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.
Batman #7 (DC)* I’m not usually a fan of crossover stories, but I’m going into this with an open mind as this issue sees the start of the Night Of The Monster Men, and I can’t help but compare it to the excellent 2006 six issue mini Batman And The Monster Men. That being said, this is an interesting start to the story. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Judge Dredd #10 (IDW) I don’t remember the last issue of this comic that I read, but that didn’t impact my ability to follow the story here. This is a fun issue that feels like it’s just moments away from taking the piss out of itself every couple of pages. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Nightwing #5 (DC) And here’s the second chapter of Night Of The Monster Men. We get to see a little more Nightwing this issue than last (which is to be expected given that this is a Nightwing comic), and there’s an unseen threat that permeates this issue, which leads us a almost horror-esque feeling to the proceedings. Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read
Revolution #1 (IDW) Even without knowing anything about the comic universe, this first issue knocked my socks off. It was chaotically awesome, and the stakes are certainly set pretty quickly. I’m going to be diving into the tie-ins pretty soon, because IDW’s crossover is looking fantastic. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Vote Loki #4 (Marvel)* The ending shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anybody, but the journey to get there was quite entertaining. Vote Loki was a fun diversion that may not hold up in the years to come, but right now it’s worth a read. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse Comics)**: Barbalien, or Mark Markz, takes centre stage in this issue of Black Hammer. We get to see a glimpse into Markz’s past on Mars and where his ideology of solving problems through “words over sword” began, leading to his moral struggle once he journeys to Earth. Once again, Lemire writes out some very insightful conversations, especially a heated moment shared between Markz and the sheriff. Ormston and Stewart capture these multiple emotional conversations by focusing on what can be felt about these characters through their eyes, almost not needing dialogue at times to get more of an impact on what is being said. The issue ultimately focuses on the questioned idea of unwarranted, cowardly fear of people like Markz, whose choice to keep to himself causes those skeptical of his interiority to form him and others like him as an enemy. It paints those, like the sheriff, in a light guided by their own insecurities to turn to questionable methods of ‘finding one’s self’ through Christianity (presented in a great opening sequence), forming truths that justify a hurtful, judgemental understanding of the world around them. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy.
Justice League #5 (DC Comics) – A ho-hum comic wraps up a ho-hum story arc. The story overall felt like a Michael Bay film in comics. Lots of action, but not much else. The story itself also makes little sense at this point. Hopefully there’s a long game here, but for being DC’s top tier team, the comic itself feels anything but. Overall Rating: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Green Arrow #7 (DC Comics) – A one shot for the must part. The comic does a lot to shed some info on Emiko. It’s really entertaining and the art continues to shine. The series as a whole has stood out and shown you can echo the live action without being a direct copy or continuation. Overall Rating: 7.9 Recommendation: Read
Batman #7 (DC Comics) – The first part of the first crossover in Rebirth, “Night of the Monster Men” is Batman and his allies fighting kaiju. It’s interesting so far with solid art and good pacing. It’s definitely not typical Batman, and that’s not a bad thing. Overall Rating: 8.05 Recommendation: Read
Nightwing #5 (DC Comics) – The second part of “Night of the Monster Men.” It’s the Bat-team versus kaiju part two! Like the first part this is all entertaining and it feels like something new to Bat-fans. It’s also nice to see Nightwing continue his independent streak established in his series. Plus, Batcycles! This is building into a nice mini-event. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
I Hate Fairyland #9 (Image)**: In which, in order to welch on a gambling debt, Gertrude descends deep into the Hat of Holding and is forced to reckon with all of the stuff she’s dropped in there over the years. Imagine Skottie Young cleaning out the pockets of that jacket you wore that one time a couple of years ago to go bar-hopping in that Central European country you backpacked through because some improbably hot girl told you to meet her in that bar whose name you promptly forgot. And that bar-hop lasted thirty years. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Superf*ckers Forever #2 (IDW)**: SuperDan has returned! And that means it’s time for Princess Sunshine and Jack Krak to fight for his attention. Meanwhile, Vortex lies in a couch full of Jack and Ultra Richard’s piss (“Pee free and live easy, that’s my motto!” says Richard) while Grotessa attempts to cheer him up with a lamp made of a skull she found in a dumpster. Meanwhile, Orange Lightning joneses for some Grotus and the lamp turns out to be Omnizod. What I love about James Kochalka’s work here is that he a) absolutely nails superhero comics and b) totally messes with them. All this Silver Age Legion fan needs is more super-pets and some hero club auditions and I’m good to go for a long time. Overall: 8 Recommendation: buy
Weird Detective #4 (Dark Horse)**: In which Sebastian dons a white Miami Vice suit and discovers the true identity of the Juice Box Killer. Don’t get me wrong, I like Fred Van Lente and I love me some Lovecraftian horror, but, as I’ve said before, the detective part of the mashup is interfering with the weird part, not boosting it. I’ll stick with this till next issue’s conclusion, but I really wish it would get weirder. Side note: DC, if you’re paying attention, this is your path to a new Martian Manhunter series. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: skip
Batman #7 (DC) *- “Night Of The Monster Men” kicks off with a decent-enough opening salvo featuring fun and stylish art from Riley Rossmo and a thoroughly readable script from Steve Orlando and Tom King that, truth be told, is better than King’s solo stuff on the book has been. A weird amalgamation of Kaiju and the current story arc from the “Gotham” TV series, this is by no means super stuff, but is a step above what we’ve gotten from this series so far. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Nightwing #5 (DC)* – Steve Orlando and Tim Seeley continue “Night Of The Monster Men” with bog-standard art from Roge Antonio. An amusing and relatively light-hearted romp that moves the story forward and has sharp, on-target dialogue and cool monsters. Far from “must-read” storytelling, but solid fun. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Karnak #5 (Marvel)* – This series has been a victim of its own shipping inconsistency more than anything else, and an art change after issue two didn’t help matters much, but Roland Boschi has stepped into his role well and Warren Ellis’ story is a thought-provoking, action-packed psychodrama. This issue sets up for the conclusion, and moves the pieces into place in a manner our protagonist himself with no doubt approve of. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
The Vision #11 (Marvel)* – I miss Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s series already, and it’s not even done yet. This penultimate chapter starts out feeling like it’s going to be a bit “quieter” than the battle royale we’d been expecting, but then we get an ending that — damn. Seriously, just damn. Another issue certain to stick with readers for a good, long time. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Britannia #1 (Valiant): When it comes to the catalog of books at Valiant, most of their stories at most , elegant like Doctor Mirage. So when I heard that they were putting a historical epic , I was interested, and then when I found out it was set in Rome, I was very interested, as I was a fan of Spartacus and Rome. This story leans more towards the much touted HBO series, as our protagonist is a centurion who goes about investigating rumblings in one of the empire’s farther regions. What plays out is more than palace intrigue with the story flipping back and forth between Nero and Antonius, it is a power play told from opposite ends. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
From Hell HC (IDW): When I watched the 2001 movie adaptation of this seminal masterpiece, words cannot surmise the disappointment I felt , as it made me question why so many true crime fanatics are still so obsessed with this infamous crime spree. So when I got around to finally reading the original source material for the movie, I finally saw why Alan Moore hates all of the adaptations of his work to celluloid, as not one has come close to satisfying the scope and depth his writing brings . So when IDW re- released it in Hardcover format, not only did they capture what made the book so special in the first place, but they give the whole story in one huge omnibus. This is must buy for true crime fans and the master, Alan Moore. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.
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 (**).