Samantha Cross's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Word Of The Nerd Reviews: 38
9.7Avg. Review Rating

10
Down Set Fight #1

Apr 22, 2014

Ordered chaos is probably the name of the game when it comes to the composition of the book and Kowalchuk shows he's more than up to the task. There's plenty to catch the eye, but the reader never feels lost in the shuffle. Even the quiet scenes are engaging with Fairlane's emotions laid bare as the story unfolds.

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10
Ghosted #6

Jan 15, 2014

The art for Ghosted #6 changes as Davide Gianfelice takes over and it couldn't be a better fit. The illustrative quality is gorgeous and the look of the characters and environments has an air of the mod style Jackson is so fond of emulating. Something about the lining on the cheekbones and chin that reminds me of Darwyn Cooke's style, which matches up with Jackson and his world perfectly. Whereas the previous arc with Goran Suduka had a grittier and slightly gothic sensibility befitting of the setting and premise, Gianfelice's art is more cinematic, making the next chapter reminiscent of a movie sequel. Like Sudzuka before him, Gianfelice knocks it out of the park when it comes to the grotesque. If the opening isn't enough to give you the heebie jeebies, then I'm pretty sure the last page will.

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10
Ghosted #7

Feb 20, 2014

Above all else, Ghosted #7 is very much about playing with expectations. There is one moment involving Taylor and Nuki that you see coming a mile away, but it seems intentional so everything else that follows has the ability to go in the other direction. How far will Jackson go to save his own skin? What is the actual purpose of the Brotherhood? What does Wenona really want with her granddaughter? It's a great way for Williamson to play around with the concept and give a fresh take on hauntings and possession. Anderson acting as Jackson's own murderous Jiminy Cricket is delightful, by the way. And I continue to be blown away by Davide Gianfelice's art. The details, the gestures, that one creepy smile that I'm sure will come back to haunt us all in our nightmares"it's so fluid and gorgeous that I can't wait to see what else Williamson comes up with so I can see Gianfelice make it manifest in the artwork.

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10
Ghosted #8

Mar 19, 2014

Like most artists I enjoy, I'm running out of adjectives to describe how amazing Davide Gianfelice's art is in conjunction with Miroslav Mrva's colors and Williamson's story. So I'll just tell you about my favorite panel. It's the image of the Skadegamutc, the demonic witch possessing Nina. The idea alone of the creature is creepy enough, but seeing Gianfelice's version is equally fantastic and frightening. There are obviously ways of putting personality into animals, but Gianfelice opts to make the crow-headed creature's face blank, like it's staring into your soul the minute you look at it on the page. Like I said, fantastic and frightening.

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10
Ghosted #9

Apr 23, 2014

Final Thoughts: I know Jackson's supposed to be the man with the plan, but when he doesn't think things through it really shows.

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10
Ghosted #10

May 21, 2014

Final Thoughts: So many Necronomicons, not enough Ash's to screw up the magic words!

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10
Ghosted #11

Jul 9, 2014

The rich world of Ghosted continues to expand as Williamson and Sudzuka introduce us to the hillbillies of the South with their candles made of virgin blood. Like the Brotherhood of the Closed Book in Mexico, the product is part and parcel of a greater enterprise that involves getting high off being close to death through the smoke of the candles. It's inventive and disturbing, something Williamson seems to excel at when it comes to horror and the supernatural.

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9.0
Low #1

Jul 30, 2014

As a pessimist myself, I have great hope and optimism for this book. An impressive and ambitious start!

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8.0
Manifest Destiny #4

Feb 13, 2014

Within the framework of this supernatural story, Dingessstill manages to weave in the internal politics and historical elements of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as emphasized through the addition of French-Canadian trader ToussaintCharbonneau and his Shoshone wife Sacagawea. Anyone who studies American history knows how instrumental Sacagawea was in helping Lewis and Clark, so Dingessdecides to amp that up to eleven by making her one badass buffalo minotaur slayer. No doubt she'll be showing off her skills in front of the duo at some point, but for now she let's her husband and the father of her unborn child take the credit, though even the men of the expedition have their doubts about Charbonneau's credibility.

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10
Manifest Destiny #5

Mar 13, 2014

Final Thoughts: I'm pretty sure if you stare at the final page long enough it'll swallow your soul. But, ya know, in a good way.

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8.0
Manifest Destiny #6

Apr 9, 2014

Ending an arc isn't an easy thing when it comes to what is obviously an ongoing story. There has to be some sort of wrap-up while still getting the readers excited or, at the very least, intrigued enough for the next chapter. The problem with certain premises, however, is that they can easily fizzle out if the foundation of the book starts to crack. In the case of Manifest Destiny #6, the premise is still strong, but I can feel the ground shaking a little.

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10
Monster & Madman #1

Mar 15, 2014

Bringing it all together is the gorgeously haunting art of Damien Worm. Nothing in the artwork feels particularly solid. There are no hard lines to define characters, mainly brushstrokes that turns each page into a painting with an unearthly quality befitting of the subject matter. There's a dreamlike quality to the panels as well with characters coming in and out of focus like cobbled memories. The composition of the pages resemble old photographs hastily pasted into an album that's become weathered, burned, and stained over time. It's a scrapbook, or perhaps a notebook, turned into a story, like the monster at the center of it all. Though I will say, as far as fight scenes go, the confrontation towards the end between the monster and the ship's captain is the definition of epic.

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10
Monster & Madman #2

Apr 2, 2014

While the previous issue placed more emphasis on the blurred line between men and monsters through a creature that is a walking representation of such a line, in this chapter of Monster & Madman, Steve Niles explores the common thread shared between Frankenstein's Monster and the people he's so curious about: loneliness.

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10
Monster & Madman #3

May 23, 2014

Monster & Madman is a beautiful rumination on what makes a man and what makes a monster. In just three issues Steve Niles manages to keep those thoughts present throughout the narrative without hitting you over the head with the message. It's a terse mini comic, relying more on the art to tell the story at times and Damien Worm's work is the type that sticks in your brain long after you've put the book down. His creature is as mangled and horrifying as he is sympathetic. We feel his pain and longing because Worm makes sure everything from the composition of the page to the color palette reflects his mood. And those final pages just hit you where you live. The collaboration between Niles and Worm on this piece has me chomping at the bit for their next project, October Faction.

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10
Nailbiter #1

May 7, 2014

The strength of the setting and the tone makes it possible for Williamson to keep Warren's presence minimal. He only appears at the beginning and the end of the issue but he hangs over the story as we experience Buckaroo through Finch's eyes. It's a town already built around a single mystery, but in looking for Carroll there's already a sense that Finch is in over his head and finding his friend may not turn out to have a happy ending.

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10
Nailbiter #2

Jun 3, 2014

Nailbiter is already proving itself to be a steady burn of escalating murder and mayhem as information about Buckaroo and its inhabitants come to light.

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8.6
Nailbiter #4

Aug 7, 2014

We're getting close to the end of the first arc and the evenly paced, mood setting build up of the first three issues allows for Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson to deliver one hell of a cliffhanger.

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10
Peter Panzerfaust #16

Jan 16, 2014

As always, Tyler Jenkins art is stunning and gorgeous and I'm definitely going to run out of adjectives the more I do the reviews for this book. Suffice it to say, when Wiebe lets the silence do the talking, Jenkins art guides you just as deftly as Wiebe's words. The opening sequence is testament to that fact. Like I mentioned earlier, the juxtaposition of Parsons exploring the Sticks while we see the events unfold from the past is a brilliant piece of storytelling. The present-day Sticks and Parsons are warm and inviting while the Sticks from the past is colored in darker tones of grey and blue that emphasizes the dire situation through the lens of memory. Again, gorgeous.

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10
Peter Panzerfaust #17

Feb 20, 2014

Jenkins' art still continues to blow me away with each issue. I love it when the book goes silent for a few pages if only because it shows how much trust Wiebe has in Jenkins to create the right emotions and mood. Lily's silent ascent of the building holding her next target is filled with tension and the resulting chase through Luzy and into the woods is fast-paced and action-packed. There's also an interesting use of crows as a visual motif in this issue. Crows are generally considered symbols of death or messengers from the underworld, so to see them at the beginning of the issue during Lily and Julien's drive towards Luzy and their presence in the forest while Lily hunts is a haunting visual reminder of how far Lily is willing to go to avenge her father.

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10
Peter Panzerfaust #18

Apr 9, 2014

Every adaptation of Peter Pan pushes the rivalry between Hook and Peter further and further, exploring them as characters through their differences and similarities. Peter Panzerfaust, in similar fashion, goes deeper, taking Hook and Peter's personal war to a new level as Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins dive into the purpose and meaning of a man's legacy.

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10
Peter Panzerfaust #19

Jun 28, 2014

While Peter Panzerfaust has always been full of action-packed moments, this issue is definitely heavy on the up close and personal fighting style that gives the trio, and Peter especially, a chance to get in some good one-liners that would make Sylvester Stallone nod his head in approval. Kudos, though, to Tyler Jenkins for every punch, kick, and dive Peter, Lily, and Julien take. The choreography is fast-paced with enough tension to keep the reader guessing about what will happen next. The more Peter puts himself in the line of fire, the more we wonder how lucky he'll remain.Rating " 10/10

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10
Peter Panzerfaust #20

Aug 22, 2014

If you've been reading the previous issues, then you're probably certain of how it'll conclude, but Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins definitely throw in a few surprise moments.

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9.0
Pretty Deadly #4

Jan 23, 2014

The mythology of Pretty Deadly grows deeper with each issue as Kelly Sue DeConnick takes the foreboding and, at times, unforgiving world of the Western frontier and turns it into a foreign landscape where magic is real, rivers of blood converge and Death awaits, literally and figuratively, for the souls of the damned to return. DeConnick, however, isn't content to make her stories simplistic. She challenges the reader to think, using the opening exchange between Butterfly and Bunny to set the tone. Their metaphorical discussions are beautifully reinforced by the main narrative as DeConnick challenges the reader further by drawing out sympathy for characters who, under the purview of any other writer, would lack sympathy.

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10
Pretty Deadly #5

Apr 4, 2014

Rios' signature frenetic and flowing style seamlessly blends the story together as she defines the reality created by DeConnick. I especially love the way she draws Sissy, but all of the characters have a way of melding with the environment as if emphasizing the connection between them and the world they inhabit.

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10
Rat Queens #4

Jan 16, 2014

I think what I love most about Rat Queens is the books unrelenting action as well as it's sense of humor. I don't often laugh out loud when I'm reading comics, but Wiebe always has at least one line that breaks my composure. Which is what a good comic book should do. Comics are entertainment, escapism, and Rat Queens is the embodiment of both aspects. This is a book that wants you to enjoy yourself and I enjoy it more and more with each issue.

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10
Rat Queens #5

Feb 26, 2014

"This book lets me engage it on my own terms." Couldn't have put it any better, Dee.

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10
Rat Queens #6

May 7, 2014

Roc Upchurch's art continues to be top-notch. The issue shows a veritable playground of artistry ranging from brief nudity, Mushroom People, badass shots of Sawyer in the rain, and, oh yeah, some really messed up panels that will make your eyes bleed while you gag! We're venturing into some new territory and I'm pretty sure this issue is only giving us a taste of what's yet to come. And that is a disturbing thought.

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10
Rat Queens #7

Jul 18, 2014

The characters and the story aren't fighting each other. There's equally as much time devoted to progressing the plot as there is making sure the characters react in their own way. Cracking jokes, eating candy people, it all fits regardless of the looming danger.

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8.5
S.H.O.O.T. First #4

Jan 9, 2014

The action in this book has consistently been a joy to look at thanks to the energetic art of Nicols Daniel Selma. If it isn't fairies fighting angels or robots fighting demons, Selma makes each panel come to life. He visualizes Aclin's words, making the concepts and the characters as over-the-top and larger than life in tandem with the big ideas that they're fighting over. But the ideas aren't new and they're not all that controversial, Aclin and Selma have just managed to use the outlet of comic books to convey those ideas in a fun, entertaining, and at times poignant way.

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10
Saga #18

Jan 28, 2014

Final Thoughts: We're in for a whole new chapter and I can't wait to see what happens next.

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10
Saga #19

May 21, 2014

Final Thoughts: They're gonna make me cry. I know it. I know it. I just know it.

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10
Saga #20

Jun 27, 2014

Are these the first steps towards the collapse of Marko and Alana's relationship? I'd like to believe that Vaughan and Staples aren't exactly telegraphing it the way I see it going. One of the amazing things about Saga is its creators' ability to shock and amaze us with brilliant art and turns in the story that are completely unexpected. The way I'm reading it, it seems too simple. Then again, that might be the whole point. Saga has proven itself to be a book that's as clever as it is beautiful, but the heart and soul of this story is the love between Marko and Alana. The tragedy of it all could be the collapse of their love because of the reality of their circumstances. They've been on the run since the moment they met and they continue to hide because they're never quite safe. That kind of pressure, that kind of stress would be enough to strain any marriage, so I'm curious to see where Vaughan and Staples take us.

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10
Samurai Jack #8

May 28, 2014

Final Thoughts: Can the silence of Samurai Jack be a book that gets published? Just saying, I would read that book.

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9.0
The White Suits #1

Feb 19, 2014

Final Thoughts: For all that blood, those suits are impeccable. Those are the types of assassins I like!

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10
The White Suits #2

Mar 20, 2014

Speaking of Cypress, his art continues to blow me away. The opening dream sequence that introduces us to the White Suits of old is absolutely gorgeous. The lone female White Suit gliding across the two-page spread, wielding her swords amidst the carnage with the book's title spelt out on her elongated legs encapsulates what makes this book so fun to read. Every panel draws your eye and the sporadic use of red and full color makes the book pop.

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10
The White Suits #3

Apr 18, 2014

When the focus of the book fully shifts to the action, it doesn't disappoint. From the beginning we've seen how Toby Cypress' art imbues the book with a graffiti-like aesthetic that feels organic to the story being told. It's down and dirty grittiness, but also highly stylized, which elevates the book that much more.

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10
The White Suits #4

Jul 1, 2014

White Suits delivers a knockout of an ending as everything gets laid out on the table. Prizrak's backstory, the White Suits' true origin, and Sarah Anderson's connection to all of it is revealed, which makes talking about the ending a bit difficult.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #1

Jun 19, 2014

But let's talk about the art for a bit, shall we, because this book is gorgeous! It exudes cool as McKelvie takes full advantage of pop music and the varying styles and influences over the last fifty years.

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