Frontline Reviews For The Week Of April 24, 2019 – Fallen Heroes!

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 BrantJay, & Justin giving reviews for books from AftershockBOOM! 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!


 “Stand By Me”

Co-Created & Story By: Adam Glass & Aiden Glass
Written By: Adam Glass
Art By: Deigo Yapur
Colors By: DC Alonso
Letters By: Sal Cipriano
Cover A By: Robert Hack
Price: $3.99

The Lollipop Kids face off against Morgan Le Fey and the monsters they have sworn to protect the world from. This book is what 10-year old me would have killed to have been a part of! A secret club filled with mystery, fun, and high fantasy adventures worthy of Excalibur! Glass created more than portals around  Central Park, this book has become a portal where that 10-year old Jay can join in the adventure as one of the Lollipop Kids, and it is AWESOME! This issue not only closes the first adventure in a bittersweet way by having Mia and Nick reconnect only to have her turn 18 and forget everything. I can’t wait for the next issue, I can’t wait to find out who betrayed the Lollipop Kids! Yapur has something so striking about his style, we have this cinematic larger than life storybook style to it that draws you in and Alfonso really enhances it with the colors. Overall this is such an awesome book that everyone should be reading. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 5 Stars

Written By: Marguerite Bennett
Art By: Simone di Meo
Colors By: Walter Baiamonte
Letters By: Ed Dukeshire
Main Cover By: Jamal Campbell
Pre-Order Cover By: Sean Galloway
Incentive Cover By: Xermánico
Unlocked Retailer Variant By: Miguel Mercado
Price: $3.99

The penultimate issue of Beyond The Grid is here as the Rangers discover the truth about the universe they are in, the Solarix and the Praetor! This was my favorite issue of Beyond The Grid! Bennett has been building up to this moment where the truth is revealed and she does a great job bringing a darker side to the Morphin Masters, it is almost like when I saw that darker side to the Guardians of the Universe in DC. The mythology of the universe and the Solarix has been really cool to explore and now with the Solar Rangers as a thing, I want to know more. It is sad that their story is about to end, just when it began. di Meo’s art really shines here with his Anime/Manga influences coming through big time. Overall this was a good issue, and I think the payoff will be worth the wild ride. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

“Leviathan Rising Part 4” 
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

Lois & Clark go undercover in Spyral as Andi and Chaz when Leviathan strikes. I have been liking Bendis’ Superman run overall and this issue was a solid one but I felt it was a little stretched. I love the way Bendis keeps peeling the layers of the Leviathan mystery getting us closer and closer to discovering the truth behind this larger threat. Epting and Anderson do a great job with the art creating this dark grittier side of Superman while dealing with the spy world but knowing when to shine the light. Overall, this was a good issue, but you can see the trade padding. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mitch Gerads (pp 1, 6-20) & Travis Moore (pp. 2-5)
Colors By: Mitch Gerads
Letters By:  Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Mitch Gerads
Variant Cover By: Ryan Sook
Price: $3.99

The person responsible for the Sanctuary Slaughter is revealed and it will rock the DC Universe to its core. This issue is so complicated, I say this on a story level and on a personal level. I grew up with Wally West, literally, I started out with his as Kid Flash and watched him grow into a Teen as I did and into a man as I did so his journey is deep for me as a comic fan. To see Wally framing two people was very hard for me to grasp, but it works, because I put aside my fandom and looked at this from a psychological perspective and saw him not as a hero, but as a man. A man who went to war and came home to have lost everything, wife, kids, he lost it all and with no way to get any of it back, and then he just lost something else when he accidentally killed the other heroes. This has been a deeply psychological story where not everything is easy, it reminds us that trauma is real. The art team here did a great job working together to show us this visually and really helped with that feeling. Overall this is a dividing issue, but I have to say I still like it. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Sam Humphries
Art By: Joe Quinones
Colors By: Jordan Gibson
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Cover By: Joe Quinones
Price: $3.99

This book is quirky, good, light-hearted fun, but with the dark twist of the Thunderbolt League hunting down the dial. Humphries does a great job at developing these two brand new characters and already creating tension between the two as the H-Dial keeps ringing. The well-placed comedy beats serve up a great distraction from the seriousness of two kids running away with a dangerous device a lot of people are looking for.

Quinones’ lively and clean art compliments Humphries narrative extremely well, and the change-up in style to accommodate each new hero is inspired and authentic. He adapts to the type of character being showcased, this time in both an anthropomorphic cartoon character and a manga/mecha black and white warrior! Gibson’s vibrant coloring provides the final piece to the beautiful imagery as well.

The pacing of the story, how Miguel was already fed up and ready to head back home before realizing what responsibility has been thrust on his shoulders felt authentic and natural. Humphries didn’t drag things out, but tossed us in the middle of these reluctant heroes’ journeys and provided us a dramatic underlying plot as everyone comes for the H-Dial.

There’s still even so much more potential for this series, and it will be fun to see where it goes from here.  ~ Brant @BrantFowler

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Art By: Stephen Thompson
Colors By: Charlie Kirchoff
Letters By: Neil Uyetake
Cover By: Greg Hildebrandt
Variant Covers By: J.J. Lendl & Greg Hildebrandt
Price: $3.99

The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 has been together for four years and they are about to enter their final fifth year, and these are the final voyages… I have been waiting for this series since it was announced because it brings closure and much-needed answers to fans of the original series. Lanzing and Collin perfectly captured the essence of the original series and the voices of the crew, I could hear every accent, every inflection of the crew like I was watching a lost episode. I will also say this feeling of familiarity is also greatly due to the art team of Thompson and Kirchoff who together captures the look and aesthetics of the original series. I saw the subtle way Nimoy would raise a brow, or Uhura’s gestures as she worked the helm. Overall this was a great first issue and one from the casual Trek Fan to a diehard Trekkie needs to check out. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ¾ Stars

Written By: Ralph Macchio 
Art By: Andrea Di Vito 
Colors By: Laura Villari 
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham 
Cover By: Todd Nauch & Rachelle Rosenberg 
Variant Cover By: Ron Lim & Israel Silva 
Price: $3.99
M.O.D.O.K. has usurped control of L.U.N.A.R. and several fragments of a cosmic cube to which he plans to use to take over the world unless the Avengers can stop him. This was an ok book, it was oversimplified even for a basic level story like this. This felt more simplified than one of Marvel’s “Animated” books geared for the younger readers. What I mean by oversimplified is every time someone would do something, like Iron Man using his repulsor beams, or Captain Marvel being hit by, and absorbing energy blasts they would explain it. Macchio does this hand-holding writing throughout the book. The art by Di Vito was really solid, especially the action scenes. Overall, not a bad book, but I just felt like it was “dumbed down” by over-explaining things. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate
Verdict: 2 ½ Stars 

“Outside The Box”
Written By: Dan Slott
Art By: Aaron Kuder, Stefano Caselli & Paco Medina
Colors By: Erick Arciniega
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Esad Ribic
Variant Covers By: Various Artists
Price: $3.99

The Fantastic Four are trapped by Doom and must take him out and save the world from Galactus who is about to blow. Slott knows how to write the Fantastic Four. I loved how connected they feel here, playing off their strength as a team, and having Sue be the guiding voice through it all. My only gripe is that we don’t know who the mysterious girl is, or seen the repercussions of Franklin’s rebellion, but I hope we see them in future issues. Slott lends the right amount of science, action, heroics, family, and humor, making the perfect formula for a great Fantastic Four book! The art team did a great job blending their styles and kudos for the Doom scenes, the emotion was so well done. Overall, this was a great issue, but for some reason, it feels so long between issues. ~ Jay @ComicBookTheate

Verdict: 4 ½ Stars

Written By: Nilah Magruder
Art By: Roberto Di Salvo
Colors By: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover By: Audrey Mok
Variant Cover By: Savana Ganucheau
Deadpool Card Art By: Rico Renzi
Price: $3.99
Of the Marvel Rising stories we’ve gotten so far, this is the strongest for me. The group of heroes chosen for this thrown together team fit well together and make sense. The happenstance of them touring a college last issue and being thrust into this conflict felt natural and fun.
This issue, the action picks up as Quake joins the fray, causing a bit of tension between her and Inferno – they have history. This only strengthens the dynamic of the team, which becomes even stronger by tossing in America Chavez to add to their combined power.
The choice of villains for this arc in Morgan Le Fey was an inspired one as well, as these superheroes have to combat old world magic and defend the home of the Inhumans, a place Inferno is reluctant to return to, and therein lies even more conflict. For what is, by all rights, a fun, all-ages type of story,  there are many layers and intricacies laid out before us as Magruder builds on these characters and their mission throughout.
Di Salvo’s art is fun, clean, detailed and befitting of the story. From the great character likenesses to the imaginative constructs and creatures Le Fey has created to be her army, he breathes beautiful life into the page, only complimented by Rosenberg’s simple but effective palette. 
Overall, this was a fun, intense issue that progressed the plot nicely and gave us a lot more characterization to invest us further into the story. Kudos. ~ Brant @BrantFowler
Verdict: 4 ¼ Stars

Written By: Matthew Rosenberg
Art By: Pere Perez
Colors By: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover By: David Yardin
Price: $3.99
War of the Realms Uncanny X-Men #1 takes the X-Men away from their war on past mistakes and miscues and thrust them into the war of the nine realms that have come to the last realm still standing. Pulled into the fight while looking for Mirage in New York City, the X-Men are outnumbered and at every turn, they face new unfamiliar dangers from across the realms, including flying demon dogs, ice giants and hordes of Dark Elves. This is a solid start for this mini-series and it works well because of the writer. Matthew Rosenberg is also writing the ongoing Uncanny X-Men series and because of this the continuity and flow of the team work well. I was concerned about that when this mini-series was announced, but everything that has happened in Uncanny X-Men with the exception of two things is still here, so fear not fans. Cyclops is actually still a cyclops, which works even better since as Havok puts it in this issue, they are fighting LOTR’s in NYC. Pere Perez’ art is great in this issue and we get excellent action and great backgrounds, the pairing with Rachelle Rosenberg on colors works very well here. Next issue sees an old x-men member return, but is he, Friend or Foe?! ~ Justin @ExileState

Verdict: 3 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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