Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 11/11
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 Falcon #2 (Marvel)** – I really wanted to like this comic, but so far Rodney Barnes and Joshua Cassara aren’t giving me much reason to. The tone of the story is wildly uneven, going from lame, obvious, forced humor to angst-y melodrama without notice; the supernatural-themed plot is limp;, and the art is awash in so much smudgy darkness that basic things like facial expressions end up totally obscured. Not even a guest appearance from one of Marvel’s coolest characters, Brother Voodoo, can elevate this above “train-wreck” status. I thought about bailing after issue one, but decided to give it another chance — I won’t be making that mistake again. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass
Action Comics #991 (DC)** – So that was “The Oz Effect,” huh? Glad it’s over. Viktor Bogdanovic’s art is bright and crisp enough to keep you interested, but Dan Jurgens (at the behest of his editors, I’m sure) essentially served up a five-part “major” story arc. that functions as nothing but set-up for “Doomsday Clock.” Nothing’s resolved, nothing’s explained, nothing matters. So glad I wasted $20 on five issues of this. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Gass Kings #9 (Boom! Studios)** – A bit of a “sidebar” issue from Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins here, but one that moves the main narrative along nicely regardless given that the two young characters we’re following along in this story are investigating the same mysterious death that our main protagonists have been, and their youthful enthusiasm and naivete adds a more light-hearted tone than we’re used to from this series. Fun, intriguing, and, as always, absolutely gorgeous to look at. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Mister Miracle #4 (DC)** – Tom King and Mitch Gerads lay down the law — literally — this time out as Orion places Scott Free on trial in his own house. Good thing there’s plenty of veggies for everyone. Probably the weakest issue so far, it’s gotta be said, but that still means it’s better than just about any other “Big Two” book you’d care to mention. Plus, the cliffhanger is genuinely pretty goddamn harrowing. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Force #1 (Action Lab) The new football themed comic from writers Shawn Pryor and B. Alex Thompson and artist Jay Reed sputters out of the gate with a flashback to a game featuring player we have no context about. Then, it makes another narrative no-no and goes to a previous game. However, by the end of the book, I felt like I actually cared about aging, scrappy Tennessee Boxers QB Terrence Wright whose situation reminded me a lot when the Indianapolis Colts were phasing out Peyton Manning for the hot shot rookie Andrew Luck. The faces in the art are kind of generic, but Reed kills in the final football scene. Rating: 7.2 Verdict: Read
Mister Miracle #4 (DC)– The nine panel grid turns into a trap for Scott Free in Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ as Orion and Lightray interrogate him as possibly having the anti-life equation. But he relationship between Scott and Barda is the real reason why this is one of my favorite current DC books because she stands up for him while he’s filled with self-loathing and hatred. Talking heads in a comic are usually pretty boring, but King and Gerads find a nice rhythm and push Scott to an almost literal breaking points with those bright red and yellows causing a mess everywhere. Also, Orion is still an asshole. Overall: 9.4 Verdict: Buy
Spirits of Vengeance #2 (Marvel) We catch up our heroes shortly after learning of an upcoming war, but who, what and why is what’s at odds. As they face demons at every corner of the world, trying to thwart their efforts , they did out about A bounty on Johnny Blaze’s head. As they keep on digging, they soon find out that it’s not only a waterproof coming but one which occurs every 1000 years and are literally a meeting between heaven and hell taking place on Earth. By issue’s end, the man pulling strings, is revealed and he looks to end anyone in his way. Overall: 9.25 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 (**).