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 # 9 (DC)** Tom King and Mitch Gerads tread a lot of water in this issue, as a series of overly-stylized, minimalist negotiation scenes between Scott, Barda, and Kalibak go around in circles, Scott is treated/subjected to yet another of King’s painfully obvious apocryphal/anecdotal yarns, and then, just when things look like a complete waste of time, along comes a gut-punch of a cliffhanger that nearly redeems what had heretofore been, frankly, a pretty lackluster issue. Almost — but not quite. And goddamn, Gerads keeps burying his his stunning art under the most heavily-saturated color scheme seen in years. I’m not quite ready to say things are going off the rails with this title, but all those breathless proclamations in the series’ early going that said “this book is revolutionizing comics” and “this is the ‘Watchmen’ of the 21st century,” and what have you? Those are starting to look pretty silly right about now. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
A Walk Through Hell #2 (Aftershock)** I honestly had no clue what Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka were getting at in the first issue of this series, but I figured I’d stick it out for one more — and I’m glad I did. There’s still a shitload of the oblique and mysterious on offer here, but the outline of what this book is about and where it’s going is coming into view, and it’s very disturbing indeed — maybe even harrowing. The art’s really solid, too, driving home the terrors both known and (mostly) unknown with professionalism and panache. My opinion of this comic just took a hard 180 for the better. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Dry County #4 (Image)** Rich Tommaso is dragging his stand-in protagonist, Lou Rossi, through the wringer just prior to wrapping this pleasing little crime series up, and while it doesn’t look like he’s gonna have much of a life left by the time all is said and done, you do find yourself hoping against hope that he’s at least around to live it. Superb, fluid cartooning that reels you in and doesn’t let you off the hook. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
The Man Of Steel #3 (DC)** Brian Michael Bendis really thinks he’s got quite the “epic” story going here — but he’s wrong. New baddie Rogol Zaar busts into the fortress of solitude, but it’s all a lame pretext to draw Superman into open combat using the bottle city of Kandor as bait, the string of arson fires that no reader gives a shit about are still going, and the whole issue is just lead-up to what looks to be a book-length fight next time out. Yawn. Ryan Sook’s art is every bit as uninspired as the story, too, in case you were wondering. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Deadpool Assassin #1 (Marvel) In what looks like a book about military operations, Deadpool kills a complete team of special ops operators on a plane. The book also reintroduces the original comic book version of Weasel, a rather straight laced less cynical version of the character in the movies and usually is the button of the jokes in this book. Eventually the plane crashes because Wade killed everyone, but crashes near a powerful threat. By book’s end, he kills everyone he is hired to assassinate but due to the collateral damage he leaves behind, can’t find too many jobs. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Star Wars Thrawn #5 (Marvel) As much as I loved this book, this issue falters close to the end, as this issue stands as this book’s “penultimate episode”, there lies a great premise gone off the rails. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Borrow
Mister Miracle #10 (DC) Each release the book continues to astound. Tom Kings clever dialogue as well as his niche for taking God like characters and acclimating them to every day is fantastic. There is nothing bad I can say about this book. At all. Mitch Gerads is a dynamo on the pencils and finds new was to make Scott in costume so expressive. Kalak and Scott trying to find common ground over a treaty is just wonderfully written as well as the bit about the artist and the apprentice. Seriously this book is all aces. I’d make this longer but I’d never stop. Hands down the series and issue of the year for me. Overall 10/10 Sidenote: I love Tom King but …. I wish he could write Batman this well.
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 (**).