Michael Thao's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Geek'd Out Reviews: 12
9.0Avg. Review Rating

10
6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1

Jun 9, 2021

The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton is, at times, surprisingly dramatic and scrappy yet incredibly heartfelt. The mystery surrounding the death of Trigger Keaton is the least interesting part in a book whose characters quickly won me over. They're woefully inept yet lovable, and they steal the show in this first issue. But above all, Six Sidekicks is simply just a hilarious and witty book that will no doubt bring a smile to your face. This is the first I've read of Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer's work, and it definitely won't be the last.

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8.5
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1

Feb 12, 2020

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1 largely provides setup and background for new fans, and, though this approach may simply be a rehash to longtime fans regarding where Conner and Palmiotti left off with the character, it is a welcome return as the issue stays engaging and humorous throughout. And though the other half of the title doesn't get much time in the story, it becomes clear by the end of the issue that Conner and Palmiotti are ready to hit the gas petal on Harley's adventure with the Birds of Prey.

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8.6
Heavy #1

Sep 16, 2020

As a first issue, Heavy does a good job at setting up the world and leaving you wanting more. The script and artwork provide great humor and pathos from its main protagonist, while the candy-coated color palette helps breathe life into its pages. From interviews with Bemis, it's clear that Heavy is a deeply personal tale. It's the product of years of his own experiences wrapped up in a story of “dumb boys with big guns.” Even if readers don't connect with his themes right away, they will no doubt still have a good time with Heavy.With this first issue,Heavypromises to be a cosmically violent epic with a heart of gold.

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8
Helm Greycastle #1

Apr 28, 2021

Most people will be very familiar with the sword and sorcery found in Helm Greycastle. However, I suspect many will be unfamiliar with Mesoamerican history and culture, myself included. This is where Helm Greycastle succeeds in its first issue. Pencils and colors by Handoko and Valenza, respectively, breath a lot of life into the clashing characters and cultures. Seriously, those obsidian-bladed maces are something I want to use in my own D&D game. Fortunately, future issues seem to be promising a stronger focus on the Mesoamerican aspect. The book also comes with a free D&D 5th edition one-shot for all you tabletop nerds (I say that last part out loud as I look into a mirror). But if you're looking for a new perspective on the standard western high fantasy setting, then Helm Greycastle #1may be worth checking out.

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9.5
Lost Soldiers (2020) #1

Jul 29, 2020

Lost Soldiers #1 brings with it a confident creative team who are all on the same page. The story drags a bit in the middle with some heavy dialogue and jargon-filled panels, but the art remains on-point and consistent with the commentary Kot wants to convey. With an impressive first issue and only four more to go, readers won't want to miss out on this mini-series

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8.3
Plunge #1

Feb 19, 2020

This issue could very well just be suffering from first issue-itis, and I think Hill is an experienced enough writer that we can expect to see some more interesting character beats as issues come out. But for now, the art and the continuing mystery of the Dereleth is what is propelling this story forward.

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9.4
Plunge #2

Mar 18, 2020

With four issues left and an island full of questions that need answers, Hill continues to move the story along at a brisk and captivating pace. There's lots of interesting threads pulling this story together, and readers will want to stick around to find out what the Carpenter Salvage crew pulls out of the water next issue.

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8.6
Stargazer #1

Aug 12, 2020

Stargazer #1 is a perfect example of a creative team firing on all cylinders, and it'll be interesting to see where the story goes from here. There's also a surprising sense of cosmic horror sprinkled in, and it'll be interesting to see how far they go with it. Fans of '80s inspired media will undoubtedly enjoy this book while those burnt out will find something refreshing about this story.

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9.4
Strange Adventures (2020) #1

Mar 4, 2020

With Strange Adventures, King looks to have yet another successful maxi series under his belt, proving once again that this kind of self-contained storytelling is where he's most comfortable. However, those burnt out on his work may want to sit this one out as he goes through much of the same execution as he does for books like Mister Miracle and Vision. This is wholeheartedly a book for King fans through and through and will likely be an instant pull list addition for many.

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10
The Good Asian #1

May 5, 2021

Pichetshote and Tefenkgi have crafted a smart and tightly-paced Chinatown noir that takes on the model minority theory head-on. In The Good Asian,actual working class Asian Americans are featured, and it isn't exactly glamorous. Tefenkgi's pencils are a surprising fit for this gritty 1930s noir tale, and Loughridge's use of colors makes each section of the story pop. The Good Asian is an evocative title, and, thankfully, it delivers. And like any good mystery, itkeeps you on your toes and eagerly flipping pages. Be sure to pick up a copy ofThe Good Asian #1 wherever you get your comicbooks.

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8.8
The Last Witch #1

Jan 6, 2021

As a YA book, The Last Witchpromises to be a great introduction into darker fantasy stories akin to The Lord of the Rings (1954) novels orCoraline (2002). A tight script, along with concise panel layouts, will makeThe Last Witch easy to follow for newcomers to the comicbook medium. And, though experienced readers may be familiar with the tropes used in The Last Witch, the deceptively whimsical art by both Nesterenko and Glass, along with the likable characters, should still interest adult readers as well.

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9.3
Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes OGN

Jun 15, 2020

Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopesis a necessary story that helps to keep alive the spirit of a generation that dared to speak out.

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