Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 9/19
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.
Iron Man #1 (Marvel)– Color me interested in an Iron Man comic for the first time since Matt Fraction left the title. Christopher Cantwell and Cafu craft a comic that is both vintage and forward-thinking with Tony Stark leaving the Stark Unlimited, selling his penthouse, moving to New York, and street racing and fighting Silver Age villains with Hellcat in tow. Cantwell cleverly uses social media as a snarky Greek chorus to dog all of Tony’s moves in this comic as he tries to be humble and reinvent himself, but ends up falling back on his old tricks. With the help of Hellcat’s snark and take no bullshit attitude, Cantwell pushes back on Tony’s privilege and usually way of doing things. We’ll see if he ends up breaking the mold with his run. Finally, Cafu’s visuals makes everything look sleek and old school like a classic car show and makes Alex Ross’ redesign/throwback design look gorgeous in action. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy.
Overwatch-Tracer: London Calling #1 (Dark Horse)– I’ve played Overwatch once, but this digital comic from writer Mariko Tamaki and artists Babs Tarr, Heather Danforth, and Hunter Clark is more punk rock than video game with a simple, yet charming tale of human/robot conflict. With Overwatch disbanded, Tracer is getting restless stopping petty crime in England having noodles with her girlfriend. However, Tamaki lobs an obstacle in the forms of the Omnics, who are in conflict with humanity, but they both like old punk bands? Tarr’s art brings maximum cuteness for the smooching and finding common ground in tunes while Clark sets up her nicely for the zippy fast action scenes that are capture the speed of the multiplayer video game. But more cartooning. Tracer London Calling isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a charming licensed comic with top-notch visuals. Overall: 7.8 Verdict: Read
Excalibur #12 (Marvel)– Tini Howard does some big moves on the ol’ plot board, and Marcus To gets to draw better versions of characters envisioned by Rob Liefeld, namely, the Externals in this issue of Excalibur. Most of the focus is on Apocalypse and his coven and the sacrifices they make while Rogue and Gambit have to deal with the consequences. Betsy Braddock is also out here trying to prove that she is the real Captain Britain to Saturnyne, and yes, Excalibur #12 has a lot of plots. But mostly it’s nice to see Apocalypse go back to his own ways, albeit, in a more magical/paving the way for a big crossover event way. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Batman #99 (DC Comics) – The best issue of the “Joker War” so far as Batman finally assembles his crew to take things on. It’s a bit slow as far as action but it’s that key moment when Batman gets his head out of his ass building off last issues “get up Rock” moment. It’s a piece of the bigger puzzle but a vast improvement on an event that has been relatively underwhelming. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Hellions #4 (Marvel) – While it’s gotten away from the concept of restorative justice, this is still one of my favorite two X-books right now. The series has nailed a nice action/horror vibe to it but also underneath the action there’s some great concepts of society’s abuse of “criminals” and their being exploited. It’s surface might be more of the classic X-Men but it also has the heart of exploring real world issues underneath the kick-ass visuals and fun dialogue. Overall Rating: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy
Seven Secrets #2 (BOOM! Studios) -The second issue of the series is an interesting one as it kind of feels like a first issue. While the debut focused on Caspar’s parents, this issue now shifts things to Caspar. It’s a very different start of a comic and very unexpected as you’d expect the second issue to really pick up from the action of the first issue. The playing with that expectation makes this an intriguing series just for that but it’s a good story, interesting characters and world, and great art… all of that helps too. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Slaughterhouse-Five (BOOM! Studios/Archaia) – I’m not much of a prose reader by Kurt Vonnegut is a writer who I have read multiple of his books and enjoyed them all. Sadly, it’s been over 20 years since I’ve done that… so I don’t remember this one at all beyond the war and time travel. How it compares to the classic book, I couldn’t say, but I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation which is full of the humor I remember and the interesting anti-war message. Add is some great visuals which adds to the laughs, it’s a solid read no matter how close they got to the original material. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: 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 (**).