Josh Rathbun's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Graphic Policy Reviews: 58
7.4Avg. Review Rating

5.5
Alien (2021) #1

Mar 26, 2021

Maybe what I want out of this is too much or maybe the Alien comics just arent for me. That said, this is a $4.99 comic book and I dont feel like the cost is worth it. Alien #1 is a fairly average story with average art. The world wont end if you dont get it.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Avengers (2018) #39

Dec 14, 2020

This felt like a whole lot of build-up for a better story, which I guess will be the upcoming Phoenix rehash that Marvel is serving up. Avengers #39 is fairly lackluster in the storytelling but its a really nice issue on the eyes.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Barbaric #1

Jul 3, 2021

I normally recommend the D&D books that IDW Publishing puts out but this might be the new book to recommend to people who are looking for something different and enjoyable. Barbaric #1 totally lives up to its name (but in a good way) and delivers the bloody ass-kickings youd want from a hard-R fantasy story. A man and his talking axe make for a fine story. Personally, I'd buy this issue and continue on from there.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Black Cat (2020) Annual #1

Jul 3, 2021

You could certainly do worse than buying or reading Black Cat Annual #1. It just didnt feel like that much of a throwaway story and Im also glad to see a character like Black Cat getting the much-needed push. I think those that read this issue have probably never heard of the added characters in this issue but thats okay, you have to start somewhere. This issue was definitely worth a read.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Bloodshot (2019) #11

Feb 27, 2021

Theres just one issue left of this run of Bloodshot. Im hoping for a big fight between Bloodshot and Rampage, although I had those same hopes when Salvation was ending, only to not get it. That said, Bloodshot #11 has something really cool going on with the art, although the story needs just a bit of work.

View Issue       View Full Review
4.5
Byte Sized #1

Dec 26, 2020

Do you love stories where robotic creatures break free from the government stooges and eventually befriend some young child? Im pretty sure thats where were going with Byte-Sized. I get that there's probably a lot of inspiration from the likes of Gremlins or Batteries Not Included but maybe I need more issues to get some enjoyment from Byte-Sized. Kudos to AWA Studios for continuing to do different material with everything. Their scope is so wide in what they put out that you are bound to find something youll like. It just might not be this.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Captain America (2018) #30

Jul 9, 2021

Captain America #30 is a fine end to the Coates era of Captain America. I think there were some important ideals tackled with this particular story and it really puts some thoughts in your head about extremism. It would have been nice to also see someone like the Red Skull get punched out, too. I think if you have passion for what Coates did with Cap or if you are critical of his work on the character, an issue like this is going to do little to sway your opinion. I found it to be a decent end for another memorable run of Captain America.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Conan the Barbarian (2019) #17

Dec 26, 2020

This was an awesome issue and like the “Tooth Of The Northstar”, I hunger for more of this story. Do yourself a favor and get Conan the Barbarian #17.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Crossover (2020) #1

Nov 4, 2020

I came into Crossover #1 open-minded of what it was, did all I could to not read any spoilers. Story-wise, Crossover #1 is an entertaining read. The concept is tight and the art hits on so many levels. This issue helps get the world-building explained and set up and with that, I am definitely interested in where this story goes and am excited for issue two.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.2
Doctor Tomorrow #5

Aug 24, 2020

While I never know how much anything Valiant does goes to bring in new fans, I think the regular fan of the publisher will enjoy Doctor Tomorrow very much.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1

Nov 11, 2020

I love the world that Dungeons & Dragons encompasses and IDW Publishing continues to do right by the properties with their comics. Dungeons & Dragons: At The Spine Of The World #1 has me excited for more issues. There's something for everyone with these kind of stories and they put a spotlight on folks from all sorts of fantasy walks of life. At The Spine Of The World explodes with a rush of adventure from the get-go and is just the sort of tale any hardened fan of fantasy can enjoy.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides #1

Feb 23, 2021

Ultimately, IDW Publishing does Dungeons & Dragons right. Ive been really happy with all of the stories theyve done but I do feel theres something a bit more special, exciting and enjoyable about Jim Zub and Max Dunbar working on a tale set in Baldurs Gate. Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides ends up as another truly enjoyable tale of Minsc and company thats sure to keep fantasy readers enthralled.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Endless Winter (2020): Justice League #1

Dec 6, 2020

I didn't see any sort of checklist to know how long Endless Winter was going to be. I just know the next part is in The Flash #767. I'll definitely be checking that issue out to see where this all goes. For a first chapter, Justice League: Endless Winter has plenty to keep a reader interested and happy. I'm not much of a DC reader and I enjoyed this so I think if this is your wheelhouse, you'll be pleased.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Eternals (2021) #1

Jan 6, 2021

I think going into this, I didn't have that high of hopes but I enjoyed this a lot and plan on continuing the adventure of the Eternals. I think if Marvel can keep this creative team on the book, it's going to help with keeping readers interested in the Eternals. I'm sure the upcoming movie will help, too, but in the pages of the comics is where the work needs to be done and Gillen and Ribi are the right team for it. This book has way too many variants but that should also mean it's an easy book for potential readers to find a copy of.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Eternals (2021) #2

Feb 14, 2021

If I had one concern with Eternals #2, it would be whether this book sticks the landing. Is the focus on Thanos or the mystery killer of Zuras? Is it both? And who is narrating the issue? I know that not everything can be revealed. I liked Eternals #2 but I feel the Eternals need to focus their efforts going in the next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Fantastic Four (2018) #25

Oct 21, 2020

Dan Slott has been on this book for a few years and from the few issues I've read of his FF run, I've really enjoyed it and wished that I kept up in a better fashion on it. R.B. Silva and Jesus Abertov crushed the visuals. I think for a new reader, Fantastic Four #25 would not be the most friendly issue to pick up but I do think this was a pretty good issue of Fantastic Four and definitely worth the read.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Fantastic Four (2018) #29

Feb 13, 2021

One thing you dont normally see is a bunch of heroes just popping up but this issue had them all over in the backgrounds, which in a way isnt the norm with event tie-ins. Usually, its a more secluded setting for whoevers book it is and then it brings them in near the end of the main series. Sadly, I felt like the end twist in Fantastic Four #29 happened off-panel and it was a letdown. That said, if you are an event completist, youll not want to miss the Fantastic Fours involvement in King In Black.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Fantastic Four: Life Story #1

May 19, 2021

Am I too hard? Am I too much of a fan of the Fantastic Four, unable to budge? Probably thats the case. That said, I still found some enjoyment in this and it was way better than the Ultimate version from the early 2000s.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #275

Nov 18, 2020

Overall, an issue like this can hit a few different ways. I thought G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #275 was one of the better issues with no words Ive read. It got me from point A to B and sometimes, or in this case, part 9 to part 10, and what a way to wrap a story. Its not a perfect issue, but its a good one that, I think, pays off for those who have followed Hamas G.I. Joe comic. Its not one Id recommend to a new reader.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #276

Dec 14, 2020

I dont know if “Untold Tales” is going to be a bunch of single-issue stories or if this issue will build onto something much bigger but as far as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #276 goes, it works well as a solo issue story comprised of a good team of Joe favorites. One chapter in, “Untold Tales” is shaping up to be another quality story.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Groo Meets Tarzan #1

Jul 31, 2021

I dont have a bad thing to say about Groo Meets Tarzan, other than they havent met yet. Im not sure what will happen when they do. Fight? Eat cheese dip? Who knows until next month but Groo Meets Tarzan is not at all what I was expecting but Im glad I read it. Mostly a funny story, but the Tarzan moments do throw some serious moments into the mix. Its a very enjoyable comic showcasing that Sergio and Mark are the best at the comedy side of comics. I highly recommend it.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Hellboy and The B.P.R.D.: The Secret of Chesbro House #1

Jul 9, 2021

Part one of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.s adventures with a haunted house might seem like a bit of overkill for the characters involved but with great storytelling and art that matches the quality, readers should get a lot of enjoyment out of this story. Ive been a Hellboy/B.P.R.D. fan for many years and Im always appreciative of the fact that Mignola and company continue to craft such interesting tales with Hellboy. The Secret of Chesbro House is yet another quality adventure in the Mignolaverse.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Hollow Heart #1

Feb 22, 2021

If you wanted to shake up your regular comic reading with something quite a bit different, Hollow Heart #1 is just that book. Its a unique and odd romantic story between a man and whats left of a man locked in a casing. But it really stands out as good storytelling with a bleak approach. This is an easy recommendation.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1

Jan 30, 2021

This was a really enjoyable first issue thats got me excited for the next issue. Iron Fist managed to stop the bad guys in this issue. I have been reading Hamas work on G.I. Joe for years and Im glad to see him working on a character like Iron Fist. I might not like this as much as his work on the Joes but add in a fantastic artist and this ends up being just what a fan of this half of the Heroes For Hire needs.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.5
Jenny Zero #1

May 5, 2021

Im not big on Jenny Zero #1. I really wanted to like it because whats not to like about some bad-ass gal and her bad-ass gun just gunning down big critters? Sadly, I think the first issue (possibly) doesnt do the main character much justice and just traps her as another edgy loose cannon with a chip on her shoulder the size of the world. That said, theres definitely a character secret that reveals itself at the end thats got me interested in what's to come.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
King In Black #5

Apr 8, 2021

King in Black #5 was a total package of fun and excitement, coupled with some really cool art. Im not huge on Marvel or DC events but my overall feeling is that this one ended up being fun while also bringing a lot of stuff that Cates has worked on at Marvel to a head. As far as Venom goes, King in Black serves as a good exclamation point on a really great run for the character. Not sure if its worth the cost of admission but I think youd like what you would read.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Knock Em Dead #1

Dec 6, 2020

I had a bit higher hopes for the first issue of Knock 'Em Dead. I loved the look but only kinda liked the story portion. That said, I'm definitely picking up the rest of this series as I tend to like everything Eliot Rahal writes. But, with how the story is playing out, I'm sure it really kicks into gear with the next issue. Here's hoping for that.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Magic (2021) #1

Apr 10, 2021

Magic #1 is very much in the vein of IDWs Dungeons & Dragons comics, which I also really enjoy. We can never have enough fantasy-driven work in comics so if thats what you like, take a chance with Magic.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Moon Knight (2021) #2

Aug 18, 2021

I was really happy with Moon Knight #2. Hes one of my favorite Marvel characters. I think most of the Moon Knight runs always start with a lot of promise and great execution, but then after a year or two just become something rather unremarkable. I hope Marvel and even Jed MacKay can continue to give us issues like this one because I know its a character with a bigger future ahead and a loyal fanbase that want these adventures to continue. I definitely think this is an issue to read.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Ninjak (2021) #1

Jul 16, 2021

Im glad to see Ninjak back and Im even happier that someone read Ninja-K and built the story off where that one seemed to leave off. Ninjak is on the run and for those chasing, they face one of the most dangerous men alive. Ninjak #1 is chock full of action and has a very interesting art style to accompany it. While I do think some wont fully appreciate the visuals, I do hope they give the story a chance because its exactly whats needed with Ninjak.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
No Heroine #3

Oct 7, 2020

No Heroine #3 finishes as a fairly decent Vampire story that has that added layer with the addiction problems that the heroine Kayla is dealing with. While the story didnt blow my socks off, I felt that it was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a horror story thats a bit off the beaten path. I wish the art grabbed me a bit more as I didnt love the overall appearance but with that said, it wasnt enough to make me dislike No Heroine.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Orcs (2021) #1

Feb 12, 2021

Orcs! is part of BOOM! Studios‘ KaBOOM! imprint, focusing on stories for younger readers or those young at heart. The impression I was left with after reading Orcs! is that it had a good dose of charm and comedy to reel me in with art that had a pleasing aesthetic. It wasnt quite my cup of tea and thats fine because plenty will like what this book is. Maybe it doesnt have the action or combat I like in my fantasy books but as a parent looking to add to my childrens reading pile, these are the kinds of comics I love picking up because Im fairly certain theyd enjoy it.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Post Americana #1

Dec 21, 2020

Purchase: comiXology  Kindle  Zeus Comics

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Radiant Black #1

Feb 12, 2021

Overall, its a good-but-not-great first issue but I think its enough to get me excited for the next issue and I feel like I can see the potential of Radiant Black. Not all origins need to be great. Whats more important is what happens after you get your powers. Radiant Black also gave us a look at the other side of the coin, so to speak, with the emergence of a foe who popped up at the end of this issue. Image has a history of superhero books and while theyve done a colossal job of expanding from that. Its awesome to see a book like Radiant Black usher back the Image Comics age of heroes.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Rai (2019) #10

Dec 22, 2020

This issue ends this volume of Rai and with some cliffhangers, too. My hopes are that its not for long and that we can get this team back on these characters. The pandemic has had such an awful effect on everything and been brutal on the work of smaller publishers. Still, this issue continues my thoughts that Rai is one of the best books of 2020 and that everyone asking for good comics should be rushing to get this one.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Reaver #11

Sep 12, 2020

It's the end of "The Grim After" but what comes after should be another epic story for Reaver. If you are looking for an adult fantasy story, I feel there's none better. To me, Reaver is a total breath of fresh air and comes off wholly original. If you want something different in the genre that's high quality, then it's definitely Reaver that you are after.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Savage (2021) #1

Feb 17, 2021

Savage #1 ends up as the blood-and-guts battle royale book that I desperately needed. Im glad that this is finally seeing the light of day, as I am sure this was probably supposed to have been released last year and should have finished by now. And for older Valiant fans, its okay to like this. Turok will never return to Valiant and with a character as wild as Savage, theyd never need him back in the first place.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Savage Avengers (2019) #15

Dec 7, 2020

Savage Avengers is the kind of book where the premise should take me right out of it. Im an old-school Avengers fan and its been a really long time since I liked an issue of any adjective-driven Avengers team. But with how ridiculous some of the stuff in this is, Im a bit torn on how I felt but I decided to go with the positive. The Murder Avengers won me over but just barely.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Savage Dragon #258

Apr 9, 2021

While I wasnt blown away by the story, Larsens art is still something to behold and this issue had quite a few moments where I liked what I was seeing. The opening page was full-on Kirby (in a good way) and what followed was a very energetic two-page splash. Nikos Koutsis is a fantastic colorist for Larsens work and I thought that this issue showed that. I do feel like Larsen has gotten a bit loose with his pencils, as compared to how I think his older issues of Savage Dragon look but I do still think there are quality visuals in this issue. Its good to know that I can still appreciate the art on a book like this, even if the story doesnt click with me.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Shadowman (2021) #1

Mar 26, 2021

I think Shadowman #1 is just what the Valiant fan base needs. Maybe they dont love books like Savage and maybe X-O Manowar left them a bit grumpy but I feel this feels like a natural progression of who Shadowman is. The writing is there and the art is there. And if nothing else, it left me feeling like a publisher could draw me in hard with a really good first issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Shadowman (2021) #3

Jun 23, 2021

Shadowman #3 is a continuation of outstanding single issues. This relaunch has been absolutely fantastic and Im excited about where this is going. The creative team is doing some big-time work on the book and after reading this issue, I want more. Shadowmans story is beautiful, dark and disturbing, and every bit captivating. If you are looking for something a bit different than your typical fare, Shadowman is that book.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Shadowman (2021) #4

Jul 30, 2021

I think that one key element has been that we see a lot with this series how normal folks have reacted or been treated by the Deadside beings and it really helps ratchet up the threats that Shadowman faces. And Shadowman, while being a hero, isnt quite a superhero with this take. I hope when the book returns, its with this same creative team. They have done no wrongs on Shadowman and honestly, you can argue its the best weve gotten with the character in many years. Lets hope that the publishing break isnt a big one because whether its the entire four issues or just this fourth one, these stories are setting up something and should not be forgotten about.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Shang-Chi (2021) #1

May 19, 2021

In the end, Im glad one of my favorite characters is finding ways to stay in print and with a movie in the near future. Its a good time to be Shang-Chi. I love the position hes in and the fact hes not going to play nice with others is even better. This first issue is definitely worth checking out.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Spawn: Spawn's Universe #1

Jun 23, 2021

Overall, Spawn's Universe #1 is a tiny bit confusing to read but its nice to look at. Im hoping its just that Im not a monthly Spawn reader that causes it but then it begs the question: is this a good jumping-on point for new readers to Spawn? I think that Spawns Universe will be a rewarding experience for those who have stuck with the title but thats it, outside of just simple artistic enjoyment. Still, Spawn is 300+ issues old and a new launching pad should still offer something for the older readers. Hopefully, newer readers can make sense of it all.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #113

Jan 24, 2021

Right now, I am digging whats going on in the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, at least, Im digging the publishing side of what IDW is offering. Between this and The Last Ronin mini-series, they are putting out some high-quality stories featuring the TMNT. From this issue and the deluxe editions that Ive picked up, this isnt the cartoon and thats actually a good thing because I feel these stories really do speak to more than just kids.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Oct 28, 2020

Point blank reaction: I enjoyed the hell out of this book. Ive started reading through IDW Publishings TMNT books and while I havent read it all, The Last Ronin reads like one hell of a sendoff. I do wonder how hard this will be to actually get. Word is the print run was cut short and some shops think their full orders wont be filled. There are also around 70 variants out there for this book. This is definitely a read but I think its good enough to purchase. I feel like a lifetime of enjoying the various incarnations of the TMNT, whether its been comics, cartoons, or movies, has prepared me for this moment where they are down to one against all the evil in the world. Maybe it's cliche but The Last Ronin is an absolute blast.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
The Devil's Red Bride #1

Oct 15, 2020

Overall, I think that if your tastes are like mine, you grew up on samurai cinema or if you just want something totally different, The Devils Red Bride #1 offers all of that. Im looking forward to where this story goes and one can hope it ends like so many samurai tales, with two opponents standing their ground and steel being swung all over the place. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
5
The Mighty Crusaders (2021): The Shield #1

Jul 2, 2021

Im not looking to take shots on someone in the industry but I just dont feel like The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield is a great comic or really good use of Liefeld's art. I do think The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield ends up recycling a lot of his poses and typical artistic foibles. Archie Comics just doesnt stick to anything thats not the Archie digests and I would not be surprised if this newest launch just disappears. I guess you can just enjoy The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield while it lasts but I doubt this is going to last long at all.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Tankies OGN

Apr 14, 2021

I enjoyed reading The Tankies very much. Honestly, I buy every war story Ennis works on when I know about them. While some might not enjoy the destructive power of war or the violence man casts upon themselves with it, I always appreciate the history lesson of it and the little things that Ennis and Ezquerra inject into it. If you enjoy war or if you like what Garth Ennis brings to comics, The Tankies is just the book for you. Its not as funny as Ennis and Ezquerras work in The Adventures Of The Rifle Brigade but certainly feels similar in tone to World Of Tanks.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Tankies #1

Apr 14, 2021

I enjoyed reading The Tankies very much. Honestly, I buy every war story Ennis works on when I know about them. While some might not enjoy the destructive power of war or the violence man casts upon themselves with it, I always appreciate the history lesson of it and the little things that Ennis and Ezquerra inject into it. If you enjoy war or if you like what Garth Ennis brings to comics, The Tankies is just the book for you. Its not as funny as Ennis and Ezquerras work in The Adventures Of The Rifle Brigade but certainly feels similar in tone to World Of Tanks.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
The Witcher: Fading Memories #1

Nov 25, 2020

Overall, I'm not overly impressed with the art but I am enjoying where the story is going. I'm still looking to take in as much of the Witcher's adventures that I can and The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 continues to help the comic book stories of the Witcher excel in this medium.

View Issue       View Full Review
5
U.S.Agent (2020) #1

Nov 15, 2020

Overall, U. S. Agent seemed quite a bit mediocre and I don't see the appeal of a weak knock-off going on this kind of adventure. It lacked the humor and action that I expect from a Christopher Priest book. Instead of buying this, go get one of the Deathstroke trade paperbacks because that's a better use of your money.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Usagi Yojimbo (2019) #14

Nov 18, 2020

This was an arc that saw Usagi come back home to where his lord was defeated. Usagi hasn't dipped in quality but it certainly feels like it's got a new life with IDW Publishing. This arc is worth a read and new readers could jump on with little trouble. I do recognize the art is not the most detailed but the look of Usagi Yojimbo is so unique. Happy trails to Tom Luth on an illustrious career and I can't wait for issue 15.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Usagi Yojimbo (2019) #17

Apr 17, 2021

Overall, Usagi Yojimbo #17 is another enjoyable issue of Usagi Yojimbo. Honestly, I have been reading UY off and on for so many years and feel like it just doesnt skip a beat and has maintained a quality form of storytelling. As part of a 3-issue story, this chapter doesnt feel like the slow part in the story and had a lot of good action and storytelling. I feel confident in stating that Usagi Yojimbo is one of the best books I read each month and Usagi Yojimbo #17 is no different.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer's Road #1

Nov 25, 2020

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderers Road #1 is highly recommended and this issue alone is a masterful reminder of what a creator can do with just one issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Wolverine (2020) #15

Aug 26, 2021

Could it be better? Sure. Everything can be better. Im not much of a fan of Wolverine because he used to just pop up everywhere and mess up the place. Characters like Wolverine tend to feel a bit stale to me and I can honestly say I havent picked up his solo book in years. However, I was really enjoying what I read from Wolverine #15, so its definitely possible to put some good shine on something that for me was dull. Enough so that I want to see where this tale is going to go. Sevyr and Solem seem interesting enough as foils to Logan. This is definitely a book to read but it wouldnt hurt to buy it since there was enough thought to make it feel like the story went somewhere and delivered on some good action.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
X-O Manowar (2020) #2

Nov 27, 2020

After reading this issue, I feel like were at a low point for the character. The art is fine but thats never been an issue with X-O Manowar. The story is a bit uninspiring to keep with and there are elements that dont feel complete. I really hope its a case of a mediocre issue and not something more indicative of the entirety of this run of X-O Manowar. As it stands, Im left wanting more from X-O Manowar #2 and it cant give it to me.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
X-O Manowar (2020) #5

Aug 18, 2021

While Im glad that the publishing pause with X-O Manowar is done, Im still left feeling a bit unimpressed with the title. The visuals are there but the story isnt quite working for me. With recent Valiant titles like Shadowman and Ninjak being as good as they are, X-O Manowar comes off as the weak sibling in the family.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for the Week of...

September

More