Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

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Things are looking up for the X-Men.

It was another big week of comics, as Marvel’s ResurrXion relaunch continued, Batman continued his team-up with The Flash in “The Button,” Ben Reilly got his own comic again and Dark Horse debuted a very worthwhile new Aliens comic.

Scroll down to check out our reviews for these and various other new releases, and be sure to let us know your favorite books of the week in the comments below.

DC COMICS

Action Comics #978

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Dan Jurgens | Drawn by Carlo Barberi

If there’s a choice between the Post-Crisis Superman and New 52 Superman, then I’m always going to pick the Superman that I grew up with. Action Comics #978 puts forth the notion that thanks to the recent “Superman Reborn” story, the two Supermen have essentially shared the same history all along. And while I’m in favor of the current status quo, there is such a thing as too much continuity. This issue is so concerned with trying to make sense out of the recent retcon that it doesn’t fully function as story unto itself. Even Dan Jurgens seems to have trouble figuring out what to latch on to, and he not only co-wrote “Superman Reborn,” he also penned most of the classic tales referenced in this issue. Carlo Barberi’s art definitely captures some of the spirit of Superman, and he gets to revisit several of the Man of Steel’s most memorable moments in these pages. But this issue feels like a cover band playing another band’s greatest hits. It’s not bad, but it’s also not very satisfying. -Blair

Final Score:

7.2

Batman/The Shadow #1

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando | Drawn by Riley Rossmo

“We truly are living in a new golden age of comic book crossovers. Recently we’ve seen everything from Batman/TMNT to Archie vs. Predator to Star Trek/Green Lantern to Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes. The common thread among all four of those books is that they delivered more than simple novelty value. They blended their respective franchises in clever, inventive ways and made the most of the new character dynamics that arose as a result. Now we have Batman/The Shadow, one more worthy addition to this lineup of terrific crossovers.” -Jesse

Click here to read the entire review!

Final Score:

9.0

Clean Room #18

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Gail Simone | Drawn by Walter Geovani

From her very first issue, Gail Simone has paired breadcrumb hints with more direct, foul-mouthed frights, teasing an end game both harrowing and horrifying. With issue #18 the writer brings Clean Room’s first season to its bitter end. The book’s finale delivers on most, if not quite all, of the book’s presumed promises. The resolution, while quick, is nevertheless effective, Simone bringing her expansive cast together in ways that fit well within the preexisting confines set by the story. If there’s any quibble it’s that the returned focus on lead Chloe feels a bit forced given her limited usage of late, but overall this is a satisfying conclusion to Simone’s first extended story. On the visual end, Walter Giovani pulls out all the stops here, his pages stuffed with all sorts of unsightly imagery. And yet for all his obvious scares, it’s again his more human emotion that powers the book’s most uncomfortable moments. -Jeff

Final Score:

8.2

Detective Comics #955

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by James Tynion IV | Drawn by Marcio Takara

The problem with having so many Batgirls is that DC hasn’t quite figured out what to do with two of them ever since Barbara Gordon took back the role in the New 52. James Tynion’s Detective Comics run has brought two of the former Batgirls back into the fold. And while Spoiler is currently on the shelf, the “League of Shadows” story seems to be focused on redefining Cassandra Cain as both a heroine and a character. It’s not a radical departure from who she was when she had the Batgirl identity, but there are some forward strives that are intriguing. This issue really belongs to Cassandra, and Tynion has proven that she can still carry a story largely by herself. Marcio Takara’s art is still rougher than it needs to be; which is frustrating because he’s quite capable of delivering more finished looking pages than he has here. His action sequences are frantic and well staged, and Takara also successfully captured Cassandra’s emotional moments. But his artwork just lacks a certain polish that makes the issue feel incomplete. -Blair

Final Score:

7.7

The Flash #21

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Joshua Williamson | Drawn by Howard Porter

We’re still in uncharted territory when it comes to mixing characters from Watchmen with the DC superheroes. The second part of “The Button” storyline hasn’t quite pulled that trigger yet, but both installments have been very good so far. Joshua Williamson starts this issue in an unusual crime scene: the Batcave; while Howard Porter goes to town depicting Batman’s inner sanctum in its broken state. It feels like a fresh approach, but it’s even more impressive that Williamson and Porter give Barry Allen a moment to really process the emotions that he feels when investigating the murder victim. That little touch plays into the Flash’s best quality: his humanity. The rest of the issue takes the Flash and Batman on a very unexpected trip, and it ends on a pretty effective cliffhanger. “The Button” definitely has our attention, and hopefully it can maintain this level of quality. Because when DC finally does get around to officially reintroducing Doctor Manhattan, it had better be a great story. But this is definitely a good start. -Blair

Final Score:

8.3

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Robert Venditti | Drawn by V. Ken Marion

What if one of the major Lantern corps ceased to be simply because it won over the remaining members of another group of ring wielders? That’s the idea put forth in the latest issue of Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps, and it’s also the thing that the story may end up destroying. There’s still a unique quality to seeing the Green Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps as partners, and it would be unfortunate to lose that so quickly. V Ken Marion capably handles himself here, but Robert Venditti’s characterizations of Hal and Kyle were somewhat shaky. Venditti does tend to write an overly arrogant Hal, and that comes into play again here. As for Kyle, there’s a moment in this issue that seems completely wrong for him. It’s as if Kyle regressed back to the ‘90s in ways beyond his old Green Lantern uniform. Overall, this is a solid issue, but it doesn’t entirely click. -Blair

Final Score:

7.0

Justice League of America #5

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Steve Orlando | Drawn by Andrew T. MacDonald

We’ve said this before, but a superhero team needs a reason to exist. If the new Justice League of America is just random heroes currently appearing on The CW, plus Batman and Lobo, then there should be some compelling reason that they’re all together. And yet after five issues, Steve Orlando still hasn’t successfully made the argument for either this team or for the book itself. There are some personality clashes, but it’s not the type of conflict that entertains. It is nice to see Vixen step up as the public face of the team, but Batman’s continued presence in the series means that she’s not really in charge. It’s always going to be Batman who makes the calls here. Andrew T. MacDonald makes some really good artistic choices in this issue, including Killer Frost’s obvious discomfort at being in the spotlight, as well as the mystically enhanced weapons at the heart of this story. This particular storyline seems to be giving Lobo a renewed focus, which is both good and bad. We need to understand why Lobo is on this team and why he’s tolerating Batman’s orders. But even within the comic itself, Lobo’s presence feels like a stunt that will never pay off. It’s as if DC wanted Lobo to really become their Wolverine, and it seems like they finally got their wish. -Blair

Final Score:

5.5

The Kamandi Challenge #4

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by James Tynion IV | Drawn by Carlos D’Anda

For all its rigid structure, it’s the Kamandi Challenge sense of spontaneity that remains its biggest joy. The formula is well established—each issue sees Kamandi escape from one frying pan to the next—but its rotating round-table of writers and artists keeps things feeling fresh. With this chapter James Tynion IV and Carlos D’Anda prove to be a fine pair, their adventure taking some particularly inventive liberties. Tynion’s script takes full advantage of both the premise and Kamandi’s storied history, delivering a roller-coaster installment filled with Kirby-esque highlights. For all its cleverness, however, it’s D’Anda who proves the star here. His high energy style meshes perfectly with Tynion’s continually escalating script, his pages filled with expressive character work and dynamite action. The ever forward nature of this story doesn’t allow for many breathers, but as far as pure entertainment goes, this book is an easy sell. -Jeff

Final Score:

8.0

Suicide Squad #16

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Rob Williams | Drawn by Tony Daniel

At long last, Suicide Squad is moving away from the choppy structure of previous arcs and focusing on telling one story per issue. The book’s pacing improves immediately and significantly as Rob Williams and new artist Tony Daniel explore a clash between Amanda Waller and Lex Luthor. That core dynamic is a lot of fun, as is the constant comedic relief provided by the Suicide Squad as they attempt to infiltrate Luthor’s heavily guarded lab. Williams seems to have honed his team dynamic by now, with Enchantress surprisingly becoming the breakout character in this chapter. Daniel brings a clean, angular look to the series that suits the tense but bombastic tone oft he script. Daniel’s figures could stand to be a little more expressive at times, and his depiction of captain Boomerang seems a bit wonky, but in general Daniel proves an apt fit for this darkly comical take on the team. -Jesse

Final Score:

8.1

Teen Titans #7

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Ben Percy | Drawn by Khoi Pham

The new Aqualad looks more like his Young Justice character than ever before, but his characterization is quite different. It’s a little disconcerting, since Benjamin Percy clearly has his own plans for the character. But the real problem with this book is that it doesn’t feel like it has an identity yet. Even the team dynamics seem to be largely unformed, other than the way that everyone resents Robin for automatically assuming that he’s in charge. Khoi Pham’s artwork has some occasional epic splashes, when Percy lets him cut loose on the pages. Pham may actually be suited for more Aquaman adventures, as his underwater sequences help carry this book. I still feel like there’s a lot of potential with the DC Rebirth era of the Titans, it just hasn’t quite come together yet. But first, this series needs to figure out what it wants to be. -Blair

Final Score:

6.4

Wonder Woman #21

Comic Book Reviews for April 26, 2017

Written by Greg Rucka | Drawn by Liam Sharp

The impending end of Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman run doesn’t necessarily inject the series with a greater sense of urgency. Rucka and artist Liam Sharp are content to maintain a slow, steady pace in this issue, drawing out the clash between Diana and Veronica Cale for maximum dramatic impact. If not quick to advance the plot, this issue does serve as both a strong character study and another great showcase for Sharp’s storytelling skills. The creators show both Diana’s strength and vulnerability as she shrugs off bullet wounds and literally bleeds for her cause. The fact that Diana is so quick to shift from battling Cale and Cheetah to extending a helping hand speaks to her compassion about as well as anything else we’ve seen in this run. Sharp delivers a gorgeous and hard-hitting depiction of the battle, using dynamic framing and carefully rendered body language to wrangle the most emotion possible out of this violent encounter. Colorists Laura Martin and Hi-Fi lend a lovely sheen to the book, especially towards the end as the setting takes a more supernatural turn. -Jesse

Final Score:

8.5

Continues

PS4/Xbox One Cross-Play Should Happen, Tekken Boss Says

The possibility for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network to connect for cross-platform play is an interesting idea–and it might actually happen. One person who supports the idea of cross-play between the competing platforms for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is Tekken boss Katsuhiro Harada.

PS4/Xbox One Cross-Play Should Happen, Tekken Boss Says

Speaking to GameSpot at a recent Tekken 7 event in Sydney, Harada said he has spoken with Microsoft and Sony to try to “champion the cause,” but it hasn’t paid off just yet. As other developers have said, Harada explained that it’s not a technical issue that is holding back PS4/Xbox One cross-play, but instead security protocols and policies are keeping the multiplayer breakthrough from happening.

“Since Tekken has three platforms, to do [cross-play] is much more difficult because fighting games are peer-to-peer, which means you connected directly to your opponent,” Harada said through a translator, producer Michael Murray. “That means all the security protocols regarding PSN or Xbox Live, the user IDs and such, is quite difficult to match that–not technologically.”

If Tekken 7 were only on one console platform then there could have been cross-platform play between console and PC, just like there is with Street Fighter V (PS4/PC in that case). But that is not the case with Tekken, so the problem persists.

“A lot of players, they don’t know the problems involved with this,” he explained. “Many assume it’s a technical feature and if you overcome it you can do it.”

“[But] until there is some kind of progress between the first-parties adapting their security policies and just policy in general regarding online, to allow that, it’s not going to be viable at this time,” Harada went on to say. “It’s not to say that’s the case forever. But until they change their policies, there’s not a whole lot we can do.”

Harada said he has been speaking with Microsoft and Sony about connecting their networks for “quite some time.” He has been trying to “champion the cause,” but it hasn’t gone great.

“Maybe a lot of people don’t see that. We have been trying,” he said.

For more Tekken news, check out the stories below:

Filed under:
Tekken 7
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
PC
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    Next Injustice 2 Character Reveal Leaks

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    This isn’t a joke.

    NetherRealm has a big character reveal planned for tomorrow, however some images and early gameplay footage have leaked out online.

    You can check out the images which came from Neogaf below. It’s not exactly surprising that The Joker will be a character in the upcoming fighting game sequel, or “Le Joker,” as he is named in the French screenshots.

    A version of The Joker did canonically die in the series’ alternate timeline story, but that rarely stops comic book characters from reappearing – going by his face shape, this could well be a new character taking on the Joker mantle.

    Next Injustice 2 Character Reveal Leaks

    The Joker

    While we wait for more information on The Joker, you can check out the list of other characters we currently know are coming to the game.

    If you’re excited about the game and can’t wait until release day, we’ve also got a guide to Injustice 2’s pre-order bonuses.

    Next Injustice 2 Character Reveal Leaks

    The Joker in Injustice 2

    Injustice 2 is due out later this year, although a firm release date has not been announced yet. It’s one of IGN’s big games which are coming out in 2017.

    Matt Porter is a freelance writer based in London. Make sure to visit what he thinks is the best website in the world, but is actually just his Twitter page.

    Tekken 7 Has Third-Person Shooting And Quick-Time Events

    The fighting game Tekken 7 won’t be limited to punching and kicking. GameSpot attended a preview session earlier this month and discovered there is a third-person shooting element in the game’s story mode. During the story chapter involving Lars, we found that he could fire his machine gun at this foe, with the camera switching to a third-person perspective during this sequence.

    It’s not immediately clear if this shooting mechanic will be available for multiplayer matches. We only saw it used by the character Lars during our time with Tekken 7’s story mode. Whatever the case, you can see what the shooting looks like in action through the gameplay video above. The shooting part starts at around 7:10, if you want to skip directly to it.

    Shooting is not the only new feature coming to Tekken 7, a trailer from E3 2016 revealed that the fighting game will also have some quick-time events, presumably limited to the story mode.

    Following its launch in arcades and in Japan through the Fated Retribution version for Japan, Tekken 7 comes to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on June 2. This is a delay, as the game was originally expected to come out in early 2017.

    For more on Tekken 7, you can read GameSpot’s interviews with series designer Katsuhiro Harada, who told us about his desire for PS4-Xbox One cross-play, rage-quitting, the possibility of a Nintendo Switch version, and more. Those stories are linked below.

    Filed under:
    Tekken 7
    Xbox One
    PlayStation 4
    PC
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    Nintendo Switch Sells 2.74 Million Units in Under a Month

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    Breath of the Wild on Switch has sold 20,000 more units than the Switch itself.

    Nintendo has announced that its new Switch console sold 2.74 million units worldwide in less than its first month on sale.

    Nintendo announced the figure in its year-end earnings release, which it calls a “promising start” for the console. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima originally expected to ship 2 million units of the console in its first month.

    It also revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Switch has sold 2.76 million copies – meaning 20,000 more units of Zelda have been sold than there are Switches in the wild.

    Perhaps tellingly, Nintendo also pointed out launch game 1-2 Switch, saying that it was “generating buzz”, but did not reveal sales figures.

    Nintendo expects to sell 10 million units of Switch hardware in the next year, alongside 35 million software sales. If that came to pass, the Switch would come close to outselling the Wii U’s 13.56 million lifetime sales in just over a year.

    The Wii U itself has not fared well, selling just 760,000 units as it ceased production, alongside software sales of 14.8 million units. As for Zelda on Wii U, the game has so far sold 1.08 million units – bringing it up to 3.84 million units across all platforms.

    It’s been a good year for 3DS, however, as sales of hardware grew 7% year-on-year, shifting 7.27 million units, while software sales hit 55.08 million units (a 14% rise on last year).

    The company’s foray into smart device games also appears to be paying off, making just shy of ¥24.25 billion (approximately $218 million USD / £160 million) – well over four times as much as it made in the last financial year.

    Switch’s success has made it pretty hard to find one for a little while now, but fear not! GameStop will have new stock this week.

    Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK News Editor, and he just gave his Switch a little ‘well done’ pat. Follow him on Twitter.