Stephenson Ardern-Sodje's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Multiversity Comics, We Got This Covered Reviews: 154
7.3Avg. Review Rating

6.2
A-Force (2016) #3

Mar 4, 2016

A book starring some of Marvel's best loved, longest running female characters, and introducing us to a few from the new generation of interesting women in comics could be doing more to actually explore those women in all their unique intricacies, rather than just offering up a relatively generic script about a potential world ending crisis with some infighting and another forgettable villain. While there are few writers I can imagine I'd choose above Wilson and Thompson to put together a female fronted alternative book with mainstream appeal, it feels as though they're being channelled towards writing a gender-swapped “Avengers” title, and rather than finding a new and exciting avenue to tell their own story, they're strugglingto make their way down a path already clogged with similar narratives.

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6.8
Adventure Time Comics #1

Jul 28, 2016

A strong debut into a slightly new format that promises ooodles of fun!

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6.2
Aliens: Life and Death #1

Sep 23, 2016

Fun and functional, this book feels nevertheless a little too formulaic to recommend to anyone beyond true fans.

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6.9
All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Nov 12, 2015

Even the ending, a fight that leaves our two most experienced All-New, All-Different Avengers down but not out, feels a little well-worn. When this week also sees the release of inventive and experimental titles like “Illuminati' and ‘Ultimates' that play with the reader's expectations and mix up groups of heroes and villains in truly new, nuanced ways, I can't help but feel this book still has a way to go before it can be counted amongst the best new books Marvel are putting out.

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6.9
All-New Inhumans #8

Jun 20, 2016

Smooth and subtle, this title deals with the emotional fall-out of familial shifts while still offering up superheroic stakes throughout.

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8.5
All-New X-Men #30

Aug 15, 2014

This similarity is reflected in Pichelli's art, with beautifully rendered expressions that are often more telling than the words the characters are saying. She's stepped into previous artist Stuart Immomen's shoes and managed to match his crisp, modern illustrations without feeling like she's simply echoing his style. While this issue may have served as a relatively reserved starting point for her, Pichelli's ability to portray narrative-enhancing emotion through facial expressions and body language really adds a great level of concise, but confident character development to this mid-series one-shot. Her skill, along with her previous dynamic work with the Ultimate incarnation of Miles Morales, has me confident that she can more than hold her own with the more physically demanding X-panels when the time comes.

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7.7
All-New X-Men Annual #1

Dec 26, 2014

My only criticism for the combined issues would be that it felt like a lot of people talkingatEva, rather than us learning about her. She spends the majority of the first issue reacting to events beyond her control and then, after seven years of training, still seems unable to do much more than fall headfirst through time. While I believe this crossover was definitely a big step in the right direction, I'm excited to see what her newfound skills, experiences, and views regarding the ethics of using her powers turn out to be. Eva bell is definitely a character with a huge amount of potential and I hope that she doesn't end up getting sidelined to allow the more well-established members of the team continue their infighting indefinitely.

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8.1
All-Star Batman #2

Sep 19, 2016

You know what they say; you can take the Bat out of Gotham, but you can't take Gotham out of the Bat.

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6.9
Ant-Man Annual #1

Jul 20, 2015

Fun and fully realised, if a little fluffy. One to watch post Secret Wars, if only for the controversy.

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6.2
Art Ops #1

Oct 30, 2015

Maybe throws a little too much at the wall on the first try, but I hope that what sticks in later issues will be worth the wait.

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7.6
Art Ops #6

Mar 28, 2016

A great little side story that feels just as relevant as any issue in the first arc. Could this mark the beginning of a larger "Art Ops" universe?

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7.9
Awake #1

Sep 21, 2015

Cute, quirky, and full of heart, "Awake" is a book that proves good storytelling knows no age limits.

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8.2
Barrier #1

Dec 4, 2015

In a world where mainstream comics get beyond long-term teases and constant reminders in order to keep the buying public revved up and excited, it's refreshing to have something largely hype-free drop without fanfare and immediately find its way onto your pull list. Admittedly, lowkey digital releases might not be quite as successful for creators without BKV and Martin's track record ("Saga", "Y: The Last Man" "The Amazing Spider-Man", "Daredevil", I could go on") but it's still great to see comic book writers making strides both in narrative and distribution. Being willing to try something new is what makes both this book and this creative team so exciting, and considering it's available right now, for free, you really have no excuse not to close this review and go and read it.

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7.2
Batman Beyond (2015) #1

Jun 4, 2015

This is one oftwo instantly recognisable characters that crop up in this issue and both feel kind of shoe-horned in. That might be my only real issue with Jurgens' and Chang's otherwise pretty perfect introduction to DC's new future. As this incarnation of “Batman Beyond” is already being touted as finally being canon, the big, earth-shattering changes actually matter here. Creating a future dystopia is all well and good, but having a cataclysmic event occur that may have killed off multiple Justice League members and suddenly I'm worried we're wandering into retcon/alternate universe territory again. That being said, it's only the nitpicky, uber-nerd in me who's bothered by these kinds of story infractions, on the whole I'm much happier to see great stories being told that only tangibly relate to one another than stories that become so intricately linked they lose any semblance of interesting narrative.

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6.6
Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1

Oct 3, 2016

A by-the-numbers start with a bold final flourish, Jurgens and Sook set themselves up with a tall tale to tell.

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6.8
Black Eyed Kids #1

Apr 25, 2016

Well-paced and well plotted, "Black-Eyed Kids" reinvigorates classic horror for 2016.

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8.0
Black Magick #3

Jan 1, 2016

The success of this series is its emotion. It's been subtle, and self-reflective, focussed on development of three dimensional characters. There's a confidence to Scott's nuanced art that so far has handled understatement well but, with Rucka's introduction of a new, dangerous element in this issue, I can't help but feel we're on the brink of something grander.

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8.4
Black Panther (2016) #1

Apr 8, 2016

With "Civil War" looming large on the cinematic horizon, and Chadwick Boseman's fully-suited appearance in the trailers promising a real-world T'Challa that will shake the MCU, it's great to see that his comic-book counterpart has been given a reinvigoration worthy of his regal standing. While there's a lot of initial world-building ging on in this issue, Coates' slick style means that we never feel overwhelmed by exposition. With references to previous goings-on in the Marvel universe, there's more than enough in this first issue to exciteeven the most hardcore comic book fan, but Coates and Stelfreeze have managed to keep it accessible enough for it to be the first book you ever pick up.

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7.7
Black Panther (2016) #6

Sep 16, 2016

Coates' carefully contextualised conflict keeps "Black Panther" #6 leaps and bounds ahead of most musclebound action books.

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6.4
Boy-1 #1

Aug 14, 2015

While larger studios excel at cinematic crossovers and high-stakes melodrama, it's nice to see smaller, creator-owned properties who's focus is on characterisation and smaller, subtle stories. With the huge success of similar TV propertyMr Robot (a mystery hacking extravaganza with a similarly socially detached but talented protagonist) it's no surprise that there are already rumours about "Boy-1" being adapted for the small screen.

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9.0
C.O.W.L. #4

Aug 29, 2014

"C.O.W.L." is a unique and beautiful study of the power of politics in a world where the rules for super-heroism are being redefined. A period drama with more modern relevance than many other books out at the moment, Higgins, Siegel, and Reis have created a colourful comic-book world that is obsessed with the shades of grey between right and wrong.

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6.8
Captain America: Sam Wilson #1

Oct 16, 2015

For me, the highlight of this issue was definitely the artwork, and Acuna's strong, kinetic panels are what will ensure I'll come back to this book and keep reading it. Whether it's a cinematic sky-bound dogfight, a quip-laden sparring match or a heartfelt conversation between family he seems to be able to find the right tone and level of busy-ness to keep it compelling. My only worry is that the revisiting of a storyline centred around the question of ‘who/what should Captain America represent?' isn't as All-New and All-Different as I was hoping to see in Sam's first full outing. I fear that this new Caps attempts to disentangle himself from the politics of super-heroing will bring him into more ambiguous bark-offs between himself and other nebulous good guys than it will offer us satisfying stories about him actually doing ‘good'.

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2.0
Captain America: White #2

Oct 5, 2015

With so much new and exciting stuff going on in the Marvel universe right now I can't think of a good reason why you'd pick this up instead.

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7.9
Casanova: Acedia #2

Mar 12, 2015

Overall, this issue merely cements the calm, confident, and well thought out style that I've come to expect from Fraction on “Casanova”, a piece of work that is almost the definition of a passion project. While it's unfolding a little less frantically than its predecessors did, I'm happy to wait for the reveals as they come, because there still doesn't seem to be a single panel of wasted space. Fraction, Moon, and their creative team are putting out one of the most intriguing, and explorative comic books available at the moment, and I'm just happy to be along for the ride.

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8.0
Casanova: Acedia #3

Jul 31, 2015

As the story begins to ramp up a notch, expanding our exponentially in terms of characters and concept, it's the creators' obvious understanding of what made every previous arc of “Casanova” that keeps this train on the rails. “Acedia” is, at its core, a Whodunnit, with the ‘it' in question simultaneously the impending and already occuring murder of Casanova Quinn, as well as the impending-or-potentially-occuring destruction of the entire universe. Why those two occurrences seem to be irreparably linked, and whether they may in fact be one and the same, has been the focus of almost every part of the “Casanova” series and is more than conpelling enough to hook in any fans of mystery.

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7.2
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1

Oct 21, 2016

A truly 'eye opening' (groan) reworking of a largely forgotten character. Rivera, Way, and Oeming are perfectly pitched to plumb Cave's hidden depths.

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3.4
Circuit-Breaker #1

Mar 24, 2016

It's possible that later issues will unfold to display something more concrete, either in terms of social discussion or simply more satisfying bot-on-bot carnage, but for me, this first issue feels, much like its protagonist, an awkwardly constructed simulacrum of two separate concepts.

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3.4
Circuit-Breaker #2

May 2, 2016

This oddly appropriative and tonally inconsistent book makes me only more aware of the impressive skill-set it takes to balance comedy, drama, and satire in classic manga offerings.

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6.6
Cluster #1

Feb 5, 2015

Ultimately, while I did find ‘Cluster' enjoyable enough, I felt that there just wasn't enough that was tangibly different in the storyline to tempt me back. If I pick up the second issue it'll be largely for Courceiro's execution of the alien landscape and not for the characters. This first issue felt as though it was trying to cram whole worlds into twenty-something pages, when really it should have been focusing on the one woman that the reader is supposed to care about.

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8.3
Control #1

Jun 2, 2016

A strong piece of genre fiction that showcases the talents of a creative team in complete "Control" of the situation.

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8.4
Cryptocracy #1

Jul 1, 2016

Superlative Sci-fi that uses its medium perfectly. This is the kind of ridiculousness that comic books are made for.

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7.2
Cyborg: Rebirth #1

Sep 9, 2016

Victor Stone's chrome plated conflict gets a shiny new upgrade, and I'm really excited to see what else it has to offer.

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8.5
Dead Letters #7

Jan 23, 2015

A superb concept executed with precision, "Dead Letters" is criminally good.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #1

Oct 9, 2015

Aaron and Bachalo have managed to construct pleasingly confusing mystical side to the new Marvel U. Dr. Strange's world feels self-contained enough that he could have whole adventures without having to call on an Avenger, and yet it is volatile enough that it could easily threaten the world at large with a danger from so far left-field that it might really shake Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I flew through this issue, a well-paced whistle-stop tour through the new Dr. Strange's world that feels fresh and familiar at the same time. I hope that Aaron is able to do for the Doc what he did for Thor and carve a truly unique niche in the Marvel universe for this ridiculously powerful and criminally underutilised sorcerer.

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6.9
Drive #1

Aug 28, 2015

Benedetto and Fuso's opening quarter of their version of “Drive” is definitely a slick, evocative, and well-muscled beast of a first issue. It's worth a read both for fans of the book, the film, or just of Mystery comics in general. My only worry is that an over-reliance on the story that readers may already know, and a stylistic attempt to pull influence from two mediums so inherently different (the book has to deliver everything without pictures, and the film can do it all with movement) may end up tying the creative team up in too many strings. That being said, I'm definitely going to keep up with this series because everything it's done so far it's done pretty perfectly, and it's difficult to hate on a comic too much for being true to such solid source material.

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8.5
Edge of Spider-Verse #5

Oct 17, 2014

Given the calibre of other Spider's that have been recruited for this mission, including fan favourite Gwen Stacey, and combined with the fact that Morlun has already proven a more than worthy adversary for almost any Spider One-on-One, "Edge of Spider-Verse" is opening itself up to be a potentially heart-rending run. There will doubtless be casualties and, if Dan Slott and his team of creatives carry on building relationships as quickly and effectively as this one then this crossover is set to carry all the weight that a good Marvel event should do.

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9.0
Empress #1

Apr 11, 2016

The Millarverse joins the space race with a massive maiden voyage.

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9.3
Empty Zone #1

Jun 19, 2015

I would urge anyone who is a fan of high concept sci-fi to pick this up and, for those of you not usually into that kind of thing, this is the comic to take a chance on, there's so much more to it than meets the eye.

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4.9
Faster than Light #1

Sep 11, 2015

It feels as though, in his search for realism, Haberlin completely forgot thatthe same limitations that plague TV shows like that (i.e. huge costs for visual set pieces, set design having to conform to standard architectural rules, etc.) have no bearing on a comic. And that's supposed to be the fun of them. “Faster Than Light” opens with an interview with Saul Fredricks, the wunderkind who cracked FTL travel. It would have been so great if this discovery had prompted a whole new kind of space-craft, both internally and externally, and could've opened up so much in terms of potential for this series to stand out visually. As it is though, the space station and its crew members, while seemingly all very believable, are also similarly forgettable. There is sadly little in terms of visual or characterisable flair that allows Forrest or any member of his team to stand out or feel as though theymatterthat much.

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6.6
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas #1

May 30, 2016

Worth a read fans of the source, or if you fancy some surreal and sumptuous cartooning.

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6.8
Fight Club 2 #2

Jun 29, 2015

A book for hopeless Romantics and aspiring Nihilists everywhere. Maybe just not until it's collected.

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7.6
Fight Club 2 #5

Sep 28, 2015

Palahniuk proves that you don't have to choose between style and substance in this grimace inducing love letter to anarchy.

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9.0
Genius #3

Aug 22, 2014

With only two issues left to go until the run is complete it will be interesting to see if they plan to mirror the reality of this situation to the bitter end or exercise their creative rights and subvert the expectations of their audience.

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6.2
Ghostbusters: Get Real #1

Jun 22, 2015

Some sharp visuals and heavy nostalgia value here, but it feels a little like they chose style over substance.

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7.5
Giant Days #1

Mar 19, 2015

While it's lacking in the explosions and monsters department, 'Giant Days' is a smart, sassy, and confident debut that shouldn't be missed.

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5.9
Glitterbomb #1

Sep 12, 2016

A less than stellar start for this ageing starlet, but there's potential behind the premise that may still pan out as the story progresses.

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6.5
Grant Morrison's 18 Days #2

Aug 17, 2015

Strong, polished, and poised for action, this issue promises even bigger and better things to come.

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5.4
Green Lanterns #1

Jun 17, 2016

If you're looking for a book to get you all excited about "Rebirth", you're going to have to look a little further afield.

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8.6
Groot #1

Jun 8, 2015

Only Ebenezer Scrooge could fail to find something to love about this zany new mini-series.

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6.8
Groot #3

Aug 10, 2015

Still not sure how 'I am Groot' can make me want to laugh and cry, but this book manages it month on month.

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3.4
Grumpy Cat #1

Oct 12, 2015

There are better web-comics out there that you could be reading..for free. Check some of those out instead!

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6.2
HaloGen #3

May 8, 2015

A solid enough continuation of a promising mini-series. Here's hoping there's a longer run in the offing somewhere down the line!

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8.4
Harrow County #15

Aug 11, 2016

Simmering with a slow-burning sense of peril, "Harrow County" remains a must read for fans of horror, as well as fans of solid storytelling.

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9.5
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #22

Jul 17, 2015

It doesn't get much better than this. A solid send-off to one of the best runs I've read in recent years.

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7.4
Head Lopper #2

Dec 10, 2015

Oddly enough, although perhaps due to the super-max runtime of this first issue, “Head Lopper” #2 does feel comparatively light on story, with much more of a focus being given to Nergal and Agatha than the scheming villains that circle ever closer to them. However I'd much prefer this slightlylackadaisical approach than one that felt needlessly hurried. Given that we've already reached the half-way point in this limited issue run, I'm hoping that fan support and sales will persuade Image to open up “Head Lopper” for a more open-ended run. There could be seemingly endless permutations of Nergal's story and, just likeSamurai Jack, “Hellboy”, and other franchises with super stoic leads, I doubt I'd ever tire of seeing Nergal squaring up against an army of endless and terrible monsters and slogging through, though he's hopelessly outmanned and outgunned.

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5.5
Hercules (2015) #1

Nov 9, 2015

A fun enough, but frankly, forgettable first issue. Given the glut that Marvel have on offer over the coming weeks I can't see myself getting much further than this issue.

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8.1
Huck #3

Jan 14, 2016

The issue of heroism in the media was clearly one at the forefront of Millar's mind as he planned this book, but as it heads to its conclusion his secondary story starts to rear its head. I'm a fan of Millar's work, but I do think that some of his books are definitely better than others. While I loved “Kick-Ass”, and “Wanted”, “Secret Service” and “Nemesis” left me feeling a little cold. In my opinion his books work best when he works past the grimness of his heroes and forges characters with mirth and heart in a way that is truly his own. “Huck” typifies that kind of balance for me, as well as managing to be an interesting revisit of classic comic book tropes that still feels fresh today. As far as I'm concerned, this is potentially his best book to date.

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8.2
Injection #2

Jun 12, 2015

In a book like this, with characters who are all so close to being super-human, it's often difficult to maintain a sense of conflict or danger. Ellis and Shalvey have hit the sweet middle ground in that respect, with light touches of humanity shining through amid the chaotic otherness of their narrative. While issue two of “Injection” has a lot more forward momentum than its predecessor, it still feels like the opening adage for a much grander symphony. Anyone who's enjoyed Ellis' previous work on “Planetary” should totally be reading this already and, for those of you who are unconvinced after the first two chaotic issues, I firmly believe this is a comic that will ultimately be worth investing in.

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7.2
Injection #3

Jul 13, 2015

Slow but steady. This is a mammoth book in the making.

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7.6
Injection #7

Feb 15, 2016

Another great entry into an already stellar series. If a sharp, smart, paranormal thriller sounds up your street then you should already be reading this.

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5.1
James Bond #2

Dec 7, 2015

If you want to see Warren Ellis do bureaucratic British espionage better, pick up the first arc of 'Injection' instead.

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6.9
Jem and the Holograms #1

Mar 27, 2015

While not a comic for every reader, this is a strong debut of a property with heart, soul, and a lot of possibility. One to watch for sure.

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8.6
Jessica Jones #1

Oct 7, 2016

A sterling start from a seasoned duo who show that sometimes, going back to your roots can yield some seriously interesting fruit.

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7.2
Judge Dredd (2015) #1

Dec 18, 2015

What's more,Freitas, Farina, and McDaid's first issue is irreverently referential, with nods to everything fromThe Fifth Element,toMad Max,and there's even a sneakyCaptain Philipsquote slipped in for good measure. Some of the scripting feels a little on the nose, with characters sounding more cartoonish and two dimensional at times than you might expect from a comic in 2015, but its obvious from the helter skelter nature of the issue that it's supposed to feel that way; subtlety is not a word in Dredd's vocabulary.

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7.4
Justice League (2016) #1

Jul 25, 2016

Destruction on an Emmerichian scale and a well balanced intro to the team dynamic. This is the kind of Justice I can really get in league with.

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5.0
Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1

Jan 19, 2017

While DC are ramping up for what looks to be a pretty gripping main event, Justice League of America: The Ray Rebirth #1 feels distinctly relegated to a lower tier, special interest title.

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7.9
Karnak #1

Oct 23, 2015

“Karnak” #1 is a strangely disparate beast when viewed alongside the other flagshiptitles of the All-New-All-Different universe, but when paired with some of the more fringe publications, such as Aaron and Bachalo's “Doctor Strange” and Latour and Rodriguez' “Spider-Gwen” it almost seems as though this book might be heralding a wave of more experimental new titles in Marvel's future. Regardless of whether or not that leap is founded on any kind of truth, “Karnak” #1 is definitely worth checking out, if not simply because it's the best Inhuman title that most people will probably never read.

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7.1
Karnak #3

Apr 22, 2016

Seductively spooky, there's something almost hypnotic about Marvel's most enigmatic Inhuman.

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5.1
Karnak #4

May 23, 2016

A strangely slow and unsatisfying entry into a series that I have been pretty invested in up until this point.

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8.8
Kennel Block Blues #1

Feb 4, 2016

While "Kennel Block Blues" is, ostensibly, a prison drama, there is a distinct element of mystery at play that means that this first issue asks a lot more questions than it answers.This first issue clips along at a great pace, barely stopping for breath in a way that feels like it mirrors Oliver's own uncertainty with the situation. Throughout the issue we see glimpses of the wider world at Jackson through Oliver's innocent eyes, and it's clear there's something much more going on underneath the surface. With only four issues to play out the full story it almost feels as though Ferrier and Bayliss are offering up too many potential avenues to explore, but it'll definitely be interesting to see which they choose to develop further.

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8.1
Kings Quest #1

May 9, 2016

A soapy, pulpy, space opera that swings just the right side of ridiculous. Give it a go if only to read the phrase 'Gordon's Alive' and grin to yourself.

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7.9
Klarion #1

Oct 10, 2014

Issue one barely scratches the surface of what this comic has to offer, but it is a very confident debut from a creative team with both history and innovation on their sides. The character of Klarion is instantly likeable, and there's enough story within the mystery that ,even though every character has some kind of hidden, ulterior motive, you don't feel like you're being kept waiting to get to the good stuff. Plus, while it's not explicitly stated in this issue, it's been suggested that the city Klarion has found himself in is Gotham, which opens up a whole world of possibility for an extended run: Definitely something to keep an eye on.

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6.9
Klarion #5

Feb 13, 2015

There is still a lot that plays in this book's favour as far as I'm concerned. Nocenti's scripting is often sharp, playful, and full of character, especially when it comes to the enigmatic figure of Klarion. McCarthy is putting out consistently mind-boggling work that makes each turn of the page a revelation of sorts, and the two work together to supply one of the most unique offerings available from DC at the moment. But it is still a little rough around the edges and I'm not sure if they've cracked the formula just yet. While it feels in spirit a little like Vertigo for the pre-teen demographic, there are still some pacing issues that need to be sorted out before Klarion is ready to join the big leagues.

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8.8
Lady Killer #5

May 14, 2015

And this issue ends the story (though hopefully not forever) in a similar manner. There's enough of a climax to leave a satisfactory conclusion (no mean feat for a five issue arc) but there are still enough loose ends that Jones and Rich have left themselves a world to return to if they choose to do so. For a story that could be summed up as succinctly as ‘Mad Men with Assassins' “Lady Killer” has managed to carve its own niche, develop its own style, offer up a story with some real substance, and leave the audience wanting more.

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9.5
Limbo #1

Nov 16, 2015

Everything I could ask for from a first issue and more.

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8.6
Limbo #2

Dec 3, 2015

When compared to the tight, all-encompassing opening issue of "Limbo", issue #2 might feel a little less narrative focussed. It centres on a singular event, offering up one or two pieces of information but somehow leaving you feeling like you know less about the world of Dedande than before. This level of detail orientation is a distinct change of pace, but one which hopefully marks the creative team's confidence that there is more than one short story to tell in this universe. If issue one was the pilot (scrambling to give its audience an overview of the world at large) then issue two is the first commissioned episode; slower, stranger, luxuriating in the world it's created, and with an overarching plan hidden just out of sight, waiting to be realised.

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5.7
Lobo #2

Nov 6, 2014

It's understandable that, in a world of Lokis and Bucky Barneses, DC might be looking to offer up more sympathetic variants of their iconic villains. It seems, however, that in the rush to recreate a character for a new generation they might have ended up losing the traitsthat made Lobointeresting in the first place.

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8.2
Loki: Agent of Asgard #6

Sep 26, 2014

The inclusion of Dr.Doom shows that " unlike the architects of the MCU " Ewing and Co aren't convinced that Loki is the only interesting villain that Marvel has to offer. I look forward to watching the inventive way that Loki worms his way out of scrapes with the less morally obligated characters that Marvel has in its roster.

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7.7
Mae #1

May 19, 2016

Smooth and satisfying, Ha's solo effort is something for all fans of subverted fantasy.

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6.6
Mayday (2016) #1

Nov 7, 2016

Beautiful and barmy, this book is a pretty full-on leap into a very strange section of recent history.

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7.2
Mockingbird #2

Apr 18, 2016

Fast, fun, and full of sweet characterisation and little meta moments. Well worth rediscovering this not so secret agent.

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9.1
Moon Knight (2016) #1

Apr 14, 2016

My personal theory (for what it's worth) is that the whole asylum, inmates and all, are figments of Marc's mind. I'd like to see an "Arkham Asylum" situation where Moon Knight delves deeper into the halls of his own tangled mind and is forced to confront increasingly distorted versions of the people he's punished and put away, as well as those he's loved and lost along the way. But, regardless of how it turns out, it's great to see another book coming out from Marvel that is less concerned with keeping up with larger continuity and tie-ins, and more focused on a singular, engaging storyline. Lemire has admitted that he already has the first ten issues of "Moon Knight" scripted and, if this opener is any indication of the quality of the road ahead, I reckon I'll be with him and Smallwood month after monthto see how it all unfolds.

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4.5
Mystery Girl #4

Mar 17, 2016

‘Mystery Girl' was a book with a really perfect elevator pitch. ‘Girl with enigmatic mystery solving powers can crack any case except her own' should be the start of something amazing, but this series found itself carried away with tangents instead of tackling the issue at hand, and only hints at a possible conclusion to the real mystery of Trine's abilities in the closing pages of this issue. While it was a relatively fun surface-level romp, there feels like a lot more wasted opportunity here than real content.

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8.2
Namesake #1

Nov 10, 2016

Alchemy may not be an exact science, but Orlando and Rebelka got the mix of magical and mundane just right this time around.

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9.0
Neverboy #1

Mar 5, 2015

While it's a little slow to start, this totally bonkers comic book is definitely one of the best new properties I've picked up in a while, and I'm definitely adding it to my pull list as a welcome diversion from more traditional comic-book fare. It's smart, full of heart, and beautifully rendered, a great addition to any comic-book fan's library.

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7.2
Neverboy #3

May 11, 2015

Confidently confusing. It takes some serious chops to pull off a story like this.

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7.7
Occupy Avengers #1

Nov 4, 2016

Proof that politics doesn't have to be boring, it's great to see heroes standing for something.

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8.5
Oh, Killstrike #4

Aug 21, 2015

This issue is a glorious and satisfying conclusion to a little gem of a mini-series. Every comics fan should find something to love here.

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8.4
Old Man Logan (2016) #1

Feb 1, 2016

New versions of old faces are falling through the cracks in reality left in the wake of convergence. Lemire and Sorrentino have leapt on one of the most interesting ones to offer up a comic that feels both tied to the wider world and in a category all of its own.

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7.8
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6

Jan 25, 2016

Strong and stylised from beginning to end, Gillen and McKelvie present bravado in the face of uncertainty in a way that feels both peculiarly British and reassuringly universal.

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8.4
Pisces #2

May 29, 2015

While it's in no rush to begin a driving narrative, both issues of “Pisces” so far have felt like they have a driving internal force that makes for pretty unputdownable reading. Issue #2 feels like it's beginning to point us in the direction of a story but there's still so much more to explore that it feels as though we've barely scratched the surface. However, if any book feels like it's going to pay off the patience it requires from its reader it's this one and, if the glorious and grotesque imagery is anything to go by, Wiebe and Christmas are promising that the journey will be a beautiful one.

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7.9
Power Man and Iron Fist (2016) #2

Mar 21, 2016

This book is, at its heart, an odd couple dramedy, and the witty back-and-forth between long-time friends Luke and Danny is peppered with discussions about the duty of a father, the bond between friends, and other relatable adult dilemmas that are, in turn both sweet and poignant. This strong foundation of fraternity, coupled with Greene's instantly iconic character redesigns, could well help cement this incarnation of the duo as their most impressive yet.

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7.6
Rasputin #4

Jan 30, 2015

While the slower pace and lack of punching this series offers might not be for everyone, I honestly think that, in terms of mystery and intrigue, “Rasputin” is one of the best comics I've read in a long time. The artwork is superb, perfectly pitched for the shadowy back-rooms of 19th century Russia, and the magic, though few and far between, is so focussed on consequence and causality that every instance of sorcery draws you into the story.

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6.9
Rasputin #7

Aug 3, 2015

With such a sublimely slowburning first arc, issue seven feels like its jolting a little as it shifts gears. But once the more clunky set up is out of the way, I'm still confident this book will be at the top of my pull list.

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8.8
Rumble #5

May 4, 2015

So good that I had to go back and buy all four previous issues. This first arc is too much fun to miss.

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8.8
Rumble #7

Sep 24, 2015

This book is difficult to describe in one quick soundbite. It's an adventure story about swords and sorcery, but it's also about honour, and treachery, and beyond that it's about redemption, on a personal and social scale. Arcudi and Harren have managed to craft a book that reads as a fun-time blood-spattered romp but still packs an emotional punch. It's been one of my must read books ever since I stumbled across it and I can't wait to see what the second arc brings to the table.

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7.2
Rumble #8

Nov 2, 2015

This issue is another that feels simultaneously stand alone and part of a larger world. There's a bit of a disconnect at times as Arcudi touches base with characters who are clearly going to be major players once the arc gets going, but when the action starts flowing in full force and Rathraq's sword starts swinging this issue is every bit as fun, frantic and fierce a book as you could want for Halloween.

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6.4
RunLoveKill #2

May 18, 2015

A slick, sexy, switch your brain off kind of comic. Here's hoping some substance crops up in the next few issues to go along with all that style.

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8.5
Saga #32

Dec 25, 2015

As the pacing of this series becomes harder and harder to guess at, the best clues are to follow the children. While there is a distinct lack of Hazel in this issue, Vaughan lends the reader a helping hand by throwing back toa character we haven't seen for a few issues, simultaneously reminding us of a group of characters who could easily have falen out of orbit, and pushing this fantastic tale in yet another unexpected direction. As far as independent books go, few have the legs that “Saga” has built for itself, and Vaughan and Staples' willingness to experiment with everything from genre to characters to issue structure to release dates is what has kept this series as strong as it is over almost three years.

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8.0
Sex Criminals #15

Apr 29, 2016

Fans of this series so far will find nothing not to like about this intimate and immersive end to the latest arc.

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7.1
Snow Blind #4

Mar 11, 2016

But, overall, this is an enjoyable pulp romp that feels dutifully aware of its heritage without getting too tangled in the tropes of genre. Masters and Jenkins are clearly both strong storytellers and the wild, wilful vibe of this book pulls it along and makes for quite compulsive reading. What's more, the intricate and taciturn storytelling style means that this is definitely a story that reads better in one sitting than it does waiting for it monthly, and the final confrontation felt loaded with much more anticipation re-reading these issues in a single sitting. This is an understated story, both in narrative and artwork, that evokes the isolating chill both of the bleak north and of secrets left unspoken, and fans of confident, stylised Noir should find plenty to enjoy here.

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6.9
Sombra #1

Jul 21, 2016

Cool and confident, with a clever conceit at the core. A comic for readers not looking for any easy answers.

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7.0
Sonic Mega Drive (One Shot) #1

Jul 7, 2016

Final Verdict:7.0 " As frantic and fast-paced as its namesake, "Sonic Mega Drive" is a primary-coloured primer for anyone wondering what made the 90's so fun.

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6.9
Sons of the Devil #1

Jun 1, 2015

A slightly homogeneous, but very readable, first outing for a mystery series that has set itself up with plenty of room to grow.

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7.6
Southern Cross #2

Apr 9, 2015

A page-turner that pits a bunch of mysterious strangers against one another in a confined space on the edge of the galaxy. Need I say more?

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4.2
Spawn Kills Everyone (One-Shot) #1

Aug 18, 2016

Brimming with blood and guts, but not much else, "Spawn Kills Everyone" promises hero-on-hero carnage, aims for biting satire, but ultimately fails to deliver either.

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6.4
Spider-Man & The X-Men #1

Dec 12, 2014

This comic is clearly an attempt to fulfil the more whimsical end of the X-Men quota that Wolverine's absence has made necessary. Kalan and Failla's Spider-Man swings in with his own recognisable brand of humour, but I do feel like, lacking the focussed, gruff, hunting nature of Wolverine, SXM might end up feeling a lot less focussed than Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo's run.

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5.3
Spider-Woman (2014) #1

Nov 20, 2014

I'd say that Silk probably sums up my feeling towards the wasted opportunity of a first issue better pretty concisely when she says "It just sucks that I finally get to hang out with the Spider-Woman, and it turns out she's a friggin' stick-in-the-mud".

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7.3
Spider-Woman (2015) #1

Nov 23, 2015

Fun-filled and irreverent, but with serious heart at the core.

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8.2
Spread #3

Sep 11, 2014

A thoroughly enjoyable romp through the world after the end of the world. It's heart and soul as much as blood and guts that makes "Spread" a must read.

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6.9
Squadron Supreme (2015) #3

Jan 18, 2016

An interesting exploration into the depth and breadth of the Marvel Universe. Robinson and Kirk have covered more in three issues than a lot of creators manage in a year.

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7.2
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #1

Dec 21, 2015

If you're all hyped on Star Wars sci-fi fun, check out this series to keep your head in the clouds.

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7.1
Star Wars: Han Solo #3

Sep 2, 2016

Continued below(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});Final Verdict: 7.1– Another fast and furious space-racing issue that shows sometimes limiting your scope can create a wider variety of stories.

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6.0
Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1

Jun 24, 2016

Serviceable, but an entirely surface level revisiting of a story that has much deeper depths still to plumb.

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6.7
Starve #6

Feb 19, 2016

“Starve” is a series that caught my eye initially for the bizarrely incongruous mishmash of genres it presents. Trashy pop-culture cooking show meets cutting social commentary meets dystopian near-future propaganda meets familial drama. Like a haute cuisine dish, there are a lot of ingredients in the mix here that you might not think work well together. But, for some reason, the distinctive blend of flavours had me hooked throughout the first arc. Issue #6 feels a little less flavoursome so far, lacking the focus and drive that characterised its predecessors, but there's still more than enough going on here to make this a tasty entre for Wood and Zezelj's second serving.

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8.8
Street Fighter X G.I. JOE #1

Feb 25, 2016

This book is thoroughly, completely ridiculous, melding the bombasticism and duplicity of the the Joes and Cobras with the hyperviolent looney-tunes beat-em-up stylings ofStreet Fighter, but, perhaps because it pushes it so far, somehow, it works. The silliness and willingness to run with the premise of this book may not appeal to every comic book fan, but if you do like it, chances are you'll really like it!

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5.8
Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

Aug 4, 2016

There's a lack of precision in this issue that just made me struggle to get invested in any of the goings on. More a shouty shamble than a ballroom blitz.

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7.9
Sundowners #3

Oct 30, 2014

A dizzying and dark foray into the dangerous world of a superheroes' psyche. If you head into this series you might want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

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6.6
Superman (2016) #2

Jul 11, 2016

By keeping this book warm and family focussed, Tomasi and Gleason are reinvigorating Superman with the kind of homespun charm that grounds his alien side and makes for a much more empathetic story.

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5.7
Symmetry #1

Dec 14, 2015

If you're a fan of Hunger Games, Scorch Trials, or whatever a 'Divergent' is, then you'll probably love this book. If not, there's not much new on offer here.

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8.3
Teen Titans: Rebirth #1

Sep 29, 2016

A strong, smooth opening act, which only teases the reunion of the much beloved team. Percy and Meyers know how to leave their readers wanting more.

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8.1
The Baker Street Peculiars #1

Mar 14, 2016

Cor blimey, Guv'nor, I can't wait to see what this peculiar lot get up to next month.

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8.5
The Beauty #3

Oct 26, 2015

"The Beauty" is a top quality mystery that is every bit as infectious as the virus that shares its name.

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7.2
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6

Jul 14, 2016

Smart and spooky horror that chills and shocks in all the right ways. It's not too late to get involved with this re-imagined teenage witch.

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7.2
The Dream Merchant #5

Oct 24, 2014

Like any good nightmare, "The Dream Merchant" started off slow, sinister, and nebulous, but as it nears its conclusion it's setting itself up for a thoroughly disturbing crescendo. While the initial pacing may be offputting for fans of more straightforward thrillers, issue 5 seals the deal for me as an interesting concept executed well, and that's really what I feel as mini-series should offer.

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6.1
The Electric Sublime #1

Oct 24, 2016

A relatively by-the-numbers effort for a first issue, but it establishes a world that definitely feels pregnant with potential. I'll be hanging on to see where the first arc ends up.

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9.0
The Great Lakes Avengers #1

Oct 14, 2016

My new favourite Avengers team might just be the worst version ever put to paper.

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7.7
The Infinite Loop #1

Apr 24, 2015

Charretier's panelling does a lot for the frenetic pace of this issue, grabbing you from the first encounter with an anomaly (which, by the way, contains an interactive flow-chart that combines elements ofJurassic ParkwithBack to the Future) and keeping you on your toes till the final panel. She's constantly experimenting with perspective, colour, washes, and achronal settings in a way that makes every page feel unique and yet still tied together. By the time you reach the last page it's obvious that there has been no effort spared as far as inventiveness goes. Charretier pens a chase scene like few artists working at the moment, and her visual representation of the multilayered network of time is perfectly suited for this raucous, helter-skelter comic book.

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8.2
The Infinite Loop #6

Oct 2, 2015

Timely and timeless, "Infinite Loop" is a story of universal relevance. This is a book that proves transgressive comic books don't have to rely on shock value or stock characters.

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8.1
The Legacy Of Luther Strode #6

May 26, 2016

Luther wanted to 'be better', and thanks to the diligence and inventiveness of his creative team, that's exactly what he did.

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7.4
The Mighty Thor (2015) #1

Nov 20, 2015

Fans of Aaron's take on the Thor mythos will find a lot to love with this book. His criminally commercial take on the Roxxon corporation is still front and centre, the bureaucratic back-stabbing of the nine realms is still in full flow at the Congress of Worlds, and he still manages to find a way to anchor the character of ‘Thor' in something truly empathisable. What's more, there's a surprising reveal at the end of this issue that could signal the first true nemesis for Jane Foster's iteration of the God of Thunder.

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6.7
The Names #1

Sep 5, 2014

While the twin concepts of an evil corporation and a spurned lover on the warpath are hardly ground-breaking, Milligan and Fernandez have managed to breathe fresh life into their new venture and have concocted a stylish mixture of sexuality and hyper-violence that leaves the audience breathless by the end. This opening issue asks a lot of questions, but it remains to be seen if the answers the series provides will prove a payoff that a cutthroat capitalist would accept as a decent trade-off.

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8.1
The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man #1

Jul 18, 2016

A sleeper success for a seventies reboot that feels like it's rebuilding a franchise that could just as easily have been forgotten.

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7.5
The Spire #1

Jul 3, 2015

Overall, while there are some teething problems that come from having a whole world to fill your audience in on, “The Spire” is a truly intriguing first issue that's perfect for fans of modern fantasy novels like The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Name of the Wind. Plus, for the rest of you, it's a fast-paced, tragicomic mystery packed with mutants and magic.

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7.7
The Tithe #1

Apr 16, 2015

The subject matter that "The Tithe" is setting out to cover is an inherently tricky one. Religion is a divisive issue, and the human element of religion often gets overlooked in favour of more esoteric arguments. But, by focussing on how corruption and temptation are forces that pervade every aspect of humanity, as well as staying firmly rooted in the physical, rather than the spiritual, Hawkins and Edekel might've just invented a whole new genre of comic-book, 'The Mega-Church Heist'.

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8.8
The Twilight Children #4

Jan 29, 2016

And that seems to have been a conscious effort on the part of both Cooke and Hernandez. Both of them have commented about the structuring of this book hinging on ambiguity. This kind of nuanced, open-ended storytelling is perfect for a mini-series format. While "The Twilight Children" might infuriate readers who prefer more straight-up storylines, it'd be difficult to argue that it doesn't manage to achieve a hell of a lot in its few short issues. Hernandez and Cooke have constructed a book that istight enough to tell a story in four issues, and open-ended enough that it can be read over and over again for completely differentexperiences.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #4

Sep 19, 2014

I will say though, for a comic about gods walking amongst us this does seem to have been so far a comic about gods talking amongst us. We're still in the early phases of what Gillen has already confirmed is to be an on-going who's ending is 'years off', but, so far, "The Wicked and The Divine" is proving to be a tantalisingly paced whodunit about gods told through the eyes of one of their fondest acolytes. It's a testament to Gillen and McKelvie's storytelling skills that none of the pretty preaching we've been subjected to feels like filler, but rather the groundwork for a series that could have some very complicated, relationship-fueled storylines in its future.

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8.5
The Wicked + The Divine #8

Feb 26, 2015

Gillen, Mckelvie, and their team have created a comic that is stylish, sexy, and stunning, but it's their unwillingness to compromise the soul of their brainchild that makes it so successful. If you're not reading it already, it's probably time that you started.

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6.4
The Wicked + The Divine #12

Jul 6, 2015

A bold step, for sure, but not necessarily a better one.

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9.1
The Wicked + The Divine #14

Sep 14, 2015

Dizzying and uncomfortable, even as it draws you deeper into Woden's web, this issue is a masterclass in comic-book creation.

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4.8
Thunderbolts (2016) #1

May 5, 2016

A less than auspicious rebirth for the watcher on the wall.

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8.9
Tokyo Ghost #1

Sep 17, 2015

But there's more to “Tokyo Ghost” than simply danger porn and pretty pictures. Remender and Murphy are warning against the perils of over-reliance on technology. As Remender himself points out in the first letter's column, “our impulse control is gone, our attention spans are shorter, and it's only getting worse.” While this might seem like a rather doom and gloom viewpoint on the world, it is only the first issue, and it's undeniable that the speed with which technology is changing both our world and us as people is at times a little unsettling. More importantly, however, it also offers a veritable playground for speculative fiction, and it will be interesting to see where this creative team, who already seem perfectly in sync with one another, take it as the series continues.

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5.1
Tomb Raider (2016) #1

Feb 22, 2016

Video game adaptations are notoriously hard to crack, so perhaps Miss Croft needs a couple of issues to settle back into the swing of the medium.

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7.6
Ultimates (2015) #4

Feb 12, 2016

This book feels like a great example of one of the big two loosening the reins a little with regards to form and execution. Ewing and Rocheforte's combined vision reads much less like a superhero comic and more like a strange super-science manifesto. While it may contain recognisable characters from the Marvel U they're being combined and utilised in fresh new ways and we're getting to see a kind of book that you wouldn't usually expect to be used as a vehicle for at least two characters with confirmed dates in the cinematic universe. I genuinely don't know where this book is headed, but if it keeps going this boldly, I'll be happy to follow.

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7.6
Ultimates (2015) #8

Jun 27, 2016

If this issue is any indication, it'll be the more rooted tie-in books that keep me interested in Marvel's latest cosmic super-slugfest.

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5.4
Unbelievable Gwenpool #2

May 13, 2016

Still 'switch-your-brain-off fun for any Marvel fan who likes to see obscure characters in odd situations, but two issues in and I'm not sure if "Gwenpool" will make it much further than that.

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7.2
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #30

Jan 30, 2015

A mammoth step for the franchise. Lines will be redrawn right across the map.

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8.1
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #600

Nov 5, 2015

The X-Men have always been hated and feared, but Bendis strove to make them understood, even as they struggled internally with their own ideologies. It's been conflicted and fractured, but it was rarely ever dull. Perhaps now, with the world at large still afraid of them (and their own publishers trying to push them to the sidelines) these remaining mutants will finally put aside their differences and fight for a common cause… Or not, either way I'm excited to see what comes next.

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7.8
Uncanny X-Men (2016) #1

Jan 7, 2016

This book feels different from its predecessor in almost every way. while Bendis was introducing new mutants to the world, Bunn's being forced by the Marvel U at large to tighten the restrictions on mutants, opting for a smaller cast of familiar faces. Bendis' “Uncanny” focussed heavily on esoteric musings on mutant-kind's place in society, while Bunn's X-Men are more concerned with the basic matters of survival. The most notable difference though, at this early stage, is probably the amount of violence on display. Given the previous X-Books focus on in-fighting, there was little out-and-out conflict, and even fewer deaths. Bunn's X-Men are most definitely being attacked from the outside, and so, hated and feared once more, it seems as though we're going to see just how fierce a cornered mutant can get. And I for one can't wait to find out.

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9.7
Vision #10

Aug 15, 2016

King and Walta have a tightly woven, laser focussed story to tell and it manages to stand out from the crowd and feel completely at home in a larger shared universe all at once.

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7.0
Wolf Moon #1

Dec 5, 2014

Overall the first issue does exactly what you'd want from an introduction to a mini-series. It sets up the characters, the conflict, and the protagonist's goal in easy brushstrokes, and gives you enough of a hook that you're definitely ready to read on when you turn the final page.

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8.0
Wolverines #1

Jan 8, 2015

For anyone who's been following the Death of Wolverine saga, "Wolverines" looks to be a solid continuation of the Logan mythos. If Soule can continue to balance action with introspection as the people Logan has left behind start to reevaluate themselves without him in their lives then I think this book should be a really great read for 2015.

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8.0
X-Men '92 #1

Apr 3, 2016

Whether you're a #90sKid or just a fan of fun-filled comic stories, this book shows that, sometimes, the oldies are the goodies.

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8.0
X-Men '92 (2016) #1

Mar 31, 2016

Whether you're a #90s Kid or just a fan of fun-filled comic stories, this book shows that, sometimes, the oldies are the goodies.

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