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.
Mister Miracle #7 (DC)**– Something of a “let’s take a breath here for a minute” issue in terms of action, but a very big day indeed in the lives of Scott Free and Big Barda as they welcome their first child into the world. A rather charming and heartwarming little story from Tom King and Mitch Gerads here, with some seriously ominous shit ripping the rug out from under everything right at the very end. Don’t know what it all means yet. Looking forward to finding out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Slots #6 (Skybound/Image)** – Dan Panosian puts his six-parter to bed in grand style with a story that wraps up every loose end in both highly believable and highly satisfactory fashion. The icing on a really fun, gorgeously-illustrated cake. Grab it in trade is you haven’t been picking up the singles, you won’t be disappointed. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
VS #2 (Image)** – Really digging Esad Ribic’s art on this series, but it’s really hard to say if Ivan Brandon’s militaristic take on “Ready Player One” is going anywhere interesting. I’ll stick it out for another issue or two in order to find out, but this is so far just really dynamically-illustrated virtual reality-type stuff. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read if you picked up the first issue, otherwise take a pass
Postal: Laura #1 (Top Cow/Image)** – Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodhart get one more crack at the world they did such a terrific job bringing to life in this final epilogue to their long-running series, and for people who were wondering whether or not a book-length postscript was going to be essential reading, trust me when I say — it is. Not sure why Laura gets the title honors with this one as the story is about the final fate of Mark and Maggie more than anything else, but other than that? No complaints whatsoever. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Vampironica #1 (Archie)– Greg and Meg Smallwood kick Vampironica off with a riveting, gory destruction of toxic masculinity via vampire/vampire killer Veronica, but then immediately put on the brakes for a non-descript origin story. The environs of the Lodge mansion is perfect for Greg Smallwood’s atmospheric horror storytelling, but he and Meg Smallwood don’t make a connection between Veronica’s personality and her newly vampiric nature. Hopefully, future stories focus more on her as a vamprie and less on the hackneyed Archie/Betty/Veronica love story. Overall: 7 Verdict: Read
Action Comics #999 (DC)- In Dan Jurgens’ penultimate issue of Action Comics, he and artist Will Conrad prove they really understand the character of Superman. They tell a standalone story of Superman and Clark Kent finding a better way and rebuilding damage done by his son Jon’s grandfathers, Jor-El and Sam Lane. As Superman, he destroys the Phantom Zone once and for all and finds a more humane way to imprison Cyborg Superman by surrounding him in a room where he can experience memories of his life as Hank Henshaw. As Clark Kent, he admits fault for not introducing General Lane to his grandson earlier and admires his determination as a military even if Lane will never be a big fan of Superman. Despite some time travel shenanigans and pitfalls, Jurgens’ recent run on the Superman titles has been about establishing Superman and Clark as a family man and ending the issue with a family meal warmly drawn in a photorealistic, but not stiff style by Conrad is a fantastic culmination to Jurgens’ arc for the Kent family. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
New Mutants: Dead Souls #1 (Marvel)– Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, and Michael Garland throw it back to the early 90s (And the 80s briefly.) in New Mutants: Dead Souls. However, this comic isn’t just a nostalgia trip for fans of Magik, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, Rictor, and Boom Boom, but has great banter, social commentary, and some zombie bashing action. Gorham is best at drawing the creepy horror bits while Garland pours on the yellow, and for two seconds, it’s like you’re reading the Chris Claremont/Bob McLeod New Mutants. But the X-Men “Little League” has changed for better and worst, and this mini will explore this. Magik is definitely the standout character in the early going. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy
Star Wars :Thrawn #2 (Marvel)– As Thrawn moves up the ranks, he faces resistance and prejudice as his commission still feels like a black eye to the elite. In this issue, we find Thrawn in the midst of a secret experiment and dealing with a new captain, which leads theit ship to responding to a distress call. What Thrawn and Eli find is a ship taken over by Pirates and a crew under siege. By issue’s end, our protagonists rescue the crew, take back the ship and Eli gets an interesting proposition. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Avengers #684 (Marvel) – This comic was a blast. You get a Green Hulk we all know and love, and a Red Hulk that is as awesome as he is ridiculous. They have been merging all of The Avengers teams really well in this event, and this book is no different. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #301 (Marvel) – Overall: Chip Zdarsky has really found his footing not his series. I wasn’t into it as much when it first began, but it has become a very fun series. He nails Spidey’s humor and this issue which deals with time travel embraces the silliness perfectly. I love the trip down memory lane with Spidey’s rogues gallery and the usual fun quips Parker is famous for. The art also has a nice throwback feel to it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Old Man Logan #36 (Marvel) – Wilson Fisk is now Mayor of New York, and as usual Logan is pulled into something he doesn’t want to deal with. This was a solid start to this arc, and Brisson continues to shine on this title. It’s always good to see Fisk popping up in another title, and now with him being Mayor, I am hoping for some fun crossovers throughout the Marvel universe 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 (**).