Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/22

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.


Shean

The Defenders: Best Defense #1 (Marvel) – In what fans can call a mini “Infinity War”, this group of superheroes almost come together to stop a being looking to destroy the galaxy. As Silver Surfer and Namor face the threat head-on as both almost lose their lives doing it. We also find Strange and Hulk also dealing with the thread on the ground, as Hulk practically eats his way through demons. By issue’s end, though one threat is contained, the other has compromised one of our heroes, who ultimately has a plan. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Old Man Hawkeye #12 (Marvel) – In the final issue of Old Man Hawkeye, Clint and Kate get closer to find the super Soldier serum. As Hawkeye begins to lose his sight, he uses his wits and other senses to fight. Unfortunately, Bullseye gets closer, leading to a showdown between him and the two Hawkeyes. By issue’s end, both are able to make it out with the serum, as we are caught to where we find Clint in Old Man Logan. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Seasons Beatings #1 (Marvel) – In a series of vignettes, our favorite Marvel superheroes give fans, reasons for the season. In one tale, Miles and Venom team up to catch some criminals during Christmas Eve.In another tale, Squirrel Girl exchanges gifts with Dr Doom. In the last take, Kate Bishop stops some Skrulls from ruining Xmas. Overall, a funny collection that imbues festivity of Xmas. Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Killmonger #2 (Marvel) – In the second issue of this miniseries, we find Erik still trying to get used to working with a team,or anyone,in fact, as no one has ever took an interest in him since his parents. We also get a flashback of one of his first dealings with Klaue, laying the base for his deep seated hate for him. The team takes out four targets, which leaves one of them severely hurt. By issue’s end, Kingpin got them burn noticed as he sets them up to go against Bullseye, one target King knows no one can hit. Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Infinity Wars : Fallen Guardian #1 (Marvel) – In probably the most poignant story to come out of this event, we get a different origin story for Drax. As we get one where he was a man on earth with a family named Arthur whose life gets turned upside down by the rage of Thanos. He avenges their death by becoming Drax and his daughter becoming Moondragon. By issue’s end, Thanos is no more and so is Drax as he reassumes his life as Arthur, where his life becomes just a dream. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Batman #61 (DC)** – Remember that kid from awhile back who thought he was Bruce Wayne and it made for a decent little one-off? Well, his story doesn’t lend itself nearly so well to a multi-parter, as this wannabe-mindfuck from writer Tom King stumbles right out of the gate and never gets any firm footing on — well, anything really. Travis Moore’s dull, pedestrian art doesn’t help matters much, either. Probably the worst single issue in a run that has had several lousy ones, too few good ones, not sure who thought milking a this one-and-done premise for more was a good idea. Overall: 2. Recommendation: Pass


 Freedom Fighters #1 (DC)** – If you wanted to see a comic that features a bloody, decapitated Dollman strung out on public display and Uncle Sam screaming “you want one last piece of apple pie?” as he punches an evil Plastic Man, then I guess this is the comic for you, but for the rest of us, this just looks like an Atop The Fourth Wall video from Linkara waiting to happen, as Robert Venditti’s script is equal parts lazy and mean-spirited, and artists Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira, who are normally a solid team, turn in work so melodramatic and over-the-top as to be downright laughable. Embarrassingly bad stuff all around. Overall: 0. Recommendation: Pass


American Carnage #2 (DC/Vertigo)** – More stage-setting from Bryan Hill in this one, as our undercover former FBI agent who’s “passing for white” gets in deeper with the rich financier of hate-mongers far and wide. It’s all perfectly readable and interesting, but a lot of time gets wasted with a pointless fist fight and the whole thing plays out like an extended epilogue to the first issue. I’m still reasonably optimistic about this series’ potential, and Leandro Fernandez’s art certainly continues to impress, so there’s no cause to jump ship here or anything — it’s just that this issue and the last probably should have been condensed down to one. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read


Aquaman #43 (DC)** – The much-heralded new creative team of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artists Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques arrive just in time for the movie — but beyond some very pretty pictures, they don’t give you much reason to stick around for more. DeConnick’s script is standard-issue “hero with amnesia awakens to a fairy tale-like world” stuff, and doesn’t provide much reason to care about what’s happening since the characters, most notably Aquaman himself, are all simple, two-dimensional ciphers. The art is bold, dynamic, and beautiful, but unfortunately it doesn’t depict anything particularly interesting at its core. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass


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 (**).

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