REVIEW: ‘Southern Bastards’ #1

(Image Comics, 2014)

Writer – Jason Aaron
Art and Color – Jason Latour
Letters – Jared K. Fletcher
Color Assist. – Rico Renzi

I remember going to the theater to see Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in Walking Tall.   I didn’t know much about it, only the star and basic premise, which was enough.  Sometimes its good to be able to turn off your Continue reading

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REVIEW: ‘The Crow: Pestilence’ #1

(IDW Publishing, 2014)

Writer: Frank Bill
Artist: Drew Moss
Colorist: Oliver Lee Arce
Editor: Sarah Gaydos

In 1989 I was fully in the thrall of the X-Men and Spider-Man, but there were other books out there, something mysterious called “indie” comics, that would shape my later life. 1994 saw the release of The Crow, the Brandon Lee film, and I was enthralled. It was a superhero movie. We were on the heels of Batman Returns Continue reading

REVIEW: “Green Lantern” Annual #2

(DC Comics, 2013)

Review by Zakk Saam

Written by: Robert Venditti
Pencils by: Sean Chen
Inks by: Walden Wong
Color Artwork by: Andrew Dalhouse

Green Lantern Annual: ‘Lights Out’ Part Five

Today marks the end of the first Green Lantern event of the post-Geoff Johns era, who left the book after issue #21 to make way for Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar), and while the story held promise from the beginning, it fails to deliver in the end. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Deadpool” #18

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY: Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan
ARTWORK BY: Declan Shalvey
COLOR ARTWORK BY: Jordie Bellaire

Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have written the “Pagliacci” of comic books, in the pages of their “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” story arc beats and breaks the heart of Marvel’s merry mercenary. However Duggan and Posehn have shown us that Deadpool is much more than Continue reading

REVIEW: “Deadpool” #17

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY: Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan
ARTWORK BY: Declan Shalvey
COLOR ARTWORK BY: Jordie Bellaire

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly just keeps getting better, and part three is a perfect amalgamation of all the things that make us love Deadpool. The humor is stepped up a bit in this issue compared to the previous two parts but the tonal shift to darker more complex emotional subject matter is still very evident. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Wolverine and the X-Men” #29

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Jason Aaron
ARTWORK BY:  Ramon Perez
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Laura Martin
LETTERING BY:  VC’s Joe Caramagna

Time travel seems to be playing a very significant role in the Marvel Now universe and although this is not a time travel story in the way that say Age of Ultron is, this issue of Wolverine and the X-Men does rely at least in part on time travel. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Wolverine” #1 (2013)

(Marvel NOW!, 2013)

Reviewed by Cory Thrall

WRITER: Paul Cornell
PENCILS: Al Davis
INKS: Mark Farmer
COLOR ART: Matt Hollingsworth

When I first read that Marvel would be releasing a Marvel NOW! Wolverine title, I was excited but a little worried, as Wolvie has his mug in so many books right now (including the ‘Savage Wolverine’ title that began recently), be it an X or an Avengers book.  So I was worried this might all just be a cash-in to gather attention on the character in a more ‘solo’ fashion, in anticipation for the new film.  And, it very well might be.  Either way, I was happy to grab it, and eager to read it, but I’m also a huge Wolverine fan, so a lot of my initial worries were tossed out the window as soon as I opened issue #1. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Age of Ultron” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Chris Ambrosio

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrator: Bryan Hitch
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort

I’m new to Bag and Board so go easy on me now guys, this is also my first review, you can say I’m a nooby. I’ve been looking forward to reading Age of Ultron for quite some time now, ever since I’ve read “Age of Ultron coming soon” in the back of The Avengers, AU free comic in May of 2011 issue #0.1, yeah I’ve been kinda sitting on the edge of my seat waiting or this block buster of a miniseries. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Uncanny Avengers” #4

(Marvel NOW!, 2013)   –   Reviewed by Feral Fang

Uncanny-Avengers-4I should begin this with saying I am one who really enjoyed last year’s “Avengers Vs. X-Men” crossover event, and honestly think it was one of the most fun events since the whole ‘House of M’ imaginative craziness.  That said, I am very excited and surprised at how Marvel has used the large number of crossovers it has had in the past decade or so and woven so much of them into current continuity.  Titles from all over the Marvel spectrum have been the direct result of these events and major story arcs, like the “New Avengers” focus on the Illuminati, “Civil War” still being mentioned and the ramifications still felt.  This is the kind of Marvel Universe they had always teased at since I was a kid.  Instead of guest starring roles, hero-vs-hero battles, and team-ups to integrate the Universe, it feels to me like they have done a damn good job running the threads from these into the titles they have today.  Which brings us to this title, “Uncanny Avengers”.  This is one I came in a little late on, but since issue #2 I’ve had nothing but excitement for this book.  I really enjoy the ‘casting’ so to speak, and feel they have already become a cohesive team.  I was at first annoyed at Captain America being a member, but when he named Havoc as team leader I felt a bit better about it.  It still bothers me a bit, but – hey! – it’s an “Avengers” related title, so you get what you get.  Mainly, Cap and/or S.H.I.E.L.D.  And that’s fine.

The first arc for “Uncanny Avengers” have been a blast, and that’s both a pun and a truth.  After the events of “A vs. X”, Professor Xavier is dead, and the Red Skull has a plan – take Xavier’s brain, somehow attach it to his own, and gain Professor X’s psychic powers.  The ‘Uncanny Avengers’ team, while being formed as a sort of publicity stunt to show the world mutants and humans can work together in peace, quickly finds themselves in their first adventure – and one that just might kill them.  Red Skull, using the powers of Xavier’s brain as a device for mind control, sets his S-Men and the now-enthralled civilians of the surrounding area against the team, and even mutants as a whole.  As people are given the ability to see the mutant in people who may or may not know it, they become a mob of murder, beatings, and blood.  Heroes are beat to bulging versions of themselves, a God is controlled by Skull – so much goes bad in the first three issues that it left me waiting for this newest one with an almost ‘happy panic’.  So, I got it, and read it.  And, even with some things that stuck out in a bad way, I really, really enjoyed it.

Crafting such a smooth and excitingly told story in only four issues is a feat for any writer, I’d imagine, but Rick Remender once again rises to the occasion.  The characters, while well known already, have found a new space to grow in this title, and Remender has used it to it’s maximum potential.  Rivalries and tempers still flare from “A vs. X”, Havoc’s fear of failure is strongly developed, and given even more depth with a flashback scene of young Alex and Scott, surviving a horrible situation.  In that tiny scene it explains the brother’s constant struggles without needing more (for now), or not being enough.  The writing and script, through all four issues, is just like that, as well.  Not too much or too little, just a well written arc with some very interesting character development and high-end action and drama.  It really hits you as this story unfolds, the scale and scope of what is happening, and by the time you arrive at issue #4 you feel like you’ve been through the same violent and disturbing fight the team themselves had just been through.  The story is rough, takes no prisoners, and is as brutal as it needs to be.  Again, there’s that balance.

I do have one beef with the writing, and that’s in the way Remender handles Cap.  As stated, I know it’s almost always a guarantee that he will be in any “Avengers” oriented book in one fashion or another.  It’s his crew, I get that.  But a lot of times, and especially in this title, he never really feels like more than a cardboard cut-out of Captain America, even when he fights aside or within whichever team.  That’s why it disappoints me so much in this particular comic, because of the great character building that the title is filled with.  Captain America has been around a long time, and his story and character has been explored in more ways than most comic book characters in history, but there *has* to be more, or something else you can add to the legacy.  Really, there has to be growth, which I don’t see at all in “Uncanny Avengers”.  It’s just stereotypical Cap doing what Cap does.  The entire situation around him is becoming worse than a nightmare, and the only character not written like they’re actually in the midst of such a battle is, of course, Cap.  It’s awkward, and makes me wonder why he’s even here in the first place.

My main problem with this title is, no matter how much I love it and enjoy reading it, I can’t get around John Cassaday’s art.  His art is workable, and isn’t exactly horrible or even bad, it’s just boring.  Sadly, as the issues go onward, his work gets a bit worse each issue, until we get the seemingly hyper-rushed mess that is the art in this fourth issue.  Some scenes look pretty good, but then you’ll get a handful of panels that look more like rough sketches that were accidentally inked.  His work is mostly clean and clear, as it tends to usually be, but some of the work in this title has made me even less of a fan of his, and to be honest I wasn’t really one to begin with.

This title is awesome, fun, huge, and deeply character driven in the down-time.  It is one I will be gladly buying as they’re released.  I just wish they’d get somebody else on the artwork.  Sorry, Cassaday, but you and Cap are the weight on this otherwise effortless comic.

WRITING:  8 / 10

ARTWORK:  6 / 10

OVERALL EXPERIENCE:  7.5 / 10

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REVIEW: “Moon Knight” Issues #1-7 (2011 Collection #1)

(MARVEL COMICS, 2011)   –   Reviewed by Feral Fang

MOON_KNIGHT_1_CoverMoon Knight is a character I grew up seeing in multiple guest appearances, team-ups, and more.  I always thought he was interesting (kind of like a mix between Batman and the old Ragman comics), and whenever he has popped up in his own series or mini-series, I’ve bought them and enjoyed them.  Seems I missed the boat on this one, but luckily Marvel has put it into a trade collection, and 1 of 2 total!  This series only lasted to issue #12, which might speak to the fan response to this title but, like some of my other “odd favorites” like ‘Power Man & Iron Fist’, ‘Deathlock’, DC’s ‘the Spectre’ and ‘Deadman’ – well these have never really been popular characters, even with Power Man hanging around the Avengers as Luke Cage.  So, back to this series.  I really enjoyed it!  It has a weirdly played out premise in where Moon Knight/Marc Spector is living in LA, working as a ‘Soldier of Fortune Consultant’ for a television show based on Moon Knight’s origin and story – “Legends of the Khonshu”.  He has four personalities in his head (did I mention he’s kinda crazy in this?  Well, he is.), himself, a Wolverine, a Spider-Man, and a Captain America.  They all talk to him in their individual character personalities (Wolvie wants to tear everything up, Spidey is always cracking jokes and being silly, and Cap is the usual stick in the mud boy scout we all know and love), so that adds a nice touch.  Some of the conversations the ‘other personalities’ have together is priceless, especially when they go against type during some tense scene or two.  Another trick based on this idea is that he can more or less ‘become’ these three, sometimes one at once, sometimes a mixture.  You’ll have to learn how that’s possible when you read it, as I thought the way it was handled was perfect and wouldn’t want to spoil the fun.  Along the way, he picks up some actual back-up in the likes of the superhero Echo, and his ex-SHIELD buddy Buck Lime, who now works on the same TV show designing the weapons Spector orders up for use.  Also along the way, Spector comes across a now-defunct Ultron body, which he takes the head from.  Needless to say, trouble boils up and eventually the real Avengers show to ponder why such a B-List character (as they constantly remind him, as well as people in the streets not knowing/guessing who he is) would have come across something so dangerous.  Anyway, my love for this book has me rambling!  This is a fun read, with a script by Bendis that both makes fun and is in awe of the main character, and Alex Maleev’s artwork is one of the exact styles I’m always obsessed with – a little Bill Sienkiewicz, some line work that reminds me of John Romita Jr., and round it off with a bit of early Jae Lee, and hit “blend”.  That might come close, but Maleev still has an individualism in his art that makes it feel fresh and new.  All as one package, I can see why this writer/artist team has gotten their share of awards, including the Eisner.  They work so well together, it really keeps the book moving strong, pausing a bit when needed.  My favorite scene (not really much of a spoiler) is when Buck Lime wakes from a nap on his couch to find a very angry Bullseye there to question him.  When Lime doesn’t give anything up, it’s revealed it was actually Spector in the Bullseye get-up, testing Lime’s resolve.  Awesome, fun, and maybe not for everyone as it is a bit kooky.  I’ll just leave it at this – I’ll be getting collection #2 just as soon as I can.  Can’t wait to see where this ends up.

— 4 out of 5 Borrowed Super Powers.

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