Ashley Leckwold's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Nerdophiles, Graphic Policy, PopOptiq, The Rainbow Hub Reviews: 81
8.5Avg. Review Rating

6.0
All-New Hawkeye (2015) #1

Apr 16, 2015

I want this series to do well. I want it to prove that Hawkeye's popularity isn't a fluke. However, I'm just not certain if I like it yet. The art is amazing, but there's something lacking in the story so far. I don't expect it to be Fraction and Aja'sHawkeye, but I do hope it develops a voice as distinctive soon.

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9.0
Another Castle #1

Mar 4, 2016

If youre intimidated by or are expecting a straight video game send up from Another Castle, you may be pleasantly surprised that while the first issue does have a fair amount of video game vibes, the story fits well along the line of women-centric fantasy comic books like Princeless, Princess Ugg and Rat Queens while still being its own thing. Wheeler and Ganucheau have created a bright and fun universe that is easy to get lost in and makes you root for your heroes right off the bat. No apologies here, the princess you seek is in Another Castle.

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8.8
Another Castle #2

Apr 15, 2016

Another Castle #2 continues strong after the first issue, showing just how capable and multifaceted Misty is as well as what is at stake for her and those closest to her. Wheeler expands past the basic concept of the book, showing us a little bit of whats behind the curtain in Mistys life and Ganucheau balances this well with her colorful and expressive art. Now, when is #3 coming out?

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9.2
Another Castle #3

May 26, 2016

While there is still plenty of action to be had, Another Castle #3 takes the unexpected route of trying to push Misty out of her comfort zone and to deal with consequences of her actions as she tries to work undercover to save Pete and Grimoire. Its rough for her, but ultimately makes for a fulfilling issue that keeps the intrigue up going into issue #4. Plus, cute demons who make cupcakes and collect clocks never hurt.

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7.5
Archie (2015) #6

Feb 17, 2016

Archie #6 continues the new reboot's streak of creating a modern and fun vibe for the series while still keeping to the core of the original series both in Waid's writing and Fish's art. While this particular issue does sometimes feel like it's trying to cover too much ground at once sometimes, it does still move forward on a lot of fronts between Veronica's relationship with Archie and Reggie's general sleaziness. Does it also introduce a new love interest for Betty? Who can say right now, but that line is laid pretty hard currently.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #35

Oct 10, 2014

If you love Ms. Marvel, definitely give Batgirl #35 a shot. There's a very similar spirit there with a young heroine living life on her own terms, even if she's constantly trying to figure our what those terms are. Not to mention that Babs Tarr's art is kind of amazing.

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8.0
Beautiful Darkness #1

Sep 22, 2014

Beautiful Darkness is not a comic for the faint of heart, even though an initial look at the spectacular art might suggest otherwise. It is absolutely worth the read for the way it tells the story of the kind of horrible behavior humans will inflict on others and stay indifferent to it. Just brace yourself for maybe needing something a little more optimistic when you're done if you're anything like me.

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10
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 11, 2014

A first issue doesn't need to tell me everything. It needs to be an introduction that makes me want to come back for the rest of the story it tells. If this first issue is any indication, we may have one of the best comics of 2015 on our hands as well as one of the most feminist comic books to ever grace the shelves.

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9.2
Bitch Planet #7

Feb 18, 2016

With the start of a new arc, Bitch Planet is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Even in an issue setting up the building blocks for the rest of the arc, it still feels like a gut punch as the fallout from Meikos death takes center stage. I would hope that it doesnt take anyone else in the process, but that would be tempting fate just a bit too much in a book where the ones in charge of the world it exists in see lives as disposable when they dont fit into the neat boxes prescribed for existence.

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6.0
Cloaks #1

Sep 12, 2014

In magic terms,Cloaks #1is definitely the pledge. We don't know what exactly is going to happen with the story yet, but we're presented with a clear set up that builds a strong foundation for whatever comes next.

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8.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #2

Sep 23, 2014

Even though it's over way too quickly, Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman is definitely worth the read. Centering around a sassy and determined heroine, it brings us a version of Gwen Stacy ready to define her own fate and be her own hero.

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10
Edge of Spider-Verse #5

Oct 21, 2014

While a little less bombastic than what I thought it was going to be, SP//dr is still an amazing entry into the Spider-Verse as well as just a fun tribute to 80s cyberpunk anime. I can only hope Marvel will allow Way to come back and play in the sandbox more in the future.

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8.5
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Jan 20, 2016

Even without previous knowledge of Harbinger, the first issue of the Faith miniseries is an absolute delight. It could have been way too easy to take a character like Faith and turn her into a one-note joke, but Houser, Portela, and Sauvage flesh out her character so much in a wonderful introduction story. Faiths size is not her only character aspect, but it is not hidden away like a piece of shame either. Plus, the book leaves off on such a cliffhanger that it would be hard not to pick up the next issue.

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8.5
Faith (Mini-Series) #2

Feb 24, 2016

While this issue is still getting into the harsher realities of being a hero, Faith still has a whole lot of heart. Between the nice little details of Sauvage and Portelas art and the way Houser balances the happier and sadder sides of Faiths character in writing, the Valiant mini-series is shaping up to be quite a standout as it hits the halfway mark.

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8.0
Faith (Mini-Series) #4

Apr 29, 2016

This particular issue is titled "Herstory" and it feels befitting. Faith is history in the making and while this part of her story is over, Houser, Portela and Sauvage did a fantastic job in creating the first chapter of it. #4 proved to be a solid finale, closing enough to wrap it all up, but leaving enough avenues to explore in the upcoming ongoing. Just what awaits her there, we don't know, but if it's just as fun of a trip as this story has been, there's nothing to worry about.

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10
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 9, 2014

Dark, yet fun, Gotham Academy is a fun intro to a side of Gotham City that we may not usually get to see. It also includes young girls on adventures, which is also a plus.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #19

Jul 30, 2014

This issue was well worth the wait in ways I didn't expect. Heartbreaking and completely unique, it reminds me of what makes this comic so special and why I'm going to be so sad when it ends.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #20

Sep 11, 2014

Just read the damn thing. Between this and #19, we've really gotten some of Fraction's best work.

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9.0
Heartthrob #1

Apr 14, 2016

Heartthrob #1 is a great introduction to a series that looks to be exciting and heart-wrenching, both figuratively and literally. Sebela has created a lovely and realistic protagonist in Callie Boudreau as well as a mysterious, loving and potentially dangerous love interest in Mercer. Only time will tell if he is dangerous, but that wait won't be so bad between the writing and the fantastic art of Wilson and Filiardi. If crime and romance mixed together are right up your alley, Heartthrob #1 might just be the sweetheart of a comic you're looking for.

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9.2
Heartthrob #2

May 26, 2016

As Heartthrob #2 expands the universe it lives in, we start to understand just what goes through Callies mind as she turns to a life of love and crime. Even in the strangest of circumstances, her story is one that any reader can understand on a personal level. Between Sebelas heartfelt writing as Callie learns the ropes of the criminal life and the gorgeous 70s artwork from Wilson and Filardi, Heartthrob #2 is about the strength of the heart just as much as it is about vulnerability.

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8.5
Heartthrob #3

Jun 26, 2016

Heartthrob #3 gets into the real meat of the story now that the introductions to the concept and Callies life of crime are out of the way. The team delivers spectacularly on making this crime comic about a woman and her ghost boyfriend believable and enjoyable, especially when the small fissures in their foundation are beginning to form.

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7.8
Help Us! Great Warrior #1

Mar 17, 2016

If youre a fan of adventure and magical girls, Help Us! Great Warrior may be your kind of book. The plot is one every fantasy fan has read before, but the characters that populate the universe created by Flores and Gunn are absolute cuties and never feel like one note in the short time we get to spend with them. The soft and rounded style and silly and touching humor added in with that make this book an absolute treat for the eyes and soul. Give it a look if you have a little warrior in your life or just need to get in touch with your inner one.

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8.0
Jem and the Holograms: Valentine's Day Special #1

Feb 11, 2016

While not super pertinent to the main story going on right now in Jem and the Holograms, this Valentine Special is still a super cute one off that gives great character moments and humor. Bartel and Reinwands art is the especially fun driving force of this issue, playing up the anger, annoyance and infatuation especially hard. The character designs as well were especially great in this one, with demonic looking Jetta being a personal favorite of mine. Between this and Jonesy over at BOOM! Studios, you should be all set to have an especially comics themed Valentines Day this year. Well, if youre the type whos not looking to celebrate by traditional means, that is.

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8.8
Jonesy #1

Feb 10, 2016

Of course, even more worrisome is that right after she makes up with Susan, she decides that shell be the one to teach her school about love. Oh Jonesy.

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10
Jonesy #2

Mar 16, 2016

Jonesy #2 keeps the pace of the first issue while still showing progress for both the characters of Jonesy and Susan as they turn from enemies to friends over the course of the issue. Along with the series normalizing queerness, it also is refreshing to see a series lead by two young women of color without ever resorting to stereotypes and to see such a realistic and fun take on teenage crushes. The art is still gorgeous and on point, especially with the way Quinn gets to expand the color palette from the first issue in really bright and exciting ways. Humphries, Boyle and Quinn have real magic with the series, and Im not just saying that because of Jonesys powers.

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10
Lumberjanes #1

Apr 15, 2014

Fresh, funny, and full of ladies, Lumberjanes is already up there with Ms. Marvel for my new favorite comic of 2014. Stevenson, Ellis, Allen and Shannon Watters have created a fantastic new story about friendship, summer camp and supernatural forces. If you're not reading this comic yet, I suggest you jump on it before issue #2 comes out next month.

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7.8
Lumberjanes #19

Oct 23, 2015

With the new creative team getting a little further in, Lumberjanes #19 is a fun issue that gets more action into the arc. The focus on April gives a little more substance to the good and bad sides of her character, but there are also great little moments in the art and with the other Lumberjanes as well. Itll be fun to see how this arc concludes next month.Rating: 7.8/10

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8.5
Lumberjanes #20

Nov 18, 2015

Even with a slow start, Watters and Leyh's first arc as a team came to a strong conclusion in this issue. While there were some points that could have been explored further, Lumberjanes #20 was a fast, fun, and joyful issue that speaks to the heart of what the series is about while approaching topics that can be hard to talk about without sounding like an after school special. The art team of Nowak and Laaiho were especially on point, making even the smaller moments in the issue super expressive and colorful. If this is how the first arc of a new era for Lumberjanes ends, the future looks even brighter as the series inches closer to its second anniversary.

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8.5
Lumberjanes #21

Dec 16, 2015

With all the pieces set up for the rest of the arc, Lumberjanes #21 seems to fine tune all the issues that the team had after Noelle Stevenson's departure. Focusing more on the ensemble and introducing fun and interesting new characters, Watters, Leyh and Pietsch create a super fun opening to the next three issue arc of Lumberjanes. Will it lead to more answered questions about the woods? Who knows, but it will have selkie and werewolf drama, which might be just as good.

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8.3
Lumberjanes #22

Jan 20, 2016

This issue and arc of Lumberjanes continues to prove why it is one of the most consistently great comics out there today. Even when it isnt doing a deep story dive with its adventures, the comic is still about spotlighting the girls and expanding their characters in small ways. Kat Leyh has been finding her footing with the characters more with each passing issue and Pietschs art in this issue is so wonderfully expressive. It will be exciting to see how this arc continues next month with the boat caught in a storm of portals and Molly and Ripley stuck with a grumpy Bear Woman in a dinosaur dimension.

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8.0
Lumberjanes #23

Feb 17, 2016

While Lumberjanes #23 may not be the most action driven issue, it does a great job of giving Molly some character work that will probably come into play later. Pietsch and Laihos work together on art is also beautiful and gets a bit more play with scenery than most Lumberjanes stories. Lets just hope theyre going to find their way out of this current scrape by the end of the next issue because its more of a doozy than usual.

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9.0
Lumberjanes #24

Mar 16, 2016

Lumberjanes #24 ends the selkie arc as it hits its next stride. Taking examples from the girls themselves, the creative team works together to bring the arc home in a satisfying way. While Watters, Leyh, Pietsch, Laaiho and Aiese may not be going for the same badge April was in this arc, but they certainly deserve one after delivering a finale where everyone gets to shine while still wrapping up the story in a way that never feels too rushed or leaves anything hanging. This is the kind of story you want going into the third year of a comic, and it doesnt disappoint.

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8.5
Lumberjanes #29

Aug 16, 2016

With the start of a new adventure with old characters, Lumberjanes #29 brings the fun of the first arc of the book while still keeping up with the ways the stories and the characters have progressed since then. Pietschs art gets better with every issue shes at the helm combined with Watters and Leyhs emotional storytelling. Lumberjanes is continuously a joy, even when the characters hit hard times, and it makes me excited to see where they go next. Hopefully not into stone!

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7.0
Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #1

Jun 9, 2016

While it is mostly building the foundation for the rest of the story, Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1 is certainly an interesting set-up that leaves the reader curious as to what will happen next. A lot of the issue felt like it was playing by the rules of the Lumberjanes Scout Guide, which will hopefully get a bit of a shakeup by the next issue as the Scouts get to know the Club a bit more. Either way, this should hopefully turn out to be fun. Weird ghouls and all.

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9.0
Mother Panic #1

Nov 9, 2016

As a fan of Gotham stories and Young Animal, Mother Panic hits all the right notes. Its an intense and punk as hell story about a young woman still figuring herself involving vigilantism and art. If you enjoyed the Batgirl of Burnside or Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wus Black Canary, youll probably find a familiarity in Mother Panic that will excite you. If you enjoyed The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the similar lush tone and surrealism will jump out at you faster than Violet herself. Either way, Mother Panic makes Young Animal four for four so far and brings a new twist to the familiar Gotham story.

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9.5
Motor Crush #1

Nov 17, 2016

I recently compared Mother Panic to the comic series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys in terms of pace and tone, and I was nearly ready to do the same for Motor Crush. However, that isnt true. Its more like the album companion My Chemical Romance released three years prior titled Danger Days. Frenetic and joyful even in the darkness, Motor Crush is about finding your place in the world and trying to survive set against a futuristic backdrop of motorcycle racing. While the first issue is mostly set-up, it refuses to let off the gas as you follow Domino along on her journey and the jolt of the ending leaves you wanting another ride as soon as it is over. When the first issue comes out on December 7, you owe it to yourself to take a ride with Motor Crush.

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4.0
Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift #1

Nov 4, 2015

While there are some potentially interesting characters and nice use of color in the comic, Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift #1 feels like a whole lot of nothing. It's visually uninteresting and doesn't seem to want to take any risks storywise with its core concept. It's not even empty calories. It's just a straight empty canteen in the desert that is a world without a sequel to Pacific Rim, and that's somehow even more disappointing than if that canteen was just filled with Kaiju Blue.

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10
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4

Nov 18, 2015

While it may initially appear irrelevant to the rest of the plot, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4 may be one of Gillen, McKelvie, Cowles, and Wilsons finest hours as a creative team. By using the tropes and tics of a popular and defining work, they manage to tell a story that both plays with the central theme of the arc and the central theme of the work referenced in astoundingly creative ways. Its fun, electric, and even just a bit precious.

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9.0
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #5

Dec 16, 2015

With David taking his bow and using the last of his power from Britannia, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #5 feels like more of an ending than anything else we've seen from the Phonogram series. As Emily and David's story shifts more into the "present" of 2009-2010, we see the closest they might actually get to growing up. For David, it's learning how to be a decent human being. For Emily, it's accepting her death. Morbid as it can be, Team Phonogram creates a story in this issue that gives the characters room to do that without sacrificing who they are at their cores. With the groundwork laid and with Emily running out of time, the finale looks to be a heart-racer and a heart-wrencher.

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9.0
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6

Jan 20, 2016

The fact thatPhonogram is ending is sad, but The Immaterial Girl was the story it needed to go out on. The final issue isnt full of bombast or drama, but of goodbyes, uncertainty of the future, and new beginnings. It talks about how we imbue meanings in songs and images through the death of one pop star and inadvertently the death of another. Emilys story was one of the trippieststories of letting go and self discovery one could ever read, but damn, was it just right for her and this series.

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4.0
POP #1

Aug 21, 2014

I know pop music isn't to everyone's taste, but Pop #1 feels like the annoying hippie hipster who tries to convince me of how deep he is by droning on and on about how we're all being controlled by corporations just because I mention that I enjoy Lady Gaga. The art is nice and I do feel like the story has potential to pick up, but it isn't off to a good start. Maybe stick with Phonogram or The Wicked + The Divine for now to get your pop music in comics fix.

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6.0
Power Up #3

Sep 26, 2015

Between the odd pacing and quieter moments, Power Up #3 doesnt feel like the best representation of what the comic could be capable of. There is potential for the story to pick up further in the last three issues, but it feels slow for a story that only has three issues left. With the ending of Amie getting fired and their identities leaking onto the Internet, Power Up still has potential of picking up before it ends.

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7.0
Power Up #4

Oct 28, 2015

While Power Up! #4 doesnt answer a whole lot of questions, it does strengthen the character interactions and the action sequences without compromising one for the other. Cummings art mixed with Leths natural and warm writing are working in tandem more as the series progresses, which makes this final homestretch even more exciting. With the monsters coming after the trio now resorting to possession, it seems like the story is about to come to a head in the final two issues as the world (and maybe Kevins laundry) hangs in the balance.

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8.0
Power Up #5

Nov 25, 2015

While this issue does put out a lot of information, Power Up! #5 avoids being an exposition dump. Cummings art is on point as usual, outdoing himself on the character design of these intergalactic warriors, and Leth makes you feel like youve known them forever, despite only being introduced this issue. What it may lack in action scenes, it makes up for in great tandem work to give great character moments and the backstory everyone has been waiting for. Well, most of it. Theres still one issue left, you know

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7.0
Power Up #6

Dec 16, 2015

Power Up! had its flaws, mostly with the odd pacing that would have some issues drag on, but others feeling rushed. However, the world created by Leth and Cummings was rich and warm, with a premise borrowed from years of magical girl anime being filled with lovely characters of varying ages and walks of life. It was fun, sweet, and gorgeous to boot. Even with its problems in this issue and beyond, Power Up! is and was a lovely and homey magical series that shows just what makes the genre and the creators special.

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9.0
Pretty Deadly #6

Nov 19, 2015

Pretty Deadly has always been a lot of things, and that's especially true in the start of this new arc. We're introduced to the world again, only to have the reader whisked away to the Western front as there is a race against time to get a boy home before his mother dies. Deconnick, Ros and Bellaire create an atmosphere that changes to warm and familiar to cold and unforgiving without missing a beat. The story may be more streamlined, but as evidenced by the reappearance of Ginny and Alice, this won't be an easy story.

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10
Pretty Deadly #7

Dec 24, 2015

With all the pieces starting to slip into place, Pretty Deadly #7 raises the stakes even further while still orbiting around what was set up in the previous issue. It's no longer just about Cyrus getting home, it's about him running while Ginny and Alice try to stop a war. Especially now with a terrifying new reaper introduced. The way DeConnick, Ros and Bellaire work on this comic together also never ceases to amaze with just how much this grand and daring work seems to come together on such a personal level. You just don't want to know what happens next from the suspense. You also want to know what happens next because you care about these characters so much, whether they're human or reaper.

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10
Pretty Deadly #8

Feb 3, 2016

And of course, the moon is full. Time is up in more ways than one in this part of the story, but its a question now of how everything will land. The first instinct is to think not well, but perhaps we as readers can take a lesson from The Lucky Farmer. Is this all good or bad? I dont know.

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8.2
Pretty Deadly #9

Apr 14, 2016

Have our heroes hit a string of bad luck? Or has everything that happened here been a blessing in disguise? Its hard to say now, but the penultimate issue of Pretty Deadlys second arc doesn't rest long to answer the question, but rather chooses to let the action play out. Whether fortune or folly, its all set up to go down here.

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9.5
Pretty Deadly #10

Jun 25, 2016

Between the beautiful art and the bittersweetly serene story, Pretty Deadly #10 is a masterful conclusion to a brutal and emotional arc. This final chapter of The Bear shows just how far the story has come and evolved, how the story has come to stand on its own in individual issues, and makes me even more excited for where the story will go when we meet up with Clara in the early days of Hollywood in the third arc.

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9.2
Rat Queens #15

Mar 16, 2016

Now that we know the fate of Hannah, the big question now isnt what happens to her, but rather where does everyone go from here?

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10
Rocket Girl #1

Sep 22, 2014

Smart, vibrant, diverse and just plain fun, Rocket Girl is a great example of the kind of comics coming out of Image right now. The second arc starts in October and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

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8.5
Rocket Girl #7

Dec 2, 2015

Rocket Girl #7 is a fun and frenetic issue that reminds the reader of who Dayoung actually is: a stubborn teenager with a strong sense of right and wrong that happens to have a jetpack to fight crimes with. Montclare and Reeder work in tandem wonderfully to get this point across with perfectly teen angsty dialogue and gorgeous art to go with it. It should be interesting to see where the story goes next, with headstrong Dayoung deciding to take matters into her own hands and her compatriots in the past trying to get to the bottom of what she might have caused.

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10
Saga #31

Nov 26, 2015

31 issues in and Saga doesn't have any indicator of slowing down. Especially now that Hazel is finally the central character of her own story. Seeing her own personality start to grow as she starts to realize who and what she is in a world different from the one she was born into is a strange moment of pride for the reader who has been there since her birth. Staples and Vaughan handle these first and important moments of her independence with grace, innocence and a little bit of toilet humor that exists with her at this point in her life. With this kind of opening, it's exciting and a bit terrifying to think of where Hazel will go in this part of her life.

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8.0
Saga #32

Dec 27, 2015

Saga #32 isn't a high action issue, but it is one that gets back to the core of the series. It reminds that the series with all its adventures and subplots is still about Alana and Marko learning to make it work at its core. It calls back to the first few issues of the series in a nice way without making the characters feel like they've backtracked to do it. Think of it more as Saga's own take on getting the band back together. It's fun, lovely, and strangely romantic in its own war time sort of way. As it should be.

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8.2
Saga #33

Jan 28, 2016

Saga #33 feels like a diversion more than an actual advancement of the plot. Staples art is great as usual and it humanizes some characters we havent seen in a while, but it sometimes felt like I was about to scream GET ON WITH IT at the book. Its not a bad issue, its just slow. By the time things pick up, its already over. Itll be interesting to see how it all ties in in the long run, but as an individual issue, its not Sagas finest hour.

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10
Seconds #1

Apr 18, 2015

A book about second chances and learning how to adult,Secondsis a beautiful modern fairy tale that might just be Bryan Lee O'Malley's best work to date.

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8.5
Sex Criminals #14

Feb 18, 2016

If youre having a hard time with the latest Sex Criminals at first pass, give it another read and see how it all ties together. What comes across as disjointed at first actually has a strange sort of clearness once the thread that ties it all together becomes clear. This book has always been about vulnerability and to see it upfront and hysterically done is kind of amazing.

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9.0
Shade, the Changing Girl #2

Nov 5, 2016

So far in its first two issues, Shade, The Changing Girl is a dense book. It throws you right into the Madness experienced by Shade as she tries to navigate her new life. The balance between Cecil Castellucci's writing and Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick's art makes sure of that. However, in the Madness, there is still a relatable story. In the case of this particular issue, it's isolation. If you were any sort of weird kid in school, Shade's struggle to understand the politics of popularity as well as her own life and her boredom with the material being taught is a straight blast from the past. Granted, with the extra alien layer, but that's what makes it so mind bending and great. Part of what makes it so easy to lose yourself in this book is the colorful and twisty art from Zarcone and Fitzpatrick.

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9.2
Shade, the Changing Girl #3

Dec 14, 2016

Shade, the Changing Girl #3 continues the brilliant work of the series as Shade travels deeper into Megans psyche and memories to try and understand both Megan and herself. It leaves a certain vulnerability that wouldnt have been possible in any other setting besides high school and Castellucci and Zarcone tell a story that makes it worth revisiting.

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8.2
Slam! #1

Nov 18, 2016

While roller derby is its own world, Slam! #1 gives a glimpse into how that world can have positive effects on the people in it. Following the journey of Maisie and Jen as they first start out and heading into their new lives on teams is absolutely joyful and should absolutely set precedent for how womens sports comics handle competition and friendships. Of course, now that Jen and Maisie are no longer on the same team, how will they handle flying on their own?

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7.0
Space Battle Lunchtime #1

May 4, 2016

Besides making you crave carrot-cherry cake, Space Battle Lunchtime #1 does a great job dragging you into the world without too much fuss. Between the writing not standing in the way of itself and the darling art, the world created by Riess promises to be a lot of fun. That is, if Peony can make it past round one.

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8.0
Steven Universe #1

Aug 21, 2014

If you're a fan of Steven Universe, definitely check out the comic from Boom! Studios. It's a quick and fun read with gorgeous art. You might want to wait until trade though because the comic felt like it went by way too fast, but I hope the trade will keep all the extra stories in the back!

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8.0
Steven Universe #2

Sep 10, 2014

While the first issue was pretty good, the second issue of Steven Universe grows into similar pacing and voicing to the series. It may not be as grand in scope as the tv series so far, but it adds a little extra life to the little town of Beach City.

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6.0
Teen Dog #1

Sep 20, 2014

Really though, I think my main problem with the first issue of Teen Dog goes back to its original format. It was originally a web comic on Jake Lawrence's blog Timecowboy. Teen Dog as a long form comic follows a similar format, with the first issue being a series of non-sequiturs over the course of one day in the life of Teen Dog. As a webcomic, that works just fine, but it kind of bothers me as a format for a monthly comic book. That is not to say that webcomics can't be sequential. One of my absolute favorites is currently deep into a storyline that's been set up for years. I just feel like the humor of Teen Dog is probably more suited for the internet.

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6.5
The Mighty Captain Marvel #2

Feb 22, 2017

Criticisms aside, The Mighty Captain Marvel #2 has been doing a pretty decent job of getting Carol back on track after Civil War II. We do see some of her guilt still residing after the entire thing, but the series is more focused on Carol balancing her work and her newfound popularity. I cant wait to see where the series goes next, especially in regards to the Kree refugee crisis.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #1

Jun 18, 2014

Promising to be a rich and colorful comic that could be the next prized jewel in Image's collection, the first issue of The Wicked + The Divine sets us up for a journey that will be long and thrilling. If you're a fan of Phonogram, Young Avengers and/or pop music, I suggest hopping onto this train soon. (Also: be jealous. I have Bryan Lee O'Malley's variant cover.)

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine #15

Oct 14, 2015

Gillen has said many times the series is about problematic people doing problematic things, and WicDiv #15 is no exception. With Amaterasu trying so hard to make her last years on Earth count for something, it makes her blind to people she could be hurting unintentionally. Well, not completely since she does listen to Cassandra when she tells her forming a giant fireball over Hiroshima is a really terrible idea. Still, with her time running out and her friends dropping off, it becomes a part of her own personal tragedy, which is what makes her in this issue so compelling.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #16

Nov 11, 2015

While not as explosive and bombastic as previous issues in this arc, the penultimate issue in WicDivs Commercial Suicide arc succeeds perfectly at what it sets out to be: a tragic teenage goth love story. Between Gillens strong and melancholy writing and Del Duca and Lopes dark and expressive art, the story of how Marian and Cameron became The Morrigan and Baphomet is one that feels all too real in a surreal universe. Now the question is will Baph continue to run from death or will he let it be?

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine #17

Dec 16, 2015

As the end to the "Commercial Suicide" arc, WicDiv #17 is like the goddess it is focused on. Sexy, languid, and tragic, Gillen and Graham deliver a story about Sakhmet that is just as layered as she is, showing that there is more to her than just being a cat goddess. Now the question remains is can we wait until April to find out what happens next?

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine #18

Apr 7, 2016

While the tone of this arc will take some getting used to, The Wicked + The Divine #18 certainly makes a mark in driving the story forward after 'Commercial Suicide.' With fast-paced superhero action, questions being dropped along the way, and gorgeous art and color, it's good to see the series back to its old ways.

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8.5
The Wicked + The Divine #19

May 4, 2016

On the art front, McKelvie and Wilson are still killing it, especially in terms of the action scenes. The fight scene thats the crux of this issue is an art delight, giving the reader those moments where art and color is in perfect synch with each other. Whether its Babd the Crow Woman, the delightfully joyous face of Gentle Annie or the way Amaterasus eyes glow as she focuses in on her rescue target, the devils of this issue are certainly in the details, and no one on the team certainly slouches to get it done.

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8.5
The Wicked + The Divine #20

Jun 9, 2016

While not high on the action, The Wicked + The Divine #20 is a gorgeously colored issue that spills plot revelations that mean huge things for the rest of the story. The question now is will those plot revelations be believed going into the final battle of this arc? Hard to say, but it there is now an extra sense of dread in the air now that Persephone has spilled the secrets to another living soul. Of course, she does this to a woman named Cassandra. For all I know, were all doomed by the hubris of Gods.

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8.8
The Wicked + The Divine #22

Aug 17, 2016

With bringing Rising Action to a close, The Wicked + The Divine #22 brings forth another solid issue with great character moments with Cassandra, Woden, and Persephone and the biggest status quo shakeup the comic has seen yet. As the comic heads into its Imperial Phase, it should be interesting to see how all the pieces begin to settle come November.

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9.5
The Wicked + The Divine #23

Nov 4, 2016

Early reviews of this issue harkened it to Watchmen in terms of how deep it lets the story run. While I dont know if I can make the same comparison just yet, the way that The Wicked + The Divine #23 builds the universe of the comic while letting others play in the sandbox is kind of mindblowing. Wadas art alone justifies the existence of this issue, but the articles by real journalists writing about their interactions with these fictional characters is what makes the issue shine in those spaces between the art. If Pantheon Monthly was to return for another arc, this The Wicked + The Divine faithful would certainly not argue.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #24

Dec 11, 2016

As the Imperial Phase begins in earnest, The Wicked + The Divine #24 is much like the day it takes place on. A deep and quiet breath before jumping into the deep end. The calm before the storm. And if the last page is any indication, there are high stakes in play in this brave new year.

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9.5
The Wicked + The Divine: 1831 #1

Sep 23, 2016

Besides the shenanigans of the Romantics (because who else would be the celebrities of this era), this issue raises a lot of questions about what Anankes endgame was. Especially regarding the hand of Hades. While well never know from the woman herself now, you have to wonder just how the end of this issue might come back to haunt the modern gods later.

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8.8
Vampirella (2016) #1

Mar 4, 2016

Deciding to keep it simple in story and cast, the first issue of the new Vampirella series from Dynamite Entertainment is a fun and sexy story that introduces a classic character to a new, modern audience. Itll be interesting to see where the story of Vampirella as a viral media sensation goes, but the groundwork laid by Leth, Casallos and Pinto in this first issue make sure that it will not be boring in the least.

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7.5
Welcome Back #5

Feb 11, 2016

While the return of Welcome Back doesn't jump right back into the story of Mali and Tessa, it gives us a lot of insight into the mind and soul of Lorena. It scales back some from the route of making her another Hit-Girl and instead paints her as a hardened and tired soldier, looking for a way out and to know that the people she cares about are okay.

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9.0
Welcome Back #6

Mar 16, 2016

Theres the infamous Joker quote fromTheDark Knightthat gets applied to wrestlers Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens a lot more lately. You and I are destined to do this forever. Thats essentially what the story of Mali and Tessa has been up until this point. Two souls locked in conflict until the end of time, always coming back and finding each other. Welcome Back #6 throws a wrench in that concept though and explores if it is possible for them to do so. Sebela and Roe make that believable, but right now, it comes down more to if the rest of the world will let them and if they can survive as lovers in their next life if they cant escape. The domesticity is lovely and nearly perfect, but it makes that conflict even more suspenseful as it comes.

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8.0
Welcome Back #7

Apr 25, 2016

This particular issue is less focused on action, but it doesnt mean there isnt a war going on. Instead of Sequels against Sequels, its a more personal, emotional war between Mali and Tessas mother Jana. Along with being Tessas trainer, Jana is also the wife of a former president of South Africa, making Tessa powerful in more ways than one. Naturally, the parents arent too fond of Mali. For her father, its because of the gay thing. For Jana, its because neither Mali or Tessa did their job. There is a little bit of violence between Jana and Mali, but their war is more of that of words. The sad hopefulness of Mali versus the vicious realism of Jana. It adds another layer of emotion to this already heartbreaking and strangely hopeful series.

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