Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/10
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 #6 (DC) What a superb ending to Tom King’s first arc. This is a great read, but if you haven’t read the first arc, then there’s a chance that a couple of the more subtly emotional scenes won’t mean as much to you – and that’s okay. Those scenes seem to set up the next arc, and while I’m sure the previous events will be recapped to some extent, the impact may not be as great as if you’d read the previous arc. Whether it’s worth reading the previous arc just to get that impact… maybe. This probably isn’t an integral comic to the series, and it’s one new readers can skip if they;re looking to jump into the series at the current issue, but I dug this comic. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been reading the series.
Moon Knight #1 (Marvel)* I have no idea what’s happening here. I really don’t, but I kinda like it, so I’ll keep buying this. Jeff Lemire has just the right amount of mind-fuckery to make you question everything, which isn’t something I’m used to seeing in superhero comics – and yes, that includes Moon Knight comics. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read…?
Night Dominion #1 (Oni Press) A promising start that doesn’t introduce the characters as much as I’d like, instead setting up a quest of some kind that require a certain group of people that resemble a typical DnD cast about to embark on your standard Fantasy Quest. Yet even with the familiarity of the set up, this is a decent comic that shows promise – once we get past the set up. Overall: 7.25 Recommenation: Read
Skybound #1 (Boom! Studios) It was… okay. And that’s being generous, honestly. The art is, as ever with Frank Cho, brilliant. The story isn’t bad, but it won’t set your world on fire. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
Superman #6 (DC) Of all the things to happen post Rebirth, I never expected to be converted from a person who liked the idea of Superman but never enjoyed many of his stories to someone who’s genuinely excited to read his comics. Superman #6 was a fantastic ending to the first arc, really emphasizing just how much being a father has changed the Man of Steel for the better. It’s the moments between Jon and his father that elevate this book above and beyond being a good comic into becoming a great one. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Kill or Be Killed #2 (Image)**: To recap: Dylan has been visited by what he thinks to be a demon, who makes him a deal: every month Dylan kills someone, he gets to live another month. So in this issue, Dylan has to rifle through his chidhood memories to try and find someone he knows who he feels is bad enough to deserve to die. The premise is brilliant in its simplicity and horrific in terms of how personal it is. Where is Dylan going to eventually draw the line?… Brubaker, Phillips & Breitweiser, people. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Read.
Batman #6 (DC)*: Writer Tom King, guest artist Ivan Reis, and a veritable army of fill-in inkers put the finishing touches on the subpar “I Am Gotham” story arc with a padded, listless epilogue that gets a few points for showing a more human side of Batman than we’ve seen in probably years, but won’t interest you at all in sticking around to find out what happens next. Especially since it’s going to be another goddamn tie-in story. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
The Flintstones #3 (DC)*: Mark Russell and Steve Pugh continue their deliciously relevant social commentary in this story that takes aim at the plight of PTSD-suffering veterans, privileged (and annoying) “spring breakers,” xenophobia, and science denial. The Stone Age stand-in for Carl Sagan makes a guest appearance, Pebbles and Bam-Bam see their first significant “screen time,” and hey, we even get the Gazoo! Three issues in, someone just needs to come out and say it, and it might as well be me — “The Flintstones” is far and away the best thing happening at DC right now and one of the finest comics on the shelves these days, period. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Nailbiter #25 (Image)**: A curiously lackluster concluding segment to the “Bound By Blood” story arc sees Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson’s series begin to spill the beans on its numerous hinted-at “big secrets” by clobbering us over the head with just how big and secret they are. Any intelligent reader should be able to more or less puzzle out for themselves what’s tying all the so-called “Buckaroo Butchers” together by the time we get to the splendidly-illustrated double-splash image at the end, and now it feels like it’s just a matter of info-dumping and running out the clock until things are finally over. The usual embarrassing grammar and syntax problems persist in the scripting, but are at least fewer in number this time out. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Skybourne #1 (Boom! Studios)**: The first part of Frank Cho’s modern-day updating of Arthurian legend is surprisingly light on the cheesecake, but fear not: there’s plenty of misogynistic violence on display to prove the creator still has massive problems with the female of the species. If admittedly beautifully-executed (no pun intended) images of women being run through with swords (this after being called “bitch” and “wench” consistently for the first 20-odd pages) are your thing, you’ll find a lot to like here. If not, well — congratulations on having a conscience. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass
The Strain: Mister Quinlan: Vampire Hunter #1 (Dark Horse): When it comes to the way genre types are treated throughout literature, some treatments are completely abhorrent such as the treatment of women, albinos and the LGBTQ community. Then there are those types that seem to get the short end of the stick in most stories up until Game of Thrones and certain archetypes such as sword for hire , the rogue and as can be seen in that show’s popularity, bastards has taken the mantle from the typical hero’s journey catalyst, as this type has served as a great conduit between antihero and well worn gunslinger. Mister Quinlan, long a fan favorite in the books and now a fan favorite on the Strain TV show, is another great addition to the long invested canon of “bad mistakes gone good”. As he is an abomination created by the Master , whose intentions was to kill him , but fails as he spends rest of his days, from the fighting pits in Ancient Rome to the modern day, he has devoted every day to this never ending cat and mouse game. The first issue in this miniseries more than get the canon right, it lifts the series in ways more than one can imagine, in a beautiful way. Overall: 9.8 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 (**).