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Review: Solo Leveling Vol. 4

Jinwoo Sung is an E-rank hunter, the weakest hunter of them all. At least everyone thinks. After a disaster of a raid, he’s back from the dead upgraded.

Solo Leveling Vol. 4 has Sung leveling up as new threats emerge and a lot is teased that’ll leave you counting down until the next volume.

Original Story: Chugong
Translation: Hye Young Im
Rewrite: J. Torres
Letterer: Abigail Blackman

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.

Amazon
comiXology/Kindle
Bookshop


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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Solo Leveling Vol. 4

Wednesdays (and 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.

Archie Meets Riverdale (Archie Comics) – When Archie “meets” folks, it’s usually an entertaining read. So seeing how this one plays out should be real fun!

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 (Dark Horse) – With a trailer for the sequel film dropping this week, the timing is damn near perfect for a new comic series. That solid release is worth a mention here alone.

Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 (DC Comics/Milestone) – The next wave of Milestone begins here as the classic series returns!

Bunny Mask: Hollow Inside #1 (AfterShock) – The first volume was great and the Free Comic Book Day issue solid. We’re pumped for this next volume and to find out more about this horror series.

Captain America: Symbol of Truth #1 (Marvel) – Sam Wilson is taking on the mantle of Captain America again in his own series. With two different Cap books coming out, it’ll be interesting to see how the two differ.

Eight Billion Genies #1 (Image Comics) – A new series from Charles Soule and Ryan Browne would be enough to get on this list. The concept of everyone on earth getting a genie and wish at the same moment is too interesting to not check out.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – Saturday Morning Adventures #3 (IDW Publishing) – The series has nailed the tone and look of the classic animated series. Absolutely fantastic in every way.

Grim #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Jessica Harrow is dead. But her journey has only just begun! This is a hot comic having already sold out at the distributor and getting a second printing.

Hulk vs. Thor: Banner War Alpha #1 (Marvel) – Celebrating 60 years for both characters!

Nottingham #7 (Mad Cave Studios) – The series has been great as a whole and if caught the Free Comic Book Release, you know that’s the truth. The issue is solidly timed to build off the FCBD release which was one of the best this year.

Past the Lat Mountain #2 (CEX Publishing) – After a war, fantasy creatures were rounded up and put on a reservation. Some have escaped hoping to find freedom while the government wants to stop them.

Science Comics: Birds of Prey (First Second) – We’re big fans of this educational graphic novel series that’s also entertaining. Great for kids and adults.

Solo Leveling Vol. 4 (Yen Press) – The series is awesome taking place in a world where dungeon hunting is an actual job.

Transformers: Last Bot Standing #1 (IDW Publishing) – The war for Cybertron may be long over… but the war from Cybertron never ends. When the last star flickers, who will be the only Cybertronian left?

Weekly Preview! Oceans, Bunnies, Birds of Prey, and Goldie’s Guide!

There are a lot of comics coming out this week to be covered. Check out some of what we’ll be reviewing and this is only the beginning!

This week’s reviews include:

  • Bunny Mask: Hollow Inside #1 (AfterShock)
  • Goldie’s Guide to Grandchilding (First Second)
  • The Ocean Will Take Us #2 (AfterShock)
  • Science Comics: Birds of Prey (First Second)

Not shown:

  • Solo Leveling Vol. 4 (Yen Press)
  • The Walking Dead Deluxe #38 (Image Comics/Skybound)

AfterShock and First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

The Best Comics of 2021

2021 was another strange year for the comic industry which saw a lot of changes in almost too many ways to count.

But, despite all of those changes, there were some amazing comics released.

Here’s 10 that stood out to me from the year.

The full list of everything that stood out from the year!

Graphic Policy’s team’s “best of” lists!

The 10 from the video:

Blue, Barry & Pancakes (First Second)
Story/Art: Daniel Rajai Abdo, Jason Linwood Patterson

Glamorella’s Daughter (Literati Press)
Concept: Jerry Bennett Story: Charles J. Martin
Art: Jerry Bennett Letterer: Charles J. Martin Sensitivity Editor: Brandy Williams

BRZRKR (BOOM! Studios)
Story: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt Art: Ron Garney
Color: Bill Crabtree Letterer: Clem Robins

Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? (Albatross Funnybooks)
Story: Harold Schechter, Eric Powell Art: Eric Powell

The Other History of the DC Universe (DC Comics)
Story: John Ridley Layouts: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Finishes: Andrea Cucchi Color: José Villarrubia Letterer: Steve Wands

Robin & Batman (DC Comics)
Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Dustin Nguyen
Color: Dustin Nguyen Letterer: Steve Wands

The Recount (Scout Comics)
Story: Jonathan Hedrick Art: Joe Bocardo
Color: Sunil Ghagre Letterer: Christian Docolomansky

Shadow Doctor (AfterShock)
Story: Peter Calloway Art: George Jeanty
Color: Juancho! Letterer/Backmatter: Charles Pritchett

Solo Leveling (Yen Press)
Original Story: Chugong Translation: Hye Young Im
Rewrite: J. Torres Letterer: Abigail Blackman

Stray Dogs (Image Comics)
Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner
Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodrigeuz, Chris Burnham Flatter: Lauren Perry

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2021 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

Much like 2021, It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Comics, and entertainment as a whole, continued to be an escape from the rough reality of the year that was. Things struggled to get back to normal, whether you think it was too soon or not.

Comics have been an escape for me as I myself remained holed up at home, forgoing movie theaters and generally the public as a whole.

To pick one that stood out above all the rest doesn’t quite feel right as there was so much that was fun and entertaining.

The comic industry continued to shift in massive ways as creators figured out new ways to become independent or were lured by the promise of big paydays by venture capital. Publishers got bought out and some struggled to stay open. Stores opened. Stores closed. Distribution continues to shift. The industry continues to be disrupted in many ways. Some ways for the better. Some for the worse.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and continued to look to go directly to the consumer. Publishers faced distribution issues as ports backedd up and printing issues as paper became scarce. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2021 continued to look bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before with many challenges ahead and many answers yet to come.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics but more manga for me).

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

The comics that had me excited in 2021 and have me excited for 2022. It turns out maybe I enjoy horror more than I know?

  • Barbaric (Vault Comics) – The series caught me off guard with a classic fantasy barbarian story with a twist. I don’t want to go into it too much but if you haven’t read this one, definitely check it out. I can’t wait for more to come.
  • Black Panther (Marvel) – John Ridley taking over Black Panther, nuff said. The series has grounded the character in political paranoia and assassination attempts on undercover agents.
  • Blue, Barry & Pancakes (First Second) – I’ve been loving the releases focused on kids and this series about a trio of friends is one I enjoy reading each release over and over with my daughter. They’re goofy fun.
  • BRZRKR (BOOM! Studios) – I’ll admit I went into this series rolling my eyes as it felt like a pitch for a movie/television series for Keanu Reeves. But, while the series has a lot of action its focus on its main character of B and what makes him tick has been a welcome surprise. It’s surprisingly deep and more about the character than the action.
  • Dark Ages (Marvel) – In a year with so many “alternate takes” on classic characters this one of a world where technology is nerfed and the heroes and villains must bring it together is an interesting one. Here’s hoping we get more of these stand-alone miniseries from Marvel as this works so well.
  • DC vs. Vampires (DC Comics) – The premise of vampires rising up and attacking the DC Universe sounds simple enough. But, the series so far has eschewed simple fights instead going for paranoia where you don’t know who is a vampire and who will get killed.
  • Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? (Albatross Funnybooks) – The true story about Eddie Gein is haunting with art that walks the line of crossing over to gross out levels.
  • Fear State (DC Comics) – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the start of James Tynion IV’s run on Batman but when “Fear State” got rolling things quickly shifted. The story was intense and did an amazing job of folding in “Future State” as well. Speaking of which…
  • Fist of the North Star (VIZ Media) – The classic manga is back and being reprinted in beautiful hardback versions as part of VIZ Signature. Yeah, it’s martial arts Mad Max but it’s so good.
  • Future State (DC Comics) – A two-month event that took us to a possible future DC, the comics were mostly great with the glimpses of the future being used when the series returned. It was a great use of an event to breathe new life into a line and drive the narrative for months to come.
  • Glamorella’s Daughter (Literati Press) – A fun series about the daughter of the world’s superhero that has such a great sense of itself with great humor and fun characters.
  • Impossible Jones (Scout Comics) – A blast in every way introducing us to a new world of superheroes and villains and leaves us wanting more.
  • Karate Survivor in Another World (Seven Seas) – In a year that felt like every other manga was about someone getting killed and reincarnated in another world with some hook, this one stood out. With a grounded premise, the story is about Nozaki Hitoshi who is sent to another world where his only skill is karate. But, there’s a twist that’s teased out and works so well.
  • Kraken Me Up (Holiday House Publishing) – In a year where I read lots of comics geared towards kids I loved the art in this one and it had such a cute story about a pet Kraken and the girl who loved it.
  • Maniac of New York (AfterShock) – I’m not a fan of horror films but this take on the slasher genre had me hooked as it felt like an homage to the genre and something all its own.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe (DC Comics) – John Ridley delivers a blunt history lesson about DC from the perspective of characters who rarely get the spotlight. Amazing art added to the enjoyment in what felt like a college course in comics.
  • Robin & Batman (DC Comics) – Dick Grayson’s early years as Robin is explored with beautiful artwork.
  • The Recount (Scout Comics) – Talk about a series that was too close to home. The series focused on a nation split due to a corrupt government and an uprising after the assassination of the President. Coming out around January 6 made the first issue hit even more.
  • Serial (Abstract Studio) – The series has gotten better and better with every issue with a serial killer at the center of it all. It’s really done an amazing job of serialized storytelling and has my on the edge of my seat more and more to see what happens next.
  • Shadow Doctor (AfterShock) – The true story about a African American Doctor who can’t get money to open a practice and has to turn to Al Capone for funding. The story is just a great mob story but the fact it’s true makes it all the more amazing.
  • Solo Leveling (Yen Press) – 2021 saw me getting more into manga and manhwa and this series saw three volumes released. It’s about a world where dungeon crawling is an actual profession and the world’s worst, who actually has something a bit special about him. It’s just a great mix of comics and video game nostalgia with solid art.
  • Stray Dogs (Image Comics) – The miniseries was a murder mystery from the perspective of dogs. Did their master kill their former owners? Will the dogs make it to safety? Mix in amazing art and this was a miniseries that had everyone talking.
  • Task Force Z (DC Comics) – Red Hood has to lead zombie versions of Batman villains in a Suicide Squad like team. The concept is silly but works so well with a focus on the ethical aspect of it all and an amazing team dynamic. Mr. Bloom? Really!?
  • Timeless #1 (Marvel) – When it comes to end of year one-shots, Timeless is the best Marvel has put out. Its focus on a character and a real focus on him as a person. There’s some solid teases of what’s to come but it’s the story of Kang front and center that’s the real draw. It might be a tease of what’s to come but beside that, it’s a good one-shot anyway.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar (Marvel) – The series shook up the character’s history in major ways and as a fan of Warhammer 40K I was all into it. It definitely pissed off “fans”, so bonus?
  • We Live (AfterShock) – The series has been an amazing apocalyptic adventure as kids attempt to make it to get to a ship to get off the planet. The series was a gut punch over and over and had me in tears.
  • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons #1 (DC Comics) – We just got one issue from Kelly Sue Deconnick and Phil Jimenez but this look at the history of the Amazons is amazing. The art was jaw dropping with the only flaw being the pages having a middle seam.
  • Yasmeen (Scout Comics) – The comic series about horrible events in Iraq and a young girl’s experience was an emotional punch with every issue. It shows the power of comics.

Review: Solo Leveling Vol. 3

Jinwoo Sung is an E-rank hunter, the weakest hunter of them all. At least everyone thinks. After a disaster of a raid, he’s back from the dead upgraded.

Solo Leveling Vol. 3 has Sung further exploring his new abilities, taking on new raids, and deciding if he should keep his status hidden.

Original Story: Chugong
Translation: Hye Young Im
Rewrite: J. Torres
Letterer: Abigail Blackman

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.

Amazon
comiXology
Kindle
Bookshop


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

Review: Solo Leveling Vol. 2

Jinwoo Sung is an E-rank hunter, the weakest hunter of them all. He makes a living to pay his mother’s hospital bills and sister’s tuition through dungeon raids. When he has a chance for a big payout, something goes very wrong.

Solo Leveling Vol. 2 has Sung exploring his new abilities and taking on a new dungeon raid.

Original Story: Chugong
Translation: Hye Young Im
Rewrite: J. Torres
Letterer: Abigail Blackman

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.

Amazon
comiXology
Kindle
Bookshop


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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Superman and the Authority #1

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.

Blue & Gold #1 (DC Comics) – Booster Gold and Blue Beetle in their own miniseries. That’s all we need to be excited for this one.

Dark Blood #1 (BOOM! Studios) – What if you were given the power to change the course of history? In the 1950s a Black man is given strange new abilities in a society that never wanted him to have any power.

Lunar Ladies #1 (Scout Comics) – A highly advanced society lives on the moon and their peaceful way to live is fractured by a geneticist hell-bent on usurping the queen’s power.

MOM: Mother of Madness #1 (Image Comics) – Actress Emilia Clarke’s new series.

Moon Knight #1 (Marvel) – When it comes to Marvel’s version of Batman, the first issue is solid.

Skybound X #3 (Image Comics) – The series has shown off the variety that Skybound publishes and debuts in each issue. A nice anthology we hope to see more of.

Solo Leveling Vol. 2 (Yen Press) – The first volume was fantastic where dungeon crawling is a profession and one of the worst in the business might actually not be that bad.

Superman and the Authority #1 (DC Comics) – We’ve read it. It’s really good.

Syphon #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow) – An EMT is given the power to siphon pain from others but the more he uses the gift, the more it curses him with the pain of others.

Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Cullen Bunn returns to Harrow County with Emily Schnall for a new miniseries. The first series was fantastic so we’re expecting more.

Ki Hong Lee Will Narrate Yen Audio’s Solo Leveling, Vol. 1

Solo Leveling Vol. 1

Yen Audio has announced that their first digital audiobook release, Solo Leveling Vol. 1 will be read by actor Ki Hong Lee. This debut publication in the Hachette Audio/Yen Press collaboration will release July 13, 2021, online wherever audiobooks are sold.

Solo Leveling is a Korean novel series by Chugong. Originating as a webnovel that boasted over 3 million readers, it is the basis of one of the world’s bestselling webcomics, and the popularity of the franchise only continues to grow. The highly anticipated English-language release of the SOLO LEVELING comic in print in March 2021 stands out as North America’s biggest graphic novel series debut of the year, according to NPD BookScan. This soon-to-release audiobook edition, as interpreted by Ki Hong Lee, adds yet another format for existing fandom to devour and to engage newcomers in the adventures of Jinwoo, the “weakest hunter of all mankind.”

Ki Hong Lee is perhaps best known as lead runner ‘Minho’ in the MAZE RUNNER film franchise. Lee also appeared in THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT, winner of Sundance’s best screenplay and Alfred P. Sloan prizes, alongside Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, and Olivia Thirlby, and Lee received rave reviews for his comedic work on the Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Raised in different cultures from Seoul to Auckland, Lee currently resides in Los Angeles, and is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment, Artists & Representatives, and United Talent Agency.

Yen Press announced its worldwide partnership with Hachette Audio to produce, sell, and distribute digital audiobooks in early 2021, to great acclaim by fans of the formats. Yen Press’s second release is slated for August, when the initial volume of the acclaimed light novel series SWORD ART ONLINE by author Reki Kawahara will be published as a digital audiobook. Voice casting for this upcoming release, as well the Fall releases OVERLORD by Kugane Maruyama and THE SAGA OF TANYA THE EVIL by Carlo Zen, will be announced in the near future. After these initial releases, it is expected that the Yen/Hachette Audio partnership will release regular seasonal adaptations.

Yen Press Has Two Releases for Free Comic Book Day 2021

Yen Press has two releases for this year’s Free Comic Book Day, a national event in which hundreds of comic book stores, independent bookstores, and libraries provide fans with free samples of the year’s hottest graphic novels and comics. For the event, Yen Press will produce free comics featuring samples of Solo Leveling, a graphic novel release of one of the most popular Korean webcomics, and Kyle’s Little Sister, an adorable middle-grade graphic novel from the JY imprint of Yen Press.

Solo Leveling

Story by Chugong
Art by DUBU(REDICEE STUDIO)

Known as the the Weakest Hunter of All Mankind, E-rank hunter Jinwoo Sung’s contribution to raids amounts to trying not to get killed. Unfortunately, between his mother’s hospital bills, his sister’s tuition, and his own lack of job prospects, he has no choice but to continue to put his life on the line. So when an opportunity arises for a bigger payout, he takes it…only to come face-to-face with a being whose power outranks anything he’s ever seen! With the party leader missing an arm and the only healer a quivering mess, can Jinwoo somehow find them a way out?

Solo Leveling

Kyle’s Little Sister

Story and Art by BonHyung Jeong

My name is Grace, not “Kyle’s little sister!”

Having a good-looking, friendly, outgoing older brother sucks—especially when you’re the total opposite, someone who likes staying home and playing video games. Your parents like him better (even if they deny it!), and everyone calls you “Kyle’s little sister” while looking disappointed that you’re not more like him. I was really hoping I’d get to go to a different middle school, but no such luck. At least I have my friends…until he finds a way to ruin that, too…! Argh! What do I have to do to get out of his shadow?!

Kyle’s Little Sister

Free Comic Book Day is scheduled to take place nationwide on August 14. 

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