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.
Power Pack #63 (Marvel): Damn, this one-shot made me miss Marvel’s other superhero family as Katie Power narrates an adventure of her and her superpowered siblings for a rewrite on a high school paper. It’s a retelling of an older Power Pack comic, but writer Devin Grayson editorializes enough to show how much Katie misses blasting bad guys with her family. The story is also a strong argument for outlandish, standalone superhero stories instead of “realistic” ones, and Marika Cresta’s clean lines remind me of New Mutants’ (and Power Pack fill-in artist) Bob McLeod. It is highly relatable to anyone who is missing a sibling, who has moved far away. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy
Batman: White Knight #2 (DC)** – I keep hoping that Sean Murphy has something else up his sleeve other than “look how I’m tweaking Gotham City norms at the margins,” but so far that’s all we’re getting here story-wise apart from some nasty white-washing of fascism. The art’s awesome, no question about it, and there’s a decent cliffhanger on offer here that will have you looking at Clayface in a new and decidedly unpleasant way, but damn — do we really need another story that looks at the most unpleasant aspect of Batman’s character (namely that he’s essentially a vigilante protecting the 1% by beating the crap out of poor people) and tries to cast it in a positive light a la “The Dark Knight Rises”? I think not. So far the only “message” I’m getting from this book is that if poor people get out of line, it’s up to the rich to knock them back down for the “good” of all. Pretty fucking repugnant, really. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass.
Batman #34 (DC)** – Another superb art job from Joelle Jones is wasted on another lazy-ass Tom King script. This is the most sumptuous-looking fight you’ll see all week, no question — but that’s still all we’re gejuy6tting here : an issue-length fight. Whatever. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass
Crosswind #5 (Image)** – I’m still not sold on Cat Staggs’ heavily-photo-referenced art, being more a fan of actual free-hand drawing myself, but damn is Gail Simone’s darkly comic take on the “Freaky Friday” premise all kinds of fun. Events seem to be converging toward a conclusion of sorts, but hopefully the seeds of a second arc will be planted next issue, because I’d hate to see this book die a premature death. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Paper Girls #17 (Image)** – When it comes to paying homage to Spielberg-style ’80s blockbusters, Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang are getting exactly right everything that “Stranger Things” season two got exactly wrong — and even though this issue is heavy on the exposition, it’s true, these are answers that have been a long time coming and they lead to even more questions, so it’s all good. And the art’s more than good, it’s great. The most quietly consistent series going, and one that’s got all kinds of heart, too. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Iron Fist #74 (Marvel) When Danny Rand returns home to NYC, he finds the Book of the Iron Fist stolen by the Serpent and the Serpent Society. He teams up with Sabretooth to find it while knocking some heads along the way. At the same time, an old villain of The Iron Fist, Choshin is looking to take over Kun Luna do with an army 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 (**).