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Adventures of the Super Sons #1 (DC Comics)

Super Sons was one of my favorite DC launches last year. I was incredibly happy to see the series return so quickly after its cancellation.

Set before the recent Man of Steel, Damian Wayne and Jon Kent have the summer to themselves. The duo are determined to have fun (at least in their own way). However, they’re attacked by a gang of kids dressed like some of Earth’s greatest villains, and are quickly subdued…

If Peter Tomasi can just write this time until he retires, that would be great. His dialogue sparkles, the characterization is top notch, and the plot is just pure fun. He knows these two characters so well, and it shows.

Carlo Barberi and Art Thibert do a fantastic job on line art here. It’s light and energetic. Jon and Damian look like children, not little adults, and The Gang had some very fun designs that aren’t just small versions of the adults. Protobunker’s work on the color art is equally good, giving the story a bright palate not unlike a Saturday morning cartoon.

I can already tell you, I’m in for the 12 issues, and hopefully beyond. You should be too.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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Seven to Eternity #10 (Image Comics)

Rick Remender and Jerome Opena’s fantasy epic returns this week with this issue. It’s been a stellar series so far, so does it keep that up after the most recent break?

Adam Osidis and the Garils the Mud King have split from the Mossak Knights. Their goal is a mystical spring that can heal any illness, including Adam’s. The duo are attacked by a group of sky bandits, and the Mud King is taken to their god. Adam risked a rescue, but finds himself outnumbered…

Remender and Opena just create a wonderful comic here. The story is brisk and full of action, but each step is also full of world building. In this issue, we meet a new antagonist, we learn more about Zhal, and experience a new setting. It’s all so engaging and draws you right in.

Opena and color artist Matt Hollingsworth knock the visuals out. Opena’s style is a little less gritty than in the past, but is still just as lush and detailed. Hollingsworth plays with the alien setting, adding splashes of color that add to Opena’s fantastic design work.

This is still one of Image’s best series, and well worth checking out.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road! #1 (IDW Publishing)

Bebop and Rocksteady are probably the most enduring Ninja Turtle villains outside of Shredder, appearing in numerous iterations and adaptations of the property. Their miniseries last year was a hit, so this sequel series was only natural.

The mutated duo are on their way home, trying to drive home to New York through Central America. Along the way, they decide to become heroes. They get their first chance facing Wingnut and Screwloose, a symbiotic duo of bat and mosquito. Oh and did I mention their mutation seems to be wearing off?

Ben Bates and Dustin Weaver have a lot of fun, telling a crazy story featuring their protagonists. Weaver’s script makes them barely likable, which is part of their charm. The story is more about the duo’s crazed adventure than anything deep, but he still makes them interesting characters.

Bate’s line art is energetic and cartoony. It feels like an old school indie book in a really fun way. It’s crazy and all over the place, and that works to the story’s benefit here. Brittany Peer’s color art ramps up the crazy significantly, adding to the violence and chaos.

This story won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a fun villain book, but it’s low on plot and character, and high on action.

Rating: 7 out of 10

The Verdict: Buy if crazy appeals to you.

 

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Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #3 (Titan Comics)

The Seventh Doctor was actually (briefly) my first Doctor. Unfortunately that was only for the first bit of the infamous TV movie, so I really haven’t been able to see much of him in the years since. I am a huge fan of Sylvester McCoy though, so it’s great to read his adventures here.

This issue has two stories. In the first, the Doctor, Ace and their allies stop an alien plot in Australia. In the second, they shut down an evil fascist dictator.

The first story is the better of the two. Andrew Cartmel writes a great adventure story. The Doctor is instantly recognizable and in character, even without being familiar with this regeneration. The plot is a standard Who adventure, but is fun and engaging.

Christopher Jones dives us deep in the universe. His characters are authentic without being over-photo referenced. The action is a touch stiff, but it’s still engaging and energetic.

The back-up isn’t quite as good, with a rushed story and more amateurish art. This is probably more due to the space constraints than anything else, but it’s ultimately a bit confusing and skippable.

In all, there’s a good story with a skippable back-up, but considering the back-up doesn’t lower the page count of the lead story, it still stays a win.

Rating: 7 out of 10

The Verdict: Buy for a Whovian, otherwise skip.

 

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Multiple Man #3 (Marvel Comics)

Matthew Rosenberg, Andy MacDonald and Tamra Bonvillain team up for a totally crazy return for a beloved character. The question is how well it works.

Jamie Madrox is back among the living, thanks to a “back-up” duplicate in a bunker. Unfortunately, his self-preserving actions (stealing a time machine last issue) may have created a dystopian future in which an evil version of himself is ruling the world. This leads to connecting with the Resistance in this reality, lead by his ex-wife and son (who he doesn’t know since he split from Jamie Prime prior to his marriage).

If that sounds insane, well… I’m only scratching the surface. Somehow though, Rosenberg not only keeps it interesting, but he keeps the potentially crazy and confusing plot clear. He takes advantage of the mercurial nature of his protagonist as well, giving us a less mature, more self-serving Jamie than we last met… but it works.

MacDonald’s line art is a little light, which takes an edge off the dystopian world the story takes place in. That keeps the story funny without making light of the situation. In other cases it may not work, but it does here. He also draws the hell out of our hero, making him simultaneously hero, villain and supporting cast (and if you read the issue, you’ll realize how much that makes sense). Bonvillain’s colors help keep the darkness of the situation, but adds needed splashes of color and light.

By bringing back a much-missed character, Rosenberg has given us a series that I didn’t know I needed. I hope this isn’t the end of this creative team’s take on Jamie Madrox.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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