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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.
Norse Mythology #1 (Dark Horse)– Retellings of Norse myths with punchy prose from Neil Gaiman and wonderful art from P. Craig Russell, Mike Mignola, and Jerry Ordway makes picking up this comic a no-brainer. Russell handles layouts, scripting, and draws the first story, which establishes the Nine Realms and Yggdrasil in glorious fashion. Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart draw the second story, which is both weird and archetypal, as Odin sacrifices his eye to gain wisdom. A burst of red really emphasizes the pain he feels. Finally, the book wraps up with Ordway drawing a humorous story of Thor, Loki, and dwarves. He, Russell, and Gaiman have fun with the rivalry between brothers, and there’s even a cliffhanger. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy
Getting It Together #1 (Image)– In Getting It Together, Sina Grace, Omar Spahi, Jenny D. Fine, and Mx. Struble service a fun genre that gets no love from monthly comics: slice of life. Grace and Spahi craft an HBO dramedy-worthy premise of a messy breakup, but the couple share a best friend/sibling named Jack that makes it even messier. They also distract from the heterosexuality for a minute to have a fun, if kind of painful subplot as Jack’s date turns out to be totally shady. Fine and Struble are a versatile art team who can do everything from high energy rooftop gigs to passionate sex scenes and especially interpersonal conflict. Getting It Together is a comic that looks good, has interesting relationship dynamics, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy
Champions #1 (Marvel)- After long delays, Eve Ewing and Simone Di Meo’s incarnation of the teen superhero team, Champions, is here, and it’s honestly worth the wait. The cast of characters is sprawling, but Ewing wisely uses Miles Morales as a POV character to show how the outlawing of teen vigilantes affects regular teens in the Marvel universe. And, then, she and Di Meo get down to the action featuring a mixed bag of panels with interesting shapes and “camera angles” that don’t clearly show the fighting moves and superpowers. However, premise and plot-wise, Champions comes off as a more intelligent and progressive take on Marvel’s Civil War with Ewing (Via Kamala Khan) wisely writing that sometimes older generations don’t understand what younger generations want or need. She even throws in some clever moments like all the “good” superhero mentors being taken, which makes sense because a good hero like a good teacher or professor sadly has limited time in their day. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy
Adventureman #4 (Image)– Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson’s pulp pastiche-meets-domestic drama comes to a crescendo in Adventureman #4. Our protagonist, Claire, has been acting a lot more like the titular hero from expanding physically to helping hapless tourists and showing superhuman abilities. The Dodsons’ art matches this energy and also provide a glimpse at why she is behaving this way as well as a possible solution at protecting reality from something straight out of Gnostic writings. (Or a Grant Morrison comic.) I feel like “hypercaffeinated” is a good descriptor for Adventureman #4 as Fraction and the Dodsons introduce concepts, flashbacks, and character at a mile a minute pace. It’s overwhelming at times, but has kinetic art and solid foundational themes like found family and being forgotten being worse than death as reality and the Connells/Adventure Inc starts to bridge together. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read
Marauders #13 (Marvel)– Vita Ayala and Matteo Lolli craft a really exciting Storm solo comic as she takes a little road trip to Wakanda to get the Skybreaker sword for her upcoming fight with the Arakko. Marauders #13 captures all the sides of Ororo’s personality: thief, goddess, hero, mutant, and African woman. Ayala also writes one hell of a Shuri as she paints a pretty bleak picture of what removing the Wakandans’ most sacred happen would do to her family and the country. Conversely, Storm not taking the sword would be the end of Krakoa and (let’s get dramatic here) the world. Lolli’s art for the conversational back and forth is serviceable, but he really hits a new level for the bittersweet heist that Storm pulls with speed lines, lightning blasts, and a look of disappointment on both Ororo and T’challa’s faces when they realize what she’s done. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Marauders #13 (Marvel) – The strongest chapter of the X of Swords event mostly because there’s some meat here. An issue focused on Storm’s retrieving her sword from Wakanda, the most interesting aspect is the moral/political issues it brings up. The comic is a lot of debate between Shuri and Storm about the priorities of a nation and “best interest” with some potential long term impact. A rather blah caper is wrapped up in a debate about national interests. The art is a little all over but the depth of the comic and it’s underlying theme is what stands out. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Rise of Ultraman #2 (Marvel) – What exactly is Ultraman? For those unfamiliar with the classic manga/anime property this issue gets things really going and explains the missing pieces of the first issue. It also sets up some mystery and conspiracy as to who the heroes really are. For someone new to the property, I’m digging it. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2 (IDW Publishing) – I really enjoyed the first issue of the series but this second issue falls into problems Liefeld comics tend to have. The concepts are much better than the execution. There’s potentially some great stuff here but the story is a bit choppy, nonsensical at times, and mostly about the visuals. There’s also an issue of designs that feel like they’d fit right at home with his work on X-Force and Youngblood. All these years later, they’re a bit dated. Though, red suit Snake Eyes looks pretty cool. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Wolverine #6 (Marvel) – Wolverine’s quest for his sword begins here and then continues in X-Force. It’s a drawn out at times confusing issue that feels like it’s delaying getting to the interesting stuff in the next chapter of X of Swords. You could skip this issue and not miss much at all. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
X-Force #13 (Marvel) – The second part of Wolverine getting his sword is much more interesting than the first part of Wolverine #6. The issue has some interesting interaction between Wolverine and his foe as we learn more about Solem who might actually be a challenge. It’s clear at some point Solem will get a face turn and become someone who’s in Wolverine’s orbit as a side character, their interactions are too good not to. But, overall, this just shows that this part of X of Swords could have been wrapped up in an issue instead of spread out in two. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
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 (**).