Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 17/01/2016
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.
Batman: Europa #1 (DC Comics)* – Yeah, I’m three months behind here, but after dropping the lackluster Detective Comics during the last crossover, I needed some Batman this week. I was not disappointed here. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC/IDW)* – There is nothing wrong with this second chapter. Nothing. It’s exactly the fun comic I wanted, and I love it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Cage Hero #3 (Dynamite) – I don’t know if this has become a guilty pleasure for me, but I’m enjoying this series. I can’t tell if it is being deliberately tongue in cheek,or if it’s just that cheesy, but either way it’s fun. Is it worth reading? Honestly, I don’t know – the review copy is entertaining, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Faith #1 of 4 (Valiant) – My reservations on picking this comic up were utterly groundless (that of a character spun out of Harbinger – a book I’ve never read), and I should have known that before going in because it’s a Valiant comic. The first of four issues is brilliantly illustrated, with some fantastic moments within the story where Faith does what we’ve all done once or twice and imagines…. what if? This issue is fantastic, and is exactly why you need to have Valiant on your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Holy F*cked! TPB (Action Lab) – Satan is pregnant with Jesus’ baby. But will the skate boarding son of God make it to the hospital in time, when an immortal is out to stop him? Holy F*cked! is as brilliantly wrong as it sounds, but it’s such a great collection that you can’t help but love it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Huck #3 (Image) – Y’know I could talk about the emotional power in the largely silent opening pages, or the genuine warmth you feel when reading this, but why don’t you just buy the series so far and find out why I love this so much? Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
The Precinct #2 (Dynamite) – There’s a lot here that, in theory, I should love. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a lot of boxes checked off in my “like” column this comic just didn’t do it for me. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, but I felt it fell a bit short of the first issue. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
The Troop #2 (Titan) – Despite the promise shown in the first issue, I couldn’t help but feel that this comic felt familiar. The concept of a man (with a secret!) building a team of superheroes has been done before, and in enough cases it’s been done better. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
Rebels #10 (Dark Horse) – Is, as far as I can tell, a standalone story. It’s also the first issue I had read, and I was impressed. Rebels is a solid offering that stands alone this week in terms of it’s setting, so if you’re looking for a comic that takes place during the Revolutionary War, then this is for you. If you’re not? Think about this anyway. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Abe Sapien #30 (Dark Horse) – Beautiful art plus a new villain (at least I think he’s new), this is an issue that can be a standalone, but I’m sure will have some big impact. The Mignolaverse is one of the best out there, and this issue shows off why. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #2 (DC Comics) – The comic is campy goofy fun, capturing the two series it mashes together. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – I still go back and forth with the coloring but this series has no right being as good as it is. Didn’t think it’d work, totally does. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Birthright #13 (Image Comics) – The comic still continues to be entertaining, and there’s some solid twists and turns that have kept me on my toes. A fun fantasy comic set in the real world. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read
Citizen Jack #3 (Image Comics) – Can’t say I saw that twist coming, or is that realistic at all, but the sniveling campaign staff is spot on. Fun political satire. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy
Descender #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics out there continues on doing so. Amazing read. Amazing art. Nuff said. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Extraordinary X-Men #5 (Marvel)* – The series is growing on me, but it’s still missing something that makes it really stand out. I’m still interested in seeing where it goes though. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – How aren’t more people talking about this series. The biggest surprise of 2015 also is one of the best of 2016. Holy crap is it good. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Huck #3 (Image Comics) – When I think I have Mark Millar pegged, he does a series like this. Still waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, but so far an amazing comic. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
Illuminati #3 (Marvel) – Turn your brain off fun. The comic is giving us some interesting villains and great banter. A fun comic that definitely entertains. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 (Dark Horse) – I hated the first volume of Leaving Megaloppolis, and was a Kickstarter backer. The rather incomplete, abrupt ending irked me. This new volume has been so long in the making I forgot much of the series, and this new issue doesn’t give me much to care going forward. A lot feels like we’ve seen it before and little is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass
The Massive: Ninth Wave #2 (Dark Horse) – I’m loving this new volume of the series which shows Ninth Wave’s actions before the crash. A great comic which makes environmentalism entertaining. Plus they’re self-contained stories, even better! Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy
Robin War #2 (DC Comics) – The ending isn’t too shocking, especially the twist. Still, this event was entertaining and should shake things up nicely in the Bat universe. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
The Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo)* – Great police procedural comic set in Iraq’s Greenzone. I’m hooked. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
Spirited Leaves #1 (Chapter House Comics) – It reminded me of a Miyazaki animted film in many ways. A very pretty, almost poetic story. This feels like a fairy tale you might tell your child. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Squadron Supreme #3 (Marvel)* – The first issue had promise, these past two, not so much. The series is very paint by numbers in its set up after a great start. So far, one of the biggest let downs. Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass
The Violent #2 (Image Comics) – Holy crap is this good. We have comic of the year material here. Just heartbreaking in so many ways. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Weirdworld #3 (Marvel)* – Could be Marvel’s best All-New, All-Different comic. Great art and a real fun story. Just fantastic writing with a great look. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy
Catwoman #48 (DC)* It’s a good Catwoman story. It posits that NYC is a place that Gotham’s rogues steer clear of because NYC but the NYPD is just that dirty and violent (I take it the creative team’s been reading the local news). The streetscapes in this comic ring true though the grand scale of NYC’s Selina’s safe house is far too large for anyone who’s last name isn’t Wayne. The art is inky and sleek and colorist Eva De La Cruz knocks it out of the ballpark. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Princeless: Save Yourself #0. Princess Adrienne has been flying across the land on her dragon, saving other princesses and she hasn’t had much time to save herself from social norms that still weigh on her mind. This is a wonderful exploration of a girl freeing herself from beauty standards. When she chopped her hair off I absolutely cheered! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Red Sonja #1 (Dark Horse) This is a Sonja I’ve been waiting for! Marguerite Bennett shows her in and out of her element in a great introduction. She’ll be wrestling with some interesting politics in her homeland with her fists and her brains. She’s also scoring with ladies (whoop!). Looks beginner friendly too. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy!
Code Pru #1 (Avatar) *: Garth Ennis is back at his tasteless best here, and without the editorial constraints that hindered him from going quite as far as you know he wanted to with All-Star Section Eight (although, hey, bless him for trying, and he did manage to at least get a rapping Phantom Stranger in there). Raulo Caceres’ B&W art is superb, with richly-detailed linework and lush expressions. Not sure how the two competing/corresponding plotlines to which we’re introduced — one involving our college-age heroine, Pru, and her various roommates doing some occult dabbling and some boozing (more of the latter, of course) and the other involving an extra-dimensional Cthulhu-esque entity playing checkers and trading barbs with his captor —will come together as the series progresses, but it’ll be fun to find out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Snow Blind #1 & #2 (BOOM! Studios)**: Ollie Masters, last seen cooking up a pretty tasty crime story with Vertigo’s The Kitchen, hops aboard the “rural noir” bandwagon that’s been growing in the wake of “Revival” with this intriguing little four-parter about a teenage kid in BF Alaska named Teddy who accidentally exposes his family to danger when posting a picture on social media leads a killer to come after them — and to the revelation that his folks have been in witness protection since before he was even born, and never bothered to mention that pesky little fact to him, even once he was old enough to understand what it meant. The first issue’s a bit of an overly-deliberate table-setter, but such is often the case with short-run books like this; in #2, the mystery really heats up and events move into a decidedly faster and more dangerous gear. The loose, sketchy art style of Tyler(“Peter Panzerfaust”) Jenkins may be an acquired taste that not everyone acquires, but I dig it and think it suits the material just fine. Overall: 6.5 (5 for issue one, 8 for issue two) Recommendation: Buy
Manchette’s Fatale TPB (Titan): I am moon big sucker for Crime Noir novels and Fatale is right up that alley. The Reader is introduced to the alluring character of Melane on her many adventures throughout Europe by way of train meeting individuals of different shades of integrity. Story feels very much like a cross between a Long Kiss Goodnight and A Rage Up In Harlem. By story’s end, you not only feel for Melane but you are rooting for her to fight on for another day. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings TPB: Supernatural detectives are everywhere in pop culture most noticeably John Constantine Jim Dresden and the greenest one, Antoine Wolfe. Dirk Gently is quite different from all these characters, as he does not take himself as seriously as he comes off as a British Lupin the 3rd. We join Dirk and his cronies as they solve a very odd case dealing with Egyptian Pharoahs. By story’s end, the reader has gone on a whirlwind trip around the world, as he realizes the world needs his skills.
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 (**).