Reviews

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

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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]

black holeBlack Hole

There are works out there that we get through the recommendations of others and then leave tucked away to collect dust, instead of digesting them right away and realizing that your friends have good taste.… [more]

1000 Steps to World Domination1000 Steps to World Domination

Rob Osbourne and The War of Art The creators who work in the field of mini-comics are a breed apart. Like the members of a garage band, honing their craft, the dedicated ones toil endlessly,… [more]

Batman #665Batman #665: The Doppelgangers Three

Ah, Batman #665. Morrison seems to be disappointing critics with his run on this title, and I find myself constantly defending the work. I trust him enough as a writer to wait and see how it… [more]

00Tanpenshu #1

A collection of three short stories, Hiroki Endo’s TANPENSHU Volume One is a hyper-dramatic punch in the gut. The sheer brutality of these stories sucks you into one of the morbid world of gangsters, melancholy… [more]

super fratSuper Frat: Rush Week Collection

Super Frat, a comic published by Silent Devil, is the story of a group of college-age males living in their own fraternity house off the campus of Ryesmore University, who have each been endowed with… [more]

X-Factor01-79The Peter David Factor: Part 10

X-Factor #79 (June 1992) — Rhapsody in Blue — This issue starts with a touch of suspense. The story begins in Two Forks, Maine where we see an elderly woman in an old-fashioned house calling… [more]

Batman #664 (May 2007)Batman #664: Bruce Wayne is Cool

So Grant Morrison follows up an intruiging Batman prose story full of dense allusions with… this. And the internet scratches its head.

Countdown_Teaser_2The Countdown Begins

After the final installment of the hit weekly series 52, DC immediately unveiled their next periodical event: Countdown. The secret is already out, well, at least officially within the pages of the DC Universe. The… [more]

250px-All_Star_Superman_CoverAll Star Superman Vol. 1

We have read the stories before. The stories of the tragic hero: where the hero will fight for what is just, for what is right, but in the end that hero will die. All Star… [more]

truth serumTruth Serum

Originally published by Slave Labor Graphics and then serialized on the Dark Horse website, Jon Adams’s engrossingly odd TRUTH SERUM is one of those comics that seemingly defies categorization. It has superheroes, but is clearly… [more]

9781582407234_p0_v1_s260x420Savage Dragon Archives Volume 1

Erik Larsen’s SAVAGE DRAGON ARCHIVES is like Jiffy Pop—Fun to consume, no real substantive value, and it looks really fun to make. It is, in essence, all that is good about superhero comics. It’s big,… [more]

Grifter_-_Midnighter_1Grifter & Midnighter #1 and 2

An Imaginary Conversation Between Chuck Dixon and Ryan Benjamin: Chuck Dixon: Hey, isn’t one of those Wildstorm characters gay? Ryan Benjamin: Yeah, I think you’re right, there is one! CD: Hey, I’ve got a ton… [more]

pushmantpbThe Pushman and Other Stories

Just as his friend Osamu Tezuka is the undisputed godfather of manga, Yoshihiro Tatsumi is the godfather of gekiga, it’s “alternative” cousin. Tatsumi coined the phrase gekiga, meaning “drama pictures,” to set it apart from… [more]

True_Story_Swear_to_God_1True Story Swear to God

I wonder if Tom Beland is sick of people calling his comic a chick flick? I won’t deny the fact that True Story Swear to God has quite a bit in common with a lot… [more]

00Testament_1-coverTestament: Akedah

“Akedah,” or in Hebrew, Akedat Yitchaz, is the story of the “binding of Issac.” This is the story that is told throughout the first volume of Testament. However, it is not told in a traditional… [more]

2818690-02The Valiant Tangent – Harbinger #1-4 (Children of the Eighth Day, Part 2)

Welcome back to The Valiant Tangent, the longest running column whose goal it is to chronicle the stories and characters of Valiant Comics and the things that made them not only cool, but some of… [more]