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.
Border Town #3 (DC/Vertigo)** – This book seems to be hitting a nice, strong stride very early on, with this being the best issue to date. Ramon Villalobos’ art has always been stellar and remains so, but Eric M. Esquivel’s scripting is evening out from some early rockiness, balancing real-world political issues with supernatural goings-on and even some well-placed (and well-considered) humor. In fact, there’s a laugh-out-loud scene in this issue that’s just plain awesome. Get on this series now if you’re not already. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Batman #58 (DC)** – The welcome return of Mikel Janin on art is the highlight of this issue, which marks the beginning of a new “Penguin-centric” arc. Tom King’s script is at least competent this time out, but hardly the stuff memories are made of , mostly just jumping around between a couple of timelines in order to set the stage for the the rest of the story. It’s thoroughly readable and the cliffhanger packs a bit of a punch, but when Alfred comes off as being more interesting than Bruce Wayne/Batman, well — you’ve got a problem. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read
Dead Rabbit #2 (Image)** – Good on Gerry Duggan and John McCrea to insert some “real world” socio-economic issues (most notably relating to health care) into this “criminal comes out of retirement” drama, but the strength of this series is in its cinematic pacing and stylish, high-impact art. Not a whole ton happens this time out, but what does adds depth to the characters and their situations while never slowing down from its breakneck tempo. Lots of fun, especially if you love a good car chase. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Outer Darkness #1 (Image/Skybound)** – A heavy debt is owed to Jack Kirby’s “Captain Victory And The Galactic Rangers” with John Layman’s premise for this book, but there’s a gut-churning occult twist to the proceedings and some solid humor added into the mix, and Afu Chan’s artwork is just straight-up spectacular, particularly on his Kirby-flavored “cosmic” double-page spreads. Nothing super ground-breaking here, but I had plenty of fun with this one and it seems like it’s a series that could go off in any number of interesting directions. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Han Solo: Imperial Cadet #1 (Marvel)– In probably one of the most authentic representations to a military boot camp I have ever seen or read, this book more than delivers. We catch up with Han after he separates from Qira, and right after he gets sent to boot camp, where he gains a few skills,that Star Wars fans will see later in life. As he gets as good as he gives, and we see his penchant for getting in trouble make him a terrible mismatch for the military. By issue’s end, he finds a way off base, but only to be caught and a whole lot to explain. 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 (**).