Elizabeth Fazzio's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: On Comics Ground Reviews: 42
8.4Avg. Review Rating

8.8
Albert Einstein: Time Mason #1

Oct 14, 2018

Albert Einstein: Time Mason is just my kind of whack-a-doodle. It's reminiscent of both Roger Moore's James Bond and any episode of Star Trek where the crew got stuck in a holodeck simulation - it's got gadgets and history and it weaves them together in an amusing and entertaining manner.

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9.0
Albert Einstein: Time Mason #2

Dec 3, 2018

I am loving this book. There is enough real history to keep it grounded, but the liberties the creative team takes with them make the story immensely fun. Ol' Al's internal monologue consistently gives me the giggles.

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9.5
Albert Einstein: Time Mason #3

Jan 7, 2019

By this point you're truly invested in the outcome of this series"you find yourself really, truly rooting for Einstein in his quest, cheering his successes, flinching with his pains, holding your breath when he's in a tight spot, and, having left him where we have in this issue, hoping he'll be okay.

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9.8
Albert Einstein: Time Mason #4

Jan 19, 2019

In the course of this installment of the story we get cowboys and a train robbery, which you would expect to find together, but then there's a massive scuffle and then"BOOM"a T-Rex. But it all makes perfect sense! If you had told me at this time last year that someone was going to put out a comic that blended Albert Einstein, time travel, Nazis, well-known historical figures, and pop culture, with the added bonus of a T-Rex, I would have told you to go pound rocks. I would have told you it couldn't be done"at least not well. But here we are, and if you've been reading along I'm sure you'll join me in saying, "More, please!" Side note: There is a splash page in this issue which actually made me spit out my drink. I won't spoil it for you"I'll let you find it in your own time.(Maybe drink-spray-proof your copy somehow, though, yeah?)

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9.0
Albert Einstein: Time Mason #5

Mar 3, 2019

Okay, okay, you all know I love this book with a passion bordering on the absurd, but I have a bone to pick with you, gentlemen. In issue four we left Al in the middle of a ring of Century Stones with a busted Mason pocket watch and a floating T-Rex. In issue five, we picked up in Egypt like nothing happened.So...kind of wondering what happened there?I'm going to give y'all the benefit of the doubt and just assume that all will become clear sometime in the second arc, but that was quite a jump to make without the tiniest hint of an acknowledgment to the situation in which we left our protagonist. ::raises eyebrow::

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7.8
Assassin Nation #1

Mar 14, 2019

Dark humor and splattering cranial contents abound in Image Comics' new release, Assassin Nation. Both the colors and the characters are vivid, and the dialogue is just the right level of salty for a troupe of hired guns.

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8.0
Assassin Nation #2

Apr 17, 2019

Well, we're down two more (though because one of them was part of a two-person team, the rankings only go up by one,) but hoo boy, are there things going on under the surface. We already know"by virtue of the fact that he admitted the only reason he accepted Rankin's invitation in the first pace was because he was certain that whoever killed his husband was in the top-twenty"that Maxwell Bishop prefers the company of men, and issue #2 opens with a scene between Bishop and Rankin that takes a rather provocative turn. It will be interesting to see if that was a one-off or if it plays out. I'm anticipating a great deal more in-fighting between the members of the team, especially since Chad Fingerman has such an inflated opinion of himself, and Dave is, well...Dave.

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8.0
Assassin Nation #3

May 23, 2019

Bottom line, Assassin Nation is a fun book with color, blood-n-guts, and it turns out there's a heart in there, too.

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8.3
Assassin Nation #4

Jun 21, 2019

There are plenty of highly comical moments and fantastic artistic details which we have come to expect from the Assassin Nation team, and I'm sure this will continue going into the arc finale next month.

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8.3
Assassin Nation #5

Jul 19, 2019

I have to say I'm sorry to see Assassin Nation come to an end. It's been a thoroughly entertaining romp filled with mayhem, murder, silliness, sensitivity, language as colorful as the panels themselves (there was a character named 'Fuck', FFS), and beautifully executed gags. My favorite little extra this time around came while Rankin had Bishop pinned down and was monologuing like a champ. As he says "I just wanted to be the number one killer again" with his gun held reverently to his chest, the background is a giant banner saying "Pettiest Man On Earth" surrounded by flowers and held by a pair of rosy-cheeked cherubs. Overall I truly enjoyed this book, and if it comes back for a second arc I'll definitely be reading!

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8.5
Dead Kings #1

Oct 30, 2018

Dead Kings is what I imagine would happen if the Cold War had been fought with the Jaegers from Pacific Rim and the KGB had been the victors"mass destruction followed by a totalitarian state ruled by fear. The world of the story exists in a realm of magical realism. It hits all the marks for setting up the traditional hero's journey but is compelling enough about it to draw the reader in.

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7.3
Dead Kings #3

Feb 21, 2019

Dead Kings is a dark book, literally and metaphorically, but just when you think it might tip too far into the abyss it shines a little light on something, like Maria's sudden moments of compassion.

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7.0
Dead Kings #4

Apr 9, 2019

While BOLD lettering is still being overused and marring the readability of the text"this is a hill upon which I will die"and the relationship between Sasha and Maria is a little forced and unbelievable, Dead Kings remains a compelling read. The story itself is fascinating, the art is nuanced, and the characters, though lacking a bit in the 'fully-fleshed' arena, are relatable enough to hold the reader's attention. Now that the climax of the story has been reached in a rather explosive fashion, it will be interesting to see how the fifth issue plays out.

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7.0
Dead Kings #5

Jun 3, 2019

The presentation has been lacking throughout, and I spent a lot of time waiting for Maria and Sasha to develop into characters rather than ciphers for more than a panel or two, and it's too bad that the really nifty stuff in this book like the ties to Russian and Eastern European folklore don't sparkle more as a result. Maybe with another pass from a different editor this book could have been what it was trying to be.

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7.3
Errand Boys #1

Oct 9, 2018

Overall, I'm excited for this series. It's fun without being too frivolous, and has the capacity to explore the tumultuous terrain of familial and romantic relationships in a candid but reasonably lighthearted manner.

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7.5
Errand Boys #2

Nov 8, 2018

The whimsy continues in this second installment of the Errand Boys saga. It's a colorful romp through a doubly-colorful universe, and the action doesn't stop. There are fewer large panels in this issue than the first, which highlights the sudden intrusion the Lopaz brothers have made into each other's lives. We get a little more depth to Jace and Tawnk's relationship as well as some individual backstory, and we start to see them work together as a team.

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6.8
Errand Boys #3

Dec 10, 2018

I know I've harped on this book for lackluster writing before, and I'm about to do it again. The narration is poor, but the dialogue in this issue in particular was grating.

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7.0
Errand Boys #4

Jan 22, 2019

The problems with the writing in this series remain exactly that in issue four, so there's not much point in my delving into that again. The story took a slower pace in this issue which was absolutely necessary due to the more sensitive tone, and there were a couple of excellently executed moments. Personally I feel that the major outburst from Jace just before he is hauled off to serve his sentence was too abrupt, however. It needed more build to make it believable"it goes from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye and the catalyst comes from left field, which makes it feel contrived, as though they couldn't think of a better way to move the characters' psyches toward bereft (for Tawnk) and remorse (for Jace). It did redeem itself in the final panels, though, and overall there was significantly more feeling to this issue than the previous three.

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7.0
Errand Boys #5

Feb 23, 2019

While issue five did retain one of the same problems I've cited all along with this series"specifically the over-labored vernacular"the narration and overall writing in this installment, I felt, was greatly improved. It didn't seem nearly as clunky and stilted as it has been in the previous four issues, so either I've gotten used to it or they've been working on it, and I think it might be the latter. There were a few moments of convenience and some places where a scene was rushed, but overall issue five felt like a marked improvement in the previous problem areas. The art and world-building were still very strong, and the vibrancy of color also remained. The book as a whole was much more cohesive than the previous installments, and if there is another arc in the works I hope it stays this way.

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9.0
Fairlady #1

Apr 11, 2019

There is a character. Who wears an octopus. For a hat. I realize that I've drawn attention to this fact twice already but I feel it bears repeating. I don't think he'll be in any future issues, but for three glorious panels, he existed, and for this I am eternally grateful. Brian Schirmer "pitched Fairlady as 'a gender-swapped Magnum P.I. in a post-War-of-the-Ring world'", and it certainly lives up to that description. The concept of a defunct war machine being left in the wilds and becoming a thriving community is beautiful, and also wonderfully whimsical in the sense that addresses in this story read like "Bungalow Road, Left Hand East". I find myself wondering if "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" is the favorite local sport. We're getting a lot in this book"a fantastically original menage of known tropes, great writing, gorgeous art"and I'm sincerely excited to see whither this story wanders!

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8.5
Fairlady #2

May 16, 2019

The thing I'm finding most appealing about Fairlady is the manner in which Schirmer and Balboni really economize their use of space. No bit of page is wasted.

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8.3
Fairlady #3

Jun 28, 2019

All in all, another successfully executed and thoroughly enjoyable issue.

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8.3
Fairlady #4

Jul 18, 2019

That was a dirty trick. A wonderfully dirty trick, very well played. What's that? You haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking about? Well, you see, the Fairlady creative team decided to"::hands come out of the darkness and drag me away::

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9.0
Fairlady #5

Aug 21, 2019

Issue #5 of Fairlady will be its last, at least as it stands currently, and what a way to close out a series!

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8.8
Little Bird #1

Mar 14, 2019

This creative team has gifted us a violent, visceral world with a compelling populace and a heart-wrenching conflict. Little Bird is going to be a thoroughly wild ride.

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8.8
Little Bird #2

Apr 19, 2019

I can't read this book anywhere near bedtime. There are two reasons for this. One, Little Bird gives me the best kind of screaming heebie-jeebies, and two, it tips my brain into overdrive and chases me down world-reflecting rabbit holes. There are so many layers to this story, and so much of it is frighteningly relevant to our time.

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8.8
Little Bird #3

May 17, 2019

I've mentioned before how Little Bird always leaves me feeling as though a layer of grime has settled on me, and this issue not only left that feeling in its wake but as it was departing it delivered a severe kick in the feels. There is so much desperation in the world of this book.

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8.8
Little Bird #4

Jun 20, 2019

Little Bird just gets grimier and grimier. You think the atrocities can't possibly get worse, and then they do. The mass crucifixion of an entire village? Conducting constant, invasive medical experiments on a child"your daughter"for months and then, when you finally get what you need, murdering her publicly as a "holy gesture" to pull the wool over the eyes of your followers and shift focus to the "miracle" you have created from her torture? She may be gone, and all those who stood with her, but your troubles are far from over. The dream has changed hands, Bishop, and it's coming for you.

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8.8
Little Bird #5

Jul 17, 2019

This book evoked so many feelings for me: excitement, fear, anger, disgust, anguish...hope. I can't do it justice in a paragraph, and it may be that I can't do it justice at all with my words. It was an out of control freight train"all you could do was hold on and hope your grip held up. I had more physical and out-loud reactions to Little Bird than I have had with any other comic I can remember. It is more than a book"it is an experience. You feel it. It stays with you after you put it down and walk away. It haunts you. If that isn't the mark of an excellent work of fiction, I don't know what is.

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10
Monstress #19

Jan 31, 2019

Actual text from me to my best friend after I finished Vol. 3: "THE NASTY MEANIE CATS TOOK KIPPA AND I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS!!!"I am infinitely thrilled that Monstress is back! (I mean, I did just spent two months fretting about a fictional fox-child.) There are so many levels to this book that it's going to take ages to sort out all the loose ends, and I'm thrilled to find out where the creative team is going to take us next because it's never where you expect. Since the quality never ceases to be anything but immaculate, I'm sure we're going to keep seeing amazing progress"and I have no doubt that this story is going to become far more complicated before everything starts to fall into place. I'm really excited to see what this next arc of Monstress has in store for us!

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9.5
Monstress #20

Feb 25, 2019

Though this issue erred on the side of being a 'space filler' issue"one which worked as a stepping stone to get us to where we need to be in order for the next big thing to happen"it still threw a few curve balls. As always, the writing and art were stellar, so even though we were mostly witness to a setup for something I can only anticipate will be much, much bigger, there was no lacking in quality. So on we go to next month, when it's likely there will be a whole lot of action all at once.

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8.4
Monstress #21

Mar 21, 2019

So far, the Monstress universe has been fairly female-dominated, so I was honestly a little surprised to see that Maika's paternal line come into play in such a profound capacity. Only a little, however. From what we know of Moriko Halfwolf, I personally feel that it would have been unlikely for Maika's father to be anyone who was in any way particularly mild-mannered. We've got a whole new layer of plot to be working with now, and there are so many already in motion I'm starting to wonder if it might be advisable to make myself some sort of organizational chart to help keep track. While this does occasionally make things difficult on the who's-who front, it's not so much of a problem that it takes too much away from following the story line. There's usually enough of a reminder provided in the surrounding dialogue to clue you back in to how everyone fits into this fantastical world.

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9.0
Monstress #22

May 23, 2019

The Doctor clearly knows far more than he's letting on. The question is, how much, and what does he intend to do with that knowledge? With two more issues in this arc, we're either headed for a crucial event or an enormous cliffhanger. Maika, Kippa, Ren, and Corvin are likely to be reunited soon and it will be interesting to see if Maika follows through on her promise to leave the Doctor's stronghold once she has her friends back or if something happens to prevent that. Will we learn the extent of Ren's double agency? What is the importance of Kippa's gift in all of this? And possibly the biggest question of all is what exactly is Tuya's part in this web of intrigue, and how and why does the Doctor know so much about it?

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8.8
Monstress #23

Jun 21, 2019

There is a depth of character exploration and necessary exposition in this installment, which would have been poorly served with constant location and story line shifts, so while this large chunk of action dedicated to a single facet of the story is unusual, in this instance it was the best choice on behalf of the creative team.

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9.0
Monstress #24

Jul 31, 2019

I will be the first to admit that the reunion between Maika and Kippa made me tear up, and then I had to laugh a couple of panels later when Vihn and Corvin show up and Kippa is in the background, lovingly tangled in Zinn's tentacles. This book has so much going for it, and its "big picture" appeal is absolutely unimpeachable, but there are so many little things strewn throughout it that don't get the mention they deserve. For instance, the Inquisitrix Gull, a character we all associate with the "bad guys", has a tiny white puffball of a dog who follows her everywhere"even when The Doctor had Gull suspended upside-down in an experimental tank. This dog has the derpiest face imaginable, and it pulls a scene together in spite of its incongruous presence. Sometimes the strangest things make something work, and I look forward to more of this in the next arc of Monstress.

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8.0
Once & Future #1

Aug 14, 2019

I am feeling distinctly cheated in the grandmother department"neither of mine could hold a candle to Bridgette. She is an EPIC character already, and we're only one issue into the story. She's fierce and spry and takes no nonsense from anyone"or anyTHING, if her and Duncan's run-in with the Questing Beast is anything to go by. Her world view is delightfully and decidedly skewed and I anticipate that her patented brand of reality will serve as the lynch pin of this whole adventure. There is a fantastic brains/brawn dichotomy visually in Bridgette's reliance on Duncan for the heavy lifting, though we know that he is a historian, so it's likely that his knowledge and access to resources will become a major plot-advancer as well as we continue this series.

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9.0
Once & Future #2

Sep 18, 2019

Issue #2 of Once & Future continues fast on the dazzling heels of the first. Writing and art play on each other beautifully, giving the reader a complete package of storytelling.

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8.0
Once & Future #3

Oct 16, 2019

I still wish Bridgette was MY gran. She's just so nonchalant bout the whole otherworldly activity thing. I mean, I suppose that's to be expected from someone who supposedly spent her youth chasing down beings of a mythical and/or mystical persuasion. The beauty of her character is that she gets some fantastic dialogue. There are several laugh-out-loud moments in issue #3, including one where Bridgette takes a truly divine dig at Duncan's bachelorhood. The way she jumps between "gran mode" and "no-nonsense monster hunter" is a delight to behold. In that way, she puts me I mind of Merlin from the Disney adaptation of "The Sword in the Stone" (1977). "Once & Future" as a whole is a wonderful book, yes, but Bridgette is what, to me, gives it that little extra bit of oomph.

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9.0
Pretty Deadly: The Rat #1

Sep 4, 2019

The instant I saw the cover for this book I thought 'Lotte Reiniger'. Fun fact, my MA is in puppetry, and I did a great deal of work with shadow puppets back in the day. Lotte Reiniger was a GODDESS of shadows and negative space, and while her work was in film rather than live production, her style and techniques were groundbreaking for their time and are still very easily recognizable today. I am SUPER EXCITED for the rest of the issues in this arc from a purely artistic standpoint, and the story is also delightfully layered and compelling which makes for a well-rounded and meaningful read.

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9.0
Pretty Deadly: The Rat #2

Oct 9, 2019

This book is beautiful. It's compelling and engaging and thought-provoking, and you can rarely divine what's going to happen next. The art is an impressive homage to the prevalent aesthetic of the time"art deco"and to the animation of Lotte Reiniger, as I mentioned in my review of issue #1. The movie set where Ginny and Frank perform their interrogation of Jack Kaufman is reminiscent of the large-scale production numbers which were so popular in the '20s and '30s"too early for Esther Williams, but possibly the Ziegfeld girls would swim around in the intricately decorated pool, with a full orchestra playing off to one side. There is also a great deal of extra content in issue #2, including a discussion between DeConnick and Ros about their creative process, which gives us an inside view to how the world of Pretty Deadly comes about.

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7.9
SFSX (Safe Sex) #1

Sep 25, 2019

On an intensely personal note, I find SFSX to be a very tough read. It deals with a subject which is immensely triggering for me, and with the draconian, single-minded, theocratic themes upon which the plot depends, it makes for a difficult 25-ish pages to get through. I could very easily have called this one in"requested something else to review"but this story is immensely compelling and the team behind it is coming from such a vulnerably strong place (which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but just trust me on this one) that I am choosing to persevere.

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8.0
Show's End #1

Aug 1, 2019

Show's End is a 'what-if' adventure into the world of the circus freak show of the 1920s, but this version goes beyond conjoined twins and the bearded lady. I'm going to forecast high levels of found-family camaraderie and a fantastical exploration of the fear of the 'other'. Between our human tendency to seek excitement though anything labeled 'outlandish' while at the same time recoiling from it, there are a multitude of avenues open to Show's End to shine a light on that particular behavioral dichotomy. Just how that will be accomplished remains to be seen, but whichever way this creative team spins it, the path is shaping up to be suspenseful and enjoyable and likely very much human in its journey.

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