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411’s Comic Reviews: Runaways #1, Wolfenstein #1, More

September 14, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

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 Remembered Creator Len Wein

A little bonus this week. AfterShock has a new title from Justin Jordan with art by Eleonora Carlini called Backways hitting stores in December.

There is a hidden nation. A nation of magic and madness, one that exists in all the forgotten spaces. Your basement, your attic, the haunted house down the street, anyone of those might be a part of the Backways.

Anna Merrick lost someone in the Backways, and she’ll stop at NOTHING to get them back. Even if it means unleashing something unimaginable.

Jordan said, “”There’s nothing else on the shelves like Backways. It’s a fun story in a world like you’ve never seen, but if that doesn’t sell you on it, just look at Eleonora’s art.”

Take a look at the art…

Now on with the show!

World of Animosity #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

A journey through an apocalypse like none ever imagined—this singular one-shot brings readers and fans alike an exclusive look at the characters, creatures, maps, mysteries, enemies, histories, and the road-so-far in a world where the Animals have risen up to take revenge. This standalone collection includes a variant cover gallery, character designs, never-before-seen artwork, and summaries that will not only bring new readers up to speed, but allow existing readers to dive deep with new information into stories they already love!

I was a huge fan of Who’s Who in the DC Universe and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe growing up, so when I saw AfterShock was putting out World of Animosity, I was already hooked. If you’re not reading Animosity, you should be.

On the day of the Wake, the Animals did just that–they woke up. They started thinking. They started talking. They started taking revenge.

The quick overview is that animals have gained awareness, can talk, and are aware of the indignities that humans have subjected them to. The book is highly entertaining and sets up a very believable and thought out premise of what would happen if one day animals decided enough was enough. Writer Marguerite Bennett gives realistic personalities to each animal and really explores all the dynamics of what would happen in this scenario. Artists Rafael de Latorre and Juan Doe bring it to life and keep you invested from start to finish.

What I loved about World of Animosity is it gives the reader a true scope of the story and the world it’s set in. It’s perfect for fans of the book or someone who has never picked it up and wants to know a little about what’s going on.

From an orca at SeaWorld from a dog named Sandor, you’ll find something to hook you in. While World of Animosity is more reference than anything else, it lays everything out simply and gives even the most deep of fans new insight on the world of Animosity.

Pick this up and then get started on Animosity, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10>

Wolfenstein #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

Punch a Nazi with this new comic from the world of the best-selling Wolfenstein videogames.

Written by Dan Watters (Assassin’s Creed, Limbo) dive headfirst into the alternate universe of Wolfenstein, a world where the Nazis won the war thanks to super-advanced killing machines and vicious robot dogs. B.J. Blazkowicz returns to take on the Nazis in this new comic, based on the much beloved gaming franchise.

Can Blazko stop the march of goose-stepping boots? Or will the sinister Hans Hartmann get his way?

Written by Dan Watters with art by Piotr Kowalski, and Ronilson Freire, Wolfenstein #1 is a comic prequel to the first-person action blockbuster​ from Bethesda Softworks​, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which continues the adventures of B.J. Blazkowicz as he leads the resistance against an occupied America.

In Titan Comics’ new series we join B.J. Blazkowicz as he returns to take on the fascists. Before I go any further I’ll admit that I’m not really familiar with the video game so I can speak to how true the tone is compared to the source material. What I will say is thanks to the first couple of pages giving me some background, I was able to enjoy the issue and what I didn’t know, I was able to figure out.

I’ll also say that you get your moneys worth with a whopping 56 pages of story. Will the hardcore gamers enjoy it? I can’t tell you but the first issue definitely gets your interest. What more can you ask for?

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Runaways #1

Review by Jeremy Thomas

Runaways was one of the most critically-acclaimed comics from the Big Two of the early 2000s. Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona’s tale of six children of supervillains who go on the lam and discover that they can bea force to be reckoned with on their own was a smart, well-written series that had a strong emotional core. It also brought in a new dynamic to the “kids with powers” style of storytelling that has been part and parcel to to the Marvel Way since the 1960s.

While the Runaways cast has popped up in other comics over the years, there has always been a desire from fans to see the team return in their own book. With a Hulu series premiering later this Fall, Marvel has decided to capitalize by launching a new series written by Rainbow Rowell with art by Kris Anka. The new series gets off to a hell of a start, as Nico Minoru and Chase Stein are reunited in a desperate attempt to bring a long-lost member back into the fold.

Rowell’s storyline for the first issue captures a brief moment in time for Nico and Chase, setting what will be the stage for the team’s eventual full reunion. While the issue uses one of the spottiest of comic book storytelling methods — retcon through time travel — to revisit one of the more heartbreaking moments of the previous Runaway stories, it doesn’t make it easy. Nico and Chase’s sudden quest is a desperate one that captures the essence of both characters, and Runaway’s love of knocking comic book tropes. Anka’s art is well-done for the most part, depicting what fans love about the characters and updating them with minor touches.

Runaways #1 is a small start for what will clearly be a much larger arc for the comics. It has plenty for old fans of the team to appreciate while providing enough backstory so newcomers won’t feel lost. Rowell and Anka are off to a great start here and I for one am going to be following this closely to see where they’re taking things from here.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Thor vs Hulk: Champions of the Universe #1

Review by RobF

The Mighty Thor versus the Incredible Hulk, who is stronger? Over the years, starting with Journey into Mystery #112, various writers have debated this topic in magazines and on the internet with no clear winner. Writer Jeremy Whitney and artist Simone Buonfantino are the latest to take their shot.

An Elder of the Universe, the Champion, wants to fight Earth’s strongest hero. But who is it? The Thing? Nah. Colossus? Nope. Iron Man? Gimmie a break. It all comes down to Thor or Hulk. But since they are so closely matched how does one determine the winner? Why a series of challenges of course. And the first one is a doozy. Without spoiling it this particular task involves something that can slay a Frost Giant champion.

The art by Simone Buonfantino is impressive. It’s nice to have Thor and Hulk in their classic forms and his renditions are strong. This is a battle issue filled with large monsters and big fights and the art reflects them well.

I have always thought Thor had a slight edge over the Hulk with Mjolnir and his battle skills being the deciding factors. I don’t think we will get an answer in this mini-series but I can guarantee it will be fun. Whitney has the correct amount of action and comedy to make this series a good read.

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!