BLACK PANTHER / SPIDER-WOMEN ALPHA / EMPRESS / LOBSTER JOHNSON / THE FIX [Reviews]: All Hail the King (of Wakanda)!

Here it is, the end of a weekend, and the start of a new week. But all is not gloom and sadness (someone tell Zack Snyder that–ba-zing!). We’ve got some great new titles coming out this week, including the reintroduction of a character who will be blowing it up in Captain America: Civil War in just a few weeks, as well as the formation of a super-group of web-slingers.

So let’s dig in, and give this week’s impressive roster a quick look so you know which titles are worth spending your stagnating dollars…




JaDarrell "The Belser" @TheBelser
JaDarrell “The Belser”
@TheBelser
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BLACK PANTHER #1 – Marvel

What’s up, world?! “The Belser” is in the building, once again of the comic review side of the game. Now, as you know, I’m an equal opportunity reviewer. Some comics I’m given are average or lackluster at best. However, I finally get a chance to tackle the relaunch of one of my superheroes, The Black Panther. The King of Wakanda. The first black superhero. “Monsignor” Moody was gracious enough to task me with this; sure, it was under the threat of death at my hands if it was given to someone else, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyways, here’s the story: After a series of events (including coups from Doctor Doom and Thanos), Wakanda is in a state of civil unrest. Following the death of Queen Shuri, T’Challa is called upon to reclaim the title of King and Black Panther. However, the people are not so enthused with his return — merely due to the machinations of a mysterious woman who has the ability to foster hate in people. Her goal: to establish a new regime within Wakanda. The Black Panther stands in her way and he is determined to regain the trust of his people.

This is a great, enjoyable book, and a great reintroduction to this classic character. The writing of first-time comics writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the artwork of Brian Stelfreeze (Domino, Matador) is very good and had me engaged. I can’t wait to see how this story progresses, seeing as it’s got its claws dug in (sorry…I just had to). 4/5 bibles.




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SPIDER-WOMEN ALPHA #1 – Marvel
Savanna Leigh @SavannaDLeigh
Savanna Leigh @SavannaDLeigh

Spider Women Alpha #1 is thoroughly, refreshingly enjoyable. Even though it’s my second comic book review in my whole writing career (and I will admit trying to figure out which page to start reading on), this title has entirely convinced me to continue my comic-reviewing adventure!

After this issue, I (and you, too) will be sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation.

Writer Robbie Thompson (Venom: Space Knight), and artist Vanesa Del Rey (Hit) collaborate to create a fun, exciting new series that pit the latest incarnation of our favorite female webslingers together. It’s a premise that seems so simple and yet so obvious, and the result is a great title that is quick, streamlined, and fun.

Spider Woman will most likely be a great quick read for anyone. If you’re new to the comic world—or even experienced–there’ll be something to enjoy about this issue. There’s drama, intrigue, and, best of all, action and mystery! What’s not to like here? This new title leaves the reader curious and eager to see the character development, and what will happen next to the three head-butting women this comic book takes place around. Until next time! 4.5/5 Bibles.




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EMPRESS #1 – BOOM! Studios
"Archangel" Andrew Leos @MrAndrewLeos
“Archangel” Andrew Leos
@MrAndrewLeos

Dinosaurs Robotic Centurions. A Hulking Tyrant. More Explosions than a Michael Bay Flick.

If you’re curiosity is piqued, this is the comic for you–but not for me, however. In a book reminiscent of the over-the-top spectacle of 90s comic tropes and sci-fi wonderment, Mark Millar’s (Kick-Ass, The Authority) Empress Numero Uno is a page-turning barrage of explosiveness and nonsensical action sequences. A thin shred of exposition and non-existent character motivation ties together the fast past sci-fi “drama”. The story kicks off as the titular character, Queen Emporia, rushes to makes her escape from the capital and her tyrannical husband King Morax — her vigilant Jorah Mormont-esque bodyguard stand-in Dane by her side, blasting his way out, stealing ships and crashing into everything in their path, Did I mention this all takes place on earth 65-million years ago? Maybe I should’ve opened the review with that fact…

Although not the most carefully planned escape, but the sci-fi spectacle fun is in its imagery. Stuart Immonen (Nextwave, The New Avengers) creates this grandiose, albeit jam-packed, world and gives a gorgeous color palette to drool over. This book is fun to look at; it’s a shame there isn’t a compelling story to match. Characters lack any real motivation, conflict or purpose other than the cliched “he’s bad and we have to get away from him” left me wanting more. Why does Queen Emporia want to get away? Why are her kids reluctant to leave other than the momentary rebellious teen angst? Despite a few fun moments (i.e. crashing a ship into another ship to steal its warp drive), its overall lack of purpose left me incredibly meh. Pretty, or not. 2/5 Sci-Fi Dinosaur Explosions.




Felipe "The 3rd Deacon" Crespo
Felipe “The 3rd Deacon” Crespo
Lobster Johnson: The Forgotten Man --- Dark Horse
LOBSTER JOHNSON: THE FORGOTTEN MAN #1 – Dark Horse

Disclaimer : I am not familiar with this character. Haven’t read a hell (hehe) of a lot of Hellboy, so if you’re expecting a lot of “callbacks” and insight into the character, well…too bad, I guess. If they’re in this title, they might have been missed. On the plus side, if this is your first time hearing about this character/seeing the book at your local comics store and you pick it up, you won’t be disappointed. This is easily one of the better new titles coming out this week, and is worth giving a read.

First off, Peter Snejbjerg (Justice Society of America) and Dave Stewart’s (Hellboy, Witchfinder) art: fantastic! It works perfectly with the setting. It takes place in the 1930’s and the artwork has a very classic feel to it. The word “basic” comes to mind, but that isn’t at all meant to be a negative. Lines are simple and clean, with the colors working effectively without feeling heavily Photoshopped. It has that classic, pulpy look that so benefits this comic and the type of story it is telling.

Mike Mignola’s (Hellboy) writing and pacing is enjoyable, and keeps the action and plot rolling smoothly. No spoilers in this review! The story starts with Isiah Hatcher, who is trying to find his missing friend, Morrie. Since he is from a local community of drifters, the police doesn’t give a damn, so he tries to get help from a reporter with ties to The Lobster. The Lobster is basically a 1930’s mix of Batman and Punisher: he’ll kill, and yet some think he’s a myth. He ends up getting the help, and things definitely take a turn for the worse (of course) during the search for Morrie. I’d like to divulge more, but it’s better if I don’t. If there’s one big “mistake”, it’s that they made Isiah too compelling. Seriously, where’s his book? This character is fascinating! Here’s hoping Lobster Johnson ends up recruiting him for his risk. 4/5 Claw-Marked Bibles.




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THE FIX #1 – Image

The Fix #1 is the latest concoction between writer Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Captain America: Sam Wilson) and Eisner Award-winning artist Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Whiteout) and my sweet 8 lb. baby Jesus, is it hilarious!! The Fix follows two detectives who moonlight as robbers and the corruption that go on behind the scenes of their police department.

Spencer’s writing is sharp, witty, funny, and keeps those pages turning and reversing (yeah–you’ll want to re-read the panels over and over again). The cliffhanger he leaves us with is basically the equivalent of someone grabbing your shirt and jerking you into the next story. Lieber’s art is simple and minimalistic, yet at the same time beautiful, stunning and intricate. Point blank: the visuals compliment Spencer perfectly. It is proving extremely difficult to remember a comic that made this “Cardinal” laugh this hard, and built such anticipation for issue 2. Go get your Fix. 5/5 Amazing Bibles.

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