Alex Mansfield's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: All-Comic Reviews: 102
8.2Avg. Review Rating

8.0
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1

Apr 20, 2016

Theres an attitude to 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank thats borderline cocky, but infinitely cool. Its a boldness in its difference and an indifference to its own boldness. Rosenberg, Boss, and Mauer have crafted a stylish visual mosaic thats filled to the brim with earnest and hilarious heart centered around this group of friends going off on an adventure in an anytime setting. It is absolutely worth a shot and ready to hoist you on its shoulders if youre looking to get down with a high with a little help from some new friends.

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10
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #3

Dec 22, 2016

So thats plan. Everyone got it? Sincerity and flippancy melded together into a debonair design that has genuine guile and indefatigable sense of familiarity at its heart. Hit em with humor, hit em with sass, and hit em like few other things can hit. When youre a kid, it feels like the world is out to get you a lot of the time and sometimes thinking you can outsmart the world is the best course of action. Because when youve got your best buds with you, sometimes you just can. And really, a lot of adults are pretty dumb when you get right down to it. Rosenberg, Boss, and crew know it and show it with refreshing confidence. 4 Kids Walk into a Bank #3 is more than just a welcomed return, its a triumphant embrace from an old friend.

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8.0
A.D.: After Death #1

Sep 22, 2016

A.D.: After Death is an alluring premise presented surprisingly and elegantly. Blending science-fiction, mystery, and even horror in a far more literary experience than one might expect, it's content to take its time and dig its emotional heels in. Snyder and Lemire are a dream pairing, two creators in fervent harmony that explore the uncomfortable, undeniable fear of death and the scarier prospect of what happens when its gone. Does it ask a lot of its audience by dedicating a third of its hearty offerings in prose and giving only slight glimmers of where the plot might go? Absolutely. But what is here is enticing, nuanced, and layered. Achieving immortality, conquering the unconquerable inevitable death that keeps so many of us awake, isn't the end game here; it's just where the story starts.

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10
A.D.: After Death #2

Dec 29, 2016

Is A.D.: After Death groundbreaking? No, not quite. It plays with structure, form, and themes in ways that have been seen before, to be sure. However, it is certainly a rare gem of a comic that tickles the imagination in ways that so few comics ever do. A compelling plot thats parts horror and science-fiction and mystery is thoroughly buoyed by the largest questions there are to ask, A.D. After Death #2 offers further proof that the dream pairing of Snyder and Lemire has indeed delivered on its high expectations. Graceful and deceptively contemplative, this is a book that makes plenty of demands from its readers, but offers a plethora of meditative rewards in return.

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10
Airboy #1

May 25, 2015

Airboy will no doubt venture into interesting, introspective directions from here that will still incorporate all of the elements found here, but there is something charming about how this first issue chooses to set up that adventure. This deeply personal, self-deprecating and hilarious 24 page misadventure may very well exist on its own from here on out, but it feels impossibly necessary to understanding what fever dreams may come. Airboy #1 takes itself as seriously as the creators do themselves, how could it possibly do anything less? What it is about and what it will be about are intrinsically tied even if its not entirely clear how self-serving that may be. Even if it is, its not a bad thing. These types of story often runs that aforementioned risk of pretension, but Robinson and Hinkle deftly steer clear of those trappings and instead provide a humorous, heartfelt journey worth peeking behind the curtain to experience.

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6.0
Animosity #1

Aug 4, 2016

Animosity #1 claws at you and flutters by you all at once. Theres a ton of promise here and the creative team provides a cacophonous peek at a world torn asunder onto itself while a newly complex bond of protection and love is sure to be tested right at the center of it all. Pun or not, Animosity #1 is truly wild in how swiftly it unfolds and lunges head first into chaos, both to its credit as well as its detriment. Dipping its toes in the realms of horror, fantasy, and black comedy, Animosity has yet to carve out exactly what its going to be or even what it wants to be, but the seeds have been sown for an introverted look at what it means to be human.

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10
Barbarella and The Wrath Of The Minute Eater #1

Feb 18, 2015

Barbarella and The Wrath Of The Minute Eateris not for everyone and at the same time, it almost needs to be seen by everyone regardless.Bringing Kelly Sue DeConnick on board to instill new life and perspective into an occasionally problematic work is a stroke of obvious brilliance and, especially in Book Two, she doesn't disappoint in her ability to both match the original tone from whence it was borne while empowering its character with new-found relevance and perspective. Forest's original art and story are well-preserved and everything that made this a masterpiece is on full display.The insanity is inexorable and intoxicating, the new adaptation is energizing, and the art is brutally addictive. An absinthe-infused, teasingly erotic journey into the unknown via a determined and sanguined heroine, Barbarella stands tall on this and any other planet as nothing short of stellar storytelling.

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8.0
Black Cloud #1

Mar 30, 2017

Black Cloud #1 is a wonder; its ballad about ballads, and a story that knows the power of stories. Though it may be unafraid to throw you in head first, it does so while tossing you everything you need to float right around you to grab on your own. Hinkle and Wilson deliver the depth to the depth-less possibilities found in a world built on stories and Brandon and Latour incorporate a relevancy and sense of urgency to help ground it all. You may very well have no idea whats going on, or if they serve a damn good cup of coffee in Zeldas world or not, but you wont care because youll be having too much fun being lost.

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2.0
Civil War II #0

May 19, 2016

Civil War II #0 presents itself as setting the stage for the real fallout to come; to provide the quieter and insightful glimpses into the thematic origins of our morality chess pieces in tights. But instead of exploring the inherent internal conflicts through familiar and rich characterizations, it clumsily cobbles together a Philosophy 101 essay on Philip K. Dick over the course of twenty-two pages when its basic plot points could have easily fit into a much shorter epilogue at the beginning issue of Civil War II proper. The only glimmer of life coming in an impromptu therapy session, the script and art almost work harder at pushing you away than at trying to engage you. Hollow, listless, and wholly unnecessary, Civil War II #0 lacks a single engaging element as it forcefully sits you down to listen to its well-worn premise. If this preamble issue is indicative of the event to come, then the only side to choose will be what other comics youll be buying.

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8.0
Colder: Toss The Bones #1

Sep 7, 2015

If you havent been chilled to your core by Colder before, go back and delve into the madness before jumping into Toss The Bones #1. For those that are fluent in its consternate calamity, it satisfyingly delivers with a newfound sense of control. Declan and especially Reece have inexplicably rationalized and compartmentalized all thats come before, but Tobin and Ferreyra look to upend what shaky foundations theyve managed to build. The lithe horror that is Nimble Jack is back and like the mechanics of the Colder Universe itself, virtually without boundaries. (On Sale September 30th!)

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8.0
Copperhead #4

Dec 12, 2014

Really, not a ton happens this issue to drive the who-killed-the-Sewells plot forward, but thats exactly what makes it so enjoyable. Instead of running full steam ahead into capturing the desperado who did this, Faerber and co. delight in building this little mining town into a science-fiction haven and laying the groundwork for what will surely be inter-personal conflict between these nascent characters. The action and character development alternate like a mosey to a sprint leaving the atmospheric dust lingering long enough to relish every page. This is shaping up to be a special book, one that reckons to be a hell of ride on a trip-fantastic of a horse.

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8.0
Copperhead #5

Jan 14, 2015

Issue #5 slowed things down, which might disappoint some, but there's a lot of road left down the trail and what we got in return was an expected vibrant visual treat heavy on keeping the story tonally true and fleshing out already captivating characters. Faerber tacitly plants hints as to the multitude of ideas still left to mine, but Copperhead is in no rush to start blasting lasers for the sake of action or bleeding clichs dry to appease trope requirements. No, it'll continue to mosey at its confident pace building a rich, character-driven experience.

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8.0
Copperhead #6

Apr 7, 2015

What a sight for sore eyes it isto see the harsh small-town of Copperhead again. Clearly paving the way for plenty of drama, this issue delivers everything we've come to expect from this team and everything that makes visiting Copperhead every month a romp and a half. There's so much more left to explore and even if this issue stops to take its breath while introducing some new characters and directions, it still feels like putting back on the best damn fitting boots you've ever owned. Three dimensional characterization, imaginative and vast visuals, constant subversion of genre-tropes, and a wealth of trails to go down, Copperhead #6 is more than worth buying a ticket to visit.

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8.0
Copperhead #7

May 11, 2015

Dating: ain't nobody got time for that. Adept storytelling on all fronts with lively, fully believable characters, Copperhead #7 proves that one doesn't need unbridled action sequences to tell a compelling story. Large-scale ideas are only strengthened when the focus can shift to the smaller moments that reveal worlds about those that inhabit them. Plenty of narrative roads are being laid to investigate and explore down the line, but the small-scale intricacies and nuances of Copperhead keep this as engaging a book you're likely to find. Everyone needs a little love before delivering that sledgehammer of old town justice, and lucky for us this series has both in droves.

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8.0
Copperhead #8

Jun 12, 2015

With conflict above and below the surface and the prospect of a very complicated reunion on the horizon, Copperhead remains a pleasure to ride into every month. Issue #8 feels less dense than some previous issues, which is bound to happen when your breakout star character takes a backseat, but still moves at just the right clip to provide a satisfying blend of genre tropes and character examination. Boo is a large part of this title and starting to dig into his psyche and strife is a welcome change, even if this issue only just scratches the surface. Stellar artwork and tight scripting ensure that Copperhead #8 is a Boo-tiful experience. *Audible boos are heard*

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10
Copperhead #9

Jul 28, 2015

One of the most essential qualities to telling a thoroughly compelling story is its ability to rouse the question, and then what happened?!? Copperhead #9 will have the reader doing this before each flip of the page right up until the end – you guys, when do we get to see inside The Bastion?!?! Look, we know, the Western Sci-fi genre has been done a lot. Fine. Maybe you dont even like Westerns, or youre not into things set in outer space for some truly bizarre reason. Whatever, it doesnt matter. Copperhead is in a league of its own. The only thing one needs to get thoroughly engrossed with what Faerber, Godlewski, Riley, and Mauer are creating is an appreciation for the craft of storytelling. Awesome characters, clever utilization of expected tropes, gorgeous visuals, and the tantalizing promise of even better things to come. What more can you do? Copperheads got my imagination. Got no choice.

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8.0
Copperhead #10

Oct 8, 2015

It may not have been the ending you were expecting, but Copperhead #10 still excels at putting heart and grit at the forefront. What could be seen as a fizzle reads more like a lively and ambient crackle to an arc that reached some very high heights along the way and closes with a surprisingly more earnest end note. Plenty of tantalizing seeds have been laid along the way and with as talented a team as youll find in comics, Copperheads future is inarguably bright. Theyll be bonds to stress-test, responsibilities to be weighed, and moral roads to tip-toe aplenty. But thats none of my business. *sips*

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8.0
D4VE2 #1

Sep 16, 2015

Banana-pants mcfuck-buttons, D4VE is back! Not content to rest on the laurels of the much acclaimed first volume, D4VE2 #1 is a promising start and clever foray into new familiar problems with the same enthusiasm and care. Ferrier and Ramon turn the spotlight on change and on showing that youre never really done figuring things out. Its not about getting out of a rut or about glory days or even about renewed sense of self-worth through alien ass-kicking; its about what comes next. And masturbating robots. ZOMGLOL.

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8.0
Dead Drop #2

Jun 4, 2015

Two issues into Dead Drop and the velocity of this Valiant hero roulette presses on unabated. The plots has thickened a bit, although its far from labyrinthine and it quite ably lays down a track from each of your favorite genre beats. Gorham and Spicer are a formidable art tandem and Kot is ensuring that things wont be slowing down anytime soon. Fast, surprisingly fun and a natural blend of espionage action tropes keeps Dead Drop #2 on track.

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6.0
Dead Drop #3

Jul 15, 2015

Issue #1 established this mini-series would include some off-world threats, no question, and yet issue #3 still feels like something of a sideswipe. Perhaps because of the literal momentum shift that accompanies these revelations, Dead Drop #3 reads like a quick hiccup in an otherwise confidently driven series. Kots employment of Beta-Max is arguably his best use of a recognizable Valiant character yet, with smart, thought-provoking themes and surprisingly empathetic characterization. Gorham and Spicer deliver a mind-bending sequence that more than makes up for some stagnation elsewhere and their distinct styles pair well to bring a recognizable attitude to Dead Drop. The third issues mission statement is simple: Slow it down and ask questions. This isnt a war. Its only death.

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10
Descender #1

Feb 4, 2015

If this first issue is any indication, Descenderis going to be one of those books. You know, the kind we talk about in joyous praise for years to come normally reserved for the likes of Saga or Y: The Last Man or, more appropriately, Trillium. Lemire and Nguyen have something special on their hands, a book with world-building on a scale that tickles every facet of our imagination. We'll see where we go from here, but for now Descenderis a dream of a book. One you will never want to wake up from.

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8.0
Descender #3

May 5, 2015

Descender #3 might have slowed the momentum just ever so slightly, but it still packs a wallop of visual treats. Lemire and Nguyen continue to play with a delicate balance of creating mystery, forming metaphors and ensuring maximum empathetic resonance. Quon and Telsa are still a little too cold, but with Tim-21 now in tow, no doubt Lemire will begin to weave an intricate web of inter-personal relationships and subvert expectations. After the emotional forward flow of the past issues, #3 is a well-timed ebb in what is a sea of near limitless potential and visual splendor.

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6.0
Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #1

Nov 4, 2014

This is a first issue, undoubtedly, but it doesn't allow itself to get bogged down in set-up. It certainly highlights the beginnings of a crisis of conscience for our lead character, but that's also the appeal of learning more. How far can Gilad be pushed before he is broken? Too much time is spent reiterating the particular doubts (we get it, no matter what he does nothing changes) but it's all still a valid and potentially richinterpretation of the character. It moves swiftly and still delivers the requisite action and conflict, but provides an inciting story element in a savior baby that Gilad may very well be playing Mr. Mom to in future installments. That alone should be enough to keep you coming back.

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8.0
Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #2

Dec 2, 2014

Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel takes a large and, more importantly, interesting leap forward with this second issue. Gilad is racked with self-doubt, yes, but both he and the story keep moving and turning in unexpected ways. Like the first issue, we end with a cliffhanger that should hardly have you concerned as to its resolution, but the promise of an underdog story paired with the internal strife of an axe-happy warrior is one that is worth your time.

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8.0
Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #3

Jan 6, 2015

Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #3 ends this arcon a high-note by cleverly revealing itself to be a story about what it means to believe in something despite all evidence to the contrary. It's poetic structure and tone surprises, if not really thrills, the reader to further question why Gilad does what he does and how it affects the world and its people that surround him. It's certainly worth your time if you're a fan of the character, but is also welcoming enough to those less familiar with him. Give it a shot and let your faith be rewarded.

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10
Extremity #1

Feb 28, 2017

Extremity #1 is an open-ended question: how far will you go? When everything, including the very things that define you, are taken away, what comes next? In a tempest of artistic ferocity and amidst a wondrous construction of a fantastical plane, its this examination of an emotional triad to those questions that hits hardest. Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer, and Rus Wooton have thrown down the gauntlet with this dazzling debut about loss, identity, and revenge.

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8.0
Frankenstein Underground #1

Mar 15, 2015

Frankenstein Underground #1 pours a heavy foundation, even if quite a bit is still enticingly unclear. Exactly who everyone is and what their motivations are yet to be seen, as is the case with many a classic beginning. What is evident is that Shelley's Frankenstein is in good hands and Mignola, Stenbeck and Stewart have a firm grip on how to introduce him into the shared Hellboy world. This issue might feel slow to some, but it was all about setting the mood and introducing us to the battered titular creature. It already feels like a tragedy playing out via a classic film reel, but the potential to pull from the established insanity of the Mignolaverse is rife with potential.

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8.0
God Country #1

Oct 29, 2016

God Country #1 is a surprise. Not so much for its quality, but for the focus on family and all the challenges that come with it. Image has been touting the series as Southern Bastards meets American Gods, and while that's certainly apt, the first issue's choice to wade in the dirtier end of the pool as opposed to science fiction theatrics (though there's some rewarding venturing there too) adds gravitas to the mythological. It's about a god wandering the American plains, sure, but it's largely about second chances and fighting to keep the world from crushing down on you.

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8.0
God Country #3

Mar 15, 2017

Turn on that Johnny Cash and crack open a can of beer. Be ready for the hurt that comes with getting another shot at things. God Country #3 isnt afraid to play in the muck of what comes along with being the mess that is a family. Its going to hurt, but no one said that getting another go at getting to the heart of it all was going to be fun and games. You can take a swing at the big bad that made it that way, but youre still going to have to sit down and talk it out in order to really get past the pain.

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8.0
Hadrian's Wall #1

Aug 19, 2016

If Hadrian's Wall #1 feels slow, it's at least slow in full service of thoroughly establishing the tone of this cold, detached existence at the edge of everything. Higgins and Siegel lay out the foundation at a marathoner's pace to allow Reis to engulf you in the cold harshness of environment and mentality. The surface layer is enticing enough, a science fiction twist on a murder mystery with noir underpinnings, but what's under the surface, the thematic undercurrents of our own history repeating itself and how it rears its head in our own interpersonal relationships regardless of time and place, that's the rich promise that lays ahead. Like that Roman solider stationed atop the bitter Northernmost outpost of his world, what's left to ask but, "where do we go from here?"

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10
Harrow County #1

Feb 23, 2015

Harrow County is that landscape painting that hangs above your country kitchen table brought to life and infused with palpable evil by way of the devil himself. Bunn and Crook are co-conspirators in a genuinely frightening conspiracy of lies and nightmares that belies the inviting, alluvial visuals immediately apparent. Its a rare feat to be able to convey real dread and yes, horror in this medium, but Harrow Country absolutely relishes in causing you crypticunease as you find yourself unable to look away. Without a doubt, pick this up and prepare yourself to listen to the silence give way to the flutter of crows wings give way to the crackle of dried leaves underfoot give way to the unending whispers.

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8.0
Harrow County #2

May 31, 2015

Things are happening fast in Harrow County with the immersive opening salvo having established the tone and issue #2 finds an adroit balance between thematic exploration and tension-filled action. The narrative is quickly peeling away at the gruesome details of the pact made amongst this community and the nature of the supernatural occurrences since, while placing the emotional focus on this confused, terrorized young woman who feels trapped between two radically different places with nothing to hold on to. Few titles in this genre are as dense and even fewer are this convincingly textured and realized only two issues in. Harrow County is an elegy of horror, one that straddles the line between childish curiosities and the unforgiving harshness of adulthood.

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8.0
Harrow County #3

Jul 8, 2015

The pace has certainly quickened and the slow burn of the first two issues is rapidly growing in intensity at the conclusion of this third issue. A chilling version of a coming-of-age tale combined with the rural folklore tradition of unbridled fear. Its an inverted morality tale that more closely resembles the darker beginnings of Grimms tales than it does a scary campfire yarn and its all beautifully presented. Trust no one save the witch. Run. Try and fight back against whats building inside you even when it seems that that is who you truly are. Dont be afraid. Be terrified.

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6.0
Hoax Hunters (2015) #1

Apr 3, 2015

Hoax Hunters #1 is loaded with potential and a marvel to look at. Is it the best first issue in the world? No, but it's not really a true first issue; it's the first issue of volume two and part of the fun is in letting the vagaries trigger your imagination. While your brain may be playing catch-up trying to fill in the missing back pieces to the characters' make-up, it'll be soothed by the sharp one-liners and original supernatural frenzy Moreci, Seeley, Dibari and Spicer joyfully throw at you.

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8.0
House of Penance #1

Mar 25, 2016

House of Penance #1 is nothing short of a tactile experience of madness and horror. It's delightfully unsettling in its controlled chaos and structured grotesquery. A swirling mystery set inside a mystery house, Tomasi, Bertram, and Stewart have debuted a title that's engrossing and palpable in its search for closure.

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8.0
Interceptor #1

Nov 2, 2015

Cates and Burnett have given themselves a heap of ideas and contrivances to juggle and explore, but hopefully the getting everyone up to speed portion is set in stone and the focus can shift firmly on developing two irresistibly captivating female leads in a richly realized setting. An aggressive salvo of an opening issue that accomplishes everything a #1 is supposed to including a tantalizing premise, rich and engaging characters, effervescently mesmerizing visuals, and the promise of an absolute planet-wide frenzy of vampiric future sci-fi war. Welcome to Earth.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #2

Feb 17, 2015

The Valiant Next initiative is rife with exciting, genre-expanding titles from a Universe that was already all over the awesome map and Ivar, Timewalker is looking to make its way to the front of the pack. While still trying to get its footing just right and add just a tinge more character development, Van Lente and co. are ensuring that this book will be a gorgeous looking, smirk-inducing adventure every month. If youre unfamiliar with Valiant, dont let that stop you from giving Ivar, Timewalker a try, its familiar and fresh at the same time and, importantly, spits in the face of anonymous internet-dwelling haters everywhere.

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10
Ivar, Timewalker #3

Mar 15, 2015

One of the strongest titles in Valiant's line-up and one that can be enjoyed all its own, if you're up for honest to goodness adventure and a healthy dose of "wtf?" faces.

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10
Ivar, Timewalker #4

Apr 21, 2015

Ivar, Timewalker is your new favorite binge-worthy TV show except its not on TV and theres only four issues available to date, but you get the idea. A richly developed protagonist adrift in a sea of time traveling adventures with an emotional resonance that tickles the funny bone and pats your back when youre feeling down. If you want the big, over-the-top superhero in a shared universe story, theres more appropriate Valiant books for that; but if you want to experience another sliver of that same universe with a lot less gravitas and a lot more science, bitches! well, you know where to look.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #5

May 27, 2015

How does time travel work? Who cares really when those tripping the Mbius strip fantastic are as wonderfully depicted as the cast of Ivar, Timewalker. A loaded issue that subtlety slips in exposition below the radar in favor of highlighting the motivations and conundrums of those experiencing them, #5 is another strong entry into arguably Valiant's most consistently surprisingbook. A bit of step back from the last issue in terms of becoming fully engrossed with a single character, sure, but with the pieces Van Lente, Portela and Dalhouse have put on the board with this issue, the potential for charm, chaos and Lurker lulz is exponentially high.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #6

Jun 18, 2015

Ivar, Timewalker is an absolute blast and this issue more than capably continues this books mission statement of having fun first and foremost, while still managing to successfully craft well-rounded characters on a search for what it means to take control of your life. Neela is literally lying to herself and attempting to circumvent an event in her life that shes let define and motivate her, and now shes got three immortal brothers (one of whom hasnt been particularly honest with her either, by the way) hoping to rescue her from the edge of times end before she can do what has already been established can happen. Whoa, fate is srsly #craycray, amirite? With art that heightens the comedy and drama alike, Ivar, Timewalker #6 is yet another successful entry in a series that has yet to disappoint.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #7

Jul 21, 2015

Dont suck the fun out of the adventure by trying to piece together the finer intricate grains of time travel physics, lest you wind up as nihilistically jaded as The Null. Just go with it and allow for the clever blend of humor and sci-fi swashbuckling to take hold. Pithy banter, real stakes, richly relatable characters, and lively action combine once again to make Ivar, Timewalker dare you to have as much fun as the creators clearly are.

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6.0
Ivar, Timewalker #8

Aug 22, 2015

Ivar, Timealker #8 reveals itself as the tramedy that it's been all along. It's about loss and fighting back against it through time itself while instilling the sense that love fills the future with possibilities that may seem impossible. Dramatically accelerating to the climax before the fallout and resolution of the arc's conclusion next month, it moves almost too quickly to fully emotionally grab hold of.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #9

Sep 14, 2015

This is Ivar, Timewalker at its best: touching, humorous, sharp, and above all, fun. Things are dire, but that doesn't mean they need to be DIRE! Hand-in-hand with a renewed sense of adventure and delightfully sharp dialogue from Van Lente, there's also the best damn commentary on exploiting the imagery of indigenous people in the name of sports mascots that is about as subtle as Ivar's pick-up lines and provides perfect perspective. Reversing roles is the name of the game this issue, in more ways than one. Perspectives shift, change is inevitable, and learning to accept what can and cannot be altered in time and ourselves is questioned. What's next? If it's up to the creative team, it might be this:

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6.0
Ivar, Timewalker #10

Oct 21, 2015

Just go with it, youll have fun seems to be the mission statement of Ending History thus far and its hard to argue with the ideas being thrown out there by Van Lente and Perez. When they bring the silly, they bring it hard, son. Itll be nice to shift back to more character-centric moments with Neela and to see how everything will form a cohesive tale when its all said and done, but theres certainly something to admire about saying, hey before we do that, check out these talking dinosaurs. A bit of an aside that has some visual pacing hiccups, Ivar, Timwalker #10 is hard to refuse based on premise alone. With intelligent dialogue and rich, tonally harmonic art, this is a diversion worth pulling off the road to see.

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6.0
Judas: The Last Days #1

Feb 3, 2015

There is simply a lot to unpack in these 150 pages and multiple readings are certainly encouraged. What is the role of the multiple visionary come crazy characters? Prophets, surely, but theres more there. The idea of the word as a drug and the plethora of other imaginary drugs are fascinating. It may not always be smooth, but theres a captivating aura to this book that refuses to let go of your imagination. Its grounded then its ethereal. Its dark and then its eminently hopeful. Its part One Hundred Years of Solitude, part The Unwritten and one very tiny part Dogma. A story that triumphs the power of story, Judas: The Last Days is utterly fascinating and occasionally perplexing, but one well worth seeking out.

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10
Kill Six Billion Demons #1

Aug 9, 2016

If Kill Six Billion Demons is in itself a beautiful lie, a journey and reality which does not exist and yet can still be read and understood, then Abbadon himself, the creator at the center of this nonexistent omniverse, is the finest of liars. Submit yourself to the tranquil ataxia of this work and the joy that can be found in not knowing what wonder will appear with the next flip of the page.

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8.0
Kim & Kim #1

Jul 6, 2016

Kim & Kim #1 is overflowing with potential and already has asserted itself as aggressively fun and full of genuine heart. Its a romp wrapped in the familiar saga that is trying to figure out exactly what our identity is even when were not sure that there is such a thing as only one identity. Bounty Hunters. Space. Rich, complex characters with rich, complex relationships. Vans. Hitting people with guitars. Like, really hard. Lets do this.

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10
Koma #1

May 27, 2016

Touching and deceptively intricate, Koma is an enchanting look at ones resolve starring a rich cast of character with a truly heroic heart in Addidas. Accept your realities, but dont define yourself by them. Let the machine drive you or take control of all the imbalances that make you who you are and embrace them. Forge your own story. Its just the beginning.

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8.0
Man Plus #1

Jul 7, 2015

Fans of this cyperpunk genre will find plenty to be interested in here with a crime procedural subverting some of the more traditional conventions. It's rhythmically paced, even with some talking head dialogue ebbing the narrative along the way. Man Plus is holding a fair amount of cards close to its chest at this point, and exactly what levels of commentary and how many, if any, will find their ways into the thematic thread are yet to be seen. On its own however, the Moebius levels of detail and skill on display stand bionically tall and the established tone of identity ambiguity merit your attention. There's a wealth of depth left to explore about these characters and this world and Arajo's has demonstrated a level of precision in this debut issue to ensure that the future is far from bleak.

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8.0
Millennium #1

Feb 11, 2015

Starting slower than one might expect, Millennium gradually lulls you into thinking one thing only to continually pull the carpet out from under you as Nolane and Miville-Deschenes weave an impossibly intricate and ornate web. Its characters are endearing even when theyre at their most devious or savage. It never ventures into noir, but toys with being that gritty detective yarn that lingers on your bedside nightstand begging you to pick it up and forgo sleep for just one more chapter. Give in to that feeling and get lost in what feels like a thousand years worth of history in beautifully packaged Y1K-compliant graphic adventure.

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8.0
Monsieur Jean: From Bachelor to Father #1

Nov 24, 2014

Who is this book for? Well, theoretically its for anyone whos ever been unsure about what comes next, but the question should really be, When is this book for? It would be inadvisable to be plowing through a pile of, say, Iron Man orTeen Titans comics and then pick up Monsieur Jean and expect your brain be in the right state to recognize the honesty at work. It would be equally misguided to hand this book to a fourteen year old not yet at the point in their lives when theyve done enough to regret or lived enough to feel trapped by their future. This book is being released at just the right time of year too, late fall/early winter, a time of transition when being able to curl up inside under a blanket and escape the harsh changing temperatures outside is most desirable and creates a sense of ease and acceptance.

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8.0
Ninjak #1

Mar 9, 2015

Ninjak is a sly, cocky European MI-6 agent who dresses up as a purple ninja and lives in a castle while fighting bad guys that have fire-producing hair and a penchant for karaoke. If that doesnt sound awesome to you then continue hating fun you monster. But of course, Kindt, Mann, Guice and co. are crafting a book that looks to know exactly how serious to take itself while still weaving a story of intricacy and mystery. Theres depth here between the silly fun and the razor-fast action thats sure to pay off down the line. This issue provides a just a taste of each element and ensures that the potential teased here will match the surprising complexity of its main character.

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8.0
Ninjak #2

Apr 20, 2015

You want to get nuts? Then let's get nuts! As cool as the other side of the pillow, but with an intricately constructed spine, Ninjak continues tobalance the sleek and sexy with dramatic flair. The second issue doesn't juggle multiple threads and ideas, so much as it tosses them up and slices them together into one lovely diced fruit salad of excess. This book won't rest on its action laurels, instead its determined to build towards understanding the complexities and frailties of what makes up a master assassin, time and time again. Plus, monkey butlers!

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8.0
Ninjak #3

May 18, 2015

With an eye towards the finer nuances of proper ninja-ing this issue, some of the denser storytelling techniques took a bit of a back seat, but calling it mindless would be a huge mistake. Is it stylish? Well, of course; one cant be a proper super spy without the proper dosage of freshness. Whether its the clever use of the opening page utilizing weapons descriptions to examine Ninjaks character traits, or the thematic ties between interwoven narratives of different time periods, Ninjak is far more than it appears. What else could you expect from the sleekest of ninja spies?

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10
Ninjak #4

Jun 23, 2015

Stories within stories, thats been the surprising and satisfying undercurrent throughout this run and Ninjak #4 marks the most overt use of this while delivering something wholly unique. Roku is far more than just a 90s inspired villain with an extreme power-set; no, shes experienced a metamorphosis on a grand scale. Kindt and company have crafted a search for what it is that makes us who we are through the lens of folklore, both ancient and modern. The symbolic dances with the literal and were left to question precisely happened in this quest for self through the underworld. In the end, like names, its all made up, but Ninjak #4 stands tall atop the detritus of the past with stellar art and charmingly complex structuring.

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6.0
Ninjak #5

Jul 27, 2015

Perhaps a little too anxious to show how impressive a hand it still has to play, Ninjak #5 suffers a little from rushing to the first arc finish line. Some big circumstantial revelations are revealed in the flashback, but the typical symbolic imagery and themes arent as prevalent as they had been, suffice to reinforce the hardening of Colins resolve. Kindt, Mann, Guice, Arreola, et al ensure theres lots of ninja ebullience to revel in here and coming off the phenomenal fourth issue was certainly going to be a challenge, but theres no reason to abandon a book as confident and as cunning as its cocksure star.

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8.0
Ninjak #6

Aug 27, 2015

Ninjak remains all sorts of bananas; a book as confident as its protagonist that deftly juggles the ridiculous until it's indecipherable from the insightful and delicate character work. Ral Alln steals the show here and allows the story to flow with a quiet aplomb that is remarkably refreshing. It feels like the story is once again moving towards something, a unified vision that combines the slivers of Colin's past and present into a faceted whole.

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8.0
Ninjak #7

Sep 10, 2015

Ninjak remains full of surprises; a psychological carnival of the ridiculous and the austere. Building a mythology of inner strength and rebirth borne from a place of hate and pain, Kindt, Ryp, and co. are taking a character study to unexpected heights of the monstrous and the familiar alike. Theres been plenty of narrative seeds sown through these first seven issues and theyll need to intertwine more closely soon lest they become too scattered between the multiple timelines, but for now it makes for an interesting sub-textual experience into who Ninjak is and why he is that way.

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6.0
Ninjak #8

Oct 14, 2015

Tales of the lost and of those searching for who they are even as they run away from it coupled with bombast and swagger, Ninjak remains both as cool and as deceptively intricate as ever. This issue suffers from a poor artistic pairing, as each of those creators are unquestionably talented, but simply couldnt quite get on the same page here. It holds Ninjak #8 from being truly great, but be assured that the clever mix of horror, science fiction, and espionage is well worth your time as we dig ever deeper into the psyche of that hurt little British boy who grew up to be the foremost ninja assassin who takes out guys with chimpanzee butlers. Getting to write sentences like that is worth the price of admission alone.

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8.0
Ninjak #9

Nov 5, 2015

Endearingly brazen, far more clever than it has any right to be, and satisfyingly dynamic, Ninjak #9 is an emotionally-driven explosion of an endcap.

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8.0
Ninjak #10

Dec 8, 2015

Operation: Deadside is underway and while the promoted hype about this storyline revolves around of a certain shadowed someone, Ninjak #10 actually is a refreshing jumping-on point that stands on its own merits of superhero spy fantasy euphoria. Bizarre, confident, and captivating, the wild espionage heroics supplant themselves into Kindt and Braithwaite's new surreal landscape with ease. Punk Mambo gets to steal the show and the storys structure allows for a smart starting point to the darker (and hopefully even more insane) shadows to come.

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10
Plutona #1

Aug 27, 2015

Subtle, nuanced, charming, and downright elegant, Plutona #1 delivers on its premise and then some.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

Jan 26, 2015

If you're lamenting the loss of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, get over it you baby. Nah, I'm just bustin' your labes, this is the book that will fill that whole in your heart. Successfully providing comedy, but not at the expense of satisfying action and character work, Asmus, Lieber, McCaig and letterer Dave Lanphear are giving this tawdrytandem a hearty helping of hubris that's big on laughs and short on shame.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody Must Die #2

Feb 23, 2015

Quantum and Woody Must Die! is a study in how to craftily incorporate humor into the superhero genre, without making any of the characters found therein one-dimensional caricatures. If youre already a fan of the characters, everything youd expect is delivered here. If youre unfamiliar, the barrier to entry is practically nil, with the only necessary information succinctly provided in the brief recap found on page one. With all of the setup out of the way, issue #2 provides great payoff to the first issues foundation-laying and provides plenty to look forward to in the series remaining two issues. Do you wish there were more straight comedies to be found in comics? Stop wishing, its right here. A+++ Great seller, reliable shipping, would buy from again.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody Must Die #3

Mar 24, 2015

This is a strong issue from all involved and the uncertainty of exactly where this series is headed in its final issue is part of the charm. Are people still trying to kill them? Will the goat/dad give birth? Seriously, how pissed off is PETA going to be? Like blue-clad Jake Gittes, our heroes keep obliviously stumbling into the actions of others, while just trying to get through their days. Sharp and succinctly funny, Quantum and Woody Must Die! continues to be the cure for the humorless grim and gritty atmosphere prevalent in many a comic today. Unless you feel strongly about pandas.

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6.0
Quantum and Woody Must Die #4

Apr 28, 2015

Must they die? Meh, whatever. What they do instead is far more interesting, even if it veers a tad sharply from where the prior issues led you to believe. It's as sardonic as ever and injected with heartfelt admissions via richly crafted visuals, but given its structuring will likely be read much smoother as collected work. A plethora of cliffhangers teases at a multitude of mishaps, misunderstandings and misgivings left to explore in another chapter (whatever form that may come in) of the greatest/worst/whatever/poop emoji tandem in the Valiant Universe.

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8.0
Quantum Teens Are Go #1

Jan 12, 2017

Quantum Teens Are Go #1 is a tactfully balanced adventure with a punk aesthetic that harkens back to a 80s "kids do crazy science and it works because it just does" rationalization. And that's fun as hell. It isn't mindlessly frantic by any stretch; instead at its core is a relatable experience of feeling maladroit in one world but assuredly comfortable with who you really are in the one that matters most. All that's needed is a way to take control of all of it. Don't just fight the future, make the future.

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6.0
Rexodus #1

Jul 3, 2015

Rexodus may not pull on your heart-strings or wax philosophically about the larger tribulations and mysteries of existence or have you pass it around from family member to family member regardless of which generation they hail from, but it never set out to do any of that. No, Rexodus is all about big, indulgent fun; the kind that everyones inner ten year-old yearns to have when someone asks what happens if dinosaurs could talk and we gave them space guns. You know, awesome fun! Its far more worried about delivering on that promise through the lens of two familiar yet developed characters and a band of merry space adventurers, than it is trying to be the next Happy Feet or Wall-E. Its not executed perfectly, and its group IP-developed origins show themselves from time to time, but Farr and Sommarivas enthusiasm and craft are undeniable and infectious, particularly for the fifth grader in your life. Or sure, even for the fifth grader in you.

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8.0
Secret Identities #1

Feb 17, 2015

It's clear that Faerber, Joines, and Kyriazis love superheroes, but even clearer that this is a sandbox of their own creation and one they intend to mine to the fullest. It's rare to see a first issue, let alone a superhero title, entice the reader with so manyvaried ideas while still providing a wealth of information. This isn't a slug-fest and it isn't a quiet introspective deconstruction of superheroes, but rather Secret Identitiesis simultaneously a celebration of the genre and something new altogether. There is an abundance of potential on display, mixed with the promise of dramatic conflict and requisite action that would typically require a Surgeon General's Warning regardingits addictive properties.

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8.0
Sons of the Devil #1

May 21, 2015

This is a promising start for Sons of the Devil that leaves little doubt as to just how grizzly the tale to come will be. Theres some elements still to be smoothed, but on the whole its a brutally fun, evocative journey into the emotionally deranged. The Mansons aint got nothing on the family reunion headed our way thanks to Buccellato and Infante, who clearly delight in taking their time to ensure that every blow hits with that extra level force.

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8.0
Sun Bakery #1

Feb 22, 2017

Sun Bakery #1 takes itself seriously only insomuch as the act of creating is refreshingly pure. In all its schizophrenic glory, Corey Lewis has crafted a celebration of the acts of creating and storytelling themselves

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8.0
Sun Bakery (2017) #1

Feb 20, 2017

Sun Bakery #1 takes itself seriously only insomuch as the act of creating is refreshingly pure. In all its schizophrenic glory, Corey Lewis has crafted a celebration of the acts of creating and storytelling themselves. Theres an honest sense that anything can happen and will happen; an effect that blurs the fear and invigoration of being completely out of control. Do not hesitate to give yourself over to the frenzy that is Sun Bakery and enjoy every minute of the subsequent face melting.

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10
The Dark and Bloody #1

Feb 10, 2016

The unmistakable humanity, the calm and the struggles, that can be distilled from the pages of The Dark and Bloody #1 are by far the most striking element to a book that is far more than another gory, spooky story. The struggle between what you can control and what you cant (your past, your moonshine operation, your familys security and safety) is palpable and the tension it produces is a wonderful surprise that accompanies a budding, rural supernatural darkness. The Dark and Bloody #1 balances the real with the unreal, the dark with the light, the slow crawls with the rapid sprints, and of course, the dead from the dying.

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8.0
The Doorman #1

Mar 12, 2016

Hitting the mark on virtually every item one would want of a first issue, The Doorman #1 tantalizes the imagination while tickling your funny bones. If you're looking to fill the void of an Ivar, Timewalker or if you're a mark for anything even remotely Whovian, The Doorman has you covered.

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10
The Dregs #1

Jan 18, 2017

The Dregs #1 is a potent debut that's steeped in noir and layered with turmoil both internal and external, fictional and all too real

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10
The Dregs #2

Feb 26, 2017

The degree of craft on display in The Dregs #2 is remarkable"the consciousness of care that each creative participant plays is harmonic

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10
The Fix #1

Mar 30, 2016

The Fix #1 is easily some of the smartest low-brow youll ever read. More than just jokes, its also speaking to the idea of feeling like the constant runner-up in a world thats completely rigged against the little guyeven if said little guy is also just a legit bad guy. And kind of a loser. Also, not that smart. The people on top? Theyre a bunch of kombucha swilling, yuppie gangsters or a pack of millennial hot shot computer nerds hacking Target. The worlds changing and even crime isnt what it used to be. Irreverent, genuine, absurd, and familiar, it all builds to one of the best final page setups youll likely read all year. Spencer, Lieber, Hill, and Shaw are a creative team working in rhythmic synchronicity to deliver a modern day burlesque of a crime story replete with bingo framed armed robbery, taint carving, mime attacks, and illegal battlebot betting rings. So yeah, go get your fix.

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8.0
The Forevers #1

Sep 14, 2016

Much like its characters, being off-putting in terms of tone and dynamic is part of the charm and the emotional resonance of realizing that risk of getting what you want means finding out how worthless it really is. Magic, mystery and menace presented with a defiant flair, The Forevers #1 dares to present you with few answers and lots of ugly truths.

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10
The Ghost Fleet #3

Jan 7, 2015

This review might seem profusely positive and glowing, but folks, go read the issue and say with a straight face this wasn't the best one yet. Admittedly, Ghost Fleet is a surprise, but a very welcomed one. Unique art, genre-mashing events and on-point storytelling, maybe your eyes are playing tricks! You sense and suddenlyeyes fix! Fear if the dark!*throws up devil horns*

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8.0
The Ghost Fleet #4

Feb 3, 2015

To think that an issue that features Scarface-level mansion manslaughter and otherworldly visions that cause characters to bleed from the eyes, could be called toned down. But TheGhost Fleet #4 continues to build its own history and shape its future through compelling characters and heartfelt interactions even as it exhilarates with the controlled insanity that is one of the best comics being published. TheGhost Fleet is consistently rewarding and this issue is no exception, even if continually singing its praises is a beginning to be a problem, its the best kind of problem to have.

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8.0
The Ghost Fleet #5

Mar 4, 2015

The Ghost Fleet hasn't gone anywhere and Cates, Johnson and Affe are making sure you know it by delivering the next punch of their deceivingly deep slobber-knocker. This issue certainly quiets things down and sets the stage for a new conflict, but the character development bombs (no, not literally, though confusion is understandable) hit as hard as anything that's come before. It cannot be stressed enough that this series isn't simply "Supernatural Trucker Stuff!" or anything quite so banal. No, it's a revenge tale rife with visceral heartbreak and intricacies found both in script and in art that isn't afraid to have fun along the way. A much needed "take a breath" issue that still has no qualms about kicking you in the balls, The Ghost Fleet #5 remains a perpetual must-read. Unless something happens to that dog, in which case let's burn everything to the ground. Man, what a night.

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10
The Ghost Fleet #6

Apr 1, 2015

Look, this book is straight-up great. It would be easy to say that the amount of love and energy being put into by this trio of monsters is akin to a bacchanalian frenzy, if it werent done with so much damn skill and care. The Ghost Fleet is so much more than what one expects and as we move ever-closer to the finish line, that same level of care is made all the more apparent with each gigantic leap of craziness. Issue #6 takes things up a notch (okay, a BIG notch) with its exemplary visuals and its satisfying emotionally draining plot twists. Whats going to happen? Did what I think happen really happen? Yes? No? Guns! Trucks! Ahhhhhh! .. In other words, more of the same great Ghost Fleet.

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10
The Ghost Fleet #7

May 6, 2015

Admittedly, had you never read an issue of The Ghost Fleet and this issues cover lured you in with its siren song, saying “wow, this looks really cool” would be a fair reaction. But for the well-versed Fleeter, this issue goes above and beyond looking amazing; it delivers the payoff. It's the payoff to a series that was never content to rest on its action laurels or on perceived trucking tropes. It's the payoff to an emotional ride of loss and revenge. It's the payoff in the form of sacrifice and sacrilege. It's finally finding out what's in that damn truck. (Hint: Put it back in! Put it back in!) What the hell just happened? Awesome happened, my friends. Awesome happened.

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10
The Ghost Fleet #8

Jun 1, 2015

Issue #8 is a glorious coda to a series that reveled in upping the ante with each installment and one where the individual contributions culminate in an explosive and assertive conclusion. Yes, there were ridiculous levels of satisfying action and yes, there were moments of sardonic self-aware humor and it all synthesized in a story that was far greater than one might have expected. In the end, it exceeded all expectations while delivering on every one; friends, the Devil, the end of the world, and a story that never once took its foot off the pedal as it roared forward to what was still to come.

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6.0
The Massive: Ninth Wave #1

Nov 22, 2015

Ninth Wave #1 is a tightly written, beautifully looking book that indignantly tells you that "We have to go back!" with as much tact as Jack from Lost. If one has never read The Massive, this issue is highly recommended; a sharp, compelling heist mission intricately backed by smart and somber real world commentary. With only a single issue to stand on, it's hard to fully judge the larger scope of this prequel's mission and how worthwhile its new insights may be, but for fans of The Massive, one would be forgiven for coming away from reading Ninth Wave #1 asking, "why?"

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8.0
The Paybacks #1

Aug 5, 2015

The Paybacks #1 checks off most of the requirements of a first issue while still being deceivingly (and acceptably) one-note. It's all about establishing the playground while still managing to be honestly fun and giving you a reason to return. Hopefully, an emotional anchor will become apparent as the series progresses and there are hints of that here, and a more diverse cast will emerge, but for now there's plenty to of irreverence to revel in. Staring you in the eye while reminding you that "Hey, you gotta pay for that, you know!" it's a strong debut that's heavy on laughs framed in a well balanced and engaging visual package. Now run, trusty unicorn companion. Run and don't you dare look back.

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10
The Paybacks #2

Oct 5, 2015

The Paybacks is proving to have far more depth and heart than the elevator pitch would imply. Smart and sharp, but as dedicated to the goal of telling an honest to goodness badass superhero story as it is to knowingly high-fiving all that came before it. Theres even a Trace of a Ghost Fleet callback to be found! (Im so sorry). With a creative team running full throttle, it implores you to get in on the fun with a knowing nod and charming smile that belies its profoundly relevant socio-economic commentary.

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8.0
The Rattler OGN #1

Feb 20, 2016

Not every love story needs to play by the same rulebook and The Rattler is a testament to the darker sides of the needs, wants, and madness that come with relationships. Amazingly, despite the grave subject matter, The Rattler is also a ton of fun. It dares you to put it down and not complete it in one sitting (you will) and paints a portrait that isn't grotesque so much as it is tragic. Twists and turns can be found aplenty, but the ending is a legitimate gut punch that isn't telegraphed, but still very sincere without an ounce of shock for shock-value's sake. It's never contrived and plows over the few familiar trappings with ease with gripping storytelling borne from the minds of two true collaborators. Loss, grief, determination, and love; The Rattler refuses to let go.

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6.0
The Shield (2015) #1

Oct 22, 2015

There's a ton to enjoy in The Shield #1, not the least of which is the vigorous delving into defining the role of a soldier and the price of that responsibility. With a plethora of ideas and potential ideals introduced, there's certainly room to find its footing, but it commands your attention almost immediately. Victoria Adams is a bold, refreshing take on a character lost to time and one who's journey looks to be a hard-fought one to accompany her on. Lord knows she'll be able to take it on with unfettered confidence. USA! USA! USA!

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6.0
The Steam Man #1

Oct 4, 2015

Look, if the fact that the giant robot is wearing a metallic top hat isnt enough for you to get on board with The Steam Man, thats a problem you need to figure out for yourself. For everyone else, this debut issue entices a sense of whimsical adventure and then promptly punches you in the face with beguiling horror. Whether that balance gets smoother or leans more heavily towards one will be interesting, but for now its still establishing itself and finding its feet with sharp dialogue and an unbeatable premise. It's too early to tell if the multitude of ideas thrown at the steampunk fan will result in a cohesive story or if there's any larger allegorical elements at work, so its still something of a stew instead of a finished dish. A mish-mash of genres thats still structured compellingly and a rich, clean visual presentation make for a strong start. A history that never was, a threat that never ceases, and an adventure thats never yielding, The Steam Man is worth a look.

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10
The Tipping Point #1

Feb 3, 2016

The Tipping Point: that inescapable fountainhead where everything that was and everything that will be are one; a moment of pure mutability that births an infinite possibilities at once. Thematically and artistically, The Tipping Point is, on an imaginative scale, a grand experiment in making the far away nearer, the small massive, and the disparate whole. It is an anthology, yes, but it is also a work that reads as one in the shifting literal and figurative tones of its parts. It is a curiosity deserving of your gawking and one that begs to be revisited in continued volumes with an ever-changing aggregate of the world's creators and the perspectives they bring.

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8.0
The Violent #1

Dec 10, 2015

The Violent #1 is a gorgeous, ruthless debut. Only one issue in, this is on par with any Brubaker/Phillips work in terms of tone and execution, but somehow even more perfectly painful in scope. Its a pleasure to work your way through it, just be prepared to get bruised up as you do. How do you do the right thing when youre not sure there is one for you? How about when youre not sure you want to? We all get desperate at times and weve all had to survive in our own way; Brisson, Gorham, and Garland take that to extremes without ever leaving the cold, unforgiving ground. Oooof, lets pour one more.

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4.0
The X-Files: Deviations (One-Shot) #1

Mar 12, 2016

If this were the first issue of a mini-series, it would hold promise that the best is yet to come and that this was merely laying the groundwork for a mad mining of thematically rich soil. Sadly, it is a one shot that was touted as providing answers fans have been asking for years a promise that doesnt even remotely come close to being delivered on. Instead, its a hollow rehash of familiar events that never ventures into the unexplored, let alone the unexplained.

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8.0
There's Nothing There #1

Apr 23, 2017

Theres Nothing There #1 is eerily comfortable making you uncomfortable. The reality of how often we make our lives nothing more than veneer, or worse, how we strive for this, is laid bare while reflecting against occultist imagery. Just how much it ultimately has to say isnt clear, but what Theres Nothing There #1 introduces is nothing short of enticing. Kindlon, Llovet, and Campbell are a formidable creative team that craft an unnerving yet breathtakingly beautiful looking book that dares to peel back the faade and ask whats underneath.

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10
Two Brothers #1

Sep 15, 2015

Two Brothers meanders through the dreams, the ghosts, the memories of two brothers who were born lost. Awash in the exotic substance of a changing country, the gradual and tragic conflagration of a family enrapt in passion and secrets is a wonder to experience. Adapting the enigmatic masterpiece that is Hatoums original novel, Moon and B have made Two Brothers their own. This is the realization of graphic novel storytelling at its peak; a work that breathlessly flutters through memories with amazing ease and captivating control. It would be easier to list what Two Brothers is not about as opposed to the myriad of heartfelt wonderings it incorporates into its whole, but if nothing else, its about potential and the passions that steer us to and from it. For Moon and B, with their skill on full unfettered display, that potential is limitless.

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8.0
Valiant Sized Quantum and Woody #1

Dec 3, 2014

Clocking in at an irreverently generous 40 pages, Valiant-Sized Quantum and Woody #1 is an absolute lark (the herald! Angels sing".sorry). Comprised of three interlocking stories written by Tim Seidell and James Asmus with Pere Prez and Brian Level on art duties, this is a lighthearted adventure that's packed with the required humor and subtle heart that one has come to expect from Quantum and Woody.

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8.0
Wayward #5

Dec 17, 2014

While the issue does end on a pseudo-cliffhanger, one in which the actual outcome cannot possibly be in question, it is a vigorously successfulclosing chapter to the opening season of Wayward. Reading the story up until now has felt like trying to hop on a rapidly accelerating train and only being able to hold onto the railing as it zooms forward. Who is that? What was that? Wait, did that thing just..? Who cares! This is one of the most fun rides in comics, and one that should appeal to a very wide audience with its blend of genres and vibrant art. It could likely stand to let things breath for a moment when it returns in March 2015, let the dust settle a little so all involved can get their bearings. But Zub and co. probably will return with their feet on the pedal, giving you the perfect excuse to go and catch-up on this uniquely charming series. What's the Japanese word for “Dramamine”?

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10
We Can Never Go Home #5

Dec 3, 2015

Weve been promised a return to the world of We Can Never Go Home in 2016 and thank the feckin gods for that. This series has been the biggest and most welcome surprise of 2015 and it deserves every accolade its received ten times over. Duncan and Maddie are two of the most fully realized characters anywhere, even as they themselves struggle to realize who exactly that is. Grow up, move on, hold on to things, but never ever go backwards. Thats just the beat of time the beat that must go on. If youve been trying for years, we already heard your song. And its glorious. Fuck you, WCNGH, for being so much more than just another story.

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8.0
Welcome Back #1

Jul 30, 2015

Welcome Back is full of surprises; a coming of age tale run delightfully amok through blood soaked supernatural eternal war. Even though her life is about to get a lot more unique, this debut issue firmly establishes her as someone real, someone that is made up of parts of everyone whos never been able to figure out exactly what it is theyre supposed to be doing. Some extraneous exposition aside, Sebela has made presented an enticing concept that urges you to return and Jonathan Brandon Sawyers art needs to be seen. The futility of war, the questionable unquestioning role of the soldier, the struggle to find a place in a world where a bunch of murder fetishizers keep sending you letters, and the best damn guard dog in the world; theres a plethora of places, themes, and impossibilities Welcome Back will likely explore, but for now, issue #1 is a welcomed sight to behold.

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10
Wonder Woman (2016) #4

Aug 10, 2016

If you have never connected with Wonder Woman before, read this issue. If she still doesnt click with you, then she never will. If youve been yearning optimistically for the honor, love, and potential that pump through Dianas veins, read this issue. Its only a beginning, and a tightly restrained one at that, but its still a smart and fully satiating glimpse at the best of us in the face of a new challenge. DC has entrusted this team with the power that this character can unleash. Rucka and Scott are clearly up to the challenge of using it with wisdom and love.

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10
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

Oct 15, 2015

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior#1 firmly establishes itself as the best first issue to come out of Valiant yet. This is not the bloodlust-fueled ferocity the title implies, it's deeper and far more intricate than that. With an eye towards a neoclassic sense of wonder and tragedy, it's a humbling and human affair awash in haunting beauty. Prepare yourself to be surprised by the approach and the execution because this series has set itself up as something to get lost in for what will feel like a very welcomed eternity.

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