Monday Morning Comic Book Reviews: Week Of 6/2/21

Happy Monday everyone! Its once again time to kick off the week on a strong note by checking out some of the major releases of last week. This week I’ll be reviewing Amazing Spider-Man #67, Batman #109, Green Lantern #3, Hellions #12, and X-Force #20.

In case you missed them I reviewed Batman/Catwoman #5, Black Cat #7, and Marauders #21 with full spoiler-filled synopsis. Make sure to check them out.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #67

Creative Team

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artists: Marcelo Ferreira and Carlos Gomez

Inkers: Wayne Faucher, Marcelo Ferreira, and Carlos Gomez

Colorists: Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley

Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: Getting away from the ongoing Kindred storyline was the best decision Nick Spencer could make at this point. With Amazing Spider-Man #67 Spencer reminds us that there are several other storylines that he has also been working during his run on this series. And with that direction Spencer shows how the world he’s built around Peter Parker is larger than we’ve been shown lately.

The ongoing story with Teresa Parker in particular is what made Amazing Spider-Man #67 so notable. Spencer has been teasing us that there is more to the whole Teresa Parker story than just being Peter’s secret sister who is hunting Chameleon. In doing so Spencer explores other Spider-Man storylines to give greater depth and connection between Teresa and Chameleon. Bringing in more of Spider-Man’s history into play makes this opening chapter to the “Chameleon Conspiracy” something that captures your interest right away.

The same goes how Betty Brant is brought back into Peter Parker’s life. Her pregnancy is one that, like Peter, leaves you with many questions. Those questions increase with the return of Ned Leeds. Given how Chameleon is factoring into the Teresa Parker story the timing does seem to indicate that the Spider-Man villain has something to do with this to. Whatever the case is Peter’s life looks to be getting even more complicated by others not named Kindred.

The Bad: The problem that Spencer runs into with Amazing Spider-Man #67 is the same problem that has popped up in a lot of recent issues he has written. And that is trying to fit to many different stories into one package. That happens again here as Spencer includes the stories involving Silver Sable and Jamie Tolentino into this issue. The presentation for both stories aren’t done just to continue their sub-plots but as major storylines. It got to the point that Spencer appeared worried the reader forgot about all these storylines after spending so much time on the Kindred plotline that he packed in as many different storylines into one comic. That causes Amazing Spider-Man #67 to come across as an extremely cluttered reading experience.

Overall: When Amazing Spider-Man #67 is focused on the Chameleon and Teresa Parker story both the writing and artwork are at their best. The problem is that Nick Spencer attempts to develop multiple forgotten storylines all that the same time. That leads to a reading experience that comes across as extremely cluttered and lacks focus.

BATMAN #109

Creative Team

Writer: James Tynion

Artists: Jorge Jimenez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: The deeper we get into the Infinite Frontier era for Bruce Wayne the more we are seeing the question be placed on where Batman stands in shaping Gotham City’s future. That once again is shown with how Bruce is not only challenged by Miracle Molly but by Simon Saint’s Magistrate program. The way Bruce responds as Batman shows how having to deal with so much without resting is getting to the Dark Knight. This is best exemplified with the aggressive action that Batman takes in directly dealing with Simon Saint. How this leads to the first big fight between Batman and Peacekeeper-01 adds to how personal the war for Gotham City’s future is for everyone involved.

While a large part of our focus is on Bruce’s actions in Batman #109 Tynion makes sure to show there is much more going on in Gotham City that does not involve the Dark Knight. Using Harley Quinn and Ghost-Maker to show this was the right move as it gives these characters their own stories. At the same time it further pushes how Gotham City is a ever evolving place with new characters like the Gardner who have a large presence over the city. Given the Gardner’s connection to Poison Ivy it’ll be interesting if we see more of the story involving Poison Ivy over in the Catwoman show up in Batman.

With so much of the current story of Batman being about how Gotham City is changing Jorge Jimenez brings this to life through his artwork. You get how much weight Batman is carry by the way he expresses himself even when wearing the cape and cowl. You get the sense that the aggressive way he is acting in Batman #109 is partially because of how everything he has been through is getting to him. Jimenez visual storytelling really adds to the dialogue that Tynion writes for all of the characters

The Bad: With each issue that passes the opening involving Batman being captured by Scarecrow in the future is outliving its welcome. At some point we need to get to this particular future. The longer it goes on the more we don’t worry about Batman’s current situation since we know there is an eventual clash with Scarecrow that comes next.

Overall: Batman #109 is another excellent entry in the Infinite Frontier era for this series. James Tynion and Jorge Jimenez continue to just knock it out of the park with delivering a multi-layered story. Every character from Batman to Harley Quinn to Peacekeeper-01 have their own story to tell as Gotham City’s future continues to be shaped.

GREEN LANTERN #3

Creative Team

Writer: Geoffrey Thorne

Artists: Tom Raney and Marco Santucci

Colorist: Michael Atiyeh

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: It was only a matter of time before the future we saw in Future State be the main focus for a series from DC Comics. We’ve seen various elements from Future State come into play with titles such as Batman and Superman. But nothing like what Green Lantern #3 presents as Geoffrey Thorne goes all in on showing us how we possibly got to the Future State status quo for the Green Lantern Corps. Which had its fair share of good and bad that came with this decision.

On the good side of things, Thorne does a great job exploring how the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps has severe impact for the DC Universe. When we spend time on Oa with Jo Mullein, who is the only Green Lantern with her ring powers still active, Thorne’s writing is at its best. Even though she is still a rookie Jo does not back down and takes on the responsibilities of being a leader as she tries to help many on Oa, including Simon Baz and Keli Quintela. Her voice adds to how concerning the situation is, especially when we get to the final panel of Green Lantern #3 that creates many more questions towards what is going on.

The Bad: Where Green Lantern #3 doesn’t work as well is with the opening story involving John Stewart. Thorne rushes John’s story in Green Lantern #3 so quickly that you are left unconcerned with his particular situation. Skipping ahead in time to several months into the future removes any worry for the character even when he is faced with new antagonists. It wasn’t the best way to set a tone for this aftermath issue since there is so much to explore with the destruction of the Central Power Battery. There was no need to rush John or any of the Green Lanterns story with a timeskip to get us to the status quo seen in Future State.

Overall: When Green Lantern #3 is focused on the current situation Oa Geoffrey Thorne’s story is at its best. The way Jo Mullein, Simon Baz, and Keli Quintela handle the desperate situation make them even more compelling characters than when this issue started. Unfortunately Green Lantern #3 is held back by the unnecessary timeskip direction that is taken with John Stewart’s portion of this issue. Hopefully Thorne is able to figure out how to tell all the different stories that were set up with the destruction of Oa in a better way that all feels tied into one bigger storyline.

HELLIONS #12

Creative Team

Writer: Zeb Wells

Artist: Stephen Segovia

Colorist: David Curiel

Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: When Hellions #12 focuses on continuing the greater story involving Mr. Sinister this issue is at its best. Mr. Sinister is playing his own game in the current Krakoa era. Even when working with notable mutants like Psylocke and Havok we see that Mr. Sinister is in it for himself. And with the Hellfire Gala he just sees this as yet another chess move for him to make to get the upper hand for the endgame he has in mind.

Stephen Segovia artwork also does a good job at continuing to present the Hellfire Gala as a major event like the Met Gala. At all times you feel as though you are watching the biggest party in the world. The interactions play well into the wide variety of personalities that are at the Hellfire Gala.

The Bad: Hellions #12 verifies the problem that Marauders #21 presented with the structure for the Hellfire Gala. For as much as this issue progresses the general plot of Hellions it never goes beyond coming across as a tie-in comic book. It doesn’t even feel like a chapter in the ongoing Hellfire Gala. This issue just has a feeling of a tie-in one-shot that we would get comic books that are forced into big Marvel crossovers.

That ends up creating a feeling that Hellions #12 is not a necessary issue to read in this new crossover. The format of the event is clearly not made to be told over the course of 12 chapters. Hellfire Gala should’ve been no more that four issues. Comics like Hellions #12 just hammer that idea home as we don’t get any actual progression to what the Hellfire Gala is supposed to be about.

Overall: While there isn’t anything in particular to complain about Hellions #12 at the end of the day this issue does nothing to impact the Hellfire Gala crossover. This issue never gets passed appearing being nothing more than a tie-in comic book rather than a necessary chapter to read for the X-Men’s latest crossover. That is trend that has quickly been established after the first chapter of the Hellfire Gala.

X-FORCE #20

Creative Team

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Artist: Joshua Cassara

Colorist: Guru-eFX

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: X-Force #20 fare’s slightly better at telling a story that comes across as an actual chapter of the Hellfire Gala crossover. A major reason for this is because it actually expands on the interactions that we saw in Marauders #21. With X-Force previously established as the ones handling security for the event the team has a role to play in making sure things go smoothly with how the Hellfire Gala turns out.

The interaction between Emma Frost and Sage is particularly important in making X-Force #20 come across as a chapter in the Hellfire Gala crossover. There conversation further pushes the narrative around Beast actions on Krakoa. Even though Beast has Krakoa’s best intentions in mind he has clearly gone rogue with what he is doing trying to make sure all his plans work. The consequences of those actions made how Emma Frost made it clear she will not put up with it to Sage shows that Beast is one of the biggest wild cards on Krakoa.

Balancing out the serious tone of Beast, Emma, and Sage’s side of X-Force #20 with the silly action of Wolverine and Domino forced to stop Deadpool from crashing the Hellfire Gala a nice change of pace. Joshua Cassara clearly had a lot of fun showing how a fight between Wolverine and Deadpool would go down.

The Bad: X-Force #20 does face the same problem that Hellions #20 had with it coming across as a tie-in comic rather than true chapter of Hellfire Gala. The fact that we never saw Emma Frost reference Beast’s actions at any point in Marauders #21 makes it seem that this just happened in its own world. That is something you expect from a comic book that is forced to tie into one of Marvel’s events rather than one that is supposed to be viewed as chapter 2 of a twelve-part story.

Overall: X-Force #20 does a good job integrating the ongoing story involving Beast’s rogue actions to play an important role in how the Hellfire Gala turns out. Emma Frost being a major part of this issue created a sense of importance in this part of the story that X-Force #20 presents. Balancing that out with some fun action that goes down between Wolverine, Deadpool, and Domino made this issue more of a successful chapter of the Hellfire Gala event.


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