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Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 09/18/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 (Marvel)– Only in comics can you have a prehistoric battle between immortal beings astride dinosaurs and a Platonic dialogue all under the same covers as Kieron Gillen, Dustin Weaver, and Matthew Wilson show the ideological and physical roots of one of pop culture’s greatest villains, Thanos, in Eternals: Thanos Rises #1. The conflict at the core of this issue, and honestly at the Eternals as a whole in Gillen’s run, is if immortal beings whose goal is to defend a kind of status quo (the machine) can change even in the slightest way. This way is having children, and as one can guess, it doesn’t turn out great. Weaver and Wilson’s visuals bring the power and mythic quality of the best Jack Kirby stories while having their own unique and slightly askew approach to storytelling. They’re influenced by the King and not a cover band for him. Also, it’s just plain cool and additive to the whole vibe of the Eternals to have characters based on the ancient Greek pantheon partake in the very ancient Greek activity of a philosophical dialogue. Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 adds context and scope to Kieron Gillen’s work on Eternals and features him, Weaver, and Wilson working in an epic mode. Overall: 9.4 Verdict: Buy

Black’s Myth #3 (Ahoy)– Strummer and Ben’s hunt for their client’s missing silver bullets (Apparently they were forged from the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying his Lord and Savior, but you know how there things are.) takes them to many interesting destinations, including a vampire bar and occult bookstore that’s more than meets the eye. Eric Palicki and Wendell Cavalcanti keep the action and mystery going at a nice clip lulling readers into a false sense of security before escalating the plot with a wallop in the last few pages. Also, Calvacanti gets to show off his fight sequence chops and channels Frank Miller and Klaus Janson in a nine panel grid vampire beatdown that shows that Strummer still has a relish for violence and is more werewolf than detective. In Black’s Myth #3, the pace never drags, the patter is always snappy, and Eric Palicki and Wendell Cavalcanti really up the danger quotient. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Joker #7 (DC)– The shape of the conspiracy that Jim Gordon’s up against starts to slowly reveal itself in Joker #7 by James Tynion, Guillem March, and Arif Prianto. Like most issues of Joker, the book features multiple settings, narrators, and POVs as well as art styles from March, who does a James Bond/Avengers homage with Julia Pennyworth to tight grids and reflections in eye glasses as Gordon meets a potential new ally. He can get as much tension from a conversation as a silent martial arts fight aka Cassandra Cain in action. Joker #7 also features smart commentary about how the rest of the world sees Gotham (It hides social issues under masks and costumes.) and character moment payoffs like Pennyworth beating the shit out of some Bane theme park investors as payback for the villain killing her father back in the Tom King Batman run. One of the reveals that Tynion pulls is a little obvious (If keeping with his history on the Bat-family books), but I love the layered storyline he’s creating in this book that goes beyond a simple cat and mouse game. The Punchline backup from James Tynion, Sam Johns, and Sweeney Boo is quite entertaining as Harper Row tries to break out of prison creating an opportunity for clever layouts and a sense of urgency in that story’s plot. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy

Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra (IDW)– Mary Kenney, SL Gallant, Maria Keane, and Adam Guzowski turn in a celebration of the Queen of the Monsters in the one-shot Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra. Before the titular battle, Kenney does a good job fleshing out this comic’s protagonist, Mima, a photographer who’s supposed to be doing a puff piece on the Japanese military and ends up learning about Mothra’s captivity attempting to free her. Like the best kaiju stories, Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra ends up being a parable about how humanity cages nature and what we don’t understand instead of being curious like Mina, whose photojournalism career came out of a life time exploring the great outdoors with her parent. All is this is great, but Godzilla Rivals: vs. Mothra also has a curb stomp monster action courtesy of Gallant and Keane as Kenney shuts off the dialogue and captions and “lets them fight”. There is really clever use of Mothra’s cocoon and Godzilla’s nuclear breath, and the entire story ends up being a little bittersweet. This comic is a must-read if you like your kaiju fights with a side of emotional resonance. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Trial of Magneto #2 (Marvel)– Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck, and Edgar Delgado are back for another round of bombastic drama, action, and questionable morality. Trial of Magneto #2 adds the Avengers to the mix to complicate the murder investigation and also show how much Wanda Maximoff meant to the team as they share grief and space with the Krakoans. However, not everything is sunshine and daisies, and we get yet another Magneto vs. everyone fight scene like the previous issue. But Williams and Werneck switch things up by letting Northstar be angry when his husband Kyle is caught in the middle of things and is treated as less than by Magneto. Throw in an utterly chaotic last few pages plus couple moments that show how utterly morally bankrupt Krakoan leaders like Professor X and Emma Frost are, and you can see why Mystique (Who has a 1 panel cameo) wants to burn the place down. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 09/04/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Static Season One #3 (DC/Milestone)- Static Season One continues to be a master-class in modern teen superhero comics from Vita Ayala, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, and ChrisCross. The book bakes in relevant themes of the American police state preying on young Black people and bigoted white men being eager to sign up and be their lackeys while also having beautiful touching moments throughout. Draper-Ivey masterfully melds manga and Western comics in a thrilling escape sequence before slowing things down and digging into the influences for Static’s costume rooted in his love of science, DIY, and escapist fiction like anime and SF. He, ChrisCross, and Ayala also turn in an emotional sequence with him and his father as they realize that they are both alike in their love of creation and building something from nothing even though that manifests itself in science experiments for Virgil and home repair for Mr. Hawkins. Even after all this, there’s time to flesh out Virgil’s supporting class at his high school and escalate the threat as the Feds are coming after the folks affected by the Big Bang, which is quickly becoming a heightened metaphor for government reprisal against anyone who challenges the white supremacist, cop-exalting status quo. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Black Hammer Reborn #3 (Dark Horse)– A relationship ending can feel like the end of the world, especially a marriage with two kids. Jeff Lemire, Caitlin Yarsky, and Dave Stewart combine both the conclusion of Lucy Weber (Aka Black Hammer II) and Elliot (Formerly, the two bit supervillain Lightning Rod)’s relationship with yet another apocalypse for Spiral City. Yarsky’s character acting is superb as she illustrates the difference in emotions between Lucy and Elliot arguing with their therapist to their “meet cute” where Elliot’s “lightning finger” powers have little to no effect on her. Even though they’ve grown distant and Elliot cheated on Lucy, you can see their rapport as Elliot had put on a costume to rob a laundromat and pay rent. This kind of everyday relationship stuff combined with superhero tropes is what the Black Hammer books such compelling reads, and Lemire and Caitlin Yarsky get back to this in Black Hammer Reborn #3 while also showing the threat that’s coming might be beyond her. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy

Dark Ages #1 (Marvel)– Tom Taylor brings his brand of disaster movies meets large fictional universe with a side of character specific hope to what is definitely not Earth-616 in Dark Ages #1. This first issue is focused on the incident that led to the Marvel Universe basically losing electricity, and Taylor, Iban Coello, and Brian Reber are game for a bleak, hopeless take on the the summer crossover with a battle against the Celestial-looking Unmaker that does what his name describes and does insane shit like turning Thing into a pile of rocks and sinking Atlantis among other things. What’s really interesting is that Tom Taylor and Coello do what so many Marvel writers can’t really do and say what if defeating the summer event’s Big Bad cost everything and led to an even worse reality. However, there are little bits of hope, including one that elicited a total “Aww” reaction from this reader and riffs on one of the most famous moments in all of Marvel history. Peter Parker is the narrator for much of the comic, and Taylor has a great handle on his humorous, salt of the Earth voice while Iban Coello and Reber bring the powerhouse wide screen visuals with a touch of cartooning to make everything a little more human. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

Money Shot #14 (Vault)– Money Shot continues to be outrageous as ever as the XXXplorers and the alien parody of the XXXplorers band together to rescue two members of their team from a matriarchal hunter-gatherer society of deer-people who keep giant, horny clay pigeons as pets. And along the way, Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie throw in a legit plot twist about the identity of the alien porn stars while Caroline Leigh Layne continues with her pitch perfect riffs on the filmography of Andy Sidaris combined with soft eroticism and some primalness. In its third arc, Money Shot has really learned the value of taking it slow and focusing on its character between the sexy, violent, or body of a bogeyman bounty hunter merging bits. It’s one of those comics where I’m like “What the fuck will they think of next” and am usually satisfied and amused by it. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #4 (Ahoy)– Unlike the first miniseries, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, and Leonard Kirk continue to explore the parallel lives of Jesus and Sunstar in more character-driven vignettes all centered around a moral throughline. The moral this issue is compassion, and Jesus’ empathy and compassion through the form of a story of forgiveness gets Sunstar’s mom a reprieve from eviction from her retirement. However, the main plot of this issue is centered around the villain Cranius causing massive earthquakes because he wants to get back at how Sunstar treated him in high school. In lesser hands, this would be a typical disaster storyline, but Russell, Pace, and Kirk turn it into a story of change and forgiveness. Sure, there is great retirement home banter, but Only Begotten Son #4 is one of the saddest chapters of Second Coming with consequences that will resonate for the rest of the arc. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 08/28/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Superman ‘78 #1 (DC)– Robert Venditti, Wilfredo Torres, and Jordie Bellaire transport you to a time when you believed a man could fly, and that Marlon Brando got paid a fortune just to deliver a few ominous lines of dialogue. Torres’ clean, strong lines that capture the likeness of the characters of the film while still remaining dynamic set the tone for the comic, and he and Venditti’s use of only a few panels per page make you drink in the big moments like Clark Kent transforming into Superman. Speaking of Clark Kent, Robert Venditti digs into the folksiness of Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Kent that is the polar opposite of the strong, competent Superman, and Wilfredo Torres’ skill with body language brings this classic portrayal into a new medium. The baddie is Brainiac. (Actually one of his robots.) His design is delightfully classic Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and his motivation is simple, yet compelling. Superman ‘78 #1 really feels like a long lost Richard Donner directed sequel to the original film while featuring things that only comics can do like picking the most iconic moments to tell the story and having color play an integral role in the narrative. (Bellaire has some great reds.) Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy

Made in Korea #4 (Image)– In a country where school shootings are a common occurrence, it’s horrifying to see the students and teachers at Jesse’s school seem non-plussed and making retro jokes when she and the two bad kids at her school walk in to shoot it up in Made in Korea #4. (Personal gun ownership has been banned for the last 50 years.) Jeremy Holt and George Schall spend most of the issue showing the trauma that Jesse feels as she realizes the situation that she has gotten herself into, even spending an entire page on the systems malfunction that happens to her. Everything is really heightened in this issue from Jesse’s Terminator-esque form to the reactions from the students, teachers, and Jesse’s parents when they see the news. Schall even shifts the color palette towards the end of the issue as Jesse just wants to be “home” after singlehandedly saving the school and ruthlessly taking out the shooters. This just happens in a deadpan, matter of fact way with no stylistic touches. There’s a mechanical quality to the way she punches through walls to evacuate students and truly human quality to her face as she tries to process everything and find a safe space. And the final page really opens up a can of worms. Made in Korea #4 is emotionally effective and character-driven science fiction, and I can’t wait to see how the final two issues turn out. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 08/21/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Eat the Rich #1 (BOOM!)- Really rich people are really fucked up. That’s the thesis of Eat the Rich #1, a horror story of manners from Sarah Gailey and Pius Bak. Gailey transitions from prose to comics with great ease focusing on Joey, the middle class girlfriend of Astor, a scion of a wealthy family whose beach house has two dining rooms just for parties. Astor tries to bond with Astor’s little brother’s nanny, Petal, but she immediately installs class boundaries. (And by the end of the comic, you’ll know why.) Colorist Roman Titov gives everything a garish glow, and Bak’s art is unsettling with lots of close-up’s on Joey as she deals with Astor’s friend Bumper pumping down at a groundskeeper’s retirement party. My one knock on this comic is that some of the older men’s faces look super similar, and it was hard to tell them apart in a pivotal. However, with the growing income gap in the United States, this is a creepy, yet slightly cathartic read. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gates, Bezos, and Zuck got around and sacrificed “the poors”. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Marauders #23 (Marvel)– Wow, this was a cringy read. After a promising first page from Gerry Duggan, Ivan Fiorelli, and Rain Beredo of Emma Frost experiencing the lost of Marauder and her pharmaceutical empire, Marauders #23 descends into weird Irish stereotypes, misuses of AAVE, and Jumbo Carnation curb stomping Irish and/or Russian gangsters while shouting phrases from Drag Show. (Ok, that last one was so bad, it was almost good.) While it’s nice to see Banshee in action, this Irish escapade had very optional side quest vibes while slightly redeeming itself as Tempo slowly moves on her journey from terrorist to Marauder(?). The actual moving the big picture stuff comes towards the end as the Stepford Cuckoos psychically manipulate Wilhelmina Kensington and make anti-mutant Brits punch themselves in the face. Duggan can definitely be a pretty funny writer at times, and Fiorelli’s cartoony is a fit for the tone of those scenes. All in all, unless you’re collecting every Jumbo Carnation appearance, this comic is worth skipping. Overall: 6.1 Verdict: Pass

Way of X #5 (Marvel)– Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia wrap up of Way of X in style as ideas and actions literally clash, and Legion and Nightcrawler figure out the truth about Onslaught. Way of X #5 truly exposes the fragility of Krakoan society as what starts as a kind of intellectual exercise turns into Mars’ moon Phobos literally falling from the sky. Spurrier and Quinn give each of Way of X’s disparate cast members (Nightcrawler, Legion, Fabian Cortez, Lost) a moment to grow or have a revelation, or in Professor X’s case keep doing the same old bullshit. Way of X is a disaster movie, a morality play, and is anything but boring as the threat of Onslaught escalates in an effective way. Also, there’s a double page splash from Bob Quinn that is utterly gorgeous while capture a pivotal moment in Nightcrawler’s arc. Definitely, bring on Onslaught Revelation! Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle #1 (Marvel)– Quick disclaimer: the Warhammer 40K I’ve been exposed to is the Marvel comics, some Wiki reading, going into a Games Workshop once in grade school, and chats with Brett. That being said, Warhammer 40K: Sisters of Battle #1 is a solid blend of medieval religious warfare, cool space shit, and a little bit of chaos. Torunn Gronbekk and Edgar Salazar have the elite Sororitas on a kind of Saving Private Ryan rescue mission while the Imperium tries to take over a planet rich in promethium. (It’s like U.S. foreign policy in regards to oil, but more heavy metal.) Salazar excels at blocking out the combat scenes, and like Jacen Burrows’ art in the previous Warhammer 40K, there’s a real 2000 AD influence to his work. However, what I’m most intrigued about is this series’ protagonist who makes one hell of an impression towards the end of the comic. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: 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 and Recommendations For The Week Ending 08/14/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Batman ’89 #1 (DC)– Batman ’89 #1 is a smart, action-packed continuation of the classic Tim Burton film from Sam Hamm, Joe Quinones, and Leonardo Ito. And like any Batman film, it lives and dies by the strength of its antagonist. In this case, it’s Harvey Dent (A dead ringer for Billy Dee Williams), who is tired of Batman and other “lawless” folks like remnants of Joker’s gang wreaking havoc on Gotham and causing millions in property damage while an aging Jim Gordon does nothing. Dent’s righteousness and unhinged nature comes out in a powerful scene featuring him stopping some purse snatchers by flipping a coin and shooting a gun in the air. Quinones visually foreshadows Two-Face and also draws parallels between his actions and Batman’s origin. He and Hamm also make a pre-gentrification Burnside a key part of the narrative as Dent returns to his old neighborhood and has a conversation where Two-Face becomes a kind of metaphor for code-switching. Also, Batman almost beats up a kid for shoplifting food, diapers, and $8 in a scene that shows how out of touch he is as a rich billionaire. All in all, Batman ’89 has a fluid visual style and nails the chaotic Gothiness of the film while adding social commentary and an interesting start to a character arc for Harvey Dent. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Hardware Season One #1 (DC/Milestone)– Hardware Season One #1 is really an extended chase sequence with bits and pieces of Curtis Metcalf’s past interwoven between explosions and near escapes. In this first issue, Brandon Thomas, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor show Hardware on the run after his old mentor and business partner Alva frames him for the explosion of the canisters that led to the Big Bang event at a Black Lives Matter protest. This is why he has police and private security on his back the entire comic giving Cowan and Sienkiewicz an opportunity to marry grittiness and bleeding edge tech as Hardware desperately tries to get free. Thomas’ script makes Alva a paternalistic figure while he makes Hardware’s inner monologue filled with a sense of betrayal when he’s not being creative and trying to get out of a jam with the help of his onboard A.I. P.O.P. Compared to the sleekness of Static, Hardware Season One has an old school feel to it, but it still has a strong sense of rage at how Black people and scientists are exploited and used in the United States. There’s a real feeling of catharsis when Hardware blows up one of the helicopters that were chasing him with big reds from Sotomayor. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

Joker #6 (DC)– Jim Gordon hits Paris in Joker #6 as James Tynion, Guillem March, and Arif Prianto’s web becomes just a little more tangled. This series continue to show how uncomfortable Gordon is in his own status quo as he thinks about his ex-wife wanting to honeymoon in Paris, but the furthest they got was a brasserie in downtown Chicago. Even with Oracle’s help, he struggles to connect the dots between the Joker, murderers-turned-oil people the Sampsons, the new Bane, Cressida, and more. It might seem like Tynion has a lot of plates spinning, but he compartmentalizes each scene nicely building up tension and ending on a great cliffhanger. Despite featuring beautiful Sweeney Boo art, the Punchline story from her, James Tynion, and Sam Johns is mid-tier at best with Punchline basically just toying with Harper Row in prison. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Silver Coin #5 (Image)– Written and drawn by Michael Walsh, Silver Coin #5 tells the origin of its titular object, a story steeped in religious fervor, blood, curses, and most of all, betrayal. Walsh sets up a friendship between Martha, a young devoutly Christian woman, and Rebekah, who is the town midwife and has abilities some might consider to be unnatural and then shatters it. He uses an almost gory color palette to show her supernatural abilities, and these colors are worked up to a frenzy when she curses the coin that Martha got to sell her out. All that makes life not worth living is bound up in that coin like choosing profit over friendship or betraying someone who helped you out. The story is fairly predictable, but I love Michael Walsh’s EC-style, moral consequences narration coupled with the old colony atmosphere and buckets of blood and pentagrams. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

X-Force #22 (Marvel)– Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill keep up the weird plant body horror vibes and wrap up the little Weapon Plus/Man-Slaughter excursion in X-Force #22. This whole mini-arc spinning out of the Hellfire Gala has shown susceptible Krakoa is to infiltration via microbes and plants, and of course, Beast has a plan to weaponize them against future opponents. Man-Slaughter is a decent guest star whose exploitation makes you pity him, and Gill uses abilities in a creative visual ways. To be honest, he doesn’t hold a candle to Swamp Thing or Man-Thing though. Even if everything ends up okay in the end, Percy and Robert Gill serve up terrifying visions of plant people ravaging every day life in Krakoa, which could be a spectre of things to come. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read

Black’s Myth #2 (Ahoy)– Black Myth’s #2 really starts to lean into the mythology part of its title as our werewolf PI protagonist Strummer takes a case from Rainsford to find some missing silver bullets. Rainsford’s mansion is a Who’s Who in mythology, and she and her associate the Djinn Ben run into Galatea (A statue given life by Aphrodite) and the one and only minotaur. Eric Palicki and Wendell Cavalcanti widen the world of Black’s Myth with Rainsford regaling Strummer with stories about how he stopped Ragnarok illustrated in the wind-swept lines of flashback. But the case also has some complications stretching into a new supernatural realm. Black’s Myth #2 treads the line nicely between crime fiction and fantasy and has a sense of humor as evidenced by Ben bonding with a minotaur while Strummer does the dark, serious interrogation stuff. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 08/07/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Transformers: King Grimlock #1 (IDW)– I didn’t know about this character until today, but Steve Orlando and Augustin Padilla helped me fall in love with the Dinobot leader, Grimlock, in their new comic, Transformers: King Grimlock #1. This comic sets up the personality and vast abiltiies of Grimlock as well as casting him in a dimension that is more fantasy than sci-fi as some humans called Menonians accidentally magically summon him when they were actually trying to get Optimus Prime to help them out. Orlando gives Grimlock a distinct manner of speaking and a nasty disposition a la the Hulk while Padilla cuts him loose in colorful (Thanks to colorist Jeremy Colwell!), large scale battle sequences including an epic double page spread where he transforms into his T-Rex form for the first time. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the character like me, Transformers: King Grimlock #1 has plenty of humor, giant robots breaking shit, and attitude and is worth a read. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Snelson #1 (Ahoy)– Paul Constant and Fred Harper swim in the very muddy (and controversial) waters of cancel culture, political correctness, and the heat death of comedy in Snelson #1. The comic follows Brooklyn comedian, Snelson, who was “cancelled” for sleeping with a 17 year old when he was 25 so he has tour with a Black, trans, and Jewish vegan comedian to get bookings even in red states like North Carolina and Tennessee. (My home state definitely takes a beating in this one.) Harper’s art does an excellent job showing how repulsive Snelson is using facial expressions and taking a Peter Bagge (He did a variant cover for the issue!) approach to character design. He looks just as gross hooking up with a fan as he does making jokes about proctology and Gwyneth Paltrow (Yikes!) The first 4/5 or so of the comic has a loose structure of comedy sets and road life, but Constant tightens up the plotting in the last few pages with a monologue that combines every shitty white cis male comedian in the past decade in one stream of venom. I feel like I need a shower after spending time with someone like Snelson, but looking forward to seeing his downfall in future issues. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read

The Me You Love in the Dark #1 (Image)– A ghost, haunted house, and art block all collide in The Me You Love in the Dark #1 by Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, and Jean-Francois Bealieu. Corona and Bealieu craft haunting visuals with wispy lines and watery blacks and greys as our protagonist, Ro, struggles with trying to making art in a big Goth-y house in the middle of nowhere. This comic is mostly a mood-piece, but Young and Jorge Corona explore the connection between creativity and one’s current status in life with Ro’s friend Atti being a voice of reason over the phone and reminding her that no painting equals no money. This is a beautiful, poetic read perfect for a rainy day. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Heavy #7 (Vault)– Continuing into its second arc, Heavy continues to be a fucked up saga of metaphysics, theology, attempts at a throuple, and killing god from Max Bemis, Eryk Donovan, and Cris Peter. Bemis splits up his cast by gender with Slim and Bill hanging out on a mission to a lobotomized, not-Hell-place where the remnants of the angels hang out, and Sharon and Kyle have some bonding time featuring pink vaginal energy, future selves, and karma herself. This series is like Preacher’s chaotic, bisexual little sibling, and Donovan and Peter continue to excel with over the top visuals while Bemis keeps the jokes and relationship drama coming along with loads of exposition. Every time, I think Heavy’s world-building is going to collapse, Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan pull a character moment out of their asses and keep me on the (not so) straight and narrow path of this comic. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

Hellions #14 (Marvel)- Zeb Wells tugs on a dangling plot thread from “X of Swords” (Amenth killing members of Hellions, and then coming back weird.), and he and Roge Antonio turn their focus away from Hellions’ wacky cast of misfits to the less interesting Locus Vile. Hellions #14 has plenty of action, and Sinister backstabbing, but it’s less memorable than previous issues of the series. It has a decent reveal when Tarn the Uncaring shows the Hellions that Sinister left them for the dead back in “X of Swords”, but this just turns into a generic fight scene. Sinister is back in chaos mode, which is fun, but this issue was really more of a table setter with a few interesting moments from time to time. (For example, Nanny in full rage mode.) Overall: 7.3 Verdict: Read

X-Men #2 (Marvel)– Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia have the X-Men in big time superhero mode for the brunt of X-Men #2 while showing Krakoa crumble in interludes that undercut the team defeating a threat that used to take a crossover in a single floppy. (i.e. The Annihilation Wave.) Visually, Larraz and Gracia continue to be in blockbuster mode with big group shots of the team going into action and using their abilities in a complementary abilities. It’s almost like that old video game X-Men Legends out there as Duggan and Larraz showcase different X-Men creating special team-up moves to protect the denizens of Kansas like Jean Grey and Polaris using telepathy and magnetism to create an MRI on the fly. X-Men isn’t anything fancy: superheroes kicking ass and sometimes having feelings while conspiracies pile up in the background, and that’s cool. Not everything has to be wheels within wheels. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 07/31/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Barbaric #2 (Vault)– Michael Moreci, Nate Gooden, and Addison Duke juggle fantasy tropes and shed more insight on our deuteragonist, the necromancer Soren in Barbaric #2. Unlike most barbarian stories, Moreci and Gooden create an alliance between Owen and Soren, and she opens up to him about being persecuted and shunned for abilities some might think are unnatural. However, she’s not 100% a goodie two shoes, which creates the real tension in the arc. Compared the previous issue, Barbaric #2 has more talking heads, but eventually, Nate Gooden and Addison Duke get to cut loose supernatural style with flurries of bodies and spirits and pinks and greens. This is a book that’s clever and self-aware and a high octane thrill ride, especially when the talking axe is involved. Overall: 8.7 Verdict: Buy

Blue Flame #3 (Vault)– Although ostensibly a sci-fi/superhero comic, Blue Flame #3 is a portrayal of a man hanging by his last thread. Sam’s friends are dead, his sister and her husband are struggling with finances and have a baby on the way, and oh yeah, he has to make a case for the continued existence of Earth to extraterrestrials that would destroy it. (And the eco-fascist compromise of saving Earth, but not its inhabitants won’t cut it.) I love the contrast in visuals that Adam Gorham and K. Michael Russell bring to the table as Sam flies through lush planetscapes as Blue Flame and hangs out in disturbingly dingy bars in his civilian life. They and writer Christopher Cantwell keep hammering out a painful character study that bridges the world of cosmic and street level heroes. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Batman/Superman #20 (DC)– Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Sabine Rich continue to make this team-up series better than it has any business being. Batman/Superman’s Big Bad Auteur.io, a film exec/multiversal manipulator, has sent in perpetual second stringer Etrigan the Demon to wreck the perfect Superman reality, World of Tomorrow. Yang’s script is both clever and wholesome poking fun at the way Etrigan is used in DC Comics and also showing Superman, Batman, Robin, and some allies save the day and help people even in alternate realities. This whole series is pulpy goodness with a modern sensibility, and Reis matches this with artwork features complex, film strip layouts plus classic costumes and futuristic technology. Batman/Superman #20 continues to marry the digital and analog in the way the series looks, and how its characters are portrayed with the Internet being key to this issue’s plot. Finally, the main reason I love Batman/Superman is that Gene Luen Yang and Ivan Reis use the concept of the multiverse not just for bullshit continuity reasons, but to explore different sides of iconic characters and tell a fun adventure story to boot. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Icon and Rocket Season One #1 (DC/Milestone)– After an extended origin sequence that allows artist Doug Braithwaite to indulge his sci-fi side, Icon and Rocket Season One #1 is all about the War on Drugs. Seriously, I would bet money that Icon voted for Ronald Reagan if he even voted at all. Reginald Hudlin and Braithwaite tell Icon’s origin story and Rocket’s too in this first issue filled with drugs, a break-in, guns, and a Black superhero (Actually an alien) who seems above at all. It oddly feels like a early 1990s period piece (When the original Icon comic dropped) with digital coloring from Brad Anderson instead of a renewal of the characters for the 2020s/a new audience. However, Raquel Irvin’s heart for justice (and maybe a side of respectability politics) and everywoman charm means I’ll be giving issue two a try to see what Icon and Rocket’s team-up looks like in action. Overall: 7.0 Verdict: Read

Static Season One #2 (DC/Milestone)– Vita Ayala, ChrisCross, and Nikolas Draper-Ivey’s excellent reboot of Static continues in Static Season One #2 as Static must deal with the aftermath of bully Hotstreak burning down his family’s home and gets help from an unexpected source. The mind-meld of Ayala’s narration, ChrisCross’ layout, and Draper-Ivey manga infused, energy-filled pencils and colors make Static Season One of the best-looking superhero books on the stands. The family conflict is handled really well in this issue with Robert Hawkins running around the house to survey the damage and having an argument with his wife Sharon about Virgil getting checked out after he demonstrates his abilities. It shows Black skepticism about medical professional from different perspectives and also ties into the large narrative of superpowers hitting Dakota City. Throughout the issue, Ayala and Draper-Ivey do an excellent job of showing the mental and physical drain that Virgil’s power take on him and have him reach out to a new ally connected to the Inventors program he’s involved in. Static Season One #2 has it all: shonen fights, internal conflict, and connections to the larger story of the Dakotaverse that don’t overwhelm what’s going on in Virgil’s family and school. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Amazing Fantasy #1 (Marvel)– Kaare Andrews’ Amazing Fantasy is a mash-up of different genres, Marvel eras, and characters with one heart-rending final page. He does each key character (Captain America, Black Widow, Spider-Man) in a different art style before going full pulp when they end up on a mysterious island. Like the old comics and stories he’s riffing on, his writing is definitely on the verbose side and describes exactly what goes on in the panel, which can be a little annoying. However, it’s cool watching him move from shirtless Captain America wrestling dinosaurs to fully painted Natasha in the Red Room and Silver Age Spidey with style and ease. This series has a lot of mystery, potential, and darkness at its core. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Cable #12 (Marvel)– We say goodbye to Kid Cable in this week’s heartfelt shoot ’em up/series finale from Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto. Basically, Old Man and Kid Cable use the power of relationships to take down their evil clone, Stryfe. Duggan manages to taper off most of the loose ends while leaving a couple in play because time travel. As a character, Kid Cable initially seemed like a Quentin Quire knock-off to me. (It’s the telepathy/Stepford Cuckoo romance) However, Gerry Duggan and Noto gave him a unique part in Krakoa by strengthening his relationships with the Summers family, giving him a connection to Galador, and finally pouring on the fan-service by bringing in Deadpool and Domino in the final issues. The Stryfe arc may have stretched out a little too long, but Cable was a solid series helped in part by consistently gorgeous visuals from Phil Noto. He nails the mayhem of combat, but also can freeze for emotionally poignant ones like the Cables rejecting Stryfe’s request for amnesty on Krakoa. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

Eternals #6 (Marvel)– Just when this book starts to feel like homework, Eternals pulls me in again. The first half of the book is a curb stomp with the Eternals taking down Thanos, but then their resurrection machine malfunctions, and they learn a disturbing truth about their roles in the world. Like his work on Journey into Mystery and many of his creator-owned titles, Kieron Gillen has used the first arc of a comic to break down readers’ perceptions of the characters while commenting on big things like life, death, and mortality. I also feel like I’ve gotten know the core group of Eternals quite well over the previous six issues, especially Sersi and Ikaris. (Poor Phastos!) On the visual side, Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson bring some big action with blinding colors and dig into horror territory when we see the Eternals resurrected for the first time in the series. The fights might be cosmic, but these immortals truly have flaws. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 07/24/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Brett

Dark Blood #1 (BOOM! Studios) – There’s a lot of potential for this series and the first issue is a nice setup for everything. There’s a lot teased and some solid moments but overall it feels like the issue is a bit too decompressed and dragged out. Still, it shows this is a series to really pay attention to and keep an eye on. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Snow Angels Season 2 #2 (comiXology Originals) – Each issue of this series continues to surprise. The twists and turns of this issue not only keeps readers on their toes but teases out the bigger world we’re learning so much about. What’s great about the comic is you never know what’s coming up and where it’s going to go. Add in beautiful art and this is a series that’s a must read digital release. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Alex

Syphon #1 (Image) I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one; the cover art drew me in, but the comic didn’t really do enough to make me want to come back for more. The story felt a little rough and definitely could have benefitted from a little exposition, but the art was solid throughout the comic. Not a bad read, but it wasn’t particularly memorable for me. Overall: 6.7 Recommendation: Read

Gods Of Brutality #1 (Black Caravan/Scout) A rock star is about to retire and so tells the true story of his death and subsequent rescue from Hell by Thor and Hercules. Nothing I write will describe the comic better than you’re now imagining it, and it’s just as good as you hope it is. Cartoonish, violet and gory with demons who like crude jokes, this is the kind of comic you read to not think about things. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 07/17/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Ninjak #1 (Valiant)– Ninjak #1 is probably the best-drawn Valiant book I’ve read with Javier Pulido bringing his creative attitude to page layouts, flat colors, and spot-on cartooning to a world of super spies and superpowers. Ninjak has all kinds of lovely storytelling touches like Pulido and Dave Sharpe switching up the lettering font when someone isn’t the greatest at speaking a foreign language. Jeff Parker’s plot feels a lot like a Daniel Craig-era James Bond film, but with katanas and superpowers. He and Pulido show Ninjak in action from the POV of someone he lets trail and seeing the effects of his fighting skills creates a feeling of intrigue like he’s the bogeyman or something. However, all of the secrets are blown at the end, and Parker and Javier Pulido raise the stakes sky high on the last few pages without being close to revealing this series’ Big Bad. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Joker #5 (DC)– James Tynion and guest creators Matthew Rosenberg and Francesco Francavilla spin a gorgeous, yet seriously unsettling yarn about the Joker’s first night in Arkham that contextualizes why he’s been in Jim Gordon’s head throughout the Joker series. Any time Francavilla does interior art is a treat, and Joker #5 is no exception as he brings a deadpan creepiness to the titular character compared to the overly righteous of Jim Gordon. Francavilla’s colors were really my favorite part of the issue from faded greys for any scenes featuring Gordon’s family to his bright, eye-popping red hair that adds sound and fury to any sequence. But it ends up signifying nothing, and this is really a tragic comic. You could definitely slot it in after Batman Year One and Man Who Laughs, it’s that good and a high point of one of my current DC faves. In the backup story, Sweeney Boo’s art has a slick, queer af vibe perfect for a story featuring the Row siblings. Tynion and Sam Johns juggle Harper Row and Cullen Row’s stories perfectly as Cullen deals with his crush’s immature Punchline-fanboy friends while Harper Row is ready to spring back into action. It’s a nice dessert to the robust main story. Overall: 9.4 Verdict: Buy

Die #18 (Image)– The cast of Die continue to wander through a dungeon to the center of the world so they can finally escape this nightmare. Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans make the dungeon less full of loot and enemies and more like the Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings aka emptiness, a touch of psychological dread, and a big, god-like monster towards the end. They hone in on the character of Sol, who was killed by the Gamemaster and became the first Fallen, and show how terrible his life was being stuck in the game for decades and having his eyes replaced with a literal D20. Even though he ran the game and wanted to take revenge on the game, he’s weary of it. Hans’ art wrings some real emotion out of his transformation, and she also gets to turn her gifts into the real world in a 1990s flashback set in a pub in Stafford, UK right after the cast originally returned from Die. Finally, what really got me in this issue was Ash, who deep down doesn’t want to leave Die because she can truly be her authentic self in this fantasy world versus the “real” one. It’s really powerful character even as Gillen and Stephanie Hans start to call time on the series. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

Way of X #4 (Marvel)– Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia’s Way of X continues to be the book that pokes at the flaws of Krakoa. There’s the obvious build-up to Onslaught 2: Electric Boogaloo, but they also examine the trauma around life in Krakoa from Gorgon dealing the fallout of being resurrected weirdly to the new mutant Lost coping with Fabian Cortez killing her parents pre-amnesty and even some geological issues on Mars aka Arakko. With expressive figure work and faded out backgrounds, Quinn shows the every day mutant struggle as well as Nightcrawler trying to find a unifying theory for everything to center his mutant religion around. Also, the Gorgon resurrection thread is one that’s been begging to be explored since X of Swords, and Spurrier and Bob Quinn do a good job of using it to reinforce the themes of Way of X as well as showing there’s still heightened tensions between humans and mutants. All this plus Legion and Professor X have their version of a heart to heart, and he continues to be a great co-protagonist of the series. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

X-Corp #3 (Marvel)– X-Corp #3 rights the series’ ship with better art from Valentine De Landro and improved focus from Tini Howard as she makes Jamie Madrox the heart of this issue. Madrox has to demonstrate an important X-Corp product launch, but he also doesn’t want to miss his son’s first steps. This tension between work and family runs in the background while Monet spars with Sara St. John, who works for X-Corp’s competitor in their bandwidth project, and makes cracks about women in technology panels/summits. De Landro’s art is more fluid and less cold than Alberto Foche’s on the previous two issues of X-Corp and fits the tone of a fast-paced, wheeling and dealing tech summit. X-Corp might have the power of mutants on its side, but their competitor Noblesse does have a few literally killer apps. A one page modular bonus story from Jason Loo puts everything Madrox-related in context and shows that maybe the straits aren’t so dire though. I really enjoy how Howard, De Landro, and Loo use his abilities to create the ultimate tech work flow. If the visuals of this book continue to be as clear and engaging as this issue, X-Corp could start to grow on me. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 07/10/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Crush and Lobo #2 (DC)– Crush and Lobo by Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan is really my current comfort comic. It mixes the queer yearning with a deadpan sense of humor, and it’s set in space. Tamaki layers Crush’s relationship with her ex Katie and her dad Lobo into a fun slice of life-meet-adventure story. Basically, space baristas aren’t to be trifled with. Nahuelpan’s action chops on his creator owned Black Mask titles definitely transfer over to this book, and he gets to draw zero grav fight sequences in this one. My one slight issue with this book is that there’s not a whole lot of Lobo in it, but a hilarious prison group therapy sequence shows that Mariko Tamaki already has his voice. I can’t wait to see his interactions with Crush in the next issue. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Black’s Myth #1 (Ahoy)– Black’s Myth #1 is a comic about white supremacist attacking, werewolf P.I. nicknamed after Joe Strummer from writer Eric Palicki and artist Wendell Cavalcanti, who does the whole book in black and white with lots of grid layouts. It starts intense with its protagonist bleeding out from a silver bullet wound in the bath tub and never lets up and doesn’t shy away from its supernatural elements. In fact, Cavalcanti’s best work happens when he’s slinging ink and blacks around when a recovering Strummer decides to fuck up some Nazis in an alley and find out who’s trying to kill her. Black’s Myth hits that sweet spot between crime and fantasy, and the art style gave me strong David Lapham vibes. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Hellions #13 (Marvel)– Hellions #13 kicks off a new arc, and Zeb Wells, Roge Antonio, and Rain Beredo dig into the consequences of the team’s (Well, mainly, Mr. Sinister) actions in previous storylines. So, there’s the return of the insane, Frankenstein Monster with a cape Mr. Sinister clone, who led the suicide mission into Arakko in X of Swords and also some subplots featuring the A.I. mutant baby the team rescued and X-Factor investigating their resurrections. (The book’s cancelled, and this plot is only in one data page, but an X-Factor vs. Hellions book would have been great fun.) But this issue isn’t just clones and the return of the past enemies as Wells and Antonio take time for team-bonding like Empath and Wild Child joking around about heroic sacrifices, or Orphan-Maker latching onto Greycrow as a parental figure now that Nanny spends all her time with the A.I. These moments make a predominantly table-setting issue more interesting as Zeb Wells sets up a big brawl for the next issue. Overall: 7.8 Verdict: Buy

X-Force #21 (Marvel)– Spinning out of the Terra Verde incident (Think the Iran/Contra affair, but more psychic and telefloronic), Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Robert Gill, and Guru eFX are back on their sentient plant shit in X-Force #21. Somehow, a strain of Man-Thing is infecting humans in politics, corporate boardrooms, police forces etc. all across the U.S., and they’re doing irrational things like murder. X-Force is on the case to find the cause of these happenings and see if there are any connections to Terra Verde, and more frightening, Krakoa. Cassara and Gill’s art and Guru eFX’s color palette do a good job with the body horror sequences, and there’s one especially nauseating sequence with Wolverine early on. The big panel layouts work well for an action-driven book, and they and Percy give Wolverine and Quentin Quire a fun kind of chemistry and their own unique fastball special. Some readers may shrug at Benjamin Percy introducing yet another plotline to X-Force, but he threads the needle and connects the Man-Things to the long running XENO plot as well as the recent telefloronic happenings. Also, immediately fighting a being that is benevolent, yet misunderstood is totally in the mutant CIA’s M.O. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Brett

X-Men #1 (Marvel) – A decent start for the new series that has its moments but never quite excites. There’s a lot of setup in this newest volume and that rather slow aspect is given some action to give the issue a little excitement. Unfortunately, that action fills like filler material in between major arcs. It’s not a bad start, there’s a lot that’s intriguing, but it doesn’t quite have that spark that has me immediately wanting to see what’s next. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Almost American
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