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Spider-Man: Far From Home Opens with a Record $185 Million and Wins the Weekend Box Office

Spider-Man: Far From Home

There was no doubt Spider-Man: Far From Home would win the weekend box office. The film had the largest six-day opening ever for a Tuesday release with $185.1 million. The film helped the top 12 films outperform the same weekend last year, the first time in four weeks this has happened.

The film earned about $91 million in its first three days and then topped that over the weekend bringing in another $93.6 million. That’s the 22nd largest six-day performance of all-time. It also earned the largest Tuesday opened day ever and second widest opening ever with 4,634 locations.

Far from Home is outpacing Spider-Man: Homecoming for the six days by over $30 million. It shouldn’t be a surprise the movie is a hit as it earned an “A” CinemaScore from opening crowds and a high rating online. The opening weekend crowd was 60% male and 42% aged 25 or older.

Internationally, the film earned $244 million from 66 markets to bring its overseas total to $395 million so far. Already the movie has earned $580.1 million worldwide off of a $160 million budget.

In second place was Toy Story 4 for its third weekend. The film earned an estimated $34.4 million to bring its domestic total to $306.6 million. Internationally, the film earned over $43 million to bring that total to $343.4 million with a worldwide total of almost $650 million.

Yesterday dipped just 37% to come in third in its second weekend. The film earned an estimated $10.8 million to bring its domestic total to $36.8 million. It also added seven new international markets to bring that total to 35. There it earned nearly $8 million to bring the foreign box office total to over $20 million and a worldwide total of $57 million since opening.

Annabelle Comes Home came in fourth with an estimated $9.8 million. Domestically the film has earned $50.2 million after 12 days. Internationally, the film added over $20 million from 9 markets to bring its overseas total to nearly $85 million. Its worldwide total is $134.8 million so far off of a budget somewhere in the $27-32 million range.

Rounding out the top five was the live-action version f Aladdin which earned an estimated $7.6 million domestically after seven weeks. That total now stands at $320.8 million. Internationally, the film earned $16.2 million for a foreign box office total of $600.9 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $921.7 million so far.

Other comic films…

Avengers: Endgame dropped 49.3% to come in at #9. The movie added $3.1 million to its domestic total to bring that to $847.9 million. The move to re-release the film with an extended scene gave the movie a boost but may not put it over the top of all-time worldwide box office leader of Avatar.

Dark Phoenix came in at #15 with an estimated $439,000 to bring its domestic total to $64.6 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into 2019, and maybe 2018’s films based on comics.

Toy Story 4 Repeats for the Weekend

Toy Story 4

Without much as far as competition, Toy Story 4 easily took first place again at the weekend box office. The film dropped 52.1% in its second weekend bringing in an estimated $57.9 million. That drop was similar to the second weekend drop of Toy Story 2 which was 51.6% and worse than Toy Story 3 which dropped 46.2%. Those films went on to earn $245.9 million and $415 million domestically (not adjusted for inflation).

Domestically the film has earned $236.9 million. Internationally, the film has earned $259.6 million for a worldwide total of $496.5 million after two weeks. It’s already the fourth highest grossing domestic film of the year.

Annabelle Comes Home was second place with $20.4 million falling very short of the studios’ estimate of $30 million. The third film in the Annabelle series, those films opened with $37 and $35 million. The film did open on Wednesday with a Tuesday preview so all together the film earned $31.2 million for its run so far. The movie has also earned $45 million internationally so far for a worldwide total of $76.2 million.

In third place was Yesterday which earned an estimated $17 million from a $26 million budget. The film overperformed a bit with most thinking it’d earn between $11-14 million. For a summer whose story seems to be movies underperforming, this is a welcome surprise. The $17 million is on the higher side of expectations some projected. The film also has also earned $7.7 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $24.7 million.

Aladdin came in fourth place with $9.3 million to bring its domestic total to $305.9 million. That was right in line with predictions. Add in its $568.3 million at the foreign box office, the film has earned $874.2 million worldwide off of its $183 million budget.

Rounding out the top five was The Secret Life of Pets 2 which earned an estimated $7.1 million. Its domestic total now stands at $131.2 million. That total is higher than the $6 million predicted. Internationally, the film has earned $91.8 million for a worldwide total of $223 million off of an $80 million budget.

In comic movie news…

Avengers: Endgame got a boost expanding into 2,025 locations, an increase of 1,040. The film added an introduction from director Anthony Russo, an unfinished deleted scene, and a sneak peek of Spider-Man: Far From Home. estimates had the film earning $2.5 million. It exceeded that, earning an estimated $5.5 million. That’s an increase of 178.5% from the previous week.

Domestically, the film has earned $841.3 million. Internationally, the film stands at $1.920 billion for a worldwide total of $2.761 billion. The “rerelease” is a ploy to topple Avatar as the top grossing film of all time (though it still wouldn’t be when you take into account inflation). The move has closed the gap though and stands now just $26.7 million away from becoming the “top grossing” film worldwide.

Dark Phoenix continues its slide coming in at #13. The film added $1.7 million to its domestic total bringing that to $63.6 million after four weeks.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations at the box office (and any changes to last year’s).

John Wick Comes Out Guns Blazing to Take Out the Avengers

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Something eventually had to unseat Avengers: Endgame from the top of the box office, and it was John Wick that did it. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was the top of the box office with a better than expected $57 million. The film was a crowd favorite receiving an “A-” CinemaScore from the opening day audience. The film “debuted” with a $5.9 million Thursday night preview which is the largest for Lionsgate behind Twilight and the Hunger Games franchises. It’s more than double the $2.2 million John Wick: Chapter 2 earned two years ago.

Parabellum continues the trend of the movie franchise improving upon itself showing it has been gaining an audience over the years. The debut, John Wick, earned $14.4 million opening weekend going on to gross $43 million ($46.7 million adjusted for inflation) domestically in 2014. Worldwide, that film earned $88.8 million. John Wick: Chapter 2 opened with $30.4 million and went on to gross $92 million ($93.8 million adjusted for inflation) domestically and $171.5 million worldwide. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has almost out-earned the second film having already made $149.2 million worldwide (it has earned $92.2 million at the foreign box office).

With that success, there’s little doubt we’ll be seeing John Wick: Chapter 4 before too long.

In second place was Avengers: Endgame which earned $29.4 million after four weeks. Domestically, the film has earned $770.8 million and has passed Avatar to be the second highest grossing film domestically. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the top honor having earned $936.7 million in 2015. It’s unlikely Avengers: Endgame will pass it. Worldwide, Endgame now stands at $2.615 billion putting it about $174 million behind Avatar to become the highest grossing film worldwide. There’s a chance it’ll pass it but will have to rely on the foreign box office to do so.

Detective Pikachu came in third place and expanded its theater count. It earned an estimated $24.8 million to bring its domestic total to $94 million. The film has earned $112.4 million at the foreign box office. That brings the worldwide total to $112.4 million after two weeks. With a budget of $150 million, it does have a bit to go to get in the profitable realm. It currently ranks fourth domestically when it comes to video game adaptations

In fourth place was the debut of A Dog’s Journey. The film earned an estimated $8 million. That film received an “A” Cinemascore from audiences and should have a nice run as a family friendly film.

Rounding out the top five was The Hustle which earned $6.1 million to bring its total to $23.1 million.

When it comes to comic films….

Captain Marvel dropped to #14 from #11 earning $727,000 after 11 weeks at the box office. The film stands at $425.1 million domestically.

Shazam! was right behind Captain Marvel coming in at #15. The previous week the film was #12. It earned $681,000 to bring its domestic total to $137.9 million after seven weeks.

Stay tuned, we’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive look at this year and last year’s comic adaptations.

Avengers: Endgame Wins the Weekend While Detective Pikachu Sets a Record

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame has won the weekend box office for a third time in a row with an estimated $63.1 million. That brings the domestic total for the film to $723.5 million making it only the fourth film ever to cross $700 million. It now stands as the third highest grossing domestic release of all-time passing fellow Marvel Cinematic Film, Black Panther.

Internationally, the film added #102.3 million to bring that total to $1.762 billion. It’s the second highest grossing film internationally behind Avatar‘s $2.027 billion.

Worldwide, the film stands at $2.485 billion putting it a little over $300 million away from overtaking Avatar as the top grossing film ever. That film earned $2.788 billion. There’s a good chance the film will eventually be number one and most likely will take a month’s time, though it may be tight as the summer box office really kicks off and competition rolls out.

Detective Pikachu debuted a strong second with an estimated $58 million. That’s the largest opening weekend for a video game adaptation ever beating Lara Croft Tomb Raider‘s $47.7 million back in 2001. The film earned an “A-” CinemaScore.

Internationally, the film earned an estimated $103 million for an overseas total of $112.4 million. It opened in Japan last weekend.

In third place was The Hustle which brought in an estimated $13.5 million in its debut weekend. The film earned a “B” CinemaScore with 72% of the crowd being female and 66% under 35 years old.

The film also debuted internationally where it earned an estimated $13.7 million from 36 locations.

The Intruder dipped 39.4% from the previous weekend, a solid number, to come in fourth place. It earned $6.6 million over three days.

Rounding out the top five was Long Shot which also did well only dipping 37%. It earned an estimated $6.1 million over the three days.

In other comic news…

Captain Marvel dropped from #5 last week to come in at #10 adding $1.8 million to its domestic total after 10 weeks. The film has earned $423.8 million so far.

Shazam! dropped from #8 last week to #12 this past weekend adding $1.1 million to its domestic total to bring that to $137.1 million after six weeks.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive in to 2018 and 2019’s comic film releases.

Review: Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path #1

Avatar: Tsu'tey's Path #1

Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neytiri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People.

Honestly, I don’t know why I read this book. I find Avatar to be perhaps the most overrated and over hyped four hour nap I have ever watched. A CGI version of Pocahontas or Fern Gully at best, and an utter waste of time at worst. Blah, blah, great visuals in theaters, yeah, I get that it may have been. But it’s not in theaters anymore. I tell you this to disclose my bias to the movie up front so you can take my following comments with the grain of salt if you feel it’s needed.

Look, this comic hasn’t changed my feelings toward the movie, but I did enjoy it. A lot more than I expected. Which is to say it didn’t absolutely suck. The target audience to this comic is, I believe, somebody who is a fan of James Cameron’s verdantly luscious world, and not your jaded former movie rental store employee who now writes about comics.

That said this comic does hold up the visual element of the world. Ian Duursema, Dan Parsons and Wes Dzioba deliver a visually appealing comic that successfully evokes James Cameron’s visually renown film. Speaking of the movie, the comic takes place at the same time as the events in Avatar and so it’s assumed that you’ve seen the movie (and have retained a little about the story line beyond a general disdain), which means that this isn’t an ideal place to begin your journey into James Cameron’s world. Sherri Smith does bring an engaging story to the fore from the perspective of a character that isn’t the central focus in the movie, adding an additional layer to the world.

Whilst I doubt this book will be read by those who haven’t seen the movie, if you fit into that category then you’ll still be able to enjoy the book. Obviously, having seen the movie will allow you to really dive in and enjoy the comic (especially if you liked the movie).

Story: Sherri Smith Art: Ian Duursema
Inks: Dan Parsons Colours: Wes Dzioba Letters: Michael Hiesler
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/6

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.



runaways 5Runaways #5 (Marvel) After lots of moping and different varieties of angst, the Runaways finally have a team reunion and team up to spring Molly and Gert from Molly’s mad scientist grandmother. Kris Anka hits a new level of fluidity in his artwork that ups the comedy and emotional level of different scenes like Gert and Molly having heart to heart’s at night, Nico and Karolina’s complex reunion, and Chase and Victor picking up on their frenemy routine like Victor had never been disembodied. Rainbow Rowell’s plot hits a new level of urgency in this issue while maximizing character relationships by splitting the Runaways into pairs. Runaways #5 might have a little more razzle dazzle than previous issues, but Rowell and company continue to lean into the pain and awkwardness of Gert being snatched out of the timestream before her death in the previous Runaways volume. There are definite consequences. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Mister Miracle #6 (DC)– Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ work in Mister Miracle #6 is a near flawless example of the ability of story and art in comics to create parallel narratives and contrasts. In the issue, Scott and Barda are running away from Orion’s executioners in a series of nine panel grids (And variants) while having Tracy and Hepburn rapid fire banter about how they’ll renovate the bedroom. It’s technically an argument, but Scott and Barda clear all kinds of obstacles in a fluid manner so they’re definitely on the same page relationship-wise. King gets to spend a whole issue focusing on Scott and Barda’s personalities while Gerads gets to unleash his inner video game level designer and give them on hell of a gauntlet to run through. Gerads’ colors on the “underwater level” are especially striking, and there’s a tinge of sadness any time Scott or Barda bring up their upbringing on Apokolips. Mister Miracle #6 seems like a study in formalism a la Watchmen’s “Perfect Symmetry”, but King and Gerads break the rules and page in the end and provide a suitable mid-series climax. Overall: 9.6 Verdict: Buy

Ryan C

AC_Cv995_dsAction Comics # 995 (DC)** – The only thing that could make this bog-standard “What If Krypton Had Survived?” Superman/Booster Gold team-up any less inspired would be having Brett Booth come on board as artist, and whaddya know — that’s exactly what happens in this issue. Dan Jurgens obviously has more time for his own creation than he does for this book’s ostensible protagonist, but in this case that’s not such a bad thing because what’s happening with Booster is a lot more interesting than what’s happening with Supes. Which is probably all you need to know about what’s wrong with this comic right there. Overall: 2.5 Recommendation: Pass

 Old Man Hawkeye #1 (Marvel)** – I bought this book on a lark, and I guess it wasn’t too bad — but I’d probably rather have my four bucks back. Marco Checchetto’s art is striking and dynamic, aided in no small part by Andres Mossa’s more-than-solid colors, but writer Ethan Sacks delivers more or less exactly the type of story you’d expect given the premise he’s operating with, so — if you’re really into this sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy it okay, but for the casual and/or curious reader, like myself, there’s nothing on offer to “grab you” in any sort of significant way. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

 Deadman #3 (DC)** – If you thought Neal Adams wasn’t making any sense before, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Both story and art are completely off the rails here, to the point where not only do I not understand what the fuck is going on, I no longer think it even matters. In other words, this is the most fun I had reading a comic this week. Is it good? Dear God no. But I wouldn’t want to miss out on it for anything in the world. Overall: 0. Recommendation: Buy. Yes, you read that right.

Grass Kings #11 (Boom! Studios)** – After a little bit of a lull, Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins deliver what could very well be the best issue of this series to date, as the central mystery that’s been anchoring the plot is finally resolved — until it isn’t. This book could certainly use some tighter editing of Kindt’s script, as he engages is some weirdly repetitious dialogue, but most of it’s just fine, the plotting is killer, and Jenkins’ watercolor-esque art makes the pages absolutely sing. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy


Mister Miracle #6 (DC Comics) This could very easily be the comic book of the year for me. Yes I know that it is early. However it is THAT good. Tom King is my superstar writer. The selling point of this series continues to be how he takes these “Gods” and puts them in every day human situations without ever making them feel they are above the fray. The way Barda and Scot talk to eachother about making home improvements while effortlessly making their way through assorted death traps, fearsome foes, a sea dragon and fellow New Gods is an absolute joy to read and watch unfold. Mitch Gerads captures each moment with perfection. This has become THE series for me. No joke. I’d give this an 11/10 if I could. Overall: 10/10 Recommendation: Buy. (twice if you can)


Old Man Hawkeye#1 (Marvel) – In a “set in the same universe “ type story, the creative team gives us a peak into a different and older Clint Barton. As this being the first issue, a lot of it was mostly setup. My first impression is that they look to get into a “ bucket list “ adventure with a last page cameo from Bullseye. Overall, it was merely an okay story so far, I am hoping for more with the second issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Borrow


StrayBulletsSNR_34-1Stray Bullets #31 (Image/El Capitan)** – Even with only one good arm, Kretch is still a killer. David Lapham shows us in just a few pages exactly what kind of guy he is by giving him a perfectly normal but frustrating situation – his reaction is perfect. Annie’s too. And Beth and company’s. I have never been so anxious about seeing a rainbow at the end of a story. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini #2 (Hard Case)** – So Arthur Conan Coyle has hired 20s girl detective Minky Woodcock to investigate Harry Houdini and prove that he is actually a spiritualist. Houdini’s wife has hired her as Harry’s assistant to keep an eye on him. Neither of these things works out as planned. I picked this one up because, as a Montreal theatre guy, we all know about the punch to the stomach he got from a McGill University student, and that event is featured here. Cynthia Von Buhler’s art has a kind of paper-doll quality to it that’s interesting for a 20s series (if a bit stiff for a mainstream comic), but it’s her writing that really shines here. She balances historical events with a fast-moving plot and captures the thrill of watching Houdini work – on stage, debunking spiritualists, and seducing women. It’s tough to not make him the main character, but Minky herself is a treat. Overall: 7.5 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 1/6

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.



BMSIG_Cv1_dsBatman and the Signal #1 (DC) With a tongue in cheek joke about the overcrowded Batman supporting cast, Tony Patrick, Scott Snyder, and Cully Hamner throw a wrench into the works of Gotham City in Duke Thomas’ solo title. He’s a young hero, who fights by day, has some visually cool powers, and lacks the privileges of other Gotham superheroes. Patrick writes Duke with plenty of personality and self-awareness, and his plot is a bit of a mash-up of Gotham Central and We Are Robin with just a dash of X-Men. Former Blue Beetle/Question artist Hamner is the perfect fit for this book with his background doing bright superhero battles as well investigating and general detective things. Fingers crossed this becomes an ongoing! Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

 Iceman #9 (Marvel) This issue of Iceman had so much potential, including a funny Northstar cameo, some real talk about Bobby’s reasons for leaving the X-Men, and Robert Gill’s sexy depiction of evil Daken. However, even though Sina Grace is a gay writer, the book falls prey to the “bury your gays” trope killing a half-baked boyfriend character to build up the big battle between Iceman, junkie mutant Amp, and Apocalypse Seed Daken. Iceman purports to be a progressive comic, but it leans on the same mind control/love interest getting killed off cliches that have been collecting dust since the 80s and early 90s. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Ryan C

BM_Cv38_dsBlack Bolt #9 (Marvel)**  Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward are just plain killing it on this book! A moving send-off to Crusher Creel/The Absorbing Man, followed by a cliffhanger that will leave you picking your jaw up off the floor — not to mention art that does the same? Seriously, “Big Two” books don’t get any better than this. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #38 (DC)**  I like Travis Moore’s art on this one-part story. In fact, I like it a lot. And I like the fact that Tom King was attempting to do something different with this — uhmmm — sorta-Bruce Wayne story. But his stilted dialogue is starting to make everyone sound the same, his herky-jerk pacing no longer seems stylish or unique, and the story itself is pretty light on substance. They get a couple points (okay, four to be precise) for trying here, but not much more than that. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Batman And The Signal #1 (DC)** – This three-part “Metal” spin-off shining a spotlight (sorry, bad pun) on Duke Thomas seemed to come out of nowhere, but it’s probably long overdue given that ol’ Duke’s been around for a few years now and we still don’t have a very firm handle on what his super-hero gig even is, much less why he’s doing it. Scott Snyder gets top billing here but he’s just a co-plotter, the script itself being the work of Tony Patrick, and I guess it’s fine as far as it goes even if the mystery at its core is far less than enthralling. A Story set in Gotham’s daytime hours is a nifty enough conceit on its own merits and the dialogue’s fine, but “serviceable” is about the highest compliment I can give it. Ditto for Cully Hamner’s art, which gets the job done but not much more. I had no expectations about this one going in, and whaddya know — I guess it lived up to them. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Worth a read for serious Bat-fans, but probably a pass for anyone else.

Rock Candy Mountain #7 (Image)** Kyle Starks is quietly turning out one of the best things on comic shops shelves, and anyone who’s passed on this amazingly inventive and superbly-illustrated tale of hobo life seriously needs to pick it up in trade. One issue to go and I miss it already, but Starks really ramps things up for what promises to be a bang-up conclusion. Comics with this much personality don’t come along from the “major independents” like Image often enough. I’m damn grateful for this one. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy


 black bolt 9.jpgBlack Bolt #9 (Marvel) Saladin Ahmed’s captain America is the real captain America. They should give him the title next so that real healing within the marvel U and in the marvel fandom can begin. Ward’s colorful art combines a 1970s high end sci-fi art aesthetic of sculpted figures and shapes and an Impressionist painter’s color pallets with sensitive facial expressions. His Titania is as mighty and as vulnerable as she should be. Overall 9.5 Recommendation: Buy.

Rise of the Black Panther #1 (Marvel). This is the best Black Panther comic of recent years, which is made even more impressive by being writer Evan Narcisse’s comics debut. It is a crash course in Wakandan history (and Stark history) that’s dense enough to make even a Claremont fan feel their dollars are well spent. The political underpinnings are set just right to tell a story of African resistance to colonialism that the world still needs to hear. The art is elegant and detailed, especially colorist Stéphane Paitreau’s soft and lush palette. The story features T’chaka and N’yami’s beautiful romance and a special appearance from a certain Howlin’ Commando made me cheer. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Koshchei_the_Deathless_1.jpgCinema Purgatorio #13 (Avatar)** – First up, a history lesson in British music hall and cinema from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. Old Mother Riley was the drag character of actor Arthur Lucan, who was married to the girl who played his daughter in their double act, and died in the wings of a theatre in Hull. Moore’s genius for marrying text and subtext, cabaret and comics, is the show here. Next, in Garth Ennis & Raulo Caceres’ “Code Pru”, an unexpectedly moving gay werewolf story that deepened the mystery of the mole in the police department and deepened Eric’s character. I had a lump in my throat at the end of these 8 pages, and “Code Pru” has become my favourite thing in this anthology. I’ve also come to like Kieron Gillen & Nahuel Lopez’ “Modded”. In this issue, we get an unskippable cutscene about drugs and the abyss. I’ve got a bad feeling about next issue, where we’ll be seeing the effects of Blue Sky on our heroine Fringe. Overall: solid 7 (I’ve given up on both “A More Perfect Union” and “The Vast”) Recommendation: Read

Koshchei the Deathless #1 (Dark Horse)** – I am a sucker for a Baba Yaga story (must be the Ukrainian in me) so I picked this up, having not read the Hellboy stories being referred to. But Mike Mignola and Ben Stenbeck hit the basics in the first 4 pages and from then on it’s pure excellent storytelling, or rather tale-spinning. “Gods or devils, there’s nothing for it now but to go on.” I’m with that guy. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cosmo #1 (Archie) – I’m always on the lookout for kid-friendly sci-fi so I checked out this offering from Ian Flynn & Tracy Yardley. Basically: Cosmo is a young Martian who travels the universe for fun & adventure & discovery and comes across a UFO that belongs to Earthman Max Strongjaw. This is a little too winky-wink about its tropes for my taste – my 6-year-old wouldn’t get the jokes, and I’ve heard them all before. The art is fun and friendly, so I might give it another couple of issues to see where it goes. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Check it out if you’ve got kids.

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 7/15

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.


SpiderMenII-Turner-aSpider-Men II #1 (Marvel) When the first Spider-Men came out I was reading a lot of Spider-Man comics, but I have since dropped off from the series (a couple years ago, actually). Still, I wanted to see whether we’d finally find out who the Marvel 616 version of Miles Morales is, so I picked this issue up  –  and I’m glad I did. This comic was entertaining, enjoyable, and almost without any real substance. I loved it in the way you like a movie you can turn your brain off and not have to think too hard. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

X-Men Blue #7 (Marvel) You know sometimes you read a comic, kinda enjoy it, but then you kinda don’t because you don’t give a shit about the event it’s tying into? That’s exactly how I felt about this comic. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read


DDCAST_Cv1_ds V3Dark Days: The Casting #1 (DC) I was really impressed with the the first part of this storyline, so naturally I was a bit let down with this one just being more of the same plot advancements that could have been put into the first issue. The artwork is still solid and there are a nice couple of bits but DC really just stretched this for another 4.99. I would get it for the art but story wise nothing that wasn’t really covered in the first part.


Dept H #16 (Dark Horse) Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt Dark Horse Mia’s early life and her relationship with her father. How she learned more about him through interviews and journals than by spending time with him. Along with revealing how Roger and Mia’s father met in the process. Which does leave one to wonder given how complicated Mia’s relationship with her seems, why is she so intent on catching the killer. Is it to get justice, or to thank them for freeing her from her father’s shadow? Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

dept h 16Grass Kings #5 (Boom! Studios)** – The shit begins to hit the fan in the fifth issue of Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’ family drama set in a breakaway, “off-the-grid” community, and while it’s certainly exciting and visually interesting, a poorly-timed composite flashback/present-day “mash-up” scenario at the end that features actions that don’t quite line up with each other dulls the impact somewhat and places this installment just a notch below the previous four. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #2 (Dark Horse)** – Speaking of “off-the-grid,” the second issue of the second arc in Brian Wood and Mack Chater’s long-form series sees the walls begin to close in around the separatist Briggs clan as a de facto hostage situation turns into a lot more than anyone bargained for once the feds get involved. Chater’s art is a bit more generic in its appearance this time out, but it’s still more than solid, as is Wood’s pacy, dynamic script. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

World Reader #4 (Aftershock)** – Jeff Loveness’ script gets out of the way and lets Juan Doe’s amazing, borderline-psychedelic art do the bulk of the storytelling in this issue, as we finally meet a “psychic survivor” of sorts from the genocidal intergalactic force that’s been wiping out all life on one planet after another. The book takes all of about five minutes to read, but it’s worth going back and looking at time and time again to fully absorb the gorgeous images. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Divided States Of Hysteria #2 (Image)** – Howard Chaykin’s been getting more Briggs_Land_Lone_Wolves_2Apublicity than at any point since the early days of “American Flagg!” with this one, and while most of it has been understandably negative (that sickening, since-pulled cover was the very definition of “not a good idea”), it’s also beginning to look like both “camps” in the controversy surrounding this series are wrong. There was no gang-rape of a transgender woman last issue — in fact, she killed everybody trying to abuse her before they could — while at the same time, the right-wingers who were bitching about the cover to the first issue, which featured a Muslim woman in a red-white-and-blue burqa, were eager to defend the aforementioned no-longer-forthcoming cover to issue four, which featured a lynched Pakistani man with his balls cut off.

So, ya know, these fuckheads are pretty much as racist as we always knew they were.

In any case, at the end of the day, it seems that Chaykin played both sides like a fiddle in a move that would make “B-movie” huckster William Castle proud. This time out we finally get to see the ties that bind our disgraced former CIA operative and the various serial/spree killers together, as Chaykin sets up his ultra-violent, non-super-powered “Suicide Squad” premise more fully. The art is noisy, cluttered, and ugly — as it’s supposed to be — but all my fellow leftists who walked away from this comic after last month (assuming they ever read it at all) are missing out on a pointed critique of the privatized, for-profit prison system, the mercenary-for-hire industry exemplified by the likes of Erik Prince’s notorious Blackwater, and the racism and Islamophobia that Trump rode all the way to the White House. This book’s politics are worn openly and proudly on its sleeve, and I have to admit I get a chuckle imagining all the “alt-righters” who have flocked to Chaykin in recent days and weeks having their blood pressure raised when they actually sit down to read his story. There’s some sort of method to all this madness, and while it hasn’t revealed itself fully yet, it’s fascinating to watch it all unfold. And Ken Bruzenak is just plain killing it and earning every dime (and then some) with his awesomely garish lettering and effects.

world reader 4.jpegI can sympathize with those who were offended by that cover that was probably never going to come out anyway (although I do have to wonder what these outraged individuals would make of the work of Johnny Ryan, S. Clay Wilson, Mike Diana, and even Crumb — seriously, people, read some undergrounds, it’ll broaden your horizons!), but there’s a “sweet spot” that’s being hit here for what few left-leaning readers of this comic remain : this is confrontational, in-your-face, unflinching stuff that effectively rebukes every single politically conservative position it takes aim at. In vintage Chaykin style, he’s managed to piss off all his allies and fleece all his true foes. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I admire that by any means, but his willingness to stand alone takes some guts, that’s for sure. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.


The Defenders #3 ( Marvel) – We catch up with the gang shortly after an attempt by Diamondback to kill Luke Cage, whose confrontation was disturbed by Punisher. They slowly look for answers on the Punisher’s motivation while Diamondback questions Black Cat’s reason for saving Luke.They soon catch up with the Punisher, who gets close but are stopped by the Defenders. By issues end, Iron Fist gets into a fight with Diamondback and finds a supreme opponent. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

defenders3Black Panther and the Crew #4 (Marvel) – In this issue, we get a flashback and a catch up for readers. In the flashback, the OG Crew, deals with some unsavory characters in Mississippi, as they say struggle with having Northern sensibilities in Jim Crow South. In the present day story, Luke Cage and Misty Knight look for answers about the mysterious corporation who runs Americops and where their true interests lie. By issue’s end, both generations of the Crew meet, and what could happen next probably will be the game changer. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Kill or Be Killed #10 (Image)** – Following hard on last issue’s massive cock-up, we find out from Ed Brubaker in one simple phrase how Dylan keeps getting away with murder: “They were too busy trying to be super-cops.” What’s fascinating to me about this series is how the noose keeps getting slowly tighter even as the actions of the cast of characters get looser, and good intentions are continually translated into really bad ideas. Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser give us a rainy, grey cemetery of an issue on the art right until the explosion of hellfire-framed-in-white on the last page. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #11 (Avatar)** – Moore & O’Neill give us a movie musical version of the Black Dahlia murder (and very few comics writers do musical comics as well as Alan Moore). I could go for more of this, as I start to wonder what if Fox had made musicals of its films noir (as, despite the “My Fair Dahlia” title, this is not MGM). In “Code Pru”, we get a good look at the boss, who is even more monstrous than any of Pru’s patients. There’s a mystery brewing as to the circumstances and purposes of Pru’s job, but she seems to be too pissed off at her situation to see it… And over in cinema 3 of this multiplex, “Modded” goes shopping, but Fringe is more chosen than choosing. And just what is chainsaw rhythm reggae action? “… the daemonatrix lingo is more about exciting nouns than actual descriptive content.” But I’ll take exciting nouns over boring adverbs any day. (As usual, I skipped “A More Perfect Union” – if these guys would give me a straight history of the Civil War, I’d be interested – and “The Vast”, which is about boring adverbs in comics form). Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Mage: The Hero Denied #0 (Image)** – Matt Wagner returns to the adventures of Kevin Matchstick for one last series. This is a fun preview (featuring oh-so-90’s skateboarding warrior “The Steeze” – who Matchstick winkingly refers to as “youngblood” before sending him home). I have a weakness for heroes who can just do what they do without a lot of posing and wasted energy (must be my own middle age showing), and if Kevin does have better things to do with his time than fight stone-ogres, I’m very curious to know what they are. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

kajumax s3 1Kaijumax Season 3 #1 (Oni Press)** – Zander Cannon continues to amaze with a heartfelt, humorous, horrible monster story that starts with a cabin in the woods, takes what appears to be a long detour through the story of a poor, put-upon giant goat, gets lost near a mysterious lake in Minnesota and then – oh my Goj – comes together and sets up the rest of the story in a great twist. Get on this. Overall: 9.5 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 4/1

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.


old man logan 20

Man Thing #2 (Marvel) The first issue was pretty decent, and definitely made me want to continue with the series, but with this issue R.L. Stine brings a brilliant sense of old school comics storytelling with a more contemporary look at the character of Man Thing. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Old Man Logan #20 (Marvel) The second part of a story in which Logan wants to return to his past, our future, to retrieve the Hulk’s grandson from the original Old Man Logan arc in order to right a potential wrong. It’s a cool story that’s well executed, but ultimately serves to just set up the next arc and nothing more. And we’ll get a recap at the beginning of #21 anyway… this is a situation where the comic is solid but not required reading. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Pass

X-Men Prime #1 (Marvel) I haven’t read an X-Men comic regularly in quite some time, although I do tend to dabble here and there – case in point this issue that seems to set the stage for the future of the X-Men (or at least until the next yearly event). X-Men Prime #1 isn’t a bad issue, but there’s nothing here that you won’t be able to pick up from a recap page in X-Men Gold or Blue #1 , which means you can completely bypass this issue. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass


X-Men Prime #1 (Marvel)  I am (was) one of the biggest X-fans there ever was. I came from the Claremont 80s where I was a child and along with Spidey and Batman, they pulled me into the wonderful medium of comics. I didn’t even hate the early 90s (mostly since I was a teenager) with the bulging steroid version of Cable. Whedon had a good run, as did Morrison, and so on. I like Old Man Logan by Lemire, and didn’t entirely hate what Bendis did (at least for a little while) with his run. What I am getting at, is that I was excited for this new relaunch. But if X-Men Prime is any indication, I am not. I still have hope that they will put the right creators on these books, or things can improve with the first issues, but in my opinion our muties are still not getting what they deserve. Nothing seemed creative, new, or even nostalgic in a good way. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Inhumans Prime #1 (Marvel) Similar to X-Men Prime, I left this book disappointed. Sure, this isn’t Royals #1, but it isn’t a free book, and it is serving as a status quo for what to expect for the Inhumans going forward. I enjoyed most of Soule’s run on Inhuman and Inhumans, and I like Al Ewing as a writer. That being sad, I felt like this book didn’t offer much, aside from letting us know where Royals will begin, and why they would be off of earth. We get an explanation to that, and some cleaning the slate on Maximus and where the Inhumans run left us. There is an interesting character that shows up at the end, so time will tell in Royals what that means. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

SSBS_Cv1_open_order_varSuicide Squad / Banana Splits Annual #1 (DC) – This comic does have some quirky fun stuff, and with it having Suicide Squad characters with the Banana Splits, it isn’t trying to hide how silly it is. It worked for a little bit for me, but with it running as long as it did (like all of this weeks annuals), I lost interest toward the end. Kudos for having a preview for the new Mark Russell Snagglepuss in the back! Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Booster Gold / Flintstones Annual #1 (DC)  Leave it to Mark Russell to hit this one out of the park. The Flintstones has been a great comic representing some of the themes we are seeing in the real world, but delivered with our favorite Bedrock family handling them. Booster is his usual goofy self, and the story makes sense within it’s own ridiculousness. The Jetsons backup was actually quite interesting as well. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Adam Strange / Future Quest Annual #1 (DC)  Strange forgets who he is, as he relies on the crew from Future Quest to come to his aid. There’s mammoths and other huge beasts in a jungle and Andreyko even touches on Hawkman and Strange’s miniseries he wrote, and also gives a nod to someone who looked like Hawkman from Hanna-Barbera. Also, The Batman/Top Cat has a funny twist that was pretty good. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Green Lantern / Space Ghost Annual #1 (DC)  Tynion writes a pretty fun adventure story where Hal meets Space Ghost, and after a mixup and some fun fights using both of their powers, we see them work together. The art is “out of this world” in this issue as Sebella draws a classic photorealistic style within a sci-fi tale. The Ruff N Reddy backup is something I did not expect, and it went for something different with Chaykin writing, but it is one of the oddest and darkest things I’ve read in these annuals. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read


DeadlyClass_27-1Deadly Class #27 (Image) Rick Remender and Wes Craig take a break from the new crop of assassins to tell the backstory of Saya, the violent, mysterious scion of an old Yakuza family in Japan. Remender’s script reads like a standalone gangster movie with conflict over family and honor punctuated by outbursts of violence. The jealousy between Saya and her brother Kenji is the central crux of the issue as she is willing to do the dirty work of a “honorable” criminal while he just wants the outward trappings of one. Jordan Boyd’s colors are standout as usual going from decadent and day-glo when the yakuza members are running up a tab at the local drinking to stern during the issue’s climactic seppuku sequence. Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy


The Old Guard #2 (Image)  Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez continue their tale of immortal mercenaries. Rucka’s story is a bit by the numbers – by which I mean it’s just surface action without any larger resonance as to what it means to be an immortal warrior in a world that is eternally at war with itself. But Fernandez’ chiaroscuro art is just gorgeous (and is it just me, or does anyone else think of Bill Willingham’s D&D ads in the early 80’s? Like, in a really good way?). Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Lazarus_26-1Lazarus #26 (Image)**  This one is brutal. Aren’t they all, though. Rereading it for the review, I was surprised at how short the battle with the Vassalovka monster-Lazarus feels, considering it lasts 11 pages. That means two things: 1) the setup for it is really well-done. Not every writer can make a silent panel say so much and really make you take the time to try to understand what’s not being said. 2) The battle itself, like a lot of fights, takes place in a kind of fast-motion bubble of total clarity, extremely high stakes, and sudden changes of fortune. The twist that happens in this fight shocked me both in terms of plot and character and reminded me of what absolute and total bastards the heads of the families really are. Also: you must buy this issue just for Greg Rucka’s essay on what happens when the fictional near-future dystopia you’ve built suddenly and horrifying turns this close to real. And what to do about it. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #9 (Avatar)  In “Revelations of the Bat,” Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill take us into the life and death of Thelma Todd by way of a “lost” Roland West film, continuing to remind us that Hollywood was built on a pile of beautiful corpses. On to Ennis & Caceres’ “Code Pru,” in which we find out how NYC actually disposes of their zombies. Thanks for that full-page image, guys, I really needed to not sleep for a while. Gillen & Lopez’ “Modded” continues to grow on me, especially with the addition of “Lady Glasshat Dildobeast.” Overall: Purgatorio, 8.5, Code Pru 9, Modded 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Ryan C

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 (DC)**  Remember when this series was only supposed to run eight issues? I guess Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson decided it was more important to give us one extra installment of pure set-up instead, and DC editorial and accounting both salivated, I’m sure, at the thought of everyone shelling out another six bucks, What we have here, then, is just a bunch of treading water in “anticipation” of the big, climactic final battle, and it’s about as involving as you’d expect. Overall: 1. Recommendation: Pass. Like an idiot, I purchased my copy.

The Old Guard #2
The first issue of Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez’s tale of immortal mercenary soldiers was only marginally involving in my own humble opinion, but a lot more detail is fleshed out this time around while expertly avoiding page after page of pure “info-dump.” So hats off to Rucka for that, and hats off to Fernandez for another serving of his finely-flowing, expressionistic art. Really good stuff that has hooked me on this series without question. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Animosity #6 (Aftershock)**  Marguerite Bennett and Rafael De La Torre don’t miss a beat as they kick off the second major story arc of this series, and while the resolution to last issue’s cliffhanger is both ill-explained and a cop-out at the same time, they quickly recover and it’s nice to see some of the mystery surrounding Sandor growing as the long-form “survival quest” plotline gains steam at the same time. The art is getting more confident and distinctive with each passing issue, as well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Unfollow #17 (DC/Vertigo)** With one issue left to go, Rob Williams and Mike Dowling are careening toward what looks to be a memorable, if forced, conclusion, and while lots of bodies fall here as you’d expect, the action is well-balanced with not-overly-wordy explanations of Larry Ferrell’s “master plan.” Unfortunately, I can’t praise Dowling as much as I can Williams this time, as the looser, more “scratchy” art style he adopted a couple months back doesn’t fit the material nearly as well as his cleaner, sleeker earlier work. It makes sense thematically, as it accentuates the rapid pace of events, but it still looks sloppy and rushed, even if by design. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read


X_MEN_PRIME__1X-Men Prime#1 (Marvel) We catch up with a Kitty Pryde in New York where she has returned to one of her passions before becoming a superhero, a dancer. That is until Storm asks her to return to the Academy, to take her place as headmaster. We also catch up with Lady Deathstryke as she gets forcibly recruited into a shadowy organization. By issue’s end, Kitty realizes she has gotten into more than she bargained for. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Read

Green Lantern/Space Ghost Special (DC) Hal Jordan has always been DC’s resident Alsace cowboy, defending the universe against evildoers across the galaxy.Space Ghost has been a buffoonish version of a superhero, a costumed Johnny Carson if you will. When these two meet, it a series of unfortunate events where they first baffle but collaborate to save a planet. The best thing of about this special is Olivetti’s art, which is spectacular, she is very much like the second coming of Alex Ross. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy definitely for the ART!!!

Titans Annual #1 (DC) There’s something to those “trapped in an elevator “episodes that many of our favorite shows tend to do, especially The Walking Dead, who do three to four of those episodes every season.The Titans do that very thing in this annual, as they get trapped in a space resembling the Danger Room in Xmen with the Justice League. Through out this issue, many of the members of the Justice League explore their relationships with their protégés in the Titans. Altogether, an interesting character study that shows that these heroes are also human. Overall: 8 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 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.


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


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


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


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


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 (**).

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