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.
Silver Surfer: Black #1 (Marvel) **– There’s no sadder statement on the current state of comics than the fact that more readers seemed excited by the prospect of Donny Cates WRITING the Silver Surfer than they were about Tradd Moore DRAWING the Silver Surfer. Well, this first issue should shovel dirt on the notion that the writer is the “star” of this book, because Cates serves up an absolute go-nowhere mediocrity of a script, while Moore absolutely kills it with his mind-boggling, phantasmagoric art. A visual feast and a literary snooze that loses two full points for Cates’ nauseating postscript page where he says than the Surfer was “Stan Lee’s favorite of all his creations.” News flash, “company man” Cates : Lee had nothing to do with creating the Surfer and even said he was surprised to first see him inserted into a story and wondered who he was and how and why Jack Kirby came up with him — then, of course, he went on to take credit for creating him anyway. Confused overall score for this one: 3. Recommendation: Buy it anyway, but solely for the art. And fuck anyone who says Jack Kirby didn’t create the Silver Surfer — or pretty much the rest of the entire Marvel universe, for that matter.
The Immortal Hulk #19 (Marvel) ** – I have no idea how Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are managing to maintain such a high standard on a book that comes out twice a month, but damn if they aren’t doing precisely that, and this issue sees more of the horrific transformation of Betty Ross counter-balanced with a hell of a fight between the big green guy and the latest iteration of The Abomination. Solid script, spectacular art, consistently one of the best “Big Two” comics around. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Detective Comics #1005 (DC) ** – About the best you can say for the poorly-conceived and incompetently-scripted “Medieval” storyline is that, hey, at least as of this issue it’s finally over. Brad Walker’s art remains nice, but Peter J. Tomasi just embarrassed himself with this arc, and ends it with his most poorly-written issue yet, loaded with cumbersome expository dialogue, wooden characterization, and the most dull-as-dry-toast “climax” you’ll ever see. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass
Event Leviathan #1 (DC) ** – I guess in order to understand what the fuck is going on here, you need to have purchased that absurd 10 dollar “Superman” lead-in book a few weeks back, and since I didn’t — I was extremely hard pressed to find any reason to buy into the proceedings in this book. Alex Maleev’s art is nice, but Brian Michael Bendis writes his DC characters just like he wrote his Marvel characters, which is to say — not very well at all, and interchangeably. No need to ride out this one, as it seems exceptionally lousy even by the low standards we all have for these “crossover” events. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Jughead’s Time Police #1 (Archie)– Sina Grace and Derek Charm remind readers that Archie isn’t just a horror publisher in Jughead’s Time Police, which features the wacky humor of the late, great Jughead ongoing with a sci-fi twist. The premise is that Jughead wants to go back in time to add a special ingredient to his lemon meringue pie so he isn’t disqualified from the contest. Of course, it goes horribly wrong. (That’s what you get when your dog ends up doing all the math/physics part.) Charm continues to show why he’s one of the most underrated comics artists with his aesthetically pleasing, cartoonish art style, and Grace nails the brisk slice of life pace of the first issue. This is probably the first Archie comic to mention Jenny Lewis. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Silver Surfer Black #1( Marvel) I will keep this one sweet and short. For the most part, this book really feels Blah. This script reads like an acid trip with Silver Surfer doing a crap load of brooding. The art by Moore is a gem though, as every character looks new especially Beta Ray Bill and definitely Silver Surfer whose look got the gloss finish that you would think he would have in real life. Overall, I would wait for the TPB. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Wait for the Trade
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Luke Skywalker #1 (Marvel) In a tale where Luke Skywalker’s path as a Jedi is tested, he becomes who we see in The Last Jedi. As he is sent on a mission where the Emperor sees it as prime opportunity to turn him to the dark side. As he leans into the same rage as Anakin more than a few times but never gives in completely. By issue’s end, he and his commanding officer save a colony and he gives all the credit to him. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Silver Surfer Black #1 (Marvel) – When you give me Donny Cates and Tradd Moore, you’ve got my interest. Add Silver Surfer, and you’ve raised my interest. This book is a crazy yet beautiful psychedelic trip through space with the usual Donny Cates tense cliffhangers that makes you want the next issue right away. The way this book connects to another book of his by the end is exciting. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
The Immortal Hulk #19 (Marvel) – Ewing and Bennett keep raising the bar on the insane story between the covers of this comic. This book steps on the gas even harder and by the end crashes and burns in the best way. The final page had my eyes wide and my mouth opened in shock. Another must buy. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
The Batman Who Laughs #6 (DC) – Snyder had one of my favorite Batman runs on his New 52 run. This continues his over the top “the world is going to end”, destroy everything style in great fashion. This is straight out of Snyder’s Metal event, and follows that craziness with the fantastic artist who did Black Mirror with him, Jock. One more issue to go! Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).