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Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 08/07/2021

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.


Logan

Transformers: King Grimlock #1 (IDW)– I didn’t know about this character until today, but Steve Orlando and Augustin Padilla helped me fall in love with the Dinobot leader, Grimlock, in their new comic, Transformers: King Grimlock #1. This comic sets up the personality and vast abiltiies of Grimlock as well as casting him in a dimension that is more fantasy than sci-fi as some humans called Menonians accidentally magically summon him when they were actually trying to get Optimus Prime to help them out. Orlando gives Grimlock a distinct manner of speaking and a nasty disposition a la the Hulk while Padilla cuts him loose in colorful (Thanks to colorist Jeremy Colwell!), large scale battle sequences including an epic double page spread where he transforms into his T-Rex form for the first time. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the character like me, Transformers: King Grimlock #1 has plenty of humor, giant robots breaking shit, and attitude and is worth a read. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Snelson #1 (Ahoy)– Paul Constant and Fred Harper swim in the very muddy (and controversial) waters of cancel culture, political correctness, and the heat death of comedy in Snelson #1. The comic follows Brooklyn comedian, Snelson, who was “cancelled” for sleeping with a 17 year old when he was 25 so he has tour with a Black, trans, and Jewish vegan comedian to get bookings even in red states like North Carolina and Tennessee. (My home state definitely takes a beating in this one.) Harper’s art does an excellent job showing how repulsive Snelson is using facial expressions and taking a Peter Bagge (He did a variant cover for the issue!) approach to character design. He looks just as gross hooking up with a fan as he does making jokes about proctology and Gwyneth Paltrow (Yikes!) The first 4/5 or so of the comic has a loose structure of comedy sets and road life, but Constant tightens up the plotting in the last few pages with a monologue that combines every shitty white cis male comedian in the past decade in one stream of venom. I feel like I need a shower after spending time with someone like Snelson, but looking forward to seeing his downfall in future issues. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read

The Me You Love in the Dark #1 (Image)– A ghost, haunted house, and art block all collide in The Me You Love in the Dark #1 by Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, and Jean-Francois Bealieu. Corona and Bealieu craft haunting visuals with wispy lines and watery blacks and greys as our protagonist, Ro, struggles with trying to making art in a big Goth-y house in the middle of nowhere. This comic is mostly a mood-piece, but Young and Jorge Corona explore the connection between creativity and one’s current status in life with Ro’s friend Atti being a voice of reason over the phone and reminding her that no painting equals no money. This is a beautiful, poetic read perfect for a rainy day. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Heavy #7 (Vault)– Continuing into its second arc, Heavy continues to be a fucked up saga of metaphysics, theology, attempts at a throuple, and killing god from Max Bemis, Eryk Donovan, and Cris Peter. Bemis splits up his cast by gender with Slim and Bill hanging out on a mission to a lobotomized, not-Hell-place where the remnants of the angels hang out, and Sharon and Kyle have some bonding time featuring pink vaginal energy, future selves, and karma herself. This series is like Preacher’s chaotic, bisexual little sibling, and Donovan and Peter continue to excel with over the top visuals while Bemis keeps the jokes and relationship drama coming along with loads of exposition. Every time, I think Heavy’s world-building is going to collapse, Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan pull a character moment out of their asses and keep me on the (not so) straight and narrow path of this comic. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

Hellions #14 (Marvel)- Zeb Wells tugs on a dangling plot thread from “X of Swords” (Amenth killing members of Hellions, and then coming back weird.), and he and Roge Antonio turn their focus away from Hellions’ wacky cast of misfits to the less interesting Locus Vile. Hellions #14 has plenty of action, and Sinister backstabbing, but it’s less memorable than previous issues of the series. It has a decent reveal when Tarn the Uncaring shows the Hellions that Sinister left them for the dead back in “X of Swords”, but this just turns into a generic fight scene. Sinister is back in chaos mode, which is fun, but this issue was really more of a table setter with a few interesting moments from time to time. (For example, Nanny in full rage mode.) Overall: 7.3 Verdict: Read

X-Men #2 (Marvel)– Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia have the X-Men in big time superhero mode for the brunt of X-Men #2 while showing Krakoa crumble in interludes that undercut the team defeating a threat that used to take a crossover in a single floppy. (i.e. The Annihilation Wave.) Visually, Larraz and Gracia continue to be in blockbuster mode with big group shots of the team going into action and using their abilities in a complementary abilities. It’s almost like that old video game X-Men Legends out there as Duggan and Larraz showcase different X-Men creating special team-up moves to protect the denizens of Kansas like Jean Grey and Polaris using telepathy and magnetism to create an MRI on the fly. X-Men isn’t anything fancy: superheroes kicking ass and sometimes having feelings while conspiracies pile up in the background, and that’s cool. Not everything has to be wheels within wheels. Overall: 8.6 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 (**).

Almost American