Edward Wendt's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Graphic Policy, Word Of The Nerd Reviews: 412
7.9Avg. Review Rating

9.3
1872 #1

Jul 8, 2015

The result of this strange mix is actually one of the smarter ideas to come out of Marvel for this whole crossover. There was after all a time when western comics ruled the day in the medium, and this is a bit of an homage to those days, taking not just a crossover, but instead an entire genre and mixing it into the whole of Secret Wars. The result is fun and is as good of a Western that modern comic readers will probably ever get to see, with the same grit that made the genre so beloved for so long without the anachronisms that are thrown in with the modern versions.

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7.8
A-Force #1

May 21, 2015

The story ends up being interesting in its own way, but also begs a few questions. Is battling it out the only way to incorporate universes together? Also after the confusing reboot of Spider-Woman into Spider-Verse, is launching a new concept into a crossover a good idea? Whatever it is that those answers are it is evident that this series while passable in a sense, is also a bit of a letdown. The choice of She-Hulk as the leader of this team is among one of the more interesting and has potential for growth, but there are few other decisions such as this in this title so far. The medium of comics has been screaming for a concept like this for a long time, as a changing fan base seeks out more well written female characters, but this does not seem to be the vessel in which to do it. It is fun, but it also feels like a lot of what has come before it.

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8.4
A-Force #2

Jul 1, 2015

The idea of an all-female superhero team, essentially a female Avengers, is one which appealing to many, enough to make this series one which will be revamped beyond the end of the crossover. In the meantime this second issue salvages and reuses what seemed a bit stunted in the first issue and gives it a new direction. It is maybe not as imaginative as the creative team could have gotten with these characters, but this is still a necessary series for the wider story arc, one which explains the inner workings of the system which will presumably be quickly torn down.

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7.7
Action Comics (2011) #41

Jun 3, 2015

In trying to make Superman look more like a street level character, this issue both succeeds and fails. While it is true that his actions in the past might have left him with legal responsibilities to property owners, it is also a veneer of the superhero genre that we don't really need removed. At the same time, the creative team is successful in showing Superman as a lot more fragile than he once was.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #42

Jul 1, 2015

This new direction for Superman is still trying to change the boundaries of what defines the hero, it is just not really clear if it is going about it the right way.

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8.3
Age of Apocalypse (2015) #1

Jul 8, 2015

This first issue most sets the conditions for what will follow, and it does so in a meticulous way. It is a challenging enough task, condensing a huge story arc into a few issues, but at least a proper job is done at this if if this issue ends up being a bit clunky at times. There is enough action mixed in with establishing the scenario that it doesn't become too heavy in the dialogue and concept, but it also seems to be leaving a lot of potential for the following issues. It bodes well for the tie-in, and while this issue is a bit too conceptual to get through at times, it still excuses it for what is bound to come.

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8.5
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1

Jun 24, 2015

This would seem to be an unlikely pairing of different sources, but it works pretty effectively here. While the setting might be a bit bland on the surface or a giant robot vs/ zombies battle (which sounds fun in its own way) it is amplified here by the inclusion of two other characters that make this work well. It seems unlikely, but two characters were chosen to focus around to make this series work, and the right two were chosen as they give something that zombies and robots lack, a soul to build around.

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8.2
Alex + Ada #15

Jun 17, 2015

While this works as theme for this final issue, it is also handled in a clunky way at times. Of course with Ada being a robot there are some technical aspects of her consciousness which are a bit mysterious when it comes to how she loves and how she stores her emotions. As the issue begins to get into a bit of virtual psychology it loses some of its steam from a story telling standpoint, even if the theme itself is spot on. This makes this final issue a bit of a mixture, both doing the overall series justice but also failing a bit to reach the same height as its predecessors. It wraps up the series in a way that we could expect, only not quite telling the full story that was there to be told.

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7.0
Aliens: Fire and Stone #1

Sep 24, 2014

As such this first issue is not so much of anything new, more like a pastiche of every other Aliens films with even a bit of Predator thrown in. This is a bit problematic as well when also adding Prometheus to the mix, as the level of interconnectedness is a bit much to take with all of the continuity glitches that such a merge would make. At its base though, this issue succeeds, if one forgets about all which doesnt make sense from a continuity standpoint and focuses on the story alone here. It may not be groundbreaking, but fans cant really get enough of the xenomorphs, who show up too infrequently in pop culture, and this story at least offers something a little new to go along with a lot of the old.

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7.3
Altered States: Red Sonja (One-Shot) #1

Mar 9, 2015

The idea behind the Altered States is to try something new, but it does not really work here. While Vampirella was able to use some of the old to mix into something different, the formula doesn't work here. Instead this reads as just another case of an Egyptologist stumbling upon some untold power, as was common in the golden age of comics with the likes of Hawkman, Doctor Fate and the Blue Beetle (among others.) While not a failure, the end product here is equally not really inspired, using too much of the familiar and not enough of the new.

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9.0
Altered States: Vampirella (One-Shot) #1

Mar 3, 2015

Although the concept risks being too much of a parody of itself, it still works with the fresh approach to the story. One of the better examples is the use of the name Ella, as she does become Vampirella in a sense, just perhaps not in the way that the readers might have expected. More so, the success of this series is the injection of new inspirations into an old character. Those inspirations themselves might be borrowed from other genres as well, but the formula works well here, and despite being a one-shot, this will likely leave fans wanting more.

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10
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #1

Oct 24, 2019

This is still a superhero book (Spider-Man shows up at one point) but it doesn't feel like one. That is in itself an achievement and this issue is one of the best to come out of Marvel in a while.

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9.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2

Jul 8, 2015

So many of the Secret Wars settings seem something like experiments, a little bit of an excuse for the creators to let loose in world with few rules as to continuity. The problem with this is that it seems very temporary. While this is also the case here, it is unfortunate, for this is a reality that would be well explored over several dozen issues as opposed to four or five. As it stands, this is one of the best tie-ins to the Secret Wars crossover, and it does so with barely any reference to the bigger series. That is because this is a great story which is executed well and deserves praise for being a little bit better than the rest.

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9.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3

Aug 5, 2015

The series succeeds because of its back-to-basic approach, as does this issue. Although the degree of Parker's use of violence is made out of character, the overall approach of the character here is one which feels like it could easily happen under these specific conditions. By using what makes the character special while also setting him inside the Secret Wars world, it benefits the crossover by highlighting these traits. This is the best treatment of Spider-Man in Secret Wars and it is among the best Secret Wars series overall.

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9.3
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4

Aug 19, 2015

Many of this series will go away after Secret Wars and the original heroes will return, at least in part, but this is one series that seems like it has enough of a heart to deserve more of a look.

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9.0
Ant-Man #1

Jan 7, 2015

The end result is a well-packaged story that is a fun and often times funny read. There will be those that might think to disregard an Ant-Man comic because the hero lacks the same powers as others, but in doing so they would be overlooking a less common occurrence from the big two publishers, namely a story that is character driven more so than plot driven. As shown here, Ant-Man is a person first and a hero second, and with the tone of the book matching the sometimes awkwardly funny personality of the character, this series is likely to have a cult following for as long as it lasts.

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7.8
Ant-Man #2

Feb 4, 2015

While still a decent read, the second issue feels a bit too much like the person that tells a funny joke out of nowhere and then won't let the joke go. It makes sense that Scott is down on his luck, but the inane way in which he secures his future in this issue is not deserving of the same praise that made the first issue such a spectacular read. There are still some high points, such as the one panel cameo by Tony Stark, but on the whole this issue leaves the reader wanting a bit more, specifically the humorous first entry in this series. After the standout first issue, it is too early to write off this series after a relative flop with the second entry. The creative team seems to have the overall story together, and good things are likely still in store for this series.

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8.3
Ant-Man #3

Mar 11, 2015

While this issue seems to find a bit better ground to stand on for the series, it also shows that the direction isn't entirely set. Not every superhero comic has to be completely serious, but neither so can it be all jokes. It is somewhere in the middle that this series found its heart in the first issue, but it equally needs to be more serious when required as opposed to sacrificing pacing for dialogue which is not really funny and therefore only distracting. This series at times borders on being a fairly typical comic, but it verges on being something better at times as well. It is this potential which will bring the readers back, but the creative team seems to be squandering the interest in this title while it figures out how to use what it has.

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8.3
Ant-Man: Larger Than Life #1

Jun 24, 2015

While this might be a bit below most people's radar, it is also probably worth a look. While Avengers was also destined to be bigger, Ant-Man might be destined to be better as it takes a more character-centric approach. That is evident here as this is much more about the character than it is about the big spectacle, but it still manages to tell an interesting story. Those interested in a little bit of comic history will like the backup features as well as we get introduced to Pym for the first time all over again. This issue is worth a look, especially for those that want to get refreshed on Ant-Man before the movie comes out, and proves that good things sometimes come from taking the smaller approach.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #36

Nov 26, 2014

Overall the issue does what it needs to do. It is by no means a stand out issue, but it would seem that the creative team here has something much bigger in mind for the Maelstrom story arc, and the seeds of this potential are visible here. As the story unfolds there are certain to be an abundance of surprises as is common with this series, and this issue fits as one of the pieces, albeit a slightly distracted one.

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7.7
Aquaman (2011) #38

Jan 28, 2015

This is still not a bad issue, only that it is more focused on action than needs to be. Of course the readers are more interested in finding the fate of Arthur's mother, and this issue helps to drag out the story arc by an extra issue. There may have been a better story to be told here, but this nonetheless fits in with the remainder of the story arc thus far, only that it is the weakest entry of the three. With the revelation at the end of the issue, it would seem as though the story arc is going to hit high gear in the next issue, but for the mean time this was a long interlude to get there.

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7.7
Aquaman (2011) #40

Mar 25, 2015

Aquaman thus heads into Convergence with one of its weaker stories behind it. It is unlikely to have a dire effect on the character or the series as it is already plotted to return in June after the crossover, but this story arc left an unfortunate impression on the series before heading into hiatus. As DC brings back the old Aquaman for a bit, this story arc was one which was more representative of the older Aquaman's failures. It will be interesting to see how Convergence changes the character as the success of this character is interesting to note, especially that there will be an Aquaman movie at some point. For the time being Aquaman fans will have to be happy for the previous 40 issues, even if the end was a bit mediocre.

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6.9
Aquaman (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

This is unfortunately not the best turn of events for this series. If part of the problem of the history of the character is a lack of a focus, then it seems to be back here with the new creative team. If another problem has been cliches like Arthur being kicked out of Atlantis for some transgression, or being separated from Mera for whatever reason, then the same problem applies here as well. Cullen Bunn is evidently a talented writer that has produced some amazing stories elsewhere, but in tackling Aquaman it seems as though he might have been better off understanding the characters history before seemingly starting to undo all the good that was done for the character in the past few years.

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7.6
Aquaman (2011) #43

Aug 26, 2015

It is the ending which actually gives this some hope. Although this is told in a somewhat confusing manner at times between the “Then” and “Now” it still manages to give a glimpse of what Cullen Bunn might be capable of here. After it should not be expected that he write exactly like Johns, and there are glimpses of him doing right by this series, even if his introduction to it is a lot of what has been seen before. For the moment, it is worth a chance and worth a look, although it could still really go either way.

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6.0
Aquaman And The Others #8

Dec 5, 2014

The resulting story ends up being somewhat devoid of originality. While it is a good attempt in parts to put some tension into the series, there is a bit too much of disinterest in the overall scheme of the villains or of the conflict among the heroes. It ends up feeling amateurish, which is a shame, as both Aquaman and his supporting characters can be put to better use than this.

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7.8
Archie #666

Jun 3, 2015

While this issue does not have the same weight as other issues might which have ended a long run, it still manages to get right what it must. At the same time, this is still very much an Archie story, and those looking for something more will likely be disappointed here. All the same this represents a little piece of comic history and one that probably won't get its due.

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9.6
Archie (2015) #2

Aug 19, 2015

Indeed, part of the problem of the series has always been that of Betty and Veronica, best friends that fight over the single boy. It is an anachronistic idea which while it is true to the character's backgrounds, is also a bit demeaning to them. This issue gives a fresh take on the characters and updates them not only to modern day, but actually makes the female characters into real people in a way that is revitalizing other series and female characters across the medium. With just the hint of a look at Veronica it is promising that this new Archie is not only something old, or something recycled, but also something new for the medium, and not only something new, but even something progressive, with a message stronger than teenagers need to have fun, but that they can also be presented as humans with their own intricate problems.

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7.8
Ares & Aphrodite: Love Wars #6

Feb 9, 2015

While this story is sweet and charming, there is also not much to distinguish itself from most others in the genre save for the choice of medium. The age of romance in comics is long since past, and while this story is maybe no standout in terms of approachable and likable characters, it is still a nice story which is compact enough and not too full of the cliches of the genre, even while not being something too extraordinary. In the end the concept behind the series is a little bit weak for the characters, but it is the well written characters that end up carrying the story, which is better than most romances can manage.

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7.5
Barb Wire (2015) #1

Jun 30, 2015

There is probably no one that will expect a masterpiece out of this series, and rightfully so. The concept is not that original, nor was it even original when it first came out. It is built on characters that might have been a bit edgy at the time, but pop culture has since given us a decent selection of badass babes (sorry) that make Barb only one among their ranks. At the same time this issue manages to effectively update the series and the characters and to give them new blood. It might not be a masterpiece but it is fun and worth a look, though it is hard to imagine that the series gains too much traction.

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7.2
Bat-Mite #1

Jun 3, 2015

A humor title has to above all be funny, and this is where this issue fails to deliver. Although it is whimsical in outlook, there are not really any moments that will cause the reader to laugh out loud. At the same time although there are not any real hilarious moments, the story is held together a lot better than one might think, with the structure of a decent plot to drive the action in this series forward. This first issue ends up being defined by those two facts, as the humor is mostly missing, even while the zany plot holds this together.

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7.0
Bat-Mite #2

Jul 1, 2015

This series proves once again that it is a good idea to introduce a bit of lightheartedness into its DC titles, but also that the idea still needs to be refined to a certain degree. In going for Bat-Mite the creative team might have even handicapped themselves a bit as the story somewhat demands some consistency with the past as opposed to being able to completely break free. The end result is that this is a bit mediocre even though the promise of something more exists.

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8.7
Batgirl (2011) #36

Nov 12, 2014

Without the proper balance this would fall apart, but the creative team has their story as compact and as fluid as possible. In all honesty, the two villains that were introduced here were pretty weak, but the two of them seem to be more like throwaway villains, ones that likely won't be seen again. It is in the other areas where this issue succeeds, in the characterization of its heroine and even adding depth to the secondary characters. DC now has two exceptional Gotham based titles on its hands, neither of which have to do directly with Batman.

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9.5
Batgirl (2011) #37

Dec 10, 2014

The end result is one of the best single issues that I have read in a long time in comics. The first impression of this issue does lead to the concept of superficiality as the cover suggested, but once the reader realizes that this is meant as a criticism and not as homage, then it becomes clear that something a lot deeper is transpiring here. Although Barbara is a fictional character she lives through challenges that seem real enough, as instead of worrying about stopping an invasion from Apokolips she is dealing with problems that would seem real enough to people in the real world. This is a series with a heart and a soul, and it wears it proudly for all to see, and is really one of the standout series from DC at the moment.

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8.6
Batgirl (2011) #38

Jan 16, 2015

As an entire experience, the story here comes across, even with the reliance on the same general theme for storytelling. There are a lot more directions in which to point this series while still staying edgy, and the creative team is talented enough to do so. There is no sense of immediacy yet, because they are still keeping the story relevant, well paced and full of strong characters. This issue is proof of what the ensemble is capable of, still ending up being a good finished product, even if there is a minor cause for concern.

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8.4
Batgirl (2011) #39

Feb 18, 2015

This issue is maybe not the best example of the new direction for the series and the character, but there is still nothing to especially to criticize, nor to cite as an example of why the spread of this new outlook on female characters will fail. Instead this remains one of DC's most readable titles, and and probably especially so by non-fans of the medium. Batgirl is a hero, but she is a person first, and this story never lets the reader forget that.

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9.2
Batgirl (2011) #40

Mar 18, 2015

What this issue manages to achieve is rather impressive. Fans of the character since before the reboot or before the new 52 relaunch will be happy to see the references to what the character used to be as well as her past. While this is an effective nod to the fans, it is not heavy handed at all, and for those that are oblivious to the character's detailed past, this still reads as a tight plot with everything in the right proportions. There are those that might think that this first story arc is getting a bit tired with its constant focus on the role of technology in our lives, but this is the end of the menace of the algorithm, and the end of the first story arc of the new run. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, but so far this series has achieved unexpected success which is capped by this excellent issues.

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8.7
Batgirl (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

In terms of what wins between the manufactured trend of the new Batman versus the organic trend of the new Batgirl, the hands down winner is Batgirl. The new Batman is a strange direction to take Batman and it remains to be seen if it will connect with the fans at all. Batgirl on the hand continues moving along with the same momentum, which is built on her solid characterization and a supporting cast of characters that makes her seem more believable. The Jim Gordon Batman likely has a short shelf life as fans will get tired of the stunt and look for the return of Bruce, but it seems like this new Batgirl is here to stay which is good news for everyone.

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8.4
Batgirl (2011) #42

Jul 30, 2015

The end result is an issue that is not as bad as it probably should have been. The novelty of the James Gordon Batman is already rubbing off, especially as DC is doing bigger things with Bruce Wayne elsewhere. The strange direction started off well enough but seems already to have stalled. While there was enough to hold this issue back, it still worked on a couple of different levels, both with the choice of villain and in the novel way that they chose to tell the story. It wasn't as good as what has been seen recently in this title, but still wasn't a bad effort.

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9.4
Batgirl (2011) Annual #3

Jul 30, 2015

What is most interesting about this story, is that while it is told in a series of separate vignettes, each with their own style, it also still manages to be a fluid story that makes sense, without the cameos seeming too forced. Barbara is still the star but she cedes that status easily to those that she teams up with, making this issue more than the sum of its parts. While the main series occasionally gets tied down in its own plots, this annual seems to represent a desire but the main creative team to cut loose a bit and have some fun with the character, and they succeeded.

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6.5
Batgirl (2011): Futures End #1

Sep 11, 2014

The writer maybe deserves some praise for trying something different, and the artist deserves some recognition for portraying a female version of Bane, but the end product is lacking. It is a What If? Question that need not be asked and the fans of the series might be wondering why they bothered. Instead fans might want to just wait an extra month for a change in direction in Batgirl with the introduction of the new creative team.

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7.8
Batman (2011) #35

Oct 8, 2014

There are therefore some drawbacks to this issue in its presentation and subject matter, but the end result is still worthy enough. The backup story is completely different in tone, but probably wont stay as the backup story for long as the characters will be incorporated into some future story arc (maybe this one?) After all is done here, the issue still is decent enough, but it is more a feast for the eyes than it is for the brain.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #41

Jun 10, 2015

It is sometimes said of Batman that the man makes the suit, but here it is reversed as the suit makes the man. While this is a potentially interesting direction to take for this title, it is also kind of confusing. Part of the appeal of Batman is that he can accomplish wonders that even superpowered people cannot, and he does it with his willpower and his wits. With the replacement of Bruce Wayne in the role with this Iron Man/Batman hybrid, it doesn't have the same feel as what makes the character so approachable to so many. The infallible character is now one that takes necessary technological shortcuts, and this issue kind of comes off having the same overall effect. It is ok, but not memorable, and seems like it will be another passing fad to file away under the file of “Other People that Have Been Batman for a Few Issues.”

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7.6
Batman (2011) #42

Jul 8, 2015

The first issue of the new Batman has already come and passed, and after the initial novelty wears off of having an Iron-Man like Commissioner Gordon in the guise of Batman, it will remain for the creative team to put together a story which is worthy of the title. As one of the standouts thus far of the entire DC reboot (first new 52 and now DC You), it is still not entirely clear how this is going to happen here. The concept is there, and while the characterization is matching what is expected out of this title, it is not clear yet how the story is going to work. There is at least a little bit more of clever storytelling here as opposed to the first issue of this new direction which was a little bit all over the place. In the end though, if this is going to be more than a novelty, the creative team is going to need to pull together something more engaging and while this issue is a definite improvement over the first of this new direction, it also isn't quite there yet.

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6.5
Batman/Superman (2013) #21

Jun 10, 2015

While the Truth story arc for Superman is interesting from a certain perspective as it allows the character to be explored for some of his fundamental characteristics as opposed to his powers, there is also the lack of feeling of permanence to it. This is maybe the most evident here as both Batman and Superman are a little lost at the moment, both absent in one way or another. As these are DC's big two, it seems unlikely that these changes are permanent, and so this issue in a way kind of feels like filler. At the same time it does a good job examining the importance of the two characters for one another, especially as they are at relative lows, but these two do not stay low for long, and so it raises the question of just how relevant this story is?

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7.7
Batman/Superman (2013) #22

Jul 8, 2015

As a continuation of the Truth and Justice story arcs for the new Superman, this is perhaps the best issue yet, although it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. At the same time, the Jim Gordon Batman is still a little out-of-sorts here as elsewhere, with his first reaction to any superhero is to try to arrest them, a characteristic which would not have been true with either Batman or Jim Gordon, yet is supposed to be different here for some reason. Thus while there are signs of improvement, there are also still flaws here, and it remains to be seen if the story will reach where it needs to be for this to work before the fans start grumbling for the return of their heroes how they like them.

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8.5
Batman: Eternal #24

Sep 18, 2014

Batman Eternal #24 succeeds in both of these ways. The story here is primarily focused on the relationship between Stephanie and her father, and ends in a fairly fun and fulfilling way. At the same time, she is a hero to be taken seriously, not just some kid patrolling the suburbs. The result is quite satisfying, and is especially so for fans of the character or those that appreciate a self-contained issue featuring superheroes.

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8.0
Betty & Veronica #273

Nov 4, 2014

When the second half of the issue takes over, it is clear that there is really some need for this change, not only for the fictional girls, but also for the real reader that is used to these stories. This part plays its role as well as the two girls compete against each other, but it isn't really as fun as the first half where the two break down everything that is Riverdale. In the end it is a pretty fun issue, not as dark as almost anything that can be found on the shelves, but that is not a bad thing here because it is evident that the writers are pushing some boundaries, both for their characters and for themselves.

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7.7
Betty & Veronica #275

Apr 16, 2015

While the issue holds together pretty well, it also has a lot of missed opportunity. Instead of all the plot twists, the creative team could have just focused on the travel aspect of the story, and made it compelling enough without having to keep Archie relevant in the title (this is after all the girls' book.) Equally the switching of identities is fun enough, but they are already in India, and there are enough stories to be told there anyway without having to replay the Prince and the Pauper. It is more the missed potential which drags this story down a bit as it still reads well enough, but the creative team would have been better to follow the lead of their own characters, and to stay our of Riverdale for a while.

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7.2
Betty & Veronica #276

Jun 17, 2015

The outcome is that of one which is very Archie like, or at least what we associate with any random comic featuring these characters. it is fun, but also too bogged down in the town of Riverdale. When the girls first said that they were leaving to see the world, it seemed as though it would be a great opportunity to take them away from the environment and to help them evolve a little bit, but the constant anchor to Riverdale has made sure that it never happened. This is thus a fun enough idea, but also feels a little bit like it has missed the opportunity.

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9.4
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1

Mar 25, 2015

Of all the Disney rides expanded to a story elsewhere, this one has as much potential as Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney put a lot of resources into 2013's The Lone Ranger, but this single issue is proof that this focus should have been placed on a concept such as this one. As it stands, this is an exciting and fun issue from the very first panel and doesn't let up throughout, and promises a solid future of adapting theme park rides into stories, provided that the creative team thinks outside the box.

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8.9
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #2

Apr 15, 2015

After escaping from the fertile ground caused from a mixing of the Old West with the Disney property, the series still proves that it has a lot of heart, even if the story falls off a little bit. This is not an edgy comic, but it also doesn't try to be, instead going for a family level of fun. If the latter is indeed its goal though, it really does succeed, and doesn't let up. Those that are used to comics for other genres and attitudes might find this series a bit trying, but for those that like the medium as a whole for all that it has to offer, they are likely to find a title to love here. It is innocent and fun, but executed pretty well, and deserves more praise than just being a good children's title.

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9.0
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #3

May 27, 2015

It is likely that many have stayed away from this series because of what they might expect from it, and rightfully that is an injustice. It does bear the name Disney and it does feature a young heroine, but there is not so much of the Disney formula apparent here. While it is definitely rated G, it fills its pages with strong writing, and surprisingly stronger commentary, all surrounded by well written characters. Those looking for something a bit more edgy in comics have probably overlooked this series, but those looking on for quality need not look much farther.

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7.8
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #4

Jun 18, 2015

Thus far this has been one of the most entertaining titles to come out of Marvel in a long while despite being off almost everyone's radar. As it stands though this penultimate issue misfires almost as much as it succeeds, with a clunkier story telling than the previous issues. Small details like Abbey, who otherwise just arrived to this world, becoming a master markswoman capable of shooting the hats off of people riding on top of trains seem silly in comparison to the rest of the story. The fun ride thus far will mean that this is a must read for those that have bothered to expand their reading list a bit beyond the ordinary, but with this mediocre issue it seems like the finale will determine the overall quality of this series.

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8.4
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #5

Aug 6, 2015

What follows is not as much out of the box as might have been hinted at earlier in this series. The ending is fulfilling but also perhaps too wholesome. While there were some signs that things would be really different here, it ended up close enough to the Disney script to be recognizable to what has come before. It still represents a step forward for the company, just not as big a step as it might have accomplished, turning Abbey into something a bit more than what she ended up. The finale was still fun and worthwhile, but ended up lacking that little bit extra to make it special, a good ending to a series which could have been great.

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8.4
Birthright #1

Oct 9, 2014

It is not really possible to expand on what occurs here without spoiling the outcome of the first issue, and because of this, I can only seek pity on the readers flipping through at a comic store, skimming to see if this is for them. Looking at only the first few pages is probably not enough of a catch to grab in readers, but those skimming the whole issue will ruin the fun. As it is, this is a book worth checking out, promising not only a few twists in its setup but also more to come and those with a little bit of faith in the writer will be rewarded.

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7.2
Bizarro #1

Jun 3, 2015

The problem with a humor based title is that it depends on being funny, and that can be a hard feat to achieve in a superhero themed comic book. If the jokes fall flat then the story ends up being pretty two dimensional. There are a few well placed one liners here (for instance labeling Canada as Bizarro-USA) but there are also a bunch which do fall flat, which is not helped by the fact that there are some weird tangents like when Bizarro picks up his pet chupacabra. In the end it is entertaining enough, though not necessarily very memorable, but it is a fun concept which verges on the end of being executed well, even if it doesn't quite get there in this issue.

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6.2
Bizarro #2

Jul 1, 2015

It is not entirely clear if the creative team behind this series don't have a firm grasp of the difference between random and funny. This is supposedly a series aimed at a younger market, but the jokes are more like those for adults, while keeping the setting a bit younger. The end result is a story which doesn't really hit its mark in either way. There are those that are bound to like this for taking a more lighthearted look at superheroes, but equally it seems as though this could be this issue's only saving grace. The first issue had some redeeming factors, but this issue is a bit of a mess, and it would have been better off sticking with one inspiration, like the Egyptian occult, as opposed to bouncing all over the place.

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8.0
Black Sky Sampler #1

Oct 16, 2014

The overall effect of this release is what it aimed for though, at least in terms of myself as a reader. While three of the series I am happy to follow in passing, I am likely going to give Ghost a try on a monthly basis, and for anyone interested in a superhero setting outside of the Big Two, they might just find something, or everything, that they are after in this book.

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7.3
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1

Mar 3, 2015

The story is not entirely bad, but for those that were expecting more of the Blood Queen will be disappointed. The character is changed enough to fit her into the story that what made her novel, instead now makes her mundane. Without the richer fairy tale setting, the story reads as just another fantasy story with supernatural players. That being said, it is not as though this story is bad, in fact it does read easily enough and it is entertaining, just it is the same as so much as which has come before.

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7.6
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #2

Mar 30, 2015

This series still has its flaws but it is at least proceeding in a direction which is more true to both characters. The first issue might have left readers thinking that the series should be called “Blood Queen Marries Dracula”, but this issue puts the “versus” back into it, and in a dramatic enough fashion. This series and this issue still have some problems, but at least it seems to be headed in a better direction after this second issue.

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7.2
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #3

Apr 28, 2015

While the approach is interesting enough, there is also not as much to keep the reader interested. This ends up being simply a sequence of one on one melees, most of which end quickly and in relatively similar ways. Of course, this issues sets up the series for what is undoubtedly the sole concrete concept in the entire series, and that is to face off the two eponymous characters against each other. In that, this issue succeeds in thrusting them together, but equally it leaves the impression that this alone is not sufficient enough to base a short series around. Perhaps there are greater plans for the series which involve the occasionally-seen Ottomans, but after this issue the series seems to be more forgettable than it had been previously.

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7.9
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #4

Jun 4, 2015

This series being from an independent publisher, it doesn't really have the chance to catch up in later issues as if it didn't catch readers in the first issue then it was likely going to be ignored. In this case it is too bad as this final issue represents the best of the series. Dracula and the Blood Queen finally square off against each other, and while she proved unable to deal with him on a tactical level through subterfuge, the two are at least relatively well matched in personal battle. So too does the dialogue finally meet somewhat what is expected from this series, as the two strong characters finally converse on equal terms. As the Ottomans finally arrive the ending to the series might seem a bit too obvious, which is a minor letdown, but overall this was the best issue of the series.

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4.0
Bloodstrike (2015) #1

Jul 9, 2015

Unfortunately for this first issue, the story and the art get the Rob Liefeld that causes people to roll their eyes, not the one that causes people to be impressed. It is too bad, because from a contextual point the story is there, and so is the artistic design. It just seems as though he did not know where to draw the line, and with less creative control as he has often had under the big two publishers, that he went too far with his own concept. This therefore comes off as more Michael Bay-like than anything, and it is a failed attempt. It could have been good, but too much of too much makes it fail.

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8.2
Booster Gold: Futures End #1

Sep 24, 2014

The end result is pretty entertaining, especially for those that enjoy either time travel or the problems that result from complex continuity issues. To say much more about this issue would be to take away a lot of the fun of it, but it was a good read which did what a good comic story should, not only tying up some loose ends, but also unraveling a lot more than it just answered. A lot of the Futures End story lines have been focused on a broken future only five years away and have seemed to be dissociated with one another, but in this case, the story has bigger implications not only for Futures End but also the DC universe as a whole.

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8.0
Brainstorm #4

Nov 12, 2014

Future Dude and Comixology provided a copy to Graphic Policy for review

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8.5
Brainstorm #5

Jan 4, 2015

One might read this series and not even really appreciate it as science fiction, but when that realization is made, it is also evident that the creative team is pulling out all of the best characteristics of the genre and putting them together in an unconventional but intriguing manner. There is not only an original approach to this series but also more depth in the story telling of a science fiction story than is found in most other places. It is a shame that the series is less known in the medium, as it is really one of the standouts of recent months, and any reader looking for a fresh take on science fiction stories should check this out.

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8.5
Brainstorm #6

Jan 27, 2015

It is a shame that this series was unseen by so many, because it combined a mature approach in its storytelling, while also aiming high for something new in a genre overpopulated with spaceships and green skinned aliens. The writers managed to tie together everything that they were after, and left nothing hanging while telling their story but also meeting all of the underlying themes that were developed throughout. This series covered all of its goals, and in so doing, ended up as more than the sum of its parts.

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8.2
Brides of Helheim #1

Sep 29, 2014

This ends up being a simple story, heavy on the artwork and not so much on the dialogue, but also one which was engaging enough with the visuals and the characterization to make it easy to jump right in. While reading this the story flew right past, but it left me wanting more right away. It is pretty fun, and definitely worth a look.

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9.0
Brides of Helheim #2

Nov 10, 2014

Really there is very little to be critical of in this issue, as this series stands out as one of the best surprises for me since returning to this medium as a regular reader. The only critique which I could imagine that some might come up with is that this is not a comic about superheroes and that some might not like it just because of the content and genre, but for those that enjoy a holistic experience of the medium, there isn't likely to be much better than this.

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8.3
Brides of Helheim #3

Dec 8, 2014

As opposed to the first two issues, the story here is a lot slower, as it focuses on what was previously a secondary character, now thrust into a leading role. While the actions of Rikard force the plot forward, the payoff here for anyone that has read the first two issues is in the last two pages, both with the plot twist and the gorgeous artwork by Joelle Jones. It is a bit slower and a bit more sedate than fans of this series will be accustomed to, but by the end this issue stands alongside the others in terms of quality, and this leads into the following issue better than the previous two issues have done.

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8.8
Brides of Helheim #4

Feb 9, 2015

By the end of this issue things get even weirder, and readers might even end up shaking their heads to see if what they are reading is the same story. At the same time it ties in concepts not entirely foreign to deeper themes, showing not only the focus on death but also the enduring power of love. It is an unconventional story, but it is also still a standout in terms of its quality and the novelty in the story telling. Readers who only look as far as Image for their reading from the independents are missing a good series here, and really this is yet another series that too few people know about.

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8.8
Brides of Helheim #5

Apr 28, 2015

Generally speaking, stories that combine iconic characters tend to veer towards parody, but the Zombie Viking manages to present itself seriously. More so, the story doesn't revolve around these elements as much as play to them, giving it ground in which to be use the best of both inspirations for something better. The series does seem to be off course at times, but the success of this issue proves that the bigger picture holds more fantastic results. The setup is thus there for a memorable conclusion to this series, and the track record so far would indicate something fun and amazing.

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9.0
Brides of Helheim #6

Jun 3, 2015

It is perhaps best to describe this series as one which always left the readers guessing even though the plot seemed fairly basic. There have perhaps been a few strange choices along the way by the creative team, but with this issue as reference, they all work well together in retrospect as they built towards the setup for the following series. This series is one which has flown under the radar for a number of reasons, but really any fan of the medium that can handle a bit of gory violence should be reading anything that these two put together for this group of characters.

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9.0
Burning Fields #1

Jan 21, 2015

This series is a little bit under the radar but it shouldnt be. Once again proving that a lot of the smaller publishers have the mettle to play with the bigger companies, the story here is engaging and immersive. Its main character is never really at ease being back in the war torn country, but then so too the reader shouldnt be easy reading it. At this stage it is hard to see exactly where this story is headed, whether that be towards a techno-thriller or supernatural gore, but with the strong introduction to the characters and the setting, there is little more to ask for here. In what is an otherwise slower week across the medium, comic fans might want to give this one a look as it looks to be a cut above the usual.

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8.5
Burning Fields #2

Feb 17, 2015

The end result is still a satisfying read, with a horror that is not as cliched as a killer after a group of teenagers or murderous supernatural entities. The setting is a fresh and potentially fertile one for the genre, and in reality the only thing missing at this point is more clarity as to what exactly it is that they are up against. This issue did falter a little bit in its ability to flow throughout, but the end result is still a solid story in a series which is pushing some boundaries.

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8.5
Burning Fields #3

Mar 18, 2015

This series had taken a new look at the War in Iraq and through its new perspective revisited some of the underlying problems involved with the conflict, some of which are wounds which are not yet closed in the national psyche. This series deserves credit for not tiptoeing around the facts and instead dives straight into them, providing a sense of reality even when the world around them is populated with something more fantastical. This is a well written series, and is more difficult to read than most series, but only because the setting and concept are so divisive in terms of ethics and power.

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7.4
Butterfly #1

Sep 24, 2014

All told, the story ends up a bit in the middle in terms of a reading experience. The story is constrained by a lack of much new, but the writers have done what they can to put their own spin on the story and genre, and have come up with something different and intriguing. The art is especially well handled in this issue. While the artistic style would be out of place in a superhero story, it is a natural fit here and does almost as much for the story as the writing. The end result is that this is worth a look, even if it has gone to well-trodden territory

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7.6
Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #1

Jun 11, 2015

While this issue has its merits, it also falls victim to what is the problem with Captain Marvel and with Secret Wars. On the one hand it doesn't really try to accomplish anything that hasn't been seen before, and on the other it seems to be too set in the Secret Wars scenario, as it depends on it for its story. It is not completely devoid of its entertaining moments, only with the talented writing team and free rein to get inventive, it seems like they took the easy route.

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6.5
Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #3

Aug 26, 2015

While there are some moments of enjoyment in this issue, there are also unfortunately too many reminders of what the series is bound to. The world in which these heroes live is not one of empowerment or fun, but rather just one of a concept that does not fit into the Secret Wars world very well, a square peg of Captain Marvel for the round hole of Secret Wars. The resulting story is about as good as two fit together but really is nothing very much special and even less so, takes away from the good that the writer has done with the character in the past years. Secret Wars is heade towards a reboot for the Marvel Universe, and the best that we can hope is that Captain Marvel comes out well on the other side, as she is mostly wasted here.

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5.0
Charmed: Season 10 #1

Oct 4, 2014

It would seem as though that the rebranding failed. After reading issue #1, there is very little to draw a new reader in, and for fans of the series, aside from the presence of the characters, there is very little of the same dynamic going on. While I get at what the writers are going for with the big idea behind Season 10, it is not at all engaging, at least not from this first issue, as the Halliwell girls join together to battle a demon with changing powers, told over a sloppily connected span of months. In the meantime other demons are behind the scenes pulling strings. The end result is not so good, but really I am not sure if it should be expected to be anything more. This is a franchise well past its expiry date, and it might be better for Zenescope to give up on this while they are ahead.

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5.5
Cinderella: Age of Darkness #1

Nov 5, 2014

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2.5
Cinderella: Age of Darkness #3

Jan 16, 2015

This is the first Grimm Fairy Tales series dedicated to the character and it should have had a lot of potential for at least telling a fun if not not necessarily compelling story. Instead it puts Cinderella into a convoluted plot, paying homage to her past, while still trying to make her a modern versions of the 1990s bad girls that were all over comics. The creative minds at Zenescope are capable of some interesting and thought compelling series, but this miniseries proves that the central core of the Grimm Fairy Tales universe is in a bit of a mess, with far too many legends, fair tales, and mythology mixed together. This series suffered because of it.

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9.2
Civil War (2015) #1

Jul 8, 2015

This first issue is interesting, not only because of the different approach that it takes to the Secret Wars crossover, but also because of the fundamental questions which the original crossover posed, questions to which there are no real easy answers, and they are also the questions which underlie much of the public discourse in politics at the moment, especially in the USA. The nuances are here as to deeper questions, and while it doesn't exactly get around to addressing them, they are still there. This issue thus borders on something a lot deeper, while still giving an engaging story to get into. It might not be the best overall tie-in thus far to Secret Wars, but it definitely one of the most thought-provoking, and deserves to be placed at the head of the pack.

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7.2
Cloaks #2

Oct 1, 2014

In the end that is the failing of this issue and likely of the series, that way too much is being attempted in far too little time. This series would have benefited from either going for a smaller concept, or simply more issues. As it is, there is nothing inherently wrong with the plot, the characters or the artwork, only that it feels too crammed together.

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7.8
Cloaks #3

Nov 3, 2014

Those that had given up on this series in either the first or second issue might want to consider having another look at this series at this point. The first issue did not follow through in content and theme to the second issue, and the second issue had its own issues in its pacing. Now in the third issue, the series seems to have found its heart again, but it will inherently be up to the fourth issue to see if the entire experience is worthwhile or not. At least here at the end of the third issue there is some hope for how this could turn out.

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7.0
Cloaks #4

Dec 2, 2014

To do justice to the ideas behind this series, it would seem like there should have been at least six issues invested in the idea. It is almost forgotten that in the first issue that Adam was some kind of Occupy-movement Robin Hood type of character, but that has been all but forgotten here, and its role in his own character development is at this stage somewhat pointless. So too are the action sequences out of place here, or at least in the quantity that they exist. While it is necessary to show Evy as an equal to Adam in almost every way, the precious space for this series is lost as character development is traded for flash, and it ends up being to the detriment of the story. As a series, this issue ends up being a good representation of what it did. It showed some potential and even had some fun moments, but ended up missing out on most of what it was trying to capture.

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8.5
Cluster #1

Feb 3, 2015

Inherently that is where this series excels. While it does aim for a share of action, it is not meant to be exploitative, but rather show strong female characters while also digging a bit deeper to look at the reach of the police state in Western countries, and what that might look like in the future. It is a compelling first look at this series, and it promises a lot for what is to come, regardless of its competition.

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7.9
Cluster #2

Mar 3, 2015

This issue builds where it needed to, and develops some extra plot elements to add some deeper meaning to the plot. While it is deserving of some recognition for its story and characters, the overall effect is less than stellar. It is still a readable story, but is far from a standout in terms of the science fiction genre that is available on the market at the moment.

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6.0
Convergence: Action Comics #1

Apr 29, 2015

The entirety of Convergence to this point seems like it has missed the mark, and it is no different in the Action Comics version of the crossover. Although fans often clamour for the return of beloved characters that have gone away over controversial creative or editorial choices, if DC promises to do something like Convergence to bring back these characters, then the fans might just prefer that they stay gone. The Action Comics is not either really good nor bad compared to the other titles thus far, but that most of the others have been misfires is not good for this particular issue to be considered average among them. A lot more could have been done here, both with this individual series and with the crossover as a whole, but it is mostly forgettable, somewhat as most of the characters involved should have been.

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5.8
Convergence: Action Comics #2

May 27, 2015

In the end there are a host of problems with the entire series, and this part of Convergence is worse off for having been associated with it. In a certain context it is interest to see all of these characters together, but especially when read with other Convergence titles and also when considering the plan for the future releases of DC Comics this summer, then we learn that this short two month interlude has really mostly meant nothing. It never excelled and only acted as a distraction from the regular titles from DC. This issue captures that, and it is too bad that it couldn't have captured something better.

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6.8
Convergence: Catwoman #2

May 13, 2015

Convergence has on the whole mostly been a disappointment, and unfortunately the same mostly carries over here. The pairing of these two characters together usually results in some electricity, but here in the rushed and convoluted setup from Convergence, it is more about the crossover and less about the characters. At the same time, the fundamental attraction of the two characters to each other almost keeps this moving, but it ends up being a a bit too flawed overall. The story doesn't finish here, but rather will continue in the pages of the main Convergence title, but for the time being this two part tie-in doesn't merit the attention.

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4.3
Convergence: Supergirl - Matrix #1

Apr 15, 2015

As opposed to capturing something fun from the past, this issue caught something undesirable. Certainly the past of comics has a lot of great stories which have been told, but there are also a lot of stories which should remain stuck in some back issue bin, and this unfortunately captures that essence above all else. It is reminiscent of the 1980s, when comics got a bit darker, but some responded with an attempt at humor for heroes, most of which fell flat. The humor in this issue is mostly a misfire, the heroes feel out of place, the plot unnecessary to the overall story of Convergence, and all that this issue manages to capture from the past is that it too should probably be buried in a back issue bin.

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7.7
Convergence: Supergirl - Matrix #2

May 13, 2015

This issue ends up being what is perhaps one of the better indicators of the impact of Convergence. While this follows along with the overall story line, it doesn't dwell on it, and instead focuses on the fun dynamic between Supergirl and Ambush Bug. It doesn't always work, but it works a lot better than the plot has so far in most of the Convergence tie-ins as well as the overall story. This is maybe a forgettable entry into a sub-par crossover, but it is also one of the more entertaining thus far, even if the story is far surpassed by the interaction of the characters.

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7.7
Convergence: Titans #1

Apr 8, 2015

The main problem with this (and many other Convergence titles) is that it is hard to see exactly where it is going. At the same time the concept is not really gripping, and doesn't really draw the reader in to its world. It is still interesting to see where this can go, but this interpretation of the cherished and missed characters feels like they have forgotten what made them popular to begin with. It is after all likely that every single group of characters will prevail against the somewhat random selection of foes it has to face, most of whom are not relevant to modern readers, even those from before Flashpoint. Therefore this kind of feels like a fluffy but also mostly fun interlude before we find out what exactly is going to happen to these other characters

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7.5
Convergence: Titans #2

May 6, 2015

This issue ends up being an ode to the love of a father for his daughter, and the extent to which he will go to get her back from the dead. The remainder of the issue is a relatively humdrum effort with a lot of what we have seen before in comics. The Extremists are out of the 1980s, and the storytelling and action seems to follow along accordingly. For those that have wanted to see a return of Lian, this might be as good as they are going to get for a while, though with the end of Convergence still up in the air, it remains to be seen exactly how that will play out. This short two issue Convergence series existed primarily for that purpose and if this comic is to have any value, then it will be to determine the exact fate of this prematurely killed character.

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6.7
Convergence: Wonder Woman #2

May 20, 2015

This goes with the rushed nature of this series, that there is no time to establish these versions of the characters outside of the regular DC continuity, and thus the characters are more like caricatures of the regular versions as opposed to the interesting twists which took place in the alternate realities. This doesn't help as the problem on the whole with Convergence has been the mismatch of characters from different eras and inspirations and such is the case again here. In the history of Wonder Woman, at least since the 1980s, the Joker actually shows up fairly often as an enemy of Wonder Woman, but he is not an arch-enemy, and his presence here feels artificial, especially for what is supposed to be such a huge crossover. Once again this is a misfire for DC and Convergence, as its big crossover of the summer seems to be going nowhere.

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8.0
Damsels In Excess #4

Jan 14, 2015

As a take on the fairy tale genre, this series works, or at least hits all of the notes that it needs to, with main characters that are fun and well developed. The concept and story itself is a bit of a stretch when it comes to fairy tales, but it is still a modern version of what fairy tales might look like if they were crafted in the modern day with modern storytelling. The main problem with the series and this issue is that it is a limited series, and while this issue is of decent enough quality, it does not seem like it is moving along fast enough for the rest of the series not to be crammed together for a hasty resolution. It is of course nice to see character development, but if it comes at the expense of the plot then it is to the worse of the overall series. It remains to be seen what the creative team will do with what they have to this point, but at least all the pieces are there for something memorable enough in this genre.

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7.6
Danger Girl: May Day #4

Oct 8, 2014

The end result is pleasing but still a bit of a letdown. So much of this series relies not on the storytelling but on the characters. The settings and the plots are absurd, but it is the characters that flesh them out and give them life. This element was missing for this whole series, instead relying on some more traditional espionage elements that one might expect from a 1960s television. Fans of the group probably won't be disappointed, but they will probably not praise this either, except maybe as the setting for more that is to come.

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8.4
Danger Girl: Renegade #1

Sep 1, 2015

There are no real answers here either, but they are ready to be explored, or so it would seem. The setup to revealing Abbey's past is handled well here as there are no immediate revelations, but rather true to the life of a spy, her secrets have secrets, and the introduction to her past in this issue is thus handled well, giving a glimpse, albeit a short one, into her past and how she is tied to the others. The only drawback one could identify from this series is that the other members of the Danger Girl team are missing, though that doesn't seem to be something that will continue through the series. At the moment this is a fun introduction to a question that fans of the series have always had and it will be interesting to see what the creators have in store for the remainder of the series.

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8.4
Deep State #1

Nov 10, 2014

The sum of the experience is an intriguing series, filled with a few surprises here and there. For those that treat conspiracies as just another aspect of pop culture, there is likely to be something new here to digest, but there is even a lot here for those fully immersed in the sub-culture of conspiracies. The writing is generally of a high standard, and the artistic style, while at first seemingly a bit of place, melds well with the storytelling style by the end of the issue as the pair of investigators get thoroughly involved with a conspiracy.

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7.8
Deep State #2

Dec 9, 2014

This makes it occasionally hard to enjoy this otherwise engaging series. If the characters were more peripheral to the story then it might meant that it was easier to focus instead of the sci-fi concepts, but already by this point, some of the victims are more engaging than the two leads. While there is of course room to grow for these two, it also doesnt seem like they are on the right track. The little bit of engaging dialogue between them is stifled by an overly seriously bureaucratic attitude in the writing which doesn't help either. There is still enough here for this series to succeed, only that it could easily be in the rare field of having both engaging characters and an amazing concept. For the time being the readers of this series will have to be happy with one and not the other, though the payoff for the one half is still worth it.

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8.8
Deep State #3

Jan 13, 2015

Thus far, everything in this series has been a subtle twist on all of the other conspiracy sci-fi stories that have come before, though enough of a twist to make the entire endeavor seem to be original. The same holds true here as the characters find themselves facing something which has not been seen before, at least not is such a way, and the characters are original enough in their own way to be a draw as well. With already rumors of a television deal in the works and with the consistent quality, this is a series that fans might want to get into now, so that they can claim that they were reading it before it went mainstream.

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8.8
Deep State #4

Feb 12, 2015

The end of the story arc is maybe not as engaging as the lead-in to it, but the first story arc did well to implant this series on the comic scene. As it comes from one of the smaller independents, probably fewer people will see this, but it is a series which deserves the attention, and for its own merits. It may be similar to a television show and might be based on conspiracies which we know all too well, but it breathed fresh life into them, and so it is exciting to see where they might go next.

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8.8
Deep State #5

Apr 8, 2015

Once again the creative team proves that they have what it takes to use what seems like an exhausted concept, excpet that they manage to breathe new life into it. There are a few shortcuts taken here for the movement of the plot, and the discovery of the powers of the gun is one which could have been expanded on, but in the end the story doesn't need it. Instead it relies on some complacency before the shock value of the ending. It reminds the reader once again not to underestimate the twists and turns of this series and that each issue is carefully plotted for what is to come next.

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6.8
Detective Comics (2011) #42

Jul 1, 2015

If DC needs Batman, and specifically Detective Comics, then it is hard to see how this fits in. The idea of Jim Gordon as Batman is one which breaks certain base assumptions about the group of characters. Though both defined by a moral code, Batman is not Jim Gordon, nor can Jim Gordon be Batman. Others that have taken up the title have done so in the spirit of Bruce Wayne, but this new version is a bit bizarre, asking the reader to forget key parts of the publication history of the characters, so that an unconventional story can be told. Unconventional stories can be great, as any work of fiction should try to push the boundaries of what is the expected, but in this case it still doesn't quite feel right, as Detective Comics still feels like it is missing its Batman, even when it ostensibly has one.

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8.3
Doctor Fate #1

Jun 17, 2015

The path which Khalid is taking to becoming a superhero is perhaps formulaic, but being formulaic does not mean that it cannot also be fun. Such is the case here as the young hero is hesitant to take on the responsibility, and also is clumsy once he does so. At the same time the writers are careful to give the main character compelling enough supporting characters to rely upon, and thus to automatically give the character a bit more depth. It will be a long road to making this character finally work, but it would seem that all the pieces are here and that the time might finally be right for him.

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8.5
Doomed #1

Jun 17, 2015

If there was meant to be a shake-up in Metropolis, then this is evidently a better route than the story arc that is dominating the other Superman titles. This is s fresh take on the city and its superheroes, and the first real bit of something different for the city in a long time. The character feel real and they are approachable, and his supporting characters even beg for more panel time as they themselves seem to have interesting stories. Although this might be a little low on some people's reading list, it probably shouldn't be. It was a fun read and it leaves the reader waiting impatiently for the next issue.

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8.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #2

Sep 19, 2014

It doesnt end up being quite as much of a disappointment, as even as a non-fan of the characters part of the Marvel Universe, that this is still an interesting and even fun read. The problem more so is that it feels at the same time like a missed opportunity. I have not read the first issue of this series, but if each Spider-Man is only a slightly different version of the character, with basically the same origin story told, then it would seem as though the creative staff is not challenging themselves enough. This thus becomes most evident in the artwork as compared to the writing. The artistic team here was willing to break all the rules for the new character, but the writing team stuck to what already made sense, and the payoff is evidently just not as good as it could be.

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8.3
Ei8ht #1

Feb 16, 2015

At the very least, this first issue sets up the remainder of the series for some success, as not only is the story interesting by itself, but so too are the character well-written, especially the band of survivors that the time traveler encounters. Ei8ht still ends up being a refreshing tale of time travel, maybe not as groundbreaking in its version of the concept in its first issue, but still trying out something new while also borrowing from other works in the genre. The new plot device of the meld works well as a microcosm of this series, trying out some new ideas and some old ones, and mixing them together into something interesting.

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8.1
Ei8ht #2

Mar 17, 2015

Time travel is a complicating concept to deal with, which could be a reason why good time travel stories tend to be really good and bad time travel stories tend to be really bad. Ei8ht still seems to be stuck somewhere in the middle, trying to figure out its own mechanics before it builds its plot. While confusion continues as to the entire system, setting and story, there is at least the basis here for what could be a good time travel story. After all it is usually not at the beginning but rather at the end when the true effects of such travel become known, and it is those moments which define whether the story is notable or not.

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6.3
Empty Zone #3

Aug 18, 2015

There are some inherent problems with such a stylistic concept, and they are evident in this third issue. While the series and this issue are well designed to display the depth to which society has descended, it does so without an adequate character to guide them, and thus the reader gets lost. The character herself is one which is enticing, but the writers have given so little about her to identify with, that it is equally hard to like her. When there seems to be a breakout in her background, the creative team throws the reader some more confusion with the mostly out-of-place street fight and the even more out-of-place sex scene. It is a brave concept, but the execution is not there as basic elements of storytelling are missing.

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9.2
Fantastic Four (2014) #645

Apr 29, 2015

It is these stories which act as the best send-off for a team that we probably won't be seeing again for a while, at least not until the followup story lines are resolved. For followers of the medium and especially those of the superheroes stories, there are likely few that have not been exposed to the Fantastic Four in one way or another, and so the stories are inhrently approachable, and in this case even non-fans of the team and its characters will find enough to take away in this issue to rank it a worthy of a look. It is with a sad heart for the diehard fans that this is the end for now, but as they say in the issue Fantastic Four Fourever, and it is inevitable that these characters return to the team in the long run.

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6.0
Father's Day #1

Oct 20, 2014

In a sense there is nothing really wrong with this story, but at the same time it lacking in both originality for its content and in the approachability of the characters. There is some promise here, as with such randomly presented characters, that indeed something could come of this by the second issue, but equally there is probably not enough of a hook here for the first issue to draw in the readers for another try.

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8.2
Fiction Squad #1

Sep 30, 2014

In the end, the story ends up being that same kind of mixed bag. On a fundamental level, this story is not taking itself seriously, and that is fine because it is not trying to. This makes it a fun and relatively compact read, but equally it is lacking a lot of depth as humor at the pre-established characters expense often takes the place of good plot development or effective dialogue.

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8.5
Flash (2011) #36

Nov 26, 2014

The end result is an issue which does a little bit better than most of the issue's in this series. The overall level of expectation for the Flash is usually of an entertaining level, though not necessarily more, but with the added time paradox aspect of this issue the series takes a deeper (and darker) turn. The Flash is actually one of the series at DC Comics which benefits best from a more scientific approach, and as that is here, this issue is tapping into its own Speed Force.

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8.6
Flash (2011) #38

Jan 28, 2015

The series continues here to show that it should not be as disregarded as it on the company level, or even by the entire medium. As the only speedster that can continuously hold down a monthly series, there has always been something special about the Flash, and while the science is often not that hard, there is at least something to it when philosophy is mixed with science. This series deserves a look by anyone looking for something a little bit outside the box when it comes to their superheroes.

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7.7
Flash (2011) #40

Mar 25, 2015

If that seems like a bit much for one issue, its because it kind of is. The series is not really well done by with this wrap-up, especially as this story arc started off with such an interesting concept, even if that concept was an abandonment of the focus put on science throughout the first three years of this series. This is a wrap up but it leaves the character a bit too contained, with no stories to directly follow. Two months of Convergence will dominate and it is likely that the Flash will figure in prominently, but for now this is left on a bit of a mediocre low.

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9.1
Flash (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

While it remains to be seen what will happen with the story arc, the setup could not be better. The story telling is very clever as it tells the story in a way that the reader gets to experience the mystery just as Barry does. Of course the reader knows that Thawn is coming, but that is really their only advantage over the character. There are a few other clever moves as well, such as using members of the Rogue's gallery that are not as well known, and thus less likely to steal the show from the bigger enemy. As it stands this is shaping up to be the best Flash story since Flashpoint, and for any fans that have been looking for a place to get on board, this is it!

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8.6
Flash (2011) #43

Aug 26, 2015

In so doing this issue shows that the story line is still in its early stages, with Thawne's group of villains playing a larger role here than Thawne himself. What is supposed to be a big story is therefore somewhat diluted by the slower rollout as well as not really changing much from the regular script of this series. It is fun and does well for the hero, but the the dramatic payoff still seems to be far enough away as Barry deals with the mundane (mundane for a superhero that is) before the bigger fireworks start. This issue will probably become necessary reading after we see whatever finale is ahead for hero and villain, but for now stays true to the performance of the series, good but not great, with a decent amount of fun.

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9.0
Flash Forward (2019) #2

Oct 16, 2019

Stories involving the DC multiverse have a tendency to be really good or really bad. Because of the nature of the stories, it makes the creative teams have to swing for the fences. This means that the readers either get to read a home run or a strike out. This series thus far has taken a different approach, instead focusing on the character development of Wally instead of worrying about cosmic threats and alternate realities. It succeeds with this approach by choosing a focus and sticking to it. The multiverse has never seemed so easy.

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7.7
Flash Gordon Holiday Special 2014 #1

Dec 20, 2014

What could have been a mismatch in terms of context, content and concept ends up being a nice enough issue dealing with the holiday season. While at times it does feel like a bit of a reach to make this relevant, it fits in nicely. Flash Gordon is after all a pulp character from another time, and so some of the anachronistic Christmas practices also don't really feel out of place here. Those looking for a nice and quaint holiday themed issue will find it here, but those liking neither science fiction nor the holidays might find this a bit taxing.

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8.0
Future Fight Firsts: White Fox #1

Oct 9, 2019

It can be hard to introduce a new character, but it seems at the very least like the basics are here. White Fox might not be headlining the next Marvel movie, but there is enough foundation here to maybe build something bigger on.

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8.8
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #268

Nov 14, 2019

This was a fun issue. It is not very layered and there is no focus on characterization. This is an action-based aerial chase action sequence that plays out over an entire issue. It is not very deep in terms of material but anyone looking for a fun read will find it here in G.I. Joe #268.

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7.8
George Perez's Sirens #1

Sep 16, 2014

While the reader might be left wondering what is going on for the first part of the story in issue #1, the confusion does end up being worth the effort. Although it takes a fairly roundabout way to get there, the story does get on track towards the end, coalescing as it does into the team, though in a less conventional way than some origin stories. In the end this ends up being a pretty satisfying read, as Prez goes from nothing to a compelling story with compelling characters in little time. Although there is still a little bit of confusion by the end of the first issue, the degree to whichPrez has pulled it together is evidence enough that the story should be clear and concise enough by the following issue.

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7.3
George Perez's Sirens #2

Dec 9, 2014

The end result of this issue is that it is about as muddled as the first few pages would indicate. Although it gets on firmer footing by the end of the issue, there is still a lot of explanation for what is going on, the concept behind the series almost swallowing the story whole for its level of exposition. So while this is indeed at times an excellent endeavor, it also becomes a little lost in itself, both for biting off more than it can chew but also for not aiming as high in breaking the clichs. It is still a fun series, just not necessarily heading in the right direction with this issue.

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8.5
Ghost (2013) #9

Nov 6, 2014

The end result is pretty good. The main character is still being fleshed out in terms of background, but the struggle that she has with her ethics over visiting her friend plus the decision about her new career as a superhero work well to the character development for the series protagonist. Add in some decent and fun action as she sets out on her first mission as well as a contemporary enough emphasis on her heroics, and the issue ends up fitting together nicely. As a standalone issue it works by itself, and so it lives up to the claim of being a good starting point, and anyone at all interested in this series that has been putting off reading it might want to start here.

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9.0
Ghost (2013) #10

Dec 2, 2014

The end result is the best issue so far in this series, one where Ghost has to wrestle with what exactly her role is to become as an agent of good. Thus far in this series, she has been established as an unconventional hero, but so too is this an unconventional series, with its base as a regular superhero comic, but its extension as often something more.

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8.8
Ghost (2013) #11

Jan 6, 2015

Revenge forms one of the major bases for characters across comics, and yet it is very infrequently looked upon as a destructive force, more so as a motivation for those that have an interest in crime fighting. For instance, Batman can use revenge to reach impossible feats, and it is very infrequently shown to have the same effects on him that it has on most. That is where this story succeeds, in that it looks at one of the common character background motivations and but displays it from a different angle, and one which is likely more realistic in comparison to the real world. It makes this series one of the better superhero series on the market at the moment, flying a little bit under the radar, though worthy of a look by those interested in a bit more depth in the story telling for their heroes.

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8.8
Ghost (2013) #12

Feb 3, 2015

As a final issue there is not much more which can be asked of this than what it accomplishes. It never feels rushed as though it is trying to squeeze in one last large story arc in to a single issue. Instead it finishes organically, giving the main character an appropriate sendoff, while wrapping up loose ends. There are even some engaging action sequences in this story, adding some fun to the deeper messages. It is unfortunate that this series never gained better traction, but at the very least one can hope that its connection to the Project Black Sky imprint means that the hero will not be out of print for long.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 4, 2014

The end result is a standout issue, in truth one of the best that I have read from DC in a long time. It stepped way outside of the formulaic box with this one and it would seem only by purposefully going back that it could misstep. It is likely going to be a shame, because when more ambitious books from the big two lose the money game they get canceled, so fans of something new should get behind this while they have the chance.

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9.2
Gotham Academy #2

Nov 5, 2014

The end result is somewhat unexpected as this second issue is even better than the first, having lost none of the novelty and even picking up some momentum. The main characters are fleshed out as the story progresses, and the creative team is clever in leading Olive around the grounds of Gotham Academy, allowing the reader to discover its secrets alongside the heroine. The main concern that I have with this issue is the same as with the first issue, that DC is interested in quantity over quality, in that it cancels a lot of good titles just because they arent selling well, and that could be the case here as well. Regardless comic fans are at a loss if they are to let this series die an early death, it is really one of the most innovative series to come out of DC in years and deserves a chance.

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8.6
Gotham Academy #3

Dec 3, 2014

In the end the issue is still a standout, only that it does not reach the same balance as the previous issues. For a character that has been thrown into the lead in a new series, Olive has been a great mix of interesting character development combined with a plot worthy of such a deep and compelling character. The problem here is not so much an absence of either the character development or the novelty of the plot, rather as opposed to the previous two issues, the two elements seemed to be more separated. This series is still one of the stand-outs for DC Comics, and it is only be comparison to the excellent first two issues that this one comes up a bit short, as it still fits in with the overall high quality of writing and artwork so far in this series.

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9.2
Gotham Academy #4

Jan 28, 2015

The creative team proves here that they have a lot left in this series. Far from being a drop off in quality this issue might be the best so far, especially as the shock value has worn off from the first few issues for those that thought that such a series could never be good or entertaining. Indeed this is one of the best issues that DC has on offer from its wide selection of titles. It is still tied to superheroes and belongs in the DC Universe, but at the same time it mostly doesn't and stands on its own by itself as well.

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8.9
Gotham Academy #5

Feb 27, 2015

This series is still one of the standouts among the big two, and while others are being rolled out to compete with the success of this and Batgirl, it is evident that (while the newer series are not necessarily bad) that this is a step above. The characters are approachable and the story is enchanting and engaging, and this series remains a success story and provides an example of how to do comics right.

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8.4
Gotham Academy #6

Mar 25, 2015

The series still stands out as one to watch at DC, only it must be noted that once again a big DC wide crossover is thrown into the mix and will have an impact on this series. It would seem as though the series is teetering on some kind of a breaking point as the epilogue throws a bit more Batman into the Academy, which might work for the series and it might not. Nonetheless this issue works where it needs to, and while it might not be as strong as others in the series, its quality is still above what to expect from other series.

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8.3
Gotham Academy #7

Jun 11, 2015

While this issue was entertaining, it also comes off as being a relative piece of fluff compared to what has come before in the series. The celebrity guest is given star status, as the series' main character is missing. The story is fun, but little more than that, as it feels as though it could have easily been ripped from the pages of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys and then condensed into a single comic issue. There were some fun moments, and it was nice to see some of the focus on Maps as well, but this nonetheless feels only like an interlude.

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8.9
Gotham Academy #8

Jul 8, 2015

While the tone of the series has changed a little bit with this issue, as well as the focus, it still maintains its same high standards that it has proven so far. The sub-plot with Tristan is distracting in a way, but then the idea here was not to bring back the series' protagonist with a flash but rather with a slow burn. It is an effective way to pave the way for what will be Olive's future, but as a good story should do, it is taking its time and not rushing in, and this issue is better for it.

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9.2
Gotham Academy #9

Aug 12, 2015

The outlook of the series might have changed a little bit with this issue, but the quality has not. Especially as this seems to be somewhat of the end state for this first overall story arc of the series, a lot of different approaches could have been taken to get here, but none would have created such a sizable depth of characterizations for those only ten issues into their publication histories. As it stands, this remains one of the best series on offer from DC, even if its initial aura of mystery is replaced by something else.

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8.3
Gotham Academy: Endgame #1

Apr 1, 2015

There is perhaps a bit of a disconnect between this standalone issue and the rest of the series, but it doesn't really matter. While this does not advance the main plot of Gotham Academy in any way, it is also nice as it helps to develop the characters in a more complex way, even if they did not need much more development as opposed to a lot of other comic characters. This issue also ties the characters together with Gotham once again, though also really doesn't at the same time. It is this balance where the series finds its success and it finds it here too, even if it is relatively unimportant to the overall narrative of the series.

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8.6
Grayson #9

Jun 24, 2015

In terms of an espionage story, this fits a fairly common formula, but it does so in such a fun way that it can be excused. There is a bigger story happening in the background, but this issue becomes all about the mission at the art museum, and as that is executed in an engaging and fun way, it elevates the remainder of the story to the same level. The underlying plot seems to be pretty intense as well, as Grayson is going to presumably become a renegade agent before proving his innocence. In the meantime this issue acted as a perfect issue to get the momentum rolling once again for this series and incidentally provides an excellent jumping on point for new readers.

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6.6
Grimm Fairy Tales (2016) #31

Oct 8, 2019

It feels like this series has everything it needs to succeed, just that it would take a bit more risk-taking on behalf of the publisher and the creative team. That is, after all, what allowed Grimm Fairy Tales to succeed at the beginning of its first run.

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7.6
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz: Reign of the Witch Queen #1

Apr 30, 2015

It is not so much that the series manages to stand out in its own right, but rather that it is far better than what has come before in the Oz stories from Zenescope. That being said there are still some problems as this series aims to wrap up the stories, which will presumably also thrown Dorothy to the forefront of the Grimm Fairy Tales universe as a hero of equal worth to Sela Mathers or Calie Liddle. It might seem as though the bizarre road to doing so might finally have gotten serious with this issue, and this deserves a look for fans of the overall universe to at least see if they can get this series on track as it would seem to be here.

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7.6
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz: Reign of the Witch Queen #2

Jun 4, 2015

While the first issue of this series laid the groundwork for a turnaround for this series, this second issue keeps that momentum going, as well as maintaining the same potential. At the same time the breakthrough is not really there. This is much more readable than most of what has come before in this trilogy, but equally it still feels as though it needs an extra push to get to be something closer to its two literary cousins and their adaptations into the Grimm Fairy Tales universe. At least this keeps the action moving at a decent pace and gives the reader something more solid to grasp onto. Whether the series manages to realize its potential remains to be seen, but it is going to be at least more entertaining than before for those that are willing to find out.

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7.6
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz: Reign of the Witch Queen #4

Aug 28, 2015

While this might not really feel like Oz, it equally does not mean that it is very bad either. Going off the script is fine if the creative team has a grasp on where it is going, and although this is not really a natural progression of Baum's story, it still makes enough sense from a story telling standpoint. The second series in for Grimm Fairy Tales' Oz was a lot more off the mark than this series, and while the denizens of Oz have never looked like this or acted like this, it is still an interesting enough tale with a couple of twists to keep things interesting.

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8.9
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Coven #1

Jul 2, 2015

Grimm Fairy Tales has a tendency to get a bit bogged down in its main stories as it is so intricately woven together with its different inspirations. This series on the other hand proves that there is a lot of hidden talent at this company, with the creative teams that it puts together to cover different concepts. The result is this series which is a deviation from the usual Grimm Fairy Tales script, but a welcome one as it adds something extra to the universe which hasn't been seen in some time, and manages to do so in an engaging way.

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8.7
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Coven #2

Aug 28, 2015

While an occult vs. military concept is not exactly new, it is interesting to see it in this setting for Grimm Fairy Tales. While a lot of the properties for Grimm Fairy Tales can be fun, they also seem to be in somewhat of a comfort zone, and don't really move much beyond that. This series on the other hand seems to be trying a few new things, and while they are not spectacular at least deserve to be recognized as such. Also worthy of recognition is that the series features Baba Yaga, on the surface a strange choice for a series protagonist but also one that works in this setting. This might not be an amazing series, but it is fun and worth a look for those that don't mind a bit of a mix between genres.

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4.0
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Tales From Oz #4

Nov 27, 2014

By the end of the issue there is little left to discern from. The plot as it stands could have been presented in about two pages without all the inside jokes (including two for the Princess Bride) and ridiculous conversation. This is a series that I would like to like, but the presentation here creates a huge mess of an issue.

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8.0
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #28

Oct 13, 2014

This new direction for the series is probably lost on someone new picking up the series, as the quick rundown of the previous plots in the introduction glosses over some excellent stories from the past. Those that have not read them might want to chase them down, to find some truly interesting entries into this sometimes gory genre. For those fans of the series and the characters, this new turn is perhaps not expected or even normal for the characters, but it is still a reliable enough reading experience from a company that tends to be all over the place in terms of quality. Wonderland is not Zenescope's flagship but by its own merits it should be and the story here while perhaps a bit less psychotic than the normal, is still fun and engaging.

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8.3
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #29

Nov 26, 2014

The end result is a solid well-put-together issue. Fans of the series and characters thus far in the Wonderland saga will notice something definitely different in the previous few issues, but the end result is the same quality if slightly different in outlook. Wonderland still remains one of the most intriguing ongoing series outside of the major publishers and deserves a look from any comic fan willing or eager to expand their reading interests.

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8.7
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #31

Jan 16, 2015

This issue stands as a bit of an aside for the series as a whole, cleaning up a bit of loose ends from the Wonderland miniseries, but still does so in an entertaining manner. It is less common to see with this series a standalone self contained story, but it works here, and did not feel constrained by the space limitation. This series remains one of the bright spots under the Grimm Fairy Tales imprint, and as it stands doesn't need much to keep up its general high standard.

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8.8
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #32

Feb 10, 2015

What ends up transpiring is story which should feel out of place in the land of Carroll, but instead fits right in. Of course this is still the Grimm Fairy Tales version of Wonderland and is thus a bit more brutal, but the manner of the cats and Calie's eventual response to them is close to being a perfect mix for the modern Wonderland as can be found. As the next issue promises the lead-in to the next story arc, the previous two issues almost makes the reader wish that another story arc was not up next, as the stand alones have been fulfilling reads.

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8.8
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #33

Mar 11, 2015

One of the main criticisms of most Zenescope titles is that they rely on selling scantily clad female characters, and otherwise it is just a bunch of boring fairy tale stories. The same can be said for a lot of comics not just for Zenescope, and those that think so are missing out on a lot of interesting stories. This can be especially said for Wonderland, what is Zenescope best series and product by a wide margin. In some respects this issue falls a bit short of the expected, especially in the replication of the format which came before, but as always there is more depth here than in a lot of comics and so this issue, while maybe not a standout, serves as a good example of why more people should think of this series as a standout.

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8.4
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #34

Apr 15, 2015

There is less to expect from this issue, though as opposed to the previous week's White Queen tie-in to Realm War, this at least works to get the non sequitur out of the character's path and to get her back on track for her own stories. Those picking up this particular issue for the first time for a look into the well developed characters will likely be a little bit unimpressed as this is really not the strongest issue around to highlight what is so special about the character. Nonetheless this issue does what it needs to, moving the plot along and setting the stages for another memorable story arc.

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9.0
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #35

May 14, 2015

The entire story here flows well, with the action balanced equally with the plot. The plot is going almost full-on fantasy, with Calie playing a similar role to many other iconic heroes from the genre, all the while retaining her ties to Wonderland and the real world. For a story arc which started out a bit slow, it has picked up all the momentum that it needs here, and it promises a memorable enough resolution.

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9.3
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #36

Jun 4, 2015

Once again this issue proves why this series is far and away the standout series from Zenescope. The characters are rich and the concept has depth. The metamorphosis of Calie from troubled teen in the earlier books to superhero queen is maybe not the most evident from the earlier stories involving the character, but as they are written it is natural and logical progression in the character's path. This issue continues forward the strong momentum behind this series and finishes the second story arc with a bang, and sets up the future for more grat stories to come.

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8.5
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #37

Jul 9, 2015

If the series seems to be somewhat convoluted, it is because it is. The story in this first issue of this new story arc continues what came before, but also throws it away. The Terror was a villain that had to be dealt with, but his role seems to be relatively unimportant here. Still this story deserves some benefit of the doubt. After the series writer Erica J. Heflin has somewhat of a pattern by this point of creating a puzzle for herself to start with and then to sort through it carefully and meticulously by the end of a story arc to produce another stunning victory. Such would seem to be the case here as all the pieces are in play for another amazing story, just that it is not clear how that will play out yet.

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9.1
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #38

Aug 14, 2015

This is a series that tends to balance somewhere between good and great, and while the past few issues could be said to be only good, this seems to be the return to something more for the series. There is a bit more gore here than what has been seen recently, but it also adds weight to what has happened. Certainly this story still has some distance to go before resolution, but the approach here is the one that has worked best for the series overall. Some Earth and some Wonderland equals the best outcome for story telling here.

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8.7
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Wonderland #39

Sep 3, 2015

While there is a decent setup for this new nemesis in Calie's life, his introduction is also somewhat of an x factor. He is built up well here, but his place in the overall story is a mystery as there is essentially no context for his appearance. The same general level of performance is here for the series as Heflin manages another engaging story, but it remains to be seen exactly how this fits into the bigger picture, as it is still somewhat undefined. At the very least it proves that she has an understanding of what made the series so popular to begin with and can channel that same concept into her own version of the series. The only issue is that it is somewhat non sequitur, it will likely be incorporated into the story line in a meaningful way in the coming issues, but for the moment it is an outlier in terms of its placement in the series, and so while engaging it takes a way a bit from the overall narrative of the series.

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7.4
Grimm Fairy Tales Vs. Wonderland #4

Oct 20, 2014

If this is going to reach some breaking point is a more relevant question. As long as the series remains self-contained and away from the main problems of Grimm Fairy Tales, then it shouldn't be a problem. This was a perfect setup therefore in this series, as Sela comes to Wonderland to fight and not Calie to Earth. The end result is pleasing enough, although perhaps a little mundane at times, but it does provide an easy access to a future problem for Calie. Indeed this issue alone sums up the entire series effectively, and someone reading the main Wonderland series but not Grimm Fairy Tales, might like to get this issue just for a bit of context as to what is going on.

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3.2
Grimm Fairy Tales: Halloween Special #2014

Oct 1, 2014

There is very little actual horror here at all, only looking at some of the nightmares of the characters in passing. It is not even really clear who the protagonist of this is either. The end result is an issue which loses any chance it had at success before it began.

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7.8
Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Special: 2014 #1

Nov 20, 2014

The end result is not amazing, but this fits better into the sequence of holiday specials than most of them have, for instance the relatively recent 2014 Halloween special. Fans of the main series will probably find enough here to keep them happy, but this issue stands alone as enough of a creepy Christmas story for any readers interested in a little gore mixed in with their mistletoes.

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7.8
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #1

Feb 4, 2015

The duality of the series and even the company as a whole is shown as a microcosm in this series. The parts where Calie is forced to deal with the Dark Queen are laborious, but when she is allowed to cut loose on her own the story picks up a lot of momentum. For those who enjoy comics for their action sequences, they are unlikely to find a more interesting fight sequence this week than when Calie takes on the killer mushrooms, which is noteworthy for both its whimsy and its brutality, even if it is a bit short on length. In the end the story ends up slightly bogged down again by the Dark Queen, but the overall result is still enjoyable, and more so for fans of the Wonderland series.

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8.1
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #2

Mar 4, 2015

This is a short series, with the following issue being the last,but it has been unexpectedly entertaining in its relatively short run. The character are not written for depth, but they don't really need to be as they are well established elsewhere. Instead it is the concept which drives the interest here, and it works. It might not if it were drawn out longer, but in this shorter version, the miniseries manages a better focus. By the end of this issue it is well set up for a showdown in the final issue and it looks equally as fun.

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8.5
Grimm Tales Of Terror #5

Dec 4, 2014

The preamble to this story says that Zenescope goes back to its roots and there is maybe more to that than what they meant to say. When left unimpeded by its generally weaker shared universe, the story here gets a chance to shine, or more accurately to scare. While there are fans of the superhero-like universe of Grimm Fairy Tales, it is really worth remembering that it did not start out that way, and that those where the most groundbreaking stories in the original series lie. This issue does not forget those lessons and thrives because of it.

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7.7
Grimm Tales Of Terror #6

Jan 7, 2015

It is not so much as a horror that this story succeeds, because the comic format is really not as well suited for the genre, but rather in the combination of horror with some other aspects where the story comes together. The previous issue was a bit more of a surprise in terms of its quality, and really the writing on it was better than what is seen here. Nonetheless, the story here does invoke some of the earlier days of this publisher and it is nice to see that the format still works, even when the story is not as much of a standout.

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7.2
Grimm Tales Of Terror #7

Feb 4, 2015

This series is an unexpected gem, likely overlooked for a number of reasons, but in terms of consistent stories dealing with terror it has been above par. That each story is told in a one-shot style format means that each has to stand on its own merits and can't rest on what momentum was carried forward by previous issue. Because of that certain issues are likely to not shine as bright and that is the case here, with a still readable though slightly forgettable story.

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7.3
Grimm Tales Of Terror #8

Feb 16, 2015

This series has been unexpectedly good at times, but this particular issue does not manage the same impact that others had, either in terms of the scary horror moments nor in therms of any morale coming out of the story as told by the series main character Keres. What is left is a story that works on some levels but is unfortunately unbalanced in its outlook, and a little misguided by not digging a bit deeper.

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8.5
Grimm Tales Of Terror #9

Mar 11, 2015

This series has been through some ups and downs, but this one surprisingly proves more effective at showing off the narrator Keres as the more complex character, one that has been lurking in the background, acting as an arbiter of justice, though often on her own terms. As an issue which the publisher is providing for free (under certain conditions) this serves as a good vessel for the introduction of the character and the concept to a wider fan base. And while this is not the strongest example for this series, it still serves as a good example of the quality that Zenescope is capable of when people looked past their covers.

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8.3
Grimm Tales Of Terror #11

May 28, 2015

Although this issue relies on some of the lesser famous motifs of the horror genre, it still manages to put together a strong issue. The horror element is executed well enough, as is the twist ending. While series is ostensibly linked to the lessons as taught by Keres, it doesn't even require this as a plot element here, instead relying on the dark concept and good execution.

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8.5
Grimm Tales Of Terror #12

Jul 2, 2015

Although it deviates a bit from the script, this issue ends up being one of the best so far in this series. Instead of relying on shock value, the horror is played down where it needs to be and is mostly kept unseen. At the same time, that both the narrator Keres and the one receiving her lesson are more present and related to the story makes this a bit better of a hook compared to others in the series. Overall this is thus one of the best entries so far in the series, some of which had bit hits and others of which have been misses.

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7.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror #13

Jul 30, 2015

The end result is a bit disappointing, but the series still deserves some credit for trying something else. It is not a story which is ever really eerie, nor does it give any sense of great tension, but it at least captures some of the elements of the genre. It has succeeded in other issues in its run, but it falls a bit flat here. Perhaps the best thing about this issue is the blurb at the end, indicating that Zenescope intends to return with the series for a second volume, as this series has been pretty good overall, even when individual issues, such as this one, don't really succeed.

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7.3
Grimm Tales of Terror (2019): The Bridgewater Triangle #1

Sep 27, 2019

Zenescope has been through some changes in recent years, but those in charge seem to understand the profitability of this series. These issues have mostly been spooky or scary enough, and fans of the genre should check them out. In The Bridgewater Triangle #1, the creative team manages to capture that same energy. It is not the scariest story out there, but worth the effort in the end.

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8.7
Groot #1

Jun 3, 2015

If there needs to be a formula about how to make such a series work then this is it. It is probably nearly impossible to go serious with a series about Groot, but there is a balance in here which makes it still relevant. The action here could easily take place in the main Marvel universe, as opposed to other titles which require a bit of a stretch of imagination to see them fit. As it is, it would seem that Groot could not carry his own series and that it would not be fun, but the creative team proves both wrong with this entertaining and approachable first issue.

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8.8
Groot #2

Jul 1, 2015

The result is whimsically entertaining as the lighthearted books are supposed to be, but equally this series puts the heart back into lighthearted by building surprising depth out of a character who most consider to be two dimensional because of his lack of vocabulary and strange background. The series proves once again that Groot is a perfect choice for his own series, and while the series started out with the idea of Groot hitchhiking to Earth, it seems as though it doesn't really matter that he might never get there.

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9.7
Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1

Jul 28, 2015

This series deserves praise for accomplishing what has been next to impossible for comics as a medium, addressing a social issue, and tackling it head-on as opposed to the restrained approached of some afraid to keep both side's of the debate happy. It has also managed to infuse the series with so much computer based concepts that it makes the reader feel like one with the characters and their hacking knowledge. Neither is an easy feat in this medium, and the end result, combined with some clever artwork, is a comic that has the ability to tell a story unlike any other. The creative team has set this up as a potentially great series, and it only remains for them to execute what they have start here.

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9.8
Hacktivist Vol. 2 #2

Aug 25, 2015

The part of the story showcasing this character is one of the highlights of this issue although there are others. The story continues along, keeping the reader intrigued by the cyber attacks that have been going on, but the true heart of this issue lies with its villain and it is where the story succeeds. People can be many different things, and even the best can also be the worst or vice versa, and the villain shows this. More so, this issue serves as a a great starting point to understand the problems of modern Western society, where to draw the lines of what is legal and accepted versus what is not. Indeed there are no easy answers, and neither are there any in this series. By presenting an identifiable and sympathetic villain the story gains its own grey area, and it succeeds because of it.

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7.7
HaloGen #1

Mar 3, 2015

The problem with this series is that it does not really try anything new. The mixture of all the elements together takes a smart approach to telling its own story, but it never hits anything deeper than the surface of the characters interacting. As opposed to some series where characters jump out and beg to be paid to attention to, the characters here just aren't as dynamic. That is not to say that this is a bad series, it is quite readable (even if the formatting of the text bubbles is a bit sloppy at times), but it is also not gripping nor is it much different from thousands of other space stories. The potential is there for something better, and hopefully the creative team manages to harness is in the coming issues.

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4.0
Harley Quinn (2013): Futures End #1

Sep 26, 2014

Generally speaking I am the type of reader that likes a story first and the art second, to the point that as long as the art is not confusing or distracting that I wont let it affect my reading experience. In this case though, the art is absolutely the best thing about this issue. The high point of the story for me was the almost beautiful visual of Harley in her (first of two) wedding gown, which out of nowhere pays homage to Disney princesses as well as seemingly to Pepe Le Pew. In the end though, the entire issue pretty much an all-around disappointment, with a plot so inane that it is hard for me to fathom how even a Harley Quinn fan might find it entertaining. Even on the surface the promise of a wedding between the two seemed like a fun and promising idea, especially for a potential future time line, but there were so many other ways to go with it that this just feels like a dud.

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8.2
Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

Dec 10, 2014

In terms of quality this is probably a bit far off of what most readers expect out of mainstream superhero comics, although fans of the character are likely to find this issue exactly on mark. DC deserves some credit though for trying something a little different here. Although trying new directions was lauded as one of the inspirations of the new 52, it has often been absent, and despite the previous holiday themed special falling flat (the Young Justice Valentines Day special), it is evident here that at times DC does let its creative teams have a wider net in which to catch. This is by no means great comic writing, but it is quaint and fun, which is part of what Christmas is supposed to be about anyway.

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8.2
Hawkman (2018) #18

Nov 13, 2019

As a standalone issue, it keeps a good storyline going for the series, especially with the final few pages. Still, though, it makes the reader think that there could have been just a little bit more risk-taking from the creative team.

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7.5
He-Man & The Masters of the Universe (2013) #18

Oct 23, 2014

This final issue of the story arc is still one that is not going to be extremely moving for a lot of readers, as it borrows heavily from aspects of science fiction, fantasy and comic clichs to give a mostly action-focused story. Nonetheless it is still interesting to read, well-produced and flows well with the bits of story and dialogue moving the action along well. Fans of the franchise might be particularly interested in this issue, as after nearly thirty years it gives Adora a proper home and a new meaning.

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8.0
He-Man & The Masters of the Universe (2013) #19

Nov 26, 2014

Any readers hesitant to pick up this series as I was, as He-Man is a thing of a childish past, might want to reconsider. The series is in solid creative hands, and does not dwell too much on that which came before in previous incarnations, instead focusing on creating its own mythos and delivering solid stories. In terms of mixtures of fantasy and science-fiction one usually expects to find these at the independents, but really DC has a similar property on its hands which gets little attention, but is deserving.

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8.5
He-Man: The Eternity War #1

Dec 25, 2014

In terms of He-Man, this is not something that has really been seen before, almost being like a post-apocalyptic version of the He-Man universe. The mechanics behind the story are novel and the characters are used almost to their full potential. Those that consider He-Man to be not refined enough for their tastes will instead find a fusion of fantasy and sci-fi here that is as innovative as anything that exists on the market. This is just the first issue of a series focusing on this alternate reality for the characters, but all signs point to something fun and worthwhile in the end.

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8.2
He-Man: The Eternity War #2

Jan 28, 2015

What saving grace is left is that this story is far from over. This is only the second issue of the Eternity War, and it thus leaves open the question of what other surprises are in store when the series front loads it epic battle sequence. There is still a lot of story left to tell, and if the creative team feels the needs for a bit violent fluff at this stage, then they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Certainly they have been able to entertain thus far with their fresh takes on the characters, and hopefully they will get back to it in the coming issues.

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9.0
He-Man: The Eternity War #4

Mar 25, 2015

Eternity War is evidently the story that will unify all disparate parts of the He-Man stories and combine them together into an adult setting. There will be those that still will be hung up on the association with toys, but as is being proven elsewhere as well, it does not matter really what the inspiration is as long as solid characters drive solid stories, and this series succeeds at both. The end result of this combination is that this is a standout series, one which is one of the stronger entries in sci-fi fantasy in today's market, and more would recognize this if they let go of their preconceptions.

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9.0
He-Man: The Eternity War #5

Apr 29, 2015

The creative teram continues to reimagine the characters of the Masters of the Universe in this interesting issue. While the plot itself is maybe a bit more commonplace, the tricks that they pull out of their bag are not, even breaking what fans might consider the regular boundaries of the fourth wall. The end result is an issue which once again proves that this new take on the character is for real and deserves attention.

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8.8
He-Man: The Eternity War #6

May 27, 2015

This may not be the most hard hitting of the issues thus far in the series, but there is much to be said for the approach of the creative team. While earlier issues focused almost wholly on epic battles, the focus has changed drastically to being something much different. Now the characters are examining not only who they are, but also almost breaking the fourth wall to examine some issues beyond. Thus while this issue lacks a true hook in terms of plot development it fits neatly in the sequence of this series.

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9.5
He-Man: The Eternity War #7

Jul 1, 2015

This series has thus far had its successes and its relative lows, but this issue contains the best example of story telling thus far. At a time when it seems to be popular to re-invent superheroes, this series proves that it is the one to do it right. There are bound to be those who will still think that this is “just a He-Man story” but those that do so are missing one of the best comic series on the market in the past half year. DC has proved with a few other series that it is not afraid to take chances, and while outside of its main universe, this series belongs with those few others. After all, He-Man maybe be sci-fi/fantasy, but both genres are defined by their epic stories, and this is shaping up to be one.

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8.5
He-Man: The Eternity War #8

Jul 29, 2015

While the series is still running at its best, it still feels like this issue is a bit of an intermission. With so many new developments it is necessary to reposition the players so that they can be put into places where their true heroism can shine through. That is what is happening here, and it feels a bit more sedate than other issues in this series, mostly because it cannot rely on any of these big moments, but instead has to get by on some other plot developments which while fun, are also a bit ordinary. The same format has been used before in this series to set up its big moments, as for instance the mostly action second issue showed that there was still a lot of other great moments to follow. Such would most likely be the moment here, as there are no big moments, but there promises to be in issues to come.

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8.8
He-Man: The Eternity War #9

Aug 27, 2015

If this series is attempting to push the boundaries of what it means to be the heroes and villains inside this particular world, then it is succeeding. The creative team is playing out an epic story that would really be epic under any circumstances, only that this one is acted out by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. What will be perhaps most interesting is the buildup to the conclusion of this series, because of all the big characters that have been re-examined, it is the titular hero who has been mostly ignored thus far in the incorporation into this epic story. Of course the resolution of that will likely mean the end of this series, but the creative team has not yet failed to impress or to surprise, and the setting for the finale is being well established with issues such as this one.

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6.8
Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1

Nov 5, 2014

The sum of all these parts is something that doesn't really work, but doesn't really fail at the same time. To be certain there is a lot better that this company puts out, but also a lot worse. Seeing as this is stuck somewhere in between it might be of interest to those looking for a lighter take on the zombie genre, or just those that are a little tired of pop culture deciding what is popular. At the same time, I cant really recommend this, because of its faults and because so many other regular ongoing series from all the various companies bypass this in quality. I suppose in the end that anyone that is interested in this and picks it up is not going to be losing a lot of money seeing as it is already halfway through the series.

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4.0
Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #2

Feb 5, 2015

The story is thus doomed by itself, not in its weak concept, not in its not-so-funny jokes, but more so with its cliched Hollywood ending that the hero gets the girl, even if this is the only part of the book which is meant to be taken seriously. It should have been an undead battle royale with actors playing out their characters in the comics, but it ended up being a twisted love story with no real justification for it.

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8.6
Hulk (2014) #9

Dec 4, 2014

This duality unfortunately defines this issue. The first half is undeniably fun and puts the series right where any series needs to be. The second half returns the series back to its status quo, which to be fair has been an interesting series thus far, though not necessarily ever too far beyond being average. It is that the first half is an anomaly which is kind of concerning to this series, but as a standalone, thanks to its first half, this issue is pretty interesting, worth a look even from a casual reader.

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8.1
Inferno #1

May 27, 2015

The issue is not as gripping as might be hoped for, but there is nonetheless still something here which is better than what has been seen elsewhere in the past few months. The X-Men generally rely on science for their stories in one way or another, so the supernatural element feels a little bit out of place, but equally so too does the entire Battleworld, so this still comes off feeling logical enough of a story. It does so by mostly avoiding the focus on the specific aspects of the Battleworld setting, which incidentally serve the story better overall.

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8.3
Inferno #2

Jun 10, 2015

There is a general lack of description in this issue, as the reader is seemingly supposed to let go of trying to make sense of what is happening in the interest of allowing the demon world to exist. While this is a bit of a letdown in terms of the pacing the issue is saved by the well written characters, as specifically the interaction between Colossus and Madelyne, and also between Domino and Madelyne's son save this issue from going off the tracks. Heading into the next issue it would seem as though there is a stronger direction for this series, and while the setting is bizarre, that the creative team is making it work.

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8.5
Inferno #3

Jul 8, 2015

The interesting part about this series is that there are a lot more question marks than usual for its resolution. As has been shown elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, there are less restrictions across the board on wiping characters off the roster. Numerous big names have already died in various tie-ins across the Secret crossover, though of course there are several versions of each character. This adds to the tension here, as readers are used to the heroes usually winning, but that might not be the case here at all. As it stands the odds are against the heroes, and it makes this easier to enjoy. It continues its solid performance as a less noteworthy but equally good entry into the Secret Wars world.

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7.9
Inhuman #9

Dec 5, 2014

Unfortunately this is where this issue ends. Instead of focusing on other stories, it focuses on a changed Medusa, or at least one somewhat different from previous issues, and if this carries on it might have a negative impact on coming issues. At the same time though, the novel approach to the crossover here works and minimizes the damage, especially with the other story focusing on the other two characters on the run. It is there where this issue finds its strength and it is well enough played, although this is the weakest issue in the series thus far.

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8.1
Inhuman #10

Dec 20, 2014

This issue does what it must. It provides a bit of fluff to draw in the reader but also keeps the main story going in the background. This duplicitous approach is perhaps needed, but is also indicative of what some comics need to do to survive. Evidently though, Marvel is very interested in the concept of the Inhumans, and they will be doing everything that they can to keep the idea alive and relevant. This issue does that at the very least, providing both some mostly meaningless fun but also the necessary gravity for the series to keep going strong.

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9.0
Inhuman #11

Jan 28, 2015

This series continues to be an unheralded standout for Marvel, one that many people aren't talking about, but one that people should be, especially with a new focus on the Inhumans companywide. This entire issue was engaging and fun, and never in a superficial way. Everything that was here had its place, and the issue flowed so smoothly that the somewhat surprise ending came all too soon.

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8.0
Inhuman #13

Mar 25, 2015

This series maintains its same level of quality here, even if it is not as pulse pounding as some that have come before. This simply serves as an intermediate issue, though one which is necessary for the series to catch its breath after recent events. It still serves as an example of the focus put on characters as opposed to other series which rely more on a concept, and it is that which this series is best known for. This is not the issue that fans will remember fondly, but rather the one that sets up ones that will become memorable.

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8.0
Inhuman Annual #1

May 7, 2015

The action unfolds here almost too close to what would be expected, and with the series heading into Secret Wars, a rapid resolution is needed to get all the various plot points wrapped up in time for the series to head into the crossover with its full attention. As in most cases of speeding through its own plots, this does a disservice to the series, which has taken the time to build characters, as opposed to racing by them. While it is to the detriment of this issue, it still manages to succeed on enough levels as to earn a passing grade. This is after all the same series that did so well so far in its dozen or so issues to establish these characters as never before in the Marvel universe. Despite the rushed approach here, it is still easy to care about these characters because the creative team have made them approachable in previous issues, and thus while not the strongest issue thus far, this still fits well enough into the overall narrative.

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8.5
Inhumans: Attilan Rising #1

May 27, 2015

As is the case with the remainder of their stories, many will probably choose to ignore the Inhumans when choosing which titles to follow, but once again the creative team has proven that this superhero team is here to stay on the new Marvel landscape. For those that have not been following the main series, this is as good a place to start as any, and for those that have, they will be happy to see some of the familiar faces here. Overall, it is that the creative team has managed to keep the characters intact within Battleworld. In other cases it is how the heroes react to being in Battleworld, but in this rare case it seems that it is how Battleworld will react to these characters.

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8.7
Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2

Jun 11, 2015

This issue is proof that the Secret Wars setting need not be too constrained in its outlook and approach as long as the writers are willing to take a few chances with it. As it stands this story doesn't really depend on the Secret Wars setting at all, rather at the moment could be set in any kind of time and place which involved these particular Inhumans. It is really not the plot that stands out here either, but rather the well established characters, especially how the two groups of Inhumans deal with one another, almost like watching a chess match without the pieces. While some other series from Secret Wars are not reaching the goals they are aiming for, this series is hitting all its marks, and it is still one of the standouts from this universe.

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8.4
Jem and the Holograms #1

Mar 24, 2015

This issue does what it has to do to make things work. There are probably not a lot of fans of the original that are going to be reading this, but there would be some, and the story is not too much bogged down in the past to make it boring. For the new readers, they are likely to find a lot of new and interesting characters to start to like, and there is really a little bit for everybody, not just the presumably all-female fan base that the television show was after. Jem is after all an alter ego (like a super-hero) and Synergy gives the series a sci-fi feel as well. This series uses enough of what is normal to the medium and gives it a new spin. There really is no other comic like this on the market, and it would be nice to see that this niche was supported as the series delivers on different levels.

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8.6
Jem and the Holograms #2

Apr 30, 2015

This issue does a good job and bascially doing what it must. It is still growing into its space a little bit, as the sometimes disjointed conversation alludes to, but most of all this is an overall treat which doesn't let up. The art is a treat and while the battle of the bands story might seem a bit obvious, so too do the Holograms need some kind of antagonist in their journey to pop stardom. They have found it in the Misfits, and the series is better off for it, as it seems to be progressing and developing in a natural manner.

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8.4
Jem and the Holograms #3

May 21, 2015

In terms of providing gripping stories, this series is evidently not the place to go. The stories are lighthearted, some might even say fluffy, but below it all they are fun to read. That this remains true across generations is proof that the creative team behind this series is accomplishing more than they are credited by appealing to a wide age group and still managing to keep them all happy. In that this series is a success, as comics don't always have to be sensational of hard-hitting, but sometimes can exist just to lighten the day.

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8.5
Jem and the Holograms #4

Jun 23, 2015

This series is a success, at least from the sense of being fun and approachable. At the same time, there are a few problems notable for first time writer Kelly Thompson. While she is talented she does occasionally rely on cliches or what seems like filler to get more out of each issue. If there is one drawback to this series, this is it, that she hasn't yet fully moved into a comfort zone and is not yet ready to let loose. That will come with time, and for now it seems as though Kelly and Sophie are the two best fits for this series that the comic world could conceive of as this series is all about the girls, and rightfully so.

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8.5
Jem and the Holograms #5

Jul 28, 2015

Some might see it as a huge challenge to create fictional material which is designed to be approachable to all ages. Part of the problem is that the stories have to be relevant enough for the adult market but also fun enough for a younger audience. Such is the challenge facing Jem and the Holograms, and while at times it veers off into a territory which is perhaps a bit too sedate, it gets back those moments by throwing in the unexpected. Such is the case here, as the suggested food fight from the cover gets underway towards the end of the issue, although the issue itself was a bit slower paced than previous issues. Nonetheless the series maintains the same level of approachable fun which has let it makes its mark thus far, and presumably which will keep it going for a long time to come.

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8.4
Jem and the Holograms #6

Sep 1, 2015

There might be those that think that the approach for the new series is somewhat simplistic. After all after the first six issues, there has not been a lot of development in terms of plot as the character's have played out the battle of the bands story. It is true that the story could be considered a bit bare, but stories have to succeed on either their characters or their concept, and while the concept is played out slowly here, the characters are so full of life, thanks to both the art and the script, that it more than compensates for the slow-ish development of the plot.

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6.0
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches #1

Sep 19, 2014

As a standalone this issue is a bit more literal, in the sense that nothing out of the ordinary is being done with fairy tales here. This is not Fables or Zenescope where fairy tales form the basis for modern characters but rather just a relatively straight telling of an obscure fairy tale. The end presentation is fine, and even beautiful in places, but with the more traditional aspect of fairy tales being presented here, it is likely that children would be better recipients of this story than adults, especially so that it is lighter on text as well.

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8.0
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches #2

Oct 17, 2014

As this series stands, there is still almost nothing here to tie this into Jim Henson, only using the franchise name as a boost to sell some extra issues about fairy tales. The first issue didnt do the man much justice, but the second issue at least captures the quality if not the content that he would be known for. This second issue does redeem the series though, and with this more successful adaptation it makes me wonder what the series might hold for its remaining two issues.

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7.2
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches #3

Nov 17, 2014

Judged against the merits of the other issues so far in this series, this one lands squarely in the middle. It wasnt as off-topic as the first, nor was it as beautiful as the second. Instead it ends up being a serviceable attempt, though it comes up short in the end. In terms of the overall series, it is likely that it will be collected into a trade paperback at some point, and that being the case, this issue will fit in well, but as a stand-alone issue it still really isnt worth going out of the way for.

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7.4
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches #4

Dec 16, 2014

The end result for this issue and this series is a little bit of a disappointment. While the series is quaint and interesting when approached from a certain angle, it also never really managed to reach the level that it could have or should have. The collected edition might be a nice addition to a childs library, but from an adult point of view, most of the fairy tales in this four part series missed the mark. This fourth and final issue was probably the second best of the four, but as it is still only about average, it is indicative of the problems that this series faced.

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8.0
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1

Nov 3, 2014

This approach is perhaps where this series might succeed. It offers both long-term and new fans of the series a great place for jumping into the action. The story is of course a bit bizarre as it is based on the works of Burroughs, who only operated off of an early 20th century understanding of the red planet, but those that decide to look beyond the obvious scientific impossibilities of the setting will find here an excellent tribute to the fantasy and science fiction masterpieces that were the originals.

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7.7
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #2

Dec 9, 2014

It is not that this story is particularly bad, it is only that it is a bit of a letdown after an impressive first issue. All of the pieces are still here, and the forces introduced in the plot are still working here, it only seems as though the entire story has been put on hold for some gratuitous action scenes. While this does little to progress the story forward, it was still an enjoyable enough experience to get to the end of the issue, and hopefully the third issue channels more of issue #1 than #2.

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6.8
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3

Jan 5, 2015

The series still has some ground to catch up on in order to be headed in the right direction. While this is based on a science fiction closer to fantasy, it seems to be bogged down by it, not thriving in the fertile ground that such stories can use to their benefit. As a reintroduction to the characters, this first story arc has maybe done its job, but it has done so in a lacklustre way, and the series would benefit from moving beyond this first story arc into something more meaningful.

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7.5
John Carter: Warlord of Mars #8

Jun 23, 2015

This issue is not really special in any way, and its ending even buys into some of the more misogynist trends of the original novels but it is also not really trying to be more. This is much more like an issue of a 1950s jungle adventure story, except one that is reinvented on Mars. It is a fun start to the story arc, if not particularly inventive or memorable, and it is worth a look.

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7.8
Jungle Girl: Season 3 #1

Apr 6, 2015

The entire issue is fun enough, they heavier on action and lighter on plot. Those interested in seeing what the modern medium might look like if the jungle stories had kept the same appeal will be happy with this adaptation, as Lana is not always presented in leopard bikini (instead getting a head to tow body suit) and is shown as a fairly strong character despite most jungle girls of the past being often being relegated to damsels in distress. This is not a masterpiece, but it is still a fun romp through a lost world with a fun and engaging female protagonist.

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7.7
Jungle Girl: Season 3 #3

Jun 22, 2015

While the mish-mash of genres doesn't seem like it would produce anything of note, it actually manages to do so. Conversely it is not as though this is amazing story telling or a gripping plot, but it contains pretty much what one would expect out of a series called Jungle Girl, a cool heroine embroiled in adventure, and in the case of this series, with a heavy dose of humor thrown in. That the story doesn't necessarily follow a jungle story line makes the title of the series a bit of a misnomer, but it doesn't make the series any less fun.

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7.7
Jungle Girl: Season 3 #4

Jul 28, 2015

This volume of Jungle Girl has been a strange ride. Read on the surface it might appear to be a confusing collection of characters and influences, but that is exactly the point of the series. It is not meant to be coherent but rather to pay homage to a variety of different genres, in this case throwing in aliens into the “jungle girl” genre. Those reading this for a strong central core of story telling will likely be disappointed, but it is not really intended as such, instead focusing on the fun moments of action and not so much worrying about exactly who or what Jana is fighting (cue the dinosaurs and the giant insects.) At the same time the story ends up being a little bit disorganized, but it is still worth a look for its mashup of comic book history.

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9.6
Justice League #40

Apr 29, 2015

Simply put, those is Johns doing what he does best. While he might occasionally stumble with presenting approachable characters, there is no one better at putting together a big story like this among comics big two. He pulled it off numerous times on his run on Green Lantern, and Flashpoint was a decent enough entry in the sequence of the universe changing crossovers. It is a shame that Covergence is getting all of the focus at the moment and that something like this was not approached instead (as it would have been easy to change to the plot of Convergence to fit this plot.) As it stands this is a near perfect lead in to the Darkseid War, and one that should get the fans excited for what is to come.

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8.7
Justice League #41

Jun 3, 2015

There are definitely a lot of players associated here, and while the issue does well enough to follow up on the developments of the previous issue, there is a bit of a dropoff in tone. Part of this is the ease by which Darkseid's daughter manages to lay waste to the Justice League, a common enough ploy to establish a new villain as particularly threatening, even if her demise is assured by the end of this story arc. As it stands though this issue is saved by the role of Mister Miracle, as opposed to the relatively regular story of an alien invasion which the Justice League has to deal with, Mr. Miracle gives this story a heart that manages to keep it moving along through its disparate story elements. There are certainly bigger fireworks to follow, but for the time being this issue manages to put all the players in place while also giving the reader someone new to cheer for.

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8.7
Justice League #42

Jul 15, 2015

There will likely be those who think that this issue is weaker compared to those that led into it. In a sense it is, because this story arc is based on big epic moves, and this issue doesn't really contain any. What it does provide though are the plot elements required for this story arc to become something pretty amazing. In other words, there are no “wow” moments here, but it is setting them up, and in a pretty impressive way.

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7.5
Justice League 3001 #1

Jun 24, 2015

Although this is very much a Giffen product, the end result is not as corny as it might be expected to be. The jokes are there, and they mostly misfire, although they do work on occasion. What is most noteworthy is that the plot almost perfectly fits the group of characters (except for the self serving nods to his own work from 20 years ago) as the concept is big idea enough for this powerful team. This issue is not a grand slam, but it works well enough on enough levels to be an enjoyable read, though not much more.

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6.0
Justice League 3001 #3

Aug 26, 2015

The underlying concept behind this series is inherently fun, as it gives the creative team a wider scope in which to tell their stories, but it proves that Giffen, while successful in some ways, is also a bit of a one-hit wonder with his collection of Super Buddies. The story here is even serviceable or better, but it ends up being derailed with too much comic relief, which in turn is based too much on gender stereotypes. There will undoubtedly be fans of the older Giffen works that look to this one with some fondness, but as modern stories in the medium go, this one is off the mark.

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8.3
Justice League of America (2015) #1

Jun 17, 2015

The approach here is an interesting one. While there is change underway with the heroes elsewhere at DC, this is evidently a case of “if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.” By throwing the heroes back to an earlier time the die hard DC fan can get their dose of their favorite heroes while DC also tries to appeal to some new fans with the different versions of Batman and Superman in other places across its universe. As it stands this works pretty well, a relatively common story for the Justice League, but also one which pulls out all the stops and goes for a big show as opposed to a slower approach. It is big and brash but also a lot of fun, and worth a look for those that miss their usual heroes.

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7.5
Justice League of America (2015) #2

Jul 8, 2015

While the first issue worked well enough in the classic Justice League framework, this second issue seems to have lost its focus. The appearance of Rao will obviously play into the bigger story in the series, but at the moment it is pretty confusing after the new story points introduced in the first issue. Although the feeling of grandeur is still here, it also kind of feels like the focus is lost as characters have gone their separate ways. It is only with the reappearance of Wonder Woman later in the issue that there is a better sense once again of the grandeur, and of the supposed threat posed by Rao. As it stands it is not the best entry for the second issue of this series which left readers a little puzzled to begin with, but it is probably at least enough to keep the readers interest until the next issue when hopefully some answers and some better direction are present.

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7.5
Justice League of America (2015) #3

Aug 26, 2015

While the presentation of the story is sometimes lacking in direction, it is not necessarily to the detriment of the story. Instead the story here feels like one of the late days of the Silver Age of the Justice League of America. It hols together pretty well, but it equally seems to be somewhat of the serialized concept of telling the story and then forgetting about it. For those who are fans of superheroes, this might hit the mark, but compared to some other stories involving modern heroes, it also might seem a bit commonplace, not really trying to be much more than what it is. For better or worse that is the defining characteristic of this series so far, at least until the creative team decides that it is time to prove otherwise.

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8.4
Justice League United #11

Jul 8, 2015

This series is off most people's radar but the question remains of whether it should be. The creative team is evidently not afraid to take chances, especially with the odd selection of members for this otherwise iconic team. Of course there are likely very few people that would read an ongoing title with this collection of heroes, but the mix here is exactly what is needed for this story arc, or so it would seem as the team is assembled together. As was proven as well with Justice League Dark, those looking for their fix of Justice League need not only look to the main titles but also to the other Justice League titles on the market, because as with the case here, they will sometimes find a gem.

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6.5
King: Jungle Jim #1

Feb 1, 2015

While this is an interesting concept it is the execution that fails. Too much is introduced at once for the reader. Instead of a gradual revelation of who is who, and what their motivations are, the story piles a lot of information about characters that are brand new, except for the titular character, who is retooled beyond recognition, even for those that might recognize him. The end result is a bit of a misfire, though inspired at times. It deserves credit for trying something really new with something really old, but is failed in the end by its basic storytelling.

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8.3
Lady Demon #1

Dec 8, 2014

The composite of the two characters together makes for a compelling story and concept. While its not immediately evident where Violet with Lady Demon in tow is headed, it is also not entirely clear if Violet will end up on the side of the angels after all. Although there is the habitual amount of gore in this series, it also is not overdone, and while there is also a heaping amount of violence, it too feels at place within this genre. The issue leaves off with a good deal of momentum for the following issue. This is not a great comic and probably never will be, but to whatever end it gets to, it looks like there is to be a fun reading experience along the way.

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8.5
Lady Demon #2

Feb 3, 2015

The “two into one” concept for a character is one which is not often shown in comics. As opposed to a true Jekyll and Hyde persona where the two are still the same person (like the Hulk) the character here is one of competing influences of temptation versus innocence, and it makes Violet more compelling than the average supernatural hero. The first issue was a novel re-introduction for the character, but the second issue managed to build on that and expand the overall narrative in an interesting way. If Lady Demon is to be the level of quality for the Chaos imprint, then maybe Dynamite made the right decision to pursue these characters after all.

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8.2
Lady Demon #3

Mar 18, 2015

It is a simple story in a sense, but the simplicity is what makes this work. Violet is an approachable character, easy to sympathize with but also written to be tough and able to direct her own fate, and her surrounding characters do not demand attention from her. Even compared to her alter ego of Lady Demon, Violet mostly steals the show here. It is still not a great comic, and the lack of quality of the Bad Girl era is still here, but it is nice to see in the Chaos reboot that a strong solid story can be told with a strong character as the lead.

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8.2
Lady Demon #4

Apr 7, 2015

It is the strength of character that is built into Violet which allows this series to succeed, and this final issue is indicative of the series throughout. There are some fun action sequences, perhaps none of which is particularly memorable, but equally this series had more than a few redeeming factors. It is a better mix of the supernatural into daily life than what many are able to achieve, partially because they kept it simple and focused on basics.

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8.5
Lady Killer #1

Jan 4, 2015

It is sometimes the case when artists bridge the gap to writing that there is a bit of a disconnect, but it is not the case here as Jolle Jones makes her first major entry into writing and hits the ground running with an interesting premise and a script that doesnt let go from start to finish. While there is a bit more gore than might be necessary for such a story, this is really the only complaint that one could have for this issue. It is not a great comic, as its premise is not that groundbreaking to give it consideration in such a way, but it is still a fun attempt at a new story, and one worth checking out.

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8.7
Lady Killer #2

Feb 2, 2015

This series does gain some attention through the shock value of taking the icon of calm mediation that is the post-war housewife and turning her into a ruthless killing machine, but the series succeeds in other ways that just by throwing away tradition. The characters were immediately likable in the first issue, and they continue to be here as well and the action sequences are well paced and fun. More so the writer is careful to balance exactly how much information is let out about Josie's missions, enough so that the reader is left guessing what is going to be happening in the coming issue. This is one of the unexpected highlights of the new year and people should be keen to check this series out.

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8.6
Lady Killer #3

Mar 3, 2015

It is maybe easy enough to see where this story is going, but it doesn't even matter. The combination of the design of the characters combined with the right storytelling makes this series remain as a gem. The protagonist is deeply written and while not necessarily easy to associate with as a hero, still remains a character that the reader wants to see walk on the side of angels. The character is made to be approachable and flawed and works all the better for it. This is a now relatively short series (with only two issues left) but with the change of direction from this issue, it would appear that an engaging climax is set for this series.

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9.3
Lady Killer #4

Mar 31, 2015

This issue marks the best thus far for the series, which can be either a good or bad thing leading into the finale (which should theoretically be the best). The pacing is fun as the issue reads through seamlessly without a pause at all, and it works well. The characterization is well handled, especially to have built up her own struggle as a character and how she realizes this in others. This provides wonderful depth to characters that only showed up for a few panels. There is really very little wrong with this issue, it only remains to be seen if it can be capitalized on for the next and final part of the story.

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8.7
Lady Killer #5

May 14, 2015

In the letter column, series writer Jamie S. Rich describes how he is moving on to other projects with other companies, and that this story is now Joelle Jones' own, rightfully as it mostly has been all along. Finally proving herself as a writer equal to match her artwork, this series' ending is not as powerful as one might expect, although it is really with the main intention of setting up more of Josie for the future. As it stands this is still a great series and this final issue has done it justice. With more of Josie to come it would seem as though there are still lots of interesting stories to tell.

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8.7
Lazarus #17

Jun 17, 2015

As this issue mostly focuses on other developments, it can be read as much of the rest of the series, engaging and compelling, if occasionally a fairly quick read built more on visuals than on text. In this case though it would seem that the heroine of the series seems as though she might be ready to turn the corner on the question of whether she is really a hero or not, and it would seem that the answer will be answered as a yes soon enough. In the meantime she must still focus on the goals of her family, but if there is going to be a change for the character, it would seem likely that this issue might be one of the major turning points. As such while this issue maintains the same fast paced story as the previous ones, there is also a bit more intrigue to be mixed into the “edge of your seat” action.

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8.7
Lazarus #18

Jul 28, 2015

As part of the ongoing story in this series it is hard to gauge one issue of the series against each other. It can easily be said though that this issue at least matches what has come before, while slightly shifting the outlook of the series, as has been implied throughout. At some point Forever will become aware of the lies which are kept from her, but until that point it will be a sequence of slow developments to put all the pieces in the right place. This issue does that well enough, and manages to find a few ways to shock at the same time. Fans of the series will not be disappointed, and this issue might be a sign to those who aren't that they maybe should be.

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8.7
Lazarus #19

Sep 2, 2015

The change in focus works really well here as the secondary characters get more of the spotlight for the first time in this series. Of course as the series has a presumably preset path upon which it is going to unravel some of the mysteries of this world, it would be nearly impossible to tell this story focusing solely on the main character. Her future allies seem set in the discussion of where she is going and only the question is of how she will get there. In the mean time this was an excellent issue to draw some of the focus away from her only in this series and to put it elsewhere. It adds another layer of complexity to the series and helps to elevate by doing so.

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8.3
Legenderry Red Sonja #1

Feb 10, 2015

The end result is not a great accomplishment, but it is a fun and easy read with good pacing and engaging action sequences. Dynamite already proved that with Legenderry that they have a surprise sleeper on their hands, and with the quality of this first issue and others, there is no reason to expect that to stop any time soon. Steampunk may be an abnormal setting for characters, but it proves to be one which is easily pliable to being one in which strong female characters can thrive, and if that is the case then Dynamite has a winning formula for its female leads.

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7.7
Legenderry Red Sonja #2

Mar 18, 2015

This series continues to be a fun read, but little beyond that. It will not really disappoint, and especially not for those that like steampunk as the genre is rarely given any attention. Equally this is not a great comic and it is not even really a good one. It is a piece of fun fluff and while it strives to be better, it is too limited by its own crossing over of different characters to achieve what it is going for. It is less than the sum of its parts, but those parts still make it above average.

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8.0
Legenderry Vampirella #1

Feb 3, 2015

Although at times the steampunk elements are a little overdone, this is equally a time and place where Vampirella feels at home, maybe even more so than the modern day setting where she is presently based. The feel here is a Bram Stoker style of steampunk, lighter on the pseudo-science and heavier on the occult. It is a good fit, and the story benefits from it as does the main character. The end result is maybe not amazing, but it is a solid read with some fun moments and a solid story and concept to hold it together.

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7.7
Legenderry: Green Hornet #1

Feb 17, 2015

There are three miniseries attached to the Legenderry universe, and of this, Red Sonja and Vampirella, this one comes out looking the weakest, though still a readable story. It may not be extremely noteworth, but it still captures the essence of steampunk which so few series attempt and even fewer manage to do effectively. It succeeds by not focusing too much on the main heroes, and this results in a fun and entertaining story which fits well within the shared universe.

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8.3
Legenderry: Green Hornet #2

Mar 23, 2015

These series thus finds a way to not rely too heavily on its setting to tell its story, which seems to be the case for the other two Legenderry titles after their second issues. This is still a highly stylistic world in which everything is possible through the power of copper and steam, but Legenderry Green Hornet manages to blend into the world better than others, despite being the least popular of the three and despite having the weakest lead-in issue. This is of course still a story and a series which is going of greatest interest to those that like the genre, but this issue proves that the genre is not a handicap for a good story.

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8.5
Livewire (2018) #11

Oct 9, 2019

The story in Livewire #11 ends up working and relatively well because of the mature handling of the story. There have been many cases of heroes put under scrutiny in the past, but it seems to fit better here than elsewhere. Livewire holds herself together pretty well under this duress, even as others are trying to manipulate her. It also helps that Valiant has a smaller footprint in superhero stories than other companies. It is hard to imagine the public turning on the Flash or the Fantastic Four. As a result, it seems a bit more real here. This works out to tell a better story, and the strong showing from the art team solidifies it all.

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8.5
M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin #1

May 27, 2015

This story is exactly the type of gamble that Marvel or DC should be taking. While there are still lots of fun and engaging stories to be told with superheroes, this one takes a completely different approach to the genre, and laughs in its face while doing so. It might not be the most exciting comic to ever grace the stands, but it is one of the best so far of the Secret Wars tie-ins, and one of the few that is really trying something very different. M.O.D.O.K. shouldn't be, but comes off almost as a hero in this title, and it is a testament to the ability of the creative team to pull something so novel out of the company wide crossover.

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8.2
Manifest Destiny #12

Dec 16, 2014

With a bit more background, this series is headed off once again into the wildernesses, against its unexpected foes, and while this issue does not contain the action and thrills that have been a hallmark of this series so far, it does give it a better center as finally the motivations behind the major characters are better understood. Equally the challenges ahead in the coming issues are still evident, even as the elder in the small village explains something about some of the mysteries. This compact issue does what has been needed for this series, and gives the reader more to ponder about as the crew head further into the continent.

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8.0
Manifest Destiny #13

Feb 17, 2015

What this ends up as is a strange combination of a good jumping on point, though not really a highlight of the series thus far. It is still an amazing concept, and expertly realized through a combination of different story telling techniques (such as switching between the narrative of the journals to the regular action.) The issue at least does what it needs to, as although it introduces neither what seems to be a particularly dangerous creature, nor advances much of the plot in any other way, it still grips the reader in one of the most unconventional and innovative successes of a series in the past few years.

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7.7
Manifest Destiny #15

Jun 17, 2015

The series is still one which deserves a look as it embodies what can be great about this medium, that imagination knows no real bounds in comics. Equally this issue is not the best representation of the series. A first time reader might be confused with the obvious plot gimmicks to make this move along so quickly, and only readers of the series as whole will probably think of this issue as a must read. It is still entertaining enough, but not up to the level of some others in the series thus far.

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8.6
Manifest Destiny #16

Aug 20, 2015

This series has survived thus far with its fair share of horror, which the crew has either had to fight off or occasionally even had some fun with. Underlying the horror though was the question of how it was even possible, and with any series built around some underlying suspense or unanswered question, the resolution of that question will probably be the highlight of the series but also its inevitable downfall. This is the first issue of the series which indicates that there is finally an answer coming to the question of these strange happenings, and true to form, it is of a better quality than previous issue, even if it might also signify the eventual end of the series.

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8.8
Martian Manhunter (2015) #1

Jun 17, 2015

Although the previous attempts to find a place for this character have generally ended poorly, it would seem that DC is throwing just about as much as it can at this character in order to make this work. This is epic style story telling while also leaving enough room for some interesting character development for the Manhunter that we haven't really seen much of before. It is probably still too early to see if the hero can finally capture the interest of the common comic book reader, but at least this looks like it is going to be a fun ride while they try to finally break the character through the B list.

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8.7
Martian Manhunter (2015) #3

Aug 19, 2015

What this has done is to give the character a chance to shine for what could potentially be one of his better stories. The layering of the story here is complicated at times, as there is lots going on with not so much explanation, but equally the writing is held together enough to make this about J'onn and therefore deserves some respect for taking the character in a new direction. There is even an interesting enough twist in this book which brings it together pretty well at the end and gives better momentum moving forward. Regardless this could finally be the story which people might refer back to in a few years “as the best to read about the character” although it is still in its earlier stage here. In other words the story here is still working through its intricacies but it has a lot of potential.

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8.7
Metal Men (2019) #1

Oct 17, 2019

Metal Men #1 starts out with a novel approach to the Metal Men. Yet, at the same time, it doesn't really seem to be breaking new ground.

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7.4
Mishka and the Sea Devil #1

Oct 15, 2014

Thematically, the story reminds me of what little I know of Adventure Time, it is more geared towards children, but with some darker themes for adults. As it stands, this is probably not the most engaging story for an adult, but would be enjoyed by a child of an appropriate age. Equally I would suggest that fans of the mediumat least have a look at this one because of the achievement from an artistic standpoint.

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9.2
Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1

Sep 2, 2015

Some might be turned off of the title from the start because of words like “Anniversary” being in the title, but this issue actually manages to surprise as one of the better releases for Marvel this week, and one which is not thrown into the monumental undertaking that is Secret Wars. Instead it focuses on the character and the plot to tell a compact yet entertaining stories, with some great visuals as well. The main story is much better than the backup story, but both are good enough to pass the test. If this is any indication of the Marvel that is to be in the post-Secret Wars landscape, then it looks as though the company will have some nice surprises in store.

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9.0
Morning Glories #42

Nov 18, 2014

Of course, anyone considering reading this series would be unwise to start here. The series is as convoluted as any comic series that has ever existed, and the reader would be wise to go back at least as far as the start of the fourth trade paperback but ideally back to the beginning. Those that have gotten as far as issue 41 dont need to be told to read this, and those that havent started reading this series yet should. This issue, like any issue after the first one, is not really a good jumping-on point, but this issue at least captures the plot of the series well enough, and those that havent been reading might like to pick up this issue to see if the concept interests them so that they can begin backtracking their reading of one of the most interesting comic series in recent years.

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8.4
Morning Glories #43

Feb 11, 2015

While the series will be judged only in its finality by what it manages to accomplish and for what eventual conclusion that it comes to, it is still nice to have issues such as this in the interim. There are the issues which focus less on the obscure and abstract and instead focus on the strength of the characters which have built such a following for this series. Fans of this series need barely any extra incentive to read this issue, but the non-readers of the series would be better off for checking out issues like this one. The series after all depends on its characters over its stories, and this is evident here, by acting as a flashpoint within this small story arc for some bigger things to come, but without losing sight of what got them there to begin with.

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8.4
Morning Glories #44

Mar 24, 2015

As always with this series it is hard to judge the individual issue. Some are a bit more engaging but have fewer answers, and some are more sedate but contain more clues. If there is any problem at all with this issue it is that it serves as a distraction to the developments of the previous issue which are likely to be resolved soon enough (as it fits the pattern for the trade paperbacks). This issue is nonetheless an important one, as are they all, to unlocking the truth behind the Morning Glories Academy, and as with all of the others, would fit better in the overall tapestry of the series, once all of the secrets are revealed.

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9.1
Morning Glories #45

Apr 28, 2015

This issue ends thus ends up being one of the better ones in the recent run of the series. While most issues are enticing enough, they also form a greater narrative and thus read better together than separately. This issue has the benefit of focusing on two of the series stronger points, the more esoteric explanations for the academy as well as one the academy's more interesting characters, Jade. While this issue still fits within the overall concept and design of the series, its individual focus results in a better overall read than the few issues that have come before. As always it is hard to recommend one issue of this series over another as they feed into one another, but this issue does seem to be getting back to the meat of the series.

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8.7
Morning Glories #46

Jun 3, 2015

Once again this series manages to warp the minds of the readers by giving them more to think about and to ponder while also trying to keep the intricate story straight. There is always something more going on with the stories dealing the academy, and while the focus here is mainly away from the academy, it is likely to have a direct effect on it in the immediate future. The most obvious plot point which everyone want to see resolved is the one with Casey running for class president so that she can save Jade, but the creative team seems happy to get to that when they feel they are ready. Until then the series continues to both astound and confuse, and maintains the interest that many have in the series.

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9.1
Morning Glories #47

Aug 5, 2015

The best part about this series is that it always manages to mix the absurd and the unknown with real human moments. These are children under great duress as members of the Morning Glories Academy, but they are still ones that sneak out in the middle of the night for a party, and who get nervous when they have to ask the pretty girl to dance. It is what has made this series a standout even when its plot is inexplicable. The same is true here, as this issue does not really seem very important to the overall direction of the series, but provides the well-written characters a chance to interact with one another, a relative rarity in this series. Something big seems to be just around the corner, but in the meantime this issue serves as one of the better intermediate issues thus far in this series.

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8.2
Ms. Marvel (2014) #14

Apr 15, 2015

This is still a series to watch, but also should maybe be a warning to others trying to copy its success not to venture down a road which seems too familiar. There is very little which is familiar about this series on its surface, but as soon as this plot starts to roll out it seems very similar to a lot of stories that have come before, and even without an update to make it seem more modern. This particular issue is thus a bit of a letdown after the previous issue, using its formula of the new and modern and mixing it up with a retread.

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8.3
Ms. Marvel (2014) #15

May 14, 2015

It is not necessarily that this is a bad issue, in fact there are a lot of redeeming factors in the end. Probably the most evident is that it mostly avoids the cliched plot for a lot of action and ends up being an entertaining way to save a disappointing story arc. It is also evidence of thee high standard which this series has set for itself, as the slightest return to cliched storytelling results in a story which is evidently lesser than what has come before. There were a few revelations in this issue to suggest that there are better things to come in this series, but for the time being this story arc was a bit of fluff in the mix of what has been a fresh take on the superhero genre.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #16

Jun 18, 2015

There are some nice moments here, as well as some moments that are unfortunately too true, such as when Kamala races back to New Jersey to stop the inevitable looting of stores. At the same time, the big scale/small scale juxtaposition doesn't really work here. Although Ms. Marvel has been part of some big events, she is definitely still a “small picture” kind of hero, focusing more on her character than on flashy fireworks. This issue still has the same heart that the series is known for, but it is also thrown up against a story that is not really befitting the title. It is still an entertaining issue, but it is also evident that some series would do better with Secret Wars.

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9.1
Mulan: Revelations #1

Jun 23, 2015

Thus far this series lacks a singular focus. It is based in both the future and the past, in both the occult and high tech. While the story might seem to suffer from this, it is not so much the case as the environment is one which is enticingly attractive. In this case, the story is not perfectly represented by the comic medium, as this feels like the introductory section of a movie, as though we could judge Blade Runner off its first five minutes. As it stands this is a fascinating use of the legendary character, using what has come and putting her in an unusual future setting. Although the use of the character might be misleading, this is a cyberpunk/dystopian story as good as the medium allows and is definitely worth a look.

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9.3
Mulan: Revelations #2

Jul 30, 2015

The different approach in this series is to its direct benefit. Whereas readers are used to reading along with heroes as they hide their secrets, here instead they read along as the hero discovers their power. The artwork is flashy and even overpowering at times, but it is equally effective as that is the same experience that Mulan is undergoing. It allows the reader to read along with the character in a way which is uncommon in the medium, as she explores her powers for the first time, but also as she is intimidated by them as she figures out how they work. While this issue is a bit light on plot developments, those promise to come and quickly, and for the time this standout issue, notable for its approach and its art, serve of an excellent example of what this creative team is capable of.

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8.8
Mulan: Revelations #3

Aug 25, 2015

The first couple of issues of this series could be either criticized or applauded for putting style over substance, and win or lose, the same approach is taken here. This is undoubtedly a beautiful comic, not only this issue, but the entire series, but at some point the story has to catch up with the style. It is understandable from one vantage point, because the cyberpunk look is a hard one to capture, and perhaps even harder in the pages of a comic. Equally though, the narrative that holds the images together is little bit lacking in providing an engaging story. Fans of art in the medium will love this, fans of the stories perhaps less so, but it is still unquestionable that the experience of reading this series is an intriguing one, and that same experience continues here in this issue. Eventually the story will catch up, and until then this has to be a pleasure for the eyes more than the mind.

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9.0
Mystere #2

Oct 14, 2019

Mystere #2 was an enjoyable read. The story is maybe not new, but it is handled with care. It gives the main character some new depth that wasn't really evident in her previous incarnations within the multiverse. More so, it achieves an almost transcendental feeling, as it really feels as though Mystere could exist in any comic book universe and face the problems that she faces at present. With that being said, it is more this kind of issue that the publisher needs if it is trying to do some worldbuilding for its heroes as opposed to some of the more fantastical stories that are published in other titles. This issue works because it doesn't look big, but because it focuses on the small. In so doing, it gets it right.

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6.9
Napoleon Dynamite (2019) #1

Oct 7, 2019

Those familiar with the original film might remember the post-credits scene involving the marriage between Kip and LaFawnduh. This part of the movie was added onto the original after the studio saw that the movie was going viral. It was criticized at the time for lacking the overall spirit of the film, and fans seemed a bit perplexed that the studio didn't get what had made the movie so special to begin with. In short, it was zany, but not in character. The same can, unfortunately, be said for Napoleon Dynamite #1. The creative team is evidently working hard trying to capture the spirit of the film, but it is such a hard task that the issue falls a little flat.

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7.7
Night Nurse #1

May 14, 2015

This anthology makes for an interesting read, especially for those interested in comic history. While the romance genre influences are a bit over-the-top at times (such as how many of her romantic interests turn out to be criminals) it was still more progressive at the time to put a female character at the front of her own series, especially one that was not solely a romantic heroine. Compared to today's quality, this anthology will obviously feel a bit dated, even the more recent Daredevil selection, but this still stands as good representation of a forgotten era of comic history.

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8.5
Nightcrawler (2014) #9

Dec 12, 2014

In so doing, this issue becomes a nice ode not only to Nightcrawler, but also the other members of the team. Although this is his series, this still shines a light on some of the other characters that have impacted him so much, and while some might think that the battle takes some shortcuts, it is still well-paced and fun. The end result is an issue which is probably the best so far in this series, and a good sign that the stories here are finding surer footing.

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7.8
ODY-C #1

Nov 27, 2014

The entire experience ends up being enjoyable though not particularly memorable. With a bit more balance in the writing, there would have been a better story to be told, including for the flow of the artwork. It is evident that the creative team has something grand in mind behind the concept for this series, it only seems as though that this first issue was not the best showcase for those ideas.

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7.9
Omega Men #1

Jun 3, 2015

It is an interesting approach to introducing these characters, as the action sequences often confuse as to what exactly is going on. At the same time it is an effective though simplistic approach to introducing the characters. More so, the Omega Men have a lot of catching up to do in terms of having their own set of stories to rely upon, and this issue, barring all else, at least seems capable of doing this. The story here is entirely readable, but it also at the same time feels like a piece of bigger puzzle, as though DC itself is trying to figure out how exactly to sell these characters and to make them into galactic gold.

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9.2
Pirouette #2

Nov 28, 2014

There is little to complain about in this issue, nor in this series so far. Its pace is frenetic, meeting that of the attitude of its main character, and similar to the work being done on Gotham Academy, the reader explores the world of Pirouette in an organic and logical way, through her own eyes, without it feeling forced. There are for sure other secrets hiding within this circus, but Pirouette seems like she will have an answer for all of them and the reader will be treated to the experience.

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7.7
Planet Hulk #2

Jun 24, 2015

There is not a whole lot of substance in this issue, but neither does there have to be. Coincidentally this issue comes out around the same time as Jurassic World has been released into theaters, and the comparison is maybe apt as both have a tyrannosaurus rex in a fight with another beast. That is to say that it is fun if not particularly deep as a concept, something which is a treat for the eyes if not so much for the brain.

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9.5
Postal #1

Feb 4, 2015

Everything about this story makes sense. The setting is unique, the perspective is unconventional and the characterizations are mostly completely complementary to the story. The issue reads fast because it is so engaging, and the writers are capable of making characters that are easily to empathize with from the get go. While the series might be heading in some dark directions which are hard to see from here, there is very little wrong with this first issue, and is one of the strongest lead-ins to a new story that the medium has seen in a while.

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9.0
Postal #2

Mar 12, 2015

The first issue of this series succeeded in the unconventional setting and the shock value of it seen through the eyes of Mark. The second issue was hard-pressed to replicate this success and in truth fell a little bit shorter. Nonetheless it maintains the momentum throughout and delivers a strong followup to the first issue, and moves the story in unexpected direction, and incidentally using a cover picture to tell the inside of an issue as few comics manage to do. The combination of unconventional setting and unconventional characters could have been a mess, but instead this is an unconventional success.

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6.5
Punk Mambo #0

Nov 17, 2014

On the whole the reading experience is a bizarre one, and the bizarreness is from more than just the influence of the punk. The protagonist is a weird character to want to root for, and in fact comes off as almost villainous herself at a lot of times. In terms of comics, this character would fit firmly into the role of anti-hero, but in terms of punk, she does not really reflect well on the sub-culture very well at all. This one-shot is maybe worth it for someone that is interested in the novelty of trying something different, or perhaps someone that is interested in the new addition for the Valiant universe, but mostly this issue doesn't live up to its potential.

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7.8
Purgatori #1

Sep 16, 2014

Though she is potentially new to a lot of readers, the main character is still approachable. She is bad, but also a little good, serious but also sassy. It makes for the kind of character that can hold a series even if the setting is not very interesting. As this series stands for me, I will check out issue #2 to see where it goes, even if it is not my style, just because the writer has made the character compelling enough.

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6.5
Purgatori #2

Oct 28, 2014

The end result of the issue is one that feels mostly unnecessary. While the story is moved forward, it feels mostly as an afterthought to the gratuitous violence. For fans eager to see the return of the character, perhaps some of this violence is what they after, but for a new reader, it feels as though this issue missed the mark. Indeed, an issue two synopsis at the beginning of issue #3 would reveal little more than what transpired in the last three or so pages. This promise of a story sounds intriguing enough, but the question becomes how long will it take to tell this story with all the other disturbances.

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7.6
Purgatori #3

Nov 24, 2014

If the writers had jumped right into the action as it is here, instead of two previous issues, the series might have a different tone. As it is, it is still a series looking for an identity, but at least finds itself on better footing after this issue.

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6.8
Purgatori #4

Dec 22, 2014

This is still likely the best single issue in the series so far, and if the series can continue with story lines similar to what is being shown here then at least this series could turn into something dependable. At the moment though this is the only issue so far which has shown this potential, so maybe the series will get there and maybe it will not. For the time being, the remainder of this first story arc is at least well set up for the character to explore her past and her future, but it also feels like this series is running out of time to establish itself.

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8.5
Purgatori #5

Jan 26, 2015

This comic is by no means a masterpiece, by at the very least it has finally captured something about the character which has been missing thus far. An attempt to build an Indiana Jones style arcane story for her return to Hell was met with a lot of false starts, but once she got back on home turf she finally made a stand, both in the story and out. If the writers can continue to capture the same gritty and sassy nature of the character, there might be a chance to make this work as an ongoing, but so far their record is about one out of five issues for having done so, so while this might leave the character pointing in the right direction, it took a long and twisted route to get there.

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5.5
Realm War: Age of Darkness #5

Dec 4, 2014

This is what this issue boil down to. With so much talk and so little action or implementation of interesting concepts, this story doesn't really go anywhere. Generally while I give a free pass to most artists as long as it doesn't interfere with the story, that is not the case here either, as the flat coloring makes everything seem very two-dimensional, not a good thing when the characters are already two-dimensional enough as it is. It ends up being disappointing, as all the pieces to succeed are here, just they are mostly wasted, leaving both the characters and the readers without a solid direction to go in.

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5.0
Realm War: Age of Darkness #7

Feb 9, 2015

When considered in a meta-sense, of those that analyze comics both inside of the medium and for their place in pop culture, this series is full of unnecessary cliches which don't advance the story beyond basic levels. Fans will know what these are, that there are things in comics which are never permanent, and they show up here, but so too do other cliches like an unbeatable hero, or a fight against all odds. It feels at times with thee story line of Age of Darkness that the writers are assembling it as if it were a paint-by-numbers, but losing the picture in the end.

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4.0
Realm War: Age of Darkness #8

Mar 26, 2015

The lack of a single compelling narrative is where this series falls down. The main series of Grimm Fairy Tales can at times contain stories that are well conceived and well told, but it would seem that with the company wide crossover in mind that the sum is far less than its parts. There are even compelling characters in play here but they get relegated to secondary roles. One can only hope that after the events of Realm War that the main series goes back to the drawing board and tries for something more restrained.

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6.2
Realm War: Age of Darkness #9

May 8, 2015

While this is still a convoluted mess at times, this issue pulls the story together better than previous issues in this series have managed. There is a stronger focus on the plot and less on all the disparate sub-plots, even if these do include such tangents as Cindy's own desire for power and Sela making up with her ex in the most intimate way possible. For the first time this series appears to be heading in the right direction which is a positive sign, but it still has some way to go before making this crossover gamble pay off.

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6.8
Realm War: Age of Darkness #11

Aug 6, 2015

While the quality of the series has never really improved, at least this issue mostly focuses on action as opposed to too many maneuverings by both sides. The characters aren't really constrained by anything because this is primarily one long battle after it gets underway about halfway through the issue. It is not really an excuse for what has come before, but at least shows that the creative team can know what to do with these characters when it is not too focused on the vast world that has been created. A smaller outlook would work better overall for the main world of Grimm Fairy Tales, and perhaps an issue like this one might signal that it is now time to take care of what they have instead of adding more.

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8.5
Rebels (2015) #1

Apr 8, 2015

The end result is a compact and interesting story that manages to touch on some common iconography while also establishing a little bit of its own. It serves as a reminder that even in such a time and place that imagination opens the doors to new perspectives on old material. In a certain sense this is even an almost simplistic story, but it succeeds where it needs to in order to pull the reader in and promises more excitement to come in the following issues.

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7.2
Red Hood / Arsenal #1

Jun 10, 2015

Part of the problem with this series as it has been before in the new 52 was its lack of interest to those who were not fans of the two characters. As it stands it doesn't seem as though they have managed to break that trend. While this is a decent enough introduction to the characters for those looking to jump on board for a #1, it also ends up feeling a bit like an inside joke as the series often has before. It would do better to reach out to a broader base of fans, as the characters are fun, but by not doing so it ends up being a bit mediocre.

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8.6
Red One #1

Mar 17, 2015

If it sounds to be a bizarre premise it's because it is, and while it seems like it wouldn't work, it strangely works pretty fluidly. It is the super soldier program that birthed the Black Widow combined with Boogie Night wrapped in a costume that looks like a female Evil Knievel. The story takes most of the first issue to set up the complex story, but once it gets there it starts to run smoothly, specifically in its meta-take on the superhero genre, referencing Batman and Superman in their role in the American psyche. The concept is maybe far fetched, but the story doesn't attempt to cover this up but rather revels in it. Those that look a little deeper while simultaneously removing their logic cap will probably find a worthy read here.

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8.1
Red One #2

Apr 29, 2015

Despite these drawbacks, the issue still manages to succeed to a degree, and in large part thanks to its main character. While the creative team vaccillates a little in its overall message, the main character is written in a way to look past those defects, as she is an approachable character even despite her talents. The series lacks a fcous, both in its message and (according to the letter col) in its delivery, but at the very least the creative team has managed in two issues to introduce a character that has a lot of potential for other stories to be told.

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8.9
Red Skull (2015) #1

Jul 1, 2015

This issue proves that there are still some fresh ideas floating around in the somewhat constrained world of Secret Wars. This has proven to be a winning formula elsewhere, and works well here too. The combination of characters is broad, but it seems like they fit well together, even if they don't have much of a chance yet at this point. With so many other Secret Wars inspired series being born after this crossover, it would be nice to see one inspired by the same concept as presented here. Many people will look at the title for this series and likely not give it a chance, but for those that do, they will find something pretty fun and probably what will become one of the highlights of the entire crossover.

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6.7
Robyn Hood (2014) #4

Nov 26, 2014

This is a fine attempt to get some new fans into the Grimm Fairy Tales stories, but still a little short of the mark despite using two of its more approachable characters.

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7.0
Robyn Hood (2014) #6

Jan 29, 2015

By comparison to the other series from Zenescope, this series is a step above, but compared to the medium as a whole it is mostly forgettable. The characters are not bad, as the writers add in some characterization where they can, but as with elsewhere in Zenescope, the writing is flawed by forced dialogue and individual stories that lack the ability to grab the reader. Still they are likable enough, though maybe not enough to keep this series going for long.

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7.7
Robyn Hood (2014) #7

Feb 17, 2015

The end result is still not great, but it is nice to see this series moving in the right direction. As opposed to some other nascent series such as this one, they start off strong and then lose their momentum. This on the other hand seems to be building as it grows, and is relying on both stronger characters and better story lines. It started as an unconventional choice for a series, but slowly is becoming its own entity and not relying on the bigger universe for its own thrills.

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6.8
Robyn Hood (2014) #8

Mar 20, 2015

There are some good moments in this issue, but in the end it doesn't really have what it takes. Robyn's ability to overcome the demon cult is fun, and so too are parts of Marian's battle, but the problem here is mainly one of storytelling. The story bounces back and forth without much reason and it leaves the reading somewhat choppy. This issue would have been better off choosing one focus and not two, and letting the story be told in a more logical manner. Frustratingly, this issue shows that the series has what it takes, only that the storytelling let it down here, mixing with the narrative in a way that didn't do justice to what lay within.

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6.3
Robyn Hood (2014) #11

Jun 12, 2015

There are a couple of cute moments here, but mostly this issue falls a little short. It is only when the issue actually acknowledges that it is a bit too meta that it succeeds. This is over a spread page where Marian chooses her costume for the comic con, the choosing and the choice of being the highlight of this particular issue. As always with this series, it seems as though all the pieces are there, only that they are not balanced correctly, and so this still remains Zenescope's weakest monthly title.

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8.6
Robyn Hood (2014) #12

Jul 2, 2015

What ends up following is what is by far the best issue in this series thus far. Although there are still a few staples of what has made this series falter at times, they are mostly shuffled to the side as the first truly good story is told in this series, one which focuses on the characters first and the concept second, even when the concept is strong enough as well. It may not have proven itself with just one issue, but the series seems to be on its way, a gamble from Zenescope which seems finally ready to pay off.

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6.6
Robyn Hood (2014) #13

Aug 7, 2015

It is perhaps not as bad as some of the stories that have come before, but this issue still represents a step back for the characters and the overall tone of the series. The previous issues show what this series could be, but this issue shows mostly what is has been, a decent series at times, but also one that has never really escaped the realm of being average. There is still some way to go with this series, and hopefully the creative team figures it out, because the characters do have a strong fanbase. In the meantime, readers have to be happy enough with stories such as this one, entertaining at times, but not much else.

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8.8
Satellite Sam #11

Feb 10, 2015

This series remains an excellent example of how the medium can be used in different ways that do not involve superheroes, and instead rely on characters and concepts which are of any creator's imagination and inspiration. The confusing story of this series will eventually lead to some ending when those behind the vile actions are forced to face the consequences of their own actions, but in the mean time it is not the overarching story line which keeps the readers engaged but rather it is the well written characters that draws the reader in. One thing is certain though, those that judge this series only by its covers are missing a completely different story.

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6.5
Scarlett Couture #1

Apr 30, 2015

The result is a story that doesn't really come off as strong as it could. There are a lot of cases of strong female characters being written by male writers, but such is not always the case here, as the writer seems to be pandering at times to the male readers by writing in such a way that the female main character talks kind of how men would like to think that she is talking. As such this feeds into the stereotype as much as it tries to break it and the end result, while entertaining at times, still ends up a little flat.

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7.7
Scarlett Couture #2

May 28, 2015

The first issue didn't work because of its somewhat simplified story line, and while that is also kind of the case here, the writer does a much better job at making the characters approachable. As series creator Des Taylor says in his letter col at the end of the first issue, part of the appeal of the characters is that they are untouchable in a sense, in that they are elite supermodels. While this is true, there is only so much to surface, and while the first issue was mostly bereft in terms of establishing Scarlett and her colleagues as characters, this issue rectifies that somewhat. With a stronger focus on the characters, the action fits in better as well resulting in a better overall experience. This still has some way to go, but at least it is heading in the right direction.

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7.1
Scarlett Couture #3

Jun 22, 2015

This series has thus far been one of moderate successes and even more missed opportunities. Although it is inherently trying to break down the spy genre cliches by making a Bond Girl into the action hero, just as often it seems to play into the same cliches for its major plot points. Such was the case again in this issue after relying on the same mostly in issue #1 and breaking free from it a bit in issue #2. Here the scenarios are almost mockups of what one can find in most James Bond films, and while Scarlett works as a character in most cases, she is also let down by the lack of originality in the script aside from her own inspiration. This ends up being a relatively average spy story, and although fun at times, it has all been seen before.

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7.7
Secret Identities #1

Feb 17, 2015

While there are some limitations and inexperience evident in the writing, this is still a well conceived story. It is maybe not as impressive as some of the other attempts to establish a universe of heroes (Armour Hunters, Project Black Sky, Suicide Risk) but it does touch on a lot of the cliches of the genres, and in a parody style examination of them gives them a bit of a new spin. This series is not of the highest caliber, but its shows some potential, both in itself and for the creative team, but also showing that both still have some distance to grow.

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7.8
Secret Six (2014) #1

Dec 3, 2014

Those fans of the previous incarnation of the team that read this might find themselves a little lost. Although still written by Gail Simone, this is not the team that won so much attention a few years ago. The pace here is different as is the focus, but the potential is still there. This is starting out less on a bang like some might have expected, but the pieces are all there for the development of an engaging series. Readers will have to wait and see if Gail Simone can make lightning strike twice.

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8.2
Secret Wars #1

May 6, 2015

There are still a lot of answers left for this series. This first issue introduced what the overall tone of the series will likely be, but offered little more of substance other than a long action sequence. It is not a bad introduction to the threats ahead but neither is it very descriptive of what is to follow. As far as being a crossover it is therefore pretty much of a blank slate, which could be good as crossovers tend towards being disappointing as opposed to being monumental. For now it is "wait and see" but at least the ride for the first issue was entertaining enough.

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8.3
Sevara #0

Sep 8, 2014

This issue thus provides a promising start. As is mentioned in the preamble to this issue, the small company printing this comic is putting its main effort behind this series, making it the flagship upon which they are pinning their hopes. In terms of what can make really good science-fiction, it would seem as though the pieces are all here, with it being setup well thus far. The question becomes where it will go from here, but with the right pieces in place, it would seem as though the creators had at least put their money on the right bet.

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6.7
Shahrazad #2

May 8, 2015

If there is one thing to be said for this issue it is the artwork, which is unfortunately far more enticing than the story.

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5.0
Shahrazad #3

Jun 4, 2015

While this might have been the series that could have saved BDI, it is a strange choice for Aspen to republish. The visuals here are fascinating, with an engaging heroine (though maybe a bit too much of the obvious) and with creatures and settings that are full of lush imagery. The problem is that the story never really catches up to it and furthermore almost seems to sacrifice itself in the name of the visual treats. If Aspen really wanted to do well by this series, they would let the creative team have another round of writing it and perhaps give them some guidance, because as it is, this series is lost in its own concept.

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3.8
Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini #1

Sep 30, 2014

While there are a couple of drawbacks to this story though, the magnetism of the two characters together is there, and while the story has maybe not been set up enough to truly do both of the titular characters justice, it still is not constrained enough to not let them be themselves. The end result is engaging enough, especially as the two start to interact in a more realistic and organic way. In the end the writers manage to get enough interest in the story to make me want to read more, even if the start was kind of rocky.

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7.6
Shinobi: Ninja Princess #4

Dec 2, 2014

This fun series is unlikely to surprise anyone with its story or its characters, but by equal measure both the story and the characters are compelling enough in their simplicity. It is a series that reaches its potential almost completely but still ends up being only above average as a series. It is not the kind of series that will make friends recommend it to one another, but equally there are very few that will walk away from this saying how disappointed that they were with the experience.

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9.0
Silk #1

Feb 18, 2015

The overall balance is one which is great first start to this new series, something which Spider-Woman should have had the chance to do instead of being thrown straight into Spider-Verse. The character has a surprising amount of depth despite being new, and the ongoing story lines are compelling but do not confuse each other with their trajectories. This is a great new character from the big two, which all too often are a bit too male-centric in their creative choices, and if this new wave of female led series is any indication, then it would appear that this is no fad, and that these new outlooks on these characters is here to stay.

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9.0
Silk #2

Mar 20, 2015

This entire issue was fun from start to finish. While it might seem like the writer is trying to mix too much in and to keep too many balls juggled at once, it really doesn't come off as too complicated. Rather the events surrounding Silk's life, while super in some respects, also kind of represent the chaos that most people have to get through, trying to hold down a job to pursue the passions that they really care about, and trying to deal with all of the other problems that life throws at them. Silk is so far a series with a quick pace and a tight plot which is probably the best of the Spider-ladies.

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9.1
Silk #3

Apr 30, 2015

The new wave of girl focused titles has claimed another victor in the pages of Silk. Only three issue in, the series is already establishing itself as different from what has come before. It takes a little of the past, mixes in a modern twist and the sum ends up being more than its parts. It is a series with a lot of heart that puts the character first and the reader benefits from this approach, and probably will be able to benefit for some time if the same quality is maintained.

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8.8
Silk #5

Jun 11, 2015

Once again Silk proves to be the best of the new wave of Spider-Women (though Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen are not really lacking). She combines a youthful charm into the same superheroics that is common throughout the remainder of the Marvel Universe. So many years ago, Spider-Man re-established the comic book universe by being a wise cracking young superhero, and now Silk is doing the same thing, only with a female voice. Perhaps no other series better captures this new wave of young female superheroes than does this series, even if it is among the less popular of these series. This issue captured what is special about this character both in terms of plot and in terms of characterization, and proves that Cindy should be here to stay.

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8.9
Silk #6

Aug 19, 2015

It could be that the story telling which has revitalized and reshaped the presentation of female characters simply does not mesh with the kind of grand storytelling that is Secret Wars. As this new wave has helped reshape the medium of comics, especially at the Big Two publishers, it is maybe evident that the massive crossovers are not the way forward for the future but rather a focus on characters over concepts. Whatever the case, that approach has worked in this series and continues to work here, as one of the standout series from Marvel in the past year, and one which will hopefully be back at full strength following the end of Secret Wars.

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5.5
Silk #7

Sep 2, 2015

Unfortunately but also predictably, the story ends up missing its mark because of it. The rushed nature of the story detracts already from what has come before, but the tie-in to Secret Wars makes it all the worse as the story is chaotic and unordered. In effect the lasting legacy of this final issue is almost to erase all of the good that was done in this short lives series with this character. She could have used a better send-off, and while she will presumably return in the new Marvel Universe, her handling here is maybe not the best bellwether for her return as this ends up being a rushed mess that does little good and unfortunately leaves the new series on a low note.

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8.5
Silver Surfer (2014) #10

Mar 11, 2015

With a renewed focus on the cosmic at Marvel, this issue acts as a lesson to those taking on these ambitious outer space projects. Instead of always thinking in terms of planetary wars or of space battles, there can be simpler moments. Granted, involving Galactus in anything puts the story on a bigger scale, but it is the human moments here which define this particular issue, and which let it succeed.

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8.5
Silver Surfer (2014) #11

May 1, 2015

While not a standout issues, this fits well with the others in the series thus far and it is an interesting read for those that love the more esoteric aspect of scieince fiction.

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6.0
Sinestro #7

Dec 3, 2014

In the end there are a few neat plot developments in this issue, but the characters are so off-the-mark that it ends up being a distraction from the series, instead of supplementing it. As is always the case, when a storys characters fail then it is up to the plot to carry through, but it ends up being too little and too late to redeem the story here, especially as a sizable part of this issue was eaten up by action sequences which did not move the plot along. Perhaps given the right opportunity and fewer tie-ins to the other titles, this series might stand a better chance to establish its anti-hero in the titular role, but as of now, the lack of focus on this series as an independent story is hurting it.

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8.7
Sinestro: Futures End #1

Sep 25, 2014

In reading this issue, it starts off the same as a lot of others. For instance, as compared to the Teen Titans version of Futures End, little seems to be different on the surface. In the Teen Titans version, a story was told with some new characters and some old, but which did not really change much in terms of the DC Universe, other than introducing a new villain. While this series might start like that, it builds well over its final pages and its ending is really worth reading, especially for those that are fans of Geoff Johns run on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps.

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8.2
Snow White 10th Anniversary One-Shot #1

May 28, 2015

The story telling in this issue is something that the main series has been lacking for a long time. It can be easily said that Grimm Fairy Tales have deviated far from the formula that made it popular to begin with, and despite its continued success, the return to this more simple concept works well for the series, even when it still has some influence from the modern tales. In the end the connection to the titular Snow White is a bit far-fetched, but it d doesn't matter as the issues manages to work on its own merits.

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8.1
Spider-Gwen #1

Feb 27, 2015

While there are some changes to the familiar, there is also a lot of what is just familiar. What has been characteristic of the new wave is that it has taken a new approach to these characters with new ideas, but Spider-Gwen for the time being seems to be more about recycled ideas with a new character. It is thus the weakest of the titles thus far, arguably not as good even as Silk. The series is not bad, only that it does not seem to be aiming as high as the others that have preceded it. Ironically due to the popularity of the character, it is also the one that is likely to survive the longest, and it would be nice therefore if the creative team tried something a little more.

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8.5
Spider-Island (2015) #1

Jul 8, 2015

The result is a fresh take on the crossover by recasting some of the main characters and by changing the baseline of the setting. It is a bit grittier than the original, but the reimagining works well as the reader is drawn into the story almost immediately and the pace never lets up. It is also nice to see the backup feature showing us a slightly older Spider-Girl (now Spider-Woman) from the MC2, which also sort of ties into the Secret Wars crossover. In the end this is a pretty decent tie-in to Secret Wars, proving once again that those who are willing to push the boundaries that the freedom of the crossover allows, also benefit from those risks, as they have paid off here and elsewhere for these tie-in series.

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6.8
Spider-Verse (2015) #3

Jul 8, 2015

Secret Wars has been really effective at times in putting together fun takes on old stories, but it has also fallen a bit flat with others. That Spider-Verse is so fresh hinders it, but the series doesn't really dwell on it either, instead giving us what is essentially a fairly average comic, except for a few deeper moments with Gwen. The first half of the issue might have easily been lifted from a comic from the 1980s, and it is only with Gwen towards the end that there is any redeeming material here. It is fun at times, and a bit of a disappointment, but it at least provides some hope for an interesting resolution with the plot development at the end.

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8.6
Spider-Woman (2014) #1

Nov 19, 2014

The end result is a decent issue with some fun moments and fun dialogue. It is maybe not the best start that this series could have gotten off to, but it was sort of forced into the larger story arc and forced to adapt, which it does well. At the very least, with an ongoing series featuring Spider Woman, with Silk as her ally/sidekick, this series should be interesting, and without the crossover into Spider-Verse the future looks bright for it finding its own identity.

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6.5
Spider-Woman (2014) #3

Jan 28, 2015

What the reader is left with is a mess, kind of parallel to when one watches a horrible movie that is well acted. The characterization is wasted here on an incoherent mess that loses sight of its own goals in being able to hold this together. There is still a lot of potential for this series and this character, only it seems as though won't be realized until the Spider-Verse is wrapped up and pushed aside. Until then, readers will continue to get a glimpse of what could be while trying to decipher the rest.

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8.3
Spider-Woman (2014) #5

Mar 5, 2015

What is evident about this issue is that the creative team has the potential to pull this together, and only begs the question why they were not allowed to do that in the first place before all the controversy and all the misdirection (in which case Batgirling would be replaced by Spiderwomaning?) Regardless while this series and this story still has some ground to make up, and despite that some of the previous four issues read well as individual issues, this #5 feels like a #1 and perhaps there is hope yet for Jessica to get some of the attention that is deserved.

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8.1
Spider-Woman (2014) #7

May 7, 2015

Despite the unconventional approach taken with this issue, it still ends up being a bit of a mixed bag. The storytelling is fun, but the pacing is not all there, with perhaps a bit too much put into the intricate plot. Equally the women in this small town are approachable, but the question remains whether they should be? This is still a pretty interesting issue, and the creative team deserves some credit for trying something different. Different doesn't always mean great though, and that is the bottom line here, as the issue is fun and engaging but not really much else.

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9.2
Spider-Woman (2014) #8

Jun 3, 2015

What the creative team has managed to do with this series is interesting. In comics the default gender is male, and by adhering to the usual story lines, the creative team would never have been able to take advantage of what makes Jessica special, the woman suffix, not the Spider prefix. This issue is a perfect example of how that is done to build a competent superheroine and one that typifies her gender as opposed to hiding it under spandex or a cape. With this first story arc now completed it seems as though this series is on a good path as it looks to extend her adventures into mainstream comics for the foreseeable future.

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8.5
Spider-Woman (2014) #10

Aug 26, 2015

This series has performed well recently and this issue is not different. It could be considered to be a bit of light fluff, but it also manages to hold it together with the strength of the characters as they are written. Even the Porcupine comes off as a much more redeemable character here than he has elsewhere, even previously in this series. As is promised in the letter column at the end, there are changes coming to the series, but they are changes that focus on the character once again, and proves that the creative team has got it right with how to handle what they have here. This issue might not be the best example, but it is fun and it works and uses what it has to its advantage.

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8.8
Star Wars (2014) #1

Jan 16, 2015

Star Wars is a franchise which barely needs any extra acclaim, although this issue seems to be getting it from all corners. At its base it is a solid enough issue and a good way to launch a series, but a lot of the acclaim seems to be from those that preface their opinions with “I am a huge Star Wars fan.” With that in mind, and taking away from a lot of the Star Wars specific plot points, there is not much to distinguish this from a lot of other science fiction, and it leaves one to ponder that if it was Flash Gordon or John Carter in a similar plot if everyone would really care so much? Nonetheless the story does stand by itself as being entertaining and at a fairly high level of production. If this is to be the next story of Star Wars then it fits what has come before.

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8.5
Star Wars: Lando #1

Jul 9, 2015

There are those that might think that his stories alone might not be enough to lead a series though would probably be mistaken. There are still a lot of fertile ground for stories in the Star wars universe, even if the old expanded universe is gone, replaced with stories that stick a bit closer to the script. What makes this story work so well though is the story, as it is not so much focused on the Star Wars universe, but rather acts as good story which would work in any sci-fi setting, only here the players are already defined. It is also nice how this first issue manages to expand on the role of Lobot, especially the loyalty which he and Lando have for one another. As with the Princess Leia series which didn't seem like it would work, but ended up being pretty good, this series starts out on the right foot and looks like a promising and entertaining series.

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8.8
Star Wars: Lando #2

Aug 14, 2015

Once again this series proves to have a winning formula. The medium of comics is perhaps not the best suited for the grand scale of Star Wars, but this compensates well for it. The space chase sequence is well executed despite the two dimensional nature of the medium, but it is made up for with a neat twist and excellent artwork. On the whole this series is an unexpected success, with moments in the first two issues that surprise and keep the reader guessing where it is going. The Marvel Star Wars team finds itself another hero in Lando, and proves that there are still lots of good stories to be told in a galaxy far far away.

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8.5
Star Wars: Lando #3

Aug 27, 2015

This series is once again showing that the direction of the now canonical comic series is heading in the right direction. There is not much here which is trying to redefine the Star Wars universe, or to send it off on some tangent, but rather the focus is on telling engaging and fun stories within this continuity. This issue stumbles a little bit as it loses some momentum with the battle sequence, but still keeps the series moving along well. After all, this is not meant to be a defining Star Wars experience, rather a complementary one, and it succeeds at being that. It helps, not hinders, the main story telling of the movies and offers insights into bypassed characters along the way.

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8.5
Star Wars: Princess Leia #1

Mar 5, 2015

The new direction that Marvel is taking Star Wars is an intriguing one. This series is one that maybe no fans ever really asked for, but the question equally could have been “why didn't they?” The execution is not flawless, but the story is both engaging and entertaining enough to be an appropriate vessel for Star Wars' first heroine.

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8.6
Star Wars: Princess Leia #2

Mar 19, 2015

After the relatively flat introduction, this series might have seemed to be heading into the direction of mediocrity, but this second issue evidently does what it needs to do to establish something more for the character. It may not be exactly the character that the fans are used to, but it doesn't matter as the character is taken out of the grey zone between those two episodes and thrown into the modern day by doing so. There are some fun action sequences here but there are also some deeper moments. It may not be a masterpiece, but the way that this is heading, it will at least serve as an effective modern update for a beloved character.

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9.0
Star Wars: Princess Leia #3

Apr 30, 2015

What follows is thus the strongest issue thus far of this series, and proof that the creative team was wise to go the route of using the Princess as one of its primary early focuses for establishing something more in the Star Wars continuity. There will be fans that will find this to be too much of a stretch from what came before in the movies, but this is also Princess Leia taken from the 1970s and dropped into the modern day. The end result is engaging and fun, and promises that the rest of this series will be a good ride.

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9.3
Star Wars: Princess Leia #4

Jun 4, 2015

There were many that picked up this series hoping to see a change in the character, in order to make her more approachable. The earlier issues in this miniseries were a bit slow to get started, but at this point the series has found its heart and its hero. Princess Leia might still have a long way to go before reaching the cult status of some other Star Wars characters like Wedge Antilles or Boba Fett, but with stories such as this one she could finally be on her way.

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9.5
Star Wars: Princess Leia #5

Jul 2, 2015

Though it has been less talked about than the main Star Wars series, this series likely should have been. It got off to a slow start, but it picked up steam quite quickly, and the entire five issues story reads better together than monthly. With this final issue, it would also be nice to see the return of Evaan, the rare female character in the universe that is written like what most modern comic readers expect from a female character. With this fifth and final issue, Leia proved two things as a character, first of all that she can carry a series, and secondly that she should probably given the opportunity to carry one or two more.

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8.1
Star-Lord And Kitty Pryde #3

Sep 2, 2015

The issue plays out as a not-so-serious take on the pre-Secret Wars world. While there was some comedy in their stories before, it never came off quite as screwball as it does here. Problems are solved not necessarily by the ingenuity, skills or powers of the two heroes, but rather by plot developments which are set-up to provide a humorous end result. While it doesn't hit as hard as it could, it is not really the point either, as the relationship between these two is what has been the special find in the past year. Where the story is basic and the humor is somewhat lacking, this issue still puts the right focus on the two of these characters together, and the result is satisfactory if not noteworthy.

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6.2
Starfire #1

Jun 10, 2015

The intention of the series to establish the characters as a fish out of water might be clear, but it is also confusing. In the wake of so many other well written female character headlining their own series in recent months, Starfire comes off as the equivalent of the “dumb blonde” stereotype, asking questions about things which are apparently obvious while also failing to grasp basic parts of human society (like the need to be clothed.) It fits with the character's past, but it doesn't bode well for her future, at least in this series, as this will soon be buried alongside other titles that have failed to evolve to the changing market for comic readers.

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7.5
Starfire #2

Jul 8, 2015

While the representation of the character has improved here, it is apparently still a work in progress. Starfire got to save some strange residents of Key West, and so doing provided some comedic relief, but equally it was so non sequitur that it broke up the sequence of the story. The writing team seems to be fascinated with Key West, and while there is nothing wrong with that, the series equally cannot be simply a string of strange characters from Key West that they can dream up. Starfire as a character deserves more. This issue represents a step in the direction towards what she should be, but there is still some distance to go.

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8.0
Starfire #3

Aug 12, 2015

For those that are curious about how the DC You direction has affected Starfire, it might be easier to think of the change out of context. While the series is ostensibly after the events of the Red and the Outlaws series, the reader gets a better appreciation of this series if they think of it as Starfire first having arrived to Earth overall. It doesn't make sense from a continuity standpoint, but then again neither do a lot of things under DC You. The first couple of issue in this series were a bit harder to take, but after this third issue, it is evident that the changes are meant to be a bit over-the-top, and that they are to the benefit of the series. At the very least this series looks as though it is taking an approach which will make the character a lot more likable and respectable, even if it is done in a less serious way.

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5.5
Storm #5

Nov 21, 2014

While the series has been doing a routinely adequate job with the titular character, there have not really been many Wow! moments so far in this series, and while it seems to be trying to tell a more organic day-by-day rendition of Storm, this issue highlights perhaps a need for a balance between the two approaches, with maybe a broader story arc to shake things up a bit and to put some tension in this series.

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7.0
Storm #6

Dec 20, 2014

As with any comic series, the stories here would benefit from a lack of influence of outside factors, but more so, it would seem that for all of the solo X-Men titles that they are lacking in the absence of other X-Men. Storm is easily a compelling enough hero to hold her own book, but as a character she is not being able to let loose and carve out her own niche. Until that time, this series is going to be searching for an identity, but at least in this issue there seems to be some promise that the series is heading that way.

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8.8
Suicide Risk #20

Dec 9, 2014

The end result of this issue and the series thus far is the same overall level of excellence as has been seen so far. For anyone that likes superheroes but wants a stronger narrative behind the heroes themselves, this is probably the best series on the market. While other companies try for concept driven crossovers, this entire series is a crossover, and this issue stands with the rest of them as being worthy of the progression of the series thus far. At the same time, it does leave open the question of how much longer this story can go on, especially after some degree of intermediate resolution here, but there is still a lot of story to tell, and the closer the reader gets to completion is to their benefit.

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8.7
Suicide Risk #21

Jan 13, 2015

Though this is a bit of a slower pace issue than some of the others in this series, it still shows off the strength of the characters that have been built up in the twenty issues so far. When Leo is at home the reader can feel his struggle, and when he returns to his home world, one can feel his desperation as well. This issue is not a standout in the series, but it does move the story along to where it needs to be. It is not even clear what the greater story line of the entire series is at this point, because it has so many unexpected developments that really anything is possible, but the series has always had a high standard and this issue is no different.

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8.9
Suicide Risk #22

Feb 18, 2015

This series continues to be successful and specifically for issues like this one. It is the kind of issue that the reader consumes impatiently, with each page hopefully coming to some alleviation of the problems faced by all. In so doing, this shows off the synergy of the creative team, as well as their ability to put together a coherent and well-paced story. As the middle of a story arc there is still more story to be told here, and the cliffhanger ending which might seem over-the-top in other cases fits perfectly here. This series is one of the best mixes of the ingenuity that is consistent with the independents with the superhero world that is popular at the big two, and there is really something for every comic reader here.

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9.5
Suicide Risk #23

Mar 25, 2015

This series which has been notable for its ability to surprise and to lead into interesting tangents does the same here. This issue might in fact be the best so far in the entire series, a series which is notable for many issues which could have been called "the best so far". Really the only problem with this issue is that it read so quickly because it was so engaging. The pacing of the storytelling was excellent, and the characterizations were excellent, and the series continued to surprise, even after having done so many times before.

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9.3
Suicide Risk #25

Jun 3, 2015

While this issue might not fit the form of what readers of comics expect from superheroes, it absolutely fits in terms of what this series has always managed to accomplish. The story as always is engaging, and the characters are approachable. At the same time though the series has never attempted to simply copy other superhero comics but has always tried something a little bit different and generally has more than succeeded. In this case the final issue encapsulates what has worked so well about this series, and stands with the other other standout issues that have come before to wrap up this massive plot line as well as any has ever done at the big two.

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8.6
Supergirl (2011) #36

Nov 19, 2014

What happens is that the series once again seems to have some promise to stand on its own, something that it didn't have since the first year of its stories. While readers and fans of the character might be waiting a long time for some eventual stability within this title as opposed to outside interference, it would appear that this might be that issue where it starts, even if Superman is here for about two pages. As one of the few titles featuring a female superhero, this title could definitely use the attention which it deserves from both the fans and the creators, but it is to the creators to make that happen, and hopefully this will be the first step.

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8.3
Supergirl (2011) #37

Dec 19, 2014

The end result is an issue which shows that this series is moving in the right direction. So often in this series it has felt like the character was waiting inside her own universe for some kind of purposeful meaning, and it seems as though it might finally be finding it over three years later. I thought that the cover was clever as well, as though it seems to be a representation of Kara's search for an identity, it is actually tied into the issue in an interesting way. This is not the best material that DC has to offer, but it is still a fun read and every issue seems to be getting better, and for those that have been waiting for a good time to finally pick up this title, this might be the start.

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8.0
Supergirl (2011) #39

Feb 18, 2015

What results is a story that once again seems to have some potential, after this series non-ending sequence of roller coaster story arcs. It would seem as though the character and the series are finally getting on track, but equally, it has been in the same place before. At the very least, this issue shows what this creative team is capable of, only now it is up to them to maintain it into something more noteworthy and solid.

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8.2
Supergirl (2011) #40

Mar 18, 2015

This accomplishes that this does not really feel like a final issue. In retrospect after finding this out, a little bit of the plot seems to be shoe-horned in, but equally it felt almost like the lead up into a new story arc. One might say that this series ends much as it started, with a lot of missed potential, but at the very least this series ends on a relative high note, maybe not accomplishing what it could have, but having been a mostly entertaining run throughout, including this issue. It is likely that Supergirl will not be gone for long as the character inevitably resurfaces, and to carry on from where it left off might not be the worst for the series or the character.

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6.2
Superman (2011) #40

Apr 29, 2015

It is not only as a poorly conceived plot device that this issue fails, but also as an overall concept. The use of other heroes, especially Batman and Wonder Woman seems almost flippant, reducing them to two dimensional characters that are trying to spout non sequitur one liners relating to Superman's new powers and new condition. Thus not only does this not really feel like a normal Superman, but his colleagues from the Justice League also seem out of place. It begs the question why this approach has been taken, especially when there are a lot of great Superman stories which have been told while working with him at full strength. As it stands, this issue and the overall plot is a bit of a misfire.

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6.7
Superman (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

The Truth story line has been a bit disappointing thus far, as it has attempted to take a different look at the hero, and mostly has come up a bit short. This carries on here, but inexplicably this is not so much of a look at the new hero, but rather gives us what is basically the old Superman back, save for a few panels mixed in with the newer version. As opposed to the story line which can't seem to find a good direction in which to take the character, this newest installment instead can't decide whether to give fans the new version or the old version. There are likely still fans clamoring for answers as to what exactly happened to Superman to get him where he presently is, but aside from those readers, this issue comes off as a bit too ordinary.

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6.8
Superman (2011) #42

Jul 29, 2015

This issue kind of works and kind of doesn't. The story is lacking in parts, and specifically in that Lois' character is so off in terms of her characterization over the years. So too is there is a bit of a problem with Hordr. If Superman's identity is to become public knowledge, it would be more impressive with a big story, not just a group of high-tech hackers. More so, Hordr is a bit of a miss, just as police brutality was treated in a superficial way in the last Action Comics, so too are modern questions about the likes of Snowden and Anonymous treated superficially here. That being said though, the story is better here than it has been elsewhere in this odd new angle for Superman, but it seems like those making the decisions about this new direction for the character need a lot more coherence in their decisions.

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7.5
Superman/Wonder Woman #17

Apr 1, 2015

Time will tell if the romance between the two will endure or just be a flash in the pan of comic history, but at the very least if this is the route being taken for their time together then at least it is one which does the characters justice. Instead of this being the Superman comic featuring Wonder Woman as his main squeeze as it started out, it is now much more balanced between the two, and that it has reached this status by the time of Convergence is an indication that maybe the gamble worked to put these two together.

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6.5
Superman/Wonder Woman #18

Jun 17, 2015

There are those that like the idea behind this series as they have always wanted to see what Superman and Wonder Woman would look like together, but in order for this to be more than a stunt and fanboy service they would also need to provide a story line that is worthy of the union, and so far in this series there hasn't been one. That this series is thrown into the mostly mediocre Truth crossover from Superman doesn't help much either as it once again doesn't give this series much to build on. Instead the story here is about par for the course for this series, if not a bit worse, as Truth drags down a little bit what has mostly been an average series.

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4.5
Superman/Wonder Woman #20

Aug 19, 2015

In effect the DC You version of Superman is quite clearly a failed experiment at this point. It was perhaps interesting to see a deconstruction of the iconic character, but equally it has taken the character into areas which are dull and boring, not into areas which are compelling. Other series have been ineffective at showing the meaning of this change, but perhaps the entire concept has hit rock bottom here as it wastes it time with Superman and then throws off a characterization of Wonder Woman as wildly untrue from what it should be. Dc You is about making the heroes more approachable, but it is not working here, and the company probably needs to get the real Superman back as soon as possible.

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8.0
The Blood Queen #5

Oct 1, 2014

This series has been one of my biggest surprises of the past year, and it is one of the few series which I look forward to coming out. While it is flawed in some minor ways, for fans of either fairy tales or fantasy (or both) this is an excellent series to get into, especially as it is still close enough to the start of the series to find the other issues.

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5.0
The Blood Queen #6

Nov 3, 2014

The end result is an issue which stands apart from the others in this short series for its lack of quality, though for reasons which are maybe partially understandable. While those fans of the series might want to read this just for completion, the rushed manner in which it gets to the end is not worthy of the previous issues. Instead the reader is left thinking what could have been, but without answers.

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7.7
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #3

Nov 3, 2014

Although already halfway through a short series, the story is finally one which I might recommend others to read. The series has faced an uphill battle thus far, both in introducing a brand-new character but also in introducing a brand-new realm. It took a couple of issues to sort through the confusion, but here in issue #3 the creative team has finally pulled together their talents into something more coherent.

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7.7
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #4

Dec 16, 2014

On the whole though, this still succeeds in the way that it is meant to. Once the confusion of the artwork is bypassed, the reader is left with a story that is full of both interesting plot twists as well as well-developed characters. The villains are evil and the heroes are good and neither in solely a superficial sense. The heroes face difficult choices from a moral standpoint and it is in those choices where the final issue of this series is headed.

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8.6
The Empty #1

Feb 11, 2015

This first issue ends up being a decent look at the problems of mankind as we fail to do as much as we should for our own environment, while equally debating the solutions and even making them criminal acts unto themselves. Clearly there is more to the story than this critique, as the story also delves into some action sequences, but it certainly makes one wonder if there are other forms of intelligent life out there if they are on the same semi-destructive path. Regardless of outcome, the story is one which is promising if not a bit overwhelming in its first issue, bit it is still definitely worth a look for its different approach.

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7.6
The Infinity Gauntlet #2

Jun 24, 2015

The initial setup of this story might be conventional but it manages to work. It takes the common plot from many pop culture properties to survive against a world ending calamity and gives it an interesting twist with the entire family becoming Nova Corps members. At the same time the inclusion of cosmic heroes confuses the second half of this issue as it is not clear how one can be stuck on Battleworld but also be based in outer space. Combined with the odd approach to telling the story in the second half takes what was a pleasant story and confuses it. That is not to say that this was a bad issue, only that it is confusing, and that answers are needed soon in the next issue so that the reader can figure out what is going on, but the issue being divided into rough halves in terms of both pacing and quality makes this one a bit of a misfire.

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8.4
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #1

Dec 25, 2014

The end result is an issue full of potential for a fulfilling and meaningful series. This seems to be following a general pattern of sequels often being a letdown and the third attempt in the trilogy being something more meaningful. This was true with the Wonderland trilogy, and appears to be true here as well. Ideally the creative team will be able to follow the pattern of the Wonderland series and to roll over this series into something more consistent as these are some of the most interesting and compelling characters of the Grimm Fairy Tales universe.

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8.5
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #2

Jan 28, 2015

This issue ends up accomplishing its goals and proves that the creative team deserves some more respect for what they have accomplished before. After none of the Jungle Tales series has thus far been a disappointment, or if yes, only in relation to one another. This issue seems to have the story line on track much more to what the first series was than the second, and despite the somewhat absurd premise for the the third issue, it would seem that the momentum will carry on there as well.

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8.7
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #4

Apr 1, 2015

What this issue comes down to though is the launchpad for the final issue. It is there that readers and fans of these series will finally get a payoff, both what the link to the larger universe entails as well as to see if the residents of the island can find a way to live together peacefully or if violence will consume them all. As it stands what the series needed was a lead-in to these big reveals and that is what this issue manages in an effective manner. This is a series where the second to last issue will not be remembered as much as the last, but with this setup it is only for the creative team to bring out the fireworks in the final issue.

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8.4
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #5

May 1, 2015

Part of the problem with this issue and this series is the lack of an underlying moral, or specifically that the moral was introduced too late and not expanded upon enough to make an impact. Certainly in this setting the message of man's destructive effect on nature could have been elaborated on in great detail, but instead this message is mostly left untouched except as a rallying call for the animals to work together. As the end of the trilogy there are still unanswered questions, and this suggests that in true Grimm Fairy Tales style that this is not so much of a trilogy as just the start of the story. There are likely to be a sequence of one-shots to follow, as well as a followup series, seeing as there are still a lot of unanswered questions. As it stands the series and this issue were noteworthy enough, but they also represent a bit of a missed opportunity.

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9.5
The Last God (2019) #1

Nov 2, 2019

Even people who are not fans of the genre would probably enjoy reading this issue just for the inventive use of space by the creative team. People who are fans of the genre might find a lot more to grab onto here, and might even find the beginning of a favorite story.

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8.2
The Little Mermaid #1

Feb 24, 2015

There is maybe a long way to go for Erica, but it would seem the the route for a return to relevance is there. Zenescope has been moderately successful into turning Robyn Hood into a female Green Arrow, and with this new outlook it might be possible that Zenescope is looking for a female Aquaman. Whatever there intention for the character is though, it would seem as the redemption is there for her. At times the stories from Grimm Fairy Tales can be tedious and hard to get through, but then sometimes they really throw as much creativity as they can at an old story and then come up with some new and entertaining, which is the case here.

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7.7
The Little Mermaid #2

Mar 25, 2015

While the quality of storytelling is still strong enough here, it doesn't really capitalize on the concept that was introduced in the first issue. Instead it goes after the lowest hanging fruit of any mermaid story, which is to associate immediately with Atlantis. While this is handled in an interesting way, it is a little bit of a letdown compared to the first issue. The story is still heading in an interesting direction, it is only for the creative team to capitalize on the potential that they have already created for themselves.

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7.7
The Little Mermaid #4

May 21, 2015

This is not an entirely fresh take on the Little Mermaid fairy tale, but it does give some new to go with the old. While some parts of this come off looking as though they were taken straight out of an Aquaman issue, there are other parts which attempt to frame the idea of a mermaid as something a little different. Evidently Zenescope wants another main hero to include in its ensemble, and for that it cannot really be faulted, as its treatment of female heroes is generally pretty good compared to the industry standard, and as there are not really enough female characters out there. This ends up being somewhere in between of some of the better stuff that Zenescope puts out as compared to its confusing main series. It is not necessarily memorable, but still worth a look.

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6.0
The New 52: Futures End #1

Sep 19, 2014

This would appear to be to the detriment of this story as well but it really doesnt end up like that. Instead the writer here has used both series as a way around having limited resources to tell the story. Except for a few panels on either side, the second issues (that being the SM/WW issue) is almost exclusively focused on Wonder Woman as well. The payoff is not as good as one might expect, but it is still better than one is led into believing after the first issue of this small two-part story arc. It may be obvious, but it is still a nice touch to the current incarnation of Wonder Woman as the goddess of war. It is still hard to recommend these two issues, especially as they do not really cover any new ground, but it is nice to at least see the writers get the main character right.

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8.5
Thor (2014) #1

Oct 4, 2014

The end result is nonetheless satisfying. The direction of this book is one which has enough of substance to generate enough interest in it for a few months to come, as long as it can deliver on the much promised story to explain all of the changes. Fans of the medium might be resistant to change and might find that this is a strange direction, but if they give it a chance they will find enough of value here. Indeed though as an only occasional reader of Thor, this first issue does make me curious about what is to follow, and if there are others like me then Marvel has succeeded at what it was going for.

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8.6
Thor (2014) #2

Nov 12, 2014

The end result is a pretty fun issue. The character is built up when possible, although it seems to be doing so in a way which will not interfere with the story. Even so, the dialogue is often clever and well-paced, and the entire issue comes together extremely well. There may still be some fans that are holding out for the return of the original Thor and who are staying away, but it is there loss. This is a great story, full of engaging characters and well-thought out plots and actions sequences, and it is worthy of the name.

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8.5
Thor (2014) #3

Dec 10, 2014

Overall this is a pretty fun issue. Its pacing is well handled as it flows well from page to page, through some exposition and some action. In the end the main character comes off as strong as we have seen her, which is promising for issues to come, even if she is facing an unexpected threat by the end of the end of this issue (though perhaps it should have been expected by the readers.) As is evident in other titles, the male Thor is still alive and well, and with this series focusing on the female Thor, there is only more to go around now. The character is worthy to carry this title, and those that cannot see otherwise are missing out.

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8.5
Thor (2014) #4

Jan 28, 2015

The first four issues of this series have done everything that could be expected of it and more. The story has been engaging, the action intense, and the new direction has breathed new life into characters that sometimes had grown stagnant from their long publication histories. The writer has even been smart enough in this endeavor to keep old Thor and new Thor together in the same universe, and old Thor is still around ready to spring into action wherever may be needed. Clearly this is no mere stunt, as the series is already among the best that Marvel has to offer.

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8.3
Thor (2014) #5

Feb 11, 2015

Those reading the series with the end goal of finding out who the new Thor is will be disappointed once again, as it is revealed that the character is keen on guarding her identity, seemingly not only from the gods but also from the readers. While this issue was a bit flatter in its presentation, it is still worthy of a read. As a weaker entry so far in this new series it does keep the story moving and does what it needs to do, which is to keep the readers guessing. All in all though, it is unlikely that the readers will find out very soon about the new Thor, but that the ride will continue to be an enjoyable one.

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8.6
Thor (2014) #6

Mar 11, 2015

The creative team will of course have to be careful in its drawing out of the search for the identity of this new Thor. In a sense it is not fair as some heroes have maintained their own identities for several decades, often hiding in plain sight without anyone the wiser. In this case, readers will demand an explanation, and while it is going to draw out, it is still important to keep the momentum moving forward, as without it the series would stumble. It is successful in that regard with this issue, framing the story around this investigation but prescient enough of itself to know where its focus has to rest.

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8.8
Thor (2014) #7

Apr 15, 2015

The story does use some of what is familiar to the character, perhaps even too familiar in the case of the previous Thor, but the presence of the familiar is necessary at the same time. After all, this series seems as though it has many great stories left to tell, but first it must deal with the story of who is the new Thor (the conclusion of which is promised for the following issue.) That some familiar ground has been covered does not make this stale, rather it acts as a convenience for a character that needs to have some of what came before in order to establish herself for the future. As it stands, this issue continues the standout work on this series to date, and promises more to come.

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7.0
Tomb Raider #9

Oct 21, 2014

Fans of the character will therefore likely be disappointed with this particular story arc, even if there is nothing really wrong with it either. At the heart of the character is one very deeply versed in an Indiana Jones model, and it is generally wise to let the characters continue the same dynamic which made them popular in the first place. The series remains similar to how most of the comic portrayals of Lara Croft have been, equally both adequate and off-the-mark.

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7.6
Tomb Raider #12

Jan 28, 2015

In the end, this trick of genre-mixing is all that this series has had going for it. Each time another one of the amazing covers comes out, it leads the reader to think that the series is finally getting on track, but each time it leads to Lara being depicted in a manner which is far from what has come before. It is all the more surprising that the creative team behind this series is really talented and has been known for some really groundbreaking work in the medium. For the time being fans of the character are left with glimpses like there are here and left waiting for the return of the character that they love.

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8.3
Vampirella (2014) #7

Dec 2, 2014

In the end, a fairly intricate story is introduced, and Vampirella joins the Kabal and is off to solve her first case. That the issue ends in somewhat the same way as how it started is a good touch, as it makes the story feel both ongoing and circular. This is a far more serious take on the character than any that I have seen. Numerous reboots have been attempted on Vampirella, but it seems that they invariably end up being taken not seriously enough, paying too much homage to her roots as a cult status sex symbol. If the character is going to survive long term with any publisher, then an approach similar to the one here is needed, where Vampirella is a hero first and a sex symbol second.

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7.2
Vampirella (2014) #8

Jan 5, 2015

The failures and successes of this series so far almost balance each other out and make this series a little more than average in most ways. There is certainly potential here for the series and the character to be more, especially with the more realistic approach to Vampirella, but it is still marred by writing that leaves something to be desired when it comes to anything except the main character. It is nice to see a modern version of the series which puts Vampirella in a position other than cult status sex symbol, but it depends on the story and the characters to make this version successful enough to stick, which is what the creative team seems to be missing.

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7.7
Vampirella (2014) #9

Feb 2, 2015

In the end it is not even possible to say that this series is already heading in the right direction, as any time that this happens the series has taken a nose dive ion terms of its quality, but at the very least, the creative team managed to put together a fairly entertaining issue this time. It is still an issue built around some fun action scenes based on supernatural violence as opposed to a strong overall story, but if the creative team is able to maintain this level at least the series will be interesting and exciting, if not very deep.

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8.0
Vampirella (2014) #11

Apr 7, 2015

This issue ends up being the most entertaining in this run as it decides to put its focus mainly on one story instead of several. Equally though, it is not a pulse pounding issue where readers will turn the pages. At the very least this issue should contain the last of these origins and should allow the series to proceed at a somewhat normal pace moving forward. There is potential here now for a stronger universe of characters for Vampirella to interact with, and if that was the sole goal of the previous issue then it was successful, and now it is left for the creative team to use what they have for some engaging stories as they move forward.

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6.5
Vampirella (2014) #13

Aug 20, 2015

Other parts of these 13 issues have looked like they might be going somewhere else, but have also often stalled, and this final issue with this concept also feels rushed and out of place. It is too bad because the talent has mostly been there to take the stories to another level, just they have not ever really made it. Vampirella belongs in comics, but it seems as though a proper home cannot be found for her. Instead she is just shifted around between somewhat generic stories without ever really finding one that can highlight her as a character. Perhaps with the end of the Kabal concept the character can find a better direction to be taken in, but for the moment, this was another failed experiment for her.

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7.6
Van Helsing vs. Dracula #1

Aug 20, 2015

It might seem that this issue is overly busy, but it never really is. The inclusion of Hades is perhaps a poor choice, but it is an editorial choice that was made long ago, and the writer here has to deal with what they have. Despite this, this is a hard issue to get an impression of for where the miniseries might be heading. For those that are interested in a bit of supernatural, they will probably find this approachable enough, but there is really not much here to tell whether it will be one of the better Grimm Fairy Tales projects, or something more limited. As it stands after the first issue it evidently has the potential, only it is unclear what it can make of it.

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6.7
Van Helsing vs. Dracula's Daughter #2

Sep 19, 2019

This is not the first “Van Helsing Vs.” series and that Zenescope is still publishing indicates that they are among the more lucrative. Equally though, it might be better worth waiting for the right inspiration instead of producing this miniseries on schedule. Doing so might make these stories more appealing and less forgettable.

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6.3
Van Helsing vs. Dracula's Daughter #3

Oct 24, 2019

The second issue of this 5-part miniseries was OK, but it really seemed to fall off the rails here in Van Helsing vs. Dracula's Daughter #3. The story does not hold together at all, as it feels like it is made of unassociated vignettes as opposed to one strong narrative. Without it, the action doesn't hold any weight, and the character development seems to be shoehorned in only to make the plot work.

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7.0
Wolf Moon #1

Dec 4, 2014

Those interested in werewolves and the supernatural genre will probably find enough to draw them in here, but for outsiders the genre, there is far less here of much value. Story is often shunted for the benefit of gore, and the characters are not developed enough in this initial issue to provide enough to grasp on to. It is a shame too, because the cover by June Chung is one of the most visually captivating covers that I have seen in a long time, and while it draws in the reader, there is nothing inside this issue which matches the eloquence of the exterior.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #36

Nov 19, 2014

Overall the issue does what it needs to have done. Wonder Woman is thrown back into the main DC Universe with careful intention, and yet the ties to her stories so far in the new 52 are not simply forgotten. Much was made about David Finchs comment about the character and feminism, but those were apparently taken out of context, and really he does a great job drawing female characters (though I might point out that his male characters tend to be a bit boxy). Focusing on the feminine is not a bad thing for this book, as long as it is not exploitative, and with one issue into this new direction, the creative team seems to at least be on the right track.

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8.2
Wonder Woman (2011) #37

Dec 18, 2014

The end result is one which is not as obvious as the first issue for the new team. The previous issue was more of the clean-break as opposed to this one which instead rests a little bit on the shock value of what has come before. While it may be evident as well here that some of the developments of the previous issue may in fact be more of misfires, it is also evident that while this series might not yet be running on full cylinders, that the promise is there to do so. Admittedly, Azzarello's run on this series was a great one, but people seem to ready to write off this team before they have even had a chance to prove themselves, and this issue represents another step forward for them as they try to carve out their own part of this iconic character's history.

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7.5
Wonder Woman (2011) #38

Jan 21, 2015

The Finches still deserve chance to see where it is that they can take this series, but on its present heading, it would seem as though it is going in the wrong direction.

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7.3
Wonder Woman (2011) #39

Feb 18, 2015

It is in the combination of this all that the story gets lost. It would seem that Meredith in trying to put her stamp on the character has gone for an all-out approach, throwing in every trick which she has, but it is not to the benefit of this series. Instead a better approach might be to consider each one of these roles separately, as such a juxtaposition is a bit much in under 25 pages. The potential for the character is here, and specifically rests it would seem in the Themyscira chapter, but as it stands the lack of focus is taking away from what could be accomplished here.

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7.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #40

Apr 1, 2015

Perhaps the creative team has something else in mind for where the character is heading, or some other big reveal about Donna Troy or how she could be presented as a hero and not a villain, but at the moment the direction of this series remains confusing. The potential is there for this series to succeed with this creative team, only it would appear that the wrong pieces are being used at the wrong time. Instead this needs a back-to-basics approach and to focus on what makes this character popular to begin with. With the onset of Convergence, it allows for a bit of a break hopefully and to refocus the series to get back on the desired track, as it started out well with this team, but has been gradually declining in its coherence since then.

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8.1
Wonder Woman (2011) #41

Jun 17, 2015

Hopefully this turn of events for Wonder Woman is proof that the creative team has calmed down a bit from the first story arc. Instead of throwing what seemed like anything and everything into the story, the outlook here is a bit more subdued here, while moving forward what seems like an engaging story at a pace which makes sense. The costume change for Diana might get the spotlight here (although it was handled well in story) but really this is a chance for a quick change of direction for the creative team and it seems to be well worth it here as there is positive momentum in this series again.

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6.7
Wonder Woman (2011) #43

Aug 19, 2015

Jim Lee has likened Wonder Woman to someone's grandmother, likable and approachable, but not someone that would probably ever be considered cool or edgy. While on the one hand there is not really that much wrong with Wonder Woman from a creative standpoint, even if the stories seem to be stuck a little bit in between various influences, the main problem with this series is becoming evident that it is simply falling behind the times. Wonder Woman is recognizable to all, but favored by few, and while change is underway in other titles for other characters to make them more approachable than ever to all fans, it is the same old thing for Wonder Woman. The character deserves not only better stories than what this series is presently offering but also a better outlook overall.

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7.2
Wonder Woman (2011) Annual #1

Jun 3, 2015

In the end the first story arc wraps up in a satisfactory way, and even fun at times with the battle between the two Amazons, but it still leaves the reader wanting a lot more.

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8.6
X-Men (2013) #22

Dec 10, 2014

This story arc managed to pull back into what the strength is for the series in this last issue before starting something new. So far the story arc has been far more concept driven, with the hybrid aliens, the return of Madeline Pryor, the betrayal of S.W.O.R.D. from within, but by mixing the focus on characters back into the mix it redeems what has been a fun but lackluster story arc so far. The moments with Rachel are not dominant here, but they are touching enough to make up for their brevity. While this has never been a weak series, it did stumble a little bit with this story arc, but by the end finds itself back on the same solid ground where it has mostly been throughout.

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8.3
X-Men (2013) #26

Apr 30, 2015

The resolution to this story is as good as the series could give, given its feminine focus, but at the same time this story arc marks the end of what was a project that never really was. Although the quality of this X-Men title was never in doubt, it never really either broke through either. Most of the stories were interesting and engaging enough, but most also never really rose above what one might consider an average story line from any other comic. Such was the case here again with this story arc and this issue, and while the run has been strong enough over the past couple of years, it still feels as though more could have been done.

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8.3
Years of Future Past #2

Jul 1, 2015

That is the case with this issue though. Although it works well enough as a story, it also is a story which has a few defining moments with other material in between which almost feels like filler. It is an unconventional format for a story as it moves between moments which are either strong for character development or artistically impressive, but such is the lot of the X-Men tie-ins to Secret Wars. It is good, but not much else, and more than anything makes the reader want to re-read the original as opposed to continuing with this.

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5.0
Zombie Tramp (2014) #4

Nov 17, 2014

In the end, it is hard to give this series a positive recommendation but it is equally to be too hard on it. The series kind of ends up accomplishing what it sets out to do, but if there is a message here it is lost in the violence and exploitation.

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6.3
Zombie Tramp (2014) #5

Dec 10, 2014

At least it is doing something new in the zombie genre, and deserves some respect for that, even when the end product fails to impress on most levels.

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5.5
Zombie Tramp (2014) #7

Feb 3, 2015

That is the inherent problem of this series, is that its message is the violence and whatever else the writers have imagined for the character are thrown in as a sort of “take what you can get” approach to story telling. That is to say that sometimes there is a better story here, and even a moral, but it will never get in the way of the violence. That as always is the problem here, and that Janey is acting less of the hero in this case makes it all the more evident where the failings of this series are. It could have potential, but it is ultimately devoured by itself.

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