RP’s Rapid Reviews — 10.03.18

by Cory Webber

Each week, we here at RP try to deliver as many in-depth comic reviews as we can. Alas, we are only human, and can only do so much. But, we know how much you all love comics, and we want to review as many books as we can. I mean, it can be hard to wade through the multitude of books released each week. So, without further ado, here are some quick-shot reviews of books that our staff did not individually review. I try to stick to #1’s, beginnings and endings of arcs, and one-shots, with the occasional book I’m excited about. Read on to find out which books I recommend.

Lone Ranger Vol. 3 #1 (Dynamite ) — Even though this is the beginning of a third volume, it comes off as a fresh origin story. However, Mark Russell (Flintstones, The Snagglepuss Chronicles) only gives us a peek at the origin aspects. Rather, he focuses on setting up the main villain: barbed wire! Seriously, though, he sets the stage for a dramatic confrontation between the Ranger and Tonto and the capitalistic, land grubbing scum. Also, the voices he gives to these characters make them seem like he plucked them straight from 1887, which is when this story takes place.

Moreover, Bob Q’s art and colors are perfect for this story. I haven’t felt this immersed in the Wild West since I played Red Dead Redemption. Q’s line work is solid and well-defined. Also, his colors are full of nice, earthy tones with the occasional pop of color fr a fun shot or an explosion. Furthermore, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering was like a nice breeze softly guiding me through the panels almost effortlessly. I particularly liked the sound effect on an explosion-filled splash page.

Verdict: Buy It! Russell is one of the most unique talents to emerge in comics in the past couple years. His ability to make social commentary without being heavy-handed is a true skill. Also, Bob Q is an emerging talent who I hope, and expect, to see more of in the future.

Superior Octopus #1 (Marvel) — This issue is a SpiderGeddon tie-in. However, it also acts like a spiritual sequel to Superior SpiderMan and The Clone Conspiracy, and that’s not a terrible thing. It also does a little house cleaning for Otto from the Secret Empire event. Writer Christos Gage (Spider-Man PS4, The Clone Conspiracy) delivers a spot-on Otto Octavius trying his hand again at being a hero. I felt like I was reading the next chapter of Superior, and I hope it’s something that continues past the Superior SpiderMan one-shot (also a Spider-Geddon tie-in) that comes out in December.

As for the art, Mike Hawthorne (pencils), Wade von Grawbadger (inks), and Jordie Bellaire (colors) deliver a solid story. I love the look of Octavius’ suit, and the art team wasted no time putting it into action. But the real draw is watching someone as arrogant and self-centered as Doc Ock trying to be a hero.

Verdict: Buy It! Especially if you miss your friendly neighborhood Superior Spidey. Also, at the end, there is a key plot point with regards to the Spider-Geddon event. I imagine the main event issues will address it. So, unless you’re a completionist, this issue may not be important to the overall story.

Death Orb #1 (Dark Horse) — Have you ever read a book and you were so distracted by the colors and art (in a good way)? So much so that you ignored the story and had to start over? Well, that’s what happened when I read Death Orb #1. Chris O’Halloran’s colors grabbed me from the moment I opened the book. And, along with Alejandro Aragon’s gritty, shadow-drenched art, this book had me believing it shared a world with Mad Max: Fury Road.

Moreover, once I actually read the story, I was hooked even stronger. Ryan Ferrier’s creation of odd characters while not revealing too much of the plot had me intrigued. However, it wasn’t until the final page until I was completely hooked. The book ends in such an unexpected way, especially for a first issue, that I can’t wait to read the next one.

Verdict: Buy It! This book has mesmerizing art and colors, quirky, interesting characters and one hell of an ending.

Nightwing #50 (DC) — ***This review contains a major spoiler for Batman #55***. So, skip this review if you don’t want that issue’s ending spoiled. Still with me? Okay. This issue sees the fallout of Dick being shot in the head. He lost bone, blood, and brain tissue, which effectively has made him a new person. With loss of memory and a seeming apathy towards fighting crime, Dick Grayson is off to start over in a new life. It’s hard to be excited for what’s to come, especially since this is Benjamin Percy’s last issue. And, per his Twitter account, the story he wanted to tell did not involve this dramatic turn of events. So, it appears DC editorial had a hand in this dark turn. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.

Enough about that! The issue itself was quite well done. Percy took half the issue to flashback to earlier days when Batman and Dick had some run-ins with Scarecrow. He also used these flashbacks to point out the personality differences between Robin and Batman. I liked the Scarecrow parts, which appear to be part of a present day murder mystery. However, with Nightwing seemingly leaving the superhero life behind, this presents a major problem for Blüdhaven.

Percy intertwined the past and present storylines at a nice pace. Moreover, the art team nicely rendered the issue with enough stylistic differences between the past and present proceedings to avoid any confusion. I particularly liked the Scarecrow’s fear vision of Robin. So cool!

Verdict: Wait and See. While there could be some good storytelling ahead, I can’t shake the feeling that DC is forcing an unnecessarily dark turn for this character. I am all for the hero’s journey, and I understand that it is filled with peaks and valleys. So, I will give this another issue before waiting for the inevitable relaunch with a new #1.

Cory Webber
Cory Webber is a devoted entrepreneur, husband and father. Having recently discovered the wonderful world of comics, he spends most of his free time devouring issue upon issue. The rest of his free time is devoted to sleeping.

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