Frontline Reviews For The Week Of January 30, 2019 – Age Of Dark Crisis & Conflict!

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 Archie ComicsBOOM! StudiosDC ComicsIDW Publishing, 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!

Written By: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art By: Sandra Lanz
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: Jack Morelli
Cover By: Sandra Lanz
Variant Covers By: Veronica Fish And Ryan Sook
Price: $3.99

Betty & Veronica are having a hard Senior Year so far and haven’t spent much time together. This is a new twist with a familiar feel on the B & V relationship. The two are a team but of course, boys come into the picture and make things complicated, but that isn’t where all the drama comes from with Betty’s father losing his job, Moose and Midge having problems, Ethel running for president and the Lodges putting pressure on Veronica. The inter-character dynamics here are true Archie, but I think it may have been too much in one issue even though I like it as it places us better into their world. The art by Lanz invokes that throwback to classic Archie comics while maintaining the modern feel of Riverdale. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars


“Beyond The Grid”
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: French Carlomagno, Francesco Mortarino
Colorist: Eleonora Bruni, Walter Baiamonte, Francesco Segala
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

“The  New Adventures Of Blue Senturion & Ninjor”
Written By: Ryan Ferrier
Art By: Bachan
Colors By: Jeremy Lawson
Letters By: Jim Campbell
Main Cover By: Jamal Campbell
Pre-Order Cover By: Jordan Gibson
Incentive Cover By: Linda Lithén
Price: $3.99

Find out how the one-time villain turned ally, turned Keeper becomes the Dark Ranger. I have to say I think Bennett shines when she slows down the big action and gets to the heart of the Rangers as she did here. There is still action and conflict but the heart of this story is about Heckyl and him becoming the Dark Ranger. I loved the twist put on his origins and how his becoming the Ranger caused the very thing he was trying to prevent and the end of another Ranger. But I think my favorite part was the end between Kim, Heckyl and Cam. The art here was also more reserved, less chaotic which was appreciated. The backup story may be my favorite so far as a whole. I really enjoyed the buddy cop relationship with Blue Senturion and NInjor. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Power Bolts

“Leviathan Rising Part 1” 
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Steve Epting
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover By: Steve Epting
Variant Cover By: Francis Manapul
Price: $3.99

Jimmy is onto a big lead, Lois is about to reveal the biggest story of her life to her father, and someone is taking out big organizations. I have to hand it to Bendis, he balances the three sides of this story very well and does so by connecting it to the focal character. Jimmy is the man of Action again, Lois opening up to her father leaves the most badass woman in comics vulnerable meanwhile Superman is getting the scope of the bigger overall story. Steve Epting does a great job delivering the emotions needed for this story with Lois and her father, but also from Jimmy and Superman. I am not sure how revealing Superman’s identity will play out and I hope it will be better than last time, but I am in for the ride. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Mairghread Scott
Art By: Paul Pelletier
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Price: $3.99

Wouldn’t life be easier if everyone knew Batgirl and Barbara Gordon were the same person? In Batgirl #31, worlds collide as Batgirl tries to keep the lives of the people in Barbara Gordon’s life safe, while still keeping her identity under wraps. The political backdrop hasn’t totally latched me onto this story yet, but I do like the inclusion of Bard. He’s a real thorn in Batgirl’s side. Unlike the last arc, I’m also intrigued by this arc’s villain. Batgirl and Cormorant both seem pretty evenly matched, which makes for some great action sequences. Paul Pelletier has been a great fit for Mairghread Scott’s darker style of storytelling. This arc of Batgirl continues to be a slow burn but delivers some intriguing character work to make this issue worth picking up. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Brett Booth
Inks By: Norm Rapmund
Colors By: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters By: Travis Lanham
Cover By: Pasqual Ferry and Dave McCaig
Variant Covers By: Chris Stevens and Sunny Gho
Price: 3.99

Batman Beyond #28, The Final Joke Part Four opens with Batman and Robin fight for their lives again a cyborg Joker that is being controlled by the real Joker.  This fight takes place throughout the book until Dick Grayson has had enough, he takes the cyborg out with a nicely placed flying car to the back that shatters the cyborg all over the cityscape of Gotham.  The Joker though has gotten exactly what he came for in this fight, Robin.  Next issue, can Batman stop a repeat of what happened to Jason Todd from happening to Matt?   Dan Jurgens continues to tell a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat to see what direction the Joker goes in next. The Art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund pulls you into the action and keeps the tension up on every page. ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 4 Stars

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

On the run Booster Gold discovers a clue that could change the investigation into the Sanctuary Slaughter. Meanwhile, Lois’ article is out and everyone knows about the existence of Sanctuary. Man I am loving the twists and turns and the character moments in this event. So Wally’s birthdate would be different? Is this a clone? Was the real Wally West never back? Were all of the heroes killed in the slaughter not the real versions of the heroes? King keeps us guessing and I love it! The art is top notch! The emotions and action are felt on every page and I love the small things like the way Commander Steel’s eyes are expressive or Blue & Gold having a beer, it all conveys so much in body language. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Don’t just take my word for it check out this fellow Frontliner’s review:
Brant’s Heroes In Crisis #1

Written By: Peter David
Art By: J.K. Woodward
Letters By: Gilberto Lazcano
Cover By: J.K. Woodward
Variant Cover By: Gabriel Rodriguez & Nelson Daniel
Price: $4.99

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of IDW they are looking forward or backward 20 years in time in their books and this time we look back 20 years when Picard was the Captain of the Stargazer. Peter David does a solid job looking back on this time period, but I feel a something was missing. I would rather have had this issue explore the relationship of Picard, Beverly, and Jack than the conflict between these aliens. But that is not saying the issue was bad, it wasn’t, it was a really good Star Trek story and I think getting Peter David to write this, his books and comics in the franchise have all been top notch. The art here was really well done, I felt like I was looking at Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Scott Tipton & David Tipton
Pencils By: David Messina
Inks By: Elisabetta D’Amico
Colors By: Alexandra Alexakis
Letters By: Neil Uyetake
Cover A & B By: David Messina
Retailer Incentice A Cover By: George Caltsoudas
Retailer Incentive B Cover By: J.K. Woodward
Price By: $3.99

The omnipotent beings of the Universe are at war to see who is the most powerful and wreaking havoc on the universe, it is up to the captains and their crews to settle this war. I have been looking forward to this event for a while and it was worth it. Q is someone who has a history with 3 out of 4 of the crews here but the Tiptons took other omnipotent beings from the Franchise’s history and placed them in here, I have to admit I was impressed and disappointed by who they chose to include, I would have loved to have seen a Caretaker (Voyager) and a Prophet (DS9) be included to have one from each of the series included. I also feel like Enterprise was slighted here, I loved that series and it is the only main Prime Timeline (Discovery isn’t there yet) not there. The time frames are interesting with Worf on the Enterprise E, and 8 years after Sisko made Captain so this is sometime before Nemesis so he knows Sisko, but Sisko doesn’t know him. Worf should also know that he is a “Prophet”. This is also around the 6th or 7th season of Voyager. The art here is good but needs some refinement with the faces to get them to look more like their portrayers. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

“Welcome To A Perfect World” 
Written By: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Art By: Ramon Rosanas
Colors By: Triona Farrell
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Phil Noto
Variant Covers By: Rahzzah; Whilce Prtacio & Jesus Aburtov; George Perez & Chris Sotomayor Price: $4.99

Nate Summers, X-Man has created the perfect world for Mutants where everyone on the planet is one. So this is sort of the opposite of House of M in that this world was created so everyone is a mutant which is an interesting concept but not sure how I feel about it yet. The issue was good but served largely as a “pick up this mini-series” which Marvel has become so well known for with their events. But even with that, I like some concepts, like how babies are now hatched, and people are not allowed to be intimate with each other. So the book accomplished its goal to get me intrigued and on board for the event. The other thing that has me wondering is why did Nate replace Henry/Beast as a founding X-Man and not one of the other members? The art here was solid, I thought the redesigns were new and fresh while maintaining a familiar feel to them. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 Stars

Don’t just take my word for it check out this fellow Frontliner’s review:
Brant’s Age Of X-Man: Alpha #1 Review

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Chris Bachalo
Colors By: Chris Bachalo
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99

Nick Spencer begins a new arc for what’s quickly become one of my favorite Spider-Man runs. This issue showcases the new direction of the Lizard and Rhino. I especially enjoyed the Lizard’s interaction with Peter and MJ as the Lizard is struggling to give his family a normal life. I want to see more fleshing out from Curt Connor’s family as individual characters because the small glimpse we saw of them here has me intrigued. Aunt May’s storyline also really surprised me. We get to see the badass side of her character as she saves a homeless man with one of Peter’s experiments. It reminded me of why Aunt May is such a cool character. She has a lot of spunk! Chris Bachalo’s artwork is what brought the issue down. I’m not a huge fan of his art style, and it didn’t fit the characters well. Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man #14 continues to touch upon classic stories with a twist, and I’m absolutely loving it. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

Verdict: 4 Stars

Written By: Jed MacKay
Art By: Danilo S. Beyruth
Colors By: Andres Mossa
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Kyle Hotz & Dan Brown
Variant Cover By: Gerardo Zaffino
Price: 3.99

Man Without Fear #5 continues the recovery and healing of Matt Murdock, where he asked himself the same question over and over again.   What is Pain for?  Reliving the lesson taught to him by his father, the only lesson he could teach his son.  This series and especially this issue break down Matt Murdock, what is going on in his head and what path he will choose going forward.  Jed MacKay has told a story all Daredevil fans knew we would see. Live is hard for a Murdock, but they don’t quit and they don’t run.  Daredevil is coming back and he’s already got the Kingpin feeling the Fear. ~ Justin @ExileState


Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: G. Willow Wilson
Art By: Nico Leon
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99

Ms. Marvel #37 had everything that I love about this series in one issue. Kamala and Gabe are on babysitting duty, and, of course, everything goes wrong. In the mix of things, Kamala must save Jersey City from itself, which is a very poetic way to start wrapping up this series. I loved that G. Willow Wilson allowed all of Kamala’s supporting characters to be involved in this adventure because they are also such an important part of this title. Their personalities were expressed so well with Nico Leon’s artwork. But what made this issue so highly rated for me was the emotional punch of Sheikh Abdullah’s heart attack. It shows that no matter what Kamala won’t be able to help everyone. Ms. Marvel #37 is a great penultimate issue and makes me even more excited to read Wilson’s swan song to one of Marvel’s most important characters of the decade. ~ Kat @ComicUno 

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, at 10:00 PM ET!
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