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.
Batman #57 (DC) So after last issue where we left off with Dick Grayson being horribly wounded. We just knew Batman was going to go on a tear here. He was for sure to be the Grim Knight and exact his revenge. With teeth clenched and fists bared, how are we treated to open this one? With a reading of a fairy tale. Now I get that Tom King goes for symbolism from time to time but this was just.. ugh. Instead of an epic showdown with Bruce avenging Dick we get a rushed fight in the snow with barely any dialogue. At least the pictures by Tony Daniel were very pretty. This is one of those frustrating issues where you know what a writer is capable of versus what they hand you. Just ugh. Score: 4 Recommendation: hard pass.
Batman #57 (DC)** – So, two issues of build-up leads to — a fistfight in the snow captioned entirely with sound effects. Tom King thinks he’s being clever by mixing in flashback sequences of a young Bruce Wayne and a young KGBeast being read the same fairy tale, but it’s seriously forced and obvious, as is Tony S, Daniels’ painfully generic super-hero art. Mark Buckingham and Andrew Peopy’s pages come off considerably better, but it’s not enough to save yet another lackluster issue. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Cover #2 (DC/Jinxworld)** – I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of this spy thriller, but the second sees Brian Michael Bendis reverting to form with droning, overly-expository dialogue, stilted speech patterns, and little to no plot advancement. David Mack’s art is still nice, but there’s not much for him to sink his teeth into when most of the story involves two people standing, sitting, or driving around talking. Yawn. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Gideon Falls #7 (Image)** – The gradual improvement in this horror series continues, as Jeff Lemire cuts down on the dialogue, ups the atmospherics, and weaves his once-disparate plotlines into something very cohesive and, crucially, creepy. Andrea Sotrrentino’s unorthodox page layouts are now complementing the script nicely, and there is very much a “modern EC” feel to the proceedings at this point. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #6 (Dark Horse) **- An “alternate universe sidestep” focusing on just one of our central characters comes to vibrant life thanks to Jeff Lemire’s pacy scripting and guest artist Rich Tommaso’s incredibly striking, pitch-perfect artwork, so for those of you worried that this series was taking two issues “off” to tell something of a “stand-alone” story, rest easy — this is absolutely terrific stuff. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Justice League #10 (DC) – This Series moves at an epic scale with breakneck speed. It’s a big bombastic team Comic, so that should be expected. Snyder kicks off Drowned Earth with a solid issue with some fantastic art by Manapul. If you want to read a comic where the world and galaxy are ending every issue, and these heroes are saving it at the last second, then this is for you. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Justice League Dark #4 (DC) – Tynion on a team book of outcasts and unique and weird characters is a great marriage. Wonder Woman, their fearless leader has been compromised so to speak, and all of the Magic users are desperately trying to save everything. Gods, demons, chaos, and more make this mini event and comic a fun read. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Batman #57 (DC) – Like much of Tom King’s run on Batman, this issue has had some controversy. I do understand some of the backlash, but I also read this series very differently than Bat-Books of the past. To me this series is the perfect hero not beingperfect anymore. He’s been through a lot, and is cracking. Ever since the run started in Rebirth, we’ve seen countless examples of flaws, weaknesses, and cracks in the Dark Knight. I believe the events of Batman #50 have really broken him, and with what happened to Dick, it has put him over the edge. This may prove to end up not working in the long run, but for now, I am intrigued by where it is going. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Runaways #14 (Marvel) – This is one of my favorite Marvel books every month, and while this was a solid issue, I really missed Anka on art. The art wasn’t bad by Miyazawa, in fact it was good, but Anka and this book are a perfect pair for me. As for the story, it set up some big and interesting things for The Runaways and the returning Alex Wilder that should be huge going forward. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy
Shuri #1 (Marvel)– In what plays out as a love letter to everyone’s favorite character from the movie, we get an immersion to her point of view. I went into the book looking at what the author did with the crossover story and felt some trepidation as the quality wasn’t consistent. I am glad to say she has proven me wrong as we get a female Tony Stark just way smarter, no bravado just pure genius. By issue’s end, we find a much more balanced leader than what has been portrayed as she is poised to take the mantle again as the whereabouts of her brother is unknown in what looks to be both a fun and engaging series. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Zombie #1 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short. This book has Echoes of Walking Dead/ Fido/ and Last Avengers, in what is an entertaining, melancholy and ultimately hopeful story. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
What If? Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)– In a different origin story for the current Ghost Rider, he becomes his otherworldly self through a ritual. in this story, Robbie must manage a death metal band which seems normal by their standards.His whole perception of them changes when they performed this evil ritual including Robbie. By issue’s end, the band is killed, Robbie had become Ghost Rider and an evil being from. He’ll has arrived on earth. Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).