Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 4/28
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.
Grass Kings #14 (Boom! Studios)** – Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins are barreling full steam ahead to one heck of a conclusion for this series, and in this issue they line up all their chess pieces to ensure the memorable finale they’re so clearly aiming for. The answers are all within plain sight now, but the fireworks are yet to come. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Abbott #4 (Boom! Studios)** – While we’re on the subject of killer penultimate issues, Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivela deliver just that here, as Elena Abbott’s supernatural investigations come to a head just as her life is circling the drain. Dramatic, compelling, and highly topical (either in spite or because of its early-1970s Detroit setting), this series has been every bit as good as advertised and the forthcoming finale is almost guaranteed to satisfy. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Black AF: Widows And Orphans #1 (Black Mask)** – The first “Black” series was a case study in absolutely wasting a great — and frankly maybe even necessary given the current state of affairs — premise, but that was a work of absolute genius compared to this unreadable mess from Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3. I’m not sure whose idea it was to transpose this uniquely American (and urban American, at that) setting to Japan, but it doesn’t work, the fight scenes are dull, characterization is minimal to non-existent, and the art is hopelessly generic and unprofessional. Embarrassing stuff all around. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass
The Demon: Hell Is Earth #6 (DC)** – Andrew Constant and Brad Walker started this six-part revisionist take on Jack Kirby’s Demon strong, quickly faltered, picked up the pace a bit toward the end, but absolutely flub the landing. The art’s fun enough in its own way, a heady mix of classic “King” elements with 1990s Image-style nonsense, but the story wraps in quick and predictable fashion, and spends more time trying to set up a sequel no one really wants to see than it does putting an exclamation point on the current proceedings. Ah, what could have been. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass.
Hunt for Wolverine #1 (Marvel)– Hunt for Wolverine begins with a pretty fun fight scene between the X-Men and Reavers as artist Dave Marquez uses a grittier art style in honor of the snikty. The rest of his and Charles Soule’s story strikes an awkward balance between mourning and setting up the rest of the story. The spinoffs set up in the second story, like Daredevil doing his own investigation,an all female X-Men team looking for Wolverine in Madripoor, and Lady Deathstrike doing her thing seem more interesting than the core story. Overall: 7 Verdict: Read
Batgirl #22 (DC)– Hope Larson and Minkyu Jung throw it back to their first arc of the series as Babs’ friend Kai and her Singapore MMA Buddy May Hao return. With some intense crime fighting, coming of a bad romance and yes, grad schools, she’s a little out of sorts. Larson’s at her best with the slice of life/hang out stuff, but the underground fight club seems pretty cut and dried although Jung has a great command over anatomy and fight choreography as Babs fights some jacked up MMA fighters. The storyline is sort of salvaged towards then with a great cyberpunk twist even if it puts some of the relationship stuff on the backburner. Overall: 7.2 Verdict: Read
Shadowman #2 (Valiant)– The voodoo Loa Baron Samedi wants to become a god so he’s draining the life force and souls of the people of New Orleans via some human conduits in Shadowman #2. But, not if Jack Boniface aka Shadowman and the cartomancer Alyssa are in his way. However, Andy Diggle and Stephen Segovia have them thoroughly get their asses kicked in this issue. The first two issues of this new series have been a non-stop losing battle and fancy spells and punches can’t stop from Jack going back to the Deadside. Shadowman is heavy on the action, but its connection to voodoo beliefs and Ulisses Areola’s mesmerizing colors keep it fairly fresh. I wish I knew more about Jack Boniface’s character and motivation though. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Old man Hawkeye #4 (Marvel)– This book just gets better every issue as this particular installment shows that these “Old” viewpoint stories are where we find out more about the character then we ever did in their natural position. In this episode, we find Clint still collecting on old debts as he has Bullseye on his trail , who’s working with the Venoms. We also meet Kraven’s grandchildren , who bear a striking resemblance but that’s where it stops , as their skills don’t match their grandfather’s legend. By issue’s end, the most recent debt collected is with a heavy heart , one that weighs on Clint. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
The Hunt For Wolverine #1 (Marvel) – I’ve waited for this for awhile. I’m a Logan fan, and while I like Old Man Logan, I wanted the original Wolvie back. This is for the classic fans, or even fans from the movies. If you don’t like Wolverine, it’s simple, don’t read or care about this comic or story. But if you do, there’s enough setup here to excite. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Avengers #690 (Marvel) – This is more of a palette cleansing issue between the end of this very fun and action filled arc and the new Avengers #1 from Jason Aaron releasing soon. It ties up some loose ends, moves our characters about a bit to get ready for their new series or give them time off, and slows everything down for a feel good issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
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 (**).