biweekly comics review

Wait, who’s this? That’s right, it’s me, Indrani. It has been a veritable age due to the election and a bunch of essays and Thanksgiving and computer issues and WordPress issues and a whole, whole lot of Indrani-Style Laziness™.

Some changes: comic reviews will be biweekly, and I won’t review them all. There are so many, and at this point everyone knows that I’m going to like Lumberjanes, and I’m going to be ambivalent about Captain Marvel (today I realized how blessed we are that G. Willow Wilson is still writing Ms. Marvel), and Saga‘s gonna be crazy good, etc. So what sticks out to me will get into the review.

This should also force me to write other stuff, like a midseason TV wrap-up/review—although I really cannot find info on when Madam SecretaryBull, or a couple other shows close for the fall. Notorious is basically done, which I didn’t realize (and forever), and Conviction‘s approaching what’s assumed to be terminal velocity. Anyway, other stuff, like Koffee With Karan talk, more pen talk, and another video roundup, and a book review or two, should show up also. More future post talk at the bottom.

Let’s get in it!

Oh wait I realize I haven’t been doing the ice cream thing! Uh, I think I had apple streusel with hot fudge (and maybe also whip?) three-ish weeks ago (I was so excited about hot fudge, you have no idea), and next I had apple cider with fudge, and this week I had caramelized honey and cardamom with hot fudge and whipped cream, because I had spent an absolutely unholy amount of time in pouring rain on my bicycle (The Streetle).

BLACK PANTHER WORLD OF WAKANDA #1: Coates, Gay, Harvey, Martinez, Richardson, Rosenberg, Bonvillain

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This was Very Good. I’m enjoying this new wave of authors getting into comics, specifically authors of color (see: Saladin Ahmed?! How cool is Black Bolt gonna be, guys?!), and I love Roxane Gay’s work. This included! Strong stories with strong black ladies, right up my alley. Highlights for me: Afua Richardson’s art in the backup story; black gal love; super-very-good T’Challa on the cover. (8.7/10)

NAMESAKE #1: Orlando, Rebelka

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Yes! Very GOOD!

I will start by admitting that I took a glance at this comic mostly because it shares a title with Jhumpa Lahiri’s fantastic novel. However, this is a genre-smashing and -mashing sci-fi/western/fantasy with gay dads and last rites and world-hopping, so, just a bit different.

I just read an interview with Steve Orlando where he talks about the Final Fantasy game franchise influencing this work in terms of world-building, which bodes well for us readers. He talks about architecture and mechanics and magic, and this first issue is promising. I’m sensing a big hit for BOOM!, even if this is limited (to my greatest chagrin).

The dichotomy of Jordan, the protagonist, being a firefighter in what looks like the modern era versus the magical, anti-iron world of Ektae, is interesting to me. When this kind of book is done well, it is excellent. As this one seems to be! (9/10)

MOONSHINE #2: Azzarello, Eduardo Risso

Very seriously considering dropping this one. Neither the story nor the art is getting to me yet, and there’s some questionable rendering of black people here. Worrying. I’m either going to give it through next issue or through the end of the arc. Ah well. (4/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #13: Aaron, Epting, Martin

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Page one: the juxtaposition (visually and textually) of Jane talking to another patient about cancer and Jane/Thor’s inner monologue about knowing all of the ten realms/war in general—so good. Knowing the ten realms as a metaphor for the ins and outs of cancer (although I just realized maybe she already knew that because she is a doctor, M.D.), becoming intimate with both types of war—so very fab.

Moving on. I’ve never seen the League of—I started typing League of Legends. Fire me. Okay, never heard of the League of Realms before, but what a kickass team! A dynamite dwarf?! That’s straight out of The Adventure Zone (yes in my head I said it in that funky intro voice)! And how nice it was to see Angela again! Also a very cool giant lady who has trees for arrows. (!!!!)

As for the last page, I had to hop on the Google Machine to figure out who this bag-head fancy-pants man is, but now I know that Kurse is a former dark elf who fell in some lava and subsequently got ‘roided up by the Beyonder. My question is, are the things on his bag-mask teeth, or a necklace, or neck-horns, or what? On the preview of the next issue’s cover they’re made to seem like teeth, but…are they? (9/10)

WONDER WOMAN #11: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

Okay, okay okay okay okay. Wonder Woman, it’s a trap! Good on Steve for noticing. When I read this at the ice cream shop, the word that popped into my head was funky. Like, this is a very funky mystery, in an inestimably bad way. I think I was wrong about the Silver Swan thing, but there was a robot lady, so I was on the right track. I would really like to reread all of these with the context I have now, but that’s going to have to wait a couple weeks. (Side note: please don’t kill the dogs, Etta.) (10/10)

MONSTRESS #8# Liu, Takeda

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I would have read this if it were a YA book, I would have watched it were it a movie, I probably would have eaten it if it were food. I unequivocally love Monstress, and this issue (like every issue) validates my love. Such a strong and compelling story! Sana’s art (honestly how did this happen. her art is incredible)! The pure worldbuilding of this series blows me away every time.

Plus, this issue introduces a very cool shark lady named Old Tooth. Also some scary things I don’t understand? I need a reread here as well. Please read Monstress—this goes for my non-comic pals (read: all of my pals) as well. (10/10)

THE GODDAMNED #5: Aaron, Guéra, Brusco

It has been one day less than six months since the last Goddamned came out. But it was worth the wait! We wrap up the Noah’s Ark…arc…here, and it seems that Aaron is stepping definitively outside the general Biblical canon, which is not something I expected.

Reading this is like playing a first-person shooter (most of which I hate, with very, very few—like maybe one—exceptions). It’s good to get your Over the Garden Walls and your Batmans and what-have-you in, but sometimes it’s nice to just sink your teeth into a complete and total gorefest. Which is precisely what this is, with a lot of morality talk and a sort of post-apocalyptic depression? Maybe pre-apocalyptic? I don’t know what that term would be exactly, because it’s really neither. Purgatorial, kind of. But very good. (9/10)

(I guess my rating system at this point is: Very Good, very good, good, fine, ambivalent, bad, Very Bad, no.)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #3: Remender, Opeña

I don’t have anything to critique here, but this is not what I thought I was getting into. I thought this story was going to be Adam vs. Mud King, I.E., long journey getting to the castle, getting in the castle, beating up (?) the Mud King, getting beat up…I don’t know, but I was very surprised when the Lord of Whispers himself showed up in the flesh in the first issue. But this is more like…oh, what piece of media am I thinking of. Not Midnight Run, I think more fantastical, but in that vein…kind of like Blacklist, I suppose. Something with the criminal tied up and forced to tag along. I think it’s a book, however, but you get the gist. So very different than my initial expectations, but this story is so strong, and it’s going very well. (9/10)

Actually hold on. I think Adam literally just left his young son behind in a city on the cusp of anarchy/a human-killing spree. Dude, what? For someone whose whole deal is loyalty and doing the right thing and, oh yes, family, what are you even doing? Did he just forget his son in the adrenaline rush of it all? What?

ROMULUS #2: Hill, Blake II

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I can’t find a similar Luther Strode cover, but this is so Tradd Moore. When Blake II draws the Romulus agents, he is straight channeling.

This issue was as good as the first, and I enjoyed it a lot. It introduces some magic elements, and starts to build the supporting cast out. This comic has a good feminist agenda, as well. The main thing I want to talk about, though, is the appearance of another mystical spooky organization:

img_0494I lost my whole entire mind. When it’s first mentioned, I did a double take, then laughed out loud, then went a little wild in my head. It’s one thing to make a fictional pseudo- and psycho- Illuminati. To then introduce the REAL Illuminati…very bold, very audacious. And this, the last panel, I just…physically, I can’t handle this stuff. (Though I have never seen a more me panel in my life.) (8/10)

That’s it for this fortnight, folks. Midseason post should be after December 14th at the earliest—I can’t see CBS pushing anything long after that. I’m going to start doing “things I loved this week” posts, kind of like The Gentleman Stationer’s “Sunday Reading” posts. Expect lots of end-of-year wrap ups, books-, movies-, webcomics-, and maybe games-wise in mid- to late December. And I have to do a post on my analog setup for 2017, but due to Christmas items I may or may not receive that will probably be in the first week of 2017 itself. Some other things may crop up as well—I have a nascent book review and I might also talk about this year’s analog setup and its evolution if I get around to it.

Okay. Sleep tight! Spread the word re: me in your dreams.

weekly comics review

I’m inaugurating a new section this week. The comic book store is by an ice cream shop, which, for those of you who are from my neck of the woods, is kind of like a Rancatore’s or a Toscanini’s. Anyway, I go there every Wednesday and eat ice cream while I read the week’s haul. From here on out, therefore, I’ll be divulging my weekly flavors. Since they were out of hot fudge again today, I had a scoop of their fabulous Salted Caramel with some homemade whipped cream.

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #19: Bennett, Andolfo, Braga, Qualano, Jarrell, Lawson

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(I could not find a properly-sized full picture of this cover.)

For a second there I thought I’d missed an issue, because Harvey Dent appears? But it looks like I didn’t, and there seems to be a bit of plot missing, so? Besides that, this was a good issue and I hope it isn’t just a one-off. (7/10)

MOON KNIGHT #8: Lemire, Francavilla, Torres, Stokoe, Smallwood, Garland, Bellaire

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I’m not really sure what to say about this issue, except that I am very invested in seeing this story through to its conclusion. Is everything in Marc’s head? Is this some very complicated Khonshu-induced dissociative state? I don’t know, but I really really want to. (8/10)

BITCH PLANET #9: DeConnick, De Landro, Fitzpatrick, Cowles

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It’s back! I did a little dance when I checked my list for this week, I was so excited. Again, I don’t have a ton to say—if you read this, you’ll get it. This series is both very good and very, very important. (The back cover for this issue is one of my favorites.) (9.5/10)

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #23: Gillen, Wada, McKelvie, Wilson

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I received the variant cover (on the left) from my retailer this week, so I thought I’d throw it in there so you’d know what a splendid sight greeted me this evening. (Although now I’m going to have to hunt down the regular cover when I get to a Newbury Comics or something.)

I’m going to start with the art in this issue, both because it was fantastic and because it’s played a large part in how #23 has been promoted. Kevin Wada is a genius. I first saw his work, I think, when he did a series of X-Men “fashionizations” (here’s Quentin Quire). He does a lot of comic illustrations, I guess maybe for commissions or for fun. All of his work is very beautiful to me. His She-Hulk art is one of my favorite things, ever. Just look at Steve and Peggy and Bucky! He did a poster for Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows (which I need to read) earlier this year, which is just…he’s so good.

His work in this issue really shows off his fashion skills. Particularly with Baal and Woden, and there again specifically on pages 12-13 and page 20. Watercolor is such a fun medium, and it’s not one you see so often in comics.

Okay, onto the words. Team WicDiv rustled up a slew of cool reporter-types to write fake magazine interviews for this issue, namely Leigh Alexander, Dorian Lynskey, Laurie Penny, Mary HK Choi, and Ezekiel Kweku (who happens to have the best Twitter and best bio ever). At least to me, this issue read like a blend of the New York Times’ style magazine and their regular Sunday magazine. As Gillen writes, “the short high concept: the Issue is a magazine. A fashion magazine.” In this fictional world, the magazine is Pantheon Monthly, and the editor-in-chief is Gillen himself. The issue feels like a standalone, but I expect certain little things in there will be important in the coming arc, IMPERIAL PHASE I. Not that I wasn’t convinced before, but this magazine thing definitely makes the gods feel like pop stars.

Some things I dug: McKelvie’s ads at the beginning and end of the issue. Very well done. Sergio Serrano’s graphic design, which rocks (and appropriately rolls) here. The bios of the contributors at the back are fun, too. (10/10)

Okay! This was an early finish for me (probably because there were very few comics this week). Hopefully next week the ice cream store will have hot fudge, because they’ve been out the past two times I’ve gone. A gentle reminder: Friday is Fountain Pen Day! I can talk about pens for hours, so feel free to leave a comment or something (or, if you know me in the physical world, Snapchat Facebook Instagram email, etc.). Sleep well, and tell your study groups about this blog.

weekly comics review x2

I won’t/can’t put in the cover art for every single one in of these. Also, I will TRY HARD to make these blurbs short, which will be easy for a bunch of them. (I know this is quite late, but…ah well.)

A-FORCE #10: Thompson, Siqueira, Bennett, Rosenberg

This was the last A-Force for the foreseeable future, which I just didn’t know? It’s kind of a weird and sudden ending, no big arc ending or anything. I hope the next installment of this series has a better writer. (I hope that’s not too horrible to say.) (5/10)

LUCIFER #11: Black, Garbett, Fabela

I think I mentioned this when #10 came out, but I know approximately zero about Lucifer’s Vertigo canon (except what’s in Sandman), so I have no idea what the implications of the last page are. But I really enjoyed this issue. Black is a master of her craft, and was the perfect choice for this series.

STAR TREK BOLDLY GO #1: Johnson, Shasteen, Mastrolonardo

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loved this. It felt like watching a Star Trek movie, i.e., exciting, suspenseful, etc. One thing I’m not completely sold on is the art, though. The cover rocks, but something about it—maybe it’s because Shasteen has to render characters whose visages I am familiar with? He draws a good Kirk on page 13, though. But Uhura doesn’t look a whole lot like Uhura, and sometimes Sulu doesn’t either. My one story complaint: do we need another love interest for Kirk? Especially when they never last more than one film? I’m assuming (perhaps wrongly, I admit) that Commander Valas and Kirk are going to get flirty and that I am not going to enjoy it at all.

I lost it at the last page. If you’ve read this issue—and if you enjoy Star Trek in any of its iterations I’d say go grab it—you know what I mean. I totally lost it (I was in public, too, go figure). That sold me on this. (7/10)

THE BEAUTY #11: Haun, Hurley, Green, Rauch

Good stuff, all around. I don’t have anything else to say but keep up the good work, folks.

PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #11: Leth, Williams, Rosenberg

The name of this arc is “Don’t Stop Me-Ow.” HOW great is Hellcat, guys. We also meet a cool girl gang in this issue, so points all around. (8/10)

BATGIRL #4: Larson, Albuquerque, McCaig

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I left this one big on purpose. I will give Rafael Albuquerque all of my money, full stop. He knows how to do his job and then some.

I’ve said it before, but I dig this arc, so it gets a good ol’ check from me.

OUTCAST #22: Kirkman, Azaceta

Nice and spooky for Hallowe’en. These two know how to play the long game. The letters section in this issue is particularly good for theories on what being an Outcast means and who Sydney’s kind are. (9/10)

THE PUNISHER ANNUAL: Conway, Ruiz, Loughridge

(I am sad about Steve Dillon. That’s all.) This issue did a great job of telling a relatively complex story in a one-shot, jumping from flashbacks to the present without losing me. Nice.

DKIII THE MASTER RACE: Miller, Azzarello, Kubert, Janson, Anderson

I didn’t even know this was coming out this (/last) week! Same with Star Trek, to be honest. But I always get excited when DKIIIs are in my pull. I guess it’s because The Dark Knight Returns and also Strikes Again are so seminal and important to comics history that to have the single issues and to just be present when this third story comes out is, well, cool. One thing: why is Clark’s, uh, power armor (I suppose?) so weird looking? He looks like a caricature of himself? Whatever. (9/10)

LUMBERJANES #31: Watters, Leyh, Pietsch, Laiho

Friendship is so great. Especially when it involves giant birds, snake hair, goddesses, and funky underground temples. And great art, and fantastic storytelling. (9/10)

WONDER WOMAN #9: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

2Here’s the deal: I smell a conspiracy. I thought it was just due to my lack of canonical Wonder Woman knowledge that I didn’t recognize the lady in Empire Enterprise on page 6, but I just used the Google machine real quick and it couldn’t tell me either. She has a scary logo (which is also on the cover) and—ah, never mind. I googled her name (Veronica Cale) and she appeared, silly me.

Okay! Judging from what I just learned about Ms. Cale, maybe Rucka’s going to bring back a villain called the Silver Swan? Cale turns the Silver Swan (formerly Diana’s pal Vanessa Kapatelis) into a cyborg lady in order to fight Wonder Woman. Look at the cover, guys. OBVIOUSLY.

This-issue-wise, I want to give Liam Sharp an award. Both he and Nicola Scott are doing some of the best work in comics today. (8/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #12: Aaron, Irving, Dauterman, Wilson

The flashback art in this issue, rendered by Frazer Irving, is some weird 3D-style nonsense. However, I didn’t realize this until the last page of the flashback, which was shockingly—ugh, I don’t want to say bad, but—BAD! It’s also such a departure from Dauterman’s great inks and Wilson’s vibrant colors.

I quite enjoyed learning about Mjolnir, though. This kind of backstory is my deal.

ODY-C #12: Fraction, Ward

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Almost every illustration in this issue is splash-page-style. unnamed

Again, how wild is Christian Ward? I am absolutely enamored with the House of Atreus storyline, and it’s definitely getting me pumped to get back into the Odyssia tale as well. Matt and Christian are doing something so unique, something that will definitely be iconic, definitely a legacy kind of thing. (10/10)

DESCENDER #16: Lemire, Nguyen

this was so sad oh my god why (9/10) (point deducted for the sorrow)

BLACK PANTHER #7: Coates, Sprouse, Story, Martin

I am HERE for the crew. Especially after watching Luke Cage and seeing how absolutely awesome Misty Knight is.

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If you haven’t watched Luke Cage yet, please, just…just go do that now.

Black Panther is a fantastic and complex story. Morals, the ethics of kingship, race, family, class, black people magic…I love it. (10/10)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #2: Remender, Opeña

(First panel page 4: total Clean Room vibes.)

I think they just switched everything up in this issue, unless the Mud King just total no-scope KOs everyone immediately in #3? I loved metal-jaw crocodile-man, first of all. This world is wild and crazy and very well fleshed out. Fantastic. (10/10)

OVER THE GARDEN WALL #7: McHale, Campbell, Burgos, Sjursen-Lien, McGee, Cogar, Montgomery, Choo

I happen to love birds, so the fact that Greg went to a chic bird city in this issue had me over the moon. (10/10)

JUGHEAD #10: North, Charm

How funny is it that the artist’s last name is Charm, huh? (Get it, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, charm, Charm?!)

This issue had me laughing out loud (again, in public). Besides North’s page notes, there’s a special cameo in this issue. (8/10)

SAGA #39: Staples, Vaughan

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God, I love Saga. (10/10)

Alright, guys, next week there are two (at least) incredibly exciting comics coming out. It also doesn’t look like there are that many on my pull list for tomorrow, so I will be quicker about it.

Friday is Fountain Pen Day—I don’t know exactly what I’ll do for it, but right now I’m thinking about a rundown of my pens, or something like that. I definitely want to talk more about pens moving forward, but I get new comics much more often than I get new pens. Anyway.

Sleep well! Tell your mail carrier about this blog, and tell yourself to leave comments.

 

weekly comics review

Hello! I would have done this fifteen minutes ago, but WordPress was down for maintenance.

Also I promised so many posts that just haven’t appeared. I’ll do better—tomorrow I’ve planned a quick one, with two trailers and a song.

There were a lot of comics this week, so let’s dig in.

POWER MAN & IRON FIST #9: Walker, Greene, Flaviano, Rauch

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I am so, so done with this storyline. Also I hate this cover. I wish that Marvel could have kept Luke and Danny out of this Civil War II mess like they kept Howard the Duck out of it, but…ugh. Anyway, hopefully since Luke Cage was such a fantastic TV show there’ll be a new, fantastic comic series? Maybe? With Misty and Claire, etc. (we don’t need Danny)? (5/10)

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #2: Fletcher, Kerschl, Cloonan, Archer, Msassyk, Hope, LaPointe

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Witches! Detectives! Mystery! Terrible roommates! I just love Gotham Academy. Look at all of these pals posing. Just great. (9/10)

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #3: Benson, Benson, Roe, Antonio, Passalaqua

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The snake-people looked super-cool. One of them is named Cottonmouth, so while reading this issue I thought, hey, what if that is the Cottonmouth from the aforementioned Luke Cage? Then just now, flipping through to reacquaint myself with this installment’s events, I recalled that this is a DC comic. Also surprise Black Canary backstory in this issue. (7.7/10 for the comic 5/10 for my intellect)

DARTH VADER #25: Gillen, Larroca, Fiumara, Delgado, Steward

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Kieron Gillen must have been a natural pick for Darth Vader because both of them are so none more goth. That aside, this was an awesome end to an awesome series. This felt the most Star-Wars-y to me than any other issue. I couldn’t tell you why, but it did. With a funky Tusken raiders story and a good twist, this was a fitting end to a good ride. (9.5/10)

SOUTHERN CROSS #8: Cloonan, Belanger, Loughridge

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I was thinking about Belanger’s art this past week—I must’ve seen something on Twitter—and the word I’d pick to describe it is anxious. It conveys a certain sense of smallness and something imminent. Anyway. This was a good issue. A ghost makes their comeback in this issue. I really need to reread this series when I get home (so soon! aaaaa). I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love the ads for ZEMI items and other space things in the back of each issue. (8.7/10)

THE PUNISHER #6: Cloonan, Dillon, Martin

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Two solid Becky Cloonan titles this week. This one features a Shalvey/Bellaire cover I love. Remember when I said last month that I thought that was maybe the end of the arc? I was wrong. Nothing major happened in this issue, but we got some Frank/Olaf backstory, and at the end it said END. So this is the end of the arc, in case you all were as ignorant as I was. (8/10)

ODY-C #11: Fraction, Ward

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Man, what did we do to deserve Christian Ward? He’s the real deal.

Okay, after a literal millennium ODY-C has decided to grace us with its presence again. And get this—it’s all written in rap. At least, that’s how I read it. In the Odyssey & Oracle section at the back, Fraction says that he “eschew[ed] the dummy hexameter of the previous volumes for limericks.” Wild, huh? Literally THE WHOLE THING.

This is another series I have to reread, and carefully. This arc is on the House of Atreus and their curse. This page from University of Pennsylvania is a good, quick, and easy brush-up on the facts for those of you who either know nothing about this or who, like me, have been sideswiped by this knowledge but have neither retained nor obtained any deeper facts.

I really loved this issue. (10/10)

WONDER WOMAN #8: Rucka, Evely, Fajardo Jr. 

ww_cv8_57f7f2e2f02247-30851258I had never read a Wonder Woman comic before Rebirth, so (well, I read Gail Simone’s The Circle, but) I know next to nothing about her canon. Basically, I have no clue who Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah is. But since they’re giving her a new origin, a veritable rebirth, one might say, I am free and clear. Also, Minerva is a badass! So cool! Indiana-Jones-esque! Big fan. Would read the solo series. Evely did a lovely job of rendering the ruins this month (week? biweek? fortnight?) and I dig the cover. (neutral)

MOON KNIGHT #7: Lemire, Stokoe, Francavilla

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James Stokoe’s art reminds me of a mashup between Chris Burnham’s (Nameless, E is for Extinction) and Katsuhiro Otomo’s (if you don’t know, uh, remedy that now) styles. And someone else a little more, I suppose, cartoony, but I can’t place them. It’s in General Lupinar’s eyes. Maybe Sam Bosma (Fantasy Sports)? Good stuff. And good stuff overall, too. (neutral)

LUMBERJANES GOTHAM ACADEMY #5: Clugston-Flores, Matthews, Matthews, Ayoub, Cogar

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So happy. So sweet. Plus a cool bone-conglomerate monster and Olive setting things aflame! All part of my Hallowe’en aesthetic. (10/10)

ALL-STAR BATMAN #3: Snyder, Romita Jr., Shalvey, Miki, White, Bellaire

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This was a lot of fun. KGBeast is such a funny name. And why is he talking about sea-steading? I laughed at that. This week was backstory-heavy—here we get some childhood dirt on Bruce and Harvey. Good issue.

Oh, wait. Obviously I’m supposed to review the content, but I just wanted to say I love the feel of these issues. The solid, glossy cover really does it for me. (neutral)

DOOM PATROL #2: Way, Derington, Bonvillain

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I still don’t know what is going on, and I still like it! More general weirdness in this issue, plus some alien existentialism. And the introduction of Negative Man, whom I feel would not be that out of place in Nowhere Men. (neutral)

MONSTRESS #7: Liu, Takeda

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Sana Takeda, man, another artist we just don’t deserve. Honestly, I missed Monstress much more than I thought I would. It’s just so intriguing, and such a solid series. I love a mystical mystery, and this is one of the best I’ve read. (10/10)

JUPITER’S LEGACY 2 #4: Millar, Quitely

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I love Quitely’s art so much. I haven’t read all of the Jupiter’s series, but I’m getting there. All I will say about this issue is that it was HEARTBREAKING and I am MAD. (9/10)

HOWARD THE DUCK #11: Zdarsky, Quinones, Rivera, Gibson

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How Zdarsky managed to satirize comics, while actually making a hilarious comic book, while writing an absolutely touching good story is beyond me. I’m so sad that Howard is ending its run, but I’m really happy that Chip and Joe got to do it in their way, which was the best way. (10/10)

Okay! Look for those various video reviews tomorrow. On Saturday I might post something, but I’m not quite sure what (the long-promised book reviews? who knows?). On Sunday I am seeing Mirzya (!!!!!!!) with Based Jen, so look for that verdict. I’ve also started watching Supergirl, which I like 100% more than I thought I would, so I’m thinking of doing one review halfway through the first season then another at the end of it. Oh! On Saturday I’ll probably write up my thoughts on Conviction and Madam Secretary and maybe update you on the other new shows? (read: tell you that Notorious still sucks?)

Closing message: spread the word about my blog, thank you. Also good night.

 

 

weekly comics review (x2)

I was just really tired last week? Or just really lazy? This is two posts for the price of one, have fun. Short blurbs (well, I’ll try).

09/28/16

CAPTAIN MARVEL #9: Gage, Gage, Silas, Wilson

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I 👏🏾 AM 👏🏾 TIRED 👏🏾 OF 👏🏾 THIS. Captain Marvel is unfortunately much less interesting now that Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t writing it, and this blasted Civil War II nonsense just makes everything worse. (6/10)

DESCENDER #15: Lemire, Nguyen

descender_15-1I deeply enjoy Dustin Nguyen’s art. And the fact that he watercolors every comic, by hand…every comic! Just gorgeous. This was a good issue. We got some much-needed backstory on Andy and Effie/Queen Between (mostly on Effie). That said, I’m ready for the action to pick up again. (9.1/10)

LUMBERJANES #30: Watters, Leyh, Pietsch, Laiho

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Lumberjanes never ceases to please. I’ve loved every issue. Whoever the artist is, they always make their art appropriately bright and alive without losing their personal style. Here, it’s Carey Pietsch, who draws very cute snake-hair. Art aside, I dig this gorgon storyline. (9.5/10)

BATGIRL #3: Larson, Albuquerque, McCaig

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I am loving this plotline. The second I saw Fruit Bat I knew this was going to be fun, and it has been. Plus, Rafael Albuquerque is one of my favorite comic artists ever, so this is a joy to look at and to read. (9/10)

OVER THE GARDEN WALL #6: McHale, Campbell, Burgos, Sjursen-Lien, McGee, Cogar, Montgomery

I couldn’t find an image of the cover for this issue, so take this lil’ Greg instead:

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ROROP.

This is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated. As a long-time lover of picture books, this comic warms my heart. Jim Campbell does a fantastic job evoking the cute and chaotic Greg-ian aesthetic, and Cara McGee evokes Wirt’s angsty imaginings with expert inks. (I choose to think that Greg sees reality and Wirt is seeing an illusion, but it’s up to the individual reader.) Story great throughout. (10/10)

SAGA #38: Staples, Vaughan

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HEARTBREAKING. (10/10)

MS. MARVEL #11: Wilson, Miyazawa, Alphona, Herring

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I’m liking Ms. Marvel‘s Civil War II storyline much more than Captain Marvel‘s. Perhaps because I’m actually rooting for Kamala. (I just really really disagree with Carol and that makes me mad.) Miyazawa and Alphona’s art is gorgeous, as one comes to expect. The first scene in this issue features Bruno and Ammi having a chat, and the detail with which Miyazawa and Alphona render their hair and the care in the expressions is laudable. (8/10)

OUTCAST #21: Kirkman, Azaceta

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I have never really thought about it before, but I like Outcast‘s covers a whole lot. They’re always very…I’m not quite sure how to articulate it, but strong. Not exactly evocative, and not shocking, but active, I suppose? And I always love their color schemes. Outcast is a bit of a slow burn for me, but it always pays off. (8/10)

WONDER WOMAN #7: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

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Look at the sheer detail on this cover! What the heck, Mr. Sharp! Sharp also draws Urzkartaga beautifully on page 8. This is a good mystery, and I love the female friendships in this comic. (8.7/10)

Okay, on to this week.

18 DAYS #16: Chadda, Devarajan, Biagini

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I will be honest: I hate the art in this comic. It was good up until Jeevan Kang moved to only covers. I also could not find an image of this week’s #16, so here’s #1. Look at this fabulous promise! Only of course to be abandoned by Morrison abruptly, and for the art and the story to suffer (one much more than the other). I really only get this comic to support my fellow Desis, and because I believe we need more Desi stories (by Desis) in comics. (5.7/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #18: Bennett, Braga, Andolfo, Nanjan

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Whenever I see Laura Braga’s last name all I can think of is Rat Queens. What happened to Rat Queens, anyway?

Breaking: after a quick Wikipedia jaunt, I have discovered that Rat Queens was put on hiatus in April 2016 and is to be continued as a webcomic. I don’t know, maybe Image should have put that in the comic itself so I (and presumably other fans) actually knew that six months ago? Ugh, and there’s controversy and nonsense. Now I’m going to have to follow Kurtis Wiebe on Twitter to keep up. Ay yai yai.

But Bombshells! Good issue. I don’t actually have anything to say about it. New plotline? I’m pumped? That’s it. (8/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS ANNUAL: Bennett, Charretier, Hi-Fi

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HOW great of a name is Hi-Fi, guys. I really liked this issue. It was a fun supernatural funky tale. Also, is the Professor Jones Commander Waller mentions at the beginning like, um, Indiana Jones? Is Indiana Jones a DC property? Does this mean I could essentially eventually WRITE an Indiana Jones comic for DC?

But that’s a little beside the point. I enjoyed this more than the regular monthly Bombshells. It was just more fun. And Charretier’s art gave me some Darwyn Cooke-y vibes. The reveal at the end—it may not have been a reveal for everyone, but it was for me—had me grinning. (8/10)

PAPER GIRLS #10: Vaughan, Chiang, Wilson

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Nice Hallowe’eny cover with all the Erins. I dig. This issue was a lot of fun, and set up what promises to be an exciting next arc. For some reason, my copy smells like raw potatoes right now. An irrelevant but interesting aspect of the issue, so I’ll include it in my review and score. For those who’ve read it (and for those who haven’t this isn’t much of a spoiler): when the girls jump through the portal into future-land, I got serious The Cat Returns-vibes. The color scheme, the landscape, everything. And BKV is taking the Cult of Apple to the next level. (9.7/10)

MOONSHINE #1: Azzarello, Risso

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This sounded more interesting in the solicit than it was. Maybe it is also a slow burn? I’m intrigued, but not hooked. I liked Risso’s art though, and I couldn’t figure out why until right now—it looks just a bit like Tim Sale’s. Particularly on page 4, where Risso’s drawing of Joe “The Boss” Masseria (very creative nickname, Azzarello) recalls Sale’s inks of Carmine Falcone in The Long Halloween. It’s something about the looseness of the lines. Anyway, so far it’s fine, with some mysteries I’m interested in solving. So I’ll stick with it, for the time being, if only because it is set in West “By God” Virginia. (I have never been to WV, and I’m kind of scared to as a queer kid of color, but I have a deep abiding love for it. My best friend’s parents are from their originally, and on their basement whiteboard is a—well, here it is:

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It’s been there for at least 10 years now. I love it. End aside.)

Also, there are three silhouetted men on the cover, but only one protagonist so far. Something to look forward to? (7/10)

ROMULUS #1: Hill, Blake II

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In contrast to MoonshineRomulus‘s first issue exceeded my expectations. I had heard good rumblings on Twitter, but I sense that this series will be another big one for Image (knock on wood). The concept is strong, the art is good, and I am hooked hooked hooked.

First of all, the main enemy in this story is basically Illuminati #confirmed. In fact, the “next issue” blurb is “ENTER THE ILLUMINATI!” So essentially this was made for me. Couple that with a matriarchal assassin’s guild, a cool new lupine religion, and a strong heroine (maybe of color)? Here for this.

Neither Hill nor Blake II have much on their records, but this is a strong start. Blake’s art makes me think of that of my favorite comic artist of all time, Tradd Moore (Luther Strode series). In particular page 9, panel 2, and the preview for the cover of issue #2. There’s also something about the colors that put me in the Moore state of mind, but I’m not enough of an artist to actually put that into words. Something about the flatness? Is that right? I don’t know, but good job, bud. I also liked Blake’s use of light in this issue, his chiaroscuro.

All in all a super, super #1. Pick this one up, folks. (9.5/10)

CLEAN ROOM #12: Simone, Davis-Hunt, Winter

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Guys, Clean Room is not for the faint of heart or stomach. This issue was a doozy, too. I’m not a horror fan, but Clean Room is just so great. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s got me good. Probably Simone’s fabulous writing. This series just doesn’t let up, and that’s fine with me. (9.7/10)

I know, what a slog. Also I’ve reneged on like, all of my promised posts from last week. I just received Garth Nix’s newest Abhorsen book, Goldenhand (thank you Based Mom Jen), and I will review that when I’m done. (I am so excited.) I’ll pull it together, I swear. Plus, I’m going home on the 15th, so I’ll have more time. Advertise this blog, kids. Goodnight.

weekly comics review

And we’re back! I haven’t been busy, per se, but I’ve been tired. Here we go.

LUCIFER #10: Black, Garbett, Fabela

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This is another series I have to reread. That aside, the art is awesome, and I love Black’s storytelling. (I have loved it since The Spiderwick Chronicles, in fact.) Anyway, good stuff. I like where they’re going with this story arc, flipping everything upside down. It’s gonna be good. (8.7/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #11: Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson

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Like Hollingsworth below, Matt Wilson’s colors are fantastic in this issue (in every Thor issue, actually). And Dauterman’s art! When Roxxon’s island burns, the reveal panels at the end…he is the real deal. Ever since I read the end pages of the last issue I have been antsy for this one. Aaron delivered, obviously. It also looks like we’re getting a new arc about the origins of Mjolnir that looks really interesting. (9.7/10)

PATSY WALKER, AKA HELLCAT! #10: Leth, Williams, Wilson

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I 👏🏾 love 👏🏾 Hellcat 👏🏾. Honestly, every issue just makes me happy (except #8, which was depressing as all get out). This was another fun romp through the world(s) of Marvel’s “street heroes;” i.e., the ones who don’t get in the big fights, who choose not to fight with their friends… Anyway, some of Hellcat’s old boyfriends show up, she ends up in another dimension, fun ensues. It helps that Williams’ art and Wilson’s colors are so bright and optimistic. Everyone go read Hellcat, you’ll enjoy yourselves.(9.7/10)

POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #8: Walker, Greene, Flaviano, Rauch

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This series is average. (Is that too harsh? Oh well.) Marvel released a new Heroes for Hire series on the heels of the success of Jessica Jones, and I was pumped for a Luke Cage comic, a black hero…it’s fine. I like all of the Marvel “street heroes” comics, as I mentioned above, so it’s got that going for it. Also currently tackling the problems with predictive policing, prejudice against former criminals, so that also. Good art, good diversity. (7/10)

PUNISHER #5: Cloonan, Dillon, Martin

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My friend Mary and I were big fans of the Punisher in his incarnation on Daredevil this year. This comic appropriately fills the void for me as we wait for the Punisher tv series to appear. (Reading the letters section of this issue, it seems Daredevil brought a lot of Frank fans to the comics party.) It’s action-packed, well-drawn, and suitably messed-up. This issue was kind of the end of the arc? Maybe? Either that, or the equivalent of a midseason finale. Cloonan does a great job with this series. I’m always very excited to get to the end and see what happens. However, the main antagonist’s name is Face, and he’s a very sadistic/gross dude, which is weird for me because of Face from the A-Team. Also I just realized that Frank’s hand is escaping his straitjacket on the cover, so watch out criminals everywhere. (8.7/10)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1: Remender, Opeña, Hollingsworth

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Firstly, Matt Hollingsworth is on point here with his colors. Secondly, I’m not super sure why I decided to add this series to my list—I kept seeing the ad for it in the back of Tokyo Ghost and some other Image stuff, and it looked cool? I really enjoyed Ghost, as well. Suffice to say I’m glad I grabbed it, because this was awesome.

The worldbuilding alone is just incredible. Add Opeña’s art (I’ve never read a work illustrated by him, but I’m gonna be on the lookout now) and it looks like this is going to be a hit. I don’t really want to say anything and spoil the fun of seeing it yourselves, but some things I liked about the art was the use of light, the way Opeña drew Adam’s steed, and I loved Rus Wooton’s lettering. Writing-wise, this is like your favorite fantasy novel, but as a comic. And aside from the sci-fi bit, it’s a story about family, morals, manipulation, and honor maybe? Pick this one up. (9.87/10)

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831AD: Gillen, Hans, Cowles

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The Wicked + the Divine is the first comic series I started picking up on a regular basis. So basically I have been waiting impatiently ever since Kieron announced (a while ago, I feel like) that the team was doing one-shots with past pantheons. This did not disappoint! I had no idea Hans was doing the art for this one, so that was also a welcome surprise. Her variant cover for issue #3 of this same series is one of my favorites, and her work on Angela: Asgard’s Assassin is just so so so so good. This description is from the official solicit:

“Critically-acclaimed THE WICKED + THE DIVINE goes back to the nineteenth century, to see what became of the Romantic poets one infamous night on Lake Geneva…”

Basically, Mary & Percy Bysshe and co. were all part of a past pantheon, and the whole Lake Geneva thing was part of them spending their last days together. This was fabulous, as it always, always is. The only bad thing that I have to say about this issue is that Kieron didn’t have a commentary section. (Also Ananke, but whatever.) This made me laugh (spoilers, though). NONE MORE THOTH (10/10)

Soon: movie review, Bull pilot review (if my cable provider will come through), Empire premiere review, and a book review or two. Spread the word!

weekly comics review

Comics come out on Wednesdays, so I think this post will usually appear on Wednesday evenings/Thursday mornings.

A-FORCE #9: Thompson, Siqueira

af9I dig the throwback aspect of this cover, specifically where it says “TERROR” in the scratchy font. I also just realized that the cover basically spoils the last page of this issue, but that’s another story. Civil War II makes me kinda mad, because did Marvel really need to kill another black superhero? Was it necessary to mess up She-Hulk? (The answer to both of these questions is no.) But this arc of A-Force has a lot more to do with bug people than Ulysses and all this Minority Report nonsense. I’m ambivalent about this issue—like it was fine, but it didn’t make my heart race or whatever. Plus, I really miss Ben Caldwell‘s art. For example:

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and

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He’s doin’ some funky stuff that I just LOVE, especially in that shot of Dazzler Thor. (7/10)

ALL-STAR BATMAN #2: Snyder, Romita Jr., Miki, Shalvey

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Like, what a nasty man.

Scott Snyder’s doing a great job with this one. I liked what he did with flashbacks in the first issue, and his plot pacing is solid. There isn’t much to say, sorry—I’m pumped to see where this goes, and to find out who Duke (his name is Duke, right?) is. I always love Declan Shalvey’s art, so it’s a welcome interlude in this series. (9/10)

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #2: Benson, Benson, Roe, Paquette

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Jim Gordon hanging out of that car like a wild man makes this cover for me. The Birds of Prey are awesome, and I’m glad they have their own comic again. But I’m concerned because Black Canary is the only bird there, so what gives?!

I liked this issue. Dinah and Babs are getting along better with Huntress, yay team-building. There’s a nice car chase scene and a good explosion, too. (8/10)

BLACK PANTHER #6: Coates, Sprouse, Story, Martin, Stelfreeze

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I’m finding myself almost indifferent to T’Challa. I mean, he’s a badass and a cool dude, but I’m sympathizing more with the Midnight Angels than with the Panther. However I think that’s what Coates is trying to do—no one character is doing everything right. They are just people, after all, and we make mistakes.

Anyways, Sprouse is doing a good job during Stelfreeze’s absence. There’s a good action scene in the second half of this issue, and to be honest I haven’t really noticed the art shift at all. The Djalia section of this issue was beautiful and touching. (9/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #17: Bennett, Andolfo, Jarrell, Broome, Fitzpatrick

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I’m weak in this post, I know. Nonetheless, this is (usually) a feel-good comic, and this issue was no different, with heartwarming tales of Jewish heroines throughout and a rousing rescue at the end. This was a touching issue that blended solemn moments with action scenes very well. (8/10)

DOOM PATROL #1: Way, Derington, Bonvillain

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I had clue what was happening in Doom Patrol #1, and I liked it. From the surprise under the burrito on the cover to the end of this issue, I enjoyed myself. Nick Derington’s art looked really familiar, but I couldn’t place it. (Still can’t; if you can tell me in the comments.) It’s probably reminiscent of some picture book I can’t recall.

I recently (five seconds ago) learned that Doom Patrol is not a new series. It’s just getting a reboot with the launch of DC’s new imprint, Young Animal. So hopefully they’ll give us some background in issue #2, because I was lost.

Our protagonist, Casey the EMT, reminds me a little of Leth’s incarnation of Hellcat in her steadfast optimism and unshakeable grin.

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I laughed really hard at this panel. (9.5/10)

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #1: Fletcher, Kerschl, Cloonan, Archer, Msassyk, Hope, LaPointe

gaOlive has clearly never read a coming-of-age book geared toward younger readers or she would have known to stay away from Amy, who clearly has anger/manipulation issues and is a Bad Influence.

That aside, this issue nicely sets up more mystery and introduces a new character, Amy, who I assume is the antagonist for this arc (or at least one of them). Fun fact: the jacket Amy is wearing on the cover has Becky Cloonan’s “Stoked” Grim Reaper design she made for Rogue Screen Print (it also comes as a patch). (7.9/10)

LUMBERJANES/GOTHAM ACADEMY #4: Clugston Flores, Valero-O’Connell, Gonzalez, Cogar

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Natacha Bustos’ cover is my favorite this week, and my favorite Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy one so far. And Rosemary Valero O’Connell’s pencils warm my heart every month, along with Whitney Cogar’s vibrant colors.

I love this mashup. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, but it’s tons of fun. The dynamics between the campers and the Detective Club are great, and it’s nice to see familiar characters in new situations. All in all a fantastic read. (9.77/10)

SOUTHERN CROSS #7: Cloonan, Belanger, Loughridge

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Even though I’m super-confused about what’s happening in Southern Cross, I loved this issue. Belanger’s art is a perfect fit for this weird space-rigger dark-Firefly style plot, and the colors are great too. I miss Cloonan’s covers but Loughridge’s is fantastic. I need to reread the first arc stat. (Also Kyril is a damn liar.) I’m excited to meet these new characters and get into the dark heart of ZEMI. (9.5/10)

WONDER WOMAN #6 (YEAR ONE): Rucka, Scott, Fajardo Jr.

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I love Nicola Scott’s art. It’s just gorgeous. This issue was funnier than the previous ones due to the language barrier between Diana and everyone else. She also received a visit from some gods in the guise of those animals on the cover, so I’m anticipating the consequences of that in the issue after next (right? this two-a-month thing’s got me confused). (9/10)

Alright folks! Tell your friends, teachers, acquaintances.