Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 9/9/17
Wanna know a neat trick to make someone not feel like reading and reviewing a bunch of comics? Send him on vacation with a head cold! That’s me, ladies and gentlemen! Ugh. But I did read some comics and I’m going to review a couple of them, because I’m dedicated!
I read a couple of comics and they were all really good, like the new Batman and Hawkeye. But I think I’m going to give Comic Book of the Week to Iceman again, because it’s a really good comic. He fights the Juggernaut!
Beyond that, the new season of BoJack Horseman started, and that’s largely what I’m doing this weekend!
Comic Reviews: Batman #30, Hawkeye #10 and Iceman #5.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
The War of Jokes and Riddles continues with another fun look at Kite Man! I wonder where King is going with all of this…
Batman has joined forces with the Riddler, but that’s all secondary as we continue the Ballad of Kite Man. One by one, Joker’s allies are taken out, leaving only Kite Man on the Joker’s crew. That was their plan all along. Make it so the only person Joker has left to trust is Kite Man, so when Joker finally realizes he’s lost the war and runs, Batman and Riddler can just snap up Kite Man and this weak, joke of a person will gladly turn over and reveal the Joker’s escape plan.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
This was definitely another solid entry in the War, and Kite Man is always a hoot. This issue wasn’t as powerful as the first Kite Man issue, but it was still good stuff. Really dug into the pathetic heart of the character. King is really building Kite Man up as pretty darn sympathetic. I hope he has an end game for that and he isn’t just trolling all of us. I wouldn’t put that past him. But as an exploration of Kite Man’s sheer ineptitude in the middle of this War, this issue is pretty darn stellar. As another chapter in King’s big experiment, it’s solid. As a character study, it’s sublime.
I’m still weirded out at how well King is fighting his War from the periphery. Last issue ended on a cliffhanger of who Batman would support in the war. This issue establishes that decision right out of the gate as merely a background tidbit. King is free-wheeling here, and I like it, but it’s still jarring. More power to the man!
TL;DR: King continues to impress with his off-kilter Big Batman Event. Here’s hoping the pay-off is worth this wild ride. Hell yeah.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Speaking of building to a solid pay-off, Kelly Thompson is doing just that in her excellent Hawkeye comic!
Kate gets all glammed up and she and her friends hit a nightclub on the Sunset Strip. She dances, she schmoozes and she kisses both of the boys! Then when the villain Oddball shows up to rob everybody, she first considers leaving — but changes her mind and kicks Oddball’s butt! Though all of her friends feel like something is different about Kate’s more cavalier attitude.
Sure enough, that’s not the real Kate, but is instead Madame Masque running around in the body of a Kate Bishop clone! The real Kate is being held prisoner with Lucky, and together they bust out of their cell and beat up the guards. Then they find Kate’s father all tied up in another cell. Kate uses this opportunity to ask him if he killed her mother.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The opening section definitely took me for a loop. I didn’t see through the disguise until the final reveal! And what a twist! I was actually kind of hoping for some real boy drama in Thompson’s book. Oh well! Super-villain drama is good enough. This was a fun issue that really let Romero and the art team shine, as the fight on the dance floor was all manner of colorful. Oddball was a random choice of villain to suddenly pop up, but I can live with that. And then Kate taking out a room packed with henchmen was just as good! This issue was a real spectacle. And we’re all the better for it.
TL;DR: Thompson throws us a pretty fun curveball in the latest issue, upping the stakes and making for a very fun comic.
Writer: Sina Grace
Artist: Alessandro Vitti
Iceman has become the only X-Men comic I’m still reading. And I’m OK with that.
Iceman has just told his parents that he’s gay, and they, of course, don’t take it very well. They’re angry, they’re hurt, they’re in full-on blame mode. All the usual bad reactions that Bobby probably predicted. But it also turns out that the Juggernaut is in Central Park, looking to get revenge on the Young X-Men from something that happened in X-Men Blue. Bobby uses this as an excuse to get away from his parents and he goes full-on Iceman Super Mode to really knock his frustrations out on the Juggernaut.
Meanwhile, Kitty Pryde gives the Drakes the letter Bobby was trying to write and that helps them to understand a little bit. Bobby’s mom leaves, but he finds his dad sitting quietly after the Juggernaut has been dealt with.
Bobby’s dad acknowledges that Bobby gets his inability to show emotion from his old man. Bobby starts telling his dad about one of his new abilities, turning his entire body into vapor and how it allows him to leave his skin and just be nothing for a bit…but it’s not a trick he wants to use anymore. Bobby’s dad tells him that he loves him, and nothing changes that.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The best thing about this series is how personable it is. Bobby Drake is a person first and a superhero second, and Grace blends the two of them together so well. Bobby’s person is a superhero. It’s his life, it’s what he does, and he does it so well when fighting a classic foe like the Juggernaut. So even though I’d love an issue of Bobby doing normal, everyday things, Grace makes a damn good point that this is Bobby’s life. This is his everyday. And it makes perfect sense. The character is so comfortable doing it.
The conversation with Bobby’s parents is great. Grace really handles the emotions well and gets to the heart of the matter, and why all of this is so important. How often do we get to see superheroes interact with their parents? Never! Grace has done a great job with that plot line, and I really liked that final scene with Bobby’s dad. The fight with the Juggernaut was another corker, too. Fun times all around!
Though the art is a little crazy when it comes to faces.
TL;DR: Iceman is a great comic for personal drama, and this issue really ties together the main character’s personal life with his superhero life.
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!