Russ Bickerstaff's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: You Don't Read Comics Reviews: 1461
8.4Avg. Review Rating

7
007: For King and Country #3

Jun 28, 2023

For all its flaws, its still nice to see Bond on the comics page. The story is simple and breezy. Bond appears suitably Bond-like on the page. Everything seems more or less as it should. One would hope for more of a flashy stylishness in a contemporary Bond comic, though. Aside from a smartphone, theres very little on the page that would have felt out of place during any other era in the history of the franchise. This should feel timeless. In the hands of the creative team assembled for the issue...it just feels a bit old.

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8.4
007: For King and Country #4

Aug 7, 2023

The series hits its stride in an issue that mixes in a bit more dramatic intrigue than the prior issue did. Johnsons skill at bringing together dramatic dynamics in the foreground serves as a solid foundation for action, even if everything going on in the background is really quite silly. Its an attempt to weld a super soldier-style story into a 007 tux. There might be some way of doing it well, but its at odds with Johnsons style.

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8.4
2000AD #2337

Jun 22, 2023

Abnett and Bettins Azimuth should be a fun series to follow. The density of Abnetts writing feels that much more electric than anything else in the anthology right now. This is not to say that there isnt a hell of a lot going on in the issue besides. And some of it is QUITE good, but Azimuth feels like a breath of fresh air next to the rest of it. 

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8
2000AD #2338

Jun 28, 2023

Suzi Nine is fun in a second round in 2000 A.D. Writer Dan Abnett has like...three different things going on with three different indie publishers that are all DRASTICALLY different. Azimuth is strikingly different from Abnetts Vampirella for Dynamite, which is completely different from the Wilds End hes doing for BOOM! Studios. As for 2000 A.D.--this week, its another mix of action and weirdness that leans a little too heavily into familiar territory with a couple of notable exceptions. Azimuth alone is well worth picking up this weeks issue.

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9.6
2000AD #2342

Jul 28, 2023

One of the oldest running sci-fi comics anthologies continues to look good as it pushes into the second half of its fifth decade in existence. Abnett is a major talent working on a number of different series for a number of different companies, but his work in 2000 A.D. continues to be some of his best. Dredd might seem a bit tired even in his current series, but he maintains a solid presence as a second mascot behind its fictional editor Tharg the Mighty. 

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8
2000AD #2343

Aug 10, 2023

Writer David Barnett also delivers a fun opening for a story of a guy named Herne who is looking to save a young girl from the cult that is on her trail. The contemporary fantasy makes for a nice addition to the rest of this weeks offerings in one of the most reliably good sci-fi anthology comics in history. There I.S. some dead weight to this issue, but there is more than enough to carry the momentum from one cover to the other.

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9.6
2000AD #2345

Sep 1, 2023

The anthology takes a quick break from the usual next week for what appears to be an issue of one-shots aimed at more of an all-ages crowd, which should be a weird experiment for the anthology. As it is right now, the series is weighted heavily in a classic cyberpunk format. A brief escape from that might be fun.

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8.4
2020 Rescue #1

Mar 4, 2020

Schwartz and Burrows are off to a promising start with a whole new angle on the Iron Man concept in an issue that exhibits a very together heroine who exhibits all of the strength, power, and poise of an Avenger. The art pulls together a fascinating script with dynamic action and nuanced portrayal of drama. The story itself may be cast in a mold that goes back to the dawn of the original Iron Man character, but Schwartz and company make it feel fresh.

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8
20th Century Men (2022) #1

Aug 24, 2022

Though there ARE some really interesting ideas crawling up out of the intricate history that Camp is working with, the story has a long way to go before it can really define itself as being a truly novel look at the 20th century as seen through the lens of superhero myth. The three heroes of opposing nations prepare for a serious clash in a very sophisticated political world. It will be interesting to see where Camp and Morian point the upcoming pages. Camps initial glance at the Cold War is compelling enough to warrant serious consideration of the second issue. It will remain to be seen where the series goes from there.

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9.6
3Keys #1

Oct 5, 2022

Lovecraft was prolific. Messina has a huge playground to move around in for a series with his work as a foundation. Three women dont know each other, and theyre all descendants of the same guy...AND they all have great cats that (evidently) only they can see as spirit guides. Its such an appealing contemporary horror fantasy. Messina and company really have something here, and it feels so cleverly formed even in the first panel.

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8.4
3Keys #3

Dec 15, 2022

Its very rare that the art does this good a job of covering for a story. The story doesnt really worry itself too much about whether or not it is making any sense to the readers. And it doesnt really have to. It matches the mood of a Lovecraftian vibe so perfectly in this respect. So often it is the case that authors working in Lovecrafts realm slip and think of the deities as being actively evil. Its nice to read something that moves in circles big enough to be truly apathetic to the concerns of mortals. Theres big stuff going on. Mortals dont matter in the scope of 3 Keys. 

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9.6
3Keys #4

Jan 19, 2023

One gets the impression that Messina is only barely scratching the surface of what could theoretically be a very long-running series. Messina is working with such a small canvas in an issue that largely concerns itself with what appears to be the first half of a combat conflict that starts off in a comic shop. There are so many possibilities that come in a pop fusion of Lovecraft and contemporary horror action with clean lines and sharp colors. With any luck, Messina can keep it up for a while longer. This is fun stuff.

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8
3Keys #5

Feb 16, 2023

Messina has worked on a profoundly big canvas for the duration of the series. Lovecrafts writing is real and dangerous for a group of young women living in New York. While it IS huge, Messina limited the five issues of the series to a relatively small cast of characters. Theres so much more that could be done in the world of 3 Keys that could be great fun to explore if Messina was given the opportunity to do so. It would be interesting to see what he might do with the style in future issues if he ever decides to explore the concept more fully. 

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9.6
80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Catwoman #1

Jun 12, 2020

This is an accomplished celebration of an 80-year-old character who still has a great deal of potential slinking around the edges of every panel. Chen and Mearas arguably do a better job with this particular 100-page anniversary issue than a similar team attempted with Wonder Womans 750th issue. Catwoman is seen from a variety of different compelling angles that all cast the thief in a way that maximizes her mystery and appeal. Given how much ground is covered here, its actually kind of surprising that the volume is only 100 pages long. This collection feels big enough to be a year in the life of Selena Kyle.

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10
80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Wonder Woman #1

Oct 13, 2021

The composition of the 100-page celebration has been carefully thought out. The first two stories establish new directions for ongoing titles. At the same time, the rest of the book moves through Wonder Womans history in chronological order from the Golden Age to the Silver Age to the Copper Age and beyond. Not every story is totally brilliant, but the anthology works remarkably well as a whole, giving the reader a somewhat breathtaking look at the history of one of comics greatest heroes.

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7
A Town Called Terror #1

Apr 13, 2022

There isn't quite enough story delivered in the first issue to truly get into what the series is ultimately going to be about. There's a real danger in ambiguity on this level to open a series. Readers might not feel interested enough in what's going on to care about a second issue. Thenit might seem potentially good but then fall apart as the mystery begins to reveal itself to be something less appealing than the shadow and mystery that dominates the pages of early issues. As for now, it's one to watchmaybe out of the corner of the eye to see if it might turn into something worth watching a bit more closely.

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9
Acts of Evil: She-Hulk Annual #1

Aug 28, 2019

The 2019 annual preserves the unique blend of comedy and weird action which made She-Hulk so endearing a few decades ago and I periodic flashes over the years since then. The story may seem a bit derivative of early adventures with Jen, but as it isnt a flavor of narrative that makes it go the comics rack with any great frequency. Its great to see a return of She-Hulk under her own cover. Too bad its just a one-shot.

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7
Acts of Evil: Ghost-Spider Annual #1

Sep 4, 2019

The basic elements of an extremely clever standalone story are clearly visible in this issue. Its a really impressive creative team. Without a more inspired theme at the heart of it all, this annual is only capable of appealing on a very superficial level. Is it a displaced heroine mistaken for someone else by a theme park gone wrong? A premise like that deserves something deeper than Ayala was able to conjure here.

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9
Aero #1

Jul 3, 2019

There may be questions about the possibility of her longevity, but Aero comes across as an admirably badass hero in her first outing under her own title

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8
Aero #2

Aug 7, 2019

A back-up story of Aeros earlier years is written by Greg Pak with art by Pop Mahn. The story featuring an escaped government super-agent is an interesting twist on an old superhero trope. Its a nice supplement to the larger action of the main feature, but Liefen and Kengs work has such a large and sweeping feel about it that the story from Aeros past comes across as a dreamy afterthought on the dynamic action that opens the issues.

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8
Aero #3

Sep 18, 2019

Aero continues to look really, really good in her third issue. The lack of in-depth characterization in the main feature maintains a sense of mystery about Lei. But the background on the heroine and her daily life will be missed if things dont slow down for her in issues to come. The action has been great, but there needs to be more of a personal angle on the heroine to balance-out a closer walk with the new character. The international feel of the comic is amplified at issues end with the creators notes by Liefen and Keng that appear in both Chinese and English translation. 

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8
Aero #4

Oct 16, 2019

As quickly as things play-out in the back-up story, the focus on dynamic action in the main story eats-up a lot of pages. Its a very tight close-up on a hero that doesnt allow her a whole lot of room to breathe. This isnt a bad thing, but it IS a bit difficult to relate to a hero who really ISNT given a whole lot of downtime between action sequences. Its a very engrossing sense of action. Its just too bad that there hasnt been more time outside the action to get to know Aero better thus far.

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8.4
Aero #5

Nov 20, 2019

By now, Aero has established a really nice rhythm about it that could quickly start to feel repetitious if things arent broken-up a bit more. It might be nice to see Keng given an opportunity for a non-action-based issue to provide the character with a bit more of a personal grounding for the action in issues to come.

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9
Aero #6

Dec 11, 2019

Liefens decision to finally allow readers a glimpse of Lings professional life pays-off in a fun issue. Lei Ling sees the effect of her influence as a superhero as the mysterious crystalline spires continue to rise in a very well-balanced, even-tempered breather between action issues. The sudden collision of lives for Aero/Lei Ling at the end of the issue does an excellent job of launching the series into the complexity of impending action for next issue.

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8.4
Aero #7

Jan 8, 2020

Its cool to get a look at traditional super-heroism done in a more classical golden-age sort of a milieu. As refreshing as it is to return to that in a more of a modern style of storytelling, its still very firmly rooted in a version of the superhero concept thats pretty much-been played-out over the decades. The blend of US and Asian styles of super-heroic storytelling is going to need to be more of a focus on future issues if Aero is to remain aloft for months and the year to come. 

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8
Aero #8

Feb 12, 2020

Aero looks beautiful. It moves quite well. Theres a general feeling of Marvel-ness about it, but without firmer grounding in the rest of the Marvel Universe, it feels a bit distant from the rest of the world. This isnt a bad thing, but it DOES keep it from benefitting from the volume of the rest of everything that so many others have created for Marvel over the course of the past half-century or more. 

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9.6
Aero #9

Mar 18, 2020

Theres very little here that is inherently original. Superheroes have always had to deal with juggling romance and duty. Theyve always had to deal with maintaining a secret identity and giant monsters and things. Liefen and Keng handle the standard superhero tropes with a class and poise that makes it all feel new. It will be interesting to see what distinctive style the creative team will add to the Iron Man crossover coming next issue. 

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9.6
Aero #10

Aug 28, 2020

The opening of Aero's first major crossover continues to show the unique mix of superhero tropes that make Aero its unique voice. The blending of golden-aged heroism with silver-aged plot construction and a slow and steady pacing contrast boldly against the quick clustering of action that typically shoots through a standard superhero comic. With the tenth issue's connection to the main Marvel Universe, Aero begins to feel a bit more like a part of a larger tapestry. 

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7
Aero #11

Sep 16, 2020

The crossover continues into a third issue next month as Aero closes out her first year's worth of story. With the tandem action finished, there's hope yet that the crossover can turn into something more equal with issue twelve. As written by Liefen, the rapport between Stark and Ling IS fun. A third issue's interaction should wrap-up the current story arc quite well.

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9.6
Aero #12

Oct 21, 2020

Liefen and Keng have worked through whole issues weighted so heavily in one part of Aeros life or the other. Its nice to see an issue that spends a little bit of time in a few different corners of Aeros life. Aeros first big crossover comes to a close in an issue that conjures a tastefully shifted look at a traditional superhero story. Hero. Student. Professional. Its all so familiar and all so fresh and new at the same time.

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9.6
Age of X-Man: Alpha #1

Feb 5, 2019

This is the opening of a 32-page epic thatll play out over the course of five months. Anything as huge and overwhelming as that is bound to have some flaws here and there. This opening issue sets a pretty high bar for the rest of the event. If most of the rest of The Age of X-Man can live-up to the quality of this issue, it should be one hell of a journey.

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5
Age of X-Man: Omega #1

Jul 17, 2019

On the whole, a project the size of The Age of X-Man is an excellent idea. Projects SHOULD be this ambitious.  For all its faults, The Age of X-Man DID dazzle with its possibility. This conclusion casts glances at what might have been. The opening monologue has the title character lamenting how something so ambitious as a whole new world quickly grew too big for him to be able to handle. Thompson and Nadler might have been talking about the Age of X-Man event with that opening monologue as well. Reach for a huge achievement, and you might fall victim to it.

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7
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #1

Mar 14, 2019

As an introduction, the first issue of Apocalypse and the X-Tracts is a fun introduction to the fringe of The Age of X-Man. As a standalone narrative, it felt too flat and scattered to make much of an impact on its own.

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6
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #2

Apr 10, 2019

Seeley does an excellent job of pasting together an issue out of odd corners of plot that needed to come together in this issue, but it seems to lack enough cohesion to really feel like it has any place on its own outside of the massive machine that is The Age of X-Man. Its doubtless that this series wasnt placed where it was to be filler for the event, but any specific reason for the series to exist has yet to present itself.

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8
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #3

May 8, 2019

As usual, an issue featuring a disparate group of characters can feel more than a bit scattered as a whole. Dramatic and aggressively percussive moments are held quite well in an issue that quite nearly finds the perfect grounding. Its not perfect, but it feels like Apocalypse and the X-Tracts is finally getting into a really good rhythm right before the mini-series comes to a close.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #4

Jun 12, 2019

Any one of the threads in this issue would have been much more satisfying if it had been allowed to develop in its own chapter. Eye-Boy, Kitty Pryde and the Son of Apocalypse are each interesting enough to carry their own title. The Age of X-Man begins to draw to a close, and it becomes all too apparent that the scope of the event was made WAY too big to be totally enjoyable. Had the multi-title event been allowed to occupy a slightly smaller space, it could have been brilliant. All that Seeley can manage with an issue like this is a fun and breezy, little dance with elements that have been echoing through Marvels Mutant titles for decades. Given the right scope, The Age of X-Man could have been so much more.

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6
Age Of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts #5

Jul 10, 2019

All things considered, the penultimate issue of the Age of X-Man could have been far worse. Themes of intention and exploitation by well-meaning messiahs might hit the page in awkward angles, but at least theyre being addressed.  Theres a lot of exciting potential in the overall premise being explored in the event. Its too bad that it hasnt been given very much room to develop. Its possible that next weeks Age of X-Man: Omega #1 will breathtakingly wrap-up everything seen in this and all of the other series in the event, but given the awkward composition of the story, it seems doubtful.

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9
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #1

Feb 13, 2019

The Age of X-Man is now in its third week. One of the big challenges moving forward is going to lie in keeping each of the titles distinct and integral to the overall structure of the event. If anything feels at all like its not totally necessary for the development of the world as a whole, the integrity of the whole 32-part event might start to falter. With the first issue of NextGen, Brisson cleverly lays the foundations for a coming-of-age in a world of mutant social integration.

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9.6
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #2

Mar 20, 2019

A solidly entertaining issue for the second month in a row lends Next Gen the distinction of being one of the better (and possibly the best) of the Age of X-Man mini-series. Exciting characters are going through exciting things.  The danger is right around the corner from everybody, and there isnt a character in this issue which isnt in over his or her head in ways that arent totally apparent to them just yet. Hopefully, Brisson and To can maintain this quality through the end of the series.

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7
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #3

Apr 17, 2019

Though it doesnt meet the potential of characters searching for truth in a world fabricated by authority, the drama in the third issue of Next Gen is engaging enough to keep the pages turning in another oddly enjoyable trip to the Age of X-Man.

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7
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #4

May 15, 2019

Though it doesn't quite manage to hit the true potential of its premise, NextGen is making a simple drama fit remarkably well onto the comic book page. Like so much of the rest of the best of the Age of X-Man event, the fourth issue of NextGen is bringing a distinctively moody kind of mutant drama to a mainstream comics page much more accustomed to far more aggressive physical action. It's been a fascinating experiment thus far. NextGen continues to find some success with the venture.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: NextGen #5

Jun 19, 2019

NextGen would have worked quite a bit better on its own outside of the confines of a rigid multi-title event. There are a lot of subtle moments in and within the student body of a totalitarian state run by superhumans that could have carried tremendous impact with this particular group of characters. Too bad it wasnt given a longer timeline.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #1

Mar 7, 2019

Drama and atmosphere are satisfying in the first of five issues that are likely to take place entirely in prison for superhuman mutants. The introduction to the series isnt quite as amusing as it could have been.

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9.6
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #2

Apr 3, 2019

The first issue ended with a note. The second issue ends with something much more devastating. The mystery ramps-up pretty heavily in this issue. Theres a steady increase in intensity over the course of the issue that gets kind of crazy at the end. Its a fun trip, but itll be interesting to see if Ayala and company are able to maintain the kind of tight, clean rhythm for the remainder of the mini-series.

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9.6
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #3

May 1, 2019

Its a smart issue. Ayala and Peralta manage to keep Bishops presence at the center of the book even though he doesnt physically appear in the comic book until the penultimate page. Hes only seen for two whole panels, but the reader sees everything through his conceptual perspective. Its a very deft narrative construction. Quite an accomplishment.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #4

Jun 6, 2019

The big climax of tension at issues end brings-up a rather strange problem for the final issue of the series. Its starting on something that really feels like its the end of the series, but theres still a whole issue to crunch through before the story reaches its conclusion. Prisoner X #4 feels like the culmination of everything. Ayala and company do an excellent job of delivering on that climax. Itll be interesting to see where they take it for another 20 pages as the series ends next month.

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8
Age Of X-Man: Prisoner X #5

Jul 3, 2019

The big finale to the series feels a bit abrupt when it all comes to rest in the final panel, but it IS leading to the significant conclusion in the last issue in a very compelling way. Taken as a part of the larger run of the Age of X-Man, Prisoner X might emerge as the most satisfying corner of the event, but on its own, it feels more than a little lacking. With Prisoner X Ayala, Peralta and Horak do an excellent job of telling a solid story that almost has an ending. Too bad the story isnt over at issues end. It feels too modular to be 100% satisfying.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #1

Feb 21, 2019

Every other title in the Age of X-Man event seems to be focussing on people dealing with various problems. With this title we have someone seemingly having the time of his life. Its a sharp place to start and a smartly-framed contrast to the rest of what is shaping-up to be an interesting journey into a parallel Marvel universe.

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6
Age Of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #2

Mar 20, 2019

Between troubles on the set and troubles of the heart, McGuire and Frigeri are giving Nightcrawler some fun obstacles to roll through, but without his flashy personal stylishness, the character feels a little flat on the page. No one wants to see a stoic Nightcrawler. His passion is part of what makes him Nightcrawler. If McGuire and Frigeri can start to bring that to the page a little bit more, Nightcrawler will feel a bit more himself as the series continues into its second half.

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9.6
Age Of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #3

Apr 17, 2019

With only a couple of issues left to go in the mini-series, McGuire and company appear to be right on track to really get this series going right before it has to end. With the sheer number of titles that comprise the Age of X-Man mega-event, it was bound to happen that one of them might end up frustratingly reaching its most satisfying moments uncomfortably close to the end of the event. For now, its okay, though. The Amazing Nightcrawlers third issue is one of the few genuinely good issues in the Age of X-Man thus far.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #4

May 22, 2019

The trend in The Age of X-Man seems to be reaching a state of fully realized potential at the end of the mini-series that make-up the event. The ending might be satisfying enough to be truly frustrating for The Amazing Nightcrawler really feels like its becoming interesting one month before it ends.

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7
Age Of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #5

Jun 19, 2019

McGuires work here feels a bit stifled by the massive superstructure of the Age of X-Man event. In Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider shes got much more leeway to do whatever the hell she wants...a situation which allows her to develop nuanced humor and drama in very clever ways. Shes easily one of the best writers working for Marvel right now. Its too bad that she had to be hampered by the event that this series is a part of. McGuire could be great with Nightcrawler if she was given just a bit more room to develop her own story.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #1

Feb 6, 2019

With this first issue of the first full series in the Age of X-Man event, Thompson and Nadler have lowered another foundational chapter into place that feels fresh and clever. As a whole, the event is hugely ambitious. This one chapter feels appealingly modular. There IS a conflict that gets resolved in dramatic fashion at the beginning of the issue, but theres A LOT of world-building going on here that shows careful thought toward the narrative mega-structure of a series with weekly chapters coming out through the middle of the year.

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6
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #2

Mar 16, 2019

Theres a hell of a lot going on in the multi-mini-series Age of X-Man event. Its a sizable finite story playing out in a micro-verse with so many moving parts. Chapters like this are going to inevitably crop-up here and there as the overall story shifts from one major event to the next. Necessarily there is going to be the occasional issue that is doing more work going over what has already been expressed in other chapters. Hopefully, there arent too many issues like this, though.

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5
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #3

Apr 10, 2019

A lot is going on in this issue, but not enough of it feels consequential enough to have any real impact. The aerial conflict between Magneto and Storm and X-Man really should have had an explosive intensity about it as it is one of the few scenes in the series thus far that really speak to the central themes of the Age of X-Man. Too bad it feels so uninspired.

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5
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #4

May 15, 2019

With everything beginning to end the way that it is, the Marvelous X-Men had a chance to be the central anchor for the Age of X-Man event. It has proven to be a bit too much story to cram into a single title, which is a disappointment. Writers in the past have managed to juggle disparate characters in the ever-evolving roster of X-Men characters. In the space of a world created to live for only half a year, Thompson and Nadler appear to have a bit too much to try to tackle.

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4
Age Of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men #5

Jun 12, 2019

Its easy to be critical of Thompson and Nadler for the end of this series, but this issue isnt really the end. The final conclusion of the events which flowed through this series will happen in The Age of X-Man: Omega which will come out when all of the rest of the series comes to a close this summer. Its difficult to imagine the chapter which would make the five issues of this series feel at all satisfying as a contiguous whole, but there is every possibility that everything will wrap-up with some level of satisfaction once everything is lowered into place in that final issue of the event. This issue, though? This issue isnt terribly good.

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7
Age Of X-Man: X-Tremists #1

Feb 27, 2019

The cheesiness of a dystopia that outlaws love is muted here in a very dramatic story that trudges through the drudgery of establishing another collection of familiar heroes in another parallel universe. Given the animalistic emotional nature of the people our heroes are going out to deal with, the issue is not without its impact as the opening round of the Age of X-Man titles begins to draw to a close.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: X-Tremists #3

Apr 24, 2019

Williams does well to focus the story on a romance between Psylocke and Blob. The specifics of that relationship add a delightful sense of sophisticated emotional connection that is so often missing from mainstream superhero comics.

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6
Age Of X-Man: X-Tremists #4

May 29, 2019

It's strange pacing that sees a group of people sullenly dragging themselves through the ongoing frustration of perpetuating a false world. The significant shift at the end of the issue has been foreshadowed ever since the first issue, but the sudden change at issue's end still manages to hold an emotional impact leading up to the end of the Age of X-Man.

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8.4
Age Of X-Man: X-Tremists #5

Jun 26, 2019

Once again, another Age of X-Man title draws to a close with ample power that suggests that it might have become much better if it had been allowed more than five issues room to breathe. Williams has had some very compelling moments scattered around the fast-moving deterioration of a grim dystopia. Given even twice the length of time, it has been allowed, the Age of X-Man could have developed into something with admirable complexity. In X-Tremists as with every other title its clear that this multi-mini series event has been a bit rushed.

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6
Alien (2023) #5

Sep 1, 2023

With the story reaching its ending, there's a fundamental problem with the series: it needs a fresh perspective. What made the franchise's original films so appealing was that it was a progression of different sub-genres. The first was sci-fi horror. The second was sci-fi action. The third was sci-fi drama. The fourth was franchise sci-fi legacy. Johnson's series needs something significantly new to offer the franchise aside from the comic book format that's been a part of the franchise for a long time. And though the overall design of the series fits the film's production design perfectly, it all feels superficial. 

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8
All Eight Eyes (2023) #3

Jun 22, 2023

One might imagine that theres going to be a big plot twist at the end of the series thats going to allow it to all make sense. And one hopes that doesnt happen. Some horror is just inexplicable. Theres so little to the basic premise of the story that its easy to feel like Foxe and company are going to lower some kind of a trick ending on things at some point next issue. Theres really no reason to think that this is going to happen, though. Foxe hasnt given any indication of a big plot twist coming at the end of the series.

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9.6
All-Out Avengers (2022) #1

Sep 8, 2022

There are eight characters. And then theres one major villain. Its a big ensemble for a story with no introduction that drops right in the middle of the climax. Its all juggled with great finesse by the entire team. The fact that the story involves quantum teleportation is a pretty cool thematic synchronicity. The next issue finds a similar group of Avengers who have been captured by mega-villain Doctor Doom. Somehow Doom has gotten ahold of Captain Americas shield on the cover. That cant be good.

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9.6
All-Out Avengers (2022) #2

Oct 12, 2022

Landy is beginning to develop a larger plot around the edges of the series thats playing with the format. Specific memories of how they came to be where they are...simply arent there for everyone. Its a clever way to draw the overarching plot into the form of a series that launches readers and characters alike directly into the middle of the action. It may have an awful title, but two issues in, All-Out Avengers is beginning to look like something special. 

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9.6
All-Out Avengers (2022) #3

Nov 26, 2022

Its difficult to tell how long Landy could keep the current format going before it starts to feel boring and repetitive. The action sequences playing out in the first three issues of the series maintain great momentum and gain a great deal of momentum simply by staging compelling action sequences. The plot that Landy has tying them all together is just extra. 

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8
All-Out Avengers (2022) #4

Jan 4, 2023

Landys focus on three anonymous AIM agents feels intriguing. They may not be granted a whole lot of time on the page, but they make a fun deviation from the usual in a superhero comic. Given the right momentum, it would be interesting to see three or four anonymous identical AIM agents in their own series. It would be fun to see Landy and company play around with faceless gold scientists a little more closely. 

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9.6
All-Out Avengers (2022) #5

Jan 26, 2023

The final twist is the big set-up for the next mini-series. Given the villain involved in the next series, its difficult to imagine it being nearly as much fun as All-Out Avengers has been. The villain in question has been kind of a problem ever since he debuted back in 1984. With the right direction, it could really turn into something. Landys done a good job with this series. Hopefully, he can do something similar with the next one. 

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6
Almighty (2023) #5

Jun 7, 2023

The promotional copy for the fifth issue suggests that this is the end of the first volume of the series. Laroche provides some sense of conflict that could be carried into a second series, but he would have to find a way to conjure some depth out of all the awkward, exhausted, post-apocalyptic surface tension if hes going to conjure much more than a restless insomniac vision of life after the fall of civilization. There needs to be more in and within the panels if Almighty is going to bring a bit more weight to the comics rack.

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8
Alpha Flight (2023) #1

Sep 12, 2023

Alpha Flight has been a tricky team to get right. Its not often that the teams delicate balance between politics, emotion, and action has been placed on the page in a way that makes any kind of sense. John Byrne did a brilliant job with the first run on the first series back in the early 1980s. The series has been hit-or-miss since. Thankfully, Brisson and Godlewski are doing a good job of bringing it all to the page. 

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8
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #1

Oct 23, 2019

Mary Jane is an actress. Mysterio is a filmmaker. They have a mutual acquaintance. It makes sense that they would work together...kind of surprising that it hadnt happened earlier actually. Its a delicious set-up for a slightly off-center superhero comic. Given the right momentum, Williams and Gomez could really turn Mary Jane into a major leading lady.

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9.6
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #2

Nov 20, 2019

Williams and Gomez are playing with a really unique series that might have a charming opportunity for success in the current era. With entertainment news traveling as quickly as it does, the average movie fan knows a lot more about filmmaking now than ever before. Superhero films are some of the most successful movies there are. A comic book about a super-villain movie inside the Marvel Universe just might be interesting enough to gather readers as the story gains momentum.

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8
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #3

Dec 12, 2019

Williams has settled-in to the milieu of Mary Jane with this issue in a way that feels both smart and sophisticated. She manages this without compromising action and pacing. The series is beginning to reach some of its potential with this issue. A slightly more detailed look at Hollywood in the Marvel Universe in the course of production, these first few issues could go a long way towards making this series something original AND accomplished. Various elements of cast, tone, and mood need to lower into place a bit more, but this is a striking move in the right direction for the young series.

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7
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #4

Jan 8, 2020

Williams manages a balance between the Hollywood drama and the more traditional superhero-style action that feels more or less appealing. Theres clearly more than enough going on in Williams story to hold interest together for many, many issues to come. The problem is going to lie in keeping the action consistent without compromising the fact that at its heart, this IS a series about a Hollywood actress in a world of superheroes.

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8
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #5

Feb 19, 2020

Shooting the Mysterio biopic only took a little less than half of a year on this side of the comic page. In the months to come, Mary Jane will return to New York for a little bit of time with her boyfriend and begin to promote the movie. Itll be interesting to see Williams distinct mutation of the rest of an actresss work on a big Hollywood motion picture.

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9.6
Amazing Mary Jane (2019) #6

Mar 18, 2020

The series has spent nearly its entire first half year trying to find the right rhythm. A nearly issue-length talk show is rarely attempted. There WAS that oddly memorable time back in 1984 when the Avengers appeared on Late Night with David Letterman for almost the full-length of issue #239, but it wasnt handled nearly as cleverly as it is here. Leah Williams shows a considerable talent for constructing a solidly entertaining story in an issue that is smartly rendered for the page.

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #13

Nov 11, 2022

Peters bruised and beaten. He wasnt expecting whats happened, and hes going to have a hell of a time rolling into his next issue, but this one continues a time-honored tradition of keeping Spidey spinning through the danger without allowing him much of a chance to rest. It would be exhausting if it werent for someone like Wells handling it as well as he does and someone like Romita Jr. bringing it to the page with such a breadth of style. Things arent going to get any easier for Spidey next month but then...when have they ever been easy for him?

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #19

Feb 8, 2023

Honestly, the sudden turn towards a somewhat cliche murder-mystery with a large ensemble was kind of a surprise. The classic Agatha Christie sort of feel to the issue would be tedious were it not...yknow...Spider-Man and a whole bunch of classic Spidey villains as the ensemble in question. Dodsons visual wit matches Kellys sense of humor almost perfectly beat-for-beat. The pair makes a really good team for a pleasant little excursion from the work that Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. have been rolling through lately.

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #23

Apr 6, 2023

Peter Parker casually runs into issues with half of the Fantastic Four and Captain America. Theres a sense of desperation as Parker rushes to try to do what he needs to do. Wells and company put together a remarkably sharp issue that doesnt require a whole lot of familiarity with Spideys recent past. A general familiarity with the Marvel Universe is all thats absolutely necessary. Issue #23 is a perfect example of how a long-running series can keep going indefinitely: keep established readers entertained while steering clear of the kind of muddled plot that would be boring to new readers.

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7
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #26

Jun 1, 2023

There are going to be those who complain that Kamala deserved to die in her own series. Its worth noting that...well in advance of the release of this issue, it was well-known that she was going to die. The Amazing Spider-Man #26 may be a Spider-Man comic, and he may be in it A LOT, but he and his life and his concerns DO fade out into the background of his own title for at least one month. THAT doesnt happen very often to a major character like Spider-Man. Kamala DOES deserve better, but Amazing Spider-Man #26 might as well be a Ms. Marvel comic. 

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7
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #28

Jul 7, 2023

Wells works with all of the standard Spidey tropes in slightly new ways. Its not terribly insightful or groundbreaking, but it DOES take a certain amount of vision and talent to put together all of those familiar elements that Spidey has been dealing with over the decades in a way that doesnt feel excessively repetitious. The overall feel of the new Doc Ock is interesting...but lacks anything beyond the physical that would make him seem any more interesting than he has been in the past.

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6
Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #29

Jul 13, 2023

Wells is mixing comedy and serious drama in a way that makes it kind of difficult to interface with the center of the story. A few pages before the end of the issue, its just...silly. It all kind of falls apart by the end, but there ARE some really good moments splattered throughout the issue that almost reach a kind of brilliance with some very witty dialogue by Wells. 

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8
Amazons Attack (2023) #1

Nov 8, 2023

It might start a little slow, but Campbell's story draws together several elements that should be fun as the story continues. The fundamental grounding of the current "Amazons Attack" story might feel a bit silly. Still, Campbell is building something interesting in what should be a fun adventure drama that should deliver an interesting new dynamic to the world of Wonder Woman and the rest of the Amazons if all goes well. 

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8
An Unkindness of Ravens #1

Sep 23, 2020

Panosian and Ignazzi burn through the first 20% of a five-issue mini-series on the first day of a new school year. The subtly immersive world theyre putting together will be wrapping itself-up long before the end of the school year on this side of the comics page. A thoughtful, measured introduction like the first issue of An Unkindness of Ravens deserves something that might at least fill a bit more of a single school year. 

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9.6
An Unkindness of Ravens #2

Oct 28, 2020

The begins with the ending of Wilmas first day in school and ends early on in the afternoon of her second day. The first day she met with the outcasts. The second day she meets with the popular girl. Theres a very steady balance being executed in the first couple of issues of the series that will be fun to follow so long as Panosian and Ignazzi maintain the same moody, dramatic pacing that theyve established in the first couple of issues.

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8
An Unkindness of Ravens #3

Nov 25, 2020

Theres really no specific reason why this particular teen horror drama should work in a comic book format. Panosian and Ignazzi conjure it for the page with its own distinct fingerprint. An Unkindness of Ravens part of a long, distinguished tradition for the sub-genre. It manages to settle quite cozily into its own corner of the genre with a smart sense of poise. 

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8.4
An Unkindness of Ravens #4

Dec 23, 2020

The mystery of the series reaches a kind of an intense turning point this issue. The path that the series takes from here could fall in a direction that might feel quite silly. Depending on how Panosian and Ignazzi handle the next couple of issues, the seriess strengths could really land in the panel center. Wilmas reaction to whats going on and the worlds response to her reaction could guide things in a really appealing direction moving forward. An Unkindness of Ravens #4 does a really outstanding delivering that dramatic turning point in the series plot. 

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8.4
An Unkindness of Ravens #5

Jan 27, 2021

Ambiguity in and of itself isnt necessarily scary or intriguing. Still, Panosian and Ignazzi play with a shadowy lack of definition that allows the comics page to feel a bit more like deep paragraphs of a long and winding young adult novel in an enjoyable fifth issue. Theres still a great deal of potential in the series as Wilma explores the deeper aspects of local culture and her connection to it. Still, the real danger in a story like this is keeping it interesting without plunging the narrative into a hopelessly convoluted narrative in the issues to come. 

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8
Ant (2021) #1

Oct 20, 2021

 Silver Age-style heroism still works in Larsens hands, but itll be interesting to see where Larsen takes it this time. Its kind of weird seeing something done in the format of an old comic that wouldnt have looked out of place decades ago that has the occasional flash of a modern comic. (The stars in the night sky in the first couple of pages are kind of disorienting. As is the rich sheen that Larsen has managed to render on the surface of the heros costume.) The ground that hes covering here with Ant has been so heavily covered in the course of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. An origin story is all well and good, but its going to be challenging to keep moving with it if he doesnt find some way to inject new life into an old superhero format. 

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8
Antarctica (2023) #1

Jul 12, 2023

The restlessness of the opening issue of the series really could have been cut entirely. So much of the introduction to Hannah and her life leading into her trip to Antarctica could have appeared as flashbacks. That sort of set-up might have resulted in a little more immediacy in the first issue, but its difficult to find any real fault with starting Hannahs story a bit earlier until it becomes apparent exactly where Birks is taking it in the issues to come. 

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8
Arcade Kings (2023) #1

May 17, 2023

Burnetts sci-fi mutation of the traditional late 1990s video arcade makes for a fun milieu for the nomadic hero trope. There may not be anything terribly original about the story, but Joe seems like kind of a cool guy, and Burnetts art swiftly slides the story through page and panel in a way that allows for a very distinct narrative fingerprint. Burnett lowers a few different subplots into place in the first issue that could be interesting in subsequent chapters. It will remain to be seen if the nomadic hero trope will hold up over the course of the next few issues of the series. Burnett might have something special here.

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9.6
Arcade Kings (2023) #2

Jun 21, 2023

Burnetts big accomplishment with the series thus far has been the ease with which hes given everyone very simple and instantly recognizable motivation for their actions. Arcade Kings isnt a world of simplistic notions of good and evil. So often, this type of story uses that dichotomy as a crutch to launch the action. Burnett is telling a simple action story without resorting to good and evil. Very cool. 

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9.6
Arcade Kings (2023) #3

Jul 22, 2023

Burnett is allowing the world to expand a little more as he introduces a new character on the other side of the narrative. As cool as the itinerant hero is in the first couple of issues, it's cooler to see a contrasting hero who is every bit as valorous while being much more firmly anchored in a single location. 

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9
Auntie Agatha's Home For Wayward Rabbits #3

Jan 9, 2019

Its strange to see Auntie Agathas world so fully realized after only three chapters. Since issue one, its felt like a series that has been running for years, complete with the interpersonal dynamics between a girl, her rabbits, and her elderly auntie. Giffen and Roman have created something that is quite enticingly unlike anything else. Its a sitcomic book and wouldnt feel quite right in any other format. Hopefully this is the halfway point of something that will have a long and healthy life, even after the mini-series reaches its conclusion. 

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9.6
Auntie Agatha's Home For Wayward Rabbits #4

Feb 13, 2019

Given the slow, refreshingly relaxed pace of the comic book, Giffen and Roman are establishing something that could continue for years without ever feeling anywhere near as tired or fatigued as Sawyer is throughout this issue. Theres a vivid freshness about the whole thing even though the hipster funny animal genre has been more or less dead for decades. The cast of characters feels immense. Theres so much that can happen on a tiny, little property with so many strange rabbits.

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9.6
Auntie Agatha's Home For Wayward Rabbits #5

Mar 11, 2019

Giffen and Roman end the issue on quite a little cliffhanger. They do so in a way that is suitably stagnant for a series which has become so defined by idle moments in the lives of those living in impending doom of losing their homes and ultimately their lives. Once again, Giffen and Roman brilliantly develop a very unique blend of satire and serious drama.

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9.6
Auntie Agatha's Home For Wayward Rabbits #6

Apr 17, 2019

Theres a lot going on here beyond the surface. Its difficult not to see a deeply flawed contemporary society reflected in the strange collection of psychologically challenged bunnies living on a rural farm that has been targeted for demolition. On some level, were all Sawyer trying desperately to save our homes from the utter destruction of sinister forces. Were all dealing with the dysfunctional dynamic of so many others who are far too wrapped up in their own infinite gallery of psychoses to be able to tackle the challenges of continued survival. Its just a funny animal comedy, but theres a very deep allegory going on here. Hopefully Giffen and Roman will be able to continue their exploration with the rabbits for a long time to come.

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9.6
Avengers (2018) #16

Mar 7, 2019

The pairing of Aaron and Marquez has achieved pleasant alchemy with this issue. The Avengers have tried to go in the direction of the demonic and supernatural in the past without quite managing anything anywhere near as impressive as theyve accomplished on a more cosmic level, but with Aaron and Marquez crafting the story, they fit right into the action horror superheroing. If they can string together a few more issues like this, the Avengers might finally have a satisfying brush with the supernatural.

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9.6
Avengers (2018) #17

Mar 20, 2019

Blade is hanging out with a mini-Man-Thing. Jen literally blows-up. Blade performs a decapitation and Captain Marvel shoots a blast right through the head of a vampire. There's witty dialogue and brisk pacing. Its a fun conclusion to the story for Aaron and Marquez. Next month, Ed McGuinness takes over the art as the War of the Realms crossover event. Aaron has an opportunity to take the team in new directions as the Squadron Supreme re-enters the picture once more like the United States latest superhero team.  

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6
Avengers (2018) #18

Apr 24, 2019

The idea of super-powered heroes being brainwashed by the government was kind of disturbing when Moore tackled it in Marvelman back in 81, but in an age as truly messed-up as the one we have come to live in, the idea needs to be ratcheted-up in order for it to have the kind of impact it needs to have. In the current political climate, the darkness of a fictional manipulative government needs to be that much more sinister in order to have any impact at all. Aarons going to need to get darker if this Squadron Supreme is going to make an impact.

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9
Avengers (2018) #19

May 22, 2019

Last issue the Avengers title cast its focus on a few characters that have largely been forgotten. Here its focussed on a character who is far more interesting than how hes been treated in the past. Its a clever approach to a mega-crossover: invite the readers to take a closer look at minor side characters caught-up in the rush of events rather than the standard ensemble so often found filling the pages of the book. Sometimes when things get really stressful, you just need to hang out with a gorilla.

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9.6
Avengers (2018) #20

Jun 26, 2019

So much of what Aaron has been doing with his end of War of the Realms in the Avengers seems to have been a process of testing various characters for future projects. The Squadron Supreme issue felt a bit off, but this issue and the one before it (featuring Gorilla-Man) show a willingness to further explore aspects of the Marvel Universe that have faded out of the center of the frame in recent months. This closer look at She-Hulk turns out to have been one of the best issues in the whole War of the Realms event thus far. 

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6
Avengers (2018) #21

Jul 10, 2019

The issue pulls things forward for all of the characters with a degree of wit but without much flair. Ghost Rider granting a watercraft Speedboat From Hell qualities aside, a bunch of characters lounging around isnt a terribly engaging way to frame the inner lives of the characters. The conflict between Black Panther, Coulson and a matching set of Nick Fury L.M.D.s would be interesting if it were allowed to cover more of the issue, which seems to be trying to cram too much into a single installment without finding a way to bring it across dynamically.

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8.4
Avengers (2018) #22

Jul 30, 2019

Somewhere in the midst of everything, theres also a moment between Thor and Iron Man in a Turkish desert. Theyve been called in to investigate the strange appearance of what appears to be a fossilized Iron Man helmet in a cave. The addition of that scene amid Reyes problems, helps to keep the issue running on a few different tracks. In a way that recalls the kind of deft traffic control, Chris Claremont had in The Uncanny X-Men when his run on that series was firing on all cylinders. Aarons Avengers seems to have found firm footing now that the smoke has finally cleared on the War of the Realms crossover event.

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8
Avengers (2018) #23

Aug 28, 2019

Aaron and Casselli do an admirable job of keeping everything together in an issue that could have easily disintegrated into a lot of disjointed scenes between different groupings of Avengers. The magical milieu could start to get a bit tired if it carries on for too much longer, but the series seems to be in quite capable hands with Aaron and Casselli.

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8
Avengers (2018) #24

Sep 25, 2019

Specific details with the background aside, this issue is the Avengers fending-off a threat against...themselves. A cool as the combat is, its not the sort of triumphant defense of the earth, the universe and more. That has made for some of the better stories history of the team. Hopefully, with this issue behind them, the team can start to focus on the actual business of protecting the earth. 

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8
Avengers Beyond (2023) #1

Mar 30, 2023

With the initial background of the story well and fully established, Landy can focus on what he seems to be best at: telling a solidly entertaining action story featuring some really powerful characters. All of the silliness of the cosmology of the Marvel Universe has been dealt with. Now, the mini-series can get down to the business of developing some serious and seriously witty action moments. Landy and the art team are at their best when everything is gliding smoothly forward.

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7
Avengers Beyond (2023) #2

Apr 27, 2023

The larger story that is being presented has yet to completely resolve into anything that would be terribly compelling. That doesn't mean that a bigger payoff isn't coming. It just seems like Landy hasnt quite found a way to frame this part of the larger serial in a way that is terribly interesting. In the larger run of things, Landy set himself up with kind of a challenge for this particular issue. It DOES deliver information important to the story, but it's difficult to bring it to the page in a way that feels like it's catapulting the action forward.

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8
Avengers Beyond (2023) #3

May 31, 2023

From the All-Out Avengers title that Landy and Land had done last year to the current Avengers Beyond series, the creative team has been doing a good job of maintaining an enjoyable level of quality. There hasnt been the kind of versatility in theme and tone that one might hope for in the better superhero team comics, but action and intensity have been maintained for Landy and Land throughout.

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6
Avengers Beyond (2023) #4

Jul 7, 2023

As had been the case with Landys All-Out Avengers, the writer is clearly planning things in a way that could really turn into something later on. There are clearly plans that involve bigger themes and a more extensive plot. The fourth issue in the current series doesnt feel like it has the kind of momentum it would need to turn out as satisfying as All-Out Avengers. With Landys preceding Avengers mini-series, there was an intriguing plot construction that seemed to be leading somewhere. With Beyond, Landy seems to be a bit more directionless than he was with the previous series.

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5
Avengers Beyond (2023) #5

Jul 28, 2023

All the cosmic energy burns off of Marvel Manhattan one more time. Everybody gets back to all of those things that they were doing before. Theres kind of a lot of other activity in Marvel Manhattan...and all over the world, for that matter. Theres an impossible city in orbit around the Earth. Interdimensional cityslayers from that city are attacking Manila, Helsinki, Toronto, Sydney, and Vatican City. The Avengers have to go to work on that in their OWN title.

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6
Avengers: 1,000,000 B.C. #1

Aug 24, 2022

In another era, Marvel might have tried a whole line of comics set in the world of the Upper Paleolithic. Given the right angle, it could have turned into a very primal look at the heart of the conflicts that have come to define the heroes on pages, panels, and screens of various sizes over the past eighty years or so. A single issue telling the story of Thors birth just seems kind of...weird. Theres so much more they could do with the era.

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8
Avengers: No Road Home #3

Feb 27, 2019

The A-Team/B-Team approach to the large ensemble substantially aids the third issue of No Road Home. Theres almost enough here between the two different groups to warrant a pair of satisfyingly interlocked mini-series, but expanding the action too much might make the series feel that much more padded-out and cumbersome. The creative team behind the book seems to have found just the right amount of action to fill the book.

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8.4
Avengers: No Road Home #4

Mar 7, 2019

Nyx is actually a really cool villain with a profoundly resonant background, so the issue feels satisfying as it leads-in to the halfway point of the twelve segment No Road Home mini-series. The story of Nyx and her kids almost feel drawn from some end of Neil Gaimans Sandman and into a more aggressively brutal Marvel iteration of godliness. This issues pacing sets things up quite well for rising action that will doubtlessly rush through the fifth issue.

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9
Avengers: No Road Home #5

Mar 16, 2019

The introduction of one more hero at issues end is meant to have a bit more impact than it probably does. This may be a mega-popular legendary hero who first appeared at the dawn of the twentieth century, but Marvel has a decades long history with the character and his appearance here just isnt nearly as impressive as it needs to be. . . And given that the introduction at issues end is kind of a jarring smash-cut of a thing, its difficult to say quite precisely where the series is going from here, but a major conflict has ended, and further adventure awaits next issue.

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8
Avengers: No Road Home #6

Mar 20, 2019

Its nice to see more Conan for Marvel. With this crossover and titles like Conan and Blit, it almost feels like the barbarian was never really gone. That being said, this crossover doesnt REALLY feel like a crossover. Its just...Scarlet Witch hanging out with a barbarian. It wont really start to feel dynamic until the second half of the ten-part mini-series really sets in next issue with greater integration between the realm of Marvel and the realm of Robert E. Howard.

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8
Avengers: No Road Home #7

Mar 27, 2019

Nyx and Rambeau are a fun match supported by a lot of drama around the edges of an issue that advances the series to its final three chapters. Conan feels like a bit of an afterthought in an issue that might have been better served with some greater integration. The Avengers/Conan meeting could have had more impact had Zub, Waid and Ewing been a bit more focussed on it, but they really ARE juggling a lot here.

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6
Avengers: No Road Home #8

Apr 3, 2019

The series enters its penultimate chapter next issue. Its been kind of a hit-or-miss proposition with every issue in the series so far. Fusing Conan with the Avengers in a huge dual-setting mini-series has been a very ambitious exercise. With any luck, the final two issues can close the story with a well-balanced finale.

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6
Avengers: No Road Home #9

Apr 10, 2019

The series begins to draw to a close in one corner of the Marvel Universe as the big War of the Realms crossover picks-up elsewhere. The intensity of this particular mini-series owes a lot to the deep emotional characterization that has been thoughtfully brought to the page, and thats what really matters as the series draws to a close

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7
Avengers: No Road Home #10

Apr 17, 2019

The ten-issue No Road Home mini-series had been a relentlessly sketchy patchwork of a narrative, so its fitting that the end would be as scattered as it is with Vision confronting Nyx in Long Island and an extended epilogue. While its far from a perfect story, clever art and earnestness in the story make the series very difficult to dismiss as a purely commercial exercise. Theres real love thats been poured into this thing. And like any love thats worth anything, its flawed and inconsistent.

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9.6
Barbarella: The Center Cannot Hold #3

May 31, 2023

Even with the knowledge gained from the Unnamable, Barbarella still has quite a lot to deal with. Theres still the threat of the Architects on the horizon. Thanks to her adventure in the third issue of the series, shes got a better idea of how shes going to handle the fourth. Shes learned something, and she didnt have to resort to any kind of negative energy to gain that knowledge. 

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9.6
Barbarella: The Center Cannot Hold #5

Aug 10, 2023

Hoyt, Bogani, and Sanchez call the fantastic grandma to a close with a great deal of style and flair. It's all drama, and there could be a better deal of action. However, that doesn't matter. Because it all looks so good while everyone is discussing dramatic matters pertaining to a distinctly non-human culture. Once again, the title character manages to keep herself totally on track the entire issue, and everything feels more emotionally engaging than one might typically expect from a light space opera. It's precisely the type of thing that makes for an outstanding Barbarella story.

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7
Batgirl (2016) #27

Oct 10, 2018

Barbara Gordon is a fun character to follow into shadows, whether or not they are rendered in great detail. Shes not some old, rich guy with a vendetta; shes risking a lot more than some multi-millionaire avenging his parents. If Scott could pair her up with a villian that had a bit more depth, this could be a very clever evolution beyond the traditional Batman formula, but Scott falls just a bit short of the well-balanced brilliance that could make her truly unique.

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7
Batgirl (2016) #28

Oct 25, 2018

Scott guides the story through the penultimate chapter with a somewhat stilted rhythm. It's an awkward collection of moments to try to frame inside a single issue.

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8
Batgirl (2016) #30

Jan 2, 2019

Scott Explores divisions between father and daughter in the first part of a story in which shadows of the past loom into the present. Its a promising opening to a new chapter for Barbara. Shes gaining some level of independence having been recovering from serious injury in the recent past. With the opening of the story established, this new chapter in the life of Batgirl should find some interesting new momentum.

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8
Batgirl (2016) #31

Jan 30, 2019

Scott and company arent reaching for something revolutionary with this story. Its a solidly-produced earthbound crimefighter fiction with a badass heroine trying to aid in a fair election, which is admirable in the current political climate. Just enough of a mix of topical action and intrigue to make for an entertaining read.

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8
Batgirl (2016) #32

Feb 27, 2019

Batgirls shaken at issues end. Scott has put her through some really intense action over the course of the issue and theres a definite tension leading to the upcoming chapters. (The next one comes in the form of a crossover tie-in to The Batman Who Laughs miniseries.) This issue works remarkably well on its own, though. Scott has been doing a good job of delivering individual issues that feel self-contained while building ongoing tension in a larger story arc.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #33

Mar 27, 2019

Though the issue fits into a more massive crossover event, Scott and Casagrande put together a story that stands quite well on its own. There are more profound implications of the overall psyche of Barbara Gordon that carry plot lines from previous issues, thus making this a chapter in the life of a crime fighter that works well both on its own AND as a part of a long-running saga.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #34

Apr 24, 2019

The latest issue of Batgirl is the opening of a three-part story Scott is calling Terrible. The three-part story is off to an engaging beginning featuring a compelling combination of decent writing, decent art and a very precisely-balanced amount of stylish weirdness. The quality of Babs adventures appears to be looking up for the next couple of issues.

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8.4
Batgirl (2016) #35

May 22, 2019

Batgirls defiance in the face of nearly insurmountable odds has a profound impact. Her names on the book, so we know shes going to be alright, but Scotts tumbling her through the kind of hell that makes Batgirl all the more impressive. Shes going to survive this AND the third part of the story next month, but things are about to get worse for her...and just like seeing her escape that tube, itll be fun to see Batgirl escape all of the strife Scott has planned for her in issues to come.

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7
Batgirl (2016) #36

Jul 3, 2019

Given how many moving parts there are in a story like this, its challenging to get everything to come together ideally under deadline. The great thing about Scott, Pelletier, and Rapmund is that they work well enough as a team to overcome anything that might be dragging from month to month. Here the action is given its place in the art while the emotion is given its place in the dialogue. Next month it might be different. The important thing is that Batgirl can crawl through the hell and make it onto the splash page of the next issue. Shes good at that.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #37

Jul 24, 2019

Its pretty rare when one creative team can take over for another this smoothly. Writer Mairghread Scott had done such a good job with her run aided as she was by artist Paul Pelletier. They had a very satisfying end to their run last issue. Castellucci and Di Giandomenico take over this issue and take over without the usual sort of awkward disappointment and stiff acclimation that has to occur with a new art team. Castellucci and Di Giandomenico  have hit the page ready to go right away on the first panel.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #38

Aug 28, 2019

Castellucci and Carmine Di Giandomenico are dragging Batgirl through some really, really rough times to show relentless heroism. With any luck, the teams tenure with the character will last long enough to see her rise triumphant out of the disheveled mess of her life in the first couple of issues of their time with her. So far this has been a thoroughly engrossing walk with Barbara Gordon.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #39

Sep 25, 2019

As closely as Batgirl is focussed-on with the new creative team, theres so much churning around in the narrative background that shes not given the moments to breathe. That would make for a really intimate 20 pages with her. This lends some power to a character who is so lost in trying to help other people that she doesnt time for herself. A lot is going on in her life. The new creative team is doing a remarkable job of bringing Barbaras life to the page.

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10
Batgirl (2016) #40

Oct 29, 2019

Castellucci and DiGiandomenicos brilliant execution of Babs chronicles amid a big, oppressive multi-title crossover speaks to a very deft mastery of the street-level superhero genre that should be great fun to see develop further once the title wheels itself out from underneath the massive machinery of The Year of the Villain. 

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #41

Nov 30, 2019

Castellucci's time with Batgirl is only a few issues old, but already it's feeling like the writer has a very profound understanding of what makes the hero unique. The fusion between art and story is also very well-articulated. This is a fairly basic hero-villain interaction that echoes a story template that goes back to the dawn of the superhero. Castellucci and Di Giandomenico give the story enough distinct personality to make it feel new and refreshing in spite of this. With any luck, the two can continue on with the series for a long time to come. It'll be interesting to see where they can go with Babs.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #42

Jan 6, 2020

Batgirl has liberated herself from the relentless discipline shes come to expect from herself. The change in her personality came about out of necessity. From here, her story could potentially cascade into several different directions now that shes free and clear of the year of the Villain crossover event. As good as Batgirl has looked throughout much of 2019, Castellucci and DiGiandomenico certainly seem to be casting her in a direction that appears to be a substantial improvement over last year. 

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #43

Jan 29, 2020

The act of thrusting a gritty, earthbound hero into a fantasy world is often used as a form of distance from the heavier aspects of the characters life. Here Castellucci is using the fantasy world to explore the deeper elements of Barbaras life into a fantasy world. It makes her inner struggle that much more visually appealing. 

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8
Batgirl (2016) #44

Mar 1, 2020

The chapter comes to a close quite effectively. And though it's not terribly accomplished in its execution, Castellucci's story DOES focus on the inner emotional life of Batgirl in a way that makes her all the more endearing for fur or e issues. It's just too bad that there wasn't more of an appreciation for the weirdness of the issue amidst the action. Nana is battling some serious demons here in and out of her mind. It'll be interesting to see where Castellucci takes her next.

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8
Batgirl (2016) #45

Mar 26, 2020

Castellucci tosses around details in the script that both render a story and provide some insight into the personality of Batgirl herself. The art team casts a lot of detail around the edges as well. The story itself might suffer from some lack of originality, but Castellucci and Di Giandomenico give Batgirls world such a distinct style and flavor. Theres a new villain. Theres a new threat to Gotham that goes beyond the immediate concerns of the hero. Castellucci is taking the Babs life in an interesting direction.

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8.4
Batgirl (2016) #46

Jul 1, 2020

Its nice to see Batgirl and Batwoman hanging out together, but its not like they get a lot of time together. The messiness of the overall composition of the issue echoes the complexity of Babs life. It all comes along quite well. Its a satisfying chapter in the life of Batgirl. Theres an emotional connection from reader to character. 

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #47

Jul 21, 2020

A Batgirl tie-in to the Joker War tie-in could have been really tedious if it hadnt been handled correctly. The relationship between Batman and the Joker has been garishly over-rendered over the years. Batgirl could have been a pale reflection of that. An issue that pulls everything into a tight close-up in a run-down, little Gotham City apartment, transcends the crossover to become something far deeper and more satisfying than anything else in the Joker War crossover thus far. Anything else in the series is going to have a hell of a time topping the elegant minimalist appeal of this issues conflict.

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8.4
Batgirl (2016) #48

Aug 26, 2020

Cecil Castellucci seems to be inadvertently borrowing Chris Claremonts beautiful red-headed doppelgnger element for Batgirls latest mystery. Though it clouds the triumph of Batgirls recovery a bit, the mystery DOES propel the issue in a new direction that should prove to be every bit as fun as what Babs has been tumbling through throughout the rest of Castelluccis run thus far.

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9.6
Batgirl (2016) #49

Sep 23, 2020

Due out the week of Halloween, the next issue is the final issue of this series's run. It's arduous to imagine Castellucci ending on a more impressive note than the one she nails in this issue. The plot might merely be playing about with themes that have been explored in the superhero genre for decades. Still, Castellucci does a brilliant job of bringing it together in a powerful finale to a two-part series. 

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8
Batgirl (2016) #50

Oct 28, 2020

The character has an enduring appeal. Theres no question that shell be back for a sixth series. Too bad Cecil Castellucci isnt able to spend more time with her right now, though. Castellucci had a compelling connection with the character that found her able to twist and turn with the editorial demands of all the godawful crossover events shes had to slog through. With any luck, Castellucci or someone else similarly in-tune with Babs and her personality is able to pick-up the character whenever she inevitably appears in the first issue of her sixth series. And with any luck at all, thats not going to be too long from now. 

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8.4
Batgirls (2021) #1

Dec 15, 2021

Conrad, Cloonan, and Corona put together a remarkably sharp first issue. Theres a good connection between what editorial seems to be looking for with the series, what the writers are putting together, and the visual style of Corona. The series would be served much better by a slightly tighter look with more of a solid definition, but that will likely come in time as the creative team becomes more familiar with the team adventuring around on-page and panel.

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8.4
Batgirls (2021) #2

Jan 12, 2022

Cloonan, Conrad, Corona, and Stern definitely have something unique in Batgirls. Theres a great sense of momentum and combustion about the action that feels like it could be great fun if the visuals could only be honed just a little more to allow for more of a sense of modulated intensity. This may come in time as the creative team settles down into a deeper understanding of how everything comes together on a finished issue of the series. The Batgirls are really cool. Given the right rhythm, they could have quite a run together.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #3

Feb 10, 2022

The subtle overlay of tiny elements of interaction between the three leads is cleverly placed over a larger story with its own emotional resonance. As the series settles into its third issue, the series has really found an enjoyable rhythm between action, drama, and something more. As sad as it is to see Babs out of the mask again, the new team feels like a perfect fit for her that should work quite well for a hopefully long run in the future.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #4

Mar 9, 2022

With clever bits of personality emerging from very appealing characters in a very immersive and gritty world, Cloonan, Conrad, Corona, and Stern are developing something very endearing. Its a version of Gotham City that seems to have found its own voice just a few issues into the series.

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8.4
Batgirls (2021) #5

Apr 13, 2022

Three women. A car. A motorcycle. A bat motif. It all works. Conrad and Cloonan have even managed to find a relatively novel group of villains for the trio to stare down in their opening story. It all fits together so well. Bat-based Gothamite heroes have been fighting crime and insanity on page and screen for the better part of a century, but Conrad and Cloonan seem to have found a new approach to the action that feels so pleasantly like starting all over again.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #6

May 11, 2022

In the first six issues of the series, Cloonan and Conrad have firmly established a fresh perspective on Bat-based heroism that should have a nice, long run. Cloonan, Conrad, and Corona make for a really good team that makes a firm and appealing impression on Gotham City. Its been fun so far. If Cloonan, Conrad, and company can continue to allow the team to evolve in their own corner of Gotham, Batgirls has a good future.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #7

Jun 15, 2022

In addition to delivering an appealingly fresh, new take on the Gotham bat crime-fighting trope, Cloonan, Conrad, and Corona Are developing an interesting new take on the nature of a rogues' gallery. The team has its own little corner of Gotham City to work with. It's a provocative microcosm with a lot of exciting potential that could filter around the central action's edges. The extended three-woman crime-fighting team is a very appealing mutation of the traditional Batman concept. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the coming months.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #8

Jul 13, 2022

The second major plot arc of the series completes with another hugely satisfying conclusion. Theres a great sense of momentum being built and a genuine feeling of character development in and amidst the team as the series reaches the end of the second third of its first year. The clever swashbuckling mixes with the dark damage of one Batgirl and the cheerier humor of another (who happens to serve as series narrator.) Its a hugely appealing dynamic that Conrad and Cloonan have developed for a delightful action series. 

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #9

Aug 10, 2022

Nine issues in and the team finally gets something of an extended breather before barreling straight into the jaws of one of its darkest, most earthbound threats. Once again, Conrad, Cloonan, and company manage to balance an unsettling number of plot elements into a single, cohesive narrative that feels every bit as substantial as anything that any Gotham-based hero has managed in the past. The larger-than-normal bat ensemble adds a sense of community that embraces a much more satisfying bigger picture of Gotham City than what often finds its way into a single issue of ANY series.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #10

Sep 14, 2022

The gradual development of ensemble conflict and setting makes Batgirls one of DCs better-balanced books. Conrad and Cloonan have found a compatible artist in Googe, who has a style so similar to the seriess original artist that the visual world of the series doesnt feel at all inconsistent across the first ten issues. It doesnt hurt that the seriess original artist (Jorge Corona) continues to do such a good job with the covers every month.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #11

Oct 12, 2022

Cloonan and Conrad have been playing around the edges of the Gotham City milieu. Theres an intricate and nuanced understanding of the psyches of all three members of the team. With the eleventh issue, they dive directly into something far more central to Batman-related storytelling. They do so in a way that maintains the cleverly witty dynamic between Cass, Steph, and Babs. Conrad and Cloonan are expanding Gotham City much more than many of the other attempts that are currently on the comics rack.

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8
Batgirls (2021) #13

Dec 15, 2022

Case continues next issue. With a bit more of a handle on things, itll be interesting to see how he manages with the first issue in his rearview. Its going to take some getting accustomed to a new artist, but Conrad and Cloonan have built up such impressive momentum so far that its hard to imagine the next few issues being anything other than a great deal of fun.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #14

Jan 18, 2023

The fourteenth issue of the series feels like a perfect point for a silent issue. That being said, its difficult to imagine how its going to fit into the overall rhythm of the series. At first glance, its woven pretty cleverly into the ongoing composition of the story. When it shows up in the eventual trade paperback, it might feel like a bit of a sudden lurch in tone and style between the thirteenth and fifteenth issues. On its own, though, its a lot of fun. Conrad and Cloonan manage something thats almost clever enough in rendering a coherent story that it could serve as a good place for new readers to jump on. The best silent issue kind of needs to be able to do this.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #15

Feb 16, 2023

There has been a very clear progression throughout Conrad and Cloonans series that has palpably brought Cass and Steph together. The tension feels as impressively well-rendered as the action. Everything feels quite fluid in a series that has proven itself to be one of the more reliably good titles in mainstream comics over the course of the past year or so. A little more time with all THREE Batgirls would serve the series well, but the relationship between Steph and Cass is deeply satisfying at the center of the book. 

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #16

Mar 15, 2023

The Batgirls have come a long way since they started. Conrad and Cloonan have taken Steph and Cass through a nice variety of different adventures in the first sixteen issues of the series. Next, the Batgirls leap into Spring in Aparo Park with a couple of completely new villains. Then theres the return of the Saints in May. The first year and a half with Steph and Cass hasnt exactly been flawless, but Batgirls has easily proven itself to be one of the most reliably satisfying comics in the mainstream superhero genre.  

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #17

Apr 26, 2023

Conrad and Cloonan are clearly setting up for a deeper look into the nature of crime in their new From Hells Heart storyline. The black market arms dealers who serve as this issues minor villains add some depth to the themes that the writers are going to be exploring. Its the sort of thing thats been done countless times before, but Conrad and Cloonan seem to be tackling the theme with an impressive sense of overall composition that should be interesting in the months to come.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #18

May 17, 2023

Only one issue left. Conrad and Cloonan have accomplished quite a lot in less than two years with the series. Its just too bad it has to end at only 19. The creative team has done an exemplary job of taking a tired, old setting and breathing new life into it for a couple of years. With any luck, there will be a future for the three Batgirls somewhere down the line. As for now--theres one more issue in June.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) #19

Jun 21, 2023

Ideally, a series thats been as good as Batgirls doesnt have to end. If it DOES have to end, though, it really SHOULD end with an issue like Batgirls #19. The final chapter in the series pays homage to the characters and their struggles while providing a satisfying conclusion to central conflicts and holding open the possibility of more at some point in the future. Its all quite meticulously placed on the page while embracing everything that makes the Batgirls such a fun trio to hang out with every month.

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9.6
Batgirls (2021) Annual: 2022

Nov 30, 2022

The whole creative team has shown a great deal of progress over the course of its time together with Babs, Steph, and Cass. The annual shows the poise and nuance that come with an ample amount of experience together as a team. Its been fun to watch the team grow together on both sides of the comics. Its not very often that teams match up this well. With any luck, the three characters, the two writers, and the two artists will continue to haunt their own distinctive corner of Gotham for quite some time.

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8
Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #5

Mar 8, 2023

Silvestris work makes good use of one of the more iconic cities in the DC Universe. It would be very, very cool to get a comprehensive tour of Gotham City between Batman and Bruce Wayne. The history of the subway system that Silvestri is managing in this issue is actually a lot of fun. The Gotham City of the DC Comics Universe has never had quite the grand tour that its really deserved, and a story spanning every major neighborhood would be captivating.

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5
Batman (2016) #132

Feb 8, 2023

Its a fun experiment. Make Wayne the center of a story in familiar territory that couldnt be any more alien to him and see what happens. Zdarsky still hasnt found quite the right way to deliver it that would make it a distinctly Batman-like story. A big part of the problem lies in the fact that...so much of what makes Batman distinct is actually pretty superficial. Take away the distinct look and feel of things, and it doesnt feel like something distinctly Gotham. There IS a way to make this type of experiment work, though. There must be. Zdarsky just hasnt found it yet.

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8
Batman (2016) #133

Mar 8, 2023

Zdarsky has a really interesting idea. Batman in the Gotham City of a parallel universe is too clever a concept to rush through this quickly. The idea of a seasoned Bruce Wayne having to start over completely in a world that never knew Batman would be a lot of fun for a multi-title crossover. Instead, Zdarsky has to rush through it as a multi-issue arc in a single title. It all feels a little too compressed to manage the full impact that it could have had if it were allowed more room to breathe.

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8
Batman (2016) #134

Apr 5, 2023

It is difficult to imagine the story continuing for much longer the way it is. It certainly seems to be reaching its climax. Bruce is likely to return home at some point in the next couple of months. The Earth he is on is not without its charm. It would take a longer walk in and amidst the darkness to truly find something worth exploring, though. There have been far too many brushes with dystopian mutations of familiar worlds in comic books over the years. Zdarsky would need to spend more time in this world for it to provide a greater depth of insight.

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5
Batman (2016) #135

May 9, 2023

As fun as it is to see everything tumble through at the end of the issue, Zdarsky and company take a hard turn when everything looks like it will resolve somewhere around Page 26. Really, they could have ended it there, and it would have been a solid glance into drama with Batman. Though the art in the final pages is impressive, it scarcely justifies ruining the ending of an otherwise interesting and reflective drama. 

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9.6
Batman / Superman: World's Finest (2022) #12

Feb 22, 2023

Supergirl and Robin might make a really good team for Worlds Finest. Batman and Superman have had it together for so long that its nice to see a relatively untested pair in the center of the panel. An awkward date between superheroes is a nice outlet for that. As obvious a comic premise as it is, its not one that makes it between the covers all that often. Waid and Lupacchino have nailed a perfect little sitcom in a very fun one-shot story. 

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8
Batman / Superman: World's Finest (2022) #14

Apr 26, 2023

Once things are really going, the novelty is going to wear off. Bruce Wayne has been accused of murder, and there is something uniquely interesting about that. Its not going to last too much longer, though. Things will begin to turn a corner as Waids story reaches its climax. If everything has been lined up right, it just might be some kind of satisfying end, but its difficult to tell, and it already feels as though the action in the foreground might overpower everything else once the story reaches its big conclusion.

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9.6
Batman / Superman: World's Finest (2022) #16

Jun 21, 2023

Waid, Mora, and Bonvillain tell a solidly entertaining narrative in another fun issue of a popular series. Its too bad that there isnt a more balanced story being placed on the page. Heroes in peril help out other heroes in peril as AI looks to take over. Theres a lot of action moving around the page.

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8.4
Batman / Superman: World's Finest (2022) #17

Jul 24, 2023

Intricate plots are fun. A war with AI could be maddeningly sophisticated given the right angles. Waid and Mora keep the complexity out of the way, allowing for a really fun action climax with well-directed aggression that seems to be moving across the page in the right way. It might be big, dumb action on one level, but its big, dumb action that is very smartly executed with a sharp sense of style. Waid and Mora ARE working with a large group of heroes in the book, and none of them seems to get enough time on the page or nearly enough credit for being as powerful as they are, but then...thats always the problem with a superhero party thats as big as the 17th issue of Batman / Superman: Worlds Finest.

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8
Batman / Superman: World's Finest (2022) #18

Sep 1, 2023

There are clues in the script that suggest that Batman has only been operating for about a year as the story opens. Clark Kent is only starting in his career as a reporter. Waid envisions a contemporary first meeting between the two legends. It's the opening of a fun two-part story that serves as a surprisingly fresh team-up, given how often the two characters have appeared together over the past century. 

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8
Batman Beyond (2016) #27

Jan 9, 2019

Jurgens delivers a solidly satisfying bit of storytelling here that fails to live-up to its potential.

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5
Batman Beyond (2016) #28

Jan 29, 2019

Its nice to see Jurgens etching the echoes of the past into a future Batman, but it would be nice to see it develop into something new, which just might start to really assert itself once the action dies down and the drama ramps-up in the next issue. A new Robin lies in the hands of a very old Joker. Grayson isnt far away. Things could get interesting.

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7
Batman Beyond (2016) #29

Feb 27, 2019

Its a suitable climax to a long-running conflict. Booth and company close-out a series with some level of satisfaction, but its totally clear that this is no final ending, but theres a somber moment at issues end that feels like a much-needed rest amidst the reflection on a lifelong conflict. Theres no real insight here, but there doesnt need to be. Aggression and retribution remain as meaningless as ever, but theres a pearl of moody wisdom about the ending that feels appropriately final even if it isnt the end.

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5
Batman Beyond (2016) #30

Mar 27, 2019

Obviously, this isnt actually the end of an era. The Joker is worth too much money to ever get rid of the guy for good. So whats the point in killing him off here? It makes for a potentially good story. Its just too bad that the story in question isnt framed better. Heroes have been dying in comics for decades. The death of an iconic villain seems relatively rare in comparison. Theres a lot that could have been explored here. Jurgens and company have missed an opportunity with this issue.

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6
Batman Beyond (2016) #31

Apr 24, 2019

Batman Beyond has great potential to go beyond the traditional concepts of a Batman story. Jurgens seems to be heading off in a direction that mixes the shadowy crimefighting with a technologically advanced future, but the title is still largely lost in the standard Bat-Formula action story.

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6
Batman Beyond (2016) #32

May 22, 2019

Its really nice to know that there are still issues like Batman Beyond #32. Its the type of chapter that could have appeared in just about any similar Marvel or DC title going back to the dawn of the silver age. But without anything more to offer in the deliciously attractive potential of Gotham in the future, this is just another issue in the series that fails to live up to the possibilities of the premise.

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8
Batman Beyond (2016) #33

Jun 26, 2019

A story of mystery and suspense pulls Batman Beyond into the very entertaining territory. Its nothing new to anyone who might have read Batman over the decades, but Jurgens and Leonardi navigate McGinnis and his colleagues through a really entertaining story with tension that holds together throughout the issue. With questions of identity, memory, and motivation sliding in around the edges of the story, Juergens could potentially lead this series in a captivating new direction that could possibly influence the story into some very fresh territory if everything lines up in the right way. Even if this new direction doesnt live up to its potential, the series continues to be fun thanks to the efforts of a couple of very experienced storytellers.

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7
Batman Beyond (2016) #34

Jul 24, 2019

Batman Beyond has ventured into a potentially interesting territory in. A world featuring a villain of fluid identity. Theres a great deal of potential in the villain cast against an amnesiac hero in a story of the future. If Jurgens and Leonardi can find the right place to cast the story, this could turn into a very interesting narrative.

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8
Batman Beyond (2016) #35

Aug 28, 2019

Jurgens has a long history writing superhero comics. Batman has been through a lot over the years. Jurgens and company may not be adding a whole lot of new elements to a traditional superhero story. But the entire creative team does a good enough job of distracting from the tired, old central themes of the story to make it FEEL fresh,

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9.6
Batman Beyond (2016) #36

Sep 25, 2019

At its heart, there's nothing more revolutionary than a conflict between super-powered individuals. There's nothing particularly original being presented here, but with a story that delivers the standard superhero/supervillain action so well. It's as entertaining as ever with Jurgens and Leonardi at the top of their games, this is an enjoyable issue nonetheless. With any luck, the new direction hinted at the end of this issue could bring about chapters of this level of quality.

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9.6
Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic (2023) #1

Jul 28, 2023

It appears as though the series is going to run through a very comprehensive look at this particular vision of the future. More than just a crime procedural, it is an adventure set in a world that is being presented to audiences in a slightly new and fresh perspective. With any luck, the creative team will do something that will involve a lot more of an intrepid adventure through this particularly dark city of the future as the series progresses.

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6
Batman Incorporated (2022) #2

Nov 9, 2022

Its an intriguing experiment, but Brisson has so many moving parts to the plot that its all more than a little disinteresting. The creative team holds moments together, but they keep getting smashed into the ether with the coming of the next scene. It would be a lot more fun if it was a lot less frustrating. Brisson and Timms have something here, but its not all that clear what they have.

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9.6
Batman Incorporated (2022) #7

Apr 12, 2023

Brisson and company direct the flow of traffic quite well in the course of the issue. The group of crime fighters all come across as being distinct and dynamic in the larger flow of action. No one moment feels too rushed or too heavy-handed, which is particularly impressive given the weird buffet of different personalities laid out between the covers of a very, very busy series of action scenes. 

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7
Batman vs. Robin (2022) #3

Nov 9, 2022

The relatively limited scope of each combat aside, Waid and company do an excellent job of composing and executing an action-based drama with a rather large ensemble of characters. The scope of this one issue could have easily been expanded into a much more satisfying five-issue mini-series, but Waid has places to go and things to address in the series that wont wait for a more nuanced exploration of Batmans relations with various Robins. Its really too bad, as this feels like the most compelling point in the series thus far.

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5
Batman vs. Robin (2022) #5

Mar 1, 2023

In the end, Batman gets his Spartacus moment. Waid does a pretty good job of drawing emotion to the page, but theres no escaping the fact that the ending to this series is breathtakingly silly. What Waid is attempting with the end of the series is admirable, but theres just NO WAY that the magical rite involved will be anything other than a very, very weak finale to a series that could have been so much more than it was.

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5
Batman: Gotham Knights - Gilded City (2022) #1

Oct 26, 2022

Its a video game tie-in. Its a good video game tie-in that seems to navigate pretty well under its own power. But its still a video game tie-in. The story is enjoyable, though. Narcisse and Abel bring a fun energy to the premise, but it will remain to be seen if it has much life beyond the fact that its promoting the big push for the new game. 

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9.6
Batman: One Bad Day (2022): Catwoman #1

Jan 25, 2023

Wilson and McKelvies Catwoman is easily the single most satisfying entry in the One Bad Day series thus far. Clever and subtle characterization of Selina throughout the issue stands as one of the better treatments of Catwoman to have hit page and panel in recent years. Everything fits together so well from beginning to end. It might be interesting to see what Wilson and McKelvie might do together with a full series like this. Its such an emotionally engaging story. 60+ pages feel nice and cozy, but it would be SO nice to see this team work together again.

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8
Batman: One Bad Day (2022): Two-Face #1

Sep 21, 2022

A great deal more could be said about the dichotomy between killer and hero. A lot more has been said about it in the past, and a lot more has been said about it in the past with Batman and Two-Face. Tamaki and company find a very specific niche for the action that sheds just a bit more light on both Batman and Two-Face while allowing a bit more insight into a couple of the Batgirls as well. The stories have been evolving over the decades. Tamaki makes her impression on one of DCs most memorable villains.

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8.4
Batman: One Bad Day (2022): The Penguin #1

Oct 19, 2022

One Bad Day has been a fun close-up on some of Batmans antagonists. Each one has had its own fingerprint. Ridley is wise to give the Penguin some momentum throughout an extended spotlight. It really SHOULD have been a mini-series at least, though. Ridley makes a strong case for Penguin as the protagonist of his own series, starting from the bottom and working his way up, but hes already come quite a ways between two covers, and it would feel strange trying to lift him up from where he is now at the end of this issue.

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8
Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season Three #6

Jun 30, 2023

The DC Animated Universe continues to grow and develop. Burnett and Dini have been working in it forever. Their consistency in writing continues to serve the comic book incarnation of a Batman animated series that has been around for over three decades. Its an impressive accomplishment that Burnett and Dini still manage to find new inspiration for fresh stories after all these years. Granted---it IS all variations on and echoes of what has come before, but its still a lot of fun.

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7
Batman: The Audio Adventures (2022) #7

Jul 28, 2023

Gotham City has been in so much peril over the many, many decades its been around. Its kind of hard to do that in a way that feels fresh, original, and genuinely dangerous. The author and company manage to do something that feels more or less precisely where it needs to be in order to bring across a genuine sense of danger. However, the tension seems to be moving just a little bit too quickly for it to really come across as anything more than a very quick and breezy fugue.

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8
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2023) #2

Jun 30, 2023

Not everything in the issue works perfectly. Though Rodrguezs art on the Superman story is undeniably cool, Cantwells story seems to need longer chapters to build up the narrative momentum that it needs to engage the reader. The mix of different stories within the anthology should bring forth a sense of experimentation. The best moments within the second issue of Brave and the Bold work really well on their own without having to connect up with a larger narrative structure. 

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8
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2023) #3

Jul 28, 2023

The sharp and stylish anthology series continues to find a variety of different appealing angles on action and drama in the DC Universe. Brissons Stormwatch series has been entertaining enough that it could easily fit under its own title with the current creative team. Not everythings brilliant, but it all fits together quite well in a package that feels like it could keep going and even potentially introduce entirely new features with marginal characters that could lead to something bigger down the road. 

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7
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #21

Nov 9, 2022

Once again, the mix of stories feels pretty vast. Gotham City is a big and menacing place with lots of corners that are being explored under many covers every month for DC. Urban Legends manages one of the most diverse looks at the city in a single title. Theres a very natural flow of action from the Batman story at the beginning to the Batman story at the end. Not all of it is perfect, but its quite a journey from start to finish.

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7
Batman: White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #1

May 10, 2023

The White Knight concept advances certain elements of the Batman mythos in interesting ways. It may feel more than a little bit like a weirdly insubstantial fugue on many of the central figures in Gotham City, but its managed to find the right angle on everything to give it fresh depth. Honestly, though, that may be a little more than it deserves. Batman and his extended ensemble have been around for a long time. DC might be served a bit better by exploring new characters altogether.

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8
Batman: White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #2

Jun 21, 2023

As fun as the idea is, Generation Joker doesn't really have any right to be anywhere near as entertaining as it is. After all, this is just a few different elements that have been fused together into a road trip action comedy sort of situation. Andolfos art brings together a three-person writing team in a way that makes it all feel so vibrant and full of life. It's just too bad that the artist doesn't have more room to explore a more dynamic visual range. There's just way too much going on in every single page.

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8
Batman: White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #3

Jul 22, 2023

There's still time for the series to live up to the potential of the themes being explored. The writing team is certainly circling around at the deeper end of the premise. They just haven't zeroed in on it yet. And that's a little frustrating. Three issues in, and they were still playing around on the surface-level silliness of the premise. There is so much more that could be explored about a pair of kids dealing with the legacy that they were now forced to be a part of. There's a legacy of madness there, and they really could be doing more to integrate and interface with the legend of one of the more popular villains in the history of comic books.

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8
Batman: White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #4

Sep 12, 2023

Its taken a while for the story of Jackie and Bryce to pick up enough narrative momentum to build into something impressively engaging. By the fourth issue, all of the writers seem to have found a dynamic that works as the story progresses into some pretty poignant territory that explores certain inevitabilities inherent in the pantheon of heroes and villains inhabiting Gotham City.

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9.6
Battle Chasers (2023) #10

Jun 14, 2023

Its a more or less seamless extension of the series that was abandoned two decades ago. Madureira and company are picking it up like the last 20 years didnt even happen. Theres an almost heroic level of integrity in that faithfulness to the original series. Its a quick, breezy jaunt from beginning to end. Monika and Garrison return in a thoroughly enjoyable adventure that will hopefully lead to a series that runs much longer than the original one. Madureira and company have firmly resurrected a series that didnt appear to have any chance of ever returning to the comics rack.

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9.6
Battle Chasers (2023) #11

Jul 22, 2023

The only problem with Madureiras pacing is that it takes SO LONG for a plot to develop. A typical writer might have chosen to try to cram both #10 and #11 into a single normal-length issue. With Lullabi as the artist, it could have even worked that way, but Madureiras a lot more patient than that, and what results is gorgeous in places. (Red Monika continues to be fairly dazzling even in the presence of a giant monster.) Its kind of difficult to feel an emotional connection with much of whats going on on the page, though the series has been back for two months now and very little has happened. It looks really, really good, though.

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8.4
Belle (2020): Ancient Instincts #1

Jul 25, 2023

Xaviers art can feel a little bit stiff in places, but the dialogue is crisp and occasionally quite witty. And theres a slaying scene involving a decapitation towards the end of the book that has got to be one of the more dramatic and graphic deaths on the comic book rack so far this year. The complex emotional dynamic that Xavier nails in that one panel is positively haunting. Belle might feel a bit generically superheroic on the surface, but Franchini and company make her engaging and relatable enough to hold her own regular series.

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9.6
Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain (2023) #4

Jun 1, 2023

Betsys been through a lot. Shes been many different people since she debuted back in the 1980s. Braddocks latest incarnation as Captain Britain has proven to be an appealing one. Howards writing has moved Betsy into a remarkably satisfying place that balances drama with action, mystery, and magic. It really is the perfect mixture for a decent Captain Britain story. Georgievs art fits the overall presence of Howards writing quite well. 

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7
Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain (2023) #5

Jun 22, 2023

Betsy is an appealing enough character that she really deserves a bit more of a central focus. Howard is trying to give her extended cast a bit too much of the plot. The inner struggles of Betsy should rest more or less at the center of the book, but shes not allowed nearly enough time on the page to develop into anything more than the leader of a team. Its cool to see her in charge, but there should be more of a focus on her and who she is in the center of her own book.

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8.4
Bettie Page (2023) #1

Jun 7, 2023

Andolfo establishes a cozy adventure for Bettie in the first issue of her fifth series with Dynamite Entertainment. The Queen of the Pinups continues to be a pleasant and engaging character to hang out with for 24 pages. From form to color to plot, its all so well-constructed that it scarcely seems to matter that there really isnt anything new being explored. The depth of the color aside, the story and its artistic rendering wouldnt seem entirely out of place in a mid-20th century issue of Millie the Model. Thats not a bad thing. The contemporary shading on a retro comic feels more or less perfect. 

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8
Bettie Page (2023) #2

Jul 12, 2023

Andolfo and Blengino have established a story that seems familiar enough without feeling tedious. Given the universal recognition of Bettie, there might be a tendency to want to take the character in a direction that would be more weird and abstract simply for the sake of contrasting against how iconic a figure she is. Andolfo and Blengino have found a perfect spot for Bettie in a surprisingly enjoyable shallow mystery. Theyre also managing to engage the reader in the peripheral characters. The charm of the current series might well run out in a few issues, but by then, the story will most assuredly have come to a close. Everything in the series is so well-balanced.

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9.6
Beyond (2022): Mary Jane & Black Cat #1

Feb 2, 2022

There was a time when Peter Parker could have been said to have been having a midlife crisis. It was back in the mid-1980s (back then, continuity could still be said to reach back to the character's origin in the early 1960s, which would have made him middle-aged at the time.) He just come back from another planet with an alien costume. Spider-Man he was hanging out with Black Cat. As Peter Parker, he was getting into severe emotional territory with Mary Jane. One woman represented one side of his wife. The other represented the other. Ultimately he got married to Mary Jane. MacKay Takes the traditional dynamic between the two of them and pears them beautifully in a really, really breezy action story that's got a little bit of emotional weight to it as well.

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9.6
Birds of Prey (2023) #1

Sep 12, 2023

Thompson has done a good job of slowly adding layers to the first chapter of the story. She gives away just enough added depth and detail with each scene. The mystery of what it is that's going on is slowly revealed until the big final reveal at the end of the issue. At that stage, there are so many more questions that are brought up that make the second issue feel that much more impressive. It's going to be a fun ride with Thompson.

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7
Black Adam (2022) #12

Jun 21, 2023

The challenge with any cosmic-level conflict lies in making the power FEEL powerful as it all concludes. By the time the series hits its twelfth issue, theres already so much thats going on. Priest and Barrows do their best to wrap everything up. Theres some sense of finality about it, and there IS a real sense of heroism radiating off the page, but Priest has tried to build way too much in the course of the first 11 issues. It looks good, and it makes sense, but it isnt entirely satisfying.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #1

Jun 6, 2019

Mackay establishes the new ongoing series firmly on the right foot. Theres nothing terribly fresh about the story, but it IS a story well-told with art that delivers style and action to the page.

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10
Black Cat (2019) #2

Jul 10, 2019

A few thieves enter the home of a sorcerer supreme to steal an artifact. One of them is a ticking time bomb. Anything could happen. Its a simple premise that MacKay and Foreman have a great deal of fun with. That fun easily transfers to the reader in another thoroughly enjoyable issue of the Black Cats new series. If MacKay and Foreman can maintain this level of quality and originality, this series is going to be a lot of fun.

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10
Black Cat (2019) #3

Aug 7, 2019

The first issue of the series was Marvel's best-selling single-issue of the year thus far. It will remain to be seen if the series continues to be as wildly popular as that first issue, but MacKay's writing is so dizzyingly enjoyable that it certainly DESERVES to be Marvel's consistently highest-selling book.

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10
Black Cat (2019) #4

Sep 11, 2019

MacKay and Foreman have done a really smart job of bringing Black Cat into the center of her own series throughout the first four issues of the series. The initial story arc continues in a really fun place that explores the Marvel Universe with a very unique perspective taken from a very, very alluring anti-heroine. Its a great team that will be fun to watch as Black Cats run continues into the final months of 2019. Even if theyre not in a completely novel territory with Black Cats adventures, its a very refreshing perspective on a universe thats been around or decades.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #5

Oct 2, 2019

The series continues a thoroughly enjoyable pounce through its first major plot arc with clever work by MacKay and Foreman on an enjoyable climb around the edges of the familiar. Its a smarty unique look at the Marvel Universe fro the shadows with an appealing character who would appear right at home around the edges of almost any Marvel panel.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #6

Nov 7, 2019

A lot is going on here. McKay is working on a story with many moving parts that never comes across as being too busy or cluttered with supporting details. It all feels very deftly paced as Black Cat concludes the first half of the first year of her own title. Its been an exciting journey across the shadows of the Marvel Universe thus far. Where McKay takes the series in the second half of his first year with Felicia shows every sign of being a really, really interesting place once everything has finally settled into place come next summer.

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8
Black Cat (2019) #7

Dec 4, 2019

MacKay and Foreman launch themselves into the second half of Black Cats first year with the new series. Its been an enjoyable journey, but this transitional issue feels like its interrupting the energy that the creative team has been building up to this point. Its been interesting so far. MacKay and Foreman are going to be opening Felicia into a different world within the coming issues. This is rather a strange entry into it.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #8

Jan 8, 2020

MacKay's time with Felicia reaches a bit of a crescendo here that feels like it might be heading somewhere. The little side elements of Felicia's personal and professional life provide opportunities to take her life in various different directions once this central arc finally plays its way through throughout the next several issues.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #9

Feb 5, 2020

The first issue in a two-issue crossover with Logan will continue the next installment. In a chapter that is likely to explode into action. Which is certain to show once again that Logan IS the best he is at what he does. With MacKays appealing approach to Black Cat, it should make for one of the more memorable team-ups of the series.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #10

Mar 4, 2020

MacKay and company shoot Felicia through a crazy amount of action this issue in a seamlessly energetic run as the series begins to wrap-up its first year. Once a marginal character, Hardy is beginning to feel like an indispensable part of the Marvel Universe.

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9.6
Black Cat (2019) #11

Jun 17, 2020

The cleanly episodic nature of MacKays first year of Black Cat works well with the long pause for COVID. The overall tension looming in the background of Felicias life seems to have hung around in the shadows. As the character might well have been planning her heist with her accomplices while in lockdown. Many other titles hit the comics rack this month with a sudden jolt of a million, little subplots that shoot out of the page in mid-stride. Its nice to see Black Cat jumping out of the quarantined shadows with something fresh that continues to expand on everything thats happened in the past year without any graceless lurching at plot points. 

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9
Black Cat (2019) #12

Aug 5, 2020

MacKay has been working steadily and diligently through the first eleven issues to reach this narrative point. Hardy has been a great deal of fun to hang out with throughout the year's worth of action that she's lived through thus far. This issue brings her craftiness to a crescendo that will be difficult to match in the issues to come. Thankfully, there's some breathing room coming as the series pivots its narrative a bit in the months to come.

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10
Black Cat (2019) Annual #1

Nov 13, 2019

The story in Black Cats first annual serves as the prequel carefully orchestrated serial that MacKay and Dowling are working on in the monthly series. Marvels work with Felicia Hardy has been smooth and reliably enjoyable for the first half of her first year with her own title. Its been a great launch for Felicia. The Annual feels like a celebration of the success of the series thus far. Complete with a satisfying guest appearance by the character who ushered her into the Marvel Universe back in 1979. After years of supporting appearances, Felicia is finally ready to move comfortably into her own title. The poise and polish of this annual make that perfectly clear. 

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #1

Dec 16, 2020

The issue ends with a text-based address from Black Cats associate Dr. Korpse. Its a nice wrap-up to the issue that gives it a solid foundation. One of the great challenges with a monthly comic in the modern era lies in maintaining its presence in the mind of the reader between issues. Dr. Korpses letter to the reader at the end of the issue allows the title to steal a nice, little corner of the readers consciousness until late January when Felicia returns again. Its a nice touch.

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #2

Jan 21, 2021

MacKays adventures with Felicia continue to be some of the best stuff Marvel is contributing to the comics rack. Theres so much potential with a character who delights in flitting from one end of the Marvel Universe to another, occasionally deciding to do something heroic like shes doing in the second issue of her new series. MacKay might not always be able to nail something quite this fun, but itll be interesting to see him try in the future.

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10
Black Cat (2020) #3

Feb 24, 2021

Theres little question that Felicia is going to do what shes going to do. Its interesting to see the tipping point which points her in the inevitable direction that she ultimately takes. It reveals a tremendous amount about her as a person. More so than anything else in MacKays impressive run with the Black Cat, this is a very intimate interlude with the title character. In a way, the entire series to this point has been leading to this one issue. In its own way, this is an impressive climax. Itll be interesting to see where MacKay takes Felicia next. 

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8.4
Black Cat (2020) #4

Mar 31, 2021

The pulse and pacing of this issue seem to be setting-up Black Cats next arc in a very thoughtful way. Black Cats willingness to work with a new hero is a powerful way to construct the latest adventures of a villain. MacKay and Vakueva are building something interesting around the edges of a prominent character. Itll be interesting to see where theyre going with this latest toy for Felicia Hardy to bat around the pages of her own book. 

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #5

Apr 14, 2021

Black Cat's big climax also seems to be setting things up for the next major plot arc as certain revelations are made about Black Fox that might be explored in greater detail once the whole mess beneath Manhattan draws to a close. It'll be interesting to see how MacKay and company finesse the transition away from the one central quest that Felicia has been dealing with since she started working with MacKay. The character has a really interesting relationship with the writer. Time will tell if that relationship continues to be fruitful. As it stands, Felicia is one of the more interesting characters in all of Marvel. Hopefully, MacKay can maintain that.

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9
Black Cat (2020) #6

May 13, 2021

A few slip-ups aside, MacKays work on Black Cat has been delightful. The sixth issue in the series continues to show the writers gift for emotional intricacy. Felicia is one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel Universe right now, and a lot of her appeal seems to be coming directly from MacKay.

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #7

Jun 2, 2021

Once again, MacKay has managed a very well-orchestrated chapter in Felicias life that fits perfectly into the larger picture of a series he has been working on for quite some time. His sense of pacing with the overall series has been exquisite. The reader has been offered an opportunity to get to know Felicia quite well throughout MacKays run with her. It will be interesting to see where he goes with her in the issues to come.

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8.4
Black Cat (2020) #8

Jul 28, 2021

Above and beyond all else, MacKay is doing an outstanding job of maintaining a solid character arc for Felicia. Shes gone through a great deal of development in the course of MacKays time with her. Given all that shes been through and where shes likely to go with her latest job, its going to be interesting to see where MacKay takes her from here. Shes already cycled through so many weird corners of the Marvel Universe, and now shes shooting right out into a heist with cosmic-level implications. MacKays going to have to tread deftly through his latest series with Black Cat. 

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #9

Aug 18, 2021

Two issues in, and the Infinity Score storyline is proving to be a lot of fun. MacKay has had enough time with Black Cat that hes able to play a little bit with the relationship hes developed with her. There seems to be an areal connection between artist and writer that allows for some really fun energy. Once again, it is becoming very apparent that Black Cat is one of the most appealing characters in the whole of the Marvel Universe, thanks to MacKay. The Spider-Mans girlfriend of the past is solidly in the rearview. Shes her own person, and that person is a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with for 20 minutes per month. 

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) #10

Sep 29, 2021

The first in-issue acknowledgment of the end of the current run of the series comes in the form of a note at the issues end by Felicias accomplice Dr. Boris Korpse. Its a classy, stylish way of formally letting readers know whats coming in Giant-Size Black Cat: Infinity Score in November. Black Cat has had a series end before in the era of MacKay. Hardy and MacKay have had a perfect working relationship. Its sad to see it end.

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9.6
Black Cat (2020) Annual #1

Jun 30, 2021

Black Cat is fun in South Korea, but shes not the only one in the issue. The continuation of the cross-annual Infinite Destinies event continues to lumber its way through the summer in the third installment of a story that doesnt really have anything to do with Black Cat. The Infinity Gems havent really been interesting since Thanos Quest back in the early 1990s, so its nice that the crossover only hits like an afterthought in an otherwise enjoyable annual.

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9.6
Black Cat (2020): Infinity Score #1

Dec 15, 2021

Another series ends. This one is a bit more difficult to take than many of the series endings in the past couple of years. The team assembled for this book was one of the best. Everything was sharply balanced. Felicia slinks off into the darkness, and the Marvel Universe feels just a bit bigger, having been the central focus of the panels for a couple of years.

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8.4
Black Cloak (2022) #6

Aug 10, 2023

With the events of the first part of the story already finished, it'll be interesting to see which direction Thompson takes the arc in. It's pretty romantic stuff. And it has quite an emotional weight to it. There's no question that Thompson is working with effortless and broad strokes. That doesn't make what she's putting on the page any less powerful. Given what happened, the second arc could be drastically different from the first. It will be interesting to see which direction she pushes it in, given that things will be dramatically different after the end of the sixth issue. 

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8
Black Panther (2021): Unconquered #1

Nov 15, 2022

Unconquered worked well enough that it wouldnt be all that difficult to imagine a series of one-shots being popular. Marvel has been quite successful over the years in exploring its own Manhattan. There are so many other places in the world that could be every bit as interesting...supporting multiple series and their own end of the Marvel Universe. Wakanda and the surrounding area would be a perfect stage for further exploration of the world. Hill and Duarte render an enjoyable action drama far from New York in a location that has had some really entertaining stories over the years, going back to McGregor and Bucklers Jungle Action comics of the 1970s and beyond.

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8.4
Black Panther (2023) #2

Jul 25, 2023

The deeper themes of Ewings series will have a chance to expand and open up in the issues to come. The initial sketches of a nation in transition seem to hit page and panel a bit unevenly, but Ewing is doing a good job of establishing them with a degree of grace as Black Panther and Beisa get a bit closer in the second issue of the series.

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8
Black Widow (2019) #1

Jan 16, 2019

The Soskas and company have a really resonant dynamic that feels quite unlike anything else being brought to the racks so far this year. The Soskas vision for Black Widow feels uniquely fresh while remaining true to the type of story that works best for Marvels redheaded Russian spy. An opening as satisfying as this shows great potential for the remaining four issues in the series.

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9.6
Black Widow (2019) #2

Feb 21, 2019

The Soska sisters bring on the brutality in a second issue that allows Black Widow to be extremely vicious to low-level villain who clearly deserve it in a surreal amplification of the street-level criminal darkness thats actually lurking out there in the real world. The villains have been revealed in this second issue. Now the Soskas have the rest of the series to navigate Black Widow through them in pursuit of justice for young victims like the one she encounters this issue.

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9.6
Black Widow (2019) #3

Mar 27, 2019

Theres no question that the Soskas have a very definite plot for the series with a clear progression. Theres an end coming. Its undeniable. Too bad it cant keep going after the end of this story.  The Soskas have a very sophisticated grasp of what makes Black Widow such an interesting character.

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9.6
Black Widow (2019) #5

May 15, 2019

Bolstered by Flavianos art, Jen and Sylvia Soska have sculpted a neat, little corner of the Marvel Universe that would be great fun to dive into again. Just as the story feels like its wrapping up, theres the full realization that the story is ending. Theres a kind of satisfaction in that, but theres a strong desire for more with Jen, Sylvia, Flaviano, and the badass red-headed Russian super-spy. With any luck, the Soskas will return to another mini-series at some point soon.

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #1

Sep 2, 2020

The disconnect between the first half and the second half of the first issue is potent. There's a real balance between Black Widow and Natasha's lives that makes for an interesting contrast. If Thompson and Casagrande can maintain that balance while keeping the mystery of the composite character solidly present, this could be a strikingly well-composed series. Arcade's addition as a villain could make this a very existentially trippy journey into espionage--particularly if the adventure somehow finds itself into the potentially surreal territory of Murderworld.  

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8
Black Widow (2020) #2

Oct 7, 2020

The danger resting around the edges of Natashas life rests beneath the mystery of what happened to the Black Widow. And though this may be a very familiar premise for a story, Natasha seems to be navigating her way through it in a novel way in a distinctly Marvel application of the spy-with-amnesia sub-genre of cloak-and-dagger intrigue.

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8.4
Black Widow (2020) #3

Nov 4, 2020

Theres an attempt at overall continuity being made her. Its admirable. Black Widow has been through so many things over the years and now shes finally got what a part of her has always wanted. Theres a two-page spread featuring art from many different artists that flit through her memory while shes unconscious. Its kind of breathtaking to see the work from so many different artists from so many different eras all coming together to fuse into a vertiginous perspective of the woman and what shes going through right now. The Marvel Universe has come to be so hopelessly convoluted over the decades. A true moment of perspective on continuity like the one near the end of this issue is rare.

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9
Black Widow (2020) #4

Dec 2, 2020

The editorial team on Black Widow has done an excellent job of bringing together two different art teams on a single issue. The flow of moods across different artists seems remarkably well-orchestrated. DC had tried something similar in the pages of Catwoman not too long ago to lesser effect. Theres a powerful direction to the narrative that exists quite well in drama and action. Its a sharply-rendered issue. Natasha is given a challenge that is uniquely hers. So often, earthbound superhero stories can feel pretty interchangeable. Thompson has constructed a story that is so uniquely Natasha. Plot and character feel perfectly integrated with this issue. 

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #6

Apr 28, 2021

Thompson manages some really sharp moments in a very stylish issue, but there isnt a whole lot of mystery lurking around the edges of everything. Minor subplots can be a bit of a distraction, though. Thompson seems to know how to put exactly enough on the page to keep the story moving.

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #7

May 27, 2021

Adam Hughes adds quite a bit to Issue Seven with a highly kinetic cover. It's a stylish opening to an issue that's cleverly executed throughout. Not only is Thompson rendering a really fun action/suspense story... she's doing so while adding depth to Black Widow that expands cleverly on the story arc that opened the current series. With thoughtful construction opening the current plot arc, the series is in very good hands, moving forward into a summer that will see the character also slink out of the shadows into a very high-profile movie.

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #8

Jun 30, 2021

The team on Black Widow is remarkably well-modulated. Everyones work on the book seems to sharply support everyone elses work. A team rarely feels this in synch. Once again, Adam Hughes cover artwork serves as an appealing opening to the eighth chapter of what is rapidly asserting itself as one of the most reliably good monthly comics on the rack this year. 

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8
Black Widow (2020) #9

Jul 28, 2021

Thompson and Casagrande are delivering a lot of story in this issue, but the balance between detail and action is a bit difficult to come to terms with. It's hard to feel much of what Natasha is fighting for as so little of her current life has really been brought to the page. Granted, it IS only starting to assert itself. Still, the breakneck pace of the action compromises the power of what's going on...and it's causing issues that might be serious further down the line if some level of stability isn't brought to the page.

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8
Black Widow (2020) #10

Aug 25, 2021

With the first big adventure in San Francisco well and fully worked-out, Thompson and company can spend a little more time establishing Natashas world. Throwing action at her right away IS a good choice. Still, its challenging to get a solid focus on the conflict without having the extended ensemble of friends and associates established just a little bit more prior to the conclusion of the four-part story that ends in Black Widow #10.

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #11

Sep 15, 2021

Thompson/De Latorre and Bellaire form an outstanding team. That team is bringing an enjoyable team to page and panel in a dazzlingly composed quartet of heroes who find a relatively unexplored home in San Francisco. The whims of marketing, editorial, and sales have a tendency to tangle things up over time, but for the time being, Black Widow has definitely found a state of grace that seems to be working. Its fun. Its stylish. And with any luck, itll maintain its footing for at least another year or so.

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9.6
Black Widow (2020) #12

Oct 27, 2021

Casagrande bows out of the next issue of the series. Guest Artist Rafael Pimentel takes over the visuals in a story with a new character out of Natashas past that should lend interesting friction to Natashas attempt to start fresh in a new city. Thompson continues to guide Natasha in intriguing directions as the series enters its second year.

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8.4
Black Widow (2020) #13

Jan 12, 2022

It can be really, really difficult to make any mega-villain seem like a towering threat in advance of a multi-part series. The Marvel Universe is cluttered with vicious killing machines. They all seem more or less alike. Thompson gives The Living Blade just enough personality by issues end. Theres honor in The Living Blade that lends a nicely conspicuous kind of dramatic gravity to a storyline that should be a lot of fun in the course of the first half of 2022. 

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9
Black Widow (2020) #14

Mar 3, 2022

The action at the auction reaches the second issue. Things explode at the end. It's a bottomless quagmire that the heroes find themselves in. Typically a single operation like this running for more than a couple of issues could tend to feel a bit sluggish. Thompson and Company keep it moving in a way that avoids any potential difficulties with pacing. And that stinger at the end is very provocative. Just when it looked like things were about to wrap up in a clean fashion, things get all the more complicated simply and brutally with a quick slice of action. It's very smart storytelling.

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8
Black Widow (2020) #15

Apr 9, 2022

Natasha's adventures end for now in a bit of a rush. She's earned the rest at the end of the series, though. There might have been a bit more of a satisfying end to this issue of Thompson, and company would have had like...maybe twice as many issues as they did to tell the same amount of story. Natasha, Yelena, and company have developed a fun rapport that is beginning to develop into something respectably unique...just in time for the end of their series.

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8
Black Widow: Widow's Sting (2020) #1

Oct 28, 2020

The tendency in modern comic books is to work on story arcs that take several issues to resolve. Theres a definite appeal in taking Black Widow into the realm of something more concise. The super-spy mission in the Marvel Universe holds so many different possibilities that it really COULD serve as the basis for a really appealing series of one-shots if Marvel was to invest some time in developing something like that for Natasha. 

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8
Black's Myth: The Key To His Heart #1

Jun 21, 2023

A werewolf P.I., a half-djinn assistant, and a half-demon intern. Southern California seems more or less a perfect place for this sort of thing. Palicki modulates the rhythm of the contemporary urban fantasy in a way that feels perfectly well-suited to another pleasant fusion. Palicki and company are working with so many tropes that are so harrowingly close to cliche, but they have managed to more or less successfully avoid them all so far. 

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8
Black's Myth: The Key To His Heart #2

Jul 25, 2023

There are ways to bring conversation to the page that serve even the black-and-white format of Blacks Myth. Dave Sim did remarkable things with intrigue and drama on the comic book page back in the 1980s. Its all a matter of fusing the sequential format of the drama to the mystery in a way thats both visually appealing and closely tied to a series of pictures. Cavalcanti hasnt quite worked it out yet, but theres some very powerful drama making it to the page, so its well worth a look.

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8.4
Blackbird #1

Oct 13, 2018

A world of magic just ever so slightly out of step with everyone in LA has great potential. The urban fantasy genre has been covered by so many others so many times before, and in so many other ways, so the series DOES run the risk of potentially veering off into clichd territory. Nina comes across as a very subtly unique character with the potential to transcend the genre. If Humphries remain true to those narrative elements that make Nina unique, he might just have something special here.

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8
Blackbird #2

Nov 9, 2018

Blackbird continues to coax magic and mystery out of a magical urban fantasy genre that has become overdone in the course of the past 20 years or so. This is quite an accomplishment. Theres something really appealing in the haunting brevity of the series thus far. The first two issues combined might only be a dozen minutes worth of reading, but Humphries and Bartel are building a world that lingers in the imagination well beyond the page.

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8
Blackbird #4

Jan 9, 2019

The series may have missed an opportunity to do something truly original, but as pop urban fantasy Blackbird keeps it light, rolling into its fourth issue. Moments of clever originality between Nina and Sharpie continue to rest around the edges of a supernatural family drama that is beginning to pick up steam as relationships continue to get more and more complicated each month.

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8.4
Blackbird #5

Feb 13, 2019

The big revelation at the end of the issue delivers quite an impact. In a way it feels as though the end of the fifth issue reaches a resolution on so much that it almost reaches its own kind of ending. Not everything is resolved, but the central mysteries set-up in the beginning of the series have all been revealed. Humphries and Bartel could take the series in an infinite array of different directions from here. It will remain to be seen if they can keep the satisfying balance that they had achieved in the first five issues.

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8
Blackbird #6

Mar 11, 2019

With so much of the initial world-building out of the way, Humphries and Bartel can start to explore sophistications in the plot in issues to come. The two have yet to find the perfect balance between drama and magic that will fully realize Blackbirds potential, but this sixth issue is a rare instance of an urban fantasy series eschewing everything else, but the conflict between actions and intentions of people chance and circumstance have pitted against each other. The first arc ends in satisfying drama that is thoughtfully brought to the page.  

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9.6
Blade (2023) #1

Jul 25, 2023

Its a promising opening to a new series. Rarely is a single issue this balanced between creative personnel. Everyone working on the project seems to have an equal impact on the story. Hill is delivering a script that really is a blueprint for action for someone with a very precise idea of how to deliver it to the page in a way that allows for the colorist to come in and bring it all to life. If every issue is going to be like this, the current incarnation of Blade should be a fun one.

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7
Blood Tree (2023) #5

Jun 7, 2023

Tomasi plays with expectations. Some of the revelations that hit the page in the penultimate issue feel pretty obvious. Some of them hit like a hammer. Tomasi and imi have a solidly haunting story that theyre bringing to the page, but the finer points of it seem drowned in the dreamy nightmare of a story that never quite manages to provide the proper perspective. Theres something deeper being explored between the homicides and the men who are investigating them, but any insight into that seems firmly planted outside the panels.

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8
Blood Tree (2023) #6

Jul 7, 2023

The story ends in an uneasy kind of peace. The final showdown with the killer features fire, rain, and a whole lot of bullets. Its caught somewhere in between the real and the unreal. Its not over-the-top darkness like Frank Millers Hard Boiled, but its scarcely the kind of complex realism that is so very, very rare in police procedural dramas. Its just...kind of a fun trip into a Silence of the Lambs sort of drama that never quite goes far enough in any direction to register much of an impression.

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8
Bloodline: Daughter of Blade (2023) #5

Jun 22, 2023

The series draws to a close. Its been fun. Lore and company have done a good job of telling an interesting story. It makes a pretty good case for further adventures with Brielle. Brielle DOES come across as the type of character who could carry her own ongoing series. She hasnt quite been dropped into the heart of the bewildering mess that is the totality of the Marvel Universe, so there are a lot of different directions she could be taken in if the right creative team decided to sponsor her. 

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6
Blue Book (2023) #1

Feb 23, 2023

Project Blue Book was a government study on UFOs that ran from 1952 to 1969. Tynion has set up an opportunity to explore a few different stories from that era that might gain something from a comic book format if he can find a novel way to approach them. There are so many stories that havent had the kind of exposure that The Interrupted Journey has had over the decades. Tynions back-up on Coney Island is fun, though. A few supporting pages of the weird could contribute to a relatively well-rounded mini-series.

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4
Blue Book (2023) #5

Jun 28, 2023

Tynions interest in the Hill abduction case is kind of a fun trip back to an old mystery, but the author isnt really adding anything to the story that makes the journey worth making. Still--Oemings art and the coolly distinctive visual feel of the issue make it graphically appealing in a way that old accounts of alien abduction so rarely are. 

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8.4
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1

Aug 26, 2020

Theres a tremendous amount of potential in a politically-charged Bomb Queen set four years into a dark future. The surreally graceful and sexy fascistic villainy of Bomb Queen could be incredibly appealing when contrasted with the fumblingly graceless greed of a bloated wannabe fascist egotist who is all too real on this side of the comic page. Hopefully, Robinson can manage a more slickly appealing dynamic for the rest of the series now that the backstory has been dealt with. 

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3
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #2

Sep 30, 2020

Robinson spectacularly fails to update the spirit of that U.S. anti-hero honesty at the heart of the second issue of Trump Card.

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6
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #3

Nov 4, 2020

The first issue hit comics racks the week of the Republican National Convention. The third issue is released the day after the election. The series wraps-up next month with the fourth issue in the series, which makes it to comic shops on December 9th, the day after the officially mandated deadline for resolving all disputes for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. The final issue matches-up with the last possible day that the winner would be announced on this side of the comics page. Intended or not, the timing for this series has been a bit weird. 

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4
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #4

Dec 16, 2020

If the action's narrative flow was as gorgeous as the cover, it could have been beautifully revolting. Instead, it just feels crude. Bomb Queen is an appealing premise. Once again, Robinson fails to completely live up to the character's true potential. Look carefully into her eyes in any given panel. There is the definite feeling that Bomb Queen knows that she knows something Robinson doesn't. She seems to be aware that she's doing so much more with so much more grace than anything Robinson seems to be able to articulate. Maybe she's waiting for the right moment to come along into something that lives up to her true power. Or perhaps she doesn't care. 

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8
Book of Slaughter #1

Jan 4, 2023

Tynions clever delivery of this has Maxine entering the house library to peruse the book before the issue launches into 25 pages. On the next page, Maxine solemnly closes the book and makes a very important decision. For 25 pages, the reader is given direct contact with the text that the main character is reading. Its a very intimate moment with Maxine. Tynion has a great deal of patience with the narrative to drop everything and outline the background of the series for an entire issues worth of text right in the middle of the issue like that, but the patience pays off.

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8
Captain America: Symbol of Truth (2022) #14

Jul 7, 2023

The actual center of the issues conflict may not be terribly interesting, but Sam Wilson is, in and of himself, more than enough to carry the bulk of the book straight through. Theres a strong and palpable sense of inner conflict that could easily be the center of everything. That psychological connection between character and reader is often a lot more difficult to achieve than a fully engaging action conflict, so Onyebuchi is doing a solidly respectable job with the title.

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9.6
Carnage Reigns (2023): Omega

Jul 8, 2023

The action hits the issue in the first couple of pages and doesnt really let up for the entire length of the book. Theres a kind of purity in that. Moraless adjustment to the armor Stark has made for him is a fun addition to a story that features Stark doing something a bit more challenging than he is often called upon to do. Everyone seems to be reaching just a bit further than they normally would, which ends up being a lot of fun.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #3

Oct 10, 2018

Its fun to see this sort of noir feel for Kyle and Catwoman. Shes a badass. Not afraid to turn down an offer she cant refuse or climb out of an icy tub and into her costume with a few broken ribs. Theres no fear. There doesnt seem to be any sense of self-preservation either. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run. An unflappably cool character is only cool for so long. Sooner or later shes going to have to have a more emotional reaction. For now, this is actually really cool, though.

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7
Catwoman (2018) #4

Oct 14, 2018

Its always nice to dive into a characters past. As cheesy as it feels in places, the Catgirl mood actually kind of works. Itd be fun to dive into a juvenile Catwoman a bit more through Jones panels, but it feels like a rather strange departure from what the series has been thus far, though itll be interesting to see where Jones takes the narrative with Doctor Finick in the next issue.

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6
Catwoman (2018) #5

Nov 16, 2018

The overall rhythm of Jones work continues to feel breezy and appealing, even as the delivery doesnt quite live up to the potential. Catwomans charisma carries the issue through kicks and flips and the power of relentlessly slick attitude.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #7

Jan 16, 2019

Jolle Jones isnt going to be returning to draw Catwoman for the next few months, but shes clearly delivering the same moodiness that she brought to the page in the first six issues of the series. Itll be interesting to see how she works with other artists in the future as Selena Kyles adventures in Villa Hermosa continue.

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9
Catwoman (2018) #8

Feb 20, 2019

The heroic thief is a difficult balance to meet strike in any adventure. Lending a seemingly indomitable hero with an authentic level of vulnerability can be equally difficult--especially when her name is written on the cover of the issue. Between Jones pacing and the art teams careful framing of Catwomans adventure in this issue, theyve come really close to casting her as an endearingly heroic AND vulnerable hero in this issue. Itll be interesting to see where Jones and company take her next.

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10
Catwoman (2018) #9

Mar 11, 2019

With this issue Selina has acquired a talented pair of accomplices in Ram V and John Timms. Itd be nice to see her working with the two of them in more of a long-term relationship. Naturally the dynamic would be likely to change throughout a multi-issue story, but its undeniable that Ram V and Timms have done something here that manages to rival anything that Jones had built-up in her initial run writing AND drawing the series. The cleverly concise 22 pages here feel every bit as masterful as Kyle herself in a thoroughly enjoyable issue. Next month Selina saunters back over to work with Jolle Jones with artist Fernando Blanco to resume the regular chronicles of the Catwoman.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #10

Apr 10, 2019

Presumably, Jones and Blanco will have a chance to settle down into something a bit less disjointed next issue, but for the time being the creative team is juggling a lot of different elements with admirable poise in Catwomans tenth issue.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #11

May 8, 2019

For about four pages, this issue is impressively breathtaking as Catwoman ride a motorcycle in pursuit of the truck. Its not enough to make the issue entirely satisfying, but its really impressive that Jones and company did as good a job as they did making that one action sequence feel as intense as it does. If only the issue had animated by a bit more of that kind of action it might have been amazing.

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9
Catwoman (2018) #12

Jun 12, 2019

Visual inconsistency aside, Jones packs a lot of plot and character development into 20 or so pages. Through it all, Catwoman remains a rather great mystery at the heart of the series. Shes a mystery hidden in plain sight. The series focuses so mainly on the surface of her life and what shes doing that her inner thoughts arent allowed to make it to the page. This maintains more than enough mystery to keep her interesting.

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7
Catwoman (2018) #13

Jul 10, 2019

Things collide in this issue in a way that may not precisely feel cohesive, but at least its true to form for Kyle at this stage in her life. Things arent neat and tidy. Sometimes theyre gloopy and murky. Sometimes they get ugly. Every now and then shes got to hop onto a bike and go for a ride. Issue thirteen might not feel very connected, but it IS an impressive 20 pages or more with a fascinating character.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #14

Aug 14, 2019

Ram V teased his two=parter on Twitter back in May: #14 and #15 see Selina going up against a gallery of villains for control of the city she calls home. Sounds like fun. Gentleman Ghost was fun at the hands of Ram V and Andolfo. Itll be interesting to see what they have in store for Catwoman next issue. In the course of the story, it becomes apparent that a price has been put on her head. Who will step out of the shadows to take down Catwoman? 

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #15

Sep 18, 2019

Things drift back in the direction of Joelle Jones for the next several issues. And though her style is slick and intriguing, Ram V. and Andolfo will be missed in issues to come. This is Ram V.'s third Catwoman issue this year. It would be really nice to see him return for more fill-ins later on. And if Jones ever decided to leave the book, they'd have a brilliant back-up in Ram V.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #16

Oct 12, 2019

Joelle Jones manages to heroically dive into the series once more after a two-month hiatus in writing the comic and absence as an artist that stretches much further back than that. The story feels fresh and interesting even if it consists of old tropes from crime dramas echoing out of every significant medium going back to Dashiell Hammett and beyond. Jones wields the heroic crime drama medium with great finesse.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #17

Nov 15, 2019

Catwoman has been sliding through elements of magic in Villa Hermosa thus far. For month events have been leading down a far less earthbound kind of adventure for Selena. The poetry of this latest issue files quite nicely into a dark world of magic that should serve as a very appealing addition to the adventures of Catwoman moving forward into the end of the year and beyond.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #18

Dec 20, 2019

The guest appearance of Zatanna makes for a fun excursion from the central plot. Its an appealing diversion that allows Jones to cast her own distinct light on a delightful character. Jones should do this sort of thing more often. Kyle is so completely solitary. Its very refreshing to see her in the presence of others who are compatible with her personality.

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7
Catwoman (2018) #19

Jan 8, 2020

Its a promising psychological turn for the title character. Some of the art in the book is very, very good. Some moments feel very poetic. Given a more choppy narrative, the multiple artist approach could have worked. A lack of consistency, though, doesnt really set well with the overall thrust of the story. 

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8
Catwoman (2018) #20

Feb 19, 2020

As entertaining as it is, there isnt a whole lot of story this issue. The simple plot structure keeps the story firmly grounded in action heroism that maintains an even flow of action from beginning to end. The ending of this issue is suitably dramatic, but it sets up a bit of a challenge for the next installment what with it being the case the final showdown between Catwoman and Creel does appear to be starting on the very first panel of issue 21. An issue-length physical conflict is unlikely. Itll be interesting to see how Kyle and Blanco wrap-up this part of Catwomans life in March. 

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9
Catwoman (2018) #21

Mar 11, 2020

Catwoman edges towards her 80th-anniversary celebration next month with an issue that feels like one of the better single issues in her long and winding history. The character still has a great deal of life in her. Jones has proven that shes not tied to any one city. From here, she can really go anywhere she wants and still be interesting to give the right treatment. Occasional faltering aside, Jones has done a very good job with the overall flow of the better part of the first couple of years of this series.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #22

Jun 12, 2020

Once again, a Catwoman story by a guest writer feels a bit more fresh. It can be challenging to find the right momentum for a character who works so well in moments like this where she can strike quickly and slink back into the shadows after the close of the last panel. Sevenbergen and Aneke give a fun enough adventure here that they inadvertently pull some of the appeal away from the momentum of the rest of the series.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #23

Jul 14, 2020

It would be really nice to see Selena settle-down into something longer-term than a quick vacation like this. It's not unwelcome, though. Northcott, Murphy, and Tormey bring the reader on what promises to be a fun, little action vacation date for the end of this summer. Judging from the opening chapter, it's not going to be too terribly deep, but it looks like fun given the momentum that the creative team manages by issue's end.

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #24

Aug 20, 2020

Selina's vacation ends this issue. She's once again proven that she is her own person and beholden to no one else. That being said, she's still under contract to DC Editorial. Vacation's over next month as her handlers haul her into the massive jaws of the "Joker War" crossover that has come to infect all of DC's Bat titles. If this issue is any indicator, Selina should come out on top.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #25

Sep 16, 2020

Catwomans recent adventures have been amplifying her loner status. With this chapter, shes clearly ready to get back into a more social mood. Her new role as thief guru allows Ram V the opportunity to show Kyle from a distinctly different angle. Between enemies on both sides of the law and allies, she will be trying to train, Ram V has a wide range of different elements to work with in coming issues. 

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8
Catwoman (2018) #26

Oct 21, 2020

It might have been nice to see Kyl start with absolutely nothing and work her way up to being the largest player in Gotham Citys underworld, but Ram V is showing a clever progression here. When she was away in Villa Hermosa, Catwoman was trying for something too elegant for her tastes. You can take the cat out of the alley, but you cant take the alley out of the cat. Shes learned this and shes ready to move. Its an interesting development in her life.

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9
Catwoman (2018) #27

Nov 17, 2020

It's difficult to quantify every element of an issue that makes it work. At times, something as simple as a good opening splash page can set the tone. With a high-angle shot of Catwoman crouching atop the glowing neon of the issue's title high above the alleyway where the action starts, Blanco commits a gorgeously simply visual to this issue that does a brilliant job of drawing the reader into another satisfying encounter with Catwoman.

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6
Catwoman (2018) #28

Dec 16, 2020

Ram Vs style and form have faltered a bit as his run on the series has continued. Bits of the story may seem remarkably silly. Hes got a firm hold on Selinas style and strength. If he can continue to keep his distance from all the weird periphery that hes been engaging in and embrace some of the oppressively inky visual poetry of the artist hes working with. In that case, this series could really take off. For now, though, it feels a bit muddled.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #29

Mar 17, 2021

Kyle's swift ascent into a very luxurious lifestyle in her particular corner of Gotham comes across a bit too swiftly. She's lounging on a rooftop poolalready a crime queen in Gotham, having only just arrived back a few months ago. Ram V could have spent a little bit more time charting her course to the top, but the story this issue has a lot of interesting angles that are more than satisfying as Catwoman gets pulled into a fun little mystery. 

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8
Catwoman (2018) #30

Apr 21, 2021

With Catwoman stumbling through action as quickly as she is, she isnt allowed a whole lot of time to establish a firm grounding. Shes clearly in charge here, but there isnt enough stable ground in her life to keep all of the crazy action in perspective. She goes from a warehouse hospital to a shady place elsewhere in Gotham before heading off to an extravagantly sinister get-together for Gothams wealthiest sociopaths. Any one of those places would seem a lot more interesting if she could settle into place for a few panels.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #31

May 19, 2021

Pam's a fun emotional contrast against Selina, her emotional tenderness could create an exciting balance with Selina's shrewdly pragmatic intellect. The two make for an intriguing pair. Elsewhere the ensemble that Ram V is working with seems to lack a whole lot of interest. Still, he is only beginning to set things in motion for the current story arc, so things could get a lot more engaging as the action commences over the next few months. 

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #32

Jun 16, 2021

Fernando Blanco returns as artist next month. For one, brief moment, the art and story of Ram Vs run with Catwoman feels absolutely exquisite. Blanco does an excellent job with the character in his own style, but a glimpse at something as dynamic as issue #32 is bound to give the overall flow of action in the ongoing serial a bit of an awkward bump. 

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8
Catwoman (2018) #33

Jul 21, 2021

Ram V is definitely exploring particularly dark political territory in the series that reflects some of the darker shadows of life in a nation that's tearing itself apart. Catwoman is an intriguing force in a heroic serial set in a world that is crumbling faster than our own.

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6
Catwoman (2018) #34

Aug 18, 2021

There's definitely a way to make the conflict between Father Valley and Catwoman feel interesting, but Ram V hasn't really found it yet. Valley's best scenes were around the edges of Catwoman's life, and her conflict with him always seemed a lot more interesting from a distance prior to the conflict of Catwoman #34. With any luck, Selina will find better momentum elsewhere. She's got her work cut out for her at chapter's end. Hopefully, Ram V is in the right mood to give her the kind of direction she needs.

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4
Catwoman (2018) #35

Sep 22, 2021

One gets the impression that Ram V might have been able to do a bit more outside the oppressive weight of a massive crossover event thats come to infect all of the titles lorded over by Catwomans boyfriend. She really should be a bit more oriented towards the center of her own title. Still, editorial concerns are always going to draw everything into the massive orbit of a planned crossover event. If Ram V had just a bit more control, maybe even the narration would be a little better and not, ...getting too close without burning up... Ugh.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #36

Oct 20, 2021

Ram V has managed some interesting developments in and around the edges of the Fear State crossover. Its too bad that everything is moving at a pacing that makes it difficult to connect with emotionally. Ram V is clearly capable of delivering a more thoughtful sort of action. The pacing of Fear State doesnt seem to allow him much range, though.

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5
Catwoman (2018) #37

Nov 24, 2021

The best issues in a massive crossover event hold their own weight as distinctive chapters. The latest issue of Catwoman lacks the kind of finesse that would make it terribly intelligible outside of the clash of events of the rest of the crossover. Even in context, there seem to be too many gaps in the course of events in the chapter to feel like anything other than a reasonably pleasant mess.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #38

Dec 22, 2021

Next month, Selina tumbles from Villa Hermosa with Jolle Jones to Alleytown with Ram V and into the open arms of Tini Howard, who makes her DC Comics debut with her run on the series. She's out of Alleytown and into the business of stealing from the biggest criminals in the second-largest city in the DC Universe's U.S. It's a new writer. It's a new artist. Hell... it's even a new logo. Catwoman moves on from an intermittently satisfying current arc in January of 2022. 

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #39

Jan 19, 2022

Howard, Leon, and Bellaire do a brilliant job of opening the current era in Catwomans life. It will be interesting to see the series play out from here. Howard is a seasoned storyteller who knows what shes doing. Leon and Bellaire work remarkably well together...each artist admirably amplifying the work of the other. Its been quite a while since Catwoman reached the level of achievement it has in the 39th issue of the current series.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #40

Feb 23, 2022

Howard had mentioned in an interview that she pitched the idea for her run on Catwoman with the opening scene of the previous issue more or less as it appeared on the page. From there, she just had to fill out the rest of it. And though it kind of feels like she might be filling out an equation, shes doing so in a way that feels fresh and interesting.

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #41

Mar 16, 2022

It may lack some of the stylish punch of the preceding issue, but Catwoman #41 Continues to show Howards unique perspective on the character, which continues to be really appealing. The story in question isnt altogether different from many other Catwoman stories that have made it to the page over recent years. However, the author is working with familiar details in a way that makes them feel unique and fresh. Its a whole new perspective on the classic.

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #42

Apr 20, 2022

And now that things are firmly established for Selina in Gotham City... she's going to leave town with Harley. A road trip. It's kind of a bold move for Howard to suddenly jar things in a different direction, but it DOES help keep things fresh in what will hopefully be a long relationship between Howard and Kyle. Howard has a very entertaining take on the character subtly different from anyone else who has worked on the series in the past three years. It'll be interesting to see where she takes Selina and Harley in the near future.

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9
Catwoman (2018) #43

May 18, 2022

Howard throws in quite a few sharp, little details as swift and lightly fun as the issue is. Her treatment of Harley is clever. Its been established that the character knows the reader is there. Theres more than one instance of her subtly brushing up against that wall in the course of a really, really enjoyable issue. There isnt a whole lot of thematic depth to whats going on, but its a fun, little journey that Howard is embarking on in Catwomans latest.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #44

Jun 29, 2022

After all of the cramped clutter of the large ensemble that appeared in Catwoman prior to the appearance of Harley, Tini Howards latest arc with Selina feels a lot like a fast-paced summer vacation. Bengals wide sweeps of action hit the page with Bellaires bright, beautiful colors. The fact that there happens to be a hell of a lot of depth beneath it all is quite impressive given the fact that Howard and company have delivered a story with the pulse and humor of an action-adventure comic.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #45

Jul 20, 2022

On an issue-by-issue basis, true multi-title integration is really, really difficult to manage. Either theres some big dozen-issue crossover that derails the momentum of the individual titles without actually doing much, or the elements that crossover are minor curiosities. With the 45th issue of Catwoman, Tini Howard manages a deep integration with nearly every title in the Batman family of comics that makes Gotham City feel remarkably vibrant while also providing a fascinating look into the psyche of the title character. The central plot of the story might not be all that interesting, but Howard makes the title character and her world seem totally captivating. 

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #46

Aug 24, 2022

Selina may have had a bit of a road trip with Harley in recent months, but she hasnt had a chance to really explore what it is that shes doing. This issue allows shadows from her past to overshadow the page. Issues like #46 allow Catwoman a chance to put everything into perspective before it all gets plunged into danger in the next storyline. Howard has had one of the more satisfying runs with Selina of the past few years. Itll be interesting to see where Tini Howard ushers the story next.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #47

Sep 21, 2022

From so many angles in so many ways over the course of the past few years, creative teams working with Catwoman have gotten her moving in the right direction, but its always been a bit of a problem wrapping things up in a way that feels fluid. It seems as though Howards got a solid handle on things, though. Howard continues to manage a well-modulated run with Selina as she saunters gracefully through this latest phase of her life. The international adventure should add another layer of intrigue to her. The challenge will be allowing Catwoman to land on her feet on the other end of it all in a way that allows for both a sense of greater stability AND further challenges in future issues of the series. 

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) #48

Oct 21, 2022

Howard is moving things forward in an interesting way. Its an approach to the character that's both respectful of her past and respectful of her need to go beyond it. Shes been to so many places just in the past year. Howard lends Catwomans personality a kind of stature that seems totally cohesive with everyone shes been over the course of the past five or ten years. That being said, as bewildering as the plot might be to first-time readers, Howard tells a succinct story that feels respectively complete in its own right.

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #50

Dec 21, 2022

And now Catwoman is...on a leash, so to speak. Its kind of a bold move for Howard. It would be really, really interesting to see Kyle gradually work her way up from rock bottom in one of the most totally awful places in all of Gotham City. If Howard is patient enough, the issues to come could be a potentially breathtaking look at the psyche of one of DCs longest-lived anti-heroes. 

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6
Catwoman (2018) #51

Jan 25, 2023

With the initial set-up out of the way, Howard and Basri could easily develop into something more sophisticated in future issues. Having hit rock bottom, Kyle has a long way to go before she can really get a handle on where her life is going. Its an opportunity for Howard to define Catwoman from the ground up if shes willing to try. It may be a fairly shaky start, but theres no question that things could go in a fascinating direction in the issues to come.  

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #52

Feb 22, 2023

Selina is kind of a challenge to work with as a writer. The ultimate thief who is always in control of any situation is only as clever as the situations that she finds herself in. Eiko proves to be a little more of an interesting character in the 52nd entry of the current Catwoman series, as shes clearly in WAY over her head. Theres more of a sense of heroism to the larceny that makes for much more of an impact. Theoretically, Selina could have picked up more personality in prison if she was given more of a challenge to deal with from rock bottom. 

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8.4
Catwoman (2018) #53

Mar 22, 2023

As nice as it is to have Kyle punctuating the action throughout the issue, her inevitable prison break seems kind of dull next to all thats going on in Eikos life. A new face working under the auspices of Kyles prison presence just feels more interesting than the Catwoman comic book has managed over the course of the past couple of years. Now that its up and running, there are a lot of different directions that things might move in once Catwoman emerges from prison in the months ahead. With any luck, Eiko and Dario can find a place once Kyle is out of prison. 

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8
Catwoman (2018) #54

Apr 26, 2023

Selinas been Catwoman for so long that its kind of disappointing to see her slide back into the role at issues end. With things shifting back in the direction of the status quo, Howard and company can get back to more traditional Catwoman stories, but Kyle has been drifting quite a bit over the course of the past few years, and there doesnt seem to be a whole lot of momentum in her adventures of late. Eiko seems a lot more captivating.

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8
Catwoman (2018) #55

May 17, 2023

Its the style that really sells the series more than anything else. Theres a real sense of urgency about the action, even if the overall framing of the story lacks some degree of satisfying definition. Catwoman has been through a lot over the course of the past few years. Howard has a distinct perspective on Selina and her world that has been enjoyable thus far, but there hasnt been enough time with any one element of that world to fully explore its potential.

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6
Catwoman (2018) #56

Jun 21, 2023

Howard and company submerge Catwoman in a complex underworld that would probably fit better on the page if every character had the time and space to develop a little more than they do. It would be nice to see Howard have the opportunity to do this, as she clearly has meticulously worked out a very complex interconnected drama that might have a great impact under the right circumstances.

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7
Catwoman (2018) Annual: 2021

Jun 30, 2021

Christian maniacs are always fun to explore in justice-based adventure fiction. The deeper concerns of biblical fanaticism aren't really explored in any great depth. Still, it's fun to see one of the great villainous power structures from antiquity shown for the corrupting power they have always had. It may be pretty well-trodden territory that Ram V is exploring here, but it's a fun issue. It's just...mistitled.

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9.6
Catwoman (2018) Annual #1

May 29, 2019

Kyle acts as the leader of a group of apprentice thieves. It's a fun concept. Jones has been placing Kyle out of her comfort zone in exciting ways throughout the series thus far. With this issue, 'she's pushing the character in a direction that feels much more compelling than previous issues in the current series thus far. If Jones can develop more like this in the future, Catwoman could have quite a bit of vitality moving forward.

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8
Cherish (2022) #1

Nov 2, 2022

The opening shows some promise. If Caitano and Remalante Jr. can find a sharper definition in and within the drama of Cherishs daily life, there will be more of a balance between the two ends of the series. Collins has a clear definition of the overall plot that shell use to expand on the elements of Cherishs personality, which will make her more interesting on the page. The first issue is a promising step in establishing a comic that will develop in the issues to come. Theres a lot of good that could be expanded on as the series progresses.

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5
Cherish (2022) #4

Feb 16, 2023

Overall, the idea of Cherish is not without some potential. The tragic backstory of the hero seems to be dragging down the possibilities. A character with skills and drive like Cherish could really chart interesting territory in the near future of the setting. There are quite a few places in and within the cyberpunk subgenre that comic books dont often explore, and Cherish is uniquely lined up to explore these places. Theoretically, once Collins has navigated around the backstory, Cherish might have room to breathe and get into some of the more shadowy dramatic aspects of cyberpunk.

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9.6
Chicken Devils #4

Jun 22, 2023

The seriousness of the drama really hits at the end of the issue. The story ends with the fifth issue. Things have gotten out of control. And yet everything still feels so static and isolated. Its a very nuanced and complicated drama. The physical action is really only there to amplify it in various directions. Buccellato and Monaco have something interesting in the series. Its the type of story that could easily be made as an indie drama or a one-season streaming series. Presenting it in comic book format lends a remarkably vivid quality to it that no other format could do justice to.

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6
Chilling Adventures (2022): Camp Pickens #1

Jun 22, 2023

Archie Comics has found a nice format for horror. Theres nothing brilliant in the book, but it IS an interesting pop experiment that finds a weirdly familiar voice and just sort of...goes with it. The overall feel of it may be a bit weird, but in the end, the tiny narrative nuggets have a way of sticking around in the back of the mind well after theyve been read. Anything memorable in the comic book format is worth paying attention to. Archie Comics clearly knows what its doing.

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6
Cinderella vs. The Queen of Hearts (2023) #1

Apr 13, 2023

With the initial encounter out of the way, Franchini and company can now dive right into the heart of a body action comedy, which should have a slick visual appeal that will give it a great deal of momentum leading through the final two issues of the series. Given the right angles, both of the leads could even gather a bit more substance before the series hits its final panel in a couple of months. There may not be much going on in the story after 30 pages or so, but the series can only improve now that all of the main pieces appear to be in play. 

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8
City Boy (2023) #2

Jun 30, 2023

There is so much potential for exploring Cameron's powers on every level, from individual people to neighborhoods to aspects of infrastructure. In the first couple of issues of the series, Pak is exploring City Boys power in more of a traditional superhero story. Cameron is different enough from other superheroes that it will take a while to really settle into the kind of story he has the potential for. Hopefully, people stick around long enough for the premise to embrace its originality.

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8
Cloak and Dagger: Negative Exposure #2

Feb 5, 2019

Hallum and company are delivering a story with a shrewd sense of composition which should play well when the three-part Marvel Digital series materializes on paper in comic shops late this coming March. One more two-chapter issue awaits in February as the conflict with Mr. Negative will likely be a predictably satisfying conclusion.

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8
Clobberin' Time (2023) #1

Mar 30, 2023

Skroce wouldnt be picking up a series like this if he wasnt a big fan of the Thing. Theres real love thats put into Ben Grimms appearance on the page. Its a rich and cuddly kind of craggy rockiness that Skroce is bringing to the page. Next month, Ben teams up with a rugged little bruiser as he fights alongside Wolverine. Hes not a bad choice for the second issue of a five-part series. Skroce is off to a good start.

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9.6
Clobberin' Time (2023) #3

Jun 1, 2023

Valenza adds a bit of crucial depth and atmosphere around the edges of the action, but Skroce runs everything else with an expert sense of showmanship. Given how completely Skroces art and writing style dominates the series, Clobberin Time really sets itself apart from much of the rest of the mainstream comics rack. If it werent for the fact that Skroce is working with some of the biggest-named characters at Marvel in one of the most recognizable settings in comic books, Clobberin Time would feel a lot like an indie comic.

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9.6
Coffin Bound #1

Aug 7, 2019

Without substantial background or backstory, Simpson and Dani are throwing the readers directly into the end of everything with a story set in a world that no longer makes a whole lot of sense. The reflection of life and death is thrown into a deeply enjoyable adventure horror drama. Izzys a fun character. From the first installment, we know that shes not going to be successful unless shes dead. Judging from the opening act, its going to be a hell of a journey to her death.

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9
Coffin Bound #2

Sep 11, 2019

The story unearthed in this issue grabs hold of the reader with slickly sick visuals and feverishly scattered poetry. Coffin Bound is not the most appealing experience between two covers to make it to the comics rack this month. But its definitely going to leave a mark on anyone curious enough to want to pick it up. Itll probably take about another month for the scars of this issue to fade....just in time for Coffin Bound #3.

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9.6
Coffin Bound #3

Oct 9, 2019

The horror of the story is clinging together quite well for now, but time will tell if it ultimately builds-up into a satisfying account. The pulse of this issue suggests a kind of narrative decay that might make the story increasingly disjointed. For now, its okay. The third issue is a delicious nightmare. 

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8
Coffin Bound #4

Nov 6, 2019

The showdown happens at issues' end without resolution. It's a rather sudden and abrupt end to something that had been building- up to that final meeting for the entire run of the series thus far. Izzy is a very compelling character caught between longing for oblivion and longing for something else altogether...a very distinctive character. It'll be interesting to see her return to the page next summer.

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8
Coffin Bound #5

Aug 5, 2020

Watters is progressing the story in an interesting angle that's still feeding off his dark poetics. There's a remarkable concise breeziness about the moody darkness that Watters and Dani are bringing to the page. With deeper philosophical themes coming to the fore in issue five, Coffin Bound begins to run the risk of getting too deep too soon into the second major plot arc. If the past is any indicator, Watters seems to have a firm handle on the kind of pacing needed to keep things from getting too weighty. 

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8
Coffin Bound #6

Sep 2, 2020

The lack of driving direction only serves to amplify the directionless jitter of the story's pacing. Anxiety seems to seep in around the edges of every panel. It's not easy to see where the story is going, but all of the conflict's fundamental elements are clearly there. It's just too bad that the story isn't more motivated to move through the panels of an issue like Coffin Bound's sixth. 

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8
Coffin Bound #7

Oct 7, 2020

This is an issue that ends with Entropy declaring, "Full stop. All is silent." There's a genuine sense of finality about it. There is an issue coming in November, though. The lack of momentum in the plot hampers Coffin Bound a bit. This isn't exactly a problem, though. After the end of everything that Watters and Dani have been delivering through the series, there's a deep undercurrent of life. The central appeal of the series from the very first page has been a sense of finality. It's beautiful, but Coffin Bound's non-traditional narrative structure makes it a bit difficult to know how to interface with it as a reader.

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9.6
Coffin Bound #8

Nov 4, 2020

Doll isnt actually doing a whole lot this issue. Its a moody journey for her, but theres so much in it that feels so very, very weighty. Watters has sometimes submerged the series in so much poetry that any overall sense of plot feels hopelessly lost, but the final issue of the second plot arc comes across with the striking impact of an aesthetic body-blow. Given the center of the panel, Doll seems like a really compelling character. With any luck, shell be the central character of the next four-issue arc. 

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7
Commanders In Crisis #1

Oct 14, 2020

The first issue of Commanders In Crisis could have played-out in a much more savvy series of something like 6 issues. Clearly, Orlando and Tinto have places to go and things to do with a plot that has a great deal of places to be beyond the first issue. If Orlando can settle-down into a steadier, less manic rhythm with the series in the issues to come, Commanders in Crisis might turn into something interesting. As of right now, its way too much, way too soon. 

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6
Commanders In Crisis #2

Nov 18, 2020

The central premise of the series continues to be interesting, but Orlando's attempt to start an entire superhero universe in the middle of a huge crisis-level crossover ends up falling flat in its second consecutive issue. There ARE many interesting aspects of the series. Heroes drawn from multiple earths coming together to try to save the last one...fantasy amid a political world that has interesting echoes into our own. It has the potential to be really compelling. Orlando's trying to do too much to live up to the potential of his presenting ideas.

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6
Commanders In Crisis #3

Dec 16, 2020

Perhaps the biggest problem with Orlando's approach to introducing a whole new series is that he's been missing that dramatic hook that could really distinguish a whole new world of superheroes that's an amalgamation of different legends from different superhero worlds that don't exist. It's a good idea that Orlando hasn't been able to conjure to the page in a way that feels terribly engaging. All the characters here seem far too involved in what's going on in their own lives to make it feel terribly interesting to the reader.

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5
Commanders In Crisis #5

Feb 10, 2021

The radiosapien villain and the TV writing AI application that are given brief encounter on the page in a single issue of Commanders in Crisis would be enough to fill a couple of issues of their own. Orlando and Tinto pound both of these encounters into an issue that also features an attempt at Watchmen-esque history, romantic interpersonal relations, and WAY too many other things to allow the reader to settle into the book. It's frustrating. The concepts that Orlando is exploring ARE interesting.

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4
Commanders In Crisis #6

Mar 10, 2021

There are some appealing images. The villain surveys a few of her identicals in presumably amniotic aquarium tubes. That's fun. The combat in an Atlantis-like place is also kind of cool. It's not like the visual world that Tinto's bringing to the page isn't interesting. It's just not in the service of anything terribly interesting. Orlando's script has fun elements in it. Tinto's art works well in places. The story isn't being framed in a way that engages the reader, though. It all continues to feel like a hectic mess of action and drama.

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7
Commanders In Crisis #7

Apr 7, 2021

Orlando and Tinto's experiment seems to be working on some level. They'd set themselves up with a tremendous challenge in attempting to make an entire multiverse breathe through a single series. The overall premise DID hit the ground running in the first issue, but for the most part, Commanders in Crisis has been reaching too far to try to be too many things in too short a stretch of pages and panels and things. It's a mess. The beauty in this issue makes it an appealing mess, though.

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8.4
Commanders In Crisis #8

May 12, 2021

Theres still a hell of a lot in the basic premise of the world of Commanders in Crisis that feels like its been solidly missed by Orlando. The specifics of a tenuous multiverse on the verge of possible extinction could hit with a powerful sense of impact if the foundations of the world were just a bit more intelligible. Orlandos interest between Frontier and Thunder Woman goes a long way towards establishing that background. However, theres still so much ground to cover that really should have been explored in earlier issues of the series.

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7
Commanders In Crisis #9

Jun 2, 2021

Orlandos been pretty restless with the narrative of this series throughout. The ninth issue makes this feel all the more frustrating by flashing by a few really clever moments that could have made been expanded into issues all their own. (The villains could have been expanded into their own series.) There is a delicate art in ensuring that everyone in a large ensemble gets enough time on the page. Orlandos not doing a perfect job of maintaining an engaging balance between characters.

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3
Commanders In Crisis #11

Aug 4, 2021

It's all been one big mess of a story with way too many characters. This probably would have been okay had it just been one big compelling mess of a story for the better part of 11 issues. As it is, there's a tremendous amount of potential in every single character in Orlando's colossal ensemble. It could be argued that the series hasn't really found its unique superhero voice until the last seven pages of issue #11...and that's largely because it's one character at the center of those seven pages... Sumara's a fascinating person. It's nice to finally sort of meet her. 

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6
Commanders In Crisis #12

Sep 1, 2021

There's probably more than a few really good ideas that have come to the surface in the course of the 12 issues of Commanders in Crisis. It's all been too much of a jumble to really make much of an impact, though. Had Orlando benefited from 3 or 4 writing teams, the series could have been much more of a cohesive multiversal experiment rather than the big jumble it ended up being.

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8
Creepshow (2022) #1

Sep 21, 2022

The two stories follow the general theme of different kinds of greed taken too far. Its easy to feel a sense of satisfaction in seeing victims becoming victims in a pair of horror stories. No one is really innocent, and no one is totally evil, so all of the gore and murder is somehow appealingly acceptable in the opening issue of a potentially fun anthology mini-series.

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7
Creepshow (2022) #2

Oct 27, 2022

Neither story may completely live up to what its capable of, but its still really, really cool to see horror anthology comics continuing into the present long after their heyday in the mid-20th century. Given the right inspiration, Creepshow could become a very influential ongoing series.

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8
Crypt of Shadows (2019) #1

Jan 29, 2019

A return to horror anthology feels like a good move for Marvel. The initial issue lurks around in the potential of such a series with a clever, little plot structure featuring stories that are breezy, little narrative chills. The traditional action that glides around on the page of most comics is nice and everything, but its nice to see some of the inky darkness return to Marvels pages.

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8
Cult of Carnage: Misery (2023) #2

Jun 22, 2023

Everything fits together remarkably well considering the different dramatic elements that are coming into play. If a writer or artist leans a bit too heavy with any of the themes, the entire thing would collapse. To a certain extent, the success of Misery requires that the narrative not take the teams too seriously. But to a certain extent, it really just needs to focus on the momentum of the action. And this is precisely what everyone involved is doing with this series. And that's why it manages to be as successful as it is.

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7
Cyborg (2023) #2

Jun 21, 2023

Vics reaction to the situation is understandable, but the drama is kind of unduly amplified when one considers Vics history. Hes been through SO MUCH over the years. An android claiming to be his dead father? Even if he only died a couple of weeks ago, Vic should really have a bit more of a measured reaction to the whole situation. Hes going to be angry, but its not like he didnt know that something like this might happen. Hes not going to openly accept the android as his father, but his anger seems a bit out of place given all that hes been through.

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5
Damage Control (2022) #1

Aug 24, 2022

Though the first issue of the series might not make a huge impression, there are lots of little details that make for a reasonably fun first issue, like the fact that the apocalyptically missed memo was going to an underwriter named Stanley Forbush. Kind of fun to think that Forbush Mans dad was the difference that saved the planet. If the overall plot had paid a bit more attention to detail, it might have been a better issue. (I dont know...mention SOMETHING about the 13th floor needing physical mail because its a pocket dimension that doesnt get good internet. More of that sort of thing might have helped...) 

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8.4
Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider (2023) #2

Jun 22, 2023

Its been nearly 3 decades since the last time Mackie spent time hanging out with the Spirit of Vengeance. A couple of issues into his big reunion, and its apparent that there are fresh echoes moving through the night between co-creator and creation. Hopefully, Mackie has the time to explore things with Danny Ketch for a long time to come. Another half-decade would be nice.

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6
Daredevil & Echo (2023) #2

Jul 8, 2023

People have tried to pit Daredevil against more traditional devils, but outside of Ann Nocentis brilliant run with the character back in the 1990s, its never worked all that well. Combine the supernatural with a relatively nuanced new ally, and the new series is encountering a bit of a challenge right away. Things should settle down once the series has built up enough narrative momentum to really get going. For now, though...its still faltering in a mix of different elements that arent exactly common to Daredevil.

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9.6
Daredevil (2022) #14

Sep 12, 2023

Its inevitable that Zdarski is going to have to bring Matt back into the mask, but Elektra continues to be really, really appealing as the title character in the book. The darkness in her tragic backstory and the loss of love feels like a very, very strong and intense dramatic anchor for all of the violence and action. Its really fun to see it play out the way it does. But then theres that last scene...and a coming video serial with Charlie Cox...so its inevitable that hell be back. With any luck, Zdarski is able to take his time with the brooding former assassin as Daredevil. Shes really cool.

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9.6
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Jan 19, 2022

The brutality of Elektras background is contrasted against the person that shes trying to be as the series opens. The series opens as shes fighting for her very life. Its a compelling beginning, but if the series is to make progress towards something truly refreshing, Elektra is going to have to dive further into the selfless heroism that will truly make her a Daredevil.

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9
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #2

Feb 10, 2022

Framing the contrast is really nice. But it's only going to go so far. The opening issue firmly established Elektra's inner conflict. Hear that inner conflict is expanded on. Zdarsky and Company are doing a good job of bringing it all to the page in a way that seems simple enough to almost achieve a kind of flawlessness. Without a greater scope in issues to come, the story might have some difficulty maintaining a sense of direction moving forward, but Zdarsky has done a good job of keeping the action moving so far.

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9.6
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #3

Mar 3, 2022

It's too bad this is it for Daredevil Elektra. Zdarsky has shown some appealing character development for the Woman Without Fear that feels like a compelling contrast to the blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen. Elektra was interesting as an assassin in all of her incarnations. Still, Zdarsky makes a compelling case for her as a lone hero in her own book. Three issues are simply not enough. It remains to be seen how things will develop in the remainder of Devil's Reign, but it would be nice to see Elektra under the horns again. 

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7
Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League (2022): Wonder Woman #1

Sep 14, 2022

This sort of thing is far from new. Heroes have been thrust into paradise to throw them off their quests since Odysseus set foot on the Island of the Lotus-Eaters...and possibly on back to the dawn of storytelling itself. The distinctive visions of utopia offered up to the heroes will continue to be interesting as Green Arrow is offered his heaven next to Black Canary next month. To truly make for a novel exploration into this sort of thing, the stories would really need more space to sprawl out. An issue like this makes the exercise seem too rushed.

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8.4
Dark Ride (2022) #1

Oct 5, 2022

Williamson might be able to pull off something a lot more disturbing than meets the surface of the series in the first issue. With horror and Halloween imagery lurking around every corner of the page, there might be room for something altogether more frightening as the sanitized, commercial visions of Halloween horror hide something a lot more menacing underneath. Time will tell if Williamson and company can make it work.

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9.6
Dark Ride (2022) #7

Jul 12, 2023

Williamson has an excellent rhythm for the series. The seventh issue brings the ensemble to a very crucial moment. Its a conflict that has been brewing for quite some time. Its a bit strange to see it flow out the way that it does in the seventh issue. One might have expected something more dynamic in the showdown. Its just a conversation before the food arrives at a restaurant. Williamson, Bressan, and Lucas make the pre-dinner conversation quite engrossing.

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8
Dark Spaces: Good Deeds #1

May 17, 2023

It takes a lot of guts to fade in on a moody murder drama over the course of a long, slow, sustained first issue. Its not exactly an issue that dares the reader to look at it, but it isnt particularly interested in appealing to any eyes that happen to be scanning through it at any given moment. One has to respect the attitude of a story that is so very, very sure of itself that it doesnt need to slam itself in the readers face just to get people intrigued. With the mood and tone for Good Deeds being what it is, itll be fascinating to see where its going from here.

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8.4
Dark X-Men (2023) #1

Sep 12, 2023

The delicate balance between the supernatural and the social is really, really difficult to maintain. Foxe and company run the risk of leaning a bit more in the direction of the supernatural with the opening issue, but this IS Dark X-Men, so its totally understandable. The challenge moving forward is going to lie in making certain that theres enough of an X-component to the series to keep it grounded in the appeal that has worked so well for these characters over the decades. Its not easy. The past few decades are littered with forgettable X-titles.

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5
Darkwing Duck (2023) #6

Jun 30, 2023

The temptation to work with as large an ensemble as possible seems to have won out over the desire to work with something a bit more cleverly satirical and nuanced than the traditional episode of the series. Its a series that will have had a great deal of appeal for adults who would have grown up with the cartoon. It wouldnt be that difficult to point a series at them that also appeals to their kids, but that would have required a bit more conceptual work on the part of the creative team.

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5
Darkwing Duck (2023) #7

Jul 22, 2023

It's remarkable how short-lived the original cartoon was. The three-season series was largely a series of one-shot episodes. The patience given to a single issue of the comic book series feels roughly equivalent to a 22-minute episode of the series. So it feels a little bit indulgent to have a multi-part story for the comic book. Really, though...the fact that the series has been off the air for over thirty years makes ANY further exploration of the character feel at least a bit indulgent.

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8
DC / RWBY (2023) #1

Mar 1, 2023

With the initial mix-up taken care of, the series has a chance to move forward. It would have been a bit more interesting to deliver a little more detail on the RWBY end of the crossover, but the monster hunters ARE the guests on the page in a DC comic book, so it makes sense that Batman would get the center of the page in the first issue. Still--its not like theres any scarcity of Batman in DC comics. It would be nice if he could share the page more evenly.

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8.4
DC / RWBY (2023) #2

Mar 30, 2023

Next month, Bennett and company slide into a deeper mysticism in an issue that features the magical end of the DC Universe, including appearances by John Constantine, Zatanna, and Wonder Woman. This milieu is a much more natural fit for a team of mystical warrior women, which could potentially work against the series if there isnt enough contrast between the two universes in collision. It could also work to the advantage of the series, as the conflict is no longer hampered by weird juxtapositions as the series approaches its midway point. 

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7
DC / RWBY (2023) #3

Apr 26, 2023

Overall, the story has been a thoughtful tour through various angles of the DC Universe. Gotham City gives way to Themyscira in a largely fun third issue. The ideas that Bennett is working with ARE interesting. Magic infecting one universe from another...its an intriguing idea with lots of potential across a universe as big and diverse as DCs. Its too bad not every issue in the series is framed with the right narrative spin to keep it all living up to its potential.

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8
DC / RWBY (2023) #4

May 24, 2023

The series continues as the genesis of the crisis is revealed. Theres a perfectly logical reason for why everything is happening as it is, and it all seems to come together with some level of charm. Team RWBY articulates with the DC Universe in an enjoyable way. Given the right momentum, RWBY might even be a nice addition to the DC Universe as a whole. DC/RWBY doesnt quite make the kind of impact it needs to form a truly novel connection between the two properties, but its been fun so far. 

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8
DC / RWBY (2023) #5

Jun 30, 2023

Bennett and company have a couple of issues left to go in the series. The overall arc of the plot has had a nice composition to it. Having been in several different locations, the series returns to Gotham City next month before wrapping up in August. It's been a fun and well-structured journey through the DC Universe with a couple of characters who aren't from around here. Though it's difficult to imagine them becoming an integral part of the DC Universe, it's nice of them to visit every now and then. 2021s crossover with the Justice League was fun. Its going to be nice to watch this years crossover wrap up at the end of summer. 

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7
DC / RWBY (2023) #6

Jul 28, 2023

There need to be more actual events going on for each character to have more of a presence on the page. This would also allow the threat to develop in a way that is much more engaging. It feels like Bennett tried to do too much in too small a span of time. Its very difficult to manage the kind of ambitious storytelling that Bennett is really trying to do with the series. The story needs to be large enough to fill six issues and interact with enough of the DC Universe to really live up to its title. However, there just isnt enough time for everything. And there isnt enough time spent on any one thing. It feels cluttered.

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8
DC / RWBY (2023) #7

Sep 12, 2023

DC/RWBY hasn't always hit the page with perfect pacing for human Motion, but overall, the rest of the action in the final installment brings it all to her clothes with a delicate sense of poise. Had Bennett been a little bit more conscientious about making sure that everybody had the right amount of time on the page throughout the DC universe, it would've been just a bit more well-modulated. As it is, though, it's a memorable ending to a strange dramatic fugue in a very strange summer for the DC Universe with all of its many, many crossovers.

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9.6
DC Pride (2021): 2023 #1

May 31, 2023

As with any anthology, DC Pride 2023 has its weaker moments as well. Not everything feels completely in sync with the format of a short-form comic book story, but theres more than enough here to make for an inspiring series of stories told from angles not often found on the pages of a mainstream comic book. The whole thing feels like it was pulled from a parallel dimension that might have had a more inclusive mainstream comic book industry stretching all the way back to the Golden Age. As always--its really nice to see the mainstream embrace a bit more of the full spectrum of human experience.

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8
DC's Legion of Bloom (2023) #1

Mar 22, 2023

Seasonal one-shots with DC can be rather hit-or-miss. Legion of Bloom is a particularly nice embrace of a new season. It feels a bit like a feverishly packed spring break from the big crossover with the Lazarus Planet and the emerging Dawn of DC shake-ups that seem to be coming down the line in the months to come. Its a nice little break with a whole bunch of stories before things get serious again this coming summer and beyond.

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8.4
Dead Mall (2022) #2

Nov 30, 2022

Dead Mall is moving at a deliciously slow pace that could easily stretch out for a delightfully agonizing few dozen issues. Cesare and Stoll wouldnt even have to add any characters to the ensemble. The dynamic between the conflict and the characters clearly draws a lot of inspiration from cheesy horror films, but a series like this could remain quite entertaining even if it ran the same plot out much longer than the traditional three-act Hollywood plot structure. Its a shopping mall. There are SO many themes that could be covered in the course of the series. 

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8.4
Dead Romans (2023) #4

Jun 21, 2023

Kennedy could be exploring deeper territory with the issue given the matters of the heart that hes covering in the fourth issue of the series, but hes wise to let the deeper resonance of the theme remain shrouded in the fog, just out of reach of the central conflicts. The central conflict feels more at home in the center of the panel than deeper concerns that rest just outside the spoken dialogue. Sometimes the language just isnt dark enough, and the ugliest thing you can write about war can only be delivered by the artist. 

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8
Dead Romans (2023) #5

Jul 22, 2023

The brutality of the series continues to march on in the midst of some basic history that Kennedy is covering. Its generally a fun ancient war march. Ancient war drama is so often focused on generals and emperors and powerful heroic figures. Its actually kind of cool to see a war drama from ancient Rome that firmly has its boots on the ground. 

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8
Deadpool (2022) #8

Jul 8, 2023

Wong and company are putting Wade Wilson through the hell...of a perfectly normal life situation with friends. Things are wrong, and...inevitably, there IS the sort of life that typically inhabits a superhero comic book, but its nice to see Wong hang the possibility of that in front of Deadpool long enough for him to get a taste of the life he doesnt have. Its a nice little shot at hell for a guy who has a life thats anything but normal.

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1.2
Deadpool: Badder Blood (2023) #2

Jul 25, 2023

Once again, its apparent that the series isnt really offering anything that hasnt been done countless times before with various X-books over the years. This wouldnt be all that bad if it was executed with any competence of execution. Deadpool is a very cool character. He deserves better than Liefeld. And...he IS getting better than this...with Alyssa Wongs series. The first couple of issues of Liefelds series just arent any good. But, yknow...the color is actually really cool. 

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9.6
Deep Cuts (2023) #2

May 31, 2023

Once again, Higgins and Clark have nailed a very sharp story that manages to resonate even though its telling the type of artists journey that has been delivered to page, stage, and screen countless times before. The distinct package thats being delivered by Higgins and Clark feels quite refreshingly unlike anything else thats currently on the comics rack.

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9.6
Deep Cuts (2023) #3

Jul 12, 2023

Clark and Higgins show a masterful sense of rhythm with respect to the overall plot structure of the one-shot story. Dramatic moments hang in the air and on the page just long enough to make an impression before the next major plot point glides into view. Its a remarkably delicate and intricate drama that continues to establish Deep Cuts as one of the best new series of 2023.

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6
Dejah Thoris (2023) #4

Jun 21, 2023

Brown and Pinna capably frame the story of a young Dejah Thoris running into the Goolians for one of her first times. The tension and intensity of the encounter could have (and should have) been a lot more powerful than Brown and Pinna are managing in the fourth issue of the current series. Writer and artist have plenty of time to catch up with their own momentum next month in the fifth issue of the series. Theres nothing specifically wrong with what theyre doing--it just lacks the explosive sense of adventure that would really propel it across the page. 

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7
Dejah Thoris (2023) #5

Jul 22, 2023

The plot of the series thus far has been enjoyable. The actual execution of the plot is lacking in intensity. If it was to be amplified in certain areas, it could really be something remarkable. Edgar Rice Burroughss characters and setting are inherently very appealing. There's clearly something in them to have lasted for as long as they have. Dejah is a really interesting character. Its so very, very difficult to frame her in a way that does justice to her potential. 

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8
Detective Comics (2016) #1065

Oct 26, 2022

Two-Face is the one guy who shows up in both features. It would be interesting to see him become the central character in Detective Comics. It wont happen, but both Ram V and Simon Spurrier are making him feel like a much more fascinating character than Bruce Wayne. Its kind of a fun journey from the first feature to the second. Spurriers story picks up Two-Faces journey more or less directly from where Ram V leaves it at the end of the main issue. Shermans art is a natural shift into Harvey Dents perspective from the less stylized art of the main feature.

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9.6
Detective Comics (2016) #1069

Mar 1, 2023

Seriously: just get rid of Batman in Detective Comics. Gotham City is a lot more interesting. Two-Face. Commissioner Montoya. Jim and Barbara Gordon. Theyre all a lot more interesting than Bruce...and hes got more than enough titles already. Ram V shows great potential for the city to exist on its own without Batman. There certainly is a hell of a lot going on without him. Montoya and Gordon would be more than enough to hold down the title of Detective Comics. Ram V has found a hell of a lot of life inhabiting the corners of Batmans world. It would be nice to see a single title linger there in the corners of the panels for an extended period of time.

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8
Detective Comics (2016) #1070

Mar 30, 2023

Ram V is letting the mystery into Detective Comics in a way that feels fresh and fascinating. The story might be running the risk of heading down a ridiculous path, but its nice to see a writer trying something new with the series. There have been countless issues over the decades that have played it WAY too safe with the series. Ram Vs work is positively courageous next to the drudgery that had been the series for so much of the mid-to-late 20th century. 

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8
Detective Comics (2016) #1072

May 31, 2023

Ram V might need a few more pages to bring across what hes trying to deliver in Gotham Nocturne. Every chapter seems almost haphazardly cut into weird, jagged shrapnel of narration. Theres a far more elegant suspense somewhere in the heart of what Ram V is trying to say with the series, but hes been jerking the narrative around so aggressively that its difficult to settle into the rhythm of the story. 

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8
Detective Comics (2016) #1073

Jun 30, 2023

As bad as it is, Gotham Citys been through worse. Ram V is putting it through the usual kind of torture. Its fun to watch him go to work on it with a strange mix of horror, superhero conflict, and straight-ahead psychodrama. Theres nothing in the story that is specifically new in any practical way, but its pretty rare for a writer to dive this far into the psyche of Batman and still make it seem like its something at least vaguely new. Batmans been torn apart and reassembled so many times by so many authors that its truly rare to see Ram V manage something as interesting as Detective Comics #1073.

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9.6
Disney Villains: Hades (2023) #1

Sep 1, 2023

Kalan's Hades has no business being anywhere near as appealing as it is. The overall premise is silly, and the plot's basic nuts-and-bolts are tedious. Still, Kalan and Ranaldi nail the fun of the story with such brilliance that it almost makes the mini-series opening feel much more appealing than anything that Disney managed with the original 1997 film.

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10
Disney Villains: Maleficent (2023) #3

Jul 8, 2023

Due to its sheer simplicity and engaging sense of action, Maleficent #3 might be one of the single most memorable comics to come out so far this year. Lee isnt trying to do anything too complicated. Shes just telling a simple story of a simple conflict that isnt at all unlike a million others that play out in nature every single day on the planet. Its fun to see her bring it onto the comics page without substantial embellishment. Any other artist/writer would be tempted to add something in the way of additional story. The purity of Lees vision is captivating. 

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9.6
Disney Villains: Maleficent (2023) #5

Sep 1, 2023

Maleficent's appeal continues on the page as it did in live-action in recent memory and cell animation in the late 1950s. Lee's approach to storytelling maintains the ineffable visual of the story in a way that makes for one of the more memorable entries into Dynamite Comics' Disney Villains series.

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8
Disney Villains: Scar (2023) #3

Jun 21, 2023

Once again--it IS nice to see a style of visual that attempts to take an old, traditionally animated movie and bring it forward to the comics page with some sense of darkness. The old classic Disney film had such a prominent style that any deviation from it will seem like a massive change in the visual reality of The Lion King. In any case...doing justice to The Lion King is an unenviable task. Lean too far in a direction that takes no chances, and it comes across as a pointless piece of artistic product. Lean too far away from it, and its going to feel like it doesn't do justice to the original. The creative team of Scar is doing an admirable job in light of this. 

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9.6
Disney Villains: Scar (2023) #4

Jul 26, 2023

As it is largely ancillary to the movie, Brown and company don't need to have any kind of finality about the series. It ends on its way into the end of the movie. And it feels largely incomplete as a result. Given how nauseatingly close Disney animated features always tend to run to the traditional 3-Act Hollywood plot structure, its actually really cool to see a fragment of characterization presented as a complete story. Granted...its only a supplement to the movie that has inspired it, but taken on its own, this particular Disney Villains series feels like a strangely elegant mutation of something that is far more commercially digestible. 

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8.4
Do A Powerbomb #1

Jun 15, 2022

Johnson clearly has his heart in the right place with an epic heroic adventure for the mat, but there are so many ways that a story like this could fall into inadvertent comedy if hes not careful. The supernatural might feel perfectly at home in the wrestling ring. Still, it could just as quickly become very, very silly as is apparent by some of the tone that seems to overcome art and script when the whole reality of the premise begins to sink in.

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8
Doctor Mirage (2019) #1

Aug 24, 2019

The afterlife has a very distinct feel in the hands of Visaggio, Robles, and Bellaire. Given how extensively its been explored in horror and fantasy fiction, thats quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Visaggio sets up a huge challenge for herself given the promise of an adventure that mirrors into an inverted reflection of the ancient Greek tale of Orpheus descent into the underworld to rescue Eurydice. This could be a really fun journey. Given Visaggios thoughtful treatment of the opening chapter, theres every reason to think this is going to be a powerful mini-series.

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8
Doctor Mirage (2019) #2

Sep 25, 2019

Theres an attractive gravity underlying the central mystery of the series that echoes into the second issue. The flashback to earlier events robs the narrative of some of the supernatural exploration that made the first issue so intriguing. But it DOES serve to ground the story on both sides of the veil between life, death, the past, and the present. Far from compromising the appeal of Shan, her decision to do what she has to do to get into the Temple of Isis makes her that much more interesting as the series reaches its midpoint next month.

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8
Doctor Mirage (2019) #3

Oct 23, 2019

A little bit more has been revealed about the mystery, and the things seem to be going in an interesting direction. Even if this particular issue feels more of an exercise in replicating kind of magic, which has been bound to the page by more prominent publishers elsewhere. The story could potentially turn into something really special as it further mystery is revealed in the final issues of the miniseries.

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9
Doctor Strange (2018) #10

Feb 5, 2019

With the big 400th issue celebration out of the way, Waid and Saiz are now free to send Strange chasing after an old villain with a history that goes all the way back to Stranges earliest adventures between the covers of Strange Tales. Waid and Saiz make an excellent team. Hopefully Waid will have a similarly satisfying collaboration with British artist Barry Kitson when he takes over the art for issue #12.

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7
Doctor Strange (2018) #11

Feb 21, 2019

The combat that plays out in this issue isnt terribly interesting, but it IS part of a larger movement for Doctor strange that seems to be pushing the Master of the Mystic Arts in an interesting direction. Barry Kitson takes over the art with the next issue, which places Doctor Strange in the path of the world-devourer Galactus. So...yknow...things arent going to get any easier for him in March.

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7
Doctor Strange (2018) #13

Apr 24, 2019

The overall story Waid and Kitson are delivering here is genuinely fun and interesting, but the execution lacks the kind of brilliance needed to live up to some of the most cosmic forces in the Marvel Universe. Not actually bad, but its a fun story that could have been awesome if it had been framed in a better way. As the story continues next issue, Waid and Kitson are likely to draw more on character development with Strange in a way that will distract from the cosmic scope of the action. The hero is joining forces with his ex-wife Clea as the dread Dormammu waits in the shadows. With any luck, that will put the story on a firmer, more manageable footing.

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7
Doctor Strange (2018) #14

May 22, 2019

The development at the end of the story features a fascinating transformation for Galactus as the dark magics encroach around the planet devourer. Its too bad so much of the rest of the issue feels like a mad rush to arrive at. This issue really could have been much, much more had Waid simply wanted Galactus to be more of a long-term co-star in the book. As it is, hes clearly got designs for a larger story thatll wrap-up in a couple of months. Too bad. This could have been much more interesting if it was given the chance to breathe.

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8
Doctor Strange (2018) #15

Jun 26, 2019

This is the first issue of the series thats been released since it was announced that Doctor Strange would be coming to a close again. There are a few issues left before Strange exits again, but the recent announcement makes this issue feel like a bit of a passing. Dr. Strange will doubtlessly return in one form or another once the remaining series ends near the end of 2019. Hes had so many series over the years. Whats one more resurrection to a sorcerer supreme?

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8
Doctor Strange (2018) #16

Jul 24, 2019

There are four more issues left to go in Kitsons Doctor Strange. Promotion suggests that the final issue features An event so epic that it shakes Doctor Strange to the core and makes him completely reevaluate his life and role. So its not exactly going to be a boring ending. Itll be interesting to see how Waid brings the series to a close in the next four issues. The epic battle in this issue is placed in a bit of a strange moment. FOUR MONTHS from the end of the series.

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8
Doctor Strange (2018) #17

Aug 14, 2019

Doctor Strange is beginning to settle down into the background of the Marvel Universe again. Hes had his series, and like the others before them, this one too will come to an end. This issue feels like a really solid ending to the current series. There are still three issues left in the run. It will be interesting to see how dramatic momentum moves in a final three Installments after the overwhelmingly cosmic events of this issue

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9.6
Doctor Strange (2018) #18

Aug 28, 2019

Doctor Strange #18 is a sharp departure from the usual. A standalone house call involving an invading demon is such a deliciously simple concept for a Doctor Strange issue. Surprisingly, a story like this hasnt been tried more often in the long and winding history of the series. Its a great deal of fun.

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8.4
Doctor Strange (2018) #19

Sep 11, 2019

This issue and the one that came before it stand as cleverly-rendered examples of how to bring a very contemporary Doctor Strange story to the page. Without all the cosmic clutter that can grow to compromise the action. Its not terribly new stuff. Its nothing that Strange hasnt dealt with numerous times over the decades. But Waid and Saiz are showing readers just what theyll be missing when Strange vanishes again after next issue.

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8
Doctor Strange (2018) #20

Oct 2, 2019

It may not be a totally satisfying end for the series, but Stranges story isnt over. One series ends, the next begins in Doctor Strange Surgeon Supreme, which has Waid returning to write the exploits of the sorcerer in December with artist Kevin Walker. Before then, however, theres the small matter of a Doctor Strange Annual written by Tini Howard. Set on Halloween night, the issue goes on sale on October 30th.

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8
Doctor Strange (2018) Annual #1

Oct 30, 2019

Existing as it does sort of outside the formal timeline set-up between the end of the last Doctor Strange series and the beginning of the next, this is a fun, little excursion into some other time for a few quick moments of magic and horror just in time for Halloween. Howard and Pichetshote engage the Marvel universe from its darker edges in a fun glance into the shadows as the nights begin to get longer before a couple of months before the arrival of a whole new decade. 

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8
Doctor Strange (2023) #3

Jun 2, 2023

The third issue of Stranges latest series further establishes MacKays grasp over realms of magic, which hes been exploring from various angles in various ways for the past few years. MacKay has a very respectable progression for Doctor Strange. From life to death to life again, theres a definite sense that Stephen and Clea have progressed since they started hanging out with MacKay. MacKays clever blend of social drama and the weird realms of Marvel magic has served the Sorcerer Supreme quite well in the recent past. 

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8.4
Dr. Strange (2019) #1

Dec 30, 2019

This is a very enticing opening for Doctor Stranges new life. Between Strange and Night Nurse and the new life of Jane Foster in HER new series, Marvel Medical holds a great deal of promise. Medical dramas have an enduring popularity on television. Marvel could potentially lead in an exciting direction by opening a whole new sub-genre of superhero story with this title.

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8.4
Dr. Strange (2019) #2

Jan 29, 2020

This issue is a bit of a departure from the surgeon aspect of Stranges new life. The life of a medical professional might have been a bit more interesting to maintain for a second issue straight, but Waid has places to take the story. It would be kind of a major disappointment if the surgeon/magician thing ended up being more of a background detail when there are so many possibilities in Stranges duality between medical science and magic. The series continues to be fun regardless of any missed potential, however, as Waid and Walker do a solidly entertaining job of bringing Strange to the page.

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8.4
Dr. Strange (2019) #3

Feb 12, 2020

This is an interesting initial study of how Stranges life as a surgeon/magician might come together. Anchoring the story in both the hospital AND a fantasy dimension of magic gives the character a momentum that could carry the series in several different interesting directions.

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9.6
Draculina (2022): Blood Simple #4

Jul 8, 2023

Its dense, complex fun that has to do with devils and demons and things. Compare the emotional complexity of this with a longer-running series like Spawn, and it feels positively brilliant by comparison. Spawn is also dealing with very direct conflicts between angels and demons, and it isnt anywhere NEAR as engaging as what Priest is bringing to the page in Draculina. 

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8
Dune: House Harkonnen (2023) #7

Jul 25, 2023

It's a soap opera with panels. And the fact that it just happens to be in a space fantasy setting is what sells it. The political drama would be a lot more potent if it were focused on a little bit more closely. It would also feel like a closer walk with the world of the novels if the deeper philosophical aspects were explored. Once again--the authors are doing a pretty good job of being faithful to Dune...insofar as a casual fan of the series would be to enjoy, in any case. An ideal comic adaptation would tie in a bit more to the visual.

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8.4
Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1

Nov 11, 2020

All background shortcomings aside, the central story of the six characters in question feels remarkably fun, and there's enough of a contrast between each and every one of the characters to feel genuinely appealing. The fact that Garcia, Mendez, and company are able to put together as much as they are in 20 pages is quite an accomplishment.

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9.6
Dungeons & Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures (2023) #2

Apr 27, 2023

The script format of a four-part series begins to seem like something that might have fit rather nicely between a couple of episodes of the old Saturday morning series. That means that the first couple of issues would constitute a single episode. The overall feel of the story is true enough to the original series that it is a little weird being fitted around the plot structure of a couple of issues of a contemporary comic book, but it remains a lot of fun to hang out with a few old friends again.

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8.4
Edenwood (2023) #1

Nov 8, 2023

The background and world-building that are going on in the first issue. Have an incredible density about them. This is going to be kind of a challenge moving forward. The series could be remarkable if the world-building settles down a bit in the issues to come. Yes, it is. Things are whipping across the page very, very quickly. And this does deliver a really impressive "fog of war" sort of an effect on the reader. Still, it will get really old quickly if Daniel doesn't settle the narrative down at least a bit and allow the central drama to dictate the pacing of the action.

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8.4
Elvira in Monsterland (2023) #2

Jun 28, 2023

Elvira has appeared in A LOT of comics over the course of the past couple of decades. Some artists get her poise and personality. Some dont. The creative team of Avallone, Baal, and Pereyra might be some of the better people to work with the character over the years. The second issue of the current series is silly and weird, but its also perfectly lined up with the love of cinema thats made the character such an enduring pop cultural icon. The next issue will make for an interesting contrast. Elvira seems to have popped up inside An American Werewolf in London (1981). Early 1980s horror? That should be fun...

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9
Elvira in Monsterland (2023) #3

Jul 22, 2023

Next up: Kaiju. Thatll be fun. (Gamera would be particularly weird in the context of the series.) Regardless of how long the miniseries is going to be, theres little question that itll feel like its ending at least a bit too soon. The character of Elvira has been looking for this kind of opportunity and story for at least a couple of decades, whether she realizes it or not. 

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9.6
Elvira in Monsterland (2023) #5

Oct 18, 2023

Elvira seems to have made a very successful leap from her long-running 1990s indie comics series to a very steady contemporary run with Dynamite Comics. Having survived another series, Elvira will take on the xenophobic mind of a twisted little racist guy who just happened to write some very phenomenal and hugely influential horror as Elvira meets H.P. Lovecraft. The current page-and-panel adventures of Elvira continue to feel like a natural progression for the Mistress of the Dark as she continues a longstanding relationship with the comics page. 

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9.6
Exorcists Never Die #3

Jun 28, 2023

Ellen and Syd just defeated Gluttony. Next month, its on to Greed. THAT is something thats been echoing around the margins of the series since the first issue. Its going to be one heck of a dragon to try to slay as the stakes get just a little bit higher in a series thats proving to be a lot cooler than the basic premise has any right to be. The third issue was a solid mix of jarring action and deep psychodrama. If Orlando and company can hold onto it, the series could be one of the better debuts for 2023. 

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8
Exorcists Never Die #4

Jul 28, 2023

Envy is next. There are quite a few ways to play out a conflict with the abstract entity of Envy, but only a few of them are actually going to feel all that interesting. Envy can make people do some very, very vicious things, but Envy in and of itself isnt really a very powerful force without someone to work through. Orlando is going to have a hell of a time framing the conflict on the same sort of heroic level that hes managed with the other sins thus far.

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9.6
Exorsisters #4

Jan 23, 2019

The sisters open the issue in an alley and end it swimming in darkness. Their journey continues. Boothby and Lagac have something that feels effortlessly unique here. This is a great accomplishment as the urban fantasy genre has been tread quite heavily by pop fiction in recent years. Cate and Kate are a lot of fun to hang out with for 30 pages per month.

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9.6
Exorsisters #5

Feb 20, 2019

Having finally arrived at the origin of Cate and Kate, the central pulse of the series is firmly established in the fifth issue of the series. The central mystery of who the characters is a delicate matter in this type of intrigue-based series. Now the backstory is fully rendered the series get on with the business of reaching what will likely be a satisfying conclusion to this story arc.

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9.6
Exorsisters #6

Jun 6, 2020

Boothby and Lagac have a really solid feel for the rhythm and the pacing of the occult action sitcom, but the single-issue format doesnt allow for much substantial development. The first issue to be released in many months is a potent reminder of the series absence throughout the recent past. Its frustrating to have had such a long wait for this issue, but its nice to see Kate and Cate return for the first of what hopefully is another satisfying string of months.

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8
Exorsisters #7

Jul 1, 2020

Leading-off towards more information about Cate and Kate and their lives. Boothby has been cautious about slowly revealing their backstory in the course of a series that feels like it's still only just getting going about seven issues in. Boothby and Lagac' are working at a satisfying pace with nothing but room to expand as the series continues into what will hopefully be a long run. Cate and Kate are genuinely interesting people. Boothby and Lagac have managed to build a powerful emotional connection from them in seven slim issues.

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8.4
Exorsisters #8

Jul 29, 2020

The mystery of Cate and Kate has been gradually lifting throughout the series thus far. There's a danger in starting any protagonist in the shadows. Once they become revealed in greater detail, they might come across as being a lot less intriguing. To Boohtby's credit, Kate and Cate are actually MORE appealing now that they've had eight issues to inhabit. 

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9.6
Exorsisters #9

Aug 28, 2020

An issue of Exorsisters goes by WAY too fast. The light comedy of the series would make it exceedingly easy to binge. Still, Boothby has a very sharp sense of classic comic book hero characterization about Cate and Kate that they feel much more substantial than the nine issues that they've appeared in thus far. The best characters in comics have a way of lingering between chapters in a way that intensifies their charm in the space between one installment and the next. Boothby's managed that charm with deft heart in nine issues of Exorsisters.

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8.4
Exorsisters #10

Oct 7, 2020

The events at issues end call into question exactly how the series might continue. Boothby and Lagac have developed something really, really enjoyable with Cate and Kate. With any luck, there will be more issues on the horizon. The unique horror-comedy world theyre bringing to the page has a lot of potential. With just a bit more work, the series could turn into something big and expansive, with the two title characters at the center of something much more complicated than what Boothby and Lagac have explored thus far. 

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7
Extreme Venomverse (2023) #5

Jul 25, 2023

It's remarkably strange how far things have come from the early 1990s. There used to be an arrow where the only real variants were on the covers. Shoot ahead a few decades, and now there are countless variations of nearly every major superhero and villain. Extreme Venomverse has been a weird exploration into this on the verge of the symbiotes 40th anniversary this coming January. Its been a weird journey. Some of it's been fun. Some of it has just been strange.

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8
Fables #159

Jun 30, 2023

Loughridges color palette feels very sylvan. The light and dark greens and the Earth tones give the issue a feeling of calm. There's enough shadow in and around the dialogue that it never runs the risk of feeling garishly overpowered. All too often, fantasy doesn't work the mundane effectively enough to make the magic seem wondrous. Willingham and company are doing a great job of modulating the fantasy.

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9.6
Fairlady #2

May 15, 2019

The fusion of genres seems to improve both of them. The nauseating world-building and constant drone of backstory that so dominates the high fantasy genre fades-out in the rigorous structure of the detective murder/mystery. The monotony of the milieu of the down-on-his-luck gumshoe detective is freshened-up by the magical fantasy setting. The greatest weaknesses of both genres seem to fade-out in the fusion. There's brilliance in the single mystery per issue format as well. Readers can jump in at any chapter, which isn't something typically found in the fantasy genre. It's the type of fusion that could find an audience not ordinarily interested in dungeons, dragons or sorcery.

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9.6
Fairlady #3

Jun 19, 2019

Schirmer and Balboni have only begun to scratch the surface of a very, very exciting, and idiosyncratic fantasy world. Jenner is given a bit more depth in a story that finds her contrasted against legendary barbarian warriors with basic skills far more advanced than her own. Shes dwarfed by legends but still manages to remain the most interesting character in her own book. Jenner is making quite an impression in her first three issues.

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9.6
Fairlady #4

Jul 17, 2019

Schirmer and Balboni blend genres in a moody comedic mystery that feels quite distinctly unlike anything else available right now. Jenner and her friends fuse well with the monthly comic book format once more. The episodic nature of a monthly comic book is perfectly grafted to yet another fun excursion into another world.

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9.6
Fairlady #5

Aug 21, 2019

Things have gone very, very badly for Jenner in this issue. The dive into the darkness this issue shows a willingness to vary the mood and tone. To show a real progression in Jenners long-range character development that could be quite dynamic over time. The challenge here might be keeping things fresh over the very, very long-haul as so much seems to be happening for the young Fairlady in such a brief time. The series appears to be rounding-out the first half of its first (of hopefully many) years very dynamically. 

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9.6
Fearless (2019) #1

Jul 24, 2019

The issue is appended with some of the women involved in the book. Its an appealing package that would work exceedingly well as an ongoing series. The Marvel Universe is populated by fascinating women who would be all kinds of fun in little bite-sized narratives placed together in a single issue like this.

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9.6
Fearless (2019) #2

Aug 21, 2019

As with the previous issue, Fearless #2  ends with Q&A with some of the women involved in making the comic book. The Q&A at the end of the book was particularly effective for The Unstoppable Wasp. It's a nice way to round-out an issue of this series as well. The behind-the-scenes stuff helps tie-in some of what's being presented in comic book format with a bit of a social discussion at issue's end. It's too bad that Fearless has been designed as a mini-series. Popular in a bygone era, the multi-story anthology comic book still has great appeal in an issue that is over WAY too soon. 'There's no reason why this 'can't be an ongoing series is there?

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8.4
Fearless (2019) #3

Sep 25, 2019

Theres only one issue left to go in the mini-series experiment. The anthology series was a major staple format for comics in their early days. It works strikingly well, especially in an era of high-priced individual comics. $5 for 20+ pages might appeal to more people if the issues in question had more than a single chapter to offer potential readers.

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9.6
Fearless (2019) #4

Oct 23, 2019

The final issue of Fearless wraps-up what really should be the first in several such series. Theres a lot of great female talent drawn-into working with Marvel. Fearless has been an excellent opportunity to get a concentrated look at all the women working with the company. And some of the characters who might otherwise get overlooked. Sadly, anthology series just dont sell as well as they had in earlier eras, and this sort of thing is likely to exist as a bit of trivia in the long and winding history of a company that has come to dominate the pop-cultural landscape. 

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8
Fence: Redemption #1

Jun 7, 2023

Pacat and company continue to craft an appealing story with a fun group of characters. Its too bad that the fencing aspect of the story isnt a little more integrated with the ensemble drama. Its the first issue of a new Fence series, though. Pacat has plenty of time to get into it in the months to come. Its the beginning of a new training camp. Things are going to feel a bit stiff and awkward early on.

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9.6
Fight Girls #1

Jul 14, 2021

While this sort of thing HAS been tried before over the years, Chos approach to it is refreshingly simple. The dystopian future world in which it is set gradually bleeds in around the corners of the page. The clean lines, bright colors, and fast pace of the comic make it feel almost iconic right out of the gate in the series first issue. The test here for Cho is going to lie in keeping the remaining three challenges in four chapters of the series from being repetitious. Hes established a pretty tight format. If he veers too far from that format, it loses some of its purity. If he sticks too closely to it, it could get stale by the end of the second issue. 

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9.6
Fight Girls #2

Aug 11, 2021

A second challenge is completed in the second issue. The basic format appears to be one challenge per issue with a big finale in which the implications of the intrigue come to the fore. Its a fun idea for a series that still has a chance of delivering the unexpected. A format that feels as simple and regimented as Fight Girls has plenty of room for sudden changes to come out of nowhere because the basic narrative rules that Cho has set up seem so totally rigid and inflexible. Itll be interesting to see what Cho does with this as the series reaches its midway point next month.

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9.6
Fight Girls #3

Sep 15, 2021

As the series progresses, its apparent that. Cho is lining things up for an essentially political cloak-and-dagger wrap-up in the fifth issue. The pacing has been maintained in a way thats come really, really close to being repetitious, but Cho has done a really, really good job of keeping it interesting throughout. So much of the appeal in the series has proven to be the repetition. Rarely has a sport-like series worked this well while keeping so close to the game-by-game nature of an athletic competition motif.

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8
Fight Girls #5

Nov 8, 2021

Cho and Richs work has been a really primal exploration thus far. As anticipated, the final issue appears to be a big wrap-up after the final competition. All that cloak-and-dagger drama in and around the edges of everything will likely form the center of everything. The central focus of the series is now completely out of the way. The series has been so very dedicated to the competition that it will be interesting to see an entire chapter focussed on political intrigue.

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8.4
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville (2023) #1

Sep 12, 2023

Starer, developed a really interesting concept and a fun cast of characters that fit into a potentially interesting premise.

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9.6
Fire and Ice (2023) #1

Aug 5, 2023

Willingham and Manco are working with something far more technically accomplished than what Bakshi managed with the original film. Theres great thematic substance to Willinghams script that also seems a great deal denser than what rested at the heart of the 1983 film. If they meet success in the prequel, maybe Willingham and Manco can do something about an adaptation of the movie as well.

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10
Fishflies (2023) #1

Jul 12, 2023

Fishflies inhabits a chillingly poetic narrative space. Psychological horror twists into something far more supernatural and deeply unsettling as the story progresses. Above it all, Lemire does a strikingly good job of bringing across the uniquely strange relationship between Franny and the dying man. Their interaction exists mostly in silences and unspoken words. And there is SUCH a profound sense of stillness about the horror right up until that final page. Lemire takes such a hard turn in that final panel of the first issue...it will be interesting to see where he takes it in the final five issues. 

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8
Flash (2016) #792

Feb 8, 2023

With things moving as quickly as they are, the One-Minute War could easily continue for the rest of the year without feeling like its getting tired. Each issue seems like its moving along with such a satisfying celerity. Theres no reason why the story should have to speed up to get to its inevitable resolution when a simple raid behind enemy lines can be as satisfying as it is in issue #792. Its not anything new, but Adams and company make it feel fresh anyway.

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9.6
Flash (2016) #793

Feb 22, 2023

With so many characters to be juggled in and amidst the central conflict, its some kind of miracle that Adams and company manage to keep it all together in a way that feels at all coherent, let alone...fun. The multi-generational Flash team is unlikely to continue working together forever, but Adams and company make it all so enjoyable that its difficult to imagine the current incarnation of the hero working any other way. Its just too much fun like this.

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9.6
Flash (2016) #794

Mar 8, 2023

Given Adamss treatment of the ensemble, its not hard to imagine the current Flash series splitting off into a couple of different titles that would have a chance to focus on a couple of different Flashes. It wouldnt be the strangest thing thats ever happened. Adamss writing certainly HAS found the right appeal for just about every character in the ensemble. Adams, Dias, and Guerrero are developing an entertaining dynamic for every hero in the book. The villains scarcely have any time to make much of an impact, but it really doesnt matter. The Flash family is interesting enough to carry the title.

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8
Flash (2016) #795

Mar 22, 2023

The interaction between the Speed Force and Einsteinian physics has always been at least a little tenuous. Exactly what it is that Adams is doing here is a little silly, but the drama in the ensemble holds it all together remarkably well, even in the absence of any menace on the part of the villains. Given everything that Flash #795 has to contend with, its kind of impressively coherent.

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7
Flash (2016) #796

Apr 5, 2023

One way or another, it all gets resolved. The sinister-looking villain does what sinister-looking villains do. The cool-looking hero does what the cool-looking hero does. Theres a combat. Theres a resolution. Things have shifted a bit by the end of the issue, but that much is to be expected when things move as quickly as they do in a story like the One-Minute War.

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8
Flash (2016) #797

Apr 26, 2023

The journey into a deeper darkness may be coming with the next couple of issues. Granny Goodness always had a potential for greater darkness than what truly managed to hit the page before. Adams appears to be moving things in the direction of some very seriously weighty drama in the issues to come. It may lack the crazy energy of the huge group dynamic of the past several issues, but the story thats emerging here does seem to be entering into promising territory.

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8.4
Flash (2016) #798

May 9, 2023

The Flash has dealt with so much over the decades. Its a natural place for him to find himself in as he approaches the big 800th issue milestone in the near future. Adams and company will have their work cut out for them in trying to make it all feel new. Flash has been across time and space so many times in ways that have really shaken the DC Universe. Its going to be difficult to do it in a truly new way.

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9.6
Flawed (2022) #1

Sep 29, 2022

Its an impressive opening issue. As a hero, Gem is just really, really cool. Shes somewhere between Batman and the Punisher, but something far darker and badass than either of them had managed. As a whole, Flawed is deliciously over-the-top. Its urban horror action on a level that feels powerful enough to launch its own franchise. With any luck, the right people see this, and it takes off.

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7
Flawed (2022) #2

Oct 27, 2022

The Egyptian background of the character DOES compromise the mystery of who she is a little bit. Brown and Prenzy might have run the risk of revealing too much about their hero too quickly, but theres more than enough appeal for the time being to keep the momentum going into the third issue. As presented in the second issue, the villains that Gem is dealing with dont seem all that interesting, which could prove to be a problem later on, but theyre still in the background of the action for now.

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9.6
Flawed (2022) #3

Nov 30, 2022

The issue closes out with a letters section and a very cool little essay on superheroes and mental health written by Professor Julian C. Chambliss of Michigan State University. Chamblisss essay doesnt connect directly to the rest of the chapter, but its an enjoyable, little thought-provoker that feels right at home in an issue featuring a hero who is also a psychotherapist. There isnt a whole lot in the essay thats all that insightful for people already quite familiar with superhero stories, but its a really intriguing addition to the end of the issue. 

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9.6
Flawed (2022) #4

Jan 4, 2023

There isnt much in the substance of the actual story thats terribly new or inventive, but Brown and Prenzy are bringing it all to the page with such distinct style that Flawed makes an immense impact on nearly every page, both in art and script. Flawed is a dark and slickly appealing place, but it keeps all of the horror close enough to the panel to maintain a lucid perspective on the brutality thats being continually sliced and pounded into the page. At the rate Brown and Prenzy are going, theyll need to let up on the darkness a little if the series is going to maintain for much longer.

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9
Future State (2021): Catwoman #1

Jan 20, 2021

Future State may have had potential for some sort of a grand design that failed to materialize. Still, Ram V and Otto Schmidt take it in an interesting direction that could turn into something starkly appealing if everything comes together in the second issue. A classy futuristic costume seems to fuse a couple of different eras of Catwoman into a single image. The glittery darkness of an oppressive Gotham City in the background on a high-speed rail, the first issue of the two-part series definitely has pieces to be something special. Given the right reception, this version of Catwoman could even be worthy of her own series.

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7
Future State (2021): Catwoman #2

Feb 17, 2021

Theyve been thrusting contemporary characters into dark futures for decades. This particular vision of Catwoman isnt terribly interesting. Its kind of fun when its not distracted by Selinas boyfriend, but it lacks enough vision to make much of an impression beyond the basic premise. Its fun, but the need to tell a compelling action story shouldnt override the need to add something to the legend of a character who has been around for the better part of a century.

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8.4
G.I. Joe (2019) #3

Dec 18, 2019

The third issue in the series casts a closer look at Roadblock. Hes an interesting character, but prying the narrative away from the drama with Scarlet that had been so interesting in the first couple of issues is problematic. Allor has the opportunity to work with an ensemble as large as the G.I. Joe franchise. Its challenging to maintain a feeling of continuity in an ensemble this big. If Allor can keep the ensemble tight in the issues to come, he and Evenhuis might really have something interesting on their hands.

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7
G.I. Joe (2019) #4

Jan 5, 2020

This issue provides some key background on Cobra while also moving the plot forward as political intrigue begins to emerge. As an early chapter in the series, Allor and Walter have delivered a solidly entertaining fourth issue. The overall momentum of the serial still hasnt quite reached dramatic equilibrium as the full reality of the villains still havent been brought to the page yet.

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8
G.I. Joe (2019) #5

Feb 12, 2020

Allors tour through Cobra totalitarianism continues to remain thoughtful as it reaches the end of its first half-year. With the fifth issue, he introduces a revamped group of Dreadnoks that have animalistic valor about them appealing enough to carry a title all their own. Allors crafted a fun tour through a mutation of the decades-old G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero property pioneered by Lara Hama in the 80s. Nearly every character hes introduced would work well in his or her own series. The challenge moving forward is going to lie in keeping the overall rhythm of the serial from getting lost in so many individual characters.

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9
G.I. Joe (2019) #7

Aug 20, 2020

This is easily the best issue of this new G.I. Joe series. The drama crawls stylishly across the page while casting a glance at a portion of the military experience thats not quite glamorous enough to make it to page or screen all that often. The issue ends with a list of places to look for crisis intervention, mental health, and awareness resources. Anyone who needs this information can find it elsewhere. The informations presence at the end of this issue is very reassuring, though. Theres so much available for those really suffering the way that Scarlet is this issue. 

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7
G.I. Joe (2019) #8

Sep 10, 2020

Allor has been bouncing around a hell of a lot in his new dystopian G.I. Joe series. While hes making a solid case for a whole line of comics set in the world hes creating, the series itself hasnt built-up enough momentum to feel terribly coherent as a whole. Its all awash in so many different moods and so many different sub-genres of action fiction. Allor doesnt seem to have much of an eye towards the bigger picture in his particular brand of G.I. Joe, but theres still plenty of time to bring it all together once all of the different moods have played through the opening issues of the series.

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6
G.I. Joe (2019) #9

Oct 28, 2020

Allors willingness to engage the brutality of war is admirable. Theres a kind of fearlessness decision to place an urban warfare battle in a sewer with various characters dying on their way in. Its a dark, dark story. Allors G.I. Joe rebellion against a Cobra-ruled world is cleverly novel. Its too bad there isnt more of a solid overarching plot to tie all the issues together. Allor had managed some clever moments throughout the series thus far. It would be nice to feel like there was some better understanding of how each individual issue fits into the larger scope of the world that Allors creating.

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9.6
G.I. Joe (2019) #10

Nov 11, 2020

Allor and Evenhuis pack a lot of intricacy into twenty pages. All of the elements of the story come together without slowing down the action OR the drama. No one aspect slows the rest of it down, and nothing comes crashing into anything else. Whats being covered in the issue isnt anything new, but its fun to see it put to the page so well in what will hopefully be the next of many chapters for Allor and Evenhuis.

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9.6
G.I. Joe (2019): Castle Fall #1

Mar 17, 2021

Allor, Evenhuis, and Peer have done some very, very vivid work on this series. This IS a climactic issue, but it'd be really nice to see this particular creative team continue with the work it's doing here. And honestlythese three people could work together on just about an action comic, and it would be worth reading. They've got a remarkably excellent creative rapport that has served the franchise well over the course of 2020.

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8
Gargoyles (2022) #7

Jul 8, 2023

Given enough time, Weisman will have to give Demona a little more dramatic depth. Shes clearly a very formidable antagonist, but she IS somewhere near the center of the conflict, and shes going to need to show something of a sophisticated motivation behind what shes doing for the Here In Manhattan story to have a solid weight as it reaches its climax.

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8
Gargoyles (2022) #8

Jul 26, 2023

The TV series may have only run for a very brief time back in the 1990s, but there WERE 78 episodes in total. A comic book series would take quite a few issues to make up the kind of ground that the TV series did. Weisman is doing a solid job of laying out everyone in the ensemble and moving them through the motions on the page, but Gargoyles has a pretty large cast of characters, so its going to take a WHILE to get the momentum running on the series. Its nice to see it off to such a solid start, though.

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8
Gargoyles: Dark Ages (2023) #1

Jul 12, 2023

Weisman keeps the politics clean and simple as the issue opens...only allowing just as many different moving elements in the story as can comfortably fit between two covers. Given this attention to pacing and overall narrative rhythm, theres very little doubt that Dark Ages is going to be a well-designed series. Its not envisioning a whole new reality for the Gargoyles...only building on the back of the rich history of the series to bring something entertaining to the page that appears to be off to a good start.

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9.6
Gargoyles: Dark Ages (2023) #2

Aug 10, 2023

Given how well laid out each issue has been concerning the dramatic impetus of the ensemble, Weisman has a solid idea of how to keep the momentum of the series going. There is a do you love motion towards the end of the second issue, which we all catapult things into the third. Weisman has the first two issues ending in cliffhangers that feel remarkably strong, given how little story has actually made it across the page by the end of the second issue.

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8
Geiger #1

Apr 7, 2021

After-the-bomb sci-fi has been around forever. Johns has a hell of a lot of guts to try heading back into a world after a nuclear war, after all it's been through over the years. From Dr. Bloodmoney, Mad Max, to many others, the world after the bomb has been explored in a great deal of detail. Johns and Frank make a few steps in the right direction in a new series's first issue. 

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4
Geiger #2

May 12, 2021

It kind of feels like Johns was trying to fuse too much into the world of the series. The fact that this is becoming apparent only two issues in suggests that he might have done well scale it back considerably. The title character is fun. The children he runs into at chapters end are appealingly human and emotionally engaging. Everything that happens in Vegas, this issue...really should have just stayed in Vegas. The title character is interesting enough. He doesnt need the silly potential antagonist of...the king of Las Vegas. Its just goofy. 

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5
Geiger #3

Jun 9, 2021

The action hero loner is a challenging thing to finesse without seeming hopelessly trite. Tariq Geiger narrowly manages something fresh, original, and mysterious beyond the cliche of the action loner with a dark past. Having a couple of kids to look after will likely pull the narrative really far into the cliched direction that will probably end up in some pretty silly territory with the villains that Johns has carved out for the series. In light of this, its nice to know that there are enough panels in the first three issues to make for a really solid and enjoyable one-shot. There have been some excellent moments in the series thus far.

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6
Geiger #4

Jul 7, 2021

The story still feels very weak and derivative. There's something compelling about the overall sense of drama and the contrast between a couple of kids and the grizzled warrior defending them. With the contrast between the king and the hero, Geiger could develop into something powerful, but it's still only establishing the rhythm of the story and the flow of traffic between drama and action.

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6
Geiger #5

Aug 4, 2021

Johns has been working in comics for long enough to know to trust a pair of great artists. Hand Frank and Anderson a decent idea, and they can really run with it. The problem is that 90% of the issue is tied up in hackneyed post-apocalyptic narrative that really doesnt need to be there. Give the artist a bit more room to run with the basic iconography of the action, and Geiger could be AMAZING...a glowing warrior of the wastes patrolling the end of humanity with his vicious two-headed wolf? That would be very, very cool. Its too bad that Johns is trying to lay in so much else around a simple, enjoyably iconic idea. 

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8
Geiger #6

Sep 1, 2021

Johns really hasnt done anything terribly original with Geiger, but it IS interesting to see him try to develop this whole universe in which The Unnamed fight the Unknown War. Its a timeline that goes back to the American Revolution and forwards to 2050 and beyond. Its an ambitious idea for a massive American chronology. With any luck, the rest of The Unnamed is going to have a bit more originality than Geiger.

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5
Ghost Rider (2022) #15

Jul 8, 2023

Perhaps the biggest issue is the lack of definition in the entire concept of a Spirit of Corruption. What exactly it is that it's going for is kind of hard to define. And it's just sort of a blanket evil. Might as well be something a lot more abstract than that. Because the concept of corruption kind of messes with the entire idea of the demonic activity that's going on. It just clashes with it in a way that makes it a little bit more murky than it should be. Overall, however, the basic premise of this kind of pursuit of the supernatural is actually really interesting. Given the right momentum, Percy could come up with a better approach.

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8.4
Ghost Rider (2022) #17

Sep 12, 2023

More clever moments of comedy like the one mentioned in the above paragraph might have aided the issue a bit, but Percy brings both heroes to the page in a way thats a lot of fun, even in the issues darkest moments. Team-ups arent often quite this much fun. Unlike some of the best team-ups, Ghost Rider and Wolverine clearly DONT belong together, but its going to be really fun to watch them continue to work together in the course of the brief crossover series that theyre engaging in at Summers end. 

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10
Ghost-Spider (2019) #1

Aug 21, 2019

McGuire and Miyazawa have done such an excellent job with Gwen this year. This new chapter moves Gwen in a direction that allows for her to advance in a new direction of character development while staying true to the roots of the firmly established tradition of Marvel wall-crawlers.

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #2

Sep 25, 2019

Its way too easy for a heros personal life to come across as minor details in the background propping-up the next in a long line of conflicts with colorful villains. Here the personal experience that is so often treated as supporting filler detail becomes a vibrant part of the heros. As McGuire and Miyazawa manage an impressively-articulated progression in the life of Gwen Stacy one issue at a time.

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #3

Oct 23, 2019

The danger now rests on both sides of the dimensional commute for Gwen. Shes got problems back home. Shes got problems at college. Shes got problems in and out of the mask. Peter Parker rarely had to deal with this sort of thing when he was in college. Its very reassuring to see Gwen so effectively juggling everything that McGuire is throwing at her.

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #4

Nov 27, 2019

Events seem to have begun to crash-in on Gwen from both universes now. Gwen's ability to balance things between two worlds is going to live in McGuire's ability to do the same with the scripts. If McGuire can keep it interesting, everything should continue to swirl appealingly around the page. Still, this style of story could easily lose its appeal if it starts to feel like a dull and formulaic variation on the sort of spider story that's been going on for decades. 

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #5

Dec 18, 2019

After all the weird specifics of Gwen's life throughout the past several issues, it's nice to see McGuire and Miyazawa handling a more traditional spider-story. Gwen is looking good as the trap slowly snaps shut on her, and she struggles to find a way out. The series could launch in a number of different directions for her here. It'll be interesting to see what McGuire comes up in 2020. 

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #6

Jan 8, 2020

With half a year finished on Ghost-Spider, McGuire has built a very thoughtful and methodical progression to Gwens life that feels a lot less scattered than her male counterpart had been at this stage in college. Its a very clean character arc that feels every bit as hectic and crazy as Parkers days at ESU decades ago, but without all of the clunkiness of the late silver age/early bronze age storytelling. McGuires approach is a definite improvement that makes Gwen feel like that much more of a coherent person. Its quite an accomplishment.

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8
Ghost-Spider (2019) #7

Feb 19, 2020

After spending the bulk of the first half of the first year of this series establishing Gwens new life, McGuire is now allowing herself to begin to explore more of the realm of Earth 65 in a fun, little mutation of classic characters. The reimagining works well as it gives McGuire further opportunity to explore not only what makes this Gwen so interesting, but also what makes the world she comes from so unique. 

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #8

Mar 18, 2020

McGuire has built-up quite a run with Ghost-Spider over the better part of the past year. Shes a fun character to hang out with for 20 pages or so a month. Guara fits the distinctive momentum of McGuires scripts quite well. The challenge moving forward lies in keeping Gwens adventures distinct from all the other Marvel Spider titles. There are decades of history with Peter Parker. Its going to be difficult to maintain the right balance, but for now, McGuire and Guara definitely have everything in order.  

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9.6
Ghost-Spider (2019) #10

Jun 19, 2020

McGuire and Guara put together a very, very engrossing issue here that tells its own story while fitting into an engrossing ongoing saga. Somewhere in the midst of everything else, McGuire is giving Gwen a much more gradual and nuanced walk with her version of the black costume than Spider-Mans editors allowed themselves back in the mid-1980s. In addition to everything else, its that much more satisfying to see Gwen going through some of what Peter did decades ago with the singularity of vision afforded a single author. 

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9.6
Giant Man (2019) #2

May 29, 2019

The second part of a two-part series, Williams Giant-Man is going to be kind of easy to overlook. Its a marginal story in a much larger War of the Realms event featuring heroes who arent exactly popular. Williams has really managed something witty and sharp in the series thus far, though. Its too bad that four humble giants will likely get lost in the mix of a massive multi-series crossover. This is actually a really fun story.

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8.4
Giant Man (2019) #3

Jun 12, 2019

Castiello's art strikes the right balance between dramatic moments of dialogue and aggressive fight scenes. The script allows him to move pretty fluidly between both in a fantastic setting that glides between the concerns of the four heroes and the danger of what they're trying to do. The fantasy feels very earthbound. The grandeur of a towering castle of ice in the middle of Florida could have been framed with a bit more of a sense of fantasy that Castiello manages, but the flow of the drama and the action might have suffered. Williams had a very definite idea of how the rhythm of the story needed to be approached. Castiello was wise to follow that rhythm without attempting to frame too much of the visual immensity of ice giants in a final show-down in Florida. That being said, it's too bad that there wasn't more time to explore the fantastic visual potential of the story.

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9
Goddess Mode #2

Jan 16, 2019

Theres so much about this issue that continues to feel very electrifying as Quinn and company bring the world of Goddess Mode into full view. The distinct blending of Matrix-style 1990s pop cyberpunk with Midsummer Nights Dream fairy world has a lot of potential. The world-building and character rendering in this issue is a lot of fun. Itll be interesting to see how Quinn adjusts once the background of the world is fully established in issues to come.

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9
Goddess Mode #3

Feb 13, 2019

Quinns got a lot going on in Goddess Mode. The ground level of the series might feel like The Matrix of superhero comics, but this would be a pretty superficial read of what Quinn and company are doing here. By drawing Price into a world of superpowers and super peril, shes developing a fusion between genres thats cooly electrifying in its third chapter.

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7
Goddess Mode #4

Mar 27, 2019

On the whole, its another satisfying slide into the fantasy cyberpunk of Goddess Mode. Quinn is beginning to run the risk of falling so far into exposition that its going to completely overtake the issue. There are a few pages where most of the real estate is wholly covered in dialogue balloons.  This is perfectly fine for the development of concepts, but the visuals and the story begin to feel as though theyre sliding apart on different tracks. Hopefully, there will be a greater script/art integration in issues to come.

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8
Goddess Mode #5

Apr 24, 2019

With the origin of the fairy world firmly established, the series can now focus on actually telling the story, which it does quite well here. Quinn and Rodriguez bring visual and conceptual intensity together in a very unique story that feels special without feeling too alien. Its very much a fantasy story, but the characters in the ensemble are human enough to be more or less universally relatable as they struggle for motivation when its way too easy to give up. The issue feels a little bleak, but the emotion feels authentic enough to sell it.

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5
Goddess Mode #6

Jun 19, 2019

If the rumors are true, the DC Vertigo imprint that Goddess Mode is a part of is coming to a close. Its possible that Quinn and company werent entirely ready for the end of the series. Maybe things ended up getting rushed at the end because they didnt plan for it. If that was the case, perhaps it would have been better to lengthen aspects of the final argument into something much less final. It would have been much more satisfying if everything fell off a cliff with no resolution at all.

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8
Godfell (2023) #4

Jun 7, 2023

Astone grants the visuals a rich spectrum of color that feels somewhat immersive. It all looks good. Its too bad the story assembling around the edges of the art doesnt have a bit more momentum. Sebela and Hennessy have a really unique fantasy story on their hands. If they can manage to frame that story with just a little more focus, itll go a long way towards making a classic. 

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8
Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons (2023) #1

Jun 22, 2023

The decision to hammer in the ancient seafaring atmosphere of the series with multiple stories might actually be a rather clever one. Its all well and good to set a monster story in the golden age of piracy, but once Godzilla shows up, he pretty much takes over the book. Winding a few different narratives into a single story allows the creative team much more time to establish the ancient nautical end of the story before everything gets coated in kaiju. If youre really going to fuse kaiju and piracy, youre going to need to focus on the piracy first.

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9.6
Gospel (2022) #1

Nov 15, 2022

The story of stories is one of the more difficult things to maintain. Things can fall all too quickly into a nebulous territory as various plot elements begin to fall apart under their own weight. Morris has set up quite a job for himself, keeping everything in play without having plot elements crash into each other, but the first issue is clearly moving in the right direction to lead into interesting territory in the chapters to come.

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7
Green Arrow (2023) #3

Jun 30, 2023

Green Arrow is regaining some footing in the course of things. Its nice to see that happen, but Williamsons series seems far too connected to Green Arrows earlier exploits to feel like its truly exploring new territory with the character. Throwing the character into a strange relationship with time and space is a nice step in the right direction, but Williamson needs to find something a bit more engaging if the premise is going to live up to its potential.

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8.4
Green Lantern (2023) #1

May 10, 2023

Jordan has been through many different convolutions over the decades...arguably more than any major mainstream superhero this side of Wonder Woman. Its nice to see a creative team willing to take him back to a traditionally balanced superhero format. Adams and company arent completely reinventing the character, but seeing him return to his roots feels very much like seeing Hal Jordan come back to Earth one more time.

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9.6
Green Lantern (2023) #2

Jun 14, 2023

Adams and company take a well-balanced approach to Hal and his life. Hes a sharp guy with a hell of a lot of charisma that guides the narrative gracefully from the beginning to the cliffhanger ending of another thoroughly satisfying issue. Larger concerns in and within the current plot arc will take a little while to emerge, but for now, Green Lantern is gliding quite well through all of the different angles on the life of Hal Jordan. Its nice to see Adams taking a slow and measured approach to this particular Green Lantern.

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8
Grimm Spotlight: Iron Maiden

Aug 4, 2022

Vals got some great lines in the run of the script that make her a very distinct personality. It would be all too easy for the alter ego of a superhero to get washed out in the process of an origin story. Pangburn does a very sharp job of making her a fun person to hang out with for 30 pages or so. The visuals arent perfect, but theyre strong enough to make an appealing impact.

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9.6
Groo (1998): In The Wild #2

Sep 12, 2023

In the second issue of the current series, the artist's big, flat tapestries of massive crowds of people serve a story that involves the oppressive mass of the masses in the service of commerce. The big crowd shots serve a deeper meaning in another satisfyingly simple adventure for one of the longer-lived satirical characters on the fringes of pop cultural fame. Sixty years is a long time to be working in ANY industry. Aragons' style is charming enough to maintain for another sixty years or more, though it's undoubtedly the case that this is likely to be the later period beloved artists' impressively long career. The guy IS 85. It's just cool that he continues to produce stuff with such resilient heart.

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8
Groot (2023) #3

Jul 22, 2023

Though hes clearly the center and soul of the issue, the title character serves as more of a sidekick to the guest stars, which tends to be the case with characters that dont speak clear English. Its difficult to maintain a central focus on the title character if theyre not going to allow a deeper perspective on his own articulated thoughts and emotions, but its just really nice to see him hanging out with an old hero from the Silver Age in a story set some time ago on a distant planet.

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8
Groot (2023) #4

Sep 12, 2023

Abnett is a remarkably versatile writer. Hes doing some staggeringly intricate work for 2,000 A.D. in his Azimuth series. His work on Wilds End is hauntingly still. And with Groot, hes managed a very contemporary-feeling sort of a vintage space ranger-type story. Theres a definite momentum in a traditional tale of early Mar-Vel that could gain a whole new series if Groot does as well as it should.

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7
Guardians of the Galaxy (2023) #1

Apr 13, 2023

Lanzing, Kelly, and company have plenty of time to bring the series into focus. A cowboy-heavy space western set in the Marvel Universe has plenty of potential. It just needs to find the right direction. The first issue is not without considerable visceral impact. Everything seems to be moving in the right direction. It just doesnt seem to have found the right direction by the end of the first issue. This isnt a great sign. The ensemble is good, though. The setting is interesting. The basic elements need to come together a bit more to really gain speed.

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8
Guardians of the Galaxy (2023) #3

Jun 22, 2023

The first really close look at the heart of Groot in this series seems like its in more or less the right spot. Kelly and Lanzing clearly have a very solid perspective on how to handle things. Theres a thoughtful approach to the story that feels like its trying to avoid Marvel space-fantasy cliches. The whole creative team IS coming up with something distinctly new without completely reinventing the concept of space fantasy. Its not brilliant, but its a great deal of fun, and thats exactly what Guardians of the Galaxy has always been in its best moments.

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8
Guardians of the Galaxy (2023) #4

Jul 25, 2023

The series continues to gradually coalesce as the team is gradually drawn together. Its fun to watch Lanzing and Kelly revealing aspects of events that scattered the team. Theres a sense of anticipation and build-up to the big climactic resolution, but it feels like its running the risk of totally falling apart by the time the story reaches its final issue. 

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7
Gunhawks (2019) #1

Feb 9, 2019

This Gunhawks revival  has a classy feel about it that fits right into a well-worn genre that might still have some life left in it. The anthology format of Marvels other 80th anniversary revivals is sorely missed in this issue. The issue-length doesnt feel padded-out in any way. Its exactly as long as it needs to be to get the story across, but a title like Gunhawks feels like it could really benefit from another story or two between the covers.

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9.6
Gunning For Hits #1

Jan 9, 2019

This is a very promising start to a story that will seamlessly bleed over into a number of other formats. Its not difficult to imagine this story translating well with actors - on a glowing rectangle of some sort. Moritat has done a great job of delivering Rougvies inside-the-music-industry drama to the comic book page, punctuating a very promising debut.

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9.6
Gunning For Hits #2

Feb 13, 2019

The issue wraps-up with Rougvie speaking directly to the reader in a long bit of text that provides some background on the thought thats gone into the series. Rougvies work with the creative team on coming up with a way to dynamically show the power of music on a comics page makes for reading thats every bit as interesting as whats going on in the actual narrative. That final bit of text at the end of the issue, the Spotify playlist that goes along with the issue and so much more continue to make Gunning for Hits a refreshingly deep multi-track series.

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9.6
Gunning For Hits #3

Mar 11, 2019

Once again, Rougvie, Mills and Silver put together a very novel and unique style of story to the comics page. In these first three issues, Rougvie and company have painstakingly drawn a very distinctive narrative onto the page. There might be a bit of a jarring cut between the story and the Back Matter at issues end and there might not be a clear sense of where things might be at the beginning of the next issue, but this third issue of Gunning For Hits feels nearly flawless nonetheless.

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8
Gunning For Hits #4

Apr 10, 2019

Once again, one of the more unique offerings on the modern comic book rack continues to make a one-of-a-kind impression in an issue that shuffles around the central focus of the ongoing story. Its difficult to measure the pacing of the series as Slade and Billy seem to be burning through the narrative relatively early. Billys band is already emerging to impending success, which suggests that Rougvies plans for the series will likely expand to cover the life of Mills in decades to come beyond the current era of the late 1980s.

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9.6
Gunning For Hits #5

May 8, 2019

Success and failure play in a crisp narrative stereo feel that works impressively well this issue. The build-up to the end of the issue is punctuated by a fun couple of pages that have Rougvie writing the rough copy for a total evisceration of the doomed album by a fictitious music critic. As the issue ends, its already apparent that the album is bad. Its a nice little stylistic punctuation for Rougvie to go into detail on just HOW bad it is in the narrative text at the end of the issue.

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9.6
Gunning For Hits #6

Jun 5, 2019

The first arc in the story of Martin Mills wraps-up with clever style. Theres a quick turnaround on the review of Slades album prompted by the events of the issue that serves as witty punctuation to the first six issues of the series. Rougvie definitely has something fresh here. Itll be nice to see it develop with the next instalment, which Rougvie will get to once hes finished work on a nonfiction book hes working on about the history of Rykodisc.

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3
Gunslinger Spawn #21

Jun 14, 2023

Not everything works. Some of the costuming is remarkably silly. As beautiful as it is, so much of Gunslinger Spawn #21 is so repetitious that it could have been easily edited down to half an issue. The interplay between demons and dinosaurs and time travel and magic and gunplay could really find a way to come together brilliantly, but it would take a more clever sense of thematic modulation than McFarlane is attempting. There have been moments over the course of the series thus far that seem to have been reaching for something bigger. Its consistently disappointing to see McFarlane fail to live up to the potential of the premises weirdness.

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5
Gunslinger Spawn #22

Jul 22, 2023

Although it is the case that the aggression of the 22nd issue of the series is kind of overwhelming, there clearly is a dramatic gravity thats holding it all together. Its just a bit lost in all of the action thats scratched into the page. Somewhere under the weight of all that blood and aggression lies a hell of a lot of emotion thats going to have to wait for issue #23 to really emerge.

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6
Gunslinger Spawn #23

Sep 1, 2023

Dakota comes across as a fun character in an otherwise messy issue. Given the right narrative momentum, she could become something special in her title. Time traveling. She was working with dinosaurs and wearing a ridiculous-looking hat. It all works so well in the center of the panel. Cowboys and dinosaurs could be a lot of fun under the right circumstances...particularly with a dinosaur wrangler like Dakota.

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9
Gwen Stacy (2020) #2

Mar 11, 2020

Gage and Nauck give a powerless Gwen Stacy plenty of room to move. Its a hell of a challenge to deliberately force a supporting character into the center like this. Still, Gwen has proven over the years that shes every bit as appealing a character without powers as she is in an alternate dimension as the Ghost-Spider. That being said, the real challenge for Gage in the months to come is going to lie in continuing to tell a story about an everyday high school girl growing up in the Marvel Universe. Its easy enough to wrap Gwen up in drama with her father for the first few issues, but sooner or later shes going to need to define herself a bit more. THAT could be a challenge.

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8
Hack / Slash: Hot Shorts #1

Oct 12, 2022

Seeleys work continues to have a coolly jagged indie feel about it. This may be a glossy offering from one of the biggest comic book companies in the US, but it still manages to feel like something that would have shown up at the comic shop in black and white on cheap newsprint somewhere in the late 1980s. Its a stylishly indie aesthetic that feels like it might have been unearthed a few decades ago.

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8.4
HaHa #2

Feb 17, 2021

This may be a six-issue mini-series, but it has great potential to be open-ended. The first two issues of the anthology have opened-up on a promising, new series that just might find be able to find its audience. Clown-related drama has a unique relationship with the comics page that will be interesting to see explored further so long as Image can find enough of a range in different art and story styles to keep it interesting issue after issue after issue. There are so many different directions possible for a series like this. Hopefully, Image can find enough sales to keep the series going long enough to find its potential.

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9.6
HaHa #3

Mar 24, 2021

The series feels like it could go on forever like this, with Prince telling a different clown story every issue. Haha seems interested in telling only stories that are strikingly different from each other in every way other than their darkness. The pairing of Prince and Langridge feels more or less perfect in what stands as one of the best issues in the series so far. A silent issue in any comic book series is a rarity. A silent issue in clown-based darkness feels like a more perfect match for the perfect match of talent.

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8
HaHa #4

Apr 21, 2021

The fourth in the series proves that Prince has a very clear idea of how to adjust and articulate the world of the clown in a way that can deliver a universe of diversity. Each story has been distinctly different. The challenge for Prince may lie in closing out the series with some larger sense of composition that would make it feel whole. As it is, the entirety of the six issues are beginning to feel like a weird, darkly comic fugue that flashes across the comics rack.

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9.6
HaHa #5

May 26, 2021

Haha, has had a genuinely diverse series of moods. The penultimate issue is a perfect match for the strange patchwork of stories that Prince has crafted for the series. Theres no telling what Prince might do in the interest of wrapping up his appealingly quirky, little journey in July. As ephemeral as each story from each issue has been, its going to be sad to see the final chapter saunter its way to the rack next month. Itll be a bittersweet moment for the indie rack to see this series come to an end in July. 

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6
HaHa #6

Jul 14, 2021

The entirety of the anthology series doesnt approach any kind of sense of finality, but its not for lack of trying. Prince and company manage some moments of thematic expansion as Prince covers some of the bigger themes that have been ricocheting through the series. The art team manages a few beautiful panoramic panels. The series lacks an overall sense of composition that would make it feel like anything other than a dark stumble through the kind of simple, unsullied sadness that doesnt often make it into pop fiction. Its sad. Its simple. Its not terribly compelling, though. It holds a mood perfectly. And maybe thats all it really needs to do. 

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8
Hairball (2023) #1

Apr 7, 2023

Theres a dark drama to the series that could run the risk of being really, really silly, but Kindt, Jenkins, and Jenkins are taking the subject matter very seriously...which COULD backfire in future issues, but the series premiere feels like a sharply-rendered horror drama from beginning to end. And thats a hell of an accomplishment given that its a horror story about a black cat and an adopted girl.

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5
Halloween Party (2022) #1

Oct 12, 2022

Duggan and Posehn end the issue with some suggestion of a follow-up for the holidays, which could be fun if the two writers managed to get the right kind of edge for it. With Halloween Party, the writers have nearly found something that could be interesting and genuinely fun. The current issue could have worked so much better. They would have needed to find the right hook to make all of the weirdness feel like it had some point to it.

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8.4
Hallows' Eve (2023) #4

Jun 22, 2023

It might've had a bit of a challenging start, but Hallows Eve finally feels like it's going somewhere. There's little question that Schultz and company are going to wrap this up in a way that feels satisfying enough. The series has really found its momentum just one issue before it closes out. It's a clever idea. With any luck, Schultz will have a chance to explore Janine and her powers a little bit more in the future. 

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #50

Sep 26, 2018

Anniversary issues can feel excessive and unnecessary. It can be fun when a creative team takes a look back while carefully advancing the story in a new direction. Humphries takes a different route here: just invite a bunch of people over to have fun with the character. Its a huge party. Like any good party, it gets pleasantly out of hand. (Even the Anti-Monitor shows-up.) Not everything works, and it may not be perfect, but its the perfect approach thats perfectly suited to Harley.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #51

Oct 13, 2018

Harley's title is casually cartwheeling off in an interesting direction that could break new existential spoofery beyond the accomplished works of Gerber, Giffen and Byrne.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #52

Oct 16, 2018

Its very reassuring to see a character who is both crazy and relatable. Its also reassuring to see her walk the narrow path towards becoming something other than a detriment to society. As the storyline progresses, itll be interesting to see how Harleys long term character development is going to affect how everyone relates to her, on and off the page.

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6
Harley Quinn (2016) #53

Nov 9, 2018

Harleys journey to legitimate, responsible adulthood continues. The subtle Harley-is-America aspect to the story continues to be appealing. Here Humphries continues his exploration of modern American pop consciousness trying to grow-up into some kind of responsible adulthood. Humphries attempt to address this in internet video culture within this framework isnt quite handled with the kind of sophistication hed managed in previous issues. However, its interesting to watch it continue to unfold in this issue, even when the quality falters a bit.

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7
Harley Quinn (2016) #54

Nov 28, 2018

Humphries seems to be centering the story a bit less on the title character. This being said, Harley is trying to figure out who she really is. As she searches for her own identity after supervillainy, theres added depth in Humphries focus on the lives of others she comes into contact with.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #57

Jan 9, 2019

Harleys been through a lot. In this issue Humphries and Timm have tossed the captivating clown girl onto the page at just the right angle. As this is the beginning of a multi-issue story, theres hope that the next few issues could be the beginnings of a fascinating new chapter in the heroines life in 2019. 

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #58

Feb 5, 2019

Humphries, Timm and Harley work some clever magic together for an issue with #58. The bad news is that Timm steps aside net issue. The good news is that Sami Basri is taking over for him. Basri has a solid handle on the character which should continue a very fun series as it moves beyond a remarkably enjoyable team-up with Batman.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #59

Mar 6, 2019

Humphries issues of Harley have been strangely erratic in kind of an appealing way. Traveling off into some weird Kafka fugue for 20 pages seems to fit the kind of weirdness that the title has been engaging in of late. It makes perfect sense in context even if it seems like kind of a departure from everything shes dealt with thus far a strange, little dream of an issue thats not without its charm.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #60

Apr 3, 2019

Harley really has some kind of serious breakthrough this issue.  Humphries, Basri and Sinclair bring together a really complicated world for Harley to inhabit that feels every bit as complex as Harley herself. On the surface, its a fun little sci-fi adventure, but there IS deeper dramatic energy lurking beneath the surface of it all for those who are interested in something deeper. This issue continue to exhibit the sharper elements of Humphries era of Harley Quinn, delivering a good story that works on any level a reader wants to engage it on.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #61

May 1, 2019

Seeing Harley run amok in a D&D-inspired fantasy world is a lot more fun than it has any right to be. Humphries and Schmidt do an outstanding job of bringing the world of Dark Fantasy Gotham to life with striking wit and smart drama that doesnt detract from the reforming clown girl at the center of it all. Thrust a modern character into a Medieval fantasy world may not be a terribly fresh concept for pop fiction. (Twain did it all the way back in 1889.) Humphries and Schmidt do an excellent job of making it fun anyway.

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8.4
Harley Quinn (2016) #62

Jun 5, 2019

Humphries run on Harley Quinn continues to gracefully convulse through story elements that really have no business working. Nothing about Harley and her supporting characters necessarily has any reason to develop into anything more than a silly, little exercise in weak comedy, but Humphries manages to make Harley fun enough that its always a pleasure to hang out with her for 20 pages a month. Her two-issue glide through fantasy has turned out to be a lot of fun.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #63

Jul 3, 2019

Above all, Humphries and Schmidt handle a challenging subject with heroic looseness.  Theyre so wildly open to comedy, tragedy and everything else that theyre able to integrate this issue with a larger plot arc in her own title while gracefully shoving the last couple of pages into the Year of the Villain with all the subtlety of a giant wooden mallet. It doesnt sound like it SHOULD work, but it sure as hell does. Harley is going through a lot right now, but shes in good hands.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #64

Aug 7, 2019

Somewhere in the midst of the issue, Harley makes bitter mention of crossover events that everyone complains about, but everyone still buys. Humphries is having fun with a bad crossover that hes clearly been cornered into. Its really satisfying to see Humphries manage to make the crossover fit so well into the ongoing drama of Harleys life. It all comes together so perfectly that it would have practically have had to have been planned by some sort of evil super-genius looking for the only way he could possibly wrangle the anarchic energies of a slowly-reforming clown-girl psychopath

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #65

Sep 4, 2019

The degree to which Humphries' story works on multiple levels may suffer a bit this issue. The physical action of the issue takes a backseat to a conversational drama that is satisfying in its own way. Without holding a great deal of appeal for anyone who would be interested in the issue on an action/adventure level. This isn't a serious problem as the story is totally engrossing on a dramatic scale.

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9
Harley Quinn (2016) #66

Oct 9, 2019

The coming changeover in Harley Quinns life accompanies a promising development in Quinns interaction with the Year of the Villain crossover event. Having fully resolved Harleys cosmic trials, Humphries and Basri allow Harley to turn her attention to the fourth wall once more. Its a natural progression into the future of one of the more consistently satisfying comics of the Year.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #67

Nov 7, 2019

Harley Quinn's first trudge through the holidays without her mother continues next month as Thanksgiving gives way to a Christmas issue. Humphries has been really deft in giving each moment in Harley's life over the past Year a very distinct sense of progression that is so often missing in long-running series. The path to reformation is now compromised by a need to recover.  Handling the loss of her mother as she has shunned offerings of great power from a couple of different angles. Harley deserves some time-off for the holidays. This issue is part of a fun excursion for Harley.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #68

Dec 7, 2019

The sudden shift from Christmas to an entirely new theme in the last couple of pages is a bit jarring. Humphries really seemed to be building up to something with the death of Harleys mom towards the end of this year. One might hope that Humphries has broader plans to deal with Harleys ongoing psychological life. One might expect that Harley might want to avoid deeper issues as they generally arent too much fun. Time will tell who wins out in the end.

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5
Harley Quinn (2016) #69

Jan 6, 2020

The series continues. Harley has come down from a hell of an adventure at the end of last year. Not every issue is going to be utterly brilliant. This one seems to be a muddle between possible high points. Harley just engaged with the cosmic end of the DC Universe before dealing with the death of her mother. Here shes loafing about with a weak joke. At least shes not hanging out with an even weaker Joker. Its nice to know that some standards are still firmly in place, even in the least inspired issue of her current series. 

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7
Harley Quinn (2016) #70

Feb 11, 2020

Its fun to see Harley roll through a parade of weird backgrounds in a variety of different stories, but this issue and the one before it are a bit of a jarring departure from the high weirdness that cartwheeled through the title in the second half of 2019. With any luck, Humphries and Basri can find that energy again in the months to come.

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6
Harley Quinn (2016) #71

Mar 4, 2020

After the death of her mother, Harleys series hasnt had quite as much impact as it had before. Harleys restless and so is her comic book...not quite finding the footing it needs to really define itself. The loose talent in the pairing of Basri and Humphries is still there, but its not quite connecting-up the way it had at the end of last year. There are a few elements in play in this issue, which could lead to something better. Time will tell if Humphries and Basri are able to capitalize on it.

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6
Harley Quinn (2016) #72

Jun 6, 2020

Harley's adventure in California continues. Any real potential for Harley exploring life in the wake of everything that's happened seems as distant as ever when it really SHOULD be closer to the center of the story. The jerkiness of the pacing could be a bit more charming, but Humphries and company don't even necessarily manage that much in another issue that is just beyond the reach of being good. The story isn't finished yet, though. Judging from the state of things at issue's end, there's one more issue that could bring recent events into sharp focus if Humphries can manage it.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2016) #73

Jun 12, 2020

Humphries and Basri give Harley a needed infusion of direction and vitality. Harleys life may still lack a great deal of direction, but shes much more in the rhythm of her own psychosis as the current storyline reaches the end of its fourth chapter. Harley might not ever find a totally well-adjusted lifestyle. Still, Humphries continues to push her in a direction that at least FEELS like its progressing to some sort of stability even though shes unlikely to ever really stabilize.

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9
Harley Quinn (2016) #74

Jul 9, 2020

Humphries has had a hell of a run on the series. Hes been working towards next months series finale for well over a year now. Harleys reformation has taken a long and gradual road with plenty of subtlety even as the narrative has sometimes jerked around haphazardly while its protagonist has been engaging in some very dark behavior. The series draws to a close next month with a big 75th-anniversary issue. Humphries will have worked on the series for two years by the time it draws to a close. Its been a nice long run.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #75

Aug 20, 2020

Humphries saw this issue coming for quite a long time, and so he'd had quite a bit of time in which to put it together. The overall feel of it feels more or less right. It would have been nice for Humphries to have had a bit more time to develop the gradual road to redemption that Harley seemed to be navigating throughout his run. This feels like a sudden tumble to an end and another beginning for Harley. One series ends, but the show MUST go on. 

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7
Harley Quinn (2021) #20

Aug 24, 2022

In Hollywood terms, its Aliens meets Suicide Squad. Its also a crossover to the Metal family of DC comics, so Phillipss work is...pleasantly derivative. Just toss a few things together and have some fun with them. Harleys march to Issue #30 of her current series is respectably enjoyable without trying to go for anything too deep. Its kind of a disappointment after the weird mix of things that found Harleys mother dying of cancer not too long ago, but its the right kind of fun.

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9.6
Harley Quinn (2021) #22

Sep 29, 2022

A revenant Harley is a really clever idea. All too often, the dead are given a humorlessness. Harley has seen death. That cant be easy, but she wouldnt be Harley if she didnt come back from it with a clear sense of humor. Theres every indicator that shes going to be just as weird and whimsical having been through the Lazarus Pit. Phillips and company have their work cut out for them. This should be fun.

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8.4
Harley Quinn (2021) #23

Oct 27, 2022

Harley is one of the few characters in mainstream comics who thrives on a wide range of different lives. So often a character has to have a firmly grounded status quo to gain the kind of momentum that lends itself to a big following. Having been through everything that Harleys been through over the decades, its getting more and more difficult to find truly new surroundings for the chaotic clown girl. Phillips and company are doing an admirable job of throwing Harley in a new direction after her own death. It will remain to be seen whether or not they can keep the momentum going into Harleys next big change. 

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10
Harley Quinn (2021) #24

Nov 26, 2022

The bomb that Phillips and company mix in at the end promises to launch the storyline in another really, really weird direction that should be a lot of fun as the series reaches its 25th issue before the end of 2022. Harley has had some difficulty finding the right equilibrium after writer Sam Humphries stopped hanging out with her some time ago. Phillips has clearly managed to find the right pulse.

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8
Harley Quinn (2021) #25

Jan 4, 2023

The funhouse clown car of the final splash page is fun. It could mean good things for the next issue if everything comes together at the right angles, but its going to be really, really difficult to keep everything from feeling indistinct. Its hard enough to keep every character distinct in a massive crossover issue. Doing so under the circumstances that Phillips is working with at the end of the 25th issue will be a real challenge.

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7
Harley Quinn (2021) #26

Jan 25, 2023

Things seem to be coming together on the overall rhythm of the post-mortem-Harley-back-from-the-dead thing. The Harley Who Laughs might be more of an interesting character if Phillips were to spend a little more time fleshing out the villain. She comes across as an abstract evil, which doesnt do her a whole lot of justice. Theres still time, though. Tensions certainly HAVE developed since the beginning of the storyline, and Phillips IS moving the conflict ahead by issues end.

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6
Harley Quinn (2021) #27

Mar 1, 2023

Phillips has good instincts for the chaos and the craziness that is Harley. Shes just not working with it in a way that would result in a well-framed plot. And maybe Harley doesnt NEED a well-framed plot, but the series is always a lot more satisfying when theres some kind of an eye on a steadier story construction than the one that Phillips has managed the past few issues. All of the right elements are clearly apparent in Phillipss work, though. Given the right momentum, she could cast Harley in really fun new directions. 

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8
Harley Quinn (2021) #28

Mar 30, 2023

From the traditional Gotham City crime war to court to community college to an encounter with an overwhelmingly cosmic entity, its a hell of a lot of ground to cover in very little time, but Howard manages to make it work. With a better connection to the script, Sweeney Boos work could really take Harley in an interesting new direction.

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