Each week, we at Comic Booked like to offer some quick reviews of the previous week’s books in hopes of introducing fellow readers to new books, especially if you’re having a small week! This time we take a look at Amazing Spider-Man #677 and Journey Into Mystery #633, New Avengers #20 and Zombies Vs. Robots: Warbot Treasury Edition PLUS another sneak peek at a book coming out this week!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #677 (Marvel)
Peter Parker is single again. Things were going great for him and now the old Parker Luck is rearing its ugly head and things are starting to come loose. This issue is mainly about him coming to terms with being single after losing the best thing that’s happened to him in a long time. His way of getting over it, however, is questionable at best. He finds Black Cat and tries to drown his pain with her.
In a way it turns out to be a good thing, sort of, because while Black Cat was shooting him down, she was also being framed for the theft of something and is later arrested for it. Spider-Man is involved for two reasons: 1) he was actually with Cat at the time of the theft and 2) the place that was robbed was Horizon Labs! Now, it’s up to Spider-Man to try to help the Cat out and for that he goes to Matt Murdock aka Daredevil!
Now, while the conversation between Spider-Man and Daredevil is truly golden, the real treasure of this issue is the art of 2011 Comic Booked Artist Of The Year Nominee, Emma Rios, who shows that she can draw a main event character like Spider-Man just as great as she can draw B-listers like Cloak & Dagger!
(This story continues in Daredevil #8 on sale this week!) –Skott Jimenez
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #633 (Marvel)
Arguably still one of the best books Marvel puts out every month! (Even though they insist on putting that stupid Shattered Heroes banner on the front. I would love to have a FULL COVER for this series! These are some of the best covers coming out of Marvel today!)
So, this is more of a fun issue, as far as the parts with Loki anyway, while he and Leah try to get along in the mortal world and end up in something of a fight while trying to enjoy milkshakes. While this is going on, Asgardia is being rebuilt.
In another realm we see a meeting of the Fear Lords who gather to discuss the recent attack on earth by the Serpent and the fear he created and absorbed. Each of the Fear Lords has a reason for not liking the situation, except for Nightmare, who isn’t even at the meeting. Where is he? Well, he might be up to something that involves the recent rash of kids who have been possessed or something while sleeping and ending up dead. The possession part draws the attention of Damion Hellstrom, The Son Of Satan and renowned exorcist, who begins his own investigation of the phenomenon and tracks the source to Asgardia where Loki seems to be falling victim to some nightmares.
All in all, it’s another great issue of a series that is way to slow in gathering a following. This book deserves to be praised and more people should be reading it. –Skott Jimenez
NEW AVENGERS #20 (Marvel)
This issue sees the inevitable clash of Norman Osborn’s newest team of Dark Avengers and Luke Cage’s ‘New’ Avengers. After being sent to the wrong coordinates to respond to some vague emergency by Victoria Hand (Shield Liaison to Cage’s Avengers and former Osborn right hand woman), Cage and his team arrive to find Osborn and his ‘Avengers’ have already saved the day. Those of you who follow the series understand why Cage was even angrier than Spiderman to see Osborne and his team of psychopaths out masquerading as heroes. The brawl that ensued ended the same way most first-fight-of-an-arc fights end, with the heroes getting whipped and retreating to a place of relative safety.
While the fight did seem a little generic in that way, there were a few surprises that took place. One of which, I won’t ruin for you, but I will tell you it involved Norman Osborn and should make his involvement in the Marvel Universe far more interesting than normal. The end of the issue saw the return of Codename: Ragnarok. For those who don’t remember, Ragnarok is a Thor Clone created by the pro-registration side during Civil War. Ragnarok saw combat once which resulted in the death of Bill Foster A.K.A. Goliath. I don’t know what Bendis has planned but one thing is certain, it’s gonna be BIG. -Rob Conn
ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS: WARBOT TREASURY EDITION (IDW)
The first two-part Zombies Vs. Robots story is re-presented here in an oversized 10″x13″ collection. Written by IDW head Chris Ryall with fantastic art by Ashley Wood, this volume also has a prelude story that sets up some of how this whole thing began. Who were the first people to be in contact with the zombies and the world they came from? Find out in this issue!
This Eisner-snubbed series of books has been a favorite of mine for years. The concept seems a little hokey but it’s very well written. Ryall builds this world a little at a time while dropping hints of a bigger reality surrounding this concept. As I was re-reading this, I picked up on some subtle hints that were fully explained in last year’s Infestation event.
Then there is the art. There are no words that can properly express how truly awesome Wood’s art is you just have to see it to believe it and to see it is to behold something very unique and special. So, the story is zombies have overrun the earth and wiped out the human race. Shortly before and during the war with the Undead, the humans created various forms of robots, different types perform specific tasks from medical needs to warbots which just like to fight. Things get interesting when a single human baby is located alive and well. Not much is known about where she came from but the robots have taken it upon themselves to care for her until she is old enough to clone and bring the human race back into being. Sadly, the zombies find out and the resulting attack doesn’t end well for the baby. Does this mean the human race is done forever? This leads in to the follow up story: Zombies Vs. Robots Vs. Amazons! -Skott Jimenez
This week’s Sneak Peek comes to us from one of our new team leaders, she is an avid writer, gamer, and dungeon master. Her favorite past times involve raining unholy fire upon her enemies, devising the next great way to kill her party, and figuring out just how far she can push a PC before it explodes. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jessica Lynn AKA InfaPlat (short for Infamous Platypus):
CARD CAPTURE SAKURA, BOOK 3 (Dark Horse)
“I Fear I must make things difficult for you, young Sakura, but I’m sure you’ll be alright.”
Card Captor Sakura is in many ways the quintessential shoujo or ‘girl’s’ manga. It has little girls in pretty dresses with magical powers fighting the forces of evil, and handsomely drawn, bishounen (that is to say, effeminate men) a plenty. Add in a few cute magical creatures and spiels about the power of friendship and love and you’ve pretty much got Card Captor Sakura understood.
In Book 3, Japanese middle school student Sakura (which means cherry blossom) has collected all of the mysterious Clow cards; cards made by the ancient and powerful wizard Clow Reed and imbued with a power of choice (for example, wind, fire, flight, etc). You’d think her work was finished right? Wrong. A mysterious transfer student by the name of Eriol arrives, bringing with him a wake of unprecedented troubles and mysterious dreams for young Sakura. Could this child be the harbinger of something much greater, and what are these subtle changes to Sakura’s card magic?
I thought this particular installment was interesting in and of itself. You get a sort of ‘second season’ feeling from it right off, by the way it exposits everything that has happened in the first two books, making it easy for me, someone only vaguely familiar with the story, to pick it up and get into the new developments right away. A bit predictable at times, Card Captor Sakura Book 3 won’t be winning any awards for exciting character development or shocking plot twists any time soon.
Card Captor Sakura is nothing new to this side of the world, and many of you may remember the abysmal American adaption; WB’s Card Captors. If you’re interested in seeing the more intricate real story behind the television show, or you just love anime and manga along the lines of the more famous Sailor Moon definitely give Card Captor Sakura a try. If you’re more into manly Super Heroes or mecha (that is to say, giant robot) warriors, you may want to skip this adventure.