Alexander Lu's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Beat, Comics Bulletin Reviews: 50
7.4Avg. Review Rating

8.0
Aquaman (2016) #25

Jun 21, 2017

Aquaman #25 is more than the beginning of a new arc. It's the beginning of a new era for Aquaman. Oft-maligned but even more often without purpose, Arthur finally has a cause that feels important to our era.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 19, 2016

Batman #9 is a masterpiece. It's one of the best single issues I've read in a long time. King and Janin are a match made in heaven and I'm dying to see what heights they soar to together.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #16

Feb 1, 2017

Over the course of the past 15 issues, King and company have made it a point to develop a deep roster of supporting characters into Batman's world. While all Batman runs have access to the historical roster of Robins, this take on Batman also includes Gotham Girl, the Suicide Squad Batman assembled in the previous arc "I Am Suicide," and an increased utilization of Catwoman as a romantic interest and moral grey spot for our hero. Almost all of these characters appear at some point in Batman #16, the start to "I Am Bane," and give the world a deep texture that makes each subsequent issue feel more resonant than it otherwise would.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

Batman #21 is one of the coolest DC comics in recent memory. An excellent usage of structure and color combine to create an incredibly compelling action story that leaves you wanting more. And more (or should I say Moore?) is coming. Let's hope it's as good is this.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #24

Jun 7, 2017

It lays the groundwork for a conclusion to this series" one that asks whether Bruce needs to be Batman, after all.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #27

Jul 19, 2017

This is the Batman comic I've been dreaming of since the start of this run last year: it's "the Ballad of Kite-Man."

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6.0
Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1

Sep 28, 2016

By being forced to split the time between introductory narrative and plotting, Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1 tells two stories in broad strokes rather than one in granular detail. This lack of shading isn't inherently bad, but it forces us to more heavily weigh the story elements that are there and what is there in Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1 is lacking.

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6.0
Batwoman (2017) #1

Mar 15, 2017

If you've been waiting years for a proper Batwoman story, this should fill your desires just fine. However, if you're not particularly attached to Kate yet, this debut doesn't offer quite enough to make good on the bombastic promises made in Batwoman: Rebirth.

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8.0
Batwoman: Rebirth #1

Feb 15, 2017

I'm interested to see what Batwoman's new creative team has to offer us. Structurally, narratively, and visually, Batwoman: Rebirth was a strong, albeit not groundbreaking start to what could very well become one of the most socially conscious books in the DC Rebirth lineup given Kate's sexuality and family history. We'll see if the creative team is up to the task in the months to come.

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8.0
Booster Gold / The Flinstones Special #1

Mar 29, 2017

All in all, Booster Gold/The Flintstones is an entertaining romp that features one of my favorite DC characters wreaking havoc throughout time as he is wont to do. This isn't Ben Caldwell's most poignant scripting, but the story is plenty of fun and deftly visualized by the artistic team. If you buy one of the four DC/Hanna-Barbera crossovers this week, let it be Suicide Squad/The Banana Splits. If you buy two though, this is the other one that you should peel off the shelves.

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6.0
Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

May 10, 2017

Is BUG! The Adventures of Forager #1 the strongest entry in Young Animal's lineup? No. It's a little confusing and certainly unfriendly towards new readers. However, for Kirby fans, Allred lovers, or people who enjoy comics that are somewhat on the esoteric side (that's me!), this book certainly offers a lot to chew on.

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8.0
Catwoman: Election Night #1

Nov 2, 2016

Anyways, Catwoman: Election Night #1 isn't worth your time, but the strength of this Prez backup makes it a buy in my book. And hey, if we could save Omega Men, maybe we can save Prez too, right? #MakePrezABookAgain

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6.0
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #6

Mar 15, 2017

Cave Carson has Cybernetic Eye still has potential. It's a great looking book that has some really fascinating themes I'd like to see explored in this context. I just hope it doesn't continued to get carried away by the strange eccentricities of its plot to the detriment of its characters. In essence, please let the upcoming arc about Cave's quest to get his eye back tell us more about Cave than about his cybernetic eye.

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8.0
Dark Nights: Metal #1

Aug 16, 2017

Above all else, Dark Nights: Metal #1 is a story about stories. That's made explicitly clear by the issue's cliffhanger, which left me breathless*. It's a loving look at the DC Universe and the characters whom reside in it. It's an attempt to pull at the countless disparate narrative and thematic threads of DC Comics' 75 year history and weave them together to form something more coherent" to create order from chaos. And it's a story about how trying to wrest control from the arms of the universe can have dire consequences for the world. It's one of the most viscerally exciting comics series to kick off this year and I'm dying to see more.

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8.0
Dark Nights: Metal #2

Sep 13, 2017

Metal #2 features some of the coolest and most fun lettering that I've seen in a long time.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #20

Jun 7, 2017

Now, in Deathstroke #20, we've reached a culmination. A state of catharsis.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #946

Dec 14, 2016

On the whole, Tynion's and Barrow's run on this title has proven itself to be one of the most fascinating series in the Rebirth lineup. In a genre known for stagnation and the "illusion of change," the creators working on this title have made impactful character development the core that gives their plots momentum.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #956

May 10, 2017

It is a beautiful end to a year-long story has shown us both the best and the worst things that our favorite and most tortured-heroes are capable of. This world is one of complex morality and compromise" no decision these characters make is without consequence. It's a story that, for all its comic book trappings, reflects our reality. That's what makes it a sight to behold.

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8.0
Doom Patrol (2016) #6

Apr 26, 2017

This book is madness mixed with unbridled joy. It's the product of minds who know that comics should be fun and that anything is possible. It's the perfect uplifting title for an uncertain time.

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8.0
Flash (2016) #8

Oct 12, 2016

There are a lot of good ideas here" enough that I'm willing to give this book another chance when it kicks off a new arc in issue 9. For now, I'll chalk my problems with this series up to growing pains and hope we can start fresh in a few weeks!

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6.0
Flash (2016) #21

Apr 26, 2017

The ideas in The Flash #21 carry a lot of momentum, but the execution feels so distinct and arguably flawed when compared to Batman #21 that it makes me feel like I'm reading two fundamentally different but tangentially related stories rather than a single united one.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2016) #26

Jul 5, 2017

Percy and company have done a wonderful job of weaving a story that is fun and easy to read on a bi-weekly basis yet continuously expands and builds upon itself, blossoming into the juggernaut of a book that it is today. It is easily the most overtly political title in the DC lineup, with allusions to real world events such as the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline and the election of Donald Trump playing huge roles in the development of the series. If you haven't tried this book yet, now's the time.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2016) #31

Sep 20, 2017

If you haven't had a chance to read this Green Arrow run yet, now's the perfect time to pick up some trades and give it a shot. You're in for a real treat.

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8.0
Hellblazer (2016) #4

Nov 23, 2016

All in all, The Hellblazer #4 is another great entry in a series that comes off as a little understated but is always poignant and beautiful. If you're not on board with it already, now is the time to start.

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8.0
Justice League of America: The Atom Rebirth #1

Jan 4, 2017

Overall, The Atom: Rebirth is a great one-shot. It effectively introduces us to Ryan Choi's character, showing us how far he's come over the course of three years and how far he still has to go as Justice League of America begins. Steve Orlando, Andy MacDonald, and John Rauch work together in harmony to enhance one another's work, ultimately creating a book that's greater than the sum of its parts.

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8.0
Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1

Jan 18, 2017

The Ray: Rebirth is not just a good comic"it's an important one. It is built to inspire and empower those who might feel different and alone; who feel like the world judges and rejects them for who they are. It reminds them that their beliefs are worth fighting for and that they have unique skills through which to advocate for those ideas. In my opinion, this book is an easy buy.

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4.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #5

Jan 18, 2017

Ultimately, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is more complicated than it should be. The premise of this title was great and even now, it's a fun and entertaining read. The action is breezy and generally well-rendered. Unfortunately, the more twists this book piles on, the less it stands out. This book didn't need to be awesome for me to recommend it, but did need to be consistent and at this point, things are too uneven for me to give it a solid recommendation.

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8.0
KFC: Across the Universe #3

Jul 19, 2017

Should you buy into the ideology of Green Lantern co-starring Colonel Sanders? In my opinion, no. Should you read it, though? Absolutely. Every one of these free crossover titles has been an enjoyable read and inspired a fascinating think about the culture we find ourselves mired in.

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8.0
Lobo/Road Runner Special #1

Jun 21, 2017

I highly recommend picking up Lobo/Road Runner if you're looking for a fun and breezy read. It really captures what makes Road Runner one of the few classic cartoons that I really loved as a kid as well as what makes Lobo one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe. It's all about the insanity and the violence, man.

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8.0
Midnighter And Apollo #1

Oct 5, 2016

It's a powerful start to a promising mini-series and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

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8.0
Midnighter And Apollo #4

Jan 4, 2017

In my opinion, Midnighter and Apollo #4 is a stellar entry in what is shaping up to be one of the best comics of the year.

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8.0
Midnighter And Apollo #6

Mar 1, 2017

Midnighter and Apollo is a series worth celebrating. It's a stunningly rendered series with action sequences that floor you with every page turn. It's a sharply written series that chalks up a big win for representation in comics. Most of all, it's a testament to the power love has to build us up and make us better than the sum of our parts.

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8.0
Mister Miracle #2

Sep 13, 2017

With its second issue, Mister Miracle #2 continues its journey towards becoming one of my favorite comics this year. Its formal ambition is awe-inspiring and its themes of depression and the subjectivity of truth, if executed upon correctly, are timely ones to explore. I can hear the rhythm this book is building and I think I'm falling in love.

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4.0
Mother Panic #2

Dec 28, 2016

Mother Panic has the thematic foundations and artistic sensibility for a huge hit. It just needs some additional nuance to get there.

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6.0
Mother Panic #7

May 24, 2017

In the end, I would say that Mother Panic #7 shows improvement from where the series began. It's easier to parse and seems to have a better idea of the series that it wants to be. It's long term storylines are relatively compelling" particularly the plot threads that relate to Violet's past. That said, this book remains a bit thematically shallow, in my opinion, and this issue was not a particularly bombastic start to a new arc. If this book is for you, I suspect you know it by now.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #14

Apr 21, 2015

Takeshi Miyazawa's art this issue is particularly fantastic. His facial expressions are exaggerated in a manner reminiscent of the manga tradition, and it really helps the inflated feelings of infatuation Kamala experiences this issue shine through.

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8.0
New Gods Special #1

Aug 2, 2017

I don't think the New Gods Special is a comic for everyone. Without the context of knowing Kirby's history or the legacy he's left at DC Comics, one could easily be forgiven for finding the New Gods Special strangely anachronistic and out of touch with the times. That said though, with a little bit of background, the book blossoms into something else entirely. It becomes an exciting and awe-inspiring homage to one of the greatest cartoonists who ever lived and one of the coolest comics properties to ever grace newsstands.

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6.0
New Talent Showcase #1

Nov 30, 2016

$7.99 is no laughing matter, but you do get 74~ pages of content so there's sure to be something that will catch your eye. This title might be of particular note if you consider yourself a forward thinking reader who wants to get a look at where DC editorial is heading or at the talents you'll likely see representing the creative side of the industry as a whole in the years to come.

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8.0
Nightwing (2016) #10

Dec 7, 2016

Ultimately, I think Nightwing #10 is a strong start to a new chapter in Dick Grayson's life, though I wish it were illustrated with more care.

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8.0
Past Aways #1

Feb 27, 2015

So much of this book was done so absolutely right that it becomes hard to dwell on either of these things. There's plenty left to be explained about how time travel works in this story and how they found themselves in their current individual states, but the characters and motivations are far more important to hooking an audience's attention"and they certainly have mine.

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8.0
Shade, the Changing Girl #5

Feb 1, 2017

Ultimately, Shade the Changing Girl remains a bit of an enigma. It's a resonant and poignant book with beautiful visuals that are undercut by inconsistent plotting. That said, this latest issue is the strongest out of the series. It uses its singular visual style in a delightful way that captures the many discordant emotions and needs of a teenager. It's by far the most young adult of the Young Animal titles and fulfills a specific niche in DC's current catalogue. I don't support this book unreservedly, but I do recognize its strengths and its importance on the shelf. If you haven't tried it yet, I certainly think it's worth a shot.

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8.0
Suicide Squad / The Banana Splits Special #1

Mar 29, 2017

Knowing nothing about the Banana Splits besides what is available on Wikipedia, I can't say whether or not any of what takes place in Suicide Squad/The Banana Splits is true to the original incarnation of their characters. That said, I don't particularly care if it is! This book is fantastic and one of the most fun reads on the shelf this week. I can't say it's a timeless work, but it's certainly the sort of book that will leave you giggling from start to finish.

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8.0
Superman (2016) #18

Mar 1, 2017

Overall, Superman #18 should prove to be an interesting read for those who have been following along with the events of the series so far. However, it makes for a relatively poor jumping on point and establishes a new identity for the series that feels a little more plot-centric than character-centric than I'd like. Fingers crossed things change course at the end of this event!

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8.0
Teen Titans: Rebirth #1

Sep 28, 2016

Overall, I must say that I was a big fan of Teen Titans: Rebirth #1. Despite its mechanical faults, Percy demonstrates that his take on the Teen Titans will have a strong emphasis on characters who have very distinctive wants and needs. The premise he's put together should make for some excellent storytelling which will only be furthered by the stellar Jonboy Meyers art on display here.

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7.0
The Sandman Special (2017) #1

Aug 16, 2017

Overall, I think your mileage will vary with The Sandman Oversize Special. Both stories, the first in particular, are visually stunning bits of absurdist art that fully capture the fun and exciting tone of Silver Age comics. That said, this comic does very little hand-holding and offers no explanation for itself to new readers, which I imagine will baffle many" even I found myself having to Google things in order to educate myself on who certain characters were and what certain plot points referred to. I'd say that you should peruse the first bit of this story and see how it grabs you before adding it to your shelf.

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4.0
Trinity (2016) #8

Apr 19, 2017

Ultimately, I can't recommend Trinity #8. It's not necessarily a bad comic, but it's certainly not a necessary one. Save your money for the real Watchmen mystery...

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8.0
Wild Storm #1

Feb 15, 2017

Overall, I'd say that I was pleased with The Wild Storm #1. While I wouldn't call it the best DC comic on the shelf, I think it plays a strong and unique role in diversifying the tone of the publisher's lineup. It seeks to explore something different and darker than most DC Comics do and does so with a confidence that even most Young Animal books don't quite muster. A book like this one has to walk a fine line between being poignant and gratuitous, but for now, I'd say The Wild Storm #1 is shaping up quite nicely.

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8.0
Wild Storm #7

Sep 20, 2017

I've never read any of the old WildStorm material. I can't comment on how faithful this series is to the old universe or on how these two compare on relative planes of quality. What I can say though is that The Wild Storm is easily one of my favorite, if not my number one favorite, DC Comic on the shelf right now.

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7.0
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #1

Oct 11, 2017

So ultimately, I'm a little ambivalent on Michael Cray #1. I"m intrigued by the weird way this comic brings the world of the DC Universe together with the world of Wild Storm, but I'm relatively nonplussed by Cray himself. I certainly haven't written him off" there are enough interesting elements to his character that I believe that his journey could kick into high gear as soon as the next issue" but his journey isn't yet clear enough for me to feel an intense need to follow it.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #23

May 24, 2017

In truth, Wonder Woman has never been a warrior. She's a diplomat. Rucka characterizes her as such through and through in his runs on Wonder Woman" Diana Prince never raises a sword to a conflict that she can solve with her voice. That's never been a rarer or more important attribute in superhero comics than it is in this Wonder Woman storyline, where Diana's opponent isn't a god or a monster, but rather herself.

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