Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 9/24/22

Another week, another couple of new comics, and more of me ignoring all the Big Events going on right now. I should really get over that bias and try to enjoy some Big Events, eh? How’s Judgement Day going? Anyway, we’ve got new Legion of X and the start of X-Terminators!

Comic Book of the Week goes to Nightwing #96 for a truly perfect finale to the first major storyline. Let us hope we get many major storylines going forward!

No, I really do want more good Nightwing comics!

Meanwhile, COVID is a beast to fully recover from, but I’m trying. I’m taking a lot of naps and wasting a lot of time playing more Total War: Warhammer 3. I haven’t even started Andor yet. What’s wrong with me? Oh yeah, COVID recovery.

Comic Reviews: Legion of X #5, Nightwing #96 and X-Terminators #1.

Legion of X #5

Legion of X #5
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jaz Bazaldua
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

This is the end of the first major Legion of X storyline and it is a wild ride.

So, uh, I’m not entirely sure I can sum this up properly. So Nightcrawler has figured out from the chimera god Timult that the giant eye from Arakko is the real bad guy, and he confronts the eye. There are all sorts of fights, and Blindfold knocks Skinjacker out of Legion, who then calls upon all his different personalities to join the fight in the Altar. And Weaponless Zsen is around, and she’s cool. And Storm shows up to put her foot down regarding the eyeball. And essentially the good guys win, the eyeball is put in her place, Mother Righteous remains free to cause mischief, and Timult switches bodies with Skinjacker so that he can live as a person now, while Skinjacker is sacrificed to the Arakki, who hate gods. Also, Zsen leaves Arakko before Judgement Day, so she’s not killed, but it also means leaving Nightcrawler instead of shacking up with him.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

Honestly, I liked what I read, but it was a real trip. Spurrier has built up so many spinning plates in this story that I’m not entirely sure I was fully following along. Apparently Timult is a different god than Mother Righteous? And Banshee became a Ghost Rider at one point, which I guess is sticking around. And there’s still a mysterious bad guy on the loose who killed that one dude and set the Skinjacker free. And Juggernaut, Pixie and Forgetmenot are all still part of the book. And it was just wild man, real wild. Thankfully, the art kept pace, so that was nice. And Spurrier does great work with the individual characters, so they keep everything relatively grounded and moving forward. The weird politics of Arakko are a hinderance, but not oppressively so. The issue worked, the overall story has worked and the characters, especially, worked.

TL;DR: Things get real wild and real trippy in a satisfying conclusion to the first storyline, though perhaps too wild and too trippy.

Nightwing #96

Nightwing #96
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Caio Filipe
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott

The first major storyline of Taylor and Redondo’s Nightwing comic comes to an end with this issue, and it’s pretty much perfect from beginning to end.

Blockbuster has discovered that Nightwing is Dick Grayson and he’s called in all sorts of back-up, while Haven burns. But Nightwing doesn’t take that sort of thing lying down, and he starts kicking Blockbuster’s butt, while speechifying about bad men like him. Meanwhile, Batgirl races to the rescue and discovers that the people of Bludhaven have teamed up to put out the fires. Batgirl also gives Blockbuster’s back-up the info that he owns Bludhaven Private Prison, which makes all his henchmen turn against him. Nightwing knocks Blockbuster out a window and he’s defeated, running from the scene.

In the aftermath, Dick tells Barbara that they can’t be together now that a villain knows his secret identity, but Babs ain’t hearing it. She gives a nice speech about both of them being allowed to be happy, and they are going to stay together and face whatever storm is coming their way.

But they don’t have to worry, because Heartless intercepts the fleeing Blockbuster and steals his heart, killing him. Good times.

Comic Rating: 10/10 – Fantastic.

Taylor and Redondo’s Nightwing deserves every ounce of praise it has accumulated since it started. This is as purely fun as superhero comics get. A great creative team taking a beloved character and making the most out of their comic book adventures. And this issue brings everything they’ve built so far to a satisfying climax, as bad guys are put in their place, good guys get to enjoy some solid character moments and future stories are teased with ruthless efficiency. Everything in this issue worked for me, from Dick Grayson delivering both a beating and a speech to Blockbuster, to the fun and charming moment where Barbara Gordon puts him in his place about continuing their relationship. It’s just as cute as the two of them have always been written in this series, and it’s a really nice moment to solidify how great they are together.

Those are some awesome uniforms

Then there’s the art. Where has Bruno Redondo been all my life? Has he been drawing comics I just haven’t been reading? This man is a superstar! Hand him the keys to the kingdom and let him draw whatever he wants! Stay on Nightwing for eternity. Take over any comic he wants. The detail is perfect, the charm in the characters’ faces is perfect, the action is some of the best ever captured in comics; the man is a dream weaving machine! And he’s got such a great art team behind him. The color in Nightwing is sublime, with Lucas somehow finding the perfect hues and tones to match Redondo’s style.

Nightwing has been a true masterpiece from beginning to now, and I can only hope this level of quality and fun is going to continue. This is a solidly entertaining storyline finale, with a lot of great moments and even better character work.

TL;DR: Everything comes together nicely in the end, with some satisfying character moments, some heroic superhero action and some really clever and nifty surprises to make it even more fun to read.

X-Terminators #1

X-Terminators #1
Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: Carlos Gomez
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

I love Leah Williams’ comic book work. I love the idea of X-Men mini-series focusing on specific, smaller characters. And I loved this issue!

Dazzler has just broken up with her 2-month boyfriend, Alex, so she calls up Jubilee and Boom Boom to have a girls night at her favorite dive bar around the corner. But Alex and his buddies are vampires and they drug the girls’ drinks. Jubilee wakes up strapped to the wheel of a monster truck in a crazy show, Boom Boom wakes up in a pit full of monsters and Dazzler wakes up in a maze full of monsters. They all go hog wild blowing up monsters and monster trucks until they’re able to reunite and work on breaking out. They blow up enough stuff and have a fun enough time that the announcer of this game show (?) reveals they will face the final boss: Wolverine (Laura)!

Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.

So basically, Williams takes a couple of her presumably favorite X-Men (I’m guessing) and is given permission to just go hog wild on a silly, foul-mouthed girl power adventure! And I loved it! The dialogue and characters sing with fun and energy. I loved the three of them getting together for a girls night, and then things launch into the superhero realm with the revelation of vampires and some mysterious, high octane game show. Bring it on! Again, this is just a couple of fan-favorite X-Women going balls-to-the-wall with energy and wildness, and I am totally here for it. Especially since the character work and the humor stay in step with the hijinks.

Get off her back, Allison!

The art keeps pace with the wild story and makes it even better. It’s detailed and crystal clear what’s going on. The super power effects are nice. This comic is the whole package. Again, I can’t stress enough how fun it feels to just take a couple of fun characters and let them go wild on a weird new adventure. Being in the Krakoa Era shouldn’t stop this sort of adventure from happening. It’s a super fun first issue, and I hope the series can keep up the pace and energy, because they are a ton of fun in this debut.

TL;DR: Turn your dials up to 11 and strap in, folks, because Leah Williams has been set loose to just go buck wild and have a blast with some super fun X-characters.

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 September 24, 2022, in Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, X-Men and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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