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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #15 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 4.5/5

TMNT Micro-Series #7: April [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

The Rest of the Stack Catch-Up: TMNT and AvX

The Rest of the Stack logo

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted much, so this is part of my “catching up” on the past month and a half or so.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES COLOR CLASSICS #3

I’d forgotten this issue’s story. I guess it had to be somewhere, but my memories of these early issues jump from the turtles meeting April and dealing with Stockman and the Mousers right into what is probably going to be in #4. Yet, we get some pretty important stuff going on here as the turtles find Splinter missing (possibly killed by the Mousers), and actually turn to April for help. We also get the obvious inspiration for “the Turtle Van” (but less commercial). And the issue ends with the introduction of characters that inspired one of the primary characters in the classic cartoon series. The story itself is pretty basic…nothing all that deep, but still enjoyable enough in itself. I really like the art here as it’s just “classic” for me (biased though I must admit I am). The color added blends very well with the original black and white, such that it’s hard to believe this wasn’t a color series to begin with. (7/10)

RAPHAEL #1

Beyond the first issue of the TMNT Color Classics, I wasn’t sure how IDW was going to go about reprinting these issues, and sorta feared the Micro-Series issues would be merged in with the numbering, resulting in TMNT Color Classics being its own numbering that wouldn’t correspond with the issue being reprinted. However, this issue simply reprints the Raphael issue as itself, and I love that. The issue’s story is pretty basic and cliche, lacking much of the depth that we eventually get with the characters. Casey’s introduction here doesn’t work so well for me, but every character has to start somewhere. There’s also some clunky dialogue with Raph that just doesn’t seem to fit ANY version of the character I think of. The art’s classic Eastman & Laird (duh) and looks quite good in this new colored format. (7/10)

AVX #8

This issue is largely focused on Namor, as he lays waste to Wakanda, and the Avengers dogpile him, ultimately learning some useful information about the Phoenix Force and its interaction with multiple hosts. Storywise, this was one of my least-favorite issues–but then, that’s largely because Namor’s one of my least-favorite of the Phoenix Five (coming in just behind Illyana). It’s also increasingly difficult to take the scope of this story serious in the face of ongoing stories in other books seeming to have nothing to do with what’s unfolding in AvX, and that even some of the actual tie-in books are barely pulling a “red skies” level of involvement. The art’s a mixed bag for me, with some of the pages looking good and others just looking horrendous to me. (4/10)

AVX #9

Nine issues in and there’s just enough of a “completist” in me to grin ‘n bear it: I started following this series, and now I want to finish it, just on principle of finishing it–though I dropped all the tie-ins cold-turkey due to frustration at Marvel continuing its cycle of not even letting one event finish before announcing the next, and the spoiling of the end of this series, and Marvel Now… This issue’s another beat-down issue, with the Avengers piling on Colossonaut and Magik, with Spider-Man taking the worst beating of the bunch this time. The art continues to be mixed, with some panels looking excellent while others look generic and a bit rushed by comparison. This is the three-quarters mark of the series, and I’m quite ready to get to the end. (5/10)

AVX #10

Cyclops has shown up to take Hope away from the Avengers, though she makes it clear she does not wish to go with him. Fighting breaks out, and Hope even gets to ride a dragon, before turning her powers on Cyclops with an unintended effect. After the previous issue, the Phoenix Force is all the more concentrated in Cyclops, which makes Hope’s effect all the more meaningful. With the ending of this issue actually pulling me back into stuff and looking forward with interest to seeing how this story’s going to conclude. (6.5/10)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #12 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

TMNT Micro-Series #6: Casey Jones [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Magic: The Gathering – The Spell Thief #1 [Review]

The Spell Thief, part 1

Written by: Matt Forbeck
Art by: Martin Coccolo
Art Assists by: Christian Duce
Colors by: J. Edwin Stevens
Color Assists by: Baileigh Bolten
Letters by: Shawn Lee
Edited by: Carlos Guzman
Cover: Christopher Moeller
Published by: IDW Publishing

Picking up right from where the previous mini left off (though with a different word from our hero), this issue opens with Dack standing before some castle. Triggering its magical defenses and eventually making his way inside, the Planeswalker/thief encounters some fantastical creatures and a Titan, all of whom continue to slow him down from catching Sifa, the planeswalker that apparently destroyed his hometown. But in order to escape the titan and becoming a permanent part of the titan’s collection, Dack may find himself facing the one thing he doesn’t want to face.

Art-wise, I’m not entirely impressed with this issue. It occurs to me that I am most entrenched in quasi-traditional superhero comics, or darker gritty stuff (such as Hellblazer) and this certainly isn’t either of those. The art is by no means bad–it’s distinctive, and this has a LOOK that screams “fantasy” which makes it fit into general Magic: The Gathering/fantasy for me. But I’m also so far removed from the game that this just reeks of generic fantasy to me.

Which brings me to the story itself. For one thing, despite a recap on the inside cover, this feels like it should at best be a #5, not a new #1. It could be a new arc, allowing for 4-issue collected volumes, but as a #1 I find nothing to like about the main character, no real reason to care one way or the other about his “quest,” and all that. I read the first issue of the first mini, bought the subsequent issues but haven’t yet read ’em with other reading I’ve been doing (except to get the plastic off #4 to verify just how closely these two series are).

I’m sure there’s a LOT of stuff that’s going right over my head that would jump out at long-time MTG fans/players. Probably folks familiar with current/recent stuff with the game would recognize spells and such used in this issue. But being “out” for so long, nothing’s obvious to me.

Then there’s the most glaring, heinous problem with this issue that soured me right from the start: this thing’s a whopping $4.99! Bad enough the derth of $3.99 comics…for that extra $1 I foolishly “expected” this to be extra-sized, maybe a bimonthly series with extra pages and thus the extra-sized price. But everything about this seems to match the previous issue: 22-page story, cardboard center to try to keep the book’s shape in shrink-wrapping; included genuine/playable game card…

But the card is not at all worth an extra $1 to me, and if that’s what drove the cost up, shame on everyone involved!

If you’re a big fan of MTG and enjoy fantasy comics…you’ll probably have a lot more appreciation for this than I did. As it stands, I’d be inclined to continue with the series for an ongoing overall story working off the concept of planeswalkers and such–the “core” of Magic: The Gathering–but I am so absolutely put off by the $4.99 price for 22 pages of story that I have every intention now of avoiding subsequent issues.

Story: 4/10
Art: 6/10
Overall: 5/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #11 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #10 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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