Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 8/29/20

Man, RIP Chadwick Boseman. That’s just…so tragic, so terrible. I’m no good at memorializing, so I guess let’s just get on with the comic book reviews…

This week, I read the likes of Hellions, X-Factor and Power Rangers! And the Comic Book of the Week: Legion of Super-Heroes #8. There were a lot of good comics this week, but the Legion issue had a fun art gimmick that makes it pretty special.

Legion Assemble!

Meanwhile, I did not read Three Jokers. I don’t care about the Joker, and I think this retcon is dumb. Maybe when it’s all over, and I can read it all at once, I’ll check it out.

Comic Reviews: Hellions #3, Legion of Super-Heroes #8, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53, X-Factor #2 and X-Men #11.


Hellions #3

Hellions #3
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher

So, quick note, Scalphunter is now called just “Greycrow” and I am totally fine with that.

Most of the Hellions have been captured by Madelyne Pryor and her zombie Marauders. She casts a spell to close up Havok’s mouth, but he uses a shard a glass to cut the skin open to speak again, promising himself to her. She gloats about all she’s going to do to the Hellions, including Greycrow, who shot her in the head once upon a time. Madelyne’s overall plan is to create an army of zombie Marauder clones to conquer Krakoa. Also, some of the bad guys break into Orphanmaker’s armor and there’s some kind of acid sludge inside? We don’t find out anything more just yet.

Meanwhile, Psylocke does battle with Wild Child. First she zaps his noodle with a psychic knife, leaving just the animal part of him. Then she snaps his neck to show that she’s in charge. Having her as the alpha of the pack calms him down and he’s back to normal.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

This issue was a little too obsessed with delving into Madelyne Pryor history. I had to Google to find out why she was so interested in Greycrow, while the book casually tosses it off like we’re all supposed to remember C-list character interacts from 30+ years ago. Not to mention her relationship with Havok that I know nothing about, but is key to this issue. Then there’s an extended bit where Psylocke fights Wild Child. That’s not steeped in any sort of history, it just goes on for a while. And that summarizes the issue in a nutshell. Maddy is crazy and is all about showing that off, Havok immediately bows down as her acolyte (that scene of him cutting his face open is nuts!), and then Psylocke and Wild Child waste time fighting each other. It’s all still a generally good story, and Maddy’s evil plan is sufficiently evil, this issue just feels a bit like its spinning its wheels.

Though if Zeb Wells is using Nanny and Orphanmaker so that we can finally see under their suits, I am down for that. He’s clearly having fun writing Nanny’s dialogue, but some actual character progression for those two should prove interesting.

TL;DR: The villain is properly set up, with some really grotesque moments, but otherwise the issue felt like it was spinning its wheels just a tad.


Legion of Super-Heroes #8

Legion of Super-Heroes #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: 22 different artists and teams
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe

For some reason, this issue features a different artist or team on every single page. Is it an anniversary issue? Was the regular artist really falling behind? I don’t know. It’s very pretty, but doesn’t add much to the issue.

The Legion of Super-Heroes has been attacked by the general of Rimbor, so they fight back against him and his inner circle of warriors. Mostly this amounts to checking in on various individual Legion members during the scrape as they show off a little personality and we get to know more about them. For example, Colossal Boy’s giant form is his regular size. He has to shrink to interact on the Legion’s level, therefore he doesn’t think the name “Colossal Boy” is appropriate. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite Legionnaires. There’s also a quick scene where Mon-El reveals he is the descendant of Jon Kent.

The issue also features a couple of cutaways to the recruitment/tryouts of several Legionnaires, like Element Lad and Princess Projectra. They’re fun.

In the end, Ferro Lad ends the fight with a good, solid punch and the forces of Rimbor flee…but the Legion is still going to be on trial for their crimes!

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Let’s deal with the story first: it’s fun. It’s fun in the same way previous issues of this comic have been fun. I think Bendis is biting off a bit more than he can chew at having to introduce Legionnaires in this way…but I’m not entirely sure how else he can do it. The team is huge, and the hugeness is part of the charm because of how chaotic they can get. And this fight is a good example. Everybody holds their own in one way or another, but they’re also stepping on each other’s toes, with minor members trying to step up and prove their worth/point. It’s really fun, even if its a bit bogged down by mini character introductions. I also really enjoyed the quickie peeks at Legion recruitment, which also seemed pretty haphazard.

I’m also really enjoying the running gag that nobody particularly likes their codename.

They just come up with the names on the fly

So, the art, it’s great. This is always a fun gimmick, and the artists DC pulled together are all phenomenal. Every page is gorgeous and keeps the action flowing. It’s never too weird or too difficult to follow. And they picked the artist for the scene. For example, check out the fun of the Blok page.

BONK!

He’s quickly becoming another of my favorites. Bendis has a clear sense of humor when it comes to Blok.

Anyway, whatever the reason for this multi-artist gimmick, it works just fine and looks quite lovely. I’d be willing to have any of these artists take over and give this book a solid, consistent art team.

TL;DR: This issue has a gorgeous medley of different artists, a different one for each page, and it looks great. The characters and story also continue to be quite fun.


Power Rangers #53

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Moises Hidalgo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte, with assistance from Katia Ranalli
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

As we draw closer and closer to the end, the mystery of the new Green Ranger only deepens…

Lord Zedd has granted his Dark Ranger powers to his minions, including a new Putty version of Rita Repulsa. They head down to Earth and get into a fight with the Power Rangers, and they do a pretty good job in combat. Tommy faces off against Rita, while the other Rangers converge on the remaining Dark Rangers. Then Zedd shows up to summon them some Terrorzords!

Meanwhile, Billy has been working in secret with Grace Sterling to use the Green Psycho Dagger to recharge the Green Power Coin, and they succeed! But Grace has no intention of just giving this power back to Zordon, even if Billy insists. So the two of them consider who to empower as the new Green Ranger, with Grace having a list of Prometheus employees, as well as suggesting Drakkon.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

That was a pretty easy fix for the Green Power Coin. All this drama, all these years of heartache, and it turns out Billy and Grace figured it out with a science project. I would have liked a little more build-up to this plotline. It just randomly shows up. Granted, the Green Psycho Dagger has been part of the story for a couple issues now, but nobody mentioned that Grace was going to use it to re-power the Green Power Coin. Still, I loved that little bit of story. It’s a fun way to get the new Green Ranger, and it fits with the continuity of the comic. And I like the idea that Grace already has a list of candidates she controls. Her suggestion of Drakkon is as crazy as it sounds, but I’m fairly certain this confirms it is a red herring. If the identity of the new Green Power Ranger is going to be a surprise, then just blurting out Dakkon as a candidate in this issue is definitely meant to throw us off the scent. Which means we’ve just moved closer to Matt being the new Green Ranger.

Pick Matt!

I am disappointed that Zedd didn’t really bring back Rita to be his Dark Red Ranger. If Parrott and BOOM! are crazy enough to simply re-power the Green Power Coin, surely they could come up with some crazy reason why Rita is back for this story. Still, the attack of the new Dark Rangers is just plain awesome! Parrott takes his time to give each of the minions their due as they attack with the new powers.

Billy and Squatt are pals

I love the banter this issue. The Rangers actually have a history with these baddies. They all know each other. So rather than just the Rangers reacting to some new, random monster, Parrott gets to draw on the history between the characters to deliver some fun banter. How often do we get to see the Rangers interact with Squatt and Baboo? It’s great! And the art does a phenomenal job of making these silly minions into real monsters.

TL;DR: Another exciting issue continues to deliver a solid, enjoyable finale for this series. The bad guys are personal and really interesting, the good guys are kicking butt, and the Green Ranger is due for a comeback any day now.


X-Factor #2

X-Factor #2
Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: David Baldeon
Colorist: Israel Silva
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Still no Multiple Man. Still OK.

A mysterious visitor to Krakoa drops a package off in front of X-Factor XQ (called the “Boneyard”). Aurora comes to visit, having just been resurrected, and she brings the package in. The team discovers a pair of bloody ballet shoes covered in sponsorship logos for no Earthly companies…they’re from the Mojoverse! So X-Factor get new costumes and head to the other dimension, which is now all about competing streaming services. The team head inside, run into Mojo and press him for information. A young mutant girl was recently killed while competing in Spiral’s Showcase. The team head to the Spiral base and Northstar and Polaris get shot down, with the team confronted by some fight streamers.

Meanwhile, back at the Boneyard, Aurora and Rachel’s warwolf puppy settle in to watch the Mojoverse broadcast. And Kyle, Northstar’s husband, shows up at the end to join them.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

This was a very rough issue. Pretty good, but also pretty rough, both in terms of story and just plain comic book composition. The art and the storytelling conflict at certain parts, where it’s just a little difficult to suss out what’s going on. I don’t know exactly what kind of blame to throw around, and I’m not sure anyone should be blamed, but there were a couple rough patches throughout the issue where I had to reread what was happening, or try to take a closer look at the art to figure it out, and it wasn’t always clear. This just isn’t something that happens a lot in modern, pro comics. The art is great overall, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoy the writing, but there were just a couple times where I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening.

Take this series of panels, for existence. What exactly happens?

A metal thing…from some machine…tries to hump her leg?

But anyway, that’s just one way in which this issue is rough. The other is that the story kind of loses itself in the bigness of the Mojoverse. Like, ostensibly, X-Factor exists to investigate mutant murders…but we only get two tiny clues/pieces of evidence across the entire issue: some bloody ballet shoes and Mojo mentioning that a mutant girl recently died. That’s it for the new mystery. The rest of the issue is the team struggling to grasp the new Mojoverse concepts and Williams not doing a particularly good job in explaining what all is going on. I think it’s competing streaming teams? I am sure it will become more clear as the story goes along, but this issue lacks the tight, clear focus and progression of the first issue.

Also, that first issue ended with the team confronted by a whole bunch of missing mutant mysteries thanks to Forge’s machine…why, then, does their first official investigation require somebody leaving a completely separate mysterious box on their front door?

TL;DR: The writing is still mostly fun, and the groundwork continues to build for character interaction, but I feel like this issue loses itself in the grand, otherworldly scope it’s trying to set up.


X-Men #11

X-Men #11
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: VC’s Claytown Cowles

Here comes the Magneto spotlight issue of our dreams!

The issue opens with Rockslide, Loa and Anole visiting Summoner in the forest, that freaky dude from one of the early issues. They’re about to play a mysterious game when some Cotati ships come roaring in from Empyre. Then we cut to Exodus talking to a group of kids around a campfire and telling them the story of the battle: specifically how Magneto was a total boss. The Master of Magnetism almost single-handedly sent the Cotati packing, whether he was weaponizing military and weather satellites or working with Magma and Iceman to erupt a volcano of molten metal and having it quickly chilled to a solid state. He even has an Indiana Jones vs. the sword master moment with the chief Cotati that’s really awesome. Anyway, Magneto saves the day and takes the fight to the moon.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Wasn’t that specific Empyre: X-Men tie-in enough? Do we really need the X-Men fighting some nameless, pointless Cotati soldiers in the actual X-Men comic? Doesn’t Hickman have far more interesting stories to tell with this flagship comic? Though if I’m being honest, any stories that amount to this freaky Summoner character being mysterious and freaky are not my cup of tea. Fortunately, that was just a randomly placed prologue, and the real story is just plain badass. This is basically one long issue showing off Magneto in all of his glory. Got some aliens invading Krakoa? How about Magneto proves himself to be the ultimate boss of bosses?

Plants vs. Metal

We’ve got Magneto donning his classic purple and red armor. We’ve got Magneto teaming up with the Stepford Cuckoos to stay in mental contact with various other key X-Men in the battlefield. We’ve got Magneto calling on specific teammates — Magma and Iceman — to execute pre-planned and clever attacks strategies. And then we’ve just got Magneto going hogwild as he tears apart spaceships and smashes generals with falling satellites. It’s just plain cool and it’s just plain fun. Simple as that. I just think it’s wasted on the Cotati.

TL;DR: A painfully unnecessary tie-in to Empyre is redeemed by being a showcase the awesome badassery of Magneto.


The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I grab from Comixology 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!

—————————-

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 August 29, 2020, in Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, X-Men and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: