Frontline Reviews For The Week Of January 2, 2018 – Champions In 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 Jay, & Louis giving reviews for books from Archie Comics, Dark HorseDC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, 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!

ARCHIE #701
Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Marguerite Sauvage
Letters By: Jack Morelli
Cover By: Marguerite Sauvage
Variant Covers By: Jen Bartel And Thomas Pitilli
Price: $3.99

Ricky Mantle is missing and Jughead is in the middle of it, which means so are his friends. I am a long time fan of Archie and yes Riverdale kind of snuck up and bit me, and now this book has too. I know this isn’t like the Archie of old, but Spencer has managed to find a nice pocket here between the success of the mystery-laced Riverdale show and the good nature innocence of the Archie comics. The last issue was a bit jarring and felt more slanted towards the Riverdale side of things, but I think this issue really did bring in some of the classic Archie. Marguerite Sauvage does an amazing job bringing this combination to life on the page, her art feels like a bright primetime soap opera-pop infused style that fits this title perfectly. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

STRANGER THINGS #4
Writer: Jody Houser
Pencils: Stefano Martino
Inks By: Keith Champagne
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover By: Aleksi Briclot
Connected Back Cover By: Fruiz
Price: $3.99

Will is running out of time in the Upside Down but Eleven gives him hope help is on the way. Stranger Things is a solid story telling us about Will’s harrowing journey in the Upside Down. The story feels like a Dungeons & Dragons adventure which is very fitting given the ties to the RPG in the show. I love the art here, it fits well with the Dungeons & Dragons vide of the story. The only downside of the book honestly is how fast it reads. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

ACTION COMICS #1006
“Invisible Mafia Part 3” 
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Ryan Sook
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Ryan Sook
Variant Cover By: Francis Manapul
Price: $3.99

It’s Superman Vs. Red Cloud Round Two! Damn you, Brian Michael Bendis! This issue has me so conflicted on if he knows how to write Superman or not. I mean first he gives us Clark running into an alley for the classic shirt rip up, up and away moment but there is a kid right there and he doesn’t stop. The kid is reading a comic, he knows who Superman is and chances are he knows who the reporter who covers him more than anyone other is as well. Then there is the Red Cloud situation where he tries to defuse the situation with empathy but at the same time, he lets her know he isn’t naive nor is he weak. Plus little moments like the new owner of the Daily Planet had the car from Action Comics #1 just piques my interest and makes her all the more interesting. Ryan Sook does a fantastic job with the art continuing that modern yet classic feel to Action Comics. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

DETECTIVE COMICS #995
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Doug Mahnke
Colors By: David Baron
Letters By: Rob Leigh
Cover By: Doug Mahnke, Jaine Mendoza, & David Baron
Variant Cover By: Mark Brooks
Price: $3.99

Detective Comics lives up to its name with this latest issue. Peter J. Tomasi crafts a brilliant mystery with the only thing known about our antagonist is his intimate knowledge of Bruce Wayne. First off Leslie Thompkins dies from a new variant of Joker venom. Then a mysterious assailant dressed as Zorro stabs Alfred with a rapier. The Joker venom tells us that the antagonist knows Bruce is Batman. However, the Zorro costume tells us this guy knows the best way to attack Batman is through the death of his parents. In other words, the antagonist is clever. While Tomasi’s story creates a well-deserved mystery for Batman, Doug Mahnke’s artwork is what pushes this issue for higher marks. The issue opens up with Bruce rushing Leslie to the Batcave while Alfred prepares the antidote. Readers can easily see the intensity in Bruce and Alfred’s expressions as they try to save Leslie. After Leslie flatlines Bruce tries to save her with a defibrillator in a last-ditch effort. As Bruce tries to save Leslie, we get a montage of Leslie helping Bruce learn the value of charity. This sequence easily tells readers how important Leslie Thompkins is to the Batman mythos. Overall, Tomasi and Mahnke are telling an intriguing mystery while building hype for the 1000th issue of Detective Comics. ~ Louis @SpiderMan1991

Verdict: 5 Stars

HEROES IN CRISIS #4
Written By: Tom King
Art By: Clay Mann
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Letters By:  Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Trevor Hairsine & Rain Beredo
Variant Cover By: Ryan Sook
Price: $3.99

As the investigation of the Sanctuary Slaughter goes on Lois must make a decision that will impact everyone. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! How can you leave us like that King! I must have more! This is the best event across comics in a long time! The character moments, the action, the psychology, the mystery, everything a good event should have is right here and it is brilliant! The only part I was iffy on was the Batgirl/Harley hand holding part but other than that flawless. I also have to say the Blue & Gold moment, Se Magnifique! Clay Mann shows just how great of an artist he is with this issue, the gunshot wound on Babs, the emotions on their faces, Mann is A-List for sure! ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS CHAPTER THREE #5
Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Sergio Davila
Colors By: Ulises Arreola
Letters By: Simon Bowlan
Cover By: Francesco Mattina
Variants By: Ed Benes & Dinei Ribeiro, John Royle & Juan Fernandez, Philip Tan & Elmer Santos, Stephen Segovia & Elmer Santos, and Sergio Davila & Felideus
Price: $3.99

P:Andora is on Earth and the battle for his box has begun. Man, this book is non stop action laced with great character moments throughout it. This is a surprise hit for me, I never thought a book about a team of public domain characters from times passed could ever engage me this much, but Project Superpowers has! I leave each issue in need of the next. Sergio Davila breaths such life into these characters that you believe the American Flag could be sentient. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

CHAMPIONS #1
Written By: Jim Zub
Art By: Steven Cummings
Colors By: Marcio Menyz With Erick Arciniega
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Kim Jacinto & Rain Beredo
Price: $3.99

The Champions are back and bigger than ever, they are no longer just a team they are a Legion! Ever since Jim Zub came on to Champions I have been loving it, and that love continues here. This book is bigger and more ambitious than the previous volume and that makes it all the more appealing. Steven Cummings does a really good job here but he does have some hicups with Brawn when Ms. Marvel introduces her squad. Overall this is a solid start but does have some missteps that can be expected with such a large cast of characters. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Find out where these books and more fall in the Frontline Six’s Top 5 on this week’s Frontline LIVE Tuesday, January 8th at 10:00 PM ET!

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