Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 3/25/23

Who loves comics? I love comics! And some of my favorites came out this week. It’s always an enjoyable time when I get to read Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Nightwing in the same week.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Superman #2 for an excellent entry, making this series two-for-two so far for me. Joshua Williamson and his creative team are knocking this one out of the park in terms of story, character and especially some gorgeous artwork.

No sir, I am perfectly reasonable

Meanwhile, I finally beat Midnight Suns and I can definitely say it was a good game. A ton of work went into that thing to really flesh out all its Marvel superheroes, and I would definitely look forward to a sequel. I also saw John Wick: Chapter 4 and was disappointed. These endless action scenes are diminishing returns for me in this series. I’m also watching the second season of Carnival Row. So at least somebody is, right?

Comic Reviews: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #106, Nightwing #102, Superman #2 and The Wasp #3.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #106

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #106
Writer: Melissa Flores
Artist: Simona Di Gianfelice
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

For the second issue in a row, the cover has nothing to do with what actually happens in the comic. That’s weird, right?

We open with a flashback to Zedd meeting Rita, but it’s too short to be all that sweet. Then we get a crash course in the Master Arches and the Navigator, which is the doohickey that Alpha-1 wants and the Rangers now have. They figure Mistress Vile is going to come to Safehaven to get it and Zordon orders everybody to return to Earth. Then we get some cool convos between Zordon and Grace, Trini and Kimberly, Grace and Lord Zedd, and Jason and Tommy. Alpha-1 arrives on Safehaven and it’s a big fight, with the Power Rangers revealing that they didn’t follow orders back to Earth, they stayed and help defeat Alpha-1.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Grace and Terona reveal that they have their own Navigator with plans to explore the Morphin Grid themselves. Then Lord Zedd breaks out of his cell and reveals he has some kind of morpher of his own, and he morphs into some kind of awesome Lord Zedd Ranger.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This issue was a lot of talking, and while that’s normally great in a Power Rangers comic, it all felt just slightly less than important this time around. There were some great conversations, but they felt surface deep, or mostly for exposition. So this issue wasn’t as fire as previous issues. I liked the fight scene. I liked the reveal that the Rangers disobeyed Zordon…though we rarely ever see Zordon that firm in his orders, so it felt a touch out of character. Still, the Rangers worked together wonderfully to trick and defeat Alpha-1, and that counts for a lot. They are heroes and I like to see the heroes win. And they do have some nice conversations. I always like Trini and Kimberly being friends. And Lord Zedd gets some great scenes in this issue. It’s all a very fulfilling, very full issue. It’s just not as snap, crackle and pop as usual. No harm in that. I’m chomping at the bit to finally see all this come to a head. I’m still very worried about Matt.

TL;DR: Lots of conversations, some good, some expository, as the overall story moves along nicely.

Nightwing #102

Nightwing #102
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Travis Moore
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott

I’m looking forward to Tom Taylor’s upcoming Titans comic book series. If it’s as good as Nightwing, I will be a happy reader.

After freeing himself from the morgue, Nightwing teams up with the rest of the Titans to stop the Grinning Man from taking Olivia. It’s really fun and really funny. Afterwards, they get the villain to spill his guts and decide the best way to handle this is to break into Hell to steal the contract that Blockbuster signed with Neron.

Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.

This issue was just plain fun. The Grinning Man doesn’t pose much of a threat to the Titans, so there’s not much tension. But Taylor and his art team have a lot of fun showing these superheroes handling their business. The writing is really witty, the jokes are nifty, and this issue was just a blast to read. There’s honestly not much more to say beyond that. Nightwing immediately clues in the rest of the team to the Grinning Man’s scheme, and the Titans immediately jump into action to stop him from kidnapping or harming Olivia. There’s some solid, low key superheroics to enjoy, but mostly it’s the jokes and bits that I loved.

They fly now?!

Nightwing is the most feel good comic on the stands. Not every superhero needs to be racked with guilt and drama. A guy like Dick Grayson has done it all and seen it all, and now he gets to enjoy a solid, charming, superhero life. He hangs out with his friends, he’s got a great girlfriend, he can take out villains with ease; Nightwing is a fun comic and this issue is a prime example of why. And then the issue ends with a fun tease into what comes next. Love it. Really fun issue, with the promise of even more fun to come.

TL;DR: Really fun, really funny issue of Nightwing keeps the good times rolling.

Superman #2

Superman #2
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Ariana Maher

I was over the moon with the first issue of this new Superman series, and this second issue is another banger.

Metropolis has been overrun with clones of Parasite, all of them sucking up the city’s electricity. Superman checks in with Mercy Graves at Super Corp to try to figure out a plan, all while Lex Luthor keeps insisting that Superman break him out of prison to help. Superman is eventually drawn to the Daily Planet where he meets Marilyn Moonlight, who’s a whole other thing. Ghost cowboy with moon powers? Yeah, maybe. Anyway, Lois Lane and the other Daily Planet employees have been turned into Parasites as well, and Superman learns too late that the Parasite clones are now also super tiny and get into your blood stream.

Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.

The first issue did a phenomenal job of setting the status quo and the tone of this new Superman relaunch, then ended with a quality cliffhanger of new threats. This second issue takes those threats and dials them up to 11 to put Superman in the thick of things, and it works great! A whole army of Parasite clones, capable of depowering Superman? Heck yeah! Throws the whole city in a panic, with quick cameos by other members of the Super-Family — especially with their cool new costumes drawn by Campbell? Awesome! This issue really kicks the superhero stuff into high gear, running Superman ragged as he encounters different levels of this new threat.

He’s an alien

The only really questionable thing about this issue is the sudden appearance of Marilyn Moonlight. She’s on the cover, but…what the heck is she? A ghost? A random cameo? A new supporting character? It’s a bit weird. She’s got a great design and a fun personality, so I’m not too bothered. But she randomly shows up in the middle of this Parasite story and then disappears just as suddenly. I trust Williamson has something fun planned with her, but she was a weird presence in this issue, is all I’m saying. She looks great when drawn by Campbell, that’s for damn sure.

TL;DR: This second issue is almost as much fun as the first, with a lot of great character material and some really heightened superhero action and danger.

Wasp #3

Wasp #3
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Kasia Nie
Colorist: KJ Diaz
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

This has been a pleasant little comic, and I look forward to where it’s going.

Janet and Nadia are trapped in mental worlds created by Kosmos, in worlds where Hank Pym never existed, because they both fear that they owe everything about their lives and success to Hank. But in both their fantasy worlds, both Janet and Nadia prove to be awesome and badass all on their own, without Hank. Janet becomes leader of The Operatives (since she’s named herself The Avenger), and Nadia becomes top assassin for the Red Room. So Kosmos decides to merge their worlds and have Nadia assassinate Janet. Also, Jarvis got trapped in a fantasy world as well when he rushed to their rescue.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This is just a fun alternate reality sort of issue. It expands the awesomeness of both characters, establishes more of the power and danger of the villains, and just has some fun imagining a world and lives of our main characters if they weren’t “held down” by the elephant in the room that is Hank Pym in both of their lives. Does the Wasp have a character beyond being Hank Pym’s wife? I think that’s a great concept to explore in this comic, and this issue does it well, while also advancing the story as our heroes unknowingly thwart the villain’s plan. He thought he was putting them up against their greatest fear, and they kicked that fear’s butt!

Take a meeting with the Hulk

The art remains really strong on this series. It’s clean and full of life and energy. Nie also draws a great Kosmos! That thing is otherwordly and so evil looking, so vile looking. That really helps sell the danger and the threat. And the character writing also remains on point. Makes me want more Wasp comics, or for Janet or Nadia to be a regular in an ongoing team book. When was the last time The Wasp for a member of the Avengers? Someone should fix that asap!

TL;DR: This issue does a great job of really exploring the main characters against the context of some of their biggest development. Really fun take to explore.

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 25, 2023, in Reviews, Comics, Marvel, DC, Superman and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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