Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 2/10/2021

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Welcome to this week in comedian guide critiques! The employees have come collectively to learn and evaluation almost every little thing that launched in the present day. It is not completely complete, but it surely consists of nearly every little thing from DC and Marvel with the essential books from the likes of Image, Boom, IDW, Valiant, and extra.

The evaluation blurbs you will discover contained herein are sometimes supplemented partly by longform particular person critiques for vital points. This week that features DC: Love is a Battlefield #1, King in Black: Black Panther #1, and Radiant Black #1.

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

And with that, on to the reviews — which are listed in alphabetical order, but first by DC, Marvel, and the rest of the publishers.

DC #1

Rekindling a spark is no easy feat and I have been waiting to see if American Vampire can manage that in its long-delayed final act. There’s a spark in American Vampire 1976 #5 that threatens to burn brightly and it’s very exciting after the fits and starts of the first 4 issues. After a very focused heist and many expository discursions to refresh readers, issue #5 swings big with new characters, epic sensibilities, and an American metaphor that manages to find hope without being pollyannaish. The Council of Firsts are a delightful addition to the series as a whole and their perspective provides a properly momentous feeling for the inevitable showdown with the Beast. Albuquerque’s depiction of these new creatures is a delight and he delivers one of the current miniseries most unsettling images thus far with a certain “facelift.” There are still moments where the story spends too much time explaining and justifying itself, but the series’ momentum can now be clearly sensed and the big ideas on display match the moment. American Vampire is prepared for a very big climax and now it’s time to see whether or not it can deliver on so much promise. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

Love Is a Battlefield doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s outstanding in certain moments. I’d recommend it for anyone who is a fan of the characters inside, even if you’re in the “Love Stinks” camp heading into Valentine’s Day weekend. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

I cannot say enough good things about Future State: Dark Detective generally, but Future State: Dark Detective #3 is by itself another fantastic issue. Mariko Tamaki has been digging deep into this dystopian future Gotham City in a way that is both realistic and horrifying at the same time all while giving readers an incredible, back-to-basics Bruce Wayne that is easily the best version of both Bruce and Batman readers have gotten in ages, including some high-profile runs. This issue plays out like a high-octane episode of a television show, starting with a murder and racing through to Bruce starting to put the pieces together to a horrifying realization and even sees the former Batman cross paths with the Next Batman. It’s a full-adrenaline rush and still remains tight and brilliantly written. Dan Mora’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s color are living beings themselves in this, packing a powerful punch and providing almost a pulse to the story. Every Batman story should be this good. Period. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

It was going to be difficult to top Green Lantern’s first Future State issue, and while issue #2 doesn’t surpass the original, it’s still not very far from the mark. Writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Tom Raney lead things off with the second part of “Last Lanterns,” and that title isn’t kidding either. Thorne’s love of John Stewart comes through loud and clear, and while the visuals are a bit odd at times, overall it delivers a satisfying conclusion to this particular arc. The book really hits its stride with Josie Campbell and Andie Tong’s “Dead Space,” which catapults the amazing Keli Quintela into a partnership with Mogo that absolutely steals the show. If you weren’t already excited for post-Future State Green Lantern, this story will definitely get you hyped, as will Robert Venditti and Dexter Soy’s final story “Recon,” which finally reveals what Hal Jordan’s been up to and delivers a meeting that some of us Green Lantern fans have been begging for. Just like before, if you’re a Green Lantern fan, this is a pull list must, and the future looks awfully bright for the ring slingers. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

There are several elements of Future State: Justice League that work extremely well, including the core premise regarding the differences between this new League and the original. The exchanges between Yara and Jon highlight this core concept in an organic way, and I love the idea of Joshua Williamson showing us the team getting to know each other in real-time, but the execution is just a little clunky. The sequence revealing what the team knows about each other already is absolute gold, but the final battle is not very subtle in illustrating those revelations at times. At other times the team just comes off as rather unlikeable, and Robson Rocha’s visuals are surprisingly a bit of a mixed bag as well. Things perk up though with the second part to “Prophecies” by Ram V and Marcio Takara. It paints a grim picture and doesn’t feature the happy ending one might hope for, but it definitely leaves an impression and is visually stunning to boot. The combo is enough to warrant a buy, but just isn’t the home run I was hoping for. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 3 out of 5

It’s easy to think that you need a whole lots of issues to tell a compelling story, but Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #2 proves that in just two issues you can not only tell a good story but create a classic that will outlast the event it’s part of and potentially shape how we perceive its hero going forward. The issue continues the story of Kara going from just a hero to a leader with a legacy and sees her do what the strongest of heroes and leaders do: stand up for those no one else will stand up for. I don’t want to share the details of this story—Marguerite Bennett has crafted something here that should be read and Marguerite Sauvage drawn something that should be seen, not paraphrased—but there is a raw understanding of everything Kara Zor-El has ever been and ever could be tied up in these pages with a heartbreaking and beautiful story that is hands-down the best Super-title in ages. There’s a lot of good stuff coming out of “Future State,” but this story of strength, sacrifice and hope transcends it all. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

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DC #2

Comic Reviews - DC Love is a Battlefield #1
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

The second half of Future State: Robin Eternal is a notable improvement over its start in that it offers readers something they have not seen before. The desperate final push to stop a vague threat from being deployed is all too familiar, but Tim Drake’s battle with madness in stopping it is genuinely interesting at points. What is most impressive is Eddy Barrow’s growing depictions of Batman’s cowled shadow rising from the edges of Drake’s subconscious to influence his emotions. It acts as a coda of sorts to his work on Detective Comics and injects some much-needed novelty into this climax. There’s nothing spectacular to be found here, but it’s engaging enough to warrant some consideration and that’s a notable improvement on the mediocre start of Robin Eternal. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3 out of 5

The second and final issue of Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman wears the influence of All-Star Superman on its sleeve, with the “planet’s finest” duo engaging in contests against a sun god and a robot sun tyrant. Dan Watters’ narration has the tone of a storyteller recalling a myth to children gathered around a fire, giving the tale an epic quality. Leila del Duca’s artwork is up the task, depicting the heroes taking on Herculean challenges with a statuesque style befitting the gods. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Future State: Teen Titans is a mess of a comic. Like the other “Future State” titles, Teen Titans is intended to be a snapshot of a potential future. But the series really struggles to make any kind of coherent sense because we’re only given about half of the story. The comic is meant to establish some mysteries, but it does so at the end of the story. We’re supposed to care about everything that led up to the events seen in this issue, but there’s too much deliberate misinformation and twists to make anyone really get invested. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 1 out of 5

The penultimate issue in Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s run on The Green Lantern is far removed from this series’ origin, but maintains the same creative energy that propelled it from the start. Meta-narratives that tie back to Morrison’s work on The Multiversity and as far back as Animal Man are present, with our reality clearly influencing these fictional worlds of endless possibility for the worse. Yet they do not hijack the story as Hal Jordan also considers his role as a torch bearer and someone who must eventually pass it to a new generation. All of these ideas are wed to settings so fantastic they could only be summoned in comics, and Sharp outdoes himself in depicting several splash panels and a truly outstanding spread. With only one issue remaining, it seems The Green Lantern is more than ready to stick its landing. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

Rorschach #5 is perfectly… fine. The still unnamed protagonist is brought face to face with his employer, the presidential candidate Turley who, as you’d expect, is a bit unhinged and unstable. The comic features more ties to the core Watchmen series—Turley has interacted with the Comedian—but there’s still a real disconnect and lack of urgency that really makes each issue of this a struggle to get through. At least part of this is because the protagonist is a deliberately blank slate, with mild brooding as his only defining trait. But this comic is plodding when it’s aiming for a slow burn, and there’s just a lack of intrigue that makes it hard to get invested or excited about the next issue. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 2 out of 5

If you were waiting for answers, dear readers, Sweet Tooth: The Return #4 provides everything you could need. Not does it only catch readers up with some loose ends in this reboot, but it also has some interesting connections to the original series—a fine addition that begins to bring things full circle. There’s been plenty of titles that can be “Peak Lemire,” and Sweet Tooth: The Return is right up there with the rest of them—it’s got mystery, intrigue, and that special touch you’ve seen before. Sure, you’ve got to suffer through some loose ends for a few straight months but by now, you should realize this guy always has your back, and this issue is exemplary evidence of that. A near-perfect piece to the Sweet Tooth puzzle. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Marvel #1

The Amazing Spider-Man #59 goes live this week with a look back at one of Peter’s most daring enemies. A heart-to-heart conversation with Martin Li digs into his dark past, and Peter finds his family roped into danger as usual. By the end, things begin looking up for Norman’s grandson while Kingpin pushes Mr. Negative into a search for something he’ll do anything for. And of course, that mission has put Spider-Man in the crosshairs once more. — Megan Peters

Rating: 4 out of 5

“King in Black” continues to reveal unexpected and exciting story corridors for the three characters at the heart of Daredevil: Matthew Murdock, Elektra Natchios, and Wilson Fisk. Each of them encounters the crisis in a different setting with unique concerns, and each of them reveals their character under the intense pressure of an apocalyptic alien menace. Elektra and Wilson, both characters who have played the villain (or anti-hero) before, display loyalties and bravery that makes them far more complex than their worst moments. Matthew’s dedication to making amends result in one of the most fascinating uses of his Catholic faith I have ever witnessed in any issue of Daredevil—defining faith in a stunning visual fashion. Even with so much chaos and unexpected symbiote storytelling, Daredevil remains one of the most compelling character studies in comics today, superhero or otherwise. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

Most comic books have to do with the end of the world, right? A threat so massive it will kill us all should it not be stopped. That’s exactly the case here with the latest Eternals run, except—it makes a whole lot of sense here. Not only is the tiresome trope involved here, but it’s layered with political intrigue and mystery. The thrilling events unfolding in this title are much more interesting here than in the debut issue, probably because the world’s been built and now Gillen and company have time to execute concepts and ideas. Eternals is a slow burn, but it’s becoming more worth it with each passing page. By the way, there’s more than one moment here where Esad Ribic cements himself—not only as a picture-perfect match for the characters at hand—but also as one of the best artists in the industry altogether. Gillen and Ribic are firing on all cylinders this time around, and that’s exciting to see moving into next issue. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Excalibur #18 begins to unravel the mystery of what happened to Betsy during “X of Swords” and… well, that’s about it. There are minor character notes along the way, but most of issue #18 is dedicated to defining the mystery box surrounding Betsy’s previously shattered form and doesn’t deliver anything approaching an answer by the end. It’s well presented with rising tension throughout, but there’s only so much space to be spent on a single idea before an issue reads like it’s stalling; that’s where Excalibur is when it delivers a minor dud of a cliffhanger. However, walking through the entire cast’s response to her return does display all of the strengths this series exhibits with potent personalities and a powerful conception of “mutant magic.” It’s a promise that Excalibur #19 will be thrilling, but the expository detour that consumes this issue is simply okay. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3 out of 5

Fantastic Four #29 turns back the clock just a few weeks and brings the First Family of Marvel into the “King in Black” event. Crossovers hardly ever capture the essence of the characters the tie-ins are supposed to represent, but Slott finds an interesting way to tell this FF story as a parallel to previous King in Black issues. Not to mention the issue gives Sky the spotlight she has deserved since joining the series. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

King in Black: Black Panther #1 is one of the best tie-in issues of any notable event Marvel has published in recent memory and stands out as an incredible Black Panther story on its own merits. It possesses writing that respects and understands the characters, setting, and stakes of the story and art that is expressive, impressive, and brilliantly executed. King in Black: Black Panther #1 is a moving and engaging delight of a read that never loses sight of its greater purpose. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

The first issue of King in Black: Thunderbolts was all killer and no filler, which is why the stretched sense of issue #2 makes it read like there was only about 2 issues of plot for this 3 issue miniseries. Much of the space here is spent in Ravencroft reiterating the plot and giving far too much time to repetitive, unhealthy team dynamics. Mister Fear’s poor interpersonal dynamics and Batroc’s use of French are only amusing on a superficial level the first time they’re deployed, not so much the fifth or sixth time. The most notable bit of action featuring a runaway bus serves no purpose except to create an action sequence before eventually arriving at the mission at hand. It’s this loss of momentum that undermines the strengths of the first issue, but still sets up a final chapter with plenty of promise. There’s not much to any of the characters present, but the chaos that surrounds them remains plenty interesting when it’s delivered in a big dose; let’s hope they get back to it in issue #3. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Marvel #2

Comic Reviews - King in Black Black Panther
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Morbius, the Living Vampire, has the opportunity to save his nephew from a fatal illness, though it will require a partnership with Mr. Hyde. As such partnerships are known to unfold, Hyde had a secret agenda for this team-up, putting Morbius’ restraint in question. With the Jared Leto-starring Morbius previously being slated to hit theaters next month, we can only assume that that Bond of Blood would have helped prepare unfamiliar audiences with what the character is all about, as this issue gives significant real estate to Morbius’ backstory, detailing how he became the ghoulish figure. Even with that exposition out of the way, the book’s strengths lay in its embrace of classic EC horror comics, blending camp with creepiness, while also giving a compelling storyline. No matter what your connection to Morbius might be, this adventure has a clever concept that reminds readers of how timeless the Living Vampire is and what makes him so appealing. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 4 out of 5

Writer Ryan North’s new run with the Power Pack reaches its best issue yet as it rightfully puts the focus and POV of the story in the character that has the most level heard on their shoulders. Not only does the narrative flow more freely in this issue than the two previous but the panel layout from artist Nico Leon and the color work by Rachelle Rosenberg is top notch throughout and gives it a spark of energy that it needed to keep its momentum moving. To that end the issue features one of the best action bits in a bright, poppy comic that I’ve ever seen. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5

S.W.O.R.D. is proving to be an exciting focal point for the Marvel Universe, touching on the Krakoan corner of the universe and the Al Ewing-helmed “New Space Age” and touching on Marvel’s current “King in Black” event. This issue is a perfect example, touching on each of these areas through an intimate lens focused squarely on Manifold. It’s a credit to Ewing that he packs this much referential material into the book without it ever feeling forced or distracting or losing sight of the character in the process. Having a team of talented artists aboard helps, and Bernard Chang, Ray-Anthony Height, Nico Leon, and Valerio Schiti each deliver on their pages, whether it’s a trip back home, a jaunt to the other side of the galaxy, or a stealth mission. The issue ends somewhat abruptly as these early S.W.O.R.D. issues seem dedicated to planting seeds more than giving us a full narrative arc of their own. Still, if the sowing is this entertaining and well-crafted, readers should be eager to what Ewing and company reap. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 4 out of 5

On his way to Exegol, Vader happens to be intercepted by the Empire, who have been tasked with eradicating the Sith Lord under Palpatine’s orders. If there’s one thing readers know about Vader, it’s that he refuses to quit, regardless of the size of the threat, as we see the villain unleash all-new tactics to unearth Palpatine’s plans. Most readers are looking forward to seeing what happens when Vader arrives on Exegol and how it could tie into the events of the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films, leaving this chapter to merely kick the ball further down the field. Despite this issue largely setting the stage for the climactic conclusion of this storyline, it still manages to keep the audience engage, which includes Vader hitching a ride on one of the most unlikely transports in the galaxy. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

Taskmaster’s first two issues focused more on the sometimes hero’s survival instincts where he faced threats far beyond his paygrade, but in his third chapter, he’s come to terms more with the responsibilities thrust upon him. Armed with a budget and better tools to get the job done, we’re able to see more of his resourcefulness and ingenuity after having his willingness and resolve already established. A montage of mimicked superhero moves dug up from his memory is as fitting a visual for his powers as one could imagine, though I do prefer the wit of a more desperate Taskmaster more than the direction he’s turned towards. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wolverine: Black White and Blood #3 is full of good stories. “32 Warriors And A Broken Heart” written by John Ridley is easily an all-time best Wolverine story and Jorge Fornes’ art is a perfect complement. And both Donny Cates’ “Burn” and Jed MacKay’s “Red Planet Blues” are solid entries as well, but both lose something with their art. “Burn” features art by Chris Bachalo and while it suits the story, it’s visually messy and difficult in this red/black/white format. It’s an example of just how critical color can be. Jesus Saiz’s work in “Red Planet Blues” is just stylistically jarring—again, not bad, but also just odd. The real issue at play here, given that the stories are well-written and each with their own interest and version of Wolverine, is how effective this whole format is three issues in. Even with its trio of good stories, Wolverine: Black White and Blood #3 is starting to feel repetitive in a way that does none of those stories nor the character any favors. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

X-Force #17 reads in a similar fashion to Excalibur #18 this week in that it’s all about establishing a mystery that goes unsolved, but X-Force develops its mystery while carefully developing one of its central characters, which makes the issue much more satisfying on its own Quentin Quire has played the egotistical bad boy for a long time and these pages provide him with some very necessary depth. His romance with Phoebe exposes tenderness and unlocks much of what drives the young, omega-level mutant in a sympathetic fashion. Touches of humor and action surrounding his seemingly unending deaths add that typical X-Force flair, while still allowing for a date filled with sensitivity and nuance. That’s not to too mention a cliffhanger that quickly draws this detour into one one of the series’ longest running subplots in a manner that will leave readers with nothing but a blend of anticipation and anxiety when awaiting issue #18. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #1

It’s been ages since the last issue of Birthright, and that’s something that certainly worked in the favor of the pulled-back storytelling of this issue. Going from a battle to save all of reality in issue #45 to a grounded adventure tale here is jarring, but less so with six months or so are between issues. Here, the events that unfold are a bit too drawn out as the action gets pushed to the backburner. Nonetheless, this final arc does appear to be wrapping up most of the outstanding questions in the series, so at least it has that going for it. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Patrick Foreman and Brian Hawkins’ Black Cotton flips our entire world on its head in a simple way, delivering a biting alternate history where racial dynamics in America are reversed and the killing of a white woman by a black police officer sparks “White Lives Matter” protests and worries from a decades old family about protecting what’s theirs. Black Cotton has that inherent conflict on the surface and is handled with the kind of care and finesse that make it stand out, but there’s also an added layer of mystery that will keep me reading. Art by Marco Perugini delivers evocative black-and-white tableaus akin to The Walking Dead or even The Twilight Zone, deepening the ethos of this story more. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5

At last, Black Hammer: Visions has arrived with the first of its eight issues. Here, Patton Oswalt and Dean Kotz tell the story of Golden Gail living through the ages. Compared to other Black Hammer, it’s toned down and the pace moves at a crawl—that might be for the best here. The end result is an intense character study into the foul-mouthed hero that takes the form of a kid, even though she’s actually an adult. It answers some long-standing questions in regards to Gail’s agelessness, and it’s a solid debut for a series that explores Black Hammer‘s stars. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Although the world of Bliss significantly expands itself out in this issue, it doesn’t cost any of its emotional core along the way. The issue sees the audience—both literally and metaphorically—confront Benton’s trauma, all while teeing up a major new threat in the series’ unique drug trade. Sean Lewis’ narrative is heartfelt and complicated without ever being heady or unapproachable, and Caitlin Yarsky’s art is moody and fantastical in all the right ways. While this issue does use a small bit of steam as it goes along, it still culminates in an interesting addition to the series’ unique fantasy canon. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

It’s never a good sign when you set down the first issue of a series to ask, “What was the point of that?” It’s exactly the response I had to reading Casual Fling #1, an issue I can only compliment by saying it is a comic book that proficiently tells its story. Yet there is no call to engage with the story of a yuppie lured into an extramarital affair by a predator. Perhaps another version might be interesting, but here the lead characters are barely defined outside of their hectic lives and rocky marriage. There’s no reason for readers to invest in the trials and tribulations of Jennifer beyond her simply being identified as the main character. Even the sex so prominently centered in the title and cover fails to excite with banal close-ups of fingers and kisses. It’s hardly for mature readers because there’s nothing mature in the content or conception of Casual Fling. Rather, it’s half an idea produced before finding a purpose. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

There’s an unabashed sense of ambition in the majority of the creative decisions in Commanders in Crisis—but it still is unclear if that will ultimately manifest in a good or bad thing. This issue tries to build upon the ever-escalating battle between the Crisis Command and a rogue’s gallery of literal and physical foes, resulting in so many of its plot developments zigging when you expect them to zag. As I’ve said in previous reviews of the series, the idea of telling an event book in an entirely new universe might be Commanders in Crisis‘ downfall, as the surprising shifts of new romances, new character introductions, and other elements of lore come across more as pastiche than as anything really monumental. Even then, the series’ is undeniably remaining consistent with its unique approach to things, as both Steve Orlando’s narrative and Davide Tinto’s art do just enough to keep the series intriguing. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Other Publishers #2

The new volume of Vox Machina – Origins opens with the team together at last and fully up to their usual shenanigans. At this point in the campaign, the group is a typical adventuring party, taking jobs for coin and then spending it just as fast. After Vox Machina spends away their latest earnings on various pleasures (the montage is one of the best parts of these comics so far and perfectly captures the personalities of the team), the group is recruited for an underground fighting ring that may be more than meets the eye. Another solid comic that only requires the scantest of information about Critical Role to enjoy. This remains one of the best fantasy comics on stands today. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

If there’s one word to describe this story, it’s insufferable. I can’t tell if the book has utter contempt or is merely embracing the California kids of the early 90s grunge scene and their punk-loving adversaries but every panel of “deep” narration and fake British accents comes off like nails on a chalkboard. If not for some decent ghost designs there would be nothing here. — Connor Casey

Rating: 2 out of 5

After establishing its understated, melancholic world in its first two issues, I Walk with Monsters takes a decidedly stark approach to its two main characters—but in a way that still manages to be pretty engrossing. The issue adds a bit more context to the complex backstories of its two main characters—backstory that definitely doesn’t redeem the actions they’re taking, but cements them as complicated characters in a way that future issues of the series will have to reckon with. Between that narrative choice and the issue’s pacing—which allows the visuals from Sally Cantrino to really shine—this isn’t quite my favorite issue of I Walk with Monsters yet, but it’s definitely a significant one. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5

Knock Em Dead takes an odd turn in this issue. It goes from a “one strange thing” story to existing in a world where a former priest knows all about undead possession and can perform a legit exorcism without a problem. What’s more unbelievable is that, after this exorcism, the freed victim would request to have a different spirit put back in that vacancy. The issue simply doesn’t sell that level of desperation compared to the level of fear that preceded it. The way the series expresses the act of performing standup visually is still interesting, but this issue may have derailed the entire plot. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 2 out of 5

The second chapter of The Last Witch travels a decidedly darker path than its first that’ll likely catch off guard those who’ve been lured in by its softer appearance. It’s brief dash of excitement to kick things off was appreciated, but the commotion ended up a bit more hectic than expected due to some cluttered and sometimes unclear scenes that depicted the action. While it provides ample insights into the origins of Saoirse’s expected prowess and smartly doubles down on the strength of her sibling relationship, there were at least two or three points in the issue that might’ve served as better stopping points to avoid going on for too long. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 3 out of 5

The themes of hope and positive ideation in Low remain messy through the end, but they are bound up in a story that carries a resurgent energy and powerful images that make it easy to overlook any lack of depth. As the series arrives at its conclusion, it provides a proper denouement for each of its central characters with critical sacrifices and triumphs arriving in spectacular splashes fashioned by Greg Tocchini. There is a proper power to confronting the end of the world by doing everything in one’s own power to stop it, as well, with the outlook for halting the effects of climate change looking more dismal each day. Low is ultimately an escapist fantasy, but it’s one wrapped in our moment and it finds power and joy by merging the two. Even if readers won’t learn much from these pages, they are likely to find a spark of inspiration and that’s an accomplishment worth acknowledging. Low #26 is a well-crafted finale and even skeptics, like myself, may find some hope in its pages. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #3

The big reveal is finally here, as Power Rangers fans finally get the long-awaited reveal of the new Green Ranger. While that may garner the most buzz, what leaves the biggest impression is writer Ryan Parrott’s delivery of a legitimate villain threat. Parrott makes Zedd feel as lethal as his iconic look has always made him seem, and it’s nice to see the Rangers on their heels without it being a massive crossover or event. It’s also delightful to see all the small seeds Parrott’s planted throughout the first few issues start to blossom, with Eltar, Grace Sterling, and more coming together in a way that broadens the scope of the Rangers and this universe without muddling the main story. Artist Marco Renna delivers an epic Zord battle and some stylish action, though one of the coolest scenes is a visor shot from the new Green Ranger and Zedd’s perspective, which simply demands to be on a poster. The Green Ranger reveal itself is not all-together that surprising, but how it’s delivered is intriguing, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

It’s issues like this one that shows just how bizarrely structured Norse Mythology really is. Last time around, we got the first part of a retelling of the children of Loki—Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel—and that finishes here. Then with just a few pages left, a new story kicks off that will bring back readers next month. Admittedly, having to resort to the structure of the storytelling is a bit of a petty gripe—but at least that means the content within really is excellent. David Rubin wraps up his work on Loki’s children, a style perfect for the totally bonkers story involving a god… you know… birthing a wolf and serpent. Then there’s Jill Thompson’s painting with “Freya’s Unusual Wedding.” Again, both artists match their stories very well, it’s just a peculiar choice to split the stories up in such a way—especially if they’re already less than a full issue the way it is. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Orcs is a very playful read with lots of tongue in cheek humor. This six-issue series from Christine Larsen gets off to a solid start here in issue one. While it moves a bit fast in some places, it does a nice job of introducing you to the cast of characters and the ensuing journey that they will be going on throughout the series. And even though the writing is quite fun throughout, Larsen’s art is the star of the show. It’s a refreshing visual palette in a time where so many other comics are trying to be intentionally drab. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where Larsen takes Orcs next. — Logan Moore

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Origins from Chapman and Rebelka continues to explore a world in nature versus technology with the normal roles reversed. With the past issues, the premise has been one that hasn’t been able to create a story that feels unique among a sea of post-apocalyptic tales and this latest entry continues the trend. The art is once again the big takeaway from the series, though can sometimes seem sloppy and not detailed enough, but it far exceeds the sub-par characters explored within. –Evan Valentine

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Radiant Black is at its heart a tale of someone at their lowest given an opportunity to change their story, with those beloved Ranger themes woven in and a depth that only something creator-owned allows. While the powers and the stylish suit will get all the attention, it’s really the person behind the powers that steals the show, making Radiant Black one debut you should not miss. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

The mystery of Red Atlantis continues to get more exhilarating and intriguing—and, within this issue, its roster of characters really starts to as well. As Miriam’s fight for safety goes to some new places—both literally and figuratively—the other characters within her orbit make some surprising decisions and standoffs as well. Stephanie Phillips’ narrative leaves just enough up mystery while keeping the issue itself largely satisfying, and the art from Robert Carey compliments everything in a salt-of-the-Earth, moody way. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Other Publishers #4

Comic Reviews - Radiant Black #1
(Photo: Image Comics)

The end of the first book of Scarenthood arrives this week, resolving the story that set things off—the mysterious portal under the stage at the primary school—while also tying into things elements of the larger mysteries, such as the fate of Flynno’s brother with the seeming defeat of the monster. It also starts to build in the elements of what will presumably be the next chapter and, as with all good folklore-based horror tales, the win here is only temporary. However, the issue suffers from some quick shifts that don’t fully connect with the rest of the story, a bit of bloat—this is, as all the issues have been, a long one that could be well-served from tighter storytelling or more issues—and introduces some inter-character tension that just feels tonally off. That isn’t to say that Scarenthood #3 isn’t a good book; it is. It just has some weaknesses that would see things better served over a longer run or all in one volume. But, all that aside, there’s some absolutely adorable art of Scooper in a sheep costume that is well worth the long read for. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Scout’s Honor #2 proved that opening issue was no fluke—this is a fantastically-realized post apocalyptic world with plenty of intrigue, a likeable protagonist and terrifying stakes. The Boy Scout references are fun if you catch them, but the highlight remains how writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida keep coming up with new ways to show Scout-themed violence. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

In its final issue, Star Trek: Voyager – Seven’s Reckoning poses some interesting questions without providing as many satisfying answers. Writer Dave Baker has Seven questioning a defining and controversial Starfleet tenet, the Prime Directive. He draws on her Borg background, having her remind Capt. Janeway that, whatever they think of the Borg, they ran a fair and just society, aside from the forced assimilation of aliens part. Janeway’s responses aren’t as nuanced, relying instead on traditional Starfleet sentiment. Still, it brushes up against an interesting conversation regarding the ability to immediately end injustice versus the unintended consequences of exerting one’s influence over a developing culture. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

In the second issue of Sophie Campbell’s return to drawing and writing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the group continues to deal with the stress brought on by Lita’s trip back through time, which weighs particularly heavily on Jennika. The team embarks on a recon mission to search for the wayward mutants Tokka and Rahzar, which is standard fare. Still, it is elevated by Campbell’s artwork and Bebop and Rocksteady’s return, injecting a chaotic uncertainty into the proceedings. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Just when you think you know where Killjoys is going, it ricochets at a breakneck speed into something even weirder and more wonderful. Now that most of the players in the series’ unique game have been established, this issue is able to achieve its full potential, both in terms of meaningful character moments and heart-racing, kinetic action. Leonardo Romero’s art helps further cement this series as a masterpiece, with certain sequences that—when combined with Jordie Bellaire’s colors—feel like Darwyn Cooke illustrations taken through a street art acid trip. This series truly is a delight in so many ways, and this issue is proof that it could definitely become an instant classic. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 5 out of 5

The team’s time in Unity comes to an end in an expected and chaotic fashion, with humanoids waging battle with one another and buildings crumble, leaving the reader as disoriented as the book’s heroes. When one character asks what’s happening to them, another replies, “I hate this place…that’s what’s happening,” which feels like an apt description for the conclusion to this storyline. There are many ambitious ideas and themes that all come to a head, grappling with technology being both a blessing and a curse for humanity, though it’s delivered in such a frenetic and disjointed way, it’s hard to really enjoy anything that’s going on in the story. Fans will likely be just as happy to move into the next zone of this book as the characters are, as the heady nature of this storyline proved to be far too overwhelming, emphasizing its metaphors as it forgot to engage the reader. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 2 out of 5

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