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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.
Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 (Marvel)– Only in comics can you have a prehistoric battle between immortal beings astride dinosaurs and a Platonic dialogue all under the same covers as Kieron Gillen, Dustin Weaver, and Matthew Wilson show the ideological and physical roots of one of pop culture’s greatest villains, Thanos, in Eternals: Thanos Rises #1. The conflict at the core of this issue, and honestly at the Eternals as a whole in Gillen’s run, is if immortal beings whose goal is to defend a kind of status quo (the machine) can change even in the slightest way. This way is having children, and as one can guess, it doesn’t turn out great. Weaver and Wilson’s visuals bring the power and mythic quality of the best Jack Kirby stories while having their own unique and slightly askew approach to storytelling. They’re influenced by the King and not a cover band for him. Also, it’s just plain cool and additive to the whole vibe of the Eternals to have characters based on the ancient Greek pantheon partake in the very ancient Greek activity of a philosophical dialogue. Eternals: Thanos Rises #1 adds context and scope to Kieron Gillen’s work on Eternals and features him, Weaver, and Wilson working in an epic mode. Overall: 9.4 Verdict: Buy
Black’s Myth #3 (Ahoy)– Strummer and Ben’s hunt for their client’s missing silver bullets (Apparently they were forged from the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying his Lord and Savior, but you know how there things are.) takes them to many interesting destinations, including a vampire bar and occult bookstore that’s more than meets the eye. Eric Palicki and Wendell Cavalcanti keep the action and mystery going at a nice clip lulling readers into a false sense of security before escalating the plot with a wallop in the last few pages. Also, Calvacanti gets to show off his fight sequence chops and channels Frank Miller and Klaus Janson in a nine panel grid vampire beatdown that shows that Strummer still has a relish for violence and is more werewolf than detective. In Black’s Myth #3, the pace never drags, the patter is always snappy, and Eric Palicki and Wendell Cavalcanti really up the danger quotient. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy
Joker #7 (DC)– The shape of the conspiracy that Jim Gordon’s up against starts to slowly reveal itself in Joker #7 by James Tynion, Guillem March, and Arif Prianto. Like most issues of Joker, the book features multiple settings, narrators, and POVs as well as art styles from March, who does a James Bond/Avengers homage with Julia Pennyworth to tight grids and reflections in eye glasses as Gordon meets a potential new ally. He can get as much tension from a conversation as a silent martial arts fight aka Cassandra Cain in action. Joker #7 also features smart commentary about how the rest of the world sees Gotham (It hides social issues under masks and costumes.) and character moment payoffs like Pennyworth beating the shit out of some Bane theme park investors as payback for the villain killing her father back in the Tom King Batman run. One of the reveals that Tynion pulls is a little obvious (If keeping with his history on the Bat-family books), but I love the layered storyline he’s creating in this book that goes beyond a simple cat and mouse game. The Punchline backup from James Tynion, Sam Johns, and Sweeney Boo is quite entertaining as Harper Row tries to break out of prison creating an opportunity for clever layouts and a sense of urgency in that story’s plot. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra (IDW)– Mary Kenney, SL Gallant, Maria Keane, and Adam Guzowski turn in a celebration of the Queen of the Monsters in the one-shot Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra. Before the titular battle, Kenney does a good job fleshing out this comic’s protagonist, Mima, a photographer who’s supposed to be doing a puff piece on the Japanese military and ends up learning about Mothra’s captivity attempting to free her. Like the best kaiju stories, Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mothra ends up being a parable about how humanity cages nature and what we don’t understand instead of being curious like Mina, whose photojournalism career came out of a life time exploring the great outdoors with her parent. All is this is great, but Godzilla Rivals: vs. Mothra also has a curb stomp monster action courtesy of Gallant and Keane as Kenney shuts off the dialogue and captions and “lets them fight”. There is really clever use of Mothra’s cocoon and Godzilla’s nuclear breath, and the entire story ends up being a little bittersweet. This comic is a must-read if you like your kaiju fights with a side of emotional resonance. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy
Trial of Magneto #2 (Marvel)– Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck, and Edgar Delgado are back for another round of bombastic drama, action, and questionable morality. Trial of Magneto #2 adds the Avengers to the mix to complicate the murder investigation and also show how much Wanda Maximoff meant to the team as they share grief and space with the Krakoans. However, not everything is sunshine and daisies, and we get yet another Magneto vs. everyone fight scene like the previous issue. But Williams and Werneck switch things up by letting Northstar be angry when his husband Kyle is caught in the middle of things and is treated as less than by Magneto. Throw in an utterly chaotic last few pages plus couple moments that show how utterly morally bankrupt Krakoan leaders like Professor X and Emma Frost are, and you can see why Mystique (Who has a 1 panel cameo) wants to burn the place down. Overall: 8.0 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 (**).