Mini Reviews For the Week Ending 6/4
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 Rebirth #1 (DC) I wasn’t expecting this. I honestly figured that this would be a cheap cash-in at best, but there was a pretty cool story here that I genuinely enjoyed. I’ve been moving away from DC for the past few years (Snyder’s Batman aside) because of the overly grim, complex and interwoven stories. This gives me hope for King’s run on Batman going forward. Which I suppose is the point, eh? Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read.
Old Man Logan #7 (Marvel)* – I can’t recommend this series enough. Especially the last three issues; they have become one of my favourite Wolverine stories I’ve read in a long time. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Moon Knight #3 (Marvel)* I wanted to like this, I really did. But… I just can’t seem to get into the series. The art and layouts are cool, though, I guess. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read for the art.
Red Virgin & the Vision of Utopia (Dark Horse) – A graphic novel about the revolutionary feminist Louise Michel. This isn’t someone I know, and clearly should. So, to be able to learn more about her and her fight against oppression is very timely and entertaining. This is a great start to learn about Michel, and when you’re done, you’ll want to go out and find out more about this interesting bit of history. The narrative flows smoothly and is never boring and the art is solid throughout, fitting the setting quite well. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Read
Bloodlines #3 (DC Comics)* – I remember the old story that ran through DC annuals and was a bit surprised when they brought this back, because I don’t remember the original being all that good. This new series is ok so far, nothing impressive, and I wonder if there’ll be any real impact once it wraps up. It clearly takes place in the DC Universe, but so far there hasn’t been much of any impact. We’ll see where it goes, and out of the three issues so far, that’s the most interesting thing about it. Overall Rating: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #3 (DC Comics)* – This series has been an acid trip in ludicrousness. It’s almost so insanely bad it’s good… but it’s not. I actually want the time I spent reading this back. Overall Rating: 2 Recommendation: Pass
Wild Blue Yonder (IDW Publishing) – I loved this series in single issues and enjoyed it again as a trade. It’s just such a cool world that I want to see more of. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
Nailbiter #22 (Image Comics) – A great twist in this issue that really shakes things up. Absolutely love this series. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy
Old Man Logan #7 (Marvel)* – One of the best series Marvel is producing right now. This issue is brutal as it is touching and the art is beyond fantastic. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Punisher #2 (Marvel)* – This new series hasn’t stood out enough to make it feel like anything new as far as the Punisher. It’s like we’ve seen this all before. Overall Rating: 6.8 Recommendation: Read
Chum #2 (Comixtribe) – The second issue ramps up the awesome noir series and holy crap is it full of twists and revenge and murder. This is just such a great example of the genre. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy
Control #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – A new series that involves murder and corruption in Washington, DC. It’ll be interesting to see how the series uses its location, but so far as a police procedural, it’s entertaining. Overall Rating: 7.7 Recommendation: Read
Rough Riders #3 (Aftershock Comics) – The series continues to entertain as FDR and his motley crew head to Cuba. Seriously, this series shouldn’t work, but it’s some weird history fun. That ending! Can’t wait for the next issue, cause just when you things can’t get crazier, it does. Overall Rating: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy
The Omega Men #12 (DC Comics)* – A final issue that puts the previous 11 issues in a whole new perspective. An absolutely amazing finale that really shows off what the series is about and that’s some serious politics. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Casanova: Acedia #5 (Image)** I have to admit it, after last issue’s spotlight on the man who would be Emil Boutique, I was ready for much, much more of him and much less of Casanova Quinn and company. As a writer myself, I recognize that special moment when a character sneaks up out of the cracks and takes over, and I also recognize the moment when you try to deny it and use what you know in your heart is now your former protagonist to try to beat him back down. Sometimes, as in this issue, you try to do it with – literally – the weight of all the writing that has come before. This is ultimately futile. I do look forward to the confrontation, though. Overall: 7. Recommend: Buy
Hellboy In Hell #10 (Dark Horse)** As T.S. Eliot said of playwright John Webster, Mike Mignola can see the skull beneath the skin. In his final issue of Hellboy, the master gives us the final battle between Hellboy, Leviathan, and Behemoth, with nary a sound effect to be heard. An ending in a flame that extinguishes itself and cools to crimson dust, a small crack of bones, and the horns fall, silent. Haunting, elegiac, and a perfect, blown-out candle to send Hellboy out on a very high note. Overall: 10. Recommend: Buy.
Stray Bullets #15 (Image/El Capitan)** The genius of David Lapham’s “Sunshine and Roses” heist story is that there is nobody, I mean absolutely nobody, to root for. Not one of these hopeless saps is anything less than rotten, and that is just the way I like it. I love the way Lapham makes a roomful of people getting mowed down by machine guns less violent than someone getting hit in the head with a hot frying pan. I know there is no way this story can end well, and the real fun is in seeing just how badly it is going to end. Overall: 9 Recommend: Buy
Survivors’ Club #9 (DC/Vertigo)*: Another case of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as a talented team of creators is forced to wrap up a complex storyline prematurely due to cancellation. Writers Dale Halvorsen and Lauren Beukes do what they can to give every member of their sprawling ensemble something like an “ending,” but it can’t help but feel truncated simply because, well, it is. Ryan Kelly provides pencil breakdowns only for most of the pages while a committee of artists handle the finishes, but for the most part the book has a uniform feel visually. Sorry to see this one go before its time and to end in such a necessarily blunt fashion. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been following the series thus far, pass if you haven’t.
Power Lines #3 (Image/Shadowline)** : Jimmie Robinson’s socially-relevant, mystically-tinged take on superheroics reaches its halfway point with a well-drawn, interesting-enough installment that’s worth a look for sure but continues the series’ pattern of having characters slip into verbose proselytizing at the drop of a hat and hammering you over the head with their viewpoints rather than simply, ya know, talking.Some of the pacing this time around seems as stilted as the dialogue, as well, but the premise remains reasonably intriguing and I give him points for at least attempting to address genuinely pressing issues within a genre that isn’t always friendly to such endeavors. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read
Deadly Class #21 (Image)**: Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s gonzo “Die For Me” story arc reaches its epic conclusion, and while it’s cliched as all get-go to say “nothing’s gonna be the same after this,” it’s absolutely true as one “Holy Shit!” moment follows another, eventually culminating in the biggest “Holy Shit!” moment of all. An expanded color palette makes the artwork “pop” even more than usual, and the only knock this book has against it is its continued reliance on one-note cipher female characters (the “good-hearted girl,” the “cold-hearted bitch,” etc.) That’s becoming a larger and larger concern as time goes by, but the pacing is so breakneck that you don’t have much time to stop and think about it until the issue is over, to be honest. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
The Punisher #2 (Marvel)*: The first issue of this latest Frank Castle series set up a storyline that could either go in an interesting new direction, or fall into the category of yet another humdrum “war on drugs”-related bloodbath. Unfortunately, this second installment seems to indicate the latter is much more likely. It’s a shame since writer Becky Cloonan indicated that she had “big plans” of some sort for the character and artist Steve Dillon continues to be the premier Punisher illustrator in my view, but I think this is the point where I jump off. Nothing here we haven’t seen done both before and better. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
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 (**).