Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.
Iron Bard Ballisto (Milk and Shadow Books) Was one of those comics that I didn’t know what to expect. It’s funny, irreverent, and utterly worth reading. The Iron Bard is a warrior uses music to fight his enemies, and this leads to some genuine laugh out loud moments. I loved it. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
The Hangman #2 (Dark Circle) I was’t a huge fan of the first issue, but this one is better, and actually puts a bit of perspective on the last issue. As things are progressing, this may be a series to watch, and eventually pick up in trade; but there’s just not enough here (yet) for me to recommend you buy this. Overall:7 Recommendation: Read the Trade
The Spirit #7 (Dynamite) This series has been a consistently solid effort for the past six issues, and this issue is no exception. It is part 7 of a 12 issue tale, so not the best place to jump on, but when collected this will be a fantastic story to read. It may not be the bet thing since sliced bread, but what it does well it does very well. I’d definitely pick this up in the eventual trade, or the full series. Whatever works for you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Bigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman #2 (Action Lab) This is a rollicking good sci-fi adventure in the vein of John Carter. But with a Sasquatch. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Surviving Megalopolis (Dark Horse) I never read the original Leaving Megalopolis, but you don’t need to in order to enjoy this comic (it may help, though). Worth looking into if you enjoy your heroes turning crazy evil, coupled with some great art and writing. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
BPRD Hell on Earth #139 (Dark Horse) – A solid issue with an epic battle. It’s not a good one for new readers, but for long time readers it’s a solid payoff and that ending is just a holy shit moment we’ve all been waiting for. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Star Wars #15 (Marvel) – Why did Uncle Owen dislike Kenobi? What was Kenobi doing on Tattoine? This issue answers so many questions and also asks even more. For Star Wars fans, it’s a must get. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – Really, it’s all about that ending and set up for issue 50. And that ending got me so excited. This is a great ending to the current arc that sets up a hell of a direction to come. Tons and action and all fun. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read
Uncanny X-Men #2 (Marvel) – I love Cullen Bunn’s story. I hate Greg Land’s art. The Dark Riders are back, and they are badass, and this story is such a good focus on two characters. Just need a better artist, aaaargh! This would be “the” comic if that were the case. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Devolution #1 (Dynamite)**: The post-apocalyptic Las Vegas setting is a page out of “Resident Evil,” but the most obvious influence here is Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade’s criminally-overlooked “Crossed + One Hundred,” as Rick Remender and Jonathan Wayshak bring us a not-quite-zombie tale with a twist featuring a strong, well-rounded female lead .Gorgeous art, but maybe titles like “Black Science,” Tokyo Ghost,” and “Low” had me expecting more from Remender-penned sci-fi than we’re getting here so far, because, while admittedly fun, this is plainly — and at times even painfully — derivative stuff. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read.
Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)* : The addition of groan-inducing lame humor into the mix of Holly Black and Lee Garbett’s take on the former head honcho of Hell is actually quite a bit of fun, as is the injection of a subplot centered around a trapped demon who’s unable to get a luckless mortal to do his bidding because, well, she’s already taken matters into her own hands and decided to start killing everyone she doesn’t like herself. Not sure how it all ties together, but then, that was often the case with the best of the slow-developing “old-school” Vertigo storylines, which this series is taking great pains to (successfully, I might add) invoke. And now, having paid his less-than-respects to fan-favorite character Mazikeen, Lucifer is heading to — The Dreaming! The cynic in me really wants to actively dislike how obvious this all is, but the eternal optimist I only let out on special occasions is loving the ride so far and can’t wait for more. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy
Clean Room #4 (Vertigo)*: This one’s taken some time to grow on me, and with the fourth issue I think that Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt have finally hit the “sweet spot.” And by sweet, I should say that I actually mean sour — there are no real redeeming characters here, and the psychological implications of the horror on offer are as relentlessly disturbing as their physical manifestations. Do I completely understand what’s happening? Shit no, I can’t even competently summarize it. But it leaves me thinking — a lot. And certainly rewards careful re-reading, as the plot is almost meticulous in its intricacy. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Tokyo Ghost #5 (Image)**: Balls-out action underpinned by a shitload of tragedy, both moral and physical, adds up to the most briskly-paced, edge-of-your-seat issue of this developing Rick Remender/Sean Murphy potential dystopian sci-fi masterpiece yet. Every panel a gut-punch, every word dripping with import, April can’t come soon enough, this first arc was the most glorious train wreck in ages. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Star Trek Volume 11 (IDW): I have been a Trekkie my whole life and the work IDW has done with the reboot and the original continuity has been impressive so far especially with this collection of stories . In the first story, they explore an interesting theory of quantum physics. The second story plays much like the beginning of Star Trek: Into Darkness , if the crew encountered Birdmen. The last story is probably my favorite, as it wrangles all of our favorite doctors from the different TV series as they meet the iconic Dr. McCoy. Overall, an excellent collection that stays true to Gene Roddenberry ‘s spirit.
Overall: 10 Recommendation:Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).