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General Marvel

TV Review: The Walking Dead S9E3 Warning Signs

Rick’s vision for the future is threatened by a mysterious disappearance that divides the work camp where the communities are building a bridge.

The Walking Dead has a focus this season. That focus is to see how you actually build a community. For eight seasons, the series has delivered a series about how one survives in a zombie apocalypse. But, with not threat seen beyond zombie hordes, and multiple communities, were do you go? How do you rebuild society? And, as is emphasized in this episode, will your closest friends believe in it?

Murder is afoot as a body turns up and everyone is a suspect. It’s an interesting direction for the series and it’s resolved in one episode. The murder isn’t so much the interesting part, it’s what it leads to and what actions certain characters take. The season could have easily played that out with a few individuals dying in every episode but things are resolved here and it leads to a final few moments that’ll see that are original group is truly split in their beliefs.

Rick has a vision and Michonne is doing her best to work on making it happen. They see a community working together and living under a set of codified rules. Their belief is that the issues they’re seeing is because too much is left up to the moment. There’s too many inconsistencies. No one knows what’s expected. With a constitution of some sort, folks will understand and law and order will prevail.

Others see the issue as one of not rooting out the bad influences. They see that justice hasn’t been handed out and due to that folks think it’s ok to do what they want. That is the cause of the division and conflict.

Which is right? There’s no real answer here and the show looks to explore that concept for a bit.

There’s also this weird reveal about Jadis/Anne who it turns out is talking to a mysterious individual. That people are in two groups “A” and “B” and we don’t know what that means. It’s something that’s been teased out for some time and we’re seeing it happen. It involves folks in the helicopter but that’s about as far as we know. We’ll find out as it’s clear there’s more insidious things at hand.

But really, this season is about Rick’s exit. Instead of shocking viewers, they’ve let it be known and there’s only two more episodes left with him. Where will things go that sees his good-bye? We’re seeing hints of that here as to the possibilities and we’ll know soon enough. The season has been an interesting one for folks who enjoy the concept of building a society. It’s focused on the drama and human interaction even more so and is giving us a show set in an apocalyptic world more so than a zombie world that we’ve seen.

But, more importantly, it’s deviating more and more from the comics and giving us a different experience for once. An experience that is taking the themes we’ve seen and diving into them even more so. Is it for the better? It’s hard to say but these early episodes are setting something things up for what should be a season that challenges us philosophically as much as it does emotionally.

Overall Rating: 7.5

TV Review: Supergirl S4E2 Fallout

A shocking revelation causes chaos in National City; Supergirl sets out to capture Mercy Graves, while Alex takes control at the DEO; Kara decides to write an investigative story on Mercy and looks to Lena for information; Brainy meets Nia.

Supergirl has no problems wearing its politics on its sleeve and this episode, and season, seems to be directly responding to the xenophobia, transphobia, racism, and hatred that are gripping not just the United States but the entire world.

“Fallout” has a lot to unpack as it’s filled with action and just a lot to say. The President has been exposed as an alien and has to resign. That stokes more resentment for aliens than already existed. You have Mercy Graves doing her thing which also involves exposing aliens by dropping their holograms. The episode just focuses on the hate all around us. A nation uneasy after the President is exposed would be enough to touch upon today’s reality but the episode does so much more.

It’s hard to not watch this episode and think about how the last two and a half years has really exposed the hate all around us. Neighbors who you might have once been friends with now are openly racist. What used to be our hidden reality is out in the open. For better and for worse. That’s what’s happening on Supergirl.

The next question the show focuses on is what’s the role of the media? Is it to editorialize? Is it to report the news? James has a question he needs to answer as far as that and it’s a revelation by Nia that she’s transgender. Nia is played by Nicole Maines, the real life transgender activist and while I expected the character to be, there’s still something somewhat revolutionary about that reality being stated on the show. Especially a show geared towards a younger set. Add in the horrific news that the Trump administration may define gender to strip the rights of transgender individuals, the moment comes at almost a perfect time in our world.

I do have some questions as to why Mercy allowed herself to get caught, that part of the plan seems a little odd, but the action for the episode is solid. It’s a great mix of entertainment and message. The show is doing what entertainment seems to do best, using entertainment to explore our reality. Supergirl is following that great tradition, like we’ve seen in Star Trek, to explore society and take a stand for what’s right. The show is following in the ideals of its main character and it’s soaring this season.

Overall Rating: 8.05

Review: Train 8: The Zombie Express #2

“Nowhere To Run” was one of my favorite songs from Motown. I would hear the song in my parents’ house growing up ever so often and instantly get transported to another time and place. The voices of Martha and the Vandellas made that song soar and I can even hear it now. It brings back happy memories. It wasn’t until I saw the song play in a certain video that it gave me perspective.

It was used in NWA’s “100 Miles and Runnin,” and in that context was used to illustrate what the group was trying to convey. Since then, I wished that it was used more in horror movies. The irony of the lyrics combined with the situation would make for a perfect scene. In the second issue of Train 8: The Zombie Express, the unaffected passengers must find a way both survive and save humanity.

We catch up with the passengers as the train passes through the Idaho mountains and as Conductor Johnson looks for any life beyond the passenger cab he inhabits. As Tyler and the last of the unaffected passengers make their way through the train, they find the carnage left by those who are infected. We also find out that greater powers have their hands in what is going on and they try their best to contain the virus. By issue’s end, the remaining passengers find an empty cab and temporary refuge while one of them is trapped in a cabin full of primordials.

Overall, a nail biter of an issue which leaves you on the edge of your seat. The story by the creative team is action packed, well told, and smart. The art by the creative team complements the story well. Altogether, an exciting issue that sets up what looks to more than satisfy fans.

Story: Marysol Levant, Brian Phillipson, David Stephan
Art: Alex Cormack, Ashley Cormack
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review Misery City

The films of John Woo are truly a treat to the eyes and senses. The first time I even heard of him was in an interview with Quentin Tarantino where he discussed his all-time favorite movies and some iconic Asian directors. Eventually, American moviegoers would eventually learn of his unique vision through films like Face Off. Since then, he has made some more American movies but international movie fans will know him more for his earlier and more iconic work.

One of those movies is Hard Boiled, which stars Chow Yun Fat in his prime. It’s about a cop who loses his partner and seeks revenge against the mobsters who killed him. The movie was new school and cleverly mixed crime noir into this brilliant movie.

In the smart and intense Misery City we meet a detective like Tequila in Hard Boiled, but instead of looking for revenge he’s searching for salvation.

We meet Max Murray, a hardnosed private detective who we find out is doomed for all of eternity to this place which serves as assort of purgatory, known as Misery City. Here he is plagued by demons at every turn, including an old adversary that stands between him and the woman he loves. Eventually he finds himself trapped in a coffin, seemingly hopeless and without the ability to talk. Max must face off against challenges beyond his understanding   and what would ultimately against the many shades of who he is. By book’s end, his redemption is his acceptance of his fate and he realizes it even more after one last fight.

Overall, an engaging graphic novel that blends, allegory, myth, and crime procedural into a rather effective story. The story by K.I. Zachopoulos is action packed and intelligent. The art by Vassilis Gogtzilas is enthralling and vivid. Altogether, an entertaining graphic novel that proves how interesting self-discovery is especially once you admit you are lost.

Story: K.I. Zachopoulos Art: Vassilis Gogtzilas
Story: 9.0 Art:: 9.0 Overall:: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/20

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.


 

BM_Cv57_varJoe Hesh

Batman #57 (DC) So after last issue where we left off with Dick Grayson being horribly wounded. We just knew Batman was going to go on a tear here. He was for sure to be the Grim Knight and exact his revenge. With teeth clenched and fists bared, how are we treated to open this one? With a reading of a fairy tale. Now I get that Tom King goes for symbolism from time to time but this was just.. ugh. Instead of an epic showdown with Bruce avenging Dick we get a rushed fight in the snow with barely any dialogue. At least the pictures by Tony Daniel were very pretty. This is one of those frustrating issues where you know what a writer is capable of versus what they hand you. Just ugh. Score: 4 Recommendation: hard pass.

Ryan C

Batman #57 (DC)** – So, two issues of build-up leads to — a fistfight in the snow captioned entirely with sound effects. Tom King thinks he’s being clever by mixing in flashback sequences of a young Bruce Wayne and a young KGBeast being read the same fairy tale, but it’s seriously forced and obvious, as is Tony S, Daniels’ painfully generic super-hero art. Mark Buckingham and Andrew Peopy’s pages come off considerably better, but it’s not enough to save yet another lackluster issue. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass 

GideonFalls_07-1Cover #2 (DC/Jinxworld)** – I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of this spy thriller, but the second sees Brian Michael Bendis reverting to form with droning, overly-expository dialogue, stilted speech patterns, and little to no plot advancement. David Mack’s art is still nice, but there’s not much for him to sink his teeth into when most of the story involves two people standing, sitting, or driving around talking. Yawn. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

 Gideon Falls #7 (Image)** – The gradual improvement in this horror series continues, as Jeff Lemire cuts down on the dialogue, ups the atmospherics, and weaves his once-disparate plotlines into something very cohesive and, crucially, creepy. Andrea Sotrrentino’s unorthodox page layouts are now complementing the script nicely, and there is very much a “modern EC” feel to the proceedings at this point. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #6 (Dark Horse) **- An “alternate universe sidestep” focusing on just one of our central characters comes to vibrant life thanks to Jeff Lemire’s pacy scripting and guest artist Rich Tommaso’s incredibly striking, pitch-perfect artwork, so for those of you worried that this series was taking two issues “off” to tell something of a “stand-alone” story, rest easy — this is absolutely terrific stuff. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Joe Ryan

Justice League #10 (DC) – This Series moves at an epic scale with breakneck speed. It’s a big bombastic team Comic, so that should be expected. Snyder kicks off Drowned Earth with a solid issue with some fantastic art by Manapul. If you want to read a comic where the world and galaxy are ending every issue, and these heroes are saving it at the last JUSTL_Cv10_varsecond, then this is for you. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League Dark #4 (DC) – Tynion on a team book of outcasts and unique and weird characters is a great marriage. Wonder Woman, their fearless leader has been compromised so to speak, and all of the Magic users are desperately trying to save everything. Gods, demons, chaos, and more make this mini event and comic a fun read. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #57 (DC) – Like much of Tom King’s run on Batman, this issue has had some controversy. I do understand some of the backlash, but I also read this series very differently than Bat-Books of the past. To me this series is the perfect hero not beingperfect anymore. He’s been through a lot, and is cracking. Ever since the run started in Rebirth, we’ve seen countless examples of flaws, weaknesses, and cracks in the Dark Knight. I believe the events of Batman #50 have really broken him, and with what happened to Dick, it has put him over the edge. This may prove to end up not working in the long run, but for now, I am intrigued by where it is going. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Runaways #14 (Marvel) – This is one of my favorite Marvel books every month, and while this was a solid issue, I really missed Anka on art. The art wasn’t bad by Miyazawa, in fact it was good, but Anka and this book are a perfect pair for me. As for the story, it set up some big and interesting things for The Runaways and the returning Alex Wilder that should be huge going forward. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Shuri #1 (Marvel)– In what plays out as a love letter to everyone’s favorite character from the movie, we get an immersion to her point of view. I went into the book looking at what the author did with the crossover story and felt some trepidation as the quality wasn’t consistent. I am glad to say she has proven me wrong as we get a female Tony Stark just way smarter, no bravado just pure genius. By issue’s end, we find a much more balanced leader than what has been portrayed as she is poised to take the mantle again as the whereabouts of her brother is unknown in what looks to be both a fun and engaging series. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Zombie #1 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short. This book has Echoes of Walking Dead/ Fido/ and Last Avengers, in what is an entertaining, melancholy and ultimately hopeful story. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

What If? Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)– In a different origin story for the current Ghost Rider, he becomes his otherworldly self through a ritual. in this story, Robbie must manage a death metal band which seems normal by their standards.His whole perception of them changes when they performed this evil ritual including Robbie. By issue’s end, the band is killed, Robbie had become Ghost Rider and an evil being from. He’ll has arrived on earth. Overall: 9.8 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 (**).

Review: Oblivion Song Vol. 1

A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years they gave up. Nathan Cole… won’t. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those still living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe Nathan is looking for something else. Why can’t he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?

Collects OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI #1-6

Review: Über #11

Growing up as a fan of Kaiju movies, I always loved the big fights between the creatures. Those movies felt like watching each of the monsters wreak havoc in everything they see, leaving scorched earth wherever they walk. The movies ultimately come down to both of these gigantic monsters battling until one died or was beaten. Often these movies were subtitled or badly dubbed but they were pretty easy to follow. The plot was pretty clear. That flaw didn’t take away from what made them so enjoyable, the fights and how they destroyed everything in their path. It was also interesting to see how the humans react to kaiju that came their way.

There was something both intriguing and ridiculous about these movies. In the 11th issue and end of the second story arc of Über, we get the big fight readers have been waiting for.

We catch up with Sieglinde as she continues her onslaught on London, effectively Germany’s second Blitz on the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Churchill looks for help from Stephanie, as England’s own Ubers are decimated within minutes of deploying. As defeat nears, Churchill ensures the royal family’s safety and England’s ultimate saving grace. By issue’s end, Siegmund provides Hitler a most unwelcome surprise.

Über #11 isan excellent issue that grinds this arc to its ultimate conclusion that both satisfies and entertains the reader. The story by Kieron Gillen is smart, well-paced, and intense. The art by Canaan White is beautiful. Altogether, a fitting bookend to an intriguing story arc.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Canaan White
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Honor Girl

When it comes to infatuation it’s a feeling that brings both misery and joy in the same breath. It may be a one-way street and you may never be able to express the way you feel about the person. On the other end, the mere sight or mention of the person, may give you butterflies, which is enough to make your day. This is what makes asking someone out such a treacherous battleground to enter. Your feelings may get hurt.

All of that makes adolescence so trying for so many teenagers. That “awkward teenage phase” may last far past into adulthood. We usually have crushes as long as we draw breath. There’s nothing like the first one. Those are the ones we will always remember. In Maggie Thrash’s memoir Honor Girl, she talks about her first crush, an older woman.

We meet Maggie, as she has to spend her summer at Camp Bellflower for the summer, deep in the Appalachia.  There she meets other girls and one very familiar face form afar catches her eye, Erin, someone who is a few years older. One day, an unencumbered encounter between the two, leaves Maggie in knots over her. As the rest of camp goes, she gets closer to her friends and finds who she really is. By book’s end, not all is conquered but not all is lost.

Overall, it’s an engaging, funny, and true to life story which speaks to young women coming of age. The story as told by Thrash is entertaining and heartfelt. The art by Thrash is beautiful. It’s a graphic memoir that speaks to legions of LGBTQ children. It reminds them and lets them know that they’re not alone.

Story: Maggie Thrash Art: Maggie Thrash
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Analog Vol. 1

Currently in development for film at Lionsgate with John Wick Director Chad Stahelski attached!

2024: the world has been mass-doxxed, and the internet is only for porn. Every email, photo, and document ever sent rains down out of the cloud, and only a fool would send a secret over the web. This is the era of the “Paper Jockeys”: armed couriers with a briefcase of secrets who’ll get your sensitive information around the globe or die trying. Human punching bag Jack McGinnis and his partner Oona are two of the best couriers in the business. For a price, they’ll move your sensitive information where it needs to go as they fight off fascists, criminals, and spies.

From new star DAVID O’SULLIVAN and GERRY DUGGAN

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