Zarik Khan's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: AiPT!, Comics Bulletin Reviews: 42
7.8Avg. Review Rating

6.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #17

Mar 23, 2018

Annie Parker tries her hand at balancing responsibility and being cool, with mixed results.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #18

Apr 18, 2018

It seems like many of the same beats that were hit in the original Spider-Girl comic are hit here again in this issue, but there's no other choice Marvel has given to fans of the Peter-MJ dynamic and there are also few family-oriented books out in the market today like this one.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #21

Jul 11, 2018

If you're looking for a groundbreaking new challenge and premise to follow that is heavily plot-driven, this isn't your comic. However, if you're looking for a story that explores real human elements, like friendship, parenting, familial trust and grief, this is your book all the way.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #22

Aug 10, 2018

Renew Your Vows has stood out from similar stories done in the past because of its ability to balance the fun-loving nature of a family book with a sense of darkness and grittiness. It looks like we are nearing the final issue, which is a huge shame, but Houser and Koblish have maneuvered the characters and plot to ensure that this two year run is going to end with a bang.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #23

Sep 20, 2018

This issue is typical Renew Your Vows " spot-on characterization of the Parkers, nice callbacks to Marvel history, a few changes that slightly alter the status quo " but no element of finality that you'd expect with the last issue of a book ending after two years. Maybe it's Houser's way of being firm in the assertion that Spider-Girls is just going to be a title change and this is not the end in any way shape or form, but forgive me for being skeptical considering that is a limited three-issue mini and the Parkers are not on any promotional art.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Analog #1

Apr 3, 2018

Analog brings forth an intriguing premise by breaking the internet and exploring the fallout.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Analog #2

May 8, 2018

I was mostly disappointed by this issue. After an intriguing premise with a strong back story and memorable characters, I was hoping for more information about the secrets and the villains. Unfortunately, the secrets themselves are still unknown along with their impact, and the villain turns out to be predictable.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Analog #4

Jul 17, 2018

After a few issues where the broader implications of an epic storyline took a back seat while we built out the villains and heroes as characters, Duggan, O'Sullivan and Bellaire drop the bombshell of a colorful and varied AI and its threat to human freedom into the stew of the web, privacy and corporate greed. We were already re-evaluating our opinion of the goodness of our heroes after the last issue, but now it's totally unclear which side to root for as the players seem to all have questionable motivations. What a way to take us to the finish line.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Analog #5

Aug 17, 2018

Analog wraps up its first arc with some great revelations, more zany fight sequences, continued sociopolitical commentary and more world building and character introductions. The dialogue and character motivations sometimes leave a bit to be desired, but this is still phenomenal storytelling. This has gone from what originally seemed like a story doomed to descend to derivative violence/action into a thought-provoking adventure that will keep you guessing what (and who) is next.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Beyonders #1

Aug 17, 2018

This story is more than just the classic trope of teenage loser visited by fate. Jenkins distinguishes Beyonders by injecting some fun into it with a real-life treasure hunt and the careful building of a unique fictional history that we are promised will matter greatly in the future. While the visuals do a serviceable job driving forward the narrative, the frequent usage of irony is what takes the relatability to the next level. As the "real" story seems to start with the next issue, let's hope things keep moving along now that we've been set up adequately.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #4

Aug 22, 2018

All I can say after this issue is wow"just wow. Two years' worth of build up has finally paid off, and now I have no idea what's going to happen next and I love it. This is what comics should be all about.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #5

Sep 20, 2018

The latest installment of the Age of Doom series takes the foot off the gas, but that is (mostly) a good thing. With such a whopper of a reveal, our heroes (and us readers!) need time to process it all and that's exactly what this issue does. However, we should enjoy this respite for as long as we can, because there is absolutely no telling what the next issue is going to have in store as we enter parts completely unknown.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Breathless #1

Mar 28, 2018

Pharmaceutical executives, succubi and coroners cross paths as Pat Shand's new series dives into the world of diseases and cures.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Breathless #2

May 2, 2018

This continues to be a great series with an intriguing story/script and artists that show care, but with more focus on action in this issue expectations are high for some significant revelations and twists next time.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Breathless #3

Jul 5, 2018

Shand throws some twists, turns and surprises, specifically with regards to Mathis and unexpectedly with the Grace-Eisley/Farren relationship. He also proved me wrong with regards to the cryptids being "fully accounted for," in a major way. While the lack of a return to sociopolitical elements and a few other concerns hold this back from being a truly transcendental story, this series has been a lot of fun and I can't wait to see how things wrap up.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Breathless #4

Sep 13, 2018

None of the small issues I have with this issue take away from a satisfying and unexpected end to this series. Originally billed as a story that would explore the nefariousness of the pharmaceutical industry, the bonus of this final issue (and the real hidden gem of the series) is a simultaneous character journey of a nave, frightened neophyte becoming a confident, strong hero and a tough, alpha female being exposed as a cowardly, desparate, selfish monster. The takeaway: for better or worse, people are not who we think they are, and sometimes we don't realize the potential we have in ourselves.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Doctor Strange (2015) #388

Apr 11, 2018

As the volume winds down, even in the midst of a crossover event Cates manages to find ways to start bringing home dangling thematic questions about Stephen Strange as a character that have always been present since Issue #1.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Doctor Strange (2015) #389

Apr 25, 2018

This is arguably Marvel's best ongoing series at the moment.

View Issue       View Full Review
4.0
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4

Apr 25, 2018

Fantastic art, great character development and future possibilities for two characters, but nothing else.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Ice Cream Man #5

Jul 18, 2018

Ice Cream Man does not follow conventional comic book wisdom in 2018. It will read well as a trade paperback but it is also incredibly satisfying being read issue by issue. It is touted as an anthology, with each issue standing on its own. At the same time, there is an overarching story and struggle that becomes clearer with every chapter and has taken real shape in this issue, with the cowboy making good on his threat to the Ice Cream Man at the end of Issue #4. In that sense, this series is a walking contradiction, but this is totally consistent with the written and visual nature of the stories where the characters and their actions have the same contradictory and hypocritical nature.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Ice Cream Man #6

Aug 15, 2018

Ice Cream Man continues to seek new ways to elicit reactions from readers, this time going for the jugular with an increased focus on emotions. Many can relate to how it feels to be abandoned, and the incredibly unique approaches of no dialogue combined with three alternative paths regarding this issue render a variety of scenarios that are heart-warming, saddening, and horrifying all at once. "What if" will never be the same again.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Ice Cream Man #7

Sep 19, 2018

It says a lot about just how brilliant this series has been that even though I felt this issue was a bit of a step back, it easily matches or eclipses the effort most creators can muster on their best day. While a couple of key plot elements are starting to get repetitive, Prince and Morazzo are still managing to pull out new concepts from their well of ideas and deliver twists on previously explored angles. There's a bit less hopelessness and misery, but it doesn't impact how essential this series should continue to be for every collector's pull list.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Lucy Dreaming #1

Mar 22, 2018

A welcome coming of age tale that manages to deftly mix fantasy with typical teenage struggles.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Lucy Dreaming #2

Apr 20, 2018

This book has made it clear that no fictional genre or type of story is off-limits.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Lucy Dreaming #3

May 16, 2018

With its latest issue, Lucy Dreaming has firmly established that it's no fluke, thanks to consistent art, a variety of different fictional scenarios, character depth and exploration, and a compelling lead who is a flawed person but refreshingly so compared to those around her.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Lucy Dreaming #4

Jul 1, 2018

As we approach the end, Lucy Dreaming lays it all out on the table. In some cases, including the art, it's brilliant. In others, it's a bit confusing. But there's no less energy and joy now than there was in the first issue, and that's the most important thing. The bottom line: if you've stuck around this long, it's worth taking one more jump into the dream world and seeing how this thing wraps up.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Lucy Dreaming #5

Jul 24, 2018

Lucy Dreaming was a fun ride with an intriguing premise and tantalizing potential, but ultimately the conclusion whiffs the landing. Rather than dig deep into fascinating issues that were served up on a platter throughout the series and were dying for a proper resolution, the conclusion is basically a victory lap that feels hollow when you realize it could have been paired with so much more character exploration. Definitely pick this up for the art, but otherwise this is a disappointment.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Quantum Age: From the World of Black Hammer #1

Jul 5, 2018

Jeff Lemire launches yet another spinoff in the rapidly expanding Hammerverse and takes us a thousand years into the future. While we are left with tons of questions in a setup issue, themes of racism, authoritarianism, and humanity's never-ending urge for exploration are deftly explored. Combined with serviceable art that follows the back and forth of the plot, this is a great start to a new chapter in the saga.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Quantum Age: From the World of Black Hammer #2

Jul 31, 2018

Lemire and Torres are pacing this story perfectly by continuing to use flashbacks to build the backstory of their protagonist and revealing mysteries one by one rather than leaving everything for the end. While it's frustrating that there are still a few major open questions, the impatience and desire to get answers is a testament to the high quality of a series that leaves you wanting more.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.5
Scarlet (2018) #1

Aug 29, 2018

I'm not ready to give up on this revival and its creators just yet. The doors have been flung open with possibilities for the next issue. Scarlet is still an earnest yet hilarious character. But beyond that, Bendis and Maleev didn't do a whole lot to excite old fans and attract new fans to the mix. Here's hoping the pace picks up next month and they truly recapture the fighting spirit that had defined this book until now.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Secret War #2

Jun 9, 2004

Although there are some interesting character developments, nothing really "happens" of consequence in this issue, other than more revelations. In a such a short miniseries, unfortunately, that is a huge no-no at this point (second issue) and this looks like a bad sign as we approach the halfway point.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
She Could Fly #1

Jun 20, 2018

There's something in this title for all comic book fans, whether it's supernatural elements, dream sequences (or cats - who doesn't love cats?). As a Chicagoan, there's also quite a few tributes here to us natives. But the biggest draw by far, and what will keep you hooked, is the emotional pull and the universal appeal of a story that successfully explores the mindset and fallout for those that suffer from mental illness.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
She Could Fly #2

Aug 7, 2018

She Could Fly #1 exceeded my expectations and in its second issue, the series goes even further. The focus on mental illness remains, but with an expanded focus and analysis of other characters, their relationships, their passions and ambitions. This broader perspective sends an incredibly powerful message that mental illness is not something to be pitied, but rather is something that could impact any of us, regardless of who we are, and those who fight it every day are true heroes.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
She Could Fly #3

Sep 14, 2018

She Could Fly continues to keep an amazing degree of consistency and high quality as the series approaches the end. Things are coming to a head in the narrative and Luna and the readers get answers to questions they were asking since the beginning and ultimately attain a refreshing clarity and peace of mind. The question remains, though, whether there is any hope of surviving to be able to truly enjoy this inner peace.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Sheets OGN #1

Aug 28, 2018

Brenna Thummler presents Sheets, an incredibly endearing and heartbreaking story that uses a cute exterior to mask grief, economic hardship, isolation and many other issues that children of today are dealing with in ways they didn't have to before.

View Issue       View Full Review
3.0
Spectacular Spider-Man #15

Jun 20, 2004

A title's regular writer is handed a "crossover" assignment, an event that the Marvel higher-ups promised fans would never happen again unless it "made sense." This issue is quickly proving that the upcoming crossover and story arc makes anything but sense. If you are looking for a Spider-Man book that can be written with quality, sample Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, or Marvel Knights, but steer clear of this one until this nonsense is over.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Spider-Girl #75

Jun 9, 2004

For longtime readers, Spider-Girl #75 is actually kind of slow-moving, but for those who haven't read this title before, it is a perfect jumping-on point. If you want be a part of something special that may not last much longer due to corporate snootiness and the beginning of a new comic also known as "Spider-Girl," the titling of which seems to be an attack to DeFalco and his loyal fans, then definitely pick up this issue of Spider-Girl...the original Spider-Girl. (Ugh, I'm going to have to get used to saying that...*shudders*).

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #1

May 11, 2018

This adaptation picks up on the emotional resonance that seemed to be missing in the film and doubles down on it by removing some pointless scenes with corny humor and adding other scenes that give much needed character development.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Subspecies #1

Mar 15, 2018

Subspecies #1 is a promising start to a series that has adequately set the stage and now needs to pick up the pace. The art carries the issue and covers for a slightly lengthy introduction, but the writers' knowledge and passion for the history of these characters is obvious and should guarantee an explosive showdown.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Subspecies #2

Apr 23, 2018

This miniseries still hasn't pushed the envelope too much just yet by introducing any sort of major complexity (and may be running out of time to do so). But thanks to more action than before and art that truly services the story, it has set itself up to go out in a blaze of glory.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #61

Jun 29, 2004

Nothing too extraordinary takes place, although a couple of cameos and humorous scenes make it a little more than ho-hum. The arc plods along, but unless the next issue proves otherwise, this might not be Bendis' most original piece of work. The overload from doing too much at once might have started to kick in for the Ultimate writer himself.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Wolverine (2003) #16

Jun 29, 2004

Action, action, action. Rucka still manages to interject a few important points here and there, add an ending that creates for speculation, and he and Robertson continue to develop what is shaping up to be a delightful final arc before they leave this book for Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for the Week of...

September

August

More