Monday Morning Comic Book Reviews: Week Of 8/25/21

Happy Monday everyone! To kick off the week on a strong note I am back with a new review round up of this past week’s comic books. This was a big week for my pull list that I just couldn’t get to reviewing all of them. So for this week’s Monday Morning Reviews the comics that will be included are Harley Quinn #6, Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1, and Thor #16.

Before getting to these reviews, in case you may have missed them my reviews with full synopsis for Amazing Spider-Man #72, Black Widow #10, Robin #5, and Superman: Son Of Kal-El #2 are all live on site.


Creative Team

Writer: Stephanie Phillips

Artist: Laura Braga

Colorist: Arif Prianto

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: Now that the Magistrate has been firmly established as the new policing force in Gotham City the rest of the Batman Family titles will be feeling this impact. Harley Quinn #6 gives us the first insight into how this story taking place in the Batman series will possibly be tackled by other titles. The opening of this issue sets a good tone for the greater Magistrate story.

It also works to set up how no one Batman Family member can take on the Magistrate alone. We see this with how Harley Quinn and Catwoman team up to take on some Peacekeepers. Stephanie Phillips does a great job continuing the chemistry Harley Quinn and Catwoman have built throughout their history. This team up also works to further highlight how Harley Quinn going down the superhero route while Catwoman is teetering between the good and bad side of things.

Phillips also does good work in using the Magistrate threat to further develop Hugo Strange as a long-term villain. Bringing in other Batman villains into the greater Magistrate storyline will create even more interesting angles to explore with this greater concept. The connection between Hugo Strange and Scarecrow added some unpredictable elements to what we may see happen during Fear State.

Laura Braga delivered very good artwork throughout Harley Quinn #6. Braga’s art shined best during the action sequences. The flow of the fight with the Peacekeeper did well to show how Catwoman fights using her agility while Harley Quinn is more of a wildcard-type fighter.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Harley Quinn #6 works well as it ties this series into the greater developments going on in Gotham City with the Magistrate. That connection makes the series’ inclusion in the upcoming Fear State event be a more natural tie-in. At the same time, we get a lot great interactions between Harley Quinn and Catwoman that leave you hoping we see these two team-up more often.


Creative Team

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Mark Bagley

Inker: Andrew Hennessy

Colorist: Matt Milla

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

The Good: Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley return to tell another story in the Spider-Man: Life Story continuity and I couldn’t be any happier. This was one of my favorite Spider-Man stories and Zdarsky and Bagley do not disappoint. They immediately make use of Spider-Man: Life Story take place over the course of several decades in Marvel continuity to explore a character missing from the original mini-series in J. Jonah Jameson.

With extra pages than normal to tell J. Jonah Jameson’s story in the Spider-Man: Life Story continuity Zdarsky is actually able to explore the character from a different way. Unlike most Spider-Man continuities we see with Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1 that Jameson has to actually face consequences for his actions due to his blind hatred of Spider-Man. How these consequences impact the overall narrative is all fitting to Jameson’s character. Even when it looks like he could possibly get better the negative aspects of the character get best of Jameson. One particular scene with Peter Parker really hits this home as we see different sides of the character.

Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1 also works to address another sub-plot that didn’t get much time. That sub-plot involves what ended up happening to Gwen Stacy’s clone after she left with Ben Reilly in Spider-Man: Life Story #2. I’m glad that Zdarsky took the opportunity to pick up this sub-plot as it was a noticeable character that just disappeared. By doing so Zdarsky further opens up to explore other aspects of what we know from Spider-Man’s life in the Life Story continuity if we get more annuals like this.

Mark Bagley continues to show that he is at home when drawing Spider-Man’s world. He does a great job at showing how J. Jonah Jameson ages physically and mentally throughout the decades that go by in Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1. It adds to the character development Jameson goes through to make his final fate something that you remember.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley do not miss a beat with their work on Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1. This issue felt like a return home as we get to see what happened to J. Jonah Jameson over the decades that took place in the Spider-Man: Life Story continuity. It was a great deep dive into a character Spider-Man fans have known for so long. This is definitely a must have for Spider-Man fans.

THOR #16

Creative Team

Writer: Donny Cates

Artist: Michelle Bandini

Inkers: Michele Bandini and Elisabetta D’Amico

Colorist: Matt Wilson

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: With Thor coming to the conclusion he can no longer wield Mjolnir Donny Cates takes the time to explore what that means for the character. Bringing in Jane Foster to help Thor talk this out grounded this story. Jane was able give Thor some real talk while still being his friend. Which led to a fun team up between them as Jane transforms into Valkyrie to take on the Wrecking Crew with Thor providing some back-up.

The conversation also brings the focus back into the vision Thor was given by the Black Winter. Seeing Thanos wielding Mjolnir with the Infinity Stones attached to the hammer is a haunting image. It does get you to wonder what will happen next in whatever Cates is planning to do. Which works well into the role Odin seems to be playing in this series moving forward as he and Thor get an unexpected family reunion with Freyja and Angela.

Michelle Bandini’s artwork throughout Thor #16 hit on the fun adventure tone that Cates story had. There is a lot of great energy to the art that even in the talking head moments we get a lot of expression in characters faces, especially when Thor and Odin first meet up. The opening scene with Thor’s vision of Thanos also hits on how powerful of a vision this has and its impact on the direction of this series.

The Bad: While Mjolnir is referenced it did seem odd we didn’t see what the Avengers are doing with it after Thor left it with Captain America. That was such a big, dramatic moment that should’ve gotten some follow up on. Mjolnir is to important of an item in the Marvel Universe that we don’t see how it getting left behind by Thor not being something Marvel’s heroes and villains act on.

Overall: With Thor leaving Mjolnir behind Donny Cates explores what that means for the current All-Father and how it impacts the future vision he was shown at the beginning of the series. Bringing in Jane Foster and Odin made this character exploration in Thor #16 stronger. Michelle Bandini’s artwork further drove home the impact of this development by enhancing the different interactions Thor has through the way character expressions were drawn. All in all this was just another solid issue in one of Marvel’s best titles.

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