Brax's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Crusaders Reviews: 53
8.1Avg. Review Rating

8.0
2021: Lost Children #1

Jun 28, 2018

At the core of Statix Press' "2021: Lost Children" is the decline of American empire and the United States' corollary descent from (small 'd') democratic principles.

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9.0
Abbott #3

Mar 29, 2018

The panel layout for "Ball of Confusion"/Abbott #3 is exquisite. There will be moments where the images or even the panel arrangements themselves will provide powerful cues to the reader that can reveal clues to the mystery in advance of the protagonist's discovery. This is the kind of stuff that makes us feel like little kids reading our first comic under the cover of darkness with a dying flashlight. 4.5/5.

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9.0
Abbott #5

Jun 1, 2018

"Abbott" is sort of like a flying time machine. It whisks through 1970s Detroit in one instance but can quickly and authentically pivot into the netherworld of the undead in another. It has brought its readers on a journey through 1970s Detroit, the world beyond and back - with an extraordinary amount of agility and care. And most importantly, Ahmed and company have delivered a denouement that resolves many of the series' most complicated questions even as it leaves readers wanting more and more. [Insert applause sound effects here].

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7.0
Avengers (2018) #1

May 3, 2018

It will be interesting to see and read more into this world where an ancient iteration of earth's mightiest heroes might shed light on how today's Avengers can manage the re-emergence of the Celestials - maybe one of Jack Kirby's most underused creations.

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6.0
Batman and the Signal #3

Apr 25, 2018

The Narrows, a neighborhood in Gotham that is "underserved," is the setting for this miniseries. It may remind more seasoned readers of the inner city worlds built in the Milestone Media days. For these reasons and many more, The Signal and Static Shock demand to be united in a buddy series. Or, maybe The Signal could lead the team of Robins (past and present) in an ongoing monthly dedicated to Batman's more pedagogical inclinations. The point is, DC needs more of The Signal in its monthly offerings. Maybe the perceived let down in the finale of this three-issue arc is simply a clarion call for more stories centering this interesting character in the Batman universe.

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7.0
Black AF: Widows and Orphans #1

Apr 26, 2018

Again, the concept here is solid and at times compelling. It fits well within the story world that Osajyefo and Smith 3 are building. But there are moments and panels in this issue where the story is confounded by characters popping up out of nowhere or where the scene itself might benefit from some kind of exposition.

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7.0
Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #5

Mar 8, 2018

Easy access to these alien AR-15's makes life more lethally violent for the police, Black Lightning and all of the citizens on the west side of Cleveland. In this issue Black Lightening confronts Tobias Whale in a spectacular battle that spans most of the issue. In their exchanges readers will hear more about Tobias' diabolical plans and learn more about how comics can make important social justice interventions in our world. 3.5/5.

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9.0
Black Panther (2016) #170

Mar 1, 2018

For all of these reasons, people will be entering the world of Wakanda (maybe via the film) through this issue. This is a good thing because if you find the story too far along or if you get frustrated with some of the references that operate just beyond your world of understanding, the interview between Coates and Ryan Coogler published in the letters page " "Down with the King" " is well worth the price of the ticket this month.

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9.0
Black Panther (2016) Annual #1

Feb 22, 2018

Black Panther Annual #1 proves the two most important features of the Black Panther character and the world of Wakanda. 1) There are still many amazing stories to be told about BP and the entire cast of characters in that world " some of whom have yet to even be created. And 2) Wakanda isn't and never was a utopia or some kind of dystopian commentary on the limitations of our trite utopian ideologies.

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8.0
Black Panther: Long Live The King #6

Mar 2, 2018

Black Panther LLK #6 ultimately raises more questions and leaves many more questions unanswered about Wakanda, it's relationship to other nations on the continent and the national/continental responsibilities of a superhero who also happens to be a political ruler. In this sense, it is not an ending of Ngozi's story as much as it is a beginning.

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8.0
Blackwood #2

Jul 5, 2018

The temptation to shorthand Dark Horse's Blackwood as "Scooby Doo" meets "Harry Potter" is almost overwhelming. Except Blackwood, written by Evan Dorkin and visualized by Veronica and Andy Fish, isn't either of these classic serial narratives. It isn't some mash-up of them either, although it has the perfect amount of elements of both. Blackwood is the story of a strange group of teens " or a group of teens who have had some strange experiences (of the mortal variety).

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9.0
Border Town #2

Oct 3, 2018

Border Town #2 gives us a bit of background on Quinteh " one of the weirder characters in a cast of teens and otherworldly monsters. Quinteh isn't a wrestler per se, but he does wear a luchador mask to school " and everywhere apparently " every day. The flashback in issue two gives readers some insight, but the backstory only opens the door to more lore for the series and for this character. Wearing a mask, literally in this case, is how Quinteh is able to get through his days in Devil's Fork, Arizona " the setting of Border Town and a character unto itself. But like all else in Esquivel's wonderful world, "wearing masks" is also a figurative activity through which the wearer invites people to see what they want to see. Famous poet, Paul L. Dunbar once wrote: "we wear the mask that grins and lies . . ."

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8.0
Border Town #4

Dec 6, 2018

Maybe the most important border in border town isn't about identity or country; it isn't about who we hate or why we hate. The most significant border in border town is between life and death " the border that separates this world from the netherworld. This is the border that has been breached in Bordertown #4 and the invasion that ensues will be the challenge that defines this series and irrevocably reshapes the lives of these super cool teen-aged protagonists and their adorable little monster sidekick.

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8.0
Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #10

Sep 12, 2018

There is more philosophical and existential substance to be considered in "Soul Engine," but the comic works without taking time out of your reading experience to visit Google every other panel. Al Barrionuevo's pencils are powerful and they are well enhanced by Matt Banning and Roberto Poggi's inks, as well as Jamie Grant's vivid coloring. The result is a book that is more than the sum of its parts " when it needs to be.

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8.0
Crude #2

May 17, 2018

Crude isn't a superhero comic per se. It cannot be easily categorized as a vigilante book, or detective noir or any defined category reserved for modern comics. It's geo-political ambitions combined with its gloomy and gory viewpoint on the world will entice readers into the underground confines of the story's dark setting. Obviously crude oil comes from beneath the surface, but in the world of "Crude" so does everything else.

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5.0
Cyborg (2016) #21

Apr 5, 2018

The concept of a disembodied Black man sutured together with alien tech and fragments of his own body is a rich one for any genre. But sometimes, reading a Cyborg comic is like watching a sequence of missed opportunities - unfolding panel-by-panel and page-by-page.

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9.0
Dark Ark #7

Jun 7, 2018

The drama vested in "Beneath the Surface" has been building up for months, so while I HIGHLY recommend reading anything with this crafty title, Dark Ark #7 and the series itself warrants your full attention.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #983

Jun 27, 2018

Batman's world is a dark place "where there is an endless supply of criminals preying on the most vulnerable populations. "On the Outside" seems to be set to remind us of Batman's primary predicament as a vigilante superhero: there never really is an inside track for justice in a world where evil lurks around every dark city corner.

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8.0
Eternity #4

Feb 1, 2018

There are many worlds within Eternity that should be revisited by Divinity, Myshka, and hopefully other stars of the Valiant universe. Only in this issue will readers get some hints as to how that might look in an unknown future. That said, Kindt, Hairsine and company provide a fitting ending to an ambitious miniseries, and what they might create going forward could be very interesting. At the thematic core of Eternity is the act of creation " whether that be the creation of a child, the creation of a universe or the creation of a comic book. Matt Kindt' s ability to thread these matters of creation into an original story about the balance of the universe makes this issue - and the series - worth a good look.

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6.0
Ether: Copper Golems #1

May 16, 2018

Once in the Ether, Boone's personality is markedly different. He is almost bubbly. He even looks a little different in the Ether than he does on earth. Here again, David Rubin's artwork is subtle and compelling. Even if the story and the character of the protagonist seem to be overused staples of comics and film, Rubin's pencils help to make the world of Ether something all its own. 3/5.

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8.0
Exiles (2018) #3

May 11, 2018

Wolverine is literally a cartoon caricature of himself, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) is a bitter, wizened variation of the optimistic teen we see in the primary, Namor (not on the team) is a 70's style hipster in the age of Aquarius. There's more, but suffice it to say that Saladin Ahmed, one of the most gifted writers in comics, is delivering something delightful for comics fans: innovative variation on old ideas.

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9.0
Faith: Dreamside #2

Nov 1, 2018

By the end of issue #2 it is still unclear what exactly awaits Faith and company on the Dreamside, but the setup for the story thus far is so well done that readers will not want this ride to end any time soon. 4.5/5

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8.0
Falcon (2017) #6

Mar 15, 2018

Not that readers will need any additional incentives to try this book at this point in the story arc, but the fact that Misty Knight enters the story here and that her history is neatly packaged for folks unfamiliar with her Black girl majesty, simply makes this book and the entire series that much better. For readers (or film goers) who may think of the Falcon as a derivative character by nature " or creation, this series is being written in a way to deliberately disabuse us all of that notion.

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7.0
God Complex (2017) #6

Jun 21, 2018

This is heady stuff for the comic book genre and that's ok. God Complex wrestles with a world caught up in the powerful forces of technology and divinity. Whether or not, or how, Seneca will navigate those forces is a story readers will want to stick around to see through to its end.

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8.0
Green Lanterns #40

Feb 7, 2018

Finally, if like so many readers, you have recently decided to "break-up" with superhero comics produced by the "Big Two" because of the endless iterations and/or revisions of your favorite characters' storylines, than you might also appreciate Seeley's meta-comic approach to these challenges to the cohesion of your favorite superhero universe. The meta-narrative here isn't forced; there's no breaking of the fourth wall or any other gimmick set in motion to cover for the vagaries of the comic book marketplace. Instead, characters explain it away with logical, summary dialogue.

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8.0
Ice Cream Man #2

Feb 22, 2018

Martin Morazzo has a visual knack for depicting Prince's weird, horrifying and somehow fleeting world of small town Americans steeped in a fantasy gothic swirl of death, decay, and human destruction. The series may not end up being as dark (and maybe depressing for some) as issue #2 is, but it has certainly established its capacity to comfortably live, breath, and die in the darkest corners of this strange world. 4/5.

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8.0
Incognegro: Renaissance #2

Mar 9, 2018

In "Incognegro: Renaissance" #2 readers continue to follow the trail that Pinchback is on in order to uncover the murder mystery. Along the way and through a small but engaging cast of characters, we can all learn a bit more about the complexities of racial identity and the arbitrary nature of the rigid racial lines that continue to define the world in which we live. 4/5.

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7.0
Infinity 8 #1

Mar 21, 2018

For readers interested in adding a sci-fi-space odyssey title to their pull list, Infinity 8 should be a welcome addition. It's not as dark or heavy as Low; and it isn't as overwhelming in its alterity as Black Science. This is a lighter " and in some ways " a more exploratory story, with a budding sense of humor that will distinguish it from these other popular titles. Even if sci-fi comics aren't your "thing," the comic timing and perfect placement of the "twip twip" sound of Yoko's genomic scanner makes this title worth a good look.

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8.0
Kick-Ass (2018) #2

Mar 19, 2018

If the stakes of this iteration of Kick-Ass seem higher that's because they are. Patience Lee is a dynamic, likable, if slightly reluctant, hero who is kicking ass with a decidedly deliberate purpose. She is the Robin Hood we need right now.

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9.0
Kill Or Be Killed #16

Feb 14, 2018

Kill or be Killed #16 isn't so much about the killing or that Dylan might be killed if he doesn't satisfy his deal with the demon to kill serially, but more about Dylan's state of mind. This sounds crazy, but bringing Dylan's story into a mental health institution opens up a series of ways through which readers will connect with Dylan - even if we don't see our demons.

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10
LaGuardia #1

Nov 8, 2018

"Laguardia" is a beautiful book. And it is rewarding to see and read this level of artistic collaboration dedicated to such an important story. "Laguardia" is essential reading for our times. Okorafor is challenging us to be better citizens " better humans. Read this book and accept the challenge.

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8.0
Legion (2018) #1

Jan 26, 2018

Enter Dr. Hannah Jones, psycho-therapist to the stars, who is emerging as a media star in her own right " doing tv interviews and featured in Ebony and New Yorker magazine profiles. She is the perfect ally for Legion but he has to get to her before Lord Trauma does. Milligan and Torres have accomplished a near perfect set-up for the series in their opening salvo. The story line moves like Legion's mind and the kinetic rendering of the visuals is an appropriate extension of Legion's artistic origins. Readers will want to stick around for what looks to be a wild psychological trip through Legion's mind.

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8.0
Lost City Explorers #3

Aug 15, 2018

The mythology of underground, lost societies are ubiquitous across time, region and cultures for many reasons. Maybe the most significant reason for these myths is that lost cities are often a reflection of our own histories and realities. They relate stories of unchecked technological advancements, utopias gone wrong, and how greed undermines the true potential of human advancement. The Lost City is often a signifier for our own social failures in reality. And, true to form, there are some hints of that kind of reality mirror for Hel and crew in The Lost City Explorers.

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8.4
Man-Eaters #3

Nov 30, 2018

Maneaters is as serious as "Bitch Planet" but as much fun as "Riverdale." In so many ways, it is the perfect comic for our gender regressive times. 4.25/5

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8.0
Mata Hari (2018) #2

Mar 22, 2018

Ultimately the beauty of Beeby's story so far " and especially evident in this issue " is that you have to be prepared to set aside your reader's impulse to figure out everything. Suspend that habit for a bit and do your best to figure in to the majestic world of the Mata Hari.

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9.0
Mister Miracle #7

Mar 16, 2018

Imagine a comic book that is set almost entirely in a hospital room; it's about a mother giving birth and a father bearing witness. Aside from the birth itself, the only other real action here is choosing a name for the baby " a hilarious process that once again underscores Tom King's wizardry with the written word.

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8.0
Mister Miracle #8

Apr 19, 2018

This is the kind of comic book creativity that appeals to the mature comic book fan " not that the younger set won't read and love this series; they will. But for readers who have been reading comics for decades; for those who have families and/or are having and raising families right now, the experiences detailed in the endearing relationship between Scott Free and Big Barda are designed to make folks who are married with children feel like the heroic gods they sometimes have to be.

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9.0
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #36

Oct 25, 2018

Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a monthly reminder to us all of what good comics have always been about " and for whom good comics were originally made.

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9.0
Moon Knight (2017) #198

Aug 30, 2018

If there ever is a Moon Knight movie or streaming series, this story will have to be a part of the narrative. The real reward for readers " especially any long-time fans of this character " is that this creative team is clearly invested in establishing some plausible coherence to the various iterations and incarnations of the Moon Knight character over the character's long, complex history. The kind of continuity that this arc will ultimately establish does what all good stories are designed to do: make way for even more good stories.

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9.0
Motherlands #5

May 24, 2018

Motherlands is a sci-fi, spacey thriller featuring contract killers and killer technology conglomerates whose tangled webs of corruption and evildoing only really matter, because family matters. Or, more specifically, the relationships between family (and lovers) matter most in this issue and likely in the series itself.

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9.0
Motor Crush #11

Apr 5, 2018

The writers (and letterers) of Motor Crush have devised a uniquely nightmarish version of our social media society.

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8.0
Nancy Drew (2018) #2

Jul 13, 2018

Kelly Thompson (and Co.'s) version of Nancy Drew will likely be the definitive version of this character for a generation or more. The story is smart and so is the art. Nancy Drew #2 has a big heart and a good sense of humor " some qualities that are not easy to achieve in a moment where cynicism reigns supreme. Getting on board here at issue #2 is no disadvantage to readers, but with characters as classic as Nancy Drew, in the hands of these capable creators, it might not hurt to follow the series for every clue you can get. 4/5.

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9.0
Peek-A-Boo #4

Jun 20, 2018

One of the reasons why Peek-A-Boo is such a satisfying read is that the creative team wields an adept grasp of the comic book form, showcasing an uncanny ability to exploit the form for horrific effect. Each panel and every splash page is positioned for maximum effect. And maximum here doesn't necessarily mean big and bloody. Sometimes the best effects in horror rely on what you can see and what you cannot or when you can see something and/or from what perspective you can actually see it. This is the triumph of Peek-A-Boo. It's a visual hide-and-seek horror story, deftly executed in comic book form.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2017) #19

Aug 2, 2018

Dynamite's Red Sonja represents a moment of triumph for this genre of comics and for a series that features one of the most interesting heroines in any comic book universe.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2017) #23

Nov 29, 2018

Roberto Castro and Salvatore Aiala (studio) deliver classic kinetic visuals that magically capture the wit, brute force, and sexuality of the character without reducing Red Sonja's heroic stature in any way. It will be interesting to see and read where goes and who she conquers next. This book continues to deliver interested stories with compelling art work each and every month.

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8.0
Shadowman (2018) #3

May 23, 2018

Valiant's "Shadowman" is back with the vengeance of a disrespected loa and issue #3 shows no signs of slowing down what has already been a fast-paced narrative complete with dizzying shifts between the worlds of the living and the dead.

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8.0
Sink #4

Jan 25, 2018

The most striking feature of Sink #4 is the coloring by Alex Cormack and Lisa Moore. The shifting palettes from bright days to dark nightmarish nights are jarring and at times disturbing for the reader. And once the blood starts to flow it flows beautifully and unceasingly. Folks familiar with the world of Sinkhill will be happy to encounter Mr. Dig again. Mr. Dig is maybe the most enigmatic vigilante in comics since Batman, and his schooling of the "Young Team" forms the moral kernel of this scary tale.

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9.0
Skyward (2018) #4

Jul 18, 2018

Skyward earns the near universal praise that it receives. But one of the most attractive aspects of this story is the clarity of the storytelling itself. Garbett and Fabela's visuals are always on point and each panel is particularly tailored to Henderson's razor sharp script. No words wasted. Each panel is like a grasp for gravity in a world where the power of/over gravity is the rarest of resources. The absence of gravity isn't exactly Skyward's franchise. Instead the franchise of the series is grounded in an intricate study of what all can (and cannot) happen in a world where gravity is absent.

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8.0
The Gravediggers Union #6

May 2, 2018

In this world, shovels and other digging tools are much more important than guns " or any of the more traditional superpowers. The rudimentary nature of our heroes' association(s) and their basic mortal toolbox underwrite a narrative that feels more real than most horror oriented fiction in the marketplace at the moment. This doesn't preclude this issue from being tons of fun: a hell-bent cult, straight out of the Eyes Wide Shut wardrobe room, faces off against an army of unionized grisly gravediggers over a space monkey hidden in plain sight at the Coney Island zoo. Horror comics don't get any better than this.

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7.0
The Last Siege #1

May 30, 2018

Walker and Greenwood have built something that is both dark and timeless. "The Last Seige" could be pre-history or post-apocalyptic, medieval or modern fantasy.

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7.0
The Silencer #2

Mar 2, 2018

And ultimately the images and the imagery are what make this book "pullable" from month to month. John Romita Jr's pencils are brilliant. It is nearly impossible to view his artwork without seeing the rich history of classic comics that he has worked on over the years. Romita Jr.'s work carries with it the visual gravitas of a stellar career drawn across platforms, in and around the worlds of your favorite superheroes. The Silencer inherits some of this magic and puts it to good use in this compelling issue.

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8.0
The Terrifics #2

Mar 28, 2018

There are reasons why this team is together but readers won't know why just yet; they will simply learn that this is a team that is bound together. A clue to this mystery might be connected to a guest "appearance" of Tom Strong. Fans of this Alan Moore creation can only hope that the kind of wonder with which Tom Strong's origins were told will continue to be one of the key influences on this really good book. 4/5!

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9.0
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #12

Oct 11, 2018

It is actually sad to see/read the conclusion of this comic book. It's that good. Cray's ultimate target is Diana Prince. Assassinating Green Arrow, Flash, and Aquaman is one thing, but Wonder Woman? Enough spoilers. The conclusion to the series is as satisfying as it can be. You'll need to read Michael Cray " all twelve issues to best appreciate the craft of Bryan Hill's vision. Surely there will be a TPB that will collect them all soon, but do yourself a favor and pick these gems up now.

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