Tag Archives: dc comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Other History of the DC Universe

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: Black & White #2 (DC Comics) – Amazing art made the first issue stand out and we’re hoping for more of the same with the second.

Dead End Kids: The Suburban Job #1 (Source Point Press) – Three friends are brought back together when they find themselves in the crosshairs of a local drug dealer.

The Eighth Immortal #1 (Source Point Press) – And immortal must choose between protecting humanity and her own sanity.

I Survived Vol. 3 Nazi Invasion 1944 (Graphix) – In a Jewish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister, Zena, struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis.

Kaiju Score #3 (AfterShock) – Things are of course going sideways when it comes to the heist and it’s thankfully entertaining watching things go wrong.

Loot #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – Emily D. Jackson works for her newly retired mom in loss prevention at a big box superstore by day and turns her passion for theft into part-time treasure hunting on the side.

Nailbiter Returns #9 (Image Comics) – The series has been a fantastic “horror sequel” taking all of the tropes and expectations of being one and mixing it up. If you’re a fan of the genre, the series as a whole is worth checking out.

The Other History of the DC Universe #2 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – The first issue was jaw dropping and the second has us just as impressed. This series continues to look at the history of DC through the perspective of its minority characters. This issue, the Teen Titans.

Stake #1 (Scout Comics) – As a member of the Vampire Bounty Hunter Union, and with the help of her ancient vampiric mentor Jessamy, Angel’s out to track down the bloodthirsty monsters who destroyed her life.

Strange Academy #7 (Marvel) – The series has been a lot of fun with fantastic artwork. The danger is increasing now as we’re past the introduction and this is becoming one of Marvel’s best regular releases.

Taarna #2 (Heavy Metal) – The first issue delivered a cosmic trippy story and we’re excited to see where this series goes from here. With solid visuals and grand scope, the series feels like an homage to Jack Kirby.

Check Out Today’s New Digital Releases from DC, Yen Press, Kodansha, and More!

The Other History of the DC Universe #2

Today is one of two new comic book days. ComiXology has your digital copies covered with over 50 releases from DC, Yen Press, VIZ Media, Kodansha, and more right now. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases below.

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

Kodansha

Seven Seas

Sozo Comics

Vertical

VIZ Media

Yen Press


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 1/23/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Future State: Catwoman #1 (DC)– Now, this is a Future State tie-in that I can unequivocally recommend as all you basically have to know is Gotham is a fascist state, and Batman is MIA. Ram V and Otto Schmidt peel back the layers on the resistance as Catwoman and her Strays of Alleytown mastermind a train heist whose stakes ramp up until a killer cliffhanger. Schmidt’s visuals are fluid, and I enjoy some of the small touches he brings like Selina being a little clumsy with her new high tech suit while easily subduing guards with her whip. Future State: Catwoman #1 is a fun heist comic, but it’s really a giant metaphor for grassroots movements taking out stodgy authoritarian bureaucracies with Catwoman and her crew cracking wise and kicking ass while making fools of the Magistrate’s soldiers. Also, the guest appearances genuinely move the story along and aren’t just fun fan cameos. This book is a yummy side dish to the crime epic that is Ram V’s Catwoman run. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Future State: Nightwing #1 (DC)– Dick Grayson is still agile as hell in his armored version of the “disco wing” suit, but Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott spend most of Future State: Nightwing #1 showing how weary and worn down he is. His one-liners are more cynical, and he’s breaking femurs (With style and grace) when the Magistrate’s soldiers are already subdued. With Batman presumed dead, Nightwing is the top vigilante in Gotham working out of the Arkham Cave, and he most definitely has a death wish. Scott’s fight choreography is fun to watch per usual, but there’s an air of sadness to things even when a guest character shows up. Personally, I’m not a fan of grimdark Nightwing, but it does fit the tone of Future State, and it has solid action even though the baddies are a little underdeveloped. Overall: 7.0 Verdict: Read

Future State: The Next Batman #2 (DC)– John Ridley, Laura Braga, and layout guy Nick Derington spend more time showing Tim Fox’s Batman in action and showing how he works, thinks, and his general strengths and weaknesses as a hero. There’s lots of grids in this book, and it’s perfect for Ridley’s narration plus close-ups of Batman fighting the Magistrates or frantically trying to get away and get a bead on two murderers. In traditional Batman stories, Gotham is an ally, but because it’s now a surveillance state, he must fight the city itself, and the inability to hold long cellphone conversations and Tim’s lack of fighting skill and gadgets compared to Bruce make everything more tense. Plus colorist Arif Prianto throws in an added layer of darkness. Ridley’s story is much more focused in The Next Batman #2 and is full of suspense and moral quandaries as Tim’s targets are quite sympathetic, especially compared to the Magistrate’s soldiers, who are just there to bag capes and don’t give a shit about actual crime in Gotham.Writer Vita Ayala really plays to their artist Aneke’s strength with body language and crafts a real relationship drama in “Batgirls”. Basically, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are trapped in jail with Steph seemingly having joined the side of the villains while Cass desperately wants to find a way to either find Batman (Bruce Wayne) or the missing Oracle. Almost from their first conflict, Ayala gets what makes Steph and Cass tick as people. They alter these former Batgirls’ voices to show the new, even more dystopian Gotham has worn on them with Steph being rougher and more cynical and Cass being more verbal, yet still earnest and always ready with the knock out punch. The guest star-strewn prison setting is ripe for a little drama, and I’m excited to see if Cass and Steph are able to rediscover their heroic legacy again. Also, a fun nerdy side-bar is that Vita Ayala uses plot points from The Odyssey as a prison code language, and I’m kind of in love with it.If “Next Batman” and “Batgirls” were hits, then Paula Sevenbergen, Rob Haynes, and Emanuela Luppacino’s “Gotham Sirens” is of more middling quality. Luppacino gives Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and their new buddy Dee Dee plenty of personality as they drink, dance, and break into a tech billionaire’s mansion and find his female robots binge watching Sex and the City. Sevenbergen was going for fun adventures and digging deeper into the tech side of the Magistrate and Gotham, but can’t really pull off the balancing act. Also, since Dee Dee’s personality is mentioning TV shows, having a weird relationship with her maker Dilton (I hope Archie Comics doesn’t read this story.), and furthering the plot, the group dynamic really comes off as unbalanced especially when Sevenbergen throws in an overextended origin story in the middle of the plot. Honestly, the best part of this story is the friendship between Catwoman and Slam Bradley, and maybe Ram V will pick that thread up to use in his book. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Barbalien Red Planet #3 (Dark Horse)– Every issue, I fall in love with this comic even more. Jeff Lemire, Tate Bombral, Gabriel Walta, and Jordie Bellaire build up Spiral City’s queer (and superpowered) community even more as Barbalien is wounded in a battle with a Martian bounty hunter and taken to Dr. Day’s clinic where she treats AIDS patients and members of the LGBT community. Day is a Black lesbian woman with solar-connected powers, and she and Barbalien really bond while he recovers. She talks about how the heroes of Spiral City have neglected marginalized folks, and how she fill in as best as she can while also playing a little bit of match maker between him and Miguel. Walta and Bellaire’s visuals are really the cherry on top with every panel being a unique gem and easy to follow from shape shifting Martian battles to tender kisses. You can really follow the emotional pulse of Barbalien: Red Planet without even reading the words, but Brombal and Lemire continue to do a fantastic job centering Black and Latinx queer activists between alien raygun duels. Overall: 9.3 Verdict: Buy

Cable #7 (Marvel)– Cable has really found its footing post X of Swords as Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto use a kind of “team-up” format with Cable and a guest star going on a mission together. This month’s guest is his sister (It’s complicated!) Rachel Summers, and they go to Philly and rescue babies kidnapped by the Order of X cult (Think Rachel Dolezal meets Jim Jones). As usual, Noto does a good job showing the Summers siblings’ powers in action and getting some hilarious reaction shots with they link up telepathically with a couple of beat cops. Also, going forward it looks like Cable #7 is bringing everything full circle back to the 90s with a glimpse behind the curtain at this arc’s Big Bad plus next issue’s guest star. However, stylistically, it’s handled in a very self-aware way with lots of tongue and cheek jokes about Cable’s convoluted backstory plus there’s Noto’s modern design sensibility. Add a heart to heart between father Scott and son Nate, and Cable is off to a great start in 2021. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

X-Force #16 (Marvel)– Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara go back to the ol’ body horror well in X-Force #16 as the team investigates an underwater parasite connected to Krakoa. Cassara gets to draw some disgusting undersea life and have Wolverine stare into the abyss while also joking about him sinking quicker because of his adamantium armor. Percy uses the parasite as a bigger metaphor for Krakoa not being the utopia it seems like your new laptop running into a couple nasty viruses or your car needing repairs or being sick when it’s been a while. And, of course, being a parasite, it affects other folks, especially Namor, who shows very pretty and pissed off and wrecks its shit. His appearance reminds us that even though he’s technically “the first mutant”, his kingdom comes first, and that he could sink Krakoa whenever he wants. Namor is a fascinating character to me, and it’s cool to see him pop up in the X-Books again and continue to play a key role in the Marvel Universe. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Crimson Flower #1 (Dark Horse) – A revenge tale taking place in Russia from Matt Kindt and Matt Lesniewski. The debut is decent though didn’t quite stand out as special to me. The art has a bit of a “underground comics” vibe to it that doesn’t quite click and feels odd for the subject. Maybe there’s more to come with its Russian roots but as it stands the comic feels like a run-of-the-mill revenge story. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Legacy of Mandrake the Magician (Red 5 Comics) – The series has been adorable and too short. I’m hoping for more to come and this is a great example of how to update a property and honor what has come before. I’ve never been much of a fan of the character before this but I’m interested in seeing more. It’s just got a solid style in writing, story, and art that comes together for a fun new direction for the property. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Catwoman (DC Comics) – Not a bad comic but there’s another “heist” Future State story that’s a bit too similar in concept. The art is great and the story progresses really well with the twists and turns and eventual reveal. But, that reveal has me scratching my head concerning other Batman related Future State releases. Definitely entertaining and worth checking out. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Nightwing (DC Comics) – A really solid direction for the character that plays off Batman being dead. The art is good, where the story goes is great. It’s just a really solid, well done comic that sucked me in. This is the type of story I’d love to see done live action. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Shazam! (DC Comics) – What’s up with Shazam! in this possible future? This comic begins to answer that question and while it’s an interesting concept, it doesn’t quite work for me. I won’t spoil it but overall the reveal was a bit expected and feels like something we’ve seen before many times elsewhere. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1 (DC Comics) – World War Superman? We get our answer as to where Superman is in a comic that features three stories that intertwine. The opening is fantastic as it really focuses on what Superman means for Earth before revealing where he’s been. It really sets a great tone and vision for the character. The other two stories feature Midnighter and Mister Miracle and both tie into the Superman story. It’s a great way to flesh out what’s going on from different perspectives. A really interesting comic that’s full of potential. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: The Next Batman #2 (DC Comics) – Two out of three’s not bad? The story of the new Batman continues and there’s some really good material there about law and order and what’s going on in Gotham. The second story is about the search for Oracle and has a great setting within a prison. It could easily be a series by itself. The third, focused on Gotham Sirens, is a bit odd with the other Catwoman comic being out and Poison Ivy being in prison in the second story. A bit of a mixed comic but a world I’d love to see continue as ongoing comics or graphic novels after Future State. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read


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 (**).

Dive Into Vertigo with the DC Vertigo Sale!

Explore some classic Vertigo from DC Comics with the DC Vertigo Sale currently running on comiXology.

There’s 360 releases on sale now including Ex Machina, Sandman, Hellblazer, Scaled, V for Vendetta, American Vampire and so much more.

You can save up to 71% on releases it’s a fantastic sale to save on some great comics.

The sale runs until January 25 so get saving.


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: The Last God #12

The Last God #12

Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Riccardo Federici

At the edge of creation lies the Black Stair. From beyond it, from the Void of non-existence, He has returned. Mol Uhltep, The Last God. The God in The Void walks the world of Cain Anuun once more, bringing his apocalyptic prophecy of thirty years past to fruition. This is the story of those who failed to stop Him. The mortals who believed they could kill a god and protect their world from the cold embrace of unlife. Instead, they lie dead and dying atop the Black Stair as the world crumbles around them. This is how it all ends. The void awaits.

The Last God #12

Preview: Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #7

Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #7

Written by: Kami Garcia
Art by: Mico Suayan, Jason Badower

Harley faced The Joker in her home, and now she faces him again. This time, she knows he killed her roommate. This time, she knows he’s toying with her. This time, she’s in danger of losing her reputation with the GCPD instead of her life. Their electrifying encounter will have consequences for the rest of her life-but is she ready?

Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #7

Preview: Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1

Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1

Written by: Mark Russell
Art by: Steve Pugh

Welcome to Lexor, home of the greatest businessman in the Multiverse: Lex Luthor! After years of prosperity, Lex’s utopia is at last ready to join the ranks of the United Planets and promote peace among worlds. However, Lex has never done anything unless he had something to gain from it. What could he be up to this time? Sounds like a job for Superman and his wife Lois Lane, the Earth representative to the U.P.! It’s time the Man of Steel shut down this former Metropolis magnate once and for all!

Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1

Preview: Future State: Suicide Squad #1

Future State: Suicide Squad #1

Written by: Jeremy Adams, Robbie Thompson
Art by: Javier Fernandez, Fernando Pasarin

The Suicide Squad enters the Future State era as Amanda Waller uses Task Force X to save the world and remake it in her image-but what happens when the team shows up to stop her? And in the second story in this extra-sized issue, Black Adam, the immortal one-time champion of the wizard Shazam, rules the planet Kahndaq in the 853rd century. Can he save the future from a threat rooted in the past?

Future State: Suicide Squad #1

Preview: Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Riley Rossmo

Whatever happened to the Legion of Super-Heroes? The team is no more, and the United Planets are in total chaos as one of the Legion’s own has turned on the entire galaxy! Everyone is affected…and not everyone survived! Ultra Boy tries to put the Legion back together to face the future head on! Find out the fates of all your favorite Legionnaires like Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Brainiac Five, and Bouncing Boy. Plus, a shocking twist in the Legion mythology-and a long overdue appearance by the Legion of Substitute Heroes! It’s all here in a truly way-out tale by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Riley Rossmo!

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1
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