Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/5
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.
Batman # 46 (DC)** – I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to re-make “For The Man Who Has Everything” with Batman and Booster Gold, but this Tom King/Tony S. Daniel storyline is a dull, predictable, dystopian “What If?” train wreck. Morose, plodding, poorly illustrated, and all for naught as nothing that happens here will stick. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #5 (DC)** – Mark Russell and Mike Feehan deliver a terrific penultimate issue to this superb six-part series that sees our protagonist finally stand up to the HUAC committee, albeit in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy. A nearly-perfect comic that, once again, only gets docked a couple points because Brandee Stilwell’s “Sasquatch Detective” back-up strip is so unrelentingly awful. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Xerxes: The Fall Of The House Of Darius And The Rise Of Alexander #2 (Dark Horse)** – Seriously, if you ever appreciated Frank Miller’s work — and it’s admittedly been awhile since he did (or said) anything worth appreciating — do yourself a favor and skip this sloppily-illustrated mess. Miller’s composition work is embarrassing, his writing pedestrian, and his layouts just plain perplexing. Dark Horse editorial should have done the right thing and rejected this on sight rather than allowing Miller to publicly humiliate himself like this. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass. I purchased my copy because I’m a fucking idiot.
Black Science # 35 (Image)** – There are still seven issues to go, but I’m missing Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s pulp sci-fi masterpiece already. This is more a self-contained story focusing on the doomed McKay marriage, but ties into the overall narrative quite nicely and the art, as always, is spectacular. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Action Comics Special #1 (DC)- This special one-shot features a trio of stories centered around the Superman/Lex Luthor/Lois Lane dynamic. Dan Jurgens and Will Conrad give us one last look at Superman the family in a naturalistically drawn story about a time traveling Lex trying to rip out Superman’s heart by targeting Lois while current day Lex struggles with his legacy. The best story is Mark Russell and Jill Thompson showing Clark Kent roasting Lex at the White House correspondents dinner. Powerful men who can’t laugh at themselves, this sounds familiar. And the one-shot ends on an adorable, watercolor note with Max Landis and Francis Manapul telling the story of how Superman finds the perfect Christmas gift for Lois while rehabilitating one of his villains. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy
Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #1 (Marvel) Daredevil, Frank McGee, Misty Knight, and one of the most underrated Mutants ever team up to investigate Wolverine’s missing body. This is definitely an assembling the team issue, but Charles Soule keeps things entertaining with dry humor about the Internet and way too many Wolverines. Plus McGee and Misty Knight have crackling chemistry. On the visual front, Matteo Buffagini powerfully establishes each character’s unique abilities and finds a nice balance between film noir and police procedural. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy
Batman #46 (DC Comics) Now I know the alternate universe/history thing has been done so many times but screw me. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Tom King has taken a very cliche scenario and made it intriguing. Batman existing in a world not as Bruce Wayne? Interesting. Bruce being so engrossed in his family that it was most important? Double interesting. I really enjoyed that we got to see a different side of the Waynes. I’m not sure what is up with Catwoman but hopefully it gets explained. Tom King took old ground and managed to put fresh soil on it. Also the art was very pretty. So yeah I like Tom King but… guess we see next time. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read.
Spider-Man #240 (Marvel Comics) With comes the end you tend to remember the beginning. I remember when Miles Morales first appeared in the pages of Ultimate Fallout #4 when I was still mourning the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe. Miles at first glance at the solicits was another cool Spider costume and hero that I thought would never last. How wrong I was. There has not been a fresh character with as much heart and life as Miles in a long time. He had just enough difference in his powers to differ from Peter and a cool ass costume. He was not a Marvel diversity character for diversity sake. He felt like I was reading those early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko issues of Spider-Man. Now on to the current. This is said to be the last issue in this era of Miles Miles. Brian Michael Bendis creates a simple tale which starts with Miles Gravely injured from his last mission and we see how his condition affects all those around him. His parents, teammates and friends all support him tirelessly. This didn’t feel like a superhero book but rather a book about a very special young person who sparks something in everyone around him. We are all able to relate as we have watched a love one near deaths door and the ramifications it has. The ending was very touching and a lighthearted door close for now. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read
Avengers #1 (Marvel) It has been a long time since I last picked up an Avengers comic, but for some reason that may or may not have anything to do with a movie, I was compelled to read this. Having not been anywhere close to an Avengers comic in years, I was a little concerned I’d be lost, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. With echoes of the debut of the New Avengers, this comic does an excellent job in pulling together all the threads of a successful team story, and just happens to have most of the core team from the movies. Coincidence, I’m sure. Certainly worth a read, regardless. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Buy
Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #1 (Marvel) I didn’t want to enjoy this because I wanted to avoid the machine around Wolverine’s return. Just hurry up and get him back into a series, was my thought, right up until I read the issue. It was fun. More fun, honestly, than I actually expected it would be considering this comic focused on building the team than it did exploring the story. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.
Rise of the Black Panther #5 (Marvel)-T’Challa is a man who definitely is fighting Wars on many fronts as can be seen in this issue.He finds out that his taking over the Throne was premature and that T’Chaka had a son before him. He also finds our that his half brother joined the Hyena clan TP to take back the Throne which he quickly squashes. By issue’s end, though everything seems fine, another enemy has penetrated their ranks, Erik Killmonger. Overall: 9.8 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 (**).