Tag Archives: Comics

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/14

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

FLS_Cv50_dsThe Flash #50 (DC)** – I guess this is a “landmark” issue, but you could have fooled me: same sort of lackluster Barry Allen vs. Wally West race around the world and through time comes to an end, the villain (Hunter Zolomon) gets away, angst-ridden wooden dialogue that would make Chris Claremont blush dominates the day — and all in service of one big character resurrection (or should that be “rebirth”?) that I can’t imagine anyone giving a shit about. Joshua Williamson has done some okay writing work, but not here, and the same is true of Howard Porter as far as the art is concerned. I’ve heard that people are enjoying this run — but I literally can’t see how or why. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass.

Superman #1 (DC)** – More a continuation of the sloppy, uninteresting “Man Of Steel” mini-series than a debut issue in its own right, Brian Michael Bendis is doing nothing but stage-setting here : Superman “grows” a new Fortress Of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle with no explanation, J’Onn J’Onzz uncharacteristically implores Superman to take over the world with no explanation, and at the end the Earth appears to have been swallowed up by the Phantom Zone — again, with no explanation. Ivan Reis’ art is competent, but that’s about it — which, as you can already tell, is more than can be said for the story. Overall: 2.5 Recommendation: Pass.

Eternity Girl #5 (DC/Young Animal)** – Magdalene Visaggio’s scripting on this mini-series has been up and down, but fortunately it’s ticking “up” again as we near the conclusion. Our protagonist appears to be getting close to realizing her goal of non-existence — but she’s about to “achieve” it in a decidedly involuntary fashion. Smart, sharp, philosophical dialogue and captions paired with Sonny Liew’s stunning, post-psychedelic art makes for a pretty compelling little issue, and I’m looking forward to seeing how all this wraps up. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Elsewhere #8 (Image)** – Sadly, Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kesgin’s lighthearted sci-fi series is being put to bed with this issue, but the story of Amelia Earhart and D.B. Cooper’s dimension-hopping at least comes to a pleasing, if obviously rushed, conclusion. One gets the feeling that there was a much longer story waiting to be told here, but on the whole I’m pretty satisfied with one we got — bright, crisp, lively art paired with a breezy, fun, smart script that doesn’t have any goal beyond simply being entertaining? I’ll take that — heck, I’d have taken much more of it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.


amazing spider-man 1 2018.PNGAmazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s debut on Marvel’s flagship title is funny, moving, and also is a mini Superior Foes reunion, which is never a bad thing. Other than the bad luck, worse jokes, and scientific know how, Spencer understands that having a good reputation is key to Spidey and Peter Parker’s character, which is why a plagiarism scandal connected to the days when Doc Ock’s mind was in his body hurts worse than an alien invasion. Dealing with real problems, like work troubles and bad roommate in this case, has been part of Spidey’s charm from the beginning, and Spencer and Ottley infuse plenty of that in their comic. On the visual side, Ryan Ottley gets to cut loose and draw epic, guest starred filled battles as well as potent interpersonal scenes like Aunt May being disappointed in Peter and a reunion with a major supporting character. And like a cherry on top, there’s a funny, melodramatic backup story starring Mysterio with art by perennial Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy.

Incredibles 2 #1 (Dark Horse) Incredibles 2 #1 is a collection of three stories mostly centered around Mr. Incredible penned by Christos Gage and Landry Walker with fantastic art by Gurihuru, J. Bone, Urbano, and Greppi. The first story is about Mr. Incredible not feeling as strong as he used to and transitioning from being a main superhero to teaching his kids how to be better superheroes. Gurihuru draws in a Disney Golden Book style so this story stuck with me the most. The second story by Gage and drawn in a more satirical style by J. Bone is Rashomon meets bed time stories as Violet and Dash press at their dad to find out the real, non-boring story of his old superhero days. And the final story is a beautiful, little one and done Jack Jack yarn as he uses his vast powers to save his new friend from an evil playground terrorizer. This story is a lot like a Pixar short film. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read

X-23 #1 (Marvel)– Mariko Tamaki and Juann Cabal’s first issue of X-23 has some snikty snikt action, good one-liners from Honey Badger, and leans on the whole clone thing more than ever with the introduction of the Stepford Cuckoos as Laura and Gabby’s foils. X-23 #1 is really a tale of two tones: a black ops mission against scientists who want to use Wolverine’s DNA to make super soldiers and then psychological horror with an interlude at the Xavier Institute. I love how Tamaki writes the “sister” relationship between Gabby and Laura and Cabal is good at clearly choreographed action and twisted psychic imagery so this is a fairly solid first issue. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read


The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – Nick Spencer returns to the fun writing he knew on Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and Ryan Ottley brings the cool character design he pulled off so well on Invincible. This is a good jumping on point Spidey fans. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Superman #1 (DC) – This is a good start to a new jumping on point with a whole new creative team. Reading Man of Steel that came out before this helps, but isn’t needed. This issue sets up some huge things going forward and it will be fun to see where it goes from here. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy

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

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

Review: Outpost Zero #1

Welcome to Outpost Zero, the smallest town in the universe. The people there work the land, go to the fights every Friday night, and tuck their children into bed-but the Outpost is no place for dreams or aspirations. To survive is ambitious enough. As Alea and her friends graduate to adulthood on a frozen world never meant to support human life, something stirs. Something sees…

Outpost Zero #1 is a prime example of how to world build in such a very short amount of time. Written by Sean Kelley McKeever, the series focuses on a distant town within a bubble on a frozen alien world. We learn of their arrival, tragedy, how it all works, and the characters within quickly and in such a way that’s entertaining and makes you want to come back for more.

What’s interesting is how the threat that’s coming builds. The story, you expect to go one way, but by the end it veers in another direction that’s unexpected. Yes, the comic has a Snowpiercer like vibe about it, but it has more than enough uniqueness that makes it stand out from that modern classic of a series.

But, what McKeever does that’s really impressive is gives us a bunch of characters that feel like they may be as home in Riverdale as they are on an alien world in a dome city. There’s nothing particularly sci-fi about the series in that it feels really normal in a way. An issue in and it all feels natural and that’s a good thing as it creates the focus on the characters and their interactions as opposed to some out there sci-fi plot… but that may be coming.

The art by Alexandre Tefenkgi with color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu is really good with each character being very unique with lots of personality just in their look. But, there’s also subtle body language that tells the reader about what’s going on as much as the dialogue itself. It’s a great example of show, don’t tell. That applies to Outpost Zero itself where we get a sense of what’s happened through all of the detail added throughout, a crack here and there tells us more than some extraneous dialogue.

This might be a story about an alien world where a dome may fail and everyone dies from freezing to death, but it also stars characters who are focused on what’s next in their lives and what their role in society will be… and relationships with each other. As I said, put this in any-town America and the story could work, even the freezing weather aspect. There’s a grounded aspect to it all that makes it stand out as a series I can’t wait to read more of.

Story: Sean Kelley McKeever Art: Alexandre Tefenkgi Color: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Farmhand #1


Jedidiah Jenkins is a farmer—but his cash crop isn’t corn or soy. Jed grows fast-healing, plug-and-play human organs. Lose a finger? Need a new liver? He’s got you covered. Unfortunately, strange produce isn’t the only thing Jed’s got buried. Deep in the soil of the Jenkins Family Farm, something dark has taken root, and it’s beginning to bloom.

Creator Rob Guillory delivers a brand new series in Farmhand that feels like it shares a lot with his previous Chew. Both are dark comedies with a quirky twist on the current world.

In Farmhand #1, a son returns to the family farm with a family of his own in tow. It’s an attempt to mend bridges with his father Jedidiah as well as his sister. What he discovers is a farm unlike which he left. It’s now a tourist destination where science has gone sinister with agriculture growing organs and body parts, all lead by his father. In the process of the family reunion, someone breaks into the farm leading to the real meat of the series. What secrets is Jedidiah Jenkins hiding at his farm? What horrors await? Farmhand builds on a weird and twisted mystery like Chew did and that’s a good thing. The formula works, roll with it.

The art style by Guillory, with color by Taylor Wells, manages to balance the macabre with the a small town, down home farmer lifestyle. The art shows off the strange nightmares of the farm creating a world that’s both full of wonder and horror. There’s something very off about it all but the style in which it’s all presented creates a comedic tone no matter how dark it gets. It never goes fully dark that way.

The first issue sets up a fascinating world and a mystery that’s exciting to see what comes next. Guillory has a style all to his own in both look and tone and this comic delivers on that. A twisted and weird debut that has us coming back for more.

Story: Rob Guillory Art: Rob Guillory
Color: Taylor Wells Lettering: Kody Champerlain
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Skybound Announces a Surprise Release with Die!Die!Die! Out Wednesday

In a shocking move, Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment dropped the first issue of an all-new series by comics titans Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, and Chris Burnham, with colors by Nathan Fairbairn and lettering by Rus Wooton, titled Die!Die!Die! which will be available for sale tomorrow.

Die!Die!Die! promises to be a blood-soaked, no holds barred, action-packed, irreverent story that fans won’t be able to rip their eyes from. We live in an evil world where evil people do evil stuff all the time and Die!Die!Die! lifts the veil on a secret cabal within the United States government that influences world matters through targeted assassination. The world around us is manipulated right under our noses, mostly for the better… but sometimes for individual gain, and sometimes for the fun of it.

So if you’re hurting people, somehow making the world worse than it already is, or even just standing in the way of something good happening… someone could right now be giving the order for you to… DIE!DIE!DIE!

Die!Die!Die! #1 is available in stores tomorrow. Don’t miss it!

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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

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

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – Dan Slott’s historic run is done and we’ve got a new creative team headed up by writer Nick Spencer. While Spencer has stumbled a lot lately, in numerous ways, his work on Superior Foes of Spider-Man was excellent. If we get more of that, then this will be a great run.

Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing) – Nate Powell’s new graphic novel. That’s all you need to know to say you need to get this.

Farmhand #1 (Image Comics) – Rob Guillory gave us some interesting concepts in Chew and it sounds like this one, a farmer who grows organs, will be just as off the wall.

Disney Pixar’s Incredibles 2 #1 Crisis Midlife & Stories (Dark Horse Comics) – Love the movies? We’re excited to get more of this world.

Mech Cadet Yu #10 (BOOM! Studios) – If you haven’t been reading this series, giant mechs and their kid pilots fight aliens, then you’ve been missing out. Enjoy the battles and drama or dive deeper into the concept of a military that uses children and aliens to do battle. It’s layered and so good.

Oblivion Song #5 (Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics) – Much like Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Oblivion Song is about the characters and how a world has changed than the threat. It’s about trauma and PTSD. It’s so far fantastic.

Outpost Zero #1 (Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics) – Skybound has been putting out some fantastic new series and this one sounds like an interesting one about the smallest town in the universe.

Ruinworld #1 (KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios) – A new fantasy series that just looks awesome.

She Could Fly #1 (Berger Books/Dark Horse Comics) – The new Berger Books series focuses on a mysterious flying woman who suddenly explodes. Who was she? The concept sounds really intriguing and we want to find out more about this mystery.

Superman #1 (DC Comics) – Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman run really kicks off with this new ongoing series and the first issue picks up the pieces of The Man of Steel.

Transformers: Lost Light #20/Transformers: Optimus Prime #20/Transformers: Unicron #1 (IDW Publishing) – IDW’s end game for Transformers is beginning. We’ve been big fans of their entire run and can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.

Voltron: Legendary Defender Vol. 3 #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – Fan of the animated series? Check this out! It’s a great new take on the classic toy and animated line.

X-23 #1 (Marvel) – She’s back to being X-23 and we want to see where this new series takes Laura and how it makes her again stand out from the pack.

Preview: Port of Earth #7


Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist / Cover: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Published: July 11, 2018
Diamond ID: MAY180226
Age Rating: T+

As Earth Security Agents Rice and McIntyre pursue an alien assassin and push the boundaries of their protocols, they find themselves facing a dangerous choice: will they be the first humans to enter the Port of Earth?

Gideon Falls Gets a Director Cut this September

The first issue of the breakout hit, Gideon Falls, from the creative team behind Green Arrow and Old Man LoganNew York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning writer Jeff Lemire and critically acclaimed artist Andrea Sorrentino—will now boast a very special Director’s Cut edition.

After selling out on multiple print runs, Lemire and Sorrentino team up to bring fans Gideon Falls #1: Director’s Cut—a must-have for enthusiasts of the hot new series. This explosive first issue will be printed in glorious black and white to showcase Sorrentino’s masterful inks and will feature Lemire’s never-before-seen first issue script.

Gideon Falls is a series that explores the lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets. At the heart of the town’s secrets is the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.

Gideon Falls #1: Director’s Cut (Diamond Code JUL180231) will hit stores on Wednesday, September 19th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, August 27th.

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.


Batman50CoverMr H

Batman #50 (DC) Not many times does a comic bring out such emotion but wow. I feel like this could be Tom King’s masterpiece. This was fantastic from beginning panel to end. The way countless artists and creators were woven in, was so fitting considering how they have had such an impact on Batman’s history. The simple elegance of a secret rooftop wedding was genius. In a medium where most fictional weddings are over the top fiascos this was so nice and refreshing. I loved the double story narration throughout from both Bruce and Selina. Having doubted their true connection, Tom King has made a believer out of me. If Batman is to marry anyone, it has to be Catwoman. I believe that now. There was no over the top villain showdown but a definite surprise ending. This book had me mulling and contemplating true love. Rarely does a comic bring this kind of emotion out of me. There were a couple beats that did it though. I cannot say enough good about this book. It lived up to all the hype and I am so happy it did. Overall: Incredible. Tom King pulled another miracle out of his hat and it had nothing to do with Scot Free. This was all aces from me. Still astonished how well it was done. Score: 10/10 I’d give a 20/20 If I could.

Ryan C

Dark Ark #8 (Aftershock)** – Continuing the recent and highly successful storytelling trope of alternating between “past” and “present” that this series has settled comfortably into, Cullen Bunn deepens the mystery considerably in this issue while offering some tasty, if not exactly surprising, revelations to balance things out while Juan Doe, for his part, offers one stunning, eye-popping image after another, including a couple of double-page spreads that will absolutely knock your socks off. One of the best books that no one is talking about. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.

dark ark 8.jpgThe Man Of Steel #6 (DC)** – Ho-hum. Brian Michael Bendis “ends” the “threat” of Rogol Zaar with predictable Deus Ex Machina nonsense, the dangling subplot of the arson fires is left that way, and Lois and Jon are temporarily ushered out the door by means you’ve seen coming for at least a couple of issues now. Jason Fabok’s art is perfectly competent in a “New 52”-esque sort of way, but all I can say about this at the end of the day is “thank Rao it’s over with.” Overall: 3. Recommendation: Pass.

Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)** – Kinda dumb, kinda fun, but probably leaning more toward the dumb, Donny Cates goes the pure set-up route with his script here, which is fine, but the fireworks — assuming any are to be had — will probably kick in next issue when the Immortal-Spirit-Of-Vengeance version of Frank Castle starts tooling around the cosmos with Baby Thanos. Dylan Burnett’s art is fine, but in fairness he’s no Geoff Shaw. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

The Grave Diggers Union #8 (Image)** – With one issue left to go, Wes Craig kicks things into high gear story-wise with pathos and family drama necessarily overshadowing the comedic elements for this installment, while Toby Cypress matches the mood with some great, horrifying, highly idiosyncratic artwork. If you’ve been enjoying the series so far you’ll find a lot to like with this one — and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy.


cosmic_ghost_rider_cover_1Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)– Cool concept of Frank Castle being brought back from the dead by Odin to become the Ghost Rider in outer space, pretty funny overall. The story feels like if Bruce Campbell played Groo The Barbarian met Hells Angels in outer space . Was expecting a more serious take , but hopefully the 2nd issue fulfills the promise of the premise. As far as how good this first issue is, it’s mainly alright, not great.
Overall: 6 Recommendation: Borrow


I Hate Fairyland #20 (Image)** – The final issue of Skottie Young’s rampage through this muffin hugger. Gert faces off against Dark Cloudia with the Hearts of the Council – then faces off against the Council. Not a bad way to go out – but not great, either. If I had had my heart’s desire, it would have been that Young had used his last arc to really dig into what makes Fairyland fun and Gert’s wishes to escape. Still, I look forward to the possibility of seeing more of the adventures of Larry, Duncan Dragon, and company, and I’ll miss Fairyland. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy. 

The Kurdles Adventure Magazine 1The Kurdles Adventure Magazine #1 (Fantagraphics)** – This is the brainchild of artist Robert Goodin, intended to be a “kid-friendly comic magazine”. Featuring the adventures of a grumpy unicorn, a concerned teddy bear, and the star of the show, a kindly pentapus named Phineas, Goodin’s work is charming and funny – though I think my 6-year-old would find it a bit dull (so many words!). His one-page stuff is great. Guest artists include Cesar Spinoza (Pacho Clokey, a b&w cartoon in a photographed world), Andrew Brandou (with a take on Paul Bunyan and Babe that’s kind of fun), and Cathy Malkasian (the brilliant “No-Body Likes You, Greta Grump”). The book is almost worth the price of admission just for the 5-page “Forbidden to Love Him!”, starring Phineas Pentapus, an absolutely pitch-perfect 50’s romance comic. And I mean perfect on every level: the plot, the dialogue, the art, colouring, lettering, and print effects. This is a little masterpiece. Do I really have to wait a whole year for the next issue? Overall: 8 but Goodin’s material is a solid 9. Recommendation: Buy.


Catwoman #1 (DC) In one issue, Catwoman shows that it’s one of DC’s most beautiful books with art that is both grotesque and well-rendered by Joelle Jones and a palette from Laura Allred that stays in the shadows. Jones’ story isn’t too bad either as Selina is trying to reinvent herself in Villa Hermosa, Mexico, but her peace of high stakes gambling is broken up by copycats in Catwoman costumes killing cops. The initial villain is pretty freaky: kind of like a female Peter Thiel, and I look forward to more rooftop chases and gorgeous architecture and fashions from Jones and Allred. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Assassinistas01Assassinistas #6 (IDW/Black Crown) Sure, the final issue of Tini Howard, Gilbert Hernandez, and Rob Davis’ mini has daring escapes, sniper shots, and even retro flashbacks. But it’s also the forging of a family as it’s revealed that Dominic does have a relationship with his father, and that Octavia is still coming to terms with coming out as gay. However, by the time, the finale rolls about, his boyfriend Taylor is outwitting the series’ villain Blood Diamond, and the day is saved by an unexpected source. Assassinistas #6 has it all: a quirky family dynamic, retro aesthetic, and lively cartooning from Hernandez. 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 (**).

The Walking Dead Day’s Collectible Blind Bag Editions Artists Revealed

Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment have announced the full list of Walking Dead Day blind bag variant artist covers as well as offer fans an enticing sneak peek at a selection of exclusive Walking Dead Day swag that will be available at participating comic shops.

This year’s Walking Dead Day, on October 13th, in celebration of the series’ 15th anniversary, will feature collectible blind bag editions of milestone issues from Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s Walking Dead Day.

Fans will enjoy a surprise when they purchase any of the Walking Dead Day Blind Bag editions. Each of the following issues will be available to purchase as a blind bag item, where customers have a chance of opening one of multiple trades dress variants (color, color virgin, black and white, and a black and white virgin) of each iconic issue. Covers will retail for $3.99 each and the final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, July 9th.


WALKING DEAD DAY SPECIAL giveaway issue by Kirkman and Adlard, featuring a cover newly re-colored by Dave McCaig. This special issue contains four short stories featuring Michonne, The Governor, Morgan and Tyrese, and explores these fan-favorite characters in-depth.

WALKING DEAD DAY Walker mask swag

WALKING DEAD DAY Postcard swag


WALKING DEAD DAY Bookmark swag

After Descender Comes Ascender from Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

From the powerhouse creative team behind the bestselling, award-winning DescenderJeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen—launches an all new series set in the same universe, Ascender. The Descender story’s not over and this new ongoing series is set to recapture fans’ hearts and imaginations in 2019.

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, in Ascender the machines have gone away, and in their absence magic has reclaimed the universe. Now one girl must embark on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, TIM-21, before it’s too late…

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