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411’s Comic Reviews: Monsters Unleashed #5, Nightwing #16, More

March 23, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

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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]!

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Yesterday we asked, “What Do Marvel’s Latest Cancellations Mean?”

Now on with the show!

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Monsters Unleashed #5

Review by RobF

The Leviathans are winning. The heroes are down. Who can save the Earth from the Leviathan mother? New hero Kid Kaiju, Miles Spider-Man, Devil Dinosaur, Moon Girl and Elsa Bloodstone, that’s who. Cullen Bunn and guest artist Adam Kubert wrap up a fun series with an eye on the future.

The heroes are down and out and our only hope rests with Kei Kawade, aka Kid Kaiju and his ability to conjure up some monsters to combat the enormous Mother Leviathan. He realizes that not only can he create new monsters but he can combine them to create a super creature that ultimately defeats the invader. In the end he gets a new home and a new protector. And from what I understand, an ongoing series.

This series had a large amount of crossovers so it is no surprise that the final issue focuses heavily on Kei and his powers. My only issue is the lackadaisical attitude everyone has about the amount of destruction and cleanup that will likely take years to complete. And I find it hard to believe S.H.I.E.L.D is keeping an arms length from such a powerful being.

The artist revolving door ends with Adam Kubert and what a great way to end. His detailed style fits perfectly for this type of story. Splash pages really allow Kubert to shine and there are plenty to go around.

Monsters Unleashed wasn’t the greatest series but it certainly had its moments. The fun quotient was turned way up and the plethora of guest stars made it a worthwhile read. Now let’s see if the regular series can keep the momentum going.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

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Nightwing #16

Review by Jonathan Durden

The last review I wrote for Nightwing was for issue #12 and was not favorable of it for many reasons. I’m happy to report that the flame of my love for Nightwing has not been extinguished by Tim Seeley, but instead has been rekindled and has grown exceedingly just with this issue.

Dick Grayson is taking up more and more of the pages in Nightwing and I don’t mean in the panels. Nightwing is in his blue uniform for the entirety of this issue, but his mind is solely on his personal life and how he is thriving in Blüdhaven. And with his new significant other, Shawn Tsang. In my opinion, she was the best thing to come out of the Blüdhaven arc and made the whole thing worthwhile. I still like the idea of a relationship between Babs and Nightwing, but Shawn Tsang is making her mark for sure. And she makes Grayson happy, so I’m happy.

Tim Seeley is really coming into his own writing for Nightwing, I think this may be his defining arc if he keeps up the momentum he built with this issue. The series is more interesting when he focuses in on Dick’s personal life and there aren’t as many convoluted fight scenes to fill the gaps.

We get a welcome cameo in this issue from Damian Wayne, aka the current Robin and leader of the Teen Titans. He comes to Blüdhaven to challenge Nightwing after reading fans’ comments about who will take up Batman’s cowl when he retires. The consensus was Nightwing. This leads to hilarity as Damian’s un-ironic outrage over who will be the next Batman becomes vastly overshadowed by Dick’s sudden call from Shawn saying that she’s late¸ and “could you please bring a pregnancy test”.

Grayson arrives back at his and Shawn’s home to discover her missing, and a painting of hers defaced with the word “daddy” covering the majority of the canvas. The issue concludes with Damian telling Dick he’s going with him because he needs a man with a level head to back him up so he doesn’t get himself killed (again, without a pinch of irony in his voice). So they go off together to find whoever took Shawn Tsang, and his potential future child.

Javier Fernandez’s art is one of the major high points of this issue that’s already chock-full of high points. His art is fantastic from the first panel of page one all the way to the full-page splash at the end. The scene where Nightwing is taking down the Four Horsemen and making funny quips about their names is handled in the art with about as much finesse as one could expect from an acrobat like Dick Grayson, and an inventive acrobat like Javier Fernandez. I was constantly and pleasantly stunned by every page of the art. The colors by Chris Sotomayor were splendidly vivid and fun while maintaining a realism that struck the soul when it needed to. This creative team is firing on all cylinders through and through.

The stakes are getting higher, Dick is teamed up with Damian, Nightwing’s New 52 suit returns in an unexpected but thrilling way, and I couldn’t be more excited for the next issue. Crossing my fingers that Seeley & crew keep up the momentum built up with this issue, because this arc has some serious potential and could be what marks Tim Seeley as a trademark Nightwing author in my book.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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Renew Your Vows #5

Review by Sankalp G.

Spider-family works hard each day. They need to fight super-villains and do their daily jobs without anyone finding out about their true identities. But it can be pretty hard on Peter and MJ when, from out of nowhere, when our spider-couple is tired, Annie remembers something – Its family Tuesday!

I really love how writer Gerry Conway ties in small things, like the mundane day-to-day routine for most families but are easily overlooked. Writing a story without a definite end (more on that later) can be a double edged sword, but Conway has managed it superbly. The story is still filled with humor with a cozy family feeling.

The subplot with Sandman trying to rob something and then the same thing finding itself in the hands of newest member of Osbourne family, who is on the same path as that of his predecessors: the destruction of Spider-Man. Deep story foreshadowing is its end-game.

The art is consistent. There are some small mistakes but the art-style of this comic covers it up. This comic is a story which a Spidey fan has always wanted to see but never got and certainly this kind of story accomplishes it. It pin points the daily aspect of life, which can have its limitations, but if you want to see magic, just check out the first and last panel. This issue was consistent with its previous counterparts but felt a little bit weaker. Still, its surely a fun ride to see the daily struggles of this Spidey family.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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