Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 9/26
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.
X of Swords: Creation #1 (Marvel)- Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard take simmering plotlines from their X-Men and Excalibur titles and turn them onto a full boil in the first installment of the X of Swords crossover. The extra length allows for both table setting and dynamic action from artist Pepe Larraz. Hickman and Howard are juggling a huge cast, but still have time for pivotal character moments especially where Apocalypse is concerned. Maybe, he’s not as much of a gamer as he thought he was in Excalibur. Apocalypse’s family connection to Arakko makes them a tad more interesting than generic cool looking baddies a la Black Order, and Howard and Hickman make a smart story decision by countering them with the Summers family. Finally, X of Swords: Creation #1 is a successful example of genre fusion with Hickman, Howard, and Larraz crafting a science fantasy epic that just happens to have fan-favorite mutants as the stars with relationships established over a year of Dawn of X. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy
Autumnal #1 (Vault)– Autumnal #1 is excellent slow-burn, fish out of water horror from writer Daniel Kraus and artist Chris Shehan. Kat and Sybil are a mother and daughter who have been through some shit (Much of the first part of the comic is set in a principal’s office.), but they love each other deeply. In this comic, they ended up heading to idyllic New Hampshire from Chicago when Kat’s distant mother left her the house. Shehan and colorist Jason Wordie show both beauty and decay in this town while going for more realism in showing Kat and Sybil’s interactions. Kraus spends a lot of time establishing their relationship and personalities from Sybil’s IED and intelligence to Kat’s recovery from addiction and past as a musician before throwing them into the rural, ritual weirdness. I’ll follow these anti-Gilmore Girls duo into any nook, cranny, or autumn leaf in this series. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy
Wicked Things #5 (BOOM!)– John Allison and Max Sarin find great balance between Lottie trying to solve an elaborate series of casino robberies and her friend Claire actually interacting with the premise of the series aka trying to find out who framed her. Sarin’s gift for hilarious gestures and body language in Giant Days still translates to Wicked Things with Lottie’s reactions and general swaggering when she beats her probation-mate/ex-con Bulldog in chess. In its five issues, Wicked Things has gone down a lot of tangents from cellphone scams to Lottie being the tea/coffee girl at the police station, but they are infinitely amusing. I’m sad to see this one conclude next issue. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy
Dark Nights: Death Metal Speed Metal #1 (DC Comics) – An interesting comic that feels more a meta commentary to fans of Wally West than the story itself. There’s a lot of “righting the wrong” as Wally and Barry have it out as they’re on the run and it’s clear Wally is going to be a big part of whatever is to come but unless you’re really invested in the character(s) then the issue is a little… meh. As a chapter to the event, it’s fine and likely fills in gaps we won’t see elsewhere but it’s very much for the Wally West fans. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Dracula Motherf*cker (Image) We need hyper lurid vivid horror comics. We need badass feminist takes on the Dracula story. We need this gorgeous new book from Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson. Henderson, who you know from Squirrel Girl but hopefully don’t only know from Squirrel Girl, has a style that Is incredibly versitle with cinemascope panels, visionary monsters and period perfect styling and fashion. And everyone knows de Campi is the queen of grindhouse comics with emotional bite that tell stories you haven’t seen before. Did I mention this comic largely takes place in 1974? Absolutely loved this book.
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 (**).