Feels like it’s been a while, doesn’t it? Well, let’s just hop in and talk comics, shall we?
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout #1 (Marvel Comics)
I’m a big Disneyland nut. I love both the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure. But one ride that I’ve refused to ride is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But that will change this year, as Tower of Terror becomes Mission: Breakout! And because of that, I was really excited to dig into this one-shot.
Chris Hastings and Edgar Salazar tell the tale behind the ride. The Collector has captured the Guardians and imprisoned them in his menagerie. The team stages a breakout (obviously) and confronts the Collector.
Hastings takes a fairly rote story and injects a lot of character. It’s fun, but has a hard time getting past the cliches. Hastings’ normal wit is a little sanitized here as well. Salazar is the star of the one-shot. He designs a bunch of great creatures and aliens, and the Guardians themselves look great. It’s great work. However, it’s just not quite enough for it to be a win.
Rating: 6 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if a Guardians fan or Disneyland nut, pass if not.
Justice League of America #6 (DC Comics)
Steve Orlando and Andy MacDonald puts the newest incarnation of the League through their paces. As most of the League stops a horde of mythological beasts and soldiers, the Atom faces the villain Aegis and the Ray races to save Lobo’s life.
This wasn’t an easy issue to come into blind. It was actually my first issue of this series, and Orlando doesn’t observe the old rule of comics “assume every issue is a reader’s first.” It’s a decent story, but it’s not clear who Aegis and Xenos are, or their soldiers. The redeeming factor here is Orlando’s character work. I do not like Lobo, but Orlando makes him a lot more relatable than I’ve ever read him. Ray and Atom both get some great moments to shine too. MacDonald’s work reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard in the best way here. I always like when the artist makes the characters clearly different people, and not just the same person with different hair and clothes. MacDonald excelled at that. His action scenes also went great, not feeling cluttered or rushed. It was an interesting enough issue that it made me want to find and read the past few issues of the series, but really doesn’t stand on its own.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if you have access to the last few issues too
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year 3 #3 (Titan Comics)
Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is one of the most well-received incarnations of the character to date. He’s always engaging and can give a speech better than almost any actor on television. It’s really too bad then that his Doctor is trapped in this very standard and cliched story.
The Doctor, his temporary companion Hattie and a group of civilians are on the run from the usual sort of terrifying monsters, this time golems made from seaweed. The Doctor is knocked out, and then saves the day at an opportune moment, in which he reveals that he’s figured everything out.
It’s a very classic Who story, but writer George Mann really doesn’t bring anything new to it. Any Doctor Who fan has seen this story a dozen times, and it’s a bit boring thanks to that. Artist Mariano Laclaustria does a capable job, but it doesn’t ever really go beyond that. In the end it just sort of ends up being there, and doesn’t bring any excitement to the table.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Pass
Justice League/ Power Rangers #4 (DC Comics/BOOM! Studios)
Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne continue their great crossover miniseries. The League and Rangers try to find a way back to the Rangers’ home dimension to stop Lord Zedd and Brainiac from taking Angel Grove. After a bunch of comic book science, the two teams make it just in time to see Brainiac take the city. The Rangers borrow weapons from the League’s enemies to combat Brainiac and reacquire their power coins.
It’s a lot of fun, and full of great touches. The Rangers using DC villain weapons alone is worth the price of admission. On top of the story, the art just looks great. This is just an unexpectedly good book.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #15 (BOOM! Studios)
Meanwhile, the core Power Rangers title continues this week from Kyle Higgins and Daniel Bayliss. The duo continues the story of the evil alternate reality Tommy by slowing down and focusing on Zordon, who’s been unstuck from his place with the Rangers and thrown into the timestream.
I don’t think there’s ever been this much of a spotlight on the Rangers’ mentor, so while the story is more or less a recap of the series so far (with some new info on the evil Tommy), his perspective really helped the story broaden. It’s really interesting getting into Zordon’s head here. Bayliss’s work looks great, turning a head in a jar into a the protagonist.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy
Star Trek: The Next Generation- Mirror Broken #1 (IDW Publishing)
The mirror universe, first seen in the classic “Mirror, Mirror”, is one of Star Trek’s greatest concepts, so no wonder someone finally took the crew who never went to the Mirror universe, Picard’s, and centered a story on them. Even better, it’s Scott & David Tipton, and JK Woodward, the fabulous team behind the TNG/Doctor Who crossover from several years ago.
The crew of the ISS Stargazer, which includes familiar faces like Data, Troi, Barclay, and lead by Picard, face a Cardiassian warship and defeat it. They then travel to the center of the Empire, where a scheme hatches to take over and assume command of a new warship, the ISS Enterprise.
The Tiptons weave a great story here, with the familiar crew of the Enterprise still familiar but warped and twisted. Framing the first part as a classic heist also creates a quick entry point into the story. Woodward’s work is great, but he suffers from the same issue I’ve always had with him- his figures are sometimes stiff, and two characters interacting in a panel often turns awkward. It looks good enough though that it ends up being on a minor quibble.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe.