Jarrod Jones's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Doom Rocket Reviews: 194
7.8Avg. Review Rating

8.5
Action Comics (2011) #37

Dec 4, 2014

Even with the story showing more than a few shades of Stephen King'sThe Mist, Pak's melodramasomehow avoids a derivative predictability by instilling real consequences to our hero's actions against the forces that defy him. While it would be all too easy for Superman to blow through Smallville to get to the heart of the matter – and then effectively crush it – Pak won't allow it, instead puttingSuperman, Steel and Lana in a position to do what they've done best: work together as a team. And while the mystery of this fog stymies the crew of good-doers, Pak and Kuder have a horrifying surprise in store for the town of Smallville, to say nothing of the reader who has to behold the final two-page splash. I won't spoil the cliffhanger ending here, but believe me when I say,no onedraws monsters as good as Aaron Kuder. And no one corrals them better than Greg Pak.

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10
Action Comics (2011) #40

Mar 16, 2015

The best part of all this foolishness is Greg Pak's palpable exuberance, and Aaron Kuder's astonishing artwork. Everything in this book is a testament to Kuder's commitment to the comics artform, a soppy valentine dreamily espousing his passion for the craft with every breathless splash page, one after the other. If I enjoy another comic book this year as much as I enjoyed Action Comics #40, I will be happily surprised. Essential reading.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #41

Jun 3, 2015

Look past the t-shirt,focuson the ‘S', and you'll find a paradox: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder have supplied DC Comics withthe raw andrelatable Superman they've always wanted while retaining thevital optimism the character will will always need.It's about time somebody understood how the Man of Tomorrow could work today.

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7.5
Action Comics (2011) #50

Mar 14, 2016

My heart breaks just a little bit at the knowledge that Pak and Kuder won't be sharing Action's marquee for much longer. And when Rebirth springs the DC Universe towards the future (and us along with it), the next adventures of Superman will likely demand all of our attention. But there will come a time, possibly late at night, when I drag out my longboxes and rifle through their entire Action Comics run once more. It will be then that I fondly leaf through the pages to find Superman, grinning ear-to-ear as he boldly soars up in the sky. And I'll know exactly who to thank for the privilege.

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7.5
Action Comics (2016) #957

Jun 8, 2016

Titled "Path of Doom, Part I", Action Comics #957 features a storied Superman made new. The new DCU could probably do with some of the home-spun earthly wisdom from the wizened Clark Kent and Lois Lane, even if it is laid on a bit too thickly this week. If the super-parents dial back their finger-wagging life lessons and Jurgens quits reaching into his dusty bag of tricks, Action's cannonball run towards issue #1,000 ought to be a fine one, indeed.

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6.5
Action Comics (2016) #958

Jun 22, 2016

Action Comics #958 continues to intrigue me in the superficial ways most Superman books intrigue me. But only just. A point to all this wanton doom is likely around the corner, and for Jurgens' sake, I hope that point includes Lex Luthor " advertised as the star of this show. Right now, Luthor's glaring presence is just getting in the way, and I'm almost certain that's beside the point.

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10
Airboy #3

Aug 6, 2015

That's where the realism lies in this book. Hinkle and Robinson's dedication to the details, no matter how uncomfortable or offensive they are for some, show that on the other side of life " where failure, depravity, and self-abuse are commonplace " there's nowhere to hide. It's not always an easy read, it's certainly never a pleasant one, but Airboy is comics found in its purest form. In showing what kind of a person Robinson once was, we're offered an opportunity to look at our own lives, the mistakes we've made, and the accountability we either embrace or ignore completely.

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7.5
All Time Comics: Bullwhip #1

Apr 5, 2017

It's garish and insistent, like an X-rated punk show poster in a grocery store. Like those underground comics you kept away from your cleaner, nicer superhero books, lest some of the tawdriness jumped over onto the Comics Code-approved pages. This is the future of comics as once perceived from the top of the mountain of ashes and discarded pen nibsthat createdZap Comix. It's niche, but it's professionally produced niche, where baser artisticinstincts smash into the widening comics spectrum. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. And you can bet All Time Comics would make a killer comic book about it.

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5.5
All-New All-Different Avengers #3

Jan 18, 2016

The team Marvel has thoughtfully put together is a vibrant, exciting display of how diverse the Marvel U has always been, and it's readily apparent that this a book that's to be treated with the same reverence as Grant Morrison and Howard Porter's JLA was nearly twenty years ago. (What? You couldn't tell by Alex Ross' cheeky cover to issue #1?) Thing is, the manner in which Waid has set up this book, it's going to take that much longer to get everyone on the same page. Which is to say, it's gonna be a minute before All-New, All-Different Avengers becomes the team Marvel deserves. Good thing we know Waid's an expert on the long game.

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7.5
All-New Wolverine #1

Nov 16, 2015

The big-time gripe with All-New Wolverine #1 won't come from David Lopez and David Navarrot's cohesive illustrations " their collaboration is coherent, slick, and concise, which is what a good actioner should demand " it comes from the laughable 5 buck price tag. I know that double foldout advertisements are expensive (especially when Marvel is footing the cash themselves, which, thanks?), but sticking potential new readers and avid fans alike with the bill is a swift punch in the guts nobody was expecting from our newly-minted Wolverine. The book's brisk thirty pages are certainly worthy of a premium price, but when those thirty pages are stuffed full with additional Marvel ad space, it's only natural to feel a tad hoodwinked.

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9.0
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

It's a devious plot, and though I've been waiting for years to see what he could do with the former Gotham City District Attorney, his Two-Face story has the makings to be one of his best. One I always knew Snyder had in him. Romita's pencils, Danny Miki's inks, and Steve Wands' painterly colors give the high noon sun a scorch that hangs a pall over our beleaguered Caped Crusader. Batman's fighting in broad daylight, and I'm absolutely loving it.

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8.5
All-Star Batman #6

Jan 11, 2017

All-Star Batman retains the writer's patented cinematic style by going for broke in a gripping tale featuring Mr. Freeze.

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9.0
American Monster #1

Jan 21, 2016

American Monster is the sort of book that reminds you that the world isn't a very nice place. That it never was. It's the sort of book that makes you ask yourself why you didn't flinch, and if you did, it makes you wonder if that's only because you're expected to.

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8.5
Annihilator #4

Dec 23, 2014

Morrison's manic energy is brilliantly conveyed through Frazer Irving's engaging and absolutely gorgeous artwork. (Sequences where Nomax " from within Ray's mind " attempts to create his own universe feature art that is simply some of the best this year has seen.) The contained color palate with which Irving employs gives Annihilator a visual distinction, causing the book to stand out among the more generic offerings from certain other companies I could mention here. One wonders how Annihilator will ultimately end, but with men like Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving at the helm one thing's for certain " it's certainly gonna be pretty.

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9.5
Annihilator #5

Feb 9, 2015

We're one book away from the end of all things Annihilator, and while there will undoubtedly come a swell of emotional relief after the last page of issue #6 is turned, there will also come an immediate desire to relive the wet and wild abandon we've only just experienced. What will follow will not be unlike a fondly recalled acid trip.

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8.5
Ant-Man #1

Jan 7, 2015

With the release of Ant-Man#1 amid all the hype surroundingits cinematic endeavors,Marvel ought to be commended in executing such a clever and shrewd business move.But it's Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas who deserve most of the credit here: their ability to humanize anAvenger in a manner that easily recalls Matt Fraction and David Aja'sHawkeyeis a feat unto itself. Their evident care and enthusiasm is what makes this business venture avoid feeling cynical. Because of them, making a C-lister relatable isno longer a tall order.

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9.0
Ant-Man #3

Mar 16, 2015

There's something oddly compelling about a man who would name his right-hand ant Tony Wilson (which, whatta riot) while taking a gravely serious approach to the upbringing of his own daughter. Scott's a man of at least two facets " the fact that his ego doesn't repel the reader is evidence of Spencer's solid characterization " and though he can be a doof more often than not, we're satisfied with the knowledge that Scott's motivated by what's best for Cassie instead of the almighty buck. But everyday's a journey. And Scott's the sort of fella who can literally make an anthill into a mountain.

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8.5
Ant-Man #4

Apr 13, 2015

And not only that " can we talk about Ramon Rosanas' art for a minute? It's consistently some of the finest work you'll find on any book ever. (Look at how he illustrates Grizzly. He's essentially just a dude in a big-ass bear suit " in the Marvel Universe that's not gonna make you stand out much " and yet Rosanas makes him so much more.) His fluid lines provide a crisp, heightened realism that's more cartoony than David Aja's work on Hawkeye but suitably earnest for a book about a guy who talks to ants. I need Ramon Rosanas to illustrate Nick Spencer's stories for the rest of my natural life, because when something this perfect comes around, I tend to cling onto it like grim death. And I just can't quit Ant-Man.

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5.5
Aquaman (2016) #1

Jun 22, 2016

I don't know what to make of Dan Abnett's Aquaman. I'm not sure Dan Abnett knows what to make of Dan Abnett's Aquaman. There's lip service paid to the still incomplete bridge between land and sea dwellers, which might explain why we're allowed a salacious glimpse into Arthur and Mera's basic-ass "let's have some coffee and enjoy our morning like the humans" sequence in the first place. But I'll be damned if any of it resonates beyond the "wait and see" method of story Abnett has laid out before us.

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4.5
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Jun 8, 2016

It's a snooze of a debut that damn-near negates its purpose almost immediately. I'd make a fresh water joke here, but after reading Aquaman: Rebirth #1 I just don't have the energy.

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9.0
Archie (2015) #2

Aug 19, 2015

I keep fighting the impulse to use words like "depth" and "nuance" in this review. This struggle comes from the decades I've dismissed Archie Comics as vapid entertainment, but now I'm met with a curious thing: a book that takes this world I've tossed aside for so long and makes it something I can actually care about.

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4.5
Archie vs. Predator #1

Apr 20, 2015

My imagination is capable of so much, and my suspension of disbelief has hung from the highest of precipices. And even though we all know that this little "skirmish" would end in four seconds let alone four whole issues, there's a buck to be turned, and a laugh or two to be had. So who the hell am I to boo-hoo it? I just hope for Archie's sake that he fares better than Batman ever did.

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7.5
Astonishing Ant-Man #12

Sep 21, 2016

I won't give away who that is or what they're here to do, but know that the next years' worth of Astonishing Ant-Man ought to be just as delightful, engaging, and charming as the last. So long as Spencer & Rosanas stay put, this will remain one of the best Marvel books published today.

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9.0
Astro City (2013) #23

May 18, 2015

Busiek and Anderson know their comics history through and through, and Astro City is the perfect vessel for their admiration and respect. What's this? A talking gorilla from a hidden gorilla city? Of course he's gonna wear a "Fox Broome" t-shirt. It's those kind of hat tips that make this book such a gem. And if you become compelled to reach back into the volumes that precede this issue, there's a good chance you may find yourself turning into a permanent resident.

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5.0
Batgirl (2011) #38

Jan 19, 2015

Barbara Gordon's "I'll do whatever the hell I want, thank you very much" attitude " in lieu of this latent narcissism " becomes too insufferable to bear for most of the issue. (The dialogue-heavy word balloons certainly don't help matters, either.)

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8.0
Batman (2011) Annual #4

Sep 30, 2015

Tynion's grasp on this world, coupled with Roge Antonio's moody, atmospheric renderings, should be enough to sell this Annual. But then we find that the creators have made room to broach the innate hypocrisy that exists in Bruce Wayne's former campaign against crime, or at least, that's how his Rogues perceive it: witnessing three enemies coming into Batman's home to enact a grudge by a misplaced sense of righteousness is a gorgeous flip on the typical Batman tropes. It's heavy, psychologically daunting stuff coupled with the perfect amount of sardonic wit. You won't be able to set it down.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #35

Oct 9, 2014

Because the book is awashin war shouldn't suggest thatBatman #35 is all slug-fest, all the time: Snyder wraps his mega-brawl around a small sequence with Bruce, Alfred, and Julia, where Bruce is still shrugging off the after-effects of a fear toxin administered by the Scarecrow. The hallucinations fromDr. Crane's toxins repeatedly putBatman through a myriad of hispotentialfinal moments, an ominous foreshadowing that only further drapesEndgame in dread. During this brief, quiet scenewe get a very rare moment of levity between Alfred and Bruce, where a couple of quips are tossed around, and a good laugh is had between the old friends. Having that small, lovely moment surrounded by the bricabrac of the Court of Owls bodes sinister intimations for the future ofBatman.What impactEndgamewill have on the wider Bat-booksis left for usto discover in duetime, but if this issue'sfinal page is any indication, the future of Bruce Wayne will be no laughing matter.

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8.5
Batman (2011) #36

Nov 13, 2014

It's easy to approachBatman #36 as a three-act short, where Act One has Snyder and Capullo wrapping up the skirmish that began with last month's issue, the brief Act Two placingBatman in his posh Bat-Bunker to hash out a plan of attack with Alfred and Julia Pennyworth, and Act Three ending with a face-to-face between Wayne and his pasty-skinned arch nemesis. With this kind of thoughtful storytelling at play,Batman #36 givesEndgame another solid chapter for a story starting strong – stronger – thanZero Year, with much more at stake than anything Snyder and Capullo have thrown our way so far. And that's really saying something.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #37

Dec 19, 2014

With Scott Snyder insisting that nothing about Endgameis meant to be ambiguous, serious revelations are madewith implications that should make any comic book reader – even one primed for Snyder's typicalpsychological havoc – shudder at the mere thought of what they may portend.That gives the issue the severity of a solid white-knuckler of the highest order. Everyone can guess what Batman'sEndgameis going to be, but no one canreally know untilSnyder and Capullo say so. It's the ceaseless disquiet the storytellers provide that givesBatmanreal grace.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #38

Jan 29, 2015

That ceaseless unrest is exactly what propels Endgame: in the entire 30 pages of this book " with the exception of writer James Tynion IV and Sam Keith's reliably spooky tie-in " the Clown Prince of Crime only appears for a single page. But it's his grim spectre that haunts every open leaf of Batman#38's parchment. It's all found on the cover " we, like Batman, may be staring directly at the atrocities the killer has wrought, but he will continue to elude us, cackling in the shadows.

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7.5
Batman (2011) #40

Apr 30, 2015

It's in these moments thatBatman#40 feels like the real deal. If Snyder had employed more restraint,the final result ofEndgamewould have been a Bat-story for the ages. Instead, what we're provided with isa severe gut-punch.What's really funny is that it could have workedas both.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #41

Jun 11, 2015

So Jim Gordon is the new Batman. He's cut back on his cigarettes (“Batman can't smoke,” according to Harvey Bullock, of all people), he's whipped himself back into shape, and he's even shaved off his signature mustache. (Cowls don't obscure mustaches.) It's a bold new direction navigated boldly.Because of their dauntless storytelling chutzpah, Snyder and Capullonot only knocked out a stellar debut, they made one thing abundantly clear in doing so: That whenGothamneeds saving, when everything is going to hell, Jim Gordon is really the only man for the job.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #42

Jul 8, 2015

Intriguing character depth, bombastic superheroics (doled out by the infinitely great Mr. Capullo), and not one, but two "" the hell?!" mysteries? This is truly the Batman book we need right now. Snyder & Capullo aren't merely promising a new era for the Batman. With this bold new direction, they mean to thoroughly deliver.

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7.5
Batman (2011) #43

Aug 12, 2015

This story isn't three issues in, and already it's suffering from a tonal imbalance. Is Batman a thundering superhero yarn or a chilling psychodrama? Can it be both? Well. There's only so much space found in between.

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10
Batman (2011) #44

Sep 10, 2015

It's a story that could easily fill an entire installment of Batman: Black and White, an outside-continuity anthology series that distilled the essence of the Dark Knight into his most potent and primal form: a strange, righteous creature who stalks prey that may not know it needs to be punished, a dauntless crusader who only rests when the sun's piercing beams begin to stretch along Gotham's narrow, broken streets. It's a story I actively wish for every time I pick up a book titled Batman.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #51

Apr 28, 2016

There's a coincidental twist that comes towards the end of Batman #51 that nearly betrays all this goodwill with its nostalgia-tinged sentimentality. But a writer like Snyder has never been afraid of coincidences. He approaches them as he would anything else and applies this development to his story without incident. There's a lyricism that comes with this reveal, one that's used to bring us back around to issue #1 " a saga come full circle. It provides a comfortable closure that we never felt" not once " at the ends of Death of the Family,Zero Year or even Endgame. In saying goodbye to a top-notch run, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo pay their respects to the readers that helped it to endure.

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7.5
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

The idea of two superheroes who may not be quite what they seem, literally flying in out of nowhere at the behest of no one, is definitely not a new one. (In fact, the last time I remember something like this going down was in Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman.) But King is writer enough to create the perfect climate for their arrival, in a thrilling airplane rescue sequence that you're just going to have to read to truly appreciate. I'll be keeping my eyes on Batman.

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6.5
Batman (2016) #3

Jul 21, 2016

The artist is visibly chasing after the aesthetic of Greg Capullo. His character's faces have the thin lips and curiously smug smirks that just scream Capullo, and his version of Alfred Pennyworth is almost a direct facsimile of the former Batman artist's rendition, right down to the butler's receding hairline. And there's no harm in that, I suppose. There's still more to discover, and I'm locked in for the duration.

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6.5
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 24, 2016

So what am I to make of it? Suppose I could dive down a rabbit hole in order to search for the narrative depth I'm not sure this issue has: If Weskler is another version of Arnold Wesker in "I am Suicide", that would imply that reality isn't quite what it should be, which would definitely explain the presence of a certain Arkham inmate who has been canonically not insane for the entirety of her villainous life. If "Weskler" is the key to this Elseworlds-esque Batman story, then it's genius. If it's not, then" well. Is it a dream? An imaginary tale? What the hell is going on with 'Batman' right now.

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6.5
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

It wouldn't be a proper DC event without a snazzy lenticular cover, now would it? And since the technology is there to properly dazzle our eyeballs " we're miles way from the migraine-inducing Villains Month covers three years back " why the heck wouldn't you want to shell out an extra buck for the visual splendor? And the best bit about this cover? It didn't cause a spike in the price for the other versions of this issue, thus keeping DC's "Draw the line at $2.99" promise in check.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) Annual #3

Apr 6, 2015

Squeezing in one final Batman and Robin yarn before Convergence does whatever the hell it's supposed to do, DC Comics has published the third annual to Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray's top-notch series. (How many New52 books can boast that?) And while the art boys sit this entry out, Tomasi's reliably strong characterization remains, making the issue a fine entry for the series.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #37

Dec 23, 2014

However little those motivations are reflected in any of the other current Bat-books, Robin Rises still matters, and through the diligent work of Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason, it's damn fine entertainment, as well. The artist's muscular pencils give strength to a story that is as blatantly absurd as anything going in comic books today. And because Tomasi and Gleason are old hat at sticking a solid landing, the second to last chapter of Rises even bothers to inject some real heart to all of this nonsense. And that makes the revolving door of death something worth walking through.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #38

Jan 22, 2015

What Damian does with this gift is moving enough, but what's so disquieting aboutSuperpower, Part One is what Damian might do once he's home. The years spent on Tomasi and Gleason'sBatman and Robinhave shown us a Robin that will only obey his father when he feels he should, but is only ready to disobey orders when he feels he must. Damian isa kid who's still willing to do what is right, even if it is on his own terms, but with a newfound lease on life – coupled with powers that would make Superman blush – those terms may have to finally be met by his demanding superhero father.Batman and Robin is as strong as it has ever been.And it seemsthat Tomasi and Gleason aren't near finished with the Dynamic Duo. Not by a long shot.

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6.5
Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1

Sep 28, 2016

If DC insists on continuing to drag out the future of the DC Universe through Batman Beyond" I mean, it's not like we haven't already pointed out how hard it is for the publisher to let go of the past. So be it. This series will probably never act as a crystal ball for present-day DC events again, but that's not such a bad thing. After all, we already know how that worked out last time, don't we, Terry?

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8.5
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Dec 9, 2015

A massive crossover such as this requires care and demands respect. If it were to skew just an inch from its mission, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would quickly devolve into a one-note farce. But this book has an ace in the hole, and his name is James Tynion IV. TheBatman Eternal and Memeticscribe has found a project intowhich he can truly immerse himself. He taps into what has made these characters endure for so many years and places their fundamentals at the forefront of the proceedings. Of all the projects I've read by the writer, this has to be his most assured.The big surprise ofBatman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesis that it finds James Tynion IV at his most elemental. This has the makings of a bona fide classic.

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9.0
Batman/The Shadow #1

Apr 26, 2016

It's atmospheric, moody, and it's paced magnificently - everything a crossover like this would need, it's got.

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4.0
Batman: Earth One #2

May 7, 2015

Nothing comes together in this brisk, easily forgettable tale. History has proven that Batman will always bounce back, but in a format that's providing only diminishing returns, one can only hope that DC's Convergence has put the kibosh on this sordid tale. Because as far as Earth One is concerned, the risk of revisiting it " to say nothing of the price " is too damn high.

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10
Batman: Europa #1

Nov 23, 2015

As for the story itself, Batman: Europa is a tightly-spun tale that pits Batman against a nameless, faceless foe. That's standard fare in a post-Snyder Batverse, but there's a primal simplicity to Europa that sets it ahead of any Batman book I've read in a good while. Casali and Azzarello are all business here, propelling the story to a deliriously satisfying cliffhanger that promises continued narrative might throughout this mini. (As a four-act book, the close to Act One gets a standing ovation from me.)

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9.0
Batman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

Whatever lip-service is paid to the events that came before is all relatively minor. (Seems we've all worked past that time when Jim Gordon had a mohawk and a giant pet Bat-robot for a spell.) In the right hands, this debut one-shot could give the impression that an intimate knowledge of the Bat-mythos was anything but essential. And isn't that the point? Batmanfeels fresh for the first time in years " if nothing else, it's certainly the most assured Bat-debut since Snyder& Capullo'sBatman#1 nearly fiveyears ago. Apparently, when it comes to first impressions,Batman: Rebirth is King. (That'll be the last time I do that, I swear.)

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9.0
Batwoman (2017) #1

Mar 15, 2017

There's a real thrill that comes with reading a book that's so perfectly realized; make no mistake, Batwoman is one of those books.

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9.0
Black Cloud #1

Apr 4, 2017

For Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon, Black Cloud is a chance to get in some essential creative exercise, to hone their strengths against the demons of self-doubt. This debut is a solid example of their craft, a well-told beginning that sets its own rules but doesn't skimp on the consequences.

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5.0
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Aug 26, 2016

Blue Beetle: Rebirth gets points in my book for bringing such an important character back into the fold, but this sucker is going to need some polish if it's ever going to make it through the year. The last thing I want to see is Blue Beetle scurrying into those back issue bins filled with wasted potential.

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6.5
Briggs Land #1

Aug 17, 2016

I may poke my head into the seedy backwaters of Briggs Land, primarily because of its difficult undertaking. If you must write a fiction about angry people, make their story intriguing, and Brian Wood has put enough effort into creating a cast of characters that would fit seamlessly in a bingeable Netflix series. The thing is, its three issue opening salvo might not be as satisfying as an insomnia-inducing full length season.

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9.0
Captain Kid #1

Jul 27, 2016

It's also a book that may or may not have something to say about the old guard making way for the new. Whether or not that insinuates something about the comic industry today, well. That's for another review, I suppose. In the meantime, get your ever-lovin' mitts on Captain Kid.

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6.5
Catwoman (2011) #36

Dec 1, 2014

The art remains mostly consistent, if less rendered and more rushed than last issue. The architecture and the shadowplay are still well-utilized, but when given nothing to illustrate but meandering conversation, there's only so much the art team can do. Artist Garry Brown is finally given room to stretch his chops in a well-drawn fight scene between Selina and the other "Catwoman", with the backdrop of Gotham City's skyline glowing behind them. It's a gorgeous few pages, and Lee Loughridge's coloring really shines. Highpoints as good as that keep one hopeful that the next issue or two can get over this stumbling block and readjust back to the taut intensity of issue #35.

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5.0
Chrononauts #1

Mar 23, 2015

Co-creator and artist Sean Murphy renders the book's characters with the appropriate posturing and smarm. His sharp visuals (aided by colorist Matt Hollingsworth) seem almost as if they're meant to appeal to the basest, Maxim-reading demographic: Cars are drawn with muscular weight, the boys look like they only dress from Topman, and apparently they both find plenty of time to hit the weights in-between innovating the greatest scientific achievement the world has ever known. It's this kind of idealized masculinity that probably made Chrononauts such an enticing proposition for Universal Studios. And you can bet it'll be stunting the growth of young boys everywhere in a theater near you. And a lot sooner than you think.

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8.0
Conan / Red Sonja #1

Jan 19, 2015

It may have taken the better part of a generation for these two to cross swords again, but when the final result is this terrific, the wait is more than acceptable. With this much care put into the comic as good as this, the wait feels almost deliberate.

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5.0
Convergence #0

Apr 2, 2015

For all of Dan DiDio's trumpeting, the truth about Convergence is that it isn't really for aspiring new readers. It's an event meant for the old dogs, the people who will need the most coaxing in order to feel confident aboutthe nextera of DC Comics. And that's fine. Buttheevents of this issue offer little in that respect;instead it only addstothe nagging feelingthatConvergence just might be the cynical rush job a lot of folks fear it will be.DCis going to toe the line between commerce and art for the next two months (becauseL.A. is calling)by attempting to make everybody happy, and there's no reason to believe they won'tsucceed. Butnothing is more condescending to a faithful reader — especially thosethat said goodbye to characters they loved years ago — than to tell them, “Well, here. Now everything matters.”

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5.0
Convergence #7

May 25, 2015

That kind of reverence is refreshing, if not a little bittersweet. As we watch all the heroes we've grown up reading hurtle through the pages in their fully realized glory, there's a nagging feeling that this might be the last time we ever see these characters again. With yet another reboot right around the corner, the DC Universe is becoming more unrecognizable than ever. And with sales (and really corny marketing gimmicks) being DC editorial's primary focus, things look to be changing for the worse. Considering everything long-standing DC fans have been through with these super-people, one can't shake the feeling that everybody " superhero and reader alike " deserved better.

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4.0
Convergence: Superboy #1

Apr 20, 2015

Kon-El's trademark snark is ably deployed by Fabian Nicieza when the writer doesn't have our de-powered hero moping around (though there's a lot of that too), and while we're forced to choke down a lot of Nicieza's navel-gazing ponderings ("" the only concept more inconceivable than an adolescent wielding the powers of a god" is that same youth losing that power""), there's a strange comfort that comes with having our leather-jacketed Superboy flying around. It's nowhere near enough, but it'll do.

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8.0
Convergence: The Question #1

Apr 13, 2015

Convergence: The Question #1 looks to be a fine epilogue to Renee Montoya's crime-busting career. If only it had been under better circumstances.

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8.0
Convergence: Wonder Woman #1

Apr 23, 2015

With only one issue left to Hama and Middleton's interpretation of Wonder Woman, I've found myself in a position tolook forward to another installment ofthe outright lunacy that isConvergence.Like this Diana, I can't walk away from a good fight. Now, if one of you could explain it all to me…

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10
Criminal Special Edition (One-Shot) #1

Feb 26, 2015

Acomic-within-a-comic instantly recalls the "Tales of the Black Freighter" sequencefromWatchmen (it would be impossible not to think about it), and while Zangar's legend doesn't intertwine through Criminalas intricately as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seafaring romp, that's really not the point. Through this rejuvenating motifBrubaker and Phillips craft a tale that givesCriminalone more grimy layer to theseedy world of Center City. Through the strength it provides,Criminal: Savage Edition leaves us with an irrepressible desire to visit once more.

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8.5
Cyborg #1

Jul 22, 2015

To praise Ivan Reis and Joe Prado for a beautiful issue might belabor the obvious, but it's worth repeating: these men are some of the strongest creators this industry has, and they do Victor an honor with his sleek new look, one that displays far more skin than anything Jim Lee's tin-can design ever did. But this is but an introductory issue, one that cleanly sets all its pieces in opposition to each other rather than diving too deeply into the strengths and pathos I hope Walker has in store for the beleaguered Titan. It's common knowledge that Victor Stone is a hero. But it's well past time we came to know him has a human being. As far as the stellar debut of Cyborg goes, I would say, "it's about damned time", but we all know that statement is already three decades too old.

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8.5
Cyborg: Rebirth #1

Sep 9, 2016

Semper's work on animation (he wrote episodes for Static Shock, Duck Tales, and 1994's Spider-Man) gives his story great visual heft, delivered with maximum impact by Paul Pelletier's fluid, well-rounded pencils. This is classic, pulpy comics at its most superheroic; I hope Pelletier finds the time to hop on art chores for Cyborg more often " he works with Semper so well. While I continue to bemoan the absence of David Walker on Cyborg, I have a feeling I'll be enjoying Vic Stone's newest adventures just fine.

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9.5
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 25, 2015

There's no question that Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello work beautifully together. You can almost blame destiny that these men have been joined together to tell such atale, considering their mutual strengths.(It's only fitting that Mr. Azzarello refers to Mr. Miller as "sensei".) If you're looking for any weakness in this collaboration, you're just not going to find it in the first chapter toThe Master Race.Miller's political pyrotechnics are tempered by Azzarello's notoriously sharp-edgedwit, Azzarello's noirish sensibilities emulsify within Miller's thundering doom, and through the whirlwind brought forth bytheirmight,Dark Knight IIIfinds a voice of its own.Both men have already secured their place within the legend of the Batman. But ifwe're going to walk through Miller's world once more with Azzarello's unforgiving gaze upon us, it's only right that we prepare ourselves for a staggeringmajesty.

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8.5
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3

Feb 24, 2016

DKIII: Book Three didn't kick my ass in the way Book One or Book Two did. It's shocking and exciting and it's even funny in parts, but ultimately this chapter's closing ellipsis offers more questions than it does chills. And that's perfectly fine. Here, it's the little things, the flourishes, that matter most " when it comes time to get shit done, Wayne favors leaning on a sledgehammer instead of a crutch, among a precious few examples " and when I see them placed carefully amongst DKIII's appropriately daunting scale,I know it will be those quiet moments that continue to remind me why I care about The Dark Knight saga so damn much.

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6.5
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8

Mar 29, 2017

Recommended to anyone with the patience for both Azzarello's penchant for violence and Miller's particular brand of psychosis.

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8.5
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 25, 2016

Hope and optimism - in the DCU, they almost feel like novel concepts these days. There's a long way to go before reader confidence will return to DC Comics, but if the heartfelt and downright staggering Rebirth #1 is any indication of what's to come, the path ahead looks mighty fine.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #37

Dec 7, 2014

What bothers me most is that the task is undertaken by two storytellers who rely on more flash than substance. To own a piece of Manapul's work is always reason to spend $3.99, but the story he co-plots with writer Brian Buccellato indicates that the men are no closer to confidently tackling a satisfying Batman story than they were during their Icarus tale. They are more than capable of bringing a palpably visceral " albeit superficial " life to Batman's world (the art in this issue is beyond top-notch, and Manapul's Bruce Wayne is appropriately world-weary), but when it comes to igniting a fire fitting of the eponymous villain, Buccellato and Manapul are no Grant and Breyfogle.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #935

Jun 22, 2016

I suppose this is where I'd gripe that Batman's mystery army, with the vaguely sinister moniker, The Colony, is visually little more than a force of Arkham Knights armed with an array of Nolanesque Tumblers, but I'm still too smitten with the solid work and impressive juggling at play here. Hell, I'm sure that before long, even Clayface's perplexing presence will begin to prove its worth. Or, at least, that's what I'm hoping.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #936

Jul 18, 2016

James Tynion IV knows the true narrative worth of Kate Kane, and has placed her center stage in his ambitious and so-far-pretty-damn-great Detective run.

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9.0
Disney: Darkwing Duck #3

Jul 13, 2016

Until Sparrow and Silvani get the call to bring Drake Mallard back to Saturday mornings (one can only hope), Joe Books' Darkwing Duck is literally the best anyone can hope for. It's as magnificent now as it's ever been. Don't pass this one by.

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8.5
Divinity #1

Feb 16, 2015

There's not much room for characteristic depth in the first issue of Divinity. But Kindt's words, matched with Hairsine's visuals, give it a lyrical harmony (two hands lovingly grip each other in one panel, the next sees Abram clasp the bolt that will keep him safe in his space-faring mission). There's a lot of world to cover it seems, and the fact that we're kept at arm's length for the duration of the introduction does wave a red flag. (The limited series ends at issue #4, so there's that.) Issue #1 feels like one hell of a trailer to something much larger, something far more magnificent. As far as premiere issues go, Divinity #1 is a tease above all others. That's why I'm clamoring for issue #2.

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9.0
Doom Patrol (2016) #1

Sep 14, 2016

The creative team's talents coalesce magnificently in the book's final two splash pages, providing a haunting, but no less stunning, image that promises a mystery worth this team's mettle. Why the hell we had to bring gyros into all of this is anyone's guess, but that's just another part of its charm. Maybe we are all inside somebody else's gyro. So yeah. Let's peel slowly and see.

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7.0
Generation Zero #1

Aug 24, 2016

The mystery is solid. The execution is true. The characters are real. Valiant's newest team book, a direct successor to its own Harbinger series, feels very much like a product of its time. So long as it can continue to balance its list-checking altruism with its first-rate drama, you can bet I'll be checking in every single month. If Valiant's future continues in the hands of the industry's best and brightest, it will be a very bright future, indeed.

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8.5
Glitterbomb #4

Dec 7, 2016

Recommended to anyone who has ever wanted to open their jaws and unleash a demonic, fanged death tongue all over somebody who made them feel less than what they truly are.

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7.0
Gotham By Midnight #1

Dec 1, 2014

It's fitting that Ray Fawkes chooses to implement the introduction of Gotham By Midnight through the well-worn trope of the outsider skeptic; his Sgt. Rook is an appropriate avatar for the reader, and this X-Files/Gotham Central hybrid still has more to prove to readers already overwhelmed with Gotham-based comics. If this book is going to succeed, it needs to take a page from Gotham Central " easily its closest spiritual successor " and remember to keep Batman tucked away in the shadows where he belongs. Gotham is already scary enough without him.

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8.5
Grayson #4

Nov 6, 2014

With co-conspirators Tim Seeley and Tom King running the show, aided by Mikel Janin's slick artwork, Grayson covertly operates just outside of the Bat-books' periphery, never forgetting who Dick Grayson was, who he is, and who he may soon become. Dick Grayson's future hasn't been this uncertain (or exciting) since the former Boy Wonder left the BatCave.

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9.5
Grayson #5

Dec 6, 2014

Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox's beautifully rendered desert is far more than lines and color, it's an endless (and gorgeously realized) void wherein King and Seeley place Grayson, Helena Bertinelli, Midnighter, and a small newborn to face their certain doom. But hope prevails. Why? Because Dick says so. I won't lie: I'm one of the biggest Nightwing fans there ever could be. But I've always understood that Nightwing was merely artifice, as was Robin, Batman, and even Agent 37. It was Dick Grayson that has always been one of the brightest-burning stars of the DC Universe. Thankfully, King, Seeley, Janin and Cox understand this as well.

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10
Grayson #8

Mar 9, 2015

In a mere eight issues, Grayson has accomplished more world-building and character growth than most books can muster in an entire year.

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10
Grayson #12

Sep 23, 2015

At a time when DC is striving ever forward into an uncertain future, Grayson makes sure to glance back at the path that brought us to this wonderful present. That's fitting, mostly because when it comes to legacy, there's no one in the DCU who understands how important it is quite like Dick Grayson.

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2.0
Grayson: Futures End #1

Sep 4, 2014

It's not clear what King had hoped towring out of this implausible "what if" scenario, but if the future holds that Dick Grayson becomes a killer for the sake of shock value, then count me out.Grayson: Futures End#1 is another grisly reminder of how a bloated crossover can utterly disrupt an otherwise fantastic book with its own capitalistic insistence. Ostensibly all we've done is pay $4 for a pretty cover with nothing worthwhile inside.

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5.5
Green Lanterns #1

Jun 15, 2016

Green Lanterns is a tiresome relic of the New 52, operating under the guise of progress.

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10
Groo: Friends and Foes #1

Jan 26, 2015

If you're looking for pure, unadulterated comics " right here. Aragons may be a man of swift craftsmanship, but there is nothing harried or harassed about Friends and Foes. For a Groo newb like myself, hopping onto issue #1 is an enjoyable romp, one that serves as a refreshing palate-clenser from the ceaseless onslaught of superhero books that too often fail to entertain on a level that Friends and Foes accomplishes so effortlessly. Its strength is found in the skill of its creators, whose collusion works so magnificently that the final product is nothing less than beautiful. When a trifle feels like a masterpiece, that's where you'll find Sergio Aragons. Here's a three-word review: buy this book.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) Annual #1

Dec 15, 2014

Most of Bendis' trademark banter sparks and pops in typical fashion (Rocket's suggestion that Skrulls purchased the Helicarrier at an auction made me chuckle out loud), while other bits simply fall flat on the ground and stay there. (Fury takes a crack at Rocket by saying the blaster-packing Guardian looks like what would happen if Nick had laid down with a raccoon, which, um") The Annual's big spectacle and its intimate moments don't really gel as well as they ought to, but the brisk, harmless fun of Guardians of the Galaxy is on full display here, and hey! There's no damned ellipsis at the end of this thing, and for me? That's always a positive.

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6.5
Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

Dec 11, 2014

Digging too deep into the subtext of a holiday special negates the point, I know. But DC seems so confident thatthey can print Harley Quinn in whatever comics they deem worthy, throwing her in everything from gimmicky annuals, superficial holiday issues, and team books that hold zero reverence for the character with impunity. As long as sheis allowed to wreak havoc in a world without substance or consequence, without holding dear towho she is, where she came from, and what makes her interesting, Harley Quinnceases to be a meaningful part of the DCU. Instead, like Marvel's Deadpool, she becomes a lampoon unto herself. And there's nothing funny about that.

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8.5
Heartthrob #1

Apr 18, 2016

Christopher Sebela characterizes Callie as a person who's adapting to a new outlook on life " she'll knock your ass to the ground if you wrong her, though she's still working out how to reconcile those burgeoning impulses. So it's no wonder that she'd take refuge in the arms of a mere hallucination (or what might be the ghost of an actual criminal dreamboat) resting just behind her eyes. Is this crazy? A new twist on the concept of "mad love?" Maybe. But I'm going to need at least twenty more issues to properly suss it out.

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7.0
Hellblazer (2016) #1

Aug 26, 2016

Simon Oliver " of British decent, I'm happy to say " is on writing chores, and he's bringing some R-rated naughtiness back to the Trenchcoated One. I applaud his willingness to toss in the errant fuck or shit, even if DC makes letterer Sal Cipriano cover them up with skulls and pentagrams. There's even some mild nudity to be found here (some Constantine side-fanny can be seen), which simply has to push that T+ rating to the literal brink. And Moritat brings some Heavy Metal-esque cartooning might to the proceedings (his Swamp Thing is a thing of beauty); every character has their own body type and character, which gives The Hellblazer a look and feel of its very own. Oliver and Moritat snuck some Vertigo into the DCU. I suppose that's the best we're gonna get.

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8.0
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 12, 2015

Maybethat was unavoidable. The days when Howard was a constantliability for Marvel are long, long gone, especially now that Disney " the company that once tried to sue Marvel over copyright infringement " ironically owns the duck they once successfully censored. (That's whyHoward's adorabletail is hidden beneathrumpled slacks.)The bite hasbeen taken out ofthe duck, but fortunately his snark remains. And though he'sasmuch the sourpuss as he was in the glory days, Howard'sbecome the mascot Steve Gerber never intendedhim to be. Sadly, he's trapped in a worldthat no longer cares.

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7.0
Invincible Iron Man (2015) #1

Oct 7, 2015

And with its prohibitive four-dollar price tag, it's a wonder if Marvel is serious about enticing an entirely new generation of fans, or if they're just finding all-new, all-different ways of diminishing the expectations of their long-time readers. One thing's for sure: it's going to take a lot more than a tune-up to make this book matter.

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7.0
Invincible Iron Man (2015) #2

Oct 12, 2015

And with its prohibitive four-dollar price tag, it's a wonder if Marvel is serious about enticing an entirely new generation of fans, or if they're just finding all-new, all-different ways of diminishing the expectations of their long-time readers. One thing's for sure: it's going to take a lot more than a tune-up to make this book matter.

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5.5
Invincible Iron Man (2015) #6

Nov 30, -0001

I want to love Invincible Iron Man. I purchase each issue faithfully. I set it at the top of my teetering stack of "must-reads", and I open it with enthusiastic anticipation every single time. And somehow, with each successive issue, I find myself deflated. Just a little bit.

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8.0
Jackpot #1

Apr 15, 2016

There will most certainly be consequences for these con artists down the line, and they are probably going to be quite severe, knowing Ray Fawkes. But Ray plays it straight; he keeps his cards close to the vest like a good hustler ought. What comes next? I can't wait to know. Jackpot is a helluva lot of fun.

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7.0
James Bond #1

Nov 9, 2015

It would appear that Ellis understands the world's shifting attitudes (and rapidly dwindling tolerance) towards sexism " Moneypenny can be seen cleaning her weapon instead of typing away on a keyboard " but instead of eschewing this franchise's notoriously tiresome (not to mention actionable) sexist antics entirely, he depicts his MI6 as a groaning monolith with nary a female face to be seen. (I spotted only two women in the agency's commissary, so there's definitely a lot more work to be done.) Considering Bond's, erm, "relationships" with women, I'm hoping like hell that Ellis takes this opportunity to subvert the fossilized tropes of the Sixties' to make our 007 a truly relevant icon of our time. Not doing so would be a more precarious trap for this series than anything Ernst Blofeld could ever conjure.

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7.5
James Bond: Hammerhead #1

Oct 17, 2016

Now we have Hammerhead #1, a sharp little doozy of a debut with all the action, one-liners, and slick sophistication you can handle in a 007 yarn. Diggle's story comes with the same pulpy vibe as Ellis' Vargr storyline (only with a punchier title), where our sleek superspy more closely resembles Fleming's brow-beaten 00 agent than the cat-like Connerys and Brosnans of the past. Diggle's Bond is about as blue-collar as Daniel Craig's take on the character " here, Bond is preposterously good at his job, but he does tend to leave his footprints on the living room rug.

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8.5
Jupiter's Circle #1

Apr 9, 2015

For the armchair cynic,Jupiter's Circlecould be considered mandatory filler placed strategically in-between the primaryLegacybooks in order to give artist Frank Quitely enough time to completeissues #6 through to whenever. In that respect, the book would beMillar's ownConvergence: a cynical wheel-spinner thrown at the masses so that the mogul can get his publishing ducks in a row. But with the obvious creative strength at play here, even the most ardent Millar skeptic can't deny that the writer's heart is undoubtedly in the right place. What faults can be found in this book are nearly eclipsed byMillar'sambition to set things right.

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9.0
Jupiter's Circle Vol. 2 #1

Nov 30, 2015

Every moment contained within this book is a loving reminder of what's still possible in a superhero story. When we drop all pretense and let the heroes live as they rightfully should. It reminds us what's possible when a superman is allowed to be a superman.

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9.0
Jupiter's Legacy #5

Jan 14, 2015

With comic book adaptations becoming more and more of a permeating thing, it's awfully nice thatour beloved creators get to see their names on websites fromVariety and Entertainment Weekly. But whenheadlines that look like this pop up with very little to show for it, that nice feeling washes away in a sea of embarrassment. Mark Millar wants us to love comics. He wants us to love his comics. But when there comes less and less opportunity to find reasons to appreciate the work he's done, it becomes harder to enjoy the works he finally cranks out. The future of comic books won't be found in Hollywood. They'll be found in the gratitude of comic book readers.

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8.5
Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #1

Jun 29, 2016

Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #1 is a sumptuous display of good guys maneuvering around the bad. All mere setup for the melee to come. But let's dig a little deeper next issue. Let's have more of that signature Millar dialogue, some of that qualified swagger and sneer. But most importantly, let's see that corner get cleared within 30 days.

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7.2
Justice League #33

Sep 3, 2014

We're four chapters into Geoff Johns' Injustice League storyline, and it's still a bit unnerving to see Lex Luthor fighting alongside the Justice League. That's the surreal gimmick behind this post-Forever Evil saga: bad guys making good. And while Luthor's fellow reformer Captain Cold is sitting this issue out, Johns is charging along with this intriguing tale of how and why the League would EVER allow someone as irredeemable as Lex Luthor to sit in the hallowed halls of the Watchtower. It's a concept too intriguing to pass up. The gimmick, it seems, is paying off.

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6.5
Justice League #35

Oct 17, 2014

There are great ideas in Geoff Johns' Justice League #35, but if DC's sterling writer continues to gloss over the finer details of his own conceits, The Amazo Virus is condemned to join other lesser works from the 41-year old writer (Brightest Day and Forever Evil spring to mind). Just because the marquee is in place doesn't guarantee quality, and it feels like Johns has been on auto-pilot for far too long. The New52 needs more champions. A book like Justice League can't coast on its good name forever.

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6.5
Justice League #42

Jul 15, 2015

Jason Fabok was doing great things over at Detective Comics during his tenure, and to see him handle the cosmic with the same grace, attention to detail, and chutzpah as his more street-level work puts the artist in the upper-rungs of the industry. His interpretation of Johns' Apokolips is appropriately harrowing, hateful, and frightening, and how he handles the Anti-Monitor's first steps on Earth are equally daunting.

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7.0
Justice League (2016) #1

Jul 22, 2016

It's all of-the-moment action, and Hitch lays this first chapter out well. I'm locked in for another issue.

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6.5
Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Feb 8, 2017

I'm hanging in for this book's first arc. The team is too good and their craft is too on-point to pass this by. Orlando and Co. are playing with some of the more marginalized characters in DC's toybox (almost like they were Outsiders or something), and the potential for greatness is still high. Now that this perfunctory round-up issue is out of the way, let's see what Steve Orlando can do with his very own JLA. It may end up being superfluous, but I'll be damned if it probably won't be captivating.

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2.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3

Jan 4, 2017

Among the clunky dialogue and lackluster artwork, with not one, not two, but three superteams to keep track of, the whole thing is an utter mess to behold.

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3.5
Justice League: Rebirth #1

Jul 7, 2016

"We're the Justice League," Wonder Woman says at one point. "Run." Well, now that you've suggested it, I guess I could go for a proper jog. Far away from this book.

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10
Kaijumax: Season 2 #1

May 11, 2016

If there was any fear that Kaijumaxmight hit a sophomore slump, like any well-written crime procedural typically does, you ought to know that is completely opposite to being the case.There are enough ideas and heart in this premiere issueto fill a 1000-page political manifesto — only it's less severe than that. Megalon vs. Mark Fuhrman. How do you approach such an idea? Like society, you just let it happen. But you better make damn sure to engage with the issuesthat falloutlays atyour feet. To approachKaijumax like it wereany other monster mash… well. Nobody should put up withthat ambergris.

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6.5
Kill Or Be Killed #4

Nov 16, 2016

Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser's artwork is always incredible, and here it may be the best they've done yet. The panel work maximizes the depths of Brubaker's shadows, the environments are utterly hostile, regardless of whether we're watching Dylan tip-toeing around his roommate at home or trying his damndest not to get killed on the street. Breitweiser shifts her reds into nigh-phosphorescence when the action picks up, which yanks you by the collar and smacks you around a little. It's in these moments that Kill or Be Killed becomes everything it should be. Too bad the rest of the time we're stuck inside the mind of a twenty-something kid.

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8.5
Klaus #1

Nov 5, 2015

Morrison & Mora give the origin story that isKlausa nigh-Kryptonian strength. Garbedin a red hood that drapes over his broad shoulders just so, our hero inevitably develops a superpower all his own (one of which I won't spoil here). Whether or not he makes it to the very end of this promising saga (he is a Saint, after all) is beside the point. Morrison has tackled yet another iconic character and lent him the sobering dignity popular media can scarcely afford. If this is indeed the Mad Scotsman'sAll-Star Santa, we can rest assuredthere'smore to enjoy from his legendofKlaus: Who He Is, And How He Came To Be.

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9.0
Lady Killer #3

Mar 5, 2015

There are only two more issues left to Lady Killer. There is something woefully wrong about that sentence.

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8.0
Lady Killer #4

Apr 6, 2015

It's moments like these where I remind myself to breathe and enjoy the ride while it lasts, because, like it or not, Josie's story is coming to a close next month. And while it looks like Jones and Rich will be going their separate ways to engage in other fruitful endeavors, if there was ever a book that needed its creative team to consider a sequel " or a full-on series, dammit " it was certainly Lady Killer.

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3.0
Lobo #1

Oct 1, 2014

While the Lobo of the 1990s was a character designedto be a blood-soaked meathead that could appeal tofifteen year old boys, the Lobo of 2014 betrays his 20thcentury antecedentbysportingpretty boy good looks, a panache for portraiture, and an inclination for black fingernail polish. DC Comics has taken rock ‘n' roll and repackaged it as Top 40 pop.

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7.5
Loose Ends (2017) #1

Jan 25, 2017

Even for those who have already read it, Loose Ends #1 is a book well worth the 10 years it took to come home.

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10
Love and Rockets Magazine #1

Oct 19, 2016

I don't know how they keep doing it. Even though thirty-five years have passed, opening the latest issue of Love and Rockets still feels like coming home.

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8.5
Midnighter (2015) #1

Jun 8, 2015

As far as narrative inevitability is concerned, seeing Midnighter finally get his own boisterous, unabashedly hilarious, and terribly exciting book in the DC Universe feels like a well-earned accomplishment. Seeing the book rolled out in such style " bolstered by writer Steve Orlando's assured confidence and artist ACO's furiously kinetic energy " feels like a well-deserved compliment. Welcome to DC Comics' top bracket, Midnighter. I really hope you survive the experience.

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7.0
Midnighter (2015) #4

Sep 2, 2015

I'm reminded of Midnighter's time during the Wildstorm days, specifically during Frank Quitely's brief run on The Authority: when the artist couldn't possibly hit every deadline with the time provided him, other equally killer artists lined up to work overtime on fill-ins while the artist focused on putting out the best comics he possibly could. From a superficial point of view, Midnighter finds itself in a similar situation. It's too good a series to settle for menial sequentials. For a book like this, DC would do well to pull out the red carpet for its best and brightest. That kind of worthwhile investment is what readers should expect when a comic book is this good.

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8.5
Midnighter (2015) #10

Mar 7, 2016

And you'll be happy to know that Steve Orlando's signature wit scorches every inch of our meted expectations. As his work continues to set the DCU ablaze, the entirety of the comics community have nestled back into their theater seats with rapt attention, a cocked eyebrow fixed as we scratch our chins in full view of his performance. Steve Orlando will go on to do great things for DC, provided they are wise enough to do what is necessary to keep him. But really, the only book I want him to be writing right now is Midnighter. So as we step towards Midnighter's finale, you would be well advised to join the rest of us as we get while the gettin's good.

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9.5
Mother Panic #1

Nov 10, 2016

Mother Panic has the power to decimate. It also has the power to inspire.And it's arrived just in time to remind us that when a bolt of lightning strikes, sometimes it sets the whole damn worldon fire.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

Welcome to the Avengers, Kamala. Is it Captain America's fault that he replaced Black Widow on all those motorcycle toys? I blame the moral vacuum that allows people to exploit legends. Here, with Ms. Marvel #1, I wanted the realness and I got it. I cannot wait for more.

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9.0
Nameless #2

Mar 9, 2015

When a comic book affects so viscerally, that's not merely a job well done; that's a work of art.

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1.5
New Suicide Squad #5

Dec 15, 2014

I don't pretend to know what DC has in store for New Suicide Squad after Convergence, but if there's going to be any hope for this book, something needs to change, and quick. There's plenty of time to decide what needs to be done, but if I were making the decisions? Consider this new attempt scrapped, assign a superior creative team, and start again. Otherwise, DC's failure to back a book that will be featured in a prominent motion picture will really and truly cause worry for anyone looking to purchase a movie ticket to DC's aspirations in the near future.

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8.5
Nightwing (2016) #1

Jul 29, 2016

Javier Fernandez is a fine addition to the series " in places his facial work recalls Rafael Alburquerque, in others he displays the inking quality of Guillem March, but overall it's an untamed performance that isn't nearly as subtle as I would like, nor does it convey the wit and charm of Seeley's dialogue as fluidly as artists who work with the writer elsewhere. Fernandez will only improve the longer he sticks around. Here's hoping he finesses his comic timing. After all, a book featuring a wisecracking daredevil only demands it.

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9.0
Nightwing: Rebirth #1

Jul 15, 2016

It's no wonder that Nightwing: Rebirth #1 is such a seemingly effortless and downright entertaining issue. If there was ever a character more suited to the concept of revitalization and renewal, it's definitely Dick Grayson. Now go buy ten copies.

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9.0
Optic Nerve #14

Jun 1, 2015

With that comes a story told at times by an unreliable author. His characters are often unpleasant people stuck in an unpleasant world, folks who are prone to making bad decisions, or in the case of issue #14's second segment (Intruders), prone to making utterly mystifying decisions. But no matter how hostile his environments can be, Tomine offers an opportunity for each of his creations to break out of their awful cycles. The damning thing about that is more often than not they choose to ignore it.

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10
Paper Girls #2

Nov 9, 2015

Because these creators are operating at the highest echelon of their talents, we are privileged to discover that Paper Girls has aching drama to offer within its neon-soaked covers. In the span of five pages, Vaughan, Chiang, and Wilson provide us a cliffhanger with enough emotional turmoil attached to it that we're left with a tremulous quake, even if we don't know exactly why just yet. That's the qualifier I look for in top-notch comics; the feelings come even when I'm not aware of where they're coming from. That's what makes comics transcendent.

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9.0
Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) #1

Feb 18, 2016

How good is Power Man and Iron Fist? Let me put it this way: if Greene, Loughridge, and Walker were looking to recapture the vigor of the early-Seventies, the days when a comic book cost 35 cents, John Shaft walked the mean streets of Harlem, and Popeye Doyle asked grown men if they ever picked their feet in Poughkeepsie, well. Mission accomplished. Buy this book.

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10
Prez #5

Oct 29, 2015

With its soft 'T' rating and its permissive $2.99 price tag, Prez dares anyone curious enough to pick up the book and find its progressive message wrapped around a beating heart. What makes that so crazy, possibly even subversive, is that it's published by a corporate-savvy monolith like DC Comics. (Whoever had the chutzpah to give this project a "go" deserves a raise, and since we're throwing well-earned money around, so do Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell, Jeremy Lawson, Travis Lanham, Brittany Holzherr, and Marie Javins. I believe you know where their mailboxes are, Mr. DiDio.)

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7.5
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #1

Aug 12, 2016

I'll have to wait and see. And I'm pretty happy to do it, if for no other reason than Rebirth has been kind to the black sheep of the Batcave so far. It's only right that, as something of a misfit myself, I stand by Jason through this first arc. Here's hoping Scott Lobdell keeps this Robin flying straight.

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7.5
Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1

Jul 29, 2016

Redsy Pedsy and the Bad Guys: Reborth #1 focuses solely on Todd, which fine. I'm more interested in seeing how Lobdell is gonna wrangle the highly publicized Anti-Trinity (Hood, Bizarro, Artemis), but it appears I'll have to cool my jets for a bit. Which is fitting I guess " apparently, I need more time to get used to Jason Todd. (As if the last couple of decades didn't do it for me already.)

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9.0
Replica #2

Jan 11, 2016

Replica is one of the funniest, finest, and most endearing comics published today. Trevor Churchill rules.

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9.0
Replica #3

Feb 4, 2016

Jenkins and Clarke have given us a character study that will take years to examine. At least I hope that's the case.

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8.0
Robin: Son of Batman #1

Jun 17, 2015

In spite of the unwarranted fan hate that's dogged him for nearly ten years, Damian Wayne has shown tremendous resilience in the DC Universe. As a character who has unquestionably grown with every adventure that's come his way " and one who boasts a surprising amount of world-weary depth for being a ten year-old kid " it's safe to say that Damian Wayne doesn't need to prove himself to anyone anymore. And with a stellar debut such as this, neither does Patrick Gleason.

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8.5
Rockstars #1

Dec 14, 2016

Rockstars is a deliciously intriguing read, scintillating enough to linger with you long after you've taken it in, like last night's finaly shot of tequila.

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9.5
Saga #24

Oct 30, 2014

And though most of the events of issue #24 are used to set Vaughan's chess pieces in opposition to each other, there is still plenty to enjoy: Fiona Staples remains one of comics' greatest artistic voices, and her imagery is as slick and expertly realizedas anything the Big Two could ever hope to offer.

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9.5
Saga #25

Feb 9, 2015

Artist Fiona Staples and writer Brian K. Vaughan have worked diligently during Saga's well-earned hiatus to provide yet another wonderful issue to this fascinating and complex space odyssey.

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7.5
Saga #36

May 2, 2016

With all these events taking place on top of each other, there are moments where you can spot the gears of Saga's deterministic machine turning a little more than necessary. That's largely due to Vaughan and Staples' apparent desire to see certain subplots finally get put to bed " and that's just what they do. It's not clean, but the team sticks their landing. Because of course they do.

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9.0
Secret Wars #1

May 11, 2015

That's a damn fine thing, because coupled with Ribic's eye-grabbing splash pages is Alex Ross' monstrously classic jam covers, which giveSecret Warsthe feeling that it's far more than a cynical summer crossover, or a mere house-cleaning cash-grab. As a whole, Hickman'sSecret Warsisthe real deal, taking away everything we've ever come to know while paradoxically making the Marvel Universe feel everlasting. Which is great.Being a Johnny DC myself, I know a Crisis when I see one.

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10
Secret Wars #9

Jan 13, 2016

Once Franklin Richards, dear Franklin Richards, with his amazing abilities, his fantastic lineage, looks to his old man with widest of eyes and asks, "" are we not super heroes anymore?" you'll know that Secret Wars just gave us one of the most meaningful events in comics history. And if the point of all this was to give us one final glimpse at how vital Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and their entire Fantastic family was " is " to the Marvel Universe, if the point was to show how important these characters were to our lives, I would say this...Bravo.

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9.5
Sex Criminals #9

Dec 15, 2014

And even though the book's fictional porno " Fraction and Zdarsky take a poke at The Wicked + The Divine ("The Lick-Ed and the Divine", har) " is just lurid enough to feel like some crazy, borderline gross slashfic (actors depict Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Lucifer and the legally underage Amaterasu sharing carnal relations with an impressively mounted strap-on), the creators keep Rae Anne's engrossing backstory at the forefront of the story's unapologetic sexual bonanza. There are only three months to wait and see how Dr. Kincaid will fit in with Jon and Suzie's crazy underverse. With a book this good, that wait is just gonna feel like forever.

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9.0
Sex Criminals #12

Sep 16, 2015

Good on you, Matt and Chip. And Spencer and Thomas and Lauren and Drew. And good on you, Image Comics, for daring to put a book as important as Sex Criminals in my hands.

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10
Shaft #4

Mar 31, 2015

With four issues in the bag, there's still plenty of time to get while the getting's good. If Shaft isn't a important fixture of your monthly comic book routine, invest four dollars and all the time you need to absorb this thrilling book, and then ask yourself why. And then thank the comic gods, because you just found four-colored nirvana.

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10
Shaft #5

Apr 16, 2015

As far as an origin story is concerned, Walker's vivid telling goes above and beyond the call that's normally expected from such tales. To mine a long-existing intellectual property that's as instantly iconic as Shaft and yield such wonderfully rich results is a true rarity. Something this good only deserves the chance to continue.

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9.0
Shaft: Imitation of Life #1

Feb 11, 2016

Once the action starts, however, that's when the sophistication of Smith'swork begins to deteriorate into a grotesque havoc. And maybethat's the point, that at the moment where John Shaft turns from anearnestprivate eye to avengefulurban warrior all the patience and diligence is removed from Smith's renderings to emphasize the skirmish. He makes violence look like violence as we know it in life: awkward, ugly, and mostly without a point. That's what makes a lurid yarn likeImitation of Life such essential reading. Itallows us to enjoy the uglier parts of life without ever once taking them for granted. Keep your eyes looking forward, but make damn sure to throw a glance over eachshoulder as you continue on your way.

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10
Space Riders #4

Oct 12, 2015

So go to your comics retailer and ask politely if they carry Space Riders. If they peer up at you with bleary, bloodshot eyes from some ponderous Marvel Essential volume with "no" as an answer, it is your duty to Willem Dafoe Jesus the shit out of that shop until they do. (Or maybe just keep asking nicely; they'll totally get it for you.) And find your favorite pocket of solace " the one place in the world where society waits on you for a goddamn change " and pickle your brain with Space Riders. Because it's vital that we all remember to loosen up, especially when we're reading comics.

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9.0
Space Riders: Galaxy of Brutality #1

Mar 31, 2017

Imagine the ancient cosmic horror that swirls about Grant Morrison's shiny dome, shot through the prism of Pink Floyd'sDark Side of the Moon. Imagine a hero, flawed, vicious, and awesome, flung outside of his Skullship Santa Muerte to tossjaegers from itshull like we would a tick on our scalp.Capitan Peligro has returned to us, freeing refugees from shithead Vikers with a laser blast and a righteous sneer. Life isa better thing whenSpace Riders is allowed to soar so high.

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8.5
Spider-Woman (2014) #5

Mar 5, 2015

Jessica Drew wants to change her life. Aided by Hopeless' visible enthusiasm and Marvel editorial's willingness to adapt, it's pretty damned easy to get excited about that.

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8.5
Star Wars (2014) #4

Apr 27, 2015

There's a homey, familiar quality to Cassaday's work, one that has already cemented itself as the signature style to Marvel's Imperial endeavors. Once the artist moves along in order to make way for Star Wars' next artistic team, there's going to be a few pangs of melancholy. Because this book has been so damned consistent, there's going to be some difficulty in accepting change.

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6.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1

Feb 16, 2015

Salvadore Larroca's light-board-aided artwork grows wearying pretty damned quickly (and goes off-model more often than you'd think), but Edgar Delgado's colors give the book a depth that matches that of Jason Aaron and John Cassaday's Star Wars #1, which means that the team behind the new Star Wars order mean to maintain a certain amount of reverence for this exciting undertaking. Darth Vader may never be scary again, but one thing's for certain: Marvel is going to spend a hell of a lot more on black ink.

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7.0
Star Wars: Princess Leia #1

Mar 5, 2015

Mark Waid is a writer that can wring intriguing pathos from even the most myopic of characters, and here he's tasked with turning Princess Leia " a character historically informed by Carrie Fisher's otherwise chilly performance " into a person that is not only relatable, but sympathetic. And while there is the long game to consider with Star Wars: Princess Leia, Waid makes strides in this premiere issue to give Leia an internal focus, an identifiable emphasis on her priorities that would make her icy demeanor reasonable. However, the story he has to tell to do so isn't in keeping with what Star Wars and Star Wars: Darth Vader have laid out. Because of this temporal dischord, Princess Leia #1 doesn't mesh with the visual " or even the narrative " flow the prior two Marvel comics have achieved.

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4.0
Suicide Squad (2016) #1

Aug 19, 2016

The opening story, with an achingly obvious title ("I Wanna Be Sedated"), is tonally miles apart from what comes after. Wait a minute" two completely different stories with two completely different tones, retroactively spliced together by an skittish creative team that ultimately delivered a depressing product. Now where have I heard that one before...

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4.0
Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

Aug 3, 2016

Maybe it's just an omen of what's coming to theaters on Friday, but Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 is a whole bunch of "meh" wrapped inside far too much hype.

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9.0
Super Sons #2

Mar 20, 2017

If you need further proof that Rebirth is the best thing that could have happened to DC Comics after the New 52, then allow me to introduce you to Super Sons.

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9.0
Supergirl (2016) #1

Sep 7, 2016

The product of this creative team's efforts is one of beauty. The juggling act that Orlando & Ching have to accomplish with Supergirl is a considerable one, especially now that Kara's about to pop up on the CW in a few weeks, but these guys acquit themselves magnificently. If I had doubts about Supergirl before, let this debut issue knock them in the ground where they belong. Supergirl is but another example of how promising Rebirth can be, especially when all the stars align.

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6.5
Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Aug 19, 2016

There was a bit of relief that arrived by the time I finished Supergirl: Rebirth, though it didn't come from what I had just read. There was relief in knowing that, with this at-par introductory issue, Mr. Orlando had gotten all the messy particulars out of the way. He can now get to the mind-warping business of which we all know he's capable. The stage has been set. The star approaches the spotlight. My intuition tells me that I'll be enjoying Supergirl #1 a hell of a lot. I can't wait.

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7.5
Superior Iron Man #2

Dec 1, 2014

Yildiray Cinar's artwork is consistent and fluid enough (he draws a damn good Daredevil), and things only get squidgy when Taylor's action takes a time-out. But when there's action, Cinar delivers. His Tony Stark " retrofitted in his polished, somehow even more phallic Iron Man armor " is the chump-tastic asshole Superior needs him to be. And as long as Iron Man remains Superior, being an asshole is what the reader won't only expect, it's what we'll demand.

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7.0
Superman (2011) #34

Aug 27, 2014

Superman#34 is a well-conceived entry in theMen Of Tomorrow saga, rife with moments imbued with real emotion (the time spentbetween Superman and Ulysses' biological parents made this writer yearn for the return of Ma and Pa Kent in a very potent way), and real intrigue (who is the Machinist, and how is he connected to Ulysses?). The cover blastsThe Machinations Of The Machinist!, and though the book does a fine job of introducing this new threat, real answers look like they will have to wait. With this much going on at once, Superman's life isvery busy all of a sudden, and the adventures going on inSuperman are the most thrilling the Man of Steel has faced since DC underwent their chaotic company-wide reboot.Men Of Tomorrowshows that in order to improve Superman in this post-Flashpoint universe, it's time to inject new ideas. To continue clinging to the past – and everything that goes with it – means that the Superman books are already doomed.

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6.5
Superman (2011) #36

Dec 1, 2014

With two other blas Superman epics in the can (the easily forgettable Superman: Doomed and the hopefully forgettable Superman Unchained), Men of Tomorrow has an opportunity to pull out ahead and become the preeminent Superman tale of the New52, but it can't seem to help itself from stuttering all over the place. It's admirable for Johns and Romita to be taking this much risk with Superman " especially after the last three regrettable years of New52 nonsense " but if Johns truly wants to have the Man of Steel "enter the unknown" (as he's brazenly stated before), he can't simply throw the hero into the fray, he has to convince us that we want to follow him.

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7.0
Superman (2011) #38

Feb 5, 2015

Colored by Laura Martin, Ulises Arreola, Dan Brown, and Wil Quintana.

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9.0
Superman (2011) #39

Mar 23, 2015

Superman #39 is a fit companion piece to Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's marvelous Action Comics #40; they're two books that take a necessary (and refreshing) detour in order to explore the many facets to the Man of Steel. Mark this month for the history books, kids: March 2015 was a great time to be a Superman fan. (Quite possibly the best in years.) Let's just hope that the creative Super-teams of the future " whoever they may be - always remember this essential truth: Epics and sagas are always welcome, but it is vital that they bring our hero down to Earth, even if it's only for a moment.

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5.0
Superman (2011) #42

Jul 29, 2015

"Truth" isn't working. That might have more to do with the past editorial sins of DC Comics than Yang & John Romita (who turns in reliably solid artwork). But the facts of this current Superman paradigm remain: the Man of Steel's heart belongs to another, and he saves his emotional bonding for the likes of Jimmy Olsen and Batman more than anyone else. Lois Lane has sat in the background for so long, it's almost a joke that we're supposed to feel anything, let alone surprise and awe, about her discovery. What should be treated as a "shocking development" is next to impossible to do when narratively, it's already happened and it doesn't matter anyway.

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4.0
Superman (2011) #45

Nov 2, 2015

You'll find all my problems with this book summed up rather succinctly with a panel in the middle of the issue, where we find Superman thinking to himself, "I'm gonna stay in this t-shirt so you know who's coming after you, HORDR_ROOT. So you know who's taking you down." That's a handy thing that you're reminding us, Clark. Because right now I have no idea who you're supposed to be.

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7.5
Superman (2011) #52

May 31, 2016

Superman #52, with stunning artwork by Mikel Janin and Miguel Sepulveda (and equally jaw-dropping colors from Janin and his Grayson colorist Jeromy Cox), is a spectacular finish to a troubled era. It's bombastic in a way that Superman hasn't been in years (it makes all of "Men of Tomorrow" seem like a strange dream, and "Truth" like a horrible nightmare). Superman #52 is a bittersweet finale issue that could have fizzled out with little fuss, but went to the bother of letting this series go out on a wonderfully heartfelt note. If DC Comics' aim is to make people want to love the Man of Tomorrow again, they're starting off on the right foot. Now. To the future.

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10
Superman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

This is everything I never knew I wanted out of a Superman book, and after the last five years of half-starts and squandered opportunities, we now have an in-canon book about the Man of Steel that embraces true change in bright, vivid colors.

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9.5
Superman (2016) #8

Oct 5, 2016

I'll put an end to this review before I really start gushing, but the first chapter of "Escape From Dinosaur Island" is precisely what I look for in a Superman book " high-wire action, sincere character interaction, and most crucially, an incredible sense of wonder. Mr. Cooke would have been proud. Buy this book.

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9.0
Superman (2016) #10

Nov 2, 2016

Of course, it was probably a pain in the tuchus, but it's likely that everything else about this issue was too. That's what makes Jonathan Kent's first-ever crossover feel like such a triumph, even right out of the gate " the book has been assembled by a group of creators who visibly have an affection for these heroes, who are still discovering what's next for them while never forgetting why they're all here in the first place.

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8.5
Superman (2016) #18

Mar 1, 2017

I'd suggest to anybody about to read Superman #18 that they keep their inhalers within arm's reach. With "Superman Reborn, Part One" the future is uncertain. But it is also thrilling.

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6.0
Superman Unchained #8

Sep 11, 2014

With Superman presently facing three separate crises in his own books– Doomed, Men Of Tomorrow, and (still) Unchained – it's difficult to place any serious drama onto the contemporary adventures of Superman. Perhaps once Unchained‘s saga has met its end , Super-editor Matt Idelson will take the time and care necessary to join all of the Man of Steel's adventures into one cohesive Neverending Battle. With a solidified status quo, Superman's fans may finally have something to look forward to, maybe even something worth waiting for.

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9.0
Superman: American Alien #1

Nov 12, 2015

The biggest surprise aboutAmerican Alien isn't that it's a damn fine Superman story (because it toootally is), it's Landis' sobering depictionof the two people responsible for the greatest hero the world has ever known. As a complete entity,Superman: American Alien #1 is a lovely valentine made fortwo people who wanted one thing and were given something else entirely. (Landis' final double-page splash with art by Matthew Clark might be one of the loveliest " and saddest " things I've ever seen in a DC book.) Life is never easy. Love is even harder. Maybethat's why Landis titled his first-ever Superman story "Dove". It's his none-too subtle way of showing us that even symbols of hope can still put a hole through your roof.

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10
Superman: American Alien #5

Mar 16, 2016

Superman: American Alien #5 works so beautifully becauseit's precisely the kind of Superman comic that should be on shelves each and every week — only it feels more precious than that. At its heart, this issue exemplifies the motivations, desires, and fears of Clark Kent, Lois Lane (who, by the way, hasn't been this wonderful and brassy in ages), and Lex Luthor in such a way that if you had accidentally picked this book up at random with no prior knowledge of what it was setting out to do, you'd swear that Superman had the coolest comic in the world.

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10
Superman: American Alien #7

May 18, 2016

Because the last issue of Superman: American Alien is everything it should have been. A thrilling conclusion to a wonderfully thoughtful and surprisingly touching miniseries with gorgeous artwork from the finest in the business. (This month, Lee Loughridge's earth-bound hues give Jock's reliably mighty performance a fitting sparkle.) The confident finale to a series that will be enjoyed again for years to come, made timely and timeless. It's a book for everyone, not just those of us who still dare to look up in the sky.It may be tough out there for Superman fans these days. But American Alien reminded us all that it doesn't have to be.

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9.0
Superman: Lois and Clark #1

Oct 15, 2015

Bringing in his Superman: Convergence co-creator Lee Weeks, who does stupendous work capturing the gravity of Lois, Clark, and Jon's situation with shrewd, Kubert-esque artwork, Jurgens has brought back the power, majesty, and yes, mystery we once associated with the Man of Tomorrow. And the sonofagun went and injected it into the grim and shoddy world DC set forth back in 2011.

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8.0
Superzero #1

Dec 17, 2015

With stunning " stunning " visuals from Rafael De LaTorre, wonderful characterization from Conner & Palmiotti, and an infectious sense of fun and wonder,Super Zero is another slam dunk from AfterShock. It's a Morrison-ian bundle of reality-bending vigor, brought to us by the best in the business. Buy this book.

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10
The Black Monday Murders #1

Aug 15, 2016

Stop what you're doing and go get The Black Monday Murders.

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8.5
The Killer Inside Me #1

Aug 31, 2016

It would be a brave thing indeed, then, to kick off a burgeoning comic book writing career by adapting a story Faraci has openly professed to love, and has criticized other people's interpretations, or even attitudes, towards it. (A more damning line from his Chud.com review of The Killer Inside Me reads, "'The Killer Inside Me' hasn't just been adapted in the past, it's been essentially picked clean by pop culture.") Tempting fate further is the description Faraci gives himself on the bio page at the end of the issue, which reads, "a film critic, podcaster and now comic-book writer." Well. If the next couple of issues pan out as well as his first just did, it would be just fine to welcome him to this perilous new format. Welcome to comics, Devin Faraci " hope you survive the experience.

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10
The Multiversity #1

Aug 21, 2014

Dr. Simon Hurt, the vile, near-Satanic knavefrom Morrison'simmortalBatman runwas once quotedas saying,“I built this endless puzzle for you… a hole you'll never fill, a case you'll never close…” Thismay as well be Morrison shouting these words to us; in the twenty plus years he's worked at DC, Morrison has given us a widening mosaic, seemingly infinite, filled with a rich and storied history that never ceases to portend exciting things for the future. Andwhilethis puzzle has thepotential to carry on with no apparentend,Grant Morrison's genius is found in the knowledge thatthepieces will always fit snugly.

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3.5
The Multiversity: Mastermen #1

Feb 19, 2015

It's a story with such an intriguing premise that its execution was probably always meant to fail. It's a story beneath Morrison's skill.

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10
The Multiversity: The Just #1

Oct 23, 2014

Thoughts, ideas, and dreams of other worlds weave in and out of The Just, giving the reader the opportunity to consider previous events within The Multiversity: Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) speaks of the days when he wanted to be an artist in the comic book field, where he could embellish characters like Behemoth, Future Family and the Retaliators, all characters that appear on Earth-8. Superman and Batman have a tense argument about Batman's girlfriend, Alexis Luthor, when the Transmatter Symphonic Array from Action Comics #9 pops in for one panel only to disappear in the next. All of these flourishes " rendered beautifully by Ben Oliver's artwork " make everything that occurs in each issue of The Multiversity matter, and when everything matters, reading a comic book becomes a richly engrossing endeavor.

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8.0
The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1

Mar 31, 2015

But with all this frantic, reality-bending insanity running about, one has to ask: Is Grant Morrison simply fucking with us at this point? Or did all of those DMT sessions really unlock a higher consciousness within him that few others can comprehend? Is Grant Morrison really the shaman of superhero comics, or has his schtick finally grown way too old? Ultra Comics #1 has answers. But don't forget: While the book gives you the illusion of control, it's really Grant Morrison who is pulling your strings.

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7.0
The Skeptics #1

Oct 20, 2016

It raises more questions than it provides answers. A good mystery-thriller should this early in the game. What we're concerned with is learning as much about these cool kids as we possibly can before Howard and Neogi pull the rug out from under us. And we do. That's what's so good aboutThe Skeptics: Even though it's playing on the world stage, it still manages to make things feel intimate.

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6.5
The Totally Awesome Hulk #1

Dec 7, 2015

Totally Awesome Hulk has the potential to be a top-tier Marvel title. Considering Pak & Cho are working with a marquee name, it's only fitting that the subject matter found inside match our expectations. We want our totally awesome Hulk to be totally bombastic, totally cool, and above all else, totally not a damn chump.

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10
The Twilight Children #2

Nov 13, 2015

For right now, all we can do is let The Twilight Children wrap itself around our cerebral cortex, mesmerizing us with its mystery, and laying us flat with its perfection.

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine #6

Dec 23, 2014

Jamie McKelvie's art is" well. Jamie McKelvie's art is fucking great, 100% of the time, and this issue proves no different. Armed with Matthew Wilson's befuddlingly phosphorescent colors, McKelvie punches in to toss out some of comics' strongest and most consistent artwork available. However this spectacle plays out I'm sticking around. Because The Wicked + The Divine is a book that checks itself when it becomes too unwieldy, and even when it does, it's still a book that never, ever apologizes to anybody.

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7.0
The Wicked + The Divine #7

Jan 26, 2015

By issue's end, there is still a giant question mark left behind for the reader to chew on, with little to go on other than the emotional state of our protagonist Laura (who has mastered the underhanded approach to dragging on a cigarette). But she too is something of a cypher; paradoxically, as Gillen and McKelvie allow the world of #WicDiv to grow, their main character's own maturation is stifled. Which means that The Wicked + The Divine retains that crazy feeling of uncertainty, just like fishing for some strange: if you intend to stick around for the long haul, you better learn how to hang.

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7.0
Titans: Rebirth #1

Jun 15, 2016

Getting the band back together either merits rich results or unmitigated disaster. Paradoxically, Abnett and Booth's Titans: Rebirth #1 portends both without any of the negative connotations that would typically come with it. I'm very much looking forward to see what happens next, but if the creative team happens to be reading this, I have one suggestion: let these crazy kids smile every once in awhile, yeah?

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9.0
Velvet #10

Apr 27, 2015

With a stunner of a twist ending, Velvet continues its relentless march towards what promises to be one hell of a reckoning. And as it thunders along, one thing is abundantly clear: things are about to get real dicey very quickly, so Velvet may want to thank her creators for giving her those fleeting (and violent) seconds for reflection. She's going to need them.

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9.0
We Are Robin #1

Jun 24, 2015

The premiere issue doesn't reveal much about this rag-tag group of Robins; Bermejo keeps the other kids in the periphery. Their presence is certainly felt, but it's an aloof presence. (Even the splash page reveal keeps most of its members far from the foreground.) The only thing we know for sure is that Duke's future as a Boy Wonder " in whatever capacity " is now a certainty, and it feels pretty damned good. The potential that comes with We Are Robin is limitless. That's fitting for a book about forgotten kids who only want to fly.

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9.5
We Can Never Go Home #4

Aug 26, 2015

It's easy to get carried away when recommending We Can Never Go Home to friends or complete strangers (or, in this case, friends and complete strangers). But that's part of the fun in discovering the best kept secret in comics: you get to be the cool kid who tells everyone else how great a comic book can be. Enthusiastically. Emphatically. This is what it felt like when Saga first punched us in the throat. This reminds us all that it's okay to maintain our wary faith in comics.

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9.0
We Can Never Go Home #5

Dec 4, 2015

There's a bittersweetness that comes with the close toWe Can Never Go Home, a feeling of relief that Duncan and Maddie's immediate suffering is at an end, and a feeling of unfounded angst that we'll never see them again. The world they live in created them, made them find each other, and gave them something to fight for. How could there ever be an end? The final, pitch black page of this issue provides the same longing you find just seconds before your favorite mix tape clicks to a stop: you know you want more, but you don't know when you'll have it. That's what makes things like this so special, I suppose: they don't come often in life, but once they do, you can hold on to themforever.

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6.5
Weapon X (2017) #1

Apr 12, 2017

Pak sets up a mystery that probably isn't the most inspired, but when you're knocking out an all-star crossover book featuring every character ever connected to the Weapon X mythos, it's not surprising that subtlety takes a backseat.

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7.5
Welcome to Showside #4

Apr 25, 2016

Frank's mission comes into direct conflict with our lead protagonists " as it must " but instead of going through the motions Welcome to Showside #4 perfects the thrill of the chase, crafting stakes that make its cliffhanger ending all the more maddening. (McGinty!!!) You want adventure? You want excitement? You want waffle tacos? You need Welcome to Showside.

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5.5
Wild Storm #1

Feb 15, 2017

Recommended for fans of Ellis' work on The Authority and Stormwatch, as well as folks who are really into the Illuminati and believe we never made it to the Moon.

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8.0
Wolfcop #1

Oct 26, 2016

WolfCop #1 doesn't have time for any of that chatter. It concerns itself with the wanton violence and casual bloodletting you'd expect from a comic book with a premise like that. Look, I don't know about you, but it's October, and sometimes I just want to read a comic book where a werewolf wears a damn badge. WolfCop happily obliges.

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7.0
Wytches #4

Feb 9, 2015

Snyder's playing in the freeing, R-rated world that Image happily provides, but maybe that lack of a tether gives Snyder too much freedom: In Wytches, just about everyone (including the teenaged Sailor) is a foul-mouthed smartass, and their nagging insistence to employ relentless vulgarity saps away the vital humanity that is essential in a story like this.

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