Frontline Reviews For The Week Of August 29, 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! StudiosBenitez ProductionsDC 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!

BEYONDERS #1
Created/Written By: Paul Jenkins
Art By: Wesley St. Claire
Letters By: Marshall Dillon
Cover By: Wesley St. Claire
Variant Cover By: Andi Ewington
Price: $3.99

Beyonders is a new series from Aftershock by veteran creator Paul Jenkins, the mind that brought us The Sentry. Whether you love or hate that character, the execution of The Sentry was brilliant. So hearing Jenkins was writing a new creator-owned title at Aftershock had me intrigued, and it did not disappoint. What started off as a simple slice-of-life story about a kid who considered himself an authority on a certain conspiracy theory turned out to be a full-blown mystery and cover up. It was brilliantly crafted lulling us into a seeming direction for the book and ultimately taking us down a completely different path. The art, while almost unfinished and sparse, fit the type of story Jenkins was telling, and it made the contrast of the ending action of the issue that much more stark. My only nitpick is that because of the volume of information you are given at the onset, if you aren’t pulled in by the subject matter you might not be inclined to stay for the payoff. Fortunately, I was and I did, and now I eagerly await the next issue. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 Stars

BROTHERS DRACUL #5
“Truth In The Blood” 
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Mirko Colak
Colors By: Maria Santaolalla
Letters By: Simon Bowland
Cover By: Mirko Colak with Maria Santaolalla
Price: $3.99

This may be my favorite book about Vampires, or Vampirs. I love the way he has taken Vlad and Radu, two real brothers and is using their history to build up a far superior “Vlad The Impaler” story than Bram Stoker did. This issue we see through the flash forwards or are they flashbacks that we see? Either way we see through them how Vlad became who he is in 1462, and how him and Radu fell out in 1442. I loved the ending here Bunn loves torturing me I just want more of it now. The art by Colak just drives home the entire feel of this book, giving us this murky bloodbath that brings you into the world and at times the mind of Vlad.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

LADY MECHANICA: LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI #2
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

I am loving Lady Mechanica! Chen and Benitez really know how to not just spin one but several mysteries at a time with Lady Mechanica trying to figure out her origins, the mechanical arm, who tried to kidnap her and what is happening to Lewis. But they don’t just weave these mysteries we also get some great character moments and development with each character. The art here is so beautiful and again I am taken aback by the panel layouts. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: SHATTERED GRID #1
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo & Diego Galindo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte & Marcelo Costa
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover: Jamal Campbell
Incentive Cover By: Chris Burnham
Incentive Cover By: Christian Ward
Unlocked Retailer Variant By: Trevor Hairsine, with colors by Alex Guimarães
Holofoil Cover By: Trevor Hairsine, with colors by Alex Guimarães
Retail Price: $7.99

This is it! This is not a drill people, the finale to Shatered Grid is here and it…. was…. MORPHINOMENAL!!!! It is Lord Drakkon Vs the Power Rangers with all of reality hanging in the balance. Kyle Higgins has made the 25th year of the Power Rangers exceed the hype of its first year and made the franchise more exciting than it has ever been for fans. The final fight was great, I loved the psychology of it all with Tommy being the one to take on Drakkon and the fact that even with reality crumbling around him, Drakkon held tight to his beliefs.Lord Drakkon wasn’t brought back, he wasn’t freed of his dark side, he remained true to form until the bitter end. Let’s not forget the symbolism here with Drakkon having to fight his inner demons, or in this case his inner angels with the spirits of the White Tiger and the Falcon attacking him. Then there is the Superman moments, Higgins has merged two of my favorite franchises into one story. The art is AMAZINGLY beautiful here! I loved the distinctness of Drakkon’s reality, the Emissaries and the Morphin Master is just beyond great! This team will be missed, but they went out with a big Power Rangers style multi-colored explosion! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Power Bolts

BATGIRL #26
Written By: Mairghread Scott
Art By: Paul Pelletier
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth, Joshua Middleworth
Price: $3.99

Batgirl’s new creative team shifts the tone to make a perfectly balanced Batgirl story. Mairghread Scott and Paul Pelletier mix what worked with the New 52’s Burnside Batgirl with the intense, psychological story penned by Gail Simone. The issue opens with a by the numbers chase scene, but the story picks up when Scott adds Barbara’s psychological connections to these crimes. I liked the flashbacks to Simone’s run, and Scott leaves us on a pulse pounding cliffhanger that will grab new and old readers alike. Pelletier does a great job with the characters’ facial expressions and gives a classic look to the book, but I didn’t like the robotic feeling captured by Deron Bennett’s lettering. I hope Bennett transitions into a new style that captures Barbara’s emotions better. Batgirl #26 is a promising start to a new direction that further explores old ideas from both runs of the New 52. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 Stars

BATGIRL ANNUAL #2
Written By: Mairghread Scott
Art By: Elena Casagrande
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Emanuela Lapacchino & Dave Stewart
Price: $4.99

As I said in my Batgirl #26 review, Mairghread Scott does a great job at blending Burnside Batgirl with Simone’s run and this Annual is no exception. Scott puts a magna-fine glass towards Babs and James Jr.’s relationship, and the results are fascinating. Barbara may be a bit more like her brother than she thinks, and I hope this plays a bigger role in Scott’s overall run. I really liked Elena Casagrande’s art style for the issue. It felt less bulky than the artist on Batgirl #26, but both capture Scott’s new tone nicely. Batgirl Annual #2 is a great addition to your double dose of Batgirl this week.  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 Stars

THE JOKER / DAFFY DUCK SPECIAL #1
Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Brett Booth
Inks By: Norman Rapmund
Colors By: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters By: Wes Abbott
Covery By: Brett Booth, Janathan Glapion and Andrew Dalhouse
Variant Cover By: Sanford Greene
Price $4.99

The Joker Daffy Duck #1 delivered in every aspect of the word from start to finish. Daffy becomes the head henchman for the Joker’s gang after stumbling into the Joker’s hideout which he thought was the ACME Electronics office, as only Daffy could.  The art from Brett Booth with Norman Rapmund is every bit what you could hope for and gives this story that pop out and grab you feel, along with the amazing coloring by Andrew Dalhouse. Also the detail in and hints of other characters in the backgrounds was great added touch to the book.  Scott Lobdell tells this story how you can imagine a meeting between Daffy and the Joker would go and it as great.  Don’t worry Bat Fans, Batman is in the book also and looks epic!  It’s a one-shot that I wish was a six or twelve issue miniseries. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars




NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1
Written By: Benjamin Percy
Art By: Otto Schmidt
Colors By: Otto Schmidt
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Otto Schmidt
Price: $4.99

The next chapter in Nightwing’s war on the Dark Web takes him to Gotham City. Teaming up with Batgirl, Nightwing stops Vire from taking over Gotham’s news outlets. I really enjoyed how this annual is part of Benjamin Percy’s overall story instead of just a one-shot story. Also it continues an interesting path for the first Boy Wonder. While reading this story I couldn’t help notice some similarities between this and Percy’s Green Arrow run during DC Rebirth. Just like in Green Arrow, this run features the return of a notable love interest (Black Canary, Batgirl) and our hero faces off against an organization that parallels a real world threat (Ninth Circle/One Percent, Wyrm/Dark Web). While this structure worked immediately for the Emerald Archer, this issue proves Percy is still refining it for his Nightwing run. However this issue has some good scenes, most notably the interactions between Nightwing and Batgirl. Percy does an amazing job showing the chemistry between these two and makes it seem like they haven’t been apart from each other that long. This should make Nightwing/Batgirl fans really happy. However despite my praise for the Nightwing/Batgirl scenes, Percy’s still trying to find his footing which makes this issue an average read. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 3 Stars

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ANNUAL #2
Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Clayton Henry
Colors By: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: Taylor Esposito
“No Exit”
Written By: Scott Lobdell
Pencils By: Neil Googe
Inks By: Wade Von GawBadger
Colors By: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: Taylor Esposito
Cover By: Kenneth Rocafort
Price: $4.99

Jason and Roy together again for one more round with Suzie Su and the Sisters Of Suzie Su, meanwhile in the backup Artemis and Bizarro arrive on the other side of the door. This isn’t like the last few issues of Red Hood And The Outlaws, but it is a great read. Scott Lobdell is killing it lately with this title. I have not enjoyed Jason Todd this much in a long time. This was a fun Bros issue with Jason and Roy, but we get things like Killer Croc being Roy’s sponsor that gave both characters depth. But the big thing about this issue it sets up Roy as being the one that dies in “Heroes In Crisis” and this issue will make you grieve all the harder for him. The Bizarro and Artemis backup was fun seeing them arrive and being trapped on Bizarro World. Both art teams did great jobs and blended their styles well while making each story feel whole onto itself. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

 DAREDEVIL ANNUAL #1 2018
Written By: Erica Schultz
Art By: Marcio Takara
Colors By: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Variant Cover By: Gerardo Zaffino
Price: 4.99

Daredevil Annual #1 from 2018 tells a story of Daredevil’s early days in hell’s kitchen but mainly the story is focused on NYPD Detective Misty Knight and her partner Detective Carmen Torres.  Misty and Carmen are on the trail of Frankie “Fear” Paura as he is trying to my a synthetic version of Mutant Growth Hormone to save himself from an illness that is going to kill him.  Erica Schultz tells a complete story even throwing in a great is this where she loses her arm scene.  This coupled with Marcio Takara’s art gives the book a very ground feel as Daredevil tries and eventually wins the respect of Misty Knight. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars


EXTERMINATION #2 (of 5)
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: Mike Hawthorne & Frank D’Armata, Frank Cho
Price: $3.99

The first issue of Extermination took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, and that love has not waned at all after reading this second issue. The issue hooked me right away opening on Calvin Rankin, aka Mimic being abducted. That continued the trend started in the first issue as we have two separate beings at play here in young Cable and Ahab. The results have left the X-Men at a loss and struggling to find a solution. The entire bulk of the group gathers before attempting to split into teams before being attacked head on. The emotional beats of characters like Cyclops and Archangel dealing with loss and agony come hurtling to the forefront. The outrage and fear present in the X-Men is felt throughout as the odds are stacked against them. The art tells this story just as beautifully as the well-crafted dialogue. From the quiet moments of contemplation and stewing, to the action-packed battle scenes and torture scenes, this book just continues to get stronger and stronger with each panel. I am fully engaged with this series and event now, on the edge of my seat anticipating the next abductee and their fate, and what impact this will inevitably have on the X-Men as a whole.  ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

 HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: DEAD ENDS #1

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Ramon Rosanas
Colors By: GURU-eFX
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover By: Marco Checcheto
Variant Covers By: Dale Keown & Jason Keith
Price: $4.99


The Hunt for Wolverine concludes here as Kitty gathers Tony Stark and Daredevil to the X-Mansion to discuss each of their missions and fill them in on her’s as well as what she learned from Sabretooth’s mission which as the title indicates were all dead ends. But they are all connected and they come together in this issue as we find out that Persephone reveals she has Wolverine, Sinister’s D.N.A. files, and if any of them try to come for Wolverine she will use the files to hunt and kill everyone with an unactivated X-Gene to which she demonstrated by bringing ten of them with her. This was a solid story but maybe could have been longer than one issue to really give the scope of it. This serves as a “zero issue” to Return of Wolverine while also serving as an epilogue to the Hunt For Wolverine minis, even mentioning what happened to Psylocke and Daken. I thought the moments with Kitty, Tony and Daredevil were the best and makes me want to see these three together again. The art here was great and I loved seeing Firestar! Rosanas did a great job creating a look that allows the characters to appear timeless.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 Stars

MS. MARVEL #33
Written By: G. Willow Wilson
Art By: Nico Leon
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Valerio Schifi & Rachelle Rosenberg
Price: $3.99
Ms. Marvel continues what should have been a one-shot into a full blown story arc as Kamala’s powers go out of control after a Bruno experiment goes wrong. Now she can’t even defeat the Shocker without something weird happening. There are some fun moments with Ms. Marvel and Shocker, and a nostalgic feel with Bruno and Kamala’s new/old dynamic, but there isn’t much new material to keep me fully invested in this arc. Nico Leon has some top notch artwork in this issue as he’s able to pull off more comedic action sequences with Ms. Marvel and Shocker, and as always Ian Herring aces the issue’s tone with his coloring. Ms. Marvel #33 is a fun issue that lacks substance.  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

RUNAWAYS #12
Written By: Rainbow Rowell
Art By: Kris Anka
Colors By: Mathew Wilson
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Kris Anka
Price: $3.99

Runaways #12 is perfect! If you are a fan of Nico and Karolina you are not going to want to miss it. The issue gives fans something we’ve deserved for over a decade. Kris Anka’s facial expressions are flawless as Rainbow Rowell delivers such a raw issue filled with some great, real emotions. PS. Matthew Wilson brings some of his best colors to date, and is the comic book industry’s best colorist, proven with his work on Runaways and Paper Girls. ~ Kat @ComicUno
Verdict: 5 Stars
X-23 #3
Written By: Mariko Tamaki
Art By: Juan Cabal
Colors By: Nolan Woodard
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Mike Choi & Jesus Aburtov
Variant Cover By: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Jesus Aburtov
Price: $3.99
I loved this issue! Mariko Tamaki is killing it! I loved every page as I flipped on this hunt for Gabby by Laura to save her sister before the Cuckoos graft their sister onto her. Talk about invasion of the body snatchers! This issue has emotion, action, slight of hand, comedy, and heart, perfection! The art matched the story perfectly and there is something so cinematic about it, I feel like it should be on a screen. But like Laura I will warn Marvel do not harm Gabby!  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 
Verdict: 5 Stars
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