Teen Titans #11 (DC Comics)
I didn’t watch Young Justice during its original run. Because of this, I really didn’t have an attachment to Jackson Hyde, the Aqualad introduced in the series. Because of this, his Rebirth introduction into the DCU wasn’t a huge revelation for me. Because of that, Benjamin Percy accomplishes something great- making me care of a character I had little attachment to in the past.
Although the series is Teen TItans, this is absolutely an Aqualad story featuring the Titans. Jackson is in deadly combat with his father, as Black Manta tries to steal an Atlantean artifact that gives him control of the ocean. The Titans arrives to help, but Jackson’s the one that saves the day, summoning his full power to defeat Manta and recover the artifact, earning the name Aqualad.
Percy and Khoi Pham tell a great story here. The action is brisk and dynamic. Largely Percy gets out of Pham’s way, letting his artist depict the battle. Pham is one of the most underrated artists in modern comics, so it’s great to see him shine here.
It’s a lot of fun, and a great take on the Titans!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if a Titans or DC Atlantis fan!
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955–Secret Nature (Dark Horse Comics)
Mike Mignola teams with Chris Roberson and Shawn Martinbrough to tell an unknown tale of the BPRD. One of the great things about Hellboy is the story possibilities that go with his long life. Mignola and Roberson do a smart thing here, and tell a smart story about civil issues of the day as well as a fun action story.
Hellboy and Agent Woody find themselves investigating a cattle-slaughtering monster, which may or may not be a cryptid (Woody’s specialty). Instead they encounter racism and a demon, which the two team up to defeat.
Roberson blends the two major aspects of the story together. I’ve never seen Agent Woody before, but in this short story he fleshes him out quickly and fully. He’s fully formed and interesting. Once they discover the demon, the action kicks in, and is fast and exciting. He plays to the two characters’ strengths, Hellboy fighting it and Woody figuring out how to banish it. Martinbrough’s lines are clear, with well-done action. His style fits the BPRD universe extremely well.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if a Hellboy fan.
Generations: The Unworthy Thor & The Mighty Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)
Jason Aaron’s Thor run has been a highlight at Marvel for years now. This issue finally covers ground that Aaron has been hinting at since Jane Foster lifted the hammer- a team up between Thors!
Aaron and Mahmud Asrar team up for the latest Generations tale and take a little different tack than the previous three. Where Greg Pak and Cullen Bunn told their stories form the young heroes’ perspectives, and Tom Taylor told his from Logan’s, Aaron is a bit more detached, going using an omniscient perspective to tell the story. It’s very effective for the grand action story told here.
Thor finds himself travelling to Egypt to rescue a group of Vikings tricked into travelling there by Loki. There, the young god finds himself teamed with Jane Foster, who wields the hammer he can only lift inches, and facing the grand villain Apocalypse. The two Thors are eventually victorious, but it’s not an easy victory.
Jason mixes his two great Marvel properties together really well here, with the Apocalypse/Thor battle not feeling at all forced, but rather very natural. He doesn’t focus too much on the whys when Jane arrives, but gives both the Odinson and Jane a great few moments of both team-up and self reflection. For Asrar’s part, the action is gorgeous, and dynamic. His splash page of Jane arriving in the past is the best part of the issue, by far. Asrar would be a great addition to the Thor creative team if Russell Dauterman were to ever move on.
In the end, the best of the four Generations one-shots to be released so far!
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #18 (Boom Studios)
Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya and Daniel Bayliss continue their Power Rangers epic in this great issue. The Rangers find themselves gaining a government ally in their fight with Rita, which comes none-too-soon with Zordon still missing from the last story arc. Based on their ally’s intelligence, they discover Finster has started creating human/monster hybrids, and they may have spread across the globe!
Higgins has been smart this whole run, treating the Rangers a lot more seriously than they’ve been in the past. This is a grown up and mature story, without being too self serious. He really sells the creep factor of what Finster has done too. Prasetya and Bayliss’s art is fantastic as well, pushing the action forward and selling the horror of what’s happening.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if a lapsed Ranger fan!
Divinity #0 (Valiant Comics)
Matt Kindt teams with Renato Guedes to set up the next chapter of the Divinity Saga. While gorgeous, the issue is exposition heavy, with Divinity checking in on each of his allies, with every major Valiant hero making a brief appearance. And then Abrams has a universe shattering bombshell dropped on him.
Kindt is a great storyteller, so it’s unfortuante that the story is a big more focused on setting things up than telling a satisfying story on its own. Still its interesting to see Divinity’s perspective on each Valiant hero. Guedes switches up his art style from his past work here, giving the book a gorgeous painted look. What the story lacks, the art makes up for it. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not BAD, it’s just a bit of a history lesson.
It’s worth checking out if you’re a long-time Valiant fan, but as a new entry to the universe, I’d pass.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if a Valiant fan.