Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 12/19/20

Merry Christmas, everybody! And Happy Hannukah! And all the other winter holidays! This time next week, Christmas will have passed! I don’t yet know if I’ll be going home for Christmas, or who all will even be there if I do. But hopefully I’ll have a good time.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Batman #105 for a solid, enjoyable conclusion to the Ghost-Maker arc. I like how it ends, which was legitimately unexpected for me.

“That this city is full of people ready to believe in good…or something like that.”

Meanwhile, I’m still enjoying Cyberpunk 2077. I don’t know if I’ll do a review/list when I’m finished. It would have far more positives than gripes. I also just started watching The Owl House on Disney+ and it’s a ton of fun so far! I’m so glad I’m finding all these new cartoons since so many of my favorites ended recently.

Speaking of Disney+, how great was that season finale of The Mandalorian?! Also, I called it! I called the ending! It’s not often I actually manage to call something.

Comic Reviews: Batman #105, The Green Lantern: Season Two #10, Iron Man #4 and Power Rangers #2.

Batman #105

Batman #105
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Alvaro Martinez and Christian Duce
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Next month is Future State, which I’m really looking forward to! So let’s wrap up the story of Ghost-Maker!

We open with a flashback to the day Bruce Wayne left his training behind and boarded the plane back to Gotham City. Ghost-Maker tries to stop him, tries to reason with him to abandon his childish dreams and join him in forming a crime-fighting powerhouse! But Bruce refuses to stop caring about people and he goes on his way, the two of them setting up their rules about not getting in each other’s way.

In the present day, Clownhunter is about to kill Harley Quinn, but Batman helps free her. Harley then launches into a heartfelt speech about how the Joker manipulated her because she let it happen, because she wanted to feel powerful. Clownhunter gets it and doesn’t kill her, instead running off in tears. Batman then faces off against Ghost-Hunter in a swordfight. They talk a bit more about their differing styles before Batman eventually just drops his sword; he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Ghost-Maker agrees to return to their old rules, but Batman invites him to stay in Gotham City and help fight crime. Ghost-Maker takes him up on the offer.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

You can tell that Future State is a big deal because of the multitude of artists on this issue. This is Batman. This is the Batman comic. But the art has been all over the place this whole story. The art still holds up. It looks neat in some places. I just wanted to point out that little tidbit.

Beyond the art, the story is, at first, kinda boring, but then definitely solidifies by the end. I 100% understand what happens here with Harley Quinn, and it works really well for both Harley and Clownhunter…but, I dunno, I didn’t really need to have Harley explain her whole deal again. Like I said, it makes perfect sense for her to use her own story to get through to Clownhunter, but it’s not very exciting from a reader’s perspective. Harley Quinn and her whole deal are very, very well known. In fact, considering how much Harley media we’ve had recently, it’s a bit oversaturated right now. So it just didn’t make for a fun experience reading this issue.

I really like the detail in this image

Then we get to the really good stuff, Batman vs. Ghost-Maker. Tynion has been building to this moment all story, and it works very well. He’s done a solid job setting up who Ghost-Maker is. I don’t think the character is as solid as he could be. A character like this probably could have used more depth and a longer introduction. It’s only been, like, five or so issues, and he’s almost entirely retcon. But he has a good swordfight with Batman, they lay out their attitudes, and then I liked that it ended with a friendly draw. I like that Batman got to the heart of Ghost-Maker’s own whole deal and they settled things quickly and amicably. That definitely worked for me.

TL;DR: I don’t think Ghost-Maker has had enough time in the new-character oven, but the end of his first story makes for an enjoyable and unexpected meal.

The Green Lantern #10

The Green Lantern: Season Two #10
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Letterer: Steve Wands

I am likely incapable of reviewing this comic book anymore. It’s taken on a life of its own. I am but a paltry meatbag who just…who just wants to read fun superhero comics, ya’know?

So OK, we’re in Universe-11, where women are in charge. Hal Jordan has teamed up with Carol-11 to fight the Golden Goliath from a bunch of issues ago, but he’s really angry now. We’ve also got Hal-11 and Carol Ferris, who has been taken over by the Star Sapphire like in classic comics, as opposed to the more modern era, where the Star Sapphire is part of an emotional spectrum Corps. So they talk and fight and compare notes on the differences in their realities, and the art is on a kaleidoscope of amazingness. The Golden Goliath begins to summon beings from the Dark Multiverse, but every universe is out of synch. The two Carols try to use their love power to influence the Goliath, but the other multiversal GLs show up and ruin that.

Eventually Hal takes the Goliath to another planet and shrinks him down so that he can explode and not harm anybody. The day is saved! Hal then rebuffs the advances of Carol-11 and returns to the trial, where Trilla-Tru reveals new evidence that Hyperman is a meth addict, which is what was causing him to act up. Hyperwoman tries to intervene, but she’s beaten up by other super-people. Then they go to Hyberboy’s wedding, but now that he’s parents are in prison, he’s free to reveal that he never wanted to get married. It was his parents’ idea. The bride is fine with it, too. They’ll have a war instead.

Back on Earth, Hal reunites with Carol, who is upset at how much trouble being possessed by Star Sapphire caused her business. Hal invites her to just run away with him and explore the cosmos…but Carol turns him down. She says she needs time. Hal slinks off. She knows where to find him.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

I just don’t know anymore. I understood this entire issue, so that was a plus. And I bet it ties in a lot with some of the previous issues, but I’ve forgotten everything that happened so far. I’m hanging on by a thread to all of Grant Morrison’s space madness, but that is a strong enough thread to see me through to the end. I understood the different Hals and Carols. I understood the fight, mostly. I understood all the other characters, including how the trial wrapped up. I understood enough to get through it, and with such glorious art, this all comes together as a good enough, enjoyable chapter in this otherwise madcap comic book. At this point, that’s all I can ask for. Hopefully there are people out there much smarter than I who are enjoying the heck out of this comic and are hanging on its every word. I salute them.

Also, while I understand why Morrison reverted back to the classic Star Sapphire, I’m still disappointed that he hasn’t made better use of the Emotional Light Spectrum changes and characters. I’d love to see his take on Saint Walker. Whatever happened to him?

TL;DR: This issue is heaps more easier to understand than previous issues have been, but that is damning with faint praise.

Iron Man #4

Iron Man #4
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Cafu
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Vc’s Joe Caramagna

The one thing I was hoping wouldn’t happen in this comic happens…and we’re all going to have to live with it.

Between issues, Tony and Patsy went to ground in NYC, and Krovac kidnapped Rhodey to draw them out. Korvac’s plan involves hooking himself up to a machine, absorbing all of the electricity in the world into his body and then traveling to Galactus’ Worldship. And he does the first half in this issue, with NYC going dark.

Tony and Patsy, meanwhile, discuss the struggles they face and then sleep together. They decide to put together a small team that Korvac won’t see coming. To get this team, Tony tracks down the racer from the first issue, Halcyon. The lights go out when they find him, and that’s also when Patsy becomes possessed by Korvac. Halcyon thinks quickly and douses her with a fire hydrant, and Tony is impressed.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Dammit. I was hoping this wasn’t going to lead to Tony and Patsy sleeping together. I especially hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. But here we are, and it’s fine. I’m OK with it. It’s just that Tony Stark is already such a himbo that I got worried when Patsy Walker randomly showed up in the first issue. She seemed like such an out-of-the-blue choice for supporting ally. But she’s a beautiful woman, and he’s Tony Stark, and I had hoped Cantwell wasn’t just going there. I mean, come on, the previous Iron Man comic had him randomly hooking up with Janet Van Dyne for no particular reason. I had hoped Cantwell wasn’t just going to do the same thing with Patsy Walker…but here we are. Oh well.

And it’s a long way from Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat

The rest of the issue is really good, though. Tony and Patsy are underground and tackling their problem head on. I love when superheroes put together a team of nobodies to help, but we, sadly, don’t get to see anybody on their list this issue. Next issue should be fun. Rhodey’s kidnapping happening between issues was a bit of a jolt, but I got caught up to speed quickly. The threat is building, and Iron Man is desperate, so we’ve got a solid story going. Though, again, I still think it’s dumb that the villains worship Korvac like a god. It removes their agency as individual people and makes their villainy far less interesting.

TL;DR: The danger is growing, our heroes are in a tough spot and everything seems to be building to a really good, solid story.

Power Rangers #2

Power Rangers #2
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Francesco Mortarino
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

This issue surprised me, and not in a very good way.

The Omega Rangers have set sail through space with Drakkon as their guide, and they’ve locked him up in his own cell. When the power goes out on the ship, they soon find themselves fighting a horde of space draculas called The Horrid. Buncha fight scenes. Then their leader finds Drakkon in his cell and begins to feed, but Drakkon promises to lead the Horrid to a bunch of populated galaxies.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

So, uh…space vampires? Really? The first big story arc of this big relaunch and you stick the Omega Rangers with space vampires? Mighty Morphin gets this huge story with a brand new, mystery Green Ranger. But the much better titled Power Rangers — which I think I read somewhere is getting better sales, due to the name — you give us space vampires? Heck, after that killer first issue, with our heroes turning against Zordon himself, and you give us space vampires?! Like, not even interesting space vampires. These Horrid seem straight out of Central Casting. Just straight up space vampires with no real agenda or creed but being space vampires. Suffice to say, I think this is a dumb idea.

Keep up the good fight, Trini

But at least the issue is fun in the telling. We get a lot of drama because of Drakkon (who I think is in danger of being Flanderized at this point). We get some of the Rangers struggling with the decision to turn against Zordon. And then we get the awesome action scenes where the…sigh…space vampires cut power to the ship and sneak up on the individual rangers as they work to make repairs. Then it all busts into big fight scenes with big dramatic moments! So at least the fight scenes are still clever and fun.

Also, if I haven’t made it clear yet, I really hope Parrott has got something in the works for a new Omega Blue and an eventual Omega Pink. Start planting those seeds, my man! Not to mention whatever Sixth Ranger eventually develops. These are cool possibilities! Make them happen!

TL;DR: The choice of villain leaves A LOT to be desired for only the second issue of this important new series, but at least this is still a fun issue.

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 December 19, 2020, in Batman, Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Merry Christmas Sean

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