Jessica Tarnate's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Crux Reviews: 47
7.7Avg. Review Rating

10
All-Star Western #11

May 10, 2013

Moritats art continues to impress me as usual. His raw, unpolished art style looks like it could be in a childrens book about the Old West. And I absolutely love the female Talons costume design.  Im a recent fan of steampunk costumes and settings, but All-Star Western has made my love for the culture grow even more.

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9
Amala's Blade #2

May 30, 2013

All in all, Amala's Blade #2 was a satisfying followup to the first issue that offered up a little more character development. I'd recommend it to fans of Jeremy Whitley's Princeless or Game of Thrones. The series would make a great ongoing story; each aspect could be expanded upon in future issues or story arcs (who are the Modifiers/Purifiers, what is the history of this world, etc.) Though Horton must condense Amala's Blade into four issues, leaving out some details and backstory, it's a fun read nonetheless.

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10
Aquaman (2011) #10

May 10, 2013

Its astonishing how a comic series can fluctuate from issue to issue. Though Aquaman #10 didnt reveal or solve any major plot point in this issue, it seemed much more exciting than the previous, which ended on a big reveal concerning Aquamans history. What made the difference was the art. Each page was a joy to examine and reread, and it made me more intrigued with the story. The Comic Book Gods answered my prayers from Aquaman #9 by adding more scenes with water (though I guess that would actually be the creators and DC). If they continue to do this, I will be eternally grateful.

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10
Aquaman (2011) #15

May 10, 2013

If youve become a bit bored of Aquaman lately, jump on this current story arc (which began with last months Aquaman #14.) So far, Ocean Master is a more thrilling foe than Black Manta. Perhaps just as thrilling is seeing Aquaman work with (and clash with) the Justice League. The ending to Aquaman #15 only proves that Throne of Atlantis is going to get even better in the coming issues.

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10
Archer & Armstrong #1

Aug 8, 2012

Valiant has comics for everyones tastes. Harbinger had previously been my favorite series of theirs storywise, but I found the art too fractured. With Archer & Armstrong, both story and artwork are appealing and fit together. If youve been ambivalent towards Valiants comics lately, not finding one you truly love, try Archer & Armstrong #1. It may be the one for you.

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10
Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils Of The Pacific #3

May 10, 2013

If youre not reading Atomic Robo and The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific, give it a try. Its a nice change of pace, moving away from gratuitous violence and offensive humor in other comics. Its safe for kids to read, but it doesnt read like a squeaky-clean childrens book. And its got perhaps the best group of female characters since Y: The Last Man. The She-Devils are likable without any overt sex appeal. Theyre recognizable without skimpy costumes or blatant cleavage. Theyre strong, intelligent women doing hard work, but they refuse to either rely on or compare themselves to men. And Clevinger never relies on a predictable sexist joke to get a laugh. This series is great because it appeals to everyone, of all ages and gender. 

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6
Batgirl (2011) #10

May 10, 2013

Writer Gail Simone did pull a clever move at the end of this issue by naming the Disgraced leader Knightfall. Or was it clever? Batman fans know that Knightfall is an umbrella term for the famous Bane story arc, in which he broke the Bat. What does this mean for Batgirl? Does lending the name Knightfall to a female villain set the bar even higher? We readers shall see. As the last page in issue #10 says, Knightfall is coming. (Game of Thrones, anyone?)

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6
Batman (2011) #14

May 10, 2013

I have faith in Scott Snyders writing, so Im holding out hope that the entire story arc will come together more neatly. At least hes got Capullos consistently brilliant artwork to support the story no matter what. Death of the Family is still fairly new. Batgirl #14 is the only other full-issue crossover to have been released so far. We can only wait and see how the story is fully fleshed out. I had just hoped Batman #14 was as suspenseful and well-structured as its predecessor, and it fell a little short.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #0

Dec 9, 2012

After reading the first few issues of the newest Batman Incorporated series, I was intrigued by both Talia al Ghul and Damian Wayne. I wanted to read more about each of them, and this was my chance. Batman and Robin #0 gives us readers a glimpse into what it would be like to be the child of two master fighters and geniuses (pretty grueling, if you ask me.) I really loved the montage panels, especially those that show Damian fighting Talia on each of his birthdays. And I have to admit, the panel in which a young Damian puts on the Bat cape and cowl looked adorable. Artist Patrick Gleason knows how to structure his panels to convey action and time lapse, and writer Peter J. Tomasi complements both perfectly with sparsebut well-writtendialogue. If the zero issue is any indication of how good the Batman and Robin series is, then I have yet another Bat-family story to add to my pull list.

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8
Batman and Robin (2011) #16

May 10, 2013

Batman and Robin #16 consisted mostly of the fight between Batman and Robin, while the previous issue was mainly dialogue between Robin and Joker. Even though I preferred the previous to this action-packed issue, Im still curious to see how Robins tie-in to Death of the Family progresses.

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9
Batman Incorporated #8

May 10, 2013

From what Ive heard at my LCS and online, people are pretty pissed about Damians death. And rightfully so. Hes probably my favorite Robin at the moment, and to have him suffer a graphic death only eight issues into the series is a big risk. But I admire Morrison for doing something so risky. Unlike Scott Snyders ending to Death of the Family, which felt like a tremendous letdown, Morrison is not afraid to pull a bold move that may not sit well with fans. Plus, we all know that characters in comics dont have to stay dead. Ive got faith that Morrison knows what hes doing, and probably has more shocking plot points in future Batman Incorporated issues. But that doesnt mean everyone will like it.

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10
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1

Apr 7, 2012

Perhaps writer Len Wein and character Adrian Veidt make better narrators than Comedian or Silk Spectre. I found his personal journey modeled after Alexander the Greats fascinating. It will please readers who enjoy epic stories and world history, especially with the unique art. Adrian Veidt himself is a complex and intriguing character: cold, extremely logical and arrogant; yet there are moments in this issue where he shows emotion (pretty much just like in Moores Watchmen.) Since there is relatively little time spent on his character in relation to the others in Moores work, there is more to unravel and present in his Before Watchmen story. The writing and artist team behind Ozymandias #1 is by far the best of the Before Watchmen project. If you like stylized artwork that looks like a beautiful painting (similar to Alex Rosss work in Kingdom Come) and stories with complex, interesting protagonists, I highly recommend Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1.

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9
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1

May 10, 2013

Lee Bermejos art really made Rorschach #1 an instant page-turner. His dark, hyperrealistic style is perfect for Rorschachs story; it really enhances the 1970s noir feel. Bermejo and colorist Barbara Ciardo make a spectacular team when it comes to textures. Rorschachs trench coat is beautifully creased and draped. Everyones skin seems to glow realistically, whether theyre lit by TV screens or street lamps. And if the first villain in Rorschachs story is going to be someone who carves into peoples bodies, the art needs to be graphic. The main thing that will keep me hooked onto Before Watchmen: Rorschach is the artwork. Rorschach is perhaps my favorite Watchmen character. After Ozymandias, I think his story is the strongest. 

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6
Bloodshot #2

May 10, 2013

Since its very hard for me to pinpoint why I DONT love this series, Im going to give it another couple issues. The story is cool, similar to Total Recall. I like Bloodshots struggle with his memories and different families he supposedly has. Heroes with regenerative abilities arent completely original, but I like the idea of advanced nanites in his bloodstream being responsible for it. Bloodshot is turning out to be frustrating for me, like deciphering if your crush likes you or not. A couple more issues should make it or break it. 

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7
Change #2

Sep 1, 2012

If you enjoy high concept novels and films like Tree of Life or Cloud Atlas, then you may enjoy Change. I can honestly say Ive never read a comic with such a strange, amorphous plot (and complementary artwork to match.) Change is not really my cup of tea, but I admired Kots willingness to push the boundaries of storytelling. I think everyone should experience a comic like this just once.

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4
Clone #1

May 10, 2013

The sci-fi genre is already inundated with techie stories of clones (see: The 6th Day, Hitman, Splice, Resident Evil, etc.) Maybe Im too spoiled by so many other comics from Image that feel unique and exciting to read.  Maybe this series began too soon after another Image Comics thriller about clones (Dancer by Nathan Edmondson, which was much more exciting due to spare dialogue and beautiful art by Nic Klein.) If youre a fan of Juan Jose Ryps art style, you may appreciate Clone #1, but I wouldnt expect much originality or excitement to want to read more.

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8
Creator Owned Heroes #5

Oct 10, 2012

Creator Owned Heroes is a blend of everything I love about Image Comics. The anthology offers up so many different genres of stories out there, and they all have a definitive ending. This is one aspect that made me like Killswitch more than I would have if it was an ongoing series: I know there will be an ending soon, and I enjoy a story all wrapped up neatly with a bow. I loved Black Sparrow because of the unique art used primarily as the storytelling, and it opened by eyes to creators and artists I was unfamiliar with. If neither of the two stories in Creator Owned Heroes #5 appealed to you, theres always the possibility that a different one will in a future issue. Its a great start for new or lapsed readers who want something different than cape-and-cowl fare. If you find the most current stories arent for you, at least know that there will be a new one straight from the creators soon.

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6
Debris #1

May 10, 2013

The art wasnt for me, but Debris paints a nicely bleak picture of the future, where finding a pure source of water is like striking gold. If you like dystopian stories with warrior women kicking ass, give Debris a shot.

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9
Dia De Los Muertos #1

Jun 2, 2012

Dia de Los Muertos #1 is the first of three. If youre a fan of the holiday, of indie horror comics, or of Dirk Mannings or Riley Rossmos work, I highly recommend this first issue.

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6
Earth 2 #0

May 9, 2012

All in all, this was my least favorite issue of Earth 2 so far. One of the most appealing things about Earth 2 is reading about heroes other than the big three and how they interact with each other. Plus their origin stories are fantastic. Luckily this is just a zero issue, so well be back to the regular events with Flash, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern and Atom in just a month.

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8
Emily and the Strangers #1

May 10, 2013

The artwork by Emily Ivie is simple and appealing; it reminded me of Scott Wegeners work on Atomic Robo. Again, another aspect that would attract younger readers. Rich Blacks rock poster variant cover is awesome too, a nice option for Emily and the Strangers #1. Id definitely recommend this new series for young teens and kids, or to anyone older who had a punk/emo phase in high school. Its a fun read, and Emily the Strange is a kickass main character.

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6
Epic Kill #3

Apr 7, 2012

As for the story, Ive been engrossed with each issue that has come out, but Im starting to want a little more from Song by issue #3. Her mysterious demeanor has become almost too robotic for me. I look forward to the banter between the policemen tracking her movements rather than her inner monologue. She does have her humorous moments, but they are far too few. O moment I really enjoyed in #3 was a fantasy sequence in which she gunned down all of the men in the house, thinking Im Fury. Im Rage. Im Punishment. Im Shiva, goddess of death. The Destroyer. If Song has more thoughts and moments like that in the future, it will keep her from being a bland killing machine with no personality. And yes, at this point in the story we readers know that Song has been bred to be an emotionless killing machine. But as a protagonist, we need a little more from her to want to keep reading.

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8
Flash (2011) #0

May 10, 2013

The only gripes Id point out were the lack of characterization for Barry other than his relationship with others. Obviously he is very close with his mother before her death, and cares deeply about his incarcerated father. He also cares about Captain Frye, whom he looks up to like a father-figure. But I wanted more of his personality other than his family ties, or his grief and determination. I feel like those traits are suited more towards dark superheroes like Batman. Perhaps Im biased since Im used to a sarcastic lighthearted Flash from the cartoon. Maybe I need to continue reading the series to learn more about Barry Allen. Either way, it couldnt have hurt to give him a bit more personality in Flash #0.

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10
Harbinger #0

May 10, 2013

Probably the most noticeable improvement Harbinger has had is the change in artist. Mico Suayan and Pere Perez complement the story much better with their style of artwork. Even though this issue isnt often graphic or gruesome, the panels depicting soldiers in agony are intense. Darpans slow progression through the stationed soldiers even causes a few of them to commit suicide. Writer Joshua Dysart has outdone himself with Harbinger #0 too. As the series has gone on, Ive wavered between liking and hating main character Peter Stancek. Im happy that Harbinger #0 focused on another main character with such an interesting backstory and personality. Harbinger #0 is a refreshing issue in the series; if youve fallen behind on issues or havent jumped on board with Harbinger yet, its a great place to start.

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8
I Love Trouble #1

May 12, 2012

I Love Trouble has loads of potential. Its a fun storyit imagines someone with supernatural powers like Nightcrawler, using his powers for selfish and criminal reasons. I Love Trouble #1 offers a cool plot and appealing idea in this debut issue, but with a weak main character, I only halfheartedly want to see what happens next.

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8
Indestructible Hulk #2

May 10, 2013

Ive never been a big fan of The Hulk in general so Im unsure how long I would continue to read the series. But this is a great read for unsure fans like me, or people unfamiliar with the Hulks history. The artwork by Leinil Francis Yu is stunning, with heavy shadows and lines. Theres a fantastic page that depicts Bruce exploding into Hulk form. And if youre already Mark Waid fan, I would recommend picking up Indestructible Hulk. Of all the Marvel NOW! books, I never thought Id enjoy this one as much as I have.

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6
It Girl and The Atomics #1

May 10, 2013

I have high hopes for future issues of It Girl and The Atomics. Its kinda cheesy, retro; the style reminded me of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grays excellent take on Power Girl. With a little work on flow and characterization, I think the series could bring something more lighthearted and fresh to Images current stock of comics.

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10
Justice League of America (2013) #1

May 10, 2013

Justice League of America #1 offers up strong characters and a well-paced story that doesnt overwhelm the reader. Aside from a few awkward-looking panels and minor anatomical slips in the artwork, Justice League of America #1 is a perfect jumping on point for fans of Geoff Johns or for readers who want to reconnect with the JLA.

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6
Katana #1

May 10, 2013

Fans of Ann Nocentis writing and Japanese lore will probably enjoy Katana #1. Shes an interesting character that can carry her own series with Nocentis writing. I just wish the artwork complemented the story and gave it a chance to really shine.

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7
Mars Attacks #1

May 10, 2013

As a whole, Mars Attacks #1 is a must-read for fans of the cult classic film. The art is vivid and perfectly matched to the story. While it seems less quirky and aims to give the Martian race more depth, it is still a fun new series that doesnt weigh too heavily on the mind.

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8
Marvel Zombies Halloween #1

May 10, 2013

If your regular weekly pull gets too taxing on your brain or heart (I know Im not the only one who gets this affected by her comics) then make sure to try this campy one-shot comic. 

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4
Masters of the Universe #1

May 10, 2013

With passable art that neither amazes nor fails, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 will please nostalgic fans of the old minicomics or animated television series. But with poor dialogue and pacing, it fails to draw in a new generation of readers like myself. You may think that I should have familiarized myself with the He-Man universe before reading, but its the comics job to do that. Especially a first issue in a new series.

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6
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

Feb 1, 2012

All in all, I liked Morbius as a character and the structure of his introduction. Im completely new to the character from Spider-Man, but I can see how Morbius holds his own in the Marvel Universe. With a little work, this new series could reel in more new readers and new fans of Morbius.

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6
National Comics: Looker #1

May 10, 2013

There's so much going on, there's not enough time to do justice to each character or story.

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6
Nowhere Men #1

May 10, 2013

All in all, the idea of Nowhere Men is appealing, a nice change from hyperviolent and sexualized comics. But the pacing and story progression needs work. Furthermore, the artwork and colors leave much to be desired. A more stylized and retro look would have fit the story and time period better. Nowhere Men could very well improve in the following issues, but Im not sure its worth the wait.

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9
Punk Rock Jesus #1

Nov 7, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus #1 certainly has a lot going on already with the art. Sean Murphy serves up an interesting story rich with possibilities. Murphy is able to balance the unavoidable religion vs. science debate without being overwhelming. Each character brings a unique personality and voice to the story as well. While some #1 issues can feel predictable, especially at the ending, Punk Rock Jesus #1 definitely did not. The one possible downside to reading the series is also its strongest attribute: the art. Every page is a visual feast in true punk rock style, and it may overwhelm readers who prefer more realistic or softer art. But if striking, black-and-white art is your thing, then I recommend Punk Rock Jesus #1. The story is violent, complex and unpredictable. Vertigo Comics has a potential hit new series on their hands if Punk Rock Jesus continues in this vein.

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8
Resurrection Man (2011) #10

May 10, 2013

Im pretty disappointed that Resurrection Man was served up on DCs chopping block. It had an enormous amount of potential as an ongoing series. Longtime collaborators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are terrific writers--The Thanos Imperative and The New Deadwardians are some of my other favoritesso I hate to see this end as well. Please, DC Comics, just give Resurrection Man a proper send-off with issue #0. Thats all I can ask for.

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10
Revival #1

Nov 7, 2012

Revival #1 is a surprisingly original addition to zombie horror. First and foremost, it tackles the question of why the townspeople are reviving and how its affecting the small town. I like that it doesnt focus on the theme of surviving a zombie uprising; besides, the revived citizens dont seem like typical zombies, as their flesh and bones seem to repair after being damaged. So are they really zombies? And why is this happening in a tiny Wisconsin town in the first place? Im fascinated to see which direction Revival takes.

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8
Revival #4

May 10, 2013

Revival continues to be one of my favorite current horror comics out there. The story reminds me of True Blood because of the various plotlines and supernatural/horror elements. Thankfully, unlike True Blood, its consistently well-written, refreshing and less silly. As long as this rural noir doesnt get lost in its own tangled storylines, and as long as it doesnt take too long to wrap up character story arcs, Revival has the potential to be one of the best zombie comics out there.

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10
Saga #12

Oct 4, 2013

Sure, Saga #12 depicted two gay sex scenes in the first few pages of the issue, but remember that the series is for mature readers. If this is the first time that a Saga image shocked you, wellIm not touching that. All in all, Saga #12 is fantastic as usual.

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6
The First X-Men #1

May 10, 2013

If The First X-Men slows down plot-wise, it has the potential to be excellent. I would have enjoyed the issue more had it focused on interaction between Wolverine, Sabretooth and Holo. Holo is a great character and I loved the way she was introduced with her mutant powers. Perhaps if the issue had ended with the trio on their way to meet someone at Oxford University (hinting at Xavier) it would have felt less rushed. If youve never read an X-Men comic before, you may like this new series. Wolverine and Sabretooth exchange some great banter and jokes, and Holo is a solid secondary character. If the creative team focuses on introducing new characters more slowly and their interaction with established characters, The First X-Men could be a big hit.

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10
The Hypernaturals #1

May 10, 2013

Since Abnett & Lanning are favorite writers of mine (see: The New Deadwardians, Resurrection Man) and I was intrigued by the FCBD preview, I was sure Id like The Hypernaturals #1. Spot-on prediction; I loved it. If you like new stories like Saga, or Valiants Harbinger or X-O Manowar, I highly recommend The Hypernaturals #1.

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4
The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1

May 10, 2013

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 is one of those comics that are probably better as trade paperbacks rather than standalone issues. As I said, I love the era of the setting. Its reflected in the clothing of the characters and the way in which they interact. But as an introduction to a bigger story, Im not sold. If I give the series another shot, its going to be in trade paperback form.

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8
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #1

Jun 13, 2013

Even if you're unfamiliar with Way's previousUmbrella Academy, giveKilljoys#1 a try. It might take a couple of reads to fully get the plot and characters straight, but it's worth it.

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4
Think Tank #1

May 10, 2013

I would give Think Tank a second chance and read a few more issues, but I was disappointed with the debut issue. Dr. Loren isnt as appealing or funny as he could be. Its hinted that he charmed his way through college, but that contradicts the crappy way he treats his coworkers, superiors and the opposite sex. The character does draw comparisons to Tony Stark. Think Tanks plot is so similar to Iron Man that it cant be avoided, and Matt Hawkins should have made his protagonist more uniqueor at the very least, Tony Starks match. If you like scientific techie thrillers, try Think Tank #1, but remember there are other better series out there worthier of your time.

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8
Thor: God of Thunder #1

May 10, 2013

All in all, Thor: God of Thunder #1 is an intriguing take on the character. Aarons clever storytelling glimpses into different points in time during Thors journey, allowing us to see what will happen. I can already tell this will up the anticipation for each new issue that debuts.

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8
Womanthology - Space #1

May 10, 2013

Im thrilled that Womanthology has an ongoing series now. Its a less overwhelming way to get acquainted with various female writers, artists, creators, etc. Though I loved the idea of Womanthology: Heroic, I think the ongoing Womanthology: Space allows readers to become familiar with each short story. These stories varied so much in terms of tone, style and humor that they deserve a little extra reading time for each. If this is just the beginning of what the Space series has to offer, then Im definitely anticipating the short stories that come next.

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