Category Archives: Reviews

Review: X-O Manowar #23

X-O Manowar #23

Aric of Dacia may have left Planet Gorin behind, but its people still remember the ruin they felt in his wake…and so do the bounty hunters who sought to end his barbaric reign! Enraged by the blight on their perfect record, they’ve arrived on our world to finish the job they started – and this time, they don’t plan on taking X-O Manowar alive!

A question that often comes up in comic shops is whether you can start reading a series with the issue currently on the shelf, or if you need to start from the beginning. Valiant’s previews often claim that the start of a new arc is a good jumping on point (when coupled with the recap page and at times the reader’s willingness to accept things with only the barest of explanations) and they’re seldom wrong with that statement. As far as X-O Manowar #23 goes, this is a pretty good jumping on point should you choose to do so (though I feel obligated to tell you that the entire series is really good and worth the time and financial investment for your enjoyment).

Matt Kindt is able to establish the premise of this story remarkably quickly, and despite the fairly simple plot presented here, his writing is once again of the high quality one has come to associate with the writer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking the simple plot (it won’t take you long to realize this is a revenge story), because for me it was actually a selling point. Kindt’s ability to develop Aric’s character in a handful of panels demonstrates his understanding of the character, and gives us a discussion about human waste that, let’s be honest, most of us have wondered about.

Once again, Tomas Giorello is freaking amazing. His art transcends traditional comics and will have you rereading this comic just to look at the pictures (or maybe you’ll take your time reading the book because your eyes demand the time to drink in the visual spectacle before you.). Whether it’s the figures, the page layouts or the use of space, both figuratively and literally, this comic features some fantastic art. Genuinely, I can’t wait to see this in print.

The one nitpick I have, and it is minor, involves the arrival of certain characters on Earth. How they got where they did isn’t quite explained, and makes little sense to me, but is far from a story-breaking moment; I’ve a feeling it may be explained later in the arc, and if it isn’t there’s a chance I won’t remember it come the next issue. X-O Manowar has consistently been one of the better comic book series over the last couple of years, and this issue is a prime example of why.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello 
Colours: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Story: 9.2 Art: 10 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: The Avant-Guards #1

The Avant-Guards #1

Welcome to the Georgia O ‘Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, an historically all-female school whose population is decidedly more drama geek than jock.

Liv, aspiring actor and basketball enthusiast, doesn’t understand why she can ‘t be both, but she seems alone in that belief… until Charlie.

Charlie is a recent transfer, a star basketball player, and the answer to all of Liv ‘s problems. She ‘ll stop at nothing to get Charlie to join the ragtag group of misfits that make up their fledgling basketball team.

There’s been a wave of western takes on sports manga with BOOM! Studios, through their BOOM! Box imprint, leading the charge in releases. The Avant-Guards is the latest entry into that genre following a basketball team for a very small school. Like those other series, this one knows that while the sport itself will deliver action, it’s the characters that will really bring us back. And, it delivers that and then some.

The first issue revolves around Charlie and what makes it work is delivering a story so many of us can relate to and empathize with. Writer Carly Usdin keeps it simple, so far, by focusing on a new student trying to figure out where they fit in. It’s something we go through, especially when it comes to school. Usdin also gives us a nice mix of characters with each being unique in their own way. And yet, it still makes sense this group would get together.

Noah Hayes‘ art with color by Rebecca Nalty and lettering by Ed Dukeshire is solid. The style is a bit on the cartoonish end of things but that style does well to compliment the tone of the comic which can switch between serious and humor. A different style, the story as presented might not work but there’s a nice balance between needs here. There character design is fun as well giving each a bit more personality and allowing us the reader to find out more about each without having to be told.

The Avant-Guards #1 is a fun debut that continues BOOM!’s successful steak of bringing the manga sports genre to western audiences. This is another fun one that delivers a solid set up with a nice mix of humor and emotion. Definitely one to check out this week.

Story: Carly Usdin Art: Noah Hayes
Color: Rebecca Nalty Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Grumble #3

Grumble #3

The cat’s outta the bag… and out for blood! Eddie and Tala are on the verge of escaping Baltimore once and for all, but Simon, the feline hitman, stands in their way. Will our heroes be able to defeat Simon, steal back their car, and skip town in one piece? Or will Eddie do something stupid and get everyone killed? 

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story. It’s easy to see that Rafer Roberts is having a blast writing this book, which makes it an easy sell when talking to people at my local comic shop. Mike Norton‘s visuals are perfectly suited to the style of this comic – of course, one of the characters being a pug is also right up his alley (this is the guy who created Battlepug, after all).

At this point I should probably talk a little about the actual contents of the book, but there’s a recap up above that gives you the gist of the book, and unless I start diving too deeply into spoiler territory there’s not much else I want to reveal just now (especially if you haven’t read the first two issues). What I will say, however, is that there’s no forced chemistry between the two leads, nor any illusions about the cowardly and near criminal nature of one. The characters are neither overtly good nor evil, but live in the moral grey areas that all great comics tend to touch on every once in awhile. That they are the protagonists means we’re cheering for them, but Roberts has developed the world in such a way that if the focus of the comic were on the mysterious bounty hunter and not her prey, then the two leads could easily be seen as the antagonists.

Hot damn, but do I love this series. The writing and the art combine to give you the perfect blend of Hellblazer and Howard the Duck with a side of the Dresden Files, making Grumble  one of the series to keep your eye on as the year progresses. If your shop didn’t get this series in, then correct that; it’s still available from Diamond (or it was when my LCS ordered a couple copies in), and it’s such a good read.

Writer: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funny Books provided a FREE copy for review

Review: Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Cyclops!

The X-Men have been disassembled and we still have so many mysteries to go from here! One of the top ones… how did Cyclops come back!? We get our answers here in Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 written by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, and Ed Brisson.

While we won’t spoil the how here, the end results are a bit muddled and rather odd. It involves Kid Cable, we knew that, and an unknown Chapter in Cyclops’ life. It works as a “how” but in a way that you could only get away with in an X-Men comic.

What’s more interesting about the issue is some shots as to what came before. The reader could easily dive in a layer and read some of the comic as meta commentary about some story choices. There’s direct criticism in how Cyclops died. There’s direct criticism in turning Cyclops evil. There’s just outright shots fired in the past and a line drawn in the sand in a way as to how these three creators see the character. And it does that without falling into the “this is your life” trope that was expected.

The art by Pére Perez, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Joe Caramagna is fantastic. There’s a “retro” part of the comic of earlier years of Cyclops and the style of the comic shifts to be a modern take on that classic style. Also mixed with a modern style it makes for a striking issue that’s just beautiful, and really cool, to look at. There isn’t a ton of action for the team to go over the top and the few dynamic moments don’t take full advantage but the switch between the two styles makes the art stand out.

The issue does what it’s supposed to, answer the question as to how Cyclops came back from the dead. The reason delivered is a shrug and a little convoluted but some of the meta discussion makes it all rather interesting. If you’re itching to know how it all goes down, then this issue is a must but beyond that, this isn’t an issue that really excites.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson
Art: Pére Perez Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.45 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Livewire #2

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

After the events of Harbinger Wars II, which was a perfectly forgettable and very disappointing story, Livewire has emerged as perhaps one of the most fascinating characters in comics. Much like Magneto, who will do anything to protect and defend mutantkind, Livewire’s actions have blurred the line between hero and villain for the character. She may feel she’s a hero, but is she?

The first issue saw Livewire captured and drugged by a gang of soldiers, the results of which are dealt with in Livewire #2  in a slower paced but no less emotional story. I may not have been the biggest fan of the way Harbinger Wars II was told, but I am really enjoying the way that Vita Ayala is building upon Livewire after her actions in that miniseries. Ayala doesn’t let us forget that our actions have consequences, and although there’s a stereotypical guard figure in the book, even his anger at Livewire feels understandable and justifiable because of the damage she caused.

It’s an anger that’s not just expressed through the dialogue, but visually too. Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are adept and conveying the emotions of the characters through their linework and the colours used in the comic, and often provide much more of an insight to a character’s emotional state than you’d necessarily expect from a comic book. Their style isn’t one I immediately warmed to when I first came across it, but Allen and Martin are an incredibly talented duo who subvert expectations with their work; the more you see it then the more you’re going to love it. It’s deceptively simple art – there’s very little flashy effects used, and the style is stronger for it.

Despite the intelligent use of colour this issue, Livewire #2 is a book that lives in the moral grey area. It delights in making you question your point of view and your sympathies with the main character. Whether she’s a hero or a villain is still largely in the eyes of the reader, but I can’t wait to see where the creative team take us.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Invaders #1

THE GREATEST GENERATION OF MARVEL HEROES IS BACK – TO STOP ONE OF THEIR OWN!

In commemoration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary and springing from events in the pages of AVENGERS and THE BEST DEFENSE, the Marvel Universe’s first super-team is back! CAPTAIN AMERICA. THE HUMAN TORCH. THE WINTER SOLDIER. NAMOR. They fought in WORLD WAR II together as THE INVADERS. But now NAMOR is the enemy, a global threat more powerful than ever. His deadly plans are as deep and far-reaching as the ocean and REVELATIONS about his past could THREATEN the MARVEL UNIVERSE! It’s up to his old teammates to stop him, but what chance do they have against the man who knows their every move? ”War Ghost” begins here!

Review: What If? The Complete Collection Vol. 1

What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four? What if Captain America survived World War II? What if Rick Jones became the Hulk? Explore these possibilties and more in this collection of the classic series.

What If? The Complete Collection Vol. 1 is by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, Jim Shooter, Don Glut, Scott Shaw, Jack Kirby, Jim Craig, Herb Trimpe, Gil Kane, Frank Robbins, George Tuska, Rock Hoberg, Alan Kupperberg, and Sal Buscema!

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on January 29! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

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: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Who are the new Guardians of the Galaxy? With Thanos dead and the cosmic Marvel Universe in chaos, who will step up and save the universe? Find out in this new start with a new team!

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Marte Gracia, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops January 23! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

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: Jose Rizal Vol. 1

Jose Rizal Vol. 1

What does the title “national hero” mean to most people and does that title mean that person is also a patriot? Here in America was bestowed on our Founding Fathers who started the American Revolution. In time, we have given it Americans throughout history who have shown bravery protecting our ideals. History often teaches us what makes one a radical and one a revolutionary is most often time.

The Founding Fathers could have been viewed quite differently by history and their actions could be looked at as treason. The faith these men and women had in their sense of patriotism, is what formed our national identity. Revolutions usually take faith and courage and for some the ultimate sacrifice. In one of the first ever English told stories about one of the Philippines national heroes Takahiro Matsui and Ryo Konno’s Jose Rizal, we get a glimpse of who the man was before he became the martyr the country has come to know.

We meet Jose Rizal, on the day of his execution, as a physician is examining him, he demands that he face, his accusers and the people he loves and represents. We are taken back to when he was a young man, growing as the youngest boy with 11 other siblings, where his family lived under a cruel Spanish monarchy which often took advantage of its dominion in the Philippines and arrested her mother for defiance.  We witness her walk of shame as her equal treatment between the natives, who they refer to as “Indios” and the Spaniards, becomes a sticking point for why she becomes vilified. The Governor of his “province, General Izquierdo, ruled with an iron fist, but with the influence by Jose’s sister, Soledad, had convinced him to set free their mother, Teodora, after two years of imprisonment. By issue’s end, these events sparked a fire in Jose’s mind state, one that would make him a revolutionary and national hero.

Overall, the manga is a beautifully rendered and skillfully told story about one of the world’s best representations of fighting injustice. The story by Matsui is emotional, melancholy, and inspiring. The art by Konno is gorgeous. Altogether, a book that feels like an epic saga more than a history lesson, which makes it so compelling.

Story: Takahiro Matsui Art: Ryo Konno
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/19

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.


Ashley

Euthanauts #5 (IDW/Black Crown) – The first arc of Tini Howard and Nick Robles’ series on death and the afterlife has ended and I hope it isn’t the last. With Circe dead, our intrepid heroes struggle to find the answers to why. With a final broadcast from Mercy, the issue takes us through an exhilarating ride though Deathspace to tie up loose ends while also setting up for potential later issues. By the time I was finished with the issue, I immediately went and preordered the trade because I am not ready for this series to end. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Die #2 (Image) – Since I never got into D&D, I never expected to be so into a comic that plays so heavily with the lore. But Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans pulled it off that I’m am completely engrossed in the comic and mad about it. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – New Year, New Movie, so that means New Comic for Carol Danvers. Which, as it turns out, is super fun! The comic features Carol Danvers returning to the Avengers full time after nearly two years in space and time away to take care of her brother in The Life of Captain Marvel. Most of the issue shows Carol adjusting to life back in New York and juggling a million different balls. Suddenly, the issue takes a turn and leaves a hell of a hook for future issues. Kelly Thompson’s writing is quick witted and sassy, making her the perfect successor to Deconnick and Stohl, and Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain are probably the best art team for Carol since Kris Anka and Matt Wilson. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Wicked + The Divine #41 (Image) – So much of everything since issue #5 has been building up to this issue. With as much shocks and heartbreaks the series has had over the years, having an issue that has this much payoff is practically euphoric. Along with being masterfully written by Gillen per usual, McKelvie’s art plays the emotions of the scenes with such subtlety and grace. There were panels in this issue that made me tear up with facial expressions alone. Overall, this was one of the most satisfying issues of WicDiv so far. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Days Of Hate #12 (Image)** – Ales Kot and Danijel Zezelj close out their year-long series with another installment that continues the downward trajectory this thing has been on from issue two onwards. More an epilogue than a conclusion, Kot here uses some admittedly effective emotional “beats” to less-than-cleverly disguise that he hasn’t actually wrapped up a damn thing. Gorgeous art from Zezelj, as always, but this entire series was a complete waste of time and money. Overall: 2 Recommendation: PassR

Gideon Falls #10 (Image)** – Moving in exactly the opposite direction, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino continue the upward trajectory that they’ve been on from issue two onwards with their most visually and conceptually stunning issue yet, one which sees the two competing plotlines finally converge in a very literal, and memorable, sense. This is a book that just keeps on getting more coherent and more confident month after month. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Evolution #13 (Image/Skybound)** – The second-best horror series at Image begins its final arc with a pretty breakneck piece of convergence/dovetailing of its own as the threat, and the action, begins to center firmly in the Los Angeles area. Joe Infurnari’s Eurocomics-style art continues to be absolutely breathtaking, and the small army of writers — James Asmus, Christopher Sebela, and Jospeh Keatinge — produce yet another script that feels so seamless it could fool you into thinking it was written by one person. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Deadly Class #36 (Image/Giant Generator) **– Rick Remender and Wes Craig revive their series after a long hiatus on the very same day the TV show premieres (just a coincidence, I’m sure) with a very “new-reader-friendly” issue that sees Marcus struggle with his internal demons and plot a bold course forward. Lots here for veterans and newbies alike to enjoy, and the art in this book has seriously never been better. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Star Wars Age Of Republic Special #1(Marvel)-In a trio of short stories, we find some popular side characters take the forefront. In one tale, we find Mace Windu taken but it is his first lesson as a Padawan which enables him to best captors. In the second tale, Asajj Ventress empathy for a pair of street kids leases to her to act as the hero for once. In the last take, we find Rex and Jar Jar, outgunned but not outsmarted. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Conan The Barbarian #2(Marvel)- In what can be best explained as Conan’s ” Dances with Wolves” experience, we find the Cimirrian becoming part of a tribe he once swore was his enemy. We find Conan prisoned by this warring tribe and eventually becoming one of them. As a final battle against a greater evil, proves he can change.Aaron’s storytelling in this series is masterful as he is at his best in this story. Overall: 9 Recommendation: 9.5

Jon

Conan the Barbarian #2 (Marvel) The second issue of Marvel’s Conan improves upon the first by including a more nuanced looked at the Picts, a culture Howard used as an analog for the stereotypical version of native Americans found in most westerns. Conan must help them to defeat the ghost snakes. In the end je must choose between living with them as an equal or returning to the Aquilonian frontier where he is considered only marginally more civilized. One of the things I find interesting about Conan is that while he does enjoy some degree of privilege within his society he is still a member of a marginalized. It was good to see Aaron play with this dichotomy as it added a lot of depth to what otherwise could have been a shallow story. It was also nice to read an issue that largely stands on its own. This is another good introduction to the character for those who may have missed the debut. Asrar’s art is as on point as ever. If the creators can maintain this level of quality this will be one of the best books of the year. Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy.


Goddess Mode #2 (DC/Vertigo) My opinion is still divided on this series. While issue two adds some much needed exposition as Cassandra learns who the Tall Poppies are and what it means to be an Oracle, the story still seems to stutter in places. It feels like Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez are playing a riff on Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. Quinn and Rodriguez may have the talent but lacking the experience the product of their effort is missing the polish I expect from Vertigo. Still there is still a lot of potential for an interesting story about how virtual worlds and coping with trauma sometimes move hand in hand. It’s a difficult book to read but it may well be worth it in the long run. Only time will tell. Rating: 6. Recommendation: Skip

House of Whispers #5 (DC/Vertigo) Too much happens in this issue for a summary to do it justice. Suffice to say Nalo Hopinkson brings the threads she’s been weaving since Sandman Universe #1 together and the glimpse we get of the tapestry being created is magnificent. If you’ve been reading The Dreaming but avoiding this title, go out and get caught up; House of Whispers is proving to be just as essential and just as good. I do hope that Dan Watters writing credit is there because Hopkinson need assistance turning out the extra-large installment; hers is a powerful and unique voice that comics need more of. DOMO Stanton’s art remains superb. Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Superman #7 (DC) Brian Bendis’ run on Superman has been a mixed bag. While he does a really good job of teasing revelations that make you want to read the next issue, the impact of those revelations never quite lives up to the expectation you build upin your head. This is a good case in point as we learn a bit of what Jon Kent has been up to in the seven years he’s been exploring outer space with Jor El. And it turns out to have been kind of boring. There are times when Bendis’ decompressed style works wonders but this is not one of them. He’s had over a year’s worth of issues between this and Action and very little to show for it. The sight of Lois Lane wearing the super-suit might almost be worth it if not for her milk toast demeanor and the fact that the pages drawn by fill in artist Brandon Peterson, while competent, are not up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Ivan Reis. This book is a regrettable waste of talent. I expect more from everyone involved. Rating: 6. Recommendation: Skip.

Logan

Goddess Mode #2 (Vertigo) Bookended by frenzied, colorful action from artists Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi, Goddess Mode #2 digs into the personalities of the “Tall Poppies” aka the witch, cyberpunk oracle things that rescued the protagonist Cassandra in the first issue. Zoe Quinn and Rodriguez use things like a group chat cut between scenes of the Tall Poppies doing their favorite activities to give insight into them while frantically trying to exposit the nature of their world. Goddess Mode has a very fever dream quality to it, but at least, we now (sort of) have a cast of characters to follow and latch onto in their epic, magical battles. It’s a strong book on the visual side, but there is room to improve. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read

Invaders #1 (Marvel) Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, and wonderful WWII flashback artist Butch Guice focus on Namor in the first issue of the new Invaders series. Guice’s work is visceral and heartbreaking in the opening sequence where for all his great powers, Namor is unable to save his soldier friend, Tommy, from the Nazis in World War 2. This continues to the present day where Namor has been behaving erratically and is planning a giant invasion of the surface world. Instead of just forcing a team-up, Zdarsky and Magno add psychological depth to the relationships between Captain America, Bucky, Namor, and Jim Hammond along with an air of mystery to the time between the Golden and Silver Age of Comics when Namor was an amnesiac. Moral ambiguity in war is the through-line of this book as Cap goes against Tony and the Avengers to talk and empathize with Namor instead of punching him. I’m really excited to see what Zdarsky does with Namor’s character as he is more than just a villain and has unique connections to all corners of the Marvel Universe from the Golden Age era heroes and even the X-Men. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Black Widow #1 (Marvel) So, Black Widow’s current status quo is that she is cloned from the one killed by HYDRA Cap, who was the really Captain America, or maybe not. Yeah, it’s a little complicated, but except for the first scene, none of that matters in Black Widow #1 by horror film directors the Soska Sisters and artist Flaviano, who brings the cartooning and can lay out an action scene. Basically, because she’s “dead”, Natasha has gone no holds barred and leaves her buddies in the Avengers, including Cap, to fight and potential kill some messed up criminals in Madripoor while rocking an eye patch like Wolverine in his Patch days. Having Natasha almost completely give into her bloodthirsty instincts is a compelling moral narrative, and the Soskas give her plenty of snarky, deadpan one-liners and roast Secret Empire while paying homage to the Russos’ action filmmaking in Captain America: Winter Soldier. She still has spy skills, but this story takes a turn into becoming a psychological thriller towards the end. It’s nice to see creators from other mediums do something different with Black Widow and explore in dark side in a more fun way that dreary grim darkness. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy

Joe Ryan

Invaders #1 (Marvel) What a great first issue, and a pleasant surprise from Zdarsky and Magno. I love Zdarsky as a writer, but usually he shines in the comedic styles his books are usually shown in, but as he had shown in moments of Marvel 2 In 1, he can get serious, and this book was very serious. I am a big Namor fan, and I bought all of the dialogue and all of the big moments between Cap, Namor, Bucky, the original Human Torch, and the soldiers. This is really a war book, and it was awesome. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Fantastic Four #6 (Marvel) I am a big Aaron Kuder fan, and I am so happy he is on this book. He drew Mr. Fantastic and company so well, and I already love his version of Doom. Speaking of Doom, Dan Slott gives us classic campy mega bad Dr. Doom and I couldn’t be happier. The dialogue from his evil metal masked mouth just drips with that classic Marvel Lee/Kirby charm. This book has been solid, but this issue took it to the next level. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Uncanny X-Men #10 (Marvel) – The book is overpriced, released too frequently, and the $8 #1 and #11 issues are silly, as is the annual coming next week after 10 weeks of the book being out. That being said, Rosenberg, Brisson, and Thompson have done a solid job so far, and I enjoyed Perez’s art. Now while I have liked this so far, we are in the Age of X-Man officially, so it could get good or bad from here. I will say the final panels of the book have me hyped! Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy


The Batman Who Laughs #2 (DC) – Scott Snyder and Jock on Batman are fantastic, and this is no different. I will say he really likes to punish Bats and the DC heroes (Metal anyone?), and you can tell he REALLY loves The Batman Who Laughs, and making it seem like the bad guys win a lot. Jock on art is of course fantastic on this book, and Snyder does a great job of only teasing The Grim Knight as the issues go on. This is shaping up to be a classic tale, and I have high hopes. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Detective Comics #996 (DC) – This was another great Bat-book this week. With only three issues in, Mankhe and Tomasi are doing such a great job on this story. I cannot wait to see where we are with The Arkham Knight and everything else that has happened by issue #1000 which isn’t far away. I highly recommend you jump on this series now, as it’s just going to get better. Overall: 8.5 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 (**).

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