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 reviews of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full one for.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.
Zawa + the Belly of the Beast #1 (BOOM! Studios) – In Zawa #1, writer/artist Michael Dialynas puts a colorful and unique spin on the dystopian genre. He crafts a world centered around processed food and a feast honoring a corrupt mayor that screams factory town, but has a little bit of a Nintendo aesthetic. For example, the mayor looks like a Kirby baddie. The protagonists of Zawa run a bakery and try to scrounge together fresh food and remember a time when food was art and not just convenience. It all leads to some good trouble involving the aforementioned beast of the comic who is this series’ wild card. Dialynas handles coloring and lettering duties using colored font any time a character mentions a “rare” ingredient as well as bursts of brightness any time they have a breakthrough. The whole thing ends up being a visually charming version of a well-trodden genre. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy
Petrol Head #1 (Image Comics) – Petrol Head is the other new dystopia series that was launched this week, but it’s very different from Zawa. Rob Williams and Pye Parr channel classic 2000 AD comics with a day-glo sheen in this tale of domed cities, retired, gas (Or petrol for the Brits) powered racing robots, and sassy robot birds. I really enjoyed the flashback scene of Petrol Head in his prime, and the excitement of the racing scenes pair nicely with Williams’ satirical script of how the world is basically rigged. Parr’s designs for the different robots have both form and function, and it’s a sheer thrill ride to see Petrol head run over the robot cops from the O-Zone. (Yes, there are lots of great puns in this comic too.) Petrol Head #1 sets the table for this brave new world with action, hijinks, and a pitch black sense of humor instead of gloms of exposition, and I’m interested to see how this rag tag bang takes down the authoritarian corporations that run their world. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy
G.O.D.S. #2 (Marvel) – Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti continue to cut off G.O.D.S. from the main Marvel Universe (Bye bye cameos) while having the bent of the series completely transcend and undergird it. And the final result is fantasy in a very sci-fi way as Aiko takes her soon-to-be sorcerer’s apprentice Mia to the Library of Worlds and offers this struggling, underprivileged college student a way to achieve. Even though G.O.D.S. is full of high concepts and powerful beings, Schiti’s skill with facial expression grounds the story and really let me connect with Mia. Of course, when you’re failing at life, the crazy white haired magic lady and library with supernatural beings might actually be appealing. Some other highlights of G.O.D.S. #2 are the flatness of the dialogue that Jonathan Hickman writes for Mia’s friends and the boringness of her life compared with the world of the Centivars. What sets apart G.O.D.S. from other Chosen One narratives other than the class consciousness is that Mia isn’t set up as some kind of messiah figure, but just gets to live an interesting life as the series progresses. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy