Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 7/25

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. 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

Batman #95 (DC) Wow. The war is officially ON. Joker has all of Bruce Wayne’s money and all his toys, but he’s playing for keeps. Clearly he knows Bruce is Batman but doesn’t want to tip his hand yet. We’ve never seen Batman at a complete disadvantage like this before. I got to say it is FUN. Not to mention the Joker buying the theater in Crime Alley where the Wayne’s were murdered is just evil. No quick fix for this jam and I’m really enjoying the inclusion of Punchline. She is getting some good scream time and not a Harley clone. The art by Jorge Jiminez is gorgeous and spectacularly crisp. He’s going to be a superstar for sure. We leave Batman in quite a precarious position at the end and I can not wait to see where it goes. First event in a long time that has already lived up to the hype. Overall: 9.8  Verdict: BUY


Bliss #1 (Image Comics) – An intriguing start which looks to explore addiction, crime, and what we’d do for our children. It’s visually impressive with a world that’s slightly different but at the same time familiar. The story’s framing is interesting in that it seems to defend the actions of one of the main characters in a trial. This is one that has you stopping to think a lot about it’s themes and world and delivers more than enough to get you to want to come back and explore more. Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy


X-Men/Fantastic Four #4 (Marvel)– Of course, the battle between the X-Men and Fantastic Four over Franklin Richards wanting to be a part of Krakoa is chalked up to one big misunderstanding, and they end up fighting against Dr. Doom. And for a minute, Chip Zdarsky and the Dodsons indulge in fun, simple superheroics with epic moments like Nightcrawler teleporting across panels to take out Latviathans, and Kitty Pryde and Franklin Richards sharing an empowering moment. The semi-interesting stuff comes in the clean-up where Xavier and Magneto show how far they’ll go to protect Krakoa and the mutant nation. The Illuminati are no more; it’s all about the mutants. Having Xavier and Magneto work in concert instead of being ideologically opposed is one of the best concepts that Hickman has introduced to the X-line, and Zdarsky does a nice riff of it in X-Men/FF #4 even if most of the book/miniseries conclusion is paint by numbers. Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

Die #12 (Image)– I don’t know if it’s my unfamiliarity with table top RPGs or what, but Die is starting to become one of my least favorite Kieron Gillen comics although Stephanie Hans’ art is still glorious and horrific as she skillfully riffs and leaps from genre to genre. Die #12 is about a big, fantasy war and is trying to subvert the usual tropes, but it ends up reading like a rulebook than a narrative. The bits with Angela, Matt, and Chuck are a bit more compelling as Angela is confronted by the shade of her daughter and has to figure out what to do with this revelation within the rules of Die. I was pretty bored with this issue, but then Gillen and Hans trot out yet another famous author to spice up the narrative. I don’t have as deep a connection with HG Wells as with J.R.R. Tolkien, but hopefully, his appearance will make the story more interesting and less clinical a la Tolkien’s appearance in Die’s first arc. Overall: 5.8 Verdict: Pass

Decorum #3 (Image)Decorum #3 is less metaphysical and more Morley finally taking her shower-resistant, shorts and noodles obsessed ward Neha Noori Sood to the Sister of Man assassin school. Jonathan Hickman’s dialogue informs character as Morley sees small talk and niceties as a kind of dance to keep the social contract alive while the Sister of Man headmistress uses her words for verbal abuse and making sure only the most hardened of sociopaths join her school. Mike Huddleston channels Ralph Steadman during her moments of beration using sketchy sparse linework before cutting to digital paintings of this more murderous Themiscyra complete with a statue of Zeus popping out of Athena’s head in a reversal of the famous myth. The first two issues of Decorum have been filled with disparate world-building plus the data pages that Hickman loves. On the other hand, Decorum #3 advance the plot of our two leads in a middle chapter that made them even more endearing. Overall: 8.3 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 (**).