Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 7/18

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Joe Hesh

Once and Future #9 (BOOM Studios)** Kieron Gillian and Dan Mora do it again. They make that dreaded F word present in comics. Fun. This book is just straight smashing from first panel to last. Duncan and Gran are up to their arse in mythical BS but they keep their cool the whole ordeal. This book is not just a joy to read but it is comic porn to look at. The pacing and action are just spectacular. Not to mention the coloring by Tamra BonvillIain (such a BA name) is breathtakingly vivid and the use of pinks and pastels make this book pop. Why isn’t this on Netflix now? I seriously hope this goes more than twelve issues because I can’t get enough of this book. Overall: 9.5 Verdict: Buy

Amazing Spider-Man #44 (Marvel)** Now this is more like it! Me likey. Finally Nick Spencer after months and months of roommate hijinx and tablet chasing whoohah gives us something with menace. Kindred makes the move in total Freddy Krueger mode goes right at Peter in his sleep. Meanwhile the Sin Eater may or may not be back. Not sure as this kind of all could have been a whole dream issue. What isn’t a dream is that Peter is in all kinds of deep spider defecation here. It is about time. The stakes are upped and Peter needs to get his webbing on point. As we know this storyline ties into something bigger. ASM 850 anyone? So it would not be surprising if we are not heading for a large family affair with the Osborn clan and Kindred is really Harry Osborn but maybe not the Harry we know. We just have to wait and see Web heads! Overall: 9  Verdict: Buy

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 (DC)** Encore Encore! That’s what I was saying after the closing pages of issue 1. This issue though, not so much. Sure the art is phenomenal (it is Capullo after all) but it’s just a touch less inspired. Not sure, just this issue doesn’t have the same kick as usual. The talking heads don’t really help matters much as not much goes on except for the mega twist which in all honesty felt like.. meh. I’m really hoping my favorite Bat Duo of all time can pull out of this one. It has so much potential. The visuals alone are other worldly just this issue felt like it was holding back for what’s to come. I hope that’s the case. We don’t need any more interludes. We want face melting solos from here out. Hope we get it next. Same Mega Bat time. Same Mega Bat channel. Overall: 7  Verdict: Read

DCeased: Hope at World’s End #5 (DC DIGITAL) The new Trinity (Jon, Damian, & Cassie) head on out to brave the undead to find Damian’s mother: Talia Al Ghul in a rescue mission. This issue was incredibly well rounded for a comic that is so quickly paced. I think the digital format lends itself great to this story. We get comedy with Damian stealing the Invisible Jet and some nice touching beats with him dealing with his father’s sudden loss (I know the feeling) and some really crisp art from Marco Failla. So far Tom Taylor has really done well with this DCeased franchise. It even exceeds Marvel Zombies for my tastes. Although the issue was far too quick it left me with a hunger for more. Really digging it. Overall: 8.5   Verdict: Read

Venom #26 (Marvel)** On this episode of Donny Cates can’t lose, Donny does it again. Never ever has Venom ever been this good. This run is so stellar. I loved the twist The Maker (Evil Reed from the Ultimate universe) and the dynamic between Dylan and Eddie is fantastic. Eddie is fast becoming one of the big heroes in the 616 and I LOVE it. Knull is coming this December and everyone is effed. Between this and Thor, Donny Cates is building himself one super spectacular super nova mega run. The art in this issue is great. Not that Bagley isn’t fantastic himself but I don’t feel his style adapts to this book well. Iban Coello and Juan Gedeon really kicked it here. The pages were so kinetic it almost felt like reading Manga. As for Virus, color me intrigued but I need to see more. To the symbiotes, and beyond!
Overall: 9.7  Verdict: Buy


Giant Size X-Men: Magneto #1 (Marvel)– Jonathan Hickman, Ramon Perez, and David Curiel compose a tale of the power elite of Krakoa as Magneto goes on a journey to procure an island for Emma Frost to, I guess, do her own thing away from prying eyes. The trouble is that it’s owned by Namor. What follows is an underwater adventure team-up meets a conference of two powerful and arrogant kings. Perez and Curiel go widescreen with the visuals throughout the issue showing Magneto’s vast power, and that he can basically get and do whateve rhe wants. This story happens on the thin line between brute force and diplomacy as Hickman writes Magneto differently when he interacts with mutants versus the Atlanteans that have disappeared some of Namor’s explorers. It shows how willing he is to go in protecting mutantkind. Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1 isn’t my favorite of these one-shots and Perez’s work isn’t as interesting or breathtaking as Russell Dauterman or Alan Davis on previous issues in the series, but it has the right blend of quiet character moments and big spectacle while also having an impact on the Krakoan status quo, especially in regards to Emma Frost. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Once and Future #9 (BOOM!)– Duncan and Bridgette throw down against Beowulf in Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain’s Once and Future #9. With scintillating oranges and pinks, not to mention the pyre-like flames that surround the Geatish warrior, Bonvillain ups the ante in her color palette to go with the epic scale of Mora’s art. Throw in bits of cheeky humor from Gillen, and the battle is quite a tasty dish. And there’s more as Gillen pulls back the curtain and shows this new take on Merlin playing the puppet master of the myth cycle juxtaposed with Bridgette back at the old folks’ home. Once and Future is a comic that’s always moving from one adventure and scheme to another and issue nine is no exception with pages interspersed between so Duncan, Bridgette, and in a fleeting appearance, Rose can (Literally in Duncan’s case) rest, reflect, crack a joke, and get ready to fight the next legendary/mythical baddie. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy


Fantastic Four #21 (Marvel) – A tie-in to Empyre, it’s an ok issue that has Spider-Man and Wolverine reliving their FF days as a threat emerges. It’s an issue that’s all set up but has its moments of entertainment. Overall: 7.0 Verdict: Read

Transformers ’84: Secrets & Lies #1 (IDW Publishing) – It’s fun to head back to the 1984 version of the Transformers and this issue sets up a lot in the battle for Cybertron and moments before the departure that leads to Earth. There’s a lot there for fans of the series and definitely captures the feel of the old school comics. Overall: 7.75 Verdict: Read

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 (IDW Publishing) – Blew away my expectations and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. A really solid setup and the crazy action art you’d expect from Rob Liefeld. It’s just an entertaining comic in a summer blockbuster sort of way. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Venom #26 (Marvel) – The next arc for Venom is here and it heads in a direction I’m wasn’t expecting at all. This series is going to be key for all the Knull stuff coming so it’s one to keep your eyes on. A spot that should be a decent jumping-on point. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Strange Adventures #3 (DC Comics) – Another solid issue for this series that mixes a detective story with that of political/public relations. It’s intriguing to see where each issue goes and this one shows there are some games being played when it comes to public perception. Overall: 8.5 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 (**).