Noah Sharma's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weekly Comic Book Review Reviews: 373
7.1Avg. Review Rating

7.0
A-Force #1

May 23, 2015

A-Force is not what we were necessarily expecting it to be, could never have been what we were expecting. The pressures to introduce a series, a cast, a pluraverse (not a word), are occasionally too much for the book, as I've said above. That said, what's harder to give due weight to is the fact that if you, for some inexplicable reason, decided to burn this comic and commend its ashes to the wind, there's a good chance that wherever the pieces settled they would form a message, "Comics should be fun." And A-Force is, even if that fun is just revving up. My final word on A-Force #1 is that this is just the beginning and it reads as such. This issue is largely inoffensive and doesn't bowl you over with its strengths, but its triumphs are subtler, setting up a world full of promise. A-Force #1 could never have lived up to all the hype we piled upon it, but it is a solid comic that points the way to a series that yet may.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #23.1

Sep 11, 2013

The issue is not brilliant, but it is a solid comic and, by a long margin, the best of the three Villain's Month issues I read this week. It could stand to back up its archetypes a little better, but there's something of a Claremontian quality in the issue that makes it a pleasure to read. While Villain's Month has failed, as of yet, to justify itself, Action Comics: Cyborg Superman is a great place to get a taste of Michael Alan Nelson's writing and a quick dose of old school comic book sci-fi.

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8.0
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1

Jun 10, 2015

Let's not mince words - Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians is a very different reading experience than your average comic. It flexes muscles that some readers will have rarely used and, more than the format even demands, it is an exceedingly mellow read. Even so, the differences between it and DC or Marvel's standard fare are what make it such a rewarding read.

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7.0
All-New X-Factor #1

Jan 9, 2014

Some coloring issues drag the book down and it needed just a little bit more to hook the audience, but All-New X-Factor has a fantastic premise, a proven writer, and some very pretty art. Only time – and Serval's stock price – will tell where David's newest group of ragtag mutant heroes will land, but they're off to a fine start.

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7.0
All-New X-Factor #3

Feb 18, 2014

This chapter proves that the series has something to say and piques your interest in what's to come, but while both art and story are undeniably interesting, All-New X-Factor is still missing the spark of life it needs.

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6.0
All-New X-Factor #4

Mar 18, 2014

All-New X-Factor is an exhilarating ride, and an attractive one at that, but it's not a fix for the series' recurrent issues, only a distraction.

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7.0
All-New X-Men Annual #1

Dec 30, 2014

Though the sins of its predecessor do limit its effectiveness, All-New X-Men Annual #1 brings Eva's odyssey to a fine conclusion. It's a little light on content but saturated with color and visual splendor. This is definitely one to buy for the art and Bendis wanted it that way. All-New X-Men Annual #1 retains many of the failings of its Uncanny forebear but improves upon it in just as many ways. A stunning spectacle that manages to stay just ahead of its shortcomings.

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6.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #1

Dec 7, 2015

All-New X-Men is an interesting opening issue. It's a confusing jumping on point that rests its entire weight on its recap page. It oscillates between very real and very fake teen writing. Most importantly, despite spending a good deal of time checking in with the cast, the book exclusively gives us insight into Scott Summers. It's as if it didn't, or couldn't, know what it wanted to be.

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5.0
Amazing X-Men #2

Dec 6, 2013

Traditional wisdom holds that fans can love or hate your work, that a series can be controversial or different, but the one thing it cannot be is forgettable. If you missed this issue, I don't know how much it would matter. It's not a bad comic, but it's too early into a new series and an interesting story arc for things to be slowing down.

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8.4
Amazing X-Men #3

Jan 18, 2014

But great art and old-fashioned fun aren't enough to overcome the groaning pace of this arc, know that the character work, written and visual, is fairly outstanding. This issue is clearly more focused on how much happens in the hearts and mind of the characters than in the world around them.Nightcrawler was called the heart of the X-Men. You'll believe it by the time you put this one down.

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7.0
Amazing X-Men #4

Feb 21, 2014

Jason Aaron basically takes a month off from the Azazel plot to assemble his forces and do some spectacular character work. That doesn't make for a very even issue, but, especially combined with McGuinness' artwork, it's the best there is at what it does and what it does is go straight for the feels.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #5

Mar 27, 2014

It's a book tinged with sadness and it lacks the pitch perfect emotion of the last two issues, but this final installment of “The Quest for Nightcrawler” holds its own based on the strong character work, beautiful visuals, and pure drama that made the X-Men a household name in the first place.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #13

Nov 30, 2014

I think James Tynion might have done more with this story given the space. It's a shame that you can feel him straining against the limits of the format at times, but what makes it to the page is a charming issue that, somewhat unevenly, brings the writer's skill for writing teens to the absolute best place for it and pairs it with a similarly talented artist. Each of the creators ride the line between youthful and sophomoric, but they come out on the right side in the end. Amazing X-Men #13 is a special little issue that leaves you feeling happy. That's something that's a little too rare these days.

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8.4
Animosity #1

Aug 8, 2016

Animosity #1 kind of feels like a prologue rather than a full introduction to the series, but what a prologue it is. We don't fully get to the meat of the series, but this issue is funny, poignant, and devilishly clever. With literary references from The Jungle Book to A Game of Thrones coexisting beside 'evil' hamsters and vandal raccoons, Animosity is a strange bird, but, unsurprisingly, it's one that speaks to you.

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4.0
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Jun 16, 2016

Ironically, Aquaman: Rebirth is kind of dry. There are plenty of little morsels to pique interest, but overall it feels stiff and unspectacular. Artistic and editorial issues seriously weighed the book down and Abnett's attempts to demonstrate the breadth of Aquaman's appeal end up feeling more like a rehash than a rebirth. The issue does succeed in starting to define Atlantean culture and politics and those interested in seeing Aquaman as a political thriller may do well to return for issue #1, but this prologue lacks the excitement or joy to buoy it and it sinks, pulled down by the weight of its ambitions.

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7.0
Astonishing Ant-Man #1

Oct 27, 2015

Astonishing Ant-Man is not a replacement for Superior Foes of Spider-Man, but it does bring something of the same street-level crime/comedy ethos to the table. Scott Lang's current situation mixes humanity and superheroics, reverence for the traditional formula with real-world groundedness. The artwork lacks that balance, being much stronger in the superhero scenes, but it's very cinematic and easy to read.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #25

Nov 14, 2013

Bennett crafts an excellent version of Barbara Gordon that combines the best of her Batgirl enthusiasm with the adorkable precision that she brought to her role as Oracle. With a pixie-cut and a tactical vest, this Barbara can hold her own against the best of the character's long and storied history. Especially if you like zombie-stories or other tales of survival and collapse, this is your issue. Though some may not get excited about a story where the villain is the weather and nothing bad can happen to the hero, Batgirl makes the best of Zero Year and comes out of the storm stronger.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #30

Apr 10, 2014

A cool little gift to horror buffs, "The Midnight Man" further establishes Bennett as an interesting voice in the comics world, but the energy she brings to certain small moments betray how many more exciting things she has to say than this. Perhaps, given space, this would have been a stronger story but, as it is, this is solid but unspectacular filler.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #23.3

Sep 19, 2013

Ra's al Ghul has been off the grid for a long while now, but this issue is a fine way to welcome him back where he belongs.

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6.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #10

Dec 16, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #10 is at its best when someone is facing off with Azrael or Tim and Jason are quipping to one another, but what comes between feels fluffy. The pacing is very weak this issue both in terms of keeping the energy up and knowing where to transition and the character moments aren't frequent enough to balance that. Whether due to the lack of time to sit or the need to use the major beats as cliffhangers, issues of weekly series have a habit of being interesting additions to their stories that just don't excite. The issue does its job by making the New 52/DCYou version of Azrael seem impressive and interesting, enough to satisfy this old fan at least. But while it succeeds as a backdoor pilot for Azrael, with inconsistent art and writing, it's a merely decent issue of Batman and Robin Eternal.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #1

Aug 26, 2013

Batman Beyond Universe #1 is a love letter to Batman Beyond. Especially at $3.99 for forty pages, I think fans of the show will find themselves wishing that all of DC's offerings could combine passion and quality the way that this one does

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #2

Sep 21, 2013

Batman Beyond Universe #2 provides another forty-pages of story for the price of a single comic, and fine ones at that. Each of the creative teams provides a rich, character-driven tale that sets up a dramatic conflict for next month. Though Batman's outing is clearly in service of greater things down the road, both are lively, enjoyable comics. It's a little bit light on serious action but, particularly if you miss the energy and character of Justice League Unlimited or Brian Q Miller's Batgirl, you won't find a better deal out there. Batman Beyond Universe takes what you loved about the DCAU and brilliantly adapts it for the comic book medium.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #3

Oct 22, 2013

Batman Beyond forces its way to the top of the pack, this week, avoiding the too-familiar formulas of plot and summoning up the best of its animated predecessor, but JLB is solid as well. In the end, some problems with the pacing and a couple of weaknesses in the art hold Justice League Beyond back, but both are easily on par with the best of the New 52.

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8.4
Batman Beyond Universe #4

Nov 24, 2013

Batman Beyond Universe continues to be not one but two of the strongest comics on my pull list. If you loved the DCAU, know that its legacy lives on and that you should be buying it.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #5

Dec 20, 2013

Overall, Batman Beyond's engaging story and spot-on dialogue feels like the stronger comic. Justice League Beyond is strong, probably an easy competitor for any current series bearing the prestigious JL name, however its dialogue is simply too expository and its plot just a little too jumbled to stand up to Terry's adventures. With their first arcs behind them, both titles in Batman Beyond Universe show no signs of slowing down. Plus it contains an epic Bat-beard.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #6

Jan 28, 2014

In short, JLB is a little too rushed, while Batman Beyond could stand to speed up just a bit. Characterization is the word in this issue. All four of the writers and artists put relationships first and it pays off. After the first issue of the new year, I'm still happy I named this book my favorite new series of 2013.

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7.0
Batman Beyond Universe #8

Mar 26, 2014

This is not the most even issue of Batman Beyond Universe, but dramatic endings for both stories, a particularly epic battle with Brainiac, and an amazing hook for an upcoming crossover make it more than worth the money.

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7.0
Batman Beyond Universe #9

May 7, 2014

Buoyed by an inherently fascinating premise, Batman Beyond Universe #9 is an uneven but highly enjoyable installment of the series.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #10

May 28, 2014

While the structure of the book is a tad simplistic, Batman Beyond Universe #10 is another solid installment of the series that handily won my vote for best new title last year. This storyline is still building and you'll rarely find a better deal or a crossover with an easier reading order. Batman Beyond Universe #10 will get you instantly fired up for "Justice Lords Beyond" and continues to be one of the most consistently well-crafted books on the shelves.

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8.4
Batman Beyond Universe #13

Sep 2, 2014

It's sad to see the Justice League co-feature go, but Batman Beyond Universe #13 really does make the best of it. Though things start out slow, they build to a fever pitch by issue's end. Attractive art and dialogue with a laser sight on your heart make this an impressive addition to one of DC's best books. Batman Beyond Universe #13 is a little too uneven to be an absolute must read, but it's still pretty amazing. If the New 52 line could be half as consistent or brilliant as this supposed side-project, DC would be in a great place.

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8.0
Batman Beyond Universe #15

Oct 26, 2014

Batman Beyond Universe #15 proves to be a wonderful, self-contained story in a beloved world, the kind of thing that makes you sad to know we're leaving it for at least a while come next month.

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9.0
Batman: Joker's Daughter #1

Feb 9, 2014

If you can stomach a stark, unflinching look into some of the worst humanity has to offer, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

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5.0
Batman: Li'l Gotham #7

Oct 9, 2013

Li'l Gotham #7 has its first moments of awkward adolescence, but remains charming and full of potential.

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5.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #23.2

Sep 12, 2013

This Mr. Freeze issue feels a little bit like its throwing things at the wall, but enough of it sticks to make this an interesting issue. Villain's Month has often felt like a series of editorially mandated origin stories, but Grey and Palmiotti's offering has just enough charm and craft to feel like its own issue. It doesn't aspire to the heights of Batman 23.2, another instance of Scott Snyder beating Villain's Month to the origin story punch, but Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2: Mr. Freeze takes its position, comfortably in the middle of the Villain's Month pack.

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8.0
Black Canary (2015) #1

Jun 20, 2015

Black Canary #1 is a great first issue, by far the best of the DC You launches I've read so far. The tone is strong and unified through both writing and artwork and it's all supplemented by some fantastically well-thought out character work. Every reasonable concern I had about this series has been quieted, if not explicitly answered. Though the series isn't an absolute must-read the way books like Saga or Hawkeye have been, it seems destined to claw its way to the top of more than one pull list. If Black Canary represents the direction that DC will take in their handling of classic characters, I think DC You will be remembered fondly.

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5.0
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Aug 28, 2016

There's a lot to be excited about in the latest Blue Beetle series and Blue Beetle: Rebirth is happy to show you just how much. But, as an individual issue, things feel a little cramped and familiar. Those on a tight budget and a desire to support Jaime or Ted might be better served waiting for issue #1.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #1

May 31, 2014

This book is stunningly illustrated and written as if with a chisel. Like some beautiful lovechild of Watchmen andJSA: The Golden Age drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, C.O.W.L. demands greater transparency, safer working conditions, and your attention.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #2

Jun 27, 2014

Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel aren't able to conjure the same cinematic grandeur as in their premiere issue, but C.O.W.L. #2 far exceeds its predecessor in terms of characterization and immersion. The words and artwork come together in a way that demands your attention and, despite the concepts being somewhat familiar, the writers are able to summon up that sense of really learning about the characters that made hits out of New Teen Titans or the works of Warren Ellis. C.O.W.L. #2 is a beautiful character-driven supermystery period piece that's not afraid to get to know the reader. Whether it ends up a best-seller or a cult favorite, I expect that this issue will win a lot of readers over for Higgins and Siegel's passion project.

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9.6
C.O.W.L. #3

Aug 3, 2014

This is a slightly different issue of C.O.W.L. than those that preceded it. Readers who are desperate for more of Pierce's investigation might be sad to see that it takes a back seat, but a greater connection to the characters and the setting should more than earn your dollars. C.O.W.L. #3 covers the series' weaknesses with resounding strength and proves that far more than the premise deserves to be talked about. This is not a series to be missed.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #4

Aug 29, 2014

C.O.W.L. #4 continues the series' unblemished streak and shows that Higgins and Siegel are far from done introducing amazing concepts and vibrant relationships into this story. With incredible art and dialogue you can practically hear, C.O.W.L. is not to be missed.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #5

Sep 29, 2014

Despite some blemishes, the series remains strong, with more nuanced dialogue and jaw-dropping art. C.O.W.L. #5 is another solid entry in what is quickly becoming a definitive comic for Image and Capes in general. It's not quite perfect, but you'll want more by the time you put it down.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #9

Mar 23, 2015

A couple of issues into the second arc of C.O.W.L. things are starting to heat up. With an Alderman held ransom by one of Camden Stone's new supervillains and the strike still on, Chicago is caught between Mayor Daley and Geoffrey Warner.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #10

May 19, 2015

After a short delay C.O.W.L. returns in fine form. Rod Reis' linework has some hit and miss moments, but his sense of scene is strong as ever and what works is gorgeous. His colors are also especially breathtaking. Meanwhile, Higgins and Siegel deliver some great interactions and a growing sense of things coming to a head. It's downright cruel that the creative team announced the cancelation of this book just before this issue because it reminds me why this is one of my favorite books month after month.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #11

Jul 27, 2015

Though it is a little too scattered to match the best installments of the series, C.O.W.L. #11 proves a remarkably even finale to one of my favorite series. The mindblowing art and beautiful character-work remain right to the end as this spotlight on an alternate, but all too real, Chicago powers down, leaving an intelligent film noir ambiguity in the resulting darkness. Though its sad to see it go, C.O.W.L. sticks its landing, closing out an eleven issue run that I'll not soon forget. I strongly recommend grabbing both trades once the second one comes out and keep your eyes open for Hadrian's Wall, a neo-Cold War space sci-fi from the same creative team, in the coming months.

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7.0
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Jul 22, 2015

Seemingly happier to be too full of good ideas than risk overstaying its welcome, Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1 is a terrifically fun comic book. There is some undeniable unevenness in places, but its sense of wonder and straightforward approach disarm quite a bit of that. Though it's mostly just lead up for the real story due next month, the strange, mix-and-match nature of the twin cities is too fascinating to pass by. Mighty Defenders is another bit of proof that Al Ewing is one of the most interesting minds in the house of ideas right now.

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7.0
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1

Oct 22, 2016

At once my blindest and most eager purchase from the Young Animal line, Cave Carson doesn't disappoint, bringing a new grounded and honest hero into DC's stable. Elegant simplicity and a lack of self-consciousness in the writing make this an enjoyable entry point into Young Animal's corner of DC, even if the fantastic elements are lacking at this stage. An admirable counterpoint to Shade, the Changing Girl's mad energy, Cave Carson is a deep breath of fresh air for those looking for something honest and different.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Jun 17, 2015

Constantine: The Hellblazer accomplishes its mission, reintroducing the real John Constantine into a world full of even more strange and frightening creatures. Some of them come from Hell, some of them are regular humans, and some of them wear capes and tights. The character of John Constantine is overwhelming and the plot, while simple, engages the reader. I imagine some readers will take longer adjusting to Riley Rossmo's art than others, but the entire creative team has done some excellent work in establishing a character, a tone, and a little corner of this shared universe for them to inhabit. Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 is that book you would have gone crazy for in high school, without the pandering philosophy or pretentions of invulnerability. It feels like a horror story, like a modern story, like a queer story (in both meanings), like a Vertigo story. It's a great debut issue and a promising start to a new series with plenty to prove.

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6.0
Convergence: Aquaman #2

May 15, 2015

Convergence: Aquaman is one of the first tie-ins to be stronger than its first half. On paper it sounds like every other "Convergence" show down, but there's something vivacious about this story that sets it apart. I would have loved to delve a little bit deeper into some of the ideas Bedard was working with and, despite a valiant effort, Cliff Richards can't bring the artwork up to his usual standard, but the issue does its job nicely. It lacks the importance of the Pre-Flashpoint issues but if you can accept a fun visit to mid-90s Metropolis, you'll probably walk out happy.

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4.0
Convergence: Batgirl #1

Apr 14, 2015

There are lots of fun ideas that live up to the spirit of the dearly departed Stephanie Brown Batgirl, but, ultimately, it isn't enough. Alisa Kwitney's character work is promising but her story structure is lacking and the art from Leonardi and Pennington is too harried to make up the difference, rather needing a brilliant story to cover up its own notable deficiencies. Convergence: Batgirl raises a wry brow at modern heroics, but its structural shortcomings, narrative and artistic, are more than its humor and charm can overcome.

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3.0
Convergence: Batgirl #2

May 12, 2015

It's not that Convergence: Batgirl #2 is worse than its predecessor, in fact I would say that the presentation is actually more even, the structure more sturdy. But, while the flaws are less severe, this issue just doesn't deliver on what we want to see, namely Steph, Tim, and Cass interacting one more time. Both art and story contain some tempting potential and fans of Stephanie Brown who were upset with her treatment in Batman: Eternal will revel in the opportunity to see her back in the spotlight and acting herself, but overall "The Love Song of Stephanie Brown" contains too many flat notes to pull through.

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5.0
Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1

Apr 17, 2015

Larry Hama does a great job of telling a Batman story under the dome and juggling the demands of "Convergence", however his interpretations of the characters leave something to be desired and the dialogue is wordy and unnatural. Thankfully this is one of the most beautiful of the "Convergence" tie-ins I've read. Part of the fun of convergence" is seeing classic versions of favorite characters but those with an attachment to this era of Batman may find the depictions of Bruce and Jean-Paul unconvincing and those coming to the book fresh will lack the nostalgia to overlook Hama's odd scripting choices. All in all, it's a strong effort but falters as often as it succeeds.

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3.0
Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2

May 17, 2015

The structure of Convergence: Shadow of the Bat is actually kind of fun, but the writing is truly lousy. Expository dialogue, unimpressive one-liners, and incredibly generic characters drag down what could have been a perfectly inoffensive comic. It's definitely not as frustrating as the last issue, to which it has essentially no connection, and the art, while different, is rather nice, but I can't imagine anyone actively LIKING this issue. Better plotted than its predecessor but utterly generic, Shadow of the Bat #2 offers little to new readers and nothing to fans of the Zero Hour era.

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8.4
Convergence: New Teen Titans #1

Apr 30, 2015

Convergence: New Teen Titans is a surprisingly effective attempt to revive an old favorite. Wolfman's clever plotting and Scott's classic artwork help this issue prove one of the most effective Convergence titles so far. The sense of being hurried is still present in Nicola Scott's work but its effects are much less of a problem than usual and Wolfman can't escape the need for exposition the event demands, but, as a story, the issue works. These are the characters that a generation of DC readers know inside and out and Wolfman does an admirable job of bringing that to the event format, introducing the characters naturally while telling the story he was brought on to tell. Overall, this is my favorite "Convergence" tie-in.

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8.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #1

Apr 12, 2015

Gail Simone delivers one of the most psychologically charged examinations of the "Convergence" event so far, reuniting us with some beloved characters in the process. The demands of the event hit this issue as hard as any of the other tie-ins, but the attention paid to Oracle's psychology pulls it through, even if the rest of the issue is merely sturdy. Our protagonists need to be better balanced and the art is too variable but Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle navigates the treacherous demands of "Convergence", makes full use of the opportunity to return to pre-"Flashpoint" Gotham, and delivers a strong story in itself.

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7.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #2

May 10, 2015

Overall, this tie-in probably would have been more accurately called Convergence: Oracle, or Convergence: Birds of Prey but that's not really a bad thing unless you're a hardcore Nightwing fan. If you enjoyed Simone's Birds of Prey this book is pretty much exactly what you'll be expecting. Some real fist pump moments and absolute confidence in the character work make this a successful tie-in, but, aside from the greater emphasis on the fight, you probably already knew if you should pick this one up.

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8.0
DC Bombshells #8

Jan 13, 2016

Like Toil and Trouble, DC Comics: Bombshells stands on the strength of its characters and the force of its writer's voice. Bennett continues, in a particularly big way, to craft a world of honesty, heroism, and support with some pulpy zombie one-liners to keep things fresh. The art is hit and miss and some readers will be utterly bored by the lack of serious plot progression, but, with the Bombshells coming together and into their own, this is a strong issue of a fascinating series.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #1

Aug 18, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells takes full advantage of its monomial creative team's strengths and the result of a bustling world that laughs at the comics industry's failures with its heroines, on the page and off. The colors are beautifully restrained but the personalities are as bold as DC's main line, often bolder. The old fashioned narration and lyrical dialogue runs the reader through the heart and Sauvage's art is unlike any other book on the stands. Though the translation to print undermines these early chapters and Wonder Woman's segment is merely a worthy retelling of her myth, Bombshells #1 proves that the series has what it takes. The market is starved for more well-written heroines, but Bombshells will satisfy regardless of gender, race, or philosophy.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #2

Sep 8, 2015

Ultimately the greatest problem with DC Comics' Bombshells at this point is that none of them seem to be blowing up. We're still building and the limited page count is keeping us from the depth I suspect the series is capable of. Nevertheless, it remains a rollicking adventure through DC's catalogue and the alternate history genre, full of character and distinction.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #3

Oct 18, 2015

There are structural flaws with how DC Bombshells has been constructed and issue #3 shows them more clearly than either of its predecessors but we're also on the cusp of greater things. With an Elseworlds vibe to charm the cynical, enough action to play to the base, and enough heart to woo the Downton Abbey generation of nerds, I expect Bombshells will be around for a long time as long as DC supports it properly and gives it the room it needs to grow.

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8.0
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

If you come to this book with cynicism, a position that I can't deny is justified, there is a lot to worry us. But, if you're willing to trust, to have a moment with Johns and his artists and with DC Comics, even for just one read through, there's a lot to be excited for and there's a lot of what has been wrong with DC put to rest.

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6.0
Death of Wolverine: Logans Legacy #3

Nov 3, 2014

Sabretooth is poised to assume a much larger place in the Marvel universe and this tale admirably acquaints new readers with he core of the character while answering the question of how he would react to losing the one constant in his long, hungry life. Both art and writing have moments of real strength and the look of the issue is quite striking. Despite this,limited character work, some tragicallyunclear art, and a feeling of being unnecessary make this an issue best suited to fans of the Wolverine-Sabretooth rivalry or those looking to get a sense of the character.

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7.0
Death of Wolverine: Logans Legacy #4

Nov 19, 2014

Essentially for a series that can't see too much progression lest it subvert the upcoming Wolverines, Bennett finds something meaningful and real to say about Yuriko and the effect Logan's death has had on her. Bennett tells a workmanlike story with the love and passion that I trust will be quite meaningful to a section of her audience and should intrigue another chunk, while Doe draws the way you dreamed after your first anime marathon, in the best possible way. It's by no means a must read, but this issue is a land mine, full of ideas, waiting for the right reader to come along.

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8.4
Descender #1

Mar 7, 2015

While you can be sure that they've consciously cultivated the perception, Image Comics is very much the HBO of the comic industry. There's the same freedom, the same consistent quality, the same hint of snobbery from fans. And, like HBO, while not every series they put out is an immediate hit, the company is defined by its blockbuster successes, the stories that feel like an event. In this regard, Saga and Game of Thrones are probably the best examples of what I mean. Regardless of which analogues you chose, when a series breaks into that hallowed number you can usually tell right away and it is always cause for celebration.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) Annual #2

Aug 6, 2013

Layman has brought a level of craft and intelligence to DC's flagship title since he took the reins, and this annual issue continues that trend. It's a strong story that serves as an interesting wrinkle the tapestry Layman is weaving.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #24

Oct 5, 2013

Tec #24 provides a solid climax for the Wrath arc and gives us a two-fisted spectacle. Unfortunately, it lacks the sophistication of Layman's previous work on the title. It's fun and pleasing to the eye, but comparatively uninspired.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #25

Nov 8, 2013

Layman crafts a decent police corruption tale that gets by on the strength of its narration. Objectively there are problems with both stories, but that mattered very little to me when I put the issue down. The noir-inspired feel of the piece and clever use of Gotham history make this a fun issue and a fine return to form after the middle-of-the-road Wrath arc. I missed you, Layman.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #26

Dec 7, 2013

Layman and Lopresti's skills are both on display this month, but you can't get through this issue without being distracted by a serious flaw in each case. Layman's script has loads of potential, but feels positively suffocated, while a poor representation of a major character hurts Lopresti.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #27

Jan 9, 2014

If you've always dreaded these sorts of issues, I'm not sure that the beginning of Gothtopia will be enough to justify the price of admission, but I can say that Meltzer, Tomasi, and Snyder turn in particularly impressive efforts that set this comic apart from its fellows. The art is varied and beautiful and the writers each have something to say about Batman's seventy-five years. If we have to have another Detective #27, this is a pretty fun one.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #30

Apr 3, 2014

It's a new and beautiful take on DC's namesake title, but readers looking to test the waters might be better off waiting for part two.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #31

May 8, 2014

If writing is all that matters to you, Detective #31 is a decent issue, with some great atmosphere and wonderful, if inconsistent, ideas at play, but for most of us, that art is going to affect your decision. Buccellato and Manapul's work is beautiful enough to passively marvel at, but full of enough craft to satisfy the art loving reader. It's a step up from last issue and evidence that Manapul and Buccellato have things to say with this book, but the investigation will have to continue next month before the extent of their talents becomes clear.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #32

Jun 14, 2014

It's a messy issue and not a particularly crucial one, but you can't deny that's it's a smart and charming concept with some incredible art. With this third chapter it's starting to become clear what kind of run Manapul and Buccellato are trying to craft on Detective Comics. This issue probably offers the best look at the strengths and weaknesses that the pair bring to the table but while the art is incredible and that one scene of Bullock deserves endless rounds on the internet, I can't recommend this one unless you've loved the previous issues or can justify the purchase on the sheer beauty of the artwork.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #33

Jul 11, 2014

The art is characteristically gorgeous, particularly the use of light, and Manapul's knack for layouts gives the book a great sense of pace. While I've never disliked it, this is the first issue where I'm truly excited to see more of "Icarus" and with the finale right around the corner, Manapul and Buccellato couldn't have picked a better time to inspire that feeling in their reader.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #34

Aug 8, 2014

Manapul and Buccellato tried to fly high on this conclusion to their first Detective Comics adventure, but "Icarus"'s wings melt at the last minute.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #37

Dec 7, 2014

Manapul and Buccellato's second arc opens stronger than their first one ended, but there are still some hiccups that are holding it back. The art is beautiful, of course, but this issue doesn't feel like it's taking full advantage of the artists' abilities. Manapul and Buccellato have some fantastic ideas for this title, but, as of yet, they're not coming through clearly enough. An intriguing return, but a flawed one.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #934

Jun 14, 2016

Detective Comics returns this week with an oddly quiet start to DC Rebirth proper. James Tynion seems to be focused on laying the groundwork for his run, trusting that readers will see the potential of the reborn DC flagship. Luckily for him, and us, the depth of that potential is fairly staggering. Tynion writes an elite unit of Batman's most beloved allies with the respect that fans dream of and the confidence that pros envy, topping the whole thing off with one of the most fantastic Clayface moments in years. The art is strong and the compositions bold, but, while it tells the story admirably, it only wows occasionally. Detective Comics #934 is a middle of the road issue from some impressive talents, but it shines where it counts. Even if your assessment is harsher than mine, I can't imagine a fan of these characters putting down this book without a legitimate hunger to see where they go next and what Tynion, Barrows, and their teammates have in store for them.

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8.4
Detective Comics (2016) #935

Jun 28, 2016

Detective Comics #935 is an immensely satisfying read. The art is lovely and the character work is deft. It's still a little on the slow and talky side, but Eddy Barrows and Adriano Lucas keep that visually engaging while Tynion's cast wins over fans and soon-to-be-fans alike. It's not that this feels like a fantastic issue, but that it feels like a somewhat average issue of the fantastic Bat-series you've been waiting for.

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8.4
Detective Comics (2016) #938

Aug 16, 2016

This rebirth of Detective Comics isn't the flashiest book on the stands but it continues to astound, week after week, with its well-structured plots and lovingly full character work. Each issue is 'merely' strong, but, taken as a whole, James Tynion and a team of talented artists are putting out one of the best offerings of DC Rebirth.

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7.0
Doctor Fate #1

Jun 24, 2015

Doctor Fate #1 remains decompressed and overly familiar, but only as much as it continues to peek through these issues to reveal some flashes of old-school wonder. The weight of the storm is probably the issue's greatest asset, offering something unique and oddly threatening to the story, with only Sonny Liew's distinct and lovely artwork challenging that claim. Doctor Fate needs to break some new narrative ground if it's going to feel like more than the same old DC with a new coat of paint, but, for the moment, the commingling of the mythic and the utterly real keep this story feeling fresh. Make sure you check out the free preview before deciding to pick this up, you'll need to have read it anyway, but there is some magic in this otherwise merely sturdy debut.

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7.0
Doctor Fate #3

Aug 22, 2015

Doctor Fate #3 is a book of tantalizing highs and disappointing lows. Sonny Liew doesn't get the chance to show off quite the way that previous issues have allowed but the artwork still radiates a sense of something new and honest. Structural problems and awkward lines clash against an interesting plot and a particularly strong Doctor Fate. The potential is so there, but a feeling of familiarity, both archetypal and immediate, holds this issue back. Doctor Fate remains one of the DC You titles that's done the most to catch my eye, but it's not yet one that I actively recommend. Hopefully the coming months will clarify this book's Ma'at.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #4

Sep 20, 2015

At this stage I think we're just going to have to accept that Doctor Fate is going to be something of a decompressed read. This month, thankfully, that just means we get some slightly unnecessary pages. Nevertheless, once you accept that I think you'll find a unique and enjoyable comic in Doctor Fate. Paul Levitz is filling a niche that I'm not sure we even realized we needed filled and Sonny Liew's art carves out a corner of the DCU for the series to play out in. With well defined characters and a special attention to the sacred and mundane, Doctor Fate #4 is an example of what DC is doing right with DCYou.

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6.0
Empowered Special: Internal Medicine #1

Apr 2, 2014

Internal Medicine uses its smaller focus to explore a corner of Empowered's world that might otherwise have gone unseen and uses its smaller size as an opportunity to try new things visually. It's plenty clever but, despite a cool tie-in to a beloved chapter from volume 7, it's non-essential. Easy to pick up and read, Empowered: Internal Medicine is probably best left to those interested in the art and Empowered fans looking for a quick fix.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #11

Aug 16, 2013

There are great books and there are solid books. While the former may get more attention, the latter are an underappreciated wonder in the world of comics. Fantastic Four #11 is a seriously solid book. Fraction and Sebela give us a thought-out, clever version of the Four that plays to the unique strengths that the team's 'adventurers of science' pedigree allows them. Mark Bagley's art and the impressive layouts of the book make it a visual treat. But, despite the seemingly well-oiled machine that this team has put together, it stutters from time to time. Nevertheless fans of the franchise should find plenty to like.

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5.0
Flash (2011) Annual #2

Aug 5, 2013

The Flash Annual #2 is a fun, simple look at two of the industry's greatest characters penciled by two personal favorite artists. It'll make a fine introduction to the Flash for any readers looking to jump on or a quick taste of nostalgia for fans sick of earth-shattering consequences and needless melodrama.

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7.0
Flash (2011) #23.3

Sep 22, 2013

It may not have the humor of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, but The Flash #23.3: The Rogues is another treat for those who like their super-crooks a little more human.

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9.0
Gambit #15

Jul 26, 2013

Gambit #15 is quiet little issue that you might easily overlook, but especially if you're looking for a little variety in your superhero comic, you'd do well to give it a shot. The art is simply beautiful and the pacing, top-notch. Gambit is every bit the charming rogue that you know and love, but the book is tinged with an engrossing emptiness as he struggles with change and identity. Gambit #15 takes the character back to basics, without forgetting where he's been and what he's been through.

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8.0
Godzilla: Cataclysm #1

Aug 15, 2014

Godzilla: Cataclysm #1 is a book of great potential, looming, fulfilled, and wasted. This first issue is a solid start, but the best part of it is the feeling that Bunn will deliver a memorable addition to the character's legacy. It's possible that he could falter, but, based on this, I think it's probably worth finding out for yourself. Stunning art, gripping captions, a definite purpose, and an apparent fascination with some of Toho's stranger creations mark Cataclysm as a unique and interesting kaiju story.

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7.0
Godzilla: Cataclysm #2

Sep 21, 2014

Godzilla: Cataclysm #2 begins to lay out the conflict of the series, seeing us through the first real monster brawl and implying that Hiroshi is hiding something, some kind of attempt to act on the stage reserved for gods. It remains a fascinating take on the Kaiju genre and presents one of the strongest representations of Godzilla's character, but Bunn could stand to use his time more effectively, while Wachter's work last month has left me spoiled. The ideas are much fuller this go around, but the pacing is strained and the book just doesn't have the same glow about it as in issue #1. Still, for an issue that could be so much more than it is, it does an impressive job of making you want to come back for more. Next month's issue will determine whether the recurrent problems form a pattern but, if issue #3 can break away from the troubles that plagued its predecessors, there's plenty here that hints towards a memorable addition to Godzilla's comic legacy.

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8.0
Godzilla: Cataclysm #3

Oct 26, 2014

The structural problems of the series continue this month, and they are severe, but, for any problems, the creators' gifts come through too strongly to hold it against the book. Like the king of the monsters, himself, Godzilla: Cataclysm lumbers forward, unstoppable powerful but plodding in pace and, just the same, the only choice it to accept it or keep out of its way.

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4.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #2

Aug 13, 2013

Godzilla can work as a work of campy humor or a serious consideration of horror and destruction, but this series needs to define itself a little better. It's not entirely clear who the target audience is for this comic and we're going to need some relationships established, human or kaiju, if this isn't just going to be a showcase for cool kaiju art. Still the potential is there.

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6.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #3

Aug 29, 2013

There are some serious weak spots, but Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth #3 is a gorgeous issue, and one that Kaiju fans will likely remember for a long while.

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4.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #4

Sep 26, 2013

This would actually be a pretty amazing set piece in an actual Godzilla film, but without motion and with the limitless 'effects budget' of comics, it feels like it isn't quite living up to its potential.

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6.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #5

Nov 5, 2013

It's still lacking a little bit in regards to dialogue, but it does give one hope that Mowry's craft will continue to improve. A lovely little self-contained story that could bear fruit down the line, and one supported by some nice at that.

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6.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #7

Dec 24, 2013

Though there's a goofiness that would make this a perfect comic for a young kaiju fan, there's plenty for we old people as well. Fans of the genre should definitely give this a look.

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7.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #8

Feb 1, 2014

Godzilla fans of all ages and intensities will appreciate this issue and, if the creative team can keep this up, it could easily become the go-to introduction for skeptical converts to the Godzilla brand.

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6.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #9

Feb 25, 2014

More great plot developments and some lovely art make this another solid entry in the Rulers of the Earth series, however, a heavy dose of exposition and a wonky looking Godzilla weigh it down.

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7.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #10

Apr 1, 2014

While this series still has a couple of underlying problems, the past few issues have been unusually strong and this one is likely the most sturdily constructed of the entire run. Chris Mowry's simpler goals for this issue allow him to really focus on the basics, which lead to a stronger sense of place, and Matt Frank gives us as good an issue as ever he's produced. Together the pair craft the strongest fight of the series, move us forward in the world, and do some great character building; what more do you want?

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7.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #14

Jul 30, 2014

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth is a fun series and this is a particularly strong installment. Though it still lacks the vision or the uniqueness to truly stand out the way Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye or Godzilla: The Half-Century War do, issue #14 proves that Mowry and Frank have some really interesting ideas to play with. The writing is perhaps the best the series has seen " dialogue, structure, and all " and Matt Frank continues to tighten his craft as the series continues. Full of a little bit of everything great about the kaiju genre and a slew of clever shout-outs to classic Godzilla lore, this issue should thoroughly satisfy fans of Japan's biggest star.

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7.0
Grayson #2

Aug 8, 2014

Grayson #2 features strong, if uneven, character work, an interesting but familiar plot, and strikingly solid artwork. Dick Grayson is second to the mad-cap creativity of Spyral and your enjoyment will depend strongly on whether those ideas resonate with you. It's a comic trying to be a lot of things at once, a trip down a The Prisoner-esque rabbit hole, that both benefits and suffers from its ADHD outlook but, for the right reader, it will be a welcome experiment from DC.

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6.0
Grayson Annual #3

Jul 7, 2016

Annuals are difficult. They're expensive and often either intrusively mandatory or utterly unnecessary. Grayson Annual #3 aims to reclaim the later, offering something that readers of the series are under no obligation to purchase but hopefully provides enough fun to justify the $5 price tag and, to its credit, fun is exactly what it provides. Though it it remains supplementary, it's an excellent case of supplementary reading. The reader with a tight comics budget or limited interest in anthology style stories shouldn't feel bad about passing this one up, but fans looking for a solid Hellblazer adventure, more of Azrael's story, a thoughtful look at Harley Quinn, or one last hit of Grayson will find something to love here.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2016) #3

Jul 24, 2016

Revealing and personalizing the threat helps to avoid some of the familiarity of the last issue while Percy's writing remains strong and manages to dodge some of the minor pitfalls demonstrated by previous issues. Juan Ferreyra continues a trend of gorgeous artwork and breathtaking color. Some elements feel excessive or a little too insistent, but when weaknesses appear, they're less likely to be out and out sins than creative decisions that you can appreciate even if you don't agree. In short, three issues in, Green Arrow remains a shining star of DC Rebirth and looks to remain that way.

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9.0
Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Jun 4, 2016

I had barely heard anything about Benjamin Percy or Otto Schmidt before Wednesday, but that's just another way that Green Arrow Rebirth is a most welcome surprise. The art will floor you and the dialogue and character is spot on, bringing one - debatably two - of DC's oldest characters back to their roots and closer to their potential. Though it doesn't reinvent the wheel, this issue has heart and craftsmanship from front cover to back, delivering a textbook example of how to launch a series in record time. I'm so glad I gave this one a try, and I imagine there are plenty of you who will feel the same, whether you're jaded old fans looking for a taste of something fun again or rowdy Social Justice Warriors looking for heroes who aren't afraid to side with the downtrodden. Classic DC wonder and modern groundedness, the actual quality instead of the meaningless buzzword, collide here. If this is what DC means by a Rebirth, they may just deliver.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) Annual #2

Oct 30, 2013

Green Lantern Annual #2 doesn't live up to the rare pedigree that "Sinestro Corps War" or "Blackest Night" belong to, nor does it try to shock you the way that "War of the Green Lanterns" did, but it proves that this franchise can survive Johns' departure. Robert Venditti provides a satisfying conclusion to this event and lays the pipe for who knows how many stories down the line.

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1.6
Green Lantern (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

In the end, we get a nice glimpse into another version of the Lantern Corps, but little more. Readers of New Guardians won't get much out of this issue, and I fear that those who don't partake of that particular title will get most of this information again next month when Relic declares "Lights Out." Limited word count, panel count, and plot progression weigh heavy on this issue and, though it's not a bad comic, I just can't recommend it. I'm afraid that this would have been better as the first third of a much stronger comic.

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6.0
Green Lantern (2011) #24

Oct 2, 2013

Even as Saint Walker is wheeled off to the citadel, Green Lantern #24 gives me hope for this event. Now it's up to the Wordsmiths of 2814 to harness that power.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #26

Dec 7, 2013

Though the smaller scale might not be to every taste, this is a solid Green Lantern tale, attractively rendered.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #30

Apr 5, 2014

Venditti brings a real sense of military culture to Green Lantern this month and it proves essential in bringing these characters to life. It feels like every one of the contributors has upped their game for this issue and the result is the best issue of Venditti's run.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #31

May 10, 2014

With engaging villains, a much improved sense of pace, lovely artwork, and a solid cliffhanger to tie things together, the first issue of "Uprising" leads me to believe that this may be the best Green Lantern crossover since, at least, "War of the Green Lanterns". Venditti is finally showing what he can do all at once and I couldn't be happier.

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6.0
Green Lantern (2011) #32

Jun 11, 2014

Fans of Venditti's personal style will enjoy what he's doing here but, objectively, I can't call it one of the best of his run.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #36

Nov 11, 2014

Robert Venditti comes out swinging, delivering a comic that's humming with energy. Perhaps what's most intriguing about this issue is the way that this energy informs the plot and the artwork, rather than the other way around. There are some blemishes – weaknesses in the art, apparent reversals of theme, some rushed moments – but Green Lantern #36 just feels vibrant and emphasis on humor and character work bears that out. Though some will bemoan the title's subjugation to the "Godhead" event, GL #36 accepts that it's merely a chapter in this story and focuses on being the best chapter it can be.

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5.0
Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1

Oct 7, 2014

Ultimately, the word that hamstrings this issue is 'unnecessary'. Scenes, lines, concepts feel unnecessary and, in the end, this issue does for the most part. If you're jazzed about the concept, it might be worth your time, but I might test the waters with Green Lantern #35 first.

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7.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #2

May 3, 2014

Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #2 has some definite issues, but the story itself is engaging, the characters lively, and the tone strong. Though it lacks the finesse of Jordan's finest work, it's an enjoyable addition to Kyle Rayner's story and one that won't fail to excite fans of the series.

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5.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #22

Jul 19, 2013

It doesn't right the ship, but it proves that this series still has legs. If the creative team can build on the best of this issue, the series may yet have a chance at glory, but , on its own, New Guardians #23 is unremarkable, no better and no worse.

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6.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23

Aug 27, 2013

Jordan continues to stall until Lights Out begins, but finds some interesting wrinkles in the presence of the Blue Lantern Corps. Both art and writing have moments of strength and weakness that generally even out, but the final pages of the tale succeed in drawing out the emotion and leaving New Guardians ready for Villain's Month and Lights Out.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #24

Oct 22, 2013

New Guardians #24 does a pretty great job of naturally setting up the end of this event and provides a lovely Kyle Rayner story in the process. Though certain characters' voices are notably stronger than others, artistic innovation and a sense of scope that's been sorely missing make this far more than the standard tie-in.

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8.4
Green Lantern: New Guardians #25

Nov 23, 2013

A clever premise, a solid handle on Kyle's voice, and lovely art make this a great place to jump onto the adventures of my favorite Lantern.

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5.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #26

Dec 21, 2013

New Guardians #26 is a fine conclusion to an incredible premise, but it's not as well told as it probably should be. I recommend it largely based on the strength of its predecessor and hints that there will be a return to such glory for the title, but you'll need issue #25 to really appreciate it.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #27

Jan 26, 2014

If this title can continue to tell engaging episodic sci-fi yarns the way it has over the past three issues, I expect that you'll start hearing a lot more about New Guardians in the coming days.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #31

May 24, 2014

Justin Jordan strikes me as a writer who always has more fun ideas that he had to cut out, especially in his DC work, and it's a feeling that comes through especially strongly in this one-shot story. Despite being too big for its binding, this story proves that this new leg of Kyle's journey will retain the heart and inventiveness of its predecessors.

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6.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #32

Jun 24, 2014

Readers who love psychological horror or atmospheric comics will probably get a real kick out of this issue, but I suspect that many readers may have trouble with the monotony of the story and predictable structure. Though Jordan succeeds in building anticipation for the next issue, it will likely be a matter of taste whether this one is worth your while.

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7.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #35

Oct 22, 2014

Whether you mark this as talky or true-to-life is a matter of taste, but Jordan demonstrates his own mastery of the emotional spectrum, particularly something in the yellow range, as Brad Walker shows off some masterful expression work.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #38

Jan 26, 2015

Justin Jordan has excelled at exploring the outcomes of major Green Lantern events. Coming onto the book in the aftermath of "Wrath of the First Lantern", delivering some of his best work in the secrecy of post-"Lights Out", Jordan really doesn't seem to have any problem with being diverted by events. In this case, especially, he seemingly laughs at the concept, acting as if Godhead existed purely to further New Guardians' plotlines, rather than the traditional, reversed view. That said, it does acknowledge that this is a new chapter for the book and, even if it had not been announced yet, it makes no secret that this is the end.

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6.0
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #1

Jul 1, 2015

Green Lantern: Lost Army #1 feels like a second issue, already confident that it's attracted its readership and already slowing down. Without a big moment like Krona's appearance at the end of the Divergence preview, this feels a little bland for a debut issue. Nonetheless, Jesus Saiz delivers some truly lovely visuals and Cullen Bunn's mysteries seem to bode well for the series going forward. While this is certainly not Bunn's best work, there are enough hints of greatness to keep me interested.

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8.0
Hadrian's Wall #1

Sep 20, 2016

Hadrian's Wall is both fascinating and a little strange in its objective, slinking pace, setting up dominos for a classic sci-fi murder mystery. At this stage Siegel and Higgins are asking you to trust the craft on display here and come back for the next issue, when the action really begins, but absolutely incredible artwork and big ideas don't make it all to hard to have faith. The fact that the writing team has largely had Rod Reis to themselves over the past years is an incredible blessing that they seem all too happy to share with us and the emotional core of the mystery gives us something real to hold onto. Though its first issue trades on tension rather than action, Hadrian's Wall is poised to be the kind of comic that justifies a separate term for graphic novels.

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4.0
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #1

Jul 31, 2016

After a solid Rebirth issue, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps stumbles on its debut. It's not that there's so much wrong with this issue as there really isn't enough space or necessity in its telling to justify how little it does that's right. The art's Bronze Age style meets modern technique fusion is appealing and the attention to character beats bodes well, but come back next issue when the story will hopefully have caught up to the series' potential.

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8.0
InSEXts #1

Dec 12, 2015

With a powerful tone and clear emotional resonance, InSEXts is a solid debut that almost conjures up an orchestral composition, fitting for its place in time. Marguerite Bennett brings us a suitably classy Victorian version of an Exploitation story, full of sex; counter culture; and revenge, and Ariela Kristantina and Bryan Valenza see it through with absolutely stunning visuals. The greatest problem is that the plot for this issue is a little light, betraying its one-shot origins. I can't help but think that next issue will be where we really see what Bennett will bring to the table. Nonetheless, the writing is borne out by its execution and the artwork is not to be missed.

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9.0
Invader Zim #1

Jul 12, 2015

It's hard losing a beloved show to the treacherous wiles of TV execs, but in this beautiful golden age of fandom revivals are possible like never before and one of the ways a series is most likely to achieve its dreams of new life is through comics. There are some dangers, however. How are fans to know if a revival comic will live up to their wildest dreams?

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8.0
Invader Zim #2

Aug 26, 2015

Invader Zim #2 remains an incredibly honest revival of a beloved property and an absolute gift to fans. Even so, this isn't the essential read its predecessor was and the jokes are more hit and miss this month. The art remains a particularly lovely and faithful representation of the cult classic's aesthetic and, while you can feel how much this script wants to be animated, the storytelling is very strong. Though it's merely average compared to the series' incredible opening salvo, Invader Zim #2 encourages my belief that this may well be one of the best comic revivals I've ever seen.

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8.4
Invader Zim #3

Sep 23, 2015

With this third issue, Invader Zim proves that its triumphant opening was no fluke and that there is much greatness and much strangeness yet to come. Eric Trueheart gives us a great, simple plot that allows the story to grow all manner of hilarious tangents. Between he and Aaron Alexovich, the comedic timing is brilliant. If you get tired of Zim's artist schtick or are generally immune to the series' charms, this issue could get tiresome, but I expect that the vast majority of readers will find a side-splitting and sharply crafted new story within these pages.

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6.0
Invader Zim #6

Jan 13, 2016

It's an interesting treat to see another cartoonist put their own spin on Zim, even if there are some occasional growing pains. Like last month's issue and most of the episodes that spawned Zim, this is a completely inessential read. A weak ending and some repetitive jokes hold this one back, but this still feels like Zim and it's a part of Zim that we haven't gotten much of. If you enjoy the absurdist world that Zim inhabits this is a great look at it, but otherwise it's merely an interesting experiment.

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8.4
Joyride #1

Apr 28, 2016

Form follows function for Joyride. This story of careful thought and enthusiasm bringing a trio together and rebelling against stifling restriction by embracing movement and space certainly seems to have parallels in life, but the reverse is true as well. Especially under its initial expectation of a four-issue run, this feels like the negotiating phase before a poorly thought-out but utterly memorable trip. Some people don't end up going on those joyrides; that's just not their thing. Just the same, I expect that some readers won't find this issue mind-blowing, but, for many, I think this is a chance to spend some time getting to know your newest fictional friends. Whether it strikes your fancy or not, Joyride #1 is a wonderfully crafted debut. We're all Catrin in this moment. I strongly recommend you give Uma's plan a chance.

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7.0
Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1

Jan 17, 2017

Vixen is in good hands here. Even if her story is rushed in places and rather familiar to anyone who has spent time with the character, Hauser, Orlando, and Campbell make Vixen's introduction to DC Rebirth a considered and potent one. The limitations of the intended goal strangle this story a little but thoughtful writing and beautiful artwork make this an enjoyable read. If DC allows Orlando and co. to expand on the foundation established here, Vixen could finally have her day.

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9.0
Lunch Witch #2

Nov 3, 2016

Though I find it a different and slightly lesser reading experience than its predecessor, this second Lunch Witch graphic novel affirms the strength and staying power of this idea and this series. Grunhilda's saga of betrayal and self reflection is told clearly but without harping on morals or capital-T 'Themes', opting instead for relatable and seriously fun storytelling. A tale in the tradition of Jon Scieszka or Hendrik Drescher, The Lunch Witch: Knee-Deep in Niceness brings a welcome edge to kid's comics. In art and storytelling, Lucke is clearly still in touch with the child she was and that incredible, slightly manic energy infuses the book, producing a comic that children, parents, and even we single weirdos will thoroughly enjoy.

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9.0
Magneto (2014) #1

Mar 6, 2014

This story acknowledges the many roles Magneto has played over the years and the cultural power that he's accrued without ever feeling a slave to them and with absolute certainty in the direction it's taking him. Few comics can get by as much on tone as this one does, but from the narration to the art to the colors, this one will take your breath.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #2

Apr 3, 2014

The combination of Bunn, Walta, and Bellaire is frighteningly effective. Together the three of them have crafted a very distinct series. While Bunn's look at the master of magnetism is considered and arresting, Walta and Bellaire stand out even more this month. Decompression is a serious problem, in more ways than one, but this is a comic that you read breathlessly.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #3

May 11, 2014

Magneto #3 is different from the normal mutant story in content and telling, but if you're an X-Men fan interested in something new, something quiet and mournful, it's a must read.

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7.0
Magneto (2014) #4

May 24, 2014

In short, Magneto #4 is a decent read, overflowing with personality, but it's much weaker than its brethren. Bunn crafts another solid story, but when it comes down to it, it reads like well-written but unessential filler. While I still recommend it for fans of the series, it's not required reading nor is it the best place to jump on.

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8.0
Magneto (2014) #5

Jun 6, 2014

There's a minor dearth of content that weighs the issue down, but what there is retains the same smooth writing that's made this series such a hit. And with Gabriel Walta back on art duties, and a new character to discover, there's some great content here. While it lacks the punch of the first arc, Magneto remains one of the tensest and most skillfully realized comics in Marvel's arsenal.

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6.0
Magneto (2014) #6

Jul 3, 2014

Magneto #6 lacks the strength of motivation found in the series' first three issues and, as a result, feels comparatively aimless. The unflinching grit is still present, but this issue opts against the normal procedural approach and basks in some straight horror. Fans attracted to the genre and its examinations of resistance and powerlessness will find Bunn and Fernandez's partnership rewarding, but the strong character work and intellectualism that have defined the title seem to have taken the back burner this week.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #7

Jul 21, 2014

Magneto #7 doesn't necessarily reverse some of worrying trends within the title, but it is, without a doubt, one of the series' best issues. You put this issue down with a faster heart rate than when you picked it up.

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8.0
Magneto (2014) #8

Aug 21, 2014

This issue commendably moves things forward for Magneto and introduces a number of fascinating concepts. It lacks the immediacy, the punch, of last issue, but I can once again describe this book as the thinking reader's X-Men.

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7.0
Magneto (2014) #9

Sep 13, 2014

Magneto #9 falls just short of its pedigree, not a difficult feat considering, and is further hurt by its position as the clear beginning of an unfinished narrative. Still, the strength of the concept and the open-ended nature of its best moments hint that this "Axis" tie-in may yet bear fruit. It's an issue thats less good than it is enjoyable, but, if you've been loving Cullen Bunn's take on Magneto, you'll probably get a kick out of this issue as well.

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6.0
Magneto (2014) #10

Sep 26, 2014

It's a comic I can only recommend to fans of this series or its protagonist but, especially considering the limitations "Axis" has placed on his story, Cullen Bunn crafts an interesting pit stop on the March to Axis.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #15

Feb 24, 2015

It had been a while since Magneto had fully felt like itself when S.H.I.E.L.D. touched down on Genosha last month for a strong but highly focused issue. This month we're finally back in the saddle for real.

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7.0
Magneto (2014) #16

Mar 25, 2015

Magneto #16 seems to be something of an extremely soft reboot for the series, keeping everything fans have come to love about the highly unique title while also significantly changing the modus operandi. Having made it clear to S.H.I.E.L.D. that he neither respects nor submits to their authority, Magneto turns away from the stealthy assassin for mutant rights angle he had been pursuing and formally sets up shop on Genosha again, openly welcoming shiploads of mutants fleeing oppression every day.

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8.4
Magneto (2014) #21

Aug 29, 2015

Magneto #21 is not without problems. This arc stretched out waaay too long and there is a crucial lack of drama in many of the present day scenes. However, the quality of the writing itself is of the same vintage as the rest of this excellent series and, here, at the end, the collaboration between words and pictures has never been stronger. A gorgeous look back on one of comics' most well considered lives awaits those who pick up this final issue and those who love the fundamentally tragic or ironic elements of Magneto will adore it. The issue ends beautifully and so does the series.

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9.0
March #1

Aug 20, 2013

March is an artful and important graphic novel; one that I expect will find its way into classrooms and comic collections alike. Congressman Lewis has given us a glimpse, not only into his life, but into an important time.

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9.6
March #3

Aug 10, 2016

An impressive end to this beautiful experiment and the latest act of non-violent revolution from Congressman Lewis.

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8.4
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #0

Jan 18, 2016

While the sheer number of stories makes this an issue better suited to its Zero issue status than a full debut, each one has something charming, different, and honest to say about the Power Rangers brand. With more space in future installments, the few significant flaws, such as tepid characterization and rushed fights, seem destined to give way to a series uniquely able to answer the range and passion that MMPR has inspired over the years. Overall, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #0 is a fantastic tribute to the series that ignited a phenomenon, able to honor what came before while updating it for the modern day. It brings the drama and scale that captured countless childhood imaginations back for an unironic reminder of exactly why that was that will excite a fan of the series, regardless of age.

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7.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #1

Mar 7, 2016

This may not be an issue to get excited over, but it's clearly a calculated delay. Kyle Higgins' character work is subtle but fascinating and practically beckons the reader to get on board before things really take off. The art is distinctive and engaging and the entire creative team is positively locked on to the story they want to tell. Combine that with a cute backup and a sense that Boom! is 100% behind this series and you've got a huge amount of promise waiting for a spark. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #1 may not honestly be the #1 issue of this series, but, despite its tempered pace, it remains an electrifying reinvention of a classic property.

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7.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #3

May 11, 2016

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers #3 is a troubled issue, but only if you look at it in the context of its extremely successful brothers and sisters. There are actually a lot of great moments here and nearly every scene is strong and gripping in itself, its just that, as an issue, it lacks a single great moment to pull it all together. The art reflects this struggle as well, being hit or miss during dramatic conversations but remaining beautiful in its depiction of Rangers and Zords and striking overall. Excellent showings from Trini and Goldar and some gorgeous Zord panels help this series immensely, but lack the punch to sell the issue. Not enough happens this month to put it on par with previous issues, but Power Rangers #3 proves that this series' 'weak' issues are still fascinating and rich.

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8.4
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Pink #1

Jun 8, 2016

Power Rangers: Pink #1 is an exhilarating reinvention of one of the series' classic characters. There really was an electric feeling surrounding my first read of the issue. It feels almost like a middle-of-the-road title from a beautiful future where comics are universally good and female protagonists are written with power and respect. Of course, like many books that so thoroughly blow you away, it loses something on subsequent reads, flaws becoming a little more apparent, but there's no denying that this is an impressive debut. If you're a fan of Boom!'s Power Rangers or Fletcher's Black Canary I strongly recommend giving this book a shot. It's pretty freakin' Morphinominal.

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8.4
Monstress #1

Nov 11, 2015

With sixty-six pages of gorgeous art and haunting storytelling, Monstress is certainly a debut that demands your attention. Marjorie Liu is telling a story with the kind of breadth and polish that you'd usually only find in Saga. Add to that that this book is beautiful and different from nearly anything else on the shelves and you've got quite a start to an intriguing series. The only problem is that Monstress #1 is a very difficult read and one that doesn't necessarily pitch the series well. You won't necessarily know if you're going to love this series when you put this issue down, but Liu and Takeda seem to be counting on you being too blown away to mind. It's a weird start to a series, but a masterful issue. Trust that there are big things in store and trust that you'll be hearing more about Monstress.

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8.4
Monstress #4

Mar 18, 2016

Monstress #4 is, by far, my favorite issue of this series so far. Admittedly it still feels a bit like Marjorie Liu is struggling between a desire to tell us everything and keep everything a closely guarded secret, but the balance is much stronger this month and the choice to split the politics and inner struggle into two separate sequences works wonders. Sana Takeda hasn't missed a beat yet and it seems like she's not going to any time soon. Though the ingredients still don't fully combine, this is an indisputably artful comic on every level and a hint towards the great things this book may have in store.

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8.4
Mother Panic #1

Nov 17, 2016

Mother Panic takes a familiar story and tells it beautifully, balancing vulnerability and that scathing, untouchable sense of judgement that we as modern westerners aspire to expertly. Art and script know exactly what the conventions of this story are and are all too happy to have it both ways, giving readers the comforting embrace of the well-worn while offering a tale that behaves less predictably than many of its peers. Pitch perfect artwork and a slew of enticing mysteries, obvious and subtle, make this the easiest of the Young Animal debuts to pick up and perhaps the hardest to put down.

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9.0
Mother Panic #2

Jan 1, 2017

The first issue of Mother Panic was a textbook example of a strong first chapter, but this is where the wheels meet the road. Jody Hauser and Tommy Lee Edwards prove that this concept has plenty of twists and turns, nooks and crannies, to keep your interest for a long time and, while the flaws from issue one are still present to some degree, they are diminished as well as excused by some strong choices by the team. The backup remains intriguing and the personality present in Gotham, in both stories, is fantastic. One month in Mother Panic remains a welcome and fascinating addition to DC's lineup and takes that opportunity to tell the sophomore slump to go #$*! itself.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

Feb 7, 2014

I hope that in future issues, Wilson will feel less pressure to pack all the exposition about Kamala's community in so tightly, but, while Kamala's racial and religious background has been a key element of discussion about the book, any culture given such care and strong craftsmanship would have proved an impressive start to a series. It's unclear if Ms. Marvel will stick with its offbeat, schoolyard charm or expand to larger locales and grander heroics, regardless, it's my opinion that the crux of a great hero is their character, which will define them no matter the scale of their spandex-clad adventures and that's something that Ms. Marvel has in spades.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #3

Apr 17, 2014

New characters have a lot of expectations placed upon them, especially if they're little brown girls stepping into the shoes of a beloved white feminist icon. Worse still, they're expected to play by the rules that seventy year old characters use. They don't have the depth, the history to compete and they're written off. Not Kamala. G. Willow Wilson may be taking her time, but I have every confidence that, by the time this arc is over, Kamala Khan will be every bit the hero that the Avengers are.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #5

Jun 29, 2014

Ms. Marvel could really use a better class of criminal and needs to distribute its plot better next time, but it seems almost inevitable that there's going to be an entire generation of comic readers who look back on this series as the one that made them see the beauty of comics, and not without reason.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #6

Jul 19, 2014

A lot of hyperbolic things were said about Ms. Marvel's opening arc but, for any blemishes, it seems undeniably poised to become a classic, a love letter to fans that will be remembered and imitated for years. A fusion of classic comics nostalgia and the approaching future of the medium, it was only natural to wonder if the series could hold on to that level of quality. Somehow, Ms. Marvel #6 proves itself the best issue yet.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #7

Aug 24, 2014

Fewer adorable Kamala moments and a lack of screentime with The Inventor may make some fans worry about this issue but I think a pitch-perfect Wolverine, a strong mentor relationship, and a clear reason for this story in the grander scheme of things will leave readers thoroughly satisfied. Though all of Ms. Marvel has been pretty spectacular so far, issue #7 manages to claw its way up to the top tier.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #8

Sep 16, 2014

Lockjaw is a perfect partner for Kamala, and an adorable one at that. While the plot advances limitedly, Wilson and Alphona provide a great look, perhaps the best, at what makes this series feel special. With a cast of characters you can't help but love and a perfect pairing of subject and artist, Ms. Marvel #8 continues to embiggen Kamala Khan's well deserved footprint in the comics world.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #9

Oct 17, 2014

Overall it feels like it didn't cook entirely evenly, but in exchange we get a couple of moments where you can almost see straight through to the brilliance that's often covered up by demands of structure. Acutely in tune with the reality of its protagonist and the spirit of Amazing Fantasy #15, Ms. Marvel #9 is combining familiar ingredients into a new and fascinating dish, both on the level of the individual issue and the series as a whole.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 20, 2014

Wilson makes a rare misstep, overplaying the gravity of issues that could have supported themselves, while the adjustments to Alphona's style fail to impress, however the essential skill of these two storytellers can't be hidden. While the implementation of the some of the loftier goals is unsteady, Ms. Marvel knows how to connect with the part of us that longs to be inspired and that visceral tether holds the ship on course.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #11

Feb 9, 2015

The past year has seen the precipitous rise of Kamala Khan. This month Ms. Marvel turns one and, to celebrate, we're treated to the final chapter of the title's first over-arc. G. Willow Wilson has done an impressive job of building up the Inventor as a credible and interesting threat and the stakes are appropriately high.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #12

Feb 26, 2015

It's Valentine's Day for Midgard, Jersey City, and Ms. Marvel and all three are getting a visit from a certain Agent of Asgard. As the first Ms. Marvel adventure to follow its lengthy first arc, "Loki in Love" has a little bit to prove. G. Willow Wilson does a nice job of quickly and efficiently justifying Loki's presence in the book and manages to add some gravitas to the plot we've been enjoying at the same time.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #13

Mar 14, 2015

There was something classic about the first year of Ms. Marvel. I was neither the first nor, by any means, the last to compare her to Peter Parker. For me and, I think, pretty much every person I've spoken to about the series, there's something about Ms. Marvel that feels like coming home. However, in perhaps the boldest and most heartening move of the series' short lifespan, in Ms. Marvel #13 G. Willow Wilson starts to change up the formula.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #14

Apr 18, 2015

This issue takes a decidedly predictable turn and skirts ever closer to the Inhumans franchise, but G. Willow Wilson does an impressive job of powering through on sheer strength of writing. Ms. Marvel #14 isn't as strong a comic as its predecessor and the familiar story hurts, but Wilson does some truly amazing character work here. Backed up by Takeshi Miyazawa's fantastic 'acting' and pitch-perfect style, Wilson makes you feel for these characters and reminds why this is one of the defining comics of the current landscape.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #16

Jun 24, 2015

G. Willow Wilson does a fantastic job of integrating "Secret Wars" into her larger story for Ms. Marvel. All too quickly it's become apparent that we've really gone through a process of growing up with Kamala and this issue reminds us that she likely would have been a hero whether she was born an Inhuman or not. Adrian Alphona and G. Willow Wilson take an incredibly somber topic and turn out an entertaining story of human resilience without ignoring what's really going on. You can't deny that this issue is really just build-up for the next one and that holds it back, but it's build-up that's just fun to read. There's so much in this issue that it's hard not to put it down psyched to see what comes next. Ms. Marvel #16 probably tricks you into thinking it's better than it is, but it's a trick you'll be happy to fall for.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #18

Sep 13, 2015

It's hard to think of new things to praise about Ms. Marvel. Certainly that's led to hyperbole in more than a few cases, but the truth is that, while Ms. Marvel may or may not speak to you so directly as to feel revelationary, it is a rock solid superhero yarn with a beautiful and touching core of community and social responsibility. As Marvel's break-out hit winds down its first volume, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona turn in a strong conclusion to Kamran's revenge and, in so doing, present a beautiful story of family and community. The art is lovely and the story both hilarious and tear-jerking when it wants to be. Ms. Marvel #18 is about what happens when your illusions are pulled away, for good and for ill, and, when all is said and done, this series stands tall as one of Marvel's best.

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8.4
Ms. Marvel (2014) #19

Oct 20, 2015

Ms. Marvel #19 is not the best conclusion to the "Last Days" story, but it is a lovely ending to the first volume of the series and, more than that, it's a fantastic issue on its own. I mentioned a couple of spoilery nit-picks I had in the Thoughts above, but, of course, those are only annoying because Wilson has utterly succeeded in making us care about this city and its characters.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #4

Feb 15, 2016

With pitch-perfect pacing, G. Willow Wilson brings us back to the heart of this series. The metaphor she's playing with is wonderful and the supporting cast may never have been better, at least not all at once. Nico Leon joins the club of Ms. Marvel artists and finds a comfortable place between Miyazawa and Alphona while delivering a confident and attractive look for the series. Its biggest problem is that it doesn't do any one thing spectacularly, but its strength is that it does everything well. If, for any reason that defies explanation, you're not already reading Ms. Marvel, this is a perfect place to jump on and a brilliant encapsulation of why you should.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #5

Mar 16, 2016

This is my favorite arc of Ms. Marvel in a long time and, while I've liked almost all of them, it didn't take me long to determine that. All the characters click, the comedy is solid, and it feels like things are actually moving forward for Kamala and co. Throw in a promising new artist and the same fantastic coloring we've known all along and you've got a lovely issue. Admittedly both art and writing have weaknesses, moments that don't fit alongside the excellent work elsewhere in the issue, but it's nearly impossible not to smile reading this issue.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #10

Sep 4, 2016

Ms. Marvel has actually done very well under the banner of "Civil War II" and, once again, G. Willow Wilson and her team have delivered a moving story that focuses on those who suffer most. Unfortunately the story is very familiar and, though the incredible work that the team has done over the past two and a half years elevate this issue, it's not enough to fully overcome the limitations that predictability lays at their feet. It's an issue we've all seen before, with the polish that this creative team brings to their every effort. Ms. Marvel #10 is emotional and beautifully illustrated, but it's the least necessary read of the "Civil War II" tie-ins this series has given us.

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6.0
New Avengers (2015) #7

Mar 3, 2016

Unfortunately, for all the improvements this issue makes, the progress is uneven. Though the Maker and the White Tigers are the stars of the show, the rest of the writing is not Ewing's best. More pressingly, while there are a couple of real moments that reward the first reading, there's nothing extraordinary in the bigger picture. New Avengers #7 is clever and fun, but its problems limit it to being a merely enjoyable opening to a promising storyline.

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8.0
New Warriors (2014) #1

Feb 20, 2014

I come out of New Warriors #1 less bowled over than eager to be convinced. The constraints of the story make it hard to feel definite about this particular series, however Yost, To, and Curiel have made a compelling argument for their partnership. So, even if this book is mostly solid broad strokes introductions, it's easy to be optimistic for its future.

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6.0
New Warriors (2014) #2

Mar 6, 2014

Where last issue benefitted from having four separate adventures, this story is bogged down by redundant Evolutionaries and half-hearted battles. The character work continues to shine, especially visually, but this month New Warriors isn't quite worth the price of admission.

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6.0
Nightcrawler (2014) #1

Apr 9, 2014

In the end, this book is probably best suited for those who are tired of events and overambitious arcs. It seems we're getting a solid serialized solo book with the focus firmly on character interaction.

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8.4
Nightwing (2011) #22

Jul 10, 2013

Though there are hiccups this month, I don't know that I've ever felt more justified in being a fan of Nightwing than I am now. Higgins just keeps improving, mixing a much-needed sense of fun into a solid super-crime plot and Conrad shows promise. Nightwing #22 is the turning point of a great arc that may well be remembered as the turning point of this series.

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5.0
Nightwing (2011) #23

Aug 18, 2013

Though it definitely seems like Higgins is stalling for time in places, Nightwing 23 is a strong issue that will remind readers who each of the stars of this story really are. Will Conrad's art is a lot more even this go around and the Chicago setting continues to be a shot in the arm for this series. A better sense of tone would have done a lot for this issue, but Villain's month would have derailed that momentum anyway. As a result we have to wait two months for the conclusion, but I'm still psyched to see Nightwing having a strong enough arc to elevate even the weaker issues.

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8.0
Nightwing (2011) #24

Oct 16, 2013

I really wanted this story to be a bombastic return to form for my favorite DC character. Though the Prankster's uninspired endgame hamstrings it somewhat, Nightwing's first mission in Chicago is probably still one of the best stories the character has been given since I started reading weekly. Far from a charming supplement to Snyder's Batman, Nightwing has found his footing in the Windy City " a book full of smart ideas, big stakes, and a crucial sense that obstacles are to be overcome rather than tools with which to bludgeon drama out of the character.

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4.0
Nightwing (2011) #25

Nov 15, 2013

Ultimately Nightwing #25 fails to tell us much about Dick Grayson. It's a fun little story, but, especially since the New 52, there's been a dearth of stories about Dick's life before Nightwing, it's a shame that this issue didn't take the opportunity to fill in some of the teen wonder's history.

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7.0
Nightwing (2011) #26

Dec 14, 2013

Nightwing #26 is something of a slow open to the next (last?) tale of Dick Grayson's excellent Chicago adventures. If you're only interested in world-shattering action, it may not be for you " also, why are you reading Nightwing? " but with a solid cliffhanger and more lovely world-building, I expect that will easily encourage fans of DC's greatest acrobat to return next month.

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8.0
Nightwing (2011) #27

Jan 18, 2014

Conrad and Richards innovate in elements of composition as Kyle Higgins tells a tale that's as much Dick Grayson's as it is Nightwing's. Though it won't sate the hunger for explosions or complex fight scenes, Kyle Higgins supplies another excellent Dick Grayson adventure in the back-heavy second half of his Mad Hatter story. I'll be sad when this era of Nightwing ends.

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7.0
Nightwing (2011) #28

Feb 14, 2014

Kyle Higgins has been slowly constructing a run that toys with expectations ever since Dick arrived in Chicago. Like the conclusion to the Prankster storyline, there is an unsettling quiet that denies simple answers in this issue. Some readers won't like that, and I won't blame them, however I can say that, even if you're uncertain about this issue, it will get you excited for the final chapter of Higgins' Nightwing saga.

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9.0
Nightwing (2011) #29

Mar 14, 2014

Crafting a tale equal parts superhero adventure, recap issue, and character study thesis, Higgins and Dauterman bring a powerful dose of honesty to their final issue of Nightwing.

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4.0
Nightwing (2011) #30

Jun 1, 2014

If this darker take on Dick Grayson appeals to you or you're really missing some of the strangeness of Morrison's Batman, this may be the book for you, but otherwise I think you're better off waiting for Grayson #1.

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7.0
Nightwing: Rebirth #1

Jul 17, 2016

Nightwing: Rebirth is not the first issue of Nightwing. It's more like a last issue for Grayson, but even that doesn't fully apply. This is really a transition issue, presenting Dick Grayson comfortably back in his own skin and making the case for why this new series is the logical next step for him. Though it isn't necessary or even particularly exciting reading, Seeley and Yanick Paquette do a lovely job of reminding us who Dick Grayson is and how his experiences with Spyral have made him a better hero. Chill and introspective, Nightwing: Rebirth is an inessential but enjoyable check-in with the character that excellently bridges two chapters of his life.

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8.0
Occupy Avengers #1

Nov 9, 2016

Occupy Avengers #1 has to walk a very narrow line, but it does so like a master acrobat. It's obviously tremendously exciting to see Marvel giving diversity and social consciousness a real push with the Avengers name, and perhaps more so to see David Walker coming into his own as a voice within the industry, but the biggest story here is how engaging a Hawkeye story they have produced without letting down the progressive promises of the title.

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7.0
Omega Men #1

Jun 5, 2015

In the end, Omega Men #1 feels a little bit like a second preview of the series. We obviously haven't hit the opening credits yet, but, to continue with a questionable metaphor, if you caught this on TV one morning, you'd probably stick around to see where it went. Tom King has done an excellent job of bringing the realities of guerrilla warfare to DC's cosmic universe without falling into the same trap of gritty depression that so often follows such words around. Barnaby Bagenda's DC debut is a memorable and thoughtful one and the entire creative team is working together brilliantly. From top to bottom this book has it's own sensibility. It's entirely likely that some readers won't take to The Omega Men's style, but those that do will be eager for more. The Omega Men #1 is a bold and surprising start to one of DC's boldest and most surprising new titles and I for one am on board for King's latest revolution.

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8.4
Omega Men #2

Jul 4, 2015

Though some might not take a shine to the subject matter or the series' tendency to keep plenty hidden from them, The Omega Men #2 officially stabilizes this book in my view. The art team and King are working together wonderfully and King's take on the high costs of both freedom and peace help carve out a unique niche in DC's universe. With Kyle Rayner's role becoming clearer and a sharp but entertaining story coming into focus, The Omega Men #2 solidifies this series as one of the most vibrant and interesting additions that DC You has to offer.

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8.4
Omega Men #3

Aug 12, 2015

The Omega Men #3 is kind of a mixture of the preceding two issues. It has the deftness of characterization and attention to politics and morality of issue #2, but it also brings in the action focus and knack for playing with expectations that defined the premier issue. In the moment, this issue positively sings. The dialogue is lively, the action intense, the artwork gorgeous, and the twists exhilarating, but it definitely prioritizes the experience of reading each scene over cohesion or overall plot development. It's a cliche of a cliche to call a comic 'cinematic' these days, but it's really hard not to do so here, with the emphasis on speed and motion in action and dialogue. While it can't live up to last month's story, The Omega Men #3 is an experience to read and a sign of series that's set to exceed expectation time and again.

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8.0
Omega Men #9

Mar 10, 2016

Though both King and Bagenda have some moments that don't do justice to the consistency or the subtlety they've brought to this title, their off day still leaves us with one of the best books DC is putting out right now. The creative team positively nail the emotional beats of this story and pit practicality against nobility against savagery against hope, all to impressive results. This issue marks the beginning of the (presumed) end to this amazing experiment, but it's clear that The Omega Men is far from done with us.

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8.4
Optimus Prime #1

Dec 20, 2016

The former Robots in Disguise was an underrated comic, but one with a deserved reputation as a workhorse for the brand. Optimus Prime brings John Barber's skills as a writer to a comic with a much stronger artistic identity. Well handled questions of political morality and an ambiguous sense of who has the greater good in mind make for a strong continuation of the Transformers story while Barber and Zama provide a welcoming, if not necessarily easy, point of entry for new readers. With a striking look and thoughtful characters, Optimus Prime #1 is a pretty fantastic debut and one that deserves a look from fans and new readers alike.

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8.0
Phantom Stranger (2012) #11

Aug 11, 2013

The purpose of the event tie-in is not just to add more issues to the story, but also to provide a showcase for the hosting series. Blanco and DeMatteis accomplish this easily. DeMatteis turns his strength for dialogue towards a classically structured plot and a fascinating conception of Elysium. By the time the final monologue is delivered, you're hooked. While it won't appeal to all tastes and it leans a little too heavily on Batman to feel sure that this level of quality is the series' standard, Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11 is probably my favorite event tie-in since the Blackest Night issues of R.E.B.E.L.S.. This issue isn't necessary to understand Trinity War and it might not be quite enough to make you a return reader but, on its own, it's a pretty wonderful comic.

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7.0
Ragnarok #1

Jul 27, 2014

Ragnark could stand to focus a little more, but it delivers an old-school tone and legitimate sense of adventure. The issue feels a bit padded in places and could probably have integrated its flashbacks more naturally. Still, while Ragnark #1 is not the perfect start to this series, it demonstrates the skill and passion that got so many excited for Simonson's return and hints at bigger and better things for the title.

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8.0
Raven #1

Sep 28, 2016

Raven #1 is not your normal DC Comic. It has traces of the New Teen Titans ethos, but it's undeniably modern and, though it possesses a polish and caution that suits a Big 2 title, it's got an indie book's spirit. Marv Wolfman returns to one of his classic characters and succeeds in giving fans a new and complete vision of the Devil's Daughter. Though the art is drawing from a few too many sources and has sporadic moments of weakness, Allison Borges nails the tone of this series and delivers a Raven that feels familiar and powerful. Like Raven herself, the plot is a little mundane, but the emotions - the book's soul self - can reach out and grab you. Raven #1 is a clever reintroduction to the character that positions her as a hero to young girls and provides an entry into her fandom that will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for character and heart over bombast.

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7.0
Red Hood And The Outlaws #22

Jul 28, 2013

If you miss the depth that the DCU lost after Flashpoint, Red Hood and the Outlaws is still your best bet.

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6.0
Red Lanterns #26

Jan 6, 2014

It may star a collection of napalm-blooded killers from four galaxies, but Red Lanterns #26 is a good old-fashioned Lantern adventure.

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6.0
Rough Riders #1

Apr 8, 2016

Rough Riders is not as bold as many of its Aftershock brethren and it suffers from a lack of a clear identity. If it's a send up, it lacks the extremity to say that parody stands alongside action, but, if it's sincere, it's leaning a little too hard into action movie tropes and overblown writing. Nevertheless, Adam Glass has ably captured one of the most magnetic personalities in American history and thrown him into some mysterious circumstances that will make it hard not to come back and find out more.

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4.0
Savage Wolverine #14

Jan 11, 2014

Regardless, the glimmer of the original premise still shines brightly. Here's hoping that, with his set-up out of the way, Isanove can make good his promises of greatness next month.

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6.0
Secret Origins #1

Apr 24, 2014

It's a decent start for a solid concept but, ultimately, Secret Origins is going to have to provide some juicier secrets or more interesting origins to hold our attention.

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6.0
Secret Origins #2

Jun 4, 2014

Secret Origins #2 shares its predecessor's problems, but as long as you come in knowing what to expect, you'll walk away satisfied.

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5.0
Sex Criminals #1

Sep 30, 2013

Fraction meanders around fascinating ideas and refreshing honesty while Zdarsky gives a crash course in the pros and cons of stylized art. Sex Criminals remains a fascinating experiment, but it's not a conclusive one*. I suggest additional testing, but it's up to you if you're willing to fund it.*

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6.0
Sex Criminals #2

Oct 25, 2013

Sex Criminals #2 is a much improved product, but not one without flaws. The series seems to still be finding its footing and setting up track for later. Interesting ideas and a tone that's rare in mainstream comics will keep me comic back for a while longer, but I wouldn't blame anyone who can't keep their enthusiasm for the title or decides to trade-wait it.

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7.0
Sex Criminals #4

Jan 11, 2014

Ironically for a series about orgasms, Sex Criminals is desperately in need of a climax.

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6.0
Spider-Man & The X-Men #1

Dec 12, 2014

Elliott Kalan doesn't burst out of the gate, but he presents himself as a passionate and sincere fan of the material who could do great things with this series. The art is above average and the return to the Aaron template is very welcome but the issue reads more like a great miniseries set in Peter's past than an ongoing in the "Schism"-era. As of yet, both writer and protagonist feel a little too young.

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8.0
Spider-Man & The X-Men #3

Feb 27, 2015

I was sadly disappointed by the first two issues of Spider-Man and the X-Men. I've said it before ,but how could Spider-Man and a team of teen mutants, including one called Shark Girl, fighting Stegron the Dinosaur Man as seen by the head writer of the Daily Show not be everything I ever wanted in life? Regardless, though the second issue upped the quality of the series, it still failed to live up to its potential.

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7.0
Spider-Man & The X-Men #4

Mar 17, 2015

Returned from dual kidnappings to the Mojoverse and Savage Staten Island, of all places, Spider-Man and his special class find drama waiting for them in the form of the Jean Grey School science fair and an insecure Hank McCoy.

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7.0
Spider-Man & The X-Men #5

Apr 22, 2015

This series has grown on me rather quickly and this issue easily lives up to my expectations. All the things I love about Spider-Man and the X-Men are on display with issue #5, from humor to characterization to creativity. It's full of clever recombinations of classic Marvel stock. That said, it also lives up to my expectations when it comes to failings. The issue seems far too proud of its 'dad jokes' and isn't aiming for anything higher than the fun and fluffy. The art is strong but Marco Failla seems to be shaking off a few minor cobwebs after a month away. All in All, Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 lacks the spark that the series' jaunt to the Mojoverse possessed, leaving it a really fun but unspectacular issue, hovering somewhere around the middle of this title's offerings.

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7.0
Spider-Verse (2015) #1

May 25, 2015

Spider-Verse #1 has a lot of the things I'm looking for in a comic these days. The energy is fun, the characters considered and lively, and the world simply and effectively conveyed to the reader. That last one is particularly important as a "Secret Wars" tie-in, similar issues having hurt sister-title A-Force and several of DC's "Convergence" tie-ins. The art is fascinating, if sometimes weak, and helps to bring a sense of diversity to the story, giving it a clearer identity within "Secret Wars". The real question is whether readers will give a $5.00 book with no 'weight' in canon a chance. Especially if you enjoy young heroes or inventive plays on the Spider-Man formula, I suggest that you do.

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6.0
Spider-Verse (2015) #2

Jun 14, 2015

Spider-Verse #2 slows things down a bit and suffers for it. Though the central mystery and characterization are still really gripping, and will easily entice me back for part three, this issue, on its own, is not a must buy. Weighed down by a mishandled fight scene and art that works for certain components of the series far better than others, this chapter will come down to personal preference. A return to a standard price point, a sense of individual identity amidst the chaos of "Secret Wars", and refreshingly fun and engaging character work keep Spider-Verse #2 in the running, but it primarily serves to gather our heroes and connect issue #1 to next month's installment. A fine issue, but likely to be the least memorable of a strong miniseries.

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6.0
Spidey #1

Dec 8, 2015

New and young readers will find a charming entry point waiting for them in Spidey #1. Robbie Thompson spins a classic Spider-Man tale with a modern humor and honesty, but Bradshaw and Campbell are definitely the stars of this show, with a compelling case for their aesthetic and role on the book. Spidey simply doesn't bring enough new to the table to demand your attention yet, but it has strengths to build on and all the force of Lee and Ditko's original premise to play with. If it can distinguish itself from the other retellings of the Wallcrawler's origins, it could be a fascinating series, but for now I'll accept that it's a solid offering for a different and woefully underserved segment of the readership.

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8.0
Spidey #4

Apr 14, 2016

Though it occasionally has to use broad strokes, Spidey #4 tells a wonderful story, full of heart. Robbie Thompson really gets Peter Parker and he has a blast with Doctor Doom. It's sad that Nick Bradshaw couldn't contribute to the series' best story yet, but Andre Lima Arajo manages to make this one his own and demonstrates considerable growth from Spider-Verse. Though it's not a must have, Spidey #4 proves that this series can deliver on its promise, giving us a really solid issue, that combines classic storytelling, big action, and beautiful little character moments into a wonderful whole.

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7.0
Starbrand and Nightmask #1

Dec 21, 2015

Starbrand and Nightmask #1 is a solid comic. From start to finish it admirably transports you back to a simpler time for Marvel Comics without losing the thought, complexity, or diversity of today. What holds it back from being great is the lack of explanation or innovation. It feels as though Greg Weisman has made a risky choice to hold out on showing us the hook of this series until his set up is complete next issue. The art is cartoony and enjoyable, if it wavers in quality, and the characters are intriguing, but the first issue fails to define the series. Here's hoping it lives up to its promise and that the fans will be around to see when it does, because I want to see where this goes.

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7.0
Starbrand and Nightmask #2

Jan 28, 2016

The decision to focus on Adam and the balance between superhero adventures and building a supporting cast serve this issue well. The writing brings a lot of great ideas to the table, even if they don't always gel, and the art has the opposite problem, being technically weak but effective on the whole. While it has its flaws, it's a really enjoyable product and a lovely deviation from the event-driven mentality that dominates comics today. Fans of thoughtful, character driven teen hero adventure will likely find something to love here and it seems like Weisman is only beginning to reveal his plans for the series. Starbrand and Nightmask hasn't hit its stride just yet, but it's certainly on its way up.

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7.0
Starfire #1

Jun 12, 2015

Starfire #1 is a mixed opening to an interesting series and a good example of how DC is trying new things. Future issues will have to balance this debut's weaknesses, but overall it's an able and exceedingly cute reintroduction to a character who's long deserved this kind of spotlight.

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7.0
Starfire #2

Jul 15, 2015

Starfire continues to bring fun and optimism to DC. Hurricane Betty proves a surprisingly fun challenge for our resident Tamaranian, but something still feels off. Starfire is incredibly adept at capturing the spirit of its protagonist in the tone of its stories, but Koriand'r is still finding herself and her series is to. The pieces haven't quite clicked yet, but if these are the title's growing pains, I look forward to its final form.

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8.0
Starfire #4

Sep 16, 2015

Starfire #4 is probably the series' best so far. Atlee is an immediate hit in this context, pulling so many elements of the series into focus and the increased focus on superheroics gives the characters a little more to work with, without taking away from the unique approach of the title. With new enemies on the way and a great trio of leads developing, Starfire might just be taking off.

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8.4
Storm #1

Jul 26, 2014

With a distinct and realistic visual aesthetic and an air of honesty and community around it, Storm makes a big impression this week. It feels good to have Greg Pak writing fun, and yet real, X-Men stories again. As long as the team can craft some larger scale stories without losing the vibe of this premiere issue, I think that Storm will prove another winning addition to Marvel's stable of X-Men solo titles, and possibly one of the longest lasting.

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5.0
Strange Fruit #1

Jul 8, 2015

I opened by discussing what the title Strange Fruit meant outside of this comic, but, in truth, it's a fairly apt descriptor for this book itself. I was very excited for this book. What story did the man behind Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright have to tell in the beating heart of American racism? Well the first issue has come and gone and I'm still not sure. Strange Fruit #1 is a beautiful book, written in an attractive southern key, but, as of yet, I'm not sure why this story needed to be told. The art will be enough for some, but those looking for an honest look at the racist history of America or even a story of the same natural magnetism as much of Waid's work may be left wanting. It doesn't crash and burn, it doesn't offend, but Strange Fruit needs a shot in the arm next month if it's going to live up to its lofty pedigree.

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6.0
Strayer #1

Jan 31, 2016

Strayer is off to a nice start, but not a great one. The characters and sensibility are wonderful and the art, while bipolar at times, is strong, however there's not a lot here to hook the reader yet. It's a good issue but one worries about it as an issue #1. Luckily, though Strayer features a slew of familiar concepts, there aren't a lot of big name comics trying to do what it is at the moment. Justin Jordan is clearly in his element, telling the kind of story that appeals to him and Juan Gedeon is a strong addition to the book. Strayer #1 doesn't do enough to grab the reader and is weighed down by a couple of awkward moments, but it's well produced and bursting with personality. I'll be back next month.

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5.0
Strayer #3

Apr 4, 2016

Strayer is an odd bird, and one that feels nostalgic for several, completely asynchronous eras. This chapter will probably work better in a trade than it does as a standalone installment, but the perfectly paced storytelling and palpable charm help what could feel like padding engage and entertain. I may not have put down this issue thinking that it was amazing, but I definitely put it down excited about this series and what it will bring. Keep an eye on this one.

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9.0
Strong Female Protagonist #1

Nov 27, 2014

There are certainly some rougher patches, but Strong Female Protagonist is a solidly constructed series filling a niche that's very much in demand. It's wonderful to see a series exploring areas of the superhero genre that are usually resigned to subtext and throw-away sideplots and the characters are rich and familiar. If you're hungry for something fresh and vivid, especially if you love Ms. Marvel or the works of Greg Weisman, Strong Female Protagonist may just be what you've been looking for.

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8.4
Supergirl (2011) #22

Jul 20, 2013

Supergirl is still missing the spark to be a sleeper hit, but if you enjoy slower comics with a focus on character, you should probably check this out. The art is excellent, the writing strong, and the layouts lively. Especially with hints that one of Superman's greatest enemies might be showing up in the near future, this is a great place to jump onto the adventures of Krypton's last citizen.

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6.0
Supergirl (2011) #23

Aug 25, 2013

Writing and art are both of high quality this month, but the consistency isn't there. Fans of Kara Zor-El should be happy to see her stepping up to handle some of the heavy hitters of the DCU. Still, now that Nelson has set things up so impressively, he'll have to do some pretty incredible things to live up to the hype. I dearly hope that he does, because in two short issues this series has really impressed me. A flawed but engaging comic.

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8.0
Supergirl (2011) #24

Oct 18, 2013

Supported capably by Neves' artwork and Guy Major's strong colors, Nelson wraps up an excellent Supergirladventure and leaves Kara stronger, more likeable, and better defined as she heads off for “Krypton Returns”.

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4.0
Supergirl (2011) #26

Dec 18, 2013

Bedard has seeded a couple of interesting ideas but he'll need to come out swinging next issue if he's to avoid losing readers.

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6.0
Supergirl (2011) #27

Jan 25, 2014

Supergirl remains a decent title, anchored by Bedard's inventiveness and Cinar's craftsmanship. Things are still a little too hectic and Kara is a little too simplistic, but a couple of great moments remind that the potential is there if Bedard can just reach out for it.

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7.0
Supergirl (2011) #29

Mar 22, 2014

Bedard quickly establishes what's interesting about Siobhan in a way that I wish he'd manage with Kara and Yildiray Cinar, perhaps spurred to greatness by his departure from this book, gives us a beautiful fight. The first act of this Red Lantern story has dragged on a little long but the high stakes, fierce compositions, and strong character work make this Bedard and Cinar's strongest issue to date.

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7.0
Supergirl (2011) #30

Apr 18, 2014

Controversial as it was, Kara's induction into the Red Lantern Corps leaves this title stronger than ever. The slowly improving writing makes great strides and the art is just lovely. Bedard may be hampered by the demands of the crossover, but here's hoping that Supergirl is just warming up. Strong character work from the entire team makes this a particularly enjoyable, if unessential, read.

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6.0
Supergirl (2011) #31

May 27, 2014

In short, this is a nice sampler of what Tony Bedard will be bringing to Supergirl in the coming months, but as a single issue and especially as part of "Red Daughter of Krypton", it's just not pulling its weight.

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7.0
Supergirl (2011) #32

Jun 25, 2014

The best moments of Supergirl #32 are those where you realize how familiar Kara's struggles are. Unfortunately the need to provide context, tie into editorial demands, and provide a large scale battle scene keep much of the book from indulging this strength. You'll leave this issue excited about the series, but likely wishing that it were freer to be itself.

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5.0
Supergirl (2011) #36

Nov 23, 2014

Supergirl, it seems, is trying to find its own 'Batgirl of Burnside' vibe. There're hints that this will be a run interested in getting to know characters, what they love, and what they believe strongly enough to fight over, but for now it remains only a hint. Emanuela Lupacchino helps to smooth things over while the new creative team gets settled and a number of tempting cliffhangers left unresolved make it hard not to want to come back next month, but I'd understand if some readers choose to just wait for the next issue to make their decision.

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6.0
Supergirl (2011) #37

Dec 23, 2014

Though the writing is disjointed and the plotting nearly caffeinated, the content is feeling much more comfortable than last issue. If you can slow down and take in each scene, you'll find that the ideas in each one are actually really interesting. I hope that we'll get to spend some more time getting to know Crucible's students and faculty, but the idea proves that it has legs this month. This run of Supergirl may not be a great comic yet, but, with a great art team and a wealth - perhaps an excess - of interesting ideas, it may be soon.

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #1

Sep 14, 2016

With her universe's Superman dead, a highly successful television show on the air, and a new claim on a handful of classic Superman rogues, Supergirl has never been in a better place to succeed as a character. Steve Orlando capitalizes on that, taking the hand he's been dealt and immediately demonstrating the inherent value of the character and the range that this series possesses. This first issue of Supergirl is artistically rich and emotionally full. It doesn't drop any massive bombshells the way that first issues often have to, but it commits fully to the series and the ethos behind it. It's not the most exciting debut, but it's the definition of a solid superhero introduction and an impressively effective debut. With Orlando and Ching at the helm, Supergirl seems poised to deliver, month after month, strong superhero adventures full of wild ideas, thoughtful storytelling, and plenty of heart.

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6.0
Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Aug 21, 2016

With each of these Rebirth issues I find myself wondering why this couldn't just be issue #1. Supergirl: Rebirth makes sense as a preview issue, providing wary traditional fans and uncertain television converts alike a chance to see what this series has in store for the Maid of Might. This issue isn't spectacular in its story, but it's honest and effective in how it tells it. If you're rolling your eyes at a Kryptonian werewolf or Supergirl hearing a cry for help in the vacuum of space, this may not be for you. Nor should you pick it up if you can't abide exposition, because there is a lot. But, that said, there's no denying the heart that Orlando pours into this story. Supergirl: Rebirth mixes the whimsey of the Silver Age with the emotional groundedness of modern television. It may just be a pilot issue, rather than a true beginning, but it makes its case and does what it needs to do. Welcome back, Kara.

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4.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #11

Apr 13, 2014

Let's put it this way, these stories would probably make decent back-ups for the regular creative team, further exploring the concepts of the main title and providing a showcase for some fun old characters, but I'm not sure that everyone would want to pay an extra dollar for one of these. If that's the case, who's jumping to buy two of them for more than we pay for the amazing series we're used to?

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6.0
Superior Iron Man #1

Nov 14, 2014

At its best, this is a great issue, full of all the stuff that Iron Man is best at, but no matter how charming Taylor's writing may be, it feels like Marvel kind of set him up. For better or worse, Tony Stark has always been defined by his flaws. The problem here is that these aren't his flaws anymore. The basic premise of the series feels unnatural and this issue doesn't fight that hard enough.

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8.4
Superman: Lois Lane #1

Feb 28, 2014

At a signing not long ago, I heard Marguerite Bennett mention to a fan that one of her most frequent questions these days was "what's so special about Lois Lane?" With a laugh she responded "If you don't know, I can't help you." It may not be the ultimate Lois Lane story, but I think Ms. Bennett has proven herself wrong.

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8.0
Superzero #1

Dec 23, 2015

Hardly the straight comedy I expected, Superzero #1 reads like the brainchild of some kind of irreverent Bizarro-Grant Morrison. Conner and Palmiotti imbue our nineteen-year-old high school senior supernerd protagonist with legitimate angst, an honest ridiculousness, and just a hint of horror while populating their take on Tampa with an odd but lovable cast of characters. The art and writing are distinctive to say the least and the colors have a strange beauty to them. Though I could see some readers being turned off by the heavy, if not necessarily weighty, themes and bold colors, this issue lays a sturdy foundation for the series.

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2.0
Supurbia Vol. 2 #10

Aug 21, 2013

Superbia is a fine series, but this issue isn't worthy of it.

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7.0
Talon #14

Jan 4, 2014

The art suits the artist as the story suits the storyteller and the conclusion leaves us where we would hope. Talon stands as a single impressive arc, one of redemption, loss, and love. It's not often that superhero comics manage to tell such a complete story, but I'm glad this one can claim that rare honor. Talon #14 is more enjoyable than it is well crafted, but it has a fair share of both.

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8.0
Talon #15

Jan 29, 2014

Though it's hardly an event, fans of psychological depth, one-shot story-telling, or Bennett's previous work should definitely pick this one up.

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7.0
Talon #16

Mar 4, 2014

Talon #16 isn't trying to be Watchmen. It's not trying to be Starman, or All-Star Superman, or even New X-Men. This is just a sturdy little story " the sort of story you tell when you've got time to kill before you're canceled " and, for what it is, it's pretty good. I'm not sure if that's getting it a higher or a lower score than it would otherwise receive, but for any faults, I want to see where Lucas and Seeley take this. That's a win.

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6.0
Talon #17

Mar 29, 2014

It's a strange ending for one of the New 52's most interesting titles. This is certainly not a must-read issue, but Talon's second conclusion fills the role admirably and demonstrates the untapped potential of these characters.

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2.0
Teen Titans (2011) #22

Jul 30, 2013

Teen Titans #22 is a deeply disappointing issue that squanders most of the buildup that Lobdell has spent so long giving us. The art is attractive and the layouts dynamic, but overall the book is only decent visually and writing like this demands better than decent. It's a shame that it's come to this, but this issue is not only weak on its own but undermines the best elements of the title's last six months and that's just unacceptable for a once proud franchise like the Titans.

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2.0
Teen Titans (2011) #23.1

Sep 17, 2013

When it comes down to it, Teen Titans: Trigon is an excellent look at the benefits that modern comics can glean from more traditional storytelling styles and a warning of the dangers of introducing modern sensibilities into classic stories.

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4.0
Teen Titans (2014) #1

Jul 19, 2014

Teen Titans #1 is not the rebirth that the franchise needed. While this issue doesn't commit any sins against the title's legacy, it doesn't add anything to it either. Kenneth Rocafort's art is gorgeous and Dan Brown delivers brilliant color, but, especially with the unsettling relationship with feminine sexuality, it's not enough to save the day. This isn't a bad issue, but with light characterization and a serious lack of a hook, there's really nothing to encourage readers to come back for issue 2.

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8.4
Teen Titans (2016) #1

Nov 2, 2016

Benjamin Percy has made a name in comics getting to the heart of his characters and giving them something to do that feels both modern and classic and now we can say with some certainty that he's able and eager to do that for more than just Green Arrow. With a rendition of Damian Wayne that defies the traditional simplicities of comic storytelling without taunting readers and some incredibly striking art and color, Teen Titans #1 is a winning combination. Some titles needed a rebirth more than others and, as Damian is all too quick to point out, Teen Titans was among the most needy. Thankfully this issue delivers. It's a slow, exposition laden bit of character work and it benefits significantly from its Rebirth issue, but the writing and art are top notch.

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8.4
Teen Titans: Earth One #1

Nov 22, 2014

While its spirit may owe nearly as much to X-Men and Runaways as Teen Titans, the latest entry in the Earth One series proves engaging and real.

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8.0
Teen Titans: Rebirth #1

Sep 29, 2016

If Teen Titans: Rebirth was intended to build excitement for the upcoming series, it is an enormous success. Percy and Meyer have a firm and loving handle on these characters and their trajectories. Solid dialogue wrestles with an intentionally shallow plot to provide an appealing entry point into this series and an argument as to why this creative team can be entrusted with the future of DC. Adding in Meyers and Charalampidis' powerhouse artistic team only shores up the telling and the draw of this latest incarnation of the Titans. There may not be a huge amount behind these introductions as standalone stories, but this issue makes it abundantly clear that they were never, and could never, be intended as such. Teen Titans: Rebirth understands the word at the core of the franchise: together.

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9.0
The Autumnlands #1

Nov 7, 2014

Tooth & Claw manages to replicate many of the best parts of reading a novel and watching an epic fantasy film, without losing sight of itself as a comic. There's no guarantee that future installments will match the vision presented here, but, for the moment, it ranks up there with books like Saga that can redefine what comic book fantasy looks like. Especially at 44 pages for $2.99, Tooth & Claw #1 is a phenomenal debut that you, almost literally, can't afford to miss.

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8.0
The Autumnlands #2

Dec 6, 2014

If Busiek doesn't speed things up in future issues or give us a greater sense of the character's interior lives, this could become one to trade-wait, but don't you dare pass it by. With incredible images and an engrossing voice behind it, this series may well be a classic before long.

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5.0
The Fearless Defenders #6

Jul 13, 2013

The Fearless Defenders #6 rounds out the opening arc and sets up some intriguing hints of things to come. However, for all its drama and grandeur, it feels like it's outsourcing the story to its readers; asking us to fill in the pathos we've seen in better tellings of the same archetypal struggles.

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7.0
The Woods #2

Jun 9, 2014

The Woods #2 is a slightly conservative second installment of a series that remains full of character, unease, and wit.

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8.0
The Woods #3

Jul 8, 2014

Though its flaws haven't all been smoothed out yet, The Woods remains a provocative character drama. James Tynion has a knack for finding the truth in these characters' voices and Michael Dialynas matches him, expressing that truth through their posture. A great final page hook, some dramatic interpersonal shifts, and a commitment to crafting characters you can get to know set this issue, and this series, apart.

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8.0
The Woods #4

Aug 13, 2014

The Woods remains a fascinating look at authority and compliancy. Issue 4 rounds a bend, tying up the first set of storylines while setting the stage for an even more interesting set of obstacles to survive, escape, and endure.

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8.0
The Woods #5

Sep 7, 2014

While the lack of progression does weigh The Woods #5 down, more great art from Michael Dialynas and remarkably sincere character development from Tynion make this arguably the best issue yet.

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8.0
The Woods #6

Oct 8, 2014

It's rare that you really get to know characters the way that Tynion and Dialyas allow you to. Particularly as the perils of the woods push the adventuring party beyond their ability to hold back their true natures the series is growing more and more interesting. It doesn't quite match the highs of last issue, but it's exceptionally solid and well conceived. If you're not reading this series, it might be time to fix that.

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8.0
The Woods #7

Nov 11, 2014

It would have been nice if we had gotten a little more depth in Benjamin's flashbacks, but some big reveals, heartrending moments, and a climax that'll leave you pumping your fist make this a worthy successor to the two strong spotlights, Tynion and Dialynas have already put out. You should be reading this series.

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8.0
The Woods #8

Dec 9, 2014

It's been fascinating to get to know each of the characters before they were thrown into the unknown, but combining that formula with the big, present day events we've all been waiting for yields a great issue. Michael Dialynas' art, while somewhat uneven, looks fantastic and the story and characterization shoot straight for the heart without insisting on sappiness. Adrian remains a bit too cerebral, as does the series as a whole, but Tynion and Dialynas bring a consistent dose of quality to the shelves every month, with this one being one of the best.

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8.4
The Woods #9

Jan 15, 2015

For such a mellow issue, Tynion and co. knock it out of the park. The Woods has been great since it started, but it feels like this development has brought out what's best about it without really abandoning anything. The characters feel stronger for their attempts at normalcy and the too-good-to-be-true quality of New London is engaging both for the tension it creates and the desire to learn more about the settlement. The art is as good as ever and works well in concert with Tynion's writing. It's odd to say it, but it almost feels like Tynion was waiting to get here, happily fleshing out the early stories but tapping his foot quicker and quicker with anticipation. If so I'd say he was right to, this feels like a story he wants to tell and I think the result is one that the fans will want to read.

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8.0
The Woods #12

Apr 8, 2015

The Woods #12 reaffirms my beliefs about this series. I don't know if I've successfully expressed these opinions in past reviews but some of the key thoughts about the series I've had are how rebelliously honest the characters tend to be, how malleable Dialynas' art is, and how quietly it likes to deal with its conflicts. All of these come crucially into play this issue.

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7.0
The Woods #14

Jul 2, 2015

Honestly, this feels like an issue that will feel stronger in the context of subsequent issues. It's not a bad installment by any means, but the plot advances only behind the scenes and a bit too much is dedicated to Casey MacReady's speeches to get the blood pumping. Still, the climax is great and the art and characterization are just as strong as you'd imagine. Michael Dialynas gets a chance to shine a little more brightly than he already does each month with some serious dramatic heft and beautiful psychedelic effects. This new 'season' of The Woods has different priorities, and interesting priorities, and this issue is dedicated to serving them. It doesn't enthrall the way the last few issues have, but the core of quality running through the title remains.

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8.4
The Woods #15

Aug 7, 2015

Excellently balanced between character drama and big sci-fi adventure, The Woods #15 is a particularly engrossing installment of a series that fills a rare and important niche in the comics ecosystem. Tynion's character relationships are truly something special and, though his dialogue has been better, the world he's created possesses a pleasing weight. The series has secrets, not just reveals and, in this issue particularly, I felt a twinge of the original Runaways dynamic, which I hope you take as the high praise it is. Michael Dialynas continues to be an unsung hero of comics and the series shows no signs of slowing down, in fact quite the opposite. While the next issue may need some action to balance this one out, in the moment, The Woods #15 stands up with the series' best.

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8.0
The Woods #19

Jan 13, 2016

Though there are a couple of weaker panels, possibly even a significant one, and the prime story will hit or miss depending on the reader, this remains a really solid issue of a great series. Tynion and Dialynas are cashing in the emotional attachment they've sown for these characters and you can really feel Tynion stepping fully into his element as plotlines from as far back as the series' inception come into play. It is not the best issue of this series, but there are only a few that can match it for emotional investment, subtle plot development, or sheer force of tone.

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7.0
Thor (2014) Annual #1

Mar 5, 2015

While Thor #1 may have marked the beginning of a new era for Marvel's Asgardians, it cannot be said that it is the beginning of the story. Indeed, while it was rightly presented as a jumping on point, Jason Aaron's current volume of Thor is very much a continuation of his work on Thor: God of Thunder and nowhere is that more apparent than in this first Annual issue.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #1

Oct 2, 2014

Though we really could do with more of the new goddess of thunder and a little less time spent on Odin's pig-headedness, Aaron is clearly crafting a story steeped in the most classic traits of Marvel's Thor: family, nobility, and worthiness. In the end, the important takeaway is that, yes, this is a worthy title to possess the power of THOR.

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8.4
Thor (2014) #2

Nov 14, 2014

Russell Dauterman is doing some wonderful things with movement and sound and Aaron feels wholly himself, mixing the darkness, grandeur, and humor that has defined his other works into a fine brew, worthy of Valhalla's tables. At least of what I've read – mostly his X-Men work, admittedly – this may well be the most technically proficient issue I've ever seen from Aaron and it couldn't have come at a better time.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #3

Dec 14, 2014

Overall this is a strong issue, but one that takes its foot off of the gas a little. It lacks the active strengths of its predecessor but does very little wrong and provides a lot of reasons to continue picking up the title to those interested. Off in it's own corner of the Marvel Universe, Thor is quietly becoming one of the strongest titles coming out of the House of Ideas. The creative team is different and interesting and just seems naturally suited to the story they're telling. If you weren't interested by "Original Sin" or the loss of the Odinson's hammer, this book will get you invested in Asgardia again.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #4

Jan 31, 2015

With the Odinson finally returned to this series, this first arc of the all new Thor races towards its conclusion. While some fans will be understandably upset to see the Thor vs. Odinson battle used as a way to avoid the Thor/Malekith showdown the arc was building to, Jason Aaron's style remains spot on for this story.

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7.0
Thor (2014) #5

Feb 18, 2015

Just two weeks after a battle of Thors we are gifted another installment of Jason Aaron's Thor. It's quite a treat, but the question is whether it feels like the beginning of the next arc of the series or just a small bonus.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #6

Mar 18, 2015

No, you won't find out who's under that helmet this month, but, perhaps for the first time, this issue will leave you more interested to know the answer than Jason Aaron is to tell you, or not tell you, as the case may be. In a somewhat similar manner as he did last month, Aaron takes this installment to catch us up with goings on around the two Thors' worlds.

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8.4
Toil and Trouble #1

Sep 5, 2015

Toil and Trouble possesses a few of the problems you'd expect of a first creator-owned work, but it also brings the youthful energy of a new writer to bear and demonstrates a restraint and fullness that you might expect of an industry staple. Stepping into the world of Shakespearean tragedy is no small feat, but Mairghread Scott and the Matthews sisters prove more than up to the task, delivering a modernized Alba with their unique perspective present in every stone, tree, and spirit. The art is lovely and the questions of the narrative thoughtful. Lovers of Shakespeare, feminism, magic and inventive retellings will all find something to love here. Some questions don't have answers yet, but Toil and Trouble proves a promising debut and a fascinating read.

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8.4
Toil and Trouble #5

Jan 13, 2016

Toil and Trouble #5 won't change your mind about this series, it's a strong continuation of what came before, minor flaws included. However, if you've enjoyed it so far or a thoughtful Shakespearean side story sounds appealing, I'd definitely give it a read.

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8.0
Toil and Trouble #6

Feb 6, 2016

With its final issue, this miniseries clarifies its mission and strengthens itself against criticism. Toil and Trouble #6 opts for solid storytelling and quiet moments over bombast or fan-service. It's a declaration of who Scott is and how intelligent and honest her writing can be, not to mention a reminder of Nicole and Kelly Matthews' talents. Ultimately, Toil and Trouble is not a must read book, but it remains, from start to finish, an intelligent, beautiful piece of work with much to offer fans of fantasy, magic, literature or meaningful relationships between sisters, between parents and children, and between people and their history.

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9.0
Transformers: Dark Cybertron Finale #1

Apr 1, 2014

In the end, "Dark Cybertron" isn't about Starscream, or Titans, or the apocalypse. It's about hope, and change, and friendship, and all that other stuff that marketing will try to convince you is My Little Pony's territory. Amidst the greatest possible stakes, the entire creative team find the smallest and most personal points of character and bring them to life. "Dark Cybertron" had a long rocky start, but these past four issues, quite appropriately, transformed it into something quite special.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #28

May 5, 2014

The humor and action and drama of the Transformers franchise are writ large across this issue but the most amazing thing about this issue is this is Roberts revving up. It's a slightly unfocused issue of MTMTE but one that points towards a very bright future.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #30

Jul 1, 2014

For those who jumped on for “Dawn of the Autobots” this issue is the first to truly demonstrate the fabled power of the series. I've reread this issue over and over, looking for some significant flaw or flaws but any one I find is ultimately inconsequential. There may not be a Chromedome/Rewind moment for this issue, nor will you necessarily remember it for the rest of your life, like some epic issues but, especially with a certain brain-dead movie hogging up the box-office profits this week, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #30 is a fantastic reminder of why Transformers is beloved 30 years after Optimus Prime first graced store shelves.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #31

Jul 12, 2014

"Twenty Plus One" is an unusual issue even for MTMTE, but in a deeply satisfying way. James Roberts crafts a compelling stand-alone mystery that simultaneously bridges the gap between story arcs and advances the personal plotlines of his ragtag crew of bots. Though a highly complex script, some minor artistic missteps, and an even quieter than usual plot might put some readers off, it's another great issue and evidence that MTMTE's second season is just ramping up.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #32

Sep 2, 2014

Meticulous lighting, well-crafted suspense, and more heady sci-fi fun make this another strong installment of a rightly acclaimed series. Roberts delivers another great done-in-one mystery and promises big things going forward. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is a must read title, not only for giant robot fans, but fans of everything great about comics.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #34

Nov 2, 2014

Clever use of genre conventions, appeals to the audience's hearts from both creators, and an intelligent story help this in-between tale stand tall among its honored brethren. This issue particularly reminds how much this series invests in each of its characters' arcs and provides a refresher course in the series' strengths before we barrel into another larger story.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #35

Dec 2, 2014

While I love reviewing this series, sometimes it feels a tad silly. This book is rock solid month after month. What keeps me coming back is the sheer variety in the ways this comic is great. While I probably wouldn't rank this one quite up there with issues #30 and #31 and there's a little too much housekeeping to be done, Roberts and Milne continue to build an incredible world together, expertly punctuated by strong dialogue, intelligent artistic choices, and a core of intelligent musings on oppression, surveillance, and freedom.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #36

Dec 24, 2014

More Than Meets The Eye #36 is a little slower, a little simpler than many of its brothers and sisters, but it's no less expansive. This time travel plot works wonders as an opportunity to see more of the shadowed history of Cybertron, but, more importantly, it confronts our characters with their legends and, within them, their assumptions about themselves. Overall it's just a standard issue of MTMTE, but the highs, like Megatron's phone call with Orion, will stay with you for a long time.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #38

Mar 10, 2015

With More Than Meets The Eye #38, James Roberts' Cybertronian Trilogy comes to a triumphant conclusion as nearly everything in the series so far comes rushing to a head.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #39

Apr 15, 2015

Though some fans will likely mourn the loss of the simplistically awesome Tarn, Roberts builds upon the foundation of one of his best loved characters, transforming him into a complex figure who's addictive personality runs deeper than we imagined. Along the way he introduces a few new key players, expands the scope of the series, and sets up the next big arc. Hayato Sakamoto's artwork is well suited to the story and really shines in the key moments. It's not as exciting as you might expect a DJD story to be, but things change for the Transformers universe this issue, and in ways that may be difficult to predict. James Roberts turns out an intelligent character portrait that may turn out to be critical to this series in the long term.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #40

May 6, 2015

There's little point in hiding it: I found this issue difficult to review. It's action-less filler in many ways, but I put it down bowled over by how tight and affecting it was. There's very little to pick at and the whole thing feels like a single unit, despite the reality of its myriad moving parts. It's a story of speaking with silence, the art feels new and yet familiar, it's a self-contained moment that also extensively draws from past events and sets up for future plot lines. It's a mess of contradictions, but the point, it seems, is that it, like it's cast, is a beautiful mess. Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #40 is a fantastic reminder of the range and potency this series possesses and just feels good to read.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #41

May 30, 2015

Without its conclusion, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #41 feels a little off. Nevertheless, that still leaves it as one of the most adaptable and familiar books on the shelves. James Roberts brings some fascinating genre tropes and his hawk-like eye for character to the plate while Alex Milne returns, strong as ever, and Joana Lafuente continues her takeover of this title. Plot, dialogue, and artwork have all been stronger, but you forgive the people you love and, if you're reading this book, you love these characters.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #43

Aug 2, 2015

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #43 is a very strange issue and that's just the way it likes it. James Roberts takes an issue to explore a personal preoccupation, though some might argue that his desire not to 'just' produce a filler issue actually weighs it down. If you're interested in some amusing meta-commentary or at least willing to abide a strange tangent from one of the best series on the market, you'll find a mindbending and heartfelt little rescue mission with a fantastic finale, but it definitely doesn't feel like the most necessary issue of the series. Still, much as Roberts is letting his inner Grant Morrison out this month, there's no denying that he's still an incredible talent and that even the most polarizing issues of MTMTE are some of the smartest and sharpest mainstream comics being published.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #45

Oct 6, 2015

Though the plot is a little limited, James Roberts and Alex Milne turn out another amazing issue based almost solely on the strength of their characters. The Scavengers remain some of the characters who most directly tap the strengths of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and getting another full issue of their shenanigans feels like an industrial grade dose of MTMTE shot straight into your eyes. From implied musical episodes to Self Hating Decepticons (tm), the madcap originality and energy of the series is in full swing, narratively and visually. Ultimately I feel like this is bound to be a beloved chapter in an eventual trade but it's still a very fun single issue. It won't be replacing "Rules of Disengagement" for anybody, but if you're willing to take a month to soak in the fun of this universe - and let's face it, if you're reading this series you probably are - this will be a welcome addition to your collection.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #47

Dec 2, 2015

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #47 is a masterfully executed comic. This issue is intently focused on taking the reader on a journey and, like a roller coaster, it builds tremendous anticipation by engaging the reader's fears and expectations before sending them careening down the track to their destination. Though it's occasionally kind of obvious about the characters' motivations and some scenes are slightly distancing, there is a level of craft that will make this an issue you remember where you were when you read it.

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8.4
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #50

Mar 13, 2016

Some might be disappointed by the relative lack of action, but this issue is as funny as any that's come before and sees no reason why that should preclude it from shattering your illusions and showing you your heroes at their lowest. With nuanced and beautiful art from everyone involved and all the wit, intelligence, and heart you've come to expect from this book, Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #50 is a worthy tribute to the one of the best monthlies in comics.

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8.4
Transformers: Punishment (One-Shot) #1

Jan 28, 2015

I've been enjoying The Transformers (Robots in Disguise) since it began its second season and relocated to Earth, however I can't deny that whenever John Barber makes the jump back to Cybertron I'm reminded of how excellently suited he is to the setting. Rife with backstabbing and political unrest, Cybertron is one of the most fascinating elements of the current Transformers landscape and, in Transformers: Punishment, Barber takes the opportunity to explore the remnants of the old Decepticon movement.

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7.0
Transformers: Redemption #1

Nov 1, 2015

Most of Transformers: Redemption's cast are fairly simplistic, and that deprives it of the character relationships that have been the core of many of John Barber's Transformer gems. The middle of the issue drags a bit and the art isn't always clear enough, but it manages to hang in there through the strength of our lead and a feeling of scope. At its best, Redemption is a very strong book, but there's a lack of consistency that keeps it from being a sure thing and the $8 price tag could hold some readers back. In the end, the book makes some big changes to the Cybertronian setting and sets up for some promising stories, but, in itself, it's going to be a matter of taste.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #20

Aug 13, 2013

Whether you can tell me the difference between Rampage (G1) and Rampage (BW) or your only points of reference are the movies, Robots in Disguise #20 is a strong issue. This series hasn't quite made a name for itself yet, but I think that, like Starscream, its time has finally come.

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5.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #23

Dec 3, 2013

All in all, this is a fine issue, but it feels like a long breath inward. Suspense is great but I can't wait until it's time to let that out.

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6.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #24

Dec 23, 2013

Honestly, it still feels a little like “Dark Cybertron” didn't need to be as sprawling as it is, but this issue provides the necessary punch. The artists are well suited to their assignments and the writers seem much more in sync than in some previous issues. It's taken a long time, but if you haven't been keeping up with “Dark Cybertron”, this is probably the time to jump on.

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5.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #25

Jan 26, 2014

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #25 is another solid section of the Dark Cybertron trade but, as we finish out the third month of this event, I can't help but feel like IDW isn't giving fans enough meat to justify buying all of these books.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #26

Feb 15, 2014

I still find the smaller, more character driven stories that Barber and Roberts were telling more interesting, but RiD #26 is a classic Transformers storytelling presented beautifully. The other “Dark Cybertron” issues wish they were this good.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #27

Mar 25, 2014

In the end, Transformers: Robots in Disguise #27 is only a solid issue, despite its high points. That said, what it does brilliantly is set up for the final chapter of "Dark Cybertron." Especially after the long and unsteady road this crossover has run, it's pretty amazing how excited I am to see how it will end. I expect you will be too.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #28

Apr 25, 2014

John Barber creates a fascinating new world from the entirety of IDW's time with the brand, full of intrigue, humor, and heart. His bots have an imperfection, an awkwardness, that makes them feel like real people rather than mere automatons. The war is grander here on earth, but the subtlety and character that defined this series' first season is alive and well.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #29

Jun 4, 2014

John Barber creates a fascinating new world from the entirety of IDW's time with the brand, full of intrigue, humor, and heart. His bots have an imperfection, an awkwardness, that makes them feel like real people rather than mere automatons. The war is grander here on earth, but the subtlety and character that defined this series' first season is alive and well.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #30

Jun 14, 2014

RiD #30 is an attractive comic. The artists are all highly consistent and talented, the characters are interesting, and the cliffhanger will have you desperate for the next issue. It just lacks that 'aha moment' to pull the whole thing together.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #31

Aug 6, 2014

With a trio of talented artists at his back John Barber promises ever bigger things for this series, delivering one of its best issues in a long while.

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6.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #32

Aug 26, 2014

RiD #32 doesn't live up to last month's installment, but it's a satisfying addition to this new era of Transformers and sets the stage for some dramatic shifts in months to come. The series calms down a bit this month but it feels like the quiet before the storm.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #33

Oct 1, 2014

Though it's clear that the story it supports is still some ways off, Transformers: RiD #33 proves an entirely welcome detour in John Barber's story. While the comic industry gives us plenty of reason to be skeptical of random event tie-ins and preludes, you'll come out of this issue with your palate cleansed, excited for more of the Earth-bound Autobots' war and ready for "Combiner Wars" to begin.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #35

Nov 18, 2014

The introduction of a new human faction proves an intriguing move as John Barber begins to pull the curtain back on the mysteries that hung over "Dawn of the Autobots". With a name change and a new arc, Transformers has recovered some vital energy. It's not so much that things have drastically changed for the better but that the creators feel that much more excited about the project. Though this is undoubtedly a transitionary issue, Barber, Griffith, and Perez make it hard not to share in that enthusiasm.

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7.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #39

Mar 21, 2015

It doesn't feel like all that long since we had a big Transformers crossover event. In fact, it's been just under a year since the last part of "Dark Cybertron" was published. Nevertheless, here we are again. Long awaited, "Combiner Wars" has begun.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #43

Jul 29, 2015

Transformers #43 isn't a return to the glory days of Robots in Disguise, but rather a complete about face, embracing and nurturing the distinctive elements of the book's second season. The result is an honest and funny detour that finally justifies the series' new direction and takes it about as far as it can go in its current form. Free from the crossover's complex preparations, Transformers #43 is a promising step into the post-"Combiner Wars" world.

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8.4
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #44

Aug 12, 2015

For the second month in a row, John Barber turns out a winning story, full of clever realpolitik and abundant heart. In a single issue, Barber not only establishes a new status quo for Starscream and significantly deepens the intrigue behind Arcee's meetings with Galvatron, but turns a virtual nobody into a character destined to have fans for as long as this issue's remembered. This issue isn't flashy, but it's solidly constructed with more than enough for the mind and heart. Definitely the strongest issue of The Transformers this year.

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8.4
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #46

Oct 24, 2015

The first part of "Conquerors" is a decided success for The Transformers. Though objectively a bit of a survey, John Barber is not only writing a particularly interesting set of stories but he's writing them more to the best of his ability. Aided by Sara Pitre-Durocher and Josh Perez, his ideas come through loud and clear and look beautiful while doing so. There are some notable variances in the art and some occasionally awkward bits of exposition but more focused character work, dramatic plot twists, and some truly gorgeous panels make this a must read for fans of the franchise.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #50

Feb 28, 2016

The last twenty two issues really pay off here as the Transformers team pull it all together into an exciting and textured new status quo. The war may be heating up, but, in many ways, Transformers #50 is a return to the 'politics as philosophy as warfare' model that's made this series such an engrossing read. This is a great example of an anniversary issue. Though the fighting restricts some of the specificity usually found in this series' dialogue the trade for action, quick and identifiable character work, and dramatic plot progression is more than worth it. John Barber shows his skills as a writer and an editor, delivering a story that advances the characters and the world they live in and Andrew Griffith gets a chance to show what he can really do.

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8.0
Transformers: Till All Are One #2

Jul 13, 2016

Transformers: Till All Are One puts the emphasis on ALL, looking at Cybertronians from every planet, faction, and social strata with an eye for character that practically promises big things and new favorite characters. This second issue confirms the methodical pacing and broad focus that gives Till All Are One the character of a novel or a prime time television series more than the traditional trade structure of comics. Scott, Durocher, and Tramontano are building something here and, while it differs significantly from the strategies IDW has employed before, I'm excited to be a citizen of Cybertron with them at the helm.

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8.0
Transformers: Windblade #1

Apr 1, 2015

Those of you who frequent the site might already be aware that I adored Transformers: Windblade. The miniseries was bold, fun, smart, fresh, and frankly beautiful. For me, it was effectively Transformers' answer to Ms. Marvel, and I say that with all the respect in the world and a full understanding of their differences. So when I heard that one of my favorite comics of last year was returning as an ongoing series, I was rightfully excited. And now it's finally here.

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8.0
Transformers: Windblade #2

May 25, 2014

It may be a step down from the last issue, but Transformers: Windblade #2 remains a gorgeous and wonderfully realized thriller, full of character, heart, and cleverness.

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9.0
Transformers: Windblade #3

Jul 1, 2014

We are living in a golden age of Transformers comics. IDW's Transformers continuity currently supports two incredible ongoing series and yet somehow this miniseries not only survives in their wake but stands beside them as an equal. Fantastic character work, incredible art, and a story that celebrates the Transformers brand while treading new and exciting ground make this a series that shouldn't be missed and this issue is a big part of why.

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8.4
Transformers: Windblade #4

Jul 28, 2014

It may not be the most polished issue of this miniseries, but Windblade #4 brings the story in for a safe landing. Bolstered by fantastic visuals from Sarah Stone, Mairghread Scott accomplishes a rare and praiseworthy feat for the Transformers brand: she crafts a story that opens Transformers to and, in fact, targets, new readers while providing everything that old standbys love about Cybertron.

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8.0
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #7

Sep 9, 2014

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #7 is a comic that could easily have gone wrong. The writing is simple and its importance to the plot is perfectly middle of the road, neither essential nor forgettable. Nevertheless, the emotional impact that Pak, Miyazawa, and Anderson draw out of thetale make it a worthy addition to this consistently enjoyable series. It's probably not the best place to jump onto this series, but issue #7 sets Turok's second arc up for a tempting, potentlytragic, conclusion and thoroughly invests you in the struggle.

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8.0
Twilight Zone #1

Jan 3, 2014

This story is clearly just the beginning, but beautiful art, a strong premise, and considered writing make it quite a lovely beginning. Whether you just couldn't get enough over New Year's or you're just looking for something new on your pull list, this issue is a fine little vacation…into the Twilight Zone.

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7.0
U.S.Avengers #1

Jan 10, 2017

Objectively, U.S.Avengers #1 is a solid book that will appeal to people who like the New Mutants, reasonable conservative authority figures, or queer Iron Patiots and multi-racial Captain Americas. The first issue is really more of an introduction than an adventure you'll remember forever, but the character work is superb, even if the plot is a little light.It's a workmanlike production that leans heavily into some of the most interesting ideas that superheroes play with and gives a spotlight to some great characters, but in the world it was published in, it becomes something pretty special. Ewing and co. make a fantastic statement about America without obnoxious preaching and set the stage for some big, awesome adventures. So while the issue has some minor flaws, it's one that I can whole-heartedly recommend you try.

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8.0
Ultimates (2015) #7

May 19, 2016

With the first arc steeped in the adventurous 'Super Science' tradition of the Fantastic Four, The Ultimates #7 effectively adds 'Super-Politics' to its resume, providing a simple but tense series of obstacles for the shaken team as they move forward into the unknown. The Ultimates #7 is not a must buy, especially compared to its predecessor, but it is a fantastic jumping on point for the series. Full of fascinating character moments and clever visual storytelling, this issue makes me feel very secure about this book's future, the role that "Civil War II" will have on it, and vice-a-versa.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) Annual #1

Dec 17, 2014

All in all, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 is a frustrating comic. There's a lot of potential in the concept, writing, and artwork, but some crucial missteps make this a weak addition to Bendis' story.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #8

Jul 12, 2013

Uncanny X-Men 8 is another solid installment in the series, especially after getting sidetracked by Dormammu for a couple of issues. Bendis is everything you've come to expect and Bachalo balances his artistic desires with the needs of the reader. Still, the somewhat lazy opposition the X-Men encounter only highlights a sense of lack of purpose that's overtaken the title. Bendis needs to set goals and define expectations before this series will really take off. Otherwise, it's going to feel like it's rambling.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #9

Aug 5, 2013

In short, this is a good issue, but it's still not as good as you'd imagine if I said that Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo were writing X-Men.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #10

Aug 18, 2013

Uncanny X-Men is a book that deserves its followers, but I can't recommend it to everyone. Bendis needs to stop short-changing plot threads for his mutant revolution story, or be bold enough to commit to it completely. As of now, the greatness of this title is too watered down.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #11

Aug 28, 2013

This arc has been a good one. Hints of a greater plot, Bendis-level character-writing and all-star artwork make this a stand out for the title. I can't say whether Uncanny X-Men will retake its rightful place, but this issue bodes well for the series.

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2.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #12

Sep 19, 2013

If you don't mind the very limited plot progression, this is a fine issue. Bendis has a couple of gems and Bachalo's new style is actually quite lovely. Still, I'm not sure that this is worth your $4.00. Bendis brings his usual talents to the table, controversial already, but not often enough to justify the price of admission. A decent book, but one strangled by the event comic format.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #14

Nov 21, 2013

As I said, Uncanny X-Men has had trouble defining itself. How appropriate then, that this issue doesn't solve the problem but does offer a look at one way that the book could be. I kind of hope it follows that path; it's given us by far the best issue this series has had.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #15.INH

Dec 16, 2013

We know all things by their opposites and, tragically, so it is here. The excitement of the first half of the story seems even more impressive when compared to what follows and this issue's ending is all the more unacceptable for the clear strength of the creative team in its preceding pages. I would desperately like to be giving this issue a higher score but, in honesty, it probably deserves lower.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #16

Jan 20, 2014

This issue was clearly meant to help set up Magneto #1 and, in that, it definitely succeeds. Some wonky art and ambiguous storytelling weigh it down, but I'll take this bold Bendis/Bachalo team over last year's reliably mediocre version any day.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #17

Feb 22, 2014

One issue stories are rare nowadays, but Bendis is knocking them out of the park month after month. Too many of the issue's strengths are conditional for it to fully live up to the Benjamin Deeds or Magneto issues, but the opportunity to see this team start to come together is truly wonderful.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #18

Mar 8, 2014

Uncanny X-Men #18 is a complicated book but, in the end, it's filler. It's filler in a franchise with a long history of beloved filler issues, but it fails to deepen our understanding of the characters the way predecessors did and needs to be rescued by its striking artwork.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #20

Apr 16, 2014

The book still fails to meet the high standards that issues fourteen to seventeen set, but this X-Men vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. war has elevated the title well above its norm. A gem for fans of the series.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #21

May 24, 2014

With strong pacing and atmosphere this is certainly a standout issue of this most recent volume of Uncanny, but both writer and artist are a bit too unreliable to match their best efforts.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #22

Jun 19, 2014

It's sad to see an issue that does highlight the creators' strengths so well hamstringed by a rushed and awkward plot. Nothing in this issue justifies the sheer level of indulgence that Bendis has brought to this series and the engaging, immediate quality of the dialogue only highlights the problem. Likewise, the epic atmosphere only makes it clearer that the book falls short of its own expectations. Like X3, Uncanny X-Men #22 has the pieces of an excellent conclusion " in this case a gripping mystery, characters you care for, above average art, thematic resonance, etc. " but that only makes it more of a disappointment.

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8.4
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #23

Jul 20, 2014

Though there's really no villains or mutant brawling in this issue Bendis and Anka craft a transitory issue that stands up with some of the best of this series. If the rest of "The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier" can channel this same dedication to character we'll have a solid X-Men story on our hands.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #24

Aug 5, 2014

Anka delivers an artful, polished presentation and Bendis reminds why his name is synonymous with in-depth, naturalistic conversations. There are some flaws that will grate against certain sensibilities, but both art and dialogue are deep and beautiful enough to carry you away. It's a very particular sort of issue but nobody handles them like Bendis and Anka.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #25

Sep 4, 2014

Uncanny X-Men #25 is an issue clearly written from end to beginning. So much of this story is obviously designed to justify moving pieces to this particular arrangement on the board, but while some of the plotting is clunky, it remains a satisfying issue based largely on the force of the character's voices. Coupled with one of Chris Bachalo's most lucid and well composed issues, you're getting some bang for the extra buck you throw down for this issue, but, make no mistake, if you're looking to love this comic, you'll have to do so warts and all.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #26

Sep 18, 2014

If you've been enjoying "The Last Will of Charles Xavier" or love Anka's artwork, you'll probably be happy with your purchase. I liked this issue, but I can't really recommend this issue those who don't fit those categories.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #28

Nov 21, 2014

If "The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier" was an event maxi-series, this would be Uncanny X-Men's tie-in issue. By and large, this issue is fairly inessential, but Bendis gives us a look at Cyclops' revolution and puts the X-Men's emphasis back on teaching in a rather beautiful fashion, literally, thanks to Anka. I'm not sure I can give this issue a blanket recommendation, but I encourage you to consider it against your own tastes, especially if you're a fan of Cyclops, mutant philosophy, or Professor Xavier.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #29

Dec 30, 2014

This issue has its heroes and villains and the ability to cast any of its characters in either part. While this story has objectively gone on too long, this is a solid chapter. Particularly for longtime readers of this series, there are just so many elements that pay off this month. Sure, it's still fairly decompressed, but we get some advancement on every plot thread. The writing is strong and the art is a fascinating experiment on Bachalo's part. In spite of everything it does to shake my confidence, Uncanny X-Men really does have the power to win me back every now and again.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #31

Feb 24, 2015

With this issue "The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier" finally comes to an end. I don't think anyone is denying that this story lasted way too long. Even the cover is ready to be done with it, clearly displaying the beginning of next story that Bendis thought would be beginning this month. Nevertheless, the question is how did this story wrap up, especially after the last arc of Uncanny X-Men came to a rushed and awkward end.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #33

Apr 20, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #33 is a really interesting issue and really displays Bendis' strengths as a writer. It's weird to see one of the series' last issues segue out of relevance and into a charming but unrelated story. Kris Anka's apparent experiments allow us a glimpse at a talented artist's range, but it feels a little unpolished. Ultimately the stakes are very low and, structurally, this issue is very odd.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #600

Nov 8, 2015

Brian Bendis and his score of artists deliver an X-Men finale that's deserving of the Claremont legacy and the strong attachment fans have for these characters, but that is too deeply flawed to serve as a gem in the crown of his run or as its redemption. The art is strong but definitely suggests that the delayed release was necessary. With his final issue, Bendis reminds why Marvel trusted him to get into the heads of these characters but seemingly walks off without doing anything with some of the most interesting ideas of his run. Especially with Extraordinary X-Men already on stands assuring you that none of this really matters, Uncanny X-Men #600 feels more like the issue that should have marked the mid-point of Bendis' tenure, rather than its end.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #1

Jan 12, 2016

The tone is bleak, the action plentiful, and the story well balanced for a new readers. It seems like the eventual trade will be an excellent next step for fans of X-Men: Apocalypse, but, while there are some solid storytelling moments and a couple of hints towards some bigger things, this issue has enough weaknesses in both writing and art to hold it back. Fans of Uncanny X-Force may well have a winner on their hands, but it's up to them whether they give this one a shot or join up for issue #2. The latest Uncanny X-Men #1 is a fine jumping on point with some interesting ideas, but too much time is spent giving basic introductions to the cast and editorially mandated status quo for it to feel essential.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #2

Jan 26, 2016

With this second issue, the new Uncanny X-Men has started to nail down its place in the Marvel line up. Though it still feels like the Terrigen panic is a hindrance more than a help, Cullen Bunn is trying some fresh things with his heroes and villains. The series is moving slowly but forcefully, making it easy to pick up, and Greg Land's artwork makes a definite impression, for good and ill. Uncanny X-Men #2 solidifies the action-packed mix of old and new storytelling that this series is aiming for. The art and writing are instinctive and evocative and fans of the style will savor the cinematic reading experience. However, it must be said that the cinema it's emulating is big-budget action movies and those aren't to every taste.

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6.0
Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #4

Feb 3, 2016

With this, Vertigo puts the second series of the Quarterly Anthology to bed and I'm so glad that it's stuck around. Bang seems the right place to leave this theme, with a nice range of interpretations and quite a few tones and genres on display. Depth and clarity are the flaws most commonly seen in this issue, while specificity and cleverness tend to be its strengths. Though the $8.00 price point is harsh, Vertigo has proven very skilled in curating these anthologies and this one is no exception. Many of these stories are merely nice to have once you have them and some of the most promising disappoint, but, while it is a little less even than its brethren, there are some real gems in here.

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9.0
Vision #4

Feb 10, 2016

While this issue lacks the energy of some of its predecessors, the level of polish on display is staggering. Tom King's characterization and thoughtful plotting seem destined to make this a treasured run and with Walta and Bellaire at his side and the point of no return well and truly crossed, it's hard not to be excited about this series. This series is batting four for four and there's no denying that The Vision is one of the most beautiful, memorable, and literary comics on shelves today.

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9.0
Vision #7

May 14, 2016

The art may take getting used to and its relationship with continuity is a tangled one, but The Vision #7 is another breathtaking installment in a masterful series. Tom King has already secured his place as one of the mainstream industry's most talented new voices, but The Vision remains some of his best and most personal work. With this issue The Vision reaches out for Marvel's past, a love letter as tricky and multifaceted as the troubled relationship it depicts. Despite some imperfections, this is a beautiful comic at every level and it helps to cement this run as a defining interpretation of its protagonist(?) alongside Fraction & Aja's Hawkeye, Brubaker & Cooke's Catwoman, or Miller & Janson's Dark Knight.

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5.0
Vote Loki #1

Jun 23, 2016

Vote Loki is incredibly timely. There's no denying that Loki occupies a unique cultural niche that allows him to poke some much needed fun at the mass hysteria America calls its election cycle and that Christopher Hastings is a perfect choice to write that story. The problem lies in whether that story feels necessary. There just isn't quite enough to justify this series yet and, while it fits better than in most cases, Langdon Foss' art neither adds significant visual appeal nor supports the strengths of the issue. Hastings does some really nice things with Nisa and the role of the media in this issue, and that gives readers something to grab onto, however, like that same institution, it kind of feels like this series is reporting on this story just to have something to do. A fun diversion for those inclined, but forgettable in a way that one only wishes much of what it satirizes could be.

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5.0
We Are Robin #1

Jun 28, 2015

This issue asks a lot of interesting questions and reintroduces us to a great new character in the Gotham universe, however, as of yet, it doesn't give the reader enough to really get them excited. It's a nice looking start to a much anticipated series, but there's a feeling that it hasn't been given the support it needs. We Are Robin #1 does nothing to dissuade me from buying the series, but it doesn't excite either.

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7.0
We Are Robin #2

Jul 27, 2015

After a lukewarm introduction last month, We Are Robin is starting to find its footing. The characters feel more natural and the plot has a hook that it lacked previously. The art remains a strong point and Bermejo has revealed more than one wrinkle with the potential to bring readers back next month. We Are Robin will have to live up to the quality of its ideas, but this issue is a strong step in the right direction.

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7.0
We Are Robin #3

Sep 1, 2015

The art is definitely growing on me, and I liked it a fair deal to begin with, and it's lovely to see so many different takes on the Robin iconography on so many different looking young heroes. With a small war delayed but not necessarily contained and their mysterious backer revealed, the series seems to be lined up to address its major weaknesses and provide something that's more than just a new coat of paint on the Bat clan. Though it's not quite as solidly constructed as last issue, We Are Robin #3 lays groundwork for a very interesting run with more than one surprise along the way.

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8.0
We Are Robin #4

Sep 28, 2015

We Are Robin #4 is a radically different comic than what's come before, both in the sense of the series and the publisher. The change of priorities bodes well for the series, but only if they can be integrated into the preexisting team book dynamic. The art feels almost screenprinted at times and is quite a sight to behold. Many readers will get a kick out of the wild direction that Bermejo, Harvey, and their peers take the series this month, but it's bound to be a polarizing issue. Both art and story are beautiful but skirt the line between the meaningful and the needlessly arty. For me, both come down on the right side of things, but be aware that your milage may vary. Still, We Are Robin #4 proves that Bermejo and his odd new series have an impressive range. It seems to promise bold things in this series' future.

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7.0
We Are Robin #5

Nov 4, 2015

We Are Robin gets back to normal this month and, while it can't match the thoughtfulness of last month's issue, the attention to character that had been lacking before remains. With a stronger focus on both heroes and villains and some really nice layouts, this is definitely one of the stronger issues of the fledgling series, however, we're still waiting for it to really find its groove. This month was solid but it's getting to be make or break time for this book and future issues will have to capitalize on the significant potential this issue introduced if this experiment is going to succeed.

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8.0
We Are Robin #11

Apr 29, 2016

We Are Robin #11 is not a masterpiece. It is better described as strong or affecting than brilliant, but it just feels so complete, especially in a way that the series has often struggled with, as to warrant some celebration. The art is both better and worse than previous issues, but the storytelling and the story told. Just. Work. The writing is strong in a myriad of ways, from ideas, to dialogue, to themes. The plot is simple but it's wonderfully executed and captures the vitality and the horror of what being Robin means. For any shortcomings, it feels alive. Long story short, We Are Robin #11 is the issue this series was written for.

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5.0
Web Warriors #1

Nov 17, 2015

Web Warriors is unashamed to be the series where wild, wacky ideas are molded into metaphorical action figures and slammed together and that's great. The opening scene is just wonderful and Mike Costa has set the stage for some interesting developments. Unfortunately there's just not quite enough of any one thing for this issue to click. The plot isn't quite deep enough to hook you, the characters are not quite developed enough to breed attachment to them, the art is just not quite consistent enough to justify a purchase, and the $5.00 price tag amplifies all of this.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #33

Jul 24, 2013

The Hellfire Saga is finally picking up steam, returning a sense of purpose to this title. This is the kind of comic that you can find yourself cheering along to. That said, this is a wordy issue trying to fool you into thinking it's all action. The issue is entirely dependent on tension, and if it doesn't move you so, it will likely fall flat. Likewise, most of the progress in this issue is a matter of perspective. Still, the converging storylines make this a great issue for longtime readers of the title. Wolverine and the X-Men #33 takes me right back to the days of a youth spent reading manga with a season finale seriousness and an insistence that even in such dark moments, comics should be fun.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #34

Aug 17, 2013

Anchored by Kilgore's meltdown,Wolverine and the X-Men #34crawls to the peak ofThe Hellfire Saga, promising big things for next issue. This story is clearly written for trade, but I'm inclined to be forgiving in light of how much improved it's been since it began. Strong art and a bunch of cute character moments make this a fun issue, but it's probably the least necessary part of the arc.

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5.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #35

Sep 1, 2013

The hints at what come next are fascinating, and there are plenty of wonderful endings in place but, overall, it doesn't quite live up to the expectations that last issue instilled in me. WatXM #35 and The Hellfire Saga are solid reads, especially if you're invested in these characters, but at the end of the day it's a decent, middle of the road arc that bit off more than it could chew when it compared itself to The Dark Phoenix Saga.

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7.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #36

Sep 26, 2013

Wolverine and the X-Men 36 retains what's best about the series and provides the best chapter of the Battle of the Atom crossover since it began.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #38

Nov 30, 2013

Aaron has not always lived up to the fine beginnings that he's crafted and I can't imagine that I'll look back on this issue fondly if its potential is wasted, but on its own it's a wonderful and energizing start to the home stretch of this title.

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8.4
Wolverine and the X-Men #39

Dec 12, 2013

Though it lacks some of the qualities that made its predecessor so entertaining, Wolverine and the X-Men #39 is the second installment in a return to form that may actually exceed what came before. Even if, like Joey, you haven't exactly been on 'Team Wolverine', this issue proves that there's still time and reason to jump on board.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #40

Jan 24, 2014

This is an issue that kind of needs to be read to be understood, but I tell you that it's worth reading. There's a confidence and reality in Aaron's writing that simply wasn't there pre-"Battle of the Atom" and Pepe Larraz has really started to find his groove. That one comes just in time, too, as this issue absolutely needed an artist whose compositions could do justice to the emotional weight of the script. Though it feels a little padded out, this is a graceful conclusion to the single best arc of this title.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #41

Feb 14, 2014

With shades of JLU's "The Greatest Story Never Told" but none of its joy, WatXM #41 is a cute little story that attempts to tug the heartstrings, but will likely be a matter of taste.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #42

Feb 28, 2014

If these characters have touched your heart, if the thought of Idie being happy with herself makes you smile, this is a book you'll want to read. However, the sum of the issue's problems may be too high for more casual readers. As the cover puts it, this one is by and for Jason Aaron and Friends.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men (2014) #1

Mar 8, 2014

Wolverine and the X-Men #1 isn't a bad comic, but it has no business being a number one and readers will know it.

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8.4
Wonder Woman (2016) #1

Jun 28, 2016

Wonder Woman #1 is not a perfectly satisfying issue. It is heavily decompressed, artistically inconsistent, and tonally fairly dark. However, these are all conscious choices and every member of the creative team proves masterful in executing those choices in a way that remains beautiful, grandiose, and respectful of Wonder Woman. Greg Rucka's return is very different from his last three visits with the Amazon Princess, and, honestly, from most comics being put out today. But no matter what you think of the serialized approach he takes here, you'll put this issue down knowing why he is almost unanimously respected as a Wonder Woman writer and why he believes Wonder Woman ought to be respected as well.

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6.0
X-Men (2013) #23

Jan 14, 2015

This is a strange issue to review. While it's not in any way bad, Wilson's writing is not at all able to match the highs of Ms. Marvel, and drags a little in places. Pare that with some significant artistic missteps and you'd think you'd have a mediocre issue. I guess on some level you still do, but what Wilson gets right answers so many of the things fans ask for and building interest for the rest of the arc. As the first part of the "The Burning World", this issue succeeds, getting me interested in seeing where the story goes and reminding us that the most important skills Wilson brings to Ms. Marvel are transferable. However, as an individual issue, the problems add up.

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4.0
X-Men (2013) #24

Feb 13, 2015

After a middling opening chapter featuring Storm, G. Willow Wilson's X-Men follows her underground for an issue from Psylocke's perspective. From the first line Wilson's narration has promise, "When I think of myself as Psylocke instead of Betsy, sometimes I get overconfident. Someone called Psylocke obviously knows what the score is at all times." It's cute but it tells us something interesting about Betsy Braddock. Unfortunately this concept isn't really raised again.

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7.0
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1

Sep 7, 2013

Much like All-New X-Men #1, if you've heard anything about this story in advance, you could probably skip this issue and start with part two, but you'd be missing out of some lovely art and strong writing if you did.

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7.0
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

Nov 2, 2013

In terms of its story, "Battle of the Atom" doesn't end as well as it began, but it does end and it looks fantastic doing it.

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8.0
Years of Future Past #3

Jul 20, 2015

This is obviously a very personal series for Bennett, and her connection to the text easily becomes the reader's. For the second issue in a row, Bennett delivers a knockout punch of a monologue and plenty of interesting ideas to keep it company. It's definitely a Hamlet more than a MacBeth, full of moral quandaries and uncertainty, but that criticism seems poised to be answered. The art is as worthy a successor to John Byrne's as you could ask and the characters feel like the Claremont classics. Years of Future Past #3 feels a little young at times, but I'm not sure whether that word can hold a judgement. After all, youth is the entire point. Years of Future Past continues to be both a surprisingly effective follow up to a theoretically untouchable classic as well as a fantastic examination of what being an X-Man really means. I expect that this will be a controversial issue within the miniseries' run but, for me, it more than held its own.

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