Welcome to the weekly SuperBro Comic Corner. Every week, a few of our avid comic readers will be reviewing, analyzing, and recommending which comic books we feel you, our readers, should check out. Could be old, could be new. Comics are the source material for our most beloved films and TV shows so let’s take a look at what our staff read this week, who knows? Some of them may or may not be made into a movie one day (if they haven’t already).
Cyborg #1 (2016)
Review By: Michael Marinelli (@mmarinelli98)
Last week, I reviewed Cyborg: Rebirth #1, the one-shot prelude to the Cyborg series. I wasn’t impressed. This issue, however, offers hope.
Cyborg #1 isn’t perfect but it is a step in the right direction. One of my main criticisms of the one-shot was it introduced too many pieces and didn’t develop any to the extent they deserved. This issue, however, took a position and developed it over the course of more than 10 pages. In these pages, the reader sees character growth in Cyborg as a man (or as a machine?).
The message presented in Cyborg #1 is clear and concise, with characters displaying different philosophies, allowing the reader to wonder what is true. The story flows very well, but some dialogue feels forced. That can easily change in the next issues as John Semper Jr. finds his footing as a writer for this character.
Paul Pelletier’s pencils feel soft at times, but do provide great depth to the technology. Rob Leigh’s letters are done well, as word bubbles guide the reader across the page effectively, with colors by Guy Major that reflect the mood. To accentuate the colors, Tony Kordos and Scott Hanna could add more black to some pages. Accentuated colors can provide a greater sense of intense emotion. These minimally inked pages are likely what contributed to the feel of Pelletier’s soft penciling.
This issue has less action than the previous Rebirth one-shot, but I did find myself drawn to the story, not bored at all.
Cyborg #1 has chosen one piece of its puzzle presented in its previous one-shot and gone in depth with it. It flows much more naturally with only small bits of forced dialogue. This issue has proven what I elaborated on in my review of Cyborg: Rebirth #1: the series will greatly improve as the issues go on.
Detective Comics #953
Review By Marcos Melendez (@bizgamer9)
Ever since rebirth, Detective Comics has been on a roll, delivering fantastic stories that are very character driven. The writer, James Tynion IV, knows the characters in these stories so well and each character always feels right. Even if the issue doesn’t move the plot very much, you can always count on the characters being interesting and engaging with rich dialogue. The recent issues revealed that hundreds of people were infected with Joker’s toxin and it’s assumed that the Joker is behind this, but it’s later found out that it’s actually the work of the league of shadows. Let’s see if this issue can continue the story and deliver on fantastic character moments.
Reminder- this review will contain SPOILERS…
This week’s issue is sort of bland with some interesting and engaging moments. In the very beginning of the issue however, we get a scene between Batman, Batwoman, and Jim Gordon discussing everything that has happened. We are then reminded by the fact the everyone thinks that Batman murdered the Mayor even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. After that scene, most of the issue focuses on Cassandra Cain and her struggle with her mother Lady Shiva. But before we get to that, there is a scene that really captures the humanity two strange characters.
When Cassandra is planning to leave in order to find her mother, Clayface is ordered to be her babysitter but he allows her to go anyway. The scene is sweet and completely believable because Cassandra is only one that understands him. After leaving, Cassandra is then confronted by Batman, who tries to stop her from heading out. She fights him but he doesn’t fight back. The scene sort of felt unnecessary and it felt like it was there to put more action in this issue. She defeats him of course and we then find out that Clayface has been sliced to pieces by the league of shadows. Batwoman finds Clayface like that and she is then taken by the league and they take her to her father. She is then stabbed at front of her father by one of the members of the league. It kind of sucks to see the team be taken down so easily, especially when you know that they could take on the league.
Later on when Casandra takes on Lady Shiva, the moment wasn’t very powerful for me and it really didn’t develop their characters like it should have. Cassandra is also defeated pretty easily and the fight doesn’t reveal anything and is disappointing especially when the writer took the rest of the issue to build it up.
The issue ends with a reveal of a fan favorite character that felt right and it made the issue feel more important. With my thoughts on the story out of the way, let’s talk about the art.
The art in this issues serves its purpose but there isn’t a lot that stands out. For me, only one page stood out above the rest because of the level of detail and quality to the art.
Overall, I think this issue is one of the weakest after rebirth but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t aspects of it to enjoy. I am still eagerly waiting for the next issues and hopefully a fulfilling conclusion to the Cassandra/Lady Shiva story-line.
Review by Jordan Humphrey (@airjordo398)
The Champions are a team of former Avengers that left the team to form their own team. The heroes left because they thought they could do things a little bit differently, examples would
include when fighting a villain if something gets destroyed they help rebuild or help with relief efforts as well as also in one issue of the book helping women in an Arabic nation deal with the soldiers not treating them with respect. This book is relatively new and it has been great to see the team assemble and take on conflict, both physically and between the team members. The members include: Nova, Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel(Kamala Khan), Vi (Vision’s daughter), young Cyclops, and The Totally Awesome Hulk. This issue featured the team bonding over paintball!
When the team got finished playing paintball you get introduced to another team named The Freelancers. This new team is made up of super powered teenagers as well, but they are “freelancers” like the name suggests so they get hired by corporations and cities to shut down riots and other disputes.
This team is basically a bunch of jerks that seem like the Champions but just care about the money they get so essentially an immoral team. Meanwhile the Champions are moral and go to help people in need both with politically dangerous areas but also to fight racism and other human rights violations. The book ended with the freelancers making two friends fight against each other and when one took the other to the police station they said that the Champions did it. The next issue will show the reader what is to happen to the real Champions and I hope to see the Freelancers go up against the Champions. This is a very good series and I personally can’t wait to see where this series takes us and hopefully we can see some more action in terms of combat with villains. Champions is a beautifully written piece and the artwork is similar to many other Marvel books so it genuinely makes it feel like part of the Marvel universe.
Deadpool v. Gambit #1 (2016)
Review by Christian Hubbard (@KyloCool630)
Deadpool was the one of the most successful films of 2016 and Marvel Comics was wise to capitalize on this commercial success within their pages, keeping Wade Wilson around during the “All New, All Different Marvel” reboot, in which many mutants were left out in the cold.
Gambit, on the other hand, is a character suffering in pre-production purgatory with nothing else known about the live-action adaptation besides the fact that it will star Channing Tatum and was supposed to be released during the winter of 2016.
These two incredible characters in X-Men lore have come together in a team-up comic book series that is both fun and action packed. This issue (the very first) begins with a flashback to a fight between Daredevil and Spider-Man.
A fight that is filled with Destiny’s Child quotes and a bevy of quips from bystanders and citizens. This fight goes all through the city of New York. But there is something suspicious about the back and forth between the two legendary heroes. They seem slightly unprofessional. Daredevil says “This is long superhero fight.” and that should signify to the read that something is up.
This one was fun. As most Deadpool books tend to be. It’s a rare chance to see the mutants within the X-Men mythos not take themselves so seriously. The chemistry between Gambit and Wade is one that we, as Marvel fans, didn’t know we needed. The series only has about 6 books on Marvel Unlimited (my favorite way to access comic books) and it has been a unique and hilarious ride since this first issue.
Also, Wade sings a little bit of “Right Hand Man” from the musical Hamilton and if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE any and all things Hamilton.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #14 (2016)
Review by Ernesto Velenzuela (@ThisIs_Ernesto)
Nick Spencer continues his astounding run of Captain America: Steve Rogers with another spectacular issue, with the focus shifted toward the intentions of the new and mysterious ‘Madame Hydra’ as well as Steve’s plans to unravel Captain Marvel’s plans. Spencer’s Run on Captain America has been a slow burn since it first started in May of 2016, but now it is all coming to a head with SECRET EMPIRE due to come out this May. The most impressive part about this comic (and this issue particularly) is the writing and transitions from past to present, as it is done wonderfully thanks to Jesus Saiz and his artwork.
This issue is, like most of the issues of Steve Rogers Cap, buildup of what is to come, as this issue mainly revolves around Madame Hydra recruiting various washed up Villains for her cause, as ‘gift’ of some sorts for Steve, much like Baron Zemo was doing for Cap back in issue 13. Whereas Zemo was assembling an Army for the Captain, Madame Hydra was forming something along the lines of an advisory board for Cap, with issues 13/14 providing set up to give Captain America backup when he will need it in later issues down the line.
Spencer’s most interesting aspect of his writing of Captain America is the manipulative tendencies that he makes Captain America have, adding a whole new layer to the character that we have never seen before. It is something Fresh and exciting that has never been done before in the history of a Captain America Comic, and that is what makes this book so amazing.
Seeing Captain America use Quasar to the point of her being hospitalized, and Immediately using Rick after his original plan had not worked, shows how Determined this new Captain America is and how he will stop at nothing to do what he feels is necessary and right for the glory of Hydra. This whole story provides a plethora of interesting concepts.
While this issue may not have been exciting in terms of action, the ending of it leads to a build up in which Elisa Sinclair (Madame Hydra) Reveals to Steve During World War 2 who the real enemy to Hydra is:
And his name is the Red Skull. With fantastic flashback sequences and amazing and interesting character interaction with Steve Rogers and those he manipulates for his gain, Captain America: Steve Rogers #14 promises some great things to come, albeit at a bit of a slow pace.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #13 (2016)
Review by Demi Mertakas (@DemiMertakas)
So far, the recent Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series has been a very enjoyable and strong series with a perfect blend of the original MMPR series characters and setting with a more modern take on. The series takes place right after Tommy Oliver (The Green Ranger) is freed from Rita Repulsa’s control and joins the team. The characters, the plot and the setting are all still the same but the main difference is that we see these Rangers in a modern setting and they even have cell-phones. This series also shows us the Rangers’ parents who we never actually saw on the show, and the more serious tone makes a nice update for the series without being too gritty and with enough humor to make it a lot more enjoyable.
This issue picks up right where the last issue ended. Tommy and Billy have found this alternate reality’s resistance group called “The Coinless” (because of the fact that they don’t have any power coins) and amongst this group are ex-Rangers Trini, Zack and Aisha with allies like Bulk and Skull (yup), while Lord Drakkon plans his attack on the resistance with his own Ranger army, to get back a certain dagger that Tommy and Billy found. Jason, Kimberly, Trini and Zack are back in their own reality trying to find a way to get Tommy and Billy back. The Rangers are all at a low point at this point of the series especially after losing Alpha 5 and Zordon (not permanently) and it’s an interesting thing to see them go through. This issue continues the Lord Drakkon storyline very well, as the Rangers try to get their team united again to defeat this new and dangerous threat as well as the Rita Repulsa of their own world.
The great thing about the series is how it focuses on the Rangers as multi-dimensional characters with real emotions and their own insecurities and struggles rather than just have them be a group of perfect teenagers who get together and fight evil, like the original 1990s tv show did most of the time. They also face real and dangerous new threats, in addition to classic foes like Goldar, Rita Repulsa and Scorpina who are also given more complex multi-dimensional adaptations than their portrayals in the original MMPR TV show.
This series started off great and continues to be great with it’s strong plot and interesting storylines and twists with all credit given to its strong writing. It may not have any of the MMPR cheesiness, but the series also isn’t too dark or gritty. It provides a very interesting and more serious adaption on everything we love about the Power Rangers, with more realistic and strong characters which is hopefully something the new film can also succeed with, because the most important thing about Power Rangers – which this series also includes – is strength through friendship and diverse characters that are able to become a stronger team together despite their individual flaws or insecurities.
****Also, if you’re not reading the new Justice League/Power Rangers crossover…
You really should be. ****
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