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Review Crew – September 10, 2014

**AS ALWAYS BE MINDFUL THAT THERE WILL BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!**

 

Avengers #34.1


Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Dale Keown
Reviewer: Oz Longworth Jr. aka Oh Captain My Captain

Okay, so Jonathan Hickman just finished wrapping up one of his high brow sci-fi concepts in Avengers which (for me, at least) was a winner. Thus far, his work on the franchise has been one that’s sort of divisive among readers. A lot of his superhero work has been mostly dependent upon what kind of superhero book you prefer. Hickman’s sci-fi/superhero hybrid tales don’t always gel with more old school readers, but with Al Ewing expanding on some of the foundation laid down by the Infinity writer, this issue might change some traditional minds.

This issue marks the series’ third attempt at trying to sell us on Hyperion, focused on the hero trying to find his purpose as a man and as a hero. A missing child case in particular catches his eye and strikes a nerve. This plot is mostly a dope one, but is also primarily backdrop to delve further into Hyperion’s backstory and offer some insight into his detachment from mankind. Marvel has a fetish for putting Superman (because let’s be honest…this take on Hyperion is an essay on how Marvel views Superman) in these situations where they can convey how the Marvel Universe would view him and also how he would view them in response. Al Ewing’s work on Mighty Avengers makes it evident how good he is with these character building issues so he was basically the perfect person to endure Hyperion to readers. My main complaint about the story is the villain. Without spoiling it too much….he sucks. I mean, his motives for being a part of the story are great. He, however, just sucks. The art, however, is on point. Dale Keown has been a hit/miss artist with me over the years, but this issue sees him hitting most of the right emotional notes which is appropriate since this one isn’t as heavy on action.

Bottom Line: It’s official. I’m sold on Marvel’s latest answer to Superman….until Brian Michael Bendis turns him into a schizophrenic anti-god that Paul Jenkins totally didn’t have in mind.

4 out of 5 answers to Superman

Rot and Ruin #1

Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Tony Vargas
Color Artist: Olive Lee Arce
Reviewer: Ray Willis

Rot and Ruin brings us the tale of Benny Imura with his girlfriend Nix, his friend Lou Chong, and Lilah, as they venture through the world of the undead in hopes to find a fallen jumbo jet. The opening gives us some backstory on Benny and how he has survived up until now from the initial outbreak of the zombie virus. His brother Tom who is currently dead, saved Benny from his infected father, as well as other zombies and trained him to fight and survive in the zombified world.

This is a really good story with some really likeable characters that proves to be fun and scary at the same time. At the beginning of the issue we get to see an interesting way of how the zombies act and how to evade them. It’s not outside the norm that sounds would cause zombies to move in a certain direction but using a certain chemical that can evade their senses was a nice showing. Also zombies that don’t have prey won’t move is an interesting scene and concept because with no prey the plants start to grow over the zombies that aren’t moving. I love zombie movies and I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that. The characters that we get a taste of are really interesting like Lilah, who lived in a cave and fought the undead and bounty hunters. The art is really good and the world itself is very immersive. The story could be a little slow to get into and the characters going after a jumbo jet is pretty farfetched but it’s really good. If you’re a horror fan definitely check this out and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

4 out of 5 zombies baby

Imperial #2

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artist: Mark Dos Santos
Reviewer: Lee Gordon

This will be the first time I reviewed back to back issues of the same title, whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen. Imperial #2 wasn’t the first comic book I read out of my weekly haul, but it was the most anticipated.

At the end of issue #1, a meteor fell from the sky. Certainly our future hero would be crushed if not for Imperial, but who is he? He wears tights, a cape, and a sentient crown. Unfortunately, Imperial doesn’t like Mark very much and we only find out that Imperial didn’t pick Mark to be his successor in between talking about the rings of Saturn and S’mores.

The issue starts right out of the gate on the interior cover. Imperial is on top of Mark, saving them from a meteorite, or is it meteor? By page four, we are introduced to Imperial’s first major villain, Meterax. Four pages later, we realize he’s not so major. The story continues with the same formula as issue one, much like Lethal Weapon II is to Lethal Weapon I, it’s good but is it as good?

In issue two, we learn a bit more about Imperial including that he is old. He’s been doing the superhero gig as Imperial for a long time, way longer than his comic book title from the thirties. And after the lesson in making s’mores, as a reader, we start to question Mark’s sanity.

By the time I’m finished reading the book, I’m left with a feeling of satisfaction. The entire comic is advertisement free. The characters continue to develop and I wonder what will fall from the sky in issue three. This is also the first comicbook I have read that could also be a recipe book for s’mores.

Four out of four S’mores

X #17

Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Eric Nguyen
Color Artist: Michelle Madsen
Reviewer: Ray Willis

X #17 returns with a new jump on point for new readers of this amazing series. After being being by Archon last issue and saved by his ally and betrayer Leigh Ferguson. Leigh Ferguson is journalist, looking for stories and finds one about a whore who is an old friend named, Maureen Hayden. Maureen hit a few snags in her past and has been moonlighting at night. Maureen is then taken by men who wore pig masks while moonlighting and is then found to be skinned alive by “The Pig Man” when she wakes up. Leigh talks to Maureen in the hospital about what happened then Leigh proceeds to go find the man that gets rid of evil, X.

I really enjoyed this issue because it helps new readers get used to the characters and the environment around them. Arcadia is not a nice city to be in and is filled with crime. Duane Swierczynski keeps the story simple that has some really good action, suspense, and gruesomeness. A fight takes place in this issue between X and the pig men that is really amazingly brutal and shows how tough the pig men are and seeing a woman almost completely skinless was gruesome. Eric Nguyen has been a great artist working on this title for so long. He has been really nailing this series with his artwork. Michelle Madsens colors make the pig men really menacing with the dark browns and light browns and really sets the mood down for the entire issue. I really enjoyed this issue and hope more people pick this title up.

5 out 5 X’s

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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