Alex Smith's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Capeless Crusader, Fanboys Inc Reviews: 20
8.5Avg. Review Rating

10
American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

Apr 8, 2014

Scott Snyder may have perfected Batman, but American Vampire is his masterpiece. He and Rafael Albuquerque have given us lucky readers the definitive horror comic for recent times. An old and decrepit genre has been turned into a contemporary and powerfully bloody fable that only plans to improve further from here. If this is your second cycle, prepare for the finality of it all. If this is your first, immediately running out and finding the previous six volumes is completely understandable. American Vampire is back, and I couldn't be happier.

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9
American Vampire: Second Cycle #3

May 24, 2014

Another strong issue for theSecond Cycle. Improving on last month, Snyder has started to unveil his views on the entire world that's been built. There's still a long way to go, but “American Vampire: Second Cycle #3″ shows hints of the future like never before. If the dark depths that Skinner recounts are true, then the series is heading to a dark place. The Gray Trader continues to bea more fiercely realized power than anything that came previously. It would be nice to get more of Pearl and Skinner together, but the story has a way of separating them just as things could be settling down. Still a fresh and scary take on vampire lore, now isthe best time to catch up. Terrible events are coming. Highly Recommended.

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9
Batman (2011) #31

May 29, 2014

After the penultimate issue next month, we get the finale to Zero Year and big changes coming to the mainBatmanseries. Gotham won't be the same, so these concluding issues are all that remainsbefore things go in a different direction, partly due to the focus onEternal. All faith is in Snyder, whatever he plans, for the future. But for now, this look into Batman's past his rivaled all the greatcreators and source material that came before it. Issue 31 is no different. Enjoy it while it lasts. Highly Recommended.

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9
Chew/Revival #1

May 27, 2014

Sadly, there are still plenty who've never read (or even heard of)Revival. This very unique crossover will certainly attract core fans of either book, but there's lots to keep newcomers entertained. Certain jokes aside, this is a fantastic opportunity to see what it'sis all about. It would be easy to lump a recommendation into either the horror or comedy genre, but there's something for everyone here. If “Chew/Revival #1″ sells well, we could see all sorts of tempting crossover ideas down the road. That's an exciting possibility. A resounding success on both levels, this one-shot is grotesque in all the right ways. Give it a shot so we can see a second issue eventually. Highly Recommended.

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8
Deadly Class #5

May 27, 2014

Deadly Classis so meticulously crafted, both in writing and art, that the seriesfeels like a greatest hits compilation. There are a few that don't stack up to the best, but none are ever bad. Every issue is overflowing with heart and soul, as evidenced by the creators ties to this story. It really feels like a passion project. Thankfully, Remender and Craig share this passion with us. This fifth issue doesn't hit the deep notes like its predecessors, but it remains as stylistically adept as ever. If both the set-up and solicitations are true, next month will change everything. The deepening relationship between character and reader is going to receive a gut punch. At least there's something to look forward to right? Highly Recommended.

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10
Deadly Class #6

Jun 26, 2014

Indeed,Deadly Classreaches its greatest heights just as it takes a break between arcs. If issue six is any indication of what this series has planned in September and beyond, expect it to stick around in the back recesses of the mind as the heat rises and the “next big thing” makes its way into comic shops (including Remender's own aquatic adventureLow). “Deadly Class #6″ will hopefully be topped someday, butnot for the time being. It can't be said enough that the imaginative realism in these pages hits every high note. If you're interested in seeing creators and narrative better than anything out there, this is the place to be. Perfect scores are only deserved on rare occasions, but this is a rare book. Buried deep in the consciousness of a remarkable period of time and essence, stories this good only come around a few times in a generation. Unmissable and Highly Recommended.

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6
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1

May 15, 2014

Tarantino'sKill Billis the ultimate throwback to in-your-face, overly stylized, martial arts genre films in their heyday, replete with one-liners and Asian culture. Although unfair to compare anything to that, “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1″never rises above basic mediocrity. It isn't terrible, but Shang-Chi deserves better. The ending promises a small improvement for next month, so it's still possible this series could turn intothe roundhouse kick it's struggling toachieve. Hard to give a recommendation, but desperate Kung Fu fans could pick it up if there's nothing else out there.

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8
Harley Quinn (2013) #6

May 22, 2014

Harley Quinnwas never meant to be a meaningful, dramatic work of fiction that would shock the comics world. Like the main character herself, the series is a fireball of murderous slapstick, rolled up and thrown into a bouncy castle. The comedy, partvaudeville and partThree Stooges, brings a refreshingly different feel to the current DC lineup. If you can handle the pace, it's absolutely worth checking out, regardless of the issue number. Recommended.

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8.5
Mega Man #37

May 30, 2014

Whatever trepidation that fans have concerning Capcom and their handling of future games doesn't need to translate to the comics version. Rockman is in capable hands with Ian Flynn and Archie. Athrillingthrowback to everything that made Mega Man popular, Dawn of X is the perfect way to relieve those "no new game" blues. At least until Mighty No. 9 releases. For those with a lifelong love of Inafune's creation, "Mega Man #37" is an absolute must-read. Even better, newcomers can enjoy every bit of it as well. Pick up the issue, have a good time withit, then switch on that 3DS or Wii U and experience what makes the little blue guy an enduring favorite. Highly Recommended.

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9
Princess Ugg #1

Jun 3, 2014

Princess Uggreceives a debut issue full of thoughtful writing, beautiful artwork, and a capable main character. This is indeed a series full of promise, and one to watch in the future. Throw away any preconceived notions you have from previous entries in the genre, because Ulga will surprise you. More than just a curiosity, Naifeh has given us a tale fit for royalty. A spunky, unique type of royalty. While searching for your usual issues at the comic shop, keep an eye out for this one. Highly Recommended.

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9.5
Rat Queens #6

May 6, 2014

Alex Smith is a news and reviews writer for Capeless Crusader. When not wasting away in class, he spends all his free time with comics, movies, and video games, and has been since birth. He can spend hours discussingSaga,Hawkeye, orGame of Thrones. Lying Cat's number one fan. Random brain thoughts: @imapensfan

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8
Revival #20

May 7, 2014

Twenty issues in and there are certainly more questions than answers throughout Revival. Since Seeley and Norton have meticulously plotted each character and event, it shouldn't be a worry that we're still in the dark.This issue will probably work best when the TPB is released and it can stream right into the larger story at work. Still, even the lighterRevivalfare is better than most comics out there, especially those in the horror genre. Big things to come.

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7
Rise of the Magi #1

Jun 4, 2014

Halfway through, the possibility of future interest seemed to be fairly “meh”. Thankfully, the finale delivers. We get to see a tiny hint of what Silvestri and company are plotting. If anyone can handle such a grand theme, it would be him.Rise of the Magicould definitely be destined for something special. Fantasy buffs, especially of the literary variety, should absolutely check this out. Slight reservations for those whose interests lie elsewhere, but there's enough here to pique the curiosity of newcomers. Recommended.

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8.5
Saga #19

May 20, 2014

"Saga #19" is decidedly not just a return to form but neither is it a world-shattering reversal of the beloved series. Things are changing, and jaws will certainly drop upon reaching the finish(or the first page, depending on your thoughts). The outcome, approaching quickly, will probably start events that reverberate for years to come. It'll be nice to eventually visit certain players that remain favorites in the space opera, but focusing on the first family is never a bad thing. Punchy yet affectionate dialogue combined with some of Alana's funniest scenes make this a strong issue. Expectedly well-written and well-drawn by two creators at the top of their craft,Saga's arrival is a successful one on almost every front.

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8
She-Hulk (2014) #4

May 8, 2014

It's marvelous that a She-Hulk solo series exists. Not only that, but it's selling well too. Marvel has been putting out some of the freshest, contemporary takes on superheroes and Jen Walters is right at the top. Though this is the weakest issue so far, it's still a must-read, if only for the Daredevil opening. Pulido's art took some time to get used to, but now he's in a groove and producing incredible material. There is endless potential here. May these results continue for a long, long time.

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9
Shutter #2

May 13, 2014

Shuttermay not be the knockout punch that certain Image series instantly become, but try telling it that. Already making a name and building a consistent framework for a long-lasting, legitimate series, the book willsoon be unstoppable. As much fun as the first issue was, this second one tops it in every way. Come for the battling animals and evil robots, stay for the thickening plot and futuristically relatable main characters. Once Shutternails the emotional moments, it'll be garnering plenty"Best Of"" awards. For now, don't miss a chance to get an early start on the next big thing.

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9.5
Shutter #3

Jun 10, 2014

Yes, the third issue doesn't push ournarrative forward in leaps and bounds. But with exposition this strong, why the need?Shutterunderstands that in order to have a mind-blowing fantasy world, one needs to be created first. It's happening slowly, but that bodes well for when the true action really hits. Keatinge and Del Duca are already becoming a favorite pairing. One wouldn't work without the other. Eventually, there will come a time whenShutter won't need to be compared to other groundbreaking series. That moment is fast approaching. Highest Recommendation.

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7.5
Star Wars (2013) #17

May 13, 2014

As aStar Warscomics fan, it's easy to feel a little nervous about what's on the horizon. There are a lot of moving parts that more than likely revolve around the success of the seventh movie. Brian Wood's series, along withLegacy, have been the strongcoreof the current Dark Horse lineup. A disappointingly weak plot during this arc might actually turn into an impressive, rousing resolution, so it would be worthwhile to stick around for the rest of the year. It's still unknown whether these events will lead into the final mission (or, more unlikely, the original intended stopping point), butStar Warsis indeed back on the rise. Consider this issue a success.

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7.5
Translucid #1

Apr 16, 2014

Honestly, it's slightly pointless to try to hypothesize on where this series plans to go or what themes will be realized, mainly because Translucid was built for the trade paperback format. Reading one issue is certainly exciting, but there are so many ideas at play throughout the story that it seems destined to read better once all six issues have released. Analyzing and reviewing once we gain the full picture, akin to something such as Brian Wood's Mara. Very important topics (especially if the end page is indeed going down that path) and the possibility to re-define our traditional comics structure is enough to give a deserved recommendation, with slight reservations.

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9.5
Translucid #2

May 20, 2014

Sanchez and Echert continue their slow-burn, questions-over-answers narrative, but it's completely beneficial to the world ofTranslucid. We need more stories like this one. Anyone interested in probing the depths of the superhero (or supervillain)process would be wise to check this book out. Deep and introspective, it has the possibility of turning the comics world on its head. Hopefully the series continues down this pathas pieces of the master plan are revealed and the machinations behind The Horse come to light. Whether you wait for the collection or not,Translucidis a must-read. Highest recommendation.

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