Review: Spider-Man and the X-men #1

(Marvel Comics, 2015)

Writer – Elliot Kalan
Artist – Marco Failla
Colors – Ian Herring

Spider-Man and the X-Men have been teaming up since before there was a series called Marvel Team-Up; so Spidey seems a logical choice to take over for the late Wolverine as benefactor of the eponymously titled series. However, that long and storied history is not evident in this first issue; in fact the X-Men of those early team-up days are downright hostile toward our friendly neighborhood web slinger when he shows up hand-picked for the job by Logan himself. The hostile attitudes of the older X-Men are just a warm up for the vehement animosity Spidey finds waiting for him with his inherited class of young mutant students.

Writer, Elliott Kalan gets the dynamic between Spider-Man and the X-Men all wrong from the very beginning; there is no chemistry here, the relationship seems to be devoid of the years of shared history. For this book to succeed that paradigm has to be corrected; the character interaction in this issue is just too antagonistic for Spidey’s one liners and generally humorous demeanor to work in any authentic sense. The unfriendly vibe makes much more sense with the students; here it works just fine calling to mind a John Hughes sort of quality as the group of misfit students face off against the new teacher. It’s a trope that works no matter who the characters are as long as the classroom is the setting. Continue reading

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REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1.2

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Dan Slott
Artwork by Ramón Pérez
Color Artwork by Ian Herring
Lettering by Joe Caramagna

Dan Slott has reached that precarious area in the hearts and minds of Spider-Man fans where you either love his work on the character or hate it.  Although there may be varying degrees, there really is no middle ground when it comes to opinions on what the prolific writer has done with our beloved Web-Slinger. I was one of those who Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Stray Bullets: Killers’ #2

(Image Comics / El Capitan, 2014)

Written, Drawn, & Lettered by David Lapham

David Lapham is one of the most versatile writers working in comicbooks today. His work runs the gamut from super hero stories to extremely poignant human drama but the one element that all of his writing has is common is great character development; perhaps best known for his Stray Bullets series or his substantial contribution to the Avatar schlock horror/porn series Crossed, Lapham has also brought his uniquely human narratives to some of the most iconic super heroes Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Iron Fist: the Living Weapon’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written & Drawn by Kaare Andrews

Kaare Kyle Andrews is the kind of comicbook (one word as per Stan Lee) writer/artist I most respect; he is a fan turned creator. Andrews writes with the kind of passion that only someone truly in love with the medium could muster and he knows his continuity cold. I recently listened to an interview with Andrews on the Word Balloon podcast and it was Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Twilight Zone’ #4

(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Illustrated by Guiu Vilanova
Colored by Vinivius Andrade
Lettered by Rob Steen
Main Cover by Francesco Francavilla

The Twilight Zone #4.  What can I say about this comic, as it hits the stands this week, that I haven’t already said in reviews for the previous three?  Dynamite comics is on the forefront of the comic reboot business, and they’re doing it the right way, getting top talent to breathe new vibrant life into books whose rights might otherwise be moldering in a drawer in the basement of some abandoned comic warehouse somewhere. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Daredevil’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Storytellers: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee
Coloring: Javier Rodriguez
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna

New York City was more than just a location in the previous runs of Daredevil; the city itself was a supporting character in many ways. It provided a lush, complex environment that often insinuated its way into the narrative much as it does in the Spider-Man mythology. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Curse’ #3

(BOOM! Studios, 2014)

Written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel
Art by Riley Rossmo and Colin Lorimer
Additional Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by Jim Campbell

We want our favorite comics to go as long as possible. The Walking Dead just released its 123 issue. Spider-Man went to 700 before the reboot. The Curse…well…The Curse is only going to be four issues.

I know right? How could something this cool only go four issues? The answer is simple. Michael Moreci (Hoaxhunters) and Tim Daniel (Enormous) only need four. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘The Fuse’ #2

(Image Comics, 2014)

Written by Antony Johnston
Illustrated by Justin Greenwood
Colored by Shari Chankhamma
Lettered by Ed Brisson

Image was always the first company to push the creator more than the comic. It gave us the rock star creators of the 90’s, and despite the glut of amazing garbage that we saw during that time; there were gems as well. Who can forget the first time they saw Continue reading

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: ‘Deadly Class’ #1

(Image Comics, 2014)

Review by Shawn Warner

Story by Rick Remender
Artwork by Wes Craig
Color Artwork by Lee Loughridge
Lettering & Design by Rus Wooton

The 80’s were amazing years to be a kid; Punk Rock reached its political apex, Nintendo broke new ground in the gaming arena, The Bones Brigade set the skateboarding world on fire, hip hop was Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Superior Spider-Man’ #25

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Review by Kenneth Kimbrough

Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado, Antonio Fabela, & Veronica Gandini
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

All right. Let’s take a minute to address the rumors—no spoilers. If you know what I’m referring to, great. If not, skip to the next paragraph. I listen to a lot of Spider-Man podcasts and read a lot of Spider-Man news, and I’ll admit, it has kind of ruined the comic for me. When you hear enough speculation, some of it is bound to be right, and if you follow the resulting lines of reasoning, it’s difficult to remain surprised. Continue reading

‘Lost in the Longbox’, Episode 23: “Incredible Hulk” #378 (1991)

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The Incredible Hulk #378
(Marvel Comics, 1991)

Written by Peter David
Pencils by Bill Jaaska
Inks by Jeff Albrecht
Letters by Joe Rosen
Colors by Glynis Oliver

Greetings from the Wasteland!

Nothing brings that warm holiday feeling to your heart like the smell of fresh-baked cookies, a warm cup of coffee, and the slightly musty odor of an old comic, pulled freshly from its companions and brought to the counter, money in hand to add it to your own personal stash. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Superior Spider-Man” #24

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Kenneth Kimbrough

Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado, Antonio Fabela, & Veronica Gandini
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

Remember my last few reviews of The Superior Spider-Man? Did they seem tepid? Did I seem reluctant to give the book a positive review? Did I seem less than thrilled with the recent story?
Well, it’s time for me to eat crow because the entire team brings their A-game Continue reading

REVIEW: “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Written by David Morrell
Artwork by Klaus Janson
Color Artwork by Steve Buccellato

Peter Parker has returned! Well, sort of anyway.  It’s not a full-fledged re-establishment of Amazing Spider-Man but it is a five issue mini-series set in the time before Spider-Man became superior, back when he was just amazing and Peter was in the suit as well as the body Continue reading

REVIEW: “Amazing X-Men” #2

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Ed McGuinness
Inks by Dexter Vines
Color Artwork by Marte Gracia

Jason Aaron is one of the few writers who could take on a story so inherently fraught with potential theological complications and esoteric mumbo-jumbo and turn it into one of the most fun-filled and exciting high adventure X-Men stories to be written in quite some time. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Superior Spider-Man” #22

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Kenneth Kimbrough

Writer: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

It can sometimes be difficult to gauge the quality of a story arc from its first issue. If I were to make a list of things I’m sad we didn’t see in the inaugural meeting between Flash Thompson in the Venom identity and his hero, Spider-Man, then those very things could happen in the next issue. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Super!” #1-3

(Unlikely Heroes Studios, 2011-2013)

Review by Brad Gischia

Creators – Zachary Dolan & Justin Piatt
Pencils – Zachary Dolan
Inks (#2 & #3) – Laurie Foster
Lettering – Justin Piatt
Colors – Everardo Orozco
Color Assist – Ludwig Olimba
Additional Pencils & Inks – Tara Kappal

*Spoilers…but moderately

My experience with Kickstarted projects has up to this point been extraordinarily positive. I haven’t come across any comics that I thought didn’t deserve the support they got, financially or otherwise, so it was no surprise Continue reading

‘Lost in the Longbox’ Episode 20: “What If?” #6

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What If…? Vol. 2 #6
(Marvel Comics, 1989)

Writer – Danny Fingeroth
Penciler – Ron Lim
Inker – Keith Williams
Colorist – Tom Vincent
Letterer – Gary Fields

Greetings from the Wasteland!

I discovered Marvel’s What If…? series with this issue. It spawned a love of the Watcher, the most benign character in the Marvel U. These books took the main plotlines in the Marvel Universe and retold them with another, usually darker, ending. Continue reading