Dan’s Comic Reviews: Week of Jan 28th 2015

Howdy, readers! We’ve got quite the spread for you this week. 7 books, 3 publishers, 2 girls, and 1 cu… oops. Anyway, enjoy this grab bag of books off the beaten path. It’s Dan’s Review Free-For-All (the name is a work in progress):

The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #4Damnation04-Cov-A-Chee

Writers: Christina Blanch & Chris Carr

Artist & Cover: Chee

Considering last issue ended with an erupting prison riot, I was expecting some crazy action this time around. That unfortunately was not the case. Our leads are quickly whisked away and the riot mostly takes place off panel. I even found some of the dialogue bland which was disappointing since #3 was so lively. However, the stark art still stands out, making this desperate “Breaking Bad”-ish tale of a penitentiary teacher willing to do anything to save his son so, so dark. I hope the next issue (apparently the last in this arc) will tie things up well.

Review 4 (out of 7)

King: The PhanKingPhantom01-Cov-A-CookeColtom #1

Writer: Brian Clevinger

Artist: Brent Schoonover

Celebrating the centennial of Kings Features Syndicate, Dynamite is launching a number of limited series with some old school Kings favorites. That said, while the detailed recap gets us up to speed I felt there was way too much going on in this intro issue. We have a new Phantom, snooping reporters, and mercenaries all in a post-invasion Earth. I’ll be back for the next issue but I felt this one was much too cluttered.

Review 4 (out of 7)

King: Flash Gordon #1KingFlash01-Cov-A-CookeCol

Writers: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker

Artist: Lee Ferguson

This King outing eschews the exposition for star-faring fun. Not super familiar with Flash, I can definitely see his role as forefather to the intergalactic bad asses who would follow in his foot steps. Fun and funny, this issue even manages to pack in some sexy space-time shenanigans. The point you should get is I read this entire issue with a smile on my face. Furthermore, the art is clean and even goes for a pulp aesthetic which I really liked. Ming beware – Flash Gordon is back! *cue Queen theme song*

Review 5 (out of 7)

bitchplanet_2_cvrBitch Planet #2

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art/Covers: Valentine de Landro

After the explosive inaugural issue, numero dos does some world building, revealing more about life on Earth and the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost (aka “Bitch Planet”). Apparently the powers that be are looking to recruit former athlete Kamou Kogo (who will hopefully be around longer than our last lead) for some futuristic sports competition. “Caged Heat” + “Roller Ball” + space? I’m down. This book was a bit slower paced but the prison riot was the funniest background gag I’ve seen so far this year. All that, a feminist essay, and ads for merch crammed in to give you more bang for your buck.

Review 5 (out of 7)

The Dying & the Dead #1Dyingandthedead_01

Writer: Jonathon Hickman

Artist: Ryan Bodenheim

Colors: Michael Garland

My god, this book was pretty to look at. However, beyond the straight forward wedding massacre that opens the book, I have to confess I have no idea what’s going on. 60 odd pages is a long time to be lost so hopefully all the ominous warnings and cryptic messages in this book lead somewhere. Period-piece, geriatric adventure story? You have my attention for now.

Review 5 (out of 7)

4332936-xo_032_covera_allenX-O Manowar #32

Writer: Robert Venditti

Penciler: Diego Bernard

Colorist: Wil Quintana

After last issue’s set up I was hoping for some pay-off and boy was it delivered. #32 is a full on rumble and where we learn setting off an explosive inside Aric’s ear canal really pisses him off (who knew?). There’s some energetic panels and also some creative caveman/barbarian insults. Really – who knew Zahn could keep coming up with new ways to make fun of our hero? I was actually impressed. There’s even a full-on turn-the-book-side-ways-so-you-can-see-how-bad-ass-this-is moment. All this and some set up for the next chapter. As someone brand new to the book I was glad to see some fireworks.

Review 6 (out of 7)

Unity #14Unity_014_CoverA_Larosa

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist: Cafu

Colorist: Brian Reber

Much like X-O Manowar, this entry is also a full issue battle. However, it has the added feature of a news interview playing underneath the action for the duration of the fight. Yep – talking heads debate the ethics of the actions currently playing out, sharing page space with a super-powered dust-up. Knowing Matt Kindt from what little I could read of “MIND MGMT” before my head exploded, I should’ve known better than to expect a run-of-the-mill throw-down. An inventive spin with some major consequences for the team – fans won’t want to miss this one.

Review 6 (out of 7)

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Dan Crotty

Dan Crotty is a Los Angeles immigrant who loves great stories, IPA, and Hot Cheetos. IG: dannylarusso

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