Daniel Elkin's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 62
8.0Avg. Review Rating

9.0
1999 #1

May 11, 2012

In 1999 he is approaching some very mature themes and is confronting them head on, with passion and with skill. 1999 could easily have been filled with cheap angst and teenage ennui in the hands of a lesser artist. Van Sciver is doing something more here.

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9.0
A Chinese Life #1

Oct 17, 2012

A Chinese Life is a graphic memoir that tells so much more than just the story of one man. As China continues to grow in influence on the world stage, it becomes more important for everyone to garner more than just a passing acquaintance with what makes it "China." Li Kunwu has done us a great service in this regard by making the vast story of China easily navigated  by  making it the story of one man, and, by doing so, perhaps reminds us of our common humanity.

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4.0
Alpha Girl #1

Jan 24, 2012

It's not that I hated Alpha Girl #1 -- it just really didn't do anything for me. If I want to read this type of book, I'd much rather be reading Chew or Skullkickers, which are both far more successful than Alpha Girl #1 is in combining action and humor. Still, Image seems to be behind this title and they've been doing pretty well lately, so maybe they know more than I.

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8.0
Archeologists of Shadows Vol. 1: The Resistance #1

Jan 18, 2012

I look forward to seeing where Cleary goes next, both with this book and his career. After reading Archeologists of Shadows, I think you will, too.

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8.0
Archer & Armstrong #0.2014

Feb 3, 2014

Van Lente and Perez make the most of this opportunity. It's great to see creators having fun on corporate properties, and its great to see a corporation allow their creators to have so much fun.

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8.0
Behind The Crooked Cross #1

Oct 1, 2012

And this story is horrific. Each page brings about a new atrocity, a new repugnance. As much a commentary on Nazi atrocities as it is a polemic on the fragility of the creative spirit, ultimately in Behind the Crooked Cross Candiloro sees the individual as constantly searching for connections to bring him or her a sense of belonging, as much as engendering a sense of self. There is a circuitous nature to his story, and within that structure is perhaps his greatest commentary: an expression of faith that in the future the crooked cross can be straightened and, in that, we move forward out of the horror and into ourselves.

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8.0
Big Man Plans #1

Mar 10, 2015

Issue one of Big Man Plans is all necessary set-up. It's good for what it is. It's the comic you have to get through in order to enjoy the sticky sickly blood sweetness that is bound to start flowing in the following issues. Set us as it is with this book, Big Man Plans  #2 is poised to be the issue people start talking about.

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7.0
Black Fire #1

Jan 18, 2012

Still, if you are a fan of dark supernatural horror comics (notice I didn't sayLovecraftian this time), this is probably a book you want to look at.

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9.0
Blindspot #2

Aug 8, 2012

You can  purchase a copy of Blindspot #2 from Indy Planet and check out Joseph Remnant's website.

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8.0
Blood Across Broadway #1

Apr 26, 2012

Blood Across Broadway Writer: Frank CandiloroPenciller: Frank CandiloroPublisher: Franken ComicsReviewer: Daniel ElkinReview Rating: Wow.

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9.0
Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #0.2014

Feb 25, 2014

These Valiant zero issues are amazing little gifts from a company that obviously cares about what they are producing. They seem to understand that hiring incredibly talented people to create their books works best when they trust them to do what they do best, stay out of their way, and let them roll.

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6.0
Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #17

Jan 7, 2014

Bloodshot and H.A.R.D.Corps #18 may be a victim of just being really good, which, unfortunately, is now half as good as what it has been.

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9.0
Casanova: Acedia #6

Jul 23, 2016

There are no jumping-on points in Casanova, as the beginning is the ending of a story that takes place in the middle. Nobody in comics is having as much fun as Matt Fraction is as he writes this series, and very few are doing this sort of spectacular blend of pencils, inks, and colors as Fbio Moon. What you have is a beautiful work of art at which to look, to taste, to feel.

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10
Casanova: Acedia #7

Nov 12, 2016

If you're not reading Casanova: Acedia then don't start without going back to the very start and then move forward in the circular motion that this sort of story demands. Trust that Fraction and Moon understand what they are doing and have your best interest at heart. Or not. I don't know what you know, but I sure as hell know I love Casanova: Acedia #7 and everything is going on and it's spectacular and I want more.

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8.0
Casanova: Acedia #8

Mar 20, 2017

Casanova IV: Acedia #8 is its own spectacular thing. Go on. Take the gift. You're worth it and your smile is absolutely beautiful.

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6.0
Clive Barker's Next Testament #1

Jun 5, 2013

Still, there is enough going on in Next Testament #1 to make me eager to see issue two. Barker and Miller are playing with God here, and that's a subject always ripe for a critical exploration. Were this a big budget film, those Focus on Family folks might have dusted off their picket signs and there might have been a Million Moms ready to launch some sort of boycott. But this is comics -- BOOM! Studios to be exact -- so it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

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10
Criminal Macabre: Die, Die, My Darling! (one-shot) #1

Mar 28, 2012

This is a great "jumping-on" point as well. Niles paints all you need to know in terms of back story with these characters in a way that is never didactic or overbearing, it flows naturally through the course of the plot. Cal and Mo'Lock have never been more fully characterized and their interactions are some of the best moments in the book, especially as Cal tries to understand all the ramifications of the fact that he's dead.

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8.0
Dream Thief #1

May 21, 2013

Dark Horse has got a hit on their hands. I just hope enough comic buyers realize this.

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9.0
Eternal Warrior #3

Nov 18, 2013

Since Valiant began its relaunch, they've been going for the big stories. What is happening in Eternal Warrior may be the biggest story of them all. I get the sense that Greg Pak is sitting back somewhere in his writing space, cracking his knuckles, smiling a knowing smile, and preparing to let loose a serious awesome bomb.

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9.0
Eternal Warrior #5

Jan 21, 2014

Pak, Bernard, Major, and Sharpe have got it going on with Eternal Warrior #5. They are blowing it up real good, my friends. Real good.

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9.0
Eternal Warrior #6

Feb 11, 2014

But Eternal Warrior #6 isn't all goo-goo eyes and pink cheeks. There's hoes to the head and swords to the chest. There's even battles with giant robots (and I love me some giant robot fights)! This is a story with a feel of progress. You get a sense that this is a story that is headed somewhere, with large intent and big ideas. It's great to see the full creative team understanding the heart of this book and everyone working together to pull it off. If you want to see what comics can look like when everyone is on the same page (both literally and figuratively), check out Eternal Warrior #6.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #1

Mar 25, 2013

While this book isn't groundbreaking in storytelling or presentation, it is what it is, and what it is " is fun, a throwback to adventure tales of old with just enough off-kilter funk to keep it dancing new steps.

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6.0
Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons #1

Aug 8, 2012

Still, regardless of any of this, I personally wish to thank Fantagraphics for going out on a limb and publishing this book, if for no other reason than to put Flannery O'Connor back into the pop culture discussion for however briefly it may be. 

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9.0
Frank Candiloro Takes On Anthony Burgess and Abbot & Costello (Seriously) and 'Viddy Well, Brother' #1

May 9, 2013

You can check out and purchase all of Frank Candiloro's books at his website.

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5.0
Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture #1

Aug 24, 2011

P.S. He keeps a blog, Your Chicken Enemy.

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8.0
Harbinger #19

Dec 10, 2013

Ultimately Harbinger #19 is about control and the lengths people are willing to go to maintain it. It's also about how this colors the dreams of a morally relativistic world. Oh yea, and it's also a pretty damn fine comic book.

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9.0
Harbinger #20

Jan 14, 2014

Harbinger #20 blows everything wide open. Just about all the shadows have light shone upon them and everything shifts because of this. Dysart and Henry are laying pages of the possible in this book, letting everything jump to this new tune. This is the beginning of something; all the pieces of the question have fit together.

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8.0
Harbinger Wars #1

Apr 10, 2013

So, am I actually giving a Crossover Event Comic Book four out of five stars? I think that is testament to what Valiant has been up to with their relaunch. This is now the third Valiant book I've had the opportunity to take a look at, and I've enjoyed reading all of them. Valiant has been hyping Harbinger Wars hard, and if the rest of the event continues along these lines then the kit and the kaboodle will live up to it.

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10
Harvey Pekar's Cleveland #1

Jan 26, 2012

Until then, check out a preview of the book at at Top Shelf Comix.

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8.0
Invincible #106

Oct 22, 2013

The fact that after 106 issues the story is still cracking is testament to the talents of the guys putting this comic book together. Well done, fellas " you've brought me back into the fold.

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9.0
Juice Squeezers #1

Dec 24, 2013

This book hits the all-ages idea right on target. As much as there is here for the kids, Lapham throws in enough to keep the adults on board. And he draws one hell of a nasty looking giant dung beetle. Yeeesh.

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9.0
Kissing Casanova: Lust in Luxuria #1

Oct 3, 2012

Remember the climactic scene in the book, the one Silva alluded to earlier, where Fraction scribbles out The Seven-Fold Smackdown Several Issues in the Making, Girls Versus Boys Who Fight Girls Who Hate Boys, and It's A Nice Day For A Fight Wedding, only to resign himself to that feeling that we all have when we are reading something like this? He openly declares what absolutely needs to be the final words of this review: I LOVE COMIC BOOKS!

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7.0
Kolor Klimax #1

Mar 7, 2012

Here's a sneak peek into Kolor Klimax presented by the fine folks at Fantagraphics:

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8.0
Manifest Destiny #1

Nov 12, 2013

As with all great journeys, though, as we go further and further into the wilderness, what monsters shall we encounter? I'm hoping that, at some point, these creators take a moment to identify that sometimes the monsters are us.

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6.0
Mars Attacks Zombies Vs. Robots #1

Feb 5, 2013

It's fine. It is what it is, a quick hit of entertainment. If you need something to distract you while waiting for your Grand Slamwich at Denny's, then Mars Attacks Zombies vs. Robots fits the bill perfectly.

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9.0
MetaMaus #1

Nov 28, 2011

The publication of Maus was a groundbreaking moment in the history of sequential art. It was also a great moment in American Literature. MetaMaus answers so many questions, but fundamentally it explains why this is so.

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8.0
Miniature Jesus #1

May 1, 2013

If issue one is any indication, though, McKeever is going to make you do a lot of the leg work to get where he wants to take you, and it won't be a casual stroll. This is a book you're going to read and re-read and then, probably, read again and, each time you do, you will find another little clue as to what you need to know. By the time you figure it all out, though, issue two will be out and that will probably take you somewhere else. This is a McKeever book, after all.

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8.0
Miniseries The Infernal Man-Thing #1

Sep 4, 2012

Jason: Phegraw! Phegraw!

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9.0
Mister X: Hard Candy One-Shot #1

Apr 2, 2013

So. Get on board the High-Speed Nonstop Bullet Train that is comic. Grab your psychotropic of choice. Pack light. Buckle up. Mr. X: Hard Candy is your jumping-on place.

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9.0
Mondo #1

Feb 7, 2012

Mondo #1 is just one of those comics that demands your attention. It throws you cartwheeling through your sense of reality, and keeps you turning the pages. McKeever is in fine form once again on this series. I have the feeling that this is going to be one of those revenge fantasy stories that ends up being a political statement of profoundly philosophical importance. Either that or just a good old fashion mindfuck of a wild ride. I don't know whether to strap on my thinking cap or belt on my ass pillow, but either way I can't wait to see the next issue.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody: Goat #0

Mar 4, 2014

Oh yea, you could buy a lot less entertainment for $3.99 in most circles, brother, and almost all of it would have a lot less goat. So go on and get your goat, if you're looking for a couple of chuckles and a Speedo made of muffins (why do I keep coming back to that " damn goat)

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7.0
Red Sonja (2013) #5

Nov 18, 2013

I was pleasantly surprised by all that I found in Red Sonja #5. While my expectations weren't high to begin with, I was really glad to see that Simone and her art team have taken a character that, especially in the hands of a publisher like Dynamite, could easily be exploitative and misogynistic and all the things that I hate about so many corporate comics, and made her someone that you could show your daughter and say something along the lines of, "Here's a role model to consider."

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9.0
Resurrection #1

Jan 4, 2012

Arwen Elys Dayton has really pulled off a great story here with Resurrection. It's fun, engrossing, fast-paced, and pure entertainment. I understand why Amazon has tagged this novel to be a part of their initial slate of sci-fi books they're publishing under their 47North imprint.

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9.0
Same Difference (Hardcover Rerelease) #1

Nov 28, 2011

Same Difference is one of those comics that does just about everything right. This hardcover edition would make a great gift for almost anyone this holiday season.

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7.0
Shadowman #5

Mar 13, 2013

There is an evil afoot in this book and each of the disparate storylines seem to be pointed towards a confrontation between Shadowman and Master Darque. Based solely on this issue, that battle seems like it may end up being pretty awesome.

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9.0
Shadowman #13

Dec 4, 2013

The Blood. The Vomit. The Bodies. Yeah, this is Milligan and de la Torre's Shadowman " it's not going to be pretty, but it just might be spectacular. As Milligan writes on the final page of this book, "The REALLY scary thing is " this is only just beginning."

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7.0
Shadowman #14

Jan 8, 2014

Shadowman has me. I'll go long haul with this book, regardless of the route, as long as de la Torre and Barron keep doing what they are doing here. The vistas are so goddamn beautiful.

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7.0
Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 #1

Jan 29, 2013

Or the marmot wearing a red plaid sports coat buying tickets to the opera to impress the lady he so longingly desires, the lady with the enormous teeth carved into a likeness of Mount Rushmore -- except in place of the face of Lincoln, the tooth sculptor has put  Billy Dee Williams dressed as Lando Calrissian holding a Colt 45 can and smiling like he just fucked your girlfriend (because he did). Theirs is a doomed romance for sure. Marmots don't understand the subtitles necessary for courting a lady of her stature.

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5.0
The Illegitimates #1

Jan 1, 2013

As a comic, there's not a whole lot to talk about. It seems like this whole bit could have been summarized in a page or two instead of a full length issue. This sort of decompression doesn't necessarily bode well for the longer story. If it takes this many pages just for set-up, how many issues will it take to complete the first arc?

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9.0
The Moon Moth #1

Mar 15, 2012

This is a wonderful story which is certainly augmented by its presentation as a graphic novel. Hopefully its publication will lead to a wider audience for Vance's writing, as well as pave the way for further adaptations of his work, both as graphic novels and even film.

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8.0
The Other Dead #1

Oct 1, 2013

The Other Dead is a zombie book, no doubt. But it's a new take on an old trope and, through it's novelty, re-invents the entire genre.

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9.0
The Victories (2013) #1

May 7, 2013

Oeming is promising us that he is going to free us of our "body/mind prison" somewhere along the way in this series. I say, let's do that. I'm ready.

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7.0
Thicker Than Water #1

Jun 7, 2012

Still, while the plot of Thicker than Water itself may not be as inventive as his previous books, specifically The Widowmaker, it tells an old tale in a new way, adding layers of both horror and innocence to the mix. Once again, Caniloro's art is the showpiece of this book. He continues to explore the possibilities of his instantly recognizable style, and it is a treat to watch him as he develops on his journey.

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10
Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #1

Jan 22, 2013

Add to the mix Perker's fantastic art and you got yourself gold here! Twisted, bug-fuckery gold, but gold all the same. Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth #1 is a axe to the head of pretentiousness. It barrels through just about every precious liberal sacred cow like a thirteen-year-old all hopped up on his buddy's Aderol, gripping the wheel white-knuckled as he points his grandpa's Chrysler towards the horizon line. This comic ZOOMS as it ZAGS and I have no idea when or where this ride is going to end. One thing's for sure, though, it's going to be one hell of a drive.

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9.0
Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #2

Feb 19, 2013

We're two courses into this series and, as we head into the entree and desert, I'm not sure how this whole meal is going to play out. All I know is that Kristensen and Perker are keeping the menu exciting with Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth #2, and they have me salivating for more.

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7.0
Triple Helix #1

Oct 15, 2013

But you know what " John Byrne can still whip up some tasty, salty corn chips, and occasionally they make a nice side dish to that healthy and delicious sandwich you should probably be eating for lunch. A little crunch, a little texture, a little Byrne's Triple Helix. Why not?

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9.0
Uncanny Skullkickers #1

Mar 6, 2013

Skullkickers is not about ponderous thoughts of existential malaise, nor is it a polemic on how we as a species can minimize our footprint on a world crumbling around us. Skullkickers is about fun, adventure, laughs, and escapism. Zub and Huang are playing with every single fantasy trope there is with this series. Apparently Uncanny Skullkickers marks the beginning of the "jungle adventure."

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8.0
Unity #5

Mar 11, 2014

Kindt and crew are putting the Valiant touch on the team-book with Unity #5. That means you've got a solid group of artists with a certain degree of freedom to explore their craft, as well as the knowledge

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6.0
X #0

Apr 18, 2013

I just wish I had more of sense of where this book is going or even where these characters have been. Right now, as things stand in this zero issue, I kind feel like I've walked in halfway during an action flick and everybody tells me to shut the fuck up when I ask them what's going on. Does that make me want to buy X #1? I'm not really sure about that, eithe

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6.0
X #1

May 14, 2013

X #1 does a pretty good job for a first issue. It sets up our conflict, introduces some characters for us to root for, and ends on enough of a cliff-hanger to entice us to want to check out issue number two. Will there be more of a payoff than this being just ANOTHER "masked vigilante with a personal grudge bringing his own brand of justice to the mean streets" book? It's hard to say at this point. There are pieces in place for it to happen, the problem is that the pieces have pretty familiar shapes and so often the tendency is to lazily snap them into puzzles we figured out long ago.

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6.0
Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and The New Land #1

Oct 19, 2011

Yiddish is a mutt. The language is an intermixture of German, Polish, and Hebrew that relies on grammatical rules of its own devising. The people who speak it are the Yiddishkeit ,and their language reflects much of their sensibility about life. There is sort of an optimistic fatalism to the Yiddishkeit. Things are the way they are. They may get better, but if not, you got what you got. Oy! "Hope for the best, expect the worst," as Mel Brooks put it in his film The Twelve Chairs.

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9.0
Zahra's Paradise #1

Oct 26, 2011

(W)e have approached history throught the prism of fiction. Neither of us was in a position to document the facts about Iran's presidential elections. Nor did we want to mislead our readers by presenting Zahra's Paradise as an objective work of history (or journalism) with any definitive claim to the truth or any pretense of neutrality. We have not set out to establish the facts about the anture and extent of fraud in Iran's presidential elections. What mattered to us when we started this project, and what matters to us now, is witnessing the plight and reversing the tragedy that has befallen the Iranian people. This tragedy is personal. Its details and dimensions are unfathomable. It is also legal, political, religious, and cultural.

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