Movies & TV / Columns

411’s Comic Reviews: The Punisher #1, Infinity Wars #2, More

August 30, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Punisher 1

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 discussed The Essential Spider-Man Stories!

Now on with the show!

West Coast Avengers # 1

Review by Stephen Gustafson

As a huge fan of the West Coast Avengers since they burst upon the scene in 1984, I’m going to give any reboot/relaunch/whatever a chance. I might hold by breath while reading it but I go in with tempered expectations.

Listen to me. Kelly Thompson nailed it. West Coast Avengers #1 stands on its own but keeps the flair and spirit of the original concept. This issue is simply fun from start to finish and has made me seek out the other titles Thompson has done.

One of the best examples of this can be found in the pages of the miniseries Rogue and Gambit, and the subsequent ongoing title, Mr. and Mrs. X. Thompson continues this trend in the debut issue of West Coast Avengers.

The original team came together under the leadership of Clint Barton/Hawkeye. Fast forward to today and Hawkeye again makes the call to form the West Coast Avengers only it’s not Barton this time but Kate Bishop. But don’t worry. Barton is in the mix as well. Joining them is a ragtag bunch like cosmic heroine America Chavez, Gwenpool, future Phoenix-Force-holder Quentin Quire, and Johnny Watts, operating as the new superhero Fuse.

It works.

The writing is near flawless and you really find yourself enjoying the interaction amongst the team. What’s also nice is the book feels more personal and smaller in scope compared to the majority of titles that deal with over-the-top enemies, epic adventures, and world changing dynamics.

I love artist Stefano Caselli’s clear, defined style. Nothing is wasted and whether the characters are talking or in action, you always know what’s going on. This team is in great hands.

Summer might be coming to a close but West Coast Avengers looks to be heating things up. Can’t recommend enough.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the iconic movie starring the fab four! Written and illustrated by Bill Morrison (The Simpsons)!

The Beatles are recruited by the Captain of the Yellow Submarine to help him free Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

Brothers Dracul #5

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

What horror turned Vlad and Radu—the two most feared vampire hunters in the known world—against one another? Will the brothers forgive one another or will deeper and more sinister familial mysteries drive them further apart?

From writer Cullen Bunn (DARK ARK, UNHOLY GRAIL, X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Mirko Colak (UNHOLY GRAIL,The Punisher) comes a tale of brothers and blood that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics!

The Punisher #1

Review by RobF

While the War Machine issues were fun, it’s nice to see Frank back to his ass-kicking ways. And it doesn’t take long. Bullets are flying, bodies are falling, and mayhem is all around. Matthew Rosenberg and Szymon Kudranski bring the Punisher back to basics with a viciousness not seen in a long time.

If you have been following the most recent Punisher issues this series is a logical next step. The most interesting part to me has been Zemo’s rise to power and quest for
“legitimacy” in the real world. They are trying to set up a haven for villains. Even more interesting is his choice of the Mandarin as his ambassador. With all the bad guys in one place the Punisher must feel like he’s gone to Disneyland.

This issue is like an action movie and Kudranski’s art perfectly represents. With all the motion I think some of his best work is the Punisher close ups. You can see the combination of rage and glee all over Frank’s face.

While Frank has gone back to his roots the consequences have rose higher than anyone could have imagined. His actions have put him in the crosshairs with heroes and villains
alike. How he navigates these choppy waters should make for a good read.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

Infinity Wars #2

Review by John Pumpernickel

I enjoyed the first issue of Infinity Wars and was curious to see how the 2nd issue would follow up on the premise. Turns out not as good as I expected. The danger of presenting a huge, cosmic spanning storyline that promises major ramifications is that when you stop the progress to focus on a more personal story, it feels out of place.

I get why the focus was put on Gamora but the effect they were going for would have been better suited in a prequel mini-series, not during an issue of Infinity Wars.

This issue slows things down considerably in an attempt to play to heart of things. There’s nothing wrong with that but I feel it could have been done differently. Writer Gerry Duggan and artist Mike Deodato still give us a nice story but it felt out of place to me. The story also lessens the impact of the previous issues action. Not something I was expecting or wanting.

While I’ll be coming back for issue 3, the luster is definitely dimmed on the series but nothing that can’t be fixed. Is this issue essential reading? No. And for a storyline this grand, that’s not a good thing.

Rating: 6.8 out of 10

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!