Comic Book Reviews (Week August 5, 2020): Empyre Issue 4, Batman Issue 96 & More!

Batman Issue 96 Review
Batman Issue 96 (Image: DC Comics)

In this week’s comic book reviews round-up (August 5, 2020), I will be covering Batman Issue 96, Empyre Issue 4, Strikeforce Issue 9, and many more!

Let’s get the DC Comics stuff handled and open this review round-up with Batman Issue 96. From writer James Tynion IV, I have to say that I really enjoyed the opening. We got to see Bruce’s vision of Gotham where almost all of the city’s crime was under control. He doesn’t have to go out every night as Batman to save people. He’s finally happy and planning a trip with Selina. However, it’s clear it was just a dream. Punchline’s new toxic gas really did a number on Bruce.

After being saved by Harley Quinn (we all knew she wasn’t dead, duh!), Batman refused to stay calm while the Joker dropped Gotham into chaos. Frankly, seeing the city burn wasn’t anything new. We have seen it happen numerous times and again, I wonder why the Justice League doesn’t just drop in and handle the situation. Plot convenience, I guess.

Batman Issue 96 gave us the debut for Clownhunter. He’s another original character from Tynion IV. While the bad guys got Punchline, the good (or anti-hero) side got Clownhunter. He’s a teen who hates clowns and isn’t above killing them. I’ve been very ‘meh!’ as far as Punchline is concerned. Let’s see what Clownhunter brings to the table.

Recommendation: I guess you can pick it up if you want to.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

DCeased Dead Planet Issue 2 review
DCeased: Dead Planet Issue 2 (Image: DC Comics)

DCeased: Dead Planet Issue 2

If you are reading DCeased: Dead Planet, you should already know this is a series where characters tend to drop like flies. The second issue, from writer Tom Taylor, was no different. A bunch of characters died as they tried to make their way to a fortress sheltering humans (all the way in Australia). I’m looking forward to learning about the mysterious people governing the fortress. Back in Ivy’s garden, Cyborg brought everyone hope by sharing the existence of a cure.  

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters: Yes.

Far Sector Issue 7 review
Far Sector Issue 7 (Image: DC Comics)

Far Sector Issue 7

It’s as if writer N.K. Jemisin can do no wrong while progressing the narrative of Far Sector. This issue took Jo to the virtual world of @AT. We also got to learn about the type of Green Lantern ring Jo has. It’s different from what the usual Green Lanterns wore. Apparently, the ring’s all about the ability to have willpower while living in fear. I think it has to do with perseverance and thinking of the road ahead instead of being all offensive and trying to immediately handle a problem.

As always the art and colors by Jamal Campbell are gorgeous. This is an excellent comic book that everyone should read.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes. 

Empyre Issue 4 review
Empyre Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Empyre Issue 4

Coming to the Marvel Comics’ offering this week, we have Empyre Issue 4 by writer Al Ewing. Wiccan and Hulking got married and Marvel didn’t make a big deal out of it! We got one freaking panel! Marvel better be releasing a Wiccan and Hulkling Wedding Special once Empyre is over.

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Deadpool Issue 6 review
Deadpool Issue 6 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Deadpool Issue 6

From writer Kelly Thompson, Deadpool Issue 6 shared why Deadpool hasn’t been invited to visit Krakoa. Wade getting to interact with the X-Men and calling them fascists was fun. Of course, Jeff the Shark continued to be his adorable self. Wade threw Jeff right into Storm’s face and I hollered.

Also, I would have loved Thompson as a comic book writer forever if she had made Storm think of something else to stop Wade instead of opting for the usual “Lightning Lass” persona Marvel writers give Ororo. She’s more than just a mutant/Goddess that throws lightning bolts.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Empyre X-Men Issue 2 review
Empyre: X-Men Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Empyre: X-Men Issue 2

This story featured writers Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, and Leah Williams. As far as Empyre tie-ins go, I think Empyre: X-Men is superior. Seeing Hordeculture agreeing to a forced team-up with the X-Men was fun. Seeing Magik continue to be annoyed by the botany-loving old women was everything. I’m looking forward to seeing how the X-Men will solve the huge issue of millions of zombie mutants running around Genosha. Wanda has to make an appearance, right?

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Giant Size X-Men Fantomex Issue 1 review
Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex Issue 1

I’m not much of a fan of Fantomex. But I decided to pick up this issue, by writer Jonathan Hickman, because it was supposed to be connected to the techno-based virus inside Storm. The final panels showed Fantomex leading a team of five (including him and Ororo) into The World. Let’s see what needs to be done to save Storm’s life.

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No. 

Strikeforce Issue 9 review
Strikeforce Issue 9 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Strikeforce Issue 9

I mean, I knew that Strikeforce wasn’t going to survive for much longer, but I wasn’t expecting it to end with only 9 issues. As a huge fan of Wiccan, I was excited to see what writer Tini Howard had planned for him. However, as I began reading this series, Billy really didn’t have much to do in it. The narrative seemed to focus a lot on Angela and Spider-Woman.

You have the freaking Demiurge-to-be in your comic book! Use him! Have the team experience trippy reality-manipulating adventures. Take them to the far ends of the universe for wacky adventures. Maybe even trap them in Hell? However, none of that happened as the story revolved around a species capable of changing their appearance.

Here’s hoping the current team comes back together somewhere down the line. While I wasn’t a fan of the narrative choices, I did enjoy the team members interacting with each other.

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Money Shot Issue 7 review
Money Shot Issue 7 (Image: Vault Comics)

Money Shot Issue 7

Money Shot continues to be an enjoyable comedy sci-fi comic book series. Writers Tim Seely and Sarah Beattie have surprised me with every issue. Also, while this story is set in the future, a lot of the narrative threads are quite timely. Coming to the current issue, with our leads trying to go independent with their research projects, President Luke Kirk had other ideas. He’s clearly not going to let aliens keep their advanced technology away from his hands. With how issue 7 ended, I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes. 

Funny Creek Issue 1 review
Funny Creek Issue 1 (Image: ComiXology Originals)

Funny Creek Issue 1

I was provided with a free review copy of Funny Creek Issue 1. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Funny Creek has been promoted as a comic book story focusing on the innocence of children and how they deal with guilt and trauma. I do think that Rafael Scavone and Rafael Albuquerque gave us just that in the debut issue. Our lead is a kid named Lilly. The comic opened with her running away from something she was involved in. After hitting her head she’s teleported to the world of ‘The Funny Creek Show’. Finding solace in familiar things during times of stress is natural. So, it made sense for Lilly to wake up in the world she’s a fan of.

I’m not sure if she really found herself in the fictional world of the TV series she likes or if it’s all in her head. Maybe it’s both? Anyway, I’m ready to learn more about Lilly as a character and how her adventure will help her deal with issues in the real world.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Lizard in a Zoot Suit review
Lizard In A Zoot Suit (Image: Graphic Universe)

Lizard In A Zoot Suit Issue 1

I was provided with a free review copy of Lizard In A Zoot Suit for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

I got to learn a lot about Chicano culture and Zoot Suits watching Showtime’s recent series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. If you’re a fan of that show, I think you will enjoy the sic-fi take Marco Finnegan gave to the realities of that era in this comic book. Using 1940s Los Angeles as the stage, Finnegan decided to introduce a humanoid lizard (swamp creature), and the result’s quite enjoyable.

The story dealt with two sisters experiencing the racism of that time and finding the creature. What follows is a desperate race to reunite the lizard with his family while running away from an evil researcher. I appreciated the layers Finnegan gave his work. In a single book, Finnegan’s able to talk about racism, sexism, and a lot more while also highlighting positive aspects of humanity linked to love, kindness, and family. 

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing this story get some kind of live-action adaptation. I would like to see a swamp lizard-creature walking around in a Zoot Suit while two young human women tried to protect him.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Which comic books did you pick up this week? Did you enjoy Batman Issue 96?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

Help support independent journalism. Subscribe to our Patreon.

Copyright © The Geekiary

Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. If you are reading this anywhere besides, it has been stolen.
Read our policies before commenting. Be kind to each other.

3 thoughts on “Comic Book Reviews (Week August 5, 2020): Empyre Issue 4, Batman Issue 96 & More!

Comments are closed.