Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/8
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.
The Unsound #2 (Boom! Studios)** – I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of Cullen Bunn and Jack T. Cole’s horrific take on Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” but the second sees the story take a rather dramatic leap forward that feels more forced by pacing concerns than it is achieved through anything like a natural transition. We’ll see where it goes, though, since it’s not a “deal-breaker” by any means and Cole’s art remains absolutely gorgeous. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Green Arrow #26 (DC)** – Hmmm — Ollie hits the road with a fellow super-hero in tow : where have we heard this one before? The Flash steps — sorry, runs — into the role formerly occupied by Green Lantern in this one, but lackluster story and art from Benjamin Percy and Stephen Byrne ensure that nobody will be forgetting about Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams anytime soon. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass
Babyteeth #2 (Aftershock)** – Another agreeable (if far from memorable) installment in Donny Cates and Garry Brown’s new “Teen Mom” meets “The Omen” horror series is equally divided between moving the story forward at a natural rhythm and forcing some long-range foreshadowing into the proceedings, which actually succeeds at what it’s trying to do reasonably well despite the fact that it probably shouldn’t. Brown’s art remains pitch-perfect for the content and Cates’ characterization is strong enough to keep this reader on the hook for at least a bit longer. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Snotgirl #6 (Image) – It took a long time for Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s somewhat surreal series to grow on me, given that it sure reads more like what 40-year-olds think 20-something fashion bloggers live like rather than it does anything like how they actually live, but if you can get over the absurdity of both the premise and the protagonist’s economic situation (how many people in the entire country make their living running independent fashion blogs? Maybe three? Yet there are more than that in LA alone according to this book), the cartoony art and intriguing mystery of the story should be enough to keep you around. Some new additions to the supporting cast throw a welcome spanner into the works and despite a lengthy hiatus, it seems that neither of our creators has lost their enthusiasm for this project in the least. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy
Batman #26 (DC) Not a bad issue, when all is said and done, Tom King seems to be building slowly toward what will hopefully be an explosive story. As a build up issue this isn’t bad and carries the momentum of the previous issue (for better or for worse) forward… but all I really want to read is the follow up to Batman #24, not an in-the-past-cstory. . Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
All New Wolverine #22 (Marvel) I don’t read as many things with the Guardians of the Galaxy as I probably should, because I always enjoy when they show up in other comics. Like this one. While I felt that they were the highlight, it was more to do with Gabby and Jonathan interacting with Rocket and Groot. As the first part in a three issue arc, it’s good enough to have me coming back for more. Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read
Unholy Grail #1 (Aftershock)* I picked this up purely because my LCS told me I may like it, but other than knowing it might be up my alley, I had no idea what the comic was about. King Arthur has always been a good way to hook me into the idea of a story, but I’m often picky when it comes to giving said story a try,so much so that had I known this was a tale based around Camelot I may have skipped it entirely (I believe Bernard Cornwall has written the definitive take on the legend), but I’m glad I gave it a shot. The art is brilliant, and Cullen Bunn has written a deeply atmospheric tale, the extent of which hasn’t been fully revealed yet. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Stray Bullets #25 (Image/El Capitan)** – Flashback to a flashback. When heavy Spanish Scott tells cool psycho Kretchmeyer “sometimes you’ve got to get your hands a little dirty,” he has no idea what he’s talking about. As always, David Lapham is a master of letting his characters do what’s absolutely worst for them even though they themselves think they’re on top of everything. And as we hit 700 pages (!) of “Sunshine and Roses,” every layer we peel off these characters just proves that old pulp hack Shakespeare right: “The worst is not so long as we can say, ‘This is the worst’.” Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Calexit #1 (Black Mask) – Political thrillers and near-future dystopias are really tricky: for me, the barriers to suspension of disbelief are very high. You have to get the details balanced just right in order for the push into fiction to really send us flying off the rails. Push too hard and it means that you weren’t where you needed to be at the start. In short, Matteo Pizzolo has way too much pushing to do to justify the premise of Calexit. I mean, on page 1, he has President Trump speaking in complete sentences using words with two or more syllables. I buy Trump getting re-elected, but his syntax is egregiously mishandled and broke my trust in just a few panels. Never mind that we then get a psycho torturer guy with creepy glasses (who apparently also can order National Guard privates to commit atrocities) and a Steve Bannon lookalike who is not Steve Bannon. Which is too bad, because I think if Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan had stuck with the very charming rogue character of Jamil, the amoral courier with a heart of gold, I would have been down for anything. Clearly Nahuelpan loves drawing this guy because he has the only genuine expressions and body language in a book that is full of caricature. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #7 (Archie) – I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this dreadful delight. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack bring us the tale of Sabrina’s father, Edward Spellman – and it is just about as perfect as I can imagine an American horror comic to be, with just the right blend of sly and clever humour (the three witches in the hairdresser salon killed me) and actual horror. Robert Hack’s scratchy art (I take it he colors as well) reminds me of Hammer films and 60’s and 70’s paperback covers. This issue is a great jumping-on point and I am jumping on. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again #1 (Marvel) – In the debut issue of the sequel to one of the craziest series in 2012, returns with Deadpool being mind controlled once again to kill Marvel’s superhero roster. This time, he is being mind controlled by a team of villains that seem to have a few motives in play. His connection as an Uncanny Avenger has given him unfettered access to places where most villains can’t go, so his first victims, are 2 of his teammates. By the end of this first issue, we find out he has enough control to ask for help but not enough to stop killing. 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 (**).