Frontline Reviews For Week Of July 4, 2018!

Join us on the Frontlines with our weekly review roundup. This is where we have assembled to give our thoughts on various issues that are released each week. This week we have BrantJayJustinKat, & Louis giving reviews for books from Aftershock, Aspen Comics, Benitez ProductionsBOOM!  StudiosDark HorseDC ComicsDynamite EntertainmentIDW Publishing Image ComicsMarvel Comics, and Valiant Comics! Check out the reviews below and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter. Welcome to the FRONTLINE REVIEWS, hope you enjoy the experience!

DARK ARK #8
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Juan Doe
Letters By: Ryane Hill
Cover By: Juan Doe
Price: $3.99

Quick background, I am Irish Catholic, so I done the whole Sunday School thing, still attend church every Sunday and heard all about Noah’s Ark, but the Dark Ark is dark twist on the story I have been really enjoying. God has Noah building an ark to survive the flood filled with people and animals to live once the cleansing is over, and what Noah doesn’t know is that the Devil has Shrae building his own ark that the people think is to save them but it is really to save the monsters, like the Manticore etc. The plan is once the cleansing is complete and the new land is revealed that the monsters will use those on Noah’s ship to feast upon. This issue Bunn shows us Shrae’s daughter figuring out that this ark is not what everyone thinks and through flashbacks and flash forwards we see more about the Manticore Krull and Shrae. Shrae must speak to Echinda the Mother of Monsters from Greek Mythology about leaving Noah’s Ark alone so her children may survive, but she has her own plans and calls to her children who begin to break free. Bunn does an chilling job telling this dark parallel to a story most of us have heard in some form or another that has me waiting each month for the next issues. I also love the way Bunn marries Catholicism and Greek Mythology into this dark tale. Juan Doe’s art perfect captures the mood and setting of this story. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

PORTAL BOUND #4
Written By: Mark Roslan & Gabe Carrasco
Art By: Alex Arizmendi & Marco Renna
Colors By: Wes Hartman, Jessie Heagy, and Omni Remalante Jr.
Letters By: Zen
Cover A By: Alex Arizmendi & Wes Hartman
Cover B By: Adam Archer
Price: $3.99

Port Bound tells the story of two worlds Earth and its alternate Havos, each world has an alternate for each of its people, when the two alternates merge they become a new being with more strength than either possessed alone and seems to be in the favor of the people of Havos (Havosians?). Eli (Earth) Sybil (Havos) are alternates who must find a away to stop the Emperor of Havos, who just so happens to be the merged being of their fathers. Sybil has gone off to save her mother alone with intent to kill her father (and by extension Eli’s father) and left Eli, Brett & Riley behind, but they soon arrive on Havos too.  Sybil has been locked up by her own mother, Brett has merged with his Alternate, and captured Riley leaving Eli alone to save the day while Earth is under attack. This is an epic high fantasy story that has this fun energetic animated style art to it that I am really digging. I love the duality of everything. The Havosians and Earthlings have Alternates of the other that merge into one being, there art dual art teams merging their styles two covers that connect by two different teams, GENIUS! But the apex of it is what to do? Sybil wants to kill her father a feat that will kill Eli’s father as well, while Eli wants his father home. This is the penultimate issue and I can not wait to see how it all ties in to each other, and I can’t help but already wonder when the sequel will be out. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

LADY MECHANICA: LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI #1
Written By: M.M. Chen & Joe Benitez
Pencils By: Joe Benitez & Martin Montiel
Inks By: Studio J-13
Colors By: Beth Sotelo
Letters By: Michael Heisler
Cover By: Joe Benitez & Beth Sotelo
Price: $3.99

Lady Mechanika is back and it is as beautiful as ever. The story follows the Lady Mechanika 2018 Free Comic Book Day issue, but you really don’t need it to follow along here. Chen and Benitez does a great job making this issue new reader friendly, right away we find out who Lady Mechanika is and what her situation is, as well as be introduced to her colorful cast and the world she inhabits. This is a fine steampunk series that really gives us character story, and knows how to seed the plot and subplots while leaving us with a nice cliffhanger that will bring you back for more. The art here is as always great, especially the page design and layouts, Benitez doesn’t do comic panels and pages he creates an art gallery on every page which enriches the experiences all the more. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

SABAN’S GO, GO POWER RANGERS #11
Written By: Ryan Parrott
Art By: Dan Mora
Colors By: Raul Angulo
Letters By: Ed Dukeshire
Cover By: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

Ryan Parrott and Dan Mora delivers one of “Shattered Grid’s” best issues as they dig deeper into Ranger Slayer Kimberly. What makes this issue so good is seeing how broken Ranger Slayer Kimberly is as a character. This is a person who’s lost everything, and here we learn she’s even lost control of herself because of Lord Drakkon’s actions. This isn’t a love story between Tommy and Kimberly, this is very much Kimberly’s story, and I really appreciate that as a female Power Rangers fan. “Shattered Grid” has taken Kimberly’s character in some dark directions, but this issue also delivers some light moments, creating a perfectly balanced story. One of my favorite scenes is seeing Ranger Slayer Kimberly hanging out at the juice bar again, and just letting loose. These small character moments is where Go Go Power Rangers shines the most. “Shattered Grid” has delivered some great complicated characters, but this issue makes Ranger Slayer Kimberly my favorite by far. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Power Bolts

THE QUANTUM AGE #1
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Wilfredo Torres
Colors BY: Dave Stewart
Cover By: Wilfredo Torres & Dave Stewart
Variant Cover By: Christian Ward
Price: $3.99

Not just a worthy continuation of the Black Hammer Universe, but a superior one! Lemire has upped his game here going 1,000 years into the future to tell us about the Quantum League a Legion of Super Heroes-esque team of young alien heroes bound together to fight injustice and are inspired by the Black Hammer Farm. But this is Lemire we are talking baout here and he has put a twist to it 25 years ago Earth was invaded by the Martians and to save the day Archive V ordered one of the Quantum League members Erb to use their full powers to stop them and the result lead to the Earth Citadel wiping out alien species across the universe. The young Martian, whose parents opposed the invasion journeys to Earth and seeks out Hammer Lass, but is turned away and hunted by the Citadel but rescued by the Quantum League. If you are a fan of the Legion of Super Heroes like me, this book is right up your alley. I had chuckles at the parallels in the members like Archive V and Brainiac 5, and I just can’t wait to see what happened 25 years ago and what happened in the present day. Lemire is at the top of his game! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

BATMAN #50
Written By: Tom King
Art & Cover By: Mikel Janín
Special Appearances: Various
Colors By: June Chung
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Variant Cover By: Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover By: Arthur Adams & Alejandro Sanchez
Price: $4.99

The comic wedding of the century is upon us after much build up and anticipation. Tom King’s run on Batman has been centered largely around the relationship of Batman and Catwoman, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. This issue marks the culmination of that journey, and while it did disappoint on some levels, it was still a touching and beautiful tale worthy of the Bat and Cat. From the shotgun ceremony hours after battling atop the roofs of Gotham,to the love letters written by each and displayed across pinups by various artists, the book hit a lot of high notes. The most poignant and fitting scene in the book was the moment shared between Alfred and Bruce that was a long time coming and well deserved for the father figure to the Caped Crusader. The art of the main story was gorgeous, and it was nice to see the various costumes and art styles of Batman and Catwoman through the years on display. Yes, the disappointment came at the end, but not where you might think. It wasn’t the result of the nuptials, but the catalyst presented to close out the issue that irked me. Both of these elements, though, knocked off half a star each for me, resulting in my final score. Overall, an enjoyable, emotional read that sadly left a bad taste in my mouth by going to the proverbial well one too many times. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 Stars

CATWOMAN #1
Written By: Joelle Jones
Art By: Joelle Jones
Colors By: Laura Allred
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Joelle Jones, Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Price: $3.99

Catwoman #1 follows the events of the controversial Batman #50, giving us a direct epilogue for readers’ who needed more. Catwoman leaves Gotham to help her forget the pain of her choices in Batman #50. Joelle Jones does a great job at subtly showing Selina’s grief as she becomes addicted to gambling, but at times Selina’s grief is too subtle. There’s a part of me as a reader who wanted Selina to dump all her emotions so I could connect to her character better, but overall the tactic Jones takes feels in character to Catwoman. Jones also takes on art duties for this book, and as always her work is stunning. Selina’s movements truly feel cat-like, as it should. Catwoman #1 sets up for an interesting story arc, but may not be the issue you were looking for post-Batman #50~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ stars

GREEN ARROW #42
Written By: Mairghread Scott
Pencils By: Matthew Clark
Inks By: Sean Parsons
Colors By: Jason Wright
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto
Variant Cover By: Mike Grell
Price: $3.99

Green Arrow #42 concludes the Better Than story as Green Arrow tries to recapture Parasite before he can get out of the prison and off the island.  Mairghread Scott continues to hit a home run with this story and the dialogue in this issue is exactly what a Green Arrow fan wants. Panel after panel we are treated to Matthew Clark’s powerful art which gives the book a great feel and flow.  This issue dives into the tough topic of how prisoners are treated and how that treatment affects them.  Overall this is a great issue from start to finish and of course it’s a must read for any Green Arrow fans. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

GREEN LANTERNS #50
Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Mike Perkins
Colors By: Andy Troy and Pete Pantazis
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Mike Perkins and Wil Quintana
Variant Cover By: Chris Stevens
Price: $3.99

Green Lanterns #50 begins the new arc Evil’s Might and it’s a beginning that throws the corps into chaos. From Jon Stewart facing down a massive fleet of ships from a new and powerful force known as the Eon, to communication for the whole corps being disrupted and the Green Lantern rings themselves giving misinformation and disobeying orders. Even Mogo is having issues controlling his own weather.  Dan Jurgens sets the stage in this for a massive change to the corps going forward in this new story.  Mike Perkins’ art shines in this issue as we jump from character to character on our galaxy spanning will power adventure. A must read for any Green Lantern fan as the Corps faces it’s newest and perhaps deadliest foe. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 Stars

JUSTICE LEAGUE #3
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Jorge Jimenez
Colors By: Alejandra Sanchez
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Jorge Jimenez & Alejandra Sanchez
Variant By: Jim Lee, Sandra Hope, & Tomeu Morey
Price: $3.99

This title continues to deliver cosmic level threats that only the Justice League can handle. The Invisible Spectrum is a great addition after last issue’s introduction of the Still Force. Plus there’s an interesting aspect where the invisible spectrum controls the user unlike the emotional spectrum. Also Scott Snyder does an amazing job trying the Invisible Spectrum into Sinestro’s pre-GL days and John Stewart’s history after the destruction of Xanshi (see Cosmic Odyssey). Meanwhile this issue continues great progress with Martian Manhunter’s story. While this is a slower progression, it does hype up Snyder’s plans for the last son of Mars. Overall, Justice League continues to set up big things for the DC Universe. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Rating: 4 Stars



THE MAN OF STEEL #6 
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Jason Fabok
Colors By: Alex Sinclair
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

The B-Story steps up and the A story concludes as Bendis wraps up his first full story at DC Comics. Superman takes the world destroyer weapon to space as Zaar follows only to be placed in the Phantom Zone by Supergirl. Meanwhile Jon tells his parents why he wants to go with Jor-El and Lois agrees to go with him. Bendis is back baby! This is the Bendis I loved on Ultimate Spider-Man, he gets to the core of the characters, he respects the continuity playing off of Jon’s fears that he could hurt people based on what he learned about his future self in the Teen Titans. Jon’s vulnerability and emotions pour out in this issue, but it is tempered by his innate cuteness when he worries about someone looking in his drawer, which he totally gets from his mom, and they both have me wondering: What are in their drawers? Bendis not only gets Superman and family, he also gets who the supporting cast are, handles the League, and Supergirl to where I would have loved if Supergirl were one of his books as well. This is the first time in a long time I saw Kara in a DC main universe comic the perfect combination of naivete and experience that makes her so charming. The art can’t get any better than Jason Fabok here, just amazing! I was cautiously optimistic for Bendis’ run on Superman, but now the caution is gone and Bendis gets this super Superman fan’s seal of approval. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Stars

ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK #1
Written By: David Avallone
Art By: Dave Acosta
Colors By: Andrew Covalt
Letters By: Taylor Esposito
Cover By: Joseph Michale Linser
Price: $3.99

I don’t know about anyone else, but I grew up in the ’80s and watched Elvira even thought I was too young, it didn’t matter she was great! I was excited when this series was announced because Dynamite has done such a great job recently bringing back my childhood, but I wondered… Could they succeed with Elvira? I mean she is a bit different and I am pleased to say they knocked it out of the ballpark! Elvira just comes to life here by Avallone, Acosta and Covalt, every bit of her translates so perfectly it is like as if Cassandra Peterson herself was performing on the page. Elvira meets to legends in the genre, first Mary Shelley, and then at the end, Edgar Allan Poe as she travels via a coffin vortex with “Lord Pornstache”. Every bit of this book was everything I wanted I laughed when she broke the fourth wall to talk to the “Pervs” and ask which variant they got, and when she said the vampire looked like John Holmes. If you missed Elvira, or remember her when you were growing up like I do then this book acts as its own time traveling vortex and brings her right back! I just hope they bring back her tagline. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

THE CAPE: FALLEN #1 
Written By: Jason Ciaramella
Art By: Zach Howard
Colors By: Nelson Daniel
Letters By: Shawn Lee
Cover By: Zach Howard & Nelson Daniel
Price: $3.99

The Cape: Fallen take place during the original Cape story when Eric left for a few days. So by now he has killed his ex-girlfriend and has went back to this cabin in the woods that his dad took him and his brother Nicky to when they were kids. When he gets there, there are some Live Action Role Players (LARPS) already there and he knows one of them from when he was a kid. They invite him to stay and he is having a good time with them, until he talks in his sleep and is overheard by some of them. If you never read The Cape or The Cape: 1969 (I recommend you do), but you do not need to, to follow the story. Ciaramella takes us right into the thick of the story with Eric, but adds so many more dimensions that really add to the first story. I almost want to just stop him here, you can see he has been through a lot and is mentally broken, but these people seem to bring him some peace, but we know that won’t last long. Howard brings this world back to life and sets nice scenes that deliver the visual grit to match the story. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: ¼ Stars

STAR TREK DISCOVERY: SUCCESSION #3 
Written By: Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson
Art By: Angel Hernandez
Colors By: Mark Roberts
Letters By: AndWorld Design
Cover By: Angel Hernandez & Esther Sanz
Price: $3.99

For me one of the best arcs in Star Trek Discovery was when they went into the Mirror Universe, because this was the perfect world for the gritter story that Discovery had brought to the Trek Universe. This miniseries follows where those episodes left off, Georgiou is “dead” (really in the Discovery Prime Universe) and the Shenzhou is now under command of Airiam, the most enigmatic Trek character in a long time, we don’t even know what she is since no one can agree on it. This issue we see more of Captain Airiam as she works with L’Rell and Burnham to take out the new Emperor Alexander, the cousin of Georgiou, but this is the Mirror Universe and deception is everywhere. Beyer and Johnson have skillfully continued the Mirror Universe story and managed to bring me in even more by using Airiam. Hernandez and Roberts really bring the book to life, especially with Airiam make little details like the helix in her eye so visually stunning. I loved the double cliffhangers with the Emperor knowing about the move against him and having L’Rell, Kor, Burnham and Cornwell prisoner and Airiam with the DNA Weapon reconfigured and over Earth, I can not wait to see how this concludes. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: ¼ Stars

PAPER GIRLS #22
Written By: Brian K Vaughan
Art By: Cliff Chiang
Colors By: Matt Wilson
Letters By: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover By: Cliff Chiang
Price: $3.99

Mac wants to escape death, but can anyone really escape death even when they know it’s coming? Weirdly enough this issue reminded me a lot of The Final Destination movies. In this horror franchise a person gets a vision and because of it they think they’ve escaped death, but quickly learn that no one can escape their fate. Paper Girls #22 ends with Mac getting a message from herself where someone in the background is dying. Does someone else die because Mac tries to escape death? Someone needs to fill that void for the reaper. See VERY Final Destination-esque. The issue is a bit slower paced, but has some great set up for story to come. Cliff Chiang especially shines with his great facial expressions and imaginative world building. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

ANT-MAN & THE WASP #3
Written By: Mark Waid
Art By: Javier Garron
Colors By: Israel Silva
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: David Nakayama
Price: $3.99

This mini-series is turning into one crazy adventure. Mark Waid is able to give Scott Lang a comedic voice which helps readers who are only familiar with the Paul Rudd version. Also there’s a hilarious exchange when Scott uses his Ant-Man helmet on the microverse’s insects. Waid’s story also puts more emphasis on Nadia’s intelligence. Instead of using her powers and equipment, Nadia is able to use her scientific knowledge to escape from her cell. Outside of the two protagonists, this series really embraces the weirdness of the microverse to tell a fantastic voyage. One example would be Scott and Nadia discovering they’ve turned into living quantum particles. OVerall, if you love crazy sci-fi stories then Ant-Man & the Wasp is worth your time and money. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 3 Stars

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
Written By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Pencils By: Leinil Francis Yu
Inks By: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors By: Sunny Gho
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Alex Ross
Variant Cover By: Various Artists
Price: $4.99

Captain America #1 kicks off the Winter in America story arch by the new creative team of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Franics Yu, as we see Cap struggling to find his place as the country tries to rebuild. This is definitely unknown ground for Steve as the government he has sworn to protect keeps him at a distance, and the public doesn’t seem to trust Captain America.  So, what’s a super hero to do?  What any good hero does, get back to basics.  We also see a new power begin to grow out of the rumble in Russia and gain strength. While this is a solid first issue, I’m not sure if it’s strong enough to pull in new readers. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

DEATH OF THE INHUMANS #1
Written By: Donny Cates
Art By: Ariel Olivetti
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowels
Cover By: Kaaire Andrews
Price: $4.99

The Inhumans are under attack by the Kree and their newest creation Vox. The Kree wants Black Bolt to join or die, and Vox is their messenger of death. This story starts off right in the middle of the story almost. The Inhumans are already being killed all over all five tribes and without mercy or reason. This is good for long time Inhuman readers like myself but for those who didn’t follow everything Inhuman will be lost. They will not know about New Arctilan, which came from Inhumans: Judgement Day. The reestablishment of the Royal Family, and everything else just pops up for those more casual readers, but other than it not being new reader friendly, I enjoyed the issue. I thought this issue really set up a clear and present danger like none the Inhumans have faced before in this issue alone we lose three known members of the Inhuman Royals like Triton, Maximus and the biggest shocker Lockjaw, so we know the stakes are real here. Sure this is Marvel handling their Inhuman problem that they created to make up for their Mutant problem (not having the rights to them in movies) but with that looking to change this is their answer, destroy all the new Inhumans and apparently so much beloved ones as well (R.I.P. Lockjaw) or so it appears. This new character Vox has a similar power to Blackbolt, but he can speak without the destruction and could he have transported them instead of killed them? Who knows, but Cates has me interested enough to seek some answers and follow this miniseries until its conclusion. Olivetti does a great job alongside of Bellaire to perfectly set the dark tone of the book. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

X-MEN GOLD #31
Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Pere Perez
Colors By: Jay David Ramos & Matt Milla
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Phil Noto
Price: $3.99

I know many readers are still recovering from the events of X-Men Gold #30, well don’t expect a breather with this installment of the series. X-Men Gold #31 jumps straight into the next story arc where Rachel Summers is forced to deal with her past as a hound, all while Guggenheim is still trying to pick up the pieces from Kitty and Colossus’ failed wedding. There are some great story elements introduced with Rachel’s mind warped reality, but it feels out of place following the events of the wedding issue. Pere Perez’s pencils are solid for the issue, and colorists Jay David Ramos and Matt Milla do a good job at distinguishing the series’ real events from Rachel’s delusions. X-Men Gold #31 has a good story, but suffers from the issue’s timing. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

VALIANT HIGH #3
Written By: Daniel Kibblesmith
Art By: Derek Charm
Colors By: David Baron
Letters By: Simon Bowland
Cover By: David LaFuente & David Baron
Price: $3.99

Valiant High is the funnest book Valiant Comics has ever put out. I bought every issue digitally when it was originally released through ComiXology and I loved it so much, each issue mad my top 5 so when they came out physically I have been buying them as well. The book takes an almost Archie-esque approach to the familiar Valiant Universe by putting all the familiar characters from Archer and Armstrong to X-O Manowar into a High School setting and it is AWESOME! Kibblesmith perfectly plays off of the tropes of high school stories while truly maintaining the unique flair of the Valiant Universe. Derek Charm lives up to his name and brings the right charm to the book making you fall in love with these characters all over again due to his takes on them, again marrying the high school setting to the Valiant Universe. If you dig Archie and you dig Valiant, and if you never read either, this is the book for you. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

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