Emma Houxbois's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Rainbow Hub, PopOptiq, Comicosity Reviews: 143
8.7Avg. Review Rating

10
8house #4

Oct 9, 2015

Barlow and Maier are a great find for Graham and an excellent addition to the series, but they're also phenomenally talented creators who have an incredible amount to contribute to the industry. I can't reccomend this issue enough to anyone who hasn't read any of the series yet because it easily stands on its own and introduces a creative team that specialize in work that the industry is in dire need of.

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3.0
Airboy #3

Aug 5, 2015

Airboy began with some limited promise of being a further exploration of how creators engage with their subjects, but it's now completely devolved into Robinson jerking off, or perhaps Hinkle jerking Robinson off, given that he's the only part of the creative team who has shown evidence of putting any effort into this issue.

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10
All-New Wolverine #1

Nov 12, 2015

Until Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze unveil their Black Panther, it's going to be nearly impossible to challenge All-New Wolverine for the strongest ANAD debut.

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9.0
All-New Wolverine #2

Nov 28, 2015

As the intrigue deepens, the story stays focused right where it needs to be, on Laura by telling a classic Wolverine story carefully calibrated to her current circumstances.

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9.0
All-New Wolverine #3

Dec 31, 2015

While Taylor is using a much more classical approach of weaving the science fiction weirdness of the X-Men into analogues for found/queer family, the net result between the two is that while the X-Men line may be a rapidly diminishing part of Marvel's overall portfolio, the heart and soul of the franchise remains alive and well.

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10
All-New Wolverine #5

Feb 11, 2016

Theres several books, particularly at Marvel, that can give All New Wolverine a run for its money when it comes to delivering fun and engaging humor, and theres several books under the Batman group at DC that are exploring the toughest realities in a humane and nuanced way, but there arent any better at integrating both qualities into a single book. All New Wolverine is the pound for pound best superhero comic on the stands today.

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10
All-New Wolverine Annual #1

Sep 1, 2016

All New Wolverines first annual is a much needed diversion in the the midst of what may very well be Marvels darkest and cruelest company wide event, but it also marks an important milestone for its marquee female lead and serves as a reminder that its creative team are the best at what the do, and what they do is, in fact, very pretty.

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10
All-Star Batman #8

Mar 15, 2017

On the surface, this issue serves as the vehicle to let us know that everything has been connected and planned out since the very beginning, when Harvey and Bruce laid in the grass speculating about a future technology, that All Star Batman is more than just a vanity project. More fundamentally, it makes explicitly clear how integral the cosmetic elements have been to the overarching plot since the very beginning.

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0.0
Alters #1

Sep 8, 2016

This comic desperately wants our attention. They want it to take up as much space as possible in the conversation around transgender representation in comics. The only problem is that they didnt actually get around to making a comic worth paying any attention to.

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9.0
Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven #1

Nov 18, 2015

No matter what your prior engagement or knowledge of Andre the Giant may be, Closer to Heaven is a fantastic portrait of one of professional wrestling's most beloved and transformative figures.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #42

Jul 30, 2015

Tarr gets a lot more versatile this issue, tightening and loosening up where needed to get the most impact and sense of motion out of her action scenes. We also get to see her boldest and most animated faces yet, which comes out in force in the final pages with Alysia's long awaited return.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #43

Aug 27, 2015

Drawn by Babs Tarr with inks by Juan Castro, colours by Serge Lapointe and breakdowns by Michel Lacombe

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10
Batgirl (2011) #44

Sep 24, 2015

Given a full regular issue of the series, Bengal absolutely explodes onto the page.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #46

Dec 17, 2015

It's been a long wait since the hotly anticipated wedding issue, but you better have taken that opportunity to catch your breath, because judging by this entry we're headed into deep waters and won't be surfacing until #50 at the soonest.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #48

Feb 5, 2016

Most importantly, what keeps Dinah the biggest babe in the DCU is her flawless fashion sense, breaking out a strappy bra top and cincher topped off with a pair of ruched over the knee boots. Tarr also appears more confident than ever in the action sequences, displaying tremendous growth over where she was this time last year. Even on a bad day, Burnside remains the place to be.

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10
Batgirl (2011) Annual #3

Jul 30, 2015

The wild and incredible thing is that as much fun as this issue is, it isn't even a full census of the diverse and amazing characters who have come to populate Gotham over the last couple years. Bluebird, Julia Pennyworth, Renee Montoya, Selina Kyle, Eiko Hasigawa, Duke Thomas, and -soon- Cassandra Cain are all out there, making it the best place to be in mainstream comics right now.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #43

Aug 13, 2015

With the creation of the GCPD sanctioned, privately funded Batman, Snyder conceded that this is the current cultural context of the superhero, but steadfastly refuses to be quietly complicit in it. Nor does he fall back on a didactic take on Jim as Batman. Instead, Snyder creates and sustains a moral tension within Gordon that refuses to embrace this new reality. Snyder and Capullo's Batman is a comic that participates and engages with the zeitgeist, but refuses to bow to it.

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10
Batman (2011) #44

Sep 10, 2015

Batman #44 is everything that a single issue of a superhero comic could hope to achieve in 2015 and it took nothing less than the combined concerted efforts of everyone who contributed to it from the writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering to do so.

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10
Batman (2011) #45

Oct 15, 2015

By bookending a great issue of sweeping metaphors and intimate dialogues about survival and trauma with spectacular action sequences, Snyder, Capullo, Miki, and Plascencia have achieved a whole new synthesis of the visceral and cerebral elements that can make up a superhero story. A Simple Case may easily be the best single Batman story in a generation, but this issue proves that it ought to be first and foremost, an integral part of this arc which continues to raise the bar with every entry.

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10
Batman (2011) #46

Nov 14, 2015

As Superheavy continues, it begins to take on the shape of a spreading shadow over the city, creeping over more and more of both the past and present as it inches towards a cataclysm whose true shape it cleverly conceals. Superheavy finds Snyder and Capullo at the peak of their powers, something that is as chilling as it is reassuring as they build towards the culmination of their run.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #47

Dec 14, 2015

The overriding metaphor of the issue, Harvey Bullock's poker variant he calls Gotham Card Put Down revolves around the "Gotham card," in essence a wild card whose reveal after a randomized period of time changes the entire course of the game, forcing everyone to go all in no matter how much they'd won or lost up to that point. As Duke forces Bruce to see his legacy as Batman in the lights of an oncoming train, The Joker has seemingly returned, and Jim Gordon discovers to his dismay that there are in fact multiple Blooms, it may seem at first blush like the Gotham card has been flipped. In fact, Jim's description of the card's role in the game timed to these revelations infers it, but in reality the clock is still ticking, and unlike the game around Bullock's table, we know exactly when it's going to stop. The Gotham card is Batman #50 and the true purpose of the card game metaphor, or at least the wild card's place in it, is that no matter who wins and loses over the next two issues, e

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10
Batman (2011) #48

Jan 20, 2016

A year from now, five years from now Ill be able to hand someone the Superheavy trade on its own as an example of one of the most important Batman stories ever told. If these stories are something that the publishers truly value and want a legacy for, then the room to breathe that Superheavy has been given is absolutely vital to the future of the medium.

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10
Batman (2011) #49

Feb 10, 2016

This is definitely the most excruciating issue of the “Superheavy” arc yet, the highest compliment there is.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

Right now all that matters is chattering about how King, Finch, Banning, and Bellaire sold the utterly ludicrous idea of Batman launching himself onto a plummeting jet using the ejection seat in the Batmobile and rode it to a safe landing like it was a runaway rodeo bronco.

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7.5
Batman And Robin Eternal #1

Oct 7, 2015

It's a strong first issue that collects a great, crowd pleasing cast who are all written to the same high standards of consistency that Batman group editor Mark Doyle has ensured across the Gotham books for well over a year. Tynion may have been able to lean back on Snyder if he needed to in order to get the right character beats down, but given how well he built from Snyder's work on the recent Batman Annual, I'm going to go ahead and assume he did fine all on his own in that respect. Cassandra Cain is back, the Batfamily has finally been made whole. So get hyped, and tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

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8.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #3

Oct 22, 2015

Tim Seeley continues to flesh out his arc of Batman and Robin Eternal as extension of his work on Grayson this week by using Cassandra Cain to dig into the core of the Batfamily as a collective identity.

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9.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #7

Nov 19, 2015

Genevieve Valentine's debut on the series is the most satisfying issue yet by drawing the characters into the same world of sumptuous fashion and high art that informed her time on Catwoman to bring out a brand new facet to Cassandra and get tongues wagging at Harper.

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10
Batman And Robin Eternal #8

Nov 26, 2015

If you just arbitrarily threw all of my favourite things into a blender -great outfits, ladies with undercuts, and meticulously drawn fights- this is pretty much exactly it, but even adjusted for individual tastes,Batman & Robin Eternal is fun, satisfying stuff. It's a joy to read and in this issue especially, it looks like it was a joy to make.

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7.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #11

Dec 17, 2015

This is an absolutely critical story issue that keeps the focus where it needs to be, but it lacks some of the polish and bold character voices that have elevated the best issues into individual greatness so far. None the less, Batman & Robin Eternal has lost none of it's momentum, continuing to rely on the characters to drive engagement instead of the overly precious set pieces that typically define event comics. Nearly three months in and Batman & Robin Eternal remains the most engaging and rewarding event comic in recent history.

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8.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #12

Dec 23, 2015

There certainly is a vision in place for a Cassandra on the other side of the trauma she's experienced and what she's yet to traverse, and the strongest element of her execution so far has been to establish who she is beyond the violence she was brought in at the earliest available opportunity. What remains is seeing her through the darkness and out the other side, and as of this issue, I remain fully confident it will happen.

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10
Beauties #1

Dec 30, 2015

It's a thematic intertextuality that is also apparent between Kate Leth and Arielle Jovellanos' School Spirit and the former's debut of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat with Brittney Williams. What appears to be emerging in Rosy Press' output is a keen editorial eye from publisher Janelle Asselin who has not only successively captured two of the industry's most exciting breakout talents, but nurtured a space that captured their creative voices at a point where they began to develop coherent theses that track cleanly across their work. If Rosy Press has proven anything so far, it's that romance as a genre can provide a space that offers more freedom than restriction when put in the right hands, which is also, incidentally, the idea at the heart of Beauties.

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9.0
Black Canary (2015) #2

Jul 16, 2015

While tensions continue to run high for the actual band members in Black Canary, it's creative team continue to dazzle in thre part harmony including what I think is best described as a blistering drum solo from Lee Loughridge.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #3

Aug 20, 2015

Cream have played together for only two years, but during that time have almost singlehandedly given rock a musical authority which only the deaf cannot acknowledge. Jack Bruce; lead singer, bass guitarist, and harmonica player, a twenty five year old Scot who once played for Manfred Mann. Eric Clapton, a twenty three year old ex stained glass window designer rated by most as the finest instrumentalist of his kind in the world. And Ginger Baker, a twenty nine year old Cockney, a legend, even among other drummers. Two years ago, each was the other's favourite performer, so it was inevitable that they should join forces.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #4

Sep 18, 2015

One of the things that Brenden Fletcher has quickly established for himself as a writer, especially between Black Canary and his collaboration with Becky Cloonan on Gotham Academy, is giving (seemingly) antagonistic characters their own space and voice to expand them beyond being two dimensional villains. He's done it most effectively with Pomeline on Gotham Academy, but we see much of the same deft hand with Maeve here.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #5

Oct 25, 2015

I consistently allot the most time and space to discussing craft on Black Canary out of any of the other DC titles I cover because since the third issue, it has defined itself as the book that presents itself as the easiest and most rewarding title to enter into fine grain discussions of craft at either DC or Marvel.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #6

Dec 30, 2015

What ultimately lifts Black Canary into being the best title of the year is that it isn't just telling a story, or telling a great story in a novel way. It's providing an experience, it's a vehicle for capturing the energy and intimacy of a great concert experience. There's a story being told, and it's a good one, but that story is in service to the art in a way that no other book in the mainstream is right now. Black Canary #3 and #6, especially, are incredibly immersive experiences that force you to slow down, take them in, and repeat the experience the same way your favourite albums do.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #7

Jan 27, 2016

Of course that isnt strictly true, since we have our imaginations to fill in everything from the sound of his voice to a canary cry or Dittos strumming, but it does sharply highlight the scope of the threat that The Quietus poses. The death of sound, to Kurt, is the death of imagination, which to him is the beginning of creation. So the revelation of Dittos nature is also the revelation of what the comic has been about and how its created. Turning sound into matter. Making it matter. Ha.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #8

Feb 11, 2016

Beyond the trappings of rock stars and ninjas, Black Canary is a story about achieving harmony and thats how it retains its vitality once the luster of high concept fades.

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9.0
Black Canary (2015) #9

Mar 17, 2016

What Rosenberg and Moritat prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with this issue is that theres a strength and vitality to Fletcher and Wus original vision that goes far beyond what the series has been able to explore so far.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #10

Apr 16, 2016

At this point Ive written thousands of words about this series since its debut, shamelessly double dipping with a review of the first trade, and while I endeavor to tease something specific out of each issue it always comes back to the same conclusion. Black Canary is the current benchmark for greatness in monthly comics.

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10
Black Canary (2015) #12

Jun 8, 2016

Black Canary was an utterly unique experience that lent itself to being pulled apart and examined in a way that few other comics ever have. The lessons it has to impart about storytelling and form will remain evergreen, and if it gets its proper due, will live on with the same kind of cult status imbued on Elektra: Assassin, Batwoman: Elegy, or Flex Mentallo.

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9.0
Catwoman (2011) #43

Aug 14, 2015

Overall, Catwoman #43 marks the end of the series being a boutique title that exists in a space of it's own to becoming intimately tied into the wider structure of the Gotham books in a big way while remaining true to what made it such a unique book to begin with.

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9.0
Catwoman (2011) #44

Sep 13, 2015

This is a great run for anyone who wants to learn more about the ins and outs of great coloring because while Loughridge does a lot of really great stuff, it's also pretty easy to perceive what he's doing and how he does it.

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9.0
Catwoman (2011) #45

Oct 16, 2015

Returning to Geri Powers' speech about the collider she built under Gotham in Batman #45, Catwoman seems to be poised on the brink of the clearest example of how that metaphor typifies the best storytelling to come out of the New 52. The atoms have been stripped of their electrons and now they hurtle towards each other as we watch and wait, hoping, like Powers, for something new to emerge. In the meantime, be sure to check out the return of our BAMF Women Superheroes series of personal essays with Melanie Burke's thoughts on what makes Valentine's Selina meaningful to her in The Double Life of Selina Kyle.

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9.0
Catwoman (2011) #46

Nov 13, 2015

In this issue the purples begin to re-emerge as Stephanie returns to a major role, moving between Selina and Eiko and finding satisfaction with neither. The reds and blues that marked Selina and Eiko at their most confrontational inform the opening of their confrontation, which fades into pale oranges and yellows as they move the furthest from synthesis possible, but purple returns when Selina bids Antonia farewell, moving to a pure blue as Selina locks eyes with Eiko one last time. As I suspected, the blues belonged to Eiko and the reds to Selina, but as Selina rides away, she rides into a pink sunrise, a brand new color that, like Selina, like Cesare Borgia, knows how to find its way back to purple whenever it wants.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #47

Dec 14, 2015

The scene in this issue that sums up this whole story's place is Selina sitting down to dinner with her fence, eating pizza with red wine. Which is exactly what Tieri and company are doing here. They know that Valentine and her team were bringing us to Michelin-starred restaurants for the last year, but pizza is what they do, and coincidentally, pizza is what I want.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #48

Jan 14, 2016

My exhortation, especially after such a well handled hard turn in the story, is to not sleep on Frank Tieri much like I did just over a year ago when Valentine and Brown first took the helm to little fanfare, taking until the Convergence break in the spring to truly gather momentum and critical attention. If Tieri, Miranda, and De La Cruz keep building the way they have these last two issues, I wouldnt be surprised to see a similar effect.

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9.0
Clandestino #1

Oct 14, 2015

Clandestino is exactly the kind of fast paced action informed by real world political concerns that Black Mask has built a reputation for, hopefully establishing Amancay Nahuelpan as one of their key creative voices. As I've said before when considering long running webcomic artists or long running personal series like Brandon Graham's Multiple Warheads or Sophie Campbell's Wet Moon, getting to see an artist grow over time across a single work is an incredible privilege, soI can't wait to see how he's evolved in the nine years it took to create this.

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10
Clean Room #1

Oct 23, 2015

The Clean Room itself is almost certainly symbolic of some kind of dark gnosis, a liminal space that exists outside of time, space, life, and death that brings about a reckoning with the fundamental forces of the universe. It may in fact draw on the same occult rite of passage that Morrison drew on to create The Filth, the confrontation with the abyss, which would be absolutely thrilling. Get in on Clean Room now. We may have only the vaguest idea of what rough beast Simone and Davis-Hunt have slouching towards Bethlehem, but it's already showing every sign of being spectacular.

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10
Clean Room #2

Nov 20, 2015

Clean Room is your invitation to the best game in town.

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10
Clean Room #3

Dec 18, 2015

Simone and Davis-Hunt continue to develop as a team, and with much of the initial setup of the story in the rearview mirror, Davis-Hunt is able to come to the forefront more often delivering the most unnerving sequences in the comic so far by driving the action through the body language of Dwight Fennister as he reappears following his run in with the monkeys at the climax of the previous issue. Clean Room is, more than ever, an experience that demands to be done as a monthly series as the mysteries continue to unravel.

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10
Clean Room #5

Feb 18, 2016

Nothing is safe or can be taken for granted in Astrid Muellers world, a point driven home by the delicate attention to the gore last issue that served to remind us that the organs falling out of a ruptured chest cavity can appear just as rounded, supple, and squishy as a boob or a butt. Theres little doubt that Simone and Davis Hunt snicker from behind the page as the audience is left apprehensive of wanting to touch a butt, weirdly enticed to touch a freshly disemboweled spleen, or both. Clean Room, where every boner, regardless of gender, is a weird one!

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10
Clean Room #8

May 18, 2016

Which cuts to the specific kind of horror central to this issue. No matter how cunning, intelligent, or meticulous you are, there are some things that will always remain outside your control.

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10
Clean Room #9

Jun 15, 2016

Above all else this issue is a reminder that whatever Clean Room is to become, the scope of what it will achieve and how it will be remembered can still only be guessed at. The only sure thing is that it continues to demand a front row seat to the proceedings.

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8.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 26, 2015

This is a solid opening to be sure, but none of the major questions around the series are answered here. I'm not going to make any sweeping statements yet, and don't anticipate even trying for any until at least the third issue, but I'm intrigued and heartened by the fact that for the time being, it appears to be completely focused on the female cast of the previous entries.

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9.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3

Feb 22, 2016

Love it or hate it, DK3 has emerged to become just as well crafted, thrilling, and frustrating as anything carrying Frank Millers name.

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6.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4

Apr 27, 2016

If DK3 has proven one thing about the loose franchise its attempting to tie up, its that the worst thing you can do in that space is to streamline it.

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8.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5

Jun 29, 2016

As a single issue, DK3 #5 is a brilliant evocation of the crossroads that DC storytelling finds itself on, a struggle to reconcile the grit with the glam and the old with the new, embodied wonderfully in the pin-up that closes the issue: Bruce perched high above the city with Carrie in a multi-hued Batgirl costume. The truth of the series as a whole is far more troubling and toothsome that cannot be redeemed by a couple stand out entries, but what the creative still has it in them to do in spectacular fashion is to go down swinging.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #2

Aug 1, 2015

Somehow this issue flew by relative to the introductory issue starring Kate Kane, but that was a denser story driven far more by dialogue and vehicles like the baseball commentator while the Wonder Woman issue is far more laconic and art driven. Either way, it's gorgeous and yet another reason that Bennett and Sauvage are destined for greatness, hopefully side by side.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #3

Aug 9, 2015

Bennett and Sauvage have gone far beyond the call of duty on Bombshells to deliver on the ultimate aim of any superhero comic that is as honest as it is ambitious: to elevate the disposable into the sublime. There is, after all, a reason why the protagonist finds a crown in a dumpster in the closing pages of The Filth.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #4

Aug 16, 2015

While Bombshells started out looking like it was going to be a fun, self indulgent romp, Bennett has been slowly steering it into darker territory reminiscent of her work on Angela: Asguard's Assassin.

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10
Deathstroke (2016) #11

Jan 25, 2017

The starkest, and subtlest reminder of how long the issues explored here have been not only relevant, but urgently so.

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10
E Is For Extinction #2

Jul 23, 2015

There's an incredibly rich history of X-Men comics out there and I could probably assemble a stack of recommendations six feet high, but if you distilled those down to a single arc that sparkled with at least some of the promise of each one of those books this is the comic you'd be left with.

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10
E Is For Extinction #3

Aug 27, 2015

Along with Fight Club 2 and Black Canary, E is for Extinction has one of the sharpest and most exciting creative teams going. I definitely don't want this title to get extended because whatever they have planned for a finale is probably going to be the biggest mic drop on an X-Men comic ever, but I do want to see Burnham, Culver, Villalobos, and Herring get back together when it's over.

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10
E Is For Extinction #4

Oct 1, 2015

As dark as the history, and in some sense, the present of superhero comics are, they remain a vital artistic and storytelling tradition that are steeped in incredible legacies. When a story like E is for Extinction comes around that brings such a uniquely placed team together it serves to remind us that legacy and homage aren't just more polite terms for plagiarism or conservatism. In fact, one of the miniseries' greatest legacies may be that it offers a clear and engaging entry point into the symbolic structure of Grant Morrison's major comics work from Kid Eternal and The Doom Patrol through to New X-Men and Batman. E is for Exegesis, one might say.

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7.5
Earth 2: Society #3

Aug 16, 2015

Earth 2 Society has one of the most intriguing and diverse casts of any mainstream superhero book, it just has to consistently make use of that diversity in order to make it a great book.

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8.0
Effigy #7

Jul 24, 2015

Effigy as a whole, and this issue in particular, has been a huge rush if for no other reason than to reinvigorate parts of my brain that I haven't used in reading a comic since Promethea. While not overtly occult in nature like much of early Vertigo typified by Grant Morrison's magnum opus The Invisibles, Seeley's work on Effigy is a proud reflection of those roots and a reminder that the imprint was the home to some of the most challenging and engaging comics on the stands before it fell into trying to be the "HBO of comics." There was a time that reading a Vertigo comic meant that your fundamental beliefs about history, religion, and sometimes even your understanding of self were going to be interrogated, and while Effigy has yet to achieve that, it's still a comic that wears its spiritual roots in that era on it's sleeve.

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10
Fight Club 2 #3

Jul 22, 2015

The latest issue of Fight Club is Tyler's homecoming to the iconic Paper Street house, but it also represents the team behind the comic establishing permanent residence. Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, and Dave Stewart are a gigawatt creative team, but putting three individually talented creators is never a guarantee of success. Each adds fresh meaning and complexity to the contributions of the last, resulting in the slickest, cleanest, most effective title on the stands. Fight Club 2 is an odd beast in the shifting landscape of mainstream comics. While sales, a new generation of iconoclastic critics, and even the Eisners are moving towards more female driven, younger skewing titles, Fight Club 2 appears at first to be swimming against that current with it's focus on violent white male masculinity. On further inspection, it's shaping up to be the harshest and most uncompromising examination of toxic masculinity that mainstream comics have seen since Flex Mentallo.

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10
Fight Club 2 #5

Sep 23, 2015

Given how deeply and consistently Palahniuk and Stewart are forcing us to re-conceptualize how we look at the comic page and engage with the fictional world on the other side, it may in fact be time to begin discussing it in the same terms as The Invisibles.Especially given that Stewart was the artist Grant Morrison called upon to redraw the penultimate sequence of that series.

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10
Fight Club 2 #6

Oct 30, 2015

These are certainly, in the vernacular of superhero comics, "retcons." Revelations that were never intended when the previous stories were written, the first instance of which was Bob's re-emergence. Beyond just unsettlingly using all of the plot devices of popular superhero fiction, these tricks that Palahniuk and Stewart have weaved into the last six issues have had the net effect of slowly severing the ties to the novel and film that it originally relied on to make the transition from novel to comic. In a way, what's occurring in all these revelations that overwrite the events of the novel, is the comic killing its father in order to propagate itself in the new medium the same way that Sebastian's son has been complicit in the plot to kill him.

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9.0
Fight Club 2 #7

Nov 25, 2015

The sequence framing the psychiatrist's discussion of the Werther Effect is definitely the artistic standout of the issue as Stewart adapts his shading and inking techniques to mimic a woodcut, even making a crude picture frame around the panels, as is the post apocalyptic vista that Tyler leads Sebastian to on the closing page. At this point in the series, Cameron Stewart and colorist Dave Stewart are sticking to well established patterns to carry through to the finale, like invoking the possibly David Fincher inspired use of the satellite imagery displayed on the screen on the back of Marla's plane seat to transition from her and Chloe back to the limo Sebastian is travelling to his son in.

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10
Fight Club 2 #8

Dec 23, 2015

What is definitely most frightening about Fight Club 2, and increasingly mirrored by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt's Clean Room, is that on the cusp of 2016, I find myself reaching towards my shelf to pull out The Filth far more than I am The Invisibles. In the former, the insurrection weren't the sexy queer rebels leading humanity towards emancipation, they were vicious and brutal demagogues whose only thrill in life was violence and degradation. If this truly is the zeitgeist that we're facing as we bid farewell to 2015 and the pendulum has swung in such a way that necessitates an excavation of the worst that humanity can offer, the incongruity of Palahniuk following Morrison begins to resolve itself. What better guide, what better Virgil to our Dante could there be than Chuck Palahniuk to lead us through the darkness?

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10
Fight Club 2 #9

Feb 24, 2016

Its as ironic as it is welcome that Fight Club 2 is the more responsible return to a generation defining property. Right up to the climax, Fight Club 2 has been relentlessly surprising and refreshing in a comics landscape that seems to get more and more risk averse and chaffing despite the unprecedented level of available talent.

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10
Fresh Romance #4

Aug 26, 2015

The point of the whole package comes together in Asselin's letter from the editor in which she explains her point of view on her bisexuality and how much she wants to be able to appeal to as broad a spectrum of the LBGTQIA community as possible, but that it all comes down to being able to find something that makes you giggle between the covers. (Of the comic.)

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10
Get Jiro! Blood & Sushi #1

Oct 29, 2015

While Dave Johnson's cover draws the eye in with brilliantly lurid neon glow and the gruesome imagery of severed heads displayed beside sushi, suggesting satisfying, empty calories, Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi has far, far more in store for any reader who can resist the urge of drowning it in wasabi and soy sauce.

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8.0
Grayson #10

Jul 24, 2015

One way or another, this a relatively straightforward, plot driven issue whose primary pleasures are watching Luthor smirk and Dick squirm which is perfectly acceptable. Jeromy Cox in particular deserves a tip of the hat for the fantastic colours and shadowing this issue. The striped shadow from the patio roof falling over Luthor as he steps into view is particularly worthy of note, so too is the contrast of deep blues and reds between Agent 1 and Helena as they argue over Dick's fate. Cox's work truly is the punctuation mark on the end of every sentence in this comic, and when they aren't exclamation points, they're interrobangs. The challenge of reviewing Graysonas it closes in on it's first birthday isn't determining what works and what doesn't, it's casting about for new heights for it to aspire to.

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10
Grayson #11

Aug 28, 2015

The execution of the story that we're seeing this issue is brilliantly plotted out because there was a clear cut six issue arc that offered closure on the original plot line of the Paragon body parts, but it also contained a lot of threads that continue to move forward towards a longer burn that satisfies both the need to write for clean trade paperback collection, but doesn't stop short at what I call writing on a sine wave: a continuous, predictable cycle.

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9.0
Grayson #12

Sep 26, 2015

Circling back around to The Return of Bruce Wayne, everyone who Dick visited comes to the realization that the gifts he'd given them were all part of a plot that hinged on him using the old Cluemaster code he used to tell a fart joke in the Future's End tie in, which in turn sets everyone up for a team up that allows Dick to gain access to the Hypnos implants and reveal Agent Zero's identity. "I'm not alone," he says with a smile in the last panel, coming into the full realization of Bruce's epiphany that the act of ringing the bell meant that being Batman was never a solo venture. The isolation that rattled him after Bruce went silent following his death has been replaced by his reunion with Babs and the other Robins, who are effectively his little brothers. It was great fun seeing Dick pushed to his limits over the last couple issues, but it's time to see him at his best again.

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #18

Jul 16, 2015

Harley Quinn may be a comedy book, but it consistently uses that humour to punch up with enough accuracy and power to make it the best pound for pound fighter in it's weight class.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #19

Aug 29, 2015

There's a pretty long history attached to them taking female characters whose bodies and sexualities have been used as punchlines or blow up dolls for years and giving them brand new, authentic voices. It's really time to get serious in talking about Conner and Palmiotti's work on Power Girl, Harley Quinn, and Starfire the same way we talk about Yale and Ostrander's work on Barbara Gordon or Grant Morrison's work on Zatanna following Identity Crisis.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #21

Oct 17, 2015

These last two issues have been a great little side trip that retain all the fun and core values of the book as a whole. Probably one of the most fun elements of this book is that things happen and they resolve themselves, but the overall story isn't beholden a particular endgame or goal, but a philosophy instead.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #22

Nov 19, 2015

Two years later and Harley Quinn is still going strong as one of DC's flagship titles, and rightly so.

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #23

Dec 17, 2015

As brilliant and necessary as the work that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are doing on Batman is, it's readily apparent and easy to point to their tackling of issues like the militarization of police forces and the catastrophic harm that institutionalized racism is causing to black children. It's a much steeper -and perhaps even more rewarding- hill to climb to bear out the value of sharp and necessary satire delivered as transgressive humour.

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #25

Feb 17, 2016

It doesnt take much to pick up this issue and understand why Harley locking herself in a cell with the Joker and beating him bloody is remarkable. This is a watershed moment for the character that many longtime fans, myself included, have waited twenty years to see. Its an issue that everyone, regardless of their opinion of this particular run, who has any interest in Harley Quinn needs to see. That said, the longer youve been on this ride and the closer you scrutinize it, the greater it is.

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #26

Mar 24, 2016

Last issue was a watershed moment for the character that anyone with a passing knowledge of Harley could participate on equal terms, and following that up is the perfect entry point for anyone who was still fence sitting.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #27

Apr 27, 2016

Bringing in a Deadpool parody is a great way to pique interest, but make no mistake, Team Harley Quinn are building towards the future just as relentlessly as they did on day one.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #1

Aug 3, 2016

In a genre that mostly subsists on shock and spectacle, pacing itself out as an endless series of sprints, Team Harley is running a marathon that has no interest in exhausting either themselves or the audience before theyre through. Its an example that both DC and Marvel ought to pay serious attention to, especially considering that the mindset has expanded Harley Quinn from a single breakaway hit into three spin off miniseries and a handful of top selling specials and annuals.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #11

Jan 6, 2017

Pandora the Explorer is one of the best working examples of how Conner and Palmiotti can fairly nakedly show us how theyre constructing the current arc without falling into a holding pattern.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #12

Jan 19, 2017

These are the kind of subtle and multilayered calculations that elevate Harley Quinn beyond shallow wish fulfillment and power fantasies to a critical re-evaluation of how the medium as a whole treats womens stories.

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7.5
Harley's Little Black Book #2

Feb 10, 2016

Standing on its own, this is a tough issue to justify a separate purchase outside the main title for folks on tight budgets, but its a fun romp that sits easily beside the most entertaining issues of the main title. If push comes to shove, Id skip this one for the promise of Zatanna next issue, which is a surefire hit, but this is the most fun Ive ever had reading a Hal Jordan appearance that he didnt die in.

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9.0
Harley's Little Black Book #3

Apr 21, 2016

As usual, Harley Quinns Little Black Book is pretty much reserved for the most hardcore of the characters fan base, but this one is peppered with so many little winks and nudges aimed directly at that audience that it truly maximizes its niche relative to the preceding issues.

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9.0
Hellblazer (2016) #1

Aug 24, 2016

With its second issue, Hellblazer improbably stakes a claim for being the title that reflects the ethos of the Rebirth initiative the most effectively by finding ways to call back to the virtues of the titles most iconic stories while remaining fresh and relevant to the world it finds itself in now.

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10
Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Jul 20, 2016

To say that John Constantine has never felt more relevant or connected to his most iconic self is about as dark a comment on the times as one could make, but thats exactly what Hellblazer was created to do.

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8.0
IXth Generation #5

Sep 29, 2015

Despite the seemingly byzantine continuity that lead to it, IX Generation is a clear window into a beautifully crafted sci fi story that Top Cow has basically been inching it's way towards since it's inception. Posthumanist storytelling may be slowly gathering steam as a potential major source of inspiration in western comics, but it's taking root in a big way here.

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8.0
IXth Generation #6

Oct 30, 2015

It's baffling that Hawkins and Rojo have not only turned a shitmix of properties that have never fit together cleanly before into something elegant, but transformed it into the herald of things to come across the entire medium.

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7.5
James Bond #1

Nov 6, 2015

Ellis has decided that he has no time or need for chicanery, which results in a Bond that is quite confrontational with the basic nature of the property by stripping the glamor away. The banter is the driest English wit yet seen on planet Earth and Bond is depicted eating in the cafeteria of Vauxhall Cross. This is what counts for dystopia in the Bond franchise.

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7.5
Jem and the Holograms #8

Oct 14, 2015

All in all, it's another fun issue with some great Pizzazz moments, which is is always the easiest way to appeal to me, but it still comes off like it's doing more promising about future issues than it is delivering in the here and now.

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3.0
Jem and the Holograms #9

Nov 18, 2015

The issue ends with Pizzazz getting distracted by the angry voicemail Jetta leaves and getting into a massive car crash, which, sadly, sums up the whole thing. There's a lot of great plot ideas being seeded into the last couple issues like the prospect of the Holograms opening for The Misfits on their west coast tour -which is now in jeopardy after Pizzazz's crash- or the upcoming corruption of Synergy with Sophie Campbell's return, but in the meantime it just feels dull and aimless.

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8.0
Jem and the Holograms #10

Dec 30, 2015

All in all, it's great to see such a strong bounceback for the title with an issue that plays to Thompson's natural strengths and reasserts just what makes this title so successful. The only real weakness the series has suffered is the meandering pace, which will hopefully sort itself out as Jem enters into its second year.

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7.0
Jem and the Holograms #11

Jan 27, 2016

The issue opens strong and closes strong, but theres not much holding it together. Next issue we finally get Blazes audition and the brilliant cover that goes along with it, so hopefully the momentum will pick up and these awkward interstitials will be left behind.

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5.0
Jem and the Holograms #12

Feb 24, 2016

The lack of care evident in the dialogue spoils what could have otherwise been a significant breakthrough for the depiction of trans issues in comics for an all ages audience. Its been done in the past, most recently and notably in Lumberjanes, which has confronted both Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist rhetoric using mermaids and the frustrations of gender dysphoria in a heart to heart between Jo, a trans girl member of the group, and a scouting lad who could be experiencing the same dysphoria that she did at his age. What we see here instead is, sadly, just more of the same old failures.

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10
Jem and the Holograms #13

Mar 30, 2016

The potential for an issue as punchy and effective as what we get here has been there since day one, and for the most part its only ever been a question of reigning in the slack and making consistently efficient use of the page. This one is all killer, no filler. Thompson and Campbell find room to advance Rio, break Jerrica and the rest of the Holograms out of the Dark Jem virus (for now), maintain Pizzazzs presence in the narrative, and frame it all within a powerhouse performance by The Misfits. Its a powerful and very welcome rebound from last issues stumbles. All thats left now is to maintain the momentum built up here.

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3.0
Jessica Jones #6

Mar 8, 2017

Jessica Jones is supposedly a passion project for Bendis and Gaydos, but after six issues the experience is best summed up as driving across a city in rush hour traffic to get a coffee from Starbucks when there was one at the end of the block.

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9.0
Jughead (2015) #1

Oct 7, 2015

What Archie, the company, have given Zdarsky and Henderson in Jughead isn't a job at a carwash, buffing a vintage car. This isn't a fenced in, calculated attempt at reviving a flagging property. It's the creation of a space to make a comic for people who love comics first, and a vehicle for people undergoing a completely surreal bout of total recall as their childhood memories of these characters come flooding back second.

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9.0
Jughead (2015) #2

Nov 18, 2015

Jughead #2 builds cleanly from the first issue, proving that you really can pick a writer based on his tweets with the official account of a chain of family restaurants and pair him with a rising star artist to great effect.

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10
Karnak #1

Oct 23, 2015

Top to bottom, Karnakis fine tuned to appear to be a product of the character's mind: ascetic, nihilistic, and precise.

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8.0
Kim & Kim #2

Aug 31, 2016

Theres a lot of ways for Kim & Kim to refine itself as it continues, namely finding ways to tighten up the slack when the narration and dialog overrun the flow of the page or pushing the art to lead both the eye across the page and the reader through the story more directly. Regardless of those shortcomings, it remains a refreshing and accessible title that the entire industry could stand to learn some lessons from.

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8.0
Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1

Jan 13, 2016

Simone appears to be kicking off the year by charting two very distinctive and equally welcome paths into the darkest impulses of humanity, but I cant help but want something a bit fluffier from her down the line, like a few issues of My Little Pony. I bet shed be great at Applejack.

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9.0
Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #1

Jun 8, 2016

Trouble may abound for the characters themselves, but Gotham Academy and Lumberjanes are cool for the summer.

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8.0
Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #2

Jul 13, 2016

In comics, were accustomed to subversion being a loud and upfront affair. Parody awash in neon glow, dialogue shouted directly at the reader. Gotham Academy and Lumberjanes have pursued a quieter, softer revolution and their synthesis carries that banner proudly. Instead of holding up a norm and tearing it asunder in the town square, the devious minds behind Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy have quietly instituted new norms in the hopes that we might align more closely to them as part of a peaceful transfer of power.

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9.0
Mayday (2016) #1

Nov 2, 2016

The words and deeds matter, and will definitely bubble up to be a driving force in the story through the intrigue of quietly warring nation states, but for now they take a back seat to visual and sonic immersion, something creators all across the medium could stand to take a lesson from.

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8.0
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Pink #1

Jun 1, 2016

Thanks to a bold new direction and an insurgent creative team, this is definitely not your senpai's Pink Ranger.

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9.0
Mockingbird #3

May 26, 2016

Imagine a pop culture landscape with no alternative to the perpetual girlishness of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. Music without the fully realized womanhood of Beyonce or the transgressive thrill of Rihannas aggressive sexuality. Television where Pretty Little Liars, Girls, and Broad City rules the landscape with no Good Wife, How To Get Away With Murder, or Scandal as a counterbalance. That is, for the most part, where we find ourselves in comics.

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10
Mockingbird #8

Oct 19, 2016

Perform a past life regression on an issue of Mockingbird and you might just discover its the reincarnation of the Liu/Acuna Black Widow run. But as pressing as the attendant issues around the series cancellation are, to let them get in the way of enjoying cavorting mercorgis would be a profound betrayal of Mockingbirds spirit.

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10
Motor Crush #1

Nov 14, 2016

Motor Crush is, simply put, the debut of the year and the comic that will set the pace for whats possible in 2017.

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10
Motor Crush #2

Jan 12, 2017

Motor Crush continues to defy the zeitgeist by embodying what it means to create sequential art in a more literal sense than anyone else on the stands.

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9.0
Negative Space #2

Sep 29, 2015

As the world of Negative Space opens up, so too does Gieni's depiction of it, showing us just how effective he and Lindsay are as a team. What they seem to understand better than most is that truly effective horror storytelling isn't about succumbing to nihilistic impulses, it's about how harrowing it can be to resist them. If next month's cover is any indication, with what appears to be Guy using his empathic abilities to drive Kindred agents into killing each other, this issue was a brief respite before plunging into even darker waters than we've seen so far.

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10
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1

Dec 24, 2015

Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat is, true to the character's roots in the romance genre, a book to fall in love with.

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10
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #6

May 26, 2016

Superhero comics are a loud genre that reward and promote the splashiest and most divisive product, but its the the quiet revolutions that achieve the most profound and lasting change like Judd Winnick choosing to reveal Kyle Rayners ethnicity as Mexican-American, John Ostrander and Kim Yale reintroducing Barbara Gordon as Oracle, or Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner codifying Harley Quinn and Poison Ivys relationship as romantic in nature. Ians bisexuality is unlikely to rank with those choices in the long term, but Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat is an insurgent title that consistently pushes against conventional wisdom in novel and worthy ways.

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10
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #7

Jun 16, 2016

Whats really made clear by this issue is that however it gets classified, Hellcat straddles the intersection of a number of overlapping cultures and concerns to create a broad appeal for readers from a diverse range of backgrounds, the same way the most seminal work on the X-Men has. What Hellcat achieves that the X-Men never has, however, is prompt us to re-evaluate our attitudes and assumptions about the world around us without using violence or melodramatic strife as a fulcrum.

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9.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #16

Mar 16, 2017

The magic spark that animated Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat was theirs alone, and could have just as easily caught flame in any intellectual property portfolio, say nothing about a set of characters sprung from their own minds. The final regular issue of Hellcat and the forthcoming mall special are a very long series of goodbyes, but theyre also a monument to what the mainstream can produce when a space is made for iconoclastic creators to bring their full selves to their work.

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7.0
Plutona #1

Sep 5, 2015

InPlutona, however, all of the marketing and the core of the narrative so far has been conducted over the title character's dead body, which defines the rest of the narrative as being a difficult uphill climb if there's to be any serious engagement with that choice. The backup story only seems to compound matters by revealing her to be a single working mother who needed a babysitter in order to operate as a superhero, which comes across as a vicious, exploitative backhand. I want to believe in this comic if for no other reason than to be able to enjoy the remarkable artwork without reservation, but I know without a doubt that Lemire is capable of far more than what's on display in the opening issue.

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5.0
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

Jan 20, 2016

Swamp Thing, which was solicited alongside Cycle of Life and Death, was an incredible success because it was returning to a team that knew it intimately (even created it in the case of Len Wein). That the opening issue of that series might seem strange or off kilter for new readers more familiar with Scott Snyders work, say nothing of Alan Moores, wasnt particularly problematic because it was very consciously looking to recapture the original. Theres not only a clear audience there, but an opportunity to open a window into a deeper understanding of the characters history for anyone who started with the New 52 material as well. That just doesnt track for Poison Ivy who is a prominent supporting character in DCs second best selling title, which this very clearly does not tie into.

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10
Rat Queens #15

Mar 16, 2016

Its absolutely astonishing to think that the little book that started out as the equivalent of a boozy college dorm D&D campaign has grown into one of Images richest, most emotionally affecting titles without losing any of its sophomoric instincts. Rat Queens is what happens when creators are enabled to bring their full and most passionate selves to a project and remain open to learning as much about each other as they endeavor to put of themselves on the page.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2016) #1

Jan 13, 2016

It's anyone's guess where the series will go next as Sonja confronts the new regime that's taken over her homeland, but this is a really obvious buy. Putting women, and these ones in particular, in control of Red Sonja is the best thing that's happened to the character since Wendy Pini first cosplayed her.

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9.0
Ringside #1

Nov 25, 2015

What it will develop into down the road as the cast fills out and the viewpoint characters shift, is anybody's guess, but for now Ringside is more of a shoot than a work, delivering a blue collar crime story that comes by its characters organically and delivers them truthfully.

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9.0
Ringside #3

Jan 27, 2016

All of the major beats for the art were settled by the second issue and the coloring isnt quite as ambitious this go around as it was in the second issue, but Nick Barber has definitely tightened into a shorter range for how he plays with his cartooning than in the debut, which has really strengthened his storytelling. Ringside has found its stride and the only question left is what youre gonna do when it runs all over you.

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9.0
Ringside #4

Feb 24, 2016

Its typical of what Keatinge, Barber, and Gough have set out to do to bring out such emotional highs, tapping into what brought Danny and Teddy together and what attracted Danny and Davis to wrestling, only to cap it off with Danny in a bloody mess surrounded by bullet holes and a body.

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8.5
Robin: Son of Batman #2

Jul 15, 2015

Robin: Son of Batman is just about everything I could want in this title, which is both it's biggest strength and it's most glaring weakness. While it presents a fantastically nuanced and energetic look at atonement, it also skews much older than a Robin title ought to, especially in the midst of the mantle's 75th anniversary.

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7.0
Slam! #1

Nov 16, 2016

Slam!s debut issue is like a brand new pair of rollerskates: too polished and squeaky clean to be marked for greatness yet, but possessed of all the nuts and bolts needed for future glory.

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8.0
Starfire #5

Oct 18, 2015

All in all, Starfire is really showing signs that it's found its footing. Like Harley Quinn, it doesn't seem like it will develop into a book with big overarching plots but will instead develop around Kori's outlook and values. It may not be the deepest or hardest hitting book in DC's portfolio, but it always offers at least one moment of glee that reminds us how much fun a book with a positive outlook can be.

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9.0
Starfire #7

Dec 11, 2015

It's part and parcel of what I've come to enjoy the most about the post-Flashpoint DCU, that the new takes, especially the ones flowing out from the DC YOU initiative that Starfire is a part of, shed brand new light on their older iterations that illuminate rather than bury the stories that got me invested in these characters to begin with. I never really felt an overriding need to understand the attraction between Dick and Kori before this issue was solicited, but that's what this title and Starfire herself are all about, being open to whatever turns your head. Kori may be one of the starkest examples of the collider metaphor in action, but the space she occupies in Key West, and the place her title holds for the readers is an island of stability, just like Geri Powers closed her speech to Jim Gordon with.

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9.0
Starfire #8

Jan 14, 2016

Month in and month out, Starfire is the Gary Fisher of the DC line up, a calming presence that offers a space far away from what Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston described as bloodcurdling masculinity. The book offers up a vision of Key West that has a lot more in common with his Themyscira than weve seen in a very long time.

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5.0
Strange Fruit #2

Oct 14, 2015

Strange Fruit may yet recover some of the potential that its concept offered, but it hasn't done nearly enough to win back the trust of the readers it alienated with the first issue. Strange Fruit's ultimate value as it currently stands, isn't in the story it's trying to tell, but what it's production reveals about strides that the industry as a whole have yet to make in improving how it approaches delicate issues of racial representation.

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0.0
Strange Fruit #4

Nov 3, 2016

In the final analysis, its impossible to know what Waid and Jones actually intended through the act of reading Strange Fruit because theyve rendered the surface level of it completely inscrutable. So the only reasonable conclusion to reach is that its a naked reflection of American anti-Black racism that contributes nothing of note to whatever discourse it was seeking to participate in.

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5.0
Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

Aug 3, 2016

At the end of it all though, I worked out my feelings about this issue adopting the mom voice for my inner monologue. Im not mad, Im just disappointed. I still have full confidence that Williams and Lee will find ways to blow our minds that may just reach as far back as Hitman to find precedent for under the main DC brand. Ive read too much of their work to be able to feel otherwise, but even with a great deal of promise in some of the ideas and characterizations present, this is a crushing disappointment for what should be one of the brightest shining stars of Rebirth.

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10
Sunstone #4

Feb 24, 2016

Sunstone is a remarkable comic that defies just about any expectations you could place on it, and the fourth volume in particular resists the urge to turn further inwards and chase the curve, instead opening itself up to welcome new readers and stand on it's own as a complete narrative. Theres a lot more to learn from it than just how to draw nipple clamps.

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10
The Infinite Loop #4

Jul 31, 2015

There's a rising tide of Franco Belgian influence in the American comics scene from the rise of artists like Stephanie Hans, Stephane Roux, and Bengal within the mainstream, the cinematic influence of Snowpiercer and Blue is the Warmest Colour, and the impending flood of new translated works from ditions Delcourt through Comixology that could, if handled properly, be as influential as the 1980s British Invasion was. While I wouldn't hasten to call the current Bandes Dessines scene a utopia of comics, I think there is an incredible amount to learn from how the more relaxed attitudes about sex in comics have produced the vital and unapologetic depictions of queer female sexuality we still lack in North America. We need more comics like The Infinite Loop. It's just that simple.

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10
The Infinite Loop #6

Sep 30, 2015

As we consider what direction comics can go in next, I would point my finger squarely at The Infinite Loop and its science fiction allegory that tackles real world prejudice and the struggle against it head on instead of inventing flimsy metaphors as being one of the most valuable paths to consider.

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8.0
Vampirella (2016) #1

Mar 2, 2016

Vampirellas debut is a strong statement of intent that is already much smarter and sexier than anything done with the character in recent memory.

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9.0
Wolf #3

Sep 29, 2015

Wolf continues to impress as Kot, Taylor, and Loughridge prove just how little of the potential in the LA noire genre has been tapped to date.

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8.0
Wolf #6

Feb 24, 2016

Similarly, Lee Loughridge begins broadening the palette on colors, opening with brightly contrasting oranges and blues for the flashback to Anita trying to drive across the desert as a werewolf. It tapers of for much of the scenes in the present, but he brings those contrasts back out to communicate the time lapses in the flashback stories, closing out the issue as the gang drives off in search of Antoine with a complete inversion of the blues and oranges that it opened with.

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10
Wonder Woman: Earth One #1

Apr 6, 2016

If Morrison himself were anywhere in the comic, it was among the Fates, contriving of the circumstances to facilitate a dialogue between Diana and the audience, the complete inversion of stepping in to meet with Buddy. If ever there was a comic that needed to carry with it a sense of incompleteness without the audience, this is it. Whatever your assessment of what Morrison and Paquette have laid out is, the message is clear: gamble a stamp on Wonder Woman: Earth One.

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