Nick Philpott's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Bastards Reviews: 216
8.1Avg. Review Rating

6
Adventure Time: 2014 Winter Special #1

Jan 29, 2014

Overall, if Adventure Time is your thing, you'll enjoy this book. It went quickly and I had fun reading it, but at the end of it, so what? It's lightweight, and it says what it wants to right off the blocks. It's like watching an ABC Family Christmas special; it's very okay, if that's the kind of thing you're looking for, but you're probably never going to feel the need to watch it again.

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10
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1

Jan 14, 2015

Now that Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Brandon Lamb have capped off their amazing run on the main Adventure Time book, the edges of the Adventure Time universe are starting to look more and more appealing. Gran and Pietsch have definitely set up a fun miniseries here for any fan of the show, and I'm excited to see where it leads.

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10
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #2

Feb 11, 2015

I love this book. I can't say enough good things about it, and I'm going to be sad when it ends, but it's been a soothing balm after the burn of North and Paroline leaving the main title.

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10
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #3

Mar 11, 2015

This is certainly a book by people who love the characters they get to play with. It has to be, if it's only going to be six issues; there's a lot to get in there. My only concern with the book is that it feels a little airy, and a little (pardon the pun) spacey, in terms of pacing, but that's always kind of been the way Adventure Time functions, so that's probably more of an issue with the property itself than this book. We're at the halfway point, and there should be plenty of opportunities to catch up, so I would recommend anyone who loves this universe and these characters pick it up.

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8
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #4

Apr 8, 2015

It will be tough to jump into this series today if you haven't been reading, not least because it seems like the first issue is sold out pretty much everywhere. But if you've been reading, things are finally ramping up for a sense of an ending, and if you haven't, you should be picking up this trade in a few months. It is definitely worth your time.

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4
Axcend #2

Nov 4, 2015

On the whole, if this book had come out in 1995 and I was six years old, it would be amazing. I would buy it every month. I would make a costume out of Eric's Beta, even if he is noseless and that unsettles me. As it stands now, it's a very beautiful book that's big and bombastic without saying even the slightest new thing.

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6
Batman: Eternal #1

Apr 14, 2014

If you like what's going on in the Batman universe at the moment, I'd say this is gonna be right up your alley. It's more of the same in spades. If you're not digging what Snyder & Co. are doing in Gotham, this isn't going to give you any strong reason to change your mind. Possibly the definitive middle-of-the-road Batman comic.

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8
Bloodshot: Reborn #6

Sep 16, 2015

If you've been on the fence about picking up Bloodshot Reborn, like I was (he's the most reminiscent of what Valiant was in the 90s, with the roided-up he-men and things like H.A.R.D. Corps to me), put those anxieties to bed. This issue retreads some old ground, but it's a fun one, and it's an intriguing set up for what's to come.

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10
Bloodshot: Reborn #7

Oct 7, 2015

This book is a team of creators working at the top of their game, and cranking it out with astonishing regularity. I wish I could find some things to complain about, but this was just a damn good time with a damn good book. Can't wait to check back in with Bloodshot next month.

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10
Bloodshot: Reborn #8

Nov 18, 2015

I wish I could come up with something constructive to offer as criticism on this book, but there's nothing that's jumping out at me. It's an amazing, if somewhat standard for the genre, lead up to a final conflict, and I'm already anxious to see where Lemire and co. go with it. This has been an interesting kind of redemption tale, and there are a lot of places for it to end up after Ray/Bloodshot deals with the final nanite-infected person. I'm excited for all the possibilities. Keep on making this book, gang: I love it.

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4
Bob's Burgers #1

Aug 27, 2014

The biggest misstep from the writers in this book is limiting the Belchers to a few pages. The anthology episodes of the show are its weakest, because the Belchers thrive on long-form narratives that allow them to grow and change; to get better. The Belchers are not the traditional, unsolvable sitcom family, and even though the episode scenarios get a little outlandish, they always ground the problems in an emotional reality of a regular family that owns a struggling small business, but who love each other. This book makes quick gags out of the struggles of the Belchers and expects us to thank them for it.

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8
Braves Warriors: Impossibear Special #1

Jun 11, 2014

This comic is a lot of fun, and for the price, it's worth it. You get plenty of story and art, you're never bored. It's a quick read, but you never feel cheated. I don't read the main Bravest Warriors title, but I feel like, from this issue, I have enough backstory and a feel for enough of the characters, that I could jump in if I so chose. Also, each one of these stories is kid-friendly, so if you know a little rapscallion who needs to get into comic books and you want to be that quasi-bad influence, this is a solid call. Bright, shiny, well-told stories for everyone!

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6
Bravest Warriors #23

Aug 30, 2014

Overall, I'm not sure I'll be able to stick with Bravest Warriors. I'm seeing what it's putting down, and I'm noting that it has value and is enjoyable to a slice of the population, I'm just not picking it up. Sorry, gang. I'll hang on for Leth's Edward Scissorhands and Fraggle Rock books and I'll keep an eye out for McGinty's next project.

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8
Cap'n Dinosaur One Shot #1

Jul 16, 2014

Overall, this comic was a hell of a lot of fun. It's like the advertisements from your favorite book coming to life and fighting the damn commies. It's delightful. Sit down with it and get ready for action!

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6
Conan: The Avenger #1

Apr 23, 2014

I don't think I'm the target audience for this issue. It was extremely capably drawn, and the dialogue was dense, but not wooden. These are capable artists who seem to know this world, I just couldn't seem to crack it myself.

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8
Conan: The Avenger #2

May 28, 2014

This issue was a huge jump forward from the last one. It was more fun, it was more propelled and compelling, and it was more read more easily. I don't know if it was just opening day nerves with issue 1 or what, but after questioning if I'd come back for issue 2, I'm definitely coming back for issue 3.

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8
Conan: The Avenger #3

Jun 26, 2014

This series is guaranteed fun every month. Last month, we got a zombie infestation and a secret graveyard; this month, we get a locked-door mystery with a gigantic pig-monster. I can only hope Van Lente and Ching up the stakes next month, because I'm having a lot of fun riding up this roller coaster, waiting for it to plummet down on Conan's head.

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6
Conan: The Avenger #4

Jul 23, 2014

At this point, I'm digging the story of Conan the Avenger. I have problems with its pacing, but I'm enjoying getting to know the land of Kush and Shumballa and the Cimmerian warrior without honor (honor is only to convince the weak that they are better than beasts). I'm not sure whose cup of tea this series is; I think if I weren't reviewing it, after the first arc it would not be mine. But for those who enjoy a good sword-and-sandal badass feast every month, this is surely the ticket.

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8
Conan: The Avenger #5

Aug 27, 2014

I like where this series is going, but as we head towards part six, I'm still sort of lost at sea as to where it wants to go. In fairness, I also don't know much about Conan, so I don't know if this is a typical kind of way to tell a Conan yarn, it's just that we're five issues in and I'm not sure what the hero wants the world to look like if he achieves his goals. Meanwhile, I'll keep checking back in every month.

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10
Conan: The Avenger #6

Sep 24, 2014

If you haven't been reading this series, and it was because of my recommendations early on, that's my bad. I'm owning that. But if you have skipped it, check out the trade and tune in next month to see where Conan's headed off to. I think it'll be a great time all around.

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6
Dead Drop #1

May 6, 2015

It's intriguing in all the right ways, and it's gorgeous to look at. It just feels like an awful deflating issue, especially at that price point.

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6
Dead Drop #2

Jun 3, 2015

This issue reveals a little bit more of what may be the overarching plot (we're approaching the territory where I get to use the word "mastermind," so get psyched), without giving it all away. My real problem this month is that, while I've generally enjoyed X-O and Archer's sides of the virus chase, they've both felt very same-y to me. There's a lot of chases, there's a lot of banter with Neville, there's a lot of "the people with the virus are not what they seem." It's a book that I enjoy while I'm in the moment reading it, but when I'm done, I don't have a lot to say about it in specifics. I dig what these two guys are doing, and I'm glad Valiant is letting them use their relatively new soil to plant this weird experiment, but the last two issues are really going to have to wow me to make this the game changer they want it to be.

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8
Dead Letters #1

Apr 2, 2014

This is an assured debut from this creative team. Crime comics these days tend to skew between monster crime (vampires, werewolves, steamy romance, etc) and hard-boiled. Team Chris has decided to straddle that line, and that's something to be treasured. Don't let this book fall into the cracks on your list"it'll take you on a memorable ride, and leave you with a revelation that is sure to bring you back next month.

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8
Dead Letters #2

May 7, 2014

Dead Letters is fun, and it's violent, and it's addressing themes of what it means to be a human and what rewards there may be for good people in a secular world, and it's doing it all in a visually gorgeous setting. I mean, come on: Dead Letters is everything you want from a comic book, in spades. If you're not picking it up, you better wise up… ya mooks.

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10
Dead Letters #3

Jun 11, 2014

There's room enough in this town for Ma and Jones and Charnel and Sam and Beryl and the whole sick crew. But what's rapidly becoming apparent is that none of them want to stay there, and the next place they end up may not be so forgiving (or in this case, so blas).

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10
Dead Letters #4

Jul 30, 2014

The world status quo at the end of issue 4 is shaken up. There are new sidekicks, new bosses (same as the old bosses?), and our hero has finally got a little time to breathe and regroup. Every month so far I've been excited to see where Sebela and Visions would take the story they've been building, and exploring this world they're playing in.

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10
Dead Letters #5

Oct 8, 2014

Dead Letters is five-for-five so far, gang, and this issue is a great jumping on point. It's basically an entirely new "mission" for Sam, and it fills you in on the salient points of his backstory so that you won't be adrift. If you read it and decide you want to go back further, or if you're a start-from-the-beginning kind of person (I feel you, there), the first trade just came out and it's lovely. Buy them both. Buy them all. You won't regret it.

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10
Dead Letters #6

Nov 29, 2014

Go pick up the trade for this book, pick up last month's issue, and pick up this week's. Catch up. They may be stuck in purgatory, but this story is riding off the rails into a crazy mystery, and I'm loving every panel.

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10
Dead Letters #7

Jan 23, 2015

I don't know what else I can say to make you pick up this book, aside from the impassioned plea that I don't think things are going to be okay for our intrepid hero next month… And you don't want to miss a thing these guys could cook up for him.

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8
Dead Letters #8

Mar 11, 2015

But that's a wobble. This series has been solid every month, and continues to ratchet up the tension for each subsequent issue. Team Dead Letters is up there with Team Saga in terms of being fucking awesome at cliffhangers on the last page to keep you coming back. People forget that comics used to ask big questions in the midst of their escapism. Sebela and Visions haven't forgotten; they just remembered that big questions can happen in the middle of a fist-fight.

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6
Deadly Class #3

Mar 26, 2014

Overall, this is a better issue than number two, but not as good as number one. It's got a logical endpoint, but I don't see it getting there in a way that's that interesting, at this point. I'm willing to give it one more month, but my expectations are less-than-high.

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10
Descender #7

Nov 11, 2015

Descender is one of those books that, as a comics creator myself, infuriates me. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but somehow this book shows up on the shelves as a perfect little machine, functioning at its highest capacity, with each member of the creative team shining through. If you're not buying this book, there's no helping you. Is it possible that it is you who is the robot?

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6
Descender #8

Dec 18, 2015

If you're not already reading Descender, you're missing the only sci-fi that could have competed with Star Wars this month. It's a tale of boys grown up wrong, and it'll break your heart, but it'll be a gorgeous heartbreak. This book is like watching a star slowly die, and I mean that in the best, most Malickian/Tree of Life sense"it reminds you that innocence only means something when you lose it.

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8
Descender #9

Jan 13, 2016

If you're looking for a sci-fi book to give you the rollicking adventure feeling of the original Star Wars, Descender should be your first choice. Pick up the trade, seek out the back issues, get caught up. Live this wonderful space fable that Lemire and Nguyen deliver like a gift, and enjoy every minute of it.

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8
Dexter's Laboratory #1

Apr 30, 2014

This is some of the most fun you'll have in a comic book this month, possibly this year. Especially if you're a child of the 90s like I am/was. Do yourself a favor and come back down to the lab.

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8
Dexter's Laboratory #2

May 22, 2014

Dexter's Laboratory is actual fun for the whole family. If you're a twentysomething like me, it's a cozy trip down memory lane into the shows of your childhood. If you're older (especially with kids), it's fun and would be fun to read to kids. These would be excellent family-bonding comics, which is a genre that I think should be more prevalent because it sounds adorable. And if you're a little kid who has somehow stumbled onto this review, this is the perfect comic for you to read, and also I'm sorry for cursing. Don't tell your mom.

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10
Dexter's Laboratory #3

Jun 11, 2014

If Dexter's Lab was never your bag, this comic's not going to turn you into a fan any more than the show itself could have. If you are a fan, and you're not reading this comic, you've got some serious thinking to do about your priorities.

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10
Dexter's Laboratory #4

Jul 2, 2014

This first arc of Dexter's Lab has been extremely satisfying on the merits of its story and its art, beyond the potential for nostalgia. Now that there's been a solid introductory arc, I'm excited to see where Fridolfs and Jampole are going to take the franchise. They've got a little lead on popular opinion; they've got their street cred. What kind of hijinks will Dexter and Dee Dee get into next? I don't know, but I'll definitely be there to find out.

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10
East of West #21

Oct 14, 2015

I shouldn't have to tell you at this point that East of West is the best work Hickman's ever done, and he's bringing out the best in all his collaborators. He's creating a nightmare America almost from whole cloth, and even though it's only been going on for a little over three years, it feels like it could go on forever. Catch up with the trades, buy last month's issue–read this book.

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8
Ei8ht #2

Mar 18, 2015

Issue 2 was a definite improvement for Ei8ht. Issue one wasn't bad by any means, but it got a lot of extra credit for its use of color and its great art. Issue two takes those things and synthesizes them into something approaching the heart of the actual book, where it's firing on all cylinders–it's just not there yet. I think we're close, and I think when this book comes out in trade, I may have to eat a significant amount of my words, but right now, it feels like its lagging.

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8
Ei8ht #3

Apr 15, 2015

But that's all a moot point, the wouldn't-it-be-nice-if's. Ei8ht is super fun sci-fi, illustrated by an artist at the top of his game, and with a charming script behind it. Don't be the one who has to wait months for the trade of this one to come out.

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4
Ei8ht #4

May 20, 2015

At this point, I still dig the series, but if it weren't a limited miniseries that was about to wrap up, I wouldn't be buying it, I would just be waiting for the collection. Albuquerque's art is phenomenal, and the story he and Mike Johnson have cooked up serves its purposes extremely well, but at this point, I'd like to see more of an open world than a tightly focused miniseries like this. Albuquerque has the same flair for action and the strange that Matteo Scalera has in Black Science, or that Sean Murphy has in everything. Here's hoping that leads to more stories in the Ei8ht universe in the future, or I'll just have to keep satisfying my Albuquerque urge with American Vampire, when it isn't delayed.

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8
Ei8ht #5

Jun 17, 2015

Albuquerque and Johnson have built a solid platform for this series, and I can't wait to see where they're going to take it when they come back.

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10
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Jan 20, 2016

Valiant really kills it with their miniseries, every time. The Valiant, Divinity, The Delinquents, and Quantum & Woody Must Die have all been incredibly good, and easy to jump into for a new reader. Faith continues that tradition at the one big company with a cohesive universe that's still young enough to support that kind of endeavor. I'm just glad they're delivering that kind of quality yet again, and I applaud the entire team.

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6
Feathers #1

Jan 7, 2015

Corona apparently started this book as part of his coursework at SCAD, and as a piece created for a class requirement, it's one of those rare beasts that can stand on its own outside of the critical eye of the classroom. That being said, it could have used some polish before being let out into the wide-open world. The concepts here are interesting, and they feel like they have some weight, but there are some shortcuts in this issue that speak more to a deadline than they do to a burning need to tell a story.

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10
Fight Club 2 #2

Jun 24, 2015

Where the original Fight Club tried to pose Tyler Durden as a kind of anti-hero (he's the clear antagonist in the book, but he's constantly talking about using violence for redemption, on a personal and society-wide scale), this book is jumping right in with him as a class-A douchenozzle. Even the people who kind of like him (coughcoughMarlacough) come off as people who know they're making a horrible decision. This is no longer the story of a lost man searching for redemption in all the wrong places; this is a man who's committed to cleaning up the messes he's responsible for, even if he doesn't remember doing them.

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10
Fight Club 2 #3

Jul 22, 2015

This series is interesting every month in ways that feel wholly original instead of pandering to fans of the original. Add in the fact that the film and the novel lacked the exquisite talents of Cameron Stewart on the drawing board every month, and this is a comic that is not to be missed.

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10
Fight Club 2 #4

Aug 26, 2015

This book has been a delight every month, and I mean that in the most disgusting, metafictional, violent, truly Fight Club kind of way. It's everything I loved about the book, everything I loved about the movie, and almost everything I love about comics, mixed up, shook up, electroshocked, punched in the face, and published monthly. If you're not reading it, you're gonna be pissed at yourself as it continues to be amazing and all your friends stop inviting you out because you're clearly not the cool one in the group.

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10
Fight Club 2 #5

Sep 23, 2015

This go-round, Fight Club has gotten a lot meaner. It's not the lean, cut fiction of the book; it's a gargantuan fighter, with arms too long for you to box with them. It'll beat you down, but you'll be able to smile through your broken teeth. Keep going. Stick with it. I think everything is going to come together in the end.

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10
Fight Club 2 #6

Oct 28, 2015

I don't know how much more I can say about this series to influence people to pick it up. It's a tough row to hoe, as it's a ten-issue series that won't be collected until next May, and judging by the availability in the store where I work, it's getting super tough to find issues one and two. This is a series that deserves to be read from the beginning, that you should re-read every month before it comes out. It's so dense and novelistic, which makes for a satisfying way to spend four bucks every month, but I'm not sure the pace lends itself to monthly releasing. I suppose all that is to say: if you can find all six issues, buy them. Drop the $24 and spend an evening getting reacquainted with the world's favorite violent, dissociative cultural meme disease and his gleeful gang of Space Monkeys. You won't regret it.

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6
Forever Evil #5

Feb 15, 2014

Marvel excels at making crossovers that relatively stand on their own, and that launch out of character interactions. Age of Ultron was practically built for the non-regular reader, and Avengers vs. X-Men was exactly what it sounded like, which everyone wants. Forever Evil launches from Trinity War, which launched from a) random appearances by Pandora in all the "phase one" books as a character that was almost impossible to find, and b) a bunch of mini-series built specifically to lead into them. This whole miniseries has been sort of a fun little jaunt into what happens when Superman's not on hand, but the whole shebang feels extraneous. At this point, I'll buy the last two issues, but only out of an obsessive-compulsive desire for completeness, not necessarily to see how the unnamed threat that I've taken to calling (SPOILER ALERT) the "Doctor Who Season 5 MacGuffin" is going to pan out.

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8
From Under Mountains #1

Sep 30, 2015

From Under Mountains is a gorgeous tone poem of a comic, but if you're looking for something plot-heavy and driving, this is not the book for you. It's a beautiful side trip, a detour through a foreign land with no guide except a vague understanding of the map. It's a trip worth taking, but not one that will give you a lot of easy answers.

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4
G.I. Joe (2014) #1

Sep 24, 2014

Steve Kurth's art is solid, and he does well with what he's given, but the real star of the show for me is the cover by Jeffery Veregge. It's very Saul-Bass-y, which is awesome, and it gives the readers a heads up that hey, this isn't going to be the everyday G.I. Joe with hyperrealistic covers of explosions, it's going to have a little more intrigue. It's a stylistic choice I like for a story I'm not crazy about.

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4
Genesis One-Shot #1

Apr 16, 2014

Genesis is described on the back by a professor of comic studies as "allegorical." That may be what's tripping me up; I don't do well with allegorical in the printed word. The Prophet, The Bible, etc" most of it goes over my head. I don't know if I'm just not doing the work to dig, and that may well be the case. Maybe this is the kind of issue that gets better on the second read through. Who knows. All I can say is that it wasn't working for me the first time, and that makes me extremely unlikely to go back and page through at my leisure.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #1

Jul 22, 2014

When you want zany action and fun, with hilarious dialogue and gorgeous art, you come to Ryan Browne and get your copy of God Hates Astronauts. When you want that boring other bullshit, you and Dr. Professor can go get fucked.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #2

Oct 1, 2014

Don't let that happen. Buy this book. Buy two copies. Buy one for your mom. She'll probably like it, aside from all the swearing. (Maybe with the swearing? I don't know what your mom is into these days).

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10
God Hates Astronauts #3

Nov 5, 2014

Like I said, there's a lot of threads that I'm following in God Hates Astronauts: the troubled-but-on-the-mend marriage of Star-Grass and Starrior; the Anti-Mugger's horrifying new sleep-mugging habit; Doctor Professor and his incoming horde of Crabulonian invaders. There are even back-up features trying to keep us up-to-date on the whereabouts and the doings of The Impossible. None of this is me complaining"I love all the things Browne is doing. I just really really hope he can pull them all together in a couple issues to end the arc. But really, if at the end of the day, my issue is that I hope a creator, who has proven themselves more than capable of handling a story, isn't juggling too many balls, do I really have anything to worry about? This reader says: no.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #4

Dec 4, 2014

Seriously gang, there's nothing that's not super joyous and delightful about this book every month. I leave it until last to read because I know I'll want to savor it, like a delicious cheeseburger. I want you all to have that pleasure too, so buy the damn book already.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #5

Jan 8, 2015

This is a tough book to explain to people. The plotlines are wide-reaching and largely laugh-out-loud ridiculous. But this is a book that you should be telling people about. Give it to your stoner best friend. Give it to your punk rock girlfriend. Give it to your fucking mom. This is a book that fills a niche on the shelves that I didn't even know existed until it came out, and now that there's going to be a trade (which, since it's an Image book, I have to assume will only be ten bucks), this is the perfect time to make everyone a God Hates Astronauts fan and bring them back for the second arc.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #6

Mar 4, 2015

Reading this book is like what it must have been like to pick up a Steve Gerber book in the 70s. It's totally bonkers nuts all the time, and it could go anywhere from a semi-sentient heap of swamp trash to a completely sentient (and pissed-off) duck in a trilby, and it all, in its trippy glory, just makes sense. God Hates Astronauts? I mean, of course he does.

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10
God Hates Astronauts #7

Apr 1, 2015

There's nothing I can say about this book to make you pick it up that I haven't already. It's the closest we have on the shelves to the spirit of the comix of the 70s, where you could do, draw, say anything and publish it. God Hates Astronauts should be the most confusing comic on the shelves, judging by my summaries (and in fairness, sometimes it is), but it is one of the most truly original stories out there, and I hope it runs longer than The Walking Dead.

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10
Head Lopper #1

Sep 9, 2015

I can't find anything not to like about this issue. My highest recommendation, for sure. Can't wait for the next one in December.

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10
Head Lopper #2

Dec 9, 2015

As Head Lopper goes on, I find myself drawn more and more to action on the periphery, to the things that show up to flavor what's going on in the center of the panel. I don't know what Maclean's plan is for the book come next year when all four parts are out, but he's built a world rich enough to sustain any kind of story he wants to tell. I can't wait to live in it a few times a year.

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8
Help Us! Great Warrior #4

Jun 3, 2015

Help Us! Great Warrior is the kind of self-aware comic that we can all quickly read and enjoy. It's not earth-shattering, but that's never been the point. It's a fun "Further Adventures of Great Warrior" expansion to the webcomic, and it makes me all the more excited for whatever Flores is going to do after this. I'll see you all next month for the conclusion.

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8
Help Us! Great Warrior #5

Jul 1, 2015

As we move towards the final issue of the series, I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen, but I thoroughly enjoy living in this world; rather than being upset that I'm ahead of the plot, I'm loving watching the characters interact with each other. I'm mostly concerned that this series will be over after next month's issue. I'd love nothing more than for Flores to do the ongoing adventures of Great Warrior for a decade, but I'm very excited to see what else she's got up her sleeve.

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10
Help Us! Great Warrior #6

Jul 29, 2015

I could go on at length about Help Us! Great Warrior and what a breath of fresh air it's been, but instead, like a teenager handing out his first mixtape, I will tell you this: Read this book. It'll change your life.

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10
High Crimes #1

Jul 8, 2015

If you're picking up Batman, Saga and The Walking Dead this Wednesday, but you're not picking up High Crimes, you're missing the single best volume on the shelf, and I pity you. At 20 bucks in hardcover, it's also one of the best deals I've ever seen, and that's the frickin' cover price. Buy this book, you rubes. Support amazing comics.

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10
High Crimes #6

Feb 6, 2014

Is this a good issue to start with? No. Not even a little. But the fact that you can get the whole series up to and including this point for under six bucks means that you absolutely need to catch up. I get the feeling we just hit the very tip-top of the roller coaster, and we're about to go down fast.

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10
High Crimes #7

Jun 4, 2014

I'm not saying anything new, you guys. High Crimes is the action-adventure-drama-sports-mountain comic we needed, but not the one we deserved. And by some miracle, it delivers every month. If you're not reading it, I mean… there's a reason these guys got nominated for not one, but two Eisners.

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10
High Crimes #8

Nov 15, 2014

This series is so good that any issue could be your starting point. If you started this month, you'd get everything you need about the story, and you'd be able to enjoy it. The only downside is you'd be missing everything that came before, all the things that fill in this issue and make it another precarious, thrilling step up the mountain towards the end. Let's hope we all survive it.

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8
Invisible Republic #1

Mar 18, 2015

Invisible Republic is a good comic. It has a broad scope built into a tiny, human conflict, which is an excellent way to start. I know (or at least think I know) the general shape of the story I'm on board for, and I'm interested to see where it goes. This issue just didn't leave me with a cliffhanger that grabbed me and said, "You have to come back in 30, you have to know what happens!" But we'll see.

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6
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #1

Feb 5, 2014

Overall, I wasn't wowed by this book. It didn't suck by any means, and any book that shows me a little person who is a luchador and who is bad as hell" that book has guaranteed I will buy at least one more issue.

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8
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #2

Mar 5, 2014

There are a few things about this miniseries that I'm still shaky on. I still have zero idea what the Nazi dirigible is about. I feel like it might be connected to the reveal at the end of the issue, but the reveal was a character that I didn't recognize, so it didn't quite land with me. I'm still not sure how the Bear and the Devil fit into the game. I'm quietly hoping it's presaging WWII with the Devil being Hitler and the Bear being Stalin, but I… very much doubt that's the case. Although, there is a bad guy who is obsessed with miniature towns, and I think he would like that symbolism. But now I'm just into rank speculation, and I won't subject you to more of it.

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8
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #3

Apr 2, 2014

Overall, the pulpiness of this comic is only getting better and more fun to read. Now that the midget and the Russian Bear are gone, it's just pure and simple bank robbers, cops, and vigilantes. I love it.

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6
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #4

Jun 4, 2014

I'm enjoying this series, but I feel like I wouldn't miss it if it were gone. It's capably done on all levels, but it still feels like an extra book; a side project in the Mignola universe, cashing in on at least two other successful books in that same universe. It's not quite nailing the pulp, hard-boiled crime genre, but it's at least having fun making the effort.

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6
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #5

Aug 13, 2014

Plus, this issue has one of the most perfect last pages I've ever seen, ever. I'll stand by that. It's not a good reason to pick up the book, but just so you know: they somehow flubbed all the flips and tricks and stuck the ending.

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6
Low #1

Jul 30, 2014

Beyond even art, the issue as a whole feels a little bit rushed into production. The things I'm describing are easy mistakes, and Tocchini and Remender should both be at the point in their careers to know better. I hold out hope for this series, because I like the concept of a nihilistic fact (the sun obliterating literally everything) being turned into a story of hope, but I also feel like the workload Remender has taken on this past year is enormous and he runs the risk of stretching too thin and letting things get through the cracks. With a little tightening, though, this could be my favorite thing Remender has ever done. I'll definitely be back for the next issue, and I'm holding my breath for next month (I wanted to make an underwater joke, and that was the best I had, cut me some slack).

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6
Low #2

Aug 27, 2014

This series has promise to it. I won't deny that I like the idea of a city that knows it will be gone in under a year if they don't find someplace new. It's the same kind of last-ditch effort I loved watching in Battlestar Galactica. I'm just not sure that Remender and Tocchini have fully figured out what they want to do yet.

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6
Low #3

Sep 24, 2014

For a book that Remender pitched to the public as being about hope, this series up until now has been as bleak as his darkest Uncanny X-Force stuff; the tonal shift in this issue that I really welcome is that they're starting to get the hope from the horrifying majesty of the deep ocean. It's a great dichotomy and I'm excited to see where they can go from here. Definitely the best issue so far.

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6
Low #4

Oct 29, 2014

I'm not sure if this series has legs or not. Black Science and Deadly Class do so well because they're angry, and they seem like really good ways for Remender to get his anger out into concepts that have a large enough cast or a wild enough idea to go in any number of directions to cover a lot of issues. This story is very focused on two members of one family, and their quest doesn't seem like the first of many, it seems like the last quest. But hey, Fear Agent was really about just one guy, and it went on for something like 50 issues, so what do I know.

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4
Low #6

Feb 25, 2015

Obviously, there's something I'm missing. This series has been popular since its launch (although, again, I would say not as popular as Black Science, or even Deadly Class), and it's another in a line of titles by Remender that just don't grab me. In general, I try to review by Goethe's guidelines: What was the author trying to do; did they do it well; was it worth doing. At this point, I have to assume there's another reviewer on our staff who gets this book, because it certainly isn't me. I don't have any more to say here that hasn't been said before.

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10
Mantle #1

May 13, 2015

This is a hell of a first issue. Everything already seems like a well-oiled machine amongst the creative team, and the story hooks you in just the right places. If you're looking for a new superhero book outside the Big Two, boy have I got just the thing for you.

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8
Mantle #2

Jun 10, 2015

Overall, I'm still digging The Mantle. Level and Boyd alone would be worth the price of admission, but Brisson's plot has a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where it's going.

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6
Mayday #1

Apr 29, 2015

This is a madcap first issue, with quite a bit going on. There are storylines that I'm intrigued by, and the art is really spot-on. My biggest beef with it is that it seems like a cynical, coked-up Hollywood version of We Can Never Go Home, especially with the ending. It'll remain until next month for us to see how each series veers from that deciding point, but it still stands out as a strange move on Black Mask's part.

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6
Mayday #2

May 27, 2015

Mayday is a book that seems to revel in obfuscation, in a more gleeful way than even a Morrison book does. I don't know if that makes it the perfect book about LA or the worst one, but it doesn't seem to give a shit either way, so I suppose I'll be back next month for more information and possibly some answers.

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6
Ninjak #2

May 15, 2015

Ninjak is pretty solid. It has moments that wow me every month, but as a complete package, it always leaves me wanting more. I get a lot from it–there are three discrete chunks in this month's issue and they all check in again at the end–but I get so little of each part that I don't really know where to set my feet. I know where Kindt is trying to lead us, so I'm willing to take the ride and watch Ninjak take his lumps, the pacing just seems a little skewed. As much as I'm digging the "early days of Ninjak" back-ups, I'd much rather see something that directly ties in (he says, assuming that those shorts won't directly tie in, and if they do, what a plotting masterpiece). I still want to keep up with this one, more so than Kindt's other recent Valiant projects, I just can't wait for it to really start clicking.

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6
Ninjak #3

May 20, 2015

Overall, Ninjak continues a stretch of good, character-focused Valiant titles out of the aftermath of The Valiant, right alongside Bloodshot: Reborn and Divinity. I'm still intrigued by each issue of the series, and I enjoy its tight action sequences. I just sometimes wish there was a little more to it.

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10
Ninjak #4

Jun 24, 2015

Just when I thought I was out on Ninjak, Kindt and Co. at Valiant pull me right back in. Well done, all around.

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10
Ninjak #5

Jul 29, 2015

Either way, this book is as solid as ever: reliably entertaining, gorgeous to look at, courtesy of Clay and Seth Mann, Brian Thies, Butch Guice and Ulises Arreola, and I'm excited to see where Kindt, Mann, Guice and co. are taking it next.

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6
Noah #1

Mar 19, 2014

The book also tends towards this weirdly misogynist turf in a lot of places. It's dealing in a lot of archetypal, First Man/First Woman issues throughout, and relating that to repopulation of the earth, but still. That boils down to a lot of "since you're a woman, your only value to me is as a vessel for a child." You learn very little about Noah, you learn even less about the women in his family. If pressed, I still couldn't tell you his wife's name, and the book is 260 pages. I'm not asking for the most groundbreaking feminist take on the story, but surely we could have lost some battle scenes and learned what the female characters wanted in this story? Not only do they not pass the Bechdel Test, but they don't even really pass the Sexy Lamp Test, and in 2014? That's just kind of sad.

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10
Oddly Normal #1

Sep 17, 2014

Definitely pick this one up.

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10
Oddly Normal #2

Oct 22, 2014

When I interviewed Frampton several months ago in anticipation of Oddly Normal's release, he promised that if we gave him two issues, we'd be hooked into the story and would want to continue coming back into the world of Fignation. I've given him two issues, and I have to say"he's right. I want to come back again next month.

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10
Oddly Normal #3

Nov 26, 2014

If you're not hooked on this book by now, I don't know what to tell you. It's a fun story, the art is super pretty, and it's been easy to pick up with any single issue so far. You've missed some things, but there's nothing stopping you from getting all the benefit out of reading the issue. This isn't one of Image's big titles like East of West or Sex Criminals or Southern Bastards, but it's a freshman series by a new creator and he is killing it. Give it a try. Don't wait for the trade, pick it up now. Read it to your kids. Read it on the train. There's no bad way to experience Oddly Normal, folks.

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10
ODY-C #1

Nov 26, 2014

According to the letters page, they were going for a mix of Barbarella and a Cirque de Soleil show, and they hit the nail on the fucking head. It's a kinetic, psychedelic, trippy journey through this new universe, this new history, with innovative panel layouts, action, and a musical quality to the whole thing. It's a helluva comic, unlike anything I've read in awhile, and I can't wait for the second issue to come out.

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10
ODY-C #2

Jan 8, 2015

After a first issue that was a little heavy on exposition, this issue feels like it moves at a much faster clip, giving character beats and phenomenal visuals in tandem and quickly. It's been said (I'm pretty sure by Fraction) that first issues are hard and second issues are even harder, but team ODY-C had a killer first issue, and their second issue almost made faint memory of the first. This is the kind of book that everyone across the board should be able to find something they like in. After all, it's one of our primary cultural narratives. Who couldn't love this book?

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10
ODY-C #3

Feb 25, 2015

This is a gorgeous book. Why aren't you reading it yet?

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8
ODY-C #4

Apr 8, 2015

This is largely unrelated to the issue as a whole, but the article in the back by Colman posits Homer and the other aoidoi (oral poets) of ancient Greece as the freestyle rappers of the day, with their own Antiquity-style rap battles. I cannot wait to see a modern day AU of that somewhere on tumblr in the near future. Colman also points out that terms like "rosy-fingered dawn" and "wine-dark sea," which show up all the time, are easy mnemonics for remembering the poem; if you can fill in the rest of the line, you've already got the rhyme set up. It's that kind of attention to detail and making this new thing like the old thing in all the ways that build the world that make Ody-C so much fun to read.

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8
ODY-C #5

May 13, 2015

Having said all this: I think I'm done reading this book monthly. The plot of The Odyssey lends itself well to comics, but it almost seems like there's too much to fit in each issue. By the time the next issue rolls around, I've either forgotten the Olympians plot, or I'm super confused about the Odyssia plot. I stuck around this long because I love Fraction's style and Ward's work is staggeringly great. I think I'll be happy to collect this one in trade. Get a lot of the plot at once, so you can start to see the arcs, and then set it aside for a bit. Otherwise, this is a series that could very well make you overload. O captain, my captain, I will miss the eyegasms you gave me every month, but we'll catch up on the trades.

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10
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1

Aug 4, 2015

This is the book I thought I was getting when The Wicked + The Divine came out. Pop music is magic and the people who can master it are gods, even if they don't know the spells. Like dropping the needle onto a record from your childhood, the Phonogram song still sounds as good as it did in 2009 when the band went on hiatus. They're back, and they're better than ever.

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10
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #2

Sep 14, 2015

This book is everything I want about pop music from comics. It's a demented character study through the lens of an outsider who's literally been trapped in a box for decades taking her revenge on the people she only knows superficially, dressed up in a metaphysical journey through the roots of MTV. Anyone who doesn't at least giggle at the ambition of this book (that it reaches every issue) is no fun, and you should not be associating with them; they're not allowed in your coven.

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8
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #3

Oct 14, 2015

I'm loving Immaterial Girl every month in new and exciting ways I would not have expected, and if you're missing out on it, I don't know what to tell you. Phonogram is back, and it's finally really magic.

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10
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4

Nov 18, 2015

My biggest problem with this issue is part of what I like so much about it: it doesn't actually deal with Emily and the Immaterial Girl thread. This is a longish arc for a comic series at six issues, but in the scheme of Phonogram, it's only a small chunk, and it's structured to really focus on Emily. With Singles Club, the mechanism of the story was built to wander around the club and follow threads where they willed themselves; but to take an act break at the fourth issue of six with Immaterial Girl stops the momentum pretty hard. I'm still very on board with the book, and it could turn out that Lloyd and Laura are going to play a big part in the finale, so it doesn't affect my scoring. And with this perfect score, I leave you all, to dig up some Long Blondes playlists on Spotify.

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8
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #5

Dec 18, 2015

I'm intrigued to see how this series will wrap up next month, and I've renewed a simmering love for Phonogram in the five months since it started. While it hasn't been perfect, it's been propulsive, it's been addictive, and it's been catchy, just like all your favorite songs.

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10
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6

Jan 20, 2016

And the needle spins on into the groove until you flip the record over.

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10
Pixu: The Mark of Evil #1

Sep 9, 2015

Reading Pixu is like digging up old films by your favorite directors; like watching the first couple movies Coppola or Kubrick made, back before they were Coppola and Kubrick, if that makes sense. The artists in Pixu aren't quite at the top of their game, but their project is stunning, and their art is amazing–it's easy to see where the greatness comes from. Definitely pick this one up, but only if you've got a nightlight handy.

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6
Punk Mambo #0

Nov 19, 2014

If this book is supposed to draw me into an ongoing series, it didn't quite hit its mark. If it's just a side character from someone else's book that we get a glimpse into their lives for 22 pages, it was pretty good. Very middle of the road.

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10
Punks: The Comic #2

Nov 5, 2014

It's generally assumed that being punk is a young man's game. You have to be mad at authority, you have to have this set of ideals that you basically stole from Joe Strummer, and you have to have, at one point, picked up a guitar with the intent of learning how to play it and then only learned how to play "Blitzkrieg Bop" before you quit. Not so, friends. Fialkov and Chamberlain are making the most punk comic out there at one of the biggest, not-quite-mainstream-but-basically-mainstream publishers in the world, and they're doing it at a stage in their lives where most people would feel cheated out of the promises of punk. Remember, dear readers, being punk isn't about being angry (although it certainly can help): Being punk is about not giving a shit.

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8
Quake: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1

Sep 9, 2015

This is definitely one to pick up this week–bonus points if you snag the Christian Ward variant, which is phenomenal as always. It's a superhero book with an emotional core, which seems to be Rosenberg and Kindlon's strong suit, and it looks gorgeous. I'm excited to see what Johnson, Rosenberg and Kindlon are up to next.

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8
Ragnarok #4

Mar 11, 2015

Even with that nagging at me, I loved this book. It's like putting on your favorite pair of viking boots and getting back into this world, created by a storyteller you love. It's not the same as Mighty Thor (which I'm sure I'll bring up in every review, lest someone unfairly lob that accusation at Mssrs. Simonson and Workman), and it's exploring this whole new, post-gods, super-metal world. So throw on some music (I prefer Leviathan by Mastodon, but that's just me), and get into it.

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4
Rat God #1

Feb 4, 2015

Rat God gets away with seeming like a vanity project from Corben. It's not technically or artistically bad, but at no point does the story seem inspired, or even interested in itself. There's a page worth of bad expository panels when Clark meets Kito, that are the worst kind of "I just met you, so let me tell you everything about myself" expositions that Corben's old enough to know better than to try to sneak past the readers. The whole book ends up taking a cue from this tone, ending up as a well-visualized but ultimately wooden and lifeless story.

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2
Red One #1

Mar 18, 2015

The best I can say about this book is that it's interesting. It's a reverse-James Bond story that never happened, but it unfortunately kept a lot of the tone of the era (viz the Russian mole nerd at the end who's so capable with needle and thread that he created a skintight suit for wank material on purpose). The book can't decide if it wants to be a comedy or an homage, and in doing so, falls between the cracks to be neither. I want to give it 2/5 for the art, but I just can't in good conscience do that. Luckily, the Dodsons are doing great work on Princess Leia right now, and this comic book equivalent of a dick joke will be over soon.

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10
Ringside #1

Oct 21, 2015

Don't pick up Ringside because you're a wrestling fan"pick up Ringside because it's a hell of a comic about guys that just won't quit, 'cause they can't, or 'cause they're just too dumb to want to. There's a tragedy brewing here, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.

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4
Satellite Sam #7

Mar 26, 2014

I can't recommend this book in good faith to anyone, aside from Chaykin and Fraction complete-ists. I myself swore that I was done after the first volume, and yet here I am, buying issue seven. I have the same issue with Bendis and his Uncanny X-Men series, but that's a review for another day. If you've liked Satellite Sam, there's more of the same here, and you won't miss the $3.50. If you don't like Satellite Sam, you're not the target audience anymore. Sorry, folks. Show business.

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4
Satellite Sam #8

May 7, 2014

It doesn't feel like it's trying to elevate smut in the way that Sex Criminals tries to be look sex right in the eye. Satellite Sam feels voyeuristic, and there's no character payoff, only more of the same. I wish I liked it more, but I just don't.

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10
Sex Criminals #6

Jun 18, 2014

This is an unusual issue for Sex Criminals, but it is and always has been an unusual book. I'm thoroughly excited to see where they take this in the next few months, and hopefully we're not all too emotionally shattered at the end to soldier on.

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10
Sex Criminals #7

Aug 14, 2014

If you're not reading this series, there's nothing I can tell you. For the foreseeable future, I will be shouting its praises from the mountaintop. If it starts to suck, you'll be the first to know. Luckily, I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

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10
Sex Criminals #9

Dec 10, 2014

Pick up this book. There's nothing else to say. It's everything you need.

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10
Sex Criminals #10

Jan 28, 2015

It's been fun, gang. I look forward to reading issue 11 purely as a fan.

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6
Sinergy #1

Nov 19, 2014

Overall, I'll check out the second issue of the series, but after that I'll probably check out. I like Oeming's art, and I like what Soma is doing, but there are other Oeming series I dig more than this.

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2
Sinergy #2

Dec 10, 2014

This issue leaves us with a revelation about Jess's home life and her dad's more dastardly shit that he pulls, but it's not enough to pull me in. Oeming and Soma have a fun character design with this hockey-playing girl in an antelope mask who apparently fights monsters, but they seem dead-set on not letting her fight monsters, and making her focus on what kind of selfie she should send to her boyfriend.

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6
Skinned #1

Apr 16, 2014

Skinned #1 isn't perfect. It may not even be that good. But it shows a hell of a lot of promise in the concept, and I'll be back for it next time.

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8
Skinned #2

Aug 6, 2014

This was a step up for this series. These creators know what they're doing and they're playing a longer game than usual, given the format in which they're working. And while it took me four months to catch up with this issue, I'll be eagerly waiting for the next issue to drop.

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8
Skinned #3

Aug 14, 2014

Skinned started off a little slow and shaky, but it's growing confidently into its own as a book. It's got a strong design aesthetic, and with this issue, they've introduced a classic quest element. I think it's going to continue to be a lot of fun.

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6
Sons of the Devil #1

May 27, 2015

This issue is a stutter-step of a first outing. It spends some valuable page space on a thank you letter from Buccellato and thanking the Kickstarter backers of the project, and putting a page to advertise a short film version of the story. If you're going to pay for the pages anyway, why not put comics in them? The Kickstarter page has to go in, sure, but a thank you letter and a video the author expressly tells you not to watch for spoiler reasons may be better suited for a trade. Plus, then we could have cleared up some things about Travis' history. But those could've/should'ves aren't my place. This issue is a promising premise that didn't pan out into such an interesting issue. I'll be back next month to see how it takes off, but for now, I'm not holding my breath.

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10
Southern Bastards #1

Apr 30, 2014

Regardless, this is a rich world, full of characters who are disgusting, and haunted, and thoroughly compelling. Pick this book up.

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8
Southern Bastards #2

May 29, 2014

This comic is opening itself up to a classic, old-school showdown between the bastardly forces of good (Earl, Clint Eastwood, The Rock) and the bastardly forces of evil (The Coach, all the bad guys from A Fistful of Dollars). At this point, I'm waiting for either a second faction to emerge to challenge the Coach, for Earl to play them both off of each other, or for Earl to straight up murder the Coach, and either take his place as crime boss or take his father's place as shit-kicking sheriff. It's a high-stakes family drama, the likes you only ever see in Southern Gothic literature and the Bible. It's high-stakes, and it's a lot of fun. Come on down and check it out.

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10
Southern Bastards #3

Jul 2, 2014

Our hero has laid down the challenge against the Big Bad Boss, and his erstwhile sidekick is in danger. I foresee a whole lot of ass-kickin' and stick-hittin' going on in the near future, and I'm not going to stand by and not read that.

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10
Southern Bastards #4

Sep 3, 2014

Basically if you're not reading Southern Bastards every month, you need to come correct, son. There's not a book really like this on the shelves that comes to mind, and it's all the better for it. They're doing it every month, and they're doing it right, and you're missing out.

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10
Southern Bastards #5

Oct 29, 2014

For two of the busiest guys in comics, writing all kinds of big books between the two of them, thank christ Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are making the time to make Southern Bastards. It's not quite the same as going down south, getting a plate of ribs and a bottomless glass of Sa-weet Tea, but it's pretty goddamn close. Keep it coming, gentlemen.

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10
Southern Bastards #6

Dec 10, 2014

I wasn't fully prepared to love this series when I was seeing the solicits. I liked Jason Aaron from Original Sin (Yeah, I like Original Sin, WHAT OF IT) and Thor: God of Thunder and I'd never heard of Jason Latour before. Plus… football? People in the south being dicks? What part of that would I be about? Now, we're seven months in, and I would be devastated if this book didn't keep showing up on the shelves every month. It's one of the best stories on the shelves anywhere, and you're doing yourselves a disservice not picking it up. Make it easy on everyone and just start reading the damn book already.

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10
Southern Bastards #7

Feb 11, 2015

Anyway, if you're not reading Southern Bastards, it's always a quick read, but it will never fail to rip your chest open and poke your heart with a sharp stick. It's a complex place, the South. Currently, there's a whole lot of bastards, with a whole lot of fascinating stories, and maybe nothing good will survive to the end. Here's hoping, but I'm in for the long haul either way.

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10
Southern Bastards #8

Apr 1, 2015

This book has been a delight every month. For a dude from Cincinnati, whose only real experience with the South has been one trip to Mississippi in high school and having to go to Simon Kenton, KY to take the SATs, this book hit me like I'm sure Deliverance hit people in the 70s. The South is mean, and majestic, and ugly, and full of capabilities for wonderful things, if you know where to look. It just doesn't always live up to those promises. Thanks for the ride, from one bastard to another; I can't wait to keep reading.

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4
Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars #1

Feb 18, 2015

Acker and Blacker are skilled writers. Their Wolverine issues and their Thunderbolts run recently have been great comics, and obviously the Thrilling Adventure Hour is stellar. This is just one of those scenarios where the charm doesn't translate. I would only recommend this to the most diehard fans, and even then, I can promise you it won't be the same.

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2
Star Wars (2013) #6

Mar 12, 2014

The Star Wars does not allow that escapism, because it's a half-baked world that is impossible to escape to. I continue to hope it will improve in the next four issues, but my hopes are not high.

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8
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #2

May 28, 2014

This is a fun Star Wars series. It's a largely untapped aspect of the universe, utilizing a sort of Cloverfield effect (stay with me here): if you put Godzilla up against Mecha-Godzilla in front of a building, you start to lose the scale of their size. If you put a POV shot of Godzilla towering over a huge city full of people, he's terrifying. In order to make Han and Leia and Chewie truly impressive, you have to give them something to stand next to, to give them scale. If Leia's always with Han, they make each other seem less impressive. If you put Leia next to Shlub Numero Uno, she becomes like unto a literal Greek god. She's the most impressive person in the galaxy. Kindt is going for glory, and it's working. It has some kinks to work out, but it's definitely worth coming back.

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8
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #3

Jun 25, 2014

This has been quite the miniseries so far. The art and writing have been on point for the most part, and they're the kind of stories that I want to see from Dark Horse while they can still tell them, as opposed to their execrable rehashing of Lucas' original screenplay (still mad about it, gonna be mad about it forever). These stories fill out the universe, and more importantly, they fill out these characters that were originally designed to be more or less archetypal. It's a worthwhile exercise, and their team has excelled the entire time. And, lucky me, now I just get to sit back and wait until next month to see them put a bow on it, and I will definitely be there for that.

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8
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #4

Jul 30, 2014

This series, when it's firing on all cylinders, doesn't quite work as drama. Sure, there are plot and beats that move forward, and characters with goals. It has all the trappings of drama. But at its core, it's Matt Kindt stepping back and critiquing these four people at the heart of the Rebellion and at the heart of one of the most beloved pop-culture establishments in history. Sometimes the best way to review something is to create your own version of it. This is what Kindt has been given license to do, and it left me feeling relatively cold. There was no sense of triumph when the heroes won; there was never any doubt they would. There was nothing we didn't already know about the characters; they're the same princess, Nerf herder, walking carpet and hayseed we've always known. Kindt's series aimed to find the spark in each of them and bring it out. It did that well every month, it just never quite fanned it to a flame.

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4
Steven Universe #1

Aug 6, 2014

I love that KaBoom! is bringing these Cartoon Network shows to comics, because it provides a direct line from television to tie-in comic to the whole wide magical world of other comics. It's been to their credit that Regular Show and Adventure Time have extremely talented creative teams who make the comics stand on their own two legs and work independently. With Steven Universe, it feels like it's still glomming on to the show and worrying more about psyching you up for a different title coming soon than the one you have in your hands. Steven Universe has an undeniable charm to it, but it felt like it was being wasted this month on cheap promotion and a quick comic to get onto the shelves. Fingers crossed for a better issue next month.

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4
Stray #1

Feb 18, 2015

Stray does some things well. When showing its Justice League analogue, there's a female Asian superhero and a black superhero, which, it's always nice to see some diversity. The story itself is good, and is an interesting one to follow, if the book can move past its influences and become its own thing. I'll pick up the next one to see what's what, but I can't say I'd recommend the first one to anyone looking for a new title.

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #1

Mar 12, 2014

This is a quiet series masquerading as a bombastic crime book. These moments of human pathos are what we live for, moments where we can connect with other people, and that makes this book effective. We connect with people through a common humanity, and then watch them live through (or not live through, as often as not) extreme situations. We feel those situations, and we feel for those characters. This series asks us to feel those things for the "regular" folks as well as the killers themselves. It promises to be complex and involved, and I'm on for every twist and turn.

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8
Stray Bullets: Killers #2

Apr 16, 2014

This miniseries promises to be a classic, and if you're not reading it yet, it's not too late to jump on. And I'm begging you: jump on.

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8
Stray Bullets: Killers #3

May 14, 2014

I don't know how many more issues of Killers there are slated to be; I was under the impression it was going to be a limited, but I haven't heard any more about that. Regardless, it's a great series. It doesn't quite have its own identity outside of the main book yet, but if it's more of the same Stray Bullets… is that really a bad thing?

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #4

Jun 25, 2014

Basically what I'm saying is that not only is Stray Bullets the only crime comic you should put on your pull list and make sure to pick up every month, it might be the only comic period you should pick up. It might not always have intergalactic action (although sometimes it does), or violent/graphic murder (although sometimes it does), but it's the only book I can name that consistently takes the outskirts and outsiders of the human experience and makes them into real, relatable people who can uplift us, the readers, and break our hearts in two.

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #5

Jul 16, 2014

The story of Virginia Applejack may never end. I have no doubt that this girl has the capabilities to survive long past the point when we are all dead and buried, but I also can't imagine this series ending any other way. It's a story about violence begetting violence month after month, and how it manages to catch up to everyone in the end. I'm obviously spit-balling here and have no window into Lapham's mind, but this is to say that while I can't imagine this series is going to end happily, I am enjoying every minute of getting there.

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #6

Aug 20, 2014

Basically, this is the best book on the shelf the week it comes out, pretty much every time. It's taut, it's got phenomenal character work, and the art is deceptively masterful. If you're not picking it up eagerly every month, I don't know what's wrong with you and it's possible that you might have a medical condition, and you should seek professional help. Or alternately, just buy the damn book already.

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10
Stray Bullets: Killers #7

Sep 17, 2014

But this is as good a time as any. The cracks in the veneer of Virginia and Eli's relationship are starting to show, and it's only a matter of time before life gets in and splits them open. Godspeed, kids. I hope I see you on the other side.

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10
The 7th Sword #1

Apr 23, 2014

I gotta say, when IDW announced this new imprint (Darby Pop Publishing) with their title lineup, I wasn't impressed. Nothing seemed fresh, and they seemed like a cheap way to launch a new imprint. But if the rest of them are just having as much fun with the medium as 7th Sword is, I'm gonna have to catch up on all of them. This comic is good clean fun for everyone, and it's having a good time doing it's own thing. Whether it's sustainable for an ongoing is yet to be seen, but this is as promising a start as any I've seen.

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8
The 7th Sword #2

May 21, 2014

7th Sword isn't going to be a game-changing comic any time soon. But I'm more than okay with that. It's well-crafted, and each issue leaves me satisfied, but also waiting for the next one, which is a delicate balance and difficult to strike. Especially for a launch title from an imprint, I'm more than impressed. Take it for a test drive, I think you'll like it.

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8
The 7th Sword #3

Jun 25, 2014

This is a series that feels like it's been around for a while, because the world is rich and thought-out, and the story is engaging. Luckily for you, readers, it's only been three months, so there's plenty of opportunity for you to catch up on the back issues before the shit hits the fan. Get on that.

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6
The 7th Sword #4

Aug 27, 2014

I wish they'd all just sword fight in the desert already.

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6
The 7th Sword #5

Oct 22, 2014

This was a "meh" episode of what has been a pretty good series up until now. I don't doubt it will bounce back, especially with the dramatic change-up for our heroes at the end of the issue, but still. It left me lukewarm this month, and that makes me sad.

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10
The Fade Out #11

Nov 25, 2015

I would say buy this book, but you'll be lost. Catch up if you can, pick it up, wait for the trade, it doesn't matter"put on your favorite dark and smoky jazz record, light up a cigarette and immerse yourself in The Fade Out.

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10
The Fade Out #12

Jan 6, 2016

I don't have anything else to say about The Fade Out. It's an excellent comic, and it had an excellent ending. The highest praise I can give: the minute I finished the last page, I wanted to dig the first issue out of my longboxes and read the whole story again in a sitting.

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8
The Hellboy 100 Project #1

Sep 23, 2015

This is a volume that will appeal more to the diehard Hellboy fan than the casual reader. Rather than seeing the Mignola-esque styles that have been popular around the Hellboy books for awhile, you get a variety of artists who do away with the spot blacks and expressionism and go for a more traditional style–it's basically a book full of opportunities for you to go, "Oh, shit, I wish this person was drawing Hellboy in a monthly" (I maintain that Jeff Lemire illustrating a Hellboy graphic novel will be a crowning achievement for Mignola, Lemire, and Comics in general). It's a good one to have to flip through, and the proceeds all go to a good cause. You could certainly do worse in prestige pieces for your bookshelf.

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6
The Manhattan Projects #23

Aug 27, 2014

Steve/I was displeased with last month's issue, as it felt like a retread of things that have come before. This issue didn't feel so much like a retread to me/us, but it certainly didn't feel as inspired as some of the issues before the end of the Oppenheimer Civil War. I/we don't fault Hickman for letting a series slide, since with as many books as he has on his plate, I/we can only imagine it's only a matter of time before one of those plates falls (if you pardon a slightly mixed metaphor). I/we just wish it wasn't this one that was going to suffer.

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10
The Massive #26

Aug 28, 2014

Either way, here's to another great issue of The Massive and hopefully several more to come.

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10
The Massive #27

Sep 24, 2014

The wrap of this series has been phenomenal so far. Wood's been bringing some mysticism to the Crash 2.0 that's very interesting, making the second Crash in The Massive a little more unlikely, but that's never been the important part. The important part is how people deal with the effects of the Crashes, and it looks like this may not be one that they can come back from. I guess we'll have to come back for the next three months and see where this crazy ride ends up.

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8
The Massive #28

Oct 29, 2014

I like that Wood and Brown took a breather issue here, because ever since the discovery of The Massive a couple issues back, it's been pretty much constant revelations and new shit coming to light. On the flip side of that, however, there's a whole hell of a lot of shit that could still use some tying up, and there's only two issues left to do it. I'd be delighted if one of them is a double-sized finale issue, but I also trust Wood and Co. to stick their landing. They've been firing on all cylinders, and if there was a time for them to collapse, it would be about here, but the series seems to be going strong. Fingers crossed for a great ending.

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10
The Massive #29

Nov 29, 2014

If you've been sleeping on this book, there's no remedy but to go back and grab the trades. It's the best work that Wood has done since DMZ, and it's the best, and oddly most hopeful, book about the end of the world you may ever read.

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10
The Private Eye #5

Feb 6, 2014

This is not to say that you shouldn't be reading The Private Eye, because you absolutely should. It's got an early David O. Russell feeling to it, as far as a heavy-handed metaphor that is heavy-handed because it wants you to live in it. The stakes in this book seem silly to us, but they feel real to the characters, and that's the kind of book that is a joy to read every time a new issue drops.

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10
The Private Eye #6

May 23, 2014

This comic is one that reads like it's coming free and easy to the creative team, but on closer inspection, you can tell that they're really trying. They're not letting it slide just because they're big names and this is a free, digital comic, they really give a shit about this book. It's an awesome step, and even better, it's an awesome story. If you're not checking it out, you have literally no excuse. Seriously you guys, it's free. Get it.

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8
The Private Eye #7

Aug 6, 2014

This book is what happens when A-List creators give themselves free reign to say, "fuck it, we'll do it our way." They don't use a traditional publisher, the only real notification when a new issue comes out is an email blast, and they consistently deliver a product that looks and feels professional. These guys breaking the strictures of the normal model (or, "Radioheading", as I'm deciding to call it) makes picking up this series worth it, especially if you're the kind of nerd like me who's fascinated by that kind of thing. If you're just looking for a good story with killer art… you'll find that here, too.

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4
The Rattler OGN #1

Jun 11, 2014

This comic has its redeeming aspects. It probably has a target audience, and fans that will dig it. I am not one of those people. The artist is great. The writer understands how to tell a story, just maybe not this story.

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10
The Saints #3

Dec 9, 2015

These two artists are creating a singular book every month in Saints, and it's really something special. It's heaven vs. heaven without descending into Top Cow/Witchblade-y kinds of angst. It's a bright book about a weird future, and possibly the end of the world. I love it.

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8
The Saints #4

Jan 6, 2016

My one problem with this series is that it feels like it's lumbering towards the plot. It has been strong each issue for the last four, but it still feels like the plot is just now beginning. I can't complain too much, since the first four issues did a lot of character work and world-building, it just seems like the series has been front-loaded with it. If the series can pick up the pace a bit and figure out a balance, it will definitely ascend to that "hidden gem" status of great books that came outta nowhere. Now, if all you nerds will just start reading it, we'll all be happier.

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10
The Spire #1

Jul 1, 2015

Everything in this book fits together with everything else and makes it sing. Instead of throwing a lot of disparate pieces together in a blender and drawing them all, this feels like a big story with a lot going on. The new information feels like clues and not just random things that the creators have invented and don't feel like they have to address. I'm not sure where this story is going, but the general idea that's presenting itself at the end of this issue is phenomenal. I can't wait to read this book for the next eight months.

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10
The Spire #2

Aug 5, 2015

The Spire is the fantasy comic I've been waiting for; it kills me every month with how good it is and with the fact that I'll have to wait another 30 days for more. Spurrier, Stokely & Co. are at the top of their games, handing down knowledge from the top of the Spire, and we are all the better for it.

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10
The Spire #3

Sep 23, 2015

Most comics, I'm able to sit back and enjoy the high quality the creators put out and disappear into the story. On one level, I can do that with The Spire, but there are so many things about this series that stand out in excellence without jarring you from the story that it's impossible not to stop every couple pages and just be shocked by how good it is. I know it's only a limited series, but at this point, I would love to see it go on forever just so I could keep getting surprised by Spurrier, Stokely, Mays and Wands.

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10
The Spire #4

Oct 28, 2015

This is one of the best books Boom! is putting out right now. It's a tough short sell, because there's no good logline for it, but you've gotta believe me, folks, this is the fantasy book to be reading. There have been second printings of the first issue, so you have no excuse: go buy this book, and spend your afternoon offering your tithes.

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10
The Spire #5

Dec 18, 2015

I mourn the fact that this series will be over sooner rather than later, but I rejoice that there is something this good out in the world periodically. I can only fervently hope that every time Spurrier and Stokely have a weird, touching, badass, crazy idea, they get in touch with each other and they make it happen, forever.

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10
The Spire #6

Jan 27, 2016

People will sometimes try to say that comics are for kids, and that they're only in the business of selling hypersexuality to the prepubescent. You should disown those people, but first, give them a copy of The Spire and say, "This is what comics are for. They are for wide-ranging stories with complex plots and rich characters, that neither panders to, nor lords itself above the readers. It's the biggest budget project you've ever seen, delivered to you in 22-page increments once a month." It's a magical medium, and reading books like The Spire should show you that movies like Avatar ain't got shit on the comics medium. It pains me that this book will be over in two months, but it brings me joy that it exists and I can foist it upon people for the rest of my natural life.

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2
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #5

Feb 5, 2014

The highest/faintest praise I can give this book is that thank god Dark Horse is getting it out of the way now so that Marvel won't have to do it once the licensing reverts back to them.

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2
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #6

Mar 12, 2014

The Star Wars does not allow that escapism, because it's a half-baked world that is impossible to escape to. I continue to hope it will improve in the next four issues, but my hopes are not high.

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2
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #7

Apr 16, 2014

If you're still buying this series as a curio, more power to you. Otherwise" what do I have to do, man? Stop buying trash. You want my kidney? You can buy my kidney instead of this book. I offer extremely reasonable pricing plans. At least next month is the last issue, hallelu, praise Jesus.

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2
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #8

May 28, 2014

The Star Wars are the epitome of the empty stab at something. It makes noises about being about rebellion against establishments, which, for the time when it was written, that does make a lot of sense. But just because it makes sense doesn't make it good. It doesn't make it good by any means.

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8
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #1

May 7, 2014

Coming from a My Chemical Romance fan, True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys won't scratch the itch you're looking for in terms of more things that feel like My Chemical Romance. But it's a pretty damn fun comic, and if you're into dystopian futures, this is one that's got a good internal logic, and it tells a fun, if sometimes sloppy story.

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8
The Valiant #2

Jan 23, 2015

This series is a lot of fun, and while this issue did feel like it was setting up stuff, more so than moving things forward. It at least did it in an unusual fashion, and kept audience interest high for next month's installment. I can't wait to read it.

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10
The Valiant #3

Feb 18, 2015

This issue managed to be a pretty even split between personal dynamics of Bloodshot and Kay (which, again, Paolo Rivera's faces and "acting" are beyond amazing), and mind-shattering physical and psychological warfare with the Immortal Enemy. It manages to feel like the calm before the storm, as well as the storm itself, which is a sign of how well Kindt and Lemire are working together on this book. It'll be a shame to see it end next month, but color me interested in the Valiant Next titles they're launching (Ninjak and Bloodshot: Reborn are at the top of my list), and it's all because of that holy grail, the well-written/consistently-well-drawn event book.

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10
The Valiant #4

Mar 25, 2015

This book was a big chance for Valiant. It opened up all their publishing lines and pushed them together for a little while. Their comedy teams showed up and got serious, their space warriors landed on earth for a little while, and the protector of the planet failed for thousands of years. It ran a very strong chance of being an unintelligible mishmash, but this was the best event book I read in all of 2014, and stands a decent chance at retaining the title for 2015 (your move, Secret Wars). Basically, if they can keep up the string of strong editorial choices, top-notch writing and art, all I can say is "Make Mine Valiant."

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8
The Wicked + The Divine #2

Jul 16, 2014

This book is a whole lot of fun. We're still in the first act, in the baby steps beginning, so things are going slow, but they're building nicely. Make sure you check it out.

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6
The Wicked + The Divine #3

Aug 20, 2014

I'm going to keep reading this book. I want to see what the full pantheon Gillen and McKelvie are going to reveal looks like, and I want to see where it's going. And since it's an Image book, I can assume they'll wrap things up to some extent in the next two or three issues for the trade. But I'm really hoping it manages to buckle down and focus, rather than trying to Twin Peaks its way out of answering its own central question.

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8
The Wicked + The Divine #4

Sep 17, 2014

Overall, the series continues to be a lot of gorgeous visual artifice with a lot of frustrating writing. I can't advocate picking it up for the first time this month, but if you're still going, I know the feeling: I'm still on the ride, too.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #5

Oct 22, 2014

I was lukewarm on this series for so long that I wasn't planning on sticking with it through the next arc. This issue alone sold me on keeping up with it. Let that be what you take away from this rambling review.

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6
The X-Files: Year Zero #1

Jul 17, 2014

I'll definitely be checking out the next issue of the book, because I am hooked on the mystery, but the characters and dialogue have some ways to go.

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6
The X-Files: Year Zero #2

Aug 20, 2014

Ultimately, this series has intriguing moments and solid artwork, but I don't know how much longer I'll stick with it.

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6
The X-Files: Year Zero #3

Oct 1, 2014

This series has been slow picking up, and I think we can all agree that the second issue's episode tie-in element was a misstep. But I'm excited to see what kinds of places Kesel & co. are going with the angle of Mr. Zero/Xero's origins and what they mean to humanity.

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4
The X-Files: Year Zero #4

Oct 22, 2014

At this point, I'm on the last disc of the box set, I already know who killed Laura Palmer" I'm pretty much checked out on this series, but the end is so close that I can see it, and I just have to get there, or else I'll be pissed at myself. But I don't think I'm going to enjoy it.

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4
The X-Files: Year Zero #5

Nov 29, 2014

To me, that dramatic tension is the X-Files. It's unsolvable, gruesome cases, but they're so ridiculous that you have to laugh so you don't scream. That's the reason the Lone Gunmen exist, it's the reason Mulder cracks wise in the face of literal demons (he's got more than a little Spider-Man in him, I think). This series lacked that flavor. It went as dark as it could and didn't let you come up for air, other than the times that you were supposed to think Dell was simple because he worked with animals like a savant. Glad to have this one over and done with.

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8
Toe Tag Riot #1

Nov 26, 2014

Out of all the stuff I liked about this issue, the part I had the most fun with was the upending of some of the zombie tropes and the punk rock tropes. Sure, one of the band members is a vegan, and they all have stereotypical punk haircuts and outfits; but there's a scene where one of them uses punk rock safety pins to reattach a part of his body. It's the kind of inspired thing that could launch an entire comic book, and it seems that it has.

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6
Transference #1

Jul 8, 2015

All in all, I like where this story is going. It's an interesting twist on the time traveling secret agent story, and it does a good job grounding the story in a personal conflict. It keeps it from getting too Mission: Impossible and gives it a human core, and that's what I like to see in a story like this. I'm looking forward to next month's issue, and in the meantime, I'll probably end up picking up volume one of Roche Limit just to see what's up.

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10
Transference #2

Aug 19, 2015

This issue definitely wowed me, and after a lukewarm review of the first one, I'm ready to dive into the rest of Transference with eager eyes. If only I could go back in time and re-score that last review…

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8
Translucid #1

Apr 16, 2014

This explosion ends about a panel too late for me, leaving me with a final image that I don't quite know what to do with, or how to extrapolate from it. In terms of the issue as a whole, though, I'm intrigued where they're going to take this. The Horse made some moves that he can't possibly take back, and The Navigator let him do it for his own sake. It's a moral quandary, and it's one that I can't wait for Team Translucid to tackle.

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6
Translucid #2

May 21, 2014

Overall, I don't have much to report from this issue. Some of the dialogue felt a little stilted, but the story was well-told. The art was top notch. In this game of monthly installments, though, you need to leave the reader with the one big plot point that they can remember next month ("Last month, Bane blew up Arkham Asylum and now he and Batman are in a cat-and-mouse game" turns into "Last month, Bane broke Batman's back.") There's gotta be a hook to hang the reader on to bring them back. I'm not sure this month's issue has it, but like I said, the first issue's hook was strong enough for two, at least.

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6
Translucid #3

Jun 18, 2014

If you're digging this series so far, this issue is really an interesting step forward for Cornelius and Drake, and it's visually beautiful. You won't be disappointed. If you're on the fence about trying the series out, I won't judge you for trade-waiting. It may serve you better in the long run.

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6
Translucid #4

Jul 16, 2014

This series goes back and forth for me, but I never lose interest. I'm excited to see how it all wraps up, and I'm gonna keep coming back. I'm just a little confused.

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10
Translucid #5

Aug 20, 2014

If you haven't been reading Translucid, I wouldn't say this is a good spot to jump on by any means. You're only one issue away from the end, so at this point, you're better off trade-waiting. But know this: you have been missing out on a pure visual joy with a lot of salient points about superheroics in the mix. If Alan Moore was to try and tackle a Watchmen-style deconstruction of the genre in 2014, he might latch onto the Batman/Joker dynamic and make something similar to this. Luckily, Bayliss, Echert and Sanchez have it well in hand.

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8
Translucid #6

Sep 17, 2014

This was a solid series. It will hold a respectable spot on your shelf next to The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and other colorful, apocalyptic miniseries in recent memory. I'm definitely looking forward to sitting down in an afternoon soon and reading the whole collected edition and seeing if that streamlines the story a bit, but otherwise, I have no complaints. It's been a heck of a half year; can't wait to see what Echert, Sanchez and Bayliss get into next.

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10
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #2

Mar 5, 2014

Turok is rapidly becoming one of the books I look forward to most every month. I love the way Pak and Colak are turning the concept of Dinosaur Hunter on its head, I love the frantic artwork, I love the writing.

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10
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #3

Apr 2, 2014

The downside at this point is that the book is starting to run the risk of stagnation. Taken as a whole, these first three issues have been one big battle, which has to end sometime soon. To paraphrase a Murder By Death album, who will survive? What will be left of them? I'm ready to see those questions answered before we get more character work from Pak, Colak & co., but for now, I'm still thoroughly enjoying the ride.

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10
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #4

May 7, 2014

This issue ties up a pretty great first arc. If you've been sticking around the whole time, I think we're in for a lot more fun. If you're looking for a good place to jump on, keep your eyes on the shelves next month, true believers (I don't know if I'm allowed to say that, but I'm doing it anyway).

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10
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #5

Jun 18, 2014

I'm not saying anything new here, you guys. I also wasn't super kidding when I said at the beginning of this review that I was going to give the issue a perfect score. It's everything a comic should be; fun, slightly educational, it tells a coherent story from month to month, and it looks gorgeous. Also, it has a fucking dinosaur with an eye patch. This issue is as good a jumping on point as any, and it's still early days, so you can get the back issues. You won't regret it, unless you hate dinosaurs with eye patches, in which case how do you live with yourself.

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8
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #6

Jul 9, 2014

This is all to say that if you aren't overly bothered by sound effects, this is another in a series of stellar issues of Turok. If you are bothered by sound effects, the offenses are not so egregious as to ruin Pak and Miyazawa's stellar work. Now, we just get to wait until the war starts"and won't that be fun.

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6
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #7

Sep 3, 2014

Overall, not my favorite issue. It didn't quite snap like the series has in the past, but it was still gorgeous and set up things that will obviously become relevant in the near future. There was a little bit of dinosaur-with-an-eyepatch, but not nearly enough. Hopefully he gets a hero shot next month, ripping out a pterodactyl's throat.

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6
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #9

Nov 5, 2014

This is a good jumping on point for new readers, but it seems like it will be treading a lot of ground that we're not unfamiliar with. For the more intriguing, breaking-ground kind of stories in the series, start back with issue 1.

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10
Two Brothers #1

Sep 23, 2015

Buy this book immediately, brew yourself some black coffee, and read the whole thing in a sitting. The tragedy must be taken as a whole, for the last glimmer of hope to really shine through.

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10
We Can Never Go Home #2

May 6, 2015

I can't wait to see where Team We Can Never Go Home heads with this in the coming months. This mini from Black Mask is shaping up to be the kind of series you want to see from an indie publisher, with dynamic characters, a fully realized world, and the kind of cliffhangers that leave you wanting more without beating you over the head with it. Can't wait for next month's installment.

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10
We Can Never Go Home #3

Jun 10, 2015

This didn't really fit anywhere else in my review, but I loved that the theme park rides were named after other Black Mask titles.I also loved the superhero montage, but noticed that the only logo they couldn't use was the Superman "S", so now I'm wondering on a tangent about the legalities of the agreement with Siegel & Shuster vs. Marvel apparently not having a problem with them using the Phoenix logo. Also, I love that this is a Wal-Mart where you can find Judge Dredd and Tank Girl costumes.

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10
We Can Never Go Home #4

Aug 26, 2015

They may never be able to go home, but I hope Duncan and Madison stay on the run for a good, long time.

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10
We Can Never Go Home #5

Dec 2, 2015

This is the first book from Black Mask that truly excited me (unless I'm misremembering and Space Riders came out first), and it has not let me down since the first issue. This is the kind of character work that many mainstream superhero books are missing, that final piece to the puzzle that reminds everyone that we don't just read these books because the people can do cool things. We read these books because we want to see what effect being able to do these cool things has on the people. Kudos to everyone involved on this book, and to all of you who are going to pick up the collection and read it for the first time: I envy you. Now, time to throw on a Mission of Burma vinyl and wait until the next volume drops in 2016.

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8
Welcome Back #2

Oct 14, 2015

You should be reading this book if you like action comics, and if you like rich worlds, and if you like amazing artwork. There's just no good excuse not to pick it up. There's a reason this book is going back for a second printing of issue 1; you should be reading it, and it's not your fault if you didn't pick it up the first time around. It always comes back, after all.

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8
Welcome Back #3

Nov 18, 2015

This book is amazing, and the fact that this isn't the second-to-last time we get to read it, but rather that we get to read it on an ongoing, indefinite basis is cause for celebration. There's plenty of second printings of issue 1 and I've seen issue 2 on shelves recently"go pick up all three so you can all be on the edges of your seats along with me for the next month.

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10
Wytches #2

Nov 12, 2014

Wytches is giving out exactly what we need every month as far as a creepy-crawly book. I thought a lot of the reason the first issue worked so well was the fact that it came out close to Halloween, and got an extra spooky-boost. I'm glad to report from November, in a post-Halloween world, that the book is still extremely eerie and well-worth picking up.

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10
Wytches #3

Dec 17, 2014

I have not finished an issue of this comic without feeling a little depressed and a little wigged out, which is a lot for me as a reader. Usually I can compartmentalize something away and not think about it. Not so in this case. Not so at all. This book is something special. Pick it up now, while you can still get the first and second issue reprints.

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8
Wytches #4

Feb 4, 2015

This book is good for what ails ya. There's a longish essay in the back by Snyder about what draws him to horror and what he thinks it does (a lot of it will remind the canny reader of Stephen King's Danse Macabre, not least because Snyder's primary childhood touchstone is The Eyes of the Dragon), and it's well-written if not enthralling. The points he makes resonate forward and backward through the story of Wytches: for as dark as this book is, you get the sense that it might be his easiest book to write every month, and that–that is truly scary.

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10
Wytches #5

Mar 25, 2015

This is the penultimate issue of the arc. We're at that weird point where I can't tell if Snyder and Jock are planning to wrap things up in issue 6 for good, if they're planning on being a regular ongoing, or if they're going to exist as a series of minis, like Pretty Deadly, where they'll wrap things up and check back in a year or so. Either way, as long as they stick the landing next month, I'm satisfied; this book has been a skin-crawling ride for the last five months, and if we get one more, or six more, or 40 more, it's a horrifying, dark, depressing, scary gift to the world.

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10
Wytches #6

May 20, 2015

As much as I love Jock and Snyder, and I love the work they've done, I'd be intrigued to see someone else come to this universe, even if it's just for a sidestory miniseries (like Sean Murphy and Dustin Nguyen's minis for American Vampire). Team Wytches has created a broad canvas, and I enjoy the parts here in the middle, but I think I would enjoy the weird splotches on the outside just as much. Regardless, I'm excited to buy the trade next month and get scared all over again.

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