Brandy Dykhuizen's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Doom Rocket Reviews: 54
7.6Avg. Review Rating

6.0
3 Floyds: Alpha King #1

May 6, 2016

Courtesy of 3 Floyds Brewery and Image Comics.Courtesy of 3 Floyds Brewery and Image Comics.Courtesy of 3 Floyds Brewery and Image Comics.The small-scale brewer defending his wares against the evil rice king will surely appeal to beer geeks and brewers with strong opinions about craft beer's current "hold out or sell out" dilemma. However, it was hard not to feel like I was reading a subtle commercial, mostly because the two plots failed to really gel and provide a smooth read. While the artwork is amazing and the book contained some undoubtedly excellent moments, the overall arc and pace is oddly syncopated, ending on a somewhat awkward note. You'll raise a pint to toast it, but you might not remember what the fuss was about the morning after.

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7.5
Black Eyed Kids #1

Apr 22, 2016

The beauty of B.E.K. lies in what is absent. Neither Pruett nor Kudranski is interested in shedding light on the situation in the first issue " in fact, not a moment of this book takes place during the day. Characters wander through the snowy dark, active but not reactive. There ismurder, there are societal implications (horrifying though they may be), there are terrifying transformations. For now, these eerie outsiders drivethe plot, which serves to banish the reader to the margins, in the company of the civilians and police who are trying just as hard to wrap their minds around the children's intentions. The meat and the measure of the story may not be for everyone. However, for those of us with overactive imaginations and a penchant for the macabre, Black Eyed Kids is an excellent, lingering read that offers chills that resonatesfor days.

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6.0
Black Eyed Kids #2

May 23, 2016

Having the fate of humanity spelled out for us, and learning that humans are merely the cattle another species requires for servitude, work and sustenance lurches the reader out of the luridly entertaining fever dream Black Eyed Kids worked so hard to create. While the book will no doubt continue to be spooky and surely we can always count on gorgeously dark and chilling art, the overall spell has been broken via a clumsy bout of TMI. Hopefully this is not a stylistic harbinger of things to come. Hopefully BEK will return to beguile us with its subtler, creepier charms.

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7.0
Bloodshot U.S.A. #1

Oct 27, 2016

Bloodshot U.S.A. is a fun revival of a classic Valiant character with plenty of new twists and surprises thrown in. And if you've been fantasizing about slaying masses of zombified hate-mongers in recent months, BloodshotU.S.A. will be happy to escort you through an alternate reality in which vitriol is viral and heads will roll.

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7.5
Dejah Thoris #1

Feb 3, 2016

Cliches and tropes aside, it looks like the tables will turn for our eponymous character, and her journey between truth and justice will be a fun, ass-kicking ride.

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8.0
Demonic (2016) #1

Aug 19, 2016

DeMeo warned, as she swung the axe, that "That thing you fear in the dark at night? It's always been you." With a shout-out to Faust, Demonicdives into its pactwith the devil, asking us to examine how closely we are intertwined with our latent collective horrors, and how we go about reconciling one evil with another. Existing in the shadows, even the gore is relatively understated, allowing the horror to focus on the unknown and the terror of human potential. If you're prepared to lock your brain into a long, harrowing conversation about the nastier components of the human condition, this book is for you.

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9.0
Dept. H #1

Apr 25, 2016

The contrast between a deeply personal story and Mia's relative detachment render the Dept. H debut fantastically intriguing. As Mia sets aside emotion in favor of her scientific approach we earnestly root for this woman we know nothing about. I can't recommend this book enough.

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9.0
Dept. H #2

May 23, 2016

Mia grapples with feelings of powerlessness and insignificance, which she uses as fuel to propel her through the seemingly futile task of finding her father's killer and seeking justice. While most people would crumble under the pressures of decades of family history (and countless tons of water), Mia methodically and heroically sets her sights on the answers, giving pause to neither fleeting distractions nor colossal obstacles. Not only will Mia succeed in her mission, she would happily die trying.

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7.5
Dept. H #3

Jun 28, 2016

The further into the story Dept. H takes us, the deeper we dive into Mia's pressure and paranoia. Making your readers feel as choked and helpless as your characters is the mark of excellent writing, and only by sticking it out with Mia to the end can we hope to surface in time to catch our breath.

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8.5
Dept. H #5

Aug 29, 2016

Between the floating false sound bites, and secret codes dispensed via video conference, the Kindts' remind us to look past the protocol to absorb clues and communications from surprising sources. Never letting us get too close to the truth and ceaselessly throwing curve balls, Dept. H continues to be a creative, riveting and dazzlingly beautiful read.

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8.0
Dreaming Eagles #1

Jan 4, 2016

Amidst the narrative of our fictional airman, Ennis sprinkles factoids of black American history. The history Ennis drops throughout Dreaming Eagles never seems stale or irrelevant, though it does occasionally have a gathered-'round-the-campfire feel " but one would expect a small soapbox to be present in order to properly secure an audience's attention, instilling the necessary agitation for change.

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7.0
Dreaming Eagles #2

Feb 1, 2016

There is a fascinating and important story to tell here, and one that has been overlooked and relegated to "footnote" status for far too long. However, the second issue of Dreaming Eagles is hugely expository, weighted heavily by its history. Reggie is a character comfortable atop his soapbox, and we cheer him on to share his message, through which he may finally connect with his son. This heightened attention to period detail operates as a stark contrast to Eagles' first issue, with its visceral humanity and singularity of story. While this particular issue may not keep you in rapt attention, it will give you a front-row seat to view Magee's "sun-split clouds" and "footless halls of air," which is, as you can imagine, more than enough.

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6.5
Dreaming Eagles #3

Mar 7, 2016

The lessons in racial diversity remain sharp and well arranged, but the diversity of scene and dialogue wanes a bit in comparison with the previous two issues. Regardless, I look forward to seeing Simon Coleby's rendition of the P-51 Mustangs, hinted at in the last lines of this book (and the cover preview). We've seen just how beautiful this team of Ennis, Coleby and Kalisz can make a dogfight look, and there's a thrill that comes with knowing the Tuskegee Airmen are poised to spit fire over Italy any day now.

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8.0
Ether #1

Nov 17, 2016

While Kindt portrays the duality of Boone seamlessly, Rubin echos the smooth transitions in his artwork, illustrating how the combined chaos within a city can come together as one coherent organism. He takes us from bustling marketplaces to a goofy, outlandish cab ride to a dauntingArt Deco library, filling the pages with a handful of styles that flawlessly fit together. This is a team with whom it's worth taking an inter-dimensional journey, for plot and picture are both fantastic down to every delightful detail. Whether you favor the scientific or you have a taste for the magical, Etheris worth your while.

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8.0
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Jan 27, 2016

From cover-to-cover, artist-to-artist, we see unbridled joy on Faith/Zephyr's face whenever she is airborne. How is such a Rubenesque figure soaring to these heights, you may ask? How is gravity defied with such a disregard to physics? Is it "flying and a bit of kinda-sorta-maybe telekinesis?" The answer is, "Who the hell cares?" If flying is what you do, if flying is what you are, and if flying is what you love, disregard the naysayers. Fat, skinny, old, young, male, female, whatever " just have a little faith, put on your cape, and kick some bad guy ass. And keep smiling all the while.

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8.5
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas #1

May 31, 2016

Little does a fantastic job portraying the many sides one of the 20th Century's most uniquely full-throttle Americans. Intellectual at heart and a complete and utter mess by design, Thompson and his adventures lend themselves well to comic book format. I'm ever so grateful for such a respectfully helter-skelter retelling.

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9.0
Glitterbomb #1

Sep 9, 2016

In a town where everybody uses each other to get ahead (even the babysitters have demands), there is a force set on leveling the playing field. The beauty of Zub's story is that we're all just meat. The casting call is nothing more than a meat market. Now Farrah gets to make a meal out of all the backstabbing agents and sanctimonious cows just "trying to be nice." Glitterbomb#1 rainshorror and revenge onto the everything-is-beautiful Hollywood delusion tofantastic results. Highly recommended.

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7.0
Glitterbomb #2

Oct 17, 2016

For anyone who's worked in showbusiness, the criticisms on impermanence and clamoring to be a part of the revolving door of pretty faces must sting true. Those of us whose paths are less in the public eye can still relate to the fear of being replaced by a younger, prettier model, and Farrah's frustration by the pointlessness of it all. It may not be the most uplifting of stories, but Glitterbomb gets right to the point with the absurdity of expectation and insatiability, and is happy to dole out the pain where vengeance is due.

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6.5
James Bond #4

Feb 15, 2016

All in all, Bond is always a treat, and Ellis and Masters have produced a solid comic designed to leave us in suspense by the end of each successive issue. This is a fun series for reading on a beach, paired with a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning (I mean, I'm just guessing). And I definitely will be tuned in next time to see how our hero escapes the next predicament these creators put him through.

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7.0
Kim & Kim #1

Jul 8, 2016

Eva Cabrera's clear, clean art, doled out lovingly inshades of Manic Panic, always keeps the readerin the middle of the action. And, in spite of themselves, the ladies end up displaying some real insight in terms of themselves and the wild world around them. There's a beating heart in there, and writer Mags Visaggio is definitely its source. If you're looking for interdimensional, guitar-wielding kick-ass summer fun, look no further.

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8.0
Kim & Kim #2

Sep 12, 2016

While the Kims don't take "no" for an answer, they are (eventually) aware of their restrictions and open to listening and learning. Tom Quilty may not be any closer to home yet, but you can bet the girls will invent a way to put as much space between him and the dreaded El Scorcho as an electric guitar and a space van will allow. Quantum jams are go.

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7.5
Lady Killer 2 #2

Sep 20, 2016

Snuff spree or merely a tale of a woman making her way without letting a steady stream of male "helpers" cramp her style, Lady Killer 2 has me hooked.

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8.0
Lady Killer 2 #3

Nov 18, 2016

As things heat up on the homefront and work starts to intrude into her personal life, Josie, like any concerned homemaker, is left to figure out what's best for her family. Much like her husband is conflicted with his boss' asinine behavior, which in turn directly or indirectly affects his family, Josie is left to consider whether good ol' Uncle Irving is more of an asset or a tangible threat. A clandestine meeting at the local department store shows that her options are running thin, and by the time she makes it home, Irving has already forced her hand into the next move. Lady Killer 2is diving into the meat of the story. Actions begin to have consequences in the book's most delightful issue yet.

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7.5
Mayday (2016) #1

Nov 3, 2016

The Cold War is often depicted as a stuffy, repressed conflict between a handful of supercharged egos with fingers on the trigger. First-hand accounts have shown that the murkiness didn't stop at the top, and much of the struggle relied those smaller stories, in which the best-laid plans turn sideways and unsuspecting bystanders get caught in the fray. As a walk through an alternative history curated with fantastic earworms, Maydaybrings a welcomed new perspective to Cold War drama.

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7.5
Moonshine #1

Oct 7, 2016

Despite the smooth, almost dream-like storytelling overall, there were a couple moments that stuck out like a wolf-bittenthumb. A raunchy comment stank rather pointlessly duringadiner sequence like coffee dregs left burning in the carafe. Later on, Lou Pirlo's interruption of an African American campfire sing-a-long seemed to pop up way out of left field, and included more than one depiction that could be confused with a popular racist caricature from another era. That last one ended the book on a bit of a weird note for me, but here's to hoping Mr. Azzarello will avoid taking the easierpaths found within period-set horror in the future.

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7.0
Mystery Girl #2

Jan 8, 2016

There are a couple trifling questions hanging in the air (Norilsk access aside): 1) What happened to Dr. Ghislain, and why hasn't there been a single mention of the woman who convinced Trine to go to Siberia, and 2) Why does Tobin describe the locations of his characters so precisely ("200 blocks away") in some frames and so ambiguously ("Elsewhere") in others? It's possible not all mysteries will be solved, but I remain hooked at least until Mystery Girl'smammoth reveal.

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8.0
Mystery Girl #3

Feb 8, 2016

Issue #3 contained so much action that finding the mammoths, which was the entire point of the story up until now, seemed almost like a footnote. The big reveal was sandwiched between two massacres, one historical and one very present and real. The behemoths got lost in the moment. But then, priorities have a tendency shift when you're surrounded by death.

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6.0
Narcopolis Continuum #1

Dec 16, 2015

At the end of the day, Scott Duvall has a story to tell that transcends itineraries and requires immediate exposition. Overall, Narcopolis: Continuum is an enjoyable exploration of the intersection of pastand future consequences, not tied down by resources wasted on current relationships or incentives. Hopefully in issue #2 we will understand a little more about where Ben and Eva are headed, and thusour protagonists shall become a little more relatable.

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9.0
Pencil Head #1

Jan 22, 2016

The self-referential meta-jokiness of Pencil Head is extremely well executed. Aside from being a comic about the comic industry, it's also a work that references and pokes fun at itself.

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8.0
Pencil Head #2

Feb 29, 2016

The take-home lesson of Pencil Head " from what I can glean from it so far, anyway " is that no matter how hard the world may try, you just can't kill an artist. They will always rise, for better or worse, out of the detritus of their graphite and eraser bits to endure even more harrowing bursts of creative and critical abuse.

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7.0
Plutona #3

Dec 7, 2015

In the final panels, we see Plutona's daughter witness her mother's final battle. We do not yet know if she was privy to her mother's actual death, or if she will choose to stand by her precocious advice (that to kill the White Wasp would make Plutona no better than her adversary), or if she'll choose instead to avenge her mother's death. It's likely that everyone involved in Plutona will face more crisis in the immediate future, forced to make decisions far beyond their tender years.

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7.0
Red Line #1

Mar 13, 2017

Redline is whip-smart and heinously immature in a way that ensures it will net the same fan base as Archer. It's the kind of book that exists to provoke: create a character so reprehensible that all the anti-PC jokes you can possibly come up with will get a pass, and put a woman in charge so you can repeat quips about who's banging the boss lady. There are blurred lines there for sure, but as long as it's packed with action and the jokes never rest, this near-future Martian comedy is sure to provide a chuckle or two.

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8.5
Satellite Falling #1

May 13, 2016

Satellite Falling is a sci-fi beauty, with an understated but poignant emotional thread stringing it together. And hey, any comic in which the protagonist throws out a self-deprecating remark about "ersatz self-therapy" getmy attention. And respect.

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8.0
Satellite Falling #2

May 26, 2016

Satellite Falling is more than a high-speed chase through tangled love stories. While all the action is fun, engaging and deftly portrayed, it's the underlying themes of identity and trust that really make this book rise above the fray. Both Horton and Thompson are experts at balancing subtlety amidst the forces of overt turmoil, for an intriguing and visually sensational read.

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8.5
Satellite Falling #3

Jul 15, 2016

With art as unique and beautiful as the writing, each issue introduces us to new creatures in gorgeous detail. It's apparent that the creators' imagination runs deep, as none of these species feel familiar or derivative of beings we've seen before, be iton the comics pageor elsewhere. With gripping plots, intelligent and intriguing characters, and endings that leave the reader hanging, I won't be putting this series down any time soon. It's time to embrace Satellite Falling.

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8.0
Savage Things #1

Mar 7, 2017

Savage Things is as cold as an assassin's humanity, littered with gaps cryptic enough that you'd need a forensic team to fill the spaces, but this somehow all works in its favor. It's a stunning and unsettling first issue that leaves you wanting more, but I'm totally okay with a little break before round two.

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6.5
Shipwreck #1

Oct 10, 2016

Hester does well to offer transitions between two seemingly unrelated stories. His oft-echoed bird and spider themes fit perfectly within the dueling narratives, underscoring the augury and matricide, telling us there are somehow connections found amidst the craziness. Like a hull dashed upon rocks in a storm, Shipwreck is all over the place, but that may be the point. This is a perfect book for those with a passion to divine a story through scattered clues and broken fragments left at ground zero.

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8.0
Superzero #2

Jan 25, 2016

Like most 19-year-olds, Drusilla Dragowski has the uncanny ability to project herself into the center of almost any situation, make herself out to be a martyr, and consistently be her own worst enemy. However, what Dru lacks in self-awareness she makes up for with incorrigible heart, making her somebody impossible not to root for.

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7.5
The Bounty #1

Jun 10, 2016

The sisters and their team aren't quite finished making mistakes. Secrets are alluded to, and everyone leans a little heavily towards acting first then thinking things through — provided they find the time — later. Their dire financial straits may also be informed by a willingness to buy a bottle of wine over jet boot fuel. However scattered and rag-tag their thoughts may be, they all make a priority of working together to see things through. That's all the incentiveI need to seehow their next high-stakes and hugely dangerous mission turns out.

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6.5
The Bounty #2

Aug 8, 2016

Overall, The Bounty is a sweet, snappy foray into a seedy world in which everything seems just a little too cute for us to buy that "badass" brand these sisters are going for. However, they're constantly rewriting the rules and flipping the script, so who knows what tricks they may surprise us with next time. Still locked in, still enjoying The Bounty.

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8.0
The Fix #1

Apr 8, 2016

Between Josh and a drug sniffing pup named Pretzels, our heroes have their hands full. They're caught between a gluten-free rock and a furry, cuddly hard place. The Fix is a hilarious book depicting what we've all suspected about L.A. " that crime rules, those who succeed got where they are out of sheer luck, and that anyone who makes their own kale chips is probably fueled by deeply-seeded, taint-carving sadism. Highly recommended.

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7.5
The Fix #2

May 16, 2016

The Fix is every bit as enjoyable the second time around, chock full of visual asides and facial expressions worth a thousand mai-tais. Spencer & Lieber must have plenty more in store for us, and they have to be pretty damned excited to get it on the page " considering how crammed full of nuts this issue can be at times (especially the perfectly executed but awkwardly segued page devoted to Josh). However, the monkeyshines and clever turns more than make up for the smaller inconsistencies, making The Fix a dark comedy still very much worthy of our attention.

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8.5
The Forevers #1

Sep 16, 2016

The Forevers promises to be a dazzling black magic murder mystery with deadly surprises lurking underneath. Whether you want to root for the guy who comes out on top or just take pleasure in watching the mighty fall, this book will be an enjoyable study of the lengths that people will go to please themselves. It's naughty, nasty fun.

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9.0
The Goddamned #2

Dec 17, 2015

The Goddamned is a fantastic retelling of Old Testament tales, maybe born of a mind forced to sit and behave throughout childhood's Sunday mornings. Positioning wickedness and debasement against a backdrop of unquestioning and relentless religious quests gives The Goddamned relevance to any eon in which humanity existed, including today. "The Beasts of the Field" wraps up with mystery to spare " a field of animal corpses (did Noah's mission fail, or are those just unicorns?), a dinosaur-riding, empathetic Cain " and a deliciously colorful and trippy preview into Issue #3. With the promise of raiders, more bones, battles and a saddled dinosaur, this reader is ready to commit until at least Exodus.

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7.5
The Goddamned #3

Feb 29, 2016

The Goddamned is a gorgeously illustrated and pleasantly foul book that wants you to realize the distinction between animals and humans really isn't all that great. That when push comes to shove, when all artifice is stripped away from our societal trappings, all we'll ever really look out for is number one. Aaron & Guera don't bother obscuring this truism, that when we survey an emerald-hued utopia from our ivory towers, we often daydream of jamming our blades deep into the throats of our enemy. The Goddamned takes care to remind us that our sense of entitlement will trump altruism on most days. Amidst the grit and grime, humanity does occasionally show its softer side, but you're going to have to work pretty hard to navigate the muck in order to find it.

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7.0
The Revisionist #1

Jun 3, 2016

Though the book may be pervasively pulpy, Barbiere does an astounding job at making the reader care about certain characters very quickly. It's only the first issue, and I already found myself genuinely upset by the treatment of more than one player. But above all else, this book is pure motion. Brown's jumpy, blasty, punchy art leads you quickly into the next panel — you're right there,tearing ass through the high security prison, hot on Marty's heels. Much of The Revisionist recalls retroaction flicks, and even the colors in Marty's communication sequences with his father wouldn't feel out of place in Eighties-eraMiami. It's a little all over the place, but that's the nature of being unstuck in time. All signs point to plots converginginto an enjoyably unholy mess by the series' end.

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6.0
The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man #1

Jul 18, 2016

It's been quite some time since I've seen the reruns, so I can't reliably say how true-to-form this retelling is. If it's perpetual motion you seek, look no further. Perhaps the Bionic Woman will step in at some point and smooth over the mess the boys have made. Until then, enjoy the erratic goofiness of issue #1 " it practically promises to get more haywire next month.

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9.0
The Violent #1

Dec 11, 2015

“Blood Like Tar” concludes with a short story by Vancouver-based writer Sam Wiebe. The similarities in subject and style seamlessly transition from comic to prose, and, much like in Brisson's narrative, we are left unsure who to root for. The Violentis a true gem, both in concept and execution; the writing, the art, the Missives from the Edge and Sam Wiebe's prose story come together in a cautious love-letter to a city who may occasionally drag its residents through the muck, but seems to know the the pay-offs of persistent challenge. Good things don't come to those who wait, but to those who overcome.

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8.0
The Violent #3

Mar 4, 2016

The Violentcontinues to make sure you never get comfortable with or complacent towards these characters' plights. By exhibiting a palpablehumanity in Becky and Mason (and the familiar snap-decisions that usually come with it), Ed Brisson, Adam Gorham, and Michael Garlandconvey one crucial thing — that these people could be any of us, ifthe circumstances were right andwe fell on hard times. Once again wrapped up with an equally thought-provoking short story from a Vancouver writer, The Violent remains a captivating story of the cycles of survival and defeat.

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7.0
The Violent #4

May 9, 2016

The characters have snowballed into a fairly heinous mess and their relatable qualities have plummeted to an all-time low. The series started strong to provide a voice for those who have been dehumanized and shoved to the margin, but currently seems to struggle in portraying the various dimensions of people's personalities that are required for the reader to cultivate empathy " especially when they're participating in the unspeakable.

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6.0
The Violent #5

Jul 18, 2016

For a book that started out reading like a love letter towards the city of Vancouver, it ended on an oddly rushed and hollow note, almost as if it was running away from itself.

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6.5
Thousand Faces #1

Jun 28, 2016

Moral decay affects the characters throughout the tale, sparing few men and even grabbing a few supposedly innocent animals in its clutches. While the art is undoubtedly beautiful and the characters carefully developed, at times it can feel more like an overly drawn-out campfire story than the sweeping epic it aspires to be. Brilliant colors and textures make sure our imaginations don't shy too far away from the brutal realities of death, but the excitement level is paced closer to that of Quinn's mule than the chief's prized mustang.

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8.0
Throwaways #1

Jul 11, 2016

You still might not know what the hell is going on or even who to root for by the end of the book, but Kittredge and Sanders make it so easy to get drawn into the action that the last page will definitely leave you dying for Throwaways #2.

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8.5
Violent Love #1

Nov 10, 2016

It doesn't take long to become fully invested in Daisy's and her father's plight, or to feel like you might continue rooting for her, no matter what terrible hell she unleashes in the future. As it's written on the last page, "Good love is not safe." It can make monsters of us all, and surely Daisy's revenge will not be swift and gentle for her father's captors.Violent Loveis a fantastic story in which to get lost. It's arrived right when many of us are seeking such a retreat.Highly recommended.

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