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Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 4/8

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

NTW_Cv18_open_order_varBatman #20 (DC) Well I Am Bane is finally over. That’s a good thing. The comic… meh. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Iron Fist #2 (Marvel) I was not a huge fan of the first issue, but I came back for #2 because I’m enjoying the Netflix show… and I’m kinda glad that I did. Definitely an upward curve from the first issue for me, although the comic is basically one long kung fu fight. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Nightwing #18 (DC) For as much as I hated Batman #20, I loved this issue. From the interplay between Dick and Damian, and the way the comic effortlessly brings back the vibe od their Batman and Robin run… Tim Seeley is writing the best biweekly Bat-book right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) Huh. Well, I’m surprised. This was in every way a throwback to the way I remembered the X-Men being – not that the same characters are in the book, but the themes are the same, and there’s some great down time… this is a helluva promising start. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Little Archie #1 (Archie Comics) It’s super adorable to see Art Baltazar’s fun crayon art style take on the Archie gang in Little Archie #1. This is definitely a throwback to classic Archie comics with wacky hijinks, Jughead’s crown hat, and Archie’s “R” sweater all Riverdale #1_FernandezVarmaking appearance. Some of the gags are overlong, but Baltazar and Franco throw in some clever references to Afterlife with Archie, and the fact that adults are pretty much useless in Riverdale. This comic is definitely geared to a younger audience, but is worth a read if you’re missing old school Archie. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Riverdale #1 (Archie Comics) Joe Eisma’s stylish artwork breathes some life into a couple lightweight stories about “Hell Week” for Riverdale High’s cheerleading and football teams. Writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Will Ewing, Michael Grassi roll every high school “prank” cliche into one comic book from near death experiences to streaking and of course, stealing an object from the rival school. Archie’s story centers around him helping out Moose, who I don’t think he’s spoken to the whole season while the Betty story is stronger because it focuses on her bond with Veronica. Seriously, Season 1 of Riverdale isn’t over, and they’re already coming up with an Expanded Universe in the comics. There really isn’t much of a sandbox to work with. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Jughead #14 (Archie Comics) Unfortunately, Ryan North’s time writing the coolest of teens is over. But he goes out it the comic book equivalent of the dankest of all memes skewering Internet culture in a joke dense way. And along the way, North and artist Derek Charm (Who is staying on the book) shore up the friendship between Betty and Jughead, roast Archie, and craft the most intimidating Veronica yet. This comic is worth picking up for the double page spread of Jughead becoming various overused Internet memes alone and its quirky self-aware take on the Archie mythos will definitely be missed as a new creative team takes over. (Hopefully, Veronica will still have a “hunk budget”.) Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

RockCandyMountain_01-1Batman #20 (DC)**  So that’s “I Am Bane,” huh? A fist-fight that Batman wins with a well-timed head-butt (whoops, spoilers). Issue after issue of buildup for — this? Tom King and David Finch have really bottomed out on this book; time for some new blood. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass.

Rock Candy Mountain #1 (Image)**  Kyle Starks is a superb cartoonist whose work has always reminded me more than a bit of the legendary James Sturm, and Sturm himself would, I think, be more than pleased to see his “spiritual successor” turn his keen artistic eye toward early-20th century “hobo culture.” Amazingly well-drawn and written with a real ear for dialogue authenticity, this is indie comics at their best, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Eleanor & The Egret #1 (Aftershock)**  John Layman is a natural to write this off-kilter historical art-heist “caper,” and Sam Kieth’s art is as sumptuous as ever. Top it off with lush colors from Ronda Pattison, and you’ve got a winner that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. My only gripe is that the story is a bit on the slight side, but on the whole this was a joy to both read and look at. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flintstones #10 (DC)**  Mark Russell and Steve Pugh can do no wrong with this book in my opinion, and it looks as though we’re going to get the series’ first (and, sadly, only) multi-part story spread over the last few issues here. The Trump comparisons are getting more obvious than ever with Bedrock’s inept, stupid mayor, which is a ton of fun, but there’s some serious heartbreak in these pages too as a beloved member of the cast meets his end. Yes, this comic will make you laugh — it always does — but don’t be too surprised if you shed a tear this time around as well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

america2America #2 (Marvel) I will keep this one to a few words:funny, meta and nothing like it in the Marvel Universe. We catch up with America after she punches Hitler. Definitely a different voice at Marvel that not only is entertaining but woke. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 (Marvel) There’s something truly wondrous about when adaptations get the story right in the minds of its most rabid fans. This is exactly what happened when the minds at Marvel decided to tackle the first spinoff from the Star Wars universe, as this captures all the moments that the were spoken about in online fodder about the missing moments. What makes it even more authentic, is the blessing of the director and the screenwriter. The most pivotal scene to me that they cut out is the crisis of conscience that Gail Erso undergoes and what he entrusts Bodhi with, makes you understand why Bodhi was so committed to meeting Saw Gerrera. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man /Deadpool #16 (Marvel) This book get funnier with every issue. This time we follow this crazy duo to Latvia to battle Shiklah. So they recruit Dracula into the fight but with some ribbing of him and his human slave. By issue’s end, a fight between both forces ensues. Overall: 9 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 (**).

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Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For December

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: A list of underrated comics.


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have an definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of thee series out next time you’re looking for some comics and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find six comics that are worth your attention. You’ll notice that there’s only one comic from each publisher – this was done to try and spread the love around, because otherwise Valiant Voracious_TPB_Cover_Vol1would dominate the list below. Not one of the comics made it into the top 100 for December’s comic sales, which is why they’re Underrated.

All sales data comes from Comichron.


Voracious: Feeding Time
(Action Lab)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: Not listed/Unknown
It should come as no surprise to you that I am a fan of Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr’s creation,Voracious, and it’s sequel Voracious: Feeding Time. The writer and artist/letterer and joined by colourist Andrei Tabucaru, and the trio have produced one of the most consistently excellent comics on the racks. With a story that is on the surface built to be a comedy – that of a time travelling dinosaur hunting chef – but packs more of an emotional punch than you’d expect in such a comic. A truly compelling series that reinvigorated my love for comics, if you want to get hadrianswall_01-1caught up the first trade of Voracious is available now, and the second issue of Feeding Time just hit the shelves. This is easily one of my favourite comics from any publisher right now; if you’re looking for an original concept executed beautifully then you need look no further. Simply an amazing series.

Hadrian’s Wall (Image)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 257/5,265
The creative team  behind C.O.W.L. reunite to tell a fantastic murder mystery set in space. It’s a gripping tale that isn’t without it’s faults, but in comparison to where Kyle Higgins is taking this story they’re easy to over look. Sci fi isn’t usually my cup of tea, but this is one of the comics that I’ve become a big fan of. Don’t miss this.


faith_007_cover-c_tanFaith 
(Valiant)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 221/7,375
If Stan Lee were to have created Spider-Man in this century, then he’d probably have come up with a character like Faith Herbert. The high flying superhero has been a favourite of mine since I read the first miniseries Hollywood and Vine early last year, and the current ongoing – still written by Jody Houser – has been fantastic. Although the artist tends to change with each story arc, there is a visual consistency to the comic because of Marguerite Sauvage’s fantasy sequences that act to blend the differing styles of the artists across the issues. Faith is a series that almost every comic fan will find something to love, whether it’s the character’s unrelenting optimism or her love of being a superhero (come on, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t love to fly), there’s something here for those looking for an escape.

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK4 Kids Walk Into A Bank (Black Mask)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 198/8,675
You’d be forgiven for overlooking this comic, as there was a bit of a delay between the second and third issues being released. For the nearly nine thousand people who did pick up this comic, you would have found one of the most effortlessly charming stories about four kids about to rob a bank. Both the writing is the artwork is fantastic;I can’t recommend this enough to you. Whether you pick it up in trade form when it inevitably is released, or track down the three issues currently on the racks, be prepared to find a comic that you’ll fall head over heals in love with.

midnapo_cv4Midnighter and Apollo (DC)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 180/10,773
If you’re surprised to see a DC book on this list, don’t be. Midnighter has struggled to light up the sales charts as he should be with his previous series. This miniseries has Midnigher literally going to Hell to save the man he loves in one of the mot brutal sequences I have read in a long time, coupled with some fantastic dialogue between Apollo and his captor. Although I assume things will work out eventually, it’s been a hell of a ride (pun intended) so far, and with only two issues remaining in the miniseries I’m really excited to see how Steve Orlando brings this home.

Black Hammer (Dark Horse)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 170/12,352
bkhmr-5-variant-fc-fnl-600x911Jeff Lemire is an incredibly prolific writer,and while I may not always like everything he comes out with, Black Hammer has spoken to my love of modern takes on distinctly Golden Age heroes. With a Justice League like group of characters locked in mysterious pocket dimension where they’re forced to live normal lives on a farm, we get to explore what happens to a hero on a forced retirement. Not everybody I know is a fan of where this comic is going, and how it’s been getting there, but every issue has been a win for me – which is another reason this appears in this issue of Underrated. But the tinges of something lingering just beneath the surface give a genuine sense of unease to the comic. Black Hammer is very much a slow burn, but it’s going to be incandescent when we get the pay off at the end.


 

Obviously there are many more comics that should be on that list, so look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t selling as well as they should be.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 1/7

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

Moon Knight #10 (Marvel) Uh… yeah. I  want to love this, I really do. But Jeff Lemire’s take moon_knight__10on  Moon Knight seems to have lost me somewhere along the way, and I have no idea why. That said, if you’re enjoying the series, then there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this comic. Overall: 7.75  Recommendation: Read

Old Man Logan #16 (Marvel)** If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to read a story with Wolverine in the Alien universe, then pick this issue up. It’s an atmospheric tour de force with some amazing artwork from Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Mialo – well worth checking out. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

The Unworthy Thor #3 (Marvel) A series that started out very promising takes a bit of a stumble here. Although this wasn’t a bad issue, and will probably work very well when sandwiched between #2 and #4 in trade, it just failed to grab the goat by the horns and ride off into the sky. The art is spectacular, the story less so, but if you’ve been following Jason Aaron’s run on the Thor comics he’s been writing, then you’ll still find enough here to enjoy. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Joe

Superman #14 (DC) – I really liked how crazy this issue got so quickly. We get multiple Supermen as well as other heroes from different earths as a new threat chases the Russian Superman (nice call back to Red Son), Chinese Superman, Earth 23 Superman, and more. We realize they are keeping all of the Supermen captive, and our Superman decides he wants to help Earth 23 Superman and his team rescue the others. It was a solid first issue of this short arc. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #14 (DC) – Many of this run of Batman by Tom King has been controversial, and there are some who do not enjoy it. I get that. I have enjoyed the run, and I think he is playing the long game here and setting up quite a bit. I was shocked a little at this issue, and how far it went into the Bat and Cat relationship, but King further doubled down on the vulnerability of Batman. He is showing him giving more into impulses, and he bm_cv14_dscertainly does that in this issue. We also get Batman saying that Catwoman did not kill all of those people, so I am hoping for a payoff there as this series continues forward. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (Marvel) – This was a fun comic filled with a lot of positivity and optimism. Nadia is fun and charming as heck. I liked the exchange with her and Ms. Marvel, as well as her and Mockingbird. There is a touching moment between them about Bobbi’s past that as she says, most forget about. Also, science! The tone and art style reminds me very much of a classic Archie book. This was a good first issue for a semi new character that we haven’t yet learned a ton about. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #4 (IDW)** – I should be loving this way more. On one level, I’m enjoying Greg Pak & Daniel Bayliss’ romp through the Plisskenverse – but deep in my Canadian soul, I’m all “enough with the Multiversal Snakes, let’s see post-apocalyptic John Carpenter Toronto already!” Also, there’s something that’s so awesome about Jack Burton’s dumb luck that I was disappointed to see it codified so neatly. I would like to see more disorder and chaos in a series like this. Overall: 7 Recommendation: read

Ryan C

Batman #14 (DC)** – Nice to see the creative team from “The Sheriff Of Babylon” reunited for this two-part “extended intermission” between arcs, and Mitch Gerads’ art is truly gorgeous — unfortunately, Tom King’s story is a four-pager spread out to cover 20, and Batman and Catwoman calling each other “Cat” and “Bat”? I’m sorry, but that’s just plain ridiculous. Worth looking at for the pretty pictures, but they tell the tale better than the actual script does. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass

The Flintstones #7 (DC)** – Mark Russell’s script for this one is a notch below his usual flint_7_dsstandard, but he still takes aim at the commercialization of religion with typically glorious results and greedy bosses come under fire, too, so — all in all, it’s still a very worthwhile read. Rick Leonardi (there’s a name you don’t see often anymore) and Scott Hanna fill in for Steve Pugh on the art, and it’s — okay, I guess, but far from the near-greatness we’re used to. Even a sub-par issue of “The Flintstones” is still better than just about everything else out there, though, and I’m very intrigued by next issue’s promised exploration of the origins of agriculture. Could Russell be transitioning from an anti-capitalist/anti-consumerist critique to an anti-civilization one? The prospect certainly seems exciting, and fans of “Green Anarchist” authors/philosophers like John Zerzan would do well to pay attention to where this book is going. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Unfollow #15 (DC/Vertigo)** – It’s nice to see Mike Dowling back on the art after a couple months off, but his style looks to have taken a turn for the “scratchier” and less defined, and Rob Williams appears to be moving into rather abrupt wind-up mode with his storyline. I haven’t heard anything about this book being cancelled (not that I pay a ton of attention to what passes for “news reporting” in today’s comics scene), but we go from 86 survivors at the beginning of this issue to 40 at the end with no explanation (as of yet), and events appear to be steamrolling toward a conclusion that I still hoped was a long way off. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

Nailbiter #28 (Image)** – Speaking of books in wind-down mode, Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson are concluding their long-form horror series in just two months (of their own volition, they both insist) which means that this issue has to move things along quickly — and it does, perhaps to its detriment, as the destruction of the entire fucking town of Buckaroo, Oregon feels forced and falls curiously flat. Consequently, what should have been a seismic read ends up registering barely a blip. Hopefully they close out with a couple of chapters that are much stronger than this one. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass

Shean

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1 (DC) – When it comes to misunderstood superheroes, captamfr_cv1_open_order_varmany do not come more tragic than Captain Atom. In this series , we find a hero still searching for who he is while at the same time trying to change public perception. He saves a cruise ship from sinking but catches the attention of the Justice League. By issue’s end, his struggle becomes harder, and the reader finds a fight more human . Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2 Prelude (Marvel) – Popular culture has clung on to Comics like it has never done before and it looks like nothing will change soon.This never more evident when one talks about Guardians of the Galaxy. In this Prelude tot he upcoming movie, the reader pretty much pickups from when Peter Quill loses his mother. From what this first issue sets up, I think anyone familiar with their most popular storylines, will know now what the upcoming film will be about. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Read

Deadpool The Duck#1 (Marvel )- What happens when you put three of Marvel’s fan favorites in one space together? Seems to be a lot of crazy crap happening. In this series, Deadpool and Howard the Duck both get a call that a High value alien target is no its way to Earth . What they don’t know is that target is Rocket Raccoon, and he definitely isn’t himself, as he wreaks enough Havoc to mess with Deadpool’s teleportation device. By issue’s end, we find our heroes conjoined telling each other’s story. Overall: 10  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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/31

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

All-Star Batman #5 (DC)** Continues to be the most exciting Bat-book around. Wrapping up the first arc in a way that I enjoyed more than I expected; this was a breath of fresh air after the less than steller conclusion to I Am Suicide. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Detective Comics #947 (DC) – Wow. This is how you handle smaller arcs during a longer one dtc_cv947_open_order_varwhere you can call back to things you set in place earlier. James Tynion IV has masterfully pulled off the ending of The Victim Syndicate and set up something big for the future. Instead of giving us a big bad in the already impressive Batman villain section, he instead hands us someone who has good points about the bad side of Batman, and who has direct ties to heartbreak which may or may not have happened directly because Batman exists. This is one of DC’s best titles, and one of my favorite comics in general of 2016. We also get another massive tease at the end of the issue. It is hard to remember that while it ships bi-weekly, this comic only costs $2.99, and it is a massive value. Each issue packs so much into it. Also, I love this version of Clayface. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Hulk #1 (Marvel) – After all of the amazing Jeff Dekal cover teases, the first issue is finally here. This issue focuses mostly on Jen as a lawyer starting at a new firm, and fighting the monster that lies just under the surface. While we get some setup to something big, I felt this issue didn’t give quite enough of a story for a character that deserves it after Civil War II and what she went through. That being said, it was decent, and I want to see where it goes. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Teen Titans #3 (DC) – This was a solid issue, with many of the characters getting to know each other, and Robin better. We get the usual shadowed past character in Robin fearful he cannot truly be good, with the usual positive reinforcement by the rest of our bunch as they empathize with him now instead of not trusting him. It may be somewhat cliché, but it works well, and I enjoyed it. So far, this has been a fun book. Overall: 7.5 tt3-cvrRecommendation: Read

Civil War II #8 (Marvel) – I am torn on this comic. At one hand, we get a resolution, and the event has ended. On the other hand, we get more complications from the ending, and really just an unknown to what this all means. I am okay with leaving things in the dark, but after buying these more expensive issues, and the idea that the creators said it needed an extra one (which is this one), I am a little perplexed at where we are now that it is over. Especially with the advertisement for Civil War 2: The Oath #1 in the back of the book. While I am sure it is just extra things or transitioning things into the new Marvel 2017 status quo, especially Carol’s solo title coming, I am just a bit lost at all of it. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass (Unless you are a collector like me and own the others).

Mother Panic #2 (Young Animal) – I had to re-read this issue before I appreciated it fully. I read it quickly the first time, and this is a comic to take your time with. You may miss subtle things in the panel or what the story is doing if you do not pay attention. That being said, I enjoyed it. It is a very dark issue and we see more into Violet’s very rough past as a child and her relationship with her father and mother. We also see her find her target and deal with him as Mother Panic. Also, there is a short cameo from one of Gotham’s best heroes, and I hope we get more from that in the future. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse)** – This issue really put the nail in the coffin for me. The plot, which is far too thin, just kept getting in the way of the Madame Dragonfly story, which could have been darker and richer and stranger if Jeff Lemire would have let it. The resonances are only there for people like me who grew up on the Alan Moore Swamp Thing and used it as a gateway to the Wein/Wrightson oeuvre (hence this issue’s hat tip to Len and Bernie), the House of Mystery/Secrets, and back to the EC horror hosts. Unlike Moore, Lemire doesn’t build anything on this foundation, he just leans on it. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Skip

Superf*ckers Forever #5 (IDW)** – I had higher hopes for this one, Like, that it would be more dumb and vicious and hit harder on the dumb superhero tropes. But it was a fairly superf-ckers-forever-05-pr-1standard escape from Dimension Zero, and although we were treated to a page of Princess Sunshine going dark (thanks, it would seem to the power of Omnizod), it didn’t go full-on Dark Sunshine. There’s a difference between punk and just bratty, and at the end of 2016, I need more f*cking punk in comics like this. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Descender #17 (Image)** – Unfortunately, we have come to the end of Lemire and Nguyen’s beautiful run of character portraits and are back to the dull plotline. All I have to say about this issue is that it got really good as soon as it activated silent mode. Dustin Nguyen’s art is so expressive and breathtaking that Lemire’s dialogue just takes up unnecessary space. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: read

Saga #41 (Image) – I keep coming back to something Howard Chaykin once said in an Amazing Heroes interview, about how people thought he overplotted, but really it was just that everyone else underplotted. Saga is like this: overwhelmingly underplotted, with large panels that don’t convey large emotion or information. Case in point: this issue has three full-page shots, two of which occur in the last three pages. But the emotion that, to my mind, should be driving this story, the ticking timebomb that is the temporary home of our family, isn’t front and center, but diluted by the very size of the panels depicting it. As a consequence, time isn’t as graphically tight as the narrative says it should be, and the spring is too loose to really pack a punch when it is sprung. Overall: 7 Recommendation: read

Ryan C

Black Panther #9 (Marvel)** – Well, whaddya know. An issue of this series that I actually nearly liked. Will wonders never cease? Certainly having Brian Stelfreeze back on art for the final four-issue arc helps, but the characterization and dialogue from Ta-Nehisi Coates seem to have taken a modest step forward here, as well, as the once-disparate subplots begin to coalesce into something vaguely resembling a concerted opposition force against T’Challa and his regime. Still far from essential reading, and still so serious and self-important that it makes even Don McGregor’s run on The Panther look subtle by comparison, but on the whole a perfectly readable comic. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Infamous Iron Man #3 (Marvel)** – Ditto for this one. After two decidedly sub-par introductory issues, Brian Michael Bendis finally lays out some of the dubious “reasoning” infamous ironman 3.jpgbehind Victor Von Doom’s decision to take up the mantle of Iron Man, and in its own way it makes a kind of — sense? Alex Maleev seems to be doing his best to match the somewhat better material he’s given here, as well, and we’re treated to some seriously nice double-page spreads in the second half of the book. This title is still on a very short leash with me, but for the time being, it’s at least still on it rather than being cut loose. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7 (DC)** : Am I detecting a trend this week? After six issues that consistently plumbed new depths of worthlessness, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson give us the first remotely readable installment of this (let’s face it) naked cash-grab, as some genuinely surprising developments that may inject some new life (both literally and metaphorically) into the so-called “Dark Knight Universe” propel the story toward what could be, at least in theory, a reasonably interesting conclusion. I still think this will prove to be a mirage rather than a trend, but what the hell — I didn’t want to pluck my eyes out after reading this issue, and the Frank Miller-drawn mini-comic insert actually looks, dare I say it, pretty good for a change. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

All-Star Batman #5 (DC)** – Scott Snyder, John Romita, Jr. and a veritable army of inkers put the wraps on the opening Two-Face arc of this series with the most satisfying and well-drawn issue yet, but it’s probably too little, too late, as the first four parts were such a clusterfuck of bad ideas, half-assed subplots, and surprisingly off-target characterization. All of the purported “mysteries” you’d forgotten about from earlier chapters are wrapped up, and there are some nice emotional “beats” hit in the dialogue between Batman and Two-Face and Batman and Alfred, but on the whole an average issue isn’t nearly enough to save a lackluster story that was crushed under the weight of its own self-indulgence way too early. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Shean

Rocket Raccoon #1 (Marvel)– When it comes to beloved characters within the Marvel rocket-1Universe, it is usually because they strike a chord with each of us. Within the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 movie ,the whole world pretty much fell in love with the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. In this series , we find Rocket on his own in New York and on the run from the authorities, where he meets up with the Human Torch. By issue’s end, we find that Rocket is in even more serious trouble than when he began.
Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man/Deadpool #12 (Marvel)– what happens everyone’s favorite webslinger and everyone’s favorite mercenary with a mouth join forces ? Probably one of the best comics Ihave ever read. In this issue, they have a guest writer and artists to write a special Xmas story. We find Spider-Man and Deadpool enjoying Xmas with friends and creating mayhem where they traverse. By issue’s end, they fight the originator of Xmas and show him that it is more than he ever imagined. Overall: 10 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 (**).

Comics & Coffee: February 2016 Preview Review

I go over the PREVIEWS, Marvel Previews, DC Direct Currents, and Image+ magazines for February 2016.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/3

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

bm_annual_cv1Batman Annual #1 (DC) I’m a huge fan of annuals like this; a collection of short stories with a central theme that give you a break (a Christmas break…?) from the main Batbooks. There isn’t a bad story here, and with the level of talent involved that’s hardly surprising. A thoroughly enjoyable comic that anybody with a passing interest in Batman will enjoy whether you’re following the main books or not. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel) If, like me, you’ve been exposed to Robbie Reyes through the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, then prepare to be somewhat disappointed. The character is almost unrecognisable from the TV show aside from the fact that both are mechanics, and both sometimes have a flaming skull head; if I’m honest, I prefer the live action portrayal over the comic version. That being said, this first issue is perfectly serviceable, but it’s unlikely to set the world on fire. Pun unintended. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Read… maybe?

Masked #1 (Titan) An interesting start that shows a lot of promise. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Revolution #5 (IDW) When you think of climactic final battles in crossover events, this issue will be the bar of comparison. SO MUCH is going on in every panel; it’s a glorious smorgasboard of action, although there are some details that get lost it’s nothing that will pull you away from the story. A fantastic conclusion. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy the whole miniseries – you don’t need to be familiar with any of the characters to enjoy it.

 

Ashley

Adventure Time: Islands (Boom! Studios) – I guess I didn’t realize how behind I’ve been on Adventure Time until I read this on a whim and found myself Googling everything involved adventuretime_ogn_islands_coverin this story. Still, like many of the Adventure Time OGNs, the story ended up being very charming and touching. Jo is a particularly intriguing heroine and it would be nice to see what happens to her in the future. Overall rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

The Skeptics #2 (Black Mask) – Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi’s clever series continues with an issue of Max and Mary trying to keep up the psychic act in the wake of the President making a public press conference about them. The back and forth mind games as the two try to figure out what is going on with the USSR’s psychic teens proves to be especially fun and develops Max and Mary’s characters even further. Mary especially comes across as the shining star of this issue when we begin to see her morality in comparison to Max. Now the big question is going into issue 3 is how much longer can they keep the act going? Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Joe
Saga #40 (Image) This was my favorite issue of the series in awhile. I felt like everything moved a bit quicker than the last few issues, and while it was good to spend some time with characters and develop some of the new ones, Saga is at its best when it is juggling a few plots at once that come together into the overall story. We get Hazel and her new friend watching the Prince’s weird dreams in a very funny scene that felt reminiscent of Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson. We get Marko reflecting over his time as a soldier, and why he is still reluctant to accept violence even after what he’s done. We get more weird saga40-01-covfun and new characters as Petrichor searches for Izzy. And we get Allana and the Prince in a jaw dropping cliffhanger. This comic is still awesome. – Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Batman Annual #1 (DC) – This was a fun annual. We get multiple stories from some of the great bat writers and artists including Tom King, Scott Snyder, Declan Shalvey, Paul Dini, Steve Orlando, Neal Adams and more. Most of the stories follow a similar feel good and light hearted tone, which is nice to get in a bat book every now and then. All of them focus around winter in Gotham and the holiday, and I really enjoyed that. Annuals are supposed to be a break from the main storylines, and this book did a great job giving us a few stories that were quite different. The final story also sets up something for next year as it introduces a villain at the end of the book. I would recommend this book for any Batman fan. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Superman Annual #1 (DC) – I have loved this run of Superman by Tomasi, and the annual is no different. This title has been one of the most consistently good DC books from the Rebirth event, and the annual gives us a fun break in between arcs, but also gives us something pretty big. Swamp Thing shows up to tell this Superman that he is drawing too much energy from the sun, and more than the previous Superman. After a really fun fight between the two, Swamp Thing explains that Supes is killing the planet, and should leave, but he also tells him he can cure him and fix everything. This is a perfect story for an annual, and it really flowed well. It also in a way tells us this is our Superman now, the man of tomorrow, as Swamp Thing tells him to let go of his past. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel) – I really wish Tradd Moore drew this entire book, but he is only on the backup story, which to me was better than the main story, and gave this book another point in the score. The art by Beyruth is good, but I associate the character with Moore from the last run, and he fits Ghost Rider so well. Felipe Smith does a decent job on writing the backup story, but my problem with the main story is it doesn’t have enough Ghost Rider in it, and features more of Totally Awesome Hulk than Robbie Reyes. We even get Laura Kinney at the end and while I like these characters, I really would have loved a more focused story, which the bonus was. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
Ryan C
Superman Annual #1 (DC)** – Absolutely gorgeous Jorge Jimenez art is sadly rather wasted smann_cv1on a less-than-mediocre script from Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason that stretches a Superman-meets-Swamp-Thing team-up that could have been told in less than 10 pages out to truly ridiculous length. Honestly, this would have been better as a wordless story because then, at least, the plot would have come across as far less hackneyed than it is. In the end, what we’ve got here is a backup strip on steroids — that’s gorgeous to look at. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)** — In theory, an impending team-up between the new Ghost Rider, the new Wolverine, and the Totally Awesome Hulk sounds interesting enough on paper — even cheap-ass Marvel paper — but Felipe Smith’s script on this debut issue is pure set-up that doesn’t even explain why, much less how, all of these disparate characters are going to end up crossing paths, and the dialogue is lifeless and cliched across the board for all characters. Danilo S. Beyruth’s art is okay, if not great, but the closest thing we get to a “highlight” here is a fun little backup strip written by Smith and illustrated by Tradd Moore that introduces a new (I think) villain and actually packs more intrigue and excitement into its truncated length than the main story story manages to with a full page count. It looks like we’ve got another short-lived “Ghost Rider” title on our hands with this one. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Pass
Wacky Raceland #6 (DC)** – All good things, as they say, must come to an end, and while Ken Pontac and Leonardo Manco have both been in better form on this title than they are in this final issue, given how abruptly it was cancelled I can forgive things like the clunky opening page info-dump and necessarily hurried conclusions to, well, every single storyline going. At the very least a nice little twist at the end leaves readers feeling less than completely cheated by the proceedings, and while it would have been nice to see this underappreciated series run a bit longer, I’ve seen the axe fall on books in far uglier fashion than it does here. Overall: 6.5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been reading it so far, otherwise pass.
Romulus #2 (Top Cow/Image)** – This conspiratorially-themed book from Bryan Hill and Nelson Blake II has a retro, ’80s-style indie vibe to it in terms of both story and art, and fairly intriguing characters. The dialogue’s a little disjointed, sure, and we’ve been down this “solitary warrior vs. the Illuminati” path before, but what the heck — if done right, it can still be fun. Hill is treading on shaky political ground with his villain, though, not because she’s a clear stand-in for Hillary Clinton, but because he seems to be equating empowered feminism with duplicitous, world-conquering motives. We’ll have to see how that all plays out, but for the time being I’m giving him a bit more rope in the hope that he doesn’t strangle himself with it. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Read.
Shean
Star Wars Annual#2 (Marvel)-In this Annual issue, we are introduced to a muscle bound no-angel-coverunemployed engineered that goes by the name, Pash Davane. She lives on a desert planet much like Tatooine, and happenstance to be taking care of a wounded Princess Leia. What follows is a series of antics between the two and what ultimately is an elevator episode , which as the best ones do, reveal a lot about the characters. By the end of the annual, the Rebels have a new Allie, which has her own set of skills.Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
No Angel#1 (Black Mask)– Adrienne Palicki is mostly known for her starring roles on Friday Night Lights and Agents Of SHIELD , but one where may be surprised that she is an adept storyteller. In this first issue, we introduced to Hannah Gregory, an Iraq War Veteran, who comes home after a family tragedy. What no one including her knows , is that the tragedy hides a bigger reason. By issue’s end, a rather ordinary sounding story takes a surprisingly supernatural turn. Overall: 9 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 (**).

Review: Reborn #2

reborn02_coveraIn Reborn #2, we get a deeper look at the world where people go when they die. It is much like Heaven and Hell, or in this book, Adystria and the Dark Lands. Adystria is for the good, and the Dark Lands is for the bad. This is not just for humans, but for pets as well. We saw with Roy-Boy, Bonnie’s dog that died years ago joining her and her father, Big Tom in Adystria in the first issue. Oh, and speaking of pets, this issue has Bonnie’s former cat who is now known as General Frost serving the big bad, Lord Golgotha, the leader of the Dark Lands. That’s right, a cat General with the ability to bring ice spikes from the ground. Maybe I got a little to excited at this reveal, but again, it’s a cat who’s a General, and he’s not happy about that time he got fixed at the vet.

Mark Millar is no secret to epic stories, and he is setting up a massive fantasy tale here. Bonnie’s father, Big Tom, explains to his daughter she is the chosen one. Much like Bonnie, we still do not know why. There’s a special sword for her and apparently all of the people and pets of Adystria have been waiting for her, and they plan for her to lead them to war against the Dark Lands. A lot of people from Bonnie’s past appear, and it makes me wonder why is this world built so much around Bonnie? If this is a land for people to go when they die, why are so many of the characters revolving around her life? I am quite sure we will get those answers soon, and it made for a very fun and interesting issue. Big Tom did say this world was ten times the size of the Earth, so that could answer some of these questions, but even the Queen of the Faeries was a close friend of Bonnie’s. So far, this world is very connected to her.

Greg Capullo always impresses me, and his style is always recognizable. He does a fantastic job again in this book, filling the world of Adystria with colorful flora and fauna. There is a massive treehouse that fills two pages and is absolutely awesome to look at. It was fun to look at all of the little creatures that were drawn into the background. If you blinked you may have missed them. When we arrive at the end of the book, Capullo shows how well he can adapt his style. The bright greens, blues, and browns of the lush valleys and waterfalls of Adystria are replaced with the greys, reds, and blacks of the streets of the Dark Lands. The artwork and colors alone show you a land of hope versus a land of despair. Lord Golgotha is drawn as a hulking and intimidating villain, and makes me think there was some inspiration from Tim Curry in Legend. We’ve seen what Capullo is capable of before, and I cannot wait to see more characters from him.

If you love fantasy, then this book is absolutely perfect for you. I love that we aren’t just getting another by the numbers genre book, but something where there is a larger mystery going on with a ton of unanswered questions. What are Bonnie’s powers? Who was Lord Golgotha in a past life or was he always here? Are people who they say they are? Why do people come into this world at different ages, and not at the age when they die? I plan to find out by continuing to read this excellent series, and you should too.

Story: Mark Millar Art: Greg Capullo
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/29

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

mycroft_03_cover_a

Action Comics #966 (DC) Superman punches a dinosaur. That’s all you need to know. Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy

Conan The Slayer #4 (Dark Horse) This is just so, so good. The art is fantastic, and Cullen Bunn has such a great grasp on the character that his writing could easily fit the pulp novels of Conan’s origin.Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Detective Comics #943 (DC) As expected after the recent death of an ally, this issue doesn’t shy away from the emotional repercussions that would result from such a loss. I have to say that the new, more human, Batman is a welcome sight – and seeing his emotional struggle, and the pillar of strength that is Batwoman, is going to be an interesting ride. Plus, the new villains look awesome. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Mycroft #3 (Titan) If there was ever any doubt that both Holmes brothers are lovable dicks, then his comic should remove it. Mycroft Holmes is every bit as smart as his more famous brother, and yet just a tad bit less nicer. It makes for a fantastic read from cover to cover. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ashley

TheSkeptics_Cover_1_200pxThe Skeptics #1 (Black Mask Studios) – In the case of full disclosure, I am very biased towards Skeptics writer Tini Howard as a friend, colleague, and a contributor to my recent project “Famous Last Words.” Noting that, that does not take away the fact that The Skeptics is off to a great start, with likable characters who are not the most honest of people, an intriguing plot based around the Cold War, and fantastic character design from Devaki Neogi. Not to mention Jen Hickman’s colors that somehow make the taupe landscape of super secret government research seem vibrant. Overall: 8  Recommendation: Read

Saga #39 (Image Comics) – For me, the past couple of arcs of Saga have not quite hit the same resonant notes of the first few arcs. Not to say that it hasn’t been good, but it did feel like it was meandering towards “The War For Phang” in some regard. However, since getting there, it feels like the series is back to its roots, with one makeshift family fighting just to make it. This issue in particular proved to be a very subtle kind of heartbreak as Hazel has to face consequences, mortality and the infinite as a deadly plan unfolds on the other side of the comet. Also, Petrichor might be the best new character in this series.
Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Elana

Doom Patrol (DC) is surreal and dream-like but vibrant and actually funny. The Vertigo Era cast and new characters are in the “getting the team together” phase of the story. The tone is exuberantly weird but with a good heart. It feels like classic Vertigo comics of my teen years but I have no idea what a reader looking at this with zero nostalgia would make of it.

I’m just thrilled to see Robotman & Larry Trainor again even though I barely know the original run. The mythology around the series is just that strong and the voices here are ds_cv5_open_order_varjust that and the voices here are just that charismatic. Nick Derington’s pencils are fresh and attractive with smart visual humor. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain’s work is beautiful and atmospheric. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Deathstroke 5 (DC): Slade Wilson, deadly mercinary mastermind, is also the worst dad in comics. Deathstroke is a terrible person and Priest never looses place with that unlike many other comics centered on supervillains. His daughter Rose aka Ravager, is still trying to be a horrible person.

It makes for an interesting dynamic when Wilson and his daughter are juxtaposed against Batman and his son in this issue. Batman is majorly overused but it was a blast having him here and a deserved choice. Damian Wayne and Slade verbally sparing is brutal fun. Joe Bennett’s pencils are polished and easy to follow. Nice to see Damian actually depicted as multiracial. Which he is.  Overall 8

Joe

Civil War #6 (Marvel) – I was one of the people defending Civil War 2 even after issue #3. I liked what Marvel was doing, and enjoy when they take chances. However at this point I just want to see how this event ends. The story seems to be dragging now, and adding an eighth issue puzzles me a lot, especially when I read this issue and felt not a lot happened. I also have an issue with this book costing five bucks. I may be a little more forgiving if it was three or four dollars, but when I am getting more story from books at that price these days, that’s a problem. If you are already reading this series, you may as well continue to see how it ends, but aside from the art, and a cool moment here or there, I cannot really recommend this book. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

The Skeptics #1 (Black Mask Studios) – I like a lot of what Black Mask is doing these days, and that is being very different from the other publishers. This continues with this book. It sets up a premise that could prove very interesting, with a classic American vs Russia race to the super weapons, but only with super soldiers with psychic abilities. This series uses an original idea to that premise where there may be more sleight of hand and deception to what is actually happening. I would recommend at least a read, especially if you enjoy espionage, and Cold War antics. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Skybourne #2 (Boom Studios) – The over the top action and fun continues in the second issue of this series. It is very much an adventure story about a family of immortals that are nearly indestructible. Here we get a peek at The Mountain Top Foundation and their bsusa_001_cover-b_braithwaitehistory, as well as what seems to be the main protagonist of the series, Thomas. There are teases of dragons, monsters, magic as this issue explains a bit more of what this series is. I enjoyed my time with it like I would a summer blockbuster film, and it is worth a read. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Bloodshot U.S.A. #1 (Valiant) – You get a Bloodshot! And you get a Bloodshot! Everyone gets a Bloodshot! This was a very fun first issue, and I have always enjoyed how Valiant embraces their characters and aren’t afraid to go way over the top. This issue has corrupt business men, the other Bloodshots, Ninjak, Livewire, and even a hint that Donald Trump would be a figure head who could be elected when the evil suits raise the Bloodshot army. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

Weird Detective #5 (Dark Horse)** – And so we come to the conclusion of this first story, which is a bit of a letdown – like, this could have been 4 issues and rolled a lot harder and weirder. Sana Fayez’ revelation didn’t feel big enough, the climax was underwhelming, and I felt like it was cheating for Greene to remove the madness from Sana’s mind. This series was nowhere near as fun or strange as it could have been. Overall: 6 Recommendation: skip

Betty Boop #1 (Dynamite)** – I love watching Roger Langridge work, and this should be bettyboop01-cov-c-lagaceperfect for him… but I wasn’t completely convinced. Mainly, I think, it was the musical numbers: these are never the easiest thing to pull off in comics, and I don’t think they work here. Artist Gisèle Lagacé does a fine job of capturing the style and the fun, but something feels just off for me… A little too paint-by-numbers, maybe. Overall: 6 Recommendation: skip

Black Hammer #4 (Dark Horse)** – Jeff Lemire & Dean Ormiston give us the origin of Abraham Slam, which is a bit on the dull side. These Golden Age characters need more moxie and vim & vigor for me. I’m also not sure about the motivations of all of the characters – the dinner party here, where Abraham invites his new belle Tammy over to meet the “family” has pretty forced drama. Though it was nice to see Colonel Weird step up to save the day. Overall: 6 Recommendation: skip

Descender #16 (Image)**: I really do think that Jeff Lemire is at his best with character studies, and this issue proves it for me. This is the story of Driller, an old driller robot. Funny and poignant, and of course Dustin Nguyen does a great job capturing the darkness of the mines while keeping the story clear. I’m quite enjoying this arc and will be kind of disappointed to return to the plot. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: buy

I Hate Fairyland #10 (Image)** – Skottie Young takes us a hundred years into the future for the Last Battle of Fairyland between post-apocalyptic Gert and her allies, and Duncan ihatefairyland10_coverartathe Dragon. I want to give a special shout-out here to colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu: his work on this issue is just stunning, making Duncan a real threat and the end of Fairyland actually terrifying. Another sour candy treat. Overall: 9 Recommendation: buy

Saga #39 (Image)** – This is the best issue in quite a while, bringing back the anything-can-happen sense that brought me on board in the first place. The spring is slowly being coiled and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. Overall: 8 Recommendation: buy

Stray Bullets #19 (Image/El Capitan)** – And yet more horrible people doing horrible things to other horrible people. Beth is in way over her head, but what I love about her character is that she always thinks she can handle it. But Annie is kind of out of her league in terms of sheer craziness. As usual, David Lapham’s work is excellent. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation

Ryan C

The Vision #12 (Marvel)** – A heartbreaking, if predictable, conclusion to Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s superb story that packs an emotional wallop and, in the final panel, signs off with a respectful and subtle hat-tip to, of all people, Alan Moore. Certainly the finest series Marvel has put out in years, this is a title that will be sorely missed — and discussed for many years to come. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy.

Titans #4 (DC)** – For years, fans clamored for the return of the “real” Wally West — but did they ever think he’d be brought back as a sniveling, pathetic coward? Dan Abnett is TheHangman#4varconstructing a travesty of a storyline here that is devoid of anything even remotely resembling intelligence, and Brett Booth’s art is both stylistically dated and, frankly, atrocious. As near to a worthless comic as you’re likely to read. Overall: 0. Recommendation: Pass.

The Hangman #4 (Archie/Dark Circle)** – A rushed and half-assed conclusion to another oft-delayed Dark Circle series, Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz both clearly mailed this one in even though they curiously decided, probably under editorial duress, to leave things open for a sequel that’s obviously never going to happen. Really lame stuff. Overall: 1. Recommendation: Pass.

Postal #16 (Image/Top Cow)** – An explosive conclusion to the current storyline that wraps things up maybe a little bit too quickly and easily, but nevertheless delivers a real punch to the gut and sets events up to proceed in any number of highly intriguing directions. Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodhart are really hitting a confident creative stride on this series; ignore it at your peril. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Batman Beyond #1 (DC)– Sometime in the future, Bruce Wayne is dead and Terry McGuiness is Batman, which is a complete change from the original Batman Beyond origin doctor_strange__sorcerers_supreme__-1story. In this story, Terry is raising his kid brother, Matt , while they live in Wayne Manor. This future still has the gang of Jokers terrorizing Gotham, while Terry faces off against Bane-like version of the Joker. By issue’s end , Terry must go undercover in order to infiltrate their organization. Story:9 Art:9 Overall:9.3 Recommendation: Borrow

Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #1 (Marvel): We are introduced to Merlin, who was Sorcerer Supreme in his time fighting against an evil simply known as the Forgotten.Fast Forward a few centuries later, and we find Stephen Strange fighting a who different brand of evil, in Brooklyn. Before our hero could catch his breath, Merlin time travels to recruit him in the return of this same evil. Before issue’s end, we meet several different sorcerers supreme from different timelines, and meet an old friend while saying goodbye to an old one.
Story:9 Art:8 Overall:9.4 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: Seven To Eternity #2

seventoeternity02_coverartaSeven To Eternity #2 continues the story of the Osidis clan, as well as giving us some history between Adam’s father Zeb, and the God of Whispers. Like most Rick Remender books, I’m never sure where the story is going to go. That’s a good thing. I’ve often referred to him as the king of the gut punch, but he’s also very good at character development. Every time I read one of his books, I always find the characters interesting, and believable within their world. This book is no exception. We are only two issues in, but already I am wondering what Adam will do to protect his family, and how it will affect the Osidis legacy. Remender can flat out craft a tale, and he’s building another great one here.

This issue does a good job of building suspense with each page. As the story progressed, I was wondering what Adam would do now that he is finally face to face with the God of Whispers. The fantastic art by Jerome Opeña and colors by Matt Hollingsworth definitely help build the kingdom of Zhal. Whether we are seeing the back story of Zeb, or the lair of the God of Whispers. Even if this book didn’t have Remender writing it, and thankfully it does, the art is still something special to look at.

It was great to get a peek at why the Osidis name is judged so harshly in this world, and why they were living so far away from society. Zeb is a badass and it is great to see more of him, even if it is only through flashbacks. I feel like we know a lot about him in such a short time. What kind of man he was, and how much pride meant to him. It seems to me that he was a much different man than his son, and that’s okay. I find it very interesting that we don’t know a lot about Adam yet, except that he will protect his family at all costs. As of right now it would seem that Adam fights with his head, while Zeb fought with his heart. I think this story is a lot about family. It isn’t just a fantasy epic, even though it is an excellent one so far. It’s a story about legacy, and what it means to stand up against something you know is wrong, no matter what.

We get some new and interesting characters and a great fight sequence to show their powers off. It would seem Adam and the Osidis clan are not the only ones in Zhal to not hear the God of Whisper’s offer. I cannot wait to know more about a giant lizard with a metal mouth named Drawbridge, or Patchwork who at one point has her arm ripped off, but she replaces it with an enemies. There’s a healer monkey, a shapeshifter, and someone called The White Lady. I won’t spoil too much on this band of misfits, but they were a lot of fun.

If you are a fan of Rick Remender, buy this book. If you are a fan of fantasy stories, buy this book. Who am I kidding? You should probably just buy this book. In usual Remender fashion, I have no idea where this story is going, and it’s wonderful.

Story: Rick Remender Art: Jerome Opeña Color: Matt Hollingsworth
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/8

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

black-1-1Black #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-001-cov-a-revIntertwined #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

Joe

Moonshine #1 (Image Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s writing and Eduardo Risso’s art together Moonshine 1are 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

Patrick

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 superf_ckers_03subgot 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

Ryan C

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 jessicajones1coverprinted 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 (**).

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