Zackery Cote's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Florida Geek Scene Reviews: 34
7.2Avg. Review Rating

8.5
A Voice In The Dark #1

Nov 20, 2013

A Voice in the Dark is a pretty long comic, but it goes by quickly by virtue of how engrossing it is. It's difficult not to feel sympathy of Zoey's circumstance, especially with the great characterization. It becomes more than a story about a girl struggling with her past and takes readers on a journey of moral turmoil and forces readers out of their comfort zone. While I've certainly enjoyed other comics more, I'm extremely curious to see where A Voice in the Dark goes. It has a lot of potential and a lot of memorable characters.

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7.5
A Voice In The Dark #2

Dec 25, 2013

While I wouldn't say that the second issue of A Voice in the Dark is bad, it was a little bit disappointing. I almost think it would've served better as a standalone issue. As a sequel, it leaves a bit to be desired. It did less to advance the story and more to reinforce what was already established in the first issue. I'm already interested in Zoey; I don't need a stranger to remind me of why she's an intriguing character. Moreover, what's interesting about Zoey is how her violent tendencies, which should be deplorable, are endeared by Zoey's lover for her sister. While this is brought up in A Voice in the Dark #2, it should be much more prevalent in Zoey's mind. I find it hard to fault a comic for being too good in its first issue, but the good first issue wrote a check that this second issue doesn't seem able to cash. I'm still curious to see what happens in issue #3, but I hope it focuses more on Zoey and less on her caller.

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6.5
All-New Soulfire #1

Nov 27, 2013

Ultimately, I wouldn't say Soulfire is a must-read comic, but I'm willing to mark it down as just the difficulties of being the first issue. Soulfire tried to do too much with too few pages. Rather than focusing on the story it's trying to tell, the comic runs haphazardly across multiple timelines viewed from multiple perspectives in order to give readers a backstory that frankly doesn't matter at this point in time.

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6.7
Black Science #1

Nov 20, 2013

I wouldn't say that Black Science is a particularly good comic, but the primary problem that the comic runs into is something that can easily be fixed with time. Once the story establishes itself and doesn't have to spend so much time on exposition (hopefully in the next issue), it could become quite an exciting and interesting ride. Unfortunately, the pendulum swings both ways. If this is genuinely the narrative method that Black Science is adopting, that of internalized narration, then it's going to have to clean up its act very quickly to keep things interesting. The art is great, but it can only take the story so far. I sincerely hope that the next issue puts more focus on its story than on its protagonist's moral insecurities.

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9.5
Black Science #2

Dec 25, 2013

I said at the end of my last review that Black Science spent too much time setting things up, but that it could easily improve in later issues. I must say that the team behind Black Science delivered. The second issue slows down the physical pace, but brings the emotional pace to a fever pitch. This isn't to say that physical dramas aren't running high, but that the balance has reached more of an equilibrium. The dialogue is believable and enjoyable, and each character is fully realized and relatable in their own way. If Black Science can keep up this pace, I see only great things in the future.

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8.5
Black Science #3

Feb 5, 2014

I'm not going to say that the improvements between issues 2 and 3 were as impressive as the improvements between issues 1 and 2 because that simply isn't the case. However, this isn't to say that Dark Science #3 is bad. It just continues to do things right, and if you can count on a comic to keep doing things right, then you have nothing to worry about. The only thing I'd like to see done differently in the next issue is less flashback and more focus on the story in the moment.

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8.5
Black Science #4

Feb 26, 2014

Thus far, Black Science seems to be doing just about everything right. I get a feeling about what I would like to see next, and the comic delivers. I wanted more explanation after the first issue, the second issue delivered. I wanted more internal conflict after the second issue, the third issue delivered. I wanted less flashback in the fourth issue, and it has delivered. This is definitely a sign of good writing. The team behind Black Science clearly knows how to tell a good story, and they're proving it with every installment. My only hope for the next issue is that the characters get to enjoy their new surroundings a bit before being thrust back into some terrifying situation. Obviously they must get into another tense scenario at some point, but they, like the readers, deserve a bit of rest after all the frenetic action of the past three issues.

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7.0
Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #1

Nov 6, 2013

It's actually kind of a shame that Bloodhound doesn't follow a more fresh or original concept. There are so many things about Bloodhound that are great, but it's difficult to give Bloodhound the credit it arguably deserves because it doesn't really do anything that hasn't been done before. The characters and relationships are good, and the art is fantastic, but it doesn't demand your attention the way something new and exciting does. Given time to come into its own and grow into a unique identity, Bloodhound could be great, but it's difficult to tell based off of only the first issue if the comic can really go the distance. Bloodhound is like a great wrestler with a horrible gimmick: there's plenty of great material that can be molded into greatness, but it's going to need time and investment to turn into something great.

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7.5
Chasing The Dead #1

May 29, 2013

Despite a number of absurd moments, Chasing the Dead is an overall good comic, and a fairly enjoyable read. I've never been a fan of zombie stories myself, but this comic is actually less of a zombie horror story and more of a psychological thriller. The fact that the antagonist is rarely seen, only heard, adds to the tension and drama, which is handy because most of the drama ends up falling off completely. If you're a fan of thrillers, you'll probably enjoy Chasing the Dead, but I wouldn't really consider it a must-read title. Unless you want to solve the mystery of the shovel. Seriously, at the end of the comic, Sue sets her car on fire and walks toward a statue and, completely out of nowhere, she produces a shovel. Be on the look out for it. It's at the end of page 83, and its origins are as mysterious as the origins of The Harvester itself.

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5.0
Creepy Comics #12

May 8, 2013

Pack Leader, the last story, is actually quite fantastic, but I don't know that it is good enough to merit reading through the rest of the muck just to get your condescending "insert life lesson here" phrase at the end.

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7.0
Drumhellar #1

Nov 6, 2013

Drumhellar suffers from something I like to call the “Don't Drown Complex.” What this means is that Drumhellar essentially throws you into the pool of its narrative with absolutely no previous swimming experience and, rather than telling you how to stay afloat, simply tells you “don't drown.” It can be very unnerving and even a bit off-putting to be put in such a situation. Not many people actually want to struggle through such a disadvantageous position, but for those who can navigate the tumultuous waters of Drumhellar, you just may find a story that is worth following.

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8.0
Drumhellar #2

Dec 25, 2013

I wasn't expecting much improvement from Drumhellar #2. The first issue was so odd that it didn't seem to be capable of controlling itself. I had concerns that the second issue would be even more incoherent and even more difficult to grasp. Fortunately, I was mistaken, and the story seems to have grounded itself in strong characters and wonderful dialogue. Rather than continue to add to the bizarre nature of the world, Drumhellar #2 slowed down the pace and focused on the established points rather than ambiguous foreshadowing or complete lack of cogency. While the direction that Drumhellar is going remains unclear, it seems that the path is starting to be laid out.

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7.5
Drumhellar #3

Feb 5, 2014

The art continues to fit the mold perfectly. The bizarre shapes and offbeat colors tell the story as well as the dialogue does. As more characters get introduced, the art maintains its integrity and proves that the reader can feel comfortable in the otherwise strange setting. The whole thing is put together very well, and if you liked the previous issues, you'll like this one as well. Having said that, Drum Hellar is still pretty next-level weirdness, so if you got lost somewhere in issues 1 and 2, don't expect to find the path again in issue 3.

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7.5
Drumhellar #5

Feb 26, 2014

The addition of new characters is welcome. The story really needed a third person to serve as a sort of interpreter. Drum's proclivity for going off on insane, supernatural rants and leaving Padma to stand there with a blank look was getting a little annoying. The addition of a new character who can see the ghosts but doesn't know quite as well as Drum what is going on steers a middle ground. She serves to put the reader's perspective in the story, granting a view that can see the supernatural things that are happening, but doesn't really understand them. Where the story goes from here is anybody's guess, but at least there is the possibility for change.

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7.0
Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter #1

Apr 10, 2013

While there is a lot of good going on in Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter, it's buried a bit too deeply. Most of the dialogue, of which there is little enough to begin with, is arbitrary and expository. Very little of it feels natural, rather, it appears simply to be crammed together in order to force the story forward. Luckily, the comic has very strong illustration, which picks up the slack of the lackluster dialogue, so to speak, and keeps the comic engaging and entertaining. I'm sure fans of the Forgotten Realms will enjoy this addition to the saga's already extensive lore, and if you've never experienced the world, this isn't a bad place to jump in.

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6.0
Executive Assistant: Iris Vol. 3 #3

Mar 28, 2013

Volume 3 of Executive Assistant Iris tells a strong story with good illustration, but lackluster characters and lackadaisical progression hurts what has the potential to be a very good comic. It may require a bit of additional investment from the reader before the comic begins to come into its own, so to speak, but there is enough to give readers hope. This may not be the most outstanding comic, but it's definitely something to keep your eye on in the future.

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8.0
Fever Ridge #3

May 15, 2013

The art is done by Nick Runge, who does a great job of drawing the many subtle intricacies of a jungle setting. The leaves and trees are well distinguished, rather than just being lumps of green that the reader must simply imagine to be shrubbery. The characters are well-defined, and readers should easily be able to tell which character is which after reading for a bit, though more often than I believe is necessary, their features are shadowed by their hats. Fever Ridge is very complex, and ultimately seems to be a character driven story. Even after reading 32 pages, I'm not quite sure what the plot of the story is, but I find myself not minding because I enjoy reading to find out what is in store for the characters. Perhaps you may find the story boring if you have no interest in World War II or war-ridden jungle settings, but I'd definitely recommend this comic to readers.

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8.0
Kiss Me, Satan #1

Oct 23, 2013

Kiss Me, Satan isn't a bad comic by any stretch. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's good, but it is significantly weakened by the lack of imagination. Perhaps there's something to be said for a story about the redemption an angel who sided with Lucifer when God's favorite angel fell from grace, but using such established creatures as werewolves kind of detracts from the innovation. One can't help but see werewolves and immediately think of all of the preexisting lore and stories that the concept of “werewolf” entails. I feel that Kiss Me, Satan would be much stronger if it featured demons from hell more prominently, and focused less on fantasy elements, particularly ones that have been such a large part of pop culture over the last few years.

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6.5
Legend Of The Shadow Clan #2

Mar 28, 2013

Despite all of these bizarre, almost comical instances, I'm surprised to say that I actually kind of enjoyed this comic. It didn't make sense a lot of the time, but that didn't make it any less interesting. I was always curious to turn the page and see what happens next, which is all you can really ask for from a comic book at the end of the day. I'd certainly like to see the writing tightened up a bit more in the future, but there are enough things to like about this comic to justify checking it out.

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9.0
Never Ending #1

Nov 27, 2013

Overall, I think Never Ending is one of the better superhero comics I've read, mostly because of its well-executed approach. It plays on the conventions of the genre, rather than openly mocking or defying them, but uses them to tell a completely new story that is mostly about humanity and a bit of existential musings. It reminds me of some of Robert Sheckley's greatest science fiction short stories that are only science fiction in genre, but not necessarily in subject matter. Never Ending may be a superhero comic, but it's not a comic about superheroes; it's a comic about a man stuck in a complex and undesirable circumstance, a man who wants nothing more than to be in charge of his fate and live a happy, normal life. That's a theme that I can get behind because, ultimately, isn't that what everyone wants?

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9.5
S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Oct 23, 2013

There's really not much I can say bad about Shoot First. It has a near perfect blend of good art, good storytelling, and an interesting concept. Even in the brief battle, we get a good feeling of who each S.H.O.O.T. member is, which shows a strong understanding of character on the part of the writers. Even in a battle, each character is so completely his or herself. Additionally, the comic has a good sense of humor, which is important for the otherwise heavy subject matter. Shoot First is very aware of itself in terms of the supernatural elements, taking time to poke fun with references to robots and unicorns. Honestly, the only reason I could see someone not wanting to read this comic is if they are extremely devout in their religion and don't wish to indulge in potentially blasphemous content. In terms of illustration and writing, there's very little to improve upon.

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8.5
S.H.O.O.T. First #2

Jan 15, 2014

I always have a hard time reviewing the second issue of a great premier. I feel bad giving a comic a good rating for simply staying the course, but I can't justify taking points away because the first issue was too good. I suppose it's just a matter of S.H.O.O.T. First #2 not destroying all of the good things that its predecessor did. It certainly does that well enough, and keeps to the great things that made the premiere issue of S.H.O.O.T. First so good in the first place. I'd like to see bigger and better things happen in the next issues, but when you've set the bar as high as S.H.O.O.T. First #1 did, I can't blame the creative team for being unable to improve on greatness.

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3.0
Shaolin Cowboy #1

Oct 9, 2013

The large body of text that makes up the actual storytelling aspect of the comic, and which is also filled with inanities that are seemingly wholly irrelevant to the rest of the plot, writes a check that the comic is simply unable to cash. There is a great deal of satirical, sardonic treatment of modern pop culture and society, but with the exception of the Dead Rising reference, there isn't much that is actually accomplished. No statement on society is made, and no progress is experienced. It would be the equivalent of Stephen Colbert showing a clip from previous news stories that makes said story seem ridiculous, but then not making any statements of his own afterwards. Perhaps when this comic series actually starts going places, it will make amazing, progressive strides, but from what I'm seeing in the first issue, it's simply a mess of muddled social and political jabs.

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6.0
Thumbprint #1

Jul 3, 2013

Overall, Thumbprint simply seems to be the victim of establishment. Being the first installment in the series, it's on this issue to establish many of the conventions and backstories that will go into the narrative moving forward. This makes for a rather dense, bland reading, but the threads for an exciting story are there, waiting to be woven together in future installments. I wasn't overly impressed by this issue, but I'm definitely curious to see where things go from here.

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7.5
Thumbprint #2

Jul 24, 2013

What really makes this issue shine is the characterization. With the exception of Glen, who is presumably Mallory's boss, every character is believable and fantastic. John is still a delightfully sad and pathetic perverted human being, and Mallory really comes into her own as a character who has seen too many things and struggles constantly with the aftereffects. She recalls one of her squadmates snapping from PTSD and being discharged, and even toys with the notion of taking her own life. What we see is a character haunted by her past, and unable to confront it long enough to peer through the ghastly haze and into what could be a promising future. She opts instead to wallow in despair and take her anger and frustration out on her coworker, much to the comedic enjoyment of any readers.

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5.0
Thumbprint #3

Sep 4, 2013

Ultimately, Thumbprint isn't bad as far as a short story is concerned, but it isn't particularly good either. It just…is. For people who really enjoy war stories or mystery, perhaps there's something there that makes it worth reading, but with the amount of good comics in the world, I'm not sure Thumbprint is really worth the investment. Ironically, it's only saving grace is how short it is. If you decide to read Thumbprint, you can at least take comfort in the fact that it won't take you long.

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8.0
Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Dec 4, 2013

Ultimately, there's not much I can say bad about Transformers: Dark Cybertron. I imagine that if I were a big fan of Transformers, I would absolutely love this comic, but as someone who's not familiar with the franchise, I see an interesting comic full of dense material. I won't lie: this comic takes effort. It's extremely wordy, but it's beautiful, and it sets up a potentially engrossing story. If you're a fan of Transformers, I'm going to guess you'll really like this comic. If you've never experienced Transformers, this might not be the best place to start. It's not that the comic requires you to know a lot of backstory, but the ability to differentiate between the robots seems like an acquired taste. Much like the vernacular in Huckleberry Finn comes with practice, I expect that recognizing particular robots will be easier with more exposure. If you can master the Transformers universe, you'll likely find a lot to love here.

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8.0
Triple Helix #1

Oct 9, 2013

It's really hard to pinpoint any glaring faults with this comic. Certainly it's not perfect, but it hits all the necessary points perfectly: good conflict, strong characters, closes the story while leaving an open end for the next installment. Additionally, it leaves some questions purposefully unanswered in order to keep the readers' attention and invite them into the next issue. While there is certainly room for improvement, Triple Helix has a lot of potential, and if you're looking for a new superhero series to sink your teeth into, Triple Helix is a great choice.

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4.5
Triple Helix #2

Dec 11, 2013

Triple Helix #2 just feels stagnant. It felt like a chore reading through to the end. It wasn't just that nothing interesting was happening; it was also that the characters fail to be engaging. Each member of the team seems to generic. The newbie doesn't follow orders, the leader puts himself at risk to help his team. It's all stuff you've seen before. I'd hoped that Triple Helix would end up being new and interesting, but if the second issue is any indication, this simply isn't the case. There are too many characters, and none of them are unique. It's just too difficult to get invested in Triple Helix at this rate. Unless the story picks up extremely quickly, I'm going to have a hard time making it through the next issue.

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4.5
Triple Helix #3

Jan 15, 2014

That needs to balance out to about 65/35 very quickly, or I'm just not going to care any more. If I want to see action sequences, I'll go watch old episodes of Dragonball Z. They're better drawn and much more intense.

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3.0
Triple Helix #4

Jan 23, 2014

I can't in good conscience recommend this comic issue. If you want to watch a bunch of fighting, then I suppose you might enjoy this comic, but there's not enough substance or depth to make Triple Helix really stand out. I'm reminded of the TV show Heroes, only without the interesting characters or intriguing, intersecting plot points (basically everything that madeHeroes good). This comic constantly raises more and more questions while providing nearly no answers, and in many cases, the answers it does provide only raise more questions. This is usually a decent method to keep readers invested because they're curious as to what happens next, but you've got to throw your readers a bone every once in a while. Triple Helix has gone four issues without any meaningful progression now, and I have no reason to expect it will start doing so in the near future.

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9.0
Wild Blue Yonder #1

Jun 26, 2013

I really can't say enough good things about this comic. I'm not a huge comic person, but I'm a writer, so if there's one thing I love and respect, it's good story. Wild Blue Yonder has it. After only one issue I'm already curious to see what happens next. As little as I know about them, I can't wait to find out what happens to the crew of The Dawn next.

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10
Wild Blue Yonder #2

Jul 24, 2013

I really can't say enough good things about Wild Blue Yonder. It certainly fits a specific Steampunk genre, but there's so many good elements that you don't even have to be a fan of Steampunk to enjoy it. The characters, artwork, and story all blend together in such fantastic harmony that you can't help but feel something special is happening here. There's a distinct lack of blatant exposition throughout the majority of the comic, and the characters are all so delightfully, wonderfully written that you just can't keep from becoming attached to them, even as you know, much like Cola, that some of them may not have the greatest prospects for future mortality. Now if only Cola could do something about that tragic haircut…

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9.5
Wild Blue Yonder #3

Oct 30, 2013

I really don't know what to say about Wild Blue Yonder that I haven't already said in my previous reviews. The art continues to be great, and the dialogue continues to astound. Not a panel goes by where I don't find something to enjoy about this comic series, and it seems to get better with every installment. Not only is it a great story in itself, but the concept is fresh and interesting. The constant threat of dogfights fills every moment with tension, and the idea of crazy people flying around a dogfight in a jetpack is awesome. And the writers certainly know how to use the idea to great effectiveness. At one point Scram revs up his jetpack and literally seems to decapitate a man with nothing but the sheer force of his takeoff, which is quite possibly the most metal thing I've ever seen.

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