CYBORG #9 REVIEW
David Walker’s Cyborg series has had its share of ups and downs in terms of pacing, but has mostly made for a fun ride that succeeds in redefining the titular hero for a generation that desperately needs relatable, well-developed people of color. Now, the book takes us from Victor going up against interdimensional technoviruses and the sins of his father, to taking on the government’s suspicions. This book has been gaining momentum again and it hopefully doesn’t slow down despite this being Walker’s last issue writing the series.
This month’s issue might as well be titled “How to Be A Superhero Ally” because the lion’s share of it focuses on Cyborg confiding in his Justice League teammates regarding the Cybernetic Regulation Act. The plot toggles between this and Victor’s minor dustup with a friend. For the most part, it’s pretty talky, going into detail about legislation and technobabble, but Walker manages to present it in a way that doesn’t feel dull or slow. A lot of it actually seems to mirror something we would read in Marvel’s Civil War, only without Mark Millar’s unnecessarily macho tough-guy talk. click to continue
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #2
Okay, so this is what happens when you get diverse creators to write stories.
Word is spreading through the criminal underground that Luke and Danny bust up Tombstone to get what people are calling the Supersoul Stone, not realizing they were set up by their old friend Jennie and her accomplice Black Mariah. Through diner fights and conversations with nuns, Luke and Danny become one iota the wiser while Mariah and Jennie move forward with their plans.
Y’all, I cannot get over how awesome a ride Power Man and Iron Fist #2 was. There were some amazing cameos and the story was one of the most hilarious I’ve read in a long time. The entire issue felt Black, and I loved it, because it demonstrates the power of hiring Black and other diverse creators and allowing them to tell a story based on their perspective. This issue is why Black creators need to write Black characters from start to finish and serves as a reminder why creators that belong to other marginalized groups need and deserve to write characters and stories from their perspective. click to continue
Starbrand and Nightmask #4
Starbrand and Nightmask #4 feels like a comfortable old sweater from high school that still fits you. This is classic kids-in-college as super heroes comic book fare. It feels like Spider-Man from his time at ESU, which is where former Avengers,Kevin (Starbrand) and Adam (Nightmask) have also enrolled. I had a good time reading this book for all of the old-timely stuff that it did, as well as the more space-time continuum far-fetched content that it also spooled.
Starbrand and Nightmask were intricately involved in the final results of Secret Wars, with the Beyonder who killed Starbrand bringing himself close enough to be destroyed when Kevin unleashed the Starbrand power being the tip-over point for the eventual victory of the good guys. Now back on current-time earth, Starbrand is still in perpetual danger of exploding himself, unleashing the Starbrand force on the earth, and rending it into so much dog food. Nightmask helps keep watch over him as they both try and find their way together in a new continuity click to continue.
Silk has been on fire for me, and this issue didn’t disappoint.
Cindy has taken on so much in her roles as a double agent, Fact Channel employee, and concerned sister, dark truths she’s been ignoring are finally coming to the surface. During her debriefing by Mockingbird, Cindy seems to be softening on her feelings for Black Cat. Together they freed the teenagers from the Goblin King’s control and revealed him to be none other than Phil Urich (any relation to Ben?). Could someone capable of that be all bad? Mockingbird warns Cindy that Black Cat isn’t her friend and can’t be trusted. Click to continue
WE ARE ROBIN #10
The We Are Robin series has been packed with plenty of action and heartbreak. The would-be heroes of Gotham have been more than they can handle on numerous occasions, and this continued showdown with the the copycat group, known as The Jokers, is no exception. However, issue 10 takes some breathing room, not just throw action sequences in the face of the readers. For readers who complain that major superhero comics never take the time for character development, they will love this issue. That is exactly what is center stage: character development.
This issue goes through each member of the Robin team to see how they are doing after the fallout of each of their choices. It provides an introduction to new readers who might have skipped due to Robin War or haven’t really taken the time to check the book out. Yet, the full ramifications of their choices might be lost on new readers. Considering how powerful the Jokers story has been, it would be good to go back at least two or three issues to check out everything the team has been dealt. click to continue
THE TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #4
If anything, The Totally Awesome Hulk, has been a tremendously fun series. Amadeus Cho is a character who deserves this kind of spotlight and who better to shine that spotlight than Greg Pak and Frank Cho! The first 3 issues of this series mixed a great brother/sister dynamic with fun monster battles and issue 4 continues that formula while finally reaching the big moment we’ve been building to in the flashbacks. With that, The Totally Awesome Hulk #4 may just be the best issue of the series yet.Something about Greg Pak’s previous Hulk work that has been brought back to this series is the central idea of monsters. Planet Hulk presented the struggle Hulk had with the idea that he might actually belong on a planet with monsters rather than humans. The Totally Awesome Hulk presents the struggle Amadeus has of controlling the Hulk’s inner monster. Throughout this series, Amadeus has been trying to tame the beast and defeat his enemies without the savage and animalistic rage of the Hulk. Here, we see Amadeus accepting it for a brief moment and it is awesome. The book is setting up a phenomenal inner conflict for Amadeus that developed very well in this issue. Structurally, it felt fitting that this ongoing struggle would reach a new height while this debut arc came to a quick close. Click to Continue
The Ultimates #5
This series offers something a little different than what I see in the other Marvel books I read each month. A team of superheroes have come together for one reason and that’s to fix any and all problems in the galaxy that no one else is really thinking about. Their first task as a team was to fix Galactus. When I read this in the first issue I was astounded that a cosmic being of Galactus’ power needed fixing. Since that first issue I have wanted to see what other little secrets and possibilities that this new Ultimates team would uncover and fix.
Writer Al Ewing breathing fresh air into the Marvel Universe books I’m reading. This team reminds me of the old Fantastic Four, when the Fantastic Four were all about handling cosmic situations. Now Ewing is bringing us to the issue of the corruption of the timelines. Heroes coming and going from the future and past, it’s not supposed to be this way, now it is the Ultimate’s job to fix it. Not only that, but if you were following the Secret Wars comics, you know a lot of heroes died or Doom erased them. One Marvel character has been missing post-Secret Wars, but not any more! Each new issue brings something I find astonishing and I can’t help but wonder what Ewing is going to do next