Aaron Halverson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Bastards Reviews: 77
5.6Avg. Review Rating

8
'68 Jungle Jim Guts n' Glory (One-Shot) #1

Mar 4, 2015

This is a very good story but it more than earns its M rating. There is a ton of well-illustrated violence and gore so this isn't for the squeamish.

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6
Abe Sapien #20

Feb 11, 2015

This is probably a more successful filler story than Goon. However this will get a lesser score because Goon does almost as good a job while also setting up conflict. At the end of the issue we get a hint of conflict but not really greater story driving content. The conflict for next issue is going to be brief and probably more serve to drive the two characters back to the group of supporting characters we get a glimpse of. It's a good issue and if you're curious about Abe Sapien then this could serve as a good first issue for you but it looks like it might be one more issue before we get back to the main plot which kills the momentum a little for me.

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6
Alice Cooper #6

Feb 18, 2015

Alright, enough criticism because I actually enjoyed the rest of the comic. Alice Cooper, as a concept, is Sandman meets Evil Ernie with all the one dimensional grim and gritty that implies. It somehow manages to do this and still be fun. Alice Cooper is the Lord of Nightmares taking a break after an invasion. I don't know anything about the invasion other than what's implied in the text and that's really all we need because we are over it and on to newer things. This break takes the form of a music tour through not-so-cleverly named locations like Dis-Grace Land. It's stupid and bombastic in all the right ways and takes what is easily the dumbest concept ever and makes it into something readable and enjoyable.

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4
Altered States: Doc Savage (One-Shot) #1

Mar 18, 2015

I read stuff like this and I'm compelled to share what I would do differently because it's so close to greatness. It feels like it just needs a little more red ink and it will be the best it could be. If I could just correct it" but maybe that's dismissive of the talent on display here. But I want to so bad! I like the writing and the art, the premise is interesting it just doesn't have time to explore what it really means to be a criminal or to have a dark, wild side. It addresses it briefly with a line and then it's gone. Given a few issues to really delve into it, Jekyll and Hyde style, this could have been something great. What's here is something that is pretty okay but not worth going out of your way to read.

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2
Altered States: Red Sonja (One-Shot) #1

Mar 11, 2015

The Altered States concept is a good concept but I think they would be better off either producing double sized issues to doing a run of 3 or 4 issues to flesh out a concept. Given much more time they might have been able to save this story.

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4
Altered States: The Shadow (One-Shot) #1

Mar 25, 2015

Unlike all the other Altered States that I've read this is the only one I DON'T want to revisit even though it sets itself up to be revisited. I think if you went back and retold Vampirella, Red Sonja or Doc Savage you could create some really killer mini-series out of that. This? I don't really care to see The Shadow in space with the same essential plot as Ender's Game. That's what this was setting up, Ender's Game with The Shadow. I can't really think of anything interesting to do with that. So, I applaud the better use of your one-shot storytelling but I can't really recommend the story sadly. However I'll keep trying hoping that one of these Altered States will knock me out of my seat.

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4
Altered States: Vampirella (One-Shot) #1

Mar 4, 2015

I think the story would have benefitted from either being a longer one-shot or a mini-series. There is so much establishing and forced exposition to cram as much information about the world as possible that by the time we know what we need to know we get one very brief action scene and the story is over. It seemed a little ambitious to take the story, turn it upside down and cram it into 22 pages. The writing and pacing would probably have benefitted from having more time to 'show' so they wouldn't have to spend so much time 'telling'. With the story and the pacing I can't say I can even recommend this to Vampirella fans but on the other hand it's not like it's poorly written or drawn so it gets a 2 for effort but ultimately fails to be compelling enough to read.

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6
Army of Darkness Vol. 4 #3

Feb 4, 2015

The best part for me though was as I was thinking that "Stars in our eyes" had replaced the chant of "Dead by dawn" from Evil Dead 2, Evil Ash let's Ash know that it was Ash's destiny to be dead by dawn and that Ash's dawn had passed a long time ago. The perfect one liner, badass and referential. The comic doesn't do anything new, it doesn't evolve the franchise in any way but if you're a fan it does a good job of keeping those fan feelings alive.

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6
Army of Darkness Vol. 4 #4

Mar 4, 2015

This is by no means a bad story but I could have easily given it a 2. It gets the extra point by being Army of Darkness related and understanding Ash as a character. I look forward to seeing how this concludes, maybe they've got a strong finish up their sleeves and since you can't really just skip this issue if you have invested in the mini-series then you have to read this. If you haven't invested in the mini-series then you might want to wait until you can get the whole thing together, it's combined strength will more than make up for this weak issue.

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4
Army of Darkness Vol. 4 #5

Apr 2, 2015

As an ending of a story I didn't really need to read this, I could have left it up to my imagination at the end of the last issue and just waited for the next mini-series to assemble the pieces. Granted that wouldn't be all that satisfying but honestly this wasn't all that satisfying either.

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10
Big Man Plans #3

Jun 3, 2015

I find the character of Big Man very compelling and ultimately that's what drives the story forward for me. It's what gets me beyond the rather standard revenge plot. I feel for him and what he's been through but at the same time he is intimidating as hell. He's the perfect example of tragic badass and I can't wait to see how it ends. But as I read this book I can't help but picture an HBO mini-series with Peter Dinklage where we get to see this glorious story play out in full motion.

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10
Big Man Plans #4

Jul 8, 2015

If you think you can handle imagery then I encourage you to get this book and read all of it.

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4
Creepy Comics #19

Feb 18, 2015

Personally I would rather spend the money on an old Creepy anthology. They're a lot more expensive but I think you'd get more out of the stories. Of course, even the Creepy anthology has some misses in them so maybe in the long run this series will end up having some stronger issues to balance ones like this out.

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2
G.I. Joe (2014) #5

Feb 11, 2015

I don't even know what this is, I just know that I wanted to take a nap when I was done.

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4
G.I. Joe (2014) #6

Mar 4, 2015

Welcome back to another edition of Talking: The Comic. Never have I seen such a misuse of a visual medium or such wasted art potential. Why hire a person that can draw, and draw decently, then have your book just filled with still shots and talking?

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6
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of COBRA #1

Jan 21, 2015

They do a good job setting up the premise and the characters. I'm intrigued by what's going on and am interested in seeing where this is going. The only hesitation I have is because Snake Eyes is so quiet it now means every other character gains prescient loquaciousness. Characters have to speak on behalf of our silent protagonist and in all cases, in this issue, has meant an unrealistic level of intuition that nears precognition and one-sided conversations where one character does the talking of both. It gets annoying and brings my enjoyment down but what's the alternative? Entire issues dedicated to frustrated hand signals and confused reactions? There's enough good here to make me come back next month.

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4
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of COBRA #2

Feb 25, 2015

The entire issue is just one person talking. Having a whole conversation by themselves, knowing exactly what you want and responding accurately and efficiently. There's also padding in the form of flashbacks and internal monologue. Extending the story artificially.

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4
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of COBRA #3

Mar 25, 2015

Man, wouldn't have this been better if it was just you and Destro 48 Hours style? Or Beverly Hills Cop style. You know, whichever Eddie Murphy buddy cop movie is your favorite. I'm going to tell you this Snake Eyes, when you come to me next month you better have your shit together. You got two more issues before ya done. Befo' ya done son! Get yo head on straight!

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0
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #1

Feb 5, 2015

If I could give this a negative one-million I would. Even if you paid me in gold plated sex I wouldn't return for issue two. I would sacrifice any person on the world if it meant I could un-read this and un-make this. It is a black hole of time, creativity and intelligence from which nothing good can escape. It's bad is what I'm saying. Do not read it unless, for some reason, you are super into the broader narrative and you just need to know what happens with the White Queen. But since this story takes place between two story arcs, according to the "Story So Far"", you probably already know what happened. This is the Ravenholm of comics and we don't go to Ravenholm.

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4
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #2

Mar 4, 2015

Once again I can't recommend this to anyone who isn't already invested in the larger world. As a thing it's not really worth your time or money unless you've already invested quite a bit of both in Zenescope. Like, as an owner, or something. However, as a progression from the last issue it is heads and tails above what came before it. I would have gladly taken this as a first issue over what I was given last month but the whole thing is already concluding next month so there really isn't a whole lot time to invest yourself. Skip this whole thing and get something else, anything else, instead.

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2
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #3

Apr 8, 2015

I didn't really understand what happened in this issue and as a result I wasn't emotionally invested when White Queen left Trickster alive or when she went on to confront the Black Queen or even, ultimately, when the Black Queen killed her. Based on the editorial notes throughout it's clear that this is part of a bigger world and this story takes place smack, dab, in the middle of something much larger. I don't know if that context would improve this or not honestly. At the end of this I don't really know how impactful this climax is. For all I know in the greater story they just come back and it's nothing. The grand conclusion to all of this is this: It's a thing that happened and it was written and drawn then published by Zenoscope. The end. Also I was killed by my antagonist in the course of writing this because of my own flaws. I hope you all feel bad about that.

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10
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 15, 2015

The original Howard the Duck lampooned comics sure but it mostly used satire to poke fun at society. This current run is funny and dripping in sarcasm but most of its lampooning is aimed directly at Marvel itself. Not so much comics as a 'thing' or the foibles of society. The MAX series was aimed directly at 'grim n gritty' and Vertigo, the original series took a lot of shots at the horror and sword n sorcery magazines of that era. I think if Marvel continues to go down this route this book might be able to provide a release valve from the occasional ridiculousness of the Marvel Universe while maybe taking shots at its competitor's weirdness as well. Really good first issue despite a few panels of nonsense or cringe inducing exposition. I'm looking really looking forward to the future.

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8
Howard The Duck #2

Apr 13, 2015

There's a back-up story about Luke Cage and Iron Fist suing Howard for the use of 'Hero for Hire' which is probably the funniest thing about this issue. There are some classic Howard moments where he's being a sarcastic jerk, there's the 'Cosmic Con' that the Collector is attending that is a funny one panel send up of cons, there's even Spider-Man sleeping in front of a candle lit shrine to Howard when Howard gets back (complete with a picture of Howard looking pensive) but the back-up story is the best. There's a pretty obscure David Bowie reference (Howard's advert says that he can be a hero, even if it's just for one day), an inept lawyer that tries to hint he's Spider-Man (because, as they point out, it worked so well for Matt Murdock) but what got a pretty good laugh from me was Howard's phone number which is 555-DUK-DICK. That's just good old fashioned stupid humor right there. I enjoyed this second issue quite a bit and I'm still ready and raring for the next one.

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8
Imaginary Drugs #1

Jan 23, 2015

Something like this is incredibly hard to review. If you try and just go step by step you end up with a 200 page wall of text that does nothing to help you decide if you want to buy it or not. If I try to tear apart every philosophy that's implied by the text I think you'd end up with something equally long and twice as uninteresting. You can only understand Imaginary Drugs by reading it and digesting it yourself. It's impossible to know if you're going to like it or not until you're 75 pages into this 200 page monster. I promise that you will like something though. With the wide berth of concepts and storytelling on display you are bound to pull something good from it. The best review for something like this is one sentence "This is good comma go buy it". So, that is what I will leave you with. This is good, go buy it.

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8
Imperium #2

Mar 4, 2015

Imperium effectively uses an original idea to tell a story and doesn't try to bend a story around a rigid construct of ideas.

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8
Imperium #3

Apr 8, 2015

The metaphor of 'connecting' extends throughout the issue. Whether it's Sunlight on Snow's inability to connect to a physical network of computers, or his inability to emotionally connect with his fellow Foundation members. The same goes for the captured Gravedog who betrays the HARD Corps, kills his teammates and surrenders himself to the enemy all in an attempt to connect with his own independence, or at least a group he doesn't have to feel bad about working for, only to be rigged and used by Harada. The assassin seed is another character who lacks a connection but this one causes it physical pain and brings on madness. Finally Harada doesn't seem to have a connection to anyone. The issue is very well written and complimented nicely with fantastic artwork. While the story doesn't really have any forward momentum towards those opening scenes in the first issue the characters and setting are interesting enough that I'm happy staying wherever they want to put me.

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8
Imperium #5

Jun 3, 2015

The book remains very compelling with a story that is pretty well-paced. The cast is quite large but they do a pretty good job keeping the characters unique in both writing and art so that you don't get lost. Nobody looks alike and nobody really sounds alike so you have the good separation that is required in a large story like this. I'm still fully invested and ready for next month. If you are just starting to get interested in it now then I really suggest tracking it down from issue one and getting caught up before it gets too much of a head start.

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6
Imperium #6

Jul 4, 2015

The story continues to be hypnotic as we learn the history of the utopia presented in the first issue. The exact mechanics of that utopia are interesting in figuring out how what is unfolding currently in the story will result in the final product that is already established. There is vast grey area here with questions like "Do the ends justify the means?" and "How far is too far when creating an ideal world?" and it's an area where good people do good things for the wrong reasons and bad people do good things for the right reason. Ultimately it will be interesting to see just how many bodies that utopia is built on.

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6
Imperium #7

Aug 5, 2015

The only redeeming factor being the look into the person that is Toyo Harada. The art and writing are done well enough that I can't justify giving it less than a 3, while the plot may be a bit" “experimental” the writing is still very well done and Scott Eaton's art brings it all to life. But with the plot being what it is I would bet that you could skip this whole issue and just see how it solves itself in the next issue and not miss much.

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6
King: Flash Gordon #1

Jan 28, 2015

I could have stood to see this slow burn a little more is what I'm saying. It feels rushed and I don't like that feeling.

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6
King: Flash Gordon #2

Mar 11, 2015

I'm still into Flash Gordon as an idea though and I'm still looking forward to the next issue. At this point King Dynamite has got me hooked into their whole Pulpy-verse. I want to read every issue of every book they got in this universe just to see what they're going to do next. If you're as interested in what's going on as I am then this issue will do just fine to keep the story moving. All things considered there are some great character moments, the team retains their compelling chemistry and the action is engaging. It's not a bad issue by any means with solid art and writing it just didn't really pay off the way I wanted. While it may not have paid off the way the way I wanted it did pay off in a sense so I can't hate on it too much for that. If you're into the world King Dynamite is going for then check it out, if you've been on the fence then maintain your uncomfortable position until next month.

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8
King: Jungle Jim #1

Feb 4, 2015

To let you in on a little secret about my personal review style, if I really like something I don't ruin it. I don't like to spoil things I like because I want you to read/watch/play the thing too and there's no reason too if I just do a page by page synopsis. I'd rather address the broad strokes to show you what I think it does right. If something is middling or bad then I'm going to spoil it so you can get the story without having to waste your time unless you see something you really like in the spoiling. Jungle Jim is good, might be the best Pulpy-verse book I've read yet. The name is bad, it's just bad, it is a bad pun. They at least try to alleviate that by giving him a native name that sounds mysterious and interesting so maybe they'll try to use that in-book and just keep the name for the cover. But if you can get past the name then check it out.

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4
King: Jungle Jim #2

Mar 25, 2015

If it's something that resonates with you like it has resonated with me then you're going to pull the same vague ‘it factor' that I did. If it doesn't then you'll be filled with questions as why I would recommend this book. I'd say check out the first issue, that issue was objectively better and easier to explain why it was good than this. If you like that then you'll like this if you haven't been digging what King Dynamite has been doing then there isn't going to be a whole lot to drag you in.

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6
King: Jungle Jim #4

Jun 17, 2015

As it is Jungle Jim is a fun bit of pulp nonsense but there wasn't a whole lot beneath the surface this time around. Maybe the next arc will bring something else. I still just don't know how to feel about it. It's not funny or light-hearted like my favorite comedy books (Howard the Duck and Squirrel Girl) but it's not dark enough or deep enough to engage me on a more intellectual or emotional level (like Postal or Imperium). It's in this confused middle ground where I don't know how to feel about it and I don't know how to relate to it. It's good, it's okay even, but, for me, it's not much more than that.

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6
King: Mandrake the Magician #1

Feb 18, 2015

What really drives the score up on this, for me, is the potential that the series has as well as what it could add to the universe. Mandrake could do a really good job filling in the Dr. Strange role. A device to explore the more esoteric side of the Pulpy-verse, using its unique art to be different and psychedelic in contrast to the other books in their line-up. While this issue feels kind of like filler I'm really looking forward to the next issue where it looks like things will amp up.

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6
King: Mandrake the Magician #2

Jun 17, 2015

Unfortunately there just isn't much say about this book. There's not a whole lot to gush over. The characters are colorful but not particularly unique or interesting. They're colorful because they are magic people in a magic world. The plot is pretty straightforward but the setting is kind of driving everything else into the passing level. If you like the more magical feel or have invested into the Pulpy-verse then this is a pick-up, if not then you aren't missing out on anything.

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4
King: Mandrake the Magician #3

Aug 12, 2015

I think the biggest knock against this is the momentum lost between issues when it takes so long to produce. Any strong story or characterization from issue one has long since dissipated leaving this issue feeling bland and unnecessary. This is a hard pass.

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4
King: Prince Valiant #1

Feb 25, 2015

The way the book line is coming together I was expecting a full on Pulpy-verse Avengers. Flash as our Captain America, Dale is our Black Widow, Phantom is our Hawkeye, Jungle Jim is our Hulk, Mandrake is our Dr. Strange and I was hoping Valiant would end up as, maybe, I don't know, our Iron Man. What I got looks like a totally unrelated story line. I don't know where it fits in the grander scheme of things but I'm interested in seeing where it goes. Maybe after this issue or after this story arc it'll be worth checking out but for this issue you can feel safe skipping this one. Unless you like what King Dynamite has been doing in which case add a point to that score and show some support.

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6
King: Prince Valiant #3

Jul 15, 2015

The story has my attention, the art is serviceable and I'm actually interested in the Pulpy-verse again after being so incredibly disappointed by the other books. I'm hoping they stay the course with Prince Valiant because it has an incredible amount of potential just waiting to be tapped.

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4
King: The Phantom #1

Jan 28, 2015

I hate to keep comparing it to its cousin book Flash Gordon but while Flash Gordon was rushed it was good. Everything Flash did right this did wrong. It didn't set up an interesting world, it didn't introduce a hook or even an intriguing premise and it provided no real payoff. On the plus side the art is solid even if Phantom is a bit ethnically ambiguous until the middle of the book. The middle was so promising but unfortunately it can't support a sagging beginning and end. I'll give this one more issue to see if it can rebound because first issues are like first dates: They can be difficult and awkward but sometimes things don't hit their stride until the second date. I'll give you one more date Phantom but I'm going to tell you what my dates tell me: show up without pants on one more time and there won't be a third!

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6
King: The Phantom #3

Jun 3, 2015

There's enough here to hold me until next month but that's pretty much the highest compliment I can pay it.

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4
Legenderry Red Sonja #1

Feb 11, 2015

I'm not really impressed by the characters, the writing isn't very inspiring but the setting still really appeals to me and the art is attractive. There's a lot of potential in seeing how these characters come together in this world. I'm interested in seeing how Red Sonja will interact with Vampirella and next week Green Hornet enters this world which adds even more interest. I don't think these characters have ever come together like they could in this setting which is something exciting to me. We'll have to see how the world continues to build and see if this series picks up or other series come in to carry this one. I could see this character working better as a cameo but I don't think the character, as they are on the page, can carry a book.

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4
Legenderry Red Sonja #2

Mar 18, 2015

I'm already starting to lose faith in Legenderry, if one of these books doesn't hit a home run or at least a double I might not be able to muscle through it. I do have hope that this and Vampirella could pick up in issue 3 and Green Hornet still has a lot of promise. So, that's Red Sonja, unless you are already invested there just isn't a whole lot here for you.

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4
Legenderry Red Sonja #4

Jun 3, 2015

That leaves us with one pillar left and luckily it's a strong ass pillar. It's a little worn because we haven't seen much outside of ship innards and water for the last two issues but when viewed in the context of the greater Legenderry world it's the only thing holding this book up. That pillar is setting and the Steampunk setting is the ONLY thing doing this ANY favors. At this point it's the only thing keeping this book aloft. That and potential, the idea of a Steampunk Vampirella/Red Sonja crossover still has me interested, much more interested than whatever the hell is going on here. That's where this book triumphs and that where this book will break. If you like Steampunk then you might be able to drudge through this, if you don't then the whole thing collapses into the abyss to be replaced by something with a stronger foundation.

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6
Legenderry Vampirella #1

Feb 4, 2015

I liked the story, I like the character, I liked the setting and the art is good too. It's solid but I don't know if I'd recommend it to non-Vampirella fans. Or even non-Steampunk fans. If you like Vampirella you'll find enough here to keep your interest. If you like Steampunk you might find enough here to get you past the Vampirella aspect. If you are neither then I don't really know what's here for you. There's not a whole lot of groundbreaking. There's so little groundbreaking, in fact, that it has been classified as none. There is none groundbreaking in this" as decreed" by the US Groundbreaking Federation. So it won't blow you mind unless you're already on the hook for a different reason.

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4
Legenderry Vampirella #2

Mar 11, 2015

There is very little continuity from the previous issue and virtually nothing from the last issue is referenced or built upon. And all of that might be forgivable if the prose wasn't so far up its own ass. It's steampunk so I understand the urge to write dense, overly formal purple prose but it doesn't have to be everyone in every interaction.

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4
Legenderry Vampirella #5

Jun 10, 2015

I don't know. I don't know what all happened but it was told very quickly while relying too much on coincidence and dues ex machina to fill all the gaps created by the poor storytelling. The Legederry world is still interesting, not much in the way of clever steampunk designs in the last few issues though. However with the weak entries in this otherwise vibrate setting I'm afraid, at least Vampirella, will have to go on without me.

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6
Legenderry: Green Hornet #1

Feb 18, 2015

On the other hand do you remember what I said up there? The first thing? About an electric Penny-farthing bicycle? THERE'S A FUCKING ELECTRIC PENNY-FARTHING BICYCLE HERE! There's a whole electric Penny-farthing bicycle gang! Which brings me to this books strongest aspect: this issue excels in imagery. Everything from the designs of the vehicles, the new look of Green Hornet and villain Tik Tok are wonderfully designed and then brought to life through the clean, bright art. For now the visual design and promise get it a pass, I'm willing to wait and see how this plays out but so far the Legenderry line could go either way but is at risk of tipping into the "dislike" category for me.

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4
Legenderry: Green Hornet #2

Mar 26, 2015

The story of Green Hornet has been somewhat disappointing, which has, unfortunately, been a theme of the Legenderry universe but the art adds something that the other books just don't have. It almost makes up for the story" almost. It's at least enough to buy it for a few more issues before I move on.

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6
Legenderry: Green Hornet #5

Jun 24, 2015

There really isn't much to say about the book. The story arc was entertaining and we end with a strong new villain as well as the promising return of this arcs villain. We accumulate some additional protagonists in the aforementioned Brass Hornet and Chesterfield and a robot gets its head blown up when the Brass Hornet rips its ear off and shoves a grenade into the gaping head hole. All things considered you aren't seeing that in any of the other Legenderry books. It's a good book, it's better within the context of the full arc though, on its own there just isn't enough there to float the book. However with the total sum of disappointment that the Legenderry books have given me I don't think I'll invest in the next arc.

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4
Millennium #1

Jan 21, 2015

Either way unless you have SOME connection to the source material, or are willing to slog it out for several issues to gather some context, I can't imagine there's much reason for the average person to pick it up. If you have that nostalgic connection then add a point to the score otherwise I'd steer clear unless you're really ready to mine some meaning from what's to come.

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4
Millennium #2

Mar 19, 2015

It feels clunky and it tells me how I should feel about the story instead of showing me why I should care about what's going on. If you aren't a fan of these properties than this is a hard pass. Hopefully things will clear up in the next issue for those that are hanging on.

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8
Postal #1

Feb 4, 2015

The writing on this is phenomenal, the art compliments it very well and the tone is consistent. They took something that is associated with mindless violence and extreme controversy and turned it into something smart and interesting. The whole thing has a very Twin Peaks feel with mystery layered upon mystery and stocked full of colorful characters. I'm really looking forward to the next one. I'd recommend going out of your way to check this out.

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10
Postal #2

Mar 11, 2015

Why are you still reading this? Buy this book.

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6
Q2: The Return Of Quantum and Woody #5

Feb 11, 2015

The bottom line, for me, is that the book stands on the shoulders of greatness. I know enough about Quantum and Woody to give this one a break. It looks like it's the end of a major arc with a new arc to follow. The new arc hints at a more classic Q&W feel over what has, apparently, been going on so far. The franchise lifts the score one point for me because I know the good it can do and I feel like I can give it some leeway because of that. I can forgive the off pacing and the tone confusion because I know that's an anomaly and there are some redeeming points, even if they are very small. If you want to see what all the Quantum and Woody hype is about then I suggest checking out the next issue where it seems they'll be up to their old antics again and maybe just skip the first 5.

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6
Shaft #3

Feb 5, 2015

It's a solid book but it's hard to retain. It's kind of like vanilla pudding, which is ironic given that the character is anything but vanilla pudding. I read this and it just kind of passed through me, not in a bad way, just kind of like a ghost. It was there and then it was gone and I had to keep referring back to it as I wrote this because there just wasn't a lot of meat on these bones. I'm curious to see how it plays out though, I'm not dying to see what happens next but if it's available next month I might pick it up.

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6
Shaft #4

Mar 11, 2015

The story and the art are solid, even if it has been" inspired by other, better, stories. If you haven't read those other stories but are a fan of gritty 'urban' stories (I hesitate to use the word Blaxploitation since that implies a bit of a camp element that this does not contain, it takes itself very seriously) then there is a lot here for you. As always if you are a fan of Shaft then this is pretty much Shaft at his best so that makes it a definite choice.

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4
Superman (2011) #38

Feb 5, 2015

The rest of the issue is alright. It's the end of a major arc and it hints at what has happened enough that you can kind of understand what is happening now but the issue is definitely more about the flare. Sadly there is no truth, justice and jet flyin', limousine ridin', kiss stealing. Instead we get a cameo by Batman and a slightly bizarre secret identity reveal to Jimmy Olsen. It's drawn by JR Jr. and I like his art but I just think its much better suited for something like Kick-Ass then it is Superman. It's just too gritty for the bright and clean Man of Steel. If you like Superman then this probably isn't going to dissuade you too much. If you weren't interested in Superman before then you probably won't be after.

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6
The Fly: Outbreak #1

Mar 18, 2015

If you are interested in The Fly then you could do worse than this book but if you haven't seen the movies then viewing them is mandatory. The 'Previously On"' doesn't give you nearly enough information and without the context from the movies you'll be hard pressed to figure it all out through context. But look at it this way, it gives you a reason to watch a great movie where Jeff Goldblum uses vomit to fight crime and another pretty standard late 80's action/sci-fi movie.

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8
The Goon: Once Upon A Hard Time #2

Mar 25, 2015

Another really solid story but I think the best story of this arc is yet to come so I'm saving that perfect score for when this inevitably blows my mind.

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4
The Little Mermaid #1

Feb 25, 2015

This isn't a rush out and get it book. If you already have a full reading list this week then by all means skip this one and put the money towards something you might like more. If you're a Zenescope fan or a fan of loosely adapted fairy tales then you could probably do worse but don't go out of your way.

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2
The Little Mermaid #2

Mar 25, 2015

Where was I? Oh yes, I was starting a third paragraph to bloat this review a bit. So we bookend on Little Mermaid getting experimented on and making a friend with one of the scientists in the span of a handful of panels. The rest of the story goes 20 years into the past with a woman looking for a merman. That merman is the Prince of Atlantis and Aquaman is his father. Not really but really it's just Aquaman with a tail. Anyway he apparently wants to be human so he drinks something he found on the ocean floor. How do you drink something underwater anyway? Is it because the liquid is heavier than the surrounding sea water? Is that how that works? You might want to adjust certain story elements to compensate for the fact that you're under-god-damn-water. But this merman turned manmer gets it on with some lady who I'm assuming is Little Mermaids mom. Aaaaaaaand that's the whole issue really. Not a whole lot going on and not a lot of hope for the future.

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6
The Little Mermaid #5

Jun 24, 2015

Our series ends on a very Conan note with our protagonist reluctantly sitting on the Throne of Atlantis as the new queen and feeling very trapped by it as our octo-womanantagonist looms in the shadows with her inevitable return to claim the throne for herself. It remains to be see how either character will cope with what lies ahead of them but, as with Conan; that is a story for a different time. After reading so many books that neither resolved nor set up anything after the first arc it's appreciated that they at least tried, and succeeded, in keeping the story open for continuation. The book is not revolutionary, but it is well done. It's a solid piece of entertainment that will help you kill some time and will most likely leave you satisfied at the end. Plus it has barely clothed fish ladies in it with big ol' boobies, your mileage may vary depending on age and maturity.

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8
The Maxx: Maxximized #20

Jun 3, 2015

All that weight, all that emotion, all that symbolism is told (much more expertly than I just did) by the art. The way this is laid out and drawn could only be done for this story and only done properly by Sam Kieth. As an ending to a greater thing this issue is superb but without all that context you could easily get lost. The Maxx is a pretty dense narrative that deserves to be followed from the beginning but even as a part of a whole this stands out.

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6
The Shadow (2015) #1

Aug 5, 2015

Ultimately, while the story in intriguing enough to get me to the next issue, there isn't a whole lot else to pull in a new reader. The characterization is taken a bit for granted as I feel like everything I got out of this issue is character stuff I brought with me from experiencing other versions of the character. None of the side characters or the antagonists feel very fleshed out, the dialogueand plot elements are very mechanical existing only to move the story to the next plot point. If The Shadow is something that you like, or want to like, then there will be enough here for you. If you aren't though this book isn't doing anything extraordinary to make this a 'must read'.

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8
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Jan 21, 2015

All in all a really enjoyable read, a great take on the character and something different on the shelves from one of the Big Two.

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8
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2

Feb 5, 2015

It's a fun book and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next. I think Squirrel Girl will really shine as a cameo book. Yeah put some focus on her secret identity, her supporting cast seems pretty interesting, but throw in a different hero every month along with a different villain and I think the interaction between the two heroes would cause some sparks to fly. I can't wait to see if they have her team up with Howard the Duck, Captain Marvel, She Hulk, Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel or any number of characters! Wolverine would be a fun interaction but he's dead now right? They had interesting chemistry in the Avengers book but that was a much more adult tone with a much more adult Squirrel Girl. I kind of prefer the colorful and bouncy Squirrel Girl myself and I really prefer this book. It's fast becoming a monthly highlight.

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8
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3

Mar 19, 2015

This book was close to getting the highest score but I feel like I've been giving those away too much lately and even though this book makes me laugh and gives me that kid rush of reading comic books I've got to tone it down. But this book does fill me with that unbridled enthusiasm for comic books that makes me what to impulsively call it the best thing out there without giving it much thought.

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6
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #11

Jan 29, 2015

I usually don't like to spoil the ending so blatantly, I'd like to leave some reason to buy the book, but really you see this coming a mile away. Mostly because our femme fatale blatantly says that's what she's going to do on page 12. If you don't get it by then I suggest you take a reading comprehension class at the local learning annex. There's enough here to bring me back and as far as I'm concerned that's the ultimate measure of a book even if everything else is just slightly above middle C.

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2
Vampirella / Army of Darkness #1

Jul 8, 2015

I don't care about anybody in this book. No character jumped out at me as likeable or interesting or even developed. The art is competent but not standout and fails to be dynamic. In all fairness to the artist they weren't given much chance TO BE dynamic so it gets a pass. My only hope for this book is if they kill 'Ash' off next issue and in consuming 'Ash' Vampirella becomes, like, a Vampirella/Ash hybrid and takes over the story finishing out the established Army of Darkness story in the Ash role. This couldn't have been more mishandled but I don't really want to blame anybody or call out anybody. Ultimately this is one bad book from a company that puts out good stuff from creators who put out good stuff. I encourage you to find that good stuff and read that instead, let this rot on the shelves" to act as a warning.

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2
Vampirella / Army of Darkness #2

Aug 12, 2015

The book tries for humor in a couple of spots and while those moments may have worked in a better written book I hate everything that's going on so much that I just can't find them funny.

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4
X-O Manowar (2012) #33

Feb 4, 2015

I get that feeling from this, unlike other things I've read this week, I can read this and understand that there's something here that I'm not "getting" and that it's part of a decent larger narrative. I can guess that it's decent because what's here is well written and well-drawn, it has all the signs of something well done. It's just not for me and I don't think it's enough to draw in somebody that isn't already a fan. If you're a fan and you know what's going you'll probably buy the book anyway. If you're a neophyte, like me, then find something else that will draw you in more.

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8
X-O Manowar (2012) #34

Mar 4, 2015

I don't want to get into too much more but the interesting part of this enemy is how totally detached it is from emotion while our Manowar is almost entirely emotion. He's hotheaded and eager for confrontation. He almost revels in it. The series has shown him evolve from someone who was combat avoidant to someone who is very comfortable in battle, perhaps only comfortable in battle. But here he comes across an enemy that judges him unnecessary to engage so it doesn't. It just moves on and he can't provoke a fight out of it. He can't get any kind of response that isn't a direct answer to his inquiry. It will not confront him simply because it doesn't see a point in it. It does not NEED to confront him whereas he NEEDS to confront it. It is also the size of a planet so it will be interesting to see how the battle plays out. Manowar is a very powerful being but can he take on a planet sized chunk of robots? I guess we'll find out.

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8
X-O Manowar (2012) #35

Apr 2, 2015

This arc is coming along beautifully as it slowly ramps its way up to the confrontation with the main antagonists. I can't help but feel we've been here before but nonetheless I'm looking forward to this particular confrontation.

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8
X-O Manowar (2012) #37

Jun 17, 2015

This book is a winner. It's the John Cena of comic books. Say what you will about John Cena, the guy looks strong when he needs to look strong, weak when he needs to look weak but more than anything you can count on him to deliver a Program. You can count on this book to deliver. It should be called the fucking Mail Man because of how regularly it delivers. If you aren't reading THIS, you're missing out. Don't miss out.

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6
X-O Manowar (2012) #38

Jul 4, 2015

Despite my personal feelings about weddings and relationships in media this issue did quite a bit to further the character of Aric as something more than just a warrior. He uses the services of Mirage to contact his dead wife and get her permission to move on and then he has a conversation with Saana about letting go of the past and moving toward the future. It's real character development for a character that was initially defined by his self-centered arrogance and lust for bloodshed. When there are so many cases of characters never developing it's good to see one that continues to develop. This issue, whatever your feelings about the subject matter are, it is an important issue in both the overall story and the character. Whatever my feelings on the subject are I won't penalize an otherwise good book just because it contains something I don't really care for.

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6
X-O Manowar (2012): Valiant 25th Anniversary Special #1

Jun 10, 2015

Not much to say here really. I enjoyed this even though it's 75% well-worn road, but I could see how, if you are already familiar with the story, you wouldn't really extract all that much from it. That would be my only criticism is that your mileage may vary depending on your own familiarity with the books lore. I could easily see, if somebody was very invested into the lore, how they might feel ripped off reading 23 pages of which only roughly 5 were things you didn't know even if the remainder was told from a different viewpoint that it was originally. I, personally, would recommend this for old and new readers a like even if they could have bolstered the page count with a B-Story or an art gallery.

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