Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 1 — Transformers #1

Road Trip with the Transformers is what happens when you take a guy who grew up with Transformers (well, Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy, anyway), who was mildly interested in IDW’s Transformers comics — but too scared to dip too far in — and give him a rebooted Transformers comics line. With this, I’ll be quickly reviewing and then commenting on IDW’s new Transformers comic universe that began in March of 2019! The review will be spoiler-free, while commentary will not. With this, I’ll be chronicling my experience as someone who is a lapsed fan of the franchise from childhood, who has only read a few of the previous IDW Transformers comics. Expect me to forget characters’ names, find it hard to tell them apart and have little to no understanding of references to previous continuities! Does that sound like fun? No? Well, you’re coming along anyway! It’s a road trip! Roll out!

Here it is, Transformers #1! I was way more excited for this than I should’ve been, not helped by a lot of media I’ve been consuming in the past few months essentially pandering to my nostalgia. Anyway, on with the review road trip! Today, there’s only one issue to look at, though I expect that to change soon enough. For now, we have the first instalment of this brave new world: Transformers (2019) #1! Continue reading “Road Trip with the Transformers, Entry 1 — Transformers #1”

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Picking at the Pieces of “X-Men Disassembled”

Yeah, I’m not done with this story. Guys… I have things to do. I need to take a government exam to be able to even enrol in some teaching units for my master’s. I haven’t finished Red Dead Redemption 2 yet. I need to finish Bodyguard and The Protector because I told a friend I would. I’m trying to finish The Name of the WindAncillary Justice and The Night Circus. There’s things I can be doing, is what I’m saying. And yet, I keep coming back to this. Because it keeps calling me back.

“X-Men Disassembled” was meant to be the big X-Men relaunch of 2018. Kicking off a new series of the flagship title, Uncanny X-Men, when finally the X-Men team books would be consolidated into one title… and what we got was a weekly series that couldn’t even justify its own existence without spoiling its own ending — on the day of the first issue’s release, Marvel announced the Age of X-Man event; that name told everyone all they needed to know about it — an alternate world where the story would be told through numerous miniseries, with X-Man (Nate Grey) playing a key part. Well… okay then, so what’s the point of reading this story? There didn’t seem to be one.

The three writers — Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson and Matthew Rosenberg — clearly knew where they were headed with this story, but the way they got there was one of the most badly executed stories I’ve ever seen. See, we knew where it was headed. Clearly. So they needed to give us other reasons to read, while also setting up the status quo for after “X-Men Disassembled” ends — the return of Cyclops and Wolverine. Well, let’s have a look at this series and see what they came up with, shall we? Let’s see what the different plot threads amounted to and how this story went out. Continue reading “Picking at the Pieces of “X-Men Disassembled””

Best New Comic Series of 2018

Here’s a list that I actually really enjoy doing. Unlike the top issues, it’s not hard to recall — I can remember a good series much easier than a good issue. With this list, the series is judged as a whole, not by one single standout issue. At the same time, it’s a very positive list, unlike me lambasting the worst of the year. The main condition is that the series needs to have started in 2018 and had at least an arc or so; meaning anything with less than that by the time 2019 came around isn’t allowed on the list. I will make note of those newer series, however, since, quality is quality and should be praised. So without further delay (yes, this list is fairly late), here are my best new comic series of 2018. Continue reading “Best New Comic Series of 2018”

Iron Fist (2017) #1 Review

Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Perkins
Colours by Andy Troy
Published by Marvel
Cover price: $3.99 USD

With the mixed reception to his portrayal in David Walker’s Power Man and Iron Fist and a bigger spotlight due to Netflix’s Iron Fist series, Ed Brisson was probably under a lot of pressure to get Iron Fist right, which isn’t exactly an easy task. The last time the character was really relevant was Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction’s amazing Immortal Iron Fist run, which had a darker approach to the character while also embracing the martial arts and mysticism elements and building his world in interesting ways. Brisson is seemingly trying to recapture that spirit, and his first issue does a good job setting up something hopefully great, but can’t help but feel a bit generic. Continue reading “Iron Fist (2017) #1 Review”

Batwoman: Rebirth #1 Review

Written by Margurite Bennett and James Tynion IV
Art by Steve Epting
Colours by Jeromy Cox
Published by DC Comics
Cover price: $2.99 USD

I don’t think  its wrong to say that Batwoman has stumbled a bit over the last few years. Her solo stories in Detective Comics and Batwoman started strong, but then J. H. Williams III wasn’t allowed to marry Kate and Maggie Sawyer and rage quit the series, and DC rushed to find a replacement lest they take their time and screw up their precious numbering, and the result was Marc Andreyko’s thoroughly disliked run. After petering out, Batwoman would be banished to comic book limbo, only making occasional guest appearances in larger Bat-stories like the two Eternal series, and even then she barely did anything. But then she got tied closer to the Bat-family in James Tynion IV’s mostly good Detective Comics run, and they decided to launch another Batwoman ongoing under up-and-coming writer Marguerite Bennett (AnimosityBombshells). Since a lot of people probably aren’t familiar with Batwoman’s history — since she was barely affected by the 2011 reboot — this Rebirth one-shot could have been used to catch new readers up on her backstory, while also setting up new stories. It only does the latter well. Continue reading “Batwoman: Rebirth #1 Review”

Super Sons #1 Review

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Colours by Alejandro Sanchez
Published by DC Comics
Cover price: $2.99 USD

Peter J. Tomasi is a writer who has always excelled at sentiment. From the restless Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner in Green Lantern Corps to the father-son dynamic in Batman and Robin, to the more recent, and different, father-son dynamic in Superman, it’s clear Tomasi has an affinity for pulling at the heart strings in the superhero genre. Super Sons is Tomasi taking a stab at writing boyhood adventures, and, to nobody’s surprise, he knocks it out of the park. Super Sons #1 is a really fun comic about two boys and their budding friendship doing what boys their age do, only with more capes and fighting and less parental supervision. Continue reading “Super Sons #1 Review”

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 Review and Recap

Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Oclair Albert
Colours by Marcelo Maiolo
Published by DC Comics
Cover price $2.99 USD

Review and Recap is where I give a quick review of a comic, usually less in-depth than my regular reviews, before recapping it and adding some commentary here and there. Obviously spoilers abound in the commentary section. Anyway, here’s my Review and Recap of Justice League of America: Rebirth #1.

The Review:

The name ‘Justice League of America’ hasn’t had much luck in the last few years. Geoff Johns’ series seemed to exist solely to tie-in to his Trinity War and Forever Evil events, and Bryan Hitch’s version was so unremarkable that I’ve heard nobody speak of it outside of maybe one scene and bemoaning its numerous delays. But third time’s the charm, right? Surely Steve Orlando can take a team of B-list, Arrowverse-friendly characters (and Lobo) and finally give the name something worth a damn, right? Apparently, yes. Thanks to a clear mission statement for the team and motives for its cast of interesting characters, Justice League of America is off to a promising start.

The story is fairly straightforward — Batman recruits his Justice League. But Orlando does a good job clearly giving reasons for the characters (well, most of them) to join, while also setting up the various team dynamics. It’s nothing remarkable, but there’s a lot of potential for future stories set up, and the various relationships are interesting and set up well. The team’s mission statement, according to Batman, is to be a team that people can know and be inspired by, as opposed to the gods of the Justice League. It’s a good idea, and would mostly work if it weren’t for the presence of Batman himself, who has a secret identity, a mythic quality to him and is a Leaguer. That aside, the set-up is very well done while maintaining a good pace.

Something that helps the issue is that its characters, none of whom could be considered A-list aside from Batman, are fair game for whatever Orlando wants to do with them. Unlike the cast of Justice League, most of the cast of Justice League of America don’t have any other ongoing comic that their development is reserved for. Steve Orlando is free to develop his characters how he sees fit, so it’s much easier to get emotionally invested in the characters, rather than just the plot. It might be my cynicism, but as it is, it’s far more likely that I’ll be invested in whatever happens to Lobo in this series than Barry Allen and Jessica Cruz dating in Justice League, since I know there’s no Lobo ongoing that’s more important and already has a love interest for him.

Ivan Reis’ art is mostly good, with his usual flair for lighting and expressive faces for the most part. However, it feels a bit rushed, whether that be some more ill-defined faces or just rushed inking from Joe Prado and/or Oclair Albert. While it’s by no means weak — Reis, Prado and Maiolo are still a treat — the art is just not quite up to the standards I have for this art team.

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 is a superhero comic with an interesting cast with interesting relationships and a great art team. While its B-list cast could’ve been a hindrance, Steve Orlando knows how to get readers invested. If this issue and the previous one-shots are any indicator, Justice League of America is shaping up to be the Justice League comic worth reading.

4/5 – Very Good

Join me after the jump for the commentary! Continue reading “Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 Review and Recap”