Forrest C. Helvie's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Newsarama Reviews: 227
8.3Avg. Review Rating

10
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #50

Apr 11, 2014

Although this may surprise many readers, I believe AoS #50 is Kelly Sue DeConnick's first time writing DC's biggest characters, but not surprising is how she and De Landro deliver a pitch-perfect one-shot.

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8.0
After Houdini #1

Jun 24, 2013

There is also a noir detective backup story exploring a Dupin-like private eye who is due to come into conflict with a sort of mutant-like criminal. Goodheart and Zeilstra's art feels a little more polished than Zeigler's in terms of its style and use gray tones with the black and white colors. Given the story is about a detective who has all the answers, however, the edgier approach would have been less effective at conveying the polish of this story's protagonist. In spite of the polish to the artwork, however, Holt definitely gets a little darker in terms of his story's direction with the introduction of his serial killer. Overall, this comic provides fans of detective and mystery stories with two solid stories that contain solid pacing and will open enough questions to leave readers interested in seeing what will follow in Issue #2.

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9.0
Afterlife With Archie #7

Dec 11, 2014

Not surprisingly, this issue continues the tradition from the first arc of demonstrating that Archie Comics has more depth in its range than its often given credit for beyond its well-known humor comics.

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8.0
Alex + Ada #8

Aug 7, 2014

Eight issues in, and I continue to find myself hooked by the smart and thought-provoking premise of this book.

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9.0
Alex + Ada #12

Jan 29, 2015

Luna and Vaughn continue to craft a series that connects with readers on an emotional and intellectual level through numerous visual cues and poignantly depicted moments in this sci-fi drama.

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8.0
All-New Secret Skullkickers #1

Jun 4, 2013

One of the general rules for writing comics is to limit the amount of text on a page. So, it's no surprise Zub pokes fun at this convention when he loads up his opening splash with nine textboxes filled with expository background information before letting loose one of this trademark, self-aware jokes. And it only goes downhill from there" in a sophomoric, juvenile, laugh-out-loud sort of way.

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10
American Vampire Anthology #1

Aug 28, 2013

The artwork varies widely in the way each creative team offers its unique take on the world of theAmerican Vampire; however, at no point do any of these stories' visuals seem anything less than evocative and intentional in their delivery. There were some noticeable characters missing from this collection, but it's not hard to believe Snyder and Albuquerque are holding on to them for when the on-going series begins anew. And readers will no doubt find themselves more than satisfied in what each writer and artist brings to this collection. The stories vary from exploring territory close to the main narratives of Pearl and Skinner to expanding their view into the greater world of the undead, from providing some captivating entertainment to thought-provoking commentary on America's past all of which make this anthology a must-read for fans of the series and readers looking to jump on board for the first time.

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10
American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

Mar 20, 2014

Snyder and Albuquerque kickstart the first issue of Second Cycle following a yearlong hiatus that both welcomes new readers and longtime fans looking to take another bite out of their favorite "abominus Americana liber."

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #3

May 22, 2014

I continue to find Albuquerque's panoramic flashback spreads are great examples of visual storytelling where the lettering almost isn't needed to communicate those key plot points to the reader. Meanwhile, Dave McCaig's colors continue to evoke the coldness of the dead while capturing the fiery heat of the hellish nightmares readers encounter " from the demonic May to the beast Skinner encountered underground.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #4

Jul 10, 2014

Albuquerque and McCaig's artwork continue to push the boundaries of the natural and supernatural making this one the most visually captivating issues out this week especially as seen in their "vampiric sharknado."

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9.0
Armor Hunters #3

Aug 14, 2014

The third installment of the Valiant summer crossover gets underway in this issue, and fans of the series will find a lot to enjoy in this issue.

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8.0
Art Monster #1

Jan 16, 2014

Faced with the tight constraints of Monkeybrain's page cap and an already well-known story, Holt still manages to capture readers' attention particularly with his strong sense of pacing and use of moving back and forth in time to help introduce some mystery into an already familiar story.

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10
Batman (2011) #17

Feb 13, 2012

While it is arguable that no creative team will surpass The Killing Joke as the definitive contemporary Batman-Joker story, nor will many Batman creators be able to lessen the poignancy of the image of a defeated Batman cradling the dead Robin in his arms after arriving moments too late, it is clear Snyder and Capullo have carved out of a name for themselves in this tradition with "The Death in the Family" from the maniacal schemes to the lingering presence of the Clown Prince of Crime even after his departure.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

Overall, this is an emotionally weighted issue that is less interested in exciting its reader with fast-pace action-thriller, as readers saw issues such as Batman #5 from the "Court of Owls" or Batman #16 with the battle into Arkham. Instead, it is heavier in exposition and dialogue as it favors an exploration of what Batman means to both Gotham and the superhero genre as a whole. Readers following the series will want to pick this issue up, and without a doubt, fans of Harper Row will find plenty to be excited about in this issue as she positions herself to play a greater role in the title down the road.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #19

Apr 10, 2013

While Batman #19 does continue to address the grief Bruce feels from Damien's death, it still delivers a storyline with an interesting twist that will entertain both continuing and newer readers. In addition to providing readers with a much shorter and easier to digest story, it also seems to pique readers' anticipations over the much-hyped "Zero Year" arc that will begin this summer given Gordon's comments to Wayne early on in the issue. In many regards, this issue works because it manages to both address the concerns of the past while still providing readers with something of an opportunity to catch their breaths by taking a break from major cross-title story arcs.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #21

Jun 11, 2013

For my part, I enjoy seeing bits info introduced early on in a story to see it come back seemingly from left field (a la "Chekhov's Gun"). While some may not appreciate the broken chronology of the narrative, it does create the effect of keeping the reader constantly guessing what's coming next. And after reading Batman #21, it's clear Snyder is setting readers up for a big payoff down the road at the conclusion of "Zero Year."

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10
Batman (2011) #22

Jul 10, 2013

I always try to keep a critical eye out for even little things that didn't quite work for me; however, I simply didn't find any in this issue. I moved seamlessly from one panel and page to the next until, sadly, the comic was finished " the only disappointing aspect to the comic. With the brief introduction of Penguin, the meeting of Bruce and the Riddler, and of course, the pre-Joker Red Hood, there is a lot in store in for this title, and it's certainly not to be missed.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #23

Aug 14, 2013

So, my recommendations are to read the book carefully in order to avoid any sort of plot confusion. The elements are there, but they require a careful eye. The delivery used in Issue #23 requires a slow read, and based on Snyder's general trend of using a slow build, I'd expect this issue to provide a sort of calm before the storm " that is, the arrival of Batman, which will likely be revealed in the next issue. But read the book " you don't want to miss out.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #23.2

Sep 16, 2013

Overall, it's too bad Fawkes and Snyder couldn't have been free to tell this story as a complete stand-alone without any references to the Forever Evil story, as I suspect the additional page of space might have been put to better use given the overall quality of what we see in this issue. But, in the same way this creative team had to work within the constraints given to them, so must this reviewer. If you enjoyed Edward Nygma's previous appearances in the "Zero Year" story arcs, this issue will certainly provide keen snippet into the predatory nature of a villain whom many readers overlook in light of his more prominent intellect.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #24

Oct 9, 2013

Overall, this was a phenomenal issue that delivers both immediate answers to questions raised in earlier issues of this series all the while challenging readers to really think about what Gotham " and Batman " really means to them.

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10
Batman (2011) #25

Nov 12, 2013

At the end of the day, Snyder's decompressed origin story would lose much of its strength if it were not for the artistic talents supporting his script. Capullo's ability to skillfully weave the various nods to Batman's past in ways both obvious and subtle into every panel alongside Miki and Plascencia's control over light and darkness, vibrant color choices and muted, somber tones all lend to a dynamic and compelling story. While there will inevitably be some readers questioning why there needs to be yet another retelling of Batman's origins, there are also fans seeking to understand how Batman's history fits into the New 52 universe. On a practical note, this storyline addresses that second concern; however, the fact that fans continue to clamor for origin stories speaks to our collective desire and need for better understanding the ways regular men and women became the heroes who continue to capture our imagination.

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10
Batman (2011) #26

Dec 10, 2013

Here's what I love most about Batman #26: We know how the story ends but how we get there is something altogether unexpected. Bruce becomes the Dark Knight of Gotham whom criminals fear and cannot escape. Likewise, Wayne and Jim Gordon work out their differences and establish a relationship that helps keep Gotham safe(r). None of this should come as a surprise to readers familiar with the franchise. Yet, it is the way in which Snyder draws out the dynamic between Bruce and Gordon in this issue- a fresh take on an old relationship while maintaining the core precepts of what long-time fans love about these characters " that makes this issue stand out.

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10
Batman (2011) #27

Jan 22, 2014

I still think Batman is consistently DC's best foot forward when it comes to telling superhero comics today, and Issue #27 is no exception.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #29

Mar 11, 2014

There is little denying that Snyder and Capullo's origin story is one that will be remembered in collected form years from now alongside other canonized graphic novels and story arcs. Whether readers are on board for this decompressed retelling of those events that form the core of who Batman would eventually become will be up to individual fans to decide. Personal tastes aside, there is something admirable in seeing a creative team "go big" and not simply retread familiar ground in familiar ways, and this issue " like those preceding it in the "Zero Year" story " does so both narratively and artistically.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #31

May 28, 2014

Overall, Snyder leaves enough hanging in the air to ensure readers will come back for the next issue, but there are also enough satisfying elements to the book that will keep the audience from feeling left in a lurch. And without a doubt, Batman #31 will continue to remind readers why Capullo, Miki, and Plascencia are one of the best artistic teams in superhero comics today in the way they bring their respective talents together to help convey the tone, atmosphere and action that Snyder is writing.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #32

Jun 25, 2014

Overall, fans of the series will continue to enjoy seeing Batman, Gordon, and Fox come together even if these stalwarts of Gotham aren't achieving the results they eventually become more accustomed to later on in their continuity. We often take for granted Batman's fallibility, and this extended story arc underscores this point repeatedly, which the Riddler reminds Batman about in this issue.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #33

Jul 23, 2014

There is no doubt that Batman #33 ends the "Zero Year" storyline with a mix of action-packed sequences with some complex storytelling and character development – a hallmark of this team's run on the series. Ultimately, the intent doesn't seem to be one of reinventing the wheel but digging deeper into the ambiguities about how it came into being and providing this generation with a Batman it can call its own.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #34

Aug 14, 2014

Overall, it's easy to get caught up in the notion that Batman is perfect, and this story's ending reminds us about his flawed humanity making it a solid read.

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8.0
Batman (2011) Annual #2

Aug 1, 2013

Overall, it's a solid story that covers both familiar and unfamiliar territory about the Batman, which readers will enjoy.

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6.0
Batman (2016) #79

Sep 20, 2019

Unfortunately, drawn-out moments of romantic tension on the beach do little to whet one's appetite for the pending battle for control over Gotham.

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9.0
Batman's Grave #1

Oct 10, 2019

For Batman fans who miss the detective element to the Dark Knight Detective and prefer a more "street-level" approach to Gotham's hero, Warren Ellis delivers a captivating mystery story in The Batman's Grave #1 that longtime fans will not want to miss.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2019) #1

Aug 29, 2019

Although this sort of story continues to remove Batman from his street-level origins, it still delivers a sort of mystery story as Batman and Superman chase their enemy and seek to find out how to stop his plans to infect this world.

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8.0
Batman: Arkham Knight #1

Mar 12, 2015

Over all, this will prove a solid read for fans anxious for a Bat-fix while waiting for the final part to "Endgame" to drop.

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7.0
Batman: Black and White #6

Feb 6, 2014

Dave Johnson's noir story is arguably the most powerful of the bunch in its moody, tragic depiction of a common thug's "victory" over Batman.

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9.0
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2

Aug 29, 2019

Combine that with Murphy's incredibly dynamic artwork, and you've got yourself a winner with Curse of the White Knight #2.

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10
Batwoman #23

Aug 22, 2013

Batwoman continues to set itself apart from traditional, mainstream superhero comics with its smart design and aesthetic style. Narratively speaking, Williams is setting up a story that defies standard superhero-on-superhero conflicts, as it's not a case of mistaken intentions or hidden identities motivating this brewing conflict. Not only is he a talented artist, but he does a great job of writing fleshed out characters with real motivations.

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8.0
Batwoman #24

Oct 16, 2013

Although I won't spoil the ending, I will say it ends rather abruptly leaving readers in something of a lurch. And at only twenty-one pages, it is clear the missing page would have been better used preparing the reader for what is to come in Issue #25 as opposed to being wasted on a "Channel 52" recap that most readers will inevitably skip. It is all the more disappointing as this abrupt ending also serves as an sad parallel to the abrupt ending of this creative team's tenure on this title as both writers step down, and the artistic team will be replaced as well. If you've been following the series up to this point, I'd recommend picking up Batwoman #24. It has been a fun ride.

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10
Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill #1

Feb 4, 2013

While it is unlikely there will be many readers not previously familiar with the original Watchmen " either the comics or the film " Wein deserves credit for writing a story that doesn't rely on its original source material to tell a complete and satisfying narrative, and he receives a significant boost from the artistic efforts of Steve Rude along the way.

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10
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 16, 2014

I am, without reservation, anxious to see what this creative team brings next month and down the road with this nonconformist series. In Pretty Deadly, DeConnick demonstrates her ability to craft poetry within the comic form with co-collaborator Emma Rios; however, it is with De Landro at her side in Bitch Planet that the fiery and impassioned intellects of this writer and artist roar to life. Don't bother reading this book if you aren't prepared to feel some heat.

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8.0
Bitch Planet #2

Jan 29, 2015

Although DeConnick's story is unapologetic in its pursuit to push the boundaries of mainstream comics, I was surprised at how conventional and controlled Valentine De Landro's art was. Although the visual storytelling was exceptionally clean, with its undeviating adherence to the standard grid and conventional shots, it felt " safe, even if it was well-executed.

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10
Black Widow (2014) #2

Jan 24, 2014

I never cared for Black Widow before, but these two creators have single-handedly changed my mind over the course of these first two issues.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #4

Mar 13, 2014

Although some readers may want more continuity from this title, the strength behind this series lies, in part, in its episodic nature making it incredibly accessible to newer readers.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #6

May 8, 2014

Issue #6 sees Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto wrapping up the first arc of their ongoing sleeper hit, Black Widow, and this team proves more than capable of delivering a satisfying superhero procedural.

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9.0
Black Widow (2014) #7

Jun 5, 2014

Nathan Edmondson does a great job of making this issue another stand-alone story while still providing some opportunities for readers to see these characters develop.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #8

Jul 7, 2014

Once again, this duo delivers another spy episode with strong characters and eye-catching art that should not be missed.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #14

Jan 22, 2015

Without a doubt, Black Widow continues to be one of the standout titles for Marvel NOW.

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5.0
Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1

Mar 5, 2015

Overall, the concept of the book has potential, but the first issue doesn't do enough to capture the reader's full attention.

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8.0
Bloodshot (2019) #1

Sep 24, 2019

Bloodshot #1 won't try and change your mind or perspective on the world of violence we live in as previous iterations did, but if you're looking to enjoy a real slobberknocker, then Seeley and Booth's latest work will not disappoint.

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10
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #1

Jun 13, 2013

Steve Niles is known for his work in writing horror, and this story promises to include the monstrous golem of Jewish lore; yet, it is clear there is a much deeper thread these storytellers look to weave into this comic. The only disappointing thing about this comic is the month readers will have to wait for the second issue to arrive.

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10
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2

Jul 9, 2013

Overall, I continue to find myself amazed at the evocative artwork and the captivating narrative of human perseverance, even with the assistance of the supernatural. My only criticism is that I realize there is only one issue left to the mini-series, and I would have easily been on board for many more. Given the strength of this story, however, perhaps we'll see more tales of the Golem from Niles and Watchter in the future.

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10
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3

Aug 7, 2013

If I have any complaint, it is that <>Breath of Bones: A Golem's Tale ended at three issues. It's a masterfully crafted tour de force that does a brilliant job of showcasing both the emotional and intellectual strength of the comics medium where both word and visual collide to create a truly compelling story unlike any other.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Mar 13, 2014

Artistically, it's incredibly solid between Lopez's mainstream " but distinct " aesthetic to Loughridge's vibrant, earthy colors. Likewise, DeConnick's ear for capturing true-to-life thoughts and voices for her characters helps bring this story together for readers of all persuasions.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #2

Apr 11, 2014

For fans of the group, this issue will be an opportunity to see how these characters " especially Star Lord and Rocket Raccoon " interact with Carol. Unfortunately, this also means readers, like me, who have little if any familiarity with these characters, may not connect with the humor or some of the intergalactic references made given their prominence in this issue.

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8.0
Coffin Bound #1

Aug 8, 2019

Writer Dan Watters' larger story feels familiar with its single protagonist fighting against a world out to get her while the details in the execution take a few unexpected turns, which helped keep things fresh.

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9.0
Curse #1

Jan 16, 2014

There's also something raw and visceral about the artwork in this story, which is incredibly well suited to this story of a family slowly tearing at the seams"and a werewolf literally tearing a town apart.

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8.0
Curse #3

Mar 20, 2014

This issue sheds light on the tragic connection Anton shares with Laney, but the endgame is still unclear, which works well to build reader interest in returning for Issue #4.

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8.0
Curse #4

Apr 17, 2014

The final issue of this miniseries ends on a note that many readers will no doubt have seen coming; however, this in no way takes away from enjoyment of seeing Laney and Anton work their way by the story's conclusion.

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7.0
Daredevil (2014) #6

Jul 28, 2014

Although this issue is an Original Sin tie-in, the connection is only lightly touched upon in the beginning as a catalyst for this issue's primary conflict, which makes it easily accessible for any reader.

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6.0
Dark Skullkickers Dark #1

Jul 8, 2013

While not a bad issue, it certainly does not deliver the same sort of comedy and storyline as the earlier parts of the story arc.

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9.0
Deadly Class #5

May 29, 2014

If there is one thing that is going to stand out for readers of Deadly Class #5, it will be Lee Loughridge's colorful blending of the 1980s with a wild acid trip. Considering this is exactly where Rick Remender and Wes Craig left Marcus in Issue #4, it fits the circumstances well.

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8.0
Deadly Class #7

Sep 18, 2014

In large part, writer Rick Remender slows the pace of the overall story down to allow readers the chance to see how each of the students is dealing with the fallout from their escapades in addition to seeing how future conflicts will stem from their indiscretions.

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10
Demeter #1

Jun 18, 2013

I won't lie: Becky Cloonan's short stories are not comic book "fast food," even if she delivers on the promise of a "one and done" story. To truly appreciate her work is like drinking a fine wine: Take it in slowly and linger over the elements of each page allowing yourself the time to digest each movement in the story as it unfolds.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #27

Jan 8, 2014

On the whole, I would characterize the issue as delivering a somewhat inconsistent reading experience that has some real high marks. Although some of the stories were especially strong, others seemed to fall short of the sort of compelling and exciting story one would expect for such a momentous anniversary issue particularly with the rather lackluster opening.

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3.0
Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Terror: Season Two #1

Oct 10, 2019

Edgar Allan Poe stories work due to the tension that builds towards a terrifying release. Unfortunately, this comic does not deliver on this promise, nor does its deliver much on the promise of anthology-style comics.

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8.0
Ei8ht #2

Mar 19, 2015

Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson construct an intriguing mystery as we attempt to figure out the ways in which the past, present, and future come together in the strange world of the meld " a contact zone between the three aspects of linear timeline.

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10
Eternal Warrior #1

Sep 12, 2013

I can't lie: this comic is gorgeous. Although I've never heard of Trevor Hairsine before reading this issue, he's on my radar now.

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9.0
Figment #1

Jun 13, 2014

While Zub certainly creates an interesting backstory for this licensed property, his greatest success lies in his and Andrade's ability to tell a story that does not depend on the dialogue to understand what's going on. This is particularly helpful for parents seeking comics for their younger readers (at least this one) who may not be able to handle the level of the text in the speech bubbles but will enjoy the story nonetheless.

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10
Five Ghosts #1

Mar 20, 2013

If you enjoy a good hero's tale but need a break from mainstream superhero fare, or you simply want something different from the rest of the comics out there, be sure to pick up a copy of Frank J. Barbiere's and Chris Mooneyham's Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1.

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8.0
Five Ghosts #4

Jun 25, 2013

It's hard not to like this miniseries, and as it prepares to draw to a close with the next issue. There is a lot of momentum being built behind this story, and hopefully Image will make the right call and green light this creative team to put forth either a second miniseries or even an on-going title altogether. In any event, make sure to pick this book up if you've been following the series; if you haven't, go find some back issues and get caught up.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #5

Jul 30, 2013

If you haven't read Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray yet, don't buy this issue unless you're planning to pick up issues 1-4 as well. And that would be a pretty good idea if you haven't. Readers who have been following along since the beginning are not going to want to miss out on getting the final answers to Fabian's first encounter with the Dreamstone shards, his sister's mysterious condition, and the conclusion to his pending battle with the demonic Iago.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #6

Oct 29, 2013

Overall, it's good to see this mini-series has been given the green light to move forward as an ongoing title. Barbiere and company do great work in delivering a story that participates in a long tradition of heroic adventures, and it is one that even newer readers should be able to pick up and follow along without too much difficulty " though the trade edition of Issues #1-5 just came out, so it is well worth picking that up as well to stay current with this series.

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8.0
Five Ghosts #7

Dec 2, 2013

Overall, this issue runs a fast pace and leaves readers with many questions as it sets up the second story arc for the series, but this doesn't hamper readers from enjoying the story. How does Fabian find himself lost at sea? What did Jezebel find in the safe? Was that a dreamstone necklace she gave away, and why didn't Fabian notice this? Hopefully, we'll find out some of the answers to these question next issue!

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8.0
Five Ghosts #8

Jan 7, 2014

Overall, this issue seemed to slow down a bit from the faster pace of Issue #7 as it only follows one narrative thread compared to Part I where there were multiple storylines in play. Further, we are still left wondering how the scene with the Fabian adrift at sea and battling the shark factors into the overall story since it was not addressed in this issue. However, I suspect this is less of a problem with the writing as it is the nature of the serialized format " something readers of the collected edition won't even notice. Overall, readers of the series will enjoy seeing the foundation for this storyline continue to be established, and even newer readers should be able to pick up and follow along with relative ease.

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8.0
Five Ghosts #10

Mar 20, 2014

Even if the story is busy with laying the groundwork for the final confrontation in Part Five of the arc, readers will no doubt enjoy the visual feast awaiting them in this swashbuckling seafaring adventure.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #11

Apr 28, 2014

The cover says it all " and how often in a world of variants and gimmicks can one say that about a comic? But the truth of it is that this issue of Five Ghosts, like every other before it, delivers on the nightmarish, thrilling pulp adventure it advertises.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #12

Jun 5, 2014

I've read a number of works inspired by "The Tempest," but this issue was easily the most visually arresting of them all.

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9.0
Five Ghosts #14

Dec 4, 2014

Once again, Five Ghosts proves to be a "must-read" series.

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8.0
Furious #2

Feb 27, 2014

Although there are one or two moments when the exposition feels more epic than the situation warrants and the lineweight could be heavier in the action sequences to help Furious "pop," I think Glass and Santos are putting together a thought-provoking take on superheroes in the real world.

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9.0
Furious #4

May 1, 2014

This story of a ne'er-do-well but unlikely superheroine has been slowly finding its legs, and in Issue #4, Furious I found myself fully understanding why Dark Horse gave this miniseries the green light.

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8.0
Ghost Town #2

Aug 1, 2013

Issue #1 of the series read something like Think Tank with a dose of homegrown terrorism. Now with Ryan Lindsay in the writer's seat, Issue #2 takes a decidedly more post-apocalyptic turn a la The Walking Dead - minus the zombies.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 2, 2014

Have you found yourself missing Harry Potter? Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher, and Karl Kerschel seem to think you do, and fans of the boy wizard are likely to find a good deal to enjoy about the set up for the first issue of Gotham Academy.

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8.0
Gotham Academy #6

Mar 26, 2015

This issue concludes the first story arc for Gotham Academy, and it's safe to say Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher deliver a very solid story in terms of introducing and developing each of the characters and not leaning heavily on its Bat-roots.

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8.0
Gotham By Midnight #1

Dec 1, 2014

Ben Templesmith's moody and gothic style is incredibly well-suited to the world of Batman and Gotham, and this book provides him with an excellent vehicle for demonstrating his aptitude for creating the right kind of atmosphere for the supernatural side of Gotham City.

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4.0
Gotham City Monsters #1

Sep 12, 2019

Gotham City Monsters already felt like a long shot title just based on concept alone, but without the execution to back it up, these horror heroes might be (un)dead on arrival.

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6.0
Grayson #1

Jul 10, 2014

It's not a bad comic by any means, but it felt more like a mid-arc issue given the lack of narrative set up from what one might come to expect from an inaugural issue.

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8.0
Harleen (2019) #1

Sep 27, 2019

It's a slow build at times, but this issue rewards readers with what appears to be a promising look at Gotham and its larger-than-life inhabitants from the perspective of Harley Quinn.

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8.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #12

Jul 11, 2013

Francesco Francavilla steps in for David Aja, and while the change in aesthetic is noticeable, it still employs a similar minimalistic yet smartly designed approach that works so well with this title.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #13

Oct 17, 2013

Aja and Hollingsworth's art expertly captures the tone of the story while Fraction's minimalist use of dialogue conveys the quiet detachment Clint experiences all of which come together for yet another must-read comic from Marvel.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #15

Feb 27, 2014

Without a doubt, Fraction's continued deconstruction of Clint Barton with this issue will be sure to both please and surprise readers leaving them anxiously awaiting the next issue.

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6.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #16

Jan 24, 2014

This has been a phenomenal series, but it seems some of the behind-the-scenes delays have finally started to have an effect on the comic, so hopefully, Marvel can correct whatever production and editorial issues forced a delay in Issue #15 causing this this issue to be rushed out to newsstands.

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7.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #17

Mar 13, 2014

Although DC tried running with the "WTF" theme, it's Hawkeye #17 that wins this distinction. It's an oddball holiday story that focuses on a television special Clint watches with his neighbor's children.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #19

Jul 31, 2014

It's been a while since readers last met up with Clint Barton as he fell victim to an assassin's attack. A long while. Yet, Fraction and Aja show fans they still have what it takes to keep this series innovative and complex while still delivering a straightforward story of a ne'er do well superhero off the clock.

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8.0
Headspace #2

Apr 11, 2014

This series is something of an amalgam of Lost, The Walking Dead, and a dash of Avatar due to the combination of an otherworldly and apocalyptic setting alongside the mind-body migration that takes place. Sound crazy? It should" and yet, it all comes together.

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8.0
Invincible #110

Apr 14, 2014

Still, there is no mistaking the desire to court controversy on the part of Invincible's creative team. As male reader, I did find myself feeling somewhat uncomfortable reading this issue; however, I immediately had to think about how often this sitation has played out for the many female comic book readers who encounter rapes scenes in their comics (regardless of whether it was done as graphically as is seen here). Some critics and readers may point out that the decision to depict the graphic nature of this act of violence in detail is a clear example of seeing just how far one series can push the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable in comics today. I'd argue that, in part, the real boundary pushing taking place is with Kirkman's putting this role reversal out in the spotlight. How do heterosexual male readers feel when the roles of predator and prey are reversed?

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4.0
Invincible #111

May 14, 2014

Put another way: This is not a comic for the uninitiated. Had Kirkman focused on the events of the past issue, it would have allowed for an easier transition into the series. After a mere page of addressing the events of Issue #110, however, this story rushes off into other directions and fails to hit the mark as an introductory issue. From a narrative standpoint, it quite literally runs away from dealing with a more substantive plot of Anissa and Mark in favor of giving its readers "Terror!" "Violence!" "Mayhem!" "Horror!" and "Misery!" Although it claims to be a launching point ostensibly for new readers, this issue came across instead as more of a vehicle for servicing some fans' need for blood and guts. I would be genuinely surprised if new readers found this was "the ONLY superhero comic [they would] ever need."

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7.0
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1

Apr 11, 2014

The art alone, however, should make coming back for Issue #2 a safe bet.

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6.0
Justice League (2018) #32

Sep 20, 2019

Readers looking for fast-paced bombast and lots of fan service will likely find plenty to enjoy in Justice League #32; however, this ultimately suffers from attempting to do too much within too short a span of time.

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8.0
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1

May 29, 2013

Overall, there isn't much to criticize about this first issue of King Conan: The House of the Dragon, providing one is looking for a more traditional Robert E. Howard Conan story; yet it does not do much to add to the existing field of fantasy comics or literature nor does it really push any boundaries of the genre. Still, readers will find this is an excellent adaptation of an older source, which has gone on to provide a significant influence on the fantasy genre of today, and a book doesn't need to push boundaries or break new ground to be a fun read. Fans looking to enjoy a good, old-fashioned swords and sorcery story will certainly not want to miss out on this series.

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7.0
Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents #1

Mar 13, 2014

Make no mistake " this book looks to take a stand on an emotionally charged issue and will not be to everyone's tastes. Nevertheless, it is thought-provoking whatever side of the fence one sits on, and the medium can only stand to benefit from more works that challenge readers to think.

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7.0
Masters of the Universe: Origin of He-Man #1

Feb 4, 2013

DC has committed to an on-going series later this spring, and providing they can find a consistent team of writers and artists to steady the helm of this franchise, fans new and old will be in store for some finely crafted and fun-filled comics from Castle Greyskull.

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8.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1

May 8, 2014

After reading Miles Morales #1, there's no way longtime readers will want to miss Issue #2.

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8.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #2

Jun 5, 2014

For many fans, the strength behind Ultimate Spider-Man lay the emotional connection between the characters and the readers, and Marquez and Justin Ponser do a phenomenal job of capturing and connecting Miles to his readership.

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9.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #3

Jul 7, 2014

While Bendis knows how to move the pieces in this story to tug at longtime readers' heartstrings, however, one cannot overstate Marquez and Ponsor's collective ability to translate Bendis's scripts into a beautifully rendered story that feel true " even we don't really live in a world of Spider-Men.

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9.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Aug 7, 2014

Although Bendis and Marquez open this issue in melodramatic fashion following Miles' revelation to his girlfriend about his superhero identity, the comic really explodes into action as we see Miles in the same location facing the same monster who was thought to have slain his predecessor.

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9.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #9

Jan 15, 2015

What's remarkable is this duo tells a captivating story, which further fleshes out the cast of characters, without once bringing Spider-Man into the picture.

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10
Miracleman #1

Jan 15, 2014

In all, new readers and long-time fans alike stand to benefit from the increased access as well as the improvements made to this monumental series. Although some younger and/or newer comic readers may find themselves thinking that Miracleman seems vaguely reminiscent of many other superhero stories they've read, it is because these writers owe a creative debt of gratitude to Alan Moore and Garry Leach's raw and powerful literary deconstruction of the superhero. There are stereotypes and then there are the original archetypes " this is one of the latter and it is a work that every student and fan of the superhero genre needs to know.

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10
Miracleman #2

Feb 3, 2014

Some readers may find this familiar territory, again, because they're looking back on a work with a backlog of twenty years' worth superhero comics that drew heavily upon the literary tropes that were only just developing here. In spite of this, however, this series " and issue " prove relevant even for contemporary readers given its interest in exploring the mechanics of what it must be like being married to a superhero. Given both DC and Marvel Comics' well-known dislike of married superheroes " which lead to aging their characters " this series provides a look into a subject that not being fully explored in the Big Two. Yet, the questions of applying superheroes to the real world is something fans continue to discuss making yet another reason for why fans should enjoy what Miracleman #2 brings to the table. Don't miss out on this modern-day classic.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2014) #1

Mar 6, 2014

Artistically, Shalvey and Bellaire deliver just the right amount of grit for a street-level crime drama while still finding moments to make their hero come to life.

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10
Moon Knight (2014) #6

Aug 7, 2014

After the video game-like awesomeness that was Issue #5, I couldn't help but wonder how and if Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey would top their last effort with the final issue of their tenure on Moon Knight. Not surprisingly, they do

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10
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 #1

Jun 25, 2013

As a parent of two small boys who believes in the value of a well-written, age-appropriate comic as a viable source of entertainment and personal development, this book hits all the right spots. Yet, I also have to say that this series continues to prove it is equally enjoyable for adult readers as well " not as a "guilty pleasure reading," but as a series of stories that are rich and thoughtful in the topics explored in each issue.

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10
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 #2

Sep 4, 2013

I've said this in past reviews of Petersen's work, and I will say it again: Whether he is penning and drawing the story or bringing in other creators to participate in fleshing out his world, this series is one that readers of all ages can enjoy. Issue #2 is no exception.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #2

Mar 20, 2014

Like Kelly Sue DeConnick's Captain Marvel,it's really nice to see a comic that eschews the brooding, postmodern take on superheroes and looks instead to capture the sense of joy and inspiration these heroes can bring.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #3

Apr 17, 2014

Once again, Wilson and Alphono remind readers of Marvel's ability to distill the essence of the superhero genre from the lens of a troubled teen " something Ditko, Kirby and Lee founded the House of Ideas upon decades earlier.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #4

May 28, 2014

Although I love my fair share of "grim and gritty" superhero comics, Wilson and Alphona continue to demonstrate with Ms. Marvel #4 that these costumed characters can also be upbeat, joyful and fun. Once again, don't miss this issue.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #5

Jun 26, 2014

Overall, Ms. Marvel #5 continues to be the sort of inspirational superhero book that will keep both regular and newer comic book readers coming back.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #9

Oct 16, 2014

Wilson's continued insistence that superheroes don't just show up and win from the get-go is refreshing and feels realistic "at least as realistic as a world with superheroes can be.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 18, 2014

Combined with Alphona's unpretentious and yet still lighthearted action sequences (robots with bowlers, anyone?), Ms. Marvel #10 just keeps making it clear why it is one of 2014's breakout hits.

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9.0
My Little Pony Micro Series #2

Mar 25, 2013

All-ages comics that are appropriate for a wide range of readers can be difficult to come by lately, and those which demonstrate a more subtle level of humor for the adult readers are even rarer. The only the potential drawbacks to this comic is the lack of familiarity with the franchise itself, which may turn off some readers. Yet, Lindsay and Fleecs work well together to create comic that works hard to draw in readers who either consider themselves a fully-fledged "bronies" or those who are simply looking for a good comic they can feel comfortable having their children read.

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9.0
Nailbiter #2

Jun 5, 2014

The art is visceral enough to make you wince at times, but not so much to keep you from quickly turning from one page to the next

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9.0
Nailbiter #3

Jul 7, 2014

Three issues in, and it is clear this creative team is killing it.

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8.0
Nailbiter #4

Aug 7, 2014

Overall, it's another solid issue that moves the plot forward while taking some time to add some depth to the history and character of the town of Buckaroo.

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8.0
Ninjak #1

Mar 12, 2015

It's an interesting set up, if occasionally familiar, and one that fans of Valiant's resident ninja and newcomers alike should enjoy.

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8.0
ODY-C #1

Dec 1, 2014

Overall, ODY-C #1 is an ambitious book that, in spite of some initial shakiness, challenges readers familiar and unfamiliar with its literary antecedent, and that's a welcome pursuit.

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9.0
Once & Future #1

Aug 16, 2019

Mora and Bonvillian's art comes alive and creates tension and excitement throughout the issue while Gillen's wit and sense of pacing set readers up to want more just as the issue comes to a close.

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8.0
Pathfinder Special #1

Nov 20, 2013

Overall, this was a fun comic that should readily appeal to any fan of the fantasy genre as it strikes a balance between adventure, humor, and character development. Specials, annuals, and other non-standard issues in an on-going series can be a bit of a "grab bag" but for newer readers looking for an opportunity to pick up this title " or even regular readers debating about trying it out " Pathfinders Special #1 is a definitely worth checking out.

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8.0
Pathfinder: Goblins! #4

Nov 7, 2013

This issue works particularly well because both of the short stories are accessible " there is no need to have read any of the previous issues to understand these two tales of the ever-hungry, always cowardly goblins.

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8.0
Pretty Deadly #3

Dec 19, 2013

Rios and Bellaire continue to create a mix of haunting and evocative visuals from beginning to end. It's still not the most easily digestible series, but that's not a bad thing. It may simply be a case where readers will benefit from waiting to experience the work as a whole versus the serialized nature in which it is currently being published.

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8.0
Pretty Deadly #4

Jan 24, 2014

DeConnick's vision of Death and his daughters is a compelling one, and the question of Sissy's role in the grand scheme of things presents an interesting plot twist most readers will not see coming.

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9.0
Pretty Deadly #5

Apr 1, 2014

In part, this book creates different, reality-bending scenarios to force readers to slow down and think about these questions "and more. And while this may prove distasteful for some, others will no doubt find this lends to multiple readings where meaning can slowly be pulled out over time. Some books can be enjoyed quickly, and that's fantastic; still others provide a more subtle and slow satisfaction that is only discovered through several rereadings. This is one such book, and I'm looking forward to seeing how I respond to it a year from now and beyond.

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6.0
Pretty Violent #1

Aug 23, 2019

Sophomoric humor dictates the story and art, so for fans of that brand of comic, this will be sure to please.

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7.0
Punk Mambo #5

Aug 19, 2019

Overall, readers will still find themselves asking questions about who Punk Mambo is and her place within the Valiant Universe by the story’s end, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bunn introduces readers to the VU’s understanding of voodoo and its pantheon of demigods, all of which are wickedly brought to life by Gorham and Villarubia, and this issue certainly delivers on the promise of a paranormal punk adventure.

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9.0
Rat Queens #1

Sep 24, 2013

As I mentioned before, I'm really impressed Image is making some real strides into the fantasy genre. Some publishers have made it known that it isn't always about the best possible story but the biggest audience that they want to pursue. While this genre isn't necessarily for everyone, it's great to see a big name publisher, like Image, stepping up to tell stories that are both serious and fun of all sorts. Sometimes, readers might not even know what they're missing out on until they try something that's entirely different from what they're accustomed to reading. Rat Queens #1 may not be for readers who have no interest in fantasy or action-adventure comics, but I suspect even casual readers who aren't as familiar with the world of swords and sorcery will still chuckle at the off-beat humor in this comic.

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8.0
Rat Queens #2

Oct 22, 2013

Overall, Rat Queens #2 is a fun story that, while likely predictable for many readers, does more than just serve as a "filler issue." Instead, it creates additional space for readers to better appreciate the characters whom they will likely follow on many more adventures to come.

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9.0
Rat Queens #3

Nov 26, 2013

My only critique would be that while there was time set aside for three of the four Rat Queens, Dee " the cleric of the group " did not get the same spotlight into her personality as the others even if she was equally present in the main plot. However, I can also recognize that there are only so many pages available to set aside for individual character development whilekeeping the plot moving forward simultaneously. Simply put: This is a great series that has a clear direction of where it's going, a strong sense of who its characters are, and the understanding that comics can be funny without having to set aside three-dimensional characters along the way.

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8.0
Rat Queens #4

Jan 15, 2014

Once again, I really enjoyed this month's issue of Rat Queens thanks to the mix of gruesome fun and biting humor. The certainty of my reading the next issue is most definitely a sure thing.

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9.0
Rat Queens #6

May 8, 2014

While Wiebe bounces between vulgarity and hilarity with a dash of Gary mixed in for good measure, he also takes time to continue show cracks in the faade each of his Queens maintains for the public, thereby revealing aspects of their insecurities and personal lives.

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2.0
Royal Blood #1

Aug 13, 2014

Overall, there is absolutely no reason to pick this comic up or support those who peddled it. The plot line feels about as substantive as one might find in a soft porn movie, which is only reinforced by the self-indulgent and overly grandiose dialogue.

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7.0
Satellite Sam #2

Aug 8, 2013

It was still an interesting story, but the inconsistent pacing was noticeable when compared to the first issue's more steady delivery.

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10
Savage Skullkickers #1

Mar 26, 2013

Overall, it's not often that a comic can blend an action story that is not only fun to read but genuinely funny. The fact that Jim Zub and crew have been able to do this without feeling stale is a testament to the quality of this book. One does not need earth-shattering events in a comic to be a good comic. At one point while reading this issue, I laughed out so loud that I thought I might have woken up one of my children sleeping upstairs! And at the end of a long workday, that's worth a solid 10 in my book any day.

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2.0
Sex #1

Mar 11, 2013

In all fairness, it is likely writer Joe Casey will expand upon Cooke's backstory in future issues thereby helping to readers uncover what sort of possible relationship there is between his protagonist's desire to be a superhero and sexual fulfillment he finds in this lifestyle. If that is the case, this issue may simply represent the growing pains of figuring how to tell this sort of story. And for this comic to move past being labeled pornographic, it needs to do so and do so quickly. Unfortunately, there is simply is little depth to this first issue to draw readers back in for a second issue"unless it is the promise of a comic that will provide readers with a dose of explicit content in their funny books.

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8.0
Sex Criminals #2

Oct 23, 2013

I think there are enough interesting elements within this series to continue seeing how the different narrative threads will play out. Certainly, it's not a comic for everyone; yet, readers who are looking for an adult-themed comic that is still respectful of readers' intelligence compared to some of the other comics published in the past (and even in the present) which use sex merely to titillate the reader and drive sales will find Sex Criminals shaping up to be a welcome change of pace.

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8.0
Sex Criminals #5

Mar 20, 2014

What a weird, funny comic. From dildo pistols and sex police to pooping in potted plants, this book runs the gamut of unexpected plot devices and characters.

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8.0
Sex Criminals #6

Jun 19, 2014

This issue may not garner Fraction as many laughs as what readers encountered in the first arc, but he is definitely touching on some really thoughtful and interesting topics that many readers will no doubt appreciate.

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8.0
Sex Criminals #7

Aug 14, 2014

Although the colors felt a little undersaturated and overly shaded at times, regular readers will enjoy how this issue is filled with Zdarksy's trademark absurdities (i.e. a dildo-esque homage to Darth Maul's dual-edge lightsaber) and Fraction's witty dialogue.

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10
Shadow Hero #1

Jul 21, 2014

Finally, this book will be especially valuable to comic scholars and historians as it relates to the back matter. Yang includes a brief but detailed analysis of "The Turtle," including information about its creator, Chu Hing, as well as color copies from the first 11-pages of Blazing Comics #1, which covers the first adventure of this groundbreaking – if unpopular and long forgotten - superhero. This is a superb graphic novel where fans and non-fans of the superhero genre alike will find something to enjoy.

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8.0
Skullkickers #25

Mar 27, 2014

Consistent with previous issues, the latest from Skullkickers delivers some laugh-out-loud moments that left this reader more than satisfied by the end of story.

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8.0
Skullkickers #26

Apr 28, 2014

Zub's knack for zingers is on full display here, and it reminds me why this is such a fun title to read.

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7.0
Skullkickers #27

May 29, 2014

Overall, Zub keeps the humor flowing while Huang and Coates' visuals animatedly capture and convey the humorous elements of the story in their typical fashion.

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8.0
Skullkickers #28

Jun 24, 2014

Overall, Skullkickers #28 might not make for a great first issue for new readers, but it does make for a great next-installment for those readers who have been following the current story arc. And it's a rare thing to find a comic that is written well enough to regularly elicit laughs, so I'd certainly recommend new readers in need for a little levity in their reading pick up the this issue along with the previous three installments.

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8.0
Skullkickers #29

Jul 28, 2014

Jim Zub sets aside ample time in this issue to let Eddie Huang and Misty Coates flex their muscles in a multitude of explosive and colorful fight sequences that are just plain fun to read. When combined with Zub's knack for the play-by-play voice over, readers will no doubt encounter that same sort of humor that has helped generate this series' loyal following from the beginning.

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7.0
Skullkickers #30

Aug 14, 2014

I don't know much about Cruz, but given the strength of the different artistic styles on display in this issue, it'd be a shame if we don't see more from him in the future.

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8.0
Skullkickers #31

Mar 26, 2015

This issue of Skullkickers, like those before it, makes a great example of how comics can be just fun and still be completely successful.

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8.0
Something is Killing the Children #1

Sep 6, 2019

Aside from any hiccups with supporting character cast development, this first issue delivers a solid story that fans of Stranger Things will certainly enjoy.

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10
Southern Bastards #2

May 29, 2014

If you like Southern Gothic literature, Southern Bastards #2 is the book for you.

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10
Southern Bastards #3

Jul 7, 2014

Combined with the roughly hewn yet highly emotive style of Jason Latour's art in both line and color, this title is quickly becoming the title that should not be missed for 2014.

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9.0
Southern Bastards #6

Dec 11, 2014

Surely, this origin story is one readers have heard a hundred times over where a scrappy underdog emerges to earn a place on the team and either escape his abusive environment or earn the respect of his hardened parent. However, what makes #6 compelling is the way it serves as Aaron and Latour's response to the question "How do apples rot from the inside out?"

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6.0
Southern Cross #1

Feb 17, 2015

Overall, Southern Cross has two creators who have a proven record of strong storytelling; however, this first issue just seemed to be too bogged down with world-building to build sufficient tension and connect with readers on an emotional level. No doubt, it's the sort of story that will need some time to get its feet firmly established, but once it does, expect Cloonan and Belanger to fully flex their storytelling muscles.

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9.0
Star Wars (2013) #6

Jun 11, 2013

While past issues of this series have challenged Star Wars fans' preconceptions of who Princess Leia was through demonstrating her command presence, fighting prowess, and aptitude in the cockpit, Wood shows readers Leia's ability in this issue to discern when to let others step in and take the lead without brushing her to the side in the process. Needless to say, readers who are enjoying the opportunity to rediscover their love of Star Wars and its cast of characters will not want to miss this issue.

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8.0
Star Wars (2013) #8

Aug 15, 2013

In all, it's a great issue that continues to deliver the type of story that captures the look and feel of the films while still incorporating something fresh and new into the well-known epic.

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9.0
Star Wars (2013) #9

Sep 12, 2013

The art continues to remain consistent and engaging even during the quieter moments of the story, all of which combine to tell an equally engaging story.

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8.0
Strayed #1

Aug 16, 2019

Both Doe and Gioffoni establish a clear conflict, engaging characters, with enough questions in this initial outing to leave readers wondering where the story will go from here " the desired mark for any first issue to hit.

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9.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #7

Jan 2, 2014

It's an unexpected take on the origin story, with some signature zingers along the way, that not only adds depth to his band of misfit supervillains, but will no doubt keep readers thoroughly entertained.

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6.0
Superior Spider-Man #10

May 23, 2013

Ryan Stegman's stylized take on Spider-Man works compliments Dan Slott's "What If" like story. Most readers should recognize the smoke and mirrors of superhero comics Slott employs as a "resurrection" will no doubt come down the line soon enough.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #11

Jun 5, 2013

Longtime readers of superhero comics may recall DC Comics' Batman: Knightquest and Knights End story arcs, which saw Bruce Wayne's replacement, Jean Paul Valley, devolve into a more violent and extreme form of Batman. Jean Paul's war was waged in the name of cleansing Gotham completely of its criminal elements as opposed to Bruce's desire to save and redeem the city he loved. The result was fan outcry over such an unlikeable replacement. By the time Bruce returned to reclaim the mantle of the Bat, the "smoke and mirrors" of his being broken were quickly forgotten because fandom had been prepared by the creative teams to want him back. Reading Superior Spider-Man, it's not hard to see a similar trajectory at work; however, issues like this one show the team behind this title is taking the time to inject some thoughtful elements into their villain-somewhat-turned-hero.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #12

Jun 19, 2013

Overall, fans of the Superior Spider-Man will enjoy issue #12 as it showcases Otto's ability to fight, outthink, and trade quips with a number of supervillains. Fans of The Amazing Spider-Man, however, will no doubt find this issue lacks the soul and moral compass of the lately departed superhero whom they loved.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #13

Jul 11, 2013

Artistically, this issue is fairly strong with detailed line work and dynamic coloring. In terms of the story, there is a twist at the end, but given prior issues, it won't likely come as much of a surprise.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #15

Aug 8, 2013

Ramos' artwork, however, is quite strong and is arguably the most enjoyable aspect of the issue from his various depictions of Hobgoblin to the general expressiveness of the characters. In general, it will be good once this greater story arc has moved onto something different.

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6.0
Superior Spider-Man #25

Jan 16, 2014

Overall, the pacing of this issue felt incredibly rushed. Comics filled with fighting can be a perfectly fine thing; however, there are a number of major beats Slott attempts to hit, and it felt like those elements needed more development.

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6.0
Superior Spider-Man #26

Jan 30, 2014

Superior Spider-Man #26 continues to be a mixed bag: There are elements in it that make it compelling while other aspects feel forced and rushed.

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8.0
Superman (2011) #32

Jun 26, 2014

Ultimately, this issue has the look and feel of a clean start that many readers will appreciate as it revisits classic themes with a few new twists.

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8.0
Superman (2011) #33

Jul 28, 2014

Apart from the contemporary costume design, there is a timeless quality to this story that makes it accessible for Superman fans of any generation.

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7.0
Superman (2011) #36

Dec 1, 2014

Issue #36 won't say anything new to regular readers when it comes to the values Superman espouses and the value he places on free will; however, Johns does strike the right tone and balance for Superman, and he continues to deliver a story those same fans should enjoy for those very same reasons.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #2

Jul 9, 2013

Readers could expect a "slow burn" from Scott Snyder based on Superman Unchained #1, and everything from this issue points to this being the case. And there's also the issues surrounding the mysterious and technologically savvy terrorists from Ascension and what they have in store for Lois Lane. Readers who were still unsure of the direction this new series would take will likely find issue #2 to contain a mixture of familiar narrative elements, as well as some really intriguing new territories to be explored.

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8.0
Superman Unchained #4

Nov 12, 2013

Overall, I think this issue is a pretty good read but it is likely to suffer most simply from having been off newsstands for about two months " which is a long time for new, on-going series. Additionally, I cannot help but feel as though the storylines for Jimmy and Lex as well as Lois and Ascension have progressed faster, if not further, than that of Superman and Wraith in spite of the difference in page count each pairing has had. In truth, if this was written by a writer with whose I was familiar, I would have likely rated this a point lower. However, Snyder has proven in past series that he will take his time in slowly building a story up in order to deliver a powerful conclusion making the wait worth the while.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #5

Jan 2, 2014

Although I missed seeing Lex Luthor, this issue may be the best of the series so far. We finally see Snyder reveal his intent behind juxtaposing Wraith against Superman.

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8.0
The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion #1

Sep 16, 2013

Overall, The Halloween Legion is an unexpectedly fun graphic novel that will remind its readers about why we love the spooky characters we dress up as for Halloween. Well worth checking out.

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10
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #1

Apr 3, 2013

Glass and Oeming burst out of the gate with an issue that is everything fans of the Mice Templar have grown to love about the series: action, heroism, intrigue, and substance. But what makes this first issue especially remarkable is the way in which it still manages to provide a jumping on point for newer readers who have yet to experience the rich and engrossing history this creative team has been slowing building over the years. So for long-time fans or new readers, this issue is going to deliver.

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10
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #2

May 3, 2013

What is most notable about this particular issue is the gut-wrenching scene that plays out in the throne room with Icarus and his subjects. The artistic juxtaposition of the mad king and his queen against his fallen consort and his subjects makes for a scene that will no doubt prove disturbing for readers of the series. Yet, this graphic depiction of depravity is not without context: It not only drives home the notion that it is always darkest before the dawn, but it also carries a kernel of hope that will no doubt begin to grow and spread.

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9.0
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #3

Jun 4, 2013

Some readers might not catch the many literary allusions Glass is making in this issue, and so, the dialogue might feel a little heavily weighted. However, the questions Karic asks at the end of the issue"concerns carried throughout the coming of age story of this young warrior"are ones many readers who've journeyed through adolescence into adulthood have asked and will respond to as they continue on with the series. Mice Templar is simply one of the best series out there for readers interested in high fantasy of epic proportions. But even better than that, it's a wonderful example of how the comics of today are actively engaged in preserving the myths of yesterday in new and exciting ways.

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9.0
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #4

Jul 2, 2013

Finally, we do see Karic's thread progress somewhat as he confronts the fish gods, and from this episode, he gains a slightly greater understanding of both their role in the grand scheme of things as well as some hints as to his fate as well. Although it is a short scene " the first in the issue, actually " it is important as provides a sort of "bookend" to the final panel of the issue. In the same way past volumes of Mice Templar ended with a memorable conflict, it is clear the same can be expected from Vol. 4.

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10
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #6

Aug 14, 2013

In all honesty, I continue to find this series to be one of the best on newsstands every month. Victor Santos and Serena Guerra's artwork is dynamic and does an admirable job of capturing the reader's eye in every panel. There are times in some comics where it is clear the pencils and inks lack detail and rely too heavily on the colorist to help flesh out the rest of the images contained therein. Not so with Mice Templar. Issue #6 is a great example of how this artistic team is truly performing together at their peak.

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10
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #7

Sep 23, 2013

I won't lie: There aren't many comic book series out there that continue to impress me as much as Mice Templar has month to month. Glass, Santos, Guerra and the rest of the creative team behind this series may tell a tale of characters who are small in stature, but make no mistake about it, this is an impressive story they are weaving that is enriched by the emotional conflicts it explores and the many intricate subplots woven into the overall grand narrative of this entry into modern mythology.

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9.0
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #8

Oct 30, 2013

Mice Templar #8 wraps up the first half of the fourth and final volume of the series leaving readers waiting until early spring before the beginning of the end. So for those readers who've been tempted to begin the series but haven't found a good time to jump into this densely packed narrative, now's the perfect time to catch up on your back issues before Karic, Leito, and the rest of the Mice Templar depart on their final journey.

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9.0
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #10

May 21, 2014

I can understand the difficulty newer readers might experience trying to pick up Mice Templar #10. It's a series that does need to be read from the beginning for readers to fully appreciate the events unfolding in this issue. Still, it is well worth readers' time (and dollars) to try and catch up with the previous issues and volumes.

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9.0
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #11

Jun 23, 2014

Fans of Lord of the Rings, King Arthur, and Game of Thrones should already be reading this series. It works in both the familiar tropes and stories of mythology and tradition while still injecting contemporary themes today's readers will readily identify with and appreciate.

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10
The Mice Templar IV: Legend #12

Jul 31, 2014

Although comics that make excessive use of splash pages are often criticized for doing so, this issue gives readers an exciting and innovative reading experience like no other.

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7.0
The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1

Dec 18, 2014

I can't say enough about Cameron Stewart and Nathan Fairbairn's art on this issue: Stewart evokes a look and tone similar to the "Golden Age" of comics, while Fairbairn's colors impart a contemporary finish with his vibrant colors that is pitch-perfect for breathing new life into Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family.

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8.0
The Undertaking of Lily Chen #1

Mar 31, 2014

Archaia rightly deserves credit for the high quality that they put into designing their graphic novels; however, I would argue 01:FirstSecond delivers equally eye-catching book that are just as thoughtfully designed. From the haunting and yet beautiful cover down to the quality of the paper used for both the cover and interior, this is yet another book from 01:FirstSecond that calls out to be read. And rest assured, The Undertaking of Lily Chen delivers a story that is unexpected and satisfying.

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9.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 15, 2014

Overall, it's a compelling crime drama that will no doubt appeal to enthusiastic and even casual fans of the genre.

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10
The United States of Murder Inc. #2

Jun 13, 2014

Overall, this team is bringing readers a new and fresh reading of both historical and fictional events involving the mob that should not be missed by anyone who still finds themselves missing Tony Soprano.

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8.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #3

Jul 10, 2014

Overall, USMI #3 is a fast-paced issue with lots of twists, turns, and unique page layouts, so new readers would do well to be current before wading into this issue.

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9.0
The Valiant #4

Mar 26, 2015

It's safe to say The Valiant delivers on its promise to create an inclusive entry point into Valiant Comics that long-time fans would find just as equally satisfying.

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9.0
The Victories (2013) #1

Apr 30, 2013

While readers will certainly benefit from having read the previous mini-series, they will find this first issue provides more than enough background to follow along with the narrative without feeling confused. Perhaps the one criticism of this book is the amount of exposition present; however, it does help provide a bridge for readers to gain a better understanding of the world initially introduced in the miniseries, so it is not without purpose. Moreover, Oeming avoids pairing his discussion of more philosophical issues with mere talking heads, and instead, aptly pairs visuals that compliment his prose. Fans of superhero comics will find this series aims to provide a more thought-provoking, adult-oriented narrative rather than some of the more commonly applied cheap thrills and melodrama within the genre.

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7.0
The Victories (2013) #3

Jul 8, 2013

Oeming introduces some interesting threads in this issue, and despite some of the disconnect I felt from Metatron, this series could simply be a good example of a "slow burn" build up to what could be a solid story.

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7.0
The Victories (2013) #4

Aug 8, 2013

Oeming and Filardi's art continues to deliver a visceral and animated reading experience, and it's certainly worth sticking around for the final part of this first story arc.

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9.0
The Victories (2013) #5

Sep 4, 2013

The "Transhuman" arc may be complete, but it is clear this is just the set up to a larger storyline for Issue #6 and beyond. Hopefully, Oeming will continue to focus more on providing the type of character study within the future issues of The Victories as he does here given that issues of body image and superheroes failing to answer the call to heroics out of fear are not the subjects of many writers tackle in the comics genre. At the least, I know those are the types of different stories I am most interested in reading, and I suspect others are as well.

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9.0
The Wake #1

May 29, 2013

With recent changes taking place in Vertigo's lineup, it's reassuring to see the imprint is far from losing its creative edge. Snyder and Murphy are certainly aiming to provide readers with a different type of reading experience in The Wake, which begins with a slow build up in this issue but, as seen towards the end of the issue, promises to bring thrills as the story continues.

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10
The Wake #2

Jun 26, 2013

Once again, readers experience "narrative time travel" as we encounter a hunting trip of epic prehistoric proportions in the beginning of the story, while the issue caps off with yet another glimpse into the water-covered world of the future. It could just be me, but it's interesting to note the visual similarities of this female of the future to Lee Archer. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how this futuristic arc connects to the one in the present.

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10
The Wake #3

Jul 31, 2013

The first word that came to mind after finishing Issue #3 of Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's The Wake was "Wow." The story, the art, the delivery " it all comes together to bring readers face to face with a horrifying monster in a seemingly inescapable situation. Although the series has touched upon a variety of different points in time, this issues squarely focuses on Dr. Lee Archer and her involvement with the government's secret underwater operations in the present moment. And it's not a place anyone of them want to be.

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10
The Wake #4

Sep 25, 2013

Honestly, this series is incredibly smart in the story it tells and artistic techniques it uses without coming across as overly dense or impenetrable in any way. While it does get a little graphic in some of the depictions of violence, I never felt it was out of context or a distraction from the story. There's a lesson to be learned here: When creators are cut loose and given the freedom to tell the stories that they think will really push the medium forward, we get comics like The Wake.

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10
The Wake #5

Nov 25, 2013

Characters seem to die in comics only to cheat death and trick readers in a multitude of different ways " it's a hallmark of the medium. Regardless of whether this is or is not the last readers see of Lee Archer, I thought the final scene of Issue No. 5 stood out as an excellent example of how Snyder, Murphy and Hollingsworth are able to treat the (potential) death of a character in a somber and respectful manner even as it leaves readers feeling emotionally drained and weighed down in its wake.

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9.0
The Wake #6

Feb 27, 2014

Readers will no doubt enjoy the art as each page is filled with a number of panels that vary in angle and composition but are always rich in detail " the kind of work that encourages a slow and careful reading.

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9.0
The Wake #8

May 8, 2014

Once again, The Wake strikes that balance of sci-fi, supernatural and thriller genres that will no doubt keep readers coming back for more.

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9.0
The Wake #9

Jun 5, 2014

As Snyder begins to draw this aquatic sci-fi thriller to a close, Issue #9 makes it clear he still has a few more surprises left to deliver.

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10
The Wake #10

Jul 31, 2014

Although it's always disappointing to see a series as well executed as The Wake conclude, it certainly lends itself to multiple re-readings given the complexity of Snyder and Murphy's narrative.

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3.0
The Walking Dead: The Governor Special #1

Feb 19, 2013

But unless diehard fans are absolutely for craving new material about this popular persona, it would be best to wait and see if a collected edition provides readers with only the new, original material and forgoes the reprinted pages, which do not really help provide any added insight into this enigmatic villain. And for fans of the television series looking to make the jump to the comics: Go find a copy of volume one of the collected trade paperback or the first compendium and start at the beginning. If you enjoy the show, you will appreciate the full story over the morsels offered in this issue.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #2

Jul 17, 2014

Readers who fell in love with the first issue will have already bought #2, but for those like myself who were more reticent about giving it a go, it looks like this series may just live up to the hype after all.

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7.0
The Wicked + The Divine #4

Sep 18, 2014

Without a doubt, artists Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson deliver an exceptionally polished comic that makes some bold decisions with character design and otherworldly colors that pop off the page. Unfortunately, some of the key characters in this issue just felt flat.

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8.0
The Woods #1

May 8, 2014

I found this comic seemed to be setting up a Hunger Games-esque narrative with a group of teens fighting for survival in a strange setting, but there are more than enough differences that make this a fresh, new story.

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6.0
The Woods #2

Jun 5, 2014

Hopefully, the story can break from overly worn clichs and focus more on exploring its interesting premise.

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8.0
Trees #1

May 29, 2014

There is a lot of ground Warren Ellis has to cover in this first issue, and time is short as he introduces readers to a number of different characters and plot threads in a world where massive, column-like aliens have landed on Earth. Readers don't get enough about these characters to be fully invested in them yet, but there is enough to pique one's curiosity.

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7.0
Trees #2

Jun 24, 2014

Overall, I think many readers will leave Trees #2 hoping to have learned a little more about the Trees themselves. There is a tension Ellis creates between the limited serialized format and his desire to introduce readers to over half a dozen locales in just two standard-sized issues that may leave readers feeling less invested in the characters " with the exception of Marsh " than they might otherwise be. Still, fans of dystopian fiction and/or Ellis' past work will certainly want to continue following along to see where he takes this narrative. He is clearly and deliberately taking his time to establish this world, and I'm still curious to see what direction he's going to take this story. And certainly, fans of Howard will no doubt enjoy seeing him branch out and expand his artistic repertoire.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #24

Jun 24, 2014

While I felt only a touch disappointed the villain was only useful as a plot device, I felt like this story got readers back into the character-driven storytelling from before the "United We Stand" crossovers that make this series worth following.

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8.0
Uncanny Skullkickers #1

Feb 26, 2013

It's also worth pointing out that this issue provides readers with a look "behind the curtain," so to speak as Zub includes a four-page selection from the script for this issue along with notes explaining elements of the script in addition to running commentary explaining, in part, his creative process. While that creative process often differs from one creator to the next, it's clear this is one that helped land Zub a number of successes in comics, and there is plenty within this "bonus content" section that up-and-coming creators will likely find of interest.

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9.0
Unity #1

Nov 12, 2013

Overall, I was impressed with the way in which this creative team was able to deliver solid, stand-alone comic using characters who have already begun re-establishing themselves in this universe. Moreover, I couldn't help but notice that this issue continued to deliver page after page of quality content as Unity #1 delivers an approximate 36 pages of solid story for the same price that many other publishers charge for only 22 pages " not a bad way to sweeten the deal. It also doesn't hurt that some of those pages include a short story from Robert Venditti and the artistic powerhouse Cary Nord (whose approach to the art in this story is both simple and yet exceptional) at the very end. So if you are someone who loves superhero comics or looking to try one out that is making itself open to new readers, Unity #1 is one title that shows a lot of promise.

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9.0
Unity #2

Dec 16, 2013

Is this issue worth the price of admission? Definitely. We are given just enough information about each character to avoid any confusion, but we are still left wanting for more. For example, Livewire is a loyal friend / subordinate to Harada, but there is a history of their having come to odds with one another that is briefly mentioned. Given what we see on the final splash page then, it would be hard to imagine not rushing to pick up issue #3 to find out what direction she will take. Once again, Valiant continues to deliver a solid storyline that newer readers can get behind without having to purchase multiple issues to enjoy one complete story.

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10
Unity #3

Jan 15, 2014

While I'm aware Valiant maintains a shared universe, the team behind Unity is doing a great job of delivering a series that stands on its own. Moreover, the global stage upon which these players move and counter-move has certainly made for a thoughtful and engaging opening salvo. It also looks as though Kindt is setting up the members of Unity for a second, and possibly greater conflict, that will deal with issues of utilitarianism, the centralization of power, and personal betrayal.

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8.0
Unity #10

Aug 14, 2014

Although readers will need to be following the main crossover for all of these elements to make sense, it's an issue that's well worth adding to the pile for any Valiant reader.

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8.0
Vertigo Quarterly: Black #1

Jan 29, 2015

With its mix of indie-styled stories from both new and established creators, I sincerely hope we see more of this from Vertigo.

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6.0
Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta #1

Aug 4, 2014

Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta (Published by Vertigo Comics; Review by Forrest C. Helvie; 'Rama Rating: 6 out of 10): Although the "ideas" behind each of the nine short stories in this anthology hold a lot of potential, the content varies widely in terms of the execution of the storytelling in both the written and visual storytelling aspects. The standouts were easily Jody Houser and Nathan Fox's brilliant "Adrift," which tells the story of a Barbie-like doll coaching its owner's sister through the loss of her grandmother, and Ryan Lindsay and Tommy Lee Edwards' boxing noir story "Gloves" that feels similar to how Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli might have envisioned Battlin' Jack Murdock's revenge on his murderers. Other stories, however, were less successful due to unpolished artwork that did not convey story (plot or character emotion) in a clear manner or they were over-designed to a point where the panels felt static. While the

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8.0
Wolf Moon #1

Dec 4, 2014

It's a visually exciting issue that will no doubt find many readers more than game for following Dillon Chase as he continues to hunt down the monster that killed his family " and many others in this issue. Although there were a few moments in the dialogue that felt a bit melodramatic, high marks go to Bunn for a truly creative take on what think we know of werewolves especially as it relates to the cause of lycanthropy.

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4.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #38

Jan 22, 2015

With its unfocused story and incongruent art, readers may be better served waiting this one out.

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9.0
Wytches #1

Oct 7, 2014

Overall, this issue does a number of things well from introducing readers to characters who "feel real" and are sympathetic to playing upon both the fears of the reader in addition to drawing upon our collective knowledge of the terrible things mankind is capable of doing to one another without the use of infernal powers. In all, Wytches #1 is off to a strong start, and like many Image firsts, it's compelling narrative and visual appeal will make it an immediate fan-favorite.

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9.0
Wytches #3

Dec 18, 2014

Jock is typically an artist who is known for his strong, evocative line work; however, it is Matt Hollingsworth's water color splash effects that creative an almost impressionistic visual experience that drives home the tone and mood in Scott Snyder's haunted world.

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9.0
Wytches #5

Mar 26, 2015

You know that feeling at the base of your spine that crawls up your neck late at night while walking alone in the dark? Capture it and put it down in print and you have Wytches #5.

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4.0
Year of the Villain: Joker #1

Oct 10, 2019

Ultimately, the story itself fails to make a case to readers for why it matters as we gain no new insights into Joker, and we don't really see him push the Year of the Villain forward in any way.

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7.0
Year of the Villain: Black Mask #1

Aug 23, 2019

This first issue does a few things well while not completely sticking the landing.

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