By Cody Chavers and Nicholas Guest
Batman: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4/5
The Future’s End one-shots continue this week with Batman desperately trying to save his own life by breaking into a secure LexCorp facility. Writer Ray Fawkes manages to make a futuristic story feel like classic Batman with art by Aco lending wonderfully to that feeling.
Batgirl: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4/5
Barbara Gordon’s future seems bleak as she struggles to lead a new team of Batgirls, while trying to find herself. Intense and emotional writing by Gail Simone perfectly portrays Barbara’s journey through flashbacks and spot on fight scenes by Javier Garron.
Birds of Prey: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4.5/5
Five years in the future, Black Canary has taken control of Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins. The newly renamed Red League now fights for freedom and justice rather than money and world domination. The writing is solid, but the art by Robson Rocha in this issue is what really shines.
Constantine: Future’s End #1 – Score: 5/5
John Constantine goes head to helmet with Nabu, the all-powerful magical entity commonly known as Dr. Fate. Ray Fawkes really nails the witty, British sarcasm of Constantine and the arrogant aloofness of Nabu just perfectly. Juan Ferreyra’s art is mind-blowing from the mundane apartment rooms to the fantastic mindscapes of Constantine’s heart. A must read.
Green Lantern Corps: Future’s End #1 – Score: 5/5
Lantern John Stewart returns to his USMC sniper roots in this futuristic one-shot. Writer Van Jensen captures John’s darkness well while also showing his deep compassion for the universe (hint hint). A team of four artists comes together seamlessly to wonderfully portray the hard light constructs of the Lanterns and the spectacles of deep space.
Infinity Man and the Forever People: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4/5
A mind-warping issue from writers Dan Didio and Keith Giffen. Dreamer and Moonrider are trapped in the Cadmus Singularity trying to figure out how to save Infinity Man. The art is very well done and lends to the surreal feel of the story. The ending will leave readers shocked and guessing what happens next.
Justice League United: Future’s End #1 – Score: 3.5/5
The JLU has been decimated sometime in the near future, but when Martian Manhunter sends a telepathic signal to the remaining members, Equinox tries to call the remaining members back to action. Jeff Lemire continues his tradition of excellent storytelling, but the hit and miss art holds this issue back.
Suicide Squad: Future’s End #1 – Score: 2/5
Fans of the Suicide Squad are going to be disappointed this month as their future tale is mostly forgettable and affects neither the Future’s End event nor the current Suicide Squad run. The art is mostly fine, but a story that focuses more on being weird than anything else ruins the fun. Fans of Harley Quinn should just avoid this altogether.
Superboy: Future’s End #1 – Score: 2.5/5
The future of Kon El and company is brought to us by first time Superboy writer Frank Barbiere and he does pretty well. The three remaining Superboy clones are trying to find a cure for the degenerative condition that plagues all of their kind and think that the secret lies in Kon. The problem here is the art. Artist Ben Caldwell’s cartoony style is not all bad, but really doesn’t lend itself well to Superboy’s darker tones. Here’s hoping the current team returns for the main run.
World’s Finest: Future’s End #1 – Score: 3.5/5
Power Girl search for Huntress leads her to the OMAC guarded prison on Cadmus island in this futuristic one-shot. Kara handles her espionage mission really well until the inevitable battles ensue. Great art by Yildiray Cinar keeps the reader turning the pages.
Invincible #114 – Score: 3.5/5
Surprises and betrayal permeate this issue as the team tries to identify the new threat. Great writing, as usual, by Robert Kirkman, especially in the dialogue at the end. (You’ll know the one.) The little bit of action this issue delivers is expertly drawn, leaving the rest feeling a bit lackluster.
The Walking Dead #131 – Score: 4/5
Robert Kirkman continues to shine as a master of meaningful dialogue. A heartfelt conversation between Rick, Maggie, and Carl finally seeming to be a bit more mature are this issue’s strong points, while the only thing holding it back is a bit too much safety in a book built on the backs of zombies.
Judge Dredd: Anderson Psi-Division #2 – 4.5/5
Judge Anderson works great in the spotlight and her series is a solid read. Matt Smith does well reminding the reader that Dredd isn’t the only badass Judge in Mega-City One. Carl Critchlow’s art seamlessly jumps between rough action and fluid astral projection. Best of all, this issue showcases how great Judge Dredd works as a side character instead of a headliner.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 – 4/5
Spider-Man and Silk team up to fight Black Cat and Electro. Writer Dan Slott pushes Black Cat further down her descent into anger, and this storyline really shows what she’s capable of. The climax of the issue is filled with electricity, both literally and figuratively, and colorist Edgar Delgado doesn’t hold back, filling the pages with enough whites and blues that might make your eyes hurt, in a good way.
Captain Marvel #7 – 5/5
Rocket Raccoon and Captain Marvel are stuck on a ship being attacked. They’re too busy to defend the ship as they can’t stop arguing over whether or not Captain Marvel’s pet cat, Chewie, is a vicious pan-dimensional alien. Overall, the current Captain Marvel run has been hit or miss, but this issue is all hit. Kelly Sue DeConnick writes great back-and-forth dialogue between Captain Marvel and Rocket. Artist Marcio Takara excels at drawing truly believable emotion on his characters, something that many Marvel artists have struggled with lately.
Deadpool #34 – 4.5/5
Deadpool and Sabertooth travel to Canada in this flashback issue. Deadpool has had several flashback and time travel issues, and each time the art team molds the art to mimic the comics of decades past, which works every time. Deadpool really lines up the jokes with his odd humor and fourth wall breaks. Even Sabertooth gets to have some fun with breaking the fourth wall in this issue; however, all the humor still doesn’t derail the serious moments in this issue, even if some of the scenes don’t quite pack the punch that they should.
Death of Wolverine #2 – 4/5
The Death of Wolverine would be incomplete without a specific few characters showing up. This week, Wolverine gets a showdown with one of his greatest rivals. Charles Soule still isn’t hitting his strides like he does in more light-hearted stories, but this issue is a big improvement over the last. Penciller Steve McNiven, inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Justin Ponsor bring some great, violent art to the page.
Edge of Spider-Verse: Spider-Man Noir – 5/5
The upcoming Spider-Verse story is gathering an amazing cast of characters. This issue focuses on Spider-Man Noir, and Richard Isanove’s art expertly captures the dark tone of the 1939 alternate universe Spider-Man. Spider-Man faces off against Mysterio, who is much better as a 1930’s villain than his modern incarnation. The final panel teases some of the other Spider-Heroes that have been recruited so far, with the next Edge of Spider-Verse issue bringing a truly unique Spider-(Wo)Man: Gwen Stacy. Only two issues in and this series is quickly becoming one to follow.
Fantastic Four #10 – 2/5
The Fantastic Four is still split-up and this issue comes across as disjointed as the last. Each character gets around five pages of story, so nothing really feels accomplished. The creative team would have been better off doing one-shots focusing on each character to tell his or her full story in one issue, instead of this disorganized mess. Gabriel Hernandez Walta has solid artwork, although his WWII flashback panels outshine Magneto’s present day exploits.
Inhuman #5 – 4/5
Charles Soule actually preforms well with a darker themed issue by having some amazing character moments for a relatable cast; however, Medusa’s plot takes some exhaustive turns that won’t draw surprises as much as snickers. Ryan Stegman continues to provide amazing artwork, although he isn’t given enough action to work with this issue.
Magneto #9 – 4/5
Magneto examines his failures from World War II and tries to do better with the current mutant crisis. This issue does a great job showing Magneto’s drive and what makes him tick. The villain choice is a perfect parallel for Magneto’s past.
Ms. Marvel #8 – 5/5
Lockjaw! Ms. Marvel is teamed up with Lockjaw! Even if you are unfamiliar with the character Lockjaw, you will enjoy this issue. The first few pages should grab anyone who loves to laugh. Adrian Alphona is back on art duties, and this issue looks amazing, while G. Willow Wilson continues to write some of the most relatable characters in comics.
Bee and Puppycat #3
For those not in the know about Bee and Puppycat, the creators of Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors collaborated with Natasha Allegri to create and produce a YouTube web series about a down-on-her-luck girl, Bee, and a magical, trans-dimensional puppy. Or maybe it’s a cat. No one knows. What we do know is that the series is amazing and raised over $800,000 on Kickstarter in order to fund more episodes and a comic. The first episode of the web series should be watched before reading the comic, but both are completely worth it.
The Bee and Puppycat comic is a collection of short stories that follow the adventures Bee and/or Puppycat. Some are a few pages long and one story is only a single page, but it works. The stories deliver the punch lines, cute moments, and then move on. In fact the highlight of this issue is the single page story.
A slew of different writers and artists are behind the comic, with each story having its own creative team. Each harness the look and feel of Bee and Puppycat in their own amazing way. Some stories might be funnier than others, but all are hilarious. All of the artists have unique styles that give this issue a lot of variety. If you like laughs and childhood glee you should certainly read this series.