Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 27/2/2016
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.
Faith #2 (Valiant) Is great. There has been much talk about Faith’s size, and how great it i that Valiant are publishing a story about a plus sized woman (and, honestly, it is great), but the thing is – and honestly this is fantastic – is that this four issue miniseries is also brilliant. There’s an honesty to Jody Houser’s writing here that’s refreshing; by having Faith following the traditional superhero trope of being a writer in her secret identity, while at the same time reminding the reader that sometimes when you finally get a job that you want, maybe it won’t actually be what you want (or expect). This is a fantastic series so far, and one that your pull list needs. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
Army Of Darkness: Furious Road #1 (Dynamite): Was pretty solid. It was a great set up for the next issue, and it made me want to continue on. If you’re a fan of Ash, then you’ll be wanting to read this comic. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: read
The Troop #3 (Titan) Although only three issues in, this series has at times felt very derivative of other, more successful franchises about people born with extraordinary powers, and yet at others it’s so much more than just another X-Men clone. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with this series, because while I wasn’t that fond of much of last issue, this issue is when the series really grabbed me. I’ve likened it to the X-Men before, and while that’s true, this feels like an updated origin for a different team in a similar vein. There’s an originality here that’s refreshing, while still evoking the best parts of Marvel’s Merry Mutants. Honestly, it’s a better X-Book than most of what Marvel is doing. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Read
Voracious #1 (Action Lab): This is quite possibly one of the best comics I’ve read in a long time because it’s about something completely fantastical. Cooking dinosaurs. Nope, I’m not lying. On top of that, this is a comic about coping with a crushing loss, and how that loss can really impact your life. Voracious handles the subject with some genuine emotional maturity that gets you right in the feels; I understood exactly who Nate was, and what drove him (or didn’t as the case may be). And then, there were the cooked dinosaurs. I loved this comic. Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #1 (Boom!) This was actually better than I expected. It felt like a modern interpretation on the show I used to watch fifteen plus years ago; I enjoyed it for what it was, but I don’t know if that’s because it felt cheesy and fun or because I have a soft spot for the Rangers. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Judge Dredd #3 (IDW) One of the most interesting takes on Judge Dredd that I have read in years. This series has been pretty new-reader friendly in that while this isn’t a reboot, you don’t need to know much about the character beyond the standard set up to enjoy this series. I look forward to it every month. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3 (DC)*: People like to heap a lot of shit on Dark Knight 2, but I’ll say this much for it — at least that book had a personality, a point of view, and a genuine dynamic energy to it (that most people didn’t care for). This third installment is just a dull re-tread and feels like Azzarello and Kubert are trying to tie up the loose ends left by the second series while aping the style of the first one. Thoroughly lackluster and uninspired work. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Pencil Head #2 (Image/Shadowline)** : Ted McKeever leaves the murder “mystery” subplot on the waaaaaayyyy back burner to focus on his entertaining, if not exactly new, critique of the comics industry. Sure, we all know it’s a business devoid of ethics, morals, class, and in many cases even dignity — but it’s still fun to be told so yet again by a talent of McKeever’s stature. He’s not above pointing the finger squarely at himself, either, so that earns him a few bonus points in my book. Don’t ask me what the ending’s about, though, I’m clueless. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Postal #10 (Image/Top Cow) **: How come nobody talks about this series? Far worse stuff from far less talented creators gets debated and discussed to no end, while this unassuming, yet consistently intriguing, title keeps flying below the radar. Bryan Hill has taken over as solo writer now that Matt Hawkins has moved on to Symmetry, and the result is a darker, more foreboding story that’s seeing some very ominous storm clouds gather over Eden, Wyoming — and stay there, growing in size and ferocity as they hang over everyone’s heads (and lives). Isaac Goodhart’s art is, as always, not in any way flashy but perfectly suited to the material. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Black Magick #5 (Image)** : Five issues in, and I’m sorry, but I still don’t see what all the fuss is about. Nicola Scott’s art is gorgeous, no question about that, and if I could score the book on that alone it would probably get a 9/10, but the story from Greg Rucka is almost painfully dull — and I say that as a reader who often enjoys a “slow burn.” Everybody singing the praises of this series would do well to go grab a couple of Coffin Hill trades, which tread much the same ground first — and frankly did so with both more style and, crucially, more substance. Four bucks is a heavy price tag for what’s essentially a black and white comic, too, no matter how pretty the pictures are. This chapter marks the end of the first arc —and my readership. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
KaijuMax Season One TPB: what happens when you put all the monsters from the Godzilla movies together in a high security prison? Believe it or not, it comes off like Orange is the New Black but with Kaiju. The story and art by Zander Cannon , is nothing short of hilarious. Altogether, a straight up laugh riot.Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Mezolith Volume 1 HC: The Stone Age is an era which rarely gets explored from its inhabitants as readers often view it from outsiders eyes such as Turok the Dinosaur Hunter and the show, Primeval. Within this graphic novel , many of mankind ‘s lore is explored through thr eyes of Boika of the Kansa Tribe in Brittanica. The story is at times , beautiful, fantastic , illuminating and escapism at its best . Overall, a solid fantasy that combines realism and mythology into an engrossing tale of the innocence of youth .
Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Cyborg Volume 1: Unplugged (DC): I am like many wary readers, as far as the Big 2 go , with the rampant reboots/ rehashes/ remixes/restarts both companies have done that it almost becomes mundane , that is until I read Cyborg. David Walker’s take on this unheralded hero of the DC Universe does much to rewrite many of the misconceptions readers have had of this character as he is presented here in fully fleshed four colors , proving he is a much complicated character. I dare say this take compares to the late great Dwayne Mcduffie’s run on Deathlok, with the ” Soul of Cyberfolk”.Overall, an excellent read which serves more than thriller but an interesting character exploration. Art:8 Story :10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Green Lantern: Volume 7: Renegade (DC): Hal Jordan is on the lam , running around with the lantern glove , he is truly a man with no country, as every bounty hunter in the universe got him in their crosshairs.This story very much reminds of the Batman/ Superman: Public Enemies storyline , but out in the galaxy. The other big difference is his basic instincts as a cop kick in and his thirst for justice is never quenched. Overall, this story comes off as cross between Smoking Aces and Ice Pirates, just plain old fun.
Art: 9 Story :9.6 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Batman and Robin Eternal Volume 1 (DC): Batman and Robin have investigated many tough cases and some actually have never been solved as is the cold case that Dick Grayson stumbles upon years later after he stepped down as Robin. Remnants of the case start to whirl through Gotham five years later along with many of Batman’s old partners.
Definitely a page turner as Snyder does his best Dashiell Hamett impersonation, with this firecracker of a tale. Altogether, a strong read from start to finish, that will answer as many questions as it brings up. Art: 8 Story:10 Overall:10 Recommendation:Read
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 (**).