Grant Raycroft's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Geeked Out Nation Reviews: 83
7.5Avg. Review Rating

8.4
A-Force #3

Aug 14, 2015

A-Force #3 is where the series drama ramps up. With the defenders of Arcadia facing down the wrath of God, She Hulk shows why she's the leader of this team. Bennett and Wilson create a compelling drama that never loses drama, but it's the art that makes this enterprise. Molina, Yeung, and Martin are a stunning team that creates a rich and vibrant issue. Molina is slated as the artist for when A-Force leaves Secret Wars but I'm really hoping the rest of the team stays on, they're a knock out.

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7.9
Action Comics (2016) #957

Jun 8, 2016

Action Comics #957 gets the ball rolling on its first arc and makes it an exception to Superman: Rebirth's dull affair. Dan Jurgens has the potential to do an interesting take on the Death of Superman (something that story fell short of). It still suffers from leaving awkward unanswered questions like what happened to the New 52 Superman and that doesn't play well when surprising plot twists happen and the reader isn't sure whether this is something they should be aware of or not. Patrick Zircher, though far from the most expressive artist is fantastic in technical design and perspective. Tomeu Morey backs him up on colors. I'm still not certain what to make of this series as of yet, it seems to be rushing into its story far too quickly but I'm far more intrigued with this than I was with last week's Superman.

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7.5
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1

Jun 4, 2015

This comic does push the limits on what can or can't be a comic. While the idea of an entirely silent story is daring, one has to wonder if it could have worked without resorting to the instantly geek satisfying venue of dinosaurs. If these books followed say, a grizzly bear, it might not be as pleasing to read.

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9.2
Airboy #1

Jun 3, 2015

Collaborator and costar is artist Greg Hinkle. As James in the story states, Hinkle is an offbeat find to give this book the proper offbeat look it needs. His pencils and inks convey a simple modernity and plainness which contrasts greatly with the issue's nastier scenes. One page transition in particular makes the reader have to lean back when Hinkle throws an amazing, jarring cut-to-scene. There is inventive use of panels and environmental framing. One instance in particular is the montage of James and Greg hopping between bars and increasing their drug intact as a man, not entirely meant to be understood montage that's literally askew. Hinkle utilizes colors to great effect, sticking to a limited pallet much like Dark Horse's Ei8ht which helps transitions scenes, tones, and locations eloquently.

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8.6
Airboy #4

Nov 15, 2015

Trying to define Airboy is difficult. There's nothing quite like it coming out of the major publishers. It's one of those books that blurs the line between fiction in non-fiction as it stars its own writer and artist and focuses on James and James Robinsons' inner demons and fear of fading stardom. It's beyond refreshing to have a book where big name comics creative use their medium to look in on themselves and I'd like to think that draws the medium closer to the artistic and academic respect it's long deserved. While Airboy isn't for everyone, especially given the controversial second issue, it's one of the most unique books of the year.

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6.5
All-New Wolverine #8

May 21, 2016

I apologize for coming off a bit mean on the artists as I've diverted more attention to the what seems to be the series direction, simply put I'm not a fan of where All-New Wolverine appears to be going. The creative team has enough good work on their hands to make concerns minimal, but this new issue lacks the weight of earlier entries. The "Road to Civil War II" banner doesn't help things either. I hope this book is an engaging ride but if All-New Wolverine plans to become like many of Marvel's other books that are made carefree for what seems to be the only way to get new readers, I might have to drop it and I honestly don't want to do that.

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5.2
Aquaman (2011) #42

Jul 23, 2015

Aquaman #42 is a number of missed opportunities. It tries to do something different, but what it gets is something far too similar to a number of other books. The rogue hero on the run is nothing special. The "then/now" narrative has been used countless times (Superboy, Batwoman, Captain Marvel, Wolverine, and Justice League United to name a few) and rarely does it elevate the story. McCarthy provides some interesting layouts, particularly in his two-page spreads and boasts from fun sea creature designs, but it's not enough to patch the other holes in Aquaman's story.

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8
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Jun 8, 2016

Aquaman: Rebirth might be the best Rebirth one shot mechanically. It's a solid introduction to Aquaman's life and the struggles therein. It's lax on strong character beats, which is a shame given Aquaman and Mera tend to have brilliant on panel interaction. The different art teams for this issue is somewhat odd since neither style is remotely similar. I fear it might suffer from what the new run on Batman is likely going to have with serious artistic whiplash between the biweekly issues. This issue does a good reminder on why Aquaman is a character brimming with potential and complexity far beyond lame jokes based on the Super Friends cartoon.

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8.5
Armor Wars #1

Jun 4, 2015

With James Robinson at the helm with artist Marcio Takara, Armor Wars presents a compelling and shockingly more true to form science fiction yarn.

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9.3
Astro City (2013) #26

Aug 21, 2015

Astro City is a book deserving of its clout. It explores the sides of superhero comics than most publishers will simply gloss because they think it won't make for good drama for fit nicely in a trade paperback. Yet through the darkness of early Image Comics, countless superhero reboots and retcons, and publishers chasing sale trends, Astro City has always found a home and I feel lucky to find it to be a part of this anniversary. Happy times Astro City, with many more to come!

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8.4
Astro City (2013) #35

May 21, 2016

Astro City #35 is another solid return of the series' classic characters, adding some much-needed depth to Jack-in-the-Box and potential for a highly captivating mystery.

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4.8
Bat-Mite #1

Jun 4, 2015

Pencils and inks are handed by Cornin Howell and Andres Ponce with colors from Mike Atiyeh. Their artwork is good, invoking an appropriate Looney Tunes appeal. Bat-Mite stands out amides the crowd as everyone else has normal proportions, he looks like a goofy bobble head come to life. He's expressive and rich with personality thanks to body language. There's some quality character injected into the two evil plastic surgeons which saves them from becoming semi-stock characters. That goes double for the lesser henchwoman. The backgrounds and settings are basic but do shine when needed to. It's appropriate for a children's book.

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7.7
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Aug 27, 2016

As is fairly obvious, I'm picky about Jaime Reyes as a character to an acute degree. I was scared to give my hopes up about Blue Beetle: Rebirth and still am. However, this was the first time in far too long I've had this much confidence in a series exclusively about Blue Beetle. The series retains familiar elements but takes them in a wholly different direction. Giffen has a solid grasp on the basics of Jaime Reyes and his supporting cast and the unique chemistry that made them work. Scott Kolins has stepped up his game for this property and done things I never thought possible. Romulo Fajardo Jr. is doing some of his best work of this year, and that is saying something. There are some notable faults but they're minor and partly the result of being a Rebirth issue and the shaky introduction. I was probably going to be adding this to my pull list regardless, but now I'm doing so in good faith.

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7.2
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Jul 16, 2015

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders aims high but comes up a little short. The heroes are a breath of fresh air. Faiza Hussain particularly is a character who really deserves to be pushed to the frontlines of the Marvel lineup. The story has some great ideas but has to cram them all together alongside the conflict with Mondo City. The art by Alan Davis is good but doesn't really stand out save for a few panels. If this book had been given the five issue treatment like its fellow Secret Wars tie-ins, it could have been a classic. Still, it features a fantastic cast who finally get their time in the limelight.

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8.4
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2

Aug 22, 2015

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 is a comic with such raw enthusiasm that the rushed and unbalanced story is easy to overlook. Does it tie things up a bit too nicely? Certainly, but it's better than a number of other Secret Wars tie ins. The Marvel universe would greatly benefit from dropping these characters into the All-New All-Different line up, I mean they can somehow fit in Old Man Logan so why not these five?

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8.3
Citizen Jack #1

Nov 6, 2015

Citizen Jack falls alongside the lineup of clever political comics coming out this year. While it's not up to snuff with the millennial angst of Prez, it's still a fine book that has countless interesting directions to go.

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7
Dark Days: The Casting #1

Aug 15, 2018

Most of the issue is punctuated with Grant Morrision-esque vague-speak while tying together its universe's many loose-ends. Snyder in particularly has been breaking Batman out of his mold into some really weird new directions and I hope that trend continues into Metal. However, the book is priced high and this two-parter is again mostly a lengthy trailer for a different story. Check it out if that's your thing.

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8.6
DC Comics: Bombshells #1

Aug 15, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells is what happens when you take a simple idea and blow it up into a complex and novel tale. Marguerite Bennett and Sauvage take the glorified World War II aesthetic and make into a larger story beyond the American-centric Band of Brothers spark notes version, focusing on numerous sides of this conflict and giving it historical weight. This is the best kind of book one could hope for based on a simple toy line and it's great that they've pulled it off.

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7.4
Descender #4

Jun 14, 2015

Descender begins to find its place. With most of the cast properly established, this book is starting to become an intriguing science fiction adventure. Lemire builds a good cast, albeit with a bad egg or two but the real star is the fantastic artwork by Dustin Nguyen. When it works, it really works.

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7.3
Doctor Fate #1

Jun 18, 2015

While lumpy in the opening act, Doctor Fate is a book with a lot of promise. The creative team is spot on and has a lot of amazing things in the cooker. The artwork is enticing and rich, the sort of thing that feels very safe in the hands of new readers and there's a lot to draw upon. With luck, this could be one of the best new books of the DCYou.

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7.4
Doctor Fate #3

Aug 21, 2015

Doctor Fate might not be the knock out DCYou book a kin to Prez, Omega Men, or Secret Six but it's still a good read. It's nice to see Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew collaborate as writers and one does get a unique blend of their insight that's not seen in many DC or Marvel Comics. Though there's some missing chemistry to this title, I think it has many places where it can go and I hope it does. Seeing Khalid's path as a man of both reason and mysticism has immense potential.

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7.6
Doctor Fate #7

Dec 31, 2015

Doctor Fate #7 is a notable improvement to the series status quo as it finally starts edging toward a grander scope. It suffers from many of the same problems it's always had but the slow burn is one in the right direction.

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7.6
Doctor Who: Four Doctors #1

Aug 12, 2015

Doctor Who: Four Doctors is a very promising crossover from seasoned talent that is deeply in love with the source material. Though the first half is very much like jumping into running water, once things hit a simple beat the book is a fairly simple read. It's great to see Paul Cornell back at the wheel of Doctor Who and Edwards gives the book a grounded though still exciting high concept science fiction life. This mini-series is a tough sell to even the more devoted Doctor Who fans but I think set up for a fun adventure.

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7
Doctor Who: Four Doctors #3

Aug 26, 2015

Doctor Who: Four Doctors #3 is by far the weakest entry in this series but that doesn't leave out chance of a great comeback. The issue is trying to do a lot in a short amount of time and would probably have benefitted from being stretched into two parts. While parts of Cornell's signature dialogue shine through, there's such a rush to the finish line it cuts out time with the companions and a last page reveal that could have used more build up. The artwork is good as ever as Neil Edwards and Ivan Nunes have a quality look to this book that covers everything from small moments to epic space battles. The creative team on this event warrants at least one more issue before a final verdict but be warned, it's a bumpy ride.

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7.3
Doctor Who: Four Doctors #5

Sep 27, 2015

Doctor Who: Four Doctors #5 is an awkward issue that may put many off. It's a fun enough conclusion to Titan Comics' crossover but the project seemed too ambitious for just five issues. There's references to Doctor Who's lore scattered throughout, alternate timelines, and all sorts of strangeness that has made the series so endearing but the story struggles to cram it all in. Neil Edward's artwork is hit or miss, most of it coming through strong, fortunately, and the color work by Ivan Nunes is grand.

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3.7
Earth 2: Society #1

Jun 11, 2015

Earth 2 Society is in a sorry state. It's led by the worst elements of Earth 2 World's End. Dick Grayson does not make for a unique protagonists and this issue doesn't sell him as a lead. The artwork is sloppy to the point it risks breaking the narrative. With DC's goal to diversity its output, it's a shame to see this diverse cast be sidelined for another Batman.

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6.9
Ei8ht #5

Jun 17, 2015

The ending issue of Ei8ht as it stands leaves a bit to be desired. There's clearly more in the works, as this is not the end of Tune 8's adaptation and hopefully the series will continue to be translated into English because as it is, Ei8ht has remarkable potential to be a dream patchwork of awesome pulp concepts. This issue feels less like the conclusion to a story as much as one that will pay off in hopeful future ones

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7.9
From Under Mountains #1

Oct 4, 2015

From Under Mountains #1 is an interesting new series. While not the most reader friendly and certainly decompressed than most other books, I'm interested to see where this series is going. It's exciting to see the new paths of high fantasy being carved out in the comic book world and this is another captivating installment.

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8.8
Future Quest #1

May 18, 2016

Future Quest has an impressive task set before it, trying to combine together handfuls of obscure cartoon characters from the library of Hanna-Barbera into a functioning universe. The task is feels very similar to the initial birth of the DC and Marvel superhero universes in mashing together characters of diversely different backgrounds and inspiration to see what fun can be had. Though fairly simple on plot, its rewarding to see such an upbeat book that's full of energy and glee of its own existence. The series scratches a particular itch I've been looking for the amid the constantly rebooting DC Universe and ever renumbering Marvel line, a straightforward, no no nonsense, and completely childlike passion project that's too cool to be cool.

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7.3
Ghost Racers #1

Jun 12, 2015

Ghost Racers is a fun, heavy metal book about magic powered super cars ripping themselves apart. This is a proper send off to Smith's All-New Ghost Rider: a kinetic, fast, and furious book where people drive angry. It's a great distraction with simple yet delivering artwork with a slimy underbelly that a proper yarn of the Spirit of Vengeance deserves.

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7.8
Ghost Racers #3

Aug 16, 2015

Ghost Racers #3 is a turning point for this series as Robbie now must face the runners of the Ghost Races head on while locking horns with his fellow speedsters. The issue reads like a special issue of Felipe Smith's shortly lived All-New Ghost Rider, putting Robbie and Eli's connection to the center of conflict. Juan Gedeon and Tamra Bonvillian as always fill every issue with invention and madness. I wasn't expecting to like Ghost Rider so much this year but here you have it.

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7.8
Godzilla in Hell #2

Aug 30, 2015

Short on plot, character, and story, Godzilla in Hell #2 makes up for it's off the bat short comings by capturing the essence of what makes giant monsters so horrifying and grand, truly terrible lizards if there were any. This is a book to pick up for its artwork as Bob Eggleton is a master at his craft depicting these titans. This miniseries by it's very nature is a paradox. A character study of one of cinema's most speechless characters, an drama playing out between creatures typically portrayed by men in hot uncomfortable costumes but it captures what makes Godzilla such an endearing stable of pop culture.

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4.6
Godzilla: Oblivion #1

Apr 2, 2016

Godzilla: Oblivion #1 is a one of the saddest types of books, where creative people are at the helm but there's simply no spark. It's a special disappointment given the that was inventiveness on display on the Godzilla in Hell miniseries. It wouldn't be a surprise if this series turns around next month or two but so far I'd recommend skipping it or waiting for the series to be over.

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6.6
Green Arrow (2011) #43

Aug 16, 2015

Green Arrow #43 is a mixed bag. There's a lot of interesting ideas at work but very few of them come through. Writer Benjamin Percy wants to make a hard biting emerald archer book with social commentary but needs time to grow his teeth. Artist Patrick Zircher and colorist Gabe Etlaeb give a satisfying performance, even if they do some strange things design wise for the Panopticons. I want to like this book more than I do, as I can see compelling things brewing on the surface but they've yet to appear.

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7.8
Green Lantern (2011) #43

Aug 5, 2015

Green Lantern #43 continues the new trends of DC's cosmic line up. Venditti creates an excellent character drama with this rag-tag cast, Van Sciver comes back to Green Lantern better than ever before, and Alex Sinclair struts his stuff. This is a very satisfying issue.

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8.1
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #1

Jun 25, 2015

While definitely not a book for new readers, Green Lantern: Lost Army promises a compelling mystery and an intriguing cast. It's got good action and solid character from John Stewart, though a bit skim on the rest of the crew but the artwork is great. Definitely worth picking up.

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8.3
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #3

Aug 23, 2015

Green Lantern: Lost Army is one of the best books of DC's cosmic line up. It has a good mystery, compelling drama, and a great character showcase. Cullen Bunn boasts his typical jack of all trades with what is at its core a military story. Jesus Saiz remains one of the best Green Lantern artists in a long time and deserves an ongoing in this type of setting. Lost Army is exciting and comes well recommended.

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7.9
Grizzly Shark #1

Apr 7, 2016

Grizzlyshark #1 isn't the most necessary book on the market but it knows what it wants to be and executes that without fail. This is mostly Ryan Ottley's creation and the singular vision shines through. It's a book full of blood and sleaze, like it might have come from the minds of a Troma writer. The artwork matches the tone perfectly and Ivan Plascencia does masterful work on colors. Still it's primarily fluff and humor which varies between readers but if it's up your alley you should check it out.

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8.3
Harrow County #2

Jun 13, 2015

Harrow County is easily becoming a must read comic. It's not often I find myself digging a horror book, but this one has me hooked. Bunn and Crook create such a domestic and creepy setting full of unsettling darkness and dread. It's hard to find such an inspired series.

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7.6
Harrow County #4

Aug 12, 2015

Harrow County #4 is a stumble in this series' stride but still a worthwhile read. Cullen Bunn expands this small horror comic into new and exciting territory. What fate has in store for Emmy and her neighbors cannot come soon enough. Tyler Crook is as ever on point, his artwork is less awe inspiring as in previous issues, mostly due to the use of multiple interior shots but he remains a master at his craft.

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8
Harrow County #7

Nov 15, 2015

Harrow County is in a very strange period as it shifts from being a more traditional old school horror story into something more contemporary in concept alone. While this risks its unique horror status, the setting and set-pieces available will make future issues a blast. I for one have enough faith in this book to keep on reading.

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8
Harrow County #9

Feb 10, 2016

Harrow County #9 is a departure from the series formula and casts a light on the book's silent player. It's delightful and haunting, the right mix for this book. Carla Speed McNeil and Jenn Manley Lee are enjoyable as guest artist who help break up the pace in a delightful way. Hopefully there will be more issues to come which shed light (or more likely darkness) at the unexplored corners of Harrow County.

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6.8
Hellbreak #3

May 28, 2015

The book's art is handled by Brian Churilla. He does an impressive job making Hell a tangible yet alien world. The inhabitants and landscape of “Hellbreak” are bizarre and warped. It feels like walking through the insides of a disgusting overgrown abomination without losing the sense that it is a very real location which the heroes interact with. The members of Orpheus Team look like world weary people. They resemble people on the street in place of glorified heroes. Some things must be said about Dave Stewart's use of colors. While this book is dominated by mostly washed out tones, it makes the bright and vibrant colors all the more striking. Be it ghostly children trapped in the Pit, the maws of hell hounds, and portals between the realms of the living and the dead, if it weren't for moments like these the art wouldn't be nearly as memorable.

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8.5
Justice League United #12

Aug 13, 2015

If I hesitate to call Justice League United the best book of the DCYou, it's only because a lot of tough competition but JLU is by far the most enthusiastic take on DC's roster of heroes that doesn't need a punk rock or quasi-ironic make over. The "Everyone but Kitchen Sink Man" approach might not work perfectly in execution but gets a lot of points for trying. Parker has an infectious love for the thrill and adventure of capes and costumes and though Foreman maybe a strange choice for artist, he makes the book his own. He's trying and it will be great when he masters the craft. It's hard to tell how JLU plans to handle its art team but hopefully Foreman will return to these heroes. Justice League United is one of the most refreshing and true to form superhero books on the shelves.

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7.3
Justice League United #13

Sep 10, 2015

One of the hardest things to admit about Justice League United is that it's a book with very high aspirations and often doesn't meet them. It's still a fun romp that uses its place as part of a larger interconnected superhero universe far better than a lot of ongoing books. Jeff Parker delivers a great cast of fan favorites and Paul Pelletier has fun playing with them, but minor art details suck the fun out and make it less of what it could be. Though this seems negative, the enthusiasm behind this book is infectious and with what else awaits for the Justice League in this warzone it'd be a loss to pass this up.

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7.4
Justice League United #16

Dec 18, 2015

Justice League United doesn't end on a high note, and strides to the finish as what it's always been, a comic with high aspirations it never quite realizes but is full of heart and a fearless confidence for experimentation. Jeff Parker fleshes out the Justice League member Alanna Strange who at this point deserves better exploration in the DC universe. Her adventures with Adam have the potential to reach the same fan devotion of Aquaman and Mera. Foreman is the real star of this issue, for better or worse, exploring a far more cartoon inspired style that at times feels more in place on a single panel political comic and Hi-Fi brings the expected level of quality colors to this book. Befitting this run, It's a tough sell to most casual superhero fans but an interesting take on the DC's most prominent superhero team.

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7.8
Justice League: Rebirth #1

Jul 10, 2016

Justice League Rebirth #1 is a very by the numbers but enjoyable superhero book. It introduces the new team members well, introduces a new world-threatening foe, and aims for a more humble approach to the biggest superhero team in the DC Universe.

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6.9
Kennel Block Blues #1

Feb 4, 2016

Kennel Block Blues #1 is a strange animal. The creative team makes a bizarre world of humanoid pets trapped in their equivalent of a prison and it's uncertain if certain choices cage them up. Ryan Ferrier tries some original ideas with its central character, Oliver, but most of it reads like a typical prison story. The artwork by Daniel Bayliss and Adam Metcalfe are what save this endeavor, creating an ever-changing landscape that swaps between tactile and cartoonish. Maybe this type of mash-up is better suited for someone else. It's nothing short of an off-the-wall concept that makes for good conversation that is open to a lot of interesting ideas, but the first issue has several light stumbles out the gate.

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8.2
Klaus #1

Nov 4, 2015

Christmas may be the most over marketed and over hyped holiday on the calendar but there's no doubt that Klaus is something new and fun. It's a matured Christmas story that doesn't need to be bitter sweet nostalgia or annoyingly meta and ironic about itself. Instead Grant Morrison and Dan Mora have a fun time trying to make a superficially mature origin for Santa Claus where all the players function along the same moral guidelines of cartoon villains, so much it's going to be surprising if Klaus doesn't have to rescue some poor baby's stolen candy. Mora does a fine job in this medieval fantasy setting and shows fantastic potential when magical powers start to play a bigger role. Klaus is a weird but fun distraction for the drawn out holiday season and curious enough to warrant recommendation.

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6.7
Lobo #7

Jun 6, 2015

The art and colors are handled by Cliff Richards and Michael Atiyeh. Richards has a good look to this book. He draws plenty of aliens that are inventive, even when serving as background dcor. His interiors tend to be a bit sparse but makes up for it in blood, guts, and bones. Lobo is not a book that should have mediocre gore and this book serves it well. Atiyeh's colors are also a pleasure. While blues tend to dominate, it's a step above the harsh reds that tend to come expected in some superhero books. Atiyeh sets an appropriately dark and shady tone without blotting out the characters and serves its purpose well.

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2
Lobo #9

Aug 7, 2015

Everyone involved in this endeavor should be smarter than this. They're all talented people but for some reason this slipped by and that is inexcusable. For that reason, this issue gets a zero. All of the artwork and writing in the world does not get credit for contributing to this issue. Everyone in the process of making this issue let the first scene be a vile rape scene, they all failed to realize it and for that reason, this comic gets a fail.

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3
Lone Wolf 2100 #1

Jan 10, 2016

I feel bad trying to talk about Chasing the Setting Sun. It's not bad in any way that's engaging to the senses. It's so vacuous and uninteresting, any comment I can make about it feels like I'm giving the thing too much credit. It's like trying to do an in depth analysis on the flavor of white bread. What's sad most of all is that there are so many interesting things one could have done with a science fiction take on a samurai manga. There's no rule something simple can't be compelling. Star Wars is at its core a retread of the over used Hero's Journey and break box office records. This is just dull.

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5.9
Martian Manhunter (2015) #1

Jun 19, 2015

Martian Manhunter is a book that aims high but doesn't quite hit its target. It has interesting ideas but a sporadic story that jumps between so many locations it forgets to feature much of Martian Manhunter. There's little to tether events together and it comes out on the ugly side. Still, the art is enjoyable and inventive which is what a book like this needs.

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8.8
Monstress #1

Nov 4, 2015

Monstress #1 is a wholly unique book, drawing from Chinese and Japanese influences which make it stand out among the traditional Euro-themed clutter. Marjorie Liu creates a dark and dangerous world full of mystery and mysticism that in lesser hands would fall apart but here stands tall. Sana Takeda is truly impressive. If Monsteress maintains a monthly release schedule, she'll deserve an award for such immaculate quality. The series is setting out for a very, very dark tone but if it's for you, it comes highly recommended.

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5.1
Mulan: Revelations #2

Jul 30, 2015

Mulan Revelations is a book I wish I could like more. It has an army of fun ideas that all should come together for an action packed sci-fi romp but fail to coalesce. The story is rapid fire with little chance to slow down or be memorable with the main saving grace being Micah Kaneshiro's amazing artwork. This book is a good distraction, especially with a somewhat empty release week, but only for maybe five minutes

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7.2
Nameless #4

Jun 10, 2015

Nameless continues to be a book that falls short of so much potential. It's a decent enough read but is shockingly tame for something by Grant Morrison. The art of Chris Burnham and colors by Nathan Fairbairn are the highlight of this book as the two excel in their craft.

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7.3
Omega Men #1

Jun 4, 2015

This issue is drawn by Barnaby Bagenda and colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr. Bagenda's style is somewhat blocky and he has some problems telling exactly where certain locations are supposed to be. However he creates some rather moody splash pages. The book has a rather strict three by three panel layout that makes it different from a lot of other books. Fajardo's colors are interesting though they tend to be too much on the red and orange side and they don't always work. It risks looking like some of the lesser books from the New 52's early days.

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8.4
Omega Men #3

Aug 6, 2015

Omega Men will likely not last long given how off beat and strange it is compared to the rest of the DC Comics universe which is all the more reason to pick it up while it's still here. Issue three is what elevates this series beyond a compelling conspiracy series into a book with fascinating characters and an amazing last page mic drop. Well worth reading.

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8.7
Omega Men #6

Nov 27, 2015

The Omega Men continues to be one of the best new parts of the DCYou line. It creates a story that feels so unforgiving it's hard to imagine one of the Big Two ever daring to do it, especially when Kyle Rayner, a major staple of the Green Lantern franchise, is chucked around like a rag doll. It's hard to find books that really capture the time they were made in. The Omega Men shows the madness involved with crises of faith and militarized oppression. The heroes, if they could even be called such, are not the most likeable or sympathetic but they're without a doubt the lesser evil compare to the government they're fighting. There's very few comics that leave one anticipating the next instalment.

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7.9
Over The Garden Wall: Special #1

Aug 30, 2015

Over the Garden Wall #1 is a book that comes right from the source. It's written by the series creator Phil McHale and drawn by series writer and storyboard artist Jim Campbell and reads very much like a lesser episode of the show. It doesn't have the harsh realizations that make the cartoon's high points, but is still compelling and makes the reader uneasy. It's by far one of the truest adaptations of any intellectual property in recent memory and any fan of the series will appreciate it.

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7.3
Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift #1

Nov 5, 2015

Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift feeds a starved Pacific Rim fan. While it's difficult to capture the simple but smart nature of its film, the comic tries and highlights a lesser known jaeger crew. Joshua Fialkov makes good use of the material and makes Duc and Kaori a compelling team. Marcos Marz makes jaeger fights compelling, and Marcelo Maiolo delivers with solid colors. While Pacific Rim still struggles to get the recognition it deserves, this is a worthwhile addition for any fan of the franchise.

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8.6
Prez #1

Jun 18, 2015

Prez is something like lightning in a bottle. As the American presidential race heats up, this book is astoundingly well timed with smart humor and commentary on not just the US campaign culture but how it turns into the same game of trend chasing that defines social media and subscription farming. It's snarp without deprecating, and a blast to read.

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8.4
Robocop (2014) #12

Jun 10, 2015

The art by Amancay Naheulpan has been a solid start to finish. His pencils and inks give a gritty yet refined look to the run down slums of Detroit. However he truly shines this issue in the opening three fold standoff. It features the series' typical double page spread which is expertly composited along with book ending pages that are laid out brilliantly. The book has satisfying gore (for what little is to be had) and Naheulpan rings some inspired character beats with great faces and body language. That being said, at times figures can be awkward, not to mention the design of certain areas, causing objects to change in size and place between panels. It's nothing serious but it is more notable here than in other comics. Still, it's hard to imagine someone capturing the world of Robocop so well as Naheulpan has, his artwork will be sorely missed.

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7
Secret Six (2014) #3

Jun 21, 2015

Secret Six's launch has been awkward but this issue serves as a great introduction to the team and ends with a solid cliffhanger. It sells the Six as a cast with great chemistry and a good introduction for new fans. Dale Eaglesham brings a suitable look to this issue without going overboard. Solid entry all around.

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8.8
Silver Surfer (2016) #1

Jan 21, 2016

Silver Surfer #1 is a fantastically mellow comic for the overly hyped All-New All-Different Marvel line up. Zigging where most of its contemporaries zag, Slott ditches the hectic life of the Amazing Spider-Man for a family getting together and watching the Wizard of Oz while the Allreds churn out fantastic after fantastic idea with a great sense of care free adventure. It's definitely the greater book for your buck.

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5.4
Squadron Supreme (2015) #1

Dec 17, 2015

Squadron Supreme is a tough book to have work narratively in an editor driven connected universe like Marvel's and sadly the team isn't up to the task. James Robinson is good, but he and the mandatory time-lapse don't give the reader time to understand the characters. Leonard Kirk shows great improvement in his craft with the help of Paul Neary and Frank Martin to ensure the book looks solid but sadly this series does not look like one that can last long given its non-new reader friendly approach and how it works against the box most superhero comics have written themselves in.

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6.4
Squadron Supreme (2015) #2

Jan 1, 2016

Squadron Supreme #2 makes up for a lot of problems with the premiere issue. James Robinson takes the characters along interesting paths in how they adjust to life in the Marvel Universe, but still suffers from a number of problems. Proactive superhero teams tend to have a short shelf-life, but if the series had begun with a slower build than immediately killing off Namor and setting to spar with the Uncanny Avengers it would have been much stronger. The limited interaction within the Squadron remains the best part but is sadly underutilized. Artists Leonard Kirk and Paul Neary have trouble with a consistent look for this book but when they strike those few nuggets of gold, they stand out. Squadron Supreme is a very difficult sell as it tries to juggle far too much on its plate, teetering on the edge between a genuinely great book and a sloppy mess.

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8.2
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #1

Jul 8, 2015

Star Trek / Green Lantern: the Spectrum War is a silly but sincere crossover comic that doesn't happen enough. Though this is mostly the Enterprise crew's show, it's making good on a fun premise. If you're a fan of either or both, this is well worth picking up.

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8.4
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #2

Aug 12, 2015

Star Trek/Green Lantern continues to be infectiously fun. As a summer full of depressing controversies wraps up, this book delivers such raw enthusiasm for what equates to someone playing with a mixed up bucket of action figures and it's impossible not to be swept up in this. The series approaches its ridiculous concept with nothing but fanatical vigor so there's no reason to pass it up.

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8.4
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #4

Oct 14, 2015

Star Trek / Green Lantern isn't the best book coming out right now, but it's by far the most fun. Mike Johnson writes a script that is in love with the spirit of both source materials and even manages to improve it to some respects. Angel Hernandez brings the raw action to the series and colorist Alejandro Sanchez keeps the whole enterprise from turning into a Technicolor nightmare. This mini-series is one of the highlights of 2015 and should not be over looked.

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8.7
Star Wars Special: C-3PO #1

Apr 14, 2016

C-3PO #1 is an exciting and distributing tale. James Robinson and Tony Harris prove what a talented team they are as they shed light on one the senseless lives of droids in the Star Wars universe. The story is told like an old school robotics yarn which Robinson does admirably. Tony Harris is ever the talent on art and colors and this book's a case for why he should be doing more interior pages This book is the type of Star Wars fable I've been wanting, not a bunch of fan service to reaffirm old school Star Wars fans, but to tell compelling new stories.

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6.9
Street Fighter X G.I. JOE #1

Feb 24, 2016

Street Fighter X G.I. Joe is a great set up for a dumb but entertaining read but sadly doesn't utilize the strengths of its series. It has some enjoyable one beat character moments and Laiso's art is fun but it's plot isn't up to snuff. If it had a bit more of its zanier elements it might rise into a great distraction on tier of IDW's previous Star Trek/Green Lantern miniseries, but it falls short of such ambitions. It's best recommended for fans of either franchise with a need to collect.

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5.8
Superman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

I wish I could like Superman: Rebirth more than I did. While the book has an amazing team, beyond Doug Mahnke's usual great work, there's just not much here. It's a story about coming to terms with death, which can be great and powerful character building moments, but not as an introduction to a new series. Out of the four current Rebirth titles, this is the one that requires the most backstory and it barely gives anything a reader any context for who this Superman is. I have faith in Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason to tell some great Superman stories, but this is not a good entry point.

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9.4
The Autumnlands #6

Jun 2, 2015

The Autumnlands up to the specific level of fantasy epic it intends to be. This is going to be the last issue in the series for a long time and you owe it to yourself to pick it up.

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9.5
The Autumnlands #7

Nov 11, 2015

The Autumnlands has been gone for a long time and it's made a fantastic return. This seems as good as any a starting point for potential new readers as most of the story is self-explanatory. Kurt Busiek has made his mark already with talents for grand world-building and complex, compelling characters with the likes of Astro City. Benjamin Dewey and Jordie Bellaire equally craft the setting with amazing background elements and landscapes that are a feast for the eyes. It's hard not to recommend The Autumnlands to the fullest, there's nothing like it.

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8.8
The Autumnlands #9

Feb 10, 2016

The Autumnlands #9 might be the first skippable issue of the series. It's good but aside from continued foreshadowing, there's little action and spectacle this time around. After the right-out-of-nowhere weirdness of last issue, this one takes a break and lets its characters breathe. Whether that's to the benefit of an already very decompressed and slow-paced story will be determined later, but it's a harmless endeavor with some fun exploration of the series' world and its central characters. It's a sign that a series can remain this consistently good even when very little is happening.

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8.8
The Autumnlands #11

Jun 22, 2016

The Autumnlands is quite an enjoyable book. It challenges me in ways I never really expect. Apologies in advanced if I've made some bad stumbles. I'm quite inexperienced in writing critically about nudity and sexuality, and if there's anything I could improve upon please contact me. Needless to say, I enjoyed this issue and recommend it. It's really interesting to see where the Autumnlands is going. Although I am cautious how such nuanced subjects are to be handled by a mostly male team, they've certainly build up more than enough good faith in my opinion. So please, check it out.

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7.3
The Infinity Gauntlet #1

May 28, 2015

Pencils, inks, and colors are all handled by Dustin Weaver. This series is quite hands on for him as he goes credited as part storyteller. He captures the junk-pile wastes of New York City exceptionally well. However his big highlight is capturing Anwen's expression and character. His monsters are imaginative and he creates a kinetic and exciting action scene, even if it does go on for a bit too long. His colors are a bit washed out but it fits the setting well enough. For some reason, his panels with missing background tend to jut out which is a bit unfortunate but overall does a more than satisfying job.

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7.7
Thief of Thieves #32

Jun 26, 2016

Thief of Thieves #32 is an enticing story. The issue is very easy to get into. It has likable characters and a fun premise. Andy Diggle writes enjoyable chemistry between the book's apparent leads, Shawn Martinbrough's artwork is on point, and Adriano Lucas' colors get the job done. It's a fresh entry point into this series and I'm interested to see what is next.

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7
This Damned Band #1

Aug 5, 2015

This Damned Band #1 is a slow start but has great potential. It has a number of writer Paul Cornell's flaws, but it has many amazing places to go with subsequent issues. This is the introductory issue and the more terrifying stuff is yet to come. Tony Parker is a hit or miss on this book. When he's good, it's excellent but there are times where the artwork seems weak. This might sound like a downer, but don't be fooled. The book has a lot going for it, it just needs a chance to spread its wings.

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8.1
This Damned Band #3

Oct 10, 2015

This Damned Band had an iffy opening act, but it's here the series finds its heart. There's some hang ups but having Motherfather and crew hand around a creepy mansion was oddly what this story needed. Paul Cornell works new depths into otherwise two-dimensional rock band archetypes, Tony Parker creates an on point Victorian horror setting, all by the colors of Lovern Kindzierski. The Band's hit its share of bad notes but here's where they open up for a real performance.

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7.9
This Damned Band #6

Jan 7, 2016

on a high note. While it's had its ups and downs, I think Paul Cornell has created another highly enjoyable tale and I severely hope elements from this comic find its way into future works. Tony Parker excels in making Satan into a mighty presence while humanizing him just enough. The book ends on the right satisfying note with a sense of conclusion but still wanting to see what's next.

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5.9
Venom: Space Knight #1

Nov 25, 2015

Venom: Space Knight #1 is a difficult book to recommend. While the artwork serves its purpose well and is enjoyable at times, the central character of the series seems deflated. Flash Thompson has gotten over his hang ups about being Venom but now lacks a drive to his character. It is rewarding to see someone like him who's struggled so much to be a legitimate hero but it's not the way to start a series.

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