Tag Archives: the last contract

Preview: The Last Contract SC

The Last Contract SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Ed Brisson
Artist: Lisandro Estherren
Cover Artist: Lisandro Estherren with Scott Newman
Price: $14.99From crime

From crime comics writer Ed Brisson (Bullseye) comes a story about a retired hitman known only as The Man whose list of his kills is leaked by a mysterious blackmailer—making targets of anyone associated with his previous jobs.

Forced back into the game he left behind, The Man fights to protect those the list exposed and uncover the identity of the blackmailer, unaware of the consequences the truth may hold.

Collects the complete limited series.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Moon_Knight_1_CoverWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Elana

Top Pick: No Mercy #9 (Image Comics)This is the most powerful issue of a comic you will read this month. It actually can stand alone if you haven’t read the series, because it’s that good and complete.

This month’s issue features the only trans male character in a mainstream comic. The ONLY one. I’m not surprised that a series which has dedicated itself to portraying an honest, diverse and realistic range of teens is the book that finally has a character like this. The story offers insight into a great injustice happening to all sorts of young people who society labels as “deviant”.

No Mercy is an unflinching series with high stakes, zero predictability and an extremely high level of moral responsibility. It lives up to it and we are stronger for reading it.

Goldie Vance #1 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios)A Girl Detective! A fun resort setting! Charming and accessible art! Could this be the diverse and actually creative Nancy Drew we never had before? Probably.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Moon Knight #1 (Marvel) – I am one of the few (read only) Moon Knight fans at my comic shop, and I knew I’d be picking this comic up anyway, but with Jeff Lemire and Jordie Bellaire involved Marvel may as well just take my money. I’ve been chomping at the bit for this comic ever since I saw who the creative team involved was.

A&A: The Adventures Of Archer And Armstrong #2 (Valiant) – Last issue took me entirely by surprise, and I absolutely loved it. I’m incredibly pumped for the second issue this week.

Voracious #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – I can’t get enough of this series. I honestly can’t. It’s an amazingly fun comic about the owner of a diner who is also a time travelling dinosaur hunter (where else do you think he  that you have to read.

Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #6 (Valiant) – After the brilliance of last issue, this issue has a lot to live up too (spoiler: it does). I can’t wait to get my hands on the print copy.

 

Javier

Top Pick: The Last Contract #4 (BOOM! Studios) – This is the last issue. The Geriatric Hitman with No Name closes the gap on his violent past.  Bittersweet moment, I was hoping it would continue as a series, or at least for 12 issues. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Clint Eastwood picks this up for film.

Black Road #1 (Image Comics) – I’ve been on a Viking kick these past few weeks with the History Channel’s show, and I have Wood’s collected Northlander series in TPB, so the more Vikings the better.

Carver Paris Story #3 (Z2 Comics) – Old school pulp noir in a Paris setting. It’s a brutally simple and effective book.

Delete #2 (Devil’s Due) – This is cool sci-fi action story with Armenian gangsters. Philip K. Dick meets Lone Wolf and Cub when a simple muscular Handyman teams up with an orphaned girl against killers.

Starve #8 (Image Comics) – Another Brian Wood book.  It’s underrated, but I think word is getting out on this series.  Food and comics, why didn’t I think of this first. It really is good reading.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #4 (DC Comics) –  A great allegory about the Syrian refugee crisis and ISIS. A great example of how comics can be so much more than spandex and powers, even when they feature spandex and powers.

Monstress #5 (Image Comics) – As always a fantastic series that blends fantasy and politics. This is world building at its best, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes. Add on top of that beautiful art and you’ve got one of the best comics on the market.

Moon Knight #1 (Marvel) – Fascinated to see what they do with this series.

Nameless City Vol. 1 (First Second) – An adorable graphic novel, the first in a series. It’s a great read geared towards younger kids I think, but also very enjoyable for adults too. The series is about a city controlled by an army and the a new soldier becoming friends with one of the town people.

Star Wars Special: C-3PO (Marvel) – I want to know how he got that red arm!!!!

Preview: The Last Contract #4 (of 4)

The Last Contract #4 (of 4)

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Lisandro Estherren

Final issue! The Man discovers the identity of the blackmailer and comes face-to-face with the consequences of his life as a hitman.

LastContract_004_A_Main

Preview: The Last Contract #3 (of 4)

The Last Contract #3 (of 4)

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Lisandro Estherren

The Man and Dillon come under attack from a hired killer whose past intertwines with the Man’s.

LastContract_003_A_Main

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 20/2/2016

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.


Alex

Kennel_Block_Blues_001_A_MainKennel Block Blues #1 (Boom!) Was a pretty odd comic about an anthromorphic dog living in a state of  half hallucinated reality as he enters prison. It’s good, and  it is worth looking into, but likely more a “wait for the trade” kind of book. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

The Last Contract #2 (Boom!) A comic about a retired hitman getting back into the game long after his retirement, The Last Contract has been a fantastic ride so far, with the eighty-plus year old killer taking no shit from anybody. Well aware of his physical limits, he’s a refreshing change from protagonists that can take on the world with their hands behind their back. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Gutter Magic #2 (IDW) This has got to be one of the most entertaining comics I’ve read in a long time. The art is fantastically detailed without being overly cluttered, and the characters are inhabiting a rich and vibrant world that feels fully formed before you turn the page. Highly, highly recommended. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Deluge #2 Is an indie comic set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After reading the first issue, I’d actually thought it was just a one shot comic until I saw this. I actually found that the second issue was more enjoyable than the first, and I liked the first issue’s story about an undercover FBI agent infiltrating the New Orleans underworld amidst a layer of corruption from the local police. It’s a solid book that deserves a wider audience than it’ll end up getting. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #8 (Dynamite) I have nothing to say here that hasn’t already been said. A solid comic book that’s well written, well drawn, and above all it’s very, very fun. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Huck04_CvrBHuck #4 (Image) I just… wow. Just wow. Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy it now, or buy the trade. You need to own this.

Black Hood #9 (Dark Circle) Is a solid comic. It’s not my favourite comic from this publisher (that honour belongs to The Fox), but it’s a very good gritty vigilante thriller with a hero who is very much just a man. A decent series that’s worth checking out. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

 

Elana

Catwoman #49 (DC)* When the Messina/Valentine creative team ended their landmark run of Catwoman as a crime boss I thought Catwoman would go down hill. And while the comic did return to its roots with a far more traditional Catwoman story it’s still a really good comic! It’s a smart, interesting story suspensefully told. The lines are almost delicate and the splash pages pack in far more visual information that you think at first glance. Selina fighting Croc in front of a Nosferatu billboard? That’s cool! And the intrigue is high. I keep reading because it’s quality comics. So should you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

 

Ryan C

American Monster #2 (Aftershock) *: Brian Azzarello and Juan Doe’s journey into the dark underbelly of America’s sleaziest small town continues with some revelations of both the major and minor variety that will serve to suck readers into the web they’re spinning ever deeper. Two issues in, I remain convinced that this has the potential to be Azzarello’s best series since “100 Bullets,” and Doe’s art, while first striking me as being a bit too “cartoonish” for the dark subject matter, is quickly starting to grow on me. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

american monster 2Lucifer #3 (Vertigo) *: The devil went to The Dreaming, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Oh, and a damn good story — Gaiman-esque myth-spinning anchors one of Holly Black’s two main plot threads while the other, involving a trapped demon on Earth scheming to be set free, is pure Delano-era “Hellblazer.” Combine the two with Lee Garbett’s fun-yet-appropriately-grim artwork and a guest appearance by Matthew the Raven (who just turned up in his human form in the latest issue of “Swamp Thing”) and you’ve got yourself a heck — sorry, hell — of a book here. They say everything old is new again, and after three issues this series is proving that to be absolutely true. Overall: 8  Recommendation: Buy

The Tithe #8 (Image/Top Cow) **: Not a bad extra-length issue from writer Matt Hawkins and artists Rashan Ekedal and Phillip Sevy, but not a great one, either. The problem with the whole “Islamophobia” story arc isn’t that it was poorly done, just that it only had one big revelation in store and it gave that away in the opening installment. After that, we knew exactly where events were headed, and they simply proceeded to go there. It apparently pissed off a handful of right-wing dumbfucks online, though, so points to the creators for at least raising the blood pressure of all the right people. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

The Shield #2 (Dark Circle) : Normally I’d say this isn’t a half-bad little issue because, well, it isn’t, but given that the gap between numbers one and two was something like five or six months in length, it should have — perhaps even needed to — return with a big splash, and it didn’t. I’m sure Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig’s script was “in the can” some time ago, but some tinkering around the edges to re-engage readers into the storyline more fully would have been welcome, and the art-by-committee approach with Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder doing the first half of the book and Al Barrionuevo taking over the second half is jarring and messy. Still, we’ve got a Steve Rude painted cover as one of the variants this time out, so how petty am I for bitching about anything? Dark Circle’s been plagued with delays on pretty much all of their titles barring “The Black Hood,” though, so Archie really needs to get their shit together with this line or it will die the same quick death that these characters always seem to bring upon themselves in one decade after another. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read

 

Bill-Ted-Go-to-Hell-1Shean

Bill and Ted Go To Hell#1 (Boom!): we catch up with the Wild Stallyns shortly after their adventures in the Triumphant Return.Colonel Oats and gang of baddies are enroute to Hell , kidnapping Bill And Ted’s buddy, the Grim Reaper, with them. The boys have to call on the help of Rufus and company to rescue him. By issue’s end , there is a bigger plan in play, than either of them expected. Overall:9.3 Recommendation: Buy


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 (**).

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Jonesy_001_A_MainWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Javier

Top Pick: Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – The visuals are amazing, but the luminescence is in stark contrast to the dark cult ridden story. CJ will do anything for her daughter. Or at least we are going to find out?

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – The space adventures of Tim 21 continue on the Robot Resistance’s Machine Moon home world. A new group (‘The Between’) and character (‘Queen Between’) are to be introduced in this issue.

The Last Contract #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The assassin Old Man with No Name is on the hunt for the rat bastard who exposed his kill list. And he ain’t taking no prisoners.

Last Sons of America (BOOM! Studios) – Don Carlo is about to open a Mexican Can of Whoop’ Ass on Jackie and Julian.  I guess they shouldn’t have gotten involved with the Don’s Star Wars quoting daughter.

Snow Blind #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Trent is one messed up kid, and now he knows everything about the WITSEC program and his family.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Constantine The Hellblazer TP Volume 1 (DC Comics)Constantine is DC’s best comic and this is the place to start for fans both new and old. It holds the blend of dark humor, self destructive lust, creepy magic and relatable melancholy that’s required in a Constantine comic. Yet the stories and creative art feel all new. And hurray, one of the writers is a bisexual man writing a bisexual male lead.

Top Pick: Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – Love is dumb! Thus spaketh many a young rebel such as Jonesy, the protagonist of this new all-ages miniseries. She has the superpower to make people fall in love, but not with her. While she revels in being unique and an outsider she also wants to be accepted– in-spite of herself. Cute and bold art that’s half punk/half cartoon feels very contemporary and young.  This is writer Sam Humphries’s second latina teen protagonist (the other stars in Marvel’s Weirdworld which you should also be buying).

All-New Wolverine #5 (Marvel) – Laura Kinney teams up with The Wasp! I love this series’ character development and consistent feminist awesomeness. Laura is a complex female superhero and we’ve been hungry for that.

Black Canary #8 (DC Comics) – A mysterious ninja is stalking Dinah. I think I know who it is. Fantastic rock and roll art and interesting stories featuring a great female cast make this series easy to love.

No Mercy #7 (Image Comics) – After last issue’s climax how are you not reading this?! Completely suspenseful, realistic and accessible to non-comics readers. It’s sort of the HBO of comics.

Zodiac Starforce #4 (Dark Horse) – The Final issue of a magical girl series I wish I had as a kid (and I never did read Sailor Moon). A charming and inventive all ages comic with a kick-ass diverse and distinctive cast. You’re sure to find a character to identify with. Feels a bit like a technicolor Buffy for kids.

 

Logan

Top Pick: Batman #49 (DC Comics) –  After Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo rewrote the Batman mythos last week to have Bruce Wayne not be motivated by his parents’ death to pick up the cape and cowl, I am interested in how Snyder and guest artist Yanick Paquette put him back in the middle of the action against Mr. Bloom.

Jem and the Holograms Valentine’s Day Special (IDW Publishing) – My favorite part of the Jem and the Holograms series hasn’t been the plots, but the fun characters, art, and romance. This is why I enjoy the various annual and special issues, which can focus on the characters, their interactions, and antics without having to progress the overall plot. Hoping for some Kimber/Stormer adorableness.

Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The BOOM! Box imprint has a strong track record of fun, relatable all ages comics with great cartoonish art, like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. And Jonesy is different with its focus on romance. Also, there can never be enough comics starring members of fandoms.

Jughead #4 (Archie Comics) – Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson make for an excellent comedy team, and Jughead is one of the funniest current comics. Each issue, I anticipate the weird and wacky dream sequences in the middle of the comic. Also, Jughead is revealed to be asexual this issue.

Ms. Marvel #4 (Marvel) – I’m really enjoying the new volume of Ms. Marvel, and how Ms. Marvel has to balance being a regular high school student, Avenger, and superhero while also dealing with her name being used by an evil corporation that wants to level her city for expensive condos. Talk about a full course load.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 (Dynamite) – David Walker’s first volume for the classic character was fantastic, and this second one is a comic that I’ve been waiting to read since I found out about it many months ago. Walker mastered getting to the basics of John Shaft, what makes the character great, and I’m expecting more of the same.

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics out right now. This sci-fi series is as great to read as it is to stare at it’s beautiful pages.

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – The Wonder Woman we need. It’s a back to basics take on the character and is right now the best depiction of the character in comics. The first issue was great and shows you can easily do the character right with a solid creative team.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic, the best debut of any All-New, All-Different Marvel comic. It perfectly captured the “Western” feel of the original story mixed in with a good revenge tale. So good that I don’t care this issue is out just a few weeks later.

Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – This series is just beautiful to look at, and the story rather haunting. A mother trying to get her kid back from a cult, yes please!

Preview: The Last Contract #2 (of 4)

The Last Contract #2 (of 4)

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Lisandro Estherren

The Man is on the run, searching for the person from his past who leaked his kill list.

LastContract_002_A_Main

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/1/2016

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.


Alex

The Last Contract Main Cover by Lisandro EstherrenHeroes Vengeance #3 (Titan Comics) The more I read this series the less I seem to like it, but much like the  TV show I just can’t turn away. It might get better! Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read…?

Archie #5 (Archie Comics) This is one of those series that’s just fun. There’s no superhero action here what so ever, despite the writer, and it has been a breath of fresh air for me. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)* is apparently far more polarizing than I expected. After reading Patricks’ review (you’ll find that a bit further on) I felt compelled to pick this issue up. In a time when comics often have numerous art focused scenes it’s nice to get a comic that has a lot of text within it’s pages, reminding me in many ways of both the earlier Swamp Thing comics and how the page layouts looked when I first started reading comics. There’s a bit of a slow build here, with Len Wein really taking his time in setting the story that has echoes of an early era. You’re either going to like this, or you’re really not. I expected this to be at best average, but I was pleasantly surprised. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read (with caution)

The Last Contract #1 (Boom! Studios) Well holy moly. This is great. Dark, gritty, with the promise of something lying just beneath the surface ready to tear you to pieces. This comic is a tour de force that is absolutely  worth your time – which is impressive coming from a guy who usually only reads superhero comics. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Gutter Magic #1 (IDW) A stunning mix of steam punk and magic, coupled with some jaw dropping artwork make this first  issue worth picking up, and the series something to add to your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

A-Force #1 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the miniseries this spun off from, but this first issue is a stumble. It’s not exciting, nor has enough to get me excited. It fills like a middling Avengers comic. Overall: 6.4 Recommendation: Pass

Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s been a whole since we’ve seen this series and while I anticipated its return, this issue was a bit of a stumble. A stand alone issue that pulls the curtain back, the story feels more like a sci-fi Law & Order: SVU than the smart commentary we’re usually accustomed to. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Black Science #19 (Image Comics) – Wrapping up the current arc in a way, we learn more about Grant and things begin for the next great adventure. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I liked the first issue of a hit man finding out who wants him dead. There’s a solid homage of the genre that it clearly loves. Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read

Letter 44 #22 (Oni Press) – That reveal at the end, holy crap. Loving this mashup of politics and sci-fi. It continues to surprise. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics. The search for the George serial killer is fantastic and there’s some great twists here. I seriously have no idea where it’s going. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – An interesting debut, but how this fits in to the other comics that are out featuring these characters makes it have little sense. This is an example of overuse of characters. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Spidey #2 (Marvel) – Much improvement over the first issue. There’s a lot of good, but the comic still is just missing something for me. It feels like a mediocre miniseries rehashing the character’s origin, updating it, but giving us little that’s new. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Totally Awesome Hulk #2 (Marvel) – I hated the first issue, and this one is an improvement, but not enough to get me to continue reading. The strongest part is it’s mystery of what happened to Bruce. Overall: 6.2 Recommendation: Pass

 

Patrick

SwampThing_001_cvr_Jones_56240e9bab2e83.86181442Detective Comics #48 (DC Comics)*: While I’m still not used to Jim Gordon as the Batman, I do enjoy seeing him struggle to fill Bruce Wayne’s shoes. Watching him make mistakes adds something to the book you don’t get to see with Bruce Wayne… a guy in overhead his head trying his best. And the gimmicky nature of the murders he’s investigating harkens back to classic Batman stories, an interesting bit of nostalgia as everything else about Batman is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read.

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Five #1 (DC Comics)*: The best comic book based on a video game based on a comic book ever written returns! Following Plastic Man inadvertently releasing all of the prisoners held by Superman’s regime, Superman and his cronies are trying to put everyone back while Batman sets out to create another unholy alliance. You might say you can’t expect it to go very far because it’s only the first issue (of its fifth year), but considering the story really started in the Year Four: Annual maybe some sort of plot development would have been fair. And stop making Hal Jordan a “funny man”. If you want a funny Green (or Yellow, in this case) Lantern, you should have picked Kyle Rayner. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)*: This book was admittedly a disappointment. Unless what you have been demanding all this time was to watch Swamp Thing wrestle an alligator. In fact, the most implausible part of this book about a mass of vegetation with human consciousness hanging around a swamp is when two people show up in the swamp to ask said mass for help. As though it were on their list of errands. No, maybe the most implausible was Swamp Thing essentially responding with, “Okay, I have nothing better to do.” Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (Marvel Comics)*: Put two of the funniest characters in their own series and what to do you have? Two people bemoaning their own potty-humor, actually. Things don’t really need to make sense when Deadpool is involved, but a plot device that put the two together would have helped go a long way, rather than Deadpool hiring someone to pretend to be Dormammu for… actually, I’m not sure how that was supposed to aid Deadpool’s plan to get Spider-Man to work with him. Instead, you side with Spider-Man’s reluctance to have anything to do with the laugh-less title. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Star Wars #14 & Star Wars: Darth Vader #15 (Marvel Comics)*: Reviewed together because they came out on the same day, are of the same caliber and conclude the same story, “Vader Down”. The last half of the series really revved up and became increasingly entertaining. These last issues make for the most enjoyable Star Wars you can have, on paper or on the silver screen. If only Hollywood were taking their cues from Marvel. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy (but a collection would be better than title-jumping through your back issues)

Squadron Supreme #2 CoverSquadron Supreme #2 (Marvel Comics)*: Some good moments here and there. Nighthawk stands out as the character to watch, certainly the most intense and interesting of the Squadron. Hopefully the series isn’t suggesting that Hyperion is going to take a job as a truck driver. Squadron Supreme has been looking for its readership for decades and suffering a great many changes and incarnations along the way. Hopefully that balances out and this title holds its own until Marvel decides to cancel all its titles and relaunch everything again. So… give it a year. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)*: What was one of the longest running titles in comic books is relaunched again as a blatant X-Force rip-off. It’s a bit like watching your dad get his ear pierced only to realize, “No… you’ll never be young again”. The cast is interesting, though Sabretooth as a good guy will always be a disappointing sell-out and the presence of the Psylocke/Archangel pairing really highlights the parallels to X-Force. X-Force was great… but Uncanny X-Men is supposed to be a prestigious flagship, not a transparent attempt to recapture the gritty eighties and nineties. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire #1 (Image Comics): Great art, so-so story. Yes, we all agree that dog-fighting is inhumane (most of us do, anyway) and plugging in dragons instead of dogs in a depression-era story… one of these things is not like the others. Someone walking into this without having read the previous work is likely to think it very odd the way dragons are almost a humdrum aspect of the story… and they wouldn’t be wrong. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics): As always, a well-stylized, entertaining book. The one question, though, is if the read would have been as compelling if not for the disclaimer. The book leads with a warning that it features sexual assault, promising that the events of the sexual assault will be limited to this issue and not revisited later. It prepares the reader for the worst and consequently, the reader races through the book in dread anticipation of the horrific inevitable. In the end, not to marginalize sexual assault, I was left wondering if I missed a page. Considering the exploitive nature of Bitch Planet and the state of graphic content in comic books, the warning seems disconnected from the content. Are the editors really afraid of offending readers despite the gratuity of the book or was it a cheap ploy? Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read (and then tell me if I’m just desensitized).

 

Paul

the ultimates #3Ultimates #3 (Marvel) * The team has been successful in further evolving Galactus and has transformed him into a force of giving life..and his first act has been to restore life to the first planet he fed upon. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard discovered this and forwarded the information to Gladiator, who is, surprise surprise, not pleased with Earth for their actions. I wonder why it is the Shi’ar are never happy..I mean Galactus is no longer a devourer of planets, and still Gladiator gets all up in Earths face about it…maybe it’s the mohawk? I digress, now the team want to look into fixing the space/time continuum problem. Yeah, nothing can go wrong there. I do enjoy this team and the banter between them, but I find the scope of their missions a little ‘out there’ traveling through deep space, superflow, neutral zone, blah blah..starting to read like stereo instructions, to paraphrase Beetlejuice. Is this an Avengers team necessary of the time and resources they have been given? That remains to be seen. But the art is beautiful.  Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read 

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) * So the mutant population is facing yet another life changing event; the terrigen cloud making its way around the world is slowly killing the mutant population as well as sterilizing those who survive, ensuring that no new mutants will emerge. This leaves those mutants remaining as easy targets, and that threat needs a response just as threatening; enter the Uncanny X-Men. Magneto has gathered a group of X-Men not afraid to get their hands dirty to protect mutants from those who would take advantage of this current situation, but in this first issue, we see they aren’t going to let other mutants take the easy way out either. I really like the team roster in this book, though have a little issue with Archangel being some mindless ‘drone” being controlled by Psylocke (though I’m sure this will come to blow up in their faces in the upcoming Apocalypse story arc). I was a little let down with Magneto, as I enjoyed him more in his solo book then I did in this first outing in this first issue, but it didn’t ruin the book for me. I also enjoyed the blast from the past at the end of this issue. And Greg Land’s art is exactly what I expected, beautiful as ever. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean
MIRAGE-SEC_001_VARIANT_EVANSThe Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives #1
 (Valiant) The story of Shan Mirage and her husband Hwen, is story of heartbreak , loss, redemption , justice and. Undying love, which the first volume of this ongoing series covered well. In the beginning of this new volume, deals with the reality of their lives since his untimely physical death,while they thrust themselves into new adventures.Van Meter Is seemingly getting more personal the more she writes these characters much to the reader’s benefit as the overall story becomes richer. The art by De La Torre is interesting, abstract and very much George Perez in the best way. Overall:10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

 


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 (**).

Review: The Last Contract #1

LastContract_001_B_IncentiveHitmen are officially a genre by itself and for good reason, as fits many different genres, starting with the obvious of crime, where it definitely deals with the underworld. Movies that often come to mind are Hard Boiled and both volumes of Kill Bill. The other genre that comes to mind are thrillers, as they often deal with some type of searing situation, that often interferes with their job. The most infamous that comes to mind when thinking in this type of situation, is Golgo 13.

The one movie about hitmen and their sort that I really enjoyed and had quite a comedic element to it was RED. The actual comic offered glimpses of comedy throughout while giving the reader a view of how it really was to do a job so dangerous while getting old. The movies played more into the comedy, while offering the viewer the different extremes and personality types within this world. I often wondered if those characters did not retire but kept on actually working in this world.

This is what The Last Contract attempts to answer as we are introduced to Man, as he is referred to in the book, as his semi enjoys retired life. That is until someone breaks into his home to attempt to kill him, but just like muscle memory, he finds his hibernating skills back at work, slicing the killer’s throat. He is now in a predicament where he has to find out who and why there is a contract on him. By issue’s end, you find a pragmatist of an assassin, who is pretty self aware of his age and his agility, but the reader can definitely tell there is more to the Man, to be revealed, before story’s end.

Overall, a story that definitely has some of the best elements from RED and Unforgiven. The story by Ed Brisson, starts off pretty predictable but by issue’s end, you don’t care much, as he shows how much of a master storyteller he is. The art by Lisandro Estherren is beautiful and irreverent. Altogether, a strong story with equally beautiful illustrations, which will definitely give you a different view of this world.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Lisandro Estherren
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Read

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

SwampThing_001_cvr_Jones_56240e9bab2e83.86181442Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #43 (Valiant) – A new year, and a new story arc. After the last gut punchingly brilliant story, Exodus, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Aric of Dacia. Plus, Ninjak… there’s something special about seeing those two characters interact, so my expectations are pretty high for this issue.

Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – This series swept me off my feet after the first issue, and the love affair has shown no sign of slowing down. I love everything about this series.

Spidey #2 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the last issues look at the earlier days in Spidey’s crime fighting career, because it hearkens back to a time before Parker was a globe trotting playboy with a super powered body guard (that sounds familiar…). That it’s also drawn by Nick Bradshaw? Definitely something I’m keeping my eye on.

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Sabretooth trying to turn hero. I intend to pick up the first issue to see whether the idea is as interesting as I hope it will be.

Brett

Top Pick: Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s co-creator returns to write this brand new limited series. There’s been solid runs on the character lately, and I’m excited to see what Len Wein does with this series.

Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – I’ve really enjoyed Garth Ennis’ take on this classic character and war comic. Each issue has delivered in every way and a series that has completely caught me off guard in how good it is.

The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’m a sucker for a story that has a hit-man returning to his profession to get revenge. The first issue is a solid beginning, and it’s a series that could be a lot of fun if you’re in to that sort of story.

Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – I love this series. Focusing on a small town that has created a crazy amount of serial killers, the story has shifted to Atlanta, and I’m dying to know how it ties in to the bigger storyline.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #15, Star Wars #14 (Marvel) – The next two parts of Vader Down? Yes please!

 

Elana

Top Pick: Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s the best sci-fi left wing comic of the year. So obviously we buy it.

A-Force #1 (Marvel) –  G. Willow Wilson is writing and Nico Minoru isn’t wearing that atrocious outfit anymore.

The Fade Out #12 (Image Comics) – It’s the final issue of the best noir and mystery comic in ages. Of course you’re buying it.

Midnighter #8 (DC Comics) – I have had moments of concern and moments of praise for this comic but think this book is on an upswing and with former Catwoman artist David Messina coming on to the book I think it’s going to be great.

Weirdworld #2 (Marvel) – One of the most promising new titles at Marvel. It delivers on the All New All Different promise in a way very few comics have. Latina teenager (yay!) gets trapped in a far-out world of sword and Sorcery.

 

Jason

Top Pick: Howard the Duck #3 (Marvel) – Zdarsky’s second run of Howard comics definitely improves and builds upon excellent foundations and it wasn’t surprising that my one of my favourite series also had one of my favourite issues of the year by far. Finally Howard and Tara come to face to face (or more accurately Bill, face, muzzle and bill) with Shocket and Linda and I can’t wait to see the interactions between them as they try and shake off the annoying advances of The Wizard and the ever looming threat of The Collector. This title along with Squirrel Girl, which it will soon cross over with, always deliver the prefect mix of humour and heart. Once again the talented Mr Quinones is back to regular art duties after the wonderful single issue by guest artist Veronica Fish last month.

Doctor Strange #4 (Marvel) – Continuing a whole week gorging on All New All Different Marvel is issue four of the Bachalo and Aaron’s run on the Sorcerer Supreme. While last issue felt like somewhat of a re-tread of the first issue in terms of plot it’s still a series I’m enjoying. The slow burn of the whole science versus magic story that the duo have been building over the last three issues, with Strange discovering in the last issue that fellow Sorcerer’s are being killed along with places of magical power. Bachalo’s artwork is gorgeous, in particular the way he presents the astral planes and Strange’s unique view of New York City, teaming with mystical parasites. The washed out planes with splashes of colour are simply striking and hint at even greater artistic flourishes to come.

Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – Spinning out of the pair’s excellent solo books the gung-ho raccoon and his monosyllabic companion are finally back together in one book, once again written by Skottie Young, also contributing covers for the series. The addition of new artist Filipe Andrade made me sceptical at first after seeing his one off issue from the last volume. The previous two volumes divided art duties between Young and Jake Parker, both of whom did a delightfully adorable Rocket!

It was the only issue I didn’t like, and for me the artwork seemed jarring against the other two artists more cutesy and cartoony take. While a great style in its own right it was just too serious and seemed out of sync with Young’s quick paced, witty script. However I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong and Andrade seems to have tweaked and softened his style slightly for the new series bringing back in some of the cute. The preview pages have definitely renewed my interest in the title. I eagerly look forward to seeing the mix of his art and Young’s comical hijinks as this issue opens with the pair being mourned by their fellow Guardians!

The Vision #3 (Marvel) – King and Walta’s eerie look at the Vision and his new family continues to spiral out of control as they struggle to stick together as a ‘normal family’ despite the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Truly the strangest and most gripping book that Marvel are putting out at the moment, even with the post-secret wars shake up putting the Vision in suburbia to explore humanity and normality is really bold and it completely pays off. Despite the title, the standout character of this series for me is Virginia. While all this is going on she battles with her own identity and place in the world. Haunting and shocking in equal measures.

 

 

Patrick

Top pick: Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo) – The first issue was a perfect demonstration of establishing a compelling plot and interesting characters. The acclaimed writer of The Omega Men and Grayson explores post-invasion Iraq in this story about the search for justice when no justice system stands.

Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #6 (Marvel Comics) – Many people probably don’t realize how lucky they are to be living in a world where Miracleman gets to see the light of day. The classic hard-to-find story is nearing the end of its reprint, making the greatest superhero-as-god story ever written available to everyone.

Paper Girls #4 (Image) – Four teenage newspaper-delivery girls struggle through an otherworldly invasion. You don’t even need to be able to read to enjoy this nostalgic sci-fi series. Cliff Chiang’s art makes each page a rich, intoxicating experience.

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s original writer brings botanical terror to readers in this new series. If that isn’t enough for those looking for back-to-roots horror, this story is illustrated by the amazing Kelley Jones (Batman: Red Rain, Venom: The Madness).

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #1 (Marvel) – This was one of my favourite titles during Secret Wars, so I’m very excited to see some of the ladies of the Marvel Universe brought together again in “our” world.  It’s going to be fun to see what role Singularity will play in the present universe, and how these heroes will be brought together.

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’m interested in the team line up in the this book (hoping Psylocke is put to better use after that terrible Vol. 4 stint of X-Force), but I’m definitely getting an X-Force vibe off this book after reading the premise.  I hope Magneto is still as compelling in this book as he was in his solo and this offers a lot more then just a lot of scowling, snarling and blood shed.

The Vision #3 (Marvel) – This is the All New All Different title that has been exactly that for me.  I wasn’t even going to give this title a shot, but I am so glad I did; what a pleasant surprise!  Vision has made himself a family to live a quiet ordinary life…and it has been anything but!  The experiment is not going to end well, and I highly recommend picking this title up to see where it all leads.

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