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Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/5

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.


Joe Hesh

Event Leviathan #5 (DC Comics) This series has been a fantastic thriller from the beginning but that all has come to an abrupt halt as of this issue. I really dug the two teams of detective’s (Batman’s and Lois’ secret group) but this one had me scratching my head for sure. I know in an event that is large in scope you don’t want the identity to be easily guessed but this one is either going to be so left field that I’m not sure the breadcrumbs lead you there properly OR it will be someone so obscure that “Who cares anyways?” I had a lot of high hopes for this series and thought it would be a resurrected hero or someone who really needed a A list bump up but at this moment my interest has certainly waned. Alex Maleev does a great job on art and I have enjoyed his work since his run with Bendis on Daredevil many moons back. This time though with all the build up, unless Bendis can pull an ace out, this one is an utter dud. Score: 5 (mostly for the art) Recommendation: Pass

Logan

Die #8 (Image)- Die #8 focuses on the Matt the Grief Knight and Ash   the Dictator in the hierarchical land of Angria. Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ story isn’t as fun and interesting as last issue’s saga of drinking with hobbit type people and the male gaze applied to the fantasy genre. However, the deep dive into Matt is refreshing as he’s been happy the past 20 years and has a hate hate relationship with the grief blade he chose decades ago. This relationship changes in his big battle against the Knights of Joy when he realize home and family isn’t what it used to be and will be very different if he ever gets out of Die. The fight in the cave has a wonderful sense of atmosphere and a scarlet palette from Stephanie Hans. This isn’t my favorite issue of Die, but the bits focusing on Ash and Matt’s family dynamics both in the real world and Die ring true and a few mysteries are happened upon. Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

Ryan C

Detective Comics #1013 (DC) **– Another rather insubstantial script from Peter Tomasi that moves his pervy Mr. Freeze storyline forward just a nudge until a big last-page cliffhanger, at least Doug Mahnke’s art is as sharp as ever, but when that’s all you can say in a comic’s defense, well — that ain’t a whole lot, is it? Not when these things have a $3.99 cover price. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Ice Cream Man #15 (Image)** – Well, this one was creepy AF — -even by this series’ standards. How much we get stuck with by means of genetic inheritance is the question W. Maxwell Prince’s story asks — and the answer, not to give too much away, appears to be “more than we’d probably like.” Martin Morazzo’s art is, as always, crisp, expressive, and pitch-perfect for the material. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Oliver #4 (Image)** – Did you forget about this series? I forgot about this series — and so, apparently, did writer Gary Whitta, who wraps things up (for the arc or for the series? No telling either way)in slapdash and easy fashion — fortunately, Darick Robertson draws the hell out of every line, loads up every panel with stuff worth looking at, and just plain delivers the goods, plus interest. Am I really going to tell you to buy this comic just for the art? Oh, yes I am. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

 Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #2 (DC) **– The most gonzo book in the “Big Two” publishing schedule ups its game with more nonsensical dialogue, more pointless “talking head” scenes, more lame and uninvolving mystery, more way-off-base characterization, and more weird perspective shots and page layouts that make you realize Neal Adams isn’t just past his prime — he’s gone and left any memories of it in the dust. In other words, this comic will blow your mind, and you pass on it at your peril. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Buy. That’s not a typo.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/5

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.


Joe Hesh

Batman #80 (DC Comics)** Having been critical on and off of Tom King, while I have really enjoyed the City of Bane arc and especially the interludes. This one was kind of just … there. The whole issue is essentially an action sequence to set up Batman’s triumphant return to Gotham and the show down with this estranged and deranged father and Bane. So while I certainly love me some JR JR art this was not the case this time as I felt it lacked the punch needed. I really dug the opening with Bruce taking down Bane’s deputies as his Matches Malone persona though.
Him doing the one on one showdown’s reminded me of an old school video game and just going up the tower. Also as much as I love King’s take on Kite Man, this Hell yeah stuff has to stop. It feels like when you knew Snyder couldn’t wait to get to issue #50 just to write the line “Who died and made you Batman?” Only this time it lacked any sort of emotion behind it. I am a very big fan of Bat/Cat relationship (damn the haters) but Selena didn’t do much here.
Since Bruce seems to already know Bane’s plan for Damian with Thomas, I find it doubly hard that he wouldn’t know that Alfred is dead. For me there lies the huge problem. He should not be cool and calm, he should be angry and outraged and ready to break his eternal killing rule. There has been no emotional fallout from Alfred’s death and that is beyond blasphemous. I don’t understand why kill him in such graphic fashion on screen back in issue #77 only to not mention it again?
There is a lot to wrap up here and I know we have a few more chapters but the placement of this issue and its content just seems wacky to me. Normally as of late I would give this rave marks but this one was a very meh of mill for me. Overall: I will be reading to see how this story fills out but this one certainly put a giant penny sized dent in my momentum. Score: 6.5.

Ryan C

The Immortal Hulk #24 (Marvel)** – The most creatively exciting series to come out of “The Big Two” in a good few years keeps on keeping on, with a new and interesting status quo being established by issue’s end while a plot twist NO ONE saw coming — or even fully understands at this point — threatens to complicate matters in some REALLY unexpected ways. Al Ewing is really stepping up his game here, and Joe Bennett’s art is just plain perfect for this kind of “body-horror” material. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #80 (DC)** – With the “City Of Bane” storyline limping toward its anti-climax, Tom King tries his best to redeem another wasted arc with a big cliffhanger, but it’s probably a case of “too little, too late,” and John Romita Jr.’s art really can’t save the proceedings despite looking really nice. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Berserker Unbound #3 (Dark Horse)** – I dunno, Jeff Lemire just seems to be going through the motions with this barbarian-and-homeless-guy “buddy book,”but Mike Deodato Jr;’s art is so innovate and good-looking that it ALMOST makes the book worth a purchase. Notice I say “almost” — as in, not quite. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

DCeased #5 (DC)** – It seems that DC has a legit hit on their hands with this series, but for the life (or should that be death?) of me, I can’t see why : Tom Taylor’s script pulls out every cliche you’d expect in a non-continuity yarn (“You mean I can kill ANYBODY”?), while Trevor Hairsine’s art tries its level best to spice up an overly-obvious story with some gruesomely fun panels that that WOULD be memorable — if they actually mattered to the DC Universe “proper.” Which, again, they don’t. All in all, pretty mediocre stuff. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Logan

Nomen Omen #1 (Image)– This translation of Marco Bucci and Jacopo Camagni’s horror magic story is a little too uneven for me to fully recommend. Bucci’s script never gets a handle over who these young people are supposed to be using shortcuts like social media, birthdays, and mommy problems to establish them. The visuals, especially during the more terror-stricken bits, fare a little better with fragmented panels and a pull away to an image of an overturned 18 wheeler and apples everywhere capturing the fear of being in a crash with a tractor trailer. The ending of the first issue is much more classic slasher, but takes itself too seriously for me to give the next one a try. Overall: 5.5 Verdict: Pass

Copra #1 (Image)– It’s about time I read this super hyped up comic from Michel Fiffe. Copra #1 is a distillation of what made comics like John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad and Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe great, but through a slick auteur lens. What draws me most to this comic is the unique look that Fiffe gives it through his art, layouts, color palette, lettering, and brusque dialogue. It feels like the best old fan comic from 1988, and that’s a compliment. Fiffe also knows there’s a lot of new readers jumping onto the Copra bandwagon thanks to its publication by Image Comics so he does a great job quickly introducing his large cast of characters and then distills the stories of the previous issues (Which I seriously want to read.) at the end of the main story in a way that feels a lot like “Copra Grand Design”. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

House of X #6 (Marvel) Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz conclude the House of X miniseries with a glimpse of Krakoa in action as the Quiet Council creates the first laws and conducts the first trial in the new nation. I love seeing the variety of ethical POVs characters ranging from Jean Grey and Nightcrawler to freaking Apocalypse and, of course, Xavier and Magneto bring to the trial of Sabretooth even though he’s an easy target. Larraz’s grids are perfect for statecraft, and the second part of the comic is a mostly silent celebration of mutantdom complete with Dazzler fireworks and Jean Grey, Logan, Cyclops, and Emma Frost sharing beers. Larraz’s art does the bulk of the storytelling, and he and Hickman get to bask in this new world they’ve created that synthesized X-Men lore as well as acted as a fantastic exercise in speculative fiction, worldbuilding, and even a little statecraft. Overall: 9.5 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/28

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.


Shean

Star Wars Age of Rebellion Kylo Ren #1 (Marvel) In an impressive one shot story surrounding Kylo Ren, we get a view of what makes him tick. As he is sent by Snoke to conduct a negotiation, from an uneasy allie. As negotiations turn tense, he kills the leaders of the sovereign state but knows he must kill their deity before it becomes a massacre. By issue’s end, Vader’s legacy still weighs heavy on Kylo, as the shadows of his grandfather has made him the most dangerous man in the universe. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Harleen #1 (DC/Black Label) Stjepan Sejic tells the first chapter of what might end up being the definitive Harley Quinn origin story in Harleen #1. His approach is both operatic and grounded with sequences ranging from a gladiator type battle between Batman and the Joker in the smoky streets of Gotham to meetings that Dr. Quinzel has with Lucius Fox and Harvey Dent about her research into the connection between lack of empathy and sociopathic behavior. Sejic enjoys playing with irony and reader expectations like a full page splash of Quinzel beaming as she’s been transferred to Arkham Asylum to do research complete with sunlight. Harleen #1 is filled with both gorgeous compositions and deep character insights as Stjepan Sejic slowly builds the road from Quinzel seeing Joker as a creature of nightmare to her “Mr. J”. Or in simpler terms, Harleen #1 is Sejic dunking on Paul Dini and Bruce Timm over and over again. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy

Strikeforce #1 (Marvel) Tini Howard and German Peralta have certainly assembled a team of fun, morally ambiguous characters that work for both action and banter purposes in Strikeforce #1. However, despite the monster baddies, crimson color palette from Jordie Bellaire, and a very Bronze Age Blade flashback, I’m not 100% hooked yet. However, issue one does get the team assembling/expositional heavy lifting out of the way so that hopefully future issues can focus on the monster killing and cool magic shit. Angela and Blade get the best action while Wiccan has the funniest lines. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read

New Mutants War Children #1 (Marvel) Bill Sienkiewicz doing interiors again is a real treat, but this is basically Dark Phoenix Saga with Warlock, and I couldn’t really get invested into Chris Claremont’s script. Overall: 3 Verdict: Pass

SFSX #1 (Image) Tina Horn and Simon Dowling’s comic SFSX is like Bitch Planet with more orgies and vibrators. It’s set in a world of extreme gentrification and repress where one’s sex life can be audited if you’re doing anything other than missionary with a heterosexual spouse. Dowling’s art brings out the emotion in a lead character who tries to conform to this new world order, but honestly it’s not worth it in the end. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: 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 (**).

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For August ’19

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for August 2019


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all pretty good, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 400 (yeah, I went for books that hardly any of you have read for whatever reason) for this month’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.


Banjax #3 (Action Lab)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 426/996
Why You Should Read It:
Selling less than a thousand copies is a criminal shame for this comic. Telling the story of a disgraced hero on a last quest to clear up crime in his city before his body succumbs to the cancer that resulted from the use of his powers, Banjax isn’t a comic with a happy ending, and writer Rylend Grant always seems to have another twisted angle on what could be a straight forward story to keep you guessing.

Grumble #9 (Albatross)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 396/1,285
Why You Should Read It: 
I feel like I’ve talked about this series quite a bit over the last few months… but it still remains (to my mind) one of the most underrated books out there. The mix of magic, dark humour and the underdog story just ticks every box for me.

Livewire #9 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 289/3,843
Why You Should Read It: 
Although we’re nine issues in, this comic kicks off a new arc that finds the titular hero address her PR problems (I mean accidentally killing hundred and thousands of people is more than a PR problem, but go with me here) in much the same way those running for public office tend to do. Making this a topical, and very interesting book.

The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #6 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 271/4,558
Why You Should Read It:
I usually try and avoid two series from the same publisher in the same column of sales numbers, but The Life and Death of Toyo Harada was the culmination of Joshua Dysart’s work with the character across multiple series and around 50(ish) issues of story. It’s a phenomenal miniseries, and while you don’t need to read the build up, it certainly helps (especially with how good those books are). .

Image Firsts: Oblivion Song #1 (Image)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 240/5,949
Why You Should Read It:
Oblivion Song‘s setting is brilliant, a post apocalyptic world mixed with a near future’s reaction to such an event. If you were ever curious about the series, this $1 comic is an ideal place to sate your curiosity.

.


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/1

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.


Joe Hesh

Absolute Carnage #2 (Marvel)** Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman do it again. They bring me the over the top event I didnt need but sure as hell didn’t know I wanted. We get the best Spidey and Venom team up this side of ever and it is rockin! The story moves along simply and brisk with Kletus Casady back in the red symobiote driver’s seat attempting to ascend to dark godhood. The way he makes a second banana out of Norman Osborn is a blast and oh seeing Eddie use his symbiote to sprout freaking bat wings was pure awesome sauce. Tjis comic reads like an armageddon fairy tale and just paints the pages with imagery. Also not to mention the calvary arrives and we are left with such a cool cliffhanger for next issue. Score: 9 Reccomendation: Buy. I got my copy for free but I’m going to purchase. Too much fun. Make mine Marvel madness!

Alex

Marvel Comics #1000 (Marvel)** I honestly thought that I’d think of this as nothing but a cheap gimmick as Marvel plays Keeping Up With The Jones (or in this case DC) by releasing a thousandth issue (we’re going to ignore the fact that they’ve published Wolverine #1000 before), but I was more than pleasantly surprised by what I read. Despite the elevated price tag, this collection is an absolute must for Marvel fans as the cavalcade of writers and artists take us down memory lane – and for many of us it’s a reminder that Marvel’s memory stretches a lot further than our lifespan. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

House Of X #3 (Marvel)** I’ve been constantly surprised by how much I am enjoying this series, because despite being billed as a Massive Event, so far House/Powers Of X hasn’t even come close to sucking, Now, with the X-Men on their first real mission in the present day since the story started, we’re really starting to feel the tension creep higher. A great comic for those even partially interested in the merry mutants. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Knights Temporal #2 (Aftershock) Time travel has always fascinated me, as has the middle ages. So when a comic comes along that feature a crusader knight being thrust into various different time periods, sometimes with minimal memory of doing so, then I’m going to pick up the first issue. When the first issue is every bit as good as I hoped… then I’ll be back for the second. Which is also just as good as the first. There’s a wonderful sense of intrigue here, with the bigger picture hanging just out of view; Cullen Bunn doesn’t hand anything to you as he tells the story from the time travelling Auguste Rivera’s point of view. My new favourite series. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Once And Future #1 (Boom)** I’m late to this party, but it was difficult to find this comic in the wild (review copy be damned). Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora are two top notch creators, and reading a comic set in the same part of England that I grew up in was an oddly nostalgic moment. Added to that, it’s a comic about the legends that shaped my childhood, and so I was oddly nervous that the comic wouldn’t live up to the hype surrounding (and the sky rocketing price of the first issue’s first print), but it does. It really does. Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Banjax #3 (Action Lab) Another comic I’m behind on reading. Rilend Grant’s tale about the last crusade of a fallen hero trying to save his city before his cancer claims him blurs the lines between hero and villain constantly. Banjax is a hero because of what he does, not necessarily why he does it – or how. In a world where super heroes are idolized like movie stars and have very little secret identity it’s strange to watch a man who almost turned villain try to save a city with no intent on redemption (I’m not sure if they get paid by the state… or how they make money, but that’s the adult in me and not the comic reader suspending his disbelief). I think this is going to be a sleeper hit in years to come. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/17

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.


Logan

Event Leviathan #3 (DC) This is a miniseries where I’m starting to enjoy the character interactions and Alex Maleev’s art more than Brian Michael Bendis’ plot. There’s a cool fight scene between Jason Todd and the members of Batman’s group of detectives that culminates in an even more fascinating war of words between him and Lois Lane. She sees the big picture, knows what questions to ask, and has a personal stake in the attacks, which makes her dangerous. However, in the big picture, Bendis is no closer to revealing the who and why of Leviathan even if we see the return of another important player on the board towards the end of the issue. The dialogue and art is nice, but if he and Maleev blow the big reveals, this whole thing could end up being a stinker. Overall: 6 Verdict: Pass

Superman Year One #2 (DC/Black Label) Frank Miller and John Romita Jr go way off Superman’s traditional canon in the second issue of Superman Year One focusing on Clark’s time as a Navy Seal trainee and his romance with Lori Lemaris that brings him into direct conflict with Poseidon, King of Atlantis. (Who is also into incest wtf.) Romita’s art does a fantastic job showing Clark’s physical strength in his navy drills, and when he fights Poseidon’s kraken in a duel of superman vs monster. During these tasks, Miller’s inner monologue is basically how easy this is for Superman. He is a god laughing at mortals although in a pivotal action sequence against stereotypical terrorists, we see his unwillingness to take a life. Even though Superman’s relationship with Lori is the crux of this issue and his motivation after leaving the navy, Miller writes her as object to be won and not an equal. Hopefully, he fares better with Lois Lane in issue three, but I’m not getting my hopes up. This was seriously one weird comic with some strong visual moments from Romita, Danny Miki, and Alex Sinclair. Overall: 5 Verdict: Pass

Pretty Violent #1 (Image) I feel like I’ve read this comic before, and it was called I Hate Fairyland. But this one has superheroes and no narrative focus to go with a kid swearing and entrails everywhere illustrated with glee by Derek Hunter. There is something to chuckle at from a superhero utterly fucking up, but Hunter and Jason Young’s comic feels like a series of sketches instead of a coherent, funny story. The time travel and Cable skewering backup story is a pretty great parody, and maybe because it doesn’t feature our frankly annoying protagonist. Overall: 4.7 Verdict: Pass

Powers of X #3 (Marvel) Jonathan Hickman proves that he can pull off a classic X-Men team action sequence, deal with the whole time travel thing a la “Days of Future Past”, and deal with alternate universe versions of characters a la “Age of Apocalypse” in Powers of X #3. Instead of jumping between eras, he, R.B. Silva, and Marte Gracia focus on 100 years in the future with the remaining mutants going on a mission to steal a shard of data from Nimrod, the ur-Sentinel. Gracia’s color are a real highlight in this issue from the bright, flat palette of Nimrod’s HUD to Xorn unleashing a black hole or even a final epic battle between Apocalypse and Wolverine and the Sentinels. Along with the Moira retcon (Which plays a part in this issue), heroic Apocalypse is one of the most memorable moments of Hickman’s run so far, and it’s simply breathtaking to lay his life on the line for the mutants in this comic. It’s pure popcorn storytelling and a great climax to the Powers of X mini. Overall: 9 Verdict: Buy

Jane Foster Valkyrie #2 (Marvel) Jane Foster Valkyrie #2 is an all action issue with a touch of empathy from Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Cafu, and Jesus Aburtov. Bullseye has the previous Valkyrie, Brunnhilde’s sword, and Jane Foster must fight to get it back before he kills Heimdall and commits mass murder on a mass scale. With eloquent captions, Aaron and Ewing create a strong contrast between Bullseye, a man who only wants to kill and Jane, who sworn an oath as a doctor to do no harm. Cafu uses big panels and detailed facial expressions without being static as the battle rages all over New York, and Jane’s All-Weapon is wonderful for creative fight moves. But this comic isn’t just a beat ‘em up and has some real pathos while also changing the book’s status quo from yet another Asgardian superhero comic. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Ryan C

Batman #77 (DC)** Come on. Seriously? When your comic hinges on a plot twist and nothing more, you’ve got yourself a lame comic. And does anyone think this “major development” is gonna stick? Mikel Janin’s pages look good, I’ll give this issue that much, but Tony S. Daniel’s stuff is lame and boring and Tom King’s script is lazy and atrocious. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Superman: Year One #2 (DC/Black Label)** Maybe it’s Danny Miki’s inks, I dunno, but this is the best-looking John Romita Jr. art in years. Unfortunately, Frank Miller’s script lets the side down in a big way. Not as horrifyingly stupid as the first issue, true, but not much could be. Still a long way to go before this thing earns its eight dollar cover price. Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Faithless #5 (Boom! Studios)** – Maria Llovet’s art continues to astonish in this series, but Brian Azzarello’s ambitious contemporary take on Dante’s Inferno (plus sex) is still consistently missing the mark and none of the characters have a very distinctive voice yet. An interesting narrative experiment with gorgeous art is hardly the worst thing to spend your money on, but I can’t recommend that you do so on the merits of the work itself to this point. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Look at it for sure, but don’t bother to read or buy it.

Batman #232 Facsimilie Edition (DC) – Neal Adams. Denny O’Neil. The first appearance of Ra’s Al Ghul. An exact reproduction down to the original ads, letter columns, etc. What more could you possibly want, or ask for? Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #1 (Marvel) We find Deadpool and Spider-Man running from Spidey’s rogue gallery, as Deadpool eventually annoys Peter. Weeks later, Deadpool finds a note which leads him to a Sanitarium where Carnage has taken over. Before he can get away, Carnage has cornered him, leaving him not much choice on how to move. By issue’s end, Deadpool ultimately escapes but had created something more dangerous than what he evaded. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Ghost Spider #1 (Marvel) We find Gwen Stacy trying to find some semblance of a normal life, as back on her earth, we find her having a squibble with one of her band mates.As she soon realizes that her alter ego as Spider Gwen is her escape from everything that gives her tension in her life, as she chooses to Utilize her powers to transport between worlds as her means of relief. As she looks to be a normal college student on Peter Parker’s world. As she finds her real jot in working with Peter. By issue’s end, her exploits don’t go unnoticed, as the Jackal emerges. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Joe Hesh

Batman #77 (DC) **SPOILERS FOLLOW** King and Daniels deliver a mixed bag. Stunning art and parts of the script is wonderful. Really dug the rooftop fight with Damian and Thomas, but someone needs to clip Gotham Girl’s wings asap. She is just an annoyance of acharacter as of late. Really still enjoying the villains as the GCPD dynamic. All good there. The slow burn on Selina and Bruce’s return is well done too. Now for the mixed part. So this is the infamous issue where Tom King makes a monumental dynamic change to the Bat family. I’m not sure how to feel about it. One one hand it is shocking and could open the door to some interesting tales now that this anchor in Bruce’s life has been eliminated. One the other hand.. I’m so fucking pissed. Doing this out of shock value is just wrong. The manner it’s done too doesn’t leave room for redemption for Thomas which is a shame because I just loved him and Bruce together in The Button crossover. This though is heinous. Goes wayy beyond tough love. Now for Bane. No question for this storyline Batman has to break his moral code and end Bane. Yes, I mean kill him. Either that or paralyze Bane completely so that he’s never retconned to come back. There better be a big comeuppance but that said I’m still so argghhh.. the feels. We will miss you Alfred. Godspeed Master Bruce and make this right. Overall: get this and sip with some Earl Grey tea. Especially before the last few pages. Score: 8 Reccomendation: Buy. It’s a good book but it’s only going to shoot up in value from here out. Especially if it sticks.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/17

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.


Ryan C

Silver Surfer Black #3 (Marvel)** – Tradd Moore is doing such a magnificent job channeling his inner Kirby that it makes this book a joy to experience even with a mediocre, uninspired Donny Cates script. I guess there’s a plot twist at the end here that might intrigue some people, but whatever. It’s not like the story really matters here, it’s a “closed loop” anyway. The art is why you buy this book, and buy it you should. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Gideon Falls #16 (Image) **– Jeff Lemire is mailing in his third-rate “Twin Peaks” rip-off scripts at this point (literally and figuratively), but Andrea Sorrentino just keeps on getting better and better on art — in fact, there are a couple of double-page spreads here that will simply blow your mind. A book worth buying just for the art? Seems to be a theme this week. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Outer Darkness #9 (Image/Skybound) **– The best series no one seems to be talking about just keeps getting better. A brutally violent issue this time out gives Afu Chan a real chance to shine on art, and John Layman’s dark AF scripting is really firing on all cylinders. Not for all tastes, but for those who are on a very particular wavelength, comics don’t get a whole lot better. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Detective Comics #1009 (DC) **- Not a bad “rebound” issue this time out, as Peter J. Tomasi’s “Bruce Wayne in a plane crash” script is thoroughly readable if uninspired, Deadshot comes off as a formidable foe, and Christian Duce’s art is sleek and stylish. Nothing overly awesome or anything, but a step in the right direction compared to recent stuff served up in this series. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Logan

Ghosted in LA #2 (BOOM!)– Daphne settles into living with her ghost buddies in Rycroft Manor, and I really love how Sina Grace and Siobhan Keenan give them different personalities depending on which era they passed away in. This plot centers around Daphne going out with a total jerk named Brint, who is pretentious and thinks he’s owed sex, because she saw her ex with a new girl and wants to make her jealous. Ghosted in LA #2 is a great skewering of fuckboys and has some sweet interactions between Daphne and a ghost, who she is supposed to get a new album by his favorite band. Keenan’s expressive art and cute outfit designs plus these little wholesome moments keep the comic afloat in the middle of the melodrama. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read

Powers of X #2 (Marvel) – This was my least favorite chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men work as he and RB Silva do a great job integrating the Moira MacTaggart retcon into the foundation of the X-Men, show some strong scenes with Cyclops as a pragmatic leader, and have a similar salt of the Earth pragmatism with Wolverine 100 years in the future. 1,000 years in the future is when it falls apart and feels like a filler issue of his Avengers run with lots of talk about how future societies are like and hives and intelligence. However, it doesn’t have the emotional resonance of the other eras with characters we have gotten to know or just damn cool concepts like Apocalypse leading the X-Men. This is 3/4 of a good comic and the turbulent middle chapter in a series that has been firing on all cylinders up to this point. Overall: 7 Verdict: Read

Collapser #2 (DC/Young Animal) – In the second installment of Mikey Way, Shaun Simon, and Ilias Kyriazis’ series, Liam struggles with controlling his collapsing black hole abilities.
Before the opening credits roll, he’s out there wrecking Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids and seeing visions of cryptids and aliens that no one else can see. Way and Simon focus a lot on mental health in this issue, and Liam’s girlfriend Joss helps him check into a psych hospital because he’s been off his meds. Of course, all the aliens and phenomena are real, but Way, Simon, and Kyriazis take mental health seriously in Collapser #2 and work through what Liam sees and feels before throwing him back into action. Finally, Liam’s black hole abilities allow Kyriazis and colorist Cris Peter to play without layouts and provide different visuals than your usual alien invasion/superhero comic. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

Shean

Age of Conan Valeria #1 (Marvel) – In what looks to be probably the best book to come from this niche line at Marvel, we find a character worthy to occupy the same space as Conan. As we find one hero whose childhood has been marred by tragedy. As the death of her parents, leads her to live with her brother, who is ultimately betrayed by someone close to him. By issue’s end, our hero is focused on her goal in mind, as the story instantly brings comparisons to the underrated ” Quick and The Dead” movie, as both stories showcased strong female protagonists with tragic backgrounds.
Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Conan The Barbarian Exodus #1 (Marvel) – In a rather bold move for a one shot, we get mostly vacant of dialogue story about Conan in the wild. As he tests his skills for survival as he fights every dangerous animal. He would soon test his skills against a ruthless oligarch who would get the better of him to have him imprisoned. By story’s end, not only has Conan escaped his Bondage but has killed the man responsible for putting him there. Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Sword Master #2 (Marvel) – We find Lie as he finds out that his father’s enemies have been close to him the whole time, which he also finds out the powers of the sword.. He also catches the eye of another demon hunter, who has been searching for who occupies the title of Sword Master. In the second tale, we find Lie and Shang Chi in the midst of hell and a hand basket. As a fight with Ares army leads to an unfortunate situation that has put both heroes at a disadvantage. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 8/10

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.


Ryan C

Savage Avengers #4 (Marvel)** – Story-wise, this mini has basically been treading water since the first issue, and that trend continues here, in the penultimate chapter — but just because Gerry Duggan is mailing it in, don’t take that to mean Mike Deodato, Jr. is following suit. This comic looks absolutely great — but unfortunately, that alone doesn’t make it worth either your time or your money. Overall: 4. Recommendation: look at it at the shop, then give it a pass. 

Batman #76 (DC)**– After a lackluster start to the “City Of Bane” arc, Tom King at least cobbles together a nominally readable script here, even if the mystery as to what’s going on continues to fall a bit flat. Tony S. Daniel’s art is what it is — a continuation of the tired “New 52” aesthetic, but I dunno. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll like how this one looks. All in all it’s pretty much just a middling comic. If that’s good enough for you, have at it, otherwise follow the advice in the very next sentence… Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Postal: Deliverance #2 (Image/Top Cow) **– This welcome return to Matt Hawkins’ so-called “Edenverse” builds on a strong first issue with Bryan Hill dishing out some Biblical “justice” and the corruption of a new generation in his script, while Raffaele Ienco delivers some serious goods with his fine, detailed art. Killer stuff, not for the faint of heart. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Descendent #4 (Aftershock) **– Not sure what happened with this conspiracy thriller, but after a strong pair of issues to start things off, Stephanie Phillipss scripting is getting seriously contrived and hakneyed, and the art by Evgeniy Bornyakov seems equally uninspired. I think there’s one installment left to go here, but I doubt I’m interested enough in things at this point to see whether or not they can pull off a last-second course correction. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Joe Hesh

 Absolute Carnage #1 (Marvel) Wow. Just wow. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman deliver the best Marvel comic of the year. Not only is the writing and art just fantastic, but they give me the best Eddie story I’ve ever read. Love the love/hate relationship with Peter and Eddie and they managed to something with Carnage that the original Maximum Carnage story never could: Make Carnage a scary leviathan like force. Cletus Kasady alone was terrfying but Cletus tied to an age old evil God, is the thing of joy and nightmares. I love how this comic didn’t end after the first chapter and gave you 3 solid chapters to wet your appetite before leaving you hanging. The plot is awesome and just reprehensible at the same time. Grave robbing to make Carnage even more powerful. I love the relationship bond between Eddie and his other and Tom Hardy should have had this book to read before playing him in the movie. It might sound like I’m gushing here, but I am. I have nothing bad to say about this issue at all and as something I wasn’t even going to glance at, now might be my comic of the year. Overall: 10 just plain 10. Recommendation: Buy this. I read my copy but I’m damn sure buying this.

Logan

Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds #2 (DC/Young Animal) Round 2 of Gerard Way, Jeremy Lambert, and James Harvey’s Doom Patrol features more weirdness, empathy, and mind expanding double page spreads. The highlight is Harvey’s diagram of Dannyland aka a genderqueer street on steroids that doubles as the Doom Patrol’s HQ and much more. This issue follows a throughline of positive reinforcement from Robotman’s new body getting cool new powers and upgrades (Like a flamethrower) for every good deed he does to Lotion the Cat realizing that the children of two potential planetary divorcees just need a hug, and finally Larry Trainor finding peace with the Negative Spirit that used to reside within him. The hug scene and another early one where Robotman sees the world through his new, though sadly non-human body marry words and pictures with an immersive spread from James Harvey combined with almost lyrical writing from Way and Lambert. The book feels more like an experimental art piece or a warm and fuzzy therapy session with tripped out dream imagery than a superhero comic, but I assure you that some day saving happens in Doom Patrol #2. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy \

Die #6 (Image)- In an issue based on the annoying RPG concept of grinding, the party must find enough fair gold to kickstart an escape from the city of Glass which is in perpetual war with Eternal Prussia. Angela’s hacking/cyberpunk Neo abilities are crucial to this plan so Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans spend some time with her while she walks her dog looking for gold. She finds parallels between the world of Die and her past life as a game developer, which destroyed her marriage and personal life. Hans’ artwork captures the beautiful tragedy of her solo quest and the mechanics of games with everything having a choice or consequence. The art and Gillen’s writing lightens up a little bit towards the end with an epic escape sequence featuring a cool dragon. Then, Die’s anti-fantasy theme pops up in the conclusion, and Gillen and Hans remind us that this isn’t an adventure comic, but a horror one about being trapped in relationships and patterns of one’s past for too long. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Absolute Carnage #1 (Marvel)– Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman lean into the absurdity, blood guts, and cosmic horror aspects of the symbiote and turn in a thrilling issue of this crossover. It’s divided into three acts: Eddie Brock and son (Who think he’s his brother) Dylan escaping Carnage in the New York subway tunnels, Eddie forging an unlikely alliance with Spider-Man and the Maker, and finally, a close doors chase and fight between Venom, Spider-Man, John Jameson, and a symbiote Norman Osborn. Stegman and inker JP Mayer revel in the utter chaos of the several big fight scenes in this issue and can slow things down too like when Eddie confides in Spider-Man that Dylan is his son and not his brother. The plotting can be a little clunky or exposition heavy at times, but Cates get the information across that Carnage is a god and is trying to absorb the little bits of symbiote left in anyone who was ever a host for it. The mechanics are a little absurd, but Stegman’s takes on the “Carnage-ized” version of characters are a treat, and Cates wisely continues to put the relationship between Eddie and Dylan at the center of this ever expanding story. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Daredevil #9 (Marvel)– I’m really enjoying Chip Zdarsky’s and Lalit Kumar Sharma’s recent work on Daredevil and exploring a Hell’s Kitchen with no Daredevil, Kingpin, or even Matt Murdock practicing law. My most favorite part of Zdarsky’s run (Other than the previous Punisher reactions) is his nuanced look at Matt’s faith, and this is a big part of Daredevil #9 with a large portion of the issue being devoted to him and Reed Richards discussing the existence of God over a game of chess. As a lawyer and Catholic, Matt strives to believe in some order and justice in the universe, but that’s difficult for him in a world of corrupt cops, child trafficking, and bookstores that are mob fronts. Sharma turns in some wonderful visual transitions like the tears of a nun about a lost child turning into Matt going after the trafficker while wearing a variation of his “Man without Fear” costume. And to go along with all the philosophizing and bare knuckles brawls, there is time for romance as Zdarsky and Sharma continue to create some steamy chemistry between Matt and Mindy Libris, a bookstore manager and wife of a crime family scion that likes the business a little too much. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

 Future Foundation #1 (Marvel)– FF #1 has a great cast, fun cartooning from Will Robson, and Jeremy Whitley gives each member of this very large teenage superhero/science team at least one page to shine and have a voice. However, it’s more concerned with setting up future plot developments than telling an exciting done-in-one prison escape featuring Julie Power and guest starring Yondu. Whitley and Robson do a great job showing the prison break, including Onome fixing Yondu’s giant gun so it actually works and talking about how Shuri inspired her to be the next great Wakandan engineer and Julie traveling at light speed so their rescuee, Rebecca can find her personal effects. But, then, they get caught up in flexing that the Maker is the next villain that they don’t wrap up the story. Future Foundation has characters I want to spend more time with, art that makes me smiles, and is only missing the story mechanics to be solid teen superhero/Fantastic Four spinoff title. Overall: 7 Verdict: Read

Shean

Agents of Atlas (Marvel) – In this miniseries, we get reacquainted with this new superteam, as they take on a dragon terrorizing the Pacific. This is until the Protector intervenes, as a new addition to the group. We are taken to the various bunkers, where each of them find each major city being attacked by Dragons. By issue’s end, the team goes all out while we find exactly what happened to the original team. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Aero#1 (Marvel)– In two different stories, we find about this import from Shanghai. In the reprint of this character’s original run, we find her origins. In the second half, we get a team up adventure with her and Wave, where we get some of Wave’s origin story. By issue’s end, the writers provide a perfect setup for this character. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Aero #2 (Marvel)– In this second issue we find our hero struggling with her powers and how to defeat supervillains. We also find out just how normal her life was, having a boyfriend and a comfortable job, both which looks boring to what she becomes. Inthe second half, we meet Wave’s mentor, Red Feather, who takes her weapons back. By issue’s end, we find out even more about characters, setting up Wave’s solo book to be one to watch. Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/22

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.


Logan

Glow #2 (IDW)– I wish to bestow this book with the highest compliment you can give a licensed comic: I wish it was a plotline on the Glow TV show. Tini Howard and Hannah Templer pit the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling against La Prima, who are wrestlers being wrestlers, not actors being wrestlers. This issue is full of attempts at bonding with their opponents as Ruth wants to prove that they’re legit. The best character beat is Carmen sharing a sweet moment and some power bomb lessons with Desdemona, who is from a family of luchadors and is someone she can relate to. As far as visuals, Templer hits that sweet spot between capturing characters likenesses and being expressive for dramatic or (mostly) comedy purposes. Howard has a fantastic handle on all these women’s voices, and this comic is the perfect thing to tide fans over who are waiting for Glow Season 3 as well as a swan song to their Southern California days. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

Superman Year One #1 (DC/Black Label)– Woo, the discourse has been spicy about Superman Year One, but Frank Miller’s poetic inner monologue nails Clark’s adolescent discomfort with his abilities and status as an alien on Earth. I got a press copy of the comic, but actually want to pony up the dough to get a physical copy because I want to see how John Romita Jr’s wide open panels and muscular poses look in the prestige format.Also, Clark joining the navy is a smart bit of revisionism because to many young people in rural areas, the military seems to be the best way to escape their small towns and see the world. I might be reading too much into it, but it’s clever foreshadowing at Superman’s future role as a weapon of war/Reagan stooge in Dark Knight Returns. (I would love to see Miller/Romita’s take on Superman and Batman’s 1st meeting.) Rating: 9.0 Overall Verdict: Buy

Excellence #2 (Image)– Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph craft an intoxicating world of magic, consequences, legacy, and daddy issues in Excellence #2. The protagonist, Spencer, has just come into his own as a magic user and earned a rare hug from his dad when his grandmother becomes ill, and there’s nothing he can do. Or is there. Excellence is a comic about breaking boundaries and hierarchies, and the connection between magic and emotion. It perfectly fits Randolph’s high energy art style and Emilio Lopez’s crescendo of colors. I really felt for Spencer throughout this comic as his main fear isn’t losing his powers, but his father’s disapproval. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Glow #2 (IDW) Can’t wait for more of the humor, warmth, wild 80s wrestling aesthetics and believable women’s community of the Netflix show GLOW? This comic is absolutely for us! Writer Tini Howard perfectly channels the voice of each character in the show. It’s truly uncanny. Is she in the writers room? Can she be? Artist Hannah Templer has a lively style and her take on the costumes and clothes is exuberant, fun and 80s as hell. This month’s issue focuses on Carmen and gives her a chance to succeed in a space where the other women are fumbling. It’s gratifying and fun.
Recommendation: Must read! 

Ryan C

Superman: Year One #1 (DC)** – As bad as you’ve heard. Maybe even worse. Is it okay to hope this version of Clark Kent gets killed in combat when he joins the navy? Also, “Year One”? Huh? This issue alone covers like 18 years of his life. I’m done talking about — hell, even thinking about — this thing. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass. I purchased my copy. That was a stupid idea.

American Carnage #8 (DC/Vertigo)** – This series has been great, and with just one issue left, Bryan Hill and Leandro Fernandez are setting the stage for a barn-burner of a conclusion. If you’ve been passing on this in singles, get the trade — and if Vertigo’s going out, as rumored, at least it’s going out with a bang. Not that anyone’s really paying attention. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Clue: Candlestick #3 (IDW)** – Dash Shaw is doing more just-plain clever and inventive stuff with this modest three-parter than mainstream comics have seen in forever. Superb cartooning that I dearly hope gets more folks to pay attention to his small-press work. This guy is the real deal. Overall: 10. Recommendation: Buy

Batman #73 (DC)** – Mikel Janin delivers some astonishing art here, particularly with a double-page spread that’ll knock your socks off. Tom King mails in a lazy script that wastes a rather intriguing “Batman and his dad in the desert” premise. You know the drill by now. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Look at it, then put it back on the comic store shelf.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/25

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.


Ryan C

Assassin Nation #3 (Image/Skybound) **– Probably the most “action-centric” issue yet in a series that’s been NOTHING BUT action, but who’s complaining? Kyle Starks and Erica Henderson are consistently delivering crisp, sharp, expertly-paced fun laden with plenty of “gallows humor,” just as advertised. If your favorite character isn’t dead yet — odds are they soon will be! Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Redneck #20 (Image/Skybound) – I’m really digging what Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren are doing with this latest arc, as the forced move to Mexico is opening up a lot of intriguing story possibilities. The villain we THINK to be the worst of the bunch turns out to be a front man for somebody who’s probably even nastier, while a figure from the past whose evil we’re damn well familiar with begins to move in from the periphery, looking to finish the job that he thought he already had. This is gripping stuff, supremely well-illustrated — and I say that as someone who usually could give two fucks about vampires. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Freedom Fighters #6 (DC) **– So, the man of the hour, Uncle Sam, is  back — and useless.And if that’s still not stupid enough for you, relax : Robert Venditti works in a ham-handed and groaningly obvious tie-in with Grant Morrison’s “The Multiversity,” as well. Eddy Barrows continues to deliver the goods on art, but this is one of the most lazily-written comics I’ve subjected myself to in a long time. Embarrassingly bad, really, but a train wreck I can’t seem to turn away from. Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Detective Comics #1004 (DC)** – What could make one of the sorriest story arcs in recent “Bat-history” even worse? How about an issue-long, hopelessly dull and uninvolving “info-dump”? Brad Walker does what he can to add some zip to the proceedings, but even he can’t make Peter J. Tomasi’s atrocity of a script look halfway decent. This is getting beyond pointless. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass

Shean

Star Wars Age of Rebellion Jabba The Hut #1 (Marvel)– In a story that is reminiscent of one of my favorite Coen Brothers films,”Miller’s Crossing”, we find out just how notorious and brilliant the man who imprisoned Han Solo was. As a pair of smugglers which includes Greedo, try to strike a deal with Jabba for Tusken ritual wine, a byproduct which would cause discord amongst the tribes on Tatooine. As these tales often show when malice, avarice and opportunity, the worst of us will still take the bait, as an Imperial officer who owes a gambling debt target Greedo and his partner while they try to ambush a tribe of Tuskens, which doesn’t go well for any of them except the Tuskens. By issue’s end, the Tuskens find out that their wine has been replicated, making them and Jabba, richer than ever. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

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