Take It Or Leave It – February 27, 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.

Boy are there a lot of comics this week, a good amount of new number 1’s too, some being reboots and some actually brand new runs! Including Guardians of the Galaxy which regardless of it’s 0.1 numbering is a damn number 1. You’ll notice we changed up the format a bit for Take It Or Leave It, everything is now in alphabetical order by the Publisher first no matter who wrote it, and we even included quick links to jump to the section you want! So lets get this weeks Take It Or Leave It started with some new releases from Boom! Studios.

Alphabetical by Publisher

Boom! Studios | DC Comics | IDW Publishing
Image Comics | Marvel Comics | Zenescope Entertainment

Deathmatch #3

Jenkins – Magno
Boom! Studios
If you like team super hero books like Avengers and Justice League, but you don’t like The Avengers and Justice League, there may be a chance you’ll enjoy Deathmatch. I know that’s probably the worst promotion ever, but it’s true. If you’ve been bored with the current Avengers run and the Justice League just isn’t your thing because you don’t like Superman than Deathmatch gives an interesting look at a superhero team book. This was my first issue, so I don’t really have much to go on, but the book involves a bunch of heroes, and possibly villains having to battle thing out in an arena. It’s not the most original idea, but all the things that go down in the issue lead you to the conclusion(which they actually tell you), that there is something else going on than just making these super powers kill each other. Paul Jenkins is writing and if you’ve read his stuff before you know the guy is pretty good with heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Carlos Magno before this issue, but I think it worked really well for the book. Now I just want to see what’s really going on!

Verdict:Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Freelancer #4

Esquivel – Covey
Boom! Studios
I picked Freelancer because the cover has guns, swords, guns, and girls. I flipped through the pages and was intrigued by the art. It’s got this cartoony feel that’s very different from the cover to the right, but still looks good and works. I read it pretty much entirely because of the art, sure the cover is cool but you have to like what you’re reading to keep going. I didn’t know what to expect being the 4th issue of the series, but I was pleasantly surprised. From the banter back and forth between characters to the random jump to a 1970’s style Blaxploitation film (literally they watched a VHS), this was just a fun book. There’s even a decent recap of what its’ about on the first page after a character asks how the other is doing. I don’t know if this has the long standing appeal that some other books have, but it’s enough to keep me reading. I would even say going back and reading the first 3 issues wouldn’t be a bad idea, if this issue is any indication those first 3 were probably really good too.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Batman Incorporated #8

Morrison – Burnham – Masters
DC Comics
On DC you’ve completely given up trying to be subtle haven’t you? Unless you’ve been under a rock you know what this issue is about. We talked about it earlier this week, twice. So now just in case you have been under a rock, I’m not going to spoil it yet. I’m sure the cover art isn’t helping though. Anyway first let’s talk about the issues beginning, I haven’t been following Batman Inc. I read the first volume pre-New 52, and picked up the first issue of Volume 2 back last summer. Since than I haven’t heard much about the title though. Until this week anyway. So the issue opens up with a big fight going down, looks like Talia finally struck on Gotham, and has Batman held hostage while the rest of the family is trying to defeat her army and save the Dark Knight. We get to see Nightwing, Red Robin, and Robin battling in this issue, and a great call back to the pre-New 52 Batman and Robin title which featured Damian as Robin and Dick as Batman. That’s where I started reading the title so it was cool to see those two at it again and pretty much express there mutual respect for one another. The book takes a turn for the worse though, and this is where I’m going to segue into spoilers so go ahead and skip to the verdict if you don’t want to be spoiled.

*SPOILER ALERT*
So by this point Damian is fighting some kind of super ninja, I felt I was missing a lot having not read the rest of the series, but the outcome is the same no matter what. Damian dies, there’s no other way to say it he loses the fight, but does it heroically and I guess if you’re going to go out that’s how to do it. I did feel it was a little anti-climatic, with all the talk going on and spoilers straight from DC I just expected a little more. I think the big thing with this turn of events is going to be the fallout in coming issues of all the Bat-Family books. The death itself just kind of happened, Damian was alive one second pleading for his Mother to stop this madness, and the next he wasn’t anymore. There was a nice homage to the famous death of Jason Todd with batman knelling cradling Damian’s bloody and beaten body. I’ve to go say, even though I knew this was going to happen, it was still pretty emotional, delayed but emotional nonetheless.
*END SPOILERS*

Ok no more spoiling of things, so at this point you’re probably just wondering how the book was. It was good up till the end, I felt it was just rushed and came up out of no where, which is really impressive considering I knew it was going to happen. If you read any Batman title, this book was worth reading since it should have a big impact on all of them.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: .


Talon #5

Snyder – Tynion IV – March
DC Comics
After being a little disappointed with last months issue, it was nice to see something not so predictable. Granted nothing really happens at all in the issue, Calvin is still recovering from his fight with the Butcher last time and has moved back to Gotham with Casey and her daughter Sarah. I like that we’re actually getting a supporting cast for Calvin outside of Sebastian, and likewise it’s fun seeing Sebastian and Calvin enjoying this ‘family’ like environment they’ve got going on at the moment. Even the pages with the Butcher were better than last issue, he’s just a brutal killer which is really different from what the court has shown us so far. Oh, there’s also a nice cameo by some of Gotham’s other protectors. I’ve been waiting for someone in the Bat-Family to get wind of what’s happening with Calvin taking on the court hopefully the trail keeps growing and leading those characters to some kind of confrontation with Calvin.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Doctor Who #6

Diggle – Adams
IDW Publishing
I’m a big Doctor Who fan, and since it’s been a while since a new episode airs I figured I would check out a comic. I’ve gotta say it feels like an episode of the show, the dialogue and characterization just fit. It was pretty cool to see a minor companion make an appearance with a Doctor she’s never seen before. My problem with the issue is everything seems to go wrong and get solved just to quickly. There wasn’t really any sense of dread or peril, and that’s part of what makes an adventure in the Tardis fun! You could do a lot worse getting a Doctor Who fix, but frankly I’m not won over by this. It’s only 30 days till new episodes anyway!

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret History of the Foot Clan #3

Burnham – Santolouco
IDW Publishing
So far, with all the TMNT Micro Series I’ve managed to steer clear. I just didn’t want to overdo it and get bored of the Turtles. I finally cracked though and decided to give Secret History of the Foot Clan a shot, and now I’m mad at myself for waiting so long. I just thought these side stories would be filler and not really add anything. In this one issue, which isn’t even the first, I’ve seen the error of my ways. If you’re interested in what’s the Shredders deal, and how he’s still, well you know alive, than this is the perfect book for you. We’re treated to a current adventure with our heroes outside of the current one involving Dimension X, and cut throughout the book are flashes to Shredders past life. It’s a great look at the character for fans who haven’t really had much information of the notorious villain in the series so far. To add to it, I thought the art was actually a lot better than the normal ongoing. And that’s great since the ongoing is one pretty book already.

Verdict:Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Artifacts #25

Marz – Sejic
Image Comics
This whole Top Cow story line running through Artifacts, Witchblade, and The Darkness is really cool. I’m still not totally sure about everything going on as I’ve just jumped on these books, but I like where it’s going. The cover is a little misleading as Sara and her Witchblade powers don’t make an appearance here, but we get plenty of other Artifact holders. The fight scene was fun, and the realization that the good guys don’t stand a chance felt right. It’s got that action movie vibe going on and that’s great for readers, it’s not like reading it’s like watching a movie.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Five Weapons #1

Robinson
Image Comics
There was a lot of hype for this series a few months back. Image spent a week or so releasing teaser for the various weapons finally ended with a full press release and reveal about the series. That was back in November, now here we are, the final week of February and the book is finally here. Since reading that initial press release I’ve been pretty interested in this book just waiting for it to come out. After reading it, I’m actually looking forward to see what comes next. The basic premise is about a school where the kids of assassins and other killing types go to learn. But they don’t just learn the usual school stuff, they learn how to fight. Each student picks a weapon from the five types offered and that’s they’re glass from then on. After reading this first issue it really has a feel like some Anime, notably Real Bout High School and Tenjho Tenge only the anime were well anime so there were a lot more girls with short skirts and large breasts. Anyway, while the series basic premise isn’t super original the way it’s being handled is pretty interesting. The main character Tyler has this great self confidence and ability to get through the problems the arise. And the twist at the end was unexpected and makes you want to read more, as any ending should.

Verdict:Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Uncanny Skullkickers #1

Zub – Huang – Coats
Image Comics
I had no idea this was a book before this week. I found out when I read the recap and introduction that this is actually issue 18 or 19 and the creators decided to poke fun at the Big Two by renumbering, adding an adjective, and doing a DC 0 issue inspired cover. Now I’m all for poking fun and stuff, but that’s not enough to make a book good, it’s enough to make me read it, but not keep coming back. Luckily this book has a lot more to it. It’s a really funny book with some nice little bits of action thrown in. And the dwarf story at the bottom of every page was the greatest thing I’ve read this week. Uncanny Skullkickers #1 is a great place to pick up this story, and gives you all the back story you need, not that you need much it’s such a fun ride you won’t care what you missed. Well actually you might care a little bit, but only because you want more.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Avenging Spider-Man #17

Yost – Medina – Vlasco – Curiel
Marvel Comics
I mentioned a few issues ago, I have kind of a love/hate thing with Avenging Spider-Man. I love when it started with Zeb Wells and Joe Mad, but they left. I kept going but it just wasn’t the same so I dropped it. Then Superior happened and Yost and Medina jumped on board and I gave it another chance. The last few issues have been fun, the .1 was a great look into Doc Ock’s new status as Spider-Man, and the follow issue with the X-Men felt right. Thankfully we’re still being treated to a great look at how our ‘new’ hero is dealing with his usually group of friends and allies. Issue 17 has him babysitting the Future Foundation kids while the FF(not the Fantastic Four), are off saving something. It’s great to see Otto not really know how to deal with kids, especially Bentley 23 who like himself is very much an evil genius. It got a little weird with the time police showing up and all, but the way Otto handled it was priceless and definitely not a Peter Park play. I think one of the best things is that we’re not constantly reminded that Pete is still floating around his old body making witty remarks, we get to rely completely on Otto. With at least knowing Pete is probably there, but not seeing him, it lives us guessing with it was Pete pushing Otto to do the right thing or if the former villain is finally catching on. The final reveal was nice too, I’m looking forward to see what comes out of that.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Gambit #9

Asmus – Mann – Mann – Martinez – Rosenberg
Marvel Comics
If you grew up in the ’90s watching X-Men The Animated Series and thought Gambit was awesome, then this issue will be a rush of nostalgia. Unfortunately it still falls short. There’s plenty of humor in the book as Gambit ‘infiltrates’ a super villain night club dressed in all his ’90s best. Even the villain was straight out of that Era with Tombstone(first appearance in ’88). The downfall of this issue was they tried to do to much, while nothing really happened. Sure Gambit had some nice interactions with people, sure there was a bit of action, but it all just felt like separate things rather than pieces of the same puzzle. I’ve had the same general complaint about Gambit since it started, it’s a good character but just not being done correctly. It’s a real shame too, Marvel has a great streak going with solo books like Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, and Morbius the Living Vampire, shame Gambit hasn’t caught on yet.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1

Bendis – Mcniven – Dell – Ponsor
Marvel Comics
This was one of the highlights of this week. Going in I knew very little about Guardians of the Galaxy, in fact I only knew what was explained in the episode they appeared in of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. I figured Nova was pretty good though, and Bendis is writing this so why the hell not give it a shot. It’s one of those issues that’s just a great origin story for a character that isn’t all over the place. We don’t need to see how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, or how the Fantastic Four go their powers. But these lesser known characters are great to see new twists or just updates put to them. So this issue deals with the origins of Star Lord, who I believe is the leader of The Guardians of the Galaxy. We find out who his father is, and how this human guy ended up on a team of alien heroes. Biggest complaint is this book is being called 0.1. I’ve gotten past my dislike for the Marvel Point One issues, regardless of what I think they keep coming. They’re suppose to be this great jumping on points for new readers, but to make the first issue of a series a point one is stupid, not only that but it’s a 0 issue which is generally connected with origins or stories taking place prior to the official present timeline. It’s basically saying this origin book that sets up a new series that starts next month is a great jumping on place like no s&%@, of course it is. Don’t let that influence your decision to pick this book up, it’s a great read, sets the stage for the series to follow and will give us all a bit more familiarity with the characters before the movie hits next year.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Hawkeye #8

Fraction – Aja – Wu – Hollingsworth
Marvel Comics
Another stellar issues of Hawkguy as the red-headed stranger from issue 3 returns and needs Clint’s help to steal a safe. And bro, this is exactly why Hawkguy is at the top of my reading list bro. The art had a very retro feel to it, even the cloths the characters wore at the beginning just felt straight out of the ’60s, and to go along a bunch of old school looking comic covers broke up the pages of the book, and made you wonder what the hell they were for the whole time. It seems like issue 8 is just the start to the first real ‘story’ of this series, and the first real heroy problems Clint will have to deal with but not of an Avengers scale. We’ll just have to wait and see what craziness Fraction has in store for everyone’s favorite Archer. Oh and for all you Kate Bishop fans, even though I didn’t mention her, she is in it a bit and has a funny scene. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it if you’re not reading Hawkguy then get to it you’re missing out on easily one of the best books to hit the shelves in years!

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Punisher War Zone #5

Rucka – Di Giandomenico – Hollingsworth
Marvel Comics
Punisher War Zone comes to a close, after 5 issues Frank Castle has a full on confrontation with the Avengers. And well it was alright. This was easily the best of the 5 issue series, but still pretty low when compared to other books. The Greg Ruka run of Punisher got a ton of praise, and it’s a shame that this finale to that story didn’t live up to that. On the plus side there was some humor with Iron Man being his usually cocky self and Punisher not really having any of it. I did like the outcome of the book, but it leaves me a little confused as to how he’s with the Thunderbolts right now. I guess maybe they explain it in that book, but I’m at a loss. It’s also left open for some more story telling from the Punishers partner in crime Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alves. Can’t say I’m interested enough to want to see that, but I’m sure there are some fans with hopes of it happening.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Ultimate Comics X-Men #23

Wood – Barberi – Ho – Aburtov
Marvel Comics
This was probably one of the better issues of Ultimate X-Men in the last couple of months. Sure the story of Ultimate Utopia has been interesting, but this look back and how Storm ended up with Kitty’s group is even more interesting. Last we saw Storm her and Colossus were prisoners at one of the camps, and Colossus was being tortured to the point he crushed a mans head between his hands. And that was it, it’s been months since that brutal scene and finally we find out what happened next. I liked Colossus back in Ultimate X-Men, he was a lot different form his 616 counter-part and that was nice since that’s what the Ultimate Universe was all about. Back on topic though, if you’ve been following Ultimate Comics X-Men since it relaunched than you’re going to be pleased with this issue, it sheds light on some early plots and brings us through Storms journey almost all the way to present.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Uncanny Avengers #4

Remender – Cassaday – Martin
Marvel Comics
There were a lot of high hopes for Uncanny Avengers, and not just from me, check the internet everyone had them. For good reason to, there’s a great team behind it, and the cast had the right mix of characters. The first issue setup for what could have been an amazing opening arc, but it slowly went downhill from there. And unfortunatley issue 4 the downward slide didn’t give up. Scarlet Witch Vs. Thor was kind of interesting, but felt a little to easy also. And the Red Skull was just annoying by the end of everything, just when you thought this would be done and over it’s not. And on top of that the final interactions of heroes was a little forced, as much as I like Rogue she’s just a big jerk in this book. There’s still hope though, the final pages are definitely teaseing something crazy around the corner, and while I didn’t read Remenders run on Uncanny X-Force, I know crazy is what he does best.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Uncanny X-Men #2

Bendis – Bachalo – Townsend
Marvel Comics
Two issue in and I’m still hesitant to fully embrace Uncanny X-Men. I like it, I like it a lot and that scares me a little. Cyclops is not a mutant I’m a fan of, and a book that’s primarily about him is not what I’d usually want to read. Bendis has been doing such a great job with the X-Books though that I can’t help but want to pick up each issue and see what’s going on. It helps that he’s not focusing solely on Scott either, this issue has a lot of Emma early on and plenty of the new students as it progresses. I’m actually really liking the new relationship between Scott and Emma too, I always found there actually romantic relationship a bit strange this kind of friends with a history seems to work more. Plus with Emma not being in control of her powers she’s not nearly the confident White Queen we once knew. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Cyclops team, and how their first encounter with teams like The Avengers, and Wolverines school will play out in coming issues.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Young Avengers #2

Gillen – McKelvie – Norton – Wilson
Marvel Comics
The first issue of Young Avengers was great, it was a good first issue, introducing you to the main characters and all. Issue two feel a little flat for me though, it was still good but strange. I guess it wont really make sense until this opening arc finishes up, it could just be a case of not all the information makes it not as enjoyable. Regardless of that it was still a nice issue with appearances by some of the Avengers and all. I loved when Wiccan and Hulkling go the Avengers Mansion and comment how cool it is they can do that, even though things aren’t exactly going well at the moment. Loki was probably the highlight of this issue, and the dinner scene, much like last month was great. I’m looking forward to more of the Asgardian. I’ll say this though, while not as good as the first issue, this was still a fun read and it’s only the middle piece of a bigger story so it works.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Jungle Book Last of the Species #1

Creators
Publisher
I missed out on most of the first Jungle Book series, only catching the last issue. I went into Last of the Speicies hoping I’d be able to follow along and not be to confused. Luckily that seems to be holding mostly true. I feel like I don’t quite know all the characters as well as I should, but it’s not enough to make the book bad. There are certainly several mentions to things that happened in the first series, but a lot of them are so minor that they aren’t going to impact the enjoyment of the book. Generally this plays out like a first issue, we get out (re)introduction to the characters and where they stand, and our first signs of the big conflict of the book. Granted the big conflict comes at the end and leads to a cliffhanger. That’ll be way funnier after you’ve read this. I like the direction it’s going in so far, but as is common place in comics, the first issue of a mini-series is great and the rest just go downhill. With the high praise that the first Jungle Book received I’ve got high hopes this one stays up.

Verdict:Take It

Score:8/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Madness of Wonderland #1

Miller – Mercada – Buenaventura
Zenescope Entertainment
If you’ve seen me talk about the Wonderland ongoing, you know I like it, but that it can be pretty confusing. I bring that up because while this book is a sequel to Call of Wonderland, it’s most likely going to be tied to Wonderland at some point. Enough about that though, lets talk about Madness of Wonderland. So we’re following Detective Legrasse from Call of Wonderland. She’s still trying to figure out the case involving Salome and Julie (who are now the Queen of Hearts), and still solve some other murders. Like it’s predecessor this story looks like it’ll keep featuring those interesting bits from the past with Lovecraft. That was one of my favorite elements from the first series, so I’m glad to see it back. On top of all that as you’ve probably guessed by the name, it looks like the Mad Hatter is back, and has probably killed at least one nice coffee shop girl so far. The Wonderland books are generally a lot of fun, even if they get a little confusing and it’s better to get in on the ground floor and go for the full ride to the top.

Verdict: Take It

Score:7/10

Reviewed By: Chris C.


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

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