Jeremy Daw's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weird Science Reviews: 97
7.2Avg. Review Rating

7.5
2000AD #2069

Feb 25, 2018

Judging by this issue's contents, it looks like 2000AD's in good health. The strips here contain a nice mix of mystery, high concept sci-fi, horror, action and good old-fashioned war stories. On the whole, the art is of a high standard and for £2.75, this offers a series of quick shots of comic goodness. Or thrillpower, if you prefer…

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8.0
American Carnage #1

Nov 21, 2018

A well-paced introductory issue, this is a book that has already provided some memorable – and unsettling – moments. If you were expecting an excoriating railing against Trump's America, you might be disappointed. With well-drawn characters and an involving set-up, this is more subtle – and considerably better – than that.

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8.2
American Gods: Shadows #3

Jun 3, 2017

This issue delivers much more fantasy than the previous two and is all the better for it. As Shadow gets more and more entangled in Wednesday's plans, the richness of Gaiman's world is becoming clearer. Hampton's art works well here and Simonson's interlude is rather classy. This is entertaining, thought-provoking and, at times, disturbing storytelling. If you don't mind the slow burn, it's well worth your time.

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8.5
American Gods: Shadows #4

Jul 4, 2017

This was an impressive issue on a couple of levels. The checkers game is appropriately tense; the meeting between Zorya and Shadow mysterious. The back-up, however, is simply beautiful and transforms the issue from being merely good to being excellent. Highly recommended.

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7.5
American Gods: Shadows #5

Jul 22, 2017

The premature ending notwithstanding, this is an extremely enjoyable issue. There's no back up this time round and I'm inclined to say that the book benefits from having a little longer to tell its involving but nevertheless leisurely-paced story. After five issues, Wednesday's plan is becoming somewhat clearer and his world richer, weirder and increasingly unsettling. Expanding on his rather taciturn portrayal in the first couple of issues, Shadow is becoming ever more likable. In short, this story continues to smoulder, but there are promising signs that it's about to catch alight.

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7.8
Astro City (2013) #46

Aug 16, 2017

It is impossible to deny the very personal nature of this title – and issue – and it's difficult for this comic fan, who can remember picking up Busiek's first ever DC story in Justice League of America 224, to be all that objective about it. For inventiveness, great characterization and a warmth that clearly comes from the creators' genuine love of the genre, it's hard to beat a visit to Astro City and this issue, despite its somewhat overly talky – and inconclusive – ending, is a stylish and enjoyable vehicle to take you there.

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8.3
Astro City (2013) #47

Sep 7, 2017

Busiek has been writing comics since I was a kid in the 80s and it's clear that, just like me, he loves them. I said earlier that this issue could easily have become quite silly, but Busiek adroitly sidesteps some of the more obvious clichs and instead gives us a story whose central relationship is, despite its fantastical nature, utterly believable and incredibly affecting. Norton's art is clear and conveys both the warmth of that relationship and the dynamism of G-Dog's heroism beautifully. The subject matter might be a little off-putting to some potential readers, but I found the issue an exceptionally satisfying read.

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9.0
Astro City (2013) #48

Nov 11, 2017

Allow me, then, to raise a metaphorical glass of something red and expensive in honour of Messrs Busiek and Norton. This issue concludes a really rather remarkable story and it's to their credit that, neither maudlin nor melodramatic, it manages to have the power that it does. Recommended for anyone who likes dogs and powerfully written stories about heroic redemption.

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7.9
Barbarella (2017) #1

Dec 16, 2017

A futuristic fable with clear feminist influences, this issue is considerably more entertaining than I've just made it sound! Yarar's art is expressive and exciting, while Carey's story rattles along at a fair pace, but never confuses. Barbarella has proven herself to be a character worth resurrecting and, if this issue is anything to go by, Dynamite is equal to the task.

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8.7
Barbarella (2017) #2

Feb 11, 2018

As with the previous issue, this has been something of a delight to read. Barbarella is a great character, a heroic woman with a very clear moral compass and a very appealing resourcefulness. What's most impressive about this issue, though, is how Carey and Yerar very skilfully tell this story, fleshing out a bizarre (yet weirdly familiar) world while providing plenty of incident and intrigue without any discernible dragging of pace whatsoever. This comic might not be for everyone, but if you like your sci-fi adventurous, quirky and bold, this should be right up your alley.

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6.5
Batman/The Shadow #1

Apr 26, 2017

While I like the central idea, it's far too early to tell if this will turn out to be a great story. At this early stage, there's certainly a lot of potential, although I'm not as confident as I'd like to be that the potential will be fulfilled. The mystery around The Shadow's identity and his links with Henri Ducard are enough to make me interested in reading the next issue, but some of the inconsistencies in both art and writing make me unsure whether I'll enjoy it all that much when I do.

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7.2
Batman/The Shadow #2

May 24, 2017

This series, then, is still not quite the out and out triumph it could be, although there are signs we might get there soon. Rossmo's art is, if anything, more impressive this time round. That final page is gorgeous, for a start, and The Stag is one of the creepier new characters I've seen in quite a while. The plot continues to intrigue and the Batman/Shadow contrast, although not as expertly set up as it could be, is strong enough that this reader is interested in seeing how it plays out. Next issue… well, next issue could be very special. We'll have to see. For now, this is worth a look.

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7.6
Batman/The Shadow #3

Jul 2, 2017

Whether you enjoy this issue will probably depend on how receptive you are to its rather bold central revelations. The plot is more sharply focused than in previous issues and dialogue is, for the most part, clear and accurate and, in some cases, memorable and emotionally engaging. The addition of The Joker is enough to mix things up in terms of plot and action and The Stag remains an enigmatic, interesting villain. All told, this issue does inject a sense of urgency into the narrative and, although the ‘surrounded by villains' ending might be overkill, the prospect of seeing The Shadow and Batman take them on is appealing. In short, with this issue, this series might just have turned a corner.

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7.8
Batman/The Shadow #4

Jul 27, 2017

The story is well-paced, well-drawn and, on the whole, well-written. Four issues in, the creative team finally deliver on the implicit promise of the series' title and show us Batman and The Shadow in tandem and the subsequent fight, although not quite an unqualified success, doesn't disappoint. Several questions remain unanswered, which, after four issues, is as it should be. At the heart of the story, however, is an examination of who Batman is, what his values are and what the potential cost of those values might be. This series remains both intriguing and entertaining and there are far worse ways a comic fan might spend four bucks.

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7.2
Batman/The Shadow #5

Aug 23, 2017

As penultimate issues go, this one isn't bad at all, but neither is it an unalloyed triumph. How much you'll enjoy it depends very much on how easily you can take Batman recovering from his fatal knife wound and how you feel about the issue's central revelation about The Stag. For me, there's enough here to keep me reading and Rossmo's art on occasion taps a wonderfully twisted and gothic vein. The series continues to ask interesting questions about the two main characters. Here's hoping we get some satisfying answers in next month's finale.

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7.8
Batman/The Shadow #6

Sep 27, 2017

As an ending to the series, this issue (just about) does the job. While you may, like me, find the issue's revelations about the Stag and use of the Joker disappointing, Rossmo's art is creepy and unsettling when needed and there is a fair amount of action to be enjoyed. Perhaps most important of all, though, is the issue's redefining of the relationship between Batman and The Shadow, which points to an intriguing second series later next month. A mostly satisfactory ending to a mostly satisfactory series.

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8.5
Dastardly And Muttley #1

Sep 8, 2017

How silly do you like your comics? If you're an Ennis fan, this is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from him taking on an already established cartoon property. The first couple of pages aside, the humour here doesn't rely so much on jokes and gags but more on the strength of Ennis' characterisation, particularly that of Dick. He's not just a straight guy for the madness around him; his relationship with Mutt matters and means that, despite the surreal events taking place around him, there's a surprising amount of depth to this issue. If you're prepared to take a relaxed approach to the way the story's set up, there's an awful lot to enjoy here.

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7.6
Dastardly And Muttley #2

Oct 4, 2017

The central relationship that forms the foundation of this story is strong and entertainingly portrayed. That alone is a reason to pick up this issue. The problems with pacing notwithstanding, there's a lot of fun to be had here. Ennis' script, although a little too verbose at times, is witty and clever; Mauricet's art adds to the humour and his facial expressions are excellent. Overall, then, an enjoyable installment in the series.

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7.5
Dastardly And Muttley #3

Nov 1, 2017

Although it's amusing and entertaining, the series' main story is still moving just a little too slowly for my tastes. Mauricet's art is a constant delight – stylish and clever without being too ostentatious. Ennis' comic timing is, as ever, perfect and his strongest gags are often his crudest. An enjoyable comic that's well worth a look, despite the occasional moment of narrative deceleration.

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8.0
Dastardly And Muttley #4

Dec 6, 2017

I have no idea where this is going and that's fine. Ennis continues to tell a tale that threatens to crack under the weight of its absurdity, but is saved from doing so by its writer's skill with both characterisation and plotting. Mauricet's art is fabulous and the whole thing rattles along its own sweet, mischievous way, giving the reader a story that is as enjoyable as it is unpredictable. Well worth a look.

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8.5
Dastardly And Muttley #5

Jan 4, 2018

All told, this series is ridiculously entertaining – unpredictable, liberally lubricated with lashings of often subversive humor and yet, at the same time, never allowing the characters to become two-dimensional or boring. There's a lot of exposition in this issue, but most of it is fun to read and the sense of a satisfying conclusion just round the corner is positively palpable. A highly enjoyable comic book. (And I'm giving it an extra half a point just for Cthluto the Star-Hound!)

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8.0
Dastardly And Muttley #6

Feb 7, 2018

A fun ending to a fun series, this concluding issue ends on a surprisingly downbeat note that manages to imbue the madcap adventures of our titular heroes with a fair amount of unexpected pathos. Mauricet's art maintains the sublime standard of previous issues and Ennis' script, although a little fuddled in places, remains entertaining on the whole. That ending, though, makes the whole series much more memorable than a series based on a decades-old cartoon has any right to be.

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6.0
DC/Hanna-Barbera: Black Lightning/Hong Kong PHOOEY Special #1

May 30, 2018

As enjoyable as the main story was, its ignoring of a number of elements from the Hong Kong Phooey series and its resolute focus on a mystic martial arts plot that is a little well-worn mean that I can't give it an especially high score. Throw in some energetic, but somewhat unappealing art and a back-up story that is mostly a set-up to score cheap political points and you've got an issue that is enjoyable enough, but is never going to set the world on fire.

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7.0
DC/Hanna-Barbera: Superman/Top Cat #1

Oct 31, 2018

With a Top Cat removed from his familiar trappings, there was the real danger of this story getting bogged down in the nonsense of one sort or another. This comic largely sidesteps that, however, and instead gives us an enjoyable tale that affectionately riffs on classic horror tropes while delivering superhero action laced with just the right amount of social commentary and sly humor. Not amazing, admittedly, but still worth a look.

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5.1
Electric Warriors #1

Nov 14, 2018

Despite the frequently gorgeous art and some intriguing ideas, this comic is disappointingly clumsy in execution, relying too heavily on characters shouting exposition at each other when a more thoughtful approach would work better. Characters consequently don't have sufficient room to 'breathe'. I want to like this. For someone like me who is a LSH fan and loves his sci-fi more than a little bonkers, this should be a book I can recommend. But I can't. Its story simply isn't told well enough.

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6.3
Electric Warriors #2

Dec 12, 2018

In terms of presentation, this is a quality product. Letterer, colourist, and artist are all pulling out the stops to make this book's look distinctive and memorable. Orlando's plotting provides enough incident to maintain the sense of smooth forward momentum and, although the dialogue is occasionally overblown and some of the supporting cast is not especially fleshed out, the central character and the situation in which he finds himself are interesting enough to keep me invested. This is easily the best of the three Orlando books on the market at the moment.

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8.0
Eternal Empire #1

May 7, 2017

In introducing both, this issue is a clearsuccess and one that, if dystopian fantasies are your bag, I heartilyrecommend.

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5.1
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1

Jan 3, 2018

Some lovely artwork aside, this somewhat ponderous issue plays fast and loose with history and, more relevantly, an interesting character who deserves better than being transformed into an icon of suffering for one's (liberal) art. If you want a genuinely touching portrayal of a gay writer set roughly around this era, read Andre Parks' and Chris Samnee's gorgeous Capote In Kansas. If you want a powerful examination of McCarthyism, go watch The Crucible. If you want something to confirm your liberal political beliefs or indulge your Trump Derangement Syndrome, watch CNN or read the Washington Post. If you want a decent Snagglepuss story, go look for it on YouTube.

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7.0
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #2

Feb 7, 2018

A clearer sense of plot and character see a significant improvement on last month's issue, and a sharper focus on storytelling, as opposed to historical moralizing, doesn't hurt either. This issue, Russell begins to give us a better understanding of our central character and Feehan's art is solid and clear, telling the story in a straightforward manner that is always engaging and, in one or two cases, very impressive. I still have my reservations about the concept for this series, but the problems that beset the first issue are largely absent here. 

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8.0
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #3

Apr 3, 2018

While something of a pause in the ongoing narrative, this issue's Snagglepuss tale is nonetheless warm, charming and witty and features great art and extremely engaging dialogue. Russell is doing a good job fleshing out the main character and an even better job at using historical figures as ways of commenting on and providing insight into the human condition. I'm still not 100% sure about the direction this series is heading, but this issue was, on the whole, rather lovely.

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7.0
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4

Apr 4, 2018

Russell's writing of Snagglepuss is as engaging as ever and there are some clever moments here; his characterization of the antagonist, however, remains resolutely two-dimensional. Even the revelation near the end of the issue can't quite rescue her. Nevertheless, with witty, charming dialogue and excellent art, this remains one of the more interesting " and entertaining " Hanna-Barbera books.

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6.8
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #5

May 4, 2018

We're on course for a climactic showdown with the soul of the nation at stake. Or something. Russell's writing continues to be engaging, if a little preachy, and Mike Feehan's art continues to be invariably good and, on a couple of occasions, genuinely breathtaking. While the thinly-veiled cultural allegory/satire and the implicit parallels between the Cold War US and the present incarnation of everyone's favourite superpower may be a bit too simplistic for some, there is a solid story here and it's one that I'm continuing to enjoy.

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5.0
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #6

Jun 9, 2018

A downbeat ending to a highly unusual series, this issue sees Russell revisit some old characters and themes and offer very little that we haven't already seen. Mike Feehan's art is lovely but the story is meandering and lethargic and even Russell's normally engaging dialogue feels flat and repetitive. Throw in a back-up that makes little sense for all its comedic energy and you're left with a rather unsatisfying experience.

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5.0
Martian Manhunter (2018) #1

Dec 5, 2018

A bit of a mess. Nowhere near as weird and alien as its creators probably think it is, this book presents a flawed protagonist in a (so far) fairly standard noir-lite detective story and an alien world whose dullness and anemic familiarity break through the histrionically-delivered background and polysyllabic nomenclature used to disguise them. The book has potential, but there's some real work to do to make it shine.

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7.0
Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #2

Apr 8, 2017

The issue as a whole is coherent and well-structured, withthe final few panels of narration unexpectedly referencing those on the openingcouple of pages. And, speaking of narration, del Col's portrayal of Nancy isgood throughout, even if she does come across as just a little smug at times. Tosum up, then, while not exactly mind-blowing, this issue was engaging enough,featuring a well-told character-driven story and some clear artwork. If you'reeven remotely interested in Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, it's worth a look.

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6.5
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #2

Apr 16, 2017

That said, there are indications that we're about to veer off into more unfamiliar territory and that alone suggests that the series is worth sticking with.

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7.0
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #3

Apr 25, 2017

That aside, there's a lot to like here and the story is, for the most part, fun which, surely, is what a crossover like this should be all about.

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6.3
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #4

May 27, 2017

Taken on its own, this issue is a little disappointing. While Bagenda's art remains very enjoyable and the story is easy enough to follow, its focus is almost entirely on characters meeting other characters and alliances forming and/or changing as a result. That said, I am looking forward to where we're heading, not least because I want to see what Sinestro's really up to. This meeting of the Planet of the Apes universe and the Green Lantern one remains intriguing and entertaining enough. I'm fully expecting things to pick up next issue.

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7.0
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #5

Jun 27, 2017

As penultimate issues go, this is pretty exciting stuff. With Grodd centre stage (Sinestro will presumably (finally) come to the fore next issue), there's a lot of action and some genuine drama. Bagenda's art continues to be good and, at times, it's very impressive indeed. The odd niggle notwithstanding, this has been a fun series and its finale has been set up very effectively indeed.

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8.0
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #6

Jul 29, 2017

This has been a remarkably entertaining series and this issue is a fitting ending to a story that has not only been, for the most part, coherent, but has also featured enough twists and turns to keep the most jaded (hah!) Green Lantern fan happy. It's not been a monumental series, by any means, but it's been fun and exciting and, for a crossover book like this, I'd say that's job done.

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7.8
The Divided States of Hysteria #1

Jun 11, 2017

It's far too early to say whether this title will be a success, but the early signs are promising. Chaykin has his sights set firmly on an America that is trying to project itself as a world leader and representative of noble democratic and liberal values while its populace becomes ever more fractured and intolerant of each other. Whatever your political persuasion, this is a book worth reading. Its story is thought-provoking, well-told and, at times, a little disturbing. The book is well worth a look.

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4.5
The Ruff & Reddy Show #1

Oct 25, 2017

A sudden burst of plot at the end and Mac Rey's delightful art can't really hide the fact that approximately two-thirds of this issue is self-indulgent, obscure and confusing. It's difficult to work out precisely who this comic is for, but it would seem it's not really for me. At times diverting, but never fully engaging, I'm afraid I really can't recommend it.

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5.3
The Ruff & Reddy Show #2

Nov 22, 2017

Although an improvement on last month, this issue's languorous story means that, despite Rey's fabulous artwork and the odd humorous moment, I can't really recommend it. For a comic based on a cartoon, there's just an awful lot of talking going on here and, despite the arch wit on display, there's simply not enough incident to liven things up.

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5.2
The Ruff & Reddy Show #3

Dec 27, 2017

While an improvement on previous installments, this issue feels like the story is only now getting going and there's simply not enough of it to make this a memorable or overwhelmingly enjoyable comic. Mac Rey's cartoon cel-inspired artwork continues to captivate and impress, and Chaykin's script delivers some laughs, but this is still a series that seems curiously reluctant to tell a proper story. There are encouraging signs, though, and I hope for better things next time round.

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5.5
The Ruff & Reddy Show #4

Jan 27, 2018

The overall effect is a comic book afflicted with ADHD, too distracted by jokes, one-liners and thinly-disguised references to real-world celebrities to tell a coherently plotted story. Mac Rey's art remains fabulous and, in the sense that we are actually getting a story, this issue is an improvement on earlier ones, but it's still an uninvolving, largely charmless, sprawling mess of a series. Approach with caution.

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3.5
The Ruff & Reddy Show #5

Feb 28, 2018

Mac Rey's art continues to impress but alone it cannot sustain enthusiasm for a story that its writer simply doesn't seem interested in telling properly. While pop culture commentary is fun in its own way (and some of the gags here definitely do hit their mark), the feeling that the title is treading water is inescapable. Nowhere is this more obvious than in this issue's finale which rehashes a confrontation from a couple of issues ago and does next to nothing with its comic con setting. Whoever commissioned this needs a stern talking to. Or a wedgie, possibly.

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5.1
The Ruff & Reddy Show #6

Mar 28, 2018

While this issue wraps up the series reasonably well, the same problems that beset previous issues – an over-reliance on gags and thinly disguised cartoon versions of real life chat show hosts – linger here. Mac Rey's art continues to impress, but the series' satirical focus and leisurely pace are not enough to sustain it for six issues. A quirky, but largely forgettable read.

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6.0
The Shadow/Batman #1

Oct 9, 2017

Moments of class and excitement occasionally dazzle in this opening issue, but the story is too muddled and the dialogue at times too awkward to make it as entertaining as it could – or should – be. Timpano's art is, on the whole, good. At times it is excellent; at others, merely adequate. There are, to be fair, enough mysteries here to keep this reader interested, but the opaqueness of the writing makes them too often a chore to encounter. Let's hope for better things next issue.

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8.0
The Shadow/Batman #2

Nov 4, 2017

In keeping things relatively straightforward and concentrating on characterisation, Orlando and Timpano have produced an issue that is a huge improvement on the previous one. Building on the relationship between them forged in the previous series, both Batman and The Shadow come across as sympathetic characters here and it is a genuine pleasure seeing them team up at the end. Timpano's art is always good and, at times, is extremely impressive. On the whole, I would say this is well worth a look.

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7.8
The Shadow/Batman #3

Dec 5, 2017

On the whole, this was a well-told issue that moves the ongoing story forward rather nicely and ends with an extraordinarily bold cliffhanger. Orlando's handling of the series' central pairing is deft and packs a fair emotional wallop, which is amplified by Timpano's art. Tightly-plotted and entertainingly written, this is definitely worth a look.

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5.9
The Shadow/Batman #4

Jan 2, 2018

Timpani's art is improving quickly and, in some sections here, conveys a fluidity of action that is breath-taking. The plot is stalling, however. The intriguing implications of last issue's revelation that the Silent Seven's criminal empire has been woven into the very fabric of the modern world are here ignored in favor of fights that, deprived of wider context, feel like the book is treading water. Throw in some pointless destruction and mediocre dialogue and you end up with a disappointing installment in an otherwise promising series.

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6.5
The Shadow/Batman #5

Feb 9, 2018

The unevenness of this series continues and, although this issue ends very strongly, it drags for significant portions and features a Batman who is curiously uninvolved in much of the action. Always dynamic, Timpano's art is, at times, extremely powerful and none more so than in the final few pages. While by no means a classic, this is decent, solid story-telling that delivers a dramatic punch at the end that guarantees that this reviewer, at least, is looking forward to the final issue.

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9.1
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #3

Jun 9, 2017

If you've read my other two reviews of this title, you'll probably know what to expect. I am an unashamed Francavilla fan. I think he's one of the modern masters of the comic art form and his talents are particularly suited to this tale which combines hardboiled mystery and gothic horror in such an interesting way. His pacing is mostly spot on, and his artwork is simply phenomenal. This is incredibly decompressed storytelling and it will not take you very long to read at all. It is, however, a thrilling, involving and thoroughly entertaining experience. Highly recommended.

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7.6
The Unexpected (2018) #1

Jun 6, 2018

This is a surprisingly good opening to a series for which I had no particular enthusiasm whatsoever. My misgivings about Orlando's writing remain, but here he appears to have found a natural vehicle for his penchant for melodramatic dialogue, full tilt storytelling, and villains whose threat level is off the scale. This is Orlando gonzo – brash, excessive, palpably insane and very entertaining. Throw in some gorgeous artwork and it's entirely possible to overlook the signs of incoherence at the end of the issue and just revel in the madness. I fully expect the whole thing to come off the rails at some point in the near future, but for now, I'm definitely in. Now that's unexpected.

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5.5
The Unexpected (2018) #2

Jul 4, 2018

After an intriguing and bombastic first issue, this one is at least partly the inevitable catching of breath, a pause that unfortunately allows Orlando to indulge his worst instincts for clunky dialogue and exposition that is rushed when it could be more leisurely and ponderous when it could be lighter on its feet. The absence of Sook is a problem. Nord and von Grawbadger are good artists, but the dip in quality is noticeable. These new characters remain interesting and reasonably well-developed, but the story needs to pick itself back up and get moving again.

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3.2
The Unexpected (2018) #3

Aug 1, 2018

This title is sinking quickly into a morass of melodrama and nonsense. The explanations we need – like just exactly what this Nth Metal Isotope is and what exactly Neon and Firebrand plan to do with it – are frustratingly vague, while the ones we don't – the origin of the Ascendant and the history of his people – are overlong and slow the narrative right down. Nord's artwork has moments but is generally unimpressive this time around and the sense that the whole series is turning into a weird episodic shaggy dog story has become uncomfortably strong. Only better characterization and a clearer sense of purpose can save this series.

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5.0
The Unexpected (2018) #4

Sep 5, 2018

For a comic titled The Unexpected, this issue feels unfeasibly familiar with Onnimar Synn turning up halfway through to do pretty much exactly what he did the last issue. The scenes between Neon, Firebrand, Huntress and the Signal are unsubtle and shouty, hyper-dramatic dialogue slathered on so thickly that the notion we're dealing with three-dimensional characters is almost entirely lost in a frenzy of emotionally incontinent posturing. The art change half-way through is jarring and the overall purpose and trajectory of the story remain vague, possibly because the creative team is making it up as they go along. Links to the wider DC universe (and multiverse) are cool, but a story in which I'm encouraged to get emotionally invested would be cooler.

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5.5
The Unexpected (2018) #5

Oct 3, 2018

Well, The Unexpected keeps rolling on. There are revelations in this issue which are probably meant to be exciting and dramatic but feel flat and uninteresting, perhaps because what's at stake is never really clear and seems to be far too abstract for me to care about. To be fair, this issue's cliffhanger might change that and if it does I'll be pleased. This fifth issue sees the fourth penciller to grace the title which is as clear an indication as one could wish for that DC doesn't really care about it. I'm afraid I really can't bring myself to be upset about that.

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5.3
The Unexpected (2018) #6

Nov 7, 2018

More The Unexpected means more silliness, more Morrison homage, and more ludicrous action. Ronan Cliquet's art works well for this book, which requires a certain clarity and dynamism; Cliquet thankfully provides both. Orlando's storytelling continues to be characterised by an over-reliance on technobabble and characters shouting plot points at one another to drive things forward. That said, there are odd moments of mystery, interaction, and action which mean the issue is not a complete waste of time.

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5.0
The Unexpected (2018) #7

Dec 7, 2018

The Unexpected continues to try, with increasing desperation, to be consequential and 'epic' but, with the action confined to a limited cast of characters and a world that few people have heard of and with the same mix of awkward trash-talking and histrionic exposition we've had throughout the run, it feels small and irrelevant. I'm afraid I just want it to end. Next issue I'll get my wish.

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7.8
Vampirella (2017) #2

May 20, 2017

This title continues to intrigue, entertain and disturb in more or less equal measure. The plot is rollicking along nicely and the art is generally very impressive. The pseudo-60s vibe is distinctly British, too. At times the book is extraordinarily reminiscent of Alan Moore-era Captain Britain and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. The insertion of a revamped Vampirella into a dystopian future is a great idea and, at the moment, it appears as if Cornell and Broxton are fully prepared to take advantage of the creative opportunities that collision of character and setting provides. In short, this is good stuff. Roll on, issue 3!

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9.0
Wild Storm #3

Apr 19, 2017

Lately, I've been re-reading Ellis' initial run on StormWatch and, as good as that is, this blows it away. The Wild Storm is engrossingly mature – both in its portrayal of super-powered characters and the moral universe they inhabit. If that at all sounds like it might be your thing – or you have even a passing interest in the fate of characters you may have enjoyed a couple of decades ago – this book is a must-buy. It is effortlessly involving, dramatic, witty and intriguing stuff.

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8.0
Wild Storm #4

May 17, 2017

Ellis is building a world here. He's weaving a grandnarrative that is not going to be resolved in a few issues' time. This issuecontinues the leisurely pace established in the first two instalments of thisstory. While the background we get here is important and very welcome, the lackof impetus moving forward is an issue. That said, I trust Ellis; if you canhang on, I suspect the eventual payoff will be worth your patience. And, in themeantime, you do get some gorgeous artwork and truly excellent dialogue.

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7.8
Wild Storm #5

Jun 23, 2017

I still trust Ellis. He continues to write engaging, interesting characters and continues to give us a masterclass in how to introduce a world in a layered, reasonably organic way. While this issue is not an especially ideal jumping on point, it is nevertheless entertaining, well-written and well-paced. And, it should go without saying, exceptionally well-drawn. Its ending suggests that we'll have some action next time. We shall see. For now, this is still recommended reading. It's comic book storytelling of a very high calibre and I'm still very interested to see where it's going.

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10
Wild Storm #6

Jul 22, 2017

The sense of things being ratcheted up several notches is prevalent throughout this issue, and I very strongly suspect that it represents a new phase in the ongoing story. Having intrigued us over the last few issues by showing us the major players in this universe, Ellis is beginning to bring them into conflict more obviously and there's a very palpable sense of growing tension. I remain in awe of Davis-Hunt's artwork, which here manages to be both viscerally kinetic and emotionally subtle without sacrificing any of its clarity. I've been saying for some time that the slow build-up we've had so far will be worth it in the end. This issue is the first indication of just how good that pay-off is going to be.

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9.8
Wild Storm #7

Sep 20, 2017

I'm beginning to run out of superlatives for both Ellis' scripting and Davis-Hunt's art. Structurally, this issue is pretty much perfect – a stunningly choreographed action sequence sandwiched between two beautifully scripted sections of exposition and character interaction with a tantalizing dash of mystery thrown in at the end for good measure. In turns, witty, exciting, beautiful and intriguing, this as satisfying a comic book experience as one could wish for.

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9.8
Wild Storm #8

Oct 18, 2017

With mature sophisticated plotting and beautifully detailed – and imaginative – art, this is a gloriously confident book and the surprising way in which its focus has shifted and expanded with this issue has imbued it with renewed freshness and unpredictability. In short, The Wild Storm remains a must-buy title and this is as good an issue as any to jump on board.

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8.7
Wild Storm #9

Nov 15, 2017

Overall, another classy issue with characters like John Colt receiving some welcome attention, along with Mitch who, if he hasn't already, must surely soon be crowned “comics' most engaging dogsbody”. Davis-Hunt's art is gorgeous, too, and the whole series remains something to savour.

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9.0
Wild Storm #10

Dec 20, 2017

Consistently excellent and enthralling, this book continues to be a delight. This issue is mostly preparation for what will undoubtedly be an explosive 'mid-season' finale, but the trust engendered by the creative team's deft handling of the story so far means that this reviewer at any rate is happy to wait a while before we get more action. What we do get here is impressive, grown-up comic book storytelling with a laser focus on a grounded, intriguing world and the three-dimensional characters who inhabit it. Quality stuff.

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8.7
Wild Storm #11

Jan 24, 2018

Another issue, another set of slowly paced scenes that set the stage for action that, one presumes, will be forthcoming shortly. In the hands of any other creative team, this comic would have given me an aneurysm by now, but the story is so well told, so deftly handled that I can't help but admire – and recommend – it. While it might not be quite as memorable as any of the previous three issues, it is still a highly enjoyable and, at times, surprising read. If you want a superhero comic that's intelligent, witty, exquisitely drawn and confident enough to tell a story in its own sweet time, there really is only one game in town.

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9.0
Wild Storm #12

Mar 7, 2018

Another excellent issue from the gentlemen who have quickly become my favourite creative team in comics right now. In turns spectacular, intriguing, disturbing and heartbreaking, this is top drawer storytelling that oozes creativity, care and supreme confidence. Arguably, some of the banter is overplayed and the early page of recap is unnecessary, but these are minor quibbles in an otherwise hugely enjoyable comic.

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9.0
Wild Storm #13

May 16, 2018

This issue skilfully opens up the ongoing storyline of the series, giving us insight into the Wild Storm universe's past and clues as to its future direction. A new character is introduced and old ones are adroitly revisited; answers to old questions beget a whole host of new ones. This issue is a powerful reminder that this series is not the story of a team or a character but of a world, a rich and storied setting steeped in conspiracy and intrigue. Davis-Hunt's artwork continues to be the perfect vehicle for depicting that richness; Ellis' story continues to sink its hooks deep into the reader's imagination. Another outstanding issue.

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9.0
Wild Storm #14

Jun 22, 2018

Action, touching character introduction and development, conflict, confrontation and moments that border on horror: this issue features a wide range of elements, but Ellis and Davis-Hunt seem to have little difficulty in making them all fit into an emerging whole. As a result, the slight dip in emotional connection towards the end notwithstanding, this is a top quality issue in a top quality series.

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8.8
Wild Storm #15

Jul 18, 2018

Overall, this is another excellent issue. While it could be argued that the overall plot is continuing to move at too slow a pace, the wealth of detail, the slow fleshing out of the Wild Storm universe and the extremely engaging depictions of its characters all make this a high-quality book worth savoring. The revelations about Jack Hawksmoor's origin and the insight into Project Thunderbook mean there's much to ponder here. With a typically stylish action sequence and a troubling glimpse into what's going on in Marc 'Backlash' Slayton's head, this is an issue that left this reviewer eager for more.

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7.6
Wild Storm #16

Aug 15, 2018

For the first time in a long while, I find myself a little disappointed with a Wild Storm issue. While Davis-Hunt's artwork is characteristically excellent and Ellis continues to write his characters beautifully, an injection of urgency and drama is needed along with a clearer idea of just what the threat facing our incipient superhero teams is. I still trust Ellis and I feel almost churlish saying this, but I'd like a little more zip (or maybe even zap) to go with the meticulous and intriguing world-building.

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7.8
Wild Storm #17

Sep 19, 2018

I feel a little churlish criticising this book – a little like someone in a restaurant ordering a steak cooked to perfection and then complaining that the chips aren't fluffy enough. But, this issue's continued focus on Lynch slows the narrative down and, although the revelations about the Daemonites and the hints given by Marlowe are great, they are not, on their own, enough to generate tension or excitement. Davis-Hunt's art continues to be magnificent and Ellis' skills as a writer of naturalistic believable dialogue continue to shine. I just want, Philistine that I undoubtedly am, a bit more action.

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8.0
Wild Storm #18

Oct 31, 2018

With customary aplomb, Ellis and Davis-Hunt continue moving their pieces judiciously around the board, while throwing us a confrontation between Marc Slayton and John Lynch that is as beautiful as it is pointless. The new Authority proto-team is exciting and seeing Marlowe's wild CAT about to leap into action is always great, but I really hope the next arc delivers on all this set-up in a suitably dramatic and exciting way. All that said, this is still one of the best comics out there right now.

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8.0
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #1

Oct 11, 2017

All told, this is an excellent first issue – involving, exciting and, perhaps for some at the end of the issue, just a little horrifying. The art is clear and, despite one or two missteps tells the story well, while the issue is paced perfectly, balancing explanation with action-based characterization with considerable skill. In short, this marks an interesting development in the ongoing exploration of the Wild Storm universe and I recommend you check it out.

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6.9
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #2

Nov 8, 2017

Despite some moments of intrigue and some generally engaging characterization, this issue doesn't quite deliver on the promise of the first. The development of Cray's character continues apace and the expansion of the title's supporting cast is welcome, but the feeling that it has crowded out what should have been a much more satisfying conclusion to the story of the Wild Storm universe's Oliver Queen is, unfortunately, hard to shake.

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7.2
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #3

Dec 15, 2017

This is a solid issue with some exciting, if uneven, art and some very engaging characterization. Despite some intriguing moments with Cray and the good Doctor Shahi, the sense of deja vu is inescapable, and I hope the creative team initiates a change-up in the format soon.

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5.5
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #4

Jan 10, 2018

Some good ideas and engaging dialogue notwithstanding, this series continues to fail to deliver fully on its initial intriguing premise. Inconsistent art and the odd issue with pacing mean this issue isn't as enjoyable as it could be, and the series as a whole, even at this early stage, is settling into a formula that is already beginning to feel like it's past its sell-by date. This is reinforced by a final page that is evidently meant to evoke some sort of anticipation in the reader, but left this one at least less than thrilled. A disappointing issue.

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5.4
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #5

Feb 14, 2018

The odd flashes of excitement and the opening's atmospheric homage to 70s horror films apart, this is a flat and uninvolving issue. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the issue's cliffhanger which expects the reader to feel a modicum of concern for a character whom the writer has made no effort whatsoever to make interesting or sympathetic. Mediocre art doesn't help and neither does Hill's predilection for uninspired infodumps. There are some excellent ideas here but simply not enough is being done with them.

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7.0
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #6

Mar 14, 2018

This is better. The simmering mystery of exactly how Michael Cray gets his powers unexpectedly comes to the boil this issue and delivers some compelling moments of action and character development. While the art remains substandard, the central character has just become extremely interesting again. With the introduction of next month's threat for Cray revealed in a more dramatic – and weighty – manner than the usual everything-on-a-plate infodump, I'm feeling the stirrings of excitement in my jaded old gut again. Fingers crossed that this is the start of a big improvement.

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7.5
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #7

May 9, 2018

With an improvement in art (thank you, Ross Campbell) and a decisive break from the formula that has dogged the first half of this 12 issue series, this issue of Michael Cray is intriguing, disturbing and tremendously entertaining. Hill's characterization of Cray remains sympathetic and warm, but it's his Constantine who shines here. All told, this issue feels like, finally, the potential of this series is beginning to be realized.

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7.7
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #8

Jun 13, 2018

Bryan Hill's character study of Michael Cray continues and features an intriguing and, on the whole, successful mix of background, conflict, action and foreboding. Now that the two issues and done formula have been abandoned, there's a pleasing unpredictability to the story and, consequently, a greater sense that there are things at stake for our title character. The art is dynamic and, for the most part, effective and the return of Trelane and Cray's old team is, unexpectedly, rather welcome here. I have no idea what's going to happen next issue and I must admit that's rather nice!

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7.0
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #9

Jul 11, 2018

A somewhat talky issue that is more concerned with setting up the series' finale than anything else, this nevertheless manages to intrigue and entertain and that's in no small part due to Hill's skill with characterization and dialogue. While Cray's team remains somewhat anemic (Victoria continues to shine, mind you), Hill's Constantine is charming, brave and psychotic in more or less equal measure. The title character's journey between the Scylla of Diana Prince's mad plan to destroy half the world and the Charybdis of his own talking tumor-induced torment is also compelling stuff. The art continues to be somewhat underwhelming, but this is still a comic book that's worth your time.

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7.5
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #10

Aug 8, 2018

This issue, though, is all about Michael Cray. Hill portrays his anguish and vulnerability perfectly and, along with the setup we've already had, that full panel final page suggests that the poor man has yet more suffering to come. 

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7.5
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #11

Sep 12, 2018

This issue contains some useful and engaging background as well as a shocking moment that highlights just how terrible the threat Cray is about to face might be. Hill's portrayal of Cray continues to be the main draw of the series – a talented but afflicted man who operates at the very limits of his physical and psychological endurance. While the art may still be this series' weakness, the character of Cray – both sympathetic and admirable – is undoubtedly its strength. I can't wait for issue 12.

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7.9
Wild Storm: Michael Cray #12

Oct 10, 2018

The Michael Cray series ends in a way that manages to feel fresh, exciting and inevitable all at the same time. The limitations of the art notwithstanding, the story is told in a clear, dramatic manner and the issue's final page left this reader at any rate with a very satisfied feeling.

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6.7
Wonder Woman (2016) #54

Sep 12, 2018

Following on directly from the last issue, this story sees the title's focus shift to a more grounded world of politics, power, and tribal belonging. While Rustam may be a little underwhelming, he's used well enough here and, the occasional dialogue excess notwithstanding, Orlando has told an enjoyable and fairly intriguing story. The art, while not quite at the level of Aco's last issue, is nevertheless excellent. I'm cautiously optimistic about where this story's heading.

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6.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #55

Sep 26, 2018

Although Allen and Martin's art continues to impress and Orlando's characterization of the title character remains warm and compassionate, the story as a whole relies a little too much on a plot device so good it had to be used twice and an awful lot of earnest conversation. Of the main characters, Artemis is perhaps the one whose portrayal suffers the most because of the demands of the plot. Orlando's grasp of political realities is reasonably assured at the end, but that end is consequently somewhat anti-climactic.. As a result, this issue is very much a mixed bag.

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8.5
Wonder Woman/Conan #1

Sep 20, 2017

In short, this is a great start to the series. The odd bit of poor writing notwithstanding, this is a thoroughly engaging issue with great characterization that forms the basis of an already intriguing chemistry between our two lead characters. Lopestri and Ryan's artwork is dynamic and entertaining and there are hooks galore in the form of unanswered questions about Diana and an ending that promises plenty of action next time around. Highly recommended.

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6.5
Wonder Woman/Conan #2

Oct 18, 2017

A somewhat lacklustre follow-up to last issue's more coherent opening installment, this issue is still entertaining enough but drags occasionally and errs on the side of predictability. Lopresti's art remains impressively dynamic and aesthetically excellent (his Diana is genuinely stunning), but that alone isn't quite enough to lift things here.

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8.1
Wonder Woman/Conan #3

Nov 15, 2017

Accomplished storytelling that makes both title characters three-dimensional, interesting characters and the relationship between them both intriguing and emotionally authentic combines here with invariably excellent artwork to continue a tale that this reviewer at least finds extremely entertaining. After the slight uncertainty of the previous issue, this one is back on track.

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7.2
Wonder Woman/Conan #4

Dec 21, 2017

In terms of pacing and the development of the overall plot, this issue is a little disappointing. That said, Simone's handling of these characters is assured and warm, and Lopresti's art is dynamic and expressive and generally rather beautiful. Although not particularly advancing the story all that much, this issue does nothing to derail it and there's actually a lot to enjoy here. This series is still recommended and I'm looking forward very much to seeing how it ends.

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8.5
Wonder Woman/Conan #5

Jan 17, 2018

Simone's writing is generally excellent here and she introduces a couple of genuinely surprising moments that bode well for next month's finale. The art continues to be lively and clear, and the sense of rollicking adventure in the grand pulp style is positively palpable. An excellent slice of comic book excitement. Recommended.

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9.0
Wonder Woman/Conan #6

Feb 21, 2018

An excellent ending to an excellent series, this issue takes a deep breath in its first few pages before plunging headlong into a series of moments that are drenched in drama. Not only does the issue wrap up a number of mysteries and plot threads, but it also packs an emotional wallop that left this reviewer at least extremely satisfied. The art of Lopresti and Ryan is dynamic, clear and powerful, telling the story in a fluid, breathtaking manner that delivers some real heroic highs. If you're even only moderately interested in either of the two main characters, this is a series that you simply must read.

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