‘BOOM! Studios’ Roundup Reviews: Week of January 27th

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venus_002_a_mainVenus #2 (of 4)

Writer: Rick Loverd

Artist: Huang Danlan

After narrowly surviving the crash-landing on Venus, the Mayflower crew head to a base in the hopes of receiving aid and rescue, but there’s still a traitor in their midst…

I loved the first issue of Venus, but the second issue was…wow. It was incredible. What an ending! I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending has me stoked for the next issue, and saddened that something as ripe with story potential only has two more issues to wrap up the story. There were a few character moments that felt awkward and out of place (the joke about 20th Century climate scientists felt odd and unnecessary, for example) but it was really neat to see the characters send messages to their friends, family, and even bookies. These segments gave us a much stronger grasp on who the crew members were while also giving it a whole new level of gravitas when you couple it with the ending.

Huang Danlan’s art is fantastic, and writer Rick Loverd is great at giving his characters personality and now backgrounds that make us care for them. We want to see these characters survive and thrive, however the likeliness of this happening is very slim, especially since we still have that traitor to worry about…which brings me to my only major gripe; the traitor has no real presence here, and we’re given no hints as to their identity or motivations. It’s almost as if the notion of having a treacherous crew member was almost dropped entirely in this issue. It was odd, especially after the first issue revolved so much around this big revelation.

Anyway, this series has me hooked and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Verdict – 9.0/10

EFNY-014-A-Main-239deEscape from New York #14

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Maxim Simic

Snake Plissken and a ragtag team of youngsters formulate a plan to protect his land from the government.

The issue starts out strong, Snake’s interaction with the cowboy is a lot of fun, but once Snake teams up with the others the issue kind of falls apart. Snake is a character who shines when it’s just him against the world, and these other characters he’s aligned himself with are just boring and interchangeable. One of them betrays the team, and I honestly didn’t care, there was no weight to it at all, and it just came off as a minor inconvenience.

Maxim Simic’s art in the last issue didn’t bother me too much, but in this issue it just seems really sloppy; not just with the background, but with the characters as well. They just all seem to blend into one another, which breaks the issues flow, as I had to go back and track who was who quite a few times.

Like I said, it started off strong, but once Snake joined the others it became boring and stale. It pains me to say it, as I’m a big fan of the film and I’ve enjoyed the ongoing series thus far, but this issue just wasn’t very great.

The Verdict – 6.0/10

STK692961Munchkin #13

Imprint: BOOM! Box

Writer: Sam Sykes, Derek Fridolfs

Artist: Maddi Gonzalez, Scott Maynard

Based on the uber popular card game by Steve Jackson and John Kovalic, Munchkin pokes fun at the fantasy genre in a world where you kill, you backstab, and you loot everyone around you.

In issue #13, Flower has decided to boost her popularity and trustworthiness with her fellow adventurers by taking on the role of a mentor to a young, innocent, and very naïve elven bard. Flower tries to teach the Bard how to conform to her brutal ways, but the Bard seeks motivation and justification much to Flower’s annoyance.

This issue is fun, yet a bit simple. It’s very formulaic, but then again it is written with kids in mind, which brings me to my problem with the series; I feel it might be a little too much for its intended audience. These characters literally kill, maim, and then loot other characters; sure, the violence isn’t too realistic, but there’s still blood splatters (they’re green, but still…) and talks of plunging swords into the guts of foes. I’m very familiar with the game, and I’m a big fan, but I’ve only played with adults as the humor kind of caters towards an older crowd and a lot of the humor might go over children’s heads.

With that said, the series is a lot of fun! The first story, “Of Dire Rats and Men” has art that perfectly compliments the games signature cartoonish style, so a lot of kudos goes to Maddie Gonzalez. The writing does its job, but there was a spot where Flower critiques various archetypes that had me laughing out loud. Sam Sykes nails the attitude of the card game, and Flower is a fun, brutally one-track minded character who’s fun to follow. The second story, “Lampooned” by writer Derek Fridolfs and artist Scott Maynard is pretty forgettable, but probably because it’s very short and there’s a lot more you can do with the premise of these characters discovering a genie. Scott Maynard’s art is great, but I feel like I enjoyed Maddi Gonzalez’s work a bit more.

I recommend it, but only to kids older than the age of 10.

The Verdict – 8.0/10

328981._SX640_QL80_TTD_Peanuts #30

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writers: Charles M. Schulz, Jason Cooper

Artists: Charles M. Schulz, Vicki Scott, Scott Jeralds

The adventures of The Peanuts Gang continue in a two-part story featuring stories by the late Charles M. Schulz.

“Sewer or Later” is the first story in Peanuts #30, and I laughed at how relatable Lucy’s struggle to become the focus of Schroder’s attention was. Lucy comes to the realization that she must eliminate her competition in order to win Schroeder’s affection, and her competition doesn’t come in the form of another girl, but in the form of Schroeder’s beloved piano.  Lucy does the unthinkable, and tosses Schroeder’s piano into the sewer. This prompts an adventure that honestly falls flat, there was a lot of potential to this, and it ends in a way that felt incomplete. The problem isn’t with writer Jason Cooper’s portrayal of the characters, they’re still spot on with each and every issue, it just feels like the story had more places to go.

In “Love & Marcie”, Marcie finally musters up the courage to ask Charlie Brown whether or not he likes her, and when Marcie doesn’t get a definitive answer she proceeds to get “crabby” and she takes it out on everyone else, including Peppermint Pattie. Marcie has always been a character that’s been bossed around throughout the comic strips, TV shows, and movies, but seeing her stick up for herself is fun in theory, but here it seems just a little too mean-spirited. It’d work better if Marcie’s attitude wasn’t crabby, but the other characters saw it as crabby when Marcie was really just sticking up for herself for once.

The Verdict – 8.5/10


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