Tag Archives: The Scorched

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.

July 2023 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

Usually, we lead off comics week every month with independent comics. Then, we move on to DC and finish the week with Marvel. Sometimes, we set aside an article for a landmark issue. This week, things look very different for two reasons. First, DC released their Knight Terrors event. Therefore, I received about 50 DC books this month. I also forgot to order most of the number 2 issues from next month. So, I still start this week with July 2023 independent comics.

However, because of the ordering SNAFU, Marvel Comics comes on Tuesday. Then, we travel to Cape Cod for our annual trip on Wednesday and come back next week. So, because of both of these reasons, DC Comics this month and next will probably be reviewed in two parts next month after I go to the local comic store to pick up the second issues.

Gunslinger Spawn #22

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Brett Booth. In my introduction to the book last month, Gunslinger brought dinosaurs vs. demons. What do Uncle Todd and company do to top that this month? They give us the epic battles between Gunslinger and Clown and T-Rex and Violator. Worth the price of admission and left me off on a cliffhanger. My Verdict: Great.

King Spawn #24

Script/Plot: Sean Lewis (with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Javi Fernandez. I picked the right time to pick up these books. This one continues the “Dark Horror” story from the main title. As one of my favorite stories from the last decade of comics, I welcome the additional content. Plus, clown makes an appearance. My Verdict: Great.

Scorched 20

Script/Plot: Sean Lewis (with Uncle Todd on additional script. Art: Stephen Segovia. This story interests me less than the other ones in the ongoing. I thought it was interesting that I joined the comic right after they buried the cover hero for the story, She-Spawn. She resurrected at the end of the last book and they introduced her new for at the end of this one, so maybe I’ll like it better with that angle. My verdict: Good.

Spawn 343

Script/Plot: Rory McConville (with Uncle Todd on additional script. Art: Carlo Barberi. They started this one by laying off the Heaven/Hell war a bit, which I appreciate. Of all the storylines in the Spawniverse, I think that one’s the weakest. So, when they come back to it at the end, the issue lost some appeal for me. But, they seem to maybe be setting up a crossover with Gunslinger, so that could be fun. My verdict: Good.

TMNT 141

Story: Sophie Campbell (with Kevin Eastman as story consultant), Art: Gavin Smith. As you all know, I joined the Turtles during the Armageddon Game story. I’m glad I did. I often avoided the comic because they sold it as a “grittier” version of the team that I remember from my youth. That may be true, but I still recognize these guys. I thought there might be a drop off from the event books, but not by much. This story is fun and engaging and quick moving so far. Can’t wait to see where it goes. My verdict: Good, bordering on great.

The Verdict

July 2023 independent comics brings a good to great slate of books for the second month in a row. Even if I don’t like all of the Spawn storylines, I still enjoy the writing and art. I stayed away from the extended Spawniverse because I didn’t want to fan boy too hard and thought they might just be more of the same. I should have known better. And, I already talked about my mistake of not reading TMNT. Join us again next month to see where the books take us!

Note: All Spawn images taken from the main Image site.

June 2023 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

As mentioned several times in articles and podcast episodes, my wife, Liam, and I went to Germany for Liam’s high school graduation. I got the idea from talking to a student who went to Disney for theirs. I thought, why not give our kids a chance at a trip of their choice when they graduate. Well, he immediately knew that he wanted to go to Germany. In spite of the length of the trip, I kept the page going with the “From the Vault” series in which I reposted a few articles from our past. And, now, I return live with June 2023 independent comics I love.

But, before that, I enjoyed the trip very much. We traveled to three countries, saw countless historical and natural wonders, and already started to plan the next trip. We either intend to travel to other countries in central Europe or finally cross the UK off our list. I think it will be the UK and then the other countries in five or so years. We plan to go domestic and then overseas for about 5-9 years until we can work for the Department of Defense and live over there for a bit. But, none of that has to do with comics. So, on with the reviews.

Just one of the many post card quality photos I took during our time there.

“Spawniverse”

These indpendent articles usually only contain Spawn and, on occasion, a random independent comic that accidentally got sent to me or one that I ordered on a whim. Every now and then, I remember one of Chris’s recommendations and order that. Well, this (and future) articles are only different in that I put all four of the Spawn’s Universe comics on my pull list. I also added TMNT after Armageddon game. Hey, I’m branching out!

Note: Spawn pictures taken from Image Comics.

Gunslinger Spawn #21

Writer: Uncle Todd, Artist: Brett Booth

I think when I mentioned to Chris that after I learned about the new Spawn related titles, he said something about enjoying Gunslinger. If so, then I 100% agree. I broke my X-Men rule for these books and just dove right in without any backstory. This issue captured me from the first page. Gunslinger and his accomplice ride dinosaurs into battle against Maelbolgia and Vindicator. Hell yes. The rest of the book tells the story of how they arrived at that battle. I’m looking forward to this one next month. My verdict: Great.

King Spawn #23

Writer: Sean Lewis with Uncle Todd as additional script, Artist: Kevin Keane

I recognized immediately that this book’s story follwed the “Dark Horror” arc from the main title. That’s my favorite Spawn arc of the last decade and is in my top 10 for comics arcs since I started collecting again. I might even say top 5. Quick analysis and I can’t think of many more that I enjoyed as much as that one. While this arc only peripherally contains story elements from that arc, it still gave me enough of that story to push it into the top tier for these books. My verdict: Great.

Scorched #19

Writer: Sean Lewis with Uncle Todd as additional script, Artist: Stephen Segovia

She-Spawn is dead. What the hell? We’re only 19 issues into this thing and one of the cover characters is already dead? Well, okay, let’s see what it’s about anyway. The book is fine. I like the characters on the team and look forward to seeing how they interact when they’re not stressed out because one of them is “dead”. I figured that out pretty quickly. Also, the story felt kind of lukewarm and a bit to obvious for me. Overall, a decent introduction and I’ll read the other issues to see how we got here and if it changes my mind at all. My verdict: Good.

Spawn #342

Writer: Rory McConville with Uncle Todd as additional script, Artist: Carlo Barberi

I think I mentioned in a previous article that the new focus on the war between Heaven and Hell leaves me underwhelmed. I get that’s the main theme behind the book. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ll admit that this issue added a wrinkle that made it more interesting. Having bought nearly an entire run of the book 3 times, I intend to keep collecting and reading. I just hope they give us a different arc soon. My verdict: Good.

TMNT #140 (After Armageddon)

Writer: Sophia Campbell with Kevin Eastman as story consultant, Artist: Gavin Smith, Image from Previews World.

I thought the book might suffer from a bit of a let down after such a long an ambitious even. While there is some of that, the book sets us up nicely for the next arc. I can’t think of a reason I never collected the Turtles before this, but I think it had to do with the book being called “gritty” or some such nonsense. I do remember Chris wanting to go off on the podcast when they teased “killing” one of the turtles several years ago. But, I’m glad they hooked me with the event and I plan to keep collecting and fill in the back issues that I can. My verdict: Good.

The Verdict

Those are the June 2023 independent comics I love. Overall, the future of all of these series looks bright to me and I look forward to filling in some of the back stories. When I said earlier that I fell into a Spawn rabbit hole, that means that I tried to track down all of the back issues of those books. I succeeded in finding all but maybe 3 or 4 of them. Now, as I say, my focus becomes The Turtles. Tell me about some of the June 2023 independent comics you love in th ecomments.