Frontline Reviews For The Week Of August 22, 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 Action Lab Danger Zone, Aspen, Dark HorseDC ComicsImage ComicsMarvel Comics, and Titan 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!

TWELVE DEVILS DANCING #2
Written By: Erica Schultz
Art By: Dave Acosta
Colors By: Andrew Covalt
Letters By: Cardinal Rae
Chapter One Cover By: Kelly Williams
Chapter 1 SDCC Cover By: JK Woodward
Chapter 2 Cover By: Maria Laura Sanapo & Jason Lewis
Chapter 3 Cover By: Adriana Melo
Price: $5.99

Twelve Devils Dancing #2 concludes the fast paced crime drama from Action Labs Danger Zone. We find out how everyone got to where they are today and we see the find standoff between  Agent Cooper and the Crypto-Killer. WOW I loved how on this book plays with the flashbacks, a device we see used in TV and comics, but this time it was really well done. We get to witness the psychology on how these people got to be so damaged and maybe the formation of a new story? I hope the ending means we will have a new story coming set in this world. The art once again matches the tone of the book perfectly. The book is  again broken down into three chapter which are essentially each their own comic, so it is a steal for just $5.99 less than the price of two books you are getting three, with a gripping story and art. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

ARTIFACT ONE #0
Written By: J.T. Krul & Vince Hernandez
Art By: Romina Moranelli
Letters By: Dezi Sienty
Cover By: Romina Moranelli
Price: $1.50

A brand new series from Aspen, Artifact One comes to us from Krul and Hernandez in the form of a short preview or sampler issue introducing us to Remi’s world. Remi is the lead character and relic hunter who discovers something new in this issue that kind of establishes who she is and what she does. Meanwhile, we get a brief introduction into her world and the machinations of it. It’s a bit of a medieval fantasy world that delves into religious undertones and a defined class system as is usual for stories set in similar time periods. One of the twists is that the characters don’t seem to be human, which could potentially lead to all kinds of unique spins on the genre. Add to this the absolutely gorgeous art of Moranelli and you have a solid beginning to this new series. My only nitpick is that this preview or origin issue was shorter than I would have liked as I would have loved to have seen this issue fleshed out a bit more. But that only has me anticipating the first issue even more. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 3 ¾ Stars

LEGEND OF KORRA: TURF WARS PART 3
Written By: Michael Dante DiMartino
Art By: Irene Koh
Colors By: Vivian Ng
Letters By: Nate Piekos
Cover By: Heather Campbell with Vivian Ng
Price: $10.99

Legend of Korra Turf Wars Part 3 marks the last chapter of the first Legend of Korra comic book story arc. Turf Wars keeps the political undertones that I loved from the original television show by making Tokuga a literal blend between the human and spirit conflict, but these three parts just weren’t enough space to truly flesh out Tokuga as a villain compared to the villains from the four seasons of the TV show.

At the heart of this graphic novel is the relationship between Korra and Asami, even if most of the story has them separated. In Part 2 Korra tried pushing Asami away to try and protect her, but here realizes that they are only stronger when working together. The shining moment of this comic is the final battle because it’s Korra and Asami working together to put down Tokuga, making the story come full circle. Korra and Asami are the only two people who truly know the harmony that can be found in the spirit world (as human and Avatar). So it’s nice to see that it’s these two characters who find harmony with each other by protecting the balance of the spirit world.

Irene Koh does a great job visually at building a new dimension to the already established Avatar world. Although I do find her pencils a bit soft, especially with the characters’ facial expressions. I would like a cartoonier look for the book. Overall, Legend of Korra Turf Wars Part 3 is a solid ending to the franchise’s first graphic novel arc, and I hope we get to see more from this universe! ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 Stars

ACTION COMICS #1002
“Invisible Mafia Part 2” 
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Patrick Gleason
Colors By: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Patrick Gleason & Brad Anderson
Variant Cover By: Francis Manapul
Price: $3.99

I love seeing Clark Kent as an investigative reporter again, I alos love seeing both new and old faces. It was so cool to see the Guardian and Cat Grant again, it was like saying hi to old friends. Bendis really shows he has a firm grip on Metropolis and specifically the supporting cast. The fire story thread from Man of Steel concludes here when a dead body falls from the ground and Clark is told Lois is back. I love the Daily Planet stuff getting Clark back to that aspect of his life, and those friends, Cat was such fun to see interact with Clark and Perry again. Gleanson helps the nostalgia through the art with this classic ’90s style that takes me back and damn is his Guardian not glorious. I love all the little Post It notes on the computer screen. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars


BATMAN: KINGS OF FEAR #1 OF 6
Written By: Scott Peterson
Art By: Kelley Jones
Colors By: Michelle Madsen
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen
Variant Covers By: Bill Sienkiewicz
Price: 3.99

Batman Kings of Fear #1 opens as any Bat fan could hope for, Batman vs the Joker.  Talk about a book that pulls you in fast, you hit the ground running in this one.  Of course Batman is able to defeat and take the Joker into custody, and Batman is in not talking mood on the way to Arkham so with a little gas Joker takes a nap in the Batmobile.  Once at Arkham though the fun is just starting as the Joker is immediately able to free several other high profile villain and Batman has to stop them.  As the Caped Crusader does he is able to take them all down except for one, The Scarecrow.   If you are a Batman fan and have been missing some old school gritty Batman stories, then this title if for you.  The Writing is great from Scott Peterson and Kelley Jones does an amazing job in this book, giving Batman the classic oversized ears and impossible cape dimensions.  I cannot wait for issue 2 to arrive. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

THE FLASH #53
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Christian Duce
Colors By: Luis Guerrero
Letters By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Dan Mora
Variant Cover By: Jonboy Meyers
Price: $3.99

In this issue, Flash and Commander Cold deal with the Trickster who bonded with the Strength Force last issue. Joshua Williamson does an amazing job with the banter between Flash and Cold. Williamson easily establishes both men as police officers but with opposing points of view. Barry Allen tries to prove innocence but Cold cares too much about punishing the guilty. This issue shows us some of Commander Cold’s backstory but it ultimately weighs down the plot. Also our heroes take Trickster back to Iron Heights, which helps progress the side story involving Warden Wolff. While this story has some potential, this issue is average at best. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 3 Lightning Bolts

THE TERRIFICS #7
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Dale Eaglesham
Colors By: Mike Atiyeh
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Dale Eaglesham and Ivan Names
Price: $2.99

This issue opens up with a great sequence which provides and amazing introduction to Tom Strong and Millennium City. This gives unfamiliar readers a taste of Tom Strong and shows why his adventures feel in line with The Terrifics. Speaking of the team, Rex Mason is no longer Metamorpho because of the previous story arc. Although Rex is powerless, he’s still involved with the team’s adventures because he still retains their dark matter connection. I really appreciate how Jeff Lemire addressed this factor. Lemire also takes some time to show how the title’s new villain, Doctor Dredd, is responsible for the last few story arcs. Overall, the Terrifics continues to make relatively unknown characters look awesome with Silver Age style storytelling.  ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

APHRODITE V #2
Written By: Bryan Hill
Art By: Jeff Spokes
Letters By: Troy Peteri
Cover By: Jeff Spokes
Price: 3.99

Aphrodite V #2 was a fast read this week.   Bryan Hill continues to move the story forward as we try it find out who or what is Basilisk?  We learn more about the death of Carver’s father and what he created before he died.  After the history lesson we shift gears to the Carver science school where terrorist have taken several students hostage and are demanding Carver be brought to them, of course he bring Aphrodite V with him.   As the terrorist are taken down we learn they are working for Basilisk but to what end?  Jeff Spokes keeps the energy high with great art even in some of the more nonaction panels. Did this book do enough to keep my interested for issue 3, maybe.  ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 2 ½ Stars

COLD SPOTS #1
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Mark Torres
Letters By: Simon Bowland
Cover By: Mark Torres
Price: $3.99

If there’s one genre Bunn does well it’s horror, and that holds true in this new series from Image. Cold Spots opens with a vague introduction to what we assume are spirits of the deceased, and sets out on a mystery to find a missing girl. In the course of the issue, we follow Mr. Kerr as he searches for clues to the whereabouts of the missing girl, Grace, only to discover what happens when these spirits interact with living beings. It’s a slow but steady opening that quietly guides us along the way while not giving us many answers at all, but instead allows us to guess and speculate throughout the issue. Torres’ atmospheric art does an excellent job of setting the tone and pulling out the subtle sense of dread in every page. His character work is loose, but complementary to the dark and moody story Bunn and Torres are telling. This was a very solid start to the series, giving us just enough details to hook us for the next chapter. I’m a big fan of mystery, and the eerie quality of the ghostly beings coupled with that mystery element is enough to bring me back for more.  ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 Stars

WITCHBLADE #7
Written By: Caitlyn Kittredge
Art By: Roberta Ingranata
Colors By: Bryan Ingranata
Letters By: Troy Peteri
Cover By: Roberta Ingranata
Price: $3.99

After a few months hiatus, Witchblade returns with more action and a better realized “superhero” tone. Alex’s use of the Witchblade is still a slow burn, but she does embrace it more in this arc. Roberta Ingranata’s artwork is at it’s strongest with the series’ emotional beats, but I hope to see more epic action sequences as Alex continues to learn more about her powers. Witchblade #7 is an improvement from the previous arc, but still needs to find a more harmonious balance between drama and action. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4
Written By: Nick Spencer
Pencils By: Ryan Ottley
Inks By: Cliff Rathburn
Colors By: Laura Martin
Color Assists By: Peter Pantazis & Jasen Smith
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Ryan Ottley & Laura Martin
FF Variant Covers By: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Dave McCaig
Price: $3.99

I’ve made it no secret how much I love this volume of the series so far. I think Spencer and Ottley have breathed new life into Spider-Man and his amazing cast of characters. However, this issue I feel is probably a slight step down from the previous three. It had to happen eventually, right? That’s not to say it wasn’t a good issue, just not quite as good as the first three for me. For one, I’ve never been a fan of Mendel Stromm and his whole gimmick. I like that his history with Spidey and with Norman Osborn was told in a way that made Stromm feel insignificant, but I’m worried about him being the major villain of this arc if that is the case. Given the voice he was listening to, I doubt that is so, though. The split with Peter and Spidey is nearing its breaking point for me as well, but was handled well here and the jokes were on point. Peter’s serious and responsible side are as heavy handed as Spidey’s fun and shameless side, and that does work. And Ottley’s artwork just continues to sing in this book. Overall, still an enjoyable read, just not the best issue of the lot.  ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

DAREDEVIL #607
Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Phil Noto
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Phil Noto
Price: 3.99

Daredevil #607 the return of Matt’s long lost and fake twin brother Mike Murdock is here, but how?  Charles Soule does a fantastic job of connecting stories and giving us a brief history of the man the myth the legend that is Mike Murdock.  We also get a fun bar fight between Daredevil, the Trapster, White Rabbit, Speed Demon and Overdrive, all of your favorite C-List villains.  Once they are taken care of Daredevil knocks Mike out so that is mind and be probed by Sterilon the Inhuman, it’s always good to know a guy.  This unfortunately leads nowhere but we do find out who created Mike before the end of the issue.  Phil Noto’s art is on point as usual in this quick romp through Hell’s Kitchen.  Next issue Daredevil vs Mike Murdock. Don’t miss it, I know I won’t! ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 Stars

THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #2
Written By: Margaret Stohl
Art By: Carlos Pacheco, Marguerite Sauvage
Colors By: Mardio Menyz
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Julian Totino Tedesco
Price: $3.99

The Life of Captain Marvel is quickly becoming my all time favorite Carol Danvers story. Margaret Stohl builds such a rich, complicated family dynamic that shows readers a different side of Carol Danvers where she quickly slips back into old habits, Boston accent and all. The Danvers family has always held their feelings in, and Carol just can’t handle the weight. She’s confused on how to feel about her father, and this issue’s funeral scene really showcases this beautifully. She leaves her father’s grave by saying “My father…Pops…he was a worthy opponent.” An interesting thing to say about your father. But the most beautiful scene is Joe waking up from his coma. Carol is all dressed in her Captain Marvel garb, ready to leave her family once again. She leaves her brother by saying I love you, and then he says it back. This scene feels like the ultimate symbol of the Danvers family. Even though Carol and Joe Jr left on bad terms in the end they still love each other. The only negative with this issue is the interweaving of this arc’s villain. I don’t think she needed to be in this issue as much as she was. The Life of Captain Marvel #2 doesn’t disappoint, and is a great follow up to a wonderful premiere issue.   ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

WEST COAST AVENGERS #1
Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Stefano Caselli
Colors By: Triona Farrell
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Stefano Caselli & Nolan Woodard
Variant Covers By: Mike McKone & Jesus Aburtov, Paul Renaud, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson, Lauren Tsai
Price: $4.99

This was a book I wasn’t sure what to expect of. I was a fan of Thompson’s Hawkeye run, so I knew at the very least I’d find that element enjoyable. However, some of the other characters on the team gave me pause. Gwenpool and America Chavez are two character that never quite grabbed me, and I knew nothing of Fuse. Quentin Quire, on the other hand, I’ve always been a fan of. And I’m definitely a Hawkeye is better than Green Arrow guy when it comes to Barton. So as far as the cast went, it was a mixed bag for me. The opening scene of Kate riding a land shark, though, grabbed me hook, line and sinker (pun fully intended)! From there, the gathering of her team and the Mystery Men and Deadpool 2 like montage of her auditions for team members was charming and quite funny. The one thing I question is the use of the reality TV angle, as the last time we saw this in the Marvel U. led to a Civil War. That aside, and I was pleasantly surprised and ready to hang on for the ride for now. Not to mention Caselli’s fun art style bringing quite a bit of fun to this book as well. Thompson kept me dialed in for Hawkeye, I’m hoping she’ll do the same here!  ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

X-MEN RED #7
Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Carmen Carnero
Colors By: Rain Beredo
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Jenny Frison
Headhsot Variant Cover By: Travis Charest & Tamra Bonillain
Return Of The Fatastic Four Variant Cover By: Dave Marquez & Dave McCaig
Price: $3.99

Jean and her team must get the proof that it was Cassandra Cain and not Jean that killed the Ambassador, save a falling plane, Atlantis and deal with a Teen Abomination! Tom Taylor can write anything and I will read it and this is an example of why! This was a fast but exciting issue, that had you wanting more, which is what every good books should do. Gabby once again steals the book, Taylor did one hell of a favor for Marvel when he created her! I thought the art was very solid and loved the under water scenes.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

MIKE HAMMER #3
Story By: Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins
Written By: Max Allan Collins

Art By: Marcelo Salaza & Marcio Freire
Letters By: Tom Williams
Cover A By: Alex Ronald
Cover B By: Mack Chatter
“Killer’s Return”
Prose Written By: Mickey Spillane
Price $3.99

This book doesn’t stop! Again I love a good old fashion mystery book and this is like from the ’40s-’50s, almost like a Dixon Hill type story for those Star Trek fans out there. Velda is kidnapped and it is up to Mike Hammer to rescue her. The action really kicked it up, this was an extremely fast-paced issue that made me flip through the pages and wanting more. The characters are brought to life to the point you can hear their voices as you read all is missing is some nice jazz music in the background. The art is pretty solid here, I like the way it helps set the mood by firmly planting us in this world through the setting. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

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