Alright, back to the grind. I've decided since a large amount of my books that I'm backed up on are for Axis that I will just do a full wrap up for all of those and the tie ins from my normal series'. Until then, Nightcrawler 8 came out. Kurt gets summoned by Bloody Bess, one of the Crimson Pirates we've been teased with in previous issues. His bamfs gather together with Rico and Ziggy and teleport the blackbird to follow and rescue Nightcrawler and Bess. The Shadow King mind controls the rest of the X-Men in the other jet. And the issue leaves off with Nightcrawler about to face off against the rest of the X-Men. Huge shocker with the current Axis plots. Another average story with pretty good action and some fun art. While not a super familiar story, it just feels unimportant. 2.5 out of 5.
Also from Marvel, and also fairly mediocre, Storm 5. While this issue s a lot better than the series has been, it's still meh. There are some things I really enjoy in this book. The premise is Storm trying to get out of the tricky situation she and Yukio are in by trying to channel Wolverine. This plays out quite nicely and ends with Ororo going on a bit of a rampage. This has been a weird arc for me. I've never seen Yukio before and am not overly familiar with Wolverine so I feel a bit out of the loop character-wise. It's a fun story and I think they accomplished what they were trying to do by telling a Wolverine story starring Storm. The art is good. Sometimes there are overly heavy black outlines that are a bit distracting but not a real issue. The cover is beautifully done. It's a take on the cover of Wolverine #1 and I just love it. Take a look! 3 out of 5.
My last book from Marvel that's not Axis related is Thor 2. Our new Goddess of Thunder takes on a few frost giants who have invaded the pacific and placed Roxxon Island under siege. A mini battle ensues. The Goddess of Thunder denies some allegations of being Thor. Dario Agger isn't fully convinced and is awed by her power. It's a bit strange that Malekith has teamed up with some Frost Giants but it cracks me up that he is walking around with Thor's arm hanging around his neck as a trophy. Russell Dauterman's art is pretty awesome. He plays with the panels to make the story seem disjointed and rough. It's always good to see a new artist start nailing it right away. It's not as stylized or dark as Ribic's stuff on the previous series, but I think it will fit with the feel of where the book is going. 4.5 out of 5.
Now over to DC/Dynamite for the epic finale to Batman 66 meets The Green Hornet in issue 6. The sam old light-hearted fun as the first 5 issues. It ends as expected and unsurprisingly leaves it open for another installment. As a whole, I think this is a pretty fun series. It would be a nice companion to anyone who bought the classic television series now available on BluRay. It works better as a whole story than as individual issues, but that does leave odd moments where we get narration of something that just happened since even the single issues are compilations of the multiple parts that were released online first. Fun story all around, which really is what comics are for. One last note about the beautiful covers. They were all done by the glorious Alex Ross. The detail and crispness makes them feel like they came from the television series. 3.5 out of 5.
Now to the world of Indie comics. I will start with Kirkman's Outcast issue 5. This book is doing a great job of exploring an anti-demon superpower and a preacher's inner conflict of doubting his faith. I really enjoy this book, and it is incredibly creepy. Just look at the cover. It's the preacher trying to pull Kyle off of the man he is trying to beat the snot out of. There's something in the way each of the characters' acts and is portrayed that really boosts the creep factor. The entire interrogation scene in this book is the best iteration of film noir I have seen on the page. It is styled so wonderfully that it really enhances the dark story. It's really exciting going on this journey to try to figure out how Kyle's power works and seeing where the duo is heading in their story. 5 out of 5.
Cullen Bunn has a new series out. Terrible Lizard 1 from Oni Press. This book is essentially a more grown-up take on Super Dinosaur from Kirkman. A daughter visits her dad at work at a lab where a temporal displacement experiment goes awry and a T-Rex shows up. This book seems to be a Godzilla-esque monster fighting series. At first read, it's not as great as Super Dinosaur since that book just totally went all out on the ridiculous scale. It embraced the childishness greatly. I'm not sure how many issues I'm in for, but I am excited to try it out. I'm not worried that Bunn will have a clear vision for this book in a few issue. The art is by Drew Moss and it definitely embraces the weirdness and absurdity of the story. I'm not fully sold on the T-Rex design. His face is a little odd looking and I need some more time with it. 3.5 out of 5.
Also from Oni Press and Cullen Bunn, the first two issues of Brides of Helheim came out. The first Helheim series focused on introducing us the the viking world and the character of Rikard. This new one takes place several years after the first one and seems to be more focused on the history of the dark arts and witchcraft in the era. It's a fresh take and I'm looking forward to some more. It's a beautiful world and promises to have some intriguing and exciting mysteries. So far, so good. 4.5 out of 5.
In the world of Sixth Gun, I had issue 44 and Days of the Dead 3. Days of the Dead continues to explore Eli Barlow and the Knights of Solomon. Strange magics are rampant and all that. This is the hardest miniseries to follow so far. It will make more sense as a story and how it ties in to the main story. Not a ton to say. This issue is full of action and leaves off on a nice cliffhanger. 3.5 out of 5.
In Sixth Gun 44 we see a great battle as the pawns are moved into place for the final battle. A narrative recapping some history unfolds around images of a great battle between Drake and Becky riding the thunderbirds and the serpentine hoards of the Grey Witch. Issues like this are why I love this series. A standalone story that is part of the larger arc and excels at making both excellent. This issue is definitely building to something epic and I can't wait to see how things go down.