First Impressions: War Criminals and Talking Dogs

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s First Impressions where we take a look at a handful of comics in order to discern just how accessible they are for new readers, because every comic could be somebody’s first – and that’s the first question that’ll be answered with this feature. The second is whether you should  start there because sometimes a book could be accessible to new readers but the quality could be less than average, and so each comic will receive a score out of ten based upon Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale.

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. All comics were provided for review purposes unless otherwise noted.


Livewire #1 (Valiant)
Can you start here?
Uh…. yeah
Recap & Review: 
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That phrase stuck with me as I was reading this comic, for rather obvious reasons as we see, perhaps the first time, Livewire’s more human side since the events of Harbinger Wars II, and the catastrophic loss of life resulting from her effective nation-wide EMP pulse. Livewire #1 opens with several pages of soul searching in Livewire’s internal monologue as she justifies her actions, the end result of those actions, and her intentions. That Vita Ayala has  been able to give Livewire an almost sympathetic slant after all she has done recently in the Valiant Universe is no mean feat. The character’s desire to protect and save young psiots at any cost brings to mind both her mentor Toyo Harada, and one of Marvel’s most compelling villains in Magneto.
Score: 9.1

Grumble #1 (Albatross Funny Books)
Can you start here?
Yup
Recap & Review: 
A comic set in a world where magic is real, but that really isn’t that far removed from our own (the talking dog on the cover makes total sense). I loved this comic, and while it came out a couple weeks ago, I was only able to pick it up from my LCS last week. Worth the wait, and worth the money.
Score: 9.0

The Witcher: Of Fire And Flame #1 (Dark Horse)
Can you start here? Yes
Recap & Review:  I’ve become a huge Witcher fan over the last few months, and am currently in the process of devouring the books. This comic is neither an adaptation nor a continuation of those books, but a standalone miniseries set in the same world – and it doesn’t require too much understanding of the world to enjoy. Geralt, the Witcher, is a genetically enhanc
Score: 8.0

Hardcore #1 (Image)
Can you start here?
Yes.
Recap & Review: A comic about a new type of drone used in the fight against America’s enemies – the human. Agent Drake is part of a program that hijacks people’s bodies in order to carry out a mission (usually involving murder) on behalf of a secret government organisation. Nothing, obviously, will ever go wrong, right? The only downfall of the comic is that everything happens too fast for it to feel organic, but there’s the bones of a very interesting story here.
Score:  7.9

Dead Man Logan #2 (Marvel)
Can you start here?
 Not easily.
Recap & Review:  There’s a lot of history to unpack with Old Man Logan, and not enough space to do so here. However, because this series is shaping up to be a very compelling swan song to an alternate version of Wolverine I’ve come to really enjoy, I’ll give you the barest of basics. Logan is dying, and before he does he wants to ensure that the horror befell his world doesn’t happen to ours. To do that he wants to find and kill Mysterio, but Mysterio has been pulled into a plan to recreate the events that led to Old Man Logan’s world from ours.
Score:
  8.3

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