Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/11
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 #71 (DC) **– There’s a nice contrast in art styles this time out between Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes, both of whom turn in borderline-breathtaking work, but Tom King’s script is —well, Tom King’s script, namely a jumbled mess that does nothing to gin up interest in the long-drawn-out, inevitable Batman/Bane confrontation. Is it time for issue 100 yet? This series could dearly use some new blood. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Look at the art
High Level #4 (DC/Vertigo) **- Another fun and reasonably topical twist on old sci-fi tropes from Rob Sheridan, Barnaby Bagenda, and Amancay Nahuelpan, this one turning several cliches of the “Vegas of the Future” scenario on their head. A brisk, smartly-constructed read with nice characterization and superb art. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
American Carnage #7 (DC/Vertigo) **- Yet another really solid installment from Bryan Hill and Leandro Fernandez that balances forward plot momentum with moody, stylish art almost perfectly. Our protagonist is getting in pretty deep here, and may not have any real allies among the “very fine people on both sides.” Seriously compelling stuff. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Daredevil #5 (Marvel) **- If downward spirals are your thing, then you’ll love this issue, but damn, Matt Murdock’s been on a personal downward spiral for, like, three decades or so now, and there’s never any sign of a “rock bottom,” is there? All of which is me saying that Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetoo really aren’t doing anything new here, even if the art is admittedly quite nice. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Planet of the Nerds #2 (Ahoy!)– Jocks from the 80s find themselves in the middle of 2019 comic con in this funny, satirical time travel series by Paul Constant and Alan Robinson. The book opens with the jock Chad punching a copyright friendly Deadpool cosplayer and then calling him a homophobic slur, which leads to militarized police dropping in and a fruitless search for a payphone. Robinson has a MAD magazine sensibility to his artwork while Constant’s writing is equal parts nostalgic and skewering of the casual homophobia and toxic masculinity in 80s comedies. The real highlight of the book is the backup by Constant and Randy Elliott where Drew (Who geeks out all over Miles Morales in the main story.) struggles with being forced to conform to the football scholarship stereotype because he is black when he wants to go to an academic college. There’s also great commentary on black superheroes in the late Bronze Age, and the backup goes a long way to making Drew the most compelling character in Planet of the Nerds’ cast. Overall:8 Verdict: Buy
Star Wars TIE Fighter #2 (Marvel)– I definitely couldn’t pass up a Star Wars comic told from the “bad guys'” point of view. The Shadow Wing TIE Fighter squadron have been fired on by their own troops, and it’s not as simple as Rebels pretending to be Imperials. After a thrilling dog fight sequence drawn by Roge Antonio, writer Jody Houser settles into the grey areas of war and reveals the series’ antagonist, an Imperial Admiral, who is tired of laying his life on the line for the Empire and wants to make a buck with his own mining operation. But Shadow Wing isn’t sellouts, and their daring escape has only begun. Even if I haven’t 100% connected with the characters yet, Houser and Antonio provide plenty of action beats and moral ambiguity to make this worth a read for Star Wars fan who want to see things from “a certain point of view”. Joshua Cassara draws the backup focusing on party boy turned fighter pilot Lyttan chatting with his brother that shows the effect of the Galactic Civil War on soldiers and their families. Plus there are medical frigate jokes! Overall: 7.3 Verdict: Read
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Lando Calrissian #1 (Marvel) In this one shot, we find Lando as he brokers deals with the different factions in Cloud City, with Lobot not far behind. Everything seems peachy keen as his role as Baron Administrator has Lando dealing with more politics than he ever expected. As his role comes with a caveat, having to retrieve the person he replaces, who has ties to a local gangster. By issue’s end, the gangs reach into slavery is a bridge too far for Lando, as his consciousness gets the best of him. Overall: 9.8 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 (**).