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Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 05/15/2021

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

Children of the Atom #3 (Marvel)– Vita Ayala, Paco Medina, and David Curiel take a break from the superhero fights and cameos in Children of the Atom #3 to help readers get to know the characters underneath the costume. They predominantly focus on Carmen aka Gimmick in this issue, and her struggles with finding value in what she does rather than who she is as a person. This extends from her cosplay tutorials and streams to helping her family with chores and childcare as well as her role on the team. Medina draws a lot of wistful glances between her and Buddy aka Cyclops-Lass and uses a fairly pedestrian escape from a spaceship to build that romantic tension between them. Carmen’s arc is definitely the best part of Children of the Atom #3, and I love the emotionally resonant way that Ayala writes her. However, Children of the Atom #3 also sets up the story’s villain and ties this into the very relatable event of using someone for what they can get you, or in this case Cole’s access to Krakoa. After a high-wire, yet uneven beginning, Children of the Atom is finding its footing even with the art shift from Bernard Chang to Paco Medina. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Joker #3 (DC)– Joker #3 is like a more psychologically compelling and less focused on shock value Killing Joke meets David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Street and Anthony Bourdain’s oeuvre with just a dash of the Batgirls comic I wish was an ongoing. James Tynion, Guillem March, and Arif Prianto are firing on all cylinders as they show how deep Joker has gotten into Jim Gordon’s psyche. This is tempered with salt of the Earth narration of Gordon’s detective techniques and gift for conversation and empathy that turns totally chaotic by the last few pages with the book switching to yet another genre. March’s art is a little Neal Adams and Kelley Jones by way of Brian Bolland, but his ability to carry the main plot while Tynion focuses on character development is all him. They are doing special work in Joker, which has escalated from a focused character study to gonzo action by the end. And the Punchline backup from James Tynion, Sam Johns, and Mirka Andolfo is the best it’s ever been as Andolfo gets to draw a physical confrontation between Punchline and Orca and dig into the messed up mind of her old roommate Aiden. Poor Harper Row, and apologies to all you true crime fans out there! Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

The Silver Coin #2 (Image)– This genre-bending, writer switching anthology turns its sights to the slasher genre with Kelly Thompson and Michael Walsh telling the story of a young girl who goes off to summer camp, gets bullied, and finds revenge with the help of the titular silver coin. The Silver Coin #2 is derivative of classic horror films, and it knows it with its retro VHS filter opener as Fiona watching a video nasty might actually come in handy in summer camp. Walsh hits all his paces as a storyteller from the sickly, wholesome palette he uses when Fiona arrives at camp to the various and sundry ways she gets her revenge. He and Thompson have a lot of fun turning the victim into the baddie, and The Silver Coin #2 is a very cathartic and nostalgic read in the end. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

X-Corp #1 (Marvel)– I didn’t hate X-Corp #1, and Tini Howard creates some good chemistry between board members Monet, Angel, Multiple Man, and Trinary, but this book’s initial public offering (I had to!) is a little tepid. Some of that comes from the Alberto Foche’s visuals, which are middle of the road Marvel house style with Sunny Gho adding some flourishes with the color palette. They definitely pale in comparison to David Aja’s bleeding edge cover and don’t fit the tone of a book about disrupting tech sectors, intense business negotiations, and yes, flashy gadgets and abilities. Howard’s script isn’t that bad, especially her dialogue, but the first issue’s climax breaks a rule of suspense as she treats readers (who have more knowledge) with the in-universe characters who have less. With Trinary “selling out” and going corporate, Monet suppressing her rage during constant meetings, Angel trying to be a good rich guy, and Multiple Man as the wild card, X-Corp has potential and fills a gap in the X-line. However, this issue is more like smelling something yummy at another diner’s table than having your own meal. Overall: 6.0 Verdict: Pass


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 (**).

Dead Reckoning Announces Its Fall 2021 Releases

Dead Reckoning will bring you three new graphic novels in Fall 2021. First up is Four-Fisted Tales by four-time Eisner-nominated cartoonist Ben Towle, which tells the story of how animals have been used to fight in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields. Next, The Jewish Brigade by Marvano follows how the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group came to fight against and hunt down Nazis who sought to murder them and their families. Last, but not least, James D. Hornfischer along with Doug Murray and Steven Sanders bring The Last Stand of The Tin Can Sailors. Outgunned and outnumbered, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors brings to life the New York Times bestseller on the Battle off Samar where a small American task force fought to turn back an overwhelming Japanese force at Leyte Gulf.

Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat

By Ben Towle
978-1-68247-416-7 | August 18, 2021
Paperback | $24.95

In virtually every military conflict in recorded history animals have fought—and often died—alongside their human counterparts. While countless stories of the men and women who’ve served in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields have been told, Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat shares the stories of the animals who fought alongside them.

From Hannibal’s elephants in ancient Rome to mine-sniffing rats in Vietnam and everything in between, Four-Fisted Tales highlights the real-life contributions of these underappreciated animal warriors. Whether in active combat or simply as companions, these animals served and made their mark on history.

Ben Towle is a four-time Eisner-nominated cartoonist. His previous works include Oyster WarAmelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean (with Sarah Stewart Taylor), which received accolades from The New York Times and Publishers Weekly and was a Junior Library Guild selection; Midnight Sun; and Farewell, Georgia.

Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat

The Jewish Brigade

By Marvano
978-1-68247-723-6 | September 15, 2021
Paperback | $24.95

In the waning years of World War II, as the tragic plight of the European Jews was coming to light in ever more horrific detail, a Jewish fighting force, known as the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, was born as part of the British Eighth Army. Leslie Toliver, a racecar driver in the pre-war years, eagerly joined the all-volunteer force for a chance to fight with his people against those who sought to murder them. 

Born in Belgium, Marvano, started out as an interior designer. Years later, he began an alternate career as an illustrator, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of the magazine Kuifje, then managing the comics department of Flemish publisher Den Gulden Engel. All the while he published his own comics and went on to write and illustrate dozens of graphic novels over decades, most notably adapting Joe Halderman’s famous novel The Forever War.

The Jewish Brigade

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour

By James D. Hornfischer; Adapted by Doug Murray; Drawn by Steven Sanders; Colored by Matt Soffe; Lettered by Rob Steen
978-1-68247-338-2 | October 20, 2021
Hardcover | $29.95

Adapted from the naval history classic and New York Times bestseller, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors pieces together the action of the Battle off Samar, bringing to life a riveting story of heroism against daunting odds, duty, and sacrifice in a way never seen before.

James D. Hornfischer’s gripping account of the battle, based on declassified documents as well as extensive interviews with veterans, is acclaimed as one of the most compelling works of naval history ever published. Hornfischer’s awards include the 2018 Samuel Eliot Morison Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum.

Doug Murray is a comic book writer and novelist. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Army in Vietnam and was the main writer on the popular comic book series The ‘Nam, published by Marvel Comics.

Steven Sanders is an illustrator. His work has appeared in the distinguished SPECTRUM anthology and has drawn a number of comics for Marvel and Image Comics.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

DOOM! Find Out About Dr. Doom with the Marvel Dr. Doom Sale!

Read up on the machinations of Dr. Doom with the Marvel Dr. Doom Sale! You can save on 16 releases currently available on comiXology.

You can save up to 67% on collections featuring Doom!

The sale runs until Sunday, May 16.

Doctor Doom Vol. 1: Pottersville

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Preview: Looney Tunes #260

Looney Tunes #260

Written by: Ivan Cohen
Art by: Walter Carzon

It’s been a while since Granny, Sylvester, and Tweety took a trip, so now they’re off to visit Granny’s cousin, Gladys, in Albuquerque. But chaos ensues when Granny forgets to pack Sylvester’s food! Sylvester is famished, and Tweety looks like the perfect snack…

Looney Tunes #260

Preview: Trials of Ultraman #3 (of 5)

Trials of Ultraman #3 (of 5)

(W) Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom (A) Francesco Manna (CA) Art Adams
Rated T+
In Shops: May 19, 2021
SRP: $3.99

It turns out that the forces aligned against the USP and Ultraman are far more widespread-and more organized!-than our heroes had ever suspected. If they’re going to survive, they’ll need a new ally of their own…and the man they’re looking at just so happens to be one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.
But what’s his history with the USP, and why does he seem to have his own hidden agenda?

Trials of Ultraman #3 (of 5)

Preview: Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #12

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #12

(W) Ethan Sacks (A) Paolo Villanelli (CA) Mattia De Iulis
Rated T
In Shops: May 19, 2021
SRP: $3.99

PRELUDE TO WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS: “THE THREAT IN THE SHADOWS”
• As VALANCE and his reluctant partner DENGAR race to intercept BOBA FETT and his precious cargo, who are the deadly pursuers that are after them?
• A dark secret from Valance’s past connection to HAN SOLO may get him killed all these years later.
• But who is the mysterious leader of an assassination squad that is driving Valance into a life-and-death confrontation with his old friend?

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #12

Preview: The Mighty Valkyries #2 (of 5)

The Mighty Valkyries #2 (of 5)

(W) Jason Aaron, Torunn Gronbekk (A) Erica D’urso (A/CA) Mattia De Iulis
Rated T+
In Shops: May 19, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE MYSTERY OF THE NEWEST VALKYRIE UNFOLDS!
The biggest new addition to the Marvel Universe finally fulfills a promise years in the making! On the planet of Perdita lives an ancient power – imprisoned. Leashed. Valkyrie goes to free it – and herself. And she must work quickly, for back on Midgard, Jane Foster has fallen into the sights of Kraven the Hunter! The killer stalks a beast from another plane, one whom Loki claims threatens the lives of every mortal. But there is more to this creature than meets the eye. Can the gaze of a Valkyrie reveal the secrets behind the wolf and his unearthly origin?

The Mighty Valkyries #2 (of 5)

Preview: Champions #7

Champions #7

(W) Danny Lore (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) Toni Infante
Rated T+
In Shops: May 19, 2021
SRP: $3.99

CHANGE THE WORLD!
THE KAMALA CON!
The Champions are playing dirty to beat Roxxon at their own game – including implanting two of their own as interns to take down the corporation from within. But in order to earn the trust of their cutthroat Roxxon supervisors, they’ll have to deliver an unwilling spokesperson: Kamala Khan.
Will Ms. Marvel agree to become the face of a company and a law that she hates, or is it too high a price to pay for victory?

Champions #7
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