Category Archives: Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews: WildC.A.T.s and Space Trash!

Space Trash Vol. 1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

WildC.A.T.S #1 (DC Comics) – Matthew Rosenberg, Stephen Segovia, and Elmer Santos bring back the (maybe) classic 90s paramilitary super team in an action-packed, accessible way. Rosenberg continues his characterization of Cole Clash as a violent, but slightly lovable fuck-up shooting his way through the DC Universe and generally being a terrible teammate. However, my favorite part of this first issue was Segovia’s varied fight choreography for the various WildCATs from Grifter’s drunken gun fu to Zealot’s precision and Caitlin Fairchild basically being a kid on Grand Theft Auto 5 with all the cheat codes turned on. You don’t have to be a Wildstorm stan to jump into this book, but maybe you will be by the end. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Space Trash Vol. 1 (Oni Press) Space Trash Vol. 1 is the opening salvo in Jenn Woodall’s queer punk dystopian sci-fi series. This volume introduces readers to the three leads Una, Stab, and Yuki and their place in the ecosystem of a fully automated school on the Moon. Woodall’s art is full of gorgeous and occasionally hilarious background details, like the graffiti that fills the school. I also love her approach to character design and personalities through fashion and hair styles. It takes a bit for the plot to kick in, but Space Trash ends up being quite revolutionary and relatable to our late capitalist world exploring themes of misinformation, surveillance, and of fucking course, queer liberation. Overall: 8.1 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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Catwoman: Lonely City #4

Catwoman: Lonely City #4

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Catwoman: Lonely City #4 (DC/Black Label) – Cliff Chiang wraps up Catwoman: Lonely City with virtuosic effort as Selina, Poison Ivy, and the non-rhyming Etrigan break into the Bat-Cave to find the mysterious Orpheus with Harvey Dent and his Bat-cops on their heels. Chiang balances the messy and explosive (A magic battle between Etrigan and Clarion!) and the deeply personal with Selina struggling to shut the door on this era of her life while also kick-starting a new, less fascistic era for Gotham. I’m not a big fan of the Selina/Riddler romance, but I do love her relationship with his daughter Edie, who becomes the new Catwoman in a series of gorgeously acrobatic pages. Catwoman: Lonely City definitely has “final Catwoman story” vibes, but a heartfelt epilogue shows she still has a role to play in Gotham with Chiang using a more colorful palette to show the changes that new mayor Barbara Gordon has brought to the city. All in all, Catwoman Lonely City is a touching, action-packed story about legacy, resisting authoritarianism, and finding family in unexpected places. Overall: 8.9 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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Least We Can Do, Chicken Devils, and Namor!

Namor: The Sub-Mariner - Conquered Shores #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Chicken Devils #1 (Aftershock) – Brian Buccelato’s Chicken Devil is back for another volume with a new artist (Mattia Monaco) and a side of domestic drama to go with the hot chicken vigilantism. Monaco brings a dose of anarchy to the comic with bursts of color any time something violent or stressful happens like Mitch dealing with an Albanian biker gang or trying to save his marriage in an Ikea. He trying to have a normal life in the midst of working with the cops to cover up his murders makes Chicken Devils darkly humorous like the early seasons of Breaking Bad. However, by the end of the first issue, the scope of the series expands with Mitch putting the restauranteur and dad hats to the side and embracing the vigilante label with some help. Talk about the ultimate mid-life crisis. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Buy

The Least We Can Do #2 (Image) – The second issue of The Least We Can Do slows down and focuses on Uriel’s training to fight against the Eden Army. Predictably, it doesn’t go too well, and artist Elisa Romboli uses dynamic paneling to show Uriel get her ass kicked over and over again as she struggles to use her Medium in combat. And speaking of Mediums, Iolanda Zanfardino and Romboli provide a lot more information about the different kinds, and how it’s difficult to use one if it was stolen, not found. The Least We Can Do #2 is kind of heavy on telling/exposition, but I feel like I have a little better grasp on this world after reading. Overall: 7.1 Verdict: Read

Namor: The Sub-Mariner – Conquered Shores #1 (Marvel) – Just in time for his live action debut, Christopher Cantwell, Pasqual Ferry, and Matt Hollingsworth turn in a story of a victorious, aging, and regretful Namor in a world where the heroes are gone and waters cover the Earth. Ferry uses wide layouts for Atlantis and tighter ones for the oxygenated area of Atlantis and the human dwellings in New York to contrast their plight and provide motivation for Namor, who is retired as king and works to find some kind of equality between humans and Atlanteans. Having him be a kind of diplomat is interesting characterization, but the bruises he gets from Luke Cage’s men might put at end to that. All in all, Conquered Shores #1 is an interesting dystopian story illustrating the simple fact that getting what you always wanted isn’t always fulfilling plus it features gorgeous, at times haunting visuals from Pasqual Ferry and Hollingsworth and real world parallels to climate change and inequality. Overall: 8.6 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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Kaya and Rings of Power “The Eye”

Kaya #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Kaya #1 (Image Comics) – Writer/artist Wes Craig begins a post-apocalyptic fantasy epic with hunter Kaya and royal princeling Jin finding a way to the North to find somewhere to be safe. Of course, this goes terribly wrong, and there are lizard riders, unlikely alliances, and lessons about the importance of survival versus history. Craig’s storytelling and Jason Wordie’s color palette are the big highlights of the series as he knows how to go for the big wide shot of abandoned villages and then tighten it up with a grid when Jin is bargaining for food. Craig’s cartoonish art style is perfect for conveying the emotions of grief and desperation as well as friendship, and overall, this is a good entry into an intriguing world. Overall: 8.9 verdict: Buy

Rings of Power S1E7 “The Eye”– In its darkest hour, Rings of Power has really found its quality. “The Eye” explores the fallout of the volcanic eruption in the Southlands. There’s more intrigue and heart in the Harfoot’s storyline plus weird-ass cultists, and setbacks in Elrond’s quest to save his people through the mining of mithril. Director Charlotte Brandstrom sets the tone for the episode in the first minutes with Galadriel and Theo finding an unlikely bond and looking for survivors in a flaming wasteland. Their interactions are wonderful, and Morfydd Clark adds a new layer of vulnerability to the Elf general. With orange and sepia filters and bleak cinematography, “The Eye” shows the true, human cost of war and revenge, but also resilience with a now-blinded Miriel vowing that Numenor will return to finish the job. The visual motif of flames continues as the Harfoots’ grove turns out to be blighted until the Stranger works his magic, and then it catches on fire again. However, Nori, Poppy, and the other Harfoots have grown and changed throughout this season and end up beginning a kind of adventure of their own. Change isn’t something that King Durin IV of Khazad-Dum is into as he forbids his son Prince Durin from mining mithril and gets in a heated argument with him that has actors Owain Arthur and Peter Mullan tapping into their dwarven rage. Durin III is strongly framed to be in the wrong especially in light of what could happen to the Elves, but one of the final frames of the episode challenges this assumption. By embracing the darkness and exploring guilt and defeat with a sliver of hope, “The Eye” is the strongest hour of Rings of Power this season and definitely connects to the work of an author that had to withstand the trenches in one of the world’s most pointless wars. Overall: 9.1


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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Vanish, Judgement Day, and Rings of Power

Vanish #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Vanish #1 (Image Comics) Vanish #1 is the edginess I craved from Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Sonia Oback. The story follows a former Chosen One-type figure around as he abuses drugs and alcohol to numb his pain and avoid getting the job done against his Big Bad’s former associates. Vanish takes the total piss out of the Harry Potter series (A handgun could definitely finish Lord Voldemort off) while paying homage to 90s Image comics like Spawn and The Darkness with high energy, violent storytelling from Stegman and Mayer. It’s full of cool poses and costumes too like a Black Parade-inspired get-up for our protagonist. Also, the combination of human struggles with an over the top setting and plot reminds me a lot of my other favorite Cates comics (Venom, God Country) Vanish is good, dumb fun: the comic book equivalent of throwing back shots at your local Emo Nite. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Rings of Power S1E5 “Partings”Rings of Power turns up the intrigue as it begins the second half of the season. Every plotline becomes interconnected as Elrond finds out that Gil-Galad and Celebrimbor exploited his friendship with Durin and the Dwarves to find mithril and keep Elves alive while darkness spreads in Middle Earth. The triumph of evil continues in big and small ways whether that’s half the Southlanders joining Adar, the Stranger almost freezing Nori to death after saving the Harfoots from wolves, or Pharazon’s son Kemen burning 2 Numenorean ships to try to prevent them from helping the men of the Southlands. But “Partings” isn’t just cool Balrog flashbacks or the Numenorean navy flexing its power and is chock-full with small, interesting character moments. For example, Galadriel comes clean to Halbrand about how her last army mutinied, and she might have an obsession with ridding Middle Earth of every last Orc. Also, Durin and Elrond share a humorous moment where Durin repatriates an Elven table while working together to balance friendship, duty, and the fate of the Elven race after the mithril discovery. While waiting for the attack of Adar and his Orc legions, writer Justin Doble deepens the relationship between Arondir and the Southlanders he’s protecting showing some archery fundamentals to (future stepson, to be honest) Theo and understanding that there is a proclivity for evil among them, but they can also resist. All in all, “Partings” sharply draws the battle lines with the Southlanders, some Elves, and Numenoreans taking on the still mysterious Adar and his Orcs, but there’s also division in regards to the mithril, Pharazon, and even Halbrand, who may or may not want to be king. Overall: 8.3

Brett

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #5 (Marvel) – Overall, this event has gone down as one of Marvel’s best in a long time. There’s been a lot of action but also some depth about gods, destiny, and what living a good life means. Things look desperate in this issue but it delivers one hell of an ending that shakes things up in a major way. The art is solid as usual and the comic does a great job of capturing the desperate moment the world is in. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Vanish #1 (Image Comics) – Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Sonia Oback deliver a debut that I feel like I’ve seen before. The concepts and comic don’t feel original or new but there’s a slickness about it all that harkens back to earlier Image. The story involves wizards in our real world acting as heroes and villains. Take some Birthright, mix in Thunderbolts, add in whatever magical kids story you prefer, and throw in the look of 90s Spawn and you get Vanish. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Alien, E-Ratic, and two from DC!

Alien #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

E-Ratic Recharged #1 (AWA Studios) – Even though Kaare Andrews’ art and Brian Reber’s colors crackle with energy, E-Ratic Recharged #1 is a pretty, by the numbers teen superhero comic. Andrews’ female characters are basically all written and drawn interchangeably, and the new one he introduces this issue has more thong wedgie shots that ones of her face even though she plays a pivotal part in this plotline. However, E-Ratic Recharged isn’t without its charms, especially in its fight scenes, and in how its protagonist Oliver’s patheticness and vulnerability makes Peter Parker seem like a picture of stability. Plus it has a solid cliffhanger. However, it feels like Kaare Andrews’ visual storytelling skills would be welcome on something more compelling than Wish.com Spider-Man meets Hourman. Overall: 6.0 Verdict: Pass

Alien #1 (Marvel) – Of course, utopias always go wrong in a world where the Weyland-Yutani corporation holds sway, and the new Alien comic from Philip Kennedy Johnson and Julius Ohta is no exception. Alien #1 has great pacing with a xenomorph attack before the title page before pulling back and focusing on a group of androids on the run, who get pulled back in to help some human colonies with the greatest prize of all: citizenship. Even though Alien #1 is an action-driven book, there’s still some good commentary about basically some people are less, say, American than others and have to earn basic human dignity. Ohta’s art isn’t super breathtaking, but I love how he draws the androids as basically flawless humans plus the aforementioned xenomorph attack has a great atmosphere and chiaroscuro lighting thanks to colorist Nitro. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Batman #127 (DC Comics) – I’ve generally liked the new direction and creative team but the story feels like it’s mining a bit too much in Batman’s history as opposed to charting a new course. Alternate personalities dominate and if you don’t care about this particular one, I don’t, then the issue falls flat. The back-up story featuring Catwoman and Penguin is great though showing off a lot of potential for a classic villain. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read

Dark Crisis #4 (DC Comics) – This event completely relies on your nostalgia for Crisis on Infinite Earths and the multiverse. Neither really excite me and since recent events have touched upon the same topic, the overall story feels like we’ve seen this one too many times. Overall, a follow up event of a classic feels like a mash-up of too many events we’ve seen before. Overall: 6.0 Verdict: Pass


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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Minor Threats and Amazing Fantasy

Minor Threats #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Minor Threats #1 (Dark Horse) Minor Threats #1 is a “the Rogues/other B-list villains hunt down the Joker” with the serial numbers filed off comic from Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum, Scott Hepburn, and Ian Herring. But it’s still delightful. The story is told from the POV of Frankie (Formerly Playtime), who used to be a supervillain, but now is a bartender that caters to bad guys. Through flashbacks and looks at her work and whatever passes as her home life, Oswalt and Blum paint a portrait of a woman who is desperate to move on from heists and gadgets and wants to be a mom to her daughter. However, that part of her life will always be seductive. Minor Threats‘ setting, style, and palette of the comic is very Bronze Age-meets-Dark Age with an inset panel-filled page showing the injuries that Insomniac has inflected on a villain a la the “This is an operating table” scene in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. Hepburn and Herring add all kinds of fun background details in the art from the remnants of a kaiju battle in Frankie’s neighborhood to the Hoarders meets Silver Age supervillain decor of Frankie’s mom’s house. All in all, Minor Threats #1 has a hell of a hook and humanizes characters that are usually punching bags for the guys who get the toys and movies and Netflix shows and fills that Superior Foes-sized hole in my heart. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Amazing Fantasy #1000 (Marvel) – Marvel celebrates one of their biggest cash cows with a homage featuring lots of creators who haven’t worked on the character. (And one who I wish never did.) Anthony Falcone and Michael Cho‘s first story follows Spider-Man’s annual arrest of a two-bit crook in a retro style with flat colors and references to past adventures. It has a slightly mean-spirited tone, but reminds readers of Spidey’s role as the ultimate neighborhood protector even when aliens/space gods are invading. In the second story, Dan Slott and Jim Cheung tell a heart-warming story of Spider-Man at age 60 while drawing some parallels to Uncle Ben and having him share some sweet moments with MJ and the rest of New York. Cheung’s visuals hit the right balance between dark and light, and I love how Slott writes the relationship between MJ and Peter.

The third story by Veep‘s Armando Iannucci and Ryan Stegman goes away from the legacy/homage stuff to introducing a farcical supervillain that uses hallucinogenic ink to have all Daily Bugle readers believe their favorite conspiracy theory, including the newspaper loving Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson winning an expose for his hit-pieces about Spider-Man. It ends up being very Scooby-Doo, but Iannucci gets in a few good jokes and kudos to him and Stegman for creating something new instead of coasting on older stories. After this, Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel tell a simple story about Peter Parker taking pictures of non-Spider-Man things (Except for Spidey getting ice cream on his costume.) on the perfect New York day while inner monologuing about not having enough money to take Betty Brant on a date. Coipel brings some incredible composition work on the photos, and colorist Matthew Wilson gives everything a sunny feeling.

Amazing Fantasy #1000‘s fifth story is a horror yarn from Ho Che Anderson, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Klaus Janson, and Jordie Bellaire. It’s set around the death of Gwen Stacy and captures the darkness of that era from the POV of a mental hospital patient, who feels and sees spiders under her skin and suffers from unmentionable trauma. Spider-Man plays a smaller role in this story, but he listens to the patient and provides hope and healing, his reds and blues dancing against the flames. The sixth story from Kurt Busiek and the Dodsons wholeheartedly engages in nostalgia and creates a sequel to another story in Amazing Fantasy #15 with mixed result. The Dodsons’ art style is a good match for the pulpy battle between an early career Spider-Man and the Witch Queen, and Busiek finds some humor in an interdimensional conqueror experiencing 1960s New York, but this story is really just an exercise is knowing way more about old comics than you.

For the penultimate story, Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto trot out one that is both intimate and multiversal in scope. Through the lens of a new Spider-Man, they parse out the suffering, love, and heroism that makes the friendly neighborhood web-slinger as well as the sense of humor. Having Spider-Men from different universes crack wise and swap war stories in a nine panel grid makes for entertaining, fulfilling reading. Plus it’s nice to see Jonathan Hickman doing something salt of the Earth and not high concept for once. Speaking of high concept, Amazing Fantasy #1000 wraps up with a semi-autobiographical story from Neil Gaiman and Steve McNiven about Gaiman reading Spider-Man as a boy in Sussex and then meeting Steve Ditko later in life. McNiven inks himself for this story and does a great job blurring reality and fantasy while Gaiman’s script conveys his love for, yet distance from Spider-Man. (This is his first time writing him.) All in all, the story captures the essence of what makes the character great because he has great power, yet relatable problems (“Rent!”), but still perseveres no matter the odds. Overall: 8.2 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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Kvlts, Barbarians, Savage Avengers, and more!

Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Trve Kvlt #1 (IDW Publishing) – Scott Bryan Wilson, Liana Kangas, and Gab Contreras explore the fantasy of making some money via robbery to escape your dead end job in Trve Kvlt #1. The story is told from assistant manager Marty’s POV, who has been at Burger Lord for 15 years ever since he wanted to make some extra scratch to buy tapes as a teenager. The restaurant has supportive co-workers, but abusive management and customers so it’s no wonder he’s robs 8 strip mall stores on his lunch break. However, Wilson and Kangas show the foolishness of this plan almost immediately with the heat getting put on him before the first issue even wraps up. Contreras’ color palette is the unsung hero of the issue showing the stress of the crime to using a softer palette for a new, idealist co-worker and finally faded nostalgia for Marty’s youth. Trve Kvlt #1 is a greasy, engaging crime yarn with a side of “Hail Satan”. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy

Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1 (Vault) – Barbaric is back with vampires, giants, and sea monsters to boot as well as emotional damage. After rescuing his old barbarian buddy Steel from the thrall of giant vampires, Owen, Axe, and Soren begin an epic journey to defeat Gladius, a figure so evil that Owen refuses to talk about him. Michael Moreci’s script is humorous, especially when Axe interacts with different kinds of blood and gets drunk or “hungover”, but there’s a little heart too, especially in Owen and Steel’s interactions. They’ve been through some shit. Barbaric is an ultraviolent, darkly humorous take on the fantasy genre, and sticks the landing on its return issue, especially in its messy Nate Gooden drawn fight sequence. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Daredevil #2 (Marvel) – There’s some major changes and revelations in this issue that changes a lot of Daredevil’s history and what has driven him. There’s multiple forces that have been manipulating him apparently with a possibility of the divine. There’s a bit of a reminder of the Punisher being an avenging angel but the story just veers towards it and fortunately doesn’t quite cross it. It’s an interesting addition that could add a lot to religious themes of the character. The art is of course amazing. It’s a celebration issue and the backup stories are a fun read. Overall, an intriguing issue that celebrates a big number for the series but doesn’t overdo that aspect. The only knock is an art shift in the main story that feels like a bit of a jolt before it’s clear what’s going on. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Savage Avengers #4 (Marvel) – The heroes are still stuck on the past with Deathlok struggling with its reality. With the revelation this Deathlok is an aged Miles Morales we get the how of it all and witness the heroes final act. It’s a hell of an issue and possible future that should have folks talking about the series. Writer David Pepose is known for remixing concepts and he’s done it with this series and two well established characters and makes it look smooth. And is it the death of Conan the Barbarian!? Is this how he’s written out of Marvel comics!? Add in solid art and this has been a fun series that’s probably not on enough radars. Overall: 8.0 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 (**).

Mini Reviews: Harley Quinn and The Sandman!

The Sandman

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 reviews we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Logan

Harley Quinn S3E4 “A Thief, A Mole, An Orgy”. In yet another hilarious installment of Harley Quinn, writer Tom Hyndman casts his satiric sights on The Court of Owls that has gone from being a legitimate threat to a place of awkward orgies and pinata sacrifices. (There’s a reason the lights stay off.) Harley and Poison Ivy are at the orgy because the sentient, asexual plant Frank has gone missing, and he’s integral to her plan to terraform all of Gotham. But this episode isn’t all Bane with a dildo gags, and Jim Gordon (Christopher Meloni continues to kill it.) failing at campaign fundraising, and it explores the bumpier side of Harley and Ivy’s relationship. Kaley Cuoco finds a softer, less hyper side of Harley Quinn in her voice performance, and Lake Bell shows more of Ivy’s vulnerable side as her avoiding conflict turns into lying. Four episodes in, the writing team of Harley Quinn shows that a committed relationship can be just as interesting as a romantic build-up or break-up. This episode wasn’t as good as last week’s villain award showcase, but there were still some good laughs from Harley Quinn’s take on the Court of Owls and the general existence of Bane plus Hyndman’s nuanced take on Harlivy. Overall: 8.0

Sandman S1E1 “Sleep of the Just”. The Sandman Netflix show kicks off with a very faithful retelling of the first issue of the comics series written by Neil Gaiman. (He co-writes this episode with David Goyer and Allan Heinberg.) Basically, Dream of the Endless (Tom Sturridge) is accidentally captured by a wannabe Aleister Crowley-type named Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), who wanted his sister Death instead. Roderick’s motivation is sympathetic because he wants his son who died in World War I back from the dead, but ends up being consumed by his desire for power that leads him to abuse his son Alex (Laurie Kynaston) and his mistress Ethel (Joely Richardson). Director Mike Barker does a great job of showing how humans pale in the presence of Dream, who doesn’t speak for most of the episode, except in voiceovers. While looking like he’s made of alabaster, Sturridge exudes utter defeat with glimpses of hope (When his raven almost burns down the Burgess house) and anger. This culminates in an epic, fist pump worthy sequence to show just how powerful the Lord of Dreams is even with his possessions gone and realm in ruin. Along with focusing on the captivity of Dream, “Sleep of the Just” introduces the season’s antagonist, The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) showing him as a nightmare that strikes terror in a slow, creeping, yet polite way. Holbrook’s slight Kentucky drawl offsets Tom Sturridge’s more, let’s say, god-like voice. Basically, when Dream speaks, it’s just like the special word balloons Todd Klein made for him in the comic. Overall: 8.7

Mini Reviews: Four Debuts and more G.I. JOE!

Blood Syndicate #1

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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.

Blood Syndicate #1 (DC Comics/Milestone) – The issue is an interesting one as Milestone expands a bit bringing back another classic series with a bit of an update. The update works pretty well but there’s a lot of things that just happen with little explanation making the comic a bit of a headscratcher at times. It’s a decent start that has me wanting to see more but this might be an overall package than individual issue when it comes to how good it is. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 (Dark Horse) – Time perfectly for the release of the first trailer for the upcoming sequel film, the comic takes us back to Pandora. The Na’vi are presented with an option to gain knowledge from the Sky People with schools but debate their contaminating their lives. There’s a lot to chew on but like the original film, it feels like it’s not original enough, especially when we get to the end and find the conflict to come in a mysterious disease. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Cold Iron #1 (comiXology Originals) – Me not knowing references probably hurt my enjoyment of the comic but it’s a horror comic that takes place on the Isle of Man. There’s some interesting stuff there but overall it didn’t quite hook me like I hoped. I want to see where it goes but the first issue is kind of meh. Overall Rating: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer #1 (Opus) – I don’t know much about Death Dealer beyond the classic Frank Frazetta art and the collectibles that spun out of it. So, this being my first introduction to the character and story I was really intrigued. Unfortunately, there’s a lot like it and a lot that’s so much better. This character tortured by a voice who’s a killing machine feels like it’s been done over and over. It didn’t help the comic slipped into some bad fantasy tropes that had me rolling my eyes. Unless you’re a hardcore Frazetta fan, this is a pass. Overall Rating: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Saturday Morning Adventures #3 (IDW Publishing) – The comic perfectly captures the classic cartoon not just in the story but the art as well. There’s such an amazing attention to detail for both that it feels like I’m transported almost 4 decades back. If you’re a fan of the classic 80s cartoon, this is a must and feels like coming home for some afternoon cartoons. Overall Rating: 9.0 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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