Tag Archives: Comics

Marvel Comics April 2024

Introduction

As mentioned in the previous DC review article, Marvel Comics April 2024 comes a week later than anticipated. Technically, it comes 5 days later, but you get the point. I also wrote in that article that I started to feel too generous with these reviews. While I recovered from that then, I feel a bit like this article will reinforce that idea. You’ll see what I mean when we get right into the reviews. And, I thought I might have more to say, but instead, let’s do this thing.

Decent

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Art: Daniel Earls

I just texted Chris, “The art on the new Hulk series is so bad.” I said something stronger, but no reason to repeat the curse here. He agreed. I think that my instinct is pretty strong overall, but I like to get his opinion as well to make sure that I’m not missing something. Turns out I’m not. The title continues with the horror theme set by Al Ewing and does a decent job of emulating that. With even passable art, I’d push this into the “Good” section and it might even flirt with great. It’s just that the art is so bad that it drags the title down. Stop doing Hulk so dirty, Marvel.

Good

Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Christopher Allen
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Art: Carlos Magno

Apparently, this issue ends Eve Ewing’s run on the title. I don’t see the title in the coming solicitations, either. It struggled a little bit with me through the 10 issues, but overall I enjoyed it and will miss it during this hiatus. Can’t wait to see who they get to write it next. Similarly, this run with JMS on Cap took a bit to get going. But, this issue floored me. It reminded me of everything I enjoyed about his Spider-Man. Still not as good as my favorite Cap writers, but he’ll get there.

Great

Fantastic Four 18

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Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Carlos Gomez

Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, and Doctor Strange all make regular appearances here. Avengers also often appears here. So, I will concentrate on the newbies. I have no idea what’s happened to Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe I fucked up my DCBS order. Nope, a quick Google machine search shows that they’re done again. Fudge. Oh well, Al Ewing back on Venom gives me the warm and fuzzies. Speaking of Al, his run on Thor is finally starting to ramp up and I think it’s going to be a blast. Stay tuned.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics April 2024 brings an impressive line up of titles and stories. While not all awesome, I said several times that it’s a magical thing when the title matches the author so well. I don’t know if both publishers are using AI or what, but they’ve both figured out how to make that work in a big way. As I’ve been saying, it’s a great time to be a comic fan right now.

DC Comics April 2024

Introduction

I unintentionally went dark for a week there. But, I updated the YouTube, released the latest episode of Noob’s Book Club, and now I’m getting back to the main page with DC Comics April 2024. Even so, the review comes later than usual. What can I say. Spring sprung in Massachusetts this week. We went for a walk. I went over to the Y for a swim. And, I’m obsessed with the new Fallout series. But, more on that next week.

Decent

Writer: Ram V, Artist: Ricardo Federici
Writer: Simon Spurrier, Artist: Ramon Perez
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Guillem March

Many people seem to like this Detective Comics story. I admit that it has some high points. But, overall, it’s too uneven for me to put it anywhere but in the decent column. So far, the Simon Spurrier run of Flash hasn’t panned out the way I hoped, either. I mean, I give them all credit for trying new things with the titles. But, they just don’t work for me.

Good

Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: David Baldeon

Brian Michael Bendis made me care about Superman (until he drove the title off a cliff), but Jason Aaron and Joshua Williamson made me love Supes. I think Williamson intentionally backed off in this issue in order to prepare us for the big reveal at the end and the next story to come.

Great

Writer: Tini Howard, Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: John Timms
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Each one of these stories represents a very good writer at the peak of their games. Dark Prisons feels very much like the Detective Comics story, but more focused and tight. While the Catwoman “Nine Lives” story easily could have gotten hokie, Tini Howard keeps it cool. And, Jason Aaron pulled off the impossible. He got me to not only enjoy Superman, but a Superman story about Bizarro. Bravo, Sir.

The Verdict

DC Comics April 2024 is mostly good. Even the decent titles entertained me on one level or another. I think I wrote in my Marvel review last month (I could search, but it’s getting to 11pm now and I’m tired) that it feels like comics finally found those sweet spots of writers and the books they write for. It’s a good time to be a comic book fan right now.

Used the Google Machine to find the cover images.

April 2024 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

A few month ago, you might question the title of this series. And, honestly, you’d be right to do so. Before last month, the Spawniverse languished in mediocrity (at best) and I wondered how, or even if, Uncle Todd could pull it together. They just felt too crunched by all of the books. Honestly, it started to feel like the early days of Image with the missed deadlines and misprints. But, hopefully the upturn in quality from last month continues into April 2024 Independent comics.

Gunslinger Spawn 30

Plot/Script: Uncle Todd, Art: Carlo Barberi. in my opinion, Gunslinger suffered the most from the drop off in quality. Chris told me how much he liked the title, maybe even more than the main title. I listened to his advice and, honestly, it’s why I filled in the back issues of the other titles. Then, things started to slip and I started to lose faith. Last month brought back much of what made the title fun. Now, before I give away what I thought of this month’s issue, let me just say how much I love that cover. It brings back old school vibes in a good way. So does the story and art of this issue. A bit of a filler issue, but well done overall. My verdict: Great

King Spawn 32

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Javi Fernandez. This book only registered with me because they revisited one of my favorite Spawn stories of the last decade, Dark Horror. So, it barely made that much of a difference to me when the quality started to decline. It always just felt like the main title’s little brother. But, I appreciate their commitment to making all of the titles better and I really enjoy the current story revolving around Al and reckoning with being mortal again. My verdict: Good.

Scorched 27

Script/Plot: John Layman with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Stephen Segovia. I questioned the change in tone from single hero titles to a team for this book. Eventually, it won me over and became my favorit book in the Spawniverse. Like the others, it lost some of that edge and, frankly, it bummed me out. But, with this new attempt at bringing the titles back to a higher standard, they hired John Layman to write this one. ‘Nuff said. My verdict: Good, but Layman’s still in the early phases. I expect this one to hit great sooner rather than later.

Spawn 351

Script/Plot: Rory McConville with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Brett Booth. I stayed with this title in spite of the fact that I wanted nothing to do with the Heaven/Hell war storyline. Then, at some point, that shifted and I started to like the story a lot. They delivered with the big finish last issue and now start to rebuild in that aftermath. I like where they’re headed and give them the benefit of the doubt. My verdict: Good.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 149

Story: Sophie Campbell with Kevin Eastman on consulting, Art: Vincenzo Federici. I make no secret that this is my favorite book since starting to collect it during The Armageddon Game. I feared a drop off (also no secret) after that story wrapped. Granted, there was a lull, but they needed to take a few episodes off before ramping back up to the big 1-5-0. Rarely does a writer click on a title like this. But, Kevin Eastman clearly cares about his heroes in a half shell so much to put them in the capable hands of Sophie Campbell. I can’t wait to see what they have in store next. My verdict: Great

The Verdict

April 2024 independent comics continues the upward trend set last month. Granted, they fell quite a bit, so an upswing was imminent. But, I’m glad to see that Uncle Todd continues the “new direction” of his titles and they’re not just a one off. Sometimes, you just need to shake things up. Unless you’re TMNT. Don’t change a damn thing.

Spawniverse on Image. TMNT with IDW.

Marvel Snap April 2024: Zeroes to Heroes

Introduction

True to my word, I played almost no Marvel Snap during the Avengers season. I cared nothing about the cards or characters. I couldn’t even muster the ability to care enough about the Conquest variant to play for that. Instead, I saved my money. I’m glad I did because Marvel Snap April 2024 season revolves around one of my favorite groups, The Thunderbolts. Sure, the lineup is from the MCU and I prefer the Green Goblin led team, but I’ll take what I can get from all this cross promotion.

New Locations

Thunderbolts Tower looks liked a placeholder from datamining. Yeah, upon further research, it is -2 power after turn 5. If you’re playing some kind of junk, this could be a fun location to play. Otherwise, I will mostly just play around the debuff. Castle Zemo also favors junk, so maybe they’re trying to push that archetype this time around.

New Characters

Screenshot-2024-04-01-173525

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All of these cards look like tons of fun. I think my favorites are Valentina and USAgent. Many of the 6 drops are fairly high power with some upside, so getting one of them in play 2 turns early with some draw back looks good to me. And, USAgent punishes big decks, though I admit that I haven’t seen a ton of them. Maybe the meta got big again with the latest season. Who knows? Zemo gives you card advantage and the possibility of a combo breaker. Red Hulk can be a surprise drop against a Sunspot type deck. White Widow forces the opponent (if they care) to one zone for a couple of turns, so that’s nice. And, I haven’t quite figured out how to use Red Guardian just yet, but he can zap a Nightcrawler and freeze him in a location.

The Verdict

I already know that I plan to get the Battle Pass for Marvel Snap April 2024. The cards are fun. The locations are fine. And, I admit to actually missing “war with added features” from my daily rotation. I’ll see you out there, fellow SNAPers!

Cards taken from Marvel Snap Zone.

March 2024 Marvel Comics

Introduction

Missed another deadline in March. Unsure why this happens every year around this time. I heard that trauma can resurface as a memory even if you can’t remember the event or events. I mean, that’s as likely as anything. Then again, maybe it’s just hangover from winter hibernation. Either way, March 2024 Marvel Comics comes two days late.

I skipped a couple of books again this month. Two, you know. I want to get the entire run of “Gang War” since I accidentally skipped a month in DCBS. Likewise, I’m so far behind in X-Men I don’t think I’ll ever catch up. Finally, Dr. Strange #12 didn’t fit with #13 and Venom #31 paired with Carnage #5 (which I didn’t order) for a two part story.

Decent

Black Panther 9

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Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Art: Chris Allen and Mack Chater

Black Panther fell off a bit this month. I can’t explain why. But it just didn’t hit as well as it had been. As I read, I noticed that Punisher isn’t a legacy numbered title. I know that it’s a “new Punisher”, but that still surprised me. Also, I forgot how wordy J. Michael can be, probably from his time on television and movies. His Cap hits all the right notes, but lacks the edge of some of my other favorite Cap writers.

Great

Avengers 10 and 11

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Writer: Jed McKay with various artists

Avengers 10 ended the previous story with a bang. The only reason I moved them to good is because 11 followed up a little stale. Doctor Strange assembles the Secret Defenders (an odd ball group, but necessary) to battle a role playing game that actually draws from the occult. Fun story so far. Everything I said about Hulk last month holds this month, especially the art. Goodness, Marvel, take better care of my boys Spidey and Hulk. I saw Al Ewing came back for an issue of Venom. I think they did it to give Gronbekk time to focus on the Venom/Carnage crossover. Ewing writes a decent story, but nothing on the level of his actual run. Speaking of Ewing, his Thor is starting to take shape and I think will soon get up to great.

Great

Writer: Ryan North, Art: Carlos Gomez
Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Art: Andres Genolet

Last month, no She-Hulk. This month two issues and no Guardians. Not sure if it’s Marvel shipping schedule, DCBS, or my screw up. Oh well, There’s not much more that I can say about She-Hulk at this point. They just found the perfect writer for the character and I enjoy everything about the title. Fantastic Four leads with a shocking discovery and crafts a great narrative around that discovery. Also, just a fun title right now.

The Verdict

Unlike DC and Spawn/TMNT, March 2024 Marvel Comics takes a bit of a step back. None of them are bad, but most of them are just solid stories with good art. I suppose we could have worse problems in our comics reading lives. Until next time, Zombies, Excelsior!

Images taken from the mothership.

DC Comics March 2024

Introduction

I wrote earlier in the week that the Spawniverse and TMNT delivered probably some of the best issues that I’ve read in months. I mean, TMNT continues to be one of my favorite comics since I started collecting during Armageddon game. The Spawniverse, though, varied wildly in both content and quality. Okay, what does this all have to do with DC Comics March 2024?

Well, I graded all of the comics either “Good” or “Great”. And, honestly, the ones that I put in the “Good” column mostly just as a nit pick. I guess what I’m saying is that comics are in a really good spot right now. It’s just too bad that they’re a dying medium and won’t be around in a couple of months. Hey, I have to repeat it every so often, or it might actually happen.

Good

Jason Aaron accomplished something no other writer ever has. He not only made me care about Bizarro, but he actually wrote a Bizarro story that I enjoy. The nit pick here is, it’s Bizarro. I can’t put him in “Great” territory. Ram V and Tom King are both on my “can’t miss” list. I like everything that they right. However, I haven’t quite accepted King as a Wonder Woman writer yet. And, Ram takes some chances in Detective that I respect. They haven’t quite paid off 100%, though. Finally, Simon Spurrier writes a good Flash story, but I still like Williamson better.

Great

Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Art: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Writer: Tini Howard, Art: Carmine di Giandomenico
Writer: Joshua Williamson, Art: David Baldeon

I’ve been waiting for Zdarsky to take off on the Batman title. He came close a couple of times before. This story, though (Joker Year One) rises almost to the level of Tom King Batman. Regular readers of the page (both of you!) know what high praise that is from me. Tini Howard, likewise, took what I enjoyed about the Joelle Jones Catwoman and expanded on it with the Nine Lives story. Last, but not least, Joshua Williamson showed that he’s not a one hit wonder by making me look forward to the Superman issues every month. Bravo to all of you.

The Verdict

Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age. Then again, I keep talking about how impatient I am in Noob’s Book Club. Who knows? In any case, I liked DC Comics March 2024. Along with the Spawniverse and TMNT titles, I enjoyed reading comics this month more than any time over the last year probably. Hopefully Marvel keeps it up. Come back Friday to find out.

Head on over to the mothership for more comics.

March 2024 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

I committed to Mario in March early last week. Then, as often happens in March, for some reason, I lost motivation to update the page. Well, in a lucky break, my comics arrived late last week. That gives me a week to review them and reset my brain to give Mario the respect he deserves. Last time, I never received a TMNT. However, March 2024 independent comics returns with my favorite heroes in a half shell.

Gunslinger 28 and 29

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Dexter Soy and Carlo Barberi. It seems that my complaints made it back to the creative team in the Spawniverse. Actually, probably not. It looks like they decided to make Spawn 350 a big turning point in the various series. For what it’s worth, I’m glad they made that choice. At best, the last few months have been uneven. At worst, I saw more than one typo that never should have made it to the printer. Alas, if they continue this “new direction” as advertised, this title could rise again to be one of the best. My verdict: Good.

King Spawn 31

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Jeremy Haun. Okay. Yes. This is more like it. I never liked King Spawn as much as the other Spawniverse titles. But, every now and then, they gave us a great issue. This one, again, promises a “new direction” and it feels more like the main title. But, the focus is on the human side of Spawn. And, the balance, at least in this issue, worked out perfectly. Also, I didn’t mention the art, but both titles very closely resemble the Uncle Todd vibe of the beginning of the book. My verdict: Good. Almost Great.

The Scorched 26

Story/Plot: John Layman with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Stephen Segovia. Wait a minute…John Layman. I know that name, don’t I? Yes, indeed I do. I don’t remember what introduced me to Layman, but he wrote one of my favorite comics of the last decade, Eleanor and the Egret. When I started in on the Spawniverse, too, this was my favorite of the titles. It fluctuated like the others, but I took that fluctuation harder because I enjoyed the book so much. It looks like they scheduled Layman for at least the next 3 or 4 books, too, so I have no doubts this one will rise back to the top. My verdict: Good. Bring it on, Layman.

Spawn 350

Story/Plot: Rory McConville with Uncle Todd as additional script, Art: Brett Booth and Carlo Barberi. 350 gets a big image. I mean, look at that cover. Well, we’re finally here. They’ve been building to this one for a while and I read about it in the pages of the other books. Overall, it doesn’t disappoint. They actually threw me for a loop at the one who ascended to Hell’s throne. Even with the flashback within a flashback, I still thought that one of the mains won. So, I say, “Bravo.” I wasn’t terribly keen on this story, but the end made it worth the trip. My verdict: Good.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 148

Story: Sophie Campbell with Kevin Eastman on consulting, Art: Vincenzo Federici. For some reason, I never received TMNT last month. I must say, “I missed them.” Ever since Armageddon Game, this title oscillates from Great to Really Great. I mean, I have no reference above great for these articles, but if I did, this one and She Hulk repeatedly deserve that accolades. The stories are well written and everything comes together so nicely over time. This one references 4 other issues of the book. Even so, I don’t feel lost at the self reference. It just works. My verdict: Great, as always.

The Verdict

Thank goodness for March 2024 independent comics. They bring some of the best of these books in a few months. I hope that the Spawniverse continues this trend for the future. At least from what I see, I think the new creative teams will work well and shake things up. I’ve stopped thinking that TMNT will fall off and just know that it continues to be one of the best written books out there.

Spawn images from the mothership. TMNT from their own.

February 2024 Marvel Comics

Introduction

The end of the week got busy. We went to the Botanical Garden with Mom and then I drove her back to the train station. We spent yesterday painting the front room and dining room. And, so, in true 2 Generations Gaming fashion, February 2024 Marvel Comics article comes two days too late. Such is life. I also have no plans for the coming week as far as articles, so the page might go slightly dormant. I do have notes finally for the next episode of Noob’s Book Club, so maybe I will take this week to get back in the habit with that and the YouTube page.

Incomplete (Spider-Man Gang War)

Previously in these articles, I said I was out on Spider-Man until Wells stopped writing it. Seriously, I hated his stories that much. But, I heard good things about Gang War. I was willing to give it a chance, but my hiatus from DCBS ordering put a 3 issue hole in the run, so it will have to wait until I can make it down to That’s Entertainment or order from Midtown.

Decent (Cap and Punisher)

I want to enjoy J. Michael Stracynski’s Captain America. I loved his Spider-Man. So far, though, I want more from this Captain America story. I liked the start of it, but the set up is now going on too long. He writes so much. I think I’m just getting more impatient in old age. Speaking of old age, it hasn’t been kind to my opinion of The Punisher.

Good (Some bordering on great, others hurt by their art)

The Immortal Thor 6

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Writer: Al Ewing, Artist Martin Coccolo

The Avengers is one of the titles that oscillates between good and great. This one sets up for a new story, which looks like it might be great, but we have to wait to see. I never got into the previous Black Panther story, but I like what Ewing has done with the character and story. This one might push up into great soon. I loved Al Ewing on Immortal Hulk and I think this one might eventually get there, too. For now, I will just say that I liked the vibe of this issue and hope it continues. Speaking of Al Ewing, they are trying to keep the horror theme of his Hulk. PKJ isn’t quite on his level. And, the art is just not great. Gronbekk is making me enjoy Venom again. She writes the title with some joy and that is infectious.

Great (Where’s She Hulk?!)

Writer: Ryan North with various artists
Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker

Without She-Hulk for some reason this month, only these two stand up as outstanding stories right now. Fantastic Four just brings that old school flavor from the beginnings of the title. Fun, fresh, and (dare I say it) fantastic! It looks like they want to capture a similar theme for the movie, so now I can’t wait to see that. The Grootfall story took some time to grow on me, but overall Guardians of the Galaxy also reminds me of the family that I know and love.

The Verdict

The February 2024 Marvel Comics line up, overall, was enjoyable. I want to read Spider-Man, because I miss the friendly neighborhood wall crawler. I also still need to catch up on X-Men so I can start reviewing that one. Then again, I read something like a dozen books, so do I really need more right now? In any case, see you in March!

February 2024 DC Comics I Love

Introduction

After a hiatus of a month and a delay by a week, I returned with February 2024 independent comics. Because of no TMNT, I only read and reviewed a few books in the SECU (tm – me?) in that article. Today, we went to one of Quinn’s swim meets. The down time in between waiting for his events gave me a chance to read the February 2024 DC Comics for this article.

Another father noticed me reading Action Comics and started a conversation. I told him that I got my books mostly from DCBS, but every couple of months, I take a trip to That’s Entertainment. We both geeked out at the mention of the store and agreed that we could easily spend an entire day there every time we go. I dropped a casual mention about the miniature painting classes and I might have made a new friend.

Decent

Writer: Si Spurrier, Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Writer: Si Spurrier, Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere

While I enjoyed the lead in to this new Flash story, I’m having trouble getting into the actual story. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I think I might need to do some more previous reading of Flash to understand the background of this one. When that might happen, I don’t know. As far as Wonder Woman, you all know I’m one of the biggest Tom King fans. However, his slow burn story method that worked so well on Batman falls flat so far with Wonder Woman.

Good

Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: John Timms
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Story: Tini Howard, Artist: Stefano Raffaele

I disregarded the other Action Comics sent to me because it ended the previous story. This one started a new arc. I never enjoyed Bizarro in the past, but Aaron made this story intriguing so far, so I’m willing to give it a chance. Zdarsky’s Batman has been a bit off from the previous couple of writers, but it hasn’t fallen off completely. I think with some time, he will come up with something great for the title. In the same way, Tini Howard’s Catwoman doesn’t stand up to Ram V and especially Joelle Jones. I know we’ll never get back Jones at this point, but I think Howard has the best chance to get back to close to that.

Great

Writer: Ram V, Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Writer: Ram V, Artists: Riccardo Federici and Stefano Raffaele
Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artists: Bruno Redondo and Caio Filipe

Ever since the Tom King Batman and James Tynion IV Detective Comics era of these books, I’ve been waiting for the books to reach those heights again. Batman lags somewhat behind, but Ram’s treatment of Detective has been amazing. Likewise, but on a different note, Williamson made the impossible possible by getting me to enjoy Superman. This issue, especially, tickled me with the Western motif and engaging storyline. Superman is probably the best book in DC Comics right now.

Verdict

February 2024 DC Comics was a good one for the company. I found myself struggling to put each comic in each category. They all could have easily been moved up a category. But, I want to remain true to my ideals and not go too easy with these reviews.

February 2024 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

After missing my order last month, February 2024 independent comics exist again only in the Spawn Extended Comic Universe (SECU – tm, me?). By the looks of it, TMNT 150 got pushed back by a month and I just put it on my list for next month. Therefore, prepare for my journey through the SECU for this month.

Scorched #24

Script/Plot: John Layman (with Uncle Todd on “Additional Script”, Artist: Stephen Segovia. A few issues ago, this one was my favorite of all the titles in the SECU. Yep, I’m gonna overuse that until it’s dead by the end of the article. Sorry, I miss TMNT. In regards to this issue, it serves its purpose as a bridge to show the new dynamics of the team and introduce a new character, The Viscerator. My verdict: Decent.

King Spawn #28/#30

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Javi Fernandez. Not sure why they sent two nonsequential issues of King Spawn, but here we are. The first shows Al traveling through hell with the corpse of a demon that he killed. A few conflicts that are easily resolved and apparently the journey continues in the missing issue. Because, then, Al faces off with Wanda as his companion on the journey. I enjoyed this part of the story and Uncle Todd promises a big payoff in number 350. Also, I enjoy Javi Fernandez’s art. My verdict: Good.

Spawn #348

Story/Plot: Rory McConville with Todd McFarlane on additional script, Art: Carlo Barberi. All of these issues feel slightly underwhelming. It took until this issue and the connection to King Spawn that I understood. They’re setting us up for the big conclusion in a couple of issues. I suppose I made the initial connection in Scorched when I called it a bridge article. Well, the whole of it right now feels like a bridge. But, again, great art. My verdict: Good.

Verdict

So, the SECU (okay, I used it less than anticipated) brought mostly just a bridge (I used that more than anticipated, though, trying to avoid “filler”) between the previous story and a promised payoff in Spawn 350. February 2024 independent comics was missing something. Yes, that’s just another reason for me to write that TMNT never showed this month.

Images courtesy of the mothership.