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Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 09/25/2021

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

Cherry Blackbird #2 (Scout)– Cherry Blackbird #2 opens up with the titular character cutting a guy’s dick off and then feeding it to him, and Joseph Schmalke never lets up with the buckets of blood, gore, and exploitation tropes. After selling her soul to the devil for fame as a rock star, Cherry Blackbird is racing the clock to find some kind of redemption with a motley crew of former bandmates plus a talking goat and his chauffeur. Schmalke puts her insane situation after situation with the climax being her infiltrating a KKK rally to take out a Nazi wizard named Hessian. He then serves up a torture scene that puts Reservoir Dogs lingering on the tools that Cherry and her buddy use before exploding with a crimson color palette. Cherry Blackbird #2 might not be to everyone’s liking, but I’m 100% here for a queer rock star beating the shit out of some white supremacists in creative ways. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Impossible Jones #1 (Scout)– With dynamic cartooning and a sense of humor, Karl Kesel, David Hahn, and Tony Avina created a lived-in superhero world in Impossible Jones #1. The cold open is particularly fun with a lot of Christmas puns, and the titular hero showing that she’s not as squeaky clean as her opponents think she is. The lion’s share of the first issue goes into Impossible Jones’ origin that’s a little Silver Age and a little “breaking good”, I guess. Kesel and Hahn give glimpses of heroes and villains in a rapid-fire fashion setting up long-running relationships and rivalries that could pay off down the road. It’s information overload at times, but is compensated by the sheer delight in Impossible Jones #1’s visuals that bring action, comedy, and heart to the forefront: all things that make a great superhero comic. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

Aquaman: The Becoming #1 (DC)– The energy and enthusiasm that Brandon Thomas, Diego Olortegui, Wade von Grawbadger, and Adriano Lucas bring to Aquaman: The Becoming #1 matches the spirit of its young lead. This book is a smiles, brutal attack moves, and flurries of panels. Until it’s not. Thomas, Olortegui, and von Grawbadger do an excellent job showing how many worlds and spaces Jackson Hyde exists in from Atlantis to Amnesty Bay and the Titans and especially as an out queer man. He has a flirty thing with a waiter at a local diner, but for the most part, Jackson is jumping from action sequence to action sequence whether that’s real or simulated. As an introduction to the character of Jackson Hyde, Aquaman: The Becoming #1 does its job and a little extra as Brandon Thomas upends the breezy status quo of the book in the last few pages. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Nightwing #84 (DC)– Dick Grayson leaves his great work of systemic justice in Bludhaven for crossover-land aka Gotham. Tom Taylor’s script self-awarely comments on this change while skewering the Magistrate’s surveillance state in Gotham. On the visual side, Robbi Rodriguez and Adriano Lucas keep the story looking good and gives it a high energy street art style even though I still think Rico Renzi colors his work the best. There’s a real sense of danger and Dick being out of his element as he’s surrounded in Crime Alley as Rodriguez uses cramped layouts. However, a couple guest appearances reinforce the importance of friends and family to him and how interconnected he is with the DC Universe. This issue is definitely a step down from the previous arc, but it’s a good looking with some epic moments including a final page that made me fangirl super hard. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Suicide Squad: King Shark #1 (DC)– Tim Seeley welds some threads from his run on Nightwing (Especially the wonderful villain/anti-hero Shawn Tsang aka Defacer) with some Suicide Squad, King Shark backstory, and weird/awesome Animal Man and Swamp Thing stuff to create a wonderfully entertaining comic with Scott Kolins and John Kalisz in Suicide Squad: King Shark #1. The entire story is centered around the unique bond between King Shark and Defacer as he eats Z-List villain Hot Take, who was bothering her, and this connection is used as insurance by Amanda Waller to ensure he doesn’t stay in his father’s kingdom. Seeley and Kolins really go on a ride through all corners of the DC Universe with a sense of humor fully intact. Kolins’ straight-up superhero art almost has deadpan effect as what would be a simple fight scene erupts into total carnage any time King Shark and his species appears. Suicide Squad: King Shark #1 goes beyond being, I guess, a human out of land story and gets quite cosmic at the end while still caring deeply about the humanity of all its characters. (Except for that one tech bro.) Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 (Marvel)– Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia wrap up their run on Way of X and kick off a new beginning in the one-shot X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation. They build up Onslaught as both a huge physical threat and a splinter in the mind of the Krakoans feeding on their hate and a glitch in the resurrection protocols. Spurrier and Quinn don’t show the monster too much and instead focus on the strengths and flaws of their main cast, namely, Legion, Nightcrawler, Lost, and Fabian Cortez. As Tartaglia’s dark and occasionally psychedelic colors wash over the page, Nightcrawler grapples with how to unite the mutants of Krakoa while dealing the threat of Onslaught. Si Spurrier also does some sharp character work with Fabian Cortez not giving him a cop-out redemption arc, but psychologically examines why he behaves the way he does. X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation has all this plus a rave and uses the underrated character of Dust in a truly epic way. Like its protagonist, Spurrier and Bob Quinn aren’t afraid to get a little messy and beautiful and throw out some big ideas, and I look forward to the upcoming Legionaires book and their contributions to the X-Line. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: 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 (**).

Review: Impossible Jones #1

Impossible Jones #1

Karl Kesel and David Hahn seem to be quite fond of 90’s cartoons. Their new comic, Impossible Jones, is often just a panel away from full motion and you can just see its world and characters being broadcast on TV screens, alongside the likes of Batman: The Animated Series and The Tick.

Impossible Jones isn’t just a love letter to those cartoons, though. It’s a comic with an edge that uses nostalgia as a springboard to come up with an inventive story about an accidental superhero that’s hiding a lot of bad under her secret identity.

Impossible Jones #1 kicks off the story of the titular character, a thief that acquires impossible powers—mainly elasticity, but also shadow manipulation and perhaps other skills yet to be revealed—and passes off as a superhero as she looks for her crew, the ones responsible for leaving her behind during the heist that led to her current predicament.

Kesel’s script does a great job of populating Impossible Jones’ universe with a well-rounded cast of characters that already feel storied, familiar enough to help the story move at a brisk pace without having to stop and dump copious amounts of exposition on readers. There’s a fair amount of fun poked at superhero conventions here as well, especially when it comes to character names (which include Holly Daze, Even Steven, and Polecat, all winners in my book).

Impossible Jones #1

The dialogue is kept snappy and agile, helping the story get to where it needs to without getting tangled up with specifics. It’s an economical approach not unlike that employed in individual cartoon episodes, in which the story bustles with activity but not at the expense of worldbuilding. It all unravels smoothly as the narrative progresses, providing just enough character development and plot to feel like a good chunk of story was provided. Fans of Kesel’s previous work, namely Section Zero, will find a lot to like here.

Hahn’s art is completely in sync with the grandiose aspect of the story and its pacing. His previous work on Batman ’66 makes this type of story play to his strengths and not a panel is wasted getting the most out of character interactions and action sequences. Tony Aviña’s colors make everything pop with a larger-than-life feel that captures the more fantastical elements of the story.

Hahn’s character designs also help with the fast and furious storytelling approach Impossible Jones brandishes. Each one wears a part of their story on their proverbial sleeves, another element that’s very present in cartoons given the short runtime the usually have per episode.

Something that surprised me from Impossible Jones’ origins, so to speak, was how much it reminded me of Dr. Manhattan’s in Watchmen. It’s a clever play on the character’s lab accident sequence that, whether intentional or not, made for a particularly memorable part of this first issue. It was good fun associating something as fast and furious as Impossible Jones with something as serious as the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons book.

Impossible Jones #1

Impossible Jones #1 is a blast, in every sense of the word. It will satisfy readers searching for not-too distant nostalgia in their comics and readers looking for a creative alternative to the usual superhero offering on the shelves these days. To sum it all up, it’s a crowd pleaser.

Story: Karl Kesel Art: David Hahn Colors: Tony Aviña
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0

Recommendation: Buy and then go dust off those 90’s cartoons you recorded on VHS.

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a review copy


Purchase: comiXologyTFAW

New Marvel, AfterShock, Image, and More are Available Now on comiXology

Death of Doctor Strange #1

It’s new comic book day and comiXology has your digital comic needs covered. You can start shopping now or check out all of the new releases by the publisher below.

A Wave Blue World

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

Abstract Studio

AfterShock

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

BOOM! Studios

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse

Drawn & Quarterly

Dynamite Entertainment

Harlequin

IDW Publishing

Image Comics

Marvel

Oni Press

Papercutz

Red 5 Comics

Scout Comics

Tidalwave Productions

Valiant

Vault Comics

Yen Press


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.

A DEA agent is recruited to test a mind control drug on unwitting Americans. The North Bend Title Box Is Now Available!

Scout Comics has revealed the North Bend Title Box. It’s available for order now from their website.

In the not too distant future, the U.S. is at war — against Russia, and its own people. The country is on the verge of economic collapse and political revolution. Desperate to regain control, the CIA recruits Seattle DEA Agent Brendan Kruge to test an experimental mind control drug on unwitting Americans. Compelled by his sense of duty to his country, Brendan struggles to keep his life from falling apart as he tries to reconcile his personal beliefs with the security of the nation.

North Bend is from writer Ryan Ellsworth and art by Rob Carey. The North Bend Title Box features North Bend #1- #5 and the Comic Tag containing the entire digital graphic novel. LIMITED TO 150 BOXES! There’s a mystery element to each box. You have a chance to get rare and out print variants!

Review: Mullet Cop

In the future, society revolves around malls which are plagued by gangs. This is the story of one man who will stand against them.

Story: Tom Lintern
Art: Tom Lintern

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Zeus Comics
TFAW


This post 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 this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Today’s New Digital Releases Includes DC, VIZ, Kodansha, and More

Snow Angels Season Two

Today is one of two new comic book days and comiXology has your digital comic needs covered. See what you can get by the publisher below or start shopping now!

AAM-Markosia

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Europe Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

Harpercollins

Kodansha

Scholastic Graphix

Scout Comics

Seven Seas

Vertical

VIZ Media

Yen Press


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.

Review: By The Horns #5

By the Horns #5

Once again, the too long; didn’t read of this review is go and buy By The Horns #5 because it’s another home run.

I am an unabashed fan of this creative team. The previous (and only) story they worked on together, the three Voracious miniseries, remains one of my favourite works in comics to this day, and with By The Horns shaping up to be every bit as good – maybe even better – than their debut with the team, to borrow a cliché, firing on all cylinders.

I could easily repeat a lot of what I said about the previous issue for By The Horns #5, minus the story specific details, obviously, because there’s not a lot for me to talk about beyond how much I enjoyed the book. I’ve read it multiple times at this point, and I am yet to tire of it. Muhr and Tabacaru are putting out some of the very best work I’ve seen with, infusing the pages with a vivid lusciousness that sets the comic apart from the heavy, darker colours you see used so often these days. The comic looks like how a breath of fresh air feels like after exiting a stifling room (or a nightclub/pub when you could still smoke inside). The art isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, mind, but the pages are still vibrant.

Once again, Naso delivers on the story; allowing some of the personal rifts within the book’s characters to rear their heads finally reveals the tension that the audience has seen brewing. But it’s how he caps the book off that’s really cool – yes, there’s a cliff hanger, but the implications of what was said are going to be felt for awhile yet (and make this the hardest wait for the next book yet.

Overall, By The Horns #5 is once again evidence as to why Naso, Muhr and Tabacaru are a team to keep on your radar. Scout have an excellent series here, and I hope that we get to see a lot more of Elodie and Sajen in the future (note that this isn’t the end of the series, just my personal wish that the ongoing continues for a long time).

Story: Markisan Naso Art/Lettering: Jason Muhr Colors: Andrei Tabacaru
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Scout ComicsTFAW

Marvel, AfterShock, Image, and More are New on comiXology

Kang the Conqueror #2

Today is one of two new comic book days and comiXology has your digital comic releases covered. Check out all of the new releases you can get below by the publisher and start shopping now!

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

AfterShock

Antarctic Press

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

Behemoth

Black Mask Studios

BOOM! Studios

Comicraft

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse Comics

DC Thomson

Dynamite Entertainment

IDW Publishing

Image Comics

Marvel

Oni Press

Scout Comics

Tidalwave Productions

Titan Comics

Valiant

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.

90’s Surf Clothing Company Third Wave 99 Returns This November With New Comic Series & Clothing Line

Scout Comics has announced that the popular 90’s Florida surf clothing company Third Wave 99 has returned. This coming November, Scout is releasing a mini-series exploring the dark history and controversy surrounding the surfing line. Scout’s President, James Haick III, will be writing the series. Four new clothing designs are NOW AVAILABLE to celebrate the return of this once iconic surf brand!

Third Wave 99 wasn’t your ordinary surf shop/clothing company. It initially started off as a support group that helped troubled individuals, young and old, deal with addiction. The group used surfing as a replacement for negative and self-destructive habits, helping reform many lives in a positive manner. The brand developed a cult like following throughout the state of Florida in the late 90’s. Eventually the line was sold off when one of the owners went missing.

Original Third Wave 99 logo designer, Luis XIII, has agreed to handle the art and coloring chores for the upcoming series.

Review: Redshift #1

Humanity is struggling and must find a new home to survive. This is the story of the person sent to save them.

Story: H.S. Tak
Art: Brent McKee
Color: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Scout Comics
Zeus Comics


This post 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 this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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