Logan Dalton's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: PopOptiq, Graphic Policy, Nerds On The Rocks, Geeked Out Nation, The Rainbow Hub, Overmental, Capeless Crusader Reviews: 428
8.3Avg. Review Rating

9.0
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1

Apr 27, 2016

4 Kids Walk into a Bank#1 is a painfully funny return to the awkwardness of middle school wrapped around a crime mystery story that is just beginning to heat up. It's like if you dropped the cast of Freaks and Geeks sans stoners into the middle ofReservoir Dogs.The pre-teens are overmatched for the most part, but they occasionally triumph, and it's pure catharsis every time, like when Berger uses his trusty slingshot to shoot his DnDcharacter, the orc warlord Crotch, at one of the gangsters in retribution for sucker punching Paige.Writer Matthew Rosenberg's adolescent characters actually sound like twelve year olds instead of younger looking adults, and artist Tyler Boss' clever use of layouts make for a pleasing reading experience with lots of visual comedy. With the characters introduced and fleshed out, the real fun is ready to begin.

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8.0
Action Comics (2016) #987

Sep 13, 2017

By digging into the heart of Superman's ability to bring hope and also his inability to save everyone, Dan Jurgens, Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Jay Leisten, and Mike Spicer giveAction Comics#987 a solid ideological foundation before the big reveal. The final page definitely surprised me and is a real shock to who Superman is as a character withAction Comics#988 providing some much needed context.

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9.0
Action Lab: Dog Of Wonder #1

Feb 29, 2016

Action Lab: Dog of Wonder#1 is the feel good comic of the month. Read it to your younger sibling, your dog, or just read it yourself and find a ray of hope in the smile of Action Lab himself and his selfless pursuit of helping dogs, who have been neglected by their owners even if it goes against the letter of the law. And even if the comic looks like a straightforward superhero story with dogs instead of people, Vito Delsante and Scott Fogg add some shades of grey in the characters of Action Lab's antagonist (for now), Clancy Jackson, who comes across as a jerk, but really cares about the dogs of Canaan City.

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6.0
Adventure Time #50

Mar 9, 2016

With a plot steeped deep inAdventure Timelore,Adventure Time#50 wasn't for me, but more knowledgeable fans may get a kick out of it. The comic is technically sound though with creative lettering from Steve Wands to show how overblown and melodramatic the Lich is, bright and spooky colors from Maarta Laiho, and fun, expressive art from Ian McGinty. If you like a certain type of pet or hero cycles, the last few pages will be a treat.

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7.2
Adventure Time/Regular Show #1

Aug 2, 2017

Adventure Time/Regular Show #1 is slow to start, but when Rigby socks that annoying twerp Finn in the face, it shows that this crossover means business and has potential to be a memorable one and not just a cash-in.

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9.3
Afterlife With Archie #10

Aug 31, 2016

Even if you haven't read Afterlife with Archie, this issue is worth picking up as a commentary on female-driven pop music in the 20th and early 21st century through the lens of the vampire genre as Josie and the Pussycats use their transformation to seize power over their own lives and not be exploited by men, like Uncle Buddy, who skimmed off their profits, and married their former band member Pepper. And Francesco Francavilla shows why he is the maestro of comics art with his ability to capture a range of emotions and situations from four girls rocking out at a concert to shots of wholesale slaughter and close-ups of beautiful and dangerous vampire eyes that Bela Lugosi would be proud of.

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10
All-New All-Different Avengers Annual #1

Aug 13, 2016

All-New All-Different Avengers Annual #1 looks at fandom and fan fiction in a mostly humorous and sometimes critical light through the POV of Kamala Khan, the Marvel Universe's biggest superhero fangirl. Add in the varied art styles from creators, who mainly work on indie titles or webcomics, and it's worth picking up even if you're not keeping up with the main All-New All-Different Avengers series.

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8.5
All-New Classic Archie: Your Pal Archie #1

Jul 8, 2017

Your Pal Archie#1 has all the melodrama and slapstick of an old school, supermarket Archie digest with relevant 21st century jokes and a hint of suspense from Ty Templeton and wacky layouts and visual comedy from Dan Parent. It's a (crazy) summer vacation in comic book form.

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8.0
All-New Classic Archie: Your Pal Archie #2

Aug 11, 2017

In Your Pal Archie #2, Ty Templeton and Dan Parent go full wacky with plots centered around millions of dollars, gourmet dining with Veronica, and a strange football injury while grounding them in a redhead who just wants to hang out with his friends and eat hot dogs with ballpark mustard. And that's why I love Archie and the company that bears his name.

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8.6
All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #1

May 5, 2017

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is kind of funny, kind of dark, and opens a whole of bag of mysteries about these characters that we've come to love in comics and movies. Also, artist Aaron Kuder makes the transition from lantern jawed superhero to "hazy cosmic jive" (Featuring talking raccoons and mechas) with style, grace, and a funky new inking style.

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9.0
All-New Wolverine #1

Nov 12, 2015

All-New Wolverine #1 confidently establishes its premise, visual style through the slash-style layouts of David Lopez, and even comic relief in the interactions between Angel and Laura. Writer Tom Taylor and Lopez show Laura Kinney own the mantle of Wolverine as soon as she pulls off her overcoat and wears his original blue and yellow costume in the crowded streets of Paris with colorist Nathan Fairbarn blending the costume's yellow with the twilight skyline. All-New Wolverine #1 acknowledges X-23's past while laying the foundation for her redemption-tinged rise to the name and costume of Wolverine and has a freshness that hasn't been present in a Wolverine comic since he was wandering around a barren wasteland fighting in-bred Hulks.

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8.7
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

All-Star Batman#1 is a beautiful marriage of yet another unique take on a classic villain from Scott Snyder with a suspenseful premise (Batman on the run with no technology) and powerful art from John Romita Jr. Right now, it is DC's flagship Bat-book.

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8.2
All-Star Batman #7

Feb 8, 2017

All-Star Batman#7 concludes witha wonderful Francesco Francavilla-drawn backup story featuring Duke Thomas' continuing efforts to come to terms with his own relationship to Batman's villains (The Riddler in this case) that continues to be laid out like a crossword puzzle. ButAll-Star Batman#7 is truly Poison Ivy and Tula Lotay's party as shecaptures the beauty, intelligence, and passion of this complex scientist/antihero/nature goddess, whose abilities are more blessing than curse for once. This is all handled through her gaze (Not Batman's) with many panels of her eyes conveying different emotions in different colors.

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8.0
Allen: Son of Hellcock #1

Dec 8, 2015

With its bone dry sense of humor, hilarious parodies of sword and sorcery tales, colorful art, and a likeable loser protagonist, Allen, Son of Hellcock #1 stands out from the legions of fantasy comics hitting shelves. Writers Will Tracy and Gabe Koplowitz and artist Miguel Porto also start to show how one writes a fantasy story in a world where all the epic battles have been fought, heroes slain, and villains have won. It is filled with laughs, anachronisms, and a character, who will hit close to home for many readers. (Because barely getting paid for your writing sucks.)

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7.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16.1

Mar 19, 2015

Amazing Spider-Manhas issues with its pacing,art,and dialogue, but Gerry Conway shows he still has the chops to plota Spidey crime yarn whilealso starting to develop the relationship between Spider-Manand Yuri Watanabe that strikesa similar tone to earlier friendships with police officers, like the late Jean DeWolff.

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10
America #1

Mar 1, 2017

America #1 definitely lives up to the hype as Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera, Paolo Rivera, and Jose Villarrubia create a powerful, yet occasionally lost and world weary heroine in America Chavez. There are punching, one-liners, and even some surprises too, and you should check it out.

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9.0
America #5

Jul 19, 2017

To quote the comic itself, if you like “slaying monsters, the patriarchy, and extra large pizzas” plus heart wounding feelings and art that is the polar opposite of house style,America#5 is the book for you.

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4.7
Angel Season 11 #1

Jan 20, 2017

Angel Season 11 #1 ends with Angel traveling back in time so maybe figures from his past will pop up and playing supporting roles and help this comic transform from Irish Supernatural-lite to the Buffyverse's "Days of Future Past." But, for now, it's just a mediocre exorcism story with a time travel twist, two stiff lead characters, and uninspiring art. It's definitely not the best wayto launch a new season.

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9.0
Angela: Queen Of Hel #7

Apr 28, 2016

Angela Queen of Hel#7 gives Angela and Sera the beautiful and well-earned happy ending that Marguerite Bennett has been building up during her entire run on the title. She and artists Kim Jacinto and Stephanie Hans also round off Leah's character nicely, especially in the sub story, which acts as a glimpse of possible storylines if theAngela Queen of Helwill be missed not only for having Marvel's best example of a same gender relationship and LGBT representation, but also for being one of its funniest and gravitas filled books.

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8.4
Aquaman (2016) #26

Jul 19, 2017

As the second chapter in an epic arc,Aquaman#26 does its fair share of setup, but it's far from boring as Dan Abnett transitions Aquaman and supporting cast members, like Mera and the earlier mentioned Cetea into new roles. The villains aren't as interesting with the exception of Krush, who is a mutant, yet still is loyal to Rath for now. Finally, there's Stjepan Sejic's thrilling fantasy art that makesAquamanstand out from the other house style DC superhero books and transforms Aquaman into the king in exile, the Aragorn of the open sea.

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8.4
Archie (2015) #3

Sep 28, 2015

Archie #3 introduces Veronica to the cast of characters in a visual appealing and charismatic way as Mark Waid's teen soap opera plot gets a touch crazier and gains some new pet names, and Fiona Staples scores some laughs with her art of Archie getting strung along by Veronica.

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6.5
Archie (2015) #4

Nov 23, 2015

Archie #4 is an excellent showcase for Annie Wu's energetic depictions of friendship, romance, and heartbreak with subtly powerful colors from Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn. Sadly, Mark Waid's script gets bogged down in a cycle of dated and cliched teen melodrama instead of exploring the relationship and falling out between Betty and Archie in more depth. However, Jughead is funny as ever, and Veronica lights up the few pages she appears in.

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5.0
Archie (2015) #5

Jan 7, 2016

Archie #5 lacks the visual panache of its first four issues and makes the interesting, if unfortunate story choice of focusing on its least likable character. Villain-centric stories can be supremely fascinating (See Hannibal, Breaking Bad, or even Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's Darth Vader), but this is the equivalent of spending an entire issue on the douchebag lead of an Axe bodyspray commercial. And touching moment between Veronica and Archie and closure for Betty aside, the issue has really to add to the teen genre and falls behind both Jughead and books like Giant Days in the surreal humor department.

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8.5
Archie (2015) #17

Feb 16, 2017

Even though it occasionally hits on some real teen/young people concerns, like how long is too long to wait to text someone back if you're romantically interested in them,Archie#17 is mostly stylized wackinessfrom Mark Waid, Joe Eisma, and Andre Szymanowicz, who uses some overpowering reds in Cheryl Blossom's scenes. It's pure comedic melodramatic fun.

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10
Astonishing X-Men (2017) #1

Jul 20, 2017

Astonishing X-Men #1 has heavy hitting visuals, nuanced characterization, and whiz bang brain action and sets itself up as the flagship X-Men book in one fell swoop.

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8.7
Baroque Pop Anthology #1

May 16, 2017

My final note is that the portraits that mark breaks between stories should definitely be used by Lana Del Rey herself on posters or merchandise. They capture her beauty and sadness just like the various stories inBaroque Pop. If you like your pop music darker and a little more retro, then the songs of Lana Del Rey andtheBaroque Popanthology are definitely for you.

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7.8
Batgirl (2011) #39

Feb 18, 2015

In conclusion, the overarching plot ofBatgirl#39 isall over the place, but Fletcherand Stewart really dig into Barbara's characterandshow real growth in her relationships, schoolwork,and even superhero work. Babs Tarr's character designsand settings continue to be detailed and adorable as ever,and sheand Fletcher switch up panelarrangements to showa contrast between Barbara's verbal sparringand Batgirl's physical sparring to makeBatgirl#39a stylish comic that is starting to have some substance.

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8.2
Batgirl (2011) #44

Sep 25, 2015

The romance between Luke Fox and Batgirl may seem a little rushed even though they spent some time together last issue investigating a mystery and may have had a conversation or two in Batman Eternal, but Bengal's flirty facial expression and some sparkling dialogue from Fletcher and Stewart helps make it more believable. Some awkward (A chronometer is mentioned and then left hanging during the fight between Batgirl and Velvet Tiger.) techno-exposition aside, Batgirl #44 is a showcase for Bengal's skill with faces and panel composition, gives Frankie and Alysia some character defining moments, and continues to masterfully meld cyber thrills with relationship drama.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #45

Oct 28, 2015

All in all, Batgirl #45 has romance, some light humor, beautiful art and fashion design, well-selected colors, and is a big turning point for Batgirl/Barbara Gordon's character in Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr's run. Plus there's smooching.

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8.5
Batgirl (2011) #46

Dec 17, 2015

Batgirl #46 has a fun friendship moments, adorable art from Babs Tarr, a kick-ass fight scene, and hints at mystery plot line and foe that could create a seismic shift in this title down the road.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #47

Jan 20, 2016

Some issues with guest artists and the introduction of new character (Greg), whose only purpose seems to create pointless conflict between Babs and Frankie aside, Batgirl #47 has a delightful team-up with Batgirl, Spoiler, and Bluebird that includes some adorkable jokes from Spoiler and quick action and misdirection even if it barely progresses the plot. Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher also focus on the darker side of Gotham and Barbara Gordon in a couple powerful scenes where she opens up about her current mental state. Tarr's art is definitely missed and there are some pacing issues, but Batgirl #47 isn't a half bad read.

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8.5
Batgirl (2011) #48

Feb 4, 2016

With clever dialogue and rapid plotting of Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, the fierceness, cuteness, and sadness of Babs Tarr's art, and the battle of genres and tones created by colorists Lee Loughridge and Serge Lapointe, Batgirl #48 is an excellent outing for the title, and there are more cool reveals to come. There is definitely a lot of darkness to endure before the colorful fun returns. If it ever does.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #49

Mar 2, 2016

Throughout Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr's run, Batgirl has proven that it is the visual crown jewel of DC Comics, and issue 49 is a victory lap, especially thanks to the powerful work of Ming Doyle and James Harvey along with the sunny, suburban Stepford horror of Roger Robinson. It is also a tour de force into the beautiful and damaged psyche of Barbara Gordon and a real turning point in her arc in the New 52. Issue 50 can't come soon enough.

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8.5
Batgirl (2011) #50

Apr 9, 2016

characters that fans of all genders, races, sexual orientations, body types, and disability status could see themselves in.

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 27, 2016

Batgirl#1 has fantastic artwork from Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig, who excel at depicting the detailed backgrounds of a to using diagram type panels to simulate Babs' eidetic memory. Hope Larson writes some charming character interactions between Babs and Kai as well as showing Batgirl's admiration for Fruit Bat and empathy for her because they both used to be or are currently disabled. But unfortunately their time together is cut short as Babs moves onto the next country in search of some amorphous “teacher”. However, unlike some other people at DC Entertainment, Larson, Albuquerque, and McCaig respect Batgirl and depict her in a thrilling, yet nuanced way. Hopefully, the book doesn't slide into “white person is trained in martial arts by Asian person” cliches as Babs' road trip continues.

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7.0
Batgirl (2016) #3

Sep 28, 2016

Batgirl #3 is a well-executed table setting issue as Rafael Albuquerque excels at showing Barbara Gordon as a superhero, beaten down MMA fighter, and as a suspicious friend as she and Kai part ways. Hope Larson keeps most of the information about him hidden and spends most of the issue switching the setting from Singapore to South Korea. Her plot is connect the dots detective work and sets up a battle royale in an upcoming issue so don't sleep on this comic just yet.

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7.2
Batgirl (2016) #12

Jun 28, 2017

Hope Larson continues to write Batgirl with personality and heart, but for the most part, Batgirl #12 reads like an average "monster of the week" episode of a TV show like X-Files or Supernatural.

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9.5
Batman (2011) #50

Mar 23, 2016

Batman #50 is both an action packed and a thematically resonant conclusion to the “Superheavy” arc and Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and FCO Plascencia's Batman epic. There are a lot of moving parts and MacGuffins flying about in this double sized, definitely worth your $5.99 issue, but Snyder ties it all together through a powerful speech from Jim Gordon about the power of ordinary human beings working together to fix things, like poverty, inequality, and crime. But Batman can only be Batman, and Paquette shows this in the heartbreaking final pages as Julie Madison rebuilds the daycare center that an amnesiac Bruce Wayne built and sadly can't be a part of any more.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #7

Sep 21, 2016

Also, where else are you going to be able to see Batman fly a plane into a two story monster?

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8.0
Batman (2016) #17

Feb 15, 2017

Batman#17 is technically another “setup” issue to the inevitable mano a manorematch between Batman and Bane. However,Tom King, David Finch, Danny Miki, and Jordie Bellaire makes their upcoming battle even more frightening as some of Batman's best allies are taken off the board in a swift way reminiscent of Bane unleashing the Dark Knight's rogue's gallery in “Knightfall” before breaking his back when he was utterly broken down. Bane and King both play the long game, and the next issue should be filled with big moves to competent for the utter catastrophe that is Batman's supporting cast in this issue.

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7.7
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 20, 2017

Despite having bone breaking art from Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson,Batman#21 is more of a prologue than a part one. However, on a pure craft level, it is a wonderful demonstration of how comics can speed up or slow down time with a single minute stretched over many pages just like how Dr. Manhattan sees the world. Hopefully, King and company will continue to put their own variations on these old themes and not be content to play dive bar covers of classics past.

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8.5
Batman (2016) Annual #1

Nov 30, 2016

Batman Annual #1 showsa rareheartwarming side of Batman and his crusade to fight crime with the Christmas holidays as a backdropand also acts as a showcase for comics talent, old and new.

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5.5
Batman / TMNT Adventures #1

Nov 12, 2016

The iconic Bruce Timm Batman: The Animated Seriesandthe ridiculously delightful 2003-2009 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesanimated seriesdesigns are on model, but lack the motion and kinetic feeling of the source material. I would really love to see what an artist like Michael Avon Oeming or Ian McGinty would have done with these characters.Batman/TMNT Adventures#1 may appeal to young readers, who didn't grow up on these two cartoons or who enjoy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it falls short of being a true "all ages" book despite its nods to nostalgia.

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9.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #1

Oct 7, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #1 is a genre spanning (superhero and possession horror), kick in the pants start to this weekly comic event. Scott Snyder and James Tynion set up a creepy, overarching storyline for the series by exploring the tragic side of being a Robin. (They don't usually get out alive.) Artists Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea use speed lines, little circles, and every tool in the action cartoonist's toolbox to give the comic a hyperactive feel as the various Robins swing, kick, and ride into action while wisely utilizing full page spreads for surprise reveals that burst the nostalgia bubble of “Batman and Robin forever”. By the end of Batman and Robin Eternal #1, readers will see the relationship between the Caped Crusader and his various sidekicks in a new, complicated light.

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5.9
Batman And Robin Eternal #2

Oct 14, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #2 is an unfortunate, early slump for the early series with glacial plotting and some poor artistic choices in what should have been a brutal, scintillating fight scene. The fun and interesting conversations between Stephanie Brown and Dick Grayson and a harrowing, thematically relevant Scarecrow flashback keep things from being a total wash though.

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7.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #3

Oct 22, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #3 is an entertaining ride with Tim Seeley's ear for Jason Todd's bro-ish dialogue, and his conscious effort to make the badass, yet endearing Cassandra Cain a part of the Bat-family with the help of de facto team dad Dick Grayson. The various Robins share a fun family dynamic that makes the book worth checking out even when the art falters. A more gesture or facial oriented artist like Phil Noto (especially his recent work on Chewbacca) or Jamie McKelvie might bring Cass to life even more than Paul Pelletier, whose action layouts are easy to follow despite the multiple inkers, but struggles with showing character feelings. Artwork aside, this issue is a step in the right direction, and the last couple pages increase the series' threat level while not revealing Snyder and Tynion's whole mystery just yet.

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8.5
Batman And Robin Eternal #4

Oct 29, 2015

With exhilarating action, the introduction of some fan favorite players on the board, some character bonding and a great final page reveal, Batman and Robin Eternal #4 is a stellar installment of this weekly series.

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7.5
Batman And Robin Eternal #5

Nov 6, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #5 has solid art, especially when Ronan Cliquet busts out some unique layouts and detailed close-ups of Harper Row and Cassandra Cain during particularly impactful moments like when Orphan calls Cass and monster before disappearing in smoke. Steve Orlando also has a good handle on the character interactions, especially Harper and Cassandra, and writes a Dick Grayson, who is uncannily becoming a lot like Batman in Bruce's absence from the cape and cowl. Unfortunately, Tim Drake's new backstory ruins a lot of the character's endearing qualities as his personality and relationship with his family are put on hold for his role as brainwashed assassin of Mother.

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8.5
Batman And Robin Eternal #6

Nov 12, 2015

The flashback with the death of Maxwell and insights into Mother's activities truly raises the threat level in Batman and Robin Eternal and makes the final page featuring Dick, Jason, Harper, and Cass jumping in the Bat-plane feel ominous although outwardly it looks like a globetrotting adventure. Daniel conveys this with the first look at Mother's, well, maternal eyes covered in shadow while Morey pours on the blacks on the Batplane signifying that Batman and Robin Eternal #6 is the first step in a darker direction for this title.

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8.5
Batman And Robin Eternal #9

Dec 4, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #9 has brutally choreographed fight scenes from artist Roge Antonio, and scripters Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly craft the start of an intriguing team-up between Red Robin, Red Hood, and Bane against the Order of St. Dumas, and Azrael, who gets a speech to end all speeches complete with golden flames from colorist Allen Passalaqua on the final page. And along the way, Lanzing and Kelly turn in some solid character work with Harper and Mother. Having a villain who tells the truth is always more frightening, and this is what she does with Bruce Wayne, who turns orphans into warriors just like her.

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9.5
Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1

Jun 28, 2017

The more cartoonish backup with art by Byron Vaughns andCarrie Strachanruns a few of its jokes into the ground, but has a hilarious Calendar Man cameo. However, it's a nice relief after in-your-face crime noir with a side dish of lisps and hunting metaphors.

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8.3
Batman/The Shadow #2

May 24, 2017

Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, Riley Rossmo, and Ivan Plascencia continue to explore Batman's violent, supernatural, and handgun wielding past inBatman/The Shadow#2. Except they add a twisting, turning mystery and an idiosyncratic art style to the mix so there's a little for everyone in this intercompany crossover. There's also just a touch of the old school pulps in the comic, like the swashbuckling duel between Batman and “Ducard” that opens thestory.

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8.2
Batman: Rebirth #1

Jun 1, 2016

Batman Rebirth #1 establishes both a new visual identity and character dynamic in the Batman title that is a little old (Alfred/Gordon) and a little new (Duke Thomas, more formidable Calendar Man) taking a cue from DC Rebirth, but while telling its own story and focusing on its own relationships. Mikel Janin also continues to be one of DC's finest storytellers as he melds the epic photorealism of Jae Lee's recent work with quick cut panels to avoid any stiffness with a side of beefcake that works in favor of Snyder and King's open, optimistic characterization of Batman. The final page twist (if it is twist) could be delineated a little better, but demonstrates Janin and Chung's skill to work with the dark chaos of Batman stories as well as his more charming side.

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8.9
Battlestar Galactica: The Death Of Apollo #1

Dec 3, 2014

Abnett's character-driven writing and Dietrich Smith's clean, photo-realistic art make Death of Apollo #1 a great introduction to classic Battlestar Galactica as well as a solid start to the end of its journey.

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7.0
Batwoman: Rebirth #1

Feb 15, 2017

Batwoman Rebirth#1 has fantastic art and colors from Steve Epting and Jeromy Cox, who will hopefully return her book's visuals to the lofty heights of J.H. Williams and Amy Reeder several years back. Bennett and Tynion'splot is skippable for long time Batwoman aficionadoes, and Elegyis a better introduction for new fansso this is definitely a comic you pick up just for the art and the occasional spark of intrigue or romance.

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7.0
Bee and PuppyCat #11

Apr 19, 2016

Bee and Puppycat#11 won't bring any new fans to the property (You should check out the show on YouTube if you have any interest in Magical Girl stories.), but it's a passable diversion for fans who are already invested in the characters and a fun look into Bee's life when she's not off being a magical temp agency worker.

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8.6
Big Con-Job #1

Mar 3, 2015

I think that this comic is a must-read for anyone who has gone to a comic convention, seen the high prices for autographs with William Shatner or Stan Lee and cursed either the celebrity or con organizers. As a veteran of both the comics and television industry, Jimmy Palmiotti is well-versed in the nuances and problems of comic conventions and exposes them in Big Con-Job #1 while creating a rag-tag bunch of washed up sci-fi actors, who just want financial security. However, Big Con-Job isn't just about geek culture and delves into things like depression, relationship problems, and the most primal human problem of all: survival. It has its sad moments, but they're balanced by a heavy helping of parody, cheesy one-liners, and pop culture references.

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7.5
Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return #1

Mar 10, 2015

If you're a huge Bill and Ted fan, have actually seen Bogus Journey, and have been praying to Neo for a third film, knock yourself out. However, paying full price for a good six page comic and an okay eighteen page one might not be in everyone's best interests, and it might be a better use of your time/money to wait for the trade and see how the future plotline plays out.

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9.5
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 11, 2014

DeLandroalso uses special “window panel” to spotlight oppressionand the male gaze in different parts of the comic. For example, he uses these panels to show the guards' reaction to the prison riot, which isa source of entertainmentand titillation for them, reminding me ofa scene ina TV show featuringa certain orphaned future superhero that played it completely straight. With its dynamic characters, innovativeart,and immersive world,Bitch Planet#1 is the feminist slap in the face the world needs right now. Men's rightactivists, Gamergaters, dudebros, or whatever “clever” parlance youassholes are describing yourselves ascurrently, beware!

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8.0
Black Magick #2

Nov 25, 2015

Black Magick #2 continues to be a morally grey detective procedural with an epic backstory featuring witches, the occult, and various religions' iconography that has only barely been revealed by writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott. Scott especially excels at wringing every last bit of restlessness from Rowan Black's face as she tries to balance her occult knowledge with police work and not out herself as a killer. She and Rucka mix the day to day grind of police work with dark conspiracies so expertly that will have you pouncing on each off word as a bread crumb in this labyrinthine trail of millennia long conspiracies. Think the perverse thrills you get from reading the Da Vinci Code, but Greg Rucka actually did his research about his paganism, and Rowan Black is a fully realized character, who is pretty good at her job and has fully realized interests and emotional complexity.

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8.0
Black Panther & the Crew #1

Apr 12, 2017

Other than Ta-Nehisi Coates' characterization of Misty Knight,Black Panther and the Crew#1 is a knock-out combination of a generation-spanning murder mystery, ripped from the headlines thoughts about police brutality and capitalist systems, and eventually superhero team-up action. It's worth thumbing or clicking through again just for Butch Guice and Scott Hanna's gift with faces and action choreography alone.

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7.0
Black Panther (2016) #1

Apr 7, 2016

Although Black Panther #1's storyline is rough in places as Ta-Nehisi Coates flits from scene to scene without letting Brian Stelfreeze do an establishing panel at times, it has a strong thematic base in the conflict between monarchy and democracy, and the always universally tradition versus progress. The comic's cliffhanger is a little less than compelling by throwing in a fan favorite character without any foreshadowing or a hook for the next issue. Coates and Stelfreeze also craft a pair of supporting characters (and antagonists for now) in the Dora Milaje turned Midnight Angels Aneka and Ayo, who are easily the best part of this comic.

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9.8
Black Widow (2016) #12

Mar 29, 2017

The waterfall that Natasha scales during the climactic chase scene definitely ended up being a metaphor for my reaction toBlack Widow#12.

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7.1
Blackcross #1

Mar 3, 2015

As a serialized conspiracy story, Blackcross will definitely read better in trade so I would wait until that comes out unless you're a big fan of Ellis, Project Superpowers, or like soaking in a shadowy, rural atmosphere for a while.

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7.6
Box Office Poison Color Comics #1

Jan 5, 2017

For the most part, the cast of Box Office Poison Color Comics #1 is a pleasant, if slightly self-loathing group. The exception is Ed, who comes across as an obnoxious, sexist man child, who objectifies women and makes snide comments about their weight. In this first issue, he belongs in The Big Bang Theory instead of a well-drawn, passionate independent comic that is still a good read almost two decades after it first came out turning into a 90s period piece along the way.

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8.0
Box Office Poison Color Comics #2

Feb 3, 2017

Alex Robinson continues to round his cast of characters inBox Office Poison#2 showcasing Sherman's bookstore purgatory along with the kind of amazing relationship between Jane and Stephen. His characters continue to not look like the ideal human form, which fits a story about terrible jobs and falling in love in a less than Garry Marshall way.

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9.1
Bravest Warriors #28

Jan 14, 2015

Bravest Warriors#28 has very few problems beyonda possibly out of character moment for one of the Warriors towards the end of the bookanda couple of unclear panels during the big fight scene. Kate Lethand Ian McGinty balance different types ofaction (not just punching), flurries of humor,and one touching romance. In her writing, Leth focuses on the most important themes ofall,like loveand friendship in spite ofadversity. McGinty fleshes out these themes through how he depicts characters reacting to events in the story. If you enjoy kaiju movies, want to read one of the funniest punsin comics this year, orare looking fora genuine LGBT love story (orall three),Bravest Warriors#28 is the book for you.

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8.7
Bravest Warriors #29

Feb 10, 2015

The plot ofBravest Warriors#29 might not be supersuspenseful. (Ian McGinty does get to show off hisaction chops ina ball pit ofall places.) However, because the charactersare so likable,and Lethand McGinty have an impeccable handle on their voices and senses of humor, this is another enjoyableissue of Bravest Warriors. It is great to just see the team interactand havea good time.For example, Catbug shows up with the right,adorable quip or little joke when things geta little tense.Bravest Warriors#29 has the right blend of nostalgia, silly humor, character interactions,and expressive Ian McGintyartcombinedtogether ina one-off issue perfect for new readers or fans.

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8.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1

Nov 24, 2016

In Buffy Season 11 #1, Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, and Dan Jackson establish a more blockbuster action movie look and plotting while not giving the arcs of these beloved characters short shrift. The external and internal conflicts are deftly set up for the upcoming season with quips, brooding, and dragons a-plenty.

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8.7
Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

May 10, 2017

Even though it's a lot like digging through fragments of someone else's dream,Bug: The Adventures of Forager#1 is an excellent tribute to Jack Kirby's vibrant imagination by the talented family trio of Lee Allred, Mike Allred, and Laura Allred. Mike Allred's figures bounce off the page, yet have a human beauty to them, and there is something primal, almost Pixar-esque about his and Lee Allred's plotting as Forager/Bug tries to make sense of his place in the world. Is he an insect servant of Highfather, an adventurer, a god, or just a dead guy? The next five issues should hopefully unravel this colorful existential crisis.

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9.5
Calexit #1

Jul 12, 2017

Even though it's set in a dystopia,Calexithas its triumphant moments. It's a hopeful comic, not a defeatist one as proud as the logo of the Mulholland Resistance that seriously needs to be made into a laptop sticker or T-shirt.Itis meticulously crafted in worldbuilding, background art, and color choices by Matteo Pizzolo, Amancay Nahuelpan, and Tyler Boss and is a comic that pokes fun at summer blockbusters while having many “Viva la Resistance” kind of moments and directly opposing Trump's cool regime and terrible treatment of anyone who isn't a rich, Christian white man.

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8.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #7

Apr 1, 2016

Sam Wilson Captain America #7 doesn't focus a whole lot on its title character beyond a great fight scene and heart to heart with Bucky in the early going, but there is a great moment where Steve admits that he respects and trusts Sam despite having differences over what he should do as Captain America as Crossbones beats him up. It's mostly Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuna's tribute to the character of Steve Rogers while simultaneously a game changing moment in the "Avengers Standoff" crossover, but a few confusing moments aside, it's worth picking up to see Steve Rogers written well and heroically even if you haven't kept up with the "Standoff" storyline. And this exploration of Captain America's qualities of courage, standing up for the little guy, and genuine care for the friends he made over the years extends to the backup stories of which the Whedon/Cassaday one is the highlight as they lay out the heart and soul of the character in nine fluid pages.

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7.2
Captain America: Steve Rogers #2

Jun 29, 2016

So, Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 should probably be titled Captain Clickbait #2: Blame It on the Cosmic Cube , but Jesus Saiz's almost horror tinged art and some interesting themes brought up by Nick Spencer about the amorality of SHIELD and the hollowness of heroes as symbols kept my interest enough for me to give issue 3 (which is solicited as more action packed and dealing with Steve Rogers' actual role in HYDRA along with the trial of Maria Hill) a shot.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2016) #1

Jan 21, 2016

Captain Marvel#1 is an enjoyable story of a character having to adapt to a new situation in space with Canadian superheroes.

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8.6
Captain Marvel (2016) #7

Jul 27, 2016

Captain Marvel #7 expands upon Carol Danvers' motivations in opposing Iron Man in Civil War II and shows the hard work she put in to continue to use Ulysses to counter future threats. Ruth Fletcher, Christos Gage, Marco Failla, and Matthew Wilson also give us insights into her personal feelings about Rhodey's death, and how she acts on those emotions going forward. This issue is a solid pickup for anyone who wants some added layers of characterization in Civil War II as well as for Captain Marvel fans, who want a deeper look into her recent actions.

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9.5
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1

Oct 19, 2016

The combination of character study from Way and Rivera with exemplary storytelling and atmosphere from Oeming and Nick Filardi and just a touch of Silver Age whimsy are a few reasons why Cave Carson #1 is my favorite Young Animal comic so far.

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6.0
Champions #1

Oct 6, 2016

A diverse team of young hope bringing superheroes is definitely a good idea for a comic, and Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos create a nice sense of camaraderie and team chemistry between the members of the Champions. But the tone and art style of the book fluctuates between silly and serious, sincere and shallow too many times to make the first issue ofChampions any more than just a mixed bag.

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10
Champions #1.MU

Feb 23, 2017

Jeremy Whitley, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt, and Frank DArmata capture the youthful Saturday morning cartoon energy of superhero comics and the pure power of kaiju movies in Champions #1.MU. Its the sequential art version of red velvet cake and ice cream. Watching Ms. Marvel think on her feet and wrestle a lizard monster with her polymorphing abilities should be the dictionary definition of joy, and I hope to see this talented team collaborate on more young, scrappy teen hero books in the future.

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8.4
Chrononauts #1

Mar 18, 2015

I recommend Chrononauts #1 for Murphy's art alone as he brings his muddied line style to the past and present. (There is one two page sequence that made the history nerd in me smile.) The two main characters kind of seem incredibly smug, but like his work with some of the Marvel heroes, Millar gives them some relatable qualities and flaws so they're not wholly unlikeable. This comic is character-driven and sets up the time travel program through exposition and art, but don't be afraid, some time travel does occur, and you'll actually care about the people doing the traveling.

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8.0
Civil War II #0

May 18, 2016

It is nice to see Bendis taking character beats from her series and using to make the summer event more organic. However, this could turn into Minority Report if she's not careful, or works with Maria Hill. Add Olivier Coipel's sleek art that is still full of life, especially when Carol is feeling the stress of being responsible for the defense of Earth, and the event is off to a fairly promising start.

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7.6
Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5

Aug 31, 2016

Civil War II Choosing Sides#5 features a funny and insightful Alpha Flight story, a subpar Misty Knight/Colleen Wing battle royale, and an enthralling spy thriller with virtuoso storytelling from Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. It's definitely worth picking up.

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9.0
Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6

Sep 22, 2016

Choosing Sides #6 is a testament to the range of stories that can be set in the Marvel Universe. Hint: they don't all have to be superhero slugfests.

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8.5
Civil War II: Kingpin #1

Jul 6, 2016

If you'd rather watch old Sopranos episodes on HBO Go instead of the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster for and are okay with a touch of Philip K. Dick to go with your turf wars, Civil War II: Kingpin#1 may be the comic for you.

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10
Clandestino #2

Mar 16, 2016

Clandestino#2 continues to show how Amancay Nahuelpan is a genuine comics auteur as he provides the plot, world, and just enough narration to show what makes Clandestino tick as person to go with the explosive visuals, colors, and letters. If you're a fan of the action genre or just a human being with a pulse, who isn't squeamish about ultraviolence, throw your Blu Ray copy of Expendables 3in the trash can and addthis comic toyour pull list.

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8.5
Clueless: Senior Year #1

Aug 28, 2017

Clueless Senior Year certainly isn't a Monet (This is a compliment FYI.) and gives some amazing character development to Cher, Dionne, and Tai while rocking hilarious, pop culture infused dialogue from Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn plus some of the most stylish fashions you'll find in comics from Siobhan Keenan and Shan Murphy. In its references and fashion, Senior Year is very 90s, but its themes of independence, identity struggle, and coming of age are timeless just like the original film.

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5.5
Coady & The Creepies #1

Mar 15, 2017

If you've read any of my past reviews, I am all in for comic books about cool bands, queer romances, and a bit of urban fantasy. Unfortunately,Coady and the Creepies#1 fails to execute its super rad premise, especially in the artwork department and is a rare misfire for the BOOM! Box imprint.

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8.7
Conan / Red Sonja #4

Apr 29, 2015

Conan/Red Sonja #4 reads like the last half hourofa goodaction movie when the die has been cast,and the hero(es) fights the villainand hopefully saves the day. But underneath the magic, muscles,and mayhem, Simone, Zub,and Green portray Conanand Sonjaas human beings, who have been through incredibly tough times,and just need someone to draw swordsand drinkandale with. With its sharpart, occasionally poetic writing,and relentlessaction,Conan/Red Sonja#4isa frenziedconclusion tothe ultimate fantasy fiction crossover.

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7.2
Conan: The Slayer #1

Jul 13, 2016

The family drama angle of the Dothraki-like riders that capture and later team up with Conan isn't super interesting, but Cullen Bunn and Sergio Davila give Conan himself an excellent emotional arc in Conan the Slayer #1 as he must overcome his guilt and learn to become a leader of men (and women) again after getting his raiding band slaughter with the help of Mykylo, who is basically Ron Perlman in the Hyborian Age. Toss in some nice hand to hand combat, and it's a pretty exciting comic for any fantasy fan. Conan has great abs too.

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10
Constantine: The Hellblazer #6

Nov 13, 2015

Hellblazer #6 is a wonderful introduction to John Constantine as a character establishing him as a working class mage, who cares more about occupying his time, paying his rent, and seducing the sexy, bearded bartender at his favorite takeaway joint that being some kind of occult themed superhero. It's very funny and very dark and the best issue of the new Hellblazer so far.

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5.5
Convergence: Superboy #1

Apr 15, 2015

If you want to reada good Kon-El Superboy story, I'd recommend you pick up the “Reign of the Supermen” trade instead where Superboy is one of the four characters protecting Metropolisafter Superman's death

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8.3
Convergence: The Question #1

Apr 8, 2015

You should definitely buy Convergence: Question if you're a fan of detective and superhero stories and are fans of the characters Renee Montoya or Two-Face. (Or like morally grey characters who fight with giant katanas.) But the middle part might be a little jarring because of the Convergence tie-in.

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8.8
Cry Havoc #1

Jan 26, 2016

Cry Havoc #1 is the full package with a three dimensional protagonist, revisionist take on the well-worn werewolf horror genre with a dash of real world metaphor, and innovative use of colors as Lee Loughridge, Nick Filardi, and Matthew Wilson show that they are masters of that aspect of comics.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #1

Dec 4, 2015

Daredevil #1 has art from Ron Garney and Matt Milla that is unlike any other Marvel book currently on the stands and also showsDaredevil/Matt Murdock's continued battle against his own fear and struggle against crime with no distractions in the way. Charles Soule also sets up Matt's new status quo expertly while leaving time to show his change as a character and interactions with Foggy and Blindspot. And the action scenes are unparalleled so if you enjoyed the hallway fight and the other bare knuckle martial arts brawls in the Daredevil TV show,Daredevil#1 is worth picking up.

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8.5
Daredevil (2015) #15

Jan 11, 2017

But Daredevil is also rekindling his spiritual side, which is a positive way to deal with guilt and loss. He's definitely a complicated guy.

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8.6
Dark Days: The Casting #1

Jul 12, 2017

Dark Days: The Casting #1 is another engrossing chapter in this deep dive DC Universe mystery. Also, Andy Kubert draws the hell out of Hawkman, and Jim Lee does the same with the Joker.

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8.6
Dark Days: The Forge #1

Jun 14, 2017

Dark Days: The Forge #1 is the first chapter in a dense, mysterious, yet entertaining DC Comics summer epic. You might not get all the continuity references, but at least one moment in the story will make you smile or pump your fist.

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9.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 26, 2015

The Dark Knight III #1 is the best comic with Frank Miller's name on it since 2000, a showcase for Andy Kubert's growth as a sequential storyteller , and also a bloody playground to explore both social issues and burning questions about the nature of heroism.

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7.5
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2

Dec 24, 2015

The Dark Knight III #2 has some wooden dialogue and a chase scene that is a little too similar to last issue's magnificent one, but it does a great job establishing the characters of Carrie Kelly's Batman and Lara while setting up the conflict between humanity and the Master Race. The Wonder Woman backup story is a real treat and positions Diana as a wild card in the issues to come in her roles as both warrior and mother.

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6.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3

Feb 25, 2016

When it's not awkwardly taking shots at texting young people (Or depicting texting in general.), making non-statements about the media, various world leaders, striking up aStrange Fruit-esque conversation about race involving only white people , or turning Bruce Wayne into a Randian hero with Carrie Kelly as his mouthpiece and Superman as his attack dog, The Dark Knight III #3 is an intergenerational superhero epic that boasts Andy Kubert's best artwork of his career and flaming post-apocalyptic palette from Brad Anderson.

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5.5
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4

Apr 28, 2016

The Dark Knight III #4 definitely has style, but scatters its substance without finding a strong throughline, especially with the unceremonious offing of Superman and the Wonder Woman and Flash cameos.

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10
Dark Nights: Metal #1

Aug 16, 2017

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo getting the band back together and telling a Crisis-type story is the perfect recipe for some epic comics. Metal #1 features one of the coolest final pages you will read in comics in this year.

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10
Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1

Oct 5, 2016

Deadman #1 is a nearly flawless, Gothic romantic treat with a diverse cast of characters when it comes to both race, body type (Kudos to Medina.), and sexuality that has chills, thrills, and gorgeous scenery to go along with poignant themes of love, death, and the messiness of relationships. The incorporation of the character Deadman adds a touch of humor and the fantastic to these lofty themes while he also gets to learn more about humanity through his bond with Berenice.

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8.0
Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2

Dec 8, 2016

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden #2 is a suitably haunting follow-up to its flawless first issue, and Lan Medina and Jose Villarrubia give Deadman and Adelia some real chemistry in the first half with their play of red, black, and ghostly white in the dark environs of Glencourt Mansion. Splitting the book between Deadman and Berenice's narration continues to be a clever device from Sarah Vaughn as both characters do some soul searching.Deadman#2 is filled with thoughtfulness and reflection on love, death, and tragedy that erupts into a full-out horror comic by the time you turn the final page.

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10
Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3

Feb 9, 2017

Deadman Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love#3 is an exciting and satisfying ending to a wonderful Gothic romance with exquisite set design from Lan Medina, Phil Hester, and Jose Villarrubia. Each moment that Sarah Vaughn writes featuring Berenice and Sam will give you those happy, goosebump chills that you get when you see two humans that are perfectly matched for each other.

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7.6
Deadpool (2012) #37

Nov 21, 2014

Forall its comedyand characterization,Deadpool #37 has its share of problems. Even though Bellaire's colors match each settingand mood, Dugganand Posehn switch ita lot. It starts as aholiday superhero caper anda reunion ofsupporting charactersand then turns intoAxis-liteand/or “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” Part 2. This dissonance between eventand character-driven storytelling can definitely be seen in this comic. Luckily, the character side wins,andas someone who hasn't readAxissince the third issue,the plotwasn't confusing and easy to follow. It'sa little constrained byAxis,but Deadpool's new personalityand Jordie Bellaire's colors makeDeadpool#37a pretty good comic.

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7.9
Deadpool (2012) #41

Jan 29, 2015

Deadpool#41 is dark, but not too dark by virtue of his interactions with supporting characters. Even though I still don't know why they're married, Shiklahand Deadpool sharea fun backand forthas she continues to give hima hard time for being less ofa “man” when he was Zenpool. Posehnand Dugganalso continue theDeadpooltradition of turning Z-list villains into basically stand-up comedians,and readers will be either laughing with oratan old Human Torch foe by the end of the story. Theyalso manage to throw ina little political satirealong the way, but nothing too deep or super controversial for people witha sense of humor.Deadpool#41 isa simultaneously hilariousand soul searching start to the new storyarc, but itsart is serviceableand doesn't really pop out compared to Posehnand Duggan's writingand Staples' colors.

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9.2
Deathstroke (2016) #11

Jan 25, 2017

Deathstroke #11 is an intelligent, tightly plotted, and well-researched piece of vigilante fiction from Priest, Denys Cowan or the comic book equivalent of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls starting lineup It's worth picking up even if you don't know your Deathstrokes from your Deadshots (Or Deadpools.) and rewards rereading.

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8.0
Defenders (2017) #1

Jun 14, 2017

Defenders #1 feels a lot like a veteran musician revisiting the sound that made him great (And won Bendis Eisners.) over a decade ago. It's not super fresh, but there is a real staccato zest to Bendis' snarky dialogue, Marquez's art, and Ponsor's colors that is best exhibited in a scene where each Defender "interrogates" Diamondback's men in their own way. More scenes like this where Bendis and Marquez play off the unique personalities of each Defender, and the series could be a hit for Marvel and not just a Netflix cash-in or a nostalgia trip for fans of Marvel's street level books in early 2000s.

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8.0
Dejah Thoris #1

Feb 4, 2016

Dejah Thoris#1 introduces new fans to one of science fiction's oldest heroines (She first appeared in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novelA Princess of Marsin 1912.) while setting up a scenario where she must "find herself" as a character by going on the run as a common soldier. Frank Barbiere's plot has an almost hyperactive pace as Dejah goes from queen to prisoner and fugitive in the space of a few pages, but he and artists Francesco Hanna and Morgan Hickman do allow her to have moments of reflection as well as bonding with John Carter and Thana. And the story will only get more exciting once Dejah begins to learn how to survive in the world outside Helium hinted at in the first few pages, and revelations about her past come to light.

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6.7
Detective Comics (2016) #948

Jan 11, 2017

With the exception of the poetic flashbacks, Detective Comics #948 lacks the interpersonal tension that has been the best part of James Tynion's run on the title, especially when Spoiler confronted Batman in the last arc. This incident isn't even mentioned in this comic as he, Marguerite Bennett, and Ben Oliver decide to play a juggling act with the repercussions of the Monster Men, the resurgence of the Colony, and try to do a backdoor pilot for Batwoman's upcoming series. Hopefully, we learn more about what makes Kate tick as a person and crime fighter in the next issue of "Batwoman Begins" instead of just rehashing (Not so.) old storylines.

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8.6
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1

Apr 1, 2015

Overall, Ninth Doctor #1 has some highly entertaining character interactions, some thought-provoking ideas, and gorgeous two and single page spreads of space. Blair Shedd's art looks like a much higher budget version of the TV show, and he uses speed lines and a panoply of colors to reveal the beauty of darkness of space. Ninth Doctor #1 serves as a great introduction to the world of Doctor Who for new fans and also reminds old fans of the sass and darkness of this regeneration of the Doctor.

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8.0
Doom Patrol (2016) #1

Sep 15, 2016

Doom Patrolisn't nostalgic comfort food for fans of DC Comics, but original almost to a fault and Way, Derington, and Bonvillain use the versatility of the comic book medium to linger or flip through pages and panels to skillfully recreate the falling into an unfamiliar world and decision to press on that artists like Lewis Carroll, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, David Bowie, Grant Morrison, and The Wachowski Sisters or any kind of hallucinogenic drugs have tried to evoke or simulate throughout the years. And Derington's interplay between the clean lines of his heroine Casey and her new “friend” Terry None and the geometrical corporate toadies creates a feeling of multiple realities without the usual clunky exposition.

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9.5
Doom Patrol (2016) #7

Jul 27, 2017

Doom Patrol#7 is a statement of this comic's freedom from ordinary superhero storytelling using Niles Caulder as a metaphor with vibrant wit and an idea a minute plot from Gerard Way and transformative art from Mike Allred and Laura Allred. Old white guys usually don't know best even if they can regrow limbs in a jiffy or travel between dimensions, and sometimes trying some weird and creative can be more fun than reading the same, “To me *insert old superhero team name here*” over and over again.

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9.0
Ei8ht #1

Feb 17, 2015

Should I read this comic? Yes, you should. In a time when everyone and their mom is doing a high concept sci-fi comic, Ei8ht #1 is a unique riff on the genre with its mysterious "Meld" setting, an incredibly likeable protagonist, and Albuquerque applying his thick pencil and ink work to futuristic sci-fi. Plus there's a dinosaur.

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4.0
Extraordinary X-Men #1

Nov 7, 2015

Extraordinary X-Men #1 will probably be seen as energetically drawn and colored sacrilege by both long time X-Men fans and ones, who jumped on with Bendis' work. And for new fans, it's darkness for darkness' sake as the X-Men's outsider metaphor is drowned out by the Inhumans and turned into yet another post-apocalyptic story.

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10
Faith #1

Jul 20, 2016

Faith #1 focuses on its protagonist's personal life as much as her superheroic exploits and gives her relatable struggles and problems. It has bright colors, a shocking cliffhanger, and some great pop culture references too for the geek in you.

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8.6
Faith #2

Aug 24, 2016

Faith #2 is filled with familiar superhero story beats, but Jody Houser, Pere Perez, and Marguerite Sauvage continue to develop Faith into a multi-faceted heroine filled with enthusiasm, warmth, and some doubts so you won't even notice while you're enjoying the comic.

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8.6
Faith #3

Sep 15, 2016

Finally, Archer should always dress up like Legolas. He pulls it off better than Orlando Bloom.

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8.6
Faith #5

Nov 6, 2016

Honestly, Faith #5 is worth picking up for Marguerite Sauvage's double page spread of Faith imagining herself as a Sailor Scout when she sees the (evil) talking cat at the mall that is manipulating Zoe Hines. It is a showcase of how important and inspirational superheroes are to people everywhere as in two separate stories, Faith beams with joy as two young girls look up to her and combines the real world, pop culture, and the superhero genre into one pleasing comic book mixture. It is also nice to see a talented group of female comics creators from different eras team up and do their own takes on one of the best female superheroes and hopefully inspire yet another generation of female comic book fans and creators.

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8.0
Faith (Mini-Series) #2

Feb 24, 2016

In Faith#2, Jody Houser, Francis Portela, and Marguerite Sauvage give Faith Herbert have both a mix of optimism and pessimism about the world while being an adorable geek. (She uses her superpowers to help rearrange her action figures while on the phone with her hacker friend "@X", which is the perfect alias.) She wants to make a difference as a superhero, but is aware about the cost to people around her. And the upcoming issue presents her with an important choice to go with its hell of cliffhanger.

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6.0
Flash (2016) #1

Jun 23, 2016

The Flash #1 has some nice flare in Ivan Plascencia's color choices, and some of the layouts used by Carmine Di Giandomenico bring The Flash's agile body and mind to life. But Williamson's story (sans the action sequences) is weighed down by overwrought narration, a boring villain, and a focus on one of Barry Allen's character traits at the expense of the others. Fans of the character are better off watching the CW show, and there's no real connection to the bigger DC Rebirth mystery storyline so it's not even worth picking up for that.

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7.5
Flash (2016) #22

May 19, 2017

With art that is constantly in motion by Howard Porter along with some nostalgic imagery,The Flash#22 is a suitable end to a storyline that's only job was getting readers excited for a storyline down the road. However, Joshua Williamson and Porter make time to show Batman and Barry Allen's personal reactions to this crazy journey so it's not all sizzle and no steak. “The Button” crossover also shows the care that the Powers that Be at DC Comics are taking to restore and rebuild their history and continuity via the vehicle of relatively self-contained crossovers and slow burn mystery thrillers instead of making Superman a fascist or something.

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8.5
Generation Gone #1

Jul 19, 2017

Generation Gone#1 is a beautiful marriage of character study and ideas with just a pinch of techno-horror and is a pleasing comeback for Ales Kot.

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9.1
Giant Days #1

Mar 17, 2015

Giant Days #1 is another great all-ages comics from BOOM! Studios that's silly, snarky, and filled with heart. Even though they have little fights and drama, Daisy, Esther, and Susan share a strong rapport and actually seem like friends. Giant Days has the laughs of your favorite sitcom mixed with a slapstick/realist visual style that can only be realized in the comic book medium. Buy a copy for yourself and another for your room/flatmate!

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8.6
Giant Days #18

Sep 7, 2016

Giant Days #18 is a hilarious testament to the relationships that John Allison has developed throughout the series, and Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar add energy and humor to everything from an end of term dance (Where someone obviously gets lucky.) to a shouting match at the local Games Workshop.

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8.2
Giant Days #22

Jan 4, 2017

An engaging romance between Daisy and Ingrid that leads to massive changes in her character as falling in love at 19 only can along with the usual humorous cartooning of Max Sarin and Liz Fleming, insightful characterization from John Allison, and wacky color palette from Whitney Cogar shows that Giant Days #22 is still the best slice of life comic going into 2017. Also, I'm a little too excited to see Esther's reactions to working at a comic book shop in future issues.

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8.5
Giant Days #23

Feb 2, 2017

The dinner party is a time-honored sitcom setting to have different sets of characters bounce off each other and also create change, but John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar put a bit of a Giant Daystwist in it with plenty of awkwardness and over the top jokes.Giant Days #23 is worth picking up for the interactions between Ingrid and Dean alone, which are truly "avant-garde cabaret" and for finding out the amazing reason why the cops get called on it.

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8.8
Giant Days #24

Mar 1, 2017

Giant Days #24 deals with some pretty serious issues like death, marital problems, and regressing back to childhood. (The looks on Daisy and Esther's face when Ed tells them that Big Geoff is their butler is spectacular.) But John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar depict these issues in their usual quirky, yet deadpan way with plenty of funny cutaways like a heavenly image of Daisy and Esther losing their mind that they got to pick out their own snack at the movies instead of sharing a box of Raisinettes.

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9.0
Giant Days #25

Apr 8, 2017

While building on her dad's sorry plight in the previous, John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar do something a little different withGiant Days#25 by looking at family drama instead of friendship from the POV of Susan Ptolemy. She cuts a heroic figure in trying to save her parents' marriage, but solving other people's problem doesn't end her own, especially if they involve McGraw.

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9.3
Giant Days #26

May 6, 2017

Giant Days#26 is a comic where a character's reaction to a gross, green smell can lead to a chuckle or full out laugh thanks to the humorous art of Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar. John Allison also continues to be a master of telling a story with a largecast by focusing on small groups of characters in the beginning and paying off with big moments in the end like a skilled sitcom showrunner. This comic is worth picking up for seeing Daisy as a unicorn alone.

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6.5
Giant-Size Little Marvel AVX #3

Aug 6, 2015

The first part of Giant-Size Little Marvel #3 nails the feeling of learning about a bunch of superheroes as a kid for the first time. But the second half loses steam with a string of less than funny gags and a focus on Zachary and Zoe. The last page is an adorable mini-masterpiece though, and this miniseries could have a chance at getting you hooked on a feeling again.

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7.0
Giant-Size Little Marvel AVX #4

Sep 11, 2015

At its best, Giant-Size Little Marvel is unhinged, unapologetic superhero mayhem drawn in Skottie Young's half twisted, half adorable "Marvel Babies" style. (Giant-Size Little Marvel #4 is worth flipping through to check out some of the villain designs on the final page. I hope Rhino gets a solo title soon so he can do the variant.) At its worst, it's kids being annoying and canned joke. The miniseries as a whole (and this issue) is a mixed bag, but it has more candy bars than toothbrushes.

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8.6
Glitterbomb #1

Sep 7, 2016

Jim Zub, Djibril Morrisette-Phan, and K. Michael Russell channel the pain of rejection and the cutthroat nature of Hollywood in Glitterbomb #1 to craft a new kind of anti-hero in middle aged actress Farrah while fully immersing the comic in both the revenge thriller and body horror genres.

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9.0
Goldie Vance #1

Apr 13, 2016

Goldie Vance #1 is rooted in the teen detective genre, but Hope Larson and Brittney Williams put their own spin on it through their charming setting and a sparkling cast of characters. Goldie also has an interesting moral compass in that she will not just bend, but break rules to help solve a case, like flat out stealing a hotel guest's car to win the necklace back. All in all, the comic is a really fun read with energetic art, staccato dialogue, and several hooks that will have you pre-ordering the rest of this four issue miniseries.

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8.8
Goners #4

Jan 20, 2015

As Goners begins to reach the end of its first arc, the threat level of the comics reaches fever pitch as Semahn and Corona unravel the secrets around the Latimer family and their relationship to things that go bump in the night. But characterization doesn't take a hit underneath the gore, shotgun shells, and resuscitations. One of the best part of Goners is that Josiah and Zoe talk like a kid and teenager respectively. Semahn and Corona's genuine care in constructing these characters (along with the spooky monsters and atmosphere) is what makes it one of the best horror comics along the stands. The plot twists and watercolor dream sequence are nice touches which make Goners #4 the best issue of the series so far.

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8.5
Goners #6

Mar 25, 2015

One of the highlights ofGonersasa series is that Jacob Semahnand Jorge Corona remember how kids talkand reactat differentages. Semahn putsubtle touchesin Josiahand Zoe's dialogue with words like “stupider” reminding me of arguments with my siblings even if their situation is definitely more high stakes.Goners#6 is the final stages of the crucible that Josiahand Zoe have struggled through in thisarc,and Semahn ties up the threads of the Latimers' past with who theyare in the present to createa grand crescendo.Gonersisa coming ofage story, but with supernatural intrigue, badass monsters,and just enough gore and chills to make horror fans smile.

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8.5
Gotham Academy #9

Aug 14, 2015

Gotham Academy#9 has a wonderful balance of haunting painted art and expressive cartooning from artist Karl Kerschl along with a symbolically powerful eerie blue and fire red palette from Serge Lapointe and Msassyk. This artwork complements writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher's nimble use of their diverse cast of characters along with the monster action and foreboding mysteries revealed along the way.

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8.5
Gotham Academy #10

Sep 10, 2015

Like the twin dramatic masks, Gotham Academy #10 straddles tragedy and comedy. There is a lightness to Maps, Pomeline, and Olive throwing themselves into the roles of the Three Witches in a visual treat of a montage from Kerschl and company even though Macbeth is Shakespeare's second bloodiest tragedy. On the other side of the coin, there is Katherine uttering the fatalistic line, “For such as we are made of, such we be” against a single red curtain before she collapses into Clayface. This is line is from Twelfth Night, a classic comedy of errors. (It's much better than the actual Comedy of Errors, which is Shakespeare trying to hard to be Plautus.) Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher utilize the timeless language of the Bard to give insights into the cast ofGotham Academywhile staging an energetic battle of wits. This makes Gotham Academy#10 both a poignant and entertaining read.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #11

Oct 22, 2015

Gotham Academy #11 is an example of Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl, Msassyk, Serge Lapointe, and flashback artist Mingue Helen Chen firing on all cylinders from the fiery, panoramic views of Gotham City to Maps' infectious passion for all things Bat- and adventurous and even the sad, quiet moments as Olive ponders whether she will be insane and evil like her ancestors. It's a wonderful brew of adventure, both animation and painted-style art, and a little bit of commentary on the not-so-heroic side of Batman and Robin mixed with a dark look into our heroine, Olive Silverlock.

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7.5
Gotham Academy #12

Dec 4, 2015

Even there are several burning questions having to do with Olive's connection with Calamity and headspace on the final page, Gotham Academy #12 is a fairly solid send-off for artist Karl Kerschl with one last breathtaking escape, and the opportunity to put his mark on Arkham Asylum. Maps, Colton, and Pomeline also mesh as a “Scooby gang” type in this issue, and it will be interesting to see their dynamic in subsequent issues, especially with Pomeline's harsh words to Olive.

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8.0
Grayson #14

Nov 26, 2015

But this event seems like the furthest thing from writers Tim Seeley and Tom King, artist Stephen Mooney, and colorist Jeromy Cox's minds inGrayson#14 as they channel their inner Arachnes and weave various elements plot points and elements of the comic so far, including Spyder, Frau Netz, Agent Zero, and even our amusing villain of the month Ladytron to set up a intrigued filled showdown between Dick Grayson and the reborn Otto Netz. The man, who was (and is starting to be again) defined by his close relationship to many superheroes, must face the man, who hates them most and wants nothing more than their secrets to laid bare before the world while perpetuating an endless cycle of violent conflict.

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7.2
Green Lantern / Space Ghost Special #1

Mar 29, 2017

Green Lantern/Space Ghost Special is a pretty nifty space parable meets superpowered buddy cop adventure. The art isnt the greatest fit, but James Tynion and Christopher Sebela turn in an interesting, yet wordy script that is entertaining, humorous, and will inspire you to tear off your own intellectual shackles and learn more around the world around you. The comic demonstrates that superheroes and philosophy go better than Oreo cookies and chocolate milk, or an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and an early morning hangover. Also, the next Hanna-Barbera crossover should be Larfleeze/Zorak, who make funny cameos in an early double page spread.

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5.4
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) #1

Oct 16, 2015

Awkward pin-ups and pointless character arguments aside, Valerio Schiti's art can be simultaneously grotesque or adorable. His Groot is blessed with eager, expressive eyes when Kitty silently hints that they are bringing their artifact to Spartax for Peter Quill to check out, and he draws quite the disgusting alien when the Chitauri, Brood Queen, or a random dignitary trying to get Quill to “reproduce” with her. (The dialogue is 60s Star Trek alien-speak unbearable though) However, he and Isanove don't get much to illustrate as this issue is mostly arguments and MacGuffin finding with some decent Ben Grimm characterization and untapped potential as far as the enemies are concerned. Maybe, the full arc will read better in trade if the rest of the cast gets some semblance of an arc and Bendis and Schiti utilize the villains introduced to their full potential, but Guardians of the Galaxy is worth skipping for now.

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10
Harbinger: Renegade #1

Nov 17, 2016

With memorable art and powerful colors from Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez that meld well with the powerful conflict plotted out by Rafer Roberts, Harbinger Renegade #1 is the superhero team book for young people trying to survive in Trump's America. The comic begins on a down note, and there are no big epiphanies or traditional "Avengers Assemble" type moments except for when Faith swoops in and grabs Jay ,which ends up being the beginning of a hasty retreat. Kris, Jay, and Faith's mentors and adult figures have failed them, and they must try to make sense of world filled with surveillance on "subversive" activities and people like the Consortium, who just want to exploit them and use them as lab rats in a selfish quest for power and glory.

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8.6
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Oct 5, 2017

Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 is a fun, hilarious comic starring attractive and problematic humans that's like eating your Halloween candy way before October 31.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #1

Aug 3, 2016

If you like your plotting style picaresque and your humor grotesque,Harley Quinn#1 is still the comic for you as Harley paints Brooklyn red and black with friendship, a little bit of carnage (Towards the undead types and Red Tool.) , and way too many pets. Also, its cliffhanger is the setup for a joke and builds suspense for the next issue because everyone loves a comic book that has both drama and comedy.

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9.3
Hawkeye (2016) #1

Dec 14, 2016

Hawkeye #1 is as beautiful asa sunset on Zuma Beach (Aka you should visit there on yournext trip toSouthern California.)and also satisfies on the wit, superhero action, and P.I. mysteryfronts too thanks tosome creative synergy from Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire. Intrigue, sass, and complex, yet simple to follow page layoutscreate awinning comic book combination.

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8.0
Hawkeye (2016) #2

Jan 4, 2017

Just like its protagonist, Hawkeye#2 is a confidently written, drawn, and colored comic, and its portrayal of Kate Bishop as simultaneously a badass and out of her depth is refreshing in a type of story that is sadly often populated by one-dimensional action women and damsels in distress.

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10
Hawkeye (2016) #5

Apr 8, 2017

Hawkeye #5 is a masterpiece of mystery and snark with a (bigger than a) whale of a plot twist.

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7.3
Hellblazer (2016) #1

Aug 24, 2016

With an ending that could be described as theological and also doesn't connect to the Constantine/Swamp Thing/Mercury plot line at all,Hellblazer#1 has shown itself that it is a comic that both reveres the comic and character's past while also treating its main character with the irreverence and disdain he kind of deserves. Simon Oliver, Moritat, and Andre Szymanowicz seem to be playing the long con inHellblazer, and hopefully it pays off without skimping on the stellar characterization of Constantine and his not-so-merry band of brothers. (And a sister.)

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8.4
Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Jul 20, 2016

Hellblazer Rebirth#1 is a solid standalone John Constantine tale that has high stakes, plenty of making deals with demons, snarky comments, a twist that will make hardcore Hellblazerfans wet themselves,and even a dash of British culture. Simon Oliver and Moritat get a tiny little political as it's implied that Constantine leaves New York because of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy and a Tory sign waver gets temporarily infected by his contagious curse, but it's no demons watching Margaret Thatcher speeches from hell. (While she was prime minister.) And it's worth the $2.99 alone to see the sense of casual disdain that Moritat gives to his renditions of John Constantine.

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9.8
Hi-Fi Fight Club #1

Aug 24, 2017

If you ever had a secret teenage crush or fell head over heels with a band, artist, or genre of music (Aka most human beings.), you should pick up Hi-Fi Fight Club #1.

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9.0
Hi-Fi Fight Club #2

Sep 27, 2017

In its second installment,Hi-Fi Fight Clubplays to its strength as Carly Usdin, Nina Vakueva, Irene Flores, and Rebecca Nalty make their focus on Chris and her potential romance with Maggie the centerpiece of her story to find identity through her music fandom and nascent vigilantism. And the art and colors continue to be a treat with fluid action scenes, riot grrl poses, and plenty of longing glances and general feels whenever Vakueva and Flores draw Chris looking at Maggie.

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7.7
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 11, 2015

Howard the Duck #1 hops all over the place in its plot, humor, and characterization, but it's fun ride and different from most Marvel books not named Deadpool.

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10
Huck #1

Oct 21, 2015

Huck #1 is wholesome like a Red Delicious Apple and not saccharine like whatever chemicals they put in diet soda. It's all-American like the smell of your favorite pie or sweet baked like your grandma or freshly mowed grass on a Friday morning before the first high school football game of the season without the jingoism or exceptionalism that has marred this country. (The fact that it was written by a Scottish person and drawn by a Brazilian definitely helps in that category.) Basically, Huck #1 is the most hopeful and uplifting comic that has come out in 2015 so far with a good hearted and admirable main character, a setting that lets Rafael Albuquerque show off the softer side of his watercolor style, and a compelling final page cliffhanger plotted by Mark Millar.

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8.5
Huck #2

Dec 16, 2015

Even if the narrative gets darker around the edges with the introduction of Mrs. Jones' connection to a probably evil Siberian scientist and the general media storm, Huck #2 continues to be a study in optimism for Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque. Huck continues to help ordinary people in extraordinary ways even if he is surrounded by news choppers and random people. At this point, Orlov doesn't quite fit into the story and is a throwback to Russian villain trope, but Huck #2 more than makes up for this slight hiccup with evocative storytelling, a hopeful tone, and the introduction of tension in the plot for this exemplary hero.

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8.3
Huck #6

Apr 20, 2016

Huck#6 boasts rich, textured art and colors from Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig and will probably make you smile. (Unless you're an incurable cynic.) It is up there withStarlightas Mark Millar's best work in his post-Marvel era, and I look forward to the day it's made into a film starring Channing Tatum.

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8.0
Iceman (2017) #1

Jun 7, 2017

It's super fun to see Bobby Drake kick ass and crack dad jokes while struggling with dating and his relationships with friends and family as a newly out adult gay man inIceman#1.

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6.0
Iceman (2017) #2

Jun 21, 2017

Written by a talented gay writer like Sina Grace, who isn't afraid to unpack the messiness of Iceman's coming out and personality while still letting him pose for selfies mid-battle,Icemanshould be one of Marvel's more compelling books. However, with its generic and uninspiring depiction of some of the flashiest (and soapiest) superheroes ever,Icemanpales in comparison to books that have a more distinct visual identity likeAmerica, Marvel's other book with an LGBTQ lead.

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8.0
Iceman (2017) #3

Jul 27, 2017

Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, and Rachelle Rosenberg start to find their storytelling footing inIceman#3 with their combination of introspective heart to heart and superhero action. There is less humor and more darkness in this issue, but who has time for one-liners when your family's lives are threatened by hatemongers.

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8.0
Iceman (2017) #4

Aug 24, 2017

Some of the dialogue is cheesy, but Sina Grace, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo, and Rachelle Rosenberg make Iceman #4 one of the more memorable issues of the series by adding a hint of sexual tension in the interactions (and action of the mutant powers sort) between Daken and Iceman.

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8.5
Iceman (2017) #5

Sep 6, 2017

Iceman#5 is a powerful, cathartic end to the first arc of the comic and showed me that I'm not alone…

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8.0
Iceman (2017) #6

Oct 4, 2017

Finally, the Iceman smooching in this issue is a great belated National Boyfriend Day present.

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10
James Bond: Service Special #1

May 26, 2017

Kieron Gillen, Antonio Fuso, and Chris O'Halloran explore real world problems, like the rise of white nationalism and the United States' uncouth behavior towards its European allies, inJames Bond Service Special, but there's time for fun too. From Jamie McKelvie's very phallic cover, the comic has a lot of cheeky fun through quips, Bond's interaction with his allies, and his gentlemanly behavior under fire. The fight scenes are brutal, but there's always time for a one-liner after bludgeoning and explosions, which is what makes James Bond great compared to his monosyllabic, semi-amnesiac American counterpart…

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7.2
Jean Grey #1

May 5, 2017

Just like the Phoenix Force itself and its potential for life or destruction, Jean Grey has potential to probe deep into the psyche of one of Marvel's most enduring, yet underappreciated characters with some fun superhero bits and guest appearance Or it could be a retread of the various past stories featuring the flame bird. At least, the Phoenix will look gorgeous thanks to the warm, powerful art of Victor Ibanez and Jay David Ramos.

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8.8
Jem and the Holograms #1

Mar 23, 2015

Some bits of clunky tell don't show exposition aside, Jem and the Holograms #1 is a delectable blend of eye catching character designs and interesting personalities. The characters aren't always super nice to each other, but Thompson and Campbell show that they truly care for each other despite their differences. Jem and the Holograms #1 is one of the most stylish books of 2015 so far, and it has some real substance to match with its heroine Jerrica, and her relatable struggles.

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7.6
Jem and the Holograms #7

Sep 15, 2015

There is a slight decline in the art in Jem and the Holograms #7, but the issue isn't a complete wash as writer Kelly Thompson and artist Emma Viecelli gives Shana and Aja some much needed time in the spotlight and crafts a compelling villain for the second arc of this fun comics series.

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10
Jem and the Holograms Annual #2015

Sep 30, 2015

Jem and the Holograms Annual #1 is part character study, part film homage, and part artist jam and succeeds as all of those by pairing art style and character and movie choice seamlessly. Each character's thoughts and fears about the world tie into their movie choice, and the art style evokes the atmosphere of the film (Rebekah Isaacs), a character's mixed feelings about their life situation (Arielle Jovellanos), a real world problem (Jen Bartel), or happy escapism (Agnes Garbowska). You will come out of this comic laughing at Kelly Thompson's clever film references, squeeing at baby Kimber and Stormer's affection, pumping your fists at the Holograms and the War Rig, and just enjoying the depth of characterization and variety of art styles in this excellent comic.

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7.3
Jem and the Holograms: Infinite #1

Jun 28, 2017

Jem and the Holograms: Infinite#1 starts strong with the fierce artwork ofSilk‘s Stacey Lee, but then it becomes merely average when Jen Hickman takes over in the back half. Most of Kelly Thompson's story is resetting the rival dynamic between the Holograms and Misfits and then pouring a whole can of multiversal science fiction into the mix. The Misfits and Holograms' banter is sharp as ever so fans of the last comic book series shouldn't be afraid to flip through this one.

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10
Jem: The Misfits #1

Dec 27, 2016

Kelly Thompson skillfully weaves past and present in Jem and the Misfits #1 establishing their group dynamic through squabbles (And secret hugs between Clash and Pizzazz, who share a warm bond.) and fights. Jenn St.-Onge and M. Victoria Robado bring an over the top rock star flair in the art and colors to in a spinoff comic that is more Angel than Joey. (Even though it has absolutely nothing in common with those TV shows.)

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8.0
Jessica Jones #1

Oct 5, 2016

Jessica Jones #1 is a bold, high stakes start to Jessica's new solo series, but its unique visual style and attitude from Bendis, Gaydos, Hollingsworth isn't drowned out by the big time plot developments.

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7.0
Jessica Jones #2

Nov 17, 2016

Jessica Jones #2 is evidence of Michael Gaydos ability to draw out genuine emotions through poses and page layouts, but the plot is a bit of a police procedural snooze and Bendis falls back on old patterns when it comes to Jessica Jones characterization while being downright regressive with Luke Cage.

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8.0
Jessica Jones #3

Dec 14, 2016

(I mayhave an outlandish theory that she is an aged up, embitteredversion of Layla Miller, who is from another timeline or the Ultimate Universe because, like Alison, she“knows stuff”, was a mutant P.I. with X-Factor once upon a time, and is also a Brian Michael Bendis co-creation.)

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7.0
Jessica Jones #4

Jan 11, 2017

When Brian MichaelBendis and Michael Gaydos aren'tteasing and prodding readers for a fourth straight issue,Jessica Jones#4 is a celebration of its lead character's heroism in the face of adversity and with a healthy dose of snark. And, on a more negative note, the portrayal of Misty Knight as jealous and cantankerous continues to confirm my theory that Bendis bases his characterization of classic Marvel heroes on what his plot demands. This is why most of his best work either is rooted in other creators' work (Frank Miller for Daredevil, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for Ultimate Spider-Man) or involves his own creations like Jessica Jones, Echo, or Miles Morales.

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5.0
Jessica Jones #6

Mar 8, 2017

The story that he is drawing is mediocre, but Michael Gaydos continues to be a solid artist of body language and showing the flaws of superheroes beneath their bright costumes. If there's any artist who can tell a story in a rhythmic grid about someone completely ruining their life with all the messy emotions in between, it's him. He deserves better than Jessica Jones #6, which is a conclusion to an arc that had the clear purpose of breaking up Jessica and Luke in way that doesn't feel earned and is buried underneath a cacophony of subplots and countless panels of The Spot punching people.

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9.0
Jonesy #1

Feb 10, 2016

With its visual flair courtesy of artist Caitlin Rose Boyle and colorist Mickey Quinn and a lead character that is part passionate fangirl and part misanthrope,Jonesy#1 is one of the most fun new releases of 2016. Boyle and Quinn go haywire with the artwork as Jonesy works her romantic magic on her high school while writer Sam Humphries keeps the story grounded in the struggles of growing up, like getting rejected by peers and the heartache of young love, while being quick with a quip.

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8.2
Josie and the Pussycats #1

Sep 7, 2016

Josie and the Pussycats#1 is yet another successful Archie reboot as Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio create a strong narrative drive between Josie's desire to be a solo artist with her current situation of being in a band and throw in an extended guest appearance from a famous Archie character to provide some sharp commentary on both the band's music and personal lives. Also, Audrey Mok is a future comics superstar with an art style that is gorgeous and down to earth, stylish and humorous. I can't wait to see how she draws Josie and the Pussycats' future concerts.

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9.2
Josie and the Pussycats #4

Feb 2, 2017

IfJosie and the Pussycats#4 was a pop song, it would be one with an infectious melody, glossy production, and intelligent lyrics like the adopted love child of Marina Diamandis and Florence Welch with just a dollop of Beyonce. Josie herself is the comic book equivalent of Lana Del Rey with her sad eyes, well-coifed image, and deep reference pool.

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8.2
Josie and the Pussycats #7

Jun 1, 2017

Josie and the Pussycats#7 is a treat for anyone who has thought about pop stars, selling out, and why the hell we keep tuning into a half dozen music award shows for artists who we don't even care about. (Honestly, why is the American Music Awards a thing?) Also, Audrey Mok's art is beautiful as ever,Kelly Fitzpatrick captures thepizzazz of a awards show with a flashy color palette, and Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio's script is filled with clever jokes while still expanding upon Josie, Valerie, and Melody's thoughts and motivations as they hit the big time.

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8.7
Josie and the Pussycats #8

Jul 13, 2017

Josie and the Pussycats#8 has comedy, sadness, and a few great Jughead one-liners plus Audrey Mok and Kelsey Shannon's intricate attention to costuming and setting, which makes me excited for Mok taking over as the main artist on Archie. Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio craft a solid story out of the lingering feeling Josie has for Alan M plus the drama bomb that is the Cabot siblings and then go bonkers at the end because the next issue is the last one.

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7.0
Josie and the Pussycats #9

Aug 24, 2017

Josie and the Pussycats #9 is a mixed bag plot and Pepper-wise, but Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, Kelsey Shannon, and Kelly Fitzpatrick include a lot of what made the series so great, including clever humor, exhilarating setpieces, and a focus on female friendship. It's fitting that the comic ends in one big, adorable sleepover reminiscient of scenes in the fantastic 2001 Josie and the Pussycats film, but without Bullseye the Target dog mascot as a guest.

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8.0
Jughead (2015) #2

Nov 18, 2015

Jughead #2 is sarcastic slackerdom raised to mythic heights and as well as being a showcase for two of the funniest creators in comics: Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson.

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8.5
Jughead (2015) #3

Dec 30, 2015

Jughead #3 mixes a little bit of sad and little bit of surreal pop culture homage/parody/tribute/however the hell you want to read it with a whole lot of funny as Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson put the whole town of Riverdale to work as the series' plot gets just a tad weirder. Also, Jonesy should get his own spinoff one-shot or miniseries.

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9.0
Jughead: The Hunger (One Shot) #1

Mar 30, 2017

In Jughead: The Hunger#1, Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh, and Dee Cunniffe exaggerate Jughead Jones' defining characteristic and turns it into something horrifying. Without his humanity and sense of humor, he's just a creature of pure appetite and id and makes for a great villain in a horror story. And Walsh takes Jughead'seating habits, which usually a cute, running gag and turns it to something disgusting as Reggie remarks early on.

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7.0
Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 2 #1

Jun 29, 2016

Jupiter's Legacy 2#1 has a couple likable characters, some fun set pieces, and continues Millar's hopeful throughline of nostalgia triumphing over tyranny, but it is still a pretty shaky debut with a veritable toy box of characters bursting forth by the time the final cliffhanger happens.

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8.6
Justice League of America (2017) #1

Feb 22, 2017

On the surface, JLA #1 is about a new superhero team with heroes of varying skill sets, moral compasses, and fighting autocratic alien invaders, who want to save Earth from itself. (Their speeches sound like Donald Trumps protect America from people who dont look like straight white Christian males, but with more edged weapons and Power Ranger bad guy armor instead of a toupee and bad spray tan.) But its a battle between idea and execution as Steve Orlando has Batman talk about creating a team that can inspire regular people to be heroes, but Ivan Reis and company show them stumbling over themselves. Hopefully, Batmans badass speeches and fearless fighting moves can get them back on track.

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9.5
Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1

Jan 18, 2017

Orlando and Byrne don't shy away from showing Ray's suicidal ideation as a kid in Justice League of America: The Ray#1when he thinks that going outside and possibly dying is better than a life of isolation. However, Ray's story is inspiring because he overcomes his loneliness, sadness, and isolation to become a great hero even though he still had bad days. I love how his favorite fictional characters got him through some hard days as both a kid and a young adult, and especially can't wait to see how he fits in the new-look Justice League of America. All in all, Ray Terrill is another great addition to DC's pantheon of LGBTQ superheroes.

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7.3
Karnak #2

Feb 26, 2016

In its second issue,Karnakcontinues to develop its identity as a minimalist kung fu philosophy comic with a side of science fiction and an incredibly cranky protagonist. The comic sort of just trails off at the end, but Karnak's interest in finding the Inhuman “savior” out of true faith or to prove people wrong sets up the rest of the series. Gerardo Zaffino and Antonio Fuso's art is roughly inked (Almost too rough in some spots.) and hard hitting, but lacks the ballet-likechoreographyof Ellis' previous action minimalist Marvel story,Moon Knight #5 that he did with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.

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10
Kill Or Be Killed #1

Aug 3, 2016

Kill or Be Killed #1 is yet another comic book masterpiece from the team of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser. It succeeds as both a re-framing of the vigilante genre for the 2010s as an examination of how toxic masculinity poisons contemporary American society, a no holds barred character study, and an example of how changing the layout of a page can drastically change how we view a character.

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9.8
Kill Or Be Killed #9

May 31, 2017

Kill or Be Killed#9 is a master class in creating suspense through a non-linear narrative as Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Bettie Breitweiser use the context of flashbacks to deepen the feeling of terror that Dylan feels, and how close he is to getting pinched/whacked. He is one paranoid drug dealer away from being murdered in his bed, and the varied angles that Phillips uses in his panels unpack this uneasiness as Dylan is royally screwed going into issue 10.

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8.8
Kill Or Be Killed #11

Aug 11, 2017

After an insanely compelling and action master class of a cold open, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser so straight slice of life for most of Kill or Be Killed #11 examining Dylan's post-vigilante motivation and relationship with Kira. But cue the last few pages, and the comic is back to be one hell of (a heavy on the anti) an antihero with a Richard Nixon mask starring thrill ride. (Fingers crossed that he runs into someone in a Hunter S. Thompson outfit at next issue's costume party.

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7.8
Kill Shakespeare - Past is Prologue: Juliet #1

Apr 7, 2017

Kill Shakespeare: Juliet#1 has verbal sparring, well-placed comedy, and musings about life and death that would make the Bard of Stratford proud. Conor McCreery's ability to create original dialogue in the manner of Shakespeare even if some of the character relationships and worldbuilding is a bit hazy for readers who haven't read the previous comics.

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9.0
Kim & Kim #1

Jul 5, 2016

Kim and Kim #1 is the perfect comic for readers, who like their science fiction action-packed, character, and not sanctimonious. Mags Visaggio, Eva Cabrera, Claudia Aguirre, and letterer Zakk Saam pack each panel with a great joke, intriguing mystery, detail about the wacky world around them, or best of all, a badass fighting move. If you like comics with multi-faceted female queer leads, immersive worlds, fun color palettes, or a mix of both, look no further than this book yet another in-your-face hit from Black Mask Studios.

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8.3
Kim & Kim #3

Sep 29, 2016

Some pieces of the plot don't really fit together, butKim and Kim#3is a fun read for the character banter, candy shop color palette from Claudia Aguirre, and the strangeness of the world that Mags Visaggio and Eva Cabrera have constructed alone.

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10
Kim & Kim #4

Oct 26, 2016

Kim and Kim#4 has all the wonderful elements that made this series fun, exciting, and hilarious from the great conversations between the Kims to the fast and furious action scenes,and most importantly, the relatable struggles and problems the characters have beneath the sci-fi strangeness. I will miss Mags Visaggio's whip smart writing and adventurous plotting, Eva Cabrera's character/creature designs and fight choreography, and Claudia Aguirre's pinks and justKim and Kimthe comic in general.

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10
Kim & Kim: Love is a Battlefield #1

Jul 7, 2017

This comic is the epitome of radness, and there's a bonus essay from Elle Collins in the back about how LGBTQ characters are paired off in fiction and not given as complex interpersonal and romantic relationships with other queer people. That's obviously not the case inKim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield.

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9.0
Kim & Kim: Love is a Battlefield #2

Aug 31, 2017

Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield#2 combines soul searing friend chats about relationships past and present with ass kicking, interdimensional travel, and a fierce fashion aeshetic. Mags Visaggio, Eva Cabrera, and Claudia Aguirre continue to do fantastic work crafting one of the most complicated, funny, and plain awesome female friendships in comics.

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9.5
Kim & Kim: Love is a Battlefield #3

Oct 6, 2017

Rad action, check. Funny one-liners from Mags Visaggio, cool fashion choices (Especially in the sunglasses department) from Eva Cabrera, and a pleasing color palette from Claudia Aguirre, check.Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield#3 expertly melds entertainment with emotional honesty, and I can't wait for the miniseries finale and for Kim Q and Kim D to do their team up against a super evil ex girlfriend thing and maybe find a little closure along the way.

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8.5
Kim Reaper #1

Apr 5, 2017

Kim Reaper#1 is a cute, funny comic centered around a queer romance that anyone who has had an unreciprocated crush or a job that consumed their life can relate to. If you likeGiant DaysorBee and Puppycat, but wished they were spookier, this comic is for you.

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8.0
King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #2

Jan 26, 2016

King Conan: The Wolves Beyond the Border#2 is a resurrection of the rule bending (What realism?), genre crafting Robert E. Howard pulps, but with a modern sense of humor and quicker pacing. Who needs paragraphs of description about a creepy shaman and her crow, or a smelly swamp when you've got a well-placed "Mitra's balls" joke from writer Timothy Truman or a background of mists and weeping willows from artist Tomas Giorello with a verdant palette from Jose Villarrubia?King Conan#2 is yet another argument for why fantasy stories might be told best in a visual medium like comics, film, or video games than novels or short stories and shows Conan at a breaking point on what could be his final adventure.

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8.6
Kingpin (2017) #1

Feb 8, 2017

In Kingpin #1, Matthew Rosenberg, Ben Torres, and Jordan Boyd construct a slow burn crime story from the POV of a talented, yet flawed female journalist. One day, Sarah Dewey may usurp Ben Urich for the position of favorite journalist in the Marvel Universe with her biting critiques of bootstraps narratives. But for now, she's providing a fresh perspective on the poisonous underbelly of Earth-616's New York City.

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8.0
Kingpin (2017) #2

Mar 8, 2017

Jordan Boyd's funereal color palette (The hospital and the fundraiser for it look almost the same), Ben Torres' unhesitating look at human pain and suffering through intimate close-ups, and Matthew Rosenberg's pitch perfect writing of Wilson Fisk's double talk and Sarah Dewey's determination and vulnerability ensure thatKingpin#2doesn't suffer from a sophomore slump. And a final page cameo throws the moral order of this comic into even more imbalance.

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8.0
Kings Quest #1

May 6, 2016

In, Kings Quest #1, writers Ben Acker and Heath Corson craft a relatable POV character in the "other Phantom" Karen, keep a winking sense of humor throughout the story, and let Dan McDaid and Omi Remalante draw and color plenty of punching, kicking, sword slicing, and mysticism from the various members of Team Supreme. It's a fun introduction to these classic characters for the summer superhero blockbuster generation. (Which includes me.)

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7.2
KISS/Vampirella #1

Jun 8, 2017

KISS and Vampirella are two very cool things, and Annapaola Martello and Valentina Pinto establish this through art that is both dark and campy. Chris Sebela excels at writing both properties separately although his transitions are a little jarring. The theme of rock becoming unpopular in the early 70s because of disco or the Altamont tragedy or Nixon or whatever excuse you want to put here grounds Kiss/Vampirella #1 so it doesnt devolve into a generic end of the world in L.A. story.

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8.0
Klaus #1

Nov 3, 2015

Klaus #1 boasts bleak and magical fantasy illustration style art from Dan Mora and a rousing storyline from Grant Morrison that is part Christmas special and part sword and sorcery with a dash of social commentary wrapped in pulpy packaging. It will also be intriguing to see how a laconic, wandering barbarian rippling with muscles turns into an overweight, joyous present distributor, and Morrison does seed some elements of the familiar Santa Claus stories in this comic.

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8.0
Ladycastle #1

Jan 25, 2017

Instead of going straight into picaresque adventures, likePrincelessfor example,Ladycastle#1 stays in the bounds of its world and explores what makes a good society. It's like Plato'sRepublic, but sub out the philosopher king patriarchy for a badass matriarchy. Plus there's a dash of comedy and ye olde English from Delilah Dawson, some beautiful vistas from Ashley Woods, andAeve and her sister-turned-squire Gwyneff have an adorably combative relationship. The comic is loads of fun, and I wish the real world were a lot more likeLadycastle.

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9.5
Lake of Fire #1

Aug 24, 2016

InLake of Fire#1, Nathan Fairbarn and Matt Smith create an almost perfect fusion of historical fiction and action-packed science fiction. The comic deconstructs medieval romances and grips with the age-old battle between idealism and cynicism while also having some epic scenes of crusaders jousting against aliens courtesy of Matt Smith, who cuts loose with biting action choreography and a flurry of gore. It's a feast for both historical scholars, action junkies, or any aficionado of stories that involve contradictory personalities trying to work as a team.

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9.8
Love is Love #1

Dec 28, 2016

As Batman says in King and Gerads' story, “Today, I will get up. Today, I will face their hate… And I will again fight for my love.”Visual and verbal moments like that are why I love comics.

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9.6
Lumberjanes #13

Apr 15, 2015

Lumberjanes #13 is a great, one-offissue filled with funny and interesting character momenst and showcases Brooke Allen's ability to draw vibrant backgrounds with colorist Maarta Laiho. There also some silent sequences, which shows off slapstick comedy chops. The issue made me fall in love with the Lumberjanes again and lays the foundation for their awesome,lady friendship.

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9.0
Lumberjanes #16

Jul 15, 2015

Lumberjanes #16 fills in a lot of gaps in the Camp for Hardcore Lady Type's past while setting up a danger and monster filled climax in the present. Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters continue their excellent character work with Bear Woman, Rosie, and especially Jen while bringing them and the Lumberjanes together for the final showdown. But the real highlight of this issue is the versatility of Brooke Allen as an artist and Maarta Laiho as a colorist as they go from the past to the present with some Were-mooses, group hugs, magical transformation sequences, and explosions along the way.

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9.0
Lumberjanes #17

Aug 26, 2015

Lumberjanes is a comic about using the power of friendship to defeat whatever physical and mental obstacles nature throws in your path. Issue 17 is no exception, and writers Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters and artist Brooke Allen look at the messy side of friendship as Jo gets jealous of Barney playing a too active role in their fight against the Grootslang and Rosie and Abigail continue to be estranged. And there is still the humor (Mostly Ripley and Jen's reactions to things.), adventure, and lush wilderness setting that continues to make this series crown jewel of all ages comics.

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8.0
Lumberjanes #18

Sep 16, 2015

The look of the characters aside, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak, Maarta Laiho, and Aubrey Aiese use the strong relationships between the Lumberjanes cast to expand the series' mythos and continue to explore the nature of friendship in a color, high energy way.

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8.0
Lumberjanes #19

Oct 21, 2015

Lumberjanes #19 is chaotic fun with a side of fandom, indie music, and sea monsters. Carolyn Nowak's art captures the loose, raw qualities of three chords and truth punk rock with twisting, turning layouts for the scenes where the sea serpents come out that contrast with the standard grids for character interactions. Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh also build up April's character and make her a flawed, yet determined and passionate young woman, who cares deeply about her friends even if she isn't always the best one.

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8.0
Magdalena (2017) #1

Mar 22, 2017

Patience and Maya'sdoubts and flaws along with their grit and determination plus some cool action, demon designs, and general gore make Magdalena#1 worthpicking up even if you're like me and only knew Magdalena from a lyric from “I Wanna Live in a World Full of Heroes” by nerd rock band Kirby Krackle.

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8.0
Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

Jun 14, 2017

Marvin the Martian/Martian Manhunterhits that sweet spot between serious and silly. Steve Orlando and Frank Barbiere explore the reasons behind Marvin's cynicism and J'onn's optimism while delivering a pretty fun superhero-meets-Saturday morning cartoon beat 'em up with a clever twist ending that is something Alan Moore would do. They also make Marvin legtimately evil. And Aaron Lopresti and Jerome Moore get the biggest laughs for drawing his tiny self in the DC house style

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9.3
Merry Men #1

Jun 8, 2016

Merry Men #1 has all the thrilling heroics and swashbuckling of an Errol Flynn (Not a Russell Crowe or Kevin Costner.) film with a fun cast of gay, bi, and trans characters, who have different body types and attitudes to the world around him. It is a book that as a bisexual man, who grew up reading the stories of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Greco-Roman mythology before I ever picked up a comic book have been waiting for my entire life. As an added bonus, there is a two prose story about the real LGBT people of the Middle Ages starting with Alcuin, a scholar in Emperor Charlemagne's court, who was a part ofthe (Carolingian) Renaissance way before it was cool.

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8.0
Merry Men #2

Jul 23, 2016

Jackie Lewis' art has a lot of details as far as background and clothing goes but has cartoonish facial expression, which works for a high drama adventure story. It really feels like you're in the Middle Ages while reading the comic, and Marissa Louise uses lots of browns and greens to go with the whole forest wanderers' motif. This issue adds much-needed shading to the characters and Robert Rodi's and Jackie Lewis' world and also has yet another essay showing that yes, there were LGBTQ people in the Middle Ages, including one ginger king of England.

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8.4
Midnighter (2015) #5

Oct 8, 2015

Steve Orlando, Stephen Mooney, and colorists Romulo Fajardo and Jeromy Cox are in fine form in Midnighter #5 bringing the witty one-liners and ultraviolence that has become this series' formula while adding some extra moral dilemmas and eccentricity thanks to our special guest star Dick Grayson. However, everything isn't fun and games as the issue's final page cliffhanger hits Midnighter in what his closest equivalent to happy place and adds another layer of mystery to the proceedings.

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9.0
Midnighter (2015) #6

Nov 6, 2015

Midnighter #6 is exclamation point after exclamation point with jaw busting action and intense layouts from ACO, colors from Romulo Fajardo that punctuate the big moments in the issue, and a loose, emotional script from Steve Orlando loaded with amusing one-liners and some backstabbing reveals. Reading Midnighter is like getting a new action movie each movie with a well-developed gay protagonist, who is both confident and vulnerable.

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9.0
Midnighter (2015) #7

Dec 3, 2015

Midnighter #7 is a kick in the teeth as well as a kick in the feels. Steve Orlando uses the character of Prometheus to provide a counter point to Midnighter's unsung, ultraviolent heroism with his desire to take out justice through its symbols: superheroes. And along the way, ACO, Hugo Petrus, Romulo Fajardo, and Tom Napolitano make this fight the toughest of the series so far with close-ups of the punishment Midnighter takes, bold lettering, and lots of red. But this isn't just a fight issue, and Orlando portrays an emotionally honest and open Midnighter, who is really striving to connect with people even though they always seem to bite him in the ass in the major way. These intimate conversations complement the up, close, and personal style of his fight with Prometheus, and make Midnighter #7 a more than satisfying end to Steve Orlando's first full storyline with one of the most emotionally complex and thrilling LGBTQ characters in comics.

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8.4
Midnighter (2015) #8

Jan 6, 2016

Midnighter #8 has a gross, clever team-up plot from writer Steve Orlando and artists David Messina and Gaetano Carlucci that connects thematically to Midnighter's past as Gardener's lab rat as well as his upcoming mission for Spyral against the Suicide Squad. Messina's layouts are a little dialed down compared to ACO's, but he does a better job conveying emotion, especially when Midnighter is reflecting about his past relationships. Overall, this is another well-choreographed and witty issue of Midnighter that sets up some thrilling future developments while telling a self-contained weird fiction meets action movie tale.

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8.8
Midnighter (2015) #9

Feb 4, 2016

In Midnighter #9, artists ACO and Hugo Petrus capture the greatest hits of Midnighter's fights through the use of wobbling and inset panels along with bold bursts of colors from Fajardo. But this isn't just a fight comic as Orlando chronicles Midnighter's struggles to be himself and independent in a world of spies, science, and superhumans between the bones cracking and trash talking. And he isn't in the best shape as the final page rolls around.

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9.0
Midnighter (2015) #10

Mar 3, 2016

Midnighter #10 puts the anti-hero in the middle of a kind of superhuman Cold War, and he must weigh his options in working for a variety of morally ambiguous or downright amoral organizations. He picks Spyral for now because they are his employer even if he lines up more ideologically with Amanda Waller. Just like Waller uses supervillains to accomplish good things in messy ways, Midnighter uses his God Garden enhancements to help people in extremely violent ways. Throw in some great humor from Midnighter and the Suicide Squad members, an intersecting narrative involving DC Universe black ops organization and a superhuman arms race, and detail studded pages from ACO and Hugo Petrus, and Midnighter #10 is a shining example of why this title is one of the best comics in the action genre. And it literally goes out with an orange bang courtesy of colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.

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8.7
Midnighter (2015) #11

Apr 6, 2016

Midnighter#11 introduces Apollo to the series at the best possible time as Steve Orlando, ACO, Hugo Petrus, and Jeromy Cox explore his fractured relationship with Midnighter and awe-inspiring power between and during a series of excellently choreographed scuffles with the Suicide Squad and Bendix's The Unified.

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9.3
Midnighter (2015) #12

May 4, 2016

Midnighter#12 is a wonderful capper on Steve Orlando, Aco, Hugo Petrus, Romulo Fajardo, and other wonderful artists' story of a man trying to maneuver through the world and find his identity as both an open gay man and science experiment turned violent, yet altruistic anti-hero. The final two pages of him kissing and talking to Apollo about his uncertainty for the futureand leaping into action perfectly encapsulate the character of Midnighter, who is a total badass that struggles to navigate the minefields of romantic relationships.

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9.5
Midnighter And Apollo #1

Oct 5, 2016

Come for the punching and one-liners, but stay for the messy, yet star-crossed relationship between Midnighter and Apollo, who are truly DC Comics' power couple.

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8.5
Midnighter And Apollo #2

Nov 2, 2016

InMidnighter and Apollo#2, Steve Orlando, Fernando Blanco, and Romulo Fajardo show the bond between Apollo and Midnighter mostly through Midnighter's ceaseless pursuit of violence and even magical means to save his love and help. Blanco's skill at layouts makes the reality bending and action scenes super thrilling, and he can also slow down and bask in emotions like when Midnighter cradles Apollo's lifeless body. It's yet another violent, vulnerable chapter in a miniseries that looks to get even more exciting thanks to the final page with its great Midnighter one-liner.

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #3

Dec 7, 2016

Like its protagonists, Midnighter and Apollo #3 is cool, smart, and romantic as both Apollo and Midnighter trade out the usualWildstorm/DC Rebirth vibeof their comicsfor early Vertigo and enter the fantasyworld of magical spells and artifacts and fight beings straight out of a China Mieville novel. (His Perdido Street Stationwas where I discovered the unsettlingepicness of vodyanoi.) Also, where else are you going to see John Constantine described as “tantric”?

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #4

Jan 4, 2017

Creative fighting, deep introspection, and variety in panel layouts that show comics is the perfect medium forintense action sequences ensure thatApolloandMidnighter#4 continues the series' momentum into 2017. This issue reads like a great tie-in for a long lost Vertigo/Wildstorm crossover, and Midnighter bathing in the blood in demons just to save his man inspires me so much.

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10
Midnighter And Apollo #6

Mar 1, 2017

Yes, queer characters occasionally get happy endings, and Midnighter and Apollo #6 is a wonderful story of two men, whose love was so strong that they would fight Hell and all its demons just to be in each other's arms. The comic also is a technical marvel with Fernando Blanco's clever layouts and Romulo Fajardo's play of light and darkness showing the contrasts between Apollo and Midnighter while also showing that their differences make them great. Midnighter's determination and Apollo's sense of hope definitely makes them the true power couple of the DC Universe, and hopefully there will be many more adventures featuring them in years to come.

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8.7
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #7

Nov 13, 2014

Even thoughMiles Morales#7 has kineticart, lush colors,and caps offMiles'arc inan explosiveand sometimes emotional manner, it hasa couple of problems. Character interactionsand dialogueare Brian Michael Bendis' forte, but therearea few clunkers here, like the Green Goblin telling Miles, "Iam your father." Norman begins to talk in circlesas well, but this may bea side effect of dyingand coming back way too many times. And speaking of this, the Green Goblin sometimes seems like Jason Voorhees in the laterFriday the 13thfilmsas he keepsavoiding deathand even "resurrecting" multiple times in one issue. Witha lesser villain, this would drag the whole storyline down, but Bendis understands that he was responsible for the birth of both Spider-Menand the death of oneand gives him gravitas by making himanangry,abusive father taking out his failings on his children, who happen to not share his last name. This kind of relationship between Miles, Peter,and the Green Goblin

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7.6
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #8

Dec 17, 2014

This scene is relevant in light of the events of Fergusonand New York,and Bendis even has a character comment on the corruption of the justice system. Bendis makes Jeffersona three-dimensional characterand not just the angry, Spider-Man hating semi-jerk he has been recently.Even if it is sometimes stumbles in its execution, Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man#8 isa turning point for the seriesas Miles learnsabout the harsh realities he has been shielded from. Bendisalso gives Miles' fatherand uncleandall too true backstory that isa far cry from Richardand Mary Parker, Agents of SHIELD,and continues to setapart Miles Morales from his predecessoras Spider-Man.

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8.6
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #9

Jan 14, 2015

One thing that set Miles Moralesapart from Peter Parker was the fact that his parents were stillaliveand continued to haveanactive influence on his life. This endedafter Miles told his dad his secret identity,and Jefferson blamed him for his wife's death. Initially, it might have seemed that Jefferson (although stricken with grief) was being mean to Miles or was possibly mutantphobic, but these past two issues ofMiles Morales Ultimate Spider-Manshow his complex relationship with the super peopleand organizations of the Ultimate Universe while showing some of the positive qualities he has passed onto Miles.Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man#9 isa turning point in their relationshipanda showcases Bendis' gift for delving into superheroesand their interpersonal relationships.

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8.6
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #10

Feb 19, 2015

Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man#10 hasaction, entertaining dialogue, furthers the plot,and continues to establish Miles Moralesas the one true Spider-Man while still showing him having ordinary teen strugglesas usual. Thereare few slip-ups in regards to the Spider-Man twins plot line and a stray bit of dialogue or two,butMiles Morales#10 isanother goodchapter in one of Marvel's perennial best series.

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9.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #11

Mar 11, 2015

But beneath the colors, the kick-ass fight scenes,and Bendis'witty dialogue is its sad, yet powerful emotional core. Everyone has had someone they love hide secrets from them even if they're notas dramaticas beingan iconic superhero or the member ofan evil secret society,and sometimes love can't overcome this.Miles Morales#11 tells this story with crisp digitalartand colorsandas part ofa superhero conspiracy plot with some touching moments that make this issue memorable.

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8.8
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #12

Apr 8, 2015

Some of Miles' interactions with his friends and family seems rushed (and will likely be explored in the upcoming Ultimate End miniseries), but overall,Miles Morales#12 is a gorgeously drawn, thrilling end to the current volume and Miles Morales' larger journey as a character. He isn't afraid to let his friends and family in on his secret as Spider-Man even if they end up betraying his trust (Why did Ultimate Katie Bishop have to be a HYDRA agent?)and has brought hope and heroism to a universe that is about to die.

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9.5
Mister Miracle #1

Aug 9, 2017

Mister Miracle #1 is character-driven, visually innovative comics at its finest and continues the time-honored Jack Kirby tradition of giving godlike heroes feet of clay.

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8.5
Monstress #1

Nov 4, 2015

There is one scene of clunky info-dump when a friend of Maika's mother tells and sadly doesn't show some key backstory information about her relationship with Maika's family and a plot element that may be of future importance. However, Monstress #1 is well worth a read because of Marjorie Liu's nuanced characterization, especially of Maika, Sophia, and Tuya in the flashbacks, and application of real world themes into an apocalyptic urban fantasy universe with intricate architectural, character, and monster design from Sana Takeda. It is full of female characters, who aren't necessarily role models, but have rich inner lives and motivations. You'll come for the sun-kissed shelves of Sophia's library and the establishing shots of the Mieville-esque city of Zamora where Sophia does her “research”, but will stay for the hard hitting, emotional story of a young woman named Maika, who is overcoming the very literal monster within her freedom seeking soul.

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8.0
Monstress #2

Dec 9, 2015

In a world where a valid Republican contender (polls wise) for the president of the United States wants to prevent Muslims from entering the country based on their faith alone, Monstress #2 is an important read as Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda show the harrowing results of racism and bigotry on a once flourishing city through the lens of an urban fantasy horror story. It is also a powerful character study as Maika fights to control the wolf within while also trying to get her adorable companion Kippa (who is sadly afraid of her) to safety, and Liu and Takeda continue to expand and explore their world with the introduction of the inquisitrixes and Edenites.

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6.5
Monstress #3

Jan 27, 2016

All things considered, Monstress#3 isn't half bad anddefinitely has potential because of its conflicted protagonist, dark visuals, and ever expanding world.

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8.3
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3

Jan 28, 2016

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3 features insightful writing from Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder as readers truly get to be in Lunella's head through her struggles with being a “weird” Inhuman, triumphs with Devil Dinosaur, and all the silly, growing up moments in between. Natacha Bustos draws her panels from a variety of perspectives and uses little tricks like directional arrows to keep the storytelling fresh with the help of a predominantly red and yellow palette from Tamra Bonvillain. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3 is a treat for all ages from fans who were old enough to follow Jack Kirby's Marvel stories or those that were in preschool when Iron Man came out.

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8.6
Mother Panic #1

Nov 13, 2016

In Mother Panic #1, Jody Houser and Tommy Lee Edwards give readers a view of Gotham that isn't connected to the Batman Family, their rogues gallery, or the GCPD, which are the usual vantage points on this frightening city. They offer up the POV of a young woman, who has had a hard life and is now some kind of edgy socialite by day and a vigilante by night, and repudiates Batman's way of doing things. There are lots of gaps in her backstory and her relationship to the antagonist, Hemsley, but Houser and Edwards offer a tasty brew of dark, psychedelic, and occasionally snarky costumed heroics that makes Mother Panic much more decadent and depraved than DC's traditional superhero offerings. It will be a lot of fun to see them connect the dots in the months to come.

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8.7
Mother Panic #2

Dec 28, 2016

Mother Panic#2 continues its fragmented narrative style, but Jody Houser and Tommy Lee Edwards continue to embrace the sleaziness of Gotham City and a new vigilante that is more than a match for it. There is also a three-page backup story about Gotham radio host and Batman supporter who was murdered by writer Jim Krueger and artists Phil Hester and Ande Parks that also looks at the moral implications of being a vigilante albeit with cleaner, more Bruce Timm-esque art.

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8.6
Mother Panic #3

Feb 17, 2017

There are legions of comic books about superheroes who work or previously have worked in Gotham City, but this book sets itself apart from them because Jody Houser and Tommy Lee Edwards flat out gaze into an abyss of violence, trauma, just a dash of attitude, and out comes Mother Panic #3. The cynical view of the Bat-family continues in Jim Krueger and Phil Hesters entertaining backup story featuring a Batman hating podcaster-turned-late night radio host, who looks like a Tea Party militia version of David Foster Wallace. (Its the red, white, and blue bandanna.)

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9.2
Mother Panic #4

Mar 8, 2017

Jody Houser, Crystal, and Beaulieu add new layers of kindness and darkness to Violet Paige in Mother Panic #4, and the issue functions as a great study of how people interact and behave in different contexts with a side dish of gadgets and punching because this is Gotham City after all.

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9.5
Mother Panic #5

Mar 22, 2017

Jody Houser, Shawn Crystal, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu put Violet Paige's ultraviolent crusade in psychologically scarring context inMother Panic#5, which will make you want to give Mother Panica hug before she pushes you off her and tells you to “Fuck off” before disappearing into Gotham's dark night.

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9.0
Motor Crush #2

Jan 12, 2017

Motor Crush#2 is set in a universe similar toSpeed Racerwhere a main sporting event can mean fortune or fame to its inhabitants, and the comic has loads of visual panache like the Wachowski Sisters' 2008 film if its main character had addiction problems and angered motorsports obsesseddrug cartels. But between the kicks, chases, and Mexican standoffs, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr explore the glorious depths of their broken, yet badass protagonist Domino Swift because motorcycle riders have lots of feelings too.

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9.5
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 18, 2015

Ms. Marvel #1 is a delightful smorgasbord of superhero action, sweet romance, bright art, and has a strong, yet fantastical connection to real world issues. G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazwa, and Adrian Alphona craft a first issue that is both exciting and heart wrenching as Kamala Khan starts to take steps into being a more responsible and mature superhero and human being in both her actions and interpersonal relationships.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2015) #9

Jul 27, 2016

Under the backdrop of Civil War II, G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring craft the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with becoming her own hero as her mentor starts doing things that go against her own beliefs and against the people she has saved time and time again. Ms. Marvel #9 is a real turning point for Kamala Khan's heroic journey, especially after the mysterious final page,which is the counterpoint to the hopeful flashbacks featuring her mother and grandmother in Pakistan.

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9.5
Ms. Marvel (2015) #13

Nov 30, 2016

Ms. Marvel #13 is a light bit of progressive superhero fantasy in a world that desperately needs it. It's the 2016 equivalent of the famous 1940Captain America Comics #1 cover, which featured Cap punching out Hitler, but its post-Election Day release date makesthe comicbittersweet.

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8.2
Munchkin #1

Jan 28, 2015

Munchkin#1 is the fantasy fiction comic equivalent ofa half hour sketch comedy show. Read, laughat the crazy charactersand clever wordplay,and maybe learn somethingabout yourselfasa fananda person. It's that simple. Don't overthink it, or you'll end up likea variety of hapless party members in this comic.

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8.5
Mycroft Holmes #1

Aug 4, 2016

In Mycroft #1, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld craft a protagonist that is basically the Tony Stark of the Victorian Era. He is a polymath, can solve a mystery while burning you with a one liner, and has a kind of roguish charisma whereas his brother Sherlock can only stutter his future catchphrase. (And if basketball was invented, Mycroft would probably have one hell of a skyhook.) Artist Joshua Cassara adds to Mycroft's appeal by drawing the lazy, self-absorbed genius exuding great confidence with winks and smiles while the people around him are crying out with outrage. By the time the issue closes (With a joke and a cliffhanger.), you're not sure if you want to be Mycroft or be with him, and you will definitely prefer him to Sherlock.

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9.1
Nameless #2

Mar 4, 2015

Nameless#2 isa tasty mixture of primal magicand futuristic technology, genre fictiontropesand Biblical prophecy,and ultimatelyfearand hope. Thisasteroid Xibalba hasa mysterious backstoryand purpose that is hard for the characters (and occasionally) the readers to grasp, but some of the crew ofWhite Valianthasa semblance of hope to beat it back. This kind of darkness witha shred of hope has been found in most of Grant Morrison's masterpieces ranging fromThe InvisiblestoFinal Crisis,and Chris Burnham matches this overarching theme with hisart that can wallow in the filth of humanity or revel in itsachievements.

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8.6
Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1

Mar 8, 2017

Overrated as in a few short pages, Nancy Drew steals the comic in shimmering fashion and has been pulling the Hardy Bros strings all along. Theres a reason why she gets top billing, and the final pages featuring her along with Werner DellEderas versatile artwork and Anthony del Cols stylized and sometimes sassy writing definitely got me hooked on the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series going forward. The comic kind of roasts the it would be hilarious if they wore Ed Hardy Bros, but also tells a dark, exciting mystery story in the vein of Veronica Mars, Brick, or a slightly less soapy Riverdale.

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8.0
New Romancer #1

Dec 12, 2015

If you've ever wanted to read “She Walks in Beauty” to someone and really mean every word, New Romancer #1 is the comic for you.

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7.3
New Romancer #2

Jan 14, 2016

New Romancer #2 has an infectious, chaotic energy especially when Casanova or Lord Byron show up on the panel, and Milligan keep things relatable through the character of Lexy, who is having difficulties finding true love because of her idiosyncrasies and just how damn hard 21st century dating is for a twentysomething. Brett Parson also draws some funny facial expressions and gestures to along with Milligan's wacky wit. Even though it often doesn't know if it wants to be a romance, comedy, or serious exploration of relationships, New Romancer #2 is a pretty fun and unique read, especially with the promise of a face-off between Casanova and Lord Byron in the next issue.

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8.0
New Romancer #3

Feb 12, 2016

New Romancer #3 has wild and wacky art from Brett Parson to match the insane situations that Peter Milligan puts his cast of characters from one of Lexy's workmates dressing as a “sexy” cupid in an ad for the New Romancer app to the earlier mentioned phallic weaponry and cheater husbands getting decked by their wives. The comic does a decent job balancing the romantic melodrama of Byron's writing and thinking with modern day wit and sarcasm. It's a romantic comedy that is actually funny, far from formulaic, and has some clever historical references to boot.

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7.3
New Romancer #4

Mar 12, 2016

Peter Milligan burns through a lot of plot in New Romancer #4 as Lexy, Byron, her dad, and crew at New Romancer are beset on all sides by the CEO of Incubator, Mata Hari, and Casanova, who basically just wants to watch the world burn. He starts to lay the road for the first arc's endgame, but everything is very much in the air. This is definitely a comic that I read for the flair of the character's voices, the adorableness and unfortunate optimism of its protagonist, Lexy, and the energy and humor of Brett Parson's art rather than its overarching storyline.

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5.0
New Romancer #5

Apr 16, 2016

Unfortunately, the momentum built through the flirting between Lexy and Lord Byron and her strained relationship with her father all but comes to a halt by the end of New Romancer #5 as the plot gets caught up in a wave of double crosses, hostage situations, and technobabble. And the cliffhanger is yet another showdown between Lexy and Casanova, but this is one will maybe be better because the first arc of the comic is ending. New Romancer was a comic with some fun ideas, like combining Romantic poetry and online dating, performing a feminist critique on Lord Byron from his number one fan, and even the inclusion of Casanova as a villain, but it's really run out of steam towards the end of its first arc even if Parson and Miller's art is still fun to look at.

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8.5
Nighthawk #1

May 27, 2016

With its connection to real world problems, a murder mystery that doubles as a moral dilemma, and David Walker's ability to get Nighthawk a distinct voice from the quick, self-aware wit of supporting cast members, like Tilda and Detective Burrell,Nighthawk#1 is a strong debut issue. Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain bring the rage and altruism of the protagonist while building the world of corrupt, classist, and racist Chicago in the Marvel Universe that is part over the top revenge thrillerand part ripped from the headlines.

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8.0
Nighthawk #2

Jun 23, 2016

Nighthawk#2 continues to weld together a bloody thriller with relevant political commentary and the realities of being black in the United States with a protagonist's whose actions are unethical to say the least. David Walker uses supporting characters to remark on this fact instead of just focusing on the violence, and Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain turn the Marvel Universe's Chicago into a kind of hell on Earth without falling headlong into overexaggeration.

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9.3
Nighthawk #6

Oct 26, 2016

The ending of Nighthawk #6 is both bleak and satisfying, and it will be interesting to see what David Walker does with the character in the upcoming Occupy Avengers title.

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8.4
No Mercy #1

Mar 31, 2015

Personally, I loved this comic because I enjoy character-driven teenage, coming of age stories (like Ultimate Spider-Man and Runaways) with quick, witty dialogue. De Campi and McNeil do deliver a nice dose of humor with their characters' foibles (and occasional snark) and use the occasional funny line to poke at American exceptionalism and privilege.

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8.0
No. 1 With A Bullet #1

Sep 29, 2017

Social media offers a way to become famous, infamous, or something between with a hacked iCloud server or an unintentional drunk tweet or private message having scary consequences. Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman channel this primal, yet technological fear inNo. 1 with A Bulletand chase it with colorscapes that will be seared into your brain and a main character that you will want to grab a drink and maybe hug when the comic drops in November.

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8.7
Nothing Lasts Forever #1

Jun 12, 2017

In Nothing Lasts Forever, Sina Grace goes into depth about his depression, his painful struggle with a disease that made it virtually impossible for him to keep down food, and his true feelings about the men he's dated and slept with. And he does it all in a varied visual style and with his sense of humor intact. I won't stop smiling and laughing at the all the forms that Sina takes in the comic like some kind of cartoonist Mystique going from a bad mushroom trip to being sad in the shower to even becoming Sailor Moon herself.

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8.4
Nutmeg #4

Sep 17, 2015

Nutmeg #4 is a fun and refreshing comic because it shows that not just chain smoking, middle aged white men can be detectives and criminal masterminds. Jackie Crofts' art is light and upbeat, and James Wright's writing is clever in both plot and dialogue while continuing to develop the key relationship between the two outsiders turned culinary crime kingpins, Poppy and Cassia. (The spice puns will never not be funny.)

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8.5
Nutmeg #5

Oct 22, 2015

Writer James Wright handles the main "rise of a criminal kingpin" plot while also continuing to flesh out the supporting cast as Marjorie becomes a likable figure in this issue as she tries to cheer up Saffron while also chasing her own dreams as an artist. Artist Jackie Crofts and colorist Josh Eckert turn in some of their most eye popping visuals making the brownies look mouth watering with a rich brown color and heavy line work to go with the sketchier figures.

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9.0
Occupy Avengers #1

Nov 2, 2016

Basically,Occupy Avengers#1 is a 21st-century take on Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams' “Hard Traveling Heroes” run of Green Arrow/Green Lantern, but with a lot more nuance and intersectionality thanks to its diverse creative team.

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7.5
ODY-C #6

Aug 12, 2015

Come for the visuals, worldbuilding, and Fraction's delicious caption boxes, but make sure to keep Wikipedia at the ready.

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6.0
ODY-C #7

Sep 16, 2015

Fraction's meandering storyline in Ody-C #7 is partially redeemed by Ward, who creates dizzying tapestries of red, yellow, and purple intermingled as brother fights brother in the flashback scenes about the founding of Q'af. Later, he uses a neat digital frosting effect to show how the children of Q'af are prepared to become the bloody bride and husband of their kings before cutting to red to show their inevitable deaths.Ward's art and color choices do a better job of engaging with the story's themes than Fraction's narration, making his contributions the number one reason to pick up the book.

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5.5
ODY-C #8

Oct 28, 2015

Ody-C #8 is definitely a side road on an epic journey that was the first arc of this series. Sure, it's a thematically and visually rich detour as Christian Ward uses silent nine and sixteen panel grids complete with evocative flower imagery to show the deadly triumph of Hyrar and Zhaman. Eventually, he literally bathes the page in red while showing readers the brothers' angry and sad eyes because they lost their one chance for love in their lust for power and objectification of human beings. But in its plot and character arc, the comic Ody-C continues to blow off course even if it is a bloody reminder of the ravages of the patriarchy.

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8.0
Old Guard #1

Feb 22, 2017

The Old Guard#1 is a bleak, bitingaction comic about an immortal woman, who is a skilled warrior, yet filled with sadness drawn and colored with gritty precision by Leandro Fernandez and Daniela Miwa. Andy's conscience, snark, and total competence make her a likable lead character, and a slight twist at the end sets up a decent enough hook to pick up the following issue where hopefully the other members of her team will be fleshed out by Greg Rucka and Fernandez.

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8.0
Old Man Logan (2016) #1

Jan 29, 2016

Old Man Logan#1 is the extremely dark mirror to the classic "Days of Future Past" storyline as Wolverine doesn't sheathe his claws and abandon violence to bring hope to mutants and the world, but decides to take revenge on the people responsible for destroying his family beginning with a Z-level villain, who hithis son. He is giving into his primal nature, and this could have consequences for his future and the Marvel Universe's if some his plans come to fruition. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino say, "No more nice Wolverine!" and go from almost lethargy to wicked revenge at the touch of a dial. Having Wolverine back as a killer (And not under any Hand mojo or mind control.) is a risky move, and hopefully Lemire and Sorrentino will continue to show the psychological effects of his actions and not just turn him into theaging Canadian superhero from an alternate future Jason Voorhees.

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10
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1

Dec 24, 2015

Hellcat #1 has a diverse cast of characters (Fitting for a Brooklyn set comic.), freely flowing art from Brittney Williams , and has a lot of engaging, real life situations plotted by Kate Leth for readers to latch onto. It's about an unemployed ex-superhero/PI/subject of romance comics and her gay roommate, who just learned about his powers and might not have the greatest moral compass, hanging out and figuring out how to get their shit together. It's definitely the most exciting debut issue of All-New, All-Different Marvel thus far.

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9.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #2

Jan 20, 2016

Hellcat #2 is cute, funny, painfully relatable, and even sets up possibly the raddest superhero team-up ever in the next issue.

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9.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #3

Feb 25, 2016

After Hellcat#3, it's safe to say that I'm a (Hell)kitten, and this comic is my warm milk (I would have said catnip, but that's even self-indulgent by my standards.) thanks to its varied colors from Megan Wilson, adorable art and zippy storytelling from Brittney Williams, and a thematically robust, joke filled writing. Watch out for a great Jessica Jones Easter Egg too!

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8.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #4

Mar 25, 2016

Hellcat #4 continues to be an adorable, friendship focused comic about characters, who struggle with real problems like dating and jobs along with fighting Asgardian sorceresses. And artist Brittney Williams and colorist Megan Wilson add some nice Bronze Age flourishes when Casiolena shows up to pay homage to Patsy's adventures with the Defenders in the 1970s and go with their fashion forward character designs and fun cartooning and to vary the style of the comic a little bit.

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9.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #5

Apr 27, 2016

Hellcat #5 is an explosive ending to the series' first arc as Patsy and her friends get a nice win against Casiolena, but she has a lot to learn as she balances her life as a superhero with her actual job at Tara Tam's tattoo parlor, the court case with Hedy, and hanging out with friends. But she has a great supporting cast that writer Kate Leth has fleshed out throughout the first five issues, bright and bouncy art from Brittney Williams, and intense colors from Megan Wilson so she has a great shot at overcoming this obstacle as well. Plus the final two pages have my third favorite Marvel character in it and will definitely make you sad that the next issue is a month off.

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9.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #6

May 26, 2016

With soothing and energetic art from Natasha Allegri and a script filled with friendship and action from Kate Leth, Hellcat #7 is a reminder that superhero comics can be fun sometimes. This issue is also a great jumping on point for new readers as Leth and Allegri deftly establish the main cast's dynamic and personalities on the really long commute to Coney Island.

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8.7
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #8

Jul 20, 2016

InHellcat#8, Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and RachelleRosenberg take a break from the battle between Hedy and Patsy to zero in on the relationship between Patsy and She-Hulk, and how Civil War II has affected it. And the issue is a fitting eulogy for the strong (Hopefully, she pulls through and has a solo title in the future.) It's a pretty emotionally devastating comic book with the slightest touch of light (No fireworks sadly.) at the end.

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9.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #9

Aug 24, 2016

Hellcat#9 is a flat out fun read as Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Megan Wilson put Hellcat and her friends through the wringer while also letting them live a little and enjoy life. There's action, comedy, romance, plenty of cuteness, and a cliffhanger that is like somethingout of Stranger Things.

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8.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #10

Sep 22, 2016

Hellcat #10 balances inner conflict with action and comedy as Daimon Hellstrom and Mad Dog still fighting over Patsy is the height of farce. Kate Leth also subverts the “heroes fighting each other just to fight” (See Civil War II.) trope and has Jubilee explain to Daimon and Mad Dog why Hedy Clarke is manipulating them in a single, logical page. Add the ever-shifting backgrounds and color palettes from Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson, and Hellcat #10 is a milestone issue in Patsy Walker's journey to cast off the shackles of her past and help the young superhumans of New York.

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8.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #11

Oct 19, 2016

Hellcat #11 brings a new level of chaos to the series as Black Cat and her girl gang disrupt Patsy Walker's temp agency for seemingly no reason except to mess with her. However, the previous relationship between Zoe and Ian as well as the fact that Zoe was evicted by Patsy's landlord adds some nice connective tissue to the earlier issues while still injecting some fresh energy into the comic. Also, as seen in the final page, Kate Leth and Brittney Williams' Black Cat has kind of a mean streak and isn't just the flirtatious anti-hero that occasionally smooches Spider-Man. Rad jackets aside, she isn't someone you would want to hang out with unlike Ian Soo despite his high levels of melancholy in this issue.

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8.5
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #12

Nov 17, 2016

Hellcat#12 has quick, visual laughs (Any time Jubilee shows up.), spends a lot of time looking into Ian's motivation into becoming a hero, and has quite the theatrical villain. It's another win for Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg, and an argument for why Ian Soo really needs a miniseries with crop tops andHamiltonreferences turned up to eleven.

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7.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #13

Dec 21, 2016

Hellcat#13 is a passable issue in a fantastic series as Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg increase Black Cat's nefariousness levels by having either completely wipe the floor with Hellcat as well as use violence and mind control to get her way. Williams continues to show off her art chops, which runs the gamut from fierce to silly in this comic. Plus the Black Cats continue to have the most fashionable attire despite being evil.

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8.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #14

Jan 18, 2017

Although the plot was dependent on mind control,Hellcat#14 is a strong end to the comic's third arc as Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg give Hellcat a personal connection to Black Cat's gang through Ian and his ex and add plenty of physical comedy, smooching, and fierceness to see this story to the finish line.

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8.2
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #15

Feb 15, 2017

Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg throw out a bunch of crazy ideas inHellcat#15, including connecting the sniffles and Scarlet Witch-lite reality warping powers, and most of them stick thanks to the fact that the weirdness stems from Patsy's own issues. Also, Jubilee shapeshifting into a cloudwill never not be hilarious.

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9.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #16

Mar 15, 2017

In Hellcat#16, Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that feelings are tougher to come to terms with than supervillains or hellions. They do this while throwing together the previous Hell dimension storyline and the current short flu arcto create one tasty concoction of a showdown between Patsy and Hedy.Also, Williams continues to draw Jubilee as the cutest X-Man turned vampire ever.

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10
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #17

Apr 28, 2017

Even though it has quirky jokes and fierce style thanks to the dialogue of Kate Leth, the facial expressions and costume design of Brittney Williams, and a palette that uses just the right amount of pink from Rachelle Rosenberg, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat is a comic all about community building through organic friendships. It's great to see characters go from awkward half-strangers or acquaintances from days past, like Tom who was in the Patsy Walker romance comic many moons ago, to friends in arms and finally, in shopping. That's why it's fitting that Hellcat #17 doesn't end in a cliffhanger or final battle, but an overhead shot of friends spending time together.

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8.8
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Jun 21, 2017

If you want a Spider-Man comic that reminds you of flipping through comics with big, open layouts by John Romita Sr, Todd McFarlane, or Mark Bagley and still has a quirky, clever, and occasionally adult sense of humor, thenPeter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man#1 is the book for you. Chip Zdarsky is truly the king of comedy featuring iconic pop culture characters with his playful, sometimes encyclopedic, and joke-a-minute approach to the webslinger just like he did with Jughead for Archie.

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8.6
Plutona #2

Oct 7, 2015

Plutona #2 is a personal story, and Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox give readers a raw perspective into the lead characters' thought processes and reactions. They sound and react like scared kids with Ray being more rebellious while Diana is just freaked out and wants to tell her family, and Mie is the inquisitive one. Teddy seems like an earnest and innocent fanboy, but the final pages add intrigue to his character and set up issue 3 for some possible twists and turns. Plutona #2 is a comic about death, and it faces it head-on with Lemire, Lenox, and Bellaire showing the ups and downs of adolescence amplified in the face of tragedy with honest writing, intimate art, and timely colors.

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5.0
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

Jan 20, 2016

Unless you're a huge fan of Poison Ivy and/or annoyed by the character of Harley Quinn,Poison Ivy#1 is worth skipping or trade waiting because its protagonist is less than endearing and her relationship with Harley Quinn is ended in a way that seems rushed and out of character. (There is hope for the pair with a nice panel of Ivy checking her phone for texts from Harley first thing in the morning.) Along with this characterization issue, Clay and Seth Mann's art would be beautiful as covers or pinups (With the exception of photorealistic Harley Quinn in her roller girl outfit, which is almost as terrifying in an Uncanny Valley way as Alex Ross drawing the Archie gang.), but lacks energy or emotion.

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7.7
Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) #10

Nov 10, 2016

Power Man and Iron Fist#10 ismostly setup for more intriguing events down the road thanks to a powerful cliffhanger, but itssense of humor, social responsibility, and idiosyncratic art and coloring style is still firmly intact. It hits that right sweet spot between crime comic and buddy comedy, and Sanford Greene continues to draw bodies of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors kicking ass, telling jokes, or being menacing in the villains' cases in his Bronze Age meets animation art style.

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8.0
Power Up #2

Aug 19, 2015

Power Up #2 features some of the weirdest magical energy battling sequences and hilarious eye poppin' reaction shots from artist Matt Cummings. He gives Power Up a unique visual style based in animation, but with characters with diverse body types to go with their power sets. (Amie still doesn't understand her powers fully.) Throw in, writer Kate Leth's down-to-earth character work with the main heroes, and Power Up #2 is a wonderful piece of relatable wish fulfillment.

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6.0
Power Up #3

Sep 23, 2015

Power Up #3 has some breathtaking transformation sequences and a few engaging character moments, but it is a middling issue with artistic inconsistencies, underdeveloped villains, and possible overreliance on well-trodden superhero tropes, like trying and failing at keeping a secret identity secret or winning every villain fight in a similar way. (Goldfish ex machina, in this case.)

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8.0
Power Up #4

Oct 28, 2015

With an amusing and creepy villain, power packed colors from Matt Cummings and easy team banter and some solid characterization of Kevin from Kate Leth, Power Up #4 is a welcome return to form for the series even if we're just barely closer to discovering anything about this series' villains motivations and the reasons behind our heroes' powers.

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5.0
Power Up #5

Nov 25, 2015

Power Up #5 takes a break from its ongoing plot to introduce an entire new cast of characters as Kate Leth and Matt Cummings expand the world of their story. If this kind of story had been told an issue or two earlier, it might have worked, but this is the penultimate issue of the series, and Power Up #6 has a lot of ground to cover if its ending is going to be satisfactory. Also, Nox's friends don't have much depth to the characters, which is partially the result of having half an issue to introduce them versus four issues for the Power Up crew. A couple of reveals and Matt Cummings' delightfully cartoonish and beautifully epic art aside, Power Up #5 is another bump in the road for this once promising series.

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8.5
Princeless: Raven: The Pirate Princess #1

Jul 15, 2015

With a breathtaking chase sequence that makes up the meat of the issue and art that is easy to follow, Pirate Princess #1 is accessible and entertaining even for readers who haven't read Princeless. (Like this reviewer.) It tells a story that sexist marketing companies would wrongly place in the "boy" category with two female characters, who aren't friends, but aren't enemies because they're fighting over a boy. Raven and Sunshine are both pirates, and Raven took Sunshine's money, hence, they're enemies. Writer Jeremy Whitley gives the beginnings of a believable arc for Raven as she struggles to become the Black Arrow, and this one of the many reasons why Pirate Princess #1 is a unique, fun, and slightly subversive entry in the pirate genre.

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9.0
Princeless: Raven: The Pirate Princess #2

Aug 19, 2015

Raven: The Pirate Princess #2 is filled to the brim with humor, organic character relationships, and also manages to brutally attack the rude behavior of men towards women on the Internet. Whitley's writing is raw and honest in this scenes and is balanced well by Brandt's easy to follow panel layouts and Higgins' ire-filled facial expression. Raven: The Pirate Princess #2 is a shining example of how comics can tell fun, subversive genre stories with three dimensional characters while still being socially relevant.

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9.0
Princeless: Raven: The Pirate Princess #3

Sep 16, 2015

But my personal favorite part of Raven Pirate Princess #3 is the funny, anachronistic, and definitely leaning upon the fourth wall subplot featuring Katie and Sunshine recruiting her gaming friends. This section happens to be quite motivational with a triumvirate of three prominent female comic book creators giving Katie the little nudge she needs to be non-compliant and go on an adventure with Raven despite society, which wants to her get married and take a backseat to male characters.

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8.0
Princeless: Raven: The Pirate Princess #4

Oct 21, 2015

In Raven Pirate Princess #4, Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins, and Ted Brandt lay the final foundation stones in the romantic, friend, and parental relationships between Raven and the members of her crew. The opening and concluding sequences are filled with emotions, and the dusky sky drawn by Higgins and Brandt adds a touch of atmosphere to the issue. By issue's end, Raven Pirate Princess' emotional core is intact, and the adventure is truly ready to begin.

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6.0
Princeless: Raven: The Pirate Princess #5

Feb 4, 2016

The final page of Raven Pirate Princess #5 reveals its cheeky, meta title "On a Ship, Every Episode is a Bottle Episode". Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins, Ted Brandt, and William Blankenship keep the action confined to the ship and introduce wave after wave of character. Some stick and some don't, but Whitley crafts some solid moments in his writing like Raven's philosophy behind running the ship, or Sunshine backing up Jayla when Raven scolds her for putting ginger in Sunshine's mouth. Because she is a scientist in a world relatively new to it, Jayla is afraid of putting her thoughts out there and isn't used to being among people who consider her equals. Higgins and Brandt's faces and character designs make the new additions memorable some of the time, and it will be interesting to see how the partially united, partially dysfunctional crew fares once they face their first internal threat.

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8.7
Punk Mambo #0

Nov 20, 2014

Part critique of punk culture, part coming of age story, and filled with bloody revenge, Punk Mambo #0 ties together these disparate elements with help from a well-developed protagonist, simultaneously creepy and clean art from Robert Gill, and a sneaky sense of humor. Peter Milligan doesn't pass judgment on Victoria and lets the readers decide if she's worthy to be emulated, pitied, or even laughed at. Punk Mambo #0 is a worthy, occasionally scary introduction to a compelling character and a homage/satire to a still influential musical movement.

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6.0
Raven #1

Sep 21, 2016

Raven #1 has nice dialed up color palette from Blond and couple intense magic sequences from Borges, but Marv Wolfman doesn't really break new ground in the superhero in high school department. He uses Raven's empathetic abilities to cause her pain and tension, but doesn't connect it to her real emotions just some random magic using student. So, there is a lot of screaming and magic, but no real emotional connection in the comic, which makes it fairly mediocre.

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8.6
Reborn #1

Oct 12, 2016

In Reborn #1, Mark Millar and Greg Capullo prove that even your grandma can be a hero as they flesh out the protagonist, Mrs. Black, before throwing her into a new body and a wild and wacky fantasy world. Capullo also shows he can nail the quiet, human scenes that separate pinup artists from true storytellers.

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9.2
Red Sonja (2013) #13

Nov 13, 2014

Red Sonja#13's tongue in cheek sense of humorapplies to its villainas well. Gail Simone makes Kalas-Ra speakall his dialogue in the third person while referring to himselfas “one”and being simultaneously creepyand pathetic. Geovani gives hima comical cone hat, which contrasts with magical symbolsand the blue lightof his staff. Lucas softens the colors of his clothing, but gives his magic staffan ethereal sheen. This mixed imagery and writing for Kalas-Ra gives hima little bit ofa mystery, which is expounded upon throughout the comic,anda nice part ofa comic which takes its hero to some dark places, but keeps its sense of humorandadventure intact.

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9.0
Red Sonja (2016) #1

Jan 14, 2016

Red Sonja#1 an exciting and blissful read with pleasures for the conoisseur of sexy men and women, fantasy nerd, art appreciator, and history scholar in you.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2016) #2

Feb 18, 2016

InRed Sonja#2, Marguerite Bennett continues to explore various political themes that she layers intothe story of Red Sonja trying to adapt to a more complicated Hyrkania after a long absence. However, she, Aneke, and colorist Jorge Sutil, who heavily emphasizes red in his palette from the blood spurting from the Black Talons to the tomatoes thrown at Sonja and Midyan on stage, don't skimp on action capturing the She Devil with a Sword at her fiercest in the early parts of the issue. And the twist at the end creates more obstacles for Red Sonja's difficult task of freeing Hyrkania, who doesn't really want to be freed, but laugh at crude racial caricatures and then kill the people the comedies were mocking. Shades of empires from the Athenian to American can be seen in the pages where the content of the plays are described and put on.

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2.9
Red Sonja (2017) #0

Dec 14, 2016

With a paper thin plot, a focus on T and A instead of strong storytelling, and a promising skeleton of a concept without any meat on it, Red Sonja #0 isn't worth picking up even if you're a die hard fan of the She-Devil with a Sword.

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7.0
Riverdale (One Shot) #1

Mar 1, 2017

Like a lot of media tie-ins, Riverdale #1 has its ups and downs. The Archie story is definitely a downer. However, the Veronica story is a little bit like an early Lana Del Rey song (Especially the pop art portrait of Marilyn Monroe in the Lodges' mansion.), and Alitha Martinez is a talented artist so this book is definitely worth flipping through if you're a fan of the show.

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10
Robin War #1

Dec 4, 2015

And along the way, writer Tom King and his art team of Khary Randolph, Alain Mauricet, Jorge Corona, Andres Guinaldo, Walden Wong, and layouts man Rob Haynes seamlessly inject real world problems and themes, like police brutality, the establishment's disdain for youth culture (Think hypocritical comedian and rapist Bill Cosby's abominably insensitive and classist “Pull your pants up” PSA.), and the influence of class and privilege on people's motivations, actions, and words. It is well worth a read for not just superhero comics enthusiasts, but anyone who wants to stay woke and enjoy a thrilling action story with a well-developed ensemble cast. Plus Damian Wayne is comedy gold as always, especially in his conversations with Jason Todd and Tim Drake.

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8.0
Robin War #2

Jan 14, 2016

Robin War #2 has a pretty big plot twist that makes sense and is surprising, takes some risks with the character of Dick Grayson, and has an energetic blend of art styles from the big painted imagery of Khary Randolph to the slow burn storytelling of Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez as well the street level anarchy of Carmine Di Giandomenico, the more traditional superhero work of Steve Pugh, and finally the rough and tough cartooning of Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens.

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8.5
Rocket Girl #6

May 5, 2015

Rocket Girl#6 isa high-flying return for the seriesas Montclareand Reeder explore what makes DaYoung Johnasson tickasa person/superhero/cop witha helping of humor, moral dilemmas, and the clever panel layouts that has becomea trademark of the comic.

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8.0
Rocket Girl #7

Dec 2, 2015

After a seven month wait, Rocket Girl #7 is back with a tighter narrative and thematic connection between the 1986 and 2013 storylines, which is helped by Amy Reeder's color palette.

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8.5
Rocket Girl #8

Aug 2, 2017

Rocket Girl#8 has plenty of action, and Amy Reeder cuts loose with beautiful, streamlined flying sequences and intense argument. Dayoung belongs in a utopian future, but is stuck in our crappy past. Brandon Montclare and Reeder really build up the overarching threat of Quintum Mechanics in the issue and set up a difficult time-spanning, uphill climb of a throwdown for Dayoung, Gomez, and their allies.

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8.0
Runaways (2017) #1

Sep 13, 2017

In Runaways#1, Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka tell a story about guilt, fractured friendship, and trying to create your own identity in your early twenties that happens to feature magical surgery, time travel, a dinosaur, and a smorgasbord of gorgeous colors by Matthew Wilson.

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8.7
Saga #25

Feb 4, 2015

Saga#25 may relya little too heavily on Hazel's exposition/future narration, but it continues the series' tradition of strong finalactsand continues to showcase Fiona Staples' world-buildingand storytelling skills. By splitting square panels in half, sheadds heat todebates(which therearea lot of in this issue)and helps Vaughan's quick backand forth dialogue have its desired effect.Saga#25 increases the scope of the seriesand continues to show why it is one of the best looking comics whilealso balancing its family dramaand space opera elements.

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8.6
Secret Warriors (2017) #1

May 11, 2017

Secret Warriors #1 is a flashy superpowered action filled hymn of resistance against fascism from Matthew Rosenberg, Javier Garron, and Israel Silva. And it kicks off a fairly awkward assembling the team arc that isnt your typical roll-call issue of Avengers or Justice League.

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8.6
Secret Warriors (2017) #3

Jun 15, 2017

Secret Warriors #3 shows the consequences of having the two big guns on a superhero team, or really any kind of team, having moral compasses that are oriented in opposite directions. Matthew Rosenbergs writing is full of snark and spice, and we really get to know why Kamala and Quake act the way they do in this issue. Even if youre anti-Secret Empire and HYDRA Cap, this comic is worth a shot because of its gloomy color palette, moral complexity, and hey, there are dinosaurs, explosions, and creepy mad scientists too.

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7.2
Serenity: No Power In The 'Verse #1

Oct 28, 2016

No Power in the ‘Verse #1 has its work cut out for it with an underwhelming action sequences and some poor art choices. But Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, and Karl Story have a handle on how these iconic characters relate to each other, the plot has just a whiff of originality with the not so plucky Browncoat extremists to provide some hope for future issues' improvement.

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7.2
Serenity: No Power In The 'Verse #2

Nov 30, 2016

Serenity: No Power in the Verse #2 still isn't terrible and has some fun and exciting moments, like any time Jayne pops up, the reveal that the crew of Serenity could possibly be involved in a plot to take down the Alliance forever instead of just getting by, and the big hand to hand fight at the end, to balance out the pedestrian art.

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9.3
Sex Criminals #16

Feb 16, 2017

Sex Criminals#16 reminded me of why I loved this series when it first started out in 2013, which is Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's complete honesty about sex and relationships while still having some hilarious background gags from Zdarsky and an eccentric supporting cast, like the Alix who compares Jon to Don Quixote, and villains.

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10
Shade, the Changing Girl #7

Apr 5, 2017

Shade the Changing Girl#7 is a comic book reading experience that you want to bask in to the accompaniment of your favorite song when you were 17 and wanted to travel the world. ( “Wanderlust” by Metric and Lou Reed does the trick too.) Through beautiful art and poignant narration, Cecil Castellucci and Marguerite Sauvage capture the bitter tang of leaving friends behind to go on glorious adventures inspired by the art we love.

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9.0
Shade, the Changing Girl #8

May 11, 2017

One thing that I have enjoyed about the Young Animal imprint as a whole in the sheer amount of imagination it adds to the DC Universe, and Shade the Changing Girl#8is no exception. Using poetry, snatches of conversation, a whirlwind travelogue, and bursts of pop art colors, Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone, and Kelly Fitzpatrick craft a comic that will even make the most jaded Batman fan smile and maybe scratch their head a little bit. The book isa lot like those music videos that Prince, Seal, and others did for the Burton/Schumacher era Batman movies, but with like 100 times less darkness and man pain.

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8.7
Shade, the Changing Girl #10

Jul 8, 2017

Shade the Changing Girl#10 is another beautiful installment of Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone, Ande Parks, and Kelly Fitzpatrick's comic as Shade wrestles with nostalgia, reality, and death through bar fights, sitcoms, and national parks.

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8.2
Shade, the Changing Girl #11

Aug 2, 2017

Shade #11 pays homage to the world of the silver screen as well as life and death in a visceral way thanks to a double page spread where artist Marley Zarcone and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick shows Shade forcibly breathing life back into Honey Rich. Cecil Castellucci's writing is as thoughtful as ever, and I am still beaming at her extremely clever use of "changing girl" when Honey and Shade go out on the town one last time.

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8.4
Shade, the Changing Girl #12

Sep 8, 2017

Death and rebirth: it's doesn't get more beautiful and poetic than that.Shade the Changing Girl#12 explores these universal themes through the insights and character arcs crafted by Cecil Castellucci; the clean, yet bad dream-like art of Marley Zarcone and Ande Parks, and Kelly Fitzpatrick's kaleidoscope rainbow color palette. It also sets up a newly whole Shade the Changing Girl for more adventures as a human girl.

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8.0
Shame Trilogy #1

Sep 19, 2016

Iffy gender politics and fantasy cliches aside, the Shame trilogy is the pinnacle of painted comics storytelling as writer Lovern Kindzierski sets artist John Bolton loose on this fantasy/horror/fairy tale landscape and uses a variety of water color and brush techniques to depict everything from beautiful women and fashionable, sexy outfits to sinister eldritch beings and creepy castles. The comic is a true testament to his captivating imagination, and the ending teases a new character with loads of potential.

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6.0
Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (2017) #0

Aug 19, 2017

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle #0 shows that bringing back old pulp characters is a difficult task, but it has great Moritat art. She's no punk rocker that's for sure.

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9.6
Silver Surfer (2014) #11

Apr 29, 2015

Silver Surfer #11 is an example of a story that could only be done in comics and is a career highlight for both Dan Slott and Mike Allred.

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4.3
Skybourne #1

Sep 7, 2016

Skybourne #1 is a comic book length exercise is fridging that has some wicked action scenes, but Frank Cho utterly fails at making both his protagonists and antagonists likeable or interesting. The comic has a Mark Millar in the 2000s vibe, but Cho lacks Millar's sly Scottish wit and makes the rookie storytelling mistake of killing off the character readers are supposed to like before we connect to them emotionally.

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7.2
Snotgirl #2

Aug 24, 2016

Snotgirl #2 is an ode to the fleeting nature of fame in the context of the Instagram age and even if most of the issue is Bryan Lee O'Malley, Leslie Hung, and the pastel happy colorist Mickey Quinn driving Lottie's paranoid feelings home, it's a stylish read with a wry sense of humor and the beginnings of an interesting mystery plot.

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8.6
Spell On Wheels #1

Oct 20, 2016

Spell on Wheels #1's execution lives up to its intriguing premise as Kate Leth, Megan Levens, and Marissa Louise aptly balance friendship and magic when Claire, Andy, and Jolene team up to retrieve the magical items from the evil ex. That sentence makes the comic sound like a fetch quest, but the personality quirks, Levens'beautiful blend of cartooning and realism, and the promise of danger to come make this series worth picking up.

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8.4
Spider-Gwen #1

Feb 25, 2015

Spider-Gwen #1 is an energetic start to this new series with a well-developed female lead, who hasa blend of wit and inner doubts. The plot is a nice mix of the superhero, crime,and slice of life genres with a creepy looking villain to add tension and conflict. Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi give the irartan injection of punk rock with colorful graffiti that contributes to both the plot and comic's overall aesthetic.

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6.5
Spider-Gwen (2015) #2

Nov 12, 2015

Radioactive Spider-Gwen #2 has some funny moments, introduces a great new character to the Marvel library of characters, and fun art and colors from Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi, but falls short of its full potential as a title.

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8.5
Spider-Gwen (2015) #16

Jan 19, 2017

With its focus on building a connection between Miles and Gwen instead of multiverses and annoying supervillains,Spider-Gwen#16 is superior to the opening chapter of the “Sittin' in a Tree” crossover. The final night club scene also ups the intrigue as Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi continue to (web) sling out the cool visuals.

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7.2
Spider-Man (2016) #7

Aug 31, 2016

There's no real time to do a full Miles Morales storyline with him caught up in the middle of Civil War II so Bendis and Leon are biding their time in Spider-Man #7 with guest appearances and soul searching. Brian Michael Bendis is one of the great comics dialogue writers so the characterization in this issue is interesting, especially with the ideological clash between the chaotic Bombshell and the more orderly Miles, but there's no real arc just some commentary on the bigger story Bendis is writing. This ends up making Spider-Man #7 an average, not essential read unless you're a huge fan of Miles and maybe Jessica Jones. (I'm guilty as charged.)

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7.5
Spider-Man/Deadpool #1

Jan 7, 2016

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 is filled with jokes, sexual tension, gross out gags, and slightly self-aware supervillains galore all from the wacky mind palace of Deadpool legend (and basically daddy) Joe Kelly. Ed McGuinness and Mark Morales' art is slick with a side of disgusting and helps the story move on at a bouncy pace. There may be an overreliance on bathroom humor due to this issue's villain, but there's also jokes about Uber's labor practices and some great puns for folks whose eyebrows are glued on higher than the rest of us. Early on, there seems to be a gap between the Hydro Man battle and Deadpool accidentally teleporting him and Dormammu to Hell, but by the final page all his revealed along with the series' hook. It's another Deadpool redemption story, but this time with Spider-Man as his goofy guardian angel. But his path isn't as simple as that last sentence. (Deadpool does have a handy morality choosing gadget that is McGuinness' best visual funny.)

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8.6
Spider-Woman (2014) #5

Mar 4, 2015

Spider-Woman#5 reads likea cheerierAliaswith more varied panel constructions. Rodriguez'sart can showan intense conversation between Jessicaand Urich usingan old school nine panel grid oranaerial takedown shaped like the symbol on her new costume. This kind of storytelling rangealong with Hopeless' crackling dialogueand the return of Ben Urich make the new era of Spider-Womana bright, if rainy one.

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7.0
Spider-Woman (2015) #17

Mar 29, 2017

Too much ofSpider-Woman #17's running time is given to repetitive slapstick shenanigans, but it is nice to see a superhero, like Jessica Drew, who has been through some fairly dark situations since her first appearance in 1977 (See Brian Michael Bendis' New Avengersrun.)find happiness in both her superhero and personal life as a single mom and friend. Dennis Hopeless, Veronica Fish, and Rachelle Rosenberg deserve credit for giving her and Roger fantastic, overall character arcs and also fixing her friendship with Carol Danvers even in the face ofCivil War IIalthough this issue isn't one of the series' better ones.

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7.5
Star Wars (2014) #13

Dec 4, 2015

Star Wars #13 has comedy, action, and holds Vader back to make him even more terrifying as Leia and her Rebel forces charge forward while the rest of the main cast of the comic is busy fighting the supporting cast of Darth Vader. Mike Deodato's fight choreography isn't blistering, but he excels at piecing noteworthy images together, like the progression of events where Luke wakes up from his coma, kicks the annoying BT and runs to comfort R2D2 as if he's the family pet. “Vader Down's” cliffhanger game continues to be on point with yet another duel of mind and body to take place in next week's installment.

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8.0
Star Wars (2014) #14

Jan 6, 2016

Like most of the "Vader Down" crossover, Star Wars #14 is filled with plenty of epic moments, like BT taking out a squad of stormtroopers with a flamethrower, every time Darth Vader gets a line, or the fact that R2D2 has some kind of poison antidote needle in his chassis. And Jason Aaron makes these moments cohere into some kind of a whole with the shared Obi Wan Force Ghost voice for Luke and Vader. (For all of its fun, the Han and Chewbacca vs. Krrsantan plot is just filler in the larger scheme of things.) Add slightly improved art from Deodato and Martin, and the "Vader Down" finale can't come soon enough. (It comes out today as well and will be quite the family affair.)

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8.5
Star Wars (2014) Annual #2

Nov 30, 2016

Even if you're way behind on Marvel's Star Wars comics, Star Wars Annual #2 is worth picking up as Kelly Thompson and Emilio Laiso craft a protagonist, who doesn't look or think like many of the other main characters in the Star Wars universe.

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7.2
Star Wars Adventures #1

Sep 6, 2017

I'm really half and half withStar Wars Adventures#1 thanks to the backup story being underwhelming. However, the Rey story had fun art from Derek Charm, and Cavan Scott writes her like the wide eyed, self sufficient hero that I loved fromThe Force Awakens. It's the continuing story so I'll continue to check out this new comic.

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8.6
Star Wars: Darth Maul #1

Feb 1, 2017

At last we have revenge for Phantom Menaces focus on a whiny 9 year old and a Jamaican stereotype/CGI abomination in the form of Darth Maul #1, which focuses one of the few cool parts of that movie. And as a cherry on top of a red and black Zabrak sundae, theres an adorable Pixar short film meets the art style of Peanuts backup story from Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire that shows that even probe droids can have friends.

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7.0
Star Wars: Mace Windu #1

Aug 30, 2017

Mace Windu #1's mission plot isn't groundbreaking, and a decent amount of Matt Owens' story is concerned in introducing the team and re-introducing the Clone War conflict. However, he gives each member of Mace's team a unique personality, and Denys Cowan and Roberto Poggi draw the hell out of some lightsaber battles, vehicles, and Jedi council deliberations so it's worth at least a flip through.

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6.0
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1

Jan 2, 2016

Obi Wan and Anakin #1 boasts some beautiful setting work and planetary designs from Marco Checchetto although his faces are inconsistent, especially with Anakin and another padawan, who looks like a more cartoonish version of Mace Windu. Charles Soule gives his lead character distinct voices and a tense kind of camaraderie as they leap and explore this supposed abandoned planet. However, his plot runs out of steam in the last third of the book, which seems like the first few minutes of an away mission in Star Trek. So despite its interesting conversations about ethics and politics, Obi Wan and Anakin #1 ends being a bit of a mixed bag as far as plot and art and definitely has room for improvement.

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8.6
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #9

Dec 14, 2016

The Star Wars Universe has been fertile ground for a crime saga with the prominent role of the Hutts in both the original Trilogy and sequels as well as the unproduced Sopranos-esque Star Wars Underworld TV show. Poe Dameron #9 definitely cashes in with its Godfather Part II story structure showing Terexs rise to prominence, and his moves in the modern day that is about to collide with Poes super secret mission. Throw in the usual spaceships and aliens, and its a play of genres that Star Wars has been known for ever since George Lucas decided to transpose Akira Kurosawas Hidden Fortress to and recreate World War II dogfights in space.

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8.0
Star Wars: Vader Down #1

Nov 19, 2015

Even if Mike Deodato's art doesn't fit the space battle portion of the comic, Vader Down #1 is an explosive start to Marvel's first Star Wars crossover and will give Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen the once in a lifetime opportunity to show what Darth Vader would do once the chips are down. It's best read while playing "Imperial March" on an endless loop.

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8.4
Star-Lord (2016) #1

Dec 21, 2016

Star-Lord#1 is a goofy good time with a touch of infinite sadness from an all-star creative team of Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka, and Matthew Wilson that is worth picking up even if you haven't read aGuardians-related comic in over a year like yours truly. It will be amusing to see how Peter Quill “fits in” on Earth as the series progresses.

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7.0
Starfire #6

Nov 12, 2015

Palmiotti and Conner also give her incredibly threatening dialogue as she vows to kill Kragg if he hurts the people of Key West, who she has come to know, love, and protect in the first arc of Starfire. And Kori definitely seems to mean it as she throws Kragg around like a rag doll and even cuts him with his own blade before relenting and having an important character morality establishment scene when she says that she doesn't mean “eye for an eye” literally before banishing him off to space. Starfire is a character, who can become violent when people she love are threatened, but she always looks back at the light before plunging into the abyss. Her transformation from pancake related breakfast chatter to punching aliens in the face seems instantaneous, but is rooted in her personality in what could just be an action

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8.0
Stumptown (2014) #7

Aug 15, 2015

Stumptown #7 is definitely one of Dex's “weirder” cases, and Rucka continues to playfully mine Portland gourmet and hipster culture for comedic fodder. However, the tension between Dex and Fuji adds a dramatic subplot and along with Mr. Dove's real creepiness adds some mystery to what could just be a funny farce.

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8.0
Stumptown (2014) #8

Oct 28, 2015

Stumptown #8 has the right amount of murky tension in Ryan Hill's colors and Justin Greenwood's lines to go along with Greg Rucka's sardonic dialogue about its incredibly weird case. But the comic takes an unexpected turn in a way that is cleverly set up in the opening pages that plunges the plot into pure darkness Portland-style.

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5.0
Suicide Squad (2016) #1

Aug 17, 2016

Suicide Squad#1 has one solid Deadshot and one utterly unstimulating Suicide Squad story, and it's worth passing on unless you're a huge Deadshot and want to see Jason Fabok draw him teaming up with Batman.

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8.0
Supergirl (2016) #1

Sep 7, 2016

Supergirl#1 is an intense exploration of both the immigrant experience (Especially when Orlando has Kara quote the line from the oldSupermanradio show, “strange visitor from another planet.”)and the general awkwardness of moving to a new area and trying to figure out what people like and don't like and failing at fitting in. And Steve Orlando and Brian Ching aren't afraid to end this issue on a down note as Kara is no closer to feeling like she is valued by her parents, peers, and handlers at the DEO. Supergirl isn't hated and feared, but is treated like an out of place nuisance, which actually is a more relatable experience, even if she can fly and destroy assault rifles with her freeze breath.

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8.3
Supergirl (2016) #2

Oct 12, 2016

In Supergirl #2, Steve Orlando, Brian Ching, and Michael Atiyeh take the internal conflict between Earth and Krypton out of Supergirl's head and into the light of day. Cyborg Superman may speak Kara's language and give her the offer of a return to her home planet, but his Argo City is definitely not And Orlando doesn't just focus on the upcoming battle, but deepens the characters of Cat Grant and Eliza Danvers as Kara begins to forge relationships. Ching's loose, John Romita Jr-esque art style that adds energy to the brawl between Cyborg Superman and Supergirl, and Atiyeh's nostalgic color palette make Supergirl #2 a comic with both a physical and emotional punch.

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10
Supergirl: Being Super #1

Dec 28, 2016

Supergirl: Being Supergirl#1is all about being a teenager in its epic, messy, and yet normal glory that happens to star one of DC Comics' most iconic characters. I can definitely see it ending up in the pantheon of DC's other great “origin” comics likeBatman Year One, Superman Birthright, and Wonder Woman Earth One.It is also refreshing to see teenagers drawn like actual teenagers and have real teenage problems unhampered by heavy-handed metaphors courtesy of the creative team of Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones, Sandu Florea, and Kelly Fitzpatrick.

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10
Supergirl: Being Super #2

Feb 22, 2017

Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones, and Kelly Fitzpatrick turn in an authentic, heartbreaking tale of grief, loss, and friendship inSupergirl: Being Super#2 that is honestly one of the saddest comics I've ever read.

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8.0
Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Aug 17, 2016

There have been a variety of teen superheroes over the years, but Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupaccino, Ray McCarthy, and Michael Atiyeh don't weigh too heavily on high school soap opera cliches and make Kara a reflection of the classic immigrant experience as she even receives the anglicized name of Danvers instead of Zor-El. It will be interesting to see how theSupergirlteam explores this increasingly relevant theme while hopefully telling action-packed and heartfelt superhero/sci-fi stories likeSupergirl: Rebirth#1.

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8.0
Switch #2

Nov 28, 2015

Switch #2 continues writer/artists Stjepan Sejic's focus on Mary Parker's feelings and reactions to being the Witchblade bearer and its effect on her personal relationships while keeping the larger mythos elements, like the Darkness, Angelus, and the purely evil and 100% human Kenneth in the intriguing background. His skill with facial expressions and changing up layouts adds some extra zip to this conversation heavy issue.

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8.5
Swords of Sorrow #4

Aug 12, 2015

A short rough patch aside, Swords of Sorrow #4 unites its cast members under a banner of freedom and anti-heroism. Gail Simone and Sergio Davila flat out have fun bouncing characters, genres, and settings off each others with funny one-liners and small set pieces in what could have been a table setting issue. This crossover continues to get better with age even if its characters continually lose track of and joke about what era they are in.

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8.0
Swords of Sorrow #5

Sep 9, 2015

Of all the issues of Swords of Sorrow, issue 5 seems like a later chapter in a high fantasy novel with its talk of good vs. evil, alliances, and some seriously rousing speeches. However, Gail Simone takes the usually male-oriented nature of this genre creating a sisterhood of warriors with different skill sets, moral compasses, and senses of humor and sending them against an evil foe, who hates women and only uses them for his own pleasure and manipulation. Prince Charming in Swords of Sorrow is really just Immortan Joe from Mad Max Fury Road with an actual six-pack as he treats Purgatori as a sex object and sends literally mindless men into battle to capture a woman, who spurned him for wicked heart beneath his handsome exterior. And his treatment of the Chaos! women will more than likely come to bite him in the ass as the final battle comes to a conclusion next issue.

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8.5
Swords of Sorrow #6

Oct 15, 2015

Swords of Sorrow #6 has a couple predictable moments (Snow White is actually a shapeshifter.), but this is drowned out by the sheer volume of action, comedy, and female camaraderie that has been this series' hallmark from Gail Simone, Sergio Davila, and Jorge Sutil. I am still in awe of the fact that even less used characters like Pantha, Jane Porter, and Masquerade had pivotal roles to play in this finale as they drive the twisted embodiment of the patriarchy back to the chasm from whence he came.

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7.2
Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1

Sep 29, 2016

Tarzan On the Planet of the Apes #1 has some real flashes of greatness as David Walker, Tim Seeley, Fernando Dagnino, and Sandra Molina began to tell a story of a world that is trying to be a utopia, but ends up becoming a dystopia. The art and colors are pulpy and beautiful, and if the creators can make clear transitions between the different eras, this book could be an even better read.

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8.7
The Archies (One Shot) #1

May 27, 2017

The Archies#1 is another worthy addition to the “new Riverdale” books and will make you wish that Matthew Rosenberg, Alex Segura, Joe Eisma, and Matt Herms teamed up to show the band go on tour, bicker even more, and still make solid pop rock music. (The tambourine is the hidden ingredient to their musical success.) Also, Archie Andrews, goofball popular music savant is my second favorite incarnation of him after Archie Andrews, decapitated Predator victim… (That last sentence was written with nothing but love.)

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8.6
The Archies (One Shot) #2

Oct 21, 2017

The plot ofThe Archies#2 is a fairly standard young band's rise to glory story, but Joe Eisma's gesture cartooning and Herms' flashes of colors give each band member a fun, quirky personality. Also, it definitely feels like that this comic was made with love for indie music and bands out there living the struggle soThe Archies #2is a book you can give to your grandma, who grew up chuckling at the Archie comics back in the day or to your hipster friends, who might smirk at it and then longingly remember when they though they could be the next post-synth-indie-dream pop sensation. (That's my not so professional approximation of The Archies' sound.)

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8.0
The Black Hood #8

Jan 13, 2016

However, the sheer lived-in nature of Robert Hack's artwork and its engaging nature combined with Kelly Fitzpatrick's colors, and Duane Swierczynski's hardboiled crime meets salt of the earth voice for Greg Hettinger sets Black Hood #8 apart from the other superhero books currently on the stands. Add Greg's chronic inability to catch a break, and it's a riveting read even if turns into yet another hero versus villain showdown albeit with a dose of reality because of Philadelphia's real problem with homelessness and a highly unconventional lead character.

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8.0
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives #1

Dec 22, 2015

The Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives #1 is a fun, yet tragic Ghostbusters meet Indiana Jones paranormal adventure with an intelligent, complex female lead, who has a subtle sense of humor. As a first issue, there is a lot of set-up for future issues in the miniseries, but Jen Van Meter's writing keeps things interesting with a jet setting pace and a tender central relationship between Shan and her incorporeal hubby Hwen. Roberto de la Torre's art is a real treat with gorgeous cathedrals, churches, and libraries dotting the scenery to go along with his literally spectral linework. This comic is worth checking out for fans of supernatural and adventure stories and does an excellent job of introducing the character of Dr. Shan Fong-Mirage for those who didn't read the first miniseries (Like yours truly.)

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9.6
The Fade Out #4

Jan 7, 2015

This issue ofThe Fade Outtruly exists in the shadows. In many scenes, Phillips obscures Charlie's face,and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser mutes her palette in most panels. The light might catch the glass ofa picture frame ora window in the back ofa restaurant, but the charactersare shady in both their motivesandartistic depiction. However, Breitweiser indulges in bright colorsand melodrama for one big scene to show how unrealistic it is compared to the events of the rest of the story. This conflict between realityand facade has been in play throughout the whole series,and The Fade Out#4 brings it toa climax while fleshing out Charlie's characterand backstoryand showcasing Phillipsand Breitweiser's skillat blending the Golden Age of Hollywoodand film noir through theirart.

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8.7
The Fox #1

Apr 15, 2015

Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid also really dig into the idea of nostalgia through The Fox, and how the old days were pretty good, but that our memories are more important that preserving every nook and cranny of childhood. The corporation as villain has been used a lot in recent comics, but they wisely focus on the characters' feeling and interpersonal relationships while throwing in an ample dose of sarcasm, sight gags, and an actual final page cliffhanger to keep the story entertaining.

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8.5
The Goddamned #1

Nov 11, 2015

The Goddamned #1 is a masterful, unrelenting portrayal of the world of the book of Genesis from artist rm Guera and colorist Giulia Brusco, who invoke the senseless violence, godlessness, and general lack of order that makes basically every dystopia you've read about look like a dystopia. Jason Aaron adheres pretty closely to the Biblical narrative while making his protagonist Cain a more complex figure than he was shown to be in Genesis 4 while still building off his internal feelings shown in this story. All in all, The Goddamned #1 shows that the Book of Genesis was the great grandfather of the post-apocalyptic genre and is filled with imagery that will challenge and disgust readers while making them ponder their own beliefs and relationships with classic texts. Plus Guera's art kicks ass!

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7.2
The Mighty Captain Marvel #0

Dec 27, 2016

Space opera, superheroes, and psychological problems with a helping of guilt, daddy issues, and baseball jokes show that Mighty Captain Marvel #0 is its own comic book unlike the previous volume, which operated too much in the shadow of both Ultimates and Civil War II. The art could be better though.

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8.1
The Sandman Overture #6

Oct 1, 2015

Even if its plot has many incomprehensible parts, The Sandman Overture #6 captures some of the humanity of the original series while adding new wrinkles to Morpheus as a character. Colorist Dave Stewart creates surrealist vistas of color as the universe springs into life and helps Williams' art linger on the eye. Finally,The Sandman Overture#6 is a true tour de force of J.H. Williams' artistic talents as he manipulates the comics page in ways that will likely never be seen again and truly shows the unlimited potential of dreams, stories, and hope.

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8.0
The Sandman Special (2017) #1

Aug 16, 2017

What initially drew me to The Sandman Special was Jon Bogdanove's uncanny ability to make his art look like Jack Kirby's while using modern techniques like photo collages to show the surrealness of the young boy's dream world. I wish DC Comics put him on more projects.

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7.5
The Shield (2015) #1

Oct 21, 2015

The Shield #1 begins as a standard thriller story with maybe a little too much narration from novelist-turned-comics writers Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig, but turns into a more psychological story about PTSD and patriotism as the comic progresses. Much of these psychological effects come from the art and colors of Drew Johnson and Kelly Fitzpatrick, who shy away from the red, white, and blue of the color art and play with grit, grime, and hellfire explosions as Victoria Adams tries to figure out who she is, what's she's been, and what she stands for as the Shield.

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8.5
The Skeptics #4

Feb 23, 2017

Skepticshas been an exciting, twisting and turning Cold War thriller, but what will make me remember it fondly are the personalities and quirks of the characters created by Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi. From Dr. Santaclara's passion and inability to sit still to Max's charming glimpses and flirty one-liners to Mary's determination to break both gender and race barriers in her field and amazing fashion sense, I could have definitely spent more than a miniseries with this cast and seen more of this 1960s alternate history world, which eerily mirrors our own reality in 2017 with both times having underqualified billionaire princelingssitting in the Oval Office.

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10
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1

Feb 3, 2017

The Spirit Corpsemakers #1 is a study in how brush strokes and shifts in color can create suspense and atmosphere and also a damn good start to a mystery from Francesco Francavilla that gives Ebony White some time in the spotlight. And the poster worthy title page (Done in melancholy blue, which happens to be the color of The Spirits outfit.) will have you salivating even before the plot really kicks in.

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #1

Oct 28, 2015

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 is a rollicking example of visual comedy through facial reactions and beat panels from Erica Henderson, and she continues to draw the cast of the book with real human proportions even if they live in essentially a cartoon physics world where Dorreen tucking her tail in her pants to give herself a "rad badonk" is enough to conceal her secret identity. She and Ryan North continues to make jokes at the expense of the Marvel Universe while developing and expanding Squirrel Girl's supporting cast while continuing to make Unbeatable Squirrel Girl the bright center of fun in the Marvel Universe.

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7.7
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #13

Oct 20, 2016

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #13 tells the same joke about Canadians over and over and the fight against Enigmo is underwhelming, but for the most part Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi turn in another wacky installment of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl complete with Doreen revealing that she treats the squirrels she controls as friends unlike Scott Lang and his ants, Maureen Green playing the overly proud parent, and the set up for next month's heist issue. Plus there is the Marvel Comics debut of the talented Spider-Man fanzine artist Hannah Blumenreich on the reliably hilarious Deadpool trading cards that Brain Drain uses to pick a hero to help them against Enigmo

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9.5
The Wicked + The Divine #13

Aug 5, 2015

WicDiv #13 works as a deeply emotional character study and a showcase for Tula Lotay's wavy lines and play of colors while berating humanity in general's horrible of treatment of women, both on the Internet and in real life. Kieron Gillen uses the character of Tara to launch a frontal assault on journalists who treat women as sex objects (Fuck you, Daily Mail and every beach body issue of whatever celebrity rag folks are buying these days.) and brings the light of day to the darkest dregs of fandom. Sadly, some tone-deaf misogynist will slut shame a Tara cosplayer at a future comics convention, but he will be condemned by the text that he claims to love and understand.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #14

Sep 9, 2015

Like Diplo, Woden also is completely unoriginal, and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie show this by reusing art from previous issues of WicDiv and even a completely different comic (Sex Criminals). It's a bold, experimental choice and pays off as WicDiv now has its true antagonist (Sorry, Baphomet.) and is revealed to be bleaker than we originally thought, especially with a cryptic final page featuring Woden and his new Valkyrie, who may or may not be Laura. And along the way, Kieron Gillen launches some powerful and effective attacks on everything from powerful music exec to pick up artist culture and so-called nice guys. WicDiv #14 is both formally innovative and socially relevant.

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9.5
The Wicked + The Divine #16

Nov 11, 2015

WicDiv #16 seamlessly blends Morrigan's current captive state with her past as the vampire roleplayer Marian through a shared color palette from Mat Lopes, a rich attention to detail from Leila del Duca, and Kieron Gillen's purposefully overwrought Late Victorian dialogue with a touch of id whenever Badb gets to speak. Gillen uses the classic vampire metaphor to explore mortality and death with his own characters while giving them unique personalities and voices of their own. He also steps up his pun game on the final page cliffhanger, which sets up a war between Baphomet and the rest of the gods with Morrigan's role in the proceedings left ambiguous as she is the perfect blend of angry and a little overjoyed to see Baphomet's face in ketchup and hamburger.

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9.8
The Wicked + The Divine #18

Apr 6, 2016

After opening with a gorgeous full page spread of Persephone in all her glory and creating a parallel between Persephone losing her parents and Minerva still wanting to keep hers,WicDiv#18 dives right into the set pieces as the characters that Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson have been building off get to blow off some steam in an epic way. McKelvie truly makes Persephone the star of the show design-wise while making her simultaneously non-chalant and pissed off at Ananke, and Wilson's color work for her is intoxicating with blacks for the underworld and pinks and greens for spring when she is using her abilities in Valhalla.WicDiv#18 is electrifying reading, and its more quiet final page really messes with the character dynamics and sets up a war, both physical and emotional. No one is going to be okay by time this arc wraps up.

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8.5
The Wicked + The Divine #19

May 5, 2016

WicDiv#19 deepens the evil of Ananke and the characters of Minerva and Dionysuswhile having some pyrotechnics-filled god battles from artist Jamie McKelvie and colorist Matthew Wilson.Writer Kieron Gillen also starts to hint at Persephone not being the heroic, divine upgrade of Laura that fans expected as both the sky and underground Pantheon are cast in a net of lies, strained relationships, and volatile personalities. Morrigan and Baal are definitely the proverbial waterand oil mixture (Or Yeezy/Nightwish mashup I never knew I wanted.) after this issue despite not interacting too much before.

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8.6
The Wicked + The Divine #20

Jun 8, 2016

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie expertly use flashbacks in WicDiv #20 to shed new light on characters like Baphomet, Persephone, and Ananke. The comic also has some shocking reveals, is excellently colored by Matthew Wilson, and is a success on a visual, visceral, and intellectual level.

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8.6
The Wicked + The Divine #21

Jul 13, 2016

WicDiv #21 features intense colors from Matthew Wilson, epic and tragic art from Jamie McKelvie, and Kieron Gillen continues to explore theme of youthful energy exploited by the old and power hungry while taking the overall plot to a dangerous place for our favorite gods and goddesses in a deafening crescendo that is William Blake meets Daft Punk.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #22

Aug 17, 2016

All in all, WicDiv #22 will give you angry chills and hot tears until November when the "Imperial Phase" arc starts.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #23

Nov 2, 2016

I guess the best way to describe WicDiv #23 is that it's the most WicDiv issue of WicDiv that ever WicDiv-ed with something for the inner fan, critic, and artist in you. WicDiv is better than anything on TV or playing in cinemas currently.

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8.6
The Wicked + The Divine #24

Dec 8, 2016

WicDiv #24 puts Persephone on a path straight to the dark side through her words, actions, and even Matthew Wilson's color palette. This issue combines indulgence and investigation beginning with a party and ending in yet another god on god duel.

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8.6
The Wicked + The Divine #25

Jan 5, 2017

The showdown between Persephone and Woden with Urdr acting as the beleaguered line judge comes to an uneasy truce with Woden coming off as just as much as a fuckboy as usual despite freeing the Valkyries. But Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson also take time to show these powerful gods mortality and uncertainty about death in WicDiv #25, and those pages plus crazy cliffhanger are what will stick with me moving forward.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #26

Feb 8, 2017

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson hit that lovely sweet spot between action and characterization in WicDiv #26 while adding a little madness to what is definitely not going to be a straightforward flawed people put aside their differences to fight a greater evil narrative and ransacking character relationships in the process. Also, there's something plain fun about supremely attractive beings (Amaterasu slays with her wing tip makeup.) debating philosophy.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #28

Apr 13, 2017

Everyone is just fucked up in WicDiv #28 as Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson show the unraveling of relationships as conversation turns to violent threats and actual violence in shades of red and black. These stylish characters have been stripped down to their ugly essences with Sakhmet's bloodstained mouth representing most of the Pantheon, who have been utterly consumed by fame and power, that they are inspiring absolutely no one and could end up leading to the end of the world.

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8.8
The Wicked + The Divine #29

Jul 6, 2017

With a dollop of dark energy and pinch of sadness in Jamie McKelvie's art and Matthew Wilson's colors,WicDiv#29 continues to chronicle Persephone's development into the Destroyer as Kieron Gillen throws away the seemingly beautiful apple that was the Pantheon's relationships and exposes its rotten core, black as Morrigan's wardrobe.

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8.2
The Wicked + The Divine #30

Aug 9, 2017

WicDiv #30 shows that even right before an impending apocalyptic event, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson still take time to have readers listen and empathize with the Pantheon members' emotions and problems. They also continue to use the highly stylized trappings of the Pantheon to shed light on real world problems, like abusive relationships. Even though they're fictional, I care about Dionysus and Baphomet like they are real people and hope for the best for them. But, knowing WicDiv's past approach to characters with softer edges (RIP Fangirl Laura and Inanna) that won't likely be the case.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #31

Sep 6, 2017

To not end this review on a glib Pulp Fictionreference,WicDiv#31 (Especially the Amaterasu scenes) pairs nicely with “Rabbit Heart” by Florence + the Machine, which is one of the first tracks on Kieron Gillen'sThe Wicked + the Divineplaylist. It'll break your ginger sun goddess loving heart.

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9.4
The Wicked + The Divine #32

Oct 12, 2017

WicDiv#32 is a true companion to the universe shattering, plot demolishingWicDiv#31, but Kieron Gillen either tapers off or adds elements to character arcs to go with Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson's fireworks or quiet artistic moments. With the deaths of Dionysus and Sakhmet, a lot of rage and serenity has exited the building along with WicDiv‘s respective superego and id, but my excitement for the “Imperial Phase Part 2” conclusion has definitely increased.

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9.8
The Wicked + The Divine: 455 AD #1

May 18, 2017

WicDiv455 melds the trashy, lavish, and violent aesthetic of the late period Roman Empire with the thought and creativity of the Augustan Age, and there's (maybe) no possibility of it being used as propaganda like theAeneid. Like a passage from theSatyricon, Kieron Gillen, Andre Araujo, and Matthew Wilson meld humanity's basest desires for sex and violence with our highest urges for glory and legacy into a comic book feast that will have you begging for seconds and looking up Emperor Tiberius' recipe for roasted dormouse on Pinterest between rereads.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine: 1831 #1

Sep 21, 2016

If you wanna feel sad about death and art and steampunk Mary Shelley, check out this comic.

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8.2
Thor (2014) Annual #1

Feb 26, 2015

Thor Annual#1's three storiesmight make up a perfectanthology, but it shows that stories with iconic characters can be told in many styles and tones. Each story has well-rendered art and some thought-provoking and/or hilarious momentsand is worth picking up forany fan of Odinson, Thor, or the creators thatappear in this comic

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2016) #1

May 4, 2016

Except for the interactions between Bucky and Kobik, Fixer's supreme arrogance which ends up reading like a parody of Hank Pym and Reed Richards, and occasional fun banter from writer Jim Zub, Thunderbolts #1 is a paint by numbers superhero team book with a smidgen of espionage elements. And it slips from average to borderline bad in Jon Malin's 1990s Marvel house style art work, which is an awkward fit for Matt Yackey's garish digital colors.

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9.0
Tomboy #1

Nov 18, 2015

Tomboy #1 successfully combines the Magical Girl and vigilante genres through Mia Goodwin's art with manga-style figures to go with the grisly images of dead bodies and spattered gore and mix of bright and cold colors depending on the mood of the scene. Goodwin also builds the characters of Addison, her dad and granddad before unleashing hell with not one, but two murders of people close to them. With her authentic handling of the grieving process and the effects of violence, Mia Goodwin shows that there is room for earned darkness in Magical Girl stories in Tomboy #1.

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6.0
Torchwood #1

Aug 4, 2016

The plot ofTorchwood#1 is pretty slapdash so far, but John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman have a nice handle of the characters' voices and create an easy repartee between Captain Jack and his crew mates on theIce Maiden as well as Gwen when she shows up. (Of course, he's sleeping with the hunky weapons master and Cajun food chef.) Antonio Fuso and Pasquale Qualano's art isn't spectacular, but it matches the chaotic feel of the story as well as bringing out little, yet important things about the characters, like Captain Jack's ultra-confidence and Gwen's love for Rhys.

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7.0
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #4

May 7, 2014

The problems with Colak's art detract from the reading experience, but Pak ends the first arc of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter in an action-packed fashion while still remaining true to his protagonist's outsider nature.

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7.2
Ultimate End #1

May 20, 2015

Ultimate End#1 squandersa pair of exciting cold opensand turns intoa snoozefest for the restof the issue withan occasional funny or insightful line from Brian Michael Bendisandan interesting composition of panels from Mark Bagleyand inker Scott Hanna. Bagley had to drawa lot of charactersand crowd scenes in this issue,and Hanna should be commended for giving them definition with the exception ofa short exchange between Hawkeyeand Black Widow where their bodiesare obscured.Ultimate End#1 isa disappointment for Ultimate Universe fansand a verbose, well-drawn mess for new readers.

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9.3
Ultimates (2015) #12

Oct 27, 2016

Ultimates #12 ties up the loose relationship ends, especially concerning Captain Marvel and makes final remarks about predictive justice so that Al Ewing and Christian Ward can tell a full blast cosmic epic in the next volume of the series. By the time, you turn the final page, it is guaranteed that you will be a Galactus fan.

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8.7
Ultimates 2 (2016) #1

Nov 23, 2016

Ultimates 2 #1 is a slow burn start to Al Ewing and Travel Foreman's cosmic story of redemption as former baddies Galactus and Anti-Man lead the fight against a nefarious force that threatens to destroy the multiverse, timestream, and basically everything. But even though the comic's scope is massive (And Dan Brown's color palette is intoxicating.), they don't neglect the individual personalities of the Ultimates' members and their relationships between the double page tapestries of nearly omnipotent beings in pain. (Poor Eternity!)

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8.3
Ultimates 2 (2016) #100

Aug 19, 2017

In Ultimates2 #100, Al Ewing ties his team of Ultimates in with the original Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch in a non-awkward way and also paves the way for any alternate universe characters to return after the events of Secret Wars. Once again, he shows a rare talent for combining epic, high level plotting with characters (Including Galactus), who have genuine emotional arcs. Honestly, he should be in charge of Marvel's next blockbuster event

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8.5
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #600

Nov 5, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #600 features some of the most visually pleasing superhero art of 2015 and is a thematically rich conclusion to Brian Michael Bendis' X-Men epic. It casts aside the action for 36 pages of well-earned character interaction and progression from Beast's fall into villainy to Jean Grey and young Beast's romance and the older Cyclops' well-worn and still criticized path to leadership and change. For me, the best part was the older Iceman coming to terms with his sexuality and realizing that being out could improve his life as both a hero and person in a slightly awkward sequence filled with hope, heart, and humor. Brian Michael Bendis ends his time on the X-Men on a note of victory and family reunion, but with just a touch of darkness

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8.5
Vampirella (2016) #1

Mar 2, 2016

Kate Leth's script forVampirella#1 is witty and worldly combining quick hittingbanter with Old and New Hollywood scheming. Slade might dress like a 1930s starlet, but her techniques for getting at Vampi are veryTMZ.Artist Eman Casallos cuts up the page with multiple panels and plenty of space between them to show Vampirella's speed as she dispatches Slade's goons, who interrupt her sexy time and singlehandedly brings vampire clubs out of cold storage. Colorist Valentine Pinto goes dark with her palette, but differentiates the steamy silhouettes of Vampi and Tristan rolling around in the sheets with the stark black and blue horror of the victim of the month in the comic's opening.

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8.5
Vision #7

May 11, 2016

Vision#7 is a shining example of using continuity to enhance a series and a character as Tom King uses Vision's past struggles with deception and starting a family to inform his current reality. There is also a nice twist towards the end that shows why his family in the currentVisionis so Stepford-like that is set up by Kurt Busiek and George Perez's excellent run onAvengers. Vision wants to have the idyllic, suburban life with two kids, a wife, a dog, and PTA meetings and will, but as we've seen so far, that this includes compromising his moral and heroic compass. Relationships are organic, not synthetic, and King, Walsh, and Bellaire show this in the flashback scenes with Scarlet Witch that are sexy and adorableat times that contrasts with his current, almost lifeless relationship with Vivian.

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9.0
Wayward #3

Oct 29, 2014

One criticism I had with the art is how the exaggerated faces that Cummings' figure pull didn't always mesh well with Zub's snarky, understated dialogue. There is one scene in particular where Shira stops bantering with Roriand scares her toactivate her power. This could bea funny bit of physical comedy, but I ended up laughingatShira's werewolf like face. However, this is one minor problem inan otherwise excellent comic. Zub writes teenage interactionsand problems realistically while balancing the supernatural elements and world-building.Cummings'art continues to explore the wonderand horror of Tokyoas wellas show the characters in dynamicaction. Throw ina few mysteriesand some beautiful sunsets from colorists Rauchand Zub,andWayward#3 is the best issue of the series so far.

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8.5
We Are Robin #6

Nov 28, 2015

We Are Robin #6 is an emphatic conclusion to Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes', and Christine Duarte Peter's first arc of this ode to ordinary teens' thirst for justice. Each member of the We Are Robin crew gets a spotlight moment or two against the basically unbeatable Talon, and their flaws are clearly on display. The inclusion of the media POV on things is a harsh satire of the mainstream news media's distrust and/or disdain of teenage activism while also establishing the Robins as legit heroes complete with their own powerful, skeptical naysayers in the tradition of J. Jonah Jameson and other fictional personalities too numerous to list.

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8.5
We Can Never Go Home #5

Dec 1, 2015

We Can Never Go Home #5 has several dramatic reversals and gut punching action sequences, but writers Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon never neglect the extremely different character arcs of Madison Munroe and Duncan Schmidt.

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8.5
Welcome to Showside #1

Oct 24, 2015

Welcome to Showside #1 is a partially light, partially dark introduction to the fantastic world of Showside as writer/artist Ian McGinty shows Kit and his close knit group of friends at play and at action in a bright, playful art style that looks like animation with a touch of retro video games. Throw in a funny backup story with art from Carey Pietsch (Marceline Gone Adrift), and Welcome to Showside #1 is a spoopy trick or treat for your eyes and funny bone with relatable characters and fantastic worldbuilding just in time for Halloween.

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9.0
Welcome to Showside #2

Nov 25, 2015

With its joke filled, laid back dialogue, fun world building, and non-preachy connection to real world issues, Welcome to Showside #2 is another stellar showing for Ian McGinty and Fred Stresing. Toulouse Stone even gets a complete arc as he goes from a timid, little nerd boy to a monster fighter like his sister and father, but with an extra side of compassion to go with his can of whoop ass. Also, who can pass up a book where the main character rocks hamburger swim trunks.

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9.0
Welcome to Showside #3

Jan 19, 2016

Welcome to Showside#3 is worth picking up just for Kit's fabulous blue tuxedo and skull bowtie combo.

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9.0
Welcome to Showside #4

May 2, 2016

Welcome to Showside #4 continues to be both hilarious and suspenseful as Ian McGinty and Samantha Knapp make fun of Tinder and the emotional power of Gerard Way's old band on tiny blue creatures while giving Kit and his friends a villain that is both powerful, entertaining, and certainly not monosyllabic in Frank. (Be sure to read his parts in your best Henry Rollins voice.)

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8.5
Welcome to Showside #5

Jun 3, 2016

Welcome to Showside#5 ties a nice bow on this dark, yet adorable world crafted by Ian McGinty, Samantha Knapp, and Fred Stresing with plenty of action, humor, and heart. McGinty and Knapp give supporting monsters like Climp plenty to do in this final issue as they make the great point that no one is fully evil or fully good. Kit has also become quite the three dimensional character to go with his nifty design and hopefully there will be more adventures with him, Moon, Belle, and Boo in the future as the Shadow King is still a threat.

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9.0
Winnebago Graveyard #1

Jun 14, 2017

PaitreWinnebago Graveyard#1 made me never want to leave an urban adjacent area and have my cellphone permanently glued to my hand. Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, and Stephane au are masters of gory and atmospheric horror storytelling, and your heart will feel like the creepy naked guy's heart in the first few pages when you reach the final page cliffhanger.

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7.3
Wonder Woman '77 Meets the Bionic Woman #1

Dec 7, 2016

At its best,Wonder Woman '77/Bionic Woman#1 is quick hitting, empowering fun with a retro twist as Diana and Jaime fight Cold War era bad guys. At its worst, there is occasionally no room to breathe in the story as Mangels and Tondora cram in plot beat after plot beat and extra character after character. For example, the first transformation sequence from Diana to Wonder Woman is only about a quarter of a page and falls short of the iconic moment in the show and even a recent homage to it inSupergirl. But the sound effects and active backgrounds keep the story's momentum going and makeWonder Woman '77/Bionic Woman#1 a slightly above average read.

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8.3
Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special #1

Jun 21, 2017

And since the feast in Themiscyra is in Taz's honor, the traditional Trojan War story takes a bit of a chaotic twist. However, it makes the backup story and the wholeWonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Specialthat much endearing as Tony Bedard, Barry Kitson, and company start with the horror of Diana being hunted by Taz and end up in riotous comedy of them feasting and poking fun at the Trojan War.

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9.0
Wonder Woman: Earth One #1

Apr 16, 2016

Like most of Grant Morrison's comics, Wonder Woman Earth One is a layered narrative that explores the character and icon of Wonder Woman, what she meant in the 1940s and what she meant today. Morrison and Paquette give Diana a real humanity and arc as a character as she goes from loathing man's world to deciding to help women everywhere and turning her back on her heritage. They let her be a woman first and then a superhero towards the very end, which is refreshing and why this comic is worth a read for Wonder Woman newbies (Like me.) and experts.

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7.2
X-Men: Blue (2017) #1

Apr 12, 2017

Until the final few pages and backup story, X-Men Blue #1 seems like a generic comedic superhero team adventure book with nostalgic nods at Lee and Kirby and Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrums run on X-Men for older fans. But then a spectacular plot twist happens, and the cheesy jokes seem like these time displaced teens attempting to stave off the darkness that they have become a part of for some reason or another.

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7.2
X-Men: Blue (2017) #4

May 27, 2017

A slightly intriguing final page teaser (But did anybody really want that much of a callback to a Brian Wood comic.)and the fun chemistry and interplay between the original five X-Men thanks to Cullen Bunn's rapid fire writing makeX-Men Blue#4 bearable. (I'm calling Jimmy Hudson “Young Man Logan” from now on”.) Sadly, the plotline does feel like filler compared to the lofty heights of the opening arc thanks to its reliance on the bad cover version of Wolverine and will definitely be a snooze to anyone who missed Ultimate X, Wood's run onUltimate Comics X-Men, or the Ultimate Universe crossover arc ofAll-New X-Men.

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8.6
X-Men: Gold (2017) #1

Apr 6, 2017

In X-Men Gold #1, Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten, and Frank Martin show that they can deliver on the flashy action as well as the quiet, usually angst filled character moments that are the reason why I and others fell in love with this franchise. Honestly, I was sold when Kitty Pryde said To me, my X-Men and then progressed to phasing a giant skyscraper through the ground. This is the best she has been written since Jason Aarons Wolverine and the X-Men.

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7.0
Zodiac Starforce #1

Aug 26, 2015

In the last few pages, Panetta, Ganucheau, and Ganucheau show Zodiac Starforce‘s potential to be a more nefarious take on a mythos that is usually bright and cheery, and Panetta begins to craft distinctions between characters like Kim and Savanna, who have fun as Starforce Cadets versus Emma, who is starting to see the serious implications of her powers. These sequences go above and beyond the cliches of the still stylishly drawn and colored high school party scene and give hope for Zodiac Starforce to transcend its influences and be an original, emotionally resonant take on the teen superheroine and Magical Girl genre.

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8.5
Zodiac Starforce #2

Sep 30, 2015

In issue two, Zodiac Starforce starts to go beyond its influences and becomes its own story as Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau give each team member their own mini-arc to go with the demon fighting from Emma struggling with sickness to Savi starting to fall for and open up to Lily and Molly and Kim's volleyball hijinks. The Ganucheaus' art and colors continues to be stellar with unique panel layouts for the action scenes and a careful use of close-ups for emotional scenes like when Savi starts to tell Lily about her powers. I was thrilled by the fight scenes and really started to care about the character by the end of the issue.

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8.0
Zodiac Starforce #3

Nov 11, 2015

Zodiac Starforce #3 adds depth to its Big Bad, Diana, and balances fun and darkness with the introduction of the High School Detective Club. And Paulina Ganucheau's character design, fight choreography, and vibrant color palette without a black or grey in sight continues to impress and make the book literally beam.

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