Tag Archives: no mercy

Around the Tubes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens tonight! Who’s going to see it? We’ll have our review later today and while you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

NBC News – Through Comic Books, Latino Kids From Immigrant Families Send Message to Pres. Trump – Very cool to see.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Read No Mercy #9 by De Campi, McNeil and Lee for free – Free comics! Go read it folks.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Newsarama – Black Bolt #1

Comic Attack – Secret Weapons #1

Review: No Mercy #9

nomercy09_cvrThis is the most powerful issue of a comic you will read this month. It actually can stand alone if you haven’t read the series, because it’s that good and complete.

No Mercy features the only trans male character in a mainstream comic currently. The ONLY one. Issue 9 is a flashback that tells a pivotal part of that character’s past.

No Mercy is the story of a group of Princeton bound teens going on one of those “build schools in Central America to make yourself and your resume feel better” trips. And then their bus goes over a cliff. Literally. The series shows what happens next to each of the teens.

#9 is a flashback issue focused on the aforementioned trans male character, Sebastian. Sebastian, who we’ve known as Charlene up till this point, is twins with the abusive Chad. He introduces himself as Sebastian for the first time in issue #8. He is intentionally misgendered as Charlene by his family and others and subjected to abusive “conversion therapy” in this issue.

No Mercy I'm Not a GirlI’m not surprised that a series which has dedicated itself to portraying a brutally honest, diverse and realistic range of teens is the comic that finally has a transgender male character. But it is entirely fucked up that there are no other trans male characters in a mainstream comics title.

The story that Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil are telling is dark and complex and the cast they have built are believable and fascinating. It would have been easy for Sebastian’s only characteristic to be that he’s “the trans one”. Instead, these characters represent a range of people who may come across as “types” but not stereotypes. No one is as standard as they may seem at first. Sebastian is bilingual, resourceful and he’s probably going to grow up to be Batman– except with evil parents as opposed to martyred parents.

This issue offers insight into a great injustice happening not only to transgender kids but all sorts of young people who society labels as “deviant”. It takes place in what’s called a “Teen Residential Treatment Center” – sometimes called a “teen boot camp”. I knew kids who were disappeared to them when I was younger and it is never ok. These centers are literally deadly. The comic shows how and why.

Groups like the ACLU regularly take on cases against these torture centers, like this one in Utah— the same state where Sebastian was confined at one point. Just as importantly, the comic also reveals why parents use them.

No Mercy digs behind the facades of both the characters we like and the characters we hate. It holds nothing back. You can’t guess what’s next and it will always be shocking yet plausible. That brutal integrity Is why I’m always on the edge of my seat when I’m reading it.

We’ve described No Mercy as a great choice for people who are turned off by the standard comics genres (like superheroes or sci-fi). I love those genres but this is a comic you can give to your friends who won’t read comics. I’d tell them this series more resembles prestige television then anything in comics but even television is rarely this diverse and honest.

This issue is a must buy, even if you aren’t reading the series (but seriously, go read the series).

I’m sure the series as a whole and this issue in particular could be triggering for some people. This month’s cover shows Sebastian’s body being forced into female clothing and misgendered, scars from self-harming visible. But I suspect the cover is actually a good trigger warning for what’s inside.

I want to salute the amazing work of art team Carla Speed McNeil and colorist Jenn Manley Lee whose use of black is devastating in this issue. The art throughout series is some of the most accessible around to non comics readers. It’s clear and communicative and believable.

Graphic Policy Radio interviewed Alex de Campi about her work when the book first came out. You can listen to her on our podcast here or get it on iTunes.

 

Thank you to CK Stewart https:/twitter.com/ckcucco for sharing his insight and editing my review.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Moon_Knight_1_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.

Elana

Top Pick: No Mercy #9 (Image Comics)This is the most powerful issue of a comic you will read this month. It actually can stand alone if you haven’t read the series, because it’s that good and complete.

This month’s issue features the only trans male character in a mainstream comic. The ONLY one. I’m not surprised that a series which has dedicated itself to portraying an honest, diverse and realistic range of teens is the book that finally has a character like this. The story offers insight into a great injustice happening to all sorts of young people who society labels as “deviant”.

No Mercy is an unflinching series with high stakes, zero predictability and an extremely high level of moral responsibility. It lives up to it and we are stronger for reading it.

Goldie Vance #1 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios)A Girl Detective! A fun resort setting! Charming and accessible art! Could this be the diverse and actually creative Nancy Drew we never had before? Probably.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Moon Knight #1 (Marvel) – I am one of the few (read only) Moon Knight fans at my comic shop, and I knew I’d be picking this comic up anyway, but with Jeff Lemire and Jordie Bellaire involved Marvel may as well just take my money. I’ve been chomping at the bit for this comic ever since I saw who the creative team involved was.

A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #2 (Valiant) – Last issue took me entirely by surprise, and I absolutely loved it. I’m incredibly pumped for the second issue this week.

Voracious #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – I can’t get enough of this series. I honestly can’t. It’s an amazingly fun comic about the owner of a diner who is also a time travelling dinosaur hunter (where else do you think he  that you have to read.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #6 (Valiant) – After the brilliance of last issue, this issue has a lot to live up too (spoiler: it does). I can’t wait to get my hands on the print copy.

 

Javier

Top Pick: The Last Contract #4 (BOOM! Studios) – This is the last issue. The Geriatric Hitman with No Name closes the gap on his violent past.  Bittersweet moment, I was hoping it would continue as a series, or at least for 12 issues. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Clint Eastwood picks this up for film.

Black Road #1 (Image Comics) – I’ve been on a Viking kick these past few weeks with the History Channel’s show, and I have Wood’s collected Northlander series in TPB, so the more Vikings the better.

Carver Paris Story #3 (Z2 Comics) – Old school pulp noir in a Paris setting. It’s a brutally simple and effective book.

Delete #2 (Devil’s Due) – This is cool sci-fi action story with Armenian gangsters. Philip K. Dick meets Lone Wolf and Cub when a simple muscular Handyman teams up with an orphaned girl against killers.

Starve #8 (Image Comics) – Another Brian Wood book.  It’s underrated, but I think word is getting out on this series.  Food and comics, why didn’t I think of this first. It really is good reading.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #4 (DC Comics) –  A great allegory about the Syrian refugee crisis and ISIS. A great example of how comics can be so much more than spandex and powers, even when they feature spandex and powers.

Monstress #5 (Image Comics) – As always a fantastic series that blends fantasy and politics. This is world building at its best, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes. Add on top of that beautiful art and you’ve got one of the best comics on the market.

Moon Knight #1 (Marvel) – Fascinated to see what they do with this series.

Nameless City Vol. 1 (First Second) – An adorable graphic novel, the first in a series. It’s a great read geared towards younger kids I think, but also very enjoyable for adults too. The series is about a city controlled by an army and the a new soldier becoming friends with one of the town people.

Star Wars Special: C-3PO (Marvel) – I want to know how he got that red arm!!!!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Jonesy_001_A_MainWednesdays 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.

Javier

Top Pick: Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – The visuals are amazing, but the luminescence is in stark contrast to the dark cult ridden story. CJ will do anything for her daughter. Or at least we are going to find out?

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – The space adventures of Tim 21 continue on the Robot Resistance’s Machine Moon home world. A new group (‘The Between’) and character (‘Queen Between’) are to be introduced in this issue.

The Last Contract #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The assassin Old Man with No Name is on the hunt for the rat bastard who exposed his kill list. And he ain’t taking no prisoners.

Last Sons of America (BOOM! Studios) – Don Carlo is about to open a Mexican Can of Whoop’ Ass on Jackie and Julian.  I guess they shouldn’t have gotten involved with the Don’s Star Wars quoting daughter.

Snow Blind #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Trent is one messed up kid, and now he knows everything about the WITSEC program and his family.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Constantine The Hellblazer TP Volume 1 (DC Comics)Constantine is DC’s best comic and this is the place to start for fans both new and old. It holds the blend of dark humor, self destructive lust, creepy magic and relatable melancholy that’s required in a Constantine comic. Yet the stories and creative art feel all new. And hurray, one of the writers is a bisexual man writing a bisexual male lead.

Top Pick: Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – Love is dumb! Thus spaketh many a young rebel such as Jonesy, the protagonist of this new all-ages miniseries. She has the superpower to make people fall in love, but not with her. While she revels in being unique and an outsider she also wants to be accepted– in-spite of herself. Cute and bold art that’s half punk/half cartoon feels very contemporary and young.  This is writer Sam Humphries’s second latina teen protagonist (the other stars in Marvel’s Weirdworld which you should also be buying).

All-New Wolverine #5 (Marvel) – Laura Kinney teams up with The Wasp! I love this series’ character development and consistent feminist awesomeness. Laura is a complex female superhero and we’ve been hungry for that.

Black Canary #8 (DC Comics) – A mysterious ninja is stalking Dinah. I think I know who it is. Fantastic rock and roll art and interesting stories featuring a great female cast make this series easy to love.

No Mercy #7 (Image Comics) – After last issue’s climax how are you not reading this?! Completely suspenseful, realistic and accessible to non-comics readers. It’s sort of the HBO of comics.

Zodiac Starforce #4 (Dark Horse) – The Final issue of a magical girl series I wish I had as a kid (and I never did read Sailor Moon). A charming and inventive all ages comic with a kick-ass diverse and distinctive cast. You’re sure to find a character to identify with. Feels a bit like a technicolor Buffy for kids.

 

Logan

Top Pick: Batman #49 (DC Comics) –  After Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo rewrote the Batman mythos last week to have Bruce Wayne not be motivated by his parents’ death to pick up the cape and cowl, I am interested in how Snyder and guest artist Yanick Paquette put him back in the middle of the action against Mr. Bloom.

Jem and the Holograms Valentine’s Day Special (IDW Publishing) – My favorite part of the Jem and the Holograms series hasn’t been the plots, but the fun characters, art, and romance. This is why I enjoy the various annual and special issues, which can focus on the characters, their interactions, and antics without having to progress the overall plot. Hoping for some Kimber/Stormer adorableness.

Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The BOOM! Box imprint has a strong track record of fun, relatable all ages comics with great cartoonish art, like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. And Jonesy is different with its focus on romance. Also, there can never be enough comics starring members of fandoms.

Jughead #4 (Archie Comics) – Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson make for an excellent comedy team, and Jughead is one of the funniest current comics. Each issue, I anticipate the weird and wacky dream sequences in the middle of the comic. Also, Jughead is revealed to be asexual this issue.

Ms. Marvel #4 (Marvel) – I’m really enjoying the new volume of Ms. Marvel, and how Ms. Marvel has to balance being a regular high school student, Avenger, and superhero while also dealing with her name being used by an evil corporation that wants to level her city for expensive condos. Talk about a full course load.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 (Dynamite) – David Walker’s first volume for the classic character was fantastic, and this second one is a comic that I’ve been waiting to read since I found out about it many months ago. Walker mastered getting to the basics of John Shaft, what makes the character great, and I’m expecting more of the same.

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics out right now. This sci-fi series is as great to read as it is to stare at it’s beautiful pages.

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – The Wonder Woman we need. It’s a back to basics take on the character and is right now the best depiction of the character in comics. The first issue was great and shows you can easily do the character right with a solid creative team.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic, the best debut of any All-New, All-Different Marvel comic. It perfectly captured the “Western” feel of the original story mixed in with a good revenge tale. So good that I don’t care this issue is out just a few weeks later.

Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – This series is just beautiful to look at, and the story rather haunting. A mother trying to get her kid back from a cult, yes please!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

HERO HOURLY PREVIEW PAGE 01Wednesdays 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.

Alex

Top Pick: Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – The first issue of the first series from new publisher 21 Pulp took me by complete surprise Telling the story of a man employed at a minimum wage company who employs superheroes, Hero Hourly is a comic that, quite frankly, you have to be reading.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – Batman and the Ninja Turtles. There’s really nothing else for me to say about why I’m looking forward to this other than the last issue was actually really good.

Huck #3 (Image) – This comic just makes feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A great feel good series from Mark Millar (at least so far) that you should look into before the inevitable movie.

 

Brett

Top Pick: The Walking Dead #150 (Image Comics/Skybound) – It’s going to be a huge issue and it’s been hinted to expect fireworks out of it. Big anniversary issues like this tend to bring huge shifts in Robert Kirkman’s series, and I’m expecting no less.

Captain Canuck #6 (Chapter House Comics) – I’ve been loving this series and continue to do so. It’s a throwback to fun superheros without the gritty darkness.

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – The first issue was hilarious and an amazing debut for this new publisher. I’ve been awaiting the second, and it’s one of the first comics I’m reading this week.

Legend of Wonder Woman #1 (DC Comics) – I really am not a fan of the main Wonder Woman at DC, but this digital turned print series is a breath of fresh air as it looks at the early years of the Amazonians and Wonder Woman as she was growing up. Much like Superman: American Alien, this is trying to get at what makes Wonder Woman wonderful.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 (BOOM! Studios) – I was never a Power Rangers fan growing up. I was just a bit too old and out of the age range for the show. Still, the concept was always interesting to me and I’ve been looking forward to seeing what BOOM! does with the series as a comic.

 

Elana

All-New Wolverine #4 (Marvel) – One of Marvel comics’ bests. Complex, haunted but heroic, Laura is trying to take care of her abused clones by seeking help from Doctor Strange! I never considered this team up and I can’t wait!

Constantine the Hellblazer #8 (DC Comics) – It is DC’s best comic. It’s about the mad, bad and dangerous to know exorcist who’d left his date in a bit of a lurch. It’s going to be great!

No Mercy #6 (Image Comics) – I hate Chad. I want him to die. He is an abuser and a bully and he’s on the cover of this month’s issue with a skull imposed over his head. So maybe this most brutally harsh comic will kill someone who’s really got it coming? Maybe?

Raven Pirate Princess TP Volume 1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Teenage Lesbian Asian Pirate Princess in an all-ages comic!!! One of the year’s best new series for older-kids and tweens (and adults who like things that are funny, exciting and feminist). Get caught up with the all girl pirate crew. A perfect introductory comic to the Princeless world of diverse, feminist heroic heroines who take no guff and save the day. Here’s my review of the first two issues featured in this compendium.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Slash and Burn #3 (DC Vertigo) – This is my top pick of the week. I happen to be a Volunteer Firefighter in the town I live in, so I’m digging this one at a personal level.

Bad Moon Rising #4 (451 Media) – This one is filling my Showhole left behind by the cancellation of Sons of Anarchy.  It’s got Motorcycle Gangs (possibly Buddhist), Werewolves, and a Murder Mystery.

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – Who can’t relate to the plight of the under-paid and under-appreciated working man with super powers? And if you can’t relate, at least have a good laugh.

Limbo #3 (Image Comics) – More Detective Work in a Dead End … oops … in Dedande City. I recommend you snack on some lizards while reading it.

The Violent #2 (Image Comics) – A violence filled tourist’s guide to Canada’s Strathcona: the Canadian Brooklyn (condos and all).

 

Logan

Top Pick: New Romancer #2 (Vertigo)New Romancer is the crown jewel in the Vertigo Renaissance and the perfect 21st century love story for someone who uses Tinder and OK Cupid, but misses the love sonnets and romance of yore. Plus Casanova and Lord Byron facing off is going to be a blast.

Red Sonja #1 (Dynamite) – If anyone had to take over for Gail Simone on Red Sonja, it’s Marguerite Bennett, who last wrote the She-Devil with a Sword in the funny, action-packed Red Sonja and Jungle Girl miniseries. I expect nothing but the best in interesting female characters, swashbuckling action, and tongue-in-cheek humor.

Robin War #2 (DC Comics) – The most woke crossover of 2015 comes to a close in the New Year as Damian Wayne doesn’t check his privilege and joins the Court of the Owls to fight Gotham’s teen defenders, We Are Robin, and their more seasoned mentors. It will be interesting to see if there is any last political commentary from writer Tom King, and the martial arts battle will be fun to see unfold.

Secret Wars #9 (Marvel) – This crossover has been a little uneven to say the least, but the previous issue had some Return of the King worthy pitched battles and sheer badass moments, like Doom crushing Thanos’ skulls. Hopefully, Jonathan Hickman sticks the ending in his Marvel epic, doesn’t just push the reset/reboot button via a plot device or something, and gives the Fantastic Four a sendoff worthy of Marvel’s First Family.

The Violent #2 (Image) – Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham are going into some murky, moral territory in their new series The Violent from Image, and he pulls no punches showing the effect gentrification has had on the city of Vancouver. I am intrigued to see how far Mason is willing to go to be a good father while battling the spectres of his criminal past and trying to make ends meet.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – The Dark Knight,  Shredder, Turtles. Need I say more? Nope grab a slice and set aside some time for this one!

Secret Wars #9 (Marvel) – Come see how it all ends and how it all begins again. The conclusion to Marvel’s best event in ages. I’m with Uatu on this one, just want to be ringside as it unfolds.

The Walking Dead #150 (Image Comics/Skybound) – The big one. Let’s hope much more walking than talking. Oh yeah and blood. Lots of blood. Come see where Rick Grimes goes next.

 

Patrick

Top Pick: The Walking Dead #150 (Image Comics) – Tensions have been building in Alexandria over what’s to be done with the Whisperers, a rival community that wears the flesh of walkers. Rick has been struggling to maintain control. In this issue, we find out what that means for him. Negan made a name for himself fifty issues ago, and the Governor fell fifty issues before that. I wonder what will happen tomorrow…

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – There’s really no reason you shouldn’t be looking for this book at your local comic store. Do you like laugh? Pick it up. Do you like grabbing comics that people will be talking about for years to come? Pick it up. Do you have a rash your trying to hide while walking back to work? Maybe… maybe this would work for that. But it’s a fantastic comic if you’re just looking for something to read.

No Mercy #6 (Image Comics) – The horrors that have befallen these students continue to unfold as they live in danger of coyotes, drug cartels and even each other. Don’t pass up the chance to keep up with who kills whom.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #5 (Marvel) – This title has been BANG since issue 1 and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.  New school in limbo; demons attacking; Mr. Sinister is back…and the reveal from the last issue!  Where is this going??  Loving the team line up and the art.  If you aren’t reading this X book, you better get caught up….I’ll wait.

All-New X-Men #3 (Marvel) – I wasn’t really sure I would enjoy the whole road trip vibe with the time displaced X-Men (as X-Force tried this way back when and it didn’t really work), but I’m kinda digging it.  Feels a little rehashed with the Ghosts of Cyclops coming across as junior Acolytes, but they are an interesting gang to counter our band of mutants so I’ll stick along for the ride.  Not really feeling Kid Apocalypse and Oya as part of the group, so I’m hoping they gel as the series goes on, but it is fun and I do enjoy the read.  But I am really getting tired of Angel treating Wolverine as the damsel in distress….enough already.

Scarlet Witch #2 (Marvel) – Honestly, Issue 1 was just meh (you can read my review if you like), I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t wowed.  I loved the art and I do have a soft spot for Wanda, one of my favourite characters.  I’m holding out hope that this whole ‘witchcraft is broken’ story really goes somewhere different and takes Wanda in a unique direction.

Secret Wars #9 (Marvel) – END ALREADY.  You’ve already launched your All New All Different; confused the readers by hinting at things in the new titles that haven’t happened.  You started with a bang…yes, you had some great tie ins, but lets be honest, you are definitely limping to the finish line.

Uncanny Avengers #4 (Marvel) – Like the last volume of this title, I just can’t stop checking it out….not that it’s good, I just can’t stop looking.  Maybe I’m hoping it turns around, maybe I just feel sorry for it, I don’t know.  I feel there’s potential here…I just wish it could be reached.

 

Review: No Mercy #6

NoMercy06_coverNo Mercy #6 zeroes in on three of our ten surviving characters. Chad, Charlene and Travis continue their tale of how badly things can go wrong when you travel abroad. The book continues to have its brutal moments but holds its fire in this issue.

It was an attempt to get a leg-up into Princeton. A group of students travel to Central America to help build schools. When their bus careens off a cliff, their group of fifteen begins quickly dwindling. Alone in a dangerous wasteland with no help coming, the kids begin wandering off searching for rescue.

The sharp teeth of this story are starting to dull a bit. As each different group makes it to safety, the reader begins to wonder when No Mercy plans to make good on its promise that no one gets away alive. With so many characters left, in so many different places, it seems strange to focus on only three. It can get a bit difficult following everyone’s story when there is so much going on. If something tremendously pivotal had happened, I could understand the attention but nothing that happens in this issue really translates to the bigger picture.

Charlene and Chad make it to town this issue only to discover their parents may not be too upset they’re gone. These siblings are the most interesting to watch because the intense vitriol between them. Actually, ever since Charlene’s failed attempt to kill Chad a few issues ago, the reader has been in quite a bit of suspense waiting to see what happens. If there were a pair to follow this issue, Alex de Campi chose well. While things continue to be brutal between the two, the issue ends a bit ambiguously. There’s no closure within their own turmoil nor even a clear way in which they have made good on their efforts to rescue the others. Consequently, the story seems to stop suddenly not as a cliffhanger but an interrupted thought.

Mitch, our fake-freegan frying in the… I have no “f” word for desert, is discovered by a few tourists and taken in by them. Not only does his subplot here not advance the story at all, it seems to raise more questions about what the ultimate outcome of the story will be. Not to sound blood-thirsty, but if all these kids aren’t dead when this is over, the second page of the first issue will seem well-crafted but misleading. Obviously, not every issue can be dripping with blood (even if the back of the book is made to suggest otherwise). However, issues that don’t drip blood need to further the story. The amount of time given to the tourists could have made even two pages to further someone else’s plight in the story and keep the tension riding high.

Though de Campi excels at writing brutal stories where no one is safe, this issue takes the steam of out of it a bit and seems to add a bit of punctuation to the title, No… Mercy. To be perfectly clear, while a review copy was provided to me, I still plan on buying my own. While every story must have a slower chapter, I look forward to having the complete collection because of Alex de Campi’s is one of the best writers when it comes gruesome tales and there is no doubt No Mercy will be worth owning.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Carla Speed McNeil
Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6
Recommendation: Read (if it’s your first issue, but buy it if you have the others)

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 19/12/2015

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.


Alex

Klaus_002_A_MainThe Paybacks #3: Two words: Hell. Yes. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Klaus #2** This is easily one of the best looking comics on the racks this month, and it’s also one of the most entertaining. I’m really enjoying the sense of soul within it’s pages. Overall Rating: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #2 was another comic released this week that just screams goodness. When an entire town conspire to keep the secret of a superhero, how can you not fall in love with the story? Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Invincible #126. I’ve not really read much Invincible lately, so reading the final issue of a three part reboot/not reboot probably wasn’t smart on my behalf, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Judge Dredd #1 is an interesting new direction for the character. I’m curious to see what happens next, and this was just good enough to bring me back for more. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #6: If you’ve been reading the series, then this is just more of the same, which is far from a bad thing. Well worth checking out if you haven’t been reading it. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #1 is the first Conan comic I’ve read in months, and it was awesome. There’s a lot of set up here for what’s going to come in the next few issues, and I’m looking forward to see what that’ll be – especially with the renewed interest in the character that’s bound to stem from the new movie. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #138 – Mignola has put together one of the best comic universes out there, and this issue feels like it’s building to something epic and huge for it all. Love each issue not just for the entertaining story but the amazing distinctive art that screams Mignolaverse. Overall Rating: 8.2 Recommendation: Read

Batman Europa #2 – Batman and Joker do battle together in a weird team-up that has the two trying to figure out who’s out to kill them. It’s a strange story, but the art is fantastic and to see these two team-up is really entertaining. A solid miniseries that I’m enjoying much more than I thought I would. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League #46This issue felt very off to me. It picks up after a month of one-shots and catches folks up to where we’re at, at least that’s what it feels like. It’s a meh issue that has some important moments, but comes off more as a recap than anything else. Overall Rating: 6.7 Recommendation: Pass

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Vampire Zoo – I’ve generally enjoyed the Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer series, and was looking forward to this comic. While this one has some funny moments the overall issue feels more like a video game going from one level to the next. Compared to what’s come before, this one just doesn’t stand up in quality. Overall Rating: 6.3 Recommendation: Pass

Descender #8 – I love this series and this one has a great feel of what I expect from a space opera epic. The art is top notch and this one has some cool trippy aspects to it that I look forward to seeing where they go. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

The Goddamned #2 – I’m still trying to figure out this series. It’s Jason Aaron’s twisted Bible tale and while I’m enjoying it, I’m still not quite sure what to think overall. I feel like I’m missing something. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Goddamned02_CoverAHuck #2 – Just loving this series. It’s a fun innocent take on the superhero myth. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

I Hate Fairyland #3 – Holy shit is this series messed up. Twisted fairy tales that I feel a little dirty by the fact I’m enjoying it so much. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Tithe #7 – Really relevant, Matt Hawkins has put together an interesting series that follows FBI agents tracking down folks using religion to manipulate elections. Sound familiar? Overall Rating: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

All-New X-Men #2 – The second issue feels like a middle tier X-Men run of the past. Some interesting ideas here and potential, but not blowing me away. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Darth Vader Annual #1 – A one-shot that I feel will have some impact down the road. Marvel’s Star Wars comics are consistently fantastic reads. Overall Rating: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Illuminati #2 – This series focusing on some of Marvel’s villains getting together has been a really interesting read. One that I’m really enjoying with a good mix of humor and characters. Overall Rating: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Monster World #1 – A throwback in many ways of a detective comic with a mystery on a movie studio plot. A little mixed on what I think overall, but not bad. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Elana

WickedDivine17-coverThe Wicked + The Divine #17. Guest artist Brandon Graham’s style combines manga and graffiti styles. Perfect match for Sakmet. His art steals the show on this issue and carries much of the storytelling. The character remains elusive in many ways but I did come away with more. I’d still like more from her. Overall Rating: 9

No Mercy #5. Really brutal. Great reveals and character beats. A few moments of characters shouting things I’ve been itching for them to say. I feel for Sister Inez here. She just wanted a roof for her school damnit! Overall Rating: 8

Weirdworld #1. Mike del Mundo’s art was central to the disturbing awesomeness and beauty of the Elektra series a couple of years back and his new sword and sandals on drugs series is a wonderful expansion on it. I enjoy the world they’re building and their Latina protagonist is a great new creation.  Overall Rating: 8.5

 

Shean

King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #1: With all the rumblings surrounding the new Conan movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an older and wiser King, it is so cool of Dark Horse to expose some of those dimensions.The story by Timothy Truman is gritty, bloody, stinks of the Medieval Age, and a whole lot of fun. The art by Tomas Giorello, harken back to the old Conan comics I grew up reading with a touch of Frank Frazetta. Altogether , Great start to a promising miniseries, and seems to be the type of excitement the Bastard Executioner only hoped to come close to. Overall: 9.8


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

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Monstress02_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.

Alex

Top Pick: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – If this comic doesn’t excite you in some way, then I don’t really think anything I say here will change that. But this is a comic I’ve been waiting a decade for.

Ninjak #10 (Valiant) – A new story arc sees the technologically advanced ninja cross into the supernatural. I’m looking forward to seeing Ninjak as a fish out of water, so to speak.

We Stand On Guard #6 (Image Comics) – I’m sure there’ll be an epic conclusion here, and with all the rich connotations that have been sown throughout the series I don’t know how comfortable it’ll be to read. Which is exactly why I want to.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Monstress #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue blew me away with a deeply layered comic that mixed genres, concepts, and packaged it all with beautiful art. The first issue was oversized and I still craved more, it was that good. One of the best debuts of the year, I expect the second issue to be just as good.

Detective Comics #47, Gotham Academy #13, Grayson #15, Red Hood/Arsenal #7 (DC Comics) – All Robin War tie-ins. The lead in comic kicking off the event was solid, and this is event is one that I’m really looking forward to.

The Massive: Ninth Wave #1 (Dark Horse) – The original series tackled the concept of survival in a post ecological disaster world. I could debate that ending for along time, but the rest of the series was good. This prequel takes us back before the collapse and features the familiar crew of the Ninth Wave. This is environmental activism in comics.

Tomboy #2 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The first issue of this series was one of the other best debuts of the year. It completely caught me off guard, and holy crap was it good. I can’t wait to read the second issue, it’s one of the first comics I plan to read this week to see what happens next and where this series goes.

The Walking Dead #149 (Image Comics) – After the ending of the last issue how could this not make it on the list? We’re one away from the big 150, and I expect something huge for that issue, so need to see the build up too.

 

Elana

Constantine the Hellblazer #7 (DC Comics) –  Constantine reunites with Swamp Thing: the herbacious hero in who’s book he first appeared! This is my favorite DC series now. Creative, funny, dark and damaged.

Gotham Academy #13 (DC Comics)Brand new story arc for my favorite teenage characters in my favorite fictional school. It looks like they’ll be forced to take sides in a currently political debate over teenage vigilanteism going on in Gotham. Can’t wait to hear these kids hash out a serious issue. Enjoy Karl Kerschl’s beautiful art on this book while he’s still there!

Monstress #2 (Image Comics)Easily the most imaginative new fantasy series in ages. Breathtaking art. Complex fantasy world-building that feels entirely fresh. The series touches on real world evils like war crimes, slavery and eugenics. And there are no bearded white dudes that you can’t tell apart. Actually, I think there’s no white people in this at all!  Marjorie Liu was our podcast guest: listen to our interview with her to learn more.

No Mercy #5 (Image Comics)College bound kids on a “charity” trip to pad their resumes now find their lives in peril. This series is both extremely suspenseful and thus far, extremely realistic in ways that make it even more disturbing. The cast of teens are so damn familiar because you’ve met them all in real life. Yet no reader could have a clue about what’s going to happen next. Check out our podcast with writer Alex Di Campi to hear more.

Snow Blind #1 (BOOM! Studios) Alaskan teen trying to get to the bottom of his messed-up family’s mysterious past. Quirky art, heavy on the symbolism. Promising start for a new series.

 

Javier

Limbo #2 (Image Comics) – This is my pick of the week.  Yes, yet another supernatural detective story. This one is set in Dedande (Dead End?) City.  A sort of Magnum PI based Mexican purgatory I’m guessing, but Dan Watters hasn’t revealed much yet. This urban fantasy has a voodoo queen with a fetish for 80s mixtapes, and Wijngaard’s art is captivating.

Ninjak # 10 (Valiant) – I’m a big fan of Valiant books; they put out quality work. This is a good jumping point for new Ninjak fans. Operation: Deadside, a four issue arc written by Matt Kindt, starts this week. Plus Shadowman makes an appearance.

Saints #3 (Image Comics) – Saintly super-powered teenagers on a road trip. I’ll admit I’m into the religious themed good versus evil themed books (i.e. Tithe is another favorite). Mackey’s snappy dialogue and Lewis’s sacrilegious art has me hooked; but I can see how this is going to be one of those books you either love or hate.

Snow Blind # 1 (BOOM! Studios) – This new four issue series from Boom!Studios, written by Ollie Masters (The Kitchen) and drawn by Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust) promises to be a witness protection noir story set in the snow-covered landscape of Alaska.  If this is consistent with Ollie’s work on The Kitchen we are in for a cold-blooded treat.

Ultimates #2 (Marvel) – Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ms. America Chavez, Spectrum, and Blue Marvel are back this week to tackle the Galactacus problem.  This issue can make or break the series.  Issue #1 I thought was spectacular, and I’m rooting for them to do more of the same this month.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Scarlet Witch #1 (Marvel) – Wanda has her own title.  That is all :)

Secret Wars #8 (Marvel) – This series is trudging along to the finale….I just want to see how it all ends already!  But I am looking forward to the Thing laying a king size smack down.

Ultimates #2 (Marvel) – How do you solve a problem like Galactus?  Apparently the Ultimates have the answer…but does Galactus even want to hear it?  This is going to be interesting.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Captain_America_White_1_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

The Paypacks #1 (Dark Horse) – A hilarious new entry into the superhero genre. How do heroes get all of those wonderful tools? They need to get them from somewhere right? What happens when they fall behind in payments for them? This is the group tasked with getting those items back. And holy shit is it amazing.

D4ve2 #1 (IDW Publishing) – The second volume to the amazing digital series. It’s a year after the events of the first volume, and another ship shows up. The first volume was fantastic, I’d expect the second to be the same.

Jem and the Holograms #7 (IDW Publishing) – Jerrica and her sisters face their biggest threat yet—success! This sounds really interesting, and helps I love the series in general, which helps.

Prez #4 (DC Comics) – DC Comics’ series about a teenage girl elected President is winding up to be rather prophetic. I now want to read about this future election/political series, to see what’s going to happen in the real world.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Raven has part of their crew, now she just needs the rest. This series has more to say in just a few of its panels than most do their entire run. An entertaining comic series that has something to say too.

 

Elana

Constantine the Hellblazer #4 (DC Comics) – Johncon is about to go on a “magical bender” through London. This is going to hurt so good. His particular brand of self obsession mixed with self loathing may not make for a good friend in real life but he is a lot of fun to spend time with on the page. Easily one of DC comic’s best books.

The Fade Out #9 (Image Comics) – Something huge is about to happen in my favorite LA noir series. Gil, the blacklisted screenwriter is about to blow up a Hollywood cover-up centered around a powerful man who sexually assaults women. At least, that’s what I THINK is about to happen. This story is a mystery after all and so far nothing has been as simple as all that.

Island #3 (Image Comics) – The art is out of this world— the first story in this issue is absolutely museum worthy art. I think if you skim this issue you’ll know if it’s right for you. A range of kinds of stories and different kinds of art and nothing in here feels cliched. Some of it can be challenging to process and that’s the point. This new comics magazine pushes at all the boundaries in the medium.

Lumberjanes #18 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – New creative team and a new story arc start for our favorite girls at the badass feminist summer camp of your dreams. The original team won an Eisner. Let’s see what this new crew can do.

No Mercy TP Vol. 1 (Image Comics) – Take a bus load of college bound kids getting ready to go on one of those “building schools and posing for photos with brown people” trips to Central America. And then push the bus off a cliff. There is nothing else like No Mercy. It is brutal and human and completely unpredictable. It’s totally outside the conventions of standard comics between its unique, sensitive art, diverse cast and unclear genre alignment. A good choice for comics unbelievers too.

Rat Queens #12 (Image Comics) – The D&D adventuring party you wished you rolled with. Great art. Feminist fun.

 

Kenny

Top Pick: Usagi Yojimbo #148 (Dark Horse)I have been a longtime fan of the wandering ronin Myamoto Usagi and, whether he is in the midst of a multi-arc epic or a single issue, Stan Sakai always delivers a masterpiece.

Bizarro #4 (DC Comics) There are a lot of serious comics out in the world right now and sometimes you have to break that up with a little fun. And that is exactly what Bizarro is. Simply put, this comic puts a smile on my face and that is more than enough reason to check it out.

Captain America: White #1 (Marvel Comics)My picks are very heavily creator influenced this week and this selection is no different. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have been a favorite tandem of mine for a while and seeing the two back at it is all the motivation I need to be excited for this comic.

Secret Six #6 (DC Comics)The first iteration of the Secret Six is probably my favorite comic series ever. Yes, I said it. And, while the initially relaunch started slowly, it seems Gail Simone and our favorite gang of psychos is finally getting back to the beautiful brand of lunacy that I love them for.

 

Mr. H

Captain America: White #1 (Marvel Comics) – The amazing team of Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb back again! I have not been disappointed by them in any previous endeavor thus far and no reason to believe it to happen here. Things are sure to be excelsior True Readers!

Graphic Policy Radio with Guest Alex de Campi this Tuesday!

GP Radio Special tues 10pmGraphic Policy Radio is taking Labor Day off, but we have an episode this week at a special time and with a first time guest. Comic creator Alex de Campi joins us to discuss her career and more! The show is airing LIVE on a special day and time, this Tuesday at 10pm ET.

Alex is a comic writer who has created comics for some of the biggest publishers including Dark Horse, Archie, and Image Comics. Her series include Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight, Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out, Archie vs. Predator, and her creator owned series Smoke/Ashes and No Mercy and more.

We want to hear what questions you have for her! Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy and we’ll ask them on the air.

You can listen in live this Tuesday at 10pm ET.

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