Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/27
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 Beyond #25 (DC) As a huge Bat Beyond fanatic, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. It meshes cartoon and DC Canon continuity fairly well. There are some muddled parts here and there like Red Hood and Bruce being partners but for the most part hey, that’s comics. This one was the one I have been looking forward to building with the return of the original (not a clone, not a relative, not an alternate reality) Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker. Now we all know the Joker is supposed to be dead but oh well hes back! I like the way Dan Jurgens gives us some background using Dick Grayson as the narrator. What’s cool is we see Dick is actually living a good life. He is mayor of Bludhaven and has a healthy daughter Elainna. Finally a take on my favorite character that dont end in tragedy. The reason for Dick being in Gotham is the 100th anniversary of Thomas Wayne and the opening of the new Wayne foundation. Easy enough premise. All through we catch up with our cast of Bat Family with the backdrop being a rash of murders of Jokerz gang members. Terry is showing Matt the ropes as his new Robin so there is cool lineage. All in the background something is afoot with Joker plotting and murdering to get his revenge in motion. We get some cool story beats and a mention of characters we haven’t seen in a while and of course the issue leaves us on a cliffhanger and we are left with a Joker who remembers everything. Especially who Batman really is. That part intrigues me. So it’s not a question of if he’s back but more how is he back? We will have to wait and see. Also Joker was back in full The Killing Joke attire here so I enjoyed that. The words were good the art by Cully Hamner was pretty decent. All in all not a bad start but not great. Score: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Action Comics 1004 (DC)** [insert spoiler tags as you see fit] Starting with Man of Steel I’ve enjoyed Brian Bendis’ run on Superman quite a bit but one thing hung over the whole enterprise as a cloud: the conspicuous absence of Lois Lane and Jon Kent. This issue solves that problem very well for Lois at least. There isn’t alot that happens but for the first time since he moved to DC Bendis really gets to work out his chops for characterful dialog and personal interplay. You really get a sense of the depth of affection Lois and Clark share for one another as well as how very different they are. This is a really good pushed to the verge of greatness by Ryan Sook’s pencils and Wade Von Grawbadger’s inks. Rating: 8. Recommendation: Buy with the Manapul variant cover if you can get it.
Days Of Hate #9 (Image)** – The title of this issue is “Tired, Tired, Tired,” and that’s not a bad, bad, bad summation of Ales Kot’s apparent attitude toward his own series. Danijel Zezelj continues to impress with his cinematic art, but the story is feeling incredibly lazy and listless at exactly the point where it should really be ramping up. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Lodger #1 (IDW/Black Crown)** – An immediately arresting and involving new crime/noir series from David and Maria Lapham lands with a burst of energy and style, grabbing you from the outset with terrific characters, a simple but effective storyline, smart dialogue, and superb art. This promises to be a ride that’s both very fun and maybe even very memorable. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Scarlet #3 (DC/Jinxword)** – Well, it sure didn’t take long for this one to completely stall out. Brian Michael Bendis seemed to have a real head of creative steam behind him just a couple months ago when this series kicked off, but he’s fallen back into every single one of his by-now-legendary bad habits (stilted dialogue, minimal plot progression, deliberately eschewing obvious political angles that would add some real punch to the story), while poor Alex Maleev gets stuck with trying to keep the whole thing above water by means of his stylish, dynamic art. He almost pulls it off, but he could really use an assist from his co-creator here. Overal: 5 Recommendation: Pass
Moon Knight #200 (Marvel)** – The big culmination of Max Bemis’ decidedly up-and-down storyline finishes on the “up” side in this extra-sized milestone issue, thanks in no small part to main artist Paul Davidson, who just plain pulls out all the stops tograb you by the eyeballs, and guest artists Jacen Burrows, Jeff Lemire, and Bill Sienkiewicz, who all do exemplary work. All in all, it was enough to make me sorry that Marvel is pulling the plug on this title yet again, but at least they sent it out in style. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Black Panther Vs Deadpool #1 (Marvel)– The first thing that grabs you about this book is how fun it is intended to be, as this serves as a well intended mini vacation from the excellent epic storyline going on in the main Black Panther book. As we find T’Challa enjoying his time as king in Wakanda’s version of the Day Of the Dead, as he is especially wary of outsiders invading his kingdom during the celebration.We also find Deadpool , trying to save a schoolbus full of kids from the Wrecker who accidentally severely injures Deadpool’s mailman, leaving his only hope for survival in Vibranium therapy. This is where chaos ensues and you get everything you expect when Deadpool meets up with Black Panther, as some of the funniest pages of panels I have ever seen Deadpool in takes place. By issue’s end, T’Challa throws Wade out of Wakanda but we all know this won’t stop him from trying again. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Wonder Woman #57 (DC) – I love what James Tynion has done on this story, but I do feel like The Witching Hour plot could have ended by now, or be one issue shorter. That isn’t to say it’s bad, I just feel like it is being dragged out a bit. That being said, I cannot wait to see how it ends in the final one shot, with how this issue left it. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
The Flash #57 (DC) – This is some old school superhero comic book fun. It’s over the top, and Kolins art has grown on me and meshes well with Williamson’s storytelling in this Heat Wave centric plot. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #1 (Marvel) – An okay set up issue that ties into Spider-Geddon. I didn’t feel like much happened though, and the dialogue seemed a little flat in my opinion. The art was also okay, and overall, that is what I would say this comic is. Just okay. That being said, it is a new #1, and if you are a fan of Gwen, this is probably a no brainer. Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Buy (If you are a Spider-Gwen fan)
Spider-Geddon #2 (Marvel) – I am a big Spidey fan, and this is a big Spidey event. This continues in the style of Spiderverse with so many Spider-people (and pigs), you lose count. I have loved both the first issue, and this as well. The story is fun, the art is great, and Otto trying to be a hero is just awesome and fun to see. Overall: 8.5 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 (**).