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Weekly Comic Book Reviews #4



All the previous weekly comic book reviews can be found here!

The webbed cover to Superior Spider-Man #1

Superior Spiderman #1

Written By: Christos Gage

Drawn by: Mike Hawthorne

The newly launched Superior Spiderman comic is the second run after the success of Dan Slotts one year run that replaced Peter Parker with Doctor Octopus, at least in terms of minds.

This new series sees Doc Ock in a new body and new persona but still the same clever, smart and patronising behaviours Otto Octavius is known for.

The first issue loosely follows on from the recent Spider-Geddon mini-series but readers don’t need to worry about having to read that story first, as writer Gage does a commendable job of making this a very easy accessible book and even does a great reintroduction to the titled star bringing readers up to speed, without it feeling like re-treading old ground.

The script is well written and moves along quickly but never feels rushed.  Gage really understands the characters and history with nice references and nods to the original Superior Spiderman saga but only to serve to help readers and not confuse them.

The story, is part 1 of the first story arc and in this issue alone,a lot does happen while also introducing new characters along with returning favourites, including fan favourite Anna Marie.  

The pacing is good and does a very good job of creating a fun adventure, that at first can appear a bit to paint by numbers but soon picks up in to a much more interesting script, along with neat sub plots being woven in and a great last page featuring a much underutilised villain and that will certainly help persuade fans to pick up #2.

Art is a slight let-down and in parts the inks can appear a bit too thick and can give a slight smudgy look to the panels, particularly with the characters.  San Francisco City and the surroundings are well drawn, so it’s strange why more work wasn’t put in to the cast.  Hopefully #2 will improve with that.

There are quite a few spider related comic books on the shelves each month but adding this to your subscription list would be a worthy addition and it will be interesting to see where this series goes but for now it’s off to a <web slinging> good start.

Score of out 10:-


Art: 6

Overall: 8

The standout cover to Nightwing #51

Nightwing #51-56– Multiple issues storyline – Knight Terrors

Written by: Scott Lodbell

Drawn by: Garry Brown and Travis Moore

#51 and onwards actually picks up after #50’s part 1 of a 7 part story but Nightwing gains a creative Team with writer Scott Lobell and artists Garry Brown and Travis Moore.

If that pairing seems familiar it should as they were told some of the best Uncanny X-Men stories of the late 90’s including the critically acclaimed ‘Age of Apocalypse’ and its great to see this pairing back together again after all their success in the past.

I said last week how Lodbell really doesn’t feature enough in comics these days and he hasn’t missed a step.  The story picks up after last issue and flows nicely without any confusion which can often be a problem when a new creative team takes over.

Grayson continues to pave a new direction for himself while being fully aware he has a big chunk of his memories missing.  This new version of Grayson comes across a lot more care free and very much a loner but never with arrogance, which was something I thought was the case in #50.

The script is good and the new recurring cast, particularly the Bludhaven detectives who want to fill a void of the ‘missing Nightwing’ are good character, though sadly feel a little to generic but do give of good dynamics with each other.  Saying more would spoil the script but suffice to say this is book that centres on that team as much as it does Grayson.

By the end of the story everything all wraps up neatly but still leaves plenty of scope for new plot threads and character development which is always a vital part of storytelling.  

One downside I felt is that there simply isn’t enough Nightwing action at least in terms of what fans have been used too but that isn’t what this story is about.  It’s strange for a title named Nightwing but it all makes sense when you read the book.

The art is good and nice detail in the panels though pencils can appear sketchy in parts giving the feeling some of the issues were slightly rushed to make a deadline but overall it is clean enough, with the night settings particularly being very well drawn.

If you are after a series that’s a change of pace from the main Bat titles but still want that dark gritty feel with some of the Bat cast, then this is a great purchase for you.

Score of out 10:-

Story – 8

Art – 7

Overall – 7.5

The creepy cover to Immortal Hulk #11

The Immortal Hulk – #11 – 15 – Multiple Issues storyline – Hulk in Hell

Written by: Al Ewing

Drawn by: Joe Bennett

Following each issue of Invincible Hulk recently has become a slightly confusing journey for readers.

When this new series started I was a big fan of the straight, simple but developing flow of the first couple of story arcs.  Recently though and particularly with this storyline it seems to have lost its way and the story appears convoluted and not very easy to follow, this is mainly due to the writing.

The lack of a ‘previously in Hulk’ segment at beginning of each issue doesn’t help (something all other Marvel titles pride themselves on).  It would be fine if the story continued with an easy follow on from the previous issue but I found Hulk in Hell didn’t do this.  The story felt rushed, didn’t explain some parts of the plot details clearly enough and leaves readers confused and having to try and figure out parts of the plot itself.

One subplot particularly carries over from a recent issue of Captain America but only explains this at the end of the book in the letters column by the editor, it’s a headscratcher as to why they couldn’t reference this during the story but just leaves readers having to guess and try to figure out the missing parts of book that should be more competent at that.

As mentioned, Invincible Hulk has gone from great to average in the past 5 issues or so which is a shame as writer Ewing was doing great work with the book initially.

Art is talented enough and has a nice art style that does fit the book well. The pencils are backed up with good use of colour and inks are good and  especially good at making the night settings which good as the book can be quite dark in places in terms of setting.

The cliff-hanger ending is noteworthy but the writing needs to be much better than it has been recently for fans to want to care enough to pick this comic book up each month to find out where the next arc takes Hulk.

Score of out 10:-

Story – 3

Art – 8

Overall – 4

The team are ready for action on the cover of X-Men Red

X-Men Red -#1 –#11 (Entire 11 part storyline and series)

Written byTom Taylor

Drawn by: Mahmud Asrar

This review is of the 11 issue run, written by Tom Taylor.  For those who haven’t seen the praise this book has received online and social media already, it’s been hailed as a breath of fresh air for the X-Men and one of the best books in a long time and it’s for good reason.

This 11 issue story (and the entire run of this series) picks up after the mini series ‘Phoenix Resurrection – The return of Jean Grey’.

Jean Grey, has returned from the dead and reunites with the X-Men and has formed a new team but doesn’t take long for trouble to happen.  

The team do battle with Casandra Nova who frames the team for murder at a UN public speech with the world watching leading to mutant hate and being back in the spotlight as villain and not hero.

The story is wonderfully told and is a joy to read.  The use of characters including team members Nightcrawler, Namor, Laura Kinney and Honey Badger (whom the latter two, Taylor knows particuarly well from his run on All New Wolverine) is excellent.  

Taylor creates great dynamics and chemistry with the cast with good humour but also knows when to tone it down for serious situations and is scripted very well.

Although this is a long arc though with multiple sub plots and side missions, the freshness and deep and engaging story keeps readers entertained with each issue that goes by.  The story does go a little too slow at the halfway point where nothing seems to progress but it doesn’t take long for things to soon pick up again.

The art, by Asrar is very detailed and gives a very clean look visually with great character designs.  The action scenes are vibrant and feel almost animated on the page.

Taylor is now writing other titles now and continues to go from strength to strength and is one of the finest writers in the business.

The story of humans hating Mutants may not be a new story but the way X-Men Red is told feels new.  It does throw reference to politics, racism and fear but it does so with delicacy and passion.

I originally read this story issue by issue but it’s now available in graphic novel form so reading the story in one collection can make it even more engaging and I can’t recommend this X-Men Red enough.

Score of out 10:-

Story – 9

Art – 9 

Overall – 9