SILK / MS. MARVEL / SHE-HULK / SUPERGIRL / LAZARUS [Reviews]: This is Ladies Night.

We’ve got 5 Superbabes, a JUSTified Supernazi, a mole, and one cold, cold day… It’s the Sunday Stash and we’re a couple days late and a few dollars short, so let’s just DO THIS.

(Major props to our “Pope” Jason Sacks, and his wonderful staffers at Comics Bulletin for their special contributions this week. WHOOOOOO!!!)

SILK #1 - Marvel
SILK #1 – Marvel
"The Apostle" Lance Paul @Lance_Paul
“The Apostle” Lance Paul @Lance_Paul

Spinning out of Spider-Verse comes Dan Slott’s newest creation with her own series, Silk. If you’ve been living in a bunker or forgetting to pick up your weekly comics, then Silk may be newer to you. During a couple Marvel events ago it was shown that the radioactive spider that bit Peter also webbed up one more teen before playing dead. This young woman was then locked away in a secret bunker for the last 10 or 50 years, depending if you’re going off of comic or human years.

With the end of Spider-Verse, it’s now Silk — or Cindy Moon’s — turn to shine and find her own backstory and villains in a world she barley knows. Thanks to Robbie Thompson (the TV hit Supernatural), Stacey Lee (Spider-Man & The X-Men cover artist), and Ian Herring (The Flash), Cindy is now delivered her own solo adventure in the Spider World.

After the events of leading up and finale of Spider-Verse, Silk was left with more questions than answers. We get a glimpse of this with her inaugural issue. Contending with blossoming spider powers, her unnatural attraction to Parker and her mysterious past leaves Silk barely holding on this in this New York Super-hero world. Cindy even follows in Peter’s footsteps and gets a job working for the Spider-Tyrant-hating JJ Jameson as a new reporter who– unfortunately causes Spidey more bad press. Meanwhile, Silk’s first encounter leaves both her and the baddie, Dragonclaw, rethinking methods and finds a badly beaten Dragonclaw seeking an unhealthy upgrade by a familiar Cat.

All ends with Silk returning to her only home, the bunker unbeknownst to her which has someone watching her every move.

Part coming of age and part indie action, Silk is off to a great start. Thanks no doubt to the superb pencils and colors courtesy of Lee and Herring. For the past couple of years, Marvel has been taking a page out of indie books and hiring talent that goes against the spandex in a cape and tight kinda world. Lee is just another example of that with her soft pencils and almost European Manga style. The traveling Nerd says keep an eye on this one!

4 (out of 5) Spiders Agree!
4 (out of 5) Spiders Agree!





EI8HT #1 - Dark Horse
EI8HT #1 – Dark Horse
Kenny "Saint Superkick" Sanders @HueySkyywalker
Kenny “Saint Superkick” Sanders

This very interesting tale follows a time traveler named Joshua as he tries to find the woman he loves; he misses her so much, that he’s willing to go back in time to find her.

Unfortunately for him, Joshua ends up in a dystopian, Road Warrior-esque world. Just saying: His quest to find his lover goes a little bad.

Of course, there are bandits.

Better for us, the art is fantastic. Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson‘s collaboration on Eight looks promising. I can see Albuquerque’s work resembling the art he did for Blue Beetle comics, and the legendary Daredevil as far as tone.

If you’re sick of capes and capers, look no further than Dark Horse for Ei8ht reasons to add this to your pull list. 4/5 Bibles.

"Cardinal" Roberto de Bexar @RobBex2
“Cardinal” Roberto de Bexar @RobBex2

Secret Identities is a mashup of the Avengers, Teen Titans and any other superhero team up you want to use in your head. Which makes sense considering that one of the main writers, Jay Faerber, used to write on Generation X, Titans and New Warriors. I don’t know much about the other writer, Brian Joines (Imagine Agents), but I do really enjoy the duo on this book.

The book deals with the secret identities of super-hero team The Frontline and the mole that is placed with the team to take them down. The book deals very little with fighting and more with the daily minutia of the heroes lives which aren’t as glamorous as one might think. In fact, only the first six or seven pages out of 31 deal with fighting. The rest deals with the characters’ personal lives, which are just like every other normal person.

The artwork by Ilias Kyriazis (Blood Opera) is very clean and very bright. That type of wonderful art really is something that I have come to expect from Image Comics lately. It’s crisp and colorful and it really makes the story pop off the pages. Kyriazis is able to convey deep emotion from his characters that pull you into their lives just that much more.

The ending has a great twist to it and I am very interested to see where this book goes. However, I hope that the creators know where they are going with this storyline. The mole is going to take some finagling later on down the road. 3.5/5 Bibles.

SHE-HULK #12 - Marvel
SHE-HULK #12 – Marvel
"Abbess" Jackie @Jackie_Henley
“Abbess” Jackie

If art imitates life, the art of the She-Hulk cover was imitating a few of the Real Housewives of New Jersey in my opinion. But lucky for me, the fictional green-skinned lawyer and niece of Bruce Banner himself has far more brain cells than the whole Housewife-casted franchise put together. Charles (Inhumans) Soule‘s series finale sees Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) balance head and heart like the scales of justice — with the fiery temper of a Latina woman — while she deals with the aftermath of Nightwatch’s biggest faux paux of the past (conjuring a spell that convinced everyone he was a hero instead of a zero).

Javier (Amazing Spider-Man) Pulido‘s artistically simple frames for the majority of the comic make it easy to focus on dialogue and leaves room for some epic She-Hulk faces while she and her Badass lady crew face off with Nightwatch for the resolution of this storyline.

An easy, quick read, and a nice slice of some Green Girl Power. Although heading the A-Force this May, there’s no question the singular, solo dishing of She-Hulk will be missed. 3/5 Bibles.

Jason "Pope" Sacks @jasonsacks
Jason “Pope” Sacks

Okay, first of all, fuck that Adolf Hitler. Not only is he evil, like really monstrously evil, but he hates comics too. Thank you, Mozzers, for giving me yet another reason to hate Herr Schicklgruber. Mastermen starts like a farce.

And it ends a bit like a tragedy.

The morality in this comic is so twisted and fascinating and relative. Overman is a godlike creature, but he’s haunted by his failures, by his hubris, by the mortality of those he loves and by the death of the woman who’s closest to him. He’s a living god with feet of clay, haunted by his vision of the death camps. He knows that his “virtual paradise” has its flaws and its terrible history; he almost seems to be looking for reasons to regret his world during his interview with Jimmy Olsen.

One of our friends asked the question “who is the villain in this comic?” The more I think about that question, the more fascinating it becomes, because I think the villains of the piece might actually be the Freedom Fighters, the “precious few who survived zur Nazi purges of the ’50s and ’60s”, as the doppelganger Sivana reports. I don’t for a second believe the world of the Nazis is anything but pure evil (I have relatives who died in Nazi death camps) but the Freedom Fighters are out to destroy a world of great scientific progress, of peace and unity, in which there seems to be a free press and other freedoms as well.

By all standards, the Nazis are evil. But if the world of the Nazis was all that you knew, if you had no other conception of what the world was outside of this ideology, would you have sense enough to rebel against it? Would you stand in opposition to a regime that had done so much for you, that was your life? Would you embrace a dead language, don an absurd costume,  and make a deal with the devil in order to bring that world down? Is it evil to nuke the city of Metropolis in order to bring down its greatest hero?

Um, RUN.
Um, RUN.

This comic ends with a perfect moment of moral ambiguity, as it ends in a parallel to the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and, as Kurt Vonnegut reminds us, to Dresden as well). Was Truman justified in dropping the atomic bomb? Are the Freedom Fighters justified in blowing up the Human Bomb?

Perhaps the only way to defeat evil is through more evil — but I’m not sure that’s a world I want to live in. On the last page we learn the issue was titled “Splendour Falls”, which implies where Grant Morrison (Final Crisis) and Jim Lee (X-Men) may be on this moral scale. I’m still wrestling with where I am on the scale. 4/5 Bibles.

LAZARUS #15 - Image
LAZARUS #15 – Image
Robert Tacopina Guest Writer, courtesy of @ComicsBulletin
Robert Tacopina
Guest Writer, courtesy of @ComicsBulletin

Holy Crap! Was that one truly amazing fight scene or what?

Finally, we the readers, are treated to a battle between Lazari as Forever and Sonja face off representing the Carlyle and Hock families, respectively, to settle the two warring families’ dispute via trial by combat. In an amazing show of force writer Greg Rucka (Punisher) and artist Michael Lark (Daredevil) devote half the issue to this incredible confrontation with just a few words of dialogue proving that a picture, or a series of pictures, truly can paint a thousand words. The amount of energy, tension, and storytelling that are conveyed to the reader will leave you just as exhausted and weary as the two combatants. Thank you very much gentlemen–this WILL be the fight of the year!

The finale to the “Conclave” arc is a satisfying conclusion that leaves just as many questions as it provided answers. Rucka sets up his characters exquisitely and, with one deliciously evil action by Jakob Hock, the Carlyle family is left in a state of disarray. One of the best aspects of Lazarus is bearing witness to all the machinations that these privileged families concoct in order to gain any advantage over their adversaries as they can. Each character in this universe is full of amazing development and they tend to resonate with the reader.

The creative team delivered a masterpiece with this entry into the series. The depth of detail and emotion in that epic fight scene between Forever and Sonja as the two friends are pushed to the limit physically and mentally was almost painful to witness, but well worth the price of admission on its merits alone. Lazarus continues to amaze on a monthly basis with the one-two punch of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark producing one of the best books on the market at the moment. 5/5 Bibles.

Rae Epstein Guest Writer, courtesy of
Rae Epstein
Guest Writer, courtesy of

If you want a solid example for why DC is instigating its second reboot in the last 4 years, this arc on Supergirl is it. That may have unfortunate implications, but here’s the thing: this comic isn’t bad. In fact, it’s perfectly decent all around. The colors, in particular, are nicely detailed and work with Emanuela Lupacchino’s pencils to make Supergirl look like a normal teenager, regardless of how both impractical and unstylish her outfit may be (the brand new battlesuit, alas, helps little).

However, New 52 continuity has proven a massive disadvantage to this comic. It is unlikely a coincidence that Supergirl has been packed off to go to an “academy” shortly after DC’s successful new college-set Batgirl run has taken off. The previously mentioned new battlesuit only comes in during action sequences and most of the time, Kara and New Maxima are left standing around in chilly-looking leotards while their male colleagues get regular gear. All members of the creative team try hard to make this book look and sound like it is about and for teenage girls, but this half-reboot forces them to work with shoddy past designs and canon that don’t match their idea for this series.

In another misstep, both this issue and its prequel issue have brought in Superboy. Other than the fact that no one can lay out Superboy’s current origin in less than a paragraph, his presence requires at least a flicker of knowledge of what he has gone through the last 3½ years. In a series that should be about Supergirl, his inclusion wastes valuable page space developing him as a character when they should be used to narrow in on Kara’s plight.

The Supergirl title is not set out to continue post-Convergence, probably due to DC’s plans to match her next run with whatever half-baked television show comes out of the CW. It’s a shame that an arc with such potential has so much working against it. 3.5/5 Bibles.

MS. MARVEL #12 - Marvel, duh!
MS. MARVEL #12 – Marvel, duh!

Between the Valentine’s Day cover and Ms. Marvel’s target demographic audience — as well as how the character has been previously defined — I expected something much different from this issue.

Since Tom Hiddleston has played a charismatic Loki in the Marvel cinematic universe, Marvel’s comics editorial seems to have made strides to further develop the comic book character. There are very few comic book characters that exist today who have had mountains of fanfiction written about them so it seemed natural that Kamala would be one of those writers.

G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa seemed to have different ideas in mind, however, and that is probably for the best. They create Loki more in line with the current Marvel Universe canon, which is as a trickster with kind of, sort of good intentions. Kamala’s interest in him only goes as far as to get him away from her school’s Valentine’s Day dance, which she technically is not supposed to be at. But hey, what’s any story about a teenage superhero without a little disobedience each issue?

Ms. Marvel #12 acts as a break between its first arc and upcoming story and would work as a good starting issue for new readers. 3.5/5 Belated V-Day Cards. –Rae Epstein

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