The Short Stack

As we grind our way through various comic series, we often think to ourselves, “Maybe we should tell people what we thought of this book.” Then memories of writing countless reviews where it’s a struggle to come up with more to say about a book for the sake of well-rounded paragraphs snap us back to reality. No more, we say! This ongoing column will offer you quickie reviews with simple ratings of comic books. We will point out details that stood out and made a book awesome or details that made it feel crappy. We’ll help you shop for better books because we love you. (Well, we like you a lot.)

Ratings:

A - Awesome
B- Better Than Most
C- Crappy in Some Parts
D- Doo Doo Mostly
E- Everything is Not Awesome, At All

The Old Guard #4: Image Comics. Greg Rucka - Writer, Leandro Fernandez - Artist, Daniela Miwa - Colorist, Jodi Wynne - Letterer

I can’t help but get excited when I see that Greg Rucka has a new independent comic title hit stands. I’m always pretty confident that I will like it and The Old Guard does not let me down. The book tells the story of two women and three men that are almost immortal. I use “almost” because they find they can eventually die, they just don’t know when. Some characters have been around for hundreds of years. Others a millennium. Then there’s the newest member, Niles, who is our guide while we learn about this team that seems to have been together for eons. The art fits the story well and colors are very vibrant. There is one issue left in the story arc before the trade hits stores in August. I suggest running to your local comic shop to see if you can pick up the first four issues now, it’s that good. Rating: A

The Wild Storm #4: DC. Warren Ellis - Writer, Jon Davis-Hunt - Artist, Steve Buccellato - Colorist, Simon Bowland - Letterer

Rebooting a 90’s comic property could be very risky but with Warren Ellis at the helm, I decided to give The Wild Storm a shot. Now two separate words (instead of the compound "WildStorm" that Jim Lee pretty much kicked off Image Comics with in 1992) Ellis is reimagining the universe for 2017, and I may say, is very successful at it in this first arc. I fell in love with Jon Davis-Hunt’s artwork in Gail Simone’s The Clean Room recently and I was super excited to see he was on this title. The new The Wild Storm has some intense moments and complex characters (the first scene of the first issue was a harbinger that this could be a great series) and fans of the old WildStorm Universe will be glad to hear that Grifter is back. Rating: B+

Transformers Lost Light #5: IDW. James Roberts - Writer, Jack Lawrence - Artist, Joana LaFuente - Colorist, Tom B. Long - Letterer

I’m going to make a bold statement: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye (now known as Lost Light) has consistently been one of the best, if not the best ongoing comic series on shelves for years. Transformers you say? Whose lead character is Hot Rod you say? The best? Yup. Hands down. James Roberts has taken the Transformers to a whole new level. Complex stories? - check (time travel, alternate universes, deep thoughts about religion, Megatron wearing an Autobot symbol). Complex relationships? - check (the first gay romantic couple in Transformers cannon, multiple female bots with smarts and skills, a psychiatrist bot). Why the hell aren’t you reading this!!!! Rating: A+

Judge Dredd: The Blessed Earth #2: IDW. Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas - Writers, Daniel Irizarri - Artist, Ryan Hill - Colorist, Shawn Lee - Letterer

The world of Judge Dredd can get a little tedious. But a little over a year ago Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas shook up Mega City One by erasing it from the planet in the Mega City Zero story. Through the course of that series we learned what happened to MC1 and its millions of inhabitants that somehow disappeared. Now with The Blessed Earth we jump years in the future where an old Judge Dredd is trying to be the law in this lawless land all while trying to train a new batch of reluctant Judges. I’d recommend the Mega City Zero book, especially to those looking for a new take on the Dredd story. Judge Dredd: The Blessed Earth is just goodness spread on top of an already engaging story. Rating: B