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.
Old Man Logan #28 (Marvel)** The last Marvel comic on my pull list these days, and were it not for a very sentimental attachment to Wolverine I’d have likely dropped it awhile back for no other reason than I’ve largely stopped reading Marvel. That said, I’m still really enjoying this series, and seeing Old Man Logan back with Hawkeye again as they confront the Hulk Gang is a nostalgic throwback for the reader (and possibly Logan). Ultimately, a really solid book – and one I don’t regret picking up in the least. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Pestilence #4 (Aftershock)** There’s something to be said about reading about zombies in the medieval times. Frank Tieri has always been hit or miss for me (though truthfully far more hit than miss), and this series one of the hits. The covers are always brilliantly well done and the interior art, to me at least, has an almost Mignola feel to it. If you want something a bit different from the spandex and capes of the Big Two then you could do a lot worse than this medieval zombie story. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #4 (Dark Horse)** – Brian Wood and guest artist extraordinaire Vanessa R. Del Rey (way to leave her name off the cover, Dark Horse) deliver a stunning stand-alone story about a teenage girl looking to get off “The Land” to have an abortion that depicts the topic with the intelligence and sensitivity that it deserves while eschewing any sign of preachiness. Highly skilled stuff, wonderfully illustrated, with no easy answers provided. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Harrow County #25 (Dark Horse)** – Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook celebrate a milestone issue in their rural horror series with a story that not only moves, but downright propels, the narrative forward into dizzyng new territory. I’ve been “on the fence” about this book for some time despite Crook’s utterly gorgeous art, but as of now, I’m “all in” again, no question. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Action Comics #987 (DC)** – Lenticularize me, baby! Or, ya know, don’t, since the first issue of the much-hyped “The Oz Effect” storyline is the very definition of comic book mediocrity. Viktor Bogdanovic’s art has a little bit more personality (and a little bit less technical proficiency) than most “Rebirth” stuff, but Dan Jurgens’ script is rote and predictable in the extreme, even if “Mr. Oz” doesn’t turn out to be exactly who you assumed he was. In addition, they seem to have laidall their cards on the table with their “big reveal” on the final page of this issue, and it’s hard to see where they go from here — as well as why I should care. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Mister Miracle #2 (DC)** – Tom King and Mitch Gerads settle things down a bit after their “Mulholland Drive”-esque first issue, but it’s still fairly obvious that all is not quite as it appears here. Orion is running the show on New Genesis now, Granny Goodness apparently ain’t so bad, and Barda doesn’t really get killed even though it looks like she does for a minute there. Certainly interesting stuff, but I’m not sure “dialing back” the high weirdness was the right call (hey, time will tell), and Gerads’ art, while certainly damn good for the most part, is so murky in the final two panels that it’s hard to discern what’s even going on in the big “cliffhanger” ending. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Mage: The Hero Denied #2 (Image)** – I’m up in the air over this one, but I think so is Kevin. On the one hand, he likes his quiet family life, so he’s trying to minimize the threats he’s facing. On the other, he has to take the necessary steps to protect his family. I think that it’s just that Matt Wagner hasn’t seemed to make up his mind yet about what Kevin wants most and what he’s prepared to do to get it, so the story is passive and reactive. There are just enough interesting hooks to keep me going, though: I love Mags’ magic crockpot, for instance, and Kevin’s relationship with his son is complex and real. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Kill Or Be Killed #12 (Image)** – This issue is strictly prosaic and procedural, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, coming from Ed Brubaker. Dylan starts hitting back at the Russians, and he and Kira inch closer. But Sean Phillips’ portrayal of Dylan struck me: he looks ten years older and seriously haunted, especially sitting next to Kira at the movies. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy.
Time & Vine #3 (IDW)** – The mystery – that of Megan’s Aunt Alice – kind of… meanders along here. Three issues in, I’m starting to wonder what this story is really about and what’s driving it. The historical vignettes are interesting – we go back to 1863 and a meeting of the Emancipation Society of New York to talk about slavery, suffrage, and economics – but I’m starting to lose the emotional connection. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Dept H #18 (Dark Horse) Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they give you a view of the surface world as a tease. Showing how they have reacted to the H-virus, as it spreads. As what may be their last hope for surfacing falls short. This series continues to draw me, as it progresses. Hopefully, with only two issues scheduled to remain after this, we will be shown how things end. Overall: 8.5 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 (**).