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.
Immortal 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
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 #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
The 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
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 lighthearted 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 (**).