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.
Black #1 (Black Mask) When a comic where a black teenager gets shot by police in the opening salvo is released, it’s tough not to think of recent events. However, this teenager wakes back up – somehow, he has superpowers. In Black‘s world, unlike the other comic book universes, only people of colour have superpowers. It’s an intriguing prospect, and one the comic just about lives up to. Keep your eyes on this – it’s going to be one hell of a comic. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Green Lanterns #8 (DC) A Halloween themed issue where a holiday tie-in doesn’t feel
forced. I’m loving this series more and more each issue, and watching the buddy cop routine of the two leads still feels fresh and entertaining after eight issues. There isn’t any deep emotional revelations here, although there is a sense of Earth’s newest Green Lanterns struggling to emerge from their more legendary predecessor’s shadow – which may prove to be a central theme of the upcoming arc. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Intertwined #1 (Dynamite) Wasn’t a horrible first issue, but it didn’t pull me in like I hoped it would. I may check out the next issue eventually, but I’ll temper my expectations a little next time. Ovaerall: 6.6 Recommendation: Read
Revolution #2 (IDW) It’s a chaotic issue that focuses on the remaining properties that weren’t present in the first issue. We also get a bit of light shed on some of the questions from last issue, but nothing quite resembling an answer just yet. If nothing else, this is getting me interested in the Transformers comics – and I may delve in once the crossover is done. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Moonshine #1 (Image Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s writing and Eduardo Risso’s art together are a great pair. Kind of like gangsters and booze, which is what is what most of this book is about. But there are secrets buried in this story. There are mysteries in the hills of West Virginia, and they aren’t just about the moonshine. I cannot wait to see where this book goes. Great first issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Shipwreck #1 (AfterShock Comics) – The first thing that jumps out is Phil Hester’s jaw dropping art, and that’s saying something because the legendary Warren Ellis is writing. While there is an obvious bigger story to be told, the first issue only gives us a peek at the survivor of a shipwreck. Dr. Jonathan Shipwright is searching for answers, and perhaps we will get them when he does. This series has massive potential. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Superf*ckers Forever #3 (IDW)**: I don’t know about this one. On the one hand, I really liked that it didn’t just automatically follow last issue’s cliffhanger – but on the other, that got my hopes up that it REALLY wouldn’t follow, and that the return of dreaded Omnizod would just become this running joke. On the other other hand, that seems to be just what happened. At any rate, we finally get to see Computer Fist, Plant Pal, and Shitstorm, who are trying to get out of the basement of HQ. Box Brown provides the Computer Fist backup, in which he installs an OS update and grossness ensues. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: skip and pick up next ish.
Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #1 (Boom!)** – I love this idea so much you guys! Greg Pak brings Jack Burton from 1987 to Snake Plissken’s 2001, complete with Mad Max-style bikers who rule the “Oklatexas Range”. Artist Daniel Bayliss pulls off the trick of Burton and Plissken looking completely identical and completely different at the same time. This should be fun – and, as a Canadian, I look forward to seeing what Free Toronto looks like in the Carpenterverse. Overall: 8 Recommendation: read
Jessica Jones #1 (Marvel)* – “Alias” creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos return to the streets with this rather ho-hum reintroduction to the character (on the printed page, at any rate) that requires fairly extensive prior knowledge of their protagonist and relies on as-yet-unexplained family drama to keep readers’ attention given that the purported “mystery” Ms. Jones is hired to solve is barely developed at all. No particularly compelling reason to stick around for more is offered. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass
Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (DC/Young Animal)* – A superb introduction to this new take based on tried-and-true characters and concepts hearkens back to Ditko’s original “Shade, The Changing Man” more than it does to Milligan’s 1990s version, but does more than enough to establish itself as something entirely new. “Effigy” artist Marley Zarcone continues to prove that she’s a force to be reckoned with, and writer Cecil Castellucci arrives on the scene with a confident, impressive voice. As good as “Doom Patrol” #1 was, this is arguably even better and shows that DC’s Young Animal is going to be an imprint to be reckoned with. Overall: 9.5. Recommendation: Buy
Death Of Hawkman #1 (DC) – Marc Andreyko and Aaron Lopresti dust off Adam Strange and Hawkman with a six-parter that promises to kill the latter off, which is probably just as well since post-“New 52” DC has never been able to figure out what to do with the character. Not an actively bad comic so much as a thoroughly forgettable one, Lopresit’s art is lackluster in the extreme and evokes unwelcome memories of mid-90’s WildStorm product, while Andreyko’s script relates a paper-thin tale of Strange trying — and failing — to get off Earth that reads like the hackneyed run-around that it is. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass
Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me #2 (IDW)** – Devin Faraci and Vic Malhorta continue their meticulously faithful comics adaptation of Thompson’s gritty “Texas noir” classic with a second installment that feels as stark and blunt and straightforward as its flat, austere landscape and translates the conscience-free, scary-as-shit mental space its protagonist inhabits quite effectively to the funnybook format thanks to a keen understanding on the part of both writer and artist about what makes the novel their work is based on still such a shocking a disturbing reading experience over a half-century after its initial publication. Gripping, harrowing stuff that’s definitely not to be missed by those with a strong enough constitution to withstand it. Overall: 8.5. 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 (**).