Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/1
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.
Action Comics #964 (DC) It’s hard to explain how enjoyable this issue was, because on the face of things, it was largely just two men talking with a bit of flashback action. The dialogue was very well done, and despite being the second part of a story, can easily be read as a standalone. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Conan The Slayer #3 (Dark Horse) Action! Adventure! A story that takes place within about ten minutes, and feels so very Conan. If you like fantasy comics, this is the one for you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Detective Comics #941 (DC) The Night Of The Monster Men crossover continues, and I kinda just want it over and done with. It’s just not doing it for me, and the need to pick up multiple series to follow the story is kinda annoying. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Generation Zero #2 (Valiant) A solid second issue that builds on the foundations of the first a little slower than I’d have liked. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps (DC) This issue is the calm before the storm, and I cannot wait until the storm breaks over the yellow lanterns – hopefully the next issue, but the build up is being teased out so well I’m happy to wait a little longer. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Captain Canuck #9 (Chapterhouse Comics)** – A gap between issues isn’t helping as the story is taking some effort to remember all of the details. Still, it’s a fun comic that ties into the sister series Northguard. The comic continues to deliver action without the grim and gritty. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Detective Comics #941 (DC Comics) – “Night of the Monster Men” continues and it still feels like an original story. It doesn’t blow me away, but it’s entertaining to read. There’s some good twists and to see Gotham Girl enter the fight is interesting enough. Overall: 7.05 Recommendation: Read
Northguard #2 (Chapterhouse Comics)** – The more Americanized Canadian superhero the series features the CIA and some Canadian jokes from an American perspective. It’s similar in tone to Captain Canuck and hasn’t quite stood out on its own, but it’ll be interesting to see how it does that. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
The Flash #7 (DC Comics) – The Flash battles Godspeed and I’m really digging this storyline. It really feels like we’ve got a solid speedster villain that doesn’t wear yellow spandex and the fact he’s also sort of doing good is a twist. The Flash has been entertaining and continues to be. The art too is solid matching the excitement of the story. Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #5 (DC Comics) – I’ve a Green Lantern fan for a while now and the series feels like it’s getting back to form. Much of the issue is Hal talking to Soranik catching up on what’s going on, but it’s a good issue for that. The ending has me really excited. Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read
Suicide Squad #3 (DC Comics) – Two stories again, the main one just isn’t holding up and feels like an action film with no depth. Jim Lee’s art doesn’t save it. The back-up story with Katana is fantastic, especially the art. Overall: 6.95 Recommendation: Pass
Surgeon X #1 (Image Comics) – A future world where antibiotics are in limited supply and resistant bugs are running rampant. I’m still trying to figure out exactly where the comic is going, but it’s a very interesting in presenting a world that’s all too much a possibility. Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
Titans #3 (DC Comics) – We find out who hid Wally West in time and also a lot more teasers of the greater story of Rebirth and who has messed with time overall. Lots of hints are peppered through, so expect this to be a key issue as far as that. Really entertaining comic though. Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy
Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse)**: I wrote about the Martian Manhunter in my review for Weird Detective #4, so I had J’onn J’onzz on my mind and lo and behold, Jeff Lemire brings us the story of Barbalien, aka Mark Markz. The more I read of his stuff the more I’m convinced that his strength lies in character, not plot. He puts a nice queer twist on the shapeshifter alien type, but it’s fairly superficial – in the Spiral City flashback, he never really goes for just how alien Mark’s feelings would have been in the context of what I assume is the 1950’s and in the police brotherhood. Somebody please give him less work so that he has the time to delve deeper into his material! Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Descender #15 (Image)**: Another Jeff Lemire personal flashback issue, this time dealing with cyborg leader Queen Between aka Effie. The story of Andy and Effie’s lifelong romance is touching and sweet, and gives Effie’s gradual transformation from refugee orphan to robot empathizer to sympathizer to cyborg a real cost – that being Andy. But since Andy can’t change, her loss is also Andy’s. Very nicely done, Mr. Lemire. Oh, and Dustin Nguyen knocks it out of the park once again. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Saga #38 (Image)**: Another confounding issue. On the one hand, I really loved the bravado of jumping ahead six months while the gang are stranded to refuel. On the other, in a book like this, in a universe like the one Vaughan & Staples have set up, in the plot that is rolling, how does nothing happen in six months? And, maybe because I have a pre-kindergartener at home, how does a child Hazel’s age not change at all in six months? That length of time, given all of these circumstances, should be an eternity, but it’s treated like a blip. Not cool, guys. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip
Blue Beetle #1 (DC)** – Continuing the fun and light-hearted tone established in the earlier “Rebirth” special, Keith Giffen and Scott Kollins hit all the right notes as the Ted Kord/ Jaime Reyes tandem goes into action on the less-than-mean streets of El Paso, Texas with the spectre of at least “a” Dr. Fate — but is it “the” Dr. Fate? — looming in the background. Just a really good effing time. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Lake Of Fire #2 (Image)** – Nathan Fairbairn and Matt Smith have a definite hit on their hands with this sci-fi-meets-sword-and-sorcery five-parter, and as the threat our motley crew face makes itself known more fully in this installment, tragedy isn’t too far off and the death of a principal cast member shakes readers to the core. When the demise of a character introduced to readers only a month ago has that kind of an impact, you know you’re talking about a damn good comic. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy.
Tales From The Darkside #4 (IDW)** : Joe Hill, Michael Benedetto, and Gabriel Rodriguez conclude their four-part comics adaptation of the scuttled TV show revival with a fairly simple and pleasing wrap-up segment that ties all the previous issues together and leaves things on a predictably ambiguous note. Far from earth-shattering stuff, but certainly better than “good enough,” and validates the opinion that it’s too bad this series never made it to the small screen. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Frostbite #1 (DC/Vertigo)** : A reasonably effective introduction to life in a future new Ice Age with a well-written script from Joshua Williamson and absolutely fantastic art from Jason Shawn Alexander. The unsung hero of the book may be editor Jamie S. Rich, though, given that this comic is remarkably absent the embarrassing and frequent basic grammar and syntax errors that plague Williamson’s other work, most notably “The Flash” and “Nailbiter.” Plenty of imaginative stuff on offer here, and I’m very curious to see where this six-parter goes. Overall: 7.5 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 (**).