Welcome to this week in comic book reviews! The staff have come together to read and review nearly everything that released today. It isn't totally comprehensive, but it includes just about everything from DC and Marvel with the important books from the likes of Image, Boom, Dark Horse, and more.
The review blurbs you'll find contained herein are typically supplemented in part by longform individual reviews for significant issues. This week, however, we've decided not to do longform reviews given that it's, you know, the day after Christmas.
Also, in case you were curious, our ratings are simple: we give a whole number out of five; that's it! If you'd like to check out our previous reviews, they are all available here.
And with that, on to the reviews -- which are listed in alphabetical order, but first by DC, Marvel, and the rest of the publishers.
FANTASTIC FOUR #5
First of all, can I just say how refreshing it is that a wedding issue in the big two actually saw the two advertised characters tie the knot? The wedding in FF is sensational and packs every ounce of joy that you'd expect from this book. It is a very, VERY long issue, but the pacing helps it move pretty quickly, and the dialogue is second-to-none. Fantastic Four continues to be one of the most marvelous books around. -- Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 5 out of 5
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1
There's nothing inherently wrong with Superior Spider-Man; the art is solid, the colors pop nicely, and the dialogue is well-written. But this new Otto Octavius is honestly just hard to buy as a protagonist. He's bent on saving the world, but you never quite believe him. The megalomaniacal tendencies of the character make him a drag as the lead of a series, and that makes this book sort of a chore at times. Spider-Man should be a whimsical experience for a reader, and this is anything but. -- Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 2 out of 5
UNCANNY X-MEN #7
Uncanny X-Men #7 is quite a change of pace compared to previous issues. The issue only features a handful of the young X-Men students, rather than the multitude of mutants from the rest of the series so far. The extra breathing room allows for the issue to provide some much-needed nuance to the young X-Men's arc, which has up until now been little more than generic teen angst. It comes to a head fight and moral debate between Armor and Pixie that, like much of the rest of the series, feels like an attempt at returning to a classic X-Men them that doesn't quite get beyond going through the motions. The quiet is welcome in a series that has been so much cacophony so far, and hopefully, the sense of focus will carry through the final act of "Disassembled." -- Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3 out of 5
X-Force just got the band back together, and the reunion is getting off to one heck of a start. Granted, this X-Force is a little different than what you're used to, what with Kid Cable and Deathlok on board, but the changes are what make the team fresh. The contrasting personalities of Cable, Domino, Warpath, and the rest of the group nails that fresh but familiar balance, and we'll take more of Ed Brisson's hilarious Deathlok as much as we can get him. The book's humor was a pleasant surprise, as was Dylan Burnett's stylish visuals. The narrative isn't anything X-Fans haven't seen before, but if Brisson can make the team this entertaining every issue, you're not going to mind. -- Matthew Mueller
Rating: 4 out of 5prevnext
Other Publishers #1
BONE PARISH #5
Bone Parish continues to craft a deeply interesting narrative, one that can go from high-octane set pieces to intimate moments with relative ease. There are some new elements introduced in this issue that could mean major things in the series' long-run, although it's unclear exactly what those are. But either way, Bone Parish never ceases to be an emotional and thrilling read. -- Jenna Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5
DIE DIE DIE #6
Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple have really created something unapologetically brutal here, but the crassness more often than not just gets in the way. There's a compelling tale of espionage throughout DIE! DIE! DIE!, and the tale of three brothers is demented to say the least but is equally as riveting. The crass humor that pops up in between though often falls flat or is at best wholly unnecessary, and just feels like someone going blue for the sake of it rather than for any meaningful reason. If it can trim some of the fat, this series will finally find its stride. -- Matthew Mueller
Rating: 3 out of 5
HELLBOY AND BPRD 1956 #2
This series has been following some of the earlier days at the BPRD and as a result, less focus is put Hellboy himself and instead, Trevor and company receive the spotlight. This issue, in particular, includes virtually no action as various agents at the BPRD lay the groundwork for future operations and missions. If you're looking for a page-turning, blood-pumping action thriller, this isn't it. -- Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 3 out of 5
This issue forgoes the format that Man-Eaters has already established, instead bringing to life a sort of in-universe magazine about the big cat attacks. The end result is unbelievably clever, with the men-targeted ads and articles being much more than meets the eye. Sure, this issue does essentially step away from Maude and company, which might be a little frustrating after the cliffhanger of last issue, but the larger world of Man-Eaters is all the better for it. -- Jenna Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5
MARVEL ACTION AVENGERS #1
Marvel Action Avengers is the perfect solution for fans looking to give Marvel's most powerful team a shot. The group is made up of Marvel's biggest hitters and at least in the first issue requires little to no prior experience with the characters to get up and running. Writer Matthew K. Manning delivers a light-hearted tone throughout that doesn't sacrifice a compelling narrative for the sake of humor, and artist Jon Sommariva's kinetic designs and action sequences also manage to impress. If you're looking for the perfect way to introduce a new MCU fan to the Avengers, this is your dream come true. -- Matthew Mueller
Rating: 4 out of 5prev