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.
Invincible Iron Man #600 (Marvel Comics) This is the big Bendis swan song from Marvel before he takes on big blue from that other company. As a huge fan of Iron Man the character albeit a casual reader of his core title I had to view this one. So this has Brian Michael Bendis on writing chores and Daniel Acuna, Stefano Casselli, David Marquez and Mark Bagley and more on the art chores. Fitting for a swan song on a Tony Stark book that there would be so many moving pieces. Now the deal is we get told the story through Tony’s uber pretentious self AI. We get the resurrection of the one and only Tony Stark and the showdown between his biological mom and dad as well as a few big surprises and a really cool end. Now though I’ve been out of the loop a bit on these goings, Bendis does a great job of keeping me up to speed with all that matters. Oh and did I mention that it has Doom in it?? Not impeding doom, Dr. Victor Von Doom! (One of my all time faves) so immediately this issue gets a bit of a boost for me. The writing was good, not BMB best for me. That honor still goes to his Daredevil run imo. The art was great, even though switching between so many pencil “engineers” they keep the story moving brisk. All in all I thought it was a great job for an oversized anniversary issue which I’m a sucker for. I am excited to see where the next chapter goes with Tony under the pen of Dan “the man” Slott, but BMB did really well here. Also like the Marvel movies stay for the epilogue. Very cool stuff. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Black Panther #1 (Marvel)** – Thank goodness for Daniel Acuna, because Ta-Nehisi Coates’ script for this debut issue is a discombobulated mess. “T’Challa In Space” probably isn’t the most well-considered idea coming on the back of a hugely successful film — “now that we’ve got a slew of potential new fans, let’s confuse the shit out of them!” not being what most would consider a sound strategy for building sales — but at least this muddled would-be “cosmic epic” looks good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t read well at all. Oh well, at least one issue is all I needed to convince me that this book isn’t for me. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Days Of Hate #5 (Image)** – While we’re on the subject of “thank goodness for artists,” Danijel Zezelj carries pretty much all the weight of this installment, with Ales Kot more or less coasting through what could (hell, should) be a tense, climactic issue, but that instead just falls flat. We’ll see what happens story-wise now that the writer has essentially taken a month off to gear up for the back half of the series, but this comic was really just pretty to look at, and not much else. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #2 (Dark Horse)** – Franchising the world of “Black Hammer” out “Mignolaverse”-style doesn’t seem to have hurt the main title in the least, as Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston continue to deliver the goods with this brisk, pacy issue that sees good forward narrative momentum paired with stunning artwork of nasty-looking hellscapes. As always, this book is more fun than just about anything else out there. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Incognegro: Renaissance #4 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)** – Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece do some pretty good stage-setting in this penultimate chapter of their “Harlem Murder Mystery,” but maybe it’s a little too good — or too much, at any rate, since the identity of the murderer is essentially given away here with one issue to go.Maybe they’ve got one more big surprise up their sleeves, but even if they don’t, provided they manage to avoid flubbing the landing, this should end up going down as a pretty compelling period piece, and the black-and-white art has been nothing short of sensational. Overall : 7.5. Recommendation : Buy
You Are Deadpool #3 (Marvel) I will keep this one sweet and short, this has got to be the best Deadpool book going on right now, as it encompasses everything everyone loves about Deadpool and puts him in the craziest situations that only he knows how to get into to and make worse, the hardest I have laugh in awhile on a Deadpool book. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Old Man Hawkeye #5 (Marvel) We finally meet President Red Skull as Bullseye’s exploits has reached the White House, which causes him to send more assassins. Clint also finds himself in a standoff with the Venoms inside a bar, one that only brings death and destruction. Clint finally finds a way out as he realizes he needs sanctuary now. By issue’s end, solace comes in the former of an ex-partner, one that is weary of Clint’s intentions. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Invincible Iron Man #600 (Marvel) Brian Michael Bendis’ last comic for Marvel has a lot of fun moments and also a lot of convoluted, not so fun ones. Some highlights include Dr. Doom (As drawn by Alex Maleev.) making a self-sacrificing play to cap offhis arc in Infamous Iron Man, which will go down as Bendis’ last great Marvel run, Rhodey coming back from the dead and kicking ass and joking with Tony again, and of course, Bendis’ final artist jam. However, Invincible Iron Man #600 also cops out on a lot of things like Leonardo Da Vinci, Tony’s dad, and decides to end on a relatively obscure scene connected to Bendis’ X-Men run. Hopefully, Bendis learns how to write endings when he comes to DC… Overall: 6.0 Verdict: Pass
Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1 (Marvel) A team of female X-Men, including Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Jubilee, and Domino, head to Madripoor to investigate Magneto’s connection to Wolverine’s missing body. They end up in the middle of a gang war, and along the way, get to ponder their relationship to Wolverine by looking through the items in his old room. Jim Zub expertly weaves past and present together and crafts an argument for another all female X-Book through the banter that the characters share. Unfortunately, Thony Silas’ figures are stiffly posed and is more suited for superhero costumes than the high fashion outfits that the teams wears to blend in. This mini is another case of solid story, unspectacular art, but Felipe Sobreiro’s Glynis Wein/late Bronze Age inspired color palette is delightful. Overall: 7.3 Verdict: Read
Mother Panic Gotham AD #3 (DC/Young Animal) The war between Mother Panic, her uberviolent sidekick Fennec Fox, and the evil Gotham PR firm The Collective reaches new heights, and Ibrahim Moustafa gets to draw some exhilarating, bloody action scenes. Jody Houser and Moustafa craft some wonderful scenes of reunion between Mother Panic and her mom and continue to put an almost meta-fictional twist on the Joker even if it doesn’t feel as connected to the main narrative. This series is shaping up to be a chaotic, punk rock take on Elseworld stories, and the backup story by Houser and the wonderful Paulina Ganucheau is a beautiful, tragic take on the Harley/Ivy romance. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Deadly Class #34 (Image)– This arc where Marcus, a band of rebellious freshmen, and their enemies get caught in Yakuza crossfire has been super intense, and issue 34 is no exception. Writer Rick Remender and artist Wes Craig has been channeling their inner Frank Millers recently, and this issue has its own version of the “mudhole” scene from Dark Knight Returns. But it’s Marcus’ girlfriend Maria doing the ass kicking and helping him get revenge against the murderer of his best friend, who also disrupted his peaceful life in Mexico away from King’s Dominion school.Moral murkiness is really what rules the day, and it goes great with Jordan Boyd’s muddy color palette. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).