Tag Archives: batman europa

Around the Tubes

POWER-MAN-AND-IRON-FIST-#3The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will people be doing? Who’s taking part in International Tabletop Day? Let us know in the comments!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – The Highs and Lows of X-Men Video Games – So many lows.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

ICv2 – A Goofy Guide to Penguins

CGM – Batman: Europa

CBR – Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4

Comic Attack – Power Man & Iron Fist #3

Nothing But Comics – Saga #36

Newsarama – Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #11, Justice League #49, Sex Criminals #15, More

Review: Batman Europa #4

Batman Europa #4“The last tango”

Better late than never. This review I mean, not the comic. I had such high hopes for this story and with every new issue it waned tremendously. The concept was so brilliant: Force The Batman and his greatest nemesis The Joker to work together to save each other’s lives. It should have been a rocket ride of insanity down the river Styx. Instead it was a very poor attempt at a costumed Abbott and Costello.

To no one’s surprise it was Batman who played the straight edged foil to Joker’s serrated zaniness. At first glance it seemed like a magically pairing made in darkness but after that first stellar issue (once Jim Lee left the art chores) it all unraveled quickly.

In a nutshell, both Batman and the Joker have been poisoned by the deadly Colossus Virus that is ravaging their bodies at an alarmingly increasing rate. This in turn forces the pair to travel the globe and frantically search for a cure for their salvation. There you’re all caught up. (No, seriously you are. Not much has happened in this series)

So in between their deadly backpackery through Europe, at each stop they get closer to the one behind it all. The source of all their torment. Was it worth the wait? Is this their darkest hour?

This is where I just about threw my hands up in protest. I saw the only saving grace for this faltering tale, was the reveal of the evil mastermind behind this chaos. The reveal of this scheme should have been a master of mechanization, someone who really takes both Batman and the Joker to the limit. Instead we got neither. I stated in a previous review that this was a chance to either elevate an underappreciated member of Batman’s rogues gallery or create a new supervillain altogether. That wasn’t the case. The revelation was so underwhelming and seemed shoehorned. I have no urge to go back and read previous issues but I suspect if I did, there won’t be any real clues to who was behind it all. It was almost as if they just went with the notion of using one of the most overused (albeit popular) villains they could. Now even if I could get behind this man torturing the Dark Knight, his reasoning for including the Joker was just lame. Plus don’t even get me started on the poison resolution as it was plain idiotic. It was cliché and trite and just lacked imagination. The other downside was that they dispatched with their “monumental” foe with barely any difficulty. I mean both Batman and Joker are at the brink of death and they are able to make such short work of the mysterious adversary. It felt very Saturday morning cartoonish. It seemed like it only ended so quick because their was no more issues to come and the creative team had parameters they needed to adhere to.

At this point you’re probably wondering if there was anything redeeming or that I enjoyed about this issue. Well I can say that I didn’t mind the art as much as I did the previous two issues. It was less scratchy and more stylized this time around. Again I’m a big fan of Giuseppe Camuncoli (See his monthly work on Amazing Spider-Man, it’s great) but this interpretive painting style just doesn’t suit him well here. The writing, I am saddened to say I have been very disappointed by Brian Azzarello, who tends to do great work but this just wasn’t his game this time around.

Overall: A very exciting premise with a lot of promise and it just missed the mark with every arrow it had in its quiver. If you want to see a story where Batman and the Joker are uneasy allies, play Arkham Knight for your favorite video game console. It is done far better and Mark Hamill even voices the Joker. Always a win in that case. So while I think it’s great we get out of continuity Batman tales from time to time, this is one that should have never made if off the cave floor. Guano for me. Next time Bat-Fans…

Story: Brian Azzarello Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Story: 4.5 Art: 6 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/2/16

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.


Alex

johnnyred4Johnny Red #4 (Titan)** I love this series; it’s a fantastic WWII era story about a British fighter ace fighting for Russia (but do the Russian brass really want him there?) that tugs on my fondness for war comics, my respect for those who fought in the war, and my love of high quality stories. That this just happens to be one of my top two comics released this week, is just a happy accident. While this isn’t an ideal point for new readers to jump on – what with it being right in the middle of the series – it’s worth hunting the back issues down. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Surviving Megalopolis #2 (Dark Horse) I was surprised by this series. It has a slight flavour of Irredeemable but with enough of an original twist to the “Justice League’s gone bad” that it should pique your interest, because it’s well worth reading. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Cry Havoc #1 (Image) I finally got around to reading a couple of the last week or two’s comics, and this was fantastic. I should have read this when it came out, because the mix of the supernatural, an awesome lead character (or two) and some brilliant art make this a must read. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

europa 3Batman: Europa #2, #3 & #4 (DC)* I found the differences in the art style issue to issue jarring – at first. Then I realized that whether intentional or not (and I think it was) it absolutely makes sense given the nature of the story. I devoured the three remaining issues that I hadn’t picked up in less than an hour. Truly great stuff. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Amazing Forest #1 & #2 (IDW) Are a pair of fantastic anthology comics. You don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second, but both issues have some brilliant short comic stories within them that are – at times – out of this world, but are all fantastically entertaining. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Doc Savage: The Spider’s Web #3 (Dynamite) Meh. It’s okay, but just doesn’t do it for me. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read, maybe?

The Precinct #3 (Dynamite) I wasn’t that impressed with the last issue, but this one was a lot better. It definitely drew my interest much better, and felt like a much more complete installment in this story. Plus, the steam punk aspects are fantastically understated. This comic would be just as good without them, but why would you want that? Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Cage Hero #4 (Dynamite) While I have enjoyed the issues so far, I’ve enjoyed them as I would the Sharknado movies; Cage Hero is good because it knows exactly what it is, and it celebrates it with every cheesy bit of dialogue, every been-there-read-that scene. The thing is, it does those things almost well enough to be worth buying, but does fall a lttle short. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Mr H

Spider-Man_1_CoverSpider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)* Whooo Miles is finally here in the Prime Universe! This issue was great. I didn’t enjoy an issue like this from Bendis since his first story arc on Ultimate Spider-Man. Miles is having trouble balancing hero life and school responsibilities. What makes the issue though is when he swings into action. Spidey takes it right to Blackheart and even wields Captain America’s shield! Just a whole lot of fun and it ends with a great cliffhanger. Bendis and Pichelli have another win. I already can’t wait for the next issue. Overall: 9 

 

Patrick

Vision #4 (Marvel) * – This is the best book about robots that needlessly stars robots. There’s really nothing about the book so far that would prevent an editor from taking out the fact that it stars androids and replacing them with a racial or religious minority family and telling the same story. If the point of the story was to humanize the Vision, why is it being injected with this daytime soap plot? I was so glad they acknowledged the Vision had previously been married to the Scarlet Witch because the whole book began to feel like it took place in a pocket universe. Tom King is amazing and I keep reading to see what he’ll do. Gabriel Hernandez Walta is a tremendous talent and I’ll often by a book just because I enjoy his dark tones and the way he captures human emotion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this book. The characters just haven’t meshed with the story yet. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

PaperGirls_05-1Paper Girls #5 (Image)– It saddens me to only be writing a shortened review but I don’t want to spend the time being negative about one of my favorite writers in a luscious and gorgeous book. The issue mostly resolves its own tangential distraction this issue and writes two characters who we didn’t really know super well in the first place. I have re-read every issue since it came out and I still have to go back and figure out the names of the four central characters. I like that this issue ends with them literally somewhere else (as it’s beginning to feel like they have just been bouncing back and forth between the same locations accomplishing nothing). The story… I like to start with a summary of what’s happened. You can usually tell how good a book is by how much the summary changes from review to review. I’d be writing the same summary if I did a full review.  Overall: 7 Recomendation: Read

Detective Comics #49 (DC)*– The best part of Jim Gordon-Batman is still just watching him roll with the punches and really do his best. Bruce Wayne-Batman is always treated like a dark god that somehow stands toe-to-toe with everyone from Darkseid to street-pushers. Jim Gordon’s Batman wakes up the whole neighborhood with a blimp spotlight trying to conduct an investigation and fails to get anyone turn it off before just breaking it. I also like some of the darker imagery (for a mainstream DC comic) which helps me balance out the idea that all Batman and his team are doing is watching statues. Seriously, someone’s probably being assaulted in the alleyway adjacent to one of the statues, Batman. Can you think big-picture for a second? Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)* – This book follows Miles Morales integration into the mainstream universe following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths (right? I didn’t read Secret Wars, I already had the trade for the original Crisis so I just read that). Honestly, Miles Morales is far more like Peter Parker than Peter Parker has been for a very long time which helps me to understand why this issue ended with me thinking, “Oh, yeah… it’s that red-and-blue rip-off Spider-Man! Oh, red-suit Venom!” Bendis’s best work comes when he is not writing every book with the Marvel logo printed on it (so, essentially everything from before ten years ago), however Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor own Miles Morales as far as I’m concerned. There’s something about Pichelli’s angles that make the formerly ultimate Spider-Man so dynamic. I’ve seen static shots of Spider-Man web-slinging for years, but Pichelli’s renditions always make me stop and admire her work. Overall: 6.5 Recommedation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #3 (Marvel)– I miss this book when it was drawn by Rob Liefeld. I miss this book when it was drawn by Mike Allred. I miss this when it was written by Rick Remender. Am I making my point? I struggle with subtly. My point is that it’s sacrilege to have the Uncanny X-Men title be a clone of one of its own spin-off. (I also struggle with perspective.) Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

 

Paul

vision 4Vision #4 (Marvel) * Still, in my opinion, the best All New All Different title that I’m reading. Vision still has no idea what his wife has been up to and what she’s hiding; and Virgina comes face to face with her blackmailer and the meeting does not end well. I could feel for her in this issue, and her situation; feeling helpless and things spinning out of control, thanks to King’s writing and complemented beautifully by Walta’s dark tones in the art. I look forward to this title every month and you should be too. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel)* Well here’s a surprise…I didn’t hate it! Rogue, Deadpool, Human Torch and (briefly) Cable are on the hunt for the Red Skull, or more accurately, Professor X’s brain in Red Skull’s head. They do some good cop/bad cop and get a lead on where to find him. The trio (no Cable) break into where they are told they will find Skull and instead find none other then Gambit. He and Rogue have a brief litte reunion and Red Skull slips right past the team…literally. This isn’t a bad stand alone issue coming off the end of the debut story arc. The action was good and I’m sure the search for Red Skull will be explored in more depth as the series goes on.  Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read 

 

Ryan C

Providence #7 (Avatar Press) *: The best book on the stands by a country effing mile keeps getting better as hapless protagonist Robert Black finds himself thrown into the Lovecraftian underbelly of America’s physical and psychological horror-show and constructs the most bizarrely effective means for rationalizing his experiences, and coming out the other side more cheerful and optimistic, that I’ve ever witnessed. Thrown in themes of class division, loneliness and isolation, and the terrible burden of keeping secrets and this is “Pickman’s Model” as you’ve never seen it before. Alan Moore’s most compelling “major work” in decades combined with Jacen Burrows’ flat-out breathtaking art makes me feel genuine pity for the folks out there who aren’t reading this. Much as I love any number of current comics series, the simple fact is that right now there is “Providence” — and there is everything else.  Overall: 10. Recommendation: Buy

unfollow 4Unfollow #4 (DC/Vertigo) *: Rob Williams’ fiendishly clever social-darwinism-disguised-as-charity premise goes from “gettign warmer” to “heating up” with this issue, and I can only imagine what “boiling” is going to be like. Somebody we’ve gotten to “know” a bit dies in this issue, and it appears we’re going to get a murder mystery added to the mix here, as well. On art, Mike Dowling seems to be stepping out of his self-imposed Frank Quitely shadow and developing his own, more organic style, so that’s good to see, as well.  Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

The Sheriff Of Babylon #3 (DC/Vertigo) *: Another strong and compelling series of wrinkles is added to our layer-cake of corruption and rat-fuckery in Occupied Iraq — and speaking of fucking it turns out that two of our protagonists are doing just that — but while Mitch Gerads’ art continues to impress with its grittiness and authenticity, the script by “ex-” CIA operative Tom King (yeah, lots of folks quit the CIA and go into low-paying freelance writing) is taking on a more blatant neo-colonialist tone that seems very much of a piece with the right-wing themes on display in the author’s other high-profile works such as “Grayson” and “The Omega Men.” King hasn’t earned the right to be compared to Ditko, but both are examples of people in comics whose work I admire despite finding their politics anywhere from questionable to downright nauseating. If there’s any doubt in your mind as to where King stands, I’ve seen him say that he’s “proud” of the work he did in Iraq. I’m sure his “former” bosses are proud of the work he’s doing, supposedly of his own volition, to spread their worldview in our entertainment media. Troubling material to say the least, but I can’t deny its quality.  Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy, but know the writer is probably supplementing his income with a check from Langley.

Swamp Thing #2 (DC)*: Len Wein and Kelly Jones’ “back-to-basics” take on the character continues to showcase both the best and worst aspects of 1970s horror comics — the best being Wein’s deliriously OTT purple prose and Jones’ heartfelt stylistic homage to the art of Bernie Wrightson, the worst being the lame-ass, easily-resolved plot (that could, I suppose, work as a one-or two-parter in a monthly ongoing, but feels downright bizarre in a six-issue mini-series) and the shoe-horning in of guest stars for no apparent reason. The Phantom Stranger I could see, sure — but what possible point does plugging Shade from “Starman” into this story serve? Nice little epilogue/cliffhanger at the end, though, and I’m still loving the ride for the most part. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy.

 

Shean

Shaft: Imitation of Life#1 (Dynamite Ent.): The adventures of John Shaft continues in this new miniseries as we catchup with him right before he becomes a successful private investigator. All it took was one case of a mobster’s missing daughter to propel his business. As he enjoys the fruit of his success, David Walker proves that it has not changed the man, as he takes on another missing person’s case , finding trouble at every turn. Altogether, a strong first issue to an already entertaining series. Overall:9.4 Recommendation: Buy


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

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 (**).

Around the Tubes

Tetris_BoxshotIt was new comic book day yesterday. What’d folks get? What’d you enjoy? What was a stinker? Sound off in the comments!

Up first though, here’s some news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Comics Alliance – In Defense Of T-Shirt Superman: Why ‘Action Comics’ And ‘Superman’ Are Seriously Great Right Now – Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

The Beat – Coca Cola and Marvel are teaming up for the Super Bowl – Not too surprising.

Kotaku – Peek Inside the New Graphic Novel That Tells The Origin Story Of Tetris – This sounds cool.

Humanosphere – Graphic novel depicts life as an aid worker in Iraq – Again, awesome to see this.

The Guardian – African Avengers: the comic book creators shaking up superhero genre – Lots of comics to check out!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman: Europa #1-4

Talking Comics – Bizarro TPB

Talking Comics – Kennel Block Blues #1

Talking Comics – Mirror #1

Comic Vine – Nailbiter #20

Talking Comics – Paper Girls Vol. 1

Comic Vine – Spider-Man #1

Newsarama – Spider-Man #1\

Comic Vine – Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #2

Comic Vine – Uncanny Avengers #5

Comic Vine – Unfollow #4

Talking Comics – Voracious #1

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 17/01/2016

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.


Alex

FaithNo1

Batman: Europa #1 (DC Comics)* – Yeah, I’m three months behind here, but after dropping the lackluster Detective Comics during the last crossover, I needed some Batman this week. I was not disappointed here. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman/Teenage Mutant  Ninja Turtles #2  (DC/IDW)* – There is nothing wrong with this second chapter. Nothing. It’s exactly the fun comic I wanted, and I love it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cage Hero #3 (Dynamite) – I don’t know if this has become a  guilty pleasure for me, but I’m enjoying this series. I can’t tell if it is being deliberately tongue in cheek,or if it’s just that cheesy, but either way it’s fun. Is it worth reading? Honestly, I don’t know – the review copy is entertaining, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Faith #1 of 4 (Valiant) – My reservations on picking this comic up were utterly groundless (that of a character spun out of Harbinger – a book I’ve never read), and I should have known that before going in because it’s a Valiant comic. The first of four issues is brilliantly illustrated, with some fantastic moments within the story where Faith does what we’ve all done once or twice and imagines…. what if? This issue is fantastic, and is exactly why you need to have Valiant on your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Huck_03Holy F*cked! TPB (Action Lab) – Satan is pregnant with Jesus’ baby. But will the skate boarding son of God make it to the hospital in time, when an immortal is out to stop him? Holy F*cked! is as brilliantly wrong as it sounds, but it’s such a great collection that you can’t help but love it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image) – Y’know I could talk about the emotional power in the largely silent opening pages, or the genuine warmth you feel when reading this, but why don’t you just buy the series so far and find out why I love this so much? Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Precinct #2 (Dynamite) – There’s a lot here that, in theory, I should love. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a lot of boxes checked off in my “like” column this comic just didn’t do it for me. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, but I felt it fell a bit short of the first issue. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

The Troop #2 (Titan) – Despite the promise shown in the first issue, I couldn’t help but feel that this comic felt familiar. The concept of a man (with a secret!) building a team of superheroes has been done before, and in enough cases it’s been done better. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Rebels #10 (Dark Horse) – Is, as far as I can tell, a standalone story. It’s also the first issue I had read, and I was impressed. Rebels is a solid offering that stands alone this week in terms of it’s setting, so if you’re looking for a comic that takes place during the Revolutionary War, then this is for you. If you’re not? Think about this anyway. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

Birthright13_coverAbe Sapien #30 (Dark Horse) – Beautiful art plus a new villain (at least I think he’s new), this is an issue that can be a standalone, but I’m sure will have some big impact. The Mignolaverse is one of the best out there, and this issue shows off why. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #2 (DC Comics) – The comic is campy goofy fun, capturing the two series it mashes together. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – I still go back and forth with the coloring but this series has no right being as good as it is. Didn’t think it’d work, totally does. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Birthright #13 (Image Comics) – The comic still continues to be entertaining, and there’s some solid twists and turns that have kept me on my toes. A fun fantasy comic set in the real world. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Citizen Jack #3 (Image Comics) – Can’t say I saw that twist coming, or is that realistic at all, but the sniveling campaign staff is spot on. Fun political satire. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

descender09_CoverArtDescender #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics out there continues on doing so. Amazing read. Amazing art. Nuff said. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #5 (Marvel)* – The series is growing on me, but it’s still missing something that makes it really stand out. I’m still interested in seeing where it goes though. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – How aren’t more people talking about this series. The biggest surprise of 2015 also is one of the best of 2016. Holy crap is it good. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image Comics) – When I think I have Mark Millar pegged, he does a series like this. Still waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, but so far an amazing comic. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Illuminati #3 (Marvel) – Turn your brain off fun. The comic is giving us some interesting villains and great banter. A fun comic that definitely entertains. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 (Dark Horse) – I hated the first volume of Leaving Megaloppolis, and was a Kickstarter backer. The rather incomplete, abrupt ending irked me. This new volume has been so long in the making I forgot much of the series, and this new issue doesn’t give me much to care going forward. A lot feels like we’ve seen it before and little is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

The Massive Ninth Wave #2The Massive: Ninth Wave #2 (Dark Horse) – I’m loving this new volume of the series which shows Ninth Wave’s actions before the crash. A great comic which makes environmentalism entertaining. Plus they’re self-contained stories, even better! Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Robin War #2 (DC Comics) – The ending isn’t too shocking, especially the twist. Still, this event was entertaining and should shake things up nicely in the Bat universe. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo)* – Great police procedural comic set in Iraq’s Greenzone. I’m hooked. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Spirited Leaves #1 (Chapter House Comics) – It reminded me of a Miyazaki animted film in many ways. A very pretty, almost poetic story. This feels like a fairy tale you might tell your child. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Squadron Supreme #3 (Marvel)* – The first issue had promise, these past two, not so much. The series is very paint by numbers in its set up after a great start. So far, one of the biggest let downs. Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

The Violent #2 (Image Comics) – Holy crap is this good. We have comic of the year material here. Just heartbreaking in so many ways. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Weirdworld #3 (Marvel)* – Could be Marvel’s best All-New, All-Different comic. Great art and a real fun story. Just fantastic writing with a great look. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Elana

Catwoman 48Catwoman #48 (DC)* It’s a good Catwoman story. It posits that NYC is a place that Gotham’s rogues steer clear of because NYC but the NYPD is just that dirty and violent (I take it the creative team’s been reading the local news). The streetscapes in this comic ring true though the grand scale of NYC’s Selina’s safe house is far too large for anyone who’s last name isn’t Wayne. The art is inky and sleek and colorist Eva De La Cruz knocks it out of the ballpark. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Princeless: Save Yourself #0. Princess Adrienne has been flying across the land on her dragon, saving other princesses and she hasn’t had much time to save herself from social norms that still weigh on her mind. This is a wonderful exploration of a girl freeing herself from beauty standards. When she chopped her hair off I absolutely cheered! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Red Sonja #1 (Dark Horse) This is a Sonja I’ve been waiting for! Marguerite Bennett shows her in and out of her element in a great introduction. She’ll be wrestling with some interesting politics in her homeland with her fists and her brains. She’s also scoring with ladies (whoop!). Looks beginner friendly too. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy!

 

Ryan C

code pru 1Code Pru #1 (Avatar) *: Garth Ennis is back at his tasteless best here, and without the editorial constraints that hindered him from going quite as far as you know he wanted to with All-Star Section Eight (although, hey, bless him for trying, and he did manage to at least get a rapping Phantom Stranger in there). Raulo Caceres’ B&W art is superb, with richly-detailed linework and lush expressions. Not sure how the two competing/corresponding plotlines to which we’re introduced — one involving our college-age heroine, Pru, and her various roommates doing some occult dabbling and some boozing (more of the latter, of course) and the other involving an extra-dimensional Cthulhu-esque entity playing checkers and trading barbs with his captor —will come together as the series progresses, but it’ll be fun to find out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Snow Blind #1 & #2 (BOOM! Studios)**: Ollie Masters, last seen cooking up a pretty tasty crime story with Vertigo’s The Kitchen, hops aboard the “rural noir” bandwagon that’s been growing in the wake of “Revival” with this intriguing little four-parter about a teenage kid in BF Alaska named Teddy who accidentally exposes his family to danger when posting a picture on social media leads a killer to come after them — and to the revelation that his folks have been in witness protection since before he was even born, and never bothered to mention that pesky little fact to him, even once he was old enough to understand what it meant. The first issue’s a bit of an overly-deliberate table-setter, but such is often the case with short-run books like this; in #2, the mystery really heats up and events move into a decidedly faster and more dangerous gear. The loose, sketchy art style of Tyler(“Peter Panzerfaust”) Jenkins may be an acquired taste that not everyone acquires, but I dig it and think it suits the material just fine. Overall: 6.5 (5 for issue one, 8 for issue two) Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean

manchette_fatale_coverManchette’s Fatale TPB (Titan): I am moon big sucker for Crime Noir novels and Fatale is right up that alley. The Reader is introduced to the alluring character of Melane on her many adventures throughout Europe by way of train meeting individuals of different shades of integrity. Story feels very much like a cross between a Long Kiss Goodnight and A Rage Up In Harlem. By story’s end, you not only feel for Melane but you are rooting for her to fight on for another day. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings TPB: Supernatural detectives are everywhere in pop culture most noticeably John Constantine Jim Dresden and the greenest one, Antoine Wolfe. Dirk Gently is quite different from all these characters, as he does not take himself as seriously as he comes off as a British Lupin the 3rd. We join Dirk and his cronies as they solve a very odd case dealing with Egyptian Pharoahs. By story’s end, the reader has gone on a whirlwind trip around the world, as he realizes the world needs his skills.


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

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 (**).

Review: Batman: Europa #3

europa 3

“Well we will always have…”

So it has been a little while since we last left our dysfunctional dynamic duo and they are much worse off for the wear. The Colossus Virus is raging through their systems at a very accelerated pace and time is most certainly running out. Batman in particular is starting to lose his mind and he wonders if he is becoming more like the Joker with each passing second.

There is a scene that we get of the Joker in Paris, and it turns out he’s traveled there extensively and he’s somewhat of a cult icon there. People are in droves dressed like the Joker and being trendy. (And you thought hipsters were a problem. Just imagine a bunch of psychotic clowns dressed up and serving you a mocha latte, or worse yet reciting some slam poetry) Naturally Batman is a taken back quite a bit by this. Joker informs him that these masses are “his people” and he will handle it from here. He claims nobody has more resources in Paris than him. Batman, desperate to find the Trojan Horse agrees to go along with it.

Batman and Joker then go investigate a murder scene that their unknown enemy dubbed Trojan Horse has just fled. While they examine the body for clues, Batman mulls to himself why he hasn’t taken it upon him to end the Joker once and for all. However the scene that lay in front of them becomes a grand example of why he never crosses the line. Batman deduces that the body has been there well over eight hours, and someone went far out-of-the-way to make a spectacle of it. Whoever had done this, knew Batman would happen upon this sooner than later. (Of course I’m not sure how, as Batman and Joker are rapidly dying from a terrible disease, but hey that’s comic book logic for you.) 

As they flee the scene via Batman’s grapple line with Joker in tow, they land on a random rooftop and surprise, surprise the mystery villain rears his ugly head. He exclaims he’s happy they made it, but thought the virus would have finished them by now. (So why is he waiting there? Optimism, boredom?) The way that the art is done in this issue, is very hard to make out the visage of the villain. He seems to look like someone who has a Joker face and wearing a Batman mask. Trojan Horse then spouts some cryptic dialogue about how they have one more piece of the puzzle to solve. The rest of the issue (which is a very fast read) has Batman and Joker dealing with a hostage situation before realizing they have one more place to go, before their journey ends.

Overall: Okay, so first of all I have to say I was not impressed. The issue read way too fast and not a lot of substance behind it. The quality has certainly dipped from the first two issues, as did the art. Giuseppe Camuncoli is one of my favorite artists currently (he’s killing it monthly on Amazing Spider-Man) but here he just did not bring it. He used a very scratchy style, similar to Dave McKean ala Arkham Asylum, but it did not translate well here. If anything the art detracted from following the story at times. It was very hard to make out the characters you were looking at in some instances. The scene where they revealed Trojan Horse, was difficult to decipher. I’m not sure if the artist was trying to display he was an amalgam style hallucination of both the Batman and Joker themselves. I honestly couldn’t tell. The other thing that bothered me is there almost seemed to be a lack of urgency between Batman and Joker, considering they are about to die shortly. The witty banter that was refreshing in the first two issues, seemed so forced here. Unfortunately the next issue has the rather daunting task of wrapping everything up in time to give a satisfactory conclusion to the tale the creative team has weaved. We’ve got less than a month to go, so I’m hoping that like Batman and Joker I can catch a scenic gondola ride down the Grand Canal to see how this one ends. I’m not here sharpening batarangs or anything like that but, I will remain cautiously optimistic. Well see you all in thirty, last stop: Rome.

Story: Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Story: 6.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 19/12/2015

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.


Alex

Klaus_002_A_MainThe Paybacks #3: Two words: Hell. Yes. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Klaus #2** This is easily one of the best looking comics on the racks this month, and it’s also one of the most entertaining. I’m really enjoying the sense of soul within it’s pages. Overall Rating: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #2 was another comic released this week that just screams goodness. When an entire town conspire to keep the secret of a superhero, how can you not fall in love with the story? Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Invincible #126. I’ve not really read much Invincible lately, so reading the final issue of a three part reboot/not reboot probably wasn’t smart on my behalf, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Judge Dredd #1 is an interesting new direction for the character. I’m curious to see what happens next, and this was just good enough to bring me back for more. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #6: If you’ve been reading the series, then this is just more of the same, which is far from a bad thing. Well worth checking out if you haven’t been reading it. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #1 is the first Conan comic I’ve read in months, and it was awesome. There’s a lot of set up here for what’s going to come in the next few issues, and I’m looking forward to see what that’ll be – especially with the renewed interest in the character that’s bound to stem from the new movie. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #138 – Mignola has put together one of the best comic universes out there, and this issue feels like it’s building to something epic and huge for it all. Love each issue not just for the entertaining story but the amazing distinctive art that screams Mignolaverse. Overall Rating: 8.2 Recommendation: Read

Batman Europa #2 – Batman and Joker do battle together in a weird team-up that has the two trying to figure out who’s out to kill them. It’s a strange story, but the art is fantastic and to see these two team-up is really entertaining. A solid miniseries that I’m enjoying much more than I thought I would. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League #46This issue felt very off to me. It picks up after a month of one-shots and catches folks up to where we’re at, at least that’s what it feels like. It’s a meh issue that has some important moments, but comes off more as a recap than anything else. Overall Rating: 6.7 Recommendation: Pass

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Vampire Zoo – I’ve generally enjoyed the Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer series, and was looking forward to this comic. While this one has some funny moments the overall issue feels more like a video game going from one level to the next. Compared to what’s come before, this one just doesn’t stand up in quality. Overall Rating: 6.3 Recommendation: Pass

Descender #8 – I love this series and this one has a great feel of what I expect from a space opera epic. The art is top notch and this one has some cool trippy aspects to it that I look forward to seeing where they go. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

The Goddamned #2 – I’m still trying to figure out this series. It’s Jason Aaron’s twisted Bible tale and while I’m enjoying it, I’m still not quite sure what to think overall. I feel like I’m missing something. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Goddamned02_CoverAHuck #2 – Just loving this series. It’s a fun innocent take on the superhero myth. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

I Hate Fairyland #3 – Holy shit is this series messed up. Twisted fairy tales that I feel a little dirty by the fact I’m enjoying it so much. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Tithe #7 – Really relevant, Matt Hawkins has put together an interesting series that follows FBI agents tracking down folks using religion to manipulate elections. Sound familiar? Overall Rating: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

All-New X-Men #2 – The second issue feels like a middle tier X-Men run of the past. Some interesting ideas here and potential, but not blowing me away. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Darth Vader Annual #1 – A one-shot that I feel will have some impact down the road. Marvel’s Star Wars comics are consistently fantastic reads. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Illuminati #2 – This series focusing on some of Marvel’s villains getting together has been a really interesting read. One that I’m really enjoying with a good mix of humor and characters. Overall Rating: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Monster World #1 – A throwback in many ways of a detective comic with a mystery on a movie studio plot. A little mixed on what I think overall, but not bad. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Elana

WickedDivine17-coverThe Wicked + The Divine #17. Guest artist Brandon Graham’s style combines manga and graffiti styles. Perfect match for Sakmet. His art steals the show on this issue and carries much of the storytelling. The character remains elusive in many ways but I did come away with more. I’d still like more from her. Overall Rating: 9

No Mercy #5. Really brutal. Great reveals and character beats. A few moments of characters shouting things I’ve been itching for them to say. I feel for Sister Inez here. She just wanted a roof for her school damnit! Overall Rating: 8

Weirdworld #1. Mike del Mundo’s art was central to the disturbing awesomeness and beauty of the Elektra series a couple of years back and his new sword and sandals on drugs series is a wonderful expansion on it. I enjoy the world they’re building and their Latina protagonist is a great new creation.  Overall Rating: 8.5

 

Shean

King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #1: With all the rumblings surrounding the new Conan movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an older and wiser King, it is so cool of Dark Horse to expose some of those dimensions.The story by Timothy Truman is gritty, bloody, stinks of the Medieval Age, and a whole lot of fun. The art by Tomas Giorello, harken back to the old Conan comics I grew up reading with a touch of Frank Frazetta. Altogether , Great start to a promising miniseries, and seems to be the type of excitement the Bastard Executioner only hoped to come close to. Overall: 9.8


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

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 (**).

Review: Batman: Europa #2

Batman_Europa_Vol_1-2_Cover-1_Teaser

“A Clockwork Monster”

Batman Europa #2 picks up where we last left our new bosom buddies, the Bat and the man who laughs, as they desperately race against time to find the root of the mysterious Colossus disease they’ve been infected with. Time is running out fast though…

Okay so this issue was a blast! It had Batman being his normal stubborn self and the Joker being as carefree and maniacal as ever. (Swear I heard Mark Hamill’s voice reading this, but maybe I’m just in full Star Wars mode) The issue starts with Batman battling Giant Wooden Robots. You heard me. Giant Wooden Robots. At first glance I thought it could be Winslow Schott, aka the Toyman, but that’s too obvious. Of course Batman desperately tries to fight off all attacks by himself but comes to the horrible realization that he can’t do it alone. While trying to save their new cohort, Nina, Batman is just too slow and who saves her none other than The Joker. Batman can’t breathe a sigh of relief too long because the Joker does kill a street vendor but Batman is too sick to stop him. Taking assessment that time is dwindling down they quickly set course to find the Trojan Horse and the mastermind behind all this before it’s too late.

Overall: The issue moved very fast and pushed the story along nicely. It was a lot of fighting,  mixed with a barrage of snappy banter and dialogue. Heck, we even got to see The Joker’s ninja knife skills! On the surface, it almost felt like a buddy cop drama, but with way more underlying hate. Some of the Joker’s lines actually made me laugh out loud. The painted art by Giuseppe Camuncoli was beautiful and much more fluid than last issue. Perhaps that’s why the issue moved faster since the art wasn’t so distracting as last time. We still don’t know the mystery man behind this and that intrigues me. I hope it’s either a Bat-Foe we haven’t seen in a long time who is being elevated (please don’t be Hush), or a brand new villain altogether. I’m hoping for the latter myself. The next to last line from Joker to Batman was great and you’ll appreciate it if you like classic movies, as they set off to their next destination. So till next time Bat-Fans, if this story isn’t your cup of tea, well like the Joker says, you’ll always have…

Story: Mattao Casali and Brian Azzarello Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Story: 8  Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Batman Europa #1

EUROPA_SKETCH

“Strange Deadfellows”

Ok, so this book has been an 11 year wait but was it worth it? Yes. Now I know that’s a lot of expectation to have but it met mine. Essentially this is a team up book. It just so happens to have the most unlikely arch-enemy team of all time: Batman and the Joker.

What could make these two team up you say? Well how about a situation where both their lives depend on it. Literally. Now this won’t play out like Beverly Hills Cop or any other buddy drama, but it should be interesting enough. Especially if it’s played right we should get some good entertaining moments.

We start our tale on the streets of Gotham, where amidst heavy narration, Batman is kicking the scales off Killer Croc. (Is it me or does Jim Lee love drawing Killer Croc in every Batman story? Plus he’s looking more and more like the Daemonites from WildCats here) It’s a battle he’s had time and time again but this time it’s different. This time it’s tougher. Only Croc knows it. He can sense Batman slowing down. Despite his sluggishness, Batman finishes the fight and heads back to the Batcave to regroup.

When he gets there he sees that Alfred (good to see he has both hands) has dire news for him. Apparently there is a virus called Colossus that has infected the Batcomputer and Bruce wonders how it could be. The message on the screen says you are infected and you have one week left. Alfred wonders if it’s a computer virus at all because Bruce is coughing heavily and is looking gravely ill. Bruce wonders how he could have contracted such a disease and who could have possibly infected him? He sets out for Berlin to find answers.

When Batman gets to Berlin, he wastes no time looking for information and roughs up some of the local riff raff to do it. Meanwhile we get the Joker who is already in Berlin and Batman bursts in on him just in time to save a young girl the Joker was going to kill. Or so he thought. It turns out that the Joker is in the same boat as our hero and has been infected as well. Which leads to a very unholy alliance…

Overall: Like I said this was a very long wait. I’m just glad it’s finally here. Despite being highly anticipated, the creative team here offers up a fun out of continuity tale that shows a lot of early promise. The art is gorgeous here with the great (and DC Head Honcho) Jim Lee doing the pencils. What I really enjoyed though is the watercolor style (thanks to Alex Sinclair) used instead of crisp digital colors. It gave the book a more gritty and serious tone and I would like to see this technique explored more often. As for the plot, while it isn’t the deepest I’ve seen it moved very well and has me very interested in seeing who is the mastermind behind this evil scheme. Is it a classic or all new bat foe? Brian Azzarello always crafts a good mystery and I don’t think he will disappoint this time. Hopefully the rest of the chapters come out on time. Till next time it appears the cave is going to get a little crowded and I hope Alfred doesn’t wash Bruce’s tights with Joker’s purple suit…

Story: Brian Azzarello  Art: Jim Lee and Giuseppe Camuncoli 
Story: 7.5  Art: 9.9  Score: 9  Reccomendation: Buy

Around the Tubes

Today’s the day, Jessica Jones hits the interwebs streaming on Netflix. Who’s watching the whole series in one sitting? Our reviews will start in a bit, but until then, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Comics Beat – Scrolling for Stela: New line of phone-based comics launches in 2016 – An interesting idea for digital comics.

Paste Magazine – The Interrupted Eternity: How the ’70s Argentinian Government Removed Rebel Cartoonist Héctor Germán Oesterheld – An amazing story and piece of history.

Vox – Marvel Comics’ secret weapon is a woman named Sana Amanat – If you don’t know who she is, now’s your chance to find out.

GamePolitics – YouTube Launching Stronger Fair Use Protection Measures – Nice to see, wonder how long before it’s needed.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comics Beat – Batman Europa #1

Comic Vine – Black Knight #1

Talking Comics – March Book 1 & 2

CBR – Nanjing: The Burning City

CBR – Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

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