Take It Or Leave It – February 20, 2013



Welcome to Take It Or Leave It, where each week we pick out some of that week’s newest comics and give you our opinion on whether it was worth the price and you should take it, or if it was better left sitting on the shelf.

It’s that time again, new comics came out on Wednesday and One-Quest is here to help you decide which ones are worth your time and hard earn cash. There were some new series starting this week like Nova and a new G.I. Joe along with the continuing adventures of some of the best heroes out there like Superior Spider-Man, Nightwing, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to name a few.

Alphabetical by Publisher

Chris

I’m pretty conflicted this week, on one hand there were some books I really loved and I have been into them for a while. But there were also books that I loved that I really don’t want to! I know that probably makes little sense at this point, but you’ll see soon enough.


Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Dark Watch #1
Creators: Barker – Seifert – Garcia
Boom! Studios
This is a first, I’ve never read any of the Hellraiser books before, and to be honest I haven’t seen any of the films since I was a kid. I was kind of confused for a little while, but this opening issue was a nice setup if you only have a vague knowledge of the Hellraiser universe. It seems like a lot of the characters are from previous incarnations of the series, so there’s a lot of assumption as you read. Characters seem to know each other and have a history that isn’t fully explained. Hopefully the characters that are introduced are fairly stable, several things are introduced fairly quickly right up to the final page. It’s really enough to make a new reader weary of continuing. The funny thing is a lack of understanding actually works in the books favor, as long as you stay with it with an open mind. The mystery of who these people are and how they’re connected definitely keeps the reader invested, it may not be the best book on the stands, but I’m at least interested to see what happens next.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Fanboys Vs. Zombies #11
Creators: Humphries – Houghton – Gaylord
Boom! Studios
This is a book that I’m sure plenty of people have scoffed at. Written it off as just some silly book full of geeky pop culture references and zombie fighting. A bunch of nerds that wouldn’t have lasted 2 minutes in The Walking Dead taking on hordes of the undead. Well you were totally right, but so incredibly wrong. Issue 11 of Fanboys Vs. Zombies is the first I’ve read and it started out with a Men In Black references and that’s where it hooked me. This isn’t a book for everyone, you know if you hate jokes, action, zombies, all the fun stuff. Sure there is a ton of zombie related material out there, but much like Zombieland this book seems to poke fun at it more than most of that other stuff. It’s not ground breaking, and you’re certainly going to see certain things coming, but it is a lot of fun. If you want a lighter book, but don’t want to forgo the action from the superhero worlds this may be just the right book for you. I’ll be going back and reading the first 10 issues soon, just to see where this book started, but even starting at issue 11 I was able to get mostly caught up by the end of the issue and it’s shocking final page!

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


Green Lantern #17
Creators: Johns – Mahnke – Jurgens – Jimenez – Nguyen – Irwin
DC Comics
I’m lost, Green Lantern 17 proves exactly what’s wrong with crossovers. Where Death of the Family crossed over into the various Bat-Family books you could get the whole story while just reading Batman. This Rise of the Third Army / Wraith of the First Lantern thing is impossible to follow without reading all of the lantern books. Multiple times in this issue there were editor notes telling you to check a previous issues of another series for the full story and it ended with a “To Be Continued. . .” in a DIFFERENT SERIES! If you don’t read all of the lantern books this is terrible, it’s not that I’m against them, but like many others I just can’t afford to read that many books. Issue 17 of Green Lantern is 100% not new reader friendly, hell it’s not old reader friendly unless you’ve read every other Lantern book in the last few months. The issues picks up after the events of Green Lantern Corps Annual (I think), and drops a reader right into it not knowing how the characters got there. This would probably be a decent issue if I knew what was going on, but having to make assumptions and guesses just isn’t worth it.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 4/10


Nightwing #17
Creators: Higgins – Ryp – Bonet
DC Comics
Boy Dick is not handling the fallout from Death of the Family to well, regardless of how often he tells people he’s fine. I feel like Dick got wrecked the most during the Jokers plan. Sure Barbara had to confront her fears of the past, and Damien had to confront his fears of losing his father. I don’t really know what Tim or Jason dealt with but I’m sure it wasn’t a good time. Dick though lost a lot, people he promised to keep safe got killed, and the thing he was trying to build, the life he was trying to have just got ripped out from under him. As he says several times in issue 17, he’s suppose to be the rock of the group, if he’s hurting and having doubts what’s that say about everyone else’s situation. It really shows his character more so than we’ve seen in a while. In the end Robin came to the rescue, being wise beyond his years and giving his former partner a lot to think about. I don’t know why this issue was reviewed poorly on a few other sites, it was a solid outing for Nightwing and this post Death of the Family world that the Bat-Family now lives in. My biggest problem with this was actually the artist change, I’ve enjoyed Eddy Barrows on this book since the beginning, and actually considered getting Teen Titans just because he moved over to it. Now Ryp wasn’t bad, but the characters just looked weird, especially Damien he looked to tall and older. Don’t let that sway you though, Nightwing 17 was a good read and it’s definitely the first step to Dick taking his life in a different direction.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


G.I. Joe #1
Creators: Van Lente – Kurth
IDW Publishing
Growing up in the late ’80s and early ’90s who didn’t love G.I. Joe. Sure it was just another one of those Hasbro franchises they made a cartoon out of to push toys. But that didn’t matter because it was fun, and the toys were fun. So 20 some odd years later I’m reading my first Joe comic, and while I’m a little confused since it’s kind of a continuation of a previous series, but it was good. There was plenty of setup and character introductions for newcomers, and a good amount of humor. Action was a little lacking, but not missing altogether, it is a first issue after all. So basically if like me, you thought Rise of Cobra was actually a pretty entertaining movie, and you’re looking forward to Retaliation, you’ll probably enjoy this book. It’s as new reader friendly as you’ll get with a sequel, and I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of nostalgia in coming issues.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #19
Creators: Eastman – Waltz – Bates – Pattison
IDW Publishing
Remember how I said something about Nostalgia like 2 seconds ago? Yeah you do, well here’s the biggest dose of nostalgia you’re going to get. TMNT has been a great run since it started, and issue 19 keeps it going. The series is fresh and fun with tons of throwbacks to the heyday of the ’80s and ’90s Turtlemania. If you’re one of the old school fans who got angry at the Michael Bay fiasco last year, you’re probably stewing even more with the announcement of Megan Fox as April. Well fear not, IDW’s ongoing will renew your faith and fill your need for heroes in the half shell. Hopefully that wasn’t to ridiculous to turn you off to this series. With turtles in Dimension X and all the crazy going on it’s as compelling a read as anything else. You want to turn the page and see what happens next, even when there’s no real action going on. Everything just feels like it’s building to a huge showdown with Turtles, the Foot, and Krangs army and if the pace and caliber keeps up it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


Saga #10
Creators: Vaughan – Staples
Image Comics
I really hate Saga, every month it comes out and I just get angry at it, because it’s just so good. I know, I know, that really doesn’t make sense, but it’s true. Every month this book just keeps getting better, and makes everything else feel weaker. There hasn’t been a bad issue yet, and for a series coming up on it’s first years worth of issues that’s pretty impressive. This weird combination of spacey Sci-Fi and family drama is so compelling and doesn’t make any sense. Everything that’s good is somehow part of this series. With issue 10, the family is back together and some of their not-fans are hot on their tails. We even get some more history between Alana and Marko, and just how they ended up on the run from two different armies. Oh and there’s a giant planet baby monster thing lets not forget that part.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10


Avengers #6
Creators: Hickman – Kubert – Martin
Marvel Comics
It would be easy to just copy past what I said about issue 5 here and change a few names. This book just doesn’t feel like an Avengers book, it’s more like one of those old anthology series where every book featured a different hero. We just keep getting “Oh yea this guy you’ve never heard of before, yea he’s cool and here’s why he’s important to you” and well no, just no. I want to see Hulk smash, and Captain America punch people in the face. Yes I’m aware if I want that I could read Hulk or Cap’s solo titles. But why can’t I see them do that together? I’ve said it before, Avengers is Earths Mightiest Heroes, and while these new recruits are powerful (mostly) they’re not our Mightiest Heroes. Okay now that I’ve complained, lets look at the positives, the history for this new Captain Universe seems interesting. It’s not something I want to here about for an entire issues, but it was emotional and that’s always a positive. The Spider-Man pages were actually pretty good, and once again make you wonder, why the hell aren’t people realizing something’s wrong. Peter Parker LIVED with Tony stark, they were like BFF’s, I get he’s busy but how does he not see a problem with Pete’s behavior? Oh well, I feel like this was a nice setup for whatever that Fired! arc coming up is. Once again though, Avengers falls short, it seems like a lot of other sites are praising this book. It’s got to be a case of hero worship though. They see a guy who had a very acclaimed run on Fantastic Four, and a book that every comic fan should love and feel like it’s good no matter what. Shame that’s not the case.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10


Captain Marvel #10
Creators: Deconnick – Andrade – Bellaire
Marvel Comics
Captain Marvel 10 is one of those character driven stories that just really work sometimes. Carol wasn’t time traveling or battling underwater monsters. She was living in denial! After last issues hectic schedule and the final reveal by her doctor Captain Marvel isn’t really doing so well. And she just wont admit to it at all. Her friends are all trying to help but as anyone would do in this situation she’s pushing them away. Carol is a strong character, fierce and stubborn so being told she can’t do something is like saying “I dare you to do this” and that’s what makes this story work. There was some great scenes with supporting characters, and a really interesting interaction with a neighbor. Of course we finish up the issue with action and the return of a villain that I’ve never seen before, but apparently has history with Carol. Marvel is doing great with giving their generally team oriented heroes this solo books. Captain Marvel, along with a few other solo books, is one of the best books Marvel is putting out right now and it just goes to prove we don’t need huge earth shattering events in every book to make a good super hero comic.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


Indestructible Hulk #4
Creators: Waid – Yu – Alanguilan – Gho
Marvel Comics
I can’t really explain why I like this book so much, nothing has really happened so far, but I keep coming back every month ready for more. Hulk was always one of those characters I steered away from, it’s not that I hated him, I just wasn’t interested. Then Mark Waid came along and screwed that all up! I’m enjoying this weird dynamic he’s created with Banner and the Hulk. They both get to do what they want without being a problem for the other. I do hope we get a few issues soon that are primarily Banner and we get to see exactly how he’s coping with his other half. Sure it’s cool to see Hulk wreck bad guys, but how’s Banner dealing with all this. His home is. . . Well barely a home. And we’ve yet to learn who is ‘partner’ is that’s got his back should things take a turn for the worse. This book is still early enough that’s it’s pretty easy to jump on and not be confused, if you wait any longer it’s definitely going to get tougher. The man cast seems to be decided, and the first real multi-issue story is just getting started.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Morbius The Living Vampire #2
Creators: Keatinge – Elson – Fabela
Marvel Comics
I just don’t expect Morbius to be a good read, but it is! Issue 2 continues where the first left off. We get a lot more interaction with Michael and other people which is nice, and they’re not all assholes either. This his really an interesting concept. So far Michael isn’t a hero, but he’s not an anti-hero either. He’s not out there looking for justice, or trying to save the world. He just wants to be normal again. I’m sure as the series goes on he’s going to become more of that protector type of guy, looking out for the people around him. But for the time being his skewed perspective a actually kind of fresh.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10


Nova #1
Creators: Loeb – McGuinness – Vines – Garcia
Marvel Comics
Nova is a pretty cool character, well the Nova I knew in other stuff, this one is totally new. With Nova #1 we’re giving an origin for this new recruit. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but the framing is interesting for Nova fans. And there inclusion of Rocket Raccoon makes everything okay. The biggest hurdle this series is going to have is the unpredictable Jeph Loeb. Yes he’s a great writer, and has done some seriously influential stories but he’s pretty sporadic and suffers from really bad delays. Remember Ultimate X? If Marvel can keep a decent release schedule for this book, and we get through this origin story quick enough we’re looking a series that could be great. We got to see this Nova in AvX, and he was fun there now we get to see where he came from. And hopefully how he came to be involved in the Phoenix story, well without treading over old ground anyway. I’ll definitely be giving Nova a chance and see where Loeb and McGuinness take the character.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10


Savage Wolverine #2
Creators: Cho – Keith
Marvel Comics
This is a simple one, if you’re not a Frank Cho fan then there’s no reason to read this book. It’s really just another book for Wolverine to stab things, but without the depth and story you can get elsewhere. Sure it looks pretty, but there’s plenty of other lighter reads with just as impressive artwork. I actually stopped reading this issue, read something else, then went back to it. That’s how uninteresting it was, Wolverine is a fun character, but I think he’s got himself in enough titles right now.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 4/10


Superior Spider-Man #4
Creators: Slott – Camuncoli – Delgado
Marvel Comics
Man, Otto is a jerk and as much as he should be hated, I just can’t bring myself to it. It seems to be a running theme this week that my emotions are all kinds of conflicted over comics. So Superior Spider-Man keeps walking this weird line between being awesome and being the worst thing ever. The story is cool, and I love it, but I hate everything about it at the same time. I think that’s how it should be though, no matter how much he’s trying Otto is still a bad guy, he’s been a bad guy for as long as Spidey has been a hero. Issue 4 just keeps driving that home, and it’s getting series with the return of Massacre. This character creates a huge conflict to the oath Peter made against Otto wanting to stop a killer once and for all. If you happened to read the solicitations for the coming issues of Superior Spider-Man you know there is going to be some more status quo changes coming, whether it’s good or bad is yet to be seen. But this strong start that Otto is having, for better or worse, is going to have a huge impact on Spidey for a long time.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


Ultimate Comics Ultimates #21
Creators: Humphries – Eaton – Magyar – Hennessy – Milla
Marvel Comics
I’ve been pretty down on the Ultimate books for a while now, and while I wasn’t excited for this book by the time I sat down and read it I started to remember why I loved this world to begin with. Ultimate 21 isn’t the best of the series, and it still suffers from confusion and rushed conclusions but the hints that have been thrown around and the allusions to more 616 stories getting their ultimate twist makes me excited for the future of this line. If you’ve been bored with the recent Ultimates stuff, or haven’t read it in a while you’re in for a treat with this issue. Now lets see how they carry it out, and whether it can really deliver what this universe really needs.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10


Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Wonderland #8
Creators: Gregory – Goh – Grostieta
Zenescope Entertainment
Wonderland is an interesting story, there’s so much jumping around and confusion that it makes you want to keep reading just to see what’s going on, and I like it. Issue 8 has nothing really happening at first in the ‘real world’ Violet and Harmony hit up a club and have some fun. Obviously Cali isn’t going to be happy about this, but that’s the whole point of having a teenager. Even if you are on the run from supernatural forces bent on making your lives a living hell. On the other side of the coin though is the Red Queen confronting the Queen of Spades in a fight for whether she gets to leave or has to stick around. I know that’s weird but it worked and adds that little bit of action the story needs. I wouldn’t say this was a great issue, and certainly not a good place to jump on. If you’ve been following for a while though it’s looking to be a great setup for the next issue just judging by the last few pages.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10



talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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