Comic Books

Reviews of both new release and older comic books. Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, Archie, and other publishers will be explored!

Masashi Kishimoto Makes His Triumphant Return with Samurai 8

In the world of anime and manga, few have seen the success Mashashi Kishimoto has with his smash hit Naruto. In terms of manga sale numbers, only Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) have him beat, and perhaps only Toriyama can claim more international success. Maybe. Naruto was, and still is, a phenomenon. For many, Naruto is a coming-of-age story that was airing on TV during their own adolescence. Much of Naruto’s story depicts him struggling...

Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia Deserves a Title Shot

Combining professional wrestling and comics seems like a match made in heaven. Over-the-top personalities and silly stipulations for matches could create magic on the pages. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) teamed up with BOOM! Studios to release comics based on their characters and history, inspiring a slew of independent wrestling-themed comics. However, they’re not the only ones: although not affiliated with the WWE, Suspicious Behavior and Starburn Industries’ Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia serves as a love letter to the history...

Bizenghast Is Freakishly Fantastical Fun

Every now and then, I have an experience most other readers have had at least once: I come across something that makes me do a double-take in the middle of the bookstore. Something that, while seemingly uninteresting at first glance, makes me question the reality of what I thought I saw within that fraction of a second and arouses my interest to find out more. The cover art for Bizenghast, written and illustrated by M. Alice LeGrow, fits that...

Explore the Joyful Trepidation of Self-Discovery in Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer

Gender Queer, cartoonist Maia Kobabe’s latest work, is simultaneously a cathartic memoir, a heuristic for trans and nonbinary experiences, and a demonstration of the power of comics to convey lived memories. While it is is unflinchingly honest to the point of being somewhat explicit, describing it that way does the book a bit of a disservice and might discourage or bar the people who need this book the most from reading it. LGBTQ+ stories are thankfully becoming more and...

Sincerely, Harriet Is the Best Kind of Graphic Novel for Kids

It’s 1996 in Chicago, and Harriet Flores is bored. Not just bored, but bored. It’s summer vacation, but since she and her parents just moved to Chicago, she has no friends from school. Her parents are busy with trying to get situated in their new jobs, so she can’t even explore the city. The only person around is Pearl, their landlady who lives downstairs, and she’s old enough to have grandchildren. It’s not a situation most 13-year-olds would envy....

Hashtag: Danger Effortlessly Fits AHOY Comics’ Niche

Before I came across Hashtag: Danger, my only knowledge of AHOY Comics was the news that they were releasing the recently cancelled Jesus-themed DC comic Second Coming, written by Mark Russell. In fact, it was only through reading the editor’s notes in Hashtag: Danger that I discovered AHOY stands for “asshole of the year,” and with that knowledge, I can see this as a perfect example of the comics they want to release. If you want a serious comic,...

Mad Cave’s Battlecats Is an Epic Medieval Cat Comic

I’m a ’90s baby. I grew up with Rugrats, Dexter’s Laboratory, and The Powerpuff Girls. I missed out on all the classic ’80s cartoon shows such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, ThunderCats, and Voltron. When I received the first volume of Battlecats, produced by Mad Cave Studios, it was described as a ThunderCats-inspired Dungeons & Dragons adventure story. I didn’t understand the reference to ThunderCats, but how could I not appreciate this comic and its huge lionlike beasts...

New Kid Explores the Challenges of Being “Different” in Middle School

Everyone has been the new person. Even if you’ve never changed residences, there are plenty of unfamiliar situations to enter for the first time. People frequently change jobs, schools, and social groups. Sometimes, you get lucky and everyone is in the same situation; when you start kindergarten, for example, chances are high that everyone is new. Then there are times when you enter an environment so foreign you can’t help but wonder whether you’ve entered some strange pocket dimension....

Mad Cave’s Midnight Task Force Is a Gripping Cyberpunk Adventure

When looking for comics to read, I prefer to purchase trade paperbacks versus single-comic issues. I find there are so many comics to enjoy that I tend to fall behind in my favorite series. When I purchased Midnight Task Force from Mad Cave Studios I fell back on my ways and purchased the whole volume instead of just the first issue. The premise seemed exactly up my alley and I figured I would enjoy the complete story. Midnight Task Force is...

It’s a Visually Stunning New Era for Marvel’s Venom

When it comes to on-screen depictions of Venom, the mishandling of David Michelnie and Todd McFarlane’s creation in the 2007 Spider-Man 3 still stings, and Tom Hardy’s crazed yet slightly entertaining portrayal in the 2018 blockbuster Venom is fresh in the mind. But in the comics, writer Donny Cates and company have been able to take a silly character and put him at the center of a compelling and complex narrative-driven tale that exceeds expectations in all ways. It...
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