Jackson Adams's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Nerdophiles Reviews: 133
7.7Avg. Review Rating

8.0
Action Comics (2011) #49

Feb 8, 2016

Recent solicits have revealed we're pretty close to the end of the era of depowered Superman, as it seems he'll be back to full strength next issue but this run has had such a great feel for exactly who this character is, even when he's not the hero he wants to be. As a longtime fan of the character it's genuinely beautiful to see writers and artists so fully embrace the idea of Superman as a truly human hero, regardless of the powers he can draw on at any given time.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #50

Mar 13, 2016

More than anything, Action Comics #50 will be most remembered for its ending, a long foreshadowed and slightly-spoiled-by-solicitations end of the line-wide "Truth" storyline and it's a fantastic reveal but it's also a testament to how strong the creative direction of this book. Pak and Kuder have such a command of what they wanted to do with Superman and more than anything else, Action Comics #50 justifies the tinkering with characters and continuity that's come to define the New 52.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #51

May 2, 2016

It's the textbook example of DC working to appease its older, more vocal fanbase in favor of anything resembling character development or giving new creative teams a chance and is emblematic of the extreme reactionary nature of the comics industry. It's a move that readers shouldn't hold against these comics but it's hard to overlook for fans that grew to accept and care for the Clark Kent we've read for the last half of a decade.

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8.0
Action Comics (2016) #975

Mar 15, 2017

Still, Action Comics #975 does feel like a payoff for those who've stuck with the complexities of this character for the last few years and offers a mostly satisfying explanation for one of the strangest mysteries in superhero comics today. It's also a testament to Jurgens' continued mastery of this character and this universe, keeping the focus on how the Man of Steel impacts not only the DC universe but a host of heroes and villains who see him as a leader and fiend.

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10
Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

May 27, 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit #1 succeeds by recognizing what audiences are expecting and leading with a protagonist who's dreading what we know is coming. It's a balancing act that plays both to the strength of the franchise and the iconic creature at its heart, as well as what readers are looking to from the horror icon. It's also a fantastic showcase of Stokoe's one-of-a-kind talent and arguably the best Alien comic in years.

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4.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #3

Jan 18, 2016

It's hard to grasp exactly what Waid is going for and it leaves these solid, mostly compelling characters feeling more like props than heroes and doesn't offer a compelling hook to hitch a book to.

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8.0
All-New Wolverine #7

May 3, 2016

More than anything, All-New Wolverine #7 showcases just how different of a character Laura is. Where Logan often relished his role as a loner, Laura knows the pain that choice can make and refuses to inflict those same feelings on another person. It's a potent, relatable character moment, one many readers can surely associate with themselves. That grounding in character rather than posturing, people knowing what they mean to others shows both the strengths of Laura and what makes Logan both a complex, deeply interesting character and the flawed father figure he was to so many.

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10
All-New Wolverine #16

Jan 18, 2017

In an era where Marvel happily is drawing from old stories and rearranging them with new characters in the center, All-New Wolverine #16 offers an ideal template for creators to build off of. It shows what's memorable and exciting about the classic characters, sands off the rough edges and doesn't forget about why those new characters matter so much to audiences of all ages.

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6.0
All-New Wolverine Annual #1

Sep 7, 2016

All New Wolverine Annual #1 is little more than a superheroic take on Freaky Friday but it's a good one, charming, funny and cute in equal measure. It's a hard comic to justify paying $4.99 for with so little plot and character work but for those who can't get enough of Spider-Gwen and Laura Kinney's take on Wolverine but it's not going to be what many readers are looking for.

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8.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #2

Dec 22, 2015

Writer Dennis Hopeless has always taken a no-bullshit perspective on X-Men nostalgia and Scott's complicated relationship with the man he's meant to become is indicative of that view. It's a great discussion that paints a fascinating portrait of a character who was often ignored during Brian Michael Bendis' generally solid run. Less successful is Mark Bagley's art, which splits the difference between cartoony hijinks and slightly dated looking fashion. It's a problem Bagley has had in the past, notably during his time on Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and it's not fixed here.

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8.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #6

Mar 21, 2016

Those beats, examining romantic relationships as well as team ones through adversity and combat is something Claremont and, later, Louise Simonson did so well in New Mutants and it feels familiar and welcome here. It's a comic that feels like it wants to deal with the same ideas of growing up, self-acceptance, and cooperation and it's a dynamic so rarely explored in comics in 2016. All-New X-Men feels like a throwback but doesn't read like one and it's a more than welcome addition to a fairly dark, relentlessly bleak X-Men line.

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10
All-Star Section 8 #4

Sep 13, 2015

There's little more one can really ask out of a humor comic this biting, weird and thrilled to be sticking it to one of comics' most venerable institutions.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #10

Aug 4, 2016

There's a world where the issue's relentless focus on giving Archie's actions real world consequences would play as wrongheaded as stories such as Batman trying to save children in Southeast Asia from land mines or Spider-Man battling marijuana, but it mostly works. Archie has had some problems balancing the goofy humor longtime fans want with more realistic, grounded emotions and worldbuilding. Archie #10 mostly falls on the right side of the divide here, with smart character choices and interesting, complex emotions.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #1

Aug 14, 2017

B.P.R.D. The Devil You Know #1 may be a first issue, and a damn strong one, but it feels more like B.P.R.D. #148 than anything else. More than almost any Mignola-verse comic before it, The Devil You Know #1 is a story that expects a fairly expansive baseline knowledge from readers starting at the very first page.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #45

Nov 3, 2015

It's interesting to see a creative team on a major DC comic devote an entire issue to something that wouldn't feel out of place in a romance comic but this is an issue built on years of comic book plotting. It's one that doesn't feel out of place and I'm sure will be remembered by fans of all stripes, whether for its first portrayal of a transsexual marriage in comics or for it being another pivotal chapter in the relationship between these two star-crossed characters.

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #2

Aug 31, 2016

Batgirl #2 feels like a worthy successor to Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr's run on the character while blazing its own path. It's still a familiar take on Barbara Gordon but by grounding her in a new setting and recognizable emotional beats, Larson and Albuquerque make the character feel human and well realized, even when she's trading blows with school-girl themed ninjas and busting superhero obsessed peeping toms.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #45

Oct 15, 2015

Fans who've flocked to this run of Batman for its blockbuster action may be disappointed by this issue but it's a powerful example of a distinct creative team doing what they do best, filling in the margins of this twisted version of Gotham City they clearly love with characters just doing their best to fight for another day. There's little more I could ask for.

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10
Batman (2011) #51

May 3, 2016

Batman #51 isn't just a clever issue, wittingly blending narration from the first issue to new content here, or a smart piece of storytelling, but it's a love letter to the spirit of collaboration in comics, both work between writers and artists but fans and creators. For readers who've been with this book since the first issue, it's a testament to one of DC's best characters and two iconic talents of the industry.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #2

Jul 13, 2016

That turn is mostly in service to setting up the upcoming "Night of the Monster Men" crossover but it works well. What's most interesting here is setting the tone, casting Gotham City as a Halloween-esque city of monsters and murderers, both fanciful and fearsome. It's a smart fit for a slightly horrific story and one worth exploring for all Batman fans.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 29, 2016

It's a thrill seeing both who Batman does and doesn't pick and it admirably builds excitement for King and Janin's upcoming storyline but it also offers a compelling example of what to expect from King as his run continues. After an introduction heavy on establishing new characters and taking a back seat on the Night of the Monster Men crossover, it's nice to see King take a step away from his comfort zone to define a character who's been so well established in his own way.

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10
Batman (2016) #15

Jan 25, 2017

Batman #15 is a stunningly beautiful issue, richly illustrated and deeply heartfelt. It doesn't sacrifice the witty lyricism of King's run so far or the human stylistic flourishes of Gerards art. It's among the smartest takes on Selina's character since Ed Brubaker's run in 2002 and the most passionate portrayal of her connection with Batman since, well, ever. With an instantly iconic opening and a last panel that will have longtime fans of the characters thinking well after the issue's filed away, this is the first definitive Batman comic since the launch of DC Rebirth.

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8.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #14

Jan 10, 2016

There's a certain not-quite campiness to Batman and Robin Eternal, with battles between spies and ninjas and huge robot smackdowns but it becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Batman and Robin Eternal feels like it could only be possible as a comic, a thriller with impossibly high stakes, unbelievable combatants and exciting, adrenaline-pumping set-pieces. For those put off by the slow start and less than compelling opening, it's worth catching up on one of DC's most consistently thrilling comics.

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8.0
Batman: Europa #1

Nov 24, 2015

Batman's been fairly Gotham focused since the end of Morrison's Batman Incorporated run and it's nice to see him back on a world stage in a story that most draws from Denny O'Neil's James Bond inspired take on the character in the mid to late-70s. For fans of that very specific era, one that gave us Ra's al Ghul and a host of other memorable parts of the mythos, it's neat to see a modern book pay homage to such a specific moment in the character's history. I'm just not sure how much a casual fan, or even fairly modern Batman fans are going to get out of it.

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10
Black Magick #6

Jun 28, 2017

It all makes Black Magick #6 as ideal of a return to the franchise for lapsed readers as an entry point for new ones and it's a true achievement for two creators working at the peak of their abilities.

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10
Black Widow (2016) #1

Mar 8, 2016

The most incredible thing about the issue, much like the opening of Steranko's iconic debut, is an early page-turn that dramatically pulls the rug out from under readers, subverting expectations and broadening the scale of what this comic could be in a shocking, awe-inspiring way. It's a sequence that has to be seen to be believed and serves as well as a jaw-dropping action sequences as a statement of intent from its creators. Hold on tight, it's going to be an incredible ride.

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8.0
Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #11

Sep 22, 2015

Rudy's loopy, non-linear panel work gives the issue a hypnotic, hallucinogenic, Starlin-esque quality and reinforces Kot's commitment to never talk down to readers. This final issue is more concerned with creating a feeling, one of the idea of peace after conflict, rather than tying up every loose end. It's telling the Queen's last line isn't one of love for Bucky or thanks, rather, "do you really want me to explain it?" Kot knows the magic of the reader putting the pieces together for themselves and for the readers willing to connect the dots and fit every disparate thread together, the final tapestry is more rewarding than any single line could be.

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4.0
Bullseye (2017) #1

Feb 8, 2017

Brisson's a talented writer and, as the fantastic Murder Book showed us, one who can balance of host of seemingly disparate plot elements, characters, and tones. Still, it can't help but seem like Bullseye #1 fails to quite reach the excellence of the books it's riffing on or gain any sort of subversive satisfaction from crossing the many lines of morality and good taste it happily does. There's good art here and style to spare but the problems with tone, character and just about everything else leave Bullseye #1 feeling like a copy of a copy, with returns rapidly diminishing page after page.

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4.0
Bullseye (2017) #1

Feb 8, 2017

Garth Ennis' run on Punisher MAX is a comic that, on paper, should be easy to repeat and god if Marvel hasn't tried to make lightning strike twice. Ennis was vastly working through a formula, setting up a villain or group of villains, having them commit a series of unconscionably evil acts and then unleashing the Punisher on them like an avenging animal, his every immoral action justified by the malice of those he slaughters. It's a formula that should work for any villainous or antiheroic character, who, by virtue of the antagonists, ends up looking at least a little heroic by nature of bringing down some truly terrible people.

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4.0
Civil War II #1

Jun 7, 2016

This is an event that's starting off entirely on the wrong foot and it's hard to recommend readers wait for the series to potentially get better when there's a $5.99 price point for the first issue. There's better uses for your time, thoughts, and hard earned cash than this comic.

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8.0
Clean Room #7

May 2, 2016

As such, Clean Room #7 is more of a character study than anything else, revealing new layers to Astrid's immaculately presented facade of control and wisdom. There's unnerving moments here, like an encounter within her mind palace with The Surgeon, but it's primarily an issue that's more illuminating than horrifying in all the right ways.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #4

Sep 22, 2015

Doyle and Tynion nail that feel of living like the party doesn't end, not caring who gets hurt or why and the issue's climax shows that John's discretions are finally coming back to haunt him. Artists Vanessa Del Rey and Chris Visions team up to draw John's boozy ruminations as well as the flashbacks to his club days and the pair up is jarring but feels right. It'll be nice to have a more consistent artistic voice on the book but the dual storylines of this issue could not be served better by a true authorial and artistic collaboration like this one.

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10
Constantine: The Hellblazer #8

Jan 18, 2016

Constantine: The Hellblazer has rapidly become not only DC's best magic book, but also one of their very best comics, period. This is such a perfect blend of perspectives, with both writers and a split art team all working together to create something wholly unique for a fairly well-established character. This is among one of the most perfect portrayals of John Constantine ever and it's possibly the best jumping-on point for people interested in exploring the character.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #11

Apr 16, 2016

It all stands in stark opposition to his return to New York in the issue's final pages. As the book heads towards its conclusion, it's nice to see an experiment with location and world building, especially one which offers a tantalizing taste of what this creative team could have done by bringing John into the wider world outside of the city that never sleeps.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #3

Feb 1, 2016

This run on Daredevil is a testament to the strength of having a unique, talented colorist and penciller in your corner, particularly when you have a bold, specific vision of how the comic will look. It's still a book with a less than compelling villain, a not particularly solid grasp on Matt as a character and a style entirely in debt to Miller's iconic run, but as an artistic spotlight, it's a dynamite comic and a showcase of a comics' legend working at the peak of his abilities.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #8

Jun 18, 2016

Ultimately, this is an issue that will be remembered but I fully expect its context to become less and less important as readers flock solely to those brilliant opening pages.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #11

Sep 14, 2016

That balancing act, between high minded moral quandaries and twisted villainy recalls Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr.'s iconic run on Daredevil. Daredevil #11 is an issue that's equal parts Hannibal and Enter the Dragon and that's a fine, unexpected balance for Charles Soule and Ron Garney to walk but it's also the most compelling story they've told yet.

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6.0
Daredevil (2015) Annual #1

Aug 10, 2016

That's not necessarily a bad thing but it is odd and raises strange questions about why Soule doesn't let his authorial voice shine through here. Still, it offers a solid, easy read for lapsed Daredevil readers and a valid entry point for someone looking to try the current run on the character.

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10
Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1

Jun 21, 2016

Written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello with art by John Romita Jr., The Last Crusade feels straight out of 1986 in the best way possible. It's a nostalgic comic, mostly established with Romita's pencils. For his decades of work, Romita's art is mostly remembered for his square-jawed Jack Kirby-esque run on Uncanny X-Men and Daredevil. Here, however, he's channeling Miller at his best and turning in a fully realized, stunning image. His Joker and Killer Croc look straight out of Miller's most iconic comics and he uses the rigid panels of The Dark Knight Returns to create a true companion to the original piece.

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6.0
Deadly Class #16

Sep 13, 2015

I get the feeling readers will look back fondly on this arc, if just for its fantastic cliffhanger ending but, in the short term, Deadly Class #16 does little more than offer an invigorating final issue to a lackluster storyline.

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10
Deadly Class #22

Oct 5, 2016

It's a wonderfully well-realized reinvention, one that re-contextualizes the evil of the series' first two years in character rather than setting in a genius way. It's an issue that changes everything without destroying a premise, one that fundamentally alters characters without taking them off the playing field and it makes for one Remender's best reinventions in years.

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8.0
Deadly Class #26

Feb 8, 2017

The final line of Deadly Class #26 offers a fairly massive hook for readers who've maybe been a little unsatisfied with recent developments in the series and it's a shocking twist for a series that's never pulled punches. However, that change also comes with some damage to the series as a whole. The return of a pair of characters dramatically recolors another recent story but it offers a mystery that readers will definitely want to see solved.

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8.0
Deathstroke (2016) #17

May 27, 2017

The complicated family dynamics of Deathstroke have, until now, been the biggest thing holding back Slade as a character for me but Priest's script revels in the monster of a man at the center of the dysfunction. Deathstroke #17 shows the depth of his desire to control and break those closest to him and the twisted sense of fatherly devotion at the center of it.

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8.0
Deathstroke: Rebirth #1

Aug 17, 2016

For some readers, none of this is going to be enough to save Slade, who's never been really strong enough of a character to carry his own solo series. Deathstroke Rebirth #1 is the rare comic that's going to be easier to recommend based on the creative team rather than the main character. Those who've missed Priest's authorial voice in the time he's been gone from comics are in for a treat and it's worth seeing exactly what he's attempting to do as he tells a story of blood and bonds.

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8.0
Descender #16

Nov 2, 2016

As such, Descender #16 is as close to a true tragedy as Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen's robot space opera has gotten, showing the real cost the robot uprising has on the AI who lost their purpose in the slaughter. It's the rare story that turns a one-note, mostly comic relief character into an unexpectedly tragic one and it does so effectively and with significant, well-earned heart.

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10
Doom Patrol (2016) #1

Sep 21, 2016

To understand Doom Patrol #1, you have to understand the gyro analogy and that's both true and as apt an analogy for the whole book as any you're going to get. The first issueof DC's new imprint, Young Animal, isn't an easy read and it's far from an approachable debutbut it's one that rewards the deep dive.

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10
Doom Patrol (2016) #3

Nov 20, 2016

Where the first two issues of Way and Derrington's Doom Patrol were devoted more to world building and setting up the style and mysteries pivotal to the series, this issue is a masterpiece of theming and tone. Despite its lofty, intellectual approach to character, Doom Patrol #3 is refreshingly, boldly human, a story about how we deal with the expectations and demands of others and how those expectations define us. Doom Patrol continues to be proof-positive of the strength both of Way's Young Animal imprint and the appeal of a book so clearly built around creators empowered to tell their own unique, idiosyncratic stories.

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6.0
Dungeons & Dragons (2016) #1

May 14, 2016

Dungeons and Dragons #1 feels like a companion to Zub's work on Pathfinder and Skullkickers, keeping a light, comedic tone grounded in exciting and intriguing fantasy worlds. All that's helped with cartoony, fun art from Daniel. Still, a lot of the issue is going to depend on reader familiarity with big, established ideas, like Ravenloft, Strand von Zarovich and the mythology both draw from. Still, it's imaginative and gripping, with a sense of world-building and character far beyond so many other fantasy series in the market today.

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8.0
Extraordinary X-Men #5

Jan 18, 2016

With references to X-Men stories as diverse as Age of Apocalypse, Old Man Logan and Inferno, Lemire's take on these characters is strongest when he's not addressing issues like the Terrigen Mists, the mutant plague or the misguided mutant sterilization. Letting the X-Men be heroes, especially in a world that's never hated and feared them more, is the key to making this franchise work and working around editorial edicts and publisher initiatives are only going to benefit these stories and characters.

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6.0
Flash (2016) #1

Jun 28, 2016

The Flash #1 is a compelling entry point for a new run on DC's fastest character but it's more iterative than innovative. It doesn't feel like the relaunch that it needs to be after the last 52 issues of The Flash failed to capitalize on the character's higher profile. This is a book that really needs to focus on finding what's compelling about Barry Allen before writing him into another story that doesn't really need him.

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4.0
Flash (2016) #22

May 29, 2017

Since the relaunch, DC's clearly been building to something big, with a host of mysterious figures pulling strings across a number of the company's biggest series. However, "The Button" doesn't feel as significant as the rest of the mysteries the company is seeding. It's disappointing to see DC put so much weight on a storyline that offers so little new information and a lack of authorial voice but at least it doesn't harm the larger story being told.

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10
G.I. Joe: Deviations (One Shot) #1

Mar 31, 2015

This isn't going to be an issue that works for people unfamiliar with the original source material or G.I. Joe's frequent appearances in online culture but it's a hysterically funny, painstakingly realized Elseworlds comic, with exactly the aesthetic that will make for a memorable issue years from now. If anything, it's at least more memorable than the equally weird, frighteningly fascinating Infestation crossover.

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8.0
G.I. Joe: Revolution #1

Nov 23, 2016

Drawing more from the day-glo neon of the cartoon than Hama or Dixon's high-tech war stories, Revolutions: GI Joe #1 is a book that hits the ground running, serving up a host of exciting action sequences, daring escapes and white-knuckle twists. As someone who's actively ignored all things Cybertron for my whole life, the addition of a Transformer in the book's final pages is a source of some worry but it can't spoil what's arguably one of the most purely fun GI Joe books in ages.

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8.0
Ghost Station Zero #1

Aug 2, 2017

Knowing how hard it is to match the motion of action cinema, handling those smaller moments of character-focused action is what could make Ghost Station Zero something truly special.

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10
Grayson #16

Feb 1, 2016

It's rare to see a usually action-packed comic this wholeheartedly embrace comedy and homage and it makes for a tantalizing proposition, even for those not used to the visual language and genre tropes of '60s spy fiction. All in all, it's possibly the best comic starring Dick Grayson ever and one of the best comics DC has published in years.

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8.0
Grayson Annual #3

Jul 6, 2016

Still, the greatest strength of Grayson Annual #3 is that it manages to showcase how flexible this portrayal of Dick Grayson is, showcasing the hero's charms, charisma and character one last time before he returns to his most famous identity. It's a fitting finale to one of DC's most daring shakeups to an iconic character and a much stronger finish than Lanzing and Kelly's first shot at ending the series.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #50

Mar 8, 2016

Green Lantern #50 is fueled by good intentions, honestly examining a character whose often gotten a pass for committing some of the most heinous crimes in modern comics. It's also nice to see Venditti, who's taken a lot of heat for not following Geoff Johns' take on the franchise too closely, stick by his vision for the character and the DC cosmic universe back to its roots. It's a comic that will play better for readers who've followed the character before "Green Lantern: Rebirth," especially fans of Green Lantern in the '90s, but it's a deep dive into the character worth taking.

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6.0
Green Lanterns #7

Sep 29, 2016

It's a memorable issue, one that satisfies those looking for a little less action than the Green Lantern universe has been filled with as-of-late, but in some ways, it's a swing too far from what many readers are going to want out of these characters.

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4.0
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1

Jun 7, 2016

I understand the desire to bait the hook with these Rebirth issues and to Johns and Humphries' credit, they set a mostly compelling plot hook with the return of Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns, but it's hard to care much when these little seen characters are reduced to little more than loose sketches. DC has tried to gain attention for having a woman and Muslim Green Lantern but by highlighting them, it needs to also establish who they are, not just who they fight.

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4.0
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #3

Aug 31, 2016

More than most of DC's properties, Green Lantern has taken a back-to-basics approach in the wake of DC Rebirth and that's understandable but it still needs to find a way to tell compelling story with its characters and it's just not doing that. I'm as up for a smackdown between the Sinestro Corps and a bunch of poozers as anybody but Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #3 feels like an issue I already read a decade ago, done fresher and better then.

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4.0
Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad: April Fool's Special #1

Apr 12, 2016

It's interesting to get a peek at DC's plans for a team that's about to get more media attention that it ever has had but Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad April Fool's Day Special #1 isn't a compelling presentation. It's a book that would have been better if it had focused on being a charming, funny one-shot, or a preview of things to come, but it tries to split the two in a way that weakens everything it presents. The ending sets an interesting idea for Amanda Waller's team but it's far from worth paying the $4.99 cover price for those last 8 pages.

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10
Hellboy in Hell #9

May 14, 2016

It's a wonderfully realized tragedy, one that feels as pulpy as a story about an alcoholic demonic ex-luchador can be and as operatic as one about a doomed son fulfilling his father's promise could ever be. The art is wonderfully realized by Mignola and Dave Stewart's moody, impressionistic colors continue to paint a picture of Hell not solely as a biblical location but as a place of impending, inescapable doom.

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8.0
Hellboy: Into The Silent Sea #1

May 2, 2017

It's well worth picking up, especially for those fascinated by the genre mashup at the center of one of modern comics' most iconic characters.

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10
House of Penance #1

Apr 16, 2016

It's been a long time since Tomasi has written a non-superhero comic but he's come out swinging with a difficult, but incredibly rewarding piece, all with stunning art from Bertram and a wonderfully moody, evocative color pallet, courtesy of Dark Horse mainstay Dave Stewart. This is a comic that's not to be missed and is without a doubt, one of the best debut issues of recent memory.

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8.0
Illuminati #6

Apr 16, 2016

Illuminati #6is a perfect example of how to do an event tie-in comic right, furthering the meta-story of the primary series while adding additional shading to the crossover it's a part of. Even moreso, the issue offers new motivations for The Hood's team as they prepare to square off with SHIELD and get some much needed revenge. It all adds up to a pressure-cooker of a thriller, with little secrets, transgressions and bruised feelings adding to a grander, increasingly inevitable tragedy.

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8.0
IvX #1

Dec 21, 2016

Unlike other recent heroes-fighting-heroes events, Inhumans vs. X-Men benefits from having a compelling central conflict, albeit one with a clear plot device for a center. That's still a step-up from Marvel's recent output and the focus on two minority groups looking to prosper in the face of an indifferent world is timely and compelling. A more distinct art team, better pacing and some visual dynamism would certainly benefit the series but Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 offers up a compelling enough opening gambit for Marvel's newest inter-universe bout.

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2.0
Justice League #47

Jan 2, 2016

This can't be the book anyone wants and it's continued direction is a dark mark on DC's supposedly greatest heroes.

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8.0
Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1

Nov 16, 2015

More than almost any of DC's other marquee franchises, Green Lantern has been in a strange position over the last year, with Hal on the outs with the Corps and becoming a criminal in order to take on the galaxy's greatest threats. The Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1 shows that Hal is stronger and braver than the position he's in right now and is a nice testament to those longtime fans who've stuck with the character through his many dubious incarnations. Even if it's shackled to a less than dubious premise, it's an issue well worth buying for long time Green Lantern fans.

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8.0
Karnak #3

May 2, 2016

Ellis has written Karnak as a character who not only sees physical weakness in others but ethical and moral ones as well and this issue sees his morality fall to new depths as he compares himself to Satan and commits mass murder of innocents. It's hard to defend Karnak as a character and it's clear Ellis is challenging readers' expectations of a protagonist and a character, creating a book that's more intriguing than enjoyable. It's also clear the book's brutal last line is meant to be read at least partially as comedic but its implications are brutal, calculating and cruel, meant to prey on your weaknesses in the same way it preys on SHIELD's.

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10
Klaus #7

Aug 24, 2016

It's more a spiritual successor to All Star Superman than The Multiversity and that's going to be a refreshing thing for a very specific reader. More than most comics, Klaus makes a compelling case for itself to be added to the Christmas comics canon and your seasonal entertainment rotation.

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8.0
Lobster Johnson: The Forgotten Man (One Shot) #1

Apr 12, 2016

Here, Lobster is called in to investigate homeless men who have gone missing in a Hooverville in a story that uses horror imagery beautiful drawn by Peter Snejbjerg and noir conventions to tell both an intense, horrific experience that also pays reference to the Lobster's past adventures all while telling the sort of gritty, terrifyingpulp Arcudi excels at. It's maybe not the best Lobster story for new readers but it's a fresh, exciting bit of gritty pulp.

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8.0
Mech Cadet Yu #1

Aug 2, 2017

Still, what's setup here is fun and smart, playing off manga and American cinema alike in a way that will have familiar fans paying attention and younger ones enthralled.

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8.0
Midnighter (2015) #5

Oct 12, 2015

There's a manic, almost Nextwave-esque spirit at work in this issue, with two great, incredibly competent characters absolutely destroying every challenge placed in front of them, regardless of how over-the-top things get. The issue climaxes with a moment highlighting just how ahead of the game Midnighter is. It could feel a little unearned but it's to the credit of both Orlando's writing and artists Stephen Mooney that Midnighter always feels fun, dangerous and more than a little risky.

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8.0
Midnighter (2015) #6

Nov 10, 2015

It'd be easy to label Midnighter, like its central character,as a relic of '90s excess but Orlando and his host of artistic collaborators have made a comic so consistently surprising in its portrayal of sex, sexuality, and bone-shattering violence. It's precise, purposeful comics at its best and it deserves to be one of the biggest comics being published right now. Honestly, I don't know what else to say. Are you currently reading Midnighter? If the answer is no, go read Midnighter. I'll wait. I'm still going to be here. I don't have a lot else to do, guys.

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10
Midnighter (2015) #12

May 14, 2016

The issue's wonderfully realized here through Steve Orlando's dialogue and script as well as ACO and Hugo Petrus, who handle art. As throughout the series, there's a focus on precision here, with stark dialogue and sharp, angular imagery that emphasizes every punch, bullet and broken bone all the way to the last page. Midnighter #12 aptly finishes the series, offering a definitive statement on one of comics' greatest ass-kickers.

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8.0
Midnighter And Apollo #1

Oct 12, 2016

All of this lends itself to the sense of history and place that Orlando tends to build into most of his superhero work. There's a real feeling that despite being a man built only to kill dating a god who has no interest in saving humanity, the characters feel real and have real struggles and difficulties just existing in the world. It's about the most you could want from a comic this brash and exciting and it's the perfect successor to Orlando, ACO and Blanco's first run on Midnighter as well as a solid place to start for those less familiar with these characters.

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #6

May 20, 2017

As the characters' future at DC seems to be up in the air, Midnighter and Apollo #6 is a powerful tribute to how much these characters matter, as well as their place in the medium's long history. With a final page referencing one of superhero comics' most iconic moments, Orlando and Blanco are cementing these characters' place as icons as important as the characters they were once meant to parody. They pull it off with aplomb in the conclusion to one of DC's best comics of the last three years.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2016) #10

Jan 11, 2017

Moon Knight #10 is the best issue of Lemire and Smallwood's run so far because it grounds its complicated, compromised hero in an approachable story of mental illness and questions of identity while showcasing the psychedelic mythology that's dominated interpretations of the character for the last 5 years. It's a smart story but a demanding one, not willing to cede answers and requiring readers to project their own beliefs and thoughts on mental illness onto it. Perhaps that's a conscious choice and this is a storyline that still has time to make a statement but readers should know what they're getting into before pulling Moon Knight #10 off the shelf.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #19

Oct 19, 2015

It's a low-key issue that notably feels more of a transitional one than a final one. Kamala and Bruno's conversation at the end is the emotional backbone of the book and its an interaction that I'm sure will continue to define both characters when the book relaunches in the wake of Secret Wars. For now, there's little that can be said that the book itself doesn't, that Ms. Marvel #19 is, "the end" of the beginning."

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6.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 24, 2015

That split, between super heroics and character work, table-setting and action, defines the first issue. Artists Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa split the issue working from G. Willow Wilson's script and the two's strengths, action and grounded character-interaction, visually break the issue in two. It all makes for a notably divided issue, one pulled apart by two masters. All in all, it's still an issue of Ms. Marvel and it makes for one of the best books on the stands but it's also probably the least exciting issue of the series yet, one that doesn't quite manage to show off what makes the character such an instant icon.

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4.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #13

Dec 5, 2016

There's nothing fundamentally wrong about a comic that's arguing first and foremost that people vote and vote for a candidate they think will do the best job. It's a valid and inspirational message that, obviously, would have been better served releasing before a national election. However, in an issue that already only pays lip service or glosses over so many failings of the democratic system, like redistricting, voter suppression, voter apathy, and special interest groups, Ms. Marvel #13 fundamentally fails to make a case for voting or for itself. It's a book as wide-eyed and naive as its protagonist and the first genuine dud G. Willow Wilson has written on the character.

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8.0
Nameless #5

Sep 29, 2015

While most of the horror in Nameless has had that same, measured mysteriousness, this week's issue is overtly disturbing. One character's eyes and lips are cut off as he's crucified in the midst of a rain of razor blades. Another disturbing panel shows someone's finger nails being graphically ripped from their digits. One panel shows the after-effects of performing dental surgery with barbed wire. All are flashes, small bits of Morrison and Burnham's larger horrific tapestry, all sure to haunt you, like that nasty hangnail, that bothersome cankersore, that one memory you can never quite purge.

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10
New Suicide Squad #12

Sep 13, 2015

Ryan takes the time to give every character at least one great moment, with Reverse Flash finally deciding to push himself to be a team leader and Deadshot trying to interrogate Manta's motives before he betrays all of Suicide Squad. Their conversation is great, a powerful moment for the nihilistic, usually apathetic Floyd Lawton and Manta, who increasingly feels drawn to the sense of fearful order the terrorists could bring to his life. Even Harley, who has traditionally been a bit of a problem for Suicide Squad writers to find a place for, gets a great moment where she entertains a group of refugees by making fart noises with her hands. A moment near the end of the issue where she realizes that she still inspires more fear than joy is truly heartbreaking and could be worth exploring in future issues. I have nothing but faith that this creative team can pull off a great finale to a fantastic story in New Suicide Squad Annual #1 at the end of the month.

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8.0
Nightwing (2016) #15

Feb 22, 2017

Still, Nightwing #15 feels like a rounded portrayal of the new relationship between two characters, still unsure of where they stand with one another. However, it's also a testament to Dick's ability to connect with people and a tour through his many friends, from Wally West, to Jason Todd, to Starfire, to Barbara Gordon, to Bruce Wayne. DC has done a better job in the last year of really embracing characters who have that sort of built in history and getting to see that play out is still as charming as it has ever been here. If anything, that's a good enough reason to pick up this issue.

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8.0
Nightwing (2016) #18

Apr 12, 2017

The greatest pleasures of Nightwing #18 are going to be found by those who've been reading Batman for the last decade, the ones who obsessively broke down the clues of Morrison's run on the character and have spent years defending "Batman RIP." For those who haven't followed the meta-story that's been going on since "Son of Batman," the final reveal may not hit as hard and the overwhelming sense of dread building through this storyline may not have the kick it needs to propel it forward, but it's a triumphant salute to one of the best Batman storylines of the modern era and a tribute to Morrison's desires to see his best ideas continue to appear in canon.

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8.0
Nothing Lasts Forever #1

Jun 7, 2017

In Nothing Lasts Forever, Grace is offering readers a look at an intensely personal, emotionally fraught year of his life. It's ultimately a compelling, heartfelt portrait of a creator at multiple personal and professional crossroads, dealing with a harrowing situation in a relatable way with style and flourish that proves that Grace is as at home writing and drawing as he is behind the scenes.

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8.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #11

Sep 21, 2016

Lemire's script is nothing to sneeze at but the real attraction here is Sorrentino's art, which again showcases why he's one of comics' most explosive new talents. Lemire's best action here is getting out of the way, with just enough dialogue and text to set an attitude and mood, one of vengeance, rage and sickening doubt. More than anything Old Man Logan #11 is a showcase of Sorrentino's talent and a testament to one of Marvel's best creative partnerships. Luckily, it also happens to have a lot of ninjas.

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10
Omega Men #6

Nov 29, 2015

Moreso than ever, I'm happy to see DC stick by their decision to publish the full run of King's work here, despite the initial issues receiving a less than warm welcome on the stands. It's still not too late to pick up the back issues of this book, one of comics smartest, most exciting, and unconventional new series and a strong contender for the best new book of 2015.

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10
Omega Men #8

Feb 1, 2016

After seven issues of genre and character breaking, grand political statements, it's fascinating to see King and artist Barnaby Bagenda focus on the human cost of a war for resources. It turns The Omega Men from terrorists to men and women desperately seeking redemption in a way that doesn't feel like a cheat or too nakedly emotional. The Omega Men earns its emotional catharsis and the twist of the knife of its latest reveal in a way that so many other comics would have failed to do.

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10
Omega Men #12

May 31, 2016

The Omega Men is the singular best comic DC's released in years, a comic that will be there for readers long past its issues have fallen off shelves.

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10
Paklis #1

May 31, 2017

Paklis #1 feels intensely personal and unrestrained by corporate requirements in a way that even indie comics rarely actually succeed in being, an up close and personal look at the influences and fascinations of one creator. It earns a recommendation if nothing else for the creeping horror of Weaver's pencils and script on "Mushroom Bodies" but offers plenty more for the asking price. Paklis #1 isa clear, uncut look at one of American comics' most fascinating, idiosyncratic artists and that's something that demands attention.

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8.0
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

Jan 26, 2016

There's a lot of establishing character in the first issue of the miniseries and it's not really until the last pages that the plot begins to kick in but I don't think readers will really mind. Chu and Mann create such a compelling portrait of a character uncomfortable in her own environment and skin. It'll be interesting to see how Ivy responds to the mystery she's drawn into but if this characterization continues, it'll be wealth worth following to the end.

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4.0
Punisher (2016) Annual #1

Nov 2, 2016

It's tempting in a year of racially motivated violence and justice seemingly left undone to wish for a force of judgement like Frank Castle. However, it betrays the central tragedy of his character and the failings of Vietnam to view the Punisher as a righteous figure. It's something Conway, more than nearly any other creator, should have realized but doesn't in an issue that preaches and offers bloody wish fulfillment instead of staying true to its characters or the morality it touts. The Punisher Annual #1 offers only uncomfortable subtext on top of an overly familiar story and it's the last thing angry, justice-seeking comics readers need this year.

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7.0
Redlands #1

Aug 9, 2017

Redlands #1 feels like a first issue in a lot of ways, both as the debut of a new story and a first major writing job for Bellaire. It's a debut full of enticing moments and exciting sequences but the connecting tissue between those scenes just isn't quite there. That's a problem that could right itself as the series' central thesis crystalizes.

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10
Robin: Son of Batman #9

Feb 22, 2016

So much of the success of this comic comes down to Gleason who now has had years of practice drawing Damian that's clearly informed how he writes the character as well. He's always done an amazing job emphasizing Damian's youthful innocence, that despite being a pre-teen with all the emotions that entails, he's a killer with a life defined by the sins he's committed and Robin: Son of Batman has really focused on that contrast between innocence lost and youthful, childlike impetuousness.

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8.0
Saga #31

Nov 29, 2015

The issue ends with Hazel opening up about her heritage and facing inadvertent consequences for her transparency. It's an ending both unexpected and delightfully foreshadowed throughout the issue and it's almost perfectly representative of what Saga frequently does so well. Even in a book as emotionally raw and nakedly optimistic as this one, there's still nothing protecting good people from facing new-found horrors of their own making.

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6.0
Secret Wars #6

Oct 12, 2015

Granted, all of this is executed extremely well by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic and it's obvious that what's coming is going to be explosive but this issue is just a bit sedated. It's the story we've been waiting for "Secret Wars" to get to since July and Marvel's constant delays to this book have only made the lethargic pacing tougher to handle.

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8.0
Sinestro #18

Dec 29, 2015

There's a sense of doom and violence to Sinestro #18, with Lyssa Drak promising the rise and fall of the man she loves, but the highlight of the book is seeing Sinestro take on threats in the way no one in this franchise has before. A last page twist of the newest addition to the Corps is only another reminder of why Sinestro is frequently one of the DC Universe's best villains and, potentially, its greatest savior.

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10
Snotgirl #1

Jul 26, 2016

Snotgirl #1 is a book that's premise is going to feel unfamiliar for a lot of reasons, with an all female cast as well as a focus on fashion, but the emotions and themes are innately familiar for anyone whose created something or sought approval in the eyes of strangers. It's an interesting entry in O'Malley's sterling bibliography with instantly iconic art from Hung and paints a horrifying, disgusting, relatable portrait of a woman in crisis.

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4.0
Star Wars (2014) #9

Sep 22, 2015

Stuart Immonen's wide-screen presentation gives the comic a blockbuster feel but breaking the issue across dual story-lines slows the arc to a crawl. It's been three issues since Han's maybe-kinda-sorta wife was introduced and Aaron still hasn't told us anything of importance about her, her relationship with Han or her motives and Luke's challenges are moving at only a slightly faster pace. At some point very soon, even incredible art and enlivening twists on Star Wars icons aren't going to save transparent efforts to string readers along to the next issue or, more likely, buying the next collection.

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8.0
Star Wars (2014) #21

Jul 26, 2016

This isn't an issue that's a revelation nor is it the strongest entry in Aaron's consistently excellent run on Star Wars but it certainly does a solid job telling a story outside of the main cast and the actions of the rebellion. It's just good to see a Star Wars comic start shading in its far off galaxy.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #10

Oct 12, 2015

The best part of Darth Vader isn't the subtext or an examination of the nature of power and what men will do to hold onto it. It's in the relentless ratcheting up of tension as the series' protagonist tightens the noose. What's most exciting though is seeing him actually tie the knot himself.

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10
Star Wars: Darth Vader #11

Oct 27, 2015

Thanoth and Vader setting traps for one another forms the spine of the issue but a moment between Aphra and Vader is the highlight here as the not-so-good doctor wonders if her time of usefulness to the Sith has come to an end. It's a bleak, brutal moment between two characters, both aware of how much their relationship is based on practicality is electric and dangerous. It's the kind of exciting unpleasantness only a book as relentlessly focused on the intricacies of villainy and power can show off and it's another testament to how delightful this comic so often is.

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8.0
Star Wars: Vader Down #1

Nov 24, 2015

Deodato more than delivers here with rich, densely detailed and vibrantly colored scenes of chaos, death and destructionthatbalances stylish details and photorealism better than most of Marvel's Star Wars books have. Better, it's nice to see a Star Wars book where every character is mercilessly competent and willing to fight to the death for what they think needs done. It's a great, exciting book, as good of a summation of the Star Wars line over the last year as an opening book for someone who wants to hop into Marvel's take on the license.

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6.0
Street Fighter X G.I. JOE #1

Mar 5, 2016

It's hard to see a book suffer for reasons not intrinsically to do with the content but it's really the main flaw here. There's so much back matter that I think would have played better in a trade and a couple preview pages of a totally unconnected preview pages for IDW's newest series. It's a salute to the issue that I want so much more but it really feels like I paid for more content than I actually received with Street Fighter x GI Joe #1

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8.0
Supergirl (2016) #1

Sep 14, 2016

For reasons that still just don't make sense, the New 52 revealed that Kara's father had been transformed into the genocidal cyborg Kryptonian, a move that mostly felt like it unnecessarily complicated a simple premise. Cyborg Superman is still here, offering threats on the issue's final pages and I don't want to judge things too harshly based on just a cliffhanger but it's one of those things that's been a problem before. I'm cautiously optimistic, especially with this creative team at the helm though.

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6.0
Superman (2011) #50

Mar 21, 2016

It's ultimately just disappointing to see that the issue didn't solely focus on that dynamic. Still, it's a mostly satisfying way to finish off a strong, albeit bloated, crossover and finally see a new status quo for Superman put in place, one that pays homage to the best years of the character without ignoring the excellent storyline readers have just witnessed.

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8.0
Superman (2016) #1

Jun 21, 2016

Superman #1 is light, even compared to the rest of the debut issues of the DC Rebirth relaunches but it's grounded in character. It's a reflection of the optimism and sense of wish fulfillment that's intrinsic to Superman while telling a thoroughly grounded story about the ugly, frustrating side of growing up. A last page reveal seems to focus the story around Clark and Jon's relationship and it's a compelling hook that doesn't have the weight of years of Kryptonian continuity. If there's an entry point in DC's new wave of Superman comics, this is it.

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6.0
Superman: American Alien #1

Nov 16, 2015

In the last five years, we've already gotten at least three different origins for Superman, one which did so much more than this issue in only 8 pages. I came away from this issue with only a feeling that I've been there, done that and no amount of artful flourishes or tragic additions are going to make it feel like this is worth another seven issue miniseries.

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4.0
Superman: American Alien #4

Feb 22, 2016

Landis' saving grace on American Alien has been his artistic collaborators and now more than ever, it's clear that he needs to emphasize the top talent this project has attracted. Panels are still bogged down in dialogue that's at best distracting and much more frequently, ruinous to the story that's being told. When he gets out of his own way, tries not to get into a long box measuring contest with the readers, or show off his perceived nerd bonafides, these comics are fine, but his fussiness and flourishes are actively distracting from the story he assumedly wants to tell and the character he claims to focus on.

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10
Superwoman #3

Oct 22, 2016

If anything though, Superwoman #3 makes a compelling argument for giving this series a try, starting from the beginning to see how ambitious this sort of narrative can be while still being in keeping with a very traditional superhero framework. It's a value in every sense of the word and a great continuation of one of DC's most ambitious comics.

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2.0
Teen Titans (2014) #12

Oct 27, 2015

There's a reason Lobdell was taken off this series. He never understood the characters, he frankly is a poor choice for writing teenagers and his love of his own unmitigated terribleness is hard to read month to month. He's a relic of the worst bits of Marvel's boom and bust years, one DC has desperately tried to distance itself from in the last few years. His return on this title is embarrassing and mystifying in equal measure. Teen Titans #12 reads like as much of an artifact as Lobdell is, something best left forgotten by issues of X-Forceand Danger Girland ultimately, it's one of the worst, most disappointing comics of 2015, to be avoided at all costs.

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8.0
The Belfry (One Shot) #1

Mar 1, 2017

Ultimately, The Belfry is about the fears we have about the extent of our own capabilities to inflict pain to the ones we love. It's the rare comic that uses its non-linear structure and opaque storytelling to focus on character and relatable human fears. Like those dreams it draws its structure from, the horror of The Belfry is derived not from the recounting of the nightmare but the recognition of the fears deep within ourselves.

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8.0
The Dying and the Dead #4

May 24, 2017

The Dying and The Dead #4 probably would have read stronger if it had come out closer to the issue it's so closely connected to, but it still has the power to remind readers why this moody pulp mash-up works so well. It's provocative, surprising, and constantly doling out answers that just lead to deeper more difficult questions. It's as pure of an example of Hickman's fascination with puzzle-box storytelling as it gets and a reminder of what he and his collaborators are capable of doing at their best.

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8.0
The Fade Out #10

Oct 27, 2015

Unlike past Phillips and Brubaker series like Criminal and Fatale, The Fade Out lays out its central mysteries in small moments and small clues, expecting that readers will put together its puzzles and clues as its protagonists do. It's a clever decision that can only work here. Unlike Fatale, which used Lovecraftian imagery and noir tropes to create a sense of a mystery that can never truly be solved, The Fade Out is entirely about the petty nastiness of cruel men, the evil that people do to satisfy their basest instincts. The smell of cigarettes, cheap liquor, and cheaper sex consume this series and it's a mystery that can be solved, even if there aren't going to be any easy answers.

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10
The Fade Out #12

Jan 10, 2016

Like Criminal, Sleeper and Fatale before it, The Fade Out deals with the things we give up in a desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. More than any of those other stories though, The Fade Out uses neo-noir genre conventions and a tainted, achingly realistic portrait of Hollywood to show how those same systems can trap and consume even the seemingly untouchable.

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10
The Goddamned #2

Dec 22, 2015

It's the revenge comic it feels like Aaron has building to for decades and it's one built on broken bodies and a twisted shattered earth.

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10
The Goon: Once Upon A Hard Time #4

Oct 12, 2015

In a way, this much more serious, much more thorough plotting and character analysis does rob "The Goon" of some of the humor and irrepressible comedic pacing that made the series such a fan favorite. It's an interesting trade though. This is the closest it's felt to self-analysis that the series has ever come and, if anything, it's an intriguing change of pace and style for a series that's so often seemed to pride itself on its own period-piece affectations.

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4.0
The Mighty Thor (2015) #5

Mar 13, 2016

More than anything, it feels as if The Mighty Thor #5 is more interested in telling familiar stories in familiar settings than anything else. Sure, Jane Foster's wielding the hammer and the villains are making new alliances but everything's the same. Gods are battling, betraying, killing, and feasting as if stories told less than a year ago don't and never did matter. It's a profoundly disappointing turn, especially after seemingly having a clean creative slate with the title and a killer opportunity to show who these characters are when they're not embracing their traditional roles.

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8.0
The Mighty Thor (2015) #8

Jun 28, 2016

I haven't been wild about The Mighty Thor since it came back after Secret Wars but the newest issue finally offers something readers haven't seen with this character and world before, which is all I can really ask for. It's a great showcase of what makes The God of Thunder such an exciting, malleable hero who can face off with a wide variety of different villains and situations.

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8.0
The Unworthy Thor #1

Nov 9, 2016

Ultimately, The Unworthy Thor #1 feels like more of the same, a big metal space opera about gods and monsters, little different than what else is going on with this character. That's certainly not a bad thing and is a testament to how strong Aaron's vision for the character is but it's also something of a statement of how little this story has changed and advanced in the last four years.

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10
Thors #4

Nov 16, 2015

It's all in service of empowering Aaron's new Thor, whose new series starts next week and, honestly, I couldn't be happier. Many were worried how the Jane Foster's time as Thor would fare with her entering Secret Wars with only eight issues before the crossover but Thors ends with a confirmation that this character means more than just being a "woman Thor." She's part of a long history, a long line of characters, all worthy of holding the hammer.

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8.0
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #11

Mar 8, 2016

Fans of the kinetic, layered, over-the-top mashup stories the series has defined itself with may not be as satisfied with Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #11 as they have been with the rest of the series, but by breaking their own rules Scioli and Barber have created something different from every other issue of the series so far.

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10
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: Movie Adaptation #1

Mar 29, 2017

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie Adaptation is as much for fans of Scioli's madcap approach to comics as it is for fans of the franchises it's lovingly combining and mocking. It's a book for those who appreciate the one and the ones willing to embrace all of it, wackiness and all, and see it to the natural conclusion. Even without that meta-weirdness, it showcases more of the sharpest visuals Scioli's committed to the page as well as some of his funniest writing and is well worth the price of admission for that alone.

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2.0
Ultimate End #5

Dec 22, 2015

All in all, it's a heartbreakingly disappointing comic, especially for those who loved the Ultimate Universe and it casts a pall over Miles' upcoming series.

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8.0
Uncanny Inhumans #4

Jan 26, 2016

Putting the focus on Black Bolt and Medusa trying to rescue their son lets the book emphasize the Inhuman franchise's focus on family as well as adding additional shading and complications to the burgeoning romantic relationship between Johnny Storm and Medusa. It's a smart way to emphasize what's unique and interesting about these characters while tying them into the greater Marvel universe. For the first time, it doesn't feel as if the Inhumans are sacrificing their uniqueness for acceptability and it adds up to the franchise's first must-read story of the last five years.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #5

Mar 31, 2016

Uncanny X-Men isn't Marvel's most ambitious mutant book but it's fabulously bold, raising the stakes consistently by using characters who aren't afraid to make tough decisions with harsh consequences. It's the rare example of a book not leaning in to the company's status quo, instead using it as a launching pad for story hooks and stylistic departures that wouldn't work as well if tied to a set continuity. It's the first time this book has worked well and it'll be interesting to see if it can maintain the same sense of gritty excitement going into next month's "Apocalypse War" crossover.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #8

Jun 21, 2016

In a lot of ways, Uncanny X-Men #8 is the quintessential third-part-of-a-four-part-crossover but it's all in service of a plot that demands reader's attention. That's noteworthy in X-Men comics today but it's quality may vary based on readers' familiarity with past stories, namely recent X-Force comics.

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7.0
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III #1

May 17, 2017

Dawn of War #1 feels like a suitable teaser, both for the video game and a dense fictional universe, approaching both with a familiar story and grimy, detailed art. For those looking to get a peek at what Warhammer 40K looks like at its best and bloodiest, it's hard to beat the introduction Dawn of War #1 offers.

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10
We Are Robin #4

Sep 29, 2015

That attention to detail and knowledge of what DC's characters mean to their own fictional world and their own fans is powerful and wonderful to see portrayed. As someone who found safety and happiness in these characters in the same way Riku and some of the other Robins have, it's wonderful to see DC recognize exactly the relationship between their heroesand their biggest fans. Even without that message, Lee Bermejo and Harvey create an intoxicating world in this issue, something at once realistic and cartoony, silly and achingly heartfelt, a little naive and painfully knowing. It's a balancing act rarely pulled off well and it makes for one of 2015's very best comics.

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8.0
We Are Robin #11

May 3, 2016

We Are Robin #11 ends on a cliffhanger leading into the series' final issue but it's clear that the plot of the series has been mostly wrapped up. The real stakes going into the book's finale will be on what happens to these characters next and who they choose to be. It's a rare occasion where the emotional stakes are as high as any other and it's one I can't wait to see resolve.

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4.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #47

Jan 2, 2016

Ultimately, this remains one of the most disappointing treatments of a perennially mistreated character and it's long-past time DC reevaluated the staff they've put on this book.

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2.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #3

May 10, 2017

Marvel has the opportunity to tell compelling stories about difficult topics, with characters and teams who've addressed such topics, whose conceptual foundation was designed as a reaction to such rhetoric, but it requires honesty and thoughtfulness. Frankly, it's unlikely this creative team will ever be the ones willing to tell that story and do so honestly and it's in readers' best interests not to give them the opportunity to try.

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8.0
Years of Future Past #5

Sep 29, 2015

That sense of survival for the sake of survival, that total lack of hope, is going to be a gut punch for X-Men fans like myself who've seen these characters through tragedy after tragedy but there's something fitfully, painfully real about the portrayal here. Even if the last page is a bit of a dramatic let-down, this is one of the few Secret Warstie-in stories that will be remembered for a long time to come.

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