Tag Archives: black science

Joe Ryan’s What To Buy for July 11

Joe goes over his top picks for comic books and trades for the week of July 11th 2018.

UPDATE: I missed mentioning Relay #1

Comics I Pull:
Amazing Spider-Man #1
The Punisher #227

Other Comics Featured:
Superman #1
Suicide Squad #44
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #48
Hawkman #2
Champions #22
Daredevil #605
Ms. Marvel #32
New Mutants #5
Old Man Logan #43
Plastic Man #2
Black Science #37
Oblivion Song #5
Farmhand #1
Bloodshot Salvation #11

Spawn’s Legacy Spreads for Image’s 25th Anniversary May Variants

Image Comics has revealed the first nine of the variants planned for May’s 25th anniversary theme month—Spawn. Image Comics’ creators bring their interpretation of the iconic antihero by Todd McFarlane to life all month long. Black and white versions of a selection of the covers will also be available.

Each month of Image’s 25th year will boast a theme for special anniversary variants.

Available in stores on Wednesday, May 10th:

  • Black Cloud #2 by Ivan Brandon and Jason Latour, cover by Greg Hinkle (Diamond Code FEB178673)
  • Regression #1 by Cullen Bunn and Danny Luckert, cover by Danny Luckert (Diamond Code FEB178672)
  • Renato Jones: Season Two #1 by Kaare Kyle Andrews, cover by Kaare Kyle Andrews (Diamond Code FEB178668)

Available in stores on Wednesday, May 17th:

  • God Country #5 by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, cover by Gerardo Zaffino (Diamond Code FEB178676)
  • GRRL Scouts: Magic Socks #1 by Jim Mahfood, cover by Jim Mahfood (Diamond Code FEB178669)
  • Horizon #11 by Brandon Thomas, Juan Gedeon, Frank Martin, cover by Juan Gedeon and Mike Spicer (Diamond Code FEB178677)
  • Injection #13 by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey, cover by Declan Shalvey (Diamond Code FEB178678)
  • Rose #2 by Meredith Finch and Ig Guara, cover by David Finch (Diamond Code FEB178670)

Available in stores on Wednesday, May 24th:

  • Deadly Class #28 by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, cover by Wes Craig (Diamond Code FEB178680)
  • Magdalena Vol. 4 #3 by Tini Howard, Ryan Cady, Christian DiBari, cover by Stjepan Sejic (Diamond Code FEB178869)
  • The Old Guard #4 by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández, cover by Chris Samnee (Diamond Code FEB178674)
  • Plastic #2 by Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard, cover by Daniel Hillyard (Diamond Code FEB178675)
  • Seven to Eternity #6 by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña, cover by Jerome Opeña (Diamond Code FEB178671)

Available in stores on Wednesday, May 31st:

  • Manifest Destiny #29 by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, Owen Gieni, cover by Matt Roberts and Owen Gieni (Diamond Code FEB178679)
  • Black Science #30 by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera, cover by Matteo Scalera (Diamond Code FEB178681)

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Superman #20 (DC Comics) – With the Superman Reborn arc finishing, I cannot wait to see where this book goes. The creative team has been amazing on this run, and it looks like we are going to get more information on Mr. Oz, and what we saw in the first Rebirth book. I love this comic!

Batman #20 (DC Comics) – Tom King has been building toward a crazy ending (hopefully), and this book has been off the wall with Bane being more crazed than ever. I trust King as a writer and expect all of this craziness and slow burn to pay off.

Extremity #2 (Image) – This is such a beautifully drawn comic, and Johnson writes the hell out of this book too. I have high hopes for this comic, and the first issue was amazing.

Paper Girls #13 (Image) – This book by Brian K. Vaughn has been so much fun, and it is an awesome 80s movie following the formula of Goonies or Stand By Me with all females. This is one of the best books out.

Black Science #29 (Image) – Remender doesn’t write too much I do not like, and this is one of his best.

 

Paul

Top Pick: X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) – I am very excited for this book!  Just when I thought Marvel had written off my favourite characters, we get ‘ResurrXion’ and the X-Men are coming back in force.  I’m loving the line up of this book (not loving Rachel’s new ‘Prestige’ name and look) but these are some of my favourite X-Men and I know this is going to be an exciting book.

Royals #1 (Marvel) – So the Inhumans are heading to space, and I will be along for the ride.  I’m curious as to how Marvel Boy plays into this, but it should be a fun romp to see the Inhumans travel space and discover unknown secrets about their race.

Uncanny Avengers #22 (Marvel) – The Red Skull has been captured and now the Avengers are going to perform brain surgery to remove Charles Xavier’s brain and telepathic abilities from the Skull.  But what’s going to happen is anyone’s guess, and I’m sure this all isn’t going to go very smoothly.  It’s all been leading to this and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Faith #10 (Valiant) – I’m a huge fan of this series, and I make no effort to hide that.

X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) – A new X-Men team book… I’m hoping it’ll be fun.

Nightwing #18 (DC Comics) – Hands down the best biweekly Batman family book right now, and this issue sees the former Batman and Robin reunited in the third part of the current arc. I do so enjoy the interaction between Nightwing and Damian.

All-New Wolverine #19 (Marvel) – I’ve been waiting for a new story arc to start in this series so that I can jump on board, and it looks like that point is finally here.

 

Shay

It’s a week of Lady Powered awesomeness at the comic book shop.

Top Pick: America #2 (Marvel) – In an issue that spawned the line ” Try me, Becky” America cranks it up to eleven and I’m all the way here for it!

Top Pick: Harley Quinn #17 (DC Comics) – Harley Quinn and Harley Sin are about to go head to head in the start of the Deadly Sin story arc. Got popcorn?

Hawkeye #5 (Marvel) – Hawkeye is opening her own PI shop and who doesn’t love some good Marvel universe mysteries?

Jessica Jones #7 (Marvel) – She’s trying to have it all and we are all rooting for her, especially with the way the writers screwed the pooch last time.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Motor Girl #5 (Abstract Studios) – Writer and artist Terry Moore has been crushing it on this series that is just too weird to describe. UFOs, a talking gorilla, protecting a junkyard, it’s fun sci-fi that has a kick-ass female lead and is packed with heart and humor.

Colossi #1 (Vault Comics) – With every release so far Vault comics has delivered an entertaining read. Written by Ricard Mo with art by Alberto Muriel and Amaya Diaz, Colossi is solid sci-fi with a shuttle being sucked into a wormhole and the passengers lost in a parallel universe fighting to survive.

Eleanor & The Egret #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Writer John Layman and artist Sam Kieth alone are reason enough for me to be excited for this series that revolves around a daring art thief.

Kill Shakespeare: Past is Prologue – Juliet #1 (IDW Publishing) – The Kill Shakespeare world is back!!! It’s been too long and I’m beyond excited to return to this world that’s a nice twist on the classic characters. Even someone like me who doesn’t know a lot of Shakespeare can enjoy it.

Love & Rockets Magazine #2 (Fantagraphics Books) – It’s Love & Rockets, do I need to give more of a reason than that?

Image Comics’ April Fools Variants

Image Comics has revealed the first eight of 11 variants planned for April’s 25th anniversary theme month—can you guess the month’s theme? APRIL FOOLS! Image Comics’ creators are unleashed all month long to prank fans with these covers—they’ll make comics readers do a double-take every Wednesday.

Each month of Image’s 25th year will boast a theme for special anniversary variants. The following covers are sure to get comic fans and collectors talking.

Available in stores on Wednesday, April 5th:

  • Rock Candy Mountain #1 by Kyle Starks, cover by Kyle Starks (Diamond Code JAN178689)
  • Sons of the Devil #11 by Brian Buccellato & Toni Infante, cover by Toni Infante (Diamond Code JAN178694)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 12th:
  • Spawn #272 cover by Todd McFarlane (Diamond Code JAN178693)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 19th:
  • Black Science #29 by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera, cover by Rafael Albuquerque (Diamond Code JAN178692)
  • Curse Words #4 by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne, cover by Ryan Browne (Diamond Code JAN178684)
  • East of West #33 by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta, cover by Nick Dragotta (Diamond Code JAN178691)
  • The Fix #9 by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber, cover by Steve Lieber (Diamond Code JAN178685)
  • I Hate Fairyland #12 by Skottie Young, cover by Skottie Young (Diamond Code JAN178686)
  • Invincible #135 by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley, cover by Ryan Ottley (Diamond Code JAN178688)
  • Plastic #1 by Doug Wagner, cover by Daniel Hillyard (Diamond Code JAN178687)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 26th:
  • Savage Dragon #223 by Erik Larsen, cover by Jock (Diamond Code JAN178690)

Trade Waiting: Black Science

Joe goes over Black Science, the fantastic book from Image Comics by writer Rick Remender and artist Matteo Scalera.

You can order volume 1, volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, volume 5, and volume 6 now!

 

 

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The Best Comics Of 2016 – Joe’s List

2016 was a good year for comics. Sure, there was some bad, but overall, it was a good year for the industry. A lot can happen in 365 days, so there is bound to be ups and downs, and this year was no different. As with every year, we saw good series end too soon, bad series go on too long, and new series, whether good or bad, enter the ring.

There were new series like Black Hammer, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, and Animosity. Even existing characters were given new and fresh takes like The Vision by Tom King. Doom Patrol returned in a very fun and weird way. Both Detective and Action Comics continued their fantastic legacy. Superman, Wonder Woman and more DC books returned to great storytelling and adventures. We got two new characters taking the mantle of Iron Man in Dr. Doom and Riri Williams, and watched as a few more Marvel legends lost their lives.

Like every year, there were also big events. There were the good like fantastic events like DC Rebirth and disappointing ones in Civil War II. Inhumans fought with X-Men. Spider-Man started having a clone conspiracy. There were major controversies that crossed into mainstream media with Hydra-Cap. Sad moments like Chelsea Cain with Mockingbird.  And to close out the year, the release of the beautiful and emotional Love is Love.

We saw more diversity in comics, both in characters and creative teams. Moon Girl, Riri Williams, and Amadeus Cho all shot up the ranks of Marvel’s brightest heroes. New titles like Alters, and Black were released. Gay superheroes Midnighter and Apollo have a six issue run that is still going. Ta-Nahesi Coates joined Marvel to write Black Panther, as did Roxanne Gay on World of Wakanda. It is apparent the industry is changing, and there’s still a lot that needs to be done, but this year was an improvement, and a step forward.

We also lost famed Preacher and The Punisher artist Steve Dillon. 2016 was a year, like any year that saw comics released in it, so let’s give you another unnecessary ranking list based off of my opinions!

Best Superhero Comic – The Vision

 vision__12This could be in best surprises too. Tom King really took the comic world by storm this year, and this was one of the reasons why. He had other fantastic titles released as well, and they will be mentioned in this article, but The Vision was something so refreshing and so different for Marvel. A perfect run that didn’t feel too short, or too long, is something I don’t always say for Marvel books. The Vision truly felt perfect in almost every way.

It wasn’t just King that made this title so great, as Gabriel Hernandez Walta provided some wonderful art that captured some horrific and heartbreaking moments. It is amazing to realize that a book about synths had some of the most human moments of the year. That’s the power of an amazing creative team, and I bow to the both of them, and to Marvel for taking a chance on such an odd and awesome book.

Runners Up:

  • Detective Comics – As good as The Vision is, and as many lists it will sit at the top of, I was almost the guy to pick another title for my top superhero book. That book is Detective Comics. James Tynion IV has created a fantastic and classic run on the long running title. The way he captures the bat family is perfect. There was so many moments. Tim Drake. Batwoman and her father. Clayface being just awesome. Spoiler and her recent moment. Batman and his role as a leader and mentor. We also got some great art from Alvaro Martinez and others. What a fantastic book, and it just keeps getting better.
  • Wonder Woman – This is one of DC’s most consistent comics, and it does so by juggling two alternating storylines in different time periods. Greg Rucka writes a fantastic Diana. I have enjoyed going through the range of emotions she has been put through as we watch her learn of man and our world in one time period, and the lies she is being faced with and the struggle to keep her sanity in the other. Also her relationships with both Steve and Barbara are some of the best I have seen yet in her comic. The art by Nicola Scott, Liam Sharp and others was consistently awesome.
  • Superman – This is one of the other most consistent comics from DC. In my top 5 superhero books, I have three from DC, and there is a good reason. Honestly, Action Comics almost made it’s way into the list as well. Like the other books, this is another return to greatness after Rebirth for DC. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have proven before they know Supes, Jon, and others as they write them so well. There has been so much great art by talents like Doug Mahnke, and so many good moments throughout the series.  Yes, to one of my good friends, even Krypto being pulled from the chest of The Eradicator counts as one of those moments, that was awesome too.
  • Power Man and Iron Fist – I can say without hesitation that David Walker has done an amazing job on this series. Even when he had to do a Civil War II tie in, he made it work. What amazes me most is that the series just keeps getting better. Sanford Greene has such an incredible and original art style that you instantly recognize, and together these two creative powerhouses have easily made this one of my favorite comics of 2016. The return of that certain Runaways character as the big bad makes it even better!

Best Non-Superhero Comic – Saga

 saga_33-1While I struggled with picking my top comics since I love all of these, Saga takes the cake due to consistency, most memorable moments, and my deep investment Saga takes the cake due to consistency, most memorable moments, and my deep investment to this incredible series. This comic is the one I constantly cannot wait to read, and that is due to the amazing work by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. We all know how good they both are, but they just kept the ball rolling in my opinion this year. Sure we had some slower arcs, but the overall big picture to this book just keeps getting bigger, and crazier.

There were so many moments that made me smile, tear up, and cliffhangers that left me with my mouth hanging open. Not a lot of comics do that to me, and Saga did it countless times. There is a reason this series is so popular, and is still going. It is just fantastic storytelling, with awesome world building. You don’t just care about the mother, father, and daughter, but the prince, his child, the lying cat, and so many others. You truly feel invested in these people, their actions, and their lives. I cannot wait to see where it goes next.

Runners Up:

  • Animosity – This is such a brilliant comic. The premise seems simple. Have animals take over the world and dominate humanity. But it’s the execution and creativeness behind this title by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de Latorre that blows me away. The art is great, and the storytelling is brilliant. Sandor and Jesse have a fantastic and loving relationship, and each issue packs a ton of suspense. A great title from Aftershock Comics.
  • The Wicked + The Divine – What an original book, with fantastic art. I am a sucker for Jamie McKelvie on art and Kieron Gillen is no slouch on writing either. Together they have crafted a beautifully looking yet chaotic tale of vanity, arroagance, obsession, love, power, and so much more. When you have a book filled with pop star icon gods and godesses, I guess anything is possible.
  • Black Science – It is no secret that I am a big Rick Remender fan. He has done so much great work, and is only getting better in my opinion. This year alone he had so many good books going on at the same time, and delivered on every one. Black Science was the most consistent, and best work in my opinion. This is a crazy book that moves at a fast pace, and you truly never know what happens next. Now that is something you can say for any Remender book, but with the element of time and dimension hopping, he really goes there in this book. Fantastic series.
  • The Sheriff of Babylon – What a refreshing comic, and a reminder to people that no, comics aren’t just superheroes. Tom King had an amazing year this year, and is one of the best writers in general, and like The Vision, this is one of the reasons why. This is a gritty, violent, hard to look at book with some great art by Mitch Gerads. These two creators tell a tale of corruption, war, politics, and much more in a book that feels so deep and something that you’d see on tv or in the movies. This is a definite recommendation of mine.

Best Limited Series or One Shot – 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank

4-kids-walk-3-6.jpg

You know you’ve got something good on your hands when you’ve released three issues in 2016 and you’re making this much of a splash. Matt Rosenberg and Tyler Boss gave us those three issues and they were packed with awesome adventures and incredible nostalgia to my childhood era. This book is already a classic to me, and there’s a few issues still to come.

I have reviewed the comic, and gave it a ten across the board, and I am sure the final issues will earn those scores as well. Hats off to Black Mask Studios, to Matt Rosenberg, and to Tyler Boss for making something so special, so raw, and so damn good. Remember, this is just about 4 kids who catch one of their fathers doing sketchy stuff with sketchy people. This isn’t some deep time travel plot, or fantasy adventure. It is a simple premise executed with brilliant creative fashion. It is in the writing, the panels, and the lettering. I cannot wait for the last few issues!

Runners Up:

  • Civil War II: Kingpin – Yes, another Matt Rosenberg book, and for good reason. He has three Marvel series coming, with one, Rocket Raccoon, already beginning. This book was violent, raw, gritty, over the top, and featured Frank Castle. Every issue was fantastic, and I felt like he really gets Fisk’s character so well. The art by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz was loosely sketched and fit the series violent and chaotic tones so well. I cannot wait to read the ongoing beginning in February written by the man who wrote this miniseries so well.
  • AD: After Death – Two books into this fantastic series, and I am already crowning it one of the best of 2016. There is one book left, but remember, when I say book, I mean just that. The second book comes close to one hundred pages, and they are beautifully written by Scott Snyder and beautifully painted by Jeff Lemire. I still do not know all of the answers to the cure of death, and the world below, but I know enough to say this is one fantastic series, and something truly special for the medium.
  • Minighter and Apollo – Another series that only is halfway done, but that halfway point has been fantastic. Not only is it fantastic that we are getting a different kind of superhero book where the two male protagonists are lovers, but they aren’t cliche, or stereotypical, or offensive. They are three dimensional, like real gay people actually are, except one has a computer in his head and can take on an army, and the other is a god. Steve Orlando has done a fantastic job on this, and so has Fernando Blanco on art. I hope we get an ongoing after this!
  • Superman: American Alien – This was a really fun book. We get different chapters of Superman’s life, from his childhood where he is trying to understand who he is and what these powers are, to him meeting Lois and being a reporter. We get some fantastic moments with him hanging out with his friends, getting drunk, and learning how to live as a god among men. I love the parts with his parents, and seeing not just their stress, but their overwhelming love. Max Landis and a who’s who of amazing artists like Jock, Joelle Jones, Francis Manipul, and more make this one of the best books of the year.

Best Writer – Rick Remender

img_0408I could have gone with Tom King, or the other three excellent writers on my list, and none of them would have been wrong. Even someone like Rosenberg who made two of my favorite limited series could have been here. None of these lists are easy, as you see I keep saying, but if I had to pick just one writer this year, it would be Rick Remender. It isn’t just the quality of the content he made, which is very high, but the volume of it as well.

This year, we saw Black Science, Deadly Class, Low, Seven to Eternity, and Tokyo Ghost. The crazy part, is all of those comics were fantastic. You constantly hear that so many writers are taking on too many titles, and that their writing takes a major hit. I do not think that was the case this year for Remender, and actually, I think it was one his best years, which is saying a lot. The beautiful thing is that all of these series will still be going into 2017, as even Tokyo Ghost which will be returning.

Runners Up:

  • Tom King – What a phenomenal year Tom King had. The Sherrif of Babylon, The Vision, and Batman. Most writers would be proud writing one of those titles, and while his run on Batman isn’t everyone’s favorite, I am enjoying it quite a bit. I enjoy a different take on a character, and he is playing with the caped crusaders weaknesses, and making him human. As mentioned previously, both Sheriff and Vision are absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait to see what we get from him next.
  • Jason Aaron – I feel like Jason Aaron needs more love when it comes to the best writers of 2016. He was a beast this year. Southern Bastards, The Mighty Thor, The Unworthy Thor, Doctor Strange, Star Wars, and The Goddamned. I wish we got more Southern Bastards, but again as this list shows, you can see the guy is busy. He had a fantastic year, and because of that as a reader, so did I.
  • Brian K. Vaughn – There should be no shock that this name is on anyone’s list. He will probably be on most lists until the day he decides to stop writing. Both Saga and Paper Girls continue to be fantastic. I expect big things as these titles move forward, and hopefully we get another book. The more Vaughn, the better.
  • Jeff Lemire – Here is another writer that was a beast in 2016. Moon Knight, Old Man Logan, Descender, Bloodshot Reborn, Bloodshot U.S.A., Black Hammer, AD: After Death, and more. I am amazed at not only Lemire as a writer, but his work as an artist as well. I don’t know how he had time to do anything else this year but write and make art. A truly fantastic year for one of my favorite creators.

Best Artist –  Russel Dauterman

img_0409For the longest time, the background of my phone was The Mighty Thor #1. Now that I am typing this, I will be putting it back to that amazing artwork, because it is that good. Russel Dauterman is one of those artists in comics that you can just stare at his panels and pages for so long and see tiny details that just blow your mind. You will see me say things in reviews like, you are getting some real art here, as in pieces you could hang on your wall, and that is true of Dauterman’s work. The work is that good. Every panel could probably be framed and catch someone’s eye every time.

The way he draws his characters with such emotion is fantastic. Not to mention the way he draws frost giants, or the more modern version of Loki, or Jane, or Odinson, or Odin, or everyone in this comic! His work is fantastic, and he deserves to have it recognized. This is one of those artists, that when they take an issue or two off, you get sad. It’s that good.

Runners Up:

  • Andrew Maclean – Head Lopper was one of my favorite comics this year, and while the fun story was a lot of it, the art by Maclean was what caught my eye. It’s simultaneously violent and graphic, yet beautiful. The colors pop as our hero cuts the heads off of giant beasts.
  • FIona Staples – As I said early, Fiona captures her characters so well. Their emotions pour from the pages in her artwork, and I cannot imagine Saga without her. From Marko to Prince Robot to Hazel, she conveys who they are as people so well, as she always has with this excellent series. Also, her style is so original, that is is recognizable right away.
  • Jamie McKelvie – One of my favorite artists in general, and I would be happy if he drew ten more titles. The way he draws the Pantheon is so damn good. There is so much attitude and personality in The Wicked + The Divine, and McKelvie is a big reason why. Every character is drawn with such detail and life that they feel real, even if they are shallow pop star deities.
  • Andreas Sorrentino – Perhaps more than any artist this year, Sorrentino on Old Man Logan made my jaw hang open at the way he used splash pages. He is one of the most creative artists in the medium, and his work is dark and unique. There were so many breathtaking panels that he used this year on Logan, and it is one of the reasons that comic is as good as it is. Like Dauterman, I get sad when he isn’t on an issue or two.

Best New Series – Animosity

 bookanimosityMarguerite Bennett wrote one hell of a story this year in Animosity. This awesome title from Aftershock had one of the best first issues of the year, and the issues that followed kept that momentum up every time. Sandor is a hound protecting his owner, Jesse, a little girl who is scared when all of the other pets and animals in the world begin killing and targeting humans. We are only four issues in, and I feel like so much has happened. There is no doubt that this is one of the best new series of the year, and in my opinion, the best.

The art by Rafael de Latorre is fantastic, and the scenes in the book are filled with action, and keep you on the edge of your seat. The first issue alone had me yelling expletives in excitement, and the art as well as the storytelling is a big reason why. When a much scarier animal is trying to hurt Jesse, I love how protective Sandor is. He pulls no punches to protector his girl, and has the personality of an old and wise man mentor type. I think this is one everyone should check out, even if you have to wait for the trade, as it is hard to come by in many local comic shops.

Runners Up:

  • Seven to Eternity – What an awesome fantasy story from Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña. Already we’ve seen some fantastic characters, an awesome big bad, an interesting protagonist with a deep legacy to his family name, and a plot that promises some crazy things will happen. Oh, and it’s only getting started.
  • Briggs Land – The comic that AMC wanted optioned as a show before most people had even heard about it. Brian Wood and Mack Chatter have given us a very raw and real look at a family that ran 100 acres of land the way they wanted to for years. Well now that the father is in prison, the mother, Grace, is taking things over, but has to deal with a few of her sons. It has been a realty good slow burn so far, with some intense scenes, and I bet it only gets better from here.
  • Dept. H – Matt Kindt is a very unique storyteller, and artist. His work is some of the most original in the business, and I always get excited when he works on a new title, especially when he does the art as well. This time he brings Sharlene Kindt in on watercolors and the final product is fantastic. They both do an excellent job bring this fantastic underwater claustrophobic adventure to life. This is an awesome whodunit comic and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.
  • Kill Or Be Killed – This is a comic that is always at the top of my read list when it comes out. It shouldn’t be a shock that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips made an amazing pulp crime comic, but it is amazing that they make such a different one each time. This one follows a guy who is cursed with having to kill people, or lose his life in a deal he made with a demon who spared his life after an attempted suicide. I love this comic, and cannot wait to see where these creators take us.

Best Graphic Novel or Trade Paperback  – Love is Love

loveislovefi1.jpg

Moments like these are why I love this medium. Comic books are just a platform. Just like television, books, movies, etc. You can make whatever you’d like, and this is a fantastic example of that. After the horrible Orlando Pulse shootings, getting a book like this where the proceeds are donated to the families of those lost that day won’t fix the horrors, but maybe it can help us grieve and understand a little better. It can put a face not to the evil person who did this to these people just living their lives, but it can be a voice for the people who died that day.

In this anthology book we get so many amazing creators, not just in the comic industry, but from other mediums as well. This book choked me up more than once while reading these beautiful stories, or the powerful images in them. I don’t want to single any of them out, as there are too many to mention that are fabulous, and Logan from our site already did a fantastic job of that in his review, but as a whole, this book is so important, and so incredible, and while it makes me sad it has to exist, it is necessary that it does.

Runners Up:

  • Dark Night: A Batman Story – What a painful yet beautiful telling of such a horrific true event in Paul Dini’s life. We get to see Dini working on Batman: The Animated Series, and help narrate the tale himself with the help from Batman, Harley, Two Face, Joker, and more as we get a very personal look at his life. This was a very sad, very brave, and very good book.
  • The Prince of Cats – Romeo and Juliet in a 1980s block party. That is basically what this book is, and it is a lot of fun. It is filled with hip hop, bright clothing, sword fights, love, and more. It captures the spirit of the Shakespeare classic, as Ronald Wimberly puts his own creative spin on it. This was a very cool retelling of a story most people already know, but told in a new way.
  • Muhammad Ali – This was an enjoyable way to look at the life of an American icon, and sports legend. Sybil Le Titeux and Amazing Ameziane give us Ali as a child, his work with Islam, his fighting techniques, and so much more throughout his life. The art varies as it uses the pages and panels wisely, and we get some fantastic cameos from important people throughout the champs life.
  • Wonder Woman: The True Amazon – We saw a lot of Wonder Woman stories this year, and that is never a bad thing. Jill Thompson does such a beautiful job on art in this book. Everything looks hand painted and we get another origin story, but an enjoyable one. This is a good book to recommend to any fan of Diana, as it does it justice.

Best Genre – Fallen societies

briggs-land-1Now while this may not be defined as a genre, I read many fantastic comics this year that dealt with societies that had fallen to different degrees. There are groups of people that live on their self governed 100 acres in Briggs Land from Dark Horse by Brian Wood and Mack Chatter. The animals took over the world from the humans in Animosity from Aftershock by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de Latorre.  And there was the land of Zhal that was taken over and run by the God of Whispers in Seven to Eternity from Image Comics by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña. We also saw titles like Shipwreck from Aftershock by Warren Ellis and Phil Hester, and Warlords of Appalachia from BOOM! Studios by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Jonas Scharf.

Maybe I am cynical, but I really enjoyed spending times in worlds that fell in some form. Some of these stories had the people choose to live off the land and govern themselves, saw their animals take their society from them, or saw them rise up against their government as their own militia. Either way, they provided some of my favorite moments in comics this year, and these were just a few of them.

Runners Up:

  • Fantasy – What a great year for fantasy titles. We saw Saga, Seven to Eternity, Lake of Fire, Green Valley, Reborn, The Mighty Thor, Klaus, Head Lopper, Monstress, and so many more. Most important, many of these were fantasy, but not in the traditional sense. We saw the fantasy genre mix with others, and it was a lot of fun. Keep them coming!
  • Crime drama – Another strong genre this year with Kill or Be Killed, Violent Love, Triggerman, and more. I love reading pulp crime stories, and this year brought some very solid entries.
  • MagicSure we got Doctor Strange which has been fantastic, but we also saw Ether, The Wicked + The Divine, Seven to Eternity, and more. Magic is always a fun story element, and we saw some good use of it this year.
  • The 1980s – Everything that was always comes back, and that is true of the 1980s. Whether it was popular properties like He-Man vs Thundercats, IDW’s Revolution event featuring Transformers, GI Joe and more, Escape From NY/Big Trouble in Little China, or The Lost Boys, we saw quite a bit of that generation this year. Even one of my favorite titles, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank felt so reminiscent of The Goonies or Stand by Me, while still feeling original. 2016 was a great representation of the 1980s.

Biggest Disappointment – Civil War II

civil_war_ii__8

I tried to defend the event after the first few issues, and the art by David Marquez is fantastic, but I can no longer defend this series. I like Brian Michael Bendis, even if I don’t like every series he has written lately. I think that Infamous Iron Man is very promising, and it was odd to me that one of my least favorite comics that released the week of Civil War #8 was written by the same person that wrote one of my favorites in Infamous Iron Man #3. So I don’t want to just make this about Bendis as a writer, because I know he is a good one.

But for whatever reason, be it delays, lack of editorial work or poor planning, this event did not do it for me. The way it ended felt wrong on so many notes, and leaves so much not settled. I also scratch my head at Captain Marvel being loved for what she did, and how they depicted her. I like her as a character, but I felt that this book really messed with who she was, and made her look horrible. While I enjoyed many things Marvel did this year, like Moon Knight, Power Man and Iron Fist, and Old Man Logan, this would be one of my least favorite.

Runners Up:

  • Death of X – If not for the awesome art by Aaron Kuder, this event is mostly forgettable. I didn’t hate the ending, I actually quite liked it, but the event as a whole felt so unnecessary, and a lesser version of the actual event that has had a really good first issue, Inhumans vs. X-Men. This could have been a one shot, but was hyped as something major for a long time.
  • Nighthawk/Mockingbird cancelled – Great books from great creators saw their run end way too soon. At least David Walker got Occupy Avengers and will be bringing Nighthawk into that book. Nighthawk was a gritty and fantastic book with a really interesting character. I look forward to seeing how he is used going forward. For Chelsea Cain, she got to issue 8 with a fun and original take on Bobbi Morse, but then chose to leave Twitter due to everyone getting upset over a comic book cover. Both of these things disappointed me quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I understand this is a business, I just wish there was a better way to support books like these aside from pre-orders at local comic shops.
  • Fanboyism – I know this is an every year thing, but as time goes on, I truly scratch my head over the constant fight between fans of the big two. We got some great comics from both publishers, and many others this year as well. It’s silly, and the growth of social media, clickbait journalism, and memes have only made it worse. It was one thing when it was kids busting each other’s chops as friends, but now it has taken on a whole new level of ridiculousness. Stahp!
  • Marvel legacy characters – While I am happy that Marvel has done a great job on adding diverse characters, I am not sure what they are doing with so many of their legacy characters. We saw three of them fall in eight issues of a comic alone. Another is now a super evil double agent. And more are dead or in some sort of coma. I am all for these new heroes, I just prefer the way DC is doing it with Rebirth. Bring the new characters in under the old ones and have them mentor them. Or at least give some balance. I am hopefully this improves in the new year, or at least soon.

Best Publisher – DC 

 DC_Logo_RGB_031816It is hard to give this award to one publisher, as multiple publishers had so many great books this year. Though I will pick one, and that is DC. From the fantastic launch of DC Rebirth as a title, and then the great books that came out of it, to Young Animal, and Vertigo, their imprints and the books that came out of those, they have had one hell of a year. Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol, The Sheriff of Babylon, and so on were all such fantastic and consistent titles for them, and while they have always been producing get content, it is great to see them get back to such focus.

They signed some amazing talent with writers Tom King, Tim Seeley, James Tynion IV, and artists like Liam Sharp, and Mitch Gerads to exclusive contracts. Not that they are the only talented people working on their books, because there are definitely more. Mikel Janin and Riley Rossmo both blew me away with their art this year. I was pleasantly surprised by DC this year, and I hope that trend to continue. I hope Marvel is paying attention to them, and while I do not want them to copy them, I would like to see somewhat of a Rebirth type event that can tie their legacy characters to their newer characters a little better, and give fans the best of both worlds.

Runners Up:

  • Dark Horse – They nearly took my top spot with such fantastic books as Black Hammer, Briggs Land, Dept. H, Ether, Hellboy, Harrow County, Lady Killer, Aliens and so much more. Very impressive year.
  • Image – So many titles, and they just keep adding more. Even Skybound has expanded with a few new titles. Image just keeps getting better with age.
  • Aftershock – With Animosity, Shipwreck, American Monster and more, Aftershock has proven it can hang with the best of them. Even with the start of 2017 we are seeing more promising titles like Blood Blister and The Lifespanners coming from some top talent.
  • BOOM! Studios – This year we saw BOOM! really expand its horizons with titles like Klaus, Warlords of Appalachia, Slam, and more while continuing to release their all ages comics that so many love like Goldie Vance, Adventure Time, and more. I expect we will see more serious titles like the Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins project, Grass Kings coming in 2017, and I am excited.

Black Science Charges Back Into the Breach in July

Writer Rick Remender and artist Matteo Scalera will launch a new story arc in their high-concept, high-stakes science fiction series this July.

Previously in Black Science, the catastrophic final jump of the Pillar cast the last Dimensionaut adrift on the wreckage of his former self, stranded in the furthest reaches of space. Before he reclaiming his mantle as protector of the Eververse, he first had to overcome the demons that lurk within his own soul.

In Black Science #22, Grant McKay threatens to unravel a peace treaty between three godlike races, putting the entire Eververse at risk—all in a hot-headed attempt to rescue his daughter. Big changes, bigger action, and a stunning climax that will shake the world of Black Science to its very foundations!

Black Science #22 (Diamond code: MAY160577) hits stores Wednesday, July 6th.

BLACK SCIENCE #22 1

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 13/2/2016

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

Bigfoot_SOTE_03_coverBigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman  #3 (Action Lab) There’s a very interesting aspect to this comic; Bigfoot hasn’t said a word in three issues, and his silence is perfectly negated by the narration of his companion who’s name escapes me right now. This has been a solid series so far, with Bigfoot being stranded on Mars, this feels like a brilliant mix of Starship Troopers, John Carter: Warlord Of Mars and Conan all wrapped up in a glossy comic book story. It’s actually pretty damn good. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Batman #49 (DC Comics)* Holy fucking shit. If, like me, you’ve not been a fan of the Robot Bunny Batman, then this issue will have you pumping the ceiling with joy. It’s a brilliantly well done comic that doesn’t feel like Bruce becoming Batman again is a dues ex machina. There’s been a legitimate build up for this moment for bloody months, that came together for me with this issue in an almost montage like moment. Mr H eloquently captures what I love about the characterization in this issue below, and Batman #49 is the issue that cements Scott Snyder as one of the best Batman writers of the past decade, giving us a 50 odd issue run that we’ll be talking about for years. Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

Captain Canuck #6Captain Canuck #6 (Chapter House Comics) – Wrapping up the first story arc, the comic is an ok ending that wraps up the action nicely and sets us up for what’s to come. As a piece of the arc it’s a solid comic, but on it’s own it’s a bit weaker than previous comics. Still, lots of fun to read. Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Dark & Bloody #1 (Vertigo) – An interesting start to what seems like a horror comic. Not quite sure where it’s going, if it’s just a weird horror story or a southern gothic story, we’ll see. But, it has me wanting to check out the next issue. It definitely has the creepy vibe down. Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #2 (DC Comics) – The second issue continues what feels like a giant action sci-fi film. So far, I’m digging it, and though there’s a lot of action here, it also moves the bigger story along introducing you to this new alien world. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – Hells yes. This is the Wonder Woman comic I’ve been waiting for. This is so good. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #49 (IDW Publishing) – A good finale to the current arc. I’d have liked it all to have been a straight up horror story, but it does some solid work on the various characters. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Black Science #20 (Image Comics) – Just fun science fiction. Turn your brain off and go with the ride. Never disappointing. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

descender10_CoverArtDescender #10 (Image Comics) – One of the best science fiction comics on the market. Amazing story, even more amazing art. Beautiful to look at and fun to read. Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Deus Ex #1 (Titan Comics) – A good first issue that from what I remember catches the world from the video game series pretty well. It’s not deep but sets up a cyberpunk-ish comic that should fill a nice niche. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Interceptor #2 (Heavy Metal Magazine) – The first issue caught me off guard and the second issue continues the excellence. Funny, fun, it’s a solid mix of the Heavy Metal vibe along with “western” comics. Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

James Bond #4 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The individual issues aren’t bad, but I feel like this’ll be a better read as a trade. Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

Letter 44 #23 (Oni Press) – I seriously have no idea where this series is going and I can’t wait to find out. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Second Sight #1 (Aftershock Comics)* – The first issue is good, but doesn’t blow me away. My issue is I feel like we’ve seen this story before as well as its protagonist. Maybe it’ll set itself apart down the road. Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

Street Fighter Unlimited #3 (Udon Entertainment) – The comic is a lot of fun. I’m not the biggest Street Fighter fan, but these comics capture the video game series really well and give us some awesome action. A must get if you’re a fan of the video game. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

 

Mr H

Batman #49 CoverBatman #49 (DC Comics)*: The moment we’ve all been waiting for. We knew Bruce was coming back to the cowl it was never a matter of it, it was always when. Snyder has another win this issue, as I think it’s his absolute best one yet. It delves into the Batman legacy as well as probable futures. What really stands out for me is how well Snyder gets the relationship between Alfred and Bruce. He’s not Bruce’s butler, he’s his father. Alfred doesn’t want to lose his son again. Bruce has finally got the peaceful life he’s always wanted but for Gotham to survive, he must allow Batman to return. Now I won’t spoil here as its too good, but the return method is well thought out and true to the character. Julie Madison even plays a big part. With 50 around the corner Snyder has his day numbered on the title but his impact may have crafted the best Batman run EVER. No Capullo this issue but it doesn’t suffer one bit. Yannick Paquette does a terrific job on the art chores. I cannot find any fault with this issue at all. Overall: 10/10 Recommendation: Buy this book.

 

Ryan C

Hip-Hop Family Tree #7 (Fantagraphics)*: Ed Piskor’s cultural history/odyssey finally takes a look at the nascent hip-hop scene on the West Coast, while out east the Beastie Boys, among other future luminaries, enter the fray with their first stumbling steps out of the gate. As always, truth is stranger — and better — than fiction, I’m not even a hip-hop fan but I wouldn’t dream of missing an issue of this fantastically-written, superbly-illustrated series. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy.

Shaft-Imitation-of-Life-1Shaft: Imitation Of Life #1 (Image)**: David F. Walker returns to the character he rejuvenated — and to the street of New York — with the first of four sure-to-be-spectacular parts. John Shaft wraps up one particularly brutal case, takes some much-needed time off, and the jumps back in to handle a missing persons case that nobody else would have the balls to touch. And he picks up a gay Latino sidekick by the end? As always , Walker adds new depth and dimension to the character without compromising an ounce of bad-ass, while new artist Dietrich Smith picks up admirably from Bilquis Evely. Overall: 9/10. Recommendation: Buy.

Low #11 (Image)** : Good to see Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini dive back into things — literally — after a bit of a break between issues/arcs, but the “keep hope alive” message is starting to veer into tiresome mantra territory, and echoes the “newfound optimism” philosophical outlook of “Black Science” a bit too closely at this point. Story and art are still good, but decidedly less spectacular than the ultra-high standard we’ve become used to on this series. Intrigued to see how he plans to rotate issues between Stel and her kids, and next issue promises some spectacular stuff as we finally see the surface of , well, Waterworld, so let’s hope this just represents a temporary lull before the visual and verbal fireworks show commences in full swing. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

Injection #7 (Image)**: Continuing with the arc begun last issue, our new inhumanly-smart (or maybe that’s just inhuman) private eye protagonist follows the supply chain of the “long pig” he was nearly serves last issue and nonchalantly antagonizes the police while he’s at it. Warren Elli’s script is razor-sharp and Declan Shalvey’s art is enough to make a grown-up cry with its understated precision and elegance. This is a book that doesn’t see to know how not to keep getting better and better every month. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.

 

Shean

House of Montresor#1 (Red Stylo): Jang and Strutz have written the captivating sequel to Edgar Allen Poe’s Cask of Amontillado , dad wonders into some seriously interesting territory.Imagine that one episode of Twilight Zone where the heirs are fighting over inheritance commingled with Crimson Peak. The script by Enrica Jang, is moody , mysterious, gothic and all types of creepy. The art By Jasob Strutz is beautiful.Overall, strong execution by two masters.Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

cyrus perkins tpbCyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab TPB (Action Lab): I always wondered what would happen if the Michael Mann masterpiece ” Collateral “, was a TV show, as this book answers that but with a supernatural twist. The Reader joins Cyrus as he navigates his personal life , avoids thugs , run ins with supernatural creatures were trying find peace for his haunted rider. In what would be a normally dark story ,there are a great many funny scenes.The story by David Dwonch proves an interesting twist to both slice of life genre and the supernatural genre. The art by Anna Lencioni, is vibrant and full of heart.Overall, fun when you least expect it.  Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Read

 


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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/1/2016

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

The Last Contract Main Cover by Lisandro EstherrenHeroes Vengeance #3 (Titan Comics) The more I read this series the less I seem to like it, but much like the  TV show I just can’t turn away. It might get better! Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read…?

Archie #5 (Archie Comics) This is one of those series that’s just fun. There’s no superhero action here what so ever, despite the writer, and it has been a breath of fresh air for me. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)* is apparently far more polarizing than I expected. After reading Patricks’ review (you’ll find that a bit further on) I felt compelled to pick this issue up. In a time when comics often have numerous art focused scenes it’s nice to get a comic that has a lot of text within it’s pages, reminding me in many ways of both the earlier Swamp Thing comics and how the page layouts looked when I first started reading comics. There’s a bit of a slow build here, with Len Wein really taking his time in setting the story that has echoes of an early era. You’re either going to like this, or you’re really not. I expected this to be at best average, but I was pleasantly surprised. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read (with caution)

The Last Contract #1 (Boom! Studios) Well holy moly. This is great. Dark, gritty, with the promise of something lying just beneath the surface ready to tear you to pieces. This comic is a tour de force that is absolutely  worth your time – which is impressive coming from a guy who usually only reads superhero comics. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Gutter Magic #1 (IDW) A stunning mix of steam punk and magic, coupled with some jaw dropping artwork make this first  issue worth picking up, and the series something to add to your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

A-Force #1 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the miniseries this spun off from, but this first issue is a stumble. It’s not exciting, nor has enough to get me excited. It fills like a middling Avengers comic. Overall: 6.4 Recommendation: Pass

Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s been a whole since we’ve seen this series and while I anticipated its return, this issue was a bit of a stumble. A stand alone issue that pulls the curtain back, the story feels more like a sci-fi Law & Order: SVU than the smart commentary we’re usually accustomed to. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Black Science #19 (Image Comics) – Wrapping up the current arc in a way, we learn more about Grant and things begin for the next great adventure. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I liked the first issue of a hit man finding out who wants him dead. There’s a solid homage of the genre that it clearly loves. Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read

Letter 44 #22 (Oni Press) – That reveal at the end, holy crap. Loving this mashup of politics and sci-fi. It continues to surprise. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics. The search for the George serial killer is fantastic and there’s some great twists here. I seriously have no idea where it’s going. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – An interesting debut, but how this fits in to the other comics that are out featuring these characters makes it have little sense. This is an example of overuse of characters. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Spidey #2 (Marvel) – Much improvement over the first issue. There’s a lot of good, but the comic still is just missing something for me. It feels like a mediocre miniseries rehashing the character’s origin, updating it, but giving us little that’s new. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Totally Awesome Hulk #2 (Marvel) – I hated the first issue, and this one is an improvement, but not enough to get me to continue reading. The strongest part is it’s mystery of what happened to Bruce. Overall: 6.2 Recommendation: Pass

 

Patrick

SwampThing_001_cvr_Jones_56240e9bab2e83.86181442Detective Comics #48 (DC Comics)*: While I’m still not used to Jim Gordon as the Batman, I do enjoy seeing him struggle to fill Bruce Wayne’s shoes. Watching him make mistakes adds something to the book you don’t get to see with Bruce Wayne… a guy in overhead his head trying his best. And the gimmicky nature of the murders he’s investigating harkens back to classic Batman stories, an interesting bit of nostalgia as everything else about Batman is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read.

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Five #1 (DC Comics)*: The best comic book based on a video game based on a comic book ever written returns! Following Plastic Man inadvertently releasing all of the prisoners held by Superman’s regime, Superman and his cronies are trying to put everyone back while Batman sets out to create another unholy alliance. You might say you can’t expect it to go very far because it’s only the first issue (of its fifth year), but considering the story really started in the Year Four: Annual maybe some sort of plot development would have been fair. And stop making Hal Jordan a “funny man”. If you want a funny Green (or Yellow, in this case) Lantern, you should have picked Kyle Rayner. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)*: This book was admittedly a disappointment. Unless what you have been demanding all this time was to watch Swamp Thing wrestle an alligator. In fact, the most implausible part of this book about a mass of vegetation with human consciousness hanging around a swamp is when two people show up in the swamp to ask said mass for help. As though it were on their list of errands. No, maybe the most implausible was Swamp Thing essentially responding with, “Okay, I have nothing better to do.” Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (Marvel Comics)*: Put two of the funniest characters in their own series and what to do you have? Two people bemoaning their own potty-humor, actually. Things don’t really need to make sense when Deadpool is involved, but a plot device that put the two together would have helped go a long way, rather than Deadpool hiring someone to pretend to be Dormammu for… actually, I’m not sure how that was supposed to aid Deadpool’s plan to get Spider-Man to work with him. Instead, you side with Spider-Man’s reluctance to have anything to do with the laugh-less title. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Star Wars #14 & Star Wars: Darth Vader #15 (Marvel Comics)*: Reviewed together because they came out on the same day, are of the same caliber and conclude the same story, “Vader Down”. The last half of the series really revved up and became increasingly entertaining. These last issues make for the most enjoyable Star Wars you can have, on paper or on the silver screen. If only Hollywood were taking their cues from Marvel. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy (but a collection would be better than title-jumping through your back issues)

Squadron Supreme #2 CoverSquadron Supreme #2 (Marvel Comics)*: Some good moments here and there. Nighthawk stands out as the character to watch, certainly the most intense and interesting of the Squadron. Hopefully the series isn’t suggesting that Hyperion is going to take a job as a truck driver. Squadron Supreme has been looking for its readership for decades and suffering a great many changes and incarnations along the way. Hopefully that balances out and this title holds its own until Marvel decides to cancel all its titles and relaunch everything again. So… give it a year. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)*: What was one of the longest running titles in comic books is relaunched again as a blatant X-Force rip-off. It’s a bit like watching your dad get his ear pierced only to realize, “No… you’ll never be young again”. The cast is interesting, though Sabretooth as a good guy will always be a disappointing sell-out and the presence of the Psylocke/Archangel pairing really highlights the parallels to X-Force. X-Force was great… but Uncanny X-Men is supposed to be a prestigious flagship, not a transparent attempt to recapture the gritty eighties and nineties. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire #1 (Image Comics): Great art, so-so story. Yes, we all agree that dog-fighting is inhumane (most of us do, anyway) and plugging in dragons instead of dogs in a depression-era story… one of these things is not like the others. Someone walking into this without having read the previous work is likely to think it very odd the way dragons are almost a humdrum aspect of the story… and they wouldn’t be wrong. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics): As always, a well-stylized, entertaining book. The one question, though, is if the read would have been as compelling if not for the disclaimer. The book leads with a warning that it features sexual assault, promising that the events of the sexual assault will be limited to this issue and not revisited later. It prepares the reader for the worst and consequently, the reader races through the book in dread anticipation of the horrific inevitable. In the end, not to marginalize sexual assault, I was left wondering if I missed a page. Considering the exploitive nature of Bitch Planet and the state of graphic content in comic books, the warning seems disconnected from the content. Are the editors really afraid of offending readers despite the gratuity of the book or was it a cheap ploy? Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read (and then tell me if I’m just desensitized).

 

Paul

the ultimates #3Ultimates #3 (Marvel) * The team has been successful in further evolving Galactus and has transformed him into a force of giving life..and his first act has been to restore life to the first planet he fed upon. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard discovered this and forwarded the information to Gladiator, who is, surprise surprise, not pleased with Earth for their actions. I wonder why it is the Shi’ar are never happy..I mean Galactus is no longer a devourer of planets, and still Gladiator gets all up in Earths face about it…maybe it’s the mohawk? I digress, now the team want to look into fixing the space/time continuum problem. Yeah, nothing can go wrong there. I do enjoy this team and the banter between them, but I find the scope of their missions a little ‘out there’ traveling through deep space, superflow, neutral zone, blah blah..starting to read like stereo instructions, to paraphrase Beetlejuice. Is this an Avengers team necessary of the time and resources they have been given? That remains to be seen. But the art is beautiful.  Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read 

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) * So the mutant population is facing yet another life changing event; the terrigen cloud making its way around the world is slowly killing the mutant population as well as sterilizing those who survive, ensuring that no new mutants will emerge. This leaves those mutants remaining as easy targets, and that threat needs a response just as threatening; enter the Uncanny X-Men. Magneto has gathered a group of X-Men not afraid to get their hands dirty to protect mutants from those who would take advantage of this current situation, but in this first issue, we see they aren’t going to let other mutants take the easy way out either. I really like the team roster in this book, though have a little issue with Archangel being some mindless ‘drone” being controlled by Psylocke (though I’m sure this will come to blow up in their faces in the upcoming Apocalypse story arc). I was a little let down with Magneto, as I enjoyed him more in his solo book then I did in this first outing in this first issue, but it didn’t ruin the book for me. I also enjoyed the blast from the past at the end of this issue. And Greg Land’s art is exactly what I expected, beautiful as ever. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean
MIRAGE-SEC_001_VARIANT_EVANSThe Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives #1
 (Valiant) The story of Shan Mirage and her husband Hwen, is story of heartbreak , loss, redemption , justice and. Undying love, which the first volume of this ongoing series covered well. In the beginning of this new volume, deals with the reality of their lives since his untimely physical death,while they thrust themselves into new adventures.Van Meter Is seemingly getting more personal the more she writes these characters much to the reader’s benefit as the overall story becomes richer. The art by De La Torre is interesting, abstract and very much George Perez in the best way. Overall:10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

 


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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/12

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

Bigfoot_SOTE_1-1Big Foot: Sword Of The Earthman #1 is a brilliant mix of John Carter and the typical Sasquatch myth. It’s a fun read, but I’m expecting more out of the series as it progresses. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Cage Hero #1 is becoming a guilty pleasure. Despite an outlandish concept (even for comics), it’s an entertaining story that lets you turn your brain off for five minutes. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Daredevil #1* is probably the best Daredevil comic I’ve read in years… but then that’s not saying much. Regardless, this opening chapter is well worth checking out, and shows plenty of promise. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Finally, the story in Dead Vengeance #3 has caught up to the current events. This issue was the weakest of the three so far, but more so because it’s bridging the bulk of the story so far with what’s coming next. Worth reading if you’re reading the series, otherwise ignore it and waiting for the trade if you’re interested. Overall 7 Recommendation: Read now, or Read the trade later.

Doc Savage: The Spider’s Web #1. It’s okay. Nothing overly special, but not particularly bad, either. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Maybe read it if it interests you.

Extraordinary X-Men #2* & #3* Due to a slight snafu with my LCS order, I Extraordinary_X-Men_Vol_1_2only recently picked up issue 2 of this series, but it was worth the wait. The scenes in issue #3 between Old Man Logan were interesting, although I expected him to be past that particular  issue, I still enjoyed watching them talk. I can sense the relationship between these two morph into a father/daughter vibe, much like Wolverine had with Kitty Pride or Jubilee. Keep your eye on this series. Overall Rating (Both): 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Seduction of the Innocent #1 is a crime comic in the vein of those before the Comics Code Authority came to pass, something the name of the comic (taken from Fredric Wertham’s book of the same name) pays homage too. As a comic it’s interesting, and it’s worth keeping an eye on the series as it progresses if you’re looking for a well written, well drawn non super hero comic. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Elana

All New Wolverine #2* continues to be Marvel’s best title. Laura kicks ass while continually demonstrating her humanity in the face of monstrous abuses of power. The clones are as heartbreaking as they need to be. I can’t wait for more with the classic villain reveal at the end. Overall 9. Recommendation: Buy

Daredevil_1_CoverDaredevil #1. It feels like a return to form. A return to Miller and Mazzucchelli groundbreaking work with the character decades ago. Quality stuff but I’m not sure what new there is to offer. The bad guy seems like an Orientalist stereotype but I’m excited by Daredevil’s new side kick, Samuel Chung aka Blindspot. He’s an undocumented immigrant and I love the idea of teasing that metaphor out– he’s literally an invisible man. That’s his power.

I’m giving this a 7 but I could easily see it getting better with time. Recommendation: Read

Papergirls #3. Keeps getting spiraling out at getting more complex. But in a good way. It remains addictive and I adore the characters. Another smash hit from Vaughn and Chang. I kinda expect it to get film optioned since 80s period pieces are such a thing and so far I can see that really working. Colorist Matt Wilson should get an Eisner for his work here. Overall 9.25 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 (**).

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