Reviews

Reviews of comic books, graphic novels, books on comics, and other comic-related media.

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Batman_FinalLogo_1920x1080Batman: The Telltale Series Season 1 Review

To state the obvious, Batman has been a phenomenon that has transcended the realm of comics into a multimedia franchise powerhouse. Batman has conquered cartoons (most notably with Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond),… [more]

Valerian posterGo See Valerian

I fell in love with Valerian in the first ten minutes, and I never got over it. Let me explain — it’s not a serious spoiler. We start with human exploration of space, jumping forward,… [more]

1 2Why You Shouldn’t Like Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Probably Do

The Catholic philosopher and theologian Peter Kreeft once quipped, “People will forgive you for being wrong, but they will never forgive you for being right.” I imagine that this is why my distaste for Spider-Man:… [more]

colossal_01_webColossal: A Strikingly Original and Fresh Film

(This review is spoiler-free.) Colossal is not a perfect film, and it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it has several very important virtues that allow it to stand apart from most of the film… [more]

godshaper_coverGodshaper #1 from Boom! Studios Divinely Blurs the Lines

In some cases, the divide between religion and magic, between the divine and the supernatural, is a narrow one. In BOOM! Studios new series Godshaper, that distinction is blurred further with the addition to commerce.… [more]

Image1 34 3 2 1: Paul Auster’s New Postmodern Masterpiece

First, turn off your computer or smart phone—yes, right now—grab 4 3 2 1, and plow straight through it. True, it’s almost 900 pages long, but trust me, you won’t want it to end. I’ll… [more]

The Velvet Underground and NicoOn the 50th Anniversary of The Velvet Underground and Nico

The first album of the Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground and Nico, was released, after a long delay, 50 years ago today. It’s hard to find words adequate to express what a landmark event this… [more]

Logan_Trailer_HPLogan: A Brilliant, Game-Changing Film

In some ways, the X-Men have always been about family. Looking back to the first Bryan Singer film from 2000, many of the dramatic tensions revolve around a group of outcasts trying to piece together… [more]

Metabaron Book 2The Metabarons Series Returns to Form in Newest Volume

Warning: this review contains spoilers for the current volume and the entire Metabarons series. It’s fair to say that Metabarons has now eclipsed Incal as the most famous Jodorowsky-penned sci-fi epic, at least in the… [more]

belfry_Review coverThe Belfry: A Nightmare Comic

Sometimes it’s interesting to read a comic that isn’t part of world-building or creating a complex, multi-layered world. To be sure: such complex comics are very welcome, and Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko’s Invisible Republic… [more]

riverdaleRiverdale’s Rips off Twin Peaks (Badly) and Normalizes Rapey Plotline

There’s a lot wrong with CW’s latest show, Riverdale. Let’s put aside the crazy clown red hair and pale faces of the murder victim Jason Blossom and Archie. Or the obvious invocations of past popular… [more]

hiddenfigurestheblackmedia2016Hidden Figures: An Old-Fashioned Feel-Good Movie that Teaches

Hidden Figures is a harmless, old-fashioned all-ages family movie, that teaches an important historical lesson, but it’s light on its feet, entertaining and never feels like a slog. Quite the contrary: this is a very… [more]

Necropolitan #1 (Jan 2017).cbz - Page 1Necropolitan #1: The Geography of Hell

We all think we know what hell is. (Ironically, heaven is much more difficult to define or describe, as George Carlin once pointed out.) But somehow, we all seem to “get” hell. Fire, suffering, screaming… [more]

Goddamned05_Review coverThe Goddamned #5: No Happy Endings

“I’m Cain, the man who invented murder. But God invented me, so ask yourself: who’s the real asshole here?” If readers expected the story of Jason Aaron and r. m. Guera’s The Goddamned to take… [more]

descender18_Review coverDescender #18: Back to Business

In its latest issue, #18, Descender gets back to business, driving the plot of this story forward after taking some time to develop the characters in recent issues. This issue is classic space opera science… [more]

ManifestDestiny25_Review coverManifest Destiny #25: Who Are The Demons?

It’s a very special issue of Manifest Destiny as the 25th issue makes its appearance this week. The journey of Lewis and Clark has entered a different phase, as the Corps of Discovery settles down… [more]

southernbastards16_Review coverSouthern Bastards #16: Moving the Goalposts

There are eerie and tempting parallels between Coach Boss and a certain American President-elect. Both are brutal, simple-minded, deeply insecure tyrants, and both have a tendency to move the goalposts and declare victory when an… [more]

descender17_Review coverDescender #17: Connections

Descender takes a turn in issue #17 (released just before Christmas last year). This innovative and emotional science fiction comic has spent its past five issues on “singularity” stories, focusing on one character at a… [more]

turn loose coverTurn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All! The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks

In the first of two forewords to Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All: The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics), Paul Karasik describes the cult Golden Age cartoonist Fletcher Hanks as the “village… [more]

landscape-1474899549-arrival-posterArrival: Science Fiction for Grownups

Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, has the structure of a magic trick. It slowly, carefully, shows us something in its first few minutes, then gives us about 70 minutes of misdirection before showing us what… [more]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story posterWhy I Admire Rogue One

First, a warning: here there be spoilers. Seriously, spoilers. Spoilers… Okay? Still here? Good. Let me start by admitting that Rogue One is an imperfect movie. Ian Dawe has done his usual excellent job talking… [more]

SWCE #1 CVRRevisiting Crimson Empire

Written by Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley and illustrated by Paul Gulacy, Crimson Empire first premiered in 1997, and followed the exploits of a former Imperial royal guard Kir Kanos, as he tries to seek… [more]

cwq_ccexuauhczmRogue One Stumbles, then Soars

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is appropriately titled. It isn’t a “Star Wars movie” in that it isn’t about the Skywalker family, nor is it about the specific large mythic arcs that define that… [more]

southernbastards15_Review coverSouthern Bastards #15: The Taste of Ribs and Defeat

Here we are again in the steaming tribal vendetta-filled world of Southern Bastards. Craw County continues, here in issue #15, to be a community that measures is worth based on the standing of its high… [more]

LakeofFire03-review coverLake of Fire #3: Oaths

The situation faced by the crusaders in Lake of Fire is becoming increasingly desperate in issue #3. Theo has been badly wounded, the Keep is surrounded by aliens intent on getting in, the people are… [more]