Review: Crowded #1

Crowded 3

Crowded #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

Crowded is a new series by Image, and it’s jokingly described as being ‘ten minutes in the future.’ In this not too far off future, Charlie finds herself the target of a mass hit. You see, people in this age can crowdfund anything and everything, including hits. Those hits last as month long campaigns. During that time it seems like anybody that wants the money just has to…well…they sort of have to kill the target. In this case that means they have to kill Charlie.

They did a great job establishing this series. I don’t love Charlie, but I’m also clearly not supposed to. She’s hiding something, either intentionally or not. Sure, there’s a chance she really doesn’t know the reason behind all of this, or that she’s lying to herself, or something along those lines. But none of those would explain the sheer number of people willing to help fund her campaign, now would it? So we have danger, mystery, and a lot of sass all rolled into one issue, and we haven’t even talked about the other main character.

I love Vita’s character. They’re competent as hell, and while they may have a bad rating on Dfender (another app you can hire people for – in this case it’s specifically to hire body guards), but as they put it; those people were alive to leave those bad ratings. It’s a pretty solid point. Vita clearly cares more about keeping their targets alive than by keeping them happy. Given the alternative, I’m okay with that. Clearly their clients are too stupid to see it that way.

It’ll be interesting to see how these two work together in the long run, as clearly they’re quite different from one another. I think Vita can keep Charlie alive, assuming that Charlie stops acting dumb for at least one minute. We’ll see how that goes.

Along with being intriguing, this series did a good job of dropping some humorous moments. My favorite was probably the first attempt on Charlie’s life. It doesn’t sound funny when you put it like that, but it ended with coffee being thrown into somebody’s face and Charlie running off with the would be assassin’s dog. I think that’s a fair exchange, don’t you? And yes, the dog seems to be hanging around. I wonder if that’ll come back to bite them in the end? No pun intended. But seriously, I can see the owner having one of those dog trackers, especially given the tech in this near future.

I can’t wait for the next issue to come out. I really want to see what happens next. I’m already invested in what happens to these characters, and I may or may not be shipping them already. Totally not ashamed of that or anything.

Crowded: Batgirl #25

Batgirl 25

Batgirl #25
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

While many other DC series were celebrating their 50th issue a couple of months ago, Batgirl is just now celebrating its 25th issue. And you know what that means! It’s an extra sized issue, and really, who can complain about that?

This is the first issue Batgirl has released since the Wedding plot that happened in Batman, so be ready to see more reactions to that whole mess. Still, it was a pretty solid issue on the whole. The issue itself is titled ‘the Reason’ and connects Barbara to an unexpected point during the Batman Wedding saga. Remember when the Joker freaked out and killed all those people in a church? All because Batman didn’t ask him to be his best man (and really, why would he?). Well…it turns out that Batgirl knew the groom.

She had saved him a few months ago, and being that she’s a very caring and compassionate person…she’s not taking his death too well. It’s hard for her to understand how this could happen. How something horrible could happen to him twice, and what that may imply about the work she’s been trying so hard to do. What it may imply about all heroes.

Still, this is Batgirl we’re talking about. While she may get into funks every now and then, she’s pretty good at getting herself out of them. Especially when Nightwing is around to lend her a shoulder to cry on. Speaking of, Grayson made a remark that had me laughing harder than it should have. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but that comment alone made the whole issue worth reading for me.

There are also a couple of smaller plots thrown into the back of this issue. One involves Grotesque, and seems to be establishing a new plot for Batgirl. This one is a bit rough; I’m not going to lie. I don’t mean that it was badly written, I mean rough in the emotional sense. Especially considering what it is following.

The last piece of writing included is a more complete story, titled ‘March Madness’ and it focuses heavily on March Harriet. I like the Mad Hatter, but I don’t really know as much about his chosen accomplice, so this was an interesting tale for me.

Review: By Night #3

By Night 3

By Night #3
Publisher: Boom! Box
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Star

By Night still has a lot to tell us about what’s going on here, but I’ve been enjoying the tale as it unravels nonetheless. I’m looking forward to learning more about what that world is, and why it exists in such an odd manner (where it is, the time of day it must be accessed, etc).

At first I was truly convinced that there was something fishy going on with Heather. I think there may still be something going on, but to a lesser degree than I anticipated. At first I thought she and her dad had this elaborate plan that involved using Jane to get to this world, but for what reason I wasn’t sure. Now I’m thinking that Heather is still using Jane, but mostly just as a way of having an adventure or two. I could be wrong once again, so we’ll have to see.

I’m not sure how I feel about this issue being mostly based in the mundane world. It did a great job of establishing the background of the business that’s hiding this device, but it didn’t do much to explain the world itself, or why it was built. Really all it did was increase the risk, since we’ve now confirmed that none of them should be on that property.

I hope the next issue focuses a bit more on Heather, Jane, and the other world. I for one would love to know how they got out of the situation they found themselves in at the end of the last issue. I’m sure it’ll all be explained with time…

Review: Green Lanterns #53

Green Lanterns 53

Green Lanterns #53
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

Green Lanterns is back, and therefore so is the Evil’s Might plot. I still can’t believe they were able to immediately follow up the threat of the Darkstars with something just as foreboding…but they did it. Though admittedly it probably helps that they’re targeting so many characters personally, and that we don’t really fully understand what is going on right now (as in; before this issue. The conclusion of this issue gives us a good idea of what is really happening here).

I still can’t believe the damage that Penelos has taken. I think they’re down to what, eight percent of the population? And the planet won’t be habitable for who knows how long. Basically, in short that means that once the Green Lantern Corps succeeds in getting the Ravagers to stop advancing they’re still going to have to evacuate all the civilians. And the sooner the better.

Plus there’s that whole ring corruption bit. We haven’t seen how the Guardians are faring in a while, but it’s probably safe to assume that the storm is still raging on Mogo. I have to wonder, if the Guardians can’t connect to or communicate with the Lantern, will the GL Corps be able to charge their rings? One would hope that their personal lanterns are still safe, but at this point who knows.

I’ve got to admit that the Simon plot is giving me anxiety. They’ve done a great job of showing us both sides of the situation, so we know who is being manipulated and who’s being made to look bad. But it still hurts to see. If anything, because we know the whole story, it’s even worse to watch it happen.  I know they’ll resolve it in the long run…but man is it hurting in the meantime. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck.

As for that big revelation in the end…well, that certainly explains a thing or two, doesn’t it?

Review: Extermination #1

Extermination

Extermination #1
Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

This is the first in a five part series, and with a title like Extermination, it probably goes without saying that they’re not going to be pulling punches. Thanks to time travel and a desperate need, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, and Marvel Girl find themselves in the future, which is Marvel’s present time. They’re here to hopefully help out the current X-Men. More though, they’re here to bring hope. Or at least, that was the goal.

It’s a lot to ask of them, especially considering what they’re up against. I mean, if the full grown and adult versions of the X-Men are having trouble, what can we possibly expect from these guys? I know they’re amazing, but so are their present counterparts. Still, maybe when they all work together it’ll make a difference? One can hope at least.

So this is a bit of a duh, but this is already shaping up to be a bit of a heavy series. I won’t tell you which characters die, or even how many. I’m just going to say that you should prepare yourself. Again, the name really tells us that right from the beginning, but better safe than sorry, right?

Review: Multiple Man #3

Multiple Man 3

Multiple Man #3
Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Star

Quick reminder: I haven’t read much (read: any) of Multiple Man before this run. Therefore I had no idea what I was in for, how just how complex this series would end up getting. Nor was I prepared for all the heavy hitting moments.

Still, I’m glad I decided to give the series a chance. Knowing that it’d only run for five issues helped alleviate any concerns I had about starting yet another new series (since I can technically argue that since it’s a short series, it doesn’t really count towards my comic count. A total BS argument, I know, but I’m cool with it).

I suppose when one goes to war against themselves, and I mean that literally, it’s a given that there will be casualties and really hard moments to take in. Still, I really wasn’t expecting some of the moments and revelations I saw here. This series is probably not one you should be reading right before bed…but then again it’s an X-Men series, so that was probably a given, huh?

Then there’s the whole time travel mess. I can see how time travel + Multiple Man would create a situation like this. Especially since apparently each time he splits a different personality trait becomes dominant, or at least that’s the basic understanding I have about the character.

To be honest I’m glad this series it so short. I’m not sure that they could feasibly stretch it out a lot longer, at least not without it getting incredibly doom and gloom like. Still, I’m curious to see how the heck the prime (I’m going to consider the main character/perspective the prime, even if certain other characters wouldn’t like that) is going to get out of this situation, let alone resolve it all.

Review: Tony Stark: Iron Man #3

Tony Stark Iron Man 3

Tony Stark: Iron Man #3
Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Star

For the sake of honestly I have to admit that while I had enjoyed the first two issues of this series, I hadn’t really felt myself getting invested in anything that was happening. That all changed with this issue. I am now fully curious to see where things go next, who will be involved, and a dozen other questions and concerns I could list out, but I’ll spare you.

There were a few highlights in particular for this issue. The first came rather late in the issue, but it once again brought up what Tony had done to himself. If they ever explicitly stated everything Tony did to himself, I missed it. Since I don’t have all the details I want, I’ve been slowly piecing it together with every hint dropped. Don’t get me wrong: I know the basics. I’m just super nosy and curious about all the details of the process. What specifically was done, and how, and why. That sort of thing. So I was pretty pleased that another hint was dropped here, even if it was a general statement.

While I wasn’t crazy about Jacinta, her character has grown on me with time. Especially in this issue. Having her as the front of the debate about sentience, possession of a soul, and so on was a clever choice, if a bit on the nose. It is however giving us some insight to something bigger, which is saying something.

I’ve always been a fan of these sorts of debates, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I ended up liking this issue so much. It didn’t hurt that they managed to make Jacinta so adorable and personable at the same time. She went from being a cliché character to a fascinating one in the blink of an eye, and I’m all for it.

Review: Thor #4

Thor 4

Thor #4
Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

This has got to be one of the crazier Thor covers we’ve seen in a while, right? Okay, maybe not, but it really feels like it! I may have found this particularly amusing because of the similarity in chaos levels and color palettes between this and the latest Tony Stark issue.

It’s time for Thor to wrap up his time spent in Hel, but since this is Thor we’re talking about…you know it’s going to end in a few more fights, a bit more chaos, and possibly some sort of alcohol. Oh, and apparently a marriage. Not Thor’s, don’t worry!

A lot happens in this issue, and while there are a lot of good points, the show was absolutely stolen by Thori, as per usual. His cute and quippy comments always make my day. I do hope they continue to have him showing up in the comics, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters (though admittedly I’m a sap for the animal characters, so this isn’t really a surprise).

The conclusion to this issue, and thus this part of the plot was interesting; both in regards to how the battle was ended, as well as how Loki and Thor’s bargain played out. I won’t ruin it for you, but I can tell you that it had me chuckling at the end.

Review: Magic Order #3

Magic Order 3

Magic Order #3
Publisher: Netflix/Image Comics
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating:

4 Star

The Magic Order is a bit of a collaborative project between Netflix and Image. It’s the first big comic project for Netflix, and I’ve got to say it’s been holding up. I wasn’t sure what to expect back when I picked up the first issue. Thanks to the title I knew it was about magic, obviously, and the artwork made me think it was going to be a darker series, something I was fine with. But beyond that? I wasn’t sure.

It certainly is a darker series, to be sure. The story so far has been one of a feud between different magical families/factions, and man is it a bloody one. Between the family alignment and the time period of the series, it actually reminds me of the way mob families would duke it out. I suspect that’s intentional.

In this series I would have to say that it’s the little moments that really make it. Like the mention of Oricalcum, or turning a man into a candle. The most iconic scene for me would have to be the one in the first issue still (the introduction of the series itself, actually, being the very first scene shown), though there were a couple of moments that gave it a run for its money in this issue.

I will say that while I’ve been loving the artwork for this series, the original cover for this issue isn’t my favorite. It’s a little too heavy handed, all things considered. However there are a few alternative covers, and I did find one that I really loved. I do love it when they make alternates.

I’m not sure if Netflix is considering turning this into another show series or if they’re just testing the waters in a new media. I think I’d be okay with either outcome, truth be told. This story, while fascinating, may do better on the comic book pages than on the small screen. But I could be wrong on that count (and I’d be happy about that). I do like the idea of some of the Netflix original series getting their own comic series as well. I know Stranger Things has one on the way as well, but how many more will we end up seeing?

Review: Doctor Strange #4

Doctor Strange 4

Doctor Strange #4
Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 25th 2018
Rating:

4 Star

Back when I read the Death of Magic plotline in Doctor Strange, I can safely say that I never expected this to be the end result of it all. Doctor Strange is exploring space, but in a way he never has before. All in an attempt to find a new conduit for magic.

It makes sense, in so many ways. Of course Doctor Strange would be desperate to get his hands on a new way of magic. Not only does the earth sorely need that resource (there’s a reason that the Sorcerer Supreme is charged with protecting the earth from mystical threats) but frankly, his pride also requires it.

You see, Doctor Strange, while having many wonderful and positive qualities, is very much a flawed person. That’s what makes him such a great character. One of his biggest flaws, I think we can all agree on, is pride. He worked hard to become the Sorcerer Supreme, there’s no doubt about that. So he had reason to be proud about that. But he was still proud of it, and he was unable and unwilling to let that title or part of his identity be lost.

Thus we find our hero out in space, working with a fractured infinity stone and looking for magical scraps. It sounds all dark and gloomy, but it’s really been quite a wonderful series so far. We’re used to see Doctor Strange traveling the cosmos, but we’ve never really seen him do it using such mundane methods before. It’s a nice change of pace.

The big reveal at the end of this issue has successfully piqued my interest. What will Doctor Strange do, once he learns this new skill? I can see so many possibilities with this, and frankly I can’t wait to see which way Marvel takes it.

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