This week it’s a double dose of Tom Taylor, as the Justice League teams up with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and we check in on X-23 in All-New Wolverine!
Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (of 6) (DC Comics/Boom Studios)
DC Comics have become the go-to publisher for intercompany crossovers lately. From the Green Lantern Corps meeting the crew of the Enterprise to Batman and the Ninja Turtles teaming up, DC has done some pretty wild crossovers the past few years. But none are as wild as Justice League/Power Rangers, which features, well, the Justice League teaming up with the Power Rangers. This is one crossover that could be really dumb, but after checking out the first issue, I can easily say that so far the Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne crossover is one hell of an awesome ride.
Unlike other crossovers, Justice League/Power Rangers wastes no time setting up the who, what, where, and why of the crossover. With this debut issue, we get to see the Black Power Ranger take on Lord Zedd, which leads to the two of them being transported to the DC universe thanks to a malfunction in the Rangers’ morphers. The other Rangers follow to find him, but come across Batman, who takes on the whole team single-handedly before (begrudgingly) calling in The Flash for back up.
Tom Taylor’s script is a ton of fun, and adds to the charm of the story. Taylor knows that this isn’t the next Watchmen. This is a fun team up book that should be borderline goofy (and it is). There’s not a lot of interaction between the Power Rangers and the League just yet, but Taylor, who primarily is known for the great Injustice comics, has a great handle on the inner workings of the morphing teenagers. Really the only complaint I have is with his characterization of Zedd, who delivers one too many zingers while fighting the Black Ranger.
Stephen Byrne’s art style is pretty much the perfect fit for this type of book. Byrne’s cartoony style is great for the over the top Kaiju moments that Power Rangers inspires, but it’s not so out there that it looks out of place when we see characters like Batman and the Flash arrive. Byrne’s characterizations and drawing style suits both worlds well, unlike in previous DC crossover events, where one universe or set of characters looked better than the other.
If you’re looking for a fun crossover, or something for the younger comic reader in your life, Justice League/Power Rangers is the perfect book. It’s got all the makings of a fun crossover, and if it everything goes as I hope, I’ll get to see Batman fight Lord Zedd. For now though, I’ll have to settle for the Pterodactyl Droid taking on the Batmobile, which is a sentence I never thought I would ever type.
All-New Wolverine #16 (Marvel Comics)
The saga of X-23 taking up the mantle of Wolverine has made All-New Wolverine one of Marvel’s better titles. Sure, it doesn’t have the buzz that say, Old Man Logan has, but the Tom Taylor series has been extremely solid since the first issue, with a great sense of direction and a surprisingly strong supporting cast. That trend continues with All New Wolverine #16, which adds another installment to the “Enemy of the State 2” storyline that has been running through the book.
Much of this issue follows Gabby, the youngest clone of Laura Kinney, as she attempts to escape from her captors and prevent Laura from fully succumbing to the brainwashing machinations of her former creator. Tom Taylor (yes, he wrote the other book I reviewed this week, and no, it wasn’t intentional) has done a great job of fleshing out Laura’s cast of supporting characters, and that work makes this issue really stand out. Gabby gives the book a nice bit of fun humor to help break up the seriousness of the All-New Wolverine, and her relationship with Laura has arguably become the backbone of the whole series.
Artist Nicole Virella really outdoes herself with this issue. From the opening page layouts to the awesome final page reveal, Virella fills All-New Wolverine #16 with a lot of fantastic panels that serve as great showcases for her work. With any luck, Virella will soon be climbing the ranks to become one of Marvel’s top art talents. I could easily see her handling the next big Marvel storyline with ease.
All-New Wolverine has been a very consistent book, and that’s really welcome with this current comic landscape of delays and fill-in artists. Tom Taylor has taken a book and character that could’ve just been a gimmick to boost sales and made her into one of my favorite Marvel female characters. Watching X-23 learn to live up to the legacy that Logan left behind has made for a really entertaining series. Hopefully she doesn’t have to give up the Wolverine title anytime soon.