Happy Monday! This past week was a big week for releases that I wasn’t able to get to all the comic books I was looking to review. It felt like a majority of my pull list came out this past week. To spotlight the other comic books that caught my attention I’ve put together the following review wrap up. For this week’s edition I’ll be taking a look at new villain debut in Batgirls #4, the new era for Power Rangers with Mighty Morphin #17, and the second part of Trial of the Amazons in Nubia & The Amazons #6.
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Becca Carey
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
At this point the strengths and weakness of the Batgirls series is apparent. When this series is at its best is when exploring the dynamic between Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Barbara Gordon. When ever two or all three are on screen just interacting Batgirls #4 is at its best. Even trips to the bookstore that leads to tailing a suspect with Stephanie and Cassandra is fun because of how Clonan and Conrad capture the voices for each character.
Where Batgirls #4 runs into being a mix bag is how the fight and resolution with the villain Tutor is handled. Every panel is filled with dialogue, inner monologue, or a combination of both that what is actually going on in each panel that Jorge Corona draws isn’t the focus. There is so much over writing that there is even an inner monologue box that is layered on top of big speech bubble Stephanie makes. It all goes to takes away from the action that fully let Tutor get over as a dangerous villain.
That all said when Corona is able to shine with visual storytelling he nails it. Corona continues to give Batgirls a distinct look that stands out from other DC Comics titles. There is great kinetic energy to the artwork that you do want to see Corona given more room to help tell part of the story with just his artwork. A great example of that is the wicked design for the Spellbinder reveal that ends the story that there was no need for a lot of dialogue to get over the new villain in the final splash page.
Overall, Batgirls #4 is more of the same. The chemistry between Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Barbara Gordon is where this issue shines. Unfortunately how heavy handed the writing is during the fight with Tutor is gets in the way of the cool stylized artwork that Corona is providing this series.
Writer: Mat Groom
Artist: Moises Hidalgo
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10
We begin a new era for BOOM Studios Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic books as Ryan Parrott takes a step to only write the Power Rangers series. Because of that Mat Groom steps up to take over writing and Moises Hidalgo takes over art duties starting with Mighty Morphin #17. Based on how things start in this new era things won’t be as smooth.
The biggest problem that Groom runs into right out of the gate is how hard he works to show he understands these characters. That leads to a lot of talking and explaining what characters are going to do. But even with all that talking you don’t actually get a lot of information. Rather it comes across as Groom wanted to make sure every panel was filled with dialogue just to show he knows how to right each member of the Power Rangers. Which does no favors to Moises Hidalgo, who seems to be trying to work his artwork around all the speech bubbles that it even impacts firmly establishing his style for Power Rangers.
The only thing that did capture my attention story wise was Groom’s choice to spotlight Rocky DeSantos character. Even though he is the second Red Ranger he never reached the level of development his predecessor, Jason Scott, received. So spotlighting not only his home life with his large family and having him be the Power Ranger that stays behind to defend Earth while the others go on a space adventure was a great change of pace.
Though even then Groom quickly forces Rocky deal with an invasion in the panel right after the other Powe Rangers leave. The way it was all done just handled pacing wise felt like Groom ran out of pages to tell the full story he wanted to tell in Mighty Morphin #17 that he didn’t give room for Rocky’s solo moment to breathe. That all just speaks to the rough debut issue for the new Mighty Morphin creative team.
Story: Stephanie Williams and Vita Ayala
Script Writer: Stephanie Williams
Artist: Alitha Martinez
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Picking up directly where Trial of the Amazons #1 left off Stephanie Williams and Vita Ayala appropriately honor Hippolyta with a funeral befitting the character. The dialogue by Williams as each character saying their final words to Hippolyta during her funeral was all fitting to the characters that were featured. The funeral seven pages worked to set the tone for not just the story in Nubia & The Amazons #6 but also the rest of the Trial of the Amazons event.
Transitioning into the status of the Trial that is to determine the new Amazonian Champion was the right call. Williams, Ayala, and Martinez’s choice to dedicate a whole page with a breakdown of what this tournament entails was a great decision. It established all the rules going into this tournament so random rules aren’t established in the middle of fights.
It also added to the serious discussion Nubia holds with all the Amazon leaders. Yara Flor stood out in this meeting as the newbie with how she does not understand why everyone else in the room is carefully approaching whether to hold or cancel the Trial. The difference with Yara and other Amazons experience is made even clearer with how Cassandra Sandsmark was able to steer the discussion to holding the tournament and getting Nubia’s blessing to personally investigate Hippolyta’s murder. It was a great character moment for Cassandra that gives her a big role in the story.
Going from there to showcasing the dynamic between other Amazons in the three tribes was welcome development. Even if the characters aren’t recognizable by name each character helped to put over the scope of Trial of the Amazons. This all gets across how every Amazon will be impacted by the results of this event. And it also sets up the possibility that the Amazon Champion could be an Amazon that hasn’t starred in their own series or heavily featured in a team series.
All of these developments further develop Nubia as the current Queen of the Amazons of Themyscira. Her steady hand as leader is what was needed in such a tough time for the Amazons. Which all made the ending with the decision Wonder Woman makes at the end of Nubia & The Amazons #6 a strong hook to build greater investment going into the next chapter of Trial of the Amazons.