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April 9 Comic Book Reviews

DISCLOSURE: The following is a synopsis and reviews of this week’s comic books from multiple publishers. If you like our reviews and would like to purchase these books you can do so by visiting our partners at TFAW.com. If you decide to buy anything through our provided links we get a small commission which helps keep our website alive and running. Thanks for your time.

ACTION COMICS #1064

Action Comics #1064 marks a notable improvement in storytelling compared to its preceding arcs. This issue introduces a dramatic and potentially earth-shattering scenario with Braniac’s Lobo army descending on Metropolis. The narrative is engineered to evoke the grandeur of classic Superman adventures, complete with high stakes and relentless action. However, despite being an oversized issue, the comic struggles with pacing issues; its ambitious scope sometimes leads to a narrative overflow that could detract from the intended emotional resonance. Specifically, the recurring theme of Superman’s loved ones being endangered feels overused here, diluting the overall impact of the storyline. A more streamlined approach might have better highlighted the emotional and thematic depths of Superman’s challenges.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #8

Batman and Robin #8 experiences a slight dip in its narrative trajectory following several strong preceding issues. This installment centers on Robin’s encounter with Flatline, which turns out to be an elaborate ruse aimed at protecting her sister. This subplot feels more like a narrative diversion meant to temporarily separate Robin from Batman rather than a meaningful development, rendering it somewhat tangential. Concurrently, Batman’s supposed collaboration with Shush devolves into an ambush, lacking clarity and coherence in its execution. The two disparate storylines contribute to a fragmented issue that, while advancing the plot, fails to deliver compelling or engaging content, verging on what might be considered filler material in the broader narrative arc.

BATMAN AND ROBIN AND HOWARD #2

This issue delightfully explores Batman’s discomfort in the role of a parent to Damian, offering a humorous take on familial tensions. The ongoing feud between Damian and his schoolmate Howard is portrayed with a light-hearted tone, encapsulating typical schoolyard dynamics such as cliques and the constant struggle for dominance. This narrative approach not only provides comic relief but also serves as a relatable reflection on childhood interactions. The subplot involving Batman’s investigation adds a layer of intrigue, as it remains uncertain whether his detective work will uncover genuine criminal activity or merely innocent school pranks. This issue successfully balances humor with a slice-of-life perspective, making it a unique and engaging read within the series.

BATMAN/DYLAN DOG #2

The second issue of Batman/Dylan Dog excels in merging the gritty urban environment of Gotham with the eerie, mystical elements of Dylan Dog’s world, making full use of the crossover’s potential. The narrative starts strong with Batman employing his array of high-tech gadgets, scientific knowledge, and vast resources to navigate and resolve precarious situations established in the inaugural issue. However, the spotlight shifts midway as Dylan Dog takes center stage, exploring the supernatural with a more pronounced role. The departure of Batman in the latter half allows for the introduction of two prominent figures from DC’s supernatural universe, each leaving a lasting impact through their iconic presence. The comic not only entertains with clever, biting exchanges—particularly between Dylan and a sardonic Londoner—but also captivates with its visual storytelling. Richly detailed settings range from the drab and ordinary to the infernal landscapes inspired by Dante’s “Inferno,” filled with imposing demons and elaborate depictions of Hell. These elements create a visually stunning and narratively engaging issue that makes a strong case for extending this crossover into a regular series.

THE BAT-MAN: FIRST KNIGHT #2

The Bat-Man: First Knight #2 continues to delve into a noir-infused, Golden Age aesthetic, presenting Batman in a raw, unpolished light during his early crime-fighting days. This issue sees Batman narrowly escaping a lethal setup at Blackgate Prison, depicting him as a fledgling hero who often struggles and relies on external help, such as from Commissioner Gordon. This portrayal not only aligns with his timeline—set around the era of his first appearances—but also highlights his developmental arc over the years. However, the narrative faces challenges in managing multiple storylines, which sometimes muddles the distinction between background flavor and key plot elements. This complexity may enrich the eventual compilation of the series but can make the monthly releases feel disjointed and less engaging. The comic ambitiously attempts to balance these elements, aiming to offer a nuanced take on Batman’s origins that resonates with longstanding fans and newcomers alike.

GREEN LANTERN #10

Green Lantern #10 marks a pivotal turn in Hal Jordan’s journey, transitioning from personal trials to broader cosmic concerns that involve the entire Green Lantern Corps. This shift is effectively supported by the groundwork laid in the preceding issues, allowing for a richer, more expansive narrative. Jeremy Adams’ writing ensures that this transition feels both natural and impactful, supported by the dynamic visual team of Xermánico, Amancay Nahuelpan, and colorist Rumulo Fajardo Jr. Their collective effort brings to life the vast, interstellar scope of the Green Lantern universe through vivid and elaborate artwork. This issue not only showcases thrilling encounters among the Lanterns but also deepens the overarching cosmic narrative, making it a standout addition to the series and a must-read for fans who have followed Hal Jordan’s evolution through this saga.

OUTSIDERS #6

Outsiders #6 presents a daring and innovative exploration of the DC multiverse, intertwining intricate character developments with clever narrative structures. Writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing excel in navigating this complex storyline without losing the essence of the narrative, offering readers a refreshing and insightful look at the often static limbo of comic book storytelling. The artistry of Robert Carey shines in this issue, capturing the grand scale of the multiverse through both ambitious character redesigns and meticulously detailed backgrounds filled with Easter eggs that will delight and engage keen-eyed readers. His art not only complements but enhances the storytelling, adding depth to the narrative and bringing the script to life. This issue continues to cement Outsiders as a series that combines dark, moody atmospherics with thoughtful writing, making each release a compelling read for both longtime fans and newcomers.

RED HOOD: THE HILL #3

Red Hood: The Hill #3 continues the narrative trend of sidelining its titular character, Jason Todd, casting him more as a peripheral figure rather than the central protagonist. This installment struggles with a sense of narrative inertia, as the plot appears to stall with the primary antagonist still locked in a frustrating stand-off with the protagonists. The story spotlights the neglected corners of Gotham, emphasizing the city’s darker, overlooked areas which even Batman and the Bat Family tend to ignore. This thematic focus seeks to criticize the limitations and selective engagement of Gotham’s heroes. However, the series has yet to fully capitalize on this premise, leaving the narrative feeling somewhat underdeveloped. A dramatic attack at the issue’s climax introduces high stakes but quickly undercuts the tension with Batman’s sudden appearance, which may feel like a missed opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities and isolation of the characters involved. This series highlights the social and moral challenges within Gotham, yet needs to push beyond the current narrative boundaries to fully engage its audience.

SINISTER SONS #3

Sinister Sons #3 elevates the series to new heights, offering a thrilling and dynamic storyline that delves into the lives of Sinson and Lor Zod, the progeny of General Zod and Sinestro. Peter J. Tomasi and artist Georgiev deliver a visually and narratively captivating issue, which stands out as the series’ best to date. The introduction of “Major Tom” adds a significant new layer to the Zod sons’ saga, enhancing their journey with new challenges and adversaries that test their mettle and villainous heritage. Tomasi’s writing displays a genuine enthusiasm for these characters, portraying them as dark mirrors to established heroes like Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent. This approach not only adds depth to the characters but also injects a playful and engaging element to the story. The issue ends on a cliffhanger that promises exciting developments and ensures that readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment. The series not only continues to explore the intriguing concept of legacy and villainy but also establishes itself as a must-read for those who enjoy fresh takes on villain-centric narratives.

SPEED FORCE #6

The final issue of “Speed Force” tries to capture the essence of the series’ vibrant and youthful spirit, but struggles to find its footing. Jarrett Williams’ script occasionally shines with charm and engaging character moments, yet it often becomes mired in forced humor and a disjointed plot progression, which detracts from the overall storytelling experience. The art by Tom Derenick and George Kambadais reflects this inconsistency, vacillating between dynamic vibrancy and awkward clumsiness. This visual and narrative uncertainty mirrors the series’ attempts to balance exuberance with coherence, ultimately leaving a feeling of underachievement. Despite the promising concept of exploring the Speed Force with a fresh, energetic lens, the series concludes on a note that may leave fans appreciating the attempt more than the execution, highlighting the challenges of maintaining thematic and stylistic consistency in comic book storytelling.

SUICIDE SQUAD: DREAM TEAM #2

“Suicide Squad: Dream Team #2” advances the plot with a mixture of clarity and complexity, wrapping up the initial mission while setting up the series’ broader storyline. The issue navigates through the aftermath of its predecessor with a mix of confusion and clear-cut directives once Amanda Waller enters, redefining the team’s direction. The narrative bifurcates into exploring Waller’s manipulative strategies and Dreamer’s heroic, albeit fraught, path after leaving Gamorra. The depiction of a US-led coup adds a dark realism to the story, providing a critical backdrop that enhances the moral ambiguities of the characters’ actions. The juxtaposition of Waller’s pragmatic villainy against Dreamer’s desperate heroics enriches the narrative, offering a nuanced view of Waller that moves beyond her typical portrayal as a straightforward antagonist. This complexity adds depth to the impending conflict between her and Dreamer, suggesting that the emotional and ethical core of the series is yet to fully unfold. The setup promises a continuation where the stakes are not only strategic but deeply personal.

ALIENS: WHAT IF...? #2

“Aliens: What If…? #2” reimagines the fate of Carter Burke, the corporate antagonist from the original “Aliens” film, in an alternate scenario where he survives and becomes a scapegoat for Weyland-Yutani’s disaster on LV-426. This issue explores Burke’s character beyond his cinematic portrayal, delving into his struggles with family issues and the repercussions of his past actions. The narrative humanizes Burke without absolving him, painting him as a pitiable figure burdened by the consequences of his choices. The dialogue is notably well-crafted, weaving humor that resonates with Burke’s cynical outlook and desperation, bordering on gallows humor. This approach not only adds layers to Burke’s character but also respects the thematic elements that initially defined him, providing a fresh yet faithful exploration of his potential path. This storyline offers an intriguing psychological depth, challenging readers to reconsider Burke’s character through a lens that blends humor with tragedy, effectively broadening the narrative scope of the “Aliens” universe.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #47

In The Amazing Spider-Man #47, Ben Reilly’s reappearance as Chasm, alongside the formidable Hallows’ Eve, sets the stage for an issue filled with dramatic and intricate plot developments, embodying the quintessential soap opera flair of the series. This issue deftly combines updates on longstanding antagonists with fresh glimpses into Peter Parker’s romantic endeavors, despite some fans’ resistance to the new twists in his love life. The story masterfully illustrates Peter’s inherent virtues—his earnestness, goodwill, and unyielding spirit—which are integral to his character. Guest artist Todd Nauck excels in this issue, bringing a unique versatility to the artwork that capably transitions between moments of horror and humor. His detailed character depictions enhance the narrative’s emotional range, enriching the storytelling. The issue not only thrives in its depiction of chaotic daily life but sets the stage for even more complex developments, culminating in a cliffhanger that promises significant excitement in upcoming installments.

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3

Edge of Spider-Verse #3 introduces fans to the captivating Star-Spider, brought to life by the creative synergy of Justina Ireland and Pete Woods. Woods’ distinctive artistic style perfectly complements Ireland’s dynamic storytelling, which skillfully integrates elements of the Spider-Man lore into an engaging, high-stakes narrative. The focus on Persephone “Percy” Parker—a name that resonates with charm—adds a fresh and invigorating element to the Spider-Verse. While the return of Web-Weaver garners enthusiasm, the comic delves deeper into the personal dynamics between roommates Cooper Coen and Peter Parker, exploring their relationship with sensitivity and depth. This narrative choice enriches the storyline, providing a personal touch that grounds the larger-than-life Spider-Verse in relatable, everyday interactions.

FANTASTIC FOUR #19

Fantastic Four #19 is a visually and narratively striking issue that fully realizes the noir aesthetic promised by Alex Ross’s evocative cover art. The story opens with a focus on Alicia Masters, portrayed in stark black-and-white with selective splashes of color, immediately setting a classic noir tone. The narrative skillfully weaves together two intertwining mysteries—both the immediate suspense of the opening scenario and the broader enigma of the story’s genesis. These elements are resolved satisfyingly by the issue’s end, enriching the character arcs of the central cast and spotlighting Alicia. The noir influence extends beyond the plot to the visual style, with Jesus Aburtov’s color design nodding to Frank Miller’s iconic work, while Carlos Gómez’s artistry ensures the aesthetic is unique to this series. The character designs are particularly noteworthy, offering a fresh yet familiar look at the Fantastic Four and their universe, making this noir interpretation one that fans might wish could linger longer.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #11

The Incredible Hulk #11 showcases its mastery in storytelling with a compelling hook that guarantees its place on every comic fan’s must-read list. The issue culminates in a stunning final page that, while serving as just a twist, brilliantly caps off another impressive installment in the series. Throughout, the narrative builds with an intense momentum, crafting a story that’s both deeply engaging and thoroughly entertaining. The series consistently delivers high stakes and complex character development, making it a standout in Marvel’s lineup. This issue reinforces why The Incredible Hulk remains a crucial title that should not be overlooked by any comic book enthusiast. It’s not just the twist but the entire build-up and execution that affirm the series’ reputation as essential reading.

THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #17

In The Invincible Iron Man #17, Tony Stark’s relentless ambition and technological genius are front and center, driving the narrative forward with vigor. This issue marks a significant shift influenced by the broader “Fall of X” storyline, yet it seamlessly integrates these elements without losing the essence of what has made Duggan’s scripts resonate over the past two years. Guest artist Patch Zircher brings a fresh perspective to the series, his style aligning well with the darker themes now threading through the narrative. Zircher’s artwork complements the story’s mood, enhancing the dramatic and sometimes ominous tones that are set to define the remainder of the series. This issue not only adapts to its evolving storyline but excels, promising an exciting and thematically rich continuation for fans of the armored Avenger.

MS. MARVEL: MUTANT MENACE #2

Ms. Marvel: Mutant Menace #2 is a delightful exploration of Kamala Khan’s latest adventures, this time as she navigates the complexities of the Mojoverse. Writers Iman Vellani and Sabir Pirzada exude a genuine enthusiasm for the Marvel Universe, infusing the narrative with a palpable love and respect for its rich lore. This issue captures the fun and whimsical side of Ms. Marvel’s character as she contends with her new circumstances among Marvel’s mutants, balancing humor with the narrative’s more serious undertones. While the artwork sometimes struggles to keep up with the energetic pace of the story, occasionally losing detail amid the lively antics, the overall visual presentation still supports the story’s playful and adventurous spirit. Despite some artistic hurdles, the comic remains a captivating and joyful read, reflecting the trials and triumphs of its heroine with a light-hearted touch that anticipates exciting future developments in the series.

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #45

In Star Wars: Darth Vader #45, Marvel has skillfully appointed a creative team that manages to enrich one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history. Greg Pak, alongside artists Adam Gorham and Paul Fry, tackles the formidable challenge of adding depth to Darth Vader, a character whose narrative arc is tightly bound by the existing Star Wars timeline. This issue cleverly uses the perspectives of those within Vader’s circle to shed light on his complex nature, providing fresh insights into his character. Pak’s strategic storytelling not only revisits familiar traits but also introduces subtle developments and foreshadows potential future plotlines, ensuring that Vader’s journey remains compelling. The creative team’s ability to navigate these constraints while still offering new content is a testament to their understanding and respect for the beloved Star Wars universe. Pak’s contribution continues to be a valuable asset to Marvel, promising more intriguing explorations in the episodes to come.

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #6

Star Wars: The High Republic #6 diverges slightly from its predecessors’ more streamlined storytelling approach, venturing into broader narratives that occasionally feel scattered, particularly in its use of flashbacks. While the core series has maintained a focus on concise and direct narratives, this issue attempts to tackle more expansive tales, which might benefit from additional refinement to enhance clarity and impact. The narrative could be strengthened by tightening its flashback sequences, which currently disrupt the flow and dilute the urgency of the ongoing storyline. Streamlining these elements would not only improve narrative cohesion but also enhance the overall pacing and effectiveness of the storytelling. This installment, while ambitious, underscores the need for careful balance between expanding the series’ scope and maintaining its narrative precision.

STAR WARS: THRAWN – ALLIANCES #4

The comic adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Alliances concludes in a manner that, while not earth-shattering, satisfyingly wraps up the series. Zahn, along with Jody Houser, crafts a script that offers engaging character dynamics and introduces intriguing bits of lore, which enrich the broader Star Wars narrative. Although the finale might lack the climactic punch some might expect, it successfully ties up the story’s threads in a coherent and meaningful way. The artwork by Pat Olliffe and Andrea di Vito strikes a balance between photorealism and artistic exaggeration, fitting well with the established aesthetic of the Star Wars universe and particularly the era featured in the story. This issue effectively concludes the adaptation, providing a solid landing that respects the source material while adding its unique flair to the expansive Star Wars tapestry.

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN 2099 #2

In Symbiote Spider-Man 2099 #2, the integration of Venom’s symbiote with Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, offers a chilling yet fascinating evolution of the character. This issue delves deeper into Miguel’s background, revealing significant details about his family lineage, including his father and brother, which adds layers to his already complex identity. The narrative effectively captures Miguel’s struggle against the malevolent influence of the symbiote, portraying his internal conflict with a palpable sense of tension and fear. The depiction of this battle within him is both thrilling and introspective, providing a rich ground for character development. While the symbiote’s integration brings a terrifying new aspect to Spider-Man 2099, it also sets up a craving for more direct confrontations between Spidey and Venom. This issue leaves readers eager for more of these iconic showdowns, promising further exploration of the dark and compelling dynamics at play.

ULTIMATE X-MEN #2

Ultimate X-Men #2 stands out as a unique blend of magical girl themes woven into a horror narrative, setting it apart from traditional superhero comics. Peach Momoko crafts a visually and emotionally engaging story centered around Hisako and her burgeoning relationship with a new character, Mei. The development of Hisako’s support cast starts to take shape in beautifully illustrated sequences that narrate their growing friendship with a sense of nostalgia and warmth reminiscent of childhood bonds. This issue explores their contrasting personalities and styles, enriching the narrative with diversity in expression and interaction. As the story progresses, the comic introduces a darker tone, masterfully integrating horror elements that escalate the stakes. The artwork effectively employs shadows and haunting imagery, particularly in a scene that verges on gore, enhancing the suspense and emotional impact. Ultimate X-Men #2 not only confirms the promise of its debut but also builds on it, delivering a story that is both stylistically unique and intriguingly dark.

WEAPON X-MEN #2

Weapon X-Men #2 clarifies the series’ direction, aligning closely with the concept of the Exiles series but with a fresh twist. Christos Gage successfully differentiates this installment by developing distinct voices and traits among the team of Wolverines, moving away from the uniformity that characterized the first issue. The narrative gains depth as each character’s unique perspective contributes to the team dynamics, enriching the storytelling. Artist Yildiray ÇInar showcases his versatility in depicting both high-octane action sequences and more subdued, dramatic moments. His artwork, although occasionally stretching the bounds of conventional anatomy for dramatic effect, remains visually captivating and dynamic. This balance of intense action and character-driven scenes creates a compelling read that promises to revitalize familiar themes with new energy and creativity.

WOLVERINE #47

As the anticipation builds for the new X-Men status quo, Wolverine #47 continues to deliver thrilling narratives, though it increasingly resembles an “Exiles” storyline intertwined with elements from “X-Force.” The ongoing “Sabretooth War” remains engaging, but there’s a noticeable shift as the series tries to capitalize on its remaining issues before the Marvel universe undergoes its significant relaunch. In this issue, Sabretooth’s latest scheme to eliminate Wolverine falls short, which, while predictable, sets the stage for what promises to be an epic final showdown. With only three issues left, the narrative tension escalates, ensuring that longtime followers are thoroughly hooked. This blend of familiar faces and intense action keeps the series fresh and exciting, providing just the right mix of continuity and innovation to keep readers eagerly anticipating how this chapter in Wolverine’s saga will conclude.

X-MEN '97 #2

X-Men ’97 #2 continues to embrace the nostalgic essence of the beloved animated series, mirroring its visual and thematic style without straying too far from established expectations. Writer Steve Foxe demonstrates a strong understanding of the characters, managing to capture both heroes and villains with depth and authenticity. This careful character handling enriches the narrative, making even familiar plots feel engaging and significant. Artist Salva Espín, along with colorist Matt Milla, adeptly recreates the vibrant and dynamic aesthetic that fans associate with the original series, maintaining a visual continuity that enhances the nostalgic appeal. While the comic doesn’t venture into new thematic territories, it succeeds in delivering a solid, enjoyable experience that resonates with both longtime fans and newcomers who appreciate the series’ classic charm.

BENEATH THE TREES WHERE NOBODY SEES #5

In the fifth installment of Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees, Sam’s journey takes a darker, more introspective turn following the dramatic events of the previous issue. As she navigates her escape and life on the run, the comic effectively showcases her resourcefulness and deteriorating mental state. The narrative strength of this issue lies in its ability to immerse readers into Sam’s psychological landscape, particularly through a haunting, dreamlike sequence that marks the series’ best to date. The creative use of visual storytelling elements, such as partially obscured word balloons and strategic color usage, deepens the emotional impact, drawing readers directly into Sam’s tumultuous inner world. These artistic choices build a palpable tension and anticipation for the series’ conclusion, leaving readers on edge and eagerly awaiting the release of the final issue. This miniseries stands out for its compelling portrayal of character and mood, making each page a deeply engaging experience that stirs both empathy and curiosity about Sam’s ultimate fate.

THE CABINET #3

The Cabinet #3 takes a delightful turn towards the unconventional, embracing the chaotic elements that give the series its unique appeal. This issue further distills the title’s charm by venturing into increasingly unpredictable territory, ensuring that the narrative remains fresh and engaging throughout. The story’s capacity to entertain consistently from start to finish makes it a standout in any comic book pull list, providing a welcome deviation from more formulaic comic book plots. Its unpredictability is a key aspect that captures and holds the reader’s interest, making each page a new discovery. The whimsical handling of plot developments, combined with clever writing, ensures that the series maintains a lively pace and a captivating storyline that’s hard to put down.

DARK SPACES: DUNGEON #5

Dark Spaces: Dungeon #5 concludes with a series of twists that aim to challenge and unsettle the reader. The supposed climax arrives abruptly with a stark gunshot, which initially feels like a swift conclusion to “The Keep.” However, the narrative quickly pivots, as character Madoc senses, leading to a deeper and more profound ending. Scott Snyder’s craftsmanship shines through as the subtle clues laid out in earlier issues come together, providing a foundation for the final reveal. The conclusion resonates with the consistent themes of horror and dread that define the series, but it leaves readers grappling with uneasy questions about the nature of trauma and the possibility of overcoming past abuses. The somber, almost resigned answer the series provides to these questions adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, making it a thought-provoking read that lingers with the audience long after the final page is turned.

HERCULES #1

Dynamite’s Hercules #1 injects new life into the beloved character from Disney’s portrayal, continuing Hercules’ adventures in the classical world alongside familiar companions Meg and Phil. In this issue, Hercules is tasked by Aphrodite to capture a rogue entity, but the mission quickly spirals into unexpected complexities, culminating in a dramatic kidnapping by divine forces. The comic successfully balances the light-hearted heroics associated with Hercules with new, more intricate challenges that test his skills as a demigod. The narrative’s swift pace and engaging plot twists ensure that this new series starts off with energy and excitement, promising readers an invigorating blend of action and mythology reimagined through the lens of a modern comic series. This fresh take on Hercules’ journey not only pays homage to the original animated classic but also expands the character’s universe by introducing new adventures and conflicts.

HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #22

House of Slaughter #22 continues to weave a complex and captivating narrative around the central character, Jace, whose presence, although minimal in actual scenes, profoundly influences the unfolding events. Writer Tate Brombal masterfully introduces a surprising twist that not only impacts the immediate storyline but also promises significant ramifications for the Slaughters and the Order at large. This development expertly sets up a cliffhanger that leaves readers eagerly anticipating the next issue, highlighting the interconnectedness of personal dramas and broader organizational stakes. The artistic team of Antonio Fuso and colorist Miquel Muerto excel in their depiction of the series’ dark and intense atmosphere, skillfully transitioning between scenes of brutal aftermaths and poignant emotional reunions. Their artistry enhances the narrative’s emotional depth and visual impact, making each page a compelling blend of horror and drama. House of Slaughter #22 effectively maintains its role as a pivotal part of the Something is Killing the Children universe, consistently delivering powerful stories that resonate with and expand the series’ mythos.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE RETURN #3

In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Return #3, the narrative deepens with fewer but more impactful surprises compared to its predecessor. Writers Amy Jo Johnson and Matt Hotson skillfully provide answers that reshape the reader’s understanding of previous events, altering the courses of both Tommy and Rita’s arcs significantly. These revelations increase the stakes dramatically, adding layers of complexity to the ongoing saga. The artwork by Nico Leon and colorist Dono Sanchez-Almara superbly conveys the heightened stakes and emotional intensity of the story. Their depiction of Selena Repulsa and Finster is particularly striking, capturing attention with each panel and setting a visually dramatic tone that complements the narrative’s unfolding drama. The climactic setup of the finale promises an epic conclusion, building anticipation with a beautifully crafted lead-up that showcases the series’ strengths in both storytelling and visual execution.

NAPALM LULLABY #2

Napalm Lullaby #2 builds upon its predecessor by expanding the dystopian world in which the central siblings and their father are entangled in a deadly mission against a dictatorial religious figurehead. While the issue enriches the setting and introduces more background on the father’s past, including his escape from this world’s version of “heaven,” it still leaves much of the motivations and historical context underdeveloped. The narrative hints at themes of authoritarianism and resistance, creating an intriguing premise. However, the lack of detailed background information makes it challenging for readers to fully engage with the characters’ deep-seated motivations and the overarching stakes of their quest. The story teases enough to keep the intrigue alive but would benefit greatly from fleshing out the finer details of its world and the personal histories of its characters to give the slow-burning plot the momentum it needs to captivate and maintain audience interest more effectively.

NIGHT PEOPLE #2

In Night People #2, Chris Condon continues his intricate task of transforming Barry Gifford’s novel into a compelling comic adaptation. This issue slowly unveils its narrative, building suspense that culminates in significant revelations during the final pages. Although this slow reveal can make the early parts of the issue feel somewhat laborious, the payoff in the end justifies the journey. The artistic contributions from Alexander Tefenkgi focus on close-up imagery, where his skills shine, but the transition to larger scenes results in a loss of detail that can detract from the visual impact. The decision to use a rotating list of artists to match the story’s shifting tones is intriguing, but it brings variability in quality, with this issue’s artwork perceived as a step down from its predecessor. Despite these challenges, the series remains an intriguing endeavor, with each artist bringing a unique flavor that adds depth to the adaptation’s complex narrative tapestry.

THUNDERCATS #3

Thundercats #3 delves deeply into the internal dynamics of the Thundercats, showcasing personal conflicts that are as intense as their external battles. Writer Declan Shalvey captures the tumultuous leadership transition faced by Lion-O, with tensions between him and Panthro reaching a critical point. Unexpectedly, aggression also flares between Panthro and Cheetara, adding a layer of complexity to the storyline and allowing for a deeper exploration of these characters’ more human aspects. The introduction of a beloved character from the series adds further excitement, enhancing the nostalgic appeal. Artist Drew Moss, along with colorist Martina Pignedoli, excels in the action scenes, particularly during the climactic battle between Panthro and Cheetara, where their talents elevate the visual storytelling. While some moments in the comic don’t quite reach the high standards set by these scenes, the overall narrative arc continues to build momentum, introducing new intriguing plot threads that promise to enrich the ongoing saga.

TRANSFORMERS #7

Transformers #7 kicks off a new chapter with fresh artistic energy brought by Jorge Corona, who steps in following the series’ successful relaunch. Tasked with matching the high expectations set by Daniel Warren Johnson, Corona rises to the occasion, delivering a narrative that remains tightly focused on the Autobots and Decepticons’ strife on Earth while also weaving in aspects of the broader war on Cybertron. This issue explores the fallout from the previous climactic events, particularly the emotional and political upheavals among the robots. The depiction of a leadership crisis among the Decepticons adds depth to the story, providing a platform for Corona to showcase his artistic prowess. His style complements Johnson’s, maintaining visual consistency across the series while also bringing his unique flair to the action-packed sequences. With its blend of poignant storytelling and stunning visuals, Transformers #7 continues to build on the series’ strengths, positioning it as a must-read for fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.

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