Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/30
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.
Doomsday Clock #2 (DC) Doomsday Clock #2 is more like a bona fide crossover and less like a Watchmen sequel, which is very much a good thing. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank leave Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ world and unleash Ozymandias, Rorschach, and company on the DC Universe. Once they arrive, Johns’ plotting gets lean and mean with an intrigue filled overarching storyline about a merger between Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp, a battle between genius one percenters. The banter between Ozy, Rorschach, and two fitting DC characters is worth the price of admission, and sometimes Johns shuts up and lets Frank work some formalist storytelling magic with some beautiful silent sequences of the passage between two universes or how the Batcave would look to a total stranger. And most of this is within the constraints of a nine panel grid, which lets him add humor or interesting character moments that complements or contrasts with Johns’ narration. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Phoenix Resurrection #1 (Marvel) A pretty generic mega-superhero team up is bookended by some eerie storytelling by Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu. Rosenberg keeps things mysterious in his plot and hints at the return of Adult Jean Grey while simultaneously using pretty obvious foreshadowing like a Phoenix in the sky and weird energy surges. Even when divided into small groups, the cast is pretty unwieldy, and characters barely get personalities much less arcs. Phoenix Resurrection is serviceable, yet not jaw dropping. This could also describe Leinil Yu’s art work. Overall: 6.7 Verdict: Read
Moon Knight # 190 (Marvel)** – I give Max Bemis a lot of credit for engineering a terrific plot twist here — unfortunately, he telegraphs it in advance about halfway through the issue so that when it finally hits on the last page, it’s no longer a surprise. Apart from that, the story just kind of runs in place. Jacen Burrows continues to deliver the goods on art, at least, so there’s that, but inker Guillermo Ortega drowns out a lot of the detail in the pencils with a quick, sloppy-looking job. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Thanos # 14 (Marvel)** The first half of this issue is pure recap, and the second half is a pointless fight between the present and future iterations of Thanos that ends with a “let’s join forces” cliffhanger that’s anything but unpredictable. Poor show there, Donny Cates. Fortunately, Geoff Shaw’s sweeping cosmic vistas make for some seriously compelling pages to look at, but the book just isn’t worth reading. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
The Demon: Hell Is Earth #2 (DC)** – I was more than pleasantly surprised by the first issue of this six-parter, but things this time out take a serious step back as Andrew Constant delivers a poorly-paced script that actually advances the storyline very little, while Brad Walker’s art loses much of the fun Kirby influence we saw last time and ends up looking like any number of personality-free “New 52” comics. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass
Underwinter: A Field Of Feathers #3 (Image)** – Ray Fawkes is masterfully steering this quietly visceral horror comic toward something big, and in this issue he makes a lot of progress toward tying events of this series in with its predecessor. His impressionistic art is admittedly not to everyone’s tastes, but for my part I think it works perfectly for the kind of story he’s telling. Borderline-magnificent stuff. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Punisher Platoon #4 (Marvel) This book gets stronger with every issue and this particular installment goes places most comics don’t. We find Frank getting to know each of his subordinates, where we find a leader two steps ahead of everyone. We also get to see how the Vietcong views the American occupation , as we get a first hand look of how propaganda as well as the evils that were done by American soldiers. By book’s end, the Vietcong assassin , proves she is a formidable opposition and the coming standoff between her and Frank, will be one to watch. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Star Wars: Storms Of Crait #1 (Marvel) Usually, when comic and movie companies do standalone prequels, they’re sometimes inferior bridges to their source material. In this standalone issue, I am so glad to have read something in the same league as Timothy Zahn’s Shadows of the Empire,as we get the back story on how the Rebellion discovered Crait in the first place. We find Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and Wedge Antilles on a reconnaissance mission to find a new rebel stronghold but soon find themselves in a trap. By book’s end, our heroes escaped mostly unscathed except for Han, for any fan of Empire Strikes Back, this book will give you the shot of nostalgia for all of us who crave to see Leia in action, as the team accurately draws her and writes her much in the spirit of Carrie Fisher’s portrayal. Overall: 10 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 (**).