Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 3/19/22
Life and love keep ever moving forward, and I’m back from my trip in good spirits. Unfortunately, this was a pretty weak week for comics! Almost nothing on my usual buy pile came out, so I’ve really only got reviews for Nightwing and Power Rangers.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Nightwing #90 as the magic continues. Tom Taylor can do very little wrong on this series, apparently.
Meanwhile, I’ve started playing Horizon Forbidden West and it’s fun. I haven’t had too much time to delve into it just yet, but it should be more fun once the world really opens up. I finished Reacher on Amazon Prime and it was good, though the ending was a bit disappointing. I loved Turning Red on Disney+ and now I’m checking out the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. As you can see, I keep busy.
Comic Reviews: Nightwing #90 and Power Rangers #17.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Regular artist Bruno Redondo had to take a break, it seems, but Geraldo Borges does a fine enough job filling in.
Blockbuster is done playing around with his assassination attempts on Dick Grayson, so he has hired La Agente Funebre to just blow up Dick’s whole apartment building. Mayor Zucco gets him a warning in time and Dick evacuates the whole building, though he “appears” to go back inside to save a guy on the third floor (he has to become Nightwing to do it). With the building destroyed and Dick Grayson unaccounted for, Nightwing is rescued by the Flash and goes to stay with him for the night.
The next day, Barbara Gordon is kidnapped at gunpoint, but Nightwing and Flash save her in secret and take her place in the kidnap van. They arrive at their destination and learn that KGBeast was behind it!
Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.
Right off the bat, I want to grimace at my one nitpick: I’m very disappointed that Dick’s entire apartment building has been blown up. Having that place as a base of operations was a really strong foundation for this series, and it barely feels like we’ve spent any time there, considering all the crossovers and whatnot. Now it’s gone, and all of its potential is gone with it. I just find that very disappointing, because I’m in this for the long haul! But that nitpick aside, this is another wonderful issue that tackles another fun aspect of Dick Grayson’s life: his superhero friends. Taylor once again finds the grounded magic in the life of Dick Grayson, mixing it up with the family/home life of Wally West and giving us another wonderful team-up adventure.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is a comics world I don’t know a lot about. I’ve simply never been one for the Flash or the adult Titans. Heck, I never really even read Nightwing until the New 52 and now this. But Taylor has a lot of fun with the comfort and friendship of Dick and Wally. It absolutely works on the page and makes for a very heartwarming and meaningful read. As always, I love it when superheroes are treated as people first, and Wally bringing Dick into his home life absolutely works. Throw in a fun scene where some thugs unknowingly kidnap Batgirl and you’ve got a well-rounded comic. Borges also acquits himself well as fill-in artist, bringing clear and engaging artwork.
TL;DR: The already super fun Nightwing comics kicks it up a notch with an adorable and meaningful team up between Nightwing and the Flash.
Power Rangers #17
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Marco Renna
Colorists: Walter Baiamonte, with assistance from Sharon Marino and Sara Antonellini
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Herein lies the major problem between Power Rangers and Mighty Morphin: I don’t really care about all the alien drama in Power Rangers.
The Omega Rangers have returned to Safehaven and each have their tasks. Jason is focused on using long-range scanners to find Drakkon. Trini is rebuilding Xi. And Zack is tasked with tracking down a thief. Zack and Arkon find out that the thief is a Hartunian who is living in a makeshift hut outside of town, because he couldn’t find a family in town. It’s a whole thing, and a lesson is learned about pulling yourself up by your boot straps. Trini succeeds in rebuilding Xi, but he’s been reverted to original program. New Xi then explains that he could revert back to his old self, but he doesn’t want to have to re-experience all those horrible memories.
And after a bit of insight from Yale, Jason decides they can’t just sit back and hope Drakkon shows up somewhere. They need to be more proactive. So the Omega Rangers send out a wide broadcast announcing that they’re going to help those in need and punish evil. The message is picked up by the ruthless Followers of Vox (Garrison Vox), and they’re going to wage revenge for their fallen leader!
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The writing and art remain very strong on Power Rangers, but the simple fact is that the alien drama on Safehaven just isn’t that interesting to me. It’s nowhere near as interesting as the Earth-bound drama from Mighty Morphin. Parrott has done some good work in setting up Safehaven, but man, I just don’t care as much as he clearly wishes. Some random Hartunian outcast causing trouble for Zack? Don’t care. Hartunians feel disrespected on Safehaven? Don’t care. It’s a weird dichotomy, and I understand if it’s just me. I just think Parrott would benefit from exploring the grounded, human side of the Omega Rangers a bit more, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Why are the Omega Rangers still the Omega Rangers? Have they fully given up their lives on Earth? They don’t have a Zordon to guide them or a Lord Zedd to focus their attacks, and now the Empyreals are gone. So what’s keeping Jason, Zack and Trini on Safehaven? What motivates them to keep doing good beyond just the general idea that they’re Omega Rangers?
These are just me spitballing. The comic itself is still fun. Parrott is a great character writer, and I really enjoyed the scene where Trini tries to rebuild Xi. Some real interesting character development for the robot. And the general interactions between the Rangers themselves are still good. Their decision to be general heroes across the universe works for me. Plenty of bad guys out there.
And any mention of Garrison Vox pushes us closer to him becoming Omega Pink. Unless he’s dead…is Garrison Vox dead?
TL;DR: This is a good set-up issue for the next phase of the Omega Rangers’ story, I’m just not as connected to the drama on this alien world as the creative team would like me to be.
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.