Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 3/4/23

Sometimes you get a week of great comics. Sometimes you get a week of mediocre comics. Sometimes you just try to drag yourself through day after day to get to the weekend, which you also waste. This was one of those weeks.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10 because it was another strong, enjoyable issue of this ongoing series. Somebody remind me to read the Sam Wilson series too, so I can get caught up ahead of the crossover.

He’s coming for you!

Meanwhile, not much else going on in life. I bought that new Multiple Man Marvel Legends action figure. I made such a stink about there not being Madrox action figures that I am honor bound to buy them when they do come out. But I’m starting to get the sense that I’ve lost all joy for buying action figures nowadays. Joy is in limited supply…ugh. It was just that kind of week. Oh! This week did see the return of The Mandalorian, which is nice.

Comic Reviews: Action Comics #1052 and Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10.

Action Comics #1052

Action Comics #1052
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Colorist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Dave Sharpe

I’m still blown away from the awesomeness that was Superman #1 last week. How’s Action Comics holding up in that wake?

Metallo has attacked the new Steelworks Tower, and Superman beats him up, freezes him over and sends him out into space. The family regroups to figure out what’s going on, and they determine that someone other than Lex Luthor is pulling Metallo’s strings, even if Metallo thinks it’s Luthor. Someone else is manipulating him to kill the Super-Family. Metallo returns to Earth and runs into a bunch of Blue Earth goons, who are mad that Superman brought some Warworld refugees to Earth. Metallo kills a few and kidnaps the rest to turn them into his own Metallo-Family.

Meanwhile, in the back-up features, young Jon meets a space princess and Power Girl and Omen help Supergirl with a mental block. Also, I learn that the other woman is Omen, not Rose and Thorn, like I thought in the previous issue.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

Action Comics is still good and I’m finding some things to enjoy. I hope I’m not putting Superman #1 up on too much of a pedestal here. But yeah, this is a solid issue. We get a fight with a classic villain, and Superman really pulling out all the tops to show how he’s changed and how he deals with problems. I especially enjoyed the reveal that there’s something more going on with Metallo than meets the eye. That it’s not really Lex Luthor pulling his strings. That should prove to be interesting. I also like the idea of him making a Metallo Family to combat the Super-Family. That should be a lot of fun. And I especially enjoy the homey scenes we’re getting of the Super-Family. That sort of thing is key to really enjoying this direction for Superman.

Don’t drink orange juice next

I fully support the Super-Family idea. The Superman comic can focus on just Supes. A comic about the whole extended Family sounds fun to me, and hopefully we get plenty of characters together doing family stuff. Though this is the second issue where they all just kind of gather in Clark and Lois’s apartment to talk about current news. There’s so much potential to be had with the family issues, and I look forward to this series really exploring that stuff. For now, this is a solid issue where Superman and his pals beat up Metallo, all while that threat grows larger and more dangerous.

TL;DR: I like the Super-Family as a concept, and this issue does a solid job of setting up their first major threat with a classic Superman villain.

Captain America #10

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10
Writers: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

As much as I really enjoyed the first story in this series, this second one is leaving me a bit in the dust. I don’t necessarily feel like the scope of this story is getting the punch it should.

Our heroes are trapped in the mental prison of MODOC, who is putting them through past memories to torment them. For Roger Aubrey, the Destroyer, the memory of his first love is enough to snap him out of the mental prison. He then goes on a montage busting through all the mental barriers to free his friends and defeat the villain, all while telling a story from his childhood about standing up to his bully of a father. They win in the end, but MODOC turns back into MODOK and kills Roger.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

My problem is that the heroics and death of Destroyer don’t feel earned. I loved the idea, at the beginning of the series, that Steve stays in ham radio contact with some old war buddies of his. That was fun and a great use of an old supporting cast. But then Roger showed up as part of Steve’s new Invaders, and that seemed to stretch credibility a bit for me. I understand that he’s got some super soldier serum in his veins, or whatever gives him his powers. But it was a real stretch to put this very old man on the front lines of this fight. And now, this issue treats him like a megastar, capable of just punching his way through mental torture to save everybody by sheer awesomeness. But I don’t think he’s earned that awesomeness yet. Or earned that heroic death.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe everybody else is loving how he’s been used. But it just didn’t work for me. Destroyer hasn’t made a large enough impact on the series to warrant everything he does and is done to him in this issue.

Beware the old man’s anger

But hey, maybe Lanzing and Kelly just really like the old Destroyer. Nothing wrong with that.

The rest of the issue is solid. We get some glimpses into our heroes heads as they’re taunted telepathically. That’s always fun. And then everybody comes together to defeat the bad guy, with a shocking ending. That’s good comics, that’s good storytelling. I still don’t feel like the whole of Manhattan has been taken over by AIM. That scope seems to elude this comic. And it seems a little silly that nobody prepared for a psychic attack after the last one. Emma didn’t do anything to give them psychic defenses? And why didn’t she come along? She would have added some fun to the Invaders lineup. But that’s just more of me wishing for horses.

TL;DR: We get into the heads of our main characters, and it’s fun, but there’s just something about this storyline that’s not as engaging as the previous one.

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 March 4, 2023, in Avengers, Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, Superman and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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