Guardians of the Galaxy #20 (Marvel Comics)
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Ed McGuinness, Valerio Schiti & Jason Keith
So this is the final part to the What Happened in the Cancerverse? part of Guardians of the Galaxy. While fans of the movie and fans of the Guardians going on adventures will rejoice, I am left with a bit of disappointment in my heart. I am a huge Richard Rider fan, and I loved seeing him in this trilogy flashback, but I am left wondering what Brian Michael Bendis is trying to achieve here. The hype over Nova Prime returning to the Marvel Universe was real big three months ago and I feel like this result isn’t what we were all hoping for. I don’t want to spoil what happens in this issue, since it’s such a pivotal moment for some characters, but I do think that this comic left the ending still slightly open (and I think left a few Easter eggs among the stars) so that this story can be redeemed in the future.
Bendis did an OKAY job overall writing this series. I feel like it had its ups and downs, and every issue had a moment or two in it that reminded me of how awesome Nova was and how sorely Marvel needs to bring him back. This issue was no different. The art in this book is fantastic as the past few issues have been. The coloring in this book really fills the pages with energy and wonder. You can try and reason that my disappointment with this comic stems from it not ending the way I had wished, but I really feel like the end was anti-climactic and filled with a few major plot holes. Let’s hope now that Bendis can get back to writing the Guardians and that this book will become something that begins to pull Marvel’s cosmic universe out of the black hole it’s slowly sinking into. The cover of this book pretty much says so.
Written by: Rick Spears
Art by: German Peralta
Colors by: Rain Beredo
Carnage-man. Carnage-man. Does whatever a Carnage can! This book was pretty funny in a dark sort of way. After the events of Axis, Carnage has an unexplainable urge to be a hero. He’s still a psycho, and he still has little emotions, but he wants to do good and has no idea how. He has an idea of how to be a hero from movies and tv shows, and he’s also taking a small cue from Spider-Man, but for the most part, Carnage wanting to do good doesn’t make him an instant hero. He still looks horrid and most people will recognize him as a serial murderer still. I’ve always liked Carnage so I picked this up and I wasn’t disappointed.
The story in this book is written by Rick Spears and he does a great job of introducing us back into Cletus Cassidy’s mindset and how it is now that he’s a “hero”. It’s written in a way that makes Carnages attempts to seem heroic very dark and humorous. I really enjoyed the set up for this book. It had a very Suicide Squad feel to it. The art and colors in this book are great. Anytime someone draws Carnage, they just need to draw him messy with some tendrils coming off him while at the same time making him look menacing. Just because he’s a hero now, the artists on this book didn’t skip those details. I really enjoyed this book, and unlike some of the other Axis books, this one is one you should pick up just because there may never be another time when Carnage is a good guy!
*Review by Everett Harn
Penguins vs. Possums #5 (Fanboy Comics)
Story and Art by: Sebastian Kadlecik, John Bring & Lindsay Calhoon Bring
If you haven’t read this comic, I did a long review a few months ago on the first 4 issues of Penguins vs Possums. Let me just say, this comic is bonkers in a good way. In the first 4 issues of PvP we always swapped between penguins and possums to get both sides of the story, <Spoilers Inc!> but at the end of issue 4 a human falls into the ancient caves the possums treat as a holy place. So in this fifth installment we finally get a 3rd point of view, that of us, the humans in that world. We are introduced to Felicia and C.J. who almost immediately follow the clues and realize there is an ancient war going on between Penguins and Possums. They immediately want to find out more. We see a lot more of Amaru having to deal with survivor’s guilt, as well as Xiao the emperor penguin really becoming the paranoid villain I always thought he would be.
The story in this series is interesting to say the least. Now that humans are in the mix, Kadlecik and the Bring duo really step up their game and begin blending the third element into the mix. They cleverly end this issue in an incredibly intriguing way that makes me wonder what exactly will happen in the next issue! I actually can’t wait to read it! The art in the book seems like it is a huge leap better than it was in the first 4 issues. It may be because it has been a while since I read those issues, but I was actually quite impressed with the drawing here. The book is all in black and white, something which I am usually very adverse to, but they manage to add in enough detailing and shading to the art that it really just feels right. It’s always great to see the full color covers, but I couldn’t imagine reading this comic in anything but black and white. The drawing isn’t as consistent as I would prefer it though. Sometimes characters look slightly different from one panel to the next, but for the most part this isn’t a big deal. Most the main characters have a unique look, so the artists can get away with it. I really like this crazy book and I’ll be keeping my eye out for issue 6.
*Review by Everett Harn
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Fernando Dagnino
Colors by: Javier Mena
Cover by: Dustin Nguyen
Captain Midnight #16 is a great Halloween-inspired issue that seamlessly incorporates Jim Albright’s sense of personal responsibility and good old fashioned suspense and monsters. Nightshade is in virtual ruins after the battle with Tempus and Jim is pitching in to rebuild the town little by little. Things go awry when good intentions lead to a savage evening of monsters run amok!
Joshua Williamson has done an incredible job on his run with Captain Midnight making Jim Albright a moral and brave hero that represents the best of us and in this issue he has a little fun with werewolves. The cover gives it away so it’s no mystery that this is a scary story suited for Halloween week. And its not just a gimmick but a throwback tale of spells and wolf transformations that leads to some suspenseful action.
The art of Fernando Dagnino and Javier Mena frame the issue nicely with great layouts that provide plenty of impact especially when the wolves attack. The use of silhouettes and background color designs give it the dark pulpy horror flavor it deserves.
A nice break from fighting villains to fighting werewolves makes this issue especially fun and spooky. It’s impossible not to like the Captain Midnight series.
*Review by Enrique Rea
Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: Garry Brown
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Cover by: J. P. Leon
As The Massive sails into the sunset, Brian Wood is dropping bombshells on his way out. Issue 27 reunited the crew of the Kapital with the Massive and as awkward as the transition was some of the Kapital’s crew that’s nothing to what’s revealed in issue 28.
If post Crisis life wasn’t bad enough a giant piece of landmass emerges from the ocean sending nations all over in a frenzy to colonize it. Funny how some things never change even in the face of such global instability. Anyway, the new island mass is the latest twist conjured up by Wood that adds more mystery just when we thought we were getting answers.
Yet it’s never really been about the mystery, the long search for the missing Massive, it’s really been about the human drama taking place on board the Kapital. And what’s revealed between Mary and Cal is a game changer. The long walk they take full of honest exposition and dialogue is really a long lit fuse that comes to an explosive conclusion.
That little jaunt, along with other wonderful scenes, the disastrous taking of the “beach” of the new landmass for example was especially effective. Garry Brown’s lines and Jordie Bellaire’s color breathes life into this expansive world of water and land but their talents are limitless. They easily convey the incredulous look on Cal’s face as easily as a helicopter hovering above this new island that popped up. There is nothing they can’t do.
If you haven’t read The Massive before grab some back issues, even trades if you’re so bold and get on board. It’s worth the trip but it will all be over soon.
*Review by Enrique Rea