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.
Judge Dredd #2 (IDW) This is one of the more interesting Judge Dredd stories I’ve read in a long time; by taking the urban judge, jury, and executioner out of his most well known setting, we get to see a fish out of water as Dredd tries to enforce the law in a lawless land. Although far from a comedy book, there are some laugh out loud one liners here – frequently at Dredd’s expense. And before you ask, you don’t need to be a fan of Mega City One’s most famous citizen to enjoy this comic. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Victorie City #1 (IDW) This comic has a brilliant raw aesthetic to that you can’t help but love, and that compliments the gritty dectective fiction so very well.. So far, this issue is what DC’s Gotham tv series wishes it was. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers #3 (IDW Publishing) – Not the strongest Transformers series. I think this one is for folks who have read the previous Wreckers stories, which I haven’t. Still, some interesting stuff here that expands the Transformers IDW Universe. Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass
Superman #48 (DC Comics) – We’re getting closer to a return of the Superman we know, but I’m still not sure where they’ll go with his Clark persona. There’s a stealth epic story here, it’s just no one seems to know about it. It’s all interesting and a different take, but still not completely enjoying it. Overall: 6.9 Recommendation: Pass
Cry Havoc #1 (Image Comics) – A fantastic debut that’s a hell of a read and sets up a very interesting world. Looking forward to seeing where this all goes. Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy
East of West #24 (Image Comics) – An interesting issue that seems to be really moving us towards some confrontation. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
The Fuse #17 (Image Comics) – If you’re a fan of police procedurals, this is one to check out, especially if you enjoy a sci-fi twist. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read
Monstress #3 (Image Comics) – Just when I don’t think this series and world can get more interesting, it somehow does. This is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy
Revival #36 (Image Comics) – Still no idea where this series is going, but there’s a hell of a conspiracy building. Still a favorite of mine and look forward to seeing where each new issue takes us. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Ringside #3 (Image Comics) – This series has been nothing of what I expected at all. It’s been solid so far, more like a less gritty revenge tale. There’s not a ton of wrestling like I expected, but holy crap is it good. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Southern Bastards #13 (Image Comics) – This issue shows why this series is one of the best out there. This is Boss’ series completely and has been an amazing build since the beginning. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy
Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel) – Holy crap was this a good first issue. It captures the feel of the Western genre the original story evoked mixed with a great revenge story. So fantastic. Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Faith #1 (Valiant) – An absolutely fantastic debut for a series that’s tons of fun and a character who looks like an actual person. So much fun and I’m really hoping this becomes an ongoing. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Superman #48 (DC Comics)* – So we can tell we are getting to the end of the line with the great Clark Kent experiment as he continues on his quest to regain his powers. So far it’s taken him to friends, foes, amazons and now the last thing you thought you’d ever see is kryptonite. While this story arc has done wonders for revamping Vandal Savage, the rest has fallen severely flat. Of course I’m more than excited for Superman to be back in full force, but I’m weary of the writing. You want a great Superman title? Read Lois and Clark monthly. The countdown to issue 50 is on. Will the launch be successful? Time will tell. The cliffhanger here was interesting though. Multiple artists on this issue dragged it down a bit for me visually however. The sooner we get Superman back. The better. Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: Read
All-New All-Different Avengers #4 (Marvel)* – The new team of Avengers assemble to take down a mercenary named Cyclone who can create, yup, cyclones, who was hired to destroy casinos on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Ohhh where to begin with this. Well it definitely is all different, but not in a good way. The book opens with Jarvis sighing and showing how little he is looking forward to be joining the newest team of Avengers…which is totally out of character for Jarvis! Turning his nose up at the facility, the accomodations, the technology…which is NOTHING like the Jarvis we’ve seen over the many years. I’d be checking this Jarvis to see if he was a Skrull. And on the flip side, we have Thor flying off on her own, not listening to anything the others have to say, so sure she can handle the problem on her own..which she can’t..and drops a few hints to the others which gets them questioning that maybe an asgardian is not under that helmet. This is a completely different Thor then what we see in the pages of The Mighty Thor, and I am not a fan. And then we have the junior members who, like the first 3 issues of this book, do nothing but bicker and fight and squabble. Ok we get it, they’re teenagers…can we maybe break the mold and show them do something else? For the MAIN Avengers title, I am not terribly impressed, but compared to Uncanny and New Avengers, it is the better title out of the 3…but not by much. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read (if you have some time to kill)
The Twilight Children #4 (Vertigo)** – Something of an underwhelming finale to Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke’s otherwise-exceptional series, nothing is explained here so much as it’s simply concluded. Certainly plenty of food for thought here and Cooke turns in arguable the best single issue of his entire career (which is saying something!), but I honestly don’t know how much of what’s left hanging is as a result of Hernandez deliberately channeling his inner David Lynch, or if he just couldn’t think of any explanations for the phenomena he was presenting and gave up trying. An intriguing way to wrap things up, for sure — but perhaps for the wrong reasons. I have a feeling this series will have a small but loyal cult attach itself to it in the years to come, while everybody else will just sort of scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss is about. Story: 6 Art: 10 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy
Southern Bastards #13 (Image Comics)** – It feels like we’re getting away from the stand-alone “character vignettes” and back into traditional plot progression territory as the Jasons (Aaron and Latour) prepare to put the wraps on their “Homecoming” story arc. Coach Boss may be well and truly fucked at this point — but do we still hate him enough to kick back and watch his demise with glee, or are we hoping he’ll fight his way out like a cornered dog, as he’s done in the past? I admit I don’t rightly know myself — and that’s one of the very best things about this series. Story:9 Art: 7 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Insufferable Volume 1 (IDW Publishing) – what happens to your favorite heroes when they retire? Some would make you believe some scenario like “Kingdom Come”, I believe it would be something like this. Mark Waid has done a different spin on the Batman and Robin myth is much like Image’s “Sex”, but even more tongue in cheek. This goes the way of If Robin had a huge ego after they retire and he has to team up with Batman for one last case. An enjoyable book from start to finish. Art: 8 Story: 9.5 Overall: 9.6
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 (**).