Frontline Reviews For The Week Of September 05, 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 ComicsAftershockBOOM! StudiosDC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Image 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!

Written By: Samantha Wallschlaeger
Art By: Joge Rosa Rantila
Cover By: Joge Rosa Rantila
Price: $3.99

The title and the cover of this book made me pick it up but the art and the story has me coming back for the second issue. Cass and Iola are bounty hunters who are offered a job from a wealthy man after they bring in a big mark. We know the wealthy guy isn’t on the up and up and I want to know what this job is and how the adventure goes down. One really strong aspect was the art it kept up perfectly with the fact paced action story and didn’t lose details, you feel like you are running down the streets with Cass. The story does a great job introducing us to this world and the main characters, I would have liked to know a bit more about them, but the back gives you nice character sheets with info on them and their creation, which was great. The only down side was I want to know more, and that is why I am sticking around for the next issue and beyond. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

“Famine Or Feast”
Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Juan Doe
Letters By: Ryane Hill
Cover By: Juan Doe
Price: $3.99

Echidna meets her fate as Shrae returns to the Dark Ark just as the rain stops. Bunn is at his best telling these dark tales. Taking a story like Noah’s Ark and adding a dark sinister twist to it makes the Catholic Guilt kick in, but I can’t stop reading it! Again the art is so dark and twisted that it makes it all the more biblical.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Ron Marz
Art By: Siya Oum
Colors By: Peter Steigerwald
Letters By: Zen
Cover By: Siya Pum & Peter Steigerwald
Variant Covers: Mirka Andolfo & Peter Steigerwald, and Siya Oum
Price: $3.99

I feel like I am rediscovering Aspen for the first time complete with all the magic and wonder as the original. Agent Chance gets information on Finn, while Aspen must team up with Killian to save Muria before she can save her brother. Ron Marz proves that a writer can get better with age, I thought I loved his work before but his Fathom and other Aspen work has surpassed it all. Siya Oum does proud the legacy of Michael Turner by continuing to bring us this fantastical world under the water. Aspen Comic turned 15 this year and they are doing it with great relaunches with top talent. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Dennis Hopeless
Art By: Jake Elphick
Colors By: Doug Garbark
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover By: Lucas Werneck
Subscription Variant Connecting Cover By: Marco D’Alfonso
Price: $3.99

Dennis Hopeless continues to impress with his knowledge not only of wrestling, but also of the various characters and their distinct personalities as NXT takes the forefront. Over the past few years, NXT has become an extremely hot brand for WWE, being their minor leagues as indie darlings and homegrown talent get to prove themselves before being called up to the main roster. The late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes was at the onset of the brand and nurtured a lot of the talent until his unfortunate passing. Hopeless manages to capture the over the top persona of Rhodes as he strolls through NXT making comments on some of the talent that was there early on that would go on to become big stars for WWE. Overall, the art was fantastic in its depiction of the athletes and their moves and postures. The layouts were just exaggerated enough for the most part, and he got the vibe of Rhodes and much of the talent spot on, even with his very stylized art style. My only nitpick is a couple of the posing choices with Rollins and Reigns that looked a little odd, and Paige looked nothing like herself, but aside from that I was fairly happy with the art. I would have liked to have seen a backup story like we’re used to getting in the main title, or maybe even more on the background of NXT considering the subtitle “Blueprint,” but those are minor grievances. All in all, a solid first issue of the NXT Takeover one-shots. Love the connecting cover variants as well! ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

“Action Detectives – Part Two”
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils By: Carlo Barberi
Inks By: Art Thibert
Colors By: Photobunker
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

I don’t know but this is just fun for me. The Super Sons Vs The Gang and the Super Sons lose, but not all is what it seems as we learn of The Gangs Secret origins. The way Rex Luthor twisted what he saw and created this gang of wannabe villains and psychos is really cool and the fact that Joker Jr is the mole is brilliant. This book screams fun even the ending with Superboy Red and Superboy Blue! YES! I am hooked! I can’t wait for the next issue. Carlo Barberi does an excellent job here, he makes my simple comic feel like a full on animated adventure to the point Leigh’s letters and sound effects can be heard! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Matt Wagner
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Matt & Brennan Wagner, Tim Sale & Brennan Wagner
Price: $3.99

Tom King gives readers a new lens to look at Batman’s post wedding breakup depression through the eyes of Dick Grayson’s own trauma. Grayson, even with all of the darkness in his life, has always been a source of light for Batman. King shows through small beats the time it takes to grieve, and that it’s okay to feel sad because with time and the right people around you things will get better. Matt Wagner is a guest penciller for this one-shot and even though Wagner is a very prolific artist, this is some of the weakest artwork I’ve seen from the series. Wagner’s style didn’t fully capture the emotions that was being displayed in King’s script. Batman #54 is a love letter to Dick and Bruce’s father/son dynamic. It shows when life gives you cucumbers you should make cucumbers sandwiches – you’ll understand that analogy once you read the issue, I promise.  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Marco Santucci and Scott Hanna
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 #54 picked up where the last issue left off, with Hal and the Corps resettling the survivors from Penelo on a new planet and Simon missing.  But Simon Baz isn’t missing at all, he’s on a mission to save Superman, or so he thinks.  Thinking Superman is trapped Baz works to free him only to find out it was Cyborg Superman all along. Dan Jurgens digs deep into the Green Lantern Corps history and pulls out the Phantom Ring in this one, which Hank had been using to control others with through space.   The source of Simon Baz’ orders is revealed to be Cyborg Superman himself as he was able to invade the Green Lantern’s main power battery from inside is prison. Marco Santucci and Scott Hanna’s art is great in this issue, the new Cyborg Superman look is awesome and really separates him from Superman just enough that it works.  Next issue looks to be even more intense as Cyborg Superman looks to take total control of the GL Corps with Simon hot on his heels to stop him. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Jim Cheung
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, & Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover By: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, & Alex Sinclair
Price: $3.99

Justice League keeps delivering one epic story. Scott Snyder’s first arc concludes in a very entertaining way. Snyder has the League accepting their flawed emotions and using them against the Legion of Doom. Also Snyder’s dialogue is brilliant. He’s able to make every character’s lines unique and memorable. Plus Jim Cheung’s artwork is stunning, especially the fight between Lex Luthor and Hawkgirl. Even though this story ends, Snyder lays some groundwork for upcoming arcs, including the return of Starman (no it’s not Jack Knight). Overall, Justice League is not a title fans should pass up since big things are on the horizon. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 5 Stars

COVER #1 (of 6)
Created By: Brian Michael Bendis & David Mack
Colors & Variant Cover By: Zu Orzu
Letters By: Carlos Mangual
Price: $3.99

First and foremost, I have to say what a creative endeavor this book is. Bendis and Mack, longtime collaborators and star creators delivered a unique take on the perspective of a comic book creator in this book. The story features an artist selling his wares at a convention when he’s approached by a super fan that is willing to pay top dollar for his work, even to the point of telling him he’s charging too little. Over the course of the issue, we learn there’s more to this woman than meets the eye. The dialogue is typical Bendis storytelling, mostly relying on talking heads, but with meaningful conversations that foreshadow things to come and delve deep into the personal lives and personalities of each character. Mack’s art takes several different forms throughout the book as his art typically does. We go from a very simple style with color holds that subtly transitions into black inks, and begins to be highlighted by water colors. When the artist is telling a fan about his book, the art completely changes so that we see this masterful painted spread before us. It feels as though Mack is trying to evoke certain emotions with each art change, though I could be reading too much into it. My concern is that for those that might not “get it” the constant change in art style might pull one out of the story. And if you’re not a fan of Bendis’ writing style, the marriage of the two might be a bit much for readers. That said, I’m intrigued by where the story is headed and what the super fan’s real agenda is. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 3 ¾ Stars

“The Kingdom”
Written By: Simon Spurrier
Art By: Bilquis Evely
Colors By: Mat Lopes
Letters By: Simon Bowland
Cover By: Jae Lee & June Chung
Variants By: Yanick Paquetter & Nathan Fairbairn
Price: $3.99

Ever since it was announced I was intrigued by The Dreaming and The Sandman Universe only made me more so, this issue picks off where that story left off. Daniel is missing the Dreaming is falling apart and no one knows to do, plus who is Dora? Lucien is a great narrator for the story and Matthew the perfect character to play off of for him. Not to mention the mystery of “Dora the Explorer” the one person in The Dreaming who can walk about and do things no one else can. But who thought she would be bumping uglies with a demon of Hades? The art here fits this world so nicely very trippy yet grounded. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Sergio Davila
Colors By: Felideus
Letters By: Simon Bowlan
Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Variants By: Ed Benes & Dinei Ribeiro, John Royle & Juan Fernandez, Philip Tan & Elmer Santos, JStephen Segovia & Elmer Santos, and Sergio Davila & Felideus
Price: $3.99

Another great issue! The Spirit Of The American Flag and the Death-Defying Devil battle above the city but The Green Lama is killed, taking out his web and all the aircraft fades away with no one knowing where they have gone. The twists in this book are great, they keep me wondering if they are dead or not, if there is more to what is being said, but damn I always seen Pandora as a little girl but not this hulking creature. Also nice little hint about how this could end. The art here is amazing I love the American Flag, the way it flows and moves Davila makes it truly feel alive with the spirits of those who have fought and died for the country. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

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

“The new girl was right, you die when you die. But that ain’t gonna be today.” – Mac

Paper Girls steps away from further developing the main girls’ stories and focuses again on their overall world by developing the mystery between Wari and her son. This leads to Erin learning about a bigger connection to how they can get back home. But will 1988 be the same when the girls return? Or a better question. Are the girls the same people they were when they left 1988? This issue also develops the long standing story of Mac’s cancer. It’s revealed that Mac doesn’t have Leukemia, but instead a time traveler’s cancer that cannot be cured. As KJ is on the verge of death, Mac decides that if she can’t cure her cancer she isn’t going to waste any time on the life she has left. As always, Cliff Chiang delivers some of comic book’s best pencils with this series. He develops very kinetic sequences in this issue, considering how this could have just been a talking heads story. Paper Girls #24 is a well told penultimate narrative as it builds the series’ mystery without it feeling like a full on exposition issue.  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Art By: Leslie Hung
Colors By: Rachel Cohen
Letters By: Mare Odomo
Cover By: Leslie Hung, Bryan Lee O’Malley
Price: $3.99

“Her??? Gay??? What about me? What about Lottie?”

Snotgirl returns with Lottie still trying to sort out her romantic feelings for Coolgirl. The issue opens up with Lottie adoring Coolgirl’s body as she’s about to kiss her, but this perfect moment gets ruined with paparazzi surrounding her bed and you guessed it – a runny nose. Then Lottie wakes up realizing it was all a dream. What a brilliant way to open up this new arc! Leslie Hung and Bryan Lee O’Malley allows us to see Lottie’s worst anxieties on display, and the psychological trauma Lottie is going through as a public figure as she can’t even hide her most intimate moments.

The rest of the issue has Lottie trying to play it cool, pun totally intended, with Coolgirl. She acts like a schoolgirl as she waits for Coolgirl’s next text and tries to impress her by drinking Coolgirl’s disgusting green mixed drink. But Lottie isn’t a total push over here, this issue also has Lottie standing up for herself and starting to understand what she wants.

Snotgirl #11 is a great interpersonal story as Lottie navigates her complicated relationship with the even more complicated Coolgirl. O’Malley puts the readers fully in Lottie’s point of view, and you just have no idea what Coolgirl is going to do next and how she actually feels about Lottie. Does she also have romantic feelings for Lottie or she stringing her along? I’m still questioning that Coolgirl is even real. And that leads me into the other interesting aspect of not only this issue, but the series as a whole – the mystery.
There’s a moment in the issue that has Lottie’s ex-boyfriend, Sunny, interacting with her. His new bro tells him, as Lottie is flirting with Coolgirl, that one of his exes is gay and the other is dead. Earlier in the issue it was revealed Charlene (Sunny’s other ex) was gay, the same girl Lottie saw pushed over the ledge that ended up in a coma. Charlene and Lottie are both gay, but WHO IS DEAD? Because Lottie is an unreliable narrator we don’t know who is dead, but there have been signs since the first issue that someone is dead. Is it Lottie herself? Snotgirl #11 really has it all!  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

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

Ant-Man and The Wasp #5 marks the final issue of this mini-series. This series’ biggest accomplishment is making me care for Nadia and Scott’s friendship that I hope we get to see more of in other comics. I like their father/daughter type relationship. The contrast of their personalities really works here, but the micro-verse adventure did get tiring and didn’t need to last five issues. I wish we could have seen other Ant-Family dynamics, like with Cassie Lang and Janet Van Dyne. Javier Garron’s pencils are most successful with the series’ micro-verse action, but his facial expressions for Scott were awkward at times. The facial hair didn’t work for the character. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a fun mini-series for hardcore Scott and Nadia fans, but doesn’t add much to the overall Ant-Man/Wasp mythos for more casual readers to enjoy.  ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Cullen Bunn
Art By: Matteo Lolli
Colors By: Federico Blee
Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover By: Dale Keown & Jason Keith
Variants By: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado; Cliff Chiang; Skottie Young
Price: $3.99

Ok I love Valkyrie and Thunderstrike (call me weird), but the rest of the team, not so much, well until now! Cullen Bunn has made me life Throg, a freaking Frog of Thunder, he actually made me like him! Angela and The Destroyer gather up this rag tag team of Asgardians to go on this undisclosed mission which takes them to face off against Nebula, and face the end of times if they fail. Then the ending, Bunn really? Young Loki? I thought he was gone! Man I can’t wait to see what comes next. The art here was right on par with the writing, I really like how the battles were done and the fantasy scope of the book comes to live. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art By: Leinil Francis Yu
Colors By: Sunny Gho
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Alex Ross
Price: $3.99

So far this is my favorite issue of this run because it actually advances the plot. While the previous issues were well written for Captain America’s inner conflict, they didn’t progress the story. Fortunately Coates has Black Panther and Okoye helping Cap since the US government shut him out. The Trio take out the army of Nuke clones but learn Sharon Carter is in danger. Ta-Nehisi Coates continues his streak of memorable dialogue. My favorite example is T’challa telling Steve Rogers not to doubt others because “That is when Captain America truly dies”. Also Coates’s inclusion of Black Panther and Okoye provides a great bridge to his Black Panther run os fans can easily get on board. Plus the artwork is stunning. Leinil Francis Tu and Sunny Gho create dynamic action scenes that are perfect for Captain America comics. This title had a slow star but now things are starting to take off. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 4 Stars

Based on Novels By: Michael Moorcock
Written and Adapted By: Julien Blondel and Jean-Luc Cano
Art By: Julien Telo and Robin Recht
Colors By: Jean Bastide with Luc Perdriset
Lettering By: Kirsten Murray
Cover By: Tim Sale
Variant Cover By: Robin Recht
Price: 3.99

Elric the White Wolf #1 from Titan Comics is high end dark fantasy wrapped in a tormenting love story, and it’s every bit as awesome in depth and breath as it sounds.  Let me say, I have not read the novels by Michael Moorcock but I may have to after reading this story.  The story of a self-exiled king on a near unending quest to save his queen’s life is presented in beautifully powerful art and colors in this issue.

Julien Telo and Robin Recht give this world a rich feel while still being very harsh and unrelenting. And yes, we do get a white wolf in there too, it’s awesome. The story by Julien Blondel and Jean-Luc Cano did a great job of pulling me in from the very beginning and the pacing was great as the story develops, plus the dialogue between characters give it an authentic feel.  Overall, I really enjoyed this issue and have already preordered issue 2. Through the Crimson Gate we go!~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

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