RED SONJA THE SUPERPOWERS #1

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Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Jonathan Lau

Red Sonja is in the wilds of Corinthia when she is ambushed by a group of very dumb thugs. They have been sent by the sorcerer Skarab Nor. Sonja easily handles these morons and we get a flashback to how Sonja started on this mission. The queen of Corinthia hired her to kill this evil sorcerer that was threatening the world. Sonja is a bit nonchalant about it but is convinced to take the job. She has to go through a ceremony and get a witch mark drawn on her forehead. So back to the present and Sonja yells her defiance at Skarab Nor during a thunderstorm. The next morning she comes on a strange group of people. Four members of the superpowers have come to explore this Earth. There is this organization of superheroes from many different dimensions that keep the peace in the multi-verse. Seems that they detected a metahuman on this world. They do find Sonja and a fight ensues as Sonja thinks the superheroes are demons. She surprises them by holding her own and actually cutting them with her sword.

So another Red Sonja crossover. This time with a superhero organization that is multi-dimensional. This series is supposed to have Sonja recruited in the organization and become a superhero. So far the story has got my interest. It does a good job of introducing the superheroes and Sonja. We get the idea that her sorcerer foe may be a metahuman. Sonja is a total badass who exudes confidence and power. Not really familiar with the Project Superpowers but looking forward to where the story is going.

JOHN WICK #5

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Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Matt Gaudio

John Wick confronts Calamity and the Bills in downtown El Paso. Wick manages to take one of the Bills hostage but Calamity takes three innocent civilians hostage. One of the Bills tells how crazy Calamity is and that she was found as a baby in a box. She kills for the fun of it. Wick tries to convince her it would be fun to kill the Bills but she decides not to. So Wick to get out of this standoff calls Maria on the phone and agrees to work for her. Immediately the police come and take away the hostages. This leaves Wick alone with the Bills and Calamity. Needless to say he comes out on top. Now he works for Maria.

The conclusion to how John Wick became an assassin. It had a conclusion that just felt like what you would see in a John Wick movie. The corrupt police and Machiavellian dealings that go on with the criminal underworld. Not to mention the wall to wall over the top action. This was a fun series and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the movie franchise.

JOHN WICK#4

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Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Matt Gaudio

The two Bills have managed to check out Calamity from the secret underground mental facility. Only her time there was a complete waste for the first thing she does is kill her doctor and the orderlies. She then finds out that she was released to kill John Wick. John meanwhile is in his room digging bullets out of himself. Charon arrives with a doctor and news that Calamity is out the get him. She has put out the word that she is hiring. Charon offers to get Wick out or get him more weapons. John looks out and sees that there are several assassins already waiting outside. He then goes and kills them and takes their guns and ammo. He sends a message for Calamity to meet him outside of the city at a quarry. Calamity notices that it is far away from where innocent civilians could get hurt. So she takes a rocket launcher and puts one into an office building downtown.

So this issue does a very good job of establishing Calamity as a very psychotic woman but also very dangerous. She has problems at first understanding that someone would care about all the people that she killed for fun. This was just pure Wick that he casually takes what he needs from the assassins. This establishes the world we know from the movies. That assassins lurk everywhere dressed as normal people. We also see the beginnings of the friendship between Charon and himself. A great series that builds up to a big final.

MARS ATTACKS #5

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Writer: Kyle Starks

Artist: Chris Schweizer

Spencer takes his dog and the captive Martian through the city. In the background the military is attacking a huge bug. They camp for the night and the Martian wants to eat the dog. Spencer says he is lucky that he doesn’t let the dog eat him. They arrive at Fort Woods and find it completely leveled. Just then the Martian jumps Spencer and tries to take his laser pistol. Only Spencer recovers and is about to shoot the Martian when these cylinders rise from the ground. Inside are the President and some soldiers. Spencer finds out his capture of the laser box and the Martian has helped the military plan for their attack on Mars. The President asks if Spencer would like to sign up and join the attack. He agrees and gives his dog to the President’s daughter to take care of. Later he is a soldier blasting off to Mars. Before an attack on a city he leaves the Alamo salt and pepper shakers on the ground in tribute to his father.

I liked the ending to this series. We get to see Spencer finally become a man that his father would be proud of. It had some nice artwork with large epic pages. The beginning has them casually walking through the ruined city as a battle is taking place in the background. There was some humor. At the end we see Earth fighting back. Don’t really know how they accomplished this but really don’t care. It was a good ending with a touching tribute to Spencer’s father the Major. This series is not as good as the Topps or IDW runs but it was a decent effort. I liked the characters and the story for the most part flowed smoothly.

JOHN WICK #3

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Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Matt Gaudio

Billy and Buffalo have managed to escape Wick. They meet up with their hired help as a car comes racing toward them. They manage to shoot at it and it crashes. Only it was a diversion for Wick set the car to race at the group as he gets into position. He manages to shoot the armed thugs. The two Bills try to negotiate with Wick. They tell him the real one responsible for the destruction is Calamity. That they took care of her. Wick has a flashback and remembers these two having fun shooting people and continues to try and kill them. The Bills escape and Wick is offered an invitation to meet Maria at the Continental. So he goes there and Maria wants to hire him. Wick refuses and leaves so Maria then goes to the two Bills and collects their markers for sheltering them. They are required to get Calamity and so go to the mental hospital where Calamity is locked in a cell. They are to kill John Wick.

The third issues gives us some more badass Wick doing what he does best, which is shooting people left and right. This Calamity sounds like a very interesting character. From the flashbacks she seems to be a total nutjob which should make things interesting. The book tells the story with mostly images which I love. The art is beautiful and the character of Wick is just like he was established in the movies.

MARS ATTACKS #4

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Writer: Kyle Starks

Artist: Chris Schweizer

Spencer, the Major and the dog continue to evade the Martians. The wheelbarrow wheel breaks and this forces them to seek shelter in a nearby building. They find it is inhabited by a guy with an assault rifle. The guy is a bit nuts and orders them out. He starts yelling which attracts the Martians who burn a hole in the wall. They kill the crazy guy as Spencer and the Major get away. The Major decides to stay behind to give time for Spencer to get away. He dies fighting the Martians. This gets Spencer angry and when the Martians exit the building, he sneaks up on one and cuts the cord on his helmet. He grabs up the Martian box gun and kills the others. Then destroys one of the giant robots. A Martian comes out of the building and surrenders. Now Spencer has his dog and a Martian prisoner in a very hostile world.

This was a very enjoyable issue. We have the Major sacrifice himself to save his son. We finally see Spencer start to take things serious and successfully fight back against the Martians. He is becoming the man his father always wanted him to be. A story that had a minimum of dialogue and told the story in pictures which I always appreciate. A story filled with drama and excitement. The series is really getting good.

JOHN WICK #2

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Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Giovanni Valletta

John is taken to the El Paso Continental and shown around by Charon. He meets a beautiful woman named Maria who rewards him for killing Pecos. Appears he went rogue when he tried to kill Charon. Later Wick gets a text on Peco’s phone from Buffalo. Wick pretends to be Pecos and tells him that Wick tried to kill him and he was sent by Billy. Then he texts Billy and says that Buffalo hired Wick to kill him. So the two groups meet at an abandoned building. Wick tosses a can of cat food at them which starts the two groups shooting each other. Then Wick comes in setting off an explosion and killing the survivors. Billy and Pecos flee with Wick on their trail.

This story shows us Wick’s introduction to the Continental and its rules. Wick is very young and just starting out but already getting a reputation. I loved the way he sets up the two groups and then just goes all John Wick on their asses. The story is told with very minimal dialogue and exposition. The images tell the story which is just as in the movies. Wick is a man of few words and this is accurately portrayed. The last page with it’s full page image of Wick in his suit with a pistol in one hand and a tire iron in the other with a burning building in the background just perfectly captures the spirit of this character. Interesting that Maria gives him advice not to make anything personal in this business. Foreshadows that Wick is a guy who takes stuff very personally and gets payback.

MARS ATTACKS #3

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Writer: Kyle Starks

Artist: Chris Schweizer

Spencer and the Major have linked up with an Army unit. They are taking them to safety at Ft. Woods. The Major takes this time to tell everyone of what a disappointment his son is. Along the way a saucer comes by and unleashes giant flying bugs on the Army. A battle ensues with the Army coming out on the losing end. Spencer and the Major manage to avoid them. While doing this Spencer lets his father know what he feels about all the complaining. The two reconcile and have a heartwarming moment after escaping the Martians.

You know this issue was mostly one with Spencer and the Major talking about their feelings while trying to escape the Martians. I normally don’t like these type of issues but this one was actually pretty good. I thought the emotions between the two were realistic and this felt like real people that were family. We saw new insights into both characters and this was handled quite well. A good issue.

JOHN WICK #1

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Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Giovanni Valletta

El Paso, Texas and a young John Wick stops for some pie at a local diner. There are some loudmouths there that get on his nerves but they eventually leave. John then goes to a rented room. We then get a flashback to twelve years ago in Baja, California when John was a boy. He is being chased by three guys. These guys decide to pull a rocket launcher and try to stop John. They set off some cars and decide to shoot some witnesses. Back to the present and across from his room there is something going on. A guy is being surrounded by armed men. John goes over a beam that connects the buildings and crashes through the window. He kills most of the armed men. His goal is one Pecos who was one of the three men from the flashback. John gets some revenge and the guy he rescued named Charon offers to take him to the local Continental.

I really love these movies. They remind me of the old action movies I loved in the eighties and nineties. Keanu Reeves is such a badass that takes on overwhelming odds and comes out a winner. So this series is giving us a young Wick before he became the renowned Baba Yaga. So far it has an intriguing origin for Wick and the story has the right feel to a John Wick movie. Looks like we will get to see how he started to establish his reputation and association with the Continental. I think I am going to like this series.

MARS ATTACKS #2

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Writer: Kyle Starks

Artist: Chris Schweizer

Spencer and the Major continue to try and avoid the Martians. Spencer pushes his dad along in a wheelbarrow. All the while hearing him complain about the choices Spencer made in life. They come on a small town filled with well armed militia. They call themselves the Earth Militia and seem very confident of their ability to take on the Martians. They after all have a bazooka. Spencer figures this might be a good place to stay. They are well armed and have burgers. The Major sees they have no chance and urges them to get out. The point becomes moot as the Martians arrive. The bazooka is useless and the death rays start to either freeze or disintegrate the residents. Spencer and the Major manage to get out and save a dog named Butthead.

Not really my favorite issue. They obviously have to make fun of rural Americans. Anyway the story did move quickly. They did manage to save the cute dog who can salute so in spite to the elitist attitude they pull off something positive.