Friday 12th August 2022

Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 2/2/2022

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Welcome to this week in comic book reviews! The staff have come together to read and review nearly everything that released today. It isn’t totally comprehensive, but it includes just about everything from DC and Marvel with the important books from the likes of Image, Boom, IDW, Scout, Aftershock, and more.

The review blurbs you’ll find contained herein are typically supplemented in part by longform individual reviews for significant issues. This week that includes Monkey Prince #1, Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha #1, and New Masters #1.

Also, in case you were curious, our ratings are simple: we give a whole or half number out of five; that’s it! If you’d like to check out our previous reviews, they are all available here.

DC #1

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(Photo: DC Comics)

ARKHAM CITY: THE ORDER OF THE WORLD #5

From beginning to end, every panel of this installment of The Order of the World is as unsettling and mesmerizing as the one that came before it. Dan Watters’ script flashes back and forth between two key chains of events, all of which build to a fascinating head for the upcoming finale issue. And Dani’s art consistently manages to subvert any and all aesthetic expectations, while still keeping the bizarre humanity of the issue’s ragtag group front and center. The Order of the World manages to be a one-of-a-kind book in DC’s arsenal, and I’m incredibly excited to see what the finale has in store. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

BATMAN #120

Batman #120 is a really solid issue. First and foremost, it is a gorgeous issue. The art in Batman #120 is top notch and there are some panels in the issue that are incredibly photorealistic and gives a completely different dimension to the book. The colors are also great and both of those things work really well with how solid this installment of the “Abyss” arc is. We see a Batman who is definitely off his game, who is vulnerable but doesn’t seem to be able to accept this. We also discover just how much power Abyss has and while the issue isn’t perfect, there’s a lot of twists and development here that just work. The bar wasn’t terribly high, but Batman #120 as an issue is wildly better than anything in the previous run and the “Abyss” arc just keeps getting better. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 4 out of 5

DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #4

Dark Knights of Steel #4 provides a bit of backstory as to how the House of El came to power, as well as the identity of the mysterious Green Man. While the previous issues have focused on the brewing war between the Kingdom of Storms and the House of El, this issue helped bridge the gap between the opening pages of the book and the present day. While there aren’t as many shocks like the previous episodes, I did like the creepy take on the Green Man and felt that it provides a fresh take on a pair of classic DC villains. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

DETECTIVE COMICS #1051

The house of cards that is Arkham Tower begins to fall in Detective Comics #1051. After revealing that Psycho-Pirate is behind the successful rehabilitation of a number of former Arkham Asylum patients, this issue explains how he got wrapped into a pretty bold (and frankly guaranteed to fail) scam job. Obviously, readers know that Arkham Tower is destined for failure, but Psycho Pirate’s inclusion remains a big wild card as to how the Bat-Family will deal with this brewing disaster. This is mostly a setup issue that fills in some crucial gaps. Although not as exciting, I think this sort of issue was necessary to explain how the story got to the point and tease where it’s going from here. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

JUSTICE LEAGUE INCARNATE #4

Justice League Incarnate #4 spends the first half of its issue recapping the biggest events of DC’s history, from Crisis on Infinite Earths all the way up through Doomsday Clock, then comes to the realization that Darkseid is actually the best chance the multiverse’s survival. It’s fine if you don’t mind the massive exposition dump. — Connor Casey

Rating: 3 out of 5

MONKEY PRINCE #1

Overall, Monkey Prince #1 is a very good comic. It combines the familiar with a lore and mythology that is, for many less familiar to deliver something fresh and new. The only real hiccup is that the pacing and some of the characterization feels somewhat off or unrefined in places. Even with that, the art makes the entire read worthwhile and sets up Monkey Prince as a story you won’t want to miss. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 4 out of 5

ONE-STAR SQUADRON #3

Office politics deliver some unexpected twists in One-Star Squadron #3, but there’s not much interest to be found in the proceedings. While the plot clearly aims to satirize the mindless waste of much American office work and the cruelties of capitalism, it isn’t stating anything original or even notable. All of the laughs in this issue emerge from sight gags, including multiple items in the Dollar Major. These background bits buy some levity and the portrayal of the characters at the office buys some sympathy with excellent expressions and top-notch body language, but it’s not enough to make One-Star Squadron read with any immediacy. There’s too little depth to these characters and too much familiarity to the mockery. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

SUICIDE SQUAD #12

I have grown to truly despise Amanda Waller… and not in the like, you love to hate them way. No, no, loathe the character at this point, which is why Suicide Squad works so well for me. Writers Robbie Thompson and Dennis Hopeless have slowly evolved this villainous cast into a squad of anti-heroes that you can’t help but root for, and Waller has stepped into the primary antagonist role. Well, along with Major Force, but everybody hates that guy so that’s par for the course. All along we’ve been waiting for Jack Flag’s team or the main Squad to take her down, and unfortunately, that celebration will have to wait a bit longer, which is the biggest disappointment in regards to the issue. That said, it seems like there’s a larger plan and story to tell here, so as long as that delivers I’ll be fine with waiting just a while longer, and the dominoes are being put in position here to make that final confrontation even more chaotic. The journey is exciting though, and artists Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Dexter Soy, Marcelo Maiolo, and Matt Herms deliver a stellar slugfest and a welcome payoff in lieu of the one we’re all waiting for. Also, it’s just nice to see Waller lose every so often, so while this isn’t the Waller takedown we were hoping for just yet, it’s a very important (and thoroughly entertaining) step towards the goal. Oh, and we definitely need more Blood Pouch… just saying. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

WORLD OF KRYPTON #3

In its middle phase, World of Krypton leans heavily on the most familiar elements of Kryptonian lore. Zod is totalitarian and obviously villainous in his behavior; the planet is dying and Jor-El is the only person ready to confront the problem; there is a puppy named Krypto. Most of these beats are drawn with plenty of style, especially Zod’s rampaging crackdown on protestors, but they all seem to strike a single note with minimal shading or intersections to make this quite familiar section of superhero history new again. It doesn’t manage to deliver the same highs as earlier issues, but the elevation of Jor-El and a cliffhanger suggest there’s still gas in the tank as World of Krypton continues. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Marvel #1

ALIEN #9

After a 3-month wait readers return to Euridice and things are dismal, in multiple senses of that sentence. As the religious colony debates evacuating or defending their planet, increasing numbers of Xenomorphs appear around their compound. This plays out in a series of lackluster sequences in which readers witness regular changes to scale, alterations in style within the same panel, and flat compositions that never evoke the horror they intend. The action in Alien has rarely managed to achieve its ends, but the mediocre storyboards for a scary concept here are more disappointing than typical. Events are plotted on a familiar course with characters quickly arriving at their clearly signaled ends, while the core group of survivors meant to carry this story for another 3 issues are saved with relative ease using shotguns. With less-than-terrifying Xenomorphs rampaging through a story that’s been told many times before, it’s difficult to find a reason this…

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