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.
Amazing Spider-Man # 5 (Marvel) Ok. I love Dan Slott and is still probably my favorite Spider-Man writer but Nick Spencer’s run is just plain fun. We have Pete and MJ back. A Spider-Man that cracks jokes and a mystery villian to top it all off! Great art by Ryan Ottley and no slowing down. The Peter/Spidey dynamic has been awesome for this arc and the resolution was priceless. I’m on for this thrill ride. Of course the fact that I picked up Spider-Man for PS4 helps a bit with Spidey Fever. It’s a good time right now. Not momentous issue but not cringe either. Right in the middle. Overall: Good read, plain fun. Score: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Return of Wolverine #1 (Marvel)* Well nothing stays dead forever in the Marvel U, especially if it’s short, angry and can pop claws. Logan is back and the journey is fixing to be fun. Everything about this book grabbed me. The art by Steve McNiven is always crisp, the colors were vibrant, the script by Charles Soule and of course the violence. Logan is once again a man out of mind and he needs to find his way back. Sure he’s alive but how? Why? Well we are going to find out. Also if that wasnt enough we get a cool explanation for his classic yellow and blue and a new uniform to boot. Buckle up bub it’s going to be a bloody ride! Score: 9 Reccomendation: Buy
Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #5 (Dark Horse)** – This is it, the issue when Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston reveal all — for now. Some nice surprises, and a jarring shift in the overall narrative through-line, promise to keep the momentum going here, and you may as well enjoy Haspiel’s always-terrific art, since he’s taking the next couple of months off. Normally I’d complain, but with Rich Tommaso stepping in, we’re in more than capable hands. We always are with this book. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Batman #55 (DC)** – Tom King is joined once again by Tony S, Daniel on art, and the results are no more satisfying than their much-maligned Booster Gold/Batman team-up storyline. Batman and Nightwing beat up some zombies and an evil Pharaoh-wannabe, while some Russian bad-ass starts cutting a bloody swathe through Gotham for reasons that remain as unknown as the answer to the question “why the hell am I still reading this book”? Decidedly mediocre stuff. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Mister Miracle #11 (DC)** – With one issue to go, it looks like Tom King and Mitch Gerads are about to wrap things up quick and clean here — but behind Darkseid’s throne there lies an even more malevolent power that Scott and Barda (and me, I admit it)never saw coming. We all should have , though, because it all makes perfect sense — even if we don’t know what’s happening. Best art of the series so far in this installment, as well. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Days Of Hate #8 (Image)** – The art of Danijel Zezelj continues to impress, even to inspire awe, while the scripting of Ales Kot does anything but. I swear, it’s like he’s just stretching out a one-issue finale to fill up six issues. This series looked like it had some real potential at the outset but looks, as always, were deceiving. I don’t even think I’m gonna bother riding this one out to the end. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme #1 (Marvel)– In an amalgam of two heroes, we find ourselves in an alternate universe where we get a cross between Dr Strange and Captain America during World War II. In this universe, we meet Stephen Rogers, who is picked to become a super soldier, instead become a powerful Sorcerer what happens to be a soldier. We follow him through a very familiar origin story but with a few twists. By issue’s end, he faces an old foe, who works for Hitler. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Captain America Annual #1 (Marvel)– Tini Howard makes a fantastic Marvel debut with a story of Bucky and Cap rescuing 2 Romani women and a gay Soviet man from Nazis along with artists Chris Sprouse and Ron Lim, who provide some old school shield throwing, Nazi punching escapades. From the opening sequence set in the forests of Germany to the final iconic splash page, the comic is a tribute to Cap’s never ending fight against genocide and hatred. Along the way, we get to know Marta, Volya, and Iskra and have a real stake in their safety as Cap and Bucky hatch a plan to get them away from the pursuers. I will never forget the image of Marta wielding a pistol and defending herself; she also has a sense of humor and roasts Cap’s costume. These small bits of humor are a good relief from the heavier subject material. Overall: 9.8 Verdict: Buy
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (Marvel) Saladin Ahmed, Garry Brown, and Lee Loughridge kick it old school in a story set in the 1980s from the POV of the alien symbiote. The symbiote sees that Spider-Man is a confident hero (“Full of meat”) while Peter Parker has anxiety about his job and personal life so it decides to “drive” for a while and fight crime as just the symbiote while Peter sleeps his life away. What follows is pretty chilling, body snatcher type story of the alien symbiote taking down Hammerhead’s organization sans the humanity of Spider-Man. He still has a little bit of a heroic side showing that Peter’s responsibility is still in there somewhere. Brown’s art is scratchy and fluid just like the symbiote, and Loughridge goes for a darker palette than the usual bright superheroics. This comic is evidence that continuity can lead to great stories. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy
Venom #6 (Marvel)– Venom fights the symbiote god himself in the conclusion to Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s arc on one of Marvel’s best current series. It opens up with a 20 panel grid and doesn’t put on the brakes once as Eddie and SHIELD vet who is totally consumed by his symbiote host Rex push themselves to the breaking point to defeat a seemingly insurmountable threat. This book has all the man pain filled inner monologues and insane splash pages that characterized Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane’s work in the 90s without all the misogyny and terrible takes on human anatomy. And towards the end of the battle royale, there’s a surprising amount of character growth and emotion connected to Eddie Brock. I can’t wait to reread this in trade paperback Overall: 10 Verdict: Buy
Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #1 (IDW)– Lee Allred, Mike Allred, Rich Tommaso, and Laura Allred turn in a refreshingly retro take on the classic comic strip crime fighter in Dick Tracy #1. He’s fighting corrupt politicians at every turn with old school sound effects and a bright pop art palette from Laura Allred in his wake. Tracy experiences several victories in the first issue, but corruption isn’t something you can take out with a well aimed shot of a tommy gun or an electric chair. This is great Prohibition Era period piece. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: 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 (**).