Tag Archives: Comics

Preview: B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #1

B.P.R.D.: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW #1

Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artist: Laurence Campbell
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Genre: Horror
Publication Date: July 26, 2017

Before they were vanquished by the BPRD, Lovecraftian monsters created a Hell on Earth. Now Liz Sherman leads a crew through monster-infested ruins on the most important rescue mission of her life. As society tries to rebuild, strange cults vie for influence, and a demon emerges to lead the way . .

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: Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 TP (Image) – The fantastic crime thriller with a demon (yeah that’s right) keeps getting better. This is the second collected volume of the second arc that follows Dylan’s path into darkness.

Action Comics #984 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Supergirl! And you get a Super… Lex? This arc has been a blast. Take all of Supes’ big bad and put them against his super friends. It’s going down!

Black Hammer #11 (Dark Horse) – Lemire has been a writing machine as of late, and the quality hasn’t dipped. This is probably his best work, but that’s tough to say since he’s doing great work on a few series now.

Saga #45 (Image) – The best in the business keeps it interesting. Whether you read this book in single issue or trade, you’re always left on the edge of your seat. This is a truly special piece of art we are getting, and it’s going to go down as a classic.

Infamous Iron Man #10 (Marvel) – I was skeptical with this book for awhile, and have gone back and forth, but either way, I’ve still enjoyed almost every issue and loved Maleev’s beautiful art as well as the mystery Bendis is building with momma Doom.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant) – Without question the best looking comic right now, these issues never feel long enough – which for me is a good sign. If you’re even remotely curious as to Valiant’s comics, then this is a great place to start. Especially if you’re into what is essentially Conan mixed with Old Man Logan set in Star Wars.

Faith and the Future Force #1 (Valiant) – This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read this awesome issue. Time travel, a hero that loves comics and a brilliant blend of philosophically aware humour add up to a must (re)read for me on Wednesday.

Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2, Croak #2, Lillith Dark #2 (Alterna) – So four entries in one? Because all four are a part of Alterna’s newsprint line and cost $1.50, and they’re all well worth every penny. Depending on what you’re looking for, there will be something for you among these issues – whether you pick one or all of them up, for the price the’re going for? You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Tomboy #12 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The mix of horror, manga, and teenage angst wraps up and if you haven’t read an issue you need to go back to the beginning. One of the best comics that’s under the radar.

All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics) – This series has been knocking it out of the park and this latest arc which dives deeper into Alfred’s history has been an interesting one showing how you can layer on something new even with a series that has that much history.

Captain Canuck 2017 #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – A reboot of the recently launched character. How it’ll differ? No idea, but I’m intrigued to see.

Heavenly Blues #1 (Scout Comics) – A really interesting concept involving the afterlife that had me entertained with the first issue and looking forward to the second. Basically, it’s a heist comic involving angels and demons.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel) – This series has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and the fact that it revolves around a brand new character is even better. A prime example of how to expand the Star Wars universe and deliver something new.

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: Ether Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Dark Horse) – The very funny and out there story that is part Doctor Strange and part detective whodunit story has collected the first arc. The world in Ether reminds me of Roger Rabbit, while the art style channels a style long forgotten like Steamboat Willie. I highly recommend this, and I think most everyone will find something to enjoy, smile, and laugh at.

Curse Words Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Image) – This book is a collected volume of the hilarious first arc of the adventures of a Wizard named Wizord who was sent to do something terrible, is trying to do something good, but also keeps doing something terrible. He becomes a hipster and realizes he loves our planet. You also have a talking koala sidekick, and so much more.

Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #2 (Marvel) – This book penned by the jokester writer/artist extraordinaire Chip Zdarsky is a return to the down on his luck Spidey we all knew and loved. It’s a sister book to ASM, and will focus on the comedic side of things, and a more lighthearted jumping on point for old and new readers.

Aquaman #26 (DC Comics) – This has been a great run, but #25 cranked the volume (unintentional water reference) up to 11! The art is some of the best you will find in a comic, and the story is setting up something massively epic.

Batman #27 (DC Comics) – We return to Batman’s past again for the War of Jokes and Riddles. King has crafted an interesting (if somewhat polarizing) run that I’ve enjoyed. I cannot wait to see where this goes, as it’s been a blast so far.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Secret Weapons #2 (Valiant) – A team made up of people with useless powers? Check. A writer who is incredibly talented? Check. An artist whose layouts are beautifully simple yet packed full of details? Check. A genuinely exciting comic? Oh yeah.

Rapture #3 (Valiant) – What do you get when a man who refuses to believe in magic has to travel to a land where magic is incredibly prevalent? You get Ninjak in Rapture, and reading his fish out of water among the other, more comfortable, characters. The story is another example of Valiant delivering a solid miniseries that reads very well as an introduction to their characters and the universe as a whole.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/15

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.

Alex

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

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

George

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

Christopher

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

Ryan C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shean

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

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

Patrick

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

Rasputin, Krampus, and Koshchei the Deathless Expand the Mignolaverse this Winter

From Baba Yaga and Hecate, to the Black Flame and the Queen of Blood, Mike Mignola’s legendary Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense have battled some of the most dangerous and despicable demons and villains in all of comics. In advance of San Diego Comic Con 2017, Dark Horse Comics has revealed three new titles for the strange, shared Mignolaverse of comic books and graphic novels comprised of Hellboy & the BPRD, Abe Sapien, BPRD, Lobster Johnson and Witchfinder, with all three new titles focusing on villains. With stories by Eisner award-winning artist Adam Hughes—who is illustrating his first ever Mignolaverse story, iZOMBIE co-creator Chris Roberson, and acclaimed Mignolaverse artists Christopher Mitten and Ben Stenbeck, the three new titles will explore the secret origins of two classic villains, Koshchei the Deathless and Rasputin, and introduce the Krampus into Hellboy’s odd world of fantasy and folklore.

The three new titles are:

Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon

Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Chris Roberson (W), Christopher Mitten (A), Dave Stewart (C), Mike Huddleston (Cover)

A conspiracy involving the Third Reich and a dead member of a sinister secret society sets Professor Bruttenholm on his first mission—to find the man who’d soon bring Hellboy to earth. The mad Russian sorcerer Rasputin had been thought dead since 1916, when a group of noblemen sought to end his influence over the tsar. Now Rasputin works with the most twisted members of Hitler’s inner circle, and he’s about to cross paths with the man who’ll go on to found the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.

Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon‘s first issue (of five) goes on sale November 29, 2017.

Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot

Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Adam Hughes (A/C/Cover/Incentive Variant)
The only thing more exciting than pitting Hellboy against this Satanic spin on Santa is the team-up of Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes.

Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot goes on sale December 20, 2017.

Koshchei The Deathless

Mike Mignola (W/cover), Ben Stenbeck (A), Dave Stewart (C)

Sent to kill Hellboy by the Baba Yaga in Darkness Calls, Koshchei the Deathless hinted at a long and tragic life before being enslaved to the Russian witch. Now Koshchei relives every horrible act on his road to immortality and beyond, with none other than Hellboy himself—in Hell. Mignola returns to Hell and to the bizarre folklore that’s filled some of his greatest books, reuniting with one of his favorite collaborators, Ben Stenbeck (Frankenstein Underground, Witchfinder: In The Service of Angels, Baltimore).

The first issue of Koshchei The Deathless (of six) goes on sale January 10, 2018.

Diamond Announces Both Marvel AND DC Comics Gain Ground in June

Diamond Comic Distributors have released the results for June sales and it’s an interesting month that saw both dollars and units down but both Marvel and DC Comics gaining some ground when it comes to unit and dollar shares.

Marvel Comics was June’s top publisher with a 38.54% dollar share (an increase of 0.49) and a 42.82% unit share (an increase of 2.91). DC Entertainment was second in June with a 30.61% dollar share (an increase of 2.68) and a 31.76% unit share (an increase of 0.88). In third was Image Comics with an 8.86% dollar share (down 1.39) and a 9.00% unit share (down 2.83). In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 4.24% dollar share (down 0.41) and a 3.18% unit share (down 0.60), followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 3.46% dollar share (up 0.41) and a 2.47% unit share (up 0.26).

Marvel Comics had five titles among the top ten. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man was the top selling comic of the month. DC Entertainment had four titles in the top ten led by Dark Days: The Forge Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #168 from Image Comics rounded out the top ten at #10. Also from the premier publishers, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #4 was Dark Horse Comics’ top book for the month at #98, and IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #80 was their top book for June at #173.

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked and The Divine Volume 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 from Image Comics was June’s best-selling graphic novel. Image Comics had four titles in the top ten. DC Entertainment also had four titles in the top ten with DC Super Hero Girls Volume 3: Summer Olympus at #2. Marvel Comics rounded out the top ten with two titles.

Sanctum Publishing’s The Shadow Double Novel Volume 118 was June’s best-selling book. Dynamite Entertainment’s Art of Atari Poster Collection ranked #2. BOOM! Studios’ An Apple and An Adventure ranked #3. IDW Publishing’s Toybox Time Machine ranked #9.

DC Collectibles’ DC Designer Series: The Joker by Brian Bolland Statue, based on Bolland’s artwork from the best-selling graphic novel The Killing Joke, was June’s best-selling toy product. Also in the top ten for DC Collectibles were the Batman Black & White: Nightwing by Jim Lee Statue at #2 and the Supergirl TV: Supergirl Statue at #6. Diamond Select Toys had two products in the top ten: the Marvel Gallery: Old Man Logan PVC Statue at #7 and the Marvel Gallery: Classic Iron Man PVC Statue at #10.

WizKids/NECA celebrated the 15th-anniversary of their HeroClix miniatures game with a special release, the Marvel HeroClix 15th-Anniversary What If? Booster Brick, which was June’s best-selling game product. Their Marvel HeroClix 15th-Anniversary What If? Starter Set ranked #4. IDW Games had two products in the top ten as well: the perennial selling Machi Koro Card Game ranked #3 and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game ranked #9.

Overall the month saw 71 fewer titles/comics shipped compared to the previous month and didn’t quite have the juice of anticipated titles like the launch of Marvel’s Secret Empire and DC’s “The Button” storyline. Things are also very down compared to last year which also saw an event, Civil War II, and Rebirth driving sales. I wouldn’t read a lot into month to month or year to year sales for the month.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 38.54% 42.82%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 30.61% 31.76%
IMAGE COMICS 8.86% 9.00%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.24% 3.18%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.46% 2.47%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.83% 1.61%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.79% 2.07%
TITAN COMICS 1.02% 0.76%
VIZ MEDIA 1.01% 0.36%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.79% 0.59%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 7.84% 5.37%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
JUNE 2017 VS. MAY 2017
COMICS -0.43% -5.91%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -13.01% -8.00%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -4.31% -6.08%
TOYS -18.49% -38.75%
JUNE 2017 VS. JUNE 2016
COMICS -18.38% -20.16%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -28.04% -30.14%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -21.34% -21.06%
TOYS -20.11% -37.01%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
COMICS -3.84% 2.56%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -12.99% -13.50%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -6.77% 1.15%
TOYS -2.84% -6.29%
SECOND QUARTER 2017 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2017
COMICS 8.21% 1.37%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 6.99% 17.06%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 7.84% 2.47%
TOYS -12.46% -6.82%
SECOND QUARTER 2017 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2016
COMICS -7.68% -4.64%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -15.03% -13.50%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -10.01% -5.41%
TOYS -3.19% -11.96%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 101 39 0 140
DC ENTERTAINMENT 84 36 1 121
IMAGE COMICS 55 15 1 71
IDW PUBLISHING 51 17 0 68
DARK HORSE COMICS 22 20 0 42
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 23 9 0 32
TITAN COMICS 15 14 2 31
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 23 2 0 25
VIZ MEDIA 0 22 0 22
ONI PRESS INC. 12 6 0 18
OTHER NON-TOP 10 116 142 19 277

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 $4.99 APR170970-M MAR
2 DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1 $4.99 APR170259-M DC
3 STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1 $4.99 APR171101-M MAR
4 BATMAN #24 $2.99 APR170279-M DC
5 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9 $5.99 MAR170359-M DC
6 BATMAN #25 $3.99 APR170281-M DC
7 EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1 $3.99 APR170962-M MAR
8 SECRET EMPIRE #4 $3.99 APR170922-M MAR
9 SECRET EMPIRE #5 $3.99 APR170928-M MAR
10 THE WALKING DEAD #168 (MR) $2.99 APR170902-M IMA

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 5: IMPERIAL PHASE I TP $16.99 APR170909 IMA
2 DC SUPER HERO GIRLS VOL. 3: SUMMER OLYMPUS TP $9.99 MAR170353 DC
3 MOTOR CRUSH VOLUME 1 TP $9.99 MAR170820-M IMA
4 DESCENDER VOLUME 4: ORBITAL MECHANICS TP $16.99 APR170785 IMA
5 SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL VOLUME 2: SIDE PIECES TP $16.99 MAR171162 MAR
6 TEEN TITANS VOL. 1: DAMIAN KNOWS BEST TP $16.99 MAR170410 DC
7 HARLEY QUINN VOL. 2: THE JOKER LOVES HARLEY TP $16.99 MAR170404 DC
8 STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA VOLUME 1: APHRA TP $17.99 MAR171129 MAR
9 A.D.: AFTER DEATH HC $24.99 FEB170689-M IMA
10 NIGHTWING VOL. 2: BACK TO BLUDHAVEN TP $16.99 MAR170406 DC

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 118 SC $14.95 MAR172353 SAN
2 ART OF ATARI POSTER COLLECTION SC $24.99 APR171557 DYN
3 APPLE AND AN ADVENTURE HC $14.99 FEB171299 BOO
4 BLOODBORNE OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC $44.99 MAR172148 UDO
5 EVIL DEAD 2 ADULT COLORING ACTIVITY BOOK TP $14.99 APR171958 SPA
6 FAMILY GUY COLORING BOOK $14.95 MAR172109 RAN
7 MANGA IN THEORY & PRACTICE HC $19.99 APR172155 VIZ
8 TOYBOX TIME MACHINE HC $29.99 FEB170491 IDW
9 5 MINUTE SPIDER-MAN STORIES HC $12.99 APR172266 HAC
10 NEIL GAIMAN’S AMERICAN GODS OFFICIAL COLORING BOOK $16.99 JAN178881 HAR

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC DESIGNER SERIES: THE JOKER BY BRIAN BOLLAND STATUE JAN170427 DC
2 BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: NIGHTWING BY JIM LEE DEC160417 DC
3 DRAGONBALL SUPER DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURES DEC168377 BAN
4 DC UNIVERSE: HARLEY QUINN ARTFX+ STATUE NOV162698 KOT
5 LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS: LINK FIGMA DX AUG168804 GOO
6 SUPERGIRL TV: SUPERGIRL STATUE OCT160339 DC
7 MARVEL GALLERY: OLD MAN LOGAN PVC FIGURE OCT160011 DST
8 FINAL FANTASY VII PLAY ARTS KAI: CLOUD STRIFE REMAKE FIGURE NOV168102 SQU
9 X-MEN LEGENDS 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES FEB178702 HAS
10 MARVEL GALLERY: CLASSIC IRON MAN PVC FIGURE JAN172648 DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 MARVEL HEROCLIX 15TH-ANNIVERSARY WHAT IF BOOSTER BRICK MAR173399 NEC
2 MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: KALADESH BOOSTER PACKS AUG163175 WIZ
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Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer Universe Expands This Fall

Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston have captivated readers and critics alike with their brilliant creator owned superhero saga Black Hammer, which follows the forgotten champions of Spiral City long after the age of heroes has passed. This fall, Dark Horse Comics will expand the universe of the Black Hammer with Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, written by Lemire and illustrated by artist David Rubín, for the first of several high profile mini-series featuring different artists. While the main, Eisner-nominated Black Hammer series focuses on the heroes of Spiral City—Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien—Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil reveals the secret origins of the Black Hammer’s greatest villains.

Lucy Weber, the daughter of the Black Hammer, is an investigative newspaper reporter, and her search for the truth about her father leads her to some very dark places. In Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, Lucy heads to Spiral City’s infamous asylum to confront the world’s greatest super villains and the secrets they have locked away.

Lemire doesn’t want to deluge fans with needless spin offs or tie-ins that they have to read to get the whole story. These new mini-series will stand alone and tell complete, self-contained stories.

Dark Horse Comics will publish the debut issue of the four issue Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil mini-series on October 18, featuring a main cover by Rubín and a variant cover by legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/8

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.

 


 

Ryan C

unsound2The Unsound #2 (Boom! Studios)** – I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of Cullen Bunn and Jack T. Cole’s horrific take on Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” but the second sees the story take a rather dramatic leap forward that feels more forced by pacing concerns than it is achieved through anything like a natural transition. We’ll see where it goes, though, since it’s not a “deal-breaker” by any means and Cole’s art remains absolutely gorgeous. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Green Arrow #26 (DC)** – Hmmm — Ollie hits the road with a fellow super-hero in tow : where have we heard this one before? The Flash steps — sorry, runs — into the role formerly occupied by Green Lantern in this one, but lackluster story and art from Benjamin Percy and Stephen Byrne ensure that nobody will be forgetting about Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams anytime soon. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Babyteeth #2 (Aftershock)** – Another agreeable (if far from memorable) installment in Donny Cates and Garry Brown’s new “Teen Mom” meets “The Omen” horror series is equally divided between moving the story forward at a natural rhythm and forcing some long-range foreshadowing into the proceedings, which actually succeeds at what it’s trying to do reasonably well despite the fact that it probably shouldn’t. Brown’s art remains pitch-perfect for the content and Cates’ characterization is strong enough to keep this reader on the hook for at least a bit longer. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Snotgirl #6 (Image) – It took a long time for Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s somewhat surreal series to grow on me, given that it sure reads more like what 40-year-olds think 20-something fashion bloggers live like rather than it does anything like how they actually live, but if you can get over the absurdity of both the premise and the protagonist’s economic situation (how many people in the entire country make their living running independent fashion blogs? Maybe three? Yet there are more than that in LA alone according to this book), the cartoony art and intriguing mystery of the story should be enough to keep you around. Some new additions to the supporting cast throw a welcome spanner into the works and despite a lengthy hiatus, it seems that neither of our creators has lost their enthusiasm for this project in the least. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Alex

unholy grail 1.jpgBatman #26 (DC) Not a bad issue, when all is said and done, Tom King seems to be building slowly toward what will hopefully be an explosive story. As a build up issue this isn’t bad and carries the momentum of the previous issue (for better or for worse) forward… but all I really want to read is the follow up to Batman #24, not an in-the-past-cstory. . Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

All New Wolverine #22 (Marvel) I don’t read as many things with the Guardians of the Galaxy as I probably should, because I always enjoy when they show up in other comics. Like this one. While I felt that they were the highlight, it was more to do with Gabby and Jonathan interacting with Rocket and Groot. As the first part in a three issue arc, it’s good enough to have me coming back for more. Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Unholy Grail #1 (Aftershock)* I picked this up purely because my LCS told me I may like it, but other than knowing it might be up my alley, I had no idea what the comic was about. King Arthur has always been a good way to hook me into the idea of a story, but I’m often picky when it comes to giving said story a try,so much so that had I known this was a tale based around Camelot I may have skipped it entirely  (I believe Bernard Cornwall has written the definitive take on the legend), but I’m glad I gave it a shot. The art is brilliant, and Cullen Bunn has written a deeply atmospheric tale, the extent of which hasn’t been fully revealed yet. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Stray Bullets #25 (Image/El Capitan)** – Flashback to a flashback. When heavy Spanish calexit-1Scott tells cool psycho Kretchmeyer “sometimes you’ve got to get your hands a little dirty,” he has no idea what he’s talking about. As always, David Lapham is a master of letting his characters do what’s absolutely worst for them even though they themselves think they’re on top of everything. And as we hit 700 pages (!) of “Sunshine and Roses,” every layer we peel off these characters just proves that old pulp hack Shakespeare right: “The worst is not so long as we can say, ‘This is the worst’.” Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 Calexit #1 (Black Mask) – Political thrillers and near-future dystopias are really tricky: for me, the barriers to suspension of disbelief are very high. You have to get the details balanced just right in order for the push into fiction to really send us flying off the rails. Push too hard and it means that you weren’t where you needed to be at the start. In short, Matteo Pizzolo has way too much pushing to do to justify the premise of Calexit. I mean, on page 1, he has President Trump speaking in complete sentences using words with two or more syllables. I buy Trump getting re-elected, but his syntax is egregiously mishandled and broke my trust in just a few panels. Never mind that we then get a psycho torturer guy with creepy glasses (who apparently also can order National Guard privates to commit atrocities) and a Steve Bannon lookalike who is not Steve Bannon. Which is too bad, because I think if Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan had stuck with the very charming rogue character of Jamil, the amoral courier with a heart of gold, I would have been down for anything. Clearly Nahuelpan loves drawing this guy because he has the only genuine expressions and body language in a book that is full of caricature. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #7 (Archie) – I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this dreadful delight. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack bring us the tale of Sabrina’s father, Edward Spellman – and it is just about as perfect as I can imagine an American horror comic to be, with just the right blend of sly and clever humour (the three witches in the hairdresser salon killed me) and actual horror. Robert Hack’s scratchy art (I take it he colors as well) reminds me of Hammer films and 60’s and 70’s paperback covers. This issue is a great jumping-on point and I am jumping on. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Deadpool_Kills_The_Marvel_Universe_Again_Walsh_CvrDeadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again #1 (Marvel) – In the debut issue of the sequel to one of the craziest series in 2012, returns with Deadpool being mind controlled once again to kill Marvel’s superhero roster. This time, he is being mind controlled by a team of villains that seem to have a few motives in play. His connection as an Uncanny Avenger has given him unfettered access to places where most villains can’t go, so his first victims, are 2 of his teammates. By the end of this first issue, we find out he has enough control to ask for help but not enough to stop killing. 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/1

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.

 


 

Ryan C

namwolf 1 ‘Namwolf #3 (Albatross)** – More goofy, cartoony madness from Fabian Rangel Jr. and Logan Faerber that breezily moves the story along with a minimal amount of dialogue, but plenty of gorgeously colorful art to feast your eyes on. An insubstantial read, but a fun one nevertheless, that sets things up quite nicely for next month’s conclusion. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read

No Angel #4 (Black Mask)** – Eric Palicki, Adrianne Palicki, and Ari Syahrazad put the wraps on their wildly up-and-down series (at least for now, we’ll see what happens) with another decidedly “down” installment that features a lackluster final battle, trite bow-wrapping, and rushed-looking art — all in service of a limp cliffhanger that sets up a sequel that’s probably not going to coming down the pike anytime soon. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Elektra #5 (Marvel)** – Speaking of lackluster concluding chapters that set up sequels few (if anyone) cares about, that’s precisely what Matt Owens and Juann Cabal have served up here. Who’s the real brains behind Murderworld? Prepare to be underwhelmed by that “revelation.” I enjoyed Cabal’s approximation of Jamie McKelvie’s art style, but other than that, shit — this mini-series went very far downhill, very fast. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass

Rebels: These Free And Independent States #4 (Dark Horse) – Protagonist John Abbott has a date with the War Of 1812 in the penultimate chapter of this latest arc in Brian Wood and Andrea Mutti’s “historical epic of America’s founding,” but to say things don’t go particularly smoothly for him is an understatement of staggering proportions. Another superb installment in this gripping, beautifully-illustrated historical drama that will have you on pins and needles waiting for the conclusion. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

beautiful canvas 1Beautiful Canvas #1 (Black Mask)  Okay, this comic has a lot of things I like: a badass take no shit hitwoman as a main character, a queer romance, well-choreographed action from artist Sami Kivela, and a splash of color from Triona Farrell. It’s like eating a dish with great ingredients that don’t mesh into a coherent, tasty eating experience. The main character, Lon, is definitely well-defined, but Ryan K Lindsay and Kivela jump around so often that it’s hard to get a read on the supporting cast. It’s like they’re trying to out David Lynch David Lynch at times. Maybe, I’ll give this one a second try when it’s out in trade. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

 

Patrick

The Dregs #4 (Black Mask)** – Writers Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler and artists Eric Zawadski (pencils, inks & letters) and Dee Cunniffe (colors) wrap up their story as Marlowe crashes the line at La Mancha, Vancouver’s trendiest new restaurant. In true noir fashion, Marlowe knows the truth, the bad guys know Marlowe knows, and it doesn’t make one iota of a difference. Except of course to Marlowe himself. The Dregs is a horror-filled take on gentrification which presents no solutions and no victories, only a kind of madness that makes the quixotic tilt at the windmill the only act of heroism possible. Arnold – Marlowe to me – is crazy, but I love this character and his world, and I would love to see him return. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Black Magick #6 (Image)** – As promised, Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott are back to show us who and what Rowan Black is up against. The first issue of the new arc takes us back to Rowan’s 13th birthday ceremony, where she awakens to the memory of all of her past lives – a very long and painful memory indeed. I love a good character study, and it was nice to see Rowan as a kid wrestling hard with the problem of how to do no harm in a world that seems to make special efforts to harm her and her family. Trying to figure out why to live by a code of justice that only seems to apply to her while letting the rest of the world off scot-free. Her mother’s assurances on that score ring absolutely hollow and are immediately proven to be objectively wrong (I won’t give it away) in a way that takes us out of character study and right back into the story we left off. Excellent work all around – I especially adored Nicola Scott’s portrayal of three generations of Black women, all individuals but at the same time clearly mothers and daughters. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

TPP_1_1024x1024True Patriot Presents #5 (Chapterhouse)** – Happy Canada Day, everyone! Chapterhouse serves up the latest installment of their anthology series. Red Ensign is a wartime Canadian hero with no special powers, much like Johnny Canuck. (The red ensign was the name of an unofficial Canadian flag used until we got our own flag in 1965). This is the opening chapter of a black and white movie serial featuring Nazi scientists and atomic secrets. Fun. Arrowhead is my favourite thing in the entire Chapterverse (the Avro Arrow was a 1960’s-era Canadian-made fighter jet, supposedly the most advanced plane in the world, and was never put into production for mysterious reasons). Here, a famous UFO sighting turns out to be a time traveller from the far future. Super fun! Dominion Jack is the daughter of the original (the official name of our home and native land was the Dominion of Canada, and July 1 was Dominion Day until 1982). This is a paint-by-numbers superhero-fights-supervillains-in-superjail story, with a standard melodramatic reveal. Crude is a tarsands monster, but it’s been several issues since we last saw it, and I completely forgot what this story was supposed to be about. Not that it was anything more than a Swamp-Thing-of-Fort McMurray (capital city of the Alberta oil sands). Nothing new, or even horror-genre-standard in either the writing or the art. Finally, the Family Dynamic, which stands out here as the only non-specifically Canadian heroes. They are elemental types in an okay superheroic story – but when they get a forest fire assist from Motor City’s Defender, media speculation abounds as to whether the Canadians are going to merge with their American counterparts. Ain’t that always the way, eh? It’s hard to rate an anthology, but the weak stuff (Dominion Jack, Crude) and the mediocre (Family Dynamic) really drags the good stuff (Red Ensign, Arrowhead) down. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read (I bought mine, but cheap on Comixology).

Shean

 Star Wars Droids Unplugged #1 (Marvel)– In this one shot, what feels like the Star Wars version of Lion King 1 1/2, we get three separate stories about the goings ons around the Empire. In the first one, we find out what the Probe Droids were up to when Darth Maul was not around.In the second story, we find out exactly what R2-D2 has to do to get ready for a mission. In the last story, BB-8 helps two rebels fall in love. Altogether, a fun lighthearted escape from the usual dire circumstances of the Star Wars Universe.
Overall: 10 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 (**).

Dark Horse Announces Their San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Exclusives

Dark Horse has announced its selection of exclusive merchandise available at San Diego Comic-Con International 2017. From amazing collectibles to variant covers by some of the most talented artists in the comics industry, Dark Horse has fans covered!

All exclusive merchandise will be available at the Dark Horse booth (#2615) for all of SDCC 2017. Please note, there will be a fixed number of exclusives set aside for each day of the convention.

Check out the full roster of Dark Horse’s convention exclusives, along with quantity and price, below!

Aliens: Dead Orbit #1 Dark Horse Convention Exclusive (Rafael Albuquerque)

$5.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per Person per Day

American Gods: Shadows #1 Convention Exclusive (Skottie Young)

$10.00
Limited Edition of 1,400
5 per person per day

Black Hammer #1 Convention Exclusive (Fábio Moon)

$10.00
Limited Edition of 1,400
5 per person per day

Game of Thrones: Faceless Man Coin Replica Pin Convention Exclusive

$13.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
10 per person per day

Halo: UNSC Vulture Ship Replica Convention Exclusive Team Red Edition

$50.00
Limited Edition of 300
2 per person per day

Henchgirl Dark Horse Convention Exclusive Hardcover (Kristen Gudsnuk)

$25.00
Limited Edition of 250
1 per person per day

Mass Effect: Andromeda Tempest Ship Replica Convention Exclusive Bronze Edition

$50.00
Limited Edition of 300
2 per person per day

The Witcher: Wolf Wall Sculpture Light Up Convention Exclusive

$60.00
Limited Edition of 500
2 per person per day

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