Tag Archives: Comics

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/15

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.


Ryan C

CemetaryBeach_01-1Wildstorm: Michael Cray #11 (DC/Wildstorm)** – This series has been an up-and-down ride, but with one issue to go, writer Bryan Hill and artist N. Steven Harris (with assists from Nelson Blake II) are ramping up toward what should at least be an interesting conclusion, as the Cthulhu-esque entity that’s been “sharing” protagonist Cray’s mind makes its presence fully felt. The finale will determine whether or not sticking with this one all the way through was a smart move, but for the time being it looks like it may just prove to be. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cemetery Beach #1 (Image)** – The “Trees” team of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard re-unites for this sci-fi mystery thriller, and while I’m hesitant to get too wrapped up in this series given that their last one was essentially abandoned at the midway point, I have to admit that everything you want in a first issue is here : an inventive premise, strong characterization, crisp and dynamic art, plenty of action, and even some laughs. If they see this one through,who knows? This might just be something special. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

MCMLXXV #1 (Image)** – Blaxploitation meets kung-fu/ninja hijinks in this wildly fun debut from Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan, and while slowing down to think about what’s happening here reveals plenty of holes in the book’s internal logic, the good news is that the fluid, action-packed story — complete with some seriously great fight scenes — doesn’t give you a chance to even catch your breath, much less exercise your gray matter. A fantastic protagonist and an authentic mid-’70s New Tork “vibe” round out this impressive opening shot across the bow from two consistently-interesting creators. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

The Wicked + The Divine #39 (Image)** – I’d been really cool toward this arc in Kieran Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s long-running series, feeling that it marked the point at which style finally overtook substance in the proceedings, but the last two issues — particularly this one — represent a complete 180 as surprises and consequential events aplenty are thrown at us fast and furious. Suddenly, I can’t wait for the final chapter in this saga, and everything going on between the comic’s covers feels new, fresh, and important all over again. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

catwoman_3_5b993db5572f27.31025934.jpgCatwoman #3 (DC)– In Catwoman #3, Joelle Jones and guest flashback artist Fernando Blanco spend a little time on the backstory of the series’ villain, Raina Creel, who runs the town of Villa Hermosa. It’s tragic and filled with sex, lies, and power as Raina is a great counterpoint to Selina using her status as a “trophy wife” to run the town behind her husband’s back. The rest of the comic shows Selina pushing herself to the limit falling through broken glass onto a sports car and then still being able to prance on rooftops to make a mysterious appointment after a quick dip in the tub. Jones’ art continues to be the real draw of the series, and she can convey strength, weakness, or innocence (I think Selina’s host Carlos has a little crush on her.) through a glance, facial line, or body twitch. There’s something about Catwoman and crime thrillers that is just exciting, enjoyable, and a little tragic. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Cemetery Beach #1 (Image)– Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s new series Cemetery Beach is all action and no bullshit as a fast talking, should be faster running pathfinder and his badass assassin companion are on the run from a secret offworld colony’s goons and guards. Howard’s cartooning is splotchy and dynamic, and Ellis lets him cut loose with all kinds of shoot outs, explosions, and vehicular chases. There’s a bit of worldbuilding via witty banter at the beginning, but this is minimalist action storytelling at its most bombastic. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Patrick

Mage: The Hero Denied #12 (Image)** – As the series progresses, I find myself zeroing in on just what it is that isn’t working for me, and it’s this: Kevin Matchstick doesn’t know MageTheHeroDenied_12-1what he wants to fight for. If what he really wanted was to have a quiet life as a family man, he’d completely ignore the Questing Beast and say that a King doesn’t Quest. If what he really wanted was to save his family, he would be tracking down his wife and kid with unstoppable relentlessness, marshalling every iota of power at his command. If he really was a King, he would be moving heaven and earth to save his kingdom and his family and his people. I would hope, after the end of this issue, that the powers that be will smack Matt Wagner upside the head with a copy of The Hero With A Thousand Faces and get this book on some kind of track. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Proxima Centauri #3 (Image)** – After the last page of last issue, I was ready for Farel Dalrymple to go deep. Alas, I was sorely disappointed with the ease with which Parasol and Sherwood dispatched of the little blue bots. And just when I thought that the kind of slacker vibe of this series was going to take a turn into something more interesting and powerful. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Skip

The Seeds #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)** – In this installment of Ann Nocenti & David Aja’s near-future SF noir, intrepid reporter Astra gets over the Wall and into the Zone to where tech isn’t allowed… except for a price. The revelation of this chapter is handled so casually that it actually enhances the creepiness of this book. Every page is like a trigger warning for people suffering from environmental collapse anxiety, and there is a panel on page 27 that almost made me burst into tears on the subway. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Hey Kids| Comics! #2 (Image)** – Howard Chaykin continues to frustrate me with his BD à clef about the American comics industry. On the one hand, as someone who, as a young writer, couldn’t square my love for comics and my disgust for the comics business, I appreciate Chaykin showing how casually and cruelly people got utterly fucked over. On the other hand, Chaykin’s scattershot approach doesn’t get us deep enough into any one character to really make these fuckings-over the kicks to the balls I want them to be. It may be that this betrays my desire for a certain kind of justice, whereas Chaykin may just be able to square (or at least tolerate) his desire for justice with his intimate knowledge of how the businesses of both comics and movies work. Either way, if Chaykin would straight up put out a book about Gil Kane, that’d be swell with me. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #2 (Top Shelf/Knockabout)** – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill are not playing around. Jimmy B., the new M, hums a certain famous theme song and is everything horrible about the British Empire; Hugo Danner gets headbutted into oblivion on page 3; we get a double-page spread of Nemo’s Lincoln Island; and at the end, another casual holocaust. We are heading for a confrontation between the white supremacy of Bond and the diverse coalition of Nemo, and I can’t help but worry that the former are in the driver’s seat. Overall: 8.5 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 (**).

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!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Archie 1941 #1 (Archie Comics) – Archie hasn’t been one to dive into real world issues but this new series takes on the Riverdale kids as the US ramps up for World War II. A great concept that should be something new and interesting.

Cemetery Beach #1 (Image Comics) – Warren Ellis and Jason Howard team up again and the creative team alone has us interested in this series about a professional pathfinder.

Crowded #2 (Image Comics) – The series about a world driven by apps and jobs driven by them, including one that allows you to buy assassinations, is great so far. That ending of the first issue had us even more excited for what’s next.

Fantastic Four #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was amazing and a fantastic return for Marvel’s first family. We want to know more about where everyone’s been over these years.

House of Whispers #1 (Vertigo/DC Comics) – The Sandman universe is back and we’re intrigued to check out this second series to spin out of it.

Iceman #1 (Marvel) – The first volume was great and writer Sina Grace will hopefully recapture the magic of it.

Infinity Wars #3 (Marvel) – Folks don’t seem to like events but they keep buying them. This event has beaten our expectations and so much better than any of the lead up.

Journey Into Mystery: Birth of Krakoa #1 (Marvel) – We’re hoping for a throwback to the weird sci-fi comics of the past.

Low Road West #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A nuclear strike has left the East Coast uninhabitable and five teens are sent west away from the wreckage that was their home. They’re stuff in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and are fighting to survive. The concept sounds fantastic and we’re completely sold on it.

Marvel Rising Omega #1 (Marvel) – DC’s Superhero Girls has been a fantastic line and we’ll see if Marvel can pull off that magic with their own characters.

Mech Cadet Yu #12 (BOOM! Studios) – The series wraps up and has been amazing every step of the way. We want more!

MCMLXXV #1 (Image Comics) – Meet Pamela Evans. Much more than a typical Manhattan cab driver, she also happens to be a badass monster-fighter who wields an enchanted tire iron. Well ok then!

Moth & Whisper #1 (Vault Comics) – The city’s best theives has disappeared and been replaced by their daughter?! The concept sounds very interesting and definitely unique!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – The classic television comes to comics. Will it translate? We’ll find out!

The Nameless City Vol. 3 Divided Earth (First Second) – An excellent all-ages graphic novel series that mixes fantasy with martial arts.

Newbury & Hobbes #1 (Titan Comics) – The mystery novels come to comics.

Poser #1 (Waxwork Comics) – A horror slasher story with a music twist and it has an original soundtrack? Yeah, we’re sold on this one.

Ruinworld #3 (BOOM! Studios) – The first two issues of this all-ages fantasy series has been fantastic so we’re excited to read more of this webcomic turned physical comic.

Welcome to Wanderland #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A new twist on fairytales and the coming of age story.

The Wrong Earth #1 (AHOY Comics) – The kick-off series to the new comic publisher, this sendup of superhero comics has us excited. AHOY has promised more to their comics and this is our first chance to see what that’s all about.

WWE NXT Takeover – Proving Ground #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Wresting fan? Then this is a must!

Review: Call of Duty Zombies 2 #1

The year is 1910, the place is Morocco, and there is a job that needs doing. The man to do it? A commanding officer in the French Foreign Legion. The prize? An artifact of unspeakable power. The price? More than he bargained for.

I’m a bit conflicted about Call of Duty Zombies 2 #1. While the zombies are a bit scarce, the comic itself reminds me a lot of Indiana Jones.

Written by Justin Jordan, the first issue is the set up for what I expect to be zombies at some point. Instead, we get a man hiring an officer in the French Foreign Legion to get an artifact. Decrease his age, give him a whip and a fedora, and the issue would remind me a hell of a lot of a certain classic character.

The issue is far from what I expected, it being a Call of Duty comic and also featuring zombies. Much of that is on me as I haven’t played a Call of Duty game in some time and expected more of the storytelling we get in that series. Your expectations may vary.

But, what’s presented is good and it’s entertaining. So much so, I’d love to see Jordan take on Jones in a new comic series. The issue is good with the set up of wherever it’s going and feels like a solid archaeological focused adventure.

The art by Andres Ponce, with ink by Mauro Vargas, and color by Dan Jackson fits the story perfectly. The style evokes the time and characters well and designs are solid. Again, there’s a certain whip carrying character that it all would look well with.

Despite it not being what I expected, again on me as much as anything, the issue is an adventure that you just don’t see in comics much. It’s fun, it reminds me of a certain someone I’ve mentioned a few times now, and it has me wanting to come back and see where it goes. Don’t expect zombies in this one but do expect a fun and entertaining pulp adventure.

Story: Justin Jordan Art: Andres Ponce
Ink: Mauro Vargas Color: Dan Jackson Lettering: Nate Piekos
Cover Art: E.M. Gist
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.90 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For July ’18

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for July


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 100 for July’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.


 

Oh S#!T It’s Kim & Kim #1 (Black Mask)
July Sales Rank/Units Sold: 396/1,932
Why You Should Read It:
Because according to Joshua Davison this “is a wall-to-wall joyride with two fantastic leads, a wicked sense of humor, and high-energy storytelling style. Magdalene Visaggio never ceases to impress me with her storytelling acumen, and Cabrera and Aguirre do excellent work on the art.” I just had a blast reading it.

Donald & Mickey Quarterly Treasure Menace In Venice (IDW)
July Sales Rank/Units Sold: 377/2,319
Why You Should Read It:
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of something different in your comics reading. Especially if you’re more inclined to longer, darker stories the likes of which you don’t get here because it’s Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.

Old Man Jack #11 (Boom)
July Sales Rank/Units Sold: 314/3,608
Why You Should Read It:
Are you a fan of Big Trouble in Little China? Do you enjoy the idea of a spoof of Old Man Logan? Then you may want to dig up the first issue and give this a go.

Dark Souls: Age Of Fire #3 (Titan)
July Sales Rank/Units Sold: 283/4,232
Why You Should Read It:
The Dark Souls series is one of my favourite videogame series out there, but as with any licensed property translated to comics I approached this with some trepidation. Now this isn’t going to blow you away, but it will entertain. Especially  fans of the games.

Quantum & Woody #8 (Valiant)
July Sales Rank/Units Sold: 261/4,885
Why You Should Read It:
Eliot Rahal has taken this series to new levels since taking over scripting duties a few issues ago, and while he has kept the sense of fun and wonder, the comic feels less goofy than it has done previously. Almost as if it’s a love letter to nostalgia…


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Stranger Things #1 Gets a TFAW Babs Tarr Exclusive Variant

The nostalgia-igniting hit Netflix original series Stranger Things comes to comic shelves this September. Follow Will Byers into a dimension of decay and destruction where he must use his wits and resolve to dodge the pursuit of the Demogorgon and escape the Upside Down.

Things from Another World has an exclusive variant from Babs Tarr that you can order now. Their site is the only place you’ll get this cover.

Stranger Things #1 is out September 26th, 2018.

 

 

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Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/25

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.


Joe Hesh

FF_COVERFantastic Four#1 (Marvel) Finally its here! Dan Slott brings me back my favorite Superhero team of all. I know this came out weeks ago but life and excitement got in the way. First off I think Sara Pichelli is a very underrated artist. She was terrific on Ultimate Spider Man and does great on Marvel’s First Family here. Everything looks crisp and vibrant thanks to the art and colors. Where I’m happy most though is Dan Slott. In his first outing he just gets these characters. The emotional beats and the light heartedness dance back and forth well. Now is this a blockbuster first issue? Welll… no. However this was a much appreciated partial return for me. Over the years the FF work best at family driven moments. They are a family first and heroes second. Continuing on that theme, the moment I enjoyed the most was **spoiler** Big Ol Ben Grimm proposing to the long time love of his life Alicia Masters. Of course I might have enjoyed it a tad more because I had just gotten engaged that week and it struck a chord with me. The part with Ben asking Johnny to be his best man was fantastic and so was Johnny’s reply. That’s the real key to getting the FF right is the family drama and story. Just everything was spot on and I enjoyed the back up as well and looks like we will be getting a Doom true to form again shortly. Not every issue has to be Galactus but with that said FF welcome back and bring on Galactus! This was a great first issue and I can’t wait till next month to call the Four! (Now I have the cartoon theme song in my head) Score: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

black hammer aod 4.jpgMother Panic: Gotham A.D. #6 (DC/Young Animal)** – Jody Houser and Ibrahim Moustafa are in full wrap-up mode here, clearly rushing things to a overly-convenient (but at least well-illustrated) conclusion. Not a bad read, but one is left with a deep and abiding sense of “huh, what was all that for”? Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read if you’ve come this far, otherwise pass

Days Of Hate #7 (Image)** – Thank goodness for Danijel Zezelj’s extraordinarly moody and cinematic art, because all that Ales Kot does in this kick-off installment of this series’ second arc is tread water. No progress, just stage-setting and re-introductions of characters who are only slated to be around for 12 issues, anyway. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Redneck #14 (Image/Skybound)** – Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren are really putting the petal to the medal in this arc, and it’s pretty dizzying how the Bowman family’s entire situation has done a complete 180 in a very short time. The art continues to be grim, gritty, and great, and the story unpredictable and fun. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #4 (Dark Horse) – Okay, in absolute fairness, Jeff Lemire’s script for this issue is nothing but ramping up to its cliffhanger, but damn — what a cliffhanger it is! And Dean Ormston’s art continues to be incredibly atmospheric and keenly focused on his characters’ humanity. Shit’s getting really great here — and it was already pretty great to begin with. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

The Punisher #1 coverAvengers Wakanda Forever #1 (Marvel) In the finale of this event, we get a final showdown. As Nakia becomes dispossessed of the Mimic creature, thanks to T’Challa , she fulfills her duties as the Dora Milaje one final time. As we find the Avengers fighting a mimic copy of She Hulk, the Dora Milaje looks to end this evil being once and for all. By book’s end, a fateful sacrifice ensures the end of the cewarj and safety of the city but ends bittersweet for all. Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Punisher #1 (Marvel) In what I can surmise as a reboot, fans get the the gritty Frank Castle that they deserve in this hard hitting debut issue. As we pick up right at the end of The Punisher’s work for Hydra and Baron Zemo as he carries out a round of assassinations to move things in Hydra’s favor. His contentious relationship with Baron Zemo, finally is on its last straw, as Frank takes matters in his own hands and starts atoning for the evil he had a hand in. By issue’s end, Castle seemingly has taken out a powerful figure and a manhunt is on its way for his head, definitely feels like the action movie the character deserves. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Venom #5 (Marvel)– Apparently, Venom can fly and has dragon wings in the latest issue of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s sleeper hit Venom. The war against the symbiote god, Knull, continues, and Eddie realizes he’s literally not alone in this fight joining up with Vietnam War era Venom host, Rex Strickland. Stegman and inker JP Mayer’s artwork continues to be deliciously gooey with spreads and transformation reminiscient of Todd McFarlane’s best early work while Cates taps into pure existential horror in his writing. From the early pages where he almost lets Miles Morales become street pizza onward, Eddie struggles with control, but finds cameraderie in the most unlikely places. Grotesque trappings aside, Venom #5 might actually be a comic about friendship. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

AC_Cv1002.Manapul_varAction Comics #1002 (DC)– Action Comics seems like a book more in line with Brian Michael Bendis’ talents with its web of street level mysteries, criminals, and journalists plus a dash of humor and strained relationships. Patrick Gleason brings a high level of detail and naturalism to his artwork beginning with the title page of Clark Kent’s workspace to the shadows of Mr. Strong’s lair and the sloppiness of the dive bar where Kent goes undercover to find info about the mass arson in Metropolis. Bendis and Gleason also use this issue to build up the threat of the Red Cloud, particularly in a searing single page splash where Alejandro Sanchez’s crimson colors show her taking out street level hero, the Guardian, in one fell swoop. And all this is nice, but best of all, Action Comics #1002 advances the plotline everyone has cared about since the beginning of Man of Steel: what’s the deal with Clark and Lois’ relationship. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Mother Panic Gotham AD #6 (DC/Young Animal)– Jody Houser, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Jordan Boyd’s run on Mother Panic comes to a close with fights, emotions, and great uses of grids. The fight between Violet and Arkham Knight costumed Jason Todd shows that sometimes we fall short in living up to our hero’s legacy, and Houser wisely takes an empathetic route with Jason as he renounces his Bat-cult and finds healing with Mrs. Paige. The fight between Violet and her brother and the Collective doesn’t end so smoothly with sharp colors from Boyd and painful flashbacks. It’s a cathartic sequence, and Houser and Moustafa continue to make good use of the Bat-characters (Mr. Freeze in this case for maximum feels.) without having them overwhelm Violet’s personal journey. This arc is all about Violet Paige remaking herself for a literal new era, and Houser, Moustafa, and Boyd deliver giving her a big win and leaving room open for them or other creators to do a third volume. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy

Ashley

The Life of Captain Marvel #2 (Marvel) – While not many answers are given in this issue, Carol’s journey to learning more about herself is just beginning. With a little bit of awkward flirting with an old crush and hard conversations, we do learn that Marie Danvers was well aware of Joseph’s infidelity and that she couldn’t stop the fact that her husband was looking for more. The emphasis on “more” in the issue definitely harkens back to the way Helen Cobb said it in Kelly Sue Deconnick’s first issue, so I’m definitely putting a pin in Margaret Stohl’s choice of words there. The art is once again beautiful with Marguerite Sauvage’s black and white flashback to Joseph’s funeral and Carlos Pacheco’s entire page of Carol on the moon are worth the price of the comic alone. The suspense racked high in the final pages though, so I am all in for #3. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: 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 (**).

Explore Miloš Slavković’s Science Fiction Romp Lightstep this November

Dark Horse Comics invites you to explore writer-artist Miloš Slavković’s science fiction romp Lightstep. Alien worlds, a star-spanning empire, and technology about which we can only dream, combine to tell a story of secrets hidden in the transmissions of a radio drama from Earth thousands of years ago, and a woman whose date with destiny is about to send a ripple through the cosmos.

The galaxy is controlled by a race of elevated beings who live out their lives on accelerated “Lightsepped” planets—where a single day spans a lifetime on other worlds. Lightstep follows January Lee, a woman of royal descent, whose “divine illness” reveals to her the lies of her ancestors who founded the empire. Banished from her home into the void, an unexpected rescue sets January on a course to redeem her heritage and change the galaxy forever.

Lightstep #1 (of five) goes on sale November 21, 2018.

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!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Archie Meets Batman ’66 #2 (Archie Comics) – The two worlds collide in a fun adventure that really works in the first issue. We didn’t get a lot of Batman/Archie action but it looks like this issue will get us there.

Batman #53 (DC Comics) – This storyline has focused on Bruce Wayne on a jury to decide if Mr. Freeze is guilty after Batman pins him to a murder.

Crowded #1 (Image Comics) – In the future, it runs on an economy of job shares and apps and someone has targeted an individual who then hires the lowest-rated bodyguard to protect her.

Edge of Spider-Geddon #1 (Marvel) – Spider-Verse round 2 is what this sounds like as the multiverse’s Spider-people come together once again.

Extermination #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s big X event that has something to do with the original X-Men… we’re intrigued and hoping this is a return to the great events of the past.

Fence #9 (BOOM! Studios) – A comic about fencing!? Add in a little drama and this comic has quickly become one of our favorites. This is a great example of looking at what others are doing, in this case manga sports comics, and bringing it to Western audiences. Fantastic all around.

Hellicious #2 (Starburn Industries Press) – The first issue of this series was hillarious in a nice twisted way. Short take: little girl who’s a demon and likes to torture things. As we said, twisted.

Infinity Wars #2 (Marvel) – The lead up series left us wanting but the first issue of Marvel’s summer event really caught us off guard in a good way. We’re excited to see what happens next and honestly, we have no idea where this one is going.

Injustice vs. the Masters of the Universe #2 (DC Comics) – We expected a fun first issue but not one with so much depth and thought. Will the second issue be a repeat and continue to surprise? We’ll find out!

Pearl #1 (DC Comics/Jinxworld) – Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld comics are now being published by DC and this new series he’s back with long time collaborator Michael Gaydos. We’re beyond excited.

Ruinworld #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was adorable, fun, and funny, and we’re excited to read this second issue of this webcomic that has come to print!

Tongues #1 (Fantagraphics) – Anders Nilsen series taking place in the modern Middles East following the entwined stories of an imprisoned god, the eagle that is his jailor, an east African orphan on an errand of murder and a young American with a teddy bear on his back, lost in a trackless wilderness. Revenge, evolution, the fate of the world… and a talking chicken.

Terminator: Sector War #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Terminator series and with a new film in production, we’re excited for what’s to come!
Undocumented (Abrams Comicarts) – The story of immigrant workers who come to the United States without papers. A timely graphic novel we’re excited to see humanize this reality.

Volition #1 (Aftershock Comics) – It’s the not too distant future where a race of robots has spawned but are second class citizens. They struggle for equal rights but a virus threatens all artifical life.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/11

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.


 

Ryan C

eg6Eternity Girl #6 (DC/Young Animal)** – Certainly not a bad ending to this six-parter, but not an entirely satisfying one, either. Magdalene Visaggio pulls some Grant Morrison-esque “Lords Of Order/Lords Of Chaos” stuff out of her hat for a quick resolution that actually probably didn’t need the Deus Ex Machina as things were ramping up quite nicely without it, but other than that she wraps things up nicely enough — and Sonny Liew delivers his most eye-popping art yet with inventive page layouts, emotive facial expressions and body language, and some cool “Kirby-tech.” A fun little ride that comes to a fun little conclusion, but nothing like an essential buy. Overal: 7 Recommendation: Read

She Could Fly #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)** – The crown jewel in Karen Berger’s new crown so far, this engrossing four-part series is just getting better and better as it goes along. Christopher Cantwell’s complex script sees its disparate components begin to dovetail together this time out, but as intriguing as that all is, it’s the human core of the characters that makes this such a compelling read — well, that and Martin Morazzo’s gorgeously-detailed, crisply fluid art. Stunning stuff. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Lowlifes #3 (IDW)** – This fun little crime/noir series seems to be flying under the radar for the most part, and that’s a shame because it’s really solid, gripping stuff. Brian Buccellato’s crooked-cop drama takes a major twist in this penultimate installment after lots of shoe leather is spent tracking down leads, and Alexis Sentenac’s gritty, street-smart artwork is just plain perfect for this type of material. Can’t wait to see how this one wraps up! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Daygloayhole Quarterly #2 (Silver Sprocket)** – Ben Passmore’s post-apocalyptic fable is quite possibly the most visually imaginative thing going right now, every page containing a plethora of utterly unexpected, and in many cases hitherto-unimaginable, delights for those with a warped bent to their tastes. This issue definitely has its stomach-churning moments, but that’s all part of the fun, and everything is undergirded with a deliriously deadpan sense of humor throughout. If I said comics got much better than this, I’d be lying. The best six bucks you’ll spend this week, probably even this month. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

 ASM2018003 colAmazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel) Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley riff off both the original, kind of good Clone Saga and Spider-Man 2 in Amazing Spider-Man #3 where Peter Parker gets hit with a genetic splitter, and his clone gets all his superpowers and possibly more. Sure, Spider-Clone gets to punch a giant robot in this comic, but Ottley gets the opportunity to draw Peter in his civilian life bowling with MJ and some friends. He doesn’t have powers, and he’s okay with because maybe he can live a good life for once, have good relationships, hold down a job etc. Of course, it’s not that easy. Although Spider-Clone has Spidey’s ability to pop culture quip (The Arrested Development revival is his target.) and kick butt, there’s possibly something missing from him, and Spencer and Ottley keep this on lock just enough to hook you for the next issue.Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

 Hot Lunch Special #1 (Aftershock)– In Hot Lunch Special, Eliot Rahal and Jorge Fornes craft a fairly straightforward crime story set in the world of Midwestern prepackaged sandwiches. They don’t really settle on a protagonist just yet darting from different perspectives and make the creative choice of using a kid’s school report as exposition. This aforementioned kid gets caught in the crossfire eventually, and the intersection of mob warfare and ordinary suburban Midwestern life could pay dividends down the road. In his art, Fornes vivisects the page like the bits of bone and meat leftovers that go into the Khourys’ sandwiches and finds some disgusting juxtapositions between mass produced food and human slaughter that sets the book apart from your middle of the road crime yarn. Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

Titans #24 (DC)– Warhammer novelist Dan Abnetti indulges his fantasy roots in Titans #24 as the Titans face off against a failed fantasy novelist’s, Ernest Hinton’s, former creations. There are plenty of epic battles scenes to be drawn by artist Brent Peeples, including Beast Boy transforming into a unicorn, and FCO Plascencia uses a downright, demonic color palette. But the comic isn’t just hacking and slashing, there is the continued presence of the Titans’ Justice League liaison, er, babysitter Miss Martian, who keeps vetoing the team’s decisions and almost lobotomizes Hinton to take him out. Her pragmatism runs afoul of Raven’s empathy and leads to negative consequence even though the team “wins” the fight. Abnett also includes some great thoughts about escaping into a fantasy world when the real world is tough and the connection between creator and creation all in a fairly good superhero team comic. Oh, and the villain is a bisexual elf lord that hits on Nightwing so that’s fun. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Detective Comics #986 (DC)- Detective #986 has a definite middle chapter, but Bryan Hill bolsters it with emotionally honest writing of Cassandra Cain to go with Philippe Briones’ kick ass fight choreography. This comic has a standard, stop the bomb action plot, but the real tension comes from the interpersonal clashes along the way. Barbara Gordon isn’t used to being benched so she lashes out at Black Lightning when he is mad at her at sending Cass to fight Karma. Speaking of Black Lightning, he has one great hero moment in Detective #986, and his metahuman abilities stop a threat that might have been too much for the Bat-family. All the while, Batman himself continues to get his ass handed to him and only escapes with some trickery and misdirection. The brutal, close quarters fights are really good in this comic even when the plot stalls out. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read

Patrick

HeyKidsComics_01-1Hey Kids! Comics! #1 (Image) – Howard Chaykin returns with a look behind the scenes of our favourite industry, a subject he knows intimately. Interestingly, he chooses to spin his tale in non-linear fashion, hopping from 1967 to 1945 to 1965 to 2001, covering a lot of ground, starting with Broadway and ending in Hollywood. It is of course graphically sharp, and the storytelling is characteristically brisk, witty, and snarky. It’s also interesting that he chooses to include in what could have a been an all-white male cast a black man and a woman. But this is a roman à clef, and if you didn’t already know the stories of Matt Baker, Flo Steinberg, Gil Kane, Siegel & Shuster, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby et.al., I think you would easily get lost. Without a central protagonist, the main character is the American comics industry itself, which is a pretty big forest to get lost in. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Joe

Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel) – There has been so much hype and waiting for this series that it could have disappointed greatly. Really, the first issue didn’t need to a do a ton, but just give us back the fantastic family so many of us love, and then set up some new wild adventures through dimensions, time, and space. Well, this issue mostly does that, and the ending is wonderful. Slott and Pichelli seem ready to take on the huge task of handing Marvel’s first family with a great set-up and some fun art that works for the FF_COVERseries. This is a fantastic first issue. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

The Sandman Universe #1 (Vertigo) – You always worry about such a classic series continuing without the original writer, but I am happy to say Gaiman has put this universe in some good hands so far. It may be only one issue to set up the four series that are coming, but each one of them left me with mystery and left me wanting more. The main story is such an interesting premise that I won’t spoil, and I am dying to know what is happening, and why the main character made choices he may have made. I am absolutely on board. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Superman #2 (DC) – We are now a few issues into Bendis-Supes (BendiSupes?) and I am enjoying it. There is more set up in this issue that sees the Earth in The Phantom Zone, the return of the new big bad from the Man of Steel mini-series, and Lois and Jon still off somewhere with Clark’s father, with no way to communicate with them. It was really good to see Supes vulnerable, yet so focused on his task in this issue. For a moment you can see a worried father and husband, but he quickly snaps back his attention to fix the massive mess he and The Justice League are in as his friends and all of humanity need him now more than ever. This is when Supes is at his best. A heart of gold, and a fist of steel. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Plastic Man #3 (DC) – I enjoyed the previous two issues more than this one, but it still had some fun moments. As always with Plastic Man, the forms he takes and sight gags are sometimes the best moments, and I am happy to report some of those are ridiculous and fun. The ending sets up something pretty potentially great for the next few issues that should hopefully wrap this mini-series nicely. Overall: 6.5 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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/28

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

BM_Cv52Mister Miracle #10 (DC)** – With just two issues to go after this one, Tom King and Mitch Gerads make the curious decision to tread water, basically showing Scott and Barda ruminating over the last installment’s cliffhanger for 22 pages, before they finally launch a fairly basic plan to get out of the jam they’re stuck in that they could have come up with in just a few minutes. This series had a lot of potential at the start, but the downhill trajectory of the story (the art is still great) simply can’t be ignored at this point. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass

Batman #52 (DC)** – Speaking of Tom King, he’s doing an okay job milking a clever, if gimmicky, premise with this little arc — Bruce Wayne gets saddled with jury duty and uses it to undo a wrong he committed as Batman — but it feels like a single-issue story spread way too thin. Lee Weeks’ art is more than solid, as usual, especially in the fight scenes with Mr. Freeze, but this isn’t anything more than competently-executed stuff, and with this book now carrying a $3.99 price tag while still coming out twice a month, readers deserve better. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Xerxes: The Fall Of The House Of Darius And The Rise Of Alexander #5 (Dark Horse)** – Thank God this is over. Frank Miller’s health has been poor (although apparently improving recently), and it shows in every confused, sloppy page of this comic. His compositions are haphazard, his scripting lifeless and uninspired, and his figure work slapdash and harried. Dark Horse should have just paid Miller a “kill fee” for this rather than allow him to publicly embarrass himself like this. The whole debacle really reflects more poorly on them as a publisher than it does on Miller’s diminished skills, which really can’t be helped at this point. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass

The Quantum Age #2 (Dark Horse) – I’m reasonably impressed by how thoroughly Dark Horse has managed to “franchise out” the so-called “Black Hammer Universe” while maintaining the quality of both the main title and all its various and sundry spin-offs. In the second issue of this futuristic take on the characters and concepts we know and love, call-backs to the present day abound while the main narrative moves forward at a very pleasing clip. Jeff Lemire’s script is simple and tight, Wilfredo Torres’ art is perfect for the material — this is a comic firing on all cylinders. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

The-Raid-1-preview-2-600x911Justice League #5 (DC)- In easily the best issue of this sadly average series, James Tynion and Doug Mahnke unfurl the curtain on why Lex Luthor went from reluctant heroism in Action Comics/No Justice/other Rebirth appearances to pure villainy in Justice League. It involves a trip to the future, all kinds of daddy problems, and plenty of nods to the Superfriends cartoon. Justice League #5 adds scaffolding and personality to all the crazy concepts in the first four issues of JL, and Mahnke does it in his usual blockbuster fashion. Having a fully engaged, fully evil Lex and Gorilla Grodd at the height of their powers is a pure thrill ride of id. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Batman #52 (DC)– Tom King, Lee Weeks, and Elizabeth Breitweiser continue their jury room deconstruction of Batman in Batman #52 that turns into a confessional when Bruce Wayne admits that sometimes he feels the grief and pain of loss (His parents, Selina etc.) and goes too far. He spends the issue putting his detective mind to work and showing that there’s reasonable doubt in the case, and maybe Batman isn’t infallible. I find it really interesting that King and Weeks portray Batman in the eyes of ordinary Gothamites as a kind of unbeatable badass like he is to many people through pop culture. Weeks continue to excel on the art front from the subtle shifts in body language during the deliberations to the more stylized beatdowns as Batman beats Mr. Freeze to a pulp, and Breitweiser’s palette is just black and crimson. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy

The Raid #1 (Titan) Ollie Masters and Budi Setiawan’s comic set in the same universe as the cult martial arts action film has plenty of visceral action, nine panel grids, and an overload of red from colorist Brad Simpson. It’s a pretty cut and dried fight comic. Nothing terrible, but nothing fancy. Overall: 6 Verdict: Pass

Captain America #2 (Marvel) After an action/conspiracy packed first issue, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu slow down a bit and get meditative about Steve’s feelings on the whole Secret Empire ordeal and all the super soldiers springing up after him. The army of Nukes that keep popping up at inopportune times aren’t just cannon fodder to show off Yu’s action chops, but reminders of his not so shiny legacy. In addition to this, Coates gives Steve and Sharon Carter a fantastic chemistry they haven’t really had since the Ed Brubaker days as they deeply care about each other even though they’re on opposite “sides” of an issue. On a more shallow note, Leinil Yu’s take on Steve Rogers is very hot. Overall: 7.8 Verdict: Read

Patrick

StrayBulletsSNR_37-1New Teen Titans vol 9 (DC)** – With “The Terror of Trigon” from 1984/85, we see the end of the Wolfman/Perez era, and, as I’ve written elsewhere, the end of the story of Raven and her team. Robin has become Nightwing; Kid Flash has retired; Wonder Girl has found her true identity and gotten married. So what happens when Titans’ Tower is gone and our teen heroes are acclaimed as the saviours of New York? We take a breather, go camping and share their worries and fears as they renew the bonds of their friendship, in a very nice story. Then we are treated to a run with art by the great José Luis Garcia-Lopez where we tie the mysterious Lilith to the Titans of Myth – which could have been a really great run if Wolfman could have just focused on it. Instead, we get the introduction of not one, but two characters who do absolutely nothing for the story: the (so far) unnamed alien angel guy and Kole. Without them, we have an absolutely epic battle of titans and gods that nicely resolves the first Titans of Myth story from NTT #12 and sets up a group of corporate 80’s villains that could also have been quite interesting. I think that Wolfman could honestly have spent the next couple of years just wrapping up and developing all of the storylines and characters from the first five years of the series. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy (you can never have enough JLGL art)

 Stray Bullets #37 (El Capitàn/Image)** – Is this the end for Orson, Beth, and Nina? Orson and Beth hit the road to make a deal to save Nina, and along the way, Beth has to confront her own bad self (who seems to be talking to her through Orson’s car radio). Once they do rescue Nina, Beth knows that it’s only a matter of time before safety turns into boredom, and that the person the gang most needs rescuing from is Beth herself. And that takes everyone literally off the beaten patch and rolling into a ditch. David Lapham, ladies and gentlemen. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy 

Bubba Ho-Tep #2 (IDW)** – Elvis and the team move into their new, and of course haunted, headquarters, and we get a sense of what’s going on and the price that has to be paid. As the King sang, what I needed in this was a little less conversation, a little more action: there is a lot of talk and explanation and setup here, without actually going and exploring this house and everything that has come to nest there. I basically like what writer Joshua Jabcuga and artist Tadd Galusha are doing here, but this issue is too passive and padded for my taste. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Pass

The Seeds #1 (Dark Horse) – Ann Nocenti and David Aja. Oh, not enough for you? Fine then. Astra is a journalist on this side of the Wall, trying to sell enough clickbait to her outlet to finance a trip to the other side. On the other side? They say they’re neo-luddites with no tech. But they may be something else entirely: something collecting the seeds of humanity. Nocenti’s always-remarkable writing here is pure noir: terse and gritty and tense. And David Aja’s art is extraordinary: not only in his signature chiaroscuro style, but his storytelling and character acting are compelling, drawing us into the emotional worlds of the people at the heart of a thousand-ideas-a-minute story. Absolutely compelling and a must-buy. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy.

Mr. H

mrmiracle_10.jpgMister Miracle #10 (DC Comics) I will say it again. Tom King manages to put out masterful work on these pages. The way he is able to make these Gods have every day problems and relate to our humanity, is astounding. Mitch Gerards is so very talented but King’s words really transport me. I love the layout of the book. This is by far my favorite issue yet. You feel like Barda and Scott are real life people and not just all powerful beings. The way they have to choose between relinquishing their only child to stop all out war is heartbreaking. It puts Scott at such a loss that he even opens to a complete stranger behind the counter just to get a possible piece of advice. You really get the sense that it is the hardest choice one would ever have to make. I like how it calls our own humanity into question. If this was your child would you keep him or surrender him so the lives of countless others can be saved? We are all going to have different answers and interpretations here. That’s the hallmark of great comics. It really matters to each one different. I know what choice I would make and would hope God would have mercy on my soul. I love everything about this issue. The dialogue, pictures, little Easter eggs here and there and of course the Batman cake because what kid even that of a god doesn’t like Batman. Overall: This is the book I’m taking on a desert island. Art: 10 Story: 10 Score: 10. There is nothing wrong about this book. Buy it, buy it

 



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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