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The Next Issue Comic Reviews for January 22, 2014

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Hey all!!  A belated happy new year to you and hopefully you are reading some good comics!  We at The Next Issue Podcast are going to try and resurrect our written reviews to supplement our shows so that way we can try to cover some of the books that we may have missed.  What we are going to do is also get feedback from fans on our board to submit comic reviews and when possible, bring it to you on a weekly basis so, let’s start right now with this week’s picks!

Chew  39

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Story by
John Layman

Art by
Rob Guillory

Reviewed by Aitch Cee

Chew has grown to be not only one of my favorite comics not to be a superhero book but one of my favorite books, period.  John and Rob are quite a consistent team when it comes to putting out a quality issue. In this issue we learn a little more about Olive as she tries to help her father Tony overcome his depression over the death (?)  of Toni. Amelia steps in to help Olive break into a secure facility to try and get a key ingredient for a dish to be made to help Tony.

What I loved about this issue is that we learn so much more not only about Olive but the dynamics between herself, her dad and her aunt and that is one of the things I have loved about Chew from the beginning, is that with the way characters are introduced, John makes sure that we learn more about them as we go.  Initially, Olive’s relationship with her father was strained when we were first introduced to her, but in this book, we see how she and Amelia will go through any length to help him and find out what other secrets Toni may be holding. The only thing I could have wished for was a little more of Amelia’s writing power and its effects on others but this issue was mostly about Olive and I was happy with it.

Not to mention, you can’t have this book without Rob Guillory’s art to complement Layman’s writing. As with almost each time I read Chew, I read it twice.  First time for the story and the 2nd time for the sight gags. As always there are plenty sprinkled throughout and to be honest, I can’t see anyone else drawing for this book because those small gags are such a huge part in what makes this back hard to read in silence while I ride the subway to work.  And not just the sight gags, the facial expressions as well.  Rob has a mastery of teh comedic writing that John puts forth and it makes me think that nearly 40 issues in, they have it down to an effortless science.  I cannot recommend it enough. If you haven’t read Chew, go get the 1st TPB and start there. Don’t start in the middle, and don’t try to start with this issue, get it from the beginning in order to appreciate it fully. You won’t be disappointed.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Alex + Ada (Or What we Forget.)

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Story by

Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughn

 

Art by

Jonathan Luna

 

Reviewed by Lee Gordon

I started collecting comic books in the eighties. DC and Marvel decimated the racks at my local 7-11. Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men, Action Comics, Iron Man, Detective Comics, Avengers, Wonder Woman, Fantastic Four, Flash; New Mutants…and do you notice the theme here, all are about super heroes. In the fifties and sixties a large diversity of comic book companies published an equally  varied category of topics including westerns, novel adaptations, television shows, and romance comics to name a few.

A few years ago at a convention I attended heard Stan Lee speak. He mentioned a little about the romance comic books he had written. Some stories were supposed to be from real readers, so instead of saying written by Stan Lee, it said as told to Stan Lee. Super Heroes books kept gaining popularity in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Eventually in this new millennium more and more alternate stories made their way onto the shelves which brings me to a romance book, Alex + Ada.

Image is currently publishing a vast array of comic book titles. Their push for new and interesting stories has garnished my attention. In one of the “What’s Next?” ads I found out about Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. These two together are producing an amazing story of blossoming love between man and machine. This isn’t like Top Gear where it’s man’s love of cars, but the love of a companion in the form of a robot minus the problems of A.I, or is it a problem because they don’t have A.I?

I hate to spoil a book when I review it, especially since I don’t consider this a review, just a suggestion that for a good read outside the super hero medium. It’s not even something to wait until the trade paperback comes out; it’s something that should be read now, quite possibly with someone you love.

Bad Ass 1

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Story by: Herik Hanna

Art by: Bruno Dessadi

Colors by: Gaetan Georges

Reviewed by Ray Willis

The story is about Dead End, a foul mouth mercenary for hire who wants to get his Deadmobile fixed. This issue is for the reader what this guy is like: he’s a jerk, loves violence, and looks good while he’s doing it. The opening scene has him causing a car accident by flicking a coin off the restaurant owners head and hitting a taxi which crashes into his restaurant. You get to see snippets of his pasts which he’s was one of the geeks being pushed around by others and running into lockers. Bad Ass has a lot of violence and humor that goes through it. The character reminds me of a Deadpool without the multiple personalities and fourth wall breaking dialogue..The art in Bad Ass is really good and I have no problems with it. I really did enjoy this issue and had a few chuckles while reading it. If you like action and comedy or Deadpool you will love this series. Also there’s a green dragon in a kimono and lots of cigarette slinging action.

4 out of 5 stars

Justice League #27

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Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ivan Reis (layouts), Joe Prado, Jesus Merino, Vincente Cifuentes

Reviewed by Oz Longworth, Jr.

Honestly, this title has ALWAYS been on shaky ground as far as I’m concerned. I mean, a Justice League title should always be a flagship book, the title that sets the tone for the primary threat to the status quo in the DC universe. Geoff Johns didn’t open it up terribly strong (especially considering their first bad guy was Darkseid) and the villains to come afterwards all felt kind of “meh”. However, this tie-in arc to Johns’ latest event, Forever Evil, seems to be a welcome turning point for this book as the most entertaining character developments and plot points we’ve seen from the series so far.

Thus far, we’ve seen a healthy amount of backstory for the Crime Syndicate, who seems to have their own shenanigans going on behind the scenes. This has worked out fairly well since Johns is easily at his best when his work is centered around villains in all their douchebaggy glory. In a properly timed change of pace, though there is a small peek at the world’s hero shortage, this issue focuses mainly on Cyborg, who nobody would debate got the shortest end of the stick at the end of Trinity War, the lackluster prelude to Forever Evil. Vic Stone is hanging on by a thread, in need a new cybernetic body since his old one apparently grew a mind of its own and became…umm….DC’s version of Ultron (if that sounds stupid at all, don’t trouble yourself thinking too hard about it because it kinda is).

It’s appropriate that this issue be centered around Cyborg getting himself an upgrade because Johns seemed to give this character exactly that. Without giving too much away, the crown jewel of the installment is the interaction between Vic and his father. So far, New 52 Cyborg has been particularly sullen and downplayed for a considerable portion of the Justice League book and sadly, that’s a step up from the only real character traits I’ve ever really seen highlighted in him over the years which consist entirely of “I am a cyborg” and “I am black.” Seeing him confident and more aimed (as opposed to dragged) towards his path as a hero is definitely the a moment we’ve waited quite a while to see.What drags the book down a bit is the brief non-Cyborg stuff. We get a few allusions to Ted Kord, the Metal Men and an appearance from the Doom Patrol, but it feels as mandated and shoehorned in as Michael Bay’s political leanings did in Transformers 3. Fortunately, Cyborg gets enough of the spotlight in this issue that the other stuff doesn’t distract enough to make this a bad book. Ivan Reis’ only provides some layouts this time around and it’s kind of obvious. The overall tone of despair still manages to be effective, but some of the characters feel patchwork, as though someone clearly picked up where Reis left off. Overall, this has been a really great arc of a previously lackluster Justice League incarnation and this issue, despite some problems, still manages to make sticking around worthwhile.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

About Armand (1268 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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