Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/21
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.
Archangel #1 (IDW Publishing) I’ll be honest with you; I’m always curious to see how an author does when they make the jump to comics. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t – this time it does. William Gibson really isn’t an author I’ve ever heard of (I’m more a fan of the Tolkien style of fantasy), this first issue with Butch Guice is certainly worth a read, even at $4.99, because there’s some pretty cool extras as well after the main story. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read
Judge Dredd #5 (IDW Publishing) As Dredd finally gets a brief respite from the violence in the last five issues, we start to get hints about what happened to turn the industrialized nightmare of Mega City One into gardener’s paradise. Overall 7.9 Recommendation: Read
Archangel #1 (IDW Publishing) – A fun sci-fi comic and honestly I’m not too familiar with Gibson’s books. But, I enjoyed the time travel tale. There’s more than enough to get me interested in checking out the next issue with a premise that’s familiar, but different enough. Overall Rating: 7.4 Recommendation: Read
Micronauts #2 (IDW Publishing) – I’m just too young to have enjoyed the original Micronauts but this series feels like a cool story that’s a bit Guardians of the Galaxy, and a bit GI Joe. It’s just turn your brain off fun so far, and some times that’s all you need. Overall Rating: 7.25 Recommendation: Read
Black Road #2 (Image Comics) – Grimm, gritty, this is a “historical” tale that’s really intriguing. Very slow overall, it’s a fascinating read and one I’m really getting in to. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Read
Citizen Jack #5 (Image Comics) – Working in politics, I love this comic and it really hits home at times of the absurdity of it all. Get jacked! Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Read
Cinema Purgatorio #1 (Avatar)**: A new Black & White Anthology by Alan Moore and friends, it has a star line up, including Garth Ennis, and Max Brooks. It claims to go back to the good old days when new ideas and heroes in comics sprung out of experimental books. It’s enjoyable, with Moore’s tragic dreamscape keystone cops movie story (Cinema Purgatorio) featuring Fatty Arbuckle, and Brooke’s alternate history civll war tale (A More Perfect Union), highlighting the series; but at $5.99 the entry point is a bit steep for what it is. Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read.
Archangel #1 (IDW)**: As a sci-fi fan I was looking forward to Gibson’s debut in the comic book world. Frankly, I was surprised it took him this long; but I was a little disappointed. It’s a well written book, with Butch Guice’s apocalyptic art guiding the future and present earth lines, but it didn’t have the cyberpunk “feel” I was looking for. It’s a time travel story taking place between a dystopian future USA and World War II. So far none of the characters are fringe. Maybe, that’ll come in future chapters (it’s slated for a 5 issue run). Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Second Sight #4 (Aftershock)*: One of the very best series out there continues to fly under the radar every bit as much as it continues to impress. David Hine’s modern-day “occult/psychic/paranormal noir” packs in a wallop of a plot twist this issue that raises the stakes even higher, while our heavily-flawed-and-equally-heavily-human protagonist gets sucked ever deeper into a mess he probably wishes he’d just waked away from when he still could have. Gripping stuff, and Alberto Ponticelli is killing it on the art. Overall: 8.5. Recommendation: Buy.
Red Thorn #7 (DC/Vertigo)*: This issue marks something of a “breather” between story arcs, and guest artist Steve Pugh brings the old-school Vertigo goodness while regular series scribe David Bailie delivers a one-off story focusing on our lead character’s presumably-deceased older sister that is both warmly nostalgic and effectively creepy — all while managing to set the table for some important plot developments that are sure to have major repercussions in the future. The end result is the best issue of this series yet. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy
Citizen Jack #6 (Image)**: If you’ve been following Sam Humphries and Tommy Patterson’s series so far, this issue delivers a satisfying, if thoroughly predictable, conclusion. What’s most remarkable about this six-parter as it’s put to bed, though, is how it seemed so ridiculously far-fetched at the outset, but now reads as being entirely realistic thanks to the political rise of a certain orange-skinned, over-combed fascist buffoon. Read it and weep, friends, this shit is playing out before our very eyes. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy
Power Man And Iron Fist #4 (Marvel)*: David F. Walker and Sanford Greene’s initial four-part story arc comes to a close with this installment, and while the dialogue and characterization continue to be all kinds of batshit-crazy fun, in truth our two leads prove to be little more than observers to a situation they only exacerbated — not one they either created or resolved. How and why this convinces them they need to “get the band back together” seems murky at best and frankly contradictory on its face at worst. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Read if you’re already picking up the book, pass if you aren’t
Death Follows TPB: what happens when your typical coming of age story gets riddled with creatures straight out of Creepshow, you get Death Follows. This story follows a family who hires a man with more than a few secrets , the type of secrets that will make the average civilian’s skin crawl.Once the children discover what is going on, they are set on a mission to stop the hell the hired hand brings. By story’s end, you’re not only creeped out but astonished as this is what great stories are made of. Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy
Two Girls One Tank #1 (Titan): Tank Girl returns a new series that picks up where the last series ended , but this time Tank Girl has lost her tank in a bet. The tank gets sold to an art gallery and one of the art dealers in more ways than one, becomes entranced by the massive behemoth.Eventually, she becomes her own version of Tank Girl, while Tank Girl,
Booga and Barney ,are still on the run from the law. By issue’s end , there are more than a few twists and turns that are unleashed on both women, leaving both characters on juxtaposed positions. Story:9 Art:9 Overall:9 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 (**).