her somewhat childish attitude, and she doesn’t hold back from putting the bad guy in his place. Beyond that, Conner and Palmiotti are doing a fine job expanding and strengthening Kori’s supporting cast. Starfire is coming along nicely. And a surprise appearance by Dick Grayson will surely give it a boost. That guy is really getting around…
Web Warriors #1
Writers: Mike Costa and Robbie Thompson
Artists: David Baldeon and Denis Medri
I read Web Warriors on a whim and almost didn’t want to review it. But here we are, with me giving my two cents.
Following the events of Spider-Verse, several universes are without Spider-Men, so a few of the leftover heroes are teaming up to fight bad guys. These including the leader, Spider-UK, as well as Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Girl, Noir Spider-Man and Anya. The issue opens with them using the old meme-worthy Spider-Man cartoon for a training mission. Then Spider-Girl and Spider-Gwen visit an Egyptian world to get lunch and talk about how weird their lives have become on this team. Their lunch is interrupted by a team of interdimensional Electros, who kidnap Spider-Gwen.
There’s also a back-up featuring an adventure with Steampunk Spider-Woman battling her world’s Black Cat.
Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright.
Web Warriors is just not my cup of tea. It’s a fine comic, solidly made by the creative team. But it’s just not what I’m into these days. The characters are diverse and unique, though Costa doesn’t give them anything particularly unique to do yet. The art is wild and kinda fun, and it definitely fits the comic. I guess you’ve just got to really like the characters and the premise. The idea that one of Spidey’s classic villains is also gathering alternate universe versions of himself to fight is pretty cool, but that’s the most I got out of this comic. It’s just not for me, but if you like it, more power to you.
The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I pick up from my local shop any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments!
Posted on November 14, 2015, in Avengers, Batman, Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, Robin, X-Men and tagged All-Different Avengers, All-New, All-New Wolverine, Captain America, Duke Thomas, Iron Man, Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Starfire, Web Warriors, X-23. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.