Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/25

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.

Joe Hesh

Justice League #39 (DC)** This is it. Scott Snyder’s final issue of his JL run and finally after all the build up and all the agony battling the God Perpetua, the league finally… loses. This here was very interesting to me. We have a scenario where the heroes emphatically lose. Perpetua let the humans decide and out of fear they chose her over Earth’s protectors. The League is in utter disbelief until multiple God like beings (Highfather, Hera, Guardians, Phantom Stranger and The Spectre confirm the results. In fact it is only by their divine interference that the League even have their lives at the moment because Perpetua wanted them dead.
Aquaman notes that all things rise and fall with the tides and perhaps this time is not their’s to win. Perhaps this is it. Clark and Bruce and Barry cannot accept this and believe another way where Diana asks them to think is it worth it? Maybe if they try more it will be even worse. The people of Earth have spoken.To me this was interesting as it was very reminiscent of the plot of Batman: Last Knight on Earth where the heroes let it be up to the heroes and the people ended up turning and killing all the heroes brutally for their trust. Now since Snyder wrote both of these I can’t help but wonder if there is a link there.  It’s nice when time to time you have these demigods doubt their own and humanity’s intentions. It adds a layer of believability to them. It really beefed up the content of this story for me here.
As for art chores, the combined efforts of Jorge Jimenez and Daniel Sampiere and Juan Albarran really put forth some gorgeous art making the book flow wonderfully. I’m not sure who is jumping on the title as of next issue when Snyder hops off, but I would not mind at all if Jorge Jimenez stayed on. He just fits brilliantly.
Of course the issue ends in very ambiguous fashion with our heroes rushing into the unknown. Presumably to undo what has been done.
Now I think Snyder has done a really good job on the title and not since Grant Morrison has the League been so readable. That being said I welcome a new team. I’m excited to see where this goes next.
Score: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


X-Men #5 (Marvel)– This is a very Jonathan Hickman issue of X-Men as they send a special team of Synch, Darwin, and X-23 against the Children of the Vault, who live in a base that messes with time. The Children of the Vault remind of some previous Hickman concepts like the Builders, Alephs, and Black Swan. It’s cool on an abstract level, especially with the sleek art and colors from RB Silva and Marte Gracia, but I haven’t really latched on it yet. However, what saves this comic from being a total wash is the interactions between Logan and X-23, who is still Wolverine to him, and Cyclops’ reaction to his maybe not so smart decisions that may have endangered the whole Krakoa/resurrection protocols situation. Overall: 6.5 Verdict: Read

New Mutants #6 (Marvel)– Ed Brisson and Flaviano’s arc where Beak, Angel Salvadore, Boom Boom, Armor, Glob Herman, Maxime, and Manon deal with anti-mutant activists comes to a satisfactory close in New Mutants #6. The Bohem cartel are generic “gang banger” types and more straw men than well-developed villains, but they provide an opportunity for Boom Boom to get her rage out and Glob to show his restraint and honestly the first real character development for him in almost two decades. Also, the story contributes to growing tension between Krakoa and the human-run countries. But where the story really gets good and morally ambiguous is when Maxime and Manon manipulate Beak, Angel, and their family’s memories so they thought Beak’s parents died years ago instead of recently. This establishes Maxime and Manon as powerful, yet irresponsible wildcards in the world of mutants, and one that will bear consequences down the road. Finally, Flaviano and Carlos Lopez’s visuals are downright cathartic during the action scenes, and I especially enjoyed Lopez’s use of flat colors when Angel acid vomited on the men who threatened her and her family’s peaceful existence. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #1 (IDW)– Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics reprints the first two chapters of Stan Sakai’s seminal rabbit samurai series, Usagi Yojimbo. The story begins with a nearly silent duel between Miyamoto Usagi and a warthog warrior before going into flashback and showing his training with his lion sensei. Sakai is a master of using the montage to show passage of time in this comic as well as using grid to show a part of the story featuring pain or great effort like Usagi struggling to hit his sensei with a practice sword. He can do slapstick comedy too like Usagi’s sensei kicking a bunch of upstart students from another fencing school’s asses as they sprawl and splay across the page. After the color reprints, there is a black and white story introducing (presumably new readers like me) the complex world of Usagi Yojimbo with many factions and alliances, friends and foes. Overall: 9.0 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 (**).