Frontlines Reviews For The Week Of August 15, 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 AftershockBOOM! StudiosDC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, and Marvel 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!

Written By: Zack Kaplan
Art By: Alvaro Sarraseca
Colors By: Dee Cunniffe
Letters By: A Larger World’s Troy Peteri
Cover A By: Rafael De Latorre  & Marcelo Maiolo
Price: $3.99

The adventure continues as Hel and the group find their way through the tunnels to where the portal is at. I find myself drawn into this book once again, Kaplan manages to bring out the explorer and mystery fan in the reader. The art here is a great match for the story, the detail makes you feel like you are in this tunnel with the group, and don’t get me started on the beauty of that last page. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars


Created By: C.S. Pacat & Johanna The Mad
Written By: C.S. Pacat
Art By: Johanna The Mad
Colors By: Joana Lafuente
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover By: HamletMachine
Price: $3.99

Nicholas is tied for the final spot on the team so he can’t afford to lose. Things heat up between Nicholas and Seiji when Seiji recognizes a move Nicholas uses. Nine issues in and C.S. Pacat & Johanna The Mad has me anticipating every page about a fencing book, a sport I would have compared to the thrill of Golf, meaning there is none, yet I can not stop! The characters are so vivid, the action is so intense and the storyline is so compelling that I have to read it. Johanna The Mad just draws me in with the art to where I can’t tell at times if I am reading a book or watching an anime and I mean that in all the best possible ways. The action just doesn’t feel confined to the borders of the page.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars 

Shattered Grid
Written By: Kyle Higgins
Art By: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Colors By: Walter Baiamonte
Letters By: Ed Dukeshire

The New Adventures Of Blue Senturion & Ninjor
Written By: Ryan Ferrier
Art By: Bachan
Colors By: Jeremy Lawson
Letters By: Jim Campbell

Main Cover By: Jamal Campbell
Subscription Cover By: Jordan Gibson
Incentive Cover By: Joana Lafuente & Carlos Villa
HyperForce Variant Cover By: Jordan Gibson
Retail Price: $3.99

The penultimate issue of Shattered Grid is here and with his final issue approaching Ryan Higgins isn’t pulling any punches! The Rangers gather to take the fight to Lord Drakkon. I read this issue 28 times in the 3 days since it came out, it’s just that good. The speech by Jason to inspire the Rangers will live on as the best scene to date in all of Power Rangers. The cameos in here were awesome! We have moments between super serious characters like the Magna Defender and the Phantom Ranger that cracked me up yet didn’t seemed out of place, and touching moments like the one between Jason and Kimberly or Jason and Lauren that leaves you wanting either her to stay with Jason or Jason leaving and going to the future with her when this is all over. Speaking of cameos, Daniele Di Nicuolo throw so many at you that each reading I find something new in there, but my favorite is the HyperForce stuff, the Megazord even makes it into the issue! The Advetures of Blue Senturion and Ninjor is my favorite coupling of these back ups. I just love their Buddy Cop movie vibe. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Power Bolts

Written By: Maigheard Scott, Marguerite Bennett, Paul Dini
Art By: Tom Derenick, Dan Panosian, Paul Pelletier, Emanuela Lupacchino
Colors By: Stephen Downer, Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Rafael Albuquerque, Joshua Middelton
Price: $4.99

Batgirl celebrates 25 issues with an extra sized comic. New writer on the book, Maigheard Scott, and guest writer Marguerite Bennett both have solid stories. Scott pens a heartwarming story to kick off her run that showcases what type of hero Batgirl is nicely. Tom Derrnick has some crisp pencils for this story, which is perfect for the issue’s main story. Bennett’s narrative hits all the right notes for hardcore Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon fans as they slowly reconnect, but the artwork for this story was too bulky for my liking. Paul Dini’s story I enjoyed the least as the dialogue was bogged down and felt too fillerish. Batgirl #25 is a fun issue for Batgirl fans, but doesn’t have anything overwhelmingly enjoyable for the casual fan. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Lee Weeks
Colors By: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Weeks & Breitweiser
Variant Cover By: Kaare Andrews
Price: $3.99

Bruce Wayne makes his final argument to prove Mr. Freeze’s innocence. This is where the issue’s writer, Tom King, shines. While Bruce tries to sway the jury from believing Batman is infallible, King makes the reader understand that Bruce has lost his purpose as Batman. This culminates in Bruce returning to his first Batsuit when he goes on patrol at the end. This back-to-basics decision sets Bruce up on a journey of self-discovery. Also we get a line of dialogue that fans will forever associate with King’s Batman run, “God blesses your soul with grace. Batman punches people in the face.” Plus Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitweiser did an amazing job on the artwork. There were several shots paying homage to Batman: Year One but the most notable is the final page of Bruce in his original suit. This shot looks like it was drawn by David Mazzucchelli. Overall, Batman continues to be the must-read DC title. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 5 Stars

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Marco Santucci
Colors By: HI-FI
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Mike Perkins with HI-FI
Variant Cover By: Chris Stevens
Price: 3.99

Green Lanterns #51 concludes the battle for the planet Penelo with the Ravagers and Eon along with their fleet of ships strip mining the planet of resources and only a hand full of Green Lanterns to fight them off.  Kilowog following a hunch is able to disable communication between the ships, and in doing so is able to bring the battle to an end.   While Simon Baz is on his way back to Earth his ring picks up a distress call from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude where he is trapped, but it’s not Superman at all…It’s Cybor Superman.  Dan Jurgens keeps the action fast and heavy while giving us great story and dialogue and  Marco Santucci’s art is powerful and impressive in this issue.  Next issue promises to be action packed, not one to be missed for sure. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Jorge Jimenez
Colors By: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Jimenez & Sanchez
Variant Cover By: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, & Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

However the Justice League starts to make a comeback. When John Stewart realizes he can control his connection to the Invisible Spectrum, the League realizes they need to accept these flaws to save the day. Scott Snyder’s inaugural Justice League arc continues an epic story with a cinematic scale. Also the dialogue is very entertaining, particularly when Luthor learns how Batman survived his initial attack. Plus Jorge Jimenez’s artwork is very dynamic and full of action. His design for the Joker is terrifying and true to the character. However the story’s grand scale might be intimidating to some readers. Nevertheless this title is one of DC’s best and readers should give it a shot. Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Michael Gaydos
Colors By: Michael Gaydos
Letters By: Joshua Reed
Cover By: Michael Gaydos, Alex Maleev
Price: $3.99

Brian Michael Bendis launches his new DC Comics’ independent series with Pearl. Bendis builds a very interesting world that puts a new lens on tattoo culture, but, sadly, the characters don’t match this spectacle. Michael Gaydos, Jessica Jones co-creator, brings some great visuals to the book that feels familiar to Jessica Jones, but the bright blue and green colors establish a new flavor to this book that helps diversify his work on Jessica Jones. Pearl #1 is a very slow burn into a potentially, interesting new comic book world. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Scott Tipton & David Tipton
Art By: Carlos Nieto
Colors By: Fran Gamboa
Letters By: Neil Uyetake
Cover By: Tony Shashteen
Variant Covers By: Various
Price: $3.99

IDW is killing it with their Next Generation stuff. This is just what fans have been clamoring for and after the Patric Stewart announcement at the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention, it is even more obvious. The  U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-D continues its mission to aid in the Cardasian diplomatic meeting when it is change from assisting to carrying it out. While we only get to see Mirror Universe Lt. Barclay in one scene, who cares? This issue was a true 100% episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, every element that made the show a fan favorite is here including the chemistry with the cast. The artist is different than last issue, but the same level of detail is maintained and you feel like you are watching a lost episode once again.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars 

Written By: Christopher Sebela
Art By: Ro Stein
Colors By: Triona Farrell
Letters By: Cardinal Rae
Cover By: Ro Stein, Rachael Stott
Price: $3.99

I bought this comic book on whim, and I’m so glad that I did. Charlie is a regular girl who has many jobs because of the easy access of getting them on apps, but now there is a target on Charlie’s head so she hires Vita a low rated bodyguard. The book has an interesting commentary on the sensory overload our world has endured because of our advancement in technology, but it’s the dynamic between the two main characters that makes this series. They are so different that the contrast makes their interactions electrifying. There are some hilarious moments in this book that Ro Stein is able to capture perfectly. I especially enjoyed Vita’s interactions with Charlie’s dog. Crowded #1 was a pleasant surprise, and I can’t wait to see more from these two characters. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Mark Millar
Art By: Olivier Coipel
Colors By: Dave Stewart
Letters By: Peter Doherty
Cover By: Olivier Coipel
Variant Cover By: Olivier Coipel
Price: $3.99

The battle between Madame Albany and Moonstone continues as she comes for the patriarch of the family this issue. Millar writes Albany almost Satan-like in her pursuit to rule, but to prove she can do it better. But first, she has to brutally and violently murder everyone in her path. Meanwhile, Moonstone is trying to convince his wayward son to come back into the fold, and we learn the reason why he wants no part of that world. It’s an intense and emotional issue that punches up the drama to the nth degree and sets the stage (no pun intended) for the all-important second act and climax. The results of this issue will be echoed throughout The Magic Order. The art is equally on point with Coipel delivering the high octane, big battle moments with ease as well as giving us near perfect emotional beats with conflicted and concerned expressions and mannerisms that bring us right into the story. Stewart’s colors only amplify Coipel’s art, and Doherty’s subtle lettering completes the package. My only complaint is how condensed this story is, which is due to the mini-series format. Not that it needs to be completely decompressed, but I could see the story played out over a few more issues coming out a little more evenly. Still, it’s a fantastic book that should make an amazing Netflix series. Either way, I’m enjoying the read! ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Jed MacKay
Art By: Gerardo Sandoval
Colors By: Brian Reber
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Gerardo Sandoval
Price: $3.99

Edge of Spider-Geddon is here, and first up to bat is Spider-Punk. Jed MacKay and Gerardo Sandoval both do a good job at establishing the energetic, punk aesthetic needed for this book. That alone makes this a fun read, but the overall plot is lacking. Sandoval does a great job at reimagining some of our favorite Marvel heroes into punk rockers, and his darker pencils delivers a great tone for the series. If you are looking for a fun new take on Spider-Man read this, but if you were expecting for this issue to dig into the plot of Spider-Geddon then you are going to have to wait for the main series. ~ Kat @ComicUno

P.S. the small appearance of Mayday made this book worth it for me!

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Ed Brisson
Art By: Pepe Larraz
Colors By: Marte Gracia
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Mark Brooks
VAriant Covers By: Various Artists
Price: $4.99

The X-Men summer event is here and the Extinction Level is HIGH! With two deaths in the first issue, Brisson isn’t holding punches. What I enjoyed the most was the fact that yes this is an X-Men Blue centric event they are not alone, we see the cast from X-Men Men Gold and X-Men Red pop in as well and we have this real all Mutants on deck feel of urgency. The weakest part may have been Cyclops and Bloodstorm’s pseudo romance, it came out of nowhere and was there just to motivate Scott, therefor making her death a “Women In Refrigerator” moment. That death though was quickly remedied by the emotional impact of the more major death, adult Jean’s reaction and the murder, even though I saw it coming from the first panel. The art here is great, some of the best an X-Book has seen in years and perfectly fits the different tones of the scenes. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Gerry Duggan
Art By: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors By: Frank Martin
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Mike Deodato Jr. & Frank Martin
Variant Covers By: Various Artist
Price: $4.99

The Infinity Wars is here and Gamora is living up to being her Father’s daughter! The story was very fast paced which both helped and hindered it. The fast paced helped because I didn’t want three issues of them fighting Gamora, but the hindrance came at the expense of emotional and character beats. The way to quick resolution to Quill’s death made that moment in last issue worthless and his wanting to save Gamora even more pointless. But the over all story was really well done. I loved the use of Thanos’ghost, very Shakespearean made Gamora’s mental unbalance all the more a focal point. We also have a nice set up with the Infinity Warps with Dr. Strange and Captain America. We still have ⅔ of the event left so I am wondering what will happen to Gamora not that she is whole? The art here is great, it matches the tone of the book giving us just the right ambiance to get our heads into the story, but the cross patch paneling often becomes a distraction more so than an attraction. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Infinity Stones

THOR #4 (#710)
Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Mike Del Mundo
Color Assists By: Marco D’Alfonso
Lettering By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Mike Del Mundo
Variant Covers By: James Harren, Dave Stewart; Bryan Hitch and Marcio Menyz
Price: 3.99

Thor #4 throws our heroes back into the battle as the war for Hel has come to the wedding ceremony of Balder and Hela, not to mention Thanos showed up.  Thor having been magically killed by Loki goes to Valhalla to gather warriors to turn the tide of the war.  Upon his return to Hel from Valhalla Thor has a rare opportunity to wear the crown of Hel and so for a short time becomes King of Hel, the blood drenched God of the deathstorm.   As hoped this turns forces the invading army to admit defeat and retreat from Hel.  After the battle is over and finished Karnilla takes the ring from Balder and says the vow, becoming Hela’s wife.  Now Hel has two Queens to unite the land of the dead.   Jason Aaron wraps this arc up in a bit of an unexpected way and to me that was great.  Get ready for the next issue as we jump back to the future for the tale of King Thor and Phoenix Wolverine! ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Dan Slott
Art By: Valerio Schiti
Colors By: Edgar Delgado with Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters By:VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover By: Alexander Lozano
Variant Covers By: Adam Hughes, Moebius
Price: $3.99

This issue brings us the culmination of the mini-arc surrounded around the launch of eScape, Tony Stark’s new virtual reality MMORPG. With that, comes the intrusion of Machine Man, which has been building since the end of the first issue, and the puppetry of the person behind the hacks and stolen information. Overall, this was a solid installment in the series, but didn’t quite capture the charm of the first couple issues. Stark’s eScape felt like he had recently watched Ready, Player One and wanted to do something similar, but with Iron Man armors instead of random pop culture references. Aside from that, the world of eScape and the plot around it was decent. Slott illustrated some knowledge of gaming techno-speak with beta and turing tests, and with the art we even got to experience some first-person flight via one of the testers. Rhodes still felt slightly out of character here, though, the brief moment we got of him, and some of the supporting characters were just tossed in seemingly so they wouldn’t be completely missed. The bulk of the issue centered around Tony Stark and Jocasta dealing with the threat of Machine Man tearing down the entire eScape. And while the ongoing subject of A.I. equality is interesting, it’s hardly riveting and does little to connect the reader to the story in any meaningful way. The revelation Stark bestows on Jocasta, we as readers already knew, for example, and it was delivered in a way that no impact was felt. Hopefully as the series continues, the dialogue and the overall plot will become stronger and Slott will be able to tap into that charm and finesse he delivered us in the first two issues. Art wise, it wasn’t the strongest this book has been either, but the intricacy of eScape as well as the general panel layouts were decent. Still, I want more from this book’s writing and art in the end. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

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