Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 6/22/2022

Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 6/22/2022

Welcome to this week in comic book reviews! The staff have come together to read and review nearly everything that released today. It isn’t totally comprehensive, but it includes just about everything from DC and Marvel with the important books from the likes of Image, Boom, IDW, Scout, AfterShock, and more.

The review blurbs you’ll find contained herein are typically supplemented in part by longform individual reviews for significant issues. This week that includes Black Adam #1, Marvel’s Voices Pride #1, and Beware the Eye of Odin #1.

Also, in case you were curious, our ratings are simple: we give a whole or half number out of five; that’s it! If you’d like to check out our previous reviews, they are all available here.

DC #1

AQUAMAN & THE FLASH: VOIDSONG #1

I will admit that I was extremely wary of Aquaman & The Flash: Voidsong #1 considering just how bad the recent Aquaman/Green Arrow series was, but Voidsong surprised me. You have an unlikely heroic team up—Barry and Arthur have very different personalities, after all—and an exceptionally high-stakes situation that only the two of them seem to be in a position to do anything about. The setup alone is solid, but Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly do an exceptional job of actually executing it. They particularly do a great job of balancing the very different personalities between the two heroes and offering a story that conveys the confusion the heroes feel as well as just how bleak the situation is. Vasco Georgiev’s art is really good and there is a lot of emotion, particularly in the character faces but the real winner here is Rain Beredo’s colors. The only real hiccup here is that there are times when orienting yourself as the reader takes a moment, but it’s a solid start to what feels like a truly intense (in the best way) series. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 4 out of 5

BATMAN/SUPERMAN: WORLD’S FINEST #4

What Waid and Mora have created here is perhaps the most fun superhero story that I’ve read in years, gloriously diving into the big characters of the DC Universe while also adding in ideas which, on paper, sound completely ludicrous but work amazingly well here. On the surface, a fusion between Superman and Batman who has the powers of Green Lantern might sound ridiculous, but it’s told so organically that it completely works and helps move the story along like a freight train. World’s Finest has captured the best aspects of superhero storytelling and condensed them into an amazing series that can be recommended to anyone. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 5 out of 5

BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #6

Batman: The Knight continues to be one of the most dynamic and genuinely surprising Batman stories on the stands today. As Bruce begins to learn marksmanship under his latest mentor, the topic of his moral compass and allegiances is thrown into the forefront in an epic and emotional way. Chip Zdarsky’s script perfectly threads the needle between what’s expected and what’s inspired, in a way that I feel like will reverb into other Batman stories going forward. Carmine di Giandomenico’s art is bursting at the seams with energy and brutality, while evoking the timeless energy that this series needs. I truly and unabashedly love Batman: The Knight – and you probably will, too. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

BLACK ADAM #1

All eyes are on Black Adam at DC Comics this year with the character set to debut on the big screen in October and played by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. However, Black Adam #1 from writer Priest and artist Rafa Sandoval may become the most intriguing new take on the character since his debut as a Captain Marvel villain way back in 1945. The new series takes Priest’s idiosyncratic storytelling style to examine the manifold complexities contained in an immortal deity and Middle Eastern tyrant considering his place in modern geopolitics, with plenty of clever dialogue patter and stylish action sequences to accompany those big ideas. Black Adam #1 sets the stage to challenge readers’ existing notions of the character and global and never fail to simultaneously entertain. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

CATWOMAN #44

This new arc of Catwoman is continuing to defy and exceed my expectations at essentially every turn, with a follow-up issue that’s hilarious, surprisingly sweet, and filled with candy-colored, well-executed action. The highest compliment I can give this arc is that it is channeling the energy of 2020’s Birds of Prey movie, between Tini Howard’s delightful rapport between Selina, Harley, and Red Claw, as well as the explosive visuals from Bengal. This issue is laying the perfect foundation for what the future holds for Selina, and with this creative team at the helm, I definitely can’t wait to see what it is. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

DARK CRISIS: YOUNG JUSTICE #1

Dark Crisis: Young Justice gets one of the more interesting angles of the ongoing event, showing how the members of Young Justice are dealing with the sudden demise of their mentors. Wonder Girl gets the nod as narrator and the reader watches her internalize the grief of losing Wonder Woman while acknowledging the awkwardness that surrounds Young Justice in its current format. Then suddenly Tim Drake, Superboy and Impulse are back in the 90s fighting one of DC’s more regrettable villains and we get the hook for this spinoff. This should be a fun one. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

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DC #2

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(Photo: DC Comics)

EARTH-PRIME: HERO’S TWILIGHT #6

I could write so many words about the narrative decisions of Earth-Prime #6 , the culmination of the comic event spinning out of the tales of The CW’s various DC television shows. If these bizarre and borderline-laughable decisions were brought to life in live-action, similarly to the previous Arrowverse crossovers, they would be debated about amongst fans for months on end. But in the packaging of Earth-Prime #6, it’s even more baffling to behold. The comic itself is chock-full of painful pacing and dialogue, a good chunk of which feels incredibly patronizing to both the characters involved and the reader themselves. The art, similarly, is filled with inconsistent, busy renderings of supersuits new and old (one character had a comic-accurate cosmetic change that I didn’t even register until two-thirds of the way through the issue). There are a very small amount of bright spots in this issue, but it is by and large one of the most disappointing final issues I’ve read in recent memory. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

FABLES #152

Fables #152 continues to meander a bit, although the comic isn’t afraid to make some seismic changes in quick fashion. In this issue, Cinderella explains how she returned to life, while Peter Pan confronts Gepetto about the latter’s failure to stay out of the Mundane World. Pan comes off as a creepy villain, with some disturbing undertones involving the Lost Boys. It also appears that Cinderella’s return might not bring her back to the forces of good, although we only get a brief tease at best. Much like last issue, Fables #152 continues to set the stage slowly, which makes more sense for an ongoing title rather than a 12-issues continuation. It’s still a good read, but the slow build suggests a longer arc is coming. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE FLASH #783

Comic book crossovers are sometimes something that a reader has to put up with when it comes to titles that they are following, as they can completely divert a story that was in the works for a certain hero. Luckily, such isn’t the case with The Flash and Dark Crisis, as the latest issue is able to really play on the strengths of not just Wally West, but the Flash Family as a whole while Barry is bouncing around the multiverse. Adams is able to really highlight the bonds that the Flashes have with one another and gets the opportunity to really stretch his legs via the multiverse angle. Nahuelpan’s art here is serviceable though it is a tad rough around the edges in some panels. Still, it’s a worth addition to Adams’ run with Wally so don’t let the Dark Crisis banner dissuade you from picking this one up. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 4 out of 5

MILESTONES IN HISTORY #1

Milestones in History is a one-shot anthology book that puts a spotlight on a number of black historical figures, ranging from semi-mythological figures like the Queen of Sheba to artists like Prince and Alexandre Dumas to overlooked figures like Eugene Bullard and Alexander Pushkin. The tight page count of each story prevents each individual creative team from really innovating in these pages, although a few comics (such as “Spirit Step” by Karyn Parsons and Francesco Francavilla) still find a way to shine. This was an interesting anthology with an interesting premise, but would have likely benefitted from a bigger page count. –– Christian Hoffer

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

NIGHTWING #93

The stars are slowly aligning as this Nightwing run from Taylor and Redondo begins to inch towards the end… of at least this first story the creatives have set out to tell. It’s taken a significant while to get where it has, but the character work done on Dick Grayson is second to none. In Nightwing #93, Grayson’s as likable as ever as he takes on a corrupt institution – even though we know the good times will never last because, well… you know, it’s Dick Grayson. Still, the larger plot since this run first began leaps forward majorly here in big ways and it’s a pleasure to see everything unfurl through dynamite scripting and intense action beats. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN’S BOSS PERRY WHITE #1

Superman possesses one of the best supporting cast of characters in all of DC Comics; Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen’s Boss Perry White, from the creators of the brilliant Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, serves as a testament to why that is. The over-sized issue is primarily composed of reprinted material but the 7-page original story “Metropolis Saves Superman” captures the scope of an entire issue. It frames a Superman story through Perry White’s memory as he reflects on his own experiences and how Superman changed the city and stories to which he devoted his life. While Superman is on nearly every page, the story emphasizes the heroism of everyday Metropolis citizens and, as a result, allows readers to understand Perry’s perspective. It’s a deeply endearing short story still chock full of the humor and absurdity that made Lieber and Fraction’s first outing such a delight. This issue includes 5 additional stories and excerpts that range from the Silver Age through the modern era, each of them excellently curated to both amuse and present the Daily Planet’s editor-in-chief with all his unique charm. Any reader who loved the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen or appreciates Superman’s inspirational charms is bound to adore this lovingly crafted anthology focused on Metropolis’s greatest newspaperman. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Marvel #1

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4

The Amazing Spider-Man does a remarkable job of subverting readers expectations; issue #3 set up a series of thrilling cliffhangers and each of these events play out in unexpected fashion with fascinating results. Peter’s struggle to save everyone in the face of daunting odds is essential Spider-Man storytelling, including some claustrophobically captured and explosively dynamic panels as the action escalates. His drive, power, and wits propel him through remarkable challenges, but the results of those actions are entirely unpredictable. The twists come from Wells and Romita’s elevation of Tombstone from B-list gangster to a foe with similar tactical strengths as Wilson Fisk. His genius makes him a much more sympathetic and frightful villain in what appears to simply be the first act in a very long battle between the two characters. The Amazing Spider-Man is delivering a version of Peter Parker that reads as essential while elevating his supporting cast and some of the most clearly underrated villains in a large roster – Spidey comics don’t get much better than this. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

IMMORTAL X-MEN #3

One of the most satisfying things about the retcon in House of X/Powers of X is how it managed to create a situation where nothing that preceded it was necessary for the story that followed, yet everything still mattered. Immortal X-Men #3 walks a similar line, with the revelation of the extent of Destiny’s foresight and agency in bringing Krakoa to fruition, which offers new context with which to appreciate everything that led to Inferno without undoing or stripping of value the original stories featuring the character. But the issue offers more than meta-textual thrills. Finally, after years of being suffocated in subtext, Destiny and Mystique’s romantic history is given room to thrive. Like most things involving Destiny, the story of their love feels as undeniable as the tragedy Destiny sees waiting for them all too soon. While the layouts do an admirable job of giving the story the gravity appropriate to the writing of a new mutant testament, it’s a shame that the visages alternate between lifelessness and overly-exaggerated, and the colors fall somewhat flat. These shortcomings may fail to elevate the issue to greatness, but neither do they too-greatly impede an otherwise enthralling read. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

KNIGHTS OF X #3

Knights of X #3 continues to move forward at an ever-slowing pace, churning forth just the slightest throughout its featherweight page count. Howard’s script here gives a few of the right characters times to shine in lieu of an action-packed plot, and that helps the issue out substantial. Still, the book still gives under the tremendous weight of its hefty ensemble as characters fight for the spotlight. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3 out of 5

MAESTRO: WORLD WAR M #4

As Maestro: World War M continues, the thing I continue to be most impressed by is how this series is able to balance large-scale battles with great, subtle character work. World War M #4 has both of these elements in spades and makes for what is likely the best installment so far in this current Maestro arc. I’ve been preaching the gospel of Maestro for well over a year at this point, but based on how things wrap up in this latest issue, I’m more excited than ever before to see how World War M comes to a close. — Logan Moore

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MARVEL’S VOICES PRIDE #1

It’s Pride Month and that means that seemingly everyone in the entertainment space is celebrating the LGBTQ+ community — including comics. As they did last year, Marvel is celebrating the queer community with a new anthology, Marvel’s Voices: Pride (2022), featuring stories that celebrate the various LGBTQ+ characters and creators that make up the Marvel Universe. However, while the book does have some genuinely interesting things to offer as well as some fun stories, this year’s edition suffers from the same issues that last year’s did in that the bulk of the issue feels more like rainbow-tinted marketing than a genuine, substantive celebration of queer representation. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 2 out of 5

MILES MORALES AND MOON GIRL #1

Mohale Mashigo’s new series of Moon Girl crossovers kicks off with a fun chapter that brings her into contact with Miles Morales. Artist IG Guara does good work, given the opportunity to make Devil Dinosaur look unique and wild thanks to the plot, but overall there’s a softness and out-of-focus look to some panels that seems out of place at times. Overall this issue has a unique hook to keep reading but this story seems to be almost too similar to the recent all-new “Clone Saga” storyline that Miles was at the center of. Lunella Lafayette remains adorable however and this issue only underlines that. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #39

One of the weakest entries in Saladin Ahmed’s run arrives as the issue’s structure mirrors the one before it with high fidelity. It’s not bad for that reason, but since the series has been building to this arc for some time it feels like a misstep. Artist Alberto Foche is given the chance to draw crazy action beats and a variety of unique character designs, which elevate the issue up from the narrative that feels like it’s treading some water. Ahmed’s work continues to be great though and even with a less-than-great issue, it’s still a solid Spider-Man story (even if one particular moment seems very out of character). — Spencer Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Marvel #2

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

MOON KNIGHT #12

Moon Knight has been building to a brutal throwdown ever since Zodiac threw Marc Spector’s world into chaos, and Moon Knight #12 delivers the thrilling finale fans were hoping for while simultaneously presenting even more intriguing questions. Jed MacKay moves all the chess pieces into place for a climactic fight that doesn’t pull any punches, and the stakes feel as high as ever as the battle continues. Allesandro Cappuccio and Rachelle Rosenberg’s gorgeous artwork allows several of the issue’s key twists to have the desired impact, including several scenes that any Moon Knight fan will absolutely lose their minds over. Everyone has a key part to play and if it were just a battle that would be satisfying enough, but MacKay presents several new threads and intriguing ideas throughout the issue as well as one major surprise on the book’s final page that should allow for the next 12 issues to be just as impactful. Moon Knight‘s truly never been better, and this is easily one of my favorite runs ever for the character. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 5 out of 5

NEW FANTASTIC FOUR #1

There’s a couple of pages of setup before readers get into the real meat of the issue. Fans that are familiar with the New Fantastic Four (Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk/Mr. Fixit, and Ghost Rider) will enjoy catching up with this unlikely team, while new readers get the opportunity to see how these four unique characters interact with each other. The story moves at a quick pace, and the art is crisp and incorporates the perfect comedic moments. — Tim Adams

Rating: 3 out of 5

NEW MUTANTS #26

The story of Magik’s labors and the storybook tale running parallel to it continues and remains stellar in its second chapter. Rod Reis has been a revelation throughout this volume of New Mutants and doesn’t miss a step here, while Jan Duursama’s flashbacks, recreating the style of the original New Mutants run, remain delightful. Those pages are clear in what they are paying homage to without feeling dated or obnoxiously retro. Ayala ventures close to the too-practiced tone of dialogue that occasionally derails the series’ immersion factor but mostly steers clear, mostly thanks to their clear handle on Magik’s voice, especially in this emotionally wounded but still stubborn state. The plot itself is relatively simple but packs enough “well I haven’t seen that before” moments (i.e., what if Magik but she’s Cable wielding Warlock as a sword) that it still feels lively and well worth the cover price. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 4 out of 5

PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL: BLITZ #1

With new assets that have been acquired thanks to working with the Hand, Punisher War Journal: Blitz sees Frank Castle tracking down an old nemesis from his past known as Hate-Monger. This Punisher spin-off tells its own one-shot story that bounces back and forth between two different time periods, each of which sees Castle and Hate-Monger duking it out in different locales. War Journal: Blitz #1 is filled with enjoyable action setpieces, but the conflict itself is presented in such a grandiose fashion that it’s almost hard to take it seriously. If this story was told over a multi-issue run then I think it could’ve been much better, but as a standalone story, there’s not a lot here to cling onto. — Logan Moore

Rating: 3 out of 5

SILVER SURFER: REBIRTH #5

If you simply want to see Silver Surfer do something out in space, regardless of whether or not it means anything or has any real consequence, Rebirth has probably been a fantastic read for you. It lacks just about anything resembling substance. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 2 out of 5

STAR WARS: CRIMSON REIGN #5

After pulling the string behind the scenes and setting the various crime syndicates against one another, Qi’ra’s involvement in sewing the seeds of chaos throughout the galaxy are discovered, either putting her in a deadly situation or lining things up exactly as she had planned. This fifth and final issue of the event series hardly comes across a conclusion, serving more as a setup for the next five-issue event, resulting in an overall frustrating experience. After all these months investing in the ways in which Crimson Dawn is attempting to complicate the Galactic Empire’s grasp on the galaxy, the book feels like one big “to be continued” as opposed to any sort of fulfilling resolution. Writer Charles Soule’s storytelling skills in the galaxy far, far away are certainly impressive, as he’s been proving over the years across various titles, Despite the frustrations of this whole event ending on an underwhelming note, we’re still excited by what the future holds for Qi’ra and the various storytelling seeds that were planted in this series, which will hopefully pay off in more substantial ways than Crimson Reign itself. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

X-MEN #12

X-Men reaches its twelfth issue, which means that it has been roughly a year of real-world time since the first elected X-Men squad debuted. It’s been a fun ride, and this issue wraps it all up in style. A lot is going on in this issue, as the script has to bring three different plot threads to a satisfying conclusion while also checking in with each team member ahead of the next X-Men election. Thus, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia don’t have quite the same amount of room to stretch and play on the pages as usual. Yet, even a restrained Larraz/Gracia still gets you beautiful, fluid, lush visuals. Duggan is playful in his dialogue, knowing the perfect note to play as the curtain falls for this X-Men squad. The past dozen issues served certain characters better than others, but this has been a beautiful, bombastic, superhero-sized X-Men run. This issue will leave readers satisfied and wondering what and who is next. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #1

ALL-NEW FIREFLY #5

All-New Firefly #5 makes the case that this story will read better in the eventual trade-paperback collection. It takes this issue’s reactions to the unexpected revelation at the previous issue’s end for seemingly random asides from earlier issues to begin congealing into a cohesive narrative. But alas, the introduction of Jayne’s son Owen does bring the family and parenthood into sharper thematic focus. While the writing is becoming more streamlined, the linework seems more haphazard, with unnecessary lines cluttering up character designs, facial features being too fluid from panel to panel, and abstract backgrounds failing to hit their emotional marks. Still, there are solid layouts here, and the writing and artwork come together when Jayne finally speaks to Owen. Father and son bonding over their shared love of firearms is a bit unsettling. However, there’s no arguing that it’s true to character. There’s also Owen’s comment about needing either lots of credits or “ruttin’ good aim” to travel the galaxy safely, which is some premium Firefly dialogue. Oddly, there are a surprising number of references to what we’ll call the “expanded Firefly universe,” I guess (that number is two, but the comics acknowledging the novels is, as far as I know, a brand new thing). These could throw readers of this otherwise self-contained story, but those who roll with it will find this to be one of All-New Firefly‘s better issues. –– Jamie Lovett


Rating: 3 out of 5

ARMORCLADS #4

Armorclads sets up a truly impressive point of convergence between multiple factions in this fourth issue, but in many cases, the way these scenes are portrayed fail to capitalize on the potential. The series has had a relatively muted range of colors to work with in the past which worked well for desolate, mine-like settings, but in a bustling city with explosions going off everywhere, they don’t translate as well. Couple that with some strange facial expressions that look fine at one moment but look like candid, mistimed shots in the next and you’ve got a rare miss from Armorclads. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 3 out of 5

ARROWSMITH: BEHIND ENEMY LINES #6

Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines feels less like any sort of finale and more like the next chapter in a much longer story. Unfortunately, the next series, Beyond Borders, isn’t expected to be out for quite some time. So it may be better to wait for this series to be finished in its entirety before picking it up. — Connor Casey

Rating: 3 out of 5

BEWARE THE EYE OF ODIN #1

Aside from aforementioned close-ups on human faces, there’s nothing offensively bad about Beware The Eye of Odin #1. And it’s possible the story picks up steam in the next three installments. But as an introduction, it struggles to find its footing. — Connor Casey

Rating: 3 out of 5

BLOOD STAINED TEETH #3

Atticus Sloane’s path to redemption continues here in Blood Stained Teeth, another entry in this neon-soaked series. All things told, this issue takes its time moving forward, enough so it makes you wonder if this vampire angle is sustainable. The first two issues injected a fresh breath into the genre but here, the slow-paced script simply takes too long to tell and loses its steam fast. Little time is given to Sloane’s journey and motivations, instead opting to just take readers on his current pathway – making him slightly one-dimensional for the idea at hand. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE COLLECTOR: UNIT 731 #3

Through three issues, there continues to be hardly any hook to speak of, and just pages of experiments on prisoners with no pay off on the way. Collector Unit is directionless and doesn’t seem to have any intention of being interesting at any point. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

DEADLY CLASS #53

As Deadly Class continues to close out in a bleak future filled with un-romantic outcomes, the series doesn’t hesitate to twist the knife yet again. It’s not difficult to trace where this issue is going from the moment a mission arrives in one surviving student’s lap. Expecting a set up and watching it slowly unfold are two very different things, however, and it’s the ways in which this issue ties itself back to the earliest arcs and key moments of the series that leads it to be so impactful. The action is tautly paced by Wes Craig and there are abundant ironies to be discovered in the minor and major tragedies unfolding in these pages. Only three issues remain and it’s unclear if any former students will find an ounce of happiness when all is said and done. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #2

ELVIRA IN HORRORLAND #2

Maybe the references to iconic horror films are a little heavy. handed this issue and a little on the extra-cheesy side, but there is something delightfully entertaining about Elvira in Horrorland #2’s exploration of The Shining. Equally as delightful is how the issue sort of low-key explores some of the conventions of filmmaking, all with a little bite of satire – the issue in particular pokes a little gentle fun at Kubrick’s shock cuts as well as some overall little digs about horror culture in general. But unlike the first issue, which kept its romp through Psycho fairly well-contained, this issue starts throwing movie and pop culture references at the wall wildly just to see what sticks – including an odd left turn right in to 2001: A Space Odyssey. To put it bluntly, it’s a very weird issue that doesn’t seem to conform to any real rules, but for movie buffs, it’s a ton of fun even if it does feel a bit like a narrative disaster. The art is also really kind of fun, though just a little inconsistent. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 3 out of 5

GUNSLINGER SPAWN #9

Gunslinger Spawn is at its best when Todd allows it to explore the titular character’s backstory and what separates him from all of the other symbiote clad fighters that populate this world. Luckily we get some of that here, making this a solid issue until it’s forced to fold itself into the largest continuity. Brett Booth continues to embody the style of Spawn artwork that long-time readers are always eager to see, delivering crisp lines and wild splash pages where every link of a chain and every flush of a big red cape seems eager and angry. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5

HOMESICK PILOTS #15

The final issue of Home Sick Pilots plays like an epilogue after the climactic events of Home Sick Pilots #14. That isn’t to suggest it lacks action or notable developments in character or plot, but these elements are compressed in a fashion that makes it clear the story is wrapping up quickly. There is a time jump and individuals quickly explain what has occurred in the meanwhile with minimal concern paid to the how of these developments. It’s time to bid farewell to the four young people whose lives were torn apart by massive animated ghosts, and this issue emphasizes what that journey was about. Each member of the core group is able to express their response to this sprawling misadventure amidst some of the most ghoulish depictions of assorted ghosts from throughout the series. Even as the final moment is stretched with rapidly invented logic and a bit too much chatter, it’s still easy to appreciate this colorful journey and its own bittersweet sentiments. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I HATE THIS PLACE #2

I Hate This Place #2 continues to impress with a number of genuine shocks and scares that will leave readers buzzing. Trudy and Gabby quickly begin their search for a way out of this haunted house predicament as work on the ranch begins and, of course, nothing goes as expected. There’s a seance-gone-wrong, another encounter with ghosts, and the deepening mystery surrounding Itchy. Each moment offers something unique, but every one pulls readers deeper into a tale with a very different tone than Starks’ typical mode of comedy. Even non-lethal encounters are shiver-inducing. Yet the most memorable element in an issue filled with gloriously rendered gruesome moments remains the love story at its center. There’s a lived-in quality to Trudy and Gabby’s relationship that hinges on a central theme in this issue, but plays out in a natural fashion. Both characters are so well realized on the page that it’s difficult to resist following them, even as it’s clear they’re walking ever further into hell. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

JOHN CARTER OF MARS #3

John Carter of Mars #3 is visually compelling with its rose-tinted settings and unique character designs naturally providing ample opportunity for creativity, but it doesn’t do much to move the story forward. It’s more of a chapter for John Carter’s supporting characters, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does remove some of the anticipation when there’s less stake in the events unfolding. Character backstories and development are important, but perhaps not at the cost of an entire issue. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 3 out of 5

JONNA AND THE UNPOSSIBLE MONSTERS #10

Jonna and Rainbow confront some of the largest monsters witnessed in the entire series thus far, and that’s really saying something given the enormity regularly displayed in these pages. A chase and battle are brilliantly realized in a collection of spreads, each of which sweeps readers across the span of the space to appreciate its related scale. There are a few fun elements added, including the return of some familiar faces and a potential key to unlock the mystery of what happened in this world. However, the focus of Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #10 is squarely upon the monsters and the “unpossibility” they embody – it’s a delightful race ahead in preparation for whatever the final act of this tale might be. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

KAIJU SCORE: STEAL FROM THE GODS #3

Just when I was starting to wonder if Steal From the Gods had lost the bite brought on by its titular monsters, this penultimate issue turns the tide – and largely, in a positive way. As the team’s efforts to steal from the literal belly of an ancient Kaiju unfold, the heist zigs and zags in ways that are a tad predictable, but still entertaining to behold. Sure, James Patrick’s script might lean a little too heavily into the tropes of the heist genre, but there’s still so much creativity on display, particularly from Rem Broo’s lively-as-ever art, that there’s nothing wrong with that. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #3

THE KILLER: AFFAIRS OF THE STATE #5

What starts off as a rather quiet issue—aside from some gang violence and dead bodies—escalates quickly when Denis and his partner stakeout a mosque at the same time as the police. As usual, Denis’ internal dialogue dances between the story of Affairs of the State and the real world, as he summarizes many of the thoughts normal citizens have everyday about politicians, etc. With one more issue to go, one final job ups the stakes by taking out a very major public figure. — Tim Adams

Rating: 3 out of 5

THE LONESOME HUNTERS #1

The Lonesome Hunters #1 is an intriguing new take on the occult and the otherworldly forces that lurk unseen within the mundane. The new series by Tyler Crook of B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth and Harrow County fame introduces a pair of unlikely heroes – Howard, a cowardly old man with a magic sword and a dark past, and Lupe, who finds an old silver watch and inadvertently attracts the attention of an otherworldly force. Crook’s artwork is fantastic to behold and it’s amazing how he can take mundane creatures like magpies and stags and turn them into malevolent forces. I am happy to say that this comic is precisely my jam and I can’t wait for the next issue. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 5 out of 5

MAGIC: THE HIDDEN PLANESWALKER #3

Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker reads like a speed run through an entire character arc for its titular character, Isona. The issue spends too much space on stories that immediately prove untrue, and Isona’s character remains obscured throughout, making it hard to grasp who she truly is. On one page, she’s an uncompromising hero cast in opposition to Vess’s more pragmatic philosophy. The next, she’s making deals with the devil to achieve her personal goals and asking no questions about the repercussions. The issue is confounding in how it feels as if it is stretching to fill the book’s page count while also cramming in story beats that it does not have time to explore meaningfully. The issue opens with what should be an awe-inspiring Planeswalker duel, but the visuals are messy and far too reliant on glowing light effects to be interesting. Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker has been stellar enough until now, but this issue feels like it tried to make a hairpin turn now that its secret character has been revealed and ended up skidding out. Hopefully, it can course correct in the next issue. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 2 out of 5

NEWBURN #8

Newburn #8 concludes the series’ first volume with a subtle twist that ought to leave readers anticipating whatever comes next this fall. The resolution of the very first cliffhanger in Newburn proves as satisfying as any of the mysteries preceding it. There are multiple moving pieces and watching how a man who blurs the line between detective and gangster manipulates those elements to deliver a “fair” outcome is engrossing. Even though the tension rests on Emily’s fate, Newburn is the primary actor as his companion is trapped between a rock and a hard place in a police station. His desire to cut through this Gordian Knot reveals much more about who Newburn is and what his role in New York City’s underworld truly entails. It appears suddenly and in a fashion that demands readers reconsider their prior evaluations. Wherever Newburn goes next, issue #8 promises it’s bound to deliver more gripping mysteries and an anti-heroic character study that could rival the very best of them. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

NOCTERRA #11

There is a sense of frantic energy throughout Nocterra #11, which goes from the characters to the writing to the art. In an issue full of action, it still has a lot of narration and exposition, giving it a cramped, almost claustrophobic feel at times. Daniel’s beautifully rendered art has a few instances that feel scratchy and misshapen – either pounded out quickly, or intentionally lending itself to the issue’s feeling. And the characters themselves have twist after twist after twist in the course of the issue, setting up a scary and high-stakes next issue that promises to be more of the same – although hopefully we’ll get a little bit more of a pause for characterization. — Russ Burlingame

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

RADIANT RED #4

Radiant Red has been a delight, though issue #4 doesn’t quite stack up to the previous series highs. The issue kicks off with a verbal back and forth that should be suspenseful as Satomi tries to avoid giving the whole story away, but it ends up feeling more like two people are just fuming at each other for most of it because of the approach by artist David Lafuente and Miquel Muerto. I’ve enjoyed Lafuente’s artwork on the series thus far, but here the expressions all seem far more exaggerated and lacking much in the way of subtlety, and it just takes you out of the moment. The same thing happens in a quite personal conversation between Satomi and Owen, with the reactions and expressions seeming overly charged compared to previous issues. When the story moves into the heist this isn’t as much of an issue, and the story itself is as compelling as ever. Hopefully, the balance the series has found in the past is back on track next issue, though even with that mixture being a little off, there’s still plenty here to keep you entertained. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Other Publishers #4

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(Photo: Image Comics)

ROGUE SUN #5

The gloves are off with Rogue Sun #5 as Parrott, Abel, and Simone Ragazzoni take the story to gut-wrenching places. Through the first four issues, the story was very much a coming-of-age tale with some lightness still instilled but here, the story takes a dark turn that drops the eponymous vigilante right into adulthood with significant choices to make. The plot of the series churns forward slowly as Parrott’s script introduces two different timelines but that’s fine here, because one of the stories involves plenty of needed exposition that helps tie up ends previously left loose. Onward and upward, Rogue Sun is still moving forward full steam ahead. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

SAMURAI SONJA #1

There have been no shortage of Sonja-related stories being published at this current moment, which means the launch of something like Samurai Sonja really needs to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, this debut issue does go to lengths to do that, largely with the stellar art from Pasquale Qualano and Miriana Puglia. There is an undeniable electricity and emotion behind every panel of the issue, particularly in its second half as the action starts to really ramp up, and Kike J. Diaz’s use of teals and reds in the color work only makes it more excellent. The script itself steers dangerously close to being a somewhat-predictable origin story, but by and large, Samurai Sonja could be promising. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

SHAOLIN COWBOY: CRUEL TO BE KIN #2

It’s hard to go through a single page in a Geof Darrow comic without taking time out to analyze every inch of it. There’s so many small details to appreciate that it they really shouldn’t be overlooked. The relationship between the Shaolin Cowboy and the tiny lizard is adorable and something straight out of an animated cartoon. A beautifully-bloody sequence not to be missed is the Shaolin Cowboy vs. an army of birds, with one winged creature even breaking out its own pair of Swiss army knives. — Tim Adams

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE SILVER COIN #11

After glancing at the cover, there’s little doubt about where the curse is heading in The Silver Coin #11; it needs to feed after all. Yet the way in which it arrives at such a gruesome ending for one small town American diner is the real thrill of this (and most) issue(s) in the series – quickly introducing characters and a situation that quickly spins beyond anyone’s control and the bounds of sanity. The Silver Coin #11 focuses on the act of eating, the meat consumers shove inside to develop a sense of dread and revulsion long before any human blood is shed. Stacks of closely knit panels effectively forecast the future and make it all the more repulsive when it arrives. There are also new elements being added to the series, including both a character (and plot threads) that seem prepared to reveal the wider, cohesive narrative and a backup story from Adam Gorham set to be serialized across upcoming issues. Both provide plenty of space for the central story to eat its fill, while leaving readers with an unexpected appetite. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #24

Something is Killing the Children bookends issue #24 with a tense and disturbing introduction and equally intriguing ending, but the middle unfortunately feels like it’s spinning its wheels. James Tynion IV moves some key elements into place, mostly regarding Gabi finding Erica’s totem and the recruitment of a possible ally, but aside from those two small moments, I couldn’t help but feel as if we’ve read all this before in past issues without really evolving the characters in any major way. Werther Dell’Edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design deliver outstanding work as always, especially in those opening and closing sequences, and the new threat is as frighteningly disturbing as you’d expect. Issue #24 isn’t as captivating as previous issues, but there are still plenty of gems found within. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 3 out of 5

WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEY’RE DEAD #11

The final act of We Only Find Them When They’re Dead begins in issue #11 as the story simultaneously slides further into the future and connects itself more closely to its beginnings. Thierry is the essential new element – an artificial intelligence modeled on Georges to help mankind seek to understand what occurred and perhaps, the minds of gods. It’s an intriguing addition and one that helps make the sprawling scope of this saga seem more cohesive as a result. New and familiar characters alike make their significance known as the discovery of something resembling answers for this strange status quo seems closer than ever. What’s most exciting in this new arrangement though, is how uncertain whatever is set to be revealed remains. There’s no promise for easy answers or simple resolutions; something evident from the series’ first two arcs. However, it does seem that revelation is possible and that’s exactly what this issue promises. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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