Captain Kirk’s Weekly Comic Review – 03/03/2016

Great to be back in the saddle again! After a week’s enforced vacation from comic reading, I’m eager to get going!

(I blame it on domesticity! But … shhh; let’s keep that a secret, shall we?)

Image Comics

Citizen Jack #4


With Donald Trump’s bid for presidency, this is a comic that has become extremely contemporary. Even though this review is a little late, it’s still a fun book to mention especially given the similarity between Jack Northworthy’s hallucinations and poor Governor Chris Christie’s “screaming eyes” and whatever hell he looked like he was in, standing behind Trump at his press conference in Palm Beach, Florida.

Is Trump getting similar assistance in the form of Northworthy’s Marlinspike? It’s a good question. But when set against these real-world events, this is definitely a fun comic to get into.

The Fuse #18


This is the last part of the “Perihelion” arc and it does not disappoint. In fact, as it ties up the remaining stories, more threads of new arcs are ready to go, and I find myself drooling in anticipation of the new stories to come. This book has a true crime story vibe to it and combined with the sci-fi setting, it makes for an amazing fusion of genres.

Fusion – fuse. Heh … didn’t mean to do that.

IDW Comics

Wynonna Earp #1


Yeah – another one that’s a bit late for review, but it’s so good, it had to be added! It’s just been a busy week! Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

I enjoyed reading this book: fantastic pace, great action and just the right amount of humour. Beau Smith definitely deserves a fifth of bourbon and a hefty slap on the back for his efforts in creating the comic that will inspire the upcoming SyFy TV show. If you haven’t heard of it yet, then you definitely need to keep an eye out.

Wynonna Earp is the direct descendant of one of the Wild West’s most prolific gunslingers. With her many-times grandfather’s attitude and her US Marshal’s badge, Earp hunts down supernatural criminals and brings them to justice – or at least her version of justice. Of course, in her relentless pursuit, her challenge will be in avoiding becoming like the monsters she hunts.

DC Comics

Adventures of Supergirl – Chapter Three


Art by Bengal, writing by Sterling Gates – enjoyment by me. It’s a very fast-paced read and in this segment of the story, Rampage has captured Supergirl and Agent Danvers and the DEO are nowhere to be found. This is a great villain monologue issue and the origin story of the TV version of Rampage is definitely entertaining – especially with the veiled reference to legendary artist, John Byne!

While the TV version of Kara Zor-El is definitely winning hearts in the television audience, Gates is managing to duplicate the same sort of charm in this digital download. It’s worth the purchase on Comixology. I’d add this to my download file.

Swamp Thing #3



Anything with Zatanna on the cover works for me!

What’s really striking about Kelley Jones’ work in this book is how much Alec Holland resembles the Swamp Thing of the seventies. I wonder if Len Wein would agree? There’s something about the eyes – a haunting quality that seems to hearken back to those days when Alec Holland was more innocent and limited by his form instead of the near-omnipotent Avatar of the Green he became.

I have to confess, I did somewhat predict what was going to happen in the end, but in all honesty, I really didn’t mind. After all, sometimes the best stories are the ones you expect to turn out how you expected them to. It was a testament to the relationship between Alec and Matt Cable – which was another great storyline that has been brought back from the days of the original Swamp Thing.

I really enjoy this book and for one, am glad that Len Wein is back with his original creation.

Titan Comics

Johnny Red #5


The World War Two historian in me can barely be contained when I know this book is coming up. The detail, the accuracy – it’s an amazing twenty-two page tapestry of military history painted with the brush of intense human drama.

It’s the massive splash pages of the Russian airfield that really captured my attention in this issue. Looking at the layout, you just know that Garth Ennis researched the schematics of a Russian World War Two air base for Keith Burns to draw. He couldn’t have asked for a better artist than Burns to capture its authenticity. Stellar stuff …

…And was that who I thought it was on the last page? As the Germans would say: unglaublich!

Marvel Comics

Invincible Iron Man #7


Funny to see the cover emblazoned with a banner that reads THE ROD TO CIVIL WAR II … bit of nostalgia, really.

I didn’t really like Mike Deodato’s rendition of Mary Jane Watson on the cover, to be honest. I mean, I’m big fan of Deodato’s work; I have one of his sketches on my office wall. But I also have an original sketch of John Romita’s Mary Jane beneath it … and well, Mary Jane is somewhat of a holy icon in my man den. I take her likeness very seriously.

However, far be it for me to criticize one of my favourite artists … moving on to the dialogue.

Bendis has a gift for punchy dialogue – like I need to tell anyone that; but in this issue, he really fits the Tony Stark palaver well. I liked the interaction between Mary Jane and Stark – though I am still opposed to her joining his company. Am I being too protective? Probably.

Still, this was a very engaging and suspenseful issue, with James Rhodes facing an unknown threat in Japan, bolstered by a Spider-Man, whose secret identity is once more a secret to Tony Stark. Thanks Secret Wars.

I enjoyed it. Pick it up and have a look for yourself. As always, comments are welcome!

Darth Vader #17


And the evil machinations continue!

Vader continues to involve himself in the Shu-Torun War and it is Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca who bring this master of evil to life for our entertainment.

Plotting, seeming omniscience and a cool mastery of the surrounding events are what Vader is good at and Gillen has demonstrated his familiarity with this amazing character time and time again. In fact, I shudder to think what will happen when Gillen grows bored with this character and wants to try another challenge.

It’s the evil twists and turns that never fail to delight in this story and even the relationship between Vader and Queen Trios is a façade that Vader continues to uphold at the behest of the young queen, as it serves him in his intervention to retain Shu-Torun as one of the Empire’s vassal planets. It’s a dark delight, to be sure.

The Pick of the Week!

It’s time to pick the title of the week for this review and of course, was there any doubt that it has to go to:

Johnny Red #5

I’ve mentioned this in passing before, but Garth Ennis grew up reading British World War Two comics – as did I. The thing that really separates British books from their American counterparts back in the 1980’s was the amounts of technical material that were included in between serial stories. I knew the identifiers of different tanks, the performance specifications of RAF fighters as well as the names of the capital battleships of the British, German and American navies (although, regarding the latter, only the Pacific Fleet) by the time I was ten.

You get that same sort of technical knowledge in this iteration of Johnny Red. Ennis has the capacity to not only deliver the technical information that makes his stories ring true with authenticity galore, but he also has the creative skills to place all of this within a dramatic context that makes it believable.

It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine that a sole British Hurricane could survive the ravages of the Russian climate for such an extended period of time, but Ennis’s technical knowledge and ability to realize the human side of the situation for his readers makes this comic a story that is enjoyable to imagine it could have happened.

Phew … and that’s it for this week. Now I’m going to sink back into my easy chair and hope that the next week’s comics will prove themselves to be just as enjoyable as this batch was.

About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.

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