Aj Davidson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: ComicBuzz Reviews: 21
7.0Avg. Review Rating

5.5
An Android Awakes #1

Nov 24, 2015

Alright, youve read my rant up to this point and youve seen my score already. Youd think Im saying to give this a miss Honestly Id actually say do have a look if you can. Even aside from the art it is still an interesting read. Fans of cyberpunk will get different experiences but it is still worth looking at for them. Measure your expectations; Its no Ghost in the Shell, its no 2001 and it is certainly no Blade Runner no matter how much it tries to be. But it has some really fascinating stories in it that with a bit of a spit shine, a reader may be able to create a more interesting story themselves from.

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7.5
Bitch Planet #2

Feb 13, 2015

For those who are on any of the sides of the gender debate, this comic can range from being preachy to being a bit derivative. Aside from that, I think it has the potential for a great story framed with the punchy art style of 70s exploitation.

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8.5
Bitch Planet #3

Mar 12, 2015

We also see that Pennys childhood is marked by the persecution of her mother and grandmother and how she is put into the states care based on her lack of paternal oversight. We see authority consistently trying to wear her down and break her, and how she reacts to this you should really see for yourself. Seeing Penny judged by several screens of leering men in order to break her self esteem is one of the most harrowing images so far in the series and that is saying something. Whats more, her captors are idiots, to a cartoonish degree I must say. DeConnick is really pulling no punches to how she feels about this society and what its leaders stand for. I hope that she gets a chance to further flesh out the other residents of BP in a similar fashion because this is a great follow-up to the introductory issues.

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7
Bitch Planet #4

May 5, 2015

While I have been really getting into Bitch Planet, and this issue had some cool moments, this one is more set-up this time. Kogo has not changed too much from issue #1 despite her lead role. We see a nice character moment with her comrades Meiko and Penny, but not much more new story or art wise. The pieces are falling into place and I am looking forward to some pay-off in the next few months.

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7
Deus Ex: Children's Crusade #1

Feb 19, 2016

To finish off, Deus Ex: Childrens Crusade is definitely one for the fans but I can recommend it for anyone who cant wait to get their cyber fix before the game hits stores later this year.

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7.5
Dragon Age: Magekiller #1

Dec 17, 2015

I am genuinely surprised that the comic has hit a nice balance between fan service, expansion of a core series lore and also creating a new story in the canon. My friend was even very intrigued by a trip into lands previously only alluded to in past games so there is plenty of potential there for good stories. If you like high fantasy you neednt worry about lore getting in the way of your enjoyment. Some concepts and events may go over your head if you havent at least played Origins so fair warning from the start.

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8
Dragon Age: Magekiller #2

Feb 26, 2016

Gripes about character aside, Magekiller is still a great looking comic, especially the aforementioned parts set in Tevinter. Character designs feel more solid this time around, though fight scenes still feel a bit tacked on and lack depth or punch, which seems to be a running theme in the games too. I must still point out the great cover images done by Sachin Teng which are deserving of their own collecting. A final word points out that this is definitely becoming more and more a fan comic and I couldnt imagine a person who knew nothing about Dragon Age getting much out of this. A good comic for its target audience.

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7
Mutafukaz #1

Sep 30, 2015

Criticism wise, your mileage with the aesthetic may vary which isnt a bad thing about the comic its just worth saying. One thing that I am getting tired of is comics intentionally keeping their opening chapters vague and finishing with dozens of questions for the readers. I understand its to help someone recap the information that is going to be important for next issue but its getting to be an issue with me. It was a cute crutch when sixties Batman did it but comics need a more subtle way to fix that problem. Depictions of Latin and Black American communities are a bit one dimensional as of now so I hope thats expanded on a bit more. The peaceful side of Minority cultures in the states and Central America is just as interesting as the violent side and itd be nice if the comic makes that clearer. Im hoping the later release keep up the good quality I saw here though.

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7
Pisces #1

Apr 30, 2015

Visuals wise I must mention again some interesting opening and closing sequences that tie the stories together that use art quite nicely to make the transition figuratively blurry but interesting nonetheless. Dillons mangled, bloodied features are drawn with a good degree of care and characters have some good defining features without needing to appear cartoony. Im optimistic about this one folks.

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8
Pisces #2

Jul 8, 2015

Pisces is a sombre but beautifully put together examination of trauma and ruin, I am really looking forward to see where it goes.

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4
Red One #1

Mar 20, 2015

I actually went in being quite hopeful for Red One to be something better than what I got. First impressions were going ok with some tight and colourful artwork that I at least found inoffensive as they suited the tone for the most part. Besides that I haven't seen a Cold War comic written after the fact in quite some time. Comics of the time had always been coloured by politics like those ghastly commie bashing Captain America days and I can only surmise that this comic is set to maybe try and balance out proceedings by having a Soviet protagonist. While there may be an effort to create a heroine with a more diverse background, it falls flat and gives the comic a creepy sort of nostalgia for the former USSR.

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7
Samurai: The Isle With No Name #1

Mar 11, 2016

One thing that does set it apart is a great visual style and colour palette. It has the sharp feel of Japanese style art as well as some great contrasting colours in its more darker moments and in moments of lightness. A scene set above cherry blossoms was especially good looking to see and each of our characters has their own little touches to set them apart from one another from master Shobeis steely scowl, to Takeos piercing eyes to the whiskers of the bumbling monk. If you love martial arts stuff, then this is probably going to be the comic series for you.

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6.5
Supreme: Blue Rose #6

Mar 3, 2015

My previous encounter with Ellis work was Freak Angels and while that series went off the deep end at times too, it always had a central dilemma to work through which was resolved (somewhat) by the series end. While I had the benefit of being able to read Freak Angels from beginning to end, I worry that this series may lack the focus of the former. This is hard sci-fi with emphasis on the hard. Not only have we a mystery as the central theme, we have stories within a story as a supernatural detective begins to break out of his fictional world and into the real one, while we visit a pocket dimension populated by humans from another universe and a physicist who is becoming a reincarnation of an individual named the Probe and urgh my head hurts! A lot of plates are up in the air here and Im wondering how long they will all keep spinning.

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3.5
Supreme: Blue Rose #7

Apr 6, 2015

The problem with big branching metaphysical works like these is that these narratives always sound much better in the head of the author than when they are seen by others. This series stinks of one that needed more issues to flesh it out. Why it was relegated to seven good entries and one awful one is not something I can figure out myself. Even the art, something that had been knocking it out of the park in previous issues, is humdrum and muted here. It is all blurry linework, pointless flashes and our good friend blank space. And this is a line of advice to all budding metaphysics writers. When you have a big old reset at the end of your work, it renders everything that came before it meaningless. Give it a miss folks.

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7.5
The Dying and the Dead #1

Feb 11, 2015

In the art department we have quite a clean and crisp style featuring James Bond-esque arctic bases and desert temples straight out of Indiana Jones. Colouring leans on the dark and grim for the most part with white used only to suggest inhuman-ness and an indication of age in a character. The underground city is quite an attractive maze of roots and water channels that I find quite beautiful to behold. Recommended for adventure and mystery fans with a good helping of protagonists with baggage.

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7.5
The Dying and the Dead #2

May 1, 2015

In other areas I am very glad that we see very little of the drawn out exposition from the Immortals because that was what dragged down issue one. Issue #2 is a bit less visually interesting unfortunately as we focus more on these men talking to each other and fleshing out their individual personalities along with titbits of their history. It is nice to see a comic of this sort not get too bogged down with characters referencing out-of-comic events, though Im not sure how long this can be kept up. The pace is picking up a bit and I am now interested in seeing how it develops more after this.

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8.5
The Fade Out #4

Mar 3, 2015

I have always been a massive fan of noir for many years and this comic captures the genre beautifully. The darkness of the subject juxtaposes starkly with the image of fame and glitz that comes with Hollywood. In this world the PR person rules and an actors job does not end when the cameras stop rolling. Shady characters pull strings and influential people play a game of ideologies, sex and manipulation all the while the protagonist struggles with his own guilt and fragile safety near the top of the Hollywood food chain. In issue #4 as Charlie begins to remember more of the fateful night where a woman was murdered in cold blood in a lonely Hollywood condo. We begin to get a greater sense that a bigger game is being played behind the murder and I look forward o finding out how dark this series can really get.

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8
The Fade Out #5

Apr 17, 2015

I am still madly into TFOs oppressive and amoral setting. Our heroes remain bumbling and self-loathing in the face of the Hollywood machine all the while those most at risk are beaten, sexually assaulted and generally ostracised like human garbage. It remains to be seen if they can accomplish anything to slow down this tyranny. The comics artwork remains consistently good and grim since #1 and I remain interested to see how it pans out.

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7
The Order of the Forge #1

May 22, 2015

On to presentation and we have some fairly plain but well laid out panels. Clean and solid but unfortunately tied down by the period trimmings being nothing new. However background visuals have comendable levels of detail put into them, all rounded off by a good looking lightning storm by the issues end. Unfortunately this is marred by some overzealous use of nudity which is fine in moderation but a bit overused here, especially since it is reserved for most of the current female cast, though this is only a minor gripe as of now. Enter OOTF expecting little in the way of seriousness and you should be off to a good start.

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7.5
This Damned Band #1

Aug 10, 2015

This comic is really one of extremes. On one side we have our band members; real human beings elevated to the place of gods among lesser people, but also very fragile and flawed by themselves. We have the philanderer, the spaceman, the blue-collar, the boss and the man who just wants to keep it all together. On the other side we have these (ab)normal people being thrown into a world of supernatural horrors and hellish beasts. In a little post-comic easter egg, we see that the band has already seen rough times and that the rock and roll lifestyle is a means to try and block out the pain. If a reader finds it hard to figure out if they are really in hell or just hallucinating, then its mission complete as far as the comic goes, because our characters dont know which is which either.

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7
Ultimate End #1

May 21, 2015

If you are fan of the Ultimate universe and you are following the current Secret Wars event then this is an issue which is worth picking up both as part of the underlying story and a series in and of itself. Those who are coming just for the Ultimate universe material will be confused and wont find much the latch onto. While there is much to like about the series, it is yet to be seen whether the death of the Ultimate universe is a price worth paying for what is to come.

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