Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Punisher (2018) # 15

Cover Art: Greg Smallwood
Published: November 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: "War on the Streets, Part 4"
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Editor: Jake Thomas
Assistant Editor: Lindsey Cohick
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
The Punisher and his team of allies (Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Night Thrasher, and Rachel Alves), engage the Hydra forces occupying Manhattan diaguised as United Nations troops. Baron Zemo and his Thunderbolts eventually enter the battle, which ends with Rachel Alves being taken hostage.

ANNOTATIONS
Dan Ketch last appeared in Marvel Comics Presents (2019) # 6.

Punisher and Ghost Rider first met in Ghost Rider (1990) # 5. Castle learned Dan Ketch's identity in Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness.

REVIEW
Ghost Rider sorta kinda guest stars in this comic, but not really.

After a fairly decent showing in the previous issue, creative team Rosenberg and Kudranski have officially lost my interest in this series. It's a real shame, too, because I really like the Punisher most of the time. Rosenberg's take on Castle himself is okay, but he spends this issue on a ludicrous plot that wastes the potential of the guest stars he enlisted last issue. Why make such a show of Danny Ketch's recruitment only to stick him in nothing but ba ground and group shots? Anyway, if the rest of the comic had worked it might not have been a problem, but it doesn't, so it is. The villains in this comic are insufferable, the dialogue given to Baron Zemo, Kingpin, and the rest of the Thunderbolt is almost insulting it's so bad.

The worst part of the comic is the artwork, managing to take a lame plot with awful dialogue and somehow make it even more unreadable. I'm just not a fan of the man's art, for many reasons. If it's a static shot of a character posing, fine, but the action panels look ridiculous. Characters are posed unnaturally and with no relation to what's around them, which is a problem if it's a fight scene.

Its like this comic was designed to piss me off, custom built with the perfect amount of awful. Ugly art, annoying characters, and topping it off by promising Ghost Rider and then not really delivering? What the hell, people?

Grade: F

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) # 2

Cover Art: David Marquez
Published: April 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: "The Final Gauntlet, Part 2"
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Senior Editor: Jordan D. White
Editor: Darren Shaw
Assistant Editor: Danny Khazem
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
Aboard the space ship Milano, Star Lord speaks with his ex, Kitty Pryde, about the Black Order taking Thanos' body and Eros wanting to kill Gamora. He checks on two of his new crew members, Moondragon and Phyla-Vell, then hears sounds of a commotion coming from elsewhere on the ship. He finds Groot in a fight with Cosmic Ghost Rider, a fight that's only broken up when Moondragon intervenes. Castle wants to kill Gamora to prevent Thanos returning in her body while Groot and Beta Ray Bill want to help save her. Star Lord refuses to get involved and tells Castle to leave. Meanwhile, Hela and the Black Order interrogate the Collector about the whereabouts of Thanos' head, which he reveals is in the Negative Zone.

Later, aboard a Shi'ar ship, a scarred and paralyzed Eros has gathered his team of Dark Guardians, which includes Gladiator, Wraith, Nebula, and Cosmic Ghost Rider. Determined to find and kill Gamora, Eros asks Nebula how to find her. She replies that they need to find out from Richard Rider, Nova.

ANNOTATIONS
Eros and Cosmic Ghost Rider discovered Thanos' body and his will in Thanos Legacy # 1.

Podcast Review: Inner Demons Episode 39 - "Cosmic Deadpool Destroys Drunk History"" (Click to Listen)

REVIEW
Cosmic Ghost Rider's role as a Guardian of the Galaxy takes an unexpected turn in this second issue of the series.

Though I've not kept up in recent years, I was a fan of the Marvel cosmic line back in the Annihilation days, which is about where my knowledge of these characters begins and ends. That throws up the big BIG flaw in this comic, it assumes you know who all these characters are and whats happened to them recently, without so much as an explanation of any kind. I may know who Wraith and Gladiator are but I'm sure there's many who don't. Hell, I had no idea what was going on with Star Lord or why we should care about Moondragon or Phyla-Vell. Those two in particular get a real disservice, especially since they're meant to be main cast members.

It's not surprising that the character that comes out looking the best in this issue is Cosmic Ghost Rider, and it's his interactions with the other characters that make the best moments. His exchanges with Beta Ray Bill, Star Lord, and later Wraith are all very well written and come off as genuine character moments. I think Cates might be trying too hard with this series, filling it with a cadre of characters that barely get introductions, but Castle at least stands as a believable bridging element.

While I believe Cates may not be handling such a large cast effectively, Geoff Shaw doesn't have such a problem. He brings a real grit to these characters who usually see a much cleaner style applied to them. It goes without saying that his Cosmic Ghost Rider looks great, bit he also turns in some great work with Groot and Beta Ray Bill. The Nebula reveal near the end is appropriately and dramatically staged, and his work continues to be the real highlight of the series so far.

I guess I can't help but be disappointed, but that's only because my expectations for this series were so high. That doesn't make this a bad comic, far from it, just a bit of a perplexing one.

Grade: B-

Friday, September 13, 2019

Avengers (2018) # 14

Cover Art: David Marquez
Published: April 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: "The Fall of Castle Dracula"
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: David Marquez
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Justin Ponsor & Erick Arciniega
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Associate Editor: Alanna Smith
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
A vampire civil war has broke out in Romania, as the Shadow Colonel and his Legion of the Unliving sack Castle Dracula in search of the vampire lord. While Captain Marvel and Blade rescue a plane hijacked by fleeing vampires, Iron Man and Black Panther exterminate a group of vampires in the Wakandan Vibranium mine. At the Monster Metropolis beneath Manhattan, She-Hulk and Ghost Rider also fight vampires, but Robbie is approached by a demon boy that calls him a monster, stating that he has known all of the Ghost Riders since the very first one before disappearing and leaving Robbie very confused. Back in Romania, Captain America and Thor protect the human population from the vampires. They are approached by the Shadow Colonel and his hellhound Sarge, who surrender themselves.

Later, at Avengers Mountain, Blade interrogates the Shadow Colonel, who breaks free and starts fighting the Avengers. Elsewhere in the mountain, Robbie Reyes is found by Sarge, who invokes a spell that transforms Robbie into a monstrous version of the Ghost Rider. Meanwhile, on the Russian border, an elderly Dracula arrives, asking for amnesty from the Winter Guard.

ANNOTATIONS
Blade was rescued from Castle Dracula to join the Avengers in Avengers (2018) # 10.

The devil boy in Monster Metropolis names "the ghost in the snow", referring to Ghost, the Spirit of Vengeance of 1,000,000 B.C. whose origin was told in Avengers (2018) # 7.

Podcast Review: Inner Demons Episode 38 - "Old Man Dracula" (Click to Listen)

REVIEW
Avengers begins its next arc with some really interesting developments for Robbie Reyes as the vampire war begins.

I admit to some severe skepticism about Blade joining the Avengers, thinking to myself that he's one of a handful of characters that just wouldn't fit on the team. For one, Aaron proved me wrong by going the obvious route of putting the Avengers in a vampire story, and for two, I bet that's exactly how Avengers fans felt about Ghost Rider joining. As a Ghost Rider fan first, though, this issue is exactly what I was hoping to see in this series.

As with a lot of things about this series, however, a vampire story about Blade and Ghost Rider doesn't exactly scream "Earth's Mightiest Heroes". Aaron manages to see it through by focusing on characterization of those two misfit horror heroes and introducing an intriguing new villain. I can't say I'm all that invested in vampires or Blade, but the Shadow Colonel and his plan to kill Dracula and take control of the Ghost Rider is intriguing enough to get mw past that skepticism I mentioned before.

The best part, of course, is the renewed emphasis on Robbie Reyes after several issues of a background presence. Obviously he's not going to be the focus of every issue, so seeing him get extra attention in the ensemble is exciting. Aaron knows his Ghost Rider and he obviously has a fondness for Reyes. Sure, he continues to drag him closer to the median when it comes to being a Spirit of Vengeance, but at least this issues gives a naming reference to Eli Morrow. Aaron seems to have some concrete ideas about where he's taking the character and that's a reassuring idea.

I wasn't particularly thrilled by David Marquez the last time he was handling the art chores for this series,. Maybe the subject matter just fits his style and sensibilities because his work here is phenomenal. He has such a great grasp on Blade and Ghost Rider, turning in the best rendition of the latter since Juan Gedeon. He has such a clean line that I'm surprised he's so effective on a monster story, but there it is. The splash page with the transformed Ghost Rider is particularly affecting.

This is a superb start to what promises to be the best story in this series so far. Highly recommended.

Grade: A+

Monday, September 9, 2019

War of the Realms Strikeforce: The Dark Elf Realm # 1

Cover Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Published: July 2019
Original Price: $4.99

Title: untitled
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gary Alanguilan
Letterer: VC's Joe Sabino
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Editor: Will Moss
Associate Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
At Avengers Mountain, Thor's mother Freya meets with the Punisher to discuss a mission and the agents needed to carry it through.  Castle handpicks She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Blade and assembles them in a meeting room to listen to Freya.  She tells them that Malekith has his own Black Bifrost Bridge in the Dark Elf realm of Svartalfheim that must be destroyed.  The heroes all agree to join her, but she tells them that first they must be tested.  Using Asgardian magic Freya forces each of them to confront their greatest fear: for She-Hulk it is her cousin the Hulk and for Blade it is himself as a future lord of the vampires.  Robbie Reyes faces Johnny Blaze, who calls him an imposter. The Avengers fight through the magic and attack Freya to prove their worth. She stops the magic challenge and cinsukts with Punisher to plan their attack on the Black Bifrost. Much later in Svartalfeim, Freya decides to make a last stand to defend the Black Bifrost, as it is now the only way to cross between the Nine Realms.

ANNOTATIONS
This issue takes place between War of the Realms # 3 and 4, both of which featured the last and next cameo appearances of Ghost Rider.

Robbie Reyes last encountered Johnny Blaze in Hell in Avengers (2018) # 16 and will confront him again in Avengers (2018) # 22.

Podcast Review: Inner Demons Episode 40 - "Bladestreet Boys" (Click to Listen)

REVIEW
Ghost Rider guest stars in this completely unnecessary tie in to War of the Realms that does, at least, feature some pretty art.

I followed along with War of the Realms rather half-heartedly, less because I enjoyed it and more to see if Ghost Rider played much of a role in it. I felt the main event was entirely underwhelming, to the point of it feeling more like an exercise in pointless crossovers than a story in its own right. This one shot was a perfect example of that idea, a comic created not to tell any kind of engaging story but to just exist as another comic titles War of the Realms. That's likely not the fault of Jason Aaron, who was writing the main event series, because everything that happens in this comic had already been a part of the larger event.

What makes this fundamental unnecessary is that its a "gathering the team" exercise that doesn't need an explanation. This justification for these characters going on this mission together doesn't need more than the flimsiest of motives, so why devote an extra large one shot to do so? Had this story revealed something integral to the team's mission I could excuse its existence, but instead it falls back on the ancient story trope of 'testing the heroes with their worst fears". It's a stock plot that pays lip service to characterization without doing anything of substance.

I guess that's not quite fair, though, because as a conversation piece between Punisher and Freya it's quite interesting. Seeing two characters who normally would never cross paths interact with one another leads to some great dialogue, which writer Bryan Hill has a good ear for in his script. As a Ghost Rider fan, though, this didn't tell me anything I didnt already know from the last several issues of Avengers. I suppose as a piece of the long game tease of the Reyes/Blaze storyline it almost works, but thats giving it more charity than it likely deserves.

What does deserve praise is the artwork by Lienil Yu, who again shows why he is such a great fit for Ghost Rider. Having previously illustrated the Ultimate Avengers arc that featured Ghost Rider I've been eagerly awaiting his return to the character in any capacity. He does great work on the dream sequences in this issue, and even makes all of the talking head pages interesting through use of intriguing panel layouts and camera shots. His art is easily the best thing about this comic.

So, yeah, this really isn't worth the cover price, either as a Ghost Rider story or a worthy event tie in. It does have some damn fine art, though...

Grade: C

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) # 1

Cover Art: David Marquez
Published: March 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: "The Final Gauntlet, Part 1"
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Senior Editor: Jordan D. White
Editor: Darren Shaw
Assistant Editor: Danny Khazem
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
Eros, brother of Thanos, has gathered together the greatest heroes of the cosmos for a meeting to witness the recorded last will and testament of Thanos. Among the heroes are the Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, who sits at the bar in the back of the spaceship. The will projects a hologram of Thanos, who reveals that his consciousness has been imprinted on the mind of another person, which will in effect bring Thanos back to life. Eros theorizes that the most likely candidate is Gamora, who he insists they must find and kill. Missing from the meeting are Star Lord and Groot, who learn about it from a Nova Corps officer.

The meeting is interrupted by an attack from Thanos' minions, the Black Order. During the battle they steal Thanos' headless body and open up a black hole that sucks all of the heroes inside. Star Lord and the Nova Corps arrive to see four people escape the black hole: Beta Ray Bill, Phyla Vell, Moondragon, and Cosmic Ghost Rider. Star Lord and Groot pull them aboard their ship and induct them as the new crew to keep the Nova Corps from arresting them. Meanwhile, the Black Order report to the person working to revive Thanos, Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death.

ANNOTATIONS
Cosmic Ghost Rider last appeared chronologically at the end of Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History (2019) # 6, which takes place directly before the meeting of the space heroes in this issue.

Eros and Cosmic Ghost Rider discovered Thanos' body and his will in Thanos Legacy # 1.

Cosmic Ghost Rider references his decision to not kill Thanos as a baby, which happened in Cosmic Ghost Rider (2018) # 1, and his death in the future at the hands of the Silver Surfer from Thanos (2017) # 17.

Podcast Review: Inner Demons Episode 36 - "Dad Panther" (Click to Listen)

REVIEW
Cosmic Ghost Rider joins the mainstream Marvel universe in this relaunch of Guardians of the Galaxy by the "Thanos Wins" team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw.

Two things about this comic were a very likely inevitability, that Cosmic Ghost Rider was going to come to the present day and that Donny Cates was going to continue his work with Thanos. So this series wasn't much of a surprise when it was announced, and honestly if any writer was going to continue on with Cosmic Ghost Rider it needed to be Cates. Picking up from the Thanos Legacy one shot, Cates uses the concept of Thanos leaving a will as the basis for a rather novel way to gather as many cosmic characters as he could and present them as potential new Guardians.

Cates also does the unexpected by summarily shuffling almost all of them off into a black hole minus a handful that will be making up his core team. Its a great swerve against expectations and its immediately effective in establishing the stakes of the story. That Cosmic Ghost Rider is one of the surviving cast members going forward is appropriate since he's Cates main claim to fame as a Marvel creator so far, and he's given many numerous moments to shine.

Geoff Shaw turns in some impressive work here as well, giving visual distinction and personality to dozens of characters. The alien heroes, especially the Silver Surfer, have an otherworldly design from Shaw that stands out as unusual yet appropriate. He's also naturally at home drawing Cosmic Ghost Rider, seeing as he's a co-creator of the character.

The Guardians of the Galaxy aren't characters I usually gravitate towards, but this was a solid debut issue that leaves me interested in picking up the next one.

Grade: B+

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther (2019) # 2

Cover Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Published: February 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: "There Is a Place Called Wakanda: Part 2"
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Jefte Palo
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Colorist: Jim Campbell
Editor: Jordan D. White
Assistant Editor: Annalise Bissa
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
The Panther God Zarathos tells T'Challa the origin story of Erik Killraven, a time traveler who grew up after Martians conquered the planet. He hates Wakanda due to being exiled from there as a child, allowing him to grow up as a gladiator in the Martian arena while Wakanda remained the only free country. Now he has traveled back in time to kill T'Challa's father and attack Wakanda. In order to protect his sister Shuriri, T'Challa again agrees to become the Ghost Panther and is resurrected by Zarathos.

Killraven attacks Shuriri in Wakanda but is interrupted by Ghost Panther. However he is quickly overwhelmed by Killraven'a ability to predict his moves. In the spirit realm Zarathos talks with the ghost of T'Chaka, T'Challa's father, who offers his soul to help his son. Zarathos sends him to Earth as a flaming panther that easily subdues Killraven. Ghost Panther eats Killraven'a soul and joins his father and sister as protectors of Wakanda.

ANNOTATIONS
This issue is a tie-in to the "Infinity Wars" crossover event.  In that series Gamora used the power of the Infinity Stones to merge the universe into itself, dividing the population by half by combining two individuals into one.  This new Earth produced its own heroes, one of which was Ghost Panther, a combination of Black Panther and Ghost Rider.

Ghost Panther makes a cameo appearance in Infinity Wars (2018) # 6, which has the combined Infinity Warps reality placed inside the Soul Gem.  He makes his next full appearance in Secret Warps: Ghost Panther Annual # 1.

Podcast Review: Inner Demons Episode 36 - "Dad Panther" (Click to Listen)

REVIEW
Ghost Panther concludes and it's terrible. Seriously, it's just awful.

Not long ago on the Inner Demons podcast I proclaimed that this was the worst Ghost Rider comic ever published, which was a bit of a harsh statement. I mean, Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History disproved that claim almost immediately. So, while this isn't the worst that doesn't mean it's good. In truth its a hodge podge of elements that only serve to distract from the whole.

The most glaring problem is the character of Erik Killraven, who consists of two characters warped together only because their names both have "kill" in them. It forced the writer to take what needed to be a simple concept and drown it in a sea of Martians and Time Diamonds. i understand the need to have Killmonger, he's the most recognizable Black Panther villain, but couldn't they have at least warped him with a Ghost Rider villain?

That flags up my biggest problem with this comic as a whole, it means far too heavily into Blac Panther while all but ignoring the Ghost Rider half of the equation. That side is represented solely as a striking visual minus any of the nuance or characters. Instead of playing up any kind of internal struggle of man versus demon the story gives us Flaming Dad Panther.

The artwork is less than impressive as well. I still wonder if Jefte Palo was under some kind of deadline crunch because this is much more sloppy than his usual work. He's always relied on heavy blacks, but here the figures are nothing but blobby silhouettes on flat colors in place of any backgrounds. I do like his Ghost Panther, who claws wildly in the air like an animal, but that's about the only positive.

Ghost Panther just can't move past its ridiculously contrived premise and chooses to double down on science fiction nonsense. Its a hot mess and definitely not recommended.

Grade: F

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History (2019) # 6

Cover Art: Gerardo Zaffino
Published: October 2019
Original Price: $3.99

Title: untitled
Writers: Paul Scheer & Nick Giovannetti
Artist: Todd Nauck
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Colorist: Antonio Fabela & Rachelle Rosenberg
Editor: Darren Shaw
Assistant Editor: Danny Khazem
Senior Editor: Jordan D. White
Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski

SYNOPSIS
Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson are visiting the Raft under the request of Reed Richards to meet a prisoner, but while there the villain Electro institutes a jailbreak of the inmates.  While various heroes attempt to quell the breakout, Nelson and Murdock find the prisoner they've come to see: Frank Castle, the Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Castle is convinced to help the heroes by Nelson and proceeds to drag Carnage into space, ripping him in half.

The next day, during a meeting of the Illuminati, Iron Man asks Reed Richards about Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Though their memories have all been tampered with to make them forget Castle, Richards' computer banks reveals his history.  The heroes track Castle down to a cave in Nevada, where he explains his backstory and that the Watcher used the Infinity Gauntlet to keep him from saving his family in the past so that history would not be altered.  The Watcher then removed Castle's memory and placed him in the Raft, tampering with the memories of all the heroes he'd encountered throughout history to make them forget Castle's existence.  Iron Man offers Castle a spot on the New Avengers but he declines, saying he's just going to sit and wait.

Years later, during a confrontation on the moon between Nick Fury and the Watcher, Castle arrives to get his revenge.  Though he tells the Watcher that he understood why he did what he did, Castle still shoots him in the head and leaves him for Fury.  In the present day, Castle is on board the starship Sanctuary II, awaiting the reading of Thanos' will.  He's drinking at a bar with Beta Ray Bill and Corsair, with them being the audience he's been telling his story to.  They doubt that the events happened, and Castle doubles down saying that nothing was exaggerated.

ANNOTATIONS
The events in this story are referenced from New Avengers (2005) # 1-9 and Original Sin (2014) # 8.

Cosmic Ghost Rider's appearance at the end is taken directly before the events in Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) # 1.  He joined with Eros to discover the body of Thanos in Thanos Legacy # 1.

REVIEW
The mini-series mercifully comes to an end, raising even more questions than it answers along the way.

I just don't get this series, I really don't.  I've gone on at length about the clash in tone that happens from page to page in this series, sometimes even from panel to panel.  It seemed content with rehashing old Marvel stories with some truly terrible attempts at comedy thrown in liberally, which made those moments of pathos stick out as blindingly out of place.  This issue, though, throws any semblance of comedy out the window in favor of soul crushing sadness and raging against fate.  Honestly, had the whole series been more like this issue, I don't think I would have minded it half as much.

Don't get me wrong, there's still the use of Marvel stories from the past that's central to the series' premise, and here it's even more blatant than it's ever been.  I mean, most of the dialogue from this comic comes from Brian Michael Bendis' first year of New Avengers, so much so that he really should have had a co-writer credit at the start of the issue. As grating an idea as that is, though, it allows Scheer and Giovannetti to do a pretty clever bit of meta deep diving, because they actually just stick Cosmic Ghost Rider into those stories in place of the Sentry.  For those who may not remember, the Sentry was a character implanted into classic Marvel history and then "forgotten" by the heroes, exactly like Cosmic Ghost Rider in this series (just minus the comedy, it was all dreadfully serious).  Taking one continuity implant character and replacing him with another continuity implant character is a fascinating idea that works a lot better than I thought it would.

At the end of the day, though, this is a comic where the Watcher essentially murders Frank Castle's wife and children, erases the memories of the entire Marvel Universe, and sticks Castle in a prison for decades.  That is so fucking dark no light can escape from its mass and it makes the attempts at humor from the previous issues come off as even more tone deaf than before.  Had the scene with the Watcher and Frank's family happened in the first issue and the rest of the series been about his revenge against the Watcher this series could have been dramatic gold.  Instead its shock misery bolted onto an unfunny premise.

The artwork is at least pretty decent, because Todd Nauck is back to finish things up.  There was an ebb and flow to the series with the high points not surprisingly being the issues illustrated by Nauck, he brings just enough dramatic weight to the story while still allowing those rare moments of comedy to come through.  He does a good homage to the New Avengers story this one rips off pays tribute to and I always enjoy his rendition of Cosmic Ghost Rider.  Nauck has easily been the best thing about this series.

I really can't believe that this series made it past the pitch stage, let alone editors giving it the approval for publication.  There were definitely some kernels of potential there, some good ideas that were squandered, and maybe that's due to the writers being relatively new to comics.  Unfortunately, it's a misfire on just about every level.

Grade: C-