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411’s Comic Reviews: Zombies Assembled #1, Batman: Detective Comics #956, More

May 18, 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 discussed, “The Best Heroes Who’ve Been Captain America”
Now on with the show!

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Zombies Assembled #1

Review by RobF

Marvel Zombies meets manga in Zombies Assembled #1. A virus is running rampant through the Marvel U and not everyone will walk away unaffected. Writers Yusaku Komiyama/Jim Zub adapt the best selling Avengers: Zombies story and create a fun, funny, horrifying comic.

Let me start off my saying that I am not a manga fan but the advanced promotion and my love for the Avengers convinced me to give this issue a shot. I’ll give the author’s credit: they have the personalities down pat. Stark’s arrogance, Captain America’s leadership, they are all there.

And the gore factor is there as well. A zombified hero accidentally tears out their own eye and it’s a gross as you would imagine it is. By choosing one of the more powerful Avengers to infect it cranks up the danger factor tenfold. Things quickly go from bad to worse as the infection spreads like wildfire.

The decision to present Yusuku Komiyama’s original art in its right-to-left format is the correct one. The use of black and white, rather than color, adds to the suspense. As I stated earlier, I am not a manga fan but this diluted version really works for me.

When I first heard about this I wondered if the world needed another Marvel Zombie comic. I was wrong. The author does a great job of mixing the Japanese and American styles. Great characterization, fine artwork, some wicked humor, this one has it all.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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Batman: Detective Comics #956

Review by Jonathan Durden

As the supposed conclusion of the ‘League of Shadows’ arc, I would have thought that this issue would tie a nice bow on this story, wrap up some loose ends and briefly set up the next arc. However, this issue seemed to have don’t just about the opposite. Some conclusion was had, but it seemed like the majority of it was advertising for oncoming story arcs. I’m not too big a fan of that.

James Tynion IV has been a good writer for this series and I think he will continue to be, but this issue just felt a little rushed and some parts felt shoe-horned in when they didn’t really need to be there. For example there were a couple panels with Batwing and Azrael that were simply out of place to me, and they ended up being of no use at all by the end of the issue. It seems Tynion decided they needed somewhere to go so that the final confrontation between Cassandra and her mother could be just the two of them…and Batman.

The art was solid, Marcio Takara did a good job with expressions and pacing, but I couldn’t help feeling the pages lacked the depth that should have been present. Overall I think the art was on par with the writing; solid effort, but just lacked depth. I was expecting more from what should have been a good climactic issue.

Despite these complaints, I did like Cassandra’s confrontation of her mother, Shiva, and thought that her character development was a good thing to focus on for these last few issues. It’s not difficult to see what Tynion is working on here: establishing characters, making them strong enough to stand on their own, so that he can focus on the bigger picture for the oncoming story arcs that promise to be bombastic and high-stakes.

Even though this issue seemed to mostly be setting up the pieces for future storylines, the nature in which they happen is satisfying enough. The thing I hated the most about this issue, however, was one character: Ulysses. He just got on my nerves every time his smug face showed up in a panel. I understand the necessity of his intellect in engineering the nano-swarm, but I was not impressed by his one-dimensional attitude toward the whole situation. I remember him having at least a little more depth in the first arc.

All in all, this issue was more of a disappointment than it was an enjoyment. It was mostly setup, which a conclusion should not have but so little of. On top of that, the art did its job and I enjoyed it more than the writing, but it was not enough to outshine it by any measure. Hopefully this is just an example of what it looks like when an issue is rushed to meet a bi-weekly deadline and the next arc will unravel a little more naturally. We will see.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10

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Ultimates 2 #7

Review by Sankalp G.

The Ultimates have had a great build. The first season/series was pretty good with transitioning of Galactus to Lifebringer as well as it included many forgotten cosmic characters from the Marvel Universe. The second series started with a bang with the birth of Logos, though by the sale numbers, this series may be cancelled.

Having said that, issue #7 is pretty much a tie-in for the ‘Secret Empire’ event and does not add much to the current storyline in the Ultimates. Th issue has more than 20 pages, though unlike its previous issues, it does not pack much into it. Other than few pages with Galactus, there is nothing much to see here, not even in panels which are packed with combat. Rocket Raccoon’s appearance is wasted and it took me a minute before I could even recognize him.

This brings us to the art. The art is not what you can call phenomenal. The Ultimates have gone through many changes in terms of art teams in its short life but the current one can be considered its weakest. As most of the issue takes place in the outer space, I expected more from the art team and it felt rushed. The coloring also felt a little off. This style does not suit the Ultimates and it may affect the enjoyment of the readers; as it certainly affected me.

Ultimates #7 is an issue that can be skipped. The issue may have had much to tell but the art was not at all suited to the series and it could take away most of interest from the readers instantly.

Rating: 5.0 out of 10

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