Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 11/30
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.
Girl On Film (BOOM!/Archaia)– Shade the Changing Girl and Female Furies writer Cecil Castellucci tells her winding journey to becoming an artist in Girl on Film with artists Vicky Leta, Melissa Duffy, V. Gagon, and Jon Berg. Castellucci’s passion for the art of filmmaking comes through, and the framing sequences with her scientist father expand upon the fragility of memory in creating a memoir while not undermining the events of the story. Girl on Film has great energy and honesty as Cecil navigates New York’s Performing Arts High School, the city’s art and film scene, and Montreal’s general art scene. There are some fun celebrity cameos, but Castellucci weaves them into the story so they don’t seem like namedropping or grandstanding. In fact, Girl On Film comes across as a profoundly humble work with Cecil coming to terms with her lack of technical filmmaking skills and finding new ways to tell stories whether that’s in various bands, young adult novels, and finally, comics. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy
Black Canary Ignite (DC/Zoom)– Black Canary Ignite is a middle grade friendly-friendly fusion of Dinah Lance’s superhero origin and her most recent rock star vigilante solo series from writer Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) and artist Cara McGee (Dodge City). McGee’s art is adorable and expressive plus she dials up the intensity any time Dinah uses her abilities especially early on when she has no idea what she’s doing. In the early going, Cabot’s writing betrays her inexperience in the comics medium as she describes what is shown in McGee’s art, but she adds some cute wrinkles like Wildcat being Dinah’s P.E. coach and some sassy one-liners. She and McGee are at their finest when focusing on the mother/daughter dynamic between Black Canaries, past and present. Dinah’s first villain is a little weak, but Black Canary Ignite’s slice of life elements are enjoyable. This is one worth skipping for adults and older teens, but is worth a shot for tween and younger readers as well as Black Canary fans hoping for solo content. Overall: 6 Verdict: Pass (I checked out a copy from my local public library.)
Conan 2099 #1 (Marvel)– Gerry Duggan and Roge Antonio turn in the equivalent of a classic Conan with some technological accoutrements (Like flying cars) in Conan 2099 #1. All the tropes are here: Conan struggling with being a good ruler, a magical antagonist, and him turning to wandering once again with the help of a Nova corps helmet. The story doesn’t really place Conan in the context of the 2099 world beyond his kingdom having climate change issues, but Duggan and Antonio nail the fighting, hiding, and heroism parts. The ending is especially heroic and worth reading the whole comic for. Overall: 7.8 Verdict: Read
Killadelphia #1 (Image) Killadelphia #1 has some cool ideas like connecting vampirism to systemic injustices and John Adams bringing yellow fever back from the Carribbean, but the whole comic feels disjointed. Writer Rodney Barnes jumps from the current detective Sangster to his father and then some letters and tries to connect these two eras and create an atmosphere of tension and class inequity, but fails at making me connect with the characters or even establishing a decent mystery or hook. However, Jason Shawn Alexander and Luis NCT’s visuals are outstanding and remind me of Kyle Baker almost painterly style on Truth: Red, White, and Blue. Alexander’s layout choices are like fragments of memory and work with Barnes’ storytelling style. Eventually, this might be coherent in trade paperback format, but it fails the first issue hook test. Overall: 5.5 Verdict: Pass
Punisher 2099 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short, a similar story to Frank Castle in that tragedy propels him to become a hero but add a dash of Black Mirror and you have this story which honestly feels already outdated and not compelling. Overall: 4.7 Recommendation: Borrow
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 (**).