Russ Bickerstaff's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: You Don't Read Comics Reviews: 694
8.4Avg. Review Rating

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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9.6
Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Catwoman 80th Anniversary #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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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: 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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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
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
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) 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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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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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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8.4
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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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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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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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
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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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
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
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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8.4
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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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
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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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8.4
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
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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9
Heroes In Crisis #1

Sep 26, 2018

Overall, this is a great first eighth of a story. A tremendous amount of plot is delivered in 28 pages. If King and Mann can maintain the right balance, mood and pacing for the next 7 issues, this could be a very taut superhero drama with a heavy emphasis on the drama.

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8.4
Hex Wives #1

Oct 31, 2018

Its a fascinating first issue, and Blackers story has the potential to be something truly unique if it can only find the right focus. Theres a real potential appeal to empowerment in this series, with a group of women who have lost those magical abilities which define them, a corollary to how women have been marginalized for centuries. This book has the potential to gaze into the nature of that marginalization from an appealing horror-fantasy angle.

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8.4
Hex Wives #3

Jan 2, 2019

As it is a story which plays with mystery, its difficult to tell exactly where the story is heading. There is some foreshadowing that the witches will regain their full power, but it will be a long journey for them. The challenge for Blacker and company is going to lie in keeping the story interesting and compelling it such a slow pace that also plays on the frustrations of readers. Isadora cant keep forgetting things. There MUST be some acknowledgement that things are not as they appear in the pleasantly drab suburban torpor. If there isnt some quickening of the storys pulse soon, the series could start to flatline.

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8.4
Hex Wives #4

Jan 30, 2019

With Izzy serving as the center of a really interesting ensemble of ersatz witches in the middle of a very oppressive suburban bubble, Hex Wives continues to slink through the intrigue of a very interesting story. There might be some difficulty maintaining the right mix of amnesia and subjugated power in future issues, but at the moment Blacker, Andolfo and Louise have a really unique story running in the fourth issue of an engrossing series.

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9.6
Hex Wives #5

Feb 27, 2019

Tension is maintained throughout the issue until the end. With all the secrets finally out in the open, the final three pages set-up a vivid confrontation which should make for a suitably dramatic end to the series first 6 issues. Precisely where Blacker and  Andolfo take it from there is going to be interesting to see. A series so deeply entrenched in the mysteries of domestic incarceration might suffer a bit with all of the secrets out in the open unless Blacker can find something compelling for the series to transition into in issues to come.

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9.6
Hex Wives #6

Mar 27, 2019

Its a satisfying wrap-up to the initial six issues. At the outset of the series back in October, Blacker and Andolfo said they wanted to keep doing the series indefinitely. There are so many places the story could go from here, and there are quite a few mysteries revealed in the sixth issue for Blacker and Andolfo to uncover. The ensemble of witches has been introduced. From here it could get really interesting.

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8
History of the Marvel Universe (2019) #1

Jul 24, 2019

The issue ends with huge blocks of text appending Galactus story in a cramped, little cluster of pages. Giving specific citations of where many of the story elements had originated. While giving a greater sense of appreciation in the depth of whats being delivered. Arguably, the last time Marvel tried anything this comprehensive, it was The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe conceived by Jim Shooter and edited by Mark Gruenwald. That work gave more of a sweeping sense of the infinity of Marvels stories by grounding them in something that felt much more organized. The scope of this series is impressive, but it lacks the sense of the infinite that comes from a more rigidly-organized volume.

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5
History of the Marvel Universe (2019) #2

Aug 21, 2019

Its all a jumble...but then: thats the Marvel Universe. There had been noble intentions to keep it all together in a single world shared by characters, writers, artists, and editors. Far too many people were involved to make it all coherent, however. Waid and company continue to soldier on in an attempt to condense it all, but without a strong unifying narrative force, it feels like a largely disinteresting outline of events.

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3
History of the Marvel Universe (2019) #3

Sep 18, 2019

This issue feels necessary to the continuity of the series, but there isnt enough here to make it feel like much more than an exercise linking the second issue to the fourth.

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9.6
Home Sick Pilots #4

Mar 10, 2021

Much like his work on  Coffinbound, Watters scripting for Home Sick Pilots has leaned heavily into the art to tell the story. Theres a tremendous amount of trust in the artist to deliver the bulk of whats going on thats paid-off quite well in Watters work. Watters approach has been impressive. Give the artist the freedom to work on the visuals without too much dialogue, and you just might end up with something beautiful. 

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8.4
Home Sick Pilots #5

Apr 16, 2021

Ami is a full-blown superhero at the end of the fifth issue. The unique weirdness of the first five issues of the series may be complicated by the traditional superhero feel to the hero. Still, theres plenty of room for occult strangeness around the edges of the panel. The big climax to the first arc feels satisfying, though. Ami really feels like shes developed into something special in the first five issues. If Watters and Wijngaard can hold onto that, Homesick Pilots could become something truly unique in the months to come.

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9.6
Home Sick Pilots #6

Jun 23, 2021

With just the right mix of interpersonal drama, action, and supernatural horror, Watters story is gradually revealing itself to be a truly unique fusion. Wijngaards strikingly vivid art brings the story to the page in a way that fuses well with Watters scripting. There are countless potential paths that Meg and Rip could stumble through in the coming issues. Thanks to some very sharp characterization, the pair are as deeply engaging on the comics page as they are in their dialogue. 

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9.6
Home Sick Pilots #7

Jul 21, 2021

This issue shows a genuine interest in modulating mood, mode, and tone between issues that should serve the series well in the long run. Watters and Wijngaard point the pages in the direction of a chapter that allows the supernatural end of this supernatural horror to rest along the edges of the narrative. Characters are given a bit of a breather before the next chapter.

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8.4
Home Sick Pilots #8

Aug 18, 2021

Things continue to fall apart beautifully in a series that seems to know exactly where the lines are and exactly how far it can go before it crosses any of them. The story is just familiar enough that it feels comfortable without being so familiar as to feel overly derivative. The color and chaos of the visuals are just powerful enough to feel overwhelming without desensitizing the reader to the story. Its all balanced so well. The challenge is to keep it balanced as the complexity of the story intensifies. 

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9.6
Home Sick Pilots #9

Sep 15, 2021

The overall pacing of the series has been a little bit hard to gauge. Watters and Wijngaard have had a scattered amount of success in bringing together a coherent rhythm to the series, which has served it quite well in retrospect. The crazy scratchings of the story have helped to amplify its beautifully glowing weirdness. The ninth issue makes it feel like there are much bigger plans at work beyond the surface of the series.

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8
I Can Sell You a Body #1

Jan 6, 2020

The first issue of a promising new series feels like it might get cluttered really, really quickly if Ferrier doesnt slow down things a bit after the first issue. Its been a dizzying introduction to Littles life. Now its time to sink into it a bit more and explore the premise with greater depth...otherwise, this thing is going to sink beneath the weight of its plot elements. 

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8
I Can Sell You a Body #2

Jan 22, 2020

 Theres a sudden revelation at the end of the issue that things are about to get worse for Denny in a way that he couldnt hope to have anticipated. Its cute and everything, but it continues to pull the narrative in a wild, weird direction that doesnt seem like its going to allow for enough time with the central premise. Denny and his power seem very, very interesting, and the world of the afterlife in this series would be a lot of fun to explore if only Ferrier would relax and spend a little bit more time with it in the foreground of the story.

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9.6
I Can Sell You a Body #3

Mar 25, 2020

Ferrier drops romance into an already crowded thematic space for Denny Little. It wouldnt work without a very disciplined approach to maintaining the narrative momentum thats been unwaveringly maintained throughout the first couple of issues of the series. Ferrier and Kambadais keep a wild and tender dramatic horror action comedy scurrying across the pages of the third issue of the series.

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6
I Can Sell You a Body #4

Jul 8, 2020

The I Can Sell You a Body premise has so many exciting possibilities. Ferrier seems to be scratching the surface after four issues. The drama has run through way too quickly to be anything other than vaguely confusing. Ferriers four-issue story has the feel of a very impassioned and drawn-out call from a stranger dialing the wrong number. Its not that it hasnt been interesting. It just hasnt been anything that feels compelling enough to relate to.

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10
Inkblot #1

Sep 2, 2020

At issue's end, Gladd refers to the technique that he and Kubert use as the Marvel Method. It isn't. (Not exactly.) Kubert comes up with the story and draws everything in pencil. Then Gladd inks it and writes the dialogue. This results in a more thoughtful collaboration than had been used in the original Marvel Method, which largely consisted of the artists doing most of the work on a book and handing beautiful fully-finished pages over to Stan Lee, who would then clutter them up with bad dialogue. There's more of a playful integration between Kubert and Gladd for Inkblot. There's so much potential for this collaboration to casually saunter wide-eyed through magical portals that lead from one issue to the next.  

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9.6
Inkblot #2

Oct 7, 2020

With his origin well and fully behind it, Inkblot is free to engage in weird sword-and-sorcery adventure. Here it wanders in and out of the center of the panel, finally arriving at the very center of the story in a very, very big way. It will remain to be seen how Kubert and Gladd manage the series's overall flow, but the premise of a main character who fades in and out of prominence as the world tumbles around it feels refreshingly novel.

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9.6
Inkblot #3

Nov 4, 2020

Kubert's art is so appealing that honestly it just feels like she would have needed to switch the vantage point of a few panels and the issue could have been breathtaking.

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8
Inkblot #4

Dec 2, 2020

Elements introduced at the beginning of the series echo back this issue to some degree of satisfaction. Still, Kubert and Gladd opened the world very, very wide in the first issue, and it will take quite a few chapters before the full scope of the series begins to come into focus. Its been a great deal of fun thus far. With any luck, Kubert and Gladd will have many, many issues to explore the world of Inkblot. Its been great fun so far.

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9
Inkblot #5

Jan 6, 2021

It's nice to get in if you like this that's not quite as verbal as the other ones. I wanna be out in the workforce sell really benefits the series as a whole. Really interesting to see how things progress. Kubert and Gladd are doing an excellent job of modulating the energy of the series. More issues like this could help break up the exposition of the world-building that so often goes on in a series like this.

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9
Inkblot #6

Feb 3, 2021

Kubert and Gladds slow development of the central plot has finally reached a major point of crystallization. One gets the impression that the series thus far might have been a bit more satisfying if it had taken more opportunities to bring together cat and magical Seeker. However, the strangely curious nature of little Inkblots exploration HAS charmingly matched the overall temperament of a cat in ways that most series might have otherwise overlooked.

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9.6
Inkblot #7

Apr 7, 2021

Much like the cat at the center of its story, Inkblot had been popping in and out of narratives. In various places in the course of its run so far. Every now and then, the story lurches forward and gracefully pounces its way into a sudden plot revelation or plot development. It's been a bit difficult getting used to the narrative rhythm that Kubert and Gladd have been working with, but it's been a great deal of fun. The seventh issue catches Eliza AND her cat in a very endearing light that once again secures the series' charm.

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8.4
Inkblot #8

May 12, 2021

Magical fantasy fiction generally allows the reader a full vision of the scope of the magic thats being played with throughout a given adventure...whether its a tiny event that will only touch a single life or a world-shaking conflict that threatens the very existence of the universe. The energies being played with by Kubert and Gladd in Inkblot are fascinating by virtue of the fact that the central cat and its precise connection with the larger world of magic is a complete mystery. Eight issues in and the precise significance of whats going on havent quite been established. The ambiguity makes for an interesting dynamic.

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8.4
Inkblot #9

Jun 2, 2021

The orks Warden and Beatriz look a LOT like "ork-ified" analogs for the two creators of the series. Kubert's rendering of them seems a bit more cleverly intensified than her work with other characters. If they ARE putting themselves into the series, it's very cool that they would be doing so in the guise of a couple of people looking to get away from the action. They're caught up in the pull of their own story. It's hard to fault them for wanting to be a part of the world they're creating. It's been a great deal of fun so far. 

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9
Inkblot #10

Jul 7, 2021

The series maintains its wit and charm ten issues in. So many panels of the issue feel like they stand pretty well on their own in a world of endless internet cat memes. The challenge continues to be to build enough of a story around that cat to keep the story's momentum going. Kubert and Gladd are doing an outstanding job of maintaining that momentum.

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9.6
Inkblot #11

Aug 4, 2021

An ambiguity has surfaced around the edges of every panel in the series so far. The ambiguity is a really nice hook. All of the little questions that restaurant the edges of the story make for interesting thought. The cat is of the void. It is the same color as the butterfly its chasing, So what does it mean that it is able to eat that butterfly? Is it hunting down the rest of the void? Why is it drawn to the movement of something else that looks just as dark as it is? A lot of little questions pop up around the edges. Its fun.

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9.6
Inkblot #12

Sep 1, 2021

Part of what makes the epic fantasy of Inkblot so strange is the fact that it IS little more than a backdrop for the mystery of a single black cat with huge green eyes. If it werent for the cat, the story might feel a bit dull, which really isnt a problem as the mystery of the cat continues to capably drive the series in yet another issue. Kubert and Gladd are doing a great job with an odd, little fantasy series. 

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9.6
Invisible Woman (2019) #1

Jul 10, 2019

Its not often that a single issue can deliver a totally new look at a character who has been around for decades and make it feel totally natural. Waid and Iulis do a brilliant job of this in a very cleverly-crafted opening issue. A little more than 20 pages, and already it seems like Sues always been a spy. Its a very engrossing start to a new mini-series.

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9.6
Invisible Woman (2019) #2

Aug 7, 2019

Above all, Mark Waid is delivering a story that shows the Invisible Woman to be a remarkably strong female lead. Her fit in a cloak and dagger story feels so perfect that it's surprising that it's taken Marvel this long to give Sue her own spy mini-series. With only three issues left to go, Waid and Du Iulis run the risk of ending the series without really satisfying. There are so many possibilities for this type of Invisible Woman story. This series feels like it might really get going a few panels before the final page

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8
Invisible Woman (2019) #3

Sep 11, 2019

Waids Sue Richards feels pretty solid as she continues her journey into espionage here. The disconnect between the well-worn character in the traditional comics and the super-spy in Waids world feels like a really compelling parallel universe drawn in the vein of a standard Marvel comic. But it would do better to sell the premise of wholesome heroine with a shadowy background. Greater integration with the more significant Marvel history could open the character up in so many ways that Waids not quite achieving here.

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8
Invisible Woman (2019) #4

Oct 30, 2019

The series wraps the next issue with the big finale. Its been an interesting journey into a plausible corner of Sues past. Still, if Waids going to really make this feel cohesive with the rest of Invisible Womans persona, hes going to have to tie it together into the bigger picture with the Marvel Universe. Otherwise, this comes across as a rather interesting parallel universe story with an alternate version of Sue. This wouldnt be a bad thing on the whole. Itd be interesting to see this done with other heroes from the edges of the panel who turn out to have a dark side that can be explored in this sort of story.

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7
Invisible Woman (2019) #5

Nov 27, 2019

Invisible Woman-as-spy seems to have been a nice enough experiment that could prove to be that much more interesting in future outings now that Waid has established the basic premise of the series. The balance between a personality of a galaxy-class superhero interacting with strange alien life forms by day and international espionage by night seems like a fun one to explore. It hasnt been the thrust of Waids series, but now that the Invisible spy has come into full view, there is real potential for further fusion if Marvel wants to explore it in greater detail. Sue Storm is a fascinating character for Marvel-style espionage stories. Given the right fusion of spy and superhero, the characters own series could easily have the right appeal for an ongoing series. 

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9
Isola #6

Jan 16, 2019

The gradual journey that  Flestcher, Kerschl and Msassyk is pretty remarkable. The story moves slowly without detracting from its power. The slow movement locks in a sense of mystery about the world thats being presented. Once again Fletcher and company present another corner of a story that appears to be brimming with potential life resting on the horizon of the next issue.

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9.6
Jinny Hex Special (2020) #1

Dec 30, 2020

Visaggio, Melnikov, and Guerrero find a strikingly unique appeal to a relatively new character. The issue feels a lot like a pilot episode of a whole new series. Ginny and Lady Bird are great fun to follow in a one-shot that makes a very strong case for further adventures. The two characters work well together, carving out a potentially intrepid trail through the shadows of major landmarks in the DC universe.

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9
Journey Into Unknown Worlds #1

Jan 30, 2019

Marvel's Atlas Comics anthology revivals continue to show promise with Journey Into Unknown Worlds. As with the straight-ahead horror revival Crypt of Shadows from earlier this month, more than one story fits the same theme without feeling repetitious.

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9
Karmen #1

Mar 10, 2021

The opening chapter of the series doesn't have a great deal going on concerning the plot. Despite this, March manages to do a great deal more with a simple meeting between spirit and entity than most superhero comics manage in far more eventful issues. March makes a profound impact in less than 36 pages with a title character who remains an appealing mystery at issue's end.

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9.6
Karmen #2

Apr 16, 2021

March takes his time, allowing the story to develop with short bursts of exposition shooting out of casually playful visual phantasm. There isnt much going on here, but there doesnt have to be. Its just enough emotional rendering to cast a post-suicidal mood in breathtaking detail. There is a moment after a failed or abandoned attempt at suicide that feels positively serene. The living can only see that mood from the realm of the living. March casts that exact same mood quite vividly from a whimsical post-life perspective. Its deliciously dreamy.

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10
Karmen #3

May 12, 2021

There are only two issues left to go in the series. The story is wrapping up, and Cata...well...shes really turning out to be a joy to hang out with on the comics page. Too bad shes dead and on her way to reincarnation. Theres little question that March designed this to be the way that the story would play out. Initially, the title angle is the most fascinating part of the series...and then her assignment turns out to be really, really cool just as it becomes apparent that theres no turning back...shes definitely going to be dead in two issues or less.

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9.6
Karmen #4

Jun 9, 2021

With only one issue left, its difficult to tell where March might be leading for the final issue. Cata is definitely drifting towards a conclusion of some sort, but its difficult to imagine her simply gliding off into the beautiful oblivion that awaits her beyond the last panel. In focussing on a character who has already committed suicide before the first issue even starts, March has crafted a serial that feels every bit as unpredictably uncertain as the world on this side of the comics page. Marchs art and story are a haunting amplification of life beyond the panels.

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10
Karmen #5

Jul 7, 2021

Guillem Marchs Karmen has been so deliciously idiosyncratic. Everything about the world delivers a very specific personality to the panel, from the strange specifics of the afterlife to the gentle curving of straight architectural lines around the edges of the action. Its all so very, very beautiful, delivering a mood to the comics page that is rarely attempted and almost never accomplished. March has done precisely one hell of a job with Karmen.  

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9.6
Loki (2019) #1

Jul 17, 2019

So Lokis cool, The creative team is cool., The team is VERY COOL. No creative team lasts forever, though. Its hard to imagine Loki working quite this well with anyone else. But in the opening installment, Kibblesmith and Bazaldua give this series the kind of appeal that makes it FEEL like anyone could pick up the title and instantly make it their own. Lokis just that adaptable. But with any luck, Kibblesmith and Bazaldua will be around for a long, long time. This is a fun opener.

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10
Loki (2019) #2

Aug 14, 2019

Kibblesmith and Bazaldua have established an appealingly firm foundation for Loki-as-protagonist in the first couple of issues of his series. A man who is lost and trying to find himself through weird, casually fantastic adventures is a fun guy to hang out with once a month.

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9.6
Loki (2019) #3

Sep 11, 2019

Rather than working on a small canvas or a large canvas for his narrative walk with Loki, Kibblesmith is manifesting a story on several different interconnected canvasses. That range from the ridiculously cosmic to the intimately personal. Its going to be a difficult dynamic to maintain in future issues. Theres a lot of traffic to coordinate between different story elements. That are going to need to come together at some point. Kibblesmith has shown a great deal of talent so far. Itll be interesting to see where he takes the series next. 

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9.6
Loki (2019) #4

Oct 9, 2019

Kibblesmith and Bazaldua guide Loki through an in-depth analysis of his history and personality as he engages in a search for his destiny that seems to be rendered in fragments that are so scattered that even he isnt terribly well-equipped to understand them. The initial story arc is fun and breezy while getting substantially into the depth of human understanding through the thoughts and feelings of a god. It continues to be a very sharp journey.

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9.6
Loki (2019) #5

Nov 22, 2019

So maybe he gave Wolverine a verbal tic back in the old west. He may have done more than that. Kibblesmiths all-too-brief walk with the god of mischief has cast everything in the Marvel Universe in a whole new light. He can affect events in the past now. Who is to say that he hasnt been between the panels? Causing weird, little problems and inconsistencies in the continuity over the years? Its a fun, little gift that Kibblesmith and Loki are handing the Marvel Universe at the end of a very short series.

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6
Love Romances #1

Feb 22, 2019

The comics page could hold so much more than traditional romance in ways theatre, cinema and video could never touch. It's too bad Paniccia didn't try something more daring in a one-shot anthology. It's only one issue, so it doesn't actually have to make money. Why not do something wild and breathtaking with it? What could possibly be more romantic than that?

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4
Lucy Claire: Redemption #1

Dec 11, 2019

With decent art and solid delivery of a standard action plot, Redemption has a chance to do something fun. Lucy seems like she has the potential to be an interesting character. Future issues will give her and the world in which she lives the opportunity to start to distinguish themselves as something truly original. This first issue isnt delivering anything terribly impressive, though.

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8
Lucy Claire: Redemption #2

Jan 15, 2020

The gradual increase in action in the series gives Upchurchs tale a definite direction. Though its difficult to imagine that there will be too many surprises that run through the rest of the series, theres enough appeal between Lucy and her companions to carry the series through to its inevitable resolution. This issue Upchurch adds the concept of a hierarchy of levels (a presumably sub-species) within the werewolf community, which will also add a rising tension to the adventures that lie ahead. Upchurch clearly has crafted enough elements into the story to keep it interesting for the remaining issues in the series.

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9
Lucy Claire: Redemption #3

Feb 19, 2020

For all its successes this issue, its still a tale like so many others in heroic fiction. There is little doubt that Lucy will find her way the way all lost heroes do. The overall story is still kind of weak and derivative, but Upchurchs fusion of plot and visuals makes another journey with a weary hero feel fresh around the edges. She may not have seemed like much at the beginning of the series, but by the end of the third issue, Lucys beginning to feel like someone special.

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8.4
Lucy Claire: Redemption #4

Mar 25, 2020

It's nice to know that Lucy Claire has a Buffy-like lineage of Werewolf hunters in her background, but the deep background of Lucy's world isn't where the strength of Upchurch's story lies. Lucy's personal journey and the paths of those who get pulled into her life are much more interesting than the background, cast as they are into a world of bewildering danger immersed in darkness. Focussed as it is on Lucy Claire and her friends and her recent checkered past, the fourth issue of the series plays to the series' strengths.

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6
Lucy Claire: Redemption #5

Aug 5, 2020

Upchurch has everything in the right order to tell an engaging story, but its not put together on the page in a way that would make it work. Its entirely possible to take this series, cut it in half, and reveal a really aggressively impressive story. However, its just not coming together in this fifth issue. Lucy Claire is very cool and stylish. Given the right angles, she could be a part of a much more interesting story.

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10
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #1

Jul 21, 2021

So...the series is already 1/3 over. It's a bit difficult to accept this, given how good the opening issue is. Clarke, Bennett, and company have done such a good job of putting together a genuinely engaging fusion between satire, emotional drama, and traditional superhero story that it seems a bit tragic that it's only going to be around for a couple more months.

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6
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2

Aug 25, 2021

The crazy energy of M.O.M. could be harnessed in a way that would make for a more appealing mini-series. Still, the narrative feels like its scattered all over the place. From a misunderstanding about a crime to life as a minor celebrity under the mask. To establishing a heros life WHILE establishing a big villain to mirror her. If it were all framed more compellingly, it could really turn into something fascinating. The opening issue really felt like it WAS going to be THAT. The second issue feels like a bit of a mess.

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9.6
Man-Eaters: The Cursed #1

Jul 14, 2021

It would have seemed like there wouldnt have been a whole lot of ground for Cain and company to cover after the first series. Rather than trying to repeat the successes of the first series, Cain. And company are valiantly leading Maude in a totally new direction as she navigates her way through adolescence. The summer camp format might have been a bit more cleverly placed in a quick-moving series scheduled to run the length of a single summer, but every other aspect of the series seems to be more or less perfectly placed at the end of the first issue.

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10
Man-Eaters: The Cursed #2

Aug 18, 2021

Cain and company have been sculpting a stunningly distinct, little narrative in Man-Eaters that feels quite unlike anything else on the comics rack. The unique blend of narrative, sequential art, and graphic design find an engrossing pacing in the second issue of the second series. The mysteries of the world of Man-Eaters get a boost of life in the second issue of The Cursed. If Cain, Mitternique, and company can continue work of this quality, Maude could wind up being one of the more cunningly mysterious heroines to ever appear in comics.

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10
Man-Eaters: The Cursed #3

Sep 15, 2021

Once again, Cain and Mitternique develop a new, non-traditional narrative piece for an issue of Man-Eaters that wouldnt feel quite at home in any other format. Its silly and strange in places, but the third issue of the new series is breathtaking in the range and scope of moods and emotions that its able to conjure.

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9.6
Man-Eaters #5

Jan 29, 2019

The depth of what Cain and company are exploring here continues to be deeply engrossing. Cain maintains the mystery of the attacks while delivering deeper insight into the ensemble AND exploring a world that is all too much like our own. With its clever mix of humor, drama and horror Man-Eaters is quite deliciously unlike anything else on the rack right now.

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10
Man-Eaters #6

Feb 27, 2019

As it has a nontraditional mode of delivering quirky humor in narrative, Man-Eaters was going to take a while to develop a narrative rhythm. Now in is sixth issue, the series quirky narrative pattern has emerged. Its enchantingly charming stuff which feels like its breathing fresh new life into an art form thats been around for the better part of a century.

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10
Man-Eaters #7

Mar 27, 2019

Cain and Niemczyk continue to bring something genuinely compelling to comics with a breath of fresh air to the medium. Their unique framing and pacing of a mystery story open endless possibilities for the nearly 100-year-old comic book medium that make it feel new again. As the series progresses, the long-running issues of plot development in an unfolding mystery will eventually emerge, but for now, its fun to watch Cain, Niemczyk and company play with an inventively novel idea in such a whimsically deft way.

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10
Man-Eaters #8

Apr 24, 2019

Theres a lot going on in the eighth issue of ManEaters. In addition to developing the world of the series, its a brilliantly non-traditional, little one-shot that tells the story of a couple of characters. Jennifer and Mandy serve as character archetypes in the games. At issues end, a pair of articles tell the stories of the characters behind these archetypes. The vastly different outcomes of two girls looking to rebel serves to increase the tension of the middle school girl at the center of the series. Now that a little bit more about the world in which the characters live, the danger shes falling into is given that much more depth.

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10
Man-Eaters #9

Jun 5, 2019

Cain and company continue to push the medium in a direction far more novel than anything else in comics today. With the plot arc playing out the way it is, theres clearly some kind of revolution coming. Itll be interesting to see if the series can maintain its edge if that happens. So much of ManEaters appeal lies in the power of the matriarchal dystopia. When its openly challenged, the power dynamic in the series is going to force the series in a different direction. I think fans of the series are in good hands. Cain and company havent given any indication of the series being anything other than deeply entertaining.  

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9.6
Man-Eaters #10

Jul 3, 2019

There are only two issues left to go in the series, but with the final chapter being another non-comic-centric Handbook-style issue, the central part of the story really ends with issue #11. The rhythm of the series has been great fun. The big climax is just one month away. Hopefully, theres satisfaction in things becoming more surreal at the end of the series. Its been a hell of a ride thus far. With any luck, Cain and company can hold out for at least one more issue to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series.

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8
Man-Eaters #11

Sep 11, 2019

What Cain has done throughout this series HAS been impressive. The scattered complexity of the story is given a retrospective look. Thanks to a Mitternique-designed organizational chart for Estro Corp. at mid-issue that shows-off just how much thematic ground Cains covered in 11 issues. The series concludes with one more non-narrative look at the world of Man-Eaters which will close out the title. With the narrative already closed, one more issue from the world of Man-Eaters is likely to feel a bit strange. But itll be nice to visit Cains world one last time before it gets compressed into a trade paperback.

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9.6
Man-Eaters #12

Oct 2, 2019

Man-Eaters has been an immensely enjoyable series. The final issue in the series gives the world of the story more room to expand the concept of social revolution well beyond the page. All that seems to be missing is a direct invitation for the reader to carry the revolution to the world outside the panels. The page of blank membership cards for The Ministry of Trouble seems as close to an invitation as Cain can get while maintaining plausible deniability. Cains done a clever job of making the revolution seem very, very cool. The potential for revolution and meaningful change in society rests in the hands of every reader. 

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9.6
Man-Eaters: Tomorrow Belongs To You #1

Mar 4, 2020

The series Cain and Miternique ended may have been a bit hit-or-miss in places, but The Future is Yours! Man-Eaters one-shot brilliantly illustrates how the narrative can move forward in clever bite-sized specials that continue to be every bit as much satirical bite as the full series did. Current events are as ugly as ever, but its nice to know Cain and Miternique are still there to sink razor-sharp comic teeth into the ugliness of it all.

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9.6
Marked (2019) #1

Oct 16, 2019

Theres a genuine charm in the gimmick of tattoo-based magic in an art school environment. The Art Institute-Meets-Hogwarts feeling of the series is cute enough. Still, the sense of danger and menace circulating around the edges of the first issue is really going to have to build into something more prominent if the series as a whole is going to be satisfying. Its a very appealing first issue in any case.

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8
Marked (2019) #2

Nov 22, 2019

Having firmly set-up the heroic side of the story in the first issue, Hine and Haberlin deliver the darker end of the villains in a very engaging second issue. The story could go in so many exciting directions from here. The challenge for the creators is going to lie in keeping it interesting and novel enough that it doesn't feel too derivative without diving so far into the novelty that it feels like a gimmick. Hine and Haberlin do a good job of moving things forward in this second issue.

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8
Marked (2019) #3

Dec 30, 2019

With Liza emerging as a major villain in this issue, its going to be interesting to see where Hine and Haberlin take the series next. There is excellent potential for depth in Liza as shes clearly got an incentive to act entirely on her own in ways that might not be as predictable as the standard super-villain. Shes still figuring things out as she has now found herself in a position of authority. Given the right narrative tweaking with a continued focus on Liza, The Marked could turn into something really provocative.

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8
Marked (2019) #4

Feb 5, 2020

Hine and Haberlin are bringing a distinctly unique urban fantasy to the page with The Marked. It looks and moves with a style that is unique and refreshing. Simple action mechanics sometimes falter. Action feels flat on the page without any sense of movement, which is odd as the overall momentum of the plot from one page to the next is directed quite well in script and art.

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8
Marked (2019) #5

Mar 4, 2020

The right balance between drama and action might still be somewhat out of reach for Haberlin, but The Marked remains a series of great potential with some really interesting action. At its heart, the idea of magic etched into the flesh of those wielding it remains appealing. The visual reality of that as brought to the page with vivid appeal by Haberlin and Van Dyke.

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7
Marked (2019) #6

Jul 8, 2020

The sixth issue of The Marked forges a refreshing new direction for an art-based world of magic. Hine and Haberlin dont do themselves any favors by casting the series in the course of an artistic medium thats notoriously difficult to bring tot he comics page. Theoretically, things could move ahead in an exciting direction, given the ingenious fusion between Lovecraftian horror and pop music in the issues to come.

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7
Marked (2019) #7

Sep 9, 2020

Seven issues in, The Marked is still pursuing a potential that it's not quite reaching. The presence of a literary legend and the strangely rich background of the contemporary fantasy story is really appealing. All the right elements are there. Hine and Haberlin can't quite frame the elements in a way that lives up to their potential.

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8
Marked (2019) #8

Oct 7, 2020

Hine and Haberlin direct traffic flow from scene to scene with enough of a change in mood to make this issue feel remarkably well-balanced. The mix of scenes and different kinds of drama and action are reminiscent of Claremont's best work on the X-Men. If future issues can borrow the momentum of The Marked #9, the series could really start to turn into something special.

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8
Marked (2019) #9

Nov 11, 2020

The issue lands pretty heavily atop a single leprechaun. He seems like a cool guy, and Haberlin does a pretty good job of making the concept of that particular mythical creature seem fresh and interesting. If hed spent a little bit more time on the creature in question in the course of the story, it might have been a bit more satisfying.

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7
Marked (2019) #10

Dec 23, 2020

Haberlin is lurching through a hell of a lot of narrative in The Marked #10. There's doubtlessly a lot of ground to cover in what is a very, very large ensemble of characters. If Haberlin and Van Dyke would just spend just a few more panels on each of them, the dramatic elements of the story would gain resonance, and the pacing would come much closer to being perfect. The story of the missing cats is a compelling one. It would have been nice to see it expanded a bit more.

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7
Martian Manhunter (2018) #2

Jan 9, 2019

Orlando and Rossmo are working on something that is definitely building in an interesting direction. Larger themes of alienation, humanity, and being caught between two worlds will no doubt come into full focus as the series careens into issue #3. For now, the current major conflicts are brought into full view with the blast of a pistol. 

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7
Martian Manhunter (2018) #3

Feb 27, 2019

Rossmos art is an acquired taste that is not without its charm. It might mutate the impact of the story in places, but it makes for a really distinctive impression that should find a nice rhythm as the mini-series pulls into its second quarter next issue. With the backstory fully-rendered, the series has a chance to build into something substantial.

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8.4
Martian Manhunter (2018) #4

Mar 27, 2019

Though it doesnt live up to its potential, the fourth issue of Orlando and Rossmos Manhunter is finding a bright pulse that stands out from most of the rest of the work currently populating the mainstream comic book rack. Its a very unique place that Orlando and Rossmo are visiting every month. Itll be interesting to see where it goes after issue four as Jonzz finally comes face to face with the central villain of the series.

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4
Martian Manhunter (2018) #5

May 22, 2019

All criticism aside, the visuals that Rossmo is delivering to the page ARE quite memorable. The fact that they hijack the story thats being rendered by Orlando is disappointing, but Rossmos art (which really IS beautiful in a soupy, formless, noodley sort of a way) definitely needs some sort of grounding to be effective. Orlandos script might be just the sort of thing that Rossmos art needs to bind it to a coherent page. Too bad so much of the story gets lost in the process.

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9.6
Martian Manhunter (2018) #6

Jun 26, 2019

The bigger picture of Orlando's story is given further grounding and motivation with this flashback issue. Had the series as a whole started with this story, it might have lent a great deal of momentum for the 11 installments which would have followed it, but some of the impact of the story would have felt missing. The rest of the series may well end up feeling as convoluted as the first five issues. As a standalone story, Martian Manhunter #6 is vividly weird and wonderful.

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8
Martian Manhunter (2018) #7

Jul 24, 2019

The search for the missing Ashley Addams is finally right at the center of the story where it needs to be. Orlando and Rossmo have found the pulse of the action as the mini-series reaches the beginning of its second half. With all of the establishing action well and fully out of the way, the mini-series should have no problem finding its way to resolution with a strong sense of momentum. 

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8
Martian Manhunter (2018) #8

Aug 28, 2019

Orlando and Rossmo are casually carving-out one of the more strikingly strange dramas in mainstream comics without veering too far from the basics of a traditional superhero genre serial. The distinctive art is quite unlike anything else on the rack. Orlando's story, though quite familiar to comics, brings a unique blend of dramatic tensions. Which would have felt more at home in an indie comic book even a decade ago. It's a fresh approach to old comic book themes that makes for an enjoyable 20 pages between the covers.

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9.6
Middlewest #3

Jan 16, 2019

The world in which all of the action is going to be taking place is still developing at this point. Its very reassuring to see the moral complexity lowered into this one. This is a coming-of-age magical fairy tale, but its going to be a very ethically complicated one. With the right economy of words and image in well-paced scenes, this third issue establishes important conventions this serial will hopefully continue to follow for many, many issues and what will hopefully be a very long run.

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9.6
Middlewest #4

Feb 20, 2019

Young and company beautifully broaden the world of Middlewest this issue. The journey of Able and Fox and Bobby and Wrench looks like its starting to develop into something truly unique in an issue that feels viscerally powerful amidst the lights, popcorn and barkers of a carnival.

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9.6
Middlewest #5

Mar 19, 2019

Young and Corona are constructing something that feels quite distinctly unlike so much that litters the contemporary pop fantasy landscape. Its grounded in standard fantasy elements, but Young and Corona are carving-out something that feels genuinely fantastic. No need to bog down the narrative in so much detail. Young and Corona are wisely allowing the fantasy to be fantastic on its own.

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9.6
Middlewest #6

Apr 17, 2019

Middlewest swings into a clever bit of momentum with this issue, which continues to develop through sharp bits of mystery that cut through every aspect of the issue from bits of plot resonating out of the dialogue to details drawn into key panels. Young, Corona and Beaulieu round out the first six issues of a series which clearly has a sweeping sense of momentum carrying through a fantasy mutation of the American midwest. From here, theres the risk of a repetition feeding into the story now that all the basic elements of the story are in place, but Young and company feel inventive enough to maintain interest in future issues.

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9.6
Middlewest #7

May 22, 2019

In a long-running fantasy serial, it was inevitable that Abel was going to tumble back into the horror of action. He had been hitting hinting at this for a couple of dishes now he had been hitting hinting at this ever since Able joined the carnival. Thanks to the delicate handling of the story, the emotional impact of the inevitable is felt with just as much strength as a random act of nature.

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9.6
Middlewest #8

Jun 19, 2019

Theres a clever balance to the issue that series well. The complexity of relations within the ensemble that could lead to a number of different directions over the course of the next few issues. The social and atmospheric ends of the world that Young and Coronas world captures the imagination and runs with it. No one else is doing anything quite like this on the comic book rack. Its a fun journey that makes another major step with its eighth issue.

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9.6
Middlewest #9

Jul 24, 2019

Young and Corona continue to develop a very unique North American adventure fantasy that fuses Anglo-European culture with native legends in a way that feels breathtakingly fresh. European fantasy has been done to death in pop fiction. Its nice to see a story that takes a look at the traditional path of the hero from a more uniquely American perspective. Abel might yet turn out to be the self-directed fantasy hero that has been conspicuously absent from pop fantasy for so many years.

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9.6
Middlewest #10

Aug 21, 2019

With pacing well and fully back on track, Young and Coronas story has regained a sense of momentum about it. The placement of a frigid, wintery issue in the heat of a late summer adds to the earthbound sense of fantasy about the serial. Summer solstice feels like a distant memory. The days are getting shorter. Winter is coming, Its going to be cold. Young and Corona are there to echo the dream of the near future into the tale of Abels past.

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9.6
Middlewest #11

Sep 18, 2019

Bringing the action into a decaying city has given the series new life that it didnt seem to be lacking. The adventure bursts into new territory with a refreshing look at the most charming character in the whole series. Things are taken in a bold new direction with future issues as a lost Abel attempts to calm himself in the essence of a perilous world. For fear of letting the danger of the destruction within him out to mingle with that danger.

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9.6
Middlewest #12

Oct 23, 2019

Young and Corona seem to have been building up to some kind of showdown between Abel, his father, Maggie, and her husband for quite some time now. Now that everyones looking for Abel, theres clearly a showdown of some sort coming in a series with a very diverse ensemble that plays fantasy against earthbound reality. Twelve issues in and Middlewest still feels new.

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9.6
Middlewest #13

Dec 18, 2019

This issue cleverly ratchets-up the build-up to the big confrontation, which is likely to come in the series very near future. With the shift from the very literal journey of one hero to direct confrontation, the series takes on a whole new direction on this issue. The cleverly-structured plot of this issue and the sharp rendering of the art team give this issue a suitably ominous tone that gives a powerful impression that everyone involved with the series has an excellent grasp of where the story is heading. This isnt always the case with an ongoing series. Middlewest is given an added push of momentum as it moves into its second year with this issue.

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8.4
Middlewest #14

Jan 22, 2020

The series has possibly been a bit overdue for an issue-long close-up on Abel. The absence of Fox and the denizens of the circus is felt pretty heavily this issue. That feeling of distance from some of the more charismatic characters of the series serves to amplify the peril of Abels situation in another satisfying chapter.

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9
Middlewest #15

Feb 19, 2020

With the story marching steadily towards the caravans arrival at the farm and the quiet insurrection going on amidst some of the slaves on the farm, things seem to be headed for a satisfying climax in the near future of Middlewest. The blend of rising tension and atmospheric conflict feels perfectly satisfying for the fifteenth issue of the series.

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8.4
Middlewest #16

Mar 18, 2020

An issue like this could have been kind of dull, given the fact that the last installment was charging so confidently in the direction of confrontation. A chapter like this might feel like a bit of a derailment of momentum. Still, Young, Corona, and Beaulieu deliver a solidly entertaining issue on the edge of the next major clash between forces in the Middlewest.

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9.6
Middlewest #17

Jul 1, 2020

Young, Corona, and Beaulieu have been marching Abel and company through a slow, steady arc that reaches a huge climax in Middlewests 17th issue. The intensity here is elegantly rendered with magic and power firmly rooted in the sense of emotional and interpersonal drama that builds on events circulating around the series for the past sixteen issues. Different elements of aggression have been drawn together with such a remarkable sense of economy that its actually strange to think that this is still only the seventeenth issue of the series. A story doesnt typically achieve this level of climax until years of steady build-up have passed. 

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9.6
Middlewest #18

Jul 25, 2020

Ending the story without completely shutting the door on a fascinating world of small-town American magic and mystery. Young and company could do so much more in the world of Middlewest that witnesses the simple power of the climactic clash of this final issue. The world of small-town magic has played out here in an amplification of the cycle of familial domestic violence. It's a powerful magical amplification, but there are so many other small-town midwestern American themes that could be explored in a world like this. It's too bad Young and company have chosen to end the story after only 18 issues.

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8
Mirka Andolfo's Sweet Paprika #1

Jul 28, 2021

The contrast between Paprika and Dill is enjoyable enough in the first issue. Still, a long-term run with these two characters will have to develop a bit more substance if its going to be able to develop into much more than Archie-for-adults. Andolfo has proven that she can do this before on more than one occasion, so theres really no questioning that this is worth investing the time in. It may seem silly. It may seem goofy. It may even seem kind of sexy. But its definitely worth a readers time.

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8
Mirka Andolfo's Sweet Paprika #2

Sep 1, 2021

With the world fully established in the first issue, Andolfo dives into some further exploration of what makes it tick...the family drama and the background on everything is nice, but. a greater integration between the angel/devil iconography and the contemporary metropolitan drama would make for a far more compelling serial. As it is, Andolfo is working with a fun concept, though.

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7
Mirka Andolfo's Sweet Paprika #3

Sep 22, 2021

The dramatic metropolitan comedy is still fun, but it feels like its drawn rather unpleasantly out of the mundane. There isnt enough insight into the Paprikas complexity to move very far beyond the surface-level cliches that Andolfo has been playing with throughout the series thus far. If there was just a bit more attention paid to the weird cosmology of a world populated entirely by angels and demons, it might be a bit more appealing...but it wouldnt be a Mirka Andolfo series. The writer/artist has her own idea of what shes looking for, and she DOES seem to be making it work. Its just too bad that its not more interesting.

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9.6
Naomi #1

Jan 22, 2019

The series is going to have to be really careful and thoughtful about letting bits of the mystery become revealed in future issues. Reveal too much at once and the series is going to lose even more of its appeal. As an opening, though, Naomi's first issue feels like it could be a part of something special.

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8
Naomi #2

Feb 20, 2019

Bendis, Walker and Campbell slink forward into further mystery in a satisfying issue with curious pacing. Its the type of nuanced drama not often found in mainstream superhero stories...a distinction which should prove interesting in issue three which is being billed as The Secret History of the DC Universe. Interesting alternative ground is being covered in the DC Universe in this title. As Bendis, Walker and Campbell focus more on the small town life in the shadow of superpowers, the series will find its unique voice coming out much more substantially.

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8.4
Naomi #3

Mar 20, 2019

The third issue of Naomi is a fascinating story, but its not exactly the type of thing people have come to expect from mainstream superhero comics.

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9
Naomi #4

Apr 17, 2019

In this fourth issue, Bendis, Walker, and Campbell deliver the backstory of Naomi--a new hero who likely gets the big delivery on her mysterious origin next issue. The background on the character has been pretty fun in the course of this mini-series, but once the mystery is fully revealed, it will remain to be seen if she can remain as enjoyable as she is here. Given that the character is driven by the mystery of her own past, its possible that theyll continue to string that out as far as possible as she forges ahead in the DC universe beyond her initial mini-series. The perpetual mystery is only as engaging as the character that mystery is shadowed by. Naomi continues to feel engaging in this fourth issue.

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8
Naomi #5

May 15, 2019

The fifth issue of Naomi feels a bit unbalanced. Had her past been framed with more of an active integration with present action, this issue could have been sheer joy. The lagging backstory weighing-down the middle of the story isnt given enough impact to make it feel particularly strong. Emotional excitement and impending danger are compelling. The generic space fantasy backstory tethered to the middle of the issue keeps it from its potential.

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9.6
Naomi #6

Jul 10, 2019

Naomi now begins to make appearances in other DC comics. Issues end promises a second series. If Walker and Campbell are involved in that next series, it may be well worth checking out. The pulpy space adventure thats being delivered here really needs the kind of expressiveness that Campbell provides for it to feel right. It may have had its slow moments. All in all, however, this is an excellent opening for a new hero.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #1

Oct 2, 2019

A fifteen-part series focussing on magic that is itself an exercise in a kind of group magic, Nomen Omen is a very ambitious, little project. Given the very intricately-balanced nature of the first series and the thoughtful way that its been placed on the page, Nomen Omen might turn out to be one of the more accomplished series to come out in 2019/2020. Its certainly on track to do so in its opening chapter.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #2

Nov 6, 2019

Theres a bit of poetic text at the end of the issue. It features Bucci talking a bit about some of what is seen on the pages. If he were to deliver it without the poetic narration, it would feel a bit like over-explanation. Bucci knows that this is a ritual for him. Its a ritual for the artists as well. Perhaps a ritual for the readers, too, as It exists on many levels. Itll be interesting to see where he and Camagni take them. 

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9.6
Nomen Omen #3

Dec 4, 2019

Its taken Bucci a few issues to really sink into the specific tone and voice thats going to make Nomen Omen distinct. The conversation between Becky and her immortal guide this issue really brings out the distinct voice thats going to give this series a personality that sets it apart from other contemporary urban fantasies.

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8.4
Nomen Omen #4

Jan 6, 2020

Having firmly established some of the backbone of the world of Nomen Omen, Bucci and Camagni are going to have to start advancing the plot beyond mere conversation with the fantastic if the series is to pull out of the gravity of its own introspection. Thus far, its been really fun getting to know Rebecca. It would be really cool to actually go out and...yknow...do something.  

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9.6
Nomen Omen #5

Feb 5, 2020

With the background on the series fully established in the first three issues, Bucci and Camagni settle-in to something really unique with this issue. It can be really, really difficult to meld fantasy with the modern world in a way that captures a complex mix of emotions. Bucci and Camagni deliver the complexity to the page with an agile style in the fifth issue of Nomen Omen.

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8
Nomen Omen #6

Jul 1, 2020

The visual, conceptual, and linguistic poetry that Bucci plays with here is compelling enough that it doesn't have to be totally understood. There are deeper walks with the story through a companion Instagram account that details Becky's dreams and a book that has been published in Europe detailing some of the story not directly covered in the series. It's a lot to dive into. Bucci and Camagni make a deeper dive into Becky's world, seem very appealing in another engagingly enigmatic dream of an issue.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #7

Jul 25, 2020

Now that Becky's apprenticeship to magic is firmly in place, the series feels that much more grounded. This issue's moodiness is fairly dazzling as the immensity of the magic crawls around the corners of the panels of a story that is firmly establishing an emotional connection between the reader and the character ensemble of Nomen Omen.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #8

Aug 26, 2020

Rebecca asserts herself and her power in an issue where shes finally in control of things enough to understand what she must do to learn. The simple rhythm of the plot seems to have followed Rebeccas mental state as she has fallen into a desire to focus herself and really study the forces that are so much a part of her life. Though the series has seen her through some pretty rough patches, Issue Eight feels like more of a closer walk with her than any other, which makes it the single most satisfying issue of the series thus far.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #9

Sep 23, 2020

Fantasy can be challenging to bring to the comics page without blurring the story into overpowering garishness. Cleverly orchestrated by Bucci, Camagni crafts a visually-grounded story that finds its heart in human emotion. This kind of story is a bit of a rarity in a medium, so totally at home in exaggerated fantasy. Above all, there is an impressively dramatic progression. Becky is has made tremendous progress over the course of the year. She's an inspiringly different person now than she was in the first issue.

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9.6
Nomen Omen #10

Oct 21, 2020

Given that so many elements have been brought onstage in the series, its quite remarkable the Bucci and Camagni have been able to give all the characters present in this issue enough weight to keep everything moving. As dense as some of the story elements are, its nice to see Bucci exploring Taranis with a bit more depth at issues end. Theres an extra short story written in simple paragraphs of narrative text that allows the reader to spend a little bit of time with the character from a time during the events of Nomen Omen #5. As with the previous issue, Buccis dual-format approach to the series adds weight to the overall story. 

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9.6
Nomen Omen #11

Jan 27, 2021

As visually powerful as this issue is, Camagni's art never overpowers the story. Likewise, Bucci's story never weighs-down the art. More so than almost any other issue of the series thus far, Nomen Omen #11 is very sharply balanced. With all that's happened, it's kind of strange to think that there are still another four issues left to go in the series. It'll be interesting to see where Bucci and Camagni take a Manhattan that has become Arcadia's fairyland. A deeper fantasy awaits in issues to come. 

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8.4
Nomen Omen #12

Feb 24, 2021

The dreamy dangers and passions that Bucci and Camagni develop on the page bob and weave through various energies. This issue seems to be well-paced with just the right mix of fantasy and reality. The motion and emotion glide over the narrative with an appealing execution. Its not hard to desire something a bit more lucid between. Bucci and Camagni after an issue like #12, but it just wouldnt be the same with a more traditional visual style and plot structure. Bucci and Camagni continue to draw the reader along into deeper realms of dream.

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6
Nomen Omen #13

Mar 24, 2021

There are only two issues left to go in the series after this one. While its easy to imagine this story continuing to wind itself through many, many years into the future, but Bucci and Camagni are working towards a climax that will doubtlessly involve a final showdown between Becky, Taranis and Medea. It doesnt feel terribly interesting in its thirteenth issue, but Beckys return to life with her heart intact at issues end is a pretty satisfying conclusion in and of itself. Forward action of the plot may have stalled a bit this issue, but it DOES pack a dramatic punch.

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8
Nomen Omen #14

Apr 21, 2021

Bucci and Camagni pull the series into position for another major showdown next issue. With Becky now that much more in control of herself and her power, the next showdown could turn into something breathtaking. The overall plot arc of the series is a bit difficult to read as the story continues towards its inevitable conclusion, but its been a lot of fun seeing the creative team build the story into a series of showdowns like the one awaiting the page next month. 

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9.6
Nomen Omen #15

May 19, 2021

Its over...but it hasnt ended. War has broken out. And Nomen Omen will eventually give way to Arcadia.  If that next story is anywhere near as sharp and distinct as Buccis dance with this one, Becky could prove to have a very engaging and captivating future ahead of her. Shes a dark hero who holds a tremendous appeal, and shes really come a HELL of a long way in only 15 issues.

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9.6
Not All Robots #1

Aug 4, 2021

Not All Robots is a pleasantly weird mix of comedy, drama, sci-fi, and satire. The social mix between humans and others has been a major topic of sci-fi exploration for decades. Russell and Deodato have found a slightly novel approach to the basic premise that could prove to be satisfying in a variety of different ways as the series progresses into the future. 

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8
Not All Robots #2

Sep 8, 2021

The series has real potential to cast weird electric light into the beating heart of inter-human relations with a deep look into the nature of technology. Still, Russell seems a lot more interested in creating a world that feels strangely unlike our own with weirdly appealing contrasts to current political pop culture. This isn't a bad thing, it just kind of feels like a missed opportunity to do something more profound. This is not to say that greater depth might not be around the corner. The series is just getting going in its second issue. There's plenty of opportunities to get deeper into the satire. 

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8
Old Man Quill #1

Feb 9, 2019

Sacks and company have an interesting opportunity here. The plot structure of the first issue seems to suggest that Quill, Rocket and the rest of the group have been through a LOT since they were last together. If Sacks can tap into the unique dynamic of a group of people working together for the first time in ages to save the galaxy, the next 11 issues could be a lot of fun.

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6
Oliver #1

Jan 22, 2019

As strange a mash-up as Whitta's Oliver is, there's real potential here for deep social commentary. The difficulty may lie in the novel that Whittas drawing-on for inspiration. Oliver Twist looked to cast light on the sinister nature of child labor and children being ushered into shadowy streets to become criminals. It was a situation brought about by economic disparity. After the war, though...there IS no economic disparity. EVERYONE is living through irradiated hell. Without the presence of wealth, Whittas Oliver might well run the risk of missing a major component that made Dickens classic so important.

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9
Oliver #2

Feb 27, 2019

Whitta and company are beginning to show the potential in fusing Dickens classic with dystopian sci-fi in comic book format. Theres a balance here that could define the series if the creative team can find the right mix of drama, mystery, and brutality to navigate through the plot in the months to come.

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9
Oliver #3

Apr 17, 2019

There might have been ways of making Olivers sudden realization of his capabilities feel like a bit more of a revelation by giving the physical aggression and brutality in a more graphic rendering, but the combination of elements here deliver a much-needed jolt of adrenaline to a series that has been mulling around in the shadows of tension thus far.

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7
Postal: Deliverance #1

Jul 3, 2019

The gritty earthbound brutality of Postal Deliverance sure as hell isnt for everyone. There are those who would say this sort of thing really needs to be moving around on a glowing screen in high definition to make any sense, but Iencos dense, silent, static visuals would beg to differ. Whats going on here isnt pretty, but its solidly different from most of the rest of whats out there on the rack these days. And thats saying something.

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9
Postal: Deliverance #2

Aug 7, 2019

There's an underlying mystery beneath the shock of violent actions. Rather than trying to explore the nature of violence from a rational space, Hill and Ienco are delivering the naked mystery of violence to the page. It's quite a shock when it manages its most effective moments...and there are some VERY effective moments in this issue.

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7
Postal: Deliverance #3

Sep 11, 2019

Theres a very weighty static the covers the entire issue with every panel mercilessly weighted-down in heavy, heavy detail. Its impressive stuff that adds a respectable depth to a dramatic story written in vast, simplistic strokes. Its as though the art is attempting to draw attention to all those details that the script seems to be overlooked on an emotional level narratively. Too bad the complexity thats lacking in the script is a dizzying complexity of human aggression that no amount of heavily-rendered line work could hope to render.

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2
Pretty Violent #1

Aug 21, 2019

The insane pacing of the story makes it really difficult to pay attention to what it is that's actually going on.

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5
Pretty Violent #2

Sep 25, 2019

The story of a girl who cant help but commit crimes while trying to be a hero IS a really interesting one. Its too bad that the art has to so wholly overpower everything else in the book. Once the series has built up a bit more momentum, the weirdly feverish pastel nightmare of the series might actually turn into something that IS both Pretty AND violent. For now, its still a bit of a mess.

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9.6
Punchline (2020) #1

Nov 11, 2020

Tynion IV, Johns, and company do an impressive job of updating aspects of the hero/villain exploration of life in the amplified world of Gotham City. So much of the Batman/Joker dynamic has been pummeled to death. It's nice to see a fresh perspective on it. Between this and the work that Cecil Castellucci has done with Batgirl, there seems to be some refreshing life in a city that's been around since Bill Finger flipped through a New York City phone book and picked out a name for it back at the dawn of the 1940s. 

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8.4
Sea of Stars #1

Jul 3, 2019

Sea of Stars is off to a pretty solid start with its first issue. The pulpy space fantasy edges in the direction of cute without compromising a sense of danger and adventure. The final page of the issue suggests that theres real menace coming on the horizon of the next issue. As cute as the first issue is, its really a father-son story of adventure that feels like it could go in interesting directions as a father searches for his son who is being cared for by weird aliens. 

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7
Sea of Stars #2

Aug 7, 2019

Sea of Stars is firmly established by the end of the second issue. Gils rough and tumble adventure will be paired against the fantastic, foreboding mystery of Kadyns end of the story. Its a nice contrast that allows the creative team to explore the galaxy from a couple of different sides. Theres nothing terribly new here, but Aaron, Hallum, and Green make the adventure fun enough to overcome the sometimes cheesy nature of pulpy space adventure. 

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8
Sea of Stars #3

Sep 4, 2019

In its third issue, Sea of Stars amps-up its exuberant playfulness in a way that might be difficult to maintain in the long run. Given the more dramatic severe energies being explored in the previous issue, its clear that the team is willing to modulate the power of the action. Their challenge is going to be finding the right balance to keep action, drama, and whimsy from colliding into each other as the series progresses.

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8
Sea of Stars #4

Oct 2, 2019

Pulpy space adventure isnt anything new, but Aaron and Hallum are doing a great job of bringing the adventure across in a very well-executed series that brings hauls the rarely-explored demographics of a middle-aged father and a  grade school-aged son into the danger. The long-term viability of a story that splits father and son the way Sea of Stars has in its first four issues might begin to feel weak if the Aaron and Hallum are going to maintain the separation between father and son indefinitely into the future, but for now, its a solidly enjoyable book.

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8
Sea of Stars #5

Nov 13, 2019

Kadyn and his father get so very, very close to connecting this issue. With all that's happened since they parted ways in the first issue, it's nice to see them get this close together, but it's beginning to become apparent that Aaron and Hallum are determined to keep them apart. This could get to be a bit annoying as the series continues, but for now, it feels like an excellent dynamic to keep the two heroes apart in an issue that closes the beginning of the series.

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8
Sea of Stars #6

Sep 2, 2020

As the series reaches the end of its sixth issue, the ongoing conflict of father and son trying to reunite seems as powerful as it's ever been. The rest of the elements of the plot seem to lack the kind of direction necessary to make the story shoot across the page from cover to cover with the style, grace, and energy of a little luminescent, blue Kadyn. The distinct voice of the series is solidly realized, though. There's warmth and charm to what the creative team is filling the pages with.

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8
Self/Made #3

Feb 5, 2019

With the initial three issues out of the way, Self/Made is beginning to reveal what might make it special. The series is gaining ground with the establishment of a regular behind-the-scenes podcast and a very congenial regular issue-ending letters column at the end of the issue. This issue marks a turning point for Amala, but it also serves as an important foundation for a series that could go quite far.

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9
Self/Made #4

Mar 6, 2019

Once again its a comprehensive package from beginning to end. Theres behind-the-scenes info at the end of the issue. Among other things, the team reveals some of the research thats been done on the Sydney, Australia where the issues action takes place. Between that and a regular podcast complete with further background information, the engrossment of the total package for Self-Made is another example of what comics need to do to continue to feel vital in a world of so many other competing forms of media.

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9.6
Self/Made #5

Apr 3, 2019

Groom is showing a deft familiarity with the conventions of cyberpunk and simulated reality sci-fi. Hes not reinventing the wheel here, but he IS adding a few twists in and around the edges of sci-fi tropes that might begin to explore the nature of identity and reality with stylish new eyes. The issue feels like an introduction of sorts that stands quite well on its own as things shift gears into a new direction starting with the sixth issue.

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5
Self/Made #6

May 1, 2019

Self/Made has been a somewhat strange and derivative exercise that had real potential for turning into something breathtaking. The six-part series didnt allow enough of a runway for the story of multiple worlds and strange games to really take off the way that it could have. Its unfortunate. A brilliant story could have developed had the series been Abe to run just a bit longer and really spread its wings.

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9.6
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #2

Jan 20, 2021

Phillips, Hetrick, and Louise work extremely well together in another chapter that fits a DC digital format. There might be a tendency to weigh things down a bit more heavily in so small a space. There aren't many panels to a single page in the issue. The creative team makes precise work of detail and negative space both visually and narratively. The first two issues of Sensational Wonder Woman show promise in a standalone story. If the rest of the series can capture the energy of the first two issues, it's going to be a good one. 

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9.6
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #3

Jan 21, 2021

Stripped of any distracting subplots, the dynamic between Diana and Artemis is gracefully given the center of the panel in a briskly-paced opening chapter of a whole new story set in the only arena big enough to hold the two warriors. Shea, Redondo, and Lucas frame the action almost perfectly as the chapter shifts swiftly from introduction to the establishment and initial resolution of conflict. Once again, Sensational Wonder Woman proves to be a great deal of fun as it nears the end of its first month.

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9.6
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #4

Jan 29, 2021

The new weekly continues to slice its way through gracefully through the end of its first month with another satisfying story. The contrast between Wonder Woman, Artemis, and Mongul shines against a pulpy alien world's background. Sensational Wonder Woman might lack the appealing rhythm of one fully-rendered story per week that animated last year's Agent of Peace, but two consecutive two-part stories have their own appeal. The series has been a great deal of fun so far. If DC maintains this level of quality, Sensational should have a very satisfying run in 2021.  

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10
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #5

Feb 3, 2021

Publicist Mindi Meyer was such a fascinating character when Perez debuted her in the 80s. She died in one of the more complex storylines in mainstream comics of the Copper Age of comics. Anyone who would try to bring her back would have to do so sharply and stylishly. Doran has accomplished that fairly brilliantly here in what stands as one of the better one-shot Wonder Woman stories of the past year. A simple premise animates the center of a story populated around the edges with very, very serious tragedy. A story of the modern media that so sharply captures its many, many flaws. 

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8
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #8

Mar 3, 2021

Blue Snowman is one of those characters created by William Moulton Marston back in the Golden Age that feels a bit too silly for modern tastes, but Bechko and Dani give the villain a weight and power that feels formidable. It's not the type of story that feels substantial enough to linger in the mind after the last panel. Still, it's a solidly enjoyable addition to a series that has been gaining quite a bit of momentum since it began at the beginning of Wonder Woman's 80th anniversary year. 

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8
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #9

Mar 10, 2021

Wonder Woman isnt always granted the kind of immortality she seems to have been given here. Various writers have planted her history in various places. Theres real potential for interesting stories in allowing her the kind of long and winding history that shes had in all of her 80 years. Heroes that have been around for as long as that could benefit from stories that give them credit for having been around as long as they have. The first issue of this story shows promise for delivering on the potential of a Wonder Woman who has been around for nearly a century. 

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8
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #10

Mar 17, 2021

This sort of story HAS been explored in a far better way elsewhere. The extended cast in the Perez era for the Wonder Woman title cast an exhaustive glance at the hero's effect on others. It might have been explored pretty extensively before, but Chu and Sanapo make this particular glance around the edges of "super-heroing" quite endearing. The real challenge for this type of story might be an extended series contrasting the life of a hero and the life of a casual civilian friend over many, many decades.

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8.4
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #11

Mar 24, 2021

It's nice to see Wonder Woman in over her head as much as she is at the end of the issue. Still, the danger of introducing this many characters will come when she's forced to confront all of the villainsnearly all of her rogues' gallery at once next issue. It's fascinating to see them all lined-up like they are in issue 11, but it's really difficult to do justice to all of them if they're all crammed together in a single space like they are here. 

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9
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #12

Mar 31, 2021

As it is with the best issues in this title and last years Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace series, the creative team in issues 11 and 12 seem to have been pulled out of a parallel dimension where theyve been working together on a Wonder Woman title for a couple of years before arriving at this issue. Theres an implicit understanding between writer and art team as to how exactly to get everything to flow from panel to panel. DC is clearly working with enough talent to do several Wonder Woman titles. 

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6
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #13

Apr 7, 2021

Wonder Woman is set up for a fantastic show-down in the series's fourteenth issue, with events at the end of the chapter being what they are. The story as a whole COULD turn out to be much better than its first part, depending on how Anwar closes it out. Still, the first part of the story feels a bit weak as it isn't covering ground that hasn't already been covered pretty extensively in popular fiction over the years. The character of Nina shows some signs of serious drama. It will remain to be seen if she's going to finish the story stronger than she opened it.

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8
Sensational Wonder Woman (2021) #14

Apr 21, 2021

Anwar brings a new villain to the page that is well-suited to Wonder Womans rogues gallery. All of the more interesting Wonder Woman villains exist in a sociopathic space right on the edge of reformation. Wonder Woman could theoretically bring them in with their own consent if only she could reach them in just the right way. Nina fits the profile of that sort of character quite well. Given the right angles, Nina could prove to be a deep and insightful look at various societal issues, which is precisely the sort of thing the best Wonder Woman stories have managed over the years. 

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8
SFSX (Safe Sex) #2

Oct 30, 2019

As Averys life continues to crumble, shes lost in an arduous life path thats going to be more and more difficult to finesse. Above all else, SFSX is a survival story that has the potential to be quite inspirational and uplifting if everything gets off the ground right in the first few issues. Things seem to be heading in the right direction with this second issue, which is thoroughly engaging from beginning to end.

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8.4
SFSX (Safe Sex) #3

Nov 20, 2019

An issue like this might have worked better as an intro to the series. A departure from the central plot can be fun, but doing so in the third issue runs the risk of derailing narrative momentum as a whole. That being said, Horn and Gutirrez are delivering a fascinating world to the page in the third issue that easily maintains reader interest with the detailed rendering of a fascinating location in the world of SFSX. Artist Michael Dowling returns the next chapter for a story that might do for the Pleasure Center what this issue does for The Dirty Mind. Horn is doing an outstanding job of exploring extremely unique locations in and within a really compelling dystopia.

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9
SFSX (Safe Sex) #4

Dec 18, 2019

The story could go in a variety of different directions in future issues. Horn and Dowling keep it fresh from issue to issue. There might be a bit of a lack of energy as the break-in is planned, but The central drama involving George makes this a really interesting issue.

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8
SFSX (Safe Sex) #5

Jan 15, 2020

Stylistic limitations aside, the central story of SFSX remains entertaining into its fifth issue. The emotional contrast between The Dirty Mind revolutionaries and The Party's sinister authoritarian regime remains respectably vivid in a series that feels like it's beginning to build an enjoyable narrative rhythm.

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8
SFSX (Safe Sex) #6

Feb 12, 2020

Now that the series crawls out of the Pleasure Center with new revelations, Horn and Hickman can start to move the series in a new direction that takes into account a larger perspective on the world of SFSX. Its been a strangely-paced journey into a dystopia thus far. A lot of the basic elements of the world have been rendered now. Itll be interesting to see where the story moves from here. Theres a potential danger in repetition as the fugitives continue to explore the edges of the dystopia. Still, Horn and Hickman seem to have a solid grasp of where theyre going with the story in an issue that has an excellent progression.

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8.4
SFSX (Safe Sex) #7

Mar 11, 2020

The large plot structure that Horn is working with looks to be leading in some exciting directions in future arcs of SFSX. The opening seven-issue arc seems to have been about establishing the world and the people in it. The single most prominent character in the series is the dystopia itself, which continues to lumber over everything throughout the seventh issue. As it is so very, very central to the plot, the total eradication of that dystopia would have hampered the series moving forward. Horn and Hickman have so much more to explore in this darkness, but the end of the seventh issue might have been more heartening if it had shown a little bit more hope for the heroes. 

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8.4
Shadecraft #1

Mar 31, 2021

Henderson and Garbett's Skyward ran for a solid 15 issues before it came to a close back in 2019. With the first issue of Shadecraft, artist and writer have crafted an opening issue with the right pacing and visual appeal to have an equally satisfying run. Zadie is relatable enough as a character that it's easy to imagine hanging out with her and her shadows for the next year-and-a-half or so. 

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10
Silk (2021) #1

Mar 31, 2021

Moon was wearing a COVID-appropriate face mask long before it was cool to do so. The fact that just about every woman her age seen out and about is wearing a similar mask amps up the character's relatability in her new series. The expressiveness of the eyes and Moon's sharp sense of humor carry one of the funnier excursions into the Marvel Universe so far this year. With so many web-slingers swinging around Marvel Manhattan, it's nice to know that there's still life in a wall-crawling superhero sub-sub-genre that's been around for nearly 60 years now.  

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9.6
Silk (2021) #2

Apr 28, 2021

The first two chapters are finished. Goo and Miyazawa make a great team as more is revealed about the life of a seriously charming web-slinger. Every generation, theres an attempt to update the wall-crawling crime fighter formula that was developed by Steve Ditko for Marvel back in the 1960s. The attempts have met with mixed success. Goo nails the update perfectly in the first two issues of the new series.

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9.6
Silk (2021) #3

May 13, 2021

Its a bit of a strange mix of things that are being brought to the page in the third issue of the series. It may be perfectly well-paced as a chapter of a larger story arc, with the physical action precariously placed at the beginning and end of the issue; theres really no reason why issue three should feel anywhere near as balanced as it does. Goo and Miyazawa manage a very well-orchestrated series of moments in the course of the chapter. Its all swinging together quite well as the series approaches its fourth issue.

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8
Silk (2021) #4

Jun 23, 2021

Goo is an experienced author in narrative prose, but it's maddeningly difficult to get the rhythm just perfect on one issue per month of a comic book. The story that she's delivering here is interesting enough in its own right, but it's not terribly satisfying as a part of the longer run of a series that's still in its infancy. The extended family of characters that Goo is working with ARE interesting, but a bit more of the title character in issue #4 would have been a lot more satisfying.

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9.6
Silk (2021) #5

Aug 4, 2021

The series comes to a close. Its difficult to understand why. Silk is a solidly impressive mutation of the classic Marvel web-slinger formula that works SO well...especially with the unique skew that Goo is throwing into the mix in this series. Theres really no reason why this series shouldnt be one of Marvels better-sellers. The weight between the action and the drama is deftly delivered. With any luck, Marvel will look for a second run with Goo and Moon.  

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8.4
Sonata #1

Jun 5, 2019

Obviously, the art team ISNT using an old version of MacPaint to put together the visuals of this issue. The visuals ARE a lot of fun for an opening issue of a story that shows signs of some genuine wonder and somewhat dazzling. The credits page mentions a behind-the-scenes companion app to the series which as of this writing isnt available. Itll be interesting to learn more about the process for the series once it becomes available.

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8
Sonata #2

Jul 17, 2019

Its not terribly original, but Hine and Haberlin delicately place a traditional pulp fantasy story in a breathtakingly unique world thats loving rendered in great detail. The fantastic nature of the world might be amplified with a bit more of a sense of mystery. The dialogue is definitely weighing down that mystery, but its still a solidly fun fantasy.

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8
Sonata #3

Aug 14, 2019

Its a bit jarring to try to reconcile the complexity of the art with the stark simplicity of the story of Sonata. The fantasy world brought to the page in the art has a depth of realism that isnt totally supported by uncluttered dialogue and internal monologue. It delivers an easy story free from the messy inconsistencies of life. Given subtle and growing deviations from tropes and stereotypes in the ensemble of the book, there IS some foreshadowing into something deeper on the horizon as Sonata continues to get off the ground in future issues.

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8
Sonata #4

Sep 11, 2019

As big and ominous as the world of Sonata seems, Hine and Haberlin make it feel like a rich and sweeping fantasy world in the fourth issue of the series. Its not terribly deep or complicated stuff being explored here, but the power of the fantasy saves it from mediocrity. The issues pleasingly epic-level alien visuals with careful attention to detail make quite an impression.

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8
Sonata #5

Oct 9, 2019

Sudden narrative lurching aside, Hine and Haberlin are still telling a fun fantasy story that seems to be hitting its stride. The new dynamic that arrives on the page at issues end could guide things in exciting directions in issues to come.

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8
Sonata #6

Nov 6, 2019

A huge revelation falls into place at the end of the issue, which suggests interesting things about the history and politics of Sonatas world. The mysteries of the pulpy fantasy world feel genuinely interesting, but Hine and Haberlin are going to have to tread lightly in future issues. The story is at a bit of a critical point where things could get really, really unspeakably goofy if the delicate balance between the cultures of Sonatas world arent kept in careful balance. This is an interesting issue, though. It shows an exact amount of planning has gone into the construction of Sonatas world, which is a very, very promising sign.

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7
Sonata #7

Jan 8, 2020

Hine and Haberlin are working on a very ambitious world with incredibly vivid visual rendering. Its a lot to juggle. They have rarely managed a perfect balance of all of the elements. This issue is no exception. As the series begins to reach its current climax in the characters and the cultures in collusion, they have an opportunity to bring it all together with a powerful focus for future issues. These next few issues are going to be as big a challenge for them as it is going to be for their heroine.

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8
Sonata #8

Feb 12, 2020

Hine and Haberlin continue to deliver a very vivid story, but the pacing of this issue feels a bit rushed. Theres a clear path that theyre charting for Sonatas near future. Its just too bad much of the intensity of the events is diluted here to get to the next issue. All of the right elements are there. If Hine and Haberlin can wrangle the speed of the story just a little bit more, the intensity of the story will amplify considerably. 

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7
Sonata #9

Mar 11, 2020

There always seems to be a strange sense of imbalance that reveals itself by the end of an issue of Sonata. With issue #9, Hine and Haberlin continue in a tradition of narrative imbalance that once again shows real potential for being deeply engrossing fantasy if only the story would settle-down enough to really explore the world thats so busily being built.

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4
Sonata #10

Jun 12, 2020

This is a major stumble for a series thats been pretty good thus far. Hine and Haberlin should have no trouble recovering in the months ahead. Still, it isnt very reassuring that revelations on the backstory of the series, which really should have had more impact feel as flat as they do here. Hine and Haberlins story may have a larger, more sweeping momentum in issues to come that might reveal greater wisdom in the overall composition of this issue. Still, its hard to imagine a path that could make this issue feel more satisfying in the months to come. 

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8
Sonata #11

Jul 9, 2020

Powerful galactic beings that might as well be gods interact with the insignificant, little creations meant to feed their infinity. There are definite shades of Lovecraft in the scripting here, but it's mixed with a pulp sci-fi/fantasy that could be appealing if Hine and Haberlin were able to tweak it just a bit. Given the fact that there is as much narrative momentum as there is in this 11th issue, Hine and Haberlin might just make it to something truly interesting. 

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8
Sonata #12

Aug 12, 2020

This is a move in the right direction for a fantasy series struggling to find its distinctive voice. The mishmash of traditional fantasy with science fiction and steampunk iconography hasn't quite gelled into anything totally coherent yet. Nonetheless, Sonata herself continues to be appealing enough to return to every month. 

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9.6
Space Bandits #1

Jul 10, 2019

In the first of five issues, Millar and Scaleras Space Bandits slices through 25 pages with a very poised design-conscious delivery of energy that works. Its a smart mash-up of various genres that solidly settles into a kind of a late 1980s sort of a mood with bright colors and big cities coating the galaxy with just enough shadow to let the unseemly side of society leech out onto 

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9.6
Space Bastards (2021) #1

Jan 20, 2021

The book's overall impact continues to have its own unique appeal, from the weird door-like legal-sized aspect ratio of the pages to the fact that those pages are printed on high-quality poster stock. It's a very classy package for action-based comic book adventures. Even the weakest stuff in the volume feels powerful given the print quality of the book. Individual issues of the Space Bastards series are available at comic shops courtesy of Humanoids. The Volume 2 Hardcover is available for backers of the series on Kickstarter.

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8
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #5

Feb 13, 2019

McGuire is carving out a refreshingly unique corner of the world for Gwen. The characters personality in action in Miyazawas art is perfectly in synch with the characters dialogue. McGuire and Miyazawa have a good connection with the character which will hopefully suit her quite well. The team is slated to continue on the title for the next couple of issues at least. Itll be interesting to see where they take the character.

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9.6
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #6

Mar 14, 2019

A street-level vigilante girl looking to help people has an identity that is publicly known. And she still wears a mask because...its cool. Semi-professional freelance super-hero-ing in the age of the internet with options open for internet business makes for an interesting dynamic that should be fun to explore as the more traditional aspects of spider-personing loom into view from that dim room with the Man-Wolf. This is a fun issue from beginning to end.

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9.6
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #7

Apr 3, 2019

Issue seven is called Some Nights. Some nights prove to be really, really well-executed by the entire team on the book. Its inevitable that some nights might NOT end up working out so well in future issues, but for now, McGuire and company have a really good handle on exactly what to do with one of Marvels most interesting characters.

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9.6
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #9

Jun 6, 2019

Its refreshing to see this sort of story handled with a better grasp of a long-term story arc.

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9.6
Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider (2018) #10

Jul 3, 2019

Gwens got a name now. The Ghost Spider will be returning next month in another number one as the Spider-Gwen name is dropped. The future of a character regularly living between timelines has great potential that should be a lot of fun for McGuire to explore in the months to come. Shes carefully constructed a very sophisticated angle on the Marvel web-slinger milieu. It will be interesting to see where she takes it.

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8.4
Spider-Ham (2019) #1

Dec 30, 2019

The first issue of the series gives Spider-Hams world a solidly compelling reality about it that establishes the character really well. With Peter Porker now entering the mainstream Marvel Universe for at least the next issue, the creative team is going to have to switch gears. Though the character originated almost exclusively in his own world, mainstream contemporary audiences are far more familiar with Spider-Ham in a world of humans. Wells and Robson are going to have to come up with a fresh angle on the team-up to maintain audiences as the mini-series continues. This first issue is an auspicious start to a potentially clever new mini-series.

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8
Spider-Ham (2019) #2

Jan 29, 2020

All of the right elements are there for a very enjoyable mini-series. Wells and Robson just havent found the right way to balance them into something that could turn into something brilliant. The appeal of the character is undeniable. Point him in the right direction, and Spider-Ham could really carve out a very unique place for himself. 

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #1

Mar 18, 2020

Spider-Woman has had a few series before. Though shes had her moments, shes never been wildly successful on her own. Pacheco and Prez point Jessica in the right direction for a whole new series that gives Spider-Woman an appealing new direction as a rare mother/superhero combination that could prove to be interesting in the months to come. Its tricky to set a hero off on a new series in a way that feels fresh, but Pacheco seems to have everything lined-up in the right way in the first issue of this new series. 

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8
Spider-Woman (2020) #2

Jul 15, 2020

Beyond the crazy crunch of the plot details flowing through this issue, Pacheco seems to be settling Jessica Drew into a whole new life phase. It looks like it could be interesting once the pace settles-down enough for Jessica to catch her breath. The trick will be for Pacheco to do this without losing the narrative momentum that she's established in the first couple of issues of the series.

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8.4
Spider-Woman (2020) #3

Aug 20, 2020

There are a lot of different directions that Spider-Woman could be taken in. Pacheco is framing her as an intrepid adventurer who is thrust into danger against her will. Pacheco's intrepid adventures with Jessica are a lot of fun for the time being. The character is very versatile, though. Given the right momentum, she would be right at home in almost any sub-genre of superhero fiction. Jessica's got the kind of appeal that could make for a long run with Pacheco.

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10
Spider-Woman (2020) #4

Sep 23, 2020

 Okay. Sounds like fun. After an issue like this, Pachecos audience might follow her just about anywhere.

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9
Spider-Woman (2020) #5

Oct 21, 2020

The leap into the next issue that hits at the end of #5 feels like a bit of a lurch. This is odd as Pacheco has done such a good job of making sure that the pacing has been quite nearly perfect throughout the past couple of issues. The sudden journey out to meet with Captain Marvel is a jaunty lead-in to next issue, but it feels ever-so-slightly at odds with the dramatic weight of the rest of the issue. Theres almost nothing connecting the end of one issue with the beginning of the next. Its nice to get a preview of whats coming next month, though.

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10
Spider-Woman (2020) #6

Nov 18, 2020

This crossover does the sort of thing that crossovers might have been intended to do when the Marvel Universe was created back in the 1960s. The sudden appearance of Carol Danvers not only adds to the appeal of Jessica, but it also makes Danvers seem that much more interesting to anyone who might not be reading Captain Marvel right now. It would be fun to see Pacheco and Prez work together on a Spider-Woman/Captain Marvel series, but it would be just as fun to see what the two of them could do with a run on Captain Marvel. 

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9
Spider-Woman (2020) #7

Dec 23, 2020

Pacheco and Perez can start to return to a more Jessica-centric storyline in future issues, having rolled through the punches of a very aggressive mega-crossover event. Spider-Woman #7 offers one of those rare glimpses into what can happen when the right team pops over to the larger universe for a quick adventure before returning to heavier matters when the smoke clears. 

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #8

Jan 6, 2021

Pacheco and Prezs last issue features a battle with a giant beast. They follow that in the eighth issue with a complex interaction between hero and villain that plays to subtlety without compromising action. Pachecos success with the series has been a product of knowing exactly how to modulate Jess through her world in a way that allows each chapter to build stylistically on the back of the one before it. Jess has come a long way in eight issues. Its fun to see the progression, thanks to some very clever work by Pacheco and Prez.

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #10

Mar 17, 2021

Pacheco leaves things in a very resolved state at issue's end. This actually comes across as kind of a daring move on her part as every conflict is in some state of finality. She's clearly writing with confidence here. She knows that she's brought fun and engaging character to the page. Jess has been a great deal of fun. She's more than enough to bring readers back next issue without introducing any cliffhanger to serve as narrative connective tissue to #11. With all Jess has been through, she deserves a bit of a rest.

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10
Spider-Woman (2020) #11

Apr 21, 2021

The cover states that this issue is a great jumping-on point! The cover is not wrong. Pacheco has put together the issue like a fun, little date with a woman who is finally back on her feet. Aspects of her life are clearly rendered in a very appealing way the mixes action with drama and comedy almost perfectly. Pacheco and Prez have proven to be a really good team in the series thus far. This issue gives the artist and writer a chance to connect with the character outside of the heavy machinery of a long-running plot arc. Its fun.

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #12

May 13, 2021

Pacheco has been doing a brilliant job of bringing a hero to the page who has clearly been through a HELL of a lot already. Shes still got a passion for doing what shes doing without being bogged down in darkness and cynicism. Its a job; she loves doing it; she gets a bit tired. Never enough time with her kid. Pacheco is carved out a really specific niche for Jess throughout the first twelve issues of the series.

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #13

Jul 14, 2021

The challenge for Pacheco and Prez moving forward is going to lie in maintaining the momentum that theyve set this issue. The fantastic journey to Wundagore Mountain and an off-planet adventure has settled into a more domestic setting that Pacheco and Prez have done an outstanding job of setting up. Hopefully, everything comes together for the issues to come. Theres been a genuine sense of character progression in story and art that has been really appealing as an ongoing series.

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9.6
Spider-Woman (2020) #14

Aug 18, 2021

Pacheco has guided Jess through a really lovely run that continues this issue beautifully. Theres a solid sense of progression. Shes not just developing as a character...shes also developing a deeper and deeper understanding of the complexity of her family and all of the problems that echo through a very, very messed-up interaction between people who dont actually know each other all that well. Its fascinating to follow from issue to issue.. 

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10
Spider-Woman (2020) #15

Sep 15, 2021

Pacheco and Prez are doing some of the most clever superhero work on the comics rack right now. The sophisticated blending of drama, comedy, and superhero action is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe in a way that makes everything feel that much more integrated. The whole ensemble of characters that Pacheco is working with is fun. In its fifteenth issue, the current series of Spider-Woman feels like its working on every level. 

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9
Supergirl (2016) #22

Oct 13, 2018

Andreyko and company are developing a genuinely distinctive kind of fun here between Supergirl, her axe, and her dog. Theyre treating her dog and the axe as other characters, and it lends an enjoyably offbeat tone to the action heroine. Itll be interesting to see if Andreyko and company can maintain the pleasant novelty of the series once The Killers of Krypton storyline draws to a close.

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9.6
Supergirl (2016) #23

Oct 15, 2018

The story Andreyko and Maguire are delivering here has great potential. With Supergirl now on a quest across the universe, she could be on a journey all over the place. This could be a really refreshing tour through the cosmic end of the DC Universe that might touch on everything from the most popular stuff to the most obscure, as well as a very emotionally engaging journey into the alien end of the universe with Maguires art.

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6
Supergirl (2016) #24

Nov 14, 2018

Supergirl #24 might be a bit of a letdown after the last 3 issues, but the story continues to propel forward through a dull space western chapter under the power of a distinctly appealing take on the lead character.

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #26

Jan 16, 2019

The spacefaring super heroine is looking good in her 26th issue. Andreyko may be keeping the pulpy space fantasy milieu rolling for now. The tour of the cosmic end of the DC Universe continues to show promise. Supergirl has been paired with interesting allies and contrasted against equally interesting enemies. If DC can pair Andreyko with a steady artist who can accomplish the dynamic balance of Maguire and shell continue to be appealing for a long, long time.

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #27

Feb 13, 2019

Everything else aside, Andreyko advances Supergirl in a really engaging coming-of-age story here. She has gone into deep space in order to get answers and maybe a little bit of revenge, but after the events of this issue shes seen the anger within her and backed away from it. Given the right finesse, Andreykos treatment of Supergirls character development could turn into something interesting by the time she eventually returns to earth.

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7
Supergirl (2016) #28

Mar 11, 2019

Theres a lot of potential in a story that pits Supergirl against monstrous mutation of herself. And while Andreyko and company find exciting ways of delivering the horror of that action to the page, the overall execution lacks the inventiveness that could have accompanied an issue like this. That being said, the inner conflict that Kara feels rests entirely at the center of a story continues to come across convincingly.

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2
Supergirl (2016) #29

Apr 10, 2019

A muddled delivery of the rather sudden end to a grand quest is further muted by a substantial amount of exposition. With any luck, Andreyko and company are adjusting for a new direction with one of DCs most iconic superheroes. This issue, however, lacks the kind of impact it really needed to have to live up to its potential.

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #30

May 8, 2019

Andreyko finally delivers an end to the multi-part story that has a perfect sense of drama, action, and pacing. The only thing that keeps it from being nearly as good as it SHOULD have been is the fact that Andreyko seems to have been rushed to get to this point in the story. There was real potential in a quest like this rolling through a couple of years. As it is, the resolution here feels rather abrupt when taken in the context of a story which really SHOULD have been longer.

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8
Supergirl (2016) #31

Jun 12, 2019

Theres a lot the bursts out of the action in this issue thats been built up throughout the past several issues. The journey to reach this point in Supergirls life hasnt been a very smooth one, but Andreyko and company bring it to the page in a way that would feel clear and dynamic even to those who havent been following the story all that closely in recent months. Given all thats happened in the past six issues, thats actually quite an accomplishment.

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9.6
Supergirl (2016) #32

Jul 10, 2019

Andreykos story has been lurching through the first half of the year, occasionally coming across with brilliance and sometimes feeling strangely dull. With this issue, Andreyko regains a sense of power and impact about the series that will hopefully launch it in a good direction for chapters to come. Maguire really aids the series. He seems to have a much better grasp of how to bring Andreykos story to the page in a way that feels interesting.

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9.6
Supergirl (2016) #33

Sep 4, 2019

With Karas space adventures having come to a close, Eduardo Pansica takes over the art for the next few issues. Andreyko remains the writer, but the distinctively satisfying pairing with Maguire will be missed as Kara makes a steady path for a meeting with the Year of the Villain crossover in issues #35.

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7
Supergirl (2016) #34

Sep 18, 2019

With all of the various elements that are coming into play. It feels as though a truly coherent theme and direction for the series will have to wait until the end of the current Tear of the Villain mega-crossover. For the time being, Kara feels every bit as lost as the series shes in. So it doesnt feel at all incongruous with its central character even if its kind of uneven.

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8
Supergirl (2016) #35

Oct 12, 2019

Its standard offworlder/earth people superhero/super-villain stuff. Nothing terribly new here, but Kara feels aggressively heroic in a very admirably-executed example of the type of stuff that has been floating and flowing through the superhero genre for decades. Andreyko and Pansica continue to do Kara justice even if she seems to be searching for something more defining...the way she always has. The long sought-after brilliant Supergirl story is out there. Andreyko appears to be getting closer to it.

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6
Supergirl (2016) #36

Nov 22, 2019

Supergirl has been thrown around quite a lot by crossover events this Year. This Year of the Villain thing hits her particularly hard, so its easy to see why she would do what she does at the issues end. Other than that one dark final moment, this issue is an awkward, silly narrative shuffle. 

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9.6
Supergirl (2016) #37

Dec 12, 2019

Houser and Stott have made a really solidly entertaining opening for their run on Supergirl. Having opened with a very compelling emotional exploration of Karas darker side, it will be interesting seeing what they can do with her once the infection fades as it presumably will in issues to come. Decades after her first appearance, Kara still has great potential to explore new territory. The inconsistent quality of the past years has failed to live up to that potential. Houser and Stott clearly show that they can do some great work with the title, as evidenced by this issue.

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #38

Jan 8, 2020

Houser manages a solid chapter in the life of Kara. Its not terribly novel or interesting stuff, but it IS fun to see Wonder Woman confront a rogue hero infected with evil. From dialogue to action to execution, theres little in this issue that would have felt out of place 10 or 20 years ago. It may not feel very new, but that doesnt keep it from being fun. 

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8.4
Supergirl (2016) #39

Feb 19, 2020

The multi-issue Wonder Woman crossover is proving to be the perfect approach to Supergirl-as-super-villain. Her brief encounter with Batman and Superman at the beginning of her current journey didnt have a strong enough emotional component to make much of an impression. Wonder Womans specific flavor of altruistic compassion makes for a very meaningful contrast against super-heroism gone wrong. Supergirl #39: Im the Bad Guy Part 3 is one of those rare instances where the weight of a superhero crossover is more or less equally shared between both heroes. 

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6
Supergirl (2016) #40

Mar 26, 2020

As an evil Supergirl, Kara isnt really exploring terribly new ground here, and there isnt a whole lot of depth to what shes doing here. Its too bad as a more intricate and sophisticated conflict between Wonder Woman, and a dark Supergirl could have been interesting if it had been cast in greater complexity. Without an engrossing emotional journey for Supergirl, Wonder Woman doesnt have a whole lot to work with. She carries so much of the emotional weight of the issue, but she shouldnt have to do so.

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6
Supergirl (2016) #41

Jun 6, 2020

There may not be a lot going on in this issue, but Houser and Stott do an admirable job of sketching out a moment in Karas psyche. Its a moody lead-in to what will likely be a much more substantial story next issue with the meeting thats set-up at issues end. The rhythm of the story could have led to that meeting in a much more compelling way if the pacing had just a bit more punch.

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5
Supergirl (2016) #42

Jul 8, 2020

There was a rumor that Supergirl was easy to kill-off in' 85/'86's Crisis on Infinite Earth due to the character's disappointing performance in a big-budget Hollywood movie in '84. Decades later, this series may be that much easier to cancel in light of the long-running TV series flagging ratings. It's too bad. There is a great deal that can be explored on the comics page. It's challenging to look out over this series's history and those that have come before it and not feel like there's a great deal of potential that simply hasn't been realized in decades of Supergirl comics. 

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7
Supergirl (2016) Annual #2

Nov 30, 2019

Its a fun novelty to see Kara before the tragedy that would come to define her life on Earth. The menace of the reality of whats going on isnt nearly as strong as it should be to deliver the darkness that launches this issue into the next chapters in the life of Supergirl. Theres so much more that could have been delivered in a look back at Karas earlier life.

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9.6
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1

Jun 16, 2021

Ruthye is a compelling character, but King knows full well that the central appeal of the story is the title character. His characterization of her is a great deal of fun. Any series that opens with a drunken Kryptonian on her 21st birthday is going in the right direction right away. When the emotional hammer hits at chapter's end, its all too apparent the King knows exactly what hes doing with this one.

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9.6
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2

Jul 21, 2021

With the story already 25% over at the end of issue #2, King has quite a bit of ground to cover before the two characters are fully resolved in their journey. Hes got some time, but timing is going to be a huge factor in getting everything to develop as slowly as it is and still resolve by the end of the eighth issue. Evelys art seems perfectly matched with the pacing and the strange setting of a dusty interstate journey that just happens to be taking place in deep space. 

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9.6
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3

Aug 18, 2021

Elsewhere Lopes paints the sky around Maypole with a gentle dazzle. The big-sky, small-town story could easily have come from an old cowboy story. The space western feel of the story thus far would feel overpoweringly silly were it not for meticulous work on the part of King, Evely, and Lopes. On a surface level, its a story that could have fit in just about any other genre setting. On a nuts-and-bolts level, this story wouldnt have to happen in the company of Supergirl. King and company are bringing it to the page in a way that wouldnt feel quite at home anywhere else. 

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10
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4

Sep 22, 2021

The journey of Supergirl and her companion has already been so many different places. Its difficult to imagine whats going to happen in the second half of the mini-series as the journey thus far. Kings pacing has been impressively well-thought-out to this point. A slow and steady journey to find the killers turns a major corner next issue. Itll be interesting to see how Supergirl handles the brigands who are as close as the next major planet at issues end.

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9.6
Taskmaster (2020) #1

Nov 11, 2020

Given how well the opening issue feels, it's kind of surprising that Marvel hadn't thought to feature him in his own series earlier. MacKay infuses the character with a sharp swagger that hits the page with a whole lot of appeal. Perez created a hell of a look for the character back in 1980, but it's kind of clutter for any artist to try to work with. Vitti does such an excellent job of making that clutter work in favor of a visually distinct character in a refreshingly fun series. 

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9
Taskmaster (2020) #2

Dec 16, 2020

MacKay twists the artifacts of a totally mundane slugfest and turns it into something really, really enjoyable. Superman has been around for the better part of a century. Put him in a different costume with a different identity in a different universe, and he's still going to interact in the same way he has in thousands of various conflicts stretching back to the later 1930s. Somehow MacKay has managed to stage a Superman-style slugfest in a way that makes it feel fresh and exciting, courtesy of a charming villain.

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9.6
Taskmaster (2020) #3

Feb 10, 2021

There's a really good fusion of artist and writer in this series. MacKay knows exactly how far to push the strangeness of the story. Vitti knows just how far to go with the comic end of it all to keep from overpowering the action. It's very precise chemistry that has served the series well so far. Given this creative team's appeal, it's not hard to imagine this being an ongoing companion to MacKay's Black Cat series. The two titles complement each other. Marvel's heroic villains have always been interesting. Give them the right angle, and they become perfect central characters.

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9.6
Taskmaster (2020) #4

Mar 10, 2021

The series wraps-up in April with the big finale. Taskmaster. Black Widow. Nick Fury. It's a bit showdown, but it will remain to be seen if MacKay and Vitti manage to wrap things up in a way that's going to be satisfying given how truly open and wild the first four issues of the five-part series have been. It's cool to have Taskmaster's place slowly reveal itself in the course of a given issue. Still, MacKay and Vitti will have as hell of a time getting the overall series to come together in a fifth issue as they haven't done a lot of work revealing to the reader the larger picture of the whole series.

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6
Taskmaster (2020) #5

Mar 24, 2021

There's really no reason why the Taskmaster can't have an ongoing series. MacKay's only real problem is that the series has to come to a sudden and abrupt end. The series's overall premise could have run for a few years the way MacKay was managing it prior to this issue. The series would have had more of an appealing disappointment if it had been planned for a longer run. Given the right momentum, it could have taken MacKay years to work up to the level of disappointment at the end of this issue.

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10
The Department of Truth #1

Sep 30, 2020

The premise for The Department of Truth is so simple in its cleverness. The possibilities for fiction in a world of conspiracy at the heart of reality are endless. Tynion's idea is very appealing, but he's going to need an artist with Simmonds' exact aesthetic to bring it to the page in style as the series progresses. There are few other artists working today who could competently bring a drama like this to the page.

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9.6
The Department of Truth #2

Oct 28, 2020

The first issue in the series established the premise. The second issue delves into Coles personal history with the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. The formatting of the series hasnt fully begun to assert itself yet, but it might be cool if each issue featured a different

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10
The Department of Truth #3

Nov 25, 2020

The first couple of establishing issues were a nice introduction into the world of The Department of Truth. With that firmly in place, Tynion IV and Simmonds can start to explore how different specific events involving conspiracy theories relate to this world. This issue shows a willingness to get into the deeper emotional aspects of how and why people believe what they do. Its remarkably compelling stuff.

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9.6
The Department of Truth #4

Dec 23, 2020

Tynion is skillfully gliding his way through a story that gives just enough plot and characterization to crawl around inside the imagination without overpowering. The narrative text involving the conspiracy is hellishly thick, but its all wallpaper for the central drama that resonates on the page with a haunting pulse. Image maintains the steady beat of one issue of the series per month, but the time between issues feels more and more cavernous as Tynion and Simmonds ratchet-up the tension.

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9.6
The Department of Truth #5

Jan 27, 2021

Tynion and Simmonds are doing a really good job of pacing the story. Investigations into the unknown and shadowy government secrets can be really, really difficult to keep fresh from one episode to the next without over-rendering a moment and answering too many questions. The creative team has reached the fifth issue of this series without making progression feel too slow OR too fast. Its a really well-balanced approach that has served the series quite well so far. 

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6
The Department of Truth #6

Feb 24, 2021

As poor a fit as Chartiers work seems its not actually bad. And if theres going to be an issue that isnt rendered by Simmonds, it really NEEDS to be an issue that isnt set in the same time and space as the rest of the series has been thus far. Tynion and company have done a fairly good job of lowering a less-than-satisfying issue into an otherwise breathtaking series thats been rolling along with a lot of appeal to this point. With this brief, little flashback finished, it will be interesting to see where things go in the future.

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5
The Department of Truth #7

Mar 31, 2021

Tynions better work in the series thus far has been exploring the weird edges delineating conspiratorial shadows, belief, and the drama of human emotion. Very little of what hits the page in Department of Truth feels fresh or original enough to explore an already thoroughly-explored topic with much of any interest. The fusion between the world of UFO lore and the world of the series was going to be kind of a challenge to try to fuse together in a compelling way. Tynion hadnt found a connection between lore and fiction that works. 

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9.6
The Department of Truth #8

Apr 28, 2021

Its worth mentioning that this is an improvement over earlier attempts at this sort of serial. TVs The X-Files wasted little time in losing a hell of a lot of coherence in the government conspiracy end of the show. The usual pitfalls of this sort of ongoing serial seem to be solidly avoided in Department of Truth. Tynions challenge is to dive into the mystery in a way that reveals just enough without weaving hopeless convolutions into the story. Tynion seems to have carefully constructed the backstory of Cole, Oswold and the DOT. Its satisfying following a series knowing that the creative team has the mystery well under control.

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8
The Department of Truth #9

May 26, 2021

The world of magic in the universe of The Department of Truth should have had a deeper connection than the one that Tynion is managing here. As it is, the author seems to be going over basic lore about magic and occultism that could have been carved together off of Wikipedia. There isnt enough to ground it firmly in the style and attitude of the series to make it feel all that integral to the story.

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8
The Department of Truth #10

Jun 30, 2021

The world that Tynion is building is fascinating. It would really need to dive in to embrace the art a bit more to be totally satisfying in comic book format, but its solidly entertaining as is. Simmonds art really SHOULD be engaged by the script much more than Tynion is allowing for, though. Issue number ten seems to be merely scratching the surface of a strange and mysterious world of existential horror. Given the right fusion, the series could be brilliant. 

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8
The Department of Truth #12

Aug 25, 2021

So Cole and Hawk are going to Milwaukee in Black Helicopters that only sort of exist. This can safely be mentioned at the end of the review as the revelations in the issue dont really have anything to do with the direction of the series, which ends up being a bit of a problem for it. The central action of the series isnt centrally squared on the main conflicts. The stories that are being told in the text ARE interesting, but theyre not whats going on in the accompanying art, which makes for a bit of a disconnect between text and graphics.

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8
The End: Doctor Strange #1

Jan 29, 2020

It would be nice to see these to work on something that wasn't marketed as being as immense as this is supposed to be. This is the end of a major character. They're trying to bring to a close a series character with a life that's been going on for over half a century already. Granted, he will live on for decades or at least as long as Marvel does. But the idea of giving him a final adventure set in the far future really deserves some great final mystery as the character dives into the heart of the unknown. Williams' story is good, but it doesn't suit the end of such a powerful character. Given the right twist, these two would be really interesting together working on an entire series set in Doctor Strange's cyberpunk future.

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8
The Kill Lock #1

Dec 30, 2019

The basic premise of the series is deliciously simple. The title device takes away all of the usual problems that usually go along with a diverse group of characters who typically wouldnt want to hang out together. Questionable motivations for remaining together are dispatched right away, allowing Ramondelli to dive right into the adventure once the initial premise is outlined. Its a quick intro to what promises to be a really, really fun series.

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9.6
The Kill Lock #2

Jan 22, 2020

Yeah...its apparent that this whole thing will probably end with some sort of thing like: The real kill lock was the friends we made along the way, type of thing, but its entertaining to see a group of characters who couldnt be more different gradually coming together. The beauty in Kill Lock is not where its going, but how much fun Ramondelli manages to pound into the journey there. 

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9.6
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1

Apr 21, 2021

Ram V and Filipe Andrade are a really good team. Its difficult to imagine the story being drawn by a different artist, and its equally difficult to imagine a different writer working with this same premise in quite the same way. The overall idea is weird, but not in a way that compromises an overall sense of tension that could easily serve as the basis for a long-running series if V and Andrade were interested in taking a long journey with Laila. 

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9.6
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #2

May 19, 2021

Laila experiences two deaths in two issues. The years pass, and she returns. The title feels confident enough to suggest that this is likely to be a regular occurrence, possibly at the end of every issue. There's a poetic feeling of myth and magic about the episodic plot's structure that Ram V is working with, aided as he is by some very dreamy visuals brought to the page by Andrade. With the second of five issues, the series is roughly 40% finished. Already it feels like it's moving too fast. It's been such a pleasure so far.

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10
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3

Jun 16, 2021

Laila Starr is the main character here, but its really he who will invent immortality, who is the center of the story. Theres a nice sense of duality between story and art and death and the man who will make it obsolete. Laila has lost much of the direction she seemed to have in the first couple of issues. Itll be interesting to see what kind of momentum V and Andrade can summon for her in the last couple of installments of the series.

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9.6
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #4

Jul 21, 2021

Theres one issue left to go in the series. The big revelation at the end of the issue twists the narrative in an interesting direction which calls into question some of the basic assumptions that Laila might have had about the nature of her situation. The cycle of life and death that the series has been following DID feel like it might have run the risk of becoming repetitious, but Ram V and Filipe Andrade turn things around at the end of the penultimate issue that should keep it fresh for the finale next month.

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8.4
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #5

Sep 1, 2021

As it rests outside of traditional narrative conventions in the comics medium, Ram V, Andrade, and Amaro have put together a pleasantly weird fugue of a dream for page and panel. Like many dreams, its got a wispy, ethereal quality that may be difficult to hold onto in a wash of other stories in other forms which present themselves in the future. Though its been a hell of a dream, there isnt actually all that much to hold onto. Starr is an interesting character, but there hasnt been enough in the course of the series to ground her in a compelling reality.

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9.6
The Me You Love in the Dark #1

Aug 4, 2021

With the plot and tone firmly established in the first issue, Young and Corona have a chance to move into great complexity in future installments. The big problem with Middlewest was the creative team's difficulty in juggling so many different characters, events, and conflicts. Streamlining that to Ro and the house and the ghost should cut down on that complexity enough to really allow for something beautiful if they can keep the mood rolling into interesting emotional locations and varying paths of the heart. 

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9.6
The Me You Love in the Dark #2

Sep 8, 2021

Theres a kind of fearlessness with the pacing of the series. Young and Corona are taking this one very, very slowly, which is a huge improvement over the lurching nature of the type of work that theyd done in Middlewest. Theres no huge ensemble and massive, sprawling world here. Theres one woman...one ghost and one house. And thats all they really need to develop whats becoming a really entertaining supernatural romance.

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9.6
The Scumbag #1

Oct 14, 2020

Remender takes what might be a tired, old premise and makes it interesting by making the hero as unappealing as possible. As sharp as the writing is, it really wouldn't hold that much appeal without the amplified power of Larosa's art. Remender and Larosa show a deep love for Ernie that breathes through script and panel. If they can hold onto that for the story's duration, The Scumbag could really turn into something special.

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9.6
The Scumbag #2

Nov 25, 2020

Remender and Larosa have a fun thing going with The Scumbag. Its got a rhythm and pulse that feels fresh and unique even if its not aspiring to a whole lot more than a simple loser-saves- the-w0rld action story. Ernie continues to be appealing. The passion and the sharp-witted energy of Sister Mary adds a stylish contrast to Ernies comic grotesqueness. With the full reveal of the antagonistic Scorpions, the series is off into an appealing momentum. If Remender and Larosa can keep it from veering too far from the heart of the conflict, The Scumbag might be one of the better comics to be introduce in late 2020. 

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8
The Scumbag #3

Dec 23, 2020

The hero's reluctance aside, Remender and Powells story DOES have a steady rhythm to it that feels appealing enough to guide it through the next several issues at least. The central conflict with the alchemical bomb IS appealing. It could have easily been expanded to fill the entire issue, but Remender and Powell spend 12 pages or so establishing Ernie Rays relationship with Central Authority for the fourth issue. Its quite a lot of space to invest in the coming conflicts. Remender and Powell better make that next issue worth the investment.

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8
The Scumbag #4

Jan 20, 2021

It's all so pleasantly immersive that it manages to make the journey from one cover to the other without a single violent action scene...and thanks to Powell...the issue is more than appealing enough without a single action sequence. The added political and philosophical depth of the fourth issue of the series feels a little bit forced. Still, thanks to some sharp characterization on Remender and Powell's part, the issue is completely entertaining. 

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8.4
The Scumbag #5

Feb 24, 2021

Ernie's gradual awakening into being something more than a selfish piece of human garbage has been a bit of a struggle. Early-on in the series, he's come across as the kind of comic relief he's meant to be evolving from, but the fifth issue has him coming to a deeper understanding of the nature of the world, and he's beginning to meet some of his potential. The fifth issue in the series manages a really sharp balance between drama, action, comedy, and adventure.

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8
The Scumbag #6

Mar 24, 2021

As the series progresses, Remender has to maintain a balance between character development and the intrinsic appeal of his LACK of development. He simply not going to want to do anything that an accident would do. And that's his appeal. And yet, at the same time, if he develops too quickly, he loses his initial appeal. If he's too successful at becoming a good person, he's going to lose audiences. Remender's pacing continues to tread a meticulous balance between progress and arrested development and another satisfying issue. It will be interesting to see where the story goes in the next several issues.

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8.4
The Scumbag #7

Apr 16, 2021

Theres a stark contrast between the two different cults that Ernies run into. The gradual expansion of Ernies character development almost seems to be heading in the direction of greater structure. Ernie would hate that. Ernies wants nothing more than to be the master of his own destiny. Hes not doing a terribly good job of it, but the seventh issue of his series shows him with a satisfying sense of control. Clearly, the creative team has plans for him.

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8
The Scumbag #8

May 19, 2021

Ernie's been through so much that it's kind of strange to think that it's only been eight issues so far. Remender seems to have quite a serial mapped-out that involves a character arc that seems a hell of a lot more coherent than a guy like Ernie seems to be capable of. A story like this could keep going with further developments for a very, very long time. Ernie's got a lot of potential, and Remender clearly has a sharp understanding of the kind of pacing needed to go the distance with a reluctant hero.

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6
The Scumbag #9

Jul 28, 2021

For all its lack of depth in the way of the main character, the ninth issue in the series actually has quite a sweeping feeling of adventure from the moon to the earth and all over time. Its pretty impressive stuff if you dont think about it too much. That being said, its not like theres a whole lot that could be pounded into Ernie that would make the series feel dynamic in any meaningful way. Ernies had his time to develop. With any luck, Remender and company will coax him into a more intriguing direction in future issues.

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9
The Silver Coin #1

Apr 7, 2021

A single coin can be remarkably versatile. It might have been used for so many different things in so many different ways throughout human history. Zdarsky has a huge field open for him in future issues that could slowly reveal an arcane history for the coin that might slowly reveal very complex and convoluted mythology. In the future, the challenge is going to lie in finding novel ways to explore the exploits of a single piece of dark magic.

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8
The Silver Coin #2

May 12, 2021

It's gruesome, and it's fun. Thompson manages something relatively deep thematically about the horror that we carry with us everywhere we go. A story that would have felt much more concise in an old horror anthology of the 1950s feels a bit long in a full-length contemporary comic book.

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8
The Silver Coin #3

Jun 16, 2021

A simple, well-told story manages what so many others dont. Dialogue is kept to a minimum. Theres just enough there to carry the narrative. Everything seems in balance, but its not exactly the type of story thats going to rest prominently in memory into the distant future. Like so many other moments with The Silver Coin thus far, the third issue is likely to lurk in the periphery of memory like some semi-forgotten nightmare. Unless theres some kind of overarching theme that will come along and tie all the disparate tales of the anthology together in the coming months. 

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6
The Silver Coin #4

Jul 14, 2021

It's nice to see the anthology series willing to branch out and try something wild. Following the life of a single coin in a series of one-shot stories might run the risk of feeling a bit repetitious. Adding sci-fi cyberpunk horror into the mix would seem to be a good fit, but Lemire and Walsh haven't found a way to manage it that feels interesting. A sudden jolt to the future for the series in its fourth issue should have been more darkly dazzling. 

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8.4
The Silver Coin #5

Aug 11, 2021

The Silver Coin has gained quite an audience in the past several months. What had been planned as a five-issue anthology mini-series has been opened up into an open-ended engagement on the comics rack. There is great potential in the life of a single cursed coin that could be taken in all kinds of different directions by a host of different authors. There have been several writers announced for the next several issues. If success continues, it would be fascinating to see some really big-name horror writers pick up the coin and take it for a spin somewhere in the hazy march of time. Anything could happen to a cursed coin, given the right momentum.

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9.6
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #4

Feb 5, 2019

Whitley and Gurihiru have found a really nice balance in the opening four issues of the series. With plenty of action lining the first three issues, this fourth one kicks the narrative into an interesting alternative gear that inventively explores the intellectual life of a character in a way that takes full advantage of the comics medium. The original Nadia van Dyne series was cancelled after only 8 issues. With any luck this isnt the halfway point of THIS series. Whitley and Gurihiru have found a style that works for the character. Itll be interesting to see her develop in the issues to come.

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8.4
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #5

Feb 21, 2019

The entire ensemble is closer at the end of the issue. Its a very endearing chapter. Its easy to get lost in clashing personalities and competing problems in a big superhero ensemble. Its nice to see everyone pull together in an issue like this. In its own way its kind of inspiring. Rarely is this much focus put on a superheros emotional support network.

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9.6
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #6

Apr 10, 2019

Its always going to be a bit difficult to find the right market for a comic book like this. A STEM-stressing social ensemble serial that is so obviously pointed at girls can feel like its reaching a bit too far to try to reach its target demographic. Thankfully Whitley and company are diligently piecing together a product that holds an appeal beyond its target demo. Theres nothing quite. Like this on the comic book rack right now. Hopefully, it can continue to find its audience as the series progresses.

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9.6
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #7

May 8, 2019

The fact that the physical action is used as something of a punchline to a joke is just one more charming, little detail in a really nice party that Whitley and company have thrown for their title character. As the series continues, theres a real dedication to this character that feels all the more solidified in an issue like this which fearlessly sidesteps the traditional format of a superhero comic book in favor of having a little carefree fun.

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9.6
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #9

Jun 19, 2019

The series concludes next month with issue #10. Fantasma is a fun villain to end the series on. Between the talented mix of drama, action and humor and the fact that every issue in the series ended with an interview with a different woman in STEM...its really too bad that the series wasnt able to survive. What Whitley managed to do here was genuinely unique. Too bad it couldnt find a bigger audience.

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9.6
The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) #10

Jul 17, 2019

Back in May, Whitley's third recommendation for those interested in keeping the series running included this bit of advice: "Review it. You don't know everybody out there, but when you review our books on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes, and Noble, etc.,. then your recommendation can help other people find the book." Okay...so here's my recommendation. Anyone else wants to hang out with Nadia and her friends? They're all pretty cool. It's a fun ensemble. Check it out.

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8.4
The Warning #3

Jan 16, 2019

There are elements of The Warning that feel very familiar to any other military-based story. There is a powerful undercurrent of something deeper here, though. In an August 16th article on Image Comics website, Laroche referred to the series as the first act of an opera. The immensity of the story DOES feel a bit operatic. Its like Independence Day crossed with Kubricks 2001. This sort of fusion makes for a very interesting and unique exploration of alien invasion as Laroches opera continues.

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9.6
The Warning #4

Feb 13, 2019

The fourth issue of The Warning is a really sharp three-act story which has the kind of integrity to practically stand on its own. Human concerns are nothing to the destructive power of common threats. Its a very well-balanced, dramatic installment of a unique alien invasion serial.

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8
The Warning #5

Mar 19, 2019

Laroches art carries the intensity of the story with an even-tempered hand. The movement of action across the page feels every bit as big as it needs to be to convey the feeling of doom and futility about military engagement.

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9.6
The Warning #6

Apr 24, 2019

Laroche is telling a story that in no way is extending itself directly at the reader. Typically by the sixth issue in a series like this, there would be a dizzying number of plot points and a nauseating amount of backstory hardwired into the narrative. Laroche sidesteps this in favor of a very visceral action disaster story that continues to build intensity half a year into its run.

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7
The Warning #7

May 22, 2019

It's too bad that the story is veering off in the direction of being more of a traditional Sci-Fi invasion story than something that it could have been. The military grounding of the story and the strange poetry of military language really seem to be pulling for something that would have been more abstract and stylish. With the aliens being more human than not, the whole story begins to feel a bit less appealing. A strange fusion between things that probably work better on their own. I'm taking on its own, this issue is OK. As a part of something more substantial, however, it's quite a disappointment.

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7
The Warning #8

Jun 19, 2019

Presumably the action settles-down a bit from here. (Given the scale of the combat in this issue, its kind of difficult to imagine it maintaining this level of action through too many more sustained pages without it feeling annoying and repetitious.) The action in Warning #8 might hamper its sophistication, but it DOES make for a quick, fun bit of action. 32 pages breeze along with blinding speed. It may not be terribly original, but it IS a lot of good, mindless fun.

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9.6
The Warning #9

Jul 17, 2019

The greater unity of Laroche's pacing begins to become a bit more apparent with this ninth issue. Conceived as a complete story, the overall plot structure is revealing itself. The Warning feels more like a unified project than a serialized piece of fiction. The brief, little tachistoscopic assault of 33 pages per month feels weirdly percussive. It'll be interesting to look back over it all once the final issue is out. For now, readers are only getting little snapshots from the hell of war on another world. It's fun, but it can be frustrating.

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7
The Warning #10

Aug 14, 2019

Problems with pacing aside, the final issue in the first series leaves things somewhat satisfyingly resolved for the time being. The immediate threat is over, but theres a bigger one on the horizon. Pretty standard stuff for a multi-segmented action serial, but that doesnt make it any less effective here. When next the series picks-up in its second act, it will be fifteen years later. Perhaps Act Two will be able to improve on the original while adding to it. In ten issues, Laroche has proven hes capable of doing really, really good things with this series.

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8
Thumbs #1

Jun 5, 2019

A story like this is tricky. Lewis and Sherman are treading some very treacherous narrative territory. A dystopian story that is as politically charged as Thumbs DOES run the risk of veering off into preachy, hackneyed cautionary fiction. The first issue definitely delivers a promising opening to the series. It will remain to be seen if Lewis and Sherman can maintain this level of quality through the end of the year.

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8
Thumbs #2

Jul 3, 2019

The second issue in the series further develops the overall feel if a world gone wrong that might be somewhat close to the world on this side of the page. Its been a nice couple of issues so far, but so much of what has come across in the first couple of chapters seems to bleed together. The story is going to need to develop in a much more powerful way in the next couple of issues if it is to escape the heavy gravity of its own visual style.

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8
Thumbs #3

Aug 7, 2019

The immersive nature of the world of Thumbs can be kind of a fun dive. But the real gravity of the story lies in the drama that the series simply isnt focussing on all that much. So much of the background feels like a distraction. Thumbs a good series that could carry far more impact if it simply chose to heighten the focus on the emotional end of the drama. 

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7
Thumbs #4

Sep 11, 2019

Thumbs fuse so many different post-apocalyptic and dystopian cyberpunk elements into a single plot arc that its easy to get lost in the details of the series. Everything seems like an echo of something else. In a sense, Thumbs almost feels like an experiment in a pop fusion that has just enough weight of its own to stand as a specific, somewhat unique story. Given the right treatment, the story could have been brilliant. As its been executed here, its not that bad.

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10
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1

Jul 24, 2019

Jane Foster had been Thor. Its recently been announced that shes going to get to be the thunder goddess in the next MCU Thor film. Thanks to Aaron and Ewings smart construction in this first issue, she really feels MUCH more at home as Valkyrie than she did as Thor. A Valkyrie in one life is a morgue assistant in another. Its such an amusing contrast between hero and civilian persona. Theres great potential here.

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9.6
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #2

Aug 21, 2019

The heaviness of the action in the issue launches the series into its third issue with a line that could have come across as very silly melodrama. The issue packed more than enough punch on more than enough levels to really give that final line of the issue all the justification it needs. Its only the name of the title Thor first appeared in. But Aaron, Ewing, and company give it a whole new life as Jane Foster is launched in a bold direction for her third issue. 

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8.4
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #3

Sep 18, 2019

Thankfully, CAFU is listed as the sole artist for the next couple of issues of the series. Which should see a return to the stylish visual form that had defined the first couple of chapters of the series. The story remains solidly entertaining as Foster embarks on an epic journey into an afterlife in transition. There's a very compelling premise at the heart of that journey which shows great potential for the months to come.

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9
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #4

Oct 23, 2019

The series continues. Foster is being pushed in quite a few different directions this issue alone. Shes just learning the ropes. The challenge is going to be letting her gain some proficiency and wisdom on the job. Without maintaining the earthbound charm that the series has been gliding through so fluidly so far. The fourth issue is a fun mix of different elements. If they can maintain that mix going forward, this particular Valkyrie could have a nice, long life.

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9.6
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #5

Nov 27, 2019

With the initial five-issue arc out of the way, itll be interesting to see where Foster goes next. Ewing and Aaron have put together a fascinating character and given her an equilibrium all her own this issue. From here, they can do some exciting things if they handle it as well as theyd handled this issue.

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9.6
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #6

Dec 11, 2019

Having worked her way through her initial arc, Jan Foster is diving headlong into something WAY beyond her capabilities. The creative team does a remarkable job of keeping her both vulnerably mortal and powerfully magical. Lee and Kirby never quite managed this clean a balance when Thors alter-ego was Dr. Donald Blake back in the 1960s. Ewing and Arron have done a very talented job of rooting the magical rooted in the mundane world of Marvel Manhattan.

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9.6
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #7

Jan 15, 2020

This step into further mysteries of the Marvel Universe makes the cosmic-level stuff feel all the more vital. Which is quite an accomplishment given the fact that the entire universe has had relatively regular threats to its existence pop-up one or more times per year since it first debuted in 1961. The sense of the infinite that Ewing and Aaron have instilled in the latest Jane Foster keeps a tired, old shared universe feeling fantastic over half a century since its conception. Ewing and Aaron are doing really important work with this series.

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9
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8

Feb 19, 2020

Aaron and Grnbekk push Jane Foster in a path to self-discovery that fuses perfectly with the overarching action of the series in a way that feels perfectly fluid. Rather than alternating different elements of the heros life, its all deeply integrated. Action sequences find Foster finding more and more about the Valkyrie energy that she is connected worth in one of the most harrowing on-the-job training experiences imaginable. 

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8
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #9

Mar 18, 2020

Given the amount of plot being pushed through this issue, its quite remarkable that everyone involved has managed to make it feel smooth and graceful. It scarcely feels rushed or convoluted at all, which is quite impressive given everything thats taking place. Once again, Jane Foster proves herself to be a very interesting mutation of the "Dr. Donald Blake/Thor" character that Jack Kirby and Larry Lieber had forged back in the 1960s. 

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10
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #10

Jun 19, 2020

Overall, Aaron and Grnbekk have guided Jane Foster through a compassionate character arc. So often, there is so much going on in the course of the first ten issues of a series that it can be difficult to feel a great deal of inner progress for the protagonist. Aaron and Grnbekk carefully balance action against reflection in a strikingly well-composed opening ten issues. 

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9
Vampire: The Masquerade #1

Aug 5, 2020

Devmalya Pramanik's work in the opening story has a darkly detailed style that strongly echoes the style of artist Timothy Bradstreet, who was featured quite extensively in rulebooks and sourcebooks for the original White Wolf game back in the 1990s.

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9.6
Vampire: The Masquerade #2