Bookwyrm’s 10-Word Comic Reviews: Supersons, Daredevil, The Wild Storm, and More

When reading reviews of any kind, it’s important to know at least a little bit about the reviewer before you start to digest their opinions. Once you understand their preferences — along with their potential biases — you can better understand how those views could relate to your own. Plus, it gives the reviewer a thinly veiled opportunity to write about themselves — which, in all honesty, is what we all want to do anyway.

For starters, I’m a DC guy at heart. My first exposure to the comic world was through Batman — both the 1989 Tim Burton movie and the amazing animated series that soon followed it. I also loved watching the old rotoscoped Fleischer Studio Superman cartoons. However, just because I’m a DC guy doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate Marvel as well. As a matter of fact, I also grew up on the 90’s X-Men cartoon (Imagine my surprise when I started reading the comics and wondered where Morph was) and, to a lesser extent, the Spider-Man cartoon from the same time period. Those cartoons were such a gateway drug.

Here’s how this is going to work: Every week, I’m going to pick two Marvel books, two DC books, and one book from a smaller publisher to review. I’m going to try to find the most relevant releases to cover, things like new story arcs, jumping on points for new readers, event books, and the like. However, if something just seems really, really interesting to me, I’ll probably pick that. That doesn’t guarantee that I’ll like it though, as you’ll see below. Finally, I’m going to end each review with a ten-word sum-up. Because I like words, and I tend to use a lot of them. However, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’ll make it easy.

So, with all that out of the way, let’s get to it:

Publisher: DC
Story: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Jorge Jiminez

What The Trades Say:
“When I Grow Up” Part One! The sons of Batman and Superman have graduated to their own monthly comic—but if they want to survive, they’re going to have to share it! Writer Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN & ROBIN, SUPERMAN) teams with rising-star artist Jorge Jimenez (EARTH 2) to bring you the adventures of the World’s Smallest. This debut issue looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers—except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!

What Bookwyrm Says:
We open with a prologue featuring the boy whom I assume is the “new villain” the trade write-up mentions. He gets a quick two pages, then we don’t see him for the rest of the issue. After that, we get another prologue that ratchets up the action a bit, showing Robin and Superboy playing defense against some robot doppelgangers. Then we cut to “two days earlier” and the meat of our story.

Five pages in, and we’ve already had three starts to this thing. It’s not boding well.

Thankfully, it gets better. What this issue is lacking in story (i.e. there really isn’t one) it makes up for in the dynamic between its two leads. Tomasi does a great job showing the contrasting attitudes and lifestyles of the Super Sons. In one of the issue’s better sequences, a family card game with the Kents (complete with a life lesson from Clark) is contrasted with Batman’s rather aloof treatment of his son as he readies for a patrol. It’s a reminder of just how different these two boys’ worlds really are, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Tomasi and team use that dynamic in the future. As a bonus, there’s also a pretty neat throwback to a classic Dark Knight Returns panel. Verdict: Recommended, but with some slight hesitation for those who like for actual things to happen in stories.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
Pseudo-jerk Robin taunts angsty Superboy. A lot. Nothing else happens.

Available here.

Publisher: Marvel
Story: Charles Soule
Art: Ron Garney

What The Trades Say:
NEW ARC! ‘PURPLE’ STARTS HERE! The question everyone has been asking? What price did Matt Murdock pay to make his identity secret again? And who got left behind in the process?

What Bookwyrm Says:
This was one of the most well-written comics I’ve read in a long time. From the confession booth narrative device to the pacing and tone, everything about this issue just works. Matt Murdock is dealing with his identity as Daredevil being public knowledge, and the ramifications of it are more than he can handle. He’s still trying to do the right thing, but he’s running into more roadblocks than he anticipated. In trying to be both Daredevil and a lawyer in the public eye, he’s discovered he can’t adequately be either. It’s soul-crushing.

The quiet desperation that Soule writes into Murdock speaks volumes more than what is in the text boxes. Matty is depressed, and anyone who has ever dealt with bouts of depression will recognize a few key behaviors here. For a comic centered around a man who was blinded by toxic waste only to gain superhuman abilities in his other senses, it feels surprisingly real and relatable. Then again, Daredevil’s stories always have been. He’s one of Marvel’s “street level” heroes; it’s doubtful you’ll see him out with the Guardians of the Galaxy any time soon.

This is simply a great story of a man coming to terms with a decision he regrets. It just happens to involve a red suit and a billy club. Verdict: Definitely recommended.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
The past is prologue in this new arc’s excellent start.

Available here.

Publisher: DC
Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jon Davis-Hunt

What The Trades Say:
A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper. And that woman — Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body — is the only person who can save him. What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system.

What Bookwyrm Says:
I’ll admit, I’m a Wildstorm newbie. While I know of the imprint, I know next to nothing about the actual characters or storylines. So when I saw that Ellis was going to be relaunching the whole damn ship, I made sure I had it on my list.

This first issue left me with far more questions than answers, but that’s to be expected. This is the first of a 24-issue limited series, so a few danglers are to be expected. The good thing is that I WANT to know what’s going to happen next. I want to know more about the young woman with a super suit that quite literally rips out of her body. I want to know more about the apparently non-human tech innovator who is well over a hundred years old, as well as his slightly sarcastic android companion. I want to know more about the assassin with the debilitating nosebleed. And I suppose that means that the issue succeeded. I enjoyed what I read, and I want to read more. Can’t ask for more than that from a number one.

My only gripe would be that I feel like the story was probably a bit too spread out. Had Ellis chosen to focus on one or two fewer characters and flesh those out more, I wouldn’t have minded. Regardless, this was a good issue, and I look forward to diving into the Wild Storm world. Verdict: Definitely recommended.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
A well-written restart to an intriguing world. No Grifter yet.

Available here.

Publisher: Marvel
Story: Gerry Duggan
Art: Sean Izaakse & Salva Espin

What The Trades Say:
Steve Rogers is Captain America, the bastion of all that is good. He’s the kind of paragon who Deadpool could really take a lesson from. I’m not caught up on his recent comics, but I can’t imagine anything could change that.

What Bookwyrm Says:
The recap page is gold. The rest… not so much. Seriously, aside from a few throwaway lines and a moral quandary that puts on Agent Coulson’s adoration for Cap on thin ice, there’s not much here. It comes across as a fill-in-the-gap throwaway story that’s just treading water. It feels like someone at Marvel said, “Hey, you know who hasn’t interacted with secret Hydra Cap yet? Deadpool! Let’s throw him in there!”

To me, what makes this more frustrating is that there is the potential for comedy gold with these two. Instead, there’s just a few typical Deadpool one-liners with newly devious Rogers playing the straight man. Wade ended up being a side character in this one, which would be fine if the name of the book were different. Verdict: Skip it.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
Forgot the entire issue as soon as it was over.

Available here.

Publisher: Image
Story: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What The Trades Say:
Emmet Quinlan, an old widower rattled by dementia, isn’t just a problem for his children — his violent outbursts are more than the local cops can handle. When a tornado levels his home — as well as the surrounding West Texas town — a restored Quinlan rises from the wreckage. The enchanted sword at the eye of the storm gives him more than a sound mind and body, however. He’s now the only man who can face the otherworldly creatures the sword has drawn down to the Lone Star State….

What Bookwyrm Says:
It’s a story about a man caught between doing right by his wife and child and caring for his ailing father. It’s a story about a chosen champion doing battle with old gods. It’s a story about miracles, and the price they come with. Two issues in, and I’m absolutely hooked.

Cates knows how to craft a story. It’s not overburdened with backstory, like a lot of #1’s are. Instead, he builds the background of his tale organically; new info seems to come in sprinkles. But the sprinkles are enough to keep you informed while the characters and the plot keep you intrigued. Like the preview says, a devastating tornado sweeps through a Texas town, bringing with it a magical sword that instantly cures a local man of Alzheimer’s as long as he is holding it. Naturally (well, in a comic fantasy world, anyway), inhabitants of the sword’s realm come looking for it… and they are none too pleased to find it in the hands of a senior citizen with a beer gut and a surly disposition.

Take a dash of Preacher and mix it with some Final Fantasy-esque monsters and weaponry, and you’ve got a good idea of what to expect from God Country. This one has me written all over it. Verdict: Definitely recommended.

Twitter-Ready 10-Word Review:
A promising start to a potentially epic story. Read it.

Available here.

And that does it for me this week. If you don’t pick up anything else, I highly recommend Daredevil #17 and God Country #1 and #2. They were damn fine books, and well worth the cover price. Until next week, ladies and gents.

Don’t forget to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7 plus keep an eye out for more comic book reviews by our very own Ryan “Bookwyrm” H.

Ryan Haddock10 Posts

An award-winning author, avid reader, occasional roleplayer, and father to three young geeks-in-training, Ryan loves a good story in any medium — from books and movies to comics and video games. In addition to the above, he is also a dedicated Whovian, a superhero enthusiast, and a Browncoat who just can't seem to let it go. You can find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


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