Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 10/15/22
Comics! We’ve got comics! And I’ve got reviews of those comics, because why not? My thoughts and opinions are valid! And hopefully nobody is being forced at gunpoint to read my thoughts on the likes of Dark Spaces: Wildfire and Amazing Spider-Man.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Batman Incorporated #1 for a fun kick-off to a new series focusing on a bunch of really interesting characters. I regret not reading that recent comic starring the Knight and Squire.
Meanwhile, I am still buzzing from the season finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law! That episode was insane in all of the best ways, and is quite possibly my new favorite thing of all time from the MCU. Once the recency bias wears off, it’s still going to be very high on my list. Come back on Wednesday for my full review/thoughts on the She-Hulk show!
Comic Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #11, Batman Incorporated #1, Dark Spaces: Wildfire #4 and Jurassic League #6.
Amazing Spider-Man #11
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Can someone explain to me why Kamala Khan is a background supporting character in this series? Has she fallen that far from grace?
Ned Leeds is a reporter again, and he and Betty Brant have a baby — who is kidnapped in the opening pages by the Hobgoblin. Ned approaches Peter with dirt that Norman Osborn has been meeting with Roderick Kingsley, and he wants Peter’s help uncovering the story, but Peter doesn’t want to mess up his good gig like that. Peter confronts Norman, who explains his business dealings with Kingsley, and how he’s going to give everything back to make peace. They meet on the docks a few nights later and Norman does, indeed, simply give Kingsley all his businesses and information back. And then the meeting is interrupted by the Hobgoblin.
Meanwhile, Peter asks Felicia out on a proper date.
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
This is a fine kickoff to a new storyline. But like most storylines in this run so far, it’s just fine. A “new” Hobgoblin is not an original idea. And having him attack Norman Osborn and Roderick Kingsley, with Ned Leeds thrown into the mix, is fine. Everyone is written well, and I enjoy the twist that Norman Osborn tries to go completely straight in his dealings with Kingsley. That was fun, as was his complete transparency with Peter Parker. So it’s all constructed well, and is filled with classic Spider-Man baddies. But this issue is all just set-up, without promising anything too new or very exciting. Still, I’m on board.
I’m more interested in some of the smaller choices. Norman becoming the Golden Goblin could be really fun. We get a peak at the costume in this issue and I’m all for it. Likewise, I really enjoy Peter and Felicia being together, and their scene in this issue is cute. Peter recognizes what they’re doing and gets out ahead of it. By all means, let’s see that happen. If the Nightwing comic can breath new life and energy into the classic Nightwing/Batgirl relationship, then Amazing Spider-Man can breath new life into Peter/Felicia. I’m all for it.
And, again, why is Kamala Khan working as an engineering intern at an Osborn company? Is she no longer a high school student? When has she ever been a genius engineer? And I know she doesn’t have an ongoing series right now, but…why not? Is she not popular anymore? She just had an awesome TV show! Why is she being used as a minor supporting character in Amazing Spider-Man?
Also, I will be over the moon if the new Hobgoblin is revealed to be Phil Urich back from the dead. Just some wishful thinking…
TL;DR: Good, solid start to a new storyline, with a couple smaller storyline that piqued my interest in fun ways.
Batman Incorporated #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: John Timms
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
I’ve always like the Batmen of Many Nations, ever since Grant Morrison brought them back. So let’s check this out.
Ghost-Maker has been put in charge of Batman Incorporated, the international crew of Batman-esque superheroes. While tracking down the international Lex Luthor labs, they discover the murder of one of Batman and Ghost-Maker’s original teachers. This leads them to several gruesome murders of said teachers and trainers, so the team splits up to try and warn the surviving mentors. Though when Ghost-Maker goes to Shangai to find Skyspider, she reveals that they believe Ghost-Maker to be the killer!
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
I liked it. I probably could have done with a character glossary at the beginning to help distinguish everyone, but otherwise this is a fine comic that does a good job introducing a couple of the characters, while setting up a mystery worthy of such a crew. It’s a slight shame that all of Batman’s teachers are going to be dead now, but I suppose they weren’t really being used. And, like I said, this a worthy international mystery for this crew to handle. And it personally effects Ghost-Maker, too, so that’s an added benefit. I like the whole idea of this comic. Take Ghost-Maker and Clownhunter and put them in charge of the International Club of Heroes, who also had a recent revival in the Batman comic. Works for me!
The issue itself is nicely paced, with a nice, solid use of the various characters. The mystery builds with each page. We visit a ton of different locations and check in on a bunch of different characters. The threat is clearly presented, even as the villain stays off-panel. And I really enjoyed the little character bursts we get. Batman Japan has an especially fun scene where he discusses with an ally about changing his code name, because “Batman Japan” is a silly code name. That should be a fun subplot. And Ghost-Maker works as a team leader, who not everybody is fully behind, for legitimate reasons. I look forward to seeing how this story and these characters develop.
Though, again, there are a bit too many to cram into a single issue like this, especially when I don’t have all their names and identities memorized.
TL;DR: This new series is off to a good start, with a solid international threat and a good use of all the characters; though there might be too many characters to keep solid track of them all.
Dark Spaces: Wildfire #4
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Andworld Design
Penultimate issue is here and it’s another solid, enjoyable bit of story.
The mansion is surrounded by deadly mercenaries with guns, and there’s only one option: surrender. The girls get tied up and the mercs take Brooks away, deeper into the mansion, for something else. Knowing they’re all about to die, the other girls start fantasizing about what they’d have done with all that money. Then Ma twists her wrist and breaks out, then frees the girls. But there’s one more deadly twist in store…
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
It’s good stuff, people. Next issue is the final issue, and I’m confident it will wrap up nicely. What we’ve got here is just a very well-made, well-crafted little story that uses its premise and themes very well. Snyder ties every issue to a stage of a wildfire, which he explained in the first issue. And he’s got the right amount of twists for a story like this, from Ma surrendering without a fight at the start of the issue, to the big twist at the end. And this issue, in particular, does a great job with the All Is Lost moment. All hope seems lost, but our heroes pull themselves up, get a quick little badass action scene and then race towards the finale. This is a damn good product. The art, likewise, has been perfect. It’s got the right amount of edge and danger to it, the right amount of grit. This comic is the whole package, and this penultimate issue fits in perfectly.
TL;DR: Character and drama come together perfectly for a nice, quality penultimate issue that sets up what could be a really fun finale.
Jurassic League #6
Writers: Juan Gedeon and Daniel Warren Johnson
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Is Jurassic League worth your time? Sure, for a lark.
Batsaur faces off against Jokerzard and his army of angry dinosaurs. He thinks he has to take on the villain alone, but the humans help. Then Darkyloseid shows up and eats all the bad guys for sustenance. The Jurassic League try to take him on one by one, but they utterly fail. So Supersaur knocks the villain into space, then knocks him back down to Earth, destroying them both and creating a giant volcano in the middle of the ocean. In the aftermath, Batsaur has learned to work with the humans. And maybe Supersaur isn’t gone after all…
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
First and foremost, this issue felt short. I was surprised when it was over. Basically, we just get one really good punch or two from Supersaur and Darkyloseid is defeated. It’s a little silly even. The rest of the Justice League try their best, but in the end, it’s just Superman knocking Darkseid around with ease that saves the day. It might even be considered anti-climactic…but nah. The story and the art come together much better than just that. I would say this story comes to a solid, satisfying conclusion for this story. All the dinosaur superheroes team up, all drawn by Gedeon, and they defeat the bad guys in a fun way. This comic has never tried to be anything more than its fun premise, and it succeeds in fulfilling that premise in a really fun way here at the end. I am confident in saying that Jurassic League has done its job and has ending successfully, especially if you’re reading the whole thing at once in a future tpb.
TL;DR: This fun little series comes to a fun little ending, easily fulfilling the promise of the title and the premise.
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 October 15, 2022, in Batman, Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man and tagged Amazing Spider-Man, Batman Incorporated, Dark Spaces: Wildfire, Ghost-Maker, Gold Goblin, IDW, Jurassic League. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.