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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

X-Men #1

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 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 Wednesday.

Absolute Carnage #4 (Marvel) – The event has been going strong and we really want to see where it all goes as it gets bigger and bigger as far as characters involved.

Crazy #1 (Marvel) – Celebrating 80 years of Marvel with this bit of a throwback comic.

Killswitch #1 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The concept kind of sounds like Minority Report but the idea of clairvoyants looking to escape captivity still sounds interesting enough to check out.

Marked #1 (Image Comics) – A double-sized premiere about a secret order that protects the world by using their tattooed powers.

The Mask: I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask #1 (Dark Horse) – The Mask is back with what sounds like a timely political spin to it.

Metal Men #1 (DC Comics) – The classic characters get a twelve issue miniseries and picks up on Nth Metal and the Dark Multiverse. We’re intrigued.

Once & Future #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora have been killing it with this modern fantasy series. Great action and great characters with an interesting twist.

Robotech Remix #1 (Titan Comics) – The next step in the Robotech franchise. We’re excited to see what Brenden Fletcher does with it!

Something is Killing the Children #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Children dying in towns seems to be a big “genre” now but this series stands out with it’s delivery on the topic. Just a solid mix of mystery and horror.

Superman Smashes the Klan #1 (DC Comics) – We’ve wanted to read this since it was announced. The series is inspired by the famous 1940s radio serial.

Superman: Year One #3 (DC Comics) – Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s take on Superman wraps up and after a gonzo and cringey second issue…

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman Knightfall #1 (DC Comics) – DC launches a new line of comics that takes major DC events and shows us the Dark Multiverse take on them. We’re excited for all of this.

Trees: Three Fates #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue returned us to the world of “Trees” but that aspect seems to not matter as much. Three Fates is more murder mystery than sci-fi weirdness but with a unique setting and solid pacing, it’s a must for those that enjoy that type of story.

X-Men #1 (Marvel) – Dawn of X launches!

Enigma Gets the Deluxe Treatment from Berger Books

Berger Books has announced the release of a deluxe hardcover edition of Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo‘s radical and acclaimed Vertigo series Enigma. This definitive edition of Enigma, written by legendary and influential writer Peter Milligan, features a lavish new cover by Duncan Fegredo and a treasure trove of never-before-seen development art from one of comics most singular and dramatic artists. Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh provides the lushly painted color.

Enigma is a visceral, thought-provoking post-modern tale of self-discovery and sexual identity told against the backdrop of outrageous superheroes and villains. Michael Smith lives a meaningless life of routine and boredom. But when the weird characters from Enigma – Michael’s favorite childhood comic book hero – seem to come to life, Smith embarks upon an increasingly obsessive crusade to uncover the incredible secret behind their improbable existence. Teaming up with Enigma’s comic creator, Smith encounters an insanity-inducing psychopath, a brain-eating serial killer, a suicide-inciting Truthsayer, and a teleporting one-time model “who really sends you” as his quest uncovers shocking truths about his idol and ultimately Michael himself. 

Enigma will go on sale in fall 2020.

Enigma

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/5

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.


Joe Hesh

Batman #80 (DC Comics)** Having been critical on and off of Tom King, while I have really enjoyed the City of Bane arc and especially the interludes. This one was kind of just … there. The whole issue is essentially an action sequence to set up Batman’s triumphant return to Gotham and the show down with this estranged and deranged father and Bane. So while I certainly love me some JR JR art this was not the case this time as I felt it lacked the punch needed. I really dug the opening with Bruce taking down Bane’s deputies as his Matches Malone persona though.
Him doing the one on one showdown’s reminded me of an old school video game and just going up the tower. Also as much as I love King’s take on Kite Man, this Hell yeah stuff has to stop. It feels like when you knew Snyder couldn’t wait to get to issue #50 just to write the line “Who died and made you Batman?” Only this time it lacked any sort of emotion behind it. I am a very big fan of Bat/Cat relationship (damn the haters) but Selena didn’t do much here.
Since Bruce seems to already know Bane’s plan for Damian with Thomas, I find it doubly hard that he wouldn’t know that Alfred is dead. For me there lies the huge problem. He should not be cool and calm, he should be angry and outraged and ready to break his eternal killing rule. There has been no emotional fallout from Alfred’s death and that is beyond blasphemous. I don’t understand why kill him in such graphic fashion on screen back in issue #77 only to not mention it again?
There is a lot to wrap up here and I know we have a few more chapters but the placement of this issue and its content just seems wacky to me. Normally as of late I would give this rave marks but this one was a very meh of mill for me. Overall: I will be reading to see how this story fills out but this one certainly put a giant penny sized dent in my momentum. Score: 6.5.

Ryan C

The Immortal Hulk #24 (Marvel)** – The most creatively exciting series to come out of “The Big Two” in a good few years keeps on keeping on, with a new and interesting status quo being established by issue’s end while a plot twist NO ONE saw coming — or even fully understands at this point — threatens to complicate matters in some REALLY unexpected ways. Al Ewing is really stepping up his game here, and Joe Bennett’s art is just plain perfect for this kind of “body-horror” material. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #80 (DC)** – With the “City Of Bane” storyline limping toward its anti-climax, Tom King tries his best to redeem another wasted arc with a big cliffhanger, but it’s probably a case of “too little, too late,” and John Romita Jr.’s art really can’t save the proceedings despite looking really nice. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Berserker Unbound #3 (Dark Horse)** – I dunno, Jeff Lemire just seems to be going through the motions with this barbarian-and-homeless-guy “buddy book,”but Mike Deodato Jr;’s art is so innovate and good-looking that it ALMOST makes the book worth a purchase. Notice I say “almost” — as in, not quite. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

DCeased #5 (DC)** – It seems that DC has a legit hit on their hands with this series, but for the life (or should that be death?) of me, I can’t see why : Tom Taylor’s script pulls out every cliche you’d expect in a non-continuity yarn (“You mean I can kill ANYBODY”?), while Trevor Hairsine’s art tries its level best to spice up an overly-obvious story with some gruesomely fun panels that that WOULD be memorable — if they actually mattered to the DC Universe “proper.” Which, again, they don’t. All in all, pretty mediocre stuff. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Logan

Nomen Omen #1 (Image)– This translation of Marco Bucci and Jacopo Camagni’s horror magic story is a little too uneven for me to fully recommend. Bucci’s script never gets a handle over who these young people are supposed to be using shortcuts like social media, birthdays, and mommy problems to establish them. The visuals, especially during the more terror-stricken bits, fare a little better with fragmented panels and a pull away to an image of an overturned 18 wheeler and apples everywhere capturing the fear of being in a crash with a tractor trailer. The ending of the first issue is much more classic slasher, but takes itself too seriously for me to give the next one a try. Overall: 5.5 Verdict: Pass

Copra #1 (Image)– It’s about time I read this super hyped up comic from Michel Fiffe. Copra #1 is a distillation of what made comics like John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad and Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe great, but through a slick auteur lens. What draws me most to this comic is the unique look that Fiffe gives it through his art, layouts, color palette, lettering, and brusque dialogue. It feels like the best old fan comic from 1988, and that’s a compliment. Fiffe also knows there’s a lot of new readers jumping onto the Copra bandwagon thanks to its publication by Image Comics so he does a great job quickly introducing his large cast of characters and then distills the stories of the previous issues (Which I seriously want to read.) at the end of the main story in a way that feels a lot like “Copra Grand Design”. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

House of X #6 (Marvel) Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz conclude the House of X miniseries with a glimpse of Krakoa in action as the Quiet Council creates the first laws and conducts the first trial in the new nation. I love seeing the variety of ethical POVs characters ranging from Jean Grey and Nightcrawler to freaking Apocalypse and, of course, Xavier and Magneto bring to the trial of Sabretooth even though he’s an easy target. Larraz’s grids are perfect for statecraft, and the second part of the comic is a mostly silent celebration of mutantdom complete with Dazzler fireworks and Jean Grey, Logan, Cyclops, and Emma Frost sharing beers. Larraz’s art does the bulk of the storytelling, and he and Hickman get to bask in this new world they’ve created that synthesized X-Men lore as well as acted as a fantastic exercise in speculative fiction, worldbuilding, and even a little statecraft. Overall: 9.5 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 (**).

NYCC 2019: Stranger Things Returns with Into the Fire in January 2020

Dark Horse Comics and Netflix are expanding the world of Stranger Things in the newest Stranger Things comic series, Stranger Things: Into the Fire!

In 1984, several years after escaping Hawkins, two survivors of Dr. Brenner’s experiments seek out their lost fellow experiment, number Nine, who needs their help now more than ever.

Writer Jody Houser, line artist Ryan Kelly, inker Le Beau Underwood, colorist Triona Farrell, and letterer Nate Piekos, explore the true effects of Dr. Brenner’s meddling experiments in Stranger Things: Into the Fire.

In Stranger Things: Into the Fire, years after escaping Hawkins Lab, two of Dr. Brenner’s former subjects try to return to their live normal lives. When news reaches them that the lab was shut down they go on a harrowing search for Nine, a powerful pyrokinetic, whose shattered psyche threatens to burn them all to ashes if they can’t find her and free her from her own malevolent imagination.

The first issue of Stranger Things: Into the Fire goes on sale January 8, 2020.

Stranger Things: Into the Fire #1
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #1
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #1

NYCC 2019: Peter Milligan and Jesús Hervas Explore a Tomorrow with Only Children

Berger Books has announced an intriguing new story for 2020, Tomorrow– a five-issue comic series by critically acclaimed and legendary writer Peter Milligan, breakout artist Jesús Hervas, and dynamic colorist James Devlin.

When a Russian computer virus jumps the species barrier and wipes out most of the adult population, the world falls precariously into the hands of the next generation.  In the wake of the devastation, musical prodigy Oscar Fuentes is separated from his twin sister Cira. Without the support of each other and stranded on opposite sides of the country, they’re swept into rapidly-evolving networks of gangs. Can Oscar find his way back to Cira… or will they be lost to each other forever, in a dangerous makeshift civilization that is mercilessly replacing the past?

The first issue of Tomorrow goes on sale February 26, 2020.

Tomorrow

Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone Reveal the Hidden Society

Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone, the team behind Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald, are teaming up once more in Hidden Society. Written by Rafael Scavone and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, Hidden Society invites you to peek into a dark world behind the curtain.

Hidden from ordinary eyes, there is a world alongside our own full of deities, demons, and danger—where magic wins out over science and dark secrets lie in wait. Ulloo, the last wizard from the Hidden Society, enlists the aid of a blind girl and her demon, a young magician, and a cursed bounty hunter in order to stop a group of nihilist warlocks from waking the Society’s greatest nemesis: a primeval force that, unchecked, will scorch the planet bare of all life.

Hidden Society #1 (of four) goes on sale February 26, 2020.

Hidden Society #1

Review: Berserker Unbound #3

Berserker Unbound #3

In Berserker Unbound #3, the warrior known as the Mongrel King, trapped in a modern world with no one but a sympathetic homeless man to keep him company, finds himself confronted by new dangers and old threats from his homeland.

Berserker Unbound #3 is an odd comic. The majority of the issue revolves around the Mongrel King and a homeless man drinking at night in Central Park. Each talks to each other in a language that neither can understand. You would think that this would leave the comic a mess with little progression. The two men essentially have separate conversations with the other, making an assumption as to what the other is saying.

You’d think that this would lead to the comic taking itself in a circle. There’s an oddly endearing feeling to the two men’s dialogue. Jeff Lemire allows a natural flow to the two conversations. It does more to develop the characters than one would expect. The barbarian and the homeless man reveal their vulnerabilities to the audience and themselves. Though because of the language barrier, not to each other.

Berserker Unbound #3 rebounds from the slower pace of the previous issue as the story finds a direction. I’m not going to say “once again” because I don’t think it ever lost its direction. The direction wasn’t as obvious at the end of the second issue as it is at the end of the third. This brings me back to a point I made in last month’s review; that Jeff Lemire is one of the preeminent writers in comics. His ability to twist expectations with the way he commands a story and the dialogue used can be some of the most exciting things in a comic book – when he’s on form.

And holy shit, is he ever on form.

Mike Deodato Jr.‘s artwork captures both the feel of the Silver Age sword and sorcery comics without ever feeling dated. Put simply, this is a gorgeous book. But it’s also more than that; with the characters essentially talking to themselves for the entire issue, what we have, for all intents and purposes, is a silent issue. While the characters can’t understand each other verbally, their body language is plain as day, allowing the Mongrel King and Joe Cobb the communicate visually. Deodato Jr. is able to show his storytelling chops with a powerful scene near the climax of the comic that will hit you with an emotional gut-punch all with barely a handful of words on the page.

It’s a great sequence and one of the many joys that readers of this series will get to experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed this comic, with its mixture of fantasy and the modern world working together in a way that adds a unique twist to a well used trope. I’d expect nothing less from a writer of Lemire’s caliber.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr. Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve added this to my pull list.

NYCC 2019: Dark Horse and Panda Money Toys Presents Alter Nation: The Mystery of Whining Winny

Dark Horse Comics and Panda Mony Toys have announced a new publishing partnership based on Panda Mony Toy’s line of exciting and unique human-animal hybrid figures, Alter Nation!

At a top-secret island base off the California coast, these human-animal hybrids, also known as the GK Delta Special Forces, dedicate themselves to protecting humanity from forces that no typical human can defeat – and no one is allowed to know. Find out what happens when they discover that their origin isn’t what it seems and is part of a larger cover-up. On October 31, 2019, Dark Horse and Panda Mony Toys will release a 12-page digital comic preview of an upcoming graphic novel, Alter Nation: The Mystery of Whining Winny

In Alter Nation: The Mystery of Whining Winny, the GK Delta team is the only line of defense against threats that normal humans can’t stop. Join the team as they’re dispatched to Nevada where it’s rumored that a monster is menacing locals and this monster may be the newest member of the team. If not, GK Delta will be trapped between this new monster and the townspeople they need to save.

Alter Nation: The Mystery of Whining Winny is written by Tim Seeley, illustrated by Mike Norton, colored by Allen Passalaqua, and lettered by Crank!!

The Alter Nation:The Mystery of Whining Winny 12-pagedigital comic preview will be available for fans to download for free on October 31, 2019. Fans can pre-order Alter Nation’s line of toys through the Panda Mony Toys store, which will go on sale on October 31, 2019, and each toy will contain a free mini-comic book. The Alter Nation:The Mystery of Whining Winny original graphic novel will go on sale in summer 2020, and will retail for $14.99.

Alter Nation:The Mystery of Whining Winny

Around the Tubes

Batman #80

The weekend is almost here, New York Comic Con is in full swing, and Joker is out in the theaters! What geeky things will you all be doing this weekend? Sound off in the comments!

The Beat – Dark Horse cancels single issues of the Spell on Wheels sequel – But you can still get it.

The Beat – Treatment by Dave Gibbons acquired by Madefire Studios – Interesting.

Review

Talking Comics – Batman #80

NYCC 2019: Dark Horse Announces Exclusives

Dark Horse has announced its selection of exclusive merchandise available at New York Comic Con 2019! Dark Horse Comics is debuting a Cyperbunk 2077: Night City Enamel Pin, The Dragon Prince: Aaravos Enamel Pin, Dark Horse Direct’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Giclée Fine Art Print by Riccardo Federici, and a Strayed Comic and Print Bundle.

There will be a fixed number of exclusives set aside for each day of the convention. Check out the full roster of Dark Horse’s convention exclusives, along with quantity and price, below!

NEW CONVENTION EXCLUSIVES DEBUTING AT NYCC 2019

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Enamel Pin

$10.00 each
Limited quantity of 1,000
Limit of 5 per person per day

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Enamel Pin

The Dragon Prince: Aaravos Enamel Pin

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

The Dragon Prince: Aaravos Enamel Pin

Dark Horse Direct’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Giclée Fine Art Print, “Return to Crookback Bog” (Riccardo Federici)

$59.99
50 prints available for purchase at NYCC
Limit of 2 per person per day
Giclée prints are sized at 16” x 20”, hand numbered, with a gold foil The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt logo

Dark Horse Direct's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Giclée Fine Art Print, “Return to Crookback Bog” (Riccardo Federici)

Dark Horse Direct’s Strayed Comic & Print Bundle (Christian Ward)
$49.99

50 bundles available for purchase at NYCC
Limit of 2 per person per day

Dark Horse Direct's Strayed Comic & Print Bundle (Christian Ward) 
 $49.99

ALSO AVAILABLE AT NYCC

Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1 Convention Exclusive (Christian Ward)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1 Convention Exclusive (Christian Ward)

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 Convention Exclusive (Babs Tarr)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 Convention Exclusive (Babs Tarr)

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Logo Pin

$10.00
Limit of 5 per person per day
Pin measures 1.75” x .60″
Also available at critrole.com

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Logo Pin

Game of Thrones Stark House Sigil Mini Sculpture

$25.00
Limited quantity of 1,000
Limit of 5 per person per day
2.75” tall poly resin sculpture

Game of Thrones Stark House Sigil Mini Sculpture

Hellboy 25th Anniversary T-shirt

$25.00
Limited quantity of 300
Limit of 2 per person per day
Unisex style

Hellboy 25th Anniversary T-shirt

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (25th Anniversary) #1 (Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (25th Anniversary) #1 (Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart)

Stranger Things #1 Glow-in-the-Dark Convention Exclusive (Kyle Lambert)

$15.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Stranger Things #1 Glow-in-the-Dark Convention Exclusive (Kyle Lambert)

Stranger Things #1 Convention Exclusive (Fábio Moon)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Stranger Things #1 Convention Exclusive (Fábio Moon)

The Umbrella Academy Crest Pin

$10.00
Limited quantity of 1,000
Limit of 5 per person per day
Pin measures 1.5” x 1.75″

The Umbrella Academy Crest Pin

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion T-shirt

$25.00 each
Limited quantity of 450
Limit of 2 per person per day
Unisex style

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion T-shirt

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 Convention Exclusive (Mike Mignola)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 Convention Exclusive (Mike Mignola)

Dark Horse Direct’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Giclée Fine Art Print, “The Beast of White Orchard” (Rafael Albuquerque)

$40.00
50 prints available for purchase at NYCC
Limit of 2 per person per day
Giclée prints are sized at 11” x 17”, hand numbered, with a gold foil The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt logo

Dark Horse Direct's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Giclée Fine Art Print, “The Beast of White Orchard” (Rafael Albuquerque)

American Gods: My Ainsel #1 Convention Exclusive (Christian Ward)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

American Gods: My Ainsel #1 Convention Exclusive (Christian Ward)

Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1 Convention Exclusive (James Stokoe)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1 Convention Exclusive (James Stokoe)

Fight Club 3 #1 Convention Exclusive (Becky Cloonan)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Fight Club 3 #1 Convention Exclusive (Becky Cloonan)

Game of Thrones Dothraki Map Marker

$30.00 each
Limited quantity of 1,000

Game of Thrones Dothraki Map Marker

Dark Horse Direct’s Game of Thrones Tormund Figure

$40.00 each
Limited quantity of 300

Dark Horse Direct's Game of Thrones Tormund Figure

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Coaster Set

$10.00 each
Limited quantity 1,000

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Coaster Set

The Quantum Age #1 Convention Exclusive (Marcos Martín)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

The Quantum Age #1 Convention Exclusive (Marcos Martín)

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1 Convention Exclusive (Daniel Warren Johnson)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1 Convention Exclusive (Daniel Warren Johnson)

StarCraft: Scavengers #1 Convention Exclusive (Wei Wang)

$10.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

StarCraft: Scavengers #1 Convention Exclusive (Wei Wang)

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1 Convention Exclusive (Frank Miller) Gold Foil

The Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1 Convention Exclusive’s cover is made of thick cover stock with metallic gold foil stamping highlights.

$15.00 each
Limit of 5 per person per day

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1 Convention Exclusive (Frank Miller) Gold Foil
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