Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/21
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.
Batman #15 (DC) What a pile of horse shit. This series is up and down the quality scale like a fiddler’s elbow; when it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s not… man, I’d rather pluck my nose hair than read this again. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Deadpool the Duck #2 (Marvel) I’m surprised again by how much I’m enjoying this series. It’s a good laugh that doesn’t take itself too seriously (which is good, considering the subject matter), and yet hasn’t evolved into outright foolishness. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Kill Or Be Killed #5 (Image) It’s been a couple of months since we last had an issue of this series, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed reading about Dylan, the every man who made a deal with a demon to keep killing people (most of whom deserve it). The narrative in this issue does bounce a little, but that’s more due to the style of the narration than a failing on Brubaker’s part; I loved it, but I understand why others aren’t as fond. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Monsters Unleashed #1 (Marvel) Much like an 80’s action movie, this is enjoyable enough. But there’s no real plot to speak of yet beyond what you literally get from the title. Personally, I’d hold off till the trade and find out if it’s worth giving a shit over then, because this isn’t exactly great. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass (for now)
Venom #3 (Marvel) The star of this comic has become the symbiote, not the union between man and symbiote the comic is named after, and I absolutely love the way that Mike Costa is bringing a healthy dose of characterization to something that was essentially just a costume change. By binding the symbiote’s fate to someone more comfortable living in the morally grey area than the previous host Flash Thompson was, we’re also getting a cracking story to boot. Overall:8 Recommendation: Buy
Monsters Unleashed #1 (Marvel) – Though I have not loved everything Marvel has done lately in their events (though I enjoy Clone Conspiracy and IvX so far), I was excited for this, even if part of me was ready to be let down. First of all, I want to say the art, and the large page spreads of our heroes fighting these massive monsters as civilians run in fear is awesome. So is the idea that a kid is bringing these things to life by drawing them. But for an issue that costs $4.99, you don’t really get a lot. The entire issue is setup, and while first issues should contain that, I felt there should have been a lot more. We never get much time with any group of heroes. Instead the book spends its time hopping around and highlighting the current teams. It isn’t bad, but it also isn’t good. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
Dept. H #10 (Dark Horse) – The wonderful slow burn or should I say flood of Dept. H continues. The art, as always in this book is fantastic. My anticipation is through the roof on finding out who did it in this who dun it. You won’t get that answer here, but you do get quite a big reveal as we look into another characters past, and their relationship with Hari. This is a solid entry in the series. The tension has been raised again, and the cliffhanger should make things even more interesting. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1 (DC) – This is another weekly comic in the buildup to Steve Orlando’s upcoming JLA series. In this comic, we get a very tragic origin story for Ray, a boy who had to live his childhood locked away from everyone but his mother due to what she described as an allergy to light. Orlando does a great job showing the tough life The Ray lived as a child, and some of it is heartbreaking. By the end of the book, The Ray gets to know who he is, and is done hiding, both as a hero, and in his personal life. The comic does a great job echoing some of the issues in our country, and ties them in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Clone Conspiracy #4 (Marvel) – I have enjoyed this event so far. It has been crazy to see what Slott has done, and while some do not enjoy it (I understand why), I have. This issue really ramps things up, and actually surprised me in how far Slott went. It will be interesting to see the next issue and how this event ends, especially with Ben Reilly back as The Scarlet Spider, which Marvel just announced. Things get very dark here, but the fast paced story telling and awesome art really made it work. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Batman #15 (DC)** – Tom King and Mitch Gerads wrap up their little two-parter with another issue that’s visually stunning, but decidedly humdrum to read. “Bat” and “Cat” profess their love for one another while keeping plenty of things (though not their identities) secret. We’ve seen this done before, and we’ve seen it done better. Maybe we were all expecting too much from King, but it’s time to be honest — not only is this series massively disappointing, by and large it’s not even particularly good. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Black Panther: World Of Wakanda #3 (Marvel)** – I give Roxane Gay a lot of credit for re-introducing modern readers to the notion of “thought bubbles” (which I still maintain can be very useful narrative devices), but here she inserts them into panels where it would be much better to let the visuals alone do the storytelling, and the result is a rather forced-feeling “quantum leap forward” in the love story between our two largely well-written protagonists. Alitha E. Martinez and Roberto Poggi continue to deliver art that I would classify as “average at best,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates gets top billing on the cover credits despite being nothing more than a “consultant” on the book, which is a real screw job to the people actually doing the work. I would expect better from a progressive writer/academic, but like a lot of people, it seems he can check his politics at the door when it comes to cashing a paycheck. Oh, and I trust we all saw that Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has “graduated” from merely being yet another onerous Trump supporter to actually being a part of the guy’s administration — how much longer can left-leaning creators continue to work for this company in good conscience? But I digress. On the whole I’ve enjoyed this series more than I was expecting to — and certainly more than the main “Black Panther” title — but this was a decidedly sub-par installment. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Lucifer #14 (DC/Vertigo)** – Richard Kadrey steps in as writer and not only doesn’t he miss a beat, he’s got these characters down cold. Sure, his scene transitions could use some work, but on the whole this installment gave me the old “Vertigo feels” that are getting to be in far too short a supply these days. I enjoyed the early issues of Holly Black’s run, but she seemed to be losing interest in the project as it wore on, and given that we’re stepping into a major new story arc that sees the Lucifer/God rivalry, as well as events in Hell, upped yet another notch, the change to a new scribe couldn’t have come at a better time. Lee Garbett’s been killing it on the art, so I’m pleased to see that he’s sticking around as visual continuity is a big plus for this series. Oh, and Mazikeen’s scarcely ever been better than she is here. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Postal #17 (Image/Top Cow)** – Really good to see this book back on the stands after a couple-month hiatus, and it looks like Bryan Hill’s shifting his script into high gear with this issue, which sees Mark elevated (by his mother’s dictate, of course) to the office of mayor in Eden, Wyoming, while the mystery of what became of the town’s — and Mark’s — father accrues some intriguing new layers unto itself. Solid art from the always-reliable (and, crucially, always- improving) Isaac Goodhart rounds out another more-than-pleasing chapter in this continuing epic. And yes, it’s safe to call it that at this point, absolutely. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Batman 66 Meets Wonder Woman 77#1 (DC)– Both the Batman TV show from the 60s and the Wonder Woman TV show from the 70s, captured the world’s attention in reruns as a kid of the 80s , this exactly how I found out about them. So when I heard that they were doing crossover between the two in a comic . Props goes out tot he creative team for including Eartha Kitt’s version of CatWoman and the involvement of Ras Al Ghul , as they have taken advantage of all the tools at their disposal. This comic more than sort a look , it deserves the world’s attention. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
The Mighty Captain Marvel#1 (Marvel)-when writers attempt to do meta in their stories , it can come off as superficial but thankfully this wasn’t the case with this book. In this issue, we find Carol Danvers in the midst of her celebrity as she on the set of a movie based on her life . As tongue in cheek this setup is, the story still finds time to setup allegory with refugees, instead of humans , they have aliens, some of who are Kree. By issue’s end, the reader realizes the stakes are high and a ELE might be on the horizon. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
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 (**).