Tag Archives: Comics

Review: Big Moose #1

Big Moose one-shot introduces three new short stories about the one and only Moose, each created by separate teams, giving various takes on the character.

“Moose vs. The Vending Machine” gives into the stereotypical airheaded Moose, who willingly trades Jughead a week of his lunches for a single dollar, just to get something from the vending machine. While Sean Ryan’s story felt predictable, it still had the familiar humor of Archie Comics past, and that’s okay with me.

“Have It All” follows a week in the life as Moose, his thought process narrates the story, and we are able to get a glimpse into the interiority that makes the man. It touches on the stereotypes about the character from previous Archie Comics variations, such as Moose’s temper and lack of intelligence. It’s essentially the “there’s more than meets the eye” story. Ryan Cady’s take on Moose is interesting because he’s given more depth than what most fans are used to. It’s well done given how much information we get in just a few pages.

In “The Big Difference” Moose is placed back into the jock stereotype immediately. While I love meeting new Archie Comics characters, I do not love an overly blatant moral message. This piece had the same classic comic feeling as the first, but for whatever reason, it didn’t quite do it for me. I hope to see more of this “Freshie” character though.

As charming as Big Moose as a series has potential to be, I don’t see it surviving as anything more than a one-shot, unless the writers decided to explore his sexuality more (which seems to be in question from the hit show Riverdale) or give him more depth in general. The jock-stereotype story is played out and I found myself wanting to read the Midge one-shot instead. #TeamMidge

Script: Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady, Gorf
Art: Thomas Pitilli, Cory Smith, Ryan Jampole, Matt Herms, Glenn Whitmore, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Thomas Pitilli
Variant Covers: Cory Smith, Wilfredo Torres

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Preview: Archie Comics Annual #278

ARCHIE COMICS ANNUAL #278

Script: Dan Parent
Art:  Dan Parent, Bob Smith, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Dan Parent
On Sale Date: 4/26
192-page, full color comic
$5.99 U.S.

This month, digests go global! In the NEW LEAD STORY “From India, with Love,” Archie’s friend Raj needs help with a movie he’s making, so Archie travels with him to India!

Preview: Big Moose One-Shot

BIG MOOSE ONE-SHOT

Script: Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady, Gorf
Art: Thomas Pitilli, Cory Smith, Ryan Jampole, Matt Herms, Glenn Whitmore, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Thomas Pitilli
Variant Covers: Cory Smith, Wilfredo Torres
On Sale Date: 4/26
48-page, full color comic
$4.99 U.S.

Riverdale’s resident jock gets the spotlight in this special one-shot where everything’s Moose! Stories by Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady and Gorf with art by Cory Smith, Thomas Pitilli and Ryan Jampole!

Preview: Riverdale Digest #1

RIVERDALE DIGEST #1

Script: Mark Waid, Adam Hughes, Chip Zdarsky, Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio, Tom DeFalco
Art: Fiona Staples, Erica Henderson, Adam Hughes, Audrey Mok, Sandy Jarrell, Andre Szymanowicz, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
On Sale Date: 4/19
128-page, full color comic
$5.99 U.S.

See how it all began with this digest-sized collection featuring stories from our recently relaunched Archie titles, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me!

Preview: Josie and the Pussycats #6

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #6

Script: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio
Art: Audrey Mok, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Audrey Mok
Variant Covers: Michael Allred with Laura Allred, Ben Caldwell
On Sale Date: 4/19
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

With the Pussycats arrested for plagiarism, Alexander Cabot is determined to put the band on trial! The girls are shipped to the Cabot family’s sovereign patch of Antarctica, where the Cabots’ word is law! How will the girls get out of this one? (Spoilers: Probably friendship.)

Preview: Archie #19

ARCHIE #19

Script: Mark Waid
Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli
Cover: Pete Woods
Variant Covers: Emanuela Lupacchino, Greg Smallwood
On Sale Date: 4/19
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

With Veronica Lodge back in town, everyone’s vying for her hand–from Archie to Toni to Reggie Mantle! Romance runs deep in Riverdale this issue!

Review: Riverdale #1

Don’t worry. You’re not seeing things. Riverdale #1 came out over a month ago, and so did the original review, but that was for the one-shot (the prequel to the hit television show). This is the brand new Riverdale comic, with similar writers, only this series will be on-going. It features what happens in between the television series episodes, so the two go hand in hand, feeding into the obsession that is the newly crazed Riverdale frenzy. Archie Comics is smart to capitalize on this opportunity, taking its show’s success and bringing in their viewers back to its roots (the comics).

I was pleasantly pleased with the writing in this issue, that primarily features Archie and Betty’s storylines, and will be disappointed if future issues don’t feature other coveted characters like Kevin and Veronica (whose storylines seem to be lacking in the show). I feel like it’s too soon to say, but there is potential for many ways for this to go wrong, as the show is doing by excluding their diverse cast’s backgrounds and storylines. I’ll have to get back to you on whether or not the Archie Comics team is doing all they can do to maximize their storytelling mediums.

I’m not a big fan of the art, which I always feel bad saying because I know the hard work artists put into comics, but it just isn’t my style. I feel the faces are too vague and lack detail. I wanted more character and liveliness from it, as I felt the original comics have, and even some of the new reboots.

I will keep reading, and even recommend, but only if you’re a fan of the show.  Since the two are a pair, readers will have the maximum Riverdale experience by staying up-to-date with both, and hopefully a lot of the missing storylines will be revealed and questions will be answered in this comic.

Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Will Ewing, Michael Grassi
Art: Joe Eisma, Andre Szymanowicz, Janice Chiang, John Workman Cover: Alitha Martinez
Variant Covers: Elliott Fernandez, Francesco Francavilla, Peter Krause, Djibril Morissette-Phan, Ron Salas
Story: 8 Art: Eh Recommend: Buy Only if Watching Television Show

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 4/8

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

NTW_Cv18_open_order_varBatman #20 (DC) Well I Am Bane is finally over. That’s a good thing. The comic… meh. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Iron Fist #2 (Marvel) I was not a huge fan of the first issue, but I came back for #2 because I’m enjoying the Netflix show… and I’m kinda glad that I did. Definitely an upward curve from the first issue for me, although the comic is basically one long kung fu fight. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Nightwing #18 (DC) For as much as I hated Batman #20, I loved this issue. From the interplay between Dick and Damian, and the way the comic effortlessly brings back the vibe od their Batman and Robin run… Tim Seeley is writing the best biweekly Bat-book right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) Huh. Well, I’m surprised. This was in every way a throwback to the way I remembered the X-Men being – not that the same characters are in the book, but the themes are the same, and there’s some great down time… this is a helluva promising start. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Little Archie #1 (Archie Comics) It’s super adorable to see Art Baltazar’s fun crayon art style take on the Archie gang in Little Archie #1. This is definitely a throwback to classic Archie comics with wacky hijinks, Jughead’s crown hat, and Archie’s “R” sweater all Riverdale #1_FernandezVarmaking appearance. Some of the gags are overlong, but Baltazar and Franco throw in some clever references to Afterlife with Archie, and the fact that adults are pretty much useless in Riverdale. This comic is definitely geared to a younger audience, but is worth a read if you’re missing old school Archie. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Riverdale #1 (Archie Comics) Joe Eisma’s stylish artwork breathes some life into a couple lightweight stories about “Hell Week” for Riverdale High’s cheerleading and football teams. Writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Will Ewing, Michael Grassi roll every high school “prank” cliche into one comic book from near death experiences to streaking and of course, stealing an object from the rival school. Archie’s story centers around him helping out Moose, who I don’t think he’s spoken to the whole season while the Betty story is stronger because it focuses on her bond with Veronica. Seriously, Season 1 of Riverdale isn’t over, and they’re already coming up with an Expanded Universe in the comics. There really isn’t much of a sandbox to work with. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Jughead #14 (Archie Comics) Unfortunately, Ryan North’s time writing the coolest of teens is over. But he goes out it the comic book equivalent of the dankest of all memes skewering Internet culture in a joke dense way. And along the way, North and artist Derek Charm (Who is staying on the book) shore up the friendship between Betty and Jughead, roast Archie, and craft the most intimidating Veronica yet. This comic is worth picking up for the double page spread of Jughead becoming various overused Internet memes alone and its quirky self-aware take on the Archie mythos will definitely be missed as a new creative team takes over. (Hopefully, Veronica will still have a “hunk budget”.) Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

RockCandyMountain_01-1Batman #20 (DC)**  So that’s “I Am Bane,” huh? A fist-fight that Batman wins with a well-timed head-butt (whoops, spoilers). Issue after issue of buildup for — this? Tom King and David Finch have really bottomed out on this book; time for some new blood. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass.

Rock Candy Mountain #1 (Image)**  Kyle Starks is a superb cartoonist whose work has always reminded me more than a bit of the legendary James Sturm, and Sturm himself would, I think, be more than pleased to see his “spiritual successor” turn his keen artistic eye toward early-20th century “hobo culture.” Amazingly well-drawn and written with a real ear for dialogue authenticity, this is indie comics at their best, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Eleanor & The Egret #1 (Aftershock)**  John Layman is a natural to write this off-kilter historical art-heist “caper,” and Sam Kieth’s art is as sumptuous as ever. Top it off with lush colors from Ronda Pattison, and you’ve got a winner that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. My only gripe is that the story is a bit on the slight side, but on the whole this was a joy to both read and look at. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flintstones #10 (DC)**  Mark Russell and Steve Pugh can do no wrong with this book in my opinion, and it looks as though we’re going to get the series’ first (and, sadly, only) multi-part story spread over the last few issues here. The Trump comparisons are getting more obvious than ever with Bedrock’s inept, stupid mayor, which is a ton of fun, but there’s some serious heartbreak in these pages too as a beloved member of the cast meets his end. Yes, this comic will make you laugh — it always does — but don’t be too surprised if you shed a tear this time around as well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

america2America #2 (Marvel) I will keep this one to a few words:funny, meta and nothing like it in the Marvel Universe. We catch up with America after she punches Hitler. Definitely a different voice at Marvel that not only is entertaining but woke. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 (Marvel) There’s something truly wondrous about when adaptations get the story right in the minds of its most rabid fans. This is exactly what happened when the minds at Marvel decided to tackle the first spinoff from the Star Wars universe, as this captures all the moments that the were spoken about in online fodder about the missing moments. What makes it even more authentic, is the blessing of the director and the screenwriter. The most pivotal scene to me that they cut out is the crisis of conscience that Gail Erso undergoes and what he entrusts Bodhi with, makes you understand why Bodhi was so committed to meeting Saw Gerrera. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man /Deadpool #16 (Marvel) This book get funnier with every issue. This time we follow this crazy duo to Latvia to battle Shiklah. So they recruit Dracula into the fight but with some ribbing of him and his human slave. By issue’s end, a fight between both forces ensues. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 

 



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

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Jughead The Hunger #1

JugheadHunger1Archie Comics’ horror imprint shifts from zombies, witches, and vampires in the gut wrenching and emotionally destructive Jughead: The Hunger #1 from writer Frank Tieri, artist Michael Walsh, and co-colorist Dee Cunniffe.  Opening with the adorable old lady version of Miss Grundy getting brutally killed by the Riverdale Ripper, the comic, like the other Archie horror books, transposes the character qualities of these iconic characters into another genre. What if Jughead’s great appetite for burgers and various and sundry junk food extended to human flesh? What if Betty has great determination because she comes from a long line of fierce warriors? Tieri makes a smart choice by not really changing who Archie is as a character. He is loyal to Jughead to a fault even when he witnesses him murder Dilton Doily as a werewolf. Poor, silly Archie.

The opening pages of Jughead: The Hunger #1 are a master class in how to build suspense in a horror story similar to the cold opens of Halloween, Screem, and recently, Get Out. Walsh and Cunniffe use a strong blue and red palette to contrast a frightened Miss Grundy and her disembodied head. There is a rhythm to her fear and the Riverdale Ripper’s attack that shows up later in his blood red heartbeats as Jughead can sense everything in Riverdale. It’s not as striking as a gory image of furry paw carrying a still bleeding school teacher head, but a double page spread showing that Jughead can smell Midge’s perfume and his dog Hot Dog scratching himself from anywhere in town.

One reason that horror works in the Archie universe is because Riverdale is such an idyllic place. This is a town where deciding to get a second milkshake or choose between two attractive teenage girls are life and death choices so adding any kind of death or gore is a Jugheadinteriormore heightened experience. Tieri and Walsh create even more tension by quickly juxtaposing townfolks looking at Miss Grundy’s body to Jughead going to town on a plate of food, including a whole fish on a burger, at an all you can eat buffet. Walsh and Cunniffe’s color palette does its job again switching out the usual brightness of Jughead’s solo book or appearances in Archie for something washed out and sickly. The ketchup on his face could easily be blood, and Tieri and Walsh revisit this image for horrific effect later on when Jughead realizes that his great appetite has been sated because he’s been supplementing burgers and fries with the people he cares about the most.

Partially because it’s an “Elseworlds” type story and doesn’t affect the continuity of the main Archie or even the Afterlife and Sabrina universes, Frank Tieri says no to happy endings and easy solutions and embraces the tragedy of the werewolf story. Jughead isn’t fluffy Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but like Lon Chaney in The Wolf Man even if Tieri adds an extra layer of mythology by making Betty Cooper, the latest in a line of werewolf hunters, which is the only reason she’s in Riverdale. His appetites can’t be controlled, he definitely doesn’t belong in and someone has to put him down the like the rabid, mutated dog he is before he hurts another innocent citizen.

In Jughead: The Hunger #1, Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh, and Dee Cunniffe exaggerate Jughead Jones’ defining characteristic and turns it into something horrifying. Without his humanity and sense of humor, he’s just a creature of pure appetite and id and makes for a great villain in a horror story. And Walsh takes Jughead’s eating habits, which usually a cute, running gag and turns it to something disgusting as Reggie remarks early on.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Michael Walsh  Colors: Michael Walsh and Dee Cunniffe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

 Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Reggie and Me #4

REGGIE AND ME #4

Script: Tom DeFalco
Art: Sandy Jarrell, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Sandy Jarrell with Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Aaron Lopresti, Andy Price
On Sale Date: 3/29
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

As Reggie kicks his master plan to pit Moose against Archie Andrews into high gear—a plan to get them both expelled from Riverdale High—Vader questions his master’s fascination with Midge Klump. What is Reggie so fascinated by her? What is it that makes her so special? Find out in the penultimate chapter of this 5-issue miniseries!

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