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.
My Bad #1 (Ahoy)– Mark Russell, Bryce Ingman, Peter Krause, and Kelly Fitzpatrick unleash the silliness and superdickery in My Bad #1. The free-wheeling two story plus fake ads (Which are the best part of the comic) format gives the book a great old school feel while poking fun at soon-to-be popular IP products, Chandelier Man, Accelerator, and Rush Hour plus their shared nemesis Emperor King. Chandelier Man is white privilege personified and spends his entire issue trying to get rid of bomb. The mixture of classic, yet off-kilter superhero art from Krause, and Russell and Ingman’s irreverent scripting is a winning combination. My Bad #1 reads a lot like a Keith Giffen book from the 1980s with update cultural references. Finally, as a life long traffic hater and recent car accident sufferer, I need Rush Hour to have a showcase story. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy
Crush and Lobo #6 (DC)– Crush and Lobo #6 is another hilarious, bittersweet, and action-packed installment of my favorite smol gay comic from Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tamra Bonvillain, and Nick Filardi. The entirety of this issue takes place in Space Vegas where Crush fruitlessly looks for her dad. Tamaki’s running, fourth wall commentary mixed with Nahuelpan’s debauchery-filled crowd scenes make this an amusing read with clever ideas like a cookie place where you eat a life-sized cookie of yourself. Between the jokes and double page spreads of mayhem, Crush and Lobo #6 has a lot of heart as Crush accidentally goes on a date and realizes maybe she’s a jerk who doesn’t like herself very much. She’s cursed with self-awareness (Thank you Mariko Tamaki narration) yet still makes mistakes, which makes her incredibly relatable and worth a monthly hang. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy
Crossover #9 (Image)– In Crossover #9, Donny Cates tries to do what Brian Michael Bendis did in the first volume of Powers and parody a writer’s style through an entire issue. (Warren Ellis is Bendis’ case; Brian Michael Bendis in Cates’ case.) However, the whole thing feels like a Family Guy cutaway gag with Cates aping Bendis’ style instead of having any kind of actual jokes. Although the entire issue is *fittingly* talking heads, there is a lot of plot progression in the whole comic book creations murdering their creators. However, Crossover continues to grow more inane and be less about the characters and more about Donny Cates showing off his knowledge of Powers lore and namedropping other, better comics. Geoff Shaw’s art and Dee Cunniffe’s colors are almost its saving grace with cool interrogation scenes that had me feeling for early 2000s Marvel instead of the book I was reading. They deserve way better than the scripts they’ve been handed, and the lack of blockbuster-style action is a reminder of how thin and shallow Crossover’s characters and themes are. Overall: 4.7 Verdict: Pass
Dark Knights of Steel #1 (DC)– Although it features gorgeous, story book-style art from Yasmine Putri, her and Tom Taylor’s Dark Knights of Steel #1 starts off slow and has a pretty obvious plot twist if you know basic DC lore. The opening sequence with Jor-El unleashing heat vision on medieval soldiers is unsettling, and Putri nails a similar line and page breaking scene with Banshee later in the book. However, the conflict between medieval Black Lightning and the House of El is a pretty basic one between magic and metahuman abilities. It really feels like a kind of re-skinned Injustice, and lots of Taylor’s faves like Constantine, Harley Quinn, Green Arrow, and Black Canary make appearances. But towards the end, Dark Knights of Steel starts to find its footing by focusing on the family dynamic with Bruce and the Els, which is vastly more intriguing that two factions slugging it out. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read.
Chilling Adventures in Sorcery #1 (Archie)– Chilling Adventures in Sorcery is an old school horror anthology with wonderfully atmospheric visuals. Eliot Rahal and Vincenzo Federici frame the book around horror host/Greendale High teacher, Madam Satan, trying to escape Hell, and she runs into 2 souls aka Archie and Jughead, who tell her Twilight Zone-style stories. There is a controlled chaos to Federici’s line art, and Madam Satan is quite the charismatic lead. Evan Stanley’s story follows Archie as he works at a haunted arcade and has a Amblin Entertainment-meets-Five Nights at Freddie Vibe. It’s followed by a Jughead story from Amy Chu and Derek Charm that turns burger eating into something cinematic and the comedic into the grotesque. Speaking of grotesque, the anthology wraps up with a one pager from Pat and Tim Kennedy and Bob Smith that perfectly combines the Archie house style with super gore. Classic Archie characters plus an EC horror format with memorable art and wry dialogue makes this one-shot a spooky good time. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy.
Knighted #1 (AWA/Upshot)– A middle management loser named Bob takes up the mantle of the city’s greatest superhero, The Knight in Knighted #1 by Gregg Hurwitz, Mark Teixeira, and Brian Reber. The comic has the feel of The Boys or Kick-Ass with cringy dialogue and an asshole on every corner to go with Teixeira and Reber’s grimy visuals. Most of the issue is Bob being humiliated until he has a potentially golden opportunity fall in his lap. I mostly enjoyed the back half of the comic where Hurwitz and Mark Teixeira mess around with elements of the Batman mythos through the spitting image of Morgan Freeman, Ash DeVane, who basically steals the entire comic. Knighted #1 reads like a Millarworld Book with Marvel Knights art, but it didn’t take itself super seriously so I didn’t hate it and am here for more Bob cringe. Overall: 7.3 Verdict: Read.
Out of Body #5 (Aftershock)– Peter Milligan, Inaki Miranda, and Eva De La Cruz stick the landing in Out of Body’s very dark conclusion. Most of the issue takes place in the astral plane where our protagonist Dan and the psychic Abi try to break free out of the creepy occultist August Pryne’s trap. The wild card is Dan’s deadbeat brother, Luke, and Out of Body’s throughline of how other people’s perception of us is different from our own self-perception continues by elucidating their relationship. Milligan and Miranda put together all the pieces of why Dan is in a coma and give one last glimpse about how his hubris and workaholism has doomed all his relationships. Inaki Miranda and Eva De La Cruz’s take on the astral plane continues to be gorgeous and surreal and goes into pure puffs of color and smoke to match Peter Milligan’s perceptive narration. If you’re into weird occult shit, dysfunctional relationships, and are tired of happy endings, Out of Body is definitely the book for you. 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 (**).