Joey Edsall's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Newsarama Reviews: 69
7.5Avg. Review Rating

8.0
All-New Wolverine #10

Jul 24, 2016

This is a tie-in worth checking out even if you aren't following the core series.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #15

Jul 7, 2016

Dan Slott and Christos Gage's "Power Play" arc has been a mixed bag, and in its final moments the cracks really begin to show. This comic has some genuinely great moments, but paints by the numbers to get there.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #21

Nov 17, 2016

In Amazing Spider-Man #21, there is again a focus on exposition, but strong character moments with the likable Scarlet Spider and Spider-Gwen establish this book as a solid addition to the event.

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8.0
Amory Wars, The: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV #1

Apr 21, 2017

Chondra Echert's writing is the real star of the issue, with remarkably clever transitions between story threads and a recurring motif of divinity through dialogue, as well as the aforementioned strong characterization.

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6.0
Army of Darkness/Xena: Warrior Princess #6

Mar 21, 2017

If you've been reading the past five issues, you're going to enjoy this, even if the ending feels like a rushed copout. Amidst the low-points of this series, the one consistent positive has been that it was successful in being entertaining. Being the product of two '90s characters that fans at the time probably never envisioned meeting, that's really the best a reader could hope for. Crossovers like this are never going to be game-changers, but at least it's fun. This series is ultimately for the die-hard fans. It will be fun for them, but casual readers won't get much from it.

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9.0
Astonishing X-Men (2017) #1

Jul 19, 2017

There’s a lot to take in with Astonishing X-Men #1, both in terms of story and art. A lot of ground gets covered through the issue, but the action never feels rushed. Beyond the dialogue and narration, the artists involved deliver panel after panel of art that readers will want to linger. There’s a lot to see not only on each page but also each panel. This is a strong start from a writer who is very good at strong starts but is so effective at conveying its own significance as an interesting story that it’s hard to imagine this series losing that 'Big Comic Book Feel' as the next few issues loom on the horizon.

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9.0
Astonishing X-Men (2017) #3

Sep 7, 2017

This is an issue built on character and strong plot progression and manages to do both without sacrificing either.

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9.0
Baltimore: The Red Kingdom #1

Feb 6, 2017

There's not much to dislike in this issue. Sure, Baltimore isn't as fleshed out for newer readers as he probably could be, but the way that the characters talk about him properly sells him as a big deal. It trusts the reader's power of inference in that way, saving room for the storytelling that it does so well and the world-building that it makes seem so effortless. For fans of the series, Mignola's previous works, or even Seven to Eternity fans, this is a must-read. For anybody else, it is honestly still worth checking out.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #28

Aug 2, 2017

A lesser comic book by a lesser writer would have been content to tread water in a very standard way to get from point A to point B. The third issue of an arc this size is not typically going to have the big, game-changing reveals, so King’s use of stylized storytelling instead gives readers a lot to mull over as they wait for part 4, while the art team does the same with panels that often go beyond their expectation. It may stall in places or rely on its structure more than its narrative, but at least that is indicative of a comic book trying to be unique, and when Batman #28 succeeds, it does so with aplomb. The war may be raging on, but this comic book makes every panel feel like a battle.

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7.0
Batman (2016) #33

Oct 19, 2017

The comic gives enough to hook readers, but it feels a little rushed to get the plot into place.

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8.0
Batman Beyond (2016) #10

Jul 31, 2017

This has been one of the strongest arcs of Batman Beyond and this dialogue-heavy issue makes it easy to see why, just as the art team makes it easy and pleasing to pour through the panels.

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7.0
Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1

Oct 4, 2017

This tie-in might be the grimmest of the Dark Knight origins so far, but it will definitely satisfy readers of the series, or even readers just invested in Hal Jordan/Bruce Wayne debates.

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9.0
Batman: The Murder Machine #1

Sep 28, 2017

With Batman: The Murder Machine #1, this event again bears some of its strongest fruit in the issues that would otherwise seem like throwaways or inessential. And while you may not need this issue to understand the main event storyline, it's hard to not emphatically recommend it for readers who are enjoying where Dark Nights: Metal. It’s also hard to not find yourself eagerly anticipating the next tie-in given the strength of this one, which is a sentiment few comic readers often have.

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9.0
Batman: The Red Death #1

Sep 20, 2017

Despite its status as a tie-in, it's hard not to recommend Batman: The Red Death #1 to anybody already following Metal. Its character work may be mostly inferred, but the large ideas that it touches on are grand enough that it's hard to leave the issue without thinking critically about the personalities of the DC heroes, or even of your own personality and how experiences are perhaps the only true contributing factor to a self.

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8.0
Beautiful Canvas #1

Jun 27, 2017

Beautiful Canvas #1 is messy, visceral, and cinematic in its presentation and scope. It often expects readers to latch on to subtext in a way that other comics usually don't. This might make parts of the comic seem alienating to some readers, but will further entice others. It is visually stunning, with something interesting in every panel, and with a vibrancy in terms of art and colors that rockets it above most other books currently out. It all makes for a strong debut that is satisfying in its own right and will leave many readers eager for the next issue.

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8.0
Black Bolt #2

Jun 12, 2017

Black Bolt #2's greatest strength is how different it dares to be in a story that deserves thoughtful examination of its protagonist. While the issue has its flaws, they seemed mostly in the service of getting the pieces where Ahmed wants them to be for the rest of the mini-series. The promise he made at the end of the first issue to explore themes of significant depth alongside adrenaline-filled action holds true, making this a sound book to usher in a summer of comics.

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8.0
Black Bolt #3

Jul 5, 2017

As a series, Black Bolt is consistent and engaging and this issue manages to build on the intrigue that has been piling up for the past few months. The story frequently leads to unexpected places and has possibly the best art of any comic in 2017. Even the biggest detractors of Inhuman stories would be hard-pressed to not be engrossed by this story. While it's impossible to predict where Ahmed will take the story and what Ward will draw in the next few months, if you read this book you'll definitely want to find out.

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9.0
Black Bolt #4

Aug 3, 2017

While the exposition-heavy nature of this issue seems to come at an odd time in the overall series' narrative, the exploration of street-level villain Creel in such a sympathetic yet fair light makes this one of the best issues of the series so far, even before it emotionally wrecks readers in its final panels.

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8.0
Black Bolt #5

Sep 7, 2017

Ahmed's storytelling is effective enough that the sheer amount of hand-waving in this issue's plot doesn't send up any red flags on the first read through, and the ending satisfyingly answers the nagging questions of the morality behind ancient Inhumans creating the jail in the first place.

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10
Black Bolt #6

Oct 6, 2017

In every way, Black Bolt #6 is a beautiful comic book.

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9.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #6

Apr 21, 2017

This arc has really been incredible both for fans who have been following the franchise's comic books and for fans of the show interested in jumping in.

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6.0
Civil War II: The Accused #1

Aug 12, 2016

Therein lies the problem with Civil War II: The Accused - there is just so much that it could be saying and exploring, from high-profile celebrity trials to the application of lethal force, but it instead plays its story safe and steers clear of the controversial and divisive.

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7.0
Civil War II: X-Men #2

Jul 7, 2016

The opening and occasional artistic hiccup aside, this is a good X-Men book that feels like it's building toward something meaningful.

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7.0
Creepy Comics #23

Apr 26, 2016

You will know the second you pick up Creepy Comics #23 if it's for you. Horror anthologies like this are really welcoming to new readers, but also manage to surprise longtime fan expectations. With some solid talent in terms of both plot and artwork, the comic is a world of morbid fun. The meat of the issue is stellar, it just happens to be sandwiched between some weaker additions.

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7.0
Cryptocracy #1

Jun 28, 2016

Cryptocracy #1 is flawed, but also wildly entertaining. There is an obvious urge to get the plot into a certain narrative place in order for not only the next issue, but also the entire series to take off. While that is sloppy, the places that the plot hints at going, especially with the letter that is included at the end alluding to the Tunguska event, are unique. It's clear that Jensen has a lot of really interesting ideas, and Woods' art matches him in terms of developing and maintaining something original. The series has a lot of potential, and with most of the exposition out of the way, I'm looking forward to learning more about the characters that Jensen has written.

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8.0
Dead Inside #1

Dec 20, 2016

Had the comic's final panel revelation been what was expected through Linda's intuition throughout the book, the second issue would still have been an easy inclusion on any mystery fan's pull list. Having it swerve to something that is genuinely unexpected becomes a victory lap for an impressive opening. While artistically a mixed bag, it's hard to ignore how gripping the plot of Dead Inside is. It manages to tap into a sense of dread in a way that is unique to noir. You aren't afraid of what has been killing inmates. You're afraid of the world that makes it happen.

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8.0
Deathstroke: Rebirth #1

Aug 12, 2016

With a strong and unique story, as well as a compelling atmosphere, Christopher Priest's return to DC comics is a barnstormer.

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6.0
Extraordinary X-Men Annual #1

Sep 26, 2016

The first story seems as though it will have consequences on the upcoming X-Men arc, and the way it teases it out is exciting. It would have benefitted from more thought into why the plot moved from one panel to the next, instead of just doing what had to be done to get everyone where they needed to be. While the second story will likely have no follow-up, it is absolutely dripping with charm and refuses to waste any space, narratively and artistically. Extraordinary X-Men Annual #1 is designed to be a jumping-on point for a new arc, but it's really only going to appeal to X-Men faithful.

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6.0
Flash (2016) #26

Jul 13, 2017

Despite some dragging issues and the occasionally oddly drawn face, this comic ends with the promise of an impressive confrontation in the next issue. It might make the arc stronger overall, but it hurts the issue.

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9.0
Foolkiller (2016) #1

Nov 3, 2016

For a title that could have started as a grimdark-quipfest-appetizer for Deadpool, this looks like a very strong start to a series that has something to say.

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5.0
Generation X (2017) #1

May 22, 2017

As a series that focuses on the lives of lesser known mutants, Generation X is the perfect base for experimentation and unique storytelling. The fact that it plays so safe and doesn't seem to trust its own characters makes this debut issue a disappointment. It's a comic that desperately wants to have heart, but doesn't do enough to prove it isn't vacuous. Maybe the second issue will be more dedicated to its team once the throwaway cliffhanger is dealt with, as it does have the pieces of a strong story, but that isn't a good sentiment to end the first issue on.

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8.0
Gotham Academy Annual #1

Aug 31, 2016

People obviously read comics for all kinds of reasons. This is not a sticky, lore heavy affair, nor does it pretend it's use of Gustav Decobra or Derek Powers is anything but fun and playful. Character is more important than plot throughout this annual - if you look at the plot too closely, things fall apart pretty quickly. The mechanics of the time travel aside, the mysterious illness is a bit of a plot contrivance. The character work here is what is remarkable, and justifies any plot element the comic might use. Jokes, decisions and even speculation are all rooted in who these characters are. Referential at every turn, and filled with character-driven humor, Gotham Academy Annual #1 offers a lot for DC diehards, but will prove enjoyable for even the most unfamiliar of readers.

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9.0
Gotham Academy: Second Semester #8

Apr 12, 2017

This is a series that could find a home on any fan's shelf, and one which really should as it continues to impress arc after arc.

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5.0
He-Man / Thunder Cats #1

Oct 10, 2016

Overall, this first issue feels like a swing and a miss, albeit an inoffensive one. It just really needs to course correct with #2.

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6.0
Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Jul 24, 2016

Overall, it works as a good, if not completely compelling starting point. Moritat's artwork is solid throughout, with faces being particularly strong. It's not a bad comic, but it doesn't give much indication of where the series as a whole is going to go.

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9.0
Horizon #1

Jul 12, 2016

With a strong art team behind him, the story is given adequate space to explore its own world in a steady and subtle way. It will be interesting to see if and how the comic widens its scope and sheds more light on its own planetary conflict, but it is just as intriguing to learn more about its central character as she exists now and the history that created her.

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7.0
Hyperion #1

Mar 28, 2016

While writing this, I found it difficult to use the name Hyperion and not Marc. This intense focus on characterizing the person and not the hero is a strength that I hope carries through the series. The dynamic of Marc and Doll is such that if this issue had none of the action sequences it has, I would still recommend it based on the moments they share in the truck alone. It suffers a little from a common first-issue ailment of forcing the premise it wants without much set-up, but ultimately that can be overlooked for the strong material that is present.

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8.0
IvX #0

Nov 30, 2016

This is essential reading for those who are not only interested in the upcoming event but also readers who were left reeling from last week's Death of X #4. While the plot is structurally flawed, its character-driven roots are not only commendable but necessary given the insane straddling of two arcs that this issue needs to accomplish. The natural progression of every character into where they need to be for the rest of the series makes the rest of the event much more interesting than it seemed when it was announced.

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10
IvX #1

Dec 14, 2016

The X-Men's heist-like nullification of major inhumans at the end of the issue is a revolving door of kinetic artwork and storytelling, and really shows off the entire creative team's strengths. The mutant that Crystal and Gorgon saved turns out to be Magneto, which is the best possible choice that the story could have made. Crystal and Gorgon were the most sympathetic inhuman leaders toward the mutants, so having their trust shattered while they were only trying to help is going to have some consequences for how they see the ensuing conflict. It's this sort of "best possible choice" aspect of the story that makes what Soule and Lemire have written so effective. Every opportunity that Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 has to collapse in on itself, strong writing and breathtaking art push the issue to incredible heights and cement it as one of the strongest books of the year.

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6.0
IvX #2

Jan 12, 2017

#2 isn't necessarily bad, but it doesn't have the intricate plotting and stellar pacing that made the first issue so enjoyable.

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5.0
IvX #6

Mar 9, 2017

IvX started out as something really special, but the finale doesn't quite stick the landing.

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10
Jean Grey #6

Aug 31, 2017

The time-displaced original five are giving Marvel their best stories of 2017, with Jean Grey #6 easily being Marvel's best comic of 2017.

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8.0
Man-Thing (2017) #1

Mar 8, 2017

This is a comic that knows what it is and wants to have fun with it. The writing fluctuates between notably interesting and frustratingly on-the-nose but is overall an inventive and fresh direction for Man-Thing. The art captures everything in the broad tonal range necessary to tell this story effectively and is a visual treat. Despite a few faults, it's undeniably entertaining. Even the backup story manages to seize interest as it reminds readers of a universally acknowledged truth: overly ambitious pianists are just the worst.

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6.0
Man-Thing (2017) #2

Mar 30, 2017

The comic ends with Man-Thing opening the door to the Nexus of All Realities, which gives the narrative so much room for interesting turns, and hopefully less invasive quips.

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8.0
Marvel Tsum Tsum #1

Aug 3, 2016

The issue concludes with the reveal that he has taken the Spider-Tsum, perfectly weaving the two central conflicts of the series together.

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8.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #7

Jun 1, 2016

Old Man Logan is ultimately a nexus of several different genres that would initially seem incompatible. It is in equal parts a post-apocalyptic story, western, and samurai story. Even though Logan isn't in his world anymore, the part of this world in which he finds himself is essentially the wastelands. The way that this world operates against him and the way violence is so intrinsically apart of it feels right out of a Sergio Leone samurai-inspired spaghetti western. Wolverine himself is a post-modern samurai, with one of the beautiful opening panels paralleling Logan with a ronin, and with the next issue having an explicitly samurai-themed title. Besides, Wolverine as a character has always been tied to Japan. At the nexus of all of these disparate elements, Old Man Logan thrives, and after getting past a few issues of mindless action it's pretty clear why.

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9.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #10

Aug 12, 2016

The Last Ronin arc of Old Man Logan is already one of the most focused and aesthetically cohesive arcs in modern comics, and is helping to solidify Jeff Lemire as the definitive Old Man Logan writer, surpassing original series creator Mark Millar.

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4.0
Royals #2

Apr 21, 2017

Has Medusa mentioned that she's dying in Royals #2? The number of times that some variation of that exposition is dropped throughout the course of the issue takes what should be one of the most important plot developments for the Inhumans of the past decade and robs it of emotional resonance.

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8.0
Scarlet Witch #4

Mar 21, 2016

The Dorian Grey-esque aging of Wanda as she uses more magic remains the most brilliant decision of the series so far, as it both increases tension and adds to the story's theme. The Scarlet Witch will die one day. It is inevitable, and the more she uses her powers to try to help the supernatural noir world around her, the closer that end comes. She is acutely aware of this, to the point that she recognizes omens around her. It is rare to find something that gives a sense of both unpredictability and inevitability, but as Scarlet Witch carves out more of its story, it is abundantly clear that everything is going exactly as planned.

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8.0
Seven to Eternity #8

Aug 3, 2017

It is a series that likely performs better in trades than in individual issues, which is a shame because this sprawling story has an unrelenting pace and is frequently a top book of the weeks that it comes out.

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3.0
She Wolf #1

Jun 21, 2016

Ultimately it's that lack of clarity that is hurting this issue most. Few mediums lend themselves to surrealism like comic books do. Breaking away from realism can be a real strength in this context, and it is abundantly clear that Rich Tommaso knows this and wants to capitalize on it. In the process, the comic never has a firm foot to stand on. There are so many things that it wants to do that it has a really hard time telling a story. Some people might find more here. What one person finds borderline incomprehensible can be rich in meaning to another. That being said, flashy art and playing loose with reality isn't enough if there's nothing tying it down. A comic can't get by as a series of quirky horrors.

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8.0
Spider-Gwen (2015) #8

May 4, 2016

It took a while for Spider-Women to find a narrative footing, but it picked up by the end of last month. With the new month of stories upon us, the story is breaking out into a sprint. Everything is set up for an exciting conflict and internal character struggles to explode into one another. It's going to be very exciting to see where this goes throughout May.

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5.0
Spider-Man (2016) #6

Jul 24, 2016

Spider-Man #6 is a good tie-in, but a bad Spider-Man book, and that's hard to get past.

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9.0
Spider-Man (2016) #12

Jan 12, 2017

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Spider-Man #12 is the way that it knows exactly what its readers want to see, teases it out, and then doesn't deliver it in this particular issue while simultaneously leaving readers completely satisfied.

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10
Spider-Woman (2015) #13

Nov 3, 2016

The comic has an extremely bold ending which other stories should note. It doesn't end on a plot cliffhanger, but rather an on emotional one. Hopeless' last lines in the issue cement this an exemplary beginning to an arc.

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3.0
Superman (2016) #28

Aug 7, 2017

The issue isn't bad in the sense that it's offensive, it just doesn't have much to it. Most of this can be attributed to the onslaught of informative lectures from two thirds of the book's main cast. The information itself isn't the problem, as that could be integrated into a issue given the proper execution, but it's just so absent of any emotional connection. Readers will likely be skipping over lines because they realize the lines don't matter and won't provide anything that a quick Google wouldn't provide. There just isn't much to hold onto and readers are given no reason to care.

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9.0
Tank Girl: Gold #4

Feb 24, 2017

With it, and in particular as Tank Girl: Gold has a strong finish to a strong series, it creates something genuinely special.

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6.0
The Mighty Zodiac #1

Apr 5, 2016

The amount of lore that The Mighty Zodiac #1 has to wade through leaves very little room for character development, which is the biggest flaw with the story. Things are more fantastical in this world than most readers might be familiar with, and while Howell's art might do the lion's share of world building, Torres still needs to deliver the basic framework that this world is built on.

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7.0
The Unworthy Thor #4

Feb 13, 2017

The Unworthy Thor #4Written by Jason AaronArt by Olivier Coilel, Kim Jacinto, Frazer Irving, Esad Ribic, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson and Matt MillaLettering by Deron BennettPublished by Joe SabinoReview by Joey Edsall‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

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7.0
There's Nothing There #1

Apr 25, 2017

Overall, There's Nothing There #1 is a strong opening act of a confident story. While some of the characters don't feel completely fleshed out as of yet and there seems to be a holding back of social commentary, the queasy and pervasive dread throughout the issue and the stellar art make this a comic worth checking out. With three issues on the horizon, the comic does a good job of setting up its primary pieces. The mysteries at the heart of the issue will ultimately be what draws and keeps readers, and while that will be made or broken in the following issues, the artistry and skill with which everything is established makes this a genuinely exciting comic experience.

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9.0
Unbelievable Gwenpool #1

Apr 12, 2016

It's going to be a long wait until #2 comes out, but thankfully #1 has a significant amount of rereadability. There is a sequence with a nameless police officer who Gwen describes as an "extra" that is among the funniest things I've ever read, and which made me laugh out loud on two separate read-throughs. Ultimately, Unbelievable Gwenpool is starting remarkably strong. Based on Hastings' work in the holiday special and the backups seen in Howard the Duck, it is in the best hands possible. With excellent art and strong voice, it is the best #1 I've read all year.

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8.0
Unbelievable Gwenpool #2

May 16, 2016

Unbelievable Gwenpool exists because of how comic book fans responded so positively to her use as a joke on a cover and in the periphery of our comic experience. Beyond the character, the entire concept of Unbelievable Gwenpool creates this sense of happiness by being both a product of the fan community and a product for the fan community.

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9.0
Underwinter #4

Jun 29, 2017

As the first arc passes the halfway point, things are most definitely not alright, and for fans of genuinely scary comics, that is definitely alright.

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10
Vision #8

Jun 8, 2016

Vision is the best that Marvel currently has to offer. Each book manages to catch me off guard, surprise me, and shock me in ways that are completely unique to the series. After the brief detour of Vision #7, it is clear that Vision #8 kicks off this new arc with aplomb. This is a comic that has consistently used every panel to further mood, story, and character. Vision #8 overflows with meaning. It rewards multiple readings and close dissection. While I'm a little concerned about opening this very idiosyncratic world to the rest of 616, right now King and Walta are in sync and doing consistent and stellar work.

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4.0
Web Warriors #5

Mar 21, 2016

Web Warriors has, at its core, the raw materials to weave truly interesting and inspired stories, it just quite hasn't figured out exactly what it wants to do or how it wants to do it.

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7.0
Weird Detective #1

May 23, 2016

At 46 pages, Weird Detective offers a lot for you to sink your tentacles into. Despite some occasional hiccups in tone, it offers a really solid story, moody atmosphere, and unique lead character. The pacing of the major plot is laid out well, with Van Lente scattering just enough breadcrumbs for readers to tell that all of the strange things happening in the pages are connected somehow. Vilanova's artwork is often stellar, and is in top form during some late-issue splash pages showing us multiple elder gods. This is preceded by the brilliant juxtaposition of Sebastian's narration boxes with Sana's notepad narration. The narrative and art work together to progressively raise the stakes as the world of the story expands rapidly outward. The last third of the issue is by far the strongest, and if that momentum keeps going, this series can really be something special. With a strong start, it is definitely weird.

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6.0
World War X #3

Feb 24, 2017

Overall, World War X #3 keeps the ball moving and manages to keep the interest in the overall mystery at a relatively high level. This issue might not have been as strong as the previous issues, but it is filled with a sense of something big on the horizon.

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9.0
X-Men: Blue (2017) #3

May 10, 2017

If you weren't excited about X-Men: Blue yet, this issue gives more than enough for readers to feast upon, and if you were excited, this issue is validating. This series is getting better and more engrossing with each issue which is no small feat considering how strong is started. While the midpoint art shift is confusing at best and frustrating at worst, there is plenty of interesting visuals to make this comic a pleasure to look at. With such strong storytelling, it's hard not to feel like it's an incredible time to be an X-Men fan.

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7.0
X-Men: Blue (2017) #10

Aug 31, 2017

With Secret Empire in the rear view, X-Men Blue #10 sows the seeds for a multitude of potential arcs, certainly enough to give writer Cullen Bunn ample room to explore the characters he has been exploring so well throughout this series while changing their circumstances enough to keep anything from feeling stale.

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