Dustin Gebel's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Watch Reviews: 268
8.9Avg. Review Rating

4.2
Adventureman (2020): Ghost Lights #1

Jan 11, 2024

Strong art and coloring cannot save the rudderless Adventureman: Ghost Light #1, which returns from a year-and-a-half gap with no energy or dynamic storytelling left in the tank. The issue tries to go on like it was only away from shelves for a month which becomes a detriment to the scripting. The vibrant page layouts and color palettes used during the multiple double-page splashes cannot save the book from its reality. As the series seems to be solicited as a two-issue miniseries, there is little on the page that can draw the reader in.

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8.8
Adventureman (2020) #5

Sep 29, 2021

If Adventureman slipped your radar in its initial run or the time spanning between collections, do yourself a favor and rectify that immediately. Coming back swinging, the book is the type of comic the industry sees every once in a couple of years. With dizzying continuity, a metatextual premise that could only work in sequential storytelling, and a perfect synergy between art and lettering, Adventureman might just be the best Fraction book to date. This is saying something when looking at Fractions massive body of work.

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10
Adventureman (2020) #6

Nov 17, 2021

Adventureman #6, and the series as a whole, is a meditation on how history pops its head into the modern world. Every stone in the path, every brick in the hall carries a story and tale, and those who are open to listening are the ones that have a greater understanding and power to operate in the world. That, more than superformulas or magic amulets, is the power that Fraction is channeling in his pulp heroes, and is conveyed in every image and panel that the Dodsons put to page.

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9.4
Adventureman (2020) #7

Dec 18, 2021

Adventureman #7 is a book excited by its influences and canon. It takes the medium of pulp stories and builds something that fulfills the fun of the style but works on a deeper level than most other types of pulp. Paired with Dodson's stylized art and colors, which on the surface feel like classic pin-ups but burrows into a deep well of sequential storytelling. The writing and artwork on a level beyond mindless pulp, and examines how stories and genre work together, and the power of history influences the way a tale is told. The book also makes the case for more weird west stories, and hopefully, there might be a place in the comics market for a Crossdraw Kid series.

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6.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #7

Aug 10, 2022

The Amazing Spider-Man #7 is another lifeless entry into the multi-year, multi-run wheel spinning of Peter Parker. Between a script and storyline that feels like bait for more interesting stories and loosely defined status quos for characters, the issue is only saved thanks to Romita Jr.s excellent pencils and sequential storytelling. With Dark Web only a few issues away, the crossover will be a make or break for this run. It can still deliver by finding its footing and delivering a compelling story to match the art, but based on the previous entries into The Amazing Spider-Man, that seems more unlikely with every issue. Theres almost no instance where this issue can be recommended, other than to enjoy the Romita Jr. art and layouts, but the story, characters, and tensions all leave a lot to be desired.

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9.2
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #8

Aug 24, 2022

The Amazing Spider-Man #8 is a comic firing on all cylinders, taking a lackluster previous issue and performing a total 360 with the craft inside. From Wellss script to Romita Jr.s art and Caramanagas art, the issue doesnt miss a beat and anchors itself in a strong narrative core that could center the aimless title going forward. Along with strong innovations in the art and lettering effects that fill the book, this issue is a great place to jump on for Spider-Man fans unhappy with the book thus far. With the next arc of the title building to a crossover with the X-Men, including some mutants that Wells wrote in a much more consistent title, itll have to be seen if Wells and the creative team can carry the momentum of this issue forward.

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6.8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #9

Sep 15, 2022

Amazing Spider-Man #9 is a narrative meh, but lush and kinetically drawn entry into a miz ongoing series. The issue manages to cross off another element set up previously but still feels directionless and uneven compared to the larger line at Marvel. While the story falls flat, in part due to the gap between this story and its set-up from the Hellfire Gala, Gleasons art redeems the book and makes it worth picking up. Heres hoping that Marvel will get him locked onto a book that allows him to shine as he does in this issue.

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8.8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #10

Sep 28, 2022

Amazing Spider-Man #10 is an excellent use of the event tie-in structuring, working off a structure set to dig into the Peter Parker character while advancing certain plotlines from the main title, right before it moves into its next crossover. Dragottas art was the perfect fit for a melancholy, reflective story that deals with a sense of longing and regret, playing up the physical aspects of Peter to convey the emotion onto the page. Its hard to say this close-up, but with time, this issue may be spoken of in the same breath as Spider-Man: Blue when discussing the legacy of Gwen Stacy.

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8.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #11

Oct 12, 2022

By narrowing focus on the street-level aspect of the character, ignoring the larger universe, and pairing that with a creepier art direction and muted color palette that gives the book a simmering tone, the team has created a recipe for a strong street-level story that works well as an individual issue. Even 11 issues in, The Amazing Spider-Man defies categorization and makes the book an uneven, but oftentimes compelling read. Hopefully, the creative team finds a footing with this arc, and continues the strong momentum set by this issue as it moves through another crossover in the upcoming months.

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5.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #12

Oct 27, 2022

The Amazing Spider-Man #12 halts the strong momentum it got going with its last issue, delivering another middling issue that feels like a hollow entry into the characters history. Its a shame that a book written by Zeb Wells feels lifeless, as the writer is a talented creator with plenty of talent for writing emotionally resonating and gut-splitting funny comics, as Hellions makes abundantly clear. But whether it's the burden that comes with writing Marvels cash cow, or the cropped scheduling for the character and the necessary tie-ins, it's clear that something is holding this book back. Pairing that amazing writer with Romita Jr, Hanna, and Menyz, who are providing some of the best Spider-Man art of recent years is extra salt in the wounds, and it's a bitter reminder of what could be.

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6.8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #13

Nov 9, 2022

Amazing Spider-Man #13 is a slightly more cohesive, but just as disinteresting installment of the web-crawlers ongoing story. Like many of the other stories in this run, the issue reads like a prelude to another story coming down the line and tries to mask it with an extended fight sequence. The sequence is well illustrated and colored, but can only do so much to keep the reader engaged. Its a shame that Romita Jr., Hanna, and Menyz are doing some of their best and most innovative work on such a bland story, as it could be an opportunity to visually refresh Spider-Man for a new era. The next issue kicks off the Dark Web crossover, and itll be interesting to see if the book shifts gears, as it seems Wells has been building this entire run to that story in particular.

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8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #14

Nov 23, 2022

Amazing Spider-Man #14 is a promising start to Dark Web, breaking away from Spider-Man to showcase a year in the life of Chasm, Janine, and the Goblin Queen. The additional page count allows the creative teams to compress a year into four, visually distinct sections while building the emotion at the epicenter of this issue. It feels like Dark Web is the story Wells has really wanted to tell since taking over Spider-Man, and that shows on every page. Fans of Hellions and Beyond will want to pick this up, and for the most part, can skip the previous issues of Amazing.

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8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #15

Dec 14, 2022

McGuinness and Rathburns art brings a bombastic energy to the issue that delivers on the fight between Spider-Man and Venom and the promise of weird demons attacking New York, but takes some missteps in character anatomy and physical details. The coloring from Menyz and lettering from Carmagna are the MVPs of the issue, working in new styles and techniques that level up the usual work seen on the title, matching the high energy of the story and art.

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8
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #16

Dec 28, 2022

Amazing Spider-Man #16 is another strong entry in both the Dark Web crossover and ASM line-up, building off the momentum set in the last issue. The story is invigorated by McGuinnesss art and Rathburns inks, giving a more intense level of action that is elevated by Menyzs coloring. As the story moves from New York to Limbo, the issue does an excellent job of constructing a new visual language for both Chasms abilities and magic, while rooting it in a genuine motivation for these heinous acts. These elements make it hard to jump into the book now, but the upside is Dark Web is friendly enough to jump in blind and receive context across the various titles.

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7
Aquaman / Green Arrow: Deep Target #1

Oct 28, 2021

Aquaman/Green Arrow - Deep Target#1 feels like a book for nobody, with inconsistent and bland characters, but wonderfully rendering settings and vibrant colors. Hopefully in the next issue, with the premise and set-up out of the way, Thomas can dig into the characters of Oliver Queen and Arthur Curry, and reveal why this is a pairing the audience should care about.

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9.6
Batman (2016) #129

Nov 3, 2022

Batman #129 is another excellent issue in the opening arc of Zdarsky and Jimnezs run, rising to a stunning level of quality. There are places where the story falls into the familiar ground, mirroring beats seen in each of the bigger Batman storylines, but Zdarskys script bypasses too much comparison by providing excellent insight into the mind and motivations of Batman. That paired with Jimnezs distinct interpretation of Batman, the Batfamily, and the extended DC Universe gives this series an edge propelling it to memory. The creative could lead this book after the arc and this story could hold a similar weight as something like Tower of Babel, but the writing and art are clear that the team has plans for Bruce Wayne and Batman. If the run is focused on this character study of the dual roles the vigilante leads, then it's sure to be one to follow.

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8
Batman (2016) #133

Mar 7, 2023

Hawthorne and Di Benedettos art also does this in both the more bombastic action sequences and the quieter, introspective moments. The balance plays up the pulp and human roots of Batman, and when paired with the excellent balance of colors from Morey, the issue clicks and becomes a satisfying Batman comic. Sometimes, you just want your Batman comic to be a no-frill, hearty Batman comic, and thats what Batman #133 is at its core.

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8
Batman (2016) #134

Apr 4, 2023

These elements are brought together with Moreys colors, which highlight the twisted mind of Red Mask after his accident. Batman #134 is a strong part of a larger story, and while executed with obvious craft and skill, doesnt offer the level of spectacle of the Failsafe arc. Instead, it builds on the emotional core of the Batman supporting cast, utilizing the framework of the parallel universe to strong effect. As Batman #900 looms, promising bombastic multiversal action to wrap up this storyline and set the course for the future of Batman under Zdarsky, this issue is a good place to remember the person on either side of the multiverse.

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9.4
Batman (2016) #135

May 2, 2023

Batman #135 is an issue that takes the best parts of this arc and connects them into a satisfying at worst, thrilling at the best conclusion. It feels like an issue that works towards true closure when it comes to the death of Alfred, the sidelining of Tim Drake, and the suffocating darkness of an isolated and doubtful Batman. Zdarsky gets to work in the quieter moments, which is where his scripting sings, letting Jimnez deliver on the bombastic through the exploration of Batman and various styling through the multiverse. This issue sets up an excellent emotional status quo for the Dark Knight and cements Jimnez as one of the greats when it comes to illustrating the hero.

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9.6
Batman (2016) #136

Jun 6, 2023

Batman #136 is an excellent recalibration of expectations for the current run, building off the high-concept adventures to dig into introspective reflection and character-driven tensions. Zdarskys script returns inward as Bruce tries to reestablish his place in Gotham, and fails to reintegrate with the Batfamily. Paired with Ortegas art, which not only thrives with the emotional focus but also helps to bridge the backup stories and ongoing plotlines from Catwoman, the issue is a tour-de-force of character work blending with spectacle. As the book is preparing to take a break for Knight Terrors, this issue offers an opportunity to peek into the upcoming story while contextualizing in-universes all of the high-octane action.

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10
Batman (2016) #137

Sep 5, 2023

Jimnez picks up on that lack of subtle storytelling and infuses the direct nature of the issue into his linework. The action beats are explosive but still feel in orbit of the street level, while the anatomy and expressions showcase the books dueling tones and concepts. These get picked up and segmented in Moreys coloring, which echoes the previous plots of the run and creates subtle references to the influences on the book. Batman #137 course corrects the flaws of last weeks opening to Gotham War and makes a clear thesis for the book going forward on every level.

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10
Batman (2016) #138

Oct 3, 2023

Batman #138 continues to prove there is a power story buried in the core of Gotham War, and it takes a perfect synthesis of character and canon to achieve. Zdarsky elevates existing Bat-lore and twists it into something new, using pitch-perfect characterization to do so. While the writing is superb, it's the art and coloring that add the gold to the breaks in the pot. Jimnezs linework and Moreys palettes bring elevated action and twisted expressions to the issue, pushing this book from street level to tragic in the classic sense. The fights on the street and oaths in the night give the issue a fantastical quality that sells the high drama of the story. Batman #138 restores a lot of lost faith in the crossover and proves there can be beauty in the broken.

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10
Batman (2016) #139

Nov 7, 2023

Overall, this issue is a welcome shift from the previous story arc as it puts a restored sense of energy and refocuses on the continuing story of Zur-En-Arrh.

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10
Batman (2016) #140

Dec 5, 2023

Reverberations sit at the core of Batman #140, striking the right chords of past and present. Zdarskys scripting highlights key elements of the writers tenure on various Bat-books, building on the smaller beats to deliver compelling declarations of story mechanics. Synching with the evocation of the Batman artists of before by Jimnez, the issue delivers stunning layouts and metatextual clashes of Batmans psyche. Layering in equally different color shades for the endless variations of Zur by Morey makes every figure feel unique, even in the large crowd scenes. With this issue, Mindbomb continues as the best arc of this run yet, building on and improving every element seen in the previous stories.

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6.8
Batman (2016) #141

Jan 2, 2024

Batman #141 is a whimper of a conclusion to the Mind Bomb story arc, releasing much of the goodwill and anticipation built up in the previous issues. Poor scripting for the issue is not enough to completely kill any fervor for this larger story but does not propel the narrative into the next arc, which is being established as yet another Joker origin. The action and characters in this issue are not narratively compelling, only interesting here thanks to excellent linework and coloring. Those elements still make this one of the best-looking books on shelves, but cannot fully save it from the drain of excitement.

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2.4
Batman (2016) #142

Feb 7, 2024

Batman #142 brings the current story arc to a screeching halt to tell an out-of-left-field flashback Joker story. In doing so, the book burns all narrative momentum to deliver a hollow issue more interested in squaring continuity than telling a story. The switch in art, both within the issue and from the mainline artist, undercuts the atmosphere of the book in the pursuit of the past. With the coloring on display, the book removes a consistency and aesthetic that made it a compelling read paired with the bombastic art. If this issue is the best foot forward for the Joker: Year One story, then itll probably be best to take a break until the Zur plot resumes a few issues from now.

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3.4
Batman (2016) #143

Feb 14, 2024

In the use of vastly different coloring, inconsistent art, and tepid writing, Batman #143 slightly improves on the previous issue without escaping from the story arcs larger pitfalls. Zdarskys scripting connects interesting dots and for every strong idea, an equally bland story beat is employed. That uneven scripting is echoed in the illustrations for the issue, oscillating from the bland artwork by Camuncoli and the expressive linework by Sorrentino. With two issues down and one to go, little has inspired hope for a stuck landing for the story arc. One can hope Zdarsky can pull off the conclusion and tee up the modern-day plot, but based on these two issues, that hope is fleeting.

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2
Batman (2016) #144

Feb 20, 2024

Batman#144 ends with a steady drumbeat of disappointments, to the point that it may end up souring the larger story. The three-issue flashback story feels like the necessary evil of modern, blockbuster-level comics, in that it provides time for the more gripping art and writing. It also takes all of the worst impulses with filler and ends up not tying back to or teeing up the previous storylines.

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4.8
Batman (2016) #145

Mar 6, 2024

Bland, boring storytelling is the basis for Batman #145, which refocuses on the present in a lackluster start for the new arc. Zdarsky undercuts all tension and pacing by speeding through reveals and complications while undercutting the work established across backup stories and seeded plotlines. That sloppy execution of craft extends to Jimnez, whose pencils lack the premium edge that has become an expectation. In their place is a serviceable yet sluggish facsimile of quality. Moreys coloring tries to elevate the material but ultimately fails, crushed under the pressure of previous stories. It is a shame that Batman was unable to recapture the lightning of its pre-flashback momentum, as the book was skewing into one of the best modern storylines for the title.

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6.8
Batman (2016) #146

Apr 2, 2024

Batman #146 feels trapped in a cycle of bland plotlines, consistent art, and thrilling colors, striving for something new but never making a full attempt to break from what came before. Zdarskys scripting is intentional in its narrative rhymes, but rather than create a specific rhythm, it just makes it feel like chasing a tail. Paired with Jimnezs linework, which maintains its strong visual consistency and focus on character, but never fully delivers on the revolutionary artwork from previous issues. The only element that tries to push the envelope is Moreys coloring, which understands the need for distinct palettes. Something needs to give and shift the story into a new direction, and a glimmer of hope has appeared in the re-introduction of Superman to the title.

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9.5
Batman / Catwoman: The Gotham War (2023): Battle Lines #1

Aug 29, 2023

Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War - Battle Lines #1 alleviates much of modern comic's event wariness, using continuity and the string of previous events to fuel an emotionally charged story. Howard and Zdarskys writing plays up the coping mechanisms of its two leads to create a charged conflict that feels natural. Paired with Hawthornes pencils and Di Benedettos inks, which work best when driving up the emotional and internal imagery of the protagonists. The book falters in the execution of the ensemble and only recovers thanks to Fajardos coloring, which blends the fact and fiction of Gotham. Battle Lines #1 shows the cracks in Gotham but proves that DCs publishing initiative is still holding strong.

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4.6
Batman / Catwoman: The Gotham War (2023): Scorched Earth #1

Oct 31, 2023

It, along with the inking and colors, feels rushed and makes the case for avoiding the larger crossover, instead proving that the standalone issues of Batman are the strongest issues of the event. Hopefully, both books can return to their creatively rich tales of complex characters and well-crafted plots now that the meteorite has wiped out this crossover.

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9.6
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #1

Mar 30, 2022

With a perfect encapsulation of the various adapted styles from Batman films and TV, Beyond the White Knight #1 is an excellent start to this series. It will be fascinating to watch how Murphy diverts and reinvents the lore and expectations from Batman Beyond for his universe as the series continues. This is a definite pick-up for both continued and new readers to the Murphyverse, as the book does an excellent job of contextualizing the larger series without giving away too much in Murphys art.

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9
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #2

Apr 27, 2022

Beyond the White Knight#2 is a great follow-up issue, continuing to ground and reveal the dynamics of Neo-Gotham, working in tandem to deepen the tensions of the batfamily and set up Bruces reckoning with the past. Murphy and Stewart also lay the groundwork for the future of Gotham, and its next Batman with this issue, and how he may align with previous sins of the last Batman. The book is still early in its run, and hopefully, as Murphy works toward more in costume action and conflict, the art will propel to new highs for the series. The book is still a great jumping-on point for fans of the originalBatman Beyond, and readers of the previousWhite Knightarcs.

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9.2
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #3

May 24, 2022

With strong design work and excellent threading of continuity, Beyond the White Knight #3 remains one of the most solid books in DCs roster. Murphys art and writing have refined the series into a tight story grappling with Dads trying to fix their families and the continuity thats been built across the multiple series. Paired with Stewarts perfectly accented colors, the designs and aesthetic of this issue feel original but still in line with whats come before. With the book reaching close to its halfway point, the pieces of Derek Powers, Duke and Terry are beginning to click into place, and it will be fun to watch if Murphy and Stewart can mend the Batfamily, and do justice to all the fractured elements of the universe.

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8.4
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #4

Jun 29, 2022

Batman: Beyond the White Knight, and the Murphyverse at large, feel like an excellent cover of the Batman Animated series, along with some elements of the post-Crisis and New 52 continuities. Murphy and Stewart take those established characters and elements like Duke Thomas, Terry McGinnis, and even Jason Todd, and tweak and twist their core elements to mold them into something unique. Its an excellent way for the team to play in a world that feels adjacent to these iconic or foundational interpretations of the characters, and Gotham as a whole, but still makes them seem original and surprising, issue to issue. Beyond the White Knight is a perfect place to jump into the Murphyverse and get the toes wet, especially for fans of Duke or Terry, to see if they enjoy these new interpretations of the characters.

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7.8
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #5

Sep 28, 2022

It takes about half the issue, but Beyond the White Knight #5 finds its footing in an uneven, overstuffed issue. Murphys script and art fall into a trap of the modern Batman era, which is trying to do too much with a large cast of the Batfamily and spreading the narrative thin. Once Murphy sheds the various sidekicks and returns to the central core of Bruce, Napier, and Harley, the narrative tightens and the art sharpens to one of the best sequences of the entire imprint. Murphy delivers a moment that feels like a natural result of the universe he and Stewart have built across the various titles, and itll be fascinating to see if they can continue that focus into the final three issues of the series.

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7.6
Batman: Beyond the White Knight #6

Oct 25, 2022

Batman: Beyond the White Knight #6 is an interesting but frustrating read thanks to its dense visual storytelling contrasted against the overstuffed plot. The visual elements of the book, including the art, coloring, and use of shadows are all firing at the full cylinder to tell a complex, powerful story of adopted families and the struggle to maintain those relationships. However, the emotional and narrative core are undercut by the overreaching of plot elements and characters that permeate the page. The series could have either used an additional couple of issues or been split up into two miniseries structured like the original White Knight and Curse of the White Knight. This is an issue and series geared towards fans of the batfamily and the Murphyverse, but may continue to disappoint fans of Terry McGinnis and the core Batman Beyond concept.

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9.3
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2023) #1

May 16, 2023

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 is a stunning collection of stories that showcase some of the best elements of the DC Universe. The wide gambit of storytelling and artistic sensibilities on display speak to the past, present, and future of the publisher, while making clear there are strong voices telling interesting stories with characters new and old.

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8.7
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2023) #2

Jun 27, 2023

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2 is another strong installment in the anthology format, building off the goodwill of the debut issue, ensuring that all of the sophomore outings continue the trends of craft on display. The mix of Batman, Superman, and Stormwatch b/c-tier characters makes for an interesting batch, and ensures the series is not overtaken by one specific type of story. Fans interested in counterprogramming to the current Batman and Superman titles may enjoy these stories that feel more timeless than the modern approaches to both runs.

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8
Black Panther (2023) #1

Jun 14, 2023

Black Panther #1 is an engaging look at a Wakanda (and TChalla) at a crossroads that scales back the epic science fiction nature of the book to a more street-level approach. Echoing some previous points in Black Panthers history, this decision makes for an excellent place to explore the people and structures of Wakanda beyond the royal family. Ewings excellent scripting pairs with Allen and Yeung pencils and inks to bring this version of Wakanda to life, and Aburtovs colors add a new texture that reinforces the tone the book is swinging for. Fans of Black Panther wanting to see the continuation of the character or those looking for a jumping-on point will want to check out this debut issue.

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9
Black Panther (2023) #2

Jul 19, 2023

Black Panther #2 is a strong sophomore issue that carries on with redefining the former king of Wakanda while building up a new civilian identity for TChalla. Ewings script tackles the structures of Birnin through the dual focus of TChalla and the new antagonist Beisa. The pencils and inks from Allen and Yeung showcase this new tension with clear-cut visuals, selling both the action and characterization with equal simplicity. The look of the book and the balance between street-level scope and high-flying Wakandian society is reinforced through Aburtovs bright palette. Overall, the issue continues to be a great place for non-readers of Black Panther to jump on and makes for a compelling entry into the more grounded side of the Marvel universe.

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2
Black Widow & Hawkeye (2024) #1

Mar 13, 2024

Black Widow/Hawkeye #1 is a disappointing, bland freshman issue that gets bogged down in continuity while feeling disjointed from the larger Marvel line. The writing on display reads sloppy and oddly paced, undercutting any sense of tension or stakes. Paired with art that is flat yet consistent, the book is not egregious but leaves little to latch onto. Rounded out by bland coloring that harkens to the flat concrete tones of the MCU, Black Widow/Hawkeye #1 becomes a series that finds itself unable to justify its existence or price tag.

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6
Capwolf & the Howling Commandos (2023) #1

Oct 12, 2023

Capwolf & the Howling Commandos #1 is off to a rocky start with a heavy focus on the familiarity of war and continuity. Only in the final pages of the issue does the story shift gears and start to deliver on the premise. All elements of the book, from Phillipss writing to Magnos art, and even Grundetjerns coloring, feel like the safest choices, which gives the book a subdued reading experience. Only when the mystical element is interjected does the book transform into something worth reading. The hook is strong enough to warrant reading the second issue, but unless the story makes a harsh metamorphosis, it will remain just another disposable entry into the canon of supernatural World War II stories.

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5.6
Catwoman (2018) #57

Sep 20, 2023

Catwoman #57 is a mixed bag that works as a solid Catwoman story but fails to deliver on the premise of "Gotham War." Howards writing is like a Swiss watch that struggles to capture the explicit tone found in the Batman-led issues. The heist sequences and high society beats are the most natural from the issue and the art channels that sense of fluidity to similar effect. The art also finds itself trapped in that conflicted atmosphere, as the anatomy of Batman feels in sharp contrast to what is on display in Batman. The issue is a disappointing follow-up to a strong opening set of issues, and hopefully, the book can return to the established premise and continue to explore the off-kilter Batman and Catwoman.

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7
Catwoman (2018) #58

Oct 18, 2023

Plot and character, emotion and action clashes in Catwoman #58, working against one another instead of feeding off the other. Much like Catwoman and Batman, these elements just cant sync up, creating an interesting at times, but overall weak reading experience. Howards writing is at its best when the plot is put on the back burner and the clashing personalities of the two masked figures get to the surface. Reminding readers of the human aspect of these characters, the art does its best to sell the sexual, but more importantly, romantic, tension between the duo. Gandinis color is just as stuck in between the oscillation of quality, never quite blending with the art to perfect effect.

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9.2
Clear (2021) #1

Oct 12, 2021

Clear is a promising start to what could be a compelling sci-fi neo-noir. It replaces the long lingering pace of most science fiction and replaces it with a kinetic, surreal visual style. The mystery and characterizations are the textbook noir archetypes, but knowing Synders body of work, its not hard to guess that there are some tricks up his sleeve. Bolstered with Manapul's next level panel work and colors, this could could, and shouldstep out of the neon drenched shadow of Blade Runner.

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10
Clear (2021) #2

Nov 20, 2021

Clear is a perfect example of a book firing on all cylinders, and how craft, both in writing and art, can take something an audience has seen a hundred times before, and make it wholly original. Snyder presents some of his best writing in this issue, and Manapul is breaking new ground with every page and panel. The examination of the past through the lens of the future is the off-kilter framework that the series grounds its central thesis in, and hopefully continues going forward.

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9
Cosmic Detective (2023) OGN

Oct 9, 2023

Cosmic Detective is a killer sci-fi noir that channels a specific Kirby vibe to tell a story of twisted truth and cosmic ideals. Kindt and Lemire ground the tale in the muddy elements of the typical detective story while propelling it to the sweeping level of cosmic beings. That dichotomy is captured perfectly through Rubns art, colors, and lettering, all of which strike the right balance between the two genres and textures. These elements switch between the detailed and simplistic for maximum effect and makes for a dynamic reading experience. This book is for fans of both the lowly detectives and stunning gods, coexisting in both genres for a totality of the compelling story.

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8.4
Crossover (2020) #10

Dec 8, 2021

Crossover #10, and the series at large, is a comic about comics, but sometimes loses itself in the attempts to be meta. Its hard to get a bead on if the book is hacky or transcendent, and maybe that nebulous territory is enough to continue reading. The art and the fun Bendis/Oeming interlude are worth the cover price alone, and the world and premise are strong enough to drive the plot forward even as it sometimes gets bogged down by the seemingly clever smirk of meta-commentary.

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9.6
Crossover (2020) #13

May 11, 2022

With Crossover #13, Cates and Shaw release a cathartic wave of psychic imagery and emotion through their craft. The power of story is on display in every page, caption, and line, and resonates in a way that feels like a true revelation. Cates boils down a very personal desire to a gut-wrenching plot point and propels the series into its next arc. After the rich tapestry of Catess personal experience and beliefs, it will be fascinating to see Shaws response and influences in future issues. For a series that on the surface feels like a cheeky wink and nod to the conventions of the industry and craft of comics, the sentiments shared in these last few issues have embodied Kings notion of writers as telepaths.

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8.6
Crypt of Shadows (2022) #1

Oct 24, 2022

Crypt of Shadows is well worth the price of admission, telling a combination of one-off stories and tales that seed future continuity. It's a shame this is only a single issue, as Marvel proves there's no lack of talent and creators that could tell well-rounded stories across the publishing year.

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10
Damn Them All (2022): 6

Mar 23, 2023

Damn Them All is everything a book like Doctor Strange or Hellblazer should be, thanks in large part to the benefits of being a creator-owned work. It merges its crime and magic elements with an alchemy that should be impossible, thanks in large part to the expert craft on every level. With six issues down, heres hoping for countless more to beat readers over the head with quality, in a way that would make El proud.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #1

Oct 29, 2022

Damn them All #1 is a great book for those missing Spurriers much too short time on Hellblazer, delivering an interesting story at the intersection of crime and magic. His scripting paired with the synthesis of time on Hellblazer and his various X-titles gives this book firm feet in both the new and familiar. That conjecture with Adlards art and Dodgsons colors takes what could have been a by-the-numbers story of crime and demons, and elevates it to something distinct and original. This is a book for fans of noir and urban fantasy stories, and those interested in rich magical systems that read as straightforward but interpretive. It doesnt hurt that every magical drawing is mindblowing and brilliant, and El is a lovable bastard of a protagonist.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #2

Dec 1, 2022

Damn Them All #2 is a follow-up issue that may be just as strong as the first, trading some of the magical spectacles for a deeper look into the storys setting. From the opening pages of the school shooting to the degrading of magical rules and then an extended conversation about said occurrences, Spurriers script weaves an effective look into how the world and El by extension are having to reckon with her uncles death. Pairing that focus with Adlard's art, which renders the reality-shattering demons and concrete world of urban England, the issue finds the right balance that makes an urban fantasy succeed. The first issue on its own was a strong contender for one of the best books of the year, and issue two reinforces that call.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #3

Dec 31, 2022

Damn Them All #3 is another killer issue in this urban fantasy story, taking the best parts of the fantasy and whodunit genres to create a compelling mystery and world. Spurriers script begins an exploration of the cost of magic that is extremely personal for Ellie while tapping into societal issues like immigration and asylum in a post-Brexit UK. Adlards art matches that energy with an ability to move between the more spectacle-driven, demonic attacks and the looser, more emotionally driven drug trips and flashback sequences. The coloring from Dodgson and Cui highlights both elements well, and the trademark prismatic coloring effect is put to good use throughout the issue.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #7

Aug 9, 2023

Damn Them All #7 resumes the urban fantasy series with no gap in quality, taking the elements that struck a resonant chord in the first arc and refining them. From the expositional data pages full of character, the visual representation of demons and angels, and the use of dynamic color effects, the issue ensures that all of the vital elements are on display but provide something new to the larger world and status quo. Just as El is poised to become a more rounded character, Damn Them All is reestablishing its place as one of the more compelling fantasy books on shelves.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #9

Oct 11, 2023

By evoking a more expressive aesthetic, the demon of this issue pairs with its specific power as it grows like the threads of a wide tapestry. The shining gold palette for the demon clashes with the gritter hues of the series, creating a dissonance of color to further alienate the demon. The issue is a strong contender for the most compelling one yet and is enough to make a convert to the hive mind of Damn Them All readers.

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10
Damn Them All (2022) #10

Nov 9, 2023

Dense, seemingly complex ideas go hand in hand withDamn Them All, but issue #10 makes clear that Occam's razor of it all is the probable answer. Theres not some great big mystery at work, its just rich idiots trying to play god and make themselves feel better by giving to the poor. Cillian is not trying to make the world a better place, he is gathering power to try and change El into the person who will reciprocate his love by making deals with twisted angels. Only the demons of this series seem to have real complexity in their straightforward series of skills and desires.

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9.2
Daredevil & Echo (2023) #1

May 24, 2023

Daredevil & Echo #1 is a strong start to a miniseries that plays with the history of Hells Kitchen and the mystical side of the neighborhood. While some of the writing stumbles a bit in regards to narration, it isn't enough to detract from the story unfolding, or the stunning level of craft on display from Notos art and colors. Fans interested in a quieter, less tortured version of a Daredevil book or those interested in the ongoing story of Echo will want to check out this issue.

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5.4
Daredevil & Echo (2023) #2

Jun 28, 2023

Daredevil & Echo #2 is an anticlimactic sophomore issue, wasting the goodwill of the first issue by delivering a lackluster continuation of the story. The scripting is clunky and pivots from the more obvious, and interesting, avenues to tell the most flavorless mystery story in recent memory. Its a shame as Noto delivers some of the best art and colors of his career, elevating the material thanks to a focus on strong lines and innovative layouts. The last page reveal of Ghost Rider is depicted masterfully by Noto and offers a bit of hope for the next issue, but after this installment, expectations are not high going forward.

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5
Daredevil (2023) #5

Jan 18, 2024

With the debut of its sophomore arc, Daredevil continues to prove its premise works on paper but can't quite make the leap in execution. Beyond a few standout moments and visuals, the issue is relegated to a consistent, yet forgettable delivery that tries to assemble the disparate pieces into a unified image. Instead, the pieces are just grouped into interesting arrangements that dont quite lead to a full image. Its a shame because the status quo established at the end of the previous run set up a genuinely fresh take on the character, but the follow-through just cant quite match it.

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3
Daredevil (2023) #7

Mar 28, 2024

Daredevil #7 continues to try and establish its voice under the new creative team, stumbling in the execution of a pretty original idea. Ahmeds scripting focuses on all the wrong elements, overplaying the supernatural and action beats without really digging into the human aspects of Matt Murdock. When combined with Kuders stiff, smooth art style, the book breaks into a poor example of spectacle over sustenance.

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8.6
Daredevil: Black Armor (2023) #1

Nov 22, 2023

Daredevil: Black Armor #1 is a solid debut issue that slots too easily into the era it is harkening back to. The book is missing a vital narrative brazenness that books from the 90s were happy to engage with, instead opting for a more constrained introduction. That paired with an art style that is much less frantic and more modern in approach, makes for a quick but enjoyable read. Daredevil: Black Armor struggles to find an identity, trying to play as both a nostalgic look back at a very specific Daredevil era while channeling elements from the more recent runs.

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8.8
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #5

Oct 4, 2022

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths#5 is an event comic that should be a slam dunk, and in many ways is on paper, but without a clear resonate core, ends up feeling like a hollow series of amazing images on the page. With two issues left in the main title, Im willing to admit everything could fall into place and reveal that missing piece, but based on the first five issues, that seems unlikely. That doesnt mean this book should be ignored, as Sampere and Snchezs work on this book is some of the best work delivered from DC in recent years, which is a testament to the companys output for art has been top notch. This comic andJudgment Dayfrom Marvel are proof that for many it's not even fatigue that kills momentum for a massive story, but the underlying message, or lack thereof.

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5.6
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #6

Nov 8, 2022

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 is another hollow spectacle in a series full of them, trying to simultaneously establish a new DC Universe without establishing an emotional or thematic reason for fans to care. The reveals are telegraphed and unimportant, as theyre repeatedly undercut in an attempt at a metacommentary on the nature of the crisis, speeding through the plot without really engaging with the various beats. In a massive, universe-spanning event, Dark Crisis could have used a true five-footer issue, where characters could pause and regroup after the relentless plot and provide emotional context and reinforce the human-level stakes of the series. With only one issue to go, one can only hope the dawn of the DC Universe is brighter than this crisis.

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5.8
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #7

Dec 20, 2022

The back third of the issue shifts artists as it jumps around the DC Universe, setting up stories that are already in process or on the horizon, feeling like a tacked-on postscript. Its hard to recommend picking up this issue for anything past Samperes art, and DC has made clear that its not willing to put itself behind this series, or the other concurrently running events.

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8.8
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022): War Zone #1

Dec 6, 2022

Dark Crisis: War Zones #1 is the most consistent, and strongest of the Dark Crisis tie-ins thus far, taking the theme of legacy and spinning out five interesting stories beyond the Justice League. Theres no weak link in the five stories, and each one delivers at least one excellent narrative or artist decision that sells the story. The issue is a great sampling for those not reading Dark Crisis but might want to see a different perspective compared to the main title. Its also a great sampling of what may come next for the DC Universe post-Dark Crisis, with its emphasis on legacy and new characters.

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7.6
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022): The Deadly Green #1

Oct 4, 2022

Even as uneven as the story and art are, The Deadly Green is a fun read, both for mainstream superhero fans and those wanting the more out-there characters to take the spotlight. This one-shot serves as a great reminder of how strong the recent mystical books from DC have been, and the potential they have for the looming Dawn of the DCU era. The issue also makes the case for the creative team to be the ones to help Shepard in those new titles, affirming that DC has the right talent for the undertaking. One can only hope that in the wake of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Deadly Green, and a horizon of a changed DC Universe, both in the story and across the publishing line, the magical side of the shared universe will get another chance to thrive.

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5.6
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022): The Dark Army #1

Nov 22, 2022

Dark Crisis: The Dark Army #1 is a lackluster tie-in for both Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and Batman vs. Robin which is inconsistent across the board. From a story that spins its wheels with an extended page count and character regression for Damian, to clashing art styles with visual discrepancies, the issue has little to offer beyond a few interesting character beats here and there. The bulk of this tie-in could be explained in an editor's note of Dark Crisis #7 and unlike previous tie-ins, doesnt feel vital to an understanding of the plot for the main event.

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9.2
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022): Big Bang #1

Dec 13, 2022

Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1 is a fascinating, well-structured follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths, more so than the main Dark Crisis title. Waids decision to build the story out from Barrys point of view, both as the cataloguer of the multiverse, and the man murdered by the Anti-Monitor, ensures theres a tight tension at the core of the one-shot even as it functions as a kaleidoscope of Elseworlds. Getting Jurgens and Rapmund for the art was a knockout decision, ensuring that the universes are rendered with a level of quality that has been honed over years of experience. The consistent fuses with the innovative use of color and paneling create not only an issue full of fan service for all the world visited, but as a strong epilogue to Crisis. This one-shot is a must-read for DC fans going forward, offering the premise of a blank slate, and a bright future for the DC Universe going forward.

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10
Dark Spaces: Wildfire #1

Jul 19, 2022

Dark Spaces: Wildfire #1 is a creative height for the entire team, breathing new life into Snyders scripts while giving Shermans art the chance to burn up the page. Joined by Pattisons captivating color palettes, this book is to use a term from the youths straight fire (Ill stand by that pun until the last embers). Theres a clear spark thats been lit in the creators of this series, and itll be enthralling to see where that flame burns and takes them, burning through genre and story while captivating with lush art. This is a book that should be seared into your pull-list, if for nothing else than the gorgeous art and stunning colors, but a nice, warm subversion of genre doesnt hurt. Its also a signal flare to put IDWs new slate of original titles on your radar.

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8.4
Dark Web (2022) #1

Dec 7, 2022

This issue is a great way for non-Spider-Man readers to test the waters for the crossover and offers fans of Wells's non-Spidey works a place to jump on for this clone story.

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10
Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #1

Dec 21, 2022

Those elements in conjecture with the cinematic artwork and radiant coloring from Snchez-Almara give this book a prestige feeling and could be a strong foundation for a future run with the character. Even Ms. Marvel fans not caught up with, or interested inDark Webshould give this issue a chance, to see Kamala Khan in a new and exciting place.

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9
Dark Web: X-Men #1

Dec 14, 2022

Dark Web: X-Men #1 is by far the best issue of the crossover so far thanks to its tight, economic storytelling paired with a grounding in well-cultivated continuity and character growth. Duggans script benefits from the splitting of the X-Men, allowing for Magik and Havok to play vital roles in the Goblin Queen's arc while Iceman and Firestar can reunite with Spider-Man for a solid action sequence. Reiss art and colors are perfectly matched for this crossover and its various elements, thanks to his work on New Mutants, illustrating demon-infused objects with the same care as the handling of Madelyne Pryors betrayal. This is a tie-in that is a must-read for both X-Men and Dark Web readers, reveling in the collaborative nature of serialized, shared-universe comics.

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9.6
Dark Web: X-Men #2

Dec 28, 2022

Dark Web: X-Men #2 is an excellent example of the symbiosis that two artists can achieve working on an issue together, building off a strong script to deliver a cohesive and visually compelling story. Duggan captures the heart of the X-Men, drama and all, with this issue, weaving a complicated backstory and character development into a thematic core that becomes reflected in the artistic sensibilities. Noto and Reis are a perfect combination for this issue, utilizing both the formers signature organized, painterly style with the more chaotic, expressive storybook approach the latter developed. Like the X-Men tie-in for Devils Reign, this series continues to be an excellent place for X-fans to see the team grappling with their place in the Marvel universe, while also sorting out elements of the X-line.

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9.2
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #1

Oct 26, 2021

DC vs. Vampires #1 feels like it could be the next DCeased, in both fun, horror leanings along with being a perfectly contained, off-the-walls Elseworlds story. Issue #1 is a strong start, but its ultimately the paired mystery and horror with Otto Schmidts detailed linework and gorgeous colors that are going to sear this book into your brain. If nothing else, this book belongs on a pull list for the art and color, and if Schmidts track record is to be an indicator, that work is only going to improve as the book moves forward.

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10
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #2

Nov 23, 2021

With DC vs. Vampires #2, its clear that Schmidt, if he wants to, deserves to be working on a Justice League book or a universe-spanning crossover. This is proven by his ability for scope and genre, and his deep understanding of how to portray a massive spectrum of character designs, powers, and action. The issue is a thrilling showcase of Schmidts talents as an artist and is bolstered by tight scripting from Tynion and Rosenberg. Even though the book has only reached its second issue, its a testament to the overall craft going into the series that makes it a contender for an instant classic.

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9.6
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #3

Dec 28, 2021

Across the writing, art, and lettering of DC vs. Vampires #3, theres a clear indication the book is a pitch-perfect case of a comic that knows how to have fun. The series takes the premise of Secret Invasion but with vampires, and lets Otto Schmidt go wild with kinetic action and stunning character designs. In a world of comics that feel the urge to try and prove themselves in the field of serious artistic endeavors, it's refreshing for a book to take a breather and be a fun, pulpy adventure across a massive landscape of iconic characters. That tone and commitment to the premise alone sells DC vs. Vampires and is only heightened by the talent behind it.

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9
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #4

Jan 26, 2022

DC vs. Vampires #4 is an issue that highlights the best and worst of the series, showcasing Schmidt's art and the odd pacing of the book. The book is worth reading for the art alone, and theres still a chance the books mid-stretch could shift and come together, but its still too early to tell. In any case, the book is a fun, pulpy book that works in its best moments as a showcase of Schmidts art and Tynion and Rosenbergs writing of specific character interactions.

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8.6
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #5

Feb 23, 2022

With the book moving closer to its halfway point, DC vs. Vampires remains one of the most consistent and pulpy books on the shelves. The issue makes an interesting artistic detour with Di Meo exploring the Suicide Squads reaction to the vampiric invasion. The alternating styles feel like two puzzle pieces that just barely lock in together, and itll be curious to see if they end up linking more in future issues.

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8.8
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #6

Mar 29, 2022

DC vs. Vampires #6 is a masterclass in subverting the tropes of extended superhero families. Certain expectations are ascribed to specific heroes, which can sometimes cause rote stories, and it takes a deft hand to invigorate those characters. Tynion and Rosenberg channel their experience as Batfamily writers to put a fresh spin on the roles each one exhibits and sets a striking reveal in the family. Joined by the separately impeccable art and colors from Schmidt and Di Meo that doesnt meld well, the book keeps the seemingly simple premise of the DC Universe battling vampires in a Secret Invasion-esque storyline fresh and unexpected.

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9.2
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #7

Jul 5, 2022

In a climate of Dark Crises, Flashpoint Beyonds, and Shadow Wars, which all claim to be the biggest events, and promise that the DC universe will never be the same, its refreshing to jump into a book like DC vs. Vampires. With issue 7, the book has proven that a simple story, amazing art, colors, and a fun, pulpy concept can mix and form a compelling read. For fans of DC characters or the fun sketches that grace Otto Schmidts social media, DC vs. Vampires is the book for you. Its nice to only have to worry about the continuity of six issues (or eight, depending on your tie-in opinions) instead of an entire decades worth.

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9.2
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #8

Aug 2, 2022

This book is a fun story, with pulpy art, vibrant colors, and stunning lettering choice, but above all else, is a great reminder of Schmidts talents and a portfolio for various books that he would crush if given the chance. Its an honest tragedy that Schmidt has never worked on a Birds of Prey series (either an ongoing or a mini), and every issue of DC vs. Vampires proves that a Justice League Dark with Schmidts visual of magic would be spellbinding. Hopefully just as DCeased gave Tom Taylors career a push, Schmidt will make a bigger footprint and get more opportunities to play in various parts of the DC sandbox.

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8.8
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #9

Sep 27, 2022

As the series flies into its third act, DC vs. Vampires #9 reminds why this is one of the most fun titles DC is putting on stands.

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10
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #10

Oct 25, 2022

DC vs. Vampires #10 is an excellent escalation of the plots established in the last issue, translating the visual style of Schmidt into a moving pace that barrels towards the inevitable conclusion of heroes vs vampires. The scale and color palette of this issue channel the aesthetic of a DC crisis, and gives this series a fun dramatic core, as though it's a sense of pulpy counterprogramming to the mainline event taking place on the other end of DCs publishing landscape. With a strong script full of fully realized characters, dynamic art, and a powerful color palette, DC vs. Vampires holds up as one of the best books that DC is putting out right now.

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10
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #11

Nov 23, 2022

DC vs. Vampires #11 begins its ending with a bang and multiple jaw-dropping action sequences that showcase the full range of the creative teams talents. Tynion and Rosenbergs script starts to bring various plot elements and new elements that feel like organic additions, to Schmidts art that capture the electricity of kinetic action, and the coloring and lettering that reinforce the art and its clarity, this issue does not miss. Its a tragedy that this series is coming to an end with the next issue, but one can only hope that it will share success like similar series DCeased, and see the creative reunite every few years to deliver more art and stories in the vein of DC vs. Vampires.

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10
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #12

Dec 27, 2022

DC vs. Vampires#12 is a perfect close for the title, working to bring the final confrontation between Batgirl and Vampire King Dick Grayson to a close while hinting at a possible future for the title. Tynion and Rosenbergs script balances resolution and set-up to great effect, ensuring a satisfying read while offering a tease at a potential future conflict in this world. The script accomplishes this through strong characterization, working with Schmidts emotionally kinetic linework and pulsating colors. The art and colors are the most memorable element of this series, setting the title apart from anything else on the shelf. This book is a must-read for any DC fan, and a great way to draw new readers in, with strong characters thrown into a fun, cohesive Elseworld story.

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5.4
DC vs. Vampires (2021): Killers #1

Jun 28, 2022

DC vs. Vampires: Killers #1 is not an essential entry into the budding Vamps-verse, but its fun if uneven character study for Harley Quinn. Fans of the character, or just want to see more of the world controlled by the vampires may enjoy this issue, but otherwise, this may not be the book for those looking for a similar aesthetic as the main title. The art and coloring are inconsistent, highlighting just how distracting two distinct styles can be on a title when set next to one another. In a vacuum, this issue is a solid, fun one-shot, but it cant help but shrink against the stunning art and coloring of the main title and Otto Schmidt. With more tie-ins confirmed for this universe, it will be interesting to see if this inconsistent style continues, or if those other works will feel more cohesive with the foundation that the main title set.

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8
DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1

Aug 9, 2022

Fans looking for a DC universe that is coherent and willing to embrace its legacy without abandon should pick up this series, along with those interested in the intersection of the Superfamily and New Gods. On its own, War of the Dead Gods is a fun read but will benefit from going back and reading the other titles in the DCeased universe.

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8.2
DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #2

Sep 21, 2022

DCeased: War of the Dead Gods #2 is another strong step towards the inevitable conclusion to the zombie-themed universe. Taylors script builds off of and thrives thanks to the established lore of this universe while Hairsine and Lanning's art sells the action horror of the upcoming conflict. Supergirl steals the show in this issue, thanks to a brutal introduction, and stunning use of colors. Those colors give the book an additional dimension, especially when Lantern's rings fly, or energy krackles. It might be a little daunting to jump in now, but this issue makes the case to revisit and see what other seeds were planted in previous issues of DCeased.

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4.8
DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #3

Oct 18, 2022

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #3 is a mixed bag, offering a poignant funeral for a fallen hero and little else. A majority of the story, revealing the scale of the spreading anti-life infection, would have worked better as a separate one-shot or prelude issue. Instead, it breaks up the flow set by the first two issues and downgrades the threat of Darkseid once again, falling into a shadow cast by titles like Dark Crisis. Now that the book has finished its table-setting and has revealed the true villain of the final miniseries, hopefully, the book will regain its focus and dive straight back into what made the first two series such a juggernaut in both writing and art.

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7.4
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Gang War (2023) #1

Dec 27, 2023

Instead of being a breakout issue, Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu: Gang War #1 ends up delivering an enjoyable, if predictable, tie-in to Gang War. The book is at its best in its action sequences, or in the exploration of Shang-Chis inner conflicts, but falls flat in the delivery of visuals in these introspective moments. The book approaches the status of moving past being just a tie-in status but doesnt quite reach its goal. Hopefully, the next issue will recalibrate after the establishment of the new status quo and strive to reach the highs that should come with the mantle of Master of Kung Fu.

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10
Deep Cuts (2023) #1

Apr 26, 2023

Deep Cuts #1 is an excellent intro that infuses a tangible tempo into the story of a young man finding his way in the world. The books focus on how the music exists on the page, and how it changes based on character, location, and intention creates a fascinating juxtaposition of sound. The creative team utilizes their craft to ensure the music plays to the story, and vice versa, making it an integral part of the story that many music-themed books lack. Even without a soundtrack playing in the background, the music sings throughout this comic and draws the reader in, reminding them to experience each beat in the moment.

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5.6
Edge of Spider-Verse (2023) #3

Jun 21, 2023

Edge of Spider-Verse#3 is a mixed bag of a comic, with a strong script and fairly consistent art for the Spider-Smasher story, and a hollow execution of Spider-Boys next installment. Of the two, its a shame that Spider-Smasher does not have an ongoing plot or title, as it tells the more interesting story that remixes known continuity and characters to new effect. With the right push, it could be the nextRenew Your VowsorSpider-Gwenand give Miles a boost by fleshing out his supporting casts staying power.

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10
G.O.D.S. (2023) #1

Oct 4, 2023

G.O.D.S. #1 is a powerhouse first issue that trades in the typical tropes of a Hickman comic for something more personal, driven by raw emotion rather than endless plotting. The issue captures a doomed romance and bittersweet melancholy for the new characters of Wyn and Aiko, building up their hurt hidden beneath titles of cosmic magnitude. Schiti takes that emotional core and refines it by infusing an effortless charm to the designs and establishing a striking visual language for the massive ideas unfolding on the page.

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10
G.O.D.S. (2023) #2

Nov 8, 2023

G.O.D.S. #2 continues to function as a reinvention of the Marvel cosmic pantheon by exploring the concrete, human element of the shared universe. The last issue used a doomed romance as its way into this world of high-flying concepts and warring fundamental elements, and this time, Hickman highlights the insatiable nature of the smart and curious to drive the plot forward. Paired with Schitis bombastic, energetic art that gives a deeper sense of life on every page, the book thrives in its human approach to these cosmic elements. Garcias coloring matches the magic and emotion, creating a rich cohesion between the two warring factions. This is an excellent follow-up issue that again shows the breadth of talent behind the story, offering some of the most interesting ideas at Marvel at the moment.

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10
G.O.D.S. (2023) #3

Dec 20, 2023

G.O.D.S. #3 is a dense, rich issue that builds up and delivers on the two central elements of this book. The grounded, human qualities and the infinity, abstract wonders come into contact, making for a collision of mystery and motive. Filled to the brim with foreshadowing, conceptual beings, and archetypal tragedy, the issue makes the case for why the premise of this series is such a slam dunk sell. The artwork from Schiti and colors from Gracia reinforce those diverse elements that harmonize into a compelling melody of fascinating mystery. With each issue, G.O.D.S. solidifies itself as a book that feels closer to encapsulating the beating heart of Marvel, which every fan of the shared universe should be reading.

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8.2
G.O.D.S. (2023) #4

Jan 24, 2024

Magic, and its various depictions, sit at the heart of G.O.D.S. #4 just as the book makes its first foray into depicting the true forms of abstract beings. Hickman retains the human approach to the story as Robert and Wynn lie at the center of the issue. Schiti elevates these two in a series of repeating panels that showcase the art and colors genius approach to depicting the manipulation of time and spells. Schiti is also allowed to deepen Wynns character while revealing the otherworldly designs for abstract beings like The In-Betweener and Oblivion. With four issues under its belt, it has become clear that this series is a consistently great exploration of character and cosmology.

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10
G.O.D.S. (2023) #5

Feb 22, 2024

Schiti understands the dynamic and plays them both up, maximizing the pivotal suffering of the story. Balanced with Gracias coloring, which plays the two palettes of magic for stunning contrast, the issue is a rich entry into the wider tapestry. Each of these elements compounds to reach the full tragedy of magic's cost, filtered through the lens of Mia in her role as a budding mage. As this title moves to its conclusion in issue #8, let this review serve as a reminder to pick it up and read it for some career-best work from Hickman, Schiti, and the rest of the creative team.

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10
G.O.D.S. (2023) #6

Mar 28, 2024

G.O.D.S. #6 continues its winding road through the re-establishment of Marvel's cosmology by taking one of the more straightforward fantasy plots, the deal at the crossroads, and placing the avatar of science and logic, Aiko directly in the center of it. Hickmans scripting makes an excellent meal out of the pairing, letting the contradiction propel the story into its next major turn. Schiti picks up that sense of opposition as he places a core emphasis on Aiko as a person while grappling with the sheer magnitude of the cosmic deities. The compositions and linework always favor the smaller individual, reveling in her expressions while Aiko strives to right her wrongs. When overlapped with the regality of Gracias palette, it becomes evident that there is an undercurrent of mythology underpinning the vast cosmic canvas of the series.

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7.6
Gold Goblin (2022) #1

Nov 16, 2022

Theres a lot to like about Gold Goblin #1, thanks in a large part to the expressive colors and innovative layouts throughout the issue. This story ultimately doesnt strike the right emotional chords, due to the large nature of superhero titles and the revolving door of status quos for Spider-Man characters, but it cant be denied the book has merits in all departments. As is the case with many first issues, the creative team may be able to sway with later issues and overcome the hurdles that haunt the character of Norman Osborn, both in the context of the story and his large publication history.

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10
It's Jeff (2023) #1

Mar 29, 2023

Its Jeff! #1 is the perfect read for fans of comic strips and funny books, delighting in the moments between issues of the Marvel universe. Thompson and Gurihiru capture the essentials of every Marvel character they bring to the page, often for the delivery of a great joke or bit. That combined with the stylized art and unique coloring gives this book the look of what should be everyones next favorite cartoon. Fans of this book luckily wont have to suffer and wait for more stories, as the second season of Its Jeff! is already available on Marvel Unlimited, with more issues coming soon.

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6
Justice League: Last Ride #1

Nov 9, 2021

The best way to describe Justice League: Last Ride #7, and the book as a whole, is a book that just functions. Its not unfair to say that making a comic is a small miracle, no matter at what level its being made. Last Ride gets the reader from point A to point B, but only the premise and end have any weight or legs to them, with everything in the middle falling to the wayside. The biggest hope to have for the book is it hopefully sets up a more interesting status quo going forward for the DC Universe, continuing the elements that worked in the book.

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6.8
Justice League: Last Ride #5

Sep 16, 2021

Its a shame that the issue, and the "Last Ride" as a whole, has this discombobulated feeling. On paper, the book has everything going for it: a killer writer, a chance to explore the DC universe outside the bounds of continuity, and emotional status quo that earns the title of a page-turner. Unfortunately, the book doesnt slot these elements together, and will burn out as another forgettable miniseries in DCs experimental phase.

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7.2
Justice League: Last Ride #6

Oct 12, 2021

Its hard to settle on where Last Ride falls, as its a walking contradiction of quality. The story and art never feel sloppy or unprofessional, but they constantly oscillate between rout tropes of modern superhero comics and trying to meditate on the way death alters chosen family dynamics. Maybe its because the story never crystalizes into something meaningful but finds itself rehashing the same tired beats of the Justice League over and over again.

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9
Knight Terrors: Nightwing (2023) #1

Jul 18, 2023

Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 is a Non-Euclidean execution of a comic tie-in, delivering something that can typically be an adjacent story but evokes a different shape as a whole. Cloonan and Conrad interject a strong voice that feels in line with Taylors depiction of that character, but distorted thanks to the premise of the larger event. The use of nightmares and a horror framework allows for the familiar art of Di Nicuolo and Lucass colors to feel wrong in the best way. Its a disarming use of visual continuity to explore the unsettling geometry of nightmares.

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9.6
Knight Terrors: Nightwing (2023) #2

Aug 15, 2023

While paired with Di Nicuolos art, the book plays up the hyper-stylized art to tap into the uncanny, making every design feel wrong and right all at the same time. Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2 is a proof of concept that a strong creative team can thrive with the limits of a short tie-in and gives a springboard for Nightwings character growth as the character returns to the waking world.

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8
Knight Terrors: Ravager (2023) #1

Jul 4, 2023

Knight Terrors: Ravager #1 is a competent tie-in story that uses the premise of a big two event to dig into the interiority of its lead. Brisson singles out Ravagers past and uses the two-part story to dig into her trauma as it relates to the nightmare realm. Soys linework emphasizes emotion and action, using the excuse of a nightmare to heighten the emotion to ten for great effect. The sensibilities of an action-packed superhero comic are well translated to the monster/slasher vein of horror, and the coloring plays on this thanks to the flashes of red. Knight Terrors: Ravager #1 is not groundbreaking and as a part of the larger event, is hard to recommend to the casual reader, but for fans of Ravager and Stormwatch, this is an excellent continuation of the ongoing story Brisson is telling.

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9
Knight Terrors: Ravager (2023) #2

Aug 1, 2023

The two-issue structure of Knight Terrors: Ravager #2 allows for a tight, concise character exploration through the lens of slasher tropes and high-octane superheroic action. Brissons script weaves Ravagers past, inner doubts, and the terror of the Murder Man into a final product that provides a strong sense of catharsis for the character, with a bit of lingering doubt for the future. Paired with Soys art which blends the tones to create two distinct but cohesive action set-pieces full of monstrous spiders and evil blood men. The two-part story is an excellent way to sample the Stormwatch story unfolding in Batman: The Brave and the Bold with an original twist in the form of slasher tropes.

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10
Love Everlasting #1

Aug 11, 2022

This is a book that feels like its going to quickly escape the orbit of the romance genre and move into something more sinister and cosmic, whether that be in a philosophical, literal, or technical way is yet to be seen. Fans of works that transcend genre and twist their form will love this issue, and with an issue this strong, it's hard not to sign up for the Everlasting Productions newsletter for more of the story immediately.

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10
Love Everlasting #2

Sep 17, 2022

Love Everlasting #2 has the pressure of following up a near-perfect first issue, while also maintaining the momentum of romance turned mystery, and does so with flying colors. This issue takes the time to slow down, revealing more about what Joan experiences each time shes thrown into a new life and romance. It also acclimates the audience to how shes adapting to the cycle. The balance of taboo romance and action is excellent in both the script and layouts, with Charretier, Hollingsworth, and Cowles all exceeding expectations in their work on the page. Its not too late to pick this issue and the first up if you missed them, and issue #2 promises theres so much beyond tales of romance in store for the series. (Though the romance is an excellent element of this book.)

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10
Love Everlasting #3

Oct 13, 2022

Love Everlasting #3 plays with its structure and establishes an internal rhyming scheme that ensures that familiar plot beats avoid feeling worn while delivering an excellent bit of insight into Joans doomed loop. Kings script is an excellent execution of familiar tropes and the diverging paths of romance, while Charretier mixes modern and classic artistic sensibilities to highlight that immutable endpoint for Joan. Pairing that sense of finality with Hollingsworths beautiful and sensory-evoking colors is an excellent decision that sells the sweeping emotional core to the book and makes it one of the best titles on shelves.

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10
Love Everlasting #4

Nov 11, 2022

Love Everlasting #4 is the best issue yet of the series, which speaks to the high quality of the series as a whole. Much of that praise is thanks to both Kings script and Charretiers art, which play in realms theyre both familiar with, but make subtle changes, ensuring that the story and craft on display feel new and experimental. Adding Hollingsworths excellent colors that reinforce the emotional core of the issue, the inherent tragedy of love during wartime, and the respites from that crushing reality in the form of Claytons lettering, its impossible not to be affected by the issue. With craft at this level, its insane to think people arent picking up the series, and should go to the top of every pull list.

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10
Love Everlasting #5

Dec 17, 2022

Those consistent shifts ensure that the book retains its timeless feel even as it continues to root itself in the costuming and coloring of each era. This issue indicates there may be a healthy mix of these episodic and mythology issues in the seriess run, ensuring one style of storytelling doesnt drag too long. Those a little tired of the repeating, seemingly self-contained stories should give this issue a try, showing theres great potential for variety in the series.

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10
Love Everlasting #6

Apr 5, 2023

Love Everlasting #6 is a striking pivot as it begins the books second arc, changing the rules of the story to deliver unexpected beats. Kings script manages to subvert expectations in a natural way that ensures the looping nature of the story doesnt wear on the audience. Charretier employs an oscillating level of detail to play on the action/inaction of the characters in this issue, depending on their role in the overarching formula of Joans love loops. Hollingsworth then taps into that subversion of the norm by constructing color thresholds that divide the expected from the unexpected. This issue alone may not win over new readers but is a great reinvention that combats any doubts existing readers may have about the structure of the series.

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10
Love Everlasting #8

Jun 8, 2023

Love Everlasting #8 is a great showcase for the creative team to experiment and play with form, using the visual language established in the previous issues to reveal Joans mental state. Whether it be the narrative rhymes in Kings script, the echoes of last issues claustrophobic layouts from Charretier, or subtle shifts in Hollingsworths colors and Cowles letter, this issue is a success in breaking and reestablishing the elements of the books reality. This experimentation ensures the book never feels stagnant or dragging as it settles into 1963, and the dull, mundane life Joan finds herself trapped in.

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10
Love Everlasting #9

Jul 5, 2023

Charretier captures this through her use of anatomy and harsher linework, showing the cracks of people through her timeless style. Hollingsworth builds on this by first twisting the palette of previous issues to dig into the pain and regrets of love, before using a lack of color to illustrate the detachment that comes with death. Love Everlasting #9 is a gut punch of a story, and hammers the fact that love does not last forever, and plenty of pain comes with it.

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10
Love Everlasting #10

Aug 3, 2023

Love Everlasting proves it still has plenty up its sleeve as it closes its second arc, and remains as mysterious and bittersweet as the love it depicts.

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10
Love Everlasting #11

Jan 3, 2024

The trapping of the western is used to lull readers into a sense of familiarity before making a huge narrative shift in Love Everlasting #11. Kings scripting expertly pivots the expectations of the romance to deliver a fascinating origin story that begs for a follow-up, to show the cowboy goes from searching for his love to killing her instead. Charretier illustrates a Western story that bucks the idealized trend of these stories and adapts to the more realistic form of love on display. These notions clash with Hollingsworths colors, which oscillate between the typical romanticized colors of a Western and something more original. With this issue, the ongoing story of Joan takes another detour that makes the antagonist even more compelling as mysteries continue to unravel.

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5
Luke Cage: Gang War (2023) #1

Nov 29, 2023

An uneven debut is a shame for Luke Cage: Gang War #1, which started with an excellent premise and opportunity for fresh artistic opportunities. Instead, what was delivered was a solid script undercut by a safe yet bland art style and restrained color palette. The lack of a creative or developed costume for Cages vigilante moonlighting could have been a saving grace for the series, but instead exemplifies everything wrong with it; directionless, boring, and afraid to play up the bigger status quo.

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10
Mindset (2022) #1

Jun 18, 2022

Mindset #1 is a form of brainwashing itself, drawing one in and leaving one with a desire for more. Between Kaplans excellent and well-plotted script, and Pearsons gorgeous and wildly interpretive style, Mindset is an intriguing start to a mystery steeped in a thematic question that leaves plenty to chew on. Like any good speculative fiction, it lodges a central question into the audiences minds and compels them to ponder the implications of the subject matter. The creative team works in perfect unison to play up that subjective view of reality and every element of the book influences the core question of how much our decisions are controlled by outside forces.

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8.8
Moon Knight (2021) #13

Jul 13, 2022

Moon Knight #13 is a firm place to start for new readers of the book and continuing fans, as it contextualizes the previous issues and advances plots from early arcs. With a gorgeous color palette and strong art overlaid on an excellent plot full of deep cuts, its not hard to see why Mark Spector has been able to survive the year and barrel forward in this volume. With an arc centered around vampire pyramid schemes and d-list villains, one can hope that the book will continue the spirit that makes it unique and that the art will take crazy swings as the plot continues to unfold.

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8.8
Moon Knight (2021) #14

Aug 4, 2022

Moon Knight #14 is a great example of what a writer can achieve by playing the long game with established tropes and continuity. MacKays decision to split the issues focus between a villain battle and tensions with the personalities gives the script an uneven feeling but is made up for by powerful art and popping colors. If the future issues in the arc find their footing in the balance between internal and external, then this run of Moon Knight is shaping up to be one of the strongest yet.

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9
Moon Knight (2021) #15

Sep 7, 2022

Moon Knight #15 is a strong entry into the Moon Knight canon, balancing old and new to deliver an entertaining installment in an arc that couldve otherwise felt scattered. Mackays script deftly handles Marcs Dissociative Identity Disorder and its place in the vigilantes characterization. Paired with Cappuccios strong linework and Rosenbergs inspired palettes, the team manages to streamline a story with multiple moving parts, while maintaining various aesthetics and vibes that the series has employed since its first issue.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #16

Oct 20, 2022

Moon Knight #16 is an excellent set-up issue, reaffirming the stakes of the run while giving more insight into the current antagonist's plans. It also expands the supernatural underworld of New York, establishing a new subset of vampires and linking to various plots of other Marvel books. The true hero of the issue is Cappuccios art and Rosenbergs colors, the two elevating the story through strong visuals and two opposed palettes that give distinct but similar aesthetics that speak to the cohesion of the two plotlines. This book is an excellent place for new fans to jump on, thanks to the excellent contextualizing MacKays script does. Its also rewarding for continued readers, deepening everything thats made the run so strong over the last 15 issues.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #17

Nov 9, 2022

Moon Knight #17 continues the excellence of its entire creative team, allowing Cappuccios pencils and Rosenbergs colors to shine. The art and coloring play with the expectations and established visual style of the book to present terrifying applications of the two crafts while establishing the versatility of established continuity. MacKays script echoes previous issues and cultivates seeded elements to build tension and craft an excellent sequence of evocative terror. It also subtly affirms some bits of the Moon Knight/Khonshu lore through tight, lean storytelling, making for an enthralling read on levels.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #18

Dec 30, 2022

Moon Knight #18 is a great conclusion to the vampire pyramid scheme story and makes use of its shift in artist to break from the overly action-oriented previous issues. MacKays writing plays up the theatrical nature of Moon Knight and evokes a different aspect of the avatar status of the hero. These elements combined with Sabbatinis ability to render emotional conversations and grandstanding ensure a compelling read before any fighting breaks up. Rosenbergs coloring is a perfect compliment to the styling, subtly shifting its palette to match the emotional core of the issue.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #21

Mar 8, 2023

Moon Knight #21 is a perfect reminder of what makes the series such a fun and compelling read every month, thanks to its combination of long-game characterization and established aesthetics. MacKay moves out of the Moon Knight perspective and puts a focus on Reese, giving the book a refreshing heat that extends into the coloring and lettering choices of the issue. Cappuccios art captures that balance as it plays on the anatomy and physicality of both characters while working with Rosenbergs colors to play on the strengths of the series. Even 20 issues in, this book is proof that extended runs are not a diminishing return, and make the case for allowing a run to breathe and develop.

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8.8
Moon Knight (2021) #22

Apr 14, 2023

Rosenbergs coloring plays into that as well, utilizing the books color palette to twist the knife of emotion in the rooftop sequence. This issue is a microcosm of what makes this book such an interesting read month to month and speaks to the serialized aspect of comics. Its hard to steer readers wrong when recommending this book, as it delivers on all levels and offers something for everyone, whether it be classic comic references, strong character work, or stunning paneling and layouts.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #23

May 3, 2023

Moon Knight #23 is an example of the perfect crossover story, delivering an organic reason for the guest character to appear, and using it to progress the story while delivering a new spectacle. MacKays voice for this version of Venom feels in line with the character and tone of Moon Knight, and his narrative direction ensures the issue feels like a natural progression of the series. Not only does Venoms appearance progress the larger story, but it also allows Cappuccio to illustrate a strong, extended fight sequence and create a contrasting figure to Moon Knight. These depictions are bolstered thanks to Rosenbergs colors, which mold and adapt to the new addition and make it feel like a fun experiment. Fans of Venom will want to check out this issue, the story serving as a good gateway into the run as it heads to its landmark issue and upcoming spinoff series.

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9.2
Moon Knight (2021) #24

Jun 14, 2023

Moon Knight remains one of the strongest titles that Marvel is putting out to shelves, and each element of the book reinforces that status. Even as the storys finish line starts to come into focus, MacKay and co. ensure the issue never feels the downsides to that. Instead, Moon Knight #24 is a great reminder of what makes this title so special as it switches gears into its other mode of storytelling.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #25

Jul 12, 2023

Rosenbergs colors mirror the experience, deploying the typical hues on one page, and then exploring new palettes on another. One would think it would be hard to recommend new readers to the series with this issue, but the issue provides enough context and weaves new information to draw readers (new and old) in. Perfect comics are hard to come by, and assigning number ratings can be difficult to reflect this. But in the case of Moon Knight #25, theres no doubt this is a perfect issue in a run thats more hit than miss.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #26

Aug 2, 2023

Moon Knight #26 is a gripping look at Hunters Moons handling of his incomplete resurrection. MacKay uses that as an opportunity to take the established tropes of his run and transpose them to a new character as a cipher into the character of Badr. Sabbatinis art builds on the divergence of perspective to showcase action that brings the holy avatar into the dirt of the earth. Compounded by a new stream of colors, basking in the sickly yellows of the underground and the exalted golds of Hunters Moon costume. The art and coloring use these to unearth the emotion buried underneath logic and belief and establish a strong path forward for the rest of MacKays run.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #27

Sep 6, 2023

Moon Knight #27 transitions the book into its final stretch, utilizing that transformative energy to explore new dimensions that feel like a natural progression of the story being told. MacKays scripting sheds its episodic structure to adopt a serialized final set of issues. Sabbitini taps in to deliver both a crazed version of Vibros mindscape and captures the energy of transiting from action to emotional storytelling to ground the issue as it enters the final fight with Black Spectre. Rosenbergs coloring once again ties everything together and makes the transitions feel deliberate on every page. The book has once again proved it has tricks up its sleeves, and makes a pivot feel like the most vital element of the book even as the endgame comes into focus.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #28

Oct 18, 2023

Moon Knight #28 is a pitch-perfect story for the character, taking the best elements of the run and elevating them thanks to heightened stakes and continued practice. McKay begins to pay off the investment of characters over the last few years, as he allows the characters to thrive in their quiet moments before battle. Sabbatinis art is at its apex, working in bits of Cappuccios style for a striking one-two punch of bittersweet emotion and cascading action. The coloring choices from Rosenberg work as the glue that binds the issue together and makes the final product strong on the page. This is an issue that rewards long-time readers while showing what is possible when a creative team is given the time and space to build up a run and tell a sweeping story that remains firmly planted in character.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #29

Nov 29, 2023

Moon Knight #29 is an arresting penultimate chapter to this story, weaving action and organic character beats to tell a compelling story of a climactic battle. MacKays scripting channels the history and established lore of this era, using it as a springboard to rich and unique character beats. Working in unison with Sabbatinis dynamic pencils and Rosenbergs extensive colors, the book establishes just how important a strong foundation and room to breathe are for developing a successful and satisfying ongoing story. Like every issue of this run, this is a great place to jump on and could be a great introduction that inspires a read of the series at large.

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10
Moon Knight (2021) #30

Dec 13, 2023

Moon Knight #30 offers a satisfying conclusion to a later run of serialized fiction, bypassing the trappings of a conclusion to deliver affecting emotional beats. Theres a real sense of tragedy and resolve in the closing pages of this story, built around the natural progression Marc has made since the start of the story. Working with Cappuccios sharp, haunting linework, the book delivers a few surprises in the form of Khonshu and more. Rosenbergs colors build this out further and codify the specific tones and palette into the canon of Moon Knight as the book reaches its close. The story is set to continue in a new series from MacKay and Cappuccio, and this issue is just a stark reminder this series should be read from start to finish.

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9
Moon Knight (2021) Annual #1

Oct 27, 2022

The annual is also a chance for Sabbatinis art to get an extra polish with some additional pages and show an interesting change in style for the internal story aspects of the issue. The art is consistently great and feels like a step in the right direction for the artist. Paired with Rosenbergs excellent as-ever colors that give this issue and the main title their distinct flair, its not hard to recommend checking out this annual. If it strikes a chord for new readers, including those interested in certain characters after a recent Disney+ Special Presentation or monster themed anthology from Marvel, then it's a great litmus test for the regular Moon Knight title.

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10
Moon Knight: City of the Dead (2023) #1

Jul 19, 2023

The art for the issue packs a punch thanks to its balance of clarity and kinetic action, ensuring that theres a weight to the action and emotion even as the world shifts around the characters. It makes for an excellent showcase of the strong pairing of gritty street-level action and high-concept mythical elements. Fans of the main Moon Knight book will want to pick this up immediately, and those not reading either will want to check out this fascinating exploration of the character and the elements that intersect to make Moon Knight such a unique character in the fabric of the Marvel universe.

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9.8
Moon Knight: City of the Dead (2023) #2

Aug 23, 2023

Ferreiras art for the issue picks this up, blending action and expressive character work to highlight the tragedy of Marc and Laylas past. Rosenbergs coloring and Petits lettering respectively give additional weight to the duality of the story and action. City of the Dead #2 is an example of an additional title building off the main series while developing a unique concept and voice, removing any doubts of redundancy.

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7.6
Moon Knight: City of the Dead (2023) #3

Sep 27, 2023

Based on solicits, this was a one-issue fill-in, but it's a shame after seeing how well alternating artists can elevate a book with the main Moon Knight title. This, however, is not enough to recommend dropping the book, and the scripting and coloring still offer enough engaging insight to warrant another issue at the very least.

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10
Moon Knight: City of the Dead (2023) #4

Oct 11, 2023

Alongside the thick, weighted linework, the book thrives in its fluid depiction of color, and how those palettes influence the emotion of the book. The previous issue may have stumbled, suffering a stumble when it crossed a threshold to quote Campbell. With this issue, the creative team has proved there is a chance for change and sets the stage for the next step in Moon Knights journey.

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10
Moon Knight: City of the Dead (2023) #5

Nov 22, 2023

Rounded out by Rosenbergs palette, which unifies the various designs and elements, the book sticks the landing in a genuine tale of myth, monsters, and managing the guilt of a hero. Sometimes the Big 2 needs a meat-and-potatoes comic like this to get into the heart of the characters and add a layer of substance.

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10
Newburn #1

Nov 3, 2021

Newburn#1 is one of those books that feel like it has the legs to be a sleeper hit. It has a stunning team from a prestigious independent publisher, a brilliant premise with room to run thanks to its episodic nature and an excellent tone and mood. It doesnt hurt that it feels like it belongs in the canon of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' criminal underworld of comics, while still feeling wholly original and originating from the voice and style of Zdarsky and Phillips. Like the best episodes of Columbo, theres a sense of set-up, intrigue and then a twist or pivot that rings tried and true, and will keep you coming back week, or in the case of comics, month to month for that winning experience.

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10
Newburn #2

Dec 15, 2021

Newburn #2 is a triumph of exposition and information, with Zdarsky and Phillips trickling the knowledge of just who Newburn is as he unravels various crimes across his city. The creative duo uses this issue to dig further into the man who works with every criminal organization in the city, and just what type of person it takes to do that. Paired masterfully with Zdarsky's control of exposition are the inspired visuals of Phillips, which at first glance appear as simplistic and muted, but upon further investigation, become clear indications of the controlled evil and darkness that permeates the world of Newburn.

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9.2
Newburn #3

Feb 3, 2022

With only three cases solved, Zdarsky and Phillips have proven that Newburn is more than an interesting premise masquerading as a procedural. With a willingness to embrace the formal aspects of the genre, while still subverting expectations, Newburn feels right at place in Images renaissance of crime comics. While some elements of Zdarksy's scripting feel a little unpolished, it's clear that the book is already close to the top of its game and belongs on any crime fan's shelf.

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10
Newburn #4

Mar 5, 2022

Newburn #4 is another win for both Zdarsky and Phillips, continuing a stunning run of procedural stories that still feel connected and building to something larger. The book has a lean script from Zdarsky that throws more pieces onto the board, and visually atmospheric art from Phillips that plays to both his strengths and the strengths of the genre. Its a wonderful execution of those pulpy elements and establishes the creative teams vision. With the sheer amount of players and stories the two appear to have for this world, hopefully, the book can continue at this trajectory and continue to be a refreshing monthly title.

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10
Newburn #5

Mar 30, 2022

With five issues under its belt, Zdarsky and Phillips Newburn is one of the best indie books out at the moment. Its pure procedural storytelling and captivating art packed into 17 pages. Like any good network procedural show, it knows exactly what buttons to push, and never overstays its time. Like Newburn the character itself, the series is a lean, mean crime-solving machine and is a delight to have on a pull list every month. For anyone looking for that fix of smart, concise storytelling and masterful linework, and inspired coloring, Newburn is the perfect series to pick up.

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10
Newburn #6

Apr 27, 2022

That scene is a great micro-example of an artist getting to hone sequences and their storytelling while working as the singular creator in terms of the finished product. Its a testament to both Zdarskys skill as a writer to trust Phillips storytelling decisions as the artist, colorist, and letterer, to convey those little details that compound to the intended effect, and to Phillips' ability to execute the written word and tell the story and action through his visuals. Newburn is one of the strongest crime books currently on shelves with Image (which is saying something when looking at that shelf as a whole) and deserves to be on everyones pull list. Its a book that keeps on giving and feels just as rewarding as snapping interior pieces into a work-in-progress jigsaw puzzle.

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10
Newburn #7

May 25, 2022

Newburn #7 is an issue that excels in channeling conflict into an inspiring story. Every aspect of the book, from the writing to pencils to colors should be used to teach tension and conflict to storytellers. Zdarskys words paired with Phillipss art allow the story to unfold at the perfect pace, never lingering in the past, but giving it the time and space it deserves. As Newburn continues to heat up with the looming gang war, and Emilys past catching up with her, this is the book that deserves to be at the top of every pull list.

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10
Newburn #8

Jun 22, 2022

Newburn#8 is a triumph as it concludes the first volume of the series, bringing together the seemingly standalone cases of the first few issues and the interwoven crimes of the later issue to one tight, coherent resolution. Zdarsky and Phillips knock that resolution out of the park, with the writing, art, and coloring all working to perfectly show Newburns further descent into darkness and shift the pieces on the board of this rich city full of criminal players. Now that the first volume has wrapped up, the series proves Zdarsky and Phillips stuck the landing and will be the perfect trade to hand to people who love a good mystery and wonderfully written characters. With a confirmed volume two coming Fall of 2022, Zdarsky and Phillips leave plenty of time to reread the first eight issues, again and again, to glean new clues and little details that may have been missed the first time around.

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10
Newburn #9

Jul 26, 2023

Newburn #9 is an immediate return to form for Zdarsky, Phillips, and Martin, weaving episodic and serialized storytelling to continue the widening gap between Newburn and Emily. Each element of the issue works to deepen the world, as more components of this criminal society come to light. Phillips interjects strong emotional movements thanks to detailed linework and shifting colors. The backup from Brothers and Dragotta makes for an enthralling read that feels like a shout compared to the soft-spoken Newburn story. Its an excellent pairing that emphasizes the dynamic nature of crime storytelling and the power art and color bring to the genre.

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10
Newburn #10

Aug 23, 2023

Whether it be in the form of a color palette that doesnt betray the surface-level sense of calm or the use of cluttering panels that speed up the previously methodical pace, the game is evident but the motive behind it is still shrouded in questions. This issue feels like a calm before the storm and displays a level of craft from Zdarsky and Phillips that will keep you hooked until the tempest at bay arrives.

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10
Newburn #11

Sep 27, 2023

Newburn #11 is a prime example of how an established tone and rhythm can be twisted for maximum effect. Zdarsky takes the idea of clashing questions and applies it to the center of the Yakuza case from the first arc, which charts a path forward for Newburn and the other lead characters. Nothing in the issue is too shocking or out of line, but the constant affirmation of tone by Phillips in the spectrum of blues and the use of close-ups. Newburn and its creative team continue to uncover new ways to dig into these mysteries and concepts through character and coloring specifically.

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10
Newburn #12

Oct 26, 2023

With Newburn #12, a new wrinkle in the status quo of the criminals private detective makes for an excellent pivot as Emily revisits her past. The scripting for the issue forefronts character, letting the mystery take a backseat as detectives and their respective fears and doomed loves take center stage. The compositions and layouts build on that emotional core, highlighting what makes the book such a compelling read month to month. The linework pairs perfectly with the coloring to bolster both the bittersweet romance and explosive action to showcase the books range, selling the shift from breezy victory to desperate corner. Newburn continues to deliver high after high, proving itself to be one of the most consistently rich crime dramas on shelves.

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10
Newburn #13

Dec 20, 2023

Newburn #13 is the issue that shifts gears from network procedural to prestige streaming series, as it moves from the episodic case of the week to the systemic fall of the mob detective. Zdarsky pivots the storytelling to chronicle that fall stemming from Newburns hubris and attempts at total control, and builds on the reporter subplot as an excellent frame to the narrative. Phillipss art instills a steady rhythm to the book that is bolstered by flashes of coloring and SFX that signal the shift into the serialized. With only three issues to go, there is no doubt that the team will stick the landing, but the fun (and tension) comes from how they plan to stick it.

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10
Newburn #14

Jan 26, 2024

Newburn #14 delivers the riveting revelation of Newburns backstory, trading in tragedy and stylistic harmonies for maximum effect. Zdarskys script bypasses the worries of revealing backstory by operating in the twisted cycle of Newburn and Emily, establishing the similarities, and more importantly, the differences between the duo. Phillipss art reinforces those moments through the use of detailed anatomy and expression. Paired with the subtle shift in color palette and lettering differences, the issue becomes the ultimate expression of never escaping your core, no matter how much you try and gain.

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10
Night Fever (2023) OGN

Jun 14, 2023

After the teams previous works, there should be no doubt that this book is a must-read, but its thrilling to see them excel at something new and original each time. Even after putting the book down, it will continue to haunt its audiences mind, creating a cycle of understanding as it compels the audience to read again, now in a similar headspace to the books protagonist in the opening.

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9.2
Nightwing (2016) #92

May 17, 2022

Nightwing #92 proves that the character is in good hands under the pencil of Taylor and Redondo. The entire creative teams ability to weave their way from the past and present of the Dick Grayson character, and by extension the supporting cast of the Batfamily, Titans, and Justice League, is a testament to their understanding of the characters.

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8.4
Nightwing (2016) #94

Jul 19, 2022

Nightwing #94 is a lesson in threading the needle between successful and unsuccessful slow burns in serialized fiction. The book tells a decompressed story that gives plenty of solid individual moments, but finally picks up the pace of the larger story to give the run a much needed jolt. Paired with mostly consistent art and strong colors, the issue reminds readers why this book remains a quiet favorite, popping up every month to provide some fun, well made comics. Hopefully, this issue gives that jolt needed to rocket the storyline forward, and Redondo can return in the next issue with feet running.

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9.2
Nightwing (2016) #95

Aug 16, 2022

Nightwing has been consistent thus far, if sometimes a little slow, so the series deserves the benefit of the doubt. Outside of its last page reveal, Nightwing #95 is a near-perfect issue and a return to form for the juggernaut team of Taylor, Redondo, and Lucas, doing a lot of work to highlight the past and future of Nightwing. Hopefully, the team will be able to stick with the landing of the Blockbuster arc, and at the very least, the run (and issue in particular) has given Nightwing a strong supporting cast and visual style that should continue long past this story.

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8.8
Nightwing (2016) #96

Sep 20, 2022

Nightwing #96 is a masterclass in the philosophy of less is more using simplistic shapes, plots, and color palettes to reinforce the emotional core of the story being told. The dynamic action sequences and cavalcade of characters are a strong selling point of this run, but the Dick/Barbara relationship and its momentum is the reason to pick this issue up. Its the hinge in which expectations can be subverted, and is used organically to let the couple, and the individual characters of Nightwing and Batgirl grow and develop. With a relaunch of the DC Universe incoming, and Nightwing front and center, one can only hope that these progressions of the character can pioneer the next chapter of the larger publishing line.

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9.4
Nightwing (2016) #97

Oct 18, 2022

The art shifts subtly but thrives thanks to the cohesive force of Lucass palette and Abbotts streamlined lettering. It doesnt take much to catch up, so its a high recommendation to jump on this book now. With the book approaching a landmark issue, and Nightwing taking the spotlight in titles across DCs plans post-Dark Crisis, its clear the hero is one to watch in the coming months, thanks in part to the high caliber set by this series.

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10
Nightwing (2016) #98

Nov 15, 2022

Nightwing #98 is another strong entry into the title run, using a chance in the artist to accelerate the pace of the story and play in a different lane. Taylors script is an excellent showcase of legacy characters and builds a new and interesting facet to an existing character by building on a lesser-known DC crossover. Its a testament to the effectiveness of legacy and history in a shared universe and makes for an interesting commentary on the passing torch that comes with that shared history. As Nightwing supposedly leads the DC Universe into a new dawn following Dark Crisis, it's nice to see his solo title understands the character as a pillar of the legacy concept, and makes the case for the character to take that leading role.

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9
Nightwing (2016) #99

Dec 20, 2022

Nightwing continues as a flagship title for DC in terms of all-around quality, proving an investment in a title can lead to strong results. In an era of mainstream comics that feel chained to the structure of writing for a trade, Nightwing defies that notion by telling concise, long-spanning stories that offer just the right balance of set-up and execution. It helps that the visual language of the book has been well-established thanks to Lucass coloring, Filipes inks, and Abbotts lettering, working to unify the separate but cohesive artistic styles of Redondo and Borges. As Nightwing the book, and Nightwing the character make a stride to guiding the DC universe in a new direction over the next few months, this is the series to look to for lessons in making a tight, concise story that plays to the strength of the comic medium.

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8
Nightwing (2016) #102

Mar 21, 2023

Moores art is suited for this arc, thanks to the ability to mold each hero and their powerset, along with the horror-leaning villain. Lucass colors reinforce the best parts of the art while maintaining the tone and look of the overall series while making the best moments pop even more. Fans of the Titans will love this story, but those who fell for the more contained look at Dick and his personal life may find the issue a little shallow.

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9.2
Nightwing (2016) #103

Apr 18, 2023

Nightwing #103 is another strong entry into the heros ongoing story, balancing interesting action with compelling character to deliver a fun, high-flying adventure that doesnt look to reinvent the wheel. Taylors script hones into the comradery of the Titans as they battle hell for Olivias soul, putting character work before massive plot revelations. Moores art is the perfect fit for the blending of tones and locals, using close-ups and other panel layouts to deliver strong jokes and concise action. Lucass coloring brings everything together, tying it to the larger run and making this a story that feels vital to understanding the range that Nightwing taps into.

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8.8
Nightwing (2016) #104

May 23, 2023

Nightwing #104 is a strong conclusion to the current arc, utilizing its wider arc structure to also tie up loose plot points from across the run. Its a satisfying conclusion that feels weakest when having to seed the new Titans book but allows Taylor and Moore to showcase their strengths during a quiet conversation between Superman and Nightwing. The issue offers plenty of action alongside those quieter moments of reflection and gives Moore and Lucas a chance to show their range of craft. With that spinoff launched and Olivia safe, hopefully, the book will return to Bldhaven and recenter Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon for the next story.

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8.9
Nightwing (2016) #105

Jun 20, 2023

Nightwing #105 reaffirms its focus on the titular character through an experiment in form, shifting to a first-person perspective for the entire issue. Taylors scripting is simple but effective, laying the track for Redondos art to showcase the experimentation. The art evokes the hallmark of Redondos style but gets to play up the emotions and action to new levels thanks to the shift in form. The first-person perspective is a strong direction to recalibrate expectations for the title, as a new arc and story swings into place. This issue affirms the best parts of this run and offers an interesting jumping-on point for readers willing to step into Nightwings shoes.

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5.6
Nightwing (2016) #112

Mar 19, 2024

Just sailing by is the current mood of Nightwing with issue #112, due to a lack of interest in exploring new avenues and missing creators. There is little on any storytelling front that helps to justify this narrative pitstop between the books endgame, and not even the art or coloring can save the story. The expressions and human emotion scene-to-scene works thanks to consistent pencils and gorgeous pops of coloring, but the action or investigation lacks any sense of momentum or heft. It is a shame that Nightwing, the title, has reverted to this sense of safe storytelling after delivering the strongest story in years.

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9.6
Nightwing (2016) #113

Apr 16, 2024

Action and expression are the keys to Nightwing #113 (aka legacy #300), helping to establish an installment with one foot in the past and future all at once. Taylor is joined by Wolfman in a celebration of Dick Grayson and his endless optimism. Illustrating Nightwings giving nature by contrasting it with his birthday is an excellent narrative frame that establishes a tension that feels low stakes. That allows for the escalation of the Heartless plot in the switch from Di Nicuolos action-oriented artwork to the quieter linework of Redondo. The artwork is bridged by the warm, comforting coloring by Lucas. Beyond a great celebration of the Nightwing character, issue #113 is a moving meditation on George Prez, an artist gone too soon and such an instrumental part of the industry.

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9.6
Nightwing (2016) Annual: 2022

Nov 30, 2022

The 2022 Nightwing Annual is a perfect sampling of the current run, providing three stories that speak to the artist, narrative, and emotional sensibilities of the book. Its a rewarding read to current fans of the series, digging deeper into the key players of the run while reminding audiences of the stakes of the current villain, whos taken the backseat to recent issues. Its also a fun read for newcomers, offering snapshots into new characters and Nightwings role in the wider DC Universe. The art also sets an expectation for the style that appears in the main title while delivering different styles to Redondo linework. That expectation setting is also thanks to the cohesive colors and lettering from mainstays Lucas and Abbott.

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9
No / One (2023) #1

Mar 15, 2023

Those elements feed the noir aesthetic of the book and allow style to overtake the cracks of the book. Englert and Otsmane-Elhaous work on the coloring and lettering respectively reinforce those noir elements, playing up the hacker elements along with hard-hitting reporting. NO/ONE #1 and its accompanying podcast Who is NO/ONE is a fun read, and an even more compelling listen, that scratches an itch for street-level, noir-themed superhero mystery.

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9
No / One (2023) #2

Apr 19, 2023

This book feels like it was made for fans of an atmospheric, grounded Detective Comics arc, as it channels the feeling of a book from Bendis, Greg Rucka, or Ed Brubaker. Crime and mystery fans will be right at home with this issue, even if the larger Radiant Black line has not aligned with those readers interests. The bonus of the accompanying podcast helps to center it in that specific genre of storytelling, adding a true crime/journalistic heat that makes it stand apart from those previous reference points.

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10
No / One (2023) #3

May 17, 2023

Borgess art and Englert's colors emphasize the progression of the story through their contrast between the dialogue lead sequences and the action when NO/ONE strikes. By the end of this issue, and its accompanying podcast, parts of the picture come into focus, while others remain just out of sight. Its a compelling balance that ensures NO/ONE continues to enthrall readers and cross mediums to great effect.

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10
No / One (2023) #4

Jul 5, 2023

While that drives the bulk of the issue, the return of NO/ONE and their copycat provides an opportunity for strong, inventive art and resonant coloring that bolsters the underlying themes of the issue. Each element serves as a reminder that the title is less of a superhero story like the other installments of the Massive-Verse, but channels some of the kinetic action of the interconnected universe. Instead, NO/ONE focuses on a more grounded, more introspective exploration of systemic issues of justice in local communities.

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9
No / One (2023) #5

Aug 26, 2023

When the creative team does make the switch to the action, it operates on a similar level, using its various elements of craft to reinforce core ideas and necessary parts of the suspect list. NO/ONE #5 continues to be a wide-reaching, but hyper-focused exploration of vigilantism and journalism in a community. It shows that the creative team has the means, motive, and opportunity to tell a rich, compelling story that leads the audience to want more.

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10
Once & Future #20

Sep 22, 2021

The understanding of the story starts to bleed through, and it feels like the reading experience is shaped in the same way reality is with this book. Just as Duncan, Rose, and Gran chart a new course through the Otherworld, Gillen, Mora and Bonvillain chart a new course through the story of Once & Future. With that last page reveal, that new path forward is a fascinating wrinkle in the mythology of the world and our worlds mythology.

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10
Once & Future #21

Oct 27, 2021

Once & Future is a once and a lifetime book, in which the writer is breaking barriers in the way theyre telling the story, the artist is constantly bringing their art to new heights in both the action and quiet and the colorist is weaving an intricate and inspired sense of fantasy and wonder clashed with terror and violence. Issue #21 does not disappoint and is a reminder that stories can sustain and keep you going, to push you into doing whatever it is you want, or need to do.

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10
Once & Future #22

Dec 1, 2021

With 22 almost perfect issues under its belt, Once & Future continues to be one of the best independent books operating on the comic scene. The creative teamwork of Gillen, Mora, Bonvillain, and Dukeshire is one for the history books and will be immortalized in the minds of fans in the same way Shakespeare is for many. The books action is just another one of those aspects that proves the perfect sync that all of the creatives are in working on Once & Future and makes the book to be a continued delight to pick up month after month.

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10
Once & Future #23

Dec 29, 2021

Once & Future #23 is a visual feast that harmonizes with a gripping confrontation to present a wonderful tale about the generational pain of stories. The creative team feels like a band playing bangers after banger, working in tandem to get the blood pumping before the next big set. Even in a quieter issue with less action and more character work, the team gives it their all and reminds the reader why Once & Futureis one of the best books on the spinner rack.

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10
Once & Future #24

Jan 27, 2022

Once & Future #24 feels like a myth wrapped in a story in a bulletproof vest. Gillen is clearly interested in tackling the clashing identity of Britain through the lens of a literal Arthurian civil war. Working hand in hand with Gillens ambitious meta-discussion, Mora andBonvillain do next-level work making each interpretation of Arthur feel unique while still being based on a shared foundation. The symmetry that the three establish across the book is a stunning case of creators working in perfect sync and only proves this book is one of the best on the racks.

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10
Once & Future #25

May 4, 2022

With Once & Future hitting the 25-issue landmark, its clear the book has a fascination with how myths are twisted and interpreted. Gillens script provides Moras pencils, Bonvillains colors, and even Dukeshires letters the chance to subtly change and conform to the version of lore the story necessitates. This is one of the smartest books currently in the long boxes, and by far one of the most gorgeous, and deserves to be on everyones pull list. My biggest regret reading this book is that Im no longer in college, as this is a work that deserves to be read, reread, and picked apart, working on levels far beyond the action-adventure story of a man and his grandmother that it was originally sold as.

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10
Once & Future #26

Jun 1, 2022

As Once & Future barrels towards Gran's endgame for escaping the Otherworld and dealing with the Arthurs, the changes to the core trio of the book; Duncan, Rose, and Gran have only become more apparent. That growth is clear from Gillen's scripting, Mora's pencils, and Bonvillain's coloring.

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9.6
Once & Future #27

Jul 6, 2022

Once & Future #27 continues to be one of the best books on shelves across both the big two and independent publishers, with the entire creative team working together on a level that exceeds any of their other works. That isnt to disparage Gillens writing at Marvel, Mora and Bonvillains DC collaborations, or Dukeshires letters in Seven Secrets. Its just this team working with these characters, and this material, across a significant amount of issues, that feels like a special kind of alchemy thats incomparable. Even at almost 30 issues in, this series has something for everyone and should be jumped on by new readers immediately.

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10
Once & Future #28

Aug 5, 2022

Once & Future #28 vocalizes a core theme of the book, in which stories are consistent but people are not, and proves it by delivering yet another banger of an issue. Everything from Gillens script, to Moras pencils, Bonvillains colors, and Dukeshires letters, remain excellent by playing off whats been established in the series while still introducing new elements. Everything that happens in this issue feels inevitable, but still comes as a surprise thanks to the excellent meta-framework of the book. Combined with Moras stunning designs and Bonvillains almost transcendent coloring, in both the story and the breakaway flashback, the book proves just how consistent a story can be.

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10
Once & Future #29

Sep 8, 2022

Once & Future #29 is a strong opening salvo for the end of the series and promises plenty of action and humor for the last installment. Gran and Duncans plan is in motion, theyve been dealt one last betrayal and have to fight a dragon. Its the perfect set-up for a conclusion to this bombastic series. With a narratively satisfying script from Gillen, appropriate epic art from Mora, unequivocally elegant colors from Bonvillain, and finely tuned letters from Dukeshire, its clear that Once & Future is ready to go out on top, as the definitive Arthurian story of a generation. (Or at the very least, the one with the most badass rocket launcher-wielding Grandma.)

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10
Once & Future #30

Oct 14, 2022

And to get a little clich, but honoring the roots of this story, its sad to see the story end, but be glad to have experienced the journey. Even if it's not in this world or with these characters, heres hoping that this team will work on a project that resonates in the way that this title has.

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9.8
Phantom Road (2023) #1

Mar 1, 2023

Phantom Road #1 is a lonely, haunting read that cuts through its genre conventions to tell the beginning filled with emotional complexity and flashes of ruthless action. From its cold open utilizing an almost comic strip format to the long stretches of darkened highways and then endless expanses of desert, the writing, art, and colors all speak to a stripped-down but enthralling tale of lost souls. Fans of quieter stories with plenty of introspection and monstrosities will love this issue, which plays into the strengths of Lemire, Walta, Bellaire, and Wands.

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4.6
Phantom Road (2023) #2

Apr 15, 2023

Phantom Road #2 is an underwhelming follow-up to a strong opening issue, steering too far into the mechanics of the story and losing its characters in the process. At the level of the creative team, the issue is still competently made, displaying instances of strong panel composition and exquisite coloring choices. With the track laying hopefully finished for now, the next issue could well leave this lacking installment in the rearview for a return to strong form with issue #3.

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8.2
Phantom Road (2023) #3

May 10, 2023

Phantom Road #3 readjusts mid-drive, changing lanes to a more compelling mystery and proactive character. Agent Weaver brings a new heat to this story, threading hints of her past on the Phantom Road with the events surrounding Dom and Birdie. The issue sprinkles hints at the larger mystery while also recapping a perspective of the first two issues. Much of the tension and rhythm of the issue is thanks to Waltas layouts and organic but intrusive flashbacks. Bellaires haunting color palette ensures that the change in time and place is never confusing, while still matching that unexpected shift.

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10
Public Domain (2022) #1

Jun 29, 2022

For those who have slept on Zdarskys newsletter, and by extension this book, Public Domain deserves to be on your pull-list, as itll do what Jack Kirby promised comics to do, which is to break your heart, kid. But in the same breath, itll also reinforce everything that makes comics great, and remind you that they, and the people that make them, are worth fighting for.

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10
Public Domain (2022) #2

Jul 27, 2022

Public Domain #2 builds upon the first issue and continues to tackle and dig into the pain and exploitation of comic creators with his usual wit and bluntness. In an increasingly frantic and depressing reality for creators, and the lengths they have to go to just to make a living as media companies raid their works for profit, Zdarsky hammers the personal cost for the creator, and their families as well. If this book is not currently on your pull list, dont make the mistake of missing this book. It will make you laugh and cry all at once, and remind you to support creators as they make their pivots.

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10
Public Domain (2022) #3

Aug 25, 2022

Three issues in, and Zdarsky has already thrown a paradigm shift into Public Domain. Its an excellent bit of writing that leaves on an arresting cliffhanger that promises plenty of drama, and depending on a readers outlook, a possible happy or tragic ending. That stroke of genius writing, elevated by stunning art and innovative coloring, reminds anyone reading that Zdarsky is a tour-de-force. Public Domain should already be on every comic fans pull list, but if it isnt, theres still time to catch up before the next upsetting real-world event that further justifies the core ethos of this series.

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10
Public Domain (2022) #4

Sep 21, 2022

Public Domain only seems to get more relevant with each issue, inadvertently linking to real-world events that would make many call Zdarsky a psychic. In reality, its observing and drawing on patterns in an industry built on the unfair treatment and labor of creativity that Zdarsky is channeling. With this issue, Zdarsky gets to expand into some more action for a strong sequence that balances with absurd comedy before switching gears to a brutal and honest expression of an artist's hope for a legacy, and what it means to him and his family. Zdarskys range in this title is awe-inspiring and continues to remind readers about what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite works of art.

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10
Public Domain (2022) #5

Oct 20, 2022

Public Domain #5 is an issue that cultivates the embers of joy that come from creating while building to a cliffhanger that doesnt succeed based on tension but with pure catharsis. After four issues of watching the grim realities of what it means to devote a life to art, and comics specifically, theres a primal release in watching the Dallas family, and Tanya (and Mohammed) be rewarded for their passions. The road ahead may be perilous, and the bitterness and harsh realities of the industry are waiting on the other end, but in the moment, that doesnt matter. This book will be immortalized in its final panels, with the group standing around art being worked on, with pure joy on everyones faces. Its the type of scene that illustrates why comics, and art, matter and how they can create the strongest of connections. Its an emotional call to action to gather some people and start making art of your own, and let the process bring joy.

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10
Punisher (2023) #1

Nov 8, 2023

This is an excellent jumping-on point for anyone interested in the espionage/street-level vein of Marvel but had issues with the Frank Castle element of the Punisher mythology. It also scratches the itch of classic Punisher stories, delivering a twisted sense of justice on the remorseless criminals and supervillains of a world filled to the brim with ineffectual heroes and cycles of crime and non-punishment.

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9.6
Punisher (2023) #2

Dec 14, 2023

Working in tandem with Watchers artwork maintains that balance, as the action beats sell the fantastical while the tighter character moments humanize this new Punisher in a way that many action oriented stories are lacking. Layer in Browns oscillating color palettes that evoke the realism of Marvel streets and high flying adventures of superspies, and the book delivers on the promise of a compelling read. This issue affirms that Punisher is a perfect place for new, lapsed, and consistent Marvel readers alike, making the most of its premise, titular legacy, and opportunity to do something original in an interconnected universe.

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10
Punisher (2023) #3

Jan 24, 2024

In a smart move, Punisher #3 forgoes another bombastic, action-heavy issue in favor of a more restrained, introspective penultimate issue. Peposes script tackles what makes Garrison tick, using the high-concept elements of battling supervillains to expose the raw nerve of this new Punisher. That decision makes for a compelling read that affirms the characters journey to acceptance of the vigilante mantle. Watchers art balances that sense of confined interiors by altering the perceptions of backgrounds and the environment at large. Paired with the fluid coloring from Brown and the sometimes suffocating (in the best possible way) lettering by Petit, Punisher #3 makes the case for this being the best issue yet.

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10
Punisher (2023) #4

Feb 29, 2024

As schemes are thwarted and secrets are revealed, Punisher #4 marks the conclusion of a strong origin story. Pepose delivers on all fronts of the scripting, building a long-lasting, fresh spin for the Punisher that excels at action, character, and plot. Working in tandem with Watchers simple yet compelling art and Browns dynamic uses of color, the book reads as the best of Marvels various elements. With this new interpretation of the Punisher, the creative team proves that reinventing a character and establishing a changing mantle can spark just as much fun as it invokes ire. Action fans and those searching for something a unique spin on Marvel need to look no further than Punisher #1-4, which delivers consistently on all fronts.

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8.6
Radiant Black #14

May 7, 2022

Radiant Black #14 is a strong continuation of what feels to be a breather arc and uses its downtime between massive cosmic threats to establish the emotional stakes for Marshall and Nathan. It also manages to give a sense of the human villains starting to appear on Earth, which is seemingly insignificant compared to those from beyond the stars. Higgins is too experienced and smart of a writer to be revealing this by accident, and itll be fascinating to see the way he infuses tension into later fights, and how the art and coloring teams will be able to bring that tension to the page.

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8
Radiant Black #15

Jun 15, 2022

If Marvel ever decides to resurrect the Ultimate Universe line, it's clear that the House of Ideas should look to Higgins and company's Massive-Versefor a template on how it can work across genre, mediums, and even publishing platforms. The DNA of Ultimate Marvel is apparent inRadiant Blackbut the indie universe has the benefit of a more cohesive and tighter core, and a genre savviness that elevates its simple stories. Fans clamoring for a spiritual successor toUltimate Spider-Man, or an ambitious interconnected multimedia experience set against a rich and fun tapestry, should check outRadiant Blackand the Massive-Verse.

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8.4
Radiant Black #16

Jul 28, 2022

Radiant Black #17 continues the books trend of combining classic superhero sensibilities and ingenious art to entertain and innovate with the form. The entire team and their works make this series feel more than a pastiche or homage to classic Spider-Man or similarly defined heroes, instead channeling the spirit of works like Ultimate Spider-Man, which blended those tropes with a modern edge to reflect a new era. Fans of those sensibilities and gorgeous art are going to continue to enjoy these series, and this issue is a reminder of what great art, coloring, and lettering can do to elevate an already strong, if slightly predictable script.

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8.6
Radiant Black #17

Aug 25, 2022

Radiant Black #17 resolves the first supervillain crossover of the Massive-Verse and sets up a potential looming threat in the form of Marshall. The issue is an excellent showcase for Costas art and Farrells colors to distinguish the various Radiants and the villains, juggling multiple powers and fighting styles. This issue bookends the current arc, and makes for a great place to catch up with Radiant Black as the book seems to be moving toward a character-driven and emotionally charged conflict between the Radiants.

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6.2
Radiant Black #18

Sep 24, 2022

Radiant Black #18 is an attempt by the creative team to play with the books format and structure. It succeeds in the small picture, but at least in a digital reading ecosystem, the concurrent timelines are hard to follow. The actual emotional arc and plot are strong and help deepen Wendells character, but the presentation tries to mimic his Radiant powers but instead undercuts the flow of the story. Paired with Simeones art that sells the world-weariness of this character thats seen the future, the issue had the chance to be a strong character study. Instead, it's a decent story that swings for the fences, but its experimental structure hinders more than it helps.

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10
Reckless: Follow Me Down OGN

Oct 17, 2022

Like every Reckless graphic novel, you can go in having never read the previous one, working on its own to tell a rich tale of vengeance and how it can lead to a deeper connection. But its worth going back and reading the previous volumes, to chart the subtle differences in the storytelling prowess of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Jacob Phillips. Each graphic novel is just as fascinating and enjoyable to read, and it's worth experiencing The Ghost in You and Follow Me Down back to back.

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10
Reckless: The Ghost In You OGN

Apr 13, 2022

The Ghost in You is an exceptionally thrilling crime graphic novel, and in an already gripping series of OGNs, feels like something even more special. It feels like an understatement at this point to recommend The Ghost in You, as everyone should already be reading the series, but it does well to reiterate that the alchemy of Brubaker and the Phillips are on full display in this volume, and it should not be missed. In breaking from the typical narrative format from the previous installments, the creative burrows into Anna and her past and gives a texture to the world and characters theyve felt. That texture and weight sink in, and much like the ghosts that Anna is dealing with, linger with you the further you get away from this book.

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9.6
Refrigerator Full of Heads (2021) #1

Oct 19, 2021

Number of Heads in the Refrigerator: Without spoiling anything, theres a head, but its not in the fridge.

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6.8
Refrigerator Full of Heads (2021) #2

Nov 16, 2021

Refrigerator Full of Heads #2 is one of those books sold by its lettering. In an otherwise pretty lackluster sophomore issue, its the graphics of the issue that draw the eye and keep the story moving, while also reinforcing the premise of the books mythologically twinged weapons. Hopefully, with continued use of excellent lettering and the promise of more vicious action sequences, Refrigerator Full of Heads will roll into more interesting territory.

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5.2
Shadow War (2022): Omega #1

May 31, 2022

Ultimately Shadow War Omega is a scattershot ending to a scattershot of an event, not committing to a story about any of the titular characters, or dealing with the previous series in earnest. Whats clear is this books status as a set-up for Williamsons upcoming Dark Crisis. The crossover as a whole feels like a pit stop to pad time before the universe-altering event and is more interesting in theory, rather than execution. Shadow War Omega is an excellent book to look at, but the story is lacking, and if nothing else, hopefully Segovia will get to tackle a limited series or Black Label book next.

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9.6
Stillwater (2020) #10

Sep 23, 2021

Stillwater is a book about crossing thresholds. Whether that be people coming in or out of the titular town where no ages, characters trying to move on to the next stage of their lives, or even returning to a better time, the concept of a barrier is ever-present. What Zdarsky and Prez have managed in the span of ten issues is an achievement to the comic form, and this book, specifically issue #10 is going to be talked about for years. With chilling insights into the nature of immortality, to the violent need to grow up and rebel against systems, it was only a matter of time until the series had a reckoning and crossed this most recent threshold.

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9.4
Stillwater (2020) #11

Nov 10, 2021

Stillwater #11 is the perfect issue to fall between arcs of a larger story, spending its page count to give the story, and the audience, a chance to catch their breath before barreling into the next stage of the story. Zdarsky and Prez are preparing for the next stretch of the journey, and through brilliant art and tight storytelling, set up what feels like a major turning point in the tale of this ageless, and seemingly, apathetic town.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #12

Jan 12, 2022

With issue #12, Stillwater continues to be one of the most formalistic but innovative comics in Images line-up. Theres something about the simplicity on the surface of the book that draws a reader in and reveals a much deeper reflection of time, immortality, and the testing of human nature when forced to weather the stillness of longevity. The team employs that simplicity and turns it into economic storytelling, utilizing every panel, word, and color to highlight just how much has changed in Stillwater, and the weight of violence in an invulnerable society.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #13

May 26, 2022

Stillwater #13 balances the abstract and concrete in both its writing and art, bringing the concepts of immortality, theology, and borders on a map to play out in the lives of townsfolk whether they believe in them or not. Zdarsky, Prez, and Spicer come out swinging in this issue, and tackle those bigger questions with stunning writing and grotesque art. Whether it's the revelation that maps can be changed, or that immortality will only lead to pain and suffering, the thematic tapestry of Stillwater is an enthralling thought experiment brought to the page.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #14

Aug 6, 2022

As Stillwater gets to enjoy a finite time that its characters do not, its themes solidify and proves it can still deliver some unexpected twists. Zdarsky's deep character work and steady pace paired with Prezs eerie expressions and callous action reinforce the horror of immortality. With the series working through its final arc, the secrets of the Stillness are surely coming to a head just as Daniel returns to Stillwater for a second time, threatening plenty of carnage and chaos to come.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #15

Sep 29, 2022

Stillwater #15 delivers yet another excellent and thought-provoking issue, using the concept of immortality as a springboard for a relation to human nature and what it means to live. Zdarskys script imbues the issue with a spiritual throughline that reflects the growth the seriess protagonist has gone through and makes a case for where he is going in the upcoming last three issues. If that wasnt enough, Prezs art and Spicers colors work to give a visual representation of how the people and environment of Stillwater have changed, in both their physicality and palettes. As the series conclusion looms, this issue is an excellent example of what a great creative team brings to a concept or idea, and engages with a conversation about heady topics like the fallout of immortality.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #16

Dec 1, 2022

Stillwater #16 is a flashback issue done right, taking the opportunity to reveal the origin of the towns immortality and shifting the books sensibilities to match the time. Zdarskys script and narration from Clara channel the tone of letters from the Civil War, capturing a longing and sense of tragedy for the loss of sons. On the arts side, Prezs linework pulls back the grotesque to play in a more subtle style that speaks to Claras tragedy. Those elements are reinforced by Spicers muted palette and Wootons lettering choices for the narrations, creating a new aesthetic for the issue that feels both in line and innovative for the title.

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10
Stillwater (2020) #18

Apr 5, 2023

Stillwater #18 is a haunting conclusion to a series that not only refreshed the notion of immortality as a curse but explored the psychological and spiritual implications that come along with it. Zdarskys script for the issue encapsulates everything that made this series, blending action and strong character work between flashes of existential dread. Prezs art captures an interesting clash between the picturesque aesthetic of Americana with the grotesque depictions of violence. Adding in Spicers vivid and wide-ranging palette that morphs to the tone or material presented on the page, and Wootons clean, concise lettering, Stillwater is a book that will long past its ending.

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10
Supermassive (2022): 2023

May 24, 2023

Supermassive #1 is an excellent place to sample the wider Massive-Verse, blending the sci-fi elements of Radiant Black with the urban fantasy of Rogue Sun, and the intersection of both in The Dead Lucky. The one-shot is welcoming to both newcomers whove never picked up an issue in the larger universe, while also moving the stories forward for each character and giving a sense of progression for the shared universe. Every element of the book hits the balance between being accessible and rewarding, and it succeeds across all fronts.

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9.4
That Texas Blood #10

Sep 23, 2021

Condon and Phillips continue the streak of a perfect series with That Texas Blood #10, which sees the creators working in harmony to create the sense of evil seeping into the fabric of a small town. Its a trope that has been used a thousand times before, but the team mines drama and atmosphere from the simplicity of the story. The darkness thats creeping in feels volatile, and after the almost rhythmic pace of this issue, itll be fascinating to see where the book goes next.

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10
That Texas Blood #11

Oct 21, 2021

That Texas Blood is a book that every comic fan, no matter of genre test or sensibilities should be reading. Its a compelling piece of fiction, a testament to both the craft of writing, drawing, and coloring and a deeply unsettling look at the nature of evil in the world. Plus, a little good ol fashion crime drama and atmospheric West Texas never hurts the books cause.

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10
That Texas Blood #12

Nov 24, 2021

That Texas Blood #12 is in its essence a tale about how the story is never really over, and how real life does not have natural closure. Cordon and Phillips take the notion of tying up loose ends and turn it on its head, showing that nothing is ever really over, and trauma and evil linger past their believed conclusion. As the book moves from this arc, into its interlude issue and third arc, itll be fascinating to see just how much darkness was released into Ambrose county, and how Joe Bob will be forced to confront it. Hopefully, Eversaul is still kicking and prepared to reappear and help Joe Bob keep it at bay, just like they did in 81.

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10
That Texas Blood #13

Dec 22, 2021

That Texas Blood #13 is a perfect one shot to bridge the gap between the books last arc and whatever twisted story Cordon and Phillips are concocting next. Its a devilish pleasure to see the creative team tackle the darker side of Christmas, and recognize that for every bright north star in the sky, theres a dark void waiting to engulf it. For anyone that has not read the previous issues of the book, or those who have poured over the first twelve issues of the series, this issue is a stunning pit stop in which the writing and coloring get to stretch their legs and tell a dark tale of corruption and restitution.

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10
That Texas Blood #14

Jun 9, 2022

That Texas Blood #14 is a perfect comic, a chilling start to a tense arc in which a serial killer/slasher returns to Ambrose County. In 29 pages, Condon and Phillips prove that they havent missed a beat in between arcs, and the technical aspects of the series have only sharpened with the previous issues under their belt. This is a book thats perfect for the new reader looking for a dark crime story and rewards the continuing readers as it builds on the last arc and the Christmas special issue. No matter whos picking up this book, its clear that That Texas Blood is something special, and whatever is to come will only continue to confirm that.

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10
That Texas Blood #15

Jul 6, 2022

With That Texas Blood #15, Condon and Phillips (along with Martins touches to the coloring) bring a rich new layer of symbolism and textuality to the concept of blood in the snow. The use of the visual motif is a great encapsulation of what this book does best, which is to riff on established tropes and themes in neo-noir and neo-western stories, and through stunning art and writing, elevate them to something new and unique. Its a book that also doesnt forget the ongoing story even as it shifts across Joe Bobs life, and gives enough for both new readers and those who have been along for the ride since issue #1.

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10
That Texas Blood #16

Aug 4, 2022

That Texas Blood #16 is another perfect installment in an already perfect series, elevating the level of craftsmanship in both the script, art, and coloring as it burrows deeper into the conventions of slasher stories. Condon and Phillips have thrived thanks to the shift from gritty crime thriller to slasher/survival story, playing with the rhythm and flow of the book to ratchet the tension and atmosphere of Ambrose County. The white snow works as an oppressive force, blanketing the county and trapping the inhabitants as RQK quietly lurks and plans to strike his next victim. This issue delivers on plenty of explosive dialogue and rising tensions, channeling the best of paranoia and pressure to deliver a compelling chase and missed meetings between Joe Bob and the RQK. Its not too late to catch up with this arc, and not doing so is to do a disservice to one of the best comics on the stands, period.

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10
That Texas Blood #17

Sep 8, 2022

The books last page reveal will shake you to your core, letting the imaginary horrors waiting to befall people in pain take root while waiting for the next issue. Writers, artists, and colorists should pick this issue up to see just how powerful the various aspects of the craft can be to enrich an atmosphere. That isnt to say everyone else should skip this book. Anyone who just wants to be chilled to their core will love this issue and the series at large.

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10
That Texas Blood #18

Oct 5, 2022

That Texas Blood #18 is a comic that understands the idea of setting, using both the larger Ambrose County, in particular Lus home in this issue, to showcase how violence and murder violate a community. Theres a crossing of implicit thresholds that leads to a dark outcome, and once it occurs in the interior, it can find its way into the open. Between Condons detail-rich dialogue and scripting, working in tandem with Phillipss gorgeous linework and striking colors, both creators understand how to use specifics to enrich the story. A throwaway line like chicken fried steaks for dinner does a lot to make this world feel real and heightens the emotion and horror to a new level. As this arc comes to a close, let this review be a periodic reminder that if you arent reading this book, then stop everything and pick it up now. It makes for a perfect fall read, as the season changes and horror sits on the mind.

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10
That Texas Blood #19

Nov 3, 2022

That Texas Blood #19 brings to a close the series's strongest arc yet, utilizing the environment and atmosphere of winter in Texas to elevate a slasher story into a tale of existential terror. Condons scripting brings a thematic relevance to the slasher framework, using it to echo the other horrors that have plagued Ambrose County in the previous stories. That framework is enhanced thanks to Phillipss tense panel composition, striking contrasting colors, and concise lettering. Theres no doubt this story will be one for the ages, chilling audiences while opening their eyes to a select vein of terror that presents in the physical, but lurks in the abstract. Now that the arc has come to a close, it's the perfect time to collect this arc and share it far and wide, as it bridges the time between Halloween and Christmas for crime and horror fans alike. Fans of either genre will love this arc, and it's a perfect contained story to convince non-comic fans to give this series and medium a chanc

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10
That Texas Blood #20

Dec 8, 2022

This is a perfect marriage of art and words and encapsulates the raw creative force of comics. Its a testament to Condon and Phillipss level of craft that they give a rich, textual story couched in the raw, pulsing creativity that is usually associated with young children. Give this issue as a gift to everyone possible, to share the resonant story of a boy and his father, and the gunslinger mummy.

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10
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #1

Aug 9, 2023

With The Enfield Gang Massacre Condon and Phillips have once again proved themselves as one of the best duos in comics. Every bit of the Western spinoff/prequel delivers career-defining work, from the rich thematic narrative to the expressive linework and enrapturing coloring. This is a book that will hold a reader hostage and demand to be read over and over, and the audience will comply as every swath of color and flavorful bit of dialogue deserves to be etched into the mind. Maybe its true that everything is bigger in Texas, including egos, but never doubt for a second that Condon and Phillips deserve an ego fitting of the state after this debut issue.

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10
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #2

Sep 14, 2023

The Enfield Gange Massacre #2 is yet another perfect issue in the long line of excellent stories springing from Ambrose County. The spinoff has made clear that the book is interested in doing more than just recounting a reference made in the backmatter of That Texas Blood, instead taking the ethos of the main series and applying it to the forefather of the neo-noir western series. The scripting from Condon reads like a lit stick of dynamite, utilizing a burning wick to speed up the internal tempo of the story. That paired with Phillipss dynamic, echoing layouts and dueling coloring creates a dissonance of craft that cant help but enthrall the reader from page one. Condon and Phillips top themselves with issue two, and make evident there are still bullets in the chamber for the story going forward.

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10
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #3

Oct 4, 2023

The Enfield Gang Massacre #3 is a stark reminder of the tragedy set to unfold by the end of six issues, living in between the volleys of a gunshot. Condons script prioritized refocused morality and sweeping melancholy over the bombastic action of the last issue. That is built up by Phillipss breezy art and cool color palette, working to tap into those primal emotions and pure fluidity. Each line of dialogue, line on a face, and line of color feeds into that central idea of the impending tragedy, and the creative duo never lets the audience forget it.

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10
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #4

Nov 8, 2023

The coloring also exemplifies that subversion, while also showcasing the contrast between the outlaws' fate and the civility afforded to the law. Most importantly, the lettering of this issue highlights the twisted nature of death and beauty on display in this issue, as the beautiful depiction of music serves as a lure for the dark and twisted fate of the outlaws. This is a must-read issue for fans of Westerns, the larger Texas Blood narrative, or anyone in search of a gut-wrenching, enthralling story of the tragic tale.

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11
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #5

Dec 13, 2023

The Enfield Gang Massacre is already solidifying itself as a modern classic that every comic fan should be reading, but with this current issue, it transcends into something beyond the medium, reaching for the ethereality of truly epic tragedies.

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10
The Enfield Gang Massacre (2023) #6

Jan 18, 2024

Now that all ofThe Enfield Gang Massacreis out, those who have not picked up a single issue need to at once. Regular readers, start it again from start to finish. This is a book that will be talked about for years to come. It is a book that feels like a prologue to a whole, wider world of stories from Condon and Phillips. To see how they top this one feels a bit like living through theIncident at Owl Creek Bridge. Is it possible this is just a collective figment of the imagination? Or is it the gift of another day, another story, just waiting in the wing?

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10
The Hunger and the Dusk (2023) #1

Jul 11, 2023

The Hunger and the Dusk #1 is a gorgeous debut that wastes no time in establishing its world and the characters that inhabit it. Wilsons script makes the characters shine against the well-realized world that Wildgoose brings to the page, as both writing and art balances adventure with emotion. Msassyk takes the work even further thanks to the revelry in complementary colors of naturalistic lands and bombastic hues that come with vicious action and flashes of magic. This book should be a new standard for how to establish a fantasy setting in visual mediums and proves that fantasy, romance, and action are not mutually exclusive genres to play in.

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10
The Hunger and the Dusk (2023) #2

Aug 31, 2023

The Hunger and the Dusk #2 works as a paradigm of the alchemy that is comics, fusing text and image to create a compelling narrative. Wilsons script is bustling with the energy generated by the elevation of emotion into action, playing up the romance and lingering tensions. When paired with Wildgooses cinematic layouts and expressive linework, that progression is propelled into spellbinding territory. Adding Msassyks palettes on top works to reinforce the core themes of the work, and create distinct visual flavors for the two central plotlines. The Hunger and the Dusk does everything right, and with only two issues under its belts, has proven to be an instant classic.

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10
The Hunger and the Dusk (2023) #3

Oct 23, 2023

Wildgooses art builds on that by stripping away the kinetic layouts of the last issue to foreground characters and expression here. Paired with Msassyks melancholy palette that teases a bit of hope, the book takes on an aesthetic of compassion and understanding in the face of overwhelming sorrow. This series continues to be one of the most fascinating fantasy series on shelves, living comfortably in and then exceeding the tropes of the genre.

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8.2
The Ministry of Compliance (2023) #1

Oct 9, 2023

The tension of fascinating worldbuilding and inconsistent characterization makes The Ministry of Compliance #1 a difficult book to pin down. Big ideas and a rich hierarchy of bureaucracy line the pages of this debut issue to explore the repercussions and inherent flaws of colonialism. In sharp contrast, the emotion and dialogue read as flat and alien (no pun intended) which makes it difficult to empathize with the characters for the most part. The Ministry of Compliance #1 offers enough in the conceptual department to warrant reading another issue, as its set-up could allow for a correction of the weaker elements of this debut.

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9
The Rush #1

Oct 30, 2021

The Rush is a book that feels like the first winds of a harsh winter, bringing in a sense of dread and despair to those who experience it. In this first issue, it becomes clear that Spurrier, Gooden, and the team are drafting a tale of bleak horror in a remote landscape with the souls of the characters at risk. Its an excellent set-up to a horror narrative, and feels like a bundle of letters found generations later, to be passed along and remembered in a new light.

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9.4
The Silver Coin #7

Dec 11, 2021

The Silver Coin #7 is a rewarding read both at the macro and micro levels. On one hand, it is the classically tragic story of a gambler who almost reached the top, but has the world taken from under them. On the other hand, it's a story about the sacrifice of a man built up to the best and is cut down by a dark designer engineering fate. In both cases, the story and myth of the Silver Coin is a compelling reason to pick up this issue and to go back and read the previous installments, to experience Walshs stunning art and a cavalcade of talented script building to this point.

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8.8
The Silver Coin #8

Jan 22, 2022

With issue #8, The Silver Coin has begun to enter a dialogue with itself, binding themes and plots together across the titular coins storied history. The issue is a triumph in form and drafting horror from the technical elements of the book, showcasing Walshs talent as both an artist and letterer. If there was any doubt that Walsh is one of the premier voices in modern horror comics, then The Silver Coin is murdering that doubt and reminding us all that good craft is the scariest monster of all.

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8
The Silver Coin #9

Feb 19, 2022

With a stronger desire or reason for the coin to gravitate toward, this issue could have been another hit. Instead, its just a by-the-numbers issue that coasts on the excellent art from Walsh. The Silver Coin is still a great buy, and the benefit to the books structure is that the next issue will bring something new and exciting, hopefully blending the strengths of both this issue with the previous.

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10
The Silver Coin #10

Mar 16, 2022

The Silver Coin #10 is a triumph in both art and storytelling and cements Walsh as one of the most inventive creators in the western horror comic space. Walsh takes the familiar premise of the Faustian bargain and makes it wholly original while building out mythology based in character work. Its a gripping way to expand the world of the series and provides even more fertile ground for future stories set in this world. From more eldritch terrors possibly trying to worm their way into the world, to other mystical beings at work (as seen in #7), and a possibly endless amount of flawed people with ironic desires, Walsh has built something special with The Silver Coin.

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8.8
The Silver Coin #11

Jun 22, 2022

The Silver Coin #11 is an solid comic with the bones to be a great one. The writing leaves much to be desired - sticking to the surface-level when it could be cutting to the core, especially knowing the background of Tynion and his ability to craft compelling horror. Walsh delivers consistent excellence in his linework and lettering, and he and Griffins colors do much of the heavy lifting for the story. In a series that feels like it has something to say with the stories it tells due to the influence of the coins evil influence, this issue just is lacking in that pointed subtext. The elements are all there to tell a story about capitalism destroying small businesses, the reckless consumption of meat that will tear apart the industry, or even the plight of the working class in the service industry during an era when conditions have only declined. Instead, the script plays at face value and is only saved by imaginative art and lettering that begins to tap into those deeper elements.

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9
The Silver Coin #12

Jul 20, 2022

The Silver Coin #12 is a harrowing story of war and its horrors, revealing how once the line between humanity and inhumanity is blurred, the darker and more existentially terrifying we as a species become.

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10
The Silver Coin #13

Aug 17, 2022

The Silver Coin #13 continues the trend of excellent horror stories, recovering from a slight unsteady arc to pack a punch with this current line-up of writers. This issue, in particular, feels thematically relevant for the times, and will only continue to do so as Americans grapple with a post-Roe society. Walsh meets that harsh thematic content with a style of body horror that exceeds anything seen in the series before and makes the stomach knot both on the page and in the reader. Its a twisted instance that sells what makes this book special and lives up to the content warning provided at the beginning of the issue.

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10
The Silver Coin #14

Sep 16, 2022

The Silver Coin #14 is a chilling but mesmerizing look into a trauma that many of us are still living through, utilizing horror to heighten those feelings of helplessness and despair. With Pichetshotes ability to weave emotional beats into moments of utter terror, Walsh and Griffin make this issue the most timely story in the interconnected anthology series by matching that craft. Everything about this book, from the story, to the plotting, and the art, is both twisting and timely, delivering what might be the best issue of an already strong series.

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10
The Silver Coin #15

Oct 22, 2022

As The Silver Coin goes on a hiatus with issue #15, it couldn't have done so at a better point in the larger story. Walsh leaves its readers with a revelation that the coin is a curse needing to be fed by its wielders, utilizing the existing evil inside to enact its wicked actions.

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10
Ultimate Black Panther (2024) #3

Apr 18, 2024

Mystery and mythology lie at the heart of Ultimate Black Panther #3, which continues TChallas descent into the truth behind the world around Wakanda. As he learns from Killmonger and Storm, the king of Wakanda continues to learn more about the history of Africa and how it is related to the ongoing war with the gods Kohnshu and Ra. Hills scripting balances the revelation of information and character interactions to showcase the wonders of remixing continuity to tell a new story. Casellis artwork picks up on that balance and harnesses it to create a propulsive pace with minimal action. When combined with Curiels rich, otherworldly colors, the book becomes a prime example of what makes a standout visual style.

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man (2024) #1

Jan 10, 2024

If you asked me a year ago about Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto delivering the best Spider-Man book of the decade, I wouldve been hesitant to say it was possible. The hope of a truly amazing Spider-Man story in comics felt like a bygone conclusion. But after seeing this issue in action, there is no doubt this run will be something spectacular. It feels so of the moment and timeless all at once, reacting to the modern comic landscape while charting forward something that feels like fertile ground. This is how a modern reboot is done, built around the essence of a character and refracted through the times, with a top-tier artist and colorist on board.

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man (2024) #2

Feb 21, 2024

Checchettos art elevates and refines these various elements through deliberately clumsy action and pure warmth in expressions. Paired with Wilsons coloring, which subverts visual expectations while grounding the specific beats into adjacent tones, the art proves what top-tier talent brings to a flagship title. Ultimate Spider-Man #2 is proof the debut issue was not a fluke and there is a level of care and craft that fosters true innovation for the webhead and his supporting cast. Anyone lingering with doubts about this book should jump on this train now, as it shapes up to be quite possibly the defining Spider-Man story of the decade.

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man (2024) #3

Mar 27, 2024

Ultimate Spider-Man #3 reinforces the standout elements of its first two issues, synthesizing them into an excellent continuation that emphasizes the speedy pacing of the series. Hickman's writing captures the characters and their various dynamics perfectly, from Peter and May's heartwarming bonding time to the infinitely compelling banter of Ben and Jonah, and even to the slick back-and-forth between Bullseye and Green Goblin. Paired up with Checchetto's deft design work and sequential storytelling chops, reaffirms this book's place as the heir apparent to cinematic comics.

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9.2
Ultimate X-Men (2024) #2

Apr 10, 2024

Pacing aside, Ultimate X-Men #2 is another solid entry into the new Ultimate universe as Hisake continues to impress as the lead of the new worlds mutants. The use of supernatural horror as an extended metaphor gives an edge of specificity to the mutant allegory that many have felt is lacking in more recent years. Momokos illustrations bring an absolute sense of harrowing emotional terror to shadows and the fluidity to movement. These combinations lend themself to the non-euclidean terrors that Momoko seems interested in exploring. In contrast, the fun, light bonding between Mei and Hisako makes for a compelling dimension to the emotional side of the story. Ultimate X-Men #2 continues the strong streak of issues in the new Ultimate universe, making the case for this interpretation of the line.

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10
Vengeance of the Moon Knight (2024) #1

Jan 3, 2024

While this book would benefit from the history of the previous run, it does a captivating job of recounting the core emotional beats, making it new reader-friendly. Fans of the mystical and street-level corners of the Marvel Universe will want to add this to their pull list immediately as it delivers on both, showcasing what makes the pocket some of the most fertile ground in Big Two storytelling. Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 is the perfect sampler for the previous volume of the series while propelling the story and craft to new depths.

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10
Vengeance of the Moon Knight (2024) #2

Feb 14, 2024

Vengeance of the Moon Knight #2 is a stunning sophomore issue, extending the tone and structure of the debut to its natural continuation. MacKays script balances tone and plot to walk the fine line of engaging mystery while Cappuccios art illustrates the oscillating emotion and action of the issue. Layered with Rosenbergs subversive use of coloring to contrast the palette and the emotion, the issue digs deep into the tortured pain and brutal fighting at the core of Moon Knight (the character and title alike).

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10
Vengeance of the Moon Knight (2024) #3

Mar 20, 2024

Death is a specter that haunts the pages of Vengeance of the Moon Knight #3, as Soldier is allowed to react in therapy to Marcs death. The scripting from McKay uses this as an opportunity to accelerate the plot as the Midnight Mission makes plans to strike back against the faux-Moon Knight. Coupled with Cappuccios art, which puts a heavy emphasis on the emotions of Soldier and Tiagra specifically, the issue makes clear reactionary emotions are in control as the action explodes onto the page. Rounded out by Rosenbergs tense, subtle color palettes, the book continues to give Marcs death the space to breathe and influence the world around the Midnight Mission. This issue proves just how human this supernaturally twinged book is, blending the raw emotion and gripping action to deliver a story that feels like the platonic ideal of a Marvel comic.

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10
Vengeance of the Moon Knight (2024) #4

Apr 3, 2024

In what feels like a very distinct, visually fascinating antithesis to the usual feeling of the book, explosive action is traded for lingering beats of peace before the return to action. Rosenbergs coloring helps to create that sense of momentary peace, before returning to the foundational palettes of the series. The two work in tandem to deliver the most visually stunning issue to date. Vengeance of the Moon Knight #4 offers a bit of everything for fans of the series new and old. With bits of seeding, the book not only is spinning one of the best, longer-tracked settings of modern Marvel but also feels like an organic beat towards the next summer event, Blood Hunt.

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8.6
Werewolf by Night (2023) #1

Sep 13, 2023

The power of Werewolf By Night #1 is the way the book pivots from MCU tie-in to a sharp, poignant tale of lost love and the danger of backsliding into whats comfortable. The book thrives in the dueling elements of the narration and coloring, operating on two levels to reflect the rift between former lovers and current business acquaintances. The alternating captions are made to be a clear, distinct snapshot into the dual leads and the coloring creates two visual styles that achieve the expressive, kinetic forward art. The book is an instant buy for fans of the two leads, or those searching for a short, bittersweet glimpse into some of the lesser-known, mystical characters of the Marvel Universe.

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10
Where The Body Was (2023) #1

Dec 13, 2023

On the scripting side, Brubaker gets to blend his romantic impulses with his bonafide mystery-writing skills, never fully succumbing to the pull of nostalgia. Phillipss linework is a powerful element that expertly weaves time and space into a path through the past, showcasing the darker elements in the beautiful. Rich and picturesque coloring from [Jacob] Phillips rounds out the aesthetics of the book, creating a palette that engages with the reminiscing of the past while avoiding its addictive trappings. Like a true circuit, this book builds itself around a start and finish; the good and bad of Pelican Street.

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7
X-Men (2021): Hellfire Gala #1

Jul 11, 2022

With X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1, Duggan and company have charted the next phase of the Krakoan tapestry, setting up storylines that will touch the wider Marvel Universe, rather than just staying focused on the internal X-line. From Spider-Man to the Avengers, the Eternals, and even the Fantastic Four, the tensions are at an all-time high for mutants and the world around them. Its a shame that the art of this one-shot doesnt quite match those narrative implications, and instead offers a subdued visual entry into the X storyline. Ultimately, this years Hellfire Gala is a fun, if restrained, selection of a new X-Men roster, and set-up for more interesting stories on the horizon.

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7.6
X-Men: Before The Fall (2023): Mutants' First Strike #1

Jun 7, 2023

X-Men: Before the Fall - Mutant First Strike #1 is a solid step in the direction of Fall of X thanks to a return to X-Men form that remains rooted in the Krakoa era. Paired with solid art that balances the individuality and cohesiveness of mutant abilities, the story provides a natural progression of the mutant nations place in the world. While not as flashy as some of the other Before the Fall one-shots, Mutant First Strike is an entertaining and indispensable story of empathy and compassion.

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