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Mini Reviews Week Ending 23/1/2016

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

IronBardCoverIron Bard Ballisto (Milk and Shadow Books) Was one of those comics that I didn’t know what to expect. It’s funny, irreverent, and utterly worth reading. The Iron Bard is a warrior uses music to fight his enemies, and this leads to some genuine laugh out loud moments. I loved it. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Hangman #2 (Dark Circle) I was’t a huge fan of the first issue, but this one is better, and actually puts a bit of perspective on the last issue. As things are progressing, this may be a series to watch, and eventually pick up in trade; but there’s just not enough here (yet) for me to recommend you buy this. Overall:7 Recommendation: Read the Trade

The Spirit #7 (Dynamite) This series has been a consistently solid effort for the past six issues, and this issue is no exception. It is part 7 of a 12 issue tale, so not the best place to jump on, but when collected this will be a fantastic story to read. It may not be the bet thing since sliced bread, but what it does well it does very well. I’d definitely pick this up in the eventual trade, or the full series. Whatever works for you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Bigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman #2 (Action Lab) This is a rollicking good sci-fi adventure in the vein of John Carter. But with a Sasquatch. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Surviving Megalopolis (Dark Horse) I never read the original Leaving Megalopolis, but you don’t need to in order to enjoy this comic (it may help, though). Worth looking into if you enjoy your heroes turning crazy evil, coupled with some great art and writing. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

BPRD Hell on Earth #139 (Dark Horse) – A solid issue with an epic battle. It’s not a good one for new readers, but for long time readers it’s a solid payoff and that ending is just a holy shit moment we’ve all been waiting for. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Star Wars #15 (Marvel) – Why did Uncle Owen dislike Kenobi? What was Kenobi doing on Tattoine? This issue answers so many questions and also asks even more. For Star Wars fans, it’s a must get. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – Really, it’s all about that ending and set up for issue 50. And that ending got me so excited. This is a great ending to the current arc that sets up a hell of a direction to come. Tons and action and all fun. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #2 (Marvel) – I love Cullen Bunn’s story. I hate Greg Land’s art. The Dark Riders are back, and they are badass, and this story is such a good focus on two characters. Just need a better artist, aaaargh! This would be “the” comic if that were the case. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

 

Ryan C

Devolution01-Cov-G-2ndPrint-LeeDevolution #1 (Dynamite)**: The post-apocalyptic Las Vegas setting is a page out of “Resident Evil,” but the most obvious influence here is Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade’s criminally-overlooked “Crossed + One Hundred,” as Rick Remender and Jonathan Wayshak bring us a not-quite-zombie tale with a twist featuring a strong, well-rounded female lead .Gorgeous art, but maybe titles like “Black Science,” Tokyo Ghost,” and “Low” had me expecting more from Remender-penned sci-fi than we’re getting here so far, because, while admittedly fun, this is plainly — and at times even painfully — derivative stuff. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)* : The addition of groan-inducing lame humor into the mix of Holly Black and Lee Garbett’s take on the former head honcho of Hell is actually quite a bit of fun, as is the injection of a subplot centered around a trapped demon who’s unable to get a luckless mortal to do his bidding because, well, she’s already taken matters into her own hands and decided to start killing everyone she doesn’t like herself. Not sure how it all ties together, but then, that was often the case with the best of the slow-developing “old-school” Vertigo storylines, which this series is taking great pains to (successfully, I might add) invoke. And now, having paid his less-than-respects to fan-favorite character Mazikeen, Lucifer is heading to — The Dreaming! The cynic in me really wants to actively dislike how obvious this all is, but the eternal optimist I only let out on special occasions is loving the ride so far and can’t wait for more. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Clean Room #4 (Vertigo)*: This one’s taken some time to grow on me, and with the fourth issue I think that Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt have finally hit the “sweet spot.” And by sweet, I should say that I actually mean sour — there are no real redeeming characters here, and the psychological implications of the horror on offer are as relentlessly disturbing as their physical manifestations. Do I completely understand what’s happening? Shit no, I can’t even competently summarize it. But it leaves me thinking — a lot. And certainly rewards careful re-reading, as the plot is almost meticulous in its intricacy. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

tokyo ghostTokyo Ghost #5 (Image)**: Balls-out action underpinned by a shitload of tragedy, both moral and physical, adds up to the most briskly-paced, edge-of-your-seat issue of this developing Rick Remender/Sean Murphy potential dystopian sci-fi masterpiece yet. Every panel a gut-punch, every word dripping with import, April can’t come soon enough, this first arc was the most glorious train wreck in ages. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean

Star Trek Volume 11 (IDW): I have been a Trekkie my whole life and the work IDW has done with the reboot and the original continuity has been impressive so far especially with this collection of stories . In the first story, they explore an interesting theory of quantum physics. The second story plays much like the beginning of Star Trek: Into Darkness , if the crew encountered Birdmen. The last story is probably my favorite, as it wrangles all of our favorite doctors from the different TV series as they meet the iconic Dr. McCoy. Overall, an excellent collection that stays true to Gene Roddenberry ‘s spirit.
Overall: 10 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!

Lucifer_Cv1_SDCC_559dae8a9dfde9.56453707Wednesdays 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: Ivar, Timewalker #12 (Valiant) – This series has become one of my favourites with it’s mix of humour and intelligently handled time travel fueled story line that is both twisted and surprisingly easy to follow. With the current arc coming to a close this issue, I’m stoked to see just how the arc comes to a close.

The Goddamned #2 (Image Comics) – You know what? I love the idea behind this comic, and it’s re-imagining of a certain book has an edgy feel to it that I love. Violent and unapologetic, I can’t wait to see where Jason Aaron takes this.

Huck #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was a great surprise filled with a childlike innocence. While I doubt that’ll continue, I am curious to see what direction Millar heads here.

Judge Dredd #1 (IDW Publishing) – A character that’s a staple for many Brits, I’m looking forward to see how this translates on this side of the pond.

Klaus #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Viking Santa as told by Grant Morrison with some stunning art by Dan Mora? Can’t. Get. Enough.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Lucifer #1 (Vertigo) – I’ve watched the television pilot for the 2016 television series, and I have no idea if this comic will be close in tone or plot. But, Vertigo has a solid history with the character and it’s one I’m eagerly awaiting to see what it’s like and about.

Descender #8 (Image Comics) – Jeff Lemire’s sci-fi tale isn’t just touching and exciting, but the art by Dustin Nguyen is beautiful to look at. Last issue had a hell of a revelation (though you could see it coming) that has me even more excited to see what’s next.

Superman: American Alien #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue of this miniseries was one of the best takes on Superman that I’ve read in a long time. I can’t wait to see what the second issue has in store for us.

Squadron Supreme #1 (Marvel) – The concept of a super power team from other worlds taking out threats through any means necessary is intriguing. This is the Avengers who have no issue killing. The concept sounds a bit like the Dark Avengers to me, and that’s ok since it was a concept that worked, and these character push should make an interesting eventually collision with the rest of the Marvel U.

Weirdworld #1 (Marvel) – I’ve already read the first issue and I’ll admit that this comic was initially low on my list. But, after reading that first issue, I can say this is one of the best debuts of All-New, All-Different Marvel and a solid read this week. Fantastic debut.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – I couldn’t love a comic more. In Phonogram phonomancers use music to do magic, generally to transform themselves (which never ever backfires, oh no). A must read for anyone who is super particular about what they listen to. Here’s my treatise on why this comic is so brilliant.  and here’s my fan mix/review of issue 4.

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine #17 (Image Comics) – Finally: the Sekmet issue! We haven’t heard much from the Rihanna cat goddess stand in so I’m eager to hear what she has to say. The art is from Brandon Graham who’s anime and hip-hop influenced style is PURRREFECT (sorry) for this issue. Check out my review of issue 16.

Batgirl #46 (DC Comics) – Spoiler is back! Spoiler is back! Batgirl is teaming up with Spoiler!

Jem & The Holograms Holiday Special (IDW Publishing) – Sounds like fun mischief with The Misfits. Sophie Campbell’s exhuberant and wonderfully diverse art has been key to the series success but I am excited to get our first look at new artist Amy Mebberson. She’s done a lot of Disney but I hope she maintains the body diversity that has made this comic resonate with so many people.

The Mighty Thor #2 (Marvel)Issue 1 starred the arm seen round the (comics) world. Can’t wait to see what issue 2 has for Doctor Jane Foster who is Thor and is awesome.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Descender #8 (Image Comics) – Tim-21 and Tim-22 team up to join the Robot Resistance. Forget Star Wars, when is J.J. Abrams making a Descender movie. Just kidding, I love Star Wars too, but this is really good sci-fi storytelling. Asimov would approve, and so do I.

Cognetic #3 (Boom! Studios) – James Tynion IV’s and Eryk Donavan’s latest horror book concludes as the Apocalyptic Sister and Brother mind bending sibling rivalry comes to an end (for at least one of the two).

ExMortis #2 (451 Media) – Monsters unite to fight the first True Monster: Hitler. Good old fashioned WW II action with a Frankenstein versus Nazis twist; and a werewolf, too, thrown in for good measure.

Tokyo Ghost #4 (Image Comics) – Rick Remender’s dystopian, over-entertained future society, riddled with Japanese inspired memes, is depressing and entertaining at the same time. Plus Sean Murphy’s visuals pushes this one over the edge.

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #2 (Valiant Entertainment) – The Eternal Warrior’s Dantean escape from Hell (or was it Paradise) begins. It’s written by Robert Venditti who never disappoints, with steel inspired blood splattering art by Raul Allen.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day today! What’s everyone excited for? While you decide, here’s some comic news and reviews to keep you entertained.

Around the Tubes

CBR – The Mission: Captain America’s Redemption, Consumer Trepidation & the Battleground for Acceptance – As always, Joe Illidge puts together a great read.

Kotaku – Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator – Some truly amazing art. Our thoughts go out to Noriyoshi Ohrai’s friends and family.

Kotaku – That’s A Big LEGO Star Destroyer – Want!

Gizmodo – No, Maybe This is the Best Boba Fett Figure Ever Made – Also want!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Nothing But Comics – From Under Mountains #2

The Outhousers – Tokyo Ghost #2

CBR – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d everyone get? What’d folks like? What’d folks dislike?

Around the Tubes

Newsarama – Michael Madsen Joins Powers – Interesting addition.

The Comics Journal – Ted Rall vs the Los Angeles Times – Damn! Hell of a take down and look at what’s going on.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Outhousers – Archie #3

CBR – Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger #1

Comic Vine – Captain America: White #1

Comic Vine – The Flash #44

Comic Vine – Fury: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1

The Outhousers – Godzilla in Hell #3

Comic Vine – Grayson #12

Comic Vine – Martian Manhunter #4

CBR – The Sandman: Overture #6

Comic Vine – Sinestro #15

Comic Vine – Spider-Island #4

Comic Vine – Tokyo Ghost #1

Comic Vine – Weirdworld #4

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and we’ll be at the Rose City Comic Con and SPX! That’s right, multiple con coverage all in the same weekend.

While you await for that, here’s some news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – Google Play Applies Double Standard to Erotica in Comics – Yup.

Newsarama – G.I. Joe Creator Looks To Reclaim Ownership From Hasbro – Well this should be interesting.

Reading Eagle – Many superhero comic books have historical Jewish roots – Some good history.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Captain America: White #1

Talking Comics – Captain America: White #1

Bam Smack Pow – Doctor Fate #4

CBR – Star Wars #9

CBR – Tokyo Ghost #1

SDCC Image Expo 2014: Image Announces 12 New Series

Image_Comics_logo_largeImage Comics to kick off San Diego Comic-Con held a special Image Expo where they announced a dozen new series!

Check out below for a complete listing and some art from the series.

Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy’s TOKYO GHOST:

TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the “law” enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines.” The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong’s FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS:

Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS. Three unlikely figures—a lord’s daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.

Joe Casey and Paul Maybury’s VALHALLA MAD:

VALHALLA MAD introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this

particular trio of fun-loving gods’ return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.

John Arcudi and James Harren’s RUMBLE:

RUMBLE is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.

Ray Fawkes’ INTERSECT:

Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.

Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller’s THE HUMANS:

Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.

Gabriel Hardman’s KINSKI and Hardman and Corinna Bechko’s INVISIBLE REPUBLIC:

KINSKI, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko (HEATHENTOWN, Savage Hulk, Star Wars: Legacy). Described as a gritty sci-fi series, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC explores the secret history of one man’s rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.

Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s SOUTHERN CROSS:

Now boarding: SOUTHERN CROSS, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s DESCENDER:

DESCENDER will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s DRIFTER:

Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in DRIFTER. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.

Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey’s TOOTH AND CLAW:

In TOOTH AND CLAW, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny…TOOTH AND CLAW is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.

Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s INJECTION:

INJECTION explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it’s all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.

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