Happy Monday! To kick off another week on a high note we are taking a look back at the comic book’s released last week. This week I’ll be reviewing Detective Comics #1038, Harley Quinn #4, Silk #4, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118. All of these issues bring a different style to the world’s they are showcasing. So I’m excited to dive into seeing how their respective story’s turned out.
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Meghan Fitzmartin
Artists: Viktor Bogdanovic and Karl Mostert
Inkers: Viktor Bogdanovic and Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
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: Mariko Tamaki has found a good groove when it comes examining the current state of Gotham City. Having a mountain of a villain in the form of Roland Worth has given Batman another major obstacle to overcome as the power struggle for control of Gotham City is intensifying with each passing issue.
With how much is going on bringing in Huntress to help out Batman further elevates the story and how serious the situation is. This also presents Tamaki a chance to explore the dynamic Batman and Huntress have as it is rare to see them paired up. The chemistry between the pair is natural and their work together makes Roland Worth appear to be a bigger villain than when Detective Comics #1038 started.
Similarly, the back-up story by Meghan Fitzmartin works well to further reestablish Penguin as a deadly threat. This is something Penguin has direly needed as he has been a punching bag within Batman’s rogues gallery for a long time. Showing how terrifying he can be against other criminal is what is needed to put him over.
The artwork in both stories by Viktor Bogdanovic and Karl Mostert artwork gets across the more grounded setting we are in. There is nothing crazy as both Roland Worth and Penguin are villains that are criminals with no special powers. They get work with that to make them both appear as credible threats. The way they present Gotham City works as we continue to see a city in the middle of major changes going on.
The Bad: The only thing that Detective Comics #1038 has going against it is trying to tackle to much. We have the Roland Worth story along with everything going on with Mayor Nakano and the Magistrate. There is a little focus lost with this much going on that Mayor Nakano appears as an afterthought even when he is in the issue.
Overall: Detective Comics #1038 continues the consistent quality that Mariko Tamaki has had throughout her run thus far. Tamaki, along with Meghan Fitzmartin, uses the change that Gotham City is going through to give Batman, Huntress, and the entire Batman Family antagonist and challenges that you want to see them overcome.
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo’s Harley Quinn series has been pure fun from the very beginning. Harley Quinn #4 is no different as both Phillips and Rossmo continue to showcase how Harley is a completely different character compared to the rest of the Batman Family. Having her embrace being a superhero now has given the character a new playing field to work in.
Throughout Harley Quinn #4 Phillips never loses track of how Harley is a character that enjoys what she is doing. From the opening playing chess with Solomon Grundy to her adding a cape to her costume so she can tap into her inner Batman, Harley Quinn’s unique style of action is present throughout this issue. It makes how she works against Hugo Strange’s wicked plans even more fun to see play out.
While Rossmo’s artwork will not be for everyone it is a style that is so fitting for the story in Harley Qunn #4. Rossmo does such a great job providing energetic artwork. The double page splash page in Harley Quinn #4 in particular just shows how Rossmo style is so unique within the comic books DC Comics publishes. It helps to further make this a standout title month-in-month-out.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Harley Quinn #4 is an absolute blast. Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo work so well together as a creative team to make every page in this issue standout. You can’t help but be invested in the superhero journey that Harley Quinn is now on as she taps into her inner Batman to take on Hugo Strange. If you are not already reading Phillips and Rossmo’s Harley Quinn you should fix that immediately.
Writer: Maurene Goo
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colorist: Ian Herring
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: For better or worse Silk #4 goes all in on developing the main antagonist in this series, Saya Ishii. Saya Ishii backstory itself is actually told well throughout all of the flashback scenes. The connection her family shares with Silvermane. It is something that was very much needed to build the credibility of Saya Ishii’s character and power.
Takeshi Miyazawa artwork continues to make this series such a joy to see things play out. Miyazawa’s artwork is particularly fitting with how we are getting into more super natural elements with the Kasha cat demon. The flashaback scenes for Saya Ishii also work well with the differences in style used. Ian Herring’s coloring in this aspect of Silk #4 shine as going with specific coloring makes the shift between present and past have a natural flow to the transitions.
The Bad: Cindy Moon is not much of a factor in this issue. Even though she appears in a handful of pages they don’t necessarily make you more invested in her part in the story of Saya Ishii vs Silvermane. It isn’t until the final page with Cindy finding Saya in her room that you remember that this is Silk’s story at the end of the day.
The cat demon Kasha also just comes across as a generic supernatural villain. There is nothing unique to this villain from what we’ve seen in past demonic villains. Because of that you never fear for Saya Ishii or Silk that Kasha is this impossible villain to overcome along with Silvermane.
Overall: Silk #4 was a necessary issue to develop Saya Ishii’s character. We are given the backstory to understand what Saya’s true motivation is and why she has been such a focus in the conflict Cindy Moon has found herself in the middle of. Unfortunately the focus on Saya’s character does cause every other aspect of the current story in Silk to suffer, that includes the developments around Cindy’s character. That leads Silk #4 to come across as nothing more than a set-up issue for how this story will conclude.
Story Consultants: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Writer: Sophie Campbell
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: It was only a matter of time before Oroku Saki, better known as Shredder, would come back into play. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 is where that all starts. Sophie Campbell smartly slow plays Oroku Saki’s return so that you still wonder what his true intentions are. His spiritual visit to the various Ninja Turtles sets things up so that he can play a bigger role in their lives in the future, as we see with how he got involved in April O’Neil’s story in this issue.
Speaking of, the bigger development in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 is with April O’Neil’s status quo. After working as part of Mayor Baxter Stockman’s administration we see all of that break down. In the process Campbell elevates April’s character to be even more important than it was before. The attack from Baxter’s mutants test all of April’s skills. Even when she is running in fear she finds the strength to power through. This all leaves April in a place where she can be a major factor moving forward as the Ninja Turtles conflict with Stockman escalates.
Nelson Daniel does a good job having Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 maintain the style that Campbell established for this series. Daniel’s art particularly shines with how he presents Oroku Saki as an ever present spirit in the lives of the Ninja Turtles and April throughout the events we see in this issue. Ronda Pattison continuing to work as the colorist for this series helps with Daniel’s style maintaining the consistency we’ve come to expect from the art in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 further establishes how all of our series leads are growing comfortable in their lives within Mutant Town. In the process, Sophie Campbell brings Oroku Saki back into play in a way that still leaves you wondering what his role will be. That along with April O’Neil status quo change in this issue creates a lot of things look forward to in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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