Indie Comics Review Roundup #4: Superpowered Infections and Demon Fuelled Zombie
Welcome to Graphic Policy’s Indie Comics Roundup where we take a look at a handful of indie comics and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers. Where possible we’ll also be providing recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in, assuming we’ve read any part of the story thus far.
Each comic will receive a both a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly as well as a score out of ten. The former is based upon how easy it was for new readers to pick the issues up; expect miniseries or first issues to be rated as friendly by default. For second or third issues, more consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. The score out of ten is Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.
We’d rather feature comics from smaller publishers, but from time to time you may notice an Image, Dark Horse or Dynamite book here. Ultimately it depends on what catches our eye, but we’ll always aim to spotlight lesser known comics.
All comics were provided for review purposes unless otherwise noted.
Brilliant Trash #6 (Aftershock) Deciding to pick this comic up because of the cover alone, I had no idea what I was getting. That said, the entire issue reads like a flashback or recap designed to bring new readers into the series – and in my case it worked. I want to read more about a world where super powers are a disease. Obviously, this is a Friendly comic. 8.5
Pestilence: Son Of Satan #1 (Aftershock) In a surprise (to me) Aftershock double bill, the new volume of Pestilence, the comic that reimagines the bubonic plague of the 14th century as a zombie outbreak, kicks off and things immediately get worse for the living. Roderick Helms has hung up his sword, but he’ll need it soon enough. A curse heavy comic (not the magical kind) which could bother some, but one that’s a fantastic change of pace from the spandex crowd. A Friendly comic, that doesn’t spoil the first volume. 8.2
Fighting American #4 (Titan) The last issue of a miniseries is never the smartest place to start reading, but I’ve never claimed to be a bright person. That being said, despite this being the conclusion, it is still a surprisingly Friendly comic – assuming you read the recap page and approach it as if it’s a Golden Age hero in modern times. Because that’s exactly what this is. A hugely enjoyable comic with plenty of retro-fun for everyone who wants to take the plunge. 8.5
Brother Nash #1 (Titan) A first issue in a three part miniseries is always Friendly (or should at least hope to be). Thankfully, this one is, and the supernatural tale of a trucker with a past is engaging and well presented. Hunt this down and you won’t regret it. 8.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #83 (IDW) Can you pick up a series 83 issues in? Yeah. Kinda. The main thing is that even though I had no idea what was going on when I opened the cover, I could largely follow along fairly seamlessly. Certainly well enough to consider this a Friendly comic. Ultimately my main TMNT knowledge comes from the 90’s cartoon, and so where there is unfamiliarity in the comic it doesn’t help when the characters aren’t the same from an old cartoon to a modern comic. Still, an enjoyable read. 7.8
Valiant High #1 (Valiant) In a standalone four issue miniseries that has no bearing on the main Valiant universe, we get what is essentially Valiant meets Archie. You don’t need to know the characters to enjoy this Friendly comic, but the more you do know Valiant, the more you’ll get out of this. 7