Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/3
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.
Kill Or Be Killed #9 (Image)** – As Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ latest long-form series careens toward the conclusion of its second arc, our hapless protagonist seems well and truly out of his depth and the walls feel as if they’re closing in around him from all sides. A breakneck-paced issue that sees Phillips return to form on the artistic front after a couple of issues where the proportions of his characters seemed uncharacteristically off, and showcases Brubaker’s “dude, you’re so fucked” plotting skills at their finest. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Hadrian’s Wall #7 (Image)** – The penultimate chapter of Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis’ sci-fi murder mystery/brinksmanship thriller sees the identity of the killer (probably) revealed while simultaneously upping the ante something fierce as far as the standoff between Earth and its colony world goes. More superb Sienkiewicz-esque art from Reis is the icing on this magnificently-constructed cake, I honestly can’t wait to see how things wrap up next month! Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Moon Knight #14 (Marvel)** – Not a bad wrap-up to Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s year-plus run on this series, although hardly the most memorable one, either. The final conflict between Marc Spector and his “patron” god Khonshu turns out to be something of an anti-climatic Marc vs. himself dust-up — which has been the main storyline here all along — that leaves him essentially right back where he was when this whole thing started. Smallwood’s illustrations are certainly lovely, but the story is kind of a “meh” affair on the whole. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
Secret Empire #3 (Marvel)** – Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis certainly deliver the goods as far as the art goes on this book, but damn, Nick Spencer’s story is quickly devolving into pretty standard-issue crossover stuff, with lots of characters getting just a little bit of “screen time,” a number of should-be-moving pieces essentially standing in place as far as the plot goes, and an overall feeling that we’ve seen all this before too many times to count. In fairness, I certainly never expected much from this “summer blockbuster” event — and it turns out that’s exactly what we’re getting. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Kill Or Be Killed #9 (Image) – After a few issues of changing points of view, we are squarely back with vigilante Dylan in the most conventionally-written issue in a while. That’s not a bad thing when the conventional writer is Ed Brubaker, but it’s like the last couple of issues just disappeared. Phillips and Breitweiser crush it as usual. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Sex Criminals #19 (Image) – As a writer of clever burlesque song parodies, I can’t help but nod at how pleased Fraction is with his Wide Wiener Man jingle. However, self-satisfaction (ahem) doesn’t go very far. There’s a nice first date scene, and it was kind of nice to see Suzie trying to get out of the weirdness, but it’s all starting to feel a bit run-of-the-mill, like a dull fourth season. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip
Ash vs Army of Darkness #0 (Dynamite) – Much as I love the idea of an Ash-as-substitute-high-school-teacher Evil Dead story, did Chris Sims and Chad Bowers really need an entire issue to set it up? And it’s not like anyone picking up this book needs a recap of the movies. Mauro Vargas’ art? It’s tough in these kinds of adaptations to walk the line between getting a good representation of the real actor and doing good comic art – Vargas, for me, gets into no-man’s-land, neither representative nor cartoony enough. It’s all a bit timid, as if they don’t trust that buyers of an Evil Dead book are going to be totally on board with whatever insanity the artistic team brings. Bring it, baby! Overall: 5 Recommendation: skip and try #1
Joe Golem Occult Detective Outer Dark #1 (Dark Horse) – Writers Mignola and Golden bring their literary hero to the comic page and take us on a weird trip through the looking glass to an alternate Earth where New York City circa 1967 resembles Venice, half submerged this Drowning City is the setting for an occult murder mystery. Our Hero Joe Golem suffering from crippling nightmares must help the NYPD find the murderer with the black eyes full of stars. This book is a great mashup of pulp fiction and alternate history with a dash of magic. Reynolds makes this world accessible and intriguing with a style that harkens to those yesterdays of private eyes. A solid comic worth the read.
Moon Knight #14 (Marvel) If you’ve been reading the series so far, you may as well read this. If you haven’t been then…. this isn’t the best ending. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
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 (**).