Movies & TV / Columns

411’s Comic Reviews: Secret Empire #10, Generations: Mighty Thor & Unworthy Thor #1, More

August 31, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Secret Empire 10

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Yesterday we asked, “Is Wizard magazine coming back?”

Now on with the show!

Shipwreck #5

Review by Steve Gustafson

The clock is ticking. There’s a rescue mission ahead. But so is the saboteur who stranded Jonathan Shipwright here in the first place. Can Shipwright reach the end of the road in time? Or does the road have no end?

From the co-creator and writer of AUTHORITY, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, and PLANETARY, and artist of GREEN ARROW and THE COFFIN!

Warren Ellis. The man has a reputation and you have a certain expectation when you pick up one of his books. As well you should. With books like Transmetropolitan, Global Frequency, Red, The Authority, and Planetary on his resume, along with memorable runs on X-Men, Iron Man, and Hellblazer, among others, Ellis has earned his place.

Shipwreck is a unique reading experience. The book revolves around Dr Jonathan Shipwright, a sole survivor of a very unusual and very secret shipwreck. He doesn’t know where he is and is seemingly trapped on an endless road, in pursuit of a saboteur who holds the key to his salvation. Or his demise.

Shipwright is still a mystery to the reader and while he’s figuring things out, we’re doing the exact same thing. His eyes are our eyes. As enticing as the story Ellis has crafted, I was captivated by the art. Artists Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, and Mark Englert bring weight to the story and a true mood that envelopes the issue.

The issue does open up on some of the mysteries we’ve been introduced to and I suggest you catch up on the previous four issues. It’s a book for anyone who enjoys a strong story with a twist of fantastical artwork and colors.

I’ve been on an AfterShock kick recently and Shipwreck is another stellar addition to my reading list.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Generations: Mighty Thor & Unworthy Thor #1

Review by RobF

So far the Generations issues have been a mixed bag, some good, some not so good. Jason Aaron is the generally considered one of the best Thor writers of all time so I think this one has a shot to be decent. A pre-Mjolnir-wielding Thor meets his female counterpart in a battle with Apocalypse. Can the Odinson overcome his immaturity and win the war?

The Odinson is young and inexperienced and consequently has not earned his worthiness. He is tricked into a visit to Earth by adopted brother Loki and quickly gets himself into trouble with the locals. He joins forces with Vikings who have traveled to ancient Egypt looking for treasure and trouble. They find it in the form of the X-Men foe, Apocalypse, and his cult Clan Akkaba.

Magically Jane Foster Thor appears to help. After a quick introduction they team up to battle the first mutant and his horde. Who can stop 2 Thors? I quote: “Not Apocalyse. Not Anything.”
(Sing with me) Odin and the Phoenix sitting in a tree? K I S S I N G. What what what?? I can’t wait to see more!

I have to admit from the artwork to the dialogue this comic was near perfection to me. Artist Mahmud Asrar creates some impressive full-page layouts of both Thors, exactly what a story like this requires. This type of grandiose display makes this issue fun.

This is easily the best of the Generation titles so far. The combination of Thors plus the mystery of the Odin/Phoenix relationship makes this a must read and makes me long for Marvel: Legacy.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

The Hard Place #1

Review by Jonathan Durden

The Hard Place centers on AJ Gurney, a getaway driver that was caught and imprisoned for five years. Now that he is done with his sentence, he is determined to make an honest living working with his dad repairing cars. However, as we have seen many times with stories like this, that’s not always how things pan out.

This is a decent first issue, but I wouldn’t say it blew me away in any shape or form. I like the character of AJ, his dad, and his friend Don, who happens to be a police officer. I do not like the seemingly cookie cutter way this story was put together. It seems odd for a man who just wrote an insane story called Plastic (Doug Wagner) to be writing a story that just looks like it’s been done before.

On the art front, we have Nic Rummel on pencils and inks and Charlie Kirchoff on colors. I enjoyed the art immensely and the different perspectives and “camera angles” for lack of a better term really shined throughout this issue. It felt quite cinematic, while still giving it a classic comic book feel to it with the panel structure and pacing.

So I will say the art did win over this issue for me. It’s not that I didn’t like the story, it just seems too common a tale for Image to be putting out. And that is the exact reason I will be sticking around for the next couple of issues. I have to believe that it’s not going to be cookie cutter for very long, that the story will evolve into something much more intriguing. I’m hoping for that.

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

Secret Empire #10

Reviewby Sankalp G.

Secret Empire finally reaches its conclusion. Spencer has built up a good but not great event, as it started strongly, felt like filler in the middle, and then gradually picked up momentum. The way he had built up to this issue, I personally thought the end was a bit below the expectations even after considering the Kobik’s ability, which is perfect as a retconning tool in events like this.

Spencer’s writing had a political undertone and it was on display in this issue. With his Iron-Hydra suit, Supreme Commander Steve was standing with unprecedented powers and the only way to defeat him: fight till he stays down. Steve even wiped out the Avengers but there was one left standing: the newly termed hope of Marvel Universe – Sam Wilson, the New Captain America.

Nick Spencer’s use of previous Marvel events is truly great. The comparison of Thanos to the Iron-Hydra Steve or the homage to Civil War’s iconic SHIELD vs repulsor beam was great. The spread with the Hydra changing the Marvel’s historic moments was also great.

The art by Steve Mcniven was flawless and clean with only inconsistent human figures in some places. Some great Action scenes made up for it. Even though the event’s story was supposed to be dark, it felt a little bit rushed or slowed down in some places. Spencer could have played a little bit more with mind games and political situations. Even though the event was more about the story, rather than the action, I still felt that last few issues did not give justice to the fighting.

The conclusion of this event was perfectly acceptable but I think Spencer could have done a lot more, considering how it ended. There are a number questions which are raised from the conclusion. Stakes, which were definitely there, were forgotten as fast as they were mentioned. Everything turned back to normal and no one batted an eye for the loses as they weren’t overturned. As for the event, it ranks close to 7 but as of the #10 issue, it deserves at least 8, if we consider it as a single issue.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Steve here! That’s all the time we have. Tell us what you’re reading below and see you back here next week! Youcan now find our reviews on ComicBookRoundUp.com!