Review – Image’s Bloodstrike #31, Danger Club #4, Fatale #8, Guarding the Globe Vol. 2 #2, Harvest #3, Non-Humans #1, Thief of Thieves #9

Bloodstrike #31

This series has been interesting to me. There’s a lot I like and some I roll my eyes. This issue is the perfect example of that. You have gratuitous shots of half-naked women, but that leads to something that’s a real good point and subject. The issue focuses and posits the question, what do you do with a team of killers during their off time. Especially one that involves folks who have been reanimated after death.

That’s a great topic and in one part of the story, that’s done really well, and another part it’s a bit sophomoric for me, so I’m torn on what to think. Overall, the series under Seeley’s writing has made leaps and bounds from what I remember of the past. It’s attempting to flesh out what was a series that was a poster child of the 90s’ excess of big pecks and big guns.

I can’t quite recommend the series as a buy, but it’s definitely a read to me. I encourage folks to check it out themselves and come up with their own opinions.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Franchesco Gaston

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Danger Club #4

Huh. The fourth issue of this series has left me scratching my head. The first three issues are some of my favorite of the year. We were introduced to some great characters, an intriguing plot and then this fourth issue happened which had a bunch of holy shit moments, but then also moments that left me asking “what the hell?”.

The assault on the President has begun and then there’s this whole trippy thing too. As a chapter in the greater story, I’m sure this issue will be solid, but on it’s own, it left me befuddled. The art is solid and story exciting with some solid twists, but overall this is a sliver in the bigger story.

Story: Landry Q. Walker Art: Eric Jones

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Fatale #8

Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips’ series continues to chug along in it’s second story arc. The series mixes a Lovecraftian feel with noir, a genre they’ve proven they have a mastery of.

The series as a whole has been a very slow burn slowly peeling things away as it reveals the story. What’s nice is how this second volume ties into the first. Each can be enjoyed on their own, but the two together, you get a broader picture.

Overall, the series isn’t their stronger work, something has been off compared to Criminal, their brilliant noir series. But, for those that love horror and noir, there’s not a better combo of the two on the market.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips and Dave Stewart

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Guarding the Globe Vol. 2 #2

When I read the first volume of this series I struggled to get through it. But something Phil Hester has been mixing into this second volume has caught my attention. There’s a mix of action and humor that just you don’t see in a lot of comics. The two together makes it fun. Something comics should be.

The second issue has the organization dealing the numerous troubles throughout the world in a kinetic fun comic that makes me want to come back for more. Rauch’s art fits the tone Hester lays down. This is a team that just clicks.

It’s rare thing to see a turnaround of a series like this, so much so it makes me want to go back and make sure I wasn’t missing something that first go around. This is a popcorn movie in comic form.

Story: Phil Hester Art: John Rauch and Todd Nauck

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Harvest #3

This medical thriller had so much potential and interesting of all of the comics I’ve read this year, this one would have benefited the most by expanding it’s series run. The comic, a limited series, is too compressed with the story progressing so quickly, the build up of the characters and the overall plot isn’t enough. This is a story being fast forwarded.

The third issue has Dr. Benjamin Dane wanted by both the FBI and the people who hired him to illegally harvest organs. This could be a story arc unto itself, but the set up and subsequent follow up are condensed enough that it’s working against the series.

For me, this could have had two distinct arcs, the first focusing on Dane and his depravity and fall and second his attempt at redemption and fixing his mistakes. The series over it’s five issues might be better than individual issues, but I can’t help but be stuck on this concept of it being rushed.

Story: AJ Lieberman Art: Colin Lorimer

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Non-Humans #1

This series can be described as AI in a Blade Runner atmosphere. The story takes place in Los Angeles, 2041, twenty-six years after a NASA probe brought back a strange disease causing many of our familiar toy-like objects to come to life.

While there’s tons of potential in the comic and it’s world, the story was very choppy to me, the fact of what this disease is, I had to go check out the solicit text. There’s some very cool stuff though and it’ll be fun to see how the series plays out.

What I liked was the dynamic between father and son and the family dynamic there. But, issues I had is that this world just wasn’t explained well enough in that first issue. Lots of mystery, but little explanation, which made it rather confusing and muddled.

But, there’s enough for me to come back for more issues, lots of potential that’ll hopefully lift up this first issues that didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

 

Story: Glen Brunswick Art: Whilce Portacio

Story: 6.5 Art: 8 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass

Thief of Thieves #9

I love this series, it’s just so damned good. In the latest issue, Augustus’ troubled past comes back to bite him where it hurts and Redmond’s son has to step up to the plate to keep an angry cartel at bay.  Meanwhile: Cohen pushes harder on Conrad.

The series is a slight of hand of cat and mouse games between Redmond, the FBI agent tracking him and then Redmond and his ex-wife. Plus there’s Redmond’s screw-up son. So much is going on and so much of it is entertaining.

This is a series that will blow up when/if it eventually hits television and has a smooth feel to it that makes you cheer on Redmond hoping he gets away with his latest game/heist. With a past that’s slowly being revealed, there’s more than enough to keep me coming back for more and more. Easily one of my favorite comics on the market.

Story: Robert Kirkman and James Asmus Art: Shawn Martinbrough and Felix Serrano

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review