Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 8/13/22

Woof. What a lazy week. Normally I like to share funny videos or movie trailers, but I couldn’t find much of anything this week. Oh well, at least we had some nice comics, like Amazing Spider-Man and Power Rangers.

Comic Book of the Week goes to the latest issue of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty for continuing this strong series — even if it’s all built on one of those retcons where some secret society is behind everything.

Captain America and his mighty shield

Meanwhile, I recently read through all the tpbs of Batman meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they were a lot of fun! That was a quality series, and I’m sorry I missed it when it first came out. Perhaps now I’ll check out the animated version. I also think I’m finally going to play the video game Stray this weekend. The time has come.

Comic Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #7, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3, Jurassic League #4 and Power Rangers #22.

Amazing Spider-Man #7

Amazing Spider-Man #7
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Alright, we’re passed the issue #900 milestone, so I think Wells will be able to settle into whatever his ongoing plans are from here on out.

We open with Tiana Toomes confronting her grandfather, the Vulture, about all the murders he committed and walking out on her. Vulture blames Spider-Man for informing her about his past, and he swears revenge. Across town, Peter is meeting with the reformed Norman Osborn to get a tour of his new Oscorp. Norman wants to offer Peter a job. Then Peter has a run in with Mary Jane, and it’s lukewarm, to say the least. But Peter suspects it wasn’t a chance encounter and he confronts Norman, telling him off for possibly arranging this meet up with MJ. Peter storms out, while Norman reveals that they’ve been working on a new Spider-Man outfit and gear together.

While Spidey is swinging away, lost in his own thoughts, he’s ambushed by a very angry Vulture who destroys his web shooters and then drops him from a very high height.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

As the first issue kicking off the next big storyline, this is just kinda fine. I’m open to the idea of Norman Osborn as a reformed guy trying to help Spidey, and this issue sets that up nicely. Peter is also open to the idea, but also very suspicious and distrusting of Osborn, as he should be. We finally get a real meeting between Peter and MJ in this relaunch, and it’s fine. Nothing is revealed and there’s no real drama in their lukewarm meeting. They are cordial exes, and Paul remains a non character. And all the Peter confrontation with Norman accomplishes is to reveal the new gear in a closet, which we’ve already seen on future covers and previews, so it’s not a big surprise.

For some reason, Kamala Khan makes a cameo appearance? Has her star really fallen so far that she’s randomly showing up as a supporting character in Amazing Spider-Man? Why is Kamala even working as a science intern for known super villain Osborn?

The Vulture stuff is a bit more interesting. It’s always fun to use classic villains as normal, ordinary villains. It’s a shame that Marvel has chosen to break up Toomes with his granddaughter, who is a fun new character. Having that granddaughter/heir made the old Vulture more interesting. Now he’s just angry and villainous, like always. And the troubles he puts Spidey through at the end of the issue aren’t particularly fresh or interesting. How will Spidey survive being dropped from a great height? Will Norman’s new Spider-Glider save him? Yeah, maybe.

TL;DR: The next Spider-Man story is off to an OK start, setting some pieces in place for the larger, ongoing story.

Captain America #3

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3
Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Despite parts of this issue grinding my gears, this is still a great series.

Captain America fights the robot dude, possibly named Redacted, and whips his butt pretty easily. Steve then heads into the Forge, where he discovers a volcano lair in the basement. He also finds a mold for his shield, and when he puts the shield back into the mold, a recorded message plays from the blacksmith, Dr. Boka Agboje. The doctor explains that the bad guys are called The Outer Circle, and they have been menacingly controlling everything from the background, like all retconned evil villain groups do. Agboje designed Cap’s shield to bring them into the light, in the hopes that Steve is awesome enough to defeat them.

Steve is then confronted by a projected image of a woman called The Machine, who claims she is Agboje’s mother (I think). She blows up the Forge and Steve barely escapes.

Meanwhile, Bucky faces off against Peggy Carter, with her refusing to believe that she’s been “working” for The Outer Circle her entire life. She beats him up and disappears. Double meanwhile, that Redacted robo-dude shows up in New York to hunt down Steve’s new friends.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

If this comic kills Steve’s new friends, I will take back every nice thing I have said about it so far. I love when comic book characters are presented as people first and superheroes second, and giving Steve Rogers some normal, human friends in his daily life was a wonderful part of the first couple of issues. If they were only created so that this villain could slaughter them for meaningless tension and drama, then I will plotz. That would be such an unnecessary and ugly move for this otherwise brilliant and enjoyable comic. It would be the antithesis of everything Kelly, Lanzing and their creative team have built so far. But hopefully I’m just jumping the gun and nothing like that will happen.

There’s some real fun shield lore at work

Because this is another banger of an issue. Steve continues to be written wonderfully, with a strong, forward character. He delves deep into the new lore that’s being set up, even if parts of that lore grind my gears. This is one of those text book things where we learn some secret society has not only been around forever, but they’ve also been behind everything. I think this issue implies that they orchestrated World War II? And everything else in the 20th century? That’s a pretty big reach that robs them of what real menace they could have. But maybe that’s just me feeling that way. The creative team does a great job of presenting all of this information, it’s just a big pill to swallow.

The artwork, also, remains very top notch. The action is very energetic as it covers the page, and the normal stuff is just as strong.

TL;DR: Another banger of an issue keeps this story moving along nicely, even if some of the reveals about this new villain secret society might bite off more than they can chew.

Jurassic League #4

Jurassic League #4
Writers: Juan Gedeon and Daniel Warren Johnson
Artists: Gedeon and Jon Mikel
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Ferran Delgado

My favorite dinosaur is now the big bad guy of this series…sweet.

Aquanyx watches as the great egg eats Blackmantasaurus for energy. Aquanyx tries to fight it, but gets zapped. The Green Torch and Flashraptor have since defeated their foes, so they go out to find Aquanyx. When they arrive, the great eggs eats the villains they brought with them, and the villain — Darkyloseid — breaks free with plans to destroy the Earth.

Elsewhere, Batsaur breaks away from Supersaur and Wonderdon to go off in search of the bad guy’s lair. He used the Lasso of Truth to get the info out of Giganta. Supersar and Wonderdon stay behind to shore up the defenses for the humans.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

My favorite dinosaur is the Ankylosaurus. Darkseid as an Ankylosaurus? Heck yeah! But anyway, the artwork in this issue is back to mostly normal, and that makes for another solid issue. I don’t know why this series needed multiple artists though. They couldn’t delay the issues to let Gedeon, the writer, draw every issue? I think that would have been best. But at least Mikel does a much better job of matching Gedeon’s style, making for a stronger issue throughout this time around. And the artwork really is making and breaking this series. When the art is this strong and this clear, the issue soars.

Pun intended

The story remains pretty basic, but at least this issue introduced some neat new complications. I liked the idea of Darkyloseid eating his henchmen. That was kinda funny. And the slowly growing Jurassic League is pretty compelling, even if it’s nothing revolutionary. At least the dinosaur designs, when drawn well, remain a really, really fun gimmick.

TL;DR: Good art makes this issue, buoying the basic story with some really nifty visuals that easily live up to the ferocious premise.

Power Rangers #22

Power Rangers #22
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Marco Renna
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte, with assistance by Sharon Marino, and Sara Antonellini
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

Power Rangers vs. zombies? Sure, why not?

The Silver Space Ranger is now possessed by Spa’ark, the original Gold Omega Ranger, who is said to have conquered death. He and Andros blow up the bad guy’s space station, killing all of them, much to Jason’s anger. Andros and Spa’ark take Jason and Yale back to Andros’s home planet, though Spa’ark kills the two Omega Rangers on the way, because he’s all about controlling zombies. Zack and Trini confront them on the planet, and they’re also killed. Andros flees to warn the Power Rangers, joined by the Safehaven crew, who successfully defeat Garrison Vox’s minions. And by the end of the issue, Journey is now a young adult.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

The momentum is strong and the story is interesting so far as we race towards Parrott’s grand finale. We learn a lot more about the Death Ranger, who makes for an interesting villain. I have forgotten how much we know about the original Omega Rangers from back in the day, but the idea that they had a rogue member is a fun one. That this rogue member conquered death is an interesting wrinkle, and it mostly serves to create some solid threats for our heroes to face. The Omega Rangers, including Yale, turned into zombies? That definitely works. Requiring a team up between their supporting characters and the Mighty Morphin team? Heck yeah, bring it on!

Spa’ark is a dumb name

This issue was a really good story of two escalating missions. Things look dark and bleak for the Omega Rangers as they are easily overtaken by the Death Ranger, establishing that evil quite quickly and effortlessly. Journey’s battle against the Garrison Vox villains is good too, and it’s a shame that they age so quickly, because they would make a great Omega Pink Ranger in the long run. This is an issue that progresses all of the stories nicely and introduces the real danger of the new bad guy, and it all worked for me in that usual great Power Rangers way.

TL;DR: The new villain brings a new sort of evil for the Power Rangers to face, because I don’t know if we’ve ever done Rangers vs. Zombies? Should be a hoot!

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 13, 2022, in Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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