Molly Jane Kremer's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Doom Rocket Reviews: 162
8.4Avg. Review Rating

8.0
1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1

Jun 16, 2015

Sauvage and Hans provide gorgeous pages. Sauvage's expressions, layouts, figures, and colors are stellar as always, and her designs for this world's version of MODOK ("It was a mechanism that seemed crafted to perform a solitary murderous purpose") is fantastic. Hans art is gorgeous as well, although the darkness of the pub scene muddied some of her colors. The rest of her art is her painterly best, especially her fae, goddess-of-the-wood inspired redesign of Enchantress, and Elizabethan-gentleman Bucky (Captain James Barnes, of Clan Buchanan of course). Very independent of the crossover it's a part of, Witch Hunter Angela #1 works as an ancillary to Secret Wars, but is a fine and witty thing unto itself; a deserving addition to the alternate-continuity Neil Gaiman wrought.

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8.5
A-Force #1

May 21, 2015

It's the nature of a miniseries to come with an automatic expiration date, but this is a book that could, with few tweaks, easily stand on its own as a series, despite being indelibly bound to a major crossover event. (Hell, remember thatthis is how Spider-Gwen got her start.) Bennett and Wilson have successfully brought abouta brilliant idea and their execution of it is as marvelous as we could have hoped for.A-Forcehas a might that is truly unparalleled.

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8.5
All-New Hawkeye #1

Mar 9, 2015

All in all, All-New Hawkeye #1 proves that this team is more than worthy of following their esteemed predecessors: And, if they can get an issue out every month"? So much the better.

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9.5
America #1

Mar 1, 2017

Recommended to anyone looking for a superhero book that spends as much time developing its leading lady as it does punching baddies, because looks like we'll be seeing lots of both.

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8.0
America #7

Sep 20, 2017

A beautiful, deep-dive of an issue.

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7.5
American Gods: Shadows #1

Mar 15, 2017

Finishing this comic made me want to simply re-read the book instead of wait around for the next issue, which I'm not quite sure is a compliment to the story overall, or a detriment to this brand new series.

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8.5
Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1

Dec 5, 2014

As much as learning more about Angela herself would have been a welcome addition to the issue, Gillen is a writer who goes for the long-game, where often the lack of a quick and cheap thrill has a rewarding, immense pay-off further down the line. Gillen knows all too well how to weave a story of mythic proportions, and with a character like Angela " and also a history in comics, yet without one ("" the angel who wasn't an angel"") " he, Bennett, Jimenez and Hans have all the room they need to forge something epic, memorable, and massive.

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7.0
Angela: Queen Of Hel #1

Nov 2, 2015

Angela and Sera's relationship is brought to the forefront in this issue, and it is firmly, visually established that the two are indeed a couple (despite Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso's refusal to speak its name). Previous issues have strongly hinted at their relationship status, but this issue removes all question from the equation. We get two big-time smooches: one of which takes up an entire page. Sera provides the narration, which helps to smooth the transition between a few (sometimes jarring) time jumps. Even though half of the comic's art leaves some to be desired, Bennett has given the series a fast-paced, enjoyable, and incredibly readable first issue.

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8.5
Animosity #1

Aug 3, 2016

As an animal lover myself, I was immediately intrigued upon hearing Animosity's conceit (not to mention the title"that's a good 'un) and I'm extremely pleased that the book itself has achieved an incredibly compelling first issue. This is the beginning to a series of which I cannot wait to read more.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #1

Jul 8, 2015

Visually, this book is miles away from the traditional Archie house-style, but in terms of content, it's not too far from the high school hijinks (minus some of the slapstick) the publisher has been cranking out for decades. In Archie #1, the Riverdale crew has simply been refined and recalibrated, and made more realistic (and appealing) for modern teen readers. And as far as those "R" words go, these three are music to my ears.

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6.0
Art Ops #1

Oct 30, 2015

There's strangely very little art mentioned in the book. While the Mona Lisa gets an issues-long visual nod (which apparently continues on in the series), the only artist to get an actual namecheck is Jackson Pollock, in an all too on-the-nose reference to Reggie's paint-gloop arm. (Oh, also Banksy gets a mention.) While built on an interesting premiseand chock full of the prettiest sequentials you'll see this week, Art Ops #1 begins with great promise, only to recede back into typicality with imprecise ideas, an uninteresting lead, and a mediocre script.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #35

Oct 9, 2014

Cameron Stewart once said, in an interview with ComicsAlliance, "[Batgirl] can have a dark past, but it doesn't have to define her present." While he was talking about the new lighthearted and fun direction ofthis comic, superhero comics themselves don't need to continue in the dark ages either. Batgirl – along with Ms. Marvel, Edge of Spider-Verse's Spider-Gwen, Gotham Academy, and Captain Marvel – is making it look like there's a real trend towards more inclusive, inviting comics. And I can't think of anything more fun than comics made for everyone.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #37

Dec 15, 2014

As it has since issue #35, Batgirl looks and feels like a comic completely unto itself, and in the New52 (with its rampant house-style) that's an accomplishment as difficult as it is invigorating.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #40

Mar 23, 2015

While the algorithm's final scheme will feel familiar to anyone who saw last year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the climax is still thrilling as hell, and seeing Barbara triumph over this dark, digital copy of herself resonates even further from all the added subtext of reclaiming and recovering her life from that darkness. The additional tease of a character becoming the new Oracle is merely icing on the cake. The Convergence break may mean a long two months until we get more Batgirl, but this team has proved they can make a book well worth the wait. Hurry back, Babs: the DCU is a brighter and more joyful place when you're in it.

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7.5
Batgirl (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

Tarr's gift for expression remains (Barbara's aghast look after her father tells her "I'm Batman" is perfect) along with her penchant for drawing believably-shaped humans in believable attire. This remains an immensely readable book, and co-writers Stewart and Brenden Fletcher have a palpably solid grasp of every character within. A great jumping-on point for those curious about DC's (sorta) fresh start, Batgirl #41 is more of the same charmingly fun action/adventure we've come to expect from Stewart, Fletcher and Tarr.

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9.5
Batgirl (2011) Annual #3

Jul 29, 2015

Stewart and Fletcher have successfully kept the feel of their monthly series intact here, while simultaneously matching that of each of the issue's visiting players. It's happily unexpected to see an annual this compelling, as the typical creative change-ups are rarely of this high caliber, or done with such great care. Stewcher (hey, it's better than Fletchwart), in tailoring this quasi-anthology to perfectly fit the acclaimed artistic talent involved, have written one of the prettiest comics you'll see this month.

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9.5
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 29, 2016

One of the best"and possibly the most accessible"of the new DC debuts, Batgirl #1 is a beaming, breathless, butt-kicking read.

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8.5
Batgirl (2016) Annual #1

Mar 29, 2017

Recommended to fans of either Batgirl or Supergirl, or anyone looking for a fun and light superhero romp.

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7.0
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

Aug 19, 2016

The comic is generally enjoyable despite its flaws. Barbara's reactions are often entertaining, mostly due to Roe's ingenuity in her visuals. (And there was one obvious quote from Han Solo and Indiana Jones in this one issue, so I can only assume the writers and I all share the same kind of love that never dies for Mr. Harrison Ford.) It's going to take some work distancing these characters from their New 52 counterparts into some semblance of the beloved relationships and interactions they shared pre-Flashpoint. This" is a shaky start.

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8.0
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

Jul 22, 2016

There was a tiny editorial note as to why Babs is back in Gotham in this series whilst cavorting through Asia in her own title, but strangely we get no word as to why Dinah is back in Gotham and not cavorting about Seattle in Green Arrow. All that aside, I'm excited to see these three ladies together again (under three lady creators, no less). I'll be interested to see how everyone's interplay will differ from past Birds of Prey series' once the group fully becomes a team again.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #34

Nov 1, 2017

This is a story that was already destined for greatness before it hit the shelves. Don't get left out in the cold.

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8.0
Batwoman: Rebirth #1

Feb 15, 2017

While the issue glosses over much of Batwoman's origin (giving what is ostensibly a Cliff's Notes version of her backstory), and towards the end it all gets a bit choppy, I would recommend it to any Gotham devotee, to those looking for more authentic queer representation in superhero comics, or to anyone looking for a heroic, flawed, and inspiring superheroine " something that is far more rare than you might think.

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9.5
Bitch Planet #1

Dec 11, 2014

While this comic can (and, in this writer's opinion, should) make the reader uncomfortable (and, yes, angry) it should at the very least galvanize him or her to think about and question how we treat other human beings, both personally and institutionally, and how we allow ourselves to be treated. (It would be reassuring to think a comic like this could make even the most misogynistic turd of a human reevaluate their choices in life, but that might be a little optimistic.) But even beyond all that, Bitch Planet #1 is an incredibly well-written, visually stunning, entertaining piece of fiction that, while still holding that (dark) mirror up to nature, pulls you into a gripping story, locks you in, and throws away the key.

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8.5
Black Canary (2015) #4

Sep 21, 2015

Even with this month's altered artist credits, Black Canary continues to be one of the most consistently sharp, energetic, and entertaining new series of the DC You titles. Music and musicians are featured prominently in so many high-quality/hugely popular comics lately: The Wicked + The Divine, Spider-Gwen, Jem and the Holograms, and Phonogram all heavily emphasize the importance of music in characters' (and consequently, readers') everyday lives. Rock music (or its ideal, at least) lends nothing more than liveliness, passion, and honesty, and Black Canary revels in all three. The entire series' aggregate talent is only further accentuated by the stellar guest vocals (both on and behind the page): this issue is undoubtedly a must-listen. Erm, I mean, must-read.

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8.5
Black Magick #3

Jan 4, 2016

The noticeable lack of color throughout the comic"and the delicately shaded black and white art"allows for a naturalism that's often missing from comic book interiors. Color only occurs when there's magic afoot, yet even when that appears (in a soft, icy and shimmery blue), it isn't with bombast"it's with a delicate glimmer. Black Magick has subtlety woven into its very fabric, in all its blacks and whites and greys. That's more than appropriate in a comic about discovered secrets and centuries-old traditions.

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8.5
Black Magick #4

Feb 1, 2016

The dialogue matches the realism of Scott's pages, and much of it gives the impression that we're reading a straight-faced cop drama: various bits of cop lingo, with almost excessive profanity peppered liberally here and there, evoke a reserved, almost detached, way of discussing feelings and fears. As a whole, it's just a part of how this story is a gorgeous entity in which one could easily lose themselves. Required reading.

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10
Black Widow (2016) #1

Mar 4, 2016

With these brilliant visuals surrounding Waid's smattering of intermittent(but expertlyplaced) dialogue, and excellent sense of pacing, Natasha doesn't need to uttera single word: her feet and fists do all the talking for her, speaking loudly in onomatopoeian kraks, faks, whumps, and choks. Between the sound effectsin the fights, the explosions, the screaming car chases, not to mention a headbutt or two, Joe Caramagna outdoes himself with the lettering. The entire comic is a seamlessly smooth yet exciting read — an exercise in creative mastery, really.It cements Natasha as one of the most capable characters in the entire Marvel U"even if she might be on the wrong side of the law now and then. I cannot wait to see where this comic goes next.

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9.0
Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

May 10, 2017

You can feel the love for Jack Kirby in every panel, in every page.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 23, 2014

The final story, featuring great art by Laura Braga, focuses on Rhodey's letter (and War Machine coupling up with Captain Marvel is yet another of Marvel's more recent good ideas). Far more dramatic than the other two, the sequence has Rhodey foiling Valentine's dastardly plans, while displaying Braga's talents in a few lovely pages towards the end with an imagined-reunion of the couple, embracing against an astral backdrop. This issue is a good starting place for those with a sudden (movie-related) interest in learning about Carol before her big-screen debut, giving a basic introduction to everyone before they dive fully into the comic book. To say nothing of the fact that it's just fun as hell.

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9.0
Catwoman (2011) #35

Oct 23, 2014

Catwoman #35, with its fantastic ear for dialog, has the cinematic feel of a great TV crime-drama, and atone one would typically expect from Vertigo and Image's finer offerings. It has the accessibility all first-issues should aspire to, and gives a solid foundation of what this book is and where it intends to go. While the other aforementioned new-to-the-block Bat-books have a decided (and purposeful) teen appeal, this is a book for adults, full of intricate complexities, featuring that ever-sought "strong female protagonist". Valentine seems determined to give Selina's story the gravitas and sophistication it deserves, and pantsuit or not, Catwoman is now serious business.

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8.5
Cluster #1

Feb 9, 2015

Cluster #1 is an excellent first issue in a series with great promise.

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8.5
Cognetic #1

Oct 23, 2015

With an oversized thirty-two pages and five more of extras, Cognetic #1 is an enveloping and extremely unpredictable story that leaves you with a palpable uneasiness, one that has more questions than answers. It's a perfect reading choice for a season defined by spookiness, but will linger in your brain long after you've finished the last page.

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8.5
Conan / Red Sonja #2

Feb 16, 2015

Artist Dan Panosian's clean inks and sharp angles again make this comic a joy to peruse, and as ever, colorist Dave Stewart's colors match and complement the artist's style perfectly (but do we expect anything less from the multiple Eisner Award-winner? Stewart's work is always flawless.) Even in the midst of battle, Panosian draws our titular Barbarian with a grin on his face more often than a grimace, and it's a smile as contagious as Thoth-Amon's dreaded bloodroot. Expect to be wearing the same grin yourself upon reading the issue.

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9.0
Cry Havoc #1

Jan 29, 2016

Everything about this makes fora fantastic read, from the book's gorgeous logo (assumedly made by Emma Price, credited with the book's design), it's apt Heart of Darkness intro quote, and all the way totheannotations within the book's finalpages. The notes have the same chatty, conversational quality as Kieron Gillen's Phonogram glossaries (which is high praise"I love those damn things), and are just as informative. This is a great start for a promising new series. Cry Havocis one Image debut that should definitely not be missed.

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8.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #1

Aug 12, 2015

Whether it's because of their retro-sexy-yet-sex-positive look, or because of the incredible cosplay-ability of their costumes (at any comic convention you may attend, chances are you'll see cosplayers dressed as Diana the Riveter, or Jet-Pack-Bubble-Gum Hawkgirl), the Bombshells concept and look isn't going anywhere, and this book should help cement its place within DC's roster. A book so full of strong, agency-filled female characters, both drawn and written by women, is still rare enough to merit notice. But when it's this good, too? That's a cause for celebration.

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8.5
Deathstroke (2016) #1

Aug 26, 2016

The depth of characterization makes Deathstroke #1 compelling reading, despite any thematic dissonance with the last issue. The injection of so much dry humor and witty banter is a good tonic for the murder and mayhem that typically follows Deathstroke the Terminator, and this series now has me even more invested in the aims, intricacies and outcomes of a character I've never felt a commitment to reading. I'm hooked, and will definitely be continuing this series.

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8.5
Deathstroke: Rebirth #1

Aug 12, 2016

Deathstroke had already piqued my interest by bringing Christopher Priest back to the sequential medium to write it, but this issue sealed the deal. One of the few Rebirth issues that actually work as a fresh jumping-on point, this issue brings Slade Wilson back to being the stone cold badass he always was, without any attempts to make us feel sorry for him. Thank you, Christopher Priest, for writing a solo villain comic where the bad guy is actually, totally, almost gleefully bad.

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9.0
Descender #1

Mar 5, 2015

Not relying on bombastics, the quiet nature of this comic makes it stand out from the many science fiction books now on the stands. This is a series that looks to be an intelligent and introspective addition to Image's already-excellent roster.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #20

Jun 7, 2017

It's been a phenomenal ride. The final issue of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo's excellent run on Doctor Strange has come to an end, left to the annals of fondly recalled Marvel history.

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9.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #2

Sep 18, 2014

Jason Latour has said, "superheroes are about empowerment. Idealism should be inclusive." A reaction this massive and immediate to a single issue of a comic book shows how starved the female comics' audience (which exists! I promise!) is for a fun superhero comic all of us can read without having to deal with over-sexualized costumes and depictions, or being written-down to. Between this, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and the Distinguished Competition's upcoming redesign/soft-relaunch of Batgirl, comics arefinally starting to feel like a place where I don't get the side-eye when I walk in the door. And it's a nice feeling, actually.

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5.0
Flash (2011) #48

Feb 15, 2016

Any hankering for more of The Fastest Man Alive can be satisfied by rereading the excellent runs of Waid or Johns, or of Manapul and Buccellato. And of course there's always the effervescent and excellent CW television series to tide us over until DC's inevitable house cleaning. Sadly, The Flash's current comic series is still definitely one to avoid.

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8.0
Flash (2016) #1

Jun 22, 2016

Carmine Di Giandomenico's art and Ivan Plascencia's colors have the dynamism and energy to successfully illustrate the Fastest Man Alive. Plascencia colors the Speed Force lightning in vibrant neons, giving panels amazing motion with white-hot speed-lines that blur and crackle. The layouts offer great movement and excitement, most notably near the end as Barry is trying to save a friend from a speeding bullet. A promising start to a series barreling towards intriguing destinations.

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8.0
Flash: Rebirth (2016) #1

Jun 8, 2016

A definitively solid first issue, with impressive and intriguing possibilities.

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7.5
Frostbite #1

Sep 28, 2016

With so much post-apocalyptean fiction to choose from, if you can look past the oft-reused trappings of Frostbite's genre, you'll find a character well-worth discovering, even if the landscape is one you've seen before.

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6.0
Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1

Aug 9, 2017

I would recommend this to any X-Men completist, but for everyone else? You ain't missing much.

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9.5
Gotham Academy #1

Oct 1, 2014

So far the kid-angst hasn't been too overwhelming – just a taste of it here and there in Olive's lovingly-rendered moping – and I very much like that this comic has adventure and mystery and melodrama, and is doing it without the ridiculously overused device of going DARK. (And VIOLENT.) The idea that comics can actually be funis one that I cling to with all my heart, and while there's certainly a place in comics for the darker, more adult-oriented stories, there's now actually an in-continuity, Gotham-set, teen-friendly DC comic book that I can recommend to the young-lady set at the comic shop I work at (and there's soon to be a second, with Batgirl #35 releasing later this month), whereas before there were none. And the best part about it? I feel like my formerly cherished and adored DC Comics could actually be showing its face again – and that as a company, they just might have started to give a shit about me as a reader.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #2

Nov 6, 2014

Within its pages, Gotham Academy has become a world-inside-a-world, fully realized and captivating. Successfully dark (and a little spooky!) without losing its all-ages appeal and readability, it shows real promise as an entertaining and engrossing prep-school drama, seamlessly (and unexpectedly) existing within the canon of the world's oldest superhero universe.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #3

Dec 7, 2014

As usual, Karl Kerschl's art is flawless, never showing less than the perfect amount of emotion in everyone's faces. He even makes a single panel of nothing more than Olive's hand next to Kyle's a moving homage to young love. Gotham Academy continues to get stronger and stronger with each issue, and with this still only being its third installment, who knows the heights this book will reach. I'm legitimately excited for next month's issue.

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9.0
Gotham Academy #4

Jan 29, 2015

It's still a minor miracle that a book like this was published by a major comics company, and while it might have been a gamble for DC sales-wise (and possibly still is, as much as it hurts one's brain to think a book this well-executed could be hurting for readers), the quality of Gotham Academy itself is a testament to the riskslike this that ought tobe taken in the comics industry, and more often. This is the Bat-book we deserve, and most certainly it's the one we need right now.

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8.5
Gotham Academy #6

Mar 31, 2015

An epilogue containing a huge tease about the future of the series (and a new matriculating student) could cause some alarm that the series might be switching its focus and aligning itself more resolutely into the Batman universe. But this issue, successfully utilizing both Batman and Killer Croc without overwhelming or sidetracking the current narrative, makes the case that despite adding a new and colorful character, Cloonan, Fletcher, and Kerschl et al will ensure the same level of high quality they've maintained since the series' lauded debut.

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8.0
Gotham Academy #7

Jun 16, 2015

Once again, we have a magical mystery that embraces the mundane, la the best Scooby Doo episodes " well-balanced stories with achingly normal school goings-on that showcase great character work from writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher. The two manage to keep the pace skipping along during a couple necessary expository interludes, and they continue to write Maps as the most endearingly adorable character in the entire DCU. It's funny that even though DC felt the need to revamp (re-revamp?) their entire line of comics again, they already had a quintessential example of fun, quirky and engrossing all-ages adventure in Gotham Academy. Now if only they'd make a dozen more comics just like it"

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8.5
Green Arrow (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

Green Arrow: Rebirth #1 surprised me the most of all the new DC debuts so far, and I'm glad to say this week's subsequent #1 issue is just as enjoyable.

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8.5
Guardians Team-Up #4

Apr 6, 2015

Guardians Team-Up #4 offers a level of fast-paced and concise enjoyment not often seen in modern comics, especially in comparison to interminable, months-long, multi-series crossovers like Black Vortex. This writer can only hope Marvel manages to keep perfect little bite-size issues like this a part of its roster, and that this series' rotating creative teams can reach the high bar set by Messrs. Layman and Schmidt.

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6.0
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #1

Jul 29, 2016

. While Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps isn't breaking any ground in its plots or themes, it's still a marginally entertaining comic, paired with stunning visuals. A comic I'd follow for the art, and probably not much else.

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6.5
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1

Jul 15, 2016

Jason Wright's colors complement the intricate line art extremely well; between this issue and the DCU Rebirth one-shot, this is the best Van Sciver's art has looked in a long time. DC has now done their Rebirth-best in returning Hal Jordan to an extremely recognizable status quo (with the same artist drawing him, natch); now perhaps the following series can truly make a start of something interesting.

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6.5
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Oct 4, 2017

It makes a sort of "heroic ideal" sense for Harley and Ivy to have hair and boobs and butts that defy gravity, but Betty and Veronica and Midge should look, well"human. Seventeen year old human to be more specific. And they don't. It's odd not to have a visual contrasting difference between the small town high school girls and va-va-voom supervillains.

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #1

Aug 4, 2016

By the second half (in which a zombie outbreak descends upon Harley's Coney Island home) the pace picks up like crazy, making for a far more enriching reading experience. Chad Hardin's art, with Alex Sinclair on colors, bounces effortlessly between cute, sexy, weird, goofy, and violent, and a few times there are very distinctively (and lovely) Dodson-esque vibes from his linework. Harley Quinn #1 is as off-kilter, off-color, silly, and sincere as the series has ever been.

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7.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #2

Aug 19, 2016

The series will no doubt be discovered by its previous audience quickly " the Rebirth behemoth cannot be stopped! " and I'm sure said readers will be relieved at the series' consistency in both writing and art. Though the crude and immature humor, combined with zombie-killin'-violence, may not be everyone's cup of tea, the series is committed to its silliness and never deviates from its irreverence or its jubilant (if gross) sense of humor. Best of all, it's not shy about the tangible love of its eponymous anti-heroine.

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7.5
Harley Quinn Valentine's Day Special #1

Feb 16, 2015

The art is good " very good " and the oft-jarring nature of having four artists on one book is alleviated by having two of the artists work on dream sequences. The aforementioned Harley dream is illustrated by the great Ben Caldwell, and it's stylish and stylized cartooning of the highest order; the Bruce Wayne dream-sequence " a strangely light-hearted one for the Bat " is illustrated by Aaron Campbell and Hi-Fi, and has a much more realistic look. Paul Mounts' incomparably vibrant coloring also helps tie the main pages by artist John Timms into the other's, giving everything in the issue a seamless flow. While I still miss the Harley I grew up with (and I probably always will), this Special makes my loss ache just that much less.

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8.5
Hawkeye (2016) #1

Dec 14, 2016

Thompson's clever, quick dialogue mixes perfectly with Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire's gorgeous layouts and dynamic designs to make one of the more fun first issues of the new Marvel Now! debuts.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #1

Aug 18, 2014

Even if this was the onlyHawkeyeissue these guys ever released, it would be a stellar comic in and of itself. It's intelligent without being showy, sincere without getting schmaltzy, and gorgeous in a way that's both retro and modern. Thankfully it's but the first in a series that hasmadeClint myfavorite Avenger-while-not-avenging, anditturned me into a lifelongfan of Messrs. Fraction,Aja, andHollingsworth.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #21

Feb 5, 2015

But Hawkeye is and always has been a comic about heart and keepingit in the right place (even if our hero still tends to lousethings up more often than not). Though we only have one more issue to enjoy from this Eisner Award-winning team, Fraction, Aja, Hollingsworth and Eliopoulos are at least giving our favorite archer a send-off worthy of all that's come before. All good things must come to an end " which is doubly true in comics " but every once in a while, that end is truly worth the wait.

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7.0
Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Jul 22, 2016

Moritat and colorist Andre Szymanowicz (coloring parts Moritat didn't) do an enjoyable if not incredibly exciting job on the art. The colors are a bit muddier than necessary, but the entire issue is still readable, and entertainingly so. This series feels the closest yet to the original Vertigo Hellblazer series, so obviously I'm looking forward to more.

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8.5
Injection #1

May 14, 2015

A quiet and meditatively ominous book, Injection knows exactly where it's going " even when it leaves the reader mostly in the shadows" and it's going to drag you along, slowly but surely, down its foreboding-as-hell rabbit hole, whether you want to go or not. It's gonna be a dark trip.

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9.0
Jem and the Holograms #1

Mar 31, 2015

The comic's all-female cast are all fully-realized and interesting, especially Jerrica, whose acute shyness and determination make her a protagonist to really get behind and empathize with. The Holograms' chemistry and back-and-forth are very endearing as well, and this reader is looking forward to seeing their relationships with each other grow and unfold. The comic works well as a first issue and deals completely with origins " you'll require no previous knowledge of Jem to achieve maximum enjoyment. And while only seeing Jem herself on the last page was a slight let-down, we have a whole series in which to enjoy her in all her outrageous glory.

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8.5
Kamandi Challenge #1

Jan 25, 2017

Everyone involved tries to outdo whoever came before, and whoever's coming after, and we the readers reap the creative rewards.

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8.5
Kaptara #1

Apr 27, 2015

Zdarsky has referred to Kaptara as Gay Saga, and it's quite a joy to see the casual way main character Keith's sexuality is referred to in the comic: it's not played as a novelty, it's simply who he is. I look forward to seeing his romantic adventures depicted in the same relaxed and unceremonious manner. Balancing on a fine line, simultaneously goofy, violent, funny and endearing, Kaptara is science fiction/fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously, cementing its story with believable and engaging characters. (One of which is named Skullthor " how can you go wrong?)

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8.0
Lady Killer #2

Feb 9, 2015

This is simply well-crafted and entertaining fiction: the only fault to find with it is its brevity as a five-issue mini-series, and that only three more installments remain. (My fingers are certainly crossed for more.)

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9.0
Lake of Fire #1

Aug 24, 2016

Though Fairbairn has colored more comics than I could list here (and to much acclaim), this is only the second comic that he is credited as writing (the first being a short story in the Batman: Incorporated Special), but you'd never guess that here. This reads like the confident work of an experienced writer. My only complaint is at the paucity of more diverse characters, but the last few pages introduces a female character who looks to have a large role imminently. (And since it takes place in a tiny village in the south of France in 1220AD, I can forgive its lack of POCs.) Clocking in at a hefty forty-four pages, this is one of the best Image debuts this year, and the start of a series I can't wait to continue.

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8.0
Lazarus #14

Jan 19, 2015

Lazarus continues to be one of Image's strongest and most fascinating titles, and its characters and world will linger " disquietingly so " in your mind long after you've finished the comic.

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8.0
Loki: Agent of Asgard #10

Jan 26, 2015

Loki: Agent of Asgard successfully toes the oft-difficult lines between canny and funny. For a comic featuring a god of trickery and lies, it never plays fast and loose with its truths, and it is never not poignant with its pathos and sincerity.

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9.5
Mae #1

May 19, 2016

The issue itself manages to achieve a certain darkness without losing its optimism, teasing us with inevitable dramatic complications without letting anything overly-serious spill over and overwhelm the narrative completely. Mae is a tale over a decade in the telling, and Ha's exuberance for the material is barely contained in these beautiful pages. This glorious positivity makes for a comic that wears its heart on its sleeve, which, fittingly enough, makes it Midwestern as heck. Warm-hearted and immersive,Mae already feels like a comic series I've been reading, voraciously, for years and years.

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8.5
Master of Kung Fu #1

May 25, 2015

The fight scenes are excellently choreographed, which could have something to do with penciller Talaji being a practitioner of the martial arts himself. The layouts too are incredibly eye-grabbing, and show an epic, cinematic flair. All in all, owing more than a little to the classic Drunken Master kung fu films, Master of Kung Fu #1 still makes this retelling of Marvel mainstays feel original and fresh. Even if it didn't have that irresistible Secret Wars attraction, this would regardless be a comic in which to delight and revel.

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9.5
Memetic #1

Oct 23, 2014

Tynion has obviously done his homework on memetics, and uses this evolutionary imperative we have of spreading information (helpful or otherwise) to really establish the possibility of, as Marcus calls it, "memetic warfare". Tynion has emphasized how deeply linked we are as humans in 2014, and how deeply unsettling those ramifications can be. By the end of the issue, Memetic is a picture of overwhelming end-of-the-world despair, but there are still two more oversized issues to go, and so much more desolation to see. Tynion and Donovan have taken the technological backbones of modern society and twisted them into the stuff of nightmares, leaving this reader hungry for more.

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8.5
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #8

Dec 23, 2014

Artist David Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor have great success in showing us the skuzziness of late-80's New York City, emphasizing the darkness and muddy shadows (with a splash of neon) as they frequent nightclubs and all-night poker games. Marquez keeps the hair/fashion/cars all in the correct era, and Ponsor even adds some dotted zip-a-tone shading for that added retro feel. It's also extremely enjoyable to see Marquez keeping Jefferson recognizable as himself in both his younger and older years, throwing in a nice resemblance to Miles too. Keeping a comic this reliably good after fourteen years is a rarity (to say the least) in this industry, and makes this comic one to depend on as a stellar addition to any pull list.

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10
Mister Miracle #1

Aug 10, 2017

Mister Miracle is traditionally a hopeful character, masterfully escaping anything and everything put in front of him, be it an onstage deathtrap or the clutches of an authoritarian tyrant with ambitions for galactic domination. But this is a more personal story, and has the stakes to prove it. King and Gerads weave subtle uncertainty into a narrative of hope. This Mister Miracle is about keeping the faith, even in the face of debilitating doubt; standing up against your own disbelief and fear. It's one of the best, and most essential, comics to be released this year.

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9.5
Mister Miracle #2

Sep 18, 2017

Mister Miracle is shaping up to be one of the most important series of the year, made by a team in their prime, booming on all cylinders. Don't. Miss. This. Book.

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9.5
Monstress #1

Nov 6, 2015

Takeda's character design ranges from the adorable to the unsettling. The tiny fox-child Kippa, grasping her fuzzy tail, is an endearing sliver of imperiled innocence in a grim world, while amputees due to cannibalism abound along with kaiju-esque Monstrum. It's this pairing of beauty with despair and, well, monstrousness, that gives Monstress its substantial impression: feathery, gorgeous renderings of the evils of which humanity is capable in its ignorance, and how that brutality affects the people caught in its crosshairs. This is a dramatically stunning debut for an incredibly promising series.

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9.0
Motor Crush #1

Dec 7, 2016

Motor Crush #1 is a vivid and thrilling first issue.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #8

Sep 12, 2014

And that "adorable" factor shouldn't be seen as a detraction anyway; it's helped the book to achieve an enormous readership. The first issue achieved an historic sixth printing last month, sales few comic books ever achieve, let alone one starring a geeky teenage Pakistani-American girl. It also gives those of us working at comic shops something we can, in good conscience, hand to a younger female reader who wants a comic starring a superhero she can enjoy, and *gasp* even relate to; and that's a marvelous thing indeed.

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7.5
Ms. Marvel (2014) #9

Oct 20, 2014

Now halfway into its third storyline,Ms. Marvel is thankfully showing no signs of stagnancy. The bookhas retained itscharming quirkiness by utilizing a perfect balance of action, humor, and drama, remaining relevant, entertaining, and appealing to more than just the typical superhero comic reader.Ms. Marvelreminds readers that it's not onlyokay to be different – when it comes to making a real, profound difference? – being different isvital.

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8.5
Ms. Marvel (2014) #13

Mar 16, 2015

Already thirteen issues in without a single stumble, Ms. Marvel is still the book to beat for matching amounts of action and humor, and so, so much heart.

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9.0
Nameless #1

Feb 9, 2015

Nameless also showcases Morrison's superb knack for writing a gorgeous turn of phrase. Within the sparse but eloquent narration, lines like "" now it's January and the morning air's bitter with the smoke of fallen fireworks" remind us that despite so much emphasis on his (sometimes batty) concepts, storytelling, and world-building, we forget the man is also a wordsmith of the highest order as well. (Some people just have all the luck, don't they?) Nameless is a welcome addition to Image's (already massive) roster of brilliant comics.

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8.0
Namwolf #1

Apr 26, 2017

This is just a fun comic, and oddly lighthearted considering its content.

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8.5
New Suicide Squad #17

Feb 12, 2016

Originally, the cover to Suicide Squad #1 was the first of the New 52 first issues to really wake the "ruh roh" rumbles in my brain (mostly thanks to its positioning of poor Harley Quinn's hideous and offensive twelve-year-old-boy's-wet-dream of a costume front and center), but now that her costume has been much improved and the writer and artist team has finally stabilized, the resultant comic is darkly fun and thrilling with moments of introspection. This is exactly the kind of comic New Suicide Squad should be. More, please.

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9.0
Night's Dominion #1

Sep 7, 2016

Night's Dominion hits some of the same general notes that the Image series Rat Queens did (how could it not? Both read like D&D campaigns in sequential form, to no fault of the other), but instead of oddball hijinks and in-your-face profanity, Dominion evokes brooding drama within and around the introduction of a mysterious cast of misfits. This is more like Rat Queens' older and more sophisticated sister: quiet, measuredly deliberate, with riddles yet unravelled and depths yet to fathom. Night's Dominion #1 is the start of an RPG campaign I'd really like to play, in the hands of a DM"er, I mean, writer-artist perfectly suited to its trappings.

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9.0
ODY-C #1

Dec 1, 2014

"The heaviest trip is the one back home" was the promotional tagline for the book, and ancient language rhythms contrasting with gorgeous neo-futuristic visuals and a decidedly feminist approach make for a heavy trip indeed, and trigger an urge to reread as soon as you've finished the last page.

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9.5
ODY-C #8

Nov 2, 2015

The story is being told separately as a tale to both Ene and He by different characters, which allow us to be slightly removed from the abhorrence, giving it the feel of a cruel fable (or perhaps a cautionary tale). ODY-C #8, like The Wicked + the Divine #13 before it, uses finely-wrought fiction to skillfully place a glaring light on violence against women, taking a historic view while emphasizing its relevance today. Fraction gives it massive emotional resonance, and his thoughtful afterword greatly assists in processing the incredible violence and raw emotion. This is a comic that will echo in your mind long after you've finished its last page.

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9.0
Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #8

Jul 21, 2016

Hellcat #8 has some incredibly touching flashback moments between Patsy and Jen, emphasizing the huge amount of heart this comic has, and its constant emphasis on healthy, empowering friendships between women. This issue just has a little more bitter balancing out the sweet, is all, and it's enjoyable in spite of and because of it.

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9.0
Rat Queens #9

Mar 9, 2015

Rat Queens' return, and its continuing, blessedly-high level of quality, will be met with both relief and joy by anyone who enjoys reading really good fucking comics.

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8.0
Rebels (2015) #1

Apr 13, 2015

Much of Brian Wood's works are methodically paced, taking patience to get to the well-earned payoffs. Rebels looks to be another piece in this same style in that it also includes intensely character-driven and thought-provoking drama amidst world-changing events. Such restrained story-telling isn't for everyone (especially for an audience now used to superhero comics' mega-crossovers, each trying to outdo the last in chaotic bombast) but this is a comic that is quiet (well, mostly), requiring actual thought and rumination about the dialogue, plot, and the repercussions of these historical (and, at the time, unprecedented) events. This is compelling, slow-burn historical fiction, and Wood's return to the genre is a beautiful one.

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3.0
Red One #1

Mar 23, 0015

The lettering, by the typically great Clayton Cowles, is horrendous. The word balloons are poorly formatted, they don't fit the flow of conversation, and are either far too tiny " containing a paragraph shrunk down to 8pt to fit " or entirely too enormous, threatening to swallow the few words inside of them whole. The art, however, is the Dodsons at their best: It's fun, gorgeous, and well-executed cheesecake. It's just unfortunate that the story they illustrate is dumb, plodding, and marginally offensive. If you choose to muck through all this ghastly verbiage " and I just can't recommend doing so, despite the pretty Dodson art " the visuals will provide little comfort.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2016) #1

Jan 15, 2016

Though there's little use of swords (and even less of sorcery) in this issue, Bennett applies most of the book's pages to reintroducing us to Sonja herself, and her thoughtful, almost nostalgic journey through her homeland. The action will obviously pick up in later issues, as it certainly begins towards the end of this one, but theimportant matter is we have a firmly established, sympathetic and multi-faceted female lead to bring us there. Red Sonja #1 is a wonderful introduction to the character, whether you're hopping on for the first issue, or have been following Sonja's exploits for the decade Dynamite has been publishing them.

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8.5
Rumble #1

Dec 23, 2014

The comic mainly follows a bartender named Bobby who gets dragged into a mysterious (and seemingly magical) conflict after a hulking scarecrow-dude with an even bigger sword (and I do mean big " like anime-sword big) comes after a patron. It mostly takes place within the backdrop of a deliciously derelict urban landscape, and Dave Stewart's colors imbue the unnamed city with a grimy, sooty darkness, while giving the fight scenes splashes of brightness for an added oomph. While the who's and why's aren't exactly clear yet, we can excuse the aura of mystery surrounding this premiere issue. As the series continues with the promise of more of Harren and Stewart's explosively great art, Rumble #1 certainly has this reader hooked.

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8.5
Rumble #6

Aug 26, 2015

In a medium that has a tendency to glorify violence, this issue calmly reflects on the toll all that punchin' and killin' might take, on both a human and a colossal level.

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8.0
Rumble #7

Sep 25, 2015

Rumble contains a compelling mix of philosophy and action, of the earthly and the arcane, highlighted by fascinating characters and frequent occurrences of humor and whimsy. An excellent entry in an excellent series.

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8.5
Scarlet Witch #1

Dec 11, 2015

Scarlet Witch feels like a fully developed character here instead of a pretty plot device: instead of making clich powers seem vague but enormous, they're now much more defined and understandable"with some historical references to instances of "witchcraft", no less"paired with an overwhelming desire to make good on the mistakes she's made (which also, taken slightly autobiographically, has some deeper resonance within Robinson's work, as well). Aside from being a fitting companion book to the more high-profile Doctor Strange (because a character getting his own movie is gonna get dat marketing boost, of course), Scarlet Witch is a compelling read all on its own, permitting Wanda (and perhaps her Mr. Robinson) a little well-earned absolution.

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9.5
Scarlet Witch #2

Jan 18, 2016

The done-in-one nature of Scarlet Witch's issues gives us the added treat of a new and amazing artist stepping in each month, and with Rudy's visuals just as transcendent as their sorcerous subject, if you'll pardon the pun, the results are simply magic. You need to be reading Scarlet Witch.

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9.0
Scarlet Witch #10

Sep 14, 2016

Seamlessly sneaking in and around the issue's main mystery"of who killed the great magician Aoi (ah-oh-ee) Master"is the fox that Aoi Master's consciousness entered, after his body's death. This smaller plot is beautifully poignant, as Aoi gradually, quietly, loses himself inside the fox. Robinson masterfully weaves these tiny, almost inconsequential story beats in throughout, until we're left, at the end, with a sad, beautiful ache that a lesser writer would have avoided completely. The issue's final pages echo, like a footpad on snow, with regret and longing. This is yet another stunner of an issue in a series you need to be reading.

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7.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #10

Dec 1, 2014

Furthering the book's plot might have been a better choice than more snappy back-and-forth, but thankfully artist Michael Walsh excels in making even a typical interrogation scene have resonance and tension. Matthew Wilson's colors reliably stand out and add to that intensity, contrasting all-red panels between the beige dinginess of an interrogation room. The scenes between Coulson and Hawkeye at the end are the issue's visual highlight, with eye-catching rain-filled panels within a limited palette of muddied greys. While the issue itself may be a slow point within the series, Secret Avengers still manages to be intelligent, absurdly humorous, and an overall enjoyable read.

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6.0
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1

Aug 25, 2014

With the added attention of Gal Godot cast as Diana in the upcoming Batman V Superman, there are more eyes (and hopes) on Wonder Woman now than ever before. While I doubt she'll get the same amount of "75th Anniversary" fanfare given to the other two members of DC's illustrious trinity, it is encouraging to me that this book even exists. I remain hopeful that DC will continue to stress to its readers"and viewers"the importance, and magnificence, of Wonder Woman.

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8.5
Seven to Eternity #1

Sep 26, 2016

If you like a little fantasy with your Westerns, peopled by characters that feel devastatingly human and surrounded by designs akin to Moebius, this is a comic you need to read. A great first issue to a more than promising new series.

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9.5
Shade, the Changing Girl #1

Oct 5, 2016

The comic earns its very subtle "mature readers" warning (it lacks the more obvious all-caps "NOT FOR KIDS!" gracing the cover to this week's Jessica Jones #1), with some illustrated alien coitus and some definite teenage drug use, so to be quite honest, it's right up the alley of the average high schooler. So far, this is the second (of two) Young Animal releases to really floor me. They both have the perfect amount of old-school Vertigo aesthetic mixed with a plethora of modern twists, then realized by some extremely talented people. And, no lie, Shade: The Changing Girl #1 read like it was specifically made for me. This is great comics right here, and you need to be reading it.

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8.5
Silver Surfer (2014) #8

Jan 19, 2015

Endlessly fun and engaging, and apparently flying under the radar, Silver Surfer is a joy to read no matter which issue you decided to start from" but issue #8 comes highly recommended.

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10
Silver Surfer (2014) #11

Apr 30, 2015

This title has been just as consistently enjoyable as that flagship DC book has been, but full of a positivity and light that doesn't tend to grab as many headlines as all that Bat-pathos. Silver Surfer seems to fly under many readers' radar, yet it's a book that should be on everybody's pull list. If this oversized, engrossing issue brings more attention to the ever-superb series, every "exhausting" flip of the comic is eminently worth it.

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9.0
Slam! #1

Nov 16, 2016

Slam is a comic about making both life changes and new friends, and literally kicking some ass while doing so. And while it's mostly-female credits (excellent letterer Jim Campbell is the only dude in the credits, including editorial) are a joy to see, above all, this is just a fun damn comic book, full of vitality and optimism, successfully avoiding any whiffs of sentimentality. An assured and joyous debut.

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9.5
Southern Bastards #6

Dec 15, 2014

Aaron also forces us to admire young Boss' determination as he tries his damnedest during the Running Rebs' tryouts, despite being short, skinny, and not exactly competent on the field, while revealing to us his extremely problematic home life (there's a certain scene involving some chickens that sticks in the mind). The end of the issue is completely heartbreaking, and it's a credit to Jasons Aaron and Latour for making us care so much about a character after cementing his status as a despicable human being only two issues prior.

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9.0
Southern Cross #1

Mar 16, 2015

Southern Cross is a small, intimate and thrilling story told on a massive scale, using its outstanding first issue to lay the foundations for what promises to be a truly riveting series.

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9.5
Space Riders #2

May 18, 2015

With a plethora of large, arresting panels and lightning-fast pacing, the issue is over before you know it. But as soon as you finish Space Riders #2, you're probably going to want to read it again. Please feel free to do so, and revel once more in its frenzied glory. I already have.

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8.5
Spell On Wheels #1

Oct 19, 2016

The comic's practical magic use within the real world makes for ever-so-slight hints of the worlds of Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though that's an easy comparison for most modern urban fantasy with a youngish cast. (But at least this cast isn't so damn white.) Spell on Wheels is its own unique experience though, full of strong and interesting ladies within some solid world-building that I'm really excited to delve into more deeply. (I'm more than curious about everyone's families they keep mentioning.) And while it is definitely a fitting Halloween read (duh, it stars three witches), this is a comic you'll want to continue following long after you've thrown away all that dreadful candy corn.

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10
Spider-Gwen #1

Feb 26, 2015

The focus on Gwen's outsider status certainly hearkens back to classic Spider-Man and X-Men stories. This creative team has taken that tried-and-true formula and made something fresh, fun, and – from Gwen's immediate acceptance, adoption, and celebration by a still-marginalized portion of comics readers – incredibly relevant. If publishers continue to actively listen to what their readers want, and give talented creators like these the wherewithal to satisfy those desires, the industry will be exponentially better for it. And so will the comics.

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9.0
Spider-Gwen (2015) #1

Oct 16, 2015

As the first of the "All-New, All-Different" series to feature a solo female lead, Radioactive Spider-Gwen #1 thankfully stands out from the rest of the boys, eschewing "same ol', same ol'" characterization and representation (and repetitive use of title adjectives"really, there's yet another Uncanny something-or-other?) to create a fun and engaging comic book for both continuing and new readers.

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9.0
Spider-Man (2016) #1

Feb 5, 2016

Currently, of Marvel's main "spider-dude" roster of Amazing Spider-Man, Spidey, and now Spider-Man, Amazing is oddly the book that feels the least like a Spider-Man comic. (Spider-Man International? Parker Industries? Not a comic for me.) Despite the inevitable confusion over the titles amongst casual fans, and with Spidey featuring a not-in-continuity Peter, Miles' Spider-Man is now our main source of friendly neighborhood arachnid goings-on. Good thing Spider-Man feels exactly like a Spider-Man comic should: full of well-articulated angst, thrills, action and drama. As far as this issue goes, Miles is"and will be"fills those sizable, sticky-toed footie-shoes quite nicely.

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7.5
Spider-Man (2016) #12

Jan 11, 2017

Spider-Man #12 is a cute book, at times irritatingly so (thanks to some cloying dialogue and narration), but it summarizes Miles' post-Civil War II status quo well.

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9.0
Spider-Woman (2014) #6

Apr 13, 2015

The art continues to be a stand-out: Javier Rodriguez's colors in the opening sequence, lit by the old standby of shadows cast through blinds, set the perfect mood"a brighter, not-so-noir version of the stereotypical PI's office. Alvaro Lopez's inks finely compliment Rodriguez's pencils, clean with added weight that matches the stylistically flat colors. Jessica Drew, in the capable hands of Hopeless, Rodriguez and Lopez, has become an incredibly enjoyable character, with a very human snark and silliness all her own. This is the best (and most) personality she's been given in recent memory, and the exuberance and high quality of this comic reflect that. A spiritual successor to critically acclaimed books like She-Hulk and Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Spider-Woman is a fun, thrilling and satisfying read.

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8.5
Spider-Woman (2014) #9

Jul 22, 2015

Though the next issue of Spider-Woman sees the series diving head-first into tie-in territory, the comic (and its creative team, thankfully) will return with a new #1 after Secret Wars. (But expect to see Jess, well"expecting.) Hopeless, Rodriguez, and Lopez have excelled at upending reader expectations with humor and exceptional characterization and storytelling " and will no doubt continue to do so with a preggers lead " but for now, Spider-Woman #9 is a short yet blissful reprieve from the rest of Marvel's otherwise inescapable crossover.

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9.5
Star Wars (2014) #1

Jan 15, 2015

The thought of being able to somehow rewind one's brain ( la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) to again experience the joy and amazement of watching the original Star Wars trilogyfor the very first time, is something I've discussed with friends (and honestly wished could actually be done). But this comic truly is the next best thing: it's a book featuringyet more adventures ofthis galaxy far, far away, and it has a truly authentic feel that most of the prequel films could scarcelyapproach. Star Wars #1 transcends the trappings of wistful (and ubiquitous) nostalgia in the name ofpure pop fun.

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9.5
Star Wars (2014) #8

Aug 19, 2015

With each issue an advancing step into a newly-forged extended universe, Marvel's Star Wars continues to create exciting additions to an essential film trilogy, and with the addition of Immonen, von Grawbadger, and Ponsor, somehow its phenomenally consistent high quality has been further improved. This series proves, without a doubt, that when a studio, publisher, and creators put their minds to it and their asses behind it, tie-in comics can be just as good as (if not better than) going to the movies.

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6.5
Starfire #1

Jun 11, 2015

On the third page, Sheriff Gomez announces, "Wow. You're like a big, orange Supergirl" and you can see that DC is hoping for just that with this book: an appealing book for the younger-lady crowd, somewhere between the action-adventure of Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr's Batgirl and the madcap silliness of Conner and Palmiotti's own Harley Quinn. A pretty, but ultimately shallow, read, Starfire #1 doesn't certainly doesn't reinvent any wheels, but is blandly (and inoffensively) entertaining nonetheless.

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9.5
Superwoman #1

Aug 12, 2016

A cliffhanger ending has some people upset about the possible death of a major character, but I'm going the route of saying it's obvious cliffhanger in a serialized medium prone to such things, and I'm giving it room (and benefit of the doubt) to tell the story its creators want to tell, final-page fakeouts and all. Superwoman is shaping up to be one of my favorite Rebirth debuts " it's definitely in my Top Five " and one of the most unique, fun, and enjoyable first issues on the stands today. This one's a must-read, people.

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9.0
The Autumnlands #2

Dec 7, 2014

The contrast between human and animal is done perfectly; man is colored in swaths of blood, dirt and darkness. And while the animals are all clothed in fine raiment, the man spends the entire issue " throughout a vicious battle, no less " completely nekkid. This wonderful dichotomy, illustrated visually and verbally between the savage human and the civilized, urbane fauna he defends takes this comic beyond "great" and close to "classic in the making". It's another piece of absolutely top-notch fiction from Image Comics.

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8.5
The Autumnlands #3

Jan 22, 2015

The plot itself is dense but well-paced, and it feels like there is even more story to discover than the twenty-four ad-free pages contains between itscovers. This is due to Busiek's strength in world-building, and in his powerful characterization. There's a sense that much, much more of this world exists for us to see and experience than the little corner we've been exposed to this far, and that the storytellers will be very meticulous in their revelations of it. This is a comic built on and within one of literature's oldest traditions, and it does what all great fictions do: it pulls you unfathomably deep into a foreign landscape from whichyou may not want to return.

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9.5
The Goddamned #1

Nov 16, 2015

Here Cain refers to his God as both an asshole and a cunt, which seems to be a statement of intent for this comic: it brings out the Old Testament's nastiness and depravity that's typically overlooked or brushed aside by higher language or obfuscation. The Goddamned takes this essential cultural touchstone and gets down and dirty with it. Its effectiveness as an antediluvian tale is emphasized in the visceral interpretation, making damn sure this book resonates with a modern audience of all creeds.

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9.5
The Legacy Of Luther Strode #1

Apr 9, 2015

Like many an Image #1, this issue is oversized (and underpriced), with 40 ad-free pages, and is 80% violent batshit-insanity and 20% heartfelt lovestory. Fast-paced, funny and pretty goddamn brutal, The Legacy of Luther Strode builds on an already solid foundation established over the last four years by creators truly at the top of their game, on a book completely suited to their singular strengths. This might be the last comic series featuring the eponymous Mr. Strode, but if this first issue is any tell, it's gonna be one to remember.

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9.0
The Legend of Wonder Woman #1

Jan 18, 2016

This series returns her to her classic origin, born of clay to Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, and goes into as much detail about the origins of the Amazons as it does about Diana herself. The comic is a substantial read"it's far less decompressed than much of DC's other quick-paced output"and at thirty story pages, is more interested in establishing a compelling narrative than in furthering the story with needless double-page splash action sequences. This is exactly the Wonder Woman comic I've spent years hoping for, both as a reader and as a retailer. Thank Hera that it's the eager, young female readership who get to reap this reward.

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10
The Mighty Thor (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

This creative team is one that would absolutely kill on any current monthly (and whom I would follow to literally any title anywhere), but as they happen to be tacklingmy favorite sub-universe in Marvel, I hope they plan on staying in the Ten Realms for as long as possible.

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10
The Mighty Thor (2015) #5

Mar 14, 2016

The next couple issues of Mighty Thor deal in flashback with a guest artist on board, presumably to give the divine Mr. Dauterman time to remain on schedule. And though I'm looking forward to issue six (I mean, have you seen this cover?), and it's interlude with Odinson, I cannot wait to get back to Jane and her exploits. Issue #5 is the capstone, yet still barely the beginning, of what can only be described as a modern masterpiece for all involved.

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10
The Mighty Thor (2015) #700

Oct 18, 2017

The issue bops flawlessly from storyline and artist to back again, thought it's hard not to stop and marvel at the artwork.

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9.5
The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1

Dec 18, 2014

Captain Marvel asks, while perusing that selfsame Society of Superheroes comic (appropriately near the last page), "what happened to happy endings?" right before he, Freddy and Mary fly above the city and into the clouds, big grins across their faces. And, yeah, maybe it's a little cheesey. It's also beautiful, and entirely without pretense – a blissful ode to superheroes, an expression of love for the classic tales they came from, and a gentle reminder that putting some heart into comics might not be such a bad idea after all.

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9.0
The Sandman Overture #5

Jun 1, 2015

Gaiman's grasp of the character hasn't faltered in the years since his last foray into the Dreaming, and his writing style remains as captivating as ever. Combined with Williams' and Stewart's psychedelic space-paisley panel work and graceful visuals, this is one of the seminal comics of the decade. Miss out at your own risk.

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9.5
The Sheriff Of Babylon #3

Feb 8, 2016

Such finesse allows Sheriff of Babylon to be a quiet, nearly meditative comic, until it isn't. As is the case in a war zone, incidents of violence are quick, messy, startling (if not unsurprising)" and loud. Each of the three main characters find themselves constantly surrounded by dangers seen and unseen. This issue emphasizes that though they may be protected, none of them are truly safe.

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9.0
The Sheriff Of Babylon #4

Mar 7, 2016

Sheriff of Babylon is well on its way to joining the shortlist of Vertigo's best; and for a publisher that's made the likes of Sandman, Scalped, and Preacher, that is high praise indeed.

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Jan 8, 2015

Marvel recently cancelled another critically acclaimed gem of a female-led comic, She-Hulk, which makes one a bit nervous for the future of Squirrel Girl. Co-creator Will Murray originally wrote Doreen as a fun, lighthearted character to contrast with the high drama of early-90's comics, and this ongoing keeps that spirit alive. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 hits all the right first-issue notes and features a funny, confident, kick-ass lady-hero. This series – and its talented creative team – deserves a few years to tell Doreen's adventures" because that's probably how long her theme song is going to be stuck in my head, always making me giggle: "To her, life is a great big acorn!"

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9.0
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

Apr 23, 2015

While most of the Big Two's other comics are either in the midst of a massive (and massively over-complicated) crossover, or onlyapproaching the vastness of another (incredibly similar) one, a self-contained, light, and funny all-ages comic like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl should be on everyone's pull list. Its adorable irreverence (and blessed self-containment) is the perfect antidote to much of DC and Marvel's current output, and will keep a buck-toothed grin on your face from cover to cover.

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9.5
The Unstoppable Wasp #1

Jan 4, 2017

It's utterly joyous, extremely new reader friendly - of course I was gonna read it. And holy heck, am I glad I did.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #11

Jun 8, 2015

The twists and turns of most memorable fiction have always consisted of deaths great and small, as has the modern music world. With a story as steeped in ancient mythology (and in the modern mythology of pop music) as Wicked + Divine is, it's hard to stay surprised when the creators pull all the dramatic stops like this " upsetting as they may be. It makes for a richer story, all-told, and for an extraordinarily compelling comic. (Well, once we get past that Acceptance stage, at least.) Here's to Laura.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #13

Aug 6, 2015

"If life taught me anything it's that I'm here for people's pleasure." Tara, while she's obviously a fictional character, becomes an all-too-realistic depiction of how famous women (and, let's be honest, most women in general) are forced to deal with the aggression that comes with an assumed entitlement, that it's okay for people to judge them by their bodies and appearance. Even as a god, a pop star celebrity with multitudes of fans, Tara is ultimately powerless against a permeating, toxic misogyny that, if we're being honest, we probably take part in every day. The Wicked + The Divine #13 gets to the heart of that eloquently, thoroughly, and hauntingly. "Fucking Tara", indeed.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #22

Aug 17, 2016

While the ending of Rising Action wasn't as drastic or debilitating as those of Faust Act or Fandemonium (oh the puns, they're painful) this is still a huge turning point in the series, leaving suspense, catharsis, and lingering uncertainty to keep you company until November.

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9.5
The Wicked + The Divine #23

Nov 2, 2016

If you ever wished to see Wada's graceful, captivating art gracing the interiors of a comic book (and if you say you haven't, I don't believe you), this is probably the closest we're going to get, and it will most likely satisfy that particular yearning. (Although there was a baffling and disturbing lack of Baphomet, in my humble opinion.) His art constantly trends towards elegance and beauty, and combined with some really excellent journalism, this is one of the most interesting and stunning comics released this year. Miss it at your own peril.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #1

Oct 6, 2014

I know some will be upset by the fact that we don't actually find out which lucky lady it was who picked up the hammer to become Thor, and that she didn't do so until the end of the comic. But Jason Aaron has said that he'll continue to tell the story of Thor Odinson in the pages of this comic alongside the new Thor " showing how Thor Odinson reacts to being unworthy was a necessary part of that story. And personally I enjoy the fact that we don't know who is holding the hammer just yet " I like a good mystery. Some tantalizing groundwork has been laid, and while some patience might be needed, this could be a Thor story for the ages. (Which is also what I'll be telling my parents the next time they ask.)

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9.5
Thor (2014) #2

Nov 17, 2014

This is a superhero just dipping her toes into her powers for the first time. It differs from the origin story we more often see nowadays, in that picking up Mjolnir has transformed her into a version of someone she's already familiar with, and given her a power set she's already seen in action (or so she's hinted at). Introducing a legacy character – which Thor now definitely is – can often be more compelling than an original character; not only is she getting used to a new power set within the midst of battle, she has the thought of living up to the greatness of her predecessor on from her mind ("… tell me, how much did it hurt whenever Thor would punch you? More or less than this?"). And when that predecessor is an ages-old Viking storm deity – achieving that ideal will be a daunting task indeed.

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9.0
Thor (2014) #3

Dec 15, 2014

I can't recall a more entertainingly action-packed comic in recent memory, and with the creative team increasing the pace, the suspense, and the stakes with each issue, this storyline is approaching the same high quality as Aaron's first Thor story, The God Butcher. Next month's issue is being touted as "Thor vs. Thor", and I simply cannot wait for January.

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9.0
Thor (2014) #5

Feb 12, 2015

I can't recall a recent superhero comic I've enjoyed this thoroughly and this consistently. So much energy and obvious love for each character moves within every page, andthe engrossing mystery continues to simmer at its core, keeping the reader guessing at every turn. And while I can't (yet) prove that it's a certain S.H.I.E.L.D. agent underneath that helm (because it totally is), if Thor is this flawless while it has a "guest" artist, it certainly proves this comic is one of the very best currently on the stands.

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8.5
Thor (2014) #7

Apr 20, 2015

Thor says herself on the final page, "My true story hasn't even begun. But it's about to," and up until now, we've barely skimmed the surface in terms of discovering more about her personality and motivations. But somehow, Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson have made the journey to that discovery just as much fun as it could possibly be. This is the last time Thor will be an unknown quantity to us, but the suspense and thrill of this storyline won't be soon forgotten.

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7.0
Thor: God of Thunder #25

Sep 17, 2014

While I'm very much looking forward to the new Thor#1, replete with Russell Dauterman on pencils (fresh off his uh-mazing stint on Cyclopswith Greg Rucka) I'm going to miss " just as much as I'll miss seeing the Odinson swinging Mjolnir " Ribic's and Svorcina's beautifully realized art. From the towering spires of Asgard down to the curling tendrils of King Thor's beard " all lovingly rendered " they, along with the ubiquitous Mr. Aaron, have truly left an indelible mark on this character and his52-year history. A mark is also left, as I like to think of it, on the centuries-old Norse traditions, the sagas and eddas that served as the original inspiration for Messrs Kirby and Lee to continue telling the further adventuresof the God of Thunder.

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5.0
Titans (2016) #1

Jul 29, 2016

The villain introduced near the end of the issue"and apparently the author of all Wally's pain"was an inspired choice. It's another signal that DC is taking a fresh glance at its back catalog and taking full advantage of having so much rich history and continuity to pull from. This is a book that could be an amazing bridge between New 52 continuity and this weird new "everything counts" Rebirth DCU, provided it continues emphasizing character development without taking its audience for granted.

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8.5
Tokyo Ghost #10

Aug 31, 2016

The entire series has been a meditation on addiction, technology, violence, and co-dependence, though its never exactly subtle about any of those things (in fact, some characters scream those specific things at and about others, repeatedly). Its view of our future is both pessimistic and sadly believable, like the tech-addicted humans of WALL-E with additional (and generous) applications of Trump and pornography in equal measure. Though Image Comics is rife with dystopian-future series' (a couple of them also written by Mr. Remender, funny enough), this one makes for a spectacularly gorgeous read, and is a series not to miss.

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8.0
Trinity (2016) #1

Sep 21, 2016

Like the Rebirth initiative itself, the book touches on multiple past DC continuities: visual references (all double-page spreads, again) come one after the other, first to the ol' Rainbow Batman suit from the Silver Age, preceding a recreated shot of Superman from Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's first New 52 Justice League arc, followed by a scene from the extremely recent Wonder Woman storyline "The Lies" by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp. I very much hope that this reverence to all eras means Trinity will be building upon classic continuity, the curated best parts of the New 52, and the wide expanse of quality continuity being offered in the current DC Universe to truly delve into the unique relationship shared by DC's preeminent superheroes. A beautiful comic, and well worth a read.

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8.5
Uncanny Inhumans #0

Apr 2, 2015

A few of the Inhumans-affiliated changes Marvel has made may feel a bit, well, off (and driven by film-related financial concerns instead of creative ones — like the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's newly-imposed daddy-issues), but The Uncanny Inhumans #0 simply feels like a great comic. Soule, McNiven, Leisten and Ponsor have made a comic that functions well as both an entertaining one-shot and a great series' introduction, and if this high quality portends anything about a certain Marvel movie due out in 2019, don't be surprised if you find yourself getting all wrapped up in the intricacies of Terrigenesis, and suddenly forgetting all about those pesky mutants.

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8.5
We Stand On Guard #1

Jul 1, 2015

Vaughan has a knack for writing scads of interesting and involving characters, even bothering to fully flesh out those in the periphery. All six introduced members of the Two-Four, the Canadian squad of freedom fighters stumbled upon by protagonist Amber, are given distinctive personalities, but the book's thirty-four pages only leaves room for familiarity with a few. This is an excellent first issue, telling a solid, enveloping story in itself, while leaving tons of interesting questions and tantalizing possibilities dangling for later elucidation. And while it takes place in neither my home nor my native land, this comic is going to have me pensively humming "O Canada" for a good while to come.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #35

Nov 2, 2014

Azzarello's and Chiang's was a monumental run in the annals of this revered character. One creative team remaining with one character (and remaining this consistently good) for three years doesn't happen in comics much these days, and DC's New52 output will only be poorer for its loss. The new creative team starting Wonder Woman on the next issue doesn't elicit much in the way of hope for this reader (which is funny, considering what a symbol of hope the character herself always has been), but there's some consolation to be found in this run's quality, its complexity, and ultimately, its completeness.

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1.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #36

Nov 20, 2014

Wonder Woman is now drawn by someone who shies away from calling her a feminist, and is written by someone with so little grasp of her character they have her carrying around a plush toy on the Justice League jet. Of late, DC has had so many successful relaunches and new titles aimed at us ladies, and it breaks my heart that the Amazonian matriarch of female superhero comics could now be so very, very far off the mark William Moulton Marston made back in 1941. Wonder Woman has featured in some stirring works that will stand the test of time, but now – after over a decade – I'm going to take Wonder Woman off my pull list. Thankfully, the idiotic pointlessness of this issue gives merit to the fact that I won't be missing much of anything anyway.

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2.5
Wonder Woman (2011) #38

Jan 26, 2015

Perhaps if this creative team could start effectively communicating a fully-realized character that does more than pout and glower (and occasionally punch), I might actually end up sympathizing with the Finch's Wonder Woman; instead I only feel sympathy for her legacy, and how this series continues to tarnish it.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #1

Jun 22, 2016

Action and character introduction is perfectly balanced, and the issue's story and its intentions are well set " all excellently paced for both new and returning readers. Wonder Woman is definitely a stand-out in DC's latest initiative, an elegantly nuanced return to greatness.

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8.5
Wonder Woman (2016) #3

Jul 27, 2016

This is, undoubtedly, the Wonder Woman title fans have been waiting years for. A must-read.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #4

Aug 10, 2016

Wonder Woman continues to be the best comic to come out of DC's Rebirth, and even the exchange of art teams each issue isn't jarring (especially since both separate stories are tailored so well to their pencillers). For either the casual fan looking to brush up on Wonder Woman, or the steadfast fan who's already read this story eight times over, there is nuance, depth, beauty, compelling characterization and effortless storytelling, and shouldn't be missed by any comic book reader.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #23

May 24, 2017

This penultimate Rucka/Sharp issue is both momentous and bitter-sweet and, combined with my anticipation for the "Truth" finale, I'm feeling a tidal wave of emotion here.

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7.0
Wonder Woman (2016) #26

Jul 12, 2017

It was always going to be a thankless task to follow Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Lim Sharp, and Bilquis Evely no matter what the finished product turned out to be, which might be why this issue just felt so" average.

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10
Wonder Woman: 75th Anniversary Special #1

Oct 26, 2016

The content itself can't help but be reminiscent of the excellent Wonder Woman #600 special from 2010, but still, anthology comics can be a hard sell, even with a star-studded roster like this one. Yet these seventy-five pages (yup, it's exactly seventy-five pages, the handful of ads at the back notwithstanding) are everything you could want out of a Wonder Woman comic. Uplifting and inspiring whilst kicking all the ass necessary to acquire peace and/or justice, this is a necessary addition to any Wonder Woman fan's collection, or just a good read for anyone who prefers elegantly and effortlessly good superhero comics.

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9.5
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Jun 8, 2016

Wonder Woman: Rebirth gets to the heart of the character in a way that's been lacking " even Azzarello and Chiang's run failed to truly get into Diana's head in the way this issue does, as it's almost completely made up of inner-monologue captions. The art is given room to speak for itself, and allows for a more intimate realization of a character kept at arm's length from readers for far too long. Rucka's nuanced return to Diana makes clear he's only grown since he last penned Wonder Woman ten (holy crap, ten?!) years ago. Great Hera, this isa damn good comic.

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7.5
X-Men: Blue (2017) #1

Apr 12, 2017

There isn't much communicated of these kids' personalities that hasn't been already established in other books, but with this team"and especially the character reveal on the final story's main page"I think I'll be sticking it out for another couple issues.

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9.0
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1

Feb 29, 2016

It's an X-Men book free of Marvel's corporate agenda, and the comic's lack of continuity is refreshing; various, classic X-Men from all eras are shown, all without due consequence or ramifications. Michael Walsh's art looks gorgeous (as usual), and it looks and feels different than his work on Secret Avengers, partially due to the captivating colors by Ruth Redmond. All the coloring is slightly flattened (fitting Walsh's art perfectly), and she colors Walsh's typically heavy inks themselves, giving the art a stylized simplicity, almost like the work was done entirely in colored pencil. It emphasizes the rendering, storytelling, and emotion for maximum impact. Worst X-Man Ever is one of the most enjoyable, sweet, and funny books to come out of the X-verse in quite some time. This is a book that shouldn't be missed.

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