Comic Book Reviews (Week August 12, 2020): Empyre Issue 5, Marauders Issue 11 and More!

Death Metal issue 3
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Issue 3 (Image: DC Comics)

In this week’s comic book reviews round-up (August 12, 2020), I will be covering Empyre Issue 5, Marauders Issue 11, Something is Killing the Children Issue 9, and more!

I will begin by talking about Dark Nights: Death Metal Issue 3. This was the only DC Comics offering I picked up this week and that’s kind of disappointing. I’m usually interested in reading more than one DC Comics title on a weekly basis. Sigh!

Anyway, I’m not feeling what writer Scott Snyder’s trying to do. The entire narrative seemed to prioritize style over substance. One of the big plot points in this issue dealt with freeing heroes. I was glad to see Raven in there. But realizing that everyone was kept in one big cell and they all appeared to be fine didn’t sit right with me.

Also, why hasn’t Raven called upon Trigon?

Dark Nights Issue 3
Dark Nights: Death Metal Issue 3 (Image: DC Comics)

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Empyre Issue 5 review
Empyre Issue 5 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Empyre Issue 5

We finally got to see Wiccan and Hulkling’s marriage in Empyre Issue 5. Marvel will be celebrating the wedding once the current event concludes. Wiccan rescuing Hulkling was everything. The pieces are all set for the final confrontation. It’s still not the best comic book story ever told, but I’ll definitely stick with it because of Billy and Teddy. Let’s see how it all works out.


Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Marauders Issue 11 review
Marauders Issue 11 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marauders Issue 11

We finally got a new issue of Marauders. The current issue, by writer Gerry Duggan, gave us a lot of developments. Marauders Issue 11 opened with everyone mourning the death of Kitty Pryde. I liked the idea of Krakoa not having cemeteries because of the resurrection protocol. 

As for those wondering if Kitty’s back, well she sure is! Emma got the idea to help Kate’s newly cloned body to phase out of the egg. I liked the explanation about how her body (or husk) instinctively remained phased inside the egg until a telepath (Emma) called out to her. Now that Kate’s back and she and Emma know what Shaw did, I can’t wait to see the team take him down.

Coming to Storm, she met with a woman named Delores who helped prevent fake Krakoan medicine from entering the market and potentially killing many people. Seeing Delores fangirl over Storm was fun. She mentioned Storm’s illness (the tech virus?) and something about how someone as powerful Ororo should be the voice of Krakoa. So, I’m interested in seeing what Duggan has planned for her.

On a side note, I don’t know why the art team refused to show Storm’s blue eyes. Seeing her eyes remain white during her conversation with Delores looked weird. It wasn’t as if she was using her powers.  

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.      

Empyre X-Men Issue 3 review
Empyre: X-Men Issue 3 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Empyre: X-Men Issue 3

Okay, from writers Vita Ayala, Zeb Wells & Ed Brisson, Empyre: X-Men Issue 3 really decided to run away on the crazy train. With how things ended, the mutants better be ready to face a giant plant-zombie. Also, Magik turned into a devil-powered being.

I have no idea why Magik didn’t simply throw everyone in a lake of lava or something in Limbo and called it a day, but, oh well, I’m still enjoying what this mini-series has been offering. Also, why didn’t one of the Cuckoo sisters turn into a diamond when attacked by the zombies? Maybe the X-Men just don’t care enough because of the resurrection protocol? Hmmm.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No. 

Join the Future Issue 4 review
Join the Future Issue 4 (Image: Aftershock Comics)

Join the Future Issue 4

From writer Zack Kaplan, Join the Future Issue 4 continued to show Clementine’s willpower. She’s not going to be taken to the city and sign away her free will. Frankly, a part of me actually wants her to enter the city so we can experience what the “future” has to offer. However, until that happens, I’m here for Clementine doing everything possible to prevent capture.   

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Big Girls Issue 1 review
Big Girls Issue 1 (Image: Image Comics)

Big Girls Issue 1

I have no idea why I decided to pick up this new comic book, but I’m glad I did. Created by Jason Howard (story and art), I have a feeling many will enjoy the narrative that Howard’s going for. In the fictional world shown in Big Girl, certain men have a disease that turns them into giant monsters. Some women also have the ailment, but instead of turning into monsters, they only turn into giant women. There’s a lot of sci-fi and action going on, and I’m here for all of it.

Howard will make you face tough situations. The scene where one of the agents had to shoot an infected kid was quite heavy. And before some of you criticize how this story is against men, I urge you to actually read Big Girls Issue 1 until the end. You will see that just like certain men, some women also like to terrorize people.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.  

something is killing the children issue 9 review
Something is Killing the Children Issue 9 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Something is Killing the Children Issue 9

Someone give this comic book series a live-action adaptation right now! Something is Killing the Children Issue 9 shared a handful of answers about Erica Slaughterhouse’s past. I loved how writer James Tynion IV handled her conversation with James (while he’s still recovering in the hospital). The way James thought everything was going to be fine once Erica showed up felt quite real.

Sometimes having a demon hunter on your side doesn’t mean your small town will immediately be safe. Sometimes demon hunters fail to protect people. With Erica wanting to use James as bait, let’s see if our two (kind of) heroes will be able to stop the threat that’s killed a lot of humans.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

billionaire Island Issue 4 review
Billionaire Island Issue 4 (Image: Ahoy Comics)

Billionaire Island Issue 4

I was provided with a free review copy of Billionaire Island Issue 4. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Writer Mark Russell continues to deliver with every issue of Billionaire Island. If you want a comic book story that bashes the rich feeding on the poor, you need to begin reading this series. The satire was, again, amazing in this week’s offering. Every weird thing that happened made sense because of how Russell explained it.

I loved the scene where Mr. Canto explained his plans for the USA. Due to starvation being likely, he’s all about sterilizing the general public to decrease the country’s population. If the President of the USA didn’t like sterilization, Mr. Canto could organize a lottery. One in every hundred tickets would be a winner. The person who won would be sent to a climate-controlled city while the losers would be detained and forced to work. Of course, a lot of the issues could be solved if the uber-rich just paid a bit more in taxes, but that’s out of the question for Mr. Canto.

Russell’s dark comedy is everything! 

Now that we have learned a bit more about how the island worked, let’s see if our protagonists are able to achieve their goals.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Dryad Issue 4 review
Dryad Issue 4 (Image: Oni Press)

Dryad Issue 4

Writer Kurtis Weibe gave us a lot of action in Dryad Issue 4. The main family’s still interesting to root for. I can’t wait for the parents to sit down and have a real talk with their twin. Griffon and Rana deserve to know the truth. Shady people are after the twins, after all. It’s better they learn as much as possible about what’s happening so they’re better prepared for what’s to come.

I liked the work artists Justin Osterling and colorist Francesco Segala did. The city of Muse is far different from the nature-filled Frostbrook. If you’re into a mix of sci-fi and magic, you should consider giving Dryad a read.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Seven Secrets Issue 1 review
Seven Secrets Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Seven Secrets Issue 1

Writer Tom Taylor has a new comic book out. I’ve been waiting to read Seven Secrets because I enjoyed Taylor’s work on X-Men Red and I am currently having a blast with his Suicide Squad run. The debut issue served as an origin story for our main protagonist sharing a voiceover that covered the present, what happened three months ago, and what happened fifteen years ago. Apparantly, there are seven secrets that have the power to destroy the world. Each secret is being protected by a duo. Of course, there’s someone after said secrets.

While the first issue is full of action and death, the emotional beats are what made the narrative for me. Two people fell in love, had a kid, but had to give up their son to stay loyal to their duty as soldiers. I was impressed by how much emotion Taylor was able to add (in a single issue) to help readers connect with the couple and their son. I’m definitely looking forward to what will happen next. You can just feel that a whole lot of world-building and lore is coming up.

As for the art, it’s by Daniele Di Nicuolo with colors from Walter Baiamonte. So, the visuals are very Power Rangers (another series from BOOM! that I enjoy). So, no complaints as far as the art is concerned. 

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Which comic books did you read this weak? Were you surprised by Marauders Issue 11? Did you pick up a new title?

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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