Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 5/28/22
If you’re reading this post when it goes up on Saturday morning, I am already on my way to sunny California! Should be a fun vacation. Thankfully, I was able to read and review a couple of this week’s pretty good comics before heading to the airport.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Legion of X #1. I was definitely looking forward to this comic and it mostly did not disappoint.
Meanwhile, the third season of Love, Death, Robots turned out to be pretty darn good on Netflix. Definitely worth a watch. While Mike Meyers’ big return, The Pentaverate, was so bad that I stopped watching halfway through. It was only six half-hour episodes, but I still couldn’t bring myself to keep watching.
Comic Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #2, Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3, Legion of X #1 and Saga #59.
Amazing Spider-Man #2
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
The new Spider-Man relaunch continues along nicely.
In Peter Parker’s new bad life, he’s actually friendly with a reformed Norman Osborn. So that’s one thing. Spider-Man later stops White Rabbit from committing some crime stuff and he makes a deal with her to give up Tombstone, only she sends Spidey to a different address, that of the Crime Master. Tombstone is already there single-handedly destroying all of Crime Master’s goons and taking him prisoner. Spider-Man arrives and gets mad at Tombstone, who tricks Spidey into getting into his booby trapped box truck as it speeds away. Without much room to move, Tombstone easily knocks Spider-Man out.
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
Not a whole heck of a lot happens in this issue, but it’s all generally fine and enjoyable. We learn some new details about Peter’s life, or at least one new detail: he’s chill with Norman Osborn. I suppose that’s fun. We’ll find out why in the future, no doubt. And the crime story is generally fine as well. I’m fairly certain crime families in Marvel have never been particularly fleshed out, so there’s no harm in the creative team just creating territories and power structure from scratch. That means it doesn’t have much impact, because we don’t know what exactly they’re fighting over. Like…what is Crime Master’s territory? What are the actual stakes of Tombstone making this power play against him?
But again, it doesn’t particularly matter. We just need to know that there’s gonna be a super-villain crime war with Tombstone in the lead, and that’s what Spidey is finding himself in the middle of. The idea that Spider-Man gets lured into a trap by Tombstone is also fine. I hope Wells has something really fun planned for Spidey being captured. We’ll see. But otherwise, everything is just fine and good in this issue. The storyline moves along and nothing much of note really happens.
Though I am curious when White Rabbit became a power player. I’m a big White Rabbit fan, and I’ll admit I haven’t read her most recent appearances. But it feels a little weird that she’s a respected and serious bruiser/lieutenant in Tombstone’s gang. I like it, but it’s still a bit unexpected.
TL;DR: This is a solid, if unremarkable, second issue of this new relaunch. A couple of the various storylines move along nicely, just not with any panache.
Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Johanna Nattalie
I will see this comic through to the end, but there’s nothing of much depth to offer. Though it remains exactly what it says on the cover.
The Megazord is taking a real beating from the combined might of Gigan and some of Rita’s classic monsters. But then Godzilla returns, angry and lashing out at everybody. The Power Rangers call down the Power Sword and blast Godzilla with some healing energy, putting him back at 100% and convincing him that the Power Rangers are on his side. They defeat the existing monsters, but then Rita sends down Monster Scorpina and the Xiliens summon some classic bug kaiju, including Kamacuras, Kumonga and, I think, Battra.
Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.
Honestly, there just isn’t a whole lot to say about this comic. The creative team is delivering exactly what the title of the comic asks for, in all the ways one would expect. First Godzilla and the Power Rangers fought. Now they’re teaming up against the real bad guys. That’s how this works, and it’s exactly what happens in the comic. There’s no depth to Rita’s plans or the Xiliens in general. There’s no surprise at what monsters show up. No doubt they’re building towards Gidorah, because of course they are. There’s nothing surprising or exciting or new. But at the same time, it’s all written fine, and I really enjoy the artwork. So it’s better than blah. I just expect more depth when it comes to Power Rangers comics these days.
TL;DR: You get what you pay for; no more, no less.
Legion of X #1
Writer: Sy Spurrier
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
I loved Way of X, so Legion of X has been my most anticipated new X-Book. And it largely lives up to the excitement!
Nightcrawler now runs the Legionaires, a group of mutants working to enforce the laws in their own special Nightcrawler way. They’re not cops, but they’re kinda cops? Anyway, the crew have got all sorts of things to worry about. There’s the Skinjacker, who seems to be possessing people, and his true identity might surprise you (and require a Google search). There’s Blindfold, who is back from the dead but chooses to live on the Astral Plane with her boyfriend Legion. Juggernaut is part of the team, taking down troublesome mutants on Krakoa with his partner, ForgetMeNot. And then there’s an Arakki god of mischief who Nightcrawler has been tasked with trying to find. He’s also been teamed up with a new Arakki love interest, Weaponless Zsen.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
Let me get this out of the way first so that it doesn’t take up the entire review: I don’t like Arakki and nothing in that sphere has ever interested me. This issue is a fine example of everything wrong with that whole concept. The scenes where Nightcrawler is getting up to speed on the Arakki storyline is so mind-boggling asinine and full of weird names, characters, concepts and just about everything else. There’s so little grounding in reality or anything that matters. I legitimately hate it and would stop reading this comic if that’s what it was all about — but I do like Weaponless Zsen and some of the creativity put into her name. I also like the idea of a new love interest for Nightcrawler. So perhaps not all is hopeless.
I really enjoyed the issue as a whole and the general idea we get for the series. A couple of interesting random mutants have been tasked with being a very unique, very cool brand of law enforcement officer for Krakoa. And considering the mutants involved and with Kurt in the lead, we already know it’s not going to fall for any of the usual tropes for cop stories. The Legionaires are a great example of the cool, new cultural things that Krakoa allows, and I am definitely here for it. Spurrier does a wonderful job with all of the characters, and he delivers a bunch of really neat issues that need to be addressed, tying some of them together nicely. This level of boots-on-the-ground storytelling on Krakoa is exactly what I want, and I’m very pleased with how it’s all introduced in this issue.
TL;DR: Aside from some truly maddening Arakki stuff that I don’t personally care for, this issue is a really fun, well-crafted introduction to the new phase of Nightcrawler on Krakoa. This boots-on-the-ground comic is exactly what I want in the Krakoa Era.
Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist: Fiona Staples
I’m going to sound like a broken record soon, but Saga continues to cruise along nicely.
Alana returns from her mission with a new haircut and Skip hands over the medallion, completing their agreement without any sort of double cross or nothing. But whatever deal Skip made with Bombazine has him staying on the ship, and it’s a really uncomfortable goodbye with Alana. But the band has broken up, and Guitar and the frog one hitch a ride with Alana when she departs. Then, in the middle of the night, Hazel is sneaking around and bumps into Squire, who reveals that he’s in love with her.
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
Farewell, Bombazine, we barely knew ye. Welcome Guitar and frog guy, we barely know ye as well. This issue is a pretty perfect encapsulation of what reading Saga is like. It is full of interesting characters and settings, with some truly wonderful artwork and dialogue. This issue is no different. All of the characters remain really fun to read, including the newbies like Skip and the band. But reading Saga is also all about just accepting that it’s not going to feature big, exciting events in every issue. It’s really just gonna tell a story at its own pace. That’s clearly the point, and I get that. And I generally enjoy the series. But it’s just going to be generally good. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Also, quality cliffhanger ending. Saga never disappoints with the cliffhanger endings.
TL;DR: Another solid, enjoyable, largely fine issue of Saga. As with most issues of this series, we’re kind of just moving right along at an acceptable pace.
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.
Posted on May 28, 2022, in Comics, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man, X-Men and tagged Amazing Spider-Man, Boom!, Godzilla, Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, IDW, Image, Legion of X, Nightcrawler, Power Rangers, Saga, Way of X. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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