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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Radiant Black #1

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.

Black Hammer: Visions #1 (Dark Horse) – The world of Black Hammer opens up with guest creators. Should be a lot of fun to see what others do with the characters and world.

Casual Fling #1 (AWA Studios) – An affair leads to torment from a mysterious stalker.

Children of the Grave #2 (Scout Comics) – The first issue ended with a hell of a cliffhanger. Who’s the mysterious “Mother”?

Eternals #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic as the classic characters get a bit of an update and reintroduction to the masses before their film drops.

Freiheit: The White Rose Graphic Novel (Plough Publishing House) – The story of the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany.

Ginseng Roots #8 (Uncivilized Comics) – The series exploring Craig Thompson’s life around the ginseng community continues to focus on the generations involved and the changing market.

Mapmaker #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot Comics) – Any map he creates comes to life, a power highly desired by King Gus, who will stop at nothing to obtain it.

Morbius: Bond of Blood #1 (Marvel) – A film is coming from Sony so we’re interested in seeing what Marvel does with the character.

Orcs #1 (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!) – Bog and his crew venture out into the world to seek their fortune, and hopefully find their way back home again.

Parenthesis (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf) – A memoir about the creator’s experience with tumor-related epilepsy-losing herself, and finding herself again.

Radiant Black #1 (Image Comics) – A new superhero series coming out of Image, Kyle Higgins, and Marcello Costa. With Higgins writing, we’re really intrigued to see where this all goes.

Rorschach #5 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – As a crime/political thriller comic, it’s been great so far.

Scarenthood #4 (IDW Publishing) – A horror series focused on parents attempting to solve the mystery of the haunted school their kids go to. It’s been an interesting one so far that’s perfect for parents into horror.

Scout’s Honor #2 (AfterShock) – The first issue shook up the whole belief structure the Ranger Scouts have been built on. What will the second issue bring?

Space Bastards #2 (Humanoids) – The first issue was over the top violence in this sci-fi postal service adventure.

Undiscovered Country #12 (Image Comics) – This series has kept us on the edge of our seat. You never know what to expect with each issue which gets us excited to see what’s next.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Transformers: Beast Wars #1

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.

Avengers: Mech Strike #1 (Marvel) – The Avengers face a big threat and decide to suit up in Mechs. It sounds like a toy tie-in and it sounds completely silly. We’re in.

Chained to the Grave #1 (IDW Publishing) – A tail of intrigue, murder, magic, and the wild, wild, west! Westerns in comics have been rare lately, so we’re always interested in checking out a new one.

Deep Beyond #1 (Image Comics) – Humanity has been devastated by a disease and a small group of scientists studies the hidden depths of the abyss. Something there may be even more destructive!

Far Sector #10 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The truth begins to be revealed!

Fear Case #1 (Dark Horse) – Two Secret Service agents attempt to track down the Fear Case which appears throughout history at sites of disaster and tragedy.

Future State: Harley Quinn #2 (DC Comics) – Wrapping up the series, the first issue was a neon-infused interesting take on Harley and this second issue delivers the endgame in her situation.

Future State: Swamp Thing #2 (DC Comics) – Humanity has been rediscovered but what does that mean for Swamp Thing ans his people?

Legend of Shang-Chi #1 (Marvel) – With a big movie coming, Marvel is upping the amount of comics starring Shang-Chi. We’re up to seeing what each creative team does with him, especially after the recent miniseries reworking his origin a bit and taking on the problematic aspects of his past.

Luna #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A hippie cult whose leader claims to have met the divine, secret blood rituals, power drugs and sex… yeah, we’re intrigued.

Man-Bat #1 (DC Comics) – A character that has come and gone as far as the spotlight. We get a new take on the character delivering a tragic other side of the coin to Batman.

Maniac of New York #1 (AfterShock) – A masked slasher stalks New York City. He’s inhuman, unkillable, and unstoppable. So, the authorities decided to ignore him. When he returns to kill, two disgraced cops decide to attempt to destroy him.

Redemption #1 (AWA Studios) – A despot rules a town with an iron fist after the apocalypse. A legendary gunslinger is asked to come out of retirement to help save a young girl’s mother.

Sea of Sorrows #3 (IDW Publishing) – The horror series has been great setting up tension and we’re back for more.

The Shepherd #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – A Professor becomes convinced he can rescue his son’s wandering soul.

Specter Inspectors #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A group of ghost hunters, the comic sounds like the fun goofiness that the television shows on the topic bring.

Star Wars Adventures: The High Republic #1 (IDW Publishing) – The new Star Wars setting has been interesting so far and we want to see what else spins out of it.

Teddy (Dead Reckoning) – A graphic novel about the life of Teddy Roosevelt.

They Fell From the Sky #1 (Mad Cave Studios) – A teenage kid meets an alien and must balance his day-to-day life and prevent an interplanetary war.

Transformers: Beast Wars #1 (IDW Publishing) – The beloved comic series gets a comic celebrating 25 years!

The Walking Dead Deluxe #8 (Image Comic/Skybound) – The series has been fascinating to read again in the age of COVID. A great way to experience the comic for the first time or good excuse to return and experience it again.

Preview: Far Sector #10

Far Sector #10

Written by: N.K. Jemisin
Art by: Jamal Campbell

The groundbreaking sci-fi series approaches its thrilling climax! Since arriving at the City Enduring, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has confronted an insidious conspiracy of murder and mayhem, but even this most resilient Green Lantern reaches her breaking point when she uncovers an “emotional sweatshop” producing black-market feelings for a world without them. But Jo is only too human…

Far Sector #10

Nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Announced

GLAAD Media Awards

GLAAD has announced the nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The awards honor media for “fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues”. The awards began in 1990 and this year features 198 nominees in 28 categories.

Award recipients will be announced during a virtual ceremony scheduled for April 2021.

Below are the nominees in the comic category. You can get the full list of nominees at the GLAAD website.

The Old Guard, based on the comic series by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández, Daniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne was nominated for “Outstanding Film – Wide Release“.

Harley Quinn, the HBO MAX/DC Universe animated series based on the DC Comics character created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini was nominated in “Outstanding Comedy Series“.

Supergirl, based on the DC Comics character, Wynonna Earp based on the character created by Beau Smith, and The Umbrella Academy based on the comic by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá were nominated for “Outstanding Drama Series”.

Outstanding Comic Book

  • Empyre, Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling, Empyre: Aftermath Avengers, written by Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Chip Zdarsky, Anthony Oliveira, Valerio Schiti, Manuel Garcia, (Marvel Comics)
  • Far Sector, written by N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett (DC Comics)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, written by Al Ewing and Marcio Takara (Marvel Comics)
  • Juliet Takes a Breath, written by Gabby Rivera and Celia Moscote (BOOM! Studios)
  • Lois Lane, written by Greg Rucka, Juan Cabal, and Mike Perkins (DC Comics)
  • The Magic Fish, written by Trung Le Nguyen (Random House Graphic)
  • Suicide Squad, written by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo (DC Comics)
  • Wynd, written by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas (BOOM! Studios)
  • X-Factor, written by Leah Williams and David Baldeon (Marvel Comics)
  • You Brought Me the Ocean, written by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh (DC Comics)

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2020 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Writer Ron Marz Tweeted something like any comic that helped to get you through it is a favorite, and deep down I agree with that. It’s been a rough year for so many and it’s one where the comic industry was forced to mature and face reality in many ways.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and looked to go directly to the consumer. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Stores were forced to market more taking to video, email, and social media to keep customers aware of the latest offerings and remind them of classics they might have missed. Some stores didn’t make it through the year. Others expanded. New ones joined the industry. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2020 looked bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics and manga for me).

So, in a bit different spin I’ve split this list into three sections.

  1. Comics where I’ve only read one issue so far, because that’s what’s been released, but am excited to see what comes in the new year.
  2. Comics I enjoyed each month and are kind of a “silver medal” for me. I wanted to acknowledge them but also didn’t want this to be an overwhelming essay. They’ll get more of a nod when I do a video of this.
  3. The ones I was excited to read each month or had an impact on me. These are the ones that go into my regular suggestions of comics to read down the road. The art, the stories, the presentation, they’re all at that “top of the game” level.

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

2020 gave us one, here’s ones I’m excited to read their second issues in 2021!

  • Batman: Black & White #1 – The first issue had some solid stories but it’s the art that really stood out. It was mind-blowing and one of the best comics visually released this year. Almost every story broke away from standard panels and was just amazing to look at. I have no idea if future issues will be like this but here’s hoping.
  • Black Cat #1 – The last volume was a lot of fun to read and this first issue continued that. Despite being a King in Black tie-in, the issue kept the focus on what Black Cat does best, steal things as everything collapses around her. There’s just a certain style and attitude that the creative team nails with this. It was a fun debut that you could just sit back, laugh while reading, and enjoy.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 – Marvel’s trying to make M.O.D.O.K. a thing. It’s kind of been his year between an upcoming HULU series, a popular miniature in Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and this comic. The first issue had me laughing and I’m hoping that continues.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1 – John Ridley is one of my favorite creators out there. His work in film and television have blown me away. It looks like DC has given him the opportunity to deliver a brutally honest take about the DC Universe from the perspective of people of color and the first issue is one of the best things I read all year. I can’t wait until the second and this man should be allowed to do whatever he wants.
  • The Recount #1 – The issue hit a bit close to reality. The President is a crook and assassinated and there’s an uprising to purge the country of everyone who supported him, from the Vice President down to voters. It was a hell of an opening issue and one that was chilling in so many ways.
Shang-Chi #1

Comics to check out…

These were all great reads and should go on your reading pile. These are ones I made sure to read every month and jumped at reading as soon as they crossed my desk. They’ll all get more love in my video version of this.

The comics that really stood out for the year.

All of these comics were ones that kept me thinking well after I read them and I’d be happy to read them again. Many are still ongoing while others have wrapped up their runs. Each stands out in its own special way.

Ginseng Roots #3
  • Black Widow – Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are the main creators on what’s been released so far and every issue has been amazing. Black Widow has been captured and brainwashed into believing a domestic life is real and hers. There’s been a great mix of humor, action, in this spy thriller and it’s sure to ramp up now based on the latest issue’s final moments. This is a great mix of storytelling and visual coolness.
  • Dead Day – Man, I really want this to be done as a television series and absolutely need more comics. Ryan Parrot, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho!, and Charles Pritchett deliver a masterclass in world-building. Not only do they deliver an interesting story but have crafted a bigger world. For one night, the dead return, and while the comic really told the story of one family, each issue fleshed out enough of what this event’s impact would be elsewhere to get you to think and imagine.
  • Far Sector – N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett have breathed a breath of fresh air into the Green Lanterns with this series. We’re taken to an alien world where a new Lantern named Jo must solve a murder which takes her deep into a corrupt society. It does what science fiction does best, explore our real world. The visuals are stunning as well in what is a comic that’s timely capturing the current zeitgeist.
  • Ginseng Roots – Craig Thompson explores his childhood in what’s one of the most original comics this year. In a small format and with minimal colors, the comic tells us the history of ginseng and Thompson’s childhood.
  • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red – DC really shook things up this year and one way was a greater focus on digital releases. This series was an anthology that delivered a different creative team with every chapter. We got to see over a dozen different takes on Harley Quinn each of which was entertaining. If you want to see how much the creators matter when it comes to the storytelling, here you go. This is also a perfect example of where digital comics should be going from major publishers.
  • Kill a Man – This story focused on a gay man’s battles within the world of MMA was an updated take on the Rocky formula and done so well. You can come at it as a fan of MMA, as someone who’s LGBTQ, both, or just wanting good storytelling. Emotional with great action, it’s a home run from the team of Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Al Morgan, and Jim Campbell.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – The miniseries was collected and it’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Janice Chiang deliver a comic that captures the heart of Superman. Based on the groundbreaking radio play where Superman takes on the KKK, this comic is amazing in every aspect, from the story to the visuals. Add in some extra material from Yang about his own experiences and it becomes a comic everyone should read and one that helps define Superman in one of his best depictions ever.
  • Vlad Dracul – Matteo Strukul, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Joel Rodriguez tell us the story about the very real Vlad, the inspiration for Dracula. I learned a hell of a lot and would love to see more comics like this. It’s a crazy read that can be enjoyed for the history and education and/or the brutal story itself that would fit any fantasy world.
  • We Live – The first issue was perfection and got me to choke up. Each subsequent issue has built upon the world. In this story humanity is almost over but a mysterious entity from space will save 5,000 children but first they must get to extraction points. This is a few kids’ stories and their journey of survival. By Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, and Dave Sharpe each issue is visually amazing plus there’s some awesome bonus music you can listen to while reading.
  • Yasmeen – Talk about an emotional gut-punch with each issue. Saif A. Ahmed, Fabiana Mascolo, and Robin Jones tell the story of Yasmeen who was captured and tortured by Isis and her attempt to deal with the PTSD while settling after in the United States. Just an amazing blend of storytelling and real recent history.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Far Sector #9

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/Catwoman #1 (DC Comics) – We read the first issue and mixed about it but this one is on a lot of people’s radars.

Black Widow #4 (Marvel) – This series has been fantastic so far. Full of action and humor, it’s just beyond entertaining, and this issue ups the “holy crap” factor.

Captain Canuck Season 5 #1 (Chapterhouse) – If you’re looking for superhero comics not from the big two, check this one out.

COVID Chronicles (AWA Studios) – Chronicling ten personal accounts from the frontlines of COVID-19. A perfect example of graphic journalism.

DCeased: Dead Planet #6 (DC Comics) – The series begins to up the action as numerous plot threads begin to come together for a hell of a battle.

E-Ratic #1 (AWA Studios) – A new superhero series staring a 15-year-old who can only use his powers for ten minutes at a time. The concept sounds interesting and it’s from the talented Kaare Andrews and Brian Reber.

Far Sector #9 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – Things become much clearer in this issue as we continue to question who we can trust.

Happy Hour #2 (AHOY Comics) – In a world where you can’t be unhappy, the state will go to horrific lengths to make that happen. The first issue was an intriguing concept and we want to check out more.

Hellboy & the BPRD: Her Fatal Hour (Dark Horse) – The follow up to “The Beast of Vargu”, Hellboy is always a good time to read.

Justice League: Endless Winter #1 (DC Comics) – The mini-event kicks off here and it feels like an old-school DC storyline.

Kill a Man (AfterShock) – The highly anticipated MMA graphic novel is here and it exceeds our expectations. A great mix of focusing on characters and grappling.

King in Black #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s next big event kicks off here and it’s a hell of a start.

Knock Em Dead #1 (AfterShock) – A new series from Eliot Rahal who we’ll read no matter what it is. This is a supernatural horror taking place in the world of stand-up comedy. We’re intrigued.

Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1 (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The beloved series wraps up.

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 (Marvel) – We laughed multiple times during this issue that’s a lot of fun. We can’t wait for the second issue.

Overwatch: Tracer – London Calling #1 (Dark Horse) – The hit game comes to comics and it’ll be interesting to see how this one goes over with that crowd.

Red Atlantis #2 (AfterShock) – The election thriller continues and we really want to know where this one’s going. Very timely and not a direction we’re expecting.

Seeds of Spring #1 (Microcosm Publishing) – A Canadian teenage exchanges books and tapes with a pen pal. The series juxtaposes the main character’s life with that of 19th-century Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin.

Strange Adventures #7 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – A hell of a reveal in this issue.

The Walking Dead Deluxe #4 (Image Comics/Skybound) – It’s been interesting reading these newly colored releases in the age of COVID. The context definitely has changed a bit since they were first released.

Around the Tubes

The Scumbag #1

It’s a new week! We’ve got lots on tap to bring you and we’re plugging away at it all. So, while you wait to read some awesome stuff… here’s some articles from around the web you might have missed.

Deadline – ‘The Magic Order’ Not Moving Forward; Netflix Series Was Based On Mark Millar Comic – That’s a shame…

Games Radar – Tom Taylor & Jon Sommariva re-imagine Peter Pan & Neverland in two-book series for Penguin Random House & Glenat – This should be interesting.

How to Love Comics – Amazing Spider-Man: Last Remains Reading Order Checklist – For those who are intersted…

Reviews

Monkeys Fighting Robots – Far Sector #8
How to Love Comics – My Riot
CBR – The Scumbag #1

Review: Far Sector #8

Far Sector #8

Far Sector has been one of the best series DC Comics has been releasing. The comic has captures the zeitgeist exploring police brutality, social unrest, the right to protest, and racial injustice. It has done all of that with a shine and style that delivers a visually beautiful comic. It’s a story that’s as deep to read as it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous to look at. Far Sector #8 has Jo attempting to make her arrest. But, she realizes that she’s facing similar issues she faced on Earth.

Jo continues her fight in the artificial intelligence world attempting to arrest the assassins who have killed a member of the council that guides the world. It’s a hell of a sequence with popping visuals and such fantastic concepts. The art, story, everything comes together for a treat of a read.

Even with the focus on the arrest/police procedural aspects of Far Sector #8, writer N.K. Jemisin adds small details, and some not so small, focusing on Jo’s past and the abuses she saw and even committed as a police officer. But the issue really shifts on the bureaucracy that she deals with. With a council watching every step she makes and wanting immediate answers, she’s unable to do the job that now faces her, figuring out who murdered an elected official.

Jemisin throughout the series has infused it with commentary about society and especially the police. Jo, in general, feels like a “cop” who’s attempting to do their job but is sucked into the system and in this alien world that’s happening as well. She wants to solve the case but is forced to jump through hoops to do so and do it in a system that is designed to make that difficult.

If that wasn’t enough to sell you on the comic and the series, Jamal Campbell‘s art should be more than enough. The alien world presented is beautiful to look at and the concepts and designs are amazing. But, what stood out to me in this issue is Jo herself. This is the first issue where it really has stood out how non-typical of a character she is. She’s always been presented with curves but in her civilian clothes, it becomes more apparent with a body shape not typically seen in superhero comics. That is literally in your face as she faces the council and we get a better look at her thighs and waist. Not sure why, but this is the issue where that stands out to me.

Deron Bennett‘s lettering too is a nice touch to the issue and series. As this world is made up of alien races, the lettering shifts a bit depending on who is talking. It’s a nice way to make characters and the aliens stand out a bit. While it’s not needed, it’s a touch that really enhances the story.

Far Sector is an amazing series, one of the best of the year. Far Sector #8 delivers another chapter in a police procedural that’s infused with socio-politico commentary. This is a series that’s “in the now,” not afraid to tackle current issues and real-world discussions. Most importantly, it entertains while doing so. With each issue, the series makes the case for “best of 2020.”

Story: N.K. Jemisin Art: Jamal Campbell
Color: Jamal Campbell Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Far Sector #8

Far Sector #8

Written by: N.K. Jemisin
Art by: Jamal Campbell

While still processing her feelings about Councilor Marth, Jo tracks down the “riders” who killed Averrup Thorn, and gets the first hint of what’s really going on beneath the surface of the City Enduring. Reporting to the Council, Jo is disgusted to realize she’s facing the same kind of callous, responsibility-avoiding bureaucracy as back home on Earth.

Far Sector #8

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Vampire: The Masquerade #1

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.

Alien: Original Screenplay #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – The original screenplay gets turned into a comic and we’re excited to see what the result is.

Bad Mother #1 (AWA Studios) – A suburban mom’s kid goes missing and she goes on a mission to get her back. There’s an 80s tinge to the concept we’re digging.

DCeased: Dead Planet #2 (DC Comics) – DC’s best line of comics they’ve got going right now.

Disaster, Inc. #2 (AfterShock) – The series about disaster tourism sounded interesting but the supernatural twist has us really intrigued.

Empyre #4 (Marvel) – The summer event has been getting better with each issue and with no preview, Marvel has something up their sleeve.

Far Sector #7 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The series has been amazing with a mix of socio-political/action/mystery/romance. This issue leans a little heavier into the action but it’s so good and visually amazing.

Horizon Zero Dawn #1 (Titan Comics) – We haven’t played the video game but know the visuals and the world and we’re intrigued how it’s adapted into comics. Some massive potential here.

My Little Pony/Transformers #1 (IDW Publishing) – It’s just so crazy, it might work.

Undiscovered Country #7 (Image Comics) – This series has been off the wall insane and we seriously have no idea of what’s next.

Vampire: The Masquerade #1 (Vault Comics) – Vault isn’t a publisher we think of when it comes to licensed comics but what they have put out matches perfectly for what we’d want in a comic based on the popular roleplaying game.

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