Comic Book Reviews (Week August 19, 2020): Batman Issue 97, Ryu vs Chun-Li, and More!

batman issue 97 review
Batman Issue 97 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome! In this week’s comic book review round-up (August 19, 2020), I will be covering Batman Issue 97, Captain Marvel Issue 20, and more!

Opening with Batman Issue 97 from writer James Tynion IV, I have to say that the current arc continues to focus on fleshing out Tynion’s new fictional characters (Punchline and the Clown Killer) instead of giving us something different between Bruce and the Joker’s relationship. I have lost count of how many times we have seen Bruce relive his past trauma involving the death of his parents. Is there no writer out there who can give readers something new when it comes to writing a Batman comic book? 

As for the stuff I did like in Batman Issue 97, I enjoyed the way Harley interacted with Bruce. Apparently, a rematch between Harley and Punchline is on the way. Also, let’s see when Selina decides to show up and help Bruce. 

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes. 

Captain Marvel Issue 20 review
Captain Marvel Issue 20 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Captain Marvel Issue 20

I’m not a fan of Carol Danvers and what she does in the comic book world, but I’m certainly enjoying the story writer Kelly Thompson’s sharing in the current Captain Marvel run (the Empyre tie-in). Working for Hulkling, Carol decided to recruit Spider-Woman, Hazmat, and War Machine. Other than that, she continued to deal with her half-sister named Lauri-Ell. I don’t know about you, but I like Lauri-Ell as a character and I hope she sticks around.

Captain Marvel Issue 20 review
Captain Marvel Issue 20 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Even if you (like me) have never read a Captain Marvel book in your life, you should consider picking up the current Empyre tie-in content. Thompson knows how to write Carol in a manner that works great to have a non-Captain Marvel reader (like me) turn the page with a lot of interest. And yes, the art by Cory Smith, inks by Adriano di Benedetto, and colors by Tamra Bonvillain did help. This issue had action, comedy, danger, and mystery!

Recommendation: Pick it up.   

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Empyre X-Men Issue 4 review
Empyre: X-Men Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Empyre: X-Men Issue 4

The concluding chapter of the Empyre: X-Men tie-in gave us a lot of answers. I was wondering where Wanda was after she decided to bring back millions of dead mutants as (plant and) flesh-eating zombies. It was revealed that she went to Doctor Strange for help. I liked how Doctor Strange handled her predicament. Even though he and Wanda are immensely powerful magical beings, there are things they can’t undo. As Dr. Strange said, you can’t erase sin. However, what you can do is try to counter the sin’s impact by doing more good.

From writer Jonathan Hickman, the final issue saw the X-Men team on Genosha battling a giant plant-zombie. But the panels didn’t focus on said battle. The narrative was about a newly resurrected Explodey Boy teleporting from Krakoa to Genosha to talk to his zombie version. I think the conversation was a way for Hickman to bring closure to the millions of lives that were lost in the tragedy that struck Genosha. While all of those mutants did die, they are being properly resurrected back in Krakoa. So, it’s all good, right?

Anyway, I wonder what Hickman’s got planned for Wanda down the line.   

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Street Fighter Issue 100 reviwe
Street Fighter Issue 100: Ryu vs Chun-Li (Image: Udon Entertainment)

Street Fighter Issue 100: Ryu vs Chun-Li

Many fans have been wishing for Ryu and Chun-Li to fight it out for decades. Well, the time’s finally come. Part of Free Comic Book Day, Street Fighter Issue 100 showed Ryu and Chun-Li throwing hands, kicks, and ki. From writer Ken Siu-Chong, the much-awaited fight took place during Ken Masters’ wedding celebration and involved Guiles being possessed by a parasite. Do I think Chun-Li was too quick to attack Ryu? Yes. But then again, I didn’t care because it led to the two battling each other in quite a serious manner.

Of course, everything was settled by the end of the story and the two continued being friends.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Dead Day Issue 2 review
Dead Day Issue 2 (Image: Aftershock)

Dead Day Issue 2

I think that Dead Day, from writer and creator Ryan Parrott, is a great comic book you should pick up if you’re looking for a different take on zombies. Instead of zombies coming back to feast on human flesh, the undead beings in this book are more focused on reconnecting with living family members, having a good time, or enacting revenge on the people who wronged them. Such a narrative offers Parrott a lot of stuff to play with instead of going the usual route of humans running away from zombies.

The second issue gave us more information about Mel and Jeremy’s relationship. While the two tried to find Billy (so the zombie-Jeremy could have his revenge), the other plot threads gave us some worldbuilding. There are people, called Lifers, who don’t like seeing unsupervised undead beings roaming around. Their mission’s to round up strays and burn them due to religious reasons. Another mysterious cult, called Revivalists, on the other hand, seemed pro-zombie to me. And I’m looking to learning more.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No. 

Drakkon New Dawn issue 1 review
Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn Issue 1

After seeing the Pink Ranger Slayer coming back to the Coinless world, I hoped we would get to see more of her story. Well, Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn gave me exactly that. This 3-part mini-series is from writer Anthony Burch and artist Simone Ragazzoni. The debut issue showed that Kim’s not having an easy time trying to maintain control over the lands after Drakkon’s defeat. Many didn’t trust her. They see her as Drakkon’s replacement instead of some hero who will make everything right.

I enjoyed Burch showcasing that being a ruler’s not easy. There will be betrayal and danger. With the current issue introducing a new threat for Kim, I’m looking forward to seeing how she and her supporters (including a reluctant Scorpina) will protect everyone.

As for the prisoner that Kim freed, I’m not sure who he’s supposed to be. Is the mysterious prisoner another version of Tommy or perhaps he’s Jason? Considering Drakkon tortured him to share battle strategies, I predict it’s likely going to be a well-known character.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Ash and Thron Issue 4 review
Ash and Thorn Issue 4 (Image: Ahoy Comics)

Ash & Thorn Issue 4

I was provided with a free copy of Ash & Thron Issue 4 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

What’s an elderly hero to do when her Guardian goes to the dark side and the apocalypse is near? Well, Mariah McCourt’s elderly hero decides to bake weapons of power. Yes, you read that right. I laughed out loud watching Lottie bake weapons with Sarah’s help. The recipe book mentioned Battle Scones, Pancakes for Ending the World, and more. McCourt has continued to surprise me with her writing.

While I can kind of understand why Peruvia decided to embrace the darkness, I don’t want her too far gone that Lottie’s unable to help her. So, I have my fingers crossed Lottie’s able to yank her back to the good side.

The current issue gave us a bit more information about the demonic Mr. Court and why such a being’s interested in devouring worlds. Of course, I still have a lot of questions.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

You can read Jessica Rae’s review of Nightwing Issue 73 here.

Which comic books did you pick up this week? Did you read Batman Issue 97? 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.


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About the author

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.

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