Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/5
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.
Killmonger #3 (Marvel)– In the third issue, we find Bullseye coming for the team, having killed one of them, King finds them refuge as they find themselves fleeing New York. As their numbers start to dwindle, Erik and Knight find a spark between themselves. By issue’s end, a key betrayal leads Erik and Knight working for SHIELD. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Conan The Barbarian #1 (Marvel)– Far from the run of the mill sword and sorcery story, we get a ghost story for for a king. As we find Conan’s past sins coming back to haunt him. As we glimpses of him as a young Cimirrian warrior and a witch who enchants him. By issue’s end, King Conan deals with the same threat with new menagerie, leaving him trapped once again. Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Man Without Fear #1 (Marvel)-In what feels like Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman got together and went psychedelic, we get this interesting first issue. As we find Foggy talking to Matt as he lays comatose from one fight which finds his luck running out. As he carries guilt from everyone who was close to him that died , he confronts his demons and deals with his many sides . By issue’s end , no one can save Matt from himself. Overall: 9
Recommendation: Buy e
Star Wars: Age Of Republic: Obi Wan Kenobi#1 ( Marvel)-In the prequel story, we find an unready Obi-Wan, as he still is finding his way as a Jedi Master. As he decides to take Anakin on his first mission, on a search for a Jedi Holocron. By issue’s end, we find out about Obi-Wan before he was found by Qui-Gon Jinn and see that wasn’t quite as confident as fans would know him to be. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Wolverine The Long Night Adaptation #1 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short, as this issue was slow to start and you don’t see the titular character until the last three pages,but ends on a high note. I am hoping the second issue ramps up. Definitely worth checking out. Overall: 8.5
Crowded #6 (Image)– One of my favorite comics of 2018 ends its first arc with a lot of action, clever layouts, a cute dog, and even some political satire. Our leads Charlie, who has a price on her head thanks to a crowdfunded assassination app, and Vita, who is protecting her thanks to basically Uber for bodyguards, face off with the obnoxious “celebrity assassin” Trotter. It savages obnoxious YouTubers and is a lyrical masterpiece of destruction from the art team of Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, and Triona Farrell. But writer Chris Sebela knows the banter and relationship between Vita and Charlie is what keeps readers coming back as he keeps a couple loose ends open and changes the setting in the end. Arc 2 could be bigger better. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy
Conan the Barbarian #1 (Marvel)– Wow, this was awesome. Jason Aaron, Mahmud Asrar, and Matt Wilson create an epic (and bloody) first issue that spans the different eras of Conan from orphan to pit fighter and even king as he fights the Crimson Witch. The Witch knows his weaknesses at each era from attractive woman to fighting and respecting his dead foes as a king and is a good first arc baddie. On the technical side of things, Aaron’s dialogue has pulpy vigor, Asrar has adopted a new painted with a side of cartooning art style perfect for grand battles and adventures, and Wilson gives the book a palette like you’re finding a long forgotten scroll from Aquilonia. Marvel really pulled out all the stops for Conan, and it feels like a flagship book, not a cash grab. Overall: 10 Verdict: Buy
Books of Magic #3 (DC/Vertigo): I’ve been enjoying the Sandman Universe line quite a bit but Books of Magic remains my least favorite entry in the series. Kat Howard’s take on Tim Hunter’s coming of age is plodding in its pacing and utterly forgettable. I read the last two issues the day before I wrote this review and already I have a hard time remembering what it was about. I just don’t care about any of these characters. Tom Fowler’s art is competent but not my cup of tea. Overall this series continues to feel like an unnecessary retread of earlier material that was much better the first time around. Rating: 4. Recommendation: Pass
Heroes in Crisis #4 (DC): There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with decompressed storytelling in comics; it’s a more cinematic way to get your point across and good books have been produced using it. The problem is that it’s hard to tell the quality of any given story from its component parts. We’re almost halfway through Tom King and Clay Mann’s exploration of superheroes with PTSD and I still don’t know whether it’s good or bad, though I am tending towards the latter opinion. The biggest issue I have with this “event” is that it seems to be stretching out the mystery while remaining light on character. Mann’s art is a nice blend of Jim Lee and Jim Cheung and I do like how King uses the nine panel grid to present confessional style revelations into aspects of the interior life of some of DC’s biggest heroes (Black Canary fans may find it worth it for her page alone). Beyond that I find the writing vacillates between being infuriatingly opaque and painfully cliche. I may change my opinion when all is said and done, especially if there are valuable clues being revealed that will only be apparent in retrospect, but as of today I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone read this unless you enjoy wasting time. Rating: 5. Recommendation: Pass.
Hex Wives #3 (DC/Vertigo) Three issues in and Hex Wives, the story of a coven of witches held hostage in a world on fire by domestic servitude to their male adversaries, remains an intriguing read amidst the strong stable of titles cultivated by the recently relaunched Vertigo. The combination of supernatural thriller and sharp satire works well in the hand of writer Ben Blacker and artist Mika Andolfo. If there’s one problem I have with the series in general its the pacing. Every installment thus far has built to a last page reveal but none of these cliffhangers has really paid out. This issue in particular feels like the story takes one step forward and two steps back. I think this is going to be a great series to read when it’s all collected in trade but I’m not too sure it works in single issues. Rating:6 Recommendation: Read.
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 (**).