Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 12/3/16
I come to you people more the worse for wear. I got some crummy medical news the other day about some inner ear/balance problems that I kind of just need to suck up and deal with. Ugh. It’s just generally crummy. So forgive me for any noticeable typos or bad attitudes.
Fortunately, not many comics came out this week, considering it was a fifth week in November. So we’ve only got a couple comics, from the new debut of Ghost Rider to the next exciting Power Rangers issue! The latter easily wins Comic Book of the Week for more out-of-the-box ideas!
Ms. Marvel also came out with a new issue this week, but it quickly morphed into a big election PSA. Like, I had to go back and check the cover to make sure this wasn’t some kind of free handout. It gets really in depth about the ins and outs of voting…even though Election Day was several weeks ago. Not quite sure what was going on there, and it was a little too hopeful about the election to actually review.
Comic Reviews: Ghost Rider #1, Great Lakes Avengers #2 and Mighty Mophin Power Rangers #9.
Ghost Rider #1
Writer: Felipe Smith
Artists: Danilo S. Beyruth and Tradd Moore
I read comics for the characters. I like seeing my favorite superheroes in their latest adventures, and will gladly gobble up whatever comics they’re in. This also means I’m often lukewarm about a lot of characters and their comics. If I don’t care about a character, I’m more than willing to drop a comic if the story doesn’t capture my attention.
I’ve never particularly cared about Hawkeye, Thor, Captain Marvel or Harley Quinn, but those have been some of the best comics of the past few years. I never miss an issue. I’ve also never particularly cared about Ghost Rider, but I’m more than willing to give him a second chance. I really like Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Not sure if this chance is going to last any longer though. For one thing, I’m not sure if Smith knows he’s writing a Ghost Rider comic.
Robbie Reyes spends some quality time with his brother at the garage, but on the way home, some criminal gang-banger is blocking the street and threatens to shoot them when all they want to do is drive around. Later, Ghost Rider catches up with the gang-banger and kills him good, freeing a family that the guy seemed to have kidnapped in a big box.
Meanwhile, Amadeous Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk, is engaged in a scientific dig on a nearby California beach, where they uncover a weird purple slime that absorbs the traits of anything it bites. After it bites the Hulk and turns into a monster, they fight across the city before it escapes underground.
Later on, the creature is spying on people at a taco truck in the middle of the afternoon. Robbie and his brother are there, with some girls checking out Robbie, but they eventually leave. Quite randomly, Wolverine and Gabby are at the same taco truck, and Wolverine pops her claws when she smells the creature.
In a separate back up story, Ghost Rider tangles with a high speed thief who tries to steal his hot rod, and who can control the flow of time around herself.
Comic Rating: 4/10 – Pretty Bad.
So, uh, why didn’t Ghost Rider get the good storylines in this issue? The comic is clearly about the Hulk finding and then fighting a purple goo monster. And then Wolverine shows up at the end, because reasons. Maybe focus on your main character before bringing in random guest stars? What little we do see of Robbie and Ghost Rider is pretty good. The action is fast and the character is likable. But the encounter with the no-name gang-banger leaves a lot to be desired plotwise. I’m just not sure what the guy was doing (kidnapping, I think), and putting him against Ghost Rider accomplishes nothing. Honestly? This whole bit should have been the back-up, if you’re going to have a back-up.
Seeing Ghost Rider take on, and get beat, by a super speedy, personality-rich skateboarding villain was far, far more interesting. I would much rather see Ghost Rider tangle with her than team up with Hulk and Wolverine to fight a purple monster.
The new debut Ghost Rider issue seems to have its priorities completely out of whack. The far more interesting Ghost Rider story is relegated to a back-up feature, while the main comic seems far more focused on random guest stars. Not off to a great start.
Great Lakes Avengers #2
Writer: Zac Gorman
Artist: Will Robson
Man, I wish I had better things to say about this new comic. I love the Great Lakes Avengers and they are ripe for a good humor comic, but this series is just sort of missing all the marks.
The Great Lakes Avengers are woken up in the middle of the night by their rowdy night club neighbors. Big Bertha leads the charge into the club and eventually gets into a fight with the devil-faced super-villain club owner, which lands the lot of them in jail. The next morning, the werewolf girl we met last issue is brought into the lockup after she threw a bottle at the corrupt mayor during a press conference. She wolfs out and is almost shot by the cops, but the Avengers’ attorney is brought in to make her a temporary addition to the team so that she can wiggle out of any criminal charges because of her Avengers status (likewise, our heroes can get out because they were just doing their superhero jobs).
Later we find out that the corrupt mayor, who is upset that the girl is avoiding any charges whatsoever for throwing that bottle, is also the devil-faced super-villain club owner.
Also, Doorman, being an aspect of death, tracks down Mr. Immortal in the coffin where he’s buried. Mr. Immortal reveals that he wanted to take some time to think things through, so he paid a buddy of his to bury him for a year for some alone time. Doorman nopes on all of that and pulls Mr. Immortal out of the grave so he can rejoin the team.
Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright.
I have no idea what Robson is doing on this comic. This artwork is sublime. It’s richly detailed, full of personality and easily covers everything from ordinary people to werewolves to superhero action. Mark my words, Robson is headed for good things. I’m honestly surprised Marvel hasn’t snatched him off Great Lakes Avengers already. There is no way he’s going to stick to this mediocre comic.
Look, it’s obvious that Gorman is trying. And he’s got a pretty OK thing going here. But for me personally, the jokes aren’t landing and the story is less than interesting. He’s focusing too much on the new aspects he’s trying to introduce, liking ramming this new werewolf girl onto the team and setting up some kind of trouble with this devil mayor. He’s also spending way too much time with this new lawyer character spouting legal nonsense. His priorities are misplaced.
You’ve got a very unique and interesting cast with a very awesome premise behind them. Focus on the actual Avengers!
Everything in this issue just falls flat for me. The jokes, the new characters, the existing characters, the slow-going plot; there’s no heart. This sort of comic needs to be bursting with heart and personality, but Gorman is already spreading himself too thin without building a proper foundation.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Hendry Prasetya
Higgins kicks things into high gear with the latest issue, which kind of ends the current storyline while launching a brand new one. It’s kind of insane what Higgins might have planned here.
The Power Rangers have tapped back into the Morphin Grid using the Green Power Coin, and they’re able to take control of their Zords in order to fight the Black Dragon. Meanwhile, in the Dark Dimension, Billy convinces Goldar to let him go because neither of them like the Black Dragon, and they’ve discovered a mysterious hatch hidden in the Black Dragon’s armor. Billy and Tommy, in civilian mode, then teleport to the hatch and climb inside the Black Dragon robot, destroying him from within — except that his armor then shrinks into nothingness, with Billy and Tommy still inside!
Later at Rita’s palace, the Black Dragon contacts her and admits that the Black Dragon we’ve seen so far was only a robot. His plan is still in operation, and now Billy and Tommy are trapped in his realm! And the real Black Dragon is some kind of badass amalgamation of the Green and White Rangers!
Told you it was kind of insane.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
This was another solid issue of Power Rangers adventure, with Higgins clearly thinking outside the box on how he handles the Rangers! The green-colored Power Rangers is an amazing and intuitive idea. The sight of Tommy, as a civilian, piloting the Dragonzord with just the Dragon Flute while standing on the Eiffel Tower is another great idea. Billy negotiating with Goldar does wonders for both characters. I love a villain who is capable of rational thought, and it’s great that Billy saves himself with quick thinking and diplomacy. And then the reveal of the true Black Dragon is just plain crazy. Who knows where Higgins is going with this, but I am definitely on board! From characters to action, he has got this thing nailed down!
Higgins has been telling a great Power Rangers story so far, but as he kicks off his next big storyline, he’s started thinking way outside the box. We’re about to sail off the edge of the map with this one and I couldn’t be more excited.
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 December 3, 2016, in Avengers, Comics, Marvel, Reviews and tagged Boom!, Ghost Rider, Great Lakes Avengers, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Power Rangers, Robbie Reyes. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Ghost Rider was good. Definitely too much focus on Cho. But Robbie, Gabe and the Ghost Rider are all wonderful. I’m so glad to get more of Robbie and Gabe. Their relationship is the best. So much love, so much heart, and it just makes me happy.
GLA was really good. Lots of fun.
Agreed on Robbie and Gabe. It’s a great, often unexplored sort of relationship and could stand to really be a solid backbone for this Ghost Rider series.