Sam de Smith's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Big Comic Page Reviews: 27
7.4Avg. Review Rating

8
Aphrodite IX/Cyber Force #1

Jul 15, 2014

As well as then getting a bonus short graphic story, as I've said there's an interesting discussion of whether a one shot like this can appease everyone, and it concludes that it's probably not that accessible to the uninitiated. I would tend to disagree in fact, as I was rather impressed. And the promise of them providing electronic back issues free of charge is the icing on the cake. Think I'll take them up on that offer, and I recommend you do too.

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8
Black Sky Sampler #1

Oct 15, 2014

So individually, we'd be looking at 4/5, across the board.

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8
Butterfly #1

Sep 23, 2014

If Im being a bit vague, its because I dont want spoil it. If Im being too analytical, its because I want you to know what youre getting into. This is a great read, with real potential. If it can distinguish itself with enough of an original take, then its going to be a must.

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8
Dark Horse Presents (2014) #1

Aug 19, 2014

Like any collected issue, this was always going to have hits and misses. But there's nothing terribly wide of the mark, and there's an awful lot of very impressive efforts in here. Well worth picking up!

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8
Dark Horse Presents (2014) #2

Sep 17, 2014

DHP clearly deserves the accolades it receives, continuing to set the industry standard. Sure there's a dud note here and there, but by and large this new incarnation of DHP is fast becoming a must-buy.

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2
Dead@17: The Blasphemy Throne #1

Aug 14, 2014

In writing this, I've realised that I don't particularly want to rate this as low as I'm going to. It's possible that I'm so put off by the art that it's distracting me from the narrative. But at the end of the day, I would struggle to recommend this to anyone.

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8
Ghost (2013) #7

Aug 12, 2014

Yes, Elisa's a bit pneumatic. Once it gets going, it's a bit hectic, and although the first half of the issue is an absolute draw, the second half really feels like it needs previous issues to make full sense of it. But let's be clear. I was ready to hate this, or at least be disappointed – and I loved it, and can't wait to read the next issue. So excited in fact that I went back and read the previous issues, and I must say I'm likewise impressed. Kudos, gentlemen and ladies of this… resurrection.

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6
Ghost (2013) #8

Sep 23, 2014

Overall, Ghost veers wildly between extremes. It's somewhere between a decidedly average 2/5 in some places and an outstanding 5/5 in others. Ultimately, I live in hope " as, it turns out, does our Ghost.

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6
Groo vs. Conan #1

Jul 22, 2014

It's a fun effort, all in all, and let's hope they can maintain it across the 4 issues whilst sorting out some of their niggles by the next.

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8
Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #2

Aug 5, 2014

Complaints? Linking Cthulhu mythos and nazis has been done so many times, and whilst it's only fleeting, it jars slightly. There's also a somewhat vague section against the villain's narration, but it is (largely) resolved. It's a very strong issue, and I look forward to more – a hearty recommendation!

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8
Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #3

Sep 3, 2014

Where this ticks the box, simply put, is its a fun read without being insubstantial: its gritty, it has great dialogue and you find yourself looking forward to the next episode… I mean issue.

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8
Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #4

Sep 30, 2014

Continues to be high on my want list, just over far too quickly!

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6
Lazarus #9

Jul 1, 2014

Going back and reading issues 5-8, my feeling are pretty similar. It's a great story-arc, and we have to have time to bond with the characters – but it's still resolved in a fairly contrived way. I enjoyed it, I'll keep reading it, and I do recommend it – I just hoped for more.

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6
Lazarus #10

Aug 5, 2014

Were roughly a year into the publication history of Lazarus, and its certainly hitting a lot of the right notes. It just needs a bit more oomf to push it into the big leagues.

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10
Low #2

Aug 28, 2014

I accidentally gave this a Rating of 6/5. Im sticking with it.

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8
Low #4

Oct 29, 2014

Categorically, do not get me wrong. Low is a brilliant, beautiful, and often profound comic. But it suffers from a burden of expectation having been of such high standard thus far; let's see where issue 5 takes us.

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8
Rogue Trooper Classics #3

Jul 1, 2014

But that aside, it's a tremendous collection and a worthy addition to any library.

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8
Sundowners #1

Aug 26, 2014

The art's well realised, though again drawing heavily on the colouring of 80s DC in the vein of (again) Watchmen, Hellblazer et al. There's generally some retro framing and styling which seems a little too knowing at times, and whilst it fits the tone of the piece it's a little off putting. But the pace is great, the dialogue snappy and we grow very quickly to like our after-dark vigilantes – our titular “Sundowners”. Worth watching to see where this one goes, as it ticks a lot of my boxes and am keen for the next issue.

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10
Sundowners #3

Oct 29, 2014

It's a dark, savage, brilliant work. It's up there as one of my absolute top picks just now, and you should buy it to find out just how clever a crime-fighting super comic can be.

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8
The Dresden Files: War Cry #5

Oct 2, 2014

So how does this come down as a final issue? Well, weve had action, excitement (cue joke), a neat narrative switch, and everything tied together with a couple of off-ramps to be explained anon, no doubt. The mythos creature is executed really well (no pun well, yes, alright, it was intended), and diehard Dresden fans will love it and for newcomers, its a great way into the setting, far more so than the prequel comic or indeed the book adaptations. Its not perfect, but boy is it good.

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8
Transformers: Primacy #3

Oct 21, 2014

What's also great about this is it is more than fan service. There are favourites, to be sure, but also here we see some other characters get fleshed out, explored, and " shock horror " developed from the ground up. The ending is a little drawn out, however. Yes, it's building to issue 4, but still, it left me slightly frustrated rather than hungry. Still, this arc's been building well, and it promises an excellent conclusion.

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10
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #31

Jul 29, 2014

The art by Griffith is sassy, like it's been ripped from Saturday morning TV with a wry twist. By having other artists do the flashback sections, it sets a great change of tone that matches the pacing. Skilfully done. I don't want to gush, and I am looking for negatives – and really can't find any. A glorious, and surprisingly deep, romp. Cracking (thundercracking) good stuff.

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8
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #32

Aug 20, 2014

If I have a criticism, its that Thundercracker ends up being comic relief, which jars slightly with his characterisation and the tone of the issue generally. The fact remains, though, that this sets the standard for franchise tie-in comics, and raises the bar in doing so. Oh, and if youre so minded, pick up Casey Collers 30th Anniversary cover version of this. My jaw dropped but no spoilers, go see for yourself.

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8
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #34

Oct 21, 2014

There is wonderful, powerful storytelling here that unlocks and explains parts of the TF mythos perfectly. But I can't help but feel that this is the wrong point in the broader arc to tell this part of the story. The art is glorious. Rich, vibrant, with the use of light with style and flair, and everyone rendered in their G1 glory. It's dynamic and I want more. And there's a brilliant, subtle reworking of the deception logo in battle damage on Galvatron's chest that genuinely made me laugh.

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6
Wayward #1

Aug 26, 2014

A fair start, not utterly compelling, but enough to pique my interest.

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6
Witchblade #177

Jul 29, 2014

Generally, the storyline is great. It's a setup issue, has to deal with continuity, and is a bit slow in places, but it is a good jumping-on point. Despite being a big Darkness fan, foreknowledge or fandom are certainly not prerequisites. There's some nice, oppressive urban art, rickety, atmospheric interiors and colours are both strong and subtle. What's not to love? Well, it's the faces, specifically of the sidekick character but of the protagonist also. It's distracting and disappointing how weak some of the drawing is, with some really manic or oddly proportioned expressions that a major negative on an otherwise impressive issue. It's worth a read, and try not to get put off by the sneers!

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4
Witchblade #178

Sep 30, 2014

I lied, it seems. I am being a bit precious. But frankly, overall this is a wasted opportunity.

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