Category Archives: Reviews

Creed: The Next Round #4 delivers a decent finale that expands Creed’s world

Creed: The Next Round #4

Amara prepares for the showdown of a generation, aided by family and coaching that only the ring can bring. But winning the war in the ring can only go so far, while the war in the boardroom remains… Creed: The Next Round #4 wraps up an intriguing extension of the Rocky and Creed brand.

Overseen by Michael B. Jordan and written by Latoya Morgan and Jai Jamison, Creed: The Next Round has been an interesting way to further extend the Creed storyline started not too long ago. The series picked up on a throwaway line from the third film, diving deeper into Adonis Creed’s siblings as Adonis’ daughter attempts to carve her own legacy in the ring.

The series has been decent overall. It has done a solid job of expanding the franchise in logical ways and opening things up further to explore. Where it slips, and does so in Creed: The Next Round #4, is rushing things. The series should have been a four issue series. It feels too compressed, too condense. Not enough of its solid ideas are given enough room to expand and explore. The story overall feels like a three act play stuffed into four issues.

In Creed: The Next Round #4 not only do we need to deal with Adonis’ sibling issues but Amara’s big fight. It all is wrapped up well enough but everything deserved more. More interesting imagery, more emotion, more drama, and more boxing. The issue hits the beats you’d expect but doesn’t deliver the “f-yeah” feeling you’d expect. There’s something missing that both Creed and Rocky films nailed consistently. A montage is cut short. The fights never quite delivering the dance you want or the brutality you expect. A graphic novel for each act would have allowed for exactly that as well as build more into the family drama of Adonis, his wife, and daughter as well as Adonis and his siblings. Everything feels rather… rushed, as if it’s up against a bell.

The art is a bit mixed too. The series has had moments of greatness but these past two issues have slipped a bit. Paris Alleyene, Lea Caballero, and Wilton Santos handle the pencils and ink while Gab Contreras and DJ Chavis handle color with Andworld Design on lettering. While there’s some interesting visual moments, the art style of the three is different enough to notice and unlike earlier issues, some of the characters don’t look as much like their onscreen counterparts. BOOM! has had some issues with multiple artists on titles lately and this is a prime example of that working against the end result.

Creed: The Next Round #4 is a fine ending to the series. It leaves things open for some interesting next chapters and new directions for the franchise to go in. Hopefully, someone believes in that potential and keeps things going. A comic spin-off of the film series that delivers the next chapter is a great way to go and a lower barrier to dive further into and expand the world of the Creed family.

Story: Latoya Morgan, Jai Jamison Art/Ink: Paris Alleyene, Lea Caballero, Wilton Santos
Color: Gab Contreras, DJ Chavis Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

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

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Always Matt: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard is both beautiful and heart-wrenching

A poignant tribute to the life of Matthew Shepard and his legacy in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, honoring the formation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which dedicates its mission to erasing hate.

Without shying away from the pain and tragedy of his death, Newman’s moving, lyrical prose and Brian Britigan’s simple color line drawings present a celebration of his incredible life. Matthew’s story still resonates for those who lived through it, and remains a vital piece of LGBTQ+ history for younger generations to learn.

Story: Lesléa Newman
Art: Brian Britigan
Foreward: Jason Collins

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.


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Power Girl #1 is an entertaining but forgettable debut

Power Girl #1

After the events of Knight Terrors, a long-dormant Kryptonian threat has returned to take down Superman and his family. Who could possibly stop it? Well, according to the Man of Steel, it’s Power Girl! Power Girl #1 kicks off a new adventure introducing the character to new readers while continuing Paige’s adventures and story.

Written by Leah Williams, Power Girl #1 is honestly just ok of a read. There’s nothing bad at all, it just isn’t memorable. Paige, aka Power Girl, is now in the tech world, helping raise money for Steelworks to help with sustainability. The auction of course attracts villains who want the items, setting up a battle which, again of course, doesn’t go well. It’s all beats we’ve seen before. Again, it’s not bad, it’s a fine read, but it’s also not something that sits with you. What it does, and does pretty well, is set up the next issue and what’s to come. We get a good sense of Power Girl, her allies, and her next adventure is laid out. It sets up a path fine doing what it needs to do.

On art is Eduardo Pansica, with Júlio Ferreira in ink, color by Romulo Fajardo Jr., and lettering by Becca Carey. Like the story itself, the art is decent. It has some good action but overall there isn’t a moment to really hook the reader. What does stand out is that it dials back the silly sexiness others have depicted the character as. The boob window is there but it only mildly defies functionality. The villain has a cool look to him and there are some panels that have a 90s X-Men vibe to them, but beyond a few panels, the art works but doesn’t excite.

There’s nothing wrong or bad about Power Girl #1. It’s just the comic doesn’t stand out. It has its moments. It has entertaining moments. But it lacks really memorable moments. As an introduction to the character, it works, but overall, it feels like back-up stories released as a first issue instead of a big splash to hook the reader. Hopefully, the second issue gives us a bit more, and what’s hinted at has potential, but not sure you’d miss much by skipping this issue and starting with that one.

Story: Leah Williams Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Júlio Ferreira Color: Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letterer: Becca Carey
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #2 feels like classic X-Men meets Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #2

Ms. Marvel’s mission makes her a target for Orchis, but they have no idea they’re looking for a completely normal teenage girl in their summer science program. Thankfully, Iron Man and Emma Frost are able to stop by and show Kamala how to fly under the radar! Sort of. Kind of. Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #2 feels like a nice mix of classic Ms. Marvel with a classic X-Men spin.

Written by Iman Vellani and Sabir Pirzada, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #2 has a high alert going on as Ms. Marvel’s presence is known and Orchis is on the lookout. What’s solid about Vellani and Pirzada’s story is the focus on Kamala being caught so off guard by all of this.

The duo does an excellent job of showing how uneasy she is in her new role. She’s caught between so many worlds, taking the classic X-Men theme to new levels it feels like and doing it well. You get a sense of her struggling and trying to figure out what’s right and what’s to do.

There’s also this intriguing aspect of Kamala and her dreams. It creates a bit more to the story and the mystery and this issue shows, it’ll play a pretty integral part of what’s to come. Before, it felt like it was part of Kamala’s trauma but what’s presented makes it seem like that and more.

The art by Carlos Gómez and Adam Gorham is solid. With color by Erick Arciniega and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the comic’s look feels like a mix like previous Ms. Marvel series and some of the more recent X-Men comics. What’s also nice is that even though the story can feel dark at times, the art reflects a bit of sunshine and hope and doesn’t linger on gloomy visuals. It feels like a comic that Ms. Marvel herself would enjoy and appreciate (if that makes sense).

Yes, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #2 continues a rather controversial new status-quo for the character. But, the comic is actually good! It feels like a natural progression and Kamala struggles with this new reality like many readers are. The comic also takes what could easily be a rather downer of a comic and story and puts the usual Ms. Marvel spin on it with a dash of humor and hope. Overall, a pleasant surprise that captures the youthful and kinetically fun nature of the character.

Story: Iman Vellani, Sabir Pirzada Art: Carlos Gómez, Adam Gorham
Color: Erick Arciniega Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

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Fist of the North Star Vol. 10 wraps things up with Kenshrio vs. Raoh, the final battle!

In a post-apocalyptic world, a wanderer appears out of the wasteland to bring justice. Ken bears seven scars upon his chest and holds the secret of a mysterious martial art known as Hokuto Shinken, the Divine Fist of the North Star!

Story: Buronson
Art: Tetsuo Hara
Translation: Joe Yamazaki
Touch-up Art & Lettering: John Hunt

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Zeus Comics

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Sainted Love #1 delivers an intriguing time travel adventure

Sainted Love #1

New York City. 1907. Malcolm Irina is the greatest inventor the world’s never heard of, and his lover, John Wolf, is the toughest bare-knuckle boxer in the city. Irina’s crowning invention, the Chronocorridor, is nearly complete. He dreams of whisking himself and Wolf away to a time when they can live and love freely. But when crazed Detective Felt raids Irina’s lab, the couple dive into the freshly powered up portal to escape capture. Sainted Love #1 is an interesting start to an intriguing time travel adventure.

Written by Steve Orlando, Sainted Love #1 takes us to the early 1900s and the bigotry oozing. We get two very interesting characters in a bare-knuckle boxer and an inventor, a duo that seems to work but my catty self can’t see together. John is a talented boxer with a female manager/trainer who is underestimated while Irina’s inventions feel more like show to bilk money from the rich. The two are forced to go on the run after a raid that sends them through time, launching them ahead to the 1950s.

Orlando sets things up well and makes it all intriguing. Some of the story is a little thin, like the motivation of Detective Felt, but the time travel adventure is more the focus, getting the along the way. Orlando’s use of that is fun, especially what Irina does with his time and in a new time.

What was unexpected was the sex. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it feels like Orlando taps classic underground LGBTQ comics of the 90s and early 00s, but not expecting it, it caught be off guard. I’ve read a lot of Steve Orlando’s work and this is pretty open, not something I remember his previously doing (much has been hinted but not shown previously).

The art by Giopota is where the comic for me is a bit of a downer. It’s not bad but it’s not a style I particularly like. It doesn’t quite hook me. Some works, and works really well in particular panels but others, not for me. It’s a personal taste thing and what one enjoys for comic art.

Sainted Love #1 is a pretty good start. It’s cool to see a mix of a classic time travel story with an LGBTQ mix. It stands out on the shelves and if you are looking for queer stories or a new spin on a classic story, it’s well worth checking out.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Giopota Letterer: Simon Bowland, Andworld Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

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The Flash #1 delivers a new entry point as it shakes things up

The Flash #1

Wally West has never been quicker, more fulfilled, more heroic. His loving family is around him. And yet something is off. Very off. His evolving understanding of his powers has opened Wally to new avenues of sci-fi adventure and attuned his senses to strange new ideas. Something whispers from the dark vibrations beyond the Speed Force, and as Wally experiments with creative new approaches to his powers he encounters new realms, mysterious allies, and mind-shattering terrors. The Flash #1 kicks off a new volume and new creative team and is a solid jumping on point for new readers.

Written by Si Spurrier, The Flash #1 has Wally west somewhat settled. He’s attempted to balance his life as a superhero and husband and father. No longer the sidekick, the comic feels like Wally standing on his own attempting to find his place and get everything in line. At work, he’s helping with scientific discoveries that seem to due with the Speed Force, though the specifics never quite explained. At home, he has a wife and kids with the frustrations that come with that. It’s those small moments that stand out in Spurrier’s writing. While the superheroics are interesting, it’s Wally and Linda Park-West’s relationship that stands out.

Spurrier teases the ups and downs in that relationship. Linda’s previously having powers. Her having to deal with a family who experience things so differently than her. While their lives move at mach speeds, she’s left sitting on a couch feeding a newborn. As a father still learning, it’s a segment and focus that stands out to me. For mothers who read it, I’m sure their connection and experiences will be much different. But, the domestic focus stands out and a domestic focus that plays to the frustrations that can come with life and the roles we have within the family.

Overall, Spurrier delivers a comic whose tone isn’t quite the playful Flash of the past. Instead there’s a bit edgier of a style that feels much more like a mix of sci-fi and horror. Some of that is due to Mike Deodato Jr.’s art which stands out. Deodato is joined by Trish Mulvihill on color and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou on lettering and the result is amazing. Gone is the motion we’ve seen with other artists and instead there’s a use of panels that creates a whirlwind feel. The page layout captures the hectic nature of Wally’s life and presents the Flash’s unique speed in an interesting way. It’s stunning visually.

I’m not sure if I’m totally sold on The Flash #1 but it’s a very entertaining start that feels like a new beginning. There’s a vibe like we’re walking into an expansion of The Flash’s world, much like the growth Green Lantern saw many years ago. No matter, the art alone is more than enough to check out the issue.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Trish Mulvihill Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Void Rivals #4 is interesting, predictable, with some odd choices

Void Rivals #4

The climactic return to the SACRED RING! Thrown before the highest authority for their crimes against the Sacred Ring, will Darak and Solila’s newfound alliance hold strong? Void Rivals #4 takes us deeper into the Energon Universe with choices that are far too predictable and others that are just plain odd.

In general, I’ve enjoyed Void Rivals. It’s an interesting series and interesting idea to introduce us to Skybound’s Energon Universe. The issues so far have teased the greater connection to Transformers so far, but also has relied heavily on surprise guest appearances to do so. Void Rivals #4 is no different but its teases are jarring as far as the narrative goes, taking readers out of the flow.

Written by Robert Kirkman, Darak and Solila are now at Solila’s home after her betrayal. With a prisoner in tow, Solila must balance the war their people are fighting with the alliance for survival she forged with Darak. She also must hide the fact she has seen Darak’s face, a punishable offence. Kirkman takes us through the motions for these two with predictable results and reveals, nothing is surprising unfortunately.

What is surprising is the narrative flow choice. Out of nowhere, the comic switches its focus in the middle of Darak and Solila’s story to the Sleestack and his prisoner. The couple of pages just come out of nowhere and while there’s an interesting juxtaposition between that story and Darak and Solila’s as presented, it just doesn’t flow well. Like the previous three issues, Void Rivals #4‘s connection to the Energon Universe is another surprise guest appearance. But, it doesn’t end with that one segment. The comic also features pages from the upcoming Transformers #1. Again, another transition that doesn’t flow and feels a bit out of place. All of it could have worked but here, it just doesn’t unfortunately.

The art by Lorenzo De Felici continues to look solid. With color by Matheus Lopes and lettering by Rus Wooton, the comic feels like it fits in the Transformers style but in its own way. It doesn’t, and hasn’t attempted to copy what has come before and delivers a sci-fi look in both design and color that works well for its world.

Void Rivals #4 works as a piece of the puzzle. But, on its own it’s a bit too easy to guess what will happen. The writing is entertaining and art is great, but its only surprises are weird transitions in its focus, not the story itself. With some small changes tying its to plots together, the comic might have been stronger, but as is, it’s one for the hardcore Transformers fans who want to get first appearances and key issues in what Skybound is laying the groundwork for.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Lorenzo De Felici
Color: Matheus Lopes Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Ultimate Invasion #4 is a rushed clunker of a finale

Ultimate Invasion #4

War breaks out as timelines and universes collide! Iron Man must choose between the lesser of two evils – the Maker or Kang. But what secret does Iron Man know about the men behind the masks? And at the end of it all, the world outside your window will be forever changed! Ultimate Invasion #4 wraps up this miniseries delivering the end to this chapter and the beginning of so much more.

The “Ultimate Universe” has been hinted at and danced around for quite some time since its teased destruction. In Ultimate Invasion, writer Jonathan Hickman has been building the foundation for its official return and a clear relaunch of that line. Unfortunately, at only four issues, Ultimate Invasion has felt rushed giving us a surface level introduction to the world.

The finale has Howard Stark deciding what to do about the Maker and getting to know the mysterious masked man next to him. There’s a lot teased, hinted at, and danced around, with decisions made to get things rolling and wrap up this chapter of the story. And, as a big event, it sort of works. But, like a summer popcorn movie, this is one to not really think too much about. It relies on visuals and blockbuster moments instead of the more interesting nuanced themes that make you think that Hickman is known for and excels at. It teases so much and so many interesting things but relies heavily on its visuals to distract from its thin delivery.

Unfortunately, the art by Bryan Hitch is just distracting. With ink by Andrew Currie, color by Alex Sinclair, and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the visuals are bombastic and blockbuster but without much that’s interesting. The use of the same characters over and over feels like the goal is to just fill up spreads as opposed to deliver an interesting narrative through visuals. I didn’t find myself drawn to anything in particular but enjoyed the art from a high level view. Hitch’s art in general is hit and miss for me and in this case it’s a general miss.

The draw of Ultimate Invasion #4 is its setup of a new Ultimate Universe. It does that and does that pretty well. But, the issue, and series as a whole, rushes through explanation and background of key characters and moments delivering a reading experience that feels like the Cliff’s Notes version of a series rather than laying a strong foundation and groundwork. Add in a cover price of $8.99 and it’s hard to really recommend the single issue. This is an event as a whole that might be better as a collection.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Bryan Hitch
Ink: Andrew Currie Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.85 Recommendation: Read

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The Penguin #2 delivers a dark, twisted, emotional punch

The Penguin #2

Oswald Cobblepot is preparing to take back the Gotham underworld at the behest of the U.S. government, but to wage this war, he’s going to need some ruthless soldiers. For starters…the Help, the merciless assassin Penguin first encountered in Batman: Killing Time. The Penguin #2 is a hell of a second issue that cements this series as one of the best of the year so far.

Written by Tom King, the issue is as much horror as tragedy. Much like the first issue, it’s easy to both feel sorrow for the Penguin’s situation but also feel complete disdain due to his vile acts. The Penguin #2 delivers a balance that’s amazing and shows of King’s writing strengths. The issue keeps things simple as Oswald attempts to recruit the Help, an assassin of unparalleled ability. Since Penguin’s retirement, the Help has retired himself. Surrounded by servants, this intriguing character balances his nature with a want of peace and quiet. The Penguin sees it as a prison the Help needs to be freed from and needs him to retake his empire.

The Penguin #2 is much like the first issue, a person at relative peace, haunted by their past. In each, both individuals are forced back into their previous statement through forces not their own. Both are done so not necessarily kicking and screaming but in an almost shocked reserved state. And, like the first issue, The Penguin #2 feels tragic where you again feel sorry for an individual who one should not feel empathy for. King has done an excellent job in two issues to create a connection between readers and characters allowing for the sadness to ooze from the page.

That’s helped by the art of Rafael De La Torre, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art has been spot on perfect for the story balancing its sadness, shocks, and tension. De La Torre and the team do an amazing job of building through the issue towards its explosive ending. The tense nature of this meeting builds through the pages eventually ending in an explosive finale that opens a flood of sadness as to the result. The comic’s visuals keeps things focused on its two main individuals, a verbal dance between the two and then we’re presented with Penguin’s actions. Much of the horror is left to our imagination, a technique that is successfully pulled off and enhanced when we’re presented with the result of Penguin’s rage. Like the story itself, it’s all shown with a mix of horror, shock, and sadness and executed with precision.

The Penguin #2 cements the series as one of the best of the year so far. Two issues in, both have demonstrated a quality that’s amazing on every level. It’s one that’s not to be missed a gem of DC’s “Dawn of DC” line.

Story: Tom King Art: Rafael De La Torre
Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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