Tag Archives: Comics

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.

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman/TMNT Adventures #5 (IDW Publishing) – This book has just been plain all out fun! I was skeptical of the quality it would be after the last Batman/ TMNT crossover, which was good but this story so far just ninjas the previous teams ass! It takes the very best aspect of Batman: The Animated Series and melds it together in the Turtles world. Each issue is better than the previous and even though they are leaning to The Mad Hatter being the big boss behind it all, when Tetch is written correctly he is quite the villainous force. I can’t wait to see how this joyride through my childhood icons ends.

Action Comics # 976 (DC Comics) – Well here it is, the battle for Superman’s future! Can Supes defeat Myx (not spelling his damn name) and get back his family or will he lose more than he gained in the process? All I know is if Jon becomes a casualty out of it, I’m going hunting with Kryptonite bullets. Nevertheless a good twist on a classic Superman character and I am enjoying the various runs on my hero since Rebirth. Can anyone say New New 52?

Reborn #5 (Image Comics) – I have really dug this team up of Millar and Capullo thus far. I don’t think it has tremendous long term value but the short term storyline has been fantastic. The art is some of Capullo’s best and Millar’s writing is less Millar-y than usual which keeps it at a nice tempo for me. Very interesting look into the theory of reincarnation and one that wants to make sure my pet gets all the love he can get before I meet him in the afterlife. A fun ride for sure, not ready to get out of the car yet.

Iron Fist #1 (Marvel Comics) – The timing for this couldn’t be better as I have just reached the middle of my binge watching of “Iron Fist” on Netflix and I love it. My Danny Rand – ometer is at it’s peak right now so more firery chi punching for me is a must. This book is welcome, hope it meets my kung fu needs.

 

Joe

Top Pick: The Unworthy Thor #5 (Marvel) – What did he do to make him unworthy?! It seems like this is the issue where we should finally learn what was whispered into Odinson’s ear.

Action Comics #976 (DC Comics) – The end of the fantastic Superman Reborn arc! I loved this entire run so far and this arc has been so crazy it works.

Doom Patrol #5 (DC’s Young Animal) – This is one of the most fun and wacky comics out. I am obsessed with Nick Derrington’s art and wished he was drawing everything lately.

Black Hammer #7 (Dark Horse) – It has returned! One of the best comics out in the medium and written by one of my favorite writers, Jeff Lemire.

Dept. H #12 (Dark Horse) – Matt and Sharlene Kindt have been so consistently good on this book every month. I love this cover and I am excited to return to the deep and find out whodunit.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #1 (Valiant) – I have the review copy sat on my desktop just waiting to be opened up and read again, but before I did that, I realized that this was honestly one of the few comics this week I’m looking forward to reading (again) when I pick it up i print so I can see the art without the watermark on it. I can’t wait to see it.

Hulk #4 (Marvel) – I read the first issue of this entirely by accident and immediately found one of my favourite new series. The tension you feel as Jen struggles to not change into the Hulk is palpable, and so well written. I don’t even need a villain in the series, I could read about Jennifer Walters living her life all day long.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #20 (Marvel) – The war between the X-Men and the Inhumans has come to an end, and the X-Men need to figure out their next move. I am very excited for the upcoming ‘ResurreXion’ event and looking forward to seeing the new paths the X-Men take.

Top Pick: Hulk #4 (Marvel) – This has been a great book from the start, showing that even a superhero can be shaken to their core after traumatic events.  Jen has definitely seen her share, from losing her cousin to almost dying by Thanos’ hand. This book is doing a fantastic job of showing her struggle to try and gain back her life while keeping her Hulk side at bay. If you aren’t reading this book, jump in now while it’s still early; you won’t be disappointed.

Invincible Iron Man #5 (Marvel) – I’ve been enjoying this book and getting to know Riri Williams.  It’s a fun book, seeing her being mentored by AI Tony Stark, and seeing her show him a thing or two in the process.  This issue should be fun as well, as various heroes are approaching her to join their teams but, of course, we’ll some villains tag along.  This should be fun.

Unworthy Thor #5 (Marvel) – Will Odinson just pick up the damn hammer already?!?!

 

Brett

Top Pick: The Torture Report: A Graphic Adaptation (Arcade Publishing) – On December 9, 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report condemning the CIA for its secret brutal torture during the Bush administration. This graphic novel summarizes and makes that important document understandable for individuals. The illustrations add poignancy to the facts.

The Circle #4 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – A solid teenage horror tale that mixes fantastic art with a creepy story.

Heathen #2 (Vault Comics) – The first issue was great, the second issue is somehow better. This is a fantastic new series from a relatively new voice in comics and definitely a unique spin on things. Two words: lesbian. vikings.

Powerless #1 (Vault Comics) – Everyone has powers, but a new disease takes away those abilities. A cool concept from the upstart publisher.

Terms and Conditions (Drawn & Quarterly) – R. Sikoryak has taken the iTunes Terms and Conditions and created a word for word graphic adaptation.

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Review: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #1

The comic book adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s award-winning American Gods is everything you need to hold you over until the STARZ tv version premieres and then some. P. Craig Russell does an amazing job at adapting the story into a readable and enjoyable comic book, he trims the “fat” nicely without compromising the story or the material that we all fell in love with. For those who haven’t read the book yet, the comic book is a nice entry and primer to it and I hope you feel compelled to read the book as well and watch the show.

Scott Hampton gives us low-fi pulp status visuals that bring the story to life in a way that seems more (sur)real than fans of the book could have imagined and he doesn’t skimp on the parts that you thought you’d never see.

There’s always a danger in adaptations of popular material that you’ll screw up the source material, take to many liberties and tick off the fans but, that’s not a problem that this comic book has. In fact having it come out before the TV show might have put some pressure on STARZ to make sure they get it right. There’s a lot of detail in the comic book that holds true to the book but, doesn’t come off as vulgar or exploitive. There’s no shock value or gore just a well-adapted story, with simple yet creative visuals that paint a beautiful picture into the world that our hero Shadow is about to enter.

The first issue of this series focuses on Shadow, his back story, time in prison, motivation to that pivotal moment where he meets and interacts with the “man” who will change his life. As a nice “epilogue” to this issue, we get to meet Bilquis in action in LA which should excite fans of the Gaiman original and, engage newcomers to the story to what kind of story they should expect. This is a solid first issue for a well-loved novel and I’m happy to see it come to fruition. I’m sure the hardcover collected edition will be something that coffee tables will beg for, especially if they get a David Mack cover like Fight Club 2 had. I recommend buying the issue, especially if you can get one of the sweet Mack covers even if you’re tempted to wait for the collected edition because it’s a work of art.

Dark Horse has another hit on its hands with this one, not just because of the story’s original fans but, because it this strong first issue is any indication, they’re going to have whole bunch of new readers falling in love with the story for the first time as well as OG fans finding a new way to love the story in a new and exciting way.

Story: Neil Gaiman Adaptation: P. Craig Russell Art: Scott Hampton
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/18

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

All-Star Batman #9 (DC) Written with an almost prose style, this comic is easily the better of the two Batman books this week, giving us an interesting look at the Mad Hatter as Snyder continues his out-of-Gotham tour of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

american gods 1.jpgAmerican Gods #1 (Dark Horse) I have never read the prose version of this story before, although I have a vague idea as to what the basic premise is from conversations with a friend, but I wasn’t prepared for how quickly the story went from hinting at something just beneath the surface to throwing it into your face. I liked it, however. Quite a lot. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #19 (DC) ….. it took me four minutes to read this, and that was four minutes I could have spent watching paint dry instead. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Deadpool The Duck #5 (Marvel) Stupid, yet fun. Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Venom #5 (Marvel) Despite the fast pace it feels like there’s not been too much happening yet in this series, and yet I’ve been enjoying it nonetheless. There’s some great art sequences here that more than make up for the comparative lack  of substance. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Elana

BW_Cv1_dsBatwoman #1 (DC)– The Rucka / J.H. Williams III run of this character is the stuff of legends. I’ve eagerly awaiting the new creative team and this first issue is a promising start that should excite fans of the modern classic. Marguerite Bennett is the first queer woman to write Batwoman (and her cowriter for this, James Tynion IV is bi too). I’m relieved to have their perspectives on DC’s premiere lesbian heroine. The art from Steve Epting and Ben Oliver shares the striking noir glamor of of J.H. Williams’ original figures though their layouts are more traditional. Seeing a comic cover with 3 mysterious women of color on it is just what I needed. Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

I Hate Fairyland #11 (Image)** – Welcome back, muffin fluffers! Now that Skottie Young
has liberated himself from the useless encumbrance of things like “story arcs” and “plot”, he can get on with what this series does best: pure mayhem. In this issue, Gert goes fangirl on Gwag the Barbarian and in return is subjected to the fannish attentions of Gert cosplayer Maddie. The usual fun. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: buy

Casanova: Acedia #8 (Image)** – And into flashback, with art this time by Gabriel Bà. This is an absolutely paint-by-numbers assassin’s-daughter story, you know the one: assassin tries to shield daughter from The Life but she embraces it anyway. Nary a note of the originality and twist I expect and deserve from a Matt Fraction story. This story is stuck in neutral and needs a swift kick. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Skip

Sex Criminals #17 (Image)** – In this issue, Fraction & Zdarsky do their best Brubaker & Island_15-1Phillips… and really made me wish that Brubaker & Phillips had in fact done this issue. In fact, “The Skell” would be a great start to a series where we really dig into the m.o.’s of the various other sex criminals that are being hunted by Myrtle Spurge and her sex cops. In short, this would have been great if Fraction would just have run with it instead of backing off. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Kill of Be Killed #7 (Image)** – And speaking of Brubaker and Phillips and Breitweiser, and issues that deviate from the main plot to focus on a secondary character… Now this is how it’s done. “What Kira Sees” takes us into the world of vigilante Dylan’s ex in a series of
family photos and therapy sessions, which leads her into Dylan’s closet and a very good, totally sensible, and really terrible decision. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Island #15 (Image)** – Sadly, this is the final issue of Brandon Graham and Emma Rios’ anthology series. We open with Grim Wilkins’ wordless “Mirenda”, a very nice fantasy piece with animation-like drawing. Not really my thing, but well done. Farel Dalrymple follows with a new installment of “Pop Gun War,” which is really my thing: freewheeling rock n’ roll urban crime whmsy. Where can I get more of this? Oh, here: http://fareldalrymple.com/ (trade collection in June!) Next up: this issue’s stunning highlight, Dilraj Mann’s “January”, a starkly-drawn meditation on young fame and the lies we tell to be pop. And then the series peaces out with Brandon Graham hisself in a delightfully surreal installment of “Multiple Warheads”. All I can do is quote the closing lines: “Good dream.” “… Hope so…” I have really loved this series and would happily take more of this sort of thing. Thanks, Brandon and Emma, you guys are the best. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Ryan C

Dead Inside #4 (Dark Horse)** – In the best crime/mystery story fashion, John Arcudi ramps up the unanswered questions just prior to wrapping things up next month, while continuing the strong characterization that’s been a hallmark of this series from the outset., and Toni Fejzula’s Wrightson-esque art drives home the dark atmospherics in a dead inside 4 coverway that can only be described as “pitch perfect.” Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #19 (DC)** – Is this story actually going anywhere? We get it, Batman and Bane are gonna fight, but this is the second straight installment comprised more or less entirely of build-up, and it leaves us off, bizarrely, further back than we were last issue, when at least the fisticuffs had already gotten underway. I wouldn’t mind at all if the characterization and backstory were enlightening or shed something new on the proceedings, but Tom King so far hasn’t managed to do that. Oh, and David Finch’s art is still lousy. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Batwoman #1 (DC)** – Writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV deliver a reasonably intriguing spy/noir thriller that suits artist Steve Epting’s considerable talents to a “T,” but it’s also fair to say it’s not exactly earth-shattering stuff and covers ground that’s very well-trod indeed. I liked it fine, but it was certainly predictable in the extreme. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Black Panther: World Of Wakanda #5 (Marvel)** – Roxane Gay and Alitha E. Martinez put the wraps on their five-part story arc, which I loved at the beginning, with an issue that continues the sad trend of each installment getting progressively worse than the last. Granted, this is essentially a prequel and, as such, is hamstrung by the same problem all prequels are — namely, you know how it’s going to end — but Gay, who is a very skilled author, never really fleshed out her two intriguing lead characters beyond their very broadly-defined internal struggles, and the art is bog-standard stuff. All in all, a woefully wasted opportunity. Overall: 2.5 Recommendation: Pass

 

Shean

Black Panther: World Of Wakanda #5 (Marvel) The cliffhanger on the last issue, had hankering for what will happen next, and the creative team somewhat . We find Wakanda dead inside 4 coverin the throes of an awakening amongst the country’s women, as everyone has heard by this point what Aneka has done , and want retribution as well. What the Dora Milaje doesn’t see coming is one of their own seeking revenge. By issue’s end, you do realize it’s a prequel, one much like a recent show, leaves you an unsatisfactory ending. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Odyssey Of The Amazons #3 (DC)– We catch-up with the Amazons as they meet the Valkyries. Their resolve tested and possibly new allies by their side, they are still searching for their lost sisters. Trolls and Jojins continue to battle them at every front , Tgemyra’s leadership continues to wane and the ship’s crew unity begins to dissipate.By issue’s end, it seems the Amazons have been dealt a fatal blow. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Batwoman#1 (DC)– Definitely one of the better reboots from The Big Two, as this spy thriller felt a little Iron Man/ James Bond -Ish as this has all the workings that one would expect of either character but as this gender switch deftly proves, it is even more interesting with a woman in this position. One should buy if you are enjoying Brubaker and Phillips “Velvet”, as Kate Kane is one smooth operator to be watched.
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 (**).

Blindbox Comics’ March 2017 Unboxing

Blindbox Comics is a monthly comic book subscription box that includes five regular monthly releases and one exclusive variant cover. Or, you can order just the variant. Or, you can order just the comics.

We open up and show off the latest and final box released, going over the comics plus a variant! Find out what’s inside!

Dark Horse Announces The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man

Victorian horror fans, rejoice! Dark Horse is delighted to announce the follow-up to 2011’s cult classic The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde, with The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man. Mr. Hyde’s Cole Haddon brings fans even more Thomas Adye adventures, while Sebastián Cabrol lends his beautiful art to the story, and Hernán Cabrera brings the art to life with his gorgeously grotesque color palette.

The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man finds Inspector Thomas Adye of Scotland Yard struggling to return to normalcy after his run-in with Edward Hyde and Jack the Ripper. Adye’s attempts at normalcy evaporate when he’s confronted with the bizarre case of a disappearing man.

During his investigation into the disappearing man, Adye is drawn to an American gentleman on a quest to experience life in new and vibrant ways. Seduced by the man’s philosophies, Adye starts down an uncertain path that may put him in more danger than he’s ever imagined.

The Strange Case of the Disappearing Man’s first issue (of six) goes on sale June 21, 2017.

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.

Alex

Top Pick: God Country #3 (Image) – A man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is cured when he’s holding a giant frigging sword. This is another series where the elevator pitch is enough to draw me in, but the humanity and depth within the story is keeping me coming back – although the fact that a mere human is flipping the bird to a pantheon of space gods is also pretty fantastic. There’s a reason this series is hitting multiple printings, and that’s because it’s really really good.

Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – I’ve always wanted to read the book, but I never quite got around to it (I read prose books much slower than comics), so this series is something that really intrigues me – even though I know next to nothing about it other than Neil Gaiman wrote the book it’s based off. Does he write the series? I honestly don’t know (you may be wondering how I write for a comic website at this point…).

Black Hammer #7 (Dark Horse) – Jeff Lemire has become one of my favourite writers over the last year, and this slow moving series about a group of superheroes stuck in sleepy tow in the mid west. For some, the town is Limbo, for others Hell, and for one… it’s close to Heaven. What it actually is, hasn’t quite been revealed yet, but I’m loving the slow build up.

Conan The Slayer #7 (Dark Horse) – I’ve always had a soft spot for Conan, and when the stories look this good? I won’t say no.

Divinity III: Escape From Gulag 396 #1 (Valiant) – Archer and Armstrong meet the Stalinverse. Can’t wait.

 

Joe

Top Pick: Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – Gaiman has returned to comics, and with one of his best novels ever coming with him. I have been awaiting this for awhile, and my anticipation is through the roof to see how he adapts such a great book to my favorite medium.

Head Lopper #5 (Image) – It returns! What an awesome surprise that we are getting more of this awesome book. The art grabs your attention and the countless lopping of heads of beasts and witches helps keep it.

God Country #3 (Image) – The first two issues have been awesome, and I expect it to get even better. Cates is crafting an excellent tall tale of his own with this book.

Batman #19 (DC Comics) – Bane is crazy, and these two foes are leaving nothing on the table. I expect tons of violence, more villains coming into play, and more twists and turns from Tom King.

Superman #19 (DC Comics) – Wow. What a reveal in Action that I won’t spoil here. What does this mean to the greater Rebirth story, and what is Mr. Oz want with Supes. Great comic and a great arc!

 

Patrick

Top Pick: I Hate Fairyland #11 (Image Comics) – Aww yeah muffin fluffers!

Casanova Acedia #8 (Image Comics) – If this really is a flashback issue, it’ll hopefully focus on the real most interesting character of Acedia, Emil Boutique.

Island #15 (Image Comics) – Always curious to see what a new issue holds in store.

Kill or be Killed #7 (Image Comics) – In which sort-of-ex-girlfriend-but-not-really Kira gets drawn into Dylan’s demonic web. This looks bad – just the way I like it.

Sex Criminals #17 (Image Comics) – Like Casanova, this series has outgrown its main characters for me, and I look forward to it seeing other people.

 

Paul

Top Pick – Super Sons #2 (DC Comics) – A few of my fellow contributors had this on their watch list before issue #1 came out, and after that their reviews were highly favourable. So, I thought I’d check it out…and they were right! Damian is going to be a great partner to Superboy, being the “bad influence” that’s going to get these kids into so many adventures and yeah, probably a lot of trouble with their fathers, and I will definitely be along for the ride.

Avengers Initiative Complete Collection TP Vol. 1 (Marvel) – I just had to give this a nod. This was one of my favourite titles and I loved all the new characters that were introduced in this series; plus it paved the way to the fantastic Secret Invasion event. *sigh* remember when Marvel events were something to look forward to?

The Mighty Thor #17 (Marvel) – Thor is trapped in a ‘competition’ against the gods of the Shi’ar, and I can’t wait for her to knock them out.

Uncanny Avengers #21 (Marvel) – The Red Skull is still controlling the Avengers with his mind, and Deadpool is doing everything he can to free them. But he’s going to need a lot of help, and if cover can be trusted, it looks like Cable is about to step into the ring. This is going to be a knock down fight, and here’s hoping they all walk away. I’ve enjoyed this latest story arc and I’m looking forward to see how it all ends.

Uncanny X-Men #19 (Marvel) – Psylocke made a promise to Magneto when she joined his mission…and now she’s going to collect. I’m really just looking forward to seeing Psylocke, one of my favourite X-women in action.

 

Shay

This is the week of boss chicks and bad ass lady heroes and I’m so here for it that I can’t even breathe! Thank heavens for a good nor’easter because being snowed in with all this comic book goodness is a cure for the winter time blues.

Top Pick: Neil Gaian American Gods Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – It’s one of my favorite books, in comic book form! I haven’t been this geeked out something like this since Fight Club 2 came out.

Top Pick: Black Panther World of Wakanda #5 (Marvel) – This arc is over and midnight angels are about to roll out , reign triumphant and show the villains of Wakanda that there’s some new sheriffs in town. So much lady power! So many strong , black, female character, so much awesomeness!

Batwoman #1 (DC Comics) – It’s a brand new arc in a solo comic book series and, it gives Batwoman a lot to do, some agency and, some asses to kick! So obviously, I’m here for it!

Harley Quinn #16 (DC Comics) – The red meat arc ( or as I like to call it diet soylent green with a twist) is still going on, aliens, a man with a secret plan, the evils of gentrification and the perils of men who underestimate three bad ass crime fighting ladies. Harley’s taking the fight straight to the top. Grab popcorn .

 

Brett

Top Pick: The Best We Could Do (Abrams Comicarts) – The debut graphic novel memoir from Thi Bui is an exploration of one family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. An exploration of immigration that’s pertinent to today.

Neil Gamian’s American Gods: Shadows #1 (Dark Horse) – I’ve never read the book but have heard good things so looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

Dead Inside #4 (Dark Horse) – I love crime comics and noir, so super excited to read more of this series.

Super Sons #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was tons of fun, exactly what I wanted and expected and this second issue will hopefully bring more of the same. Just a fun series that’s full of energy.

The Wild Storm #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was intriguing with it’s changes to these classic characters and I’m interested in seeing where it all goes.

 

Review: Aliens: Defiance #7

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In the aftermath of the intense battle against the Colonial Marines, Zula Hendricks and Davis have gone from being merely AWOL to full-blown traitors. As they drift into a quiet part of space to recover and regroup, new crew member Dr. Hollis discovers something in the medical bay that changes everything. Sometimes evil comes from within.

A new story begins on the heels of the old in Aliens: Defiance #7. It brings some of the strangest aspects yet to this series. While I won’t spoil the surprise, it is a clear shaping point of this story arc written by Brian Wood. I’m curious to see what will happen next.

The art style of Stephen Thompson brightens up a little in contrast to the story itself getting a little darker. The issue also debuts a new cover artist, Stephanie Hans. If the cover doesn’t catch your eye, I’m not sure what to say to you. You are missing out a solid series.

Story: Brian Wood Art: Stephen Thompson
Story:9 Art: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/11

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

man_thing__1-9Man Thing #1 (Marvel) So… yeah. This is not what I expected it to be in any way shape or form – although I’ve never really read any Man Thing before. R.L Stine has an almost throwback style to his comic writing that I really enjoyed, although there are a couple stumbles, for the mot part this is worth a read at the very least.  Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Redline #1 (Oni Press) Although I tend to avoid space comics, the preview text led me to believe that this first issue would be right up my alley, so I figured I’d check it out – and I wasn’t disappointed. Although this isn’t strictly a comedy there are some pretty funny one liners and character interactions throughout the comic, and the art is suitably dusty and dry feeling, which is perfect for the Mars setting. Story wise, there’s a lot of interesting things here beneath the copious amount of F-bombs, and more than enough for genre fans to come back next issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Unbelievable Gwenpool#13 (Marvel) I think this is a love it or hate it comic. I didn’t love it… Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Joe

Inhumans vs X-Men #6 (Marvel) – We finally come to a close to the end of the inhumans_vs__x_men__6Inhuman/Mutant war. I will say this could have been better, but it also could have been worse. The story definitely felt tighter and more organic than Death of X, but I still felt with the talent involved, a lot was left on the table. There are some cool set ups for future villains, the status quo of the earth Inhumans vs the Royals going to space, and the new X-teams, but I wanted more. Still, this was a decent event, especially when I am usually let down lately by Marvel’s events. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Justice League / Power Rangers #3 (BOOM!). This is another fun and light issue that works much like the first two. This book takes itself just seriously enough to pull off its premise. While it comes off more of a Power Rangers tone than Justice League, the Justice League characters fit right into the story. No one felt out of character to me and Tom Taylor juggles a lot of personalities including the villains. A really fun comic that is accessible to anyone. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Man-Thing #1 (Marvel) – RL Stine has come to Marvel Comics! This was a really fun story, and a perfect piece for Stine to write. It never apologizes for its old school horror feel, which is mixed with an interesting fish out of water (beast out of swamp?) plot. We see Man-Thing (aka Ted) in Hollywood with a failing career as an actor, and a theme of being mocked and not accepted by “normal” people. The comic ends with a cool cliffhanger that kept me interested. The art is fantastic, and I look forward not only to the rest of the miniseries, but more comic books from Stine as well. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

The Dregs #2 (Black Mask)** – I am loving this series. Writers Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler give us a take on the private eye story we’ve never seen: a homeless Marlowe navigating the underworld of derelict Vancouver. Artist Eric Zawadski gives us bold dreggs 2 coverdrawings and effortless storytelling that also lets us into the cracks of Marlowe’s mind. Just great stuff. Overall: 9.5. Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio (Avatar)** – Moore and O’Neill continue their history of the underside of American cinema with a cartoon that turns Chuck Jones’ classic “Duck Amok” idea pitch black. Doesn’t quite hold together, though. In “Code Pru,” Garth Ennis and Raulo Caceres continue their ghostbusting EMT series with an actual ghost – one who happens to get off on watching other ghosts get it on in a haunted orgy. I am not making this one up. And other series as well. Overall: 6 (but I give Code Pru a 7.5). Recommendation: Skip

Lady Killer #4 (Dark Horse)** – It seems like forever since last issue but if that’s how long it takes for Joêlle Jones to draw this gorgeously, it’s worth the wait. The care that goes into every single panel, both in terms of writing and art, makes this series a must for me. That Josie herself is not conflicted about her dual roles as killer and housewife, but has that conflict imposed on her by an old man, is pure genius. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Old Guard #1 (Image)** – I had no idea we were getting a new Greg Rucka military fantasy series, and was delighted to spot this one. Basically: a crew of immortal warriors led by your now-typical Rucka female messed-up protagonist takes on a mercenary gig they come to regret. Nice to see an action comic that, despite its fantastial elements, is firmly grounded in the present-day realities of armed conflict. Leandro Fernandez draws a chiaroscuro world that borders on cartooniness but uses it to draw us in and blow us away – kind of the way Eduardo Risso does it. Nothing super new here, but it’s a fun ride. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1 (Dynamite) – I was a huge Hardy Boys reader as a kid, so I was really looking forward to this series by writer Anthony Del Col and artist Werther Dell’Edera. But I felt the whole “let’s show the ugly underside of Bayport and its crooked cops” approach lazy and generic – unlike the Hardy Boys novels themselves, which at least made the effort to use authentic (for the 1930’s) police and detection methods. And where the hell is Chet? Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Ryan C

Jessica Jones #6 (Marvel)** – Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos wrap up the CopperHead_11-1“major” part of their first story arc while leaving some relatively massive subplots dangling, and you can’t help but feel we’ve been down this road a thousand times before — Bendis, after all, is the master of “decompressed” storytelling, and while you can’t point to anything too overtly “bad” on an issue-by-issue basis, by the time all is said and done the whole thing feels like a cheat when you realize it could just as easily (indeed, quite likely more effectively) been told in two or three parts rather than six. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

Copperhead #11 (Image)** – My excitement at seeing this series return from a way-too-long hiatus is somewhat tempered by an art change : exit Scott Godlewski and enter Drew Moss, who does a reasonable enough approximation, but yeah — it’s just not the same. That being said, Jay Faerber’s story hasn’t missed a beat ,and there is some intriguing ramped-up tension between our two leads that should make things even more addictive as events progress. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Mother Panic #4 (DC/Young Animal)** – I guess this is the start of the second story arc, but so many subplots are held over that maybe that designation is effectively meaningless. Jody Houser continues to build on Violet Paige’s extremely fascinating and tragic backstory to an even greater extent this time out, and a new foe makes an entrance every bit as bizarre as that of a new ally a few pages earlier. Shawn Crystal fills in on art, and while his a more detailed look than that of series regular Tommy Lee Edwards, it’s no less effective. And there’s a huge surprise for old-school Ditko fans waiting in the back-up strip. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Earth 2: Society #22 (DC)** – I know, I know — I’m not sure how this series managed to last this long into the “Rebirth” era, either, but Dan Abnett and Vicente Cifuentes (one of about a half-dozen artists who have worked on this run, none of them appearing consistently enough to be called a “regular”) give what few fans are left in the building a canned and predictable “happily ever after” that at least wraps up all loose ends. Still, as the saying goes, not with a bang, but a whimper, is the order of the day here. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass, unless you’ve been following from the outset, in which case you may as well see it through to the end.

Shean

The Unbelievable Gwenpool#13 (Marvel)– In this issue of Gwenpool, she accidentally meets her off the wall inspiration, Deadpool. As they both get stuck in a real time RPG , with an lost boy 6interesting set of characters. Eventually, they face off , damn near killing each other . By issue’s end, they find out it is all for entertainment by a game executive. Overall: 9.8
Recommendation: Buy

The Lost Boys #6 (DC)- In the final issue of this incredible follow up to the movies, the Frog Brothers finally figure out who is carrying out the recent vampire threat. This leads The to a retirement home, where they battle some geriatric vampires. The Frog Brothers end up victorious but another threat rises by sea. By issue’s end, this was a fun trip back to the characters from the movie. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Guardians Of The Galaxy:MU #1 (Marvel)– Soon after losing their ship, the team finds themselves in a quandary as Gamora finds that Peter knew Thanos was on Earth. To pile on that, Leviathans have been rampaging on Earth since they landed and the GOTG have been pulled into the fight.In the midst of battle, Groot, fights a Kaiju sized match against another alien. By issue’s end, the team finds themselves at a crossroads. Overall: 8.4
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: Bounty #5

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Romance. Crime. Vodka. Motorcycles. This one has it all! Surrounded by enemies, Nina and Georgie are running out of options. But these bounty-hunting sisters have never surrendered before, and they’re not about to start now. Their sworn enemy has a lot of trouble on his hands—karma always gets you in the end.

The story ends, as it begins in Bounty #5 written by Kurtis Wiebe. This issue reveals a lot of backstory and gives a detailed explanation on why this rag tag group changed their criminal ways. With how Wiebe leaves this issue I hope we’ll get more of this world, series, and Nina and Georgie.

While the colorful art style by Mindy Lee continues, in some way this issue breaks it up and changes things up a bit. At times Bounty #5 goes with a more terrestrial almost Blade Runner environment for the scenes that take place in the past. In contrast to this, the present is much more clean and military looking. Yet both share a clear sense of high octane action with solid work by Lee who keeps the series consistent and flowing with energy and excitement with the visuals.

Story: Kurtis Wiebe Art: Mindy Lee
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/25

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

 

moon-knight-12Moon Knight #12 (Marvel) At this point I’m only reading this for the artwork. The story feels like a convoluted mess, especially when read twenty some pages at a time; maybe when the trade hits I’ll be able to make better sense of this because there are some folks who love what Lemire is doing here, but right now it’s over my head. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation:  Read 

Batman #18 (DC) I wanted to like this issue, I really did. But between almost nothing advancing the story in the modern times, and the interesting-at-first way that Tom King and David Finch bring out the vastly different yet similarly motivated early years of Batman and Bane that turned into an uncomfortable (and not in a good way) look into two men with mental issues surrounding their mothers…  at least there are two other Batman books worth reading out there. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Nightwing #16 (DC) Damian Wayne make an appearance. If that’s not enough to make you run and buy it, then the fact that this is a great comic should. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Savage Things #1 (DC/Vertigo) A secret government program trains sociopaths to kill for them.  An interesting debut in a series with a lot of promise, I’m excited to see what comes next. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Ben

royal-city-1-coverRoyal City #1 (Image) -I’ve longed for Jeff Lemire to return to his roots of indie drama, and “Royal City” is a proper return with a bit of magical realism added into the mix. A lot of the story is currently build up, giving the reader a sense of the setting and characters, but with a clever twist on the concept of ghosts and haunted towns. Lemire’s art is as fantastic as ever with the added addition of watercolor to give it an uncanny atmosphere. It’s too early to see where this series will go, but I’m hooked enough to wait on the next issue. Overal: 10 Recommendation: Read.

Paper Girls #12 (Image) – This recent arc of Paper Girls is still building up, but the introduction and development of new characters is satisfying, adding more rich narrative layers along the way. Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson continue to be a dynamic duo on art, and the prehistoric setting gives their combo an especially fantastic feel. Also, there seems to be a lot of focus given on both KJ and Mac, opening up the possibility for some truly interesting character development if BKV plays it out right. It’s still a lot of build up going on, but the spark is promising to lead to an explosion. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Read

Joe

Batman #18 (DC) – This issue had a very cool storytelling element that showcased the differences and similarities in Bruce and Bane’s upbringing. They both lost their mothers bm_cv18_dsand had mentors, but one was groomed for great things and cared for while another was locked in a cage like a wild animal. In modern time, Bane has arrived in Gotham and there’s no escape as he pummels Batman. Of course there was a plan all along, and we get a cliffhanger. This arc has been building for quite a awhile, and I hope it pays off in the next issue. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Superman #18 (DC) – Wow. What an intense issue. It was heartbreaking, and made me want to read more. I didn’t expect this kind of pace out of the gate for the Superman Reborn arc, but okay! I cannot wait until Action Comics next week to see what the hell is going on with the creepy alternate Clark Kent. Who is this dude?! Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

America #1 (Marvel) – America Chavez begins her solo debut, after she has helped clean up the universe with The Ultimates, she is here to find herself. The gay Latino daughter to two mothers, America is a great reflection of our country in this time period, also she punches Hitler. Overall, I wanted more, but this comic will definitely please a lot of people, and it is light and fun. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Royal City #1 (Image) – It is no secret I am a massive Lemire fan. I am so glad he’s returning to his Essex County style, and telling a story that’s super grounded, but surrounded in some supernatural mystery. We get a real family with real problems in middle America. Royal City is a typical manufacturing town that is struggling with its identity of a time long lost. It is over fifty pages, but flew by because I truly cared to find out what this family is going through. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Royal City #1 (Image)– This comic is like a twee, small town Canadian version of The Big Chill as members of a dysfunctional family return to see their father who just had a stroke. There is also an interesting subplot about the town of Royal City going from a manufacturing town to a gentrified tourist haven that I wish Jeff Lemire focused more on instead of the visions of a long lost son. However, it’s nice to see Lemire back on art, and his style in this book is both ghostly and charming. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

 

Ryan C

flintstones-9-coverShade, The Changing Girl #6 (DC/Young Animal)** – The first arc of this series has been up and down, with wild highs and only middling lows, but unfortunately it hits rock bottom with this final chapter. Marley Zarcone’s art is as lavishly bizarre and “trippy” as ever, but Cecil Castellucci’s script is a complete mess that doesn’t deliver anything like a satisfactory conclusion until the very last page. It’s wild stuff, to be sure, but not especially engaging. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

The Flintstones #9 (DC)** – If you were hoping to see more of the friendship between vacuum (baby elephant) and bowling ball (armadillo), this issue builds on that magnificently and makes for a read this is by turns heartwarming and smartly satirical as Mark Russell turns his sharp critical eye to Social Darwinist religion, runaway capitalist excesses, and the loneliness and desperate sense of personal inadequacy that fuels greed and conspicuous consumption. Steve Pugh’s art is superb as usual, and at the end of the day I have no hesitation in saying this is the best ongoing monthly being published today, by anyone. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #18 (DC)** – Tom King and David Finch pad out their “I Am Bane” storyline by throwing in heavy-handed parallel flashbacks to Bruce Wayne and Bane’s similar-yet-dissimilar upbringings, but it can’t disguise the fact that nothing much happens in this issue other than a standard super-hero brawl. Pretty stupid stuff, on the whole, with a script that simply goes through the motions and illustrations that can most generously be described as terrible. Overall: 2.5. Recommendation: Pass

Nailbiter #30 (Image)** – Let’s call it like it is : Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson really ended their narrative with last issue’s clumsy info-dump, and this is nothing more than an extended epilogue — complete with four totally blank pages. What a padded, unnecessary waste. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

 

 



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

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

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