soshillinois's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Pop Culture Uncovered Reviews: 84
8.3Avg. Review Rating

8.0
1872 #1

Jul 8, 2015

The big hero of 1872 is Nik Virella though. A book as specific as 1872 would have handled poorly with the wrong artist. While Duggan does have a fantastic script, that can get lost in transmission with someone who doesn't know how to communicate the iconography and the style of a Western, and Virella has all that in spades. While her characters do have some of the look and demeanor of their main Marvel Universe counterparts, they have plenty of differences to also send them off that same path. I never thought I'd be saying this, but 1872 is one of the best books to come out of Secret Wars. With any luck, we'll be seeing more of the Valley of Doom in the months to come.

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8.0
A-Force #1

May 21, 2015

Jorge Molina also does a great job in the issue as well. As the controversy that sprung up around A-Force early on attempted to point out, body types with women in comics can persist toward the negative end of the scale, but A-Force from the cover onward defies that trend. The women in the issue are powerful and heroic, the actions scenes are drawn with plenty of kinetic energy, and since this is Battleworld, the out of place figures that appear stand out in a way thatll make comic fans happy with how bizarre the setup is. That being said, A-Force is more than worth your 3.99. While it may have sprung out of an event, it stands out on its own enough to warrant buying it even if you only want just 1 comic. Also it has a Megalodon, how can you say no to that?

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4.0
Action Comics (2016) #962

Aug 24, 2016

Action is a comic you really want to like, but ultimately seems to only be lurching forward.

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10
All-New Hawkeye #1

Mar 4, 2015

The book as a whole is phenomenal. Once the previous run concludes, this book will more than definitely be another great gateway into the world of Hawkeye. And even before that happens (well whenever it happens, when is that final issue supposed to come out), this book is more than worth your 3.99. People say they want better and more varied books from Marvel and DC. Marvel has definitely listened on that front, this Hawkeye is no slouch and is most definitely a prestige book worth your time. Go out and get it.

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8.0
All-Star Batman #2

Sep 14, 2016

So far, the best descriptor for this comic is grindhouse Batman with a side of 90's era protege training. I was, at first, a bit baffled by John Romita Jr as an artistic lead for this title, but he brings the good along with Dean White's typically fascinating colors to the insanity of Batman leading Two-Face on an unwilling road trip against a host of villains. It also helps that Snyder and JRJR bring back some quite gonzo Batman villains from Amygdala to KGBeast, minus the KG. Declan Shalvey also does a similarly great job in the Duke-centered backup story.

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10
All-Star Batman #3

Oct 12, 2016

The art as usual is stellar as well. John Romita Jr does a fantastic job with the fight against The Beast, as well as a truly brutal sewer fight. I've also said this in the past: but Dean White is one of the best colorists in comics, and his work enhances the pencils into one of the most bafflingly combative books on the stand. The backup story with Declan Shalvey on pencils and Jordie Bellaire on colors similarly brings everyone's a-game to the fore. That all being said, the comic is most definitely worth its price tag, and frankly that can be a tough sell in this market with so many Batman books. Give it a shot.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #1

Oct 9, 2015

While Renew Your Vows wasn't about the Spider-Man we've seen by Slott the last few years, it was a good signpost of new things to come, and anyone who enjoyed that story will have plenty of things to like here, as well as fans who've stuck around for the long run.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5

Sep 10, 2015

Speaking of Adam Kubert, while the art is not quite up to the par of previous issues, still does a great job with the issue action-packed as it is. The style even with Scott Hanna packed in is still recognizably his. While Amazing Spider-Man proper has seen a number of artists including Giuseppe Camuncoli and Oliver Copiel do stints long and short on the title, Kubert would certainly be a welcome addition to future arcs on the title, especially if Annie returns for a second shot as “Amp.” With a story like this, fans shouldn't worry about the present or the future for Spider-Man, someone who gets the character has the reigns, and has had them for awhile now.

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4.0
Aquaman (2016) #6

Sep 7, 2016

It seems to be a continual problem, but Aquaman just isn't working for me. The creative team is one I normally enjoy, but Rebirth is one of the few books that just doesn't really work.

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8.0
Arkham Knight: Genesis #1

Aug 31, 2015

In terms of the craft itself, Tomasi does a good job as usual of getting into the heads of his characters. Jason Todd can be a difficult character to nail, and while he isnt sympathetic, he is an agreeable character which can be difficult element to nail. Alison Borges also does a great job with the art. DCs digital first comics have had a better pedigree of late when it comes to the art. While its easy to see why keeping quality art flowing on an accelerated schedule can be difficult, these recent offerings such as Genesis, Bombshells, and Wonder Woman 77 have all had great art coming out, and that helps the story tremendously. If youre looking for a new Batman comic to check out, this does stand out from the crowd.

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #2

Aug 24, 2016

If you're looking for a smart and fun book, this may be the one for you.

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10
Batman (2011) #41

Jun 10, 2015

While $3.99 has become the defacto price point for most comics companies nowadays, youre definitely getting your moneys worth here. With two creators whove injected whats essentially a new #1 after their biggest story, youd be remiss to skip out on the debut of the new Batman, and the insanity that follows.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #49

Feb 12, 2016

Overall, while its a shame to possibly Jim Gordon go away as Batman, and be brought to heel so he needs rescuing by Bruce, this issue shows just how much being Batman has cost Bruce Wayne, as well as the people he holds dear. Superheavy has been an interesting experiment in the context of Snyders run, and anyone whos interested to see how that concludes shouldnt hesitate to jump on here.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #2

Jul 8, 2016

Finch's action-packed art, the fun and kinetic nature of King's writing pull together, with a well-rounded cast of characters to give us the start of what might be one of DC Rebirth's biggest successes, I'll be following with heavy interest.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

The last few years have been a pretty great year for off-brand Batman in the DC line and even within the confines of the DC event cycle, this book continues to be exciting. While it's not a perfect fit, The Button definitely is worth checking out.

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10
Batman (2016) #23

May 17, 2017

While it might be a bit odd to see no follow-up to the Watchmen stuff here, for the most part that stuff had little bearing on Kings run compared to what happens here. While it might be odd to say that an issue featuring Swamp Thing is more important to the context of Kings run overall, it does make for an effective study in how people who suffered great loss can react completely differently. If youre looking for a more introspective take on one of the best superheroes right now, in a line thats already putting out plenty of great takes, youre in for a time.

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7.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #1

Oct 7, 2015

Pretty much any Robin fan (minus the current ones) will get what they want here. This is a celebration for the decades of Robin history, and for the Batman protgs in general. For anyone wanting the next big Batman plot, or the return of neglected characters: you'll be happy with the result, although the price tag and length may be a bit of a commitment for some.

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8.0
Batman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

Now in terms of moving plot forward, it's not what you're going to find. But sometimes that's for the best. What you get for the $2.99 price is three creators giving top-level craft and a fun examination of a character as old as Batman, as well as introducing a recent addition like Duke Thomas to the table. While it is sad to see We Are Robin disappear along with Grayson, it's gladdening that DC, Snyder, and King are willing to give the character a push similar to what Damian got during that character's introduction. While Janin won't be returning for awhile, this issue alone gives us a vision of a very different Batman from the one Snyder or Morrison defined during their respective runs, and it's good to get in on the ground floor.

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8.0
Black Hammer #1

Jul 20, 2016

Part of the secret to Black Hammer having such a distinct tone and feel is down to the art though. Dean Ormstons art unites very disparate types of comics characters into whats actually a unique whole throuhout the book. While there is some stretching allowed to give you flashes of different flavors to where these characters would stand in comics history, theres also an element of that same distinctive feel being neutralized in the more grimy world, which is also thanks to Dave Stewarts colors in making that happen. In terms of having an understanding of what type of story is being told here, the art complements the story and vice versa. While there are a great many superhero comics on sale, there arent many with a look with this distinction, or with a touch like Lemires in many DC or Marvel comics.

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8.0
Black History In Its Own Words #1

Feb 14, 2017

Overall, while this book is very short: its a gift worth having on Black History Month. Considering the times we live in, being able to broaden the range of who contributed to history and art is more important than ever. While some would call releasing this book on February a marketing tactic, its very smart marketing, and one worth tipping the hat for. While some people might be disappointed this isn't hard sequential art, sometimes being able to provide a voice for a mass or people lost to time is just as important. This project is most definitely money well-spent.

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8.0
Black Panther: World of Wakanda #6

Apr 21, 2017

Overall though, while World of Wakanda seems to be ending for now, this issue like the others has been for my money a success. Bringing in voices outside of the traditional milieu of comics: poets and journalists has helped invest the book with not just a different pedigree, also a different tone compared to Marvels other books, and its sad to apparently see it go. While this was Rembert Brownes first pass at Kasper Cole, I do hope he and Joe Bennett make a return trip sometime.

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6.0
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Aug 24, 2016

Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I adore both Blue Beetles, but while the Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord here are definitely the ones Giffen has written in the past, the comic surrounding it just doesn't quite gel.

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10
Convergence: Shazam #1

Apr 29, 2015

The art in particular deserves great praise. The right artist can elevate a book, and while Thunderworld has Cameron Stewart, the Shazam book has Doc Shaner. The book embraces the spirit and levity of the Captain Marvel mythos, while keeping its own tone even in the face of being a tie-in to a bigger event. Everyone looks on target from Captain Marvel, to Doctor Sivana, to Tawny, and reminds us of what a different world Captain Marvel has from the DC Universe in general. With any luck, well see more of Captain Marvel from this team, definitely worth your time and $3.99.

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8.0
Dark Days: The Forge #1

Jun 14, 2017

That said overall, Im not generally a fan of event comics. They have little to offer to me beyond continuity logistics if youre into that sort of thing. Where this comic is different is that its looking to engage in doing some different beyond the simple mechanics of putting out an event comic that changes the status quo. Its looking to dig into a more primal and incongruous side of the DCU and comics in general and thats definitely something I can get behind. Overall, if Metal is anything like this comic, its going to be something to watch.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #1

Aug 24, 2016

This book goes a long way to remind us that the Terminator hasn't really changed, we've just chosen to ignore what made this character so appealing in the first place.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #2

Sep 14, 2016

Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan do a great job in that regard creating a very emotionally distant Slade, as well as a very angry Adeline Kane who are both the best and worst match for each other, and the action scenes are a far cry from the big sword slashing action from the previous book. Definitely worth a buy.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #3

Sep 28, 2016

Joe Bennetts art is a great follow-up to the tone set by Carlo Pagaluyan in the first three issues. The gritty art matches up well with the turn this issue takes with showing the lengths Slade will go to protect someone he cares about, even if that doesnt come across. Theres also a great deal of care taken to establish how while Rose is the daughter of Deathstroke, shes less like him and more like her mentor Dick Grayson, her more careful style contrasting towards the easy surgical style Slade takes to eliminate his targets. That said, this book continues to up its game, if youre looking for whats probably the best book in DC Rebirth, youre probably looking at it, its worth the $2.99 and more.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #6

Nov 9, 2016

Deathstroke is as much a comic about intent as it is the act of violence. Pagulayan can distinguish someone as intense as Slade Wilson, from the base brutality of someone like the Red Lion, even in the talkier scenes. Either way, you're getting a fantastic comic for your money. This is one of those cases where the bi-weekly schedule is a boon. Typically, Priest comics have to work on the slow-burn, but this comes at rapid-fire, and with one of the more intelligent and relevant plots a superhero comic can hope to achieve right now. If you really like comics that can transcend being simple pop art, you're on the right track.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #9

Dec 28, 2016

Speaking of high art:this book has had a murderers row of artists, and Cary Nord is the latest person to take a turn. As always his art is fantastic. It also helps that Jeremy Coxs color palette creates an astonishing level of consistency in what would normally be a problem with a revolving door of artists over nine issues. Nord injects a little light into whats an otherwise serious book with small scenes that give different sides to the characters. It overall helps continue to make Deathstroke a prestige book in comparison to other books surrounding it, it cannot be said enough: this book is for people who want moral ambiguity thats actually gray.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #13

Feb 22, 2017

Joe Bennett also deserves accolades for continuing to push out consistent home runs. Theres a variety of notes that need to be hit in any comic, and the range of storytelling: from fights, to emotional moments, and the beat panels of a Priest comic tend to require both exaggeration and nuance. And Bennetts pencils are given a remarkable amount of upgrade from Mark Morales pencils and Jeremy Coxs colors. It leads to an impressive overall comic that certainly deserves recognition, both as a product of the Rebirth line, and what can come from allowing a comic to explore the outer limits of what it can do without hobbling itself.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #15

Mar 23, 2017

As usual a lot of respect needs to be given to the litany of great artists that have graced the pages of Deathstroke. Larry Hama returns for breakdowns, as do Carlo Pagulayan on pencils, and Jason Paz on colors. Together they form one hell of a storytelling machine. A Priest script wouldnt work half as well without a well-oiled team like this, the beats are as funny as ever, and theres some truly brutal visuals with a brooding Jericho at the nadir of his vitality, as well as Slade Wilson as vulnerable as a remorseless assassin can be. Pazs colors in particular work with the black and white superhero world of Joey Wilson beginning to literally bleed into the grays of his fathers, as well as the strange visual of Slade Wilson with a seeing-eye dog. Altogether youre getting whats most definitely one of the best books on the stands, and at a price thats beginning to become a curiosity in comics. Get on it now.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #16

Apr 7, 2017

Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan continue to bring a great deal of energy into the comic, as well as Roberto Viacava in this issue. The comic would lose a lot of the fun, as well as the action, without an anchoring sense of artistic continuity, and thats what the creative team continues to bring here. While the story is a fairly simple one: Deathstroke pretending to be a blind superhero, complete with seeing-eye dog vs. a competing assassin army while protecting Power Girl, the time and narrative jumping keep it from being static. And as silly as the premise of Deathstroke essentially pretending to be Daredevil could sound, it injects a deal of fun into a comic thats like an FX drama. If youre looking to jump on with this comic, nows as good a time as youre going to get.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #18

May 3, 2017

This comic continues to be a master class with regard to how to set a pressure cooker story, and then to watch it boil over, this'll go down as one of the prime comic runs of its time. While it'll be sad to see this book drop down to monthly (words I never thought I'd say with regard to bi-weekly comics), at least it'll go out with a bang here.

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8.0
Divinity III: Komandar Bloodshot #1

Dec 28, 2016

Clayton Crain is an interesting pick for the one-shot, and for the purposes of the story he works perfectly. Both as a contrast to the ongoing Bloodshot title, and in bringing that horror movie feel to the fore. While the story takes place in the Colorado mountains, its night time and snowing, which makes for a terrifying show with the dark colors Crain uses as Bloodshot slowly mows his way through all of his targets. Which as far as event comics go, thats always a plus, and anyone looking to keep up with their regular dose of Bloodshot will be in for a good dessert with this comic.

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10
Doom Patrol (2016) #1

Sep 20, 2016

To that effect, Nick Derington does a fantastic job of illustrating all of this. While the reasoning behind the Young Animal line being separate from Rebirth would be lost if the art wasn't different, you can rest assured this is like nothing else you're reading. It's also great to see Tamara Bonvillains lush colors on this comic as well, a colorist goes a long way towards defining a book, and the gyro creation myth may be a runner for my favorite thing out of a comic this year. Definitely give Doom Patrol a shot, as this is one of those comics that only comes once in a blue moon.

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10
E Is For Extinction #4

Sep 30, 2015

That being said, Id love to see all involved in future books at Marvel, even if it isnt X-Men. Chris Burnham and Dennis Culver have an eclectic story going on, and Ramon Villalobos is easily one of the best artists to have taken a crack at a Secret Wars tie-in. This book deserves more press than it got, and hopefully itll be appreciated in the days to come.

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8.0
Empire: Uprising #2

May 19, 2015

While the book is 3.99, youre getting plenty of bang for your buck. A tight and well executed plot, as well as awesome art in a story that can go pretty much anywhere it can and wants to.

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8.0
Flash (2016) #5

Aug 24, 2016

If you're looking for a Flash comic that captures the spirit of the TV show, while maintaining its own feel, you're in for a treat here.

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8.0
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of COBRA #4

Apr 15, 2015

The art is a big factor in this comic as well, while Ive not seen his art before, Paulo Villanelli was a large part of why this comic worked. While teams dont always pair off perfectly, Villanellis art was a perfect fit for the spy adventure tone. The story jumps characters, settings, and moves at a breakneck pace, and thankfully the art keeps pace with the script and then some. The price is 3.99, which understandably creates some hesitancy as a common price in the comic world nowadays. However, its more than worth the price for the package given, along with the gorgeous art, and if youre a G.I. Joe fan youll definitely want to be along for the ride as well.

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6.0
Ghost Rider (2016) #1

Dec 5, 2016

Danilo Beyruth does an admirable job of continuing the tone set by Tradd Moore in the initial debut of Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider. However, as the backup story by Smith and Moore shows, he's still the king when it comes to gonzo and kinetic action with flaming Dodge Chargers. Overall, it's a great book, while this first issue doesn't match up to the initial one for All-New Ghost Rider, it's still worth the shot.

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8.0
Goldie Vance #9

Feb 1, 2017

That comics aren't written for all audiences is something of a lost art at times in the greater "Big Three" context, but it's as important to be able to write a comic that can speak to more people than a few, and that's something Goldie Vance has in spades. Being youthful and being childish are two very different things, a lot of "adult" books can hew towards the latter in their quest to look cool. And this book definitely has youthful charm in spades.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2016) #6

Sep 7, 2016

Interestingly enough, Green Arrow has managed to make a comeback of late. While the previous run by Ben Percy tended to defer towards weird horror mixed with social politics, the current run has been" well pretty much the same actually, but to greater success.

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6.0
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #3

Aug 24, 2016

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been fairly serviceable as a comic so far. Albeit this is another comic that's essentially an extended fight scene continuing from the previous issue.

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8.0
Hawkeye (2016) #1

Dec 15, 2016

The book also benefits from an art team like Leonardo Romero handling pencils and Jordie Bellaire on colors.The book also thankfully hews towards its own stylistic tics that differentiate it from David Ajas defining choices on the book. Romero's choice to put in a more Sherlockian spin on Kates perception of the world as Hawkeye is a nice touch, and it also fits the P.I. career chosen for her. Bellaire's colors also are gorgeous as they usually are and with brighter colors than might be used on a book like Moon Knight, which is fitting for a book set out west.Overall though, anyone looking for that unique Hawkeye touch thats unlike other comics, youre in good hands here. While Clint Barton isnt the lead, the Hawkeye mantle is still in good hands.

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8.0
James Bond #3

Dec 31, 2015

So if youre looking for a good Bond comic to read, or heck what may potentially be one of the best action books on the market today this is very much one worth seeking out. And as a person indifferent to James Bond, Im very much surprised at this myself.

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10
James Bond #7

Jun 17, 2016

While Ellis is known, perhaps unfairly so as a writer who pipes his characters full of snarky quips, his James Bond is perhaps one of the least "funny" characters he's written. That isn't to say Bond doesn't snark, but he's decidedly not a sympathetic character like even Moon Knight, he's an upper class snob and Ellis doesn't hesitate to remind you of that fact.

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7.0
Justice League #45

Oct 22, 2015

While admittedly those are spreading out to some degree to the one-shots, it doesn't help in making the events of this issue more bearable. That said Francis Manapul as typical for the books he does, takes what could be boring material in lesser hands and makes it exciting just to read exposition. While the shift midway through from Jason Fabok is jarring, it does work in terms of the narratives own tonal shift away from a blockbuster summer movie, and in giving the story a distinctive look. Hopefully the following issues are more clear than this one was, but if you're a fan of Manapuls art you won't be disappointed.

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6.0
Justice League (2016) #4

Sep 7, 2016

While the comic isn't necessarily what I'm looking for in a Justice League comic, it definitely has way more going on than the previous run, and for that matter it deals with the Old Superman question in a way I have to admire for the sheer audacity in confronting it.

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6.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1

Dec 21, 2016

That said, if you're in for the Justice League beating up the Suicide Squad, there's not much that's going to dissuade you here. Though with any luck, the plot will come to match the talent involved.

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10
Kaptara #1

Apr 28, 2015

Now in a market thats saturated with so many different comic books, along with other media its easy to ask Why should I buy this? Even if youre not a fan of sci-fi, Kaptara is as hilarious as it comes, and youve got two creative people hitting it out of the park. 3.50 for a full to burst story, as opposed to 3.99 for 20 pages if youre lucky is a very sound deal. Get this comic, the team of Zdarsky and McLeod will give you anything but a smooth ride.

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #1

Oct 5, 2016

While Midnighter and Apollo is painfully short, it is at least a great way to go out in style for these characters, and definitely worth the money in this market.

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6.0
Monstress #1

Nov 5, 2015

It would be undue to finish up this review without praising Sana Takedas artwork. In lesser hands, the execution would not have worked quite as well as it does. The wide range of people, men, women, and inhuman alike all stand apart, this isnt a series that reuses faces or body types. That the first issue clocks in at 66 pages with no loss of quality is a testament to the people involved. While the first issue is a bit of a rough landing story-wise, that the creators give so much with 66 pages at whats increasingly a common price point for a regular Marvel comic is something else entirely. This is still a comic worth giving a go for any readers looking to check out a new series, or see work from such a fantastic team.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #11

Feb 8, 2015

While this book does conclude the story it started in issue 1, even coming in now is not a problem, the book is always inviting. More importantly: among the other Marvel books, this is the only book remaining at 2.99, and its a real bang for your buck at that price. For me, this book has been an important part of the overall change in Marvels approach at gaining new readers, and if further books follow the example that Wilson and Alphona have set, the future looks bright for Marvel.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 18, 2015

While Adrian Alphona does draw the final nine pages of the first issue, Takeshi Miyazawa handles the initial twenty one pages. Though Miyazawa continues the style started by Alphona, while not indistinguishable, they mingle together and give a bright, even defined look to Ms. Marvel's version of New Jersey. One that's replete with giant frogs, killer drones, and the usual madness of school. While the book is $3.99 now, that price is well worth it for the extra pages and always high quality. If you have to pick one book from the new Marvel, pick this one.

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8.0
New Avengers (2015) #1

Oct 14, 2015

The choice of characters also takes advantage of the more open nature of the Marvel Universe as it stands, including a recently returned character from the Ultimate Universe. While crossover has been eschewed in the past, the anything can happen nature with characters from different settings appearing is only a boon for a comic like this. For $3.99, youre getting a great bang for your buck here, even among the other choices in the Marvel line itself.

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8.0
New Superman #3

Sep 14, 2016

The Superman books have largely been in a strange place, but when they try reaching out towards something new, the results are interesting.

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10
Nightwing (2016) #4

Sep 7, 2016

Overall, Rebirth has helped raise an already ascending book to newer heights, definitely a highlight of the entire line.

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8.0
Nightwing (2016) #7

Oct 19, 2016

While there are a ton of Batman books on the market, this is definitely one going for a different feel, as well as an attempt to flip the script on how to approach a long-standing character, and it's definitely worth your money.

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10
Nightwing: Rebirth #1

Jul 13, 2016

The Rebirth line has definitely done well for the Batman books, and if you're looking for what may well be the standard bearer to that effect, look at Nightwing. "Better Than Batman" may well end up being accurate on a qualitative level.

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8.0
Occupy Avengers #1

Nov 4, 2016

In the end though, the question boils down to whether the comic is worth buying. In that vein though: yes it is. Superhero comics of this ilk are tricky to get right, and thankfully its one coming from the right place. David Walker and Carlos Pacheco have a great comic here, and thankfully theres plenty to love here. If you like Red Wolf and Hawkeye beating up water-hoarding mercenaries, youre in for a treat.

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10
Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) Annual #1

Dec 21, 2016

Scott Hepburn and Matt Milla also do a fantastic job of illustrating the issue. While its not the same as what Sanford Greene bringsto the table, Hepburn is able to evoke the loose style thats helped distinguish this book from its competitors. Milla similarly brings the wide range of colors thats made Daredevil look so great recently, which is a boon given the issues Christmas from Hell plot. That said, this book is most definitely worth it as always, and for an extra-sized issue even moreso. So if youre looking for a book thats not welded to a crossover or long-running plot, and is just telling a fantastic story, youre in for a treat.

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8.0
Robin: Son of Batman #1

Jun 22, 2015

While DC has seen a recent rise to the $3.99 price point on many of its books, that should not be a reason for you to be impeded. This first issue has everything a superhero comic ought to have: fantastic storytelling on plot, character, and the art itself. The latter is extremely eye-popping as the cover can attest to. Overall, more bang for your buck than a lot of books can offer these days. For anyone looking to jump into the new DCU, or see why Damian Wayne is a great character this can be a win for you, or if you want to see a creator at the top of his craft this is a great place to start.

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10
Secret Wars #9

Jan 18, 2016

What sets apart Secret Wars from previous Marvel events, even Hickmans prior event Infinity, is that its a character study under the guise of all the cosmic punching that weve come to expect from these things. A character study about Doom of course, but also about Reed and the Fantastic Four as a whole. Though plenty of writers have made their mark on Doom, Hickman has done very nuanced shadings of him, even at his peak as a god, that shows what kind of flawed machinations run underneath him, and just what a contrast he is to someone essentially good like Reed. Its extremely easy to look at the landscape of the current Marvel Universe and lament that there is no Fantastic Four book, Secret Wars is very much a celebration of Marvels first family and of Doom even. Without them, there would be no Marvel Universe. And for what may well be their final story, its one hell of a capstone, and one worth keeping in mind as whats basically the new creation myth for the Marvel Universe.

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10
Secret Wars: Secret Love #1

Aug 23, 2015

The Squirrel Girl/Thor pairing while completely out of nowhere, plays like most of the stories here slightly left-of-center and just runs with the fun one-shot feeling. Bennett and Anka while having a limited amount of pages to play with, manage to sell the clash of Squirrel Girls boisterousness vs. Thors stoic nature and weariness with aplomb. While the romance is ultimately one-sided, its a reminder of the humor we more ought to see, and that Kris Anka is as phenomenal an artist as ever on anything he touches. Katie Cooks story is similarly in a cuter manner than the rest of the preceding stories, but its not out of place with the crowd. Overall, Secret Love is more than worth its $4.99 price, the names who dont normally do a lot of normal work for Marvel rise the quality of the series alone, and while anthologies can have a problem with maintaining an upper level, this one has no such problem.

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8.0
Seven to Eternity #5

Apr 13, 2017

The best part of this book for my money always comes through in the art. A good story can be meaningless when mangled by a bad artist, but Opena makes a world thats unlike anything else in comics right now. None of the main characters resemble each other. And the distaff designs – even among the Mosak alone – are quite alarmingly diverse, as well as the somewhat apocalyptic tone of the land of Zhal itself. As always, Matt Hollingsworth brings excellent colors to the fore and draws out what is possibly some of Openas best art, since Dean White colored him way back in the beginning of Hickmans Avengers run. That being said: this book is pretty early in its run. However, with art this gorgeous, and a story this compelling, its best to get in early. Youd be doing yourself a disservice otherwise.

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10
Spider-Gwen #1

Feb 25, 2015

Lettering has also been a huge factor in defining Gwen's world. Clayton Cowles also goes above and beyond in making the lettering a distinct quantity in the book. This isn't something I would normally point to, but the lettering, the word balloons go a long way to remind you Spider-Gwen is not a straightforward Marvel book and is in a different time and place. Overall this has been proof positive that Marvel is doing its best to make sure this book stands out from the rest of this competition. Given the results so far, it's more than worth the 3.99 you're paying for it. I for one hope that Spider-Gwen lives a long and fruitful existence in the Multiverse.

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10
Spider-Gwen #2

Mar 11, 2015

While this is a comic that a lot of people have hitched their wagon to, its happened for well-deserved reasons. This comic may be the next big thing, but this is one of those rare times where popularity and quality are in synchronization. This is a creative team that could simply have done Emma Stone in a Spider-Woman costume and left it at that, but instead it revamped her from the bottom up into a character that channels the spirit of the Spider-Man mythos but redefines it for the 21st century. Definitely go out and get it, even if you've missed the first issue.

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8.0
Starbrand and Nightmask #1

Dec 17, 2015

Overall the comic encapsulates just what defined Marvel in the early days. Great power, great responsibility, fallible heroes, and a sense of normalcy that defined it against square jawed superheroes. What distinguishes Starbrand and Nightmask is the greater scale that Kevin and Adam play on. Both in their heroism and the mistakes theyve made, from the cosmic multiverse-saving heroism, to Kevin Connors lingering guilt over the deaths of the people in his previous school during the White Event. While the story may seem looming in light of Secret Wars, this is definitely a comic worth getting if youre looking for a smart, and classic superhero story to get into.

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8.0
Superman (2016) #6

Sep 7, 2016

While the Superman books haven't been perfect, this one in particular is definitely coming from the heart, and trying to reclaim the wonder of family in comics.

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6.0
Superwoman #2

Sep 14, 2016

It is steeped in the Superman mythos and uses several underappreciated characters in a thrilling capacity, certainly one worth getting.

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8.0
Surface Tension #1

May 27, 2015

Now the art itself on Surface Tension is great. While it does tread the line between sci-fi and horror, the book Is compiled of realistic characters even in the midst of all the madness piling up in this first issue. The cast has a great deal of variety both in terms of the voices there, as well as look, and personality. In addition, the locales that show up in the story allow it to distinguish itself from typical sci-fi fare. All in all Surface Tension is a great book to jump into if youre looking for a different kind of story to read on the stands.

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8.0
Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

Sep 29, 2016

Fernando Dagnino also does a great job of establishing the tone and feel of the two different worlds. The characters from the Planet of the Apes remain true to the look of the original movie, while Tarzan and his world has a different feel as well. Sandra Molina similarly adds a great deal of texture with the colors at play in the issue. Even with two different time periods that are both in the jungle, there's plenty of little things that distinguish the two. That said, the comic is most definitely worth the time and the money. As mentioned earlier: crossovers tend to fit into pretty easy categories, and they can be fairly forgettable at worst. All things being equal though, if youre gonna pick up a comic this week, youll definitely be getting a pretty wild story with Tarzan On the Planet of the Apes.

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6.0
Teen Titans (2016) Annual #1

Jun 1, 2017

While Rebirth as a whole has managed to get back to basics in a decent way, it's had an issue with attempting to appease characters by returning them to a "default" state that they believe fans like, rather than doing something with it. Which is a shame, since the Annual as a whole is well-constructed. That being said, the movement for these books as a whole is looking good, and there's plenty of reasons to check this annual out as a capstone to a great story.

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4.0
The Fix #3

Jun 8, 2016

While its easy to forget how much an artist brings to the table, Steve Lieber is practically a miracle worker. Pretty much all of the humor, physical, background, or even some of the more inane stuff (i.e the terrifying Pretzels) land pitch perfectly because of Lieber. That also works in reverse too, that same dog is actually kind of intimidating under Liebers guidance. Aided by Ryan Hills colors, at least some of the nuance, melancholy, and humor that defined that previous partnership. While I do hope that The Fix continues to be more than just a place for Lieber to keep on showing the world why hes a fantastic artist, so far Im not seeing much to hope for on the writing end.

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8.0
The Infinity Gauntlet #1

May 29, 2015

While Ive never been a fan of the Nova redesign, under Weavers hands the design looks more akin to the Richard Rider version and looks sleek, along with the giant bugs and sci-fi monstrosities that appear in the story, the issue is a feast. While the story is not related to Jim Starlins Infinity Gauntlet, its frankly better that way. A retread of that story serves no one, and using it as a launching pad works quite well here given where the Infinity Gauntlet fits in. If youre looking for a new set of characters and situations from the Marvel Universe, this is a great entrance to start with.

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10
The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1

Mar 26, 2015

As for Morrison's story, its a metafictional story, as are many of the stories he's told over the years. But what makes so much of the comic stand out is its examination of the relationship between the reader and the comic book. Without informing too much about the plot, Ultra is a comic book, the entire nature of the story is right there on the cover, the hero of the story is the comic book and the reader themselves. Morrison does a good job of integrating the thought process of the reader into how the comic is presented, and from there it's a blast. There's only one more issue of Multiversity left, and this one may well be one of the most important ones. On its own though, the issue is one of the best comics to have come out of DC this year, it's worth your time, and it is worth your money. Definitely a buy.

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4.0
Titans (2016) #2

Aug 24, 2016

This is a comic that I want to like, one that does have some familial sincerity, however it's not a comic that has a specific appeal to anyone but diehards.

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10
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #7

Jun 2, 2015

While the series is ostensibly part of long-running franchises, Tom Sciolis artwork does an extreme amount of work in differentiating it from the rest of the other Transformers or G.I. Joe books on the market, without it, the series might not have reached the heights it has. The tone of this series, the whiplash between psychological horror, and back to all-out cosmic war wouldnt work without someone as deliberate as Scioli on the pencils creating a uniform order to all the chaos and characters running around in the series. That being said, the series is absolutely worth the 3.99 and more. Theres more work in these 20 pages than most books can put out in double the count, even if youre not a fan of either franchise, the craft on this book alone merits the credit.

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8.0
Trinity (2016) #1

Sep 21, 2016

Normally it would sound boring to read a book about the Trinity and Lois having dinner, yet its actually quite a bit of fun. It also allows Manapul to have a more contemplative atmosphere filter in, as is his wont. While Manapul doesnt tend to appear in a lot of books, its always worth it to see what he has to offer both in terms of graphic design, and in overall aesthetic of a book. Trinity is not going to be a book for the continuity die-hards, but if youre looking for fantastic storytelling, and something different from the usual pyrotechnics, youre in for a treat.

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10
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 2 #1

Jan 29, 2015

And I would be remiss not to mention Daniel Acuna again. His art sells the sci-fi redesign of Counter-Earth and of the characters therein. Acuna is able to take what Remender can dish out and then some making gorgeous and creepy locales along with the characters running through them a reality. It's nice to see these two paired up, and I hope it's it's a pair that stays for a long time.

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10
Vision #6

Apr 7, 2016

With all of this said though, theres one thing that definitely needs to be said. For people who are looking for something different in comics: superheroes or in general, this is definitely the book to check out. For a book thats basically about the psychological paralysis that suburban life can present, or how toxic being trapped in a life you dont desire can be, it has far more oomph than your average superhero title. For that matter, it wrings every ounce of pain it can out of the characters as well as the reader. If you want a book that can surprise you even towards an inevitable end in style, then the Vision is definitely where you want to be.

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10
We Are Robin #1

Jun 25, 2015

All pontificating aside, you're getting plenty of bang for your buck. A book that reads as awesome as it looks. While I hesitate to use the word gritty given the connotations it carries, in this case we have a book that is gritty but also doesn't steer towards being cartoonishly dark. If you're looking for a book that actually does give you a viewpoint in a more modern DC Universe, one that you can relate to, and one that has new and fantastic stories, We Are Robin is a great place to start.

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8.0
Wild Storm #1

Feb 15, 2017

A large chunk of what makes Wild Storm work and tick however is down to Jon Davis-Hunts art. Which similarly is very stripped down and business-like with a heft of panels and less in the way of the widescreen action which defined Wildstorm during the Hitchian early 2000s. Anyone whos seen Davis-Hunts work in The Clean Room is probably going to be a bit jarred in the shift, its a wholly different animal. Thats also aided by Ivan Plascencias soft colors accentuating the drabbier world this comic occupiescompared to the typical Earth-0 DCUs brighter more bombastic atmosphere. Either way, no matter how you shake it: the first issue of the Wild Storm definitely succeeded at what it attempts to do. If Ellis can bring to the rest of the line what Gerard Way was able to bring to Young Animals, the Wildstorm line will probably be able to succeed once more.

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10
Wolf #1

Jul 21, 2015

That being said, the economics are certainly worthwhile as well. While Wolf is $4.99, you're not left wanting for content. While a lot of books are baselining at $3.99, more often than not,they're heading towards a 20-22 page count. Wolfgives you around 3 times the page count, and you're definitely not getting a rushed story in that regard. While comics have had plenty of furor recently over the economics of page count, the inclusion of more diverse characters, and the diversity of content, Wolf had an answer for all 3. You're getting a top tier team hitting the ground running, and you have a chance to pick up from the word go.

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