RJ Carter's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Critical Blast Reviews: 41
8.3Avg. Review Rating

10
Afterlife With Archie #1

Oct 12, 2013

This is more than just a zombie story. There's a depth of characterization here not seen outside of the standard Archie fare. While the Life with Archie series, which follows two alternative future paths split by the decision of Archie to marry either Veronica or Betty, is certainly more adult in nature, I haven't seen a version of the high school Archie gang yet where Veronica and Betty engage in risque repartee while arguing over who will be Archie's date to the dance. Add to this Reggie Mantle's role in events, a whole new visual look to the Archie characters (aside from being zombified, that is), and just the fully-realized emotional expressions of each character, and Afterlife with Archie immediately rockets to not just the top of my Archie reading list, but it's the first time that an Archie book has broached my personal Top Five must-read titles of all publications. I have to give this my highest recommendation.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #7

Dec 11, 2014

If you're any kind of a zombie fan at all, and you haven't picked up AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, you're missing not just the best zombie title currently on the market, but one of the best horror comics being presently published. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is Archie Comics' "Vertigo Moment," and you want to be there for it.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #9

May 27, 2016

Francesco Francavilla's artwork hasn't lost a thing during the last nightmarish publishing hiatus. If anything, his style has improved, as he continues to deliver a vision of the Archie universe that has never been imagined before. It's an unsettling look at terrors that are both obvious and subtle, physical in the present, psychological in the past, and occultist overall.

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8.0
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 12, 2016

ALL-STAR BATMAN is a less obnoxious Batman as was the character in the the similary titled ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, so if you're expecting more of the G.D. Batman, that's not what this series is about.

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10
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

Kudos to Tom King and Jason Fabok. This issue couldn't have gotten more retro or more exciting if they had decided to intersperse the panels with images from a pirate comic.

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7.0
Batman/The Shadow #1

Apr 26, 2017

Dynamite's been doing a...well, quite frankly, dynamite job with the pulp heroes and the public domain supers, and it's great for the fans that they've been willing to share their sandbox with DC Comics, as they've done with their recent crossover with Wonder Woman '77and The Bionic Woman. (JSA / PROJECT SUPERPOWERS anybody? C'mon, it's low hanging fruit!) Putting Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando together to chronicle this meeting of the masterminds is a natural pairing, and Riley Rossmo's art has just the darkness and deco feel to it to blend the two worlds together.

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7.0
Dawn / Vampirella #1

Sep 10, 2014

It's all a bit simplistic, and I'm sure the actual ending is going to be different from the McGuffin we're initially shown (the world of off-panel actions being one of infinite possibilities). If you're jonesing for a long-standing Dawn fix, then you'll want to pick this up. If you're more of a Vampirella fan, she's a bit off-character and shoehorned into the plot for obvious marketability.

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10
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 26, 2016

So why am I smiling like that 5 year old kid who used to get Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson SUPERMAN comics from the barber shop? Because, like that mysterious person in REBIRTH, I've seen the future. And everything is going to be all right.

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9.0
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1

Oct 13, 2014

Titan Comics' debut of the Twelfth Doctor is sure to make a splash with Doctor Who fans, and this reviewer eagerly awaits the next chapter of this story.

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8.0
Faith #5

Nov 7, 2016

Overall, all three stories show why FAITH has been finding her way into people's subscription lists.

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8.0
Flash (2016) #21

Apr 26, 2017

FLASH #21 is a continuation -- and a departure -- from the story that began in BATMAN #21. Geoff Johns and Tom King are still driving, but even when multiple writers (and artists) are on the same page, you can sense the shift. Where BATMAN #21 opened "The Button" in a fashion that was very WATCHMEN-like in its structure, FLASH #21 shows some glimpses of that at first but for the most part sticks to the basic format for telling a comics story. Which isn't to say that Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter told a bad story -- far from it. It's just to say that, the gears have shifted, and you can feel the shift.

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10
Future Quest #1

Jun 24, 2016

I plan to follow this one on a monthly basis. Don't wait for the collected trade, get it now.

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10
Future Quest #8

Dec 29, 2016

With this issue, the art and story are firing on all cylinders, and the ride is only going to get more thrilling from here. If you haven't tuned in already, now would be a good time.

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8.0
Gold Key Alliance #3

Jun 8, 2016

Brent Peeples artwork with Morgan Hickman doing the colors is stunning, and really brings the reader into the stories. It will be interesting to see how Peeples brings together these disparate genre characters into a unified scene.

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8.0
Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary - Alice #1

Jul 14, 2015

The ALICE IN WONDERLAND TENTH ANNIVERSARY ONE SHOT gets back to the roots of the series, with chilling horror delivered in exquisite beauty. That oxymoronic coupling makes this a welcome and compelling single-issue story that shouldn't be missed.

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8.0
Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Special #2014

Nov 17, 2014

Written by Anne Toole with artwork by Butch Mapa, the GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2014 HOLIDAY EDITION once again shows how Zenescope can take an obscure myth and turn it into a compelling modern drama.

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7.0
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #1

Jan 26, 2015

As a devotee of Wonderland since before Zenescope came into existence (Happy 10th Anniversary, Zenescopers!) I'll always be interested in new interpretations, Zenescope's included. I'm just hoping that the recent turn of events in the series haven't painted the new White Queen into a perpetual role of lifting madness and being manipulated.

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8.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror #3

Sep 3, 2014

While the market for modern horror shorts is still a yawning chasm in the graphic format, Grimm Tales of Terror is a welcome island of fright.

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7.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror #6

Jan 6, 2015

Overall, the story works but could have better set the reader up for surprises instead of giving all the hints up front. That's part of what made EC and other horror anthologies of the past so successful -- any hints were so subtle, if they were given at all, that they were only obvious upon re-reading. And that's what I'd love to see GRIMM TALES OF TERROR evolve into, and what I see it as having the ripe potential to become. Previous issues have achieved this, but this one just falls a little bit short in its delivery.

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9.0
Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1

Nov 3, 2014

Overall, Zenescope's HOLLYWOOD ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE has only one disappointing factor to it -- the fact that it's a limited series of two issues. This is a zombie-infested world in which I wouldn't mind spending a little more time.

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10
Irwin Allen's Lost In Space: The Lost Adventures #1

Mar 17, 2016

The pacing is slow -- it's a half-hour show being spread across at least two (perhaps more) comic books. However, the feel is spot-on, owing to the use of the original teleplay's dialogue and the beautiful panel work of Kostas Pantoulas. If you're a fan of the original series, you need to get out to your local comics shop and pick up a copy or three of IRWIN ALLEN'S LOST IN SPACE: THE LOST ADVENTURES #1 from American Gothic Press.

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4.0
Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Feb 10, 2017

I get it if you want to produce a team of villains trying to make good despite their pasts. That's an admirable project (even if THUNDERBOLTS already did it). I'd buy that book. Maybe market it as "Community Service" or "Doom Paroled" or even something clever. But don't market it as the Justice League.

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8.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2

Dec 29, 2016

Great writing and some eye-pleasing art from Tony S. Daniel make JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD a must-follow story.

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9.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4

Jan 12, 2017

Williamson continues to deliver a fast-paced action story that still finds moments for character development and relationship revelations. Fernando Pasarin's artwork is a style consistent with the series, giving the reader detailed draftsmanship while also packing the pages border-to-border with character actions and backgrounds. Week after week, while I find something to pick on with each installment, JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD continues to bring it home as the highlight of my Wednesday reading experience.

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8.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6

Jan 26, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD has had a lot of good in it. The rotating-artist approach allowed for a quick one-a-week release without any delays in scheduling, and most of the artists maintained a rather consistent look across the series. I feel a little disappointed in the conclusion, however. It just felt rushed, and made the entire series seem to be put out as a launch point for two other ongoings. And yes, that may have been the actual point, but the reader shouldn't be as aware of it as I feel I am in this instance. Batman's change of mind on the necessity of Task Force X is a departure from his usual intractible views on justice, and I have to wonder if he's only saying that to get his way with Killer Frost's release or if he truly has found a place of compromise in his philosophy. But that's a debate for another time.

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9.0
Lenore Vol. 2 #10

Oct 27, 2014

Lenore reads something akin to what one might expect of Jeff Smith's Bone, had it been written and drawn by an LSD-fueled Charles Addams. It's hilarious in all the wrong ways -- which are, of course, the best ways. And don't worry if you're not up to date on the story so far. Flashback Squirrel (bless his soul) will be there to catch you up as best he can.

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8.0
Lone Ranger / Green Hornet #1

Jul 4, 2016

The motivations may be a bit weak, but the concept and the execution are enough to bring me back for the next installment of those thrilling days of yesteryear.

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9.0
Norman #1

Mar 14, 2015

Buy this book. Hide it from your normal friends, by all means, but buy it, and read it many times.

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8.0
Riverdale #1

Apr 6, 2017

The stories are both told in first-person form, and with Eisma pulling the pencilling chores on both they tales retain a consistent feel to them. If you're a fan of the television show, you'll want to pick this up to get the complete feel for the characters you love as well as the ones you love to hate.

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7.0
Scarlett Couture #1

Apr 20, 2015

SCARLETT COUTURE deserves certain props, however. This series is a marked deviation from the status quo, in a very good way. Fans of certain Japanese animated adventures will certainly find some admirable qualities in this series, which deserves more than a quick thumb-through at the rack. This comic represents more than your usual risk-taking on the part of the creator, which will certainly be rewarded if the stories can get a little more complex.

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8.0
Secret Empire #0

Apr 21, 2017

SECRET EMPIRE #0 is written by Nick Spencer, who, despite my nitpicks with the plot restraints, has a mastery of dialogue over all the characters, and has built up tremendous suspense for the storyline to come. Daniel Acua and Rod Reis have their hands full with portraying the bulk of the Marvel Universe characters and its settings, and have done so without missing a beat. It's a good piece of comics. I'm just hoping it's a good piece of comics that serves as a stepping stone to something even better.

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9.0
Sherlock: A Study In Pink #1

Jun 8, 2016

While the series is presented in English, the pages and panels retain their original right-to-left format -- a task made even more difficult for Western readers when using a digital reader built with left-to-right as a default pagination method. However, it's not an insurmountable obstacle, and worth the effort to follow the comic adventure.

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8.0
Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #5

Apr 20, 2017

So lay in a course for your nearest comic book shop and give this science-fiction crossover a try. Here's hoping the property can find new life and continue to boldly go.

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9.0
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #1

Jul 8, 2015

I've seen a number of these STAR TREK crossovers from IDW in the past, and I've had a mixed amount of enjoyment and bemusement. While I thought I'd enjoy the DOCTOR WHO crossover more, I was particularly happy with the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES one. However, I find my expectations for STAR TREK / GREEN LANTERN remain high after this first issue. The coloring is exquisite, the plot can be followed and gives just enough mystery to leave us asking "Huh?" without asking "WTF?" The artwork is extremely enjoyable, as Hernandez pulls of the rare stunt of drawing characters who resemble the actors without getting that immovable posed quality that often comes from adapting real figures into the comics form.

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5.0
Supergirl (2016) #8

Apr 14, 2017

So remember boys and girls, when you're telling a story and find yourself painted into a corner, remind yourself: "It's only a comic book. I can always blame magic."

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9.0
Superman: Earth One #3

Feb 6, 2015

Straczynski and Syaf are knowledgable industry veterans, and SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE is a lasting testament to their storytelling abilities.

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7.0
Superwoman #1

Aug 11, 2016

The story involves Lois looking for some help from a reliable, trusted source on how to control her newly acquired powers, which leads her to Lana Lang -- the girl who helped Clark figure things out in Kansas. Shift forward a few weeks, and Lois is on hand for a disaster involving Lex Luthor's newly unveiled mobile base of operations. It's a disaster that threatens hundreds of lives, including Lex Luthor's, and will require teamwork from a partner you weren't expecting to see. Trust me, after the introduction at the culmination of this chapter -- which borrows some classic lines from SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE -- you'll be coming back next month to follow the adventures of SUPERWOMAN. She's not who you think she is.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2016) #1

Oct 27, 2016

So I'm along for the ride for now, and I'm bringing my optimism with me that this new Teen Titans may continue to be worth my three bucks each issue.

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9.0
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6

Jul 14, 2016

This book also contains a blast from the past backup feature: a classic Sabrina comics story written by George Gladir and drawn by premiere Archie and Josie artist, Dan DeCarlo.

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8.0
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #1

Nov 28, 2014

Using the characters of The Jungle Book stories as the template for this interpretation makes for a unique storytelling opportunity, and Miller appears to be taking full advantage of that. Michele Bandini's artwork, while not overly detailed, still works wonderfully here, giving the animal denizens of Kipling a pseudo-anthropomorphic style, possessing qualities of expression while sticking closely to the natural appearance of the animal. The story is unhindered by a ton of backstory, while still managing to weave a number of separate plots around a central nexus. Kipling would be an nice place to be able to visit regularly, once the mini-series is completed.

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7.0
Username: Regenerated #1

Nov 22, 2016

The artwork of the graphic novel has an appeal, although there's also a certain chiseled look to it. While the landscapes are highly detailed and lush, and the characters are believably constructed, there are times when they appear "flat" -- which could be a result of the inking, the coloring, or even the printing, I'm not sure. It's still quite good in its rendering, and worth a read.

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