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Review: Morning Glories #47

mg047Although the initial concept for Morning Glories was one that seemed like it was an easy enough mystery, it was always designed to be one of a run of about 100 issues, and thus at issue #47, the series is approaching the halfway point (or might even be past it) but there are not really a lot more answers now than there ever have been before.  This series has always been a literary hydra, by answering one question another two questions come up in its place.  The series has nonetheless been roughly structured to give it some kind of sense, and this issue is evidently one that will be leading up to a bigger moment, although in itself it is not really shooting off in some strange direction.

The story here is pretty basic, as Ike is determined to help Casey win the election, and he has set up a dance party in order to build interest in her.  As opposed to some issues which focus on primarily one character, this issue focuses on a variety of them, including every member of the original team that is still at the school.  There are some allusions to what is happening elsewhere, but the main focus here is on Casey, the series’ protagonist, who now seems destined to win class president.  This is of course the moment that the readers have been waiting for, as it will potentially mean the freedom of Jade as well, though with this series it can be hard to tell what to expect.

The best part about this series is that it always manages to mix the absurd and the unknown with real human moments.  These are children under great duress as members of the Morning Glories Academy, but they are still ones that sneak out in the middle of the night for a party, and who get nervous when they have to ask the pretty girl to dance.  It is what has made this series a standout even when its plot is inexplicable.  The same is true here, as this issue does not really seem very important to the overall direction of the series, but provides the well-written characters a chance to interact with one another, a relative rarity in this series.  Something big seems to be just around the corner, but in the meantime this issue serves as one of the better intermediate issues thus far in this series.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Joe Eisma
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Midnighter #3 CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A fun and trippy start of a series that mixes the fun of rock and roll with ghosts. This is Spinal Tap meets Ghostbusters, and it works in an awesome way. By the end of the first issue, you won’t be sure what is supernatural and what is drug induced, and that’s half the fun.

Bower Boys Our Fathers HC (Dark Horse Comics) – The webcomic is collected in print. The series focuses on Tammany Hall and Union busting, but it’s so much more, it’s about the relationships we have with our fathers. The fantastic story is backed up by beautiful artwork.

The Bunker #13 (Oni Press) – The time bending series continues its fantastic ways. In this issue we get some more info on what the deal with Heidi is including where she’s been the last three months, and more importantly who she’s been with.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Punching corporations! Seriously, this series is violent fun, that shows the struggle of a man designed to hurt attempting to figure out who he is. Steve Orlando is killing it (and a lot of people) in this series.

Nailbiter #15 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite series that has a few folks attempting to discover why a small town has produced so many serial killers. We’re getting closer and closer to finally getting an answer… I think and hope.

 

Alex

Top Pick: The Fox #5 (Archie Comics) – I picked issue #1 up on a whim, and this series has fast become one of my favourites. I love the fun, almost cynically innocent take on the superhero genre, and I cannot wait to get my grubby mitts on the final chapter of the opening arc.

Detective Comics #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying Mecha-Batman, and while I expect the original to return eventually, I’m enjoying this while it lasts.

We Stand On Guard #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue of this comic took me by surprise when it came out last month. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, and whether it is the underdog nature of the story or the Great White North setting, this is a series I’m looking forward too.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #5 (Marvel) – This all ages comic has not been on many people’s reading list, bust it proves that some minds at Disney are still interested in creativity.

Morning Glories #47 (Image Comics) – The standout series continues by weaving in new plots to the old. Every answer continues to create five new questions.

Groot #3 (Marvel) – This series has only run two issues thus far but has been unexpectedly amazing. The story is simple enough, but executed flawlessly.

Ms. Marvel #17 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s stand-out series gets the Secret Wars treatment. It is nearing the end before Marvel relaunches and it remains to be seen how that will affect this series.

Red Skull #2 (Marvel) – It is the Suicide Squad of the Secret Wars as Red Skull takes on the role of Deadshot.

 

Elana

Top Pick: The Humans #7 (Image Comics) – Apesploitstion biker madness continues! I love this series so much I have a lenghthy personal essay about it coming out this week. This month’s issue features even more sex and violence and drugs and rock and roll and vengeance and period accurate hair and the color orange and oh my god the lettering! The lettering!!! All the important things in art, really.

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine #13 (Image Comics) – At last an issue about the mysterious goddess Tara jokingly called “goddess of who knows what” because there are so many deities with that name that it’s unclear who she’s supposed to be. I’m not sure which real world pop stars the character was inspired by. Beyoncé?

One thing is for sure, the new art by Tula Lotay is stunning!

Kaptara #4 (Image Comics) – This charming sword and sorcery in space comic won my heart. It’s saturated in lurid colors and riffs on He-Man but it doesn’t get in the way of being a very human story about a scientist who really needs a hug. And a date. Do you know any nice single men for Keith to date? I worry that Manton the warrior may take a while to come around.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue our hero started to square off with the corporate powers that be. I’m really looking forward to a comic that tackles Monsanto. At least that’s where I think this is heading. Also, Midnighter punched a steak through a killer’s head. A dinner steak.

This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – What if Led Zeppelin really did sell their souls to the devil? It’s a brand new series from the ever funny and inventive and very British Paul Cornell (art by Tony Parker). I simultaneously love over-indulgent boomer rock and I also find it hilarious and worth deflating. This comic seems to be doing the same– both reveling and lovingly mocking the 70s rock pretentious and conventions. But with the actual Devil.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Green Lantern #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve really been enjoying this Hal on the run as a bounty hunter storyline and now that they’ve thrown Black Hand back in the mix, it should only get even better. Proof that he doesn’t need the most powerful weapon in the universe to still be a bad ass, this title is still providing bright days!

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3 (Marvel Comics) – Back in black and the marriage still intact? Let’s see if the removal of Spidey’s bright colors bring the foot out of the grave on this one. I really want to like this Mr. Slott, don’t disappoint me please. I’ve waited a long time for this.

JLA: Gods and Monsters: Wonder Woman #1 (DC Comics) – Having seen the movie, Wonder Woman was my favorite part. I hope they delve even deeper into her loss and betrayal. I really enjoy the twist on the New Genesis vs. Apokolips War. Should be a good one! Plus that boom tube sword is just epic. DC make a replica now!

TMNT: Color Classics Series 3 #8 (IDW Publishing) – Turtles, Shredder, April, Eastman, Laird. Isn’t that enough right there?

 

Paul

Top Pick: Age of Apocalypse #2 (Marvel) – Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval took me right back into the Age of Apocalypse that I remember from so long ago; great story and fantastic art make this one of my favourite Secret Wars books, and I’m looking forward to seeing Magneto give Apocalypse’s forces the smack down!

Civil War #2 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers and Tony Stark; opposing sides in this world of Civil War have been pushed further apart after an assassination attempt has left a proponent for peace dead at their feet. I really enjoyed the first issue of this book, and I’m excited to see if the two sides come together…or tear each other apart.

Siege #2 (Marvel) – I really loved this story of the SHIELD, the wall that separates Battleworld from the zombies and robots that would destroy the planet. Not to mention Abigail Brand is calling the shots, so that alone has me hooked.

Spider-Island #2 (Marvel) – The Spider Queen has turned almost everyone in this area of Battleworld into human/spider hybrids…including the heroes…and they all serve her. Flash Thompson is one of the few not affected, and with his resistance force, has managed to help some former colleagues break from the Spider Queen’s control…but will what he’s turned them into be a help or a hindrance? This was a fun first issue and I’m excited to see how Venom’s newly freed friends help him out.

Preview: Morning Glories #46

Morning Glories #46

Story By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Joe Eisma
Cover By: Rodin Esquejo
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC140744
Published: June 3, 2015

“Independent Study.”

MorningGlories46_Cover

Review: Morning Glories #46

mg046One can never really know what to expect from this series, and this issue is evident of that.  Thus far the series although full of the unexplained has generally followed a fairly basic pattern, that of a few issues of surprises and mysteries followed by an issue which jumps the plot forward with a new major revelation.  In terms of this formula though, the series has been a little off in the past few issue, with no major jumping forward point, and those heading into this issue looking for such a moment will be disappointed, even if there is nothing to be disappointed with for the series as a whole.

While previous issue have focused more or less individually on Casey, Jade and Ike, this one focuses on who has mostly been a secondary character, Irina.  The usual out of sequence story telling occurs here with older Casey as Irina’s escort to the training compound, even when this occurred in the past of the present narrative (a previous issue focused on Casey’s transformation into her future/past self).  Irina is shown as ruthless but also no-nonsense as she is shown to be more pragmatic when dealing with this scenario than most others.  It is through this pragmatism that a few revelations are made on the fly, though there is not much to hold them together at the moment as to their overall meaning.

Once again this series manages to warp the minds of the readers by giving them more to think about and to ponder while also trying to keep the intricate story straight.  There is always something more going on with the stories dealing the academy, and while the focus here is mainly away from the academy, it is likely to have a direct effect on it in the immediate future.  The most obvious plot point which everyone want to see resolved is the one with Casey running for class president so that she can save Jade, but the creative team seems happy to get to that when they feel they are ready.  Until then the series continues to both astound and confuse, and maintains the interest that many have in the series.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Joe Eisma
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

BATMITE_1Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Midnighter #1 (DC Comics) – Steve Orlando takes on the brutal character, who also happens to be gay. Orlando is a talented writer and to see him take on such an important series is fantastic. Can’t wait to read this one.

Broken World #1 (BOOM! Studios) – With a meteor days away from causing an extinction-level event on Earth, time is running out for Elena Marlowe. While most of the planet’s population and her family were approved by the government to escape on one of the giant spaceships headed to another planet, her application was denied due to her mysterious past. With the meteor fast approaching, Elena tries desperately to find a way to fake her way onto the last ship or else be left behind to die with the rest of Earth’s rejected denizens.

The Bunker #11 (Oni Press) – Three months later. Grady begins his political campaign while Billy sits in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. But once again, everyone is at the mercy of their future selves. An amazing series.

Jupiter’s Circle #3 (Image Comics) – Mark Millar’s prequel series has been fantastic the first two issues. This third continues to look at how power corrupts.

Secret Wars #3 (Marvel) – The series really kicked off with the second issue. While I’m still a bit cautious about this major event as a whole, so far the main series, as well as the tie-ins, have all been very good. Marvel’s events have had a habit recently of starting strong than tanking, here’s hoping we don’t see a repeat.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Suicide Risk #25 (BOOM! Studios) – This is it! The finale to this gripping series.  We finally get to find out the final fates of all involved and whether the heroes can save two worlds.

Bat-Mite #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been taking more risks than usual in the past year, and this series continues that streak running.  It will be interesting to see what they can make of this series.

Justice League #41 (DC Comics) – After a lead-in like the last issue, it is evident that the creative team means big things for this series.

Morning Glories #46 (Image Comics) – The series should be heading towards another big moment some time in the next few issues.  Will this issue be the linchpin?

Wonderland #36 (Zenescope) – Zenescope’s best series returns for its monthly dose of Wonderland infused madness and mayhem.

 

Elana

Top Pick (tie): The Wicked + The Divine #11 (Image Comics) – Stunning art, emotionally compelling characters a big fat mystery and a whole lot to say about being young and about pop culture and fandom.

The comic has been picked up by DeConnick and Fraction’s new TV production company so you better start reading this book before it hits the small screen so you can brag about liking it before it was mainstream.

Top Pick (tie): The Humans #5 (Image Comics) – Bikersploitation meets apesploitation meets 70sploitation. This new issue puts us on the road to trucksploitation too (yes that’s a genre! Haven’t you seen Convoy? I haven’t but whatever).
This underground comic styled book is one of the best comics of the year. Neely’s art is evocative, expressive and funny but it is also technically outstanding. He’s a remarkable draftsman and inker. Reading this book will remind you why hand lettering and coloring makes such a big difference.

Oh and there’s sex and drugs and violence and monkeys and a soundtrack to download.

Airboy #1 (Image Comics) – Robinson is a strong writer who’s known for excavating emotional resonance and intellectual stories out of overlooked gold and silver age heroes.

And that’s the joke here.

The preview makes it clear this comic has a different project in mind. He’s created a meta comic about the making of an air boy comic (air boy being a square golden age hero) and the drugs one takes to do so– starring non other then James Robinson & Greg Hinkle (this book’s creative team). There are Hunter S Thompson references.

Sure! Why not!

Spiderwoman #8 (Marvel) – Hopeless’s run has always been a fun read but as of last issue it’s turning out to be a comic that has something to say. Last issue included a big reveal that makes us question a lot of our assumptions about criminals and about women. I want to see where this goes and I’ve never been as intrigued with this book as I am right now.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 (Marvel) – I love that front headline of this comic always states that she has all the powers of a squirrel and all the powers of a girl. Because both girls and squirrels have more power then anyone gives them credit for and this book wants you to remember that. Also it’s hilarious fun and totally beginner friendly.

 

“Big Daddy Cool” Johnny Dellarocca

Top Pick: Bat-Mite #1 (DC Comics) – It’s freaking Bat-Mite! What else do you need?

Airboy #1 (Image Comics) – Another great pulp hero by another established “classic” creative team (see a pattern here?). I am particularly interested in the concept behind this series, and the previews suggest that this is a “breaking the 4th wall” type of series that will have healthy does of action, adventure and comedy. Well, see but it is definitely worth a look!

Justice Inc.: Avenger #1 (Dynamite) – I’m going to be honest and upfront.  I have never been a fan of The Avenger. I was hoping the Justice Inc. series from Dynamite would change that, but it didn’t. That series for me wandered and was too disjointed. Plus The Avenger was written like a spoiled whiner. Saying that, I wasn’t a Daredevil fan either. Until Mark Waid took over the book. Now mark Waid is writing The Avenger. I’m a little excited.

The Phantom #3 (Hermes Press) – There are two Phantom books out this week. While I love the concept of Dynamite’s King series, it hasn’t quite hit the right notes (unlike Flash Gordon). However, Peter David’s series from Hermes Press not only hits the right notes, it is an orchestral work of a master!

Princess Leia #4 (Marvel) – Another Mark Waid title, and in my opinion the best of the Star Wars line, and my top pick of the month. It’s a shame the series is only 5 issues. Waid and Dodson have created magic with this one!

Preview: Morning Glories #45

Morning Glories #45

Story By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Joe Eisma
Cover By: Rodin Esquejo
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: NOV140664
Published: April 29, 2015

“She’s gone.”

MorningGlories45_Cover

Review: Morning Glories #45

mg045Morning Glories is one of the most intricate and mysterious comic titles available on the current market.  Over the course of its run thus far it has focused on a group of high school students with unidentified powers, all of whom have been isolated at one equally mysterious private school.  The overall narrative has focused on various philopsphical questions (like divinity) or abstract scientific principles (like time travel), all the while still mixing in aspects of high school life.  Previous issues in this series have focused more on the latter, or at least in the context of this series.  Casey has been running for class president, and while there has been more going on than that, it is still relatively mundane compared to what else has been covered in this series.

For those that have been waiting for something different, and for what makes this series stand out, they need to look no farther than the cover, one of the most evocative so far in the series.  While this issue does focus a bit on the high school politics aspect of the series for a few pages, it also focuses in on one of the series two standout characters, Jade.  Although she is somewhat relegated by Casey’s popularity, Jade is a complex character whose past is a necessity to discover if there is to be some resolution to this series.  It has been previously noted that Jade can somehow revive people from the dead, and that is what most of this issue focuses around, both from a mystical and from a philosophical standpoint.

This issue ends thus ends up being one of the better ones in the recent run of the series.  While most issues are enticing enough, they also form a greater narrative and thus read better together than separately.  This issue has the benefit of focusing on two of the series stronger points, the more esoteric explanations for the academy as well as one the academy’s more interesting characters, Jade.  While this issue still fits within the overall concept and design of the series, its individual focus results in a better overall read than the few issues that have come before.  As always it is hard to recommend one issue of this series over another as they feed into one another, but this issue does seem to be getting back to the meat of the series.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Joe Eisma
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Preview: Morning Glories #44

Morning Glories #44

Story By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Joe Eisma
Cover By: Rodin Esquejo
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: AUG140662
Published: March 25, 2015

“The Library.”

MorningGlories44_Cover

Review: Morning Glories #44

MorningGlories_44-1Morning Glories has much in common with some of the more mind-bending ongoing stories in popular fiction, and this issue encapsulates one of those trends.  Although the previous issues have turned the focus back to Casey and her group of colleagues as she attempts to be voted in as student president, this issue ignores her altogether and focuses on Dr. Richmond and her maternal role in bringing up Vanessa.  The change is a bit of a disappointment in terms of the telling of the binding narrative, but it also functions well to add in some more depth to the occurrences within the academy.

The two aren’t biologically mother and daughter, and her role is one of support to Abraham, who aims to take down the Morning Glories Academy by some unmentioned plot.  This issue is mostly devoid of immediate clues which will reveal what is going to happen, instead giving some background into some of the characters.  At the same time there are nice references here, specifically to a Wrinkle in Time, a book which could be easily linked to the happenings at the Morning Glories Academy.  By the end of this issue it is possible to see where the developments might lead, but for now this serves more as a snapshot of the connection between two characters

As always with this series it is hard to judge the individual issue.  Some are a bit more engaging but have fewer answers, and some are more sedate but contain more clues.  If there is any problem at all with this issue it is that it serves as a distraction to the developments of the previous issue which are likely to be resolved soon enough (as it fits the pattern for the trade paperbacks).  This issue is nonetheless an important one, as are they all, to unlocking the truth behind the Morning Glories Academy, and as with all of the others, would fit better in the overall tapestry of the series, once all of the secrets are revealed.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Joe Eisma
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMSWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Past Aways #1 (Dark Horse) – Matt Kindt is one of the best writers out there, constantly delivering with stories that pay off multiple times during their runs. His latest series has a time traveling twist seeing a group get stranded in the distant past…. 2015!

D4VE #2 (IDW Publishing) – Take the movie Falling Down and mix it with The Office or Office Space, and you get this series which sees a former war hero deal with his dull desk job life.

Jem and the Holograms #1 (IDW Publishing) – Jem goes from cartoon to comics in this brand new series just in time for its 30th anniversary. The first issue is beyond fantastic, giving a story that’ll appeal to old fans and new readers. Expect Jem to be a big thing again.

Skullkickers #31 (Image Comics) – Jim Zub’s off the rails fantasy series is always entertaining. Its been a bit since the last issue, but this one starts a whole new arc that’s a good starting point for readers. Even if you’ve never picked up an issue before, you’ll be entertained.

We Can Never Go Home #1 (Black Mask Studios) – The series sees two rather odd high school students team up after they find out about each others powers. There’s clearly more to the story, and I have my suspicions, but the first issue is gripping, and very entertaining.

Edward

Top Pick: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1 (Marvel/Disney) – Disney tries to adapt its rides to other media, and it worked really well with Pirates of the Caribbean. It will be interesting to see if this works.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents the Little Mermaid #2 (Zenescope) – The first issue was a combination of mermaids and science fiction, which is a pretty interesting mix.

Jem and the Holograms #1 (IDW Publishing) –  This relaunch issue looks like a lot of fun, where 1980s big hair meets modern young woman.

Morning Glories #44 (Image Comics) – The mini story arc within the larger story arc within the larger story is getting closer to resolution as Casey gets closer to winning her seat as class president.

Suicide Risk #23 (BOOM! Studios) – Every issue of this series seems as though it finds a new way to surprise, and almost every one of them seems to be better than the last.

Elana

Top Pick: Jem and the Holograms #1 (IDW Publishing) – We had writer Kelly Thompson on the podcast last night  and we couldn’t stop gushing. This is a fun and compelling first issue. The new origin story is emotionally resonant and is an approachable and relevant comic to share with older kids. Also, I noticed that when I posted about it on Facebook I had friends coming out of the woodwork to talk about how much they loved the show back in the day. This is a great comic to share with your friends who grew up with the show and maybe don’t read comics on their own. The art by Sophie Campbell, (who just came out as trans!) is lovely, fun and inclusive. Every comic should aspire to the body diversity reflected in this book. And the colors make it a good inclusion in any Easter baskets you might be making.

All-New X-Factor TP Vol. 3 AXIS (Marvel) – I really enjoyed the series and was sorry to see it cancelled. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and buy the trade. I actually think this book will be even better in trade. The stylish art is first rate with an angular style that reminds me of fashion illustration. It’s refreshingly female-gaze-y. Peter David’s characterizations are perfect and charming as ever. He writes Quicksilver better then any other writer EVER. He has the best feel for all of the characters. So if you are a fan of anyone on the team (Gambit, Polaris, Danger, Warlock, Doug Ramsey) you absolutely need this book.

Elektra #11 (Marvel) – I’m one of this book’s biggest proponents. It didn’t seem to find its audience. But if you like scary comics that still feel like a superhero book then you need to read this. The painted art is striking new ground and looks very adult. If you enjoy the character Elektra at all then you need to be reading this before it gets canceled. Kind of feels like the classic Daredevil “Fall from Grace” TP.

Gotham Academy #6 (DC Comics) – Speaking of cliffhangers, I am more intrigued by this series than ever. It is easy to fall in love with the emotionally real yet adorable teen characters and the charming and unique art. It’s still Hogwarts in Gotham and approachable as heck.

The Wicked + The Divine #9 (Image Comics) – This may be my favorite current comic series. The mystery our heroine is trying to solve continues but last issue ended on an intriguing personal cliffhanger for her. Our protagonist, Laura is about to have one of her personal desires fulfilled. But how is it really going to work out for her!? <commence excited bouncing, squealing, and clapping of hands>

Almost American
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