C.K. Stewart's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Newsarama, GWW Reviews: 98
8.6Avg. Review Rating

9.0
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1

Apr 26, 2016

Its small stumbles aside, the team behind 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1 have put together an intriguing and fun take on the ragtag adventure kids genre that spares no effort for even the smallest of details. Tyler Boss and Clare Dezutti are a strong artistic team, and Courtney Menard's background design is a perfect touch to set the tone early on. Rosenberg is a strong and thoughtful writer capable of countless small touches that elevate the book in unexpected ways, littering the kids' interactions with innocent exchanges -- such as none of them batting an eye when Walter winds up the D&D princess -- that remind you these are good kids whose greatest sins are some cusses and fighting kids who maybe deserved it. You might wind up liking them too much to want to follow the dangerous twists and turns a heist book can take, but you'll definitely like 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1 enough to want to know how their story ends.

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8.0
A-Force #3

Aug 13, 2015

Bennett and Wilson clearly have big plans for She-Hulk and the A-Force team, and A-Force #3 marks the first time the title feels like it might be a must-read for understanding the final fate of Battleworld at the end of Secret Wars.

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9.5
Abe Sapien #23

May 13, 2015

Longtime fans of Allie's Abe run will enjoy this change of pace before Abe Sapien returns to its exploration of Abe's origins and role in the on-going apocalypse next month. If horror is not your jam, I don't know that this book will change your mind, but folks who know the movies but are unfamiliar with the overall Mignolaverse will find this a perfect way to dip their toes in the waters of the larger published universe. One word of advice though: if you immediately run out to snatch up Hellboy and B.P.R.D. trades, do not blame me. Blame Scott Allie.

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9.0
Angela: Queen Of Hel #1

Oct 27, 2015

Angela: Queen of Hel #1 plays to Bennett's strengths with a character-driven story tinged with horror and hints of sweeping romance. She handles sensitive moments with a delicate hand, and hones in emotional punches other writers might miss such as Sera's "where they called me by another name" as she confronts Angela. This may seem off-hand, but Bennett giving this line to a trans character haunted by nightmares of her past makes it especially poignant and jarring. Angela: Queen of Hel #1 has a strong creative team and an intriguing story that will certainly please fans of Angela's previous books, and will quickly hook curious newcomers.

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7.0
Another Castle #1

Mar 1, 2016

Another Castle #1's final pages hint at more interesting stories in future issues, and the promise of more interaction with Misty and her kind-hearted kind-of-captors Gorga and Fogmoth can undoubtedly bring a great deal of charm and wit to the story at large. Another Castle isn't the strongest debut of the year, but it's still a solid introduction to what could be a charming and witty take on traditional princess tales " especially if we get more of Gorga and her pastry-loving hair.

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8.0
Another Castle #2

Apr 18, 2016

Together, Wheeler and Ganucheau are beginning to build a compelling cast and intriguing world that will be interesting to see continue to grow in future issues: now that we've had a taste of what Misty is capable of, and on the flip side what her would-be savior Pete is not, it's hard not to want to keep reading future installments to see how her efforts are received by her father or by Badlug, when one or both of them inevitably find her out. Another Castle #2 shows the series is living up to the potential it showed in its premiere.

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9.0
Backstagers #1

Aug 16, 2016

This is a book heavy on positive and affirming friendships, a light-hearted read that will leave you with a smile on your face at the end. The first issue is a fun and fairly self-contained story that hints at spookier goings-on in future installments, and offers up a surprisingly thorough introduction to a large cast and unique premise for just one issue. Tynion and Sygh are an incredible team, and it's evident that this is a labor of love for both of them. BOOM! Box has done a great job giving original all-ages titles a place to shine, and Tynion and Sygh have absolutely delivered them another strong showing with Backstagers #1.

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9.0
Backstagers #6

Jan 20, 2017

Tynion IV's narrative pacing continues to impress, and after this week's startling cliffhanger, Backstagers seems headed for an exciting and satisfying ending to one of 2016's standout miniseries.

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10
Backstagers #8

Mar 30, 2017

Backstagers has been a delightful and consistently well-done miniseries since its debut " the only disappointment with this week's issue is knowing there's no encore in sight.

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9.5
Beyond Belief #1

Apr 22, 2015

If you're a fan of the original podcast and stage show, Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents Beyond Belief is a must-buy for new tales featuring old friends. If you're a horror fan who likes a heaping shot of humor, you can dive right in too. There's no background knowledge needed " these stories tell you everything you need to know to feel right at home in the Doyles' world.

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8.0
Black Canary (2015) #5

Oct 22, 2015

Black Canary is one of the most inventive of DC's 2015 relaunches. A wild blend of The Bourne Identity and Josie and the Pussycats, Brenden Fletcher has created a fascinating and emotional new take on an iconic DC hero that's been consistently enjoyable through its first arc.

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9.5
Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #1

Jun 11, 2015

There is no avoiding the sense that you're missing something on some level with the heavy emphasis on Doom and Hala Field's place in the universe. Ultimately, that is less to do with the writing here and more to do with the scope of Secret Wars or any universe-wide event. If you do feel like you're missing something, don't worry: everyone else probably is too — but keep going! DeConnick and Thompson's writing is fun and engaging, and with an element of suspense that leaves you itching for issue two. You won't regret subscribing.

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8.0
Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #4

Sep 23, 2015

At the end of the run, it's hard not to wish for more. More issues, more plot, more answers. It's disappointing to think we'll never find out what the stars that formed Kit's hammer look like, and the simmering dramatic tension between Carol and the Hala Field Baroness, Baroness Cochran, could easily have filled several more issues. But Thompson and DeConnick end the series on such a strong emotional note that the deficiencies in plot are easy to overlook. Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #4 is an exhilarating, emotional send-off to an intriguing tie-in, and a solid way to close the book on DeConnick's Captain Marvel run.

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8.0
Catalyst Prime: Noble #1

May 8, 2017

Noble #1 is a solid book with intriguing characters and a sense of mystery that will hook you in early. This debut issue of the Catalyst Prime world may not change the superhero game forever, but the Noble team offers a solid story with enough emotionally-charged moments to get you invested enough in Astrid and Noble to want to follow along in future issues. For those looking for new alternatives to bigger publishers' current offerings, Noble #1 is worth checking out. Lion Forge has put together a talented team for the series, and their debut issue is a strong enough read to suggest the future title debuts should be worth a look as well.

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8.0
Coady & The Creepies #1

Mar 16, 2017

Coady and the Creepies #1 is a fun read and a miniseries worth following for its four-issue run.

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8.0
Cognetic #1

Sep 21, 2015

Fans of Memetic will undoubtedly find Cognetic #1 a compelling follow up installment in Tynion's exploration of the apocalypse, but Cognetic is an excellent read for any fans of the sci-fi genre at large. There's no prior knowledge of Tynion's previous work necessary. Cognetic stands alone, giving familiar sci-fi and horror themes a fresh Mission Impossible twist with a fascinating arc and eerie illustrations.

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10
Cry Havoc #1

Jan 27, 2016

The solicitation for Cry Havoc #1 promised that it was "not the tale of a lesbian werewolf who goes to war, except it kind of is." So far Spurrier, Kelly, and the colorist team have delivered. Cry Havoc #1 isn't necessarily a comic book specifically about war, or mythology, or exploring facets of identity like gender or sexuality. Instead, it manages to be a comic the way all of those things layer together to shape one life, and about the way the shape of that life ripples out to change the lives around it. Emotionally charged without being too emotionally draining, Cry Havoc #1 is an excellent read with story threads to appeal to any reader, no matter your genre of choice.

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9.0
Dept. H #1

Mar 22, 2016

This is an artistically gorgeous book that exemplifies some of the best comics has to offer as a visual storytelling medium. DEPT.H #1 hints at a psychological thriller that blends elements of crime and sci-fi into one curious tale with high stakes for Mia's scientific livelihood and, potentially, far-reaching ramifications for not just her life but the lives of many around the world in what the Kindt hints are tumultuous times. Together, Matt and Sharlene Kindt have crafted an eerie tale of deceit that leaves you sympathetic to the weight bearing down on Mia, not just to find her father's killer, but to make sure that she and the rest of the crew members don't find themselves crushed by the looming pressure of an undiscovered killer - or by the ocean's depths.

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7.0
Diesel #1

Sep 8, 2015

While the debut packs little lasting emotional punch, Diesel #1 is still a strong showing from Tyson Hesse, and an excellent addition to the BOOM! Box family. Hesse's artwork is gorgeous and filled with fun visual gags, making Dee's world engrossing enough to keep you reading through the end. This is shaping up to be a fun miniseries that older and younger fans alike will get a chuckle out of, but with any luck future issues will wind up being as explosive as one of Dee's garage inventions.

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8.0
FCBD 2017: Catalyst Prime: The Event #1

May 4, 2017

Catalyst Prime: The Event is absolutely a steal as a free book, and is guaranteed to leave you curious about the world of Catalyst Prime and the villainy revealed in the shocking final pages.

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10
Fresh Romance #1

May 27, 2015

There is something for everyone here, and more delightfully, an excellent chance you will see yourself represented somewhere in the pages of any of these stories; Asselin and many of her contributors are vocal advocates for diversity in comics and Fresh Romance walks the walk.

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9.0
Ghost Racers #2

Jul 9, 2015

Overall Smith has built an intriguing new world of riders that stands well on its own, and is shaping up to be a stand-out book among countless summer spin-offs.

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8.0
Ghost Racers #3

Aug 17, 2015

Regardless of its weak spots, Ghost Racers #3 is a dramatic and entertaining read that makes it worth a spot on your pull list. For All-New Ghost Rider fans, or fans of Smith's work in general, you can easily pick this up without having to be up to date on any other Secret Wars titles. If you're itching for something dramatic and action-packed addition to your summer reading, look no further than Ghost Racers #3.

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6.0
Ghost Rider (2016) #1

Dec 5, 2016

The previous Ghost Rider series were marked by gorgeous art and relatable characters like Robbie and Gabe whose powerful family bond drove the series. Beyruth captures the spirit of the Reyes' Ghost Rider aesthetic without coming across as an imitation of previous artists, and there are promising glimpses of Smith's characters here that would have benefitted from a few pages of breathing room. The end of the issue suggests that room may be coming. Ghost Rider #1 feels like the start of a solid new installment in Reyes' adventures as the fiery Legend of Hillrock Heights, but the series will only flourish if Robbie Reyes is the focus of the full book rather than just his solo title's bonus story.

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9.0
God Country #1

Jan 12, 2017

God Country is a gorgeously illustrated modern tall tale, blending elements of sweeping science fiction with smaller scale family drama in this week's captivating first issue.

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7.0
God Country #2

Feb 17, 2017

After the emotional torrent of the debut, however, this month's dry follow up is a bit of a disappointment.

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9.0
Goldie Vance #1

Apr 18, 2016

With luck, the bigger mystery teased at the end of the premiere issue will be a more involved saga that gives readers the chance to follow hints and twists through the coming issues. But while the mysteries surrounding the Crossed Palms Resort could use a bit more meat to them, Larson and Williams have created a charming cast of characters and an intriguing setting that will capture your interest enough to make up for its first issue stumbles. If you're looking for a fun summer read, Goldie Vance #1 is a delight for readers of all ages, and definitely a miniseries worth your time.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #8

Jul 9, 2015

Gotham Academy is an excellent gateway comic for young readers in your life. Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher have managed the perfect mix of Victorian gothic and teen boarding school dramedy, perfectly reflected in Karl Kerschl's art.

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8.0
Gotham Academy #9

Aug 17, 2015

If you're a new reader, Gotham Academy #9 is not an issue you'll want to jump in with, but it definitely stands out as the most compelling issue so far of Gotham Academy's second arc.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #11

Oct 22, 2015

Featuring more gorgeously eerie scenes with Calamity from Karl Kerschl, Gotham Academy #11 adds some fuel to the slow burn story of Olive's mysterious past and shows the series has serious staying power as DC's strongest young adult-oriented title.

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10
Heavenly Blues #1

May 9, 2017

Heavenly Blues #1 is a beautiful and cleverly-written book blends dry humor and supernatural elements into an intriguing heist tale. Kahn's pacing makes the first issue feel like the opening chapter in an exciting serialized radio drama, a talent that's surprisingly rare to find in a medium based on monthly issues. With an engaging and surprisingly relatable cast and beautiful illustrations, the debut issue is a must-read.

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8.0
Hyper Force Neo #1

Apr 12, 2016

Though Hyper Force Neo #1 may sometimes stumble over the content it's packed with, Jarrett Williams has delivered with a diverse cast that's as fun to just look at as the story is to read. After reading the first issue, it's easy to think that kids want to be like and maybe even cosplay Dean, a cool, confident, nice guy, who does his best and loves to hang out and help his friends. That's not to suggest that this is a unique occurrence amongst comics at large, or even all-ages comics (there are plenty of strong all-ages books on the market, even just within Z2). Instead, it's only to say that if it was Williams' intent, Hyper Force Neo #1 knocks it out of the park.

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8.0
Jem and the Holograms #1

Mar 24, 2015

Weekly Jem bonus: Have the theme song on YouTube, and my favorite Misfits song, There Ain't Nobody Better.

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9.0
Jem and the Holograms #2

Apr 29, 2015

Jem Jam of the Month: In honor of the Misfits' first appearance, Makin' Mischief.

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9.0
Jem and the Holograms #4

Jun 25, 2015

Jem & The Holograms remains a must-read both for fans of the show and anyone else in need of a fun, campy romp.

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9.0
Jem and the Holograms #5

Jul 29, 2015

Thompson's cohesive and compelling writing is strong on its own, but paired with Sophie Campbell's artwork and Victoria Robado's excellent colors, Jem is elevated from a silly revival for nostalgic adults to something even new readers can appreciate. A television adaptation would fit in perfectly on ABC Family (imagine a Misfits appearance in the last episodes of Pretty Little Liars) or Cartoon Network (to the delight of Steven Universe's team, given their homage to the Jem character Danse earlier this year). The first arc of Jem is shaping up to end with a bang in next month's issue, making this a perfect time for new readers to get on board.

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9.0
Jem and the Holograms #7

Sep 15, 2015

Jem continues to be a fun, all-ages friendly musical romp and one of IDW's strongest showings these days. Vieceli's ability to maintain Campbell and Thompson's designs and aesthetic is a positive sign for her three-issue guest arc, through #9. As with any licensed property, Thompson and the Jem team's greatest struggle is maintaining the spirit of the original without seeming to simply reuse cycle whole plots and dialogue verbatim. The introduction of one of the show's most recognizable names, Eric Raymond, is a big step, but the strength Jem and the Holograms #7 bodes well for the team's ability to walk the fine line between truly refreshing a property for a new audience, and simply recycling old tales with a new look.

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8.0
Jem and the Holograms #11

Feb 1, 2016

Though Jem doesn't necessarily pack a big emotional punch, it will keep you reading on the strength of its charm and the skill of its team. Campbell's cover art promises some big changes for the Holograms that the issue doesn't deliver on, but Jem and the Holograms #11 is a fun read with some strong hooks for the arc it's introducing. The Jem and the Holograms team has set a high bar for themselves with their reimagining of a classic '80s cartoon, and with more emphasis on truly original storylines and characters on the way in coming issues, it will be interesting to see if they continue to deliver.

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8.0
Justice League of America: The Atom Rebirth #1

Jan 5, 2017

Atom Rebirth is a strong reintroduction to the Ryan Choi of Rebirth, and a very promising beginning for Orlando's Justice League of America.

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8.0
Kaijumax: Season 2 #1

May 1, 2017

Kaijumax is an unusual and engaging read for any kaiju fan looking for a new take on their favorite monstrous pop culture figures, and for anyone who appreciates a healthy dose of emotional turmoil with their graphic novels. Cannon has created a world that's at once outlandish and relatable, touching on the critical roots of Japanese monster films with an American twist that delivers emotional intensity without getting bogged down on offering a take that's excessively grim or adult for the sake of it.

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9.0
Kim & Kim #1

Jul 5, 2016

This is an impressive first published outing from Mags Visaggio, and the entire Kim & Kim #1 team have put together a book that will be a fun ride for anyone who needs a little more adventure in their lives. A hard-hitting, unapologetically girly and foul-mouthed tale, Kim & Kim #1 is a great summer read that packs as much heart as it does punches.

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9.0
Kim & Kim #2

Sep 8, 2016

Kim & Kim remains a must-read title for the summer; this team has created an impressively rich and vibrant world in just two issues, and it will be interesting to see if they're able to give it a similarly satisfying conclusion with just two issues left.

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9.0
Kim Reaper #2

May 18, 2017

Kim Reaper is a charmingly illustrated supernatural romp whose characters are relatable and authentic despite the strange circumstances; everyone can relate to Becka and Kim's fledgling relationship struggles, even if "chasing down a cat-covered muscle man" doesn't make an appearance in our worst first date halls of fame.

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8.0
Legends of Tomorrow #1

Mar 21, 2016

Unrelated though the two series may be, Legends of Tomorrow #1 features an intriguing range of stories that introduce heroes who could find a home in any current small-screen adaptation. While that may not be DC's end goal, it's a fun ride for fans both old and new -- diehard DC followers will find something to enjoy with new tales from old heroes, while television converts will get a solid introduction to characters they may only know in passing. Somehow, Legends of Tomorrow #1 manages to be a tie-in done right without being a tie-in at all.

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9.0
Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #1

Jun 7, 2016

With two large casts and disparate artistic styles to juggle, Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1 could easily have gotten too bogged down in exposition and introductions to set the stage for a compelling story, but the entire creative team has produced a delightful and unexpected crossover that exceeds even the high expectations many fans may have had since the title's announcement in March. Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy is a must-read for fans of either book, and, with any luck, its success will set the stage for similar collaborations between BOOM! and DC in the future.

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10
Midnighter (2015) #2

Jul 1, 2015

As a fan of the Authority, I was cautiously excited to see a new Midnighter solo series, and after a stellar #1, I was hooked. This month serves up yet more quality writing from Steve Orlando, proving he was exactly the right man for this series today. Midnighter is as emotionally compelling as it is action-packed - you may show up for the Batman pastiche, but you'll stay because this is a stellar story in its own right, and well worth your time.

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10
Midnighter (2015) #6

Nov 5, 2015

Midnighter #6 is easily one of this week's strongest offerings, and remains one of the strongest titles to come out of DC's recent slate of new series.

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10
Midnighter (2015) #11

Apr 6, 2016

That's the strength of Midnighter: Orlando has created an iteration of this character that would be home across any genre of DC Comics, from the supernatural to street-level brawls, and there's not much you can fault this installment for if its biggest flaw is not being a long enough issue. It's violent, but heartfelt, like the series as a whole, and as disappointing as the series' impending end is, Midnighter #11 is still an impressive issue in a landmark series that will hold up well for years to come.

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10
Midnighter (2015) #12

May 4, 2016

Midnighter #12 suggests the potential for more stories to come, which is a relief despite the character's uncertain future in the Rebirth universe. Regardless of what we see of him in the future " maybe in a future Suicide Squad run, which Orlando's writing of Amanda Waller in this issue may suddenly have you craving " Midnighter was a standout amongst the DCYou titles and Orlando and ACO have given us twelve issues that will hold up to countless rereadings in the future. A little romance, a lot of humor, and buckets of blood later, Midnighter #12 provides all the closure we needed for this stand-out series. So long for now, Midnighter, and thanks for all the fights.

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9.0
Midnighter And Apollo #1

Oct 5, 2016

Midnighter and Apollo #1 is a strong debut issue for the miniseries, building on the world Orlando created in his groundbreaking Mindighter solo run but teasing a perhaps more supernaturally-imbued tale than we saw in Midnighter’s first battle against the military industrial complex run amok. Fernando Blanco and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. keep the book visually consistent but offer up a slightly softer edge, emphasizing that Midnighter and Apollo #1 is a continuation and not a reboot; this is another welcome step in the journey that felt like it almost ended too soon in May.

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #3

Dec 8, 2016

Midnighter and Apollo #3 is the strongest issue yet, packing a powerful narrative into gorgeously illustrated pages. It’s a gory but heartfelt romance, and a smart superhero update on a classic myth that captures the spirit of the tale without being so literal it broadcasts the ending upfront. It’s riveting without being overwrought, and Orlando and Blanco leave enough light touches throughout to keep the book firmly planted in the camp of darkly humorous rather than just dark - the western turn the issue takes towards the end is a particularly nice touch. From the start this has been exciting and emotional genre-hopping tale that throws Midnighter elbow-deep into the unknown, and Midnighter and Apollo #3 will make readers glad they decided to join the ride.

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9.0
Midnighter And Apollo #5

Feb 2, 2017

Midnighter and Apollo #5 remains one of the strongest series running right now, but if the promise of Midnighter punching the devil in the face wasn't enough, this week's issue features an added bonus as Warren Ellis takes to the backmatter to discuss the upcoming WildStorm imprint. Come for the punching, stay for the WildStorm.

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8.0
Midnighter And Apollo #6

Mar 6, 2017

Midnighter and Apollo #6 may be one of the weaker issues of the series, but Orlando, Blanco, and Fajardo set an exceptionally high bar for themselves from the outset. This finale lacks punch, but offers sweet and much-needed closure, and as with its predecessor will leave you hoping for more of the 'World's Finest Couple' (an Apollo solo series to round out the trilogy, perhaps) as they move out of the underworld and back into the light where they belong.

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7.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #1

Mar 3, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is still a fun read, and hopefully future issues will give Higgins room to flesh out the titular characters beyond the broad tropes that defined them in the original series

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8.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Pink #1

May 31, 2016

Though lapsed fans or folks whose first experience with the Rangers is the ongoing might find themselves a little lost for a page or two, MMPR: Pink #1 is a solid and slightly spooky first issue that's sure to hook you in for what promises to be a great solo story about a fan-favorite ranger.

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9.0
Motor Crush #2

Jan 12, 2017

With gorgeous art and a well-paced story that offers up a bevy of unexpected revelations and intriguing new twists, Motor Crush #2 easily lives up to the high bar set by last month's debut.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #14

Apr 17, 2015

Ms. Marvel #14 is another solid installment in an excellent series, and I look forward to seeing just how Kamala reacts to this new perspective Marvel's everexpanding Inhuman family and the Terrigen Mist incident. The final pages take a jarring turn — perhaps to begin shifting the tone of the book in a less upbeat direction. Leading Readers into "Last Days" — and the short time left til Secret Wars kicks off makes me wonder how exactly Kamron's storyline will play out against the backdrop of this universe changing event.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #15

May 14, 2015

TL;DR: Did you know Kamala's related to many Inhumans? Lineage did. WHICH ONES DO I MEAN? WHO IS LINEAGE? AREN'T ALL INHUMANS RELATED? Answers to these questions, but also more questions, in Ms. Marvel #15. Read this book.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #16

Jun 22, 2015

Ms. Marvel fans will undoubtedly enjoy this first issue of Kamala's two-part "Last Days" arc. Despite the apocalyptic circumstances, the writing and artwork ensure this issue remains consistent with this series' more hopeful tone. If you're new to Ms. Marvel, this is not a great jumping-on point, but this arc will fit in perfectly with previous issues when you're binge-reading singles or a trade paperback later on. Secret Wars may seem like a grim event, but G. Willow Wilson stays true to the headstrong, caring, and nerdy Kamala we've come to know and love.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #17

Aug 5, 2015

While Ms. Marvel #17 is a strong single issue, it feels incomplete, and will likely seem more eventful when read all at once with the rest of the "Last Days" Ms. Marvel arc. This new twist with Kamala, Amir and the Inhumans is intriguing, but seems insignificant compared to the Incursion event threatening Earth. The lack of urgency is a problem with Wilson's writing, and more an issue with the timing of the various "Last Days" events. With the luxury of an ongoing solo series, Wilson can take the time to set up future storylines against the backdrop of Secret Wars. Month-to-month readers will find Ms. Marvel #17 a deeply satisfying issue, especially for Kamala and Carol's relationship, but new readers will want to wait until this arc is finished to catch up.

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10
Namesake #4

Feb 9, 2017

Namesake #4 seems to suggest this isn't good, or bad, just something new, and closes with a hopeful reminder that the families we make can be as valuable in working through this uncertainty as the families we're born to.

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9.0
Power Up #1

Jul 21, 2015

This week's first issue gets the series off to a solid start. For fans of all ages who like Steven Universe or Adventure Time, or for those of us who grew up on magical girl shows like Sailor Moon, Power Up is a fun book you won't regret adding to your list.

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9.0
Power Up #2

Aug 19, 2015

Introducing the rest of the team and their abilities also helps Power Up #2 improve on the minor pacing problems of the first issue. Last month felt too short, and lacking details in a way that made giving this story arc a satisfying conclusion in just six issues a stretch. This month, the monsters reveal bits and pieces of their mission and our heroes finally have a clear purpose (even if they don't fully understand what it is). There's still plenty of mysteries about these four left to solve. Aafter Power Up #2, it feels like we may actually get to solve them all, and Leth and Cummings' work is a sure guarantee we'll have tons of fun doing it.

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8.0
Power Up #3

Sep 22, 2015

Power Up #3 is certainly the most intriguing issue so far, and begins to hint at answers to some of the questions posited by the premiere issue.

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4.0
Prez #1

Jun 22, 2015

There is promise for Prez, but this debut issue still feels like a swing and a miss. Russell's send-up of corporate politics is a valuable and necessary critique of the current status quo, but here the titular teen Prez feels like an afterthought amidst sometimes curmudgeonly perspectives on social media and actual voters. With luck, future issues will bring our new accidental President and her relatable story to the forefront, making her an everyman we can root for against our secretive corporate overlords.

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9.0
Quantum Teens Are Go #1

Feb 21, 2017

Quantum Teens Are Go #1 is a weird and fun book, and this week's debut hints that it may be a tale about family loss and transition as much as it is about punk rock teens who mess around with theoretical physics in their spare time. Visaggio and Donovan's storytelling is impressively subtle despite its bombastic premise, giving its diverse cast a compelling level of depth in this debut issue. They're kick ass kids with a penchant for mad science and murky motivations, and the questionable judgment of your average teen. The book ends with a bang as they throw the switch on their finished product " and the looming question of whether their youthful exuberance will lead them to meddle with time to fix their tumultuous home lives makes Quantum Teens Are Go a series to follow for now.

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7.0
Runaways (2015) #3

Aug 20, 2015

This tie-in is finally hitting its stride with Runaways #3, but may still be best enjoyed in a collected volume.

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9.0
Runaways (2015) #4

Sep 23, 2015

This is one of the better spin-off titles of Secret Wars and will make an excellent read as a trade in the future. Sanford Greene's artwork is perfectly suited to a youthful title like this, and his work culminates in some striking panels in Runaways #4 (particularly the culmination of Bucky and Valeria's tales). It would be easy to make a title like this "too fun" or carry over the drama of the main Secret Wars title in a way that doesn't fit a "Breakfast Club meets Die Hard" teen-oriented tale. Stevenson may be known for somewhat lighter books like Lumberjanes, but Runaways #4 is a solid close to a great series that demonstrates that she could easily handle more action-oriented titles in the future.

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7.5
Secret Wars #1

May 8, 2015

TL;DR: +7.5 for quality and relative accessibility, -2.5 for being accessible because new and old readers alike will undoubtedly feel like they've missed something, somewhere. The quality makes it worth checking out next month.

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8.0
Secret Wars #2

May 14, 2015

Also be sure to checkout my previous review of Secret Wars #1

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7.0
Siege (2015) #1

Jul 20, 2015

Siege has the potential to be an interesting and more psychological addition to Marvel's stable of tie-ins. By sentencing the likes of Miss America Chavez (fresh from her sentencing in A-Force #1) and Lady Kate Bishop (Secret Wars Journal #1) to the Shield, is Doom punishing them with their inevitable death, or punishing them with their failure to protect the lands to the north? But while this philosophical bent is Gillen's strong suit, Siege #1 lags in large part thanks to a bevy of inscrutable faces and muddled emotions. With any luck, the art will take a more dynamic turn in future issues -- or the story will be compelling enough to make up for it.

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9.0
Slam! #1

Nov 15, 2016

Slam! #1 is a visually beautiful book with a strong premise and a great deal of promise, and even if you're only familiar with derby in passing, it's absolutely worth checking out the first issue tomorrow.

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9.0
Slam! #3

Jan 23, 2017

Pamela Ribon is an excellent writer, but it's the entire artistic team that makes Slam! such a vibrant and readable book. Slam #3 is the strongest issue so far, hitting highs in execution despite the lows Jennifer and Maisie hit at the issue's conclusion. Ribon captures the uniqueness of derby-forged friendships in particular, but her emotional writing will ring true to anyone who's had to struggle with the changing nature of old friendships as they grow older. Slam! is an engaging and relatable slice-of-life book that will delight readers of all ages or with any level of derby knowledge.

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10
Something City #1

May 23, 2017

Something City is an impressive debut, and an utterly engaging tale from start to finish whose visual style belies its emotional depth. Weaver is a clever and talented storyteller and illustrator with a unique perspective on modern living. Her ability to build a fully-realized world that feels authentic in its depiction of community living and its off-kilter nature in a few simple vignettes is incredible, and make Something City an irresistible tale that offers new visual details and emotional insights to enjoy with each subsequent read.

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8.0
Space Battle Lunchtime #7

Dec 13, 2016

Despite a brief detour into Cannibal Coliseum, Space Battle Lunchtime #7 is a beautiful read for almost all ages, or maybe all ages, if your kids enjoy the darkest timeline Alton Brown of Cutthroat Kitchen. Riess' engaging character designs and off-beat humor will keep you engrossed throughout the issue, and as excited to see how the story ends as you will be disappointed there's only one issue left til Peony squares off against her nemesis in Space Battle Lunchtime's final episode.

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9.0
Space Battle Lunchtime #8

Jan 24, 2017

Space Battle Lunchtime #8 is a filling final installment for a series that has been strong from start to finish, and will leave you itching to reread it and experience Peony's journey all over again.

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10
Super Pro K.O.! #3

Jul 5, 2016

While Super Pro K.O. Gold for Glory is a guaranteed delight for wrestling fans of all ages, fans of any capes comic will likely have a great time as well. There are a lot of structural similarities between comics and wrestling, from familiar archetypes to the drama of a long-standing feud between two unstoppable forces culminating in incredible brawls. Williams has done a deft job of capturing exactly what puts the entertainment in "sports entertainment" in a stellar graphic novel that will might even convince you to give wrestling a try. It is possible to enjoy Gold for Glory without reading the previous two volumes, but Williams' work is consistently great across all three " if you're willing to give this title a shot, you may as well go for glory and pick up all three.

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8.0
The Once And Future Queen #1

Feb 28, 2017

Tomorrow's debut issue isn't perfect, but it's a beautiful and fun read, offering up a thoughtful twist on an age-old tale that will have you going back for future readings to see what subtle hints you might have missed.

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5

May 8, 2015

TL;DR: If your fave isn't Squirrel Girl, your fave will never be this good. For fans of Spider-Gwen, Cameron Stewart's Batgirl, and yes, Deadpool, if you're cool with a less murdery, family-friendlier version.

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10
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7

Jul 2, 2015

Between North's punchy dialogue and Erica Henderson's expressive faces, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl consistently delivers clever, quality stories that are well worth your time.

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8

Aug 13, 2015

Squirrel Girl's battle against the Norse god Ratatoskr reaches its thrilling conclusion in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8, ending its first run of 2015 on a high note.

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10
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #1

Oct 29, 2015

The issue peaks with a montage that embodies everything Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 hopes to be: an unabashedly fun comic, replete with visual gags and a campy story readers of all ages can enjoy.

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8.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #6

Mar 31, 2016

With the added bonus of in-the-margins commentary from Zdarsky and some fun trading card art from Quinones, fans of Howard the Duck will find plenty to enjoy in this quirky crossover, as will anyone new to the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl universe.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #10

May 8, 2015

Wicked + Divine is deliberately fantastical, but not outlandish. Each of the twelve is vulnerable in their own way, from Minerva's youth to Inanna's search for the truest version of himself, and Laura serving as an intermediary between the civilian and celestial spheres helps ground a very otherworldly storyline.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #12

Jun 30, 2015

The Wicked + the Divine #12 is certainly less emotionally fraught than is immediate predecessors. Scenes like Baal's interview and a rather one-sided fight later in the book flow naturally from the emotional punch of previous issues. Gillen gives us space to process recent staggering turns while clearly building to yet more surprising revelations. His skill with managing narrative arcs makes The Wicked + the Divine a consistently compelling tale rather than one so jam-packed with emotional blows that it gets too exhausting to follow. For regular readers, #12 will almost be a relief in the wake of last month's deaths. (Though if you're anything like me, Baal might still make you cry.)

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #13

Aug 4, 2015

Longtime readers of The Wicked + Divine will likely find Tara's tale a surprisingly dark read given the comedic undertones of her references so far. But The Wicked + The Divine #13 drives at the heart of the tragic world Gillen has been building for these young gods since the beginning, and provides a much-needed perspective on those gods who do not go willingly through the looking glass. While a challenging and emotionally fraught read, this month's issue is the most poignant yet, and fans won't be disappointed.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #18

Apr 5, 2016

If you're completely new to The Wicked + The Divine, this is a spoiler-tastic place to start and will take much of the dramatic punch out of earlier issues, all of which are available already in trade paperback form. But The Wicked + The Divine #18 is everything WicDiv fans have been waiting for during its brief hiatus. Gorgeous to read, action-packed, and finally pointing towards answers to questions raised over a year ago, this is a solid issue to return to and the wait has been well worth it.

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9.0
Welcome to Showside #1

Oct 20, 2015

Welcome to Showside #1 drops just in time for Halloween, and it's a great book for anyone looking to add some family-friendly spooky stories to their library. McGinty's tongue-in-cheek dialogue will make you smile no matter your age. The fourth-wall breaking details peppered throughout the book give it definite re-reading value -- the use of lettering as a weapon in one panel is particularly clever. The art, from McGinty's unique designs to Rian Sygh's vibrant colors and Fred Stressing's lettering work, give this book an appealing visual edge that perfectly captures its off the rails kid-horror premise. Lovecraft meets Lisa Frank may seem like an impossible blend, but McGinty and his team make it work. Welcome to Showside #1 is a solid and charming debut issue for a promising, and very unique, new all-ages title.

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9.0
WWE #1

Jan 17, 2017

WWE #1, from the start of Hopeless' tale to the end of Thibodeaux, is an engaging issue that fleshes out the on-camera characters of these superstars with relatable motivations while embracing wrestling's' unusual quirks and showcasing the physical skill required to put on these matches night after night. It's an excellent licensed adaptation all around, and absolutely one of the best wrestling comics to date.

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9.0
WWE #2

Feb 17, 2017

Filled with clever puns and spot-on interpretations of some of wrestling's most iconic figures, with an added bonus of a short but powerful Ultimate Warrior tale from writer Aubrey Sitterson, illustrator Ed McGuinness, and colorist Marcio Menyz, WWE #2 easily keeps the series' streak of strong issues alive.

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9.0
WWE #3

Mar 23, 2017

Hopeless does an excellent job filling in the gaps of Rollins' television absence with an authentic look the slow spiral of a long recovery can take on someone.

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9.0
WWE #4

Apr 28, 2017

The WWE team's first outing with this on-going has absolutely made it a number one contender amongst the licensed comics out there today, and continues to offer up a tale that even the smartest marks will find something in to enjoy.

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9.0
WWE: Then. Now. Forever #1

Nov 8, 2016

No screwjob jokes here: Then. Now. Forever. embraces the characters fans love and the world WWE has created and gives them a new depth, proving their partnership with BOOM! was absolutely the right call to make.

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9.0
X-Men '92 #1

Jun 29, 2015

If, at first glance, you were writing this title off as cashing in on nostalgia, I can't blame you - but lucky for you, I wasn't afraid to go back down memory lane, and can kindly let you know that you're way off-base. Having read X-Men '92 #1, I can safely say that Chad Bowers and Chris Sims have elevated it beyond an event tie-in to a legitimately interesting story in its own right. Fans of the X-Men - whether just the show, the comics, or both - won't regret giving this book a shot.

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9.0
X-Men '92 #4

Oct 1, 2015

X-Men '92 #4 may only mark the end of an arc now that the title has been turned into an ongoing series, but it's a solid close to a fun and adventurous storyline.

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7.0
X-Men '92 (2016) #1

Mar 31, 2016

If you're coming back from the miniseries, it make take an issue or two to adjust, but X-Men '92 #1 promises more of the campy, action-packed fun (and the occasional odd physical proportions - keep an eye out for some unusually strong thighs) of both its source comic book and the source show.

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7.0
Zodiac Starforce #1

Aug 25, 2015

For genre fans, this book will be a perfect introduction to a new squad of magical heroines you'll quickly fall in love with. For new audiences, this book may feel rushed or overloaded at times. But it's a fun read, and Panetta and Ganucheau have a clear vision for this world. They just don't seem to have enough space to flesh it out in a meaningful way in one issue. With luck, the heavy exposition is merely a first-issue hiccup, and the Zodiac Starforce team can focus more on giving the team more emotional depth as the story unfolds.

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8.0
Zodiac Starforce #2

Oct 1, 2015

Zodiac Starforce #2 significantly improves on some of the pacing problems of the debut issue, giving its solid plot and gorgeous art more room to shine.

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