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  • Review: Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #3

    Review of Lobster Johnson - Metal Monsters of Midtown #3

    Lobster Johnson Metal Monsters of Midtown #3The latest Lobster Johnson adventure concludes with a bang — not to mention a few “KRASH”es, “KRANG”s and “BOOM”s — as our hero once again goes head-to-head with the eponymous automatons. This time, however, he’s found a way to level the playing field, having located the secret control station for the decommissioned member of the robotic trio. Now in the virtual driver’s seat of the titanium titan, the Lobster heads downtown, where he finds one of the others waiting for him. What follows is a showdown of colossal proportions, with the two behemoth bots slugging it out while the intrepid Cindy Tynan gives the play-by-play from her mobile radio station.

    As the Lobster works the robot’s controls, we see his sanity begin to slip. This was a peril he knew of beforehand, that of becoming addicted to the mania that overtook Emin Aliyev and the other robot jockeys. When he begins speaking in a long-dead demoniac language, it’s clear he’s become possessed by the ancient Hyperborean spirits that authored this nefarious machinery. Will Johnson be able to win the day without losing his soul? Or will he degenerate into a “fiend” as Emin and his cohorts did?

    In the end, thanks to the help of his capable crew and his own off-the-cuff resourcefulness, the Lobster is able to put the kibosh on the massive mechanical menace, ruling out any loose ends by finishing the job in characteristic fashion: blowing things to smithereens.

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #3, Dark Horse Comics, released July 27, 2016, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Tonci Zonjic, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins, cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.50.

    Review by James Florence.

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    Review of Hadrians Wall #1

    Hadrian's Wall coverKyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis launch an all-new sci-fi noir tale, set nearly 70 years in an alternate future in which the Cold War was ended through a joint space colonization effort between the U.S. and Russia.

    The story opens with the mysterious death of Edward Madigan, a worker for Antares Interspace, with ties to our protagonist, Simon Moore. Simon’s tasked to investigate this death on the labor ship, Hadrian’s Wall, located in an area with mounting hostilities. The story that begins to take shape has all the hints of intrigue, conspiracy, personal relationships, and seedy characters that are cornerstones of great noir tales.

    The book takes on a tone reminiscent of classic sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Alien, while also delivering it’s own unique contribution in the form of ship design, fashion, and use of technology. The main character’s life seems to be more sterile and organized, which is at odds with the world around him that’s shown as more gritty and industrial.

    Hadrian's Wall page 1Hadrian's Wall page 2Hadrian's Wall page 3

    Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman Beyond) and Alec Siegel (Batman Beyond, C.O.W.L.) work great as a writing team. The dialogue seems to bounce with ease from character to character. The pacing of the panels is done with precision. And most impressively, the quiet moments in space are beautiful, lonely, and terrifying.

    Rod Reis (C.O.W.L.) delivers beautiful visuals that, even when full of blood, darkness, and scope, still feel focused, clean, and easy to follow. The aesthetic, while obviously inspired by sci-fi staples, feels like it’s a fresh take on those classics with interesting choices for fashion and interior design. Unlike a lot of sci-fi that feels like the creator’s idyllic world or worst nightmare, Hadrian’s Wall is more realistic in its depiction of the future.

    Hadrian’s Wall has the unique ability to stand on its own as a noir crime tale with a sci-fi setting, that we don’t often get exposed to. If you’re a fan of either genre, Hadrian’s Wall is something you should definitely check out.


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  • Review: Invincible Iron Man #12 – The Stark Reality of War

    Invincible Iron Man #12 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Deodato

    invincible iron man #12Readers are finally starting to see the impact of Civil War II – which pits Tony Stark’s Iron Man faction against Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel Brigade – in the pages of the core Iron Man book. Iron Man has been off in Japan dealing with threats to his company, only to come back to the US and find the smoking pit that was once Stark Tower.

    Through a series of flashbacks, writer Brian Michael Bendis walks us through the events of the Civil War II, including the loss of Stark’s best friend (and one-time Iron Man) James Rhodes (War Machine). We learn the Stark board of directors has lost faith in Tony and is trying to oust him. Meanwhile, Bendis is setting up the post-Civil War storyline by filling us in on Riri Williams, the wunderkind who is about to take over the title this fall with armor she created herself. It also lays the groundwork for the fall’s related title, Infamous Iron Man, in which Dr. Doom becomes yet another version of the character.

    While Invincible Iron Man #12 lacks much in the way of action, it’s a needed transition as we move back from Stark’s Asian adventures and begin to look to the future. To his credit, Bendis never lets the story feel unimportant even though nary a repulsor is fired over the course of the issue. Will we see fireworks in the future? Count on it. Will Stark be the one to fire them? That part is unclear.

    Invincible Iron Man #12, Marvel Comics, Released Aug. 3, 2016, Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Mike Deodato, Color by Frank Martin, Lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman

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  • Review: All Star Batman #1 – Synder Returns, Offers Batman Twist

    All-Star Batman # by Scott Snyder at

    all star batman #1Of all the New 52 titles, Batman was least in need of a makeover in DC’s Rebirth. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did such an amazing job with the Dark Knight mythos during that time that it was hard to conceive anyone else at the helm of the Batman Rebirth title. Luckily, Tom King and David Finch are killing it, and now Scott Snyder has moved on to All Star Batman. The art duties will rotate between such names as John Romita Jr., Declan Shalvey, Jock, Sean Gordon Murphy, and Tula Lotay, so that “All Star” label applies as much to the creative team as it does the villains in this series. Greg Capullo fans can look forward to a mysterious collaboration he has promised with Snyder after he finishes his current project with Mark Millar.

    Scott Snyder got the idea for a new take on Batman from a southwest road trip he took with his nine-year-old. While he had the whole trip planned out, the most fun and craziest moments they had were when the plan failed and they ended up off road. Essentially, Snyder decided to pitch a road trip where Batman would end up facing all the villains he wished he had written during his New 52 tenure.

    All Star Batman #1 cleanly establishes the plot of this new series: Batman has promised to take Harvey Dent out of Gotham and deliver him to a house where Dent believes he can rid himself of his villainous alter ego. Two-Face doesn’t want to be eliminated, so he offers a bounty equal to the fortunes of the three richest crime lords in Gotham on Batman’s head. As added incentive, Two-Face promises that if Batman is not brought down, he will reveal all of the illicit information that he has collected during his time as DA.

    Two-Face’s split personality, alternately helping and hindering Batman’s progress, makes him simultaneously interesting as a sidekick and a foil. The rotating cadre of artists keeps the individual chapters looking fresh. Batman even has a few moments of levity in the script. Wait. Batman has jokes?

    Stephen King once said, “There’s one thing I’m sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know more about this.”

    As an opening line, All Star Batman does its job in spades. I definitely want to know more about this.

    All Star Batman #1, DC Comics, released 10 August 2016, written by Scott Snyder, art by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inks by Danny Miki and Declan Shalvey, colors by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, letters by Steve Wands, cover by John Romita, Danny Miki and Dean White, variant covers by Jock, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, $4.49

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • Review: Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original #1 – Jax Teller prospects Sons of Anarchy

    Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1 at

    sons of anarchy redwood original #1Sons of Anarchy is a television show created by Kurt Sutter about a 1% outlaw motorcycle club operating many charters in the United States and a couple charters overseas. The mother charter and main focus of the show, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), runs guns throughout the Western United States, making enemies of rival gangs, politicians, and law enforcement. The show ran for 6 seasons, from 2008-2013.

    Jackson “Jax” Teller is first seen on the show as Vice President of SAMCRO, later President. Many of the show storylines focus around Jax trying to reconcile his personal life, the business of the club, and living up to the legacy of his father, John “JT” Teller, who founded the club and served as its first President until he was killed in a “motorcycle accident.” Much of the conflict within the club is between V.P. Jax and President Clay Morrow, who was JT’s best friend and V.P. (also, incidentally, the guy who was sleeping with JT’s old lady and had him murdered so he could marry JT’s wife and take over his club).

    Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1 sets up this series as a prequel to the television show, taking us back to Jax Teller’s youth. Eighteen years old and straight out of high school, Jax has decided to prospect for SAMCRO. Jax’ (Jax’s?) longtime friend Opie has gone the college route, but still hangs out at the SAMCRO clubhouse, where his father, Piney, is one of the First Nine. All the favorite characters from the TV show are present and none will be dying soon. Prequel, remember. The likenesses of Bobby “Elvis” Munson, Chibs, Tig, Clay, Piney and Clay are spot on.

    Many of the themes from the show are shown here in their infancy. Jax is torn between honoring the memory of his father and trying desperately to gain the approval of his step-dad, Clay. Opie is conflicted between fulfilling his old man’s legacy, earning with the club, and going legit with a college degree and a 9-5 job. The club’s long-standing policy to strictly run guns and stay away from illicit drugs is also put to the test.

    sons of anarchy redwood original - detail

    Fans of the show will recognize many of the show’s cast in the background of this issue, which focuses mainly on Jax, but new readers will have no problems following along. Ollie Masters consulted with Kurt Sutter before penning the script and it shows. The overall feel of the club, the clubhouse, the city of Charming, and the interaction between the characters feels very natural and true to the source material.

    Kurt Sutter’s prequel television series, The First Nine, won’t debut until at least 2017. Until then, Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original is a great place to get your SOA fix.

    Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1, BOOM! Studios, released August 10, 2016, written by Ollie Masters, art by Luca Pizzari, colors by Adam Metcalfe, letters by Ed Dukeshire, cover by Chris Brunner, cover colors by Rico Renzi, variant covers by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Brian Level, $3.99

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • Review: Batman #4 – Everyone gets a Chance to be Brave

    Review of Batman #4

    Batman #4Tom King is a fan of callbacks. The flashback scene in Batman #3 that showed a young Gotham walking obliviously with his parents into a mugging, then being saved from that horror by Batman was a nod to Batman’s own origin story. While the results of the two incidents were vastly different, both boys were inspired to the same goal in adulthood, saving Gotham City from itself.

    Batman #4 opens with another callback. This one is a double whammy. In a setup reminiscent of a well-known scene from All Star Superman where The Man of Steel gracefully lands behind a suicidal girl on a rooftop and reassures her that everything will be all right, Gotham finds himself stationed on a ledge behind an apparently suicidal man. He recites the same words to the jumper that Batman spoke to Gotham as a young boy on the night he was mugged with his parents.

    “We just have to remember that everyone gets scared. But all that really means is everyone gets an opportunity to fight that fear. Everyone gets a chance to be brave.”

    Unfortunately, the same words that inspired Gotham to become a vigilante crime fighter inspired this apparent bridge jumper to complete a different task, much darker than was assumed by the green hero. Gotham city is starting to take its toll on the idealistic young hero.

    Tom King’s decision to largely leave Hugo Strange in the background of this opening salvo of issues is brilliant. We’ve seen the bad doctor a couple times, enough to know that he’s behind all these strange goings on in Gotham City, but we, as readers, are still as clueless as The World’s Greatest Detective as to what end.

    The art team, led by David Finch, continues to impress. The dark and twisty narrative is matched by imagery equally. The implicit violence in some scenes is just as vividly portrayed as the explicit violence in other scenes. This title is carrying a “T” rating for a reason.

    Batman #4, DC Comics, released August 3, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by Sandra Hope and Matt Banning, color by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch, Jordie Bellaire, and Matt Banning, variant cover by Tim Sale, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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  • Review: Civil War II #4 – Explosive Verdict in Banner Murder Trial

    Review of Civil War II #4

    Civil War II #4Some time has passed since the death of Bruce Banner at the hands of his friend and ally, Hawkeye. She-Hulk finally wakes up from her coma, and the first news she hears is that Hawkeye has been acquitted in the trial for Banner’s murder.

    In Civil War II #3, when the majority of the Marvel Universe arrived on Bruce Banner’s doorstep to demand answers after precognizant Inhuman Ulysses predicted that The Incredible Hulk would kill them all, Banner was understandably upset. Banner’s eyes flashed green for a moment before an arrow was loosed by Hawkeye to end his life. Clint Barton’s defense was that the arrow was designed by Banner, and that he was following a pact he had made with Banner himself.

    At the end of the last issue, Tony Stark has successfully replicated Ulysses’ power from the map he acquired (by mild torture) of the young Inhuman’s brain. Stark sees the future and is terrified.

    Civil War II #4 sees Iron Man explaining the science and math behind Ulysses’ visions to a group of assembled superhuman leaders. The visions are not exactly what they initially appeared to be. He succinctly expresses his continued belief that following these visions blindly is misguided and potentially hazardous to the freedom and safety of law-abiding citizens.

    There are difficult questions raised on both sides of the fence. Are Ulysses’ visions accurate predictions of the future, or mathematical equations of probability? Does it matter? If there’s a high enough probability that someone will commit a crime, does it make sense to detain and at least question them? How high does that probability need to be? What if acting on the probability of a future crime being committed causes a different tragedy to occur, like the deaths of Rhodie and Bruce Banner?

    It was easy to choose sides in the first Civil War event. Both of the team leaders had solid, persuasive arguments, I was on Cap’s side from the start. This issue is a little less clear for me. I was initially firmly in Iron Man’s camp, then may have been swayed to Captain Marvel’s for a minute. I landed back in Stark’s yard after this entry.

    Civil War II #4, Marvel Comics, released July 27, 2016, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by David Marquez, colors by Justin Ponsor, letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover by Marko Djurdjevic, variant covers by Kim Jung Gi, Michael Cho, and Phil Noto, $4.49

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • NCBD: Supergirl and the Suicide Squad Join DC’s Rebirth

    New Comic Book Day 8/17/16

    This week brought a strong group of comics. For New Comic Book Day, we continue catch up with The Punisher and Daredevil as a conflict comes to a head, jump into the new Suicide Squad series, continue reading Jeff Lemire’s incredible Black Hammer series, and check out Supergirl’s Rebirth. Remember, these are only a few of this week’s new releases be sure to check the TFAW website to see even more. We’d love to know what you think of these books too!

    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.

    Black Hammer comics at

    Black Hammer #16

    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    We last left Black Hammer with the whole team meeting up to reminisce their past lives with the hero (and their leader): the amazing Black Hammer.

    In this new issue we get to see a glimpse into the background of Gail Gibbons, aka Golden Gail, wherein she was given the gifts of the gods to fight to keep the world safe — or is it a curse? Now Gail, stuck in the body of a nine-year-old, is just trying so hard to get back the powers that she once felt burdened with. We also get to see Walky Talky and The Barbalien trying to get a probe outside the boundaries of the small town that they are trapped in. Also, we get to see a clash with one of their old foes, Doctor Sherlock Frankenstein (best name ever!).

    How will this “family” deal with all the troubles of trying to fit into the small town they’re stuck in, and what steps will they take to find their way home? Are they even in their universe, or are they in a pocket dimension? Could this be an elaborate trap by a villain from their past?

    All that, plus we still don’t know the full story of Black Hammer’s fate. I’m really looking forward to learning more in the next issue of Black Hammer. [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    Daredevil Punisher #4

    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Jim Charalampidis, Clayton Cowles

    Daredevil Punisher #4 completes the “Seventh Circle” story, and it’s been a great ride. DD and Punisher have worked together in the past, but they’re at odds this time over a gangster named Sergey Antonov. D.A. Matt Murdock is transferring Antonov to Texas so he can get a fair trial, but Frank Castle thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.

    Soule wraps up the Daredevil Punisher miniseries in spectacular form, but I won’t tell you how this one ends, folks. What I will say is that it’s really great seeing how far both Daredevil and Punisher will take things, given their conflicting convictions. [Josh C. at]

    Suicide Squad comics at

    Suicide Squad #1

    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    For anyone who wants to learn more about Suicide Squad after the wonderfully fun movie, you should definitely grab a copy of Suicide Squad #1! The story starts off with Amanda Waller’s inner monologue discussing why she assembled the Suicide Squad — she believes that bad can do good, and she’s . . . well . . . somewhat right!

    The group is sent to retract a cosmic cube in space, and as the group battles motion sickness, Williams provides a flashback of how Deadshot landed right into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. It’s a great first issue, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Pick this issue up before it sells out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    Supergirl Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando at

    Supergirl Rebirth #1

    By: Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Michael Atiyeh

    Supergirl Rebirth serves as a slingshot for those unfamiliar with Supergirl’s past and her place in the DC Universe. The issue starts with a flashback that establishes a potential threat (or possibly ally).

    In the new status quo that is the DC Rebirth, Supergirl only recently crash landed on Earth (like, a few months ago recent), and the D.E.O. is trying to make sure she becomes a hero like her cousin, Kal-El. They’ve assigned full-time handlers Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers to show her the ways of this planet and act as “parents” to her alter ego, Kara Danvers.

    I anticipate good things from writer Steve Orlando; we’re already seeing strong elements of a family drama for this series and I’m excited to see how Kara adapts to Earth and comes to understand our ways.

    Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are already a good pair, and I’m excited to see how they will continue to come together as a team. Their art is similar to that of Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that. [Josh C. at]

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

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  • Review: Batman #3

    Review of Batman #3

    batman #3Gotham and Gotham Girl seemingly appeared out of thin air in I Am Gotham (Batman #1). Batman #3 starts to pull back the curtain on who these mystery vigilante crime fighters are and where they came from. The opening sequence is a flashback (with entirely too many “piss references”) where Batman saves a young boy and his folks from a brutal mugging. Back in storyline present, we learn the tale is being told to an incognito Bruce Wayne by Gotham & Gotham Girl’s parents. We’re following the story of the world’s greatest detective.

    Of course he figured out their secret identities. Although exactly how the pair achieved their superhuman abilities is still unclear. We only know it was expensive and it took place somewhere overseas. There’s a rabbit hole I’m sure we’ll head down eventually.

    “The Monster Men are… coming. Aren’t they…STRANGE…?”

    If you haven’t guessed by now, with the oh-so-subtle dialogue clues like the one above and two cameo appearances by none other than Dr. Hugo Strange himself, Tom King is setting us up to revisit one of the oldest storylines in Batlore, Hugo Strange and the Monster Men. King isn’t messing around with the “back to our roots” DC Rebirth concept. This story has its roots all the way back in 1940’s Batman #1.

    I am thoroughly enjoying Tom King’s take on Batman. We’re seeing more of Bruce Wayne’s sleuthing abilities and disguise expertise. The chapters haven’t been excessive in their use of action sequences, but the action is well planned and executed. The dialogue and setup is where King is really starting to shine. There are more than a couple times Mr. King effectively uses misdirection to poke at readers who have extensive knowledge of Batman and DC canon. Those are my favorite setups, where you aren’t sure you’ve been had until it becomes abundantly clear three panels (or three issues) later.

    Batman #3, DC Comics, released July 20, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by Danny Miki, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch, Matt Banning, and Jordie Bellaire, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • Review: Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #5

    Review of Green Lantern - Edge of Oblivion #5

    Green Lantern Edge of Oblivion #5Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #5 opens with Tom Taylor (Writer) experiencing a rather jarring memory that is revealed as none other than Guy Gardner’s. The memory gives the readers a little insight as to why Guy is the way he is. We all know him as this annoying rabble-rouser, but only now do we get to see where the man we love to be annoyed by comes from.

    With Guy at the helm, he leads the attack against the wolves in sheep’s clothing known as “The Blackest Knights.” But only Guy and his small group know the truth, so they must face their own Corps to get to the real threat faced in this book. Without giving away spoilers, Guy enlists the help of a powerful ally to help lift the veil of the enemies and expose them for what they truly are…and they’re true form will make for a grand finale in the next issue!

    One thing that struck me about this issue is that I noticed that Scott McDaniel was brought on board to manage layouts. His name should be familiar to hardcore comic geeks: he did a lot of great work in the 90s on books such as Nightwing and Daredevil. McDaniel’s talents really shine in this book, and having a separate person to do the layouts always seems like a good idea to me.

    The issue also flows well visually considering that there are many close-ups and conversational focus shifts along the way. Reveals are never too obvious, and as a reader, I am never confused about where my eye should be drawn to next.

    This issue focuses not just on the next logical step of plot for this arc, but it also gives readers a little look into Guy Gardner’s past. Guy is generally a character that doesn’t get much backstory, but one well-planned page of this book gives readers a great peek into this character’s background. Continuing that point, Taylor wants this history shown rather than told, and Aaron Syaf (Pencils) delivers in that regard. Furthermore, the team of inkers help capture the dark past we get to see, and they give that page its own style without contaminating the style of the rest of this issue.

    Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #5, written by Tom Taylor, art by Ardian Syaf and Cliff Richards, layouts by Scott McDaniel, and inks by Jonathan Glapion and Mark Irwin. Published May 11, 2016.

    Review by Alex Mitts

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  • Review: Mockingbird #5

    Review of Mockingbird #5

    Mockingbird #5Mockingbird is a series that seems to have it all. A butt-kicking, intelligent, funny heroine. Light plotlines with a hint of something more menacing to come. Guest stars aplenty. And now with issue 5, zombies!

    Bobbi Morse’s Mockingbird spends much of this issue battling the undead while trying to escape a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. medical clinic located stories beneath New York’s Chelsea Market. In the process, she runs into the likes of Spider-Man (the Miles Morales version) and Howard the Duck. (The eagle-eyed reader may also spot artist Ibrahim Moustafa’s Hulk-on-a-toilet in-joke.)

    As usual, Mockingbird doesn’t need to wait for a male hero to rescue her. From nearly the first panel, she’s taking matters into her own hands by taking out zombies while trying to understand the mysterious illness that may be threatening her life. In fact, it’s the fighting that takes Morse’s mind off of the rest of her troubled life and gives her something to focus on. She admits that the fighting makes her happy.

    As usual in this series, humor abounds. Writer Chelsea Cain keeps Mockingbird light, cracking more quips in a few pages than are usually crammed into an entire issue of Spider-Man (Parker, not Morales). But the surprising humor comes from studying Moustafa’s artwork. Although it’s a departure from the previous penciler Kate Niemozyk, it’s filled with jokes, from the awful flowered wallpaper in the doctor’s offices to the almost unnoticeable “Stressed out?” sign with a picture of the Hulk.

    The issue ends with somewhat of a resolution to Morse’s ongoing illness – though it’s probably not what you were thinking. The good news is that she will be back for more happy fighting.

    Mockingbird #5, Marvel Comics, Released July 27, 2016, Written by Chelsea Cain, Art by Ibrahim Moustafa, Color by Rachelle Rosenberg, Lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman.

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  • Review: Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #2

    Review of Lobster Johnson - Metal Monsters of Midtown #2

    Lobster Johnson Metal Monsters of Midtown #2In the second installment of Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown, the Lobster continues to dive – this time, literally – into the mystery behind the recent scourge of giant robot attacks on Manhattan. His search takes him underwater, off the city docks, where he discovers a freshly sunken automobile. What he finds therein further perplexes matters: an emaciated, bug-eyed corpse, clearly human, but with ghastly facial deformities.

    Following this discovery, we are reacquainted with Frieda Aliyev, the “ritzy dame” who is somehow connected to the earth-shaking events of late. Upon being identified by one of the Lobster’s crew, she attempts suicide, but is saved at the last second by Johnson. Back at her apartment, Frieda comes clean, revealing an intimate association with the corpse found earlier that evening. She recounts her husband Emin’s chance happening upon an ancient Hyperborean worksite while spelunking in China. B.P.R.D. fans will quickly notice the site’s resemblance to the one that, years later, spells disaster for Munich in The Warning story arc (in which the Lobster plays a spectral role). Emin’s encounter endows him with the genius — and mania — of those ancient engineers, inspiring him to construct the titanium terrors that are now wreaking havoc on the city.

    It turns out Emin was not working alone, rather, he brought in two partners to share in his maniacal enterprise. With one robot down and two to go, Frieda offers a suggestion of how the Lobster can defeat the remaining mechanical monstrosities. Moments later, their conversation is interrupted with a “KRASH!” that sets things up for the story’s concluding chapter.

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #2, Dark Horse Comics, released June 29, 2016, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Tonci Zonjic, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins, cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.50.

    Review by James Florence

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