Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 1/12/2022

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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 Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes #1, Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1, and Rain #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

BATGIRLS #2

Batgirls #2 is about as a frantic as its debut issue. With rough by dynamic art and a plot that feels almost stream-of-consciousness like in how fast it flies, the series is trying to capture the energy of what it’s like to be Steph and Cass as they try to get through a day mostly cut off from the rest of the Batfamily. The issue with this comic is that it doesn’t give the readers any time to breathe. It just bounces from plot hook to plot hook, pulling both the superheroines and the readers in a dozen different directions. Sadly, it doesn’t make for the best reading experience. Hopefully, the comic starts to resolve some of its many plot lines and finds focus soon. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS #11

Batman: Urban Legends #11 kicks off four new ongoing stories, though it puts its strongest foot forward in Batman and Zatanna’s “Bound To Our Will.” I’m a sucker for a Batman and Zatanna team-up, and writer Vita Ayala is able to explore the ties between this duo in a fresh and very personal way while still bringing all the magical hijinks that so often follow Z. Meanwhile, the artwork of artist Nikola Cizmesija and colorist Nick Filardi captivates throughout, whether that is in the form of a mysterious magical portal consuming everything around it or just two heroes sitting down having a difficult and awkward conversation. Ram V, Anand Radhakrishnan, John Pearson, and Aditya Badikar’s “Wight Witch” starring Stigma also impresses once you get your feet on solid ground. It takes a minute to come around, but ultimately this story has some legs and could result in yet another memorable character joining the Batman mythos. “As for Eternity In Gotham” by Mohale Mashigo, Aristocrat’s Deyn, and Saida Temofonte, I enjoyed this tale quite a bit and was taken by Deyn’s charming artwork. The book closes out with the unexpected “Hounded starring Ace The Bat-Hound,” and this was easily the biggest emotional roller-coaster of the issue, especially if you love animals. Mark Russell, Karl Mostert, Trish Mulvihill, and Steve Wands turned what could be a formulaic Batman adventure into something heartfelt and tense, and when you combine it with everything else in the issue, this is a can’t miss for Batman fans. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

DETECTIVE COMICS #1048

Detective Comics #1048 takes a step back from the inevitable collapse of Arkham Tower we saw last month and shows the beginning of the Batfamily’s probe into the mysterious medical facility. The issue largely covers the same ground as past probes into Arkham Tower, with vague claims of medical treatments that seem too good to be true and sketchy operators. Obviously, Arkham Tower is a big tinderbox that we know will explode, but the real question is whether the Batfamily can figure out who’s actually running the show before the fireworks start. After a shaky opening chapter, I’m enjoying this storyline more this issue. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

FUTURE STATE: GOTHAM #9

I’m going to be honest: any shine Future State: Gotham had for me has worn off long ago, partly because it feels like we’re clinging too much to a storyline that the rest of the continuity is moving away from. Sometimes things just overstay their welcome and this title is definitely experiencing that. Functionally, Future State: Gotham #9 isn’t terrible. There’s quite a bit of intense action and some interesting surprises. I still maintain that the story’s art would benefit from some color, but overall it’s solid. The story sees Peacekeeper Red team up with Hunter Panic so they can find out more about the Next Joker which in turn sees them turn to Punchline for help. Again, it all just feels like everything we’ve already seen from Batman and other Future State stories run through a blender and while it’s executed well-enough, the overall story just lacks punch. The backup story, however, is a good story about Batman and the Joker that’s worth a read. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 3 out of 5

I AM BATMAN #5

Jace Fox’s first run as Batman is complete, as he inspires his father to finally step away from the extremist slant he’s been following for months. One thing I liked about this new Batman is that he seems to inspire instead of “strike fear” in the hearts of other, bringing a working class take on the superhero. Fox’s move to New York is also set up, which should be interesting as Gotham City is usually depicted as that city’s darker counterpart. We’ll see whether the creative team can keep this new Batman interesting now that he’s moved away from Gotham. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

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DC #2

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(Photo: DC Comics)

THE JOKER #11

There’s a lot of moving pieces that make up the latest exploits of the Clown Prince of Crime, and some are much better than others. The idea of a wealthy, nefarious family that has an origin similar to that of the Sawyers from Texas Chainsaw Massacre is great on paper, but this issue spends a tad too much time focused on both their origins as well as Gordon licking his wounds following the latest arcs events. The series itself is still one of the strongest titles in DC’s roster but this definitely feels like one of the weaker issues of the series so far. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 3 out of 5

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1

The set up for Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes is one of the most promising debuts Bendis has made at DC Comics, not least because he circumvents the mandatory superhero teams fight before allying trope. It’s a presentation to two of the publisher’s most impressive pantheons assembled side-by-side in a fashion that evokes their immense potential. Watching these groups independently and together is a thrill, and that makes the cliffhanger at the end of issue #1 all the more investing. Wherever this is going, readers can expect to see many of DC Comics’ best characters presented with a sense of joy even as they combat a new great darkness. Let’s just hope the story ahead can meet the expectations set by this bright beginning. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

PENNYWORTH #6

The penultimate issue of Pennyworth is quite possibly the best of the series (though that could change when issue #7 arrives) and considering how great the series is, that’s saying something. Pennyworth #6 is an issue that is full of action as well as full of emotion and the balance between the two is both delicate and expertly executed. The issue also delivers an interesting character from the larger Batman universe and while that might be a touch predictable if you really think about it, there’s a slightly bonkers twist that starts to make everything Alfred’s been dealing with make sense while also making it clear just how insane and off the rails things are set to become. Scott Bryan Wilson has crafted something incredibly special with Pennyworth and this issue is just more proof positive that not only is this series easily one of DC’s best comics right now, but Alfred is absolutely the best Batfam character. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

ROBIN AND BATMAN #3

The final issue of the mini-series by Lemire and Nguyen feels like it should go down in history as one of the best Robin stories ever in the world of Gotham City. While this culmination doesn’t feel quite as strong as the previous two installments, focusing on Killer Croc discovering Robin’s secret and threatening Dick Grayson on his home turf, it still remains one of the best takes on the character to date. If anything, this mini-series could have gone even further in exploring Robin’s early days, but is definitely a series that I cannot recommend enough. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

TITANS UNITED #5

The one qualifier I keep coming back to with Titans United is “consistency.” Each issue of the miniseries adequately balances quippy dialogue and incremental moments of development for its roster of characters. This issue takes that latter qualifier to heart a bit more strongly, peeling back the proverbial onion of Starfire, Blackfire, and Superboy’s story. Admittedly, your mileage on this issue might vary, especially as the larger arc seems to zig-zag into an array of places. But the writing from Cavan Scott and art from Jose Luis and Jonas Trindade is compelling and reliable enough to thoroughly entertain fans of this crop of characters. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Marvel #1

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #85

The second half of Ben Reilly’s showdown with Doc Ock turns out to be much more eventful than the first. Paco Medina provides the villain with a classic design that fits the bombastic battles with Beyond’s agents exceedingly well. There’s a real fun to the interplay between these near-archenemies both in the action and later dialogue. While the story remains focused on their battle, their battle tours much of the Beyond Corporation and lays out another narrative altogether. It is an inevitable twist still delivered with an abundance of style and drama. It’s a great deal of fun to read the trials and tribulations of The Amazing Spider-Man reimagined with an original spin. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

DAREDEVIL: WOMAN WITHOUT FEAR #1

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear works well as a story all its own, so even if you’re not a fan of Elektra or Devil’s Reign, this opening salvo might change your mind on both fronts. Don’t let the banner of this being part of a crossover event stop you from reading one of the best comics of 2022 so far. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

DARK AGES #4

Dark Ages #4 connects the dots as it picks out the cast for its away team and continues to explore this post-apocalyptic Earth. There are some genuinely inventive and fun concepts along the way – including methods for sea travel and ongoing global concerns. Telegraphing which character will depart to provide this issue’s most and least shocking moment makes it all feel a bit too rote. The rhythms of the story are bound to be familiar, but it’s the setting and designs that make touring alternate-superhero-Earths fun, until you can sense the bumpers of the ride. Dark Ages #4 has a page that reads like a parody of retiring partners in buddy cop movies (you may have seen it on The Simpsons). In any case, hamfisted moments and dialogue like this are a disappointment because what surrounds them is generally amusing. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

DARKHAWK #5

Darkhawk‘s conclusion is loaded with action, and while it does include some lovely character moments, the action and one heck of a final page hook is what leaves the biggest lasting impression. Writer Kyle Higgins gives Derek’s sister Sarah a much bigger role to play in this issue, and she immediately challenges Connor and presents intriguing if slightly unfair conflict for our hero. Then things pick up in a big way and it’s a classic superhero fight, including a superb battle on a train from artist Juanan Ramirez, colorist Erick Arciniega, and letterer Travis Lanham. There’s one splash page that will absolutely take your breath away though, showcasing just how slick and powerful the Darkhawk suit is, but that’s nothing compared to the final two pages that will have every fan of the character picking their jaws up off the floor. Oh, and Miles Morales is an absolute delight on every page, and Higgins has created a golden modern superhero pairing. Granted, there is some cheesy dialogue here and there, especially with the team, but overall it’s a satisfying conclusion to a miniseries that has put Darkhawk back on the map in a huge way, and hopefully, there’s more coming down the road. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE DEATH OF DOCTOR STRANGE: BLOODSTONE #1

The Death of Doctor Strange: Bloodstone #1 sees the deadly monster hunter questioning her calling as she cleans up the various messes left behind by the Sorcerer Supreme’s untimely death. Ig Guara’s artwork here is more textured than what he’s with Boom Studios’ Magic: The Gathering series, in part due to colorist Dijjo Lima’s touch. There’s some clever pacing in the opening pages as tight wides panels build to Elsa’s splash pages introduction. Later fight scenes have a lot going on and are a little muddied by all the magical energy taking up space on the page. Tini Howard’s script sets about making some revelations about the Bloodstone family tree. They’re not particularly compelling, partly because they’re so compressed by this being a one-shot issue. Having Elsa question whether she’s been hunting the correct targets—the monsters rather than those who summoned them—is more interesting, if not entirely convincing. Have heroes been letting evil summoners off the hook instead of going after them? Isn’t that the entire premise of Savage Avengers? Concern over whether supposedly heroic sorcerers like Strange have done enough reveal more worthwhile nuance, but not enough room here to explore it properly. There’s simply too much going on here, and not all of it is as interesting as the rest. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

DEVIL’S REIGN: SUPERIOR FOUR #1

Superior Four #1 reminds readers of the cliffhanger in Devil’s Reign #2 and the iconic Fantastic Four tale that inspired it as iterations of Doctor Octopus inspired by Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and The Hulk appear to help Otto Octavius conquer himself across the universe. There’s very little detail provided to enhance this foursome of multiversal Ock’s, though. There are hints provided about what Ottos share in common and how they might differ, but the Superior Four on display are instantly subjected to following Earth-616 Ock’s orders. References are made to the Council of Reeds and other popular multiversal fare from the past, but there’s little in the way of new ideas to cling onto. Instead, Otto’s enormous ego pushes toward an ill-defined sense of domination throughout many alternate Earths. It’s unclear exactly what the stakes or consequences of this adventure are, or even Otto’s goals. That results in a debut detached from Devil’s Reign and uncertain of its own focus. Perhaps it will pick up from here. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

FANTASTIC FOUR #39

The lawsuit saga has been a great exploration of the First Family, even if it ends rather abruptly. The twist in the final pages is especially effective. On the other side of the coin, Johnny’s issues are starting to get repetitive and they’re going to have to be dealt with soon, or else any interest in his struggles is going to go up in flames. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Marvel #2

HAWKEYE: KATE BISHOP #3

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop runs ahead this week with a third issue, and it finally lets our girl get into the action. As her dream vacation washes down the drain, Kate is able to left off some steam and lay to rest some trauma after speaking with her sister. Filled with gorgeous art, this snappy installment will have fans wanting more, and a killer cliffhanger puts all of Kate’s newly acquired boons back in the hot seat. — Megan Peters

Rating: 4 out of 5

KING CONAN #2

After a complex debut issue, the second installment of King Conan chooses to operate at two interesting extremes—the unmistakable brutality of battle, and the intimate consequences of Conan’s rule as king. While both elements of the issue are fascinating, the scenes that fall into the latter category prove to be engrossing, showcasing a side of Conan that audiences don’t traditionally get the opportunity to see. Jason Aaron’s script mixes the reverential and the revolutionary in some intriguing ways, and Mahmud Asrar’s art is truly breathtaking. This series is continuing to showcase its potential in some really compelling ways. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MARAUDERS #27

Marauders has been one of the best books in the X-Men line and frankly, Marvel’s entire output since House of X and Powers of X shook up the status quo, and as a new era of Marauders is set to begin, Marauders #27 puts the satisfying finishing touches on the here and now with some tantalizing hints of what’s in store. Gerry Duggan has planted the seeds for this shake-up for a while now, and it never gets old seeing all of those various pieces come to fruition, especially Lourdes, who brings a genuinely new dynamic into Hellfire that will be much needed as Emma Frost steps aside. Thankfully, Kate Pryde is sticking around and will not be stepping out of the spotlight anytime soon. While the action is fun, the expression work is where this book really shines, and once again Matteo Lolli, Phil Noto, and Rain Beredo get the most out of every bit of dialogue thanks to their stellar work. Time will tell if all of these changes will end up working out, but so far the changes have captured my interest, though I will immensely miss the many Pyro and Iceman team-ups I’ve come to adore. For now though, Marauders hasn’t lost a step, and the future looks quite promising. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

MARVEL’S VOICES: HERITAGE #1

One of the most endearing things to come out of the Marvel’s Voices anthologies is seeing the respective group of creators tell stories featuring a diverse group of superheroes. Creators such as Jim Terry, Nyla Innuksuk, Rebecca Roanhorse, and more educate readers on the perspective of indigenous characters. Protecting a reservation, tales passed down through generations, remembering forgotten legends, and more are addressed, along with in-depth interviews helping to cast a spotlight on award-winning creators some fans may not be familiar with. What’s also enjoyable is there is always at least one story that is centered on a hero or group of heroes that will continue in another ongoing series either currently taking place, or scheduled to appear in the future. — Tim Adams

Rating: 4 out of 5

MS. MARVEL: BEYOND THE LIMIT #2

I can’t recall the last time a Ms. Marvel solo series delivered a bad issue, or even just a not-so-great one. Beyond the Limit is pushing the boundaries of Kamala’s reality in ways that are testing the hero’s emotional and mental limits. Throw in some absolutely wonderful colors and Ms. Marvel once again has a book every other hero would be jealous of. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

SAVAGE AVENGERS #28

Savage Avengers #28 has come to an end, finishing up only as such a title could. While there have been more exciting and adventurous issues in this book, this finale gives fans the ending they deserve, though it scales back nearly all of the things—savagery, brutality, and the like—that made the book great in the first place. Instead, fans get a resolution to the intense character study Duggan and Zircher put Conan the Barbarian through, resulting in a satisfying conclusion for those who’ve read the book for the better part of three years. With a team like this, it’s only a matter of time before the House of Ideas chooses to introduce a new line-up anyway. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

SPIDER-WOMAN #18

Spider-Woman #18 is a Devil’s Reign tie-in, but if you thought that meant Jessica Drew was being pushed to the side in favor of the latest Marvel event, I’m here to put your mind at ease. Writer Karla Pacheco has thrown a massive curveball with this issue, reaching into Drew’s past to bring back an enemy that longtime fans will lose their minds over. Meanwhile, artist Pere Perez, colorist Frank D’Armata, and letterer Travis Lanham deliver brutal fight sequences throughout, including a Kingpin fight that lives up to the violent nature of the character and yet still showcases his vengeful but brilliant nature. As the pieces of the puzzle unfold, the stakes rise ever higher, and by issue’s end, the tension is at an all-time high. Spider-Woman #18 utilizes Devil’s Reign to build an even better Spider-Woman story instead of the other way around, and the wait until next issue is going to be so… damn… long. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Marvel #3

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

STAR WARS #20

Thanks to a Jedi Holocron, Luke manages to travel to another location that was significant for the Jedi Order, as he crosses paths with a mysterious and enlightening figure that sheds new light on the entire nature of the Force. While maybe not the most action-packed issue of the Star Wars series in recent months, it’s somewhat impressive to see the series take such an existential detour to explore alternate paths for Luke, his connection to the Force, and figures that have no direct impact on the current narrative trajectory. The book feels a lot like Luke’s encounter with Vader in the caves of Dagobah, but instead of with the forces of the Dark Side, it was with the Light Side. Even without major reveals or excitement for this current narrative, this issue does manage to shed insight into Luke’s mind and his perception of the Force, especially with his connection to that mystical realm that he embraced later in life, in ways both good and bad. Additionally, fans of the current The High Republic series of stories will appreciate the connections this book has to that era, while fans who aren’t well-versed in those realms won’t feel overwhelmed with these references. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #20

Pivoting away from Valance’s mission, this issue focuses instead on Zuckuss, Bossk, and the other bounty hunters on their mission to rendezvous with 4-LOM, even if that comes with a number of fatal risks. The lack of Valance almost makes this feel like a one-shot, as it fills in some of the expository gaps that are substantial enough to fill the pages of an entire issue, yet doesn’t necessarily propel the entire narrative of Bounty Hunters forward. The reunion with 4-LOM isn’t the only one in this issue, however, with its final pages bringing some reveals that will likely excite some, as well as including some reveals regarding true members of the Crimson Dawn. Even if this chapter isn’t entirely exceptional, seeing the supporting bounty hunters getting to be the focus of an entire issue marks for a relatively entertaining detour full of action and banter, fulfilling the promise of the book’s title. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC – EYE OF THE STORM #1

I wasn’t so sure that giving the Nihil a concrete backstory was the best idea, considering their mystery is part of what makes them so terrifying. But Soule finds a way to make Ro even more chilling than before, further establishing him as one of the most ruthless villains in recent Star Wars history. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE THING #3

The story for this Thing mini-series is a bit all over the place at the moment, but at the root of it all is an action-packed, rock ’em sock ’em tale. Reilly’s artwork in this issue is especially kinetic as the Thing and the Champion of the Universe trade punches throughout a good chunk of the issue. With each punch landed, the retro styling of Reilly’s lineart is exceptionally crafted—so much so, you feel some of the punches in your own jaw. –– Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3 out of 5

WASTELANDERS: BLACK WIDOW #1

Don’t let the flashy cover fool you, Wasterlanders: Black Widow is just as grim and dark as the rest of this post-apocalyptic pocket of the Marvel universe. Steve S. DeKnight does a solid job bringing pathos to an older and hardened Yelena, while Well-Bee brings an incredible amount of detail to every panel, especially whenever The Lizard appears. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

X-MEN: LEGENDS #10

Fabien Nicieza returns to X-Men: Legends for its 10th issue, this time teaming with artist Dan Jurgens for a story taking place during the events of 1994’s X-Men #34. The issue’s premise revolves around Mister Sinister hosting a meeting of the Eighth Circle, an unusual group of mutant luminaries. The group includes Moira MacTaggert, Professor X, Magneto, Beast, and Black Womb (a woman who, in a moment that’ll make your skin crawl even knowing her history, Nicieza describes as an incubator). The premise proves to be flimsy, quickly revealed to be another of Sinister’s pointless games. Nicieza tries to make something of nothing, turning it into a character piece about Sinister, but it ultimately feels at best like part of a larger story that doesn’t exist. Jurgens draws it all with straightforward cartooning, relying on expressive characters to set the mood and simple layouts to move the story along. His style might seem quaint to newer fans weened on the post-Stuart Immonen era of X-Men, but Jurgens knows how to tell a story. It’s a shame that the issue doesn’t give him much worthwhile to tell. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Other Publishers #1

BUFFY THE LAST VAMPIRE SLAYER #2

Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer #2 moves the story into more exciting territory. Saddling a reluctant Buffy with Willow and Tara’s child creates conflict and stakes, even if the way it presents the relationship may feel overly familiar to anyone who has seen Logan. Still, Buffy and Cub against the world is an exciting idea. Unfortunately, the issue’s art lets it down. There are too many fundamental missteps, from confusing panel beats to incorrect sequencing of panels to a panel composition failing to lead readers’ eye to what’s important, making this issue almost a challenge to read. It’s got plenty of hooks to sink into Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, which makes it a shame it flubs the execution this badly. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 2 out of 5

CRITICAL ROLE: THE TALES OF EXANDRIA THE BRIGHT QUEEN #2

The Bright Queen’s continuing saga continues, as the Kryn Dynasty continues to expand. Although the shock death of the Bright Queen turned out to be a major misdirect, it still seems to have major consequences for both her and the entirety of her kingdom. Despite the ambitious tale being weaved in this issue, the comic still suffers from some notable flaws – the narration struggles to support the story at times and it often feels like readers are missing major pieces of the storyline. This is an interesting comic, but one that doesn’t have much appeal outside of Critical Role fans. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 3 out of 5

DAISY #2

After a mysterious and dark opening issue, Daisy opts to dump a whole lot of lore and backstory on us in this second chapter. In doing so, the storytelling becomes a bit heavy-handed, but it gives further shape to what this series is going to become. At the conclusion of this second installment, I’m still not sure what to think of Daisy overall. I still like the general pitch behind this series, but I’m going to have to wait to see how it develops from this point onward before I get too excited. — Logan Moore

Rating: 3 out of 5

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #15

Department of Truth #15 isn’t a comic – not in the traditional sense. Instead, James Tynion IV and guest artist David Romero opt for a series of prose pages detailing an encounter with the Mothman and the Grinning Man, both of which are popular cryptids seen in West Virginia and southern Ohio. Ultimately, it’s an experimental take from an experimental book, one which will likely land well with some but will feel like more self-important nonsense that treats real life tragedy and folklore as frivolous fiction that can be summarily dismissed and warped into a nonsensical grand unified plot line to others. At least the Mothman illustrations look cool. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 3 out of 5

THE GOOD ASIAN #8

The Good Asian starts to piece together some important parts of the puzzle, following the explosion that left both Edison Hark and the mysterious Hui Long killer dead. With Hark dead, it’s left to his one-time ally Lucy Fan to try to sort out what happened to her missing friend. Lucy is driven by a sense of justice by the open discrimination in Chinatown, along with a naive sense of concern about her still missing friend. In the backlog of this issue, creator Pornsak Pichotshote notes that the series was supposed to wrap up in nine issues. I’m glad the run got extended by a bit, as it allows the story to continue playing out naturally instead of feeling rushed. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

HELL SONJA #1

There have been no shortage of recent books that have taken the gimmick of Red Sonja into new territory, and Hell Sonja might be one of the most creative extensions of that yet. Without getting into spoilers, the debut issue showcases a fiery battle involving multiple incarnations of Sonja, which only further devolves into a fiery and unexpected territory. Christopher Hastings’ script is accessible and entertaining, while also being jam-packed with lore, which the art from Pasquale Qualano accents in some visually clever ways. While it will remain to be seen what the larger narrative of Hell Sonja has in store, this debut manages to captivate just enough. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #2

INKBLOT #15

Inkblot #15 is out this week with some much-needed exposition and a lot of angry hissing. As new information is shared about the void, readers will leave feeling more aware of what Inkblot has at stakes. But when you are dealing with a dimension-traveling kitty, well – all bets are off when it comes to saving existence itself. — Megan Peters

Rating: 3 out of 5

MANIAC OF NEW YORK: THE BRONX IS BURNING #2

The biggest issue that I think I continue to have with Maniac of New York is that too many characters in this series are just straight-up stupid. Some of the actions that a number of characters take in the latest installment of The Bronx Is Burning just don’t make sense. And while I think that some of these actions in question are taken as a way of making social commentary, their inclusion comes at the cost of removing me entirely from the story. Maniac of New York‘s overarching narrative is still one that I am just not jiving with in this second run and I’m hard-pressed to think that will change soon. — Logan Moore

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

MAZEBOOK #5

The master of mystery, Jeff Lemire can weave a tale that has you scratching your head one issue after the next—but you can always, always expect him to resolve everything in a satisfying manner. Mazebook is the perfect example of that. This story is devastatingly beautiful, a love note to loss, sacrifice, and most importantly—moving forward when you don’t want to or feel like it. You can tell this came from a deep point within the writer’s psyche, an exceptionally vulnerable tale that wears its heart on its sleeve. There’s a million and one reasons as to why you should like Mazebook, and each one of them can be felt throughout every page here. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 5 out of 5

MIGHTY MORPHIN #15

“The Eltarian War” has been sensational thus far, and the next chapter doesn’t let off the gas at all. Ryan Parrott, Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte, Sharon Marino, and Ed Dukeshire keep the epic battles coming in a number of varieties, whether that is a vendetta-driven one on one or a massive Megazord battle in the sky and several things in between. Zordon vs Zedd is a fight we never thought we’d see, and seeing Squatt, Baboo, Finster, and Goldar just running through Eltarians never gets old. The Empyreals themselves are still a little one-note but given certain twists in the story that could end up changing before the story is through. Mighty Morphin #15 keeps “The Eltarian War”‘s momentum for another action-packed issue, and this is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling events thus far in Power Rangers comics. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MY BAD #3

This throwback satire continues to impress, with its take on Batman remaining particularly hilarious. Most of the one-liners hit and the art evokes the classic comic vibes it needs to while still finding ways to help the jokes along. My Bad works. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 4 out of 5

NO ONE LEFT TO FIGHT II #4

We’ve reached perhaps the most dramatic and intense issue of No One Left to Fight II yet. Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio raise the stakes with a spirited battle between Team Timor and the Hierophant. The art by Ossio, Raciel Avila, and Taylor Esposito is bombastic, and they finally get to unleash their talents in multiple fight scenes. One of those scenes also includes a familiar and welcomed ode to superpowered team-ups. Another bit of fun fan service is the revelation of the meaning behind the Dark Horse comic’s title, and a showdown several issues in the making. — Tim Adams

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #3

NYX #3

Nyx #3 has a fun little crossover with Vampirella but seems to brush off all of the serious subject matter that had been in the first two issues. It doesn’t help that a dull fight is thrown in. — Connor Casey

Rating: 2 out of 5

ORDINARY GODS #6

This is likely the most action-packed issue of Ordinary Gods that we have seen so far. As such, it moves at a much quicker pace than some of the previous issues, which makes it almost hard to keep up with at times. Despite the quicker nature of the book, this installment brings to a head many of the plot lines that have been building up in recent chapters. While not all of them pay off here in issue #6, the ending of the book sets things in motion to only get crazier from here. — Logan Moore

Rating: 3 out of 5

RAIN #1

While it will be interesting to see where Rain goes from here, the first issue is genuinely outstanding. From the way it crafts the narrative and its characters to how it visually presents the complexities of an unexpected apocalypse, the loss it brings, and the lesson about love that both its protagonist and the reader doesn’t see coming, Rain #1 feels like a masterpiece of human emotion. I can’t wait to see where it goes next. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

SAVAGE DRAGON #261

Savage Dragon #261 settles into a comfortable groove, setting up a big story for next month by establishing stakes for Malcolm’s personal life and marriage, and for the superhero side of things with a new threat from the Vicious Circle. It also brings Covid-19 back into the storyline in a way that’s likely to surprise some longtime fans. The art is dynamic, which is important, because there’s a lot more talking and a lot less punching than most issues of Savage Dragon. Of course, that won’t last long. — Russ Burlingame

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE SCORCHED #1

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn franchise finally gets its own Avengers-style series and it’s about as extreme and stupid as you might expect. Writer Sean Lewis has the impossible task of assembling all these characters, which really aren’t that different from the regular Spawn, and having it make sense and be interesting. Some moments play to your inner child-brain by simply being “cool” but the narrative cannot be sustained by this especially as nonsensical as the entire piece is as a whole. Artists Stephen Segovia and Paulo Siqueira split duties with varying levels of success. The pair succeeds in delivering extravagant splash pages but the stark contrast in coloring and inks between the two requires an adjustment for readers. Do you want to see Spawn characters kill monsters and set stuff on fire? Then this is for you. Do you want to read something that brings something new to the table of this franchise? Keep looking. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: IMPOSTER SYNDROME #2

Surge and Kit continue to question their programming as Starline raids one of Eggman’s bases in Imposter Syndrome #2. The dynamics of this trio remain the reason to read the miniseries, as Kit and Surge’s less-loving reflection of Sonic and Tails’ own relationship makes these villains endearing and provides them with a genuine conspiracy to uncover. That provides plenty of excitement when combined with Starline’s enormous ego and ambitions, but it doesn’t always translate well to action in these pages. As the trio confront various badniks across the compound, some panels are overly full and lacking clear transitions between one another. There’s a lot of color and impact, but it’s not always apparent exactly where that impact is coming from. The humor and heart evidenced before and after the battle is enough to ensure Imposter Syndrome remains enjoyable, but it struggles to meet the storytelling standards established in Sonic the Hedgehog. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Other Publishers #4

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(Photo: Image Comics)

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC ADVENTURES #12

High Republic Adventures is telling a rather sprawling story, one that might be a little too big for its own good, but the central idea holds everything together. At its core, this book is about the joys and difficulties of close friendships, and we get a chance to really understand these relationships because of the decade-spanning story. We grow with these kids and get a chance to really dig in to how they work and don’t work with one another. The art could be a bit less busy, particularly during heavy action sequences, but it’s still moving well and in the right direction. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 3 out of 5

STILLWATER #12

There are few things more satisfying in action comics than watching a plan go awry. That’s exactly what occurs in Stillwater #12 and it serves to remind readers this series still has a lot of surprises in store. The urgency and desperation present in the planning makes the stakes of this story plain; no matter how alluring eternal life may seem, it’s plainly a curse. So to watch individuals strive so hard to free themselves and others from that curse evokes nobility and, later, tragedy. It’s a potent combination that makes for nail-biting action sequences, even if those sequences sometimes lack sufficient clarity. Watching how things fall apart here isn’t simply exciting, it’s also a character study that clarifies why Daniel is this story’s protagonist – for as long as he survives. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

THE SWORD OF HYPERBOREA #1

Ragna Rok has already come to the pages of Hellboy and readers know how the world ends, but there’s still a lot of story to be told as humanity falls and the Earth is reshaped. The Sword of Hyperborea seeks to tackle that towering tale by focusing on one key artifact spanning ages – the titular weapon wielded by Agent Howards at the world’s end. The first issue embraces the massive scale of time and history surrounding the object, cutting between ages and offering readers a sense of the near-madness that spun about Howards in the pages of B.P.R.D.. These illustrations of the past and future suggest a wild sense of power that meets the expectations set in Hell On Earth, treating humanity as one species in a tapestry, not a presumed hero. It’s big and immersive and wild, and even though it’s unclear where this story’s sword may lead next, discovering the answer seems irresistible. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

TWO MOONS #8

I have honestly not been as engaged with Two Moons in recent issues since this “Ghost War” arc began. Despite this dissatisfaction, issue #8 has started to lure me back in. Much of this is because it feels like a number of important things begin to finally shape this arc here in issue #8. If the past two installments have been more about introducing some of the new faces in this world, this chapter is actually starting to set the story in motion in a more direct manner. I’m not sure how Two Moons is going to develop from this point, but I remain intrigued by this unique series. — Logan Moore

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #18

You can call Undiscovered Country any number of things—but you can’t call it predictable. This plot from Soule and Snyder twists and turns more than a stomach after bad dairy, and it leaps forward at a breakneck pace. In fact, it moves along so fast it’s uncomfortable at times, but perhaps that’s what the writers envisioned—after all, this story is the most fever dreamish of apocalyptic scenarios. By the way, CRANK!’s lettering is exemplary here, consistent and tight, but even moreso when cycling through the book’s multiple antagonists. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE? #3

What’s the Furthest Place From Here? #3 opens with a mystery that’s revealed through some clever use of “old school” technology, that our young characters have no concept of. The comedic acting displayed by Tyler Boss and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou helps elevate the witty dialogue from Matthew Rosenberg. The continuing expansion of the cast helps to keep the mystery building, and watching a group of teenagers attempt to navigate multiple surprises and revelations is spot-on. While some questions are answered, new ones are presented with another cliffhanger ending. — Tim Adams

Rating: 3 out of 5

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