Tag Archives: Comics

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/21

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

Batman #15 (DC) What a pile of horse shit. This series is up and down the quality scale like deadpool_the_duck__2a fiddler’s elbow; when it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s not… man, I’d rather pluck my nose hair than read this again. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Deadpool the Duck #2 (Marvel) I’m surprised again by how much I’m enjoying this series. It’s a good laugh that doesn’t take itself too seriously (which is good, considering the subject matter), and yet hasn’t evolved into outright foolishness. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Kill Or Be Killed #5 (Image) It’s been a couple of months since we last had an issue of this series, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed reading about Dylan, the every man who made a deal with a demon to keep killing people (most of whom deserve it). The narrative in this issue does bounce a little, but that’s more due to the style of the narration than a failing on Brubaker’s part; I loved it, but I understand why others aren’t as fond. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Monsters Unleashed #1 (Marvel) Much like an 80’s action movie, this is enjoyable enough. But there’s no real plot to speak of yet beyond what you literally get from the title. Personally, I’d hold off till the trade and find out if it’s worth giving a shit over then, because this isn’t exactly great. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass (for now)

Venom #3 (Marvel) The star of this comic has become the symbiote, not the union between man and symbiote the comic is named after, and I absolutely love the way that Mike Costa is bringing a healthy dose of characterization to something that was essentially just a costume change. By binding the symbiote’s fate to someone more comfortable living in the morally grey area than the previous host Flash Thompson was, we’re also getting a cracking story to boot. Overall:8 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Monsters Unleashed #1 (Marvel) – Though I have not loved everything Marvel has done lately in their events (though I enjoy Clone Conspiracy and IvX so far), I was excited for monsters_unleashed_1_francavilla_variantthis, even if part of me was ready to be let down. First of all, I want to say the art, and the large page spreads of our heroes fighting these massive monsters as civilians run in fear is awesome. So is the idea that a kid is bringing these things to life by drawing them. But for an issue that costs $4.99, you don’t really get a lot. The entire issue is setup, and while first issues should contain that, I felt there should have been a lot more. We never get much time with any group of heroes. Instead the book spends its time hopping around and highlighting the current teams. It isn’t bad, but it also isn’t good. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Dept. H #10 (Dark Horse) – The wonderful slow burn or should I say flood of Dept. H continues. The art, as always in this book is fantastic. My anticipation is through the roof on finding out who did it in this who dun it. You won’t get that answer here, but you do get quite a big reveal as we look into another characters past, and their relationship with Hari. This is a solid entry in the series. The tension has been raised again, and the cliffhanger should make things even more interesting. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1 (DC) – This is another weekly comic in the buildup to Steve Orlando’s upcoming JLA series. In this comic, we get a very tragic origin story for Ray, a boy who had to live his childhood locked away from everyone but his mother due to what she described as an allergy to light. Orlando does a great job showing the tough life The Ray lived as a child, and some of it is heartbreaking. By the end of the book, The Ray gets to know who he is, and is done hiding, both as a hero, and in his personal life. The comic does a great job echoing some of the issues in our country, and ties them in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Clone Conspiracy #4 (Marvel) – I have enjoyed this event so far. It has been crazy to see what Slott has done, and while some do not enjoy it (I understand why), I have. This issue really ramps things up, and actually surprised me in how far Slott went. It will be interesting to see the next issue and how this event ends, especially with Ben Reilly back as The Scarlet Spider, which Marvel just announced. Things get very dark here, but the fast paced story telling and awesome art really made it work. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Batman #15 (DC)** – Tom King and Mitch Gerads wrap up their little two-parter with another issue that’s visually stunning, but decidedly humdrum to read. “Bat” and “Cat” profess their love for one another while keeping plenty of things (though not their identities) secret. We’ve seen this done before, and we’ve seen it done better. Maybe we were all expecting too much from King, but it’s time to be honest — not only is this series massively disappointing, by and large it’s not even particularly good. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

black_panther__world_of_wakanda__3Black Panther: World Of Wakanda #3 (Marvel)** – I give Roxane Gay a lot of credit for re-introducing modern readers to the notion of “thought bubbles” (which I still maintain can be very useful narrative devices), but here she inserts them into panels where it would be much better to let the visuals alone do the storytelling, and the result is a rather forced-feeling “quantum leap forward” in the love story between our two largely well-written protagonists. Alitha E. Martinez and Roberto Poggi continue to deliver art that I would classify as “average at best,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates gets top billing on the cover credits despite being nothing more than a “consultant” on the book, which is a real screw job to the people actually doing the work. I would expect better from a progressive writer/academic, but like a lot of people, it seems he can check his politics at the door when it comes to cashing a paycheck. Oh, and I trust we all saw that Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has “graduated” from merely being yet another onerous Trump supporter to actually being a part of the guy’s administration — how much longer can left-leaning creators continue to work for this company in good conscience? But I digress. On the whole I’ve enjoyed this series more than I was expecting to — and certainly more than the main “Black Panther” title — but this was a decidedly sub-par installment. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Lucifer #14 (DC/Vertigo)** – Richard Kadrey steps in as writer and not only doesn’t he miss a beat, he’s got these characters down cold. Sure, his scene transitions could use some work, but on the whole this installment gave me the old “Vertigo feels” that are getting to be in far too short a supply these days. I enjoyed the early issues of Holly Black’s run, but she seemed to be losing interest in the project as it wore on, and given that we’re stepping into a major new story arc that sees the Lucifer/God rivalry, as well as events in Hell, upped yet another notch, the change to a new scribe couldn’t have come at a better time. Lee Garbett’s been killing it on the art, so I’m pleased to see that he’s sticking around as visual continuity is a big plus for this series. Oh, and Mazikeen’s scarcely ever been better than she is here. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Postal #17 (Image/Top Cow)** – Really good to see this book back on the stands after a couple-month hiatus, and it looks like Bryan Hill’s shifting his script into high gear with this issue, which sees Mark elevated (by his mother’s dictate, of course) to the office of mayor in Eden, Wyoming, while the mystery of what became of the town’s — and Mark’s — father accrues some intriguing new layers unto itself. Solid art from the always-reliable (and, crucially, always- improving) Isaac Goodhart rounds out another more-than-pleasing chapter in this continuing epic. And yes, it’s safe to call it that at this point, absolutely. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

the_mighty_captain_marvel__1Batman 66 Meets Wonder Woman 77#1 (DC)– Both the Batman TV show from the 60s and the Wonder Woman TV show from the 70s, captured the world’s attention in reruns as a kid of the 80s , this exactly how I found out about them. So when I heard that they were doing crossover between the two in a comic . Props goes out tot he creative team for including Eartha Kitt’s version of CatWoman and the involvement of Ras Al Ghul , as they have taken advantage of all the tools at their disposal. This comic more than sort a look , it deserves the world’s attention. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

The Mighty Captain Marvel#1 (Marvel)-when writers attempt to do meta in their stories , it can come off as superficial but thankfully this wasn’t the case with this book. In this issue, we find Carol Danvers in the midst of her celebrity as she on the set of a movie based on her life . As tongue in cheek this setup is, the story still finds time to setup allegory with refugees, instead of humans , they have aliens, some of who are Kree. By issue’s end, the reader realizes the stakes are high and a ELE might be on the horizon. 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 (**).

Curse Words #1 Heads Back to Print

Bestselling writer Charles Soule and artist Ryan Browne’s Curse Words has cast its spell on the comics industry, launching yesterday to overwhelming critical and fan praise. In order to keep up with increasing customer demand, Curse Words #1 is being rushed back to print.

In Curse Words, a wizard has appeared in New York City, and he’s casting wonderful spells, getting famous, getting rich—it’s great! But it’s not. This wizard has everyone fooled. He is actually an EVIL WIZARD, and EVIL THINGS are on the way. Curse Words is a gonzo modern fantasy, full of darkness, light…and MAGIC.

Curse Words #1, 2nd printing (Diamond code: DEC168140) will be available on Wednesday, February 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, January 30th.

curse-words-1-2nd-printing

The Few #1 Goes Back to Print

Image Comics has announced that the debut issue of the hot new series The Few by Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman has been rushed back to print.

In a dystopian future, two survivalist brothers stumble across an unlikely sight: a woman asleep in the woods, holding a gun and a baby wearing a gas mask. Bent on lending her their help, they find that nothing is as it seems: betrayals, secrets, and revelations abound in the fight for what’s left of America.

The Few #1, 2nd printing (Diamond code: DEC168139) will be available on Wednesday, February 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, January 30th.

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Review: The Few #1

the-few-cover_The Few #1 is an aptly named straight-forward post-apocalyptic story that excels by focusing on exactly what it means to be. There is no convolution, attempts to break the genre. It hits the ground running and by committing to simplicity in its debut issue delivers the promise that it knows how to capture the fear and threat other such stories miss.

The story follows Edan Hale as she feels masked-men ordered to kill her and the baby she’s been entrusted to her. The biblical themes, such as a refugee baby, mass-murder and ruler named Herrod, would be confusing if it the story lingered on them even a few moments longer. However, they create a more familiar story so that this one can focus on moving forward.

What is truly appealing about this book is it’s minimal color scheme, sepia tones against a faded red. The color choices by artist Hayden Sherman create a style that allows it’s take what would be an exceedingly recognizable beginning and causes it to stand out, adding to the drab grit of the world. The line work is dynamic and engaging and creates a more involved read.

The story moves quickly and instead of making it’s debut-issue front-heavy with exposition, it demonstrates what people can expect in terms of violence, stakes and pacing. Keep in mind, it’s very difficult to do a first issue. Sean Lewis crafted this premiere to be a strategic bit of entertainment and pulled it off nicely.

Fans of The Walking Dead will love this fast-moving, bloody story. Not just for the familiarity but how it uses brevity to keep the reader moving. This is 48-pages that race by.

Story: Sean Lewis Art: Hayden Sherman
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick Healy makes pins, writes stories and distracts people from working. Check out more of his work here.

Wednesday Comic Rally: Mayday #3

mayday-3It feels like all too often we’re lamenting how our favorite comic series got canceled due to lack of sales and interest. That’s where Wednesday Comic Rally comes in. The point is to spotlight comics that we as a community should be rallying around and most importantly purchasing to make sure they’re here for quite some time.


Three issues in, it’s not too late to check out Mayday by writer Alex De Campi and artist Tony Parker.

A Cold War action-thriller like no other. It’s 1971, and two young Soviet operatives are sent to California to kill a defector and recover top-secret information. As the mission falls apart into a mess of good sex, bad drugs, and ugly violence, the young Russians are faced with a dilemma: they need to rely on each other to escape America, but they must betray each other to survive Russia.

Mayday isn’t just a slick Cold War comics, it’s also a period piece in a time that you just don’t see too many modern comics set. That creates a unique experience that’s currently like no other monthly comic on the market. Parker’s art is fantastic as well giving us at times trippy visuals that nail the vibe and feel of the time period.

It’s a combination that comes together for a fun time and entertaining read that you won’t find anywhere else.


This is where you come in. You can buy Mayday #3 now! It’s available at local comic shops and you can find yours. For those without a local shop you can buy it digitally through comiXology, Kindle, or physical copy at Things From Another World.

Have a comic you think we should be rallying around? Send us a message and maybe it’ll be featured in an upcoming post.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Kill or Be Killed #5

killorbekilled_05-1It feels like too long since we have followed the nail-biting and tense adventures of Dylan. Thankfully, Kill or Be Killed #5 gives us a new entry in the fantastic crime drama from the best team in the business. If you have not read the first four issues, this week also gives us the release of the first volume, collecting those. So if you have not caught up yet, you should, because this series is fantastic.

This issue is good, I just do not think it was as good as the first four. That isn’t a bad thing, as it does a lot to set up the next arc within the overall story, and it does cover some solid ground. The story is moved ahead a few months, and we see Dylan training to defend himself, how his relationships have changed with his friend and the girl that he loves, an old flame, and his next target. Overall, this issue is a solid entry in the series and moved things forward a bit. We will see how much that pays off, but I trust Brubaker as a storyteller.

The story is told by Dylan as the narrator as if he was telling a friend everything that had happened the last few months. There are a lot of oh and then this happened moments that makes the story hop around, and I felt it didn’t have the usual flow of the comic that I enjoy. Again, it isn’t a bad thing, it just felt different, and I had gotten used to the intensity and the craziness that Ed Brubaker has given us so far. That isn’t to say there isn’t any of those moments because the book-ending moments of this comic left me with my jaw hanging open. Things ramp up very quickly for Dylan, and you get left with a cliffhanger. I need to know what happened here, and I do not want to wait.

killorbekilled05-review3Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser continue the rock solid artwork in their pulp style which surprisingly really works well in this modern setting. The layout is fantastic too, as there are pages that allow Brubaker to write some prose down the sides of the artwork. It is a nice detraction from how the traditional comic page can be and makes the book stand out aside from the fantastic story. The panel work is also fantastic and helps show emotion or action from our characters sometimes without the need for dialogue or narration. It is effective storytelling and compliments Brubaker as they have so many times before.

Kill or Be Killed is a series that you should check out. If you like crime dramas, thrillers, and gritty street justice, then this book is for you. You are following the story of a man who is figuring everything out as he goes along, and you feel like you are on the journey with him. He makes mistakes, especially in this issue, and the reader can vicariously live through him. How long can he keep this up? And if he stops, will he truly die like the demon told him? If that last question makes no sense to you, then you should buy the first volume that releases the same day as this issue and catch up.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Curse Words #1

cursewords_01-1I have read Charles Soule comics, and knew he is a capable writer. I loved his run on Inhuman, while I found Uncanny Inhumans to be hit or miss at times. Now I don’t think that is entirely his fault, as the book had been bogged down with Civil War II, and other constant moving pieces at Marvel, but I did find it to drag at times. But this review isn’t for Soule’s work at Marvel, which also includes Daredevil, and the mutant and inhuman events, Death of X and Inhumans vs. X-Men, but a new book from Image. How is it? Fantastic. Moments like these make me happy to see creators who are held back by the big two, getting to let loose and really shine on characters they created themselves.

Curse Words #1 wastes no time getting right into its lighthearted nature. We see a musician named Johnny begging Wizord (who is the bearded character you see on the cover) to make him platinum. Now this seems like the usual kind of request in stories featuring The Devil and a musician selling his soul to become a star, but the request is literal. Johnny, the character who seems to channel Justin Bieber, wants to literally be made of platinum. Wizord, who is a wizard-for-hire, fulfills his request in a funny and silly scene which launches us into not only the appearance of someone from our main wizard’s past, but also a flashback of how he came to our world. It is interesting, fun, and it really sets the series up for a ton of possibilities.

01_cursewords01Ryan Browne draws the hell out of this comic. There are panels and pages that I want as posters or prints on my wall. The colors with the help of Jordan Boyd, and Michael Parkinson are bright and give everything a really cool digital painted effect. I have seen this art style before, don’t get me wrong, and it can be jarring, but I am happy to say that isn’t the case here. It is beautiful, and even amidst the chaos, you still stop and admire how pretty it really is. There is a really fantasy element to it, and while it doesn’t look anything like Dauterman’s work on The Mighty Thor, I feel it works in a similar way to compliment the story.

Curse Words is a comic I would absolutely recommend without any hesitation. We have seen some really great magic comics lately, and not just Doctor Strange, but titles like Ether, Seven to Eternity, and The Wicked + The Divine. Curse Words so far, even with this one issue seems to belong in that great company. This issue does enough to set up a premise that is both fun, and refreshing. Wizord is just plain awesome, and his past leaves enough shadiness for us to question him, but for now, he does seem to be the wizard we need. Also, this comic has a centaur in it, and that gives it an extra point for that alone. I think we have a great series in the making. To be blunt, this comic casts a spell of @$#& awesome!

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ryan Browne Color: Ryan Browne, Jordan Boyd, Michael Parkinson
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

God Country #1 is Sent Back to Print

Image Comics has announced that in order to keep up with overwhelming customer demand, the hot new release God Country #1 by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw has been rushed back to print.

In God Country, Emmet Quinlan, an old widower rattled by dementia, isn’t just a problem for his children—his violent outbursts are more than the local cops can handle. When a tornado levels his home—as well as the surrounding West Texas town—a restored Quinlan rises from the wreckage. The enchanted sword at the eye of the storm gives him more than a sound mind and body, however. He’s now the only man who can face the otherworldly creatures the sword has drawn down to the Lone Star State…

God Country #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code NOV169175) will be available on Wednesday, February 15th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, January 23rd.

god-country-1-2nd-printing

Review: The Few #1

few01WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

The dystopian genre has experienced a spike in recent years. It’s the source of long-running television, blockbuster movies, and multiple comics. With this spike come naysayers bemoaning that there is too much of it. However, it is important to keep in mind that when a genre becomes a trend, there are important social/political reasons for it. Yes, even the Twilight phenomenon counts, and I would love to read (not the books, hell no) articles about its cultural implications beyond just “teenage girls like sparkly vampires.”

Dystopian fiction is most notable during times of unrest and uncertainty for the world. Just take a look at 2016, a year of great turmoil (then again, what year of the 21st-century hasn’t been great turmoil?) If you have been living in the U.S. or next door in Canada and Mexico, it might seem like an episode of Twilight Zone you keep hoping ends, but it evolves constantly into a scarier, crazier version of Transmetropolitan. The point is that all this turmoil and uncertainty is probably the reason for the current spike, and instead of bemoaning it, I intend to read what comes my way and find worthwhile material.

Which brings us to The Few, a maxiseries from Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman, an apocalyptic tale that is as gorgeous as it is vague:

“In a dystopian future, two survivalist brothers stumble across an unlikely sight: a woman asleep in the woods holding nothing but a gun and a baby wearing a gas mask. As these boys begin to embark on helping this woman, betrayals, secrets, and revolutions abound in the fight for what’s left of America.” – From the Image Comics website.

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The cover for issue #1 has some interesting aspects. Just like with Sean Lewis’ previous series Saints, the artist draws, inks, colors, and letters the whole book. Which brings me to my first criticism: Good on Sherman for doing a significant amount of work, but what about art cred? In Saints, Benjamin Mackey got first billing. For The Few, it’s Sean Lewis. To be clear, this is not saying Lewis didn’t work hard. Writing is an arduous task. However, comic art tends to be much more time consuming than scripting. If you have an artist do all the art, I’m thinking they are more than deserving of first billing. It’s not a matter of the artist is more important than the writer, just an acknowledgment of who had the heaviest workload. Then again, I don’t know the dealings between Lewis and Sherman, so maybe the billing was fine by them.

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Moving on to the actual cover art, Sherman’s design reminds me of Nick Dragotta’s covers for East to West, another Image series in the apocalyptic genre (more so the days before the event).

The design invokes a sense of action and mystery. I can see how this would be a pleasing cover for certain readers, but I don’t know if I’m impressed by it. While I was briefly reading East to West, I can’t recall if it was the cover design or a recommendation that inspired me to read the series. In The Few’s case, my interest was in Lewis’ writing. I don’t think I would have picked up the series based on the cover alone. I prefer covers like that of Benjamin Mackey’s which are colorful and brimming with symbolism.

Despite a lackluster cover, the interior art of The Few is a haunting spectacle. The comic opens to a snow-covered backwoods, trees drawn as thin black lines against a white background.

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Sherman shows mastery in strategic layout and contrasting black and white imagery to create moody art. It reminds me of Frank Miller’s best work but with the scratchy punk-zine aesthetics of Sean Gordon Murphy; however, illustrations are simplified for a less cumbersome reading experience.

Sherman’s greatest strength is using minimalism to invoke a moody, bleak atmosphere in each scene. From the winter wasteland of the outside, the comic transitions to the interiors of a wooden cabin. Brown and green contrast to black spaces. This gives the scene an earthly tone that is claustrophobic. It feels like being inside a coffin. Death is as present in this cabin as it is outside in the snow.

Death and violence are inescapable in The Few, and the same minimalist aesthetic is applied to fight scenes. Instead of over-the-top gore, splashes of pastel red are used to represent blood. This color choice against the moody, mute colors doesn’t make the violence striking, but bleak. Violence isn’t enjoyable. Reading the comic myself, I felt like my soul was draining out. It doesn’t have to do with any image being particularly violent, just the staggeringly bleak atmosphere. This might not be an enjoyable reading experience for many, but I appreciate how Sherman creates such a visceral emotion out of so little.

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Character designs are where Sherman’s art becomes mixed. The design for character anatomy is long legs with shorter, squarish torsos. Given the setting, clothes are mostly jackets, baggy pants, and other types of winter clothing. The designs are sadly bland compared to the atmosphere, very few characters sticking out. One exception are the militants called Ragers. Most of them wear the stereotypical para-military gear of army jackets and cargo pants. What stands out is the gauze wrapping. Aside from looking like biker mummies, I can’t help think there is another angle to these designs. Judging by the headgear of their leader, I think it’s a royalty vibe to assert an amount of authority to the Ragers. They make mentions of the Palace. What that place is has yet to be revealed, but a good theory is that it’s an organization in control of areas of the country. That makes the Ragers are an elite military force. This means that their horrible actions are decreed by a higher power with significant political weight. This adds a new layer of menace to them, invoking concerns of authoritarian brutality that is relevant to this day.

This is significant for the design of the protagonist, Edan Hale. At one level, it’s interesting because of her butch appearance. When first introduced, I thought Hale was a man and surprised to find out otherwise. In relation to the Ragers, there are several scenes positioning them in authoritative stances over her. Hale is the only confirmed woman of the group, and given the salacious language some use toward her, I have to assume the majority are men. There is the possibility of a fascinating commentary on gender here and opens the door to Hale developing as a queer character. I doubt these are themes that will play out, but I still hope because that would add so much to the character.

As I’ve said before, my main interest in The Few is Sean Lewis. His writing style is not minimalist so much as vague. There isn’t a lot of exposition, more of an emphasis on character and dialogue, and even then dialogue is sparse. It is clear who are the players and what is happening action wise, but world-building and themes require the reader to pay close attention in order to understand. This vagueness is present in The Few. Clues are various: a map of the U.S., an Ursula K. Gein quote, mention of someone named Herrod, and rumors of a rebellion. It’s an interesting puzzle and pays off in the end with an inkling of what is going. Unfortunately, the action scenes in-between stretch the story thin.

The opening chase scene takes up many pages and creates a significant length from one dramatic scene to the other. It is the dramatic scenes that carry the most important story clues and, unfortunately, are easily forgotten after the chase. I had to go back and reread the first scene just to remember what was said. The only time rereading should be required is if a subsequent scene reveals something mentioned in a previous scene. Furthermore, the extensiveness of the chase scene lost its excitement after a few pages. The best action, like the best scares, is usually short and sweet. Action that goes on for too long can become boring because whatever initial excitement it had beforehand wears off as the reader gets used to it. At 56 pages, The Few seems to go on longer than necessary.

Another aspect of the writing the chase scene negatively impacts are the characters. In Saints, the reader was comfortable with the vagueness of the plot because of the fully realized, unique characters. In The Few, character personalities are vague to the point of making it difficult to understand them. This further pushes the boredom to the point of breaking patience. Characterization is nearly obliterated except for the saving grace of the cabin scene which gives characters time to interact and inform the reader of the kind of people they are. Again, if the chase scene had been shorter, this issue might have been absent.

One last comment for the writing is probably the most important: How does The Few separate itself from the ubiquitous stories in the dystopian genre? It’s too early to tell, but from what little is to be gathered, the comic is exploring the current state of America. With the election of Trump as president, it’s difficult to not see how preexisting tensions between the Left, Right, and the ever-creeping influence of the Far Right have deepened. For left-leaning folk such as myself, it seems like the beginning of totalitarian madness under a self-serving, egotistical demagogue, an opinion we feel solidified by the bigoted, fascist reactionaries online that are the most fervent of his supporters and now feel emboldened to act out. This has put us on the defensive, taking harder lines than ever to stand against Republicans and the Right, now to the point we are infighting with each other. Like it or not, civil conflict will be heated for the next four years, and whether or not the worst predictions come true, one fact is certain:

America will never be the same again.

In The Few, civil conflict has erupted into civil war, with the Palace being the totalitarian regime that the left fears will come out of Trump. The resemblances are vague, yet one can easily read them into being similar: violent, militaristic men that slaughter and pillage in the name of someone called Herrod with the fanaticism of a religious cult. The Few are the resistance, the remaining states that have not fallen under Palace control. What do they represent? Not the American left as defined now with its varied groups. They’re more of an ideal. Now, most Americans will disagree on what they define as freedom, but ideally America is a free land (unless you think pish posh otherwise). Currently, America is just that, an ideal and not a reality. However, the point of an ideal is to inspire hope. The Few represent hope of something opposite of the Palace’s brutality and totalitarianism, of America as it used to be. It might not even be freedom like I theorize. The hope, the want, for America to reclaim itself from corruption and to be not necessarily the reality, but the ideal that always inspired its citizens.

The Few #1 suffers from issues of pacing and vagueness, but the moody art and social relevancy of the story offers a promising start to an exciting new entry in the dystopian genre. I highly recommend it for those that want more relevant, unique fiction in their weekly buy piles.

Story: Sean Lewis Art: Hayden Sherman
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

div3-aric_001_cover-b_bernardWednesdays 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 #5 (Image) – Ed Brubaker, Elizabeth Breitweiser, and Sean Phillips are back and I cannot be more excited. They have done a tremendous job on this book and have proven once again, they hold the crown for pulp crime comics. This comic has me nervous and excited each time a new issue comes out!

U.S.Avengers #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was such a blast, and Al Ewing is on a roll lately, and one of the best things Marvel has going for it. We will see more of the Gold $kull by the looks of it, and probably go a bit deeper on this whacky team. More Red Hulk, he’s great.

The Clone Conspiracy #4 (Marvel) – I am a massive Spider-Man fan, I won’t apologize for that, so therefore I am excited for this issue, and actually enjoy the event. Now obviously if you’re not enjoying what they are doing, don’t listen to me here, but I want to see how this wraps up, and we are almost there. We also get a double Spidey dose with Amazing Spider-Man this week!

Superman #15 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Superman! I’ve loved this run by Tomasi and Gleason and the last issue was so much fun and just crazy. This is one of DC’s most consistent comics and I want to see where they are going after the last wild issue. Also, Red Son Superman, Captain Carrot, and more!

Trinity #5 (DC Comics) – Francis Manapul should be reason enough for anyone to read and drool at this comic. His art is just completely on another level to me, and this book rivals The Mighty Thor for the “prettiest” comic. Also, I actually am enjoying the story of our legendary trinity quite a bit.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Divinity III Stalinverse: Aric Son Of The Revolution #1 (Valiant) – There’s a sense of something awesome about Valiant’s Divinity III, and while the first tie-in was good, it’s this one that has me most excited. Getting a chance to read some more about Aric of Dacia in this setting has me chomping at the bit to get my hands on the comic.

Harbinger Renegade #3 (Valiant) – What can I say? I’m a fan of Harbinger, and with Peter returning to Earth I’m looking forward to seeing how Rafer Roberts reunites the Renegades.

Deadpool the Duck #2 (Marvel) – When the first issue didn’t make me want to claw my eyes out, I kinda got curious to read the next issue. I mean… now that Deadpool The Duck is finally in the comic, I want to see what we get.

 

Brett

Motor Girl #3 (Abstract Studios) – Sam has problems. UFO’s are keeping her up every night, dropping in for parts and coffee, and a suspicious Area 51 fanatic is determined to catch it all on video. To make matters worse, the bank wants to repossess the junkyard and build a casino. But Sam is determined to stop them, especially when she learns the junkyard is sacred ground. This new series by Terry Moore is fun, funny, cute, and the first two issues are some of my recent favorites from anyone.

Curse Words #1 (Image) – A wizard comes to Earth to… conquer it? It’s a bit nebulous in this first issue that introduces is to Wizord, a hipster-ish wizard bringing realy magic to Earth. The first issue is entertaining and launches a stylish new series.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – I think Carol Danvers really came off poorly in Civil War II, but I’m still interested in seeing where Marvel takes her and this series.

Monsters Unleashed #1 (Marvel) – Marvel heroes versus kaiju. Nuff said.

Revolutionaries #1 (IDW Publishing) – IDW and Hasbro’s “Revolution” is over and this series looks to bring together some of the characters from the now shared universe into a team book.

 

Shay

Harley Quinn #12 (DC Comics) – Joker + Harley = War of the Roses style mayhem.

Raven #5 (DC Comics) – Raven calls for familial back up to save San Francisco from the orb.

Gamora #2 (Marvel) – Gamora is on a collision course with revenge and things might not be what they seem or go as she planned.

SLAM! #3 (BOOM! Studios) – derby drama and love in comic book form, what more could you want?

 

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