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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 5/13/17

Greetings everyone! Last week I missed out comic book reviews because I was in the hospital. And this week, I’ve not only been busy at work, but I’m also busy today putting together shipments and packages for everybody who ordered the Gamer Girl & Vixen graphic novel! It’s been a busy month, let me tell you.

So there won’t be too many reviews this week, unfortunately, but we still had some solidly entertaining comics. All-New Wolverine, Detective Comics and Amazing Spider-Man were all good, and the third issue of X-Men Blue takes home Comic Book of the Week for another nice issue, solidifying it as my favorite (so far) of ResurrXion.

X Blue Sentinels 01

Sentinels be cray cray

Meanwhile, last week I missed the first proper issue of Secret Empire, and I enjoyed it. People are welcome to hate this Captain America as a fascist storyline all they want, but I’m digging the heck out of it. I think it’s a pretty great premise for a big, company-wide crossover. I really hope they can pull this one off.

Also, I skipped the new issue of Silver Surfer this week for a couple reasons, but the end of the issue was as big a gut punch as some of the best issues of Saga. Masterful work, Mr. Dan Slott.

Comic Reviews: All-New Wolverine #20, Amazing Spider-Man #27, Detective Comics #956 and X-Men Blue #3.


ANW20

All-New Wolverine #20

All-New Wolverine #20
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Leonard Kirk

I gotta say, I’m disappointed at where Wolverine is in the ResurrXion landscape. I am 100% behind the idea of having Laura be Marvel’s one and only Wolverine, carrying on the original’s legacy. And I am very unhappy with the idea of Old Man Logan in general. So it stinks that Laura is stuck off on her own little solo series going on disconnected adventures rather than being the Wolverine in a new X-Men relaunch.

No matter how good Tom Taylor is on this comic, Marvel has yet to give it the respect it deserves.

An alien virus has arrived at Roosevelt Island, which has been cut off from the rest of New York. The alien child carrying the virus asked for Laura by name before dying, but there’s little Wolverine can do while the rest of the world’s scientific geniuses try and suss out what’s going on. She investigates a possible breach on the island, but it’s only Gabby coming to lend a hand.

When they return to the hospital, a crazy ambulance bursts through, having kidnapped the alien child’s corpse. Wolverine and Gabby catch up to it on a motorcycle and discovered that Dr. Monica Rappaccini and some evil A.I.M. forces are studying the child but finding nothing (Monica is also infected by the virus). So they instead start studying Wolverine (who volunteers) and Monica learns that Wolverine’s cells are not just healing the virus, they’re actively attracting it.

Wolverine lays hands on Monica and completely cures her of the virus!

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

This was a fine issue, but had a couple minor flaws that took me back. First of all, the art was a little iffy. Kirk is a great artist, but something felt a little rushed with this issue. His Laura, for example, looked like a wrinkly only lady in a lot of panels. Her face is all weird. The art could have used a lot more polish, especially for only a second issue of Kirk’s run.

Wolverine Face 01

I hope Laura can heal that

The story is fine, but far from compelling. It’s all kind of just…there. Big action scene? Nah, it’s just Gabby reinserting herself into the story. Random ambulance chase? Sure, why not? Monica Rappaccini showing up? She’s become Marvel’s go-to dastardly mad scientist. She was just in Wasp.

But it’s all just sort of good and fine. The dialogue is fun, though not as strong as it’s been in the past. And the story is just OK, when it’s not being really weird.

TL;DR: All-New Wolverine doesn’t have a place in ResurrXion, it seems, but she’s doing an adequate job on her own with a mildly entertaining solo adventure.


AmazSpidey27

Amazing Spider-Man #27

Amazing Spider-Man #27
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Stuart Immonen

This is about as far from ‘Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’ as you’re going to get, and while some people don’t like that, I’m still along for the ride!

Spider-Man and Silver Sable launch their attack on Norman Osborne’s forces in Symkaria, with the assistance of Sable’s new Wild Pack and Mockingbird, who has resigned from SHIELD over this. There’s a bunch of cool robot combat scenes. Sable reveals that she never died, but simply escaped the Rhino and went into hiding. And Norman Osborne has a creepy new scarred face. Osborne claims he has perfected his original Goblin Serum and plans to turn the entire population of Symkaria into his new goblin army!

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

Yeah, fun stuff where Spider-Man and his allies ride around in various Spider-Mech robots battling evil Green Goblin-inspired robots. It’s pretty crazy. But Slott keeps it all grounded with his usual talent for dialogue and wit. It helps that I really dig Spidey and Silver Sable, and then Spidey and Mockingbird — though a moment where Sable is supposed to give a big speech to her people fell kind of flat. I could understand the energy that Slott wanted in that scene, but I feel like something more could have been done to make it really stand out as truly momentous.

TL;DR: The emotional connection doesn’t sink as deeply as I’d like, but I’m still having fun watching Spider-Man fight the Green Goblin with giant mech-robots in a foreign country. That’s just crazy enough to be mostly fun.


Detective956

Detective Comics #956

Detective Comics #956
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Marcio Takara

The League of Shadows storyline comes to an end with more of a whimper than a bang, unfortunately.

Cassandra Cain faces off against her mom and easily whoops the older woman’s butt, no matter how much monologuing Shiva tries to do about her evil plans. She just goes on and on between being punched. And just when it looks like Cassandra has gotten through to her, Ra’s al Ghul shows up and shoots Shiva in the back. Ra’s takes her body, shuts off the bomb and goes on his merry way, with Batman promising this isn’t over. Elsewhere, when Jacob Kane finds out his daughter is still alive, he cancel’s the Colony’s smart weapon attack.

Later on, Batman tells Batwoman that they’re going to have to look into magic if they hope to defeat Ra’s.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

Tynion did such a great job setting up League of Shadows that I’m a little disappointed in the ending. They started out as this super mysterious, super awesome ninja group that was so secretive that not even Batman believed in them. But in the end they were just a big group of ninjas led by a character we already know, who ended up just monologuing like any other villain. And even though Batman and his allies were all defeated last issue, they were apparently able to free themselves off panel so that we could have a generally rote climax where everybody fights somebody and then it comes to an end.

Shiva Art Bad 01

We’ve heard it all before

For all the mystery, energy and excitement of the League of Shadows, they ended up being pretty disappointing. An army of faceless ninjas that want to blow up Gotham City? Been there, done that.

The art, likewise, seemed to bottom out with this issue. Takara did fine last issue, when his wilder style fit perfectly with big vistas of Orphan fighting wave after wave of ninjas. But this finale issue required more detail and a steadier hand, as the focus was more on characters talking and going at it one-on-one.

TL;DR: The finale of League of Shadows doesn’t live up to the energy and excitement of the beginning, especially when it comes to the art. Still had fun, though.


XBlue3

X-Men Blue #3

X-Men Blue #3
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Jorge Molina and Ray-Anthony Height

Yep, against all my better wishes, X-Men Blue is my favorite ResurrXion title so far — which isn’t saying much, because I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of the other ResurrXion titles, including the Jean Grey solo series that I missed last week.

The X-Men try to do battle with the Mutant Sentinels, but these robots are able to douse their powers and counter every attack — but they don’t want to attack. The Sentinels were aiding a new mutant, Belen, whose earthquake powers caused all the damage around them. The Sentinels gather up the X-Men and Belen and take them back to their HQ, where the X-Men meet the Sentinels’ leader: Bastion! He tells the X-Men that he wants to save mutants!

But Bastion only wants to save the mutant race so that he can wipe them out once they’re flourishing. The X-Men try to whoop Bastion, but he and his Sentinels teleport away. The X-Men then head home (dropping Belen off at the new X-School) and Scott tells Jean she’s doing a bang-up job.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This series has a lot of strengths. The characters at the heart of the story are really good. When this group goes on a mission, it really feels like this specific group and these specific characters. They interact well and you get a really strong sense of their team bond. The stories are, likewise, really interesting. Want to tell a neat Bastion story? Have him start trying to save mutants so that, by his computer brain, he can fulfill his mission to wipe them out once they’re flourishing again. It’s just a neat idea.

X Blue Bastion 01

It’s OK, nobody cares about Bastion

The art, likewise, is stellar. Molina is an especially great choice fort his comic, as his art style is clean, and his characters look both awesome and young. The characters are very well defined in this series. And the art team draws some pretty great Sentinels too.

TL;DR: X-Men Blue has fun characters, nifty plots and great art. All three are on display in this fun little issue, making it a true standout of ResurrXion.


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!

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About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on May 13, 2017, in Batman, Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man, X-Men and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Funny, I preferred Wolverine to X-Men Blue this week. But only by a little. TOTALLY agree that Laura should be THE Wolverine in ResurrXion, and also in X-Men Blue. Upsets me that they pulled in a white male from another dimension for Blue when they had a perfectly good Wolverine in their group just a month or two ago.

    • Man, and here I keep forgetting about James Howlett joining X-Men Blue! That’s the dumbest idea in a dog’s age! Stupid X-Men Blue writer, having to ruin the one ResurrXion book I enjoy.

  2. I was neutral to OML’s presence when it was first announced before Secret Wars. I even thought it could make for an interesting dynamic between him and Laura, as she’s never really had to deal with AU versions of people she knew (and I thought her CW2 tie-in handled it beautifully).

    Now I just plain resent him being here, as I feel he’s completely stolen her thunder. HE is the one who got to be Wolverine during all the big X-events under ANAD, while Laura was stuck at the kiddie table. HE is the one getting the big push in ResurrXion, appearing in THREE of the five team books.

    All of her fans were expecting this was gong to be her big moment by taking up the cowl. Instead she’s STILL trapped in Logan’s shadow while the Old Man gets the spotlight.

    • Abso-friggin’-lutely, my friend! You hit the nail on the head. This should be Laura’s time to shine across the entire Marvel Universe! Instead, everybody is just treating OML like regular Wolverine, and not like a dimensionally-displaced alternate version!

  3. Wolverine was great. Monica Rappaccini’s always a fun guest star, and she got some funny lines here. The art was a bit wonky, though. Also, I dislike how Kirk gives Laura and Gabby different facial structures.

    ASM was OK.

    X-Men Blue was good. I’m not particularly enthused about Bastion’s return, but I guess Bunn is at least putting an interesting spin on him. Still, meh. The art is still great. But you didn’t care for Jean Grey? Huh. I thought it was really good, even if I’m disappointed at the series going straight to the Phoenix well.

    That last page of Silver Surfer really was powerful. Michael Allred is a master at layouts.

    • Remember that Gabby is about 5-7 years younger than Laura (Gabby is physically 13, Laura is 18-20). That can account for the differences in their faces right now.

      • Previous artists have drawn them with the same facial structures. Kirk should’ve followed that precedent. The key is in distinguishing them by facial expressions.

    • That Silver Surfer final page…man…

      Anyway, I thought Jean Grey was a fine comic, but the first issue just didn’t grab me. A recent pet peeve of mine is when a new series launches and all it does is put the hero against a Who’s Who of randomly selected super-villains. The entire issue was just Jean Grey randomly fighting three members of the Wrecking Crew in Japan, of all places. Not the best foot going forward.

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