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  • Captain Marvel becomes Mighty

    NCBD Jan 18th 2017

    It’s a small week for NCBD Reviews. We’re looking at The Mighty Captain Marvel and Green Lanterns. As always These are only a small part of what came out this week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    The Mighty Captain Marvel #1
    By: Margaret Stohl, Ramon Rosanas, Elizabeth Torque

    Back with a new series after the events of Civil War II. Carol Danvers has a lot going on. Running Alpha Flight, a TV Show about her, and of course her non-superhero duties.

    Aliens from all over the galaxy are coming to earth for help. One small blue skinned Kree is getting some unwanted attention of some Army Rangers. Carol jumps into action saving the child and finding out that the ranger isn’t a ranger. They’re a galactic bounty hunter after the Kree child.

    With a Captain Marvel movie coming out in 2019, if you’re not familiar with her this was a fine jumping on point. Yes, there are mentions of past events, but learning who Carol is at her core is still there. [Martin M. at]

    Jump on this high flying adventure today!

    Green Lanterns #15
    By: Sam Humphries, Tom Derenick, Miguel Mendonca, Scott Hanna

    What do you do when your greatest enemy is yourself? How do master willpower when anxiety and fear haunt your every thought. This stand-alone issue focuses on our newest lantern, Jessica Cruz, as we spend a day in her life trying to manage her chronic anxiety, but still be a hero. Let me just say, it’s moving.

    Sam Humphries crafts a story that shows how anxiety really works. It’s not always the big, Earth ending things, but the little day to day things that tear away at a person’s confidence and willpower. It also goes to show that what makes a great Green Lantern isn’t being fearless, but the ability to concur your fear. Miguel Mendonca does a great job balancing the subtly of the story, along with the over the top action a series like Green Lanterns demands. I’m especially impressed that with the scenes focusing on panic attacks being more intense than the actual action.

    If you’re looking for a personal story that really gets to the core of a character, Green Lanterns #15 is it. [Mikey N. at]

    Join the Green Lantern Corps today!

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Sins of the Past


    Everyone’s favorite vampire with a soul is back. Spinning out of appearances in the successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel & Faith series, Angel stars in his own solo series again.

    In Angel Season Eleven #1,  Angel and his longtime associate Fred investigate a haunting in a Dublin hotel. However, the investigation soon leads to memories from Angel’s very dark past.

    What do these memories mean and why are there so many bugs in them? These questions lead Angel and Fred on the mystery that forms the spine for the series’ first arc.

    Angel and Fred Team Up

    Angel’s past as the villainous vampire Angelus has always been ripe for story potential on TV and in comics. It’s a strong choice to make his backstory a cornerstone of this series. Angel is one of the most haunted characters in pop culture. Writer Corinna Bechko uses that to blaze forth a new storyline for him.

    The other interesting thing about the book is the inclusion of the character of Fred. Viewers of the TV show know Fred’s body was possessed by the ancient demon Illyria in the final season. In this new series Fred tries to share her body with Illyria.

    As you can imagine, a modern-day girl and an ancient demon don’t make the best pair of body-mates. However, with Illyria inside her, Fred is able to access powers important to revealing the truth about what’s going on in Dublin.

    Angel has always been a fan favorite character within the Buffy-verse. So, it’s nice to see him in his own series again. Based on this first issue it seems like a lot of narrative seeds have been planted. This makes for a large-scale adventure for the issues to come.


    Angel Season Eleven #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release Date January 18, 2017, Written by Corinna Bechko, Art by Geraldo Borges, Colors by Michelle Madsen, Cover by Scott Fischer, $3.99

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  • An Action-Packed Crossover


    The first issue of this six-part series is brisk and action packed. And it delivers all you could hope for in a Justice LeaguePower Rangers crossover. The result is plenty of action and spectacular appearances of your favorite comics characters.

    Justice League Power Rangers #1 begins in the Power Ranger’s home and metropolis of Angel Grove. We are dropped in the action moments after a cataclysmic catastrophe has wiped Angel Grove off the face of the planet. There is a time swipe and we are brought back 36 hours where the Power Rangers are grouping up to find Alpha 5. Zack finds him and brings him back, but it’s all a trap.

    Taking on Batman

    Lord Zedd and his Putties invade the Command Center. A fight breaks out and Zack ends up teleporting Zedd away. Unfortunately he teleports them to another world. It is here on the earth in the DC Universe that Batman is mistaken for one of Zedd’s cronies. A spectacular fight breaks out between the Rangers and our Caped Crusader of Gotham.

    A major part of the story has already been set up with the destruction of Angel Grove. In future issues you can expect many unique team ups and meaningful moments between the two groups of heroes.

    Already we have the sense that Zack is going to feel guilty for all that has happened. He’ll need someone to ground him (into the earth, not confine him to his room) and what better mentors of power than the Justice League? There is a lot to look forward to in this mini-series.

    So, if you grew up with either or both of these series, you’ll love this crossover.


    Justice League Power Rangers #1, DC Comics and Boom Studios, Released January 11, 2017, Rated T, Written by Tom Taylor, Art by Stephen Byrne, Cover by Karl Kerschl, $3.99

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  • Yield or Die


    Doctor Jane Foster has possibly the most awkward double life in comics. When she wields Mjölnir, Foster is the Goddess of Thunder. She has all the power of Thor. Foster reverts to her human form when she isn’t holding the mystic hammer.

    Complicating Foster’s situation is the cancer that is slowly killing her. Every time Foster transforms into Thor, all toxins are purged from her body. That includes the chemo cocktail that keeps her cancer at bay. Few even suspect the mighty god and the dying cancer patient are one and the same.

    The Asgard/Shi’ar War Story Arc Begins Here

    In The Mighty Thor #15, the gates of Asgard are breeched in spectacular fashion. Gladiator and his Shi’ar henchmen blast through Heimdall to cross Bifrost and set upon the city. The Asgardians are caught off guard by having their immovable sentry so easily dispatched.

    It is up to the Thor and the Thunder Guards to thwart the invasion. In a seemingly impossible development, the gods appear to be at a considerable disadvantage. These alien trespassers are not to be underestimated.

    Jason Aaron’s script is packed with action, but also serves to introduce and develop several characters that will be key in the upcoming arc. This is especially impressive considering that Aaron is pulling double duty here. He is also killing it with The Odinson in Unworthy Thor.

    Russell Dauterman showcases his mastery of angles and perspective in this chapter. His panels and gutters tell a story on their own. You won’t find a standard 9-panel grid anywhere in this book. As the chaos builds, Dauterman gets further and further away from ordered layouts, adding another layer of tension to the story.


    The Mighty Thor #15, Marvel Comics, Released January 11, 2017, Rated T+, Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Russell Dauterman, Color by Matthew Wilson, Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino, $3.99

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  • The Long Claw of the Lobster


    Lobster Johnson was first introduced in Hellboy in 1999. He has been a cornerstone of writer’s Mike Mingola’s supernatural world ever since. The Lobster, wearing his signature jacket and goggled helmet, continues to strikes fear into the hearts of both the mundane and paranormal.

    In the standalone adventure Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, he stalks the streets of 30s era New York. The Lobster attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding a mob enforcer, And mobster Benny Jeunot may not be quite as dead as the authorities might wish.

    We find The Lobster in a graveyard accompanied by one of his trusted allies, Harry McTell. Harry informs the titular hero about the enforcer in question and how he most certainly can’t be a zombie. Despite Harry’s litany of reasons, The Lobster remains stoically certain about the paranormal goings on.

    An Imperfect Hero on a Mission

    Our hero sends Harry away to search the caretaker’s quarters. Then, The Lobster’s suspicions are given terrifying form. He is assaulted by an enormous attacker that bears a striking resemblance to the late Benny Jeunot. Thankfully, Harry returns in time with a double-barreled surprise for the apparent zombie.

    The duo follow the trail of their attacker and end up at table with three practitioners of a dark art called Fimbakonu. The result is a brutal struggle involving a pack of risen dead and Benny Jeunot. Harry’s quick thinking handily dispatches the revenants. That leaves three necromancers at the mercy of Lobster Johnson himself.

    Garden of Bones is an excellent entry into the Lobster Johnson saga, providing paranormal action layered with the crime-noir that befits the time period.


    Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, Dark Horse Comics, Release date January 11, 2017, Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, Art by Stephen Green, Colors by Dave Stewart, Cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.99

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  • Steampunk Revisionist History Lessons


    In 1898, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt was tasked with putting together a team like no other. The Rough Riders’ first mission took them into the midst of a smoldering conflict in Cuba. Alien technology destroyed the USS Maine, and Col. Roosevelt’s motley crew was commissioned to get to the bottom of it.

    The original Rough Riders consisted of six members including Colonel Roosevelt. The other five members were Miss Annie Oakley, Harry Houdini, Jack Johnson, Thomas Alva Edison, and Monk Eastman. If you’re wondering what these icons from the turn of the century have in common, the answer is very little.

    But Writer Adam Glass says of his character choices, “First of all, I definitely wanted everyone to feel represented.The people I picked come from different walks of life, different economic status.”

    He also noted,”There’s a woman in a man’s world. Women didn’t have many rights then. Same thing with the African American. There’s the magician who happens to be Jewish. Then there’s the very wealthy man who felt guilty about the money and wanted to give back.”

    Every Era Needs Their Rough Riders

    Rough Riders Nation #1 is a dossier filled with declassified files made available by Executive Order 13526. The redacted information in the file publicly confirms the existence of the original Rough Riders. It further exposes subsequent versions of the team that existed long after the original team disbanded.

    Rough Riders is admittedly influenced by League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The main difference being the League are all fictional literary characters. The Rough Riders are all real, historical heroes. Malcolm X, Neil Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Penn and Teller, and Billie Holiday have all served as Rough Riders.

    In addition , there are elements of Men in Black, Forrest Gump and Manifest Destiny. Fans of fantasy, science fiction, revisionist history, and steampunk will all find something to appreciate in this oddball series.


    Rough Riders Nation #1, Aftershock Comics, Release date March 1, 2017,Rated 15+, Written by Adam Glass, Art by Patrick Olliffe, Colors by Gabe Eltaeb, Letters by Sal Cipriano, $3.99

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  • The Unstable Captain


    Not all superpowers are gifts. This is something Nathaniel Adam knows far too well. Better known as the superhero Captain Atom, Adams has an ability to absorb and manipulate any kind of energy. This gives him the power of flight and energy blasts. But it also creates the potential to become a human bomb capable of devastating destruction.

    Captain Atom may not familiar to everyone, but the creative team of writer Cary Bates and artist Will Conrad strives to dig in the psyche of an unstable superhero in The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom. #1.

    It’s a six issue miniseries that helps explain the fate of Captain Atom and answer lingering questions about his effect on the DC Universe.

    Discovering Captain Atom’s True Fate

    This is an incredibly intense first issue. It opens with Captain Atom exploding into pure energy and seemingly dying. The story then flashes back to show us what lead to this moment. The issue does a great job of creating empathy for Captain Atom. He’s a potential danger to the world, yet all he wants to do is help people. He’s the got the power of a nuclear bomb and the heart of a superhero.

    Bates’ script never lets up from page one. Following his rescue of cruise ship from a tidal wave, Captain Atom begins to experience flare-ups of quantum energy. With the help of the Justice League, Captain Atom races to get to a suppression dome that can contain his blast.

    This race against the clock story is felt in every panel of Conrad’s art. The desperation on the face of Captain Atom and the Justice League members is palpable. You can feel the exhaustion of having these powers and the incredible stress and fear they create in Nathaniel Adam.

    This is a great kickoff to the new miniseries. The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom is an absorbing read for long time fans or those totally unfamiliar with the character.


    The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1, DC Comics, Released January 4, 2017, Written by Cary Bates, Art by Will Conrad, Cover by Jason Badower, $2.99

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  • Girl. Genius. Hero. Unstoppable.


    Nadia Pym was introduced as The New Wasp in Free Comic Book Day 2016’s Civil War II. The next time she popped up was in All New All Different Avengers #9. In that issue, Nadia arrived at the Avengers’ hangar just as all hell was breaking loose. She claimed to be the daughter of Hank Pym, the original Ant Man.

    The Avengers had their doubts but Nadia quickly gained their trust. There was only one stipulation before she could join the team. Nadia needed permission from Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp, to use her gimmick.

    Science Ladies Having Science Adventures

    The Unstoppable Wasp #1 reintroduces Nadia Pym while she attempts to get her citizenship papers. Having spent her entire life in The Red Room, she has no birth certificate. She will have to prove her lineage to remain in the U.S. legally. Nadia’s citizenship interview will have to wait, however. A giant robot attacks the city just as she finishes spinning her tale to the interviewer.

    Writer Jeremy Whitley (Princeless) serves up a teenage female role model in a new and refreshing way. Nadia Pym is the exact opposite of what you would expect. After everything this kid has been through, you would think she’d be bitter and righteously angry. Instead, she’s this beaming ray of pure, innocent altruism. She’s ridiculously smart, but she’s also a naïve teenager who’s never spent a day in the real world.

    The artwork is fun to look at. There’s a level of whimsy in the script that Elsa Charretier (Power Rangers, Starfire) and Megan Wilson bring to the page. There are a few awesome layouts with brilliant use of subpanels and gutters.

    The Unstoppable Wasp is an outstanding new series full of hope and optimism. Nadia Pym may be superficially aimed at teen girls, but her attitude and capability transcend age and gender.


    Unstoppable Wasp #1, Marvel Comics, Released January 4, 2017, Rated T+, Story by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Elsa Charretier, Colors by Megan Wilson, Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna, $3.99

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  • My Boyfriend’s Back


    Harley Quinn was created to be The Joker’s girlfriend. As comics readers know, she has become so much more than that over the years. She’s developed into a fiercely independent and beloved antihero. So, it creates an interesting dynamic in Harley Quinn #11 when The Joker enters Harley’s life again.

    After multiple teases in the last few issues, the Clown Prince of Crime himself shows up in Harley’s apartment. He says he just wants to talk. Knowing The Joker there’s probably more going on than what he’s saying. Harley wants nothing to do with him and Harley’s friend Red Tool (who’s not so secretly in love with her) is even less excited by the visit from Joker.

    A Newer, Kinder Joker?

    The Joker’s return is obviously going to form the backbone of the next arc in the book. But it is merely a prologue and epilogue in this issue. The majority of the story involves Harley and Red Tool breaking into an underground labyrinth of tunnels and taking on a giant blob monster. It’s a good thing Harley brought so many grenades.

    There are also the beginnings of a political intrigue subplot involving a nefarious mayor enacting an unethical plot to deal with his city’s homeless problem. LikeThe Joker story, this feels like writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti planting the seeds for something big down the road.

    Under the creative control of Conner and Palmiotti, Harley Quinn has become a vibrant madcap book that perfectly fits with its titular heroine. This issue shows that the creators have lots of ideas to keep this book going for the foreseeable future.

    A lot of the credit goes artist John Timms as well. His pencils sync up perfectly with the lunacy of the scripts and helps give the book a zippy pacing.

    DC fans will have to wait to see how this all turns out. But they should have faith that this is a creative team that’s got the goods to live up to expectations.


    Harley Quinn #11, DC Comics, Released January 4, 2017, Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti, Art by John Timms, $2.99

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  • Justice League #12 goes deeper into Justice League vs Suicide Squad


    Let’s get crazy with Moon Knight, bite off more than we can chew with Nailbiter, and learn some new things in Justice League this week. As always these are only a few choice highlights from this weeks new releases. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Justice League #12
    By: Tim Seeley, Christian Duce, Tony S. Daniel

    As a tie-in to Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Justice League #12 gives us a view inside the motivations of the event’s villain, Maxwell Lord. Captured by Amanda Waller, Max is under interrogation the entire issue. But is he really the one being interrogated? This book cuts between the present interrogation, and various scenes of Max’s career.

    Tim Seeley continues to be one of the best go-to writers DC has. His understanding and treatment of characters always honors their past but pushes them into the future. Christian Duce’s art is wonderful; to the point that I’m surprised I haven’t seen his work on a more consistent basis.

    Tie-ins can feel like less of a whole story sometimes. This team, however, brings a stand-alone issue that actually enhances the whole event. [Mikey N. at]


    Nailbiter #28
    By: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, Adam Guzowski

    28 issues and still going strong. With the last issue leaving off with Alice coming home to her mom being attacked. She snaps into action saving her. But for how long? Someone is planting bombs under Buckaroo Oregon, but I think this may just be a distraction. It seems this person may want the whole Nailbiter family instead.

    Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have been at this from the beginning. Mike’s dynamic art really pops with Adam Guzowski’s colors on this issue, especially when it comes to the explosions.

    If you’ve missed out on this series at the beginning. It’s worth the catch-up. [Martin M. at]


    Moon Knight #10
    By: Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Greg Smallwood, Jordie Bellaire

    Death and Birth starts now! Though this is issue #10 this is a great jumping on point. The team of Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire do an amazing job of pulling you into Marc Spector’s insane life. A new glimpse of his history, a splash of his present predicament, and a proper push to more adventure take place in this issue.

    Take your time with this issue. There are little treats for the eye in almost every panel. In addition, Lemire captures your emotional spectrum once again. With brilliant storytelling, pacing, colors and panel layout, you will not be disappointed! Just when you thought it was over…MOON KNIGHT takes off! [Sean W. at]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Cities Burning. Nations Falling. Betrayal…Death…


    This quote from East of West  pretty much sums up what’s in store. “This is the world. It’s not the one we were supposed to have, but it’s the one we made. We did this. We did it with open eyes and willing hands. We broke it, and there is no putting it back together.”

    East of West is a Science Fiction Western set in the savage frontier of a future dystopian America. In this version of events, the American Civil War didn’t end until 1908. In the fallout caused by the Civil War, seven nations formed.

    One of these, The Endless Indian Nation, is the spotlight of East of West #30.

    A War To End All Wars

    Issue #30 opens up a new story arc as the first chapter in the third and final year of Apocalypse. War has arrived at the threshold of Machine City, the capital of Endless Nation.

    The Council of Chiefs meets within the city walls as a seemingly insurmountable force gathers around them. Narishma, The Chief of Chiefs, wishes to attempt diplomacy before enacting his secret military failsafe. His council isn’t fully on board with the plan, but they eventually concede.

    Meanwhile, three of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse are drawn to the conflict. War, Famine, and Conquest are determined to fulfill The Message and bring about the final act of Apocalypse. The fourth Horseman, Death, is conspicuously absent.

    Jonathan Hickman’s script is weird and dark, and it pulls the reader straight in. Nick Dragotta’s artwork is stunning. Tiny details pop in close up panels, while he nails massive battle scenes. Somehow, Frank Martin’s use of bright primary colors sells the macabre nature of the script even further.


    East of West #30, Image Comics, Released December 28, 2016, Rated T+, Story by Jonathan Hickman, Art and Cover by Nick Dragotta, Colors by Frank Martin, Letters by Rus Wooten, $3.99

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  • Super Teenage Struggles


    Supergirl: Being Super #1 follows Kara Danvers as she is about to celebrate her 16th birthday. Kara is like most high schoolers trying to figure out life. Kara struggles with what she’s about, what she has to offer, and where she’s headed. But amidst the teen turmoil, a catastrophe strikes her small town of Midvale.

    It’s a thrill and a delight to follow the Girl of Steel as she deals wth growing pains AND having super powers. Mariko Tamaki makes many astute observations about being a teenager. You almost forget Kara is super-powered. Kara’s able to lift a tractor, but she also gets enormous zit on picture day.

    Growing Pains

    The writing is very relatable. The story is filled with characters that are uncertain and awkward, paranoid and controlling, confident and triumphant. Supergirls’ adolescent struggles are down-to-earth and enjoyable to follow.

    Joëlle Jones creates a beautiful piece of graphic storytelling. The issue is pedestrian and familiar while simultaneously elegant and novel. Midvale High’s track uniforms are a clever visual nod to the costumes worn by Kara in previous comics. That touch lends a tinge of nostalgia without derailing the momentum of the new series. The expression that Jones brings–especially through the eyes–is rich and perfectly sculpted. Jones also has love for the disgusting (Oh, that monumental zit!) that is showcased nicely.

    Supergirl Being Super #1 sets the stage for a ferociously strong, feminine and dynamic set of characters.


    Supergirl: Being Super #1, DC Comics, Released December 28, 2016, Written by Mariko Tamaki, Art by Joëlle Jones, $5.99.

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