Frontline Reviews For The Week Of December 5, 2018 – Soul Of The Character!

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 JayKat, & Louis giving reviews for books from BlackMaskBOOM! StudiosDC ComicsImage 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!

WE ARE THE DANGER #4
Written By: Fabian Lelay
Art By: Fabian Lelay
Colors By: Claudia Aguirre
Letters By: Taylor Esposito
Price: $3.99

We Are The Danger’s penultimate issue doesn’t waste any time as Fabian Lelay ups the drama between Logan and the band. Logan is such a fun villain! Lelay makes her insecurities very present here as she destroys Julie’s guitar, knowing she won’t be able to defeat We Are Danger any other way. But don’t worry Julie and the band quickly come up with a plan to fully rock out. I loved how confident Lelay made Julie with his pencils as she rubbed their great performance in Logan’s face. The issue also has a nice sprinkle of romance that helps further develop the band’s relationship, making you truly invested in these characters. We are Danger is a fun slice of life comic that all music fans should be picking up. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 Stars

SABAN’S POWER RANGERS: SOUL OF THE DRAGON OGN
Written By: Kyle Higgins
Special Consultant: Jason David Frank
Art By: Giuseppe Cafaro

Colors By: Marcelo Costa
Letterers By: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist B: Nick Robles
Price: $19.99

Tommy Oliver has been through it all and has the scars to prove it. Now his son J.J. an S.P.D. cadet is in trouble and Tommy has one more fight in him to bring him home. Higgins really knows how to write Power Rangers like none before him. This is the best written, dynamic, multi-layered Tommy Oliver we have ever seen. Tommy is often seen as the “God Ranger”, the ultimate Ranger who can do anything, but here we see something new from him, Tommy the man. Tommy is broken in body and spirit and I loved it because for the first time I care about Tommy. I am actually invested in this character and was rooting for him. This also applies to the rest of the characters as well, each one is developed in a way that I don’t want this to be the end of their story and that includes J.J. The flaws here though is the timeline, things do not add up and that could have been explained a little bit more. When I first saw Cafaro’s art in the previews I wasn’t sure about it, to be honest, but after reading this book there is no one else I would have wanted on this book. Cafaro’s art brings the grit to Tommy’s plight bringing the story to life even more. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 1/2 Power Bolts

ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #5
“Deus Ex Machina” 
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils By: Carlo Barberi
Inks By: Matt Santorelli
Colors By: Protobunker
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

John and Damien are stranded on a strange planet in an even stranger house with their future selves? Peter J. Tomasi has been doing a great job with these characters and this issue continues that streak. The narration of their older counterparts was a nice touch and allowed us to see where they may go, even if they were just an illusion. I also really loved how Tomasi played off of a throwaway line in the last issue of how Jon inspired himself and turned it into the plot for this issue with both of them inspiring their older counterparts. I think the best part of the series though is the friendship between these two and that is because of how genuine it comes off. I have to give it to the art team here, every time I open this book the pure joy jumps off the pages and you feel that and brings back a certain innocence.  ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

BATMAN #60
Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mikel Janin & Jorge Fornes
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Mikel Janin
Variant Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Price: $3.99

Batman’s search for answers about Bane continues along with his downward spiral. As Batman grows more violent, readers see the effects of his actions through the lens of Commissioner Gordon. After hearing different reports of Batman’s actions, Gordon cuts ties with the Dark Knight by destroying the Bat-Signal. Tom King does an excellent job building up to his moment. The issue begins with Gordon through his morning routine. Then after hearing various reports from Detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya, Gordon concludes that Batman is too unstable to be trusted. Plus Gordon’s destruction of the Bat-Signal is a nice reference to a scene in the Knightfall trilogy. There’s also a great sequence between Alfred Pennyworth and the Penguin. Readers finally learn who Penny Cobblepot was and the reveal is a little disappointing. Fortunately, the issue’s final page gives readers a shocking reveal that creates anticipation for the next issue. Also, I really enjoy how Jorge Fornes drew Batman. The Dark Knight looks he came straight out of Batman: Year One. Overall, Batman #60 is a fantastic read and proves it’s one of DC’s must-read comics. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #8
“Save Humanity”
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

When Firestorm makes a mistake it is up to Superman to help set things right, or will he just make things worse? Geoff Johns continues to tell a gripping story that makes you step back and re-examine the DC Universe and makes you wonder can it ever return from this? I don’t know but I am in for the long haul and trust me this shipping schedule makes it an extremely long haul. One of the big questions is if Superman is in control or not and again I don’t know, but I do love that sense of not knowing, after reading books for as long as I have that feeling doesn’t come often.  I love Gary Frank’s art but it doesn’t seem as tight here as it has in previous issues. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

THE GREEN LANTERN #2
Written By: Grant Morrison
Art By: Liam Sharp
Colors By: Steve Oliff
Letters By: Tom Orzechowski
Cover By: Liam Sharp & Steve Oliff
Variant Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Price: $3.99

Grant Morrison said his Green Lantern run will focus on the “space cop” aspect and this issue reinforces that idea. Morrison creates a nice story structure that mimics the feeling of a TV crime drama. A great example is the interrogation scene run by Hal Jordan and fellow Green Lantern, Trilla-Tru. Fortunately, the cop structure does not contradict what fans love and expect from Hal Jordan. Morrison’s dialogue keeps Hal’s trademark arrogance but doesn’t let it dominate the character’s actions or the story. Besides Morrison’s writing, Liam Sharp’s artwork is another reason to read this title. Sharp’s drawings give off the vibe of a comic from the silver or bronze age. Sharp creates an amazing sequence with one of the Blackstars. One of the Blackstars, a Durlan (shapeshifter), loses control and turns into a Kronenberg-like creature. When someone sees this design, they will stop reading for a moment and just to appreciate how creepy it looks. Plus Sharp’s design of Oa (home of the GL Corps) looks straight out of a science fiction movie. Also, this issue introduces Lantern Volk, a sentient volcano. This shouldn’t work but the teamwork of Morrison and Sharp make it awesome. Overall, this new creative team is reinventing Green Lantern and it’s not something fans should skip. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 5 Stars

MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 
“A Prisoner” 
Written By: Steve Orlando
Art By: Riley Rossmo
Colors By: Ivan Plascencia
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Riley Rossmo
Variant Cover By: Josh Middleton
Price: $3.99

Meet Officer John Jones, a good cop and superhero, but he wasn’t also like that, he was once a corrupt Manhunter on Mars. DC spent decades crafting a well-rounded character like no other in J’Oonn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, and Steve Orlando just flushed it all down the toilet. J’onn was once known as the heart of the Justice League someone above reproach, but this is not the same character. This one is a corrupt cop on Mars, who lies even to those he claims he loves the most. Sometimes when a story is bad, the art can at least make it tolerable, but that can not be said here. The art matches the story perfectly both deconstruct and tear down the character of Martian Manhunter. Everyone in this book looked awful from J’onn to his partner to K’hym, who looks like the love child of X-Statix’s Doop and Slimmer from Ghostbusters. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: ¼ Star

SHAZAM #1
“Shazam And The Seven Magic Lands!”
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Dale Eaglesham
Colors By: Mike Atiyeh
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Dale Eaglesham & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover By: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson
Price: $4.99

Billy Batson is just another kid in school, except for when he speaks the word SHAZAM and is transformed by the magic lightning to become a Superhero. YES! Now, this is the DC I know and love, one that embraces the light. Geoff Johns brings us back to the magical world of the Big Red Cheese and I love it. We get a nice introduction to his and the Marvel Family’s origins while also setting up a nice mystery within the Rock of Eternity. The art here is just beautiful! Every single page encaptured the magic and joy this book delivers. The one downside is the “New 52” edge for edginess sake with Billy losing that optimism he once had and the other changes to the Marvel Family like Mary’s age and Freddy’s appearance. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

CROWDED #5
Written By: Christopher Sebola
Art By: Ro Stein, Ted Brandt
Colors By: Triona Farrell
Letters By: Cardinal Rae
Price: $3.99

Charlie and Vita’s dynamic MAKES THIS comic, and the actual assassin plot is just icing on the cake. I love their growing connection, and you really get to see that through their playful dialogue and their body language. The weaker aspect of this issue is the time spent on the characters related to the Reapr app. I rather discover those characters through Charlie and Vita. They don’t need the extra panel time. Charlie and Vita continue to be one of my favorite comic book dynamics on my pull list, and Crowded #5 doesn’t disappoint with their interactions. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 Stars

DIE #1
Written By: Kieron Gillen
Art By: Stephanie Hans
Colors By: Stephanie Hans
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99

I’m sure D&D fans would love to be in a world where their gameplay becomes real. Well, Die #1 shows how quickly this dream can become a nightmare. The series focuses on a group of teenagers that discover a new role-playing game, and are unexpectedly sucked into the game. The hook for this series is that Kieron Gillen does not explain what happened to these kids in this world. Instead, they return damaged and minus one from their group. Decades pass and most of their lives have been wrecked after their emotional trauma they dealt with in this world. They are then sucked into the game again, giving Kieron the opportunity to unravel the past, while still dealing with these damaged humans of the present. Stephanie Hans’ artwork is truly breathtaking. Her murky colors truly drive home the series’ angsty tone. Die #1 has a few too many characters to allow me to be fully sucked into this world, but the narrator and premise are strong enough to make up for that. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 Stars

SNOTGIRL #12
Written By: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Art By: Leslie Hung
Colors By: Rachel Cohen
Letters By: Mare Odomo
Price: $3.99

Snotgirl shows that even shallow people have layers. We all wear masks to hide our true intentions. This is one of the biggest themes of this social media-driven narrative, and it’s on full display in Snotgirl #12 as Lottie’s sister, Rosie, comes to town. Lottie is in the mix of figuring out her feelings for Coolgirl, but Rosie makes Lottie drop everything because she has mysterious problems with her reality show husband. Both characters are going through some REAL obstacles. Rosie is on the verge of getting a divorce and Lottie is struggling with coming to grips with her sexuality. These are some deep topics that the sisters should be helping each other with, but instead, they both decide to deal with their problems on a surface level. Because if social media has taught us anything it’s that we should always present our best selves even if that person we are creating isn’t the real you. How can you compete with your perfect social media image? The answer is – you can’t. Leslie Hung’s pencils and Rachel Cohen’s colors continue to create the perfect atmosphere for this series. Where every issue makes you feel like you’re reading a fashion magazine. Snotgirl #12 is a great study in how social media has affected our interpersonal relationships, and the walls we build because of the sheer perfection we feel forced to share. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

WINTER SOLDIER #1
Written By: Kyle Higgins
Art By: Rod Reis
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Rod Reis
Variant Covers By: Bill Sienkiewicz; Butch Guice & Frank D’Armata
Price: $3.99

Years ago Bucky was reprogramed and turned from Captain America’s sidekick into the mercenary the Winter Soldier. With help of friends, he broke free of his programming and was given a second chance and with help from Sharon Carter he is using his second chance to give others one. If you have a problem if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire the B-Team. I loved this issue. Kyle Higgins knows that no story is told without putting the character first and that is what drives this issue, Bucky Barnes and his story. Higgins throws a big twist at the end with a new character being introduced, a young assassin who has a twisted connection to Bucky. The art here is really solid, Reis does a great job bringing the action and heart to the story. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

X-MEN EXTERMINATION #1
“A Hope Summers & Jean Grey Story” 
Written By: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Art By: Neil Edwards
Colors By: Jay David Ramos
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino

“A Cyclops & Corsair Story”
Written By: Chris Claremont
Art By: Ramon Rosanas
Colors By: Nolan Woodard
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino

Cover By: Geoff Shaw & Antonio Fabela
Variant Cover By: Kaare Andres
Fantastic Four Villains Variant Cover By: Mico Suayan & Rain Beredo
Price: $4.99

Cable is gone and he left a lot of people behind who mourn him, but none more than his daughter Hope and his mother Jean. This is a wonderfully crafted story of grief that shows Hope going through all the stages with Jean there also going through them. I really liked how Jean mourned Cable, but like a mother, she put the needs of Hope first to help her deal and finally accept not just Cable’s passing but living a life without him in it. The backup story with Cyclops and his father was a really well done and nice addition to this book and to the lore of Cyclops. I finally saw the Cyclops of old here. Both art teams did a great job telling their parts in nice clean art full of emotion and their styles blended well enough as to not be that striking difference that can take you out of the book. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

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