Review: Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #1

SpiderGwen Ghost Spider 1

Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #1
Publisher: Marvel
Released: October 24th 2018
Rating: 4 1/2 Star

I have been looking forward to this series releasing ever since I first hear about it. And then I had to multiply that by ten when I found out one of my favorite authors had been brought into Marvel to write it. So there may be a slight bias in my rating and review, but to be fair Seanan McGuire has absolutely earned my loyalty, so it probably all balances out.

Admittedly I haven’t actually caught up with the last couple volumes of Spider-Gwen, so I’m not completely up to date, but I didn’t want to get any further behind (or wait even a single day longer to read Seanan McGuire’s version). Because of that I have clearly missed some history and context for what is happening…but all things considered not as much as I expected. Actually, if a new fan wanted to jump in here they probably could. They wouldn’t have the origin of her powers, or the antagonists she’s always up against, but what isn’t easy to guess so far hasn’t been relevant, or has been explained enough to move on with.

This was a fantastic start to the new series. It felt fun and full of life, and immediately drew me into the plot. It was great seeing Gwen back in action, and I can now see why they waited for Spider-Geddon to reboot the series.

I have always loved the way they alter everything between the universes, the ones we’re used to seeing and the ones that our characters ultimately end up getting thrown into. I can safely tell you that the trend continues in this issue, though obviously I won’t spoil any details.

The sheer level of sass on the pages of this issue is amazing. Gwen has always been fairly spot on with her banter – maybe not to the same level as Peter Parker, but close. Here we see an all new Gwen, sassing her backstory (both in the previous comics and the movie versions of herself) left and right. The subtle fourth wall breaking was refreshing, but also really quite amusing. It was a nice touch.

The artwork was perfect. It was everything I’ve come to expect for Spider-Gwen, but I feel like the artist was more freely using color in this issue. Maybe it’s my excitement talking, but it all seemed so much brighter than other comics that came out this week (I’m mainly referring to the trend of using a more grungy tone).

If you’re planning on reading Spider-Geddon and Spider-Girls at the same time, I believe there’s a specific reading order to them. At least for what released today. The order for today’s comics should be Spider-Geddon #2, Spider-Girls #1, follow by Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #1.



Review: Justice League Odyssey #2

Justice League Odyssey 2

Justice League Odyssey #2
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Star

Thanks to multiverse breaking plots of the last major event, four of our DC heroes have found themselves very far from home. Jessica Cruz, Cyborg, Starfire, and Azreal are not exactly the sort of team I’d be expecting to find, well ever, but they’re going to have to work out their differences very shortly. Or not. I’m just guessing here.

At first I was kind of tired at the revelation of who was behind everyone (minus Jessica) coming here. I feel like his character has been overused as of late. However, once they explained his reasoning and what he was trying to do/prevent, I realized they had a very good reason for dragging him into this plot. He’s really the only character that would fit this particular need.

I love that Jessica Cruz ended up coming along for the ride. I only just read the last Green Lanterns issue (for now, at least – I hope it reboots once this plot is over with) so now I understand why Jessica was so far away from home. That added context helped a lot and part of me wishes that they had waited a couple more weeks before releasing the first Justice League Odyssey issue. But then again, there’s probably more important timing that they’re concerned about.

Despite several revelations that were made, and a couple of fighting scenes, this issue read a bit too slowly for me. I think the pacing was just off in general. I think it’s still settling into the plot, so to speak. Now that we have a better grasp of what’s happening hopefully things will go more smoothly.

The issue did leave off on a cliffhanger, though that’s less shocking than it should be (kind of hard to avoid those when you have less than thirty pages to work with).


Review: Batman Beyond #25

Batman Beyond 25

Batman Beyond #25
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 4 Star

I’m actually really quite conflicted about this issue, despite the good rating I gave it. I think the problem is that given a choice I wouldn’t have had this particular character come back, but they did a really great job with it and I can’t fault them for it.

I think the problem for me is that I want to see more villains unique to Terry and the age we’re seeing here. All of my favorite antagonists have been ones specific to the series – not the ones that were pulled into the future, one way or the other. So I was reflexively off-put at the idea of such a major one making his way into the world.

But I just can’t be upset about it. They did a fantastic job setting up his arrival. We had already seen it hinted quite some time ago (though it could easily have been assumed to be a hoax). Having him go against the modernized version of himself first was brilliant. Not only is it without a shadow of a doubt something the character would do, it was oddly compelling.

Along with the antagonist there were several other familiar faces from the past. I also don’t know how to feel about them, but while it’s a bit in your face (there’s no denying who they are or what their history with Bruce is) at least it doesn’t take over the whole plot. I actually believe they were used to set up the climatic ending for this issue, and likely bigger things to come in the future.

My one regret is that we didn’t see any of Melanie or Dana this issue. Terry has a lot of things to work out courtesy of some of the events in the previous plot. By now you probably all know how I feel about both characters (to recap: I adore Melanie and hate Dana) and can probably guess the sort of interactions I’m hoping for. I have a feeling any of that is going to have to wait until things calm down though.

Review:Thrilling Adventure Hour #4

Thrilling Adventure Hour 4

Thrilling Adventure Hour #4
Publisher: Boom! Box
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 4 Star

Thrilling Adventure Hour gets the award for making me laugh the most this week. It was so absurdly hilarious it was impossible not to laugh out loud while reading it. Seriously, if you were facing imminent danger a la vampire threat, would you do everything to save your butt, or would you argue semantics with said vampire?

Well I’m sure you can guess which option our heroes went with. I won’t spoil it for you, other than to say that I greatly enjoyed the debate. They also revealed more about the bigger picture during the argument, so it made the whole thing worthwhile and funny.

I will say that the vampire system used is one of the more classical types; all the tropes and flaws one would expect. The application of some of these flaws was a bit more liberal, and some vampire aficionados may take offense to it. But it was all in light fun, so I didn’t mind it.

I wasn’t expecting that certain ghost character to stick around, but it looks like he may end up being one of our sources of information. As it stands I think he knows more than the lovebirds do…at least by all appearances. Those two are so calm all the time it’s actually quite impossible to tell how much they know about any given situation.

Review: Batgirl #28

Batgirl 28.jpg

Batgirl #28
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Star

I’ll be brutally honest with you here; while I thought Grotesque may have had some potential in the beginning, I am thoroughly sick of his character now. The more twists and complications they add to his character the less I like him. And no, that isn’t in the ‘love to hate him’ sort of way. He’s just overdone and not that interesting. Just my two cents. With any luck the last issue will bring us the end of that plot, but who knows.

I’m still conflicted on a few of the parts about this plot, on the whole. I like that they’ve had Barbara thinking about her past, and what it means to her versus everybody else in her life. And I like the idea of her father being brought into the investigation as well – just not the method that was used to do it.

It has been fun to see Barbara in her retro Batgirl suit. That much I have to give full marks for – especially the way they were able to implement it. I’m sure we’ll see her back in her regular and modern suit soon enough, but sometimes flashbacks can be fun. And it fits in well with all of the reflecting she’s been doing lately.

Review: Backstagers: Halloween Intermission #1

Backstagers Halloween

Backstagers: Halloween Intermission #1
Publisher: Boom! Box
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 4 Star

I really love the Backstagers. While I desperately wish for more issues in the main series, I’ll take the seasonal issues that they’ve been giving us. It’s better than nothing! Plus maybe if the sales are good enough we’ll get more? A girl can hope.

My favorite part about this issue had to be the questions raised about Tim and Jamie, the Stage Managers. It’s one of those things where if you don’t pay attention to the details (like the writing in the corners that help establish the setting – say a certain time period) then you’d totally miss it. As it was I had to double back and confirm that I had things right. Not that confirming that fact really cleared things up. Actually, it made things quite a bit more confusing. That’s the magic of the backstage though, I suppose.

Everything revolves around the lore specific to this theater. Frankly, I’m surprised that they only have one ‘big bad’ that they’re concerned about on Halloween. Granted there are 364 other days for the rest of the beasties to choose from, and not all of them seem concerned with getting out of the back rooms…but I digress.

This was a fun and relatively light read, even when considering the major revelation/confusion about the Stage Managers. The conclusion may have been a bit sillier than normal, but in an endearing sort of way. That will probably make more sense when you read it. Thankfully everyone was as cute as I remembered, and while it was nice to read about them again, it did make me miss the series that much more.


Review: Scarlet #3

Scarlet 3

Scarlet #3
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 4 Star

Between the this issue and the last I took the time to read the original Scarlet run, so now I have a much better idea of why all of this is happening. While I don’t know how we got from point a to b, I’m not sure I need to know it either. Clearly the end result was violence.

This issue starts off with more backstory, though ironically not Scarlet’s. It’s all about Kit. You remember Kit, the woman with the beautiful teal hair? Well, it’s probably no surprise that her past is as messed up as Scarlet’s. Though it at least explains why she has been all in on everything that’s happened. I imagine that’ll be the case for all the major supports of Scarlet’s cause.

I’m getting used to the cycles of corruption and violence that seem to be prevalent in Scarlet. It does not make for light reading, however it is interesting nonetheless. Thankfully they haven’t started killing off as many characters as some other authors I read would have by now (looking at you Brian K. Vaughan)…but that’s probably just a matter of time.

I wasn’t expecting how this issue ended. In fact, I still don’t really believe it. It’s got to be a trap or a hoax or something, right? That or something will go horribly wrong, setting everyone back to the beginning again. Or at least that’s what I’m anticipating.


Review: Rat Queens #12

Rat Queens 12

Rat Queens #12
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: October 22nd 2018
Rating: 4 Star

I know this isn’t the first issue where we’ve had the whole team back together, but man does it feel good! I was so happy to flip the pages and see them – even if it did remind me of the cliffhanger we were left off on last time.

Okay, so I know the whole team isn’t actually back together. Most of them are all off on a quest, with the help of Orc Dave, Maddie, and Sadie. Meanwhile Dee is off on her own adventure…if you want to call if that.

You may remember Maddie from one of the pubs the Queens always hang out in. She’s the one that got disappeared during the blue man plot? Anyway, she somehow quietly joined the Rat Queens (not entirely sure that they agreed to it, but whatever) and well, she may or may not be their bard now.

I’m actually really hoping that this plot will end up explaining a few things about Braga. If you’ve read her single issue backstory, then you probably have the same questions I do. Still, it really is nice to see them all (minus one, I know) back in action. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it until now.

Dee’s plot is basically the polar opposite of the rest of the Queens. While they’re in mortal peril, she’s not dealing with any physical threats. Or mortals, for that matter. I don’t think she fully understands how she got here, though I have a theory or two. I think we’ll be finding out next issue how it all fits together.

Review: Shuri #1

Shuri 1

Shuri #1
Publisher: Marvel
Released: October 17th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

It feels like an eternity that we’ve been waiting for the Shuri series to drop…but realistically it’s only been eight months at most. I mean, Black Panther came out THIS YEAR. Seriously. That’s how long this year has been.

Anyway. Moving on. The cover for Shuri is absolutely fantastic. It catches your eyes right away, so even if you weren’t counting down the days for its release it’s unlikely that you would have missed it. The artwork inside is different from the cover. It’s sort of retro, but it also feels like it has an African influence to the colors and style, so it fits in well.

The issue took the time to explain some of the events that Shuri has gone through in comic books previously. This is really helpful, as I know I didn’t think to track down all that information down beforehand, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I’ll admit that the series isn’t quite what I expected…but I still adored it. I liked their way of explaining why Shuri has had to do certain things (trying not to flat out spoil one of the plots here) while still having fun with her character. More than that though, I love that they kept the events and ties to the other Wakandan series that happened recently. That was both bold and smart (and it may get people to go back and read that so they have a better grasp of the material).

I’ll be curious to see where this series will go, and how long certain events will be in place. Can’t wait for the next issue!


Review: X-Men Black Mystique #1

XMen Mystique

X-Men Black Mystique #1
Publisher: Marvel
Released: October 17th 2018
Rating: 4 1/2 Star

I confess now and say that I don’t read a ton of X-Men. I’m working through the backlog, but it is a long and slow process (seriously, have you ever looked at just how much is there?). Still, I can safely say that I’ve never read a comic from Mystique’s perspective. I loved the idea of it – how often do you get to hear the other side of the story? And best of all – the whole thing was written by one of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire. So there was no doubt in my mind that I’d be reading this issue.

I love all the comparisons to art and acting that came up in this issue. I can totally see Mystique looking at how she behaves and what she does as art. Not only does it make everything seem more challenging – fuller of intent and purpose, but it allows her to distance herself from her actions as well. Win-win.

Everything was really well done in this issue. There’s lots of Mystique changing form whenever she gets a chance, but it’s also made very clear that there’s a purpose to each change (even if it’s only to mildly screw over one unnamed character’s life). Her character makes no apologies for her actions or the way she is…and I kind of love that. She is unapologetically enjoying what she does, and she owns that. No, more than that, she’s actively working to enhance her skills in the process. It’s certainly not the actions of a hero…but it’s hard not to respect her on some level.

I really enjoyed the artwork for the series as well. The artist went out of their way to make countless interesting characters that were basically thrown away after a page or two (if that). That takes work. Additionally they’d throw in hints to help us figure out which one was Mystique (though it was easy when she was the only one on the page). I love that they used bold and bright colors too – nothing like what you’d expect in a traditional villains comics.


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