Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Six Figure Crowdfunding: The No Bullsh*t Guide to Running a Life-Changing Campaign

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a book from BOOM! Studios to help guide you through the world of crowdfunding.

Six Figure Crowdfunding: The No Bullsh*t Guide to Running a Life-Changing Campaign is by Derek Miller with Noelle Pugh and illustrations by Joy Ho.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores July 24th. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Bad Girls

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a new graphic novel from Gallery 13 set during the Cuban Revolution, Bad Girls!

Bad Girls is by Alex de Campi and Victor Santos.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores July 17th. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

Gallery 13 provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Life of Captain Marvel #1

This week’s new comic book day sees a new beginning for Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel!

The Life of Captain Marvel #1 is by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, Marguerite Sauvage, Clayton Cowles, Julian Totino Tedesco, Joe Quesada, Richard Isanove, Sana Takeda, Fiona Staples, Artgerm, Jay Bowen, Nick Russell, Sarah Brunstad, and Sana Amanat.

Get your copy in comic shops starting July 18. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology – https://amzn.to/2LptMut https://amzn.to/2NmNGqE https://amzn.to/2Jwyk0p
TFAW – http://shrsl.com/127f2

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Batman #51

After last month’s polarizing (not really a) wedding issue, writer Tom King reunites with his Batman/Elmer Fudd collaborator Lee Weeks and atmospheric colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser for a courtroom drama with a bit of twist ending in Batman #51. Bruce Wayne chooses to make a mockery of the legal system over awkwardly revealing his secret identity and sits on a jury where Mr. Freeze is being tried for the murder of three women, and, of course, was apprehended by Batman. It’s a fairly thought provoking look at how Batman fits into the larger legal system of Gotham, and at times, may do more harm than good. And far from being a mere procedural, King and Weeks use the contradiction of Bruce Wayne sitting on a jury in a trial connected to the actions of his alter ego (Or real personality.) to probe into the anger and guilt buried in Bruce/Batman. Never has a quick restroom visit been so chilling in Weeks’ violent pencil and ink strokes as he blurs the boundaries between billionaire playboy and creature of the night, who definitely isn’t an impartial juror.

King and Weeks juxtapose the relatively restrained setting of the courtroom and jurors’ quarters with dynamic, brutal beatdowns and classic chiarascuro lighting from Breitweiser in Batman #51. It starts with the relatively mild mannered Bruce Wayne arriving at the courthouse for jury duty and the Frank Miller-channeling fists on face beatdown that Batman gives Mr. Freeze, one of the more sympathetic members of his rogue’s gallery. The flashback sequence crescendoes into a close-up of Freeze’s face in anguish, his goggles flying that takes up the whole middle of the page. Lee Weeks is truly a master of pain and gives him a furrowed brain and slobbering mouth. All the while, Bruce Wayne is calmly lying about his connection and thoughts about the Batman to the district attorney in measured, almost sterile dialogue from Tom King. However, this calmness turns into guilt beginning with a darkly framed silent scene in Bruce’s hotel room where it seems like he might slip into his costume and play Dark Knight until court in the morning. It hits a breaking point when Bruce breaks a sink off in the bathroom as he is wracked by the fear that his actions as Batman might have doomed an innocent man.

Until the end of the comic, King and Weeks portray Batman as a hypocrite and even insert little asides like Jim Gordon’s testimony and the jury deliberations that show the city of Gotham gives his violent vigilantism too much of a pass. Mr. Freeze’s defense attorney makes the point that the women were considered to have died of natural causes until Batman did his own autopsy and connected them to Freeze because their brain stems were “cold” in a true leap of logic setting up a darkly humorous nine panel grid of Gordon squirming and finally stating that Batman doesn’t have the authority to conduct autopsies in whatever state Gotham is in. Batman basically framed Mr. Freeze and coerced him into making a confession, but the jury is already convinced that Freeze is an evil villain and Batman is a perfect hero so who cares about the laws of the land. There isn’t really time to do a 12 Angry Men and develop all of the personalities of the jurors in Batman #51, but King does the next best thing and has them share quick personal stories about how Batman helped them instead of evidence to decide a verdict.

Many arguments for vigilantes, Batman included, state that they can execute justice in a more effective way than the legal and judicial system. However, Batman #51 shows that this isn’t all the case as the deaths of three women from natural causes has turned into a full blown murder investigation and has probably taken the place of more pressing matters. Tom King, Lee Weeks, and Elizabeth Breitweiser venture into the real world a little bit in this issue and go into the actual court systems while still having stylized moments like Batman dangling Freeze off the roof top.

In Batman #51, King, Weeks, and Breitweiser go beyond inserting Batman into the court room drama genre and use the trial of Mr. Freeze to probe into his anger and pain and the roots of Bruce/Batman’s sense of justice. Lee Weeks’ naturalistic approach to figures and faces really helps as most of the denizens of this book are ordinary citizens and not superheroes or villains.

Story: Tom King Art: Lee Weeks
Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Transformers: Optimus Prime #21

With Transformers: Unicron underway the big question is how the various IDW Publishing Transformer comics will fold in to that event. Optimus is back, and so is Bumblebee, but how? Those questions aren’t answered in that event but in Transformers: Optimus Prime #21 we get a better idea of it all as well as how Shockwave is stopped and what about the Maximals.

Written by John Barber, Transformers: Optimus Prime #21 feels like it wraps some of these up a bit too quickly and the story would have been served better by adding an issue or two more to tell it. The fact the next event has already launched doesn’t help matters and it’s an issue other major comic publishers have run in to.

But, with the issue, Barber packs a lot in to it focusing on the various factions and what Shockwave’s machinations really means. There’s not just his impact on the history, but the belief system of so many. There’s a lot of dots that have been set up for years and this issue, and the arc as a whole, and things feel like they’ve come together.

The art by Kei Zama, Sara Pitre-Durocher, and Livio Ramondelli, color by Josh Burcham, and lettering by Tom B. Long is fantastic as always. The various Transformer comics always look great and this is no exception. There’s some switching in styles for Optimus and Bumblebee and the rest of the comic but it all looks fantastic.

The comic wraps things up but does feel a bit condensed and rushed in some ways. If you’ve been reading the series you’ll be happy, this is not a spot to start for new readers though. Still, for those who have read this series for a long time, it really does feel like a good pay off. The end game is coming and this is a transition for that. Here’s hoping the next big arc goes out with the bang I was expecting for this one.

 Story: John Barber Art: Kei Zama, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Livio Ramondelli
Color: Josh Burcham Letters: Tom B. Long
Story: 7.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Shadowman #5

SM2018_005_COVER-A_ZONJICAs roving gangs ravage the landscape of post-Civil War America, there’s little hope and even fewer chances of escape for those caught in their clutches…except in the shadows! Enter: Marius Boniface – first bearer of the Shadowman loa and Jack Boniface’s own great-great-great grandfather! But as the sun sets, the Shadowman’s coming will lead to more than just a rebellion… Unstuck in time, Jack is about to come face-to-face with the first to bear his curse, and will finally learn the truth about the Shadowman legacy’s connection to his family’s doomed bloodline!

The existential trip down memory lane continues as Jack Boniface rides his soul train back to 1875 and the first man to host the shadow loa, civil war veteran Marius Boniface. Shadowman #5 focuses almost exclusively on Marius’ story with only the odd hint of Jack in the narration boxes. It’s this focus on another chapter in the history of the Boniface family that allows those unfamiliar with the series the opportunity to just pick up and dive right in with what promises to be a character you’ll want to see a lot more of.

It’s a shame that for all intents and purposes that this is only a one shot story, because if you’re like me, then you’re going to want to learn more about Marius. But alas, according to the previews for Shadowman #6, that’s not the case.

That being said, what we do get is fantastic; a post Civil War era story set in the American West with a character that could easily live in your nightmares. Andy Diggle weaves a wonderful script that Doug Braithwaite illustrates masterfully. The only niggle with the art work comes with Jose Villarrubria‘s colours that occasionally seem to wash out the art – now one could argue that’s a depiction of the bright sun in the specific scenes, and I could be convinced of that. But ultimately… it still bothered me enough to take me out of an otherwise fantastic comic.

Story: Andy Diggle Art: Doug Braithwaite
Colours: Jose Villarrubria Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Archie Meets Batman ’66 #1

Writers Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci bring together two new properties in the popular “Batman ’66” line of comics that have reinvigorated the property and brought a lot of fun with it. While the actual formal meeting of the two properties doesn’t take place in this issue it reads like a pretty basic Batman stopping the bad guys as it sets up while Riverdale gets roped in to things.

There’s a lot of characters thrown in to the issue and it feels right at home with everything that has been set up to this point. The tone, the look, it all comes together in a familiar package but with the new addition of Archie and his friends.

A lot of that has to do with the art from Dan Parent, colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and ink by J. Bone. Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and the rogues all look as expected, great that is, and the Archie kids look right at home. It’s two properties that blend together very well. There is an issue with one panel when Veronica switches outfits from the previous one but it could be time passing to explain that. Everything though works great and even the crazier aspects of Batman ’66 still feel right at home and blend with the Riverdale kids. It’s interesting in how visually the two work together.

While we don’t get to see Batman with Archie in this issue, it’s still a good start and one that gives us a Batman adventure you can read in one issue. It’s a good start and brings the two properties together in a smooth way. Hopefully we’ll get more of the two property’s characters actually together in the second issue but kicking things off, this is a good way to go about it.

Story: Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci Art: Dan Parent
Coloring: Kelly Fitzpatrick Ink: J. Bone
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ninja-K #9

NINJA-K_008_COVER-B_QUAH“It all comes down to this! Ninjak – plus his black-ops backup squad of Livewire, Punk Mambo, Doctor Mirage, and GIN-GR – have been sent into Mexico City to destroy an indestructible target! But their quarry – The Jonin, the Ninja Programme’s seemingly ageless former sensei – has assembled his own strike force of improbable powers to meet them head on!”

The final pages of Ninja-K #8 had me giddy with excitement as possibly my favourite character in the Valiant Universe made his reappearance (needless to say if you haven’t read the previous issue, spoilers will be found ahead – though if you pay attention to the cover you can figure that out)

Both this and the previous issue of Ninja-K have built upon the slower paced Ninja-K #6 with an explosively frenetic story that is all action and very little plot. I’m not complaining about that, however, as Juan Jose Ryp is unleashed to depict the havoc of battle as only he can. With his kinetic and hyper detailed style, Ryp barrels us through the conclusion of the current chapter in Colin King’s life with all the delicacy of a hot knife through a helium balloon. It is glorious, thanks in no small part to Jordie Bellaire’s colouring work that bring out the detail in Ryp’s work and allows the reader’s eye to flow along the artwork.

Christos Gage clearly wanted to let the artists shine, and in doing that they pull a comic that suffers in the plot department into must buy territory; Gage’s plot could easily be simplified down into a single line (but then if you can break Lord Of The Rings down to “people walk a long way to return stolen property” you can break everything down quite a bit, so this is a meaningless criticism, and I am aware of that). But it’s a single line that brings back one of my favourite Valiant characters, sets up an interesting new faction in the Valiant Universe and leaves our hero surprisingly vulnerable while providing some freaking amazing visual set pieces.

Sometimes, simple is exactly what you need.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: A Larger World Studios
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: Aphrodite V #1

Top Cow has a long history with a rather impressive, and woefully underused, cast of characters and recently has been doing what they can to kickstart things, like the recent relaunch of Cyber Force. Aphrodite V is the next in that initiative re-imagining the character, sort of, while keeping the basics.

Written by Bryan Hill, the first issue is heavy on action and touches on some interesting real world issues. We’re introduced to a technocrat business owner who has a goal of privatizing the Los Angeles police force using his technology to improve wages and efficiency. There was a recent television show, that didn’t last long, with a similar premise, and both are rooted in the real world. But, for unknown reasons, this well-meaning individual is slated to be assassinated and in steps Aphrodite V. We don’t really know why and the issue doesn’t do a lot to answer any of that.

Instead, the issue is a refocus on the origin of Aphrodite, the program, and this particular model. It’s a reintroduction to the character which is well done and a solid way for new readers to get to know the character and the world she comes from. While a lot of the issue is predictable in plot, it’s done well. The pacing of the story by Hill is good and the dialogue sharp.

That’s all helped by the art of Jeff Spokes. The art is generally great with a limited number of colors being used and some interesting use of page layouts. The use of color is interesting in that it’s generally restricted to greens, reds, browns, and blacks. The look of the issue is fantastic in that sense. There’s a very distinctive style about it all.

The issue is a good debut and leaves things open in how it ties into the greater story, read the first page, that’ll make sense. There’s a good set-up in the first issue and that’s exactly what this is, the set up. Good action, good pacing, and some interesting characters takes a familiar story (it’s The Terminator without the time travel) but presents it in an entertaining way. The opening of the issue indicates we might get more than that familiar story, we’ll have to wait and see. This is a first issue that has me coming back for more.

Story: Bryan Hill Art: Jeff Spokes
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Quantum & Woody #8

QW2017_008_VARIANT-ICON_BARTELQuantum and Woody just barely escaped from a surreal atomic realm…and, unfortunately, they’ve brought some pieces of it back with them! As dangerous new threats plunge their city even deeper into chaos, they’ll soon realize that they have bigger problems and bigger grudges than ever before – now if the brothers are anywhere near one another, their powers stop working!

Quantum and Woody, having just returned from an alternate reality of their own making struggle to make sense of what they’ve experienced. In fairness, they’re not the only ones. If that sounds like a complaint or a nit pick, it’s not. Eliot Rahal has scripted a comic that doesn’t hand an explanation to you at the drop of  a hat so that you’re one step ahead of the characters you’re reading, but instead allows you to follow along with the brothers as they try and puzzle out just what happened to them in a way that they understand. This style of writing has the benefit of easily allowing those new to the series to jump right in (once you’ve read the provided recap page at the beginning of the comic)  and enjoy this buddy-cop superhero comic.

Joining Rahal for Quantum & Woody #8 is Joe Eisma (art), Andrew Dalhouse (colours) and Dave Sharpe (letters), and the trio combine for a visually stimulating comic. Eisma is dynamic, his lines clean and easy to follow as the art flows along with Rahal’s script; with the colour palate injecting a slice of life into an already exciting comic. But despite the brilliant fight scene that’s got a couple of funny moments, it’s the interactions between Quantum and Woody that remain the highlight of this book for me. I may not have followed the characters for very long, but I feel that Rahal has found a perfect knack for writing them in their own unique way.

Whether you’re a new reader or you’ve been with the series for the last seven issues, you’re going to find a lot to love about this comic, and try as I might, I genuinely can’t find any flaw. What this buddy-cop superhero comic does right, it does very right. There’s no reason to miss this issue.

 

Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Joe Eisma
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 89 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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