Category Archives: Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/15/17

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.


Alex

Daredevil #15 (Marvel) You know, as the first issue of Daredevil that I’ve read in a long time, this was actually pretty good. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

red-dog-2-coverDoctor Strange / The Punisher: Magic Bullets #2 (Marvel) You’d be surprised at how well the team up of Doctor Strange and Punisher actually works for the reader’s enjoyment. I don’t
really remember too much about the previous issue, nor did I fully follow the story (I got distracted by the art…), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Hulk #1 (Marvel) Holy crap, this was a fantastic issue. We’re given a wonderful comic that explores the results of some pretty traumatic events in Jennifer Walter’s life. I didn’t expect to read this, but I am so glad I did. Hulk #1 was simply incredible. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Inhumans Vs X-Men #3 (Marvel) The X-Men’s assault on the Inhumans takes place in the issue, and for all intents and purposes it’s a well executed plan of attack, with a comic that matches up pretty well to the story. Another solid book from Marvel this week. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Red Dog #2 (415 Media) I missed the first issue of this comic when it came out, but after Graphic Policy’s Blogger in Chief Brett suggested I give it a go I sat down and started reading the second issue. Sci fi comics typically aren’t my cup of tea, although the more I say that the less true it seems to become, but this story about a boy and his robot dogs is quite interesting. There’s also a battle of sorts at the onset of the comic, likely a culmination of issue #2, which took a different direction than you’d typically expect but it wasn’t the highlight of the issue for me. Overall, this is a cracking comic that deals more with lonliness and companionship than it does the sci fi element. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

Ashley

Detective Comics #948 (DC) – Advertised as the new start for Batwoman, the issue starts off strong enough. Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV open with a scene between Kate Kane and her dad that brought back a lot of happy memories of Batwoman: Elegy and Ben dtc_cv948_dsOliver’s art is solid, with strong and dark colors that evoke a certain sense of heaviness and danger in Gotham. However, the wind was knocked out of my sails a bit when I got to the introduction of Dr. Victoria October. Now, I’m no expert, but it doesn’t exactly bode well when nearly every trans person I know in comics reacted to that panel on Twitter with “Oh no.” Not only is it massively insulting, but it also just reads awkward and stilted. I hope better for Bennett and Tynion, but they haven’t exactly hit the ground running here. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Motor Crush #2 (Image) – Picking up from the action packed first issue, the second issue of the new hit from Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr scales back a bit to let us get to know Domino a bit more. Well, Domino and her ex-girlfriend/mechanic Lola Del Carmen. There’s still plenty of mystery, suspense and action to be had, but it’s nice to get to know Domino on a personal level. Not to mention that Lola might be one of the prettiest characters Tarr has ever drawn. She brings a beautiful pastel balance to the neon world of Nova Honda, and shows that Tarr is second to none when it comes to using fashion to describe a character. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Inhumans vs X-Men #2 (Marvel) – While Queen Medusa prepares for war, the mutants deliver it. In this issue we see the Inhumans home world attacked, and some pretty cool matchups as all hell breaks loose. It would certainly seem that the battle is very one sided so far, but I’m sure the scales will too soon. I enjoyed the fights, and it is still so far so good for this series. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

jlareb_vix_cv1_dsJustice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1 (DC) – I am sure there are those that will like that comic, and though I tried, I didn’t really enjoy it. I love Orlando on Midnighter and Apollo, but just couldn’t get into the story here. That’s okay because not every comic is for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, there is an origin story, and some interesting moments. I just didn’t enjoy the flow of the book overall. I thought The Atom Rebirth issue last week was solid, and will continue to read each of these one shots leading to JLA, but this book is a pass for me. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Justice League vs Suicide Squad #4 (DC) – . This series has been summer blockbuster popcorn fun, and this issue continues that. We finally get a big brawl with our actual villains, and some JL/SS team up moments. This is how you do an event. Make it weekly and come out guns and powers blazing and get it over with. This is a fun book. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League vs Power Rangers #1 (DC) – In an unexpected turn of events, this was one of my favorite books this week. I am not a big Power Rangers fan, but it didn’t matter. Tom Taylor does a great job here balancing the action and the campiness, and there was a moment where Zach first sees Batman and it is awesome and funny. It shows that any property with a good writer can work, because this seems like such a silly premise, but it works. I will be reading this going forward. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Stray Bullets #20 (Image/El Capitan)** – The Amy Racecar issues are always a bit problematic for me: Sunshine & Roses generally moves so briskly that, ironically, the
Racecar slows it down. Much as I love seeing Mini-Monster work, and fun as it is to watch David Lapham go to town on superhero/science adventure stuff (the little elephant-boy Zzwerks are adorbs), I just want to get back to it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: keep reading! (I bought my copy)

Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual (Dark Horse) I have to admit, I would have liked some straybullets-sr-20_cvrguest writers on this jam as well. It’s like Jeff Lemire is freeriding on his Silver Age foundations and not digging anything up from underneath them (I can’t help but contrast with the Alan Moore/Rick Veitch flashbacks in Supreme). Even though this is a roster of artists I really like, their work seems rushed and run-of-the-mill here (but run-of-the-mill Dustin Nguyen, Emi Lenox, and Mike Allred is still pretty damn good). Cute, but no substitute for a regular-sized Gardner Fox/Mike Sekowsky ish of JLA. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Skip

God Country #1 (Image) – I wanted to like this way more than I actually did. I was attracted to the concept of mythical sword & sorcery deep in the heart of Texas – but I needed it to be like I need my country music: way more outlaw. Writer Donny Cates could have given us more time with his main characters and setting, such that that storm really did blow me away. Geoff Shaw’s art almost worked best for me when there weren’t any people around. In short, there wasn’t enough contrast for me between God and Country and it fell into the mushy middle. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: try it and see.

Motor Crush #2 (Image) – Well, this is fun and breezy! Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr look like they’re having a ball with this slightly sci-fi’d-up motorcycle racing soap. The story is fairly by-the-numbers, but the numbers in question are a straight four on the floor, so I’m okay with that. This is the kind of thing that I would love to see as a Sunday comic strip, and if nobody’s signing this up for an animated version, those nobodys are fools. It’s not enough of my thing to keep following, but it’s a really good ride. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Violent Love #3 (Image) – I am already deep in the tank for Victor Santos, so I’m happy to see him let loose on a crime romance like this one. Frank Barbieri does a good job keeping things moving and working the spring between tense and crazy. This is a solid book – not quite great writing-wise, but that Victor Santos art! Does he do his own coloring, too? The credit would imply as much, and the color is so integrated into the pencils and inks that it would make sense. I’ll be back for more of this. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Foolkiller #3 (Marvel)**– Word is that this book has already been axed, but I have to admit I’m going to miss it. Granted, this issue, which sees the now-current (and once-former) second Foolkiller meet up with the now-former (but maybe still current, after all) third Foolkiller is probably only going to be of interest to hard-core, long-terms fans of the character (in all of his iterations), but Max Bemis and Dailbor Talajic exhibit a good handle on their charge (or should that be charges?), the dialogue is crisp and fun, and the revelation that all is far from perfect in “Foolkiller 2” Greg Salinger’s paradise leads to some solidly shocking plot developments. For the 10,000 or so folks left reading this comic, then — myself included — this is all kinds of bleak, twisted fun. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Southern Bastards #16 (Image)** – Jasons Aaron and Latour keep the pedal to the metal with part two of the “Gut Check” arc, and while there’s nothing that happens in this issue that wasn’t absolutely telegraphed in the last, it’s certainly every bit the visceral read we figured it would be — and there’s one mean sumbitch of a surprise in store when we ww_cv14_dslearn that Coach Euless Boss may just have himself a rival in another county who plays just as down n’ dirty as he does. Buy the Mockingbird homage variant cover and support some good causes that could definitely use your help in the new dark age of Trump that’s descending upon us. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Spread #18 (Image)** – Nice to see this series back after what seemed to be a rather lengthy hiatus, and while I miss Kyle Strahm on the art, John Bivens is filling in/taking
over (not sure which is the case at this point) quite well, and Justin Jordan is taking his storyline in an interesting direction by showing much more of the world beyond the “Spread Zone” than we’ve seen previously — which proves to be quite surprising indeed. The only drawback? No is nowhere to be found this time out — get him back in there soon! Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Wonder Woman #14 (DC)** – A curiously (and uncharacteristically) uninvolving conclusion to the “Year One” story arc that sees our main baddie, Mars, dispatched far too easily and gives seriously short shrift to the battles that have been brewing here from the outset. Nicola Scott delivers perhaps her finest art yet for this series — which is really saying something considering the staggeringly high standard established by previous issues — but Greg Rucka seems a little too eager to wrap this one up. All that buildup for — this? Oh well. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read (or, more precisely, look at, since the art’s the reason to check it out).



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 For The Week Ending 1/7

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.


Alex

Moon Knight #10 (Marvel) Uh… yeah. I  want to love this, I really do. But Jeff Lemire’s take moon_knight__10on  Moon Knight seems to have lost me somewhere along the way, and I have no idea why. That said, if you’re enjoying the series, then there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this comic. Overall: 7.75  Recommendation: Read

Old Man Logan #16 (Marvel)** If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to read a story with Wolverine in the Alien universe, then pick this issue up. It’s an atmospheric tour de force with some amazing artwork from Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Mialo – well worth checking out. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

The Unworthy Thor #3 (Marvel) A series that started out very promising takes a bit of a stumble here. Although this wasn’t a bad issue, and will probably work very well when sandwiched between #2 and #4 in trade, it just failed to grab the goat by the horns and ride off into the sky. The art is spectacular, the story less so, but if you’ve been following Jason Aaron’s run on the Thor comics he’s been writing, then you’ll still find enough here to enjoy. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Joe

Superman #14 (DC) – I really liked how crazy this issue got so quickly. We get multiple Supermen as well as other heroes from different earths as a new threat chases the Russian Superman (nice call back to Red Son), Chinese Superman, Earth 23 Superman, and more. We realize they are keeping all of the Supermen captive, and our Superman decides he wants to help Earth 23 Superman and his team rescue the others. It was a solid first issue of this short arc. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #14 (DC) – Many of this run of Batman by Tom King has been controversial, and there are some who do not enjoy it. I get that. I have enjoyed the run, and I think he is playing the long game here and setting up quite a bit. I was shocked a little at this issue, and how far it went into the Bat and Cat relationship, but King further doubled down on the vulnerability of Batman. He is showing him giving more into impulses, and he bm_cv14_dscertainly does that in this issue. We also get Batman saying that Catwoman did not kill all of those people, so I am hoping for a payoff there as this series continues forward. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (Marvel) – This was a fun comic filled with a lot of positivity and optimism. Nadia is fun and charming as heck. I liked the exchange with her and Ms. Marvel, as well as her and Mockingbird. There is a touching moment between them about Bobbi’s past that as she says, most forget about. Also, science! The tone and art style reminds me very much of a classic Archie book. This was a good first issue for a semi new character that we haven’t yet learned a ton about. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #4 (IDW)** – I should be loving this way more. On one level, I’m enjoying Greg Pak & Daniel Bayliss’ romp through the Plisskenverse – but deep in my Canadian soul, I’m all “enough with the Multiversal Snakes, let’s see post-apocalyptic John Carpenter Toronto already!” Also, there’s something that’s so awesome about Jack Burton’s dumb luck that I was disappointed to see it codified so neatly. I would like to see more disorder and chaos in a series like this. Overall: 7 Recommendation: read

Ryan C

Batman #14 (DC)** – Nice to see the creative team from “The Sheriff Of Babylon” reunited for this two-part “extended intermission” between arcs, and Mitch Gerads’ art is truly gorgeous — unfortunately, Tom King’s story is a four-pager spread out to cover 20, and Batman and Catwoman calling each other “Cat” and “Bat”? I’m sorry, but that’s just plain ridiculous. Worth looking at for the pretty pictures, but they tell the tale better than the actual script does. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass

The Flintstones #7 (DC)** – Mark Russell’s script for this one is a notch below his usual flint_7_dsstandard, but he still takes aim at the commercialization of religion with typically glorious results and greedy bosses come under fire, too, so — all in all, it’s still a very worthwhile read. Rick Leonardi (there’s a name you don’t see often anymore) and Scott Hanna fill in for Steve Pugh on the art, and it’s — okay, I guess, but far from the near-greatness we’re used to. Even a sub-par issue of “The Flintstones” is still better than just about everything else out there, though, and I’m very intrigued by next issue’s promised exploration of the origins of agriculture. Could Russell be transitioning from an anti-capitalist/anti-consumerist critique to an anti-civilization one? The prospect certainly seems exciting, and fans of “Green Anarchist” authors/philosophers like John Zerzan would do well to pay attention to where this book is going. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Unfollow #15 (DC/Vertigo)** – It’s nice to see Mike Dowling back on the art after a couple months off, but his style looks to have taken a turn for the “scratchier” and less defined, and Rob Williams appears to be moving into rather abrupt wind-up mode with his storyline. I haven’t heard anything about this book being cancelled (not that I pay a ton of attention to what passes for “news reporting” in today’s comics scene), but we go from 86 survivors at the beginning of this issue to 40 at the end with no explanation (as of yet), and events appear to be steamrolling toward a conclusion that I still hoped was a long way off. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

Nailbiter #28 (Image)** – Speaking of books in wind-down mode, Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson are concluding their long-form horror series in just two months (of their own volition, they both insist) which means that this issue has to move things along quickly — and it does, perhaps to its detriment, as the destruction of the entire fucking town of Buckaroo, Oregon feels forced and falls curiously flat. Consequently, what should have been a seismic read ends up registering barely a blip. Hopefully they close out with a couple of chapters that are much stronger than this one. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass

Shean

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1 (DC) – When it comes to misunderstood superheroes, captamfr_cv1_open_order_varmany do not come more tragic than Captain Atom. In this series , we find a hero still searching for who he is while at the same time trying to change public perception. He saves a cruise ship from sinking but catches the attention of the Justice League. By issue’s end, his struggle becomes harder, and the reader finds a fight more human . Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2 Prelude (Marvel) – Popular culture has clung on to Comics like it has never done before and it looks like nothing will change soon.This never more evident when one talks about Guardians of the Galaxy. In this Prelude tot he upcoming movie, the reader pretty much pickups from when Peter Quill loses his mother. From what this first issue sets up, I think anyone familiar with their most popular storylines, will know now what the upcoming film will be about. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Read

Deadpool The Duck#1 (Marvel )- What happens when you put three of Marvel’s fan favorites in one space together? Seems to be a lot of crazy crap happening. In this series, Deadpool and Howard the Duck both get a call that a High value alien target is no its way to Earth . What they don’t know is that target is Rocket Raccoon, and he definitely isn’t himself, as he wreaks enough Havoc to mess with Deadpool’s teleportation device. By issue’s end, we find our heroes conjoined telling each other’s story. Overall: 10  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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/31

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.


Alex

All-Star Batman #5 (DC)** Continues to be the most exciting Bat-book around. Wrapping up the first arc in a way that I enjoyed more than I expected; this was a breath of fresh air after the less than steller conclusion to I Am Suicide. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Detective Comics #947 (DC) – Wow. This is how you handle smaller arcs during a longer one dtc_cv947_open_order_varwhere you can call back to things you set in place earlier. James Tynion IV has masterfully pulled off the ending of The Victim Syndicate and set up something big for the future. Instead of giving us a big bad in the already impressive Batman villain section, he instead hands us someone who has good points about the bad side of Batman, and who has direct ties to heartbreak which may or may not have happened directly because Batman exists. This is one of DC’s best titles, and one of my favorite comics in general of 2016. We also get another massive tease at the end of the issue. It is hard to remember that while it ships bi-weekly, this comic only costs $2.99, and it is a massive value. Each issue packs so much into it. Also, I love this version of Clayface. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Hulk #1 (Marvel) – After all of the amazing Jeff Dekal cover teases, the first issue is finally here. This issue focuses mostly on Jen as a lawyer starting at a new firm, and fighting the monster that lies just under the surface. While we get some setup to something big, I felt this issue didn’t give quite enough of a story for a character that deserves it after Civil War II and what she went through. That being said, it was decent, and I want to see where it goes. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Teen Titans #3 (DC) – This was a solid issue, with many of the characters getting to know each other, and Robin better. We get the usual shadowed past character in Robin fearful he cannot truly be good, with the usual positive reinforcement by the rest of our bunch as they empathize with him now instead of not trusting him. It may be somewhat cliché, but it works well, and I enjoyed it. So far, this has been a fun book. Overall: 7.5 tt3-cvrRecommendation: Read

Civil War II #8 (Marvel) – I am torn on this comic. At one hand, we get a resolution, and the event has ended. On the other hand, we get more complications from the ending, and really just an unknown to what this all means. I am okay with leaving things in the dark, but after buying these more expensive issues, and the idea that the creators said it needed an extra one (which is this one), I am a little perplexed at where we are now that it is over. Especially with the advertisement for Civil War 2: The Oath #1 in the back of the book. While I am sure it is just extra things or transitioning things into the new Marvel 2017 status quo, especially Carol’s solo title coming, I am just a bit lost at all of it. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass (Unless you are a collector like me and own the others).

Mother Panic #2 (Young Animal) – I had to re-read this issue before I appreciated it fully. I read it quickly the first time, and this is a comic to take your time with. You may miss subtle things in the panel or what the story is doing if you do not pay attention. That being said, I enjoyed it. It is a very dark issue and we see more into Violet’s very rough past as a child and her relationship with her father and mother. We also see her find her target and deal with him as Mother Panic. Also, there is a short cameo from one of Gotham’s best heroes, and I hope we get more from that in the future. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse)** – This issue really put the nail in the coffin for me. The plot, which is far too thin, just kept getting in the way of the Madame Dragonfly story, which could have been darker and richer and stranger if Jeff Lemire would have let it. The resonances are only there for people like me who grew up on the Alan Moore Swamp Thing and used it as a gateway to the Wein/Wrightson oeuvre (hence this issue’s hat tip to Len and Bernie), the House of Mystery/Secrets, and back to the EC horror hosts. Unlike Moore, Lemire doesn’t build anything on this foundation, he just leans on it. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Skip

Superf*ckers Forever #5 (IDW)** – I had higher hopes for this one, Like, that it would be more dumb and vicious and hit harder on the dumb superhero tropes. But it was a fairly superf-ckers-forever-05-pr-1standard escape from Dimension Zero, and although we were treated to a page of Princess Sunshine going dark (thanks, it would seem to the power of Omnizod), it didn’t go full-on Dark Sunshine. There’s a difference between punk and just bratty, and at the end of 2016, I need more f*cking punk in comics like this. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Descender #17 (Image)** – Unfortunately, we have come to the end of Lemire and Nguyen’s beautiful run of character portraits and are back to the dull plotline. All I have to say about this issue is that it got really good as soon as it activated silent mode. Dustin Nguyen’s art is so expressive and breathtaking that Lemire’s dialogue just takes up unnecessary space. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: read

Saga #41 (Image) – I keep coming back to something Howard Chaykin once said in an Amazing Heroes interview, about how people thought he overplotted, but really it was just that everyone else underplotted. Saga is like this: overwhelmingly underplotted, with large panels that don’t convey large emotion or information. Case in point: this issue has three full-page shots, two of which occur in the last three pages. But the emotion that, to my mind, should be driving this story, the ticking timebomb that is the temporary home of our family, isn’t front and center, but diluted by the very size of the panels depicting it. As a consequence, time isn’t as graphically tight as the narrative says it should be, and the spring is too loose to really pack a punch when it is sprung. Overall: 7 Recommendation: read

Ryan C

Black Panther #9 (Marvel)** – Well, whaddya know. An issue of this series that I actually nearly liked. Will wonders never cease? Certainly having Brian Stelfreeze back on art for the final four-issue arc helps, but the characterization and dialogue from Ta-Nehisi Coates seem to have taken a modest step forward here, as well, as the once-disparate subplots begin to coalesce into something vaguely resembling a concerted opposition force against T’Challa and his regime. Still far from essential reading, and still so serious and self-important that it makes even Don McGregor’s run on The Panther look subtle by comparison, but on the whole a perfectly readable comic. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Infamous Iron Man #3 (Marvel)** – Ditto for this one. After two decidedly sub-par introductory issues, Brian Michael Bendis finally lays out some of the dubious “reasoning” infamous ironman 3.jpgbehind Victor Von Doom’s decision to take up the mantle of Iron Man, and in its own way it makes a kind of — sense? Alex Maleev seems to be doing his best to match the somewhat better material he’s given here, as well, and we’re treated to some seriously nice double-page spreads in the second half of the book. This title is still on a very short leash with me, but for the time being, it’s at least still on it rather than being cut loose. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7 (DC)** : Am I detecting a trend this week? After six issues that consistently plumbed new depths of worthlessness, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson give us the first remotely readable installment of this (let’s face it) naked cash-grab, as some genuinely surprising developments that may inject some new life (both literally and metaphorically) into the so-called “Dark Knight Universe” propel the story toward what could be, at least in theory, a reasonably interesting conclusion. I still think this will prove to be a mirage rather than a trend, but what the hell — I didn’t want to pluck my eyes out after reading this issue, and the Frank Miller-drawn mini-comic insert actually looks, dare I say it, pretty good for a change. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

All-Star Batman #5 (DC)** – Scott Snyder, John Romita, Jr. and a veritable army of inkers put the wraps on the opening Two-Face arc of this series with the most satisfying and well-drawn issue yet, but it’s probably too little, too late, as the first four parts were such a clusterfuck of bad ideas, half-assed subplots, and surprisingly off-target characterization. All of the purported “mysteries” you’d forgotten about from earlier chapters are wrapped up, and there are some nice emotional “beats” hit in the dialogue between Batman and Two-Face and Batman and Alfred, but on the whole an average issue isn’t nearly enough to save a lackluster story that was crushed under the weight of its own self-indulgence way too early. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Shean

Rocket Raccoon #1 (Marvel)– When it comes to beloved characters within the Marvel rocket-1Universe, it is usually because they strike a chord with each of us. Within the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 movie ,the whole world pretty much fell in love with the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. In this series , we find Rocket on his own in New York and on the run from the authorities, where he meets up with the Human Torch. By issue’s end, we find that Rocket is in even more serious trouble than when he began.
Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man/Deadpool #12 (Marvel)– what happens everyone’s favorite webslinger and everyone’s favorite mercenary with a mouth join forces ? Probably one of the best comics Ihave ever read. In this issue, they have a guest writer and artists to write a special Xmas story. We find Spider-Man and Deadpool enjoying Xmas with friends and creating mayhem where they traverse. By issue’s end, they fight the originator of Xmas and show him that it is more than he ever imagined. Overall: 10 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/17

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.


Alex

doctor_strange_the_punisher__magic_Doctor Strange / The Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 (Marvel) There are some fantastic layouts here, but the story is a little… lacking. Not a bad book overall, but nothing spectacular. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read.

Hawkeye #1 (Marvel) Reading this without paying attention to the front cover meant that I was expecting the other Hawkeye (the review copy was coverless and I was intrigued by the title alone), rather than Kate Bishop. I certainly wasn’t expecting a story about a private investigator. And yet… it was really quite good. There are some fantastic moments where Hawkeye has to deal with not being the “real” Hawkeye that probably worked better for me because of which Hawkeye I expected to be starring in the book.  Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Inhumans Vs X-Men (Marvel) As yet another event from The House Of Ideas pitting one faction against another arrives, I’m still not entirely sure if Civil War II has ended yet (or whether anybody cares at this point). That said, IvX doesn’t start off too badly, with the first issue doing an admirable job of establishing the nature of the up coming conflict negating the need to read Death Of X in order to understand said conflict. A decent start to Marvel’s latest event. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Old Man Logan #15 (Marvel)** Concluding Old Man Logan’s team up with the Howling Commandos begun last issue, Old Man Logan #15 also sees our hero go toe to toe with Dracula. Or at least, I think it does; it’s pretty tough to tell because the art can get pretty murky here, and at times it can be tough to figure out what is happening (I read this issue physically, so for once it wasn’t a problem with my laptop screen). The story, from what I could tell, was okay – more filler than anything else, but at least it’s half-decent filler. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read if you read part one, skip otherwise.

Christopher

Aliens: Life and death #3 (Dark Horse)– Things manage to go from bad to worse. Bringing in depth-9more carnage, and violence as this part of the story arc ends. The writing and art are both fantastic. Showing off the talent of both the writer and the artist in a bold fashion. Yet the end of this story arc is just beginning. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Dept H #9 (Dark Horse)-Kindt does a fabulous job at creating this underwater murder mystery. Carrying on the sheer sense of dread and danger that each past issue possessed. While this issue may be a little short on dialogue. It more then makes up with for it by gorgeous visuals and a great story. Overall:8 Recommendation: Buy

Spell on Wheels #3 (Dark Horse)– A quick-paced story and polished artwork. Leth and levans do a solid job making this magical and at times dark story oddly bright. Creating an almost kid friendly read as the story continues. This issue brings in some additional story. Along with showing what the rest of the world knows about magic. Overall:8 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Inhumans vs X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I was planning to not like this book. Not because I doubt Soule or Lemire as writers, I enjoy a lot of their work, but mostly because Death of X, aside from the twist ending that I enjoyed, was underwhelming and borderline unnecessary. Thankfully I can say IvX doesn’t suffer from either of those problems. The book offers a ton of story in the first major issue (although there is issue #0 as well), and sets up some massive things for the two teams to deal with. We see some almost heist movie level planning in how the mutants will deal with the Inhumans, and some nice pay off. Also the art by Leinil Francis Yu is incredible. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

hawkeye1coverHawkeye #1 (Marvel) – The new Marvel Now! launch has been a mixed bag. While most of the already ongoing books have been solid or great, a few of the new series first issues have not lived up to the hype. There has been an exception here or there, and Hawkeye #1 definitely fits into that. This book gives us the younger female Hawkeye back after she last was featured in the great Matt Fraction run. There will be some people who will be mad, as they often are lately for Marvel diversifying their legacy characters, but Kate is an awesome Hawkeye, and Clint is making a cool story for himself in Occupy Avengers. I loved how this book embraced people commenting on the “Real Hawkeye” and did so in a funny way which Kate rolls her eyes at. I really enjoyed the plot and want to see where it goes from here. Great first issue. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Doctor Strange / The Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 (Marvel) – What a fun book. This isn’t the first time these two have teamed up, but it is still a fun premise. I was curious to see what the story behind this would be, and of course it has to deal with magic, demons, and other things that a killing machine like Frank Castle can’t deal with on his own. This is where Stephen Strange comes in. The two agree to work together to figure out whatever this threat that Frank found in a restaurant filled with mobsters is, and then stop it. The writing is funny, and it captures the two characters well. I also appreciated the attention to detail on some of Dr. Strange’s panels which followed the art style to his own book. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (DC) – This is a larger special comic with multiple holiday stories in it. The writers do a good job of recognizing Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Three Kings Day, New Years, Winter Solstice, and more. There are some forgettable stories, but there were a few that stood out. The Detective Chimp and Batman story, Superman trying to get Superboy a last minute toy he wanted, and The Flash and the Rogues stories were probably my favorites. While the book did have some fun moments, and is meant to be a light book, aside from a few stories, it wasn’t for me. However, if you are a big Harley fan or like the goofier side of stories, you may enjoy it. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Logan

Ghost Rider Xmas Special #1 (Marvel)* Ring in the holidays with a heartwarming tale of hellfire, goat demons, and a possible cameo from Santa himself in Ghost Rider Xmas Special #1. Wu Tang Clan’s Method Man co-writes a classic holiday tale featuring Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider, and his little brother Gabe, who still believes in Santa even if his friends mock him. Co-writer Anthony Piper also handles the art duties with an animation young-terrorists-2-1inspired, reader friendly style with plenty of speed lines and emotive faces. He can do creepy too as this comic features a kid torturing a pet and some Gremlin-like elf demons. But it’s really a comic about hope and believing in the impossible, which is really something we could all use right now as 2016 comes to a close. Also, Gabe and Robbie have an adorable relationship, and his version of Ghost Rider has some sensitivity to go with the flames and sports cars. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Young Terrorists #2 (Black Mask) Matt Pizzolo’s Young Terrorists #2 is a Molotov cocktail of violence and a revolutionary message seasoned with relentless art from Amancay Nahuelpan and grotesque colors from Jean-Paul Csuka. Using an action/conspiracy thriller setup, the comic looks at real world issues like undocumented immigrants and factory farms. It also asks the question: should revolutions be violent as its young protagonist, Cesar, gets drawn into a world of jetpacks, slave armies, and killing children all for a “good cause”. Entertaining, thought provoking, and has a diabolical sense of humor to boot. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Foolkiller #2 (Marvel)** – Max Bemis and Dalibor Talajic follow up their very promising first issue with an even stronger second chapter that sees newly-minted psychiatrist Greg Salinger completely lose it and fall back into his murderous former persona — with the full blessing of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Nobody since his creator, Steve Gerber, has ever gotten this idiosyncratic character exactly right — until now. Pass on this series at your peril. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy.

foolkiller__2Jessica Jones #3 (Marvel)** – To date I’ve been reasonably intrigued, if not blown away, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ return engagement with the character they created, but I think that interest has well and truly waned with this issue. The art’s fine, if unspectacular, but stilted, poorly-written dialogue robs the mystery of “who is this Jessica’s talking to, anyway?” that’s at the heart of this installment of any impact, and the end result is a seriously flat, uninvolving story. Not much fun to be had here, I’m sorry to say. Overall: 3. Recommendation: Pass.

Wonder Woman #12 (DC)** – Is it just me, or is Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott’s “Year One” storyline just getting stronger as it goes on? Granted, the revelation of the “Big Bad” that’s been manipulating events behind the scenes is hardly a surprise, but this issue features such spot-on characterization and breathtakingly superb artwork that even this well-worn path looks and feels both reasonably fresh and undeniably exciting. Overall: 8.5. Recommendation: Buy. 

Moonshine #3 (Image)** – Great-looking art, as usual, from Eduardo Risso is the standout feature this issue (I swear, we’re truly spoiled by this guy), but Brian Azzarello’s script more or less runs in place this time out, with minimal (though still somewhat significant) plot progression and hackneyed dialogue standing out as the main drawbacks of this lackluster-on-the-whole installment. I’m still on board with this series, and will be as long as Risso’s drawing it (which I’m assuming will be for the duration), but damn, let’s kick the the storyline back into gear, please. Overall: 5. 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 For The Week Ending 12/3

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.


Alex

bm_annual_cv1Batman Annual #1 (DC) I’m a huge fan of annuals like this; a collection of short stories with a central theme that give you a break (a Christmas break…?) from the main Batbooks. There isn’t a bad story here, and with the level of talent involved that’s hardly surprising. A thoroughly enjoyable comic that anybody with a passing interest in Batman will enjoy whether you’re following the main books or not. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel) If, like me, you’ve been exposed to Robbie Reyes through the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, then prepare to be somewhat disappointed. The character is almost unrecognisable from the TV show aside from the fact that both are mechanics, and both sometimes have a flaming skull head; if I’m honest, I prefer the live action portrayal over the comic version. That being said, this first issue is perfectly serviceable, but it’s unlikely to set the world on fire. Pun unintended. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Read… maybe?

Masked #1 (Titan) An interesting start that shows a lot of promise. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Revolution #5 (IDW) When you think of climactic final battles in crossover events, this issue will be the bar of comparison. SO MUCH is going on in every panel; it’s a glorious smorgasboard of action, although there are some details that get lost it’s nothing that will pull you away from the story. A fantastic conclusion. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy the whole miniseries – you don’t need to be familiar with any of the characters to enjoy it.

 

Ashley

Adventure Time: Islands (Boom! Studios) – I guess I didn’t realize how behind I’ve been on Adventure Time until I read this on a whim and found myself Googling everything involved adventuretime_ogn_islands_coverin this story. Still, like many of the Adventure Time OGNs, the story ended up being very charming and touching. Jo is a particularly intriguing heroine and it would be nice to see what happens to her in the future. Overall rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

The Skeptics #2 (Black Mask) – Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi’s clever series continues with an issue of Max and Mary trying to keep up the psychic act in the wake of the President making a public press conference about them. The back and forth mind games as the two try to figure out what is going on with the USSR’s psychic teens proves to be especially fun and develops Max and Mary’s characters even further. Mary especially comes across as the shining star of this issue when we begin to see her morality in comparison to Max. Now the big question is going into issue 3 is how much longer can they keep the act going? Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Joe
Saga #40 (Image) This was my favorite issue of the series in awhile. I felt like everything moved a bit quicker than the last few issues, and while it was good to spend some time with characters and develop some of the new ones, Saga is at its best when it is juggling a few plots at once that come together into the overall story. We get Hazel and her new friend watching the Prince’s weird dreams in a very funny scene that felt reminiscent of Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson. We get Marko reflecting over his time as a soldier, and why he is still reluctant to accept violence even after what he’s done. We get more weird saga40-01-covfun and new characters as Petrichor searches for Izzy. And we get Allana and the Prince in a jaw dropping cliffhanger. This comic is still awesome. – Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Batman Annual #1 (DC) – This was a fun annual. We get multiple stories from some of the great bat writers and artists including Tom King, Scott Snyder, Declan Shalvey, Paul Dini, Steve Orlando, Neal Adams and more. Most of the stories follow a similar feel good and light hearted tone, which is nice to get in a bat book every now and then. All of them focus around winter in Gotham and the holiday, and I really enjoyed that. Annuals are supposed to be a break from the main storylines, and this book did a great job giving us a few stories that were quite different. The final story also sets up something for next year as it introduces a villain at the end of the book. I would recommend this book for any Batman fan. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Superman Annual #1 (DC) – I have loved this run of Superman by Tomasi, and the annual is no different. This title has been one of the most consistently good DC books from the Rebirth event, and the annual gives us a fun break in between arcs, but also gives us something pretty big. Swamp Thing shows up to tell this Superman that he is drawing too much energy from the sun, and more than the previous Superman. After a really fun fight between the two, Swamp Thing explains that Supes is killing the planet, and should leave, but he also tells him he can cure him and fix everything. This is a perfect story for an annual, and it really flowed well. It also in a way tells us this is our Superman now, the man of tomorrow, as Swamp Thing tells him to let go of his past. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel) – I really wish Tradd Moore drew this entire book, but he is only on the backup story, which to me was better than the main story, and gave this book another point in the score. The art by Beyruth is good, but I associate the character with Moore from the last run, and he fits Ghost Rider so well. Felipe Smith does a decent job on writing the backup story, but my problem with the main story is it doesn’t have enough Ghost Rider in it, and features more of Totally Awesome Hulk than Robbie Reyes. We even get Laura Kinney at the end and while I like these characters, I really would have loved a more focused story, which the bonus was. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
Ryan C
Superman Annual #1 (DC)** – Absolutely gorgeous Jorge Jimenez art is sadly rather wasted smann_cv1on a less-than-mediocre script from Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason that stretches a Superman-meets-Swamp-Thing team-up that could have been told in less than 10 pages out to truly ridiculous length. Honestly, this would have been better as a wordless story because then, at least, the plot would have come across as far less hackneyed than it is. In the end, what we’ve got here is a backup strip on steroids — that’s gorgeous to look at. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)** — In theory, an impending team-up between the new Ghost Rider, the new Wolverine, and the Totally Awesome Hulk sounds interesting enough on paper — even cheap-ass Marvel paper — but Felipe Smith’s script on this debut issue is pure set-up that doesn’t even explain why, much less how, all of these disparate characters are going to end up crossing paths, and the dialogue is lifeless and cliched across the board for all characters. Danilo S. Beyruth’s art is okay, if not great, but the closest thing we get to a “highlight” here is a fun little backup strip written by Smith and illustrated by Tradd Moore that introduces a new (I think) villain and actually packs more intrigue and excitement into its truncated length than the main story story manages to with a full page count. It looks like we’ve got another short-lived “Ghost Rider” title on our hands with this one. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass
Wacky Raceland #6 (DC)** – All good things, as they say, must come to an end, and while Ken Pontac and Leonardo Manco have both been in better form on this title than they are in this final issue, given how abruptly it was cancelled I can forgive things like the clunky opening page info-dump and necessarily hurried conclusions to, well, every single storyline going. At the very least a nice little twist at the end leaves readers feeling less than completely cheated by the proceedings, and while it would have been nice to see this underappreciated series run a bit longer, I’ve seen the axe fall on books in far uglier fashion than it does here. Overall: 6.5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been reading it so far, otherwise pass.
Romulus #2 (Top Cow/Image)** – This conspiratorially-themed book from Bryan Hill and Nelson Blake II has a retro, ’80s-style indie vibe to it in terms of both story and art, and fairly intriguing characters. The dialogue’s a little disjointed, sure, and we’ve been down this “solitary warrior vs. the Illuminati” path before, but what the heck — if done right, it can still be fun. Hill is treading on shaky political ground with his villain, though, not because she’s a clear stand-in for Hillary Clinton, but because he seems to be equating empowered feminism with duplicitous, world-conquering motives. We’ll have to see how that all plays out, but for the time being I’m giving him a bit more rope in the hope that he doesn’t strangle himself with it. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read.
Shean
Star Wars Annual#2 (Marvel)-In this Annual issue, we are introduced to a muscle bound no-angel-coverunemployed engineered that goes by the name, Pash Davane. She lives on a desert planet much like Tatooine, and happenstance to be taking care of a wounded Princess Leia. What follows is a series of antics between the two and what ultimately is an elevator episode , which as the best ones do, reveal a lot about the characters. By the end of the annual, the Rebels have a new Allie, which has her own set of skills.Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
No Angel#1 (Black Mask)– Adrienne Palicki is mostly known for her starring roles on Friday Night Lights and Agents Of SHIELD , but one where may be surprised that she is an adept storyteller. In this first issue, we introduced to Hannah Gregory, an Iraq War Veteran, who comes home after a family tragedy. What no one including her knows , is that the tragedy hides a bigger reason. By issue’s end, a rather ordinary sounding story takes a surprisingly supernatural turn. Overall: 9 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 11/19

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.


Alex

amazing_spider_man__21Amazing Spider-Man #21 (Marvel) I enjoyed this issue more than I expected, almost entirely because of the fact it focused primarily on Kaine – a character I’ve long been fascinated with. Other than that, though, it doesn’t really do much other than provide a bit of background on Kaine and Spider-Gwen’s actions during the second issue of Clone Conspiracy as the issue acts as a prequel to that issue. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

Batman #11 (DC) I’ve read worse issues of Batman, but not for a long, long time. The only saving grace is the art, which 90% of the time is great. The other 10%, a double page spread featuring Catwoman and the Ventriloquist, is a confusing mess of jumbled pipes and lettering that is less than ideal. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass.

Black Hammer #5 (Dark Horse) You’re either going to love or hate the direction of this issue (well, that may be a bit strong; you’ll either love it or you won’t, let’s say). I enjoyed it quite a bit, as we finally got to see an entirely different side to Colonel Weird, as Jeff Lemire asks the question of whether the character is as crazy as we’ve been led to believe. An intriguing character study that doesn’t really move the plot along too much, but is worth picking up if you’re into the series. Overall: 8 Recommedation: Read

Kill Or Be Killed #3 & #4 (Image) Somehow I missed the third issue untill I saw the fourth was out this week (or forgot I read it and reread it this morning, which basically amounts to the same thing, right?). It didn’t take me long to remember why this is such a gripping comic – the Deal With A Devil angle is well done, and while said deal hangs over Dylan, he – and by extension we – is/are never quite sure whether it actually happened, or if he’s gradually losing his mind. You’re not going to find a better comic from Image right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Old Man Logan #13 (Marvel) A decent conclusion to a solid story. This would be a read for the story alone, but the artwork is absolutely phenomenal and worth buying the comic for on it’s own. The layouts are intricate, simple and so gut punchingly effective that your jaw will hit the proverbial floor – that’s not hyperbole… I actually turned a page and just tared sm_cv11_dsfor a full minute before rereading the page before. This is probably one of the best series that Jeff Lemire is writing right now, and that’s largely down to Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Mialo’s artwork. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Superman #11 (DC) On the surface, a story about Damian Wayne and Jon Kent learning to work together, but there’s a subplot here of Batman and Superman learning, through their sons, to trust each other again. This is a great conclusion to a two issue arc that has one of the best interpretations of the Son Of Batman that we’ve seen in awhile. Overall: 8.5 Recommendtion: Buy

Thanos #1 (Marvel) A well written, beautifully illustrated opening chapter. Although I have no idea where this is going, I’m curious to see where Jeff Lemire takes the Mad Titan. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Vampire Hunter D: Message From Mars #1 (Stranger Comics) This is far from my normal style of comic (Mars colonization and vampires), but I enjoyed it quite a bit nonetheless. I have no idea how this stacks up if you’re a Vampire Hunter D fan, but as a person ignorant of his 33 year history, I thought this was a great read. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Mother Panic #1 (DC/Young Animal): The last thing i was looking for was another comic about a millionaire turned vigilante– especially not in Gotham. But Jody Houser is too smart a writer to leave it at that so I just had to take a look at her new Young Animal series.

Look at that costume– real armor! Creating artist Tommy Lee Edwards designed the Mother Panic outfit to look more like a decorative architectural element on the exterior of motherpanic02one of Gotham’s famous Art Deco skyscrapers than a standard female hero in a cape book. It is refreshing to see a female lead who isn’t portrayed as a sex object by any measure– unless your sexual orientation is Chrysler Building and you like getting your head bashed in. And a terrifying tiny white skyscraper fighting really twisted art crimes makes sense thematically. This story is very Gotham.

We don’t learn much in issue 1 but with highly kinetic gothy art and an intriguingly menacing tone I am definitely reading issue 2. I keep getting The Invisibles vibes too and that is usually a good sign. Suggested soundtrack Iggy Pop’s The Idiot. Recommendation: Read

Joe

Thanos #1 (Marvel) – Thanos is a badass. That’s an understatement. In many ways, he’s similar to Darth Vader. He’s a cool villain that you love to hate. He’s very confident. And his power, even without the Infinity Gauntlet, is off the charts. Not only do we get Thanos, but we get a cast of characters that have all been big parts of past stories with the Mad Titan. I enjoyed this book, and it gave me what I was looking for in this series. Thanos destroys a ton of people (and a tank), and we see a group of others band against him, and then we get a big twist at the end. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Hammer #5 (Dark Horse) – I am so glad to finally get a Colonel Weird issue. Yes all of our characters are weird in this series, but some how the Colonel makes them look normal. It was nice to see the Para-Zone that he mentions in his ramblings and get a glimpse at how it works. Like most of our cast, he is a tragic character that you really feel thanos_1_coverfor, and you can see he wants to do the right thing. It will be interesting to see how the Para-Zone plays into our story and them being stuck on the farm going forward. This book just keeps getting better, and it is one of the most consistent comics coming out every month. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Briggs Land #4 (Dark Horse) – This issue focuses on Caleb Briggs, Grace’s oldest son and a white supremacist. We see him bully a local business owner into selling, and learn a lot more about his character. Long story short, Caleb is scary. We also get more of Grace, and what she is doing to move quicker than her husband who is trying to stop her from inside prison. This series moves slow, but that isn’t bad. You can see why AMC optioned it, as it would work perfect for their network, and the Walking Dead crowd who are used to a slow burn that builds to chaos. That is most certainly where I expect this story to go after this issue, and I can’t wait. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Moonshine #2 (Image) – After the first set up issue, we get to the meat of the story. But then that meat gets ripped apart by a werewolf. We continue the story of a fish out of water city slicker that needs to get the best moonshine around from a family living in the sticks to his mobster boss in New York City. After things go south in the south, our main character is left in a very interesting place. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Black Hammer #5 (Dark Horse)** – In this issue, we go Weird Science for the story of Colonel Weird and his journey through the Para-Zone. As has been the case lately in this series, the plot has been a very slight pretext for what Jeff Lemire is really good at, bkhmr-5-variant-fc-fnl-600x911character studies. Col. Weird being haunted by himself is very nicely done, and Dean Ormiston does a pretty good job at capturing a certain Al Williamson vibe in the science fiction part of the story (though not going nearly far enough into the Ditkosphere for the Para-Zone for my taste). The series doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere, and if that were truly the intention, then I’d be more okay with it. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read

Lady Killer #3 (Dark Horse)** – Joëlle Jones knocks this issue out of the park. She has always been great with style and sheer drawing, but this time she lets loose with panel structure and page layouts in a really stunning way. Also: the back story of Mother Schuller and her relationship with “Uncle” Irving is a knockout. Props to colorist Michelle Madsen. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #7 (Avatar)** – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill take on the Westerns in our first reel – or rather, how the idea of the Western was invented and re-created, from sordid reality to tall tale to legend to myth, as we re-enter the OK Corral over and over again. Alan Moore can do more with 8 pages than most writers can do in 80. On to Code: Pru, Garth Ennis & Raulo Caceres’s series that’s really grown on me. Pru is called in to check out a hooker at a murder scene, and of course finds out that the situation is far more monstrous than she’d thought. Ennis’ juxtaposition of the banal and the profane is, as usual, top-notch, and Caceres’ detailed b&w art is perfect for the material. I’m not actually paying much attention to any of the other three features, but it must be said that this chapter of “The Vast” is a reprint of last issue’s chapter. Overall: Cinema – 9 Pru – 9 Recommendation: read but you can also wait for both of these series to be collected, and probably not worth your $6.99

Kill or Be Killed #4 (Image) – “My imagination was being affected by all the shitty old killorbekilled_04-1movies I was watching.” Dylan starts to work out exactly how he’s going to take on his demonic vigilante mission, and how to live a double life. Meanwhile also trying to figure out his messed-up relationship with his roommate’s girlfriend. Meanwhile also trying to play white knight. Of course, none of these things go right. Brubaker, Phillips and Breitweiser at their best. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Black Panther #8 (Marvel)** – It may be too little, too late, but Ta-Nehisi Coates is finally starting to show signs of getting a hang on this whole comic-book writing thing — at least when it comes to relaying tales of Wakandan folklore. He still writes T’Challa as a dour, joyless, fairly lifelesss figure literally devoid of personality, but the story feels like it’s creeping back on track after some pointless guest-star-laden issues, and maybe even progressing (or at least lurching) toward a conclusion of some sort. Chris Sprouse does a pretty decent job with the art, but he’s no Stelfreeze, who’s at least on hand to deliver an absolutely amazing cover. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Might as well read it if you’ve come this far, otherwise pass.

The Hunt #4 (Image/Shadowline)** – Nobody seems to be paying much attention to Colin Lorimer’s genuinely creepy Irish horror opus, but that’s their loss. This issue delivers answers to many of the mysteries underpinning the various “big questions” that have been lurking both under the surface and in the foreground of this series, and delivers a genuinely creepy guy-punch of a cliffhanger that borders on the truly unforgettable. briggs-land-4Amazingly well-written and even more amazingly well-drawn, this is a truly killer slice of folklore-inspired terror. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy.

Briggs Land #4 (Dark Horse )** – Brian Wood and Mack Chater begin the second arc of their Third-Reich-Meets-“The-Waltons” dysfunctional family drama with another issue more than ready to be adapted for the already-forthcoming TV series.Some bad shit goes down in the mega-hardware-store parking lot that could have serious repercussions for everyone, while Grace continues to play a long game only she seems to understand. Definitely fascinating stuff, even if the political implications of the series (haven’t so-called “White Nationalists” been effectively normalized enough in the age of Trump?) remain dubious at best. Overall: 6.5. Recommendation: Read

Infamous Iron Man #2 (Marvel)** – The point of this series continues to elude me, as do Victor Von Doom’s opaque-at-best reasons for putting on the suit in the first place. Another pointless fight with a second-tier villain gives way to a Ben Grim-centric cliffhanger, so I guess Brian Michael Bendis is looking at this as a way of sneaking the FF back into the Marvel Universe through the back door. We’ll see what happens — or rather, you will, since I’m out. If Alex Maleev’s art were up to his usual standard I might give it another issue or two, but as it’s not, I can’t justify shelling out for bucks a month for a poorly-executed gimmick book. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass

Shean

uncanny_x_men_annual__1Uncanny Xmen Annual #1 (Marvel): Within this annual, lies two different stories , one in which we see echoes of the Phoenix Saga and the other , a spy op with an unlikely operator. In the first story, we meet a mutant named Elixir, whose power derives from the Dark Riders, Magneto enlists a few other mutants to find him . In this second story, Domino is on an operation to take out Hydra. Overall, as far as annuals go, a strong book.  Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

She-Wolf TPB (Image): when a young teenager named Gabby gets scratched by a wolf, she starts encountering nightmares. Soon they become all too real, and she finds out , that it was no ordinary wolf.What follows is a lot of teen angst with an unhealthy amount of psychedelic visuals. Truthfully, by the end of this volume, I was struggling to finish, as the alchemy between storytelling and sequential art, never seemed to coalesce. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Borrow

 


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 For The Week Ending 11/5

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.


Alex

bm_cv10_dsBatman #10 (DC) I’m torn on this. There were some cool moments, and the art is great, but there wasn’t enough to make me beg for more. There was barely enough to make me care for the next issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Cryptocracy #5 (Dark Horse) A fast paced issue in terms of the plot developments, but we seem to take a little break from the craziness – for a few pages at least. This has been a solidly enjoyable series thus far, but isn’t quite at the Must Read level yet. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

The Hangman #4 (Dark Circle) The problem with such huge delays between issues is that people forget about the series and don’t notice the finale when it comes out. I missed this last week… and I probably could have missed it this week, to be honest. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Moon Knight #8 (Marvel)** I’m genuinely torn on this comic. I want to like it, and I do to a certain extent, but I have no idea what the hell is going on. I actually think that I’m beginning to enjoy the series a whole lot more because either I’ve started to catch on, or Jeff Lemire is guiding the plot to a conclusion of sorts. I’ll be back for at least one more issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Unworthy Thor #1 (Marvel) It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Marvel comic that I enjoyed as much as this that wasn’t Old Man Logan. Jason Aaron has a fantastic grasp on Marvel’s former hammer swinger, and seeing the god hit rock bottom before getting a glimmer of hope makes for a spectacular comic. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

the_unworthy_thor__1The Unworthy Thor #1 (Marvel) – I have been waiting for this issue for awhile, and so far it delivered exactly what I wanted and more. The Mighty Thor is one of my favorite current Marvel books, and I love what Aaron has done with it. In this first issue we get a self-loathing but still mead-loving Odinson. He still has his metal Uru arm, and is still sulking about whatever was whispered to him that made him unworthy. We don’t get a ton of answers yet, but we get fighting, biting, Toothgnasher the goat, Beta Ray Bill, a Secret Wars reference, and a pretty huge set up that made me even more excited for this series. The art by Olivier Coipel and colors by Matthew Wilson are fantastic as well. They did a great job fitting the dark and gritty tone of the book. When people say Marvel has lost it, these are the kind of books I point to. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Nightwing #8 (DC) – This has continuously been one of my favorite DC Rebirth titles with every issue. I love the contrast between Nightwing, Raptor, and Batman. This series has been about Dick finding himself, and taking a look at Batman and Bruce as his mentor. With the shocking events of the last issue, Nightwing has to confront not just Raptor, but his past in the circus, his need to be there for Batman, and facing the memories of his mother. This was an excellent issue, and a great way to end this arc. I think Tim Seeley is doing a fantastic job on this run, and more people should be reading it. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

The Flintstones #5 (DC)** – I don’t know how Mark Russell makes this disjointed script work, with have of it being a “present”-day allegory for the outright stupidity of the Trump campaign and the other half being a thinly-disguised Stone Age take on the Vietnam war told in flashbacks, but he pulls it off without a hitch, while Steve Pugh foolkiller_1_coverdelivers his usual solid art. I keep saying it to anyone who will listen — this is the best thing DC’s got going right now, and one of the very best comics being published today, period. Overall: 9.5. Recommendation: Buy

Foolkiller #1 (Marvel)** – Max Bemis and Dalibor Talajic bring back one of Steve Gerber’s trademark idiosyncratic creations, this title focusing on his second (of four, I believe) iterations, and re-introduce readers to the character and concept succinctly and successfully while planting the seeds of an ongoing mystery that promises to be pretty good if successive chapters are as well-executed as this first one. Top it off with a stylish Dave Johnson cover and you’ve got one of the better debuts of the latest “Marvel Now!” re-launch so far. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy

The Avengers #1 (Marvel)** – One of the big cornerstones of the umpteenth “Marvel Now!” is the umpteenth relaunch of their purportedly “premier” team book, but this iteration of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” is smaller, weaker, and more Spidey-centric than earlier versions, with Parker Industries stepping in as financier/landlord now that Tony Stark and his company are out of the picture. Don’t worry, though — all Mark Waid and Mike Del Mundo have planned is another long-form storyline centered around a fight with Kang. Dull, lifeless stuff right from the word “go,” there’s nothing here you can’t either live without or predict well in advance. Overall: 3. Recommendation: Pass

Shade, The Changing Girl #2 (DC/Young Animal)** – The second issue of Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone’s distinctly “oddball” series leaves dangling many of the more intriguing plot threads raised by the first in favor of an installment that more or less runs in place as our title character comes to grips with her new body and life, but I’m still digging how Ditko-esque the proceedings are in general, and don’t plan on jumping ship anytime soon. I just hope we get a bit more forward progression next time out. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read

Shean

occupy_avengers__1Occupy Avengers #1 (Marvel): The world’s societal ills have had an impact and activism has recently been increasingly rampant and it would only make sense before some of those issues were examined in the proper scope of comics. Enter Clint Barton’s Hawkeye, Matt Fraction portrayed him as a fun loving , wisecrack who can tend to be self righteous and it definitely remains the standard bearer when it comes to this character . I can definitely say, David Walker has given us a different take that still entertains but as the great KRS-One said ” edutain”, as follow Hawkeye and Red Wolf as they investigate water contamination at a Native American reservation. What the creative team does here , in this first issue, is remarkable, to pack this much intriguing narrative in such few pages with such beautiful backdrops, which makes this , a definite buy. Overall: 10:4 Recommendation: Buy

Bitch Planet #9 (Image)– Kelly Sue Deconnick is at the top of her game since she left Marvel and this series more than proves she is not only a great writer but a great business mind . In this issue of Bitch Planet, the reader gets a front row seat into the mayhem of a prison riot as we find Kam reuniting with Mo and we get introduced to a new leader. We also find out who started the whole riot in the first place and the extenuating circumstances which lead to this . The essays and interviews in the back , is why I will always read the single issues of this series .Overall:9 Recommendation: Buy

Steven

Avengers #1 (Marvel) – Writer Mark Waid drops the ball with this first issue. Writing is vague and doesn’t set up things well. Art by Michael Del Mundo was disappointing, kinda reminded by of a courtroom sketch. I was not impressed by this issue at all.  Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Patrick

Bitch Planet #9 (Image)* – “Order is not justice.” Prison architect Makoto Maki blows the doors open without the slightest idea of what he’s doing. Now not only is there a riot, but a riot in which the various prison populations mix explosively. President Eleanor Doane makes her return… but what kind of authority can she exert in this most toxic of environments? Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro and company are putting out one of the most interesting comics out there. Overall: 9 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/15

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.


Alex

asbm_cv3_jock_varAction Comics #965 (DC) A story focusing on Lois Lane rather than Superman is an intriguing prospect, and showing their life without the craziness of super powered scraps is something that’s always interested me. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

All-Star Batman #3 (DC)* Although there were a couple of rough panels where Romita Jr seemed to phone it in a bit, the art otherwise was well suited to the brutal nature of the story. A story that I am thoroughly enjoying. Getting a chance to see Snyder take Batman out of his element has been fantastic, and well worth the $5 I’m spending each month. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Clone Conspiracy #1 (Marvel) I haven’t read a Spider-Man comic in nearly two years (ever since they rebooted the numbering), but this was a surprisingly accessible comic for me. It was also quite enjoyable, with the first issue serving to set up the story’s plot quite well – although there is no sign (yet) of the reason I’m reading this story: Scarlet Spider. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Detective Comics #942 (DC) The finale to Night Of The Monster Men ended strongly, and to be totally honest I enjoyed it far more than I expected to after the first couple of issues. Certainly a tale that will bear a re-read down the road. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #6 (DC) A cathartic issue where we get to see Hal Jordan take on more Yellow Lanterns than I thought should be possible. It’s a fun, fantastic comic that I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Howard The Duck #11 (Marvel)* Well here it is – the final issue of Howard the Duck ever (for now, anyway). Unfortunately, it’s not ending on a strong note. The last couple of issues have lost the subtlety that I loved about Zdarsky’s earlier Howard comics, and instead this reads like a Saturday morning cartoon on crack. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not how I liked my Howard the DuckOverall: 7 Recommendation: Buy it if you’re a completionist, ignore it if you’re not.

old man logan 12.PNGMoon Knight #7 (Marvel) This was just so…  I don’t want to say a waste of money, but there were far better comics released this week. I know this series has been getting rave reviews since it’s relaunch, but it’s just not clicking for me. Once this arc is done, so am I. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Old Man Logan #12 (Marvel)* If you want to look at a great piece of comic book art, then look here. The layouts, the colours… everything is just so well done that it’s worth buying his comic just for the art alone. Luckily, the story is also worth reading too. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Revolution #3 (IDW) A crazy good crossover that came out of nowhere for me. Why aren’t you reading this? Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Trigger Man #1 (Titan) A gritty noir tale that shows a lot of promise early on, and then (a far as the issue is concerned) actually delivers. There seems to be a lot more to the story than what we get on face value, so hopefully that’s explored as the series progresses. Right now, however, this is worth a read. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Joe

The Lost Boys #1 (Vertigo)* – I am a child of the eighties, so The Lost Boys film holds a LOST_BOYS_Cv1special place in my heart. I grew up on the Frog Brothers and thought they were the coolest people ever. Corey Feldman and Corey Haim (RIP) in general were a big part of my childhood. This book continues the story as a sequel following the events of the film, and it was fun to see Sam, Michael, Grandpa, the Frog Brothers, and Star again. I couldn’t help but smile at seeing the house where the big finale took place. This is a fun read for anyone who enjoyed the film. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

All-Star Batman #3 (DC)* – I am a big fan of Scott Snyder. Especially Scott Snyder doing Batman. His New 52 run has some of my favorite arcs. I have enjoyed All-Star Batman so far, even though it lets you know right away it is a much different Batman series than we are used to seeing. It’s super violent, and Batman pulls no punches. The bloody brawls continue in this issue as KGBeast shows up and takes on an already beaten up Dark Knight. I want to see where Snyder is taking us in this series, but right now it is enjoyable as a contrast to the main Batman title. The backup story with Duke so far has been interesting, and I want to see where that is going. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

dpa_cv2_dsDoom Patrol #2 (DC) With its reintroduction of classic Doom Patrol member Negative Man with a nice use of a nine panel grid from artist Nick Derington, Doom Patrol #2 is a big improvement from the previous issue. Writer Gerard Way does an excellent job balancing weird stuff like sentient streets and aliens from an evil burger corporation attacking Earth with normal human problems, like our protagonist Casey Brinke losing her job as a paramedic. Doom Patrol continues to remind me of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles with its cerebral conspiracy plot blended with well-choreographed action. (See the fight scene featuring the newly rebuilt Robotman.) Throw in a cameo from Flex Mentallo, and this comic is a must read for anyone who wants to read a comic on the stranger side. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Kill or Be Killed #3 (Image)**: Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser are absolutely blowing my mind on this series, perfectly capturing every moment both outside and inside the head of our tormented protagonist Dylan. Ed Brubaker gives us a chapter of waiting, indecision, longing, and finally pulling the trigger with one hand while clicking the safety with the other. Great. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

kill-or-be-killed-3Lazarus #25 (Image)**: And speaking of brilliant art teams, how about Santi Arcas’ colors on Michael Lark and Tyler Boss’ drawing? As so much of this story happens at night, or in dark rooms, or in various other dark places of the world, it’s quite a feat to make the dramatic action as clear as it is here. Nice of Greg Rucka to shine the spotlight on journalist Seré Cooper in an issue that is thematically devoted to the Truth. It will be very, very interesting (and no doubt awful) to see what happens when Forever goes back into the same action with a different motivation. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #6 (Avatar)*: Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill doing one of the things that Alan Moore really does like no one else: cabaret comics. Telling the incredibly sordid history of the Warners through the imagery of the Marx Brothers, including musical numbers, is pure genius. I skipped the other stories in this except for Garth Ennis & Raulo Caceres’ “Code Pru,” which involves a lunchtime encounter between Pru and a Scottish Terminator. Personally I find this kind of thing hilarious, but your mileage may vary. Ennis turns the story on its head right at the end, getting us into Pru’s childhood in a surprisingly touching way. Overall: Cinema, 9; Pru, 8.5 Recommendation: wait for the inevitable Moore & O’Neill trade.

Ryan C

Detective Comics #942 (DC)*: A rather anti-climactic and lackluster conclusion to “Night Of The Monster Men” that, to borrow a phrase used recently by the orange-skinned serial sex assaulter, “limps across the finish line” and fails in its primary goal of finally making glitterbomb02-coveran imposing villain out of Hugo Strange for the first time since the days on Englehart and Rogers. Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV seem to be happy just to get things over with as far as the script goes, and Andy MacDonald’s art isn’t anywhere near the standard set by Riley Rossmo’s work on other segments of this storyline. Further proof that all crossovers suck. Overall: 3.0. Recommendation: Pass

Glitterbomb #2 (Image)** – While not achieving the dizzying heights of the first issue by any means, Jim Zub and Djibril Morissette-Pham still turn in a fine second installment that broadens their protagonist’s world and begins to flesh out the nature of the horror that’s found a home inside her. Solid stuff that’s well worth your time — and money. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy.

Doom Patrol #2 (DC/Young Animal)* – Gerard Way and Nick Derington definitely seem to have a method to their madness here, but damn if I can discern what it is yet. Larry Trainor/Negative Man and Flex Mentallo make welcome returns to the DP fold, and seeing Danny the Street alive and well at the end is more than enough to make this long-time fan smile from ear to ear. I’m in love with this book, and can’t even describe why — and that’s the purest form of love there is, surely? Overall: 9.0. Recommendation: Buy.

Briggs Land #3 (Dark Horse)** – Brian Wood and Mack Chater conclude their first three-part story arc with an issue that is admittedly a bit more lackluster than the previous chapters, but puts all its ducks in a row for the long haul by firmly establishing every character’s role within this all-too-real world. Plenty interested to see where things go from here. Overall: 7.0. Recommendation: Read

Shean

Kiss#1 (Dynamite)– when it comes to musicians and comics , it normally borders on blacklightdistrict_01-1mediocre, with the exception of a few and one of those , just so happens to be Kiss. When I heard Amy Chu was writing the series , I automatically was intrigued as her work on Poison Ivy was definitely revolutionary for the title character. The story revolves around four teenagers in a dystopian world where the sun doesn’t shine and they need help from the past(Kiss) to find answers to save it. This first issue was fun and very meta , definitely worth grabbing a copy.  Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Black Light District One-Shot (Image)– Multimedia projects tends to be uneven, as only certain parts of the project get overseen. So when I heard of musician, Jesse Snider’s online comic book , which is set to the lyrics on his most recent EP, I tried to keep an open mind on what to expect. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a set of stories from different genres , that weren’t typical, but extraordinary. Overall, a great anthology in an easy readable size of pages. Overall: 10 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/8

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.


Alex

black-1-1Black #1 (Black Mask) When a comic where a black teenager gets shot by police in the opening salvo is released, it’s tough not to think of recent events. However, this teenager wakes back up – somehow, he has superpowers. In Black‘s world, unlike the other comic book universes, only people of colour have superpowers. It’s an intriguing prospect, and one the comic just about lives up to. Keep your eyes on this – it’s going to be one hell of a comic. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Green Lanterns #8 (DC) A Halloween themed issue where a holiday tie-in doesn’t feel
forced. I’m loving this series more and more each issue, and watching the buddy cop routine of the two leads still feels fresh and entertaining after eight issues. There isn’t any deep emotional revelations here, although there is a sense of Earth’s newest Green Lanterns struggling to emerge from their more legendary predecessor’s shadow – which may prove to be a central theme of the upcoming arc. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

intertwined-001-cov-a-revIntertwined #1 (Dynamite) Wasn’t a horrible first issue, but it didn’t pull me in like I hoped it would. I may check out the next issue eventually, but I’ll temper my expectations a little next time. Ovaerall: 6.6 Recommendation: Read

Revolution #2 (IDW) It’s a chaotic issue that focuses on the remaining properties that weren’t present in the first issue. We also get a bit of light shed on some of the questions from last issue, but nothing quite resembling an answer just yet. If nothing else, this is getting me interested in the Transformers comics – and I may delve in once the crossover is done. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Moonshine #1 (Image Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s writing and Eduardo Risso’s art together Moonshine 1are a great pair. Kind of like gangsters and booze, which is what is what most of this book is about. But there are secrets buried in this story. There are mysteries in the hills of West Virginia, and they aren’t just about the moonshine. I cannot wait to see where this book goes. Great first issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shipwreck #1 (AfterShock Comics) – The first thing that jumps out is Phil Hester’s jaw dropping art, and that’s saying something because the legendary Warren Ellis is writing. While there is an obvious bigger story to be told, the first issue only gives us a peek at the survivor of a shipwreck. Dr. Jonathan Shipwright is searching for answers, and perhaps we will get them when he does. This series has massive potential. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Superf*ckers Forever #3 (IDW)**: I don’t know about this one. On the one hand, I really liked that it didn’t just automatically follow last issue’s cliffhanger – but on the other, that superf_ckers_03subgot my hopes up that it REALLY wouldn’t follow, and that the return of dreaded Omnizod would just become this running joke. On the other other hand, that seems to be just what happened. At any rate, we finally get to see Computer Fist, Plant Pal, and Shitstorm, who are trying to get out of the basement of HQ. Box Brown provides the Computer Fist backup, in which he installs an OS update and grossness ensues. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: skip and pick up next ish.

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #1 (Boom!)** – I love this idea so much you guys! Greg Pak brings Jack Burton from 1987 to Snake Plissken’s 2001, complete with Mad Max-style bikers who rule the “Oklatexas Range”. Artist Daniel Bayliss pulls off the trick of Burton and Plissken looking completely identical and completely different at the same time. This should be fun – and, as a Canadian, I look forward to seeing what Free Toronto looks like in the Carpenterverse. Overall: 8 Recommendation: read

Ryan C

Jessica Jones #1 (Marvel)* – “Alias” creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos return to the streets with this rather ho-hum reintroduction to the character (on the jessicajones1coverprinted page, at any rate) that requires fairly extensive prior knowledge of their protagonist and relies on as-yet-unexplained family drama to keep readers’ attention given that the purported “mystery” Ms. Jones is hired to solve is barely developed at all. No particularly compelling reason to stick around for more is offered. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass

Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (DC/Young Animal)* – A superb introduction to this new take based on tried-and-true characters and concepts hearkens back to Ditko’s original “Shade, The Changing Man” more than it does to Milligan’s 1990s version, but does more than enough to establish itself as something entirely new. “Effigy” artist Marley Zarcone continues to prove that she’s a force to be reckoned with, and writer Cecil Castellucci arrives on the scene with a confident, impressive voice. As good as “Doom Patrol” #1 was, this is arguably even better and shows that DC’s Young Animal is going to be an imprint to be reckoned with. Overall: 9.5. Recommendation: Buy

Death Of Hawkman #1 (DC) – Marc Andreyko and Aaron Lopresti dust off Adam Strange and Hawkman with a six-parter that promises to kill the latter off, which is probably just as well since post-“New 52” DC has never been able to figure out what to do with the character. Not an actively bad comic so much as a thoroughly forgettable one, Lopresit’s art is lackluster in the extreme and evokes unwelcome memories of mid-90’s WildStorm product, while Andreyko’s script relates a paper-thin tale of Strange trying — and failing — to get off Earth that reads like the hackneyed run-around that it is. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass

Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me #2 (IDW)** – Devin Faraci and Vic Malhorta continue their meticulously faithful comics adaptation of Thompson’s gritty “Texas noir” classic with a second installment that feels as stark and blunt and straightforward as its flat, austere landscape and translates the conscience-free, scary-as-shit mental space its protagonist inhabits quite effectively to the funnybook format thanks to a keen understanding on the part of both writer and artist about what makes the novel their work is based on still such a shocking a disturbing reading experience over a half-century after its initial publication. Gripping, harrowing stuff that’s definitely not to be missed by those with a strong enough constitution to withstand it. Overall: 8.5. 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/10

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.


 

Alex

bm_cv6_open_order_varBatman #6 (DC) What a superb ending to Tom King’s first arc. This is a great read, but if you haven’t read the first arc, then there’s a chance that a couple of the more subtly emotional scenes won’t mean as much to you – and that’s okay. Those scenes seem to set up the next arc, and while I’m sure the previous events will be recapped to some extent, the impact may not be as great as if you’d read the previous arc. Whether it’s worth reading the previous arc just to get that impact… maybe. This probably isn’t an integral comic to the series, and it’s one new readers can skip if they;re looking to jump into the series at the current issue, but I dug this comic. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been reading the series. 

Moon Knight #1 (Marvel)* I have no idea what’s happening here. I really don’t, but I kinda like it, so I’ll keep buying this. Jeff Lemire has just the right amount of mind-fuckery to make you question everything, which isn’t something I’m used to seeing in superhero comics – and yes, that includes Moon Knight  comics.  Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read…?

Night Dominion #1 (Oni Press) A promising start that doesn’t introduce the characters as much as I’d like, instead setting up a quest of some kind that require a certain group of people that resemble a typical DnD cast about to embark on your standard Fantasy Quest. Yet even with the familiarity of the set up, this is a decent comic that shows promise – once we get past the set up. Overall: 7.25 Recommenation: Read

Skybound #1 (Boom! Studios) It was… okay. And that’s being generous, honestly. The art is, as ever with Frank Cho, brilliant. The story isn’t bad, but it won’t set your world on fire. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Superman #6 (DC) Of all the things to happen post Rebirth,  I never expected to be converted from a person who liked the idea of Superman but never enjoyed many of his stories to someone who’s genuinely excited to read his comics. Superman #6 was a fantastic ending to the first arc, really emphasizing just how much being a father has changed the Man of Steel for the better. It’s the moments between Jon and his father that elevate this book above and beyond being a good comic into becoming a great one. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

killorbekilled_02-1Kill or Be Killed #2 (Image)**: To recap: Dylan has been visited by what he thinks to be a demon, who makes him a deal: every month Dylan kills someone, he gets to live another month. So in this issue, Dylan has to rifle through his chidhood memories to try and find someone he knows who he feels is bad enough to deserve to die. The premise is brilliant in its simplicity and horrific in terms of how personal it is. Where is Dylan going to eventually draw the line?… Brubaker, Phillips & Breitweiser, people. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Read.

Ryan C

Batman #6 (DC)*: Writer Tom King, guest artist Ivan Reis, and a veritable army of fill-in inkers put the finishing touches on the subpar “I Am Gotham” story arc with a padded, listless epilogue that gets a few points for showing a more human side of Batman than we’ve seen in probably years, but won’t interest you at all in sticking around to find out what happens next. Especially since it’s going to be another goddamn tie-in story. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

flint_cv3_dsThe Flintstones #3 (DC)*: Mark Russell and Steve Pugh continue their deliciously relevant social commentary in this story that takes aim at the plight of PTSD-suffering veterans, privileged (and annoying) “spring breakers,” xenophobia, and science denial. The Stone Age stand-in for Carl Sagan makes a guest appearance, Pebbles and Bam-Bam see their first significant “screen time,” and hey, we even get the Gazoo! Three issues in, someone just needs to come out and say it, and it might as well be me — “The Flintstones” is far and away the best thing happening at DC right now and one of the finest comics on the shelves these days, period. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Nailbiter #25 (Image)**: A curiously lackluster concluding segment to the “Bound By Blood” story arc sees Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson’s series begin to spill the beans on its numerous hinted-at “big secrets” by clobbering us over the head with just how big and secret they are. Any intelligent reader should be able to more or less puzzle out for themselves what’s tying all the so-called “Buckaroo Butchers” together by the time we get to the splendidly-illustrated double-splash image at the end, and now it feels like it’s just a matter of info-dumping and running out the clock until things are finally over. The usual embarrassing grammar and syntax problems persist in the scripting, but are at least fewer in number this time out. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Skybourne #1 (Boom! Studios)**: The first part of Frank Cho’s modern-day updating of Arthurian legend is surprisingly light on the cheesecake, but fear not: there’s plenty of misogynistic violence on display to prove the creator still has massive problems with the female of the species. If admittedly beautifully-executed (no pun intended) images of women being run through with swords (this after being called “bitch” and “wench” consistently for the first 20-odd pages) are your thing, you’ll find a lot to like here. If not, well — congratulations on having a conscience. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass 

Shean

The Strain Mister Quinlan -- The Vampire Hunter #1 1The Strain: Mister Quinlan: Vampire Hunter #1 (Dark Horse): When it comes to the way genre types are treated throughout literature, some treatments are completely abhorrent such as the treatment of women, albinos and the LGBTQ community. Then there are those types that seem to get the short end of the stick in most stories up until Game of Thrones and certain archetypes such as sword for hire , the rogue and as can be seen in that show’s popularity, bastards has taken the mantle from the typical hero’s journey catalyst, as this type has served as a great conduit between antihero and well worn gunslinger. Mister Quinlan, long a fan favorite in the books and now a fan favorite on the Strain TV show, is another great addition to the long invested canon of “bad mistakes gone good”. As he is an abomination created by the Master , whose intentions was to kill him , but fails as he spends rest of his days, from the fighting pits in Ancient Rome to the modern day, he has devoted every day to this never ending cat and mouse game. The first issue in this miniseries more than get the canon right, it lifts the series in ways more than one can imagine, in a beautiful way. Overall: 9.8 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 (**).

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