By: Cody Chavers and Nicholas Guest
Action Comics: Future’s End #1 – Score: 2.5/5
This one-shot by Sholly Fisch was disjointed and fairly boring as Clark Kent gardens while people around town gain various super powers. This book’s only real redeeming quality is pretty fantastic visuals thanks to artists Pascal Alexe and Vicente Cifuentes.
Aquaman: Future’s End #1 – Score: 3.5/5
An old enemy returns as Aquaman continues his struggle for peace and integration between the Atlanteans and the surface dwellers. Writer Dan Jurgens does well portraying Arthur’s inner conflict in the dialogue and artist Alvarro Martinez really nails the fight scenes.
Batwing: Future’s End #1 – Score 4/5
It’s back to basics in this futuristic one-shot as Batwing and company take on a motley crew of villains. Solid writing by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray in the one-liners and quips. Excellent, classic art by Eduardo Pansica, particularly in the robots and cybernetics.
Detective Comics: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4.5/5
An excellent team-up issue as Batman enlists the aid of a reformed Edward Nygma to stop Calendar Man from repeating the Gotham blackout from Year Zero. Writer Brian Buccellato nails the riddles and banter between Bats and the Riddler and delivers more than one laugh out loud moment. While the art is good throughout the issue, the fact that the artist changes every few pages can be a bit distracting.
Earth 2: Future’s End #1 – Score: 3.5/5
This issue focuses on Mr. Terrific and his endeavors in the technology industry and his fight against Terry Sloan, much to the disappointment of regular Earth 2 readers. The issue is not bad in any real way, but the absence of the regular Earth 2 heroes is definitely noticeable by both the characters and the reader. Artist Eddy Barrows really saves the day with amazing visuals throughout.
Grayson: Future’s End #1 – Score: 4/5
Writer Tom King grabs the reader’s attention early in Dick Grayson’s contribution to the Future’s End one-shots. Fantastic art by Stephen Mooney and a very unique plot progression make this issue very memorable and definitely worth a read.
Green Arrow: Future’s End #1 – Score: 5/5
Five years into the future of Seattle, there’s a new Green Arrow cleaning up the streets. The amazing storytelling team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino continues to impress with razor-sharp writing and beautiful visuals throughout. This team continues to be one to follow.
Green Lantern: Future’s End #1 – Score: 5/5
The future of Green Lantern Hal Jordan is action packed. An exciting plot, expertly orchestrated by Robert Venditti, delivers on every front. Excellent in-space battles, more than one heartfelt moment and the return of an extremely powerful character in an unexpected capacity makes this issue really stand out among the other Future’s End one-shots.
Justice League #33 – Score: 4/5
While the fight scenes at the beginning between the Leaguers and the Doom Patrol seem a bit under played and forced, the meat of the issue focuses on Batman and Lex Luthor dealing with the Power Ring. Geoff Johns continues his fantastic writing and leaves the reader with a shocking ending that I suspect few readers saw coming.
Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #3 – Score: 4/5
Cassie Hack continues to become more comfortable returning to her old monster slaying ways as the return of the monster god draws nearer. Writers Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley continue to impress with a uncharacteristically heartfelt speech from Cassie and the usual comedic one liners from all the protagonists.
Robocop #3 – 3/5
Carlos Magno’s throwback 1980’s art should fit well with Robocop; however, it just looks lackluster. There is nothing particularly bad about the art, it just isn’t all that appealing to a modern audience. Joshua Williamson pens a decently entertain story, but it falls short of being memorable. Robocop has had amazing and horrible incarnations over the years, and hopefully the creative team can produce issues that fall on the amazing side of the spectrum soon.
Black Widow #10 – 3.5/5
A tale from the past pits Black Widow against Hawkeye. Nathan Edmondson dials back the dialogue to let Phil Noto’s art tell the majority of this story. Fans of Noto’s watercolor-like art will enjoy this issue, while others may find the story lacking.
Captain America #24 – 2.5/5
Falcon headlines this issue as Marvel begins to push the character towards taking over the mantle of Captain America. Rick Remender writes forgettable dialogue and predictable twists, and while the pencils from Carlos Pacheco and Paul Renaud are solid, Zola looks like a bad 90’s cartoon villain.
Death of Woverline #1 – 3/5
Wolverine is a tough, no-nonsense hero, and it is about time he dies. While the action in this issue looks great, the character is as flat as Wolverine has ever been. Charles Soule is better at writing witty dialogue than gruff Canucks, and this run might be too serious for him as Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten’s art carries the issue.
Legendary Star-Lord #3 – 5/5
Marvel seems to throw a prison break into every other issue of Guardians of the Galaxy or its characters stories, and it never gets old. Sam Humphries demonstrates amazing talent in character writing by presenting side characters you can fall in love with or hate in a single issue, not to mention writing amazing jokes and sneaking in a reference to the recently successful Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Moon Knight #7 – 3.5/5
Brian Wood, writer, and Greg Smallwood, artist, take over creative duties on Moon Knight, and while the issue is enjoyable the run has definitely stepped down in quality. The team‘s only improvement is experimenting with panel placement. It works most of the time adding style to the layout with only one page coming off clunky and distracting.
She-Hulk #8 – 4.5/5
The She-Hulk team keeps putting out amazing issues and this one is no exception. Charles Soule writes light-hearted comics amazingly, and Javier Pulido’s newspaper comic strip style fits the narrative perfectly. The only things holding this issue back is a few awkward faces from Pulido, and Soule telegraphing his cliffhanger ending early.
Punisher #10 – 4/5
Frank Castle is in a Costa Rican prison. Any fan of the Punisher should know how great of a setup that is for an issue, and writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mitch Gerads deliver. The issue has several great scenes revolving around Frack Castle’s cynical observations of prison life; however, a side story pulls the focus from Castle occasionally when the issue should’ve stuck with its main setting.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15 – 4/5
The Sinister Six still struggle with teamwork even after a successful big score. Steve Lieber’s thick line art looks fantastic, but Nick Spencer’s writing is what makes this on-going so special. This writing opens strong and finishes strong in this issue, but has somewhat weak center pages.
Uncanny X-Men #25 – 5/5
There is a reason Brian Michael Bendis writes so many lines for Marvel. He really knows how to write poignant stories. This issue follows a reading of Charles Xavier’s will and is the perfect story for Bendis. Tensions run high among the large cast, and the creative team does well showcasing a myriad of emotions through the issue.
Spotlight: Rocket Raccoon #3 – 5/5
He’s everyone’s favorite intergalactic traveling, big gun toting, foul-mouthed, talking raccoon. Rocket Raccoon is on the run from an army of angry ex-girlfriends and has been framed for murder by what may be the only other member of his species in existence. Skottie Young writes and draws this amazing run, and he is perfect for comedy both with his art and his dialogue. Both are so amazing that it’s impossible to decide which is better.
Young’s art hits a level of cartoony crazy that is reminiscent of Earthworm Jim from the 90’s. Everything about his outlandish galactic Cadillacs and intense space battles works for a comedic run featuring Rocket Raccoon. Visual comedy and onomatopoeia gags are par for the course, but that doesn’t take away from the amazing dialogue.
The story and the interactions are equally as appealing as the art. Dialogueue is witty and snaps, and the plot is appropriately outlandish for the character. Skottie Young is truly one of the more talented writer/artists in the industry, and possibly is the best in comedy. Fans of the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie will not be disappointed with this current run.