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.
Silver Surfer Black #3 (Marvel)** – Tradd Moore is doing such a magnificent job channeling his inner Kirby that it makes this book a joy to experience even with a mediocre, uninspired Donny Cates script. I guess there’s a plot twist at the end here that might intrigue some people, but whatever. It’s not like the story really matters here, it’s a “closed loop” anyway. The art is why you buy this book, and buy it you should. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Gideon Falls #16 (Image) **– Jeff Lemire is mailing in his third-rate “Twin Peaks” rip-off scripts at this point (literally and figuratively), but Andrea Sorrentino just keeps on getting better and better on art — in fact, there are a couple of double-page spreads here that will simply blow your mind. A book worth buying just for the art? Seems to be a theme this week. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy
Outer Darkness #9 (Image/Skybound) **– The best series no one seems to be talking about just keeps getting better. A brutally violent issue this time out gives Afu Chan a real chance to shine on art, and John Layman’s dark AF scripting is really firing on all cylinders. Not for all tastes, but for those who are on a very particular wavelength, comics don’t get a whole lot better. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Detective Comics #1009 (DC) **- Not a bad “rebound” issue this time out, as Peter J. Tomasi’s “Bruce Wayne in a plane crash” script is thoroughly readable if uninspired, Deadshot comes off as a formidable foe, and Christian Duce’s art is sleek and stylish. Nothing overly awesome or anything, but a step in the right direction compared to recent stuff served up in this series. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read
Ghosted in LA #2 (BOOM!)– Daphne settles into living with her ghost buddies in Rycroft Manor, and I really love how Sina Grace and Siobhan Keenan give them different personalities depending on which era they passed away in. This plot centers around Daphne going out with a total jerk named Brint, who is pretentious and thinks he’s owed sex, because she saw her ex with a new girl and wants to make her jealous. Ghosted in LA #2 is a great skewering of fuckboys and has some sweet interactions between Daphne and a ghost, who she is supposed to get a new album by his favorite band. Keenan’s expressive art and cute outfit designs plus these little wholesome moments keep the comic afloat in the middle of the melodrama. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Powers of X #2 (Marvel) – This was my least favorite chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men work as he and RB Silva do a great job integrating the Moira MacTaggart retcon into the foundation of the X-Men, show some strong scenes with Cyclops as a pragmatic leader, and have a similar salt of the Earth pragmatism with Wolverine 100 years in the future. 1,000 years in the future is when it falls apart and feels like a filler issue of his Avengers run with lots of talk about how future societies are like and hives and intelligence. However, it doesn’t have the emotional resonance of the other eras with characters we have gotten to know or just damn cool concepts like Apocalypse leading the X-Men. This is 3/4 of a good comic and the turbulent middle chapter in a series that has been firing on all cylinders up to this point. Overall: 7 Verdict: Read
Collapser #2 (DC/Young Animal) – In the second installment of Mikey Way, Shaun Simon, and Ilias Kyriazis’ series, Liam struggles with controlling his collapsing black hole abilities.
Before the opening credits roll, he’s out there wrecking Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids and seeing visions of cryptids and aliens that no one else can see. Way and Simon focus a lot on mental health in this issue, and Liam’s girlfriend Joss helps him check into a psych hospital because he’s been off his meds. Of course, all the aliens and phenomena are real, but Way, Simon, and Kyriazis take mental health seriously in Collapser #2 and work through what Liam sees and feels before throwing him back into action. Finally, Liam’s black hole abilities allow Kyriazis and colorist Cris Peter to play without layouts and provide different visuals than your usual alien invasion/superhero comic. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy
Age of Conan Valeria #1 (Marvel) – In what looks to be probably the best book to come from this niche line at Marvel, we find a character worthy to occupy the same space as Conan. As we find one hero whose childhood has been marred by tragedy. As the death of her parents, leads her to live with her brother, who is ultimately betrayed by someone close to him. By issue’s end, our hero is focused on her goal in mind, as the story instantly brings comparisons to the underrated ” Quick and The Dead” movie, as both stories showcased strong female protagonists with tragic backgrounds.
Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Conan The Barbarian Exodus #1 (Marvel) – In a rather bold move for a one shot, we get mostly vacant of dialogue story about Conan in the wild. As he tests his skills for survival as he fights every dangerous animal. He would soon test his skills against a ruthless oligarch who would get the better of him to have him imprisoned. By story’s end, not only has Conan escaped his Bondage but has killed the man responsible for putting him there. Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Sword Master #2 (Marvel) – We find Lie as he finds out that his father’s enemies have been close to him the whole time, which he also finds out the powers of the sword.. He also catches the eye of another demon hunter, who has been searching for who occupies the title of Sword Master. In the second tale, we find Lie and Shang Chi in the midst of hell and a hand basket. As a fight with Ares army leads to an unfortunate situation that has put both heroes at a disadvantage. Overall: 9.6 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 (**).