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.
Action 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.
Batgirl #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
Red 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
World 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 (**).