Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 11/16/2022 – ComicBook.com

By Chase Magnett
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 Iron Man #25, Stargirl: The Lost Children #1, and Kroma #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.
Every few weeks, I look forward to diving back into what is far and away the best book focusing on the DC Universe in Waid and Mora and every few weeks, it doesn’t disappoint. The inclusion of Thunder Boy has made for an interesting foil for both the Man of Tomorrow and the Dark Knight, as the two continue to navigate their way around the mysterious newcomer who is harboring some dark secrets. On the villainous side, the Key and the Joker make for a fun, albeit downright evil, duo. World’s Finest does such an amazing job of reveling in DC’s history while injecting new characters and elements that it all feels fresh. Cannot recommend this one enough. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 5 out of 5
Who doesn’t love a good Mr. Freeze story? Freeze has always been one of DC’s more complicated villains, with his tragic love of his dying wife being twisted from obsessive to poignant and back again many times. Here, we see the more detached and controlling version of Freeze, although Robin tries to see the good in him multiple times. Ultimately, this is a fun story that highlights a younger Batman and Robin and their differing approaches to fighting crime, along with a Freeze who is evil, but still retains a brief hope of redemption. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 5 out of 5
Black Adam #6 delivers the tantalizing showdown between Black Adam and Batman promised last month, and anticipated by readers ever since Teth-Adam joined the Justice League. It’s an event of appropriate scale consuming the entirety of this issue – in a series that typically leaps between a half-dozen plots. However, there are plenty of surprise embedded within their battle as the ground beneath the feet of these two incredibly strong-willed individuals is the only thing likely to shift. Batman’s armor calls back to his iconic battle with Superman in The Dark Knight Returns #4, and a number of splashes make this battle feel similarly electric. It’s what comes in the final few pages and how they tie this very specific fight to threads first introduced in Black Adam #1 that makes the spectacle a genuine success, though. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Like the vast majority of issues that have preceded it, this Catwoman run is finding clever ways to surprise. This week’s issue puts a lot of Selina’s past, present, and future into the forefront, with Tini Howard’s moving forward at a breakneck speed, while still managing to ruminate on some genuinely compelling parts of Selina’s character. When you combine that with Nico Leon’s slinky artwork, Catwoman delivers another delightful issue – as well as a promising story on the horizon. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5
Even in the midst of an event I have little taste for, there are undeniable bright spots and Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Batman is one of the brightest. Writer Simon Spurrier and artist Ryan Sook take the opportunity presented by Pariah “killing” the Justice League to portray a meta-narrative about the nature of Batman. They depict a dystopian future in which only one city remains in a world overcome by madness, and two protectors stand guard over it: Mr. Wax and The Night. With only 20 pages available, there’s no hiding what these characters represent, but that lack of subtlety ensures the story arrives right at its point. Threads from Morrison’s titanic run resurface in questioning the nature and purpose of DC Comics’ most popular character, and Spurrier and Sook both provide their own spin on this familiar take of impossible, never-ending conflict. They present readers with a world that will always need Batman, and it’s a frightening spectacle. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Dark CrisisYoung Justice six-issue tie-in lands with a bit of a thud thanks to what feels like incredibly rushed artwork and panel layout. The moral of the spin-off ends on a positive note, embracing what Young Justice has become rather than lamenting over the changes the group has seen over the decades. But the clunkiness of the writing always slowed things down, especially after the antagonist’s big reveal. — Connor Casey
Rating: 2 out of 5
The tie-in series prepares to wrap up its own misadventures before DC vs. Vampires concludes with the team shifting away from any world-saving stunts to focus on some more intimate drama and adding one last plot thread. Mary Marvel provided a sense of heart in a story filled with bad vibes, and the final act inevitably hinges on her own terrible predicament. Even painted in broad strokes, her odd friendship with Deathstroke proves charming, even if the ongoing story beneath it barely hangs together. Casting key turning points in flashback and immediately reversing new twists all make for a generally unsatisfying issue outside of Mary’s two key interactions. The back-up feature focused on Jack Hawksmoor proves to be far more engaging, especially for fans of The Authority‘s most underrated character. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 3 out of 5
DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #4 feels like a bit of wheel-spinning, as what initially appears to be a civil war breaking out among the surviving heroes is quickly undercut by the revelation that a god is simply pulling a few strings. If nothing else, Tom Taylor has some fun shipping Alfred and Dr. Leslie Thompkins. — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
As I’ve said numerous times reviewing Adams’ take on the Scarlet Speedster, this book is simply fun. It doesn’t break the wheel or offer anything ground-shaking in the world of superheroes, but it gives fans a solid take on Wally West and his life as a family man, while having a steady grasp on the past continuity of the blue-collar hero. There’s a lot of heart to be found in this issue, with Wally and Linda discovering that there will be an addition to their family, with the added bonus of seeing the Rogues being made into cops for Central City. The Flash operates, to me, on the mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and this latest issue is a breezy, fun-filled romp. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Blue Wall is a… weird comic. To be blunt, it feels like a TV show script turned into a comic, and not in a good way. The pacing is off and rushed, with too many cuts back and forth between characters and scenes and too many discussions of what happened just a few pages ago. At least this issue of the comic finds a way to incorporate Gotham into the system, although I wonder if it’s the intent of the creative team to make me dislike the cops of the GCPD even more. At least, the brazen corruption that has been a hallmark of the GCPD returns after an all too brief “face turn” last issue. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 2 out of 5
Nightwing takes a detour here, giving Dick Grayson his own imp in the form of Nite-Mite. Featuring guest artist Daniele Di Nicuolo, this story seems inconsequential on the surface. You dig even the slightest bit, however, and you get a treasure trove full of character exploration and examination on what it means to be a hero. Though it’s a change of pace, it still fits into the larger story at hand and is quite refreshing. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
Stargirl: The Lost Children #1 doesn’t waste a second – kicking off with a classic superhero car chase and ending up in the middle of a compelling mystery without ever losing sight of its lead. Stargirl and Red Arrow are delightful throughout the issue; writer Geoff Johns also continues to explore and evolve Courtney’s relationships with her family, while also serving up a premise rich with mystery, tension, and some vintage superhero magic. Much praise should also be given to artist Todd Nauck and colorist Matt Herms who deliver gorgeous work from beginning to end and make each and every panel pop with life and color. I didn’t know what to expect from Stargirl: The Lost Children #1, but it didn’t matter, because what I received was fantastic, and I eagerly await the rest of this miniseries. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
The core concept of the latest Titans United miniseries is consistently getting even wilder – and by and large, that is helping it profusely. After the first half of the issue essentially consists of a messy but entertaining fight scene, the second half starts to peel back the curtain about the Titans’ Elseworld-y scenario, laying the groundwork for a unique fight going forward. Cavan Scott, Lucas Meyer, and company manage to find fun in what could otherwise be a bloated mess, turning this series into nonessential, but still entertaining reading. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Writer Mark Russell proves himself well suited to presenting readers with the geo-politics of Dracula’s new(ish) vampire nation Vampyrsk from the pages of The Avengers. He frames this tour of the country in the form of a detective story about a recent assassination focused upon the nation’s sole law enforcement agent: Blade. Blade’s no-nonsense approach, gruff manners, and still perfect style make him a delight to watch move through the chambers of power and various vampiric locales. The mystery itself is brief, but tracks clearly and leaves no loose ends in this one-shot format. While the humor and action are appealing on their own, it’s artist Dave Wachter who ensures that key panels land – capturing Blade’s deadpan delivery and delivering a few gruesome vampire deaths. Blade: Vampire Nation #1 is bound to appeal to any fan of its titular character or Marvel vampires as it fleshes out the concept of Vampyrsk to hopefully become a new Marvel mainstay. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Captain America & The Winter Soldier Special fills in a lot of gaps in the previous Captain America arc, providing much more interesting stakes for the coming arc. The Outer Circle’s goals are an interesting one, with four oligarchs influencing the world from behind the scenes and one trying desperately to bring them down. It’ll be interesting to see what Bucky Barnes, now a part of the Outer Circle does differently to bring this cabal of villains down, and whether he can redeem himself for the events of last issue. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 4 out of 5
Demon Wars: Shield of Justice #1 brings a new kind of mythos to the Marvel Universe that manga readers will find familiar. The tale is filled with yokai and oni are our heroine finds herself drawn into the world time again. Determined to defend their birthrate, our hero discovers a war within their bloodline that is connected to something rotten in their new demonic home. So for those who revisit Demon Slayer and Inuyasha regularly, this new Marvel series is one you should check out ASAP. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
There’s a lot going on in Gambit #5. While it’s action-packed from start to finish, that action is almost hard to follow at times given how much is happening at once. Additionally, the way in which the story wraps up and sets the stage for the next arc of Gambit feels a bit cumbersome. I’ve largely enjoyed how Gambit progressed in recent issues, but this installment definitely feels a bit stilted. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3 out of 5
Norman Osborn’s face-turn in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man has proven to be a surprisingly effective bid to reframe the character and even recapture reader sympathies – making his return to using violence in issue #13 all the more tragic. Golden Goblin #1 captures none of that effect, instead opting to hammer upon the most obvious elements available to it. Gwen Stacy’s neck breaks a total of 8 times in the course of this single comic book. The effect of Norman’s guilt is ill-defined with the Sin-Eater’s effect of “removing” his sins mentioned, but only explained in vague imagery. While the effect of Norman’s guilt is obvious on these pages, it’s played to a humorous degree as the story slowly repeats what’s come before with Gwen Stacy popping out behind seemingly every other panel. The inevitable superhero fight sequence is staged in an unremarkable fashion that leaves the splash of Norman’s Golden Goblin costume seeming all the more naked – a profoundly bland concept that invites readers to color the form and add a face. Golden Goblin #1 takes the feat of Norman’s redemption cycle in The Amazing Spider-Man and reduces it to all of the dullest, broadest cliches readers might have imagined, and they’ll be well served in ignoring this spin-off series. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 1 out of 5
Leave it to Kieron Gillen to take the question of why Chris Claremont decided to give Destiny the same name as Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes stories and turn it into a stellar story that reads like it was always meant this way. There have been past allusions to Destiny and Mystique being the inspirations for Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, but Gillen goes much further here, steeping mutant history in Victorian fiction by turning Mr. Sinister into a mutant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There seems nothing more natural than rooting the emergence of some of the greatest movers and shakers in mutant history, these “Essex-Men,” in the same era that birthed the penny dreadful, making this issue of Immortal X-Men a delightful read. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
As far as Marvel milestone issues go, Iron Man #25 is one of the most effective and quietly epic tributes to a single character in the publisher’s history. Each of this issue’s trio of stories sings a song that could only be in tune with someone like Tony Stark – something distinctly authentic and human in an otherwise-otherworldly world. Iron Man #25 could not be a better milestone for who Tony Stark has become over the years, as well as the person he’s sure to become. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 5 out of 5
At this point, I feel like I know what to expect from a story with Arcade as its focal point, and perhaps going in with those expectations is part of why Murderworld: Avengers #1 was such a welcome surprise. Most stories of this ilk have the heroes running an obstacle course and then figuring out some way to get around it rather quickly, and the stakes are minimal. Murderworld is the opposite of that, as writers Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes take the concept to the ground level, spotlighting those Arcade often preys upon and thus raising the stakes considerably, and by story’s end, you can’t help but root for the sympathetic lead who finds himself in a truly awful situation. Artist Jethro Morales, colorist Matt Milla, and letterer Cory Petit know how to maximize those heart-wrenching moments and the all-out chaos that ensues throughout the story, and they definitely left an impact. Murderworld: Avengers #1 winds up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the week in comics, and I look forward to seeing where this particular tale goes from here. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
There are a lot of interesting things about Namor: Conquered Shores #2. The issue continues the introspection we’re getting with this mature Namor on his mission to try to save the last of humanity and it’s interesting to see him instilled with a bit of optimism when he thinks that the original Human Torch might provide the answer. We also get to see Namor examine his own past a bit by revisiting his last encounter with Sue Storm – which might be the only slight misstep in the issue as it doesn’t feel quite right tonally for either character but absolutely fits in terms of Namor looking back on his life. We also get a bit of a nod to how aging has impacted Namor, which makes for a bittersweet moment as well. All of it together, however, works, as we see a bit of shift in Namor’s mission, which sets things up nicely for the next chapter. This book is beautifully done and endlessly interesting. It’s another strong issue. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I’m really enjoying the video gamification of Shang-Chi in this current arc. This is likely one of the sillier stories that has been seen in Shang-Chi comics in quite some time, but I still find it to be working quite well. Despite my own enjoyment so far, issue #5 contains a vast amount of lore dumping, which bogs it down just a bit. I’m not sure how this tale will wrap up, but it’s been a fun ride so far. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
She-Hulk #8 paints a compelling portrait of mad scientists with sympathy to spare. While the issue serves as a detour from ongoing events, it provides a significant amount of context for the series’ direction to date, especially in the wake of last month’s cliffhanger. It’s how the tale of April and Mark connects to the series that makes the direct narration of their origin story engaging. Rowell avoids painting them as simplistic super villains, even tempting readers to believe their initial plan might work despite the obvious dramatic irony at play, and Miyazawa paints the portrait of an easily liked and quite charming young couple. It’s a fairy tale with a nightmare ending and one that’s bound to infuse future issues of She-Hulk with layers of drama. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
With many of her most trusted or former allies finally confronting Aphra, whose body is possessed by the Spark, we finally get a long-gestating physical confrontation between all parties involved. The conflict is exciting and entertaining, as the battle isn’t just full of physical conflicts, but we also get to witness the various delightful dynamics between all parties involved, culminating in a relatively unexpected “winner” to the bout. This issue feels like the payoff Doctor Aphra fans have been waiting for for quite some time, and it’s an earned experience, which also hopefully set the stage for a new status quo in the coming issues and other exciting realizations. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 4 out of 5
Bouncing between Chewbacca and Maz Kanata, Han Solo, and the criminals who put them in the situation, readers get to witness a jailbreak, an escape route, and a rescue operation all within one issue. The book is a swashbuckling delight from start to finish, capturing the energy and excitement of what has made Han Solo and Chewbacca such endearing characters for decades, while also extending that energy to include other characters in entertaining ways. We don’t entirely know what the future holds for this overall storyline, as this installment paired with the previous issue felt more like a two-part journey, so given that this issue feels like it wraps up a fun storyline, the sky is seemingly the limit for how many ways the upcoming installments can improve on the formula. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 4 out of 5
In what could be her final confrontation with Emperor Palpatine, Qi’ra is using every asset about her disposal in hopes of taking him down once and for all, activating sleeper agents across the galaxy, recruiting the Knights of Ren, and unlocking the secrets to ancient technology. While this is the third part of a trilogy of storylines focusing on Qi’ra’s return, this debut Hidden Empire issue does feel like an introduction, making it an easy jumping-on point for anyone who hasn’t kept up with the previous storylines. That being said, it also feels like it somewhat squanders the foundation of everything else that’s been explored up to this point, given that the prevailing concept is “Qi’ra is going to try to take down Palpatine.” As any Star Wars fan can tell you, we already know she’s going to fail, and there’s not much about this issue that implies the ways in which she’ll fail or the lasting impact this will have on the galaxy as a whole, even if the issue itself is an engaging read. There’s a lot of places this series can go and we look forward to seeing what it will explore, making for an adequate introductory issue that still has a lot of exciting avenues to potentially explore. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 3 out of 5
The latest issue of Thunderbolts doubles down hard on Hawkeye’s place as the leader and how he sees himself in the larger Marvel universe. Writer Jim Zub juggles his responsibilities and worries with a unique structure that will have fans wondering what’s real and what isn’t, making this a weird read. Sean Izaakse and Netho Diaz are credited as pencilers on the issue, blending their work together seamlessly enough for it all to appear consistent. The real tragedy is that this Thunderbolts title isn’t still sparking the level of interest it gave off with its first issue, it’s fine, but could be so much more. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 3 out of 5
Scribes Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom deliver what might be the best issue ever of their Ultraman work with Marvel, and they did it by paying off the patience that their readers have given them. Artist Davide Tinto is given the chance to draw some of the best fight scenes out of the three volumes in the series. His work is elevated in the new issue by colorist Espen Grundetjern as well, making sure to keep the mood of this thunder-storm set fight scene heightened throughout. It seems unlikely that Marvel’s Ultraman comics will end after this volume but with one issue left it’s looking like an epic place for it to conclude. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
The second issue of the Black Panther spinoff puts the spotlight on M’Baku and the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. This cosmic addition to the Black Panther mythos demonstrates how the political drama can be implemented on a galactic scale. M’Baku serves as the reluctant leader, and a guest appearance by Monica Rambeau confirms her new codename before the launch of her first limited series. Wakanda #2 will make fans want to go back and re-read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run, where the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda made its debut. — Tim Adams
Rating: 5 out of 5
The finale of Above Snakes meets the immense promise of each step that led to it in Hayden and Sherman’s immensely strange Western. Above Snakes #4 delivered on the copious bloodshed promised by a man riding against an entire gang of bastards for revenge and cleared the stage to focus on only a few characters: Dirt, Speck, and Tombs. Their final showdown and each layer of cruelty and pain along the way delivers a conclusion that serves both the characters and weighty ideas of violence and revenge. It’s a potent reflection on pain painted on the lush colors of sunsets in the American West. There is visionary work in the final sequence of Above Snakes, likely to haunt readers with vistas of multi-colored birds. And much like the best Westerns, there’s no clear-cut heroes or promises of a better tomorrow at the end of this story, but Above Snakes does contend with harsh truths of living and still makes the case that it’s far superior to the alternative. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
While All-New Firefly has had its ups and down thus far, and the arc has gone on perhaps too long, the idea of introducing Jayne Cobb’s son, Owen, into the mix is starting to pay off nicely. By the time the original television series ended, Jayne’s initial arc as the guy who might betray the team at any moment but who ultimately became loyal had run its course. Without a second season, there was never an opportunity to give him something new, and thus he’s mostly been comic relief or muscle in stories since then. Even this arc begins that way, with Jayne still a liability even if Capt. Kaylee no longer expects him to sell them out. This issue finally reveals what Jayne has been running away from all these years, and it turns out to be little more than his own potential. Now faced with Owen, he has reason to finally stand firm and take on some responsibility, perhaps becoming the man others always knew he could be. It’s a fascinating turn and one that bodes well for the character’s future. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 focuses on the circumstances surrounding Jackie’s disappearance, which are portrayed with unsettling familiar tropes. It’s a sad situation filled with roles and plots typical to true crime, but lacking much connection to the genre-elements this story is predicated on or even the protagonist, herself. In focusing on this moment and plastering it with icons tied to a fantasy space, the disconnect between the two grows increasingly large and the overall narrative is made to feel like a collection of ideas that don’t quite fit together. Taken on its own this story reads clearly, but it struggles to connect to earlier issues or to build expectations for what’s left of the miniseries. Instead, it throws readers a shocking cliffhanger with little attachment to their sympathies or expectations. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Klein and Beem once again bring us into this medical procedural outline that just so happens to have super powers alongside some heavy emotional beats and excellent characterization along the way. Reviewing comics in general, I’m a sucker for when books will think outside of the box when it comes to how art can best display the story, and Crashing‘s latest does so with some colorless, mostly, flashback sequences that reveal some interesting twists from our main players. Crashing remains one of my new favorite series in 2022 and here’s hoping that it maintains this pace as the series continues. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cyberpunk is a tricky environment to get right, but when you do, you can really knock it out of the park. Luckily, You Have My Word is a gritty crime drama that is clearly a story taking place in this dystopian future while giving us shades of color and characterization that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. What makes this substory’s finale particularly strong is the sheer levels of unpredictability, wherein the decisions make sense for the parties involved but it still manages to keep readers on their toes. You Have My Word feels like the standard for what stories in the Cyberpunk world should be. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Deadliest Bouquet is starting to feel meandering. Essentially, the mystery that has been at the center of this story since issue #1 is dragging out in a way that is greatly uninteresting. As this series has continued onward, the character work and writing have largely been quite good, but without the backing of a compelling plot, I’m having a hard time getting invested further. With The Deadliest Bouquet set to wrap up in issue #5, I’m starting to believe that this series is going to conclude in an unsatisfying manner. — Logan Moore
Rating: 2 out of 5
Heavy hitters Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, and Thomas Sniegoski continue to explore this new era of the world of Hellboy and sadly just as the Lone Wolf and Cub nature of it all was beginning to feel solid it’s almost over. Artist Peter Bergting along with colorist Michelle Madsen continue to play in this sandbox with unique visuals and details that feel fresh while still harkening back to what fans recall of the old world. This Frankenstein tale is still a solid one but one can’t help but wonder if maybe it should have just been a graphic novel with the way it’s paced. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
I Hate Fairyland revisits a familiar heroine who is finding life in the real world rather hard to nail after surviving their time in another realm. Filled with pastel art and unhinged gore, I Hate Fairyland has the kind of aesthetic that feasts the eyes while making you nauseous. And of course, a cliffhanger ending promises fans a return to Fairyland is nigh as our heroine finds herself offered a job she cannot refuse. — Megan Peters
Rating: 3 out of 5
Junkyard Joe #1 introduced readers to Joe and to Muddy by way of their service in Vietnam and this week, Junkyard Joe #2 brings their story to the present where it finds an elderly Muddy retiring, having built a successful career with his Junkyard Joe comic strip. But Muddy is a bitter, reclusive man living a lonely life still haunted by his memories when Joe—the thing they told him wasn’t real—shows up. The issue spends a lot of time reacquainting Joe and Muddy as well as introducing Muddy’s neighbors who are themselves dealing with loss and trauma of their own, but Johns doesn’t just bog the book down in these details. We start to get a hint at the conflict coming – particularly when some ominous figures show up looking for Joe. As written, it’s an intriguing book that feels well-paced and interesting, but where the book really shines is Gary Frank’s art. This book is just beautiful visually and there are many, many panels that say more in images than words can ever express. It is another genuinely solid entry in this new series. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
It’s unclear where Lorenzo de Felici will take Kroma in future issues as the story’s inciting incident only occurs on this issue’s final page. While readers will have to wait for another issue to see the main thrust of the plot revealed (one would assume), Kroma #1 stands tall as a solidly constructed feat of worldbuilding, and a considered musing on the colors of life, primarily those we fear and those of which we deprive ourselves and others. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Editor’s Note: This is an advance review. The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde #1 is currently anticipated to release in mid-December.
The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde #1 wastes little time getting into the thick of it, introducing both of its titular characters within the issue’s opening moments. From the leap, Lees’ script propels this story forward at a brisk pace, setting two childhood friends on a cross-country road trip. This introductory issue balances the establishment of a plot while injecting plenty of backstory into its main characters, all within the span of 22 pages. A stellar debut for this team. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
Maskerade #3 reveals Felicia’s equivalent to the “guy in the chair” in Frisky, someone with direct ties to her origin who actually wants to try and repent for her past mistakes. Our main character still walks right up the line of being cringingly unlikeable, but that’s mostly avoided this issue — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
One of my favorite things about Rodney Barnes’ stories is how he layers different elements and, in doing so, often shifts the focus of the story from issue to issue. That’s the case with this week’s Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #10 in that while we do get some of Nita’s perspective as she hangs between life and death, the story is really focused on her brother’s ghost and Anansi as they try to save her. In doing so, Barnes gives us the reveal of the real threat that is on the board in this arc and deepens the store in a way that feels both natural and organic, but still shocks art-wise, we get an interesting interplay between dark scenes and light scenes which makes the book visually interesting as well. This is a fantastic issue that works on every level. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
The final issue of this video game adaptation feels surprisingly hollow, with Cassidy’s assembled team of do-gooders leaping in to help D. VA, who isn’t given much to work with here. While the stories have been hit or miss throughout this mini-series that lays the building blocks for the team’s assembly, this feels like a wet noodle of a conclusion, and doesn’t have much in the way of heart and characterization to help the series stride past the finish line. Ultimately, New Blood might be worth it for Overwatch die-hards but it stumbles way too many times throughout to make it a recommendation to average comic readers. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 2 out of 5
The return of Resident Alien picks up immediately after the events of Your Ride’s Here with Harry pursuing romance while the final threads of his cover-up are wrapped up. Resident Alien‘s mellow pace remains essential to its charm, and that’s especially true when watching a handful of dates play out as word spreads through Patience. There’s a lived-in feeling and reality to the way in which the new romantic angle plays out even with a purple alien at its center. It’s not the only romance playing out in the town either, which provides some interesting contrasts bound to cause conflict in coming issues. For now it’s simply a joy to see these familiar characters resuming daily life and growing from recent events in one of comics consistent low-key pleasures. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
The outrageousness of Cruel To Be Kin continues in an epic “man vs. oversized monstrosities” showdown. Per usual, the highlight of the series is the intricate detail that Geof Darrow puts into every single panel. There’s so many Easter eggs to jokes and current events that you’ll want to take the time out scan each and every one. Shaolin Cowboy also pulls off one of his most impressive acts as he battles his enemies. As gory and gross Cruel To Be Kin has been up to this point, issue #7 somehow manages to outdo itself in the finale. — Tim Adams
Rating: 4 out of 5
I could be wrong, but I believe Shirtless Bear-Fighter! 2 #4 contains an homage to Rocky Balboa/Apollo Creed. Shirtless’ rogues gallery have a short introduction, and we learn one of Shirtless’ few weaknesses. His evil doppelgänger has the perfect name, and I’m left wanting to spend more time with Ursa Minor. — Tim Adams
Rating: 5 out of 5
Star Trek: Resurgence #1 begins introducing us to the crew of the USS Resolute ahead of the upcoming video game set for release in 2023. Well, some of them. That the point-of-view character is the ship’s First Officer, but not the same First Officer that’s a playable character in the game, is a significant tip-off about where this is going for him, and the script foreshadows it. The only question is whether he makes it to that new assignment or perishes on the current mission. For the most part, it’s a solid debut, leaning heavily on familiar designs from the Next Generation era to set the stage ad the mood, but the plot gets a little muddied in places. For example, questioning why Starfleet is sending the Resolute into a potential battle only after explaining that Starfleet built the ship to fight in the Dominion War undercuts the other question raised by the deployment. And while the composition of the dramatic starship spread is a little off, otherwise, the artwork focuses on the characters, using expressive cartooning to let them make a palpable first impression. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3 out of 5
Something Is Killing The Children #26 slows things down just a bit for part one of The Girl and the Hurricane, and it definitely feels like a part one. While things do progress, much of that happens at the very end of the issue, as writer James Tynion IV, artist Werther Dell’Edera, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer Andworld Design are more often staying in the scene for longer stretches of time. We get a greater sense of the family dynamic between Riqui, Johnny, and their mother. It doesn’t feel necessary at the moment, but odds are it will come to play a bigger role in the story. While this setup is probably necessary down the line, in the moment it just dragged a bit for me. There was still plenty to love though, so while it wasn’t the strongest issue of the series, it was still easily worth recommending. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 3 out of 5
The next great science-fiction adventure has arrived. Sumeyye Kesgin wastes zero time in building a fantastical world, introducing readers to a handful of new alien races, planets, and technology. While that world-building is laid on thick, it stops itself from going too far and smothering itself from that worldly weight. Instead, just the right amount of new universal tidbits combine with a well-paced script and kinetic artwork to make this an incredibly well-rounded debut. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 5 out of 5
Wynd: The Throne in the Sky #4 is surprisingly uneventful, mostly diving into a myth that feels like it would’ve benefited the plot much earlier in this tale. — Connor Casey
Rating: 2 out of 5
Mike Mignola and Thomas Sniegoski’s continued work in the Young Hellboy realm remains an odd corner of the franchise. By bringing the naive world view that the titular fella has and marrying it with the larger conspiracy-driven, monster-occupied larger universe, it becomes a combination unlike anything else being published under the banner. Artist Craig Rousseau’s work also remains a major focal point of making that style flourish, allowing readers the chance to embody Hellboy’s childhood imagination and setting the stage for his later life in fun ways. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
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