Comic Review: Runaways (2017-) #1


From Goodreads:

GET READY TO RUN! The “IT” book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!

What I First Thought:

I’ve never read a single Runaways comic before, mostly because I haven’t found any trades in the comic book stores that I’ve visited. I have a basic understanding about the group from my boyfriend’s impressive knowledge of the Marvel Universe. I’ve always been interested in reading about them myself, especially after I picked up a Nico figure last year, so when I saw the new series I decided to pick up the first few issues to give it a go.


Art: 4/5

So far, I really like the art. The shadows aren’t too harsh, there is actual degrees of shading going on that really fits the lighting in the scenes without making things appear too dark. The character designs are really interesting, though I haven’t met all the characters yet. The detailing is great, there’s enough there to get a general idea of texture, pattern, and other minor details without cluttering the overall picture. I’d have to say my favorite part of the art for this issue is the coloring of Nico’s hair, I love how smoothly the colors blend together creating a nice gradient between each of the different colors!

Story: 4/5

I’m no stranger to Rainbow Rowell, though I’m not a huge raging fan of hers I wanted to give this series a try. This fist issue really started off with a BANG! Right off the bat everything is tense and things are moving quickly. They do a good enough job trying to get new readers up to speed on what happened in the previous story, which I now have to track down, that there aren’t too many questions by the end of this issue. The only questions that remain are the ones that are making me want to continue! I think Rowell also did a good job in how she caught up the new readers while still keeping up the excitement, it was a nice diligent balance between important information and action.

Overall: 4

Obviously, I’m going to continue as soon as I find the other issues. I’m curious to see how this all plays out and I can’t wait to meet everyone else in the Runaways. I’m also curious to see how Rainbow Rowell does writing for comics, especially since I wasn’t overly impressed by her Fangirl novel.


Title: Runaways (2017-)

Issue: 1

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Rainbow Rowell

Illustrator: Kris Anka

Colors: Matthew Wilson

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Released Date: September 13th, 2017

Pages: 32

Genre: Superheroes, Action/Adventure, Young Adult

Comic Review: Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Leia


(From Goodreads):

Celebrate the inspiring stories of Princess Leia, Rey, Padme, Ahsoka, and more in this exciting graphic novel that covers every corner of the Star Wars universe!

Plus, an all-new story featuring soon-to-be favorites from The Last Jedi, Rose and Paige! These stories are presented by a wide array of talent from across Star Wars novels, comics, and animation including Delilah S. Dawson, Elsa Charretier, Beth Revis, and Jody Houser!

What I First Thought:

I’ve been a fan of the Forces of Destiny line since they started making action figures. It started out as a web series on YouTube, I believe, and has expanded into toys, books, and now comics. I didn’t actually pick this comic up myself, it was another one that my super sweet boyfriend got for me when he went to our local comic book store after work. He knows how much I support the line and he thought I would really to read the comics too!


Art: 5/5

The art in this story isn’t a masterpiece, it’s simple and bright but still interesting to look at. I really enjoyed the variety of color, it didn’t take away from the story and made each page more interesting to look at. The character designs are simple and cartoony, but still realistic, which I think will appease most audiences. Overall, the art and coloring is simple but still pleasing to the eye, using light details to add to the story without cluttering the page.

Story: 5/5

As far as I can tell this story takes place right before Episode V, at first I was a little confused on the timeline but it was cleared up by the end. This was a nice story to read to break up the monotony of some of the other things that I’m currently reading. It’s a self-contained story, meaning that it begins and ends with this issue, so there are no worries of lacking any important information to help understand the story. Even if you’re not super familiar with the Star Wars Universe, it’s still a simple story of growth and learning—which is something I really appreciated about this. You get to read one of the stories that ultimately makes Leia a great leader. She has her flaws in this story, but together she overcomes some of them by the end and it makes for a nice light read.

Overall: 5

“It’s okay to feel tired. It’s okay to feel weak. It’s okay to fall. Because in the end, people won’t remember all the times we fell but they’ll share the tale of that last time we got back up and stood. For good.” ~Leia

This is only one of a good handful of good quotes from this issue. I absolutely love it! It’s a quick read that is sure to make you smile, even when you’re stressed or having a rough time. It’s a fantastic story of the Leia we all know and it helps make her seem a little less perfect but all the more admirable! I recommend this story to people of all ages, and for boys and girls a like! It’s fun, simple, and witty.


Title: Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Leia

Issue: 1

Publisher: Idea & Design Works

Writer: Elsa Charretier & Pierrick Colinet

Illustrator: Elsa Charretier

Colors: Sarah Stern

Letters: Tom B. Long

Released Date: January 3rd, 2017

Pages: 32

Genre: Space Opera, Action/Adventure

Comic Review: Sword of Ages (1/5)


A young woman will become the first wielder of the most famous sacred weapon of all time to champion for her world’s survival, inspiring a legion of heroes to join her struggle against a merciless alien force. The line between science fiction and magic might get fuzzy, but the line between heroes and villains will be drawn in blood.

What I First Thought:

I picked this one up from my local comic book store on a whim. By the cover alone, it looked like it would be some sort of sci-fi fantasy set on a desolate planet. I don’t see very many sci-fi fantasies that actually interest me anymore, but after skimming through the pages and seeing all sorts of Arthurian references pop up I decided to give it a go.


Art: 5/5

I won’t spend long on the art, but Sword of Ages was a very nice comic to look at. The artist has a very clean drawing style that is very detailed without going over the top with the line work. The colors are very bright, fitting in with the lighting of the environment of the story very well. There also seems to be a realistic variety of color that help to make certain characters pop without making them look out of place. And speaking of characters, I really enjoyed the character designs for this story. The heroine isn’t overly pretty, she’s gruff and well-built based on how she lived, and the male characters aren’t over the top either. But each character is unique enough to be distinguished from any other.

Story: 4/5

I felt that the beginning of the story was a little rough because it just throws the reader in with no information and then time speeds up. The time skip felt a little weird to me, mostly because it left a lot of questions that the story may never have time to answer. It also took away from some of the emotional impact in one scene before the journey actually begins, mostly because there wasn’t enough time to really show some of the relationships between the characters. There were times when it got a little confusing as to who spoke, but by the end of the page it would clear itself up.

Overall: 4

So far I’m intrigued by this story and want to see how it will end. At first appearance it looks like a combination of magic, aliens, Mad Max, and Planet of the Apes, especially with rogue biker looking Merlin and Ape slavers! Not sure how much of the Arthurian legends the author will use in this story, but I’m curious to see what they’ll do with it.


Title: Sword of Ages

Issue: 1

Publisher: IDW

Creator: Gabriel Rodrguez

Writer: Gabriel Rodrguez

Illustrator: Gabriel Rodrguez

Colors: Lovern Kindzierski

Letters: Robbie Robbins

Released Date: November 29th, 2017

Pages: 32

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Comic Review: Moonstruck (1.1)


A NEW ONGOING SERIES from Lumberjanes creator GRACE ELLIS and talented newcomer SHAE BEAGLE that tells a story of monsters, romance, and magical hijinks! The first arc also includes an additional short story with artist KATE LETH!

Fantasy creatures are living typical, unremarkable lives alongside humans, and barista Julie strives to be the most unremarkable of all. Normal job, normal almost-girlfriend, normal…werewolf transformations that happen when she gets upset? Yikes!

But all bets are off when she and her centaur best friend Chet find themselves in the middle of a magical conspiracy. Will Julie and Chet be able to save their friends? Is Julie’s dogged determination to be normal a lost cause? Who’s going to watch the coffee shop while our heroes are out saving the world?? These questions and more will be answered in MOONSTRUCK!

What I First Thought:

I picked this issue up on a whim. Some of the stuff that I’ve been reading has been either a little lack-luster or super intense, and this story looked like it would be more laid back than the others. I also love reading stories that use mythological creatures in a more everyday setting, it really adds a special kinda life to the story.


Art: 5/5

The art is very soft, from the colors to the line work, and I love it! I’ve noticed that a lot of comics seem to have very hard defining colors, a lot of them make for beautiful scenes but they seem to always want to POP! out of the page. For this series, I really doubt that art style would fit the overall tone so I’m really happy that the overall look of the panels are very soft, but still bright and eye-catching. I also love the character designs; they’re each so unique in style and shape. Not only do we have all sorts of fantastical creatures but also varying body types for the more human looking characters and realistic models for the more supernatural-looking characters! It’s weird to fixate on body types, but I like to read stories sometimes that can show me all kinds of different people and make them all seem normal—even though in this case none of the characters are what we would consider ‘normal’.

Story: 5/5

Like most first issues, this one has the main focus on setting up the characters and the world they live in. So this issue is full of cute, or not so cute, moments between the characters that give you a quick summation of the characters. Each character appears to be different, and not just in style but in personality as well.

Overall: 5

I’m really excited that I bought the next issue when I picked up this one, because I can’t wait to see where this story goes. If you want more diverse characters and love, then look no further because you’ll find it here! There is diversity in body type (not just oooo! he has hooves or he’s part bull), race, and sexual orientation. So far there is a confirmed lesbian relationship, for those of you interested in some cute, awkward F/F love that isn’t just a side note but the main attraction!



Title: Moonstruck

Issue: 1


Writer: Grace Ellis

Illustrator: Shae Beagle

Colors: Caitlin Quirk/Shae Beagle

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Released Date: July 19th, 2017

Pages: 31

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, LGBT+

Graphic Novel Review: Thor: The Goddess of Thunder


Who is the Goddess of Thunder?

The secrets of Original Sin have laid low one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. The God of Thunder is unworthy, and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted! But when Frost Giants invade Earth, a new hand will grasp the hammer–and a mysterious woman will take up the mantle of the mighty Thor! Her identity is secret to even Odin, but she may be Earth’s only hope against the Frost Giants. Get ready for a Thor like you’ve never seen before as this all-new heroine takes Midgard by storm! Plus: The Odinson clearly doesn’t like that someone else is holding his hammer–it’s Thor vs. Thor! And Odin, desperate to see Mjolnir returned, will call on some very dangerous, very unexpected allies. It’s a bold new chapter in the storied history of Thor!

First Thought:

I’ve been a fan of the movies for a while and I have read a few Marvel comics so far. I’ve yet to be disappointed, but I had been a little leery about reading any of their more popular or bigger name comics. Until recently, I hadn’t felt like I was ‘ready’ enough to full appreciate the more popular Marvel comics, looking back that might’ve been a stupid outlook. Long story short, I got angry after reading about the most recent misunderstanding that has thrown the company under the bus and decided to read one of their most popular titles at the moment. I read a lot of good things about Thor: The Goddess of Thunder and I thought, why not give it a try!

Overall Thoughts and Opinions:

Most of my experience with Thor comes from the movies, tv shows, and video games that he’s been in. I’ve read a few comics that feature him as a side character, but I have yet to read one with him as a main character. My knowledge of his character in the comics is limited, but I felt that this volume did a wonderful job of introducing this Thor, Odinson now, and the new Thor.

Thor, now Odinson in this line, had always appeared to be too overpowered for my liking. I enjoy his character in the things I’ve seen him in, but I always wondered what he would be without his power, without his hammer. The Goddess of Thunder introduces us to a broken, defeated Thor who can’t wield his magical hammer and who has to learn who he is without it. I rather enjoyed seeing that character development, seeing how attached he was to his hammer, how hard he would fight to prove himself worthy-to get it back, and ultimately give it up to someone else. I also enjoyed seeing him depicted as something other than an overpowered meat-head, true he’s still rather powerful but he’s more than that. You see recognition of past mistakes and transgressions, admitting that he was wrong or what he did wrong to those he hurt. Sure he still doesn’t quite get it sometimes, but he’s learning. You also get to see him adapt and welcome change, even defending it against powerful beings like his father, Odin.

I can see why some people might not like seeing a beloved hero lose his power and his name to another character. Why not call this Goddess of Thunder a feminine form of Thor or something else entirely? Why not give her a completely new hero identity and let Thor be Thor? Personally, I like this route. It allows a new character to try out the role that the original Thor held, and it allows Odinson the chance to be someone new, and maybe someone more like himself than the God of Thunder. I always enjoy seeing what happens when you mix a story up, so I’m interested to learn who Odinson will be without his hammer. So far I’m not disappointed in who he’s turning out to be or who this new lady Thor is!

The Goddess of Thunder doesn’t waste time in explaining who the new Thor is or how she came to wield the magical hammer, Mjolnir. Instead, it throws you straight into an action packed story with Ice Giants, an evil human company, and a powerful dark elf. Mayhem ensues as Thor tries to figure out her new abilities while saving Midgard from an army of Frost Giants. I enjoyed the little comments made by Thor as she figures out how to use the hammer. She has a fast learning curve, but she still experiences self-doubt as she fights Ice Giants and at times she wonders just who she is with and without the hammer.

Not a whole lot is shown about her personality, but I’m enjoying it so far. She’s strong and independent, but she’s not a shrew either. I’ve ranted about this before, but in the past a lot of strong independent women have been depicted with the same or equally unpleasant personalities. These strong women behave like the brutish military generals that are depicted all the time in media, which is also a horrible representation as well, and if they didn’t have these personalities then they weren’t considered ‘strong’. However, nowadays that characterization is becoming less and less popular and we’re getting strong female characters like the new Thor, who is strong but also full of self-doubt and compassion toward other characters. I also like that she considers herself a feminist, but isn’t some man-hating, bleeding, shouting feminist.


Art: 5

The art was fantastic! The character designs weren’t outrageous and seemed to really fit the characters well. I was pleased that Thor’s outfit wasn’t overly sexualized or revealing, her costume was conservative and practical, reminding me of the various Norse media that I’ve seen or read before. I would’ve been happier with a different chest plate, one that didn’t have actually breast cups, because I believe that it would be too uncomfortable and unpractical to have such cups. I also enjoyed the character designs for Odin and Freyja, they were ornate and powerful looking but still reasonable. Also, the various body types were great. Except for one character, and his was more comedic than anything, the body types were very realistic.

Story: 4

The story was pretty good, nothing amazing though. There was a lot of action and the story never really slows down much from start to finish. There’s nothing wrong with a lot of action, but it kept a lot of the questions from being answered. I understand keeping some questions for the next volume, but I felt there were too many. Some of the questions, I felt, could’ve been answered without breaking up the action and flow of the story too much. But I’m looking forward to reading the next volume of this story and discovering who this new Thor is!

Overall: 4.5

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this comic and I can’t wait to pick up the next volume!


Title: Thor: The Goddess of Thunder

Book: 1

Issue(s): 1-5

Publisher: Marvel

Creator(s): Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby

Writer(s): Jason Aaron

Illustrator: Russell Dauterman (1-4) and Jorge Molina (5)

Colors: Matthew Wilson (1-4) and Jorge Molina (5)

Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

Released Date: April 15, 2015

Pages: 136

Genre(s): Super hero, Fantasy, Action

Guest Review: FCBD Legion of Dope-itude

Another guest review by Ethan!


Tying into an episode of the Fresh Off The Boat television series airing in May, this Free Comic Book Day special reveals the characters created by Eddie and Emery for a comic book contest on the television show!

What I first Thought:

I’ve never seen an episode of Fresh Off The Boat before, so I’m not familiar with that aspect of this story.  However, I loved writer Gene Luen Yang’s Shadow Hero graphic novel, so I was really interested in reading more from him.  The Jack Kirby-esque cover of the issue also didn’t hurt.


Art: 5/5

With TV tie-ins, there’s always a debate about how to handle the likenesses of real people.  Jorge Corona opts to go the cartoony route for this issue, which I feel was the right way to go given the overall comedic tone of the story.  His page compositions are pretty solid, and he does a nice job of making each character look suitably unique, while still keeping enough common traits between the characters to remind you that they’re a family.  The art is very clean, and super easy to follow, and all of the characters are fluid in their motion.  There’s a lot going on in each panel, but the art is laid out in such a way as to draw the viewers eye to the proper focus every time, showing great care in the construction of the craft.

Story: 4/5

It’s possible I might have gotten a little more out of this issue if I’d seen any of the show.  There seem to be some bits that are picking up on prior material, and the characters are sort of just thrown into the story without a whole ton of introduction.  That being said, it’s a family that get’s super powers, and they generally follow the basic sitcom family tropes.  Not super hard to follow or connect with them.  The story is clearly crafted to follow up on the show’s episode “Pie vs. Cake,” as explained by the first page of the comic.  Eddie Huang (who is nominally the comic’s main character) informs us of his brother Emery’s comic, which re-invisions the family as a team of super heroes.  Shortly thereafter, the real life Huangs discover they have powers just like their comic-counterparts.  We then get a few of their exploits as heroes, and discover the (more than a little tongue-in-cheek) origin of their powers, all wrapping up in a big, goofy comic-book battle with a giant monster.  Most of the family members gets a moment of focus to showcase their abilities, which range from standard issue (The Persuader’s hypnotism) to rather unique (Lazy Boy’s “channel changing”). The only one left out is Evan/Blazer Boy, who doesn’t seem to really have any abilities of his own, and mostly just hangs around his mother.  Once again, I’m not sure if this is a show thing or what.  It struck me as slightly odd, but not enough to ruin the issue.  The dialogue is generally pretty solidly crafted; they talk more or less like real people would, and many of the characters have their own tics and gags.  I was particularly amused by the lampshading of a few of the stereotypes that Asian comic characters are frequently saddled with.  The issue ends in a rather open-ended fashion, which could potentially lead to additional stories, and I wouldn’t be opposed to such a prospect.

Overall:  4.5


Title: Fresh Off The Boat Presents: Legion of Dope-Itude Featuring Lazy Boy

Issue: Free Comic Book Day

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: Gene Luen Yang

Art:  Jorge Corona

Colors: Jeremy Lawson

Letters: Jim Campbell

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Pages:  28

Genre: Super Heroes, Action-Adventure, Comedy, Television

Guest Review: FCBD Secret Empire–Spider Man

This is a guest review done by my wonderful boyfriend and the mind behind The Figure in Question! He went with me to Free Comic Book Day and he’ll be reviewing the books he picked up.


The Marvel Universe is under siege from the greatest threat it has ever known! Everything has been leading to this as Nick Spencer and Andrea Sorrentino bring the entire Marvel Universe together for the highly-anticipated SECRET EMPIRE series! UNITED THEY STAND against a common foe, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Defenders, the Champions, the Inhumans, Spider-Man and more must hold together as an unwavering front! Yet even their combined might may not be enough to withstand the awesome power of Hydra! Then, after his globetrotting adventures Spider-Man has returned to his friendly neighborhood as Chip Zdarsky and Paulo Siqueira present a sneak peek at PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER MAN! A new companion series to the best-selling Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker is back in the Big Apple he’s brought the Ol’ Parker Luck with him! Don’t miss your first taste of this back-to-basics and high-flying ongoing series!

What I first Thought:

This was the only FCBD pick-up that I knew about prior to arriving at our local store.  I’ve been following the events of Nick Spencer’s Steve Rogers: Captain America series, which is a direct lead-in to this.  Since it’s a continuation of a story I’m already reading, I obviously wasn’t planning to just skip it.  The general public’s not too hot on the whole Hydra Cap thing, but I’ve been enjoying seeing where it’s been going, even the Steve Rogers presented here isn’t “my Steve Rogers.”  I had no real opinions one way or another on the second feature, which is a Spider-Man story, unrelated to the main story.  I like Chip Zdarsky’s work as a writer, though, so I’m intrigued.


Since there are two unrelated stories here, I’ll be examining them separately.  I’ll note Secret Empire with an “SE” and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man with an “SM.”

Art: 3/5 (SE), 5/5 (SM)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Andrea Sorrentino’s work, if I’m totally honest.  I mean, he’s got an interesting style, and he can layout a page well enough, but his work is always kind of murky and washed out.  Not my ideal choice for anything having to do with super heroes.  I personally would have preferred the interiors had been more consistent with Mark Brooks’s cover, which I feel is more on par with Marvel’s usual style.  With Sorrentino’s interiors, at times, it’s a little difficult to figure out what’s going on in any given panel, and I had some real trouble making out which characters were which.  On the plus side, as I noted before, the layouts are pretty strong and he’s clearly having fun working the Cap and Hydra iconography into the shapes of the panels.  He seems to get a bit more comfortable as the story progresses, and the final splash page is a good deal stronger than the first few pages.

On the flip side, Paulo Siqueira’s work on the Spider-Man story really appeals to me.  The work is really clean and easy to follow.  The characters are all very lively, and sport some of the best expression work I’ve see from any artist that’s not Kevin McGuire.  The line work is bold and easy to follow, and the panel layouts do a really nice job of conveying movement as Spider-Man and Vulture sweep through the skies of New York.  Siqueira delivers a very iconic take on Spider-Man, in the vein of John Romita, Sr. and Gil Kane, who are two of my favorite Spidey artists.

Story: 4/5 (SE), 5/5 (SM)

The SE story is pretty decent for what it is, but there’s a big caveat on “what it is.”  It’s not a whole story, nor is it a beginning or an end.  It’s right smack dab in the middle of everything; it’s the rising conflict that’s leading to the main climax that will be the Secret Empire mini-series.  There’s a quick, broad strokes recap of Civil War II and a little of Steve Rogers: Captain America, before kicking things off with Hawkeye being ambushed by some Hydra goons.  He’s rescued by Black Widow, who informs his “gonna miss the war.”  The rest of the story depicts the major Marvel heroes battling Hydra’s forces, climaxing with the arrival of the Hydra corrupted Steve Rogers.  The final splash page shows our heroes defeated, Cap standing over them, wielding a certain thunder god’s magical hammer, while the narration proclaims of Hydra “They were stronger.  They were more powerful.  In that moment—They were worthy.”  This final shot has been the cause of some contention amongst fans, who say it preaches an uncomfortable message of “might makes right.”  I personally see that uncomfortable message as an indicator that something’s off here.  Cap’s turn to Hydra was the result of the Cosmic Cube rewriting reality.  Recent story developments have amended that it was actually setting reality back on the correct path.  However, if Mjolnir is allowing Steve to wield it, perhaps this shows that Steve is supposed to be worthy enough to wield it, deep down, perhaps indicating that his true nature really is what we’ve been seeing all along.

Zdarsky’s Spider-Man story is a more complete tale.  There’s still a bit of a cliff-hanger (leading in to June’s Issue #1 of the series), but we get a fairly standalone little battle between Spidey and Vulture, as well as a quick lead-in conversation between Peter and MJ to help catch readers up to speed on where those two are.  The choice of Vulture as the primary antagonist is no doubt inspired by his presence in the upcoming movie, but it was still nice to see him sort of return to his routes, while still not completely backtracking.  We also see the introduction of the new Trapster, who I assume will be getting a larger role in the series proper.  Above all, I found Zdarsky’s dialogue to be very strong.  He’s got a good handle on Spidey’s quips and I even found myself laughing out loud once or twice.  I’ll definitely be grabbing the first issue of the main series when it hits.

Overall: 3.5 (SE), 5 (SM)


Title:  Secret Empire / Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man

Issue:  Free Comic Book Day

Publisher:  Marvel

Writer:  Nick Spencer (SE), Chip Zdarsky (SM)

Pencils:  Andrea Sorrentino (SE), Paulo Siqueira (SM)

Inks:  Andrea Sorrentino (SE), Walden Wong, Cam Smith, Jay Leisten, & Paulo Siqueira (SM)

Colors:  Andrea Sorrentino (SE),

Letters:  VC’s Travis Lanham

Release Date:  May 6, 2017

Pages:  28

Genre:  Super Hero, Action-Adventure, Marvel