Draven Katayama (loudlysilent)'s Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comicosity, Newsarama, Geeked Out Nation, Comics Recap Reviews: 211
7.9Avg. Review Rating

Rowell and the creators write a compelling story about friends reacting to each others' growth and new chapters in life. Runaways packs an emotional punch on every page in the best way.

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I'm anxious for Karolina and Molly to rejoin their friends as soon as possible, and I'm holding out hope that we'll see Klara, Victor (despite all odds), and even Xavin in future issues. For Runaways fans old and new, Rowell, Anka, and Wilson weave a story that hooks our emotions and won't let go.

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Amy Reeder's wizardry with colors and details makes every panel a visual treat. However, Rocket Girlhas yet to show, rather than tell, Quintum Mechanics' evil depths with any convincing urgency. While Rocket Girlmight be absorbed better in a collected volume rather than isolated issues, this latest chapter fails to add emotional weight or plot cohesion.

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Moon Girl is a beautifully illustrated, energetic series. Bustos and Bonvillain create stunning work on every page. I hope future arcs dig deeper into Lunella's thoughts and feelings.

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Spider-Womansurprises and delights with unforgettable characters and believable tension. I'm emotionally invested in Jess' commitment to the people she's allowed into her life. Hopeless, Fish, and Rosenberg are creating a thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable masterpiece.

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Silk‘s creative team is setting up a longer story, and this second issue puts the pieces in position without pushing the plot forward too much. Despite little action in this episode, Silkis a deeply engaging story with likable characters and relatable themes. Cindy Moon stands out as one of the most down-to-earth heroes in the Marvel universe, and we're here for her every adventure.

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There is so much to love about Silk, from strong friendships, to emotional family moments, to exciting investigations. Cindy has many supportive people in her life, but she's still figuring out what to do next. We'll be with her as she does.

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Lunella has yet to explore the significance of being an Inhuman, but Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur stands out as a fun all-ages story with a confident, driven protagonist.

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Wilson writes a story so personal and vulnerable yet universally appealing.

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Through excellent fight choreography and biting dialogue, Spider-Woman #11 illustrates how Carol's lack of empathy can destroy even the closest of friendships. Under Dennis Hopeless's pen, Jessica Drew is one of the most realistic and riveting protagonists in the Marvel Universe.

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Despite the disappointing elements here, this series earns our attention because of its core two characters. If you aren't already reading All-New Wolverine, be prepared for Laura and Gabby to be your new favorite characters. Every interaction between them is a delight.

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All-New Wolverine delivers both intriguing plot threads and heartwarming moments between Laura and Gabby.

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Lazarus combines family dynamics and fast-paced, athletic combat like no other comic book.

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While many current superhero comics are driven by high-stakes drama and tragedy, Spider-Womanstands out for its perfect mix of humor, adventure, and realistic relationships. Spider-Woman is one of my top recommendations for new readers to pick up any issue and simply enjoy. This creative team crafts a winning story.

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For the first time in two volumes of Silk, it trulyfeels like everything's coming up Cindy. Silkwill move you to tears, make you laugh, and hook you with intrigue, all in the same issue. Against a sea ofgrim and dystopian comics, Silkshines as a story of hope and friendship.

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Bobbi Morse fans will enjoy seeing their heroine take center stage, but Mockingbird is more of a quiet look at Bobbi's thought process than an exciting superhero story.

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Montclare and Reeder don't shy away from showing Lunella's anger, but Lunella's resolve to help others makes her a role model young readers will love.

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Silk is a story of relationships: Cindy's friendship with Lola and Rafferty, her complicated closeness with Black Cat, and her longing for her family. Robbie Thompson knows how to pull our heartstrings. Silk captures the sense of hope and adventure we crave in comics.

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While Kate Niemczyk excels at drawing the finest character details like Clint's hair and the zipper of Bobbi's outfit in a close-up view, her combat choreography feels somewhat stiff

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Cindy feels torn amidst her relationships. She has a strong bond with Black Cat, but has to answer to Mockingbird, and meanwhile Lola and Rafferty are worried about her. Thompson, Lee, and Herring create a story you can't put down. Few comics achieve the perfect combo of emotional gut punches and nonstop fun like Silk.

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Moon Girl is a delight for readers of all ages, and Bustos and Bonvillain are a one-two punch of artistic talent.

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Gwen Stacy's new story arc has her in a reflective place: choosing whether she wants to continue as a superhero. Rodriguez and Renzi's art hits you like a battering ram, with energy and rich color on every panel. Spider-Gwen is a hero who battles self-doubt as she fights to make a difference, and that's why we love her.

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Moon Girl is an all-ages title done right: a story about friendship and identity, charming characters, and lots of laughs.

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Dennis Hopeless continues the story of an evil Cindy Moon's schemes, but what makes this issue compelling is Jessica's moral compass contrasted with Jesse's selfishness and Spider-Gwen's impulsiveness.

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Gotham Academyalways has fun moments and great characters in Maps, Olive, and Pomeline. While this issue focuses heavily on characters we don't care as much about, it's a treat to see each creative team bring humor, original story, and vivid art to every page. Gotham Academydelights readersby putting friendship at the center of every story.

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All-New Wolverine is consistently one of Marvel's most thought-provoking and deeply affecting titles. Like Uncanny X-Men's Kitty Pryde and Magik or Runaways' Nico and Karolina, Laura and Gabby's sisterhood is a relationship readers will cherish.

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Wilson shows Kamala is a hero because of, not in spite of, her inability to do it all and Ms. Marvel inspires the next generation to be everyday heroes by caring for their communities.

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Tana Ford's art is a delight. Every page is potent with emotion and rich characterization. The Spider-Women crossover digs deep into what family means for Cindy, Jess, and Gwen. This is superhero storytelling at its best.

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This creative team delivers on every page. Jess, Cindy, and Gwen are three very different people who support each other as found family. "Spider-Women" takes a simple premise " being stranded in a faraway place " and captivates with entertaining dialogue and riveting art.

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This issue wasn't as fun or delightful as previous yearbook issues, but Pomeline and Heathcliff's story was a wonderful read, especially illustrated by Annie Wu. The focus on Serpents & Spells doesn't hook the reader enough to tie the issue together. Dialynas and Petersen's stories feel out-of-place. Despite this, Pomeline, Heathcliff, Maps, and Olive are a treasure.

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Fish deserves acclaim for Veronica's expressions alone. Veronica is one of the most likable and entertaining characters in any comic. In moments like Veronica and Archie's conversation, Archie reminds us how fun comics can be.

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While this premise of Lunella's world needs to be built out more, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain make every panel a delight.

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Kate's independence is one of her core characteristics, and this arc reveals backstory showing this has always been true. Lemire shows us Kate's resourcefulness as she scopes out her father's shady business deals. Like Kate and Clint, Lemire and Prez team up to create an unpredictable, entertaining story.

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Thompson creates some of the most distinctive and entertaining characters. Cindy Moon is a hero who's as hesitant to face her struggles as we are, and that's why we want to see her win. Silkis a triumph: meaningful story, complex characters, and a relatable hero.

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This issue feels painfully short, but the two guest stories let Maps shine, and we see more reasons why she's the most winsome and entertaining character in Gotham Academy. Brenden Fletcher leads a dynamite team of writers and artists. Olive, Maps, Colton, and the whole cast show the importance of finding a safe space among friends who care. Every issue of Gotham Academy hits the right mix of heartwarming and fun, and this issue delivers generous amounts of both.

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In a single issue, Wilson tells a cohesive narrative of Kamala realizing her priorities have been shortsighted. Wilson writes the perfect story of an imperfect superhero.

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The second half of this issue has beautiful action panels, as Black Cat kicks, whips, and knees her opponents into submission. Veronica Fish's art feels exciting and imaginative. You never know where Thompson will take Silknext, but you know it will be fun.

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Archie hits the sweet spot of complex relationships and unpredictable fun.

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Zdarsky and Henderson expand the world of Riverdale High with an intriguing story and entertaining characters. Every panel by Henderson is richly detailed and immerses the reader in a fun high school universe. The pirate scene seemed disconnected and unclear about how it was meant to be interpreted in the larger framework of the issue's events. The way this scene landed with such a perplexing impact adds a confounding feeling to the overall experience of reading this issue.

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Fazekas and Butters deliver the superhero book we've been waiting for. I absolutely loved the first issue, and this second chapter is a worthy follow-up. Carol Danvers' loyalty to her team no matter the cost makes Captain Marvela winning story.

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Wilson tackles weighty subjects as we follow Kamala on a non-stop fun adventure.

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Charles Soule uses the formula of a J.R.R. Tolkien book's appendix: go as deep as possible into the arcane history of one or two characters.

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Maps and Olive stand out as one of comics' best friendships. Gotham Academysets the bar for fun, mystery, and memorable characters. This issue presents four talented creative teams with funny and endearing stories. While there's no cliffhanger or obvious plot tease for next issue, Fletcher hooks us with the nonstop delight that is Maps and Olive's friendship.

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Fish, Szymanowicz, and Vaughn invite us into a Riverdale we don't want to leave. Waid writes Betty with a maturity and gravity that makes us anxious to know what happens next between her, Veronica, and Archie. Waid crafts friendships with all the nuances of being a teen: jealousy, insecurity, wistfulness. Archieassembles one of the most entertaining and relatable casts of characters in comics today.

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With not enough artistic details to form an immersive environment and not enough focus on Medusa and Black Bolt to elicit sympathy, this issue feels like an incomplete Ahura one-shot.

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As Cloonan and Fletcher end this arc, we're left with as many questions as answers. If you're hoping for a neat resolution about Olive's mom and Calamity, you won't find it here. Gotham Academyweaves deeper themes — friendship, grief, bravery — into a fun adventure. Memorable characters, witty dialogue, and gorgeously illustrated scenes: this series has it all.

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Reeder's art is exceptional, but Rocket Girl doesn't feel like it is building towards any climax.

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This series debut gives readers a perfect jumping-on point into an original, engaging story. I had never read a comic featuring Crystal before, and the writers introduce her personality perfectly. Soule and Asmus bring together classic Inhumans and a new generation to confront hate and oppression. All-New Inhumansimmerses readers in one of the most timely and relevant corners of the Marvel universe.

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Jeff Lemire cements the X-Men as more than a superhero team: they are the resilient survivors we aspire to be like. With every page, Lemire gives us hope that outsiders and underdogs can be leaders fighting for good. Jean's experience and her decision to stand up for another make this issue one of the year's best comics. Lemire and Ramos create an irresistible story that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

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Kate Bishop has always been a strong character, and she's at her best when she's voicing her thoughts and not letting anyone tell her what to do. Jeff Lemire is exploring what it means for Kate to be her own superhero and not just Clint's sidekick or partner. Lemire writes an exciting, unpredictable story of our favorite superhero duo.

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Like Daredevil or Jessica Jones, Shand's Robyn Hood is a darker, smarter spin on a superhero story.

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This issue feels more like a prelude than a definitive series debut. We learn the current state of Storm and the X-Men, but we don't know how these characters will tackle anti-mutant violence or the Terrigen Mists. While this first chapter is less than gripping, Extraordinary X-Men‘s phenomenal creative team and all-star cast make it a series to watch.

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New Avengers is a missed opportunity by focusing very little on its Avengers.

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Maps is a smart and well-written character. Younger readers will feel affirmed by seeing Maps' leadership. The plotline of Olive's mom being alive could have fallen flat after spanning several issues, but Cloonan and Fletcher keep our attention by adding surprise elements. While we need to hear more from Olive, Gotham Academy is a fun read that balances drama and mystery with hijinks and humor.

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This series debut might be a difficult jumping-on point for new readers. We meet a flurry of characters in rapid succession: Reader, Iso, Flint, Inferno. Despite the very full cast list, Soule pulls us in by making Medusa a sympathetic leader. McNiven, Leisten, and Gho's gorgeous illustrations impress us on every page. I'm excited to see where Soule takes this cast.

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Switch is a creative combination of high fantasy and young adult fiction, but it's densely packed worldbuilding and exposition keep it from being fully enjoyed.

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This series shows promise, especially if future issues replicate the sensitivity of Steve and Rogue's conversation and the humor of Rogue and Johnny's banter. While not a lot happens plotwise, Duggan maximizes the contrast of serious and flippant personalities to create a likable cast. Duggan and Stegman hit the right mix of thoughtful dialogue and eye-pleasing visuals to make Uncanny Avengers an entertaining read.

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This series shows promise, especially if future issues replicate the sensitivity of Steve and Rogue's conversation and the humor of Rogue and Johnny's banter. While not a lot happens plotwise, Duggan maximizes the contrast of serious and flippant personalities to create a likable cast. Duggan and Stegman hit the right mix of thoughtful dialogue and eye-pleasing visuals to make Uncanny Avengers an entertaining read.

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Fiona Staples and Mark Waid give us one of the best character introductions in recent comics: Veronica makes an impression as distinct as Regina George in Mean Girls. Staples wows with Veronica's every disdainful look over her shoulder. Readers will enjoy the entertaining range of reactions to Veronica: Archie's puppylike eagerness, Jughead's antipathy, and Betty's disgust. Staples and Waid create memorable characters and a fun, immersive high school world that readers of all ages will love.

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This issue far surpasses recent issues. Jeff Lemire connects Clint's turbulent childhood with a heartbreaking conflict with Kate in the present. Lemire and Perez beautifully illustrate the tough decisions Kate and Clint must make as Hawkeyes. Lemire shines a spotlight on the rich backstory and strong personalities of Kate Bishop and Clint Barton. No other comic connects the pain of childhood experiences with a character's present as powerfully as Lemire's All-New Hawkeye.

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UFOlogy is a quiet look at ordinary characters discovering alien activity, but readers might wish the story took more risks.

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Ravenis a fun story about friends overcoming hurts to start new journeys together. Readers of all ages can learn from Raven and Ximena: two strong characters who respect each other despite having very different backgrounds. Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt give each character unique style and personality that shines through every facial expression. There are no cookie-cutter characters in Jeremy Whitley's pirate adventure, as Ravensets the bar for what positive representation in comics can be.

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Gotham Academy surprises with complex character development and unpredictable relationships. Cloonan and Fletcher make us sympathize with Olive, Maps, and Pomeline as they navigate the stickiness of friendships. Maps gets one of her most vulnerable and sympathetic plotlines yet, as she feels hurt and replaced by her best friend. Readers can relate with these characters, and their adventures never fail to entertain and surprise us.

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Lazarus returns to its strengths: family betrayals, near-superhuman physical feats, and a dystopia where people are commodities.

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If you're looking for a mature story that addresses the hidden hurts of adolescent life, Plutona is the best offering on the stands.

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“House of M” sets up an intriguing world by flipping the “Days/Years of Future Past” premise on its head. What makes this issue most enjoyable are the abrasive sibling relationships between the three heirs of Magneto, and especially Lorna and Pietro's snippy dialogue. Hopeless' dialogue feels fresh, fun, and authentic to each character. Hopeless is gifted at writing characters with complex motives, and this take on Pietro and Lorna guarantees an entertaining story.

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Welcome Back expands the spy vs. spy genre with struggles millennials can relate to.

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Silkhas one of the strongest protagonists in comics today: relatable, vulnerable, yet resolute. Cindy Moon willfind her family, we can be sure of that. Robbie Thompson forces us to question just how much physical and emotional pain one can endure. Stacey Lee tells such an effective story through her art, the text almost takes a backseat to the energy and emotion that pops from every panel. Silk is a character-driven story that has us hooked.

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This feels like one of the most balanced and cohesive issues of Gotham Academyyet: the pace moves along nicely, multiple cast members share fun dialogue, and the story has the right mix of serious and lighthearted. Olive continues to intrigue us as she teases out the secrets surrounding her mom. Cloonan and Fletcher create an engaging mystery that readers of all ages can enjoy. Every panel by Kerschl, LaPointe, and Msassyk is a visual treat.

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Broken World is a thoughtful mystery that lets readers experience one survivor's grief, uncertainty, and quest for answers.

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Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto present Natasha as not an idealized hero, but a complex person with desires and regrets. Black Widowis both an enjoyable read and a thought-provoking look at Natasha's private life.

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Rucka sets the benchmark for an intriguing near-future dystopian story.

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It's glaring that Kate Bishop doesn't say a word in this issue. It's upsetting, and we feel her verbal absence. Clint's childhood is shown in rich detail, especially his early distaste at witnessing wrongdoing. Jeff Lemire writes an engaging story about Clint and Barney as two brothers who part ways on life's most important decisions. Lemire and Perez create a comic new and old readers will love: a beautifully illustrated story showing why Kate and Clint are heroes.

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Stevenson writes a story with tension and solid character development. Stevenson combines the best elements of the YA and dystopian genres with complex, intriguing characters. This is the darker teen series we've been waiting for.

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We will miss Hollingsworth's signature purple/orchid/slate blue trinity of colors. We will miss Aja's flawless style of wordless storytelling. Fraction and Aja's story of Clint and Kate as ordinary, unlikely heroes has changed comics forever. No other comic has gripped readers with pulse-racing stories like Hawkeye. The creators have thoughtfully tackledissues like disability and childhood abuse in unforgettable panels. Fraction and Aja have created the definitive Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and one of the most memorable works of art in the history of comics.

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Giant Daysentertains and surprises with authentic friendships, unpredictable plot twists, and nonstop humor. Lissa Treiman and Whitney Cogar give each character unique style and memorable characterization. One of the strengths of this series is that Esther, Susan, and Daisy each deal with relationship disappointments and drama on their own terms. John Allison writes a funny and enjoyable story about friends navigating college life together.

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Mark Waid has assembled a large cast of enjoyable characters, and it's this diversity of personalities that makes Archie an outstanding read.

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With enjoyable writing for all ages and breathtaking art, Gotham Academy is an instant favorite for any reader. Cloonan and Fletcher tackle real-life issues like grief, jealousy, and fear about one's identity in ways that kids can understand. The writers use Kyle to show the many pressures teens face, as athletes, students, friends, and more than friends. The end of this issue teases there is more to Olive's mom's death than meets the eye, and we're eager for the next chapter.

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Max Ride: First Flight is a delight: gorgeously illustrated and addictive to read. Readers of all ages will be entertained by Marguerite Bennett's plot twists. We sympathize with Max as she struggles to lead her friends to safety and uncover her past. This is an enjoyable story that could easily sustain beyond a limited series.

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We envy fictional characters for their powers, but Marguerite Bennett shows us that the most enviable thing is to be truly loved and cared for. Max Ride is a character we can sympathize with. I appreciate how the creators have assembled a cast with a diversity of appearances and body types. Readers of all ages will enjoy this story. Marguerite Bennett creates a touching, suspenseful story with courageous characters.

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Barbiere explores the themes of grief and helplessness in an intriguing and highly original story.

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Marguerite Bennett's writing is impressive. The way she dances between Chrissie Pryde and Cameron's different viewpoints gives the dialogue a tone reminiscent of Divergent. Like Tris and Four, Chrissie and Cameron have different levels of optimism about whether this dystopian regime can turn around. We're committed to this world now, and we want to know what will happen to these X-Men. Bennett, Norton, and Plascencia are creating the X-Men at their best: fighting for good in a world that hates and fears them.

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Giant Days shows how entertaining a simple story about new friends in a new place can be.

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As the issue spans five different locations, our anticipation sustains, but we never get more than lots of setup for upcoming conflicts.

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This is firmly an establishing issue: we meet the characters, setting, and conflicts, without delving into any for too long. With such a large cast, we're torn between wanting more from overlooked characters like Delphyne, and wanting primary characters like Jubilee and Molly to simply take over and drive the plot forward. Greene and Rauch create a detailed, recognizable high school world. Stevenson writes characters who act like real teens, and we're immediately hooked on this cast.

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Silkhas it all: deep character development, beautifully detailed art, and a hero we want to see win. Cindy is an especially earnest character. She's not experienced at being a superhero like Jessica Drew, or a natural go-getter like Kate Bishop. Robbie Thompson uses this issue to show Cindy's sympathy for those who've been traumatized like she was. If you're looking for a story that is as thoughtful as it is entertaining, this is it.

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There's a lot going on in this issue — a magic quill pen, a raven, a professor's dog? — but just run with it. What really makes this issue shine is how the story is told from Maps' perspective. She's a fun, investigative, relentless character. Cloonan and Fletcher give Maps the focus we've been waiting for, and Maps gives us some of the most fun scenes in this series yet.

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This issue assembles a sprawling cast for Bendis' conclusion, but doesn't give the older mutants adequate dialogue to fill out a compelling story.

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Dennis Hopeless writes a fantastic and important story about abuse and its effects: when victims are finally free and safe from an abusive situation, the threat of that safety being taken away is terrifying. Hopeless ends his arc with an emotionally satisfying and narratively coherent conclusion. Jessica Drew isn't just a crime-fighter: she's a problem-solver who wants to see the best outcome happen. Ben Urich supports her in that endeavor. Spider-Womanis one of the best showcases for what a solo series can be.

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Years of Future Pastcaptures the classic feel and fun of Claremont-era X-Men. Marguerite Bennett introduces a new character whom we want to see overcome the bleak, oppressive environment she was raised in. I hope future issues delve deeper into Chrissie's relationship with Kate and Colossus. Chrissie has potential to be a new Marvel character as consequential as, or even more so than, Hope Summers.

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Lemire, Perez, and Herring give Kate her best issue yet in this series: she drives the story by taking action, voices her thoughts, and takes on opponents solo. Clint's been pretty quiet so far, so I hope we get to hear more from him in upcoming issues. I like how this series solidifies Kate and Clint as a team, one that doesn't depend on the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., or anyone else to give them an identity. This is an entertaining story that leaves possibilities open to wherever Kate and Clint want to go.

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If you like a slow burn mystery, UFOlogy offers it, but we're still waiting for the hook to drop.

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This issue ends teasing something that could be amazing: an overdue chance for certain characters to get their own stories, almost certainly stories readers will love. Bendis gives us an isolated story that lets Dazzler shine, without needing to read previous issues or any of Secret Wars. It's a fun read that ends on an intriguing cliffhanger.

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Kamala narrates during a climactic scene, “I gave him power over me — power over what I do, power over my identity. No more.” And that's what makes Ms. Marvelsuch a wonderful read. In every issue, Kamala is not only exercising her newfound powers more, but she's expressing agency as a person. She's a teen whom everyone, from children to adults, can look up to. Lineage drops a major reveal in this issue, and our anticipation is high for where Wilson will take Kamala next.

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Rocket Girl needs more focus on its central conflict before it can be as gripping as its beautiful art.

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If you like the feel of recent Batgirl and Kate Hawkeye's Bishop stories, you'll enjoy this issue.

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Wilson gives the X-Men a thoughtful story that has it all: teamwork, loss, and courage to help those in need. Fans of Jubilee, Storm, Rachel, Psylocke, and Monet won't be disappointed. Boschi's art captures both the emotion of weighty conversations and the chaos of action scenes. In this final moment before Secret Wars, it's comforting to see Wilson bring these five X-Men together as a family and as a team.

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Despite the lack of an overarching conflict or mission to unite the three main characters, Allison's story entertains.

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This issue feels like a final pause before the X-Men dive into the events of Secret Wars. Kitty and Illyana remind us that the X-Men are not just superheroes who save lives, but they are family to each other. It's thrilling to see Kitty and Illyana together as best friends once again. I wish they could have had even more dialogue, and at a slower pace. Bendis gives them an enjoyable self-contained story where they can be real with each other.

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Lemire continues to explore Clint's childhood while giving Kate and Clint a thrilling, unpredictable adventure. I hope Kate and Clint have a lot more dialogue and interaction, because Lemire's humor with these two is superb entertainment. Lemire, Perez, and Herring are creating one of the best comics available today.

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This book intrigues with its paranormal indie flick feel.

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This issue serves as a prologue to upcoming Inhuman-related stories, and effectively piques our interest. Black Bolt is a fascinating character because of his frightening power set, his mantle of responsibility, and his complicated relationship with Medusa. Soule highlights all three of these facets in one straightforward solo story. McNiven, Leisten, and Ponsor keep up the visual tension, whether it's a big fight scene or a hushed conversation. Soule is a master storyteller, and Uncanny Inhumansis a captivating story.

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As we continue to meet the Fever, five friends who are protecting their borough from gangs and corruption, there are some conversations that work but several that don't.

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This is by far the best issue of recent issues of Gotham Academy. Each character's individuality shines through in dialogue, from Colton's “The Fuzz!” to Maps' “Oh my crap!” Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher write some of the most fun dialogue and engaging storytelling in current comics.

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While every scene looks exquisite and Bonnie is an intriguing character, a flashback added in the third act compounds the feeling that Carlson may have packed too much into one issue.

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Inhuman stands out as one of the most entertaining and engaging current comics, especially because of its lack of tie-in with other titles. Soule is a thorough writer who is careful not to outpace his audience. Medusa and the NuHumans continue to be an intriguing, multifaceted cast.

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This is a hinge issue: we get a big reveal about Chaos, the mysterious organization that has been terrorizing Natasha's life, and the issue ends with Natasha needing to make major choices. Noto's first two pages of this issue raise the bar of what we call beautiful in comics art. This is a lush, imaginative, and moving issue by Noto and Edmondson of Natasha's tragic childhood journey.

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While clearly aiming to tell a lighthearted story, Allison writes three characters who intrigue us with their eccentricities and their realistic friendship dynamics.

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Robyn and Marian remain two well-written characters despite fighting unworthy opponents.

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This is a fascinating character study of Emma and Jean that requires no onboarding to enjoy.

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Peter has dealt with a lot of universe-hopping, overtly gruesome threats on his life lately. Now it's time to see how he handles more subtlechallenges closer to home,and this arc-opener delivers the intrigue.

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Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez give readers old and new a perfect introduction to Hawkeye and Hawkeye: two very different but very connected individuals who need each other. Kate and Clint punching Hydra goons is as fun as it sounds. This is an exciting debut of a powerhouse storytelling team.

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It's refreshing to see a cast where rivalry isn't the primary focus. Pomeline and Colton are still snarky and a little mean, sure, but they aren't true antagonists to Olive and Maps like, say, Draco was to Harry. With so much happening in each issue, interactions between two characters feel too brief: Olive and Maps; Olive and Kyle; Olive and Tristan. Despite world-building instead of heavily deepening drama between character pairs, Gotham Academy is a lot of fun and a visual treat.

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I am so impressed with what Soule, Stegman, Isanove, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles are creating here. This is entertaining, perfectly paced writing and attractive, memorable art.

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This is timely social commentary, smart storytelling, and a solid cast of lead characters.

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Harms, Simeone and Metcalfe create a dystopian world that feels real, but the characters inhabit it without revealing any undercurrents to their personalities.

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If you want to immerse yourself in a hypothetical story of good X-Men and Guardians gone bad, this is a fun issue. However, thus far, the Black Vortexevent doesn't feel like it weighs consequentially on the X-Men or Guardians of the Galaxy. The battles between the heroes and the inverted feel more like the sparring of the Avengers vs. X-Men: Vs.miniseries.

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Cindy Moon's new series shares superficial traits with Batgirl - transitional life stage, eidetic memory - but trumps with how deeply the reader gets into Cindy's head and understands her uncertainties.

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Wilson is a fantastic writer, and it's unfortunate that this issue could not have been expanded into two issues. Psylocke could have had more exploration of her power set or even her backstory, and Storm could have tried (and failed) to exercise her powers in a more visual way. The visual highlights, though, especially Jubilee's styleand Psylocke beating up monsters, look great.

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Ryan Stegman and Richard Isanove create beautiful art here: Medusa's stylish dress and piercing green eyes are simply breathtaking. She owns each panel she's in. Iso and Reader are interesting characters: Reader for his flexible morals and his loyalty to Iso; Iso for her fascinating power set and the adaptability and learning curve that she's suddenly thrust into.

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Humphries and McGuinness do show their hefty talent, but the overall story meanders and never provides a convincing hook.

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Clint and Jessica Drew's interaction here is sweeter and more intimate than the overt romance you'll see in most comics. Matt Fraction is masterful at telling a moving character story. Barney is a critical figure because he bridges our understanding between Clint's past and his present. I can't wait to see next issue how Fraction concludes this masterpiece of a story.

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Gotham Academy continues to be a visually impressive title with fun characters in Maps and Olive. I wish the story would show more of their interactions and less of the many supporting characters.Cloonan and Fletcher have created an intricate world for Maps and Olive to explore, and it's fun to watch them unravel mysteries together.

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Penny Dora has only just begun to unpack its eponymous lead's personality, but Stock succeeds in continuing an enjoyable, unpredictable story.

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Writing this good is rare. Spencer introduces Scott's life perfectly with never an unsympathetic moment.

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Storm is formidable not just for her mutant powers, but for her intelligence. Wilson lets Storm show off here: this issue is packed with more science than any preceding issue in this X-Menvolume, and it's refreshing. Wilson allows Storm to continue grieving Wolverine's death, while writing dialogue that accurately reflects Rachel Grey, Psylocke, Monet, Jubilee, and Gambit. Lee Loughridge's colors amp up the eeriness and intensity of a sinister, terrestrial foe. Wilson's thoughtful writing perfectly captures the maturity of these X-Men teammates.

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This issue, and its preceding issue, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, is heartbreaking on a whole other level than even the most heartwrenching of X-Men stories. We feel Eva's torment as she faces the prospect of never returning to the past future she had. This might be one of the most sobering and thought-provoking comics in a long time, and it's as arresting in its visuals as it is in its gravity.

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Wilson has written a rallying cry against the dismissal of the younger generation. Kamala exhibits leadership on a whole new level here, and displays real bravery and heroism. This issue is more gripping, fun, and thought-provoking than recent issues. I'm really liking where Wilson is going.

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The visual style here is complete and detailed, though in a fairly spartan aesthetic. Lee Loughridge's colors have a soft focus, with simple backgrounds of pea green and pale orchid casting shadows on characters' faces. Jae Lee's cover is fantastic, particularly Selina's claws, but it might be misleading: Selina does not in fact fight Black Mask. This is a slower moving issue, but with thoughtful unpacking of Selina and Antonia.

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I'm impressed with Spencer and Barbiere's ability to balance the gravitas of Doom and Scarlet Witch's complex emotions with the innocence of Valeria and 3-D Man. This creative team magnificently tells a concise, compelling story with permanent repercussions in the Marvel Universe. Welcome back, Cassie Lang. This issue is a beautiful backdrop to your return.

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This opening chapter to Harms' four-issue story is intriguing and energized with believable tension.

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In an age of overhyped crossover events, Bendis uses a simple, personal story to completely change the X-Men canon. This is a memorable read.

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This issue concludes an arc that was not as compelling or gripping as earlier arcs where Jubilee and Shogo held the focus. The panel time on Manifold Tyger was a little bit too much, and the time on Sharada Darthri was not enough. We learned very little of this member of the Providian Order. With Guggenheim's departure, who knows if the Providian Order will return in X-Men titles. I like the sci-fi but all-too-real premise of this Order's genetic experimentation. Since the X-Men's teammate relationships went so underdeveloped in this arc, I look forward to next issue and G. Willow Wilson's debut.

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Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett's new story feels like Game of Thrones in space, with stubborn monarchs, clashing swords and unspecified species.

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Mysteries still remain from last issue. What's the deal with that guy who was drawing Maps? Who is the mysterious blond boy with the Gambit-like red eyes? We do learn Maps' given first name, Mia. Cloonan and Fletcher continue to pack our new favorite prep school with secrets and clues, and this installment has some of the most visually stunning moments yet.

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It's a fun and creative story, but Penny's world beyond her bedroom and house still remains unexplored.

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James Tynion IV packs a lot of emotional weight into this one-shot: Anole faces his fears of rejection, and Northstar and Nightcrawler breach a new level of honesty between them.

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While this series finale skimps on conversation between team members, Yost's assembly of new (Mark) and deepened (Sun Girl, Hummingbird) characters is one of the most creative, oddball, and entertaining superhero teams. I hope they return, together.

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This new beginning surprises with strong character development, outstanding art, and a clear direction.

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This issue finds its sweet spot in two of the last four pages, when Selina has a dramatic encounter with a very unexpected character. Before then, Genevieve Valentine is laying down the complexities of Selina's role as overseer of the crime families, and protector of a city she cares about. It's sometimes hard to keep track of the cast members — a key person in the Calabrase home is a man who was named last issue but not named here. Valentine is setting up an interesting dynamic between Selina and her surprise foil. Valentine's choice of foil is smart, clever, and promising.

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It's not a ground-breaking issue, but it is a pretty one.

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This is a visually interesting debut of a relatable protagonist and a deplorable father.

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This issue doesn't feel like a #1: it feels like we've jumped into the middle of someone else's arc, and essentially, we have. The tie-in to Spider-Verse doesn't mesh well with a series launch.

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Of all Marvel titles, Pak has created the one that is most globally conscious of real-life injustice issues.

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Katie Bishop is featured on the cover and was given primary focus in this issue's solicitation, but she receives exactly one page. Her expressions and hair are impressively drawn by Marquez; Ponsor does some careful color work with the way the light from an open door hits this scene. Bendis' bait-and-switch robs Katie of her narrative agency: she speaks 14 words in this issue, counting "uh," "um," and "okay." It's disappointing to see such a stellar art duo expend their craft on this tepid of a story.

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Everything wraps up in this issue too fast, and unfortunately the Wendigo arc lacked the hook to really captivate readers. I wish the members of Alpha Flight had received more development throughout the arc. There's one error in this issue: there's a speech bubble pointing to Northstar that is supposed to be a narration box spoken by Wolverine. The arc ends with unresolved questions: what happened to Talisman and Puck? Craig Kyle and Chris Yost get credit for featuring Alpha Flight, but this issue and arc lack the energy and personality of Yost's excellent current New Warriors.

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Every character interaction in non-action scenes is entertaining: Barbara and Frankie curled up on the couch with wine and their laptops; Barbara and Qadir geeking out about USB or Thunderbolt. It's refreshing that Stewart and Fletcher are giving their protagonist real friends, and friendships are central to the plot, instead of just teammates (think: Avengers titles) or romance (think: Daredevil and Elektra). Barbara's relatability hooked me in this issue from the very first panel. If any book besides Ms. Marvel deserves mainstream attention from those who've never read a comic before, it's this.

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Any comic where Kate and Clint spend time together usually makes for a great comic, and this issue certainly has a lot to love. Deadpool thankfully does not ramble as much as I was dreading. Lolli, Camgni, and Peter draw great action sequences; Kate kicking looks particularly fierce. Duggan is having fun writing this mini-mystery, and the inclusion of Kate, Black Cat, and Typhoid Mary has infused it with significant doses of energy and personality.

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Claremont knows how to tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Even as this issue closes with a cliffhanger, we feel satisfied that we read something that had a clear vision, not just an amalgamation of plot devices and hype. I like how Nauck styles Ziggy, and how Rosenberg colors the scene when Ziggy works on the Blackbird with a warm, sunset glow. This is a fun and beautiful book by a creative team unswayed by modern comics' tired trends.

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Claremont knows how to tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Even as this issue closes with a cliffhanger, we feel satisfied that we read something that had a clear vision, not just an amalgamation of plot devices and hype. I like how Nauck styles Ziggy, and how Rosenberg colors the scene when Ziggy works on the Blackbird with a warm, sunset glow. This is a fun and beautiful book by a creative team unswayed by modern comics' tired trends.

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The art by Federico Santagati and colors by David Curiel are beautiful throughout. I like the backgrounds of outer space on the first page, and the bright fuchsia tshirt worn by the girl who Sam obviously wants to get to know better. I hope Duggan lets JGS students cameo more often in "Nova." Sam remarks to Armor here, "It was nice to just hang, and not have it be a life-or-death emergency." It's fun for readers, too, to receive a simple one-shot story that isn't tied to any larger event or crisis. This is a charming but brief issue that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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Al Ewing's new story starts off serious and then unexpectedly gives us rapid-fire comedic moments: a villain dressed somewhat like The Princess Bride's Westley refers to one of his goons as "Henchman #3." Ewing's humor reaches career-defining levels in a hilarious scene where Peter Parker gives a rambling, pathetic apology to Luke Cage.

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Taylor is writing the unique story where we will be rooting for the protagonist's foils - Pepper and Daredevil - to keep him in check.

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If you like the gritty tone of the movie Drive or the show The Americans, this creative team has your pick.

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The dialogue is too jam-packed and the plot archetype is familiar - two unlikely companions fight the system a la Divergent or Shrek - but Ramos and Olea make it so pretty, we enjoy seeing this new world unfold.

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If Gotham Academy were completely textless, I would still read it for the incredible colors by Geyser, McCaig, and Rauch. I can't wait to find out what went wrong between Olive and Kyle. I'm excited for Maps to have more interactions with other students — has she made any friends yet? Cloonan and Fletcher have sucked us into their world of mystery, and I'm enjoying every panel.

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Sina Grace's every detail, from quilt patchwork to a teddy bear's fuzzy fur, make this a gorgeously illustrated, thoroughly enjoyable mystery that kids and adults alike can appreciate.

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There are moments in this issue when the art is good — really good. Dexter Soy gives Agent Brand an intimidating, powerful presence in fight scenes, and I like how he draws Jubilee. There are other moments where the art style doesn't leave much of a positive impression. Guggenheim has the tough task of juggling a full cast of strong characters, and I like the focus he gives Jubilee and Cecilia here. However, this arc lacks the excitement, suspense, and emotional connection that the first arc with Arkea and Shogo had.

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This arc adds a fun layer to the original X-Men's already fish-out-of-water scenario, but Bendis has not made us feel any urgency or gravity. It feels like the X-Men could hang out comfortably in the Ultimate Universe for a while. The lack of urgency makes the story read more like a quirky tale than a true crisis.

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Pat Shand is developing two fun leads into multifaceted characters. Robyn and Marian's solid teamwork is a rare find.

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Michael Lark's and Santi Arcas' art is detailed and impressive as always. Arcas shows particular care with the blending and shading of crimson-clad, sword-wielding Sonja Bittner's outfit and hair. When Forever, Sonja, and Xolani duel with practice swords, the aerial, athletic movement invigorates the page with kinetic energy. This issue is beautifully drawn and fun to read, but there is no climax or major reveal yet. We do get a sizeable amount of back matter. Rucka is still unveiling his world — every page feels like walking through an elaborate, intriguing video game. I'm still hooked.

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The art by Federico Santagati and colors by David Curiel are beautiful throughout. I like the backgrounds of outer space on the first page, and the bright fuchsia tshirt worn by the girl who Sam obviously wants to get to know better. I hope Duggan lets JGS students cameo more often in “Nova.” Sam remarks to Armor here, “It was nice to just hang, and not have it be a life-or-death emergency.” It's fun for readers, too, to receive a simple one-shot story that isn't tied to any larger event or crisis. This is a charming but brief issue that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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Where has Garry Brown been my whole life? Brown's deeply shaded pencils are reminiscent of the Bat canon's high-water mark:David Mazzucchelli's <em>Batman: Year One</em>. Valentine's mature, sophisticated story is a breath of fresh air from both Selina's unsatisfactory recent stories and the dominant event-driven culture of comics today.

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This is an engrossing but too brief conclusion to Soule's story, and a poetic, lonely farewell to Logan.

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Magneto #11 reads like we skipped over the end of Act 1 of Bunn's play, and into Remender's script. Axis' formulaic elements push Bunn, and Erik, out of his own story.

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I like where Bendis is going with Cyclops' further polarization, but the younger characters of Cyclops' camp still need more of their own action scenes and storylines.

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Batgirl #35 is like the start of fall semester at a new school: a new life chapter for Babs, and a clean entryway for readers to discover an enjoyable new story. This creative team recognizes what daily life is like for Babs and her roommates with an authenticity unparalleled in current comics.

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Christos Gage writes a cohesive, funny script that captures these characters perfectly and never lags.

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This oversized issue never focuses on any one protagonist for very long; one-liners abound from the likes of Quentin Quire, Genesis, and Iron Fist. Axis #1 tries so hard to include everyone, we end up sympathizing with no one.

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While we don't get the huge reveal we've been waiting for, Aaron gives us a seamless story with solid characterization and believable, catty dialogue.

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Despite the alternation between Tolibao's and Soy's very different art styles, we get a visually detailed issue with consistently wonderful colors. While not as gripping as issues #18 and #19, we are introduced to a new character, Sharada Darthri, who is penciled to perfection by Dexter Soy. I wonder how Guggenheim will wrap up this arc, as he has done a good job of not clueing us in to his endgame. I hope Rachel Grey gets to deal with the Shi'ar in a satisfactory way for the atrocities they wreaked on her family.

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From their very first panel together, Maps and Olive's happy-go-lucky younger sister/wounded older sister dynamic evokes Princess Anna's “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” opposite Elsa, or Ramona Quimby with Beatrice. There are so few comics (or shows, or movies) that get this relationship right. Runaways did it excellently with Molly Hayes and Karolina Dean. Cloonan and Fletcher's superb writing of these two young women, paired with Kerschl and Geyser's gorgeous art that would make Miyazaki envious, promises this series will be one of the most enjoyable in the market for any reader, young or old.

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Sholly Fisch has finally given us the Selina Kyle we've been missing for too many issues: smart, confident, in control. Pat Olliffe, Tom Nguyen, Walden Wong, and Sonia Oback show off some of their best work here: fine-tuned details such as Penguin's fur-lined coat, the color of Tusk's teeth, and the reflective surface of a boardroom table all pop with style and shading. While I'm excited for Genevieve Valentine's debut next month with issue #35, I wouldn't be opposed to Fisch writing the occasional one-shot. This is an issue that Selina fans will enjoy.

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Bendis continues to write All-New X-Men as the funniest and most lighthearted of X-titles, with a humor that borders on campy.

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It's clear that Perez's focus here is world-building. Perez's story is laudable for its spotlight on human trafficking, but I hope future issues give detailed looks into each Siren's unique personality.

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It's been many issues since these newer characters had their fair share of dialogue. It is refreshing to see Bendis write Christopher and the Cuckoos as critically thinking young adults, not just pawns on Cyclops' mutant revolution chessboard.

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Matt Fraction knows how to write a fun Kate Bishop story, and Annie Wu's artistic talent brings Kate to life. Perhaps more than any other artist, Wu has given Kate her definitive expressions, body language (storming off!), and most memorable panels. This issue wins because Kate's personality wins at keeping us interested, entertained, and sympathetic. One of the most tragic things about Hawkeye's upcoming end is how much we'll miss these stories of Kate exploring her emerging adulthood. I hope both Kate Bishop and Annie Wu maintain a prominent place in comics after this volume of Hawkeye concludes.

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This miniseries deserves more than four issues to slow down the pacing. Monroe and Navarro spin a fun mystery around a suave, intriguing protagonist.

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With expansive, detailed art and an original, weighty story, Guggenheim and this creative team continue to keep our attention riveted to each panel. This is definitely not fluff — think Game of Thrones, not New Girl, with humor that is true to each character. Guggenheim is taking some of the most powerful, fascinating, and fan-favorite characters in the Marvel Universe and paving the way for new stories. Whether you're new to these characters or familiar with them, you will love this book.

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It's strange yet ironic that Nocenti ends her run with an issue that focuses solely on someone who isn't Selina. Perhaps Nocenti had a new story arc in mind, but was pulled from the title before getting to pen a more conclusive story. Nocenti leaves behind a long run of assorted detours in Selina's life: pulling Gotham PD strings, working at a suicide hotline, exploring Gotham Underground, and taking on strange villains until Batman comes to rescue her. Perhaps the essence of who Selina Kyle is was lost in her own stories. With Sholly Fisch writing September's Catwoman: Futures End #1 and October's Catwoman #35 debuting writer Genevieve Valentine, Selina's next chapter looks promising and exciting.

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"I was wrong" may be among the rarest words we hear from anyone, but hearing it from Quicksilver is but one surprise up Peter David's sleeve in this thoughtful interlude issue.

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This issue is engaging, funny, and promises a great story built around the teamwork and trust between these five X-Men. I am ecstatic that Marc Guggenheim, as he shared in an interview, is choosing to focus on Rachel as the “emotional throughline,” since I have often lamented at her taking the leadership backseat to Storm. Writing humor and interdependent team relationships seems to come naturally for Guggenheim. The dialogue never disappoints, and the art never lacks. I can't wait for the next issue.

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With a new creative team taking over next issue, Wood leaves behind two permanent gifts to X-Men fans: This all-female X-Men team of five clicked, especially when operating as interdependent equals rather than under one leader, and Jubilee's maturation as a mom to Shogo has been a highlight of all current X-Men stories. Wood concludes his story here with a sober but optimistic resolution.

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Fraction and Aja have broken a barrier: letting one of our most beloved heroes, Clint Barton, experience everyday obstacles due to disability. Unlike other comics that simply depower characters and then throw them before foes, Clint and Barney's foes are normal life challenges: going up stairs, talking with doctors, getting home in a wheelchair. This issue will open doors to conversation among and beyond comics readers about disability, inclusion, and representation. Even the New York Times thinks so. A magnificent, moving, and history-making issue.

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Pak has written a masterpiece of Ororo rediscovering who she is and what she cares about.

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It is disappointing to see such a unique, banner character like Catwoman be given plot lines that don't explore her thoughts and conflicted inner life. Catwoman has some of the most interesting stories when we see her battling and questioning her own mischievous, criminal nature. This arc featured Selina as only an observing pawn in a larger story of a mysterious fortune and an unsolved crime that did not even affect Selina personally. With only one issue left before a new creative team takes over with issue #35, Nocenti is not going out with a bang, but a fizzle.

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Wood, Buffagni, and Sandoval have upped their game with this issue. This is not only one of the best recent issues of X-Men, but one of the best issues of any X-Men title, including Bendis' two titles. We're given one of the best verbal deliveries in the recent X-Men canon, via Jubilee: “The X-Men are a family. …This is why the X-Men always win!”

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This is an entertaining, self-contained story that does not require any reading of Thor: God of Thunder, Loki: Agent of Asgard, or Original Sin.

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With lots of dialogue and very little action, All-New X-Men #28 seems primarily written to explain Xavier's motive, but little else is accomplished.

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Hopeless continues to mature this likable cast of characters as he sets the stage for their next objective in, as Aiden calls it, "Badguy Neverland."

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This issue is a study in lost opportunities: these scenes would read better if this issue were broken up into two or more issues, and the pace dialed down significantly. This title is beginning to feel like an Avengersbook by Jonathan Hickman, but even more so: way too many characters, too much quick dialogue, and very little focus on a single character. Since this is Catwoman's solo title, her thoughts and speech need significantly more panel time.

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If you're looking for a solo title that emphasizes original characters rather than elaborate events, this is an outstanding issue of Wilson's engaging, well-paced story.

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X-Menfeels like the most grown-up X-title. It continues to please and surprise, and issues #13-14 have much better dialogue, distinct personalities of characters, and artistic style than the previous arc. You can enjoy X-Men‘s current standalone story without following any other X-title — you don't need to know the current activities of the Original Five, Cyclops, S.H.I.E.L.D., or even Wolverine. Monet and Rachel lead current Marvel characters in depth of personality. This issue is a fun continuation of a mystery, and it promises we'll be hooked until the resolution.

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Like a well-written TV show, the strength of X-Men is its small cast. Unlike the sprawling array of characters in All-New X-Men, X-Men's Storm, Rachel Grey, Psylocke, Jubilee and Monet are able to have more in-depth dialogue and express their very different personalities.

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This is a better, more intriguing, and more exciting issue than any of the "Trial of Jean Grey" mini-event.

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This issue transitions us out from under the weight of the Arcade-driven plot of this title and of Avengers Arena, and into a lighter, quirkier story with hellishly handsome Daimon Hellstrom and a very smooth-talking Baron Zemo. Hopeless's direction is promising.

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This issue is the rare example of a supplementary title surpassing its parent title in both fun and writing quality. It would be easy to skip a non-main miniseries, especially an origin story, but Slott seems determined to write this miniseries as one readers will not find frivolous. New and familiar readers will be pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this issue is. In one scene, a school counselor calls Peter "just a fifteen-year-old boy." Slott shows us all the reasons Peter is anything but.

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Non-main miniseries titles are often overlooked, and Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 does not tie in directly with current Marvel U events such as Peter's return to life. However, this issue does a dual job of introducing new readers to Peter's backstory, and giving familiar readers a refreshing, unhurried deeper look at his psyche in the wake of Uncle Ben's death. This issue reveals Peter as a teen who is struggling with uncertainty about the future. For its well-crafted writing of a character teetering on adulthood, this issue deserves high marks.

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From the very first page of Cyclops, Russell Dauterman's art blows expectations out of the water. Dauterman excels especially at drawing detail in Corsair's face and laying out panels where two characters are in conversation, without awkward poses. Colorist Chris Sotomayor fills outer space with pleasing, nebulous purple hues.

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This issue surpasses recent issues of both All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men for its intelligent character development of Cyclops, Young Jean, and X-23, and the fun inclusion of Young Warren. The issue's cliffhanger was perfectly written, and I'm excited to see what happens next.

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Overall, this issue's dreary tone and color palette, along with its snail's pace of dialogue, leave the reader wishing for more visual variety. However, the brilliant care by Hickman and Larroca to show Bruce Banner's eroding rein on his anger is fun to watch. The strained relationship between these two men seems to tease upcoming issues of the Original Sin event. Committed readers of Avengers and New Avengers may be satisfied by the long-awaited resolution in this issue, but for readers of other Marvel titles who are merely curious, the limited cast and focus of the issue make it an unessential read.

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This issue gets a 7.1, for a fun visual mix of bright colors and fanciful costumes, but a lack of coherent story. What exactly are the tasks that Roulette has the thieves completing? What is Roulette's motivation? And seriously, in those final fight scenes, what the heck is going on? Nocenti's writing of an emotionally flat, non-conversational Selina is bewildering. I hope the next issue brings more explanation to the plot, and more personality to Selina.

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This issue gets a 9, for Wood's writing that reflects each character's personality, especially Psylocke, Jubilee, and Beast, and for masterfully drawn art by Mann and Briones, with vibrant colors by Mounts and Milla. This issue brought the light-heartedness and fun back into this title. Jubilee and Shogo return to the limelight, and the story has cliffhangers like a good mystery. If you've been waiting to try or retry this title, now is the time.

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This issue gets a 9 — a surprisingly high score for this title — for Fisch's fun one-shot story, Olliffe's detailed and visually interesting pages, and Oback's gorgeous colors. The art in recent issues of this title has made Selina look fabulous: sexy, intelligent, observant. Fisch's cohesive story-telling would be a welcome addition to this title if he writes any future issues.

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This issue gets a 7.5, for Brian Wood's Sisterhood of Not-Very-Evil, Bling! and Mercury talking it out, a likeable scene of the often unlikeable Quentin Quire, great lines from Psylocke, Rachel Grey, and Monet, and Kris Anka's fast and furious action scenes. Wood's sprawling cast of characters competing for page time in this arc made scenes often feel abruptly shortened. Still, we love these X-Men and Jean Grey School students, and look forward to their next adventures.

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This issue gets a 9, for Fraction's story which makes us sympathize with Clint's yearning to be the one to save the day, Eliopoulos' fun illustration, and one of the most surprisingly enjoyable, risk-taking storytelling methods we've seen in comics. Eliopoulos establishes himself among the ranks of David Aja and Annie Wu as a great illustrator who brings Clint, Kate, and their world to life.

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This issue gets a 7, for Sonia Oback's masterful coloring of Catwoman, a straightforward story without confusing twists, and scenes of Selina trying to figure out Gothtopia. I'm excited for Catwoman's next arc, where Selina can put the confusion of Gothtopia behind and focus on her next endeavor.

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This issue gets a 7.8 for magnificent art all around, great character development of Ana Cortes, and a fun second half featuring the younger X-Men. This is the best issue of X-Men since Battle of the Atom, and I'm excited for the next issue.

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This issue gets a 6.5, for Aaron's excellent writing in the voice of Toad, Husk's authentic struggles, but not enough action and an overall dour artistic vibe.

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Spencer introduces a new character, Mrs. Morgenstern, whom we " and Scott " get the sense that there's more to than meets the eye. I'm enjoying Spencer's story, and I'm thrilled that Cassie has dialogue with her dad in each issue that is thoughtful and non-cursory. Looking forward to seeing where Spencer takes Scott next.

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This issue gets a 7, for fantastic art and colors especially by Mann and Mounts, the return of JGS favorites like Hellion and Pixie, and leaving us wanting more development of its main cast. I was more excited about this all-female X-Men title's release in May 2013 than any other Marvel NOW! title. Wood continues to raise the bar by adding interesting characters. While the sprawling supporting cast and rogues gallery is beginning to overextend itself, this title does not disappoint.

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