RJ Carter's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Critical Blast Reviews: 124
8.1Avg. Review Rating

10
Afterlife With Archie #1

Oct 12, 2013

This is more than just a zombie story. There's a depth of characterization here not seen outside of the standard Archie fare. While the Life with Archie series, which follows two alternative future paths split by the decision of Archie to marry either Veronica or Betty, is certainly more adult in nature, I haven't seen a version of the high school Archie gang yet where Veronica and Betty engage in risque repartee while arguing over who will be Archie's date to the dance. Add to this Reggie Mantle's role in events, a whole new visual look to the Archie characters (aside from being zombified, that is), and just the fully-realized emotional expressions of each character, and Afterlife with Archie immediately rockets to not just the top of my Archie reading list, but it's the first time that an Archie book has broached my personal Top Five must-read titles of all publications. I have to give this my highest recommendation.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #7

Dec 11, 2014

If you're any kind of a zombie fan at all, and you haven't picked up AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, you're missing not just the best zombie title currently on the market, but one of the best horror comics being presently published. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is Archie Comics' "Vertigo Moment," and you want to be there for it.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #9

May 27, 2016

Francesco Francavilla's artwork hasn't lost a thing during the last nightmarish publishing hiatus. If anything, his style has improved, as he continues to deliver a vision of the Archie universe that has never been imagined before. It's an unsettling look at terrors that are both obvious and subtle, physical in the present, psychological in the past, and occultist overall.

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8.0
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 12, 2016

ALL-STAR BATMAN is a less obnoxious Batman as was the character in the the similary titled ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, so if you're expecting more of the G.D. Batman, that's not what this series is about.

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2.0
Archie Halloween Spectacular: 2017 #1

Oct 13, 2017

I love old school Archie. I even love old school Little Archie. But with this Halloween special, I feel I got more trick, and not nearly enough treat.

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8.0
Archie Meets Batman '66 #1

Jul 19, 2018

Featuring a plethora of covers to choose from, ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 is a must-see for the kitsch factor alone. I reserve some quibbles about it -- I haven't read enough BATMAN '66 to know if Poison Ivy is supposed to be a southern belle in this bat-verse, but it was a surprising departure from her usual femme fatale aspect (which Catwoman has cornered in this franchise). Overall, it's recommended, and one I'll continue checking into as the series progresses.

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6.0
Archie Meets Batman '66 #4

Nov 2, 2018

I love the concept of this crossover, but there are simply so many characters to write that it's difficult for Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci to give any of the characters any justice. Archie and the gang have been relagated to the role of, at worst, victims, and at best, observers. I'm hoping at some point soon Archie becomes a little bit more the good-hearted hero I grew up with. And maybe that will still happen. In fact, I'd be giddy if things required the presense of Pureheart the Powerful and Super Teen (although no doubt in costume only). I've hung with it this long, so I'll finish the ride, but please, let's get something happening for the Riverdale side of the story.

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8.0
Archie: 1941 #1

Sep 16, 2018

ARCHIE 1941 is definitely one we'll be following a bit further to see where it's going.

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9.0
Archie: 1941 #2

Oct 17, 2018

Peter Krause does a top-notch job of rendering the characters and the town of Riverdale in a way that evokes the era in all aspects, bringing Waid & Augustyn's story to a vivid yet somber life. While the first issue of this series had its issues, it looks to me like this second issue has course-corrected -- at least enough for this reviewer to give the rest of this 5-issue series a look-see.

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10
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

Kudos to Tom King and Jason Fabok. This issue couldn't have gotten more retro or more exciting if they had decided to intersperse the panels with images from a pirate comic.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #22

May 3, 2017

BATMAN 22 is heavy on the drama but feels light on revelations. It also feels light, period. I was done reading and stil had half my bologna sandwich left to go, so I read it twice. I'm still intrigued enough to follow the story through to its conclusion, and I'm beginning to suspect that the smiley button is a red herring, and that we shouldn't expect any Doctor Manhattan appearances. After all, to Manhattan, time was immutable, and in this universe, time is editable.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #24

Jun 8, 2017

King does an amazing job revealing a side of Batman we don't get to see that often -- the human, vulnerable side. David Finch's pencils deliver a level of detail that elevates this issue from being just another story into being an iconic moment in Batman history.

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6.0
Batman (2016) #44

Apr 4, 2018

The story asks the question, "Bride or Burglar?" I think by the end of the tale, right down to the knowing wink from Alfred, that the answer is obvious: She is both.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #45

Apr 19, 2018

How Tim King and company plan to fix this is anybody's guess -- but then, he didn't win our Best Comics Writer of 2017 for nothing.Tony S. Daniel delivers a phenomenal cover, and the colors from Tomeu Morey give Daniel's artwork a depth I don't normally see in his past comics work.

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10
Batman (2016) #48

Jun 7, 2018

With lush artwork from Miken Janin, given depth and vibrancy by June Chung's colors, BATMAN #48 is a must-purchase book this week.

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8.0
Batman Beyond (2016) #26

Nov 30, 2018

I do like the idea of the Joker being reintroduced into the Batman Beyond universe, but I'm hoping that Dan Jurgens has more tricks up his sleeve than just homicidal nostalgia.

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7.0
Batman/The Shadow #1

Apr 26, 2017

Dynamite's been doing a...well, quite frankly, dynamite job with the pulp heroes and the public domain supers, and it's great for the fans that they've been willing to share their sandbox with DC Comics, as they've done with their recent crossover with Wonder Woman '77and The Bionic Woman. (JSA / PROJECT SUPERPOWERS anybody? C'mon, it's low hanging fruit!) Putting Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando together to chronicle this meeting of the masterminds is a natural pairing, and Riley Rossmo's art has just the darkness and deco feel to it to blend the two worlds together.

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6.0
Batman: Damned #1

Sep 25, 2018

Convoluted narration, Zatanna (presumably) as a street performer, homeless people speaking in mispelled homophones ("...with my own TOO eyes!" How does that even equate to a different phonetic emphasis?) all combine to make BATMAN: DAMNED a hot mess of a story written by Brian Azzarello,jumbled up among beautiful pictures rendered by Lee Bermejo.

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10
Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1

Oct 6, 2017

While the motivations of this Batman may be shallow, and we don't know what happened in the intervening years from his parents' death to the current time of the story where he's an adult, Sam Humphries does a fantastic job of building the horror and showing just how ruthless and powerful this particular Batman is. Pulled to our Earth, his immediate confrontation with Hal Jordan makes that even more clear, calling for the emergency intervention of Dr. Fate (who's been pulling all the heroes' fat from the fire at the end of each of these one-shots). The pencil lines of Ethan Van Sciver are so tight their damn near hemmorhoidal (okay, that's really supposed to be a compliment) and when paired with Jason Wright's colors make this issue wall-to-wall eye candy.

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8.0
Batman: The Red Death #1

Sep 22, 2017

Joshua Williamson hooked me from the first panel, and the story and action kept me breathlessthrough right to the end of the book. The artwork from Carmine Di Giandomenico, on the other hand, was an uneven mess. In some panels it was fantastic, in others it was purely sketchy, and in yet others it was completely derivative of other books (you can even detect the stylistic changes carried across in the swipes). That's whatkeeps me from rating this book a full 5 out of 5.And yet, with all that, I loved reading this book, which owes almost entirely to Williamson's storytelling process and the overarching idea of the series. I'm definitely going to be checking out the rest of METAL from here on in.

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9.0
Belle: Beast Hunter #1

Jan 14, 2018

If you haven't dabbled in the Zenescope titles before, this is the perfect opportunity to wade in and test the waters. You'll find them warm and inviting, and possibly tempting you into the deeper end of the GFT pool.

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8.0
Belle: Beast Hunter #2

Feb 9, 2018

With only six issues planned for the series, it's tempting to wait for the trade paperback. I suppose if you're into self denial and delayed gratification, that's okay. For those who can't wait to dig further into Belle's debut adventure, hit up your local comics shop this February 21 for your copy.

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9.0
Bettie Page: Halloween Special #1

Oct 24, 2018

Ultimately, "Hautning in Hollywood" reveals that Bettie was supposed to be the only guest at this "party" where the monsters seem more real than special effects could create. Or are they? The twist ending has a twist all its own, making this backup from Leah Williams and Fernando Ruiz a fun comic short.

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10
Bettie Page (2018) #1

Nov 20, 2018

BETTIE PAGE #1 is pure fun and fantasy from cover to cover, with a fast-paced story that doesn't waste a single panel. It's the kind of book that all comics should aspire to be.

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6.0
Captain Marvel (2019) #1

Jan 13, 2019

Heavy handed? A little bit. There's some nice dialogue, however, and it's pretty to look at in places. We're already putting bets down on how the 'shipping is going to go.

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7.0
Charlies Angels (2018) #1

Jun 22, 2018

This artwork from Joe Eisma is akin to what one might expect from a coloring book of CHARLIE'S ANGELS: THE ANIMATED SERIES. I've actually seen RICHIE RICH comics with more lifelike expressons. These Angels are sharp-edged, angular mannekins.

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7.0
Conspiracy: Doppelganger #2

Dec 29, 2018

Hans Rodionoff and J.G. Miranda have the challenging task of making these less-than-threatening actions into a web of deception and secret world-domination. It's hard to convince people of a wide-ranging conspiracy when you have such bland elements to work with to prove its existence. The artwork is more than passable, but the dialogue could use a lot of work to make it sound more natural.

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9.0
Dark Nights: Metal #2

Sep 29, 2017

I can't even pretend to understand everything that's been going on, which is probably to be expected. Yeah, Scott Snyder's writing it, but growing a tree out of a nut left behind by Grant Morrison is destined to be fraught with a mind bending case of the "Huh?"s. It's like that giant spinner thing at the carnival -- it's makes you dizzy but it's still a hell of a ride.

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4.0
Dark Nights: Metal #3

Oct 12, 2017

It's been an interesting start, and I always love the idea of introducing new levels to the DC Multiverse. But I'm jumping off this train now, and hitching my wagon to the upcoming DOOMSDAY CLOCK series starting next month, with higher hopes.

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7.0
Dawn / Vampirella #1

Sep 10, 2014

It's all a bit simplistic, and I'm sure the actual ending is going to be different from the McGuffin we're initially shown (the world of off-panel actions being one of infinite possibilities). If you're jonesing for a long-standing Dawn fix, then you'll want to pick this up. If you're more of a Vampirella fan, she's a bit off-character and shoehorned into the plot for obvious marketability.

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7.0
Dazzler #1

Jun 7, 2018

It's not a bad story overall -- the X-Men and the mutant struggle was always a tale about the fight for equal rights and acceptance, and this continues in that tradition. But it wasn't a "wow" moment, either. Not something I'd expect out of a one-shot issue but rather from a backup short.

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10
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 26, 2016

So why am I smiling like that 5 year old kid who used to get Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson SUPERMAN comics from the barber shop? Because, like that mysterious person in REBIRTH, I've seen the future. And everything is going to be all right.

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8.0
DC/Hanna-Barbera: Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1

Jun 1, 2018

Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth do a fine job at bringing Speed Buggy and his crew into the DC Universe while remaining true to the spirit of the character.

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9.0
DC/Hanna-Barbera: Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1

May 31, 2018

The DC / Hanna-Barbera crossovers have always been hit or miss, but even when they miss they're still fun to see the modern reinterpretations. SUPER SONS / DYNOMUTT AND THE BLUE FALCON is not a miss. It's a bonafide hit!

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7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #965

Sep 29, 2017

"A Lonely Place of Living" (a throwback to that earlier mentioned origin story) is exposition heavy -- an info-dump -- which gets wearisome even though Tynion provides a clever explanation for why Tim's being so chatty at the turning point of the narrative. The artwork is uneven, going from exquisite to sloppy in places with awkward expressions and stances, something that, upon examination, I can't lay at the feet of Eddy Barrows' pencils but rather at Eber Ferreira's heavy handed inking.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #988

Sep 15, 2018

James Robinson's writing career has been one of hit and miss for me, with the high poing being his run on JSA and his lowest being on JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA. Using that as the scale, DETECTIVE 988 falls somewhere in a comfortable middle.

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9.0
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1

Oct 13, 2014

Titan Comics' debut of the Twelfth Doctor is sure to make a splash with Doctor Who fans, and this reviewer eagerly awaits the next chapter of this story.

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9.0
Doomsday Clock #1

Nov 25, 2017

When these events actually occur in conjunction with the timeline of the DC universe is not clear. Obviously there's a 25 year gap between the two. It's possible that Veidt and his team have been operating in the DC universe for that long undercover. We still don't know how the yellow smiley button of The Comedian got embedded in the walls of the Batcave, something it would seem only Doctor Manhattan could have done. But I'm sure we'll have more answers, and a ton more questions, next month when the second issue comes out.

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7.0
Doomsday Clock #2

Dec 28, 2017

I want to trust Geoff Johns, who has seldom ever gone astray when taking on a big DC Universe project, but I'm going to need something in issue three to solidly anchor this series to standard DCU before I can invest any more of my interest.

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8.0
Doomsday Clock #3

Jan 24, 2018

Some of these events are things that have been dangling out there since May 2016 without resolution. At some point, you have to wonder when the foreplay is going to end and some actual gratification take place, some payoff for our months of investment. And just to draw out the tease, DC has announced that DOOMSDAY CLOCK is going to enter a bi-monthly schedule, apparently trying to mirror WATCHMEN so closely that I suspect there will be a six-month publication gap between issues 11 and 12.

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8.0
Doomsday Clock #4

Mar 29, 2018

The cover for the issue says it all " if you can't take joy in an armor-clad Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman riding a Joker-faced dragon, this is not the book for you. For many of us, Dark Nights: Metal was the prog-rock epic turned comic we never knew we'd wanted and this final chapter proves the perfect rocking finale!

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9.0
Doomsday Clock #6

Jul 26, 2018

We're halfway through the series, and while we're nowhere near close to confronting Doctor Manhattan, we are definitely seeing references to other outside story elements illuminating the entropic path the DCU has set itself upon. There are references to Sanctuary, and potentially to events that spin out of HEROES IN CRISIS.

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8.0
Doomsday Clock #7

Sep 26, 2018

Having crossed the halfway point of this 12-issue crossover between the DC Universe and the world of the WATCHMEN, we finally get to a place where we get answers.

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4.0
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4

Apr 4, 2018

Doing a fairly good job of mixing humans and talking animals in an artistic realism perspective, I can't fault Mike Feehan and Sean Parsons for their work. It's quite interesting seeing their adaptations of the cartoon animals into these new forms, and I'd appreciate seeing more of the interactions in this world -- if it wasn't for the fact that this world, as developed by writer Mark Russell, is populated either with gays or gay-bashers, with nothing visible in the way of moderation. It's a dichotomy of ideals I could live without. Fortunately, this is a comic book, so I can do just that.

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8.0
Faith #5

Nov 7, 2016

Overall, all three stories show why FAITH has been finding her way into people's subscription lists.

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10
Fantastic Four (2018) #1

Aug 10, 2018

While Dan Slott is definitely bringing his A-game to this title, Sara Pichelli really blew me away with her renditions of the characters. I was especially impressed with her interpretation of The Thing, and how she was able to evoke subtle expression from a face made of rock.

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8.0
Flash (2016) #21

Apr 26, 2017

FLASH #21 is a continuation -- and a departure -- from the story that began in BATMAN #21. Geoff Johns and Tom King are still driving, but even when multiple writers (and artists) are on the same page, you can sense the shift. Where BATMAN #21 opened "The Button" in a fashion that was very WATCHMEN-like in its structure, FLASH #21 shows some glimpses of that at first but for the most part sticks to the basic format for telling a comics story. Which isn't to say that Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter told a bad story -- far from it. It's just to say that, the gears have shifted, and you can feel the shift.

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9.0
Flash (2016) #22

May 18, 2017

FLASH 22 concludes "The Button," but it's a conclusion that brings with it little in the way of a conclusion.

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7.0
Flash (2016) #39

Jan 25, 2018

If Grodd is truly needing to suck in the Speed Force for his own nefarious reasons, I'm hoping it results in a lot fewer speedsters. Part of what makes our superheroes interesting is their uniqueness. When the Earth was overrun with Kryptonians, Superman was boring. When the world is overrun with speedsters, The Flash is likewise. (The only one who gets a pass on this is Green Lantern because he's in an armed police force, rather than a metahuman.) Let's get Barry back to truly being "the fastest man alive" and have him face threats other than those from people who can run just as fast -- if not faster -- than he can.

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8.0
Flash (2016) Annual #1

Feb 1, 2018

Joshua Williamson has a good handle on what makes Wally West relatable to the readers -- his connectedness to people and how the lack of that would impact him deeply. The artwork from Howard Porter and Christian Duce is crisp and neat, with a lot of background detail to flesh out the story without getting in its way. All indications are that this is a pretty good jumping on point for the big FLASH story arc to come.

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9.0
Freedom Fighters (2018) #1

Dec 21, 2018

Venditti's going to have to whip out a time portal or a cryogenic chamber or an iceberg or something, I'm sure he'll pull off something credible, though, and with some incredible art from Barrows, I'm looking forward to the next eleven issues and, hopefully, beyond.

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10
Future Quest #1

Jun 24, 2016

I plan to follow this one on a monthly basis. Don't wait for the collected trade, get it now.

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10
Future Quest #8

Dec 29, 2016

With this issue, the art and story are firing on all cylinders, and the ride is only going to get more thrilling from here. If you haven't tuned in already, now would be a good time.

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8.0
Gold Key Alliance #3

Jun 8, 2016

Brent Peeples artwork with Morgan Hickman doing the colors is stunning, and really brings the reader into the stories. It will be interesting to see how Peeples brings together these disparate genre characters into a unified scene.

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7.0
Green Arrow (2016) #45

Oct 3, 2018

The art, however, is a completely different kettle of monkeys. Faces look squashed, figures look more sketched than drawn, and the colors wash out most of what details may have existed beneath them. The group shots should have been a collection of easily identifiable faces, but I could not recognize the majority of them until they actually announced themselves, and that simply shouldn't have been. Javier Fernandez has turned in better work than this. Perhaps he was going for a different feel with this being a funeral issue, but it didn't connect with this reader.

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8.0
Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary: Alice #1

Jul 14, 2015

The ALICE IN WONDERLAND TENTH ANNIVERSARY ONE SHOT gets back to the roots of the series, with chilling horror delivered in exquisite beauty. That oxymoronic coupling makes this a welcome and compelling single-issue story that shouldn't be missed.

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8.0
Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Special: 2014 #1

Nov 17, 2014

Written by Anne Toole with artwork by Butch Mapa, the GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2014 HOLIDAY EDITION once again shows how Zenescope can take an obscure myth and turn it into a compelling modern drama.

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7.0
Grimm Fairy Tales: The White Queen #1

Jan 26, 2015

As a devotee of Wonderland since before Zenescope came into existence (Happy 10th Anniversary, Zenescopers!) I'll always be interested in new interpretations, Zenescope's included. I'm just hoping that the recent turn of events in the series haven't painted the new White Queen into a perpetual role of lifting madness and being manipulated.

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8.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror #3

Sep 3, 2014

While the market for modern horror shorts is still a yawning chasm in the graphic format, Grimm Tales of Terror is a welcome island of fright.

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7.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror #6

Jan 6, 2015

Overall, the story works but could have better set the reader up for surprises instead of giving all the hints up front. That's part of what made EC and other horror anthologies of the past so successful -- any hints were so subtle, if they were given at all, that they were only obvious upon re-reading. And that's what I'd love to see GRIMM TALES OF TERROR evolve into, and what I see it as having the ripe potential to become. Previous issues have achieved this, but this one just falls a little bit short in its delivery.

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9.0
Grimm Tales Of Terror Vol 4 #9

Nov 22, 2018

Give GRIMM TALES OF TERROR #9 a go this New Comic Book Day. It's just what the doctor ordered for a season that's a little too bright and cheery when we're still wanting the scares of Halloween.

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8.0
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #37

Jan 24, 2018

It's unusual to have a uniquely Superman super-villain take the lead role in a multi-chapter story arc in another hero's title. It would be rather like seeing Superman match wits with The Riddler for four issues, or Wonder Woman take on Gorilla Grodd. Mind you, I'd pay good money for either of those stories, so "unusual" is a good thing, and with the diverse cosmology of the DC Universe, it even makes sense for the Green Lanterns to encounter rogue Kryptonians in deep space. And raise your hand if you're already wondering when Lor-Zod is going to go toe-to-toe with Jon Kent!

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5.0
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Oct 7, 2017

If you want to see Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Betty and Veronica in action together, then go to your nearest convention, plop down about $100 to the artist of your choice, and commission a pinup.

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10
Heroes In Crisis #1

Sep 26, 2018

I want to be mad about this -- I do -- as several DC fans were today when taking to Twitter to voice their dismay. But looking at the book objectively, in terms of plot and appearance, there is nothing here that can be nitpicked as bad comic storytelling. This is a truly engrossing first chapter, and I'll be coming back for more. I doubt I'll be alone.

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8.0
Heroes In Crisis #2

Nov 1, 2018

The artwork is absolutely outstanding. I'm a bit concerned that Clay Mann got an assist from Travis Moore on three pages; I hope that's not indicative of scheduling problems with the workload. I'm definitely into this series for the long haul, but I think the real questions raised about Sanctuary will end up going forever unanswered: Why it was thought to be a good idea in the first place?

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7.0
Heroes In Crisis #3

Nov 30, 2018

The issue ends with another nine panels of heroes giving their confessions. This is the first we're seeing of them, so we don't know if they are among the dead or just former patients whose confessions contributed to the breakdown of the AI. It was, however, interesting to see Protector, who I don't believe has been seen in the DC Universe since his appearance in the 1980 NEW TEEN TITANS drug awareness comic book that was sponsored by Keebler and others.

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8.0
Heroes In Crisis #4

Jan 5, 2019

There's a concept here. A story to be told. So please, we're begging you: Tell it.

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9.0
Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1

Nov 3, 2014

Overall, Zenescope's HOLLYWOOD ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE has only one disappointing factor to it -- the fact that it's a limited series of two issues. This is a zombie-infested world in which I wouldn't mind spending a little more time.

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10
Irwin Allen's Lost In Space: The Lost Adventures #1

Mar 17, 2016

The pacing is slow -- it's a half-hour show being spread across at least two (perhaps more) comic books. However, the feel is spot-on, owing to the use of the original teleplay's dialogue and the beautiful panel work of Kostas Pantoulas. If you're a fan of the original series, you need to get out to your local comics shop and pick up a copy or three of IRWIN ALLEN'S LOST IN SPACE: THE LOST ADVENTURES #1 from American Gothic Press.

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9.0
James Bond 007 (2018) #1

Nov 7, 2018

If you're a fan of the spy franchise, this first issue is a great jumping-on point, and stays true to all the major beats of any James Bond adventure. Put this one on your pull list and hold on for one hell of a ride!

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10
Justice League (2018) #1

Jun 6, 2018

Snyder also provides glimpses into the past, present and future -- not just on the opening page, but deeper in as well, leaving fans to wonder about the fate of Adam Strange (who, with KRYPTON being the Syfy hit that it is, makes him a prime candidate to bring back into regular rotation), the power of the Joker, and the cosmic entities bearing down on the Multiverse. It's great action -- but it's greater inter-action that makes JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 a true gem!

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8.0
Justice League (2018) #2

Jun 20, 2018

...well, remember that downfall I said was telegraphed for John Stewart? Yeah, that happens. Looks like we're going to need more Lantern rings on the store shelves.

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8.0
Justice League (2018) #8

Sep 20, 2018

The "Legion of Doom" storyline is a jigsaw puzzle that we watch James Tynion IV and Mikel Janin assemble, a spectator sport where we try to guess the final picture before all the pieces are in place. Fortunately, the picture so far is intriguing, and the puzzlers are putting it together with enough panache to keep us watching.

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4.0
Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Feb 10, 2017

I get it if you want to produce a team of villains trying to make good despite their pasts. That's an admirable project (even if THUNDERBOLTS already did it). I'd buy that book. Maybe market it as "Community Service" or "Doom Paroled" or even something clever. But don't market it as the Justice League.

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8.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2

Dec 29, 2016

Great writing and some eye-pleasing art from Tony S. Daniel make JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD a must-follow story.

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9.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4

Jan 12, 2017

Williamson continues to deliver a fast-paced action story that still finds moments for character development and relationship revelations. Fernando Pasarin's artwork is a style consistent with the series, giving the reader detailed draftsmanship while also packing the pages border-to-border with character actions and backgrounds. Week after week, while I find something to pick on with each installment, JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD continues to bring it home as the highlight of my Wednesday reading experience.

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8.0
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6

Jan 26, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD has had a lot of good in it. The rotating-artist approach allowed for a quick one-a-week release without any delays in scheduling, and most of the artists maintained a rather consistent look across the series. I feel a little disappointed in the conclusion, however. It just felt rushed, and made the entire series seem to be put out as a launch point for two other ongoings. And yes, that may have been the actual point, but the reader shouldn't be as aware of it as I feel I am in this instance. Batman's change of mind on the necessity of Task Force X is a departure from his usual intractible views on justice, and I have to wonder if he's only saying that to get his way with Killer Frost's release or if he truly has found a place of compromise in his philosophy. But that's a debate for another time.

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7.0
Kiss: Blood and Stardust #1

Oct 24, 2018

It's a rather prosaic start for a supernatural adventure. I'll need more meat from the second issue to see if it's worth staying with until the end.

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9.0
Lenore Vol. 2 #10

Oct 27, 2014

Lenore reads something akin to what one might expect of Jeff Smith's Bone, had it been written and drawn by an LSD-fueled Charles Addams. It's hilarious in all the wrong ways -- which are, of course, the best ways. And don't worry if you're not up to date on the story so far. Flashback Squirrel (bless his soul) will be there to catch you up as best he can.

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10
Lone Ranger (2018) #1

Oct 5, 2018

Bob Q does some great stuff here with the panel layouts and applications of color. In four stacked panels he effectively communicates in pictures that the Lone Ranger has rode like the wind from sunup to past sundown, using the comic medium to convey the passage of time while condensing it brief scene. Eisner and McCloud would both be proud of this scene, as it's a textbook example of how comics work when utilized correctly.

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8.0
Lone Ranger / Green Hornet #1

Jul 4, 2016

The motivations may be a bit weak, but the concept and the execution are enough to bring me back for the next installment of those thrilling days of yesteryear.

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8.0
Mars Attacks (2018) #2

Nov 20, 2018

Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer deliver all the bizarre and grotesque death at Martian death-rays and freeze-rays that form the backdrop of this story that, ultimately, promises to be about something more.

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7.0
Marvel Rising: Omega #1

Sep 16, 2018

What really disappoints, however, is that I've already seen READY PLAYER ONE, and too many elements -- including the denouement -- are lifted directly from that plot. It's been years since I've seen work by Devin Grayson -- nearly 15 years, actually -- but even so her previous body of work prepared me to have expected more.

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9.0
Midnight Mystery #1

Nov 1, 2018

Alterna Comics, for those not aware, uses the retro paradigm of publishing on newsprint, just like comics were printed when I was growing up. The upshot of this means the looks of the book have a certain nostalgic aesthetic to them, but they also come at a much lower price point. MIDNIGHT MYSTERY #1, like almost all Alterna Comics, is cover-priced at $1.50, something this reviewer hasn't seen since the mid-to-late 1980s. That alone should be reason enough to tempt new readers to give this a try. After that, the story itself will be proof you chose wisely.

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9.0
Mike Hammer #1

Jun 27, 2018

Max Allan Collins knows a thing or three about writing private dicks. Yes, he wrote Batman for a while. Yeah, he wrote Dick Tracy for a while. Yeah, he wrote Ms. Tree for a while. And now he's writing top shelf pulp with MIKE HAMMER. He's a veteran at this kind of story-slinging, so you can relax.

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10
Mister Miracle #6

Jan 12, 2018

MISTER MIRACLE #6 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads is a masters class in what can be done with comics using the standard 3x3 panel structure.

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10
Mister Miracle #11

Sep 22, 2018

If you haven't been paying attention to MISTER MIRACLE, there's almost no hope for you. Put in your order for the upcoming trade at your local comic store today and redeem yourself and your dignity.

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9.0
Norman #1

Mar 14, 2015

Buy this book. Hide it from your normal friends, by all means, but buy it, and read it many times.

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8.0
Plastic Man (2018) #1

Jun 15, 2018

Melo does a nice job with the artwork, giving everything a modern look yet still reaching back to the mobster fashion of the Jack Cole days. Plas still has a warped sense of humor, albeit more puerile and penis-centric, which will make it a hard sell to a younger audience. (Ah, kids don't read comics anyway, so why try, right?) Anyway, I'll continue to check this series out through to the end or until it jumps the shark.

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7.0
Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #1

Jan 23, 2018

If you like over the top violent comedy, then HEROKILLERS is probably something you'd like to check out.

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8.0
Project: Superpowers (2018) #0

Jun 26, 2018

Is the apocalyptic future immutable? Or will foreknowledge of events give the Green Llama the edge he needs to save the future? It's a brilliant lead-in that teases the import of the tale without giving too much away at once. One thing's for sure, it's got this reader hooked enough to come back for the full-sized first issue of PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS!

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10
Project: Superpowers (2018) #4

Dec 25, 2018

PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS is grand superheroic fiction at its finest, with an incredible cast of characters, superbly illustrated, and facing down the kind of impossible threat that can only exist in comic books. Where some of the iterations of this franchise have been hit-or-miss, this one has been spot on from page one! Highly recommended!

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9.0
Rainbow Brite #1

Oct 4, 2018

I do hope the stories get a little deeper than "Oh no, Murky and Lurky are sapping the colors from that field of daisies!" But I expect Whitley has plenty of ideas to explore, and for a first issue I wholeheartedly recommend Dynamite's RAINBOW BRITE to the all-ages readers market.

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8.0
Rainbow Brite #2

Nov 13, 2018

Jeremy Whitley andBrittney Williams continue to deliver an engaging story that draws upon a rich lore of characters and themes, modernizing them while keeping them kid-friendly. In a world overrun by the grim and gritty, RAINBOW BRITE shines!

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7.0
Return of Wolverine #1

Sep 24, 2018

Whatever this is, and how if fits into a universe with X-23 and Old Man Logan and whatever other variations exist on timeline-collapsed Earth Marvel, it's certain to draw fans of the old canucklehead in droves. Charles Soule (whose off to kill Daredevil after propping Logan back up) has a story to tell, but it's told in leaps of logic and convenience.

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8.0
Revenge of Wonderland #1

Jul 5, 2018

The interior artwork from Allan Otero is sharp and in keeping with the quality of the Edgar Salazar cover. The easter egg hunt on page two is inspired. Unfortunately, many of the panels lose the detail of the inks from the coloring job by Grostieta.

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8.0
Revenge of Wonderland #2

Aug 3, 2018

Featuring some fast-paced storytelling from Gregory and gorgeous interior artwork from Allan Otero and Grostieta, REVENGE OF WONDERLAND #2 really gets the adventure into full swing, leaving the reader eager for the next issue.

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7.0
Rex Royd #1

Oct 3, 2018

Boyle states in the book's introduction, and then later on in the story itself, that REX ROYD was not supposed to make a narrative sense, but a poetic one. In that case, I suppose it's mission accomplished. It certainly evokes some of the sensibilities and high concepts of the works of Mark Millar (who pens the books foreward) and Grant Morrison from his INVISIBLES and DOOM PATROL days. But be aware upon entry that REX ROYD is an experiment in storytelling, and as such it doesn't so much defy normal conventions as remains completely ignorant of them. As such, for this reviewer, it's an unsastisfying cup of tea. It's cinematic foreplay replete with graphicus interruptus, and leaves one with a pondering of what the story could have been.

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8.0
Riverdale #1

Apr 6, 2017

The stories are both told in first-person form, and with Eisma pulling the pencilling chores on both they tales retain a consistent feel to them. If you're a fan of the television show, you'll want to pick this up to get the complete feel for the characters you love as well as the ones you love to hate.

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7.0
Scarlett Couture #1

Apr 20, 2015

SCARLETT COUTURE deserves certain props, however. This series is a marked deviation from the status quo, in a very good way. Fans of certain Japanese animated adventures will certainly find some admirable qualities in this series, which deserves more than a quick thumb-through at the rack. This comic represents more than your usual risk-taking on the part of the creator, which will certainly be rewarded if the stories can get a little more complex.

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8.0
Secret Empire #0

Apr 21, 2017

SECRET EMPIRE #0 is written by Nick Spencer, who, despite my nitpicks with the plot restraints, has a mastery of dialogue over all the characters, and has built up tremendous suspense for the storyline to come. Daniel Acua and Rod Reis have their hands full with portraying the bulk of the Marvel Universe characters and its settings, and have done so without missing a beat. It's a good piece of comics. I'm just hoping it's a good piece of comics that serves as a stepping stone to something even better.

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9.0
Sherlock: A Study In Pink #1

Jun 8, 2016

While the series is presented in English, the pages and panels retain their original right-to-left format -- a task made even more difficult for Western readers when using a digital reader built with left-to-right as a default pagination method. However, it's not an insurmountable obstacle, and worth the effort to follow the comic adventure.

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8.0
Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #5

Apr 20, 2017

So lay in a course for your nearest comic book shop and give this science-fiction crossover a try. Here's hoping the property can find new life and continue to boldly go.

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9.0
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #1

Jul 8, 2015

I've seen a number of these STAR TREK crossovers from IDW in the past, and I've had a mixed amount of enjoyment and bemusement. While I thought I'd enjoy the DOCTOR WHO crossover more, I was particularly happy with the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES one. However, I find my expectations for STAR TREK / GREEN LANTERN remain high after this first issue. The coloring is exquisite, the plot can be followed and gives just enough mystery to leave us asking "Huh?" without asking "WTF?" The artwork is extremely enjoyable, as Hernandez pulls of the rare stunt of drawing characters who resemble the actors without getting that immovable posed quality that often comes from adapting real figures into the comics form.

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7.0
Stranger Things #1

Sep 28, 2018

Perhaps if I were more familiar with the events of the television show, I'd be better prepared for the book. I can't say that the book is a gateway to the series for the uninitiated, but I expect that if you're already a fan of the show you'll likely get more enjoyment out of the book than will anyone going into it cold.

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9.0
Suicide Squad (2016) #45

Aug 9, 2018

I'm not usually one for the SUICIDE SQUAD books, particularly in the New 52 Rebirth incarnation, but this issue has all the right stuff, and I look forward to picking up AQUAMAN #39 next week to see how it goes from here.

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8.0
Suicide Squad (2016) #46

Sep 20, 2018

Dan Abnett spins a fine yarn, in a story that sets Queen Mera up to be a formidable force in the world of DC Universe politics. And if you think she's going to butt heads with Amanda Waller, you may just be surprised at the inevitable meeting of these two powerful ladies. Joe Bennett and Vicente Cifuentes do some solid linework, although the coloring sees to flatten out a lot of the details. I also enjoy seeing Dolphin among the Aqua-team, but I miss her original look of denim cutoffs, but that just comes from having been there when it happened.

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5.0
Supergirl (2016) #8

Apr 14, 2017

So remember boys and girls, when you're telling a story and find yourself painted into a corner, remind yourself: "It's only a comic book. I can always blame magic."

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9.0
Superman: Earth One #3

Feb 6, 2015

Straczynski and Syaf are knowledgable industry veterans, and SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE is a lasting testament to their storytelling abilities.

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7.0
Superwoman #1

Aug 11, 2016

The story involves Lois looking for some help from a reliable, trusted source on how to control her newly acquired powers, which leads her to Lana Lang -- the girl who helped Clark figure things out in Kansas. Shift forward a few weeks, and Lois is on hand for a disaster involving Lex Luthor's newly unveiled mobile base of operations. It's a disaster that threatens hundreds of lives, including Lex Luthor's, and will require teamwork from a partner you weren't expecting to see. Trust me, after the introduction at the culmination of this chapter -- which borrows some classic lines from SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE -- you'll be coming back next month to follow the adventures of SUPERWOMAN. She's not who you think she is.

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10
Tap Dance Killer #1

Jul 30, 2018

TAP DANCE KILLER is like finding new old stock of 1970s Marvel Comics that never got released. They're original, unique, and know how to use the dynamic storytelling medium of comics. That's something we've waited 40 years to get.

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9.0
Tap Dance Killer #3

Dec 3, 2018

The storyline of TAP DANCE KILLER continues to be frenetically fast-paced, with a deeply intricate plot that never takes the time to stagnate. Ted Sikora's story is something completely unique, the sign of a writer thinking outside-the-panel, as unpredictable as it is addictive. For the most part, Nikolaus Harrison's pencils are clean and tight, but appear a bit rushed in places like Carlotta's calling the family to action. Regardless, this is an old school comic with a new school of style and flair, completely unique, wholly enjoyable, and highly recommended.

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7.0
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #112

Sep 27, 2018

Jim Balent's long-running fan-service series is one that doesn't take itself too seriously. The artwork is fantastic, but the plot varies from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to GHOSTBUSTERS in its tone.

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8.0
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #113

Nov 30, 2018

With exquisite detail and the fan service the readers of this series have come to expect and enjoy, TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #113 definitely doesn't disappoint.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2016) #1

Oct 27, 2016

So I'm along for the ride for now, and I'm bringing my optimism with me that this new Teen Titans may continue to be worth my three bucks each issue.

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9.0
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6

Jul 14, 2016

This book also contains a blast from the past backup feature: a classic Sabrina comics story written by George Gladir and drawn by premiere Archie and Josie artist, Dan DeCarlo.

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9.0
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #8

Aug 25, 2017

Robert Hack's artwork is appropriately creepy for this horror title, delivering characters with expressiveness as well as settings that are familiar yet presented in a more (appropriately) haunting way. It's been worth the wait to get this far. Let's hope we can go even farther.

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8.0
The Jetsons (2017) #6

Apr 5, 2018

Jimmy Palmiotti's "A Higher Place in the Stars" is an entertaining read, and Pier Brito's adaptation of the cartoon characters into a more realistic perspective is intriguing (although Elroy is a bit on the tall side. But overall, the story was missing a certain something -- the essence of the show that made THE JETSONS a comedy instead of a light-drama.The same mistakes were made with THE FLINTSTONES, which is why I gave up reading that one early on. There's promise here, to be sure, so I'm hoping another iteration of THE JETSONS is in our future, just to see if the minor course corrections can be put in and the series can finally blast off.

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8.0
The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #1

Nov 28, 2014

Using the characters of The Jungle Book stories as the template for this interpretation makes for a unique storytelling opportunity, and Miller appears to be taking full advantage of that. Michele Bandini's artwork, while not overly detailed, still works wonderfully here, giving the animal denizens of Kipling a pseudo-anthropomorphic style, possessing qualities of expression while sticking closely to the natural appearance of the animal. The story is unhindered by a ton of backstory, while still managing to weave a number of separate plots around a central nexus. Kipling would be an nice place to be able to visit regularly, once the mini-series is completed.

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7.0
Username: Regenerated #1

Nov 22, 2016

The artwork of the graphic novel has an appeal, although there's also a certain chiseled look to it. While the landscapes are highly detailed and lush, and the characters are believably constructed, there are times when they appear "flat" -- which could be a result of the inking, the coloring, or even the printing, I'm not sure. It's still quite good in its rendering, and worth a read.

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8.0
Vampirella (2017): Halloween Special #1

Oct 24, 2018

Easter Egg alert: Can you find Uncle Eerie and Cousin Creepy in this year's special? I bet you can!

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9.0
Vampironica #4

Oct 27, 2018

Which means you should pick up this issue, and you have a good 30 days to hunt up the previous three issues so you're all caught up before the final chapter of this story comes out.

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9.0
Wonder Woman/Conan #1

Sep 22, 2017

The artwork is top notch, and nobody beats Gail Simone when it comes to characterization. Wonder Woman has never been more popular than she is this year, so expect this one to fly off the shelves.

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7.0
Young Justice (2019) #1

Jan 11, 2019

I'm willing to give this team a shot for old time's sake, and I'll keep my optimism high. But that optimism is going to be tempered with caution. A stronger start would have made for a stronger foundation in my eyes.

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