Reviews

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

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Action 1Action Comics #1 and the Superman We Know and Love

Action Comics #1 is the quintessential comic book. Beyond simply being Superman’s first appearance, the cover is iconic, and it holds the distinction of being the most expensive comic book of all time. If ever… [more]

G.I. JoeG.I. Joe: Resolute: The Real American Heroes

The ’80s were, hands down, the best time for cartoons. Between Thundercats, Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and a plethora of other cartoons that are too numerous to mention here, the ’80s were the… [more]

Grant Morrison's The Authority #1Grant Morrison’s Wildstorm Universe, Part 2: The Authority

While Grant Morrison reimagined the WildStorm Universe’s first team with his WildCats relaunch, the writer also tackled the most popular team with his run on The Authority.

Grant Morrison's Wildcats #1Grant Morrison’s Wildstorm Universe, Part 1: Wildcats

After Mark Millar left The Authority and Warren Ellis’s Planetary had gone to a more erratic schedule, the WildStorm Universe needed a big name to come in and turn the whole line of comics around. Enter Grant… [more]

Kick-Ass-Comic-CoverKick-Ass: The Comic in Retrospect

The movie version of Kick-Ass received so much press attention that the comic can feel like a footnote. Because the movie was optioned and produced before the series was even complete, it’s easy to feel… [more]

X-Factor_Vol_1_85The Peter David Factor: Part 16

X-Factor #85 (Dec. 1992) — Snikts and Bones — This issue continues X-Factor’s part (Part 6) of the multi-part crossover known as X-Cutioner’s Song. Since last issue, Apocalypse has fought and escaped the X-Men, Cannonball… [more]

From Batman #676Deconstructing “Batman R.I.P.”

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Grant Morrison’s Batman run. To detractors, it’s just unreadable. This often goes along with ugly comments about Morrison in general: that he’s admitted to being inspired by drugs and that… [more]

ValerianValérian: Spaceships, Simulacra, and Star Wars

The French Connection is back after a long hiatus with the same purpose it had two years ago, to present and review significant bande-dessinées. Previous columns dealt with recent publications, works by Sfar, Trondheim or… [more]

Batman #678 (Alex Ross cover)Batman #678: The Zur-En-Arrh Connection

Grant Morrison’s Batman #678 relies heavily on reference to Batman #113 (February 1958), specifically Zur-En-Arrh.

page from Run, Bong-Gu, Run!Run, Bong-Gu, Run! Review

“Bong-Gu” is the Korean word for “fart.” Although my buddy Kevin says it’s actually “Pong-Gu,” which led to a very lengthy discussion about pronunciation. Then we agreed to call the whole thing off. Significance of… [more]

john hComics Round-Up

All sorts of different comics to review this time around: THE UNDERBURBS #1-5, by T.J. Dort and Joe Haley. This is a sort of goth/horror parody comic, with the humor coming from playing out the… [more]

final crisisBe Afraid, Be Very Afraid…

Editor’s Note: The irony is thick with this essay. It was written a few days ago, but with news of the DC-related story reported within the past day by The New York Daily News, it… [more]

countdownCountdown to Final Crisis #1

So, here it is then. After a year of issues (52 weeklies!), we’ve finally reached the end only to find out that it’s time to get on an entirely new train next week. But maybe… [more]

JessicaFarmCoverNewDreams, Nightmares & Visions: Haunted, Jessica Farm & Funeral of the Heart

In this article, we’ll be looking at three comics that deal with the life of the mind and the delights & terrors within. First up is Phillipe Dupuy’s HAUNTED, a book that’s part dream journal… [more]

Batman #673 (Mar 2008)Batman #673: The Lingering Shadow of 1963

Grant Morrison’s Batman has been courting controversy since it began. Batman has a son? Man-Bats learned ninjitsu? Comics can be full of words instead of pictures?

51hKMCL+HvL._SY300_Weirdling

As much as it fears me to admit this in a geek milieu, I must say I’m not a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan. I will say this about Lovecraft: he seems tailor-made for comics. Inexplicably,… [more]

page from Batman #663Batman #663 Review

Believe it or not, Grant Morrison’s “The Clown at Midnight,” published in Batman #663 (Mar 2007), has a lot in common with J.D. Salinger’s final published short story, “Hapworth 16, 1924.” Having crafted The Catcher in the… [more]

karasikI Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!

You ever get to a point where you’re all, like, “Bah! Comics! Who needs them?” Also, have you ever written something that starts off with a rhetorical question? Because you’re not supposed to do that.… [more]

JLA 5Meltzer’s Justice League of America: Now That We’ve All Calmed Down, Was the Comic Any Good?

This summer, hot off the fun of my “debate” with Douglas Wolk about New Avengers, I asked Andrew Gardner, comic fan and intelligent British guy, to begin an e-mail discussion with me about Brad Meltzer’s… [more]

eightballSeduction of the Innocent with EIGHTBALL!

You must have heard, by now, about the high school teacher forced to resign after assigning Eightball #22 to a freshman. If you haven’t read about this fiasco, Heidi covers it pretty well over at… [more]

Batman #668Batman #668 and Agatha Christie

Batman #668, by Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III, is an excellent comic book. As the second installment of the three-part “Club of Heroes” story, it expands the story both inwardly and outwardly, creating a… [more]

harbinger 1Harbinger: The Beginning

It’s been said that you can never go back and that yesterday is just a dream. But with the recent publication of Valiant Entertainment’s new hardcover, Harbinger: The Beginning, it’s clear that yesterday is coming… [more]

Batman #666Batman #666: The Future Looks Back to the Past

Batman #666 begins with a Golden Age homage to the origin of Batman, featuring the words “Who He is and How He Came to Be,” just like in that classic Bob Kane story.

PrideofbaghdadThe Pride of Baghdad

When you make your living cutting brand new worlds whole cloth from your personal mental firmament, it takes a special kind of writer to splatter those brain children over twenty-odd pages of cheap newsprint on… [more]

newlogobigWeek The End

Well, with 52 over I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who read and commented on Who Are the 52? it was fun while it lasted. But never fear, I will… [more]