Nick Hanover's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin, Comicosity Reviews: 69
7.6Avg. Review Rating

9
Adventure Time Annual #1

Jun 5, 2013

Though it's the first annual, this release is impeccable in its consistency and charm, more than worth its slightly increased cover price (though that "realistic" cover by Al Garza is kind of terrifying) and also helpful as an introductory piece for new fans or those who have been curious about the series. Danny may have ruffled some feathers when he claimed Fast and Furious 6 is more consistent than the entire Bat franchise at this point, but I think we can all agree that Adventure Time continues to be the real franchise to beat.

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8
Aesop's Ark #1

Aug 8, 2012

Future issues could use a better fable/framing device ratio, particularly if the creative team wants to hold the attention spans of kids, but given that you can buy the entire batch of first issues that Monkeybrain has out for less than a couple New 52 titles, that's a small complaint. Roberson and company still have some growing to do with Monkeybrain, but they're already making braver and bolder choices than their like-minded predecessors and Aesop's Ark stands out as a particularly exemplary first effort from the company.

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9
All-Star Western #1

Oct 2, 2011

It's a genius idea that Palmiotti and Gray have stumbled upon, one that has little precedent in fiction as far as I can tell: what would happen if a good ol' American badass like Jonah Hex had been hunting down Jack the Ripper rather than a bunch of yellow belly Brits? All Star Western attempts to answer that question in a different way from the only peer it has that I'm aware of, Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz's Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London. While that story took an actual Western legend and put him up against the actual Jack the Ripper, All Star Western is instead set in late 19th century Gotham, with Hex tracking down a killer nicknamed the Gotham Butcher while the original Dr. Arkham comes along for the ride and takes notes.

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8
Anathema #1

Apr 5, 2012

Every element of this first issue makes it clear that for all involved, this is a project built around love for the genre and a long gone but never forgotten part of its history. The way Deering and company twist and reconfigure the cliches of the genre -- from vampires, to werewolves to witches -- shows they've done their homework but that they aren't chained to it and are more than capable of crafting their own story within those confines. The history enables the story to avoid feeling instantly dated, but it's that passion that enables it to be so entrancing and readable, the way great horror works always are. Last year gave us Echoes and Green Wake, but there's a strong chance horror in 2012 will belong to Anathema.

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8
Archer & Armstrong #0

May 14, 2013

Henry gets a lot of room to play around and his fun, ultra clean style is a great fit for this kind of adventure; he nails the camaraderie and rivalry of the brothers and gives the book far more life than any Classics Illustrated ever have. A lot of zero issues from publishers feel more like teases but Van Lente and Henry both clearly care for the story they're telling and it shows, proving that not every origin has to be a yawn inducing rehash. Plus, did I mention the dinosaurs?

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7
Archer & Armstrong #1

Aug 10, 2012

While Archer & Armstrong under Van Lente and Henry's direction is currently poised to be The Sword for the Christopher Hitchens set, an acidic, clever take on religion that leaves no target unskewered and happens to also prominently feature a fantastic journey through time, it also possesses the ability to evolve into something more heartfelt and real, a work that steps away from vitriol and potshots and gets at a deeper truth about the philosophical divisions between the various followers of a faith that's theoretically all about forgiveness.

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9
Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1

Jun 29, 2011

When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic for Spectrum Culture and a staff writer for No Tofu Magazine. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash Dinovic's Panel Panopticon.

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9
Beta Testing the Apocalypse #1

Dec 23, 2012

Obviously there is conflict to Kaczynski's confusion and a certain aspect of that conflict is an ensemble of influences and references and cycles fighting their way for superiority, the lack of a clear winner defining Kaczynski's style. Punk 7", murderous junkie beatnik cut-up proselytizing, future shock short story anthology, urban decay fertilizing a new Earth order, it's all there in Beta Testing the Apocalypse and Kaczynski is helpful enough to give you his own little signposts along the way, to kick off your own comics Insecticide adventure. His is the art of a generation who communicate through accumulated knowledge and referential totems and it works best in capsules and bursts rather than elongated works with chapters and sections and parts. To that end, Beta Testing the Apocalypse is where we should be looking if we want to know what comes next, if we want to discern which hip priest had their ear closer to the ground.

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8
Bloodborne #1

Feb 22, 2018

Bloodborne is not only an excellent addition to the franchise it adapts but to the ouevre of the creators involved. Perhaps more licensed comics will follow its own example and do their part to break the cycle of mediocrity that normally plagues comic adaptations of games.

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9
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #6

Sep 3, 2011

It's also the kind of series more people should be reading if they want to see how the superhero comic should be evolving.

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6.5
Calexit #2

Feb 28, 2018

And yet, even if thats not the case, that speaks to the theme of insurmountable divisions guiding Calexit. Maybe Zoras ability to direct Rossie-level ruthlessness towards the right targets is enough to make people trust in her simply because it stands in stark relief to the Jamil-style centrists. And maybe that will eventually cause Zora to go the way of so many rebel leaders before her, moving on from victory over their opponents only to inflict a new kind of horror on the people they were supposed to save. What would be more American than that?

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7
Caligula #3

Aug 6, 2011

As weird as that sounds at first, the introduction of Incitatus isn't without historical grounding. Incitatus was indeed Caligula's horse and thanks to the historian Suetonius, the horse has been held up as a symbol of Caligula's madness for some time, largely due to Suetonius' retelling of an anecdote wherein Caligula intended to promote Incitatus to the level of consul. In modern times, Suetonius has of course been questioned and the story of Incitatus has been said to be an example of Caligula's satirical abilities rather than his madness.

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8
CBLDF Liberty Annual #2011

Oct 15, 2011

Covering works that are benefits for causes or charities is always a tricky proposition, because despite the best intentions these efforts are often poorly assembled messes, with a lack of cohesion or thematic consistency. But luckily that isn't the case with the CBLDF's Liberty Annual 2011, published by Image and featuring a healthy turnout of comic stars, from Mark Waid and Jeff Lemire to Frank Quitely, Craig Thompson and Matt Wagner. The Liberty Annual for this year is also wisely built around the It Gets Better concept from Dan Savage's eponymous campaign, which enables most of the creators to explore their own experiences with bullying or intimidation and hostility over the years.

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7
Chin Music #1

May 14, 2013

Though this is the kind of first issue that forces far more questions than it answers, and it's confusing and erratic on purpose, it's clear that Niles and Harris have a plan and once we see it in motion, the first issue will reveal more of its mysteries. The issue ends with a beautifully choreographed payoff of its opening, for instance, and there are hints throughout that Ness has gotten himself into way more than he expected when he helped our skeleton friend. You might not get it yet, but if you're willing to stick with it, Chin Music might just wind up 2013's Fatale.

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5
Cold War (2018) #1

Feb 14, 2018

Cold War may have been created to attack power structures that reduce us to faceless cannon fodder but its hard to care about that message when the delivery of it is so uninteresting and muddy. Instead of being a provocative anti-war work that raises questions while entertaining, Cold War meanders, full of ideas and characters that are so forgettable its hard to blame shadowy forces for viewing them as disposable.

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8
Come Into Me #1

Mar 14, 2018

Come Into Me can't possibly definitively answer these questions but in asking them it stands out as a bolder and more fulfilling sci-fi work than so many of its contemporaries, who favor examinations of human interests over what it means to be human and what it will mean to be human in a future where even our thoughts are commercialized.

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6
Creepy Comics #6

Jul 5, 2011

Jason Shawn Alexander luckily gets better material to work with in "Commedia dell'Morte," which features a particularly abstract script from Christopher A. Taylor. Taylor's story is the ultimate example of the unreliable narrator, a clown on a mission from god, tasked with killing demons posing as parents. Wisely choosing to keep the details of the story under close wraps, Taylor never makes it clear whether we should trust the clown or doubt his mission, complicating matters even further when the clown himself begins to suffer doubt.

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7
Creepy Comics #8

Apr 13, 2012

Of course, it's also a double edged sword, because it again reminds readers just how far ahead the original Creepy is from its modern day successor. But conveniently, Dark Horse has placed a house ad for their recent collection of Bernie Wrightston's best Creepy and Eerie material directly after, just in case you hadn't bought that must own work yet and "Jenifer" reminded you that you need to get on that.

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9
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2

Jul 30, 2011

Yet even more appealing is the idea of Riley's childhood friend/former lover Lizzie as the true "last of the innocent." Brubaker's script sets Lizzie up as a beacon of innocence for Riley, a figure he can desire from afar because not only is she the opposite of Felix in every imaginable way, she's also someone Riley initially rejected despite her best efforts. In one of the series now signature Archie tributes, we're witness to Lizzie's dabbling with "criminal" antics in the past, as she develops a foul mouth just to get herself closer to Riley in detention:

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10
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #3

Aug 20, 2011

But where Brubaker's concept of innocence being run through the gauntlet of Wertham's worst fears really succeeds is in dropping hints that Riley, our Archie surrogate, has been a wolf all along. While Riley's sociopathic tendencies have been hinted at since the beginning of the series, Brubaker makes them clearer here, with Riley's visit to his Felix's lover Teddy culminating in an exchange wherein Teddy confesses that Felix used to say that Riley was "empty...when no one was looking, [he] didn't even exist."

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10
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #4

Sep 24, 2011

And that's what Last of the Innocent has been: the most unique and new Criminal story yet, filtered through one of comics' own longest running forms paired with a distillation of one of its most long standing criticisms. This story has been Criminal on overdrive, a story so perversely simple and yet so stunningly ambitious at once that it serves as the ideal representation of what Criminal has always been.

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4
Deadpool Max #9

Jul 1, 2011

Crystal lacks that knack for juxtaposition, instead leaning on obvious sight gags and blandly overemphasized expressions, like this page that has more mugging than the Surgeon General recommends for your daily dosage:

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8
Debris #1

Aug 3, 2012

Are Wiebe and Rossmo looking to disrupt storytelling techniques that have held for millennia, exploiting our comfort in tradition and turning it on its head? Or are they delighting in the classics, putting that new spin on the same story your mother told you and hers told her? All I know is I'm here for the long haul, to fulfill my own fated quest, to stick around and find out, one way or another.

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8
East of West #1

Apr 2, 2013

There's a lot of mystery to that setting and to this story in general, so while the first issue lacks the narrative punch Red Wing had immediately, there's also a sense that this debut is misleading on purpose and this will be one of Hickman's slow burns, a Station to Station style release, if you will. Maybe it won't entirely triumph by the end, but I feel confident in saying that it will be worth the ride and the brain scratching that ensues, nonetheless.

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9
Gabrielle Bell's 'The Voyeurs' Shows a Mastery of Autobiographical Storytelling #1

Mar 21, 2013

In the wrong hands, The Voyeurs could have been a stilted, dire experience, chock full of the kind of forced weirdness that populates so many autobio comics. Bell may feel uncomfortable in her daily life, but she has a mastery of storytelling that enlivens her anecdotes and allows our voyeurism to go beyond titillation and instead into a realm of shared wisdom. Through Bell's eyes we see the awkwardness of interaction, which seems to have only increased with the introduction of the internet and the convenience it grants communication and observation. The Voyeurs calls us out with its title but by the end, Bell shows us why that's a moniker we should embrace rather than run from.

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10
Gamma (One Shot) #1

Jul 31, 2013

We've been treated to a disgusting number of great single issue comics this year already, but few are as complete a package as Gamma, which not only stands as an excellent example of how comics can achieve so much in such a small number of pages, but also serves as a breakout work from Farinas that will hopefully get him on the collective radar the same way Prophet did for Graham himself last year. At the least, it's going to force anyone who comes into contact with it to reexamine their thoughts on Pokemon, and that's no small feat.

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5
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #0.1

Mar 6, 2013

While Bendis doesn't exactly get to that in this Point One issue, by the end, we are given a glimpse at what partnership could connect this team to the rest of the Marvel films. Unfortunately, that's one of the few exciting moments in the issue, as Bendis devotes the rest of his page length to an origin story that honestly only merits a page or two. Padded out and elongated as it is, the effect is one of overwhelming frustration and boredom, particularly since it mostly wastes Steve McNiven's talent for action choreography in favor of a focus on his weakness, actual human emotion and expression (seriously, who keeps their mouth agape that often?). There's still hope that the proper #1 will pack the excitement this lacks, but that doesn't excuse a twentysomething-page cold open. Or Bendis' questionable understanding of human gestation.

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5
Half Past Danger #1

May 28, 2013

Mooney's saving grace is his art, which is an intriguing mix of vintage and modern, with character designs that recall Tony Harris' work on Ex Machina mingling with the kind of toothsome dinosaurs you'd see from someone like Ross Andru. Hopefully future issues will give him more room to stretch out because the debut is still a little cramped, as it features a lot of set-up, especially towards the back end as Flynn is drinking away the horrors in a pub that has a distinct lack of dinosaurs.

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7
Happy #1

Sep 28, 2012

But who knows, we're only one issue in. He could end up tumbling down some psychedelic rabbit hole next issue, and I'll be eating my words. As of now, though? A bit too boring for me.

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7
Harvest #1

Aug 3, 2012

But that's a small and potentially unfair complaint, given that the series is only an issue in and hasn't yet had the chance to fully flesh out its story and ambition. There's enough potential here to make Harvest worth closer examination and as long as Lieberman is willing to do the legwork and build the series into something more nuanced, it's likely only going to improve. Granted, that also means there's plenty of time for the series to make its own terrible mistakes, hopefully not of the coke and corpse variety, though.

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8
Hawkeye Vol. 2 Annual #1

Aug 1, 2013

A standalone, Kate-centric issue, this Hawkeye annual explores the Clint/Kate dynamic by separating them, giving us a glimpse at Kate in flight, desperate to prove herself away from the interference of father figures like Clint and her real father, who happens to be shacking up in his mansion with a new bride who was only a class or two ahead of Kate in high school. Fraction gives Kate a lot of obstacles along the way, from the reemergence of Madame Masque, who is itching for revenge against Kate, to Kate's seeming inability to be financially independent.

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8
Helheim #3

May 21, 2013

Bunn and Jones' partnership has been confident since the beginning, but now that their story is coming into full visibility, Jones has been able to stretch and create some truly stunning backdrops and creatures, with Nick Filardi's color palette swelling alongside it. The third issue is brighter, imbued not not necessarily with hope, per se, but with the light of realization, as Rikard has found new purpose and sees the truth of his situation and witnesses the full extent of the conflict he's in the middle of. There's a lot of different directions Helheim could go from here, and most all of them are promising.

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9
I, Vampire #1

Oct 3, 2011

Andrew is a centuries-old vampire who is stronger than his peers and has control over his hunger. He subsides on the blood of animals rather than people while his former lover Mary has taken to calling herself the Queen of Blood and believes that humans are meant to be "livestock" for vampires, which she plans to right by waging her own vampire Revolutionary War. It's nothing new but it doesn't matter, as Fialkov and his art team of Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Mailo are far more concerned with setting the all-important mood of the story.

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8
Infinite Kung-Fu #1

Jun 22, 2011

Kung mostly functions as a plot device, the stereotypical hero of destiny who can only achieve greatness after going through seemingly impossible trials that test his faith and endurance as well as his skills. Kung isn't a bad character, per se, he's just not indicative of the kind of inventiveness McLeod brings to the rest of the work, love for wine and brief dalliances with the dark side of "poison" kung-fu aside. In a story where monks build gigantic spider-like death machines and kung-fu masters can use their own detached limbs as weapons and regrow them as they wish, a stock hero archetype can't help but feel one dimensional and staid.

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8
Iron Man (2012) #9

May 7, 2013

Unlike Bendis, Gillen knows how to make a set-up issue fun, from the witty repartee between the two main characters to the big reveal at the end of the issue, which feels far more substantial than Marvel's big event comics that lean on decompressed storytelling. Gillen could stand to get more comfortable with action and build-ups, but there's no denying he knows how to draw readers into his stories with his deft characterization and knack for fun dialogue, and as a result, "The Secret Origin of Tony Stark" might be the real Iron Man blockbuster to beat this year.

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6
Iron Man (2012) #10

May 21, 2013

The good news is that Eaglesham feels far more confident here, and he does execute some genuinely exciting character design, a pleasurable mix of retro costuming and timeless style. But this entire issue comes across as a diversion, some kind of LOL set-up to distract us from the real shit that's coming. Which is fine, but I tend to enjoy Gillen more when he isn't doing plotting on the level of a Family Guy episode.

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6
It Girl and The Atomics #1

Aug 15, 2012

Madman is more or less already proven as a franchise, so the stakes aren't as high for It Girl and the Atomics as they could be, and the environment of Image by its nature grants the series more room for finding itself. But with the dearth of Madman content available in the past few years, a smart, engaging series set in this world would be a godsend. Rich and Norton still have some development to get through before they're entirely filling that void but flaws aside, their passion is clear in every panel and more than anything else, that's what will allow them to reach that goal. 

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8
Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells a Rat #1

May 21, 2013

Bunn and Jones' partnership has been confident since the beginning, but now that their story is coming into full visibility, Jones has been able to stretch and create some truly stunning backdrops and creatures, with Nick Filardi's color palette swelling alongside it. The third issue is brighter, imbued not not necessarily with hope, per se, but with the light of realization, as Rikard has found new purpose and sees the truth of his situation and witnesses the full extent of the conflict he's in the middle of. There's a lot of different directions Helheim could go from here, and most all of them are promising.

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9
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story #1

Jan 10, 2013

But that's ultimately a small complaint about what is otherwise a stellar example of comics reporting, one which will hopefully open the doors for likeminded works and provide a template for others hoping to document similar publishers' histories. Howe may have shattered quite a few bullpen-set childhood dreams, but by offering such a well constructed history of this pillar of the medium, he may just have sparked a few more practical futures.

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5
Mike Hammer #1

Jun 27, 2018

It ultimately feels like everyone involved except for legendary cover artist Robert McGinnis lacked the know-how to make Hammers modern debut meaningful, particularly when you factor in the bullet-riddled interior book design and Tom Williams uninspired, hacky lettering.

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8
Morning Glories #11

Aug 9, 2011

But we'll talk about that after you've read it.

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9
Morning Glories #12

Sep 10, 2011

I say may because it's unclear at this point whether father is meant in a literal sense or something more akin to a convent. Miss Daramount at least has the scars of corporal punishment spread across her arm to lend credence to the latter:

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9
Morning Glories #13

Oct 22, 2011

That rejection is hurting Hunter more than anything else he's experienced in the series and causes him to lash out in a way that's completely at odds with who he is as a character. In the new documentary Miss Representation, about the effects media has on the choices girls make for their adulthood, a large section is devoted to the fact that sexist rhetoric and imagery doesn't just hurt women, it hurts men as well, who are often caused to be emotionally stunted because of the emphasis society places on men not showing emotion. After running away from Casey in the wake of her rejection of him, Hunter lashes out at the first vulnerable target that presents itself because he doesn't know how else to respond. That target is Zoe, who gets treated to an ugly bout of misogynist slut-shaming from Hunter:

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7
Morning Glories #27

Jun 5, 2013

This is still an extremely addicting, promising series, but it needs a shot in the arm, and soon.

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4
Mystery Men #1

Jun 16, 2011

Worse, when Mystery Men isn't offering up blunt, artless depictions of murder, pedophilia and betrayals it's providing heavy handed scenes of political correctness that stand out like sore thumbs. In one of the book's most hilariously stupid examples of the villain's evilness, we bare witness to his summary of what nefarious things he's been up to for some nameless group of likeminded bad guys:

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6
Pilot Season: The Test #1

Oct 8, 2011

As a pilot, The Test features a concept that isn't groundbreaking but does offer enough tantalizing mystery to sustain more than a season. We're immediately thrown into its world with a mostly dialogue free opening sequence, a group of four women and two men wake up in a strange biodome. We learn about the setting as the characters do, with a creepy automated message from a psychotically grinning woman telling the group that they're essentially meant to repopulate the planet after some apocalyptic incident has happened.

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5
Punks Not Dead #1

Feb 21, 2018

In a book dedicated to the power of obnoxiousness, that lack of fresh ideas is undoubtedly its most obnoxious quality. Stealing from what's come before you is all fine and good (just ask Eliot and Joyce and Jobs) but there has to be some innovating, some spark of ingenuity. By failing to do this, Barnett has only proven that while punk may not be dead, in his hands it's something even worse: useless.

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10
Sailor Twain: an immigrant story of American folklore and Old World Romanticism #1

Oct 12, 2012

Siegel's love for that scenery, and those cultures and people and myths, is visible in every panel of Sailor Twain, marking him as a true American talent with a phenomenal gift for breathing new life into otherwise well-traveled elements of our nation. Sailor Twain easily proves that the history of our folklore is ever shifting and ever vital, capable of obtaining new meaning and identity each generation, and after all, isn't that what good tricksters are all about?

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7
Spaceman #1

Oct 30, 2011

At the heart of the high expectations for the series is its pedigree, with Azzarello and Risso the proud parents of one of Vertigo's greatest hits, 100 Bullets. Spaceman at first glance appears to be a series that doesn't quite have the same immediacy of 100 Bullets, which had a concept so great it could be sold to new readers with a single sentence plot description: people who have been wronged in some way are handed a gun with untraceable ammunition and all the evidence they need for revenge. That series eventually built up into a conspiracy tale of X-Files proportions but that hook was always there. Spaceman, however, seems to be a totally different beast, with the first issue not doing much to reveal the overall plan.

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9
Spontaneous #3

Aug 23, 2011

Joe Harris has hinted throughout Spontaneous (and in our interview with him) that the story of our protagonist Melvin is less about spontaneous combustion than it is about his need to escape his potential. Issue three is perhaps the most direct depiction of this aspect of the story, as Melvin and the "fiery god" that within him are at odds throughout the issue, as ol' MFG pushes Melvin to reveal his past to those close to him.

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9
Spontaneous #4

Sep 24, 2011

Emily has in some ways been played for laughs in Spontaneous, as her passion for investigative journalism has bordered on the psychotic. Emily's got real skills, though, as has been shown from issue two onwards and in this issue that's the side of her that's showcased, this monologue aside:

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8
Spontaneous #5

Oct 22, 2011

Weldele's art is stellar as always, and here he gets far more room to play with abstraction than ever before, particularly in regards to Melvin reaching his potential. There are some issues with weak lettering, as the overly digitized typing clashes wildly with Weldele's loose, scratchy penciling, with the worst of it happening right at the start:

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9
Swamp Thing (2011) #1

Sep 11, 2011

The good news is that based on this first issue, they're well on their way to achieving that. Yanick's pencils are freakishly sharp, especially as they're paired with Nathan Fairbairn's screaming colors; whatever you may have thought when you first heard about the art team on this book, the fact is that they're the perfect team to bring Snyder's inventive script to life. That's of the utmost importance here as Snyder calls for his team to work in apocalyptic scenes of worldwide animal deaths, foreboding dreams and grotesque murders, but also of Holland just hanging out with his fellow construction workers... and Superman.

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9
Swamp Thing (2011) #2

Oct 13, 2011

But instead, Snyder jumps right into it, opening issue two with the origin of not-Tyler Durden Swamp Thing, who turns out to be a former RAF pilot who went down over a swamp during World War II, dying from catastrophic burns and injuries before being consumed by the Green. His name isn't Tyler Durden (or Robert Paulson), it's Calbraith A.H. Rodgers, but in the horrific scene showing the Green taking him as their guardian, it's pretty clear that he was always the property of the Green and his humanity never mattered. That's a point Holland himself leans on, calling out the minimal human elements that remain in Rodgers and bringing up the constant sacrifices he has made himself for Rodgers and the rest of the Parliament of the Green.

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7
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #8

Jul 4, 2011

Dan Panosian's pencils are a fitting physical manifestation of that image, all harsh lines and stark, expressive backgrounds. The chilling opening, as Colleen treats us to the first of many instances of her inheritance of her mother's stone cold effectiveness, couldn't be more at odds with Mike Grell's classic pensmanship and is all the better for it:

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7
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9

Aug 1, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents #9Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011By: Nick Hanover Nick SpencerDan Panosian, Mike Grell, Nick Dragotta, Brad Anderson (c), Val Staples (c), Lee Loughridge (c)DC The past several issues of Nick Spencer's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents have been structured around the conflict between Silver Age sentimentality and modern sensibilities, a conflict explicitly laid out right at the beginning with Len's acknowledgment that his fundamental flaw as Dynamo is that he "was always so damn trusting." Where other epic heroes fall due to their hubris, the original Dynamo, as depicted by Spencer, fell because he couldn't adapt to the modern era, where trust is a weakness rather than a virtue.

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6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Aug 28, 2011

The first issue kicks off with the Turtles and Splinter facing off a new villain named Old Hob, a mutated alley cat with a bone to pick with the Turtles and their master. As if to make it clear to readers and parent buyers that despite the appearance of the art this is still a relatively kid friendly book, Splinter immediately tells the Turtles that in the battle with Hob, "None must die:"

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5.5
The Ballad of Sang #1

Mar 7, 2018

This is one ballad you should feel free to tune out.

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7
The Beef #1

Mar 1, 2018

The Beef's debut issue also makes the mistake of letting exposition and writerly flourishes" like the repetition of certain lines between shifts in time" get in the way of moving the plot forward so Shaky Kane can do his thing, stretching out conflict with the bullies far longer than necessary in order to delay the freaky pay off of the ending. That does at least indicate that the next issue will be the real vehicle for Kane's talents as well as a better window into who or what Chuck even is. But for now, The Beef is undercooked.

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7.5
The Dead Hand #1

Apr 12, 2018

Review: THE DEAD HAND #1Image ComicsReviews18 seconds ago

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6
The Deep Sea #1

May 28, 2013

As it originally ran in Dark Horse Presents, The Deep Sea was probably more effective, but collected in a one shot its issues are more glaring. Outside of Akins' consistency issues, Palmiotti and Gray's script is a little too predictable and they spend so much time getting the plot in motion that we barely get any true character moments.

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10
The Milkman Murders #1

Sep 19, 2012

As artists, Casey and Parkhouse know the meaning of this better than most and in their symbiotic, telepathic connection the two have created a story of limitless horror and power. It is a story of raw emotion and brutal honesty, universal despite the specificity of its location and characters, timeless in its style and message. This is comics as fantasy and therapy, a bleak but fulfilling follow-up on promise and potential. This is horror as it should be told, no holds barred, nothing held back. This is fiction as a reminder that everyday wasted is a move further away from the destination we set for ourselves, back when we believed.

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6
The New World #1

Jul 25, 2018

Of course, Rotten came back stronger with Public Image Ltd, so maybe Kots on to something after all.

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7.5
The Season of the Snake #1

Apr 11, 2018

Even with its floating buildings and noir trappings, The Season of the Snake never feels like Blade Runner or, worse, one of its contemporary impersonators, like Altered Carbon. It instead feels like an actually disruptive and unique work that may struggle to hold its narrative together but at least never struggles to hold your attention.

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5
The Shade #1

Oct 20, 2011

In the pages of Starman, Shade was brilliantly used as a stark juxtaposition to the normal guy characterization of Jack, whose abilities were tied to technology whereas Shade's were inexplicable and magically derived. So what happens when Shade is removed from the context of Starman and given his own little spotlight?

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8.5
Twisted Romance #2

Feb 14, 2018

Smart publishers and editors should be taking notes from Twisted Romance because this is what the future of comics is going to look like.

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8
Uncanny X-Force (2010) #13

Aug 26, 2011

Brooks' art has grown more confident as the arc has gone on, particularly here in #13 where he gets to really flex his creative muscles with a battle against Celestial drones set in the belly of a Celestial Gardener. Brooks' fight choreography here is excellent, dynamic but clear and concise, his depiction of the Celestial drones true to tradition but also entirely menacing. Dean White gets a chance to expand his color palette as well, some much needed boldness injected into the otherwise grey and rust tone heavy world, with Andrew Currie's inks helping give the battle anotherworldly shimmer. Of course, one contender for the best moment in the entire book happens here and it relies less on the incredible art, instead showing off Remender's irreverence as Fantomex decides to take Gambit down a notch:

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8
We are The Danger #1

May 30, 2018

Whether We Are The Danger gets around to the messier parts of the band life isnt as clear yet, still, who can blame it for lingering on the joys of first playing together and discovering your own sound? After all, thats a lot more likely to inspire young readers to pick up an instrument themselves than the grimy reality of a months long tour could ever hope to be.

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