Monday Morning Comic Book Reviews: Week Of 5/26/21

Welcome back to your Monday morning comic book reviews. We hit the end of May with many great comic books coming out. This week I’ll be spotlighting Action Comics #1031, Black Widow #7, Detective Comics #1036, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #3.

Before getting into all the reviews for the comic books mentioned in case you missed it I reviewed Teen Titans Academy #3 and X-Men #20, which include full spoiler-filled synopsis for each issue.


Creative Team

Writers: Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Warworld Rising); Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad (The Passenger)

Artists: Daniel Sampere (Warworld Rising); Michael Avon Oeming (The Passenger)

Colorists: Adriano Lucas (Warworld Rising); Taki Soma (The Passanger)

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: Phillip K. Johnson continues to excel at writing the entire Superman Family in Action Comics. It’s the little details like bringing Supergirl and Aquaman that give the “Warworld Rising” story a big event feel. The story itself becomes bigger because we do see Superman bringing in others, not just his son, to help him figure out what exactly is going on. Superman acting on responding to the events at hand make Superboy’s outburst standout even more as we do see how he is still a kid compared to his iconic father.

This leads to the developments around the mysterious Kryptonians who have appeared and how Mongul factors into everything more intriguing. Mongul himself is positioning himself to be as big of a tyrant as his father was with the way he is working on bringing Warworld back to prominence. The control he has over what is going on in this arc are strong steps to accomplishing all of that.

Daniel Sampere also continues to deliver very good artwork that puts over how the “Warworld Rising” story is being treated as a big event. Superman also has an iconic way of acting while Mongul has a terrifying aura around him. Sampere also delivers on the major character moments as you feel it when characters are feeling intense emotions when certain things happen.

The Bad: The back-up story involving Midnighter is just something I’m not connecting to. The story is very generic. Even with the reveal the reveal of Mister Miracle at the end of this chapter of “The Passenger” story did not help build interest.

Overall: Action Comics #1031 escalate things in the “Warworld Rising.” Bringing in other heroes like Aquaman and Supergirl made the story that Superman and Superboy find themselves involve in with mysterious Kryptonians feel bigger. This makes the threat that the new Mongul is being presented as to match that of how his father was once viewed when running things on Warworld.


Creative Team

Writer: Kelly Thomspon

Artist: Elena Casagrande

Inker: Elena Casgrande and Elisabetta D’Amico

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: Things slow down a bit as Kelly Thompson works on developing the new organization that Natasha Romanoff has convinced Yelena Belova to help her out with. This was needed after much of the last few issues of Black Widow were more action focused. Taking the time to develop what Natasha is planning to do in creating a place where she can train young people so they don’t go through what she did in the Red Room is a great next step for the character. It allows her to morph into being a mentor for the next generation while still dealing Apogee threat that continues to grow.

Elena Casagrande artwork continues to be the standout of this series. Casagrande does such a great job complimenting what Thompson is writing for each character. And when we get action in Black Widow #7 Casagrande delivers absolutely stunning splash pages that continue to put over how badass Natasha is when out on the field running one of her missions.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Black Widow #7 slows things down to spend time developing the big idea Natasha Romanoff has for helping to train the next generation of spies. That along with the continued development around the Apogee threat have made this series one of the best titles Marvel has been publishing.


Writer: Mariko Tamaki (The Neighborhood and Huntress: Ex-Boyfriend)

Artist: Dan Mora (The Neighborhood); Clayton Henry (Huntress: Ex-Boyfriend)

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire (The Neighborhood and Huntress: Ex-Boyfriend)

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: Bringing in Huntress to not only be the main character for the back-up story but also as Batman’s partner in the main story of Detective Comics #1036 does a good job in changing things up for this series. Batman is a different character when we see him working with others. Especially when it comes to actively working on cases with members of the Batman Family. That is what we see with how Batman and Huntress work together in this case involving Lady Clayface. Mariko Tamaki does a good job showing how Batman and Huntress compliment one another.

At the same time, Tamaki makes great use of how Gotham City has become an even bigger character in all of the Batman books. A-Day has changed things so the outlook of Gotham City has become as important as Batman himself. You get a sense of change going on in the city that goes beyond both stories in Detective Comics #1036.

That is where both Dan Mora and Clayton Henry shine with their artwork for both the main and back-up stories respectively. Jordie Bellaire also deserves a lot of credit for helping to make both Mora and Henry’s artwork appear very similar so to help connect both stories involving Huntress existing in the same world. Mora’s artwork in particular stands out with how he draws Lady Clayface maximizing the unique power set of the character.

The Bad: The only problem that this issue runs into is the lack of development around the neighbors Bruce Wayne has. Tamaki tries to bring more of the people Bruce lives around but they are just there to react to possible crazy things Bruce has going on. With so many Batman books already developing Mayor Nakano’s character I wish his time in this issue was instead given to more of Bruce’s neighbors. That would help further differentiate Detective Comics from all the other comics starring Batman.

Overall: Mariko Tamaki along with artist Dan Mora and Clayton Henry did a good job telling more stories that develop the current state of Gotham City. The dynamic between Batman and Huntress worked very well. That along with what is going on with Lady Clayface made Detective Comics #1036 another fun reading experience.


Creative Team

Writers: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz

Artists: Kevin Eatman, Esau, Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop, and Kevin Eastman

Colorist: Samuel Planta

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: When focused on world building The Last Ronin #3 is at its best. Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz have nailed the post-apocalypse cyberpunk world that this story take place in. It’s a world that feels lived in with time having passed without the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles around.

The passage of time makes the weight that Michelangelo caries as The Last Ronin to be even heavier. He is very much someone that knows he is at the end but does not know how to deal with the threat of Oroku Hiroto overwhelming forces. The character work for Michelangelo makes you root for him more and despise Oroku Hiroto more for the way he took over New York City with the Foot Clan.

Which makes how April O’Neil factors into the story standout even more. She has obviously been bidding her time as she and her daughter have been through a lot in the years since the Turtles downfall. The last ditch effort that April makes and the major risk that her proposal has adds to how The Last Ronin is acting as the final Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Bad: The flashback does not work as well as it did in the previous issue. The big reason why is that it comes across as more of a crutch to provide a bunch of exposition. Even though the way Leonardo and Casey Jones final stand works well for their characters it did come across as not needed. The present day is so much more interesting that I would’ve been fine if we just got briefly told how all the Turtles and Casey fell so their fall was more of a legend in this world. Seeing the actual events makes the past less of a legend in this world when originally presented in the first issue.

Overall: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #3 was another solid issue that continues the world building this series has been quickly become known for. The way Michelangelo, April O’Neil, and Oroku Hiroto are developed get you more invested in what is going on. There story is so interesting that the flashback sequence we get almost comes across as unnecessary. That said, I’m still very much in on finding out how things will continue to develop as we near the end of The Last Ronin.

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