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.
Batman: The Adventures Continue (DC Digital) Ah what brave new world we have this week with solely digital releases due to the current pandemic. I am grateful that the more things change, some still stay familiar. Read this was like reuniting with an old friend. Batman The Animated Series is still my absolute favorite iteration of Batman in any form. The second I laid eyes on the first page (complete with title sequence) I was immediately transported back to yesteryear and the after school days of my youth. All that was missing was the score, which I heard in my head anyhow, The creative team of Paul Dini and Ty Templeton captured everything just right. From Gotham’s blood red sky, to Alfred’s sardonic wit, it was all there.
The dialogue was fantastic as well, especially the exchange between Bruce and Lex. Every dripping word was chock full of Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown goodness. Truth be told those are the voices I hear when I read any of these characters anyway. Sure the beginning with the Fleischer-esque root was a bit hokey but the characters were so on model and the voices were right there it didn’t matter.
The story whisked by too fast, which happens to be my only nit pick, as I wanted so much more. I liked the addition of classic Animated Series characters like Veronica Vreeland (DC Collectibles make a fig of her please) and loved her comment to Bruce about, don’t say you’re not the family type as you adopt all these boys and couldn’t they use a mother’s touch? Makes sense.
Lex being Lex and Bruce being Bruce was such a joy. I look forward to reuniting with more of the Animated Bat World, and seeing new faces that we’ve been teased. With all the uncertainty in the World over the last few months, it is so nice to be able to take a few moments to come home again. Welcome back Batman Adventures. We’ve certainly missed you.
Overall: Read, read, read. Score: 9.5
Ignited (Humanoids- Ignition 1): Humanoids’ first foray into the world of periodical comics came with a familiar superhero story put in a completely different scenario. In IGNITED,a school shooting brings about an event that activates powers for a select few among the student survivors. From there, the comic takes on a delicate balancing act focusing on students discovering the reach of their powers while trying to make sense of the trauma of surviving a shooting. Mark Waid, Kwanza Osajyefo, and Phillipe Briones take what could’ve been another X-Men knockoff and turn it into something special, both dark and energetic at the same time. I know it’s heavy type of recommendation in times of quarantines and uncertainty, but there’s a strange form of hope in this comic that made me feel compelled to keep reading despite the anxiety that comes with life in the context of a pandemic. The art jumps off the page and dialogue is snappy enough to juggle drama and classic superhero action almost to perfection. It’s a lighter read than you might think as well, but it’s considerate and aware of the subject matter. Give it a read. I think you’ll find it as engrossing as it is aware of current problems. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy.
Action Philosophers! (Dark Horse): As a teacher, there’s nothing I appreciate more than having a comic present complex and difficult topics in a fun and engaging way. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! is that and so much more. The concept is simple: apply the more spectacular elements of the comics form and then color it with humor to explain old-school philosophical ideas in as easy a way to understand as possible. Don’t understand Plato? Follow him as a failed wrestler-turned-philosopher, elbow dropping his way through Greek thought. Having trouble following Marx? Perhaps seeing him dressed like Rambo and shouting I KICK ASS FOR THE PROLES might help the point across. What’s truly valuable about the book is just how well Dunlavey’s art supports the admirable accessibility of the text. It’s like the creators became co-teachers in the process, each offering valuable and essential insight in the process. I love getting deep into weighty reads when forced to stay home for prolonged periods of time. During these quarantine days, combine Philosophy and Comics and make the best of a tough situation with ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! 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 (**).