Godshaper 1 (April 2017)

Godshaper #1

Godshaper is simultaneously weird and simultaneously not. The world has gone back to the dark ages, technology-wise, but everyone got a personal god to compensate. The gods can be modded (Godshaper isn’t the most original book, but Simon Spurrier assembles the details in interesting ways), only you need a Godshaper to do the modding. Yet Godshapers don’t get gods, so they’re pariahs. Only the Godshaper the comic follows has an outcast god, leftover from when its person died. Undoubtedly there’s a story to be told. Until then, they’re unlikely, slightly scheming compatriots. There’s also a whole music thing. It’s a fine read, with solid art from Jonas Goonface.


Writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jonas Goonface; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Black Hammer 8 (April 2017)

Black Hammer #8

The strangest thing about Black Hammer, which I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed before–or did and didn’t comment on (or worse, did and did comment on)–is how both Lemire and Ormston excel at the tragedy. The comic is at its best when the characters are suffering their worst. This issue has a little bit of passive suffering–Gail has no happy memories–but also the active, confounded suffering of new addition Lucy Weber. Lemire has her the catalyst for possible change, giving the reader foolishly renewed hope for the characters. It’s a depressing issue, but gloriously so (Ormston has a great time with it); the cliffhanger is an evil shocker too.


Writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dean Ormston; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Cardner Clark and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Hadrian’s Wall 6 (April 2017)

Hadrian's Wall #6

And another surprising turn of events. Higgins and Siegel were holding out, setting up a soap opera crime melodrama when they really had something else. The flashbacks are now slightly annoying, only because they feel like backstory Higgins and Siegel are doing out of obligation rather than dramatic gristle. They’re explanations of events discussed multiple times in exposition; exposition could’ve gotten the “truth” across as well. Reis has some help on the art–Eduardo Ferigato–and I’m curious where Ferigato came in. There’s some talking heads stuff and it’s okay, but it’s far from dynamic. Though Reis never does lengthy talking heads particularly well. But Hadrian’s Wall still has some surprises in store. It’s a good series. Higgins and Siegel might be in the victory lap with two to go.


Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artists, Rod Reis and Eduardo Ferigato; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

Redneck 1 (April 2017)

Redneck #1

Texican Gothic with vampires. Donny Cates does this drawling narration for the book, which has a family of rural Texas vampires trying to get by. Some have Jesus, some don’t. One of them might have turned into Nosferatu but with wings. Vampires can get drunk on paint thinner, which is a neat detail. It’s a lot of action, a lot of immediate character introduction. Cates does well with the exposition–the drawl means he can hide a fair amount just in there–and Lisandro Estherren’s art is solid. Redneck starts strong.


Writer, Donny Cates; artist, Lisandro Estherren; colorist, Dee Cunniffe; letterer, Joe Sabino; editors, Arielle Basich and Jon Moisan; publisher, Image Comics.

Bullwhip 1 (April 2017)

Bullwhip #1

Is Josh Bayer the right person to write Bullwhip? It’s about a seventies female superhero who fights bad guys named “The Misogynist” and time traveling space vampires who are also misogynists. There are enough misogyny “jokes,” one might even think Frank Miller wrote this thing. So, no, he’s not the right person. He goes overboard with the joke and lacks any humanism in his portrayal of Bullwhip. She’s the butt of various jokes and action setpieces, but she’s hardly the lead in the comic. It also has time traveling vampires, which is fine, though it’s all ripped off from popular media (save the vampire aspect). At least Ben Marra and Al Milgrom’s art is all right.


Web of Oblivion!; writers, Benjamin Marra Josh Bayer; penciller, Marra; inker, Al Milgrom; colorist, Matt Rota; letterer, Rick Parker; publisher, Fantagraphics Books.

Hadrian’s Wall 5 (March 2017)

Hadrian's Wall #5

Hadrian’s Wall runs eight issues. Why did I think it was five issues? I might have even thought it was four at some point. Needless to say, there’s a lot more story coming in this issue. A lot more backstory too. The detective is in a prolonged state of withdrawal, which sort of changes the flashbacks–if they’re occurring to him as they occur to the reader–but not a lot. It’s a smooth issue. Gets the rebel pirates introduced, puts these characters in this place; it’s a positioning issue. Higgins and Siegel are rearranging the board. Good art from Reis as always, but there’s not a lot for him to do. The settings are visually boring, actually.


Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artist, Rod Reis; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 12 (April 2017)

Copperhead #12

It’s another too fast read, mostly because Copperhead has been gone so long you want to spend more time with the characters. But it’s also because Moss’s art doesn’t invite dwelling as much as Godlewski’s did. Moss has got the aliens down, he’s got the pace down, but he hasn’t got Clara. Close-ups yes, but not the medium shots. He loses track of her expressions. Still, it’s good stuff. Just rushed.


Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

The Flintstones 10 (June 2017)

The Flintstones #10

Wilma gets a job, the mayor’s war-spending goes overboard, and Fred and Barney discover the cinema. It’s a meandering issue, but Russell touches on a lot. Pugh gets some great stuff to draw, there’s tragedy, there’s irony, there’s political commentary. It’s all kind of heavy too. Flintstones is always kind of heavy.


Buyer’s Remorse; writer, Mark Russell; artist, Steve Pugh; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brittany Holzherr and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

Hadrian’s Wall 4 (December 2016)

Hadrian's Wall #4

I have no idea what just happened. I mean, I do. Higgins and Siegel are straightforward writers, even when they’re doing flashbacks and big reveals in quick sequence. But it has a strange plot development for the first issue of the back three. And while there are flashbacks to Earth, all of a sudden Reis’s art feels more claustrophobic. As the stakes raise for the characters finally, it’s like the book’s visually closing in. It’s a good issue with some excellent work from Reis.


Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artist, Rod Reis; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

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