Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/9
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.
Green Arrow 48, 49, 50 (DC) I may have fallen behind in my Green Arrow reading even though he and Black Canary are two of my all time favorite heroes and I’ve been a fan of writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing since the phenomenal Joyride. But boy do these final issues stick the landing. If you have any love for Ollie and Dinah, even if you haven’t kept up with them, you need to read these final issues. It also introduces Jayce Riot, a nonbinary Socialist Radical doing their own version of Direct Action. They’re exactly whats needed in a Green Arrow title. Here’s to Hard Traveling Heroes of 2019. Recommendation: Buy
Morning in America #1 (Oni)– The new 80s period piece/creator owned series from Mags Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre follows the escapades of the Sick Sisters, a gang of high school girls who don’t take shit from anyone, sell cigarettes in the parking lot, graphically describe oral sex, and also look out for their fellow school mates when mysterious disappearances keep piling up. This first issue is more of a prelude/introduction to the group of girls, one of their families, and the general dead end vibe of Tucker circa 1983 and just scratches the surface of the mystery hook. It’s also an opportunity for Aguirre to draw big hair, loud fashion, and her larger than life art style is a great fit for the melodrama of high school. These are characters I want to spend more time with even though I’m not super invested in the mystery yet. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Deadly Class #37 (Image)– You have to wade through over half a comic of misogyny, a trans panic scene, and general douchebaggery from the Yakuza who dress like the mutant gang from Dark Knight Returns to get to the good stuff. But, boy, do Rick Remender, Wes Craig, and Jordan Boyd deliver on the good stuff with a motorcycle chase straight out of Akira and a cathartic, cinematic ending straight out of Kill Bill. (Volume 1 to be precise.) Craig arranges the page like the slashes of Saya’s family’s katana in a suspenseful chase scene. However, you have to put up with page after page of yakuza orgy and Quan sniveling. Ugh, and also yes. Overall: 6 Verdict: Read because they don’t do motorcycle chases like that any more.
Die #4 (Image)– Die #4 is definitely a palate cleanser after the previous issue where Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans riffed Anxiety of Influence-style on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and their connection to World War I and sold me on the series. But it’s a good one. It introduces a new city that basically worships Sol and is an opportunity for jokes about tavern scenes in RPGs, for character backstories, and feelings. Everyone (Even fantasy novelist douchebag Chuck) gets a moment of insight into their character through “tales”, which read like if the Canterbury Tales got straight to the fucking point for once. Angela, who is Sol’s sister and has been a rule of cool cyberpunk in fantasy setting lady up to this point, gets quite the heartbreaking one. And I’m excited for the arc conclusion after this one ends as Gillen and Hans declare war on conventional fantasy. Now, I understand why Ash is dictator class and Hans helps out with the stern gazes and white hair. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy
Batman #66 (DC)** – Probably the best installment of the “Knightmares” storyline to date, which may sound like damning with faint praise, but this was actually really good stuff for a change. Tom King may not have the greatest handle on the characterization of Batman/Bruce Wayne, but he does a terrific job writing The Question and Catwoman, and Jorge Fornes’ Mazzuchelli-inspired art is just plain breathtaking. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Female Furies #2 (DC)** – The Fourth World as feminist parable continues to be a premise that yields exciting and unexpected results, as writer Cecil Castellucci continues to ramp up the agonies and indignities inflicted upon her central protagonist, Aurelie, who finds herself in the same position too many abused women do in the real world — with no allies or friends whatsoever. Aritst Adriana Melo may just be the star of the show here, though, delivering one eyeball-grabbing Perez homage after another in a visual tour de force. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
The Green Lantern #5 (DC) **– A series that has featured some up-and-down scripting from Grant Morrison hits another “down” note in this atrociously dull installment, but there’s a nice bit of sleight-of-hand revealed towards the end that ALMOST makes the uninspired drivel that came before it worthwhile, and the cliffhanger, while telegraphed a couple of pages previously, is still highly effective. Liam Sharp’s more than doing his part, though, I must admit, turning in some of the very best pages of his career, rich in detail, intricacy, and sheer creativity. Overall: 5 Recommendation. Read — or, more precisely, look at.
The Dreaming #7 (DC/Vertigo) – I didn’t realize how much I’d missed Rose Walker until this, her first appearance in far too long. Now 50, what she’s been up to in the intervening years between the end of “The Sandman” and now makes for the most compelling story Simon Spurrier has told yet in this series, and guest artist Abigail Larson illustrates the wistful proceedings in a moody, ethereal, and atmospheric style that’s just straight-up perfect for the tone and tenor of the material. Fall in love with one of the most beloved characters in the fantasy genre all over again in this truly beautiful comic. Overall: 10 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 (**).