Chase Magnett's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Infinite Comix, Comics Bulletin, ComicBook.com Reviews: 349
7.2Avg. Review Rating

5.0
100 Bullets: Brother Lono #8

Mar 1, 2014

Just like the previous issues, the finale is gorgeous. Risso's art and layouts are very engaging. The action is brutal and reflects a nihilistic outlook on the world. The brutality of man, the horror of violence, the inability to change one's own nature: these are all rich themes, worth exploring, and potentially evident inBrother Lono. Yet the story does not engage any of them on a meaningful level. And that's just too bad.

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3.0
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1

Apr 29, 2016

From the basic idea to the crisp visual notes, whatever you imagine based on that cover is bound to be better than what is inside. Boss is a real talent with great promise, one to be watched as he refines some of the skills and influences on display here. Yet the script squanders what he and the other visual collaborators bring to the table. There is no pushing back against the rigid grids and dense dialogue of the comic as it continues, and it collapses under its own weight. No matter how good 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank may sound, it's better to wait for the next thing.

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6.0
A-Force #1

May 20, 2015

For readers excited about Secret Wars and the epic superhero tales promised, A-Force #1 is a mixed bag. The tone and story are consistent with big crossovers, but share some of their failings as well. Consistent presentation of those ideas is where the issue really has troubles though. If Molina and Cheung's work improves, then A-Force may be one of the most fondly remembered series of this entire event.

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7.0
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1

Oct 8, 2014

*This grade is based on the quality of craftsmanship in this issue. I would not recommend it to anyone who has not read Prometheus: Fire and Stone, but do not want to judge the creators for what was most likely outside of their control.

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10
Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

Apr 19, 2017

Stokoe is a cartoonist who both adores genre and studies his craft. This is what makes him the perfect artist to tackle an adaptation like Aliens: Dead Orbit. The chills and style of films are captured through Stokoe's own eyes. The gap between the thing and the thing itself is closed because Aliens: Dead Orbit #1 is not an imitation, it is its own work of art " and a thrilling piece of comics storytelling.

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8.0
Aliens: Fire and Stone #1

Sep 24, 2014

The final panel makes for an almost perfect ending to this issue. Reynolds uses a silhouette to once again display the terrifying xenomorph anatomy, but to also emphasize the sharp terrain surrounding it. Broken rocks lie across the earth like broken glass jutting upwards. Everything about the panel indicates a sense of imminent danger and the colors of a setting sun reveal that the story will only grow darker. This issue serves only as an introduction to the story that Roberson and Reynolds are interested in telling. Yet it presents the imagery and ideas of that story in a manner that has left me entirely convinced I want more. There's no doubt in mind that this comic exists for a good reason.

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4.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Nov 14, 2015

All-New, All-Different Avengers is anything but what the title describes. It's bland, unimaginative, and poorly assembled. The best thing to be said about it is that it is a perfectly readable Avengers comics, but we already have five decades worth of those.

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5.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #6

Mar 7, 2016

Excluding the potent combination of favorite characters, All-New, All-Different Avengers is a superhero comic that looks and tastes like the paste you were told not to eat in preschool. Consuming it won't hurt you, but it certainly isn't going to do you any good either.

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8.4
All-New Hawkeye (2015) #1

Nov 14, 2014

What gives Prez so much to play with on a small scale though is Lemire's script. He is exploring the consequences of surrendering three gifted, but traumatized children away. Lemire separates the story in two parts, showing what led to a split in the present and what brings the two heroes back together after 20 years. The result is something that reads like a breakup story, even if the romantic element was never there. Clint and Kate's codependence and partnership dissolves in a shockingly human manner that may strike close to home for some. As a result All-New Hawkeye is a comic that, much like its predecessors, sophisticatedly presents the problems we go home to after the day job is over (even if that day job is being a superhero).

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7.0
All-New Inhumans #1

Dec 3, 2015

All-New Inhumans #1 is visually engaging in most panels though and finally gives readers a reason to care about this new team hitting the scene at Marvel Comics.

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6.0
All-New Inhumans #5

Apr 4, 2016

The course of All-New Inhumans #5 isn't to provide so much of value that missteps like these contorted faces can be easily overlooked, but that they call into question why to read the comic in the first place. The appearance of Spider-Man and plot points on weaponization provide footholds to an ongoing plot with some merit and visual charm, but none of it distinguishes All-New Inhumans in any marked way. The most interesting concept in the entire comic, the Skyspears, is a lesser version of something currently being published at Image Comics. If there is really a call for Inhumans stories, then fans could expect worse than this, but that's assuming there was ever a call to begin with.

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7.0
All-New Wolverine #1

Nov 14, 2015

Despite some flaws in the art, All-New Wolverine #1 is a good start that delivers a clear direction for the character and shows just how much can be done with her in only a couple dozen pages. Whatever comes next should be a very fun adventure.

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5.0
All-New X-Men #32

Sep 18, 2014

The characterization of these young heroes is excellent still and it's enjoyable to watch them interact under Bendis' words and Asrar's images. However, the clunky introduction of a new character and fractured stories detract from that experience. All-New X-Men #32 is an uneven collection of beginnings ranging from the exciting to the confusing.

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3.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #1

Dec 3, 2015

The best part of All-New X-Men #1 is the solicit, once you open the comic itself the promise is quickly unraveled to leave only disappointment.

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2.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #4

Feb 23, 2016

All-New X-Men is a hastily assembled comic book on every level. Characters are sketches of teenagers and a single issue only manages to focus on a single, shrug worthy conflict between two of its characters, while the rest are banished to the background in one note appearances (e.g. Bobby is gay! Hank is smart!). The artwork passes the test of sufficiency, but provides no literal or metaphorical depth for readers to invest themselves in. It's certainly a comic, but there's not much more worth saying than that.

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9.0
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

Plenty can be said about the thematic hooks and character pieces set up in All-Star Batman #1, but it is a comic that is at its best and most interested in its genre. Even the exploration of secret histories, redemption, and mentoring all are core themes to the genre itself. This is a comic filled with great costumes, thunderous fights and chases, and plenty of bigger-than-life concepts. It is a comic that even at its darkest revelation is still fun (at least in the lead story). It is a comic that looks every bit as cool as you want a Batman book to look. In that regard, it has the potential to be the best Batman comic any of these creators have ever worked on as it possesses a clear understanding of both the character and the world he operates in. It is far too early to make that sort of declaration, but it is exactly the right time to check out All-Star Batman.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #7

Oct 8, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man #7 is a fun double feature. Both the A and the B-story should delight plenty of fans (although the B-story may horrify even more). This is a Spider-Man story at its least serious in direct juxtaposition to what seems to be the very dark tone of Spider-Verse. For now theres plenty of space for quips, smackdowns, and team ups though and Gage knows how to write a fun-loving webslinger with the best of them.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #9

Nov 7, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man #9 is a slow start to a still promising event. Slott has shown before that he has a great grasp of how to make overstuffed superhero stories function, and Coipel and Camuncoli are more than ready to put their best work on display. Assuming the series only gains momentum from here, there is a lot to look forward to in Spider-Verse.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #14

Jul 4, 2016

Amazing Spider-Man #14 is a comic that fits well within the parameters and expectations of its storytelling influences. It reads much like an issue of Amazing Spider-Man from decades ago with an excellent grasp on tone and pacing. However, it is dated in some regards and lacks the panache of many artists who told those stories. Those aspects prevent the best elements of this issue from setting a standard for serialized, corporate superhero comics.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1

Jun 3, 2015

Renew Your Vows #1 is an uneven issue from all creators involved. Slott capably embraces the fun and strangeness of this period in Marvel Comics history, but his pacing leaves something to be desired. Kubert and Dell, on the other hand, are at the top of their game as long as they are portraying characters in masks. The story's arrangement as a prologue leaves a lot of interesting ideas to be explored and time to iron out the flaws. It's an issue filled with potential, but it's fulfillment is far from certain.

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8.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

Mar 20, 2014

American Vampire is back and as good as ever. Snyder and Albuquerque have a clear grasp of what worked in the original series and have continued to build on those elements. Any pacing problems are an effect of creating an introduction to a series with such a large history, which should leave the reader with nothing but a sense of optimism about where this comic is going. The characters should be a bit more pessimistic though"

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #2

Apr 17, 2014

Second Cycle #2is a masterclass of tension and horror. It uses each scene to make the reader feel more trepidation, until it unleashes the monster that has been hidden the entire issue, then starts the process all over again.American Vampireis typically used as an example of how the horror genre can be effectively utilized in comics. Issues like this are the reason why.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #3

May 22, 2014

There should be no doubts amongst readers concerning Snyder and Albuquerque's ability to craft an effective horror story with a human core. If there were,Second Cycle #3should dispel them. This is a great link in a great opening story toAmerican Vampire: Second Cycle, whetting appetites and building suspense at the same time.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #4

Jul 10, 2014

American Vampire: Second Cycle #4 is an excellent conclusion to the first story arc of the new series. It presents the best aspects of the series in its well defined characters, striking visual sense of action and horror, and grand sense of mythos. It manages to bring all of these elements together to create a climax that is a satisfying pay off to the tension and stakes built over the first few issues. Furthermore, it serves as a thesis statement for American Vampire: Second Cycle as a series – presenting what it is about and showing that the creative team is fully capable of delivering on the series' promise. American Vampire has returned and, based on this story, its second act should be even better than the first.

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7.0
Angela: Queen Of Hel #1

Oct 28, 2015

The present as presented by Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva is something mediocre though. Jacinto applies a heavily detailed linework inspired by artists of the 90s in order to create something that feels far less realistic than what she is aspiring towards. There's nothing confusing about the action or drama shown in the present, but it alludes any sense of the organic or natural. If it were not for Hans' work in this issue, it could be tossed away. Yet the rich colors and beautiful love story shown in the past makes the present feel like a narrative worth paying attention to.

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9.0
Ant-Man #1

Jan 5, 2015

Ant-Man #1 is that perfect debut that manages to both introduce the character to unfamiliar readers and tell a compelling story in the course of a single issue. It is a caper that transforms a comedy into an emotionally invested drama and a seemingly straightforward superhero story in New York City into something much more exciting and original. It starts by giving readers what they want, and then delivers something far better. Spencer and Rosanas have created a great start here made all the more exciting by how much the series has yet to grow.

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8.4
Archer & Armstrong #25

Oct 31, 2014

Theres a long history of anniversary issues in the world of superhero comics. Archer and Armstrong #25 shows the full potential in creators celebrating the series that fans love to read every month.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #2

Aug 19, 2015

Archie #2 continues to deliver on all of the best elements of the first issue. It's accessible, fun, and an absolute visual delight. While the series is not delivering anything new, that's never its intent. It plays it safe and executes each page of high school tomfoolery and melodrama with grace, producing a comic that is enjoyable for all ages.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #1

Apr 14, 2015

If you're still wondering whether the editors at Dark Horse and Archie Comics lost their minds teaming up for this series, stop. This is an idea that only seems crazy until you read the results. Archie Versus Predator #1 is a comic that only captures what makes these franchises great, b

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8.4
Arkham Manor #1

Oct 24, 2014

Arkham Manor #1 is an exciting start to a series that is packed with potential. Duggan and Crystal have created a scenario that gets at the very heart of this 75 year old character, touching upon ideas that are rarely recognized in Batman comics. Just as important, here they show the skills to tell that story in a way that is visually striking and always engaging. This could be the beginning of a beautiful series.

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8.0
Astro City (2013) #9

Feb 14, 2014

Astro City # 9 serves to continue this newest volumes first long-form arc nicely. Busiek draws out all four of the central character's conflicts setting the scene for a dramatic finale. Whether it will make a statement about the issues that continue to lie under the comic's surface is yet to be seen.

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6.0
Astro City (2013) #10

Mar 14, 2014

It's difficult to fault Busiek for tackling a complicated and important issue in the pages ofAstro City. He has successfully handled a wide variety of thematic material in the comic before. But his attempt to discuss feminism here falls flat, adding nothing new to the conversation. The story is meant to feel positive and it does, but resembles an "after school special" type of message. With very few compelling visuals for Anderson to sink his teeth into, this issue is remarkably ordinary.

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8.0
Astro City (2013) #11

Apr 10, 2014

Astro City #11 is a return to form for the series. It evokes empathy for normal people by setting them side-by-side with superheroes. When the comparison is made, it's hard to tell the difference between those with and without superpowers.

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10
Astro City (2013) #13

Jun 12, 2014

Astro City #13 is an achievement to be celebrated. It not only tells a story worth reading, re-reading, and then reading once more, but it does so by taking full advantage of its chosen medium. Busiek and Anderson have always told stories about the small pleasures of life and what it means to be human, and they have told them very well. But here they take a message about the value of human relationships, not matter their form or brevity and tell it in a way that ensures readers will concentrate on that message. Art is all about relating, whether it be an emotion, an idea, or a very specific message. Astro City #13 relates an idea and uses every tool at its disposal to do so. It's a testament not only to the value of human contact, but of comics.

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8.0
Astro City (2013) #14

Aug 14, 2014

Astro City #14works because it's a story focused on its characters. Its themes concerning greed, disability, or even something as specific as the 2008 financial crisis may function, yet the comic only truly succeeds by providing readers empathy for Ellie, her friends, and even her enemies.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1

Oct 10, 2014

Axis #1 is nothing special. It is not offensive, but also lacks any notable features. Kubert's art still provides plenty of spectacle for readers to enjoy with lots of characters engaged in a broad battle. The drama that is supposed to be in those panels is non-existent though. The Marvel universe may be briefly changed by some fallout of this issue, but Remender and Kubert never craft a reason for readers to invest in or care about this story. It reads like another event comic that does nothing to distinguish itself from all of those that have come before.

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4.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2

Oct 16, 2014

However, this issue carries the multiple problems of its predecessor and, refusing to alter its course, reads like a continuation of an already unimpressive comic. Change may never be permanent in superhero comics, but that doesnt mean it cannot occur within individual stories. Change is the lifeblood of drama and the quicker Axis focuses on altering the status quo, no matter how temporary it may be, the better the series will be.

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2.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #3

Oct 21, 2014

Despite all of the cynicism and skepticism from readers about events, "The Red Supremacy" was not destined to be a bad comic. The fault for that lies with the storytelling.

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1.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #6

Dec 1, 2014

Axis #6 isnt disappointing because it is such a singular disaster; there are plenty of other great comics to read. It isnt disappointing because it represents the death of superhero or event comics; that kind of fatalistic assertion is ridiculous. Its disappointing simply because even given the incredible talent and resources at Marvel Comics, no one even bothered to try. Comics deserve more than this mediocre effort.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #40

Jan 16, 2015

For those invested in Hickmans Avengers epic, this will be a significant issue bound to shock and awe readers as much as the heroes witnessing these events. Despite some flaws on the periphery, Avengers #40 is the story of two characters and the conclusion of that story is executed perfectly. It is tragic and raw and signals the beginning of the end for Earths Mightiest Heroes.

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2.0
Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1

Mar 11, 2016

This might just be a matter of luck with the two best Avengers books both being written by Al Ewing. Excluding Avengers Standoff #1 though, the entire set hits a much more consistent set of highs. Even with the generally lackluster and safe comic All-New, All-Different Avengers, there's something to be said for reliable entertainment. There appears to be greater attention and effort being paid to the Avengers right now. Well, it's that or Ewing just makes this group look good.

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5.0
Avengers Undercover #10

Sep 12, 2014

Avengers Undercover and Avengers Arena have both been surprising highlights in Marvel's lineup - consistently good comics. Yet the conclusion to this story doesn't live up to what came before it. There are engaging characters and ideas present, but not enough space for most of them to do anything memorable. The series may have been forced to conclude earlier than planned, but that doesn't make this rushed finale any more satisfying.

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8.4
Baltimore: The Cult Of The Red King #1

May 7, 2015

Issue one ends abruptly, almost as if it were cut off mid-sentence. The story appears to be written as a whole that was only broken into installments after being completed. However, this first chapter provides plenty to invest readers and drive the narrative forward. Baltimore: Cult of the Red King #1 doesn't rush to the action, but takes time to carefully describe its cast, as well as their world and mission. It is a tonal overture that promises a horrifying story to come.

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8.4
Baltimore: The Cult Of The Red King #3

Jul 1, 2015

Baltimore: Cult of the Red King #3 shows just how far the series has come in five years, and will leave readers stunned with its final sequence. The stakes are higher than ever, and Mignola and Golden have not lost track of the thematic core of the story. It is a comic about reflections and dualities: humanity and inhumanity, life and death, heat and cold. Even without this enormous cliffhanger, the issue gives readers every reason they might need to return for more.

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4.0
Batgirl (2011) #35

Oct 9, 2014

Batgirl #35 illustrates that comics function as a collaborative medium and have to be judged as such. Tarr and Wicks provide outstanding work, but the flaws in the script still ruin the experience. It's impossible to recommend this issue on the strength of the art alone when the dialogue, gender presentation, and plotting are this troubled. It's an unfortunate disappointment, but one that needs to be acknowledged. As much as I wanted to see this concept succeed, I cannot honestly say that it does. The problems inBatgirl #35 are too big to not discuss.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #36

Nov 13, 2014

Batgirl #36 reveals a learning curve, one that shows the promise of this title and creative team. The incredible strength of Stewarts layouts, Tarrs art, and Wicks colors are consistent and make for one of the most visually engaging comics released this month. Although there are still issues with the plotting and scripting of the series, they see marked improvements in this issue. Theres a lot of potential to be found in this series and evidence that is being more fully realized as it continues.

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4.0
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 30, 2016

I want Batgirl to be great. I want this series to continue being a "go to" recommendation for superhero comics. All of the wanting in the world doesn't stop Batgirl #1 from being what it is though, and what it is is an uninspired and dull superhero comic that fails to recognize the most interesting elements of its own existence.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #28

Feb 13, 2014

Batman #28 is still an enjoyable issue. It features a nicely told action sequence, introduces the boisterous Bluebird, and should stoke plenty of interest in Batman Eternal. Now let's get back to "Zero Year", already.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #29

Mar 14, 2014

Batman #29is a pleasant surprise. It takes a story that has been done dozens, if not hundreds, of times before by some of the most talented creators in comic history and finds a way to make it new. Snyder and Capullo have captured a new perspective on Batman's origin by juxtaposing it with a larger disaster, and it works very well. Capullo also captures a new visual sense with the help of FCO Plascencia on colors. "Zero Year" was announced almost one year ago, and the biggest question from fans was, "do we need another Batman origin story?" After readingBatman #29the answer is, clearly, "yes."

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8.0
Batman (2011) #30

Apr 17, 2014

Batman #30is not a perfect issue. The exposition and opening cipher slow the reading experience and don't work on multiple levels. But the parts of the issue that do work, work very well. From the beautiful establishing panels of Gotham to the Riddler's mad master plan to the tower-tumbling action sequence,Batman #30offers excellent moments that create clear stakes for "Savage City". Despite its unevenness, it's a great introduction to the final part of "Zero Year".

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9.0
Batman (2011) #31

May 29, 2014

At its heart, Batman #31 is an adventure story. It features death traps, vicious wildlife, a power mad dictator, and feats of derring do. It is bright, fun, and absolutely thrilling. This is Batman at his absolute best.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #32

Jun 26, 2014

This is how you prepare a great conclusion.

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10
Batman (2011) #33

Jul 23, 2014

Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and the rest of their team have crafted a tale that not only distills what makes the character of Batman so beloved, but one that makes him feel brave and new after 75 years. Stunning.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #34

Aug 13, 2014

Batman #34 serves as a great return to the current timeline. It not only presents a well told, self-contained story, but mayintroduce Batmanreaders to three great comics talents as well. Whenever the regular Batman team decides it is time to move on, editors would be wise to consider the fine work here when seeking a new creative team.

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8.4
Batman (2011) #35

Oct 8, 2014

Batman #35 is a great package. From the first page of the feature to the last page of the backup it manages to be consistently engaging and is always well told. Theres no doubt that Batman would sell well no matter what creative talent was attached, but Im skeptical that it would garner this high of sales and this much acclaim without creators like Capullo, Snyder, Miki, Plascencia, Tynion, and Jones. Month after month, they bring their absolute best to these pages, making Batman one of the best superhero comics on the stands.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #40

Apr 29, 2015

But they still have more stories to tell. In that regard, Batman #40 serves as both a conclusion and a launching point for a brand new tale. Whatever comes next, theres every reason in the world to be excited.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #43

Aug 12, 2015

While Batman #43 is still laying down tracks for the rising action bound to follow, the promises made between and during the exposition are incredibly exciting. Mr. Bloom's reveal is the clear, standout moment of the issue, but there is a lot to love here. Capullo and Plascencia are still effortlessly delivering each action and emotion-oriented beat. Snyder continues to bring Batman to wilder places with enough death traps and introspection to satisfy all sorts of fans. It's the promise offered by both the talent of this team and the best moments of this issue, that ensures Batman's place as one of the best superhero comics coming out today.

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8.4
Batman (2011) #46

Nov 11, 2015

Batman #46 is a middle chapter, which is something many superhero comics struggle with. The task of moving 3-4 plots along, setting up future revelations and events, and continue to build tension and action is difficult to manage in a single comic that should be fun to read on its own as well. Yet Capullo and Snyder pull it off with aplomb. They understand how their story ought to function, which allows them to focus on the individual strengths of each scene. Action and romance alike are beautifully presented here, making the wait between each issue absolutely worth it.

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1.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #1

Oct 13, 2015

The finished product does not communicate any of that potential though. Batman & Robin Eternal #1 is a finely tuned piece of marketing. There is at least one respectable name (i.e. Scott Snyder) attached under the title of "plotter", one fan favorite character returning, some art that makes for a fine advertisement (but fails to work sequentially), and loads of hype that sound fantastic on paper. This has all of the elements needed for DC Comics to sell it, but none of what is required to actually function as an enjoyable or even readable comic. The approach to a weekly comic here is comparable to that of factory farming, the gross production of a McRib. Get the meat from bone to table as quickly and cheaply as possible, and spend money to make it look good on the menu.

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4.0
Batman Beyond (2015) #3

Aug 5, 2015

Batman Beyond #3 is functional. It delivers plot and action so for a basic understanding, but it never really matters. Rather than a tale written in the present about the future, it reads like a relic of the past. Overscripted and serviceably presented, Batman Beyond is part of a workmanlike tradition in comics that has no place in the future.

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5.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #18

Jan 25, 2015

Batman/Superman #18 is an imperfect continuation upon an interesting concept. Pak is placing both of his leading characters under tremendous pressure, and detailing their emotional responses excellently. Lazy plotting and characterization like Batman's in this issue detract from the impact of that situation. Syaf's artwork tells the story well, but has begun to appear rushed under a monthly schedule with several inkers. This is an issue that would have been well served by one or two more weeks to iron out the wrinkles.

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2.0
Betty & Veronica (2016) #1

Jul 20, 2016

Betty and Veronica #1 is a comic about young women that has absolutely no idea how they act, speak, think, or look. The titular characters are idealized versions of a girl next door bombshell designed for older men. They are defined by the gaze and ideas of someone outside of their world, and who appears to have no interest in understanding their experiences. At best it is a terrible misunderstanding of the subject matter. At worst it is an insult to anyone who might have found a rare form of kinship in a comic supposedly about young women.

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8.0
Birthright #8

Jun 10, 2015

Birthright #8 may read like a middle chapter, but it still has plenty to offer. In its combination of five distinct plotlines, there are both excellent visual and character-based elements. The final page also lands on another thrilling cliffhanger. It's a fun twist on fantasy that continues to provide plenty of content in every 20 page package.

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7.0
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 10, 2014

Its clear that Bitch Planet seeks to invert the exploitation genre in order to tell a story steeped in feminist ideals, but it falters in its first issue. Although its clear that women are being exploited by a patriarchal society, the women in this issue are never given an opportunity to define themselves outside of their victimhood. Furthermore, issues of race and body image have to be carefully considered as well. Intentional or not, this issue perpetuates stereotypes of race and weight through its imagery of the prison population. There is promise to be found in this premise, but the execution is lacking here. Bitch Planet #1 doesnt achieve its goal of being something fresh and bold, but only serves to reinforce the problems currently facing women in comics and society as a whole.

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7.0
Black Canary (2015) #1

Jun 22, 2015

Black Canary #1 is a jumble of elements that fail to make a significant impression based on the story, but it moves so fast and looks so good that the failings in the script can easily be overlooked. None of the flaws present are fundamental to what comes next. Given some revision and a bit more thought, it's a series that could easily match the gorgeous layouts, artwork, and colors on display with a streamlined story of equal merit. As Black Canary continues, it could afford to take some advice from one of the greatest performers to ever hit the stage: "A little less conversation, a little more action, please."

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2.0
Black Knight (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

Much like Pizarri and Tieri, readers who decided to pick up this issue will be inclined to get through it quickly. There are no rewards to be found here and the more quickly it is set aside, the better.

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9.0
Black Magick #1

Oct 27, 2015

Black Magick #1 is a top-notch debut from Image, the most inventive publisher in comics today. It delivers on character, premise, artwork, and ideas, a comic that can satisfy any reader looking for a great crime or horror story. Wherever the mysteries of this debut lead Detective Rowan Black, it's bound to be a satisfying read.

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6.0
Black Panther (2016) #1

Apr 6, 2016

Whether that is enough is difficult to say. This is a debut issue with charm and style, but it also falters in its telling. Stelfreeze's envisionment of the world of Wakanda is captivating, while what is happening within the country's borders often leaves much to be desired. The stories of the Dora Milaje provide interest, while Black Panther's narrative and self border upon being tedious. The elements of a powerful story are present, yet the Silver Age influence without top-notch Silver Age style may put those elements to waste.

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8.0
Black Science #9

Oct 7, 2014

Although Black Science #9 is a somewhat uneven issue that jumps between a variety of threads working to move each forward just a little, it still manages to be an exciting new chapter in the series. Remender and Scalera continue to bring their best work to each page of this comic, providing a deeply human cast of characters set in a thrilling adventure. Taken individually, each segment of this issue can be read as a showcase for what makes Black Science a great comic.

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8.0
Black Science #9

Oct 7, 2014

Although Black Science #9 is a somewhat uneven issue that jumps between a variety of threads working to move each forward just a little, it still manages to be an exciting new chapter in the series. Remender and Scalera continue to bring their best work to each page of this comic, providing a deeply human cast of characters set in a thrilling adventure. Taken individually, each segment of this issue can be read as a showcase for what makes Black Science a great comic.

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8.4
Bloodshot: Reborn #1

Apr 16, 2015

Bloodshot Reborn #1 isn't a typical spin-off series. It's a story that thoughtfully follows up on what has come before. Lemire and Suayan are clearly invested in this story, addressing trauma and responsibility in a meaningful way. It's the perfect combination of compelling and challenging for a fresh take on this bloody character.

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8.0
Bodies #1

Aug 6, 2014

With such a great range of storytelling styles, Bodies #1 is an excellent showcase for artists. Spurrier has written a comic that has very little room to set up four interesting stories. So the artists involved are tasked with carrying the story forward and hook readers on this high concept. The assembled artistic team does so admirably and no one contribution is greater than that of Lee Loughridge. He is capable of discerning the unique needs of the story and art in each plot, enhancing the work and drawing forth the most important elements. In doing this he not only proves his importance to this one endeavor, but the incredible value colorists can add to every comics page.

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4.0
Book Of Death: The Fall Of Bloodshot #1

Jul 22, 2015

Fall of Bloodshot #1 is a bold pitch for future Bloodshot series, but it's something that should have only been shown to Valiant editors. A great deal of effort is put into thinking of interesting new spins on the assassin, but there's not nearly enough space to show any of them. This is a well drawn bird's eye view of a potentially great comics.

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9.0
Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1

Sep 30, 2014

Theres a lot to like in the debut of Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier. Every collaborator involved is bringing their best work to the comic and it shows. Together, they are telling a story that is unlike anything else on the stands.

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8.0
C.O.W.L. #4

Aug 25, 2014

C.O.W.L. #4 represents what this series is all about. Much of the first three issues was used to set up characters and conflicts. The drama thus far has been a slow burn, but here it begins to ignite (sometimes literally). Higgins and Reis have carefully laid the groundwork to tell a complicated and nuanced story, and reader's patience is going to be rewarded starting here. There are plenty of good superhero comics being published today, but very few great comics about the systems we create and operate within. That is what makes C.O.W.L. a unique comic and one worth reading.

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8.4
C.O.W.L. #5

Sep 23, 2014

With Reis excellent eye for juxtaposition capably framing the characters and ideas behind C.O.W.L., there's a lot to be excited about moving forward. Although it may still lack some of the depth and realism of The Wire, it is beginning to capably address the same complex themes as that episodic masterpiece. It will certainly not be an easy task, but Higgins, Siegel, and Reis seem up to it.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #10

May 14, 2015

The most disappointing element of C.O.W.L. #10 comes in the letters column, with the announcement that the series will not continue past #11. Yet this issue feels like the set up to a proper conclusion. It arranges all of its characters into significant positions, and then leaves them teetering on a precipice, ready to define themselves and readers' perceptions of this comic.

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4.0
Captain America (2012) #25

Oct 5, 2014

Captain America #25 is very similar to last weeks Thor: God of Thunder #25 in that it works so hard to set up the next big thing that it fails to be its own thing. Remender is so interested in pitching All-New Captain America #1 that he fails to effectively conclude the story hes written so far. Both of these issues mark the end of highly successful and much lauded runs, but fail to live up to the standards they established for themselves.

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2.0
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1

May 27, 2016

If there's one bit of hope to be found in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, it's this: Even though the last page has set so many people at one another's throats, the comic should also stand a chance of bringing them together. This comic presents a reading experience so lacking in any notable form of quality that anyone who bothers to pick it up ought to be able to put it down and say "That was fucking garbage." Whatever your specific reason for stating it, it's a clear conclusion. There's no need to fight about why this comic is garbage when we can all just acknowledge this tire fire together and move on.

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10
Casanova: Acedia #1

Jan 20, 2015

Casanova is back and its so damn good.

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8.4
Chew #45

Dec 2, 2014

Despite that misstep, Chew #45 is another great installment in the series. It provides all of the twists and heartbreak of a great tragedy, without losing the wacky, comedic tone that defines the series. Layman and Guillory walk a tightrope to craft what is the best written funny book currently on the stands.

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10
Chew #50

Jul 1, 2015

Chew #50 is a lot of things. It's funny, action-packed, surprising, and a joy to read. But above all else, it's just really bad ass.

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4.0
Civil War II #3

Jul 16, 2016

Civil War II #3 puts 5 pages of story in a 24 page comic, which leaves this "turning point" feeling just as weightless and inconsequential as you might expect. It's fine to look at, presenting the standard "superhero style" of the day with plenty of character dramatically posing. However, start to ponder on what you're actually looking at and you'll find it's a lot of refined filler covering a singular plot point. Try not to think about how much it cost after that realization.

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7.0
Conan / Red Sonja #4

Apr 30, 2015

This is by no means a bad comic. It's bound to appeal to fans of Conan, Red Sonja, and the genre which they're most comfortable in. It's written and drawn with admiration for the concepts, but fails to deliver anything beyond that admiration. The result is an entertaining diversion, but nothing memorable.

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7.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Jun 10, 2015

John Constantine is back and in good form. Doyle, Tynion, and Rossmo capture the essence of Alan Moore's creation and spin him into a perfectly suitable corner of the DC Universe. Constantine: The Hellblazer is mean, funny, and beautiful to behold. It's just too bad that so much of the story is over-told when it is already being shown so well.

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4.0
Convergence: Suicide Squad #1

Apr 16, 2015

Some pleasant surprises have emerged from "Convergence" in its first two weeks, but this is not one of them. The elevator pitch behind this story is a slam dunk that's rendered completely inert by excessive exposition and uneven art. It's readable, but not much more.

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8.0
Convergence: The Question #2

May 7, 2015

Ultimately, Rucka and Hamner deliver one of Convergence's best stories, focusing on character over spectacle.Rucka restates his affection for both characters and allows them neat, peaceful, resolutions. The conclusion feels true to both characters, while also reflecting a nostalgic urge to provide a happy ending.

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8.4
Copperhead #1

Sep 9, 2014

Copperhead #1 opens a window to a desolate planet that is rich with history and ideas. There is a lot occurring in the background and details of this comic. It's a story I only expect to grow and improve as it delves further into the world created by Faerber and Godlewski.

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9.0
Criminal Special Edition (One-Shot) #1

Feb 25, 2015

That connection is an uncomfortable one, and it's intended to be. Brubaker and Phillips have never pulled any punches in Criminal. Their heroic figures are always destined for a tragic end, and the ugliest characters they present tend to enjoy success. The irony and cruelty contained in Criminal isn't just a play at classic EC crime comics though, it's a funhouse mirror reflection of humanity. Criminal Special Edition isn't a story that we are supposed to be able to view as pure fiction; that's Zangarr's tale. The world of Teeg Lawless is the same one we're trapped in, one filled with criminals and comics fans just like us.

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8.4
Curb Stomp #3

Apr 23, 2015

Curb Stomp #3 is a penultimate issue that leaves no doubt that this series is ending. It lands angry, hard, and fast. Ferrier and Neogi aren't interested in providing relief or escape. They're sprinting to the finish line, and when this comic ends, there is no doubt that it will end. The violence and unrefined nerve of the series may not appeal to anyone, but it's pure in a way that most comics will never be.

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8.4
Daredevil (2014) #8

Sep 17, 2014

There's only so much space for fun given the start of this issue though. The actions of the Purple Man loom over every panel like Stilt-Man's shadow. When the story comes full circle, Waid and Samnee do not back away from the tone struck in the opening of the issue. Instead, they use the same tools that serve the first five pages so well in order to craft a second sequence that is every bit as chilling. Whatever comes next, it ought to fill readers with equal levels of excitement and apprehension. If there's a lesson to be found in Daredevil #8, it's that any villain can be very bad (in a good way) given the right circumstances.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #9

Oct 16, 2014

Its easy to be cynical about superhero comics, and that cynicism is often not wrongly felt. Yet in the case of Waid and Samnees Daredevil, nothing could be further from the truth. In every page and story beat, it is clear that this comic is being written with a completely genuine interest in the characters and the ideas they express. This is a story about dealing with pain and building a better future, and it is told with complete honesty. Its a big, bold metaphor for something many of us can relate to on a deeply personal level. Although its fun, its also incredibly human. Waid, Samnee, and Wilson are giving their all to this story and Daredevil #9 is an example of superhero comics at their absolute best.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #16

Jun 24, 2015

Daredevil continues to surprise and astound with each issue. All of the madness introduced in #16 would overwhelm lesser talents, but Samnee and Waid juggle these plots almost with ease. Each significant moment lands, and the impact of some are enough to take your breath away. This is the setup for what looks to be a finale every bit as good as the series preceding it.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #18

Sep 3, 2015

Waid, Samnee, Wilson, and all of their other collaborators have created a truly legendary version of Daredevil, and Daredevil #18 is an excellent capstone to their accomplishment. It manages to walk the fine line between spectacle and catharsis, providing a fine ending to this last adventure and, more importantly, addressing the thematic core of the series. In these final pages, Daredevil lands exactly on the point of why it has mattered so much for so many comic readers, and why it's likely to continue doing so for a long time.

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6.0
Daredevil (2015) #1

Dec 1, 2015

Daredevil #1 is a great start to a new series, and would have been even better if all of the story had been included.

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4.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 25, 2015

The singular flaw underlying almost every other flaw in The Dark Knight III #1 is that it is dishonest. The Dark Knight III #1 is a comic constructed to safely imitate greater works. It bears the names of Andy Kubert and Brian Azzarello, but never takes advantage of their substantial strengths, trying to twist them to be something they are not. The result is perhaps the most negligible comic featuring Frank Miller's name to date.

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2.0
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 26, 2016

Calling DC Rebirth a superhero story is dismissive of superhero stories, and that's a category with a very low bar for entry. It's an advertisement that you're supposed to buy for $2.99 so you can get excited for a lot of other comics that will also cost $2.99.

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9.0
Deadly Class #7

Sep 16, 2014

This is all indicative of why I really love Deadly Class. You can pick out a single sequence and spend an entire review digging in to how it works (or very rarely doesn't). The panel composition, Lee Loughridge's colors, draftsmanship, narration; all of it is consistently complex and effective. It's a comic book I could discuss every month and always find new things to explore. Remender and Craig have invented a story that is interesting simply by the virtue of how it is being told (although the story itself is also fascinating). It's a comic that constantly challenges and reinvents itself, an exemplar of creator-owned comics.

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10
Deadly Class #8

Oct 15, 2014

Deadly Class #8 is a tour de force, a terribly beautiful meditation upon pain and depression. Through this outlandish narrative, Remender, Craig, and Loughridge have constructed a story that is emotionally true. It acknowledges what it means to be in pain, what it is like to hide its origins, and the difficulty of seeking and obtaining help. It is does not aim to provide easy answers or solace, but it is a true story. It is authentic in the way that matters most, in reflecting what it is like to be human. In telling that truth, it provides some small opportunity for relief and understanding by showing its scars.

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9.0
Deadly Class #10

Jan 5, 2015

Unlike the awful climax that occurs in the comic store, its unnecessary and unfair to delve into the final pages of the second half of Deadly Class #10. Remender and Craig have been building to this confrontation since the first issue of the series and leave a perfect cliffhanger for readers. Deadly Class #10 is the mounting storm, tearing into both the daylight and darkness of Marcus life, building to this climax. Whatever comes next, only two things are certain: it will be messy and it will be must-read comics.

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10
Deadly Class #13

May 27, 2015

Remender has never let his characters off easily and he isn't interested in happy endings. What he, Craig, and Loughridge are interested in in Deadly Class is something less cathartic, but more significant. It's a tale that no matter how big and crazy it gets is always grounded by humanity. That's why Deadly Class #13 hurts so good.

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9.0
Deadly Class #15

Aug 5, 2015

Deadly Class continues to be one of the best comics hitting store shelves month-after-month. Remender and Craig are delivering a world populated with fully realized characters commenting on social troubles through incredibly exciting sequences filled with action, drugs, and mayhem. No series is better at combining the ludicrous with the deeply human than Deadly Class.

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7.0
Deadly Class #28

May 25, 2017

Deadly Class #28 is an example of how a creative team can keep a dozen plates spinning. Some will slow and begun to wobble, but others will whirl at such a thrilling speed as to distract readers. There is no consistent theme or purpose to this issue as a single piece, but as one chapter it includes enough good to outweigh the bad. Craig's layouts and Jordan Boyd's colors on the beach are enough to justify the price of entry. What comes next as these plates begin to collide will be far more interesting, but for now it is beautiful enough to know the story has led us to a brief respite with characters we care about this much.

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8.0
Death Of Wolverine #1

Sep 2, 2014

After months of advertisements and promotions all screaming that Wolverine will die, I'm surprised to say this, but I'm excited to read The Death of Wolverine. Soule and McNiven share a grasp of the character and understand what it will take to make this story work on its own merits. Wolverine is going to die. We knew that already. This comic may give us a reason to care.

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7.0
Death Of Wolverine #2

Sep 10, 2014

The Death of Wolverine #2 maintains the strengths of the first issue, but begins to squander that momentum on tangents and cameos. It feels like the events of this issue could probably be skipped without any major effect on the overall story. However, McNivens art alone makes this issue worth picking up.

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5.0
Death Of Wolverine #4

Oct 16, 2014

The Death of Wolverine is one of the better event series to be released in the past few years. It may not succeed in its intended purpose, but it is enjoyable and (relatively) succinct. Its a cut above most event series, managing to be entertaining without ever becoming aggravating.

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7.0
Deathlok #1

Oct 31, 2014

Deathlok #1 is a generally competent comic book. Edmondson includes a lot of information in a twenty-page script and it all combines into a tight plot. Perkins action is often exciting. Theres not a hook to any of these characters yet and the sequences sometimes fail to relate important information. The result is a mixed bag, one that could develop into a great series, but is hard to recommend based on this issue alone.

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9.0
Descender #1

Feb 3, 2015

Descender #1 is a stunning debut. Lemire and Nguyen are holding up a mirror to post-9/11 politics and encouraging us to consider our world not only through the lens of science fiction, but through the eyes of a child. It is a beautiful introduction that promises a thoughtful exploration of how we respond to tragedy and adversity without ever losing sight of the hope and wonder of existence.

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8.0
Descender #5

Jul 9, 2015

Descender #5 is a beautiful comic, that's art makes the pain of the story seem all the more potent. While Lemire struggles some in creating a compelling political system, the core story of the series is compelling as ever. The characters are well-realized, and their pain is easily shared with the reader, for better or worse.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #938

Aug 13, 2016

There is nothing being done in Detective Comics that has not been done before or better, but it is delivering an entertaining combination of elements. The mix of characters, regular delivery of exciting moments, and inclusion of sympathetic villains provides plenty to chew on. This isn't a comic that soars, but it does fulfill its promise as a Batman-team-up comic.

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8.4
Divinity #1

Feb 11, 2015

Divinity #1 pushes the scope of Valiant ever further, striking into the territory of surrealistic science fiction. It is a beautifully designed introduction and one that plays to all of Kindts strengths as a writer. While it may be unclear where Abram Adams journey may lead, it is certain that it will be an experience worth reading.

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6.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #10

Aug 6, 2016

And so Doctor Strange #10 is an effective entertainment. The monsters are scary and the action is enjoyable enough. It lacks in impact in spite of the many consequences explained at its conclusion. Everything is terrible, but it rests on the foundation of a story that never gives you very many reasons to care. Reading this comic might be a fine way to spend a little time, but it will flicker out of your skull as quickly as it entered.

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5.0
Drax (2015) #6

May 5, 2016

Drax #6 is a comic that does a lot of work to bury its strengths. The pencil work of Hepburn and Hanna, reminiscent of James Harren's fast and mean qualities, is something to value. Yet every chase and action beat is buried in text and designs feel either rushed or are focused on characters that do not appeal to their style. There's some enjoyable violence to be found in Drax, but the series will make you dig for it.

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8.4
E Is For Extinction #2

Aug 26, 2015

E is for Extinction is not just one of best Battleworld miniseries so far, but one of the best X-Men comics published in years. Morrison may be the source for many of these ideas, but Burnham, Culver, and Villalobos are demonstrating a true mastery of the material. If we're lucky, this won't be the last time we see them all playing with the oddest superheroes in Marvel's stable.

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7.0
East of West #13

Jun 30, 2014

East of West #13 shows off its chops as a Western in its desert chases and fight sequences. Even the more psychedelic elements read like a peyote inspired trip in the Mojave Desert. As the science of the Endless Nation emerges on the final page, the great potential of the series is brought into focus as so many genre elements are blended together to create an ominous spectacle of great potential. For whatever stakes were lacking in this issue, the war that is now beginning has been clearly grounded, setting a course for the series to pursue to even greater highs.

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9.0
East of West #16

Jan 5, 2015

Even in those quiet moments at the end of East of West #16, it is clear the story has changed. Year One was an introduction to a wide, new world. It carefully constructed history, politics, and religion into a cathedral-like structure. Year Two has set that structure on fire. War has arrived. The action, the impact, and the drama of East of West have all been elevated as the world approaches its end. Hickman and Dragotta have revitalized the series in this introduction to Year Two. They are starting to blow this world up and it appears that as things get worse, East of West will only get better.

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10
Edge of Spider-Verse #2

Sep 16, 2014

I want a series featuring Gwen Stacy, The Spectacular Spider-Woman written by Jason Latour and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez. I really, really want it. Marvel Comics has captured lightning in a bottle with this issue. It's sleek, smart, and so damn cool. I simply don't have enough superlatives for what Latour and Rodriguez have created here. So I'll leave it at this: buy Edge of Spider-Verse #2. And after you too fall in love, make sure to write in and let Marvel know that you want an ongoing Gwen Stacy, The Spectacular Spider-Woman series.

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2.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #3

Sep 24, 2014

Theres no compelling story for this Spider-Mech to be involved in though. An overabundance of exposition, a lack of clear setting, and various extraneous elements all worked to push me between bewilderment and weariness. There are things to like in Edge of Spider-Verse #3, but theyre lost in the confusion of this comic.

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8.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #5

Oct 16, 2014

Despite its lack of a traditional plot, Edge of Spider-Verse #5 succeeds. It leans on its ideas and their visual presentation, giving readers images that they can chew on. For readers and critics preoccupied with story, this may be disconcerting, but I found it to be an appealing stretch of a mainstream superhero comic. There are a lot of appealing factors within a comic besides plot.

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8.0
Ei8ht #3

Apr 16, 2015

Albuquerque focuses his work primarily on the foreground, resulting in a dreamlike atmosphere. It's purposeful and works well with the ever shifting landscape of the comic. The colors swirl loosely around the panels, opening events up instead of confining them. Ei8ht presents a world in which change and discovery are the only constants, and it's the presentation of that world in which the series is at its best.

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5.0
Extraordinary X-Men #1

Nov 5, 2015

Ramos and inker Victor Olazaba add some much needed energy to the issue. Ramos' designs and style lend themselves naturally to this team of varied body shapes and costumes. Each member stands out with a unique silhouette. Action sequences speed across the page with bodies that truly feel as though they are in motion. Exaggeration almost gets the better of Ramos, but is reined in by Olazaba's smooth inks. As a result Extraordinary X-Men is a comic with plenty of style attempting to cover a disappointing lack of substance.

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4.0
Extraordinary X-Men #7

Feb 22, 2016

Looking beyond the final scene of Extraordinary X-Men #7 when considering quality is fruitless though because that scene distills everything you need to know. It's a slapdash construction of something that ought to be dramatic, but is actually baffling. Not only does it rely on reader's already having formed a connection to the material, but that these same readers be okay not knowing what came before or concern with its quality. This is a comic built with no ability to evoke a reaction beyond the jaw dropping display of its own blunt manipulations.

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3.0
Extraordinary X-Men #13

Aug 27, 2016

Somehow Extraordinary X-Men #13 has transformed the story of a superpowered, adoptive family hopping across dimensions and fighting apocalyptic futures into something entirely stale. There's not a new idea or fresh visual to be found in these pages. While some moments are well-rendered, it's a lacquer that cannot cover the rotted interior for more than a moment. While this issue may be technically well assembled, it is a hollow rendering of something comics readers enjoyed decades ago.

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8.0
Fables #138

Feb 20, 2014

Fables #138 reminds readers that Willingham is just as capable of crafting short 22-page comics as he is at building eight issue epics. Although continuity confuses the beginning and ending of the issue, the story at its center is wonderfully told. It infuses a classic fairytale narrative with new ideas, and then twists its resolution like a dagger. Those fourteen pages alone make this comic worth the price of admission.

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7.0
Fables #139

Mar 27, 2014

Fables #139is a perfectly typical issue ofFables. It capably introduces new characters, blends humor and fun into most pages, and never forgets to assert dramatic stakes worthy of the reader's attention. Although this individual issue is nothing special, it is still a well crafted comic that services the opening ofFablessecond to last story arc.

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6.0
Fables #140

May 15, 2014

Fables #140 features a few highlights in a generally lackluster issue. Its purpose in foreshadowing the natural conclusion of the series is well served, but the story itself does little to add to the overall richness of its fictional universe. With little characterization or stakes, this is issue is at best a necessary stepping stone to the epic conclusion which begins next month.

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8.0
Fables #141

Jun 19, 2014

Much like the television series Game of Thrones, Fables takes time to set the scene and re-establish its characters before beginning a major story. Furthermore, the creators have made this process this engaging for audiences. Not much new is revealed, but the act of becoming reacquainted with the world and characters of Fables still feels exciting. Now that "Happily Ever After", the last Fables story ever, has begun, the creative team will be challenged to increase the stakes and keep track of these many characters. Based on the excellent work done in Fables #141, there's no reason to doubt that Willingham and Buckingham are up to the challenge.

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8.0
Fables #142

Jul 17, 2014

Despite the slow pacing and enormous amount of groundwork being established, Fables #142 still manages to succeed. It takes advantage of 141 previous issues to help create tension and build its stakes. Willingham and Buckingham have always created real consequences in a medium often associated with a lack of change. In doing so, they have guaranteed that the promises of this issue, both in terms of scope and impact, will be believed by readers. There may be no resolution here, but the increasing drama still provides plenty of action.

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8.0
Fables #143

Aug 22, 2014

Babe doesn't want you to turn the last page. I still wish I hadn't.

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7.0
Fables #144

Sep 19, 2014

The truth is that I'm afraid about whatever comes next in Fables. The series has always held consequences for its characters, but only now does it feel as it Willingham and Buckingham are actively punishing them. Fables #144 doesn't read like a modern fable, it reads like a horror story.

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6.0
Fables #145

Oct 16, 2014

The stakes of the story are still high, but it needs to retain what little momentum it has left and build from that in order to keep this story interesting. There are still five issues left in Fables and no reason to wait until issue 150 to move the story forward.

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8.0
Fables #150

Jul 24, 2015

"Farewell" stands as a testament to the mighty legacy of Fables. It is every bit as large as the series that preceded it, and packs all of the feeling and skill that led Fables to so much success. It is not always a perfect goodbye, but such a thing may not even be possible for so great an undertaking. "Farewell" is perfect where it counts though. The final battle, the final panel, and the final line are all exactly what is needed. They are reminders of why Fables is so beloved, and are bound to linger fondly on the minds of its readers. In its final moments, Fables #150 summons the ethos of "Happily Ever After" as well as all of the fairy tales that inspired its creation.

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2.0
Fight Club 2 #1

May 27, 2015

Even both Stewart's contributions are occasionally buried under the inclusion of pills and flower petals that cover the page. It's a "cute" idea that adds nothing of value to the pages nor any depth to the story in this first issue. That lack of value is endemic of Fight Club 2's entire debut. It is a work without substance or meaning, beautifully realized before being quickly and mercifully forgotten.

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4.0
Forever Evil #5

Feb 11, 2014

It's impressive that an event comic is being published on a regular schedule from the same writer-artist team. It would be even more impressive if that comic were good.

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6.0
Forever Evil #6

Mar 6, 2014

Forever Evil #6 is a comic that may not know what it is supposed to be. Given the context of creator interviews and marketing, it ought to be read seriously and its events should be shrouded with importance. Yet in actually reading it, an air of camp is revealed. The silliness of concepts like the Murder Machine and Johnny Quick's loss of a limb directly conflict with the dark tone of the art and story. This cognitive dissonance doesn't make for a confusing read, but an enjoyable one. If not for Finch's poor output, it might have been an accidentally good comic.

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2.0
Forever Evil #7

May 22, 2014

Forever Evil #7is a bad comic. The visual narrative is overwrought when it isn't entirely incoherent, and the story it is attempting to tell is nonsensical at best. If this is what DC Comics is publishing to get readers excited about comics, it's no surprise that so few people read comics.

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8.4
Frankenstein Underground #1

Feb 18, 2015

Frankenstein Underground #1 has introduced another element to Mignola's every expanding pantheon of horror and adventure comics. It fits in perfectly alongside the likes of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Baltimore, Sledgehammer '44, and all of the others, but never feels like an unnecessary mirror to any of its sister titles. Instead, Frankenstein Underground plays on similar concepts and themes, but sets itself up to explore them in a manner that feels entirely new. Mignola and Stenbeck are prepared to delve into the existential quandaries of existence and the horrors of a universe that is so massive as to dwarf even Frankenstein's enormous form. Frankenstein Underground is a series worth looking out for in 2015.

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8.4
Frankenstein Underground #5

Jul 22, 2015

Frankenstein Underground, unsurprisingly, is another fine addition to the Mignola-verse. It walks the seemingly impossible line between character-focused introspection and bombastic monster fights that all of these series do so well. It's visual storytelling and imagination are unlimited. Frankenstein holds a special place at Dark Horse comics and, while Frankenstein Underground gives him a proper conclusion, we can all still hope to see more someday.

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6.0
Ghost Racers #1

Jun 10, 2015

Ghost Racers #1 is another fun spin-off from Secret Wars, providing a unique genre and style amidst the very diverse collection of Battleworld comics. Gedeon is a great fit for the fast-paced action inherent to these characters, and Smith continues to make Reyes a sympathetic, relatable character. The first issue is flawed, but that doesn't stop it from being an entertaining introduction.

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8.4
Giant Days #6

Aug 19, 2015

Giant Days #6 is an incredible amount of fun. It is a joy to tag along with these characters on their misadventures. And despite the generally low stakes, the issue never feels slight. Instead, it captures the whimsy and aimless propulsion of college-life, making you want to run ahead even if it's unclear why. There are good friends and good times to be had, and that's more than enough.

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8.0
Giant-Size Little Marvel AVX #3

Aug 5, 2015

Giant Size Little Marvel AvX #3 is exactly what it needs to be, a whole lot of fun. Not all of the gags land, but there are enough of them that the issue can rack up consistent chuckles and smiles. Its lighthearted nature is just the sort of palette cleanser superhero fans need against all of the Strum und Drang of events.

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8.4
God Hates Astronauts #1

Sep 4, 2014

God Hates Astronauts won't change how you look at comics or view the world around you. It will make you laugh though. It will make you laugh a lot. You may need a change of pants. I don't know, but it's probably a good idea to get an extra pair out before reading it just in case. Pants wetting aside, God Hates Astronauts is one of the hilarious and most fun comics on the stands. If you're just looking to have a good time, then you've found the right book.

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10
Godzilla in Hell #1

Jul 15, 2015

Godzilla in Hell #1 delivers on exactly what is promised in the title. It's big, dynamic, violent, and oddly soulful. Stokoe is a consummate cartoonist of spectacle, paying exacting attention to every panel and consistently delivering big moments. This comic is a delight to read and read again.

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10
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 1, 2014

There is something really, truly, genuinely exciting about Gotham Academy and I cannot wait to read more.

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8.4
Gotham By Midnight #1

Dec 1, 2014

That doesn't make Gotham by Midnight a bad comic. It's well written and well drawn, a fine addition to DC Comics publishing line. There's nothing truly exciting about this debut though. Both Templesmith and Fawkes have done far more interesting work before; this is not representative of them pushing themselves to achieve anything beyond a decent comic book. Gotham by Midnight is an exciting, moody read by two great creators and there's nothing wrong with that.

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4.0
Gotham By Midnight #8

Aug 26, 2015

Gotham By Midnight #8 is clearly executed and easy to understand, but never manages to engage. From its broadest ideas to its most specific details, the issue rarely passes the bar of being passable. It is a quick horror story, with only a single stand out moment, that will be forgotten in less time than it takes to read.

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8.4
Grayson #6

Jan 16, 2015

Grayson #6 is another excellent installment in a series that continues to exceed expectations. Seeley, King, Janin, and Cox place no limitations upon themselves, and have discovered a wide swath of stories worth telling as a result. Its impossible to know where Dick Grayson is going next or what the experience may be like, but its bound to be good comics.

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6.0
Guardians 3000 #1

Oct 1, 2014

The flaws of Guardians 3000 #1 are not integral to Abnett and Sandovals story. They are fixable issues that cover up the fast-paced, superhero romp they are trying to tell. That story holds a lot of promise and is one I look forward to reading.

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4.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #18

Sep 1, 2014

Comics arent a balancing of various aspects like composition, color, story, and words; theyre a fusion of all these things. No matter how effective one aspect of a comic may be, it still must work in combination with everything else in order to construct a finished piece. The art in Guardians of the Galaxy #18 is big superhero action at its best, but the complete lack of drama and storytelling left me cold. Grade: C-

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #19

Sep 27, 2014

This tie-in still doesnt manage to feel particularly important or necessary. Theres no real emotion behind these pages, but they are fun to read. Guardians of the Galaxy #19 is entertaining and thats a step up. It is not a story that will stick with you or that you will be inclined to return to, but it may make you stop to appreciate a few pages and put a smile on your face. Thats not bad.

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4.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #7

May 2, 2016

Whether or not this is your first exposure to superhero comics, it's one that cannot be recommended. People who loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie won't find any of the quick wit, fast action, or oddities they may have loved about the movie here. People who love comics won't find anything they haven't seen hundreds of times before. The only thing Guardians of the Galaxy #7 might be useful for is as a case study for the concept of "corporate superhero comics". It's a thing produced because it must be produced, meeting a set of standards and expectations not concerned with anything close to art or storytelling. It is digestible, but that also means it belongs in your bowels.

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5.0
Gwenpool Special #1

Dec 9, 2015

That's the ultimate goal for Gwenpool Special #1, a comic with a cash grab in its title: to be perfectly fine. It succeeds at that. The Hawkeye story did plenty for me as a fan of Duggan's mini-series, while the Ms. Marvel story is wince-inducing, but overall it averages out to complete fine-ness. This is a comic worth flipping through for Marvel fans, but it won't leave any sort of impression after one or two glasses of eggnog.

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8.0
Harrow County #1

May 14, 2015

These detractions are hardly enough to ruin Harrow County#1. It is a very promising introduction, and something that reads differently from all of Dark Horse's other excellent horror offerings. Crook and Bunn are sowing seeds for a very dark tale, one that will easily be enjoyed on a cold October night after it's completed.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #20

Sep 10, 2014

Kate's adventures in Los Angeles have been a thrilling interlude. They've managed to both maintain the overall tone of the comic, while telling a story that is entirely its own. It gave Fraction an opportunity to explore detective noir (in addition to his work on Satellite Sam) and Wu a chance to show off her design skills. This story has been outrageously fun and surprisingly potent, but it has come to a close. Now it's time for Hawkeye to do the same.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #21

Feb 5, 2015

My emotional response to Hawkeye #21 was intense. From the anxiety at the start to the excitement of the battle and finally the dread and pain of the end" It all feels real, and that's because it is. Aja, Fraction, and Hollingsworth are all musicians. They are making perfect use of the comics form to create emotion. No matter how loose or organic the experience may be, their choices are exacting and precise. They are masters of their art and the result is enthralling, pulling you in and refusing to let go until the final page is turned.

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8.4
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #1

Oct 31, 2014

Hellboy and the BPRD #1 is the first act of an excellent horror film. It establishes its characters and conflicts without relying on cheap tricks. Instead the actions in this comic are allowed to breathe and the characters are provided with depth and weight. There is tension within Maleev and Stewart's artwork, but it is subtle and bides its time waiting to build as the story advances. It should be expected that a team like Mignola, Arcudi, Maleev, and Stewart would create an excellent comic and that is just what they do.

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8.4
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 #1

Oct 31, 2015

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953 is a perfect comic to pick up as part of Halloweek, whether you're a longtime fan of Hellboy or just looking for an introduction. Not only is it accessible, but it manages to deliver three succinct tales in very little space. It reveals the breadth of Mignola, Stenbeck, and Stewart's talent as storytellers and flexibility within the realm of horror. Whether you're looking for monstrous action, existential dread, or just an old fashioned campfire tale, this issue delivers on all fronts.

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9.0
Hellboy in Hell #7

Aug 26, 2015

It is always a joy to see a new art from Mignola, and Hellboy in Hell #7 proves that rule once again. From the evocative, soft dreams at the start of this issue to the big battle at the end, every page of this issue is a treat. Hellboy's development as a character is mirrored by Mignola and Stewart's as artists, all of them showing their souls here.

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6.0
Hercules (2015) #1

Nov 5, 2015

Dan Abnett's script also reflects work with fine elements, but speed bumps that could and should have been smoothed over given more time. There are a number of jerking transitions between scenes, with a failure to effectively introduce two named characters and notable setting. Dialogue often hops between topics, hitting the required points but not cohering to anything resembling the rhythm of conversation or banter. Abnett does land some excellent puns and very charming lines though. Hercules' respect and forthrightness with two young men is particularly excellent. Moments like this reveal the promise of Hercules as a series, one that would be quite stirring if only its creators could more consistently reach it.

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7.0
Hillbilly #1

Jul 2, 2016

Overall, Hillbilly #1 marks a continuing evolution of a talented cartoonist. Changes to style and media present an intriguing read, but one that is shackled to a story and themes that have grown stale.

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2.0
Howling Commandos Of S.H.I.E.L.D #1

Oct 28, 2015

Buried in all of this is the ingot of a good idea. Much of the script reads like grindhouse cinema, spitting on subtlety and happily accepting the obvious explosion or laugh. Frank J. Barbiere is a writer capable of understanding the appeal of that concept, standing up a massive cast of monsters for big action and tongue-in-cheek melodramatics. There are at least two moments here that are capable of evoking an emotional reaction, the sort where you grin with the comic rather than glaring at it. Barbiere's script doesn't contain enough laughs or craziness to make Schoonover's art endurable, much less entertaining though. It's a tough read where the glimmers of interest and potential only make the final result all the more disappointing.

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5.0
Huck #1

Nov 17, 2015

Huck is centered on a very charming, potentially powerful idea. It's an idea that surfaces in Albuquerque's designs and storytelling, showing flashes of what could have been. Ultimately though, Millar's script isn't capable of bringing the ideas he has into a coherent story that will inspire or awe. Huck #1 is the sort of comic that may give you cause to think, but your thoughts will linger on how much better it should have been.

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8.4
I Hate Fairyland #1

Sep 14, 2015

I Hate Fairyland #1 doesn't always crank its volume to 11, but when it does, it is a laugh riot. For all of the promise held in this simple premise, it's only through Skottie Young's brain that it truly comes to life. His imagination, attention to detail, and refined ear for crude humor combine to make something a humor comic that's still funny even upon a third and fourth reading. Watching childhood dreams brutally slaughtered has never been more enjoyable.

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4.0
Inhuman #4

Aug 27, 2014

This issue contains some interesting moments, but does very little outside of the ordinary. It capably moves through plot points and positions characters, but effects little emotion or drama. The storytellers are certainly competent, but theres nothing here that sets the comic apart from any of the other ensemble superhero books being published today. Inhuman #4 wont offend any readers, but its not likely to excite many either.

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9.0
Inhuman: Special #1

Apr 23, 2015

Ultimately, Inhumans Special #1 achieves exactly what it sets out to do: Give a chance to let new creators prove their salt with Marvel's biggest franchises. Beyond a stellar understanding of Spider-Man, Loveness proves that he can juggle multiple threads and voices without losing the reader. Lee, meanwhile, poises himself for inclusion in discussions that may include names like Frank Quitely, Chris Burnham, and Ramon Villalobos. It's a shame that Lee can't join Loveness for the story's final act in All-New Captain America Special #1, but at least the two could make this chapter anything but an Inhuman Error.

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8.4
Injection #1

May 7, 2015

Injection #1 is a bizarre first issue with lots of plots points and exposition, but very little understanding. The story itself is not a mystery, but the manner the creators tell it in is mysterious. That experience could be off putting, but at least Ellis appears to be writing with the strengths of his collaborators in mind. Shalvey and Bellaire are more than capable of carrying these mysteries and introverted characters. Together, they elevate the script and transform what easily could have been an odd debut into something puzzling, but pleasing. Add in the beautiful draftsmanship and coloring, andInjection #1evolves from an intellectual puzzler into must-read comics.

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7.0
Injection #3

Jul 9, 2015

Injection is one of the most beautiful comics being published by Image today. The story is impeccably told, which makes its obfuscation of character and plot easier to accept on a month-by-month basis. It's still unclear where this is heading or if it will reward reader's patience, but watching the journey unfold is its own prize for now.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #1

Jan 20, 2015

Ivar, Timewalker #1 is another very enjoyable debut from Valiant Entertainment. Van Lente and Henrys first series for the publisher, Archer & Armstrong, continues to be one of the funniest and most endearing there. Ivar, Timewalker contains the same blend of charm and wit that could easily launch it to similar heights.

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8.0
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1

Nov 10, 2014

As a new reader of the Martian Chronicles, I was impressed by this debuts ability to both integrate me into the world Burroughs created and begin a new story. Its a refreshing change of pace, a long running adventure story that still manages to be inviting. Marz and Malsuni are clearly having fun telling new tales set upon Mars and its easy to join in the action with them.

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8.4
Jughead (2015) #1

Oct 6, 2015

Jughead #1 isn't just another great Archie book; it's a great humor comic with no additional modifiers needed. Zdarsky and Henderson understand what makes this character function as the star of a series. Jughead isn't just another part of the Riverdale gang, he's larger than life launching into high school like Dangerfield busting into Bushwood Country Club. His exploits and daydreams alike feel like the stuff of legend, even if they're really just one helluva gas.

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9.0
Jupiter's Legacy #5

Jan 16, 2015

Millar compared Jupiters Legacy to Watchmen when it was first released, and even then it was a plainly silly line of hype. Jupiters Legacy is nothing like Watchmen, and thats a good thing. Rather than trying to be something its not, Jupiters Legacy embraces what it is. It is a big love letter to the superhero genre, one that sincerely loves the big battles, clear distinctions, and grand statements of men and women in tights. This is the kind of story that Millar and Quitely are both perfectly suited to tell. Now that they are embracing the central premise of their story in the form of a young boy with an incredible streak of altruism, they are able to deliver a truly incredible comic, one that is hard not to love.

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8.0
Justice League #36

Nov 20, 2014

Justice League #36 isnt a return to form for the series, its the creation of a much better format. Its a story that embraces the genre to which it belongs and discovers a natural sense of pacing with that change. Even though its told with an aesthetic that I generally find displeasing, it is difficult to fault Fabok. He composes the action and figures very well in order to tell a fun superhero story. This is exactly what most people would expect from a comic about the Justice League and proves to be surprisingly refreshing.

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7.0
Kaijumax #4

Jul 15, 2015

Kaijumax #4 veers between the sublime and troublesome, but it spends much more time with the former. In spite of the themes being explored, Cannon capably delivers laughs along with insight without ever cheapening characters or their experiences. It's a truly odd fusion, but one that's well suited to the imagination on display here. Kaijumax is one of the most interesting premises being explored today, and the execution of its style, themes, and tone is fascinating.

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7.0
Kaptara #1

Apr 21, 2015

Kaptara #1 is an inconsistent beginning, one plagued by an uncompelling protagonist, but still filled with promise. If Zdarskys script in this debut proves to be 90% setup for the future, then theres a lot of hope to held out for Kaptara. Keith, in his best moments, could still become the centerpiece of a fascinating story. More impressive still is McLeods contribution. Both the imagination and subtlety expressed throughout the issue are the most engaging reason to return. Kaptaras debut is a mixed lot, and its difficult to tell whether it will be worth sticking around until Zdarsky and McLeod return.

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8.4
Karnak #1

Oct 25, 2015

Karnak #1 is instantly engaging and reads briskly before reaching an ending that is neither cliffhanger nor stopping point. It's a jerking halt to the issue that reveals Karnak to be a story that is designed without issue breaks in mind, much like Ellis' other ongoing work on Trees and Injection. There is more than enough good to be found in this first installment though, that it's easy to forgive Karnak #1 for failing to cohere as an issue. Ellis and Zaffino deliver an interesting hook for this reinvention, one that is equal parts character study and brutal action comic with plenty of style throughout.

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7.0
Karnak #2

Apr 6, 2016

Even with the break in art at its end, Karnak #2 is a strong showing. The hyper-violence on display is stunning in its execution and presented in the most favorable conditions possible. As Ellis and his collaborators question the purpose and intention of violent methods, allowing those methods to be shown without the modification of words or a sense of humor makes them land. Karnak #2 is a comic book that lives and dies by the strengths of its visual storytelling and style, and here it hits home.

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8.0
Lake of Fire #1

Aug 3, 2016

Lake of Fire #1 is the best debut issue to be published by Image Comics in 2016. It establishes its characters, world, and, most importantly, themes in a clear manner. Fairbairn and Smith are sure of what they want to say and make it clear in this introduction. There is a long road ahead for the crusaders of this comic and their allies. The questions asked here will not be answered for some time, much less the question of who will remain and what will be left of them. One thing is for certain: Lake of Fire is a devotion to the conflict between ideals and reality distilled in artwork that will chill you to the bone.

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9.0
Lazarus #9

Jun 30, 2014

Lark does an incredible job of telling the emotional journey of both characters with almost no dialogue.

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9.0
Lazarus #16

Apr 23, 2015

Lazarus #16 is another top-notch installment from one of the best series being published by Image Comics today. It combines both the intensely personal experience of Sister Bernard with the political exploration that defines Lazarus. Morality and ethics are being constantly questioned, but nothing about this issue feels like a lecture. Instead, this single-issue story is capable of challenging readers just as it thrills them.

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9.0
Lazarus #17

Jun 17, 2015

The excitement and ferocity evoked in this battle, which includes only one recognizable character (who is not even recognizable until later), reveals Lazarus' true depth. Forever may rest at the center of this story, but the world Rucka and Lark have constructed is complex and open for a great deal of exploration. Lazarus #17 is another taut chapter, delivering political and visceral thrills in an increasingly immersive series.

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3.0
Lobo #1

Oct 1, 2014

In changing the nature of Lobo, this comic could have become many things. It has instead become an ouroboros. Lobo was once a parody of mainstream comics trends. He is now emblematic of similar trends in modern comics that are in deep need of just such a parody.

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8.4
Loki: Agent of Asgard #6

Sep 24, 2014

Loki: Agent of Asgard #6 has a slow start, but the loads of exposition feel worthwhile when Ewing and Coelho reach the story they want to tell. Its an interesting commentary on two of the most fascinating and long-lasting villains in comics. Like Kieron Gillens Journey Into Mystery, it manages to take multiple crossovers and tie-ins, and weave them into a narrative that is compelling all on its own.

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8.0
Low #1

Jul 29, 2014

Low is a truly enthralling comic though. It captures its tone perfectly, juxtaposing light and darkness against one another in a surreal future. It is as much about the battling ideas of its characters as it is about surviving an inevitable apocalyptic scenario. Remender's world building and Tocchino's vision combine to deliver those ideas and the story in which they exist in a truly entertaining fashion. Low #1 is a beautiful, ambitious debut that sets high expectations for future installments.

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10
Lumberjanes #3

Jun 11, 2014

Lumberjanes is a comic that makes me want to be silly and have fun. It's a comic about friendship, adventure, and finding the wonder in your world, no matter where you are. Lumberjanes #3 isn't just a great comic, it's a reason to be optimistic. I wouldn't want to ask for more.

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8.0
Lumberjanes #14

May 20, 2015

Lumberjanes #14 reads in a familiar fashion, very much the series readers fell in love with just over a year ago. It incorporates recognizable structure, characters, and tropes, while providing new mysteries. The result is something that reads like the series' debut with no need for exposition, much like the second or third novel in a series of novels for young adults. Lumberjanes #14 knows itself and its audience, creating a comfort zone in which it can continue to thrive.

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5.0
M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin #1

May 27, 2015

The action sequences have a madcap sensibility to them as well, where M.O.D.O.K.is effective, but never cool. A spread at the beginning of the comic captures the weirdness Yost seems to be aiming for at its best. M.O.D.O.K.'s stilted internal monologue and juvenile sense of humor (think a sixth grader on Reddit) still drag the joy of rockets and mental blasts down. He's at his best when he simply shuts up and gets the job done. There's the seed of a fun idea here, but M.O.D.O.K. himself seems determined to kill it.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #9

Sep 11, 2014

Ignoring detrimental ads, Magneto #9 is very well done. It is a dark, brooding story that provides proper emphasis and empathy to the weighty topic that it addresses. Bunn, Walta, and Bellaire are taking the rich history of a character like Magneto and using it to tell a new story. They are reflecting on what makes him such a potent icon and will likely leave an indelible stamp upon the Master of Magnetism before this series is over.

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8.4
Manifest Destiny #12

Dec 23, 2014

As much as the first eleven issues of the series were praised, Manifest Destiny #12 sets even higher expectations for the future. Dingess is subtly building tension and a wide variety of conflicts to drive the drama and is accompanied by Roberts accomplished designs and frightening sequences. Together they are only just beginning to delve into the potential of this intriguing horror-influenced examination of American history.

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6.0
Marvel Zombies (2015) #2

Jul 22, 2015

Marvel Zombies isn't a series that I expect to inspire inordinate amounts of enthusiasm or distinct memories. It's a mini-series that grasps what it is, and plays to those strengths portraying a weird, funny romp in an increasingly absurd premise. There's a lot of silliness to be found in Spurrier and Walker's conception, and that is the absolute best thing they can do here.

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8.4
Memetic #3

Dec 29, 2014

Memetic promised a shocking apocalyptic horror story and it delivered in a big way. It is a fast paced blend of action, terror, and psychological thrills that never slows down, unleashing new chills even in the final panel. Tynion and Donovan have provided an excellent, fast paced ride of a mini-series from start to finish. Memetic may not have gotten the hype it deserved, but that doesnt mean its too late to check it out.

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8.0
Men of Wrath #1

Oct 1, 2014

Although it is a well told story, it is one I have no interest in reading.

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9.0
Mind MGMT #30

Feb 10, 2015

Mind MGMT #30 breaks from the ongoing narrative of the series in order to take one final look back at one of its most confounding and complex characters. Kindt's continuing experiments within the comics form create another tremendous success. His visual metaphor for the process of memory and the narratives we construct in order to survive not only imparts meaning on the series past, but creates a bold stage for the final six issues to arrive.

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8.0
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1

Nov 28, 2015

Even with some missed opportunities, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 is a sweet first issue that may have readers falling in love with the titular duo before they even get to know one another.

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7.0
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #5

Apr 8, 2016

The unfinished feel to some of the script and artwork doesn't detract from the consistent feel of fun though. Seeing a young woman confidently aid in a dinosaur's escape is an idea too much fun to resist and this creative team isn't throwing up any barriers. Devil Dinosaur and Moon Girl are bright characters charging through pages to an uncertain future. It's an adventure that any young person would be happy to engage with while imagining a dinosaur pal of their own.

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8.4
Moon Knight (2014) #7

Sep 3, 2014

All that means is that Moon Knight is under new management. Wood and Smallwood are not attempting to imitate Ellis and Shalvey, and that is a good thing. They are every bit as talented as the creators that worked on the book previously. Moon Knight #7 keeps what was working and uses it to show off the creative talents of everyone now involved. Moon Knight is in excellent hands and I am on board for wherever they take the story next.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2014) #10

Dec 18, 2014

The ongoing nature of this second arc in Moon Knight suggests that perhaps this confusion is part of a larger moral bluff, something that will pay off in the long term. Read as an individual issue though, it is perplexing. That does not detract from the beautiful presentation of the story, the excellent action (both psychological and physical), and twist on the Moon Knight persona, but it does prevent Moon Knight #10 from becoming something truly special.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 17, 2014

That's what I mean when I say that teenagers are kind of amazing. It's not that they have solutions to all of the world's problems, but they have the energy and vitality to confront those problems and do so with an unassailable spirit of hope. Watching Kamala Khan stand up to the Inventor and for her entire generation in Ms. Marvel #10, it's impossible to not feel optimistic about what the future holds.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

That smoothness is featured in the comic itself, as the final third transitions to Alphona's pencils in a flashback sequence. This story focuses primarily on Bruno and reveals just how lovingly crafted Kamala Khan's supporting cast has been characterized. A Bruno story is every bit as endearing and enjoyable as a Kamala one. The introduction of Mike shows that this cast will only continue to grow, and Wilson avoids innumerable troublesome tropes in order to deliver a fully formed human being in only ten pages. It's a clear sign that Ms. Marvel hasn't only returned at full strength, but that this series is going to be even better than ever.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #5

Apr 7, 2016

It's no surprise that Ms. Marvel #5 is great; it's no surprise that Ms. Marvel #5 is this great. This is a comic that utilizes its medium and genre well in order to tell a story that feels personal and meaningful in an entertaining fashion. That's more than you can typically expect from superhero comics, but it is delivered in almost every installment of this series. Someone cared about every aspect of this book from its core to the most minute details (again excluding proofreading) and it shows in a tremendous reading experience.

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8.0
Nailbiter #2

Jun 2, 2014

If Nailbiter #1 was the presentation of the series premise, then #2 is the presentation of its tone. The fusion of play and horror creates an interesting balance that Williamson and Henderson navigate well. The inherent craziness of a town filled with serial killers is obvious and played to great effect. It does not prevent the series from being enjoyable to read, though. Characters are capable of banter and jokes. Williamson is even able to poke fun at himself referencing an obvious inspiration in Hannibal Lecter. If this sort of balance is maintained, then readers will have a variety of reasons to return each month. Nailbiter is the most fun you're likely to have watching people get murdered.

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8.0
Nailbiter #6

Sep 30, 2014

Nailbiter #6 shows that there are a lot of interesting stories to be told in Buckaroo beyond the central mystery of why so many serial killers come from this one place. Williamson and Henderson have a clear grasp of what makes their premise interesting and have left themselves room to explore it. This issue and future character-focused one shots of Nailbiter will make for a welcome sigh of relief.

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7.0
Nailbiter #7

Nov 6, 2014

Nailbiter #7 isnt disappointing because of serious failures on Williamson or Hendersons behalf, but because it fails to live up to the potential of what they have created. At its best this series can be something uniquely strange, combining disparate elements to form something compelling and new. The concept of transforming a comics creator into a cast member falls in line with that promise, but it falters in the execution.

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9.0
Nameless #1

Jan 22, 2015

When you combine the talents of Morrison, Burnham, and Fairbairn, what you are left with is magic. Its primal and raw, certainly not pretty, but undeniably powerful. They have stuffed the pages of Nameless with ideas and meaning, building a story that is constructed like clockwork, but still breathes and moves like a living thing. It is instinctive and intellectual, merging feeling and meaning into a story that challenges your mind while thrilling your senses.

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4.0
Neverboy #1

Feb 10, 2015

Neverboy #1 does not lack for potential. It alludes to The Odyssey, flirts with psychedelia, and packs plenty of pathos. However, none of that promise is ever realized. Instead, the story is told in a the most direct manner possible, failing to challenge or inspire either its creators or readership.

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7.0
New Avengers (2015) #7

Mar 8, 2016

t's unlikely that someone looking for depth and advancement of character will walk away from New Avengers #6 pleased, but that's hardly the focus of what is a small, character-focused issue only on its surface. Instead this installment continues to rely heavily on high-concept, high-exposition plotting something that Ewing excels at in the Marvel Universe and that his collaborators display in an exciting manner here. As a superhero book focused on intriguing superpowers and weird science, New Avengers #6 provides a fine distraction and services the ongoing narrative of this odd group of masked heroes.

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8.0
Ninjak #4

Jun 24, 2015

Ninjak #4 jumps away from a heart-stopping cliffhanger, but still manages to make this break feel both important and worthwhile. Rather than distracting from what is happening, it make the present story all the more significant. It's the sort of unique, one off, scripting at which Kindt excels, and the artistic team makes the issue feel even more special. The result is another great issue of Ninjak, fusing its own importance into a much larger narrative.

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6.0
No Mercy #2

May 7, 2015

Odd choices like this make No Mercy #2 a discordant reading experience. Some sections soar while others drag, but they never cohere until the issues conclusion. De Campi and McNeil are managing a lot of moving pieces, but that's not an excuse for a narrative that takes place in a 100 foot radius to feel so fractured. It is only when a shared threat appears at the end that all of these different elements begin to feel like they are sharing the same setting and story.

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8.0
Oddly Normal #1

Sep 17, 2014

I'm excited to see Image publishing more comics targeted at a young adult demographic. It's a woefully underserved area within mainstream comics and one that can be appreciated by "full-sized" adults as well. Oddly Normal isn't the most engaging debut issue, but it is well told and holds lots of promise. There's a possibility that with time it could grow into a big hit with a demographic that mainstream comics typically ignore.

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8.4
ODY-C #1

Nov 25, 2014

Ody-C #1 is a visually stunning and exciting adaptation of one of the oldest classics in Western canon. It seeks to reinterpret the source material not just through changes in place and character, but by focusing on the comics medium.

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4.0
ODY-C #6

Aug 12, 2015

There may be some that find enough value in Ward's presentation to stick with ODY-C. It's somewhat painful seeing his skills strapped to this ship sinking under the weight of its own pretenses though. Beautiful woodwork and sails are not what is required to cross an ocean, and even the most astonishing artwork can't cover the flaws of ODY-C.

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5.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #2

Feb 25, 2016

This is a comic that is at war with itself. The premise of the comic is as ugly and gritty as it gets, but it is plotted as a Marvel team up feature with all of your favorite superpowered pals. There's no awareness of this dichotomy though. It's every bit as bizarre as it sounds and the friction between the two concepts results in a comic that doesn't know what it wants to be, besides an excuse to show off Sorrentino's excellent action sequences.

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8.0
Operation S.I.N. #1

Jan 6, 2015

The pacing of Operation S.I.N. #1 drags a little bit with a great deal of introductions and exposition pushing the first real conflict of the issue to the very last page. However, that is easily forgivable given Ellis' well researched work and Immonen's refined character moments. Together they make it clear that this is a story they are invested in telling and one we should be interested in reading.

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3.0
Original Sin #8

Sep 3, 2014

Even with Deodato's contributions, Original Sin #8 stumbles and falls in its conclusion. The answers promised from issue one are unearned. Things happen, but they lack significance or meaning. The answers that are given are hollow. There is no emotional attachment to anything occurring in this issue. What started in Original Sin #0 as a character driven story has ended in a series of events that simply happen.

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9.0
Paper Girls #1

Oct 6, 2015

This intense level of attention, from the script to Chiang's pencils to the cool colors that envelop this night time adventure, is what ensures Paper Girls #1 is a personal experience. No matter how big the concept behind this series may be, it is always and on every level the story of four young women. They are heart that pumps life into the humor, mystery, and strangeness of this issue. Even when the final page comes, and Vaughan once again proves his skill at cliff hangers, they are the reason you will return. And based on Paper Girls #1, many of us will be returning to this comic for years and years and years.

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8.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1

Dec 22, 2015

The jokes and quick set up of a very large cast and lots of potential plotlines all work as well as they do largely because of Williams and Wilson's presentation. They make the crayon-colored business presentation pop and the humorously foreboding callbacks to Walker's teenage friends seem actually mysterious. Their delivery of each line and concept is so engaging that it's easy to re-read Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #1, and wait for #2 to bring the same style and laughter, and the follow through on the premises established here.

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3.0
Pisces #1

Apr 30, 2015

Pisces #1 is riddled with problems that range from the skeleton of its storytelling to the manner of its execution. Readers looking for an excuse to not pick up a new series will have no trouble finding one here. The comic's greatest flaw, however, does not lie in its character work or compositions. The biggest problem here is that in 24 pages, there isn't a single reason to want to read whatever may come next.

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9.0
Plutona #1

Aug 17, 2015

Plutona is a comic about childhood. The inclusion of superheroes feels like garnishment in the first issue, saved for a page of prologue and final reveal. The heart of this one issue is the five children at its core. Lenox and Lemire put all of their efforts into bringing them to life on the page, and the results speak for themselves. In these five children, both of the world and in many way innocent of it, it is possible to see reflections of the people we once were and wished to be. They all live on the crucial moment before adolescence when every choice could mean the world and the world could mean anything. The stakes of Plutona are high, not just because they reflect the perspective of children, but because the potential found within each of them feels truly limitless, if only for this one moment.

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8.0
POP #1

Aug 28, 2014

Pop #1 is a comic that will make you think. It has a lot to say and wants to speak with a big voice. It tries to use all of the tools of the comics medium to make that voice as loud and effective as possible. Composition, color, dialogue, the creators are aware of all of these components and want to make them work in an engaging way. While they may not always succeed, the very attempt itself can be effective. Pop #1 is a lot of things. It can be blunt and self-involved, but it can also be astute and quite funny. It is always beautifully drafted and colored. The one thing it is never is boring. And thats the most important thing I can ask from a comic.

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7.0
Predator: Fire And Stone #1

Oct 22, 2014

Predator: Fire and Stone is a fine first issue. It accomplishes plenty, but doesnt leave much of a reason to return besides its overall effect on the Fire and Stone collection. Mooneyhams art helps to make up for what the characters may lack, creating tension and scares for men who may not deserve much attention. Its a mixed effort, but one that may be worth paying attention to for Mooneyhams blend of science fiction and horror tropes.

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8.4
Prez #1

Jun 17, 2015

It's the potent combination of fierce ideas and rich, enjoyable art that really makes Prez work. Never vitriolic nor too silly, it walks the same razor's edge that any good satire must, cutting its audience without them even noticing. For an issue that works only to establish tone and setting, Prez is surprisingly effective. If the titular character has as much life to her as this world, then this series ought to be a real delight.

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9.0
Punks: The Comic #1

Oct 6, 2014

Punks: The Comic relentlessly mocks itself and everything around it. It's nihilistic, but in a way that bears more resemblance to the punks in The Big Lebowski than A Clockwork Orange. It puts on a face of apathy in order to mask the desires and concerns of its creators. Fialkov and Chamberlain have created a comic that doesn't seem care, even when it has something worthwhile to impart.

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8.0
Rasputin #1

Oct 24, 2014

Rasputin #1 is a very well told single issue. It presents a short and (not so) sweet story about the tragedy and irony of life. Grecian and Rossmo use one of history's most interesting characters to craft a tale that fits perfectly into the Halloween season as well. Whether they can build this story into something larger has yet to be seen.

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6.0
Rat Queens #9

Mar 11, 2015

Big moments are both the greatest element of Rat Queens #9 and its downfall. There are laugh out loud panels, and exciting action sequences. However, they all work in a vacuum and fail to function together or to build toward something larger. Rat Queens is entertaining, but it reads as calorie-less, hollow entertainment that can be consumed and quickly forgotten. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's not worth applauding either.

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4.0
Rat Queens: Braga #1

Jan 16, 2015

Rat Queens has been a breakout success at Image Comics and for good reason. It incorporates humor, action, and diverse, fully realized characters into a beautiful looking romp of a comic book. None of those elements are present in Braga #1 though. Both Wiebe and Fowler's contributions to the one-shot read as if they are unfinished turning what might have been an interesting look at a lesser known character into something unnecessary and unsatisfying.

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8.4
Rebels (2015) #5

Aug 12, 2015

Rebels #5 works exceedingly well as both a visually compelling comics narrative and a fascinating piece of historical fiction. Wood, Mutti, and their collaborators have tapped into some of the core elements that make this period in American history mesmerizing on a personal level. The inclusion of famous battles and figures function as garnishment to the story of Seth Abbott, a story well worth reading.

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4.0
Red Wolf #1

Dec 2, 2015

Maybe there will be something more enjoyable to be discovered in the second issue, but based on this debut it's probably more difficult to justify spending more money to find out.

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8.0
Resurrectionists #1

Nov 20, 2014

There is clearly a lot of story left to tell though and Van Lente has time to flesh out a full world with women who are not props. Rosenzweig and Dinisio are proving themselves to be an art team worth watching, one that creates a better product through their collaboration. Resurrectionist #1 is a tightly scripted and kinetic debut, one well worth considering.

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2.0
Robin War #1

Dec 30, 2015

Robin War #1 is a comic with no idea what it wants to be about. It is not about the identity or significance of Robin. It is not about urban vigilantism. It is not about real world issues. It isn't even about a battle between some of DC Comics' most beloved characters. Everything about this start feels forced from the premise to the execution. There is real talent attached to this comic, but the scattered characters and premises at play are unable to be put back together by King or any of his collaborators.

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8.0
Roche Limit #1

Sep 23, 2014

Roche Limit #1 is off to an exciting start. It blends the potential of science fiction and noir into a narrative that is capable of taking advantage of both. There is still a lot of ground to cover, but Moreci and Malhotra seem to have a clear grasp of their world and are prepared to explore both its inner workings and what they imply about humanity. Although the story introduces a place that reflects the worst in humanity, there are sparks of hope and determination. Whether this will amount to a more optimistic philosophy in the end is something I am keen to discover.

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8.0
Rocket Raccoon and Groot #4

May 3, 2016

There are more than enough superhero comics that take themselves far too seriously, but Rocket Raccoon and Groot #4 go the opposite direction and takes itself with no seriousness at all. Conley, Beaulieu, and Young are a team that want to go big and go big they do. It's broad strokes that aim to ram every joke directly down your throat. Even if a few may cause coughing fits on the way down, most will dissipate like cotton candy leaving the desired sugary residue one would expect from a comic about a wisecracking rodent and sentient piece of flora.

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7.0
Rocket Raccoon and Groot #7

Jul 16, 2016

Considering this is Kocher's first work at Marvel and Walsh's involvement, it's fair to expect this series to only improve from this point. It is not off to a bad start though. Rocket Raccoon & Groot #7 is a merry jaunt with plenty of visual delights and funny moments, even if it rests on a premise that gets old before the comic is half over. It's good fun and delivered well.

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6.0
Royal City #1

Mar 3, 2017

This is a comic that addresses the ghosts of our lives in a somewhat literal fashion. The various appearances of one character establish what is happening to readers before the final page states the obvious, and this is to increase the effect of realization. Whether it as metaphor or literal haunting, the presentation of one family member is incredibly effective. It is the exploration of this idea, just established as a visual concept here, that will raise Royal City or fail it by not fulfilling its promise. In either case, Lemire is engaged with the work at hand and is trying to rediscover the spirit of previous work like Essex County. Royal City #1 is a mixed bag of elements that land or fail to, but it has potential to rise above the latter.

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9.0
Rumble #1

Dec 15, 2014

The truth is I have no idea what to expect next in Rumble. Theres no clear way forward for this story because it has the ability to go almost anywhere. Every character introduced in Rumble #1 could be killed in Rumble #2 and the series would be able to move forward with ease. It is a landscape made for exploring where each aspect of can be relished in its depiction. This is a comic that loves being a comic. Arcudi, Harren, and Stewart arent trying to create a storyboard to be picked up for television or movies; theyre just making the best damn comic book that they can. They are invested in making the most of their chosen medium in order to create something unique. Rumble is kinetic, visceral and impactful, a pure comics experience.

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7.0
Runaways (2015) #1

Jun 17, 2015

Runaways is quickly shaping-up as the Secret Wars tie-in with the most potential. Stevenson and Greene are clearly engaged with the story they're telling, and it's difficult to resist smiling and laughing along with them. This comics all about silly, over-dramatic, high school antics, and it's just the sort of friendliness that clicks with youthful heroes.

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10
Saga #24

Oct 29, 2014

Saga #24 changes the rhythm of the series and alters the landscape of the story, all while providing the same incredible standard of storytelling fans have come to expect. It's a reminder as to why this series is so well loved just in time for its next hiatus. The wait will be long, but Staples and Vaughan have proven time and again that the new issues are worth the long months away. It's a perfect time to enjoy the newest issue, and then start again from the beginning.

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9.0
Saga #25

Feb 5, 2015

There is a lot to love in Saga #25 beyond these initial pages. Its frightening and funny, endearing and engrossing, clever and colorful. Its everything weve come to expect from Saga. Yet these first five pages serve as an important reminder that this is not only a wild space epic, but a story about all of us and the world we live in. Saga does not exist in a vacuum. In its characters and history we see our own. It is not only a beautifully told tale, but one that helps us to understand our history and ourselves.

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9.0
Saga #37

Aug 31, 2016

While the pacing and design of Saga #37 may be familiar (bordering upon formulaic), its focus is fresh. This particular arc has already received a title, a rarity for this series, "The War for Phang". The reason why is immediately clear. While previous stories focused on the movements of this series' expansive cast, in this issue they are introducing themselves to a larger, ongoing story.

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8.0
Scarlet Witch #1

Dec 9, 2015

Scarlet Witch #1 is a comic with a lot of promise. It's premise and creative team deliver a solid first issue, albeit one that could have used a more challenging editorial hand. Wanda Maximoff's voice has never been stronger though, and as long as the depiction of her adventures remains this compelling, it will be worthwhile seeing where she goes next.

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10
Seconds #1

Jul 21, 2014

It is a masterclass in craftsmanship that reveals both O'Malley's personal growth and that of his collaborators. More importantly, it is a story that feels and is deeply human. It reflects upon our relationships, jobs, hobbies, and how all of these individual components of life come together to create the place we call home. It acknowledges the mistakes and frustrations that come with living and provides a parable for transcending an obsession with things that went wrong in order to put forth the wonder of the home we create in the process.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #15

Apr 30, 2014

Kot, Walsh, and Wilson weren't interested in universal consequences or heroes and villains. They were interested in empathy, people, and the small changes we all undergo as we try to grow into better people (even if they come through battles with fictional realities). Secret Avengers was entertaining because of its superhero antics, but it was great because of its focus on the humanity beneath the story. This may not have been one of the best-selling series at Marvel, but it was certainly one of the best.

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4.0
Secret Six (2014) #1

Dec 4, 2014

Secret Six #1 is a tremendous disappointment. All of the goodwill and high expectation built from Simone's excellent work on the previous incarnation of Secret Six are dashed in these twenty pages. This issue attempts to do something different by offering an intriguing, if unoriginal, premise. It fails not in its concept, but the execution. Neither the characters nor the art provide any reason to care. It is a comic without humanity or soul or a reason to exist.

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8.0
Secret Wars #1

May 6, 2015

Like the opening to chapter to many other Marvel events, Secret Wars #1 is off to a promising start. But, this latest epic genuinely feels like it may succeed in fulfilling a promise where so many others have failed. Hickman's plot has three years of dedicated planning to support itself, and Ribic and Svorcina are without peers when it comes to designing larger-than-life stories. If Secret Wars #1 is a fair indication, then Secret Wars will be the first great superhero event in a very long time.

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7.0
Secret Wars #5

Aug 12, 2015

Secret Wars #5 may lose some of the series' momentum, but the stakes and setting have never been more exciting. After years of planning and exposition, Hickman and Ribic possess a chessboard staged for an epic endgame. The final few pages of this issue will leave a pit in your stomach, and that anticipation reveals just how much potential there is still to be found in Secret Wars.

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6.0
She Wolf #2

Jul 23, 2016

The issue is at its absolute best though when things become truly trippy. Stretching forms, non sequitur sequencing and settings, and symbol-laden panels are what will make you think about this comic long after you've set it down. These images capture the look and feel of a werewolf story beautifully, and need no explanation; they are a primal thing. It's simply too bad that there's so much focus on connecting the dots when She-Wolf is at its best drifting through the stars.

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10
Shutter #6

Sep 16, 2014

Shutter is not returning until December. That's bad news for me, but good news for anyone who hasn't been reading this comic. It gives you plenty of time to order the first volume or track down these issues and catch up on dinosaurs, ghost ninjas, alarm cat, and all of the wonderful ideas found here. Don't wait. Shutter is that most potent comics combination of big imagination and impactful storytelling.

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9.0
Shutter #9

Feb 12, 2015

Shutter #9 is many things. Its a rich fantasy world populated with fascinating characters and a layered history. Its a fast-paced drama with plenty of twists and turns. Its a brave moral statement about the cost and cause of violence. But before all of that, it is a story about people. Kate and Chris are two individuals who have changed dramatically in less than ten issues. Every decision they make further alters who they are and drives their stories. No matter how crazy Shutter may appear, its heart is human.

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8.4
Silk #1

Feb 25, 2015

The flaws in Silk #1 are minor though and never dominate the reading experience. They are background noise getting filtered through the energy and momentum created by Thompson and Lee. The care and love they put into Silk #1 along with everyone else on the creative team creates a comic that is propulsive, fun, and really damn good looking. Silk is a fresh, invigorating take on the Spider-Man mythos and I cannot wait to see where she goes next.

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6.0
Silk (2015) #1

Nov 28, 2015

Silk #1 will be a welcome return to fans of the first series, even if it is a weak issue of the ongoing narrative that will leave newcomers underwhelmed.

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7.0
Silk (2015) #9

Jul 7, 2016

Silk #9 does not open well, but it finds a way to make the reading experience worthwhile to readers who take the time to read it all. The series continuing examination of trauma and recovery is dealt with very well in both its visuals and dialogue, and it does not miss a chance for an excellent cliffhanger. It's not hard to see how the modern exploits of Silk could surpass those of her predecessor Spider-Man. If only the editorial team could be bothered to design a decent recap page.

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9.0
Silver Surfer (2014) #5

Aug 28, 2014

Silver Surfer is one of the most fun comics being published right now. Its helmed by two creators with bold voices and confidence to spare. Together, theyre telling stories filled with imagination and joy. Silver Surfer #5 holds as much potential as even the best Defenders comic, filling every panel with new wonders.

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4.0
Sleepy Hollow #1

Oct 15, 2014

Sleepy Hollow #1 is off to a rough start, but it shows promise. The concept can function within a comic. It contains likable characters, easy opportunities for humor, and loads of creepy potential. If Bennett and Coelho refine their work, then this series could be a lot of fun.

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10
Southern Bastards #4

Sep 2, 2014

Southern Bastards works exceedingly well purely on dramatic terms. It's a well-crafted story, expertly told by both Aaron and Latour. What sets this comic apart though is that even though it is fiction, it is entirely true. From the smallest details to the essence of its plot, every part of the comic functions to explore a truth about a certain sort of place and the people who occupy it. Southern Bastards transcends its medium and premise in order to seek what it means to come from a small town in America.

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9.0
Southern Bastards #5

Oct 28, 2014

In Southern Bastards #5 and the society it reflects, blood isnt just on the field.

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10
Southern Bastards #8

Mar 31, 2015

Southern Bastards is the best the comics medium has to offer. Though entertaining and exquisitely crafted, its sum total is greater than either significant parts. Aaron and Latour have a lot on their minds, and those ideas have simmered since Southern Bastards #1.

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8.0
Southern Cross #1

Mar 16, 2015

There are elements of Southern Cross #1 that didn't strike me so positively. The plot of the first issue is so eerily similar to that of Roche Limit as to feel redundant and Belanger's splash panels never seem to fulfill their promise, but those flaws cannot detract from the debut's greatest strength. Southern Cross #1 composes the mood and experience of isolation through narration, composition, and colors. It summons an experience with which I am deeply familiar with an honesty that I find to be stunning. Somehow, Cloonan, Belanger, and Loughridge have brought that experience to life on the comics page, and for that they should be applauded.

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9.0
Spider-Gwen #1

Feb 25, 2015

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 revealed an exciting new vision, and Spider-Gwen #1 is all the reassurance anyone should need that it was not a one-time fluke. Spider-Gwen is a fresh take on classic ideas, featuring some of the best art and writing in superhero comics today. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Face it Marvel, you hit the jackpot.

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6.0
Spider-Gwen (2015) #9

Jul 8, 2016

Spider-Gwen #9 is a stunning superhero comic to look at. It is confident in its approach and execution, showing off a world where you can believe in web-slinging spider-women kicking ass. That's the sort of superhero comic I want to read, but the style and genre do not excuse a lack of substance. A hero being drug through existence for 20 pages can only look so good before it fails to entertain. Spider-Gwen #9 has found a limit it must overcome or crumble beneath.

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8.0
Spider-Man & The X-Men #1

Dec 11, 2014

Spider-Man and the X-Men #1 is a busy first issue, but never succumbs to the weight of its many characters and heaps of action. Instead, it maintains a quick pace and sense of fun that makes it a very enjoyable read. Despite some bumps, Kalan and Failla are proving themselves to both be competent creators with a clear understanding of the medium and genre they are working in. These are two names to watch out for at Marvel Comics.

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6.0
Spider-Man (2016) #5

Jul 5, 2016

Spider-Man #5 is a perfectly ordinary issue of the series and of Bendis' oeuvre. It will seem familiar to those who are familiar with the writer. Pichelli's artwork and a few good gags give it a boost, but the former does not find opportunity to stretch her skills and the latter do not make up for very real narrative failings. It is exactly what one would expect based on its cover and credits, a normalized level of enjoyment from consistent storytelling in this medium and genre. No less and certainly no more.

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4.0
Spider-Verse Team-Up #1

Nov 12, 2014

Theres plenty of potential for future yarns in this team-up title, but the initial pair of stories fall flat. Rather than using the carte blanche provided by a nearly limitless cast of Spider-Men, both tales play it safe and make use of obvious endings in order to wrap things up. These are two of the least interesting takes to be found in the big collection of Spider-Verse stories thus far, although there is still some fun to be had.

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5.0
Spider-Woman (2014) #1

Nov 19, 2014

Spider-Woman #1 is an issue that starts with its hands tied behind its back. It never has an opportunity to introduce its characters or premise because it's too busy attempting to catch up with an event. However, Hopeless does an admirable job of providing a reason to care about these characters. Land's negligible contribution doesn't actively harm the story, but fails to take advantage of the ample opportunities here. Spider-Woman holds potential, but has a lot of hurdles to overcome in order to develop its own personality and appearance.

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8.4
Spider-Woman (2015) #1

Nov 17, 2015

Spider-Woman #1 is one of the absolute best debuts of the All-New, All-Different Marvel line. It is an example of what a team of excellent creators can do when collaborating on a story and craft they clearly care about. The pregnancy storyline is handled very well here, but it speaks volumes about the quality of this comic that it is far from the only thing with discussing. There's a lot of great things happening in Spider-Woman, and it would be a shame for superhero fans to miss out on any of them.

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9.0
Spider-Woman (2015) #8

Jul 6, 2016

The final page turn of Spider-Woman #8 summarizes this issue beautifully. It is the reward and thematic heart of the series beautifully drawn and succinctly summarized. In Spider-Woman's own words from the third panel: "Easy never felt like this." That sentiment not only captures the unique rewards of motherhood, but of the creation of Spider-Woman itself. It's clear how much hard work and sweat is being put into every page of the series, but easy never felt like this.

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6.0
Spidey #1

Dec 3, 2015

If it can find a sense of direction, then Spidey may become a highly recommended retelling of these classic origins and an excellent showcase for Bradshaw's artwork.

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5.0
Squadron Supreme (2015) #1

Dec 16, 2015

Unfortunately, both characters and big action set pieces fail to live up to any potential found within the script. Leonard Kirk's pencils appear inconsistent with Paul Neary providing varying levels of detail and refinement between individual scenes and pages. Much of the enormous battle falls flat, as neither the movement nor scale of what is occurring is realized. Even the composition of a few key moments fails to land with a big (previously spoiled) death rolling across the finish line, rather than racing. It's a disappointing display of a comic that has, if nothing else, potential.

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10
Star Wars (2014) #1

Jan 12, 2015

Star Wars #1 is the perfect Star Wars comic. It captures the tone and feel of the films, while beginning a story that fits seamlessly into the beloved universe. If there were any doubts regarding Marvel's stewardship of the Star Wars comics brand, this one issue ought to instantly remove them. Every page of Star Wars #1 is a delight to read. Aaron, Cassaday, and Martin have flawlessly transferred the classic film to the comics medium, and with it the tremendous delight of experiencing Star Wars for the very first time.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #7

Jul 29, 2015

Despite the unnecessary fan service towards Luke Skywalker, Star Wars #7 is still a strong entry in the series. Bianchi's art turns the into a unique comics experience, rather than a recreation of a trip to the movies. He evokes a strong, isolating mood that pairs beautifully with the most significant elements of Aaron's story for what will hopefully be only the first of many chapters in Obi-Wan Kenobi's journal.

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8.4
Star Wars: Chewbacca #1

Oct 18, 2015

Chewbacca #1 is a delightful read, one that doesn't lose its luster upon a second or third go. There's elegance to its simplicity. Nothing here will change how you look at comics or the main character, but it's hard to imagine a more enjoyable adventure to lie back with. Noto is masterfully telling a fantastic adventure set in a galaxy far, far away, one that will leave you wanting to follow Chewie wherever he goes next, even if you can't understand a single thing he's saying.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1

Feb 10, 2015

Darth Vader #1 is at its best when focused on its villainous protagonist. Gillen and Larroca have an excellent grasp of the characters' gravitas and appeal. They manage to make him an understandable individual without undermining the terror associated with his presence. Vader is a frightening presence on these pages. Hopefully, he will have an opportunity to explore more of the galaxy as the series continues.

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6.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #5

May 14, 2015

Darth Vader #5 still seems to snap into place towards its end, making a compelling argument to continue reading. So much of the series has relied on style and wit so far, but Gillen may have found a new idea worth mining for an extremely long time. It's an exciting final few pages filled with invention and excitement, and it's the best moment in all of Darth Vader so far.

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5.0
Star Wars: Kanan #5

Aug 19, 2015

Kanan, The Last Padawan is perfectly standard franchise comics. It hits a lot of familiar territory and story beats without ever adding a new spin. It's a story that has been done many times before both in and outside of the Star Wars universe. While not terribly executed, it hardly provides a reason for its own existence. Kanan may entertain younger fans of Rebels, but it's unlikely to strike a spark with anyone who has read more than a few Star Wars stories.

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7.0
Star Wars: Vader Down #1

Nov 19, 2015

The presentation of Vader Down #1 is unfortunate because it undermines a concept and plot packed with potential. As the start of a larger crossover, this issue shows how much fun can be had in the Star Wars universe between films. The drama and, more importantly, action are all there. Hopefully, future issues will better depict the promise of this premise.

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7.0
Star-Lord #1

Nov 19, 2015

The story itself is comfortable with the clichs in plays. Quill's orphaned origin comes complete with a harried caretaker who can't give the young man anymore chances. A scene in which Quill proves himself to be the smartest guy in the room from the position of a janitor reads like a poor man's Good Will Hunting. Humphries is telling this story in broad strokes that may not drive fans of the character away, but certainly won't earn him any new ones either. Where Star-Lord goes next will be the most interesting part of the series. The first issue is buried in an origin that, while nicely simplified is also rote, but what happens in space after this may give it the speed it needs to really take off.

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2.0
Star-Lord #6

May 4, 2016

Star-Lord #6 is the ultimate creation in manufactured superhero comics. It exists not for a reason, but because it is expected to sell. Like the kiddie meal of a fast food restaurant, it is not meant to enrich or nourish, but to fill a little hole long enough for the illusion of satisfaction to occur. There's nothing here that hasn't been seen too many times before, nothing that isn't made to simply mimic something in the most obvious way possible. If you can drop $4 on Star-Lord #6 and forget that it comes from a place less caring than the cold, dark void its protagonist occupies, then great. That doesn't make it less true.

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3.0
Starbrand and Nightmask #1

Dec 16, 2015

At least in Avengers both Starbrand and Night Mask had engaging costume designs, but here they are reduced to the simplest versions of technicolor displays. That simplification applies to body type and facial expressions as well. Rather than emphasizing a cartoonists' economy of line, Domo Stanton's work is merely reductive. It results in both action and drama that reads as being entirely unengaging as figures stand and pose instead of moving. Everything about Starbrand and Night Mask #1 feels like the simplification of something better, from costumes to characters to concepts, it's all a lesser version. While the plot and art may function, it does so in such a way that it is difficult to recall just how it worked even a few minutes after reading.

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10
Starlight #6

Oct 20, 2014

Come back on Friday for Starlight: Resilience, Hope, and Optimism a deeper look at Starlight and its place in the Millarworld line of comics.

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9.0
Starve #2

Jul 9, 2015

Starve may not have received the most attention at the previous Image Expo in January, but after two issues it seems that it should have. Each installment so far has provided a complete narrative arc with all of Wood's typical flair for character and politics. Furthermore, it is some of both Zezelj and Stewart's best work to date, moody and dynamic. Starve #2 is a truly outstanding comic book.

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1.0
Strange Fruit #1

Jul 4, 2015

On its own Strange Fruit #1 isnt offensive. Its boring, bland, and entirely unnecessary, but it isnt filled with hate. However, it highlights a broader problem, one that is truly offensive. If this mediocre effort is embraced as challenging, then what hope do comics that actually reflect black history or experiences have? Strange Fruit isnt a comic to be praised; its an embarrassment.

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #8

Oct 26, 2014

I've avoided discussing this issue in too much detail not to avoid spoilers, but to encourage you (yes, you) to go read it. Stray Bullets is simply too well crafted and too important to be ignored.

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4.0
Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1

Mar 27, 2014

Amanda Waller #1is not an offensive comic. It will not upset readers. It won't make them feel much of anything at all. Instead, it is something entirely forgettable. If comics were created on an assembly line while being micro managed to ensure minimums of action and internal strife were met, this would be the result. It was made to hit on the most standard tropes seen throughout the most standard of superhero comics, as if its audience would be too undiscerning to care. When you think about it like that,Amanda Waller #1is actually pretty offensive.

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9.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15

Sep 3, 2014

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man may be ending forever soon, but it's still continuing to grow and improve. The amount of jokes, action, and plot all laid out in this issue alone displays the series many strengths. With only two issues left, it still manages to find new places to go and stunts to pull. It's a comic that will be good to the final page.

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9.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17

Nov 27, 2014

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man ends here. It was a comic filled with attitude, gags, and heists all told with inimitable style, and now it's gone for good. That finality serves as a fine conclusion to the series though. This was never a comic about winning. It was a comic about losing and being too stupid or too romantic or too strong willed to accept that. Spencer and Lieber created fifteen of the best issues published by Marvel in years because they recognized it's better to be a loser who tried than a winner who played it safe.

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8.4
Superior Iron Man #1

Nov 12, 2014

Like the Superior series that preceded it, Superior Iron Man features a hero that is truly the series greatest antagonist as it begins. It lacks someone to root for, but provides an opportunity for Taylor and Cinar to explore interesting new ideas with an old character. Whether they will be able to live up to the potential of this first issue remains to be seen, but they are certainly off to a great start.

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6.0
Superman (2011) #36

Dec 1, 2014

Superman #36 is a Superman story that follows the basic model and shape of most other Superman stories spread over six or more issues. There's a bad guy threatening Earth who Superman will need to punch very hard to stop. The script and visuals both pretend to have depth and majesty that simply is not there. It's an unremarkable superhero story that becomes a victim of its own ego and hype.

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7.0
Superman (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

Superman #41 reads like a test drive. Yang, Romita, and the rest of the team are breaking in their new approach to the character. While there are some issues within the art and the plotting is solid at best, nothing is broken. In fact, the entire creative team seems to have a solid grasp of what they do well and how they would like to apply those talents to Superman. It's an encouraging start for what could be the best take on this series since its relaunch.

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2.0
Superman Unchained #9

Nov 7, 2014

That's not to say Superman Unchained is without merit. Lee and Nguyen's work here is outstanding. That message is being borne out by other critics though and is self-evident given the body of these artist's work. The problems found within the story of Superman Unchained is too obvious and too troublesome to not be drug out and examined though. If this were a simple action romp, perhaps it would be easy to ignore, but that's not the case. It has been presented as an "important" Superman work from significant creators. It's a comic that treats itself as being significant. Given any sort of serious examination, Superman Unchained #9 quickly falls apart. It is revealed to be a calorie-free romp that hides very ugly moral positions beneath magnificent artwork.

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4.0
Superwoman #1

Aug 13, 2016

The one moment where Superwoman #1 really soars comes in a heroic teamup to rescue a ship. Rather than homaging Superman, it discovers a moment that feels unique and makes the heroes of the comic soar. But it is an exception to a field of mediocrity. While dialogue, layouts, and plotting may all be deemed proficient, that may be a worse curse than inadequacy. As it stands Superwoman #1 is just another superhero comic in a field filled with more interesting work that is only memorable so long as it is directly in front of you.

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7.0
Thanos vs. Hulk #1

Dec 3, 2014

Thanos vs Hulk #1 is still a great looking addition to Starlins collection of Thanos comics, but it doesnt reflect Starlin at his best. He focuses so much on setting up future installments of the story that he never provides himself with opportunities to explore the world or ideas he is creating. The issues is still bound to please fans of Starlins work (like myself), but it is not his finest moment.

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9.0
The Autumnlands #1

Nov 4, 2014

Tooth and Claw is another incredible debut from Image Comics, a series that promises the world and then delivers. It is the first chapter of another saga filled with potential from a creative team that has proven they can deliver on high concepts and drama both. Theres a lot to love in this issue and its only the beginning.

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9.0
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Oct 13, 2014

The haunted mood of Sabrina #1 creates a promise for much more to come. This issue reincarnates a children's tale as a horrific new version of itself, one that is capable of scaring readers, new and old alike. With Hack's art and colors guiding Sabrina ever closer to the darkness of her origins, there are bound to be a lot more thrills and chills to come.

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8.0
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1

Sep 3, 2014

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1 is a well-crafted introduction that provides just enough of Shan, her world, and what is coming to make an assured promise that this story will be an interesting one. Some may think of a first issue like this, in the already crowded marketplace of superhero comics, as being risky, but Van Meter and la Torre make it work.

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10
The Fade Out #4

Jan 5, 2015

Its important to remember that The Fade Out is not Brubaker and Phillips work alone. It is the work of Breitweiser as colorist, Lopez as flatter, David Brothers as editor, and many others who helped bring it to publication. When admiring The Fade Out #4, its worth lingering a little while longer on each panel and examining how colors bring this story to life. The Fade Out is one of the best looking comics being published today and thats an accomplishment shared by everyone involved.

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10
The Fade Out #12

Jan 7, 2016

If you're looking for catharsis or clear answers, The Fade Out #12 is going to leave you still looking. That sense of disappointment is exactly why it's great though.

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5.0
The Flintstones #1

Jul 9, 2016

Fred and Wilma both may be very handsome, but their being nice to look at does not equate to a nice comic. Readers may be shocked at just how mean-spirited The Flintstones #1 is. The only vaguely likable characters in the issue are the lead couple. Everyone expresses some form of social disorder, Barney appears racist, Betty is self-obsessed, and Mr. Slate is a monster. It is a cruel funhouse mirror held up to the American people that expresses nothing but distaste, albeit often in a hilarious fashion.

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8.0
The Ghost Fleet #1

Nov 6, 2014

The final page of Ghost Fleet #1 is all promise. It promises that the action and horror present in this issue will only increase as the series continues. The premise and character work may not become any more complex, but theres nothing wrong with that. Ghost Fleet is a comic that understands what it does well and is leaning into that strength. The more shootouts and car chases there are in the future of this series, the better it will be.

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5.0
The Goddamned #1

Dec 31, 2015

If there was ever any intention to comment on the brutality of the Old Testament, the nature of religion, or any concept more specific than "man, this is some pretty rough stuff, huh", it's not apparent in The Goddamned #1. The description provided in solicits is about as deep as the 32 page comic itself. There's nothing to be found within the characters, concepts, or violence that cannot be easily found elsewhere with more reasons to recall it. For as heavy as The Goddamned feels, it is it noir fluff at its heart.

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10
The Goon: Occasion of Revenge #4

Dec 10, 2014

Occasion of Revenge ends on a mic drop. Powell is aware of what has been done and recognizes there will be no catharsis or relief. He has created a shift in the story so damaging that no words can express what has just been shown. There is no "The End" or "To Be Continued"; there is no need. This is the cut to black at the end of The Sopranos, leaving the audience to sit uncomfortably with what they have just experienced. The Goon will return in 2015, but the series and its characters will never be the same. Like Powell, they are evolving, changing, moving forward into whatever terrible darkness is yet to come.

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8.0
The Goon: One For the Road #1

Jun 22, 2014

"One for the Road" makes for a very fitting title. It's a comic you read because you're already in love with the The Goon. You know what to expect from Eric Powell's absurd epic and need another shot before you return to your Goon-less life. Wrapped in a simple one-and-done story is all of the humor and craftsmanship that has come to be associated with the series. It may not be a high point for the series, but that does not mean it doesn't contain depth worth exploring beyond a single reading. It's a good comic to snag before heading home.

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9.0
The Humans #1

Nov 4, 2014

The Humans #1 is an impressive debut. It asserts Neelys position as a talented cartoonist, one who is capable of seamlessly blending tones to great effect. This comic provides an intriguing introduction, one that lays a foundation upon which Keeler and Neely could construct one of the most interesting comics on shelves today.

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9.0
The Kitchen #7

May 20, 2015

As it nears the end, The Kitchen continually gains momentum, helping to focus its ideas and art into the best issue of the series yet. It is both a rapid-fire crime drama and a powerful statement about how a patriarchal society can force women into violent roles. The nail biting cliffhanger lies on the tension set between that and the nurturing aspects of motherhood. It is an excellent build towards an unguessable climax, making The Kitchen one of the best new series from Vertigo Comics this year.

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7.0
The Life After #1

Jul 6, 2014

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9.0
The Manhattan Projects #23

Aug 27, 2014

Smart comics and fun comics are not two different things.The Manhattan Projects #23is proof that they can be one and the same.

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9.0
The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #2

Jul 29, 2015

The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #2 shows that this is a book worth waiting for. From the broad strokes of an intergalactic heist down to the smallest details in Pitarra's backgrounds, this issue is a delight to read and re-read. Moving beyond the Cold War setting has allowed it to embrace the most bizarre elements of the series. The result is something that feels both fresh and familiar, but always like damn good comics.

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9.0
The Massive #30

Dec 30, 2014

The notion that we or the world we live upon will be given a second chance through supernatural forces is a fantasy. We do possess the same thing the crew members of The Massive do though. We possess a future. Its up to us what we will do with it.

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7.0
The Mighty Thor (2015) #1

Nov 17, 2015

The Mighty Thor #1 is no more or less mighty than Thor. It remains a beautiful superhero comic that actually manages to earn the adjective of epic. While the protagonist remains a loosely written outline, her time spent as the God of Thunder reveals promise that the series will hopefully grow into. Whether or not that occurs, The Mighty Thor will undoubtedly remain a truly fantastic presentation of nine realms.

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10
The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

Nov 19, 2014

The most important thing to consider when reading Pax Americana #1 is that nothing is accidental. Every line of dialogue, every panel, and every image serves a distinct purpose. It is a love letter to formalism in comics, taking advantage of each element on the page in order to construct order and meaning. The reading experience will challenge readers, but in that challenge lies immense rewards. The individual components of composition, color, art, and text alone are remarkable, but when combined they create a comic that is truly transcendent. As a single issue, a complete experience, these elements become a comic capable of forming emotions and ideas in its readers. Pax Americana does what The Multiversity has claimed comics are capable of: affecting reality and creating something real.

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8.0
The Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes #1

Sep 18, 2014

SOS #1 is a lot of fun. It packs some great character designs, action, and plenty of references for superhero fans all into a comic that reads well on its own. Theres nothing particularly innovative or transgressive about this comic though. Expectations of a superhero comic that would transform the medium or alter perceptions have been set too high. Morrison and Sprouse tell a fun story and thats enough, even if its not what many readers may be expecting.

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8.0
The Multiversity: The Just #1

Oct 26, 2014

Although the overarching story that connects all of these #1 issues is intriguing, it is not nearly as exciting as the concepts within each issue. The Just #1 recreates the old intellectual property at DC Comics with an amusing new conceit. There are only 40 pages to be found here, but it has left me wanting more. If this trend continues, Morrison and his collaborators will not have created one of the most exciting new ideas at DC in the past decades, but seven of them.

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9.0
The Private Eye #8

Oct 6, 2014

For those of you unfamiliar with The Private Eye, you have my envy. Not only do you get to discover this series for whatever price you choose, but you still have time to sit back and await that surge of excitement when an e-mail or tweet or facebook post announces the arrival of a new issue.

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9.0
The Sandman Overture #2

Mar 27, 2014

Sandman: Overture #2is a tremendous work of comic art. Williams perfectly complements Gaiman's story, elevating the plot into something transcendent. Readers already familiar withSandmanwill find the work transcendent, but those new to Gaiman's mythos may be perplexed by the plotting. Both groups should find the comic well worth its cover price though for Williams' art alone.

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9.0
The Sandman Overture #3

Jul 31, 2014

The Sandman: Overture is an obvious success. It is almost unassailable as an example of comics craftsmanship. This is the result of a team of extremely talented creators working in concert to tell a story together. A comic collaboration of this caliber cannot and should not be attributed to any one talent. It is the accomplishment of a team.

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4.0
The Shield (2015) #1

Oct 24, 2015

The end result isn't a comic that is offensive or completely without merit. It simply lacks the ability to earnestly recommend itself as something worth continuing. While it's entirely possible that any of its elements, from characters to setting, will be refined as the series continues, there's nothing here to make us believe that will happen. The Shield #1 is a lackluster outing that is best left on the shelf.

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5.0
The Shrinking Man #1

Jul 29, 2015

Matheson's story is still a classic piece of horror prose, but Adams and Torres' adaptation fails to make a case for its own existence. The advantages of the comics form, to show off scale and play with visual metaphors, are barely utilized. Instead The Shrinking Man does its best to translate prose into comics as plainly as possible. While this may make it more accessible to younger readers, it hardly makes for great comics.

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7.0
The Spire #1

Jul 1, 2015

There is a lot to like about The Spire #1. The detail-rich artwork, slick action sequences, and captivating setting provide readers with a world they can lose themselves within. The introduction of so much in such a small amount of space is cluttered at times, but cannot remove the wonders that inhabit this strange, desert tower.

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8.4
The Totally Awesome Hulk #1

Dec 1, 2015

Cho and Pak are clearly well-suited to one another and the story they aim to tell here. It's a rollicking good time that doesn't take itself too seriously, and manages to deliver both big fun and bigger laughs as a result while laying down some potential drama for later.

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8.4
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Jan 6, 2015

North, Henderson, and Renzis work all combines to create one of the most fun debuts published by Marvel Comics in a very long time. If youre looking for a comic that you can share with anyone or that will cheer you up after a major bummer of a day, this is it. At the end of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 there is only one question worth asking: When does #2 come out?

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8.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #1

Oct 28, 2015

Even in the scenes when Henderson is given space, like a certain food court, the puns take the lead and the setting is relatively generic, given the scenarios presented. Rico Renzi's color paint with pastels to make everything colorful, but what should be active scenarios are only made active by blues, greens, and yellows. Henderson's action is limited to the most obvious of artifices and rely on North's very active script to evoke laughter. The characters, interactions, and silliness are enjoyable as ever, but this relaunch of Squirrel Girl (in the same year it launched) is a standard issue of what has proven to be a very strong concept.

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #11

Aug 25, 2016

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11 is a surprising one-shot. It's the rare instance in which a comic includes a lesson plan in its DNA and succeeds. That and the inclusion of a guest artists could have made this issue an exception to the rest of the series, but instead it's another excellent issue. You could take The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11 and place it in anyone's hands, confident that it shows the best of what this series has to offer. And this is a series that has a lot to offer.

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9.0
The Valiant #1

Dec 7, 2014

The issue's conclusion sews the issue together nicely, returning to the story's opening and connecting it to the characters and events throughout the issue. It completes this chapter, allowing for a complete experience while only introducing the elements of a much broader epic. It is clear as the issue ends that Kindt, Lemire, and Rivera have an excellent grasp over the story they are telling and how they desire to tell it. The Valiant #1 is a striking introduction filled with action, humor, and some of the best storytelling in superhero comics. If you're not reading Valiant comics, this is the place to start.

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4.0
The Walking Dead #147

Oct 13, 2015

For fans of the show looking for a place to jump on and longtime readers of the series, The Walking Dead #147 is an issue that is probably best read as part of a broader collection. It moves characters and plot points in potentially interesting directions, but makes for a dull read on its own. Kirkman's strengths do not lie in dialogue and Adlard can only do so much with almost twenty pages of the stuff. It is an issue that rests between better things, which might to make its notable weaknesses a little easier to forget.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #1

Jun 17, 2014

The Wicked + The Divine #1 is the next step in a thematically connected exploration of art, music, youth, and popular culture. It shares the themes of its preceding volumes of Phonogram and Young Avengers, while crafting a new world and taking those same concepts in a different direction. It is expertly crafted both as a comic and the first chapter of a story. Gillen and McKelvie are one of (if not the) best collaborative teams working in comics today. The Wicked + The Divine #1 is a comic that takes all of their skills and work thus far and begins to build on it to explore Western culture in a new way. It is the definition of must read comics.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #2

Jul 15, 2014

Music possesses a power that I cannot hope to capture with my words. You'll never hear me bother to even attempt to review a concert or album. Because when music is good in a way that I don't want to express in speech. It's the kind of good that you want to express by moving, dancing, crying out, and banging your head. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie continually capture that feeling and passion in their comics. Together they're making comics that make you want to move and shout.

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine: 455 AD #1

May 17, 2017

In this way Araujo and his collaborators make The Wicked + The Divine 455 A.D. an engrossing experience for any reader with at least a passing curiosity. It establishes previously unknown stakes for a larger story, but works as an excellent focus on tone on its own. In Wilson's colors there is a constant setting of the sun, whether it's found literally or in the flames of Rome. Those orange hues cast a shade that makes this issue cohesive in spite of the massive mythology on which it rests. That is a job well done.

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7.0
The Woods #2

Jun 2, 2014

Half of The Woods #2 is a very well told story, while the other half has ample room to improve. The comic as a whole is one filled with promise. Dialynas has shown great skill in evoking mood and Tynion's characters are a diverse lot capable of playing off one another in many interesting ways. I believe it is worth sticking around to see how this team delivers on that potential.

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8.4
They're Not Like Us #1

Dec 15, 2014

You want to read Theyre Not Like Us #1 for that precise look and feel as much as anything else. The ideas and design of this series are all locked in place and ready for presentation. It is cold in places, but that becomes a forgivable necessity. Theyre Not Like Us #1 is a beautifully constructed introduction to a complex examination of youth in revolt.

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8.4
Thor (2014) #1

Sep 29, 2014

Together, Dauterman, Wilson, and Aaron have crafted a first issue that ought to compel fans of Thor: God of Thunder to stick around and encourage others to try the new series. Thor #1 is a beautiful debut that contains all of the thunder and power of Marvels mightiest hero.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #8

May 14, 2015

Despite that imbalance, the promise withinthe final few pages combined with Dauterman and Wilsons superb work makes Thor #8 an enjoyable issue. When it lands its hammer blows, they really land. IfAaron integrate the ideas introduced at the issue's end, whatever follows this epilogue should feel properly epic.

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7.0
Thor: God of Thunder #25

Sep 17, 2014

Thor: God of Thunder #25 functions as a prologue to Thor #1 more than it does a conclusion to Thor: God of Thunder. The origins of Malekith and Laufey's return are beautifully presented by Guera and Bisley, but would fit more comfortably into an anthology than as part of a larger story. Although interesting, the framing device fails to serve a larger purpose besides setting up future plots for another series. This issue speaks to the high quality of art present throughout Thor: God of Thunder, but acts as a poor finale to the much-loved series.

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7.0
Thors #1

Jun 16, 2015

Author Chase Magnett @ComicBookdotcom

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10
Trees #1

May 27, 2014

Trees is much like the titular creatures that occupy its cover. The visible surface is intriguing enough to deserve attention, but there is so much more occurring beneath the surface and that's where readers will find value far greater than the cover price.

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8.0
Trees #6

Oct 15, 2014

Trees continues to provide some excellent commentary on modern political and economic situations within the guise of a high concept science fiction tale. The fractious nature of the story and its monthly schedule make for a troublesome presentation at times though. Ellis and Howard have a lot of valuable things to say in this comic, but will have to continue to refine the shape of the book in order to best present their ideas.

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4.0
Trees #11

Jul 15, 2015

Trees #11 is possibly the single weakest installment of the series thus far. It plods forward like the sheep grazing in Orkney, unconcerned with the complete lack of tension or drama in this pair of vignettes. While these scenes may read better when collected alongside much important context in the future, here they are presented alone and only Howard's art can keep them standing.

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9.0
Ultimates (2015) #4

Mar 10, 2016

The Ultimates has been one of the best books from the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch and The Ultimates #4 is no exception. It's a comic that functions both as an individual issue, making a character study spread across five decades, and as part of an ongoing plot, pushing the limits of weird science in superhero comics. It shows there's no need to choose amongst plot or character or stlye or action, combining all of these elements into one very enjoyable comic book. There's a lot happening in these pages, but that only makes the manner in which The Ultimates #4 delivers all the more impressive.

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3.0
Uncanny Avengers (2015) #6

Mar 9, 2016

That level of delivery is actually Uncanny Avengers #6 at its best. When it manages to feel like a perfectly standard superhero team comic, it doesn't feel like an advertisement for Inhumans comics that Marvel should stop trying to make happen or a minor adventure that hardly entertains and barely ties into the series ongoing narrative. If you're dying to fill time, then this will do the trick, but that's about the only objective it is likely to satisfy.

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3.0
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #3

Feb 24, 2016

The greatest sin of Uncanny X-Men #3 is not the changing level of attention to artwork, but that it provides an untenable level of sameness. Characters and individual scenes reflect one another and what has already been established. There is no sense of forward momentum or call to continue reading for fear that this track will continue to skip on the record player. It's possible the song will move forward, but even if it does that doesn't make it likely to change its all too familiar tune.

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9.0
Veil #5

Oct 15, 2014

There are plans to continue Veil in future series and that's a good thing. Although this story has found a natural conclusion, Rucka and Fejzula still have a great deal of fertile thematic and dramatic material to explore. Veil is a damning commentary on gender and the treatment of women, and a necessary one at this moment in pop culture. It uses horror to explore our basest impulses and offer some small flicker of hope. At the end of this issue, Dante reveals that doing the right thing is every bit as simple and straightforward as it ought to be. That conclusion makes for a powerful statement by Rucka and Fejzula.

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2.0
Venom: Space Knight #1

Nov 28, 2015

At some point in its development Venom: Space Knight must have seemed like a very good idea, but whatever was being imagined at that moment is nowhere to be found in this first issue. Somehow this comic has transformed a superpowered adventure in space into a tedious affair.

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4.0
Venom: Space Knight #6

May 6, 2016

With the notable exception of Rocket Raccoon and Groot #4, these series appear to be functioning in the same way coma patients function. They are technically alive and certainly have a body full of operating organs, but why would you want to spend any time with them? Marvel might be making money on these, but they probably aren't earning any new fans. It's a sad lot that suggest maybe the only thing they should have double downed on from the cinematic success were the non-humanoid members of the team.

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9.0
Vertigo Quarterly: Cyan #1

May 1, 2014

If the same level of talent is involved with future issues of CMYK, then the series may be in a position to steal the Eisner from Dark Horse Presents in 2015.

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9.0
Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta #1

Aug 3, 2014

Like any collection containing such a wide array of diversity in its storytelling, art, tone, etc. some of these comics are bound to fall flat for any reader. The value in Vertigo Quarterly, like any high quality anthology, does not come from having a collection of stories that will appeal to all readers. It comes from having a collection of comics that will expose readers to the diversity of the medium and, even if they are not all enjoyed, will expand the horizons of those reading them.

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9.0
Vision #1

Nov 5, 2015

These three creators together are crafting a comic that will stick with you, surprising you with depth and thought that may strike very close to your deepest held fears.

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7.0
Wayward #5

Dec 22, 2014

Wayward #5 is the most significant issue to date, but it lacks the excellent execution of earlier installments. So much is happening that individual moments are not given necessary space to breath and many changes are taken for granted. Its still an exciting thrill ride that increases the scope and drama of Wayward, but it stumbles in doing so.

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2.0
Web Warriors #8

Jul 10, 2016

If there is a lesson to be found in Web Warriors #8, it is this: There is such a thing as enough Spider-Man. With 8 total ongoing series at Marvel Comics, the majority pass the bar of tolerability (excluding this and Spider-Man 2099), while some surpass it in surprising and delightful ways (Spider-Woman). At a certain point the fuel runs out though, and this particular series is running on fumes. While the designs of so many characters may look intriguing, there are no ideas or artistry left to make it worthwhile. It's best to leave Web Warriors on the shelf and search for a solo Spider-person whose adventures actually contain some thought.

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9.0
Weirdworld (2015) #1

Dec 16, 2015

Weirdworld #1 would likely have been a rousing success no matter what thanks to Del Mundo's efforts, but Sam Humphries grasps what makes this concept and artist jive, then plays to those strengths. He crafts characters and drama in broad strokes. Every named entity on Weirdworld feels bigger-than-life, including a truly ridiculous barbarian and a version of Morgan Le Fay that feels as seductive and dangerous as any to come before. Even though the dramatic key to Becca lands like a sledgehammer, it fits into the tone of Weirdworld #1 perfectly. If you're looking for grand adventure and beautiful madness, then look no further; this is the comic for you.

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8.4
Wild Storm #1

Feb 15, 2017

The Wildstorm #1 is packed with ideas and they are exceptionally pursued. Like with any first issue it’s difficult to discern whether the promise will pay off, but the promise is there. While it has roots in the superhero genre, this is a story focused on the rapid progress of technology and the obfuscation of systems within society. It’s a comic that wants to be smart and does more than enough here to convince you it is. Rather than being overwhelmed by its own ambition, The Wildstorm appears to be spring boarding off of it into the atmosphere. Only time will tell just how high it may soar.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #35

Oct 31, 2014

I can think of no better foundation for this character to grow upon in the 21st Century.

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8.4
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

Nov 19, 2015

Whether Wrath of the Eternal Warrior represents a return to battle or a denouement for one of Valiant's favorite heroes, it's a series (like so many others from the publisher) that promises to be unlike anything else on comics stands. Venditti, Allen, and Martin are crafting a hallucinatory experience that invites readers to experience each level of this legendary protectors life. Even if the direction is unclear, the journey is promising and it's advisable to stick close to Gilad as he walks beyond the veil of life.

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10
Wytches #1

Sep 11, 2014

Wytches is the scariest thing you will read all year. You'll want to look away, but will find it impossible. So turn the lights on, lock the doors, and don't look outside. Wytches is coming.

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8.0
Zero #10

Aug 11, 2014

In the quiet of Zero #10, there is a powerful drama occurring. The persistence of regret, the inescapable nature of memory, and the pain of isolation can all be found in these pages. Edward's personal hell built in the peaceful, scenic landscape of Iceland explores the darkness we all may one day face as we retreat from the world. There is a lot at play in this comic, but it is subtle, requiring effort from the reader to carefully parse out meaning. Both as a short and long-form construct Zero can be challenging, but that is part of what makes it one of the most rewarding comics being published today.

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