Julien Loeper's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Booked Reviews: 82
8.0Avg. Review Rating

10
Animal Man #29

Mar 21, 2014

Some stories are meant to end, and by god, Animal Man #29 ends things perfectly. This is the only way it could have happened, tying everything together and sending us through a roller coaster of emotions, all while bringing the original artist back. Goodnight and goodbye, Animal Man, and Godspeed.

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9.0
Ant-Man #1

Jan 10, 2015

As someone who's been sick of superhero comics as a whole I can only say that Ant-Man in and of itself is an extremely refreshing story hindered by some minor uneven storytelling.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #23

Aug 28, 2013

Since this was supposed to be the original ending but is not anymore, this issue felt like a cross between a transitory-action piece and a climactic showdown. That cross ends up feeling a tad wonky but for the most part, the plot and the characters are good. The dialogue doesnt feel particularly forced or hammy, and theres some real high-stakes drama going on here. The low key drama has been very good for both Aquaman #23 and Johns writing as whole.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #24

Oct 26, 2013

Aquaman #24 feels like a weak penultimate chapter. With it being both history and a history lesson, it results in a mixed bag of some great concepts punctuated by weaker storytelling. I honestly expected something more out of him before Johns closed off his run.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) Annual #1

Oct 31, 2013

DC, if you read this, I urge you to let Ostrander write an Others ongoing. These are great characters with strong personalities and an interesting team dynamic, plus they have a myriad of potential stories to go off of. Ostrander is the perfect writer for this, and it'd be a shame not to see the teases here go somewhere. Aside from a good chunk of clunky dialogue, average art, and generic villainy, this is an excellent way to cap off a month. Again DC executives, make an Others ongoing happen.

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9.0
Arclight #1

Jul 7, 2015

As I sit here listening to Soul Food by Goodie Mob, I realize how much it fits with 8house: Arclight #1. Both the album and the comic are very contemplative and representative of their creators in a way that most pieces of art arent. Give 8house a buy if you can. Its good comics.

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4.0
Army of Darkness Vol. 4 #1

Dec 8, 2014

The artwork isn't even hit or miss. It's just really kind of nondescript with a few choice moments that hit really well in a sea of drab colors and sterile figures.

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6.0
Avengers World #3

Feb 20, 2014

Avengers World #3 gets some things right and a number of things wrong. A cool fight scene here, great art there, but ultimately being representative of the biggest hindrance on comic book storytelling.

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8.0
Avengers: Rage Of Ultron OGN #1

Apr 8, 2015

The ending of the comic, which I wont spoil entirely, has that role reversal I alluded to. Pym has grown cold and distant towards humanity as a whole, never getting the respect he deserved and Ultron becomes this supremely emotional thing, albeit the majority of his feelings stemming from anger and rage. Rage of Ultron works as a great character study of Pym and Ultron, with the former not really receiving his due in recent years and the latter not being featured a whole lot. This is the sort of comic that needed to come out, regardless of movie release dates, because it takes two once-very popular characters and puts them at the forefront again. Rick Remender and Jerome Opena have created a very good book that even Kurt Busiek liked. Give Rage of Ultron a go, and recommend it to your friends.

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10
Batman (2011) #33

Jul 23, 2014

Batman #33 is the best conclusion Snyder's given us, and I hope to see more like this coming out of his work. Not bad for the 75th anniversary, not bad at all.

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7.0
Bedlam #8

Aug 2, 2013

The answer to that question is that evil can be both. Evil can be a very part of your nature (evil as in the way society views evil) and that you can naturally just be a gigantic asshole towards everyone and everything, or you can be an inherently good person who goes out and decides to commit an evil act (if youre Catholic, drugs, alcohol, sex or masturbation might apply to the notion of that evil act) because you are curious to see if something as powerfully invigorating as stealing something might change your whole outlook on life. You can be a good person and choose to do evil things out of curiosity, or you can just be a naturally evil person who has a predisposition to hate everything. There is no black and white; there is only evil, and we fully embrace it.

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8.0
Black Science #3

Feb 4, 2014

Although Deadly Class mastered the art and/or the Zen of cool here, Black Science #3 proves that this series is not too far behind in reaching that level. What would make this even cooler is seeing some of the real black science and the twisted machinations it brings. The book hasnt gone deep enough into the depths of truly hellish and immoral stuff. Other than that, its still pretty damn good.

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7.0
Chrononauts #1

Mar 19, 2015

Im not saying that I dislike Millars approach. In fact, it has its many strengths. Millars ideas are always very high concept in nature and are executed with a certain amount of skill. Theres always a genuinely cool moment hidden in a shuffling of cool moments. Its just that I, as a reader, am personally tired of seeing what usually amounts to storyboards for a film. I would love to see Millar tackle an ongoing series again, building up to something larger and having it culminate in the end. His work on Superman and The Authority is a prime example of this. Chrononauts has moments where it is fun and exciting but its often hindered by Millars movie-pitch approach. This is one of the cases where the artists work propels the book forward.

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8.0
Coffin Hill #1

Oct 13, 2013

Other than that, Coffin Hill is a remarkably solid debut, and part of the new line-up of comics currently revitalizing Vertigo. I look forward to what Kittredge and Miranda are going to do in future issues.

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5.0
Convergence #3

Apr 23, 2015

Convergence is problematic, but Ive been appreciating the event as a catalyst for all of the great nostalgic tie-ins weve been getting. About 75% of them have all been very good so far, and thats such a weird thing because it usually applies to Marvel. The actual event book itself is a mistake, but I can see ways of how it could be fixed.

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9.0
Cyborg #1

Jul 25, 2015

Cyborg may not have the same hyper-expressive verve that Midnighter has or the quirky, indie appeal of say Black Canary, but it does have solid superheroics, great character work and a political element thats been sorely missed at DC for a while now. Walker and Reis may have created the best underdog book of the DC You relaunch here.

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10
Deadly Class #5

May 27, 2014

Deadly Class #5 feels like a nexus of pop culture from the 1980s, and this is once again due in part to Remender's and Craig's experiences growing up in that time period. In the back of this issue, Remender does talk about actually going to a Grateful Dead concert to pick up acid, then spending the night in Vegas, and finally getting jumped by gang members. It's these powerful experiences, combined with near-hallucinogenic art worthy of the writings of Timothy Leary and the art of Ralph Steadman that makes this as good as it is. If you aren't following Deadly Class right now, you are at a complete loss and should be ashamed of yourself. This is the title to read.

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9.0
Deadly Class #7

Sep 18, 2014

Deadly Class #7 reminds me majorly of both the good and hard times I had in my life, which is why it's so hard for me to review. I love it, and I can't think of a way to give it any crap or heckle it. all I can tell you is that Deadly Class #7 is it a pretty damn good read and a nice start to the arc.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) Annual #2

Aug 3, 2013

Detective Comics Annual #2 is still plagued by the same problems its had before but in an oddly ironic way. Its an issue that deals a lot with identity, but in a weird sort of meta-textual way, it still struggles to find its own identity. Its on its way to developing its own persona but for now its like the Jane Doe character: it has no identity of its own, and it has to steal from its own writer.

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8.0
Earth 2 #16

Oct 4, 2013

With everything Ive addressed and said, I have to say, Robinson will be sorely missed. This was a title I looked forward to every week, even with all of its strengths and weaknesses. It was great to see him take on the golden-age favorites again, but all the foreshadowing he did is naught. Still, Scott is on the title, so the transition will be easier, but Taylor is going to have a hell of a job following up on Robinson.

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9.0
East of West #5

Aug 19, 2013

This truly has been a very Hickman-related month for me, and it doesn't stop here. As mentioned earlier, in two weeks from now on the 28th, Secret #3 comes out. The Hickman train never stops rolling. East of West #5 is another in a long line of his books coming out on a monthly basis, and like the rest of them, continues to be amazing until it reaches its foregone conclusion.

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10
East of West #10

Mar 18, 2014

Im genuinely excited to see where Hickman goes next, if only to see how much bigger it can get. This is an indie book where I am invested in the characters and am in it for the long run, and you should be too. Give East of West #10 a try, or youll be sorry.

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8.0
East of West #11

Apr 12, 2014

As a whole, East of West #11 could have been a lot more exciting than it actually was. But then again, we did just get an issue of balls to the wall action and advancement prior to this. We needed a breather supposedly, and as far as breathers go, this was pretty good. One can only hope that the next issue takes this roundtable somewhere big, because any other alternative would seem like disappointment.

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10
East of West #15

Sep 10, 2014

East of West #15, as a culmination of things, stands on its own as a towering beast. This issue has real weight and impact that you wouldn't find in most series. It makes things feel downright hopeless. What Hickman and Dragotta have crafted is a dark, dark tale devoid of optimism.

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10
East of West #16

Jan 7, 2015

East of West #16 seems, at its core, to be about avoiding the very idea of stagnation. It puts characters on unpredictable paths or predetermined ones at a much sooner interval of time than expected. It moves the story along quite nicely while setting up for the hell to come. If you arent excited for the apocalypse yet, this should be the place to start.

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8.0
East of West #18

Mar 9, 2015

Overall, the big problem here is decompression, but it can also be a major strength for a series going forward. East of West #18 has both decompression as a weakness (external) and as a strength (internal). It uses character work as its biggest advantage. We're entering the middle stages of the story, so I don't know if this is going to be the nature of the story going forward or if we're going to get big happenings later on. Either way, I'm along for the ride.

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9.0
East Of West: The World One Shot #1

Dec 14, 2014

I was hoping to see a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure reference as well but that was missing too.

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7.0
Edward Scissorhands #1

Oct 23, 2014

Overall, Edward Scissorhands feels like a licensed piece of fanfic. That much was pretty inevitable from the start. But what it does differently, is it takes the tropes that plague fanfiction and turns them into something relatively good. Were actually off to a pretty decent start of a five-issue miniseries.

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8.0
Ghosted #3

Sep 13, 2013

Ghosted #3 keeps up with the inherent question of do you believe in ghosts? and to that I add a fourth option: Im undecided. Theres a possibility they could exist, and theres a possibility they couldnt. However, something like Ghosted keeps me questioning. If they were real, what would they do to us? What could they do to us? The powerful central conceit behind the comic isnt the story itself, but rather the fundamental questions it asks, and the implication of those questions, even if those questions are rooted in something as trivial as pop-culture.

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10
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 2, 2014

Give Gotham Academy a look. Or not, if the premise isn't your thing. It's still a rewarding read

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10
Green Arrow (2011) #23

Aug 9, 2013

Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino is easily (again, in my opinion) one of the best comics DC is publishing right now. Its building a unique mythology around the titular weapons of the character, and is simultaneously bringing back elements of the old character whilst introducing new ones to give this version a unique take. Id say its definitely worth checking out. I just wish they would bring back his beard.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #27

Jan 11, 2014

That being said, The Outsiders War continues to be amazing in Green Arrow #27. Were only on part two of a six part storyline, and the tension and excitement keeps ratcheting up a notch. Itll be interesting to see what Lemire does with old fan-favorite Onyx as the leader of the Fist Clan next issue.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2011) #28

Feb 12, 2014

Final thoughts: the reveal of Onyx as the leader of the Fist Clan is cool although changing her ethnicity (coloring mistake?) definitely isnt. And now that the “Outsiders War” is half over, I am wondering when we will get to the actual war itself? And Im left wondering what the seventh clan is, and when they will be revealed. Green Arrow #28 is definitely a tease for all of this but it serves on its own as a good issue.

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7.0
Green Arrow (2011) #29

Mar 8, 2014

The biggest hindrance on the story so far is that were four issues in and the war of the Outsiders is only just starting. Lemire is making me afraid that the big war itself in the next two issues is going to be really rushed out and that the arc will suffer for it. Still, the best thing about this arc is that it introduces a series of long-term storylines that will come into play for years to come. The story falters a little, but it keeps pushing forward to interesting points. Of course the middle section is going to be the weak part. Thats usually the way comics tend to work (at least in my opinion). The next two issues better deliver, or this is going to be a bust. Green Arrow #29 is the weakest part of the “Outsiders War” so far, but it isn't necessarily bad. It just falters a little and seems a tad rushed.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2011) #30

Apr 4, 2014

Green Arrow #30 is a definite step-up for the series, with long-term plot implications, killer artwork, and a decent script to boot.

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6.0
Green Arrow (2011) #31

May 11, 2014

As an individual piece, Green Arrow #31 is only somewhat satisfying but as the conclusion to a whole story arc, it's a little more gratifying than that. It could easily have been paced better, and given some extra pages, but it did what it set out to do, and that's what matters I think. I look forward to the shift in tonality next issue.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011): Futures End #1

Sep 7, 2014

Its about as strong of an epilogue to a run that one could have given the parameters of the five years later event, and although there were some major and minor missteps throughout, I believe that Lemire and Sorrentinos run on Green Arrow is going to be looked at as one of the great runs on the title, up there with Dennis O Neil Adams and Mike Grell. If anything, at least it wasnt synergized with the Arrow TV show.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #16

Jan 26, 2014

Hawkeye #16 makes me want to write about music again but I still cant find the words. I still cant find something new to say like I can with comics now. Ive exhausted my repertoire of things to write about for music but at least this issue had the power to strike inspiration in something I no longer have the heart or mindset for.

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8.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 Annual #1

Jul 29, 2013

Hawkeye Annual #1 may only be an annual, but it still fits within the timeline of the main numbering. Hawkeye, even with its one-shot nature, makes it so that every issue is essential. Every little throwaway plot point is actually sacred, even if no one's essentially realized it yet. While I find scores to be arbitrary and wasted, I guess I'd give this a four out of five. It's highly impressive on many terms and factors, but it certainly isn't as award-worthy as #11 was. Still, check this out and hop on the Hawkeye hype train, bro.

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8.0
Infinity #1

Aug 16, 2013

If you skip down to this summary of everything, then heres the short of it: consider me sold. This is the first readable Marvel event in years (and the one Ill read more than two issues of!). Credit goes to Hickman and Cheung for such a spectacular start with only a few inherent flaws. Pick up Infinity #1 as soon as you can, or then Hickmans death of everything will come true (maybe).

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4.0
Infinity #5

Nov 3, 2013

With all of the trashing I've done, Infinity #5 is not what I would use as an example of quality work. It reeks of rushed filler before the final battles and has some bad storytelling choices, yet it is saved by some cool characters and amazing art through and through. With everything said, I do look forward to seeing how Infinity #6 resolves the first parts of Hickman's run and begins the second. Maybe we'll finally end up seeing this Rabum Alal guy that's been teased in New Avengers.

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8.0
Injection #5

Sep 13, 2015

Warren Ellis finally makes the title of the book make sense, and really explains what the injection is. It casts the narrative into that classic Frankensteinian mode of "man must not play god" and he even makes his characters regret some of their decisions. It's a distinctly odd decision from Ellis, where most of his work makes the case of advanced technology as used for exploration and innovation. Maybe this is all just a part of the humanizing element of Injection, and Ellis is trying to make a statement he hasn't really made since Transmetropolitan " that the advancement of technology can also lead to us risking our humanity at the cost of economizing the processes of the human body and mind. It's interesting stuff, and I wholeheartedly look forward to where it goes from here.

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4.0
Iron Patriot #1

Mar 29, 2014

As far as first issues go and the necessary requirements needed to make a first issue work, Iron Patriot #1 is pretty good. In terms of where it wants to go, and what it wants to be, it is split in three very uneven sections and sets up too little, too late. As unfortunate as it is to say, I would not recommend Iron Patriot to a reader looking to get into the character, but who knows, maybe it'll read better in trade?

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6.0
Jupiter's Circle #1

Apr 12, 2015

Jupiter's Circle does the golden-age throwback thing pretty well for the most part, creating that same sense of wonder and excitement those books drew initially in the first place. The problem unfortunately is that it has Millars unhealthy dose of cynicism he tends to employ in his works. Its worth reading if youre already into Jupiters Legacy (which is always on perpetual delay these days), but otherwise Id say leave this one alone for now, check out the trade later.

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9.0
Midnighter (2015) #3

Aug 10, 2015

Generally, I just wanted to say that Midnighter is a crazy smart book by a crazy smart writer and artist who balance the usage of the character's sexuality in a way that feels crisp, refreshing, and perfectly done. The comic never gets too blistery or huffy about its own identity, and is one of the better books coming out of the cape market today. Give Midnighter by Steve Orlando and ACO a try, as this might be the next up-and-comer to keep DC's creative streak rolling.

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9.0
Mind MGMT #13

Jul 30, 2013

When critically approaching comics, one has to think about what has this done differently from before and what makes it stand out from the rest? Most readers by default are comfortably inclined to put up with the same old crap, so to take a critical look at something without fear of being scrutinized incessantly by its fan-base is a difficult thing to do. Mind MGMT manages to do something entirely different from the previous issue and stays relatively different from the rest of the medium of comics as a whole. Its outside-the-box nature gives it a uniquely special quality that most of the books from the big two could only dream of having. In essence, Mind MGMT has managed to produce both engaging single issues and an intriguing storyline. I highly recommend it as one of the best books on the stands right now.

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10
Mind MGMT #36

Aug 31, 2015

Mind MGMT #36, or New MGMT #1, was/is the perfect way to close out this series. Mind MGMT has been something of a mini-revolution in comics, even if its legacy and influence may not be recognized for years to come. It made great maximal use of space in comics a thing again, and perpetuates the idea that comic books don't have to be limited to a certain aesthetic. Not only that, but it tells one of the single most gripping stories in comics in an era where so few comics are memorable or canonical enough to go down in the annals of history like a Jack Kirby or Grant Morrison comic might.

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6.0
MPH #1

May 20, 2014

The same could be said of Mark Millar comics in general. They're the equivalent of summer-movie blockbusters (which isn't necessarily a bad thing mind you), big on fun and action but light on thematic weight or depth. Most of them are light and breezy reads, and MPH #1 is no different. I'd recommend picking it up if you're into Millar's work or just looking for something quick and fun to read with an intriguing end setup to boot.

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6.0
New Avengers (2013) #23

Aug 24, 2014

New Avengers #23 and Hickmans entire Avengers saga feels like it carries a real finality to it, which has me dumb-struck considering the perpetual cycle of the rest of the Marvel line. This is the event that Marvel has needed to switch things up a bit. Its almost a Marvel Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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5.0
New Suicide Squad #1

Jul 9, 2014

Overall, it wasn't terrible, but I feel like it misses the point of the concept almost entirely. New Suicide Squad strips away what made Ostrander's run so great, and reduces it to an inoffensive action movie. Sean Ryan's not a bad writer, he's just missing the point entirely (in this reviewer's opinion). I hope to see that change in the future.

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8.0
Past Aways #3

May 29, 2015

If I have one criticism of the book, it's that the characters aren't well developed quite yet. Personally as a reader, if the groundwork isn't laid out too well in the first three or four issues then I'm not going to be as invested as I should be, so like the problem with Past Aways #3 is that its high concept-obsession is a double-edged sword. It makes for some highly inventive, insanely fun storytelling but it also leaves the most important part of any story, the characters, by the wayside, so therefore I'm not as invested as I should theoretically be. Still if Mind MGMT is any indication, that sort of thing should be coming later on down the line, albeit not soon enough for my tastes.

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7.0
Powers: Bureau #9

Apr 23, 2014

So yes, the book is stuck in a structural rut and is formulaic at times but that's offset by just how good of a story it tells. Even with all the delays (4 or 5 months between this issue and the last) and after all these years, I am still invested in the work of Powers partly out of nostalgia, and partly because it's just a fun, simple story. It doesn't strive to be anything more than it needs to be. It's just cops and feds taking down super-powered cases. It's been following the same premise and structure for over a decade and it still works. Powers " The Bureau #9 isn't perfect by any means, and it feels stuck, but it still glimmers with its strengths.

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8.0
Prez #1

Jun 20, 2015

Prez is one of those comics that Ill do nothing but praise, even if it is flawed. The only thing that makes me unsure about is the idea of making the politics, and subsequently the humor, relevant because Ive always felt that relevancy dates a piece of work and has often made things unreadable at times. Even then, Prez is the kind of book that is really freaking good and even though it doesnt totally fit within DC by normal DC standards, it is the exact kind of book they should be doing.

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9.0
Prophet: Earth War #1

Jan 28, 2016

Prophet: Earth War seems to be designed to play to the strengths of everyone involved in it, and on top of all of that, it is just a damn good sci-fi comic. It's open-endedly pulpy but just smart enough to get the reader thinking about. It is both worthy of critical analysis and simple, pure for-fun reading. This whole miniseries is probably going to be on year-end lists.

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9.0
Ringside #2

Jan 2, 2016

Ringside #2 is really an extension of the story from #1, so reviewing the individual issue is difficult here because it's just a continuation of what made the first issue great. All I can say about it as a second issue is that Keatinge and Barber know how to pull in the reader, with a tale of beat characters and gripping drama. Wrestling this is not. It's the violent drama surrounding it that makes this comic so great. I highly recommend keeping an eye on this one.

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6.0
Saga #30

Jul 10, 2015

Saga #30 is both exemplary of the flaws and the strengths that Saga as a whole holds. It follows a certain model to a certain degree and while that benefits it in some modes, it also hinders it in others. My suggestion would be to reread this whole series, and then re-evaluate your opinion on it, while giving it some critical thought instead of just buying it month to month due to the praise and hype around Saga.

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9.0
Secret #3

Aug 29, 2013

With #3 finally out, and #4 well on its way towards store (Hickman has stated that the art is already done for it and they are working on #5) the book is back on track to coming out at a regular pace again. Hickmans story is intriguing and strong without having to be incredibly large and outlandish, and the art is on a phenomenal level. I recommend picking up Secret #3 and the 2 back issues prior.

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6.0
Secret #6

Mar 10, 2014

Still, this is a spy epic that tends to subvert tropes more than use them. A lot of things here feel like clever references to spy movie tricks without actually using them, and I genuinely dont know how the next issue is going to end the series. If the solicits mean anything, a time machine is involved, which brought this from being a spy story to science fiction, and that just confuses me. Buy Secret #6 if youre a completionist like myself, but be prepared to feel utterly confused as to your feelings on it. I know I was.

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6.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #1

Mar 18, 2014

This is for you if youre looking for a comedy with spy movie undertones, and some of the funniest banter to date (who knew Maria Hill and M.O.D.O.K. could have so much chemistry as a working duo?) this side of Keith Giffen. Kot has a strong, if misleading debut issues propelled by its Hawkeye-esque tone and Michael Walshs amazing, flat, dynamic art. Secret Avengers #1 is a highly recommended read for fans of Ales Kot, the Secret Avengers (super-secret trust me), Michael Walsh, and/or comedic spies doing comedic spy things.

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7.0
Secret Wars #1

May 8, 2015

Is Secret Wars bad? Surprisingly, going by Marvel's track record, no. It's very impersonal and whatnot, but none of the story elements are inherently offensive or lacking in thought. Is it great? no, it's not that either. It feels kind of like a standard comic book issue where it isn't extremely bad or extremely good, but it serves a purpose and gets the reader excited for what's to come.

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8.0
Secret Wars #2

May 18, 2015

Aside from a few quibbles here and there, this is a near-perfect issue. Hickman even seems to be self-aware of his own tropes and uses them to comedic effect here to maximize any potential enjoyment to be found in this issue. If Secret Wars #1 left you cold, give Secret Wars #2 a chance. It's a way better first issue and gets the reader excited for the things to come.

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8.0
Secret Wars #3

Jun 6, 2015

I think what works and doesn't work overall is the exposition-heavy nature of these early issues. On one hand, it is fantastic world-building and gives added depth to a story already pretty complex in nature, but on the other hand it drags things to a crawl when the ideal purpose of an event book is to have hype, insane, game-changing moments every issue until it's over, with long-lasting repercussions and implications. It is in this part that Hickman has both failed and succeeded with Secret Wars. At least his collaborator in Ribic seems to be firing on all cylinders. This is not by any means a bad issue, but the pace needs to pick back up if Marvel doesn't want it to be a dud.

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7.0
Secret Wars #4

Jul 4, 2015

Its just that were halfway through the event now, and things are just starting to pick up and collide. We spent the first three issues on what was basically setup for the event, and while it was admittedly really cool setup, it kind of dimmed some of the interest in the event going forward, especially when important pieces of story like Doom killing the Beyonders is mentioned off-handedly in a single panel. For an event book, it oddly feels very non-event in nature, like its just part of a regular story. Its an interesting approach to the structural nature of events, but it also leaves things feeling very uneven. Secret Wars #4 leaves thing feeling slightly inconsequential, but it definitely picks up the pace of the event.

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5.0
Secret Wars #5

Aug 16, 2015

Hopefully the almost-painful dullness of Secret Wars #5 doesnt sink into the last batch of issues, otherwise this will have been a bit of a blunder. As a fan of Hickman and Ribics work, I have every confidence this will pick back up and that this was just made to explain things for people who didnt read Avengers and New Avengers. For a mid-point issue, this was really bland and not really indicative of the quality of the previous issues. It was something that had to happen I guess.

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9.0
Secret Wars #6

Oct 10, 2015

Secret Wars #6 is not just a big, dumb event comic, even though at times it feels like it is marketed exactly as one. Hickman and Ribic together fill the text and the visuals with symbolism, sub-text, allegories, and motifs it'd be impossible to hit all of them in the length of this essay/review. To this author, it is reminiscent of Final Crisis, in that it too is full of subtext and symbolism and metaphor, but both execute it in extremely smart ways. If only Secret Wars had a tighter release schedule.

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5.0
Secret Wars #7

Nov 11, 2015

Hickmans writing is usually decent but here is on its worst operations. As for the art, the actual drawing themselves are fairly good and Ribics line is refined, but its this idea that the context of the comic influences the text of the comic itself. This issue was delayed and rushed, as future issues will be, and that is reflected in the comic itself. Its not necessarily a bad comic, but its not great like an event should be. Hickman and Ribic should have refined their craft for this issue even further if it meant a greater quality that Secret Wars #7 should have had.

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10
Sex Criminals #1

Sep 28, 2013

I don't have much else to say because I can't think of anything to criticize. The drawings are gorgeous, the panel layouts are very clever, the writing is funny and economical, and every little piece counts. Hell, even the back cover of the book is hilarious. This is going to be one of those books I can't wait to read every month. Sex Criminals #1 is an excellent debut, and I urge anyone reading this to pick it up immediately.

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9.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #40

Mar 6, 2015

If anything, my interpretations of Swamp Thing #40 hold as much validity as any other critics, but if we argue about which is the true one, it would have to be the authors and their intent, their message. Still, the way I choose to interpret this particular work of fiction is that it is very Morrisonian in nature, for better or worse. There are times where it seems a little on-the-nose and it rushes through things trying to get its big ideas out and resolve the plot at the same time. Still, whats been pulled off here is a clever little trick that gives more credence to the world of mainstream comics (i.e. DC and Marvel) than they usually have. Swamp Thing had a strong run since its inception, but the end of one era means its loose ends need to be closed off, like vines knotting over a hole in the ground, sealing it away forever from sight.

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6.0
Teen Titans (2014) #6

Jan 25, 2015

The question here is, is Teen Titans #6 effective in doling out its premise? Is it delivering its mission statement to the best of its abilities? Id argue that Pfeifer and crew are working really hard to develop this book into something special, and are trying to give it major teenage credibility by making it as up-to-date on trends and pop culture as much as possible, but that invariably results in a lot of clumsiness and forced relatability issues that narrows the impact this might have considerably. Still, six issues in, its better than the last Titans run by a large margin.

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9.0
The Dying and the Dead #1

Jan 28, 2015

Im unsure if The Dying and the Dead is an ongoing or a limited series, but whatever it is, its sure to tell one hell of a great story.

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6.0
The Manhattan Projects #13

Aug 8, 2013

Foresight is definitely the key element when it comes to Jonathan Hickman-work. Being able to understand and predict what might happen is half the fun in reading his comics, especially when something you predict turns out right but then an unexpected curveball gets thrown. The Manhattan Projects #13 is all foresight and little plot advancement bolstered by great art, and this is perfectly okay at this point. It leaves the reader guessing as to what may (or may not) happen, and prediction is half the battle.

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10
The Surface #1

Mar 10, 2015

I could go on and on about spatial design and how it relates to the radical philosophy found in this book, but as space and time are limited for me, Im just going to say this. I love this book, but I want to see how it is going forward before making any snap judgments about renewal of faith and perfectionism. Therefore Im going to give this a perfect score, but a perfect score doesnt necessarily mean a perfect comic. If I looked more critically, I could definitely find something about this I would call flawed. Still, my time is limited.

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9.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 17, 2014

The United States of Murder Inc. #1 is a glimmer of hope for Bendis fans and an intriguing new series to boot. I'd definitely recommend following this one.

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8.0
The Wake #3

Aug 2, 2013

So now that Snyder has seemingly beat the critics at addressing his own faults, where does he have left to go? Id presumably say nowhere but up but thats never true in comics. Old habits die hard, and one can easily slip into those old habits or formulas (like Die Hard sequels). However, as a (particularly selfish) reader and critic, I expect Snyder to get better and better, and never fluster or fall down lest my jaded cynicism get the best me. Its a steep mountain to climb (undersea rig?) but Im sure Snyder, Murphy, Hollingsworth, and Fletcher will be able to make it to the top, section by section.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #2

Jul 16, 2014

Basically, The Wicked + the Divine is the series to be looking out for. If you aren't following it, go pick it up right now. This is already going on my year end best list, which is something I am extremely picky about. That's as high of a recommendation as I can give.

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9.0
Three #1

Oct 12, 2013

Three #1 by Gillen, Kelly and Bellaire is a fantastic read and a nice alternative to the glorified machismo of the Frank Miller graphic novel. This is 300 for those with a history-oriented academic background, defined not by its embrace of the epic battle of war but rather its depiction of the brutal savagery coming from the hands of the warrior class. Three is an excellent read for anybody looking for something new and exciting.

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9.0
Trillium #2

Sep 8, 2013

Vertigo, I think, has been on a streak of revivalism as of late, with a slew of new series coming out and some mini (maxi-?)-series being released at a steady pace. Trillium is part of this revivalist streak, and is ushering in a new era of stories not just for Vertigo itself, but for the medium as a whole. Now if only something like this could get more press than say, X-Men crossover number one billion.

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9.0
Wytches #1

Oct 8, 2014

What Snyder and Jock have created is a masterpiece, plain and simple. To me, the best horror (at least when not in film form) tends to be visually centric, even when its a series of words on a page. I have to be able to create the centralized scene in my head, and not be distracted by lesser details. Jock owns this book, but Snyder's words help complement it instead of being a nuisance (this is why Snyder is one of my favorite writers. Dude's handle on prose and dialogue is ridiculously good).Wytches is a treat for the Halloween season, and is the first thing to scare me in a damn long time.

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9.0
Young Avengers (2013) #11

Oct 24, 2013

Young Avengers #11 may seem like "unnecessary change for the sake of change" to most comic book readers but if you think about, change is very necessary. Sure if a story is working then there is no need to change it but look at a change as a refresher. It keeps the story from falling in a cyclical loop of average stories. So, if the status quo isn't broken, go ahead and fix it anyways. It might just surprise you.

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10
Young Avengers (2013) #15

Jan 13, 2014

Now the only proper way to do a sendoff review of a musically oriented issue is probably to drop some music references into this last paragraph but it's hard to think of any that won't be forced. But anyways, this is the after-party, and after the after-party comes the hotel lobby, and then around about 4 AM you've got to clear the lobby. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce.

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10
Zero #1

Sep 18, 2013

Kot's seemingly anti-war commentary is very strongly put out here, and I can't help but admire a man who wears his politics on his sleeve. It's a testament to the fact that very few creators in the industry are willing to make themselves stand out as individuals by radically differing from the norm set of standards. Zero #1 wears its heart on its sleeve, and is one of the few brave, new on-goings out on the market right now. Go and pick up a copy as soon as you can.

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10
Zero #2

Oct 19, 2013

Zero definitely is looking up to being the best new launched book this year (in this reviewers opinion). It captures the same sort of magic that Saga did when it launched and is able to craft complex spy fiction while still maintaining the political allegories and commentaries that have become a staple since the first issue. Zero shows us that war is hell, and that well buy comics to experience this hell.

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