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Review: Undiscovered Country #8

Undiscovered Country #8

A divided America full of chaos and unrest. A divided America whose ideals have been perverted and twisted. When Undiscovered Country began, the fantastical series felt much more… fantasy. As the series has progressed, each issue feels like it’s an exploration of the current American zeitgeist. Undiscovered Country #8 begins to explore the slip to technocratic solutions and the impact, both good and bad, of technology on our lives.

The group of explorers have moved on to the second of the thirteen territories and the new United States. The first was called Destiny, the second is Unity. Unity, located in the Pacific Northwest is a technocratic dreamcoat. It’s a society built on nano-technology where one has to only think to be rewarded. Buildings, plants, vehicles, everything has been consumed by an overarching, and most likely overreaching technology. It’s also a world of temptation and clear malevolence underneath.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule delivers a Willy Wonka/Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland journey into a debased America. Our real-world is twisted and explored in ways that feel all to close to home as our reality plays out. While protests flood our streets and the government slides into Fascism, the abuse of technology to manipulate the populace hangs in the background. This second territory feels like that abuse taken to extremes and once again is ahead of the curve as far as topics flooding newspapers.

Much like the debut story arc, Undiscovered Country #8 continues to introduce us to the world. The concepts, basis of reality shift with each keeping readers on their toes. Unlike the more barbaric Destiny, Unity is a world of the future and what ifs? There’s also a clear nightmare waiting underneath it all and it’s a question as to when, not if, that will be revealed. The issue is also a solid entry point. Though the new arc began with the previous issue, this one is fine for new readers to explore the world as they have avatars asking questions they’ll have in the main cast of characters.

The insanity and fantastical is delivered by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. The art is full of so much detail that it begs the readers to spend time on each page and with each panel exploring the world. Much like our main cast of characters, the visuals are our true introduction to the mystery. We’re forced to piece together what’s going on as our guide, Uncle Sam, only gives cryptic clues.

Matt Wilson does a solid job as the visuals are generally lacking in much color beyond white. With a mostly mono-chromatic look, the colors still really work using some grays to really make the details pop. There’s also work between the trio to deliver something that’s slightly off. Buildings feel like they’re slightly crooked, whether that’s on purpose or not is unknown. But, it feels like it is and done so to show that the technology isn’t perfect and there’s more than meets the eye. Crank!‘s lettering too comes in to play. There is a lot of dialogue and it is laid out well but there’s also a serene aspect to the font choice that doesn’t become apparent until the very end.

Undiscovered Country #8 is another fantastic journey into the crazy world this creative team has created. There’s a horror story awaiting as we’re given the setup that we know is too good to be true. But, where it all goes is unknown. Undiscovered Country is a series where anything is possible and with that it has become a series where we’re forced to expect the unexpected and just enjoy the wild ride.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Lettering: Crank!
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

X of Swords: Creation #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 week.

The Autumnal #1 (Vault Comics) – It already has sold out and there’s another printing coming. A horror comic that’s in demand and could be a good investment.

Brooklyn Gladiator #1 (Heavy Metal) – A futuristic series that’s classic Heavy Metal from Dan Fogler, Andrew Harrison, and Simon Bisley.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Speed Metal #1 (DC Comics) – Run, Flash, run! A tie-in to the “Death Metal” event, the issue is important as you see how the Flash crew are handling things and there are some key moments between Barry and Wally.

Doctor Doom #7 (Marvel) – The series has been fantastic so far and this is a more than welcome return. Just great writing and art and we’re expecting more of the same… in a good way.

Fishkill #1 (Heavy Metal) – A spin down a conspiracy from Dan Fogler, Laurence Blum, and Ben Templesmith. Yes, this does tie in a bit with Brooklyn Gladiator making up the Fogler-verse.

Immortal She-Hulk #1 (Marvel) – A fascinating first issue that explores death in superhero comics. This is much about philosophy and trauma as it is anything else and a very mature read.

Juggernaut #1 (Marvel) – A fantastic start. It’s a comic we didn’t know we need.

Maestro #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a solid one and began to explore how the Hulk turned into Maestro. It was an unexpected surprise in that it’s a story we didn’t think we wanted but now after reading the first issue, we’re on board. We’re down for the journey.

Mega Man: Fully Charged #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was amazing. We don’t know the cartoon but the comic blew us away with it’s more mature take on Mega Man, war, and diplomacy.

Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn #2 (BOOM! Studios) – If you’re a Power Rangers fan, this seems to be a series where some big things are happening. Big things that’ll impact the line going forward.

RAI #7 (Valiant) – Every issue has rocked so far and we can’t get enough of this series. Absolutely go and get it, Valiant is where it’s at for action/superhero comics.

Undiscovered Country #8 (Image Comics) – This series has been a wild ride so far taking us to an America that has been cut off from the world. It’s a bit of a Willy Wonka ride as each “zone” has a different feel from the rest and in its first arc it has shown anything is possible. This is a series that surprises with every issue.

Unkindness of Ravens #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A magical witch series and we’re down for what looks like solid art and a nice mystery. We don’t know much else beyond the teaser text but that has us interested enough to check the series out.

X of Swords: Creation #1 (Marvel) – The next “X event” is here and we want to see how this new dawn of the X-Men handles crossover events. The bar has been set high… so we’re intrigued… but nervous.

Fire Power Gets a Double Sellout and New Printings

The New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award winning pop culture phenomenon Robert Kirkman has caught lightning in a bottle once more on his co-creation with Eisner winning artist Chris Samnee, Eisner Award-winning colorist Matt Wilson, and letterer Rus Wooton in the new series—Fire Power. Issues #1 and #3 are being rushed back to print in order to keep up with breakout customer demand.

Despite a total of 200K copies of Fire Power #1 already pumped into circulation, the launch issue has sold out at the distributor level, alongside Fire Power #3, with backorders piling up.

In the new series Fire Power, Owen Johnson’s journey to China to learn about his birth parents eventually leads him to a mysterious Shaolin Temple. The students there study The Fire Power—the lost art of throwing fireballs. A power they claim will be needed soon to save the world. Will Owen Johnson be the first person in a thousand years to wield the Fire Power?

Fire Power #1, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208118) and Fire Power #3, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208119) will both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

Underrated: Green Valley

Did you read this book yet? Allow us to remind you why you should with a rerun of a column from last year.


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: Green Valley


Published by Image, Green Valley was written by Max Landis and features art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inks by Cliff Rathburn and colours by Jean Francois Beaulieu. The wonderful hardcover collection in my hands collects nine issues and will set you back $29.99 (I paid for this out of my own pocket, and happily so, even though I probably had access to the single issue review copies).

So what’s the story about?

GreenValleyHC.jpg

The knights of Kelodia are the finest in the land, but they’ve never faced a POWER like the one that resides in the Green Valley. Now they’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—to stop a wizard and slay his dragons—but there’s no such thing as magic or dragons…is there? 

You may have noticed by reading this column that I tend to enjoy stories set in and around medieval times, even though I don’t tend to read that many comics set in that era (or at least I didn’t until this year). So when my LCS suggested I pick this up (it was on the counter and the owner told me I’d like it) I did so without question because sometimes I don’t want to read superhero comics.

One of the first things I noticed was that the hardcover itself just feels utterly wonderful in your hands.  The above image is of the hardcover, with the comic art inset slightly into the gold and green cover of the book itself in an effect that really doesn’t translate as well in the image as it does in person, but it does give you a hint about the nature of the story, which aside from the cover and text on the back I entered utterly blindly – and I fell in love.

green valley interior 2.jpg
green valley interior.jpg

Green Valley is the kind of book that you will want to read in a single sitting – it grabs you right from the start as you’re introduced to the legendary Knights of Kelodia (all four of them) as they face down a barbarian horde in a brilliant sequence that’s full of dry humour, a genuine feeling camaraderie from the knights  and tense knightly masculinity all wrapped up in some beautiful visuals that are some of the nicest pure-comic pages I’ve seen in quite some time. Were I reviewing this here, I’d be giving this at least 9’s across the board and telling you to buy this without question – the story and art genuinely took me by surprise and had me forget that I really should be doing a bunch of other stuff for the hour or so I sat enraptured in this story.

Without spoiling anything, it’s tough to explain why I loved this story, but that won’t stop me from trying. Green Valley is a very intelligently written book, with dialogue that is, at times, so sharp you could loose a finger. There are moments that span the gamut of human emotion for the characters, and will have you laughing out loud and pumping your fist as the story goes on – just as you’ll feel gut-punched at certain other moment. Max Landis has written one hell of a story that deserves a very special place on your shelf.

Now excuse me while I go reread it (no, I’m not saying that for effect – I’m actually going to reread it now).


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.

Rick Remender’s Scumbag Gets Four Incentive Covers

The forthcoming humor series The Scumbag by Rick Remender will feature four scumily rare incentive covers—a pretty scummy 1:10 by Tula Lotay, a scumtastic 1:25 by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn, a 1:50 silver scum-foil by Jerome Opeña and colored by Moreno Dinisio, and an extra, super scumtacular 1:100 gold foil edition of the same Opeña cover, but GOLD like our hero Ernie Ray’s front tooth! All this stunning scumbaggery available this October from Image Comics.

In addition to these highly collectible and totally scummy variants, The Scumbag will feature a murderers’ row of Rick’s favorite all-star artistic talent rotating interior art duties on each issue, with Punisher superstar artist Lewis LaRosa on deck for issue #1.

The Scumbag is the story of Ernie Ray Clementine, a profane, illiterate, drug addicted, biker, with a fifth-grade education and the only thing standing between us and total Armageddon because this dummy accidentally received a power-imbuing serum making him the world’s most powerful super spy.

Ernie is a relic of a bygone era, the living embodiment of sex, drugs and rock and roll—so, this doesn’t make things easy for the spy organization that needs his help as they bribe, cajole, and manipulate Ernie to choose between his own self-interests and doing what’s right.

The Scumbag will join Remender’s growing Giant Generator Studios empire, alongside such salesbeasts as Death Or Glory with Bengal, Seven to Eternity with Jerome Opeña, Low with Greg Tocchini, Fear Agent with Jerome Opeña and Tony Moore, Tokyo Ghost with Sean Gordon Murphy, Black Science with Matteo Scalera, Strange Girl with Eric Nguyen, Deadly Class with Wes Craig, and more.

The Scumbag #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 21st.

  • The Scumbag #1 Cover A LaRosa & Dinisio – Diamond Code AUG200010
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover B Robinson – Diamond Code AUG200011
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover C Blank Sketch – Diamond Code AUG208188
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover D Lotay 1:10 incentive – Diamond Code AUG208008
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover E Paquette 1:25 incentive – Diamond Code AUG208009
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover F Opeña & Dinisio 1:50 Silver Foil incentive – Diamond Code AUG208010
  • The Scumbag #1 Cover G Opeña & Dinisio 1:100 Gold Foil incentive – Diamond Code AUG208191

Stillwater #1 Heads Back to Print

Image Comics and Skybound’s horror series Stillwater—by The New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award winning writer Chip Zdarsky and Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster Award-winning artist Ramón K. Pérez—is being rushed back to print in order to spread more chills this October. You can read our review of the first issue.

In the town of Stillwater, nobody dies. That’s not just a promise. It’s a threat. This eerie new series is the perfect read for all the Halloween vibes and promises fans even more terror to come.

Stillwater #1, second printing (Diamond Code AUG208252) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

Stillwater #1, second printing

Commanders in Crisis Gets Variants from Mirka Andolfo and Peach Momoko

The upcoming series Commanders In Crisis by Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto will feature two virgin, without trade dress, incentive covers of the Mirka Andolfo (1:10) and Peach Momoko (1:25) variants. These stunning covers will hit stores when the new superhero series takes flight from Image comics this October.

In Commanders In Crisis, the last survivors of the Multiverse live among us under new, superheroic identities, five survivors of doomed worlds…taking a second chance to ensure our world lives on. 

A new twist on strange superhero comics, with a bleeding-edge eye on the modern moment, Commanders In Crisis follows in the footsteps of Doom Patrol and Thunderbolts as five unexpected heroes come together to solve a murder unlike any other. The victim? Compassion itself…This is ideacide!

Commanders in Crisis #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover A Tinto – Diamond Code AUG200037
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover B Sejic – Diamond Code AUG200038
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover C Momoko – Diamond Code AUG200039
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover D Sozo – Diamond Code AUG200040
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover E Talaski – Diamond Code AUG200041
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover F Lupacchino – Diamond Code AUG200042
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover G Andolfo – Diamond Code AUG200043
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover H Blank Cvr – Diamond Code AUG200044
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover I 10 Copy Incv Andolfo Virgin – Diamond Code AUG208121
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover J 25 Copy Incv Momoko Virgin – Diamond Code AUG208122

Review: Stillwater #1

Stillwater #1

Welcome to Stillwater, a small town with a secret. What that is? You’ll have to read the first issue to find out. Stillwater #1 kicks off an interesting horror series that has some familiar aspects but is a great start.

Written by Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater #1 is a must for those who enjoy the horror and mystery genres. The debut issue delivers two interesting characters, neither of whom are particularly likable. But, what works well is the build-up to those final pages full of twists and turns.

The issue revolves around Daniel. Daniel has a bit of a temper and after being fired from his job for shoving a fellow employee, he’s delivered a bit of mystery news. A relative has left him something and he needs to travel to the town of Stillwater to find out exactly what. With him is his semi-bro friend Tony. They head off on a road trip to find out what’s going on and get their reward.

The issue is a hell of a start and by the end it’s fairly clear what’s going on with Stillwater and we’re left with the how, why, and a who. Zdarsky does an amazing job of the build-up to the end. There’s a torture/horror aspect to the series where tension just builds and builds. There’s a lot of stories that Stillwater owes a nod to and it does them all a service with quality.

Zdarsky is joined by Ramón K. Perez on art, Mike Spicer on color, and lettering by Rus Wooton. Matching Zdarsky’s story and pacing, the art helps ratchet up the tension. There’s a calm before the storm. Much like the horror films the comic mimics, the art builds up the tension until it’s clear things are going south. The team gives us a nice shift as the comic progresses as we move from Daniel and Tony’s world to the small-town life of Stillwater. It’s a perfect combination of story and art coming together for pacing and tension.

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic comic that’s a must for fans of the horror genre. It’s a solid debut issue that while has a lot of familiar elements, puts them together in such a way that they suck you in. Where this series goes should be fascinating and what happens next is unknown. But, it’s that mystery that we want to explore more of.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Ramón K. Perez
Color: Mike Spicer Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Seven Secrets #2

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 week.

Batman #99 (DC Comics) – Easily the best issue of “Joker War” so far. This is the point where it finally comes together and gets us hyped for Batman #100.

Detective Comics #1027 (DC Comics) – DC celebrates 1000 issues since Batman’s debut. It’s packed full of creators and as always these are a fun read.

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 (Marvel) – Storm is supposed to get the spotlight soon and it begins with this issue. It’ll be a key one from our reading of things.

Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison (Abrams Comicarts) – Journalist Sarah Mirk tell the stories of ten people whose lives were shaped by the prison including prisoners, lawyers, social workers, and service members.

Heavy #1 (Vault Comics) – The series is going to be a hit. We already have two positive reviews and more on the way. Read our reviews here and here.

Iron Man #1 (Marvel) – A new volume and a back to basics. We’re excited to see what Christopher Cantwell brings as a writer because his Doom has been amazing.

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Abrams Comicarts) – If you don’t know the history, this is a good place the start.

The Mueller Report (IDW Publishing) – We’ve been excited for this since it was announced. Shannon Wheeler and Steve Duin take on the infamous report giving their own entertaining spin.

Seven Secrets #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was a lot of fun about a secret order protecting something that could potentially change/destroy the world. We’re excited to see where this series goes from the debut and if it can keep up the energy.

Slaughterhouse-Five (BOOM! Studios) – The classic book is adapted into comics for the first time.

Stillwater #1 (Image Comics) – A new horror series from Chip Zdarsky, Mike Spicer, and Ramon K. Perez. Those names alone make it a buy.

Tenacious D: Post Apocalypto (Fantagraphics) -Tenacious D comes to comics in this graphic novel! “Music” comics are a big thing right now and this graphic novel is sure to be wanted by fans of the band.

You Look Like Death: Tales from the Umbrella Academy #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – We loved the issue and you can read our review here. If you’re an Umbrella Academy fan, it’s a buy.

Review: Reaver #11

REAVER #11

Reaver is an absolute treat for those looking for a very violent fantasy book. Reaver #11, part five of “The Grim After” takes a look back at Essen Breaker and how he and Bren became connected. For those not in the know, he’s a giant of a man who kills just about anything in his path. They call him the Devil’s Son.  In typical fashion, there’s strife and fighting and in the end, a whole lot of blood has been spilled. You do read Reaver, right?

Reaver is my favorite thing that Image Comics is putting out. Hard-edge fantasy with quite a few likeable characters to boot. I feel like this is definitely one of Justin Jordan’s best books that he’s done and he’s done quite a few great comics worth reading. Over the course of this storyline, and the entire series in general, I love what his “Hell’s Half-Dozen” as gone through. If there’s one critique to throw out about the writing, it’s that the usage of the F-word is so commonplace that for me, it makes the dialogue feel very unnatural.

For the most part, I have enjoyed Niko Henichon’s art but there were a few pages that seemed a bit rushed. That said, Niko has a style suited for a book like Reaver. There are some rather cool splash pages at the front of this that are a real treat, pages which highlight The Devil’s Son. Becky Cloonan’s covers continue to be eye-catching.

It’s the end of “The Grim After” but what comes after should be another epic story for Reaver. If you are looking for an adult fantasy story, I feel there’s none better. To me, Reaver is a total breath of fresh air and comes off wholly original. If you want something different in the genre that’s high quality, then it’s definitely Reaver that you are after.

Story: Justin Jordan Art: Niko Henrichon
Letterer: Clayton Cowles Editor: John Moisan Cover Artist: Becky Cloonan
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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