Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 1/1/22
Happy New Year, everybody! What a week, what a week…not much was happening and I kinda lazied my way into today. My comic book pile was very, very light this week. I considered picking up a couple extra comics just to beef up this pile of comic reviews, but maybe I just like being lazy. I did read a new issue of Amazing Spider-Man, at least.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Power Rangers #14 for a rip-roaringly cool chapter in the Eltarian War!
Meanwhile, I beat the Guardians of the Galaxy video game and it was a hoot. Pretty fun game. It was mostly a big, enjoyable story with some interactive and shooting elements here and there. I think they did a great job with the characters, and there were a ton of really fun Marvel cameos and Easter Eggs. So enjoyable game overall. And I also enjoyed the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett. I’d say it’s off to a great start.
Comic Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #83 and Power Rangers #14.
Amazing Spider-Man #83
Writer and Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorists: Morry Hollowell and Nathan Fairbairn
Letterers: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos and Joe Caramagna
I think I’m just keeping time until the Slingers show up.
Peter Parker is awake and still in a lot of pain. He’s struggling with physical therapy and some mental stuff. He sneaks out as Spider-Man and tries to stop some car thieves, but it doesn’t go well, and Captain America shows up to lend a hand. But Peter takes a walloping. He has some flashbacks to some lessons from Uncle Ben, while also being haunted by a webby memory creature. Peter pulls through the dark memories and is determined to keep up his physical therapy.
Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.
Patrick Gleason is a great talent and I got excited for a Spider-Man comic both written and drawn by him…but this issue again felt like filler. Perhaps it is my general bias against dream/trippy sequences. There just wasn’t much particularly special about the dream and flashback sequences. The art was great, at least. The webby creature, essentially a Spider-Man made out of strands of webbing, looked cool as heck! So that part was neat, even if it’s likely contained to just this issue. I at least enjoyed the team-up with Captain America. Spider-Man is using a costume and web-shooters he bought from a cosplayer off the internet, because he was high on painkillers and was allowed access to eBay. So it was pretty funny for his gear to fail him mid-fight, and the problems he was having with his spider-sense. There was one funny gag where Captain America accidentally smacked Spidey with his shield, because he’s used to Spider-Man always ducking. But overall, this was just another filler comic focusing on Peter Parker, even though we’ve got this whole Ben Reilly/Beyond Corporation thing right there to play around with!
TL;DR: Writing and art are solid, with some inspired scenes/artwork from Gleason, but overall the issue didn’t do much for me personally.
Power Rangers #14
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Francesco Mortarino, with ink assist from Christian Prunesti
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
The Eltarian War just gets bigger and brighter!
Zartus and his forces are out in space searching for Safehaven, which is when Zordon, Jason and Trini teleport directly onto his ship and get into a fight with his forces. But it’s a distraction while Kimberly and Finster rescue Zelya from the brig. Then Zordon stays behind to finish off the ship while the Rangers head back to Earth. There’s a big fight down there, with Tommy and Matt taken out early. Grace gets a cool hero moment before the cavalry arrives and then the fight is quite awesome. This is some of the best action and coolest character hero moments in the series.
Then Zartus shows up with the Empyreals, ready to completely destroy Earth. But he’s now opposed by all four Omega Zords, the Dragonzord and the White Tigerzord. Meanwhile, after finishing his mission, Zordon heads to the moon palace to retrieve the Zeo Crystal…but Lord Zedd is waiting for him!
Comic Rating: 10/10 – Fantastic!
This storyline is just plain fun and cool. I already have complete faith in Parrott and his creative team to deliver an amazing story, and I already love everything we’ve seen so far. Then this issue goes bigger and better, with so much action and so many cool moments! From Zordon laying waste to his foes in his new robo-body to Matt making executive decisions outside of the other Rangers to the minions getting a chance to kick butt in battle to big cavalry arrivals; it’s pure comic book storytelling gold. The dialogue is sharp, all of the characters stand out, and there are all manner of little dramatic threads that Parrott plays with. Jason and Trini turned against Zordon when they went off at the start of Power Rangers, and now he’s fighting side-by-side with them.
Seriously, Parrott is clearly having so much fun writing an ass-kicking Zordon.
This comic story has it all, with artwork that never lags behind the big adventure. Everybody looks great, with a lot of energy and movement. Every aspect of this comic is on fire. I especially love Parrott’s individual character development. I like the attention he pays to each of the minions, giving them their own unique personalities and styles. I love how he writes his original characters, like Matt and Grace. The man is delivering a master class in long form character writing, with an art team that’s as good as anyone in comics today.
If I had any nitpicks, I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t anything overly clever about the battle so far. Like, are they really going to be the Empyreals by just calling in their Zords? The Omega Zords haven’t worked against them in the past, but now the Dragonzord and White Tigerzord will make a difference? Maybe we’ll finally get the Omega Megazord. That would be cool. But yeah, nothing overly clever or unique to this fight has developed yet to ensure victory. Along those same lines, the victories in this issue really seemed to just be a matter of having more people punching. A couple chapters ago, the bad guys complete decimated our heroes and sent them scrambling. But all they did was then lick their wounds and gather a couple more allies, and now they’re back to just keep fighting in the ruins of Promethea. I’d also like to see more of the larger invasion. Zartus has supposedly conquered Earth, but the fight to save the planet will all take place in this one location? It feels like a bigger scope would help.
But these are just very, very, very minor nitpicks that don’t really matter. This is the biggest story we’ve ever seen in these BOOM! Power Rangers comics and I would just love to see something really spectacular and unique and fun to finish it off!
TL;DR: Power Rangers is firing on all cylinders and then some with an exciting, action-packed, character-focused, emotionally-fulfilling chapter of this big, awesome storyline.
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.