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!!!
Also, check out our weekly Favorite Comic Book Covers of the Week column for more coverage of last week’s new books!
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This week’s contributors:
- Jesse Bowden (@JesseBowden)
- Deanna Chapman (@deeechap)
- Angela Fowler (@angelcakes83)
- John Dubrawa (@thisjohnrd)
- Bob Reyer (email@example.com)
- Max Mallet (@globetrottermax)
- Vivek Kembaiyan (@just_Vivek)
- Nathan Ryan (@Clown_Prince52)
And lovingly edited by Joey Braccino (@joeybraccino)
New Comic Book Day – August 24th, 2016
- Buy buy buy. At 7.99 it’s a bit steep, but that’s par for course for an annual, and the first few stories make it well worth the purchase. – Angela
DARK HORSE COMICS
Kingsway West #1 – By Greg Pak & Mirko Colak
- Buy it – Do you remember when you read Saga for the first time? If you’re anything like me, there was a sense of urgency. I wanted to know more about the characters and their incredible world. Kingsway West invokes a lot of the same feelings. The concept here is incredibly original and ambitious. With this first issue Greg Pak seamlessly connects multiple genres and builds a world that’s worthy of exploration. For me, the narrative time jumps were bit of a hindrance to that exploration. But that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise fantastic first issue. That said, I trust Greg Pak and I am eager to spend more time with these characters. – Jesse
Batgirl #2 – By Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque
- Verdict: Buy! This issue was all over the place–what with Babs not only looking into the mysterious attacker from last issue but also kinda-sorta falling in love with her old friend Kai and training to be a MMA fighter–but it all worked for me. Hope Larson has a good grasp on what makes Babs great, from her photogenic memory to her spunky never-quit attitude and uses them in ways that make this feel like a Batgirl series worthy of following up the previous run. It’s definitely not Barbara as we have seen her before but so far it’s proving to be worth shelving expectations. -John D.
- Check it Out. Batgirl in costume only makes an appearance for the first three pages of this issue, as Babs navigates an uncertain relationship, a new country, and training in a new martial art while starting to put together the pieces on the mysterious characters introduced in issue #1. I haven’t read Batgirl in a while and to me Larson’s take on the character feels authentic and works well with Albuquerque’s art. I want to see where this goes. – Vivek
- Verdict: Check it out. There are two competing storylines here, Babs and Kai’s awkward romance and the search for Kai’s attacker. John is correct in that the issue is somewhat convoluted, but there are enough good character moments and unique artwork to keep you interested. It’s not as good as the previous issue, but I still suggest giving Batgirl #2 a chance. -Max
- Verdict: Check it out. I agree with Max that this issue wasn’t as good as the first, however it still has its moments and it was an enjoyable read overall. I think that with more time Larson is going to find her stride on this book and I expect good things to come. – Nathan
- Verdict: Buy. Boy, this issue is a bizarre one, and that’s established well before Doctor Fate even shows up. Keith Giffen presents Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord in their first official team-up and there’s a ton of manic energy in every scene. There were times where I lost track of who was speaking due to the overabundance of word balloons but in the end this issue made me want to check out at least the next one, so it’s definitely worth grabbing, especially if you’ve never experienced this character before. -John D.
- Wait and See. The barrage of banter in this issue felt like too much for me: almost every character was giving or taking guff from another one: the heroes, the villains, the side characters. I’m new to Blue Beetle, and think the cast of characters has a lot of potential. For the most part I enjoyed the art and colors from Kolins and Fajardo Jr. But with everything else out right now, I’m not sure this made the cut for me to come back for future issues. – Vivek
- Verdict: Check it out. This is a fun, light book that has a lot of heart. The dynamic between Jaime and Ted is the engine that runs this book. Check out the full review! – Nathan
Deathstroke #1 – By Christopher Priest & Carlos Pagulayan
- Verdict: Wait and See. I’m rooting for Christopher Priest and co. here, but this issue was much more convoluted than Deathstroke: Rebirth. While I enjoy when politics meets comics, it’s a bit much here. The politics are laid on so thick that it almost overshadows the anti-hero-vs.-super-villain aspect of the issue. There’s also a ton of time-jumping, even when accounting for the fact that the Clock King continues to play a role in the story. Not all is lost, though: Carlos Pagulayan’s pencil work is some of the best in DC’s current lineup. It was hard to read this issue and completely enjoy the process, but I’m willing to give it another shot in a couple of weeks.
- Verdict: Wait and See. I am beginning to wonder if this book will end up reading better as a trade. I felt the storytelling would become a little more straightforward away from the Rebirth issue, but I agree that the time jumping and overall way this story is being told is a bit much. I love the themes that it is going for, however, and that does have me wondering if this is a title that will just read better as a trade. I will still pick up the next issue. – Nathan
Detective Comics #939 – By James Tynion IV & Eddy Barrows
- Buy! I finally gave into the hype and decided to check out this arc, and I’m really glad I did. With Green Arrow, this is my favorite Rebirth title so far. I love how prominently the theme of family runs through this arc, and the pacing feels just right for a Batman book. One of the best team titles I’ve seen in a while. Tim Drake fans especially – do not sleep on this. – Vivek
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #3 – By Robert Venditti & Rafa Sandoval
- On the fence – I love a good Hal Jordan fight scene, which this issue delivers. The problem is, that fight scene has been going on since issue #1. I like the set up of this series: Hal Jordan tries to reunite with the Green Lantern Corps, which is heavily damaged and in exile, whilst Sinestro seeks to maintain order through fear over the universe he now effectively governs through his own Corps. But I’m not sure if I will continue buying it twice a month. – Vivek
Titans #2 – By Dan Abnett, Norm Rapmund, and Brett Booth
- Verdict: Buy! Titans has been a wild ride ever since the DC Rebirth began and this issue takes things even further with an assembled squadron of Titans doppelgängers from the past. Seeing each member of the current team square off with their younger self (like Arsenal vs Speedy) is a lot of fun, and the banter between all the characters is consistently entertaining. While this series is still a long way from actually solving the case of the missing time in the DCU, it’s quite a bombastic ride so far. Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund’s art continues to add to the pure electricity of this title with this issue being particularly action-packed right from the outset. -John D.
Wonder Woman #5: By Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp
- Buy It! – I will say it again, Wonder Woman is the best book in the Rebirth line up. Greg Rucka is 5 issues into a legendary run. If you haven’t checked it out yet, get your life together and go buy this book! – Jesse
- Verdict: BUY! I appreciate Jesse’s enthusiasm. This book might well be the best in the Rebirth lineup, but I’m going to throw Superman a bone and say that book is in contention as well. This issue had the least amount of action of any in this series, and I was still thoroughly entertained by Liam Sharp’s gorgeous artwork and Greg Rucka’s tight, affecting writing. There’s no denying how sensational Wonder Woman is to this point. -Max
Hellblazer #1 – By Simon Oliver & Moritat
- Verdict: Check It Out. I’m still not quite sure if this is a good Constantine series yet, but the mystery that bookends this particular issue at least has me intrigued. As someone without a lot of knowledge of Constantine himself, this issue threw out a lot of names and relationships that went completely over my head. Swamp Thing’s cameo is a bit confusing as well, though his presence does give Constantine a great foil throughout this issue. I’ll definitely give this series a few more issues before deciding on its fate, but for right now, it’s at least worth checking out. -John D.
- Buy. This issue gives you more of an idea of what to expect from the limitations that are put on The Hellblazer by not making it a Vertigo title as they have in the past. If this issue doesn’t sway you, then drop it, but it’s worth a shot. It isn’t as dark or quite the same in the writing department, but that doesn’t mean the story is bad. Plus, with Matt Ryan no longer playing Constantine on The CW, it’s the only current Constantine we’ll be getting. Until Justice League Dark comes out, anyway. – Deanna
Captain Marvel #8 – Ruth Gage, Chris Cage, & Kris Anka
- Pass – Marvel is not being a good steward of this character. Since the Gages took over writing duties, things have gotten a bit better. But the title still lacks the depth and heart that once made it special. The series is getting another reboot at Civil War 2. Cross your fingers and check it out then. – Jesse
- E-h-h-h-h…As Jesse says, this title has seen some improvement under the Gages’ pens, with this issue particularly finally showing Carol thinking about the ramifications of “predictive justice” in either the event main title or her own book, but I miss her interacting with regular people.. As we’re “starting over over again” come the fall, I probably won’t drop this yet, but boy, am I close.–Bob
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #10 – By Amy Reeder & Natacha Bustos
- BUY…please? C’mon already…Ms. Marvel’s on the beautiful Amy Reeder cover, and the story within is even better, as Kamala reaches out to Lunella to let her know that she’s looking out for her. It’s filled with lots of heart, humour, and laughs…and Kid Kree, too! – Bob
Generation Zero #1 – By Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela
- Buy! Every once in a while, I pick up a Valiant book and I absolutely love it. Books like Generation Zero have everything you’d want from a new universe of superheroic action: dynamic action, fascinating new characters, and an intriguing mystery at the core. I don’t necessarily psiot is or the Harbinger Wars, but Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela deliver an accessible, exciting first issue that had mad X-Men vibes, which I’m super into obvi. – 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!