Frontline Reviews For The Week Of September 26, 2018 – Beyond Crisis!

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 BrantJayJustin, & Kat giving reviews for books from Abstract StudiosAftershockBOOM! StudiosDC ComicsIDW PublishingImage 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!

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

The big match is here: Nicholas Cox Vs Seiji Katayama! I am so invested in this book! The relationships are so masterfully handled and it isn’t twenty pages of talking heads that gives us that, C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad does this in little moments, glances exchanged, even in their interactions with their family we see the fencing students relationships and more about them. Johanna The Mad art pops out to where a single panel of a family tells us a whole story about them. Pacat throw you through a loop here where we thought Nicholas, the underdog was going to win, but he doesn’t, or does he? Even though he lost the match he seems to have won a friendship or at least a kinship with Seiji and with just two issues left I can not wait to see where this goes! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Stars

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Simone Di Meo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte with Francesco Segala
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover: Jamal Campbell
Subscription Cover: Jordan Gibson
Incentive Cover: Joana LaFuente
Unlocked Retailer Variant: Miguel Mercado
Price: $3.99

As Power Rangers they have served their planet(s) well. But the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers comic as you have known it is gone forever. In its place has emerged a new and more advance fighting force as they go Beyond The Grid! Grace and her team arrive in this new universe that lays Beyond The Grid with only seven Rangers with the ability to morph, but soon realize that too is limited as there is no Morphing Grid their powers along with the Green Psycho Dagger that powers the Promethea are draining. Marguerute Bennett throws us right into this chaotic new world along with the Rangers. We know nothing more than the Rangers which places us right in their multi-colored spandex suits. Simone Di Meo’s art does the same thing, even the panel layouts give us that discombobulated feeling. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 3/4 Power Bolts

Written By: Dennis Hopeless
Art By: Rodrigo Lorenzo
Colors By: Wesllei Manoel
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Cover By: Audrey Mok
Subscription Variant Connecting Cover By: Marco D’Alfonso
Price: $3.99

We’ve reached the final installment of the NXT one-shots as we’ve walked through the history of the brand, and they went out on another high note. This time, the book focused on two of the up and coming superstars, Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream. We are introduced to the dark, moody Black as Commissioner William Regal tries to guide him to the top, but all Black wants to do is fight. Immediately, I’m brought back to the wonderful feud between Black and Dream as Dream tried to get his rival to say his name, acknowledging his worth. Then, when Black sat cross-legged in the ring after a victory, he finally gives Dream what he wanted.

Then we get a glimpse at the feud between champion Andrade Cien Almas and Black, and a tiny peek into the future for Black and his reign of terror in NXT. It was quite an exhilarating look at one of the more unique characters in the grand picture of the extended WWE Universe, and a great way to put a cap on the series leaving us with the current superstars of NXT as of this writing.

Next, we return to the main WWE series with the focal point being on one of my favorites, AJ Styles.

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed the NXT one-shots giving us a deeper look into that hidden gem brand of the WWE. For fans of NXT, it was a nice treat, and for those that never gave it a shot, they got to see what they’ve been missing. And as always, Hopeless has done a brilliant job of getting into the minds and voices of these vibrant characters. Lorenzo’s art really stood out in this issue also, capturing the best moments and emotions of the various storylines presented.

If you’re a WWE or NXT fan, you owe it to yourself to read both these NXT one-shots and the main WWE series. The only complaint I have for this issue is that when it was done I wanted more. ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Writer: Jody Houser
Pencils: Stefano Martino
Inks By: Keith Champagne
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover By: Tomm Coker
Connected Back Cover By: Fruiz
Price: $3.99

Taking place during the first season of Stranger Things, we find out what happened to Will Byers when he is taken to the Upside Down. Jody Houser does a great job of bringing us back to the first season of Stranger Things and flipping the narrative on its head to give us the story from the Upside Down. We finally see what happened to Will when he was taken to the Upside Down, when he got there, when he realized what was going on, when he saw the Demogorgon, to his first contact with his mother.  Stefano Martino does a great job capturing the tone and feel of Stranger Things in the art really setting the mood needed to bring us back to the Upside Down.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

“Invisible Mafia Part 3” 
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Yanick Paquette
Colors By: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Patrick Gleason & Brad Anderson
Variant Cover By: Francis Manapul
Price: $3.99

Goode goes sees “Candy” for some Kryptonite before heading back to the Daily Planet where it affects Clark and when he finds out it is Goode he has Batman intercept her and confiscate it. This story is really taking shape! I love the voices Bendis has for each character, he really understands them at their core, not one voice seems off. I also love the return to the anticipation of a story with Bendis’ run, somewhere we got spoiled by that instant gratification of a story where we as readers no longer have any real investment in the plot, it is all laid out to us, but Bendis has brought back the art of making us wait for it and I love that. Yanick Paquette does a great job on the art here maintaining the same classic feel that Gleason does but with his own flair to it. We are left with another Lois cliffhanger, this time Clark isn’t the only one to have found her because Lex comes a knocking! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Mairghread Scott
Art By: Paul Pelletier
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By:  Deron Bennett
Cover By: Sean Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth
Price: $3.99

Batgirl’s new creative team has done a wonderful job at balancing Barbara’s development from both Burnside and Gail Simone’s run. Mairghread Scott and Paul Pelletier meshes these takes together into one coherent character. I especially enjoyed how Scott deals with Barbara’s disability. Barbara is not ashamed of her paralysis, and is not as determined to keep her legs as Jim is to “heal” her. Barbara is most worried about what Grotesque’s attack has done to her brain. Although, I do hope Grotesque builds up to be a better villain because as of right now I do not understand why Barbara wants to risk so much to go up against him. Pelletier does a great job at showcasing the physical and emotional pain Barbara is going through. My only nit-pick towards the artwork is Deron Bennett’s lettering. The computerized inner monologue doesn’t fit the series. This run of Batgirl is some of the strongest storytelling for Barbara since Gail Simone. I’m so happy to say once again that I CAN’T WAIT for the next issue of Batgirl. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 stars

“Blind Spot”
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Gary Frank
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover & Variant Cover By: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson
Price: $4.99

Ozymandias makes his move using his cat Bubastis to track and summon Dr. Manhattan so he can confront him and get him to save their universe. Even though the summoning plan works, nothing else does and Batman goes for round two with the Mime and Marionette. This is why Geoff Johns is my favorite writer! This is a true master weaving this tale, giving us little things like how important the Mime and Marionette’s son is, that she is pregnant again, and that after Superman apparently hits him things go black leaving it unsure if Superman destroys him, or does Dr. Manhattan destroy everything! That isn’t even all of it! As much as I want this more frequently I am ok with the shipping schedule if it means we continue to get this level of quality from Gary Frank, every page is a symphony of art!  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate 

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Clay Mann
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By:  Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
Price: $3.99

Some of my favorite DC Comics’ events start out with a murder mystery. It’s a great frame work for an event that builds a personal mystery right off the bat. Tom King goes into his first big DC event with no holds barred, and guess what it’s a murder mystery. King and Mann create a cinematic first chapter that sets up this psychological event nicely. The documentary style framing device helps for this film like feel to the series’ narrative and visuals. For fans upset at the “big” moments in this issue, I want to remind you that King only gives us a peek at the full mystery. Do not judge the story and what’s not shown by this one issue. Hopefully King will take the rest of the series to explore what happened at the Sanctuary. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 stars

Written By: John Barber & Mike Johnson
Art By: Philip Murphy
Colors By: Priscilla Tramontano
Letters By: Christa Miesner
Cover A By: Philip Murphy
Cover B By: Philip Murphy
Cover RI By: Paulina Ganucheau
Cover RI By: Derek Charm

The Enterprise arrives to answer a distress call to find the miners are being attacked by the Decepticons and inadvertently injured Optimus Prime before sending the Decepticons retreating where they meat the Klingons. Barber and Johnson have brought the Transformers and Star Trek The Animated Series together and made it work! I loved the references and little nods to both with things like “More than Meets the Eye” or Sulu saying “Oh My” this issue was just fun, and Philip Murphy managed to capture the feel of both series and unite them in a way that made the younger me smile and makes all those times I laid on the floor playing with all my toys in a mega crossover worth it because this team up I thought would only exist on my floor. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Caitlin Kittredge
Art By: Roberta Ingranata
Colors By: Bryan Valenza
Letters By: Troy Peteri
Cover By: Roberta Ingranata & Bryan Valenza
Price: $3.99

Witchblade #8 focuses on unraveling Johnny’s past without it feeling to exposition heavy. The series overall has been a slow burn, but hopefully this information will help the title move forward at a faster pace. My biggest complaint is that we haven’t seen enough witchblade action. I want the series to explore more of Alex’s connection with the witchblade. Roberta Ingranata on pencils does a good job with the character interactions, but the action sequences don’t feel as epic as previous series have painted the witchblade to be. The artwork felt less detailed here. There were characters without faces, especially when there was more than one character in a panel. The reason I pick up Witchblade on a monthly basis is because Caitlin Kittredge and Ingranata have created Alex to be an interesting character, but now I want to see the creators push Alex into more dynamic situations. ~ Kat @ComicUno

Verdict: 3 Stars

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Humberto Ramos
Colors By: Edgar Delgado
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado
Price: $3.99

Nick Spencer continues to push Peter Parker into new creative situations that still feel nostalgic to classic Spidey storytelling. Humberto Ramos joins the team that helps deliver this nostalgic feel to the series, since his artwork was a mainstay for Dan Slott’s run. Although Ryan Ottley’s pencils are stronger for Spencer’s tone. Spencer delivers another fun issue where Peter finds himself teaming up with Boomerang to get extra intel on what the villains are planning to do to New York City. You know this isn’t going to go well for Peter, but maybe we will see a stronger friendship grow between him and Boomerang by the end of the arc. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 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: $3.99

The older X-Men are trying to defend the time displaced X-Men as Ahab and his new Hounds are set loose on them. I knew the kids from the first issue were significant and them being in black and white in the last issue was a clue and now we know they work for Ahab and together they set time bombs in Mutants heads making them sleeper agents that at the snap of a finger are transformed into brainwashed Hounds serving Ahab. I am really excited about this book and anticipated every issue, I also like that we get a little more insight into what is going on knowing that Cable is preserving the younger X-Men and Ahab just wants them dead. Larraz is doing a great job with the art here, and kills it with the action scenes. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

“New Players”
Written By: Christos Gage
Art By: Clayton Cain
“Check In”
Written By: Jed MacKay
Art By: Javier Garron
Colors By: Israel Silva
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Price: $4.99

We get to see the world of the PS4 Spider-Man who takes on his newest villain, the Tarantula just as the Superior Spider-Man recruits him to take on the Inheritors. Meanwhile in the back up story we get to “check in” on the Inheritors as the Spider-Man of India routinely sends in some robot spider drones to monitor them and we see they are getting weaker starving in their prison world. The art for the main story does a great job really making you feel like you are in the world of the game due to the hyper realistic style. The back up art is really solid with a more tradition art style. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

“The Many Lives Of Doctor Who”
Written By: Richard Dinnick
Art By: Mariano Laclaustra, Giorgia Sposito, Brian Willianson, Arianna Florean, Claudia Ianniciello, Iolanda Zanfardino, Neil Edwards, Pasquale Qualano, & Rachael Stott
Inks By: Fer Centurion (Sixth Doctor)
Colors By: Color-Ice, Carlos Cabrera, Adele Matera, Dijjo Lima, & Enrica Eren Angiolini
Letters By: Commicraft’s Sarah Jacobs And John Roshell
Covers By: Various Artist
Price: $7.99
As the title states we are treated to the many lives of Doctor Who, from the First Doctor on we get stories with each Doctor including the War Doctor in the order of their canon appearance. This tales of the Doctor flowed nicely thanks to the inner monologue of the Twelfth Doctor preparing the Thirteenth Doctor for her regeneration. The art was really good here with each story have a different tone that fits the Doctor they are representing. The ending gives us a nice little nugget on what we can expect with the Thirteenth Doctor and I can not wait. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

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