Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/1
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.
Doomsday Clock #10 (DC)– Doomsday Clock was never gonna be seminal/taught in college courses good like Watchmen, but it is mainstream comic book crossover good a la Crisis on Infinite Earths or even Hickman’s work. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank use the character of Dr. Manhattan to define the DC Universe and re-establish its history. One of DC’s biggest assets compared to other companies is they created the first superhero, Superman, and Johns and Frank use this story to show he’s integral to the company’s “real word” and in-universe timeline. Johns might not be a Morrison and Moore, but his takes on JSA and Legion of Superheroes are warm, charming utopian visions. Frank’s attention to craft continues to be as meticulous as ever, and he is truly in the Neal Adams school of photorealism. Brad Anderson’s colors are seriously underrated, and I love the flashing reds and blues when story with a story character, Carter, is busted by the cops for vagrancy. Sadly, the story within a story is where Doomsday Clock’s limitations come alive as it doesn’t resonate or connect to the main narrative as well as the clever Black Freighter sequences. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy
Superman Leviathan Special (DC)– This was a lot to take in. The Clark Kent being kidnapped part was pretty cliche, but I like Brian Michael Bendis bringing back Leone and Red Cloud from the “Invisible Mafia” arc of Action Comics and showing how they’llflourish in this new age of Leviathan. It’s still a bunch of setup. However, what made this comic actually worth picking up were the Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins Lois Lane story and (especially) Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber Jimmy Olsen story that is both utterly funny, surreal, and has clear storytelling. Fraction and Lieber do a great job of bring that Silver Age Weisinger-era weirdness to 2019, and I can’t wait to see them wreak havoc on the DC Universe. Overall: 7.8 Verdict: Read
Batman Last Knight on Earth #1 (DC/Black Label) Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are back together on one last Batman story that is part psychological thriller and part dystopia with a side of a road story as he and the Joker head go on their journey. Capullo fantastically portrays the confusion of the first half of the story, which is a riff on the fan theory that Batman is in Arkham Asylum and his doctors are villains before opening up to a wider, post-apocalyptic setting at the story progresses. And he and Snyder nail the setting, which is basically what the world would be like if there were no hope left in the DC Universe, and where Wonder Woman would rather retreat to Hades than fight. This first issue does a good job of introducing insanely high stakes and creating an unlikely rapport between Batman and the Joker head. Plus the scenes with Alfred are overflowing with feels. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy
Detective Comics Annual #2 (DC) **– I don’t think yet another chapter in the “Batman : Year Two” and “Batman : Full Circle” storyline was necessarily on anyone’s radar screen — and now that it’s here, Peter J. Tomasi and Travis Moore show why that was the case. The art’s fine, and the old-school “Black Casebook” plot contrivance (shades of ‘Untold Tales Of The Batman”) is cool, but for a story that looked like it was gonna be a stand-alone — and should have been — ending things on an ambiguous note is pretty well inexcusable. As is the lazily-churned-out script in general. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Immortal Hulk #18 (Marvel) **- Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are delivering a product every bit as good as the scuttlebutt around it would indicate, and with the mystery of what the hell Betty Banner has transformed into hitting at the very same time her ex’smonstrous alter-ego is tangling with a new version of The Abomination, everything is coming together very nicely indeed. Believe the hype! Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
The Wild Storm #23 (DC/WildStorm) **– If this penultimate issue is anything to go by, we can expect a pretty grand finale indeed from Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt next month (barring delays). The stakes don’t get much higher than this, and every chess piece is on the board in exactly the right spot. Killer art, too — as usual. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Daredevil #6 (Marvel) **- I’ve been less impressed with this run that most apparently have, and this new “major” storyline introducing Matt Murdock’s temporary replacement as Daredevil sure feels pretty contrived and uninspired on the part of writer ChipZdarsky.. Fill-in artist Lalit Kumar Sharma doesn’t exactly knock it out of the park, either — hell, this work barely rates as a “blooper” down the third base line, it’s so standard-issue and unremarkable. I think I’ve had enough of this book, a half-year “sample” is enough to convince me that I won’t be missing much when I drop this one from the pull. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Batman Last Knight on Earth #1 (DC/ Black Label)** Well on the sophomore offering of this new imprint the Bat Gods (Snyder & Capullo) have one last Bat gift to bestow upon us. The art is superb here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Greg Capullo deliver crisper lines. Also Snyder seems reenergized from the fiasco that was Batman: Metal. The misdirection of the first two chapters was brilliant and so well done. The part when Bruce went to Crime Alley and that dead looking boy was on his knees decomposing in an iconic homage to Bruce’s stance when his parents died was genious. I loved the desert scenes and the Mad Max feel was fantastic. Seeing how the people of the world chose doom and tore apart the heroes was great too. Wonder Woman having to retreat was heartbreaking but shows the level of danger here. The colors were beautiful and I’m curious as to who Omega really is because Darkseid was shown beheaded. All things said it was a fantastic first issue. I cannot wait for part duex. Overall: 9.5 Verdict: 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 (**).