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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.


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


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


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.


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



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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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. 


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.


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.

Indie Icons: Savage Dragon #2

Savage Dragon HeaderRemember, when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teamed up with Savage Dragon and fought a giant stone gargoyle? No? Unfortunately, Indie Icons remembered for you. Let’s get strange with The Savage Dragon #2.Savage Dragon CoverOur tale opens, with a large amazon women walking into a police station. It turns out, she is a super hero named Dart, sent to the Chicago police department to cover Savage Dragon because, he left for New York to help solve a crime there. Two main things stick out about this scene. First, her super hero costume rides so high up her butt, there is no possible way it is comfortable or functional when fighting against criminals. There’s a high likelihood something she doesn’t want exposed, is getting exposed. Secondly, every male cop in the precinct has apparently never seen a woman before and freaks out at the sight of her. Jaws drop, coffee mugs shatter on the floor, and old timey cat calls are thrown out. I’ve never been to Chicago but, I can only assume this is accurate and old timey cat calls still happen there all the time.

Savage Dragon DartShe politely tells them all to go to hell. I can’t really blame her for that. She also has darts attached all over her arms and legs. I respect a hero that committed to their name gimmick. A crime comes across the police scanner, sending Dart into action which we never get to see. Instead, we finally get introduced to Savage Dragon. He is standing on a rooftop by a gargoyle with the Ninja Turtles coming up behind him. It looks like the group is all set up for a nice friendly stake out. Then, the Ninja Turtles just start beating the hell out of the Savage Dragon.

Savage Dragon SplashLuckily, he ripped the sleeves off of his suit so he can kick proper ass. Suns out, business casual guns out. The Ninja Turtles jump on Savage Dragon’s back and they are out for blood. These are not your friendly Saturday morning cartoon Ninja Turtles. These Ninja Turtles are not afraid to actually use there weapons. This Leonardo will stab you with his swords instead of just punching you while holding a sword. They do not play around. The only problem is, these are also the Ninja Turtles who all wear the same red masks. In honor of that, let’s play a little game. Which Turtle is the butt-head and which is the pompous jerk?Savage Dragon Butt HeadIf you guessed Michelangelo was the pompous jerk and Donatello was the butt-head… you might be right? I have no idea. I couldn’t figure it out. Back to the story. With the Turtles trying to kill him, Savage Dragon pulls out his comically large gun to start shooting. Leonardo quickly ends this plan and cuts the gun cleanly in two. This doesn’t matter. After being stabbed with a sai and swords, and beaten with nunchuks and staffs, Savage Dragon tosses all four of the Turtles off of the roof and into the alley below. It turns out, the Turtles thought he was the giant gargoyle monster that has been tormenting New York City recently. Savage Dragon actually takes this pretty well and forgives them for the beating they just delivered to him. He is outrageously forgiving. Like, nun level forgiveness.

If you’ve read Indie Icons before, you know I’ve never been in many of the situations I write about. This is just as true here. Surprisingly, I’ve never fought a foursome of Ninja brothers. But, if they tried to kill me, and then I threw them off a roof, I think we would have trouble being friends. Savage Dragon is a much better person than I will ever be. He agrees to help the Turtles find the giant gargoyle monster and then, he is getting the hell out of New York. Luckily, it doesn’t take long to find the creature. He was actually just hanging out a block away from them.Savage Dragon GargoyleIt really makes me wonder how Savage Dragon is a cop in Chicago because, his detective skills seem very poor. I can’t imagine that thing is too hard to see when it’s flying around the city. Another fight quickly ensues. The Ninja Turtles recklessly jump on the monster and just start stabbing away at it. Savage Dragon apparently likes this strategy. He jumps on the gargoyles arm and starts punching it violently in the wrist. The creature is very annoyed by this and casually throws him away. The Turtles continue punching but, they can’t seem to break through the gargoyles hard exterior. It also breaths fire randomly, which is pretty cool. All of this begins to annoy Savage Dragon. He just wants to go home. So, he one punches the entire monster into rubble, making the Ninja Turtles look pretty pathetic in the process.Savage Dragon PunchLeonardo tries to explain to Savage Dragon, that the reason there was a giant stone gargoyle flying around is because of magic. Savage Dragon thinks this is stupid and doesn’t even pretend to believe what he’s saying. Considering he’s a muscular dragon cop who just fought with four talking turtles that know ninjutsu, it’s really strange he finds magic hard to believe. While this is all happening, a scantily clad woman, who may be senior citizen, is watching creepily from around the corner. I wish I could describe her any other way but her large head of spiky gray hairs leads me to believe she’s old. But, her gravity defying bosom says otherwise. I’ll let you guys take a look and decide for yourself.Savage Dragon GrandmaThe Ninja Turtles begin trying to figure out where the creature came from. Savage Dragon doesn’t care. He just want to head back to Chicago. They say their goodbyes and Savage Dragon goes on his way, happy that he got to punch a statue to death and even happier to be heading to his own bed. But, before we can celebrate too much, we quickly cut to a farm in DeKalb, Illinois. A young boy is knocking on the door but, no one seems to be answering. He opens the door to see if anyone’s home…Savage Dragon End…and sees a large puddle of blood. Judging by the rotting corpse, whoever is in that closet is doing something they’re not supposed to. Why can’t Indie Icons ever end nicely?

Indie Icons: Youngblood #1

Youngblood Banner

What happens when Indie Icons looks back at one of the flagship titles from Image Comic‘s creation? Nothing good. Absolutely, nothing good happens. Let’s get into the strange, shall we?

Youngblood CoverThe story opens with a group of heroes in the dark dimension of D’Khay. And, for your guy’s sake, I’m going to get this out of the way right now because they don’t explain it for a long, LONG, time. Each superhero in this comic is part of the Youngbloods. There are at least twenty separate heroes in this story, all infiltrating something at some point too. It can get pretty confusing. Because of that, nobodies name is actually that important. For example, the man below’s name is Wildmane. I refuse to call him that. He will now be known as feral Wolverine. Youngblood Feral WolverineBy the hounds of perdition’s flames indeed. The team, poignantly named the Death Squad, continues to murder their way through the base they are in. Killing becomes so easy and boring to them that they actually start getting mad when someone doesn’t leave enough people to slaughter for the rest of the class. One person is particularly responsible for killing too many people too quickly and that is one Jackson Kirby. I really hope this is an homage to Jack Kirby. If it is, it is the most over the top interpretation ever. It’s also my favorite. Let’s compare.

Youngblood Kirby RealYoungblood Kirby

Basically, twins. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of Jack Kirby carrying comically large guns the size of his entire torso but, I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere. The Death Squad continues moving through the base, killing everything in sight as they’re known to do. After clearing the hallway, they all jump in unison and become frozen in air. Why you ask? Because, Lord Darkthornn has trapped them in what he calls crash limbo. Who is Lord Darkthornn? I have no idea. He says he wants to conquer Earth but then, we never see him or any of the other characters we just met ever again. I’m sure it pays off at some point in a later issue but, I only just finished the prologue and I’m already getting exhausted. OK, which Youngblood is next?Youngblood NewpaperOh, yes. Shaft. He has no pupils in this picture but, no one actually addresses the reason for this. It seems like he can see so, maybe his power is having really white eyes? I don’t know. We’re introduced to Shaft in the middle of an argument with his super model girlfriend. He is upset because all of the paparazzi are following him around. Then, he sees a man steal a woman’s purse and the hero in him finally comes out. He tackles the purse snatcher and punches him right in the face. That is until he realizes it’s just a young kid. He quickly figure out it’s a set up and spots a sniper off in the distance. Shaft does not play these games. He takes a pen out of his pocket and throws it right into this man’s heart.

Youngblood penI guess he really does have pupils. Maybe, his power is being able to throw office products incredibly accurately? The paparazzi quickly surround him. It seems they were waiting for a moment just like this to make themselves known. They ask a quick question about the man he just killed but, that’s all just to butter him up for the real questions. No one really cares about the random dead guy or public murder they just witnessed. They want to know if there is a classified mission going on in Iraq. Shaft ignores them and runs away while his super model girlfriend laughs psychotically in the background. Now, I’ve never been in one of these situations but, it seems like they best way to get information from someone isn’t to try and trick them while they under a high amount of stress. I’ve also never killed anyone. I just imagine that it’s really stressful. I’ll be honest, I just write funny articles on the internet. Sure, there’s some office products throwing. But, normally, no one dies from it. Let’s look at a fun picture to get Indie Icons back on track. Youngblood CerealThis is Thomas. He is so mad that he doesn’t have enough combos in his video games that he can’t even eat cereal properly anymore. I can’t say I blame him either. Combos are serious you guys. After this, we are quickly introduced to the rest of the main team. I mean, I think they’re the main team. They’re on the cover at least. Next, we have the Die Hard unit who is, what looks like, a muscular robot hanging out in a basement in Arlington, Virginia. After that, comes Chapel. His introduction shows him planning on having sex with the woman in his bed until they both die. I wish I was kidding but this is the actual conversation.Youngblood ChapelMight as well, right? He then puts on his uniform and screams angrily at the woman on the bed, asking her if this turns her on. He seems like a really unstable fellow. We then get a few panels of a woman dressed in purple jumping out of a balcony. Who is she? No idea. And that’s the main team. Shaft arrives at Youngblood headquarters and, on the local news, he sees that the Youngblood operation in Iraq has leaked. They plan on destroying Hassan Kussein’s meta-munitions program apparently. It looks like it’s time for the team we have spent the last few pages to finally get into action and save the day! What? That doesn’t happen at all? There’s another team of Youngbloods still!?

Youngblood IraqAn entire, I can’t believe there’s more, new team of Youngbloods land on Iraqi soil and just start laying waste to everything in front of them. They are looking to rescue a target being protected by Kussein. While making their way through the desert, the large Youngblood wearing a giant golden helmet turns out to be an alien and swears revenge. Revenge for what? Revenge on who? I…I just don’t know. So much is happening right now. I’m feeling overwhelmed and there aren’t anymore fun pictures to save this article. Let’s just keep going.

We cut back to the main Youngbloods still sitting at headquarters and trying to figure out if the leak of information is their fault. They decide to go to the hangar bay for some reason and that’s that. We cut back to our team in Iraq, continuing to murder Kussein’s army. They begin to get a bit paranoid because this seems too easy. That is, until they hit a trip wire energy grid that fries their synapses on contact.Youngblood ShieldThis doesn’t effect psi-fire, whose glowing feet you see above. It just makes him angry. We don’t quite get to see this play out though. We first cut to the White House, where the president is freaking out about the Iraqi mission leak. And, that’s it. Do we finally start wrapping up this comic which, at this point, has about 4000 loose story threads? Of course not. The story returns to the main team who are flying over a prison transport at the exact moment a few super villains begin to try and break the prisoners out. And, being Youngblood, there isn’t just one or two villains. There is an entire team of bad guys because this story needs all the characters it can possibly find. And, finally, we get to see the main team in action. The heroes on the actual cover of the comics. The one’s we bothered to learn a bit of backstory on. Look how promising this action pose is. Youngblood Main TeamIt looks like some serious business is about to happen. It doesn’t. We don’t see the main team again for the rest of the issue. We cut back to Psi-Fire who decides to tell Kussein about how he killed his parents by making their heads explode. He then tells him, and I’m not making this up, it’s “better than sex”. I don’t have any words for whats going on at this point. He eventually makes Kussein’s head explode for what I can only assume is because he is sexually excited by the dictator? It’s really weird you guys.Youngblood Head ExplosionThe rest of the team is not happy about this. They actually start freaking out because he just randomly murdered a country’s dictator but, they quickly get over it. With Kussein and his army out of the way, the Youngbloods can finally grab the target they came for. You never get to see that though. This is where the story ends. Nothing is resolved. I’m confused. I’m tired. Indie Icons will be back next week with a comic that is not Youngblood. Never again Youngblood.

Review: Lazarus #19

lazarus019Lazarus has enjoyed a relatively long run under its publication by Image, and it has done so almost completely through the use of its titular character, the Lazarus protector of the family Carlyle, holding the spotlight for a vast majority of the time in the series.  There have been other moments which have examined the post-apocalyptic world which the character lives in, as well as other asides some as the Lift for the elevation of regular citizens into something more, but Forever Carlyle has maintained most of the focus, whether it be her general appeal as a female superhero or whether it be the questions which pertain to her background.  A little of that changed in the last issue with the closing panels as Forever was shot and presumably killed with a head wound that she did not seem to be getting up from.  The question then becomes exactly what is this series without its main star.

Not surprisingly it is still a lot, and for the first time this gives the other characters time to shine.  With Forever out of commission, the squad questions how to proceed, as after all they were supposed to be a small unit on a covert operation, and without Forever they don’t seem to have much hope for the success of the mission.  Casey, once lifted in Denver and now a soldier, refuses to back down as she takes command and forces the mission to completion.  Meanwhile Michael at the Lazarus compound works feverishly for a solution to the various medical problems, the most obvious of which is Forever’s supposed death.

The change in focus works really well here as the secondary characters get more of the spotlight for the first time in this series.  Of course as the series has a presumably preset path upon which it is going to unravel some of the mysteries of this world, it would be nearly impossible to tell this story focusing solely on the main character.  Her future allies seem set in the discussion of where she is going and only the question is of how she will get there.  In the mean time this was an excellent issue to draw some of the focus away from her only in this series and to put it elsewhere.  It adds another layer of complexity to the series and helps to elevate by doing so.

Story: Greg Rucka Art: Michael Lark
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.  

Review: Manifest Destiny #16

md016Manifest Destiny has been one of the bigger surprises in comics in recent years, and mostly because of its underlying concept.  Comics tend towards a variety of different easily recognizable genres, but this series has mostly defied any single easy definition.  It is an apocryphal anachronistic historical horror that looks at the Lewis and Clark expedition in a completely different light, throwing in zombies, buffalo minotaurs, man eating frogs and a variety of other unconventional threats to the famous duo.  The series has succeeded because of this unconventional approach but underlying the entire experience is that of a complete lack of explanation as to why this happens other than the appearance of the arches.

The previous issues introduced the Fezrons, strange bird like humanoids that also speak English somehow.  The single Fezron was captured but then leads the expedition to a bigger collection of his kind, and they find them ready to eat the expedition’s scout.  A bargain is worked out as the humans agree to help the Fezrons in exchange for the return of their man, but they do so only after having the story of the Fezrons explained to them.  This kind of fits into earlier storytelling of comics, primarily the science fiction anthologies of the 1950s and 1960s when every alien species ever encountered was able to discuss with humans through some form of telepathy or some other convenient trick.  Something similar is alluded to here and perhaps finally giving some actual explanation as to why so much has changed in this version of history.

This series has survived thus far with its fair share of horror, which the crew has either had to fight off or occasionally even had some fun with.  Underlying the horror though was the question of how it was even possible, and with any series built around some underlying suspense or unanswered question, the resolution of that question will probably be the highlight of the series but also its inevitable downfall.  This is the first issue of the series which indicates that there is finally an answer coming to the question of these strange happenings, and true to form, it is of a better quality than previous issue, even if it might also signify the eventual end of the series.

Story: Chris Dingess Art: Matthew Roberts
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.  

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