Sam Graven's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Big Comic Page Reviews: 71
8.0Avg. Review Rating

8
2000AD #1924

Mar 31, 2015

Overall, it's really about time you read 2000AD if you haven't already, go back to it if you're lapsed, and feel smug if you're still going. You're bound to find something you like, and a new favourite story in the process. Zarjaz!

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10
2000AD #1925

Apr 7, 2015

2000ADremains the yardstick by which all other comics should bejudged. And with the prospect of a fresh JAEGIRstory in the coming Progs(trust me, you want to read JAEGIR), make sure you get it on your list now, Earthlet.

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8
2000AD #1926

Apr 15, 2015

Still full of thrill-power, 2000AD is now at risk of suffering from its own reformatting: I want a new thrill to keep me interested. We'll see what 1927 brings; either way, it's still the best way to spend your earth money on a Wednesday.

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10
2000AD #1927

Apr 21, 2015

2000AD just keeps getting better. With Free Comic Book day just around the corner, do yourself a favour and get stuck in.

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8
2000AD #1929

May 6, 2015

So if you just jumped back in from FCBD, looking for new thrills or lusting after old, get back in 2000AD. Youll not be sorry, earthlet.

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8
2000AD #1932

May 26, 2015

I find my rating for 2000AD doesnt change much, even though individual issues, and stories, vary enormously. Why is this? Because, for all its ups and downs, its still the galaxys greatest comic.

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10
2000AD #1938

Jul 8, 2015

2000AD is like an old mate. It grabs you in a headlock, wrestles you to the ground, laughs and then buys you a pint. The least you could do is go grab a copy and return the favour. You'll not be sorry.

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10
2000AD #1939

Jul 14, 2015

By its very nature, 2000AD is always worth dipping into. It can seem inaccessible to newcomers and drifters, but it never disappoints. Another great prog from the thrill-team!

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10
2000AD #1946

Sep 2, 2015

Seriously, I can't explain how much you just need to go buy this.

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8
2000AD #1979

May 4, 2016

Carroll and MacNeil's Blood of Emeralds was one of last summer's highlights for me, more so than the Enceladus saga to be honest. The brash art droiding of Holden works well as a successor to MacNeil and any tale of dirty cops, terrorists and quasi-justice isn't going to be that hard to pick up. It's satisfying and sets the tone for what's to come without being inaccessible. More than that I can't really go into, but it's a big, bold opener that kicks off the prog in style.

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8
2000AD #2015

Dec 17, 2014

With the legend that is John Wagner at the helm, you cant help but have high hopes for this, especially when youre seeing the Dark Judges back in style. Now Staples artwork, first of all, is worth mentioning as its perhaps not the Mega-City youre used to: vistas that are almost inspiring, a bit stronger in the palette, but still very much Dredd and what a Dredd, at that. With some astounding framing that really offsets the narrative, I am big fan of this team up. Just to be contentious though, Im going to say that Wagners writing, though excellent, doesnt give me enough Dark Judge! For all that we were promised, its a tiny, tiny tease in the grand scheme of things. I just wanted more which, of course is the point. But its still excellent, the new Lawgiver really well-crafted, and bodes very well for a story that 2000AD are clearly banking on.

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8
Action Comics (2016) #998

Feb 28, 2018

And it's just brilliant, because it is laugh out loud, almost shocking, can't quite believe they said or did that, and somehow made this… thing canon.

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10
Action Comics (2016) #1000

Apr 18, 2018

There's no denying that this is a must-have piece of comics history. But it's also a damn fine comic.

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8
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 27, 2016

This is a great return to form for Batgirl, acknowledging its own contrivances whilst successfully drawing us into the narrative. With a mystery to be solved, an old frenemy to tackle and mysterious kung-fu to be learned, this has the potential to be a cracking romp

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8
Batman (2011) #52

May 11, 2016

This is a strangely comforting story. It's a fitting coda to the New 52, not just for Batman but as a whole, and a worthy addition to the canon. It's affectionate without being fawning. Tynion understands Batman, but equally understands that Bruce is more than just a mask for the Bat.

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6
Batman (2016) #2

Jul 6, 2016

I can accept that this is a slow burn, but that's a huge risk on the part of DC with the Bat. There are some exciting questions to be answered, and it's possible that King will bring espionage and intrigue to the flagship title as Brubaker did with the Cap, but it feels a bit rough around the edges. Finch's art sings, and I absolutely want to know where the story's going – but, on many levels, it's not quite there yet.

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10
Batman (2016) #36

Dec 6, 2017

It's the best thing you'll read all year.

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10
Batman (2016) #40

Feb 7, 2018

I've been reading Batman for many years, under many writers, like so many of us. To me, Tom King's success lies in the understanding of the broader narrative, of Batman's wider relationships and, above all, his humanity. I've not felt so compelled to read, to buy, since Knightfall, even without some grand over-arching storyline – just the unfolding of a love story, the timeless tale of Bat and Cat (and the kangaroo – no, really). King's run is essential; it's brilliant storytelling, by turns dark and terrifying, vicious and tender. If you aren't reading this, you're crazy.

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10
Batman (2016) #50

Jul 4, 2018

Now go buy the book. No excuses, just do it. Because it's beautiful and brilliant, and above all, it's Batman.

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10
Bitch Planet #2

Jan 27, 2015

I'm bowled over by this comic. I've lost count of the number of folk, true believers or otherwise, that I've recommended this to in a couple of days. It's a savvy, sassy, savagely briliant read.

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10
Bitch Planet #6

Jan 6, 2016

Im buying this comic so I can give it to my unborn daughter in ten or twelve years. I want her to read it and embrace it. I want her not to conform.

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2
Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye #1

Mar 21, 2018

I cant help but feel there was a reason this comics already been cancelled once.

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10
Chew #44

Nov 5, 2014

Chew is nuts (literally, in places). It's hilarious, deranged and brilliant. And whilst there's no psycho chicken of doom this issue (although technically that's not true, he does get glorious full page spreads), it's still the most delicious fun you can have without resorting to eating hallucinogenic fruit.

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10
Cover (2018) #1

Sep 5, 2018

This sounds like a high-concept analysis of a high-concept comic. It's not meant to be. But it's wonderful to see the creative team having the freedom to do something so exciting and unconventional with the form. Trust me, get in on the ground floor of this one. It's going to be big.

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8
Cry Havoc #1

Jan 27, 2016

This is not flawless. The military characters, for now at least, seem paper thin. Sometimes, the framing intrudes on the storytelling. But this is a devilishly good read, and if my review seems evasive, it's because I don't want to spoil a right vicious treat for you.

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2
Dark Corridor #1

Aug 4, 2015

I have a lot of respect for folk who strike it out alone. When they then getting the backing of a big gun like Image, it should be a winner. Sadly, this collection of noirish tales are a whole lot of miss.

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10
Detective Comics (2016) #936

Jul 13, 2016

This is a seriously good comic. It's almost easy to overlook DC's flagships, particularly in the rush of Rebirth titles, but trust me: this is one to make your Wednesdays worth waiting for.

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8
Doomsday Clock #5

May 30, 2018

Do yourself a favour. Leave your preconceptions at the door, and watch worlds collide.

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8
Five Ghosts: Special #1

May 14, 2015

It's a great read, and Vidaurri plays to his strength as the whole creative package here.

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8
Flash (2016) #39

Jan 24, 2018

It's quite possible that this is the start of another truly great Flash epic, and one that doesn't involve mucking about with the timeline for a change. But with the Flash(es) so tied into the New 52/Rebirth saga that I'm constantly surprised that this issue – indeed the whole run – hasn't delved into this further. Regardless, if Perfect Storm lives up to the potential teased by this issue, then it could end up being one of the highlights of the Rebirth era.

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10
Galaxy's Greatest : Four Decades of 2000 AD #1

Feb 22, 2017

Rounded out with fact files and choice interviews, the 2000AD 40th special is testament to a true institution. Remember folks, its real thrills, reasonably priced.

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6
Ghost (2013) #9

Nov 4, 2014

It's a fairly okay entry point, but as a dedicated fan I was looking for something more not only for me, but to bring others into a world that I adore, ultimately.

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8
Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #5

Nov 4, 2014

Reading this run has been a pleasure all the way, and the setup for the longer storyline " a relationship that's somewhere between siblings and parent/child " will give this the emotional depth it needs to be really rounded. A great end to a great run.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #40

Mar 21, 2018

This is a crazy good comic. Dont make the mistake I did and miss out. Go back and read from the start of the arc if you can (this is part 4), but regardless, dont let it pass you by. Youll fall in mad love with Harley all over again.

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10
Harrow County #3

Jul 8, 2015

This is wonderful, soulful storytelling from Bunn. It's Steinbeck reimagined by Lovecraft. It's Dorothy's Kansas by Night. Get in now, and enjoyed the feeling of being harrowed by this twisted fairy tale.

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10
Harrow County #4

Aug 12, 2015

It's rare for a horror comic to be as tender as it is twisted, as beautiful as it is bloody, as sweet as it is sinister. Fabulous in every sense.

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8
I Hate Fairyland #7

Jul 20, 2016

Go get this, laugh till your eyes bleed cola pips, and learn to hate Fairyland too.

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8
Imaginary Drugs #1

Jan 20, 2015

Sure, there's the occasional damp squib in here, but it's more because of the highly compressed nature of some of the tales that you'd otherwise see gather steam. It's a bit frenetic, overwhelming at times, but these are niggles. I've been really impressed by IDW's output over the last year, and 2015 looks set to be another belter. It's a great book to dip in and out of, a hallucinogenic coffee table read, and well worth giving up your cash to your local purveyor of paper crack.

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4
Justice League (2016) #1

Jul 20, 2016

As a New 52 Justice League story, this would be fine. But as the Rebirth of planet's greatest team of heroes? Not up to scratch.

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8
Lazarus #12

Oct 22, 2014

The series, then, is going from strength to strength " and at this rate, is going to become unmissable.

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10
Low #8

Jul 29, 2015

Its hard to remain objective about Low. Against a backdrop of phenomenal output from Image, Low manages to stand out as the absolute must-buy comic of the year.

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10
Low #9

Aug 25, 2015

Low is unmissable. There are serious contenders for the sci-fi crown just now – Saga, Roche Limit – but Low trumps them in its breathtaking scope, style, and above all its humanity.

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8
Motherlands #1

Feb 2, 2018

This is an excellent addition to the Vertigo canon, bringing a very British, 2000ad vibe to current line-up (which again, after 25 years, seems very fitting). I know that maybe I shouldn't emphasise the sheer, ludicrous enjoyability of this, but I'm all too aware that many folk will go into this expecting hard sci-fi and existential angst. That's not what Motherlands is. It's foul mouthed, disrespectful and trashy. Long may it continue.

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10
Nameless #2

Mar 3, 2015

Im being vague, I suppose, because I dont want to give too much away, but for me this is the first must-have series of 2015; it is a testament to Image that they keep firing out original content that continues to push boundaries, and in Morrison and Burnham they have yet another compelling series in their roster. Buy it now, so you can say you were there at the beginning (then sneak out at get issue #1, no one will know, I wont say anything")

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8
Orphan Black #1

Feb 25, 2015

I was very impressed, to be honest. I like the premise, I like the strong narrative driven by realistic, flawed, female characters, and the pitch of the dialogue is spot on. A couple of times the narrative jars very slightly, making me reread a couple of pages to make sure I hadn't missed something, and that may be down to the assumption that the reader does actually know the show, but it's not the end of the world.

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10
Outer Darkness #8

Jul 10, 2019

Why the actual Hell aren't you reading it yet?

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4
Postal #1

Feb 3, 2015

I had high hopes for this. As a mystery, though, it doesnt draw me in; as an offering from Image, it leaves me disappointed. A swing and a miss.

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8
Pretty Deadly #8

Feb 2, 2016

There's whimsy and mysticism here, and the sometimes convoluted narrative may seem off-putting. It's their loss, but this isn't going to be for everyone. To worry about the plot is almost to miss the point – it's reflective, disturbing, and rather beautiful.

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8
Rat God #2

Mar 4, 2015

If youre still with me, great. Because this is an intricate, detailed, and compelling story. There is a sense of where the tale is going, but only insofar as it abides by the twisted rules of these Gothic, otherworldly tales. This is one to stay with all the way to its mind-warping conclusion.

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8
Resurrectionists #2

Dec 23, 2014

From the world-building on the back of Egyptian mythology to the potential for the team expanding as we encounter other times, places and characters, this is a really solid start, and a great place (or should that be time?) to get into a great new comic.

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8
Resurrectionists #3

Jan 13, 2015

This is, above all, a fun comic, as any good heist story should be. Where it delivers that bit more is the mystery within, which keeps us, and the characters, spinning. Great stuff.

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8
Resurrectionists #5

Mar 10, 2015

Im greatly enjoying this comic; its not an entry level issue really, though, which is a shame as for the transition to digital I think that perhaps it would benefit from being more accessible but needs must. Still a great yarn that I look forward to continuing on through its new medium.

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6
Secret Identities #1

Feb 17, 2015

This is an encouraging start, as long as it doesnt veer into self-parody. Theres been so many outstanding reimaginings of the genre of late, however, that this has an awful lot to prove.

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4
Sideways #1

Feb 14, 2018

I wanted to like this comic. Read it, tell me I'm wrong. It's not a disaster, it's just a disappointment.

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4
Strayer #1

Jan 26, 2016

Maybe I'm expecting too much of a first issue, but honestly, there's both too much and not enough going on here. Somewhat disappointed, to say the least.

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6
Suicide Squad (2016) #24

Aug 28, 2017

The irony? I still think that this is one of the highlights of Rebirth. Better not let me down with issue 25 is all I'm saying.

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10
Sundowners #4

Nov 26, 2014

The real triumph here is accessibility. This is not a hard comic to read, for all its challenging ideas. A wonderful, brilliant, disturbing (disturbed) issue.

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8
The Dresden Files: Down Town #1

Feb 11, 2015

Down Town" is pure, unadulterated Dresden, and this is unapologetically the beginnings of a great graphic novel. And who knows, maybe someone whos a total non-fan can prove me wrong, and love this too; I hope so.

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8
The Ghost Fleet #2

Dec 4, 2014

There's some astonishing panels in this " great cut-ins and stand-out shots that wouldn't look out of place in a dystopic movie or game of your choice. I'm really impressed by this, and look forward to seeing where it's going.

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8
The Silencer #11

Nov 28, 2018

As The Silencer, a giant purple hellhound and the cyborg head of a fellow Leviathan boss (yup) make their way to stop their former mistress' inevitable resurrection, you're in for a properly entertaining, Marvellous, 2000AD-inspired ride, that draws on threads from all across supercomicverse to give us something genuinely worthy of a New Age of Heroes. It's the DC comic you never knew you needed, but absolutely do.

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8
The Silencer #16

Apr 24, 2019

Great comic. Go read if you like DC, go read if you don't.

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8
Transformers (2019) #1

Mar 13, 2019

This really is an excellent opening salvo. With a brace of covers hinting at how the story may develop, and the arrival of another female ‘bot (possibly Chromia? we'll have to wait and see) teased for next issue, as well as more completely new characters coming down the line, this has jumped right up my pull list. Get it on your stack, surprise yourself, and Roll Out!

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10
Transformers (2019) #7

Jun 12, 2019

This is a comic for anyone who sat and watch Bumblebee and thought, “Thats what I want from Transfomers.” This is a comic for anyone who has waded through years of IDW classics and thought, “Now what?” It's also a surprisingly subtle comic, relishing taking its time with the story, presenting an interesting (and disturbing) mystery against a proper political thriller. There's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

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7
Transformers: Galaxies #10

Sep 15, 2020

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and a great way of getting back on the (astro)train. If you're a fan of the classic IDW runs, where characters had room to breathe and be developed, you'll be delighted with this; if you're up to your elbows in grease and oil you'll love the backstory; or if you just want a casual dip into a universe you have even a passing knowledge of, you'll find yourself getting pulled right it

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8
Transformers: Primacy #4

Nov 18, 2014

Megatron's big (self-) reveal in the issue runs the danger of being likewise unconvincing, but has enough bite that you believe both it and Optimus's desperate belief in the capacity for his redemption. True heroism there. And as for the climax? Well, it's fitting, and draws it to a good close overall. I do feel that Metzen and Delle's writing has tried to cram an awful lot into Primacy, and though it is a little rushed towards the end, on balance it's a sound conclusion to a key part of the TF canon.

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6
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #35

Nov 12, 2014

The dialogue is spunky. The art is cracking. But it's starting to feel a bit lack-lustre. I'm starting to feel a real need for a fresh voice to this narrative: I just don't know where it's going. It still raises a smile it still gets a knowing wink., but I'm starting to want more, frankly.

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8
Transformers: Windblade #1

Mar 24, 2015

This is a strong opening gambit from the team, and if it can address the oddities of the franchise, itll be an unmissable addition to the cannon as a whole. One to watch!

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8
Unnatural #4

Oct 8, 2018

I love Unnatural; on paper, I really shouldn't. I'm a pretty vanilla supers guy, with the occasional dash of body shock Lovecraftian horror thrown in. But Unnatural is a gem of a book. It won't be to everyone's taste, but like the story itself, why we should we just stick to what we know?

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8
Unnatural #8

Mar 4, 2019

Let's be clear. Unnatural really shouldn't be my sort of thing. Supers, horror, dystopic sci-fi, that's me. Granted this ticks the last box, but still – it isn't a comic I'd usually pick up. But it is an absolute treat. It's as heartfelt, funny and saucy as Sunstone, as (curly-tail) twisted in its anthropomorphic social commentary as Blacksad, and just a damn fine feminist mystery comic that's up there with the best that Image, or anyone, has to offer.

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0
Valhalla Mad #1

May 19, 2015

There is a kernel of a not terribly original but interesting premise " not-Thor and his gang return to Earth after an 80 year absence. What could've been at times funny and soul searching is just dire. Grandiose dialogue that is obstructive and sneeringly pleased with itself, truly excorable art that fails to evoke Golden/silver age and just looks infantile " no redeeming features. Everything remotely original here isn't, as it's been done before. It's an atrocious vanity project from the most ambitious and inventive of publishers.

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6
Wacky Raceland #2

Jul 13, 2016

All that being said, it's still fun. Sanzone's colouring is the absolute star here, characterising time, place and tone to great effect. I like a comic that's so episodic I feel like I can pick up an issue here and there on a whim. I'd love this to build to something bigger, and I do like a bit of fresh air being breathed into a rather stale dystopic genre. So, not a swing and a miss, but with practice, shows potential.

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