Review by Bobby D.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Hack/Slash and my facts about the series may be a little rusty but one thing is certain; this is one blood-filled comic. If you don’t know, Cassandra Hack is a pretty little monster killer with a twisted past and a vengeance to exact. She has a trusty monster sidekick, Vlad, to help her along the way but this arc of the series is more about Vlad than Cassie Hack. Vlad and his adorable dumbfounded nature have been a great addition to the team but now he isn’t feeling so hot. He hasn’t been acting himself and Cassie sets out to help. She attempts to track down Vlad’s family – only to find out they are a band of murderous serial killers that must be stopped. It is her responsibility to rid the world of these creatures but is that what’s best for Vlad?
Issue 16, while mostly being nonstop violence and girls in tiny outfits, also had a little bit of an emotional side to it. Family runs deep and you can’t always run from your past. Justin Jordan is able to bring in some much needed character development for Vlad that’s never been seen before. You may already know this but I love his writing on Strange Talent of Luther Strode. It’s one of the best titles Image Comics has to offer. Being able to see his writing style on another title, albeit another gory one, is very refreshing and makes you want more. For being a different style of Hack/Slash comic, I will give issue #16 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Review by Bobby D.
I have a serious respect for Jonathan Hickman. He writes stories in a completely different way to me. Scene transitions are movie-like, character interactions are thrilling and impact the story in a sense that every conversation means something; Even the small ones. Above all that, he wrote Red Wing – a fantastic comic regarding time travel. It’s a genre in writing that doesn’t get enough respect, in my opinion. How well can Hickman write a spy comic, though?
Secret has a lot of different plot points but what I’ve gathered so far is that people keep lots of secrets, naturally. I know the book is about the espionage and secret relations between government and private security firms. I just have had a hard time piecing together why all this is important. You can tell Hickman is laying down a groundwork for something that’s bound to be awesome but I wish the clues were more clear. We are getting random puzzle pieces to an elaborate scheme 20 years in the making so I understand the slow start. Ryan Bodenheim was awesome on the art for this issue. I loved his gritty Frank Quitely-esque style on Halcyon and I was very happy to see him drawing this Hickman title. The story is good even though I wish it was happening faster. The character interactions are easily followed through Bodenheim artwork. I give Secret #2 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Review by Hayley
I am in desperate need of some answers. I would love to know why I haven’t picked up this comic before today. What a fun, fast-paced book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a teenage boy learning the ropes of being a superhero. This issues revolves around a seemingly crazy old man who can summon water. Mudman learns from his new mentor that he is the guy to stop this man, he just needs to learn how to hone his powers. Clearly, his path to awesomeness is a long one.
Now, the name “Mudman” suggests a certain lame-guy quality. Would you really want to be rescued by a guy made of mud? Yet the comic doesn’t fail to acknowledge that, and it is these moments of pure awkwardness that really make the comic shine. As Nerds, we have all felt some sort of disconnect from society at one point or another in our lifetime, so this comic stands as a beautiful, albeit awkward, portrayal of that sense of reality that we can all relate to. Mudman definitely has the potential to stand as the voice of a new generation, so all I ask of you at home is to give him a chance. This guy gets 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Review by Hayley
It’s no secret that I have trouble getting through a Vampirella comic. Nevertheless, I tried my hardest to get through this book with an unbiased opinion. This book definitely starts off on an interesting note by introducing Sherlock Holmes and John Watson right off the bat. I found myself questioning the necessity of these character in relation to the story, especially considering the fact that they appear only at the beginning and are never mentioned again.
The story then takes on a bizarre twist and includes Mayans and time travel (and of course the 2012 prophecy that everyone is sick of by now). One bright note to the Mayan storyline, however, is that we get Red Sonja, and she definitely makes things interesting. Especially when you factor in her action-packed interaction with Vampirella. I feel that this story had some potential if it hadn’t relied on so many gimmicks, such as using far too many iconic characters and basing the whole idea around a prophecy no one really cares about anymore. The art and girl-power face-off definitely still make this book worth a read. I give it 3 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #11
Review by Brandon
11 issues in and I’m still way more interested in the character of Miles Morales than I ever thought I’d be. We join Miles meeting with his uncle Aaron, known as the Prowler, to help him take down the Scorpion. Miles still seems uneasy about all of this, but has been guilt-tripped in to the situation. This is a pretty action packed issue and we get to see this new Spider-Man actually get kicked around a little bit. I’m really enjoying the direction this book is taking.
Making Miles’ uncle a villain has given it a unique angle that makes me want to keep reading. Prowler’s playing on what he assumes is a child’s ignorance to help move him in to a position of power in the city and he’s not having to do much heavy lifting. I get the feeling that Miles is a little too aware of what’s going on, but family ties are clouding his judgment more than it should. There’s a big storm brewing between the two and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. And as an added bonus, it looks like Gwen Stacey and Aunt May are back in New York with one thing on their minds: to meet this new Spider-Man. Can’t wait for the next issue. Easy 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Swamp Thing #10
Review by Brandon
I’m not sure how Scott Snyder continues to put out incredible stories issue after issue, but this fanboy is thankful that he does. Swamp Thing is recovering from his last battle with the rot, headed to the swamp. This issue is voiced mostly by a 3rd person, talking about it’s history with Abigail. We find it to be classic Swamp Thing villain Anton Arcane. With Swamp Thing attacked, and presumed dead in his weak state, it looks like Abigail is left to fend for herself in the next issue against this threat. Although this is somewhat of a short issue, it’s filled with some absolutely stunning artwork by Francesco Francavilla, as well as a preview for Scott Snyder’s newest American Vampire mini-series. This issue is a break from the action, but it’s a must read for Swamp Thing fans. I give it 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Review by Brandon
Extermination isn’t a bad read, but it did fall a little short. The first issue starts out with a post-apocalyptic setting and our two characters Nox and The Red Reaper taking on some alien-like creatures. We then immediately get a flashback and find out that these two used to be archenemies. So it seems that the world they know has ended and they’ve been forced to team up to survive. Cool concept, but where it fell short a bit was the characters.
Red Reaper seemed original enough, but Nox seems to be fresh out of the Batman mold. Same costume setup sans the ears, and even the same morals as “no killing,” even when it looks like there’s almost no human life left to defend. Red Reaper plays on that and pushes Nox to finally kill by the end of the issue, just as more aliens have appeared to finish them off. It’s an okay book and I know it’s still early with a first issue, but I can only give it 3 out of 5 Nerdskulls. Let me know what you thought if you’ve read the book.
Avengers vs. X-Men #5
Review by Cubby
The story in this issue is, simply put, thrilling and engaging. Every page turn blows you away even more than you thought possible. The twist at the end of this issue actually left me speechless because I definitely didn’t see it coming. What this means for the future of the Marvel Universe is yet to be seen, but it raises a lot of good questions as to how relationships will be affected. The only thing in this book that doesn’t do it for me is John Romita, Jr.’s artwork. I think I’m one of the few that doesn’t like it but it just doesn’t click with me. This issue wasn’t completely terrible in terms of art but I can’t wait for this series to be handed off to the next artist. I’m giving this fantastic issue 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1
Review by Cubby
I’m not a big believer that Watchmen is the greatest comic ever written. Yeah, I said it. It doesn’t change the fact that it is a great book, and I know that the world will still consider it the best. Hell, I like the book as it is and firmly believe that the book is better than the movie, which itself is pretty damn good too. For all of its mature material, though, it’s far different from what comic books are to most people. For me, comics are about nostalgia and when they evoke that in not only the way you see it, but with the way the story is told, I’m instantly in love.
Darwyn Cooke, who wrote and drew my favorite comic ever(DC’s The New Frontier), does an amazing job of not only capturing the look and feel of the early Watchmen universe, but he gets a great handle on the characters and presents them with a richness and beauty that wasn’t even evident in the original Watchmen story. This story tells the origin of the original superteam, The Minutemen, through the eyes of Hollis Mason, The Nite Owl, as he goes through the early drafts of his book Under the Hood. This issue was all character development with some great action ingeniously thrown in that just looks so pretty on the page. Overall it’s a great prequel to an already amazing story. Easily I give it 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Thief of Thieves #5
Review by Cubby
Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer are really delivering a well thought out and interesting take on a heist story and I’m loving every second of it. In this week’s issue we find out more about our protagonist past and find out what lengths he’s willing to go to to protect his family. It takes on a whole new feel in this issue and really shakes up the status quo of the book and I have to say I’m excited to see where it goes. One thing that bugged me about this particular issue though was it came off a little rushed. It goes into montage mode, but when a frame of the montage takes a whole page it eats away at a lot of story and after a 10-minute read through I wasn’t left satisfied. Either way it was still exciting so I’m still giving it 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.