Zack Davisson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 172
7.9Avg. Review Rating

7.0
2000AD #1761

Dec 3, 2011

Part 12 concludes Low Life's "The Deal," which the introduction assures us is a fan-favorite but I have had a hard time getting into. Firmly set in Judge Dredd world, Low Life takes place in the Japan-inspired Hondo City but it is a psychedelic mind-trip rather than any recognizable storyline. The art is black-and-white with some punctuated color which works nicely, but the story is just too esoteric for me.

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7.0
2000AD #1763

Dec 20, 2011

Hopefully next prog the replacement story for Angel Zero will be one I like, otherwise the balance will shift from 50/50. And that is also the nature of an ongoing anthology piece. If you don't like a certain set of stories, just wait long enough and you will get a new crop. I would love it if every story was bursting at the seams with awesome, but for that I go to the Judge Dredd Megazine.

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9.0
47 Ronin #1

Nov 7, 2012

And honestly, that is probably the right choice. Few Americans would count "blind, unswerving loyalty" as an admirable character trait. It is much easier to enjoy if you know that the righteous are upheld, and the wicked punished. That makes for a much more palatable story, without the need to swallow moral quandaries along with the heroism. But it does make 47 Ronin a less interesting one.

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10
47 Ronin #2

Jan 11, 2013

A fantastic series. I am looking forward to the next issue, and looking forward even more to the eventual prestige collection that this series deserves.

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10
47 Ronin #3

Mar 5, 2013

Only two more issues to go -- and then a super-deluxe hardcover (fingers crossed). This series has been one of the standouts of the year, and something I am sure I will read and reread for years to come.

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10
47 Ronin #4

Apr 30, 2013

Subtlety is a strong point of this issue. Sakai plays with facial expressions to tell the true story that words cannot unfold. There are a couple of powerful scenes: a workman silently weeping as he sends off his fianc telling her to find another man; the look of regret on the face of Lady Asano as she sends Oishi away, refusing to let him burn incense at her husband’s memorial. And the best scene of all—the look of shock on the faces of the retainers when Okano reveals exactly h

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10
A Zoo in Winter #1

Aug 17, 2011

Although I love his work, I don't know much about the person that is Jiro Taniguchi. I don't know how much of A Zoo in Winter, a story of a young manga artist finding his inspiration, is autobiographical, semi-autobiographical or just plain fiction. Ultimately, it doesn't matter because, true or not, A Zoo in Winter (a direct translation of the Japanese title Fuyu no Dobutsuen), is an fantastic, touching comic book.

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7.0
Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #2

Oct 29, 2011

Only in Mike Mignola and John Arcudi's realm can a light-hearted romp involve summoning demons from the pits of hell, an infectious disease that blows you up like Veruca Salt on bad blueberries, a few nice axe chops and a beheading, and enough puss and bile to fill a swimming pool. The Devil may not jest, but Mignola and Arcudi do.

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8.0
Action! Mystery! Thrills!: Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-1945 #1

Jun 4, 2012

If I were a comic artist working today, I would want a copy of Action! Mystery! Thrills! in my library to study design and style of this period. Even with modern computer colors and effects, there is something dynamic about this old style where artists used limited tools for maximum effect.

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3.0
Akaneiro #1

May 21, 2013

I'm going to say something nice about Akaneiro #1 to start off with -- great cover! Seriously, that's a pretty cool cover. Well done, Shu Yan! And " that's about all the good things I can say about this comic. The rest of it is poorly written, poorly drawn, poorly researched (and there saying "poorly" is giving it too much credit), poorly paced, poorly" wait, now that I look at it again, the coloring and lettering is pretty nice too. No troubles there. It's just everything else.

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10
Archie Marries . . . #1

Jan 12, 2011

This hardcover collection also includes a reproduction comic with some classic Archie stories from Archie, Pep Comics, and Betty and Veronica--which was a nice little reminder for folks like me who hadnt cracked open an issue of Archie for decades.

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10
B.P.R.D.: 1947 #1

Sep 15, 2010

This collection also includes a Trevor Bruttenholm solo adventure, And What Shall I Find There? that originally appeared as a promotion on MySpace. The art is by Patric Reynolds, and shows a young Bruttenholm on his first supernatural adventure.

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9.0
B.P.R.D.: Being Human #1

Jan 4, 2012

B.P.R.D.: Being Human is a fantastic showcase of what the Mignola universe is all about. Even if you aren't a regular reader of the series, there is enough here to serve as an introduction and a lure to draw you deeper into a place where the dead walk the Earth with alarming regularity and where the Beast of the Apocalypse is mankind's best hope.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Russia #1

Aug 15, 2012

Like all of the B.P.R.D. trades, Hell on Earth: Russia throws in some nice extras to make the collected edition worthwhile. There is a back-up story drawn by Duncan Fegredo, An Unmarked Grave, where Hellboy's love Alice Monaghan tells Kate the story of Hellboy's death from The Storm and the Fury. Tyler Crook 's sketchbook shows the evolution of the characters, often starting with Mignola's or Davis' designs. I love the little notes inserted by Mignola commenting on the sketches. It adds a friendly behind-the-scenes touch that I have come to appreciate in these B.P.R.D. trades.

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6.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Russia #2

Oct 22, 2011

After spending so much time with Liz in the two previous B.P.R.D. series, it is nice to have a few issues focusing on Johann. Unfortunately, Kate doesn't get a lot of play, and is ushered to the sidelines pretty quickly. Johann and Iosif spend a lot of time talking and commiserating about their mutual condition. These guys are bonding hardcore before Iosif tosses Johann into a room with a possessed dad guy, shoots the dead guy in the head, then locks the door and tells Johann to get to work. Iosif is not a nice guy.

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9.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

Feb 14, 2012

But personally it is the little scenes that I am appreciating the most in B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth and specifically in this new mini-series, The Long Death. Dark Horse has been building up to something big for awhile now, and 2012 promises to be a complete game-changer in Mignola's shadow-haunted universe. But I like the road they are taking to get there; more personal and intimate instead of getting lost in the big picture.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #2

Mar 21, 2012

Next issue finishes up The Long Death, and will bring us to the next mini-series, continuing the long march to the climax of Hellboy in Hell. At least I think so, based on the teaser material. Eventually the focus is going to have to swing away and the B.P.R.D. is going to have to tackle the big picture once again if they don't want to see the Earth entirely over run. But for the time being, I am really enjoying these quieter, more personal stories.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #3

Apr 18, 2012

I have been enjoying these little B.P.R.D. interludes in the Hell on Earth series. I know that Dark Horse is building up for the Big Event that is coming soon and that these stories amount to little more than appetizers. But as an appetizer, The Long Death is completely delicious and utterly filling.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

Mar 28, 2012

I don't know how The Pickens County Horror is connected to the overall Hell on Earth storyline yet, but I suppose we will find out next issue. But even if there is no big reveal, the comic makes for a decent little horror story by itself.

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7.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #2

Apr 26, 2012

All in all, The Pickens Country Horror was a fun little two-issue series. I am interested to see how (or if) it fits into the big picture, and if there are any clues here that I should be paying more attention to. I guess I will have to wait and find out when Hell on Earth reaches its climax.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Return of the Master #1

Aug 29, 2012

Lots of questions and not a lot of answers in B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth The Return of the Master #1. But it feels like all of those lose ends and vagrant stories are coming together, and with this series Dark Horse has finally thrust a stake in the ground and said The End Starts Here.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: The Transformation of J.H. O'Donnell #1

May 30, 2012

When everyone looks bizarre, when regular humans have pop-eyes and expressionistic body styles, the impact of the actual weirdness is lessened.

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8.0
Baltimore: The Curse Bells #3

Oct 11, 2011

When we left the steadfast tin soldier Baltimore and the journalist Simon Hodge in issue #2, they were standing on the walls of the Abbey about to be swamped in a horde of vampire nuns. And while Baltimore was hunting the one-eyed vampire Haigus, he was also being hunted by Andre Duvic, Judge of the Inquisition. Prospects were not good.

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10
Baltimore: The Curse Bells #5

Dec 14, 2011

I was wrong. Baltimore: The Curse Bells shows that the Right Honourable the Lord Henry Richard Baltimore, 13th Baron Baltimore, of Boscastle in County Durham. Is as interesting a character in his own right as Hellboy. This is no side-project, and I can't wait for the next issue.

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9.0
Baltimore: The Infernal Train #1

Sep 9, 2013

I wouldn't want to live in Baltimore's world, but I sure as hell love to read about it. I can't wait to see where The Infernal Train takes me.

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8.0
Baltimore: The Infernal Train #2

Oct 14, 2013

Baltimore continues to be one of the most consistently great comics out there. This issue’s new revelation and twist wasn’t my favorite from this series, but I’ve learned to trust Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden a

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8.0
Baltimore: The Infernal Train #3

Oct 31, 2013

At the end of Baltimore: The Infernal Train there is a quick ad for the next series, Baltimore: Chapel of Bones, which promises the big showdown between Lord Baltimore and Haigus. I would almost think that meant the series was drawing to its inevitable conclusion, but with all the hurly-burly introduced in The Infernal Train, maybe it is more like the close of a chapter. We'll see. document.write('');

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8.0
Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1

Dec 21, 2011

The good news is, everything gets better. Amazingly better. I have read the follow-up series, Baltimore: The Curse Bells, which is a phenomenal piece of comic art and one of the best horror comics I have ever read. So pick up and read Baltimore: The Plague Ships if for no other reason than as preparation for a comic that is going to shiver your bones, churl your stomach, and blow your mind a little.

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9.0
Baltimore: The Play One-Shot #1

Nov 21, 2012

And hey Dark Horse! I am saving up my money for a Baltimore: Library Edition! I want to see that on my shelf!

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8.0
Baltimore: The Widow and The Tank #1

Feb 19, 2013

I think The Widow and The Tank will work great as short interludes in a collected edition (Still crossing my fingers for Baltimore Library Editions). I love this kind of work in Mignola's Hellboy collections, where short pieces punctuate longer story arcs. But as a stand-alone issue" just great, not amazing.

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2.0
Barbarians: A Handbook for Aspiring Savages #1

Dec 7, 2011

Barbarians: A Handbook for Aspiring Savages doesnt have any of that. It is a book to stay far, far away from. Unless you are actually stupid like the people described in the book. In that case, you might get a few chuckles.

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8.0
Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives #1

Mar 17, 2010

Laying the three side-by-side, the original comic, the softbound collection, and this latest hardbound volume, it is clear that the current presentation is the superior version. As much as I love Windsor-Smiths comics in their original form, the colorist at the time was limited by the available technology, so Dark Horses new colors are a distinct improvement. Purists probably are still going to be upset by the modern coloring, but I think you will be impressed if you give it a chance.

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5.0
Batman: Death By Design #1

Aug 8, 2012

But sadly, as it is both Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor designed themselves to death. And Batman: Death by Design comes off as a pretty faade pasted over nothing. All form, no function.

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8.0
Blood Brothers #2

Sep 20, 2013

The art team of Evan Shaner and Dan Jackson is pretty damn good. I admit I wasn't thrilled with them on the first issue, but either they have found their rhythm on the series or their work has grown on my. Shaner and Jackson pull off this " everyday guy look, for lack of a better word, that balances perfectly with the story. This is art without pretensions. Which is exactly what Tree and Nick need to make their snarky world come alive.

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6.0
Book Prepare to Die! #1

Nov 26, 2012

It's really too bad, because aside from the blatant sexism and male fantasy, Prepare to Die! is a damn good book.  I would love to edit this, to cut out every paragraph that has a woman acting like a fantasy doll. ( Even the stuff with Adele wouldn't be too bad if Reaper hadn't spent most of the rest of the book bragging about what a stud he is, and how women throw themselves at him.)  But as it is, unless you in the market for a pure male fantasy novel -- unless you thought the recent revamp of Starfire as a fuck doll with the brain of a goldfish was A-OK -- then you should probably stay away from this book.

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10
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #1

Jun 12, 2013

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Breath of Bones when I saw the ads. That cover didn't spark a lot of enthusiasm, and just looked like a typical monster-bash, but I figured I would give it a shot. Much to my surprise, Breath of Bones looks to be one of the best comics I will read this year. Based on this first issue, it's a complicated, heartwarming and heart-wrenching story with a depth of feeling I don't see in a lot of comics. It's beautiful.

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10
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3

Aug 7, 2013

Everything in this book is just fantastic. Trust me on this. I'll say it again. You really have to read it.

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6.0
Breathe Deeply #1

Apr 5, 2012

I would have a hard time recommending Breathe Deep just as a comic. The story is solid, but unless you are interested in the debates over stem cell research the love-triangle isn't really enough to carry the book. There are long pages and passages that delve into science and possibility, and those pages stand a good chance of boring the average reader. If I hadn't just read Immortality, I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much as I did.

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10
Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Volume 4 #1

Sep 26, 2012

Well done, CLAMP -- now that is how you end a series. And well done, Dark Horse, for putting this entire series in such an attractive, affordable format.

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9.0
Castle Waiting Vol. 1 #1

Jan 10, 2013

I will definitely pick up the second volume of Castle Waiting when it is released. Fantagraphics not only gave the series a new lease on life, but also cooked up some new issues. I am hoping for some conclusion in Volume 2, but either way I know I won't be able to put it down once I pick it up. Just like Volume 1.

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2.0
Clown Fatale #1

Nov 12, 2013

Really, unless you like racism, sexism, and rape all dressed up in clown make-up, don't buy this comic. And if you do buy this comic, don't tell me. You are a bad person and I don't want to know you.

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9.0
Conan And The People of The Black Circle #1

Oct 16, 2013

My only disappointment with The People of the Black Circle is its length. This is one of Howard's longer stories, and it's a tight fit to cram this story into four issues. Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Alfredo Alcala adapted The People of the Black Circle in four issues of Savage Sword of Conan, but those were big fat 30-page issues. Based on this first issue, I'm sure Van Lente and Olivet

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8.0
Conan And The People of The Black Circle #4

Jan 28, 2014

I'm looking forward to seeing Van Lente on the regular series, and seeing what he can do when he has the time to tell a fuller story. The rumor is we haven't seen the last of some of the characters here, and that the events of People of the Black Circle will have some repercussions in the ongoing. I hope that is true, as it would alleviate some of the feeling of this story getting less than its due by being crammed into a four-issue mini. But either way, People of the Black Circle has been a fun ride, and given me confidence in Van Lente as a Conan writer.

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9.0
Conan Phoenix on the Sword #4

Apr 26, 2012

ADVANCE REVIEW: Conan Phoenix on the Sword #4 (of 4) Comic Series: King Conan: The Phoenix on the SwordWriter: Timothy TrumanPenciller: Tomas GiorelloColorist: Jose VillarrubiaLetterer: Richard StarkingsPublisher: Dark HorseReviewer: Zack DavissonReview Rating: ADVANCE REVIEW! King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #4 will go on sale Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #2

Mar 13, 2012

I loved this comics all the way up to that last panel. Maybe it is just a delay. A beat. Maybe next issue the Belit will be in all her glory, and Conan will face the full power of her passion. Maybe. I am hoping. But as awesome as this issue was, that last panel hit me like a smack in the face.

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10
Conan the Barbarian #3

Apr 11, 2012

Whoever the artist is, I want more. More of this story. More of the story Brian Wood is telling. This is no longer Robert E. Howard's Conan, this is Brian Wood's Conan. And it is good.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #4

May 15, 2012

Now that we are four issues in, I hope that James Harren stays with the series for the remainder, perhaps with Cloonan filing in from time-to-time. I worry that a cavalcade of artists will parade through, each with a different take. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and too many artists spoil the comic. Even if they are all good artists.

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7.0
Conan the Barbarian #5

Jun 12, 2012

Harren is on-board for one issue, then we see the return of Becky Cloonan in issue #7 (Yay!). And after that? We fans will just have to wait and see how the roulette win spins.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #6

Jul 11, 2012

My biggest issue was towards the end, where Belit's in a damsel-in-distress situation and needs Conan to come save the day. That just doesn't sit right, considering Belit's amazing scene in the previous issue. I don't mind Belit needing Conan's rescue -- he is physically mightier than here, and is the brawn to her brain—but if Belit is going to be knocked to her knees I want it to be something more than a handful of nameless mooks that bring her down.  That’s beneath her.  Save Conan’s rescue for a truly mighty opponent, and preserve Belit’s reputation as the Queen of the Black Coast.

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7.0
Conan the Barbarian #7

Aug 8, 2012

I want my McGuffin. I want more story to frame all of those little intimate moments that Wood does so well. I want an antagonist for my protagonist. We'll see how this new bizzaro Conan measures up as an antagonist next issue, I suppose. Something tells me is going to strut the stage for his three issues, then step off making way for the next story arc and artist. I have never been a fan of monster-of-the-week style storytelling, and personally, I want a little more than that (a lot more?) than a series of three-issue story arcs.

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2.0
Conan the Barbarian #8

Sep 12, 2012

I am deadly curious to see what others have to say about this issue. I know that my peeves are not everyone's peeves, and I can respect that. Everyone has their own opinion, their own appreciations. But this issue … I think even the most stalwart and loyal fan would find hard to praise. 

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6.0
Conan the Barbarian #9

Oct 2, 2012

I can't really put my finger on what it is other than with a new story arc and a new artist every couple of issues, I am growing less and less invested in the series. The promise of those early Wood/Cloonan issues (so good!!!) is fading. I'll keep reading. I know some amazing artists are lined up, but I think with the constant switcharoo this is never going to be a series that I really love. 

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9.0
Conan the Barbarian #10

Nov 7, 2012

Issue #10 is of my favorite issues in the series so far (not quite as awesome as issue #3, but close). Every note came off perfectly, and I think even the crustiest of Conan fans is going to have to admit that something cool is going on here. To any readers who dropped off during the last disappointing story arc, allow me to sound the All Clear alarm. It is safe to come back to Cimmeria. 

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #11

Dec 11, 2012

And I really, really want Conan and Belit to head to sea and do some pirating. We got a glimpse of that in issue #10, and it was awesome. But here we are again, docked in port. 

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9.0
Conan the Barbarian #12

Jan 18, 2012

A great ending to a great story arc. I wish every issue of Conan the Barbarian was of this caliber.  But with the end of The Death it is time to spin the roulette wheel again and bring on a new artist. Fortunately, we know this time it Is coming up green double-zeros. Next issue is the incredible Mirko Colak. Let's hope Wood gives him a story arc worthy of his great abilities. 

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10
Conan the Barbarian #13

Feb 20, 2013

If Dark Horse is smart, they will already have Mirko Colak signed up for something else. I hope it is more Conan. Because talent like this deserves more than just two issues. And readers like us deserve this level of talent.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #14

Mar 19, 2013

Much has been said of Wood giving Conan and Blit an emotional core to counterpoint Howard's blood-and-thunder, and I see some of that here. But I honestly feel like it's too shallow of an emotional core. I've seen a lot of great comic book romances, but this isn't one of them. We know Conan and Blit are in love because we are told they are in love. But actions speak louder than words; and in this issue at any rate, Blit makes Hank Pym look like an ideal partner.

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3.0
Conan the Barbarian #16

May 15, 2013

The Nightmare in the Shallows will last three issues, which puts us at issue #19 when it is over. That leaves five more issues for Brian Wood's run on Queen of the Black Coast. I don't expect much for the remainder of this story arc, but I hope he brings in someone good for the big finish.

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7.0
Conan the Barbarian #19

Sep 20, 2013

This book may still be worth taking on an arc by arc basis, but coming off the brilliant Nightmare of the Shallows, the omens point to this team making Conan a rich, timeless, and refreshingly art-led read.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #20

Sep 20, 2013

And maybe in the 24-issue run of Queen of the Black Coast we could have had an actual pirate adventure of the Pirate Queen and her barbarian consort. But Wood didn't go that way, and instead we have reminders like Black Stones of what could have been.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #21

Oct 15, 2013

I don't know why the Black Stones is so different from the rest of the story arcs Wood had done, but I am sure enjoying it. This issue is an upswing on the roller coaster ride that is Conan the Barbarian: Queen of the Black Coast.

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5.0
Conan the Barbarian #22

Nov 18, 2013

I know that many of us were hoping this uneven series would end with a bang instead of a whimper, once the focus of the story got back to Howard's original plot and away from the new waters Brian Wood was sailing it. But that seems not to be the case. Sigh "

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #23

Dec 17, 2013

This just feels like wrapping up loose ends rather than a climax. It's a good issue. It's well done. But I'll be glad when Wood's run is finished and we can move on to something cooler.

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6.0
Conan the Barbarian #24

Jan 14, 2014

One of my big issues with Wood's run is that he has never made me feel the love between Conan and Blit. He is the master of "Tell Don't Show." Wood's little grey boxes are constantly stating that this grand love affair is happening, but you would never know it by actually reading the story. There is an emotional disconnect. And it is very apparent in this issue. Just look at the expression on Blit's face. That is about as blas as you can get, and sums up the entire series.

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3.0
Conan the Barbarian #25

Feb 11, 2014

I am glad Wood's run is finished. Fred Van Lente has proved himself an able Conan scribe, about to get inside the character better than Wood ever could. I've heard some great things from Dark Horse about Van Lente's plans, and it sounds like Conan is finally getting back on track.

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4.0
Conan: Island of No Return #1

Jun 14, 2011

Nope. This is exactly what I was afraid of. Even worse. This is a time-slip back to the bad Image Comics days, when everything was Badass! and things like respect for tradition, depth of story, and characterization took a backseat to flashy art and adolescent power fantasies. Do you not remember, Ron Marz and Bart Sears? Those were not Good Comics! Those kinds of comics nearly destroyed the industry!

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4.0
Conan: Island of No Return #2

Jul 26, 2011

The story picks up with Captain Kozaki leading his men into the island in search of its fabled treasure (Whats up with that name by the way? The Kozaki are the freeman mercenaries Conan lead. This guy isnt related to the Kozaki at all, another sign that Marz and Spears dont know Conan.) Thanks to a clever ruse, they are turned away, leaving Conan, Venya and Brenka to loot the place and make their getaway.

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8.0
Conan: Road of Kings #6

Jun 25, 2011

Roy Thomass return to Conan, the character he made great during his run on the title for Marvel, has so far been a mixed-bag. Thomas has a definite style with Conan, more high-fantasy and humor mixed with the standard adventure tales. This is Conan in a different vein from the recent Dark Horse series that stuck very closely to Robert E. Howards original stories and style. I like Thomass take on Conan, probably because that is what I grew up with, and reading this Conan series has been nostalgic fun. But writers like Kurt Busiek have matured the character since Thomas worked on him, and this style of Conan seems like a regression.

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4.0
Conan: Road of Kings #9

Oct 18, 2011

It is sad that Roy Thomas' return to Conan has never really been given a chance. His writing is a good as ever, and he knows Conan like few other writers alive, but he has been consistently saddled with sub-par artists who shouldn't be working on a Conan book. Mike Hawthorne's work was able, but stiff and lacking any subtlety or flair. This issue gets a temporary replacement artist in Dan Panosian, whose art is so cartoony I wonder if he thought he was doing Conan: The Animated Adventures.

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8.0
Conan: Road of Kings #11

Dec 14, 2011

But you know what? I just don't care anymore. Nothing is going to change at this point, so I am just going to sit back and enjoy the last two issues of Road of Kings knowing that we will get back to grim, serious, awesome Conan next month with Phoenix on the Sword and the controversial Queen of the Black Coast. For these last two issues I plan on just going where Roy Thomas wants to take me.

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8.0
Crime Does Not Pay Vol. 3 #1

Jan 22, 2013

After all, you forgive all that when the bullets are flying, and guys named Monk Eastman and Brains Waters and playing a game of lead ball with the flatfoots. You know they're all going to come to a bad end, but you hope they have a nice run of sex and violence until they have to pay the proverbial piper— because Crime Does Not Pay.

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9.0
Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover #1

Dec 18, 2012

Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night: Final Night has definitely hooked me wanting to dive further into the world of Cal McDonald. Personally, I'm putting my money on him to come up the winner in this series showdown, but you never know.

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9.0
Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover #2

Jan 30, 2013

Final Night is the end of one of Steve Niles' franchises, but it is also a beginning. This little glimpse into his world is going to have you demanding more and more Niles.  And he is there to deliver it.

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9.0
Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover #3

Feb 26, 2013

Only one more issue to go -- if I were a betting man, my money is still on McDonald to walk out alive at the end. He might be dragging his guts in a wheelbarrow behind him, and "alive" might be an abstract term for his current condition, but he's still a survivor. Unless Steve Niles has some devilish twist reserved for the end, like turning McDonald into a vampire of something like that. I wouldn't put it past him. 

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9.0
Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover #4

Mar 26, 2013

You can find out who walks away from the fight yourself when Final Night drops on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

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8.0
Criminal Macabre: The Eyes Of Frankenstein #1

Sep 24, 2013

This first issue is doing the necessary stage setting. It ties up some loose ends from Final Night (Nope, that wasn't the Big Finale) and continues with the mysterious sickness that is killing the ghouls. In Criminal Macabre lore, ghouls are all but indestructible but for some reason they are wasting away and dying. Oh, and a cultish demon baby has been born, which is always a good sign. Especially when the mother explodes on birth and the baby goes missing. Boom!

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8.0
Criminal Macabre: The Eyes Of Frankenstein #2

Oct 31, 2013

My only real complaint"and I made this point last review"I wish Criminal Macabre would add some guidance notes for new readers. I started reading it only in the past year or so, and I love the comic, but I still find myself lost from time to time. A small note like "*Cal first met the Frankenstein's Monster in Criminal Macabre: Blah Blah Blah." would go a long way towards orienting me in the story. I don't know of any reason not to include guideposts like that, or if they have just gone out of fashion, but I sure would love it.

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8.0
Criminal Macabre: The Eyes Of Frankenstein #4

Dec 17, 2013

All in all, Criminal Macabre: Eyes of Frankenstein was a great series that leaves you wanting more. Things don't wrap up in a tidy little package, so I'm looking forward to the next mini so I can find out just what the hell happened.

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6.0
Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation #1

Jul 28, 2010

Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation is the Cliffs Notes or Easy Reader version of Dantes work. You can read Ghwasts adaptation and obtain a basic knowledge of something classic and influential without having to spend the time and effort studying the original.

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7.0
Dark Horse Presents #2

Jun 21, 2011

Some of the stories, like Paul Chadwicks Concrete are excellent without being exciting. Chadwicks work is relaxed and confident, and enjoyable but without any real hook. Just another cool Concrete story. Carla Speed McNeils Finder story was the same -- comfortable, welcome, fun to read, but with no real urgency of wanting to find out what happens next. Michael T. Gilberts Mr. Monster was a bit more engaging, which is easy to do when you have the simplicity of Mr. Monster battling outer-space plate monsters.

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9.0
Dark Horse Presents #7

Dec 20, 2011

ADVANCE REVIEW! Dark Horse Presents #7 will go on sale Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

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8.0
Dark Horse Presents #9

Feb 22, 2012

Zack Davisson is a freelance writer and life-long comics fan. He owned a comic shop in Seattle during the '90s, during which time he had the glorious (and unpaid) gig as pop-culture expert for NPR. He has lived in three countries, has degrees in Fine Art and Japanese Studies, and has been a contributing writer to magazines like Japanzine and Kansai Time-Out. He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Miyuki. You can catch more of Zacks reviews on his blog Japan Reviewed or read his translations of Japanese ghost stories on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

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9.0
Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1

May 14, 2013

I love that Corben includes his sketchbook and notes in this single issue. Often, these things are reserved for the collected edition, and they make such a huge difference especially with a unique artist like Richard Corben. I am an enthusiastic Corben fan, and I love seeing how he creates his world, how he starts with something normal and slowly morphs it into the Corben style.

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10
Edgar Allen Poe's The Conqueror Worm #1

Dec 5, 2012

Because Richard Corben is awesome, and does everything exactly right, he includes the full text of Poe's The Conqueror Worm at the end of this comic, along with an amazing sketch gallery that shows the master at work. The sketch gallery is truly eye-opening -- we got something like this in Ragemoor, but it never ceases to amaze me to see just what an incredible draftsman Corben is. He doesn't start drawing in his famous style. Instead, he produces these photo-realistic figures that he slowly devolves and exaggerates, step by step, until we are left with the grotesque monstrosities that Corben is so renowned for. I have been following Corben for decades, and it isn't until these Dark Horse comics that I realized what a deliberate process he goes through to create his world.

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7.0
Edgar Allen Poe's The Premature Burial #1

Mar 31, 2014

But it is still Richard Corben. That means that the art is still bea

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10
Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven and the Red Death #1

Oct 25, 2013

Poe and Corben are a perfect blend of two near-perfect artists. And these are some of the best comics of Richard Corben's career.

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6.0
Evelyn Evelyn #1

Aug 17, 2011

Depending on your tastes, Evelyn Evelyn is either a mediocre gimmick comic or a clever, multi-media performance art piece. A tie-in to a musical act, it tells the story of the characters Eva and Lynn from the band Evelyn Evelyn, and provides some backstory and context for their songs.

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8.0
Gandhi: A Manga Biography #1

Oct 12, 2011

I didn't know that. I didn't know he met his future wife at age 13, or was thrown off a train into South Africa just because he was Indian. I didn't know his career as an activist began in South Africa fighting for the rights of migrant Indian workers. Reading this comic, I found out I didn't know much about Gandhi. I thought that he had been born a 60-year old man, leading people on a salt march.

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7.0
Gate 7 #1

Oct 26, 2011

Are you the kind of person who likes comics for the art, or are you the kind of person who likes comics for the stories? That is a question you are going to have to ask yourself before diving into Gate 7, the newest manga series from CLAMP. Because while the art is beautiful -- fine and delicate line work with luscious blacks and whites -- the story is just not there.

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8.0
Gate 7 #2

Feb 29, 2012

The story is still more flash than substance; this is a series clearly going art first, story second. But at least now with Volume 2 I feel like Gate 7 is going somewhere -- that all that prettiness is being connected with some interesting plot and that CLAMP has a good story to tell.

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8.0
Get Jiro! #1

Jun 5, 2012

If you are listening Anthony Bourdain, here is a deal for you!If you want to try this again, send me your books and I will proof the Japanese for you. Free of charge. Because just like sushi, getting the little details right makes all the difference.

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7.0
Ghost #0

Sep 12, 2012

This zero issue is being followed by a four-part mini-series, In the Smoke and Din. I will pick it up to see if the team improves at all over this first try, but I don't have high hopes. At least I hope Deconnick will tone down the "bro" talk, as that would make the story immeasurably more enjoyable to read.

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10
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story #1

Oct 5, 2011

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is, simply put, one of the most excellent comics I have read for years. It works on every level -- as a true-crime narrative, as a personal memoir, as a story. Or, I should say, as a true-detective story, not a true-crime narrative. Because Green River Killer is the story of the detective more than the story of the killer.

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10
Grendel: Behold the Devil #1

Jun 2, 2010

This hardback collection from Dark Horse Comics collects all eight issues of the Behold the Devil series into a sturdy single volume--including issue #0 and the bonus pages that were released only to MySpace. It is a ridiculous bargain for the price, and Grendel aficionados would be fools to pass it up.

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9.0
Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1

Oct 2, 2013

When it comes to a comic like Bee Vixens From Mars you are either going to love it or hate it. If you're not predisposed for this kind of grindhouse entertainment, then nothing here is going to convince you. It's an ode to the form. But if you like grindhouse, and you are in the mood for sexy, funny, and oddly violence, well ". Here you go!

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6.0
Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #2

Nov 5, 2013

But the issue on the whole just didn't do it for me. Apparently Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight is a series that will run a rotating but of shorts. Next up is Prisonship Antares. We'll see if they can recapture the magic of the first issue. Or maybe I'll just be in more of a mood to read it.

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10
Halloween Classics #1

Oct 31, 2012

I loved the idea of adapting the classic German Expressionist horror film to comics. This was an unexpected and enjoyable inclusion, adapted by Tom Pomplun. The only thing I wasn't really sold on here was the art by Matt Howarth. It's good, but it just doesn't have that creep factor, those looming shadows, that I want from Caligari. And maybe it is because I have seen the film so often, but I think Cesare the Somnambulist should be stark black and white. The blue jumpsuit and tanned skin just didn't do it for me.

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10
Hellboy in Hell #1

Dec 5, 2012

Hellboy in Hell is nothing I expected, and everything I wanted it to be. Mike Mignola has once again proven that he is a master of his genre, even though his particular genre is Mike Mignola. Like H.P. Lovecraft, like Robert E. Howard, like William Hope Hodgson, Mike Mignola has a unique voice and vision that many will attempt to imitate and all will fail.

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10
Hellboy in Hell #2

Jan 9, 2013

If you are a comic reader, and you aren't reading Hellboy in Hell, you are missing out on something truly important. This is without a doubt the best comic on the stands right now. 

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10
Hellboy in Hell #3

Feb 5, 2013

And then that ending … Mignola once again reminds us that the only thing we can expect from Hellboy in Hell is the unexpected. I really didn't see the ending coming, and now that I have read it, I still don't know exactly what I saw. I have stared at that last page and I still have no real idea what I am seeing. But it's cool.

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10
Hellboy in Hell #4

Mar 5, 2013

Mignola hasn't really given any clues as to what the future holds for Hellboy in Hell. Issue #4 feels like an ending of sorts, and a beginning of sorts. Maybe it's true that when Satan closes one door he opens another, because that what it feels like here. Hellboy has -- for the first time in his life -- no destiny. No horde of monsters pushing him one way or the other. Nothing to fight for or against. And how will he feel about that, I wonder?

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10
Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others #1

Oct 12, 2011

Hellboy: The Bride of Hell and Others is my favorite kind of Hellboy. As much as I enjoy Hellboy's continuity adventures like Darkness Falls and The Fury, I really like Hellboy best just running around various countries, having encounters with the weird and the strange, the ghosts and the ghouls. I think it is because so much Lovecraftian weird fiction were originally barely linked short stories, and that is the format that suits the genre best.

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10
Hellboy: The Fury #2

Jul 21, 2011

And far away from the clashing armies, Hellboy is locked in single-combat against The Dragon, the ultimate beast whose presence on Earth heralds the end of everything.

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10
Hellboy: The Fury #3

Aug 25, 2011

Wow. Just, wow. I am still reeling from that last page of Hellboy: The Fury #3. Mignola, Fegredo, and Stewart pulled off the perfect slam-bang finish for their epic story arc. This is the end of Hellboy as we know him. This is the beginning of... something? I dont know yet. I do know that this issue was so amazing that when I finished the last page, I immediate returned to the first page and read it again. Then I did it a third time, making sure I didnt miss any of the details or any subtle clues that the Hellboy team may have worked into the story.

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10
Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury #1

May 3, 2012

Goosebumps.

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10
Hondo City Law #1

Sep 14, 2011

Take classic Japanese samurai epics like Lone Wolf and Cub, mix them into futuristic anime like Akira, then stuff the whole thing into Judge Dredds 2000 AD world of Mega Cities and Judges, and you have Hondo City Law.

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9.0
House of Fun (One-Shot) #1

Dec 4, 2012

I hope that's not the end of the Eltingville Club.  I hope Dorkin is planning more House of Fun. It's been a blast having him back in Dark Horse Presents, and having them all collected together. The funny books could use more funny, and Evan Dorkin is the man who brings it.

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9.0
I'll Give It My All... Tomorrow #4

Aug 8, 2012

I don't think you have to be a 40-year old guy with unfulfilled ambitions to enjoy I'll Give It My All... Tomorrow, but it certainly helps. This is a comic for adults, and it is interesting that it is being published by pop culture purveyors Viz Media instead of art-focused publishers like Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly. I don't know if Shizuo will ever get a comic published -- Charlie Brown never did kick that football, after all. But in reading his story I can borrow a little of his persistence to pursue my own dreams.

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10
Ichiro #1

Apr 12, 2012

It says on the back cover that this is Ryan Inzana's second graphic novel. I had never heard of him before Ichiro, but I will be looking up his previous work as well as keeping an eye on him in the future.

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8.0
Johnny Red: Red Devil Rising #1

Sep 13, 2012

But what the hell, it's an action comic, right? The realism is where it where it matters -- in the sky battles -- not in the fine lines of the story.

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7.0
Judge Anderson: The Psychic Crime Files #1

Feb 1, 2012

I wouldnt put this collection high up on the "must have" lists of 2000 AD collections, but it is still pretty good. And if you have an affinity for the hot blonde Psi Judge Anderson, here is the place to get her.

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9.0
Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix #1

Jun 21, 2012

And there is a next volume. The last page promises us Judge Bao and the King of Children coming next. I hope Archaia has more than a few volumes in the works. Not only are these comics great to read, with that lovely binding I imagine a collection of them would look good on my bookshelves.

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8.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #317

Dec 3, 2011

This is the longest running serial (Part Four) of the current Judge Dredd Megazine, and it is cool. Judge Koburn is a Cursed Earth Judge, out in the wasteland rounding up mutants and looking for a lost party of Billy Zaners who got into a Block Party. But Judge Koburn's new partner is named Judge Rico, and all if that means something to you then give yourself a pat on the back for being a long-time Judge Dredd fan. Personally, I can't wait to uncover the secret of Judge Rico.

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10
Judge Dredd Megazine #318

Jan 7, 2012

Of course, for that matter so could the publisher 2000 AD, as the Judge Dredd Megazine is so much better than their flagship title.

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4.0
Judge Dredd: Crusade #1

May 9, 2012

Honestly, if Judge Dredd: Crusadewas written by a bunch of no-names then I probably would have enjoyed it more. But I know that every person working on this comic is capable of much more, and that fact drags the comic down.

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9.0
Judge Dredd: Cry of the Werewolf #1

Oct 24, 2012

I was surprised how much I liked all of the stories in Judge Dredd: Cry of the Werewolf. It goes to show that solid storytelling and art are what make a comic great, not the theme. I'll be keeping this one on my shelf to pull out at Halloween.

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9.0
Judge Dredd: Inferno #1

Sep 6, 2012

There are two Mark Millar back-up stories in Judge Dredd: Inferno. The first, I Hate Christmas, is just a funny little eight-page joke on Judge Dredd at Christmas time. The next, Top Gun, has Dredd field-testing some new equipment. And you don't want to be the Tek Judge that slips Dredd faulty equipment. Both of Millar's stories were a lot of fun, and a good antidote to the heaviness of Morrison's Inferno.

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9.0
Judge Dredd: Inferno #1

Sep 5, 2012

There are two Mark Millar back-up stories in Judge Dredd: Inferno. The first, I Hate Christmas, is just a funny little eight-page joke on Judge Dredd at Christmas time. The next, Top Gun, has Dredd field-testing some new equipment. And you don't want to be the Tek Judge that slips Dredd faulty equipment. Both of Millar's stories were a lot of fun, and a good antidote to the heaviness of Morrison's Inferno.

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8.0
Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection #1

Jan 30, 2013

"I love doing the ones with the faces, don't you?" -- I'll just leave it up to your imagination as to what is going on when that line is said. Or better yet, buy the book.

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8.0
Judge Dredd: When Judges Go Bad #1

Aug 15, 2012

Fortunately, there are not stinkers here. Judge Dredd: When Judges Go Bad was about 80% great, with a smattering of 20% pretty-darn-good. With all of the stories on a single theme, this book makes a good introduction to the harsh world of Mega-City One and the Law of Judge Dredd.

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10
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1

May 27, 2013

After a long, long wait, The Hour of the Dragon has come. And it does not disappoint. Robert E. Howard's only Conan novel adapted by the team who have been making the finest Conan comics for their generation -- King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon is a masterwork.

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10
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #4

Sep 20, 2013

I have gotten used to the King Conan series being incredible, but short. I am so happy Truman, Giorello, and Villarrubia finally have the length and time they need to flesh out the story completely. This is a great year for Conan fans.

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10
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #5

Sep 23, 2013

One of the best things about King Conan: Hour of the Dragon is that it is defying the odds. Most comics have their best sales with issue #1, followed by a slow decline. Sales are actually increasing with Hour of the Dragon as word of mouth gets out about what an amazing series this is. I hope that upward trend continues and Truman, Giorello, and Villarrubia are rewarded with more Conan work in the future.

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10
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #6

Oct 25, 2013

var ord = window.ord || Math.floor(Math.random() * 1e16); document.write('');

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9.0
King Conan: The Conqueror #2

Mar 18, 2014

It's sad to think there are only four more issues of this incredible comic. Dark Horse has yet to announce anything new from the superstar team of Truman, Giorello, and Villarrubia, but there are still Conan tales for them to tell. Personally, I vote for Red Nails followed by Beyond the Black River and maybe The Black Stranger thrown in for good measure. Or maybe even something better. This creative team has proved themselves long enough to show that an ongoing King Conan series is long overdue. I would love Truman to have the space to tell some original stories in the world he has so carefully crafted"and maybe finally tell us the story behind that wicked scar his elderly King Conan is bearing.

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6.0
King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #2

Feb 21, 2012

So that is your compensation. Some of the best art in modern comics, coupled with a rather lackluster bridging issue. But I am looking forward to issue #3 where we get back to the story again.

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9.0
King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #3

Mar 28, 2012

This third issue is still build-up; the real action won't come until the climax in the final issue. But there is enough here to keep me hooked and wishing that the story didn't end with the final flipped page. King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword is a comic that is really going to read better as a trade, and I know several readers are stockpiling the issues to read them all together. Personally I don't have that much patience for a series this good.

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10
King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel #1

Feb 1, 2012

ADVANCE REVIEW! King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel will go on sale Wednesday, February 15, 2012.

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7.0
Kiss Me, Satan #1

Sep 16, 2013

This is only a 5-issue limited series, so I will probably pick up the rest of Kiss Me Satan. It's entertaining enough for a read, and maybe writer Victor Gischler will flesh out the story in further issues. I'm suspecting he wanted to open with a bang, which is why we get this over-the-top action issue for #1. Or maybe not. After all, a comic called Kiss Me Satan probably isn't shooting for subtle.

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8.0
Koko Be Good #1

Aug 11, 2010

Maybe Wang is a little too much Koko herself, and needs to find a Jon to bring her down to earth a little.

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8.0
Kull: The Cat and the Skull #1

Oct 11, 2011

Kull is back in an adaptation of Robert E. Howard's most offbeat tales, The Cat and the Skull. Talking cats are not something you usually identify Robert E. Howard with, much less with his brooding barbarian king Kull of Atlantis, but I have always personally loved this story and I am thrilled to see it so well handled.

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4.0
Kull: The Cat and the Skull #3

Dec 14, 2011

Zack Davisson is a freelance writer and life-long comics fan. He owned a comic shop in Seattle during the '90s, during which time he had the glorious (and unpaid) gig as pop-culture expert for NPR. He has lived in three countries, has degrees in Fine Art and Japanese Studies, and has been a contributing writer to magazines like Japanzine and Kansai Time-Out. He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Miyuki. You can catch more of Zacks reviews on his blog Japan Reviewed or read his translations of Japanese ghost stories on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

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8.0
Kull: The Cat and the Skull #4

Jan 4, 2012

I agree with that to some extent, but the onus is not all on the reader. It is up to Dark Horse to make comics good enough that we want to part with our hard-earned gold pieces. Kull: The Cat and the Skull was about 2/3rds great. I like the work Lapham, Guzmen, and Henderson have done with Kull, and I would love to see them tackle another story, but they need to be careful not let the filler take over the plot.

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9.0
Lobster Johnson: Caput Mortuum #1

Sep 19, 2012

I've been reading Lobster Johnson since the character first appeared in Hellboy, and I still don't know the crucial question -- why a lobster? At this stage, I don't ever want to know. He has a lobster emblem. That's weird. That's cool. That's Lobster Johnson.

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8.0
Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1

Jan 11, 2012

Zack Davisson is a freelance writer and life-long comics fan. He owned a comic shop in Seattle during the '90s, during which time he had the glorious (and unpaid) gig as pop-culture expert for NPR. He has lived in three countries, has degrees in Fine Art and Japanese Studies, and has been a contributing writer to magazines like Japanzine and Kansai Time-Out. He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Miyuki. You can catch more of Zacks reviews on his blog Japan Reviewed or read his translations of Japanese ghost stories on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

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6.0
Mangaman #1

Aug 10, 2011

The whole manga man in normal world gets old fast. It was clever for about five pages, but then the slapstick about Ryoko glowing, or changing size, or selling his left-over speed lines on ebay, just arent funny anymore. And the story is clichd. Marissas ex is a typical dumb jock who thinks he can punch his way back into Marissas affections. There is a homecoming party. Meh.

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10
Monstermen and Other Scary Stories #1

Apr 18, 2012

Monstermen and Other Scary Stories is going to appeal to a certain kind of reader, and that certain kind of reader is going to think they have found a perfect comic book between these two black covers. I am that certain kind of reader.

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6.0
Moriarty #5

Oct 8, 2011

=This issue is the start of a new story arc, "The Lazarus Tree," so it seemed like a good jumping-on point to check out this series. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, so I was equal parts interested and wary. I have found that too many creators wanting to work with Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Professor Moriarty really have no idea who these characters are. They haven't studied The Canon. They work from the public image of Holmes rather than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's carefully crafted character.

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6.0
Neil Young's Greendale #1

May 26, 2010

However, if you are just a curious comics fan, then Greendale is likely to disappoint you. There is just not enough story here, and too many of the political statements come off as trite and undeveloped.

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6.0
Old Folks Home #1

Jul 2, 2011

Old Folks HomePosted: Saturday, July 2, 2011By: Zack Davisson Jamie McMorrow, Garry McLaughlinJamie McMorrow, Garry McLaughlinLaser Age Comics I had a soft-spot for Old Folks Home right from the start. I used to live in Glasgow, and I loved the brilliantly rendered scene of the Royal Exchange Square, complete with traffic cone on the head of the statue of the Duke of Wellington. Unfortunately, that one scene and a bit of the patter are about all we get of Glasgow. The rest of the story takes place in a single apartment.

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4.0
Orchid #1

Oct 11, 2011

Here is a lesson for all new comic writers; you first four pages cannot be all exposition text. I understand you are trying to set the stage, but there is an old maxim you may have heard of called "Show, don't tell." There are other ways of setting up your post-eco collapse world without spending the first four pages of your brand new comic telling me about it.

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8.0
Our Little Kat King: A Mutts Treasury #1

Jan 18, 2012

But all of the strips are good enough. Like all good comic strips, Mutts has a timeless quality. Even after a ten-year gap, it was like visiting with old friends again. I'm glad that Earl and Mooch haven't changed too much. I think I will have to drop in on them again sometime.

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8.0
Prince of Persia #1

Sep 22, 2010

Like I said, I havent played the game before but this is definitely the best videogame adaptation I have read. It stands alone very well as just a comic book, one that is far more compelling than it would appear. Dont skim Prince of Persia, or flip through it while doing something else. You really have to dive into the pages to find the hidden treasure here.

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8.0
Ragemoor #1

Mar 21, 2012

I was really hoping for some background on Ragemoor, some letter from the editor talking about how the story came about, or an introduction to Jan Strnad, or... something to help ground what I just read. But maybe that is part of the point. Maybe by making this issue bleak, unsupported by explanation, unresolved except by death and madness, Strnad and Corben wanted to leave the reader with a lingering sense of uncomfort and dread.

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7.0
Ragemoor #2

Apr 18, 2012

I have no idea. But I am looking forward to it.

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10
Ragemoor #4

Jun 29, 2012

But I think reading Ragemoor in the collected edition is missing out.This series really made me feel the power of a serial. Each issue, released a month apart, left me engaged but wondering what the hell was going on. The tension built slowly, an issue at a time, and Ragemoor became one of the comics I was most looking forward to every month, because I wanted to know what the hell was going on. And then I get to this issue, this spectacular capstone that turns it all up to 11, and the payoff is all the greater because I have waited so long. Being able to just flip through the whole book in 30 minutes or so, you will lose that tension and slow tease.

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6.0
Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #1

Sep 16, 2013

There's nothing bad about it. It's a decent comic, and I could see reading it from the beginning and getting hooked on the series. The problem is in the day and age of $3 and $4 comic books, "decent" just isn't good enough anymore. If I don't feel some kind of emotional hook to the story"if I don't NEED to read that next issue"then I probably won't. And that's how it is with Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde.

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8.0
Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword #2

Jun 4, 2011

And finally comes Conan. There is something primal about Conan. He dominates the book as soon as he steps on the page. You get the feeling that Conan would easily take down everyone else in this book without dinging his sword raising a sweat. Paul Tobin and Wellington Alves do the Conan story The Jewels of Hastern, and do it well. I havent heard of either Tobin or Wellington, but they get right into the heart of Conan with a story that's all blood, women, jewels and strange gods -- the way a Conan story should be. Artist Wellington did a great job on the armor and castle setting of the story, and Tobin leaves the story on the edge of a climax, leaving the reader wanting to flip the next page but being forced to wait until the next volume of this anthology comes out.

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7.0
Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword #5

Aug 16, 2012

Oh, and Skull Face. I definitely want Skull Face to make an appearance. Maybe next time.

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10
Scary Godmother #1

Feb 9, 2011

This collection is not complete, though. Thompson has done more Scary Godmother comics, including Scary Godmother: Ghoul's Out for Summer, Halloween Spooktakular, Wild about Harry, and Spooktacular Stories. Hopefully, Dark Horse has a follow-up volume in the works, and I know it will have a place at my house come Halloween.

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6.0
Shinjuku #1

Jun 16, 2010

It is a thrill to see Amano work so differently from his usual style, almost to the point where it is unrecognizable as Amano. I didnt realize he had the ability to do such raw designs. If you are a fan of Amanos work, then by all means pick up Shinjuku--just do yourself a favor and dont waste too much time on the story.

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8.0
Skeleton Key Color Special (one-shot) #1

May 2, 2012

And while I enjoyed seeing them collected, I have to say this issue would be a poor jumping-on point for new fans. A brief recap of the story and characters would have been appreciated, maybe something as simple as a splash page of Tamslin and Kitsune introducing themselves. Even though I read Skeleton Key before, it has been over ten years and I would have appreciated a refresher as well. I am glad to see a new issue of Skeleton Key on the stands, but it seems like this was a missed chance from Watson and Dark Horse.

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6.0
Solomon Kane: Deaths Black Riders #1

Dec 15, 2010

I have a lot of gripes about Deaths Black Riders, but I dont want it to sound like a terrible book. I have hopes for Dark Horses Solomon Kane franchise, and I will keep up with the next release. Hopefully, they will find a better balance of Howards stories with deeper characterization, and an artists/colorist combination that matches the tone.

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8.0
Star Wars: Jedi - The Dark Side #1

May 21, 2011

The next issue is really going to decide if this is a good series or a mediocre one. This is all setup, and the setup is good enough to bait the hook and get my interest. Now we have to see if they can keep it going.

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7.0
Star Wars: Jedi - The Dark Side #3

Jul 26, 2011

Xanatos, of course, thinks the whole excursion a chance for Qui-Gon to him so Qui-Gon can take on a new Twi'lek Jedi apprentice.

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9.0
Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero #1

May 22, 2012

I don't think he intended it, but Tye forced me to reconsider some long-held truths about who made Superman. Liebowitz in particular, who lived to be 100 years old and guided Superman from that first issue to the Christopher Reeve film in the late '70s and up until he retired in 1991, had far more to do with building the Superman we all know and love than probably anyone else. Yet he is always portrayed as the villain of the story, and Siegel and Shuster the poor victims. The story is obviously more complicated than that, as real life is no comic book and real people are not supermen.

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8.0
Tharg's Creepy Chronicles #1

Oct 29, 2012

2000 AD is hitting Halloween hard this month with the Judge Dredd: Cry of the Werewolf and this latest horror anthology.  Like every anthology, not every story will be for everyone.  For me, Silo alone was worth the price of entry.  I re-read that a couple of times before moving on to the next stories.

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8.0
The 'Native American Classics' Anthology Merges Historical Voices with Modern Cartooning #1

May 8, 2013

Another fairy tale, this talks about the dangers of eating too many wild potatoes -- the gas that will take you to the skies. Lewis does a great job with this story in a cartoony style that had me cracking up. A nice, essential laugh in the midst of the gloom.

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8.0
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man #1

Oct 12, 2011

And its true. I have several friends and co-workers with kids who ask me to recommend a comic book for their younglings, and it is hard to make a recommendation. There just isn't much out there appropriate for kids.

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6.0
The Best American Comics 2010 #1

Feb 2, 2011

These little slices are almost frustrating. Its like buying a DVD full of movie trailers. You are just getting advertisements in the hopes of encouraging you to pick up the feature-length film separately. However, as Neil Gaiman said, this is just A Sampler. As long as you keep that in mind, you should be okay.

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10
The Once and Future Tarzan #1

Nov 14, 2012

The only possible flaw I can find with The Once and Future Tarzan is that it is only a one-shot. I don't know how long it takes Yeates to produce his incredible artwork, but I would love to see a longer series. I hope Dark Horse decides to bring them back for a five-issue Tarzan series, or put them to work on some of the Robert E. Howard properties like King Kull or Solomon Kane. This kind of diversity in art is something the comic world needs.

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7.0
The Strain #2

Jan 11, 2012

Zack Davisson is a freelance writer and life-long comics fan. He owned a comic shop in Seattle during the '90s, during which time he had the glorious (and unpaid) gig as pop-culture expert for NPR. He has lived in three countries, has degrees in Fine Art and Japanese Studies, and has been a contributing writer to magazines like Japanzine and Kansai Time-Out. He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Miyuki. You can catch more of Zacks reviews on his blog Japan Reviewed or read his translations of Japanese ghost stories on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

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4.0
The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #2

Jun 2, 2011

I couldnt help finding myself wishing a different writer/artist pair had tackled The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde. The idea for the series is intriguing, and in the hands of Mike Mignola or one of the B.P.R.D. crew -- someone who knows monsters, and could put an edge of darkness to the tale -- this could be an outstanding comic.

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6.0
The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #3

Jul 9, 2011

The Strange Case of Mr Hyde #3Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011By: Zack Davisson Cole HaddenM.S. CorelyDark Horse Comics Apparently, this is the all-fucking issue of The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde. We start right of the bat with Inspector Adye banging the far-too-pretty prostitute Mary Jane from behind. The good inspector is letting off a little stress after his failed arrest of Leather Apron, who turned out to not be Jack the Ripper after all. Saucy Jack next leads Inspector Adye and Dr. Jeckyll to a high-society swingers party, where Jeckyll gets a blowjob under the table by the accommodating wife of Lord Burton, all the while pontificating about the folly of high- and low-class morals, and how the lower classes feel bound by rules while the high-classes let their desires run free. Indeed.

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9.0
The Ten-Seconders: American Dream #1

Jan 15, 2013

Make sure to check out our interview with Rob Williams as well as his recommended starting points for 2000 AD.

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8.0
The Thing #1

Oct 15, 2011

Anyone expecting to see Kurt Russell throwing dynamite in the pages of this latest release of The Thing is going to be disappointed. This is all Viking warriors battling the shape-shifting monster from another world.

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10
Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #1

Jan 11, 2012

Severin's prairie scenes are also particularly impressive. In one shot, Grey finds himself in the Indian Happy Hunting Ground, and as he surveys the idyllic landscape he is awestruck and can only say, "Blessed M'Lord, it's so beautiful." I cannot help but agree.

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10
Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #4

May 7, 2011

There is a good story here, too. Taking Mike Mignolas Victorian supernatural detective Sir Edward Grey to the American Wild West seemed like a bad idea when I first heard about it, but the Stranger in a Strange Land concept works as well as it always will. In this issue, the Witchfinder rides the range with the cowboy Morg, hunting the evil witch Eris, while his dreams lead him in search of an abandoned mine. There is time on the way for some philosophy, like how Greys Christian God is all that different from the Indians Sky Father, and even a tender moment from a resurrected ghost reminiscing on how good it was to be dead. But this is no calm before the storm. Grey and Morg will have to wade through rivers of the walking dead before they can make it to the final confrontation with Eris promised next issue.

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9.0
Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #5

Jun 9, 2011

As always, the art in Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever is stunning. John Severin is an artist from the golden age of EC comics, and his draftsmanship is astounding. This kind of fine art-inspired line work has all but disappeared from modern comics, which are more focused on style than just good drawing. Dave Stewarts perfect coloring brings out every fine line and gives them depth and feeling. With his zombies and horror elements, Severin seems to have a bit of Richard Corbin in him, although give the eras when they began it is probably more correct to say that Corbin as a bit of John Severin in him. Severins prairie scenes are also particularly impressive. In one shot, Grey finds himself in the Indian Happy Hunting Ground, and as he surveys the idyllic landscape he is awestruck and can only say, Blessed MLord, its so beautiful. I cannot help but agree.

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