Chris Beveridge's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Fandom Post Reviews: 2192
8.0Avg. Review Rating

8.4
5 Ronin #1

Apr 4, 2011

Milligan does a solid job writing this and has largely done his homework, but it's Coker's artwork that really sells it even more. The style, the angular look with certain character designs at times, the heavy darks and the general roughness of it all is very inviting and gives it an authentic feel that heightens the atmosphere.

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8.4
A-Force #1

May 21, 2015

I'm doing my best to keep my Secret Wars books to a minimum, but A-Force is easily a must check out book.

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8.4
A-Force #2

Jul 2, 2015

Though not quite as bright and outwardly appealing as the first installment was, A-Force has a solid second issue that reveals more of the problems plaguing the area – both with the rifts and the way the society works. The cast is large enough that most everyone gets their moments, several with good quips that stand out or just expressions that says a lot, but it also means that we don't get a lot of really meaningful material. Most of what we get comes from Nico and the newcomer as Nico rambles on about things, but even there it's still somewhat superficial. But the book is a smooth and fun read with a great cast performing mostly as you'd expect, just with a few tweaks for the concept of the event series overall. While it won't get me to read the book when it launches post-Secret Wars, I'm definitely enjoying what we get here in this otherworld.

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7.0
A-Force #3

Aug 14, 2015

Though I'm still enjoying A-Force a good deal I'm also at that stage where it's feeling like this part of the act is weak as there are so few answers still. The action component of it is good and there's some good emotional moments as well as it hits the right beats but there's too many unknowns.

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7.0
A-Force #4

Sep 10, 2015

A-Force moves along well here in bringing parts of the story to conclusion and all we're left with for the next round is a whole lot of holding the forces of evil at bay as long as they can. There's plenty to like with it as several of the characters get to do a little speech material, such as Loki and Nico, and there's some decent if brief moments for Singularity as well with all her child-like ways in this world. The concept overall is one that I like, and I really like the characters and setting, but the execution has boiled it all down to something simple and something that you expected simply because Loki is Loki, no matter what.

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8.4
Action Comics #900

Apr 26, 2011

I've been a big Superman fan for the past twenty-five years since he was rebooted and it's a love that will never die. Contrary to the way many comic fans seem to feel, I don't find this character to be too powerful, to disconnected from people or too bland to be interesting to read. He's the eternal boy scout in the eyes of many, but it's not been so clear cut for many years now and these shades of gray that have entered have been fun. Between the supporting cast that always grows and the core characters themselves which have evolved well over the years, Superman is a character that still resonates for me. I liked the main story here pretty well and it makes me wish I had seen some of the previous issues rather than jumping in with this one. But it was very easy to get into it, very accessible, and it had a number of good, if short, supplemental stories that adds to the overall Superman mythos by people who have a real love of it.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

Action Comics has a very hard road ahead of it because of how it's going to redefine his origin, but it allows for a lot of fun as well if it's done right. Morrison does a decent job here of laying down the basics while trying to have things actually happen, which was the main complaint about the first issue of Justice League. The flip side is that things do seem rushed here, but it fits with the personality we're seeing from Superman in that he wants to be a man of action, to get things done and make things right.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #2

Oct 6, 2011

I've really been very curious and very much dreading the reworking of Superman's origin story and while I liked aspects of the first issue, the costuming and personality left me even more uncertain. With this issue, it shifts things up to a really intriguing section of the five years earlier storyline with Luthor's involvement, his first encounter with the ship that may or may not have brought him to Earth and a look at the overarching villain that may be orchestrating things against Superman. There is a lot of ground covered here with some really neat little twists and even Superman's personality is starting to grow on me more as his captivity here really worked well in getting me closer to him. Between this and the main Superman book in the present, I still haven't gotten a real handle on who he is, but both of them are making me want to know more about him.

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8.4
Action Comics (2011) #3

Nov 7, 2011

With the reworked origin of Superman being one of the more delicate areas to handle in the post-Flashpoint universe, I'm very glad to see that they're taking some good chances here in really changing some key parts of his origin while also sticking to things that work well. The new incarnation of the Krypton story is one that I hope we get more of because I love the visual design of it all and want to see more. At the same time, I'm really enjoying the young Clark storyline because it gives us such a different view of him. He doesn't have many Superman moments here which is unfortunate, but getting more into who he is at this stage is important, especially as it contrasts where he is in the other main Superman book, which holds some similar and familiar emotional echoes for him. This is definitely one of the few books that's a same-day purchase for me for as long as they do the five years earlier arc.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #4

Dec 8, 2011

Action Comics doesn't have much in the way of meat here, but it does tantalize a bit more. Luthor's reactions to how the alien is going against what he agreed to with it is amusing, but all it does is reinforce in his mind that aliens are bad and not to be trusted. The use of Corben and Irons helps to build the supporting cast from the start of Superman's career rather than later additions and we get to see how Lois is handling some of these changes in a personal way. The Terminauts are kind of all right overall, but I do like that it's working its magic fairly well when it comes to the capture and acquisition of artifacts and other things since it's classic Braniac overall, just with some mild tweaks. I'm still expecting a twist or two along the way, but this issue delivers decently with what it wants to do, it just doesn't completely captivate or draw you in totally.

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8.4
Adam.3 #1

Aug 5, 2015

Adam.3 is one of those series that offers up a lot of teases and quirks that are interesting, such as some of the naming conventions that go on, the .3 of the title itself, and just the nature of the whole natural environment and technology that's included which leaves you wanting to know more of the world building. It's a little rough getting into Adam's speech patterns at first and interacting with the other creatures on the island, but as it progresses it starts to come together better and, while never feeling natural to me, flows in a way that makes a lot of sense. The book has a kind of simplicity to it in terms of story so far, but it's something that works to its advantage because of the quirks and teases that come into play that gives hope that it's something more. This is a beautiful looking book that has Kolins using his talent and technique in a great way, giving it some fantastic vibrancy and life about it that draws you into it. I'm definitely all in for what I hope is the

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8.4
Adam.3 #2

Sep 2, 2015

Adam.3 has a strong second installment that builds upon what we've gotten so far and manages to make it even more engaging and intriguing. This is the kind of book that I wish was hitting weekly in digital form because there's so much that I want to know and see explored that waiting a month for a new installment makes me get anxious.

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8.4
Adam.3 #3

Oct 7, 2015

Javier Garcia-Miranda

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8.4
Adam.3 #4

Nov 25, 2015

Adam.3 has a very solid issue here as the emotional impact of what's going on is given a bit more weight and we see the final turn with Adam that's leading into the finale for this miniseries next time around. It's another book that really does take Kolins strength in design and layout combined with the energy coming from the movement of the characters and just paints it beautifully. His writing style feels a bit more streamlined here as well, giving it a smoother flow with just a touch less jargon – or perhaps it's just becoming more comfortable to read after four installments. The finale is definitely something to look forward to and I'm already excited to read this again in full in one sitting to really take all of the energy from it and run with it.

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7.0
Adventure Comics Vol. 2 #5

Apr 28, 2011

This issue is a bit of a mixed bag but just watching Superboy-Prime go through the emotional spectrum is worth it.

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7.0
Adventure Comics Vol. 2 #7

Apr 29, 2011

As a Blackest Night tie-in, Adventure Comics is pretty decent here as it covers what it's like from the inside of someone who is controlled by one of the rings. After the events of the fifth issue of Blackest Night, we got a clearer picture of what's going with those that Nekron can control, so this one separates us from the main story for a bit to focus on just a couple of characters and only one that's been controlled. I've generally liked Conner Kent, he was my favorite during the Reign of the Superman arc way, way back, and this story works nicely overall, though it again highlights just how convoluted a character can get over the years, almost to the point where it's just plain silly and too easy to manipulate.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #1

Jan 26, 2016

The Adventures of Supergirl is a book I'm looking forward to because I enjoy the character but really don't want to get involved in the mainstream sprawl of the DC universe. Heck, I don't even know where this character stands, if at all, in the current continuity as I prefer the fringe and disconnected books. So getting a weekly taste of the character – from Sterling Gates no less – with some really great artwork and color work from Bengal is like the best of both worlds. Though there's far too much familiar for me here, it does what it has to and it does it well and that's what counts. I'm excited to see what's next.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #2

Feb 9, 2016

Now that we're getting into things more on its own and not just trying to introduce the concepts of the series, Adventures of Supergirl is clicking a whole lot better. There's definitely an ease and familiarity to the character that we get from Sterling's writing simply because he gets it and he gets her, just tweaked to this incarnation. Bengal's art is once again a delight, though I'll admit some frustration that we really don't get a lot of great views of Kara's face as she's often turning away or surrounded by so much text so as to be overwhelmed by it. I'm digging his artwork and the layouts in general but it just needs a little more to really drive home Kara, her costume, and the presence that she has.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #3

Feb 23, 2016

The Adventures of Supergirl is fitting in smoothly as a guilty pleasure of sorts because it's able to work off of a lot of what's established in the show without having to do a ton of heavy lifting. We know the Fort Rozz side and this gives us a bit of a look at it before it went to hell. I like Caren and Moyer's story even if it has a few obvious plot holes to it and that it's so info heavy. But once again, Bengal is able to just drive it home in an engaging way with some great visuals and layouts that has such a dynamic design to it that the book just feels full of energy. This is a great little bi-weekly diversion of fun and lightness in the right tone of the show, something that could be difficult to capture well. I'm curious to see where the rest of the run will go and am definitely on board for the right.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #4

Mar 8, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl sets us up on a fun new arc here that ties into characters that I enjoy and like to see how they can be re-interpreted. I'd certainly like to see how they could work this into the actual TV storyline as well since VRIL is a character that I just adore. Gates continues to find the right balance here in going for familiar comic concepts while sticking to the style and tone of the show as well as some of the name dropping and the like. Meyers' design in this issue is solid as well and it fits with what's being sought here, something fun and upbeat with an excitement and dynamic feeling about it that also just has the right color tones, with Rauch nails perfectly. It's an easily accessible book in the classic sense but delivers for longtime character fans as well.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #5

Mar 22, 2016

Since the first storyline was three installments I figured we'd get more of the same here so this one just felt a little rushed by wrapping it up in two. I like the expansion on Winn's life with some of what he's been involved in over the years and I loved the off the cuff turtle reference from Kara in regards to James, a delightful little nod for the fans. With "classic" Vril Dox being a favorite of mine, this incarnation certainly isn't bad but it's not something that's going to excite me terribly, particularly considering the sad state of anything "Legion" related in the DCU at this point in time. Sterling captures the feel of the series well once again and Mhan's artwork is spot on with some great spreads and layouts that made it fun to just look over for the artwork alone.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #6

Apr 5, 2016

Sterling Gates puts together a solid enough story here to carry it through and I definitely enjoyed it. But what really made me love it was Emanuela Lupacchino's artwork. Combined with the solid inks from McCarthy and a fantastic round of color work from Hi-Fi that just takes it all to another level, the book simply looks gorgeous through and through. I've liked what we've seen before to be sure with the previous artists, but Lupacchino brings a little something different with her details, the layouts, and just the feminine touch that raises it to another level. Great stuff all around.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #7

Apr 21, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl delivers a certain kind of story that I'm looking for as a book that complements the TV show. Normally I avoid these kinds of books as I've avoided Flash and Arrow's digital tie-in books, but Supergirl is the kind of character that makes me want to read more about her without having to dig into the bigger DC Universe. Gates again nails the character right here and you can easily imagine Melissa Benoist going through all of this. And yes, I want a Bombshells TV episode. Lupacchino and McCarthy have been among some of my favorite artists of the past year with things they've worked on and both of them definitely bring a lot to this book with some great layouts with fun designs while working through a great range of mini-concept pieces for the character. Good fun all around that leaves me wanting more.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #8

May 5, 2016

The series continues to be a good bit of fun with what it does and this issue is no exception, even if it is mostly setup for what's to come. I like the larger narrative that Gates is putting together as it really does blend well with Kara's discovery phase in the first season of the TV series. It also doesn't hurt to have a good bit of Kryptonian thrown around in here, something that the show needs to grab onto and work with. It's also a solid installment with Carmen Carnero on board for the artwork as she has some good panel layouts throughout and a very good flow for the dialogue, especially in that driving sequence. Definitely a good bit of fun that has me interested in seeing what's next in store for them.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #9

May 19, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl has a solid enough entry here though I'll admit wishing it had a bit more meat to it. But it sort of follows the TV show design in that the end of the arcs is where the stronger material is when it comes to the story, leaving the rest of it for good character interaction material (check) and solid action material (and check). Gates got the flow of this book early on for obvious reasons and Carnero has been a solid entry to the artists that we've had with it, resulting in some great layouts and an overall strong sense of impact with the fight sequences themselves. Good stuff all around.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #10

Jun 1, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl sets a lot of details of the past into place here that I hope either works off of the series bible from the show or that the show will adapt into it at some point. There's definitely a richness to work with and it's a solid expansion of the overall mythos that explains the variety of aliens at play in Fort Rozz that Kara has to deal with. While the progress of the book detours a bit here for all the exposition and flashback material, it at least provides more foundations for the series as a whole. Gates continues to work Kara well here and seems to be getting a better handle on Alex as well, though I really just want an issue with the two women out and about having fun with no real problems to face. The addition of Cat Staggs to the book feels like a bit of an ill fit for me, but I know I'll be in the minority in that department. Mostly it comes from the whole likenesses aspect and that there isn't a strong narrative for Kara here to work with.

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8.0
Adventures of Supergirl #11

Jun 16, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl has a fairly fun installment this time around as it plays to the noise and chaos of an attack on the DEO from within that was orchestrated from without. I like the tension that continues to play at this stage between Kara and Hank as there are still too many secrets, though some can be argued easily to being kept for a range of reason. I really just want an issue of Kara and Alex hanging out watching TV and shooting the breeze, but until then we get solidly plotted and laid out books like this one with a healthy dose of action and chaos. Vieceli is a solid illustator to be sure and she feels very at home in how this book is presented, both in the layouts and capturing some of the real world people playing these roles but adapting them into this form. A little back and forth to be sure but the end results are solid.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #12

Jun 30, 2016

Though I've largely enjoyed Adventures of Supergirl as it's rolled out, it's been a little uneven and spread out in a way that made it hard to really connect with in a big way. As we near the end of the current run there's a lot to like and this chapter in particular worked really well for me. Digging into Alex's past helped a good bit, whether it's retained in the show or not, and seeing the connection with Rampage that she makes hits all the right notes. With some great work from Vieceli in bringing it to life and a great look all around with color design, the book is finding its groove when it digs into its characters and reveals the hard choices. That said, I'd still love an issue of the sisters just hanging out shooting the breeze for a while and fleshing them out in lighter tones.

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8.4
Adventures of Supergirl #13

Jul 14, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl was a pretty fun book to read and my first TV tie-in as part of what's airing currently. I haven't dipped into the Flash and Arrow series simply because they didn't appeal to me in seeing expanded works. Supergirl, on the other hand, felt like it needed the support and I wanted to be a paying voice toward seeing more of Kara's adventures in some form with this continuity that's been created. I like what Sterling Gates did overall though I'd like to see it go in different and smaller directions the next time around. There are limitations when working with a tie-in, however, so I know it doesn't follow the traditional path. With some fun artwork overall and a very solid closing run with Emma Vieceli on board, it ended strong and definitely has me curious to see if we'll get more as I know I'll be back for it.

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8.0
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1

Jun 3, 2015

The Spinosaurus goes on a lengthy journey here and it's a very packed piece when you get down to it with lots of small panels, lots of dinosaurs and lots of brief moments of intense action as they live and survive. It's not your traditional journey when you get down to it, which makes sense considering the nature of the material being told, but once you settle into the style of it all and become more and more engaged with it, you really find yourself drawn to it and what it's telling. I also liked the small corner artwork we get on most of the pages along the lower right that brings in a variety of creatures itself. This is a really curious book, one that's going to challenge in some ways what you get out of it, but it's one that's left me curious to see just how strong the overall narrative is.

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8.0
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #2

Jul 1, 2015

Delgado continues to put in some beautiful work here, full of detail, that really brings it to life in an engaging way and forces the reader to really try and adjust to this mindset of the material.

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8.0
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #3

Aug 5, 2015

Age of Reptiles has what feels like its most violent installment yet with what goes on here and that certainly ratchets up the terrifying nature of it all. The way the book spends more of its time at night here definitely helps to set the tone and that kind of murky look to the world with how it does it just shows how much harder it is to discern what dangers there are out there for these creatures. It's a stark and brutal look at life in the age of reptiles and one that's exciting and challenging to read in many ways. I'm definitely enjoying the book but I continue to struggle with it as well as I try to wrap my own sensibilities around the actions of these creatures and their quest to survive another day.

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8.0
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #4

Sep 2, 2015

While we get dinosaurs in comics once in awhile it's even rarer to get what feels like a true dinosaur story brought to comes " or any other medium " like what Delgado has done here. Definitely an experience worth having.

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8.4
Alien Legion: Uncivil War #1

Sep 23, 2014

I'll easily admit that I'm going into this with a little bit of fanboyism and a healthy dose of nostalgia based on what I read in the past. And also a nod towards the creative team here as both Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman simply know their stuff in constructing the big picture Legion stories and making the cast accessible as it goes on. The opening arc here is very rough for anyone not familiar with the concept and design, which is why we really recommend picking those books up as well because they're awesome. Uncivil War has a hard road to hoe as it starts here, but the further in I got, the more I was reminded why I adored those early books. This one sets up a big event that's underway, throws Force Nomad into it and lets the chips fall where they may. I'm excited to see what's yet to come and hope for a whole lot more.

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8.0
Alien Legion: Uncivil War #2

Oct 23, 2014

While I'm still not invested heavily in the story of the Harkilons, especially as what we learned in the first issue is put to the side here to focus on the action, I'm enjoying the overall nature of the book with what it's doing and how it's trying to tell a solid action story within an enviroment we don't see often. It's filled with an array of characters that are going through the grunt level aspect of the fight, being what Force Nomad is, and we do get a little taste of some of the high level politics and operation aspects as well, but for the most part it's just a mad dash of action and chaos. Dixon's script keeps it moving but you don't really connect with the characters, which is unfortunate since it doesn't have enough of a foundation here. Stroman's art definitely makes for a visual delight across the board as he handles such a wide array of characters and locales. Hopefully things come together tight in the next two issues.

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7.0
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1

Oct 8, 2014

After the enjoyment I got out of the Aliens: Fire and Stone series, I was definitely keen on checking out more. This series seems like it's being released too soon though as it takes place after the events of the fourth Prometheus: Fire and Stone issue and that has me wondering how much this spoils that since I haven't read that yet. The combination of multiple alien races here definitely provides for some good material and action, but there's a disconnect for me since I have no real clue who Galgo and Francis are and there's no real exposition to clue us in to it all with why they're in the situation they're in.

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7.0
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2

Nov 5, 2014

Having Francis as our only human contact here isn't exactly the best thing as it's hard to like him and I'm not actively rooting for him to survive considering some of the actions he took back on LV-223. With this issue, it's more about Elden and the Predators for the most part as Francis tries to survive and find a way to push back against them to ensure his survival. Elden's just as bad as Francis in a lot of ways as he talks a whole lot and is just generally unlikable for different reasons, but he at least has a reason to be ticked about everything. Yet with what he's become, you'd hope that he'd find a more constructive way of moving forward beyond something so base as revenge itself.

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7.0
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #3

Dec 3, 2014

While I enjoy pieces of this series overall, it's definitely the book that I'm struggling with the most. And a lot of that is simply due to Elden as he's just near impossible to take seriously. There's a lot of things going on here as each character basically has his own mini arc with an agenda and end goal and they cross paths often enough. You almost just want to blow up the ship to be done with it all in a way so that none of what they are or are becoming will get anywhere else. Galgo has the weakest part here, but that means he's likely going to have a bigger role for the finale. I'm definitely curious as to what will go on now that we have three races infected by the accelerant and what their different transformations will bring about, but all we're seeing so far is that it makes them crazy and crazy strong. A very bad combination.

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7.0
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #4

Jan 14, 2015

If the point of this book was to send Elden off on his own journey out into the universe, then it accomplished it through a lot of carnage and chaos. And I'm not sure what the point would be of it all. The finale is basically an extended slugfest through four opponents with a few Xenomorphs on the side and it plays that well enough. But for me, there was no real investment here in any of the characters. Elden simply either was overconfident or a whiny child. Francis was in fear until he was freed but it lead to his death. The Predators were just looking for a good fight but were overpowered and lost in the end for different, meaningless, reasons. The only ones that make out good are the Xenomorphs since they're just patient killers waiting for their next opportunity. I suspect we'll see Elden again, but this doesn't make me enthused for that.

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8.4
Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death #1

Dec 28, 2016

As we get settled in for the final arc there's been so many bodies dropped that it's hard to keep track of overall. And that's fine because we're definitely knowing those that are remaining and seeing them getting whittled down is exhilarating and disheartening at the same time. With trouble coming from above, below, and sideways when you get down to it, the Aliens vs Predator leg of the Life and Death cycle is off to a great start and should be pretty damn action filled as it barrels toward its conclusion " and hopefully another cycle yet to come afterward!

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8.4
Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death #2

Jan 25, 2017

With just a few chapters left in this cycle things are going to come together quickly and intensely. It's not a series I'm expecting answers with but rather just enjoying for the way the survival aspects are playing out. When you have the survivors (so far) talking about how surreal this situation is and something like Paget talking about how nobody is really in "command" of this situation, you know these characters are at their limits and the potential for breaking is just around the corner " and exciting in this environment. This issue provides for some big Predator material while showing that the next will definitely live up to its title. I can't wait.

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8.4
Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death #3

Feb 23, 2017

Each of the segments in this cycle have been strong and while this piece may not be my favorite at this stage it's one that's definitely delivering on some very solid material as it all funnels down toward the end. We're in the phase where the cast is being whittled away a bit more and the tension is ramping up, something that Dan Abnett is delivering on well with the script as it allows for Brian Thies to really go all out with it in the visual design department. Though a touch lighter since enough of it is focused on the dialogue-free aspects of the xenomorphs and predators, this is definitely a strong issue in bringing things closer to a conclusion.

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8.4
Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death #4

Mar 29, 2017

With a bit more to go I'm definitely going to call this particular miniseries a success. It's a smaller and more focused leg of the cycle with what we get as it brings the various sides together but it delivered some big action pieces, a whole lot of tension, and a great finale that leads into the capping off issue next time around. Abnett found his groove long ago back in the Fire and Stone material and he's just killing it with ease here. But it's elevated wonderfully thanks to Brian Thies' artwork that just brings it out so well with the humanity of the characters and the emotions and intensity of the aliens and the predators. Definitely a lot of fun on a monthly basis and one that I imagine will read even better in a full collection.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #1

Sep 2, 2015

This pairing is ideal both in the creative and the concept and while I'm wary that it can work as six issues I'm definitely on board for the ride.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #2

Oct 7, 2015

The book is largely following a familiar pattern to be sure when it comes to how these stories work, but it's also giving us a lot to love with the characters, interactions and the injection of its own vampire mythology. This is definitely a very exciting miniseries that I'm loving.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #3

Nov 4, 2015

This series continues to delight me with what it does. Bechko brings together a straightforward script and one that's certainly familiar enough to anyone who's read an Aliens book before, but she does it in a strong enough fashion to make it work. A lot of the time these kinds of familiar scripts just fall flat on their faces. While I dislike the storyline going on in orbit because it plays to bad tropes, I'm enjoying the other two and just the weirdness of what we're seeing with the nosferatu and some of the dialogue between Vampirella and Lars, especially as she tells him the right way to talk to a Nosferatu should they come across one. A little diplomacy can go a long way. This is a solid installment and again has me hopeful that we'll see more Aliens material in the future from both Bechko and Garcia-Miranda after this series ends.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #4

Dec 2, 2015

The Aliens/Vampirella miniseries continues to pretty much delight with what it does. Bechko has pretty much captured the core ingredients it needs to succeed and has added the right layers on top of it so that it expands without distorting or going off the rails. The fun in the evolution is definitely here and there are some interesting variables in the mix that have yet to truly factor in. The book also continues to luck out in having Garcia-Miranda on the art chores as he really makes for some good dynamic action sequences as it plays out while also conveying the tight space fear for a few panels before going for a fear of heights moment. The xenomorph design is pretty solid as well, which really is a necessity, and the combination of it all makes for a great looking book. Can't wait to see what this pair has in store next.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #5

Dec 30, 2015

Aliens/Vampirella continues to be a fun series that it has me wanting more of, well, everything. A look at this future-world Vampirella and the social dynamics of it all, a look at the past with what the Nosferatu of old did to colonize Mars, and a look at the ancient race that existed there and their battle with the Xenomorphs. I likely won't ever get it, but I love a writer that seeds enough material to make you want more while giving you a strong enough core story. Bechko and Garcia-Miranda strike the right balance here and overall it's another solid entry in the series that leaves me anticipating the finale " and hopeful that the pair get another shot at either of these properties in the future.

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8.4
Aliens/Vampirella #6

Feb 10, 2016

Aliens/Vampirella worked pretty well overall and it's about what I expected going into it. There are things you for better or worse have to do with an Aliens story and Bechko hits them on the head here. What she gets to do is change up the narrative a bit with Vampirella in the mix, the vampires from the past angle, and working some drama in because of the human/vampire dynamic. The story is straightforward and you find yourself not really connecting with anyone outside of Vampirella, though I think the Martian vampire comes a close a second. Her script was really brought to life in a great way with Javier Garcia-Miranda's artwork as he got to have fun with the alien designs, work some great old school vampire material, and got to play with spaceships and more. The pairing worked well and I'd definitely be up for another round of this concept.

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9.0
Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

Apr 26, 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit grabbed me from very early on just for its visual style in bringing us this cramped and claustrophobic world with all of its detail. As the crew and our lead character come into focus, a collection of people that will be killed soon enough, the sense of dread builds quickly and effectively. Stokoe's pacing is spot on here and what we know of the cast is engaging with the lives they lead and what they have to deal with. The mystery of the new ship and the arrival of the xenomorphs inside hopefully has a flashback tale to be told as I want to know the journey of this ship and its crew but I'm also excited to see how things unfold on this station once it gets running. I'm definitely excited to see where this goes as Stokoe has everything lined up perfectly.

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9.0
Aliens: Dead Orbit #2

May 31, 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit is delivering some great material here as it works within the realm of the familiar. That's something that could be a problem with other works but the Aliens franchise opens itself up to a lot of interpretation and creativity in both writing and art so that each can stand alone without being judged truly against the rest. Stokoe has crafted a great environment for this to play out in that leaves me wanting more of it (and a live-action incarnation already, even if it would likely play out a little like Saturn 9) just to really connect with the location and characters. There's a lot more to come with how this will unfold and the violence is only just now really getting ready to begin, and hopefully a twist or two along the way.

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9.0
Aliens: Dead Orbit #3

Jul 19, 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit continues to delight from issue to issue but I also know at this stage that it's going to be an even stronger read in a single sitting. Stokoe's artwork is hugely engaging for me as there's so much to take in that if you just "read" it quickly, which you can for many pages because of the light or non-existent dialogue, you're missing a lot of what's making this such a strong work. It's worth several reads and really digging into the detail over and over to just soak it all up. Very recommended.

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9.0
Aliens: Dead Orbit #4

Dec 13, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this series from start to finish as James Stokoe delivered a strong work across the board. The gap between issues is a killer but for those that read it in the future they'll have a single run to just absorb and enjoy. This is almost a theatrical experience in what he produces here, giving us enough character to set the stage but keeping the focus on the tension, panic, and chaos that comes from trying to survive. The details are incredible and I love the look of this from the layouts to the character designs. This issue goes a bit bigger on the exteriors and that made me want a lot more of that as well. Definitely a great book and a wonderful way to dig into the franchise a bit more without needing a huge amount of mythology to engage with.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #1

Apr 27, 2016

With a year of material ahead of us, Aliens: Defiance is definitely going to be one of my more anticipated monthly encounters.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #2

May 25, 2016

Aliens: Defiance further cements itself as the series I'm most anxious to read more of this year within this particular franchise. Dark Horse Comics has several things going on with it, Predator, and Prometheus this year but the time spent with a solid plotted and paced twelve issue series is exciting based on what we've seen in these first two installments. I can already see just how strong this will be when read in full and envy those who get to do so after all is said and done. But I won't trade in the thrill on a monthly basis of taking in Jones artwork and what Wood is putting together with the script and its characters. Very solid and compelling material that's laying the right foundations now.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #3

Aug 17, 2016

Aliens: Defiance may be taking a bit of time to get going, partially just from the delay in installments, but the end results are definitely worth it. I'm enjoying the pacing of the book itself and how Wood is connecting us to these characters as they themselves connect amid the chaos of what's going on. With xenomorphs and mutineering synthetics, both Davis and Hendricks have a lot of problems to face. Wood keeps it moving along while filling in more details and I definitely like what Burchielli is bringing to the page here with the details and overall darkness of it, capturing that closed in feeling very well.

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8.0
Aliens: Defiance #4

Aug 31, 2016

With the bulk of this issue being flashback it works out well for Brescini stepping in for the artwork as you can work the slight differences in style as a part of it. Giving us more of her past is definitely welcome as it's a big part of her mindset at this point and how she'll react to any number of situations. It's not anything that's particularly rich or deep but it is defining and important. I'm curious to see where things with her doctor will go as that feels like an odd choice for her to make considering the circumstances, but when you're faced with things like these xenomorphs, well, you'll do things that don't make sense since they don't make sense. A solid fleshing out issue overall that will likely impact more things as time goes on.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #5

Sep 28, 2016

While I would have liked to have seen a bit more about Hendrick's struggle over what it is she has to do, since Davis is still mostly working cold efficient lines of thought, I'm also glad that we see her realizing that it's the right option given the scale of the problem and just sets about doing it. I'm not a fan of revealing the tease at the start and going backward but it is a tried and true method. The exploration of the depot is a great bit of material overall and Tristan Jones delivers on the art throughout in a way that really makes for a great experience on the first read through and multiple reads later because there's so much detail. Very good stuff overall that continues to have me pretty excited for what's still to come as we hit the halfway mark next issue.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #6

Oct 27, 2016

Aliens: Defiance has largely been firing on all cylinders for me since the start of it, though that gap took some of the wind out of its sails. As we hit the halfway mark here I find myself fully engaged and wanting more of it, and for this to just be the start of something longer and bigger. Brian Wood has the pacing for this down right as it's teasing out these chunks of story against the larger narrative and by not forcing it into a four-issue series like we usually get it's simply less frantic. It also delivers in a huge way thanks to Tristan Jones with the artwork that Dan Jackson just makes all the more impressive. There are some really fantastic panels throughout this that captures the tension and terror very, very, well.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #7

Dec 7, 2016

I continue to dig this series a whole lot and with its erratic publication schedule I really hope it gets a really nicely done full hardcover collection when all is said and done. It's a property that really feels like it's going to read well in that full form but it also has a lot to offer in individual chapters so you can drill down into the characters, their motivations, and just the tension of it all. Wood handles this chapter really well with the mix of dialogue and narration and Thompson is a solid addition to the artistic side as he brings this futuristic world to life really well and avoids making the surgery side super icky for me, for which I'm very grateful.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #8

Dec 28, 2016

Aliens: Defiance is coming out amid a very good time to be a fan of the property as the sprawling Life and Death cycle is doing well, a new film next year, and just a general upswing in quality all around. Defiance is a big part of my enjoyment of what's going on and even a quiet installment like this adds a whole lot. Wood is building these characters well and getting as much time as we do here in seeing Zula's past and how she ended up in the military was great, especially since it let Brescini spread his skills a bit outside of the cold confines of the ship and the xenomorphs a bit. Definitely another solid installment.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #9

Jan 25, 2017

Aliens: Defiance continues to be one of my favorite books from the franchise in the past ten years and has the potential to be the best of them depending on how the final chapters play out. Brian Wood is clearly enjoying working with the small cast of characters here and the crazy situations that they're getting into in trying to survive. It makes for some tense reading with great visuals by the art team that simply takes it up several notches. It has a great look and totally drives the narrative in the right way with the details and corrosion that Brescini brings to it. I love reading each chapter but can't wait to just read it as a whole all while imagining it on the big screen.

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8.4
Aliens: Defiance #10

Mar 29, 2017

Aliens: Defiance is closing in fast on the conclusion and other than everyone ending up dead with a big explosion of some sort I'm not sure how it'll all wrap up. Brian Wood has delivered some great stuff in many books in just a few pages so I'm definitely curious to see what he'll do with the two left and how the stories for the core trio here will work out. This issue brings us to a new place and a real danger with new threats that are exciting to watch unfold, a good portion of that excitement of which comes from Stephen Thompson's artwork. There's a lot to like here and as a part of the larger whole when read in succession, you can see this as the real kick off to the third act of craziness that's about to hit.

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8.0
Aliens: Defiance #11

Apr 26, 2017

Aliens: Defiance has had a strong run of issues over the course of it but this is the first one that feels like it's falling a bit short, mostly because of its structure. There's also the problem that there's only one more issue to go and it feels like it won't be anywhere near enough space to get everything done. There are some good things going on in this issue but the structure of the storytelling just didn't click as well for me as I think a more linear approach would have worked and there are just too many uncertainties going on now that we're back on Earth without enough context to really draw it together in a clear enough way. There's plenty to like overall and I'm curious to see where it'll all end up when it's done and over with, but as a penultimate issue it just doesn't feel like it delivers enough.

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8.0
Aliens: Defiance #12

Jun 21, 2017

Though it's a quieter kind of epilogue than I might have care for in some ways, and the lack of the xenomorph as an active participant in what's going on rather than a nightmare sequen doesn't help, it's a solid end to the run that went in unexpected directions. It does somewhat feel like this isn't where the book intended to go from the start but got shifted this way along the way but that kind of unnatural path has its own appeal as well. Brian Wood put together some great chapters in this run and serves up a solid epilogue for it all here and he was well paired with Eduardo Francisco here on the artwork. With this being a more human issue with lots of people of different stripes involved that comes across very well and made for a good read. The earlier part of the run will stand out for me more than the final third of it, however.

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8.4
Aliens: Fire and Stone #1

Sep 24, 2014

Patric Reynolds does a solid job with the artwork here in giving it a very rough and tumble kind of feeling, earthy and raw, that lets it feel like a natural extension of what we had seen in the films, just without all the rain. I'm definitely intrigued by what's here.

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8.4
Aliens: Fire and Stone #2

Oct 29, 2014

The second installment takes a curious tone as we largely have it in the form of the written journals that Russell has left, recording what he had seen and experienced and as he started to piece together events from the previous century when the Prometheus was there.There's some really neat fallout from it all that's being delved into and watching as it comes together is pretty damn creepy. With the narrative used, it's something that gives you a bit of distance from the events so it's not as personal, especially since you really don't connect with the characters that are getting picked off by the Xenomorphs, but it's bringing about a really entertaining and engaging experience watching as they figure out how to survive in this harsh area all while Russell is discovering a whole lot of secrets from the past that are buried there. Definitely an interesting off-shoot of the two films being brought together.

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8.4
Aliens: Fire and Stone #3

Nov 26, 2014

Though I'm finding the Fire and Stone arc uneven overall, each series has its bright points. The Aliens arc is the brightest point of them all so far because it's doing a pretty good story with what these survivors are dealing with while providing some creativity and fun with the combination of the Xenomorphs and what the accelerant of the Engineers introduces into the system as well. This installment moves things along by basically eliminating a good chunk of the human side of the story while pushing Francis into a deeper state of controlled crazy. The reveals on the human side with Cole is good to see being dealt with and I loved the entire transport segment of the issue with what it did and how it raised the stakes of the game in a big way. Definitely a lot of fun and I'm hoping Roberson and Reynolds have something else up their sleeves after this series is over.

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8.4
Aliens: Fire and Stone #4

Dec 24, 2014

This storyline has definitely had its good stuff to it, though having it running at the same time as the other three properties really made for some confusing moments as both Derek and Francis do very similar things along the way in different periods of time. With this issue, giving us a look at just what Derek is going as the last survivor, the things he comes to understand, really does work well. While you may want things to go out with a bang or some big moment, a true last stand, the truth is what we see here is far more likely as it goes down with a whimper, punctuated by a scream, as the unstoppable enemy wins once again.

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8.4
Aliens: Life and Death #1

Sep 21, 2016

Abnett is keeping this train rolling right along and it's a solid bit of progress that we get here in showing the fallout from where the previous miniseries left us. Moritat's something of a surprise with how well his style works here and I'm loving it as it gives things a bit of a fresh injection of energy. I like the relative consistency we had with previous artists as there's a certain look that these various titles have had for the last couple of years but Moritat provides just enough of a tweak while staying close thanks to the color work. There's a lot of really neat scenes to be had here with how the layouts are done and the expressiveness of the characters and it has me excited to see how badly things go for this group that now has a sliver of hope that will be yanked hard from them very, very, soon.

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8.4
Aliens: Life and Death #2

Oct 19, 2016

I've been digging this cycle of stories a whole lot since it got underway and I was really wary of it all after some very problematic parts in the Fire & Stone cycle. This issue is pretty much exposition and character driven material with some dashes of action but Moritat makes it exciting to read throughout while Abnett's script keeps you wondering who will do what next. Whether it's the dropship prep and landing, the time with Galgo and Ahab, or the expected twist with Lorimer and Jill, there's a lot to enjoy on all fronts. And that's without talking about the little problem that Chris is now facing!

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8.4
Aliens: Life and Death #3

Nov 16, 2016

I'll easily admit to thoroughly enjoying this arc and this cycle as a whole and I really hope it gets a strong all-encompassing hardcover at some point. Though it's just past the halfway mark overall there's so much going on and it's coming together so well that I really just want to be able to burn through the whole run in one sitting without any real breaks or gaps in it. This installment puts some minor but expected twists into events and it focuses well on the action along with a new revelation or two that's intriguing. Abnett knows what it's doing but damn do I love the way Moritat is bringing this to life. I really wasn't sure about him being on this property since he's a distinctive and excellent artist but it's working fantastically well and I hope he returns in some other form to tell more stories in this universe.

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8.4
Aliens: Life and Death #4

Dec 21, 2016

Though I'm looking forward to the Aliens Vs Predator leg that's coming up and the finishing chapter after it, Aliens: Life and Death right now is definitely my favorite of this cycle overall. A lot of that really is owed to Moritat as he breathed a unique yet familiar look to the property that showed that there are good times and ways to step out from the "house" style that we've gotten for the most part the last few years. The story is pretty solid here as we get the rescue mission going through the ups and downs its has, and the mystery on board the ship in orbit that's going to have things going even worse pretty soon. This is a book that I really look forward to reading as a whole cycle in one sitting in the near future with this leg of it being quite possibly the best piece of it.

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9.6
All-Star Western #1

Sep 30, 2011

All Star Western is one of those kinds of books that I really wanted to support because it is bringing something different to the table while still working within the existing framework of the larger DC Universe. I love that it can give us some historical context, though you obviously don't want that to be a constant and overriding factor. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray do a bang-up job here of creating the Gotham of the 1880′s and inserting Jonah Hex into it as well as a supporting cast that demands more time be spent with them. It can all easily turn into a soap opera drama of sorts but there's a lot of appeal in that by seeing how Gotham operated all these years ago. Combining that with Moritat's artwork, the extra pages, the lack of double page spreads and a great sense of pacing, All Star Western knocks it out of the park with ease and demands you come back for the second issue as quickly as possible. Worth every penny.

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8.4
All-Star Western #2

Oct 31, 2011

While there's less pages devoted to the main storyline here, which is disappointing, the actual content itself is solid. The exposition is a bit less than the first but the focus on the characters is thoroughly enjoyable, especially as we get to see Hex cut loose in dealing with a large group of undesirables. Palmiotti and Gray continue to have a very enjoyable book here because the core character of Hex makes it so as they've learned him inside and out over the last few years.

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9.0
Alters #1

Sep 8, 2016

It should also be a success because Leila Leiz is an utterly fantastic discovery here in how she brings this to life. While I tend to do my second and third passes on a book for certain details or looking at the script in full to see what I missed, this book kept me for both of those revisits just for the artwork and greater appreciation of Bonvillain's color work on it. I'm already eager for the first arc to be done and over with so I can savor it in full as the monthly wait is going to be a rough one.

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7.0
Amala's Blade #0

Feb 25, 2013

Amala's Blade doesn't break new ground here but it has a sense of fun about it that could be a bit infectious as it progresses. Amala's explored about as much as you'd expect from an issue like this but we get a few ideas of what defines her in the present and some of the troubles she's had in the past that has lead to this. With some good dialogue, an ease of banter and some fun quirks to the world that we see here with its pirates, steampunk and ghosts, it's all brought together with some fun artwork that gives it a bit of weight and is reminiscent of how I felt about some books years ago like Grimjack where it was presenting a bulkier and obviously less than clean world. With the team working on this, I can definitely see some potential if they work what they have here and give it a deeper world and expand the cast in the right way.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1

Mar 1, 2017

I grew up reading Spider-man books, fondly remembering Web of and Spectacular a lot and being hugely into Amazing when the original Secret Wars got underway as that was the first book of that series that I bought. So reconnecting with it, albeit a bit late, with this miniseries side story is definitely fun to get a look at a Parker family that I'm familiar with but has had a lot of changes over the years. It's a rushed issue in what it's trying to do and it feels like there's a disconnect from other Secret Wars books but part of that may just be my memory as I really didn't care for the event overall and just had fun with some of the alternate stories that were told. This one is set up with the right pieces that should be fun and I'm holding out hope that the couple of bucks I spent on it is worthwhile.

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9.0
American Monster #1

Jan 26, 2016

The strength of the creative team is what's going to drive American Monster at first and then I suspect the story and characters are going to completely grab us. There's a raw nerve that feels like it's being played with here to see what sticks and strikes and that's definitely engaging to watch – particularly with such beautifully disturbing artwork as we get from Doe here. A lot of opening issues make it clear exactly what the book will be like and you can tell from there the opening arc to some degree. Here, it's captivating because it's unclear what it's agenda is and where it's going to go. In a sea of predictability, that's hugely enticing and I can't wait to see more.

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8.4
American Monster #2

Feb 22, 2016

I'm thoroughly enjoying American Monster as it moves into its expansion and exploration phase punctuated by some solid moments of violence to make it clear what it wants to be. I'm definitely getting a very TV-accessible vibe off of it as I can imagine it being an AMC or Cinemax show that could make for some engaging viewing. There's a lot of potential to be worked with here and I'm curious to see how all the pieces fit as it progresses. In the meantime, it's very easy to get into the mood of the series thanks to the absolutely gorgeous and striking artwork from Juan Do. I love the layouts and the choices used here, particularly when Downs questions Montclare, as the camera placement provides for some really intriguing views through which to take all of this in. Good stuff all around that, if it hits its stride in a big way, will be hella impressive.

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8.0
Animal Man #1

Sep 7, 2011

Animal Man has a bit of a rough first issue since it's trying to cover a whole lot of ground for a fairly complicated character that has been buffeted around the DC Universe in many ways over the years. It covers a lot just from the first page with the interview and that's a critical piece. Jeff Lemire has things pretty tightly done here with the script and manages to capture a good flavor when it comes to the Baker family household.

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8.4
Animal Man #2

Oct 6, 2011

I have a long time love affair with the Animal Man character and he was one of the few things in Countdown that kept me coming back to it. With his own series, it's right back into the Vertigo-esque world that he feels the most appropriate in and Lemire has managed to capture it well. His life is being thrown for a loop and something he didn't think he'd have to deal with for years to come with his daughter having powers is forcing itself on him in a big way. Maxine comes off a bit odd at times in a way that feels strangely written, even for her different view of the world because of her exposure to the Red, but it's also written in a way that reminds me of a lot of old 80′s horror movies where the kids have a disconnect that's creepy and haunting. The only thing holding the book back from really being a top flight title for me at this stage is the artwork as Foreman doesn't work for me in the slightest.

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8.0
Animosity #1

Aug 8, 2016

Definitely recommend checking this out and I'm already looking forward to seeing this one go for a while.

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8.0
Archie vs. Predator #1

Apr 15, 2015

Archie Vs. Predator is very light on Predator and even light on Archie, as much of the focus is on Betty and Veronica and then everyone else as a group. But that's standard fare in a lot of ways over the years and it works well to establish that these are the characters you've known for a very long time. The simplicity of it works well and there's plenty of little bits throughout it that establishes the characters and their base personalities well so that they're accessible even if you've never read an Archie book before. I suspect more of the payoff that fans are looking for will be in the next installment, but I'm really curious to see how they'll handle it. The tease of the Predator we get is solid and what he's up to as well. This is one of those perfect if unexpected pairings for titles out there and it works just on the curiosity factor alone. But it also looks to be a pretty fun ride with talent that definitely knows what makes an Archie book what it's supposed to be.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #2

May 20, 2015

This is deliriously awesome. It is, very much, a simple premise. But with every simple premise, it's all about execution. The story here takes us through the familiar ideas and plays with them well, particularly with the jaguar curse and some of Betty's backstory regarding why she knows so much about it all. We get a good focus on her and Veronica here and that has them dealing with the situation in their own particular way, but it serves to blend in the other characters for help and support. The end result is a fast moving book that has a really great amount of dialogue and quirkiness about it to make it thoroughly fun and engaging. And bringing the Predator into Archie style may still feel like a weird combination, but damn if it doesn't work to make it an absolute hoot. I'm loving it and am glad there's two more issues to come.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #3

Jun 17, 2015

Archie vs Predator continues to be a really fun title overall, even with its quiet start that put the pieces into motion. This installment whittles down the cas in a couple of different ways and it's a lot of silly horror style fun done in the Archie style. It's the kind of thing where yes, you do feel a bit bad for laughing at it and enjoying it, but you also can't help but to enjoy it because it's so well put together. The dialogue flows well, the snappy patter is spot on, as is the serious side of it, and the panel layouts keeps things dense where it needs to be to present the right kind of feeling. Combine that with the great artwork that brings it all to life and it's got me grinning from ear to ear throughout.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #4

Jul 22, 2015

This issue also has a two page Josei & the Pussycats segment, but I'm far less familiar with them and it didn't really connect with me.

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8.4
Armor Hunters #1

Jun 16, 2014

There's a lot of potential fun here and the book includes a couple of sneak peeks at other Armor Hunters spinoff series, which is definitely the way to do it rather than intruding into the ongoing series continuity. Definitely fun and it has the right start to a larger event within a connected universe.

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8.4
Armor Hunters #2

Jul 9, 2014

Armor Hunters doesn't have a lot in the way of action here, with some of it off-screen in fact as we see the beasts causing trouble, but it does keep things moving a good deal as we understand the scale of destruction let loose on the land. More of the focus is on the reaction to Mexico City's devastation and the way it causes the various sides on Earth to plan their next move. That means drawing in a few more of those that are out there that might help. We also get some solid information from a few quarters, a touch of mild romance and overall a pretty well paced, busy and engaging issue that's not reliant on fists bash enemy kind of material. And that's a big plus when all wrapped up in some well structured and solid artwork to help convey it in the way that it is.

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8.4
Armor Hunters #3

Aug 13, 2014

The Armor Hunters miniseries has been a lot of fun for me as it's given me a decent view of where parts of the cast of the Valiant universe stand at this point and it does draw me into wanting to read more about them, or at the least continuing on from here. But even with that, Armor Hunters is telling a good if classic style story of the alien invader, the plucky heroes and the grinding down that they get while never giving up. Well, except for when they give up. This issue has a bit more action than the previous one, but again, it's mostly about the scale of things as it's not just a slugfest between hero and villain. It's not hugely nuanced, but it's more entertaining and engaging because it's dealing with it in a better way.

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8.4
Armor Hunters #4

Sep 24, 2014

In the end, the book is designed to move the whole of the internal universe up a bit by making it more of an aware universe of what's going on and to change the kind of perception and position Aric has within it. That's what could be the most interesting thing going forward, though I'd love to see more of this team of Armor Hunters on their past missions as a more general science fiction series. But that's just me. The run was fun and has me curious for a lot more of what Valiant has to offer.

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8.4
Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1

Oct 1, 2014

The aftermath of the Armor Hunters saga is a place where things can definitely get interesting. It's an opportunity to reshape things, to change allegiances, introduce new foes and alter the landscape in a solid way as the organization goes public and the various individuals involved decide how they want to participate. There's some really solid bits in here to like with what it's done, but also its goofy ones. And the time to take a look at the impact on the world at large with how humanity would react to all of it, especially with some cities having been taken down amid it. That's given some token material to be sure, but it feels superficial as the real purpose is to get to the main characters and give them their story. I want to see their story against this backdrop though, which was the weak aspect for me. But as a whole, it's on the right path and I'm curious to see what else will come into play.

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8.0
Babyteeth #1

Jun 7, 2017

Babyteeth admittedly tells me more about the story through the solicitation information than the book itself, though plenty is easily inferred. That's not a big problem overall because those that go in on a book like this are likely doing it more because of the creative side, which is excellent, than anything else at the start. This is a series that will take a bit of time to tell its tale but it felt like it just needed a bit more of a concrete hook in the start here to really demand you come back for more. It's definitely got a lot going for it as Cates sells us Sadie in a big way and Brown's artwork is fantastic as always. I'm definitely curious about where it'll go and it's a book that's definitely on my list of titles to keep an eye on.

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8.0
Backways #1

Dec 20, 2017

Backways works some familiar ideas with solid execution and style as this is all about the first sliver of exposure to the world that Jordan and Carlini are looking to play in

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8.0
Barb Wire (2015) #1

Jul 1, 2015

Warner takes us back to Steel Harbor easily enough and there's nothing that really makes it a problem, though the city doesn't stand out either. It's fairly boilerplate material in terms of what we get here in design, but it's detailed and has a solid enough look about it with what Ollifffe and Nguyen bring to the page. There's not a lot of story here to be sure, though the arc is teased, but what we get is all about the foundations and establishing the city itself. There's some fun action at the start and plenty of character clues along the way, so you do feel at ease with Barb by the end of it, even a bit sympathetic, and curious to see where it's going to go. That'll be the kicker for it, because what we get here is good, but it's not distinct as it doesn't provide something that really stands out. But Barb has potential, and if it can find is voice and direction quickly, it could be a very fun book.

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8.0
Barb Wire (2015) #2

Aug 5, 2015

Barb Wire is pretty much playing by the book here and it does it well enough. I'm holding out hope that there's an interesting twist to it coming up, but I'm also kind of hoping for there to be something inspiring as well when it comes to trying to save the city. The focus on Barb through the camera crew, her bar and just the general bounty hunting job works to show the kind of rough life she has and what she has to do to make ends meet, but it's got a kind of superficial feeling about it. The action sequences are fun here and I like the way that things work with Mace and Hunter. Part of it reminds me of Ostrander's old Grimjack book with the bar, which hers could become with some simple nudges in a lot of ways. And that could make things a lot more interesting as a focal point rather than a struggling bar.

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7.0
Barb Wire (2015) #3

Sep 2, 2015

Barb Wire is pretty much living up to expectations and I keep wishing it would be more than that. It's a book that I can certainly enjoy on a simplistic level but the potential to do so much more here makes it feel like a swing and a miss. But in a sense it didn't even step up to the right plate. The third installment drags out the Stormblud storyline just a bit more as Barb and the crew go to take him down but it ends up turning into a fair disaster as one might expect. There are some fun moments along the way, some decent action and also a lot of sadness that things are going as they are. Stormblud is by no means a sympathetic character but he's one you can definitely feel bad for as you realize there are some real issues here that goes beyond his excessive drinking and violence. But violence is what will solve it all of course.

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7.0
Barb Wire (2015) #4

Oct 7, 2015

Barb Wire has the potential for it to be so much more than it is and all I can see is a series that would have been written twenty years ago and wouldn't have been any different. There's a charm to that to be sure yet the series is one that really feels like it should have been given a much more creative facelift and approach. I've enjoyed aspects of the various Comics Greatest World characters coming back to life, but all of them seem to really lack anything in terms of a serious vision in order to take it to the next level as opposed to a mild upgrade at best – and a retread at worse. I like Barb Wire because there are a lot of things you can do with the character and the location. I doubt it'll exercise it in this incarnation though.

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7.0
Barb Wire (2015) #5

Nov 4, 2015

Frustrated as I was by the first arc, the creative team this time around feels like they've slowed things down a bit, gained a little more confidence and, in a way, are starting to tell their first real story. The right pieces have been here from the start but the execution just felt haphazard and it all ran too long. With this installment, it provides a nice tie, brings Barb into the larger world and tantalizes those of us that read the 90's books. Warner feels like he has a better handle on Barb's dialogue, especially her weary side in dealing with everyone, and not having to write Stormblud's tripe certainly helps overall. Olliffe and Nguyen also feel like there's a bit more confidence here in not having to illustrate things like Stormblud or just harborside exteriors and interiors. This has the potential for a bit of a turnaround and has me actually a bit more interested than I have been.

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5.0
Barb Wire (2015) #6

Dec 2, 2015

As much as I like the potential of Barb I'm frustrated by the stories we do get. The focus on her past is not a bad thing since this is a new launch but it's already entered that heavily decompressed realm tied to a story that just doesn't feel engaging after two installments worth of it. Barb at this younger age isn't exactly exciting or fun to watch either since we've barely gotten to really know her in the present. Everything feels like it's something that should be done in maybe four pages of mild montage style flashback material so we can get into the story in the present, or just have more of the two mixed together. There's only so much interest to be had in watching Barb get interrogated like this since we have no idea what the real motivation is at this point.

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7.0
Barb Wire (2015) #7

Jan 6, 2016

Barb Wire continues to frustrate me, though some of that comes from me wanting the book to be something that it's not (but should be). This issue brings us through more of Roman's transformation from when Barb first met him to how he is now that he's meddling in her life once again. Of course, learning that he's had involvement over the years has her feeling even more frustrated by him, especially since he's likely viewing what he's done as repaying a debt from when she let him go. The story as presented isn't bad, but I'm still not feeling any real reason to invest in it or the series as a whole " and that's not seven issues in. That doesn't speak too well of the book for me, though I'm hopeful that they can really find a way to take this book in a far more engaging direction both in story and character.

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4.0
Barb Wire (2015) #8

Feb 3, 2016

The ability to reinvent comic characters is one of the best strengths of the industry and I'll still hold out for Barb to get another shot at it. The various relaunches have been haphazard at best and it really feels like there's no cohesive and strong plan, which is resulting in seemingly nothing sticking – when they should. Each of these characters and settings have a lot of potential but it's going to take a whole new approach to it. The team here did solid work in a technical sense with competent scripting and appealing artwork, but conceptually it just fell down before it even started because it wanted more of the same. This is a bring in folks from the outside job from here on out, perhaps a miniseries of alternate takes and re-imaginations to show the potential and let others play with it. But more of the same is not going to cut it.

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8.0
Barbarella (2017) #1

Dec 6, 2017

Barbarella is off to a solid start here and it has potential, which is no surprise since the original work ran for a bit and had a lot of fun in that run. Giving Jean-Claude Forest's work a new life is a daunting task but one that should be really embraced. Carey's giving it a solid enough beginning here while leaving plenty to explore to be sure and I'm hoping that it gets the chance to do so because this is something that can just be fun – an area where Dynamite has succeeded well over the years with a range of older properties in giving them a new life. I'm not fully sold on Yarar's artwork overall, though that may be the color design more than anything else, but this all has a lot of promise to it.

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8.4
Barbarella (2017) #2

Jan 10, 2018

Kenan Yarar has a pretty good issue here where he gets to stretch a bit more with things, such as the droid and the chase across the converted spaceport. I also really liked the opening action sequence with how that played out as it all felt very cinematic. Carey's story isn't trying to be subtle with what he's doing here but that's also realistic in that societies that lean heavy and hard in any particular direction will come across as an extreme. There's a lot of fun to be had here and Carey conveys a lot of material and character motivation along the way, though I wish we still had a bit more about the big picture of what this galaxy is like and what Barbarella inhabits in order to get a better picture of it all.

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8.4
Barbarella (2017) #3

Feb 14, 2018

Barbarella is a book that's just full of potential and Mike Carey definitely has some good stuff going on across this opening arc. It's political and social in all the ways that the character is meant to be and it plays to its science fiction weirdness just as well. I'm hopeful for things to get even a bit more crazy in the books to come with designs, worlds, and the characters themselves because it's not limited anywhere like the film was. I really liked this arc, weird story points of vaginal removal and all, and how it just went in some bonkers directions as it toyed with religion, governments, and social order concepts. Good stuff that leaves me wanting a whole lot more – and to re-read in one sitting this arc.

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8.4
Barbarella (2017) #4

Mar 14, 2018

With its own look here compared to the previous arc, I really like what Jorges Forna brings to Barbarella. While I think I'd like to see a little more emotion out of her in terms of facial expressions at times, I really like the way he lays out the book here, his design for the characters, and the look of the ship and the worlds being transported.

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8.0
Barbarella (2017) #5

Apr 11, 2018

Kenan Yarar gets to have a lot of fun here with some creative shipyard moments both in the backgrounds and the character designs of it all. While I know I'm still working from the film version in my head I'm enjoying the kinds of pieces brought in here with the egg shaped rooms and just the openness of a lot of areas there.

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8.4
Batgirl (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

While there are plenty of reasons to be wary of what's being done with Barbara Gordon and Batgirl, this book manages to massage the majority of it right, especially if you're able to be open-minded about it and realize that it doesn't really eliminate what came before since you can always go back and read it. Gail Simone does a solid job of making the thrill of returning to both regular life and costumed life apparent here and it's pretty infectious as you want to see where Barbara will go from here. This is a character I've liked through multiple incarnations and this new one, a perfect point to utilize with the way things have been dealt with, is one that I'm keen to see. She has a lot of psychological things that can be followed up on and there's lots of opportunity here. Gail Simon and Adrian Syaf have a lot in their favor in the end and this issue sets the stage that has me very interested in seeing it through.

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8.4
Batgirl (2011) #2

Nov 21, 2011

Batgirl is definitely one of the characters that I was most intrigued by with the relaunch to see how it would go and the first issue definitely grabbed my attention, though I wasn't exactly enamored by the villains or bad guys in general. With this issue, we cement things more when it comes to the action side and get some good character material for her through the narration amidst the fight as well with what she does afterward, one segment with her roommate who is more than she seems and another with her physical therapist. As much as I enjoy Batgirl out in the streets and in action, I hope we get to see more of Barbara herself as she reconnects with the outside world in a new way. Similar to Dick Grayson, she's not the type to become as intense as Bruce Wayne but there's also a shy side to her that Dick doesn't have that needs to be explored. I'd almost want a separate book to deal with all of that so we can have the best of both worlds.

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5.0
Batgirl (2011) #35

Oct 8, 2014

Honestly, the book doesn't really come across as accessible to new readers and there's so many moving parts that it's just overly dense and pointlessly complicated at times rather than being a good read. I like the detective work material, but the villain du jour was just awful and really felt like it was being written by someone completely on the outside of these things.

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8.4
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 28, 2016

While Batgirl doesn't open as strong as I had hoped it would, there's a lot to like here in taking her out of the city and familiar environments and breathing a new element into her storyline. I've not read anything about the character in years so I know nothing about Kai and what he represents or what she's been up to with her clean energy company that she's got, something that isn't dealt with all that much for new readers unfortunately. The opening arc of this monthly series is off to a solid start and has me hopeful with where it can go, a good part of that is thanks to Albuquerque's artwork as it's solid throughout and has the right kind of fun with the layouts and angles to keep it moving and feeling energetic, even if a touch light and simple with some of the backgrounds.

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8.4
Batgirl (2016) #2

Aug 25, 2016

Batgirl continues her journey here and outside of a brief but amusing piece at the start she spends this installment outside of her costume. What we get here for the most part is an expansion on her physical fighting capabilities, some fun challenges for her to meet, and a lot of internal strife and confusion over her feelings that involves her trying to explore some of how her costumed side impacts her views of things. It's not a book that makes any sort of big statements or pivotal character moments, but it's issue two and we're getting some good foundations and exploration of the character with some slow growth.

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7.0
Batgirl (2016) #3

Sep 29, 2016

The strength of the Batgirl series is fully in its character and that continues to shine through here. The smaller moments are solid and the action has a great flow to it as we see how she has her ups and downs but never gives up. Albuquerque shines once again here with his presentation of the book as it has some great flow to it and I love the angles it plays with when it comes to her moving about in costume. Larson's script is capturing the right nature of Barbara herself and that clicks really well but the journey story just doesn't have enough meat on it from issue to issue, especially on a monthly basis, to really pull it together with in a strong way.

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5.0
Batgirl (2016) #4

Oct 29, 2016

At this stage I'm sticking with the book primarily to see if we get Barbara back into more familiar settings, give her something resembling a life, and provide more foundations for her. The world trip is an idea that works for some books and characters, and this is one of them, but with it being a monthly series and without the strong narrative that it needs, it all just comes across as uninteresting as a whole. The small slivers of enjoyment are there, particularly in the artwork, but that can't carry the book for very long and I know my interest is waning more than I'd like at this stage.

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5.0
Batgirl (2016) #5

Nov 26, 2016

Though I had reconnected well with the Rebirth special that got this project underway, the Beyond Burnside arc just did not work for me, no matter how much I tried to get into it. Goofy villains that should never be seen again, awkward as hell regional exploits that landed with a thud, a dullard in Kai, and a lead character that felt lost within her own book. I'm going to give the book a couple more issues to see how things are when she gets back home to see how she's handled there and what kind of stories are going to come from it, but this book is pretty much ready to be dropped and I hate that I feel like that as I want to enjoy this character so much.

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8.0
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

Aug 19, 2016

I'm definitely keen on this series but this issue doesn't expand things enough just yet. It's a solid base run when I was hoping for something a little more exciting.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

Definitely a very solid opener that may not light the barn on fire but establishes a hell of a lot very quickly all while tantalizing at the end.

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8.4
Batman (2016) #2

Jul 6, 2016

Batman's slowly working the subplot material that will come to the forefront soon enough as talk of monsters is in the mix along with Hugo Strange, which has me hopeful, but right now the focus is still mostly on Batman himself as he brings Gotham and Gotham Girl into the picture. With the scale of threats that the city faces you can understand his wanting something more reliable there – and that he likely already knows everything about them that we don't know yet, which is what I want to see before I really decide what i think about them. King's script is busy once again and I'm still kind of way of his Batman mindset as it's pretty intense, but it works with the physical/visual representation we get from Finch and the team so that it works in its own way. A solid enough second issue that has me wanting just a bit more meat in the next issue or two before I decide how far I'll go with the book.

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8.4
Batman (2016) #3

Jul 21, 2016

This new Batman series is working itself pretty well overall and I'm engaged with it and enjoying it, though not fully committed and on board yet as I'm waiting for something to click that will push me over the edge on it. King is delivering a solid story but it feels like it really needs something more to take it to the next level. Finch is bringing out some great artwork and I love when he does slide in a two-page spread to give us the right sense of scale, such as the bridge scene that let Gotham Girl stand out more. I'll be sticking with the book for a while to be sure as I think the bi-weekly nature helps it more than hurts it and I'm simply enjoying getting a mainstream Batman fix again after spending most of my time with fringe or non-continuity versions.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #4

Aug 8, 2016

Though I'm sticking with Batman for a while to come to see what the team will do with it, more so once past this arc and getting into the rhythm of the character, I'm finding myself a little middling on it at best at this point. I like what Finch and the art team are doing and I like what I see of King's approach to Batman so far, but I'm still feeling off about Gotham and Miss Gotham – and their names, too – and how things have moved at an odd pace so far with how quickly Batman has been working with them. I'm intrigued to see how Hugo Strange and Psycho Pirate will play into it as the monster men storyline progresses since I really like both of those characters. But at this point it doesn't feel like the series has gelled quite yet.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #5

Aug 19, 2016

Of all the Rebirth/relaunch books that I've been checking out and going forward with, Batman is the one that I'm feeling the weakest on. It's also the only bi-weekly book that I've been reading as well, so I have more material to work with. I like aspects of what King does here with the story and I love Finch's layouts and all the work with the art team in giving it power and impact, but the overall first arc just feels weak and without enough of a strong hook. The ending stinger here is enough to get me to come back to see what the next arc is like after the epilogue issue the next time around but this is a book that has to still earn the subscription button from me at this point. I have plenty of faith in Tom King based on his other works but there comes a point where you want to invest only so far and part of me wonders if I'm just not able to connect with the main Batman books anymore as well.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #6

Sep 9, 2016

There are some genuinely strong moments in this book that will resonate more so for people that have suffered grief and loss and that works really well here. It's something that doesn't land as strong as it could since we've burned through the first five issues quickly and there hasn't been a huge amount of investment in Gotham himself, never mind Gotham Girl. But as an epilogue and push forward into the next arc it definitely works well. It's also a strong issue with Ivan Reis on the art duties as I really loved that two-page spread with Gotham Girl leaping into the city, something that just clicked really well with Maiolo's color design on it. Reis is an artist that I really admire for what he's capable of and he does a great job here in bringing it all together. While this may not be a great epilogue as it feels more like setup for what's to come it does get the job done.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #7

Sep 23, 2016

I've been wary of the Monster Men event simply because I'm not picking up the other books and as good as this opening installment is, it's not enough to make me pursue it more. Orlando and King keep things moving pretty well here but the real star for me is Riley Rossmo. With some really good issues from Finch previously and then the large group of artists the last time around, Rossmo is an artist whose work I want to see in this book pretty regularly as he has a very good design to it while Plascencia color work avoids the vibrancy that we had with Finch's segment of the run. There's a grittier aspect to this without it being grimdark and difficult to discern. Add in some real love of the monster men themselves in their designs and some really great panels overall in depicting the rain and how the heroes look in it and the art's a winner across the board.

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8.4
Batman (2016) #8

Oct 8, 2016

While I've been mixed on the Batman series since it kicked off and have been holding out for things to settle into a better post-Gotham place from the first arc, I'll admit that the Monster Men arc really had me very wary from the start because of my distaste for such events. But with the two issues of that I'm being exposed to it's proven to be a lot of fun as it's brought in other characters I haven't seen in an age and has delivered some stellar artwork from Riley Rossmo with great action. I'm eager to see where the next arc goes as events are tightening up there and the ties to this and previous stories also works well. There's a larger tale being told across all of it that has me interested and I'm hopeful for some payoff sooner rather than later. And very hopeful that we'll see Riley Rossmo here again!

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8.4
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 22, 2016

I'm a sucker for books that work the idea of putting together an odd group for a mission, hence being big into the original Suicide Squad book back in the 80's or things like Outsiders. Batman is moving into the next phase of the larger arc that King has been orchestrating and there's a lot to like here in the characters he chooses, the kinds of interactions that we get, and just the smoothness and ease of it all. This is all taken to its own special level with Mikel Janin's artwork as I love the character design style, especially with the colors used, and just the flow of action with some of the layouts. The piece with Batman and Bronze Tiger is just spot on perfect and fun to watch play out. Here's hoping the arc only keeps the momentum and engagement.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #10

Nov 3, 2016

With the way King structures his works, there's a long game at play here so even though I'm left frustrated by certain parts of it I know enough to look at it as a whole. I like the two main ideas here but the blending falls short and the visual execution of the handwritten letter made for some eyestrain at times. Mikel Janin is the real winner with this book as the hand to hand fight sequences are fantastic, the mental anguish we see at times strong, and the overall panel design and flow of them simply made it a treat to read – and made me wish that there was a way to remove layers in the digital books already so I could see how it looks without all the dialogue.

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6.0
Batman (2016) #11

Nov 19, 2016

After eleven issues I certainly have a feel for what King is doing and I can't deny that, but I'm slowly coming to a place where I'm wondering if it's really for me. I've enjoyed aspects of the series so far but I also find myself frustrated by a lack of a clearer vision and something that's just a bit more accessible for new readers. This feels very inside-y in a way that I can't pin down easily and it's very frustrating even with the years of overall knowledge of the character I have and reading the fringe Gotham oriented books. The saving grace for me is Mikel Janin's artwork as he and June Chung provide for some really great pages and layouts here that capture a pretty fascinating feeling with both the big and small moments. I'm still around for a bit more but I find myself wondering if the exit will be coming sooner rather than later.

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8.4
Batman (2016) #12

Dec 10, 2016

My subscription to this series is still teetering as I've canceled and restarted it a couple of times between issues for a few issues now. At this stage I'm finishing out this storyline and am curious as to what the next will be like but I'm waiting for things to really click and feel like we've got some strong concept story material to work with. I still find a lot to like with what King writes and how but the main draw at this point for this series is the artwork. And Batman can survive on that but it cannot excel on that. It needs an engaging story, character interactions, and the solid motivation material that's explored here.

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8.4
Batman (2016) #13

Jan 4, 2017

With some amusement early on with a Waller/Pennyworth moment, this arc comes to a close and sets up things for the Justice League vs Suicide Squad event that's rolling out. I'm not getting into that and, in fact, this marks my last issue with this series. While I can see the larger threads that Tom King is pulling with it the whole thing just lacks something to really make it resonate and connect, leaving me feeling pretty adrift even as I enjoy the visuals and spectacle of it. This arc had its moments, and a lot of it comes down to Janin's work, but as a whole it simply felt too padded out and without enough context or meat to it for me to want to continue on top of the problematic opening arc with Gotham and Gotham Girl. I'll likely circle back in trade form at some point but even that has me feeling a bit wary, which reinforces this as a good time to jump ship.

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6.0
Batman (2016) Annual #1

Dec 3, 2016

The first Batman annual of the new series is in the can and there's not that much to really recommend overall. There are a couple of decent if forgettable stories and a bunch of very forgettable stories and one that I couldn't even finish (the last one) because the whole thing just felt like too much by that point. The potential to do a lot of creative things with an annual is always there but going for what's essentially an anthology book that feels like half a step above a fan done production at times doesn't warrant the price tag. The Ace story is the best of them while having some classic new Neal Adams artwork just makes it all the more worthwhile for me.

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8.0
Batman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

What struck me with the Rebirth special last week was the sense of optimism and hope about it. Batman's been a darker character for a long, long, time and I really don't expect that to change. But introducing some new elements and ways forward are welcome things and there's a good sense of hope about it here. It's not a sprawling dark piece of work, but it has its moments of intensity and drive that showcase what Bruce will do to save people while tying that back to his father with a couple of sharp lines from Lucius. I'm definitely curious to see where King will go with the book with its opening storyline and I like what he brings to the table here with Snyder and Janin. It's not a knock out of the park like the main Rebirth special was for me, but it's a solid re-conenction to the character for me after being away for several years.

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8.0
Batman: Sins of the Father #2

Feb 27, 2018

Gage has the right tone for the characters and is moving things to where they need to be while introducing the basics for those new to this particular version. Ienco's artwork is still the bigger adjustment for me as it's a style I'm totally not used to when it comes to DC characters and more from indie books. It's definitely intriguing with the way everyone moves " and I'm trying to not view it as though they're moving like the game does " but it tends to work better in action sequences than the boardroom.

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8.0
Batman: Sins of the Father #3

Mar 13, 2018

While we know that Deadshot is in this and he's on the cover, his presence in the book is minimal overall and it works nicely as it comes across as though he's hunting his prey. Which he is, so it's fun to see how he's doing it while Bruce is still trying to get a handle on it all. This book balances the two halves of his life well and throws in some fun with both Gordon and the board of Wayne Enterprises, which is its own powder keg of chaos waiting to explode. Ienco's artwork is something that I continue to really enjoy but also have a hard time adapting to with these characters. But there's no denying some really strong scenes and panels here, particularly once we get Batman mixing it up with the criminal element.

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8.0
Batman: Sins of the Father #4

Mar 27, 2018

While I'm not fully on board with this series as I'm still adjusting to it without the background of the game, I am enjoying it so far. Christos Gage is handling the digital-first format pretty well here with ensuring that each issue has a good mix of story and action that helps to move everything forward while Raffaele Ienco is getting more and more comfortable with each issue in the layouts and the flow of the action with how it's presented. The story here doesn't get too deep as it's big on action and then working the detective side with hints of what's to come but it's a solid entry in the arc so far.

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8.0
Batman: Sins of the Father #5

Apr 10, 2018

Though this series won't be one of my favorites regarding the character, Gage and Ienco are putting out an interesting work that has shades of the familiar but also feels distinctly different.

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8.4
Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

Apr 23, 2011

I really enjoy the Batman family of characters but it's been difficult to find a book that I can enjoy in the last few years. With all the changes and the loss of the three books that I liked with Gotham Central back in 2006 and then losing both the long running Robin and Nightwing series, I didn't know where to really go as I wanted to avoid the main books written by Morrison. With Batman: Streets of Gotham, I think I've found a series that I can get into as it deals with the more human side of Gotham, the various criminal elements and the police. The co-feature with Manhunter is right up my alley as well as I've long liked that character in its different forms, but especially the Kate Spencer one. I've not read a Batman book for some time now, but this is one that I really want to get into and savor.

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7.0
Batwoman #1

Sep 14, 2011

There's a whole lot of appeal to the book in the way it's written and especially with the way it's drawn as Williams really has a great look to all of this. The Batwoman costume is highly appealing when contrasted to the red hair and that gives us something very different from Batman himself and eve how Batgirl has been portrayed over the years. But at the same time, Williams loves double page spreads as we get eight of them here. Eight. There's still the same amount of information as it's more layout than big splash pages, but it just gives it a very different feeling, like you're going through it too quickly. And combined with how new-reader unfriendly it is, it doesn't make it feel like a good book to invest some time and money in.

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8.4
Batwoman (2017) #1

Mar 18, 2017

Batwoman sets its ongoing phase well here with what it wants to do and it's already excelled over some other Rebirth books for me in how it's handling its heading out into the world away from Gotham. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Batgirl. Bennett and Tynion have a good flow here in handling the pacing and dialogue for the cast as we know them so far and Epting and Cox really nail the look of the book, giving it a "high end" rich quality look that captures the worldliness that reminds me of an opening segment of a Bond film. I'm curious to see what they'll do going forward and if they can get me to invest and care about Kate and what we discover at Coryana since I don't have years of this character in my own background. But the foundations are definitely there for it.

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8.4
Batwoman (2017) #2

Apr 25, 2017

Batwoman is one of those titles that you want on a monthly cycle because of the quality of the writing and especially the artwork. It's also a title you want on a bi-weekly schedule because it's a dense work and moving at its own pace and you want more of it now. That feels even more reinforced with this second main installment as I'm craving more of this story to understand it and dig into it. Kate's background has been intriguing from the Rebirth issue for me, having not read her prior series or known much about her beyond the Bombshells incarnation, so this is fresh and fun for me as we get to know her in past and present and the supporting cast that's cropping up as well as the potential villains. It's a very strong book that I really get the feeling will be a fantastic collected read as well.

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9.0
Betrothed #1

Mar 14, 2018

This is a strong opener for me and it could make for one hell of a run and is the kind of thing that instantly feels like it needs to be done in multiple mediums from the get-go.

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9.0
Betrothed #2

Apr 4, 2018

While the first issue of Betrothed worked better for me overall with its mix of foundation elements and a strong focus on the two leads, this one reads very well when taken in conjunction with that to start moving things forward and showing that as much as these two can be on the same page there are some fundamental differences.

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8.4
Bettie Page #1

Jul 27, 2017

I'm sure that those far more familiar with the real person and her work will come at this different than I will but I rather enjoyed this book. It's light and fun, it moves fast but provide some good meat to it with the narration and dialogue, and it also looks fantastic. While Avallone sets the basics up it's Worley that delivers with beautiful visuals as he captures Bettie in all the right ways and details and especially camera angles. It's a book that's very easy to re-read and soak up the visuals and all the details and just some of the expressions that she has combined with the dialogue of the time that just makes you grin. I have no idea what to expect with this book in total but I'm on for the journey.

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8.4
Bettie Page #2

Aug 23, 2017

Bettie Page is tickling a sweet spot that I normally don't get in comics and this second issue is making me love it all the more. Avallone and Worley are nailing the tone and feel just right for something that's hitting the camp level without becoming camp, showing it from around the edges so it can enjoy and partake in it without becoming it. I'm falling for this version of Bettie a good bit as she's fun and engaging while Worley is making this world as a whole just a lot of fun to get into and engage with. I'm curious as to how big the larger story will be since it takes a few odd turns along the way but it's just doing everything right for me at the moment and I suspect will be an even better read when it's all said and done.

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8.4
Bettie Page #3

Sep 27, 2017

Bettie Page is still the kind of series where it's walking a fine line and Avallone is handling it pretty well. It's camp but not quite, it's surreal but not quite, and it's serious but not quite. Each piece of it builds together to a really fun and weird book that just delights me in watching how Bettie handles it with her wit and sometimes her resignation as to certain events. The artwork is a lot of the appeal as well as Worley really handles the cast as a whole very well and I love the costume design where it looks like some good thought and design ideas went into it in order to make it work. Bettie's usually the standout but for me this issue was all about Druker and just made me want her story all the more. Good fun stuff.

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8.4
Bettie Page #4

Nov 1, 2017

Bettie Page delivers once again and I can't be more delighted. I suspect that when read in full this is going to be an even more wild and crazy ride but the single monthly issues are a lot of fun and I'm enjoying getting it in doses in order to take in all of it without being overwhelmed by too much of it. Avallone gets us through a number of reveals here and Worley manages the dialogue and exposition heavy side of things well while also getting to break out a bit with some fun action and fanservice. Another strong entry.

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8.0
Bettie Page #5

Nov 29, 2017

Bettie Page has a kind of quiet installment here in a way as there's a little nod to story progression and reveals but mostly it just keeps to the action. With giant unexplained scorpions. There's a good bit of B-movie terror from this but it doesn't resonate more due to the lack of characters we're invested in as even poor Bettie feels like a supporting character here, pulled along the way with no new answers or reveals to give it something to feel weighted with. Combine that with Wade's solid artwork that doesn't fit the series for me, especially since there's no chance to show off with fashion here, and it's not a memorable installment.

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8.4
Bettie Page #6

Dec 20, 2017

Bettie Page sets up the next story with our title character as the secret agent now and it's a whole lot of fun. There's some good dialogue to be had, some amusing introspection from her as she struggles with part of the job, and just the thrill of an overseas trip undercover in order to do some good. The team here has put together a fun book to read and a great book to look at that combines well for a strong and enjoyable experience. It feels like the series is taking shape better at this stage as Bettie takes more of a controlled role in things and I'm eager to see what's next.

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8.4
Bettie Page #7

Jan 24, 2018

Bettie Page has come slowly but surely into its own and I'm digging it a whole lot. The opening arc was a curiosity just to see what could be done with it to make it work but it really developed into a life of its own along the way. And that's been built up nicely into something I'm excited to read about now with the shift to secret agent side that David Avallone is certainly enjoying putting together going by the quips and structure of this issue. Combine that with great artwork and some fun cover/variants for it and this is just one of those really strong under the radar titles that I love being able to wave in the air and say "read this, dammit!"

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8.4
Bettie Page #8

Feb 28, 2018

My hopes at this phase is that Bettie Page as a comic property will get utilized like the Bond books in that we get a bunch of miniseries over the next few years instead of trying to support an ongoing work. David Avallone should have top choice for any future projects with it along with the art team that we've got here because they've got the tone done up great and I can imagine that this series will find some good lengthy life in the future through bookstore sales as new material for someone with a really good following that may miss out on single issue books. Quite simply, I want more of Bettie Page and I want it from this team – just in something planned for a tighter run without the worry of a series being canceled prematurely.

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7.0
Betty and Veronica: Vixens #1

Nov 29, 2017

Vixens has a kind of awkward setup as it gets underway but the charms of Betty and Veronica are what will carry it forward. The guys don't come across too well here but it fits in with their nature in general as we've seen over the years and makes for some cute little moments as the girls realize how they have to step up. Cabrera's art style works well enough but part of me wishes for something more stylized and mature rather than a nod toward its older days and approach. Especially since the cover design hints a bit more at sexiness and style than we get in the book itself. I like Cabrera's stuff here and would dig it in a more mainline book for the characters but something about Vixens just has me wishing it had taken a different approach to the artwork.

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8.4
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 11, 2014

There's a good rawness about the book that has me really interested in seeing where they intend to go, what they want to say and how these characters retain who they are along the way. The second issue can't come soon enough.

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8.4
Black Eyed Kids #1

Apr 21, 2016

I haven't read any of Pruett's work since his old Negative Burn days at Caliber, which was such a weird heyday in itself that I still remember it well over twenty years later. Black Eyed Kids is full of potential with what it delivers here. I'm not ready to oversell the book at this point because there's pretty much all mystery about it with what it really wants to be, but it does a lot of very good things with its debut here that should hook fans of this genre in general while also drawing in others. I'm very tempted by this book based off the first issue and will definitely be keeping a close eye on it. The team here has put together a strong opener that deserves to be checked out.

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7.0
Black Eyed Kids #14

Sep 21, 2017

Getting back into this book after only reading the first one isn't exactly easy but it was a reminder that I really do need to check this series out in full. There's a really neat level of oppressive atmosphere about it and I love Kudranski's designs because they, combined with Major's color work, gives it a really intense kind of surreal feeling that tickles that fear sensor in your head just right. A lot of story points floated right over my head here as there isn't any sort of recap accessibility for new readers but what little I remember of the first issue and what I can figure out by supposition made this a fun enough experence where I want to learn more about it. Definitely a title to keep watch on and support if you're interested in this flavor of storytelling as the creative team is firing on all cylinders with this book.

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7.0
Black Eyed Kids #15

Dec 27, 2017

While not the ending some may hope for, particularly since most reading it wouldn't want it to end at all, what we get here is an intriguing almost epilogue-like piece that sets up what can go next in this fairly open-ended series. I really dug pieces of the previous issue even without reading the bulk of what came before and it has me pretty intrigued with what Pruett might have done with it and the places Kudranski and Major could go in ratcheting up the tension and terror. Hopefully, the series in trade form continues to find an audience (and maybe even a nice deluxe season one hardcover?) that it can find a second shot at life down the line from this team. It definitely deserves attention just for being able to run as long as it has as a launch title from AfterShock and the faith put into it when we see publishers cancel a lot of books within the first few issues of sales.

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9.0
Black Hammer #1

Jul 20, 2016

Lemire teases and tantalizes for the most part here with what's going on, not giving us any direct answers or ideas but hitting enough aspects so that you want to know more.

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9.0
Black Hammer #2

Aug 17, 2016

Black Hammer continues to build the larger narrative of what's going on in the background as it explores the impact on the individual members. The connected nature of their lives is a thread that runs through it all, though this installment focuses mostly on Gail's past as Golden Gail and what she has to do to manage in this world to keep up the lie. I like all the little bits and pieces of it and the small but important expansions we get on the larger storyline that's playing out. While it's a familiar story to be sure, it's all about the execution that makes it work so well. And a big part of that is Ormston's artwork as he simply delivers panel after panel with great designs, camera angles, and just the detail of it all to really expand the mood of it. It's a very engrossing work that hits very quickly and has me eager for so much more of it.

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9.0
Black Hammer #3

Sep 21, 2016

Black Hammer continues to deliver exactly what I'm looking for with this type of book. I enjoy these takes on superheroes as it just clicks for me in a really big way as one of the subgenres of comics. With the focus on Barbalien, showing his world and some of his backstory that explains his approach to dealing with things, he feels very fleshed out in just a little bit of space and makes you wish there were rafts of back issues to dig into that showcases his journey on Earth – and before on Mars. I definitely want more of what's going on outside of all of this, the why of it's happening, but I'm just adoring the character explorations Hopefully this is all just the start to something that this team can revisit for years to come after the main story is done as I can definitely see wanting to fill in the blanks to a lot of it with some creativity.

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9.0
Black Hammer #4

Oct 20, 2016

Black Hammer is the best. It's that simple. The team here does excellent work and I can't wait to see where it's going to go next and what crazy and weird revelations will hit. I'm glad we got some quality time with Abraham with his background this time as it's going to factor into what's to come sooner rather than later, but it was the whole household and dinner sequence that just made me fall even more in love with this book. Fantastic stuff all around that I can't wait to get more of, which in itself feels like it will never be enough. Engaging, intriguing, wonderfully illustrated, and just damn fun.

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9.0
Black Hammer #5

Nov 16, 2016

Black Hammer continues to be a book where when a new installment comes in you really ought to pull out all preceding ones and just binge it. There's a lot that you get the second and third time around with smaller details in both dialogue and artwork that it really shows what a layered and intriguing work that it is. You can read it with a superficial side and enjoy the story and not think more on it as well, but for those willing to deep dive you can get a whole lot more. Lemire's nailing the script and characters but Ormston once again brings about such a fun and fascinating series of locations to dig into that I don't know what character or period I'd love for him to just go wild with in a bigger and longer way. I love the old school science fiction pieces here as it's just so fun and so sweet in its own way that it makes me grin pretty damn big. Great stuff once again that can be read almost as a standalone piece but also as part of a larger sprawling work.

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9.0
Black Hammer #6

Dec 21, 2016

Black Hammer delivers some strong material once again as I'm definitely excited to learn more about Madame Dragonfly and the weirdness behind her story. Each of these characters could easily maintain their own book in this style while exploring their pasts that I'm torn between wanting that and wanting these tighter explorations. There's a lot going on here in exploring the past and how trapped everyone is in different ways and a new arrival is going to shake things up by asking more questions and setting more things askew. I'm excited to see what's going to come next, something few books get me to say these days.

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9.0
Black Hammer #7

Mar 22, 2017

The return of Black Hammer is definitely welcome and focusing on the character of Black Hammer even more so. Digging into his past reveals some familiar beats that are executed well as Ormston provides for some very fun pages and layouts to deal with his past and early adventures, as well as the creativity of the Kirby inspired material. At its core is the story of a father and daughter and the separate that exists because of what they've gone through. It's a very solid issue that brings more things into the picture in a clearer way while still holding back enough for some twists and turns ahead that I'm looking forward to discovering more of.

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9.0
Black Hammer #8

Apr 19, 2017

Black Hammer continues to be one of my favorite books in general and it's the kind of thing I already can't wait to read in full when all is said and done. The opening arc brought a lot of things into focus and now we're digging into the details more, piece by piece, and it's becoming an even more chilling storyline. If you subtract the super powers you basically have a Twilight Zone kind of storyline going on here and it works very well just from that perspective. Lemire and Ormston continue to craft a larger tale here and each new piece of it that comes into focus is engaging, but it's the smaller stories that win me over from issue to issue. There's a lot to like here and I already liked Gail, but damn if this round of backstory just make her all the more a tragic figure that I'm really hoping finds a safe path out of this to what she deserves.

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8.4
Black Hammer #9

May 24, 2017

Black Hammer spends just a little bit of time at the farm and that means not a lot of reveals in the present or much in the way of the family dynamic that really gets me interested. It's a tighter focus with just Talky and Weird with a dash of Lucy just to connect things and it works very well, there's no doubt. I like what we get for their friendship/origin story and Rubin delivers some great looking pages while capturing what it is that makes the young Weird who he is with that kind of science fiction material. But the issue just feels like it's missing enough of what it needs to nudge things forward a bit more or any of the bigger trappings to connect it all together. It's a very good story and explains a lot of the bond that exists between the two.

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8.4
Black Hammer #10

Jun 21, 2017

Black Hammer reveals more but my wariness as to what's true and what's deception keeps me from going all in on any particular theory. That makes it a whole lot easier to just enjoy the ride and I'm definitely getting to do that with this installment. I loved the material in the past with the Y-Force but also really dug what we get from Earl and Lucy as that seems like the piece that will blow everything up if it's left to fester too awful long. The reveals are coming in more and more and this installment features some fantastic work from Dean Ormston, especially the flashback with the monster du jour and how the Y-Force kids are handled. Very good stuff all around.

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8.4
Black Hammer #11

Jul 26, 2017

Black Hammer has a solidly small and personal issue here for Mark/Barbalien in all the right ways, giving us another look at his past, the bond he has with Gail, and how assured he is in what he wants from life. That runs well alongside what we see with Gail struggling with this existence and the threat that Abraham is now facing from the locals. Add in a little more about the truth of this place that's coming through thanks to a fresh set of eyes that hasn't been worn down by it and I'm digging this as a strong if quiet chapter in the work.

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9.0
Black Hammer #12

Aug 23, 2017

Black Hammer in its main run has done some really great things in filling in the backgrounds of our leading characters and the world they left behind. Stories like this give us an even more human view of them through others, though Lucy is becoming a central character in her own right.

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8.4
Black Hammer #13

Sep 20, 2017

Black Hammer has delighted me for pretty much every issue in its run because I'm thoroughly enjoying its character and story but also the pacing of it. That aspect is what really helps to draw me into it like a really good novel would as opposed to how most, but certainly not all, comics are done these days. The reveals here are really nicely done even if fairly well telegraphed for a bit but just seeing it all come together provides for the right swell of feelings. And a huge part of that is just the way Dean Ormston pulls it all together. I usually talk about the art a bit more and it's definitely great here, especially with what we get from Lucy, but the combination of everything in this installment just had me more focused on the story itself. I definitely need to find more of his work to check out beyond this series.

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8.0
Black Hammer Annual #1

Jan 18, 2017

While I'm totally loving the main series, well, I'll admit that I only "liked" this. It's a fun book in seeing more of these characters from their past lives before everything went south as it showcases their times and styles more and I loved the various interpretations by the artists assembled here. The connective tissue of Colonel Weird works right and everything is solid. But at the same time it doesn't feel like it adds anything truly new, which admittedly is what the classic giant-sized annuals of old were like. So it's a fun romp that adds a few new touches but little of significance. It's entirely worthwhile for fans of the property and it showcases the cast fairly well in some ways, but it's a distinctive work that's not likely to be an easily accessible entry point for anyone.

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9.0
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1

Apr 18, 2018

Having been a big fan of the original series and the miniseries that came out, it's very easy to get back into the world of Black Hammer. The Age of Doom name makes it sound pretty ominous and it has me hopeful that there'll be some solid revelations and forward movement here as it gets underway sooner rather than later. It's the one area where Lemire leaves me a little wary as the payoff has to be pretty strong after all this time. That said, the journey is most of the fun and he and Ormston have put together a strong book with great visuals, lots of neat locations, and some great character designs that makes me wish we had the whole run to just burn through and re-examine with multiple readings already. The next issue can't come soon enough.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #1

Feb 3, 2015

It's a solid looking issue that in some places may take itself a little too seriously, but it certainly has potential.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #2

Feb 4, 2015

With some small hints of something larger to come, Black Widow mostly plays it safe here and gives us a story that lets Natasha do her work, but show that she's not infallible. She has a solid effort put in here, but there's a kind of weariness to her in a way that makes her susceptible to a lot of mistakes being made, which just turns the whole job into a disaster that doesn't pay out quite as it should. Her narration is solid and the result of it all is what paints her back into that lonely corner, but there's only so far that you can give us a morose and lonely character before it becomes completely uninteresting. Though she's great at what she does, there's no spark to her here that really makes you connect with her, which is what I'm curious to see if it gets developed. The intriguing part is Isaiah, and a lot of that is simply because he's an unknown to me at the moment and the chance to learn new twisty things is enticing.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #3

Feb 5, 2015

Black Widow has another solid issue here that further establishes who Natasha is at this stage while also starting to open her up a little more to actually living. That's critical to making her an engaging character because without her being a bit more accessible, it's hard to really connect with her and want to know more of her. The action component to the book is solid, both in the narration and the artwork that gives it a distinct feeling separate from traditional superhero books, and the more human side is fleshing things out slowly but surely, making me want more. While it may not be totally in character, there's the desire to have Natasha really make some good friends and have one of those hanging out nights as an entire issue just to see her with her hair completely down.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #4

Feb 6, 2015

While we've had the standalone stories with some character material to bind it through so far, this one flips the script and is focused more on the work and less on the character – and it's going to go for at least a two chapter run. There's a lot of uncertainty about this since the bad guys are basically running in the shadows, we don't know much about Molot beyond the fact that he's big, bad, possibly a zealot and working for someone else, so it's hard to have a rally point that can get you engaged with the villain. Natasha's time is good as we see her going from the expected boring, detail oriented intelligence work to something full of action and watching as she copes with it and rolls with some big punches and more. I'm definitely curious where it'll go, but the foundation for the story feels like it's skeletal at best, which makes it hard to really invest in it or those involved.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #5

Feb 7, 2015

The further I get into this series, the more it becomes clear that while I enjoy espionage material, the individual issue format and placement within the Marvel Universe really makes it hard to connect with. The main appeal for me right now is still Phil Noto's artwork as it really brings a great sense of atmosphere to it all, properly claustrophobic in places and oppressive in general, but also with some great stylized moments that definitely makes it a pleasure to read through. The story itself is simply proving harder because it's got a lot to do, but has to work in the tricks and sleight of hand aspects that it feels ill defined and too uncertain. Natasha has a lot of potential but I'm just finding the book too cold in general, though I'm holding out hope for it in the long run.

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6.0
Black Widow (2014) #6

Feb 8, 2015

When the best part of the book is the couple of pages of epilogue material with Natasha and Isaiah, I'm not sure that says a lot for the book.

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8.4
Blackest Night #1

Apr 1, 2011

Blackest Night had a lot of enthusiasm and anticipation going into it and the first issue delivers well. It wasn't a book that knocks you for a loop but it also wasn't a chaotic mess of storylines and plots that left you wondering what the hell you were reading (yes, I'm glaring at you, Final Crisis). As the first entry into the series, it feels much more like an event book of old that wants to spend the right amount of time building the overall idea, seeding it elsewhere, and then starting to ramp up here. With strong artwork overall, good pacing and a lot of character to cover, it hits pretty much every mark right and makes it as accessible as it can be considering the scope of it. Event books of the last few years have turned me away quickly and easily but this one has me wanting to see more of where it's going to go and how the spinoffs will play out as well.

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8.4
Blackest Night #2

Apr 3, 2011

The second installment of Blackest Night manages to do two very important things in my mind. The first is that it still maintains a lot of the sense of dread and pacing from the first in order to build events. The second is that there are payoff moments as well, significant ones, where the action happens and we see the Black Lanterns making their moves.

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7.0
Blackest Night #3

Apr 4, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two issues of Blackest Night but with the Indigo Lanterns arriving here, the info dump we get and the language barrier and confusion doesn't help it all that much. Between that and the conversation that Barry and Hal have, it left me wanting to smack a few of them. The things that save the book though are the moments with Mera as she explains what happened and we see that she's smart enough to go to the Justice League headquarters to get more help and the dual Firestorm subplot. I liked what Jason and Gen brought to the table but I especially liked how the Black Lantern Firestorm played his cards with them, both in action and words. Still, this issue needed something more to it than what we got outside of the info dump and the lack of that has it slowing down instead of ramping up.

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8.0
Blackest Night #4

Apr 5, 2011

The fact that we're halfway through and just getting the reveal about whose pulling the strings again sets this series apart and has me keen to see where it's going to go and trying to sample more of the tie-in books.

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8.0
Blackest Night #5

Apr 6, 2011

While the previous issues have had their slow moments, welcome moments in my mind, this one doesn't slow down in the slightest pretty much from the start. The convergence of storylines is what this issue is all about as Hal is back in the picture and he's picked up a number of associates since being whisked off earlier.

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8.4
Blackest Night #6

Apr 7, 2011

Blackest Night takes things up another level here as it brings together various characters that have been spread out since the beginning. Everyone is ending up in one place and with the mass deputization that's now starting, it's going to go even more interesting since it has to try and force some very different people to work together. Luthor and Scarecrow don't get a lot of time here, but they were some of my favorite panels in the book simply because it spoke to their core nature and amplified it. In fact, Scarecrow has been the most fun to watch with his small number of panels overall with his relationship to Batman. As events in other books play out alongside this, I still find that the core book is the most interesting one of all the ones I'm reading and this one is no exception. The mass deputization is definitely a moment that stands out in a series with a lot of standout, if creepy, scenes.

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8.4
Blackest Night #7

Apr 8, 2011

As Blackest Night gets ready to end, the action and events are ramping up significantly, both in the core book and in the side books. Here in the main one, the newly deputized Corps members cause a little trouble along the way but it's all preamble to the bigger events as Nekron finally makes the connection he wants with the Entity that's apparently for life, the universe and everything. It's not a full on win with what goes on here, but the overall Green Lantern mythology is well expanded here from front to back and it's made much more epic than it ever has before. Outside of it being central to Earth, I found it to be really engaging and fun to read as it's something that has been building for some time on a few different fronts. Blackest Night may not be ending with the same focus it had at the start as the trio we started out with pretty much are nowhere to be seen, but it's been a fluid and fun ride so far that hopefully has a solid enough ending coming up.

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8.4
Blackest Night #8

Apr 9, 2011

While there are some side issue tie-ins to close out the Blackest Night series in full, the end of the series itself is pretty strong. It goes big with what's involved, having spent enough time over the course of it talking about death and how much was orchestrated by Nekron, and the revival of several longstanding characters makes sense in context with it all.

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5.0
Blackhawks #1

Oct 3, 2011

Blackhawks has the trappings of the kind of book I'd like, going back to things like SHIELD, Checkmake and Sgt. Rock by being a solid military style black ops operation in a world that's become dominated by metahumans in the last few years. The opening issue has those trappings but it's execution and presentation is choppy and not altogether clear with what it's stated mission is. The characters aren't detailed much at this point which is a given, but they introduce a number of them and never really make it clear how they work as a unit. DC Comics has often worked with books of this nature and I have hopes that it can find its footing, but it's definitely one of the weakest of the launch books in its presentation and vision.

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7.0
Blackout #1

Mar 26, 2014

Just from the design and cover alone, I wanted to really like Blackout more than I did. What hampered it for me is that once again, we get a title that launched its story in Dark Horse Presents and continues on here without giving those who don't read DHP a clean enough start to feel like we're in on it. It's another title where you feel like you're a few pages behind or are missing from the book. There's a good bit going on and it has a pretty good story to work with based on what's here, albeit with characters that are barely one dimensional at this point, but it's a title that has a lot of potential that I'd love to see more of, if it can really develop it. The suit and its abilities itself are the draw at this stage of the game as it's hard to say if any of the characters will develop, but with a limited series run for it we at least potentially have the chance for a self contained story that can spin off from there.

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7.0
Blackout #2

Apr 30, 2014

While some of it was awkward in that opening issue, Blackout moves forward nicely here as things start to fall into place. It's not running on all cylinders and I wish it had the full issue to explore things, much as I wish King Tiger had a full issue to explore that storyline as well. The nature of the page breakdown does slow things down a bit but in the end we're getting a pair of interesting stories that have a lot of potential depending on how far they go and what they do. Scott Travers isn't the most engaging of characters yet since we've seen so little of who he is, more just him reacting to the acquisition of the suit and trying to get more information while being shot at. The clues are growing though and that helps. King Tiger similarly needs more about the title character, but we'll learn more as Milo spends time there and hopefully finds a way to be healed.

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7.0
Blackout #3

Jun 4, 2014

With the King Tiger moving its own events forward slightly with the demon inside being more forceful, we get a decent backup story that I still find myself wishing it had just gotten a standalone one-shot released instead. Blackout's story continues to feel a little haphazard in some ways because it felt like it didn't start us a good place and I'm still not on board with Scott as a character. But events are starting to come together a bit more for forming him and his use of the suit and that goes a good ways towards making him a bit more interesting by being proactive instead of reactive. The back and forth with Mechatronics has been a real problem point, but with him back there now and facing off against the big bads with just one more issue to go, the character should be decently cemented from there on out.

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7.0
Blackout #4

Aug 13, 2014

The final installment of Blackout and the King Tiger backup story brings both of them to a close, though both feel more like setups for what's to come. There's that sense that they're trial runs for something more, to see if there's interesting.

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8.4
Blood Blister #1

Feb 2, 2017

Blood Blister is certainly intriguing as there's a lot playing around the fringes early on, notably with the title element that Brandon gets infected with that nudges everything forward. It's a creepy series that definitely plays with familiar ideas but is well executed both in script and artwork. It's playing to the non-standard designs of sorts in a great way that allows Harris and Layton to up the ante with facial expressions, such as over "traditional" superhero books and the like, and Major's color work elevates it to a whole other level, especially in the darkness sequences with the way the panels are laid out. With Hester having done some intriguing work before I'm definitely curious to see where this all goes and it's one that fans of this particular genre should give a spin as it has a whole lot of potential.

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8.0
Blood Bowl: More Guts, More Glory! #1

May 31, 2017

I didn't go into Blood Bowl expecting high end material in a sense but rather looking for a well put together book that was fun. Kyme gives us a character to rally around and can bring out the rest of the team as time goes on while taking time here to establish the basics and throw us into a few matches and what they're like. It works well but is made more enjoyable thanks to some great artwork from Jack Jadson and the team. What they bring to the page here is bright and colorful without being cartoonish and it just has a sense of silliness and bloodiness that works very well together. It's a fun book that hits the right notes and works better than it should in a lot of ways.

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7.0
Blood Bowl: More Guts, More Glory! #2

Jul 13, 2017

Blood Bowl is Blood Bowl. There aren't as many character moments here compared to the first issue that got us into a lot of the design of the world and that's pretty expected. What we get is a lot of action as we watch a practice match and the latest tournament game and it gets pretty rough and tumble with a few fumbles along the way. Kyme's script is solid enough but it gets a bit more wordy than I think it needs to with the banter but it's Jadson's artwork and overall layouts that keeps it fun and flowing, especially as you look to see what little quirks are in the mix with the chaos on the field. This is still definitely a limited appeal kind of book but it's pretty well done considering it's called Blood Bowl.

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8.0
Blood Brothers (2017) #1

Jun 28, 2017

Blood Brothers didn't knock me out and demand I come back for more but it laid out more than enough to bring me back for more. Rangel's script is solid and we get a good establishment of the two leads and the setting while leaving a lot of world building to be done still. Caba's artwork is distinctive without being distracting and he lays out some solid pages and has a good bit of fun with the character designs at times in the background. The leads stand out as well as I particularly like the grim look that Diego gets and there's a real charm with Gabriel that makes me grin when I see some of his expressions. There's plenty of potential here even with the familiarity and I'm curious to see where the team will take this book for its run.

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8.0
Blood Brothers (2017) #2

Jul 26, 2017

Blood Brothers doesn't dig deeper into things here but moves the storyline and investigation forward with a few nods, from a ghost that knows the brother's father to a look at Calavera trying to hawk the skull. The a lot of action in both of the main sections that the book works through and a fun interrogation sequence, the whole thing is a quick read that's definitely worth a second and third read through to soak up the artwork and what it presents. A lot of fun and a nicely creative take on a familiar story arc.

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8.0
Blood Brothers (2017) #3

Aug 23, 2017

Blood Brothers is a miniseries that I'm already hoping that another one is in the process of being produced because there's a lot to like here. The team has taken the familiar, given it a good spin of their own, and is open to a lot more expansion and interpretation to be even bigger and more involved. This issue's focus on Medusa is fun with what it introduces and it has me wanting to know a lot more of her past and that of the brothers, which we do get a glimpse of. The script continues to be fun and well paced with some good moments that make you grin while the artwork is definitely rich in detail and solid in flow so that you're easily caught up in it all, especially when the action hits. Definitely an under the radar title worth checking out.

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8.0
Blood Brothers (2017) #4

Sep 27, 2017

Blood Brothers was that kind of series where you see the first issue as it stands out on the shelf because of its style and give it a while because you're looking for something different. While there are familiar elements to be had in here to be sure with it being a procedural, the blending of the supernatural and larger storyline elements is great and the series as a whole clicked well for me. This is what I'm hoping to see more of as it's fun, quirky, and solidly put together with plenty of room to grow. It'd work well as a standalone miniseries but I'm hopeful that we'll definitely be seeing more.

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8.4
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1

Mar 4, 2015

I've missed the Blood Queen series since it ended, so I was really glad to see that she's back in this form. A four issue miniseries that pits her against Dracula definitely has its appeal since both are very strong characters in different but similar ways. A lot of what we get here is establishing material, first with seeing how things work in Dracula's camp and then looking at the rumors and whispers that have grown over the Blood Queen and what she's doing in her territory. Getting an up close and personal look at it helps to shake off some of the legends to be sure, but Dracula is also starting to realize that there's a lot more going on than he's aware of. With a thrill that he's not felt in years, almost drunk on power, seeing how the dynamic between the two will unfold has me quite excited to see what comes next.

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8.4
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #2

Apr 1, 2015

Though I went into this book as a Blood Queen fan, I'm definitely becoming a fan of this interpretation of Dracula as well. He's definitely the right kind of character to bring balance to what Elizabeth offers and can serve as both a wall to her ambitions, forcing her to become something more to overcome them, while also providing a real frustration for him that's outside of the Ottomans and what they're doing. The book moves their stories forward having now met and shown just what it is each is capable of, but we also see the start of what the Ottoman wizards will be cooking up to try and deal with both of them, knowing the threat and obstacle they represent. It's a solid book all around with some sharp dialogue and really solid artwork to bring it all together in an engaging way.

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8.4
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #3

Apr 29, 2015

While we do get some time with the Ottoman soldiers outside of her castle that are slowly making their move, the bulk of this is all about Elizabeth and losing portions of her seat of power. It's chipping away at her in a good way that gets even more intense towards the end as Dracula really makes his presence known in a way that should strike fear into her. While Dracula has a small presence himself, at least physically, what he does is strike fear in some really great ways here. Seeing how Elizabeth reacts is what works the best here and through some solid pacing and really great artwork, it hits all the right marks, especially when involving Zsofi. With one more issue to go, I'm unsure of how things will end, but hopefully we'll be seeing another miniseries of some sort in the future as well.

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8.4
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #4

Jun 3, 2015

This miniseries was a very fun way of keeping the Blood Queen material going a bit after the main book ended and I definitely like what it did in pairing her with Dracula as a foe and wary ally. The two have some very good banter throughout the battle and I enjoyed their dialogue in bringing things to a close as it's the kind of realistic approach they have to take considering their positions, as well as the second layer of planning both have in place. The series may end largely in the same way it started when you get down to it, but it was a very fun romp that hopefully introduced the Blood Queen to more readers, and hopefully gets us more material with both her and Dracula, together and separately. The team here did a great job in presenting a slick, fun and very engaging read both monthly and as a full run.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #1

Aug 28, 2017

I've got a lot of faith in Marguerite Bennett after what she's achieved in the last few years across a range of series and can't wait to see where she and the artists that she gets to work with go with it.

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5.0
Bombshells: United #2

Sep 4, 2017

Bombshells is still a series that I'm excited to see what it's going to do and how but this is proving to be a rough start to the series and the arc, making me wonder just how it must be for those coming in blind by not reading the other one. There are fun moments, scenes, and dialogue to be had here and it's setting up so many other things that I have to hope that it all comes together well as an eight-part arc that this one is being billed as. Right now, however, it's just kind of a weird mess that's not clicking for me anywhere near as well as what preceded it.

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5.0
Bombshells: United #3

Sep 11, 2017

I continue to be excited by the potential of this new series because the faith is earned after the original run, but I find myself now waiting more on what the next arc will be (and what characters may appear) than what's been set so far in these first three issues. There are fun moments here but I'm still of a mind that I'm not feeling a firm footing here and that's leaving me disconnected from what's going on. There's plenty to like in seeing these interpretations of the characters and Marguerite Sauvage's artwork as I always enjoy that, but I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now to see if it can make me really invest in this initial arc.

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6.0
Bombshells: United #4

Sep 18, 2017

Bombshells: United feels like it's a bit tighter and more cohesive here, not quite as ethereal as it's felt over the first three issues. This issue works the distrust side of things while also setting up for a fight in the next installment that ought to be fun. This installment also introduced me to Marcel DiChiara's artwork and it's a good fit here. I'm not terribly keen on their take on the Bombshell version of Wonder Woman as she looks a little bit like an action figure in some scenes because of the angle, but by and large there's a lot to like here as they work the flow of this format well and the layouts make for a smooth read. The rest of the character designs worked well for me and it has me looking forward to what else may be coming.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #5

Sep 25, 2017

It's easy to view Bennett as essentially speaking to the audience and at one point in time I would have rolled my eyes because I believed that the majority of readers understood this. And to some extent I do believe that the majority do. But the vocal minority doesn't get it and we need these instances of putting it out there plain and clear, especially with characters like Diana who are making it clear that she does not represent the things they do and that they haven't understood her, and many others, for quite some time. Bennett does a solid job with the scripting and dialogue here while Oum delivers big on some great visuals as the two face off against each other up close and personal. These are all things that I learned decades ago and adhere to so it's a familiar thing being played out but it's welcome to see it as clear and verbose as it is.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #7

Oct 9, 2017

While I'm still struggling with this United incarnation in a couple of ways, each issue brings in things that click for me and enjoys it. The last few pages here captures some of the magic of the previous series in how I felt reading much of it and I'm excited to see what's next to come with it. David Hahn was a solid addition to the series with the art and colors as it all clicks well with what's come before both in costume design and layouts but even down to the kinds of poses that are used. This is a fun issue once it gets to the heart of who Basil is and moves past that to give us something new with a nice tweak on what's come before.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #8

Oct 16, 2017

Bombshells is fun with the right kind of inspirational take that we get from the Wonder Girls in how they approach things here. It just doesn't feel like it's fully cemented or formed with what they're doing.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #9

Oct 23, 2017

Bombshells: United is working a very distinct approach, something that we saw in the main series, but it's wearing it even more openly on its sleeve. And that's not a bad thing at all as this is something that comics, superheroes, and these characters have done forever – just like old Greek mythology and the like. The problem is that the story just isn't moving at a good pace and it feels too drawn out and forced, which is what the last dozen or two issues of the main series felt like the last time around at the end of its run. I like what we get for the Wonder Girls here in defining them and showing what they're capable of in this form and I really liked Siya Oum's take on it all with a very distinct and minimal kind of appeoach that has its own power. There's a lot to like and it might work better when read in full but this arc has frustrated me more than I expected.

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7.0
Bombshells: United #10

Oct 30, 2017

The end of the opening arc for Bombshells: United leaves me somewhat unsettled as to what this series wants to do. The previous run had arcs I didn't care for too much but United just hasn't clicked as a whole for this opening arc, leaving me hopeful that things shift in a way that I find more engaging in the next arc. Bennett delivers some good things here with what we get from Dawnstar and Donna and DiChiara has some decent moments throughout with the artwork even if I don't think it fits well overall. I'm definitely just glad to be done with this arc to see if the series is going to work for me with what comes next.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #11

Nov 6, 2017

While this issue serves more as a recap and "where are they now?" segment than anything else, it's a critical one for me as Bombshells: United hasn't felt like it's part of what the previous Bombshells series was. Bennett runs through a lot of the cast here, but not all of it, and gives us a heads-up as to where they are and some of what they're up to while providing nods to the bigger stories that are coming – all of which has me excited. I love Wonder Woman as much as most fans of the Bombshells property but I'm extra excited to move on from her for a bit and dig into the rest of the cast. This issue just clicked for me really well and while the cast is a big part of it the artwork was as well as I just adore Jarrell's take on these characters, the camera placement that we get for it such as the fishnet stockings moment, and the expressions from the cast that sometimes feels like we're going to slide sideways into an installment of The Spirit. Very good stuff.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #12

Nov 13, 2017

Bombshells: United feels more like it's working material that I was looking for with it, though I know Marguerite Bennett will deliver a lot of surprises and twists that will give me things I didn't expect. This issue does some solid if brief introductions of new characters we'll get to see more of but it also focuses on a couple of them in more detail, all while still touching on the Wonder Girls and Wonder Woman. The framing of a larger war about to get underway is exciting but I also hope for more of the war that's underway already gets some attention as well as that grounded element that gave it a different kind of weight. Bennett's got some good stuff here and Sandy Jarrell delivers once more that has me wishing I could just have all the pages or lots of posters of his work from this series.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #13

Nov 20, 2017

I can't help but to feel that I may have been too harsh on the opening storyline for Bombshells: United but it just didn't click for me and the thought of losing a book I adored kind of panicked me in a way. There were good things but the series feels far more "on track" to what makes it work for me in the last few issues that I'm just thrilled to be back in this space again and reconnecting with the wide range of Bombshells that there are. The circle around to Kate, who kicked off the original series, is a very welcome piece for me and heading back to Spain even more so as there's a lot of material to mine. Bennett keeps things moving well even while recapping a lot and she benefits hugely from some great artwork and layouts from Richard Ortiz. Very good stuff all around.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #14

Nov 27, 2017

Bombshells: United is delivering well for me at this stage and it has me more excited than I've been for most of its run to see what comes next. The locations being used, the characters added to the storyline with this arc, the engaging dialogue, and the fantastic artwork and layouts all comes together for a pretty strong experience as a single issue and part of the larger world that Marguerite Bennett has been creating here for almost 120 issues between the two books. It's a solid entry that gives us a look at the scale of power that Black Adam has here and I cannot say enough how much I love Richard Ortiz's presentation of him in addition to just about every other main character int he book.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #15

Dec 4, 2017

I'm not surprised at all that I enjoyed this issue considering the talents and characters within. If I hadn't enjoyed I'd be wondering what was so broken about the book because it feels so tailor made for me. The forward progress side isn't there that much when it comes to Black Adam and events in Spain but we do get a little reconnect that's nicely done. For me, it was getting Bennett and Andolfo taking the time to dig into more of Kate's past with the connective layers and showcase her time taking up the bat and her time with Maggie. Frankly, I want an entire series like this just focusing on their relationship and how it came about with Andolfo handling the artwork for it. There's a rich history to romance comics and making a 1930's style Batwoman romance book? My goodness, how much money do I have to throw at them?

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8.0
Bombshells: United #16

Dec 11, 2017

Bringing Talia into the world is something I'm definitely curious to see how it'll play out and this is a decent start to it. The book kind of runs with a couple of different focuses and throws a lot at the reader so it doesn't have quite the weight that it feels like it should. I like the fun of the start of it with the quips and action but felt the flashback/exposition side of it was just a bit less compelling, a little too soon to be happening from someone they just met. I would have rather had more time seeing Kate and Renee connecting with Talia than getting the whole history in a kind of cartoon info dump. The book is fun overall and I definitely liked what Mirka Andolfo brought to the page with the action and Kate's expressions so there's plenty to like here.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #17

Dec 18, 2017

It's a solid enough foundation to understand the past of Black Adam and why he's such a harsh ruler in Spain in the present, but none of it's really new here. I like Oum's artwork as there are some great panels and the presentation for Adam himself is solid. But beyond that this is largely a forgettable installment unless you're a massive Black Adam fan and enjoy various takes on his past and path to who we know him as today in all the various forms.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #18

Dec 25, 2017

Bombshells: United delivers a solid issue here with more backstory comes to light for both Black Adam and Cheetah while also putting things into play to move it forward. There is some very solid emotional payoff here that Oum renders beautifully in the back half of it and I'm definitely curious to see what Bennett's endgame is with this character that now has a radically different future. The book continues to do a lot of fun things (and leaves me wishing we had a few books in this timeline out there so we could explore more of it) and I'm digging the cast of the moment and eager to see what's next. Another solid entry.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #19

Jan 3, 2018

Providing for some quality downtime for Kate and Renee to connect with Jason after the staggering loss of him before is definitely the best thing. It'd be terrible if it went right to the action instead of giving both women – and Jason – time to bond again and actually have some joy and happiness. Bennett sets up what's to come and we know it's going to be rough as hell but it's going to take some interesting turns with Miri's arrival, I think. The story is solid here and Mirka Andolfo does a fantastic job with some really great pages here, particularly for Kate, as we see this unfold. I really dug the Miri scenes as well with the sense of impending doom but it's the time down below with Kate and Renee that shined the most.

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7.0
Bombshells: United #20

Jan 8, 2018

The book reads well and was certainly fun but the artwork just didn't cut it for me this time and made it less of an engaging and appealing experience overall as it didn't have that Bombshells signature feeling that most of the other artists have captured over the course of their work on it.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #21

Jan 15, 2018

Bombshells: United has a really good installment here with what it works through. The action is fun, the Lazarus Pit material works well with how it's utilized, and the villainous monologue material has the right kind of fun about it.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #22

Jan 22, 2018

Bombshells: United is getting closer to finishing out this arc and I'm going to miss a lot of it because the emotional payoff is certainly there with so much built up for Jason and the others. This issue doesn't give enough space for what Isis is going through and the impact on Adam, at least not yet, but what it puts into motion is strong and there's a good chance for some mixed fallout to come from it for all involved. I definitely liked what Bennett put into the arc overall and this issue is no exception and Stephen Byrne's artwork really makes me want an animated version to be done, just not with this version of Black Adam.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #23

Jan 29, 2018

This arc has had a couple of lulls to it but it's largely delivered on giving us a good story focusing on Kate and Renee that deals with their past and how it haunts them. Everything comes to a head here and the fallout and movements in the next issue should be really fun to see how it all unfolds. Bennett's able to really deliver on the feelings of these characters as it goes back a long way now with a lot of twists and turns and Sandy Jarrell brings it to the page beautifully with great designs filled with emotion. It's a strong installment as I expect from this talented group working on the book and it's something that just makes my day and something to look forward to each week in a big way.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #24

Feb 5, 2018

Bombshells: United had a lengthy arc for this storyline and it largely worked well even if it felt like it went on a bit too much. The closing chapter on it serves as a solid epilogue for events and brings things to where they need to be for pretty much all of the characters to move on and become something more than they were at the start. They're all changed and it's all for the better. The Black Adam material can make one feel a little iffy but sadly there are many that are never brought to justice that need to be and find a peaceful way out of life. But overall there's a whole lot to like here and it works well to deliver a good ending cap to the arc.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #26

Feb 19, 2018

As this arc gets the core components put into place, Bombshells: United draws in a few different characters and introduces a new one. I'm not a huge Bumblebee fan and just got done with an extended run with her over in the Titans book but I'm curious to see how Bennett handles and tweaks her for this time period. Sandy Jarrell gets to work up some really good stuff for the Hawaii locations and I like seeing this group that's come together with the variety that the represent. And that's even before the Squad drops in at the end that adds even more style and diversity to the designs.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #27

Feb 26, 2018

Though it's a bit of a slow start/recap thing when Bombshells: United gets undewary, the issue as a whole delivers what I want; a fun cast of characters, some good action, and a great looking work when it comes to the characters and their costumes and design. The Suicide Squad continue to be a favorite of mine and having them involved here and dealing with pushback from Dinah and the Batgirls tickles a particular fancy in a very good way. There's not a ton of forward story movement here but you can see how some things are going to come together sooner rather than later and the danger is continuing to escalate. It may be a bit recap-ish for long time readers but overall it's a solid issue.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #28

Mar 5, 2018

Bombshells: United continues to have a decent arc going on here but it's still not got me fully on board since it's a music based on. I like the use of Black Canary in the arc as a whole and the inclusion of the Suicide Squad adds a bit more fun. But it's moving in a kind of uncertain flow right now that's keeping it from feeling like it has a strong forward momentum focus. Bennett keeps it moving well enough here so that you feel like there's progress and David Hahn puts in another solid installment with some fun character designs and action moments, especially some of the creepy ways that Enchantress comes across.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #29

Mar 12, 2018

This issue of Bombshells brings a few different threads together and sets up for the reveal at the end, which basically leaves us with more questions than answers. And that works for me because I'm looking forward to the next issue. The character material here is the draw with Alysia again feeling older than she is, as does Felicity to some degree, all while Frankie has to grapple with the reality of these kids' lives. There's not much in the way of action here but it makes solid forward progress and teases what's really going on here, which should be expanded upon soon. It's a solid book with great artwork, as is expected from this team.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #30

Mar 19, 2018

The Bombshells: United arc moves on and there's definitely something fun that'll be coming soon enough as we've got a location and hints as to who is behind all of this. It may be a bit more drawn out than I care for but each issue has plenty of fun little moments that makes it enjoyable. A lot of that this time around is just delighting in seeing Aneke illustrating a surfboarding Black Canary or the way Batgirl has to save her. The scenes with Felicity and Frankie definitely hit very well too with the way Felicity takes a hit for the team to try and get closer to figuring out what's really going on. It's a quick and fun read with lots of little details to make another reading very worthwhile.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #31

Mar 26, 2018

As this arc moves towards its crescendo, it hits a big note here with how it ends with some strong buildup just before it. The Bombshells have some good moments as they investigate and piece things together but it shifts big time into Big Barda after that and rightly so – for the moment. She's able to go toe to toe with the Gentle Lady character and there's lots more to deal with beyond that as it progresses. It's a solid story installment but a great artwork installment as Jarrell and Fitzpatrick deliver a great looking book that just gets more and more exciting as it goes along.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #32

Apr 2, 2018

This installment of Bombshells: United largely does what was expect from early on in the grand scale with people freed from the song and now facing a new threat. The path to it was fun and I loved that it brought the Squad in and messed with them a bit by putting them under pressure and fractures. The use of Granny Goodness was a pleasant surprise last time around and Barda and she really drove that issue to a big place that I loved. This issue doesn't have quite as strong a moment in the same way but the start of the song and what it represents with what Dinah was doing hits all the right notes for a good book.

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8.4
Bombshells: United #33

Apr 9, 2018

While Bombshells: United as a whole hasn't been as strong as the previous series there's been a whole lot to like.

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8.0
Bombshells: United #34

Apr 16, 2018

Bombshells: United really does feel like it's just trying to go out on the biggest bang possible with as many characters involved as it can. There are a lot of really great moments here that could sustain their own arcs easily " multiple of them here could be multiple issues on their own " so the series is losing some of its cohesion in that way with has allowed it to work previously.

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8.0
Briggs Land #2

Sep 14, 2016

Briggs Land is certainly starting off well overall and while I can see how this might end up being a bit more compelling in TV form I'm definitely enjoying what we get here. It comes down to there's only so much you can do in the space of a single issue like this because you can't over compress what's going on. That we get a few pages with Chater simply showing how people are getting ready to head into the Village is highly useful because their routine and how they present themeslves is definitely engaging but also revealing of various quirks. I'm totally digging Chater's work and he seems really well suited to something like this and other grounded stories. Wood has a lot going on with this and you can see a million different directions it can go, which just makes it even more exciting.

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8.0
Briggs Land #3

Oct 12, 2016

Briggs Land is definitely shaping up well and I've enjoyed the first two issues and quite like how things are turning out here. The flashbacks are useful for establishing more of the nature and structure of the Land and past interactions, because history is huge and important in this as it shows how Grace will be changing things while trying to get back to the core ideas of it all. Wood keeps things simple on the dialogue side but moves events forward well in smaller and more personal ways. Chater delivers some great artwork throughout and gives it a very distinctive feeling, particularly with how Roughridge is handling the color design with the more striking moments and the run down aspects of the world itself here.

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8.4
Briggs Land #4

Nov 16, 2016

Definitely curious to see what's to come but also reading it with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because of the content.

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8.4
Briggs Land #5

Dec 21, 2016

Briggs Land feels like it's going in some expected directions but I can't help but wonder if there's a twist or two in the offing that I'm not quite seeing yet. I like what Wood is doing and the way it focuses on a few different things while still keeping to the main idea. I also really love that he gives Chater time to showcase the environment they're all in, particularly the scenes of nature where we see Grace hunting or just soaking up the scenery. This team is firing on all cylinders and I'm really interested to see how it plays long term and what kind of big and defining moments are ahead of us as we see what Grace is doing and what's still to come for her to deal with.

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8.0
Briggs Land #6

Jan 26, 2017

Briggs Land continues to tackle several different areas to do what's needed in getting all the players into their positions now that Grace has firmly taken control. There's a lot to be seen about how she actually manages Briggs Land as what we've mostly seen is her consolidating things as needed while keeping it low on the violence side compared to what it could be. This is a quieter installment overall as we get more of a character focus in some ways, especially with Caleb, but Mack Chater definitely delivers in making it exciting through the layouts, the progression of movement across the streets in some scenes with Grace, and just the expressiveness and almost oppressive feelings of the various situations. It's a really engaging work with some great detail that makes it a treat each month to check out.

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8.0
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #1

Jun 14, 2017

Briggs Land: Lone Wolves hits a lot of good stuff in a small way here and is set to build into an interesting arc that will likely tie into a lot of what went on in the first series as well. Putting some focus on Isaac is welcome but also on James with the ways he can be drawn into things. Brian Wood has certainly earned trust on the first series and past works to tell a solid tale over the run of a book and I have no doubt of that here. My introduction to Mack Chater in the first series means that I'll likely get into anything he does that's of this kind of grounded variety but it also makes me curious to see what else he's done that's outside of it. That said, I'm super glad to see him back on this run of the book and can't wait to see what else he's going to introduce us to through his designs as the story ramps up in some very big ways.

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8.4
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #2

Jul 12, 2017

With a complex group of people in a situation that feels very tense on a regular basis, Brian Wood delivers the goods with the second installment as the tensions ramp up fast and furious. It's got me hooked and looking forward to the adaptation to see how that will play out in the TV medium. What really defines this one is Mack Chater's artwork as I love the way he brings this land to life, especially in the wilds of it, because it just has those elements that you can see why a lot of those here would be drawn to it. The living area is a bit rougher and simpler in a lot of ways and the color work from Roughridge gives Chater's artwork the right kind of earthy tones that it needs to feel like it's slightly out of time with the rest of the world but not horribly so. Very good stuff that has me excited to see how this arc shakes out.

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8.4
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #3

Aug 16, 2017

Briggs Land delivers another solid issue that while it may feel like things are drawn down too quickly end up also feeling like it's the right way that various sides would want to try and de-escalate it all. This is a tinder box ready to blow and all this does is just calm the winds down for a little bit before it becomes inflamed once again. Wood's scripts are pretty solid here as the characters aren't overly verbose and revealing more than they should and Mack Chater continues to deliver some great looking pages and designs that gives it such a rough and earthy feeling without going into caricature that you're rolling your eyes at it. A great presentation all around with stories that continue to unnervice.

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8.4
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #4

Sep 13, 2017

Briggs Land continues to be an engaging book that I look forward to with each installment. There's a kind of uncertainty as to what it'll be at times and I'm really curious to see how the TV side develops and how that'll work similar but different angles as it takes on a life of its own. This issue with its focus on the two women definitely works well as it's a good standalone piece that gives us good character material and more of an understanding of the land and its people. I'm definitely interested in seeing what may be in Abbie's future after this because you can easily see the challenges she faces that won't be easy to overcome when the time comes.

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8.4
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #5

Oct 11, 2017

Events are moving quickly with Jim pulling the strings with a bit of help and seeing how fast it does escalate is intriguing. There are a lot of wheels in motion to keep a place like this going and Jim and others are able to knock on it quickly and easily while Grace is going to struggle with it because of recent events. Wood's script keeps things moving right along and I really enjoyed what Dell'Edera brought to the page as it fits with what Mack Chater has done but still retains his own style and quirks that drew me to his material. This arc could shape up to be my favorite of the run if it capitalizes on a lot of things that it can draw on so I'm pretty hopeful with it.

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8.4
Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #6

Nov 15, 2017

The next Briggs Land series can't come soon enough for me and I know that Brian Wood has a lot of stories still to tell with this project. Lone Wolves gave us a lot of interesting smaller subplots to work with and an expansion on our understanding of some of the cast and their dynamics with each other and the outside world. Grace is definitely cementing her position more as are others in the family tree and I love seeing the pushback against Jim that we get here. I also really liked what Werther Dell'Edera brought to the book in this two issues with a distinctive look that also fit in with what Mack Chater established with all that came before. Very good stuff all around.

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8.4
Brightest Day #0

Apr 23, 2011

Similar to Blackest Night, Brightest Day starts off with a whole lot of potential. I like the way that Boston Brand is tying the story together at first here with him being the only one with a white ring and being pushed towards something mysterious. Using him as the method of going across those who have returned and seeing how they're coping allows this issue to work as both an epilogue to Blackest Night and a really good prologue to what's about to come. Fernando Pasarin does a really great job with the artwork here, particularly those opening pages, and he captures the look of all the characters very well. There's a good amount of detail here which gives it all a very polished look. After a series that focused on so many dead characters that were falling apart, it's definitely a lighter look here and it contains a sense of optimism to it, though not without an edge of danger to it as well. The opening to this new event series definitely has captured my attention.

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8.4
Brightest Day #1

Apr 24, 2011

As the opening issue after the special zero issue setup, there's a lot going on here and it's going at a somewhat slow but solid approach. I much liked how Blackest Night did a similar route in taking its time to lay out the elements right and with a lot more time to work with here, there's even more potential, both for the story to grow and for the team to lose the audience. I really liked the zero issue and I liked a lot of what's here, but the tough part is going to be finding the right balance for each issue with the separate storylines that will eventually come together for the larger narrative. At this stage, I like pretty much all the characters involved outside of Firestorm, which is sad because I loved the old Firestorm series back in the day, and have hopes that through Brightest Day we can get some of these guys back to where they belong in the larger DC Universe. This is a very good first step towards it all.

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7.0
Brightest Day #2

Apr 25, 2011

I certainly don't expect every issue to be non-stop revelations and advancements, but this one leaves me feeling a little uncertain about how far it wants to go with some things.

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8.0
Brightest Day #3

Apr 26, 2011

Brightest Day has a bit of an uneven issue this time around. Aquaman and Boston Brand's stories are really well done. Martian Manhunter makes a discovery that has a lot of potential, but I'm still having issue with the ease at which he took on the woman's dead father's role in order to gain the information previously. He's come across as even more disconnected than ever before. The Firestorm storyline is the one that bothers me the most though just because of the misplaced anger. Thankfully, the positive outweighs the mediocre here since Aquaman really manages to carry things well and looks fantastic doing it. With the cliffhanger here involving Carter and Shiera, we learn more of what Hath-Set has been up to all these years beyond making masks and it's an event that only serves to make him an even creepier character. And yet they find a very good way of making you want to come back to the next issue quickly with an ope-ended portal that you want to know more about.

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8.0
Brightest Day #4

Apr 27, 2011

This installment has some very good things going for it but it's still mostly setup for events. And that's not a bad thing at all since I like the layered approach. It's just a matter of ensuring some real payoff by the end.

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8.0
Brightest Day #5

Apr 28, 2011

This is a good issue all around that moves all three story lines forward a bit more with revelations and discoveries along with a nice dose of action.

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8.0
Brightest Day #6

Apr 29, 2011

Brightest Day hits up a lot of information here and offers two different types of retcons. The first is one that has a new story running parallel to established history. The second is one that radically changes a characters origin story which alters how you view that character upon reading older stories. Some things fit, others don't. Of the two types, I definitely prefer the first but I'll admit a certain intrigue with how Mera's being reworked here because it's something that will be used to build up what Aquaman has to deal with in the future. With a good part of Brightest Day being about making him an A-list character again, expanding his enemies list makes a lot of sense. Having all of this on top of the new twist added to the Firestorm story and expanding more on the deal with Boston Brand, this issue brings a lot to the table with a good part of it being fairly controversial.

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8.4
Brightest Day #7

Apr 30, 2011

This issue does a really good job of taking what we've seen come before and shift it into the next gear. It also left me really wanting to see more of what's going on with the others since their tales all have potential as well. While this hasn't been a huge and epic series, it's one that's really kept my interest in each issue and leaves me wanting more.

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8.0
Brightest Day #8

Jun 13, 2011

Brightest Day doesn't provide any significant forward momentum here, but it does put a few characters on some interesting paths. J'onn has a lot to grapple with in the idea that there may be another, that he may not be the last of his race, but it's colored by the fact that the other survivor isn't quite like him in terms of his sense of justice or serenity of mind. Those at the White Battery find themselves on a path that's slowly making more sense but just asks more questions while Hawkman and Hawkgirl operate in another world altogether that still hasn't clicked well. Its connection to the main storyline isn't even tenuous at best yet as I'm unsure of where it's trying to go or what it means. What I do know is that it hasn't interested me terribly and is the main weak storyline in an otherwise very fun and engaging series to read so far.

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8.0
Brightest Day #9

Jun 14, 2011

With nine issues out of the way, it's quickly hitting a point where it needs more substance to be introduced though. I'm enjoying each of the stories for the most part, but the ties that binds it together need to tighten a bit more to keep up the enthusiasm.

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8.4
Brilliant Trash #1

Nov 15, 2017

Brilliant Trash is the kind of series where in its first issue I can see the edges of brilliance to it if it can pull it off. Seeley's got some neat ideas to work with here that I like and am in favor of and he's landed a fantastic artist to bring it to life with as Petraites has something special here, especially with Lesko's color work bringing it to life even more. The oppressive feeling of the book clicks well and the hyper-aware aspects of the journalist/clickbait side resonates as well. I'm really intrigued to see where this book wants to go when it comes to Avis and those it introduces in the last pages that hint at the larger story, as well as understanding more of Lady Lastword and her supposed goals. Definitely a book to keep an eye on for several reasons.

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8.0
Brilliant Trash #2

Dec 13, 2017

Brilliant Trash jumps around a lot and has a lot of things going on. There's a lot of exposition here but it doesn't feel like it really reveals anything. I'm still trying to get a handle on this world design with what it's about and how it works but I'm feeling more like Kennedy than anything else, being thrust from situation to situation in crazy ways and unable to get my bearings. Seeley's a strong writer to be sure and I'm hopeful that things will even out so that I can really connect with it, especially as I want to enjoy it thanks to Petraites' artwork as there's a lot to like here. But there's something about the structure and the lack of enough foundation for me to latch onto that's making it rough to get into.

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8.0
Brilliant Trash #3

Jan 17, 2018

Brilliant Trash still doesn't feel like it has a through-line that I could easily explain to someone as to why they should get into the book. I like aspects of it with the artwork and some of the creative choices as to the characters and their backstories in this strange little familiar world. But I can't say it's about something in particular to make it a quick and easy recommendation. It's got a lot of potential as there are neat pieces to it that I'm hoping come together well. This issue gives me more hope that we'll get there with it as it's not as overstuffed with things that keep it from having a good narrative flow. I feel like I've got a better handled on Kennedy here and Jim to some degree but also some good flashback material for Zhen.

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6.0
Brilliant Trash #4

Feb 22, 2018

The flow of the book still feels disjointed and clunky in some areas as it moves about either in a jumpy or too quick of a way but it makes up for that with some creative weirdness that I continue to find strangely appealing.

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6.0
Brilliant Trash #5

Apr 4, 2018

While Brilliant Trash doesn't claw its way back for me with this issue compared to the last couple, it does work better overall as it's feeling more focused and clear about what it is it wants to do. I liked what we had of Zhen in the past issues as her story worked but this one doesn't deal with her yet works better when it comes to Kennedy at the least. Cromwell's still kind of problematic as the foundations of the series that are somewhat superficial but there's an element of fun and some strong forward progress being made here that's capped off with an intriguing moment that has me wanting to see how it plays out.

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8.4
Brothers Dracul #1

Apr 11, 2018

It's a solid read worth revisiting not long after finishing it the first time as you pick up on more details and draw the events together just a bit more. Part of it is just letting go of past incarnations that you've experienced and to take this one as its own and move forward from it there. It's part of the fun and problem of dealing with such an old property but I suspect there will be some great payoff here.

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6.0
Cage Hero #1

Nov 4, 2015

Throughout the bulk of this first issue I was coming away with a pretty impressed view of things and thinking that even with the wrestling angle, not a favorite of mine, that it could be a pretty good coming of age with some heroics elements mixed in kind of series.But it ends up going so over the top that it just took me out of the book completely and made it so that I didn't even want to finish it. It just goes into such awful territory that I doubt I'll go after the second issue to see if it can redeem itself. There's a good story to be had here and some great artwork, but the trappings brought in at the end just completely kills my interest in it unfortunately.

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8.0
Captain America: The First Vengeance #1

Feb 19, 2011

With thirteen pages and two story paths being told, the first issue can go only so far but it does a rather nice job in establishing not only how Captain America operates during the war and how he's perceived by the enemy but also showing us what influences he had as a youth that makes him the man that he is. It's solid setting establishment material that leaves you wanting a lot more about the days prior to getting the serum to get into the man before he became the symbol.

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8.0
Captain America: The First Vengeance #2

Feb 22, 2011

Fred Van Lente does a good job here of exploring the time before Steve signed up and various things that were influencing him. It adds a touch more of the human element to him prior to his getting the serum. The pacing of this issue is solid as it moves through the key lead-up times and runs it well with the fighting in '44. It has me enthused for more but with a touch of wariness to it.

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7.0
Captain America: The First Vengeance #3

Mar 9, 2011

While I rather enjoyed the first two issues of the series, this one didn't capture me quite as strongly since it moved away from Cap and what he was going through. The action side is minimal overall, but I really enjoyed the culmination of Schmidt's story here as Himmler gets his hooks into him. Going back to Germany in 1934 and seeing how some of the pieces come together is pretty good but the short form nature of the book doesn't give it the room to breathe. Adding a little more context to the movie universe of the Marvel characters has been fun so far but this one takes us down an unexpected path based on what we saw in the previous issue. Of course, they can go only so far with it since they're dealing with setting up the movie a bit rather than telling a full on tale.

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6.0
Captain Atom #1

Sep 22, 2011

Captain Atom is the kind of lower grade superhero character that I grew to love years ago that just has a hell of a hard time making it to the big leagues. He's had his shots to be sure and lots of good stuff over the years (I loved his time in the bwahahaha era of the Justice League books) but there's something about him that just holds him back. The lack of a solid solo book for so long is one of those things that's added to it, so the chance to build up some new fans here is good. This isn't the best introduction to the character since it doesn't really get us into who he is at this point, but it has some good hooks that can let the character grow and be explored. I'm cautiously optimistic, but at the same time I have years of history where I've seen how hard it is to make this character work. He's not like others but there's plenty of potential here as we get some decent storytelling and really appealing artwork.

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7.0
Captain Atom #2

Nov 21, 2011

I'm still pretty conflicted about this book because of the path being taken and the seeming squandering of an opportunity to re-write the character and make him more integral in things. Captain Atom needs to be moved past what he is, but this just reaffirms it in a lot of ways while slightly softening him up a bit as well. It's a character that I still feel needs a redesign from the ground up to be more relevant, but we're not getting that here. I am interested in seeing where Krul may go, and Freddie William's artwork makes it a guaranteed read (though not same-day digital), but I can't help but to go through it and see all the opportunities lost here.

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8.0
Captain Kid #1

Aug 22, 2016

Blending in some 80's fun with Helea just makes for an even more amusing piece of the puzzle and I'm definitely curious to see what the bigger goal is here, at least with the opening arc.

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8.4
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Dec 13, 2014

While what I read of Kelly Sue DeConnick previously for Captain Marvel didn't click for me, the story beats and pacing here is much better and flows in a more natural way. This brings me closer to the Carol I know whole expanding and revealing more about her. It also helps that she has a top notch artist in David Lopez to work with here as he really brings Carol to life in a great way, in costume and out. The book runs through a whole lot of different locales and Lopez brings them all to life well, though I'm more looking forward to seeing him cut loose with the outer space side of it to see what he can do. I'd been curious about the Captain Marvel series since it relaunched and this has convinced me that it's a must-read series – after I catch up on a few other things.

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9.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

Aug 6, 2014

The combination of a Kirby and Starlin with Casey and his team drawing it all together is a special kind of magic that I really hope turns into something amazing here. It has all the right ingredients and is a must-try book.

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8.4
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #2

Sep 10, 2014

While we get a smidge of material on the Earth based younger version, most of what we get is a mix of the grim and gritty and the light and upright versions of the Captain, one being in the present and the other a flashback. I latched more onto the Klavus material because it felt like it had purpose to it and I didn't care much for the flashback side as it's too soon to give us more of his background when we have so little of him in the present. The grim and gritty Captain is intriguing as I really, really liked the flow of the action, the illustration and color design, but I hated the dialogue and the way it was broken up throughout the issue in a way that kept it from flowing as a whole. I'm still hugely keen on the title based on what it presented at first and I'm hopeful that this is all going to figure properly into events going forward. But this issue has chilled my enthusiasm a bit.

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8.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #3

Oct 29, 2014

The more I read this series, the more I find myself unsure of it. But the more I reread of it, and tying it back to the previous issues, the larger the scale of things are. It just feels like we didn't get enough of a foundation to build on in really getting into this world and that's made it such a haphazard experience. I can imagine reading one issue and just never thinking about it again. But the more you reread, the more you pull it all together, the more you want to see. It's an odd experience in a way and one that can very easily frustrate. I'm left wanting to rave about the book but also realizing that it's a hell of a hard book to really recommend without having a lot of it on hand to try and really sell it with. It's really engaging if you can put the effort and time into it though.

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5.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #4

Jan 7, 2015

Stuff happens. A lot of stuff happened previously. It's apparently making progress, but it's so mixed and convoluted on top of different art styles that it just feels like a mess. I'm hopeful for something sprawling here to all make sense at some point, but at the moment it's just a series of interesting pages with appealing artwork here and there and intriguing ideas being toyed with but not followed through on effectively. I continue to want to really be on board with this book and its ideas, but it's not making it easy. And not that it should. But it feels like it keeps setting up some high barriers with things that I should understand but haven't been exposed to and it penalizes me for not figuring it out. There's fantastic small moments here but it lacks a cohesiveness and vision to carry it through in the individual parts, making me feel like it would have been better off as an original graphic novel rather than a series of individual issues.

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5.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #5

Feb 11, 2015

Like the last few issues, I really don't know what to make of all this. It has some beautiful and fantastic moments with its structure and design with the artwork and coloring, but then it gets all murky and impossible to figure out who or what is going on at the time. The larger narrative is fine and works well, is easy to understand, but when it gets down to the actual execution, dialogue and display of it, it feels like it's just a mess upon a mess with the best of intentions. The time spent in the late 70's period here is definitely a treat in its own way and it's fun seeing the twist of it all come into play with Klavus, but it's hard to really rally behind this in general with what it's doing.

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5.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #6

Mar 25, 2015

I can understand easily how the book got greenlit, but as it progressed it just didn't know how to engage on an issue by issue basis and I suspect it won't hold up well in a full series reading either because of the chaotic aspect of the artwork, something that was neat at first but fell apart as it progressed. It's a fascinating series in some ways, but more of a fascination you have with a wreck that you can't pull your eyes away from.

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8.4
Catwoman (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

Catwoman is one of the titles that I was really keen on with the relaunch to see what she'd be like and Judd Winick and Guillem March essentially nailed it for me with just about every panel. While the story isn't deep here, it's the start of things and we get to see Selina coping with a new change in her life and simply rolling with it as she is likely to do. There's a certain happy go lucky attitude to her that should always be there, a carefree kind of person who gets a thrill from the risk, and that's captured through the writing and the artwork. It's a great looking book and one that's a fun read that keeps you paying attention to it. It has a great energy going on here and you can get caught up in Selina's life easily even with as little as there truly is here with twenty-one pages. But it's a good, fun read and gives me exactly what I wanted out of a Catwoman book.

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8.4
Catwoman (2011) #2

Oct 19, 2011

The action here is decent but it's the party itself that I thoroughly enjoyed and the assessment she makes about the relationship and sexuality she has with Batman. It's almost a guilty pleasure, but honestly I feel no guilt at all here. This is a Catwoman I can enjoy just as much as the playful one that should appear in other books with a reduced sexuality.

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8.4
Catwoman (2011) #3

Nov 17, 2011

While this series gets some grief from some readers, it's a book that I'm continuing to enjoy and look forward to with each release, making it a same-day digital purchase. This issue lets things slow down a little bit and fills in the past a touch more when it comes to Lola before it lets Selina just take care of business. The book has a great look to it as the art really works perfectly, though I'm looking forward to some new locations for her to visit, and the storyline itself is simple, straightforward and lets us get a feel for Selina quickly and easily before it shifts to wherever it's going next. And as much as I like Batman appearing here again, I'm hoping we get a few issues without him so that she can establish herself more.

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8.4
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1

Oct 26, 2016

There's a lot of "lost" history to the Cave Carson character and I figure those more engaged with it might get more out of the book and its new placement in comics continuity. Coming into it without remembering much overall, it's an intriguing book that lays down a lot and asks a lot of questions while not giving any answers, which is the right approach. I'm wholly interested in what's going on here and can't wait to sink my teeth into a few books in a row because it's that kind of series that requires a layered reading. It's most definitely worth it from month to month just for the Michael Avon Oeming's artwork, however, as there are some fantastically blended panel layouts here, great character designs that step away from the norm in the right way, and just a lush and smooth sense of storytelling through it all with the details and designs that it's almost like a masterclass lesson in how to lay out a book.

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8.0
Centipede #1

Jul 12, 2017

I had no idea what to expect with this book and frankly, it could have gone a million different ways. Bemis and Marron definitely came up with something that wasn't expected and it works well as you can still see how it swerve in crazy directions still. The bulk of the book gives us a good first person narrative about surviving in this doomed world and the kind of slow mental breakdown that occurs and Marron paints us a bleak picture without going so far down the rabbit hole that it's too disturbing. It's empty in a way that really does click and engage. I'm far more curious about this than I should be and can't wait to see if the team can pull this off.

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8.0
Centipede #2

Aug 9, 2017

This shouldn't work. It really shouldn't. And I'll even gamble for that a lot of comics readers in general that it won't .But for me it works and does so in a surprisingly fun and engaging way. This series has the potential for some twists and turns along the way still to be sure but what we're getting now is such a great mix of humor, horror, action, and weirdness that it's just a delight. Bemis' script can get a little clunky with the narration sometimes and i'm still not sold on Marron's artwork in a big way but it all comes together really well for this title and the way it's being executed, making for a very fun experience.

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8.0
Centipede #3

Oct 4, 2017

Dale's story is starting to take a weird twist with the arrival of certain mushroom like elements that are now coming into play and that dreamlike hallucinatory experience is going to be even more fun to watch. It's a new front on the war between the two as Dale continues to be what we believe to be the last person on this world. Bemis and Marron put in another great installment, even if it took an extra month to get it, and it leaves me once more wanting to see where it's going to go and what will happen to not just Dale but this world in particular, especially if there might still be a big twist to come before all is said and done.

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8.4
Centipede #4

Nov 8, 2017

Centipede felt like a bit of a lighter and faster read this time around and one that was also a bit rougher because of how you have to accept Dale in this form with what he's experiencing. But the end result is one that brings a number of things full circle and really works well to establish the larger scope of events and what the enemy is like, one that's very hard to humanize but is done very well here so you feel some sympathy and empathy even while still disliking it because of what it's done. Bemis and Marron have made this series a real treat and this issue is no exception.

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8.4
Centipede #5

Dec 20, 2017

While absolutely none of the Atari based books have been what I expected (and I'm still wishing for an Atari Force revival in the classic sense), what this series did was a whole lot of unexpected fun. Bemis put together some interesting things here in bringing this to life and while it could have been a bit tighter and an issue shorter it was the kind of surprise that I like as a whole. I also really dug Marron's artwork as it was ideal for this kind of end of the world storyline and what Dale was facing, as well as the exploration of the creature's origins. Definitely not what a lot would expect from a Centipede title but it delivered very well.

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9.0
Chrononauts #1

Mar 19, 2015

Definitely a lot of fun, beautifully illustrated and a hell of a potentially great ride ahead.

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9.0
Chrononauts #2

Apr 16, 2015

Chrononauts is pure guilty pleasure painted across a big, beautiful canvas. I expected a crazy fun time with the talent involved here and it's paying off immensely in just the second issue, which makes me even more excited about what's to come. There's some good unpredictability about events here that certainly drives this well and there's a lot to like in the way we see Corbin and Danny deal with everything, first with their individual situations and with each other, before they go all out and just live life in the moment. Playing all that out while seeing it from the command center's point of view as well makes for a laugh but it also adds a bit of weight to it because you know the other shoe is going to drop, and hard, in unpredictable ways sooner rather than later. Very fun stuff and a great read.

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9.0
Chrononauts #3

May 14, 2015

Chrononauts essentially assaults the senses here and takes you on quite the ride. I'll admit, a lot of attention at the moment is on the visual thrill of the Mad Max: Fury Road movie. While I don't expect the Chrononauts film to match it, if they manage to capture even half the energy of this book in this particular issue with its crazy chase sequence across time, they'll definitely be striving for some lofty but attainable goals. There's a crazy kind of fun to all of this as the guys ride it out as best as they can, and the collateral damage is just striking in seeing it all unfold. I can't help but wonder about some of the mechanics of all of this, having been raised on hard science fiction, but I'm able to push it off to the side simply to enjoy the surreal and hilarious run that we get here. Danny and Corbin are definitely far too much fun to watch in this form.

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9.0
Chrononauts #4

Jun 11, 2015

Chrononauts is an absolute treat of a series to read from start to finish. While it felt a bit wonky in the first issue as you tried to connect to what it wanted to do, once it got underway it was just a crazy action adventure piece with two wild and crazy guys. You have to totally discount the science of it all when you get down to it, which is easy with most time travel based properties, and just enjoy it like the characters do. There are serious things along the way, but for the most part it wants to just enjoy what a situation like this could provide, but not in your old school stoner style that we might often get instead, or something hyper militarized and dramatic. It finds the right mixture of fun and adventure along with tension and great action scenes. Very recommended across the board.

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6.0
Ciudad #1

Dec 22, 2014

Ciudad kicks things off with a lot of action and works through it in a solid way without going overly big or unrealistic with what it does. In fact, it looks a lot like storyboards overall for a movie as the action tracks and it gives off the sense of the opening act of a film. That's both good and bad as we get some solid action to it and a good sense of space and movement, but it also comes across as weak as there's not enough to really hook you here. While it is a five part series and it has a beginning, middle and end to it with its entire run, the beginning doesn't offer anywhere near enough of a hook to really draw you in to wanting to read more of it, even with the talents involved.

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9.0
Cold War (2018) #1

Jan 4, 2018

I love this book. I have no idea what's going on, just like the cast here, and it's like they took the Gantz manga and made it into a large scale war series. Sebela's script keeps things moving well and gives us a taste of how people would react to such situations while focusing on Rook to give it a lot of forward momentum instead of just defensive reacting. Hayden Sherman's artwork is a big star in all of this, not to minimize what Sebela's working on here, but it's just so distinctive and exactly the kind of diversity in art style that I want from a publisher like Aftershock and it's why I keep coming back to check out nearly all of their books. This is definitely a must-read series right out of the gate for me.

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8.4
Cold War (2018) #2

Mar 14, 2018

While I would have liked to have had a bit more about what's actually going on here, the second issue of Cold War keeps the momentum going from the first as it shifts to Vinh. The structure works well enough but avoids being a repeat of the first issue and that's definitely a whole lot of fun to watch unfold. I do want to know more of the truth of the world and what's going on but at the moment I'm enjoying the tour de force of chaos and creativity that Sebela and Sherman are employing here. I can easily see why this book may not be for everyone but it delivers something really fun for me and stands out even amid a pile of creative standouts that AfterShock has put together the last few years.

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8.4
Cold War (2018) #3

Apr 11, 2018

I imagine that this will read really well as a whole but each individual issue stands out very well on its own as well, making it worth the wait with ease for each new one.

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8.4
Comic Book Comics #6

Nov 11, 2011

Comic Book Comics in its final issue touches on a lot of neat things, misses some stuff for space reasons more than anything else, and is just the right kind of fun education that every medium needs.

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9.0
Conan the Barbarian #1

Feb 6, 2012

Having been out of the Conan loop for quite a long time, this was an excellent re-introduction to the character and has left me eagerly anticipating more issues. A lot of first issues really don't do a good job of being a jumping on point and making it accessible to new readers while still being serviceable and engaging for existing fans, but Brian Wood nailed it just right here. It makes me want to check out some of his earlier adventures while eagerly looking forward to more. And Becky Cloonan captured it just right with the artwork, with his rough and ragged style while also bringing in the striking and disturbing beauty that is Belit. There aren't many books that make me really want another issue right away, but the first installment of the Queen of the Black Coast has done just that and more can't come soon enough.

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9.0
Conan the Barbarian #2

Mar 6, 2012

While material involving Belit directly is a bit slim here, she has some great scenes and the issue moves the story forward in a quick and exciting way. The focus is kept squarely on Conan and we definitely see how quickly lives can end here, either by his hand directly or just being near him when you get down to things. His role as a catalyst in life is evident here very plainly and it follows up what we got in the first issue very well. That gave us a lot of material about Belit from the sailors point of view and here we get just a bit more first hand material. Both of these instances serves to really entice us even more about her, to want to know more. And seeing how she gets as it goes on here, it practically demands you come back for another issue. I've always liked Conan on a basic level, but I don't think I've ever been this enthused about the character in comic form.

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9.0
Constantine #8

Jan 17, 2016

This series continues to just utterly delight me. With its standalone nature from the rest of the DCU, we're able to just delve into a story without worrying about the bigger picture while knowing that we're all wrapped up in this world. The focus on Constantine and Midnite with a good dash of Oliver and the introduction of the real dangers here keeps the book moving, pretty damn snappy, and highly engaging. Doyle and Tynion are really nailing John in terms of his character, especially set against Midnite, but it's Rossmo and Level that are crushing it with this book. The artwork and layouts as well as the detail is just fantastic. It all comes together in such a beautiful way that I want more quickly, but would wait an age to get more of this quality.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Jun 12, 2015

Deception is the name of the game when it comes to the world of Hellblazer and the opening issue of Constantine here does that really well. With a great sense of design and particularly panel layout from Riley Rossmo, the book delves deep into things in a great way and makes you feel like you're fully inserting yourself into this other world. Doyle and Tynion bring Constantine to life in a solid way here where you get a solid sense of who he is, but without a massive info dump to bring new readers up to speed. It covers a lot of ground and because of some of the dense panel layouts, it gets into a lot of material and really feels like a strong read that you can go back and re-read and get even more out of. Very recommended.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #2

Jul 9, 2015

Constantine is admittedly working a familiar plot here but it executes it so well and with such smoothness that I'm totally on board with it. It's the kind of book that you do want to settle in to read late at night with minimal lighting and engage completely with it and nothing else. Working through his world without involving others for a bit helps to make it his book as does keeping the supporting cast very slim to say the least. I'm thoroughly engaged with this book unlike a lot of others because it demands that kind of attention on all fronts and it pays off well in the short term and hopefully in the long term as well when it becomes collected. This is definitely one of the better books I've gotten involved in recently.

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8.4
Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Aug 13, 2015

Constantine has a solid installment here that works well in advancing the story a bit but not too much.

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8.4
Constantine: The Hellblazer #4

Sep 17, 2015

Constantine: The Hellblazer does a solid job of exploring the two sides of the title character and where he was as the rebellious youth that can do anything to the man who now realizes the true weight of his decisions and the fact that everything he touches turns awful. It's really well illustrated with the two artists and styles for each period so that they're clear and unique, particularly with the rougher and more wild backstory design that has a sense of youth and recklessness about it. Though I dislike the structure of the book it's the story itself that keeps me and the team here pulls it off pretty well in giving us a rock bottom Constantine moment (many there have been over the years) while also showing us exactly how he may snap out of it. Whether it's in time or not remains to be seen.

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8.4
Constantine: The Hellblazer #5

Oct 15, 2015

Though this arc isn't a strong one in a sense, at least from a single issue perspective as it may read better in collected form, returning to this incarnation of Constantine is welcome. The team has put together a strong book with interesting areas to explore and a whole world of potential. Sometimes it does feel like its' being a bit too wordy and exposition heavy for its own good, but it fits with the character and the approach of the book. Combine that with the fantastic layouts that have a great flow about them and generally strong design elements that stand out and you've got a great book. I'm really curious to see where it goes next and if it'll go more personal or something bigger and different.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #6

Nov 12, 2015

This is one of the best single issue reads in recent memory for me and it comes on top of a pretty strong opening arc. The team here has completed gotten into the groove of the character quickly and just delights from issue to issue. With great writing and fantastic characterization, we're just scraping the surface of what can be done here and I'm excited to see what comes next. Especially when Riley Rossmo is involved because the art is just incredible here. He captures and conveys so much throughout these pages and the montage aspect of it with a wonderful creativity to some of the demons that I just grin thinking back on it. Which won't last long because I'm going to go read it again and savor it all once more. Very, very recommended.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #7

Dec 14, 2015

There's a great kind of magic to this book where it's like the team is just firing on all cylinders issue after issue. The artwork from Rossmo and Level works really well here as we get to see something creepy and disturbing. There's a good level of violence to be had here, though it still feels like it's pulling back from the edge just a touch so as to not go too far. The stories haven't needed it yet, but you can feel that it's being cautious. I love the dialogue here between the two leads and the whole morning after routine is just great, made all the more so by the expressions that we get from Rossmo and Level with it. Another strong installment that leaves me hungry for more.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #9

Feb 15, 2016

Out of the frying pan and into the fire is how Constantine's life goes and this installment is no exception. We saw how foolishly brash he was the last time around in the club that Neron took over and he's just as cocky here in order to keep Neron off balance in how to deal with him. I love the way Midnite has to try and deal with him and the way Blythe does once they show up just adds to it. This is definitely an amusing trio to watch as they work through the escape and Rossmo just delivers hand over fist once again here. There's some amazing artwork in this book with some fantastic design elements and layouts that just makes it a hugely compelling work. This arc is proving to be a delight and it feels like there are a few more shoes yet to drop.

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8.4
Constantine: The Hellblazer #10

Mar 11, 2016

Constantine is moving closer to the big event here and there's a lot to like. This is a quieter book overall in a way yet it's one that's more personal. The back half plays to some good character material that makes me like Oliver more while still fully understanding Constantine's reaction to everything. Watching his adventure with the fairy and knowing what's coming has him essentially cutting back on connections now so as to not cause pain or to have pain inflicted upon him because of actions. Doyle and Tynion certainly handle it all well and Foreman and Silver are solid artists that capture the look of the book just right while not mimicking Rossmo's style. There's a good flow to it here and I like the layouts and designs, it just lacks some of the really neat hooks and tweaks that Rossmo puts into it. I've enjoyed Foreman's work before and I definitely like what he brings to the table here.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #11

Apr 14, 2016

As much fun as I had with parts of this book something still just felt off about it. I totally get what Constantine is doing in trying to take himself out of it because it's not his fight and he's not the crusading type, though as we see he is trying to help out some of those affected. But when you know the scale of the problem is going to impact everything eventually, he is the type that will try and deal with it sooner rather than later – at least with this. The book has its moments and I delighted at a little Gabriel time, but with the odd feeling and the Deadman problem combined, the book wasn't quite as strong as it could be.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #12

May 12, 2016

As things get ready to come to a conclusion here as Rebirth is about to get underway, Constantine has a very good issue here that explores where things stand, brings in a little help at the end that's not exactly thrilled with him, and looks like we'll get a solid end point for it in the next installment. Eryk Donovan stepped in for the art on this issue and it certainly feels like it's a part of the style we've had from the start with its somewhat quirk style and I liked it well enough because it has the shape and feel of what came before, but not quite to the same degree. I'm curious to see what becomes of this property as the Rebirth event goes on but I'm also wondering if we're about to hit a jumping off point as well.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #13

Jun 9, 2016

Constantine: The Hellblazer ends solidly enough as it brings this arc and this series to a close. I love having Constantine as a part of my regular reading rotation and the team here did a really good job with it over the past year while trying to walk the balancing act of being in the mainstream DC universe while leaning heavily toward its old Vertigo side. With a lack of superheroes and just some brief cameos before for some of the other magical characters, it largely stood on its own which was a huge part of its appeal for me alongside Doctor Fate and The Omega Men, a trio of books that gave me some great reading during their runs. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for these creators in the future as they produced some solid storytelling and I'll definitely be back when Constantine is ready to take us through more of his slice of the world.

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5.0
Convergence #0

Apr 2, 2015

With the zero issue clocking in at five bucks, it doesn't do much here to feel compelling or engaging. It's like Brainiac(s) and Superman are having a tense afternoon tea as they talk about the reality of things, with Brainiac being the smart guy in the room and Superman just wanting to go home to presumably more interesting things. And I'm kind of in Superman's camp here. There's not a lot really going on here and we get a good chunk of time with wastelands and barren backgrounds while playing with some light philosophical ideas. The general idea of the series is one that's certainly fun since it plays to what I find used to be one of DC Comics' strengths in its multiverse. But it's executed in such a bland way here that it's practically turning me off from looking at the other books all that much, though I might pick and choose a couple. I can't imagine myself picking up any further prime Convergence issues if it's like this one though.

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8.4
Copperhead #1

Dec 15, 2014

Science fiction comics are still few and far between overall so I'm definitely interested in this book and will likely do some catch-up in the near future, which of course is a boon to publisher and distributor as I got this for free as part of a 12 Days of Christmas promotion. The book gives us a really polished approach in terms of how its put together with great artwork throughout, a beautiful cover, solid character material being brought in and a good sense of what's going on with the foundations of things. We get a few teases of something darker going on to be sure, but in terms of the opening chapter establishing things, it does it perfectly. And few books really seem to be able to do that these days without it feeling really off. Faerber and Godlewski, along with colorist Ron Riley, really bring this setting to life in a great way here and definitely take advantage of the extras pages to give it room to breathe while still having a great sense of pacing about it.

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8.0
Crosswind #1

Jun 28, 2017

Crosswind is a solid setup. One that's familiar but has some solid style to it through what Cat Staggs brings to the table as well as Simone's character work that feels stronger with Juniper than Cason – if only because Cason's story feels so familiar. Stagg's artwork definitely works well for me with a rougher and raw approach that fits perfectly here with some very stylish pieces. I like what's presented here and I can see how nuts it can go, and how humorous it can go, in the coming issues. Crosswind is definitely one to keep an eye out for and one that I'm putting on my trade-watch list as I get the feeling it's going to click better for me in larger chunks than monthly installments.

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8.4
Cyclops (2014) #1

Feb 26, 2015

Cyclops has a pretty light touch kind of feel here as it sets the stage for a road trip adventure between father and son, but it's the right touch and the right kind of story that leaves me wanting a lot more right away. Even if it's with a Scott that I've long outgrown wanting to read about. Greg Rucka provides an easy read here that connects us with the crew in a basic way, giving more time to Hepzibah and Corsair in addition to the internal dialogue we get from Scott, and it works since we're about to set loose from them for a bit. What I didn't realize was that Russell Dauterman was working on this book when it debuted, and having adore his work on Thor recently, that has me even more excited just to see what he may have over the next few issues. While I was wary as everyone else when it was first announce, the first installment has ignited a real curiosity with it.

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8.4
Cyclops (2014) #2

Feb 27, 2015

The second installment of Cyclops moves us right into place where we get an almost child-like goofiness out of Scott as he's in his 90's style shirt and just kind of awestruck by everything he sees. Corsair's not trying to toughen him up, which is good, but is just intent on spending time with him while also doing a little work that he needs to get taken care of as well. The father and son time is pretty good here considering the awkwardness of their relationship and I'm definitely enjoying watching it play out while waiting to see what quirks will come into play. There's hints of what's to come, which is good, but for the most part I'm still just shocked that this book is getting me to like sixteen year old Scott Summers again. It's all about the right presentation and taking him away from all the angst and drama of Xavier's school and the path he took was all that needed to happen.

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8.4
Cyclops (2014) #3

Feb 28, 2015

With little in the way of action or actual plot progress here, Cyclops would seem to be an issue that would just kind of be empty in a way. But instead, we get what really draws me to comics when they do this as it's all about characters sitting around talking to each other, learning and growing. There's a lot of static material in the shared comics universes for obvious reasons, but getting a chance to get material like this, well written with the right bit of humor along the way, helps to provide both recap and insight into the characters and alter the dynamic of their relationships. All without it being done in the heat of battle with quips and plans to expand on it later. It's a solid read and one that sets the relationship between father and son in the right place to start moving forward.

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8.4
Cyclops (2014) #4

Mar 1, 2015

This installment plays to similar themes as the previous issue, but it expands it well enough and tackles some different but connected areas for Scott. The dialogue between them is good as it feels more natural than I expected with what they have to cover, and it does get to the heart of the matter in a way that a marooned situation like this should provide the opportunity for it. The light action is decent but mostly forgettable, though the regular tastes like chicken nods are amusing, but the reality is that we've once again got a solid character and dialogue driven issue that works both characters well and really makes me appreciate this book far more than I expected I would as it deals with the father and son bonds and the young man facing a future he wants nothing to do with.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #5

Mar 2, 2015

Things do come to a close quickly here, but it's done in a smooth and relatively fun way to keep it all moving and closes this particular chapter well enough. There's fun in seeing Scott playing to the sneaky side here and also how he manages to deal with fighting against the Savva, but not giving up on who he is in trying to find a non-violent way to solve things once he knows the truth of it all. The bounty hunter team is decent, but they have the bad luck of just dealing with someone like Corsair, who hasn't actually been caught by bounty hunters until now and it's all part of Scott's plan. The book has a good flow to it and there's an ease with Scott and Corsair that works and even the bounty hunter crew has a decent enough flow to make you a little more curious about them. Good stuff and definitely a decent way to bring this part of the story to a close.

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7.0
Damage #1

Jan 23, 2018

Damage has a lot of potential and I have no doubts that the team here will be able to capitalize on it. The problem is that I don't think they did enough in the first issue to make you eager for the second issue unless you're just big into the artwork. For me, I'm of split mind based on this installment whether to wait for a trade of the first issue or try the book a bit more. The bit more has two factors to it in that it did not get my to hit the subscribe button so that I'd just get it automatically, but it did get me to preorder the second issue because it is priced at $2.99 and that's a buy-in price to try something a little longer if I think it has potential. I have faith in the creative team and want to support this New Age of Heroes initiative but this just needed more.

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7.0
Damage #2

Feb 27, 2018

Dmage is by no means a bad book as I think it has the potential to be a pretty good book. But it faces the problem that most "brick" characters do in that they really need to be humanized and have a good supporting cast to work with. Damage is missing those elements right now and is focusing more on the solitary aspect of the character(s) as well as bringing in the guest star side with the Suicide Squad and then Wonder Woman at the end.

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8.4
Dark Ark #1

Sep 20, 2017

Dark Ark clicked for me in a very surprising way and has me really curious to see where Bunn and Doe are going to go with it. It's open to a lot of potential, especially if we get to see more of the other ark and how it's all going to factor together. Doe really gets to go big with the visual design here as the creatures are intriguing, the layouts are fantastic, and the distinctiveness in the colors – especially in contrast to the very earthy color work on Shrae and his family – really sets a fantastic tone. This is a book that I'm eager to see more of with where it wants to go and to just soak up for Doe's visual design alone as it's very strong. Definitely worth checking out!

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9.0
Dark Ark #2

Oct 25, 2017

Dark Ark got my attention easily with the first issue and the second one really does cement my interest in it. Cullen Bunn has something that's intriguing and tense as it feels like a powder keg ready to blow and that's something that Juan Doe brings to life wonderfully panel after panel. I've enjoyed his artwork before but this feels like he's operating on a whole other level and coming into it with a kind of creative freedom that's just taking it to a new height. This issue ramps things up, explores more of the creature dynamics, and sets in motion more of the chaos that's going to follow. I can't wait to have more and at the same time I'm fearful of how it's going to end, and how quickly we'll end up at that point. Very recommended.

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9.0
Dark Ark #3

Nov 29, 2017

Dark Ark presents a pretty nicely done twist to how events played out with Maldoon's death and spends its time focusing on the array of creatures and how none will step up in the face of what the vampires represent. Cullen Bunn has a lot of fun coming up with the various defenses and some of the interactions that exist between the races and you get a good sense that Juan Doe is just having a blast with all these layouts and creature designs, giving them more details in the close up moments but also filling out a large ensemble piece wonderfully. This still doesn't feel like a book I would normally check out and enjoy but it's working for me in a big way and I can't wait to see what the end payoff is with it and what twists may still be in store.

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9.0
Dark Ark #4

Jan 31, 2018

Dark Ark is the kind of series that I can just see how expansive and intriguing it could be. I can easily envision dozens of issues just in this time period before it shifts forward over the millennia into something even more based on the characters here. Cullen Bunn is definitely enjoying this particular snapshot in time with what's going on and it leaves me wanting much more of it and the bigger picture. And it definitely has me wanting to see Juan Doe explore more of it as this is just massively well done on his part to give it such a rich and intriguing look with its designs and colors. I can't get enough of it and hope for some really slick hardcover glossy works some day.

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9.0
Dark Ark #5

Jan 31, 2018

This series is one that's essentially among my most anticipated works to dig into, which is more frustrating as I missed the fourth issue without realizing it and had to correct that before reading this one. Cullen Bunn's story is really coming along here with some great little twists and setting a larger stage ahead that I can't wait to get into. But I also love just flipping through this after reading it and soaking up the little details and layouts that Juan Doe has put together with all the various creature designs. The angels really stand out in a fantastic way here and I can only imagine what a scene in heaven must look like based on that and what Doe is capable of. It's a long wait until this series returns in May but every issue is very much worth it.

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8.0
Dark Horse Presents (2014) #18

Jan 20, 2016

With another murder turning this into a serial killer thing coming in this chapter, the story is starting to open up to something more. But we're not getting into that piece of it yet as the details are still in the offing. That allows us to get into the characters a bit with a focus on O'Connor, which isn't a surprise. We do get some useful things on Hasan as well and hopefully she'll get more as it goes on, but right now the dynamic is being well established and leaving me wanting more. Levitz and Hamilton are using the page count well with some solid storytelling that provides for a lot in a little without feeling cramped or rushed. Definitely looking forward to more.

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7.0
Dark Horse Presents (2014) #19

Feb 17, 2016

I have no idea what the real story going on is here and I'm curious to figure it out, though they're not making it a compelling case at the moment. The material with O'Connor is something that likely makes sense in the big picture but just doesn't work in the month by month small chapter material as it almost feels like it's padding things out. I love Hamilton's material in here because he handles the various aspects well from the street side to the flashbacks to the war as well as these new near-demonic like elements. There's still some real potential for an engaging story here but I'm struggling a bit waiting for a big hook to really sell it.

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8.4
Dark Horse Presents (2014) #23

Jun 15, 2016

I'll admit, it took me a second to really read the name Tess Lacoyle properly, but when it clicked I found myself just grinning stupidly. It's these kinds of small moments that make stories like these fun and Motter knows how to tap into it well with the Mister X property. The book sets up a solid enough side story of sorts for Radiant City here and getting to explore more of this curious and intriguing world is all I want. I could get used to a chapter like this every month every year without missing a beat. There's a lot to like here and I'm definitely curious to see how it plays out and what the game will be.

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8.4
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 30, 2015

The combination of Miller and Azzarello is spot on here, but the real beauty for me is seeing Kubert in this framework doing some of his best and most dynamic work that I think I've seen. It's a fantastic looking book that plays to his strengths as opposed to him trying to be Miller. And the end result of this fusion of creators looks like it's on the path to something special.

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8.4
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2

Dec 24, 2015

This series is definitely shaping up into something strong and engaging on just about all levels with what it wants to do.

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8.0
Dawn / Vampirella #1

Sep 10, 2014

I've got far too many years distant since the last time I read a Dawn book but I've always had an affection for the character and what she brought to the table when she first came out with Linsners style. The pairing of the two leads is one that certainly falls under the "obvious" category and there looks to be a pretty big scale story going on when it comes to this particular demon and what he's capable of and what it is he wants. Putting these two women together provides for some solid strength and strength of character to work with and it'll be interesting to see if it can capitalize on it. This installment is all setup and basic introductions with a tease of what's to come. Linsner captures both of the characters looks and appeal well and delves into their character decently enough, but it's what comes next that will determine if they're going to be interesting to see going through the story as opposed to just being interesting to look at.

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8.0
Dawn / Vampirella #2

Nov 19, 2014

While I'm definitely a fan of both characters, and of the man behind this production, the title is one that just feels a little uncertain at this point. There have been a lot of alternate Vampirella stories in the last year or so through a number of forms and I'm not sure the audience really needed another one, which is what this series is slowly shaping up to be unless things change in the next issue or two. The tale we get here that puts the leading ladies as sisters in competition for power has its moments and I liked what I saw of the post-apocalyptic world as it had a very 80's feeling to it. But it works in a rather simple way to tell its tale and it doesn't really engage you in a strong way because you know it's a time-buying story, even if a story from an alternate world that may exist in a sense. It moves well, the plotting and pacing is good and I like the design and artwork for it, though I keep wondering if it would work better in black and white…

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6.0
Dawn / Vampirella #3

Feb 18, 2015

At the halfway mark of the series, we get a little bit of a threat right at the end of the book that has Masodik now finding a new avenue through which to torment Vampirella, but it feels like little of note when you get down to it. With two full issues of stories being told with some connective tissue to hold it all together, the Dawn/Vampirella event has further underwhelmed here. And it's not helped by the lengthy delays between installments since that has it coming up alongside other anthology style works on top of Vampirella's main series, which has its own exploration of stories. There are decent ideas and material in here, the second story working the best for me, but there doesn't feel like there's any true forward momentum going on here.

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7.0
Dawn / Vampirella #4

Jun 24, 2015

While the book is still faltering in a few ways, this installment works better as it's more about Dawn than the telling of stories to please Masodik. What we get here allows us to delve more into Dawn as a character, one that may be quite unfamiliar for Vampirella or Dynamite fans, and it comes across well here to draw interest to the larger story that exists for the character. Giving Darrian a chance to be involved as well was a welcome little treat. There's a few different things going on here and I can't help but to feel that this miniseries is a couple of issues too long in getting things done, but it feels like events are going to start picking up for several reasons. I'm cautiously optimistic about where it can go, but mostly I'm just glad to get a story that involves Dawn and Darrian rather than some fictional piece like we got the last few installments.

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7.0
Dawn / Vampirella #5

Oct 21, 2015

I really wanted to like this series more than I did and I'm not sure if I'm disappointed in it or myself. I grew up adoring Linsner's artwork yet what I see here feels like the style hasn't evolved or grown over the years and is what it was when I first discovered it some twenty-odd years ago. That's not necessarily bad, but I had hoped for something a little more. The series itself is one that I liked but it was difficult if only because there were several Vampirella miniseries and specials running that largely did the same kind of alternate story telling. Dawn provides the hook but even here she comes across as a weak player. In the end the book just feels like it ran an issue too long and didn't have enough to really say to make it compelling. I mostly enjoyed the individual tales but I kept looking for larger meaning where there was none in the end. So it's all a bit hollow here after all the time and waiting involved and invested.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #1

Jul 25, 2015

While expectations are high with this book for me, they were essentially met in every way. The potential for this book is strong and the team here nails it for me with its singular character focus to start and then expanding into the bigger world. There is a huge world to explore here and the chance to do so many fun things, but also strong emotional material with epic stories, that it feels like this should be a daily release.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #2

Aug 1, 2015

As much as I love Wonder Woman, it was going to be hard to top the first installment. The Batwoman issue was dialogue heavy, reworked several characters into the time period and provided for some utterly delightful visuals full of details. Here, things are a bit more streamlined because Diana's origin into this particular world doesn't need much in the way of changing. It's adjusted a bit for modern storytelling in some mild ways, but it's mostly a facelift in terms of the story itself, one that works well enough. What makes it more engaging is Sauvage's artwork, giving it a fluidity that brings it to life in the action sequences and some really great character designs when we deal with the Amazon's on the beach that makes them each feel fully realized and ready to tell their own stories. It's a solid entry, but I suspect it's going to be the weaker of the origins simply because so little needs to be made unique or new.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #3

Aug 8, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells hits a solid installment here as we get the introduction of Kara into the game. With her being one of the more defining figures of the statue line, I'm looking forward to seeing her in action once things get to that area. As an origin installment, it certainly works well with what it does and makes for an enjoyable ride as we see the stepsisters move towards their goal while also hiding the truth of who they are. It's a complicated period in general and no less so in Russia, coming off of the revolution prior and the scale and scope of the impact of the first Great War and the cost placed on the people. There's a lot to like here that has me wishing this was a daily series so we could get even more of it quicker.

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9.6
DC Comics: Bombshells #4

Aug 15, 2015

Bombshells kicks off its next three issue digital arc in a good way here and you can see how the threads are going to start tying together as the various sides make their way to war. Marguerite Bennett is putting together a fantastic storyline that's working a good build while being able to play in a world that's got so much potential to it – and what looks to be a great line of artists excited to be a part of it as well. It's not a fast read or one that's empty on thought and ideas. There's some rich material to delve into here and the chance to shed new light and angles on these characters and situations through the period and shift in players from the men to the women is fantastic.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #5

Aug 22, 2015

This series continues to fire on all cylinders as it present the various characters slowly but surely coming together amid the larger backdrop of World War II.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #6

Aug 29, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells adds a new area of interest and brings another male character into the property, one that I'm glad to see in this time period as it's something new and different for him. With the bombshells themselves, Zatanna comes across well and leaves me wanting more while the Joker's Daughter hits some good notes too, though she just feels a little off and a little less defined at this point. Which isn't a surprise, but after the first few issues have done so much to establish characters firmly and quickly it just feels a little more noticeable. Naifeh's inclusion in the series with his artwork is pretty welcome with what he does here and if he's part of the overall rotation of the book it'll definitely be something to look forward to each time, especially as each installment brings an artist more comfort in the material and its design itself.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #7

Sep 7, 2015

The DC Comics Bombshells series is one that is almost done with its launch arc, with just two more digital installments to go, and it's certainly setting up some of the sides pretty well. It's leaping about in interesting ways, working with a solid cast of talent to do it and a really good cast of characters that can be expanded.

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10
DC Comics: Bombshells #8

Sep 13, 2015

Each installment of this series has me wishing that it was getting its own family of titles with Bennett overseeing it so that we could explore so many facets of this interpretation and the characters available. Even though it's familiar in a sense because of how associated so many characters are with World War II it ends up feeling fresh and exciting with the spin put on it and the quality of the work from top to bottom. I want more. So much more. And it's a rare book that makes me feel that these days.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #9

Sep 21, 2015

The end of the Enlistment arc works well with what it brings together here and it puts it in an interesting place. While the opening salvo for Diana's arc felt very familiar and hewed close to the origins in a general sense from what we've always had, it's expanded upon it well, utilized Mera in a decent way that has me hopeful for a bigger role for her, and it's gotten her out into the world with a strong sense of motivations. This issue works very well in firming up the bond with Trevor and it sets into motion her becoming one of the Bombshells under Waller. Bennett continues to largely nail the script here in both big and small ways and the return of Laura Braga is quite welcome as she really captures a great sense of all three main characters here, giving them all more than enough to be well realized and interesting visually as they move through this world.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #10

Sep 27, 2015

This installment brings on board Bilquis Evely to handle the art and she does a really good job here with it in bringing these two to life in their propaganda style uniforms. The action is well handled, the layouts solid and the overall feel definitely clicks within the series general tone. I was a bit dismayed at times with the number of splash pages for it, but it's also something that's being done for the propaganda purposes so I completely get it. She does fill out those areas with some good background elements that makes it worth poring over some, though you do still feel like you fly through this installment just a touch quicker than some of the others. I'm definitely glad we're in the combat phase and am quite curious to see what's next to come from the book.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #11

Oct 4, 2015

Bomshells has a solid issue here as it introduces Harley Quinn to us in this world and setting, which largely works well. It doesn't dazzle in a way that some past ones do from a story perspective, mostly because the second half just didn't click for me as well. I like the character in general, but I'm not enamored of her in the way some others are. That said, she's going to be a fun wrench in the works as it goes on I'm sure. What I really liked about this installment is Mirka Andolfo's work is definitely strong here and I love the 90's Batman Animated feel I got from parts of it, notably in the first half within Arkham. It gives the characters the right kind of roundness and smoothness combined with Broome's colors to really take it up a notch and make it stand out. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of her work in this series alongside the other artists.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #12

Oct 11, 2015

Bombshell's has been pleasantly dialogue heavy and focused from the start and I'm glad that it continues as it really brings these characters to life. This issue is a real slowdown in many ways but it allows us to get into both Diana and Trevor's heads so we can figure out their approaches and mindsets. And we get a tease of something darker on the horizon from him that goes back to when the two first met. Bennett's scripting is spot on and I love the little nuance to Diana's dialogue that lets her feel like she really is from someplace very different. Braga's return to the book is hugely welcome as I love her take on Diana in this costume and especially the design of the face and hair that hits the period really well while still being distinctive all around. A very, very good book.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #13

Oct 19, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells has a strong installment overall here as we get more place setting for what's at stake. This is a difficult series to manage with the size of the cast, the individual stories and the small and sometimes tenuous connections that are being forged now. If this has the time to really grow and expand I can see nothing but excellence ahead as it all comes together. Bennett continues to feel like she gets Kate the best out of all the characters, though I've no complaints about how anyone else is handled. I had hoped with a Kate story that Marguerite Sauvage would be back, but Ming Doyle does a fantastic job here in giving us a sultry and stylish turn for 1940 Berlin and movements among the rich and powerful. This continues to be a book that I love getting my hands on every weekend and soaking it all up.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #14

Oct 28, 2015

Bombshells brings us another character that fits in the gray area of how she can be perceived and that's definitely welcome to see. The story is mostly just a simple introduction piece with minor backstory to it that helps to beef up the cast overall. Bennett continues to bring in some sharp and fun dialogue that hits a few layers at times, speaking to the present and providing a contrast to the past, which keeps it moving and engaging to read. This installment brings back Mirka Andolfo and that's definitely a treat as she gives both characters a great look, sense of power and strong sense of sensuality as well. Combined with Wendy Broome's strong color design in general, you end up with another very fun installment that has got to be a great read when you can sit down with a slew of installments all at once.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #15

Nov 2, 2015

The combat phase of this book has just another three chapters left and there's a lot going on. Kara and Kortni's story takes a turn here as they've saved some and lost some and are now going to find themselves without a home because of the choices made. The book presents some good sequences, some emotional struggles for the sister and a great and surprising guest appearance that's not heavily dealt with in a very good way. Evely's artwork fits perfectly here for these characters and their designs and Bennett continues to make their relationship strong and believable. It's definitely a fun arc within the overall book, though I'm looking forward to seeing them exposed to more of the wider world.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #16

Nov 8, 2015

Mera dominates this installment and in a good way, really making me want more of her and her very bright and outgoing personality. What we get here is a merging of stories and characters that will ricochet off in its own direction now that could be interesting. what we also get is the arrival of Sandy Jarrell as an artist for the series. I've not been familiar with his work before but it fits perfectly here. I love his interpretation of Mera and the action sequences have a good flow about them in general. The layouts are solid and the expressiveness of the characters is spot on. It fits fully with what we've had previously in the series while also staking out its own design style.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #17

Nov 16, 2015

The good with this book continues to be the premise overall and Bennett's very fun and well nuanced writing that captures each of these characters with a distinct tone. This issue does some good stuff with bringing Helena into the picture and hopefully she's not just a one-off here. Similarly, I just love the whole vibe going on between Kate, Selina and Lex as it's just something kind of surreal. The downside with this issue, and I really hate to say it, is Doyle's art. I've enjoyed his work elsewhere but it feels very ill suited here. Particularly when you get certain shots of Helena that makes her look like a woman forty years or more older than she is. It just lacks the softer tones that has made it engaging before and the style of his characters faces simply doesn't work for me here. The overall layouts are good and I like the pacing of it all, but the character artwork just doesn't scream Bombshells to me.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #18

Nov 23, 2015

As a stage setting chapter and a bit of closure for the arc at hand, Bombshells does what it needs to do in the story department, smartly choosing which characters to expend focus on and which to just touch upon and have a little fun with. What helps to elevate it is Sanapo's artwork. I've enjoyed the little I've seen of her work before but she fits in perfectly here and has me hopeful that she's going to be a regular in the roster of artists for the series. Particularly since she has the harder job here of handling the cast as a whole and all their respective locations. It also doesn't hurt that she has Wendy Broome doing the coloring here as she's definitely set the tone for the look of the series. The book captures all of them extremely well and made me fall in love with the Bombshells all over again. Great stuff in general, fantastic artwork and a real sense of style and cool.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #19

Nov 30, 2015

The team of Kathy, Nell and Harper is pretty strong here, though only two of them are central to the fighting early on, and the addition of Alysia is pretty welcome in giving it even more diversity that one would expect from young kids in the city exposed to so many blocks that are very, very diverse even if segregated on their own. A lot of what we get here is setup for what's to come in the next two installments as it tells a tale from home amid the war and I'm excited to see how wacky and crazy it can get.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #20

Dec 7, 2015

Bombshells continues to enjoy some time in Gotham by showing what Kate's inspired there and to make it clear that the city is in some pretty good hands while she fights the bigger war. The story is solidly done even if it's not hugely engaging and that's mostly because I don't feel connected to the characters and their stories all that much, especially in comparison to what we've gotten with most of the other characters. Mirka Andolfo continues to be perfectly suited for this book and this arc in particular, especially with Broome's color design as everything here just shines. There's a sense of wicked fun coming from the characters through the artwork and that is hugely infectious as a reader. I'm definitely enjoying this arc even with my minor frustrations with it.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #21

Dec 14, 2015

The final battle with Moloch isn't really a big thing in a way because it feels like it pales compared to the narration and dialogue side of the storyline. It's been a part of it for the three issue arc to be sure, but here it just puts it center stage as many characters have done over the decades. And I can see that grinding the gears of some, but within the context of not just the setting and what these characters are dealing with and also the real world context into which it plays, it's very welcome. The world of superheroes is open to a lot of variety and ways to explore things and I've missed seeing more of these kinds of tales. I'm not looking for a message of the week every issue or every book, but something to swing the pendulum back the other way just a little is a big plus in my book.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #22

Dec 21, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells finally gets out of Gotham and back to the frontlines and it works out very well. While we're just getting this part of the story underway, we've had the origins of the tenebrae previously and are now seeing their scale and impact that will come. There's some great Steve and Diana time this time around as well that shows exactly what kind of person she is and how she approaches the various aspects involved in a war. Bringing the two storylines together is going to up the ante and provide for a lot more that the Bombshells are going to have to deal with. There's a lot of room to grow here and while I keep feeling like this series could be rushing through things I'm excited to see what's next. Bennett definitely captures these characters well, particularly Diana, and I absolutely loved seeing Braga back on the artwork as her Diana interpretation is everything that I want out of the Bombshells era version of her.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #23

Dec 28, 2015

Bombshells is light on the action this time around and that continues to be a non-issue for me. There's so much fun material to be had with this cast of characters and what they do and their connections to each other that an installment of dialogue and minor backstory exposition hits its own sweet spot.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #24

Jan 4, 2016

The series has been a strong one for me overall but there are always this issues where things just click and hit so well, hits its stride in such a perfect way, that it just feels like it's elevated.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #25

Jan 11, 2016

The Bombshells series continues to be a real delight and one of the biggest highlights of my reading list every week. This issue is pretty much on par with last week's in what it delivers and I'm loving it. Mera's storyline is exactly what I want out of her and it feels like the character is finally getting the kind of proper characterization and exposure that she's struggled to get over the decades. Combining her with Kara her works well and I'm definitely enjoying seeing Courtney's storyline where she's going to really take ownership of her own life path now. Very good stuff all around and made even more awesome this week with Mirka Andolfo's artwork. Andolfo continues to deliver some of my favorite installments of the series with the character designs and layouts and this one is absolutely no exception, resulting in a fantastic read through the first time and a very fun exploration of the artwork and details the second time around.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #26

Jan 18, 2016

While the shift to this story isn't a bad thing, I'll admit I'm a bit stuck on Mera at this point and wanted more from here. Still, Bennett and Braga put in a very good installment here that adds a bit more background for the Tenebrae through two different forms while also ramping up just how powerful and sprawling their intentions are with the world. Von Gunther definitely steps up to be a proper villain of the era here and feels like she's chewing scenery with the best of them in a great way. It's not exactly an info dump, but we do get a lot of things here and a chance for Diana to really establish herself well with a strong opponent to deal with. Definitely another installment on the right path for this series.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #27

Jan 25, 2016

Bombshells continues to delight week after week and now that we're past the half-year mark I'm just craving even more of it. Why isn't this a whole cottage industry of books at this point? I want my expansions! This issue does some good stuff for Kortni while also putting Mera in a new position to deal with what's coming. Kara's less utilized overall yet still has some strong material. The book nudges events forward well under Bennett's hands while also coming across as visually striking and beautiful thanks to Mirka Andolfo and J. Nanjan's work. I just love the look of this series and this issue in particular is a standout one in so many ways.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #28

Feb 1, 2016

A good part of what we get here is her taking a stand and making it clear that she and her people have faced the Tenebrae before and vanquished it, using that as a rallying cry for those around her in hopes that it will spread elsewhere. The battle itself is simple but effective and it takes on a bigger than life feeling towards the end in a fun way. There are nice touches mixed into the fight with Paula, notably her having gauntlets, while also putting Diana into a far more authoritative position when it comes to the rank and file. It's something that works well and that I hope we see more of, especially as you can see it creating conflict with the others.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #29

Feb 8, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells has another strong issue and it moves us back with a group we haven't seen in a bit, allowing the other characters and their stories to rest for a bit. Bennett and Sauvage just seem to click exceptionally well in how the pages come to life and it has a look that's just spot on in my view of what the Bombshells look should be like. With so many great artists working this series I haven't been disappointed yet and each of them brings some great material out that I could never truly pick one over the other, I just have a particular affection here since Sauvage was at the start. Bringing her back for more of Kate's story just makes it all the more exciting. Very fun stuff that nudges everything forward a bit more once again.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #30

Feb 15, 2016

Big on action but complemented with some really great dialogue, funny moments, and areas where it just teases in a fantastic way, Bombshells ends its current arc on a big note. There are a lot of things at play with the Tenebrae out in the world and what we get here shows some of the darkness but also the ability of people – average people – to push back and hold their own. The team here delights through and through and I'm just grinning from ear to ear with how absolutely fun this book is. And that's what I miss most from so many comics these days and for so many years, the fun of it all. Glad to had it here and in spades.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #31

Feb 22, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells largely continues on with what it's doing here, which is a good thing. The arc naming aspect doesn't really do too much overall as each arc has a lot of loose elements to it so this isn't like a huge jumping on point or anything. But what it does do is to take what's come before and move it forward here to the next phase, bringing us what will hopefully be a fun and varied battle in London. Mirka Andolfo continues to be one of my favorite artists working on this series so getting another well done installment here from her delights, particularly with her work with both Doctor Light and Waller's aerial sequences. Good stuff that has me eager for more once again.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #32

Feb 29, 2016

This issue does a lot of great stuff and keeps the energy flowing as the story moves forward and the character dynamics are made clearer and solidified to different degrees. Bennett continues to nail it with this series in delivering what the fans are looking for across the board and this issue is no exception. Laura Braga's return with this issue hits a sweet spot as well as she captures the power of the fight in a great way while delivering the more intimate moments well. I also really loved not only the layout/panel design but just the placements in-panel of the characters where there's more depth and some larger character shots to increase the overall power of the moment. Beautifully illustrated stuff across the board with a color design that just pops wonderfully in digital form. I love this book.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #33

Mar 7, 2016

Bombshells finally brings the team together and it's all done so beautifully thanks to Mirka Andolfo's artwork here. She brings this diverse group together in such a great way with so many panels where the camera placement is spot on and the designs just look so fantastic that I can't help but to just zoom in and adore them individually. I love the curvature she brings to the characters, the expressiveness of the faces, and just the poses that work so beautifully. The team in general captures the Bombshells look great but the team of Andolfo and Broome just feels like it's extra sweet. And she gets the payoff of that final page which is probably one of my favorite panels of the entire run so far. A very solid book that does a lot of very fun things and leaves me craving more.

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9.6
DC Comics: Bombshells #34

Mar 14, 2016

With a few other subplots in play and some solid pieces where Nereus talks of the promises to those that follow him, I'm beyond glad that this issue focused on what it did as much as it did. I enjoyed the book solidly enough in the first read through, but when I dug into it the second time around and blew up the images on my monitor instead of my ipad, the whole thing took on another life. Bennett's script keeps it all moving at a good pace and the dialogue draws you in to wanting to know what's next. But Laura Braga and Wendy Broome completely own this issue with what they bring to life with it. It's fantastically illustrated and full of power and impact with its designs, particularly with Nereus in a way that really surprised me. Great stuff all around and another solid and impactful installment.

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9.6
DC Comics: Bombshells #35

Mar 21, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells has a really good penultimate chapter to this storyline that brings much of what's happened to a naturally pivotal point. The back and forth of battle has unfolded well, the team has come together and faced losses already and are now realizing they have to go a step further in order to defeat the Titan. Bennett continues to find the right balance between darkness and playfulness here and Andolof has turned these scripts into beautiful pages where I find myself wishing a great deal of them were available in print form or that we could get an unlettered version as well just to soak up all the details. Great stuff that's serving up one of the best arcs of the book yet.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #36

Mar 28, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells has been a really fun series throughout this "first year" that's unfolded and it comes to a conclusion in a way that makes sense. I love standalone universe stories like this that's not mired in continuity with a billion other books " though I'll easily admit that I want more books from this series. This issue just works perfect with what it wants to do in giving us a conclusion with so much more to go " and hopefully several more Years worth. Especially with Laura Braga on the artwork. She once again nails it here throughout, especially in the piece with Kara and Kortni's relationship with some fantastic framing design and elements combined with the color tones that softens it up a bit. There are so many standout panels in this that I really lost track after a while with how many I wanted to just dig into more to appreciate the line work and detail.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #37

Apr 4, 2016

This series continues to be a real highlight week after week and is one of the few series where I get totally stoked just to see which artist is working on it. They've got a great rotation of talent and each brings a familiarity and uniqueness to how they present things, making for some great storytelling. Mirka Andolfo is definitely one of my favorites and she captures the Batgirls in a great way here. Bennett's digging into a good standalone story that connects to other events and that in turn enriches the series as a whole, which is something that she's done perfectly since the start. Each new arc feels like a wonderful expansion on the world and a greater confidence in what she can bring in and rework in it. This is a massive sandbox she's playing in and by all appearances is loving it – and I'm loving the results in the work she and the artists are bringing out week after week. Very recommended.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #38

Apr 11, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells continues to deliver a whole lot of fun week after week with a wide-ranging cast of characters and situations. The middle part of this side arc works to dig into some of the problems on the home front and it hits it all pretty well – and bluntly with a bat. Bennett knows there's no need to tiptoe around these things and what she presents here is a far too common piece of the past and present. This issue also brings us Qualano's first issue of artwork and he hits it out of the park throughout. The characters look great, I love his angles and placement for our view into the world, and Wendy Broome works deftly with his work to bring it to life in the coloring department. A very engaging issue all around that has me excited to see what the finale is like.

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7.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #39

Apr 18, 2016

This three-part arc worked well for me overall even if it falters at the end with the larger reveal. The first two parts added some fun stuff in looking at the home front and what's going on there to be dealt with while showing how the next generation is coming up to defend it as well. This issue adds some nice color to things overall and it expands what the girls are capable of and the concept of the Batgirls themselves. There's a lot to like here overall as a whole, though I'm also looking forward to getting back to some of the other storylines and seeing where the next phase of the larger war will be going – and who with.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #40

Apr 25, 2016

Great stuff all around and a solid kickoff to a new short arc.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #41

May 2, 2016

Bombshells has offered up some tragic material before so it's no surprise to see more of it here considering the situation. Marguerite Bennett is definitely enjoying playing in this time period and working our characters through some tough times and situations, but I'm close to saying that Zatanna's breakdown here is the biggest one we've seen yet on a personal level. Mirka Andolfo and J. Nanajan really bring this script to life in a great way here by making you feel exactly what Zatanna is feeling, and the way Constantine feels in trying to do what he can to ease things here. It's a situation that just evokes so much from so many people in different but similar ways that it works very well at achieving what Bennett sets out to do here. I'm anxious to see this storyline picked up again because I fear going too long without some sort of resolution. At least I know there'll be a lot of engaging stories in between.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #42

May 9, 2016

Just wow. Bennett and Andolfo have delivered consistently throughout this series with some great work and they still manage to find ways to just delight me that I didn't expect. Harley feels more realized now than she has in the past and that has me hopeful for a bit greater presence in installments going forward as she's been underused. The background here is solid, creative, and just engaging across the board to see brought to life in a new way. That it's all done up in some great artwork from Mirka Andolfo just elevates it all. The 1941 pieces stand out all the more for me because of Poison Ivy, but I loved the style and design that went into the earlier pieces. Yet those first two pages and that end sequence. Why aren't there waves of posters and prints being made constantly for this series by these fantastic art teams doing some of the best work DC Comics is producing?

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #43

May 16, 2016

Bombshells does some good stuff with Mera here, though I admit I really loved seeing her early in the Battle of Britain arc where she was just so damn upbeat and positive, a welcome contrast to the vast array of brooding heroes that populates the market these days. Her story takes the expected turns here as she cannot sit out the rest of the war nor its effects on her homeland. Bennett keeps things moving while fleshing her out more, making her even more accessible and enjoyable. With Braga and Nanjan delivering some great pages with lots of detail and pop, it's just a pleasure to read once again – and it leaves me wanting more of her story.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #44

May 23, 2016

Bombshells is doing some good stuff here as it sets us up for what's to come and with so many storylines and characters in play it always feels like it goes by too fast and doesn't cover enough. The focus here works across three groups that will likely come together in some form – before splitting apart in another form – and it's pretty fun even with the origin story mixed into it. Bennett keeps it brisk and moving while still providing more than enough dialogue and exposition that it needs. Mirka Andolfo delivers another solid and attractive book that Broome makes look even better with the color design to make it fun and delightful. Good stuff all around.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #45

May 30, 2016

Bombshells spends some great time in flashback mode here that really delivers some good expansion for Kate and firming up the kind of relationship that she had with Renee. Sandy Jarrell's style of artwork is certainly different from the others that work on this series, being more angular than curved, but it's one that works just as well. I loved the big splash page with the whole Romeo & Juliet feeling about it and just the way that Kate and Renee move and look at each other during the flashback. Selina's time at the start of the book is just as wonderful with how she's represented and there's a lot to like in seeing the small but important expansion of the characters backgrounds here.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #46

Jun 6, 2016

We've had large casts of characters before, especially in the last nine-part arc with the battle of London, but what they work with here feels different. More complex and interesting because of the various connections that they have, the different approaches and style of dealing not only with the war effort but each other. Though it breaks down to just a few characters by the second half of it, there are a lot of good expansions brought in and exploration of the period and different ways and things people had to do to survive. Bennett continues to craft the book well to make it feel powerful and personal while Andolfo once again just dazzles with the design work, the facial expressions, and the layouts that makes it all feel so very smooth and engaging to read. Great stuf.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #47

Jun 13, 2016

Bombshells gives us another strong Mera centered book that digs into more of her past before we saw her with Diana and explains the ease with which she left and why. I get a sense that it may not jive completely with those early issues but it's mostly just a matter of perception and Bennett smooths it out well enough to enjoy how Mera takes new control of her life to do what's right. Laura Braga nails this issue perfectly throughout with some great location designs, never easy when working with Atlantis and the underwater element, as well as bringing some great stuff in for Mera's sister and what we get of Arthur's secret cave. I really liked the style and design to the various layouts that she did with the black backgrounds and coral style elements to blend it all together. A very good book that has me eager for a lot more Mera in my future.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #48

Jun 20, 2016

The politics of Atlantis is something that always fascinated me going back to the 1990 miniseries The Atlantis Chronicles. Seeing how it unfolds within this storyline and setting has been great since it deals with changes as it should and must and that alters the dynamic of what's to come. Mera's more of a passive player here but that's almost required as we get Hila really taking control of her path and destiny and doing her best to ensure nobody gets in her way. The longstanding sisterly issues are a big part of it but it's grown beyond that, though it's fully within the DNA of the problem. This is a big, fun, issue that delivers across the board once again.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #49

Jun 27, 2016

Bombshells gets its next big arc underway and it looks to be a pretty good one with its focus on Berlin and the fight that's about to get underway there. This is all about reconnecting us with the characters and it does it well, especially with Kate Kane as Batwoman and then some really good stuff with Zee and Constantine. There's a healthy mix of characters here to work with, and more that will surely surface as the fighting gets underway, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it all grows and unfolds. This installment worked really well with Sandy Jarrell's style, especially those first two pages, as it really took me back in time a bit with the layouts and the character designs. It's not the smoother and rounder designs we get from most of the other artists in the series, but it works exceptionally well here.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #50

Jul 4, 2016

Bombshells has another four installments in this arc and it's set up a lot of good stuff already for it to work through. I love the reveal we get with Miriam as well as the stories she tells to calm both her and the other child, something that Mirka Andolfo brings to life well in the limited space she has to work with. Add in some good stuff with the different levels of events going on early on with how they're portrayed and just some great fun with these characters in general and it's enjoyable both through the artwork, coloring, and the writing. Lots of fun stuff here as we get more things put into motion for this arc.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #51

Jul 11, 2016

Bombshells has now given us our Miri Marvel in full and I'm hopeful that she'll have more to do in the future, and that she gets to have an adventure with Kate as the two are just too much fun together. The bulk of this installment is all about the action and Jarrell delivers some great looking sequences and has fun with an oversized Raven that Miri has to try and break through to. Bennett keeps things moving with the story overall and the way that so many are pushing back against the Nazi's, though if it sticks to the real world timeline it means we have years of danger to push back against. Which hopefully means years of stories left to tell in this particular franchise as Bombshells continues to delight.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #52

Jul 18, 2016

Though this installment does take us away from the Battle of Berlin events to some degree, it does introduce Mera into the mix with what's been going on and with her being away from things for so long as she's recovered, it's certainly useful. The Atlantis storyline has been a favorite of mine and I loved seeing Braga's layouts for it and the work with the characters here as she brings Siren to life pretty well in addition to the rest of the cast of supporting characters. The Berlin aspect picks up the next time around and I'm looking forward to that and hopefully seeing more of what Miri brings to the table in this expanding cast of characters and interactions. It's a great book that continues to be firing on all cylinders.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #53

Jul 25, 2016

Reading this book over the weekend and getting the Wonder Woman theatrical trailer at the same time was definitely one of those moments where you feel like things are finally starting to happen in the right way, wishing it happened sooner, and having great hopes for the future. Bennett and her team have been cranking out some of the best books DC Comics has at the moment with this series and I'm quietly praying on a regular basis for an animated version in this style to come to life. This installment brings some closure to various subplots, sets us up for the arc finale the next time around, and reminds us of the immense stage that they have to work with. This is a very solid and engaging action installment with lots of great character moments, big and small, the deliver. Just like nearly every issue of this series has delivered on the the fun and engagement on so many levels.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #54

Aug 1, 2016

Every artist working on this series has turned in some fantastic work and I've loved pretty much all of it as they bring these characters to life that Bennett has scripted. Mirka Andolfo has become my favorite of them all on such a consistent basis and this installment where she has so many to run with, so many personalities and events going on, that it comes together beautifully. Each of these characters has their own life and sparkle in their eyes through her artwork and that just elevates Bennett's scripts by an order of magnitude. This has been a very good arc overall with a strong epilogue that makes me feel very connected to each and every character and wanting more of their stories. It'll be a long two weeks until I get to immerse myself in this world once more.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #55

Aug 8, 2016

Good fun stuff that has me looking forward to the rest of this short arc before getting back into the bigger aspects of the war.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #56

Aug 15, 2016

The Batgirls material isn't among my favorite of the arcs that the Bombshells books work with but i've certainly come to like them more over time compared to those early installments. This middle part of the arc is essentially just that, the hard heavy lifting work to put all the things in the right place. I like the investigative side we get but there are just too many characters involved. Qualano's artwork is definitely solid here as it fits in well with the overall design aesthetic of the series so I'm glad to see that side of it. It's a fun book overall and I'm hoping for more on this new Reaper next time around.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #57

Aug 22, 2016

The Bombshells series finishes off a short side story arc that has some connections setup and it works well, though it's still not something that lights my interest in a big way. Bennett does some good stuff with the sprawling cast but it really does just feel like too many characters combined with too many villains. Sandy Jarrell has been doing some great stuff in recent installments involving the Berlin arc and his artwork is solid here, but there aren't enough opportunities for some really great layouts and designs to make it stand out in a big way. The next installment is giving us a side story that's also a flashback so it can introduce some new characters at the 1936 Olympics, so I'm definitely excited to see how that goes.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #58

Aug 29, 2016

While Marguerite Bennett has introduced us to a number of locales and characters in this series, each new expansion seems to come across bigger and better than the previous one. While this one is kept small with just Mari and Sheira introduced into it, placing it before the current events and showing us some of what's to come from a different angle is exciting. Bennett captures Mari's personality so quickly and with so much material here that it's almost overwhelming in a great way.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #59

Sep 5, 2016

My love of the Bombshells series has been plain for a while now but a lot of that comes from the fact that Bennett simply isn't resting on laurels here, working with just a few characters, or introducing new ones just to play a particular moment. There may be more layering and planning going on at this stage than at the beginning possibly, but the results we're getting are fantastic. Each new addition brings something intriguing to the mix and Mari and her group definitely does that, filling in some of the blanks and tantalizing with what's to come. This is a very fun issue with its focus on Renee but also fleshing out Mari more and adding a little more nuance across the board. And good golly does Mirka Andolfo once again just nail it. I love her take on Vixen with the costuming and curve of it all but also just that utterly infectious smile, especially in contrast to the continued angst of Renee.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #61

Sep 19, 2016

Bombshells gets things moving a bit more with this arc involving Mari and her land and it's working pretty well overall. It's the kind of piece that I know will flow better when I read it in full when it's done since it's working through some origin style pieces for Cheetah. This chapter does some good character interaction with our leading characters as they recover, re-equip up, and get moving to try and figure out what's going on. More hints are are here and I'm definitely interested to see where these mechanical beast gods will fit into things and how much of a role Cheetah will have. As with past issues, Mirka Andolfo has such a great sense of character design here that combined with the bold colors just gives it an old school feeling with modern sensibilities. It simply delights me when I hit that first page to see these designs come into view and there's a lot to like throughout. Can't wait for me.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #62

Sep 26, 2016

While this Bombshells arc hasn't won me over too much in terms of story I'm definitely enjoying the character side of it. Vixen's debut previously hit a lot of good notes for me as did the unveiling of Zembesi. Bringing Barbara Ann into it wasn't too much of a surprise considering she's such a classic villainess as Cheetah, but I'll admit part of me was kind of hopeful for the original Cheetah to make her way here. With this issue we get some good backstory for her that explains motivations and mindset in a clear way but with enough room to play in while also firming up the ties to Kate and Renee that will drive this trio into some bad places in the coming issues. A solid book all around and a great first introduction for me to Richard Ortiz's work as he fits in perfectly with what they do with this series.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #63

Oct 3, 2016

Bombshells almost feels like it's done with this arc for the moment but it looks like the next two chapters are going to keep it going with a look at Shiera and more. That's not a bad thing but I'd like to get back to some of the characters sooner rather than later. This arc is moving along well enough overall and I enjoy seeing Laura Braga tackling as many characters she does here, and the fun of the snakes, but mostly we get more setup for what the Nazi's have been up to in procuring more ancient artifacts and what it may lead to. Which is important to do but it's not coming across as all that compelling at the moment.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #64

Oct 10, 2016

The Zambesi arc gets a new three-part segment underway here and I'm admittedly kind of hopeful that this will bring it to a close for a bit so we can move onto something else with the wide range of characters that we have. The initial focus on Wenda was a little off-putting but it comes together well while Shiera's dominance is definitely a welcome piece, especially since we'll be learning more about her and Mari's relationship next time around. It's a solid installment all around that delivers some great art and color work and it nudges the story forward a bit, but some of it just feels a little too "cartoony" for me in a way since the Vixenmobile keeps giving me Wacky Raceland flashbacks.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #65

Oct 17, 2016

While I'll admit that I'm not exactly tired of Barbara at this point I'm definitely wanting to see things expand more and focus on other characters, new and old alike. She is the villain du jour and Bennett is giving her the time owed to establish her well and I can totally appreciate it and love it. But the other Bombshells are being pushed further to the background and even Vixen is reduced a bit. There are some really great pages to be had throughout this that just reinforces why this series and its style works so well. Yeah, it's cheesecake, but it's so well done and combined with such a rich and fun story and great characters that it's simply a facet of it, not the draw of it. Great stuff all around.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #66

Oct 24, 2016

While I've thoroughly enjoyed Vixen, Shiera, and the other character material from this arch with Zambesi – especially Cheetah, I'm very eager to get beyond the Mechanical Gods aspect of it as that whole thing just isn't connecting for me as much as it should. This installment works through a lot at the beginning before shifting into the action and the surprise reveal at the end that has me doubly excited to see where we end up in the next issue with the new arc that's going to get underway. Ortiz and Qualano are solid her with some great character material and some fun action layouts that just needed more background material to it so that it didn't feel quite so rushed.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #67

Oct 31, 2016

As the opening salvo of the three-part "Queens" arc that's getting underway, it serves more as an epilogue to an arc we had a few months ago more than anything else. It helps to get things squared away there so we can get Diana in the current Zambesi arc so that's all good for me in the end. Bennett gets to expound on a few things here in a really engaging way as Kara and Diana talk but it's Bergara's artwork that really elevates it all. The sparser scenes are exactly what it needs as are the way the panels are laid out so that it has a certain starkness and coolness about it that mirrors Kara's grief – especially with how Nanjan shifts gears to color it. It's not a big and bold installment but it's a fantastic character installment, something this series pulls off really well.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #68

Nov 7, 2016

The current Bombshells arc is playing out in interesting ways as the main event fight is sidelined a fair bit and it's been focused on some catch-up character material. Which is more than fine as it's well done and interesting to see how Diana and Kara work through all that's happened. But at the same time I'm ready to move on from Zambesi and it feels like we're just delaying it a little bit too long! This issue has some very fun stuff with the artwork as Laura Braga gets to handle a range of characters but also a lot of scenes with the invisible jet, which makes for some weird looking scenes as one would expect. I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next and to seeing what the next major arc will be with how I'm feeling at the moment.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #69

Nov 14, 2016

Shiera has been the character I wanted to see explored more in this series after Vixen in the Zambesi material so it's been a bit frustrating to see so much of it focused elsewhere on characters with lots of development already. This time, however, it's almost all about Shiera with a welcome dose of Renee put into the mix to help push things forward. I love the expected bit about the origins of the mechanical beasts and what the larger plan is there and it kind of has me hoping we'll get a proper mix of aliens arriving amid WWII as opposed to two separate events. Bennett has a lot of things moving in this series and so many areas to explore that even as a weekly book it's barely scraping the surface as each one leaves me wanting a whole lot more. And that's doubly so when we get Mirka Andolfo on the art chores as she once again delivers a wonderfully dynamic piece all while capturing the innocence of Shiera in her expressions. Good stuff.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #70

Nov 21, 2016

Bombshells continues to have a lot of things at play within any given story and as part of the work as a whole and I like what this particular issue does. While breaking it into two halves rather than an A-plot and B-plot, each gets the time they deserve to be explored and what they represent without the whiplash effect of moving between them within a page. Bennett catches us up on the overall Zambesi history well and then digs into the complicated person that is Selina. And Ortiz handles the very different ideas well, with some wonderful layouts for the flashback of Zambesi before doing some larger panel layouts for what's going on between Kate and Selina so that they loom large yet surprisingly and strongly personal. Very good stuff all around once again that has me excited to see what's next.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #71

Nov 28, 2016

Bombshells continues to move things forward and there's certainly fun to be had here as the twists come into play with Selina. At the same time, however, I'm feeling very done with the Zambesi arc and want to reconnect elsewhere for a bit. This arc has gone on for a while and though we've had some great pieces along the way and new characters brought into the mix, I want to touch more upon a range of stories across different locations from issue to issue than stronger/longer focuses like this. We've been away from some other characters for far too long. And part of it is that the whole mechanical gods thing just isn't clicking, especially as the idea of bringing the Thanagarians in just now feels far too soon when there's still so much World War II era material to dig into.

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7.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #72

Dec 5, 2016

Bombshells has been going on for quite a while now as we hit this issue of the largely weekly series and it's been fun and engaging throughout. While aspects of this arc didn't grab me overall and it felt a bit overly long in a few areas, it's been fun for the new introductions into this series from the mainline universe with the twists and turns of it all. But now we're going to move onto some other characters and situations, and hopefully more stories being blended from different areas of the world, but just getting to a new area and reconnecting with characters we haven't seen in awhile will be welcome. This is a solid ending, just one that took too long to get to.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #73

Dec 12, 2016

Bombshells kicks off the new arc at exactly the right time for me and really shakes things up by shifting to the Suicide Squad for it. I thoroughly enjoyed this cast when I saw them in the annual and getting them in the main book now and interacting with this new event that goes back to the familiar evils of the series is thrilling. I'm looking forward to seeing Bennett having more time with these characters outside of the annual but I'm particularly thrilled to have Aneke back on the art chores. There are a lot of great tight space visuals here in the layouts and some wonderful character moments, such as Ravager and Batgirl, and she totally nails it with that last page image that just makes me want this as its own ongoing book – alongside half a dozen other Bombshell books already!

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #74

Dec 19, 2016

With a good focus on Batgirl for this and her reconnect with Luc, Bombshells has a pretty good installment that delivers on some catch-up and clarity of what's come before and where it's looking to go. I love this incarnation of the Suicide Squad as there's a good sense of fun about it and some really different characters when you get down to it so that it feels unique. The focus on Batgirl works well for me as I really like this interpretation to see where they're going to run with it. But the best part really is Aneke's artwork as the multi page spreads are fantastic and seeing the way everything is so well connected after nearly 75 issues is definitely a welcome couple of pages to take for readers that are new and old alike.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #75

Dec 26, 2016

Bombshells brings the Suicide Squad arc to a close and has me hopeful for another in the future because these "other guys" are just a lot of fun in what they do. Bennett has their voices down well with plenty to expand upon and Aneke made it a lot of fun to watch unfold with all that it did with the escape and some of the closer moments between the characters during the final parts of their journey. The series has a lot going for it and these smaller detours add to the series as a whole and often bring in some fun little pieces along the way, this one being no exception.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #76

Jan 2, 2017

The world of Bombshells has so much going for it that I simply can't get enough of it, even as a weekly book – something I'm thankful it is. Bennett seems to be having a blast putting this work together and dealing with such a great range of wonderful artists that bring it to life with such vibrancy and flair with a sense of fun that it delights everyone. This issue is a touch tough in some ways as it's told through song, which is not my favorite way to tell a tale, but even if you remove all the lyrics you can still tell what's going on easily enough for the most part and that's an important piece of putting the work together. This continues to be one of the best things I'm reading and I'm hopeful for a lengthy run into the new year.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #77

Jan 9, 2017

While Bombshells doesn't have any major plot points here it's doing the heavy lifting work of getting the next arc underway. Pushing the characters forward and into new adventures is always a bit awkward in some ways but with a worldwide war setting to play with there's a lot more options for doing all of this. Getting Raven into the field on her own will lead to some problems to be sure and putting he with Ivy and Harley is definitely going to be fun since they'll make her a member of their gang, though you can see Ivy being really motherly with her. This issue has a very fun and upbeat feeling overall and a lot of that comes from the artwork by Stott as she delivers easily and regularly with the facial expressions to make you just feel giddy being around these characters. I can't wait to see more.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #78

Jan 16, 2017

The next stage of the Russian adventure is here and bringing Kara and Steve more formally into the mix is only going to open things up more as we get deeper into it. I really like the dynamic between the two here as they both have very different backgrounds but are able to be friends and allies in the bigger and smaller picture. The chapter is all about setup and placement but it does it well and it once again just has such a great smoothness thanks to Andolfo's artwork and layouts, especially with the great color work that Nanjan once again delivers on here, to make it a fun and engaging read with so many little details to soak up. I just can't get enough of this book.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #79

Jan 23, 2017

Bombshells continues to delight week after week with what it does and this issue is no exception. The more formal movement into the next arc is definitely welcome as we're heading to Russia with an interesting crew and we know there are others that we'll come across there – and likely some new additions as well. Bennett is juggling a lot of things in this self contained world that works exceptionally well and has me practically begging for a novelization series as well to really dig into the meat of it. Mirka Andolfo is my superstar for this installment, however, as she brings everything to life so well with such expressive characters and movements that it's just a delight with Nanjan's color work. A very strong issue to get things underway with that has so much more ahead of it to come.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #80

Jan 30, 2017

With a fun tease stinger at the end that brings a few other characters into the mix, and into Russia, Bombshells is building a lot with this that I'm curious to see how it all comes together. There are a lot of little bits in this installment that work nicely, especially the nods given to Fawkes by Raven, but it's a kind of overstuffed piece that throws a lot at us quickly without feeling like we have enough grounding in a story sense to really connect with it. Braga delivers some great monster moments and runs with some wonderful character pieces, particularly with Raven, and I'm already looking forwad to more material from her here and elsewhere.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #81

Feb 6, 2017

Bombshells has been heavy on the character focus and background in the last few issues so an all-action installment for the most part isn't a surprise or unwelcome. Bennett keeps it moving and presents a way at looking at how Kara views the world through her powers, and her responsibilities, and Carnero brings it to life in a really great way with Nanjan's color work. It's a solid installment that's an admittedly easy read but worth a couple of read-throughs to soak up all the visual details, especially the layouts. Things get a little more interesting toward the end as we get another notch of setup for what's to come as the Russian adventure gets further underway. Good and fun all around.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #82

Feb 13, 2017

Bombshells is still very much in the put it all together mode for this arc as the pieces are being brought into play and the basics are being set for it. That's not a bad thing as there's a lot to like in exploring these characters and motivations and how their arcs are coming together, often without a driving force of a romance or some other relationship aspect with men.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #83

Feb 20, 2017

Bombshells has a quiet installment here but an important one as we get the sizable (and odd) group in Leningrad in order to try and help. Their discovery of the truth is shown through Pamela and it definitely works as she's going through some real emotions and growth after recent events and the help they got in Atlantis. Bennett's introduction of Dr. October here is interesting and has me looking forward to the character's debut in Batwoman as well and to see the differences and similarities. Ortiz does a great job in handling the location pieces and the emptiness of it, particularly with Nanjan's color work with the time of night that it takes place in. It's properly desolate and has that stillness that really sells it in the way it needs to be.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #84

Feb 27, 2017

Bombshells does a lot of setup here and doesn't have quite the payoff that you'd want but it delivers a lot of good stuff. Varvara's story is one that will delight a number of readers that want to see her continuing to be the strong character that she is, like so many people from this period that just stood up and did what needed doing and pushing the cost and strain of it from their minds for as long as they could. I would have liked more with Powergirl in getting that moving forward but what we get is interesting and I'm excited to see where it goes from here with Bennett's interpretation. This is a solid issue throughout and Carnero delivers some fantastic pieces in the back half with the work camp storyline in giving us some bleak landscapes as well as just how Varvara looks amid it as she parachutes down and gets things done.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #85

Mar 6, 2017

Bombshells gets its next phase of this overall arc underway and it's a solid piece, more so when it comes to the focus on Supergirl and Power Girl. The action is the draw but also the working through of feelings and intent that Kara has with the loss of her sister and how she intends to honor that memory. I'm interested in seeing where this arc goes overall and more of what the Leningrad aspect will be like, as well as getting to see more of Raven's involvement in things. There's plenty to like here and it's another beautiful looking issue from Laura Braga and J. Nanjan as they take this particular period and look to the right level.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #86

Mar 13, 2017

The Bombshells material in Leningrad is working through some solid material and bringing in a fun cast of characters to deal with. This one narrows it down to just four of the women primarily along with Strange and that works fairly well. It doesn't feel like it's a rich story installment but it's a solid character one for both the Lois/Andrea pairing and for what Supergirl and Power Girl are going through. Laura Braga delivers some very fun fights in the back half and some good exploration material in the first all while bringing out what I want in the character designs and the movement of it all. Fun stuff all around.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #87

Mar 20, 2017

With the book getting ready to more fully connect this piece of the arc with Harley and the others with what's going on in Leningrad, there's a lot to like here. I'm curious as to how this new superweapon will factor into things as it could go in any range of ways, but in Marguerite we trust. This is a fun installment with some solid character material but it's oh so much more fun thanks to Aneke's artwork. I've long enjoyed her work across a few publishers before and her stint with the Suicide Squad Bombshells arc was definitely top notch material. It's great to see her back here and I hope for more involvement (or a spinoff, pretty please!) in the future.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #88

Mar 27, 2017

Bombshells continues to do some very fun things and one of the best parts of the series is what's lacking in so many other series – actual downtime. Though we know some of this is preparation for what's to come it doesn't mean it's empty or meaningless. Getting the characters to simply talk to each other and about themselves is one of the things I enjoy and the team here makes it a lot of fun to read and look at. I'm looking forward to seeing how more of this arc comes together with Zee and Constantine on the way and what truths we may learn about this silent Superman as well. It's a solid book with some beautiful artwork that really makes me wish the rotating artists on this property were producing some poster artwork and other materials as well for consumption.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #89

Apr 3, 2017

Bombshells does what I like once again in giving us an issue where there's some room to breathe and take in what's gone on before, how the characters are coping with it, and setting the stage for what's to come. Marguerite Bennett is definitely delivering some really good material here with what this series can do and it's just been a delight over the course of its run so far. This issue also makes out wonderfully with Richard Ortiz returning on the art duties and getting to just focus on the cast hanging out rather than overly involved action sequences and other craziness. In some ways these kinds of scenes are harder but the payoff is even better. Just the sequences of Lois and Raven together on the slope brings about so much with the design and layout that it elevates a simple dialogue piece to something far more engaging. A very enjoyable issue once again.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #90

Apr 10, 2017

At this point, it's pretty obvious that DC Comics Bombshells series delights me on a regular basis. It provides for plenty of drama and some good silliness along the way as it tells this particular kind of tale of the war. It runs the gamut of stories and characters in such a wonderfully skillful blended way that when viewed as a whole there's very little that frustrates me outside of the Zembesi arc. This arc has put some new things into play, continually expanding and build on what's come before, and Aneke gets to bring some great creativity and design work in general with the new additions. There's a whole lot to like here and the next round has me even more excited with a new Suicide Squad tale to dig into. Very fun stuff that should be on every fan's list, especially since it's selfcontained and you can just enjoy it without worrying about crossovers or other events.

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6.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #91

Apr 17, 2017

With Bombshells moving on to some different material for the moment, what Bennett and Aneke present here is interesting enough but comes across as just a little too padded for my tastes. I don't think it did things well enough in setting up at the start with Frankie, Nadimah, and Qadir to really connect with them and what they're up to and the leaning into the old Indiana Jones stuff was just a little to blunt for my tastes, though amusing. Aneke captures the look of the place and time well as I really liked how she worked all three of these characters, but it was when it shifted to Faora and the different interpretations and the nod to her time in Moscow that it started to click better. This was probably one of the weaker installments overall in terms of getting something underway but it does serve up some very good bits for the larger picture.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #92

Apr 24, 2017

Bombshells is working the setup phase for the next phase of this arc in and around Leningrad and it's definitely well timed. Having enjoyed the mainline continuity reworking of Frost through Justice League of America earlier this year, getting more time with a very different Killer Frost (in addition to the TV version, oh what a golden age we live in!) is very welcome. Bennett is putting all the pieces together and there's some really great backstory being woven here which Carmen Carnero brings together beautifully. It's a fun and engaging book from start to finish with the combination of story and art and especially once again with Nanjan's color work that just pops wonderfully here in digital form. This series continues to be just a delight.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #93

May 1, 2017

Bombshells moves through another phase of the Leningrad arc and it's certainly got its moments, notably with Faora and Kara. I'm curious to see how much truth is there as Faora certainly looks to have quite the history within this world and that can lead to a number of different things to surface. Laura Braga gets to do some fun things here with how those two mingle in the sky as well as some really cute panels for Lois as well. But, frankly, the fact that she gets to put Hugo Strange on top of an attack octopus is what really takes the cake and wins the day. There ought to be an award for making that look as good as it does.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #94

May 8, 2017

Bombshells does a lot of exposition here but Aneke makes it flow very well and in a fun and engaging way. With lots of character designs to work with, leaving me wanting a Lara and Alura spin-off to know their tale alone!, there's a good bit of variety all while maintaining that hard and metallic kind of edge to it that Faora gives off. It's not a warm and inviting piece and isn't meant to be as that's not who Faora is. There's definitely a lot to take in here and connections to other events in the overall series that ties it together, such as the Thanagarian element, but it all comes back to the humanity of the cast and Kara is definitely representative of that. Good stuff all around that has me curious to see if there will be a solid enough buildup to the 100th installment.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #95

May 15, 2017

Bombshells wraps up certain character bits here with Kara and her past and giving her a proper focus to move forward with. It's a little messy with the structure of it all and how quickly some aspects are dealt with, but it has a kind of light breeziness that feels appropriate. The back half was more fun for me just in seeing the various characters getting in on the fight and pushing back against Strange and his creatures since it blends seriousness and comedy in some good ways. And, frankly, Mirka Andolfo really captures something special in how she puts Harley and Ivy together with the expressions and costume design, making it highly appealing.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #96

May 22, 2017

Bombshells gives us a solid tale here with a heavy focus on Raven and her family that helps to expand things well. It builds without radically changing, no "surprise origin!" elements here or anything, and that gives it some good natural growth and weight. Laura Braga is someone that I've sung the praises of in this series for dozens of issues and this one is no exception. Her work with Raven is fantastic, whether it's the younger and more innocent moments or her more transformative moments into anger along the way. I'm still not too keen on this incarnation of Trigon overall but she brings some good life to him here and conveys the emotions very well to make it engaging and sympathetic on some level.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #97

May 29, 2017

Bombshells continues to be a delight, though this arc has grown so big that I can't see how it can end well enough in just three more chapters that will satisfy.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #98

Jun 5, 2017

DC Comics Bombshells is tightening up all of its story elements as we get down to the final two installments after this and the big battle is about to hit – and it's not likely to be a long way, which is good and bad as I hope it's not rushed .Marguerite Bennett keeps things moving along here with some big changes and deaths, some real emotional impact in several scenes, and the introduction of another big part of their modern mythos into this time period. Combined with some great artwork from Sandy Jarrell we end up with a very fun and engaging book that has delivered so much great material for the last couple of years and shows no sign of wear of fatigue.

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8.4
DC Comics: Bombshells #99

Jun 12, 2017

The end is almost here and sacrifices must be made. While this is the penultimate issue of this run this is the end of this particular arc as the next issue is supposedly an epilogue piece to put things into place for what's to come. Bennett juggles a lot of things here once again and while it does get busy she keeps the focus right with the emotional component on Kara to help reaffirm who she is. Laura Braga has a lot of characters in motion and some flashback pieces as well but it's a great read with the flow of it and keeping everything connected as it is. It's a great end to this particular segment as it deals with magic, science, and more to wrap it all up.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #100

Jun 19, 2017

While not the strong ending I would have hoped for it's a solid enough ending that closes out this particular act for the series.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells Annual #1

Sep 1, 2016

The ongoing Bombshells series is one of my favorite things to dig into and I love what Bennett has been doing there with the characters, the direction, and the tweaks to this timeline. How she gets as much done as she does is beyond me but the results are fantastic, particularly with this book. The ongoing series has so much more that can be done that I hope this annual shows that some spin-offs or one-shots can be produced and made to be a whole lot of fun as ways to tie into other events. This book does a lot of great character stuff that will change part of the ongoing and I'm excited to see how that will play out. I'm also over the moon at getting such great artwork and sense of fun and love out of it from Charretier as I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've seen from her in the past year and hope she finds more opportunity to play in the Bombshells field.

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9.0
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 25, 2016

Is that optimism I feel? Hope? Potential? I've felt it before but there's that sense about Rebirth that they have figured it out, that they are trying to do a course correct here. Not just a post-Flashpoint course correct but an industry-wide course correct going back to the darkening of the 80's comics. The comics industry as a whole is bigger and wider now than it ever was before in terms of the content produced and taking the chance, the risk, of trying to infuse more hope and optimism into the superhero side is hugely appealing.

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8.4
Deathlok #1

Oct 29, 2014

The first issue moves along pretty smoothly, though I'll admit I was just trying to disassociate my old Deathlok memories from this book to give it a fresh view. Edmondson hits the right notes in the pacing here as it weaves between the three main pieces well, giving each of them their time to shine in a proper way.

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8.0
Deathlok #2

Dec 2, 2014

Admittedly, the big draw for some will be the appearance of Domino in the final pages and how she may end up involved in this as she's working for AIM at the moment as she has a working deal with them. Drawing her into what Hayes is involved in as Mustang could make for a pretty good action plot with her style and his precision, which is what will likely get me to come back for one more issue. But the price/value side just isn't working for me with the hooks that we've been given so far, though I'm generally liking the character and what he's doing and what the whole SHIELD angle may turn into. Edmonson is giving us a long game here with what's going on and I definitely want to support that, but it really needs just a bit more to make me excited for each new issue rather than just pleased to see a new one arrive.

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8.4
Deathstroke #1

Sep 17, 2011

With the start of this series, Deathstroke is hugely accessible even with all the history he has because it doesn't try to work any of it into it beyond the basic idea of him being an assassin that has been increasingly sidelined. With that realization coming to mind, he's intent on getting things back on track. We get to see what he's all about here, how skilled he is and it's all done with sharp looking artwork, a solid amount of dialogue and exposition and a flow to it that is highly engaging. It's a book done with a sense of the real world around it, just heightened a few notches, making it the kind that you can get into easily and then to see it expand as it goes along. Deathstroke is a character that can mingle in the underside of the world but also mix it up with the biggest of superheroes and villains. Coming off the Flashpoint miniseries, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it hooked me quick and left me wanting more the moment it was over.

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8.0
Deathstroke #2

Nov 22, 2011

Other than the weak link of Road Rage here, Deathstroke is good, bloody fun as we see Slade running through a number of low grade opponents to make a point. I continue to be sucked in by the basic tease of all of this of wanting to know what's in the briefcase and I damn well better find out at some point, right Higgins?! But there's just a lot to like if you want action here and while I want more than just that from Deathstroke, I'm definitely going to enjoy the action when it hits. There's just a few hints here of what's to come and what Slade's plan is and not enough real meat when it comes to story, but it's a book that I'm definitely willing to give some time to grow with since I loved his 90′s outing back when he was one of the big bads of the DC Universe. I continue to hope he can hit that level again here, properly grounded.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #1

Feb 3, 2016

Barbiere serves up a fairly straightforward story that sets the stage well and gets us off on our journey. He largely handles Thoris in a good way and it leaves me wanting to spend more time with her to see how she grows and changes even if I'm expecting it to be obvious and predictable. What helps to elevate things here is Francesco Manna's artwork. The character designs are great and it has a really strong visual dynamic about it that keeps the flow moving. I also really appreciated some of the better laid out backgrounds that gives it a rich and fuller design, angling towards classic Roman look in some of it in a really good way. There's an obvious familiarity to the design of Helium but I also think it's open to some expansion and new interpretations, which they accomplish here. With some strong color design from Hickman as well, the book simply looks great and is a solid and fun enough read that I'm definitely on board for a while.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #2

Mar 2, 2016

Dejah Thoris has a solid second outing and doesn't falter in the slightest here. It doesn't rush into a wave of new discoveries but instead nudges us forward in a direction that we can work with and explore. While I've enjoyed Barbiere's stories before, I've been frustrated by the pacing in some of them as it just felt like it skipped too many parts. Here, he's digging into it in a solid way and giving it the room to breathe in the right way. It also lets Manna do some great work in exploring the locations we're in and giving it a solidly lived in feeling. His action sequences in the back half are great as well with some wonderful visual placement and sense of flow about it that keeps it all full of the right kind of energy. Good stuff all around and has me excited to see where they'll actually go with it.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #3

Apr 13, 2016

Dejah Thoris has been the strongest of the female-centered relaunch books recently for me with what it does. Frank Barbiere is hitting the story in a way that clicks well for me and feels like it's better plotted and laid out than some other recent works of his that I struggled with while enjoying (Looking at you, Solar!). Dejah herself is solid and engaging and he's building up a good new cast around her that hopefully manages to last a bit rather than just being set up for fodder. Barbiere also makes out really well by having Manna and Hickman on the team as they're bringing this world and characters to life in a great way. There's a wonderful naturalistic feeling to the backgrounds and design and the character designs are spot on in feeling otherworldly but familiar – especially with the color work. I'm definitely excited about this book and hopeful that the first arc leads to some really good stuff beyond it with this as the foundation.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #4

May 11, 2016

Dejah Thoris works the whole prisoner set as slave labor angle pretty well and seeing her attempting to do the whole inciting rebellion is definitely fun. This issue works the reveals that it needs to, gives Dejah what she needs to continue on with her journey, and works to further seed what Carter's storyline will be as you know it'll intersect along the way. Barbiere and Manna definitely click well here with what they're doing and bringing to life as it has all the right elements, just too compressed for my tastes, while touching on the right scale for it. Though I expect we'll end the opening arc with Dejah back in Helium in her usual position, it's one that will have her with a very different view of the world.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #5

Jun 15, 2016

This issue does a lot of good stuff overall even if it follows the template all too easily, but it's sold in a fantastic way thanks to Francesco Manna's artwork. There's just such great style and design here with some wonderful layouts that it's easy to get drawn into the flow and creativity of it, all while enjoying the character designs as well. Very good stuff all around even if familiar.

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8.4
Dejah Thoris #6

Aug 24, 2016

In reality, this entire property is the kind of thing that should be playing more like Game of Thrones than anything else but what we got here from the team was fun and exciting and has me wanting more of Dejah Thoris. Hopefully, Dynamite will deliver once again.

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8.0
Dejah Thoris (2018) #0

Jan 10, 2018

Amy Chu puts all the right pieces into the pot and it's coming together well based on what's here so far and I'm definitely curious to see what twists and turns are ahead, particularly of Qualano is on board for a good run of the art. I've really enjoyed his work elsewhere and it fits in very well here, whether with young Dejah or the teenage one that's ready to get out into the world. With a bit more worldbuilding in terms of visual design while still keeping things manageable I think this'll be a great looking book that helps to carry and elevate the stories forward.

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8.0
Dejah Thoris (2018) #1

Feb 7, 2018

Dejah Thoris and the whole John Carter world continues to feel like there's a lot of enthusiasm from writers to be involved and it has a whole lot of potential but it has a hard time being fully realized. Amy Chu's story is a familiar one but it has plenty of that potential, especially if Dejah can be really brought to life as I think she's going to be able to, but exploring and explaining this world always feels like it's not something that's done well by most writers. That's an area that I'm hoping improves and that it allows Pasquale Qualano the chance to really stretch his wings a bit with some creative locations and creatures, particularly since he's got the character designs down so well so quickly here.

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8.0
Dejah Thoris (2018) #2

Mar 7, 2018

The series is working through a storyline that I like overall with the search for Ephysium and I really do like that it delves into the city of Thurd that the greens have taken over, providing nods to the Orovars that once dominated the world. But at the same time we're going through a familiar hero's journey structure that while not bad doesn't feel like it's really engaging as strongly as it should. Part of it is that I know I'm reading about a younger Dejah than the one I've been seeing the last few years but I also kind of expected a bit more out of her considering the world they live in, even with her father being as protective as he had. There's lots to like here and I'm convinced that Sajad has a cope of Dune in his loincloth that he reads regularly.

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8.0
Dejah Thoris (2018) #3

Apr 4, 2018

Dejah Thoris may be a bit predictable here but it's the good kind of predictable.

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8.4
Demon Knights #1

Sep 16, 2011

With the opening issue, Demon Knights has given me a whole lot to like. The setting is great, the general plot concept as introduced has a lot of potential and it's got a cast that I want to curl up with for ages so I can watch as their adventures unfold. DC Comics is definitely taking a chance with this book by doing fantasy, even with familiar heroes from the last couple of decades being put here, and I think this first issue does a fantastic job with it.

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8.4
Demon Knights #2

Oct 13, 2011

Demon Knights hits up what's essentially the next few minutes from the previous issue by giving us a good dose of action, bloodshed and hilarity. It's a very fast moving issue with what it does since it just keeps going and going, with the Questing Queen pages being the only part the slows things down for just basic dialogue, but it's not a fast read which is a plus. There's a lot going on with each page, a good mix of characters that we're discovering and the little quirks to them that makes them stand out. Some work better than others here, shifting the focus to them compared to the first being about Xanadu for example, as Vandal Savage really comes across well here while Etrigan gets to have some fun too. It'll be going big for at least another issue it seems and hopefully we'll see the formation of the team in a more formal way soon with a clearer mission. But right now, Demon Knights is just a whole heck of a lot of fun.

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8.4
Demon Knights #3

Nov 9, 2011

The third installment of the series is usually the make or break point for a lot of fans when it comes to trying something new. For Demon Knights, I think this creative team nailed it perfectly in the first and made me a big fan. They only cemented it more in the second and with the third have just said to me that they know they have me and they're having a blast. You can sense the fun that everyone involved is having, from the banter of the characters to the detailed and really great character designs that are very, very diverse. The book has hit the ground running and it's really holding onto that energy and enthusiasm, making it quite infectious and leaving me wanting more right away. This is one of those books that definitely has an interesting life ahead of it and that I hope continues to build its audience.

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9.0
Descender #7

Jan 7, 2016

Descender moves into its new arc but it mostly still plays with what we had, so it doesn't jump away until another day – which I was fearful of when I saw the "new story arc" splashed across the description. The storylines at play here are fantastic, fun, and interesting, all of which is wrapped up once again in some jaw-dropping artwork from Dustin Nguyen. Lemire definitely delivers a great series of ideas and characters that Nguyen is able to bring to life in such a breathtaking way. It's so rich in color design and overall detail that it's easy to get lost in the minutiae of each issue. And worth doing so, in fact!

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9.0
Descender #8

Jan 8, 2016

Damn this book for being as engaging as it is. This issue shifts gears just a bit to spend its time working on Andy and Blugger, two surprising characters that I really like a whole lot considering their minimal roles so far overall. While I crave more of what's going on elsewhere, this issue does a great job of bringing it all to life. Nguyen continues to delight in his visual design of things, but he's a bit more restricted here with what he can do since it's mostly in-ship material or flashback pieces to the mining colony that's a little looser and done with a far simpler color palette. It's all very appropriate to the storyline, though, so it's not a complaint. But the shift in tone through color and location definitely stands out against the first seven installments of the series.

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9.0
Descender #9

Jan 15, 2016

A lot of the book is just about getting a feel for where everyone is at the moment while bringing out a little more background material across several of them. I'm really enjoying each of their journies and what they represent while also just enjoying the humor and quirkiness that comes from it. Even Driller isn't driving me batty with his phrasing, which surprises me. Lemire continues to build towards the big picture here and adds some really tantalizing teases at the end with regards to the Hardwire. Nguyen is just beyond words with how this book looks and is designed, leaving me just in awe of it with each installment as there's so much detail to it and a really great sense of design and color that's simply captivating. It's a beautiful book that stands out against the rest in a huge way. I can't get enough.

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9.0
Descender #10

Feb 11, 2016

Descender continues to expand what we know and who we know with this issue while still ensuring that the core cast remains prominent. There are some really fun digs that Telsa gets in regarding Quon and I loved the gaming bit with the two TIM's as there's some beautiful artwork in that area. Dustin Nguyen is really bringing something beautiful to life here and I'm loving the look and feel of it as the coloring and the texture of the book is fantastic. Even reading it digitally there's just this great sense of texture about it. The team here continues to do great stuff and it's another installment where I can't wait to see what happens next across the board all while wanting to binge read everything that's out so far.

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9.0
Descender #11

Mar 10, 2016

Descender has another fantastic outing here where it lays down a lot of information without providing in a massive dump. There are a lot of smaller things learned that builds a larger narrative and a lot of dangers lurking in the midst. This book serves as a great building block for the larger story that's at play with so many things introduced seemingly so casually yet with a layer of importance that can't be understated. Lemire continues to deliver a great story that Nguyen takes up by several levels because of the beauty, pacing, and designs of the artwork. This is a collaboration that just resulted in something very hard to decribe in a way, but something that reminds that this is what kind of creativity the market needs a whole lot more of. I dig deep into superheroes but they are not the end all be all for me. And Descender is a shining beacon of where more books need to go.

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9.0
Descender #12

Jun 18, 2016

Descender fills in a little more backstory this time around as it eases us back into the larger storyline. Lemire delivers a good look at why TIM-22 is as he is and it's very easy to feel sympathy for him considering what he's been through. There's a lot to like here in getting a look at the events that changed everything and how some survived. Dustin Nguyen brings this to life in a really great way as there's such an air of loneliness about TIM-22 before it all goes wrong and then seeing the way he has to struggle after that is compelling through the decay that he's going through. Nguyen is delivering some of the best work of his career here and the passion shines through with how it's presented across the board with detail, color, and layouts. I can't get enough of the world he's bringing to life.

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9.0
Descender #13

Jul 14, 2016

Descender answers a lot of background questions about Telsa and her situation that have been touched upon or given a nod to previously. It's a solid look at the character and serves as her origin story for the most part and while that might feel forced in some books it's definitely welcome here. The cast expansion has hit throughout the run with a look at the key players and Telsa's been one I wanted a lot more time with, particularly as I love her design and detail with the coloring, so getting a lot more of that from Nguyen is like win/win for me. A very solid issue that takes us to some new places at the end and has the potential for a really neat reconnect with other characters as the story progresses.

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8.4
Descender #14

Aug 18, 2016

Descender is working some very enjoyable material for me where it's filling in some of the gaps in our knowledge and doing it with the same attention to detail and style that the book has sine the beginning. Bandit's a dicey character to try it with but i think the payoff is definitely there I really like the little guy even more now and have hopes for some very fun scenes ahead for him. Going back to the period with everyone going south across the systems, Andy being shuffled offworld, and TIM-21 shutting down, it's a very small story in a number of ways but it delights across the board. Lemire and Nguyen deliver exactly the kind of story that Bandit should get.

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8.4
Descender #15

Sep 29, 2016

Descender has another solid entry in the Singularities arc of character backstories that we've been getting. Lemire may be taking a risk with some readers in doing something like this but it's worked exceptionally well for me as a whole because it's made me even more invested in their stories and pasts within the context of the present. It's also given Dustin Nguyen a chance to explore these character at different ages and showing their growth and changes over the course of it, which is always interesting. He essentially nails this book once again from start to finish and I always feel bad for not say much beyond it looks like perfection to me. I can't imagine this book working like it does in the hands of most other artists because his style and the coloring just separates it in a way that it needs to be. I love how it has elements of 70's style science fiction mixed with 80's character designs and today's sensibilities. It's just fantastic.

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8.4
Descender #16

Oct 27, 2016

Descender closes out this round of background stories with another difficult character that, while not deep or rich in what we learn, provides more understanding of him and the larger world that the story exists in. Lemire makes him interesting and fun in his own gruff way and I love the banter and humor between him and Scoops. Nguyen's style continues to impress the hell out of me with how this looks and working with the mines and mostly robots here just hits a certain sweet spot in otherworldiness. Part of me wishes we'd just get a portfolio of science fiction oriented landscapes, cities, stations, and so forth from him like we used to in the 70's. So much neat stuff here that inspires the imagination.

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8.4
Descender #17

Dec 22, 2016

Descender gets all stories on track in the present, at least for the three we get here, as Orbital Mechanics gets its arc underway. It's definitely a lot of fun though it did leave me wishing for more dialogue and exposition since there's a lot of dialogue-free material here. That said, it's a definite treat to get some beautiful Dustin Nguyen artwork in this way as we see just how well he conveys the story without words. Between the designs, the roughness of it, and the color work, this continues to be a great looking book that makes me want a whole lot more of it. I don't think the series suffered under the Singularities arc for me but I suspect for many that this issue is a "return to form" for it.

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8.4
Descender #18

Jan 21, 2017

Descender's picking up momentum again with the Oribtal Mechanics arc and it's pretty clear here that there's going to be some chaos ahead. Lemire and Nguyen continue to blend some solid pieces together to tell the tale with some emotional aspects, such as Andy and Blugger early on, to some fun action sequences and reactions, such as TIM-21's abilities and Telsa's views of it. There are a lot of pieces on the board and they're definitely working well individually and as an interwoven tale. It's a book that continues to work well in the individual issue form while taking on a bigger feeling when you read through a whole lot of it at once. Very recommended.

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8.4
Descender #19

Feb 25, 2017

Descender never stopped firing on all cylinders for me, even when it devoted an installment to my favorite robodog, but it's ramping up hard and strong for what's to come next. Lemire is delivering a really solid story with different elements in different locations but I have a hard time imagining that it would work anywhere near as well without Dustin Nguyen. Lemire packs a lot of dialogue and story elements into each issue and I feel like I never talk about Nguyen's artwork enough but I really love the expressiveness that comes through with the minimal approach in some pages, such as Telsa's time against white backgrounds made starker by the color work for her hair and a few other elements. When it shifts to more detailed and complicated scenes the layouts are just fantastic and cinematic as they draw you in. I love his work in general but this series is just on a whole other level in how he's delivering with it, issue to issue.

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8.4
Descender #20

Mar 25, 2017

Descender continues to fire on all cylinders for me as the various stories get a good bit of attention and you see the way everything is coming together but at the same time operating its own event and thread. While I'm curious as to what the Driller storyline will reveal as that's a big area of mystery at the moment, the rest of it is somewhat predictable but beautifully executed both in script and artwork. There's a lot to like here from top to bottom and when you read it consecutively with other issues in this arc it feels like the book is racing to its explosive moment, which is what I can't wait to see now.

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8.4
Descender #21

Apr 25, 2017

Descender continues to be a book that I thrill to with each new installment and am excited for the day that it ends so I can just burn through it all in one massive reading to see the themes come together in clearer ways. Jeff Lemire has largely impressed me over the year with an array of titles, though his original creations are what really click the best as opposed to playing in other people's sandboxes. Descender has been firing on all cylinders from me from the start and his work with Dustin Nguyen is one of those fantastic partnerships that just results in wholly unexpected and wonderful ways. This is another great looking book that I could just spend hours poring over the details of the designs and expressions of the characters and the worlds that they're creating.

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8.4
Descender #22

Jul 20, 2017

Descender gets its new arc off in a big way while not providing much in the way of answers. Lemire's keeping the pacing at a good level where there's a lot of tension and sense of urgency about things while still expanding on what's going on and how it's going to impact the bigger picture. And just like past issues, Dustin Nguyen makes this an absolute delight to read multiple times. I love the way the pages come across, the texture of it all, the color design, and just the rawness of it where sometimes it almost feels like storyboards taken a step further and about to be fully animated. It has its own life that just draws me in, panel after panel. Very good stuff that has me eager to see what else this arc has in store.

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8.4
Descender #23

Aug 22, 2017

There's a lot to like in this installment but damn if it doesn't feel like it goes by far too fast, which makes me glad it holds up so well with repeated readings.

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8.0
Descender #24

Sep 26, 2017

Descender issues that work with certain characters aren't going to fly for a lot of readers and especially ones that seemingly take us far away from the main storyline that's going on in all its wonder. I get that and have a low level of frustration myself considering the scale of events going on. But with this issue, we get a really fun little story with Driller that showcases his hero's journey nicely and has me curious once again as to what his larger role will be in all of this as it progresses. It's not a game changer but it introduces some fun elements and it simply a delight to look at if nothing else.

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8.0
Descender #25

Oct 24, 2017

Descender's building well to the final installment of this particular arc while also hinting at more of the bigger picture. Lemire keeps things working in a kind of minimal way but it hits the salient points and infuses enough character to keep it moving along since we've had so many more detailed character stories told previously. I really like what we get in the cyberspace sequence in this installment and hope we see that utilized again as it can make for some interesting angles to work with. Dustin Nguyen delights once again with the way the book is laid out and the just the way it looks so rough with great color work and a bright kind of science fiction world during a period where things are at their bleakest. It could easily have been done as a dark and moody piece but the minimalist and heavy white approach just raises my interest in it.

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8.0
Descender #26

Nov 21, 2017

As much as I like the big moments it's the small moments that clicked the best for me, following what Tesla and TIM-21 are up to as they make their way further down and make some startling discoveries about what may really be going on. I still haven't a clue how long this will actually run but it has the potential for a bit of endgame coming up based on this discovery or it could be at the halfway point, both of which would delight me for different reasons. This series delivers the kind of science fiction that comics rarely does and even more rarely does well. This is an engaging and very fun book and the end of this arc puts us into some new places and even greater danger, which in itself is thrilling and frightening.

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9.0
Descender #27

Feb 28, 2018

I really liked the flow of this and Dustin Nguyen is creating something that really is quite magical with the visual presentation of events with the machinery, worlds, and characters. I can't wait to see what's next.

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9.0
Descender #28

Mar 27, 2018

The conclusion of this two-part arc reveals much of the foundations of the series itself and what our characters are facing and why. There are likely to be twists ahead still and some aspects that are different, but the crux of it is here and it's going to come down to how everything is handled more than anything else. Jeff Lemire has been going strong with this project from the start and getting all this exposition, so beautifully illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, is exactly what I'm a fan of a lot of his independent projects as it's easier to work this kind of stuff. The arc covers a lot of ground but never feels rushed and is able to breathe so that you soak up the details and the larger meaning while it also rolls around in your head afterward as you digest the ramifications. I can't wait to see what's next.

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8.4
Devolution #1

Jan 20, 2016

Devolution hasn't been on my radar until I ended up with a copy in hand and I'm definitely digging it as one of the best surprises of the last few months – and a great way to kick off the new year. Remender's script is solid and provides enough characterization to drive the narrative forward even while doing an infodump – and a welcome one at that. Wayshak's artwork is spot on perfect for this with its rougher style and Boyd's coloring to complement it expertly in making it feel raw, dirty, and properly post-apocalyptic. I really liked Wayshak's layouts – which will work better in print than in the digital form I have, as there's a great spread to things to give it a proper feeling of scale and epicness, something that I hope he gets to utilize more depending on how big this book goes. This is a series to watch.

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8.0
Devolution #2

Feb 17, 2016

Devolution has a solid installment here where it gets things moving in the right direction by putting Gil and his group behind us. Though one can see that there's always a chance for them to resurface at the absolutely wrong time. The focus here is done well with the way we get to see more of what life is like for this particular group of survivors and the question as to whether it's worth saving. Raja doesn't get a huge amount of time here in person but her narration keeps her involved in most things and moving right along. There are no big reveals here but we get a good handle on the cast and how Darren may be a bit more key going forward. Remender's script is solid and Wayshak's artwork once again just delights here with its detail and rawness throughout.

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8.0
Devolution #3

Mar 16, 2016

Devolution doesn't progress the story much here at all in the bigger picture but it serves as the middle act piece well enough in getting the situation and location changed, whittling the cast down a bit in grisly fashion, and setting things in place for the final two issues. There are a lot of things going on here and I can see how it can wrap up in two issues, but it's still something that's going to feel like it's kind of superficial as opposed to really digging into what could be a great story. It's just a bit too compressed and theatrical in a way that undercuts what it can do. Remender's script and dialogue is solid enough and Wayshak nails the visuals perfectly once again now that he gets to cut loose in the wilds of this de-evolved world, so there's a lot to like here. It just feels like it could be a whole lot more than just a miniseries.

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8.0
Devolution #4

May 4, 2016

Devolution started strong for me with its first issue but it's taken some odd turns as well as working far too familiar an overall arc. I can easily see this being fleshed out into a movie easily enough but as a comic it's lacking something extra to really drive it home in a strong way. Remender has the right pieces in play but it's focused so much on the action and continued whittling of the cast instead of exploring the survivors in an engaging way or how the devolved are existing. That all has its moments to be sure but it's not as compelling as it could be. Wayshak's definitely nailing it on the artwork though and that makes it a thoroughly fun book to read with some great character designs and expressions that really bring things out in a strong way. As much as the action focus can be a problem, Wayshak makes it exciting to watch.

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8.0
Devolution #5

Jun 15, 2016

At this point in the game, I'll admit that end run of the series I found myself reading more to see how Wayshak was going to have fun with the devolved types, the crazy action sequences, and just the rawness of the artwork that brought this world to life in its own way, especially with Boyd's solid coloring of his work. Remender's story is solid enough but the structure and pacing of it kept it from being as tight as it needed to be and coming across as both rushed at the end and without enough of a sense of closure to it to make it feel like the destination was worth the journey. The journey is worthwhile because it's a fun ride overall, but it feels like it was just shy of being a lot better if it was tighter.

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8.0
Doc Savage: Ring Of Fire #1

Mar 29, 2017

Doc Savage: Ring of Fire brings the familiar elements of the 30's era of the character to life here and has the right kinds of basic pulp story ideas that you'd expect. It's smoothly written and has some solid artwork about where both aspects capture the time and feeling of it all well. It's not the strongest opening for a story but it's one that leaves me curious with what's creating the volcanos and what really happened to Amelia since Pat's dreams really do indicate something else going on. It's a fun book that does what it needs to right and I suspect we'll have a solidly enjoyable adventure with it when it's all said and done. But it's not a first issue that will blow you out of the water and demand you come back for more right away.

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8.0
Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #1

Dec 2, 2015

Doc Savage is an interesting character to work with and I like the idea that they're keeping both past and present there as opposed to just rebooting for the present and trying to modernize it all. GIving us this taste of the past may be a bit more than it needed, but having the depth of knowledge and skill to work with alongside so much experience is a positive. Roberson certainly captures the polished team here well with what they do and his work in the flashback side is pretty strong in setting all the pieces there in old school style but without being overly done. Rezak definitely looks to be a solid choice here as his designs both past and present are really well done as there's a sense about it that it's not looking to be flashy or overly stylized, taking us out of the story. It's a perfect complement to it that helps to bring it all together well with some great detail and good variety to the characters and settings. I'm definitely looking forward to more.

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7.0
Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #2

Jan 14, 2016

I continue to be curious to see where this book goes as I like the overall tone of it as it tries to balance the needs of the present with the requirements of a character firmly rooted in the past. Roberson largely handles it well, though at times it feels like we should have two different miniseries so that each time period can really flex. Razek is definitely a solid choice for either time period as the artwork looks great and there's a certain sense of ruggedness about a lot of the cast that hits the sweet spot needed for it to feel authentic but not forced or out of place. My curiosity continues to be there, though my enthusiasm has dipped slightly for it.

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8.0
Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #3

Feb 10, 2016

This Doc Savage series is one that I'm enjoying on one level but also feel like it hasn't gelled together well to be a compelling story in the big picture sense. I like the individual stories as they're creative ways to tell the tales of "classic" Doc while still keeping a foot firmly in the present. Roberson has the voices for the characters down well and the narration works right to add the extra exposition without being too heavy. Razek's artwork is spot on in bringing it to life, though it's more traditional in terms of actual panel layouts and flow, which feels a little old school and manages to work quite well with what it presents. It's a solidly put together book but it just lacks that extra oomph to really take it up a notch or two in engagement level.

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7.0
Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #4

Mar 9, 2016

This miniseries finishes out with the next installment and though they've built things up in terms of overall backstory through disconnected-but-not elements, I'm not sure what to expect since the opponent has essentially been offscreen the whole time. Unless it's secretly someone on Savage's team right in front of our eyes the whole time. In essence, the series has worked well to expose readers to different times and designs for Savage and his team and company and that works well for what it wants to do. The big picture story is weak though and that makes it hard to connect with in a stronger way. I like the characters and the concept and even the jumps in time that we get to explore all of them. But the central focus was lost very early on and not really recaptured before going into the next issue finale to make it feel like it clicks well.

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7.0
Doc Savage: The Spider's Web #5

Apr 13, 2016

Doc Savage is a character that could have a pretty fun renaissance if given the chance and a bit of a mainstream push – we're still holding out hope for that Shane Black movie working right – and this series shows the way you can work past and present into it well enough. I still stand by the idea that Doc works best in the past but Roberson and Rezak handled it well enough in the present even if they do seem to be almost too capable with their corporation and staffing. There are definitely some fun things in this series overall and I liked the mystery of Arachne as it went along but Weaver as the final villain just ended up falling short and wasn't as compelling as it could be. It'll be interesting to see what the next Doc series is like.

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8.4
Doctor Fate #1

Jun 18, 2015

This is the kind of issue where you can show the formula, but show how it can be used to build a solidly engaging opening. Having read so many first issues that barely even introduce the characters, it's welcome material. And having read far too many decades worth of material by Levitz, I'm not shocked in the slightest.

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8.4
Doctor Fate #2

Jul 16, 2015

Doctor Fate knocked it mostly out of the park for me with the first installment and largely does so once again here. I'm definitely like Khalid and his slow adoption of the mantle of Doctor Fate with the helm and his interactions with certain aspects of it, such as Nabu through the dream-like sequence here. The book is properly anchored in the real world for our lead character and it's quickly humanized him in a way a lot of books struggle to do. But it's played well to the fantastic as well, setting up some of what's to come with the ages old battle between the sides. Levitz continues to script some great scenes and dialogue and his work with Liew definitely brings out the best in both of them, making me hopeful for a solid run for this character – and a bit of time before he's exposed to others in the overall DC Universe.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #3

Aug 20, 2015

Doctor Fate has a kind of awkward issue here overall and while I largely enjoyed it there are execution issues that make me a cringe a bit.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #4

Sep 17, 2015

While there isn't any significant movement here towards dealing with Anubis, Doctor Fate spends some quality time with our title character in his human form as he struggles with all that's going on. There are a lot of ways that this can be handled and comics have ranged them all over the years. Khalid's a bit middle of the road and familiar with how he's coming across and coping with it and one of the best aspects is that he's not being thrust into everything else going on within the realm of DC Comics. He's able to spend time himself, working through his solution, and not getting advice from Batman or Superman with their rich history of connections with the character. Hopefully we will see a few other mystical types show up as time goes on, but for right now I'm loving the more personal approach that Levitz and Liew are taking with it so that it can find its own voice and stand out from that point of view.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #5

Oct 24, 2015

I quite liked this installment overall even with the problems towards the end. The characters are ones that I want to see really get the time to grow and be something more and I'm hopeful that after this arc is finished that we get to really dig into things in a more engaging way, whether with other known characters or continuing to play by itself. I'm also really hopeful to see more of the supporting cast because I really like the family and the love interests that exist since it has some nice cultural angles to play with as well. These elements combined with Liew's fantastic artwork and layouts that provides it with some rich details and great flow makes it a really great read even when it slows down more than it should.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #6

Nov 19, 2015

I'm ready to cheer from the rooftops for Doctor Fate as a book and just need that moment where it all ties together perfectly. In the meantime, I'm definitely enjoying having Paul Levitz writing again as I like his approach and his work here with Khalid makes him a character I really want to know more. Similarly, I love the discovery (for me) of Sonny Liew and am excited to see what else he has in store for this work and any other projects. There's a great design sense that keeps the book engaging even when it slows down and I love the way he's incorporating the social media side into the story, making it enjoyable to read instead of a chore or something that feels tacked on or a shortcut. There's so much potential here but it just needs to grab hold and run with it.

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9.0
Doctor Fate #7

Dec 31, 2015

I love the character of Doctor Fate from oh so many years ago and am thrilled with this new version and interpretation of him. It feels richer and more nuanced and while a good bit of that is the writing, the artwork is what's taking it to a whole other level. Liew has tapped into exactly the kind of style that it needs, much like the really beautifully styled designs we got during the McManus run that had its own magic. Liew and Levitz are putting together something really fantastic here and I continue to feel like I wish there were several years worth of stories already and I was getting the magic of discovery in the back issue bins. The wait from issue to issue is far too long, but ultimately worth it.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #9

Feb 18, 2016

Doctor Fate is definitely in an intriguing position here with how Khalid's operating and I'm curious as to what the endgame with it or if it's just my interpretation of events as they're playing out. I really like Khalid and I can totally get his viewpoint and the why and how of what he's doing, but I can also see so much fallout from it. This issue has Sonny Liew returning on art duties and that means another installment where I just pore over the pages and adore the design, the camera placement for the panels, and the overall sense of layout. There are a number of interesting cutout sections for Fate this time around that are neat and I love the crosscut panels that we get to see both Fate and Khalid. It's a great book visually and a reminder of one of the strong books I've picked up in the last year in this department.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #10

Mar 17, 2016

Similar to the first arc of the series I find myself uncertain of where Levitz and Liew want to take Doctor Fate. It's a curious journey that feels a little more like an indie title but not fully committed to digging into the bigger issues or philosophies to make it stand out. It's engaging and interesting but it's lacking a strong enough narrative focus with the story itself to carry it from issue to issue as a monthly, which has me curious if it reads better in trade form. Liew's artwork continues to be a delight and this installment is no exception, especially with how cartoonish he gets at the end with the Centurions and their presentation. I like the look of the book and the characters, especially with the color work that Loughridge does, and that makes the book a joy to read just from that alone.

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5.0
Doctor Fate #11

Apr 23, 2016

Doctor Fate is a series that I'll be sticking with through the Rebirth phase if only because of the solicitations and character it teases will be arriving. Right now, the series has felt like it's lost its way after an overly long and drawn out first arc and a second arc that feels like it's just meandering more than anything else. I really like the character of Khalid and all the new characters he's brought with him, but the time as Doctor Fate has increasingly felt unfocused, uninteresting, and just cartoonish in the wrong way. The talents here are strong as seen by those early issues but the pacing of the book and what it wants to do has hit a real slump.

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8.4
Doctor Fate #12

May 19, 2016

I'm still pulling for Doctor Fate in a big way as I like Khalid, I like the family, and I like the small bits of Shaya and Akila that we get here – areas that Levitz really needs to invest more time with. Liew really is ideal for this book as he's defined the look of it well and the art team as a whole has put together a very solid issue here that shows what it can do in standalone format while weaving the bigger picture. After a few issues that were really starting to drag for me in a way and the uncertainty of the book post-Rebirth, this was a very encouraging issue for me.

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8.4
Doctor Fate #13

Jun 2, 2016

While I still prefer the way Liew draws some of the characters, particularly Khalid with his hair, Moustafa's return to the book feels quite appropriate with the classic Doctor Fate showing up and getting a look at how Kent Nelson is holding up these days. I have no idea the larger implications since I mostly stick to the fringe DC books for the most part, but it was a delight for the old school fan that I am to have that, the Tower, and just a taste of what once was. Khalid has the potential to be a great Doctor Fate and I'm hoping his series runs a good bit longer to establish him and begin mixing him in with other characters of note, either magical or more traditional superheroes. This issue adds more of that hope and optimism that I had with the previous installment and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Levitz and Moustafa have in store for us next.

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8.4
Doctor Fate #14

Jul 28, 2016

Doctor Fate continues to be a series that I'm thoroughly enjoying for its kind of on the fringes approach and the way we're getting something beyond the usual for it in terms of pacing and characters. I want more of just the characters/family/friends in normal settings to explore as we get some good stuff with that in the backup and in previous issues as Levitz has definitely been working that side well. I like the obvious Fate related pieces but it's just felt a little more drawn out and unfocused than it should be, and in turn missing out on some of the bigger strengths of the book. Inaki Miranda nails the artwork in this installment perfectly and I'm hopeful they return for another guest spot in the future. A solid return to the book after the break that it's had and it has me excited to see what's next for Khalid and everyone else.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #15

Aug 19, 2016

Doctor Fate continues to move along at its own pace and I both like and get a little frustrated by that. There are areas I want more of and I want a little more clarity and compression when it comes to the main storylines themselves but I also want more leisure time away from Fate to get to know the characters more. Levitz is definitely enjoying what he's doing here as there's an ease and smoothness to how it all unfolds where you can tell that he's certainly not feeling rushed. This issue also works really well with Sonny Liew back on the artwork as I just love his presentation of the characters and the fluidity of the solidness of them at times, notably with Fate himself. Good stuff all around as a part of the larger whole.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #16

Sep 23, 2016

Doctor Fate continues to be a series that I enjoy overall and I kind of feel like it can find itself a really good cult status in years to come and we'll see some sort of elaborate oversized library edition that will delight. In the here and now, it has that sense of winding down and that does take some of the energy out of it as you know we're getting to that point. But there is, in a way, a kind of rebirth that we get for Khalid here as it hits that final page and you can see how he's viewing the world in the right frame of mind. Levitz continues to do some solid stuff here with an interesting cast that Liew brings to life in a really great way. I'm hopeful that both of these creators have a lot more in store, whether together or apart, that engages like this series does.

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7.0
Doctor Fate #17

Oct 27, 2016

Doctor Fate is moving toward its conclusion and it's hitting up some mildly underwhelming material here as we get an otherdimensional story. Khalid's a character that I thoroughly enjoy but the absence of the supporting cast is frustrating as they, as a whole, made this a series worth reading with the cultural elements, the school and work pieces, and the relationships that were never explored enough in favor of overextended and convoluted action sequences and events. Putting that into a two-issue story with the first half here reinforces the missed opportunities of the series to really do something interesting with a character that has so much potential – both as Fate and as Khalid. I've enjoyed lots of this series overall but it's leaving me in a place where I want to go find my older runs of the previous incarnation to read and see Fate and crew in a more engaging way.

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4.0
Doctor Fate #18

Nov 19, 2016

While I'm sure we'll see Khalid brought back at some point somewhere else as DC Comics tends to find new paths for characters that get lost along the way, this is a pretty disappointing ending for this series that started off with so much promise. Paul Levitz is one of my favorite writers going back to his work in the 70's and 80's and I got into much of what he did here. But the book became increasingly unfocused and unsure of itself and what it wanted to do that it's hard to tell if it's because of the writer and poor plotting of storylines or some sort of editorial mandate that just made it impossible to really connect well with the rest of the continuity. It's a loss for readers and a loss for DC that has me hopeful that someone else will figure out how to exploit all of this in an engaging way in the future.

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8.0
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #1

May 28, 2014

I've long enjoyed Mark Waid's writing and he looks to be having a lot of fun with this title right from the get go, and that can be infectious. With a couple of reads, you see a lot of what's going on here and the potential and there's a lot to like, though those last pages left me feeling rushed no matter how many times I read it.

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8.0
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #2

Jul 2, 2014

While it was kind of messy and chaotic in its own way, I rather enjoyed the opening issue of Doctor Spektor, especially since I had no real connection to the original and it was open as to what it could be. This issue takes a lot of what happened there and focuses on moving forward, but it has some good connective moments that keeps you touching upon all of it. Lenny has a small but critical role, Spektor's bigger ambitions slowly start to take shape as does his abilities and we see the reasons why both he and Abby are operating as they are after having The Experience. There's a lot of potential with what's here and while I'm wary of its connection with a book as vastly different as Magnus: Robot Fighter, I'm definitely interested to see how it all comes together, even if part of me would rather have this book stand alone for awhile on its own.

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7.0
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #3

Aug 20, 2014

I've enjoyed the Doctor Spektor series so far because it feels unpredictable and is going in its own direction, but an issue like this just leaves me with my mouth open wondering what it is that I've missed. That could mean that in a couple of issues that this will either make perfect sense or I'll be even more lost. What we do get here is interesting and I can see it pulling together into a good narrative, but my mind is trying to connect it to what I know of the other revived properties and it's not making any sense there. That may just be my issue though. Spektor's side of the story here is confusing and unsettling in a lot of ways but I found myself enjoying what Abby was going through with the help she was getting and where that may lead, since it says a lot about her in how she handled it and who her guardian angel may turn out to be. If any of this is real, that is.

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3.0
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #4

Nov 26, 2014

I like Mark Waid. I've read a lot of Mark Waid books over the years and have an affection for a number of his runs on various books. This series felt like one of the furthest things from a Mark Waid series and more of a series by committee that ended up just being a hodgepodge of stuff without any clear vision. Could it have been the unifying book to bring the various Gold Key characters together? Sure. It looks like that was one of the angles it wanted to work with. But after a very fun if awkward first issue, everything just came across as though the whole project was falling apart and it made less and less sense.

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9.0
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1

Mar 7, 2018

Doctor Star is a familiar story told in a familiar way but with such a polished and engaging execution riding on top of the events of other Black Hammer universe works that it's simply raised up by that alone. Lemire and Fiumara are strong talents playing at the top of their game here and it shows. I've long enjoyed works that tackle the past in a new light and it's been going on for decades and can still have surprises. This one is setting up its foundations very well with an engaging character in the title role, putting in a few supporting connections, and pulling it all together with fantastic artwork that gives it the emotional weight it needs. The next issue cannot come soon enough.

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8.0
Doom Patrol (2016) #1

Sep 15, 2016

As a launch title for Young Animal this definitely feels like it's trying (and succeeding) in evoking old school Vertigo, which is what I was hoping for. And like those books there's a sense of a lot of things being thrown at us that we won't understand yet and will take a few issues to really come together, which I'm more than willing to give to Way and the team here as they've done a great job. It's interesting and curious and wonderfully laid out as Derington captures the surreal aspect within the reality that exists, keeping it grounded but also shifting as needed, such as with Cliff's journey. The whole thing with Calder was priceless, however, as a page of him without any dialogue is how he's best presented anyway. I do wish these were priced like the rest of the main DC line though as I'd be more committed than I am but it's definitely got a lot of potential here mixed with a kind of nostalgia being tickled.

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8.4
Doomsday Clock #1

Nov 28, 2017

I'm definitely intrigued, which is a good way to start a series like this.

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8.4
Doomsday Clock #2

Jan 3, 2018

There are a lot of little tantalizing bits to play with in this installment and I like that we're getting the bridging moment hit already between the two continuities, though it's being made clear that there are other crossings prior to this that could seed some intriguing stories to explore later. Johns is moving things along at a solid pace for a twelve-issue series and giving us a fully realized world and introducing us to a range of subplots that could have a range of impact on the core storyline so you have to pay attention to everything. You get the sense that every panel counts and that's before taking in Gary Frank's artwork, which is just fantastic as he gets to play with both Wayne and Luthor here in some really good ways while tackling some great sequences from the Watchmen cast of characters. I'm definitely continuing to be very intrigued and hopeful for this to do some serious restructuring of the DC Universe.

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8.4
Doomsday Clock #3

Jan 30, 2018

A lot of what's being seeded in is going to draw attention but it really requires a kind of in-depth knowledge that may be hard to come by. The retirement home material with Johnny Thunder is intriguing but it's really getting me to stretch my mind back to remember much of the character as it's been so long. I'm really digging the news aspects regarding the Superman Theory and how various nations are taking to dealing with it as equipment is coming along to run detections. We've seen this play out elsewhere in other comics universes before and it never ends well and I'm hopeful that there's a better end for it here than what I've seen before, simply because it should have significant ramifications on the DC shared universe as a whole.

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8.4
Doomsday Clock #4

Apr 4, 2018

While I continue to understand and largely agree with many of the general complaints about the series with how Johns is sort of mimicking Alan Moore without bringing much new to it, I'm finding it to be a solid expansion so far (which is what most comic series are, expansions on the past and new interpretations and configurations) with what he's doing and with some great artwork.

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8.4
Dreaming Eagles #1

Jan 26, 2016

Dreaming Eagles is going to some interesting territory that I've seen some of before through various movies and Ennis and Colby are able to bring a good angle to it through Reggie Atkinson. There are standard opening elements going into play here at the start and Ennis brings some good detail and character to it with Reggie and Lee. Reggie is where it's all at right now and there's a lot to like with it as you really find yourself wanting to know his story and what he experienced and went through. His time with his son is a big part of the appeal for me with how he's trying to connect with him works the generation gap aspect combined with such vastly different experiences to work through. Ennis makes this a very engaging read as it goes on and we see how it's unfolding and I'm beyond glad that he's working with Simon Colby on this as he brings to life the home moments and that of aerial combat in a fantastic way. I'm definitely in for this miniseries in full.

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8.4
Dry Spell #1

Jun 18, 2014

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just grab a random book and run with it. I went into Dryspell with no clue what it was about and it took until about halfway through the book before I felt like I was starting to get a handle on it. And going through this period of discovery, breakdown and experience of the exploration of what being a superhero is like in this particular world offers a pretty interesting first person perspective. Tom Ferris may not be the most original character, but he's explored in a pretty good way here and it feels like there's so much more to delve into with his life, his past experiences and what's going to happen to him now that he's gotten a taste again, a taste he's managed to avoid for over a year. Definitely worth taking a chance on if you like things that avoid the traditional superhero route and instead focuses on the kinds of realities of it all.

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8.4
Ei8ht #1

Feb 18, 2015

The potential is definitely here, but you have to really absorb all the elements of it, not just the story, not just the art, but the two and the coloring of it all.

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8.4
Ei8ht #2

Mar 18, 2015

EI8HT spends its time doing a good bit more world building this time around and having that on top of what we learned in the first installment goes a long way towards making this feel very lived in and real. With the artwork, dialogue and overall pacing of it here, it's very easy to be drawn into this world even as it moves back and forth between stories, time periods and worlds. Each piece is really interesting on its own and could sustain its own story with what it wants to tell, but weaving it together as a whole narrative just takes it to a whole other level.

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8.4
Ei8ht #3

Apr 15, 2015

EI8HT continues to build some intriguing worlds and places in time with what it wants to do, showing the connections as they're exposed more and what the real meanings are. Giving more time to Joshua here works in its favor as he's starting to shift from reactive to proactive definitely helps to give it a greater sense of purpose, and more answers are tantalizing on the tip of the tongue here. Nila's fun to watch with the way she wants to change the world and getting some key time with the Tyrant and the Spear certainly adds its own color. There's a lot going on here but narrowing its focus for a bit with this issue ups the engagement level, especially with such detailed and thoroughly engaging artwork that you just want to take your time tracing your fingers over.

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8.4
Ei8ht #4

May 20, 2015

While I continue to feel that this book will make for a great sit down marathon read when it's all said and done, each individual issue has done a great job to expand upon the world and to keep it engaging with the revelations and the action. Forward progress – across different points in time – is what we get here once again with a lot going on, paradoxes set into motion (that were technically already in motion!) and some background material that makes the Spear seem even more fearful than we thought he was already. It's a solidly fun book all around once again, especially when you break apart the individual pieces with the writing, artwork and coloring itself, as it all blends together well. This is the kind of creator owned work that really drives me interesting and those involved here have been providing one utterly delightful ride that I hope has a resounding conclusion the next time around.

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8.4
Ei8ht #5

Jun 17, 2015

I had an absolute blast with this series in its individual parts and I think it's one that will hold up really well, if not better, in trade form and hope that people take the chance on it. The production here across the board is strong and it plays to a good story with some beautiful design elements put into it that really elevates it while avoiding looking like a gimmick. This is one of those books that comes across as a passion project and you can feel it throughout it with a lot of love and care from everyone involved. I hope this is not the last of the Meld that we'll see, and that with some good trade sales and some smart marketing, it can extend its reach and its audience can find it and rave about it like I do. Very recommended.

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7.0
Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record #1

Jun 25, 2014

Titles like this tend to fly a bit under the radar, but these are the books you give to people to get them into comics, to understand the dynamic of how to read them and the visual cues. Emily and the Strangers does it well and it has a lot of fun in doing it.

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7.0
Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record #3

Aug 27, 2014

Emily and the Strangers is a pretty fun little series that does things in a way that makes you smile, laugh and enjoy the kind of classic comic book storytelling that you'd make sure your kids had while also being able to enjoy it yourself. There's a need to have titles like this out there because they're able to draw in people and be really accessible for new audiences, but also because it's necessary for the heavy consumers of comics to realize that it's not all "this" or "that' out there. I wish we had more books like this, though I do wish that this particular book had a bit more of a conclusion to it and not just a leaping point to the next miniseries. It's definitely got its charms though and other than feeling a little cut short by the ending, it's a delight.

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8.0
Empowered & Sistah Spooky #2

Jan 24, 2018

We continue to get a fun story here that works the past for Sistah Spooky pretty well and offering up a chance at finally putting all of that baggage behind her. There are several challenges ahead as there are plenty of students that took the bad guy's offer of power and beauty to deal with and that means some creative and familiar obstacles that we'll be facing. Spooky gets most of the time here as one would expect but it feels like Emp is even more background than I expected, which I'm a bit mixed on. It's probably a bit for the best as I really don't care for the designs for her in this series, or in general as it just doesn't click for me, but everything is solid and has a good sense of flow about it to keep up with Warren's copious dialogue and how much he crams into every installment.

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8.0
Empowered & Sistah Spooky #3

Feb 21, 2018

Though I struggled with aspects of this series overall, and worry that it's going to be too drawn out at six issues, Warren's delivering some good stuff for both Emp and Spooky with Spooky as the focus while McNeil has some very appealing pages and puts in a massive amount of strong work.

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8.0
Empowered & Sistah Spooky #4

Apr 18, 2018

Carla Speed McNeil is a great artist and she's finding some good stuff in here, particularly our cafeteria monster, but I'm still not there with her Emp and Spooky designs which keeps me from being all in on the book still. Which is fully my issue because she's doing some great stuff across the board with all the students and the like as well as the flow of action and layouts.

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8.4
Empowered and the Soldier of Love #1

Feb 8, 2017

I've had mixed luck with Empowered in general and the spinoff material a bit more so but this Soldier of Love miniseries is off to a great start. Warren and Diaz work really well together with their different styles as he's adapting to her layout approach and panel dynamics and she's dealing with someone that really enjoys heavy dialogue pieces with both foreground and background elements. That can be frustrating in the main book with the black and white but the blending here has made this a lot more fun than I expected. I came away from it appreciating Warren's writing a bit more and now falling in love with Diaz's artwork and wanting to see a whole lot more of it. Fans of the property will definitely dig the book as it's pure Empowered in most ways but it's also a comically effective accessible work to new readers – and those that like the admittance that capes engage in sexytimes.

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8.4
Empowered and the Soldier of Love #2

Mar 22, 2017

While the story beats are familiar and what we get is very much good Empowered material outside of a few problematic areas, the real winner here once again is Karla Diaz. She's such a discovery for me with this that I really wish she had a dozen different mainstream projects underway as I want to see her interpretations on other books and characters as well as more original work. And some variant covers. I just adore the style and how well it works with Empowered. The story is straightforward and I'm enjoying the sexytime shenanigans once more but it also feels like it could have gone a bit further than it did as it almost feels a little tame compared to the first installment. The end result is a very fun book overall and one that delivers on the strengths of the creative team in a very big way.

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8.4
Empowered and the Soldier of Love #3

May 3, 2017

While I've had mixed luck with the Empowered spinoffs before, and the main series can be a whole lot to take on in one sitting, the Soldier of Love mini worked better for me than expected even with its faults. Warren plays with the characters well here and just got plain silly early on before getting more serious and emotional here in the finale. The big winner is Karla Diaz, however, as she's produced some fantastic work that should see her star rising in general. There's a real fluidity to her work that's very appealing, a great take on the familiar character designs here, and some fantastic color work. The series is worth it just for the discovery of her and I hope she's fielding offers for any number of books to tackle these days.

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8.4
Empowered Special #7

Nov 25, 2015

While I love Warren's character designs and sense of kinetic energy in the fight sequences, the intense amount of detail and tight layouts just overwhelms me. I find it a lot more manageable on my part in a shorter special like this and what we get here with Pew Pew Pew! is just a delight. While there are more areas it could go to try and say more about various situations, it's used more as a plot point to show how Emp is maturing and holding up alongside the overall storyline and growth of the character from the main book. I had a lot of fun with this issue and can already see myself re-reading it sooner than later to enjoy it again.

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8.4
Fairest #1

Mar 8, 2012

It may be a bit of a bait and switch to some when you have a book with such a great cover featuring the lovely ladies of the franchise overall and then to have only a couple of panels worth of them here, but that's just a minor quibble as Willingham has started down the road to a larger storyline here that goes beyond just that. By kicking it off with Ali Baba, pairing him up with Jonah the bottle imp and giving us a look at how the city is after the destruction, it's a good starting point with a fair bit of history to be had there to build off of. It's not an out of the park hit here, but what we get is enticing and certainly beautifully drawn as Phil Jimenez has a great eye for pacing the fights, dealing with the beauty of the female characters that do appear here and having fun with Jonah. What sells this is what Willingham has done with this particular world for years now and that alone is worth the price of admission.

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8.4
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Jan 27, 2016

Houser has put together a solid enough and standard enough opening issue that works for the Valiant crowd and has just enough of a hook to draw in those outside it as well. I wish it had done a bit more to be accessible to new readers, but i'm not too surprised. Faith herself is definitely the draw and there's an infectious energy to her that Houser captures just right and that Francis Portela brings to the page perfectly.

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8.0
Faith (Mini-Series) #2

Feb 24, 2016

While the second issue of Faith doesn't hit quite as strong as the first, it's working to build off of that first issue and that often doesn't lead to really knock-out works to begin with. What Houser does here is the heavy lifting needed to expand the story while working through what Faith is going through both in this part of her life and her private work life. I could do with a lot more of Faith as Summer in seeing how she copes with things because just getting a look at that life is engaging, particularly as a male reader reading about a female character from a woman writing her. Houser is definitely making her an engaging character and I could do with a four-issue series of just Faith living her life in the real world without the superheroics just so I can get into who she is and what makes her happy, sad, angry, and more. This is a solid book that has me excited to see what the back half of it brings.

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8.4
Faith (Mini-Series) #3

Mar 30, 2016

One thing that really got me with this issue, and perhaps it just felt a bit more noticeable this time around, is how strong the artwork from Francis Portela and Andrew Dalhouse is. It really reminds me of the early 90's Valiant house style in a big way and I have a real fondness for it because it's not like everything else on the racks when it comes to superhero stuff. But that's Faith in a nutshell in general; while the core pieces are there from the standards of the genre, it's self aware enough to avoid some aspects of it, play with others a bit more, and embrace it in the right way. Houser hits a lot of things in this issue – almost too much to be honest – but it makes for a good and dense read that makes the whole book compelling and engaging from start to finish. Definitely looking forward to seeing where it turns next and how it'll all resolve by the end.

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8.4
Faith (Mini-Series) #4

Apr 27, 2016

While it's easy to rag on dark books for their lack of hope, it's missing in a lot of lighter books as well. Faith hits this theme well and I'm definitely curious to see if it can be tackled more in an ongoing. The changes here are not radical but the book provides a lot of them and in many ways reminded me of my favorite comics from the 80's that involved non-hero time that showcased the actual character. Jody Houser has a good handle on her and hopefully we can decompress things just a touch more with an ongoing since a miniseries has a tight structure to work with and it had all the double duty of introducing the world to new readers like me that haven't been involved with the character before. Portela and Sauvage did some great work here and fans of Faith have gotten a very solid treatment that should delight them with this book being a reference point for years to come.

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8.4
Flash (2011) #1

Apr 20, 2011

I had a lot of issues with the Flash Rebirth series when I finally go around to reading it as it didn't make Barry all that interesting of a character and he felt, appropriately enough, left behind by how the world changed. With this series, he's still not any more relatable, but he's not quite as stern and serious either, which helps immensely. Putting him back into a work setting was a big positive and letting the story evolve slowly over the course of the issue was a definite plus as it works with his Rogues gallery and avoids all other connections to the DC Universe. Geoff Johns has crafted a basic but good story here that hints at where it can go, brings in classic characters in different forms and adds the fun of time travel, which can be a crutch at times. Tying it with Manapul's solid artwork and we have an opening issue that is leaps beyond the Rebirth miniseries and has me actually interested to see where it will all go.

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8.4
Flash Gordon #1

Dec 14, 2014

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this since I haven't looked at Flash Gordon material in an age because it was so often done so poorly. But Jeff Parker captures the exploration thrill seeking sense of Flash really well here while balancing it with how Dale and Zarkov of as counterbalances with their own agends. It also really works well because Evan Shaner brings a great sense to the story here with his designs, creating some great looking worlds that really make you want to revisit more and explore, but also in capturing the defining characteristics of the main characters but also giving them his own dash of style and modernity. I keep seeing some graet shades of John Byrne's style in the designs here and that makes it even more appealing. Depending on how this work goes, it could very well be the right template for bringing the character into the 21st century in the best way while still adhering to what makes it so iconic for longtime fans.

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8.4
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #1

Nov 2, 2016

After having a storyline that had no Ming, I'm definitely curious to see how I feel going into this one more since I've not read anything with him in an age. At this stage, the big win for me is Jen as the Phantom and her kind of snarky attitude about nobody asking how she's doing besides Flash. The book is a familiar setup kind of piece with what it is it has to do but Parker and Hamm put it together solidly and with ease, showing a real polish and love of the characters and just the vibe that they have. Each has a distinctive enough voice without being overdone and Hamm's artwork combined with spot on coloring from Grace Allison simply makes this a pleasure to read while making me curious to see what's yet to come.

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8.4
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #2

Dec 7, 2016

Flash Gordon: Kings Cross is a book that's just plain fun. It has all the right elements from the original works in its own way while managing them with modern storytelling and character quirks so that it feels fresh and fun. Parker definitely handles the dialogue well and while he may be moving things at a really brisk pace, he's delivering some really fun things. All of it is elevated thanks to Jesse Hamm's artwork as it's just an absolute blast to take in, especially the facial expressions and the creativity in the creature design. Very fun stuff all around and hopefully things stay alive long enough in the next issue for there to be more!

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8.4
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #3

Jan 11, 2017

Kings Cross continues to be a whole lot of fun, especially just in how infectious some of the characters like Jen are in coping with the situation, or Dale and Zharkov. There's a healthy dose of action in this installment that keeps it moving right along with more opportunity for Hamm to showcase their creativity in bringing it to life so it's all good on that front. The overall plot is nudging along as expected and both Parker and Hamm come across as just having an absolute blast with this – which in turn is definitely infectious for the reader. Good stuff all around and a wonderful bit of positive energy and material into the comics body.

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8.4
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #4

Feb 1, 2017

While I enjoyed the previous Kings Quest series a lot I'm definitely digging Kings Cross. This is due to the style of both the writing and the art but also that it's building upon what came before but not being beholden to the style of it. There's such a sense of fun even as things get bleaker and bleaker for our group that you can definitely enjoy it even while finding the potential end result of Ming winning to be horrifying. There's a lot of good character material here and some really amusing silliness along the way that's all done through some sharp writing and beautifully expressive and dynamic artwork, particularly with the color style applied to it. This is more fun than it should be.

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8.4
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #5

Mar 1, 2017

The Kings works have been fun overall with what they've been doing but Kings Cross just elevated itself to a whole other level from start to finish. There's just such a sense of fun and wonder mixed with pure silliness that's missing from so many other works these days – works where they should have more of this instead of taking themselves too seriously – that it was just a blast to read it and see how it would all unfold even if you could figure out the main beats of the story easily and quickly. Parker and Hamm are a very strong team together with this kind of project and the made this such a surprisingly fun and engaging work that I'm still surprised it delighted me for the past half year as much as it did. Definitely a worthwhile book in both single and future collected form.

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6.0
Flash: Rebirth #1

May 18, 2011

After really enjoying the Green Lantern revival, I was hopeful that Johns could pull off the most difficult of returns with Barry Allen coming back into continuity. Unfortunately, everything here takes the wrong tone where it's simply too depressing. Where it should be offering a lot of hope and happiness with Barry finding his place in things now that he's come out of the speed force, it's more about not wasting a moment when you could be fighting crime and dealing with the bad guys. It's a strange message for Barry to have when he in essence says spending time with friends and comrades is wasting time. The depressing story combined with Sciver's artwork which makes everyone look like they're clenched left me just as depressed afterward and wondering what went wrong with the Barry I used to know.

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7.0
Flash: Rebirth #2

May 19, 2011

Barry's disconnected nature is what still makes it hard to sympathize with him. From the way he deals with Hal to how he keeps his family and those close to him at a distance, Barry doesn't feel like he belongs in the present. And this feeling, which we know that Johns will try to soften as time goes on, mirrors the feelings of many fans and he hopes to soften it with them as well. This issue does that just a touch, humanizing Barry a bit more with his origin flashback that's tweaked slightly, but he's still a fairly cold and almost calculating type. He leans more towards the science and lab side of life, lo