Matthew Strackbein's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: All-Comic Reviews: 90
8.4Avg. Review Rating

8.0
3 Floyds: Alpha King #1

May 26, 2016

Alpha King is the story of a gruesome group of hellish warriors who fulfill the prophecy ofthe "Alpha King", by way of drowning ahome-brew craftsman of Earth in a vat of his own beer. Its a wild and bloody comic that doesnt take itself too serious, and it is just enough fun to dismiss the novelty factor of a comic book based on a craft brew. More than that it sets up a storyline that leaves the protagonist in a new world, confusedand trapped inside of a monsters sword-wielding body. In an industry dominated by superhero comics, its refreshing to see books like this on the new release rack. Demons, blood and guts, and beer!

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10
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #2

Jun 30, 2016

Publisher Black Mask Studios does a good job of giving credit where it is due going to such lengths as listing Clare Dezutti for color Flattening and Courtney Menard for Wallpaper Design. On a book like this the flats, design and the Lettering, the latter by Thomas Mauer (Rasputin), are no small feat and do as much to tell the story as the writing and art. The content is dense and a single misstep would crumble what might as well be a house of cards in the wrong hands. On the other hand, these folks should have license to reinvent the rules as they see fit, because within two issues – chapters,that is –theyve proven more than apt at making an extraordinary comic book reading experience. Besides, actually making a comic is only half of the experience, the rest of which occurs between the page and the reader and that's where 4KWIB does not fall short.

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2.0
Action Man #1

Jun 23, 2016

Even for an all-ages appropriate title, Action Man has got to do better in order to earn a spot on the shelf in a world full of successful, high-quality comics.

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8.0
Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death #1

Dec 28, 2016

Alien Vs.Predator: Life and Death #1 is everything regular readers can expect, while remaining as entertaining as ever. For the new readers, familiar with the various properties at play here or not, youll no doubt find a deep level of appreciation for this kind of bold and courageous storytelling. Whereas there are likely plenty of places where the creators couldve stumbled along the way, the series has been strong and only getting stronger as the end approaches. Fortunately therere still a few months worth of comics left to go so youll want to make sure and grab this one before its all over.

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8.0
Aliens: Defiance #2

May 26, 2016

Issues like this onemake you wish theseries was already collected in one trade paperback, because you cant help but wonder whats next. The creative team is enough of a reason to keep reading, but its the story of Zula Hendricks and her rogue mission to cleanse one infected space station after another that keeps your attention. After all, every successful mission leads to a new potential for disaster.

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10
Aliens: Life and Death #1

Aug 23, 2016

If you're a fan that's back for more, get ready for some serious fun, but if you're just joining us, well, get ready to be totally hooked. Life and death is gonna be a wild ride and Aliens is in very good hands.

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8.0
Angel Catbird #2

Feb 2, 2017

Angel Catbird is just a solid, well-rounded product that practically demands a diverse readership. Advertised as all-ages its the kind of book comic fans will appreciate because its well written and accessible. This is the second of three volumes, so the series is not quite over yet. After To Castle Catula youll be ready to move straight on to the next volume, but unfortunately youll have to wait until mid-Summer. So pick up this book and savor it as long as possible. You wont be sorry.

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6.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth #142

Jun 16, 2016

Although this series arc wraps with the 3rd installment, its unclear what lies ahead for Agent Ashley Strode. Will she reunite with the B.P.R.D. and continue the fight on a global scale, or will she remain a one-woman army fighting demons on the street level? Will she continue to master the craft of exorcism or has she learned all there is to know? One thing is for sure, if its a B.P.R.D. book, then you can count on lots more mayhem before its all over, not to mention new mysterious with each revelation. Hopefully, teasing the end of Hell on Earth doesnt mean ending B.P.R.D. if only because these characters are just too rich with lots of story potential left to tell.

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8.0
Baltimore: The Red Kingdom #1

Jan 30, 2017

Baltimore is such a unique comic in the first place, picking up where the original novel left off, but this creative team deserves a lot of credit for keeping the story alive. The adventure itself is almost never pretty, but its artful nonetheless. If youve been reading along, then youll be glad to hear this may be the best arc yet. Baltimore: The Red Kingdom is the real deal.

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8.0
Black #4

Feb 8, 2017

You may not want, or be able to give any more personal time to increasingly depressing current affairs than you already do, but this comic offers a degree of escapism while staying loyal to its inspiration. So if you want something grounded in the real world, which ultimately becomes a thrilling work of fiction, then look no further. Black just may be the most important superhero comic book available today if not ever.

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10
Black Hammer #1

Jun 22, 2016

Its obvious the creative team behind Black Hammer loves comics and they intend to build on the things they love most about them as homage. This is a wonderful book. Whether it ultimately ends up being a deconstruction of atypical superhero team stories, or if it continues to add new layers, only one question remains after issue #1: Will Black Hammer allow the world that has been introduced to us so far to go on, or will the endcoincidewith the series own lifespan? Anyway, here's hoping that doesn't happen for a long time.

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8.0
Black Hammer #2

Aug 9, 2016

Fact is, glorious battles aside, learning more about characters during the flashbacks definitely informs their current, present day frustration, stress and sadness. Perhaps weve become too accustomed to what a superhero comic should be. If so, then this book, especially issue #2, does a great job at using some very familiar aspects in order to reprogram readers on what to expect from a comic book. After all, those Golden Age scenes (and the ones that follow) feel more like a look back at old comic book back issues rather than a true flashback or a characters memory. Are we in store for a sort of meta-universe-experience? Perhaps it's as simple as ‘nothing is what it seems.' Either way, you gotta love it when a comic makes room for endless speculation. Anything can happen, anything may have happened already, and its recommended that everyone stay tuned and keep picking up the monthlies in order to find out!

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10
Black Hammer #3

Sep 12, 2016

The word is out, Black Hammer is a success and a must-have comic. Fortunately it looks as ifwell be getting more character backstories before its over too. And, besides the obvious question of where the heroes are trapped and whether theyll manage to escape, readers have got to be wondering about an evenbigger mysterywho and where is Black Hammer?

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10
Black Hammer #4

Oct 20, 2016

Things are consistently coming to light now and clues continually lead to revelations. As we approach issue #5 it seems certain that resolution is around the corner. We can also hope that conclusion is equally explanatory and gives us not only an answer to what happened, but also some indication of what comes next. Black Hammer nails it, and we cant wait to see whatgoes down next issue!

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10
Black Hammer #5

Nov 15, 2016

Black Hammerisn't just a five-star comic, it's a five-star series and ithas taken fans by storm. Anyone reading is surely talking it up with fellow collectors, and on that note, be sure to grab those variant covers by Lemire himself before theyre gone.This book redefines excellence at every step and, somehow, it only seems to be getting better.

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10
Black Hammer Annual #1

Jan 16, 2017

Youll be hard pressed to find a favorite story here without admitting that they work best as a collection. By the last page the tale is as complete as it can be, but your love of Black Hammer will only increase. Annuals once served as a way of bringing on new readers, and so they typically stuck to more exclusive storylines without leading to the overall, ongoing arc. Annuals were also used to showcase new talent, but here the Black Hammer crew has created a Giant Sized Annual that serves more as an opportunity to let other people have some fun with the popular new title. This is a group effort meant to get more out of the series before it takes a break leading up to the next arc. Good news is, there's plenty here to absorb and reabsorb before then.

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10
Black Light District: 6 Issues (One Shot) #1

Sep 22, 2016

Jesse Snider has created something unique here, building on all of the great things comics are about.

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8.0
Conan: The Slayer #1

Jul 12, 2016

Only one issue in to this all-new series and its more than tempting to say that the return of the regular monthly Conan title may also be a return to form. Exciting times!

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10
Conan: The Slayer #2

Aug 23, 2016

This is one of those times where, if possible, this would be a 6 star review. The reset button has been hit and this is an all-new game.

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8.0
Cryptocracy #1

Jun 2, 2016

Van Jensen and Pete Woods are creating a solid story among some very fantastic ideas and time will tell if they keep the balance they've struck in the first issue. If they do, then readers are in for a ride.

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8.0
Deadpool: The Duck #1

Jan 4, 2017

Perhaps surprisingly, this is a beautiful book and a pleasurable reading experience. And this is only Part One, so if this brand of comic book comedy is for you then rest assured theres more to come. Hats off to the creative team and everyone involved for doing the book justice and for taking it serious, if only so the completely insane nature of the storycan shine through appropriately. As if that wasn't enough, there's a few awesome variant covers to choose from. So, what are you waiting for? It's Deadpool the Duck for God's sake!

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10
Demonic (2016) #1

Aug 17, 2016

Thanks to the writing and art,Demonic #1 is a truly gratifying experience whether you can allow yourself to relax or not.Great book, great team. Dont miss this new series!

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8.0
Doctor Crowe #1

Nov 22, 2016

You cant go wrong with Doctor Crowe,it's a wonderful pulp-inspired conceptperfectly fit for comics. Tell afriend and give your local shop the heads up that this is going to be a good one!

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8.0
Doctor Crowe #2

May 10, 2017

Publisher 215Ink. may not be as popular a name as other companies, but credit where credit is duefor producing a quality book such as Doctor Crowe. This comic collaboration is something to be proud of for everyone involved. With terrific cover art by Felipe Cunha and Jasen Smith and expert lettering throughout by one-man-show Taylor Esposito, Doctor Crowe is a complete package with layers of professionalism and creativity that deserves attention.

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8.0
Echoes (2016) #1

Oct 6, 2016

Theres something nice about a self-contained story that doesnt leave you hanging, but still manages to surprise us, and even leaves us scratching our head. Its that element of the plot that makes Echoes feel so original and so thoroughly well-rounded.Mike Richardson, arguably, is the Stan Lee of independent comics. Dark Horse is his company and hes ultimately responsible for publishing decades of award-winning comics. Mr. Richardson is also creditedwith the creation of dozens of characters and has been writing comics himself since the 1980s.Once again, with Echoes, Richardson teams up with incredible talent in order to bring another original worthwhile comic book to reality. Look for it this November!

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10
Eclipse #1

Aug 17, 2016

If you want to learn more about the creators, their process and what inspired their work on Eclipse then be sure to check out our recent interview with the guys as the prepare for what is sure to be a warm reception this September.

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10
Eclipse #2

Sep 23, 2016

With so many new titles hitting the shelves at local comic shops on a weekly basis, there's no way they are all worth checking out. Eclipse is one of those original, standout concepts that brings the diversity in story so sorely needed in comics and issue #2 makes that even clearer.

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6.0
Elias the Cursed #1

May 26, 2016

At 170 pages, this hardback edition showcases what could easily be described as a well-crafted comic book. With seemingly meticulously constructed panel layouts and a clean, legible lettering style you cant help but enjoy the reading experience. There are a total of 4 colorists assisting with art chores, although their individual styles never differentiate enough to take you out of the story, and only lend to the overall brilliant design. This book will entertain you as much as it will look good on the bookshelf. Whether youre craving another sword and sorcery fix or you just want to read a solid non-American comic book, then you cannot go wrong with Elias The Cursed. And keep an eye out for more of the diverse books offered by Humanoids, Inc. Its a great opportunity to discover talent you may not have otherwise heard of.

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8.0
Empress #3

Jun 9, 2016

Issue #3 of Empress shows no signs that the series is slowing down and, as was the case withthe first two issues, begs you to grab the next one. Almost unbelievably, the story seems to be picking up pace and only getting better.

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10
Empress #4

Jul 5, 2016

Empress is a masterpiece in the making. No matter what the next conflict may be more dangerous situations, or the big villain – if the previous four issues are any proof, you can bet on one thing: its gonna be action-packed.

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10
Empress #5

Aug 10, 2016

So, again, where are the escapees headed and how many places are left for them to travel to? No matter the destination, would they even be safe once arrived? For one of the fastest paced stories out there, is it possible everything is going to come to a screeching halt? It just doesnt seem believablethat wed ever get a prison cell issue where everyone is locked up for an entire issue. No one stops moving, nothing is stable and everything is explosive. Wow, what a book! If youre not up to speed on Empress, go grab the back issues now. Youll burn through those suckers and read em again in a single sitting and youll never be bored. Mark Millar and cohorts are putting out a ton of quality books and Empress is high among them.

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10
Empress #6

Sep 22, 2016

Fortunatelyeveryone on this team is up to the task making it tough not to give this book the highest possible rating. After five straight issues of constant momentum, it makes sense that things quiet down at least a little before the conclusion. The next30 days is gonna be a long wait, but you can bet it'llbe totally worth it.

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10
Empress #7

Nov 29, 2016

Its going to be interesting, seeing where this series heads next, but one thing is for sureEmpress is a book to be admired by readers and industry pros alike. Fivestar series all the way!

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10
Ether #1

Oct 24, 2016

Just when you think there's no room on the new release rack for a new title, Ether comes along and changes your mind. If the combination of Kindt and Rubin is enough to make us sit up and take note, then reading issue #1 is enough to make you add it to your pull list. Need a change from overdramatic or mainstream comics? Then look here. Need an entertaining mystery that'll keep you engaged while putting a smile on your face? Then check this one out"Ether is likely the next big, standout book and is sure to gain appreciation and recognition alike as the series progresses. There's nothing wrong with yet another new series, especially when it's of this caliber.

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10
Ether #2

Nov 7, 2016

It's like a Dr. Suess story with teeth, grit, and mortal consequences. Those elements are hoisted up to the highest standards of quality thanks to David Rubin. In an industry brimming with talent, it's funny how there are so few that can instantly brand a book with their style the way he can. Rubin's style is so unique and so original that his depressing, mundane version of the real world is as exciting to witness as the fantastic environments within the Ether.

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8.0
God Country #2

Feb 15, 2017

God Country is a genre-twisting story that defines what it means to refresh an old, yet beloved brand of comic book. Maybe youve heard stories similar to this one before, but the fact is, youve yet to hear this exact one. Not only does God Country feel new to the point of total originality, but its also executed with beauty and style to spare.

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2.0
Green Hornet: Reign of the Demon #1

Dec 23, 2016

This is an iconic character with a legacy that needs to be upheld and built on. If you were to read this same story from a Green Hornet comic decades ago, you might think its just fine. But by todays standards, expectations will never be met without at least trying to break the mold.

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10
Green Valley #1

Oct 6, 2016

Issue #1 is a sensational effort and the next one can't arrive soon enough. Whether you're looking for more of this genre or you need a change from superheroes and horror comics, check out this book out, you won't be disappointed. This is gonna be a good one, folks, and bound to get even better. Dont miss Green Valley!

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10
Hellboy in Hell #10

Jun 1, 2016

The endis hasbits of familiarity that may offer clues of what is to come. But it isunclear when Hellboy will resume as a title, and whether well have to wait until then to find out what affect this issue will have on the overall story. Mignola fans have grown accustomed to waiting and share an understanding that greatness such as this cannot be rushed or churned out on a monthly basis. Nevertheless Hellboy in Hell will be missed.Mignola and Stewart have been at the height of their game and giving us a healthy dose of the good old days mixed with a masterful evolution of their collective style.No matter what happens next, or when it may happen, you can bet Hellboy's story isn't over by a long shot.

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8.0
Hellboy: Winter Special #2017

Jan 29, 2017

Its difficult to imagine someone not wanting to be a part of a project like this, but thankfully we get a group of people who feel plain right for the job. This one-shot is a good jumping on point for what has become a sprawling universe with a lengthy yet rewarding reading order. Be warned though, you're likely to get hooked, and if not Hellboy, then certainly on one of these talented contributors.

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10
I Am Legion #1

Jul 12, 2016

Its a story about sacrifice and commitment in service to the respective causes of each side or party. The battle may be between good and evil but its delivered from the point of view of those in service to the side theyve chosen to fight for. There is a constant sense of duty, no matter what the motivation is and you feel it in the characters actions and words. It cannot be said enough that despite being an amazingly complex storyline it still comes across in a way that begs you to keep reading. Word of caution: once you start reading I Am Legion you wont be able to put it down.

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8.0
Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #1

May 31, 2016

This book is a true collaboration and it shows that thecreators are working from their favorite ideas and concepts. Each member of the creative team is responsible for the overall storytelling, and in this case were in good hands. Jupiter's Legacy is back!

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10
Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #2

Jul 26, 2016

Theres no real means of talking about this story in detail without giving the plot away, but the good news is if youre reading Vol. 2 then you already know whats going no. Rest assured, Millar develops the plot nicely, and the story doesnt linger in any one area too long. On top of that theres still plenty of room for a twist now and then, which is pleasantly surprising. Millar and Quietly are really going for it in terms of producing the aforementioned book of quality value, instead of resting on their laurels and producing a book based solely on name recognition. Dont be fooled by a familiar name where these guys are involved, because things are not the same old same old and only gearing better.

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8.0
Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #3

Aug 31, 2016

Grab this book, seek out the back issues and trust in this comic to satisfy your need for superheroes blended with genuine,thoughtfuldrama. Itsgimmick free, direct and to the point and manages to engage on so many levels. There is a magnitude to the writing and the art that makes Jupiters Legacy 2 a standout addition to an already established universe.

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10
Kill Or Be Killed #1

Aug 3, 2016

If youre already a fan then you know all of this by now, but be reassured that were in the same good hands as always with Kill or be Killed. If youre just getting into the duo of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, then get on over to your local comic shop today and grab this one. Chances are pretty solid they ordered the book, but theres no telling how long itll stay on the shelf!

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8.0
Kill Or Be Killed #2

Sep 8, 2016

Theres an undeniably intimate connection between the reader and the page that makes Kill or be Killed as good as Criminal, The Fade Out or any of the other titles by Brubaker and Phillips. Dont miss the rest of this series and, if you dig it, make sure you grab trades of everything theyve done before.

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10
Kill Or Be Killed #3

Oct 13, 2016

Kill or be Killed is a must read for fans of Brubaker and Phillips, but anyone looking for standout comics should also take note. This book, like so many of their other and aforementioned titles, reflects the best parts of classic pulps, paperback crime novels, and noir films combined with hefty doses of originality in plot and storytelling. If you can make your way through the content and a dark tale of violence and wrong doing, then youre sure to discover everything else that makes this book so worthwhile; that is all due to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Their appreciation for the genre drives their efforts and we cant wait to see what they come up with next much less what happens in issue #4, which will concludethis first arc. Kill or be Killed is a must read.

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8.0
Kingsway West #1

Aug 1, 2016

Kingsway West #1 will be released on August 24th from Dark Horse Comics

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8.0
Kong of Skull Island #1

Jul 14, 2016

Seriously, if your local shop doesnt have this book on the shelf, make them order it. If the shipment is delayed, dont give up and make sure to go back for this one.

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10
Loose Ends (2017) #1

Jan 11, 2017

Loose ends is an experience that lets you know what its like to be there yourself. The environment is as claustrophobic as the atmosphere, and its just a matter of time before everyone on the premises is affected in one sour way or another. And its all perfectly appropriate. Loose Ends #1 is a triumph of comic book professionalism with genuine artistic authority. Well worth the cover price and offered in an ideal four issue format. Apparently its been a long time in the making, folks, but this is gonna be a good one.

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8.0
Masked #1

Nov 29, 2016

Masked hits stands with a bunch of variant covers to choose from, so check them out. Ultimately, this is a pretty good comic with fantastic art, thatll give readers more insight as to what comic books are like from around the globe. You really cant go wrong.

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2.0
Mayday (2016) #1

Nov 3, 2016

You may want to check out Mayday #1 for a change of pace, although, with a slew of first issues coming out every week, theres plenty of variety. That variety equals stiff competition for this new book, noble effort or not.

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8.0
Moonshine #1

Sep 13, 2016

The story is moody and dark, and there's no shortage of bloody dismemberment, but that's all you should know going into it. You'll wish it wasn't over so quickly, but that's not because there's a lack of substance. In fact the world crafted in Moonshine, even in the just one issue, is so well-rounded you might mistake it for an adaptation of real life events"right up to the aforementioned supernatural bits, and then you remember it's a good ol' comic book. Moonshine packs a punch and is no doubt determined to deliver more of the goods with future installments. Powerful drama and shocking horror are woven together into a great premise and an even better story.

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8.0
Moonshine #5

Feb 7, 2017

Moonshine is a solid comic book made with true craftsmanship that earned a spot on the new release rack years before the concept was even developed. Once again Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso have produced a quality product that deserves to be on your pull list. Their brand of comics remainsunique and their stories are as thrilling as ever. Dont miss this series! Grab the back issues or hold out for the trade, but either way make sure you check out Moonshine.

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8.0
Mother Panic #1

Nov 10, 2016

Its almost to easy to gush over this comic, and its more amazing that it works as well as it does despite the seemingly exhausted premise. Want to read a Batman comic without delving head first into the regular titles(s)? This is your chance. Want to try out a new serieswithout straying too far from what you already love about DC comics Dark Knight? Go grab Mother Panic #1. The book is good and can only get better. Heres hoping Mother Panic is around for a long time.

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8.0
Motor Crush #1

Nov 9, 2016

Motor Crush is fun, exciting and hands down one of the coolest new books around. Grab issue #1 onDecember 7th,and get ready for what is sure to be a very popular title. Your comic book addiction deserves a new fix, and Motor Crush is it.

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8.0
Motor Crush #3

Feb 7, 2017

Its worth picking up the individual issues because this comic reads like a true serial, and issue #3 has the best cliffhanger yet. Check it out and youll see its a wild ride with plenty of talent behind the scenes. Babs Tarr only continues to impress as we sit front row to what is sure to be a long and successful career. More than talented, Tarr keeps stride with the likes of Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart, two talented creators that bring a considerable amount of professionalexperienceto the table. Each of these folks may be noteworthy-names on their own with their own respective fan bases, but as a team they continue to make something everyone can enjoy. There are twists and turns here that keep readers on the edge, which happens to be exactly where the characters in Motor Crush seem most comfortable. With strong female characters and a sort of branding that should appeal to a wider audience than usual, Motor Crush is the complete package and determined to be a hit.

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8.0
Motro #1

Oct 30, 2016

Once again, a blend of familiar themes and tropes have been put through a genre-grinder and the results are a finely tuned story with loads of originality. Sometimes a unique approach can morph content into something that feels totally new, while capturing everything you already love about comic books. Motro #1 is a fantastic start to what just might be a series you won't want to miss.

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8.0
Night's Dominion #1

Sep 3, 2016

This is definitely one of those times where you'll wish the entire trade collection were already out so you could consume it all at once. Patience is a virtue and, luckily, there's plenty of superhero stuff already out there, although it may not be as stylistically engrossing as Night's Dominion.

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8.0
Planetoid Praxis #1

Jan 30, 2017

After just the first issue its evident that this is going to be a must read series. Though reminiscent of other classic comics such as Metabarons, Fear Agent or Black Science, Praxis remains a superbly original book in its own right. Planetoid Praxis is a fully realized world, with detail and finely tuned characters that immediately draw you in and hold your attention. As modern a book as it may be, you wont be able to deny the nostalgic qualities either. Planetoid Praxis has a little bit of everything to offer, which only adds up to a lot of excitement.Tell your local shop to get on this if they havent ordered it yet and be sure and add it to your pull list. Ken Garing has made another fine comic and a suitable sequel to his acclaimed series Planetoid.

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8.0
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1

Jul 1, 2016

The stuff that binds these characters together, if anything, is their single-mindedness and reputations for violence. Dredd, Predators and Aliens each have their own obsession. They have their own styles of fighting and they are each some of the most ruthless, badass characters ever created. No matter the franchise, when things get ugly the entertainment value goes up a notch. So its safe to assume that the intention behind merging all three is to triple the potential for selling comics, although based on what people love best about these particular characters. The level of professionalism and dedication this comic contains makes it a safe bet. No matter what the reason is for doing the project, the outcome is a thing seemingly made up of love and appreciation for the chance to work with some of the greatest characters of all time.

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10
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #2

Aug 26, 2016

Three times the fun, three times the madness, three times the mayhemthis comic is brimming with excellence. Read issue #2 and you'll see there's bound to be even more insanitycoming up, which you won't want to miss. Believe it or not, these guys are poised to crank things up even more.

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4.0
Prowler #1

Oct 27, 2016

In comics, the term mainstream has negative connotations, and its due in part to an inability to evolve characters and commit them to a path that is interesting enough to forgo constant resetting. Launching a new series, which works double-time to support an overarching storyline doesnt do Prowler justice. Heres hoping the series finds a stride of its own, but if it doesnt, then you may have to consider the value of collecting multiple titles to know the full story in just one of them.

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8.0
Punisher (2016) #3

Jul 7, 2016

For everything its not, and for everything it could be, this is shaping up to be a really well done Punisher story that should genuinely satisfy fans of the grim and gritty corner of the Marvel Universe. Ruthless andunapologetic as ever, this new series does the characters core essence pure justice. If issue #3 is any indication of whats to come, then The Punisher, no matter how twisted he is, might end up closer to anti-hero rather than savage killer for a change. As impressive as that would be, you have to admit, either outcome would suffice when it comes to Frank Castle.

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8.0
Reborn #4

Jan 25, 2017

In short, this is a fine comic created by masters. Theres a lot to be said for an already successful team that doesnt just rest on its laurels. Reborn is evidence enough for us that Millar and his various creators and titles have not settled for complacent name recognition. These books are not being created to simply dominate the new release rack or for quick sales. No, these books are being created for the purity of the art form, and seem to be as fun for the creators to make as they are for the readers to absorb. Reborn could very well be a success for that reason alone.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2017) #1

Jan 10, 2017

In the end, whats not to like? Red Sonja just may be one of the strongest properties Dynamite is producing and whether youve tried the book in the past or not, this is a great jumping on point. It would be easy to go wrong here, if Sonja wasnt in the foreground at the outset. That is to say, having her out in the open is not only the key to making it work, but also the trick to making it work as soon as possible. We dont have to wait and see if we like the book, because were given every opportunity to love it from page one. Its perfectly deliberate and if its predictable at all, then its likely just meant to feed your cravings for more awesome sword wielding action from the lady barbarian. As usual theres a bunch of variant covers to choose from, but rest assured, the content inside the book is the real value by far. With a storylike this one, just about anything can happen next! Don't miss it.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2017) #2

Jan 27, 2017

Maybe you wish this arc had Red Sonja back in her own universe, but how long before that gets old and why cant a writer switch it up? This might as well be a science fiction spin on a fantasy story, which makes it more unique than it already was and certainly not less so. Youll want to get in on this one whether youre an existing fan or not. In comics, characters dont usually age or evolve beyond a year or two before a disruptive reboot, so to see Red Sonja show up in NYC is a welcome change that you might not get otherwise. How can a comic stay fresh without turning the premise on its ear occasionally? This is a brave, but smart move by Dynamite, letting the creative team go for it in this manner. Hopefully it stays credible as the series progresses, but so far theres no reason to think it wont.

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10
ReincarNATE #1

Aug 26, 2016

This is Private Detective Nate McCoys story. As protagonists go, theres no reason not to like this guy and youll be rooting for him right off the bat. Nate, as the title may imply, is gonna need support too because hes up against it. Odds are things are gonna get stranger for this guy in more ways than one, pun intended. Excellent idea for a comicwith an excellent team behind it, whats not to like?

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10
Revolution #1

Sep 21, 2016

Be sure to check out all of the variant covers when you grab this book off the shelf, with the likes of John Byrne, Adam Riches, Guido Guidi, James Biggie, Ken Christansen and Tradd Moore. Each cover has a unique quality all of its own so that theres something for everyone no matter your artistic preference. IDW is definitely looking out for the true collectors here too. The excitement continues intoNovember with Revolution #5, so be sure to grab this first issue and see for yourself what a well done crossover looks like. You wont be sorry. Revolution is a remarkable feat created by genuinefans of the source material!

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8.0
Rise of the Black Flame #5

Jan 4, 2017

Will the search for the temple of the Black Flame prove a successful mission, or is failure imminent? Just what is the powerful energy that gives the Black Flame life? Youll need to read the final chapter to find out how many of those questions are answered, and what new mysteries may have sprung up. If you havent been reading this series all along, well that may not be a bad thing. Grab each issue, read it straight through, and see what youve been missing. If the dreaded Black Flame seems at all interesting then rest assured, theres lots more where that came from already out there. Be warned: youll not only find yourself down the rabbit hole, so to speak, but youll also see what it is that makes the Black Flame one of the most vile and hated villains of all time. After all, its saying something when a bad guy gets his own title. Doesnt it? At any rate, the twists, connections, hints and clues are intriguing enough to keep old and new readers engaged for a long time to come.

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10
Rom #1

Jul 29, 2016

Leave it to IDW to make what was old new again! REVOLUTION has more high points than low points, so far, and you can count ROM as one of the peaks. The story is as much about twists as it is about delivering a straightforward comic. It's unclear to what degree ROM's role will play in the bigger picture, or if he'll show up in other titles, but one thing is obvious, the creative team here is out to give us something to enjoy. If for whatever reason it's a shorter lived series than planned, readers will at least have a really exciting and fun story with high quality artwork worthy of your collections. ROM is for everybody!

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8.0
Romulus #1

Sep 13, 2016

This book really is about facing grim circumstances and making selfless, yet honorable decisions. But it's also packed full of the things that comics fans love. You won't be disappointed with this first issue and you'll surely want to read more. Bryan Hill and Nelson Blake II are making an exciting book that is nothing short of cool.

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10
Shadows On The Grave #1

Dec 13, 2016

Shadows on the Grave is as fun and clever as it is horrific. You'll smile, even laugh at parts, while other moments will make you cringe and wince. That's the point. This book is the product of a true master who knows exactly what he's doing.

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8.0
Sherlock: The Blind Banker #1

Jan 7, 2017

“Well done!” to the creative team for doing the beloved Sherlock justice, Titan Comics for making them available, and the cast and crew of the show worth adapting in the first place. This is just issue #1 of 6, so theres still more to come! And, after all, The Blind Banker is one of the standout episodes from the first three seasons of the BBC program. There are moments coming up from the show that will be interesting to see how they are handled in subsequent issues. Hows that for an all-new level of interest for something you already know and love so much?

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6.0
Slayer: Repentless #1

Jan 24, 2017

Ready for an ultra violent crime tale inspired by the worlds most popular thrash metal rock band? OK, then you're gonna love Slayer: Repentless. If it turns out its too much for you, then that's completely understandable. Maybe comics fans in general will check it out simply for a change of pace, or to challenge what they currently perceive to be a violent comic. Either way, Slayer isn't taking any chances they haven't taken before, and its always worked for them and their fans alike. That means the real risks here is on publisher Dark Horse. For what its worth, Dark Horse has always pushed high quality books while embracing the horror genre, and this book fits neatly in that lineup. Time will tell if the imagery and content will stick with you in a bad way, or in a very bad way, but that makes the book a risk. And a risky book like this isn't a sure bet as far as sales go, or if readers will actually enjoy it.

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10
Sombra #1

Jul 21, 2016

If you havent noticed yet, this is a five-star review for the first issue of a limited series. Its a badass book. Comparisons could be made to other series in the genre such as Image'sThe Cross Bronx, or even Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips Criminal. Theres nothing here that you wouldnt see in those examples except Sombra manages to keep a level of true realism within the boundaries of what a comic book should be. It doesnt pay homage, capitalize on pulpy nostalgia or introduce any supernatural elements. There always seems to be a catch when a comic book sets out to do a dramatic crime story like this one, but Sombra comes across like a straightforward, yet highly entertaining, story. Grab this one. If you like anything about the subject of a female DEA agent in Mexico trying to solve the mystery of a legendary agent who also happens to be her father, then go to the comic shop and pick this book up. Youll be glad you did.

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8.0
Star Trek: Waypoint #1

Sep 29, 2016

Comic book readers as well as fans of Trek will rejoice at the results of this project and we cant wait to see whats next. Hats off to IDW for handling such a beloved franchise so well. So far theyve stay true to the essence and spirit of Star Trek in a way that should satisfy everyone without diluting the water one bit. IDW is always good about giving fans a choice in covers, so check a couple of them out below and be sure to grab your favorite at the comic shop this week!

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6.0
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Dec 7, 2016

Just goes to show that, with a property like Star Wars, it isnt tough to have a good time, though the challenge is in making it feel new withought undoing all of the elements that already work so well to make it a distinctly unmistakable universe. Doctor Aphra just may be up to that challenge.

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10
Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

Sep 8, 2016

As fun as it is, the plot is a serious one and the stakes are high and getting higher. Expect the usual a clash of cultures and species youd typically find in Tarzan or POTA with an extra dose of intensity as we learn about how these worlds have collided. Fantastic start to a series that is already well worth the cover price.

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6.0
The Black Monday Murders #1

Aug 11, 2016

Fortunately there is a good guy – a classic noir story detective complete with hat and trench coat. Hes flawed from the outset but clearly the one person that can solve this mystery. The establishment is cracking and full of its own internal strife, which may help Detective Theo Dumas close the case, and then some. But will his discoveries spell his undoing? Time will tell, although,theres more to this protagonist than meets the eye, which could allow him a glimpse behind the curtain. The question is, will he be able to do anything about what he finds there? Will the good guys, such as they are, come out on top or will the monsters in control of society retain their hold on power? Youll like Dumas, and as of the first issue you may even be rooting for him. Hes a classic sort of everyman anti-hero that would save this book from too much doom and gloom.

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8.0
The Black Monday Murders #2

Sep 16, 2016

Its getting good and seems to be getting better, folks. The Black Monday Murders #2 is worth the cover price and proves the series has legs and stride.

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10
The Few #1

Jan 15, 2017

Great first issue, and just what the market needs; a well thought out story with artwork that will make you want more and more and more. Image does it again, and by that we mean they keep providing genuine artists with a platform to showcase their work. The standards improvealmost everytime a new series launches, but The Few is going togive every other creator an all-new bar to reach.

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8.0
The House #1

Feb 13, 2017

The House is one of the rare books that does horror so well it could make the competition look lazy. Starting with a good story is key, but creating a foundation that can be built on for a long time to come is nothing short of impressive. Hats off to these guys! Looking forward to a second issue has never been so thrilling.

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10
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1

Jan 22, 2017

It's everything you love about The Spirit perfectly intact from a fresh, yet loyal perspective. Will Eisner's name is synonymous with achievement, and his creation is perhaps one of the most iconic characters known to comics' fans. But perhaps the greatest gift Eisner gave the industry was insight into the limitless possibilities of the medium. That's why The Spirit remains fertile ground after all these years and The Corpse-Makers is taking full advantage of the possibilities.

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6.0
Vampirella (2017) #0

Feb 1, 2017

However, with a title like Vampirella, making a nice and neat story wont be enough. This comic will have a lot to live up to and its going to be important for the creators to rise to the challenge. Vampirella has always been a blend of genres: horror, fantasy, and science fiction and so heres hoping Dynamite, Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton give as much content as possible to stay true to the essence of the character and her franchise while also breathing new life into Vampirella. So far, were off to a good start.

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8.0
Violent Love #1

Oct 21, 2016

Crime Romance, violence and love describe it how you wish, Violent Love is a book that focuses on the recklessness of human beings and the consequences of actions driven by emotions rather than clear thinking. Its both exciting and cringe-worthy, but definitely worth adding to your pull list, especially if youre looking for reliability in comics outside of superhero books. Once again Image relies on top creators to produce quality books and we cant wait to see what happens next month in Violent Love. Will the book continue to build on the Crime genre, or will it become increasingly familiar? Will there be more similarities with other titles and creators out there already, or will it become even more unique and original? These are some of the critical questions to keep in mindas the series progresses, whether were entertained or not, but if issue #1 is any indication, readers will likelybe satisfied and then some.

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8.0
Violent Love #4

Feb 15, 2017

Expert writing matched up with ideal art is the best formula for any comic, but in a book about criminals and relationships its imperative that each step is taken with care. Have no fear, because Violent Love #4 continues to uphold the quality of this series while promising to keep us engaged in subsequent issues. Although you should definitely be reading along, this fourth issue wouldnt be a bad jumping-on point if you wanted to test the waters before committing. Be warned, though, youll be clamoring for back issues in no time.

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8.0
Weird Detective #1

Jun 16, 2016

Weird Detective is off to a solid start and heres hoping it keeps up the momentum and whether the mundane will continue to fade into the surreal. If the first issue proves anything its that the weird is only going to get weirder.

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8.0
World of Tanks #1

Aug 31, 2016

So, whether youre fan of these types of comics already, or youre just picking one up for the firsttime, World of Tanks: Roll Out is about as exciting as it gets. As of this firstinstallment we get to know a lot about the soldiers involved and the stakes they are up against.Neither side is safe and everyone is living under constant threat of battle, which, when it finally erupts, doesnt seem containable without a degree ofdevastation. Gaming fans will likely want to play World of Tanks as soon as theyre done reading it. As for the comic book, this is realism at its finest and a sure bet for your pull list.

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8.0
X'ed #4

Jan 17, 2017

In the end it feels as if the creative team is staying true to what they set out to produce. Whether thats something fans can latch onto is another thing, but at least XED has a sense of purity. As of issue #4 the story is moving forward quickly and everything that was good about the book early on is only getting better.

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