Matthew J. Theriault's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Hub City Review, AiPT!, PopOptiq Reviews: 128
7.4Avg. Review Rating

6.5
Action Comics (2016) #957

Jun 8, 2016

Dan Jurgens has failed to bring back the post-Crisis Superman as promised. The character in this issue certainly shares the same history and memories of that incarnation of the Man of Steel, but hes changed more than any exposure to Red Kryptonite ever cause. But the readers in the era of Rebirth are not without a worthy Man of Tomorrow. Though I doubt it was Jurgens intent, of the various heroes flying in the skies above with a big S proudly emblazoned across their chests, Lex Luther is arguably the most meritorious of the name Superman.

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7.0
Action Comics (2016) #959

Jul 12, 2016

Action Comics is not good by almost any criteria, and yet I anticipate it more than most any other Rebirth title each month. Sadly, such speaks to the current state of comics more than any quality on the part of Action. We're in the new '90s. Let's just hope no one gets nostalgic for Superman Red and Blue next.

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5.0
Action Comics (2016) #960

Jul 27, 2016

Action Comics since Rebirth, on the other hand, says "Remember the early '90s and the Death of Superman storyline. That sure was cool, wasn't it?" It's a vacuous story with nothing of importance to say and a dull, longwinded way of saying it.

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6.0
Action Comics (2016) #961

Aug 10, 2016

I love how Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia's art recaptures so much of the DC house-style " which had received undue derision in recent years " while nevertheless maintaining wholly unique flavors of their own, and yet, aesthetics aside, Segovia's art certainly contributes to the derivative and often uninspired storytelling which has plagued Action Comics throughout Path of Doom.

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6.5
Action Comics (2016) #963

Sep 14, 2016

Compared to its middling mediocrity since the start of Rebirth, Action Comics #963is a bit better, but barely. Still, if this is as good as Superman stories will remain for the rest of the postmodern age of comics, readers would have been better off had the Man of Steel's never-ending battle actually ended after American Alien were wrapped up.

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8.0
Action Comics (2016) #964

Sep 28, 2016

DC is currently fetishizing the early '90s, the very era in which Superman spilled his secret to Lois, but an essential component of the Superman mythos has arguably been missing since precisely that moment. As much as I'm enjoying Jurgens playing with the mythology in a truly novel manner by having Clark and Superman actually be the distinct individuals for a while, I can't help but long for a return to form. After all, another of Superman's dual identities seem to me to have been split recently as well; but to that status quo there's even less hope of return.

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8.0
Action Comics (2016) #965

Oct 12, 2016

Between Jurgan finally hitting his stride and Segovia proving his chops as well, Action Comics is beginning to make me a believer in Rebirth. Like the rest of DC's offering since the start of the initiative, its neither revolutionary or outstanding, but it's solid storytelling month-in and month out. Add to the novel ways in which Jurgens is playing with the secret identity trope and the Superman mythos as a whole, and now's not a great time to be a Superman fan, but it's at least a genuinely good one.

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4.0
Action Comics (2016) #966

Oct 26, 2016

In comics jargon, "gutter space" is the blank area between the panels. Save perhaps for the (admittedly awesome) reveal on the last two pages, the entirety of issue #966 could have been relegated to the gutter. Nothing happens that couldn't have been filled in (better) by the reader's imagination in skipping directly over to the next arc in the series. The living Lois from a different dimension secretly took on the identity of the other Lois no one knew was recently deceased " it hardly takes an intrepid investigative reported to figure out that was where the story was heading.

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8.0
Action Comics (2016) #967

Nov 10, 2016

Villains are always at their most interesting when they straddle the line of anti-hero, when their intentions appear as noble as the heroes they fight against. Magneto has often straddled that line, as did Sinestro during Johns' tenure and Black Adam when written by the same. The Marvel Netflix shows have perfected this formula: Fisk's plans to gentrify Hell's Kitchen were no less noble than Murdock's defense of the disenfranchised, and Kilgrave, at least initially, demonstrated the same moral fortitude in restraining his ambitions and abilities as does Superman himself. Luther had seemed to be moving in a similar direction over the past several years" until now. It should prove fascinating to discover what drives the real super Man to utter villainy.

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7.0
Action Comics (2016) #968

Nov 23, 2016

I don't expect future issues of Action Comics to delve deeper into the ethical distinctions between deontology and consequentialism or the metaphysical implications of the Remnants' time-travel. This issue is hardly the first in the medium's history to dip the tip of a toe into the waters of morality and metaphysics, and hardly ever do mainstream comics wade in any further. This is unfortunate. Many other media have managed to tell utterly enthralling time-travel stories filled with morally complex characters while still working within the current concepts of spacetime; simply confer Lost, Oxenfree, Quantum Break, or The Last Question. And DC Comics have even managed such in the past, particularly Morrison's Final Crisis and Return of Bruce Wayne " even his run on Action Comics! Jurgens is spinning an enjoyable enough yarn, but Superman comics could stand for more sophisticated storytelling.

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4.5
Action Comics (2016) #969

Dec 14, 2016

That holds true of the character even in illogical issues, awful arcs, or altogether terrible runs, and it's the reason way, despite so many otherwise mediocre stories like "Men of Steel," I've always been and always will be a faithful fan of the character.

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4.0
Action Comics (2016) #970

Dec 28, 2016

While I've not particularly been enamored by Jurgen's run thus far or his portrayal of Superman in it, I do not believe that he miscomprehends the character so much that the last panel is indeed intended to portray Superman's genuine reaction. Likely, it's a ploy on the part of the Man of Steel to rescue Luthor per his original purpose for travelling to that planet. But if I'm wrong about such, and Jurgen's Superman, merely through poor storytelling and worse characterization, is actually actively working against the cause of Justice, then Action Comics will have gone from being merely disposable to outright disdainful.

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6.0
Action Comics (2016) #971

Jan 11, 2017

Jurgens has dug himself a deep hole with Action Comics, shoveling out contrivances and mischaracterizations, born, it would seem, out of his infatuation with cliffhangers in particular and mysteries in general. This issue's cliffhanger seems to focuses on the series' central enigma: the mystery man named Clark Kent, and his first encounter with the son of Superman. For all the problems with the current issue enumerated above, the fact that that particular subplot involving Kent has been far less guilty of leaps in logic and misconstruing classic characters " mostly because the entire premise is of a deliberately alternate take on a seemingly familiar character, which certainly seems to play to Jurgens' strengths (and weaknesses) as a writer " brings with it the promise that next issue might actually sail with some success through the Strait of Messina.

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7.5
Action Comics (2016) #972

Jan 25, 2017

The Men of Steel story arc is truly about Luthor and Superman following the same character arc, both having every reason in the world to mistrust one another, but each living up to the name "Superman" by taking great pains to place faith and hope in the basic goodness and decency of even their enemies, a hope with itself which waters and grows that goodness. They transform one another from mere Men of Steel to Men of Hope. It is that hope, in turn, which prompts Superman to exhort Zade and L'Call to look into his own future, not knowing what they'll see, but trusting not merely in a universal capacity for good, but in his own ability to actualize such. And that is the mark of a good Superman story, not that you come away believing that a man could fly, but that you walk away believing that all men can do right.

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7.0
Action Comics (2016) #973

Feb 8, 2017

The prospect of Lois and Clark having the second first date " a mere 973 issues after their seminal first first date " imbibes Jurgens' Action run with some much-needed excitement. His recent “Men of Steel” arc was instantly forgettable, but the continuing saga of the seemingly human second Clark Kent is a contribution to the Superman mythos that is genuinely inspired and sure to leave a lasting legacy.

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2.8
All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Nov 13, 2015

Don't heed the call. These Avengers don't need to assemble.

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4.0
Black Knight (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

One day, a comic creator will come along and gift the medium its own equivalent of Tolkiens Middle-Earth or Martins Westeros, but the Weirdworld presented in Tieri and Pizzaris Black Knight #1 is nowhere closer to being such.

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7.2
Black Panther (2016) #1

Apr 6, 2016

While I've never invested in Black Panther other than when Jonathan Hickman was writing the character, the announcement that Ta-Nahesi Coates was attached made this among my most anticipated arrivals in the All-New, All-Different Marvel line-up. It's definitely a better debut effort than most first time comic writers could deliver, though disappointingly lacks the depth that his journalistic endeavors display (at least one issue in; the full arc or run could prove those words wrong). Coates tackles the themes of inequality and oppression as one familiar with his work would expect, but does so in an entirely unexpected manner, offering complex villains and establishing a direction for growth even in genius superheroic king.

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8.5
Civil War II #0

May 23, 2016

This will be a particularly important principle to remember going into the main mini-series. Many commentators will frame Civil War II as yet another comic book event pitting heroes against heroes. It is not. Judging such individuals not by the costumes they wear, but the actions they commit, this second Civil War will be every bit the classic conflict of heroes versus villains as the first. It doesnt matter that she carries a badge; it doesnt matter that she works for Alpha Flight, S.H.E.I.L.D., or The Ultimates. In stripping innocents of their freedom of thought, Carol Danvers will be committing an act of villainy. That makes her and everyone on her side super-villains, plain and simple.

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6.5
Civil War II #1

Jun 3, 2016

Again, I did not see this coming. Especially after the wonderful zero issue, this had all the ingredients for an excellent event. Some of those even shine through still. Bendis dialog is as snappy as ever. Marquezs art is every bit as polished as McNivens perfect pencils in the original Civil War. And yet this issue is also irrefutably a confluence of everything wrong with Marvel at the moment. It leans too strongly on its cinematic success, too lightly on consistent characterization. It pushes pointlessly Ms. Danvers and the Inhumans on a largely indifferent readership, all at the expense of more clearly defined and compelling characters such as Captain America and the X-Men. And worse of all, the political and moral message it is trying to make is completely confused in its execution.

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6.0
Cyborg #4

Nov 2, 2015

These criticisms, though misapplied to Reis (whose own work is so consistently gorgeous it ought to be tattooed onto supermodels), certainly hold true to Watanabe. The fact that DC was willing to allow a fill-in for Reis, arguably the books primary selling point, in the middle of the very first arc certainly seems to demonstrate a lack of either confidence in or concern for the title on their part. Thats a lack of confidence which, as of this issue, I certainly share.

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2.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Dec 1, 2015

Just as Millers The Dark Knight Returns saw an elderly Bruce Wayne, long past his prime, coming out of semi-retirement, The Master Race sees Miller himself do the same. Unlike Wayne, Millers clearly lost a step or two, no longer in fighting form. Despite the modern setting, its take on Gotham is stale and outdated. Far from the masterpiece which The Dark Knight Returns is remembered as, the first issue of The Master Race is only a masterful failure.

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8.0
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 26, 2016

For now, I'll give Johns more than the benefit of the doubt. Because minus the angry internet comments, I am that hardcore, longtime fan described above, exactly who Rebirth is aimed at. As such, it's exactly what I've come to expect from DC over the decades (minus the one truly shocking surprise), but that's also exactly what I wanted. And I know I'm not alone.

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5.0
Generation Zero #1

Aug 22, 2016

First issues are notoriously poor indicators regarding the quality or direction in which a series will eventually develop. It may be that future installments will indeed feature much more of Generation Zero themselves and the likes of the cornermen and other uncanny encounters. But just as easily the elements which worked in this debut could prove the aberrations, with the teen angst embodied by the character of Keisha being doubled-down on with each new installment. Given my love of Imperium and my interest in revisiting Harbinger " especially in anticipation of Renegades " I came to Generation Zero with high hopes. After this disastrous debut, I won't be burdening the next issue with any such lofty expectations. And if that second issue is much the same as this first, I won't be coming to the third issue at all.

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7.8
Hercules (2015) #1

Nov 9, 2015

This here is the promise Ill be sticking around to see if Abnett delivers on. Just as I can always read back issues of Superman prior to DCs total reinvention of the character post-Flashpoint, so too can I always go back to Edith Hamilton or Bulfinchs or Mythology for the Hercules Ive grown up loving. Its a new day and Im ready for some new myths. If they happen to feature a Hercules who wields a taser, machine gun, and thermal imaging specs, all the better.

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6.8
Huck #1

Nov 21, 2015

Given Millars pedigree, I was certainly expecting more of Huck. But also being familiar with his bibliography, Im aware that most of his #1 issues start the story off slow, only building steam and truly ramping up as the series progresses. If not for that fact its unlikely Id give Huck #2 a try, but Millar has built up at least that much good will by now.

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9.2
Jacked #1

Nov 26, 2015

Jacked #1 is an immediately identifiable concept executed on perfectly. Here in America its Thanksgiving as I write this review, and I can think of few things to be more thankful for than the overflowing cornucopia of consummate creator-owned comics weve been bountifully blessed with this year, of which Jacked already stands among the best.

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8.2
Jacked #2

Dec 27, 2015

Juxtaposed against such musing are images of Jaffe preforming ostensibly heroic deeds, placing himself in harms way as he hunts down gun-toting members of a cocaine cartel. The question such implicitly poses to the reader is whether Jaffe is a hero, narcissist, psychopath, or just plain stupid. Based on personal experience, Im guessing a bit of all of the above.

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8.0
Jacked #3

Jan 29, 2016

Of every book on the shelves these days, Jacked portrays a world most closely a mirror of the real, and has a hero which most resembles the reader. The questions it raises Is Esteem a more fundamental need than Safety? Is greatness of equal import to goodness? are of direct relevance to the reader, regardless of whether one pops pills like nootropics or not.

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8.8
Justice League #43

Oct 21, 2015

The Darkseid War doesn't set out to be high art; it sets out to be a triple A tent-pole movie. It hits exactly the mark its aiming for, and even in many ways surpasses the films its trying to emulate.

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9.0
Justice League #44

Oct 21, 2015

The artwork is gorgeous per usual for this series. No one draws hair quite like Fabok, and his accuracy of anatomy and depiction of muscles is equaled by few others. After effects such as motion blur are employed frequently throughout, but rarely over used, and Fabok demonstrates a mastery of traditional techniques as well, such as in Darkseid's Omega Beams or the Anti-Monitor's antimatter blasts. Just as importantly, he knows precisely when to utilize computer enhancements and when to stick to plain old pencils. It is a shame that the move away from the New 52 labeling and tone isn't matched by a jettisoning of the armor costume redesigns in favor of the classic spandex and underwear, but the new digs each league member is receiving upon deification are visually striking at the least.

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7.0
Justice League #45

Oct 21, 2015

Faboks hyper-detailed style would still be preferable, not just for consistency's sake but because it better captures the popcorn superhero blockbuster which Johns is writing. Nevertheless, this is still a good issue in a great series in the middle of its most outstanding arc. Its not to be missed.

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8.8
Justice League #47

Dec 31, 2015

Justice League as a whole, from the first issue to its most recent, can be viewed as a four-year long event thats only been gaining steam in the lead up to issue #50. The Darkseid War is Johns best work since Blackest Night, and issue #47 stand among the better issues in the arc. That alone should speak volumes to the quality work, regardless of its originality. Combined with Faboks flawless art, and Justice League is easily DCs best ongoing series of late, and one of the best books from any publisher overall.

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8.5
Justice League #49

Apr 27, 2016

In two weeks' time, the failed experiment that was the New 52 will finally come to a close less than five years after its arrival. And yet despite the disappointment from most every title throughout that time, comic critics and historians will be universal in their agreement that, along with Morrison's Action Comics and Scott Snyder's Batman, Johns' run on Justice League will be looked back upon not merely as a rare bright spot in an otherwise dark chapter of DC's history, but as a masterpiece in any age which will surely endure the test of time, one of the defining myths in the American mythology. With The Darkseid War, Johns is ending that epic even stronger than he started it.

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8.5
Justice League #50

May 25, 2016

And Justice League, the entire run, is certainly a worthy entry into that canon of Geek Mythology. Theres an architectonic structure to the series fifty issues, everything perfectly planned from the start. It begins as it ends, Earths heroes united against the God of Evil, and yet there is real progression to the plot. Whereas Darkseids first invasion was spurred by his search for his bastard daughter, only in these final issues do we finally meet Grail, seeing the series events as part of her plot all along. The Trinity War, Forever Evil, all of it came down to recreating Darkseid anew as the son of the Crime Syndicate, imbibed with Anti-Life and a pantheon of other powers.

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4.0
Justice League (2016) #1

Jul 20, 2016

If DC has any ambitions of Justice League being a blockbuster book in the Rebirth era as it was in the New 52 when it was a monthly event in itself, they're certainly not communicating such with either the creative team selected to spearhead such a storied series nor with the final product they permitted to come to market. Rebirth was supposed to be about course correcting after the mistakes of the New 52, but as a successor to one of that era's successes, Justice League breaks one of the few books not broken. And while so many other Rebirth titles are counting on comic fans' '90s nostalgia, Justice League learns none of the lessons from Morrison's seminal run from that decade. Justice League #1 is unforgivably bland, and many readers will rightfully jump off after this awful first issue.

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6.0
Justice League (2016) #2

Aug 3, 2016

Though I doubt an interview with myself would be forthcoming (though I have the highest respect for Hitch as an artist, I haven't exactly held back in voicing criticism against his writing in JLA and Justice League, I'd definitely love to one day hear from Hitch himself which earlier works he was emulating when writing this current arc. Is it indeed Bruce Timm or Grant Morrison, or actually just Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, or some source we can't yet guess? But as fascinating as finding the truth might prove, perhaps the better question is this: when will Hitch go back to working on art instead? The obvious answer being: not soon enough.

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6.0
Justice League (2016) #3

Aug 17, 2016

Indeed, some of the mysteries I'm finding to be genuinely fascinating. Such are not a sufficient crutch, and Justice League is still merely hobbling along"but credit where credit is due.

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6.5
Justice League (2016) #4

Sep 7, 2016

I fear Hitch's ambition in addressing such significant aspects of the mythology of the DC universe exceeds his skill as a storyteller. Much of the series thus far has been scenes of insensible action followed by brief excepts of inexplicable exposition, breadcrumbs of revelations doled out at regular intervals to pad out the plot and preserve its mysteries longer than they actually merit. Hitch raises interesting ideas, but their presentation is poorly paced and mired in melodrama. "The Extinction Machine" may well prove immensely consequential to the mythologies of various League members and the DC Universe as a whole, but if few readers remain due to its dearth of quality, the ideas it establishes will not matter much in the minds of fans nor future writers alike.

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5.5
Justice League (2016) #6

Oct 5, 2016

I had hope that with The Extinction Machine arc finally finished Justice League might begin to improve. The pencils of Matthew Clark and Tom Derenick might be of minor improvement over Tony Daniel's (maybe), but Hitch has yet to prove himself to be a bard worthy of writing the lays of our culture's greatest gods and heroes. Plus, now I'm going to be worried all night that if I try to hold my date's hand, she'll go crazy and attack the wait staff.

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5.0
Justice League of America (2015) #5

Nov 25, 2015

If youre following the ongoing Martian Manhunter series, this issue may prove of interest to you. But if youre looking for the next installment of the ongoing arc, Bryan Hitchs iconic art style, or just a decent story featuring the Justice League, save your money (and send DC a message that filler issues are no longer acceptable).

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5.5
Justice League of America (2015) #6

Dec 23, 2015

Bryan Hitchs Justice League of America has been thus far a failure. The story is convoluted, reliant on convenience, contrivance, and coincidence, and lacks strong character arcs, epic set pieces, or other sources of emotional depth. But all of this is largely forgiven on account of the ambition and scope of his story and it themes, tackling theology and time-travel both, even if such exceedshis execution. Hardly exciting, Justice League of America still proves intriguing, and Ill absolutely be there next issue to see how it all concludes.

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7.0
Justice League of America (2015) #7

Jan 28, 2016

Both Geoff Johns Justice League and Bryan Hitchs Justice League of America are currently covering the same characters and the same concept, namely godhood. Yet for such seeming similarity, the two titles differ greatly. Admittedly, Hitchs opus lacks the continuity-wide consequences and cinematic set pieces, or even the fun and excitement of its counterpart. But its certainly meditative and demonstrates an acute understanding of the characters. Johns, Morrison, and many others have asked the question: what makes them gods? Hitch raises as much, but answers a more interesting inquiry: what makes them good?

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6.0
Justice League of America (2015) #8

Mar 30, 2016

JLA #8 is a disappointment, even within the context of an underwhelming series which suffered high expectations given the pedigree of the talent attached. As such, it is a troubling portent of for the quality of DC's marquee title come July's Rebirth. One can only pray to Rao that Justice League doesn't arrive stillborn.

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6.5
Justice League of America (2017) #1

Feb 22, 2017

Apart from Reis' phenomenal pencils, it's still unclear whether Justice League of America is for most fans, myself included.

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6.0
Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Feb 8, 2017

Given how lackluster Bryan Hitch's Justice League has proven " perhaps one of the only titles to have drastically declined in quality since Rebirth rejuvenated the rest of DC's lineup " high hopes were placed upon Justice League of America to return DC's former flagship property to its proper level of quality. The inclusion of Ivan Reis on the project certainly signaled that the publisher considered it meritorious of one of its top talents. But if Orlando does indeed have a seminal story to tell, it certainly doesn't start in this superfluous and best-skipped Rebirth special.

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7.0
Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1

Oct 29, 2015

There is little in this issue that is novel; it is a classic tale told better elsewhere. But in an age of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings, this also is a story worth experiencing again from a slightly different perspective. Readers should be so lucky if all the one-shot tie-ins to The Darkseid War prove up to the same caliber.

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8.2
King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #1

Dec 29, 2015

Were I but a bard in Aquilonia, that I could rhapsody day and night on the glories of King Conan! But alas, Ive from that true home far wandered, washed up on strange shores, remote and removed and called the Current Era, beset on all sides by softness and safe-spaces and society. Never was the Cimmerian himself captive in so perfidious a prison! But Howard and Truman and Giorello, through such escapist fantasy, hold here the keys to escape. King Conan is no mere fantasy; its very real liberation.

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9.2
Klaus #1

Nov 5, 2015

Part Kris Kringle, part Daredevil, part Superman, and part Morrison himself, Klaus is an eclectic combination of ideas that work together perfectly. These ideas are brought to life like a snowman in an old silk hat by the gorgeous visuals provided by Mora. By the end of the first issue its already obvious that reading Klaus by the yule log with a strong cup of eggnog is destined to become the best new Christmas tradition since Die Hard.

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8.5
Klaus #2

Dec 20, 2015

Its a shame on the second of six issues is out. Id have loved this wonderful series to have been finished by Christmas day. But even when the the Calvins of this world go back to pelting the Susie Derkins with snowballs indiscriminately, the fear of Santas reprisal far from their thoughts for eleven months more, my mind will still be squarely centered on Klaus, eagerly anticipating every issue.

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9.0
Klaus #6

Jun 14, 2016

It goes without saying that the master of the medium Morrison has written in Klaus a great comic, both for the series as a whole and issue #6 in particular. It's well paced, action packed, and crammed with compelling characters. But where he truly deserves praise is just how well researched Klaus is, how smartly and subtly he synthesizes the real pagan roots behind Santa Claus with the superhero tropes the comics medium demands. Small touches like the meaning of several Anglo-Saxon runes are sure to be overlooked by the vast majority of readers, but such details demonstrate the depth of Morrison's world-building. And like Klaus himself, that which Morrison builds is made with magic and always gives the gift of joy.

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9.0
Klaus #7

Aug 17, 2016

The reader has always known that Klaus' character arc demanded for him to become a supernaturally long-lived yuletide gift-giver. And yet, much to my own surprise, that thankfully hasn't meant he had to surrender the adventuring spirit of a comic book superhero which defined this incarnation of the character. Moreover, Morrison marries these to aspects in this parting thought. Since Saturnalia, solstice festivals such as Yule and Christmas have always been about the conquest of light over darkness, and long before comic books stories of heroes across all cultures have been about the same. Morrison's genius is in making explicit a connection so obvious it's easily overlooked; so simple it becomes sublime. These are words which should permeate popular culture on the same level as Moore's "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night." After all, there've been many stories told about Santa before and after The Night Before Christmas " but none of them better than Klaus.

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10
Klaus & The Witch Of Winter (One Shot) #1

Dec 20, 2016

Midway through writing this review, I received a large parcel, inside of which I discover about a dozen or so presents from my parents, wrapped and ready to be opened on Christmas morning. I'm definitely looking forward to what seeing what Santa sent them to give to me. But excited as I am, I have to thank Grant Morrison and Dan Mora for giving me early what will certainly prove to be the best gifts I receive this holiday. Already an annual re-reading of Klaus was planned as a new tradition starting this year. I'd been looking forward to such since before the series finished. But to have even more of one of the year's best comics arrive as an unexpected surprise just in time for the holidays? That's a genuine Christmas miracle!

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9.2
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #0

Jan 15, 2016

I wanted to be excited for a new Power Rangers comic book, but kept my expectations in check. That I loved a franchise in my younger days does not mean a reboots creators understand how to grow a series alongside me. Yet clearly Higgins does, who in a single debut issue dispelled any and all doubts Id harbored. Alongside Presetya and Bayliss hes created what has immediately become one of my most anticipated new series of the year. Go Go Power Rangers!

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9.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #1

Mar 3, 2016

As of this moment, POWER/RANGERS UNAUTHORIZED has 17,539,292 views. Even counting for repeat viewings, such speaks to the many millions of Power Rangers fans thirsty for new content featuring such classic characters updated to appeal to more modern and mature sensibilities. Higgins and Prasetyas new ongoing more than satisfies that thirst. While comics have never reached so large an audience, every fan of that fan film owes it to themselves to check out issue #1 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. For all their tonal differences, both are equally reverent translations of commercials for children into art for adults. And best of all, the comic is just getting started. Now is the time to jump aboard the series. Now Its Morphin Time!

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8.2
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1

Oct 19, 2015

Miracleman #1 is a brief, fluttering glimpse. Gaiman shows just enough to prove that he understands the character and themes hes inherited, but not so much as to hint at what he might do with that inheritance. Theres potential in his story, but its for the most part as of yet unfulfilled. It doesnt stand up to any individual issue of Moores run, but it does provide promise enough to keep reading and see where Gaiman takes things from here.

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5.0
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #2

Oct 19, 2015

Alongside the second story in the issue, which heavily hints at the return of Bates, a pattern is already becoming evident in which Gaimans run is serving as a response to and refutation of Moores thesis. For Gaiman, the apocalypse has not brought forth a new creation; though the gods have come and the world is better for their labors, they have neither made earth a paradise nor brought heaven with them. That kind of apotheosis is beyond them. And like the petitioners of the last two issues, the reader too walks away disappointed.

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8.5
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #3

Oct 19, 2015

Gaiman's work remains a huge departure from Moore's. While such was made evident from the first two issues, it is only here that Gaiman has begun to find a voice for the characters and the world that is not merely enigmatic or contrarian. Issue #3 is his best yet, and while still not recapturing the magic of Moore's run, it finally holds promise for what's to come.

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9.2
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #4

Nov 8, 2015

Buckingham draws Mist in this panel looking directly forward. The intended effect is clear: she is staring through the fourth wall, her eyes directly meeting the readers, her words and message Gaimans own. Hes been telling a story of strong ideas and grandiose concepts, but always from the perspective of mortal men to whom the reader can relate. Because the reader not only cannot truly care about the gods, he cannot even full know the gods that Moore and Gaiman have created, except so far as he can anthropomorphize them in his mind; and if you cant care about the people, then why does it matter.

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8.0
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #5

Dec 4, 2015

What at first seems an espionage thriller is revealed as an attempt by the gods to redeem the various spies, spooks, and secret agents of the previous age from their perpetual paranoia. The particular operative we follow completes the purgation designed by the gods and is deemed worthy of paradise, but the sin remains. In the final panel she theologizes that the Golden Age and its gods and all of reality itself may prove another plot to unravel, a scheme beset by beings greater still. Having viewed the world as through a mirror darkly, shes now seen the gods face to face, and remains at heart an unbeliever; she may not be wrong.

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8.8
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #6

Jan 11, 2016

The heroes riding off into the sunset is supposed to be the end of the story, the happily ever after. And yet there are more stories to come. What then shall the future hold? Is the sunset followed by the dark of night or day without ceasing? It is an inquiry even the god himself, walking amongst the mortals as Saturn in Arcady, asks of a psych-pharmaceutical prophetess: Am I doing the right thing? Have I done right That is the question which haunts me? Such is a question I anticipate Gaiman will set to answering in the next series, Miracleman: The Silver Age. Given the gold which Gaimans wrought on franchise thus far, even if follow-up is merely silver in comparison, Ill certainly be sticking around to read it.

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9.0
Ninjak #17

Jul 12, 2016

After dropping out of grad school, I initially pursued a commission as a Naval officer specializing in Human Intelligence, with hopes of eventually becoming a field officer for The Company. Though my aptitude tests guaranteed me a place in the program, more economically enticing offers in the oil industry forced me to relegate a potential career in espionage to once again being just a boyhood dream. Looking back, it's hard not to imagine how my life very well might have turned out. When doing so, it's works such as the Bond films, Archer, and especially Ninjak, to which I turn, if not living out their lifestyle as I might have then at the very least living it vicariously through them, pulling off honey-pots and secretly saving the world, one femme fatale at a time.

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7.0
Ninjak #18

Aug 8, 2016

‘The Siege of King's Castle‘ was easily the best arc in one of Valiant's " or any publisher's " best books currently on shelves. ‘The Fist and the Steel' Part One does not maintain the high standard set by that story arc, but it's nevertheless a compelling first issue full of promise and potential for the next installments. Moreover, its use of the flash-forward is brave and refreshing. Comics too rarely commit to a definitive vision of their characters' futures, and this brief glimpse into Colin King's is full of intriguing information " quite appropriate for a series about espionage.

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7.0
Odyssey of the Amazons #1

Jan 25, 2017

When Odyssey of the Amazons most consciously emulates classical sources, whether Homer himself or even classic comics, it's often to rousing success. Where it regresses to a more modern mindset " in the low prose of its middle section or its novel portrayal of the Moirai " the work often suffers, save solely for its global-scope and cosmopolitan cast. Ultimately, the concept of a mythological expedition in the style and structure of ancient epics and set in the DC universe is an absolutely inspired idea worthy of better writing and art than is found here. At their best, both Benjamin and Grevioux rise to the occasion of this premise, but fail to maintain that greatness consistently throughout.

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6.5
Old Man Logan #5

Oct 11, 2015

That scene, just another vignette among many in this series, is emblematic of Bendis Old Man Logan as a whole: a failed attempt to pull emotional resonance out of not characters or plot, but rather the readers knowledge of and appreciation for Marvels past continuity and future publishing plans. It was a fun failure, redeemed to an extent by Sorrentinos art, but it will ultimately not stand the test of time next to the story arc which inspired it.

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9.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #1

Feb 2, 2016

Undoubtedly the best scene comes at the bottom of page sixteen. In a flashback to a future that will now never come, Logan is riding across a sun-kissed canyon with son Scotty saddled behind him, both bitter at Black Butcher for the bullys cruelty on the previous page. When asked by his boy why he just walked away, why he didnt stand-up and fight back, Logan replies, Im just one man, Scotty. What can I do? I cant change the world. Such perfectly plays with the readers knowledge; we know that he can indeed change the world because in Miller and McNivers original Old Man Logan thats exactly what he did. Such a defeatist dialog is, in context, an excellent and empowering exhortation by Lamire regarding the proper response to cruelty of all kinds.

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8.0
Replica #1

Jan 23, 2016

Replica tries to be as many books as Churchill has clones of himself. It's a character-centered comedy, a police procedural, semi-serious science-fiction examining the ethics of an emerging technology, and even has elements of mystery, noir, and thriller to boot. It's an eclectic combination, also not unlike the team of radically unique replicas Churchill assembled. So long as Jenkins executes Replica better than the Trevors their mission, the series certainly has a shot of being all those things and more.

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9.8
Secret Wars #9

Jan 14, 2016

And its as easy as that, the solution to everything: Be a good man. All of the good that came about at the end of Secret Wars the Richards familys apotheosis, the restoration of the multiverse, the healing of Molecule Man and even Victor himself, the promise of a universe where everything expands and endures and everything lives is all simply the ultimate outcome of one man simply choosing to always do the right thing.

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9.5
Seven to Eternity #1

Sep 16, 2016

Such is the particular power of comic books " whether superhero stories, or science-fiction, or fantasy, or the strange fusion of all three here in Seven to Eternity " that they offer not so much an escape from the troubles of our real world, but the tools to armor ourselves in idealism and to forge from fiction heroism here in reality. In this respect, Remender's works " no less than Morison or Moore's " are among the best; and even among his catalog Seven to Eternity promises to stand out as something special.

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8.0
Squadron Supreme (2015) #1

Dec 17, 2015

Robinsons reverence for the Golden Age and his appropriation of its elements should come as no surprise to those familiar with his body of work, particularly Justice Society of America and Earth-2. While hes still playing with DCs archetypes, such are set within Marvels multiverse, and if he can replicate for the House of Ideas the success he had at the Distinguished Competition, Squadron Supreme should prove among the best books to come out of All-New Marvel Now.

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7.0
Squadron Supreme (2015) #2

Dec 30, 2015

Still, the story Robinson is weaving shows promise enough for now that it outweighs any weaknesses in Kinks art. As long as such continues to prove the case, Squadron Supreme should remain an excellent substitute in the absence of any decent series with Avengers in the title.

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6.8
Star Wars (2014) #10

Oct 10, 2015

This art is the issues saving grace. The adventure on Cymoon 1 which started this series out felt like the true immediate follow up to A New Hope that 1978s Splinter in the Minds Eyehad always wanted to be. It was more than just another entry in the ever expanding Star Wars canon; it was, for all intents and purposes, Episode 4.5. Showdown on the Smugglers' Moon (and issue #10 particularly) in contrast, is like so much of the now discarded Expanded Universe; a fun diversion, but hardly essential.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #11

Nov 9, 2015

From everything Ive heard most of Star Wars non-comics media, the first fledgling replacements of the once great Expanded Universe are a hot steaming pile of bantha poodoo. We comic readers have the Force on our side, apparently. Gillens Darth Vader is wonderfully cerebral, Ruckas Shattered Empire could have rightfully been called Episode VII, and Aarons marquee title will certainly play a role in one day in recompensing fans the loss of Legacy, Republic, and Tales of the Jedi from the Star Wars canon. This issue definitely helps towards that.

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7.2
Star Wars (2014) #12

Nov 24, 2015

In isolation, Showdown on the Smugglers' Moon was a decent arc, and the adrenaline-fueled climax here makes for a genuinely great issue. However, as both Zeno's Paradox and Aaron's run thus far demonstrate, the quality of this run is trending downward and is likely to continue in that direction (if Aaron had any better ideas for these characters, why would he have introduced Sana into the mix?). Hopefully the upcoming Vader Down crossover, already off to an amazing start in the one shot, will reverse this trend and breath some new life into the series, bring it from "worth checking out" back to "an instant classic and a worthy of the mantel of 'Episode Four Point Five.'"

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9.2
Star Wars (2014) #13

Dec 5, 2015

I had been planning on bringing a pair of headphones to the midnight premier of The Force Awakens so as to prevent anyone shouting spoilers from affecting the enjoyment of my initial viewing, but now Im reconsidering bringing my iPad instead so as to evangelize the Aarons Star Wars and the Vader Down crossover to fellow fans. Episode VII is expected to smash all kinds of box office records on its opening weekend; there is not a single reason why every single individual seeing that film should not be purchasing this series as well. After all, there are many Star Wars. Whether The Force Awakens properly belongs among them remains to be seen. But this? Now this is Star Wars!

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8.2
Star Wars (2014) #14

Jan 9, 2016

Star Wars #14 lacks the levity and charm of Aaron and Deodatos previous outing, but the dearth of humor is absolutely appropriate to achieving dyscatastrophic cliffhanger going in to the climatic chapter. Here is their Empire Strikes Back ending, the sour note to sweeten the sure to come success. After all, what is the time of greatest despair if not the darkness just before the dawn?

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8.5
Star Wars (2014) #15

Jan 20, 2016

Under Marvels stewardship, the Star Wars franchise has hit such a stride that even tales of Obi-Wans time hiding as a hermit are utterly engrossing. And that proven quality of the franchise has clearly attracted the top artistic talent in the industry today, including this issues Mike Mayhew. Star Wars #15 may be a side-story plot-wise, but its outstanding quality makes it absolutely essential.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #16

Feb 19, 2016

"Rebel Jail" is off to a less promising start than previous storylines such as "Skywalker Strikes", "Showdown on the Smugglers' Moon", or "Vader Down". But even mediocre Star Wars books are among the best offerings at Marvel at the moment, and Jason Aaron has accumulated enough good will with such an otherwise outstanding series that as single middling issue is by no means reason to miss even out on the adventures going forward.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader Annual #1

Dec 16, 2015

Keiron Gillen might as well have titled this issue 1 Reason Why the Dark Side Really is as Bad as You Think. The Prince of Darkness himself is one-upped by the Dark Lord of the Sith. Far better than the virginal birth and messianic prophecy shoehorned into the prequels, Gillen demonstrates the right way for Star Wars to appropriate and integrate ancient theology into modern mythology.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #10

Oct 12, 2015

Darth Vader #10 is another solid issue in a consistently solid series. Kieron Gillen continues to smartly keep Vader narratively slightly out of focus, preserving the presence and mystery the character had in the original trilogy and avoiding the mistakes made by Lucas in centering too much on the character in the prequels.

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7.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #13

Nov 30, 2015

Darth Vader #13 both benefits and suffers from the Vader Down crossover. It lacks the intrigue which had become a signature of the series, but in turn offers up many memorable violent confrontations, especially Aphras assault on Luke. Per usual, the elements which work best are those original to Gillen and Larocca; its not Luke that make this scene work but the Aphra. Yet even a middling issue of Darth Vader will surely prove to be among the best books put out by Marvel in any given month, and is still well worth the readers credits.

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7.2
Star Wars: Darth Vader #14

Dec 24, 2015

This Life Day, fans can continue to follow the further adventures of Skywalkers and Solos. Someshall read Foster's latest book, a novelization of The Force Awakens, . Droves of others willflock to the cinema and see the same on the silver screen. More yet, upon opening the presents wrapped beneath the wroshyr-tree, will find a shiny new console, and upon booting up Battlefront will create their own side stories of the time Boba Fett wasted Han in the wastes of Jakku. But those fans who want the best story of all this Life Day will pour themselves a glass of eggnog, add liberal amounts of brandy, pull up a leather chair beside the fireplace, andcrack open Vader Down.

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7.2
Star Wars: Darth Vader #15

Jan 8, 2016

All of the factors contributing to the popularity of Boba Fett, Captain Phasma, and Darth Maul, Vader has in equal measure. Hes got the masked man of mystery vibe of the former two, mixed with the ebon-clad warrior motif of the latter. Even were he as inactive and ineffectual as they, hed still hail among the most icon villains of popular culture. But Vader is ruthless and relentless, the intimidation he exudes punctuated by definitive displays of death and destruction, more so than ever here in Vader Down. Every bit as much as the movies themselves, Vader Down stands as a testament to the characters well justified popularity with fans and film-goers alike.

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7.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #16

Feb 11, 2016

Darth Vader #16 does not quite rise to the quality of the Annual which it continues, though the latter had the benefit of being a self-contained story. With any hope, the Sho-Torun War arc as a whole will expand upon and even eclipse the excellence of the Annual. Certainly this issue demonstrates its potential to do so.

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7.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #18

Apr 3, 2016

The series as a whole can be read as a validation of Vader's view over and against those of his rivals. The reader, having knowledge of the films, is assured from the start that Vader perseveres over the likes of Karbin and the Astarte twins. That he wins in battle against them is therefore of less importance to the dramatic than that he wins the argument. The fact that he remains Palpatine's apprentice by the start of Episode IV indicates he will have proven to his master the superiority one in a mystic relationship to the Force than those with a more reductive, materialist conception of the universe.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #19

Apr 18, 2016

As such, issue #19 in particular and the Shu-Torun War as a whole have proven excellent examinations of the character of Vader, demonstrating his dogmatic "devotion to that ancient religion," his masterful manipulation of allies and adversaries alike, and the very genuine threat he posed to Luke throughout the Saga through his successful corruption of "inexperienced youth not expecting power."

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #20

May 13, 2016

With any hope Gillen will continue to mine material from the old Expanded Universe and integrate such into his series, whether winkingly or overtly. Darth Vader is a better comic for the inclusion of characters like Triple-Zero. Taking the best of what Star Wars once was and building it in to what the storied space opera will be from now on is working to lay a firm foundation for the franchise in the future.

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7.0
Star Wars: Han Solo #1

Jun 15, 2016

Just as it would have been inappropriate for Solo to say in the original Star Wars, "It's true, the Force, the Jedi, all of it; it's all true," while still proper to the character at another point, so too is Han's abandonment of the rebellion and Leia during the period in which his Solo series takes place equally inappropriate. It's full of fun and charm and wit, fleshes out the universe more fully, and is gorgeously illustrated, and yet always feels out of place, untrue to the characters. It's a story I enjoyed in itself, but I question if it's a story that should have been told.

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8.0
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1

Jan 1, 2016

Obi-Wan and Anakin has a lot going against it. Its a book set in an all but discarded and dismissed era of the Saga, one which has never been more vogue to heap hate upon. Its ending is known, the final fates of all its characters predetermined before the first panel. Nor are said characters as beloved or benefitted by nostalgia as the other Marvel titles. But its brimming with promise and potential, thanks to both a great creative team and an excellent introductory issue. As if prescient, Soule and Checchetto dare to take Star Wars places the overly cautious and calculated Awakens dares not. The long awaited Episode VII was a disappointment, to be sure. This will begin to make things right.

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8.5
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #2

Feb 3, 2016

The first issue ended with the question What in the green hells is a Jedi? The agenda for this series was thus for Obi-Wan, Palpatine, and Soule himself to answer that question. Issue two takes a fascinating approach to such, not just by juxtaposing the Jedi to the Sith, by demonstrating the false comparison between the Jedi/Sith dichotomy and the arbitrary divisions of bigotry. This issue's answer to what is a Jedi? Those who chosethe right side, the side of good.

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8.0
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #3

Mar 23, 2016

Obi-Wan and Anakin continues to be the most meditative of the various Star Wars comics currently on shelves, and one of the best explorations of Anakins gradual decent into darkness.

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8.8
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1

Oct 9, 2015

Cassaday and Immonen have both done excellent work on Marvel's main Star Wars title, but Checchetto is the first real challenger to Jan Duursema's claim to being the definitive Star Wars artist in comics. If he continues to illustrate the universe past this mini-series, it's not unfathomable to think of one day hearing his name alongside the likes of Ralph McQuarrie and Drew Struzan.

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9.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2

Oct 9, 2015

Despite the title of the series, the Empire is not yet shattered, and seeing Greg Rucka and Marco Checcettos vision for how it eventually will come to be shattered is genuinely one of (if not the) most exciting additions to the Star Wars universe this year, even in the shadow ofBattlefront and Episode VII.

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8.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3

Oct 15, 2015

Because of a single extended scene that soured the rest of the issue, Shattered Empire #3 is the weakest in the limited series to date, but it is by no means a weak issue; it suffers only in comparison to how consistently excellent this series has been. Rucka and Checchetto have collaborated before on Punisher and Avengers World, but both are bringing their absolute best work to Star Wars. Put down the Battlefront beta and pick this issue up immediately!

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8.2
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4

Oct 22, 2015

This all too short series has hardly been a journey to The Force Awakens; its been more so a first few steps away from Return of the Jedi. Theres still a long, mysterious road up ahead. But thats perfectly fine by me; I loved every minute of what I traversed with Rucka and Checcetto, and pray to Obi-Wan that we get go on more adventures with them in the future.

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8.8
Star Wars: Vader Down #1

Nov 22, 2015

Even without Deodatos gorgeous visuals, I cant wait to continue the Vader Down crossover in the pages of Darth Vader and Star Wars. In a month when every human on the planet will be talking about Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and whomever else may crop up in The Force Awakens, the most compelling villain in a galaxy far, far away may just prove to be Vader.

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8.0
Supergirl: Being Super #1

Dec 28, 2016

Unfortunately, it's not me. I can recognize the skill with which Tamaki is drawing Kara as a more relatable character; more down to earth both idiomatically and literally. Likewise, I can recognize Jones' pencils here to be every bit the equal of those I'd previously praised in American Alien. Being as objective as possible, Supergirl: Being Super is an absolutely superlative comic. But subjectively, it's not an issue I derived a great deal of enjoyment or insight from. I hope one day DC does put out another Supergirl title in the vein of Loeb and Churchill's. But Being Super definitely is not that comic, and it's definitely not for me.

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6.0
Superman (2016) #10

Nov 1, 2016

While I wouldn't say Tomasi is entirely accurate in the characterization of either the World's Finest or their Super Sons, at the very least the broad stroke of not establishing Damian and Jonathan as immediate allies is in keeping with tradition. Ever since Byrne rebooted Superman thirty years ago, the first meeting of a Kryptonian and a Caped Crusader has always been fraught with friction. Likewise, Damian Wayne only begrudgingly became Grayson's partner, but once the latter had earned Damian's respect, their relationship was far more amiable and less antagonistic. I expect a similar trajectory for this latest dynamic duo, and seeing what feats will suffice for Superboy to prove himself in Robin's eyes will hopefully prove an enjoyable read.

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4.0
Superman (2016) #18

Mar 1, 2017

In the long chain of Superman stories, the Death and Return are among the weakest links, ones which Superman should break free from with a heave of his chest, letting them drop. Much more than Kryptonite, clinging so closely to the past is what's really weakening the Man of Tomorrow.

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8.8
Superman: American Alien #1

Nov 13, 2015

Superman: The Movie made you believe a man could fly. Superman: American Alien will make you feel for all the times he fell before he flew.

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9.0
Superman: American Alien #3

Jan 13, 2016

What Landis did for the antihero in Chronicle hes doing for the original superhero here in American Alien. Never once does he neglect the emotional core of the characters, all while navigating successfully between being reverently referential and refreshingly original. In my thirty years of following the character of Superman, rarely have I read a run or series so supremely spot-on and satisfying.

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9.5
Superman: American Alien #4

Feb 18, 2016

Early on in the issue, a throwaway line indicates that the train Clark's riding on is approaching Morrison Boulevard and Quitely Street " a clear call-out to the creative team behind All-Star Superman, widely regarded as the greatest story ever told about the greatest hero the world's ever known. A sympathetic reading of Landis' intentions would regard the reference as an homage honoring the two titans of the medium. But another reading would claim Landis is drawing comparison between All-Star and American Alien with respect to their artistic quality. It is impossible to discern for sure what Landis' purpose in doing so was. But after reading the series thus far, and based on this fourth issue in particular, this much is certain: American Alien is sure to be mentioned in the same breath as All-Star for decades to come, and the comparison will be favorable indeed.

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8.8
Superman: American Alien #5

Mar 19, 2016

That Clark takes for himself the moniker of Superman following this conversation with Lex is not a denial of the flawed human nature that led to this failed confrontation, or even a declaration that hed since then surpassed such shortcomings, but rather a deliberate subversion of Luthors misanthropy. It is his affirmation that he is a super Man. It is through his appropriation of the term that Clark seeks for Superman to overcome the Overman of Nietzsche, the Nazis, and Luthor.

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9.8
Superman: American Alien #6

Apr 22, 2016

During his interview with Kinda Funny, Max mentioned plans with DC Comics for an entire Landis-verse, with further series set in the same worlds as American Alien featuring other familiar characters. Given the quality of this series as a whole and this issue in particular, such is surely the biggest and best news for the comic community in 2016, eclipsing even the entire DC Rebirth line. If we have even one issue on the racks each month of this high quality, the Postmodern Age of Comics will be a highpoint in the history of the medium.

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8.5
Superman: American Alien #7

May 21, 2016

The Superman story which Landis has written is truly one which is capable of inspiring in all readers " even those who seem themselves as strange visitors here among humanity " the hope of likewise leaving behind such alienation to one day find a place of belonging.

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6.0
Superman: Lois and Clark #1

Oct 14, 2015

Lois and Clark #1 is a mixed-bag; first in the sense that its a mix of numerous references ranging from Byrne to Convergence to Justice League to Smallville and more, but also in the sense that its a mix of narrative and visual elements that do and do not work.

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7.0
Superman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

This issue makes the promise that the mistakes of the last few years are dead and buried. Time will tell if something super rises to replace them, if the best days of the character are truly once again "To be continued""

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4.0
Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1

Feb 25, 2016

Last week, Max Landis continued to delivered one of the greatest Superman stories ever with American Alien. It's an utter shame that just seven days later Adams has delivered one of the worst in years with The Coming of the Supermen.

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8.8
Superzero #1

Jan 22, 2016

Dru Dragowski is essentially the female Dave Lizewski: an every-nerd relegated to reality with heroic aspirations far more fantastic. As such, she's preeminently relatable to exactly the type of reader who'd be picking up a superhero comic. Combined with the writing of superstars Palmiotti and Connors and the art of de Latorre, SuperZero could easily prove every bit the masterpiece as Kick-Ass before it.

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8.2
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1

Dec 25, 2015

I only review about half the books I read each week, mostly reserving my favorites for pure enjoyment and personal entertainment. I'd hate to sully Secret Wars or Tokyo Ghost with a constant critical eye. Such had been my approach to Valiant's equally wonderful Imperium and Ninjak, but The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage deserved to be evangelized. I've sadly heard little hype regarding it prior to release, only trying it out on a whim when I saw de la Torre's gorgeous art within. But lacking buzz before, I'll beat the drums for this title here and now: buy Doctor Mirage. ‘Nuff said.

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9.0
The Goddamned #1

Nov 11, 2015

This seems to be the thesis of The Goddamned. Not to compare what is merely a decent first issue to the greatestwork of literate in the English language, but it may very well prove that Aaron'spurpose forthis series is to “justify the ways of God to men” as per Milton in Paradise Lost, albeit instead of the Fall with regards to the Deluge; not eventhat mankind actually has suffered divine punishment, but that such judgement would be justified.

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8.5
The Goddamned #2

Dec 19, 2015

In my years Ive broken bread with Protestants, Catholics, Non-denominationalist, Pentecostal-Charismatics and cultist. Ive seen many of the white-washed tombs on whom Woes Christ called down. Ive seen the logs in the eyes of the brethren whom concern themselves with the specks of dust in others. If my reading of Aarons work here is correct, Ive many times met in His house The Goddamned. The story may be subversive, even sacrilegious; but more importantly, it is a mirror which shows, quite clearly throughGuras awesomely awful art, the ugly face which the Body of Christ so often wears. If the self-professed saints dont want such criticism, they should not only pay lip service to the Father, but do His will as well.

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9.2
The Goddamned #3

Mar 1, 2016

In this light, The Goddamned is a New Testament take on an Old Testament tale, less focused on the storm clouds gathering overhead a wicked world deserving of wrath, and more so on subverting the text to elicit in the reader a deeper contemplation of the question as to who actually constitute the sheep and the goats in our own postdiluvian period.

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8.2
The Goddamned #4

Jun 5, 2016

The Goddamned #4 is a purposeful parody of the Passion story. Its utilization and upending of Biblical imagery to argue for an antitheist theology marks it among the most unusual retellings of the Gospel story, presenting such not as the Good News but the Bad News. Whether Aaron is successful at the storys end in pulling off a reverse-Milton by invalidating the ways of God to men is still to be seen. But regardless, The Goddamned remains, whether in spite or because of its sheer audaciousness, quite simply amazing. 

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7.2
The Totally Awesome Hulk #1

Dec 2, 2015

Aside from such truly minor complaints, The Totally Awesome Hulk is indeed pretty awesome. Unlike some of the other mantels to have been passed on at Marvel recently, the transition from Bannar to Cho as Hulk seems perfectly organic to the essence of the character. That alone makes Pak and Chos Hulk one of the more promising titles to come out of the All-New Marvel Now initiative.

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9.0
Trinity (2016) #1

Sep 21, 2016

Trinity is a triumph. It makes the same "mistakes" as other Rebirth books " an overreliance on convoluted continuity, handing over writing duties to creators who work better as artists, etc " and succeeds, surprisingly, by doing exactly the same. Rarely if ever have continuity call-backs been used so effectively to build out characters, not merely by reaffirming the development that took place in the past, but rather by making salient comparisons to the present plot. Whereas the Superman titles seem to have a '90s fixation since Rebirth began, Manapul pulls references from every era " the Silver Age, the Dark Age, and even the current Postmodern Age " to deliver a distinctive take of the Trinity that's truly his own.

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8.5
Trinity (2016) #2

Oct 19, 2016

Whether intentional or not, Trinity #2 is an excellent example reverence done right. Instead of merely referencing comics which were popular in the past for the sake of nostalgia and nothing more, as other Rebirth titles have done with the Dark Age's Death of Superman storyline, Manapul makes use of the same motifs as a truly timeless tale, Alan Moore's "For the Man Who Has Everything" and juxtaposes such with his own unique take on the character, thereby producing a genuinely novel and worthwhile work of his own.

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7.0
Trinity (2016) #3

Nov 15, 2016

All in all, Trinity #3: good, not great.

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7.0
Trinity (2016) #4

Dec 21, 2016

It will be interesting to do the same for Manapul's take on the Trinity once the series has made more significant progress. I'd love to find that he'd emphasized certain aspects of these familiar origin stories in ways that later pay off in his characterization of Clark, Bruce, and Diana. Already its evident how his view of Superman differs from that of Alan Moore's, and all of themuch attention and intention he's poured into Trinity thus far, it'd be a challenge and a joy to squeeze out of the series all the meaning he's put into each and every panel.

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7.0
Trinity (2016) #5

Jan 18, 2017

Trinity is bold in attempting to continue a beloved work by Moore (cf. Before Watchmen and the reaction thereto to see the fire towards which Manapul has willingly run), and is an earnest sequel to "For the Man Who has Everything," benefiting greatly from its connection to that classic but hindered (or at least not helped) by its connection to the current continuity.

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8.8
Ultimates (2015) #1

Nov 12, 2015

.Creatively, Hickmans New Avengers usurped Miller and Hitchs Ultimates as the definitive Avengers story. If, instead of suffering for sharing the same name as the later, Ewing and Rocafort can garnish comparison to the former, theyre off to a promising start indeed. Its far from perfect, but theyve brought me from almost not buying the first issue to definitely purchasing the second.

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8.2
Ultimates (2015) #2

Dec 14, 2015

I came away from issue #1 unexpectedly impressed. Such could have proved an aberration, especially given the sorry state of nearly every series out of the All-New, Marvel Now initiative thus far. While never quite reaching the highs of the debut issue, The Ultimates easily remains Marvels strongest offering without the words Star Wars in the title.

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8.8
Ultimates (2015) #3

Jan 7, 2016

Ive read a good deal of the All-New, All Different Marvel titles in the wake of Secret Wars. Of such, The Ultimates is far and away the true flagship series and the best candidate for becoming a classic run that will be remembered and reread for decades to come. Ewing and Rocafort have created something special here, taking the epic, operatic, and fantastical elements which comics excel at and infusing such with novel storytelling, modernmores, and phenomenal artwork.

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2.0
Ultimates (2015) #6

May 1, 2016

Accompanying Sisyphus in Tartarus was Tantalus, who stood in a river pristine and potable, parched with thirst, but unable to drink a drop, its waters receding so soon as he stooped to sip; who stood starving beneath a tree bearing fruits of fig, pear, and pomegranate, but whose branches would blow out of reach as he outstretched his arm. Rarely has there ever been so great a disparity between the outstanding quality of a comics writing and the abject awfulness of its art. Marvel ought to refund the issue and reprint it with all new art. The prospect of seeing Kenneth Rocaforts rendition of Ewings best script in the series so far is truly tantalizing. Yet like those stygian waters and that chthonic fruit, such an imaginary issue will remain forever out of reach, leaving readers with nothing but painful pangs, disappointed desires, and the piece of trash that is the actual Ultimates #6.

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8.0
Ultimates (2015) #8

Jun 22, 2016

Even integrating so heavily into Civil War II, an event of dubious quality thus far, this tie-in issue feels like a perfectly natural extension of the direction this series has taken since the beginning. Half the team may be supervillains whom I actively root against, yet that's proven an inspired premise in the past on titles such as Ellis' Thunderbolts and Bendis' Dark Avengers. Perhaps Ewing will embrace that dynamic; perhaps not. Either way, The Ultimates remains one of Marvel's best ongoing series, and so long that Ewing and Rocafort are on the title, that's unlikely to change.

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7.8
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #1

Jan 6, 2016

Standing against this current are creative juggernauts Cullen Bunn and Greg Land. I dont expect them to singlehandedly restore the X-Men to their proper place atop the pantheon of Marvel heroes, but from this fantastic first issue I fully expect Uncanny X-Men, like Uncanny X-Force before it, to be another gratifying holdover while we await that utopian day when X-Men comics dominate the sales charts and culture once again. It may not be exactly what Xavier had in mind, but thats to me The Dream.

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4.0
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Jun 9, 2016

The issue spends so much effort repudiating the New 52 that it does nothing to excite the readers for Rebirth. And where it falters as an advertisement it fails all the more as a story. Theres little in the way of plot and no logic to how those few plot points are pieced together. I want Wonder Woman to get her due, to finally be the well written character the non-comics reading public must surely assume her to be, giver her iconic status. Perhaps that will begin in Wonder Woman #1 next week, with here finally getting a fresh start. But Zeus above knows its not here in Rebirth.

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7.0
X-O Manowar #47

Jun 29, 2016

The bulk of this issue is an action-packed battle, and I'm probably alone in finding the dump of exposition at the beginning the most fascinating aspect. Such does a wonderful job of adding to the mythology of the Valiant Universe, but it's not itself sufficient to bring new readers up to speed. That said, it is enough to whet one's appetite, to garner greater interest in how the story got to this point and where it's going from here. If the Vine scriptures are to be believed, it going in an absolutely apocalyptic direction.

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