Dan Maltbie's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Fandom Post Reviews: 24
7.9Avg. Review Rating

8.4
Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1

Nov 14, 2018

It's nice to have an idea where Bloodshot's love for humanity and rigid desire to do the right thing have their beginnings. A series of engrams designed to replace his memory has failed repeatedly, and it's on to the next one. This fills in a few gaps about his past, while at the same time forces you to question everything you know about the nanite-infused wandering soldier.

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9.6
Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #3

Sep 19, 2018

I am going to make it a point to read this every time it is released. The detective trope works great in Roman times. Milligan has a clear vision of where he wants the story to go and Robert Gill delivers with a series of breathtaking panels. Only a few times in this issue did I see any lettering that was worth mentioning, David Sharpe does what good letterers do. He made the dialogue flow, without interrupting the art, and did a great job with balloon placement. That's how a letterer helps make the story work and ups the ‘love' factor for fans.

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8
Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #4

Nov 3, 2018

Britannia is just good storytelling, you guys. You have an intriguing lead, staunch warrior woman second, and the lustful Emperor Nero at the center of each plot.

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4
Harbinger Wars 2 #4

Sep 6, 2018

Matt Kindt has written some of my favorite stories in the Valiant Universe. For whatever reason, this penultimate issue wasn't given the time it needed to blossom. Outside of demon Bloodshot going after Ninjak and a hasty robot space battle, there is little to like about this issue. You aren't going to get me to like a series that doesn't include the bright spots of the Valiant Universe. If there's no Eternal Warrior or Archer and Armstrong, I'm out"

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8.4
Harbinger Wars 2: Aftermath #1

Sep 26, 2018

As is the norm with an initial run comic, there are tons of stories beginning to shift us in different directions here. That's a good thing! What lies at the heart of this series is going to be how Livewire makes amends and is welcomed back as the hero she is. Matt Kindt has a firm grasp of this universe, and I think that he has made an interesting plot choice. While the events leading up to HW2 included bad on both sides, it will be interesting to see how this dilemma is solved. Stay tuned!

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8.4
Hellboy and The B.P.R.D.: Saturn Returns #1

Aug 21, 2019

Brennan Wagner was an excellent choice for pencils as he has a Mignola-Esque quality that fits the universe. His work is subdued and a touch grainy which fits the brand very nicely. Clem Robins does a great job on the letters as well. He uses a variety of balloons, captions, and tails that show his range as a letterer. The color in this book is also a nice touch. Everything is relatively muted with a tinge of darkness around every corner. Like a Stephen King novel set loose in comics.

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8.4
Hellboy and The B.P.R.D.: Saturn Returns #2

Sep 25, 2019

I think Mignola and Allie are doing some great work in this series. The mystique and mystery of what is happening stay hidden for a long time. There are rumbles of zombies, aliens, and demons, but nothing concrete. It keeps the reader interested and invested in future issues.

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8.4
Hot Lunch Special #1

Aug 31, 2018

Hot Lunch Special #1 sets up for an engaging and violent story as the sins of the great-grandfather could come home to roost for his children. The story is riddled with flashbacks but continues to steam ahead towards a bloody ending.

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8
Hot Lunch Special #2

Sep 15, 2018

After the last month, I was a skeptic. The initial issue had several flashbacks and exposition about the characters. This is something better reserved for novels, but this issue put us on track. While we still haven't learned how Jordan and Moran came to be in their businesses, we do see the cracks that will lead to their confrontation.

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8.4
Hot Lunch Special #3

Oct 10, 2018

The effects of Ben's death are priming Dorothy to seek a different kind of justice for Big Jim Moran and crew. Her refusal to accept the Khoury's bounty of decades of illegal activities as a means to get revenge lets me know that Rahal and Fornes are driving this train towards a bloody conclusion, and I'm all in! It's striking how muted and light the color scheme is for this issue. A few black and white pages slip in seamlessly with full-color pages which play heavily on the Minnesota landscape.

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8
Hot Lunch Special #4

Nov 26, 2018

As is the pattern with a noir the happy endings are out the window. After losing her only son Ben, Dorothy is engaged in a plot of excess where her wild actions will fuel her demise. Locked in the death spiral with Dorothy the rest of the Khoury clan can only react to their situations in kind. Above all else, Hot Lunch Special has taught me that for a noir to work the story has to be more relatable than your average comic.

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8.4
Hot Lunch Special #5

Feb 21, 2019

When this series began, I had my doubts. Those are all absolved now. Rahal and Fornes crafted a noir that encapsulates some of the same elements you see in the show Fargo with a story about the love of family. The story has many moving pieces and probably will be better accepted in graphic novel or trade format.

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8.4
Incursion #1

Feb 20, 2019

Diggle and Paknadel are off to a great start with this issue. The plot follows along what you would expect from an Eternal Warrior series. Valiant has a thread of consistency in their pencils that I can't remember seeing anywhere else, at least in the last few years anyway. Braithwaite has a Ryp quality to his work that reminds me of the recent Ninja-K and Livewire issues. That makes the universe more robust and easily expandable.

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8
Joe Golem: Occult Detective: The Drowning City #2

Oct 10, 2018

While this book is well worth the read, the setting alone is sublime, and there is a 'been there before' aspect to the series I can't shake. I'm in for the long haul, but let's hope we get some new tropes instead of the usual Mignola fare.

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8
Joe Golem: Occult Detective: The Drowning City #3

Nov 14, 2018

Joe Golem seems to be working towards an ultimate goal. Each of the series iterations, there will be a total of 13 comics in the run, have been a building black towards our final goal of realizing what Joe is and how he and Mr. Church have survived across the ages to fight the good fight.

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8.4
Ninja-K (2017) #12

Oct 10, 2018

Christos Gage understands Ninjak better than any other of his writers. The issue is action-packed, with the exposition placed professionally in the background as we fight our way through Eastern Europe. De la Torre's art works well in this story, focusing on the events in the foreground and less about what is going on beyond. That makes the story read much faster and gives it the feel of a Michael Bay film.

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7
Ninja-K (2017) #13

Nov 14, 2018

For the first time in the history of Ninja-K, he is outside the protection of MI-6. It's a significant turn of events that have their roots in the relationship of Livewire and Ninja-K. By placing his love at odds with his job, Colin is breaching some new ground in the character building world. It's an interesting turn that could lead to more great espionage and ninja action!

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8.4
Ninja-K (2017) #14

Dec 6, 2018

This volume of the adventures of Colin King, better known as Ninja-K, has come to a close. The rift between Colin and his handlers couldn't overcome the events of the latest Harbinger Wars. It's a shame to see such a great and action-packed series come to an end but I have great faith in Valiant to keep riding out the decisions that were made in the past year. With Marvel and DC there is always a correction to the timeline. Valiant takes the effects of such a crossover and weaves it into each of their titles, something DC created in the Golden Age.

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8.4
Starcraft: Scavengers #3

Sep 26, 2018

I was curious as to how much of the story I would understand. When you come in on the penultimate issue of a series, you have questions. What I found was Houser's writing, paired with the tight line work of Gabriel Guzman, made the universe work that much better. Michael Atiyeh did an exemplary job of coloring the book, and it brought all the other elements together to make for an exciting book.

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8
The Forgotten Queen #1

Feb 27, 2019

An excellent start for a different kind of hero. I left a twist hanging, but I feel it's best to let the reader have something to discover for themselves. Tini Howard is an excellent fit for this type of story. Her love of sparsing flashback with current events is a decent way of engrossing the reader in the story. It makes them feel like they discover things at the same time as the protagonist. Pinna's work is unfamiliar to me, but his lines and color choices fit the scenes well. A considerable portion of the book occurs underwater, and the sea life and backgrounds are a pleasing addition.

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5
The Whispering Dark #1

Oct 24, 2018

As of the end of this issue, I still have no idea what the plot is. Drugged up Rangers having flashbacks of church isn't a plot. The art is excellent, and the colors and letters are what you would expect, the story, however, isn't yet visible.

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8.4
X-O Manowar (2017) #19

Sep 28, 2018

Harbinger Wars 2 is having some tremendous effects on the Valiant universe. Once again Aric of Dacia is right at the forefront of an alien attack that gives us very few clues about its purpose. Matt Kindt seems to be setting the stage for a showdown that will force XO and Capshaw to work together to find the mysterious 'lost princess.' Ryp's art is defining the Valiant universe these days. He has a couple of books hitting the stands each month, so he is creating his fair share of the mythology.

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8
X-O Manowar (2017) #20

Nov 1, 2018

The Brotherhood of the Bomb poses a different problem to Aric and Col Capshaw. Their unique energy signature makes Aric's XO armor useless, but they are still able to be damaged by Kate's rifle. Setting the stage for a confrontation that I'm not sure our heroes will escape from. Kindt has done a great job with this storyline. It's engaging, places us in exotic locales, and for one of the few times, XO has a blaring flaw which could lead to his defeat.

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8
X-O Manowar (2017) #21

Dec 1, 2018

The first issues of this storyline were slow boiling and served to set the stage for our current problems. What is most compelling about this issue is how large of a jump we have from backstory to battle. Aric going toe to toe with a monstrous bear isn't so bad either. Now that all the players are assembled on the stage we get a much clearer idea of where this story is taking us, and we won't be upset.

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