By: Derek Ng
Let’s not beat around the bush, comics are getting expensive. With so many new issues, epic sagas, and never-ending disasters, my wallet can only take so much. Cover Price is a weekly comic review with the set budget of $15. I mostly pick my choices based on cover, price, and hype. Which company suckered me into buying their issues this week? Were the issues I picked up worth the $15 cut? Were the issues you picked up worth your money?
5/20/15 C.C.P. Reviews:
Convergence Swamp Thing #2 – $3.99
A-Force #1 – $3.99
Ultimate End #1 – $3.99
Star Wars #5 – $3.99
Convergence Swamp Thing #2
Writer: Len Wein | Artist: Kelley Jones
Convergence has been one of oddest comic events in recent years. What started as an interesting idea has produced extremely mixed results. The main Convergence story is unnecessary and just not that fun, while the tie-ins can vary from interesting to dull. Luckily, Convergence Swamp Thing #2 is actually pretty interesting. The story being told seems like one that the creative team wanted to tell versus being paid to tell. I mentioned in my review of Convergence Swamp Thing #1 that Len Wein did a great job helping readers understand who his Swamp Thing is. Continuing from that issue, this issue is more about the idea of the Convergence event (combining two multiverse characters into one story). This story reminds me of the 90’s Marvel and DC crossovers. The characters understand that they can work together to defeat a common enemy instead of just fight each other. In fact, I feel like this issue could stand on its own without Convergence. It doesn’t even feel tied to Convergence and more like a natural team-up, which makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience. The story follows Swamp Thing teaming up with Vampire Batman (Batman & Dracula: Red-Rain). Kelley Jones’ art is horrifically fantastic…a definite highlight of the issue. Kelley Jones has worked on the entire Vampire Batman series, so he’s definitely drawing characters he’s familiar with. Both Batman and Swamp Thing are drawn to highlight their unnatural features. Batman’s vampire features and starved skeletal structure can make for some beautiful pages. Seeing Jones’ pencils on creatures such as Swamp Thing or Vampire Batman just seems so natural. And that’s really what makes this issue good. The creative team knows how to work their strengths. This isn’t really a Convergence tie-in, but Len Wein’s Swamp Thing story featuring Kelly Jones’ Batman. If you want to read about Vampire Batman or Swamp Thing, or both, buy this issue. Even if you’re not interested, this at least deserves a look-through.
Writer: G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett | Artist: Jorge Molina
When Marvel announced an all-female Avengers team featuring Marvel’s greatest women, I was excited because I knew the creative team would do the series justice! G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett do not disappoint with this first issue. They establish the rules of Battleworld and go right into the story. New readers should be able to pick it up and understand what’s happening. Dr. Doom is basically the ruler of Battleworld; each area has borders the citizens of which are not allowed to cross and rules said citizens have to follow. That’s all the background info you really need, as it’s quite simple. I like the inclusion of a female Loki, because the relationship between Loki and America Chavez is a definite highlight of the issue. A-Force is fun and action-packed, and even features a fight with Megalodon (a giant monster shark). Jorge Molina draws the women of Marvel with beauty and strength. Molina’s art aids the fast-paced action of the story and, at the same time, adds the necessary emotion to the dialogue. This issue sets up an interesting mystery with some beautiful art. I believe this series has great potential and can end up becoming a lot of fun to read. A-Force is definitely worth checking out.
Ultimate End #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artist: Mark Bagley
As I stated in previous reviews and editorials, Ultimate Spider-Man was the first book that really got me reading comics. So it’s fitting that there’s no other Secret Wars tie-in I’m more interested in reading than this. But boy is Ultimate End confusing. I understand that Secret Wars has changed everything and all the readers are learning the new rules of Battleworld, but there are a lot of things in this issue that need explaining. The Spider-Man in this issue is from 616 and seems to be BEFORE the Spider-Men, story because he doesn’t understand that everyone knows he’s Peter Parker (or he may be in denial). Tony Stark from 616 is still wearing his Bleeding Edge armor from the Heroic Age, yet Hulk (Dr. Green) and Cyclops (Uncanny X-Men) are in their most current iterations. Furthermore this story follows Bendis’ previous story from All-New X-Men when Miles met Jean Grey. As you can see, THIS STORY IS CONFUSING! I guess it’s an expectation that you have to read most of Bendis’ work to really enjoy the end of the Ultimate Universe, but this would be hard for returning or new readers. What I can say I enjoy about Ultimate End is having Bagley and Bendis back together. The Spider-Man fight scene was a refreshing reminder of how fun Ultimate Spider-Man was. Spider-Man was funny and Bagley’s art was dynamic and fluid. Bagley is definitely working hard to finish the Ultimate Universe and it’s good to have him back. For the level of confusion, I cannot recommend buying Ultimate End unless you’ve been following the Ultimate Universe. I would recommend waiting for the trade to come out, because I trust Bendis and Bagley have some solid plans for this series. Keep an eye on this series for now.
Star Wars #5
Writer: Jason Aaron | Artist: John Cassaday
Star Wars is such a fun series, but after the first three issues, the action has really slowed down. The story is more about expanding the (now official) lore between Episodes IV and V. Boba Fett is hunting for more information on Luke, while Luke is hunting for more information on becoming a Jedi. All in all, this issue is emphasizing how awesome Boba Fett is. I’m surprised that Boba has yet to receive his own solo series from Marvel. Jason Aaron’s story (from script to dialogue) feels like a Star Wars movie. The banter between Han Solo and Leia brings me back to Episode V. John Cassaday’s art also works well with this euphoric feeling, because his art highly resembles the actors and actresses. But I can’t say anything memorable or important happens in this issue. This is a necessary installment for building plot, but in terms of excitement, there’s not much here. If you love some Boba Fett, I recommend buying the next issue…it shows a lot of promise. As for Star Wars #5, I’d say flip through or pass.
Panel of the Week:
Boba Fett doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
There are many, many more books released by DC and Marvel this week. I wish I could read them all but my wallet can only take so much. What did you read this week? Which issues would you put on your $15 budget this week? Remember to read and buy what you want and support your favorite writers and artists!
Derek is comic book fan like none other. You can follow him on Twitter.