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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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/1

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

ac_cv964_dsAction Comics #964 (DC) It’s hard to explain how enjoyable this issue was, because on the face of things, it was largely just two men talking with a bit of flashback action. The dialogue was very well done, and despite being the second part of a story, can easily be read as a standalone. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Conan The Slayer #3 (Dark Horse) Action! Adventure! A story that takes place within about ten minutes, and feels so very Conan. If you like fantasy comics, this is the one for you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Detective Comics #941 (DC) The Night Of The Monster Men crossover continues, and I kinda just want it over and done with. It’s just not doing it for me, and the need to pick up multiple series to follow the story is kinda annoying. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Generation Zero #2 (Valiant) A solid second issue that builds on the foundations of the first a little slower than I’d have liked. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps (DC) This issue is the calm before the storm, and I cannot wait until the storm breaks over the yellow lanterns – hopefully the next issue, but the build up is being teased out so well I’m happy to wait a little longer. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

captain-canuck-9Captain Canuck #9 (Chapterhouse Comics)** – A gap between issues isn’t helping as the story is taking some effort to remember all of the details. Still, it’s a fun comic that ties into the sister series Northguard. The comic continues to deliver action without the grim and gritty. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Detective Comics #941 (DC Comics) – “Night of the Monster Men” continues and it still feels like an original story. It doesn’t blow me away, but it’s entertaining to read. There’s some good twists and to see Gotham Girl enter the fight is interesting enough. Overall: 7.05 Recommendation: Read

Northguard #2 (Chapterhouse Comics)** – The more Americanized Canadian superhero the series features the CIA and some Canadian jokes from an American perspective. It’s similar in tone to Captain Canuck and hasn’t quite stood out on its own, but it’ll be interesting to see how it does that. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

The Flash #7 (DC Comics) – The Flash battles Godspeed and I’m really digging this storyline. It really feels like we’ve got a solid speedster villain that doesn’t wear yellow spandex and the fact he’s also sort of doing good is a twist. The Flash has been entertaining and continues to be. The art too is solid matching the excitement of the story. Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

surgeonx_01-1Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #5 (DC Comics) – I’ve a Green Lantern fan for a while now and the series feels like it’s getting back to form. Much of the issue is Hal talking to Soranik catching up on what’s going on, but it’s a good issue for that. The ending has me really excited. Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Suicide Squad #3 (DC Comics) – Two stories again, the main one just isn’t holding up and feels like an action film with no depth. Jim Lee’s art doesn’t save it. The back-up story with Katana is fantastic, especially the art. Overall: 6.95 Recommendation: Pass

Surgeon X #1 (Image Comics) – A future world where antibiotics are in limited supply and resistant bugs are running rampant. I’m still trying to figure out exactly where the comic is going, but it’s a very interesting in presenting a world that’s all too much a possibility. Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Titans #3 (DC Comics) – We find out who hid Wally West in time and also a lot more teasers of the greater story of Rebirth and who has messed with time overall. Lots of hints are peppered through, so expect this to be a key issue as far as that. Really entertaining comic though. Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse)**: I wrote about the Martian Manhunter in my review for Weird Detective #4, so I had J’onn J’onzz on my mind and lo and behold, Jeff Lemire brings us the story of Barbalien, aka Mark Markz. The more I read of his stuff the more I’m black-hamer-3convinced that his strength lies in character, not plot. He puts a nice queer twist on the shapeshifter alien type, but it’s fairly superficial – in the Spiral City flashback, he never really goes for just how alien Mark’s feelings would have been in the context of what I assume is the 1950’s and in the police brotherhood. Somebody please give him less work so that he has the time to delve deeper into his material! Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Descender #15 (Image)**: Another Jeff Lemire personal flashback issue, this time dealing with cyborg leader Queen Between aka Effie. The story of Andy and Effie’s lifelong romance is touching and sweet, and gives Effie’s gradual transformation from refugee orphan to robot empathizer to sympathizer to cyborg a real cost – that being Andy. But since Andy can’t change, her loss is also Andy’s. Very nicely done, Mr. Lemire. Oh, and Dustin Nguyen knocks it out of the park once again. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Saga #38 (Image)**: Another confounding issue. On the one hand, I really loved the bravado of jumping ahead six months while the gang are stranded to refuel. On the other, in a book like this, in a universe like the one Vaughan & Staples have set up, in the plot that is rolling, how does nothing happen in six months? And, maybe because I have a pre-kindergartener at home, how does a child Hazel’s age not change at all in six months? That length of time, given all of these circumstances, should be an eternity, but it’s treated like a blip. Not cool, guys. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Ryan C

Blue Beetle #1 (DC)** – Continuing the fun and light-hearted tone established in the earlier “Rebirth” special, Keith Giffen and Scott Kollins hit all the right notes as the Ted Kord/ Jaime Reyes tandem goes into action on the less-than-mean streets of El Paso, Texas with the spectre of at least “a” Dr. Fate — but is it “the” Dr. Fate? — looming in the background. Just a really good effing time. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

lakeoffire_02-1Lake Of Fire #2 (Image)** – Nathan Fairbairn and Matt Smith have a definite hit on their hands with this sci-fi-meets-sword-and-sorcery five-parter, and as the threat our motley crew face makes itself known more fully in this installment, tragedy isn’t too far off and the death of a principal cast member shakes readers to the core. When the demise of a character introduced to readers only a month ago has that kind of an impact, you know you’re talking about a damn good comic. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy.

Tales From The Darkside #4 (IDW)** : Joe Hill, Michael Benedetto, and Gabriel Rodriguez conclude their four-part comics adaptation of the scuttled TV show revival with a fairly simple and pleasing wrap-up segment that ties all the previous issues together and leaves things on a predictably ambiguous note. Far from earth-shattering stuff, but certainly better than “good enough,” and validates the opinion that it’s too bad this series never made it to the small screen. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Frostbite #1 (DC/Vertigo)** : A reasonably effective introduction to life in a future new Ice Age with a well-written script from Joshua Williamson and absolutely fantastic art from Jason Shawn Alexander. The unsung hero of the book may be editor Jamie S. Rich, though, given that this comic is remarkably absent the embarrassing and frequent basic grammar and syntax errors that plague Williamson’s other work, most notably “The Flash” and “Nailbiter.” Plenty of imaginative stuff on offer here, and I’m very curious to see where this six-parter goes. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read


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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/19

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

GLS_Cv5_dsGreen Lanterns #5 (DC) Quite possibly one of the most entertaining comics I’ve read all week. This comic runs at a hell-for-leather pace yet never misses a beat when it come to the inner workings of the characters you’re reading about; a fantastic series in every respect. Overall

Harley Quinn #2 (DC) I was far from a fan of the first issue, but something clicked for me here. Far better than the first issue, Harley Quinn destroying a number of weird zombies was remarkably entertaining in a schlocky b-movie kinda way. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Klaus #7 (Boom!) Oh man, what an ending. This isn’t your typical tale of  Santa Claus, but it’s a very well done take on the early years of the man. Grant Morrison and Dan Mora have done a superb job here – this is well worth picking up in trade when it’s released if you haven’t been reading the series so far. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy the trade.

Superman #5 (DC) Apparently I’m a Superman fan post Rebirth, which is honestly something I never thought I’d end up saying; this series has given me a new appreciation of the Man of Steel, after so many years of not bothering to give him the time of day. I think it’s the dynamic of Clark, Lois and Jon that has me enthralled because I’m thoroughly enjoying every  page. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Anthony

black_hammer1Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse): The focus of this issue is on Gail Gibbons (Golden Gail) as we learn how she got her powers. There is some interesting territory approached by Gail later as she describes the town and farm the heroes are stuck in less as a prison compared to her body. She describes these moments of turning into Golden Gail (and into a younger body) as something she despised while growing up, until she reached a middle age and began enjoying the transformation into a younger version of herself. Now that she is stuck in this younger self, she wishes to return to being who she really is. It’s a topic definitely worthy of having a longer conversation on as it can speak to a larger approach to female superheroes. There is also still a spread of good humour as well, such as when Gail admits to having a drink of Gin before going to school to ‘fit in’. Lemire’s script continues the well balanced tone from the first issue with a few more curiosities and revelations alongside some emotional moments that capture the true talents of Dean Ormston with Dave Stewart’s colours. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.

Brett

Demonic01_coverDemonic #1 (Image Comics) – Demon taking over a person’s body and forcing them to kill or else. This is currently being done in two other series I can think of (Kill or Be Killed also by Image and out a short bit ago) and it’s being done better right now. It’s not that this is a bad comic, it’s just a plot we’ve seen before and there’s nothing that makes it really stand out yet. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #56 (IDW Publishing) – Sentinel Prime has a plan to wipe out the unpure Transformers and there’s Headmasters and Titans and Prowl and a traitor and… holy crap! This is an early chapter in the next Transformers epic and it’s an exciting start. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Transformers: Till All Are One #3 (IDW Publishing) – Part political thriller. Part cop drama. This series is handling so many of the threads on Cybertron. Where’s Swindle’s body? How does Windblade deal with Starscream’s blackmail on her? That’s all being dealt with and add in action on top of it all. Solid series that’s dealing with a lot of plot threads that need to be addressed. Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Read

Patrick

I Hate Fairyland #8 (Image)**: Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz guest-stars on art duties for a beat-’em-up inside a giant arcade game, aka the Tower of Battle. The fights go pretty well for our Gert – “Face Break! Gut Bomb! Ice-Cold Combo! Face Fatality!” – until she comes face to face with the final boss, Purty Pretty Princess, at which point Gert is indeed so fluffing fluffed. But not as badly fluffed as poor Duncan the Dragon… The energy of this book is sick and utterly contagious, like the very best Saturday morning cartoons. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Descender_14-1Descender #14 (Image)**: This issue’s focus is on Bandit, the robot dog who stays behind with Tim-21 in the abandoned mining colony. I love comics that are wordless or nearly, especially when they’re painted by Dustin Nguyen. So I was kind of disappointed when the story returned to the regular plot, which is moving pretty slowly while Jeff Lemire’s interest seems to lie elsewhere. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse)**: And speaking of Jeff Lemire, here he focuses on Golden Gail, who turns out to be kind of a reverse Captain Marvel – instead of a kid who turns into a super-powered adult, when Gail speaks the magic word she turns into a super-powered kid. Lemire touches on the joys and frustrations of that situation for a girl growing into a woman – but never really does more than touch on it, as there is plot business to take care of. And that plot is just not that convincing to me – we drop the entire search for Black Hammer entirely, for one thing. So Lemire’s scripting for me is also about joys and frustrations. But anytime DC wants to let him write Shazam!… Dean Ormston’s art very nicely moves between Golden Age super-heroics and the everyday glumness of the farm and the town. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Ryan C

SSQUAD_Cv1_OOvarSuicide Squad #1 (DC)*: Rob Williams cranks out a pretty decent little script here that does a better job introducing the characters in rapid-fire succession than the largely forgettable “Rebirth” special did, and sends ’em on a solid mission that seems like it will make for pretty fun reading. Nice backup story featuring Deadshot that lays the groundwork for everything you need to know about him in just a handful of pages, as well. Unfortunately, the art on both strips is substandard WildStorm-esque nonsense from Jim Lee as Jason Fabok, respectively, that looks horrendously outdated. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

The Hunt #2 (Image/Shadowline)**: Colin Lorimer’s ultra-moody and atmospheric Irish horror tale continues to deliver the goods with a second installment that successfully advances all the meticulous groundwork laid in the first. Strong characterization, superb dialogue, and best of all deliciously dark artwork all combine to make for another highly memorable issue. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #5 (DC)*: Not sure what my pull list would even look like without “Batman” on it, but if this keeps up, I’ll be finding out sooner rather than later. Tom King delivers another sub-par chapter in a poorly conceived arc that features Alfred playing dress-up as Batman on the first few pages and, believe it or not, only gets worse from there. David Finch is joined by a veritable army of inkers this time out, but none of them can elevate his lifeless, dull artwork, and speaking of lifeless and dull, one of Gotham City’s two new “heroes” dies this time out, and you won’t even give a shit. About the only thing interesting going on here is the foreshadowing that King drops over the last two pages, but even then, he’s been doing a ton of that over in “The Vision,” and with considerably more success. This title has devolved from merely “lackluster” to actively “lousy” in less than two months. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Tales From The Darkside #3 (IDW)*: The first issue of this mini-series was an undeniably effective self-contained horror story, but shifting gears into a multi-part tale seems to have been a step in the wrong direction, as this second segment of this current three-issue story feels like pure padding that barely advances the narrative about a guy who’s manifesting his darkest thoughts into the “real” world at all. Not sure how much of the blame for that lies with Joe Hill’s original script and how much is the fault of “adapter” Michael Benedetto, but hey — at least you can’t ague with Gabriel Rodriguez’s always-stunning art. It’s not enough to justify shelling out $3.99 for an insubstantial read, though. Overall: 4. Recommendation: Pass.

 


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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/14

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

4001-XO_001_COVER-A_CAFU4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1 (Valiant) – This is a unique comic, because while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the issue, there’s absolutely no reason for me to recommend you purchase it. Yes, it’s good, but it’d be better read as an insert into the collected version of 4001 A.D. rather than as a standalone comic book. It’s a great prologue,  the writing and art are very solid, and there is some interesting backstory revealed here  but at the end of the day I can’t justify recommending you buy the issue outright as what is told here, has been hinted at across a couple of issues (or in previews of the series, I can’t honestly remember how I knew about the story in 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1 before reading the issue) to the point that you don’t really need to worry about reading this comic. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: If you’re budget conscious with collecting the story, Pass/Read. Buy if you’re a completest.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #10 (Dynamite) – If I’m being honest, this series has been one of the highlights of my month whenever I get a chance to read it. It’s fun, but not cheesy, light hearted without sacrificing the emotional connection between the characters… I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in terms of a solid, enjoyable series, then you dn’t have to look any further than …The Spirit‘s consistent quality. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Grizzly Shark Returns #2 (Image) – I don’t know what I just read, but I loved it. Brutally over the top, hilarious, and certainly not for kids, this comic is the kind of turn-your-brain-off fun that you just need sometimes. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

BMTMNT_Cv6Batman #52 (DC)* – As a stand alone comic  this wasn’t bad, but after Batman #52‘s powerful farewell from Snyder and Capullo, this issue felt a little flat. Not a horrible comic, just nothing spectacular, and not really worth your time. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Batman/TMNT #6 (IDW/DC) – It’s always a shame when the final issue of a hugely enjoyable crossover fails to live up to the promise of the other five, and that’s almost what we have here. Ironically enough, the quality of this issue is exactly what I expected from the entire series, and given that this is essentially almost a comic long fight scene, I’m not that unhappy with the final product. If there’s a trade released, check it out, because this is a fitting conclusion to the story, even if it isn’t the best issue in the miniseries (but it was the most interesting comic featuring Batman I read this month, so that’s a plus). Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy (the entire crossover)

Detective Comics #52 (DC)* – Eh, it was okay. Nothing spectacular, and certainly not as interesting as part one. I’m not sorry to see the mech-suit retired permanently. Overall: 5 Recommendation: 5

Brett

4001: A.D. X-O Manowar #1 (Valiant): Valiant promised this tie-ins to their big summer event could be read on their own and they were right. This fleshes out a lot of background as to the world of 4001 and what led up to it. A simple and entertaining comic. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

GrizzlyShark_02-1A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #3 (Valiant): Continues to be one of the craziest, and funniest comics out there. I’m so happy these two are back. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

The Fix #2 (Image Comics): The first issue was amazing and this second one is as well. Damn near perfection in every way. I found myself lingering on pages to get every joke, and laughing throughout. On top of that, a solid crooked cop story. Overall Rating: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Grizzly Shark #2 (Image Comics): As batshit insane as it sounds and I loved every minute of it. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Rough Riders #2 (Aftershock Comics): Roosevelt continues to get his team together in this weird history comic. I’m completely sucked in due to the interesting story and the fantastic art. Loving this series. Overall Rating: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Satellite Falling #1 (IDW Publishing): An interesting new series that’s a sci-fi twist on a few different types of stories. So far it’s a solid start that has me coming back for more. Overall Rating: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Think Tank: Creative Destruction #2 (Top Cow): I’m a fan of the series due to Matt Hawkins use of real world issues that are well researched. This second issue finally puts some of the pieces of the puzzle together as to what was going on in the first one and as usual Hawkins has me intrigued as to where it’s going. Add in solid art by Rahsan Ekedal who gives everyone such personality. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Javier

PencilHead_04-1Pencil Head #4 (Image Comics) – It’s roughly 1:30 AM Thursday morning, after new comic book day, and I just finished reading Ted McKeever’s Pencil Head #4. Bad choice. Not because it wasn’t good, on the contrary it was excellent; but it’s the most caustic and darkest chapter in the series so far. If it wasn’t clear to you who the cast of oppressive boorish characters mirrored in the real world, all is blatantly revealed in issue #4–which is more of a bleak chronological and autobiographical memoir of McKeever’s roller coaster ride of a career in the comic book industry, than the scathing thinly veiled critiques of past issues. The most compelling scene is when Poodwaddle, losing his friends and job at Cleveland Comics, comes to the harsh realization that his work has become his life, and he laments the emptiness with no future projects. Then, in a rare moment of positivity, soon enough, he is back at it again.

As an aside, if you are holding out for the collected trade, don’t bother. According to McKeever’s blogsite (tedmckeever.blogspot.com) the “publisher has no intention of putting out a trade.” So, if you want to read it, then get the print copies, or look for digital copies online. The art is standard McKeever: black and white grotesque visuals with stark contrasts. I’ve always liked his art, but it’s not for everybody. Read the writing on the wall at your own risk. Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Black Panther #2 (Marvel)* – Against my better judgment, I figured I’d give the second issue of this series a shot, simply because anyone as talented and thoughtful as Ta-Nehisi Coates surely can’t produce two lousy comics in a row, right? Unfortunately, he can, and while last issue I was unsure as to where he was going with this story, with this issue he does give us a much better of where things are headed — and it’s nowhere interesting.
Coates writes T’Challa not as a character but as a walking, talking set of obligations, and when he finally relented to the obvious and used the line “heavy is the head that wears the crown,” I literally laughed out loud. At this point this isn’t just a mediocre comic, or even a bad comic — it’s a lousy comic, and gives Neal Adams’ ” Superman : The Coming Of The Supermen” a solid run for its money in the self-indulgence department — but without any of that title’s accidentally-entertaining bat-shit insanity. This is dour, joyless, heavy-handed stuff that makes “Batman V. Superman” look lighthearted by comparsion. Brian Stelfreeze’s art seems to have taken a big step back into “mailing it in” territory this time out, as well. I know there are plenty of worse comics out there than this — but thankfully I’m not reading any them. Nor will I be reading this one any longer. Overall: 2. Recommendation: Pass. No, make that drop! Swamp_Thing_05

Swamp Thing #5 (DC)* – A guilty pleasure, to be sure, but Len Wein’s “throwback”-style storyline continues to be both painfully obvious yet somehow entertaining at the same time, and when you throw in guest appearances by Deadman, The Phantom Stranger, and The Spectre, well — you’d have to be one heartless bastard not to be having a good time with this book. Kelley Jones’ art continues to bring the Wrightson-esque goodness, as well. A blast from start to finish, Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.

American Monster #3 (Aftershock)* – I’ve been pretty hard on Brian Azzarello lately and deservedly so, but he seems to be saving all the passion and interest so obviously missing from “Dark Knight III” and “Three Floyds : Alpha King” for this absolutely fantastic “small-town noir.” It’s quite obvious there are no “good guys” to be had here, nor are anyone’s motivations anything other than completely self-centered, but shit — that’s life, ain’t it? Our scarred protagonist is a nasty piece of work himself, but he definitely has a plan that involves fucking a lot of people up, and the more we learn about them the more they seem to have it coming — damn if I can figure out how’s it’s all going to come together, though. Juan Doe’s art continues to improve by leaps and bounds with every issue, as well. More than likely the best comic out there that you’re not reading — unless, of course, you are. Overall: 9. Recommendation: Buy. 

Shean

Gingerdead Man TPB (Action Lab): This bat shit crazy story about a single mother who runs a bakery being harassed by a gang of thugs , comes some very entertaining twists . As a psychopath comes back from the dead as a confectionary, laying waste to those who have done him wrong. The reader follows him as he goes on a murder spree, where some of the scenarios will remind 80s babies of some of their favorite horror movies. By this arc’s end, just when you think the story is finite, the creative team leaves a hilarious back door open.
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 10 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 (**).

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 19/3/16

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

huck05-cover-webHuck #4 (Image) There’s a sense of something here that you don’t often see in Mark Millar’s work: hope. Now whether that’ll get ripped from under my feet as the series progresses and we head into some darker territory is something I’ve been acutely aware could happen. That Huck that has echoes of Superman is undeniable, but it never feels derivative to me, either. If you haven’t been reading the singles then at this point I’d wait for the trade, because this is definitely worth checking out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Amazing Forest #3 (IDW) The first two issues in this anthology series were really enjoyable, but this one wasn’t up to the standards of those earlier issues. It’s not bad, and the final story is actually quite good, but the other three didn’t really do it for me. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #9 (Dynamite) This has been one of my favourite monthly series for some time. It has just the right amount of fun, some great writing and art work. A really enjoyable comic each and every month. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

 

Ryan C

Injection #8 (Image)**: So — now we finally get to see how Warren Ellis’ pair of once-apparently-disparate principal plot elements do, in fact, tie together. And it’s been so deceptively straightforward the whole time that I’m punching myself for not seeing it sooner. Plus, there’s lots of fucking. Of any and all varieties imaginable and a few you probably can’t. Typically fascinating issue with razor-sharp Declan Shalvey art, this series should still be right near the top of everyone’s “must-read” list. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Hip Hop Family Tree 8Hip Hop Family Tree #8 (Fantagraphics)*: Ed Piskor’s meticulously-researched and lavishly-illustrated cultural history reaches a new plateau of significance with the emergence on the scene of — Run DMC! The charge coming off this book is electric right now, as the “new” musical, fashion, artistic, and social sensibilities attendant with the rise of Hip Hop make their way from the streets and clubs of New York to the top of the pop music charts. The most obvious labor of love on comic shop racks right now by a wide margin. Overall: 9.5. Recommendation: Buy

Power Man And Iron Fist #2 (Marvel)*: David Walker’s “caper”-themed script seems ready-made for the Netflix treatment, with one major exception : unlike the “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” TV series, this is “street-level” story-telling that doesn’t take itself soooooo goddamn overly-seriously (anyone else find it more than a touch ironic that the same fans criticizing DC for the “grim” and “somber” tone of their movies praise those same “qualities” in the Marvel shows? But I digress). Sanford Greene’s art continues to impress and two scant issues in it’s safe to say these characters have never been more enjoyable to follow. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.

Superman: The Coming Of The Supermen #2 (DC)*: I told you it was only a matter of time until the veil of rationality was pierced (hell, shredded) on this book, and with the departure of co-writer Tony Bedard leaving Neal Adams as a solo act on both story and art, the gloves are off and the insanity is, as Adams himself might put it, “on — full— display. On full! Display! Here! It is! Here! It is — it is here! Can’t you see it? You need to see it! Really it must — really — not be missed.” And don’t worry — the art doesn’t make much more sense than the story. Overall: 2.5. Recommendation: Buy. As long as you don’t expect — or even want — it to be good


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 (**).

Image Comics announces Previews Catalog magazine: Image+

2000px-Image_Comics_logo.svgImage Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors have announced Image+, an all-new monthly magazine which will feature Image’s upcoming releases, as well as bonus creator-owned comics content. Each issue will be distributed with Diamond’s PREVIEWS Catalog each month, with the first issue of Image+ available in May.

Each of the first twelve issues of Image+ magazine will feature an original, four-page The Walking Dead story concerning Negan’s origins, and created by New York Times bestselling team Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, for a total of 48 pages of backstory.

PREVIEWS has long served as a sales tool meant to guide retailer orders, inspire customer pre-orders with new solicitations, and provide product listings for the months to come.

Image+ will clock in at 64 pages and feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.

Image+ will be available for free to customers who purchase a PREVIEWS Catalog each month or can be purchased separately for only $1.99.

The first issue of Image+ will appear in the PREVIEWS Catalog with July releasing solicitations and will be available in stores this May. The standard Image Comics solicitations for each month will continue to appear in PREVIEWS Catalog as usual.

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