Mike Maillaro's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Critical Blast Reviews: 58
8.5Avg. Review Rating

8.0
Aliens/Vampirella #1

Sep 3, 2015

This was an enjoyable first issue. A little dry and dialogue heavy, but I still liked it quite a bit and will be curious to see where we go from here.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #14

Feb 14, 2015

I did think the ending was a little anti-climactic, and that things tied up a little too neatly, but all in all, I loved Spider-Verse and this was another very good issue. I am really curious about how things will wrap up in the epilogue issues, especially with the missing Kaine and the fate of Superior Spider-Man.

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7.0
Amazing X-Men #15

Jan 14, 2015

Amazing X-Men has been an entertaining book throughout it's current run, and this issue was in the same vein. I just wish they would move the stories forward a little faster. There was just way too much padding here.

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9.0
Animosity #1

Aug 6, 2016

This comic wasn't quite perfect, but I still really enjoyed it. A solid first issue that sets up a very unique comic world. Hopefully the pacing will slow down some in later issues because I think Aftershock could have another great comic on its hands here.

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10
Archie (2015) #1

Jul 9, 2015

Actually, not that I write it, that is the perfect way to describe this new ARCHIE. Waid and Fiona had a tricky balancing act to pull off here, and they both succeeded admirably. This comic could have been a train wreck in lesser hands, but instead, we got a very impressive new series here that I can't wait to read more of. New Archie has been on my radar from day one..and it definitely looks like it will be staying there.

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9.0
Batman: Eternal #52

Apr 3, 2015

DC seems to love doing these weekly titles, and they are often a mixed bag. I thought World's End and Future's End were okay, though those books tended to wander around quite a bit, and the endings weren't all that satisfying. Batman Eternal was probably a little too long, but it was a great book with a perfect ending.

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4.0
Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return #1

Mar 15, 2015

If you liked BOTH Bill and Ted movies, this comic might appeal to you much more than it did for me. But, I definitely found myself losing interest, and the awful backup killed it for good. I'm sorry to say I won't be picking up the rest of this mini.

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9.0
Black Magick #1

Nov 3, 2015

All that aside, BLACK MAGICK is a terrific new series, and I am definitely onboard as a customer. Rucka and Scott are a terrific team, and I can't wait to see where they can take BLACK MAGICK. I have added it to my pull list to ensure that buying issue 2 won't just be another happy accident. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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9.0
Bloodshot: Reborn #1

Apr 14, 2015

Bloodshot Reborn is another terrific Valiant series. It is a real great time to be a comic fan, especially if you're willing to dig a little deeper than Marvel and DC. Archie, Image, Dark Horse, Boom, Dynamite, and Valiant has been putting out a lot of really great comics lately. I hear a lot of fans complaining about event overload, but they still will go out and buy Convergence and Secret Wars. If you do that and ignore the great work being put out by the indy companies, you give up all right to complain.

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10
Bloodshot: Salvation #1

Sep 15, 2017

Valiant seems to be great at writing compelling first issues. Everything a new reader needs to get caught up is presented in a way to catch them up. And they dig their hooks in early, making you wanna run out and buy the next issue immediately. I complain a lot about badly done first issues, but Valiant is batting close to a 1.000 when it comes to first issues. BLOODSHOT SALVATION #1 is no exception. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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10
Captain America: Sam Wilson #25

Aug 11, 2017

In the history books, if Marvel keeps moving in a more positive direction, this book is going to go down as WHEN IT ALL STARTED. This and SECRET EMPIRE #8 are the two best comics I've read in a very long time.

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7.0
Charmed: Season 10 #7

Apr 27, 2015

This issue was kind of just there for me, which is often the hardest review to write. When I love or hate a comic, words just flow for me. I think I am just not a good enough writer to be able to find clever ways to say, "this issue isn't bad"but it will never be anyone's all-time favorite comic." But, that is pretty much exactly how I feel about this comic. Good setup for the next arc, but not much else going on here.

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7.0
Chrononauts #1

Mar 21, 2015

Overall, I thought this was a real good first issue, and with just a few small tweaks, this has the potential to be a great series. It seems like Millar was getting the general housekeeping out of the way in the first issue...introduce the characters, set the scene, and then tell a big time-hopping epic. I can't wait for it to pick up, this has some potential to be another huge hit for Image.

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9.0
Convergence: Speed Force #1

Apr 12, 2015

This issue was a great way to give quick glimpses at the various cities Telos has taken. Anyone reading Convergence needs to read this issue, it definitely gives the clearest explanation of everything that is going on here. I also thought the relationship between Wally and the twins was real well done here. My only gripe with this issue is that it seemed to have a strange continuity glitch. The narration at the end says Jai lost his powers and Iris had become Impulse...but neither of those things happened here. They both have powers and generic costumes, no heroic identities.

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10
Convergence: Superman #1

Apr 12, 2015

There was a lot to process in this one. I especially liked Flashpoint Batman realizing that in Superman's world, Bruce was still alive, and Flashpoint Superman desperately wanting to see that world's Lois. Who knew hot headed Jimmy Olsen could cause so much trouble. Jurgens has always been my favorite Superman writer, and this was just a great comic.

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6.0
Convergence: The Atom #1

Apr 12, 2015

This was kind of a fun story, but I've never been an Atom fan, outside of the version of Arrow. This was probably the week 1 title I had the least amount of interest in, and nothing here changed my mind. It wasn't particularly bad in any way, just nothing all that memorable.

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10
Convergence: The Question #1

Apr 12, 2015

It was pretty cool that this issue compares the events of Convergence to No Man's Land. You would think more people in Gotham pre-New 52 would have made that comparison, but this was the first place I've seen it. The relationship between Two-Face and Question (in and out of costume) was really well done, and definitely helped elevate this book to me. This book also seemed to not involve any other DC reality, but still made real good use of the dome. A great issue, but with Rucka and Hamner, it really could not have been bad.

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8.0
Convergence: Titans #1

Apr 12, 2015

There was a lot of great Roy Harper moments in this issue. I missed Pre-52 Roy, even if DC had made his life into a series of unfortunate events. This could have been a great issue, but it did tend to meander a bit, and I thought it was odd that the two Titans powerhouses needed to be saved by Roy. Kori and Donna did just about nothing in this issue.

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8.0
Dead Drop #1

May 4, 2015

All in all, this was a real good first issue. X-O and Neville were written perfectly, the terrorists seemed like a worthy threat to involve a good chunk of the Valiant universe. And you have a real good jumping on point for anyone who wants to check Valiant out. Which you should! They are putting out terrific comics each and every month, and Dead Drop is another great one. I did think the art was a little inconsistent, but the fast pace story and characterization more than made up for that for me.

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8.0
Devolution #1

Jan 24, 2016

But all in all, I thought DEVOLUTION #1was a strong, compelling first issue. Dynamite continues its' streak of really good first issues. Rick Remender seems in his wheelhouse when he's writing dystopian worlds, and DEVOLUTION seems to have a lot to offer the reader. I will definitely be sticking around for a few issues at least to see how this one plays out.

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9.0
Divinity #1

Feb 8, 2015

That said, it really didn't change my feelings about this book. Divinity is a great new comic from Valiant, and seems to start an exciting new chapter of Valiant. I have wanted to see what Valiant can do outside the confines of the Valiant universe, and if Divinity is a sign of things to come, then Valiant should be in great shape!

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7.0
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1

Mar 18, 2015

This was a great way to bring the Ninth Doctor back. I really hope that this book is a success and opens the door for more stories featuring other incarnations of the Doctor. That said, between TV, books, and comics, all of the other Doctors (including the Eighth Doctor who despite only one TV appearance had a ton of books) have had a lot of time in the spotlight. So I want to see more of the Ninth Doctor. AND more than that, I also want to see more of the War Doctor and his experiences during the Time War.

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10
Empress #1

Apr 13, 2016

When I had read the solicit for EMPRESS, I kind of expected something similar to Mark Waid's EMPIRE. But as usual, Mark Millar puts plenty of new twists into the story. Millar seems very comfortable creating strong new series, especially with terrific first issues. I have been critical of some of Millar's more mainstream work (like Ultimates or Civil War), but when it's creator-owned, he puts out some excellent comics. Usually I can find at least some small thing to complain about in any comic I read, but EMPRESS #1 was pretty close to flawless.

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7.0
Extraordinary X-Men #1

Nov 10, 2015

The sad part is that this book was very well written, and I am sure it will appeal to a lot of people, but it's just not my kind of X-Men book. I think it's important for a critic to know the difference between "not for me" and "not for anyone." This book is just not for me. While most of Marvel seems to be moving in a more light-hearted direction, the X-Men are still dwelling in grimdark land, and that just has no appeal to me. Your own personal preferences may vary.

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10
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Feb 2, 2016

As you can tell from my review, when I was reading FAITH I was reminded of quite a few other comics out there. But don't take that as me not liking this book or calling it derivative. Just the opposite! FAITH takes what other comics are doing and really makes it feel unique and fleshed out here. I enjoyed this issue so much, I actually would like to see it as an ongoing series. It seems like FAITH's and the creative team have a lot to offer here.

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9.0
Family Pets #1

Sep 30, 2015

FAMILY PETS is a just about a perfect graphic novel. It's nice when you can get a complete story in 6 issues for less than 10 bucks. That doesn't happen much anymore, everyone seems to be looking to use mini-series to launch longer stories. Granted there is some space for a sequel here, but I still think we got a perfect, self-contained story here. Highly recommended!

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9.0
Generations: Banner Hulk & The Totally Awesome Hulk #1

Aug 6, 2017

But aside from that, I did enjoy what this comic had to offer. Lots of action and some strong characterization for both Hulks. The art and writing were top notch, and I am real curious where Amadeus goes from here when Marvel Legacy starts up.

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6.0
Gold Key Alliance #1

Apr 13, 2016

Dynamite typically does a good job bringing it's licensed characters together, so I still have a lot of faith in this series. The first issue felt like setup. Hopefully, they will get a chance to help establish these characters a little better. Like I said before, this wasn't a bad comic, I am just not sure there was enough here to really grab an audience.

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9.0
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz: Reign of the Witch Queen #1

Apr 28, 2015

This was a very good comic. It captured the magic of Oz perfectly and should appeal to new readers and Oz fans alike. I believe this is the end of Zenescope's Oz stories (the email Zenescope sent me with my preview copy says "Reign of the Witch Queen completes the ongoing OZ saga that began back in 2013"). While you can enjoy this issue without having to go back and buy the earlier issues, I am probably going to go back and pick up the rest. same with other Grimm series. I enjoyed this issue that much.

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9.0
Guardians Team-Up #1

Mar 7, 2015

I usually complain about when Marvel ships a books two or even three times a month. In fact, the next issue of Guardians Team-Up comes out next week. But, instead of annoying me, I am actually looking forward to it. Part of it might be that this was a kind of dull week of comics for me this week, and Guardians Team-Up was pretty much the only comic I really enjoyed. But at the same time, Bendis and Adams did a great job with this issue, and I am glad that I picked it up.

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9.0
Howard The Duck (2015) #1

Mar 15, 2015

But, either way, this was a great first issue. Funny, well written, and the art was solid for the most part. Marvel needs more unique titles like this! Definitely worth checking out!

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9.0
Huck #1

Nov 25, 2015

By the way, if you enjoyed this review, I would also suggest you might want to check out Savior, by Todd McFarlane. Savior just finished it's first arc, and is another "Superman" homage. Savior has a much darker tone than Huck, but both are terrific books.

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8.0
Jennifer Blood: Born Again #1

Jul 15, 2015

Actually, I would love to see Nancy Collins do more Jennifer Blood. She was the one who got me interested in the character in the first place, and she seems like she would be a great fit. I am already very excited by the announcement that she will be taking over ARMY OF DARKNESS.

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9.0
Legenderry: Green Hornet #3

Apr 7, 2015

Legenderry's follow up mini-series have all been terrific and definitely helped this concept reach the potential the original mini-series promised. I've enjoyed all three minis, but Green Hornet is probably my favorite of the three right now. I hope these books do well and Dynamite gives us more Legenderry!

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9.0
Masks 2 #1

Apr 7, 2015

And that is one of the biggest selling points for me. This definitely looked like a modern day interpretation of a pulp hero comic. Everything about the art and writing just fit so well. If this comic showed up in someone's old comic collection, it wouldn't feel all that out of place. I really enjoyed this issue, and I definitely will be picking up Masks now too! Every week, I find myself buying more and more Dynamite comics. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite comic companies.

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6.0
Powers (2015) #1

Jan 25, 2015

At its core, this issue was an average issue of Powers. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Powers is a great series, but I'm not sure this issue is going to pick them up any new readers, and veteran readers might be turned off by finding just "more of the same" here.

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10
Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

Jan 26, 2015

Really, this new mini-series is just more of the same for Quantum and Woody...but that is definitely the best possible thing they could have done. The stories and characters are so damn entertaining, and Steve Lieber brings some terrific art talent to this title. Quantum and Woody was definitely my favorite comic that I read this week. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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8.0
Runaways (2017) #1

Sep 18, 2017

All in all, I think RUNAWAYS is in good hands here once it gets off the launchpad. RUNAWAYS has long been a great alternative from the big event mentality that too often plagues most of Marvel's line, and it certainly feels like Rowell and Anka can get this book back there...though they have a little more to go right now.

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10
Secret Empire #8

Aug 10, 2017

Like I said about CAPTAIN AMERICA #25, this comic felt really special. Everything is moving in a real positive direction with the heroes all rallying together for a final battle led by Sam Wilson. It made me exciting to read the last two issues of SECRET EMPIRE and really curious where Marvel is going to head in LEGACY. A few years ago, it seemed like Marvel was heading in this direction with THE HEROIC AGE, but that sort of fell to the wayside. Hopefully, this time they follow through entirely.

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8.0
Spawn #250

Feb 7, 2015

For the most part, I think this issue landed solidly. It had a lot to do here, tying up a lot of loose ends and giving the book back over to Al Simmons. I know I had grown really attached to Jim Downing, and I was a bit hesistant to see this book seeming to backtrack some, but the way the story played out made a lot of sense, and I thought it gave Jim a very fitting ending.

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9.0
Spider-Man 2099 (2015) #8

Jan 30, 2015

When I started this series, I will admit I was a little disappointed it was set in the modern day Marvel universe. I was a huge fan of the 2099 universe back in the day, and the small glimpses we got to see of it in Exiles and Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man left me wanting more. Despite that, Peter David has done a great job with this book, and this probably was the best issue yet.

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7.0
Star Trek #43

Mar 14, 2015

All in all, this was a solid issue of a solid series. It probably isn't enough to win over any new fans, but Star Trek fans will definitely enjoy it. This current "lost in the Delta Quadrant" arc has some huge potential, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

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10
Star Wars: Kanan #1

Apr 4, 2015

Kanan: The Last Padawan really met all my expectations and ended up being my favorite comic for the week. It is definitely worth checking out.

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7.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1

Sep 9, 2015

Hopefully, THE FORCE AWAKENS will be a lot more satisfying than the stories leading into it.

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8.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2

Oct 14, 2015

Rucka continues to write a very good Star Wars comic. I am happy that we're finally getting a better sense of what happened after RETURN OF THE JEDI. The new continuity is finally starting to feel a lot clearer as we get closer to THE FORCE AWAKENS release in December. JOURNEY TO THE FORCE AWAKENS has been a lot of fun and full of high quality comics and novels. Some of them haven't quite shed as much light on THE FORCE AWAKENS as I would have liked, but SHATTERED EMPIRE is at least giving us some back story for Poe. I am still not quite sure this comic is all that necessary, but I do enjoy it.

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8.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3

Oct 21, 2015

One thing I have loved about this series continues to be the gorgeous art. Marco Checchetto does terrific work here, managing to keep up with all the action sequences in a wide variety of settings. I definitely want to see him do more STAR WARS. He could do some great posters for THE FORCE AWAKENS.

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9.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4

Oct 23, 2015

I have been a little critical of Shattered Empire, but I will admit they managed to bring everything together very well. In the end, this was a real good way to tell the story of the aftermath of Return of the Jedi. Granted, we're still no closer to understanding what leads to the First Order, The Resistance, and The FORCE AWAKENS, but that doesn't change the fact this was an entertaining series with some real strong new characters.

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9.0
Swords of Sorrow #1

May 5, 2015

I was kind of worried that Swords of Sorrow couldn't possible live up to the hype I had for this book, but Dynamite proved me wrong. This was a great first issue! Can't wait for more!

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9.0
Swords of Sorrow #2

Jun 8, 2015

With terrific characterization, top notch action, and amazing art, Swords of Sorrow continues to impress me. I can't say this enough: this is my favorite comic crossover this summer!

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10
The Black Hood #1

Feb 28, 2015

It's almost cliche at this point to talk about the "new" grown up attitude over at Archie Comics. Sure, there are still some terrific all ages books (I especially like Mega Man, and my kids are huge fans of the Sonic line, especially Sonic Boom), but that hasn't stopped Archie from trying some new things, to great success. I hope that these Dark Circle books do well. I really enjoyed Black Hood. It might have been the best book I read this week...though Amazing Spider-Man came close. If this is the quality we can expect from this line, definitely count me in!

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9.0
The Blacklist #1

Jul 22, 2015

While I didn't love the art, the strong story and flawless characterizations here more than made up for that. I really enjoyed this issue and look forward to the next one. This was a real strong opening for Titan's newest series.

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9.0
The Dresden Files: Down Town #1

Feb 10, 2015

For a lapesed Dresden Files fan, Down Town was a great reminder of why I fell in love with these books in the first place. Great characters and great mystery stories that blend supernatural with real crime. Down Town is definitely off to a great start!

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10
The Fix #1

Apr 14, 2016

If you are here looking for a gritty crime story, you are probably going to be disappointed. But there are plenty of books where you can find that, like Criminal, The Tithe, and Seduction of the Innocent. Spencer takes things in a very different direction, and the result is one hell of a unique comic.

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10
The Precinct #1

Dec 14, 2015

Dynamite continues to be one of the most innovative comic companies. Dynamite might have been my favorite comic company of 2015, and with books like Precinct and Shaft 2, not to mention their relaunches of favorites like Red Sonja and Vampirella, 2016 is shaping up to be just as awesome.

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9.0
Thor (2014) #8

May 19, 2015

Honestly, I have really enjoyed this series and this issue was the perfect ending"for now! A great fight scene and a powerful reveal at the end. It is very easy to focus on just the mystery of the new Thor, but at the same time, you need to acknowledge that there is a very good comic here on top of the mystery. Full of action and adventure, and just plain fun to read. The new Thor series is definitely one of Marvel's best books!

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7.0
Vampirella (2014) #1969

Dec 1, 2015

All in all, Vampirella #1969 is entertaining, though way overpriced for the page count and content. If you are a Vampirella fan, it may be worth a look, but I'm not sure it's going to win over any new converts. And even if it does, they will probably be real confused when the series starts early next year since most of this would probably be out of continuity anyway.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #23

Feb 21, 2015

Unfortunately, I do think this series is probably a little too insiderish and wouldn't appeal much to readers who aren't already into Charmed, but it's still a very good comic and definitely a great sequel to the show.

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10
X-O Manowar (2017) #1

Mar 8, 2017

I really enjoyed this new chapter in X-O Manowar's story. It respects the history of the character while creating it's own unique path. I did kind of see the end coming a mile away, but that didn't take away from the comic at all. Definitely worth checking out!

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