The Flash #51 (DC Comics)
The Flash War frankly cemented this run as one of the character’s best. This issue deals with the aftermath in the best way. This is a love letter to the Flash- Wally West. It’s what fans have needed for seven years, and it’s great.
Told from Iris West’s perspective, Wally is in pain as a result of what Hunter Zolomon did. His kids are lost in the multiverse somewhere, and he needs to find them. But first he needs to slow down and deal with the pain of what he’s lost. And Barry and Iris are there to get him that help.
This isn’t a plot heavy story. It’s a love letter to Wally West. So many fans were disappointed to see Wally take a step back from the Flash role back when Barry returned. Here Joshua Williamson basically says “I agree, and Wally is fantastic.” He even has characters express that he was their favorite or the best.
Bringing legendary Flash artist Scott Kolins back to draw the issue was a perfect touch. Kolins has a deft touch for emotion, which is on full display here. He also does super-fast characters so well.
Flash Fact: If you’re not already subscribed to this book, you’re missing out.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe
The Thrilling Adventure Hour #1 (BOOM! Studios)
I got into The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast right as it ended. However, the Doyles, stars of Beyond Belief, instantly stuck with me- a pair of paranormal investigators who are more interested in their next drink than the terrifying monsters they faced. I was definitely happy to see creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker revisit their characters in this series.
Frank and Sadie Doyle are hosting a cocktail hour when they’re interrupted by a young man whose home is haunted. After some convincing the Doyles, their guests and the young man take off to investigate. Once they get there, things get… scary.
Acker and Blacker’s trademark wit is on full display here. The dialogue is as quick and sharp as the audio play it originated from. You can almost hear the voices of Paget Brewster and Paul Thompkins. The ghost is definitely creepy, and there’s enough comic book style touches that it doesn’t just feel like a recycled script from the show.
MJ Erickson and Brittany Peer have a lot of fun with the art. Erickson’s line work is cartoony and bouncy. It actually helps emphasize the fright factor. The body language of the Doyles is also great. Peer shows how important color art is for a horror story. She plays with light, color and tone to really help set the scene.
Though this isn’t where I’d start with Thrilling Adventure Hour, it’s a fun dive into the world.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy if you’re looking for a lighter horror story.
Star Wars Adventures #12 (IDW Publishing)
Each issue I read of Star Wars Adventures reminds me how great the Galaxy Far Far Away is. This issue features two stories- a Clone Wars story by Elsa Chaterrier and Pierrick Colinet, and Tales from Wild Space by Scott Peterson and Maricet.
In the first story, Anakin and Padme meet a galaxy-famous actress. They learn that she may in fact be a Separatist though. The second story features a young Twi’Lek outcast’s encounter with Mace Windu.
There’s a big difference between something All Ages and something for kids. Not to say that the latter is a bad thing, but it can be hard for an adult to wrap themselves into it. Star Wars Adventures has done really well staying truly All Ages. This is no exception that.
Charterrier and Colinet’s story plays really well with a relationship that we didn’t get to see a lot. They tell a fun story, and explore a different part of the galaxy.
Peterson and Maricet’s story shows us what’s good about the Jedi. Someone needs help, and the Jedi provides it.
Another great showing by IDW here, and if you love Star Wars, you should be reading this.
Rating:7 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe for a Star Wars family.
Flavor #3 (Image Comics)
Anyone who’s watched the Food Network knows that cooking can be a pretty exciting thing. Hell, it’s borderline a sport. Joe Keatinge, Wook Jin CLark and Tamra Bonvillain prove that it translates to comics here, as we watch our hero make Crepes Suzette.
Xoo is still looking for the highly valued truffles she’s been searching for since #1. To get them, she enters an illegal cooking competition in the black market. There, she’s faces with making a dish that intimidates her- Crepes Suzette. The market is raided though, leading to trouble…
This issue is just as action packed as any fight comic on the market. Keatinge provides just a bit of plot and dialogue to Clark, but this issue is all Clark and Bonvillain’s. The cooking is exciting, fast paced, and action packed. There’s no tricks, nothing like ninjas attacking the chefs. It’s straightforward, but paced and framed wonderfully.
I never thought I’d be enjoying a comic about food so much, but here it is. Keatinge, Clark and Bonvillain have given us a food comic that WORKS.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy, and subscribe if it catches you.
Avengers #5 (Marvel Comics)
I LOVED the first issue of Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness’s Avengers. It was one of the strongest relaunches I’ve read in a long time. Unfortunately I felt it stumbled in issues #2&3. Has the series regained its footing?
As Loki reveals what may be Earth’s origins to Captain America, the rest of the Avengers regroup. Thor and She-Hulk find a weapon to battle the Final Host of Celestials. Iron Man and Strange use their newfound knowledge to come to the rescue. Captain Marvel and Black Panther devise the means to combat the Horde. And Ghost Rider realizes he might have a much great purpose. That all leads to a fantastic battle, ending the issue with half the team gaining the size and means to face the Final Host directly.
Aaron presents a possible origin for Earth’s importance in the Marvel Universe, then ramps up the action. The scale is already huge but it gradually grows and grows until the final spread. It’s all very exciting, and fun. And honestly, if you as the reader don’t like the retcon presented at the beginning of the issue- Loki’s the one telling the story! You can believe it or not, given the storyteller! It’s actually a genius move for a potentially controversial retcon!
McGuiness and Paco Medina’s pencils (with great inks by Mark Morales, Juan Vlasco and Karl Story) more than prove up to the task for the grandeur of the story. They ramp things up to the epic. It’s all very fun and bombastic. David Curiel’s color art casts an apocalyptic tone to action, and ties everything together.
This issue proves that this is going to be an Avengers run for the ages.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe!