Tag Archives: image comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

DIVINITY2_004_COVER-A_DJURDJEVICWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Divinity II #4 (Valiant) – The first Divinity miniseries didn’t really click for me – oh, I understood why it was held in such high regard, but the series never resonated with me as much as it does with other people (don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it). I probably need to read it again, because Divinity II  can apparently do no wrong in my eyes. The final issue of the four issue miniseries is bitter sweet, because this has been so good I just don’t want it to end.

4001 A.D. #3 (Valiant) – Hands down the best event this summer. I can’t wait to read this.

Action Comics #960 (DC Comics) – There’s something about the frenetic energy of this comic that has just clicked with me, and for the first time in twenty years I am beyond excited at the thought of a Superman comic.

Howard The Duck # 9 (Marvel) – An underappreciated gem, this series is one of the most effortlessly entertaining comics on the racks today.

X-O Manowar #47 (Valiant) – Valiant’s longest running series is coming to a close with issue #50, and for the duration of this arc the company are giving away free art prints (or original artwork if you’re lucky) with each issue. Which is great value on its own, but the story itself has also been pretty great, making the art print a happy bonus.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Divinity II #4 (Valiant) –  The end is unfortunately here (at least before the upcoming December release of Divinity III!). Divinity II, just as its predecessor series did, has been building towards a clash of titans that weighs heavily between two very different ideals and moralities. Myshka and Abram are set to face off to decide the fate of the world in which reality would alter into a Stalinverse or set back onto its rightful course.

East of West #28 (Image Comics) – Lines are being divided, alliances are being formed and death lurks around every corner. After the chaotic, violent end of last issue, multiple characters’ motives and respective ‘cards’ have been revealed. It will be very interesting to see where this series goes from now as it has reached a pinnacle (at least as of right now) to its multiple layered conflicts.

Black Panther #4 (Marvel) – Ta-Nehisi Coates has been crafting a rich script that covers a wide spectrum of folklorish tales, environments both real and metaphysical within Wakanda and Africa as a whole, as well as presenting a real understanding to both T’Challa’s position and Tenzi and The People. Brian Stelfreeze’s illustrations with Laura Martin’s colours have been providing a very imaginative and detailed look that blends the backdrop clash of technology and nature. The conflict that has been building up is about to come to a head as this first arc concludes.

Indoctrination #2 (Z2 Comics) – Like the dirty, demonic brainchild of True Detective and its H.P. Lovecraftian imagery, Michael Moreci, Matt Battaglia, and Jim Campbell present a story that fuses FBI agents, the American South and a serial killer to question the power of ideology. Moreci looks to continue his moulding of politics with violence and the horrific with the dim, atmospheric images of Roche Limit fellow creator Matt Battaglia.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Mighty Thor #9 (Marvel) – This book has been consistently good from the get go.  The art is great and the stories have been exciting and showing a lot of character from Thor, both as Jane and the Goddess of Thunder.  But I am very interested in this new development of a secret organization of corporations pulling strings from the shadows.  Curious to see what their purpose/end game is.  Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.

Civil War II #4 (Marvel) – To be honest, I’ve felt this new civil war has just been lukewarm.  Sure, there have been a few casualties (a couple surprising ones) and sides are being chosen, but for me at least it feels like ‘yeah ok, we’ve done this’.  The last issue was a surprise, and the consequences of one characters actions will be decided.  It’s an ok read, and it does have it’s moments but I am hoping things ramp heading to the conclusion.

Civil War II Choosing Sides #3 (Marvel) – I have been enjoying this Civil War II tie in.  It’s a book of three shorter stories focusing on 3 characters and their place/thoughts/opinions in this new civil war.  It’s nice to see things from characters not directly tied to it in the main books and see how this fallout will affect the MU as a whole.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – I read this title for a time when the new 52 came to be, with Jason Todd, Arsenal and Starfire teamed up and facing down mystical and alien threats.  Now we have Red Hood who stumbles into a team up with Artemis (the Amazon, not the Young Justice character) and apparently Bizzaro; yup, sounds strange to me too, but I have to say I am curious to see what this trio is going to do together.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Divinity II #4 (Valiant) – This miniseries just like the previous volume has been absolutely fantastic. Every issue delivers and the resolution of how two god-like beings end their battle makes sense and is satisfying. I can’t wait for the third volume later this year and this issue leaves some clues that has me even more excited.

4001 AD #3 (Valiant) – Epic is how I feel about this one. This has been a fantastic event as Valiant keeps delivering.

Batgirl #1 (DC Comics) – Barbara hits the road and the concept of that sounds WAY too interesting to not check out. Something different is good.

Captain Kid #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Mark Waid has a new superhero comic and the premise sounds interesting enough. Waid does some excellent comics, especially of the superhero genre, so a new one has me at least interested in seeing what the first issue is like.

Tomboy #6 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – If you’re not reading this series, you’re missing out. It’s a dark and brutal vengeance story featuring a teenage girl. Charles Bronson in the form of a tween.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/23

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.


Alex

SM_Cv3_dsBatman #3 (DC)* Better than the last issue, honestly. I’m starting to appreciate the more human take on Batman that Tom King is giving us, and his exploration of the effect that the legend of the Dark Knight has on Gotham (the city, not the character) is getting interesting. A solid read that’s an improvement over last issue.

Superman #3 (DC)*  Something strange is happening to me; I’m becoming a Superman fan after decades of ignoring his comic series. Focusing more on Superman’s family, this series is one of the better ones to emerge from Rebirth so far.

The Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC)*  Awesome fun. A great one shot comic that’s highly enjoyable. Serving as a great introduction to the character, Hellblazer Rebirth  is a blast to read.

Logan


BettyandVeronica1-SDCCBetty and Veronica #1
 (Archie) Even though Adam Hughes’ pinup style artwork is delightful, Betty and Veronica #1 is far from it. His dialogue is a mix of 1950s teenage slang and modern “hip” terms as if he wasn’t sure to make the comic a period piece or a companion to Mark Waid’s trying to hard to be cool with the kids Archie series. And it seems like 70% of the comic is Archie and Jughead’s forced banter as the word balloons cover his art and the page. Betty and Veronica seem like they’re in the comic just to be attractive, and Hughes even takes a break at the end to draw them in bikinis delivering exposition for no discernable reason. He doesn’t even let them narrate their own giving that job to Jughead’s dog Hot Dog, who I liked better than a zombie. Hughes is a fine cover artist, but he really should’ve gotten someone else to write and plot Betty and Veronica #1. At least, we get Marguerite Bennett’s Josie and the Pussycats in the Fall.Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Patrick

Black Hammer #1 (Dark Horse)**: Nice concept: world’s greatest heroes are stuck in a normal small farming town after saving their world ten years ago. Meanwhile, back in that world, everyone thinks they’re dead. Dean Ormiston provides a suitably dark American Gothic art style to Jeff Lemire’s script. I think Lemire could have gone further with his original Justice League analogy characters, but that’s a quibble (as is my ongoing problem with his tendency to generic dialogue). Intriguing enough to come back for more. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

CasanovaAcedia-06_cvrCasanova: Acedia #6 (Image)**: There’s a scene in here, only two pages long, but I kind of wish it was the entire book: just two guys with guns behind their backs hashing it out. Maybe that’s my theatrical background talking, but I’ve been feeling lately that Fraction is trying to cram too much strangeness into the plot when there is plenty, and I mean plenty of strangeness within the characters. (Also there’s the ongoing Metanauts backup, which exists for some reason) Overall: 7 (because Fabio Moon) Recommendation: Read if you’re following.

I Hate Fairyland #7 (Image)**: Another delightful installment from the sickness of Skottie Young. I love how he brings up the flaws in his own storytelling and then basically says “fluff that” and just keeps motoring on. Also hilarious: the vehicle to get from Fairyland back to Earth is a 70s van with an airbrushed wizard riding a unicorn. That runs on dragon piss. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Lazarus #23 (Image)**: This one opens with one of the best fight scenes ever. Michael Lark brings so much emotion and intensity you can practically smell the sweat. And then just as much intensity in a walk-and-talk with Carlyle and Johanna. “Nicely done, Ma’am” indeed. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Velvet #15 (Image)**: Brubaker and Epting at their peak for the conclusion of a great 70s spy/revenge tale. I think this might just be the series Steve Epting was born to draw – like, the doctor who delivered him may have been reading a bunch of Modesty Blaise comics and they were the first thing little Epting saw. The end of this kind of story is always hard to pull off, and Brubaker doesn’t quite manage it, but since close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, I’ll take it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Weird Detective #2 (Dark Horse)**: I liked where this occult detective story started, but this issue is a bit of a sophomore slump, grinding away a little too long in the police procedural department and not just letting the weirdness rip! Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read.

Ryan C

The Hunt #1 (Image/Shadowline)**: I went into Colin Lorimer’s new mini-series with precisely zero expectations, only knowing his work from “Burning Fields,” and was pleasantly surprised to find him adopting a unique and confident voice as both writer and artist on this Irish folk-influenced contemporary horror tale. The dialogue is crisp and authentic, the premise intriguing, the characters immediately relatable, and the artwork darkly horrific and expressive. I’m very interested to see where this one goes. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy

HELLB_Rebirth_Cover_1-1The Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC)*: Finally! John Constantine seems like John Constantine again! And he’s back in London! Sure, this issue was a bit heavy on the recapping, and the plot involving JC tricking the demon who banished him from the UK into letting him come back is paper-thin, but Simon Oliver shows a solid handle on the character immediately and Moritat’s art has that Vertigo-era flavor and style to it. Would I like it better if Constantine were taken out of the DCU “proper” and brought back to where he belongs? Of course. But this is the closest approximation to that classic “Hellblazer” look and feel that we’ve seen since he was hijacked by all that “New 52” nonsense. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Second Sight #6 (Aftershock)*: David Hine delivers a rushed and largely unsatisfying conclusion to what’s otherwise been a fine series, and I have to wonder if things weren’t initially slated to go on a bit longer given the number of loose threads left dangling. Loved
the final-page cliffhange-style ending, though, and Alberto Ponticelli’s art is, as ever, amazing. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been following the series, pass if you haven’t

Batman #3 (DC)*: Tom King and David Finch continue to underwhelm with their introductory story arc. We finally get a little (derivative as shit, it must be said) backstory for Gotham and Gotham Girl this time out, and it’s nice to see the Matches Malone persona back for the first time in far too long, but all the Hugo Strange stuff seems to be running out of steam before it even gets started, and I don’t even care who or what the “Monster Men” are at this point. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass

Shean

Bigfoot_CoverBigfoot: Sword of the Earthman TPB (Action Lab): The myth of Bigfoot has always been treated in pop culture as one where they’re either a mystery of the week or Harry as in Harry and the Hendersons. This take is some I believe Edgar Rice Burroughs would love, as he is a strange adventurer on a distant world we know as Mars. We follow Bigfoot and his alien sidekick, Cantor, as they caught up in one scuffle after another. By volume’s end, they are not only hunted by a Mad Max type villain but an army the size of Kublai Khan, but our heroes still find a way to triumph in the eyes of hopeless danger, great book !!
Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Borders TPB (Dark Horse): The Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of this rugged warrior are a must have for any action film cinephile. While the world waits for a new film , those movies always started from the viewpoint of him as a King reminiscing from his throne.This miniseries aims to answer some of those questions as we join King Conan as he is visited by an old friend who advises him of an oncoming invasion. He endeavors on a road trip to squash the invasion while I the meantime bring captured, seeing an old lover and doing some good along the way. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

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 (**).

ComiXology Unlimited Exclusives Series for Comic-Con

ComiXology are adding some full series and almost complete runs to ComiXology Unlimited (CU) for exclusive access during Comic-Con International 2016. CU members will be able to borrow all of Dark Horse‘s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, almost the entire run of BOOM! StudiosGiant Days, the entire Sheltered series from Image Comics, the entire first season of Oni PressKaijumax and get up-to-date with Dynamite‘s Red Sonja only from July 21st -24th.

ComiXology Unlimited is the new subscription service that allows customers to explore the amazing world of comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month. The following will only be available during Comic-Con:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight: Vol. 6-8, #26-40
Giant Days #5-14
Kaijumax Vol. 1, #1-6
Sheltered Vol. 2, 3, #6-15
Red Sonja #7-18, Vol. 2 & 3

To start your free 30-day trial of ComiXology Unlimited today just visit comixology.com/unlimited.

Review: Wolf #9

wolf_09-1A lot can happen in five years. Look no further than Ales Kot’s Wolf, which has followed main characters Anita Christ and Antoine Wolfe through the (almost) apocalypse and then some.

To recap the most recent arc: After Wolfe drags an abandoned twelve-year-old into the desert and uses her grandmother’s ghost and newly discovered werewolf powers to kind-of prevent impending doom, he disappears for five years. In the meantime, Anita is raised by the be-tentacled Freddie and vampiric Isobel but keeps up a private search for Wolfe. When readers are reintroduced to Anita at age seventeen-almost-eighteen, she, Freddie, and Isobel have become a tight-knit family. The action strikes up once more as Duane Wolfe, Antoine’s brother, joins the group and they pick up the mysterious and tormented Renfield before setting out to rescue Wolfe. Meanwhile, Wolfe undergoes constant torture in prison.

Wolf #9 picks up right where #8 left off, smack-dab in the middle of a fight between Anita and company and the monsters that stand between them and Wolfe. This is the last issue of the arc, which lends an extra seriousness to the events that unfold. Heidi, no longer banished to Hell, is bent on raising Sterling Gibson from the grave.

In typical Ales Kot fashion, the latest installment of Wolf raises as many questions as it answers. The action pauses for reflection on what could possibly come next for the main characters and because of this, Wolf #9 feels like an ending more than anything else. While the surface plot is at times confusing, Kot does a good job at pulling threads through from previous issues. One particular issue that will help readers understand what’s going on is Wolf #3, which brings each character’s role and their parallels to religious figures into greater focus. With the concept of Anita as a Jesus figure in mind, her path to Wolfe could potentially have a deadly outcome. Anita telling Freddie and her grandmother early in the series that “Women bleed; it’s our fate,” is a bleak reminder that she has always been slated for death, and Wolf #9 is ambiguous about her fate.

The art is the same strong work Ricardo López Ortiz and Lee Loughridge have been putting out since the beginning of the arc. Ortiz’s art isn’t particularly realistic, but it’s perfect for the story and transitioned well from Matt Taylor’s art in the first arc. Ortiz’s style is free and sketchy, something that allows characters to convey a lot of movement and expression. This particularly suits Anita, who is a very outspoken and expressive main character.

Loughridge’s coloring takes the story from dark to light and back again. The fighting is a decidedly red-tinged palette. Antoine and Heidi are a cool blue that has been consistent with Sterling Gibson throughout the series, which hints that Gibson has left more than Anita behind. As the story progresses, Anita also adopts the same blue coloring, which is less than promising in terms of her well-being. Both the art and coloring work well to keep up the frenetic pace of the comic, and set the mood for the end of the “Apocalypse soon” arc.

Between the art and Ales Kot’s exploration of myth and biting social commentary, Wolf is well deserving of a read, but it’s not one to be read lightly. The most recent issues have also featured short comics selected by Kot that introduce new writers and artists. It’s a wonderful way to get new and diverse talent out there, and a kind way for Kot to pay it forward. Wolf #9 features work by Minhal Baig and Richard Lyons that reflects on the traumas and grief of Islamophobia in post-9/11 America, and if you needed another reason to pick up Wolf, Baig and Lyons’s mini comic is it.

Story: Ales Kot Art: Ricardo López Ortiz Colors: Lee Loughridge
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Colin Lorimer Talks The Hunt

Hunt01_CoverDream or reality? For a long time, teenager Orla Roche couldn’t tell them apart, and now The Hunt is coming with its nightmare world of the restless dead. An intense story of survival, The Hunt is a supernatural horror tale that will give Irish mythology a distinctly modern twist.

The Hunt is a new Image Comics series from writer Colin Lorimer with art by Lorimer and Joana Lafuente. Colin talked to us a bit and was kind enough to answer our questions regarding his new series.

GP: For those who might not know about the series, how would you describe it?

Colin Lorimer: It’s a folkloric, supernatural horror tale set in modern Ireland.

GP: Where’d the concept of The Hunt come from?

CL: I’ve always been fascinated by the European myth of “The Wild Hunt” and the many different variations that every country has on it. The Irish/Scottish one that tells of soul-stealing creatures known as “The Sluagh” was such a horrific concept that I couldn’t resist developing a story around them, and in all honesty, once they were in place the story almost wrote itself.

GP: How long have you been working on the series?

CL: The Hunt is one of my oldest projects and has gone through quite a few different iterations. I’ve been researching and working on it for quite some time. It was just that with being so busy with other projects I could never find the time to complete it–so after I finished my last project I cleared my schedule and made it my mission to get this story out there. I approached Jim Valentino over at Shadowline and he was very receptive to it picking it up almost right away.

GP: As both the writer and artist, how does your creative process differ than if you just did one or the other?

CL: I guess the obvious thing would be that as a writer and artist there’s certainly a lot more work involved. I go through the exact same process on art duties when writing my own stuff, but have the luxury if I’m having a problem with scripting a certain scene in regards to staging to just go in and just start thumbnailing and figuring it out visually, it’s quite an organic process and allows me a lot more freedom.

GP: What got you interested in tackling Irish lore and setting the comic there?

CL: I grew up in Northern Ireland surrounded by tales of Irish folklore so it seemed only natural that I’d set it in there. I remember the first time we visited the Giants Causeway and how that left an indelible impression on my young mind; Giants battling and throwing rocks at each other that ended up forming the landmasses that I was now walking on. I mean, seriously?!  When playing in the forest we would talk about staying away from the Fairy rings as we should not at any cost disturb the Fairies, and at night in bed if we heard strange noises that would probably just be the Banshee wailing. That’s quite the normal childhood. Right?

GP: Were there any challenges in adapting that lore to modern times?

CL: No, not at all.  Our society is built on various types of superstition, and religious beliefs, so it’s not too difficult to bring the idea of “fairytales” into a modern setting.

GP: Joana Lafuente is doing the colors and Jim Campbell is lettering the comic. How’d they come on the book?

CL: I met, Joana, through working on The X-Files with IDW and, Jim, from collaborating on the book Curse together which was published through BOOM! Studios. When I had decided to move forward on The Hunt  I contacted Joana right away as I knew she would  just elevate the work. She is a wonderful artist and I love her approach to coloring. Jim is a maestro of lettering and it’s just a great feeling to be able to sit back know that you don’t have to worry. Add to that their consummate professionalism and I’d be a fool not to have them along for the ride.

GP: How did the character of Orla Roche come about?

CL: Orla was based very loosely on someone I know. That person had suffered at the hands of others in many ways but had the strength of character and deep resolve  to overcome whatever was thrown at her.  The visions, and seeing of monsters part of the character would come from my experiences having dealt with night terrors and sleep paralysis.

GP: The comic is gothic horror and the first issue is quite tense at times. I find horror often succeeds or fails based on timing. How much work goes into that horror setting and getting vibe right?

CL: I couldn’t agree more. It’s finding a way to make the language of comics work in a way that fools the reader and plays with their concept of time. The most obvious would be the use of decompression: the slow build, leading the reader down that dark corridor to whatever lies at the end of it. The choice of camera angles and staging are important. Lighting also plays a huge part, as would Joana’s choice of palette. The page turn before a scene change or a reveal is also massively overlooked as a storytelling device.

GP: What other projects do you have coming up?

CL: I’m focused solely on The Hunt at present.

Cannibal Cooks Up Thrills in Time for Halloween

Image Comics has announced that New York Times bestselling author Brian Buccellato, Jennifer Young, and artist Matias Bergara are teaming up for a southern-gothic horror series set to launch this October.

In Cannibal #1 a small Everglades town is hit by a new virus that causes those it infects to crave human flesh. But with no cure in sight, the region has become split over what to do with the victims. For the Hansen family the answer is simple: kill them. However all of that changes when the virus infects those the family cares about most.

This is the second collaboration by Buccellato, Young, and Bergara, following the short story, “Jennifer” which appeared in Sons of the Devil, Vol. 1.

Cannibal #1 will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, October 5th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, September 12th.

CANNIBAL #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

FAITH_ONGOING_001_COVER-A_WADAWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Faith #1 (Valiant) – You’re going to hear a lot about this series in the coming weeks and months, and after the critically and commercially successful miniseries from the same creative team earlier in the year, the buzz will be massive. Whether the first issue will live up to expectations is tough to say; not because the comic will be sub-par, but because the hype will be massive. I’m rooting for you, Faith.

A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #5 (Valiant Entertainment)  – An underappreciated gem, this series is one of the most effortlessly entertaining comics on the racks today.Batman #3 (DC Comics) – I’m perhaps more cautious about this than I should be; the first two issues have been good, but there was a couple

Batman #3 (DC Comics) – I’m perhaps more cautious about this than I should be; the first two issues have been good, but there was a couple things in the second issue that turned me off a little bit. Although with only two issues down, there’s still a ton of potential here, so I’m not willing to give up on the series yet.Rai #15 (Valiant) – Another tie-in comic to what is, frankly, the best summer event this year: 4001 A.D., makes this a

Rai #15 (Valiant) – Another tie-in comic to what is, frankly, the best summer event this year: 4001 A.D., makes this a must-read for me.

Superman #3 (DC Comics) – I was never the biggest fan of Superman, but after having read the past two issues, I may be converted.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Island #9 (Image Comics)Island has consistently been a treat from Image that boasts a very impressive line of creators. Anthologies like this are always great at featuring a wide array of individuals that are potentially fairly unheard of and open the floodgates of material that these eclectic creators have done or are in the midst of doing.

Black Hammer #1 (Dark Horse) – Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart are looking to dive into the superhero genre but with a focus on a group of individuals trying to live an ordinary life. Jeff Lemire has continued to spark a lively, poetic script, no matter the genre he works in, so it is always interesting to see what he has up his sleeve. Visually, this series will be in good hands with the imaginative art of Dean Ormston and the always impressive colouring of Dave Stewart.

The Cloud (OGN) (Archaia/BOOM! Studios) – This looks like a very imaginative and beautifully illustrated release by Archaia. Featuring the graphic novel debut of writer K.I. Zachopoulos and illustrator Vincenzo Balzano, The Cloud has a very Neverending Story sort of vibe with quite the striking visuals.

Faith #1 (Valiant) – Faith is back with her own ongoing series! Having just recently written the mini-series of Faith and the excellent one shot of Shadowman for the 4001 event, Jody Houser looks to continue her winning streak for Valiant. Also having the one-two punch of Pere Perez and Marguerite Sauvage provide the reality and fantasies of Faith respectively on art is a wonderful thing.

Sombra #1 (BOOM! Studios)Sombra sounds like a very intriguing tale on the mysterious and terrifying reality of the Mexican cartel. What elevates this series is the fact that the story is being drawn from the actual experiences of the artist for the series, Raul Trevino. Writer Justin Jordan looks to continue his winning streak with BOOM! Studios after the excellent mini-series John Flood and will also feature, alongside Trevino’s art, the expressive colouring of Juan Useche and letterer Jim Campbell to round out the team.

 

Jason

She Wolf #2 (Image Comics) – Last month Rich Tommaso’s gorgeously illustrated and written take on the horror genre, She Wolf introduced us to gabby (her of the title) as her life was thrown into turmoil and intrigue when she is involved with the death of her boyfriend on the schools grounds. Reluctantly returning to classes under the cloud of the entire schools suspicion and fear she tries to hide a bigger problem and the truth behind that night, her lycanthropy.
That is if we believe the newly turned teenage shape shifter as issue one delivered a story that blurs the diction between waking and dreaming, truth and lies. Tommaso’s She Wolf has a completely compelling narrative and structure as he begins to tell Gabby’s story through a dreamlike feverish flow of flashbacks and horrifying imagery as soon neither reader nor Gabby can tell between the two. Demonstrated by the beautifully drawn chase scene that incorporates this slip between states effortlessly. Hopefully issue two will build upon the first foundations as we begin to peel away the layers and discover the truth at the heart of the She Wolf‘s Tale.

Rumble #12 (Image Comics) – Arcudia, Harren and Stewarts frenzied tale of the undead barbarian Rathraq rolls on into its third arc with its trademark nonstop action and it’s onslaught of punches both physical and emotional. Rumble is the sleeper hit of the year for sure with its frentic fight scenes and deep mythology, with Rathraq finding the modern world filled with shadows and grey moral areas as he fights on for his body and soul.

 

Mr. H

Batman #3 (DC Comics) – Batman teaming up with the heroes in training is something I’ve enjoyed thus far because we are getting a much softer Bruce here. He’s not putting them through the ringer like most his sidekicks. I have been enjoying the little moments that Tom King has been providing us here and David Finch is doing some of his best work on the art. I want to get a little more backstory on Gotham and Girl though. Plus the specter of Hugo Strange is looming in the background. Bad time to be Batman, good time to be a Batman fan!

Green Lanterns # 3 (DC Comics) – I am really digging the dysfunctional duo of Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz so far. Added in the fact that one of my favorite Lantern villains Attrocitus (who just looks damn cool) is bringing in an interesting story line here, I am stoked. This is certainly a very accessible title and I suggest people hop on and tighten their rings. Beware the RAGE!

Justice League #1 (DC Comics) – After the disappointment that was Justice League Rebirth #1 I wasn’t even sure this would make my cut. I am however willing to give it a shot. Tony Daniel on art (not writing thank God) and Hitch on writing could make this a must see. However, Johns and Co. left huge shoes to fill. I’m looking for something new here and by Rao, I hope we get it.

Darth Vader # 23 (Marvel) – This series is everything a Sith Lord should be. I have been catching up and rifling through back issues. The creative team here has truly found Vader’s voice. For a series that I thought should only be a mini-series, it sure proved me wrong.

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #7 (Marvel) – This is one of my favorite team line-ups in the books I’m reading, and this title never disappoints. I love the writing, with the quips and sarcasm between the ladies, but also seeing them bonding so quickly as a team. Plus anything with Dazzler in it will automatically be a winner with me. Lots of fun and action; I think you should be reading this.

All-New Inhumans #9 (Marvel) – This has been an interesting book, with some highs and lows, but this latest story arc has been good. Flint’s search for his mother has brought us to a new tribe of Inhumans living in secret.  It’s interesting to see the different factions of Inhumans, from Lash’s Tribe, to Medusa and her kingdom in Attilan and now this new group; all Inhuman but living very different lives. Anyway, Flint has found his mother, but Gorgon is in some trouble…and Ana Kravenoff is aboard to cause some mayhem. As I said, a pretty good arc so far.

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – A lot of DC titles popping up in my picks lately, but this one I am excited about.  I didn’t really follow the Birds of Prey pre-52, but I did know about them and the characters. I did start reading it when the 52 launched, with Black Canary and Starling forming the team, but something just didn’t really click with me on that book. Now we have the original trio back; Batgirl (once Oracle), Black Canary and Huntress.  Don’t know what to expect with this new Rebirth, but I’m sure there will be a lot of ass kicking.  Looking forward to it.

Uncanny X-Men #10 (Marvel) – The “Apocalypse Wars” are coming to an end, and Genocide has unleashed a horde of archangels to see his plans come to light. Magneto and Psylocke are going to have to work overtime to stop this one. Nothing groundbreaking here; good action and I like seeing Magneto and Psylocke working together, but this Apocalypse War story arc has been just ho-hum for me.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Garth Ennis’ Red Team: Double Tap #1 ( Dynamite Entertainment) – If you didn’t read the first volume of Red Team you missed out on an awesome crooked cop crime drama. I’m a sucker for that type of story and the fact we’re getting a second volume has me super excited.

Betty & Veronica #1 (Archie Comics) – Archie has been on a roll with their reboot of their Archie comics and Betty and Veronica are now in the spotlight with their own series. What has me more excited? It’s Adam Hughes writing and doing art. This is one I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.

Elasticator #5 (Scout Comics) – Not checking out this superhero series? You’re missing out. This is a series and a company that’s on too few radars. Go and check it out from the beginning because you’re in for a treat!

Snotgirl #1 (Image Comics) – Bryan Lee O’Malley is doing an ongoing series. That should be enough to get people to check it out. If you don’t know who that is, he’s behind Scott Pilgrim as well as Seconds. This is a must get and expect a sell-out.

Sombra #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Writer Justin Jordan tackles Mexican Cartels in this new series. BOOM! is also releasing a version in Spanish. This is one to keep your eye on as the combination of the subject and that translation move is very interesting.

Mini Reviews For the Week Ending 7/16

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.


Alex

Old-Man-Logan 8Old Man Logan *8 (Marvel)* Okay, I get it. Old Man Logan is from an alternate fucking future where the world went to hell. Stop telling me this every bloody issue. This falls somewhere between being a place holder comic between story arcs, and a waste of money. Whether it was designed to help new readers get into the series, or MArvel just needed n issue, telling a tory of Logan having insomnia because the fture he’s from may happen is beyon frustrating – especially since the last arc was all about Logan accepting this was a new tmeline. A bloody redundant comic. Spend your money on the Paybacks instead. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Nightwing: Rebirth #1 (DC)* I didn’t read  Grayson, so this was a nice catch up for me, but if you did read that critically acclaimed series, then you can probably skip this glorified recap page – as good as it was, there’s unlikely to be anything new here for you. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read if you’re getting back into Nightwing, Pass it otherwise.

Wonder Woman #2 (DC)* A fantastic issue. Only the second Wonder Woman comics I’ve ever truly read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it; much more so than the first issue.Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Mickey Shorts #1 (IDW) Based of the newer cartoon show, this anthology comic mixes an innocent Ren and Stimpy style artwork with Disney’s famous mouse. If you’ve seen much of the show, then this will feel familiar to you. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Walt Disney Comics and Stories #733 (IDW) Sometimes Disney reprint comics are just the kind of easy reading that you want to enjoy, especially after some of the shittier comics from other publishers. You know exactly what you’re getting here before you open the cover, and that’s often more refreshing than you realize. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation Read

Brett

4001-SM_001_COVER-A_FOREMANNightwing: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)A decent bridge comic that should catch folks up on what Dick Grayson has been up to. It isn’t super exciting at all and feels like an extended recap more than anything. But, it does set up what we can expect in the ongoing series. If you have no idea what has happened and need to catch up, this should scratch that itch. Otherwise, there’s little that’s groundbreaking or vital. Overall Rating: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

4001 A.D. Shadowman #1 (Valiant) – A very interesting new take on Shadowman and the Deadworld. Valiant has been knocking this event out of the park, so much so I want to see this world going forward. More please! Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy


The Adventures Of Miru #1
(Action Lab Entertainment)
– A very cute all-ages fantasy series. The first issue does a great job of setting up the world and teasing lots of mysteries. This is one to keep an eye on. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Adv-of-Miru-cover-1Aspen Universe Revelations #1 (Aspen Comics) – Aspen is bringing together their properties into one cohesive universe and while this first issue begins to lay the groundwork for that, it’s probably not the best for folks that have read previous Aspen comics. Still, I want to see how it’s brought together into one world. Overall Rating: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

The Bounty #1 (Dark Horse) – A fun new series from Kurtis Wiebe and Mindy Lee that’s a sci-fi spin on bounty hunters. The first issue is entertaining and had me wanting to see what comes next. Wiebe does fun comics, and he keeps up that streak here. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

The Bunker #18 (Oni Press) – Well that was a hell of a twist! This is an issue that REALLY shakes things up. Though it’s not new reader friendly, it’s a comic series folks should be checking out and this issue emphasizes that. Overall Rating: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

paybacks-1The Paybacks #1 (Heavy Metal Comics) – Absolutely amazing. I loved the first miniseries and this new series is just as good. If you haven’t checked this series out, here’s a perfect issue to start with. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Rough Riders #4 (Aftershock Comics) – Continuing the fantastic mix of history and weirdness. Aliens. Roosevelt. Lasers. Rasputin!? So much fun. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Wacky Raceland #2 (DC Comics)* – This re-imagining of the classic television cartoon is out there, but entertaining. This one adds a lot of depth for Dick Dastardly. Definitely not one for kids, but well worth checking out. Overall Rating: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

Warp Zone #1 (Rosarium Publishing) – Really trippy and really weird. The comic has a style that reminds me of Ed Roth and Garbage Pail Kids. An indie comic worth checking out. Overall Rating: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

rough rders 4All-New X-Men #11 (Marvel)* – While it’s great Marvel tied in their X-Titles to Apocalypse with the film out (evidence the Fox/Marvel split is bullshit) the various stories are a bit lacking, especially this one. The issue wraps up the arc as Evan and Hank deal with proto-Apocalypse. Maybe there’ll be some decent long term implications, but the issue and arc is rather blah, especially the art. It’s been a long time since the X-Titles were worth praising, and this is a prime example. Overall Rating: 6.7 Recommendation: Pass

Millwarworld Annual 2016 (Image Comics) – It’s great to see new talent, but the art and stories here are all over the place as far as quality. It’s great to see new stories for various series like Chrononauts, Kingsman, and Starlight, nothing here is must have for fans of the various series. Still, cool to see an anthology of this type. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Javier

Archangel #2 (IDW)** – I am sticking with this series with the hopes that Gibson will pull it all together in subsequent issues, but so far I am finding it harder and harder to enjoy. Gibson himself, in the afterword, says, “… this particular flavor combination has never openly turned up in [his] prose fiction.” However, I have come across the OSS, WWII, and alternative timeline/history motifs in a large number of other sci-fi and comic book works –and I suspect so have others. Butch Guice’s art is a saving grace, but not enough to recommend it too highly. Plus, Gibson’s fans, like me, will be disappointed by the surprising lack of cyberpunk tones. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass.

House of Penance #4House of Penance #4 (Dark Horse)** Tomasi’s and Bertram’s mythic re-telling of the nonstop building of the infamous Winchester Mystery House continues to please. Sarah’s blood and bile soaked mad quest to atone and appease the spirits, bumps up against the pragmatic realities of her family’s business. What role (aside from being a possible love interest) Warren will play in all of this is yet to be fully revealed.
Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy.

Daredevil #9 (Marvel)* – In the conclusion to Soule’s two part tale entitled “Blind Man’s Bluff,” Daredevil and Spider-Man team-up to get their hands on a mysterious briefcase held by the Chinese Triad atop one of Macau’s hottest gambling spots. The art is decent, with DD sporting the Netflix inspired dark costume, and Spidey on his right side. The story was entertaining, with hints at the importance of the briefcase’s contents impacting future storylines. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read.

Violent #5 (Image)** – Another well-written indie victim of low sales, Ed Brisson concludes the first arc of Violent with promises of a second via KickStarter. I was digging TheViolent_05-1this Canadian inside look at our Northern neighbor’s seedier side. If you missed this series, and are into crime stories, I highly recommend you pick up the TPB when available.
Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 (Archie Comics) **– The other half of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s horrific take on the Archie universe is superb story telling. In this latest issue we get two origin stories with references to Kipling’s “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw”, and Egger’s “The Witch”. Salem’s origin story is appropriately set within the historic context of America’s Salem Witch Trials to chilling effect; and Robert Hack’s artwork expertly captures the pulpy 1950’s tradition of horror art.
Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy.

Patrick

Z’isle #5 (Miscellaneum Studios)*: This is a zombie comic set in my hometown of Montreal, so I was curious. (You can read the title as Zombie Island/Île or Asile/Asylum) I was even more curious to see, on the inside back cover, a cast credit page featuring a large number of my actor friends. Unfortunately, Lateef Martin’s drawing is too off-model for its cinematic premise: I didn’t easily recognize either the actors nor many of the settings. Also unfortunately, Isabelle Duguay & Lateef Martin’s writing doesn’t take advantage of Montreal’s uniqueness and delivers a generic post-apocalyptic story with generic dialogue and generic characters. I always say, “No man is an island, but Montreal is.” Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass.

Descender_13-1Descender #13 (Image)**: In this one, we get into Captain Telsa’s story – and it is hugely, massively, generic and dull. Jeff Lemire hits basically every single beat from every single cheap sci-fi movie that ever cribbed from cheap adventure serials: childhood trauma, daddy issues, bar on the Fringes full of scum and villainy, rebellious cadet, etc. Not one note of originality in the entire issue. Which Dustin Nguyen paints the hell out of. Sigh. Overall: 6 (thanks to Dustin) Recommendation: Pass

Midnight of the Soul #2 (Image)**: I still maintain that, with a stronger editorial hand, this series could have ranked with great Fifties literature (for the record, Hugh MacLennan’s The Watch That Ends the Night is one of my favourite novels). Howard Chaykin remains a bit too caught up in his own tropes to really push Joel Breakstone’s story beyond a kind of cheap revenge pulp noir. But there’s a hint of something, in the last pages, of a character who is finding his own redemption back-asswards, riding a motorcycle through the bottom of the barrel. And that will keep me coming back, despite all of my misgivings. Overall: 7 (because Howard Chaykin art). Recommendation: Read

Ryan C

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 (DC)*: Another typical “stage-setter,” this “special” is only notable for being, if anything, even less ambitious than its “Rebirth” counterparts in that it does nothing else other than recap what’s come before with almost no emphasis placed on where writer Robert Venditti is looking to take things from here. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.When they waste two full pages on Hal Jordan reciting the Green Lantern oath that almost anyone reading the book knows by heart anyway, you know they’re padding things. Meanwhile, Ethan Van Sciver’s art is, as always, terrible. All in all this comic is completely indistinguishable from the worst “New 52”-era pablum. Overall: 1. Recommendation: Pass.

Wonder Woman #2 (DC)*: Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott kick off their every-other-issue “Year One” storyline, and aside from the fact that events in this installment take up well over a year in and of themselves, thus negating the arc’s title, I have no real complaints. Scott’s art is gorgeous, Rucka has a masterful handle on Diana, Steve Trevor, and everyone else involved, and the various plot threads — with which we’re, admittedly, already quite familiar — are imbued with some real pathos thanks to some expert fleshing-out of the backstory involving one of the other guys on Trevor’s mission who doesn’t make it out alive. Another re-telling of Wonder Woman’s origin may not be strictly necessary, but if it’s told well and sheds some of the “new light” on proceedings that Rucka has promised, well — it should at least make for some interesting reading. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy.

the vision 9The Vision #9 (Marvel)*: Another “holy shit they really went there” issue from Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, with tragedy so thick you can cut it with a knife, a highly intriguing new take on Vision’s “brother,” and a painfully drawn-out demise of one of our principal characters making for, you guessed it, another essential chapter in comics’ most doom-laden series. Miss it at your peril, this book is at the top of everyone’s “read pile” for good reason. Overall: 8.5. Recommendation: Buy

Nightwing: Rebirth #1 (DC)*: I’ve got all the respect in the world for Tim Seely, but his talents — as well as those of Yanick Paquette — are wasted on this long-form “what has gone before” nonsense. There’s some solid interaction between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne, though, and you do, at least, get some hint of where things are headed in the future, so it’s a slight step up from the other “Rebirth” book that hit shelves this week. Still not worth your three bucks, though. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.

Shean

Joe Golem Volume 1 (Dark Horse)-Crime Noir has been popular in comics for a while thanks to the likes of Ed Brubaker, but when combined with the supernatural, the alchemy is more than interesting, it is addictive, for lovers of both genres such as this writer, when done right. Mike Mignola, is in rare form here, exercising muscles that he wasn’t able to do with Hellboy. Golem is more than a relatable character, but is definitely a realistic one Horizon_01-1as he reacts as most people would do in both of the cases seen in this first miniseries. You will definitely cheer for him as he saves the children he could in the Rat Catcher and one would be remiss to see the comparisons to the Returned, in Sunken City. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Horizon#1 (Image) Growing up watching Captain Planet, the message of saving the earth by not destroying it was not lost on me. Still years have passed and it seems as though the world is still doomed for this inevitable demise. This comic aims to pose the question if we have time travel on our side can we still leave this world inhabitable for all mankind. By issue’s end, you somehow feel more hopeful about the future. Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

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 (**).

Sell-Outs and New Printings

Check out some of this week’s announced sell-outs and printings from various comic publishers.

Dynamite

Released last week to widespread critical acclaim, the debut work of graphic fiction, White Sand, by author Brandon Sanderson arrives on the New York Times Graphic Bestseller List in the number two spot! The first volume has sold out at the distributor level, with an incredible amount of backorders and a second printing in the works.

Sanderson’s previously unpublished story is adapted by Rik Hoskin, with art by Julius Gopez and colors by Ross Campbell.

JG_WhiteSand01DJ-CImage Comics

As many in the comics industry lament the slow news week and lack of major conventions, news items, and industry gossip during this month, Image Comics is pleased to alleviate this dry spell with an announcement of yet another bevy of re-printings for The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. The Fix #4 is slated for its second printing already and The Fix #1 is going into its fifth printing in order to keep up with ever-increasing demand for the hot new series. Retailers reading this will immediately realize the potential for a little extra beer mon—er, customer base growth potential—and increase their orders.

The Fix #1, 5th printing and The Fix #4, 2nd printing will arrive in stores on Wednesday, August 10th.

The Fix #1 5th Printing The Fix #4 2nd PrintingMarvel

Comic fans met her earlier this year, but last week the world at large was introduced to Riri Williams – and people everywhere are buzzing! Marvel has announced that remaining copies of her first appearances have immediately sold out at the distributor level!

Be sure to catch up on all her current appearances in the pages of Invincible Iron Man #7, #8, #9, #10 & #11 when they all return to comic shops next month!

Invincible_Iron_Man_7_Third_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_8_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_9_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_10_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_11_Second_Printing_Cover

Blindbox Comics’ July 2016 Unboxing

Blindbox Comics is a new monthly comic book subscription box that includes five regular monthly releases and one exclusive variant cover. Or, you can order just the variant. Or, you can order just the comics.

We open up and show off the latest box released, going over the comics plus a variant! Find out what’s inside!

You can order your Blindbox Comics now!

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