The TALKING COMICS REVIEW ROUND-UP
Every week, the Talking Comics collective posts a mega-list of the comics they’re most excited to pull off the shelves that week. Check back here to see if the comics on the Pull List met the team’s expectations with reviews and quippy quotables!!! Click the links to go to full reviews and reflections!!!
Reviews for New Comics – April 27th, 2016
DARK HORSE COMICS
Aliens: Defiance #1 – By Brian Wood & Tristan Jones
- Verdict: Buy this! I mention the Alien films in this review a few times for good reason: in a sea of materials that have been created in homage to Alien, this new series stands to shine as it’s undoubtedly loyal in all the right ways to what made Alien and Aliens magical. Aliens: Defiance takes the reader on a fresh crawl through the black, ominous corridors of space haunted by brutal creatures whose only interest is the survival of their own species. – Melissa
[Editor’s Note: For the full version of Melissa’s excellent review, click here!!!]
Batgirl #51 – Written by Brendan Fletcher, Art by Eleanor Carlini
- Verdict: If you’re interested to see where Batgirl’s adventures are going to take her post-Burnside, then this issue is a definite BUY. Although the entire regular creative team is not present here, this issue feels like more of the same from the Batgirl side of the universe which is not a bad thing at all. Eleanor Carlini’s art is so suitable for this title that it helps to give any reader not yet ready to let Burnside go the chance to stay for just two more issues. Meanwhile, Stewart’s plot is directly setting up Babs for her next adventure, so consider this issue a promising prelude to Rebirth.
Batman #51 – Written by Scott Snyder, Art by Greg Capullo & Danny Miki)
- Verdict: I’m not going to render a traditional verdict on this review. Read this, read the past 50 issues and read them again. Sit back and enjoy the fact you just experienced one of the best batches of comic book storytelling you’ll ever read. There have been many great takes on the Caped Crusader, but none have been as important to me as this one. So, I only have one thing to say to the people who brought us Batman over these past years. Thank You. “Gotham…is you. Always.” – Bobby
[Editor’s note: For Bobby’s brilliant full review of Batman #51, click here!!!]
- Verdict: Buy all the copies and hug them tight: This run ends with a wonderful love letter, not just to Batman but to Gotham City too. One thing I’ve loved about this run is the prevailing theme of hope and never giving up. That, for me, is what I love about Batman so much, he keeps pushing, keeps giving the people of his city hope and in turn they give that right back to him.This issue has such a freshness to it and a freedom, there’s plenty to smile about. Two great moments with Alfred and Jim Gordon being the perfect examples of that. It was a bittersweet moment when I turned to that last page. I’m sad to see it end, but so happy I was there from the start and this is a fitting end to one of my favourite runs in comics. Thank you to Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Dani Miki and FCO Plasencia for this masterwork. – Huw
- Slow clap that builds into a thunderous applause of enthusiasm and adoration I don’t want to give a small review to the book so much as I want to say thank you to Scott, Greg, Danny, FCO, and the rest of the editorial Bat-family. You all have given me one of the best Batman stories I’ve ever read. Back when we first started Talking Comics, I bumped into Scott while shopping at a local comic shop. Like a star-struck fanboy, I marched up to him with my copy of Batman #5 in hand … and totally used the “It’s my birthday, would you sign this for me? Card. It worked, of course, because Scott is a stand-up creator and one hell of a good dude. I proceeded to tell him about our little podcast, and asked him if he’d like to join us, sometime. With much enthusiasm, he agreed without giving it a second thought – saying he’d heard about and likes our show. I was flabbergasted. Shortly thereafter, Scott made good on his word and appeared on one of the earliest episodes of the Talking Comics podcast. That week was insane for us. We couldn’t stop the good word about the podcast from getting out to the world, thanks in-part to Scott, Greg and their incredible fanbase. For me, Batman #51 was a quiet but emotional ride through several years of some of the greatest comic book reading I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine this team closing out their run on the title any other way. Loving hands cradling Gotham City, emotionally brutal words from my favorite Bat-character, Alfred, and a quiet evening for our hero. I love it. – Steve
The Adventures of Supergirl #7 – Written by Sterling Gates, Pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino
- This issue continues the stellar quality of this digital-only series with a deep-dive into a nightmare dreamscape inside the mind of our hero, Supergirl. This issue has got werewolf warriors, battle cats, and a mysterious puppet master pulling all the strings. Whether you’re a fan of the CBS program or Kara’s exploits on the comic book page, this issue is bound to make you smile. – Steve
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 – Script by Tom Waltz. Art by Mateus Santolouco
- Verdict: Buy it (but if you’re new start at issue #50!) Everyone knows I’ll champion this book until the sun burns out. But seriously, after 57 issues this book still is a damn fine read month-to-month.
Still dealing with the after effects of the 50th issue, the turtles are doing the heroic thing and trying to help a handful of Utroms (Krang’s race) make a home on an island that was terraformed by the Technodrome but nefarious doings are afoot (haha, Turtles, aFOOT, get it?!).
Granted, this isn’t one of the stronger issues of this book, with one story beat being a little too obvious. But it’s still really enjoyable and Matteus Santolouco’s art is as gorgeous as ever. – Huw
- Verdict: BUY. Even more so than the recent X-Files – Season 11 mini-series, IDW’s new X-Files ongoing captures the fine balance of wry humor, strange sci-fi, and moody noir that made (makes!) the television series so iconic. Joe Harris has an exceptional grasp on our protagonists’ individual, unique voices, and Matthew Dow Smith and Jordie Bellaire deliver a dynamic visual experience from cover-to-cover. I still want to believe, and having this team on a new X-Files ongoing has me excited for what’s to come! – Joey
[Editor’s Note: Read the full review here!!!]
All-New Wolverine #7 – Written by Tom Taylor, Art by Marcio Takara
- Verdict: If you’ve been hearing great things about All-New Wolverine but don’t know where to jump in, this issue is the MUST BUY gateway you’ve been waiting for. The recap page at the front of the issue provides the sufficient backstory, and then it’s just a straight shot into Fun Town from there. Tom Taylor wrings a lot of emotion out of what seems like a silly setup, but the issue never loses its careful balance between having fun and the importance of moving Laura along as her own unique character. Not to mention, Squirrel Girl! #bestteamupever
[Editor’s Note: For John’s full review of All-New Wolverine #7, click here!!!]
Doctor Strange #7 – By Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend
- Verdict: Buy it – We get to learn our villain’s back story here and he’s one Doctor Strange so far has failed miserably against. Aaron does a great job of establishing how this really is a story of opposing forces and ideals. There’s a certain level of irony about what Strange is facing as well, given his previous profession as a surgeon!
Pushing the story along nicely and raising the stakes even further, Aaron and Bachalo are producing something pretty great with this book. I’m very new to Doctor Strange and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this run so far. – Huw
Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic #1 – By Diverse Hands [Editor’s Note: That mean’s a bunch of awesome people are credited on this book! Bob and his eloquence.]
- Verdict: Buy it-(mostly, and if you do, read it before Doctor Strange #7!) As with the regular issue reviewed above, this anthology provides some context for the battle that Stephen Strange is waging to save magic in all its forms and functions. I will say that it isn’t vital to the enjoyment of the regular story-arc, but it is a fabulous read, with a great Brother Voodoo story, the introduction of Alice Gulliver, and tons of great Zelma Stanton stuff! – Bob
Amazing Spider-Man #11 – By Dan Slott & Giuseppe Camuncoli
- Verdict: Buy it! The Zodiac continue to make Spidey’s like pretty damn awkward in this issue, to say the least. As with every issue of this volume so far, there’s a hell of a lot to like here. This is full-on Spider-Man action at its best and that makes for what is in my eyes one of the most fun superhero books out there right now. Dan Slott’s hit really fine form right now, channeling the hokey fun of his Silver Surfer work and adding plenty of laughs with Spidey’s constant quips and banter and the last page is a really cool tease of things to come. Great fun! Giuseppe Camuncoli deserves a mention for his fantastic art, too. – Huw
Ultimates #6 by Al Ewing and Christian Ward.
- Verdict: BUY. Ultimates seems to be the only book addressing the whole “This is a New Universe but it’s also the Same Universe” whackiness of the post-Secret Wars Marvel continuity, and it’s doing so with some brilliantly high-concept storytelling from Al Ewing. This issue focuses in on Galactus as he defends his new role as “Lifebringer” to the literal powers-that-be in the grander universe. Any book that starts with a version of the Myth of Sisyphus automatically gets a special place in my heart. #PushTheRock – Joey
4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #1 (Black Mask Studios) – Written by Matthew Rosenberg Art by Tyler Boss.
- Verdict: Buy It! Boss and Rosenberg together have created a first issue that makes me feel like I’m entering a living breathing world. The book is fun without being too light and just dark enough to feel important while not losing its charm. If this first issue is any indication 4 Kids Walk into a Bank is going to be the first great miniseries of 2016. – Bobby
[Editor’s Note: For more of Bobby’s take on 4KWIaB, click here!!!]
- Verdict: Dungeons & Dragons, oceans made of Orange Fanta, criminals, a group of take-no-shit kids … is there anything this book doesn’t have that appeals to my interests? Bullet point listings aside, I really enjoyed this comic. It’s great for all of the reasons Bobby spoke of on the podcast and much more. I’m so ready to go through a bizarre set of circumstances with this cast of characters. Tyler Boss also shines with his expressive and sharp artwork that packs just as much attitude onto the page as its lead character, Paige. Oh, and by the way, I’m adding her to my forever-growing list of spirit animals. Great stuff! – Steve
Kill Box #1 (American Gothic Press) – By Tom Riordan & Nathan Gooden
- Verdict: Worth a look! Picked this one up on a whim and really enjoyed it! The premise is pretty straightforward: high-stakes, high-end gamblers design a “Most Dangerous Game”-esque televised battle royale that take place in broad daylight in designated “Kill Boxes” in a select location. Issue #1 introduces us to the desperate and/or deranged contestants for this year’s event by flashing back-and-forth between their individual recruitment and the violence taking place in the present. Brutal and engagin, Riordan and Gooden deliver on the premise and bring as much grit to the writing and visuals as possible. Because we’re introduced to a lot in this first issue, it may seem a bit scattered, but I see Kill Box focusing up as the series moves along! – Joey
And that’s our Pull List for this week!!! If you happen to pick up any of these books, please join the conversation here or on twitter and let us know what you think! As we update the site with reviews and verdicts on these comics, we’d love to include your input!