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411’s Comic Reviews: WWE: Then Now Forever #1, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1, More

November 17, 2016 | 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, “Who is the Greatest Justice League Villain?”

Now on with the show!

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WWE:Then Now Forever #1

Review by RobF

Let me preface this review by saying if you are not a wrestling fan this comic is probably not for you. As a lifelong WWE fan I am always curious when they try and branch out to other mediums. I have seen most of the movies and read the comic books. Marvel, Chaos; they all have failed to establish the WWE Universe. Now it’s BOOM! Studios’ turn. Did they win the title or did they suffer a disappointing loss?

This comic does a good job of focusing on the current product while acknowledging the past. The main story, from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Dan Mora, focuses on The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) and Rollins’ betrayal which lead to their breakup. It’s a fine attempt to add some depth and characterization that the TV product is lacking.

Ross Thibodeaux and Rob Guillory present a backup story featuring the members of The New Day in their quest to bring back the positivity to the WWE. I am normally not a ND fan but the story did make me chuckle a few times.

Rounding out this issue is a small story featuring Sasha Banks, and Tugboat cartoon, and a series of one page profiles of some of the greatest WWE superstars of all time. These originally debuted at the San Diego Comic Con, but it is appreciated that they are reprinted here.

After years and years of dreadful attempts they finally got it right. BOOM! Studios has taken the beloved characters of the WWE and firmly established them in their own universe. Is it sustainable? I don’t know, but they are off to a good start.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

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Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #12

Review by Jonathan Durden

Let me cut right to the chase here: you really ought to be reading this comic. The Eternal Warrior is a great character and writer Robert Venditti brings out the best and the worst in him in this run of Wrath. If you enjoy superhero comics, fantasy realms, and/or lone wolf types fighting against big baddies then this is going to be right up your alley.

Issue #12 opens with the Eternal Warrior being taken to Humongous, the ruler of the realm beyond the veil of life. He does this so can exchange his life for his son’s. In surrendering to Humongous, Gilad shows that he cares far more for his firstborn son than Kalam had previously thought. This will potentially lead to them being much closer and Kalam helping him defeat the Dying One.

When Gilad turns himself over to Humongous, the demon lord sends away all of his underlings to talk with Gilad in private. There he explains that Kalam was taken by another evil: the Pale Herder. We find out that there are actual rules and politics of sorts in the underworld and that the Pale Herder has violated Humongous’ code by stealing the boy, and that his reputation as ruler is at stake if his minions find out. He tells Gilad this so Gilad can defeat the Pale Herder and return his son to the peaceful home he came from. In exchange for defeating the Herder, Humongous will allow Gilad to leave untouched with his son.

This issue is a great example of how to make an issue that bridges the gap between one major plot point and another (aka getting from point A to point B) that keeps the reader entwined in the pages. Though this was in large part a “bridge the gap” issue, because Gilad needs to find out Kalam’s relation to The Dying One, the creative team did really well to make it interesting and important to the overall story.

If Venditti and artist Robert Gill have more of this in store for us, then Wrath of the Eternal Warrior will not be leaving my pull list anytime soon.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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Infamous Iron Man #1

Review by Stephen M. Lyon

SPOILER ALERT: Marvel, in its infinite wisdom, decided to release its new titles on their normal schedule, despite the delay in the Civil War II mini-series. Therefore, as this book takes place after that series, and involves characters from within it, spoilers run aplenty. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum in this review, but some will be inevitable, so if you’re waiting to see how Civil War II ends, you might want to wait on reading this review.

The story begins with The Cabal (a secret organization of villains and quasi-villains), consisting of Dr. Doom, Prince Namor, Emma Frost, Loki, and The Hood, sitting around a conference table. They’re waiting for Norman Osborn to attend, and while waiting The Hood starts to ask Dr. Doom about a rumor that his mother was taken by a demon and that he beat the demon to rescue her. He doesn’t take the hint that Doom is getting annoyed by his prattling on, and is transported magically to India by Doom (showing a possible merciful side to Doom), but not before he poses a question: With all that Doom has accomplished, what drives him now?

The comic then cuts to Maria Hill, (The Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) having been kidnapped by Diablo. He’s about to test a truth serum on Hill, and is interrupted by a man in a suit. He makes decently quick work of Diablo, apparently vaporizing him at the end, and is revealed to be Victor Von Doom himself. He states that he will not tell anyone of this occurrence, so as to protect the reputation of Hill and Shield.

Later, Victor meets an old colleague, and reveals that he’s trying to make up for what he’s done in his life, and wants to pursue this penance with the same vigor that he approached his evil actions. The book ends with Victor speaking with a digital projection of Tony Stark, (SPOILER ALERT) who seems to have downloaded his consciousness as a fail-safe for his body. Victor then asserts that he will take over Stark’s role as Iron Man, and do what needs to be done.

This book is intriguing from a conceptual level. I seriously geeked-out at the idea of Dr. Doom as Iron Man, and I’m interested as to what direction their going to take this character, and what the relationship will be with the other new Iron Man. The art is nothing spectacular, but nothing to sneeze at either. I’m interested in enough to spend the $3.99 and pick up issue #2 to see how the story continues.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1

Review by Sankalp G.

After completing such a emotional roller coaster ride like Vision, I was certainly looking for something light to read. Then my eyes fell on the title and I thought to myself, “Wasn’t this one a mini series in Secret wars?” I loved it! I should at least pick this up!

The Secret Wars tie-in had a simple story: Peter hangs up his boots to save his family, Regent absorbs all the other Avengers’ powers. To save the world and his family, ,Peter once again becomes Spider-Man to save the day but only with the help of his daughter Annie, who also has Spider powers. The tie-in was fairly light and had what every Spider-Man fan wanted; Peter and Mary Jane with family.

I have already criticized the adult Peter shown in the current series, as the comic has became some kind of clone Iron Man with Spidey powers. But I can get away with this as it already has emotions and feels like a Spider-Man comic.

This issue continues with where the Secret Wars tie-in left off with the Parker family and Regent defeated. This issue starts with Spidey fighting with Scorpion and is having a hard time. He receives a message from Mary Jane saying, “Hurry! Its Code Green” and Parker miraculously finishing Scorpion quickly and heading home. Code Green is nothing but some time alone for the Parkers as Annie is asleep. There are many instances where Peter is remembering things to buy when he is heading out or actually fighting to save the world. There is another instance as Peter uses a drone rather than his old school method of timer camera to take photos. In short, the Parkers have grown up and have become adults and are having their own struggles being grown-ups.

The real appeal of this issue lies in the fact that all three Parkers have spider power and Peter acknowledges the fact that he doesn’t need to this alone and when he is in trouble his family can help him. Peter and Annie already have powers but Peter steals a suit from Regent’s laboratory in the last tie-in and Mary Jane joins the fight against Regent using this suit.

The art by Ryan Stegman is really good and gives out urban vibe all around. The suit of MJ is also beautifully drawn. The real hero of the story is writing in which Conway perfectly displays the family dynamic and stresses out the recurring theme of Spider-Man: struggle and adapting to it. The adorable characterization of Annie is also superb which is praise for both departments.

Pick this up! Another great story which shows the power and malleability of superhero comics. I loved this issue. The short stories at the end are worth a full rating just for their sheer adorably nature.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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