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Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/21

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.


Mr. H

Immortal_Hulk_Vol_1_3.jpgImmortal Hulk #3 (Marvel) Al Ewing brings a tale woven in mystery by using eye account witnesses to tell their versions of what happened at the same event. It is an interesting story device as it is done through different artists pencils and styles. I really dig this Boogeyman aspect of the Hulk so far. Even one witness calls him Ol Jade Jaws, which is just classic. The gamma infused residents with power is an interesting touch but it could wear out its welcome quite quick if Mr. Ewing is not careful. That being said I have not been this energized about a Hulk ongoing in well, ever. There is just something to these one and done Tales From The Crypt like shorts we are seeing weaved thus far. It is nice to have a comic you put down and then next time you pick it up you start fresh. I really hope this run is a long one. Already counting the nightfalls till the next issue. Story: 8 Art:9 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Royal City #12 (Image)** – Maybe we should have seen this coming. When Jeff Lemire announced he was ending this series with issue #14 rather than keeping it going for an undisclosed number of years as he originally intended, he was probably already running out the clock — and this installment certainly proves it. There are some great-looking splash pages and double-page spreads in this comic, but aside from the one major plot development the issue revolves around, not much happens at all, and at the end of the day what you’ve got is $3.99 spent on a book that takes literally about a minute and half to read. This is just straight-up padding, plain and simple. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Crude_04-1Crude #4 (Image/Skybound)** – Steve Orlando’s scripting and Garry Brown’s art improve with each issue of this involving, topical series, and this time out we’ve got some bare-knuckle brutality in addition to yet another layer of intrigue being woven into the tight, terse plot. It reads great, it looks great — you really can’t ask for much more out of a comic than you get here. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Proxima Centauri #2 (Image)** – I’m not entirely sure where Farel Dalrymple is going narratively with this inventive sci-fi series, but the disjointed story is presented in such a way as to make it feel equal parts interesting and mysterious rather than off-putting and impenetrable, and his cartooning is a veritable feast for the eyes. Don’t ask me what the hell’s going on in this comic — all I know is that I like it. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #51 (DC)** – Lee Weeks handles the art on Tom King’s latest arc, and it looks as terrific as you’d expect — but the story is a middling affair at best, with Bruce Wayne called for jury duty on a case involving Batman’s arrest of Mr. Freeze. The cliffhanger ending is a nice little wrinkle,I’ll give you that, and is probably enough to get me to come back for more, so the script must be doing something right — but it feels hopelessly “decompressed” (nice-speak for “stretching five pages out to 20”), and I dunno if having Dick Grayson stepping in as Batman for a time is going to amount to anything, or if it’s just an empty, go-nowhere contrivance.I guess we’ll see. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read


captain marvel 1The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – In what I think is a primer for the character, the comics world gets a good background story on Carol Danvers. We find Danvers in a crisis of conscience, as many of her childhood problems affect her role as anAvenger. This leads to Tony Stark pushing Danvers to visit her family, a visit that proves to be more difficult than she has anticipated. By issue’s end, she realizes her “Family PTSD” is too serious for her to leave before those long running issues are resolved. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars Thrawn #6 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short, we finally see what makes Thrawn such an evil genius to command respect from Darth Vader, as his ability to stay so many steps ahead of everyone is what this book so good and the Easter egg at the end leaves the door open for a sequel. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Euthanauts #1 (IDW/Black Crown) Tini Howard’s and Nick Robles’ Euthanauts is like waking up from a fever dream as funeral home receptionist Thalia is recruited into an organization where she sees what life after death is like. Robles isn’t just skilledat the trippy stuff, but also at showing all the strength and fragility of the human body. In the early going, the narrative is a bit hard to follow, but it’s exhilarating in the way discovering a whole suite of otherworldly cable channels would be. Euthanauts #1 is dark and adventurous like maybe death will be… Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

xmen re 6.jpg X-Men Red #6 (Marvel) Tom Taylor and Carmen Carnero continue to prove why X-Men Red is the flagship X-book with splashy action, empathetic characterization, a global scope, and a great villain. Some of Carnero’s panels with Cassandra Nova are downright chilling as she tries to quash Jean’s hope with her hatred. Between cellphone heists and Searebro (Not a typo just a pun.) construction, Taylor takes time to flesh out the Wakandan mutant Gentle, who was abused for being both an outsider and mutant. Jean is trying to build a world where mutants can participate in the world on a global scale and can use their powers peacefully and not in violence or self-defense, but we’re a long time from that because it’s 2018, ugh. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

Jessica Jones #1 (Marvel)** This comic is a wonderful surprise from Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis, who is sure to be one of Marvel’s biggest stars with a slick, yet dark style. I love how Thompson balances Jessica’s life as a mom/wife and private eye, and her scenes with Luke and Dani are breezy and organic. (There’s a running joke about Luke getting the wrong dinosaur shapes cereal for Dani.) The overall mystery is fairly compelling to with female “D-list” superheroes getting shot in the head, and no one knows who’s behind it. This sets up some fun cameos and interactions, and Thompson’s gift for snark is a perfect fit for Jessica. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Archie Meets Batman ’66 #1 (Archie/DC) This crossover from Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci, Dan Parent, and J. Bone is groovy, fun, and Batgirl fights the Bookworm in it. Parent’s art is perfect for the wacky, pop art world of Batman ’66 where Joker plays Rock Em Sock Em Robots and Poison Ivy has Jolly Green Giant-looking henchmen. This first issue mostly sets up the Riverdale and DC Universes of the 60s, but it has a lot of potential. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read


Runaways #11 (Marvel) – This is one of my favorite comics every month. It is so injustice-vs-the-masters-of-the-universe-1-of-6lighthearted and fun, but still deep and engaging. The team of Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, and Matthew Wilson make some of the coolest art and dialogue around. You really feel like these are kids or young adults trying to exist in a world full of heroes, but they’re still trying to figure out where they fit in. There’s actual growing pains that kids really go through, and the storyline with Victor is awesome. Also, Doombot is a reoccurring character and yells “I AM DOOM!”, and that is worth the admission alone. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Injustice vs He-Man and Masters of the Universe #1 (DC) – Tim Seeley writes a fun world colliding comic which follows the previous Thundercats and He-Man tie in and even references it. The set up for how Batman, Zatana, and the other heroes enter the world of He-Man is fun. There’s even some bonding with Swamp Thing and Moss Man. The part that has me excited to keep reading is wondering where Superman and his team and where Skeletor and the bad guys will be in this tale. There is definitely some hints by the end. It is quite an interesting issue, and the art by Freddie Williams II is awesome. Overall: 7.5 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 (**).

SDCC 2018: Jordan Calloway Joins Black Lightning as Painkiller for Season 2

He may have saved Freeland in season one, but Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is in for a new season of pain when Jordan Calloway returns as DC villain Painkiller in the show’s sophomore season! Guest starring as Khalil Payne in season one, Calloway’s promotion to series regular was revealed by showrunner/executive producer Salim Akil during Black Lightning’s San Diego Comic-Con 2018 panel.

Khalil Payne was a high school All-American track star with dreams of going to the Olympics until a stray bullet severed his spine, leaving him embittered and unable to walk. Black Lightning’s archnemesis Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) offers him legs for loyalty. Khalil accepts the offer and receives cybernetic enhancements that transform him into the Painkiller, meta-strong and able to generate an anesthetic from his body that causes temporary paralysis when delivered through darts. Now, he is a living weapon for a ruthless crime boss. Before long, he pines for his old life and dreams, and his teenaged love, Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain).

In addition to Black Lightning, Calloway’s credits include Beyond for Freeform, Riverdale for The CW, The Mick for FOX and Pure Genius for CBS.

Black Lightning returns for season two on Tuesday, October 9, at 9/8c on The CW. Based on the DC characters, the series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter. Black Lightning is produced by Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

SDCC 2018: Shazam! Gets Its First Official Trailer

As expected, Shazam! gets its first trailer revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. David F. Sandberg directs New Line Cinema’s Shazam!, the origin story that stars Zachary Levi as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton; Darla, played by Faithe Herman; Eugene, played by Ian Chen; and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand. Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard.

The film is firmly set in the DC universe but has its own distinct voice, fun, family-centric tone.

Shazam! is set for release on April 5, 2019.

SDCC 2018: Scott Snyder Announces The Batman Who Laughs

At the DC Justice League panel at San Diego Comic-Con writer Scott Snyder stirred the crowd’s interest with the announcement that he would be teaming up with artist Jock to create a six-issue miniseries based on the popular character from Dark Nights: Metal, The Batman Who Laughs.

Scheduled for November, this is a story Snyder has been eager to write, featuring two of his favorite characters. This six-issue miniseries pits Batman against the culmination of all his fears from the Dark Multiverse, an evil amalgamation of himself and his greatest nemesis, The Joker.

SDCC 2018: Stargirl is Coming to DC Universe, Plus Shazam, and Three Jokers

Geoff Johns had some reveals at his Spotlight panel Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 with the news that he is writing and executive producing Stargirl for the DC Universe digital subscription service. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will also executive produce. The original series is the sixth for the brand-new service and focuses on the character that started Johns’ career as a comic book writer when he created her in 1999, lovingly inspired by his late sister who was killed in a 1996 plane explosion.

Stargirl follows High School sophomore Courtney Whitmore who inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past. This new DC Universe series reimagines Stargirl and the very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, in a fun, exciting and unpredictable series premiering in 2019, produced by Warner Bros. Television, Mad Ghost Productions and Berlanti Productions.

Before the crowd could settle down, Johns revealed he will return to Shazam! with an ongoing comic book series, reuniting with artist Dale Eaglesham. Shazam! #1 will debut on November 21, the same Wednesday before Thanksgiving that Johns debuted Doomsday Clock #1 in 2017.

Speaking of Doomsday Clock, Johns revealed new art by Gary Frank from issue #6, out July 25. Johns shared that the new issue will provide fans with Mime and Marionette’s origin stories.

Finally, Johns revealed a first look at Batman: Three Jokers by artist Jason Fabok and announced that the series will be published under the DC Black Label imprint, which promises a provocative and daring storytelling.

Unboxing: The One:12 Collective The Flash

Painstakingly developed to capture this heroic character, The Flash One:12 Collective Action Figure is a seamless blend of a timeless icon with a “real world” look. With 32 points of articulation, an accurately detailed real fabric uniform, and numerous interchangeable accessories, this 1:12 scale figure was designed with collectors in mind. It comes packaged in a deluxe fifth-panel window box with translucent acetate slipcover for both maximum protection and ease of removal for display.

We open up and show off the fastest man alive in Meco form!

Preview: The Wild Storm #15

The Wild Storm #15

(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jon Davis-Hunt
In Shops: Jul 18, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Marc Slayton took his show on the road, as the thing inside him he called the Carer told him to. But whom is he hunting, and for what purpose? John Lynch is crisscrossing America to warn the other Thunderbook test subjects that IO might have discovered them, but IO might not be the only threat to their lives. The uneasy peace between IO and Skywatch has become a cold war-and there are plans for a hot war.

Preview: The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #6

The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #6

(W) Liam Sharp (A/CA) Liam Sharp
In Shops: Jul 18, 2018
SRP: $3.99

It’s an epic battle for Tir Na Nóg in this finale, as King Elatha has opened its Causeways and both Fomorian and Dé Denann creatures are spilling into our own realm! Batman must go back to Gotham City to try to close the Causeways from the inside, while Wonder Woman will fight alongside King Elatha against his once-banished brother, Balor Evil Eye! Who will take the crown and rule Tir Na Nóg for eternity?

Preview: New Challengers #3

New Challengers #3

(W) Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie (A) Klaus Janson (A/CA) Andy Kubert
In Shops: Jul 18, 2018
SRP: $2.99

It’s the New Challengers versus the Old Challengers! The original Challengers infiltrate Challengers Mountain to uncover the identity of the professor who’s been manipulating both teams! As dark matter leaks from the Dark Multiverse, the New Challengers travel to the prehistoric underworld of Skartaris, stomping grounds of Travis Morgan, the Warlord!

Preview: Injustice 2 #30

Injustice 2 #30

(W) Tom Taylor (A/CA) Daniel Sampere
In Shops: Jul 18, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Then, the entire universe is in peril and it’s up to the fallen Hal Jordan, the Titans and Blue Beetle to save it. They’ll need all the help they can get, but do they really need help…from Booster Gold and Lobo?

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