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Red 5 Comics Signs a French Distribution License With Editions-Reflexions

Red 5 Comics logo

Red 5 Comics has signed an agreement with French publisher Editions-Reflexions to translate its graphic novel catalog into French for European distribution.

In the announcement, Red 5 Comics’ co-publisher Joshua Starnes said:

This is a fantastic opportunity to expose more of Red 5’s exciting stories a brand new readership. We look forward to expanding into multiple languages over the next year.

The partnership will launch in October 2021 with a French-language edition of The Dark Age, to be followed by editions of Dragon WhispererAbyss, and The Rift, with more in 2022.

Red 5 Comics recently announced that they had signed a distribution agreement with Simon & Schuster.

Red 5 Comics Signs a Distribution Agreement With Simon & Schuster

Red 5 Comics logo

Red 5 Comics has signed a multi-year agreement with Simon & Schuster to distribute its line of trade paperbacks and graphic novels to the global bookstore market.

This agreement marks the next step in Red 5’s strategic growth plan to bring its award-winning slate of comic books and graphic novels to a global audience through print, digital, and broadcast.


Red 5 Comics was founded in 2007 by Paul Ens, former Director of Lucasfilm’s Lucas Online, and Scott Chitwood, co-founder of TheForce.net.  It earned the 2007 Gem Award for Best New Publisher and its titles have been nominated for three Eisner Awards and two Harvey Awards.

Review: White Lily #1

White Lily #1

Originally a Kickstarter and published by Common Sense Press/Pocket Jack Comics, White Lily #1 is now out courtesy of Red 5 Comics. Adapted from the screenplay by Preston Poulter, White Lily #1 tells the story of Lydia Litvyak, a Russian fighter pilot during World War II. The series is a fictionalized take on Litvyak’s history but it gets the basics right of a Jewish woman who became a fighter ace (one of two women who hold the title) and the most kills by a female fighter pilot.

I know the basics of female fighter pilots during World War II, and mostly around the famous Night Witches. Specific pilots is a new subject for me and it appears Litvyak is a hell of a one to start with.

Poulter takes us from her early days focusing on her talents as a pilot and her penchant for showing off. To say she was talented was an understatement and she was one of the best pilots at the time. She was very much a female Maverick from Top Gun, and that includes buzzing the tower.

But Poulter also sets the ground of who she is as a person as well. We get the larger than life aspects to her but there’s also small details of her focus on her feminity. In a field dominated by men, she was all woman, dying her hair and never not being who she was. Some of that is juxtaposed with her friend Katya, also a pilot, whose mother claims that “only dykes become soldiers”.

Poulter also keeps reminding us the future star pilot of Russia is Jewish. With a Star of David proudly worn, we’re reminded that Litvyak is fighting for a country that doesn’t like her religion. Her father was also taken away as an “enemy of the people”. But, she’s motivated to fight the Germans and do it for a country that has caused her family such heartache.

The art by Lovalle Davis is solid. There’s some choices of turning the page for layouts which is a bit unexpected and hurts the reading flow. But, the sequences might not have worked as well vertical unless they became two page spreads. The art pops though with a lot of detail that helps tell the story or sucks you into this time period. Davis is helped by Alonso Espinoza on color and lettering by Taylor Esposito is spot on as expected. Esposito nails the dialogue lettering, especially with the challenging fighter sequences.

White Lily #1 is a solid comic that introduces you to this bit of history. The fact it is is something I wish was played up a bit more but as it stands, the debut is an entertaining read. Hopefully, it spurs the googling I found myself in to learn more about White Lily and we’ll see where the series takes the story and how much it shows of Litvyak’s life. It’s a nice mix of entertainment and history.

Story: Preston Poulter Art: Lovalle Davis
Color: Alonso Espinoza Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Red 5 Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Today’s New Comic Book Day Features Over 150 New Comics from Marvel, AfterShock, Image, IDW, Valiant, and More!

King in Black #4

It’s new comic book day! New comics are hitting comic shelves and that includes digital shelves. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases by publishers below.

AAM-Markosia

A Wave Blue World

AfterShock

American Mythology Productions

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

BOOM! Studios

Clover Press

Comicraft

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse

DC

DC Thomson

Dynamite Entertainment

Harlequin

Heavy Metal

Humanoids

IDW Publishing

Image Comics

Kingstone Comics

Kodansha

Marvel

NBM

Oni Press

Papercutz

Red 5 Comics

Scholastic-Graphix

Tidalwave Productions

Titan Comics

Valiant

Vault Comics

Zenescope


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

We Live #5

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Abbott 1973 #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Some solid mystery continues in 1970s Detroit with a tinge of politics thrown in.

Black Cotton #1 (Scout Comics) – In this alternate timeline the social order of “white” and “black” is reversed and we’re all in to see where this series takes the concept.

Black Friday #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – Years of pent-up negative energy from Black Fridays has built up and unleashed something very evil and dark into a superstore.

Black Widow #5 (Marvel) – The series has been amazing mixing action with some great visuals.

History Comics: The Wild Mustang, Horses of the American West (:01 First Second) – Learn how horses were brought to the Western Hemisphere by Spanish conquistadors and immediately became a crucial part of the American story.

Hollow Heart #1 (Vault Comics) – EL used to be human. Now he’s a jumble of organs in a bio-suit. EL is also in tremendous pain and has been for a very long time. Described as a queer monster love story, the concept seems very unique.

The Immortal Hulk: Flatline #1 (Marvel) – The series of one-shots have done a great job of allowing various creators tell their tales of this version of the Hulk. So far, they’ve been great.

King in Black #4 (Marvel) – It’s an event that’s really be paying off. Can’t wait to see where it all goes.

Michael Jackson in Comics (NBM) – A biography mixing comics and documentary chapters taking us from the Jackson 5 through his solo career.

Mieruko-Chan Vol. 2 (Yen Press) – What other strange encounters await Miko?

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #3 (Marvel) – The issue has been laugh out loud funny with every issue.

Pepper Page Saves the Universe! (:01 First Second) – Pepper encounters a strange cat named Mister McKittens and stumbles into a volatile science experiment run by a sinister substitute teacher named Doctor Killian. Yeah, we’re in for this.

The Recount #2 (Scout Comics) – The first issue blew us away with American citizens taking up the government corruption into their own hands.

Savage #1 (Valiant) – Teenage heartthrob. Feral social icon. Dinosaur hunter? Kevin Sauvage has a taste of home when a mutant dino threat invades England!

Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #2 (AHOY Comics) – Chaos, weirdness, and corndogs reign when Jesus innocently stumbles into Bible Safari, a profit-squeezing amusement park that trades in his image. That alone has us reading this fantastic take on religion and superheroes.

The Shadow Doctor #1 (AfterShock) – A Black doctor in the 1930s us unable to get work in Chicago’s hospitals and turns to the Prohibition-era Chicago Mafia to make some money.

Steambound #1 (Behemoth Comics) – Hound is a knight of the order’s restricted council while Yaeger is genetically modified and works for the city’s criminal cartels. They’ll force to team up again.

We Live #5 (AfterShock) – Extinction day hits humanity. We’re at the edge of our seats.

White Lily #1 (Red 5 Comics) – Lilya Litvak is destined to become the greatest female fighter pilot of all time, flying for the Russian Army in World War II against the Germans. But first she has to get through the training.

Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 (Dark Horse) – An unknown adventure of a younger Hellboy!

Red 5 Comics Has Two Releases for April 2021

Machine Girl Vol. 1: Just A Girl in the World

(W) Matts (A) Sergio Monjes
FC · 120 page · $12.95
Available April 28, 2021
FEB211483

In a galaxy far, far away… there is a planet full of exotic interplanetary people, all of them living together in a dangerous multicultural world, and in the middle of it all there is Megan! A young human girl fighting her way up on the deadly arena of the Intergalactic Mixed Battling Arts as she searches for her origins and other beings like her while she is obsessed with a mysterious, long forgotten planet: Earth.

Machine Girl Vol. 1: Just A Girl in the World

White Lily #3

(W) Preston Poulter (A) Jake Bilbao (CA) Jake Bilbao
FC · 32 page · $3.95
Available April 21, 2021
FEB211482

Lilya’s success as a fighter pilot has made her the toast of the squadron and her new squadron commander. But her career as a pilot may be over before it begins when she’s shot down over embattled Stalingrad. Now it will take all of her wits and resources to escape.

White Lily #3

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 2/6/2021

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.


Logan

Future State: The Next Batman #3 (DC)– In the third installment of “The Next Batman”, John Ridley and Laura Braga showcase Jace’s naivete as he still thinks that he can somehow work inside a legal system that would shoot him on sight. Also, he trusts the two killers he’s holed up with a little too much. Even with Derington only on layouts, his instincts for action choreography sing through, and Braga executes the figures and moves beautifully showing that Tim is truly an analog Batman by having him finish off a high tech drone with a rock. Changing Batman from a rich white billionaire to a Black man, who may have a rich family, but he’s despised by them gives the character a certain underdog quality, and I’m really rooting for Jace to succeed as a hero. He has solid values even though that might not be the best personality aspect to have in a city run by the Magistrate. My only quibble with this story is the character of Lucius Fox, who has gone from being a heroic figure, to being okay with shoot on sight robocops, but maybe he’s like Colin Powell and Joker War is his 9/11. I really hope Ridley explores his character more in the upcoming Tim Fox Batman digital series. Brandon Thomas, Sumit Kumar, Raul Fernandez, and Jordie Bellaire’s epic “Outsiders” story concludes with Duke Thomas showing he’s Gotham’s true protector in both word and deed while Katana and Black Lightning battle an old foe. Thomas’ captions for Duke’s speech are a little wordy and draw attention from Kumar and Bellaire’s rapid-paced action, but it does establish him as a leadership figure, who has been mentored by Batman and the Outsiders and now stands up for his city. The most creative part of “Outsiders” is Thomas and Kumar’s take on Black Lightning, who is living in Soultaker, and enhances its abilities with his metahuman powers. He can also show up as a blue, less eerie Dr. Manhattan figure too, and he adds literal energy to every fight scene, especially when Duke strolls around Gotham in the end with a yellow and black jacket and a huge sword on his back. He’s cursed, but he’s still a hero, and there for his friends. When Sumit Kumar and Jordie Bellaire are doing their thing with vibrant colors, speed lines, and clever layouts, the “Outsiders” a great story; when there are walls of text or a boring villain is monologuing, it’s subpar. However, I’m mostly here for the beautiful storytelling and Duke Thomas coming into his own as a hero. Unlike the first installment of “Arkham Knights”, Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert focus more on action than characterization with the exception of Astrid, who narrates the issue, Dr. Phosphorus, and to a lesser extent, Harvey Dent, who sets their little hope heist into action. Astrid still has that Azrael-esque delusional streak as she compares herself to a Kushite queen that never paid taxes to the Romans. However, Jenkins gives her a bit of a heart like when she comforts and tries everything in her power to save Dr. Phosphorus and speaks up for Dent went Zsasz threatens him during their strategy meeting. Most of the story is fighting with Herbert going for a clean, house style of storytelling, but swap superheroes for villains and the Bat-signal for something else. I do like how he draws the Arkham Knights more expressively compared to the cold, fascist Magistrate, who get the most sterile dialogue from Jenkins. “Arkham Knights” wasn’t great, but I didn’t hate it, and it’s a slightly above average look at the other elements of the anti-police state resistance in Gotham Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

King in Black: Marauders #1 (Marvel)– What starts as a rescue mission/event tie-in transforms into commentary on the refugee crisis, but with mutants, alien dragons, and symbiotes. Gerry Duggan and Luke Ross, for the first time in a long time, assemble the full Marauders team and have them going to New York to rescue the “Knullified” Storm and Cyclops. However, they end up saving a boat of humans instead that Bishop (Thanks to his instinct and knowledge of Morse code.) finds out is a front for human trafficking. The comic starts out as an all out action spectacular with Pyro blazing and cursing at symbiotes, Bishop shooting them, and Lockheed doing his thing “like a chihuahua in a dog park”. However, it ends up exploring several moral dilemmas with arguments over the treatment of the traffickers, what to do with the refugees, and finally, Bishop having a special mission from X-Force. Duggan and Ross show the Marauders doing the right thing and having the refugees (Who wanted to go to Canada, not in the United States, in a barb at the United States’ immigration policy) settle on Island M. However, the conclusion of the comic shows that they are treated like second class citizens there and not allowed to go to certain areas. Luke Ross nails the disdain in Magneto’s face as he reluctantly allows homo sapiens to settle on his “sanctuary”, and Duggan writes him with a touch of pragmatism as he sees this moment as a great propaganda victory for Krakoa. King in Black: Marauders #1 has fun mutant on symbiote action and also shows the ideological differences between the various Krakoans. Having Bishop narrate the issue is a nice touch as he is more of a soldier compared to Kate Pryde and Iceman’s superhero roles. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Future State: Wonder Woman #2 (DC)– Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire conclude the story of a hero’s journey, and sadly, failure in Future State: Wonder Woman #2. Yara Flor successfully makes it to the Underworld to rescue one of her Amazon compatriots, but let’s just say it doesn’t work out. Along the way, Jones threads in narration about the roots and nature of hero stories that perfectly complement her action-packed and emotion-filled artwork. She slices and dices the page when Yara fends off spiders, distracts Cerberus, or stares down Hades himself and goes for the close-up when Yara comes to terms with her loss. Bellaire’s palette is full of both brilliant and dark hues making Hades a total absence of light while Persephone is quite radiant. I love how she embellishes the Amazon armor and accessories too. All in all, Future State: Wonder Woman is a both Greek and Brazilian mythology tinged introduction to the charismatic, headstrong, and potential-filled hero, Yara Flor, and I look forward to seeing more of both Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire’s take on her in the Wonder Girl ongoing series. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

Man-Bat #1 (DC)– Damn, Dave Wielgosz, Sumit Kumar, and Romulo Fajardo with the aid of jagged letters from Tom Napolitano make Kirk Langstrom one compelling character in Man-Bat #1. Wielgosz goes beyond making him a chemically powered, flying werewolf and goes into Langstrom’s psychology, addiction, and strained relationship with his wife. There’s very much an unreliable narrator feel to it all with Kumar drawing Man-Bat with swooping, Gothic hero poses while Batman is a little more mundane. His best work comes in the close-ups of a transformed Langstrom when Batman tells him that there is too much of the serum in the blood, and he’s going to kill him. As a scientist, Langstrom understands Batman is telling the truth, but Man-Bat won’t let him spend the rest of his days in Blackgate Prison. So, more destruction and chaos ensues. Man-Bat #1 is both a compelling character drama and action set-pieces gone wrong as its titular character is the worst vigilante character with Wielgosz writing Batman is a steady, even tone as he relates the casualties of Man-Bat’s foolishness. Kirk Langstrom comes across as a premium cable villain protagonist a la Walter White with wings, especially in his interactions with his wife, and you want him to find redemption even thought that’ll probably never happen. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy

Luna #1 (BOOM!)– With sex, weird blood pacts, flowing skirts, and trippy visuals, Marie Llovet has captured the essence of hippie cult in Luna #1. She paces her comic naturally beginning with a tarot-influenced, double page splash that turns into a journey around the cult’s area going from desert to sing along to cave and weird sex ritual. Even though this issue is more of an experience and light on backstory, Llovet’s character designs provide hints into their personalities from our existential crisis suffering protagonist to the Jared Leto-meets-Charles Manson cult leader. Marie Llovet’s use of archetypal imagery is a teaser for the storyline to come, and her color palette and sound effects are nice icing on top of the story cake. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #2 (Ahoy)– Dragonfly (Think Ben Affleck’s Batman) and Dragonflyman (A dead ringer for Adam West) finally meet on Earth Zeta with the minions of their arch enemy, Number One looking to take them out. What follows is a roast-fest of a script from Tom Peyer as well as study in grittiness meets campiness from artists Jamal Igle and Juan Castro. Igle has a ball drawing the different random gadgets on the Dragonwagon, and the real comedy comes from the body language that Dragonfly has when he reacts to the repair button, the anti-acid button, and the one that makes the flipped over car right side up while his tank of a vehicle melts away. The overarching plot doesn’t progress that much with Peyer and Igle savoring the moment of these superhero’s first meeting with plenty of bickering and commentary on each other’s methods. Aka long speeches don’t play well these days, but also lethal force isn’t the answer. I look forward to seeing more arguments and escapades from this not so dynamic duo going forward, especially with the way Jamal Igle lays out and attacks the page. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2 (DC Comics) – Overall, this entry in Future State has been… ok. All three stories come together to flesh out an interesting world and ties together but the overall story with Jonathan Superman taking on a Brainiac knock-off feels like filler issues between more important arcs. This issue has a bit more of a focus on Jonathan as Superman, which is interesting, and legacy. But, overall, it’s an interesting but forgettable read. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Future State: The Flash #2 (DC Comics) – I’m not quite sure who thought it was a good idea to put Wally West in the position he’s in with this comic but.. it feels oddly timed. The story itself gets dark and depressing and while there’s some interesting concepts here the overall story doesn’t click. It feels like a miniseries for a bigger event. Overall Rating: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Far Sector #10 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The big picture is finally coming together and this is a comic that has me wanting to go back and re-read all of the previous issues. While the “villain” isn’t surprising where the comic goes is. This has been a series that’s been so relevant and on the nose of today’s zeitgeist it’s frightening and this issue is another example. Overall Rating: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: The High Republic #2 (Marvel) – With the second issue, the series is getting a bit better for me. The Star Trek vibe is diminished and it feels a bit more like a more traditional Star Wars story. The new characters are intriguing and I’m digging where things are going. While it doesn’t blow me away, it’s an entertaining read and direction for the franchise. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read


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 and Recommendations For The Week Ending 1/30/2021

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.


Logan

Excalibur #17 (Marvel)– We get to see Otherworld go wonky, get a glimpse of the reign of Queen Elizabeth (Braddock) III of England, and even more fun, Pete Wisdom returns in Excalibur #17 by Tini Howard, Marcus To, and Erick Arciniega. Arciniega’s color palette is a special treat in this issue as he differentiates between alternate universe England that has a mutant queen and PM and the main universe’s England where the Clan of Akkaba wants to discriminate against mutants and especially not have one taking up the mantle of Captain Britain. The main plot concerns Betsy’s return to the main universe, and while the destination is predictable, the journey is quite fun. We get some great conversations between her and Angel and especially her and Kwannon about changing bodies, their relationship, and the role she’s played both as a mutant and prominent British figure over the year. Unfortunately, this skill doesn’t extend to action sequences which are muddy and not well-blocked with To and Arciniega covering everything in explosions and energy, even in a one on one bout between Kwannon and Betsy. However, the humor that characters like Pete Wisdom and Gambit bring to the issue as well as getting a glimpse of what happened to Betsy Braddock after she was shattered into pieces in “X of Swords” make this book worth reading even if it’s not the cream of the X-Book crop. Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

Future State: Dark Detective #2 (DC)– Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora, and Jordie Bellaire’s main “Dark Detective” story shows how Bruce Wayne “died” and his current living situation as he fights a one man war on crime from the basement of a conspiracy theorist. Mora and Bellaire depict a stripped down, anti-corporate Batman, who still is cool, featuring lightning detective work, rooftop chases, and a neon palette that captures the futuristic tone of the story. However, the best moment of the story comes when Bruce Wayne is about to embrace his death at the hands of Peacemaker-01 before getting lucky at just the right minute. Mora cuts up the page to show that he’s lost a step, and that his mind is still sharp while his body is a little behind and can’t keep up with all the surveillance tech. Bruce (Or Roommate Jeff in this issue’s funniest gag) really needs a Terry McGinnis, but for now, he’ll settle for anti-tap water, yet pro-TV activist Noah and his daughter.With cool Akira-style motorcycles, a minimalist visual approach from artist Giannis Milonogiannis, and a despondent Jason Todd, “Red Hood” is a breezy, semi-depressing look at those employed by the Magistrate to hunt vigilantes. Joshua Williamson and Milonogiannis capture the pure sadness of Todd hunting down a vigilante who looks like the original “Red Hood” in a soup kitchen until with the help of Ravager, he discovers there’s more to this than meets the eye. Until he begins his unfortunately forced flirty repartee with Ravager, Todd stays pretty quiet, and Milonogiannis’ big, clean shapes and Jordie Bellaire’s flat colors tell the story. There’s definitely a real Copra, but corporate vibe to everything, and Williamson hits the cliffhanger just as Jason Todd starts to get in touch with his ol’ anti-hero roots. I definitely look forward to seeing more of Giannis Milonogiannis’ artwork and motorcycles whether or not that features Jason Todd. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

New Mutants #15 (Marvel)– Writer Vita Ayala really flexes their skill at balancing a large, ensemble cast of original New Mutants plus the young mutants they’re training along with a few fun guest stars like Daken. Add colorful and impressionistic art from Rod Reis, and a baddie (Shadow King) hiding in plain sight, and the creative team has really found a rhythm in New Mutants #15. Ayala writes both conversations and training/battle senses with purpose and honesty while Reis uses evocative visuals to drive their point home or add context to a continuity-driven scene like Wolfsbane being sad her son can’t be resurrected just yet. Her emotions are conflicts as she wants to party with the rest of the mutants at Bei and Doug Ramsey’s wedding reception, but she also wants to do everything in power to make sure her son experiences Krakoa. With the exception of the always amazing, yet a little awkward Gabby Kinney, I feel like I don’t know the younger mutants as well. However, Ayala writes a really powerful scene where Cosmar, who has nightmare abilities and is physically transformed by her powers, berates Dani for not understanding her when she wants to fight in the Crucible and be “changed back”. It’s a reminder that mutants see their abilities as curses, not gifts, and this is what makes these young characters vulnerable to Shadow King. If you like a big cast of characters, memorable conversations, and distinct visuals, Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants is worth taking a look at. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

Wolverine #9 (Marvel)– Wolverine #9 has a lot of heart and some strong, refined storytelling from Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert as Logan goes to an underground auction in Madripoor where his old Team X ally, Maverick, is up for sale. (Also, Wolverine’s severed hand and the tombstone from Kraven’s Last Hunt; there are Easter Eggs galore.) Even if you haven’t read those 90s comics, Percy and Kubert show their connection in wind-swept flashbacks as Logan and Maverick tried to keep their connection to humanity while Sabretooth indulged his bloodlust. Kubert slices and dices the page to show the gaps in Logan’s memory when he was only a killer, which makes The Merchant’s (Madripoor auction guru and source of dark comic relief) brain washing of Maverick hurt that much worse. Wolverine #9 has connections to an older era of comics, but Percy’s poetic writing, Kubert’s strong art, and an added layer of psychological depth make me feel for Maverick, a character I know from one issue of X-Force and an even more. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Department of Truth #5 (Image)– James Tynion and Martin Simmonds’ “all the conspiracy theories are true” (Or are they) thriller continues to be a bit of a mind-bender in Department of Truth #5. Our protagonist, Cole, takes a break from reptilian hallucinations, videos of mass slaughters, and star-shaped men to rest at his apartment while his husband goes out to drink with colleagues. (Cole has killed some of these other colleagues.) He runs into Black Hat, who is supposedly the series’ antagonist and weaves a story about how he’s not actually the bad guy, and it’s rooted in how the Department of Truth really isn’t keeping conspiracy theories just theories, but creating a favorable narrative about the United States. One thing that I love about this series (Except when you get to the QAnon stuff, which gets harshly rebuked for good reason.) is that after each issue, I come out in a haze and don’t know who to believe. Also, I enjoy how Tynion and Simmonds root the conspiracy in paranoia, imperialism, and control not racism or anti-semitism. Speaking of Simmonds, his Ralph Steadman/Bill Sienkiewicz style art continues to be a treat with its shifting backgrounds, caricatures of American exceptionalism, and at times, pure horror as he crafts imagery that connects to the next mystery/rabbit hole. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Future State: Aquaman #1 (DC Comics) – An intriguing comic that’s a lot of setup. There’s a new Aquaman who’s role is to not just defend the oceans but also teach Aqualass as well. Things go sideways when they’re pulled into the Confluence resulting in a world hopping adventure. There’s something that’d be great to this but there’s not enough time spent in each world, so it’s a lot of short hits and not enough depth. By the end, things really get going but the lead up feels a bit choppy for the most part. But, with the interesting concept and art, it’s enjoyable and I want to see what comes next. The comic would do better as a series to give it time to grow instead of a compact miniseries. But, it’s good in concept and has so much potential. Overall Rating: 7.95 Recomendation: Read

Future State: Batman/Superman #1 (DC Comics) – One of the best things to come out of DC’s Future State is the Magistrate and the new Gotham. It’s a great new take on Batman and when this is all over, to get more in this world would be great. This series brings Superman into the fold of that world in an intriguing story involving a drug that masks one’s look, perfect to protest against the Magistrate. From there, things get really interesting. It’d be great to get a better idea as to when this happens compared to other series but overall, it’s a great piece of the puzzle. The art too is solid with fantastic colors that both embrace the neon/dark look of Gotham but things still pop. Future State has had amazing worldbuilding and this is a great example. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Dark Detective #2 (DC Comics) – Bruce and Batman are dead… or at least that’s what everyone thinks. So, how is Bruce and Batman alive? This issue dives into how that happened in another fantastic issue of the series. Beyond the intriguing story and great details, the art pops delivering a neo-Gotham that looks like something out of anime. We also get another story featuring Red Hood who has taken up the job of bounty hunter bringing in masks which our outlawed in Gotham. Yes, it’s a betrayal to his friends but it adds another interesting layer to this new take on Gotham. Top notch stuff I want to see more of when Future State wraps up. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (DC Comics) – I’ve tried to get into Legion of Super-Heroes multiple times and it’s a comic that’s never clicked for me. The same thing is here with character I could care less about and a situation that has little interest to me since I don’t know the source material. Riley Rossmo continues to rock his unique art style which is fun to see in this futuristic setting. But basically, if you’re into the comic before, you might dig this. If not, this isn’t one that’ll suck you in. Overall Rating: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Future State: Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics) – That’s a hell of a debut. With two stories, the comic is full of twists and will leave you wanting more for each. The first follows the Justice Squad, a new team made up of some questionable members as they attempt to bring peace to their world. Sound familiar? Yeah, I’m not going to ruin it but the ending is fantastic. The second story follows Black Adam as evil returns to create destruction. There’s a lot here that’s unexpected as well. Again, not going to spoil it. Just two top-notch stories with solid art. Each features things I didn’t see coming. I want more! Overall Rating: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1 (DC Comics) – What if Trump ruled a planet and his bullshit started to sputter? That’s what you get in this series which takes some solid digs at his schtick and the complete chaos it’s caused. There’s a lot to chew on here and it’ll be fun to see where it all goes from this debut. Overall Rating: 8.0 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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