Author Archives: Alex K Cossa

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/20

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Ryan C

Batman #47 (DC Comics)** – Thank God this story arc is over. Tom King and Tony S. Daniel really hit rock bottom with this Batman/Booster Gold team-up that feels like exactly what it is — a lame stop-gap measure between the last “major” storyline and the forthcoming Bat/Cat wedding. The whole “alternate timeline” is undone on the last couple pages, as you knew it would be, but done in such a rushed and sloppy way that it very nearly makes no sense. A truly embarrassing effort all the way around. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass

A Walk Through Hell #1 (Aftershock)** – I’m all for first issues that don’t give too much away and leave you wanting more, but the outline of what’s happening in Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka’s new series is so oblique that it’s difficult to even discern what the hell the book is about. Something scares some SWAT cops so bad that they’d rather kill themselves than face it, some terrifying shit of some sort goes down at a shopping mall, and some detectives are looking into all of it. Uhhmmm — okay. Nice art, though. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

The Wicked + The Divine #36 (Image)** – By and large I still enjoy this series, but this one of those issues where Kieron Gillen’s “too cool for school” style gets the better of him : the first story is basically an exercise in repetitive self-indulgence that advances the plot very little, while the second story does, in fact, advance the plot, but does so with three pages of nothing but an all-red color backdrop.Jamie McKelvie, at least, knocks it out of the park, but we’re spoiled and have come to expect no less from him. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Dry County #3 (Image)** – Another strong issue in Rich Tommaso’s 1990s noir, as protagonist Lou Rossi’s entirely unofficial missing-person “investigation” kicks into another gear. Inventive, atmospheric, and supremely well-drawn, this book single-handedly restored my faith in my Wednesday comic shop visits after an otherwise-rough week. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Batman #47 (DC Comics) – Tom King and Tony Daniel’s current arc of Batman wildly shifted in tone from grim dark to comedic, and issue 47 definitely leans on the dark side with Bruce Wayne wielding an assault rifle for most of the book. It’s not a great Batman story and doesn’t adequately explore the “what if” premise of Thomas and Martha Wayne dying, but is a sneaky good Booster Gold story. Even though the reset button is obviously hit, King and Daniel imbue Booster with a real sense of guilt for his actions all leading up to an introspective final page. It’s obvious they like the character and understand his three dimensionality even if Batman’s story and relationship with Catwoman doesn’t really progress. Overall: 7.0 Verdict: Read

Gideon Falls #3 (Image) – Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart’s rural/urban Canadian horror conspiracy thriller continues to build in Gideon Falls #3. Sorrentino’s trademark inset panels and Stewart’s splotches of red come in handy to show how obsessive compulsive trash collector Norton booby traps his lab to protect from the mysterious Black Barn as well as point out which of Father Fred’s parishioners are connected to it. The series hasn’t gone all out supernatural horror yet, and its dual protagonists Fred and Norton have to deal with “realistic” problems like breaking the news that the town’s last priest was a murderer or being readmitted into a mental hospital. This series as a whole is a great exploration of duality: sacred and secular, rural and urban, and of course, God and the devil and also synthesizes Jeff Lemire’s career up to this point, who has found success in genre (Marvel/DC stuff) and slice of life work (Essex County). It’s an exciting, scary, and beautiful read. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Patrick

Dry County #3 (Image)* – Rich Tommaso’s Florida noir series continues to impress, as “everyman” Lou Rossi attempts to send messages to missing Janet through his comic strip. Tomasso’s drawing is perfectly matched to the tone of the story: bright, clammy, and hot with little bursts of fresh air, like being in a Miami apartment wth only one office fan for ventilation. Really nice stuff. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #14 (Avatar)* – I could really do without the framing sequences of Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill’s title track, but I love the meat of the matter: in this case, the career of Tod Browning as carnival sideshow, guided by one of his Freaks. Can I just gush for a moment about Kevin O’Neill? Sometimes you forget, when an artist has such a singular style, that they are also in total command of the fundamentals; O’Neill’s figures and faces in Purgatorio are so on point, always choosing just the right moment to go for a realistic closeup to remind you that he can just flat-out draw the hell out of anything at any time he chooses. Next up, in “Code Pru”, Garth Ennis and Raulo Caceres give us an actual normal day in bed with Pru and Sal – normal right up until the end, in a mysterious twist whose resolution I dread. And in the final of the series I’m following, Kieron Gillen & Nahuel Lopez’ “Modded,” Tommy and Fringe duel it out high on Blue Sky, consuming mushrooms as they go kart-to-kart with a guest appearance by what appears to be a very fucked-up hedgehog. This is actually how I like Gillen: in short bursts of high energy and black humour. Overall: Purgatorio solid 8.5, Code Pru 8, Modded 8. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve already bought in. (I am already bought in)

Mr. H

Batman #47 (DC Comics) – So I missed the middle of this wild tale and I have to say, I probably didn’t miss much. Despite having one of my faves Tony Daniel on the art chores it didn’t do this story any favors. Sure it started intriguing but then it quickly devolved into the manic mess that the core Batman title has become associated with in recent history off and on. Unfortunately I guess using Booster Gold was not the right catalyst to get us to the Bat/Cat wedding. After the shock of Frank Castle Bruce Wayne there wasnt much else tying this together. I know I say it’s Tom King but… when this guy is pumping out Mr. Miracle it’s just a shame. I know I shouldn’t but I expected more. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass. I had my copy for free and I still feel ripped off.

 

 


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 (**).

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For April ’18

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for April.


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 400 for April’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.


 

God Complex #5 (Image)
May Sales Rank/Units Sold: 270/4,719
Why You Should Read It: 
A science fiction themed reinvention of mythology? What’s not to love when it is packaged this well.

Bloodshot: Salvation #8 (Valiant)
May Sales Rank/Units Sold: 202/8,171
Why You Should Read It: 
Valiant have some amazing series out right now, and this is one of the best. Jeff Lemire weaves a brutal tale of a man trying to move away from his violent past, but has no faith he’s good for anything but violence… Bloodshot Salvation is also one of the best looking books on the racks right now – each page could easily be framed and displayed proudly within your house.

Thanos #18 (Marvel)
May Sales Rank/Units Sold: 192/9,014
Why You Should Read It: Because you’ve seen Avengers Infinity War and want more Thanos in your life. Plus Don Cates is a remarkable voice and one you should pay attention too.

Sex Criminals #23 (Image)
May Sales Rank/Units Sold: 192/9,014
Why You Should Read It: 
As a late comer to this series, I can honestly tell you that it is a brilliantly hilarious, starkly emotional and remarkably ingenious series.

Shadowman #2 (Valiant)
May Sales Rank/Units Sold: 165/11,738
Why You Should Read It: 
Because it’s awesome. SM2018_002_COVER-A_ZONJIC


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Time Flies When Creating Your Very Own Comic Clock

It should come as no surprise to you that I’m a fan of Valiant comics. Well, I recently decided that I needed a clock for the nerd cave in my house so that  I can keep track of the time when recording (shameless plug) Those Two Geeks with Joe, or otherwise writing within the room (let’s pretend that had forgotten about the clock on my laptop I wasn’t just looking for an excuse to craft something). Since it was unlikely I’d find a Valiant clock anywhere, I thought I may as well go ahead and make one myself. Having made up my mind to create my own clock, I decided that since I have mediocre artistic skills, I’d make a collage of comics for the clock face.

I have never done this before.


What you’ll need to create your own comic clock:

  • Comics you don’t want anymore. I’d suggest against Action Comics #1.
  • A clock face. You can buy this at a craft shop, of sand and make it yourself depending on your level of handiness. I bought mine.
  • Clock mechanism. I found mine at a craft shop.
  • Modge podge. Also from a craft shop. It’s basically glue.
  • Paint brushes. From where ever you get them.
  • Scissors. You probably have these.
  • A sowing needle or pin.

Once I had all my supplies ready I started to cut away at a couple of comics, taking  pages and panels that I thought would be cool or would stand out. Before you get too horrified at my actions, the comics were both free; one from FCBD 2018, and one from the summer of 2017. Even still, cutting them was oddly painful.

My wife didn’t know what to make of her comic loving husband cutting comics, especially Valiant comics, into shreds.

Once I thought I had enough to cover the face, I started putting them roughly in place to see how they’d fit. Not well as it turned out, so I started chopping again.

Once I finally had enough pieces, I started playing around with placement. I figured it would be easier to remove the overlap on the edges once the comic pieces had been attached to the clock face.

At this point I had a decent idea of what I wanted, so I painted a thin layer of Modge Podge on the wooden clock face and started putting the comics down. There’s not as many pictures at this point  because I was in the zone and didn’t want the glue to dry before I’d laid the comics on the clock face. That being said, I quickly discovered that I needed less than half of the pieces I had cut out, and instead settled on some larger panels and such with only a few little additions near the top. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but each comic piece was attached with a very thing layer of the glue and pressed down tightly to avoid air bubbles popping up (but they did anyway, so I poked them with the needle).

Once the glue had dried, I shaved off the edges. Carefully.

Then I poked through the center hole of the clock before putting two more thin layers of glue on the face of the clock. Once that had dried, I put the clock mechanism together, and boom Valiant clock.

The entire process took a couple of hours, which wasn’t as long as I expected. However I did learn that Modge Podge can be tough to work with if you make a slight mistake in laying your pieces down, and that the paper will bubble when applying the glue regardless of how careful you are. The final result, which you can see below, dried remarkably well (and actually looks better the following day – of which there is no image).

All that’s left now is to hang the clock and figure out what to do with all the leftover scraps of comic…

Review: Ninja-K #7

NINJA-K_007_COVER-B_QUAHFor decades, the mysterious figure known as the Jonin trained and tutored the agents of MI-6’s Ninja Programme. In his hands, the men and women of Britain’s most elite secret service were refined into more than spies… They became human weapons capable of inflicting extraordinary damage and defying the laws of nature itself. Now, after decades thought dead, this master killer has resurfaced…and recruited a new circle of undying, seemingly ageless powerhouses from across the Valiant Universe for reasons unknown. The Jonin’s revenge will cast a long shadow – and, to meet it head on, Ninjak has assembled his own squadron of heavy-hitting heroes – including Livewire, Dr. Mirage, Punk Mambo, and GIN-GR – for the ultimate black-ops mission!

A literal team building issue as a recovering Ninjak pulls himself back together after barely escaping in one piece from infiltrating the headquarters of the Jonin, with more than half of the comic dedicated to establishing Ninjak’s relationships with the rest of the newly assembled team. There’s no lengthy exposition to set the stage, rather the body language and odd comment from the titular hero as he becomes aware of each person he’ll be working with to take on the Jonin – the man who trained most of Ninjak’s predecessors.

With the appearance of Dr. Mirage, Christos Gage is able to inject some humour into an otherwise serious comic without ever compromising the feel of the series. Despite the impending doom the team will soon have to face, there is a lot of slower moments that allow readers unfamiliar with the rest of the Valiant Universe to get a sense of who the characters are beyond Ninjak’s relationship with them, with the end result being a book that doesn’t feel like an entry in Ninjak’s solo series, but instead reads as a team book.  When it comes to the art, again, the comic is a winner. Juan Jose Ryp and Jordie Bellaire are top tier talent, and they show you why that’s the case with a varied colour pallet that highlights some wonderfully  diverse backdrops and close detail.

As you can tell, I don’t have too much to say about this issue; it’s a good read, brilliant to look at, but it didn’t generate an awful lot of loquaciousness within your humble reviewer. Essentially, if you’ve enjoyed the series so far then you’ll enjoy this.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #9

BSS_009_COVER-A_ROCAFORT“In the wire-strewn trenches of World War I, witness the true story of a good boy gone bad, as Eisner and Harvey Award nominee Ray Fawkes joins New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and astonishing artist Renato Guedes for a special one-shot tale chronicling the never-before-revealed history of Project Rising Spirit’s first prototype in nanite enhancement: the indestructible canine weapons unit codenamed Bloodhound!

Before he found his place at Ray Garrison’s side, Bloodshot’s loyal companion learned the depths of mankind’s inhumanity toward brother and beast alike on the battlefields of France. Now, as the Kaiser’s war machine approaches, find out firsthand how a beloved comrade with four legs and a soul full of fury inspired a legacy that still stands after nearly a century!”

Just like it says on the tin, this is a story about the origin of Bloodhound. Effectively a standalone interlude, Bloodshot Salvation #9 takes us back to the World War I where a mad scientist is desperate to help the men and boys on the front lines in the Battle of the Somme by using an unstoppable weapon that could turn the tide of the war  – yup, you guessed exactly what that weapon is: Bloodhound.

Bloodshot Salvation #9 is written by Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire who take no prisoners in the depiction of the futility of war, and the chronic waste of life that was the Great War. Although one can argue the necessity of Bloodhound’s origin at this point in the Bloodshot Salvation run, one should not argue that we got the story at all. Especially as there’s a chance that the deeper understanding of the hound and his struggles during the conflict will play into the future issues of the series.

When it comes to the art, Renato Guedes is firing on all cylinders as he delivers an artistic performance that will have you smelling the mud, blood, sweat and fear of the trenches. Guedes uses a lot of earthy tones during the quieter moments of the comic, with the muted browns and greens mixing with the subtle greys to add a palpable sense of foreboding before the colours explode out of the page in a horror of action and carnage.

As an interlude issue you couldn’t ask for any better, because although having to wait one more month to find out what’s happening in the Deadside isn’t the most ideal scenario for the less patient among us, Bloodshot Salvation #9 more than makes up for having to wait. Whether it’s an anticipation building move that will drive some crazy or a cunningly placed interlude to allow more time to finish the next comic doesn’t worry me. This is a beautifully brutal comic with a level of darkness and horror that lies just below the surface as the scientific experimentation is only just beginning for the men who will become Bloodshot.

It’s not a must-read comic in terms of the story, but  you will kick yourself if you miss this wonderful example of sequential art.

Story: Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire
Art: Renato Guedes Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.4 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Indie Comics Review Roundup #3: Space Marines And Boarding Schools

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s Indie Comics Roundup where we take a look at a handful of indie comics and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers. Where possible we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in, assuming we’ve read any part of the story thus far.

Each comic will receive a both a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly as well as a score out of ten. The former is based upon how easy it was for new readers to pick the issues up; expect miniseries or first issues to be rated as friendly by default. For second or third issues, more consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. The score out of ten is Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

We’d rather feature comics from smaller publishers, but from time to time you may notice an Image, Dark Horse or Dynamite book here. Ultimately it depends on what catches our eye, but we’ll always aim to spotlight lesser known comics.

All comics were provided for review purposes unless otherwise noted.


Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch #1 (Titan) The world of Warhammer 40,000 is deep and full of history, characters and technology that simply can’t be explained in a recap page to open a four issue miniseries. Likewise there is no way someone unfamiliar to the franchise can ever hope to catch up just to read this comic, so don’t worry about it; you will feel a little confused, and maybe a touch lost, but never so much that you won’t enjoy this comic. It is just about accessible enough to newcomers to earn a Friendly rating, and it’s also a pretty interesting read to boot. Rating: 7.2

Fence #6 (Boom! Box) Funnily enough, not a comic about fences.  Fence follows a group of boys at a boarding school trying to make the fencing team. One is a prodigy, one is full of raw talent with minimal training, one is a playboy sleeping his way through the team and another is the All American athlete. Each of the characters feel fully realized, and there’s a surprisingly accurate fencing backdrop to the boys competing with each other to make the team. Even six issues in, this is still Friendly. Rating: 8

Relay #1 (Aftershock) The first issue of a new science fiction based series that seems to be positioning the traditional villains, those who assimilate worlds and cultures, as the protagonists. Relay is an interesting beast from the outset, but the comic seems to struggle as it both establishes the universe it is set in, the characters and the plot within the first issue. That said, this is still a series that has a tremendous amount of promise, and is one you really should be reading. Friendly, because it’s the first issue. Rating: 7

Grimm Tales Of Terror Volume 4 #2 (Zenescope) A single issue story in the vein of the classic horror comics of yesteryear, this is by it’s nature a Friendly comic. If you’re into b-movie style horror stories then this’ll be right up your alley. With a knife. Waiting for you…. Rating: 6.8

 

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/12

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Ryan C

eternity girl 3Eternity Girl #3 (DC/Young Animal)** – Magdalene Visaggio seems to get a bit lost in the intricacies of her own plot with this issue, which is a bummer because the first two chapters were so good, but Sonny Liew gets a chance to draw all kinds of cool Kirby-tech, so that (mostly) makes up for the story’s big step back. I’m confident things are still headed in the right direction overall given the fact that the cliffhanger here is solid, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see — and make no mistake, this series is worth a look for the art alone, even if it turns out that the narrative doesn’t recover. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Analog #2 (Image)** – Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan’s look at a post-internet world takes a turn for the more comical with this second issue, and results are pretty good as we get to see our protagonist’s family and romantic life fleshed out considerably. The art seems to be getting better and better with each page, as well, which is really saying something given that it was pretty damn strong to start with. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Port Of Earth #5 (Image/Top Cow)** – It’s nice to see Zack Kaplan and Andrea Mutti’s sci-fi take on nativism and xenophobia back for a second arc, but the TV interview vignettes are becoming lazy info-dump crutches, and frankly distract from a plenty compelling main narrative thrust. Mutti’s grim and gritty art is stunning as ever, but it’s time for Kaplan to up his game and match his collaborator’s efforts. Overall : 7. Recommendation : Readhere are still seven issues to go, but I’m missing Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s pulp sci-fi masterpiece already. This is more a self-contained story focusing on the doomed McKay marriage, but ties into the overall narrative quite nicely and the art, as always, is spectacular. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Hungry Ghosts #4 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)**– Joel Rose and Anthony Bourdain’s lackluster horror anthology limps to a conclusion with two insipid tales that are considerably elevated by absolutely stellar artwork, which has been the pattern here from the start. Kudos, then, to Irene Koh and Francesco Francavilla for making a gorgeous silk purse out of a couple of sow’s ear stories. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read

Logan

Justice-League-No-Justice-1-Cover-600x923Venom #1 (Marvel)– This was my first time reading a Venom comic, and it was pretty good work from Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, J.P. Mayer, and Frank Martin. Cates relies a little too heavily on dueling narrative captions, but leaning on the horror elements in both a Lovecraftian and a very real horrors of war way is a smart move. There is a jagged, heavy metal edge to Stegman’s art, and Mayer brings out the little details like the beads of sweat on Eddie Brock’s face when he loses control of his symbiote while Martin enjoys spraying black everywhere. It’s very early McFarlane in the best way, and I’m intrigued by Cates and Stegman’s millennia spanning cosmic symbiote melodrama. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Justice League: No Justice #1 (DC)– With lots of superheroes (and supervillains), big tapestry like spreads from Francis Manapul, and big explosions, Justice League: No Justice #1 is a summer popcorn movie of a comic book. The book starts traditionally enough w/ the JL, Suicide Squad, Titans, and Teen Titans fighting Brainiac, but then Scott Snyder, Josh Williamson, and James Tynion make the villain an unlikely ally and point man for the new Justice League strategy. No Justice #1 tries to be clever, but ends up turning into Captain Planet/Attack on Titan crossover fanfic. The team lineups are pretty fun though with a particularly tense encounter between Lex Luthor and Martian Manhunter being the highlight of the book. Overall: 7.2 Verdict: Read

Eternity Girl #3 (DC/Young Animal)– Mags Visaggio, Sonny Liew, and Chris Chuckry make Eternity Girl #3 very cosmic and very Jean-Paul Sartre. The more abstract and occasionally metafictional concepts of being and nothingness and death and rebirth are grounded in Caroline just wanting to die by any means possible. I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic book where the protagonist represents despair, and the antagonist represents hope. Kudos to Visaggio and Liew for bringing deep, sad, and self-destructive emotions we sometimes feel to the forefront. Liew’s visuals span the gap between the cosmic and the mundane, and it is a real treat to have such a talented cartoonist on a “mainstream” comic. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

Patrick

nuclear-winter-9781684151639_lg.jpgNuclear Winter vol 1 (Boom! Box) – I actually just read this in its original French (as Hiver Nucléaire), so I was happy to see Cab’s delightful and charming post-apocalyptic Montreal in English. It’s been perpetual winter ever since the nuclear accident (who builds a nuclear reactor in Montreal anyway?, as one character points out), and Flavie is a ski-doo courier who would rather stay home knitting. When she takes a shift for a friend and has to get bagels for a temperamental hipster chick, things get a bit crazy. Cab’s cartooning style is generous, warm, and fun, and so is Flavie. I love the way she just accepts all of the mutants at the diner, is friendly to the arctic raccoons, and loyal to friends old and new. Cab depicts my Plateau Mont-Royal and Mile End neighbourhoods with similar good humour and style. The translation (for which I can’t seem to find any credit!) is excellent, with one minor quibble: it’s just Mile End, no “the”. Nuclear Winter is an excellent addition to the Boom! Box stable. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy.

Come Into Me #2 (Black Mask)** – The Cronenbergian creepiness continues thanks to writers Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler and artist Piotr Kowalski. As Sebastan tries to maintain control with the mind of a dead woman inside him, he also has to come to grips with the advantages of having a second personality who is more articulate, empathetic, and likeable than himself to interact with VC’s and family. Meanwhile (did I mention Cronenbergian?) his now-shared flesh is morphing and changing into something new. Chilling and thought-provoking, Come Into Me is one of my favourite series right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Sex Criminals #24 (Image)** – I am thinking about something Fraction wrote in the latest newsletter: “Comics mimic the way we remember, the way we dream, not as fluid constants but in pulsing recreations of sound and space and time, interrupted by gaps where the memory stops.” The more Fraction & Zdarsky’s comic actually does this, the better I like it. Anyone can write banking conspiracies and dick jokes, but only SexCrims can really dig into the messiness of how we work out our dreams and impulses with the people around us. I must admit, I did really enjoy the roller disco setting (and the joke of the name “Roll! You Pretty Things”). Overall: 8ish Recommendation: Buy

Stray Bullets #34 (Image)** – “Now everybody’s killin’ everybody”. You said it, Roses. Annie and Vic hit Baltimore and have to look for Rose’s son Joey before killer Spanish Scott finds out. And just how should junkie Vic find this kid? “Use your druggie instincts.” As usual, Annie is an absolute fountain of the worst possible advice. Advice that, in true David Lapham style, leads to blackly hilarious mayhem. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Alex

VENOM2018001_CovVenom #1 (Marvel) In a case of following a creator (or two) rather than a character, I took the plunge on this comic solely because of Don Cates and Ryan Stegman writing and drawing it; I wasn’t disappointed. Of course the last time I had read a Venom comic, some dude named Lee Pace had the symbiote – obviously not the case anymore as Eddie Brock has the giant tongue again (which I’m sure has nothing to do with a movie later this year). Cates takes the interesting route of exploring the symbiote’s history and emotional story rather than Eddie Brock’s, and it lends a unique lens over how the two coexist in their anti-hero life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Venom (but really, who doesn’t know a little about him?); this is a good comic and it will pull you back for more. Overall: 8 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 (**).

Those Two Geeks Episode Twenty Four: There Be Infinity War Spoilers Ahead!

On the docket this week: The geeks talk about Avengers: Infinity War. And spoil it significantly after about 15 minutes.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

Underrated: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior.



wotewThis week saw the release of a deluxe hardcover edition collecting the entire 14 issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior along with Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1. Fifteen comics presented in an over-sized hardcover along with 20 odd pages of bonus extras that add a lot for  those interested in the process of the creation of the series, all for $49.99. And yes, I did buy this myself (and happily so).

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior didn’t start out as a series that wowed me. The first four issues seemed to struggle with pacing and the art style, especially given the series billing as a follow-up to the explosively exciting Book Of Death miniseries that (spoiler) ended in the Eternal Warrior’s death. It’s that death, and those that follow, that form the crux of the series, but without the first four issues you don’t realize the toll taken on the Eternal Warrior with each death and resurrection cycle. The issues that I felt struggled with pacing quickly became some of the most important ground-setting in modern comics – a lesson that I took to heart, and quickly so.

It would also be fair to say that the art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin were not immediately to my taste. In furtherance to that, it would also be fair to say that my taste quickly changed as the series progressed and the elegance and artistic genius of the husband and wife team gave me a new appreciation of the majesty of sequential art.  There are other artists who contribute to the series, all with a fantastic level of talent; it’s these contributions that give the series the honour of being one of the most visually stunning and diverse pieces of sequential art published by Valiant.

Robert Venditti has written some incredible comics in his time, but one of the finest examples of his work comes in the fourteen issue run of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior. Taking you on a journey through history,  across continents and beyond death, Venditti weaves an incredibly deep tale that reveals a different layer upon each subsequent reading.

It’s also violent as all hell in places, which should satisfy the need we have for a bit of blood and conflict in our comics.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior is a fantastic series, and I envy those of you who get to read the entire thing in one sitting; the deluxe hardcover is worth picking up for that series alone, which is why I haven’t mentioned Eternal Warrior: Awakening at any point in this week’s column because that’s the cherry on top of the fantastic main course. Mixed metaphors aside, Awakening is another really good comic, and serves as another nice bonus for those who buy the collection.

I’ll  make no secret of my abject love for this series, indeed the fact I own both the individual issues and the deluxe hardcover when I also have access to the review copies should hopefully speak volumes to that love. It’s a love that I genuinely believe you’ll share when you give the series a chance – it’s an underrated gem.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Review: Old Man Logan #39

PDFtoJPG.me-1Logan isn’t healing the way he used to. Something is wrong — recent fights are leaving their marks, in ways he’s never experienced before. Beaten down, Logan goes to the one people he thought he could always count on for help…The X-Men. But when an old pupil of Logan’s asks for his help, it’s Logan’s enemies who will learn the hardest lesson: This old dog still has bite.

It has been a long time since I last read a comic like Old Man Logan #39I don’t mean that in the way you probably expect, however; I don’t tend to read much from the House Of Ideas any more aside from Old Man Logan and the odd X-Men or Avengers offering, so it has been a long time since I read a comic that has echoes of Wolverine and the X-Men – a series that remains one of my all time favorite runs. Old Man Logan #39 brings back the feeling I got from the early issues of Wolverine and the X-Men as Logan heads to an X-Men outreach center in Central Park in a really heartwarming sequence as the young X-Men see their old mentor for the first time in awhile.

With Wolverine returning from the dead, and soon to return to the Marvel Universe properly, there’s a feeling within this series that Old Man Logan won’t be around for much longer; his deteriorating healing factor, and the way he handles himself amidst the other X-Men has the hallmarks of a Hallmark goodbye. Without the cheesy writing. Wolverine is the reason that I’m a comics fan, and unlike the Death Of Wolverine miniseries from a few years ago, Old Man Logan #39  seems positioned to give the (much older) Logan a very fitting send off.

Ironically, this issue is also an easy jumping on point  for those hankering for a bit of Old Man Logan action. Ed Brisson gives you enough context to enjoy the back and forth between Logan and the X-Men (though I have no idea why there’s an X-Mansion in Central Park, it doesn’t matter; why it is there is irrelevant to Old Man Logan #39), but it’s the return to what, personally, I consider the classic X-Men villain – the public that hates and fears them. Granted, I’m not as familiar with the current X-series as I could be, but this issue is one of the first times in the series that I’ve really felt a tangible connection to the X-Men – coincidentally, I’m sure – and reminded me why I used to love the X-Men so many years ago.

Whether Marvel is getting ready to retire Old Man Logan in favor of the younger model returning or not, this issue continues a trend of high quality entertainment for the series, and is well worth your time and dollar.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Ibraim Roberson Colourist: Carlos Lopez
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review, however this comic is still on hold at my LCS for me.

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