Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Storytelling Is Not Dead: New Comic Book Day 17

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 last week: I featured student guest reviews of some new titles last Wednesday, 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 and myself each Wednesday.

Hit-Girl from Image Comics

Written by Kevin Smith; Illustrated by Pernille Orum; Colored by Sunny Gho

Review by me.

I know that the Kick-Ass universe is brutal (I’ve read a lot of it), but as a teacher, I had a hard time with the opening scene of a school shooting at a high school where a student gets a bullet through his head, and the cartoony art shows a different student humorously disgusted…picking a piece of the kid’s head off of his face.  Another student gets murdered from a bullet through the chest…then Hit Girl shows up to take care of business in a fun, fancy-free way.  Damn, guess we’ve become THAT level of desensitized to violence, huh?  And let me add, this does not read as satire.

There are only a small handful of words in the 22-page issue, and while the art is slick, the single-issue feels like an intro not worth the $3.99 Image is asking for this Kevin Smith penned story.  Add that opening, and I’m good…no need to pick up the rest.

 

Avengers: No Road Home from Marvel Comics

Written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub; Illustrated by Paco Medina; Colored by Juan Vlasco

Review by me.

A solid team of writers assemble for this ten-issue mini-series.  Add this to the fact that the issue is 32 pages of story with no interrupting ads??  We have a good start.

This story is about a team of heroes assembling to take on a universal threat.  I know, creative, right?  Who would have seen that coming?  Seems someone turned out the lights (literally) on existence, and it’s up to the Avengers to find the fuse box.

Lots of call-backs to older Marvel story arcs, so if you are steeped in the Marvel lore, good on you…you’ll get more out of this issue than others.  All I know is, I’ve seen this play before, and I’m out after Act One.

 

Marvel Superhero Adventures: Web of Intrigue from Marvel Comics

Written by a team; Illustrated and colored by a team (it’s a collection of shorts)

Review by me.

The complete opposite of the Hit-Girl book, this mini-collection of fun Spider-Man themed/focused shorts is fun and all-age appropriate.  Clever writing and humor make this read a fun one for the entire family, and since the Spider Verse hit theaters, there seems to be no stopping the Spider-Man train, and I, for one, am very pleased about that!

Pick this one up for the fam!  And have a webderful day… (sorry for that one)

 

Star Wars – Age Of Republic: Count Dooku from Marvel Comics

Written by Jody Houser; Illustrated by Luke Ross; Colored by Java Tartaglia

Reviewed by Alexander V.

I personally liked this comic because I’m a big fan of Star Wars, and I love the original movies.  Bringing Count Dooku and other characters such as Emperor Palatine and Yoda in the story was great.  I recommend this comic to anyone who likes Star Wars or anyone who is into intergalactic, futuristic stories.

The art in this comic is amazing; this duo did a good job making each character look how they look in the films.  

In this one-shot, Count Dooku, a Sith Warrior of the Dark Side, is visiting a planet by the name of Sullest, why Dooku is there is unclear until later on, when we know his mission.  Upon Dooku’s arrival, he is welcomed by a representative by the name Kap Klyp.

This comic shows before and after shots, and by that I mean the creators show different scenes that are either from before the action occurs or after the action occurs, but it’s mainly after scenes.

Dooku is approached by a Jedi who recognizes him, and he introduced himself; the Jedi is an actually tiger named Jak’zin, and he remembers Dooku from when he was training to be a Jedi.  There is a good amount of back and forth as we begin to understand why Dooku is actually on Sullest, and how it all plays out is exciting.  

 

Savage Sword Conan from Marvel Comics

Written by Gerry Duggan; Illustrated by Ron Garney; Colored by Richard Isanove

Review by Alexander V.

This comic is part one in its series, and I believe the series is going to be good because this issue was great.  The art and color are amazing; most of the art is sort of like a sketch, and by sketch I mean you can easily see that much of it was drawn with only a quick line, giving it a cool effect.

In this issue Conan is found in the middle of the ocean by pirates, and they take him in but not as a crew mate; they take him in as a slave that they plan to sell.  When the pirates find Conan he is weak and can hardly speak.  In the beginning as well, when Conan is found by the pirates he sees nothing but skeletons, this is a delusion probably because his lack of food and clean water. When taken aboard the ship, Conan is sent to the jail cells on the boat, and in there he meets another slave by the name Suty.  Suty gives Conan company on this trip only because they are cuffed together in shackles.

On the first page where the comic starts it shows Conan with a woman and Conan says, “I have all I desire, yet something is wrong.”  This is impactful because even when one has everything, like Conan, they still desire or question life.  I fell that we can all relate to this in some way. 

I also like the little entry in the beginning, where it talks about Conan being a warrior…and where he comes from.  

In the past issues of Marvel’s newest editions there has been a page called “Stan’s Soapbox”: little paragraphs that Stan Lee wrote, and since he passed away, his work is still be remembered in the characters and comics he has created.  I love that this is included in the comics because it says without us the readers, Marvel wouldn’t be what it is today, and coming from the creator, that really means a lot.

I recommend this comic to anyone who likes Conan or comic fans in general because it’s really great, and it shows a part of his life that I would say is rarely shown.     

 

Age of X-Man: Next Gen from Marvel Comics

Written by Ed Brisson; Illustrated by Marcus To; Colored by Jason Keith

Review by Kaylin C.

Next Gen takes place in a universe where everyone has superpowers and upcoming generations of children are attending the Summers Institute for Higher Learning in order to become the next X-Men.

The introduction isn’t obnoxious and doesn’t feel like it’s throwing too many facts your way.  It’s easy to understand what’s going on and eases the reader in with the main protagonist’s hobby, feeding chickens.  The art on the first page sets a great start and truly attests to the lengths to which the style can go.

Within the story, we follow around a character named Glob, whose design is the coolest by far.  He looks like a pink gelatinous man with a skeleton inside him, eyes poking out from beyond his jello frame.

It’s obvious from the start that Glob is different from even the more unique looking classmates, since he doesn’t wear a uniform. His goopy self probably wouldn’t have allowed his uniform to go on right, body absorbing it into instead.  Regardless, his character design sets him apart from the other students before his personality put the cherry on top.

While Glob’s friends are outgoing and looking for their chance to be spontaneous, Glob himself is a shy, self-kept person.  Where he can’t stand up too much for himself, his no BS friend steps in when classmates push him out of his comfort zone.

My favorite part of this issue is the scene where it’s outed that Glob wrote fan fiction about his friends.  For teenagers, fan fiction is something on the rise and catches our attention when the boring textbooks our teachers hand us can’t.  The way Glob inserts his friends into his story was funny to see his friends talk about, but also very personal since he didn’t want his friends to get upset if they weren’t written in the way they wanted.

The representation of school was pretty accurate, just having to change up some of the lessons to fit the understandings of superheroes, not regular humans.  The students are chosen to be put into a specific field of study and have to follow that path (be it Law Enforcement, Agriculture, Medicine, or History).

At the end, a huge fire is seen raging from the distance.  From a superhuman standpoint, it’s pretty hard to ignore a situation when tragedy strikes, so even when the students are still in training and have been told to stay back, it’s in their nature to check out the situation and make sure the problem was actually being taken care of.  This led to some of the students going on ahead anyway, which uncovered that their school may be hiding some dark secrets.

 

Wonder Twins from DC Comics

Written by Mark Russell; Illustrated by Stephen Byrne

Review by Kaylin C.

Wonder Twins is about a pair of twins; one of which can shapeshift into animals, and the other can morph into water.  As their superpowers are too underwhelming for them to work as full-fledged superheroes, they are put into a regular high school. These aliens from planet Exxor are placed on Earth with barely an explanation; the twins, Jayna and Zan, have to find a way to be useful to the more mainstream superheroes while surviving the likes of a normal human lifestyle.

Immediately, you are with the Wonder Twins on the cover, which looks fantastic.  The designs for both Jayna and Zan look so cool with their purple suits.  Something about cool colors and how not many superheroes wear purple is striking.  The glowing gold highlighting their costumes and the sharp warm colors of their skin contrasting the dark, shadowy blue of the background is just to die for.

The introduction to this issue starts out funny when we get to the twin brother’s side of the story—when he’s introducing himself to the class.  The planets the twins were born on is far different from Earth.  All the people on Planet Exxor are clean, quiet, and sensible to the point that there is barely any crime.  However, there is one thing that sets their population off: lightning.  During which the adults of Exxor have no problem going wild and freaky, basically using that time to “enjoy” themselves.  Zan literally stands in front of his class to say all this, to which the teacher has to stop him short.

While the comic could be goofy at times, it also jumps around between the explanation of why the twins were put on Earth and the present at odd times, making the story feel out of place.

The personality traits the twins exuded were generic and could have been more detailed, but all in all, the issue was okay.  The story needed more oomph to it, but the end was pretty clever with the twins finding a way to resolve the latest conflict the heroes had to deal with.

The best part was when Batman and Superman were sharing humiliating stories with Zan to help cheer him up when he embarrassed himself in class.  It seems the comic is going for a more fun vibe than serious one, so character depth in this light is a great approach without having to go the Debby Downer route.

 

For the Best of the Week, I’m going to give this one to Marvel for two reasons: the sheer number of quality #1s put out today, and Kaylin’s selling of Next Gen.  Marvel ties Image with 4.  Will Marvel’s non-stop production keep them at the top?  Time will tell…

BOOM! Studios: 2

Image: 4

Archie Comics: 1

Dark Horse Comics: 2

Marvel: 4

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!

Eric

Twitter: comics_teacher

IG: @comics_teacher