Take It Or Leave It – May 28, 2014

Welcome to Take It Or Leave It, where each week we pick out some of that week’s newest comics and give you our opinion on whether it was worth the price and you should take it, or if it was better left sitting on the shelf.

We’re back! It’s been a while, between starting a new job and buying a house I haven’t had a lot of time to read comics, let alone write about them! I’ve finally gotten myself (mostly) caught up though so I figured now was as good a time as any to get back to the one and only original and official Take It Or Leave It, except no impostors or substitutes.

Anyway, I’ve got a small group this week, but hopefully next week we can get back into the swing of a nice full Take It Or Leave It. And remember if there are any books coming up that you’re interesting in, but don’t want to pick it up unless there’s a good chance it’s good, let me know the title in the comments or on Facebook.

Alphabetical by Publisher

DC Comics | Image Comics | Marvel Comics


Batman #31

It really says something about the creative team, that even when a story seems to have gone on far too long, it’s still entertaining to read. I’m personally really looking forward to the end of Zero Year so we can get back to the Dark Knight of the present and see how things form issue 28 come to be. Even with that said, Zero Year is fun to read, and issue 31 definitely feels like it’s picking up more than recent issues in the Savage City portion of the story have before. I mean come on Batman battling lions? It doesn’t get much cooler. Issue 31 actually did a nice job of showing who Bruce was as he grew up to, with just a few minor scenes. And the Riddler / Batman chat was exactly what you’d expect from these two. All in all, while Zero Year hasn’t been nearly as thrilling as Night of Owls or Death of the Family it’s still be a solid story, and issue 31 keeps that trend going. With only two more issues to go in this prequel storyline you’d be crazy to skip this one.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Nightwing #30

Oh Nightwing, you were such a good book, and I’m going to miss you. For me the end of this series was when Kyle Higgins (who’s new book I talk about next) finished up his run last issue with #29. It wrapped up the storyline he’d been working on, and you could guess the next logical step was his trip to Gotham in the opening of Forever Evil. Now a couple months later issue 30 picks up with Dick ‘dead’ to the world, except Bruce, after the events of Forever Evil. I guess technically Lex, and Catwoman both know too but whatever. This wasn’t a great issue, it did do a good job of setting up Dick’s next series, Grayson, that debuts this summer. The problem is the story just didn’t feel cohesive enough, like the writing team didn’t know how to work together yet. I can personally look past this, as long as it improves by the time Grayson launches. It was sad to see Alfred’s reaction to what’s happened, but then we get to the Bruce and Dick parts of the story and it just doesn’t feel right. These characters have so much history, and there dialogue just didn’t feel right. The fact that both of them were basically just talking and not really having a conversation didn’t help either. I’m looking forward to see where Grayson goes, but this issue was just missing a lot of the heart you’d expect from it. Especially when it comes to such an emotionally heavy topic as Bruce asking Dick to do what he needs him to do. I just can’t recommend this issue, unless you really want to see the setup for Grayson.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10

Reviewed By: Chris


C.O.W.L. #1

I’ve been interested in C.O.W.L. since Image announced it back at Image Expo early this year. Series writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel are bringing their short film The League to the comic page. Which is fitting since it was inspired by superhero comics after all. C.O.W.L. stands for Chicago Organized Workers League, and it’s the first union for super powered people. They’re not the Avengers or the Justice League though, these characters actually feel like real people. Sure they can do crazy things, but they’re people first. They’re working their job, protecting people, and they’re not all in it to do what’s write, some are just trying to make a paycheck. The other thing about this story, it takes place in the 1960’s. But a slightly more advanced ’60s. This first issue did a great job of getting the reader interested in learning more about this world and these characters. The book jumps right into action, and spends the rest of the issue showing the outcome of it. I’m not talking fallout from an alien invasion, but how the news and other members of C.O.W.L. deal with life after a big fight. So if you’re a fan of super hero comics, but you want something different than what you’re use to getting at Marvel or DC check out C.O.W.L. it may just scratch that itch for you. A side note to all that, since this story has already proven itself as a short film, if the book does well enough we could be seeing the first steps to a new comic related TV series. Though we’ve already got plenty of them on the horizon, one more not tied into bigger continuities would be nice.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Inhumans #2

Like many, when I heard Matt Fraction and Joe Madueira were going to be working on an Inhumans book together I got excited. These two guys are amazing, and working together I couldn’t even fathom how awesome the work would be. Unfortunately Fraction left before the first issue was even done after some creative differences. Luckily Marvel put the book into the very capable hands of Charles Soule who’s been doing an awesome job on Swamp Thing over at DC. And the book still had Madueira, so it couldn’t all bad. And you know the first issue was pretty good, and so was the second, minus a few complaints. The biggest problem with this book is the shipping schedule, huge delays between issues, with #3 not coming out till the end of July. Oh and that issue will be Madueira’s last, again Marvel is replacing him with someone equally great Ryan Stegman. That’s all done though, let’s talk about issue 2 some. I hardly remembered where issue 1 had left off when I started this one, but quickly found myself back up to speed. The problem is whole issue felt unnecessary. Nothing really important happened until the last few pages. It was nice to see Cap and Medusa team up, and the scenes with Dante and his Sister had some good humor to them, but over all it felt like filler. The real selling point of the book is Madueira’s art, which as you’d expect was spectacular. This guy doesn’t do nearly enough comics, and even if Marvel just bounces him from book to book I’d love to see him do more. Unfortunately there are quite a few times where all we get are vague silhouettes of the characters, with the delays these issues are facing you’d think a little more detail would be possible. I’m not a publisher though, so who knows what the reasoning was. I guess over all this was a fun read, if not totally needed. As I mentioned before Cap and Medusa teaming up was fun, as was the reaction of the AIM people they were fighting. If for nothing else though, I’m recommending this book because Joe Madueira doesn’t do nearly enough comics and you should pick them up while you can.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Uncanny Avengers #20

Originally Inhumans #2 was going to be my last review this week, but then I read Uncanny Avengers #20 and just needed to talk about it. There’s something about alternate future X-Men characters that I can’t help but love. Seeing a group of mutants like Psylocke, Magneto, Cyclops, and Cable battling a mixed group of ‘freedom fighters’ in Havock, Wasp, Beast, and Kang’s team was a lot of fun. But nothing was better than seeing Wolverine and Sunfire set free, while they didn’t get to do much, there few panels of action were great after what we know they’ve been through the last several years. This arc of Uncanny Avengers is close to wrapping up (I think anyway), so the next couple issues are probably going to be intense and full of action. Issue 20 though was definitely the transition issue that starts it all, and it’s well worth checking out, especially if you’ve been interested in Uncanny Avengers already.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

You can Email Chris or follow Chris on Twitter @Just_Cobb or Facebook

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