Tag Archives: comic books

Storytelling Is Not Dead: New Comic Book Day 20

Please check out my previous Storytelling posts here.  And my 365 Reviews here.

It’s Wednesday!  That means new comic book day and a stack of number ones reviewed just for you!

I started something new a few weeks ago: I featured student guest reviews of some new titles, and we will be doing that again today!  That’s right.  I get to the comic book store at 7:00 A.M., buy a chunk of new titles, have students stop in and grab a few, they read them, we review them.  All in the course of the school day.  I hope you enjoy.  My plan is to feature two-four student writers each Wednesday.

Marvel Team-Up Featuring Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel from Marvel Comics

Written by Eve L. Ewing; Illustrated by Joey Vazquez; Colored by Felipe Sobreiro

Review by Anthony A.

So this was kind of cool.  The book has this thing where it’s almost two books, but both are half the size.  So that’s the downside. But still interesting. Basically the book starts on both sides (covers), and they intersect in the middle.  On one side is the Spider-Man side of the story and the other is Ms. Marvel’s, and they lead to the same moment in time for them to meet up with each other, and the two end up needing to deal with something that is completely unoriginal.

The art is exactly what you would expect from a normal Spider-Man comic from present day.  I do not know much about Ms. Marvel so I cannot really say much about that specifically.

The story was pretty bleh on both sides if I am being completely honest.  It was just a team-up and nothing more.  They accidentally meet up when an evil villain comes out of nowhere and Ms. Marvel has a little bit of a fangirl moment, and then they do their thing, but she is clearly still freaking out over Spider-Man.  Not much to expect here that’s special other than the two sides of the book flipping and coming together.


Marvel Action: Black Panther from Marvel Comics

Written by Kyle Baker; Illustrated by Juan Samu; Colored by David Garcia Cruz

Review by Anthony A.

This Black Panther book is an extremely quick kiddy read.  To read this you don’t need any prior knowledge of the Black Panther or really anything from his universe.  It seems like it was made for children who have an interest in comic books and can read.  But it can easily be enjoyed by a full grown adult in the same way Spongebob is still enjoyable no matter your age, just not in a “that’s funny” kind of way.

The art in this book is cartoonish.  Not to say it’s bad cartoon art because it’s not.  I liked it; colorful and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The story is interesting.  It introduces a new problem that I have not ever read in any comics yet: essentially, global warming except localized to Wakanda.

Overall the book is good.  It’s an easy read, and it kept me engaged the whole time.  Except for the beginning, it kind of started slow, but that only lasted for the first two pages.


Obey Me from Dynamite

Written by Mario Mentasti; Illustrated by Ben Herrera; Colored by Emmanuel Ordaz Torres

Review by Sam V-W.

This was not worth the two minutes it took to finish.

Art didn’t seem to stick to any particular style, at some points focusing on intense facial expressions and characters details, then changing style to more detailed background art.  It didn’t appeal to me.  The art in the fight scenes are bad: in many other comics, the reader can actually visualize the movement of the characters, this was not the case for the few simplistic fights detailed in this issue.  Without any movement, the readers are left to flounder. While the art itself was drawn decently, it just felt strange, which might just be a symptom of the lackluster plot.

Plot was barely starting at the end of this first issue, it felt rushed, all I picked up on was something about hunting for souls and demonic deals.  This story involves two stereotypical characters that interact without any chemistry whatsoever.  One named “V,” who has the typical personality of “I don’t want a partner, and I don’t necessarily follow her superior’s orders.”  The other, a talking dog who obviously wants to be involved in the mission, but isn’t.

Dialogue was strained and hard to follow, with the two characters displayed sharing absolutely zero charisma and likability, it just came off as awkward and confusing.  Several “jokes” are thrown out between the two characters, mostly sarcasm, but they weren’t charming enough to make a good impression.

Not worth it.


Amber Blake from IDW

Written by Jade Lagardere; Art by Butch Guice

Review by Sam V-W.

Art was really nice to look at, definitely worth a read.

The plot is very intriguing, and starts with a girl named Amber being left at an orphanage, then she goes through her first experiences with a friend that she had made after being alone for a long time.  Basic overview of her education, which eventually leads her to a state of the art university that prepares dedicated students for their “world changing” career paths.  After that, the action starts for real, and the readers are led through many impactful events that she is forced to endure.

Art is really great, involves a lot of detail.  The colors are impact-fully dull at some points, adding to the atmosphere created during the scenes.  The faces of characters are amazingly drawn, giving a defining personality to each one.  The background art is also very exciting to look at, showing some amazing detail on the walls and overall environment.

This magazine-sized issue was fun to read, and it resulted in larger but more digestible panels that are visually stunning.  The speech boxes and dialogue are well done, resulting in a fast paced journey that kept me engaged throughout.  Pacing is kept at a slow but constant speed during the beginning, but then speed up rapidly when the action starts, something I think some comics fail at.  The panels are well drawn and led to more thorough and focused movement that was exceptionally easy to absorb.

Worth it, looking forward to next issue.

(Kallenborn note: I disagree with Sam here.  I think waaaay too much happens in this issue, and the pacing is quick, but agree that the over-sized pages and clean art make for some good art.)


Section Zero from Image Comics

Co-Created by Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett; Colored by Ben Dimagmaliw

Review by me.

This title should be setting itself up to be a cross between Hellboy and X-Men.

I generally do not like to write negative reviews, but with comics being as pricy as they are, I want to be honest.  Like Sam did not like Obey Me, I did not like this book.  The art is fine and all, but the writing from page one is subpar.  We open with extremely simple narration about strange large cat creatures attacking livestock in Australia, causing the farmer to contact the UN for help.

We transition to another story-line, only to briefly come back to Australian cats for a line or two later.  The second story-line has a team? of heroes including a sun-glassed bad-boy and butt-hanging-out-of-her-suit woman rescuing a bug-boy who asks the characters that saved him who they are, only to know everything about them on the next page.  Dude.  And I reread those pages about five times to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

This team now has a bug-boy that transforms by rubbing a tattoo given to him at a mystical tattoo shop, and the mystical tattoo shop vanishes after his session; I hope he didn’t pay too much for that tatt.

It’s all over the place.


Stiletto from Lion Forge Comics

By Palle Schmidt

I don’t get lucky all the tiem and hit a Lion Forge #1 when I get to the store on Wednesdays, so seeing Stiletto put a smile on my face.  I’ve been reading Lion Forge books for a while now, and this high-quality, glossy cover showed promise.

However, the longer $5.99 issue is a bit typical in its hardened cop storytelling.

The issue opens with two cops moving a witness into a hotel and the cops quickly being murdered by a mystery person to kidnap the witness, setting off an investigation with possible police department leaks.  It’s all par for the course.  It might pick up in issue two, but with all on my read list, this title doesn’t seem interesting enough for me to keep reading.

The watercolor art is cool though.  And I love the ad-free issue with some “making of” back matter.  Too bad the story isn’t there for me.


Everything was a bit underwhelming this week, but because of the creative layout of the Marvel Team-Up issue, I’ll toss Marvel the award for Best of the Week.  They seem to be pulling ahead.  I did not see that coming, like seriously.

BOOM! Studios: 2

Image: 4

Archie Comics: 1

Dark Horse Comics: 2

Marvel: 7

IDW: 2

Vault: 1

Shout out to my shop, Alternate Reality located at 111th and Kedzie in beautiful Downtown Mt. Greenwood, Chicago…where I get all of my new books.  Check them out if you are in the Chicagoland area.  Tell Tim that Eric sent ya!

Happy reading!


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