Jim Bush's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Entertainment Fuse Reviews: 153
7.6Avg. Review Rating

6.8
100th Anniversary: The Avengers #1

Aug 2, 2014

There is a certain amount of absurdity in 100thAnniversary Special Avengers #1 that doesnt entirely work and at times undercuts the dramatic tension. Likewise, the dialog isnt especially good because it either is playing at ironic echoing of heroic patter or Stokoe just isnt adept at writing convincing speech. However, while its not always different in a better way, I like that Marvel is willing to let unconventional writers and artists use their characters, even if it is only in non-continuity specials. This issue wont be for everyone, but I do think its a worthwhile experiment, something that adventurous readers may enjoy.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #34.1

Sep 21, 2014

While Avengers #34.1 has nothing whatsoever to do with Hickmans current Avengers storyline (which explains the numbering of the issue, I believe), its still a very enjoyable issue thats definitely worth reading.

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7.4
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 14, 2014

Those few council/rulers/commentators have a recurring role in Bitch Planet #1, but its not entirely clear who they are. That is the biggest question that emerged for me from the issue. Who are these guys with their eye screens? At the end, they refer to one of the inmates as the star of our show. So is the Bitch Planet really a The Running Man-type of futuristic deadly reality/game show? What is the exact nature of the show? Despite the major questions about the central story, Bitch Planet #1 is a fun and engaging mix of action and message, one that would seems primed for a potent ongoing series.

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8.1
Bitch Planet #2

Feb 1, 2015

Its pretty impressive how quickly the story basics have been established for the series. Many new comic books seem to take the entirety of their first arcs before readers really know what the book is about. With Bitch Planet #2, though, we get all the important and necessary stuff to understand where this comic is going. That makes the second issue really effective because it throws a lot of good story building-blocks out there without getting weighted down by exposition. Whats been set up so far seems like it will be fun and intelligent.

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5.9
Bitch Planet #3

Feb 28, 2015

Although Bitch Planet has started off strong with its first two issues, the third slows things down. With all of the story momentum from the previous issue, it was disappointing to have none of those plot threads advanced and instead get an entire issue dealing with past Penny, who is frankly not as interesting as present Penny. Something about this issue feels like a fill-in and while that might be the case, it comes at somewhat awkward timing for the series. Id rather wait longer and have a third issue that follows the story after the second. In any case, it appears that #4 will bring us back to the story, which should be a welcome return.

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7.3
Bitch Planet #4

May 17, 2015

Bitch Planet #4 is a good rebound from the previous issue, which was a little predictable and clichd. With the issue devoted heavily to Kogos machinations and the overall narrative, it feels tighter and more directed. I hope upcoming issues stay on this course for at least a little while, giving readers a good idea of the big picture of Bitch Planet and the roles that all of the characters are going to play.

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7.0
Bitch Planet #5

Sep 14, 2015

Personally, the death of the major character in Bitch Planet #5 doesnt hit as hard as I think it is supposed to because I dont feel like I knew that character especially well. Its surprising and somewhat sad, but I think her death may have had a bigger impact on readers if we had spent more time getting to know her. This is the danger of sprawling stories, and DeConnick has added a lot to the first arc. Bitch Planet is a good series that I like reading, but it has the potential to be much, much more.

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9.2
Black Panther (2016) #1

Apr 24, 2016

Its often hard for comics with big hype to live up to the buzz, but Black Panther #1 gives readers a very good comic, especially for a first issue. First issues of new series can be pretty hard because there is so much ground-work to lay down. However, Coates and Stelfreeze cover a lot in this one issue. While there are no crazy shocking moments, Black Panther #1 gives us so many essentials for a new series. We are giving a strong sense of character on the main players. Some clear tension is established, which creates an intriguing mood for the comic. Additionally, a compelling plot is being created. This would be a great effort in a first issue for a veteran comic book writer. That Ta-Nehisi Coates, despite his overall writing acumen, is writing comic books for the first time makes Black Panther #1 a very impressive debut.

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8.7
Black Panther (2016) #3

Jul 6, 2016

Still, the strengths of Black Panther #3 really outshine the more pointed criticisms. While the series is not for all comic readers, it does offer a combination of story and writing approaches that few other Marvel comics ever have. Additionally, the sales of the first two issues have been outstanding (Black Panther#1 is the highest-selling comic of 2016 so far).While there have been many compelling plot threads unveiled during the first three issues, it will be up to Coates and Stelfreeze to bring those together into a satisfying arc conclusion and extend them into future stories. So far, however, the series has been very good, and Black Panther #3 is a very strong comic.

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8.5
Black Panther (2016) #5

Aug 27, 2016

Taken individually, Black Panther #5, like most of the issues of the series so far, is dense. Its not easy reading because the plots are complex, the allegiances are mysterious, and the language is poetic. This is probably one of those series for which reading the issues without too much time between them–such as when its collected in trade format will help readers. Its when you read the issues together that you get a sense of the broad story that Coates is telling, and how it will play out gradually in a satisfying way.

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7.6
Black Panther (2016) #8

Nov 26, 2016

To some degree, a readers opinion of Shuris segments in The Djalia probably relates to how much he/she likes the fables and parables that Shuri and the mother spirit tell each other. I thought that the story-within-a-story in Black Panther #8 was one of the better Shuri tales. It concerns the Buffalo Woman, who ended up being a great transitional leader for Wakanda. These interludes have helped fill in the history of Wakanda and informs Shuris direction. Whether she will fully side with the Midnight Angels or not, I am looking forward to seeing how Shuri complicates Tchallas life even more.

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8.5
Black Panther (2016) #9

Jan 3, 2017

If you are someone who has read and liked the first eight issues of Black Panther, I think issue #9 will be pleasing. It covers all of the main groups of characters in the series, giving each opportunities to show what they are after. While there are moments of characters espousing political theory at each, there are also moments that reveal character, such as Tchalla bruskness and Shuris patience. Likewise, when Aneka runs off after having made a broadcast calling for people to turn against Tchalla, it shows that she is still a bit conflicted by what shes doing. So while it may not have as much action as previous installments of the series, there is still juicy material in Black Panther #9.

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7.4
Black Panther (2016) #10

Feb 1, 2017

In a lot of ways, Black Panther #10 presents both the best sides of Coates run on the series and his occasional drawbacks. On the plus, the themes and concepts are really fascinating. The shifting sides and power dynamics are also well handled. At the same time, this is the second straight issue that has been mostly talking, which I think can get stagnate. Black Panther #10 is a good issue, but I think it could have more moved quicker and had some alterations in pace that made it a bit more exciting. At any rate, Coates has set up a conflict for the next issue that should be quite entertaining and surprising.

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7.0
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Sep 17, 2016

I dont think Blue Beetle Rebirth #1 is going to set the comic book world on fire. Blue Beetle does have a cult following (both the Reyes and Kord versions), but that doesnt even guarantee it great sales. While Blue Beetle Rebirth #1 is not an astounding comic, it is a fun re-start to a few great characters. There also seem to be enough encouraging signs that this series could become a very good one.

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6.1
Captain Midnight #1

Aug 2, 2013

Dark Horse has been promoting Captain Midnight as an important part of their superhero initiative. I suppose that made me expect more from this issue. It's a solid first issue, with room to turn into an escapist, fun series. However, there's nothing here that seems to indicate "important event series" that would birth a segment of a company's titles. Maybe Captain Midnight will develop into a strong title, leading to other superhero titles for Dark Horse. However, that doesn't feel inevitable just yet.

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8.1
Daredevil (2011) #28

Jul 13, 2013

This issue is an example of the best kind of comic book revisionism: taking a known incident from a character's background and rather than totally reversing it, instead finding an interesting new angle to explore that sheds light on the character and his/her background. Overall, this is a very good jumping-on point for new readers. It doesn't required knowing much about what's happened in the first two-plus years of Waid's run but still offers an intriguing story thread to develop.

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8.3
Daredevil (2011) #30

Sep 3, 2013

Although this issue seems to provide an unrelated distraction to recent Daredevil plotlines, I imagine this issue will ultimately prove important, in the way Waid has done in the past. Even taken on its own, the combination of Daredevil and the Silver Surfer, especially as drawn by Samnee, is a distraction well worth having.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #33

Nov 26, 2013

Combining this introduction, the fantastic artwork, and the fun and often funny vibe of the story, Daredevil #33 is a very enjoyable issue. Its not perfect, but it does continue Waids bold explorations of Daredevil.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #35

Jan 31, 2014

It remains to be seen if Foggy Nelson will survive the change coming. In recent issues, Foggys health has become worse. We know that the cover of the next issue shows the door of the Nelson & Murdock law firm closed for business. Id like to see Foggy make it through, but it looks far from certain. In any case, I think that Waid has earned the trust of Daredevil readers. Nearly all of the storytelling choices hes made in this series have been outstanding, so well soon see what happens in Daredevil #36, the last issue of the series (for a few months).

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8.5
Daredevil (2011) #36

Feb 21, 2014

2014 will be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Daredevil character, so I imagine Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and the rest of Marvel have some big plans for the character. The conclusion of this volume of Daredevil, taken as an arc, certainly made some big moves. Im looking forward to seeing what the creative team does with Matt, his new flame Kirsten McDuffie, and a still-ailing Foggy in San Francisco.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #1

Mar 29, 2014

In some ways, this issue feels somewhat light since there is no shocking or world-breaking event teased. Still, its a very well-crafted issue in terms of story, character, art, and writing. I dont mind Daredevil being relaunched if it means that more fans get to see what tremendous work is being done each month with Murdock and company by Waid and Samnee.

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7.0
Daredevil (2014) #1.50

Apr 21, 2014

It might be surprising to many to learn that Daredevil has been around for 50 years. The series has also had many top notch creators through its history, who have contributed many outstanding story arcs. Its a bit awkward that this anniversary issue comes one issue after the Daredevil title was rebooted. I think Marvel could have done a better job of making the timing work so that the anniversary issue didnt have to have the weird numbering of #1.50. Although this isnt a great or essential issue, its still great to see the company celebrating the character, who with a popular series and upcoming Netflix television show seems to be doing better than ever.

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8.4
Daredevil (2014) #2

May 10, 2014

With the surprising end, Waid and Samnee have set up the Shroud to be a significant character in Daredevil, at least for a few issues. I think it would be fascinating if the double element was explored further. Will Matt Murdock see anything of himself in Max Coleridge the way Max sees himself in Matt? Will that make Matt question his approach to his new home city? Well soon see in the pages of Daredevil.

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8.1
Daredevil (2014) #4

Jun 24, 2014

Daredevil #4 sets a new course for The Owl, making him potentially much more powerful in the future. It also seems to hint that The Shroud will return to this series in the future, along with possibly Julia Carpenter. Matt Murdock manages to make things mostly right, and has demonstrates a strong working partnership with Kirsten McDuffie, along with their romantic connection. Overall, the latest issue of Daredevil is another in a long line of winners by Waid and Samnee.

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7.3
Daredevil (2014) #5

Jul 20, 2014

Im still not entirely clear on how Matt arranged for this fight and whether the Leapfrog knows what was happening. Its a pretty extreme and potentially dangerous stunt to pull just to fake a death. But thats Matt Murdock, extreme and occasionally reckless. While we didnt necessarily need this issue (since we already know that Foggy wound up in San Francisco alive though hes thought to be dead), the details and characterization still make this a worthy one-issue detour before the next arc.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #7

Sep 6, 2014

Still, thats a pretty small complaint on an otherwise excellent, short story arc. Its really interesting when creators are able to add to a long-standing characters backstory in a way that is respectful to previous creators and their stories while still adding something significant and true to the character. Its not easy, and Waid and Rodriguez manage it with Sister Maggies story in Daredevil #7. Id guess that Murdock will soon become involved in long stories again, but the short ones have been very enjoyable.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #8

Sep 27, 2014

Certainly, Killgrave is a wicked man who deserves his fate if he has been killed by his own children. After all, they are presumably children of sexual coercion, making Killgraves actions uncomfortably rape-like. Its also interesting that Waid and Samnee are choosing to match Daredevil against the Purple Children, as Murdock has matched up numerous times on previous occasions with Killgrave. What powers do the collective Purple ones have? How can Daredevil fight children? There are some intriguing questions Waid and Samnee lay out for this arc.

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8.1
Daredevil (2014) #11

Jan 3, 2015

Despite the fact that many (if not most) readers will be unfamiliar with the Stunt-Master, I dont think that is really a hindrance for Daredevil #11. Waid and Samnee dont really rely on past knowledge of the character the way some creative teams do when bringing back an old character. Everything a reader needs to know about Stunt-Master is right there in Daredevil #11. So I think Waid and Samnee have made a good choice here, bringing back an old character while adding a new and enriching element to the Stunt-Master, setting up a new and interesting story arc.

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8.8
Daredevil (2014) #12

Jan 25, 2015

Were only a couple of months away from the Daredevil Netflix show, which should put Hornhead in the public eye more, at least with comic book fans. Waid and Samnee, the current creators of the Daredevil comic, are in great form as this spotlight approaches, offering excellent issues in both long and short arcs.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #13

Mar 7, 2015

Waid and Samnee have also been doing something unique in today comic book world by producing issues that often can stand well on their own. They dont require the previous five issues or the next five issues for it to make sense (ahem, Hickman). At the same time, these single issues or short arcs usually build into longer, serialized stories that utilize parts of the issues to build to something larger. That can be seen neatly in Daredevil #13, as the issue reads well on its own, but also introduces elements of The Owls game that are sure to develop of the next series of issues.

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8.8
Daredevil (2014) #14

Mar 29, 2015

Daredevil #14 is yet another fun, intelligent and fast-paced issue of the series. With Waid being announced as the writer of the post-Secret Wars Avengers series, I hope that he gets to keep writing Daredevil as well, as he has been very good on it, along with his cohort, Samnee. With the sort of introduction of Jubula Pride, things are not slowing down, either.

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7.2
Daredevil (2014) #15

May 4, 2015

The major change in Daredevil #15, putting all of Murdocks client interviews online (and revealing that hes been lying about Foggy Nelsons death) means that Daredevil is no longer going to be San Franciscos favorite son. Its a step in possibly making Daredevils life again a hellish existence. The plot and pacing at times, though, makes this a loaded issue in terms of series arcs and continuity, so its not the most self-contained issue to read. Overall, though, Daredevil #15 might prove to eventually be one of the most important moments of Mark Waids time on the series.

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6.0
Daredevil (2014) #15.1

Jun 7, 2015

Daredevil #15.1 has two major strikes against it: it is out of sequence with the rest of this series and its stories are either simplistic or too quick. Also, since they are flashback tales, they dont feel as important. Despite some nice art, theres not enough to prevent Daredevil #15.1 from feeling like an unnecessary diversion rather than a welcome one. Its not bad but not really vital to those except for Daredevil completists.

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8.8
Daredevil (2014) #16

Jul 21, 2015

Daredevil #17 is billed as The Finale, Part 1, meaning there may only be a few issues left of Waid and Samnee, which have been one of the best creative teams ever on Daredevil, a book blessed with some great creators through the years. So Daredevil #16 works very well as a pen-penultimate chapter. It revisits the long struggle between Kingpin and Daredevil while also setting up the difficult-to-predict ending of this particular story.

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7.6
Daredevil (2014) #18

Sep 8, 2015

Incoming writer Charles Soule and artist Ron Garney will have enormous shoes to fill when Daredevil relauches. Waid has shuffled the deck with Matt Murdock, but hes also left DD and associates in relatively stable positions as characters. Soule will be able to tell almost any kind of story he chooses. Daredevil #18 is a nice cap on a great run by Waid and Samnee and while its not their best work, it hits a lot of the right notes as a send-off.

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7.0
Daredevil (2015) #1

Dec 20, 2015

On one hand, it was always going to be hard for Soule and Garney to follow Waid and Chris Samnee. So I am trying to give them the benefit of the doubt on Daredevil, by being open to departures and giving the series a few issues to establish the new status quo. However, I wish the new team had released a really compelling comic out of the gate. Daredevil #1 is a good issue, but not one that grabs a reader and makes him/her feel like the month until the second issue will be an eternity. Soule and Garney should get a chance to show us their Daredevil, but I think they will also need to elevate the comic as well.

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7.5
Daredevil (2015) #2

Jan 19, 2016

I wouldnt say that the new Daredevil is hitting on all cylinders yet, but Daredevil #2 is an improvement in a lot of ways from what I found to be an okay first issue. There are still some areas of concern, such as occasionally clunky or cheesy dialog. Also, it might be hard for longtime readers of Daredevil to accept that his identity is now a secret again post-Secret Wars because it feels like a backwards move. Still, there is enough in Daredevil #2 to hint that this could turn into a strong crime/suspense story with elements of the supernatural.

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7.1
Daredevil (2015) #3

Feb 4, 2016

In one sense, it would be great if one of the first three issues of Daredevil had been a bit more outstanding. I wouldnt characterize any of these issues that way, but they have been solid. Soule and Garney seem to be building slowly, which is not necessarily a problem. However, they will need to really develop and end their first arc in a strong way to build momentum. As the art in the series gets crisper and more attention gets paid to Murdocks life, Daredevil could start to pay off on its potential. While we are not quite there yet, Daredevil #3 offers some excellent visual storytelling and enough new threads to be a good issue.

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5.8
Daredevil (2015) #4

Mar 8, 2016

Its unfortunate that as the art on Daredevil improves, the story issues have become more prominent. Its not that these things are unfixable. If Soule can add some nuance, depth and complexity to Matt Murdocks personality, it will help a great deal. I dont find Ten Fingers very compelling, but if we move on to a new foe in the next arc, thats not a huge deal. The creators also need to settle the details of the world forgetting Daredevils identity. If those things get corrected, Daredevil can be a good series. For now, though, Daredevil #4 has problems that make it somewhat disappointing.

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7.7
Daredevil (2015) #7

Jun 2, 2016

The last two issues of Daredevil have quelled some of the worries I was starting to have about Soules work on the book. I think the first arc was trying to do too many new things at once, and fumbled on some of them. It was wise to shift to an established character such as Elektra, and Soule had a compelling though brief story to tell with her. The conclusion still leaves open the identity of who made Elektra think she had had a daughter (was it Stick? One of Daredevils enemies?), so I think Daredevil #7 will be important for future issues of the series. Hopefully, those issues feel more like the last two and less like the first arc.

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8.4
Daredevil (2015) #8

Jun 13, 2016

In some ways, this is a standalone story, as it mainly concerns Murdocks efforts at the poker table, but it also lays the groundwork for upcoming issues. At the end, there is a nice teaser in that Daredevil is meeting up with Spider-Man (Peter Parker version). Daredevil and Spidey have often teamed up but not that recently, so it will be cool to see them working together. Overall, Daredevil #8 is a good comic, the best so far in the series by Soule, and keeps his streak of solid issues going after a wobbly first few installments.

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7.0
Daredevil (2015) #10

Aug 16, 2016

There are some strong moments in Daredevil #10, especially those related to the mysterious and original crime scene Blindspot finds. The character of Blindspot also continues to be a good addition to the series. At the same time, the Murdock lawyer side of the series is not really working in a compelling way. I respect that Soule is taking things in a different direction than Mark Waid, but while Daredevil does not have to be a fun series, I think it does need some tighter stories. The character work is solid and Garneys artwork makes this issue a really attractive-looking comic.

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7.4
Daredevil (2015) #11

Sep 29, 2016

I do like the central conceit of the Dark Art story so far. Its a pretty original idea by Soule and takes Daredevil in a direction that isnt overly familiar. Im interested in where Soule and Garney go with this. Although its hardly a perfect issue, much of it is a moody and engaging story, highlighted by strong artwork. Hopefully, Soule and Garney have an even more creative direction for this now that we have met Daredevils foe.

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7.8
Daredevil (2015) #12

Oct 26, 2016

Soule seems to be finding his footing lately on Daredevil. I still dont think his issues are quite as good as some of the excellent writers who have handled the character before. At the same time, the last few comics have been enjoyable overall. I think its laudable that he is trying to add his own contribution to the characters lore through new villains like Tenfingers and Muse. While the latter was a miss, so far Muse has a clever modus operandi and enough mystery. Daredevil #12 does a good job of connecting the dots in the story arc while also giving this particular comic something worth reading. I dont think the Inhumans should become a fixture of Daredevil, but theyre working so far in small doses.

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7.0
Daredevil (2015) #14

Jan 9, 2017

I dont know if Soule is continuing on Daredevil after this issue. Regardless of whom the writer will be, there appears to be a somewhat new status quo. I would imagine that Daredevil will be back on his own. Thats not a bad thing but it still seems odd that we never really learned why he took on training Blindspot in the first place. Maybe that will come out eventually. We also dont know how Daredevil made his identity a secret again, though Soule has been teasing that story, too. Soules run so far has been uneven, so Im not opposed to him going in a different direction. Daredevil appears to be in for some changes.

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9.2
Deadly Class #6

Jun 30, 2014

Remender, Craig, and Loughridge wrap up the first story arc with issue #6, and Remender writes the hell out of the conclusion of the book, ending with lines that are at once heartbreaking and hopeful. The last sentence (which I won't spoil because it's really earned in this issue) is paired beautifully by the last page of art, which takes a bird's eye view and distorts it to make the Deadly Class group look like they are driving downwards, towards hell " though as a group. The series is taking a break until September, but if you have not been following it, the first arc will soon be released as a trade and it's really worth reading.

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8.6
Deadly Class #8

Oct 25, 2014

Its hard to make comics that provide an interesting, suspenseful, fantastical story while also showcasing distinctive and appealing art and personal storytelling. Deadly Class #8 is an example that is possible, though, and its really exciting to see it happen. The series as a whole has been exciting (both in story and that something like this exists), and the new issue which doesnt require much previous exposure demonstrates why.

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7.2
Doctor Fate #5

Nov 4, 2015

Dr. Fate is not a series that is going to be near the top sellers, nor is it intended to be. The character isnt especially popular and die-hard Golden Age/Earth 2 fans might be turned off by this younger, costume-less Fate. Still, it feels like the type of series that could generate a loyal following if readers give it a chance. Dr. Fate #5 ends with a dramatic cliffhanger, with Khalid blinded, meaning that big changes could be coming to the still-establishing character and series.

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3.5
Earth 2 #15.2

Sep 13, 2013

The one positive in Earth 2 #15.2 is the art of Aaron Lopresti. While it's not the most dynamic or exceptional art, Lopresti does draw very well. His Grundy evolves from skinny skeleton figure to menacing monster. His illustrations in the origin part of the story indicate that he'd be quite good doing the art for a horror comic. However, just as poor art can sink a good story, good art cannot rescue the lack of story or character presented in this issue.

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4.8
Fight Club 2 #1

Jun 1, 2015

There will likely be some diehard Fight Club fans that actually want to relive the experience and dont mind that Fight Club 2 #1 treads so much of the same ground. For those who enjoyed the book/movie but moved on or for the younger generation that is not familiar with it at all, I think Fight Club 2 #1 might feel unexciting. Palahniuk needs to inject a little more mayhem into his writing and not just the story.

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6.2
Fight Club 2 #2

Jul 7, 2015

There are some encouraging signs in Fight Club 2 #2 that this series is not just revisiting past triumphs with nostalgia. While the series still has a problem with the concepts and characters feeling a bit dated, its at least starting to emerge with a real story. If Palahniuk and Stewart can continue to offer a different type of comic storytelling while also freshening up the central elements of Fight Club, then this series can turn into something more than just a reunion tour.

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2.7
Fight Club 2 #5

Oct 6, 2015

Sebastian/Tyler is supposed one of the Rize or Die members who opens his veins to vandalize art, though there is little doubt that he will return in the next issue just as he returned relatively unscathed after a savage beating at the end of Fight Club 2 #4. There are a lot of things happening in this series, and there have been a few issues with moments of promise, but overall its hard to figure out why readers should care, unless they are hardcore Tyler Durden fans. Fight Club 2 #5 goes in a pointlessdirection that doesnt pay off and indicates that there may not be much of an overarching vision to this sequel.

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7.4
Ghost (2013) #1

Dec 30, 2013

Although there are no scenes with the devil, the mayor or his associate, Dr. October, the fights between Ghost and the demons still give the issue a sense of conflict. I would imagine that the big bads will soon show themselves, giving the new volume of Ghost a plotline larger than just demon hunting. So far, though, DeConnick has kept the series unpredictable, so Im eager to see where she takes the story.

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6.8
Ghost (2013) #3

Apr 26, 2014

Ghost has so far been a pleasant surprise for me. It has featured entertaining but unpredictable stories and mostly outstanding art. A lot of credit goes to DeConnick who has been involved in writing the last and current volume. There are insignias on the series that mark it as part of Project Black Sky, Dark Horses superhero initiative. I hope this Ghost is not forced to crossover with some of Dark Horses other hero comics because I think she fits very well in her supernatural world.

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8.1
Lazarus #4

Oct 6, 2013

The first couple of issues of Lazarus struggled to set up both the realities of this world and the dynamics of the Carlyle family. Additionally, the need to add rousing plots made some of the backstory of the series feel confusing. In the last couple of issues, however, it's really started to come together well. With the world and Carlyles established, we get to see more machinations and allegiances. For instance, Forever and Joacquim have a strong respect and even friendship towards each other despite the fact that they work for rival families. Rucka and Lark have built enough into Lazarus so far to believe that this isn't going to be a run-of-the-mill dystopia. If issues #3 and #4 are any indication, it's going to be very gripping.

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7.0
Lazarus #5

Dec 17, 2013

Although this issue was slightly less exciting than the last few, its the first issue in the new storyline, Lift, so it works in that regard. A number of important themes are explored. It definitely seems like Rucka and Lark are going to be exploring the realness of Forevers family bonds. It sounds like promising territory.

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6.8
Lazarus #6

Feb 9, 2014

All told, this is a very solid issue of Lazarus, with more of the light being shown on the Waste people, especially the Barretts. Im hopeful that we get to see each of them come into their own, although the preview for #7 implies something bad will happen to them while out on the road. Forever continues to be a great character, but Im eager to see her pursue her connections to the Carlyles, and the mysterious text. Hopefully, this storyline will build in the near future.

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7.9
Lazarus #7

Mar 24, 2014

While Im still not especially excited by the Barrett family, I am curious what awaits them at the Lift, where they will be fighting (figuratively or maybe literally) with many other families. Even more, though, I think the band of terrorists/revolutionaries and Emma could make for some really interesting upcoming stories. Maybe these will even connect with Forevers mysterious texts in previous issues about her ties to the Carlyles.

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7.8
Lazarus #9

Jul 6, 2014

I would still like to see more out of the Barret parents, and since Michael and Casey are now going to be a part of the Carlyle world, we will hopefully see it. I think having all of these characters in one setting is a good move for the future, as their sometimes disparate storylines have not always gelled in previous issues. Still, Lazarus #9 is a satisfying conclusion to The Lift storyline, allowing the series to return more fully to the dynamics of the Carlyle family that we saw during the first arc.

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7.2
Lazarus #10

Aug 11, 2014

Still, Im intrigued by the glimpse readers are getting of the other families in Lazarus. Having already survived an assault from within his own family (and still with the traitorous Johanna inside), will Malcolm Carlyle and Forever be able to take a unified front from other powerful families? This seems to be the next big move for the series, one that seems like it will lead to some strong future issues of Lazarus.

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8.1
Lazarus #13

Dec 1, 2014

As the summit seems to be drawing to a key point, I expect well see some dramatic elements in the next issue, especially based on Forevers confrontation with Jonah. Seeing how Lazarus is a dystopia, too, I dont expect the romance between Forever and Joacquim to work out how either of them wants.

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8.9
Lazarus #18

Aug 4, 2015

Lazarus is one of those comics that has large gaps of time between issues. Its a quality series, so the sporadic issues are forgivable, especially when the resulting issue is as good as Lazarus #18. The gaps do make it a bit tough to remember all of the plotlines, and I would guess that it hurts the comics sales. Still, Lazarus seems to have developed a loyal base of fans and puts out consistently good work. I hope Lazarus #19 is not too far around the corner, especially after the cliffhanger in #18.

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7.7
Lazarus #20

Nov 23, 2015

It seems that Lazarus remains a mostly under-appreciated series for Image Comics, but the stories have been consistently solid, and even exemplary. While Lazarus #20 might not reach the highs of the previous two issues, it doesnt really drop momentum too much, instead shifting gears and redirecting the story into a new and surprising direction. I think Johanna Carlyle becoming a bigger presence in Lazarus will be a good decision, and Im looking forward to how Rucka and Lark utilize her in upcoming issues.

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8.2
Lazarus #22

Jul 11, 2016

Though it has been away for some time, Lazarus is still a very good series. Its encouraging that Rucka and Lark are willing to take big risks with their creative decisions. These decisions push the series into unexpected directions and offer other characters time to shine. The juggling of injured Forever and her younger clone could be tricky, but I think Rucka and Lark have something worthwhile in mind. As the new arc The Cull progresses, I think we will see more daring stories.

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6.7
Rocket Girl #1

Oct 21, 2013

Rocket Girl #1 is a solid debut issue. It will take a few issues for Montclare and Reeder to unfold their plans and reveal more of the central danger behind Quintum. And though that plot element is very important, I also hope that they also take the time to show more about the characters involved in this story, especially the Quintum scientists but also Johansson, too.

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7.2
Rocket Girl #2

Nov 19, 2013

As it is, I would say that I like the story, though I'm not totally won over yet. I think the character developments and mirroring finales makes this a strong issue overall. The overarching story, though, is still a little murky. I understand that suspense dictates that information should be doled out slowly, but I hope that readers are soon given a long-term plot reason to invest in Rocket Girl because I think that's the one element missing from making this series an excellent one.

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6.7
Rocket Girl #6

May 13, 2015

Even though Rocket Girl #6 wasnt exactly what I was looking for in a return issue after a long break, I am still glad to see this series back. I felt that the first five issues were one of the pleasant surprises of late 2013/early 2014 in the comics world. It might be good if the upcoming issues of the series accentuated the important story elements while also serving to explore and define the characters. Additionally, it might be tricky for new readers to follow Rocket Girl #6 right off the bat, but I think its well worth picking up the first trade and then continuing with the current issues of the series.

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6.9
Rom #1

Aug 10, 2016

Another element of ROM #1 that needs to be discussed is the surprise ending. In it, Scarlet and Roadblock from G.I. Joe show up to discuss the alien threat that is ROM. Shared universes are a big trend now, and IDW has pulled together a number of former toy properties from Hasbro that will share one universe. Along with ROM and G.I. Joe, Transformers, Action Man, Micronauts, and M.A.S.K. will all inhabit the same story universe. IDW is leaning into this possibility, as a crossover series, Revolution, will take place in the fall. I worry that such a large crossover so early into a ROM series could take away from the world building, but its possible that it could also help develop the world of ROM.

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7.1
Rom #2

Sep 6, 2016

I like the direction writer Christos Gage and Chris Ryall are taking the story. They managed to get out a lot of the essential set-up in the first issue and that allows them to spend more time in ROM #2 working with ROM and Mason as characters. They have also introduced a major twist that could set up compelling future stories. The Wraiths are still a little one-dimensional, though. The art continues to be inconsistent as well. It is good enough, though there are some panels that just look strange. ROM is off to a decent start, thought I think there are ways the series can improve.

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9.1
Saga #14

Sep 27, 2013

Overall, Vaughan and Staples deliver another excellent issue. Even so, we should not take their consistent greatness for granted because it's pretty rare to get a comic that's so regularly this strong.

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7.1
Saga #15

Nov 3, 2013

Saga #15 drags at points and isn't quite the exemplary issue that we've come to expect from Brian K. Vaughan. The shocking end to the issue puts the series in an exciting place come the next issue, though. There seems to be some big things in store.

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9.7
Saga #17

Dec 23, 2013

There have been many excellent issues of Saga before this one, but I dont think I can recall an issue with quite so stunning of a blockbuster ending that still manages to be a cliffhanger. Killing characters can be a cheap ploy, but Saga has not deluged readers with deaths, so each one especially with characters so well established is really felt. Offing one character and putting two others very close while also telling so much story and hitting so many interesting notes is why Saga continues to be a great series.

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8.6
Saga #19

May 25, 2014

Although this issue isnt jammed with action, its very satisfying. The issue, with its jump forward in time, is clearly starting a new chapter in the story, one that promises to take the characters into new territory (both internal and external). As a series that has always been grounded in character and important ideas, the return ofSagain issue #19 hits all the right notes, even if those notes indicate some big changes, perhaps even unhappy ones, are coming.

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7.9
Saga #25

Feb 14, 2015

Alanas drug problem is another problematic plot point, too. Saga has not shied away from hot-bottom issues, but her drug addiction teeters on venturing into an After Special tone. So I hope that will be resolved or furthered in an unexpected way. Aside from these relatively minor quibbles, though, Saga #25 is still very enjoyable. Ill be curious to see if Vaughan and Staples continue to use a three-location breakdown for upcoming issues or if well stay with one group for a longer look.

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8.4
Saga #27

Apr 20, 2015

Its interesting that Vaughan and Staples chose this moment to slow down the narrative and focus on a portion of Markos backstory, since they have three different story groups at the moment, all on a collision course. The change of pace is a nice departure. Its also some unpredictable moments that were presented from Markos past. It does connect in a believable way to Markos recent avoidance to violence. His awareness of this past incident also seems to free him of that aversion. Look out Dengo, Marko is coming for you!

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9.2
Saga #29

Jun 23, 2015

Twenty-nine issues is a lot for a single creative team on one title, and it wouldnt be surprising if things stagnated a little in this situation. And yet, Vaughan and Staples are surpassing those expectations by delivering a great issue. While some of the preceding issues that have been setting up these storylines havent been classics (though Saga #27 was pretty close), this issue really hits all the marks. As it is about to move into its thirties, Saga still have youthful energy. Overall, due to its rich storytelling, surprises, and vibrant art, Saga #29 is an outstanding comic book.

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7.5
Saga #31

Dec 10, 2015

It is certainly nice to have Saga back again. While its not that every issue of the series is a home run this issue is good not great but even the issues that arent standout are still solid. This is true of Saga #31, which makes some intriguing story choices with time that could dramatically change the series in upcoming issues. Will we jump forward in time with all of the characters? Will there be back and forth in time to catch readers up? I would think that the next issue will give us a pretty good indication. With Vaughan and Staples, though, it will no doubt be surprising.

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8.6
Saga #32

Jan 5, 2016

There are short appearances of Prince Robot IV (now not a prince) and the adorable seal-like character of Ghus. Although they do not have a big role in Saga #32, their return indicates that they will probably be playing a part in the central story in the near future. Brian K. Vaughan and Staples have established so many interesting characters, though, that many of them still havent been seen since we jumped forward in time with Saga #31. It begs the questions of whats going on with Gwendolyn, The Will, and the Lying Cat (as well as others). Its possible the next few issues of Saga will jump around as Vaughan and Staples catch us up with all of the characters. At the same time, we already can see what the next major plot will be: how to rescue Hazel and Klara from their prisoner of war camp.

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7.5
Saga #33

Feb 16, 2016

Altogether, Saga #33 is a good issue, though the central characters are not quite as interesting to me as the core players in this story and even some of the other supporting characters. Still, Vaughan and Staples present Upsher and Doff in such a way that it makes readers examine how they feel about those chasing Alana and Marko. The return of The Will is by far the biggest moment of Saga #33, and its exciting to have him back in the series. He figures to be a central part of the current arc as it progresses, and likely beyond.

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8.5
Saga #34

Mar 17, 2016

There may not be any WTF shocker moment in Saga #34, but that doesnt make it a lesser issue. Its storytelling is still succinct and this issue actually is full of story beats that feel significant. Saga also has a habit of throwing in shocking moments, whether sex, violence or cultural, and those moments occasionally overwhelm the story. However, Saga #34 handles its social commentary with a large degree of subtlety, clearly making its points without superseding the overall story.

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9.1
Saga #35

Apr 4, 2016

I think the current arc of Saga has been very strong (with the exception of the Upsher-Doff issue #33, which was okay). Vaughan and Staples have succeeded where many serialized fiction series have failed giving real challenges and obstacles that characters have to pursue and overcome to move the plot. Saga #35 also shows that the series hasnt abandoned character details even when the plot moves swiftly. The next issue, the last in the arc, portends some big events coming, as the three groups seem to be heading towards each other.

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9.1
Saga #36

May 10, 2016

This issue marks the end of the latest arc of Saga. Im not going to rank it compared to other big moments in the series, but I do think that the arc was one of the better ones in some time, as a number of the previous arcs were solid and enjoyable but also felt a bit directionless at times. Its reassuring that Saga has come back with such a good number of issues. Vaughan teased that the next arc, beginning in a few months, called The War for Phang, is probably the closet Saga will ever get to an event comic. Even if you are not a fan of event comics (I have mixed feelings on them), an event comic Saga-style is an exciting proposition. For now, though, Saga #36 gives us a satisfying conclusion to a number of threads, sets up some new ones, and delivers on a rewarding reunion.

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7.6
Saga #40

Dec 7, 2016

Saga #40 offers some good moments for both Marko and Robot IV. The return of Gwendolyn, Sophie and the Lying Cat is welcome. On the surface, there is not too much development of story threads. However, the negotiations between Landfall and Wreath suggest that some major changes in the universe of Saga could be coming. I dont think it would be as simple as a ceasefire. Still, Vaughan and Staples seem to realize that their series needs to always have significant changes. Although Saga #40 does not provide those moments, it seems to be setting them up for the near future.

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8.4
Saga #41

Jan 18, 2017

Saga #41 does a lot of little things well. Even though there is a big confrontation, I think some of the significance of the story is not obvious until you think about it in the context of the recent issues of the series. Vaughan and Staples mix the tense story beats and action moments into well-established characters arcs. That makes the action matter more than simply as plot twists or advancements. The two creators show that these characters, ones we have spent years following, are still changing.

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6.9
Satellite Sam #3

Sep 8, 2013

Satellite Sam will not be everyone's thing. It's a historical drama set in the world of television studios and seedy hotel rooms. However, it is a unique concept for comics, and Fraction has set in place a number of interesting elements in the series, including but not limited to the murder mystery. If the creators can find a way to make the supporting characters and the behind-the-scenes TV station material work better, Satellite Sam could be a great series. As it stands, it's still a very solid start.

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7.0
Satellite Sam #6

Mar 2, 2014

The story progression in Satellite Sam has been relatively slow, but it feels like it might be starting to move somewhere. Im holding out hope that the series has overcome some growing pains because I feel like the series has a strong premise and there are many interesting themes happening. So I think there is potential, if things come together, for Satellite Sam to turn into a fascinating dramatic comic book.

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9.3
Shade, the Changing Girl #1

Oct 13, 2016

Young Animals central conceit seems to be moving forward while looking back specifically at the old, weird corners of the DC Universe (the ones Grant Morrison has always liked). Their efforts seem to be succeeding, at least so far. In Shade, the Changing Girl #1, there is great deal of originality and energy. Castellucci and Zarcone manage the tricky task of telling a relatable story that is also very inventive. There are many new series that start slowly and gradually get a little better with each issue. This is not one of them.Shade, the Changing Girl #1 comes out full force with an impressive first issue. Hopefully, Castellucci and Zarcone can sustain the relatable parts of the Earth story while exploring the unusual elements of Shade and Meta.

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7.6
Shade, the Changing Girl #2

Nov 16, 2016

After such a great first comic, I did find Shade, the Changing Girl #2 a bit more ordinary. However, that is probably unfair. It is still a very good issue. I think high school stories are a bit overdone, so Im hoping that this element of the series will be balanced by other, more unusual aspects of Loma and Megans story. The set-up for the issue is still fantastic. Her friends tried to murder her, so Im sure that will become an important plotline soon. Castellucci and Zarcone are still doing something pretty unique. As long as they give readers the type of originality shown in the debut, the series will still be well worth the trip.

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8.4
Shade, the Changing Girl #3

Dec 13, 2016

I felt that the second issue was possibly heading into a more conventional story direction, centering on high school angst. Shade, the Changing Girl #3 is a course correction. We get more of the internal struggle of Loma and more of the problems on Meta. These are two elements that make this an unconventional story. So I think they should be central components. Im glad to see Shade, the Changing Girl #3 feels more in line with #1. While the series could use a more established central plot, most of the other parts are working well.

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8.4
Silver Surfer (2016) #1

Jan 25, 2016

Overall, Silver Surfer #1 is good barometer of what the Slott-Allred issues are like. It establishes the tone and cleverness that have been the hallmarks of their issues while also keeping a light touch. The issue doesnt feel repetitive for readers of the last series, though, because we get to see Dawn and The Surfer return to Earth. I think this series can appeal to a wide range of comic book readers, and Silver Surfer #1 is a great time to begin if you havent read previous issues.

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9.0
Silver Surfer (2016) #2

Feb 21, 2016

Overall, Silver Surfer #2 does a lot of things well. It brings in a beloved Marvel character for the Surfer to face, it touches on the history of Norrin Radd, and it also reintroduces some of those elements from the characters past in ways that indicate a promising upcoming story. The art is sharp and colorful, especially in scenes where the smooth Surfer battles that rocky Thing. In many ways, this might have functioned as a more exciting first issue of the relaunches series. In any case, Silver Surfer #2 works well, tying together components of the past and the present of the Marvel Universe.

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6.3
Silver Surfer (2016) #5

Jul 17, 2016

Slott and Allred have been producing so many good issues of Silver Surfer that its hard to fault them too much for an issue that feels flat. At the same time, this is not a time when you finish a comic and feel like you cant wait until the next issue. I hope this is a momentary pause to reset towards a new exciting story, but the only thing teased at the end of the issue Dawn reunited with her estranged mom isnt really thrilling. Silver Surfer #5 is an okay comic, which does feature some fantastic art that almost makes up for its mostly pedestrian story.

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7.6
Silver Surfer (2016) #6

Sep 12, 2016

Speaking of the cover, Silver Surfer #6 actually features a confusing numbering that proclaims itSilver Surfer #200 because it is the 200thissue of Silver Surfer that Marvel Comics has published in their history. However, since those issues have been split over numerous volumes, the 200thissue of Silver Surfer all timeis technically Silver Surfer #6. Its nice that they have acknowledged this milestone. Additionally, there is a cover gallery in the back of the issue of all 200 covers. They are small so its hard to really see them. At the same time, it may be enough to get some readers of Silver Surfer #6 to go back and check out some of the Surfers previous adventures.

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8.8
Southern Bastards #1

May 3, 2014

Southern Bastards #1 is yet another impressively strong debut from Image Comics, a publisher who has been unveiling promising new series over the past few years like its nothing. The note from Aaron and Latour at the end of the issue promises a lot of future mayhem and unsavory characters. I have a feeling Earl, who says the first words of the series, three days, his expectation of how long hell be in town is going to be here for much longer and will face a whole heaping pile of unfriendly sorts.

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7.7
Southern Bastards #2

Jun 8, 2014

At this point, Southern Bastards has had two strong debut issues, but some character questions are creeping into my mind. Why is Earl so insistent on getting involved? If he suspects that the town is run in an underhanded way by Coach Boss, why does he hope to accomplish by intervening? I think Aaron and Latour have answers, likely related to Earls late father, a legendary police officer. So I suspect Earls motivations and intentions become clearer as the first arc progresses.

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8.4
Southern Bastards #5

Nov 3, 2014

Killing off a major character isnt exactly unusual in comic books (Wolverine being the latest example) and both Aaron and Latour are writing books at Marvel. Still, what they have done in Southern Bastards feels different. The end of issue #4 felt dramatic and risky, and it could have been a poor decision if Southern Bastards #5 fell flat. The Jasons must have known they had the story to sustain after Earl, and they were right. In Southern Bastards #5, theyve reset the deck and established a really compelling different direction to take.

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7.7
Southern Bastards #8

Apr 5, 2015

Southern Bastards #8 is a satisfying conclusion to the backstory of Euless Boss. Its hard to take a character who is essentially the villain and then present him in a sympathetic light. Aaron and Latour mostly achieve that, though. We may not agree with Euless but we feel for him. This issue ends with a call back to Earl Tubbs daughter, about to be dispatched home from her tour in Afghanistan. Presumably, she doesnt know whats happened to her father Earl. When she finds out, I imagine there will be a face-off with Coach Boss, which sets up the next arc of Southern Bastards to be another interesting one.

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7.9
Southern Bastards #11

Oct 18, 2015

Southern Bastards #11 works well as a stand-alone issue that still connects to the main story, which is not an easy trick to pull off. In some ways, the separateness of the issue lends itself well to the long gap between issues of the series (a reader doesnt need to remember too many details from the last issue to enjoy this one). Hopefully, as the story lines intersect in future issues of Southern Bastards, there wont be so much time between when the issues come out.

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8.4
Southern Bastards #12

Dec 29, 2015

Another thing that the series has been doing lately is introducing various unrelated parties who are only linked by the fact that they have a score to settle with Coach Boss. This is a nice maneuver, as it adds tension and creates all sorts of possibilities to upcoming issues. Southern Bastards #12 adds two more parties gunning for Boss, though they are at first sight an unimposing pair: an injured teen and an old, wild dog. Its pretty cool that this issue is somehow able to make those two seem like they could somehow become a dangerous duo.

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7.1
Southern Cross #1

Mar 15, 2015

Its too early to tell what Southern Cross will turn into as a series, but there are many good things going on so far. It establishes a compelling and relatively original premise while also setting up sympathetic main character and a main plot mystery. Thats a lot to accomplish in a first issue. The art style of Belanger may not be too every readers liking, but he has some stand-out moments. Overall, Southern Cross #1 is a promising start.

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7.0
Southern Cross #2

Apr 11, 2015

I am hoping that Cloonan and Belangers varied first two issues of Southern Cross are an intentional maneuver to establish the story and characters as well as make the world seem unlike it really is. It could be true that the creators are still trying to figure out what the series is, but I'm going to be optimistic for now, that Cloonan and Belanger have a plan and Southern Cross #2 is an important step on trajectory.

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8.2
Southern Cross #5

Sep 22, 2015

So while many comic books place a great deal of emphasis on story and characterization, Southern Cross is showing that you can create a notable series by highlighting other things. Its not that the series is lacking in story or characterization, its just not the central element the way it is for other comics. Southern Cross #5 is a different kind of comic, and it probably wont be for everyone, but if readers are open-minded about this series, there are many rewarding and definitely unpredictable moments.

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7.1
Star Wars #14

Feb 15, 2014

It can be risky to interrupt a story that is moving well to show the tale from the other side. Much of the first twelve issues of Star Wars has been from the Alliance side and it seems like the series will return there in the next issue. However, despite a few hiccups in this issue, the two-issue detour into Vaders personal Kill Bill-style vengeance trip has been worthwhile for the series. It shows again the determination and ruthlessness that Vader brings, and that the Rebels still face a very tough enemy.

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6.5
Star Wars #15

Mar 18, 2014

That the Star Wars license for comics went to Marvel could not have been a total shock to the creators on Dark Horse's Star Wars comics. So now all of these titles have a final act to prepare. This means, though, that there are limited issues and wasted space within those issues just isn't wise. Star Wars #15 isn't a wasted issue but it is a slow one that isn't quite as thrilling as many of the recent issues have been.

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7.4
Star Wars #17

May 18, 2014

I feel that Brian Wood took a little longer than was necessary in setting up this story arc, meaning that the previous few issues of Star Wars were less exciting than normal. Now that the plot has turned, however, I think well see the series get back to its action roots. As the series moves towards its conclusion, hopefully well have the Empire, and especially Darth Vader, become a bigger focus.

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6.7
Star Wars #18

Jun 13, 2014

Star Wars #18 ends somewhat cryptically. Leia mentions that guilt she will carry for what happened on Arrochar (which doesn't really make sense). Below, the text "The End" appears. If you didn't have any outside information, it almost appears that this would be the end of the series or the end of Wood's run on it. Neither is true, in this case. Star Wars #19, written by Wood with art from Carlos D'Anda, comes out in July. So I'm not exactly certain the purpose of "The End" on this issue but with the end of all of the Star Wars comics from Dark Horse coming soon, it's good to know that when Star Wars does conclude this year, Wood will be able to go out with a bigger bang.

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7.0
Star Wars #19

Jul 12, 2014

It is an interesting decision to take four of the classic and beloved characters of Star Wars lore and throw them together on a mission while also introducing two new characters. Perhaps this adventure can get Wood to wring some more vitality out of Han, who has been rather dull in the most recent arcs of this series. It would also be good to see Luke start to develop the confidence that he shows in Episode V. What this issue reveals about Seren Song is not exceptionally fascinating but a deep cover operative in the Empire is a promising background, so she may start to deliver some interesting elements in Star Wars #20.

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6.5
Star Wars #20

Aug 17, 2014

All in all, Star Wars was a good series, both for hardcore fans and comic book readers whove just watched the movies. For whatever reason, it lost steam over the past few months, though, and the conclusion is pretty anticlimactic. Its unfortunate that a series that was on its way to be a great limped to a close. Star Wars #20 is a decent issue and better than some recent ones, but as a series capper, it doesnt hit the mark.

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7.2
Star Wars (2014) #1

Jan 18, 2015

Another effective touch in Star Wars #1 is that it ends on a pretty interesting cliffhanger. Its nothing shocking Vader is descending to confront the trapped Rebels. However, it would be hard to not want to pick up issue #2 in order to see what happens next because there is no immediate way out for Han, Luke, Leia and the dozens of freed slaves with them. Star Wars fans are a tough crowd, and with the mostly great job Dark Horse did with the comics, there may be some critics of Star Wars #1. Honestly, though, its a good first issue and one that should please most receptive Star Wars fans.

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5.9
Star Wars (2014) #2

Feb 6, 2015

Overall, Star Wars #2 is somewhat of a step down from the first issue, which was already solid but not spectacular. Two issues is too soon to make any large judgments, but I really hope that Aaron and Cassaday soon start revealing where the story is going and why its important. Otherwise, the hype and promising start of Marvels Star Wars may lose its luster.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #3

Mar 21, 2015

Its good to see that Star Wars is building on action and enjoyable character dynamics, not getting too heavy in the process. However, I do worry that its taking a long time (in terms of issues) to get through this first confrontation. I hope that not every major movement takes as many issues to work through or this could be a very slow moving series. Aaron has done good work on big titles (Thor, for one), so I have a feeling that this will ultimately get into a stronger rhythm. However, as a single issue, Star Wars #3 is a fine comic book, giving the series some momentum again.

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8.0
Star Wars (2014) #6

Jun 15, 2015

The excellent thing about Star Wars #6 is that it both present a very enjoyable issue in itself and opens up a couple of new and promising storylines for future issues of Star Wars. It appears that the next issue will delve into Ben Kenobis past while the mystery of Sana Solo will be explored further in Star Wars #8. Even outside of it setting up the future, there is a lot to like in Star Wars #6. It hopefully signals the creators of the series hitting their stride and delivering many good issues in the future.

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8.5
Star Wars (2014) #7

Aug 16, 2015

As I have mentioned in earlier reviews, I felt that the first arc of Marvels new Star Wars comic was a little inconsistent and underwhelming, but its lately gotten in the groove. Coming off issue #6, which I felt was the strongest issue of the series so far, Star Wars #7 is a great follow up, perhaps even better than issue #6. It functions nicely as a break in the overall arc and an excellent standalone issue. It would be nice if Aaron finds a way to give us more of Ben Kenobi in upcoming issues, even though hes dead in the current storyline. It's clear his presence is very important to Luke and to the series as a whole.

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7.3
Star Wars (2014) #8

Aug 28, 2015

Star Wars #8 is a good issue in most ways, and continues the upswing that Star Wars has been on for the past four issues. It doesnt quite excel in characterizing Sana Solo in a way that makes her instantly a striking figure though. If Aaron can bring something new and unique to her, she could be a nice addition to the Star Wars universe. So far, she is just a surprise story twist. On the flip side, the progression of Luke Skywalker adds some nice richness to his journey. So there arestill many reasons to check out Star Wars #9 when it comes out.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #9

Sep 28, 2015

This issue may not be the best of the series so far, and there are certain elements that dont entirely hold up upon close analysis, but Star Wars #9 is also a fun issue that has some good character beats, a few good action moments and a number of surprises. Aaron seems to know that he has to combine approaches for an effective Star Wars story. Star Wars #9 is a good middle chapter in the current arc, advancing story lines and setting up upcoming conflicts worth watching.

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6.0
Star Wars (2014) #10

Oct 13, 2015

As far as middle issues go, Star Wars #10 is not bad. Its a nice read with some funny moments and quality art. However, its also a little bland in its efforts to get to the next stage of the plot, which means its a wasted opportunity to do something more interesting. If youre reading Star Wars from Marvel Comics, youll probably get Star Wars #10, but you could also skip this issue altogether without missing too much.

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7.8
Star Wars (2014) #11

Nov 16, 2015

For the most part, the elements of Star Wars #11 cohere pretty well in this issue. Action is central to the story here, and those moments deliver on what was set up in the last issue. The surprise inclusion of Dengar is effective, even if the reader is unfamiliar with his role in the Star Wars universe. There is indication that The Empire, which hasnt had a big part in the recent issues of Star Wars, will become a bigger player, as they are on their way to Grakkus stadium. Overall, Aaron and Immonen put together a pretty good comic in Star Wars #11.

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7.6
Star Wars (2014) #16

Mar 1, 2016

The arc that begins in Star Wars #16 is called Rebel Jail. While that name is rather on the nose, I cant really fault Aaron or the books editors for choosing a self-evident name. Its also a potentially intriguing inversion since many prison break stories make readers care about those escaping. Would Aaron try to make readers root for characters to break out of the Rebel Alliances jail? There are a number of directions this storyline could go, so its a premise that should be worth following.

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8.7
Star Wars (2014) #17

Apr 12, 2016

The first two chapters of Rebel Jail have introduced some much-needed unpredictability to the main Star Wars series. Its been a pretty solid run after its first wobbly arc, but Star Wars #17 was the first moment when an issue genuinely surprised me. By subverting the traditional prison break story making it a break-in rather than a break-out Aaron has given this arc an exciting jolt. It seems unlikely that the Leia-Aphra partnership will end well (perhaps for either), so there seems to be a number of directions Aaron can take the story in the next few issues.

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7.8
Star Wars (2014) #20

Jun 22, 2016

The first instance of stories from Ben Kenobis Tatooine journal was a surprising and excellent comic. While the newness of that angle is less present with Star Wars #20, its still a good issue. Its also true that the overall quality of the series has risen since Star Wars #7, so while that issue was much better than preceding issues, Star Wars #20 has tougher comparison with strong recent issues of Star Wars. Its still on par with those, but it might be good for Aaron to give the solo Kenobi stories a rest or tell a longer and more complex story in the next outing from the journal.

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8.4
Star Wars (2014) #21

Jul 29, 2016

The issue itself doesnt offer an especially memorable plot. However, Star Wars #21 is much more of a character study than a plot-based story. It is very effective. Its hard to sympathize with Kreel but you can understand why given his background he would want to serve the Empire. Aaron, fresh off winning his own Eisner last week for Best Writer, gives an excellent demonstration of his skills in this issue. Aaron has explored a mix of fan service action moments and unexpected side stories in this series. Star Wars #21 is probably one of the more interesting issues in the series so far because of the issues it tackles.

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7.2
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #5

Jul 24, 2013

The pacing of the issue also works well. As we watch Ania struggle to decide between leaving her allies and pursuing Master Val, we are also presented with the imminent threat to Val. So Bechko and Hardman are effective at ratcheting the tension up by showing the danger the heroes face. The tension doesn't really relent even after Ania finally catches up to Wredd, as she alone seems to be quite outmatched by Wredd. Overall, as an exciting conclusion to the first story arc of Star Wars Legacy, this issue is quite satisfying because of its art, action and plotting.

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8.2
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #11

Jan 31, 2014

The characters in this series are really growing. We see Solo being more unpredictable and even reckless at times, and she may be covering her past. Sauk is full of heart and humor. AG-37 is so capable that he can throw out wonderfully deadpan lines like We are perfectly safe I am an excellent pilot. Even straight man Jao has his moments. I recently wrote about what the loss of the Star Wars franchise means for Dark Horse Comics, but Im still really looking forward to seeing what Bechko and Hardman have in store for Ania Solo and pals in the rest of Star Wars Legacy.

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7.8
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #13

Apr 8, 2014

Although Star Wars Legacy has taken a detour from the search for Darth Wredd and the state of the Dark Side, it has been worth it so far. The hunting of Ania Solo has revealed interesting things about her and the promise of other interesting reveals. Also, the character of Ramid is a welcome addition. I hope that AG-37, Sauk, and Jao Assam, who mostly just mused about whether Ania is guilty, get back into the action soon. Overall, Star Wars Legacy keeps giving strong stories.

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7.2
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #15

Jun 2, 2014

The end of the issue, which shows the tribunal, is a little less successful, as there is a lot of expository revelations, most of which we already know. Its somewhat like the end of an episode of Law & Order if it was set in space. And yet there is a surprise twist after Ania has been released. Jaos return, which supplies important evidence, comes at his own freedom. Since Jao is a deserter, his return means that he is arrested and faces a death sentence, setting up a compelling problem for the next issue (or issues), one that directly impacts Ania and her crewmates.

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7.3
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #17

Aug 4, 2014

In spite of art that is below the normally-high mark of this series, Star Wars #17 is still a good issue, mainly because of the way Wredd manipulates the situation. He may not be on the level of Vader, but he has an important role in this series. Im glad to see he has returned. As Star Wars Legacy starts to wrap up, perhaps we will see what he has been working towards this whole time.

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6.8
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #18

Aug 31, 2014

In spite of the unappealing art of Star Wars Legacy #18, I think the issue and the series overall are worth reading. The story Bechko and Hardman told was intriguing, and added some dimension to the future of the Star Wars universe. I wish that Hardman had been able to keep up the art duties, but in spite of the drop in quality with other illustrators, Star Wars Legacy told 18 issues of a quality story, capping it with an epic battle and satisfying ending.

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8.1
The Fade Out #1

Aug 23, 2014

The film industry has a long history (especially in its early days) of bad behavior and resulting scandals. The Hays Production Code, which sanitized movies beginning in 1930, partially resulted from the fallout of the Fatty Arbuckle controversy. The Fade Out is not the first tale to be set in this milieu (and might not even be the first comic). In fact, the premise of The Fade Out is somewhat similar to the 1950 Nicholas Ray noir In a Lonely Place.Although the issue at times feels too closely in the line of modern-day noirs like Chinatown, there is enough promising character work done in issue #1 that The Fade Out seems like it will be another strong series from Brubaker and Phillips.

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8.2
The Fade Out #3

Nov 16, 2014

The Fade Out #3 is a strong issue, one that initially feels quite different from the first two chapters of the series. The more I thought about and reread the issue, though, I saw the complex storylines and characterization being done here. It also immediately expands the world of The Fade Out beyond heartthrob actor Earl Rath and writer Charlie Parish, which is nice. I imagine the murder of Val will still play an important part of the upcoming issues, but this is an effective diversion into some other players in the series.

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8.9
The Fade Out #4

Jan 11, 2015

The introduction of the FBI agent certainly deepens the mystery occurring in The Fade Out, but I really like the pace of this series. The mystery is compelling and driving the plot, but it doesnt feel like the point of the series. Instead, the issues are mainly concerned with showing the flawed personalities that were involved in Hollywood and motion pictures during the 1940s. These two elements dovetail wonderfully in The Fade Out #4, which makes it hard to wait for the next issue to appear.

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8.2
The Fade Out #6

May 26, 2015

While The Fade Out is not a thrill-a-minute ride like Velvet, Brubakers series with Steve Epting, it is well worth reading. The Fade Out #6 will probably benefit from reading at least the previous few issues (if not the whole series theres only five issues before this one!) because it is a transitional issue that draws on things established in earlier issues that will be developed even more in upcoming ones. The series has a whole, though, is turning into a really rich and enthralling story.

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7.4
The Fade Out #7

Jul 1, 2015

In some ways, I could see why some readers would be less enamored with The Fade Out #7 than previous issues since the Charlie-Maya weekend takes up so much of the comic and it doesnt actually develop their characters enough to warrant so much space. However, I believe the melancholy feeling from these scenes gives this issue a powerful effect. While I agree that this section could be condensed and more concise, I still find The Fade Out #7 to be a pretty good issue of a very good series.

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8.2
The Fade Out #8

Aug 9, 2015

There is a fine line between a comic book parsing out clues discreetly and hoarding the clues to the point that readers get annoyed and stop caring. For the most part, I think Brubaker and Phillips have been on the right side of the ledger with The Fade Out. I do hope that if the story is going to focus more on the actual how of Vals death that it does move things along more quickly. I dont think that element is the most interesting thing about this series, and I think the aftermath of Charlie figuring out the details of Val's death could be even better than the mystery itself.

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9.0
The Fade Out #10

Oct 25, 2015

The upcoming end of The Fade Out gives me mixed feelings. Im excited to see how Brubaker and Phillips wrap things up and what surprises they offer during the last two issues. At the same time, I will miss this series when its over. The two creators have another project planned, so that will likely be promising, once details are released. Regardless, for this series, The Fade Out #10 pulls us further towards a finish line, with a strong issue in all facets.

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7.7
The Fade Out #11

Nov 30, 2015

Its sometimes hard to match expectations of a work of art/entertainment with the work itself. This comes to mind when discussing The Fade Out #11. Most of my critiques come from the fact that this is one of the last issues and there are still many questions that this issue doesnt satisfy. However, many aspects of The Fade Out #11 work quite nicely. I like how Charlie and Gil dont really end up as heroes. They are simply writers who end up realizing that they are not qualified for detective work even if they write detective stories. They get in over their heads and have to flee quickly, though not without some repercussions that I imagine will be explored in the next issue.

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9.5
The Fade Out #12

Jan 19, 2016

The Fade Out is a very different type of story than those that Brubaker and Phillips have worked on together before, such as Criminal and Fatale. The Fade Out is much shorter, but its impact is not any less. In fact, since the story is told on such a human level (even though it is set in the movie business and involves a murder), I think the overall story of the series is perhaps the best one the pair have told so far. As it is just twelve issues, I think The Fade Out also becomes a very recommendable story. Its dark, slow at times, and does not have a happy ending. So it will not be to everyones tastes, but it tells a compelling, tragic story (one where the story of most of the major characters are each tragic in their own way just as much as the murder of Val is tragic). There were a few lulls during the series, but overall The Fade Out is a superb story, and The Fade Out #12 is a great ending.

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5.8
Thumbprint #2

Jul 29, 2013

With a series this short, a great deal of its success will be determined by the conclusion. If it really brings together the threads and makes a powerful dramatic impact, then the slow pace of the first two issues may be forgiven. So far, however, I feel likeThumbprint has tried to focus too much on the backstory to totally make all of its elements work.

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7.9
Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Nov 10, 2013

The work that's been done on IDW's main Transformers' comics lately has been very good. The intricate and layered storytelling is more about internal struggles for power and compromised deals with enemies than about robots punching and shooting. It's dense, though, so I hope that new readers can figure out what's happening in Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1 because I think the series will ultimately be quite rewarding.

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4.4
Triple Helix #1

Oct 16, 2013

If you've been reading Trio or Next Men, Triple Helix may make total sense to you. If you're a huge fan of classic comics and dislike the dark, realistic tone of today's industry, you might also enjoy Triple Helix. It's possible that the title could sharpen into something enjoyable, but right now Triple Helix feels too dated for most readers to get totally immersed in.

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7.2
Uncanny Avengers #25

Oct 4, 2014

Im still unsure if Avengers & X-Men: Axis will be a good event. Although I enjoyed Infinity, Ive found many of Marvels other events recently uninteresting. I have hope that Remender, a writer who usually takes chances and surprising turns, will make it a good series. If you are planning on gettingAxis, Id recommend reading Uncanny Avengers #25 first. Its a good issue that sets the stage for whats to come next.

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9.5
Velvet #1

Oct 25, 2013

Image Comics has been rolling out a lot of new series lately. Many of them (such as this week's Pretty Deadly) have had promising but flawed first issues. Velvet #1 is probably the strongest first issue of any new series Image has released over the past few months. With a set-up so promising, I'm really looking forward to seeing where Brubaker and Epting take Velvet Templeton in this series.

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8.9
Velvet #2

Dec 8, 2013

So far, these two issues having given readers a lot of intense, fast-paced story, which is promising for the future. Although there are no guarantees, this seems like a book that wont linger too long on a story element or scene. It will, if the first two issues are an indication, portray the moment well and then move on. Velvet #2 is another promising book to start this series.

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7.7
Velvet #3

Jan 18, 2014

The third issue of Velvet throws a powerful and effective (and dark) twist after starting with what appears to be a regular continuation to the spy story. We already knew that Velvet can throw intricate plots at us. It can throw great action sequences. Now we see that it can also take things into a darker territory, where the consequences of spying are shown in human ways.

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6.6
Velvet #4

Mar 9, 2014

There is a surprise twist at the end of this issue that would seem to set up some further revelations of Velvet's backstory for issue #5. While I thought the twist felt a little too "soap opera," I am still curious to see where Brubaker and Epting go in that direction. I also hope that they ratchet up the pace and give Velvet some great characters to complement Velvet.

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8.9
Velvet #7

Sep 12, 2014

In addition to pacing, point of view, and art, Velvet #7 also excel at characterization. Its mostly been a strong suit of the series so far, as readers have seen many sides of Velvet. Here in their brief tales, we get strong versions of Colt and Roberts (who we have previously seen in smaller glimpses). Also, brief appearances by characters like long-haired scientist Hans are very enjoyable. So far, the new arc of the series, called The Secret Lives of Dead Men (which began in issue #6), has been very strong. After Velvet #7, like Colt and Roberts, I have no idea what Ms. Templeton is going to do next.

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7.4
Velvet #9

Feb 20, 2015

Overall, though, Velvet #9 is a solid issue that gives some further clues about the mysteries behind the series, but in a skillful way that also calls those clues into question.

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8.7
Velvet #10

Apr 27, 2015

There is also a coda to Velvet #10 in which Lake kills a few other bigwigs in ARC-7, including Velvet's former boss whom she thinks is a good man. Lake clearly has a plan in place, and it's one that might aid Velvet at times, but it might also do it in ways that she does not like. Having two sides (Velvet, ARC-7) with different agendas was already making this series a great read, but adding a third side (Lake) seems like it will make the upcoming arc of Velvet even more complex and entertaining.

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7.1
Velvet #12

Nov 8, 2015

Its pretty normal for series to have an ebb and flow of action from issue to issue. There have to be moments of set-up in order for the reveal to mean anything. At the end of Velvet #12 (in a letter-less letter page), Brubaker states that the next few issues of the series will be crazier than usual. So its understandable that this issue is setting the chess board. The dialogue and art are very strong, but I feel that the story is so complex that the set-up could be presented in a way that — while not losing the subtlety of the storytelling — makes it clearer where the story has been and where it is going.

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7.6
Velvet #14

May 3, 2016

Velvet #14 is a sort of strange issue in some regards. Its an enjoyable read and it definitely sets up future issues with some exciting new dynamics. The choice made here to include Nixon in the flesh is bold, and I respect that the creative team went for something so risky. Nixons presence, though, takes me a little out of Velvets story, and I think could make the conspiracy at the center of the story too linked to the Watergate cover-up. So there are some thematic and tone quibbles I have, but Velvet #14 is still an intriguing and significant issue.

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7.7
Wytches #1

Oct 17, 2014

Some of the things that make horror movies (lighting, sudden movement) and horror prose stories (weird sights that readers have to imagine) effective are not possible in the same way for horror comics. In Wytches, Snyder and Jock give some alternative ways to make readers feel uncomfortable (if not actually scared just yet): disturbing themes and unexplained strangeness. Wytches has already been optioned by Plan B Entertainment, so there is a chance we can seeWytches in multiple forms.It can be difficult to sustain a great horror series, but Snyder and Jock are off to a good start in Wytches.

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7.5
Wytches #2

Nov 25, 2014

Wytches #2 builds on the unsettling vibe of the first issue. While we dont learn too much more about the wytches, we do learn more about the Rooks family, which is just as important. I think Snyder and Jock have to continue building the characterization of those three while also starting to establish what is really happening out in the woods.

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7.6
Wytches #3

Dec 21, 2014

Although Sailor Rooks makes only flashback appearances and a one-panel glimpse at the issues end, she is still so far the most compelling character. Shes an anxious teenage girl who also has inadvertently become involved in some sort of supernatural world. Still, even without her, Wytches #3 is a good issue, with Charlie and Lucy showing a loving but strained marriage that is facing difficulties beyond anything they ever expected.

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5.7
Zero #1

Sep 22, 2013

The art, which is good overall, gets pretty explicit in terms of its violence, too. One character in particular meets a grizzly fate. While it's not horrific, the carnage does pile up as the story progresses. Combined with the random sex scene and the lack of a strong connection to the Gaza Strip context, there are a number of things that make me unsure if Zero will be worth reading on a continual basis. However, Kot, Walsh and Bellaire have also set up a large world in Zero #1 with a central character who has some clear problems coming his way. So if nothing else, Zero may end up being a good action story. If you like stories about rogue agents, assassins and conspiracies, the first issue of Zero may be worth checking out.

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