Welcome to Comic Book Sense! My name is Bryan, and I caught the comic bug about five years ago. I currently have about eighty titles on my pull list at my local comic shop, Hero’s Edge in Mchenry, IL. This blog will be a destination to read about the week’s most anticipated comics. I’ll let you know if the big titles are living up to the hype , or if there’s a hidden gem on the rack that needs to make its way into your stack. Every Wednesday I’ll pick my top five most anticipated books, read and post my review of them. After reading the rest of the week’s stack of comics, I’ll post the week’s actual top five comics along with a review of each. An addition to Comic reviews, I’ll also be reviewing television and movies. You can follow me on Instagram(ComicBookSense) and Twitter(@Comicsense10) where you can find out which comics I’ll be reviewing, see what other comic books I’m reading and also a weekly picture of my Wednesday comic book haul. Now its time for the good stuff, the comics! Here are reviews of my top five most anticipated books from this week, February 22, 2017.
1. The Old Guard #1- Greg Rucka’s new book from image, with art by Leandro Fernandez was deserving of being the #1 most anticipated. Another one of Rucka’s strong, yet still unique, female character’s will have my attention in the future. Not without her flaws of self indulgences, the main character, an immortal warrior named Andy, leads three other immortal men on a mission sent to her from a previous employer, something she usually turns down. With a perfect ‘shit hits the fan’ moment, and a teasing cliffhanger this was a very well constructed number one. Rating: 9/10. Slightly above expectations.
2. The Belfry One-Shot- Gabriel Hardman takes a break from his long form story telling on Invisible Republic and brings us this terrific horror one-shot from image. A plane crashes on a desert island leaving the pilot with a branch sticking out of his eye and the co-pilot, our main character named Bill, being attacked by a human-like bat creature. When Bill wakes up he must try and find a way to get help for him, the pilot and the passengers. The artwork fit the story perfectly here and truly conveyed a sense of fear. Another strong point of this issue was the pacing. In my opinion, I feel that horror can be dragged out, damaging the enjoyment of the story. The Belfry on the other hand did a wonderful job of utilizing every panel. At a price point of 3.99 this is definitely the best bang for your buck this week at the comic shop! Rating: 9/10. Slightly above expectations.
3. Kamandi Challenge- Not only has this been my first experience with Kamandi, its also my first experience with a DC Challenge series. So far, it has been a lot of fun to read these, by the seat of your pants, comics. Forcing the creators to think quickly and innovate a way out of the mess Kamandi was left in by the previous creators, as well as set him up in another dire situation for the next creative team, makes for some great, on your toes storytelling. The second issue was written by Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by veteran Neal Adams. Tomasi does a spectacular job of creating a beginning, middle and end in this story while still making it apart of the bigger picture. To me, Adam’s art was a bit reigned in from his usual free-flow style and it worked for me. Overall, another fun and well thought out issue of Kamandi Challenge. Rating: 8/10. Met expectations.
4. Amazing Spider-Man- Let me start out by saying that the Clone Conspiracy has been a bit bland for me. Although the artwork and action sequences drawn by Jim Cheung are quite entertaining, I find the plot and writing to be a little too paint-by-numbers. Amazing Spider-Man #24 was written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli. It is a tie-in to the Clone Conspiracy and serves as sort of an epilogue to the events in The Clone Conspiracy #5. Unfortunately, this issue didn’t do much to change my opinion on the event. Getting predictable answers to the cliffhangers from the end of Clone Conspiracy was what I was hoping wouldn’t happen in this issue. It annoys me when I see the same scene play out in two different comics. Which we see here with Otto Octavius and Ben Reilly. If you’re a Ben Reilly fan, your mileage may vary, but for me, The Clone Conspiracy just didn’t live up to the hype that Marvel or Slott was giving it. Rating: 6/10. Slightly below expectations.
5. Justice League of America- The new Justice League of America faces their first threat as a group called The Extremist come to our world from their destroyed home, Angor. Their leader, Lord Havok, has some great villain speeches talking about how his home world of Angor was destroyed and now he has come to save earth from the same fate, as long as everyone willingly follows his rule. Writing duties were handled by Steve Orlando and art was done by Ivan Reis. A good villain can really add to a story and make the fight for our heroes that much more interesting. Orlando does a great job of creating a new foe, while still laying eggs for things to come for our new Justice League of America. As always, Reis shows his talent on epic fight scenes and epic character poses. With only two issues under its belt, including the Rebirth issue, Batman’s new Justice League of America sure looks promising. Rating: 8/10. Met expectations.