Tag Archives: image comics

One Week in the Library and Readers Won’t Want to Leave

Writer W. Maxwell Prince and artist John Amor bring an original graphic novella, One Week in the Library, to Image Comics this December.

One Week in the Library is an experimental graphic novella which recounts a troublesome week in a magical Library via seven short stories—one for each day—that use comics, infographics, prose, and poetry to play with the graphic medium and explore the multivalent world of living narrative.Welcome to the Library. It’s here that every story ever written is

Welcome to the Library. It’s here that every story ever written is catalogued and monitored by a single man, who’s begun to notice something strange: the books are rebelling.

One Week in the Library with cover art by Frazer Irving (Diamond Code SEP160780) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, December 7th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, October 24th.

One Week in the Library 1

Around the Tubes

BLUEREB_Cv1_dsIt’s a new week and we’re heading to NOVA Open, Baltimore Comic Con, and Dragon Con and the end of the week! Stay tuned for lots of coverage.

Until then, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Washington Post – He came to D.C. from Nigeria — and created his own African comic… – Well, makes us feel like slackers.

Cinema Blend – Why Superhero TV Shows Don’t Work, According To Gotham’s Creator – Agree? Disagree?

Comics Alliance – Noelle Stevenson Announces Full-Cast ‘Nimona’ Audiobook – Very cool!

The Beat – Image Comics is relocating to Portland, OR – Interesting move.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Talking Comics – Kingsway West #1

Comic Attack – Kingsway West #1

Talking Comics – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual

Talking Comics – Titans #2

Comic Attack – Vasion #1-3

Frank Barbiere Talks Violent Love with Graphic Policy Radio LIVE This Monday

GP Radio pic MondayThe Revisionist, The Precinct, Broken World, Dejah Thoris, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lobo, Dr. Strange, Avengers World, Five Ghosts, writer Frank Barbiere has written comics for almost every major comics publisher. His comics are always high on action and fun bringing crazy ideas to the page and entertain.

This Monday Barbiere joins Graphic Policy Radio to talk about his comic career and upcoming comic series Violent Love which reteams him with artist Victor Santos and out this November from Image Comics.

Listen in LIVE as we chat at 10pm ET.

Barbiere is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in English & Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s in English Education.

Barbiere exploded onto the mainstream comics scene in 2013 with the indie hit Five Ghosts (Image Comics) and in his short time in the industry has worked for BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, and Marvel Comics.

Join us this Monday as we talk to Frank and Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show this Monday live.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/27

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

AC_Cv962_dsAction Comics #962 (DC Comics) A fantastic ending to the first arc – this is honestly some of the best Superman I have read in a very long time (but then I don’t read much Superman so that doesn’t mean much). The conclusion to the Doomsday fight is fantastic, with the villain feeling like a genuine threat to Superman’s life – which doesn’t happen often. The first five issues in this comic post Rebirth are easily one of the better biweekly titles DC are putting out right now. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Conan The Slayer #2 (Dark Horse) I’m really enjoying the writing in this series – not the plot direction, although that is also very good, but the words that Cullen Bunn is using; his narration style is a throw back to Robert E. Howard’s writing style, and it makes this series so much more entertaining. This is classic Conan at it’s finest. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Kingsway West #1 (Dark Horse) A solid first issue that throws you into the story with little preamble. I enjoy feeling like I’m playing catch up in a new world when said world feels like it’s worth reading about. Greg Pak’s supernatural western looks like it’ll be worth it. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Northguard #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) I really wanted to like this, but something just didn’t click for me. I have a feeling it’s because the comic spins out of the main Captain Canuck series, there’s a lot of back story to the character that in’t really covered here. Agent Northguard is at best a reluctant hero, and at worst an outright dick; I’m sure that there’s a reason for this but it’s not really explored here just yet. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read if you’ve been reading Captain Canuck.

Brett

BG_Cv2_dsBatgirl #2 (DC Comics): Batgirl taking MMA training? The concept is interesting and in an updated world, it makes a lot of sense. The comic shines with the small details added in of Bab’s observations. I’m digging the new location and direction, something’s clicking here for me though I think there needs to be more exploration of the locations themselves so it doesn’t feel like a Westerner’s generic interpretation of locations. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

The Flash #5 (DC Comics): Barry takes a day off! It’s a great issue that focuses on Barry just trying to be himself and not being a hero. The inability to balance work/personal/superhero life is a focus of writer Joshua Willialmson and it’s on full display here. Plus Wally gets a lot of focus too! That ending though… The next issue can’t get here quick enough. Overall Rating: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Six Pack & Dog Welder: Hard Travelin Hero’z #1 (DC Comics): I gave up early on Section 8, and I don’t know these characters at all. I generally enjoy Garth Ennis’ work, but this is a miss for me. I think you have to know these characters to really care and while there was some humor, it didn’t land super well for me. There’s so many others doing this same schtick, but better now. Overall Rating: 5.75 Recommendation: Pass

Wonder Woman #5 (DC Comics): The first issue of the series that I’ve really enjoyed. The back and forth between stories has been a problem for the series as a whole, but this issue’s focus of Wonder Woman laying out her problem and Steve Trevor being the damsel in distress begins to bring a better focus and direction, a bit more straight foreward than the winding narrative of the previous few issues. Overall Rating: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

The Hellblazer #1 (DC Comics): A good start to the series laying out what type of Constantine we can expect as a character and at least the first arc. It’s a bit more of a reflective version instead of an arrogant shitheel, but I expect we’ll see the later. I liked the last series, and this is off to a good start. Overall Rating: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

Ryan C

red thorn 10Red Thorn #10 (DC/Vertigo)** – I’m starting to fear for the future of this series as this issue sees a complete 180 degree turn of events from what had gone before, and its highly topical Trump/Brexit overtones have a definite air of the penultimate about them. Let’s hope I’m wrong, though, as David Bailie and Meghan Hetrick are just getting better and better as they go along here, and I’d like to see this book last a good, long time — most every issue is, quite literally, better than the last, and this is no exception. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1 (DC)** – A very pleasant surprise here as Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins deliver a “Rebirth” special that isn’t complacent with merely recapping what’s gone before, but actually get a proper story moving while effectively re-introducing us to all the principals involved at the same time. The art’s fun, the dialogue’s fun, the characters are fun — are you getting the idea that this book is fun? Then you’re exactly right. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Snotgirl #2 (Image)**: A mild improvement, story-wise, from Bryan Lee O’Malley that makes us question Lottie’s hold on sanity, but if our author really thinks that fashion bloggers have interns working for them, then he’s the one who’s hopelessly out of touch. So, yeah — a bit better, but it still reads like an old guy trying to spin a story out of what he THINKS “youth culture” is all about, rather than reflecting what it’s ACTUALLY like. Leslie Hung’s art is still is still dreamy, ethereal, and magnificent, though. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Sombra #2 (Boom! Studios)**: More rapid-fire, action-oriented badassery from Justin Jordan and Raul Trevino as they continue to flesh out their “Heart Of Darkness, Mexican-drug-cartel-style” storyline. Energetic, dynamic, full-throttle storytelling at its best, this is shaping up to be a four-parter to remember. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

World of Tanks #1 1World Of Tanks#1 (Titan): When it comes to comics based on videogames, they usually end up a wash, but one always hopes for that exception to the rule. Thankfully, this comic is anchored by some of the comic world’s heavy hitters, and though there are some noticeable flaws , the story is more than entertaining, it excels. I am not going to lie, this reminds me of the old Sgt. Rock comics, except all of the action is in a tank. Overall, this what David Ayers movie, Fury, was supposed to be, a tense military thriller, that packs a punch. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Kingsway West #1 (Dark Horse): The world of supernatural westerns prove to be a vivid genre all its own. Comics have delved into this world for years, one of the most memorable being Jonah Hex.Greg Pak, is doing his own version , with an alternate history, dragons , meta humans mixed with some Western tropes. Altogether, a strong first issue, which seeks to expand on what Firefly started all those years ago, and who does not want another scruffy gunslinger with a heart of gold. Overall: 9.6 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 (**).

Review: Lake of Fire #1

lakeoffirecoverIdealistic knights, political and religious conflict, and giant bugs? Lake of Fire #1 is one of the most unique comics of 2016 as writer/colorist Nathan Fairbarn (Multiversity, Scott Pilgrim) and artist Matt Smith (Barbarian Lord) spin the tale of two young knights named Theo and Hugh, who begin as crusaders, end up going on a mission to hunt out “heretic” Cathars in a rural village in France, and end up being Ellen Ripley circa 1220 AD. The double sized length of the issue allows plenty of time for Fairbarn and Smith to set up the cast of characters and the state of France in the 13th century without resorting to heavy-handed narration. Historical background comes naturally through banter between characters, like when Raymond, an old cynical baron and leader of the crusade, explains that the Cathars don’t drink wine, eat meat, and abstain from sex in the context of a masturbation joke.

Probably because its writer happens to be one of the best colorists in comics, Lake of Fire #1 is largely driven by its color palette. The comic starts out like a horror comic with minimal dialogue and plenty of terrified faces from Smith and speed lines to show the dust of the mysterious alien ship covering the countryside. Fairbarn uses a black and blue palette to ably convey the pain and terror of an alien invasion on a rural medieval town. He then cuts to the golden fields of France, which symbolize the youthful idealism of Theo and Hugh as they are ready to become the next great crusaders and make up for the last generation of crusaders, who didn’t make to Palestine and sacked Constantinople instead. The crack about the 4th Crusade made by the nobleman Montfort already shows that this comic isn’t going to be about glories of war as the palette goes from golden to faded green and brown when Raymond, Hugh, Theo, and a ragtag band of knights and creepy inquisitors ride out for the village of Montaillou. The only reason they’re going on this “crusade” is so Montfort can concentrate on taking a major French city without worrying about religious fanatics, drunks (Raymond in this case.), and worst of all, young people.

And there is already plenty of conflict without the aliens having to show up as Theo and Raymond clash over their views of the world, and the inquisitors in the party decide to go off the reservation and hunt down a young Cathar woman named Bernadette instead of investigating why all the citizens of Montaillou are huddled behind the wooden fence of their keep. The mismatches of age, class, military experience, and ideologies creates plenty of drama in Lake of Fire #1, and Fairbarn doesn’t have to resort to buddy movie cliches to create drama.

AlienJoust

He also includes period-specific details to add realism to Lake of Fire as well as enhance the characters and themes. For example, Theo is a big fan of Canso (Song of the Albigensian Crusade in English), an epic poem about a previous French crusade against the Cathars that paints the crusaders as wholly good, and the Cathars as evil monsters. His love for this song, which kind of pales in comparison to  superior medieval French romances that people actually read like Song of Roland or anything by Chretien de Troyes, shows his simplistic view of the world. In fact, the only Cathar we meet in this comic is Bernadette, who bravely holds her own in hand to hand combat against the Inquisitors and lives a simple life in the woods instead of riding around and hacking people to pieces. She is also kind of a badass and is about to deliver an epic monologue about the hypocrisy of the crusades when the alien bugs show up.

In Lake of Fire #1, Nathan Fairbarn and Matt Smith create an almost perfect fusion of historical fiction and action-packed science fiction. The comic deconstructs medieval romances and grips with the age-old battle between idealism and cynicism while also having some epic scenes of crusaders jousting against aliens courtesy of Matt Smith, who cuts loose with biting action choreography and a flurry of gore. It’s a feast for both historical scholars, action junkies, or any aficionado of stories that involve contradictory personalities trying to work as a team.

Story: Nathan Fairbarn Art: Matt Smith Colors: Nathan Fairbarn
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

GENZERO_001_COVER-A_MOONEYWednesdays 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 #2 (Valiant) – I really can’t say enough about how much I’m enjoying this series. If you’re not reading it you’re missing out on one of the best comics from any publisher being released right now. Faith is a series that’s fun, that has a more positive outlook on things and takes some very light jabs at industry tropes. And it’s visually stunning.

Action Comics #962 (DC Comics) – It’s not often that I read a comic where Superman feels like he’s actually in a fight for his life, so watching the Man Of Steel in a rematch against Doomsday has been incredibly fun – even if the chances of him losing are nil.

Blue Beetle Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – I recently dug out the pre-New 52 run featuring Jaime Reyes, and wondered why I never read the series through the New 52 iteration. With how easy many of the Rebirth comics have been for new readers, I’m looking forward to this.

Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – A new series from Valiant? Don’t mind if I do.

Northguard #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – An incredibly underrated publisher, Chapterhouse have some fantastic series on the racks, one of which, Captain Canuck is a genuine pleasure to read. I’m excited for this spin off series that I know very little about (which is deliberate on my part), because based on Chapterhouse’s track record, this promises to be a blast.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Pretty Deadly TP Vol. 2 (Image Comics) – The first volume of Pretty Deadly was a dark, poetic, bloody journey that featured one of the best creative teams in comics…period. The second arc here is collected for those that missed out on the single issues (or just loved it so much that the trade is worthy of purchasing) and features more striking images from Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire’s colours with a hypnotic script by Kelly Sue DeConnick that will put you in the good kind of trance that makes Pretty Deadly a difficult title to put down.

Island #10 (Image Comics) – Anthologies tend to be hit and miss but not Island. Emma Rios and Brandon Graham have opened the creative floodgates by curating a slew of material from both artists more well known and those perhaps yet to be discovered by a wider audience. It’s also refreshing in that each and every issue of Island defines variety in covering a wide array of genres and material.

Faith #2 (Valiant) – It’s a very warming feeling to remember that Faith has her own ongoing series. Jody Houser provides such a great voice for Faith, blending her pop culture quips with dramatic moments. Maintaing the back and forth art style of Pere Perez during the present time and Marguerite Sauvage doing Faith’s fantasies from the mini series is an extra nice touch and has been played with wonderfully so far.

Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – Straight from the pages of Harbinger comes a new team of super powered teens. Minus the Imperium title, there hasn’t been much explored in the Harbinger side of the Valiant universe recently besides a few appearances here and there in other titles so it will be very interesting to see what Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela have prepared. This has a very New Mutants type appearance featuring a younger group of misfits so the parallels between characters will be very intriguing to see in how it will be presented.

Sombra #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue of Sombra was a fairly solid introduction to this story of a DEA agent about to throw herself into the middle of a tense situation with the Mexican Cartel. With the introductory exposition out of the way, hopefully being thrown further into the fire is something on Justin Jordan’s mind. Raul Trevino’s photo realistic backgrounds with the shadowy but bright colours of Juan Useche really paint an uncomfortable tone, especially with how the violence felt so sudden in the first issue.

 

Shay

Top Pick: Alena (Dark Horse) – This is a great time to get on board with this horror comic treasure. This TP gives you the whole story so that you’e all caught up before it becomes a live action Swedish horror film. There’s mean girls, a best friend who had been dead for a year and lots of murder an blood.

Batgirl #2 (DC Comics) – This issue should be packed with enough kick ass girl power to wipe the taste of the Killing Joke out of your mouth and combined with last weeks Birds of Prey get you back on team Babs.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer , Season 10, #30 (Dark Horse) – All good things must come to an end and Season 10 off BTVS is no exception. Issue #330 ends this killer story arc and will remind us all why we keep reading and still enjoy watching the reruns.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – I’ve been waiting for this series since it was announced and wondering when we’d next see Generation Zero since last we saw them (during Harbinger Wars?). I’m hoping for a new take on the New Mutants formula, and honestly that’s what I expect. It’s also an area Marvel has dropped the ball on, so glad to see Valiant picking it up and running with it.

Atomic Robo and the Temple of Od #1 (IDW Publishing) – It’s new Atomic Robo, really nuff said when it comes to why you should be checking this series out. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any volume of the series released. It’s always packed with action and humor, and constantly entertains.

The Hellblazer #1 (DC Comics) – I’m intrigued as to what version of John Constantine we’ll be getting. The Rebirth issue gave me some hope, but the real test is with this first issue.

Northguard #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – Putting out fun, positive, superhero comics with lots of action and humor. I can’t wait to check out this new series which we got a tease of in their Summer Special.

The Revisionist #3 (Aftershock Comics) – Time traveling fun action. It’s entertainment for a genre that lends itself to all sorts of madness and interesting twists.

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/19

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

GLS_Cv5_dsGreen Lanterns #5 (DC) Quite possibly one of the most entertaining comics I’ve read all week. This comic runs at a hell-for-leather pace yet never misses a beat when it come to the inner workings of the characters you’re reading about; a fantastic series in every respect. Overall

Harley Quinn #2 (DC) I was far from a fan of the first issue, but something clicked for me here. Far better than the first issue, Harley Quinn destroying a number of weird zombies was remarkably entertaining in a schlocky b-movie kinda way. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Klaus #7 (Boom!) Oh man, what an ending. This isn’t your typical tale of  Santa Claus, but it’s a very well done take on the early years of the man. Grant Morrison and Dan Mora have done a superb job here – this is well worth picking up in trade when it’s released if you haven’t been reading the series so far. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy the trade.

Superman #5 (DC) Apparently I’m a Superman fan post Rebirth, which is honestly something I never thought I’d end up saying; this series has given me a new appreciation of the Man of Steel, after so many years of not bothering to give him the time of day. I think it’s the dynamic of Clark, Lois and Jon that has me enthralled because I’m thoroughly enjoying every  page. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Anthony

black_hammer1Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse): The focus of this issue is on Gail Gibbons (Golden Gail) as we learn how she got her powers. There is some interesting territory approached by Gail later as she describes the town and farm the heroes are stuck in less as a prison compared to her body. She describes these moments of turning into Golden Gail (and into a younger body) as something she despised while growing up, until she reached a middle age and began enjoying the transformation into a younger version of herself. Now that she is stuck in this younger self, she wishes to return to being who she really is. It’s a topic definitely worthy of having a longer conversation on as it can speak to a larger approach to female superheroes. There is also still a spread of good humour as well, such as when Gail admits to having a drink of Gin before going to school to ‘fit in’. Lemire’s script continues the well balanced tone from the first issue with a few more curiosities and revelations alongside some emotional moments that capture the true talents of Dean Ormston with Dave Stewart’s colours. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.

Brett

Demonic01_coverDemonic #1 (Image Comics) – Demon taking over a person’s body and forcing them to kill or else. This is currently being done in two other series I can think of (Kill or Be Killed also by Image and out a short bit ago) and it’s being done better right now. It’s not that this is a bad comic, it’s just a plot we’ve seen before and there’s nothing that makes it really stand out yet. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #56 (IDW Publishing) – Sentinel Prime has a plan to wipe out the unpure Transformers and there’s Headmasters and Titans and Prowl and a traitor and… holy crap! This is an early chapter in the next Transformers epic and it’s an exciting start. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Transformers: Till All Are One #3 (IDW Publishing) – Part political thriller. Part cop drama. This series is handling so many of the threads on Cybertron. Where’s Swindle’s body? How does Windblade deal with Starscream’s blackmail on her? That’s all being dealt with and add in action on top of it all. Solid series that’s dealing with a lot of plot threads that need to be addressed. Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

I Hate Fairyland #8 (Image)**: Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz guest-stars on art duties for a beat-’em-up inside a giant arcade game, aka the Tower of Battle. The fights go pretty well for our Gert – “Face Break! Gut Bomb! Ice-Cold Combo! Face Fatality!” – until she comes face to face with the final boss, Purty Pretty Princess, at which point Gert is indeed so fluffing fluffed. But not as badly fluffed as poor Duncan the Dragon… The energy of this book is sick and utterly contagious, like the very best Saturday morning cartoons. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Descender_14-1Descender #14 (Image)**: This issue’s focus is on Bandit, the robot dog who stays behind with Tim-21 in the abandoned mining colony. I love comics that are wordless or nearly, especially when they’re painted by Dustin Nguyen. So I was kind of disappointed when the story returned to the regular plot, which is moving pretty slowly while Jeff Lemire’s interest seems to lie elsewhere. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse)**: And speaking of Jeff Lemire, here he focuses on Golden Gail, who turns out to be kind of a reverse Captain Marvel – instead of a kid who turns into a super-powered adult, when Gail speaks the magic word she turns into a super-powered kid. Lemire touches on the joys and frustrations of that situation for a girl growing into a woman – but never really does more than touch on it, as there is plot business to take care of. And that plot is just not that convincing to me – we drop the entire search for Black Hammer entirely, for one thing. So Lemire’s scripting for me is also about joys and frustrations. But anytime DC wants to let him write Shazam!… Dean Ormston’s art very nicely moves between Golden Age super-heroics and the everyday glumness of the farm and the town. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Ryan C

SSQUAD_Cv1_OOvarSuicide Squad #1 (DC)*: Rob Williams cranks out a pretty decent little script here that does a better job introducing the characters in rapid-fire succession than the largely forgettable “Rebirth” special did, and sends ’em on a solid mission that seems like it will make for pretty fun reading. Nice backup story featuring Deadshot that lays the groundwork for everything you need to know about him in just a handful of pages, as well. Unfortunately, the art on both strips is substandard WildStorm-esque nonsense from Jim Lee as Jason Fabok, respectively, that looks horrendously outdated. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

The Hunt #2 (Image/Shadowline)**: Colin Lorimer’s ultra-moody and atmospheric Irish horror tale continues to deliver the goods with a second installment that successfully advances all the meticulous groundwork laid in the first. Strong characterization, superb dialogue, and best of all deliciously dark artwork all combine to make for another highly memorable issue. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #5 (DC)*: Not sure what my pull list would even look like without “Batman” on it, but if this keeps up, I’ll be finding out sooner rather than later. Tom King delivers another sub-par chapter in a poorly conceived arc that features Alfred playing dress-up as Batman on the first few pages and, believe it or not, only gets worse from there. David Finch is joined by a veritable army of inkers this time out, but none of them can elevate his lifeless, dull artwork, and speaking of lifeless and dull, one of Gotham City’s two new “heroes” dies this time out, and you won’t even give a shit. About the only thing interesting going on here is the foreshadowing that King drops over the last two pages, but even then, he’s been doing a ton of that over in “The Vision,” and with considerably more success. This title has devolved from merely “lackluster” to actively “lousy” in less than two months. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Tales From The Darkside #3 (IDW)*: The first issue of this mini-series was an undeniably effective self-contained horror story, but shifting gears into a multi-part tale seems to have been a step in the wrong direction, as this second segment of this current three-issue story feels like pure padding that barely advances the narrative about a guy who’s manifesting his darkest thoughts into the “real” world at all. Not sure how much of the blame for that lies with Joe Hill’s original script and how much is the fault of “adapter” Michael Benedetto, but hey — at least you can’t ague with Gabriel Rodriguez’s always-stunning art. It’s not enough to justify shelling out $3.99 for an insubstantial read, though. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.

 


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-Out and New Printing Roundup

Check out some of the announced sell-outs and new printings from this past week.

Image Comics

Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Tomm Coker launched one of the hottest new series of the summer in The Black Monday Murders. Image Comics has announced that the debut issue will be rushed to a second printing.

The Black Monday Murders is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place.

The Black Monday Murders #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code JUL168168) as well as The Black Monday Murders #2 (Diamond Code JUL160739) will be available in stores on Wednesday, September 14th. The final order cutoff date for retailers is Monday, August 22nd.

THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #1 2nd printing

Marvel

Before Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s epic series reaches its blockbuster conclusion, get caught up on the series everyone is talking about! Marvel has announced that Darth Vader #20 – #23 have all sold out at the distributor level and will all immediately head back to press!

Darth Vader has been pursuing his own agenda, but now it is time for the End of Games. As the threads begin to unravel, the Dark Lord of the Sith faces his greatest challenge yet. His deadly trials against Cylo! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids. All will be revealed in this explosive ending – now is the perfect time to jump on board.

Darth_Vader_20_New_Printing_Cover Darth_Vader_21_New_Printing_Cover Darth_Vader_22_New_Printing_Cover Darth_Vader_23_New_Printing_Cover

Valiant

This September, three of the summer’s biggest, most acclaimed storylines are returning to comic shops worldwide with all-new second printings!

Valiant has announced that three, brand-new jumping-on points for some of the publisher’s most acclaimed series have sold out at the distributor level and will return soon with the A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #5 Second Printing, Bloodshot Reborn #14 Second Printing, and X-O Manowar #47 Second Printing on September 21st!

First: Love is in the air when Faith flies into the pages of Valiant’s smash-hit ongoing series for a first date that is going to sweep Archer off his feet in A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #5 Second Printing! Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts and Eisner Award-winning artist Mike Norton present a landmark Valiant tale for the ages as Obadiah Archer and Faith “Zephyr” Herbert’s budding romance erupts into a romantic thrill ride that is going to change both of their lives forever! More crossbows than Sleepless in Seattle! More fistfights than The Notebook! This ain’t no ordinary team-up… It’s Archer and Faith’s first date!

Then: New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and blockbuster artist Mico Suayan drop Valiant’s nanite-enhanced commando into a scorching trial by fire in the Bloodshot Reborn #14 Second Printing – re-presenting the explosive FIRST ISSUE of “Bloodshot Island“! Live. Die. Rejuvenate. Each day, Bloodshot and his predecessors awake to find themselves hunted by the unstoppable engine of destruction called Deathmate. And each day, they die…only to begin their escape once more after the nano-technology inside them repairs their fatal injuries. As Bloodshot and his new teammates begin to understand the brutal logic behind their seaside prison, will the biggest threat to their survival be the horrors that await in the jungle around them…or each other?

Finally: The countdown to the greatest Valiant milestone of all time begins in the X-O Manowar #47 Second Printing – the FIRST ISSUE of “Long Live the King”! Witness history in the making as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti and acclaimed artists Joe Bennett and Roberto de la Torre begin the march toward X-O Manowar #50 with a cataclysmic turning point that will bring our world to its knees! An unthinkable new foe has arrived on Earth… They are The Torment – and their name means death. Thought to be a legend by the Vine, they have now become Earth’s violent reality. As old as the universe itself, they have traveled for eons to reach us…in search of Aric of Dacia and the unstoppable X-O Manowar armor. Can Aric challenge a seemingly omnipotent threat with motives beyond the comprehension of mortal men? Will the armor truly be our world’s salvation, just as the Vine’s myths foretold? And is this the beginning of the end for X-O Manowar – or the beginning of something even bigger?

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Review: Throwaways #2

IssueThrowaways02_Cover #2 of Caitlin Kittredge‘s Throwaways picks up where the first one let off and dives deeper into Manchurian Candidate territory. The issue starts off with a clandestine meeting featuring the people behind the project that turned Abby into a super weapon. The panels set up a sinister undertone for the rest of the issue and possibly series. When we finally get to see our anti-heroes, Abby and Dean, they’re holed up somewhere and Abby is going to try and use some of her black ops friends to get Dean and herself to safety.

As the story progresses we get a whole lot of flashbacks that reveal more about Abby and her past. The last half of Issue #2 covers Abby’s capture and her Dean aided escape from the very people that turned her into a souped-up version of Jason Bourne. We also get to meet the mysterious voice that’s been “helping” Abby on her quest.

Overall the story is pretty damn solid but, at points, it tends to clunk along and, use a lot of exposition to move the story arc forward. Which is a bit of a bummer because, when the story stays focused it’s a real page-turner. I also had an issue with some of the dialogue. It often feels a bit forced and tries to be overly clever, relying too heavily on pop culture references in a way that makes it feel like it’s trying to remain overly relevant.

Steven Sanders artwork is brilliant in its simplicity although it could be more detailed in some panels but, I think the lack of detail is a side effect of trying to fit so much info into a small bit of panel space. But, when the art works it really works, providing a gritty, urban backdrop to a dark story.

Overall the issue wasn’t half bad and most of the things that I took issue with can be easily fixed with a little bit of tweaking. I came into issue two having high hopes. The story seemed like a nice cross between Manchurian Candidate, The Bourne Identity, Haywire and, Hanna. I loved the idea of a female super weapon wreaking havoc on her creators. I’m all about women taking their lives back from those that seek to control them. There are so many places that this story can go and, I hope that in the issues that come after this are a bit more like the first one & the creators  focus more on the overall story and less on the clever quips.

Discovering that Abby was kidnapped, tortured and, turned into this super bad ass excited me because it opened up all kinds of correlations in my mind about the female body and the act of consent. Yes, she was wounded and, unable to give consent but, the government used her inability to consent to use her body how it saw fit and, the aftermath of her escaping gave them license to retrieve her. This level of the story made me feel almost viscerally connected to Abby. I wanted her to find answers, I wanted her to get payback on the government agency that took away her agency, her sense of autonomy, her power. I wanted to see carnage as the powers that be tried to reclaim her body and put her in a box where they could continue to control her. I loved that the female author of Throwaways made Abby a minority female who had to overcome racism, sexism and, Islamophobia.

Issue #2 wasn’t a flop by any means, I just came into it expecting more after the build up of the Issue #1. I’m still holding out hope that this issue was a placeholder and, it’s purpose was to wrap up all of the character introductions and set up their motivations. I still have hope for this series and want to see it succeed. I know that all the elements of this being a great series is  there and, the writer and artist are extremely talented and are capable of so much more. I just hope that all the promise I saw in the series opener comes back soon.

Story: Caitlin Kittredge Art: Steven Sanders
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: I Hate Fairyland #8

ihatefairyland08_CoverArtBSkottie Young‘s I Hate Fairyland #8 continues to cover Gert’s quest to find her way home. She frags u along on this journey and the reader gets to follow her descent into madness and possible psychopathic tendencies. She runs through Fairyland with little care about the inhabitants in her singular mission. The harshness of her character isn’t entirely her fault. she’s a grown woman trapped in the body of a child.

This time around, we get to watch her trade black market eyes for a coin, browbeat a newly arrived and still kind of hopeful and, green little boy in an adorable dinosaur costume. She also continued her verbal sparring with her equally tact devoid sidekick Larry, engaged in a Battle Royale style underground fight club battle with a male warrior thrice her size & dispensed of the kitty mob bosses goons before getting knocked out herself by Purty Pretty Princess in a boss battle comprised of two equally Bad Ass Ladies.

Gert did not come here to play,she came to get herself one step closer to getting home and after this latest defeat, it looks like Gert’s journey is not over and we’re all going to have to hang around Fairyland a little while longer. Considering the look of pure rage on Gert’s face as she is shot out of the Battle Dome and she walks away with her wayward companions, I pity the poor Fairyland soul that she encounters next.

Skottie Young’s as does a majority of the artwork on the series and, it’s sweet enough to give you diabetes. Every color pops off the page and combined with the confectionery houses and the talking fairy tale animals makes it feel like your comic pages have been laced with LSD. The beautiful often over the top art makes the characters actions and Gert’s often sociopathic world seem even more jarring. The mix of candy-colored dreamscapes and killer rage work in tandem to give this issue of I Hate Fairyland a disturbing feel, in a good way.

As a whole, I Hate Fairyland #8 is a good read. It’s quick, fun and easy. There isn’t a lot of depth but, there is a lot of cleverly written potty humor. It’s not a comic for engaging in deep thought, it’s a comic for people looking for an escape, some bad jokes and a little bit of fun. It serves its purpose and niche well. I don’t know how long the running gags with our surly, baby-faced anti-hero can go on before they get a bit tedious but, for now, the jokes still funny and the comic is still a nice diversion.

Story: Skottie Young Art: Skottie Young & Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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