Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 11/9/2022 – 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 Fantastic Four #1, The New Golden Age #1, The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1, and Gospel #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.
Batgirls ends the way it began, with more vibes than a tight story. This has been a good spotlight for the trio of underutilized heroines, even if it felt at times like the book was spinning its wheels while showcasing the character’s personality. The last few issues didn’t make much sense (with the inclusion of the Riddler and a tease of the Cluemaster mostly going nowhere) but at least the comic was fun. And that counts for something… right? — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3 out of 5
Batman Incorporated is just a little bit smoother than the issue that preceded it – but it still crafts a tale that’s too disjointed for its own good. The issue picks up on various vignettes of Ghost-Maker and his team’s fight to save his and Batman’s mentors, a conflict that is still undoubtedly interesting, but feels too repetitive, especially for readers who don’t already care about its ever-growing cast of characters. John Timms’ art is able to have some fun in the chaos, especially when rendering the wide swath of costumes in the issue. But even with its issue-ending plot twist, Batman Incorporated isn’t doing enough to become even passably memorable for most DC readers. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Batman: Urban Legends #21 knows how to make a first impression but knows how to leave a lasting one as well, as it kicks off with the utterly delightful “The Wheelman” and closes with the unfolding mystery of “The Murder Club.” “The Wheelman” by Anthony Falcone and Michael Cho captures a classic Batman adventure brilliantly, both in its embracing of thrilling car chases and vintage Batman inventiveness mixed with the perfect amount of lightheartedness, and Cho’s artwork is simply wonderful. Meanwhile, Joey Esposito, Vasco Georgiev, Alex Guimaraes, and Carlos M. Mangual’s “Murder Club” provides a lovely balance, filled with mystery and heartwarming sequences delivered in unexpected ways. “Survivor’s Guilt” is also quite good, though it does feel a bit too on the nose at times. That said, I still enjoyed getting this glimpse into Renee’s journey through the Gotham P.D., and Miguel Mendonica and Roman Stevens’ artwork and colors are stellar. Last but not least is “Arkham Academy,” and while I see promise in the concept and look, it just didn’t quite hook me yet. Overall though, another stellar issue of one of the most thoroughly entertaining Bat-books out there. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
Batman vs. Robin continues to be astonishingly, effortlessly excellent. This week’s issue takes Bruce and Damian’s fight even further, roping in several members of the Bat-family, and several magic users of the DCU for a thoughtful and action-packed brawl. Come for the genuinely cool advancements of canon, stay for the best psychoanalyzing of Bruce’s relationships with his Robins that I have read in recent memory. Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar, and company are creating absolutely brilliant work with this series. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5
Writer Joshua Williamson and the artistic team of Daniel Sampere, Rafa Sandoval, Alejandro Sanchez, and Troy Peteri take turns one-upping each other in the “dramatic moments” category. Whether it’s Green Arrow making the speech of his life or the ultimate father-and-son moment for the House of El, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 delivers again and again. There are so many characters on each page and so much action to take in, you’ll find yourself just admiring each and every panel to make sure you’re not missing a moment. — Tim Adams
Rating: 5 out of 5
For legions of fans who bought Superman #75 in 1992, Superman’s death was a key moment in DC’s history. The Doomsday! Story that concluded in “The Death of Superman” brought together numerous threads from throughout the half-decade since John Byrne reinvented the Superman mythology in The Man of Steel. This week’s The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special does its best to recapture the world of Superman in the days just before, and just after, Superman #75. The result is uneven, but a welcome trip down memory lane regardless, giving fans of the “Triangle Era” of Superman a lot to love. — Russ Burlingame
Rating: 4 out of 5
The little movie tie-in that could. Surprisingly enough, The Fastest Man Alive got substantial better with each issue, leading up until its finale here in #3. Porter allows Barry Allen to find himself throughout this slightly oversized issue. That means that even though another new villain was introduced, the character moments were delicious little treats making for a well-rounded and, dare I say, excellent comic book. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I Am Batman #15 is a pretty weird tie-in to Dark Crisis. Sinestro, a dictator with a weapon limited to only his imagination in his disposal, accepts an assassination contract on Batman and decides that he’ll do it by making Batman off himself to use his own fears. This method is ultimately pointless (which at least is pointed out to Sinestro in the comic itself) and backfires spectacularly in a singularly okay moment. This derailed the momentum of the past few issues and it’ll be weird to see how the comic gets back on track. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 2 out of 5
If you’ve made it this far into Multiversity: Teen Justice, the sixth and final issue gives you a nice fist-pumping finale. — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
Writer Geoff John’s The New Golden Age tries to straddle the line of being frustratingly impenetrable for casual reads and just compelling enough for people to check out the new Justice Society of America series, Stargirl and whatever big events are coming in the pipeline. But even if you’ve read all the required reading this comic connects to—Flashpoint, Flashpoint Beyond, Doomsday Clock, a passing knowledge of Helena Wayne as Huntress, the JSA, various Doctor Fates and whatever the hell is going on with Watchmen—you’re still going to need to draw out a chart to make sense of it all. — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
The final act of The Nice House On The Lake features a great many moving pieces as a dozen characters spin out in new directions while the memory-manipulated conspiracy behind their refuge is revealed. This is the sort of issue that leads readers to review an entire series as it pulls on threads introduced more than a year ago to present its climax. It is an approach that’s bound to read splendidly in a collected format, but the ambition of this story told in tight, serialized editions strains readers memories as they consider what’s happening and the importance of seemingly every sequence on the page. Throughout this intense cumulation of plot and character threads, artist Álvaro Martínez Bueno ensures that each individual moment lands. There are terrifying splash panels that reveal the alien entities behind the affair, emotional portraits of so many individuals in crisis, and even wonderfully understated panels filled solely with darkness. Even as readers question if they caught everything found in these pages, they’ll be anticipating seeing how it all ends next month. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Superman: Son of Kal-El #17 should be required reading for every parent, especially every parent of an LGBTQ+ child. It’s a master work of grace, dignity, and unconditional love of a parent for a child and Tom Taylor not only made me cry reading it, but he does a beautiful job of articulating the dynamics of not only Clark and Jon’s relationship, but that of all complicated parent child relationships. It’s beautifully written from Clark’s point of view and while it digs into this familial aspect of Superman’s return, the issue also doesn’t neglect the plot, with Lex scheming as well. It’s a beautifully crafted issue and while yes, it does feel a little idealistic, it’s genuinely moving and easily one of the finest of the series. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
Wildstorm has been rebooted more times than we can count, with the newest series focusing on the likes of Grifter and Zealot, introducing enough unique action and solid characterization throughout to placate new readers and old school fans alike. While the premiere might be a little top heavy when it comes to the sheer amount of characters to take in from ‘Storm, Rosenberg and Segovia clearly know their way around these characters and it makes for a good combo of the familiar with the new. A solid start for Wildstorm’s latest return. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Wonder Woman #793 is a a genuinely nice issue and a very welcome reprieve from the more recent story arcs in Cloonan and Conrad’s run. The issue sees the Trinity together at the Watchtower ultimately investigating a break-in and while there’s not much in the way of action or major driving plot here, getting to see the three heroes together as a team again and as friends does a lot to recenter Diana as a character after what has felt like relentless and uneven drama as well as is just downright enjoyable to read. The art here is also fantastic and it’s overall just a real treat of an issue. If the Wonder Woman comic maintained this general vibe going forward, it would be very welcome. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4 out of 5
A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega feels pretty unnecessary. Essentially, this is just an epilogue that is meant to capstone the recent Judgment Day series that ran in recent months. As such, nothing that really happens in Omega is of vital importance and is just meant to tie up some loose threads. Don’t feel the need to pick this up unless you were a big fan of A.X.E.: Judgment Day. — Logan Moore
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The Amazing Spider-Man #13 draws Spidey’s current encounter with a gaggle of goblins to a close, but manages to lay the groundwork for even grander conspiracies and tension in doing so. It’s an impressive feat, especially considering the inevitable cliffhanger reveal works solely within the context of this story, yet I still found myself deeply intrigued by a character I’d dismissed many out of hand many times before. While the future ambitions showcased in this narrative ought to leave readers salivating, John Romita Jr. is the true hero of this outstanding issue. Spider-Man’s battle with the dual Hobgoblins is utterly grueling, outpacing even the impressively bloody mid-air action sequences from Amazing Spider-Man #7 and #8. It’s difficult to watch in some sequences and earns another seemingly inevitable twist in its intensity. That Romita Jr. makes the new “golden” costume sing in action is a testament to the master’s skill in putting even mediocre designs into motion. If there’s more action like this coming, readers should be thrilled even if their favorite webslinger will be anything but. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In an issue that claims to conclude one story it barely connects to and plays as prologue to a new title altogether, readers are left to wonder why this is taking place in an issue labeled The Avengers #62. The years long ambition of telling the largest Avengers story ever has nearly reached its fruition but serves little purpose but to allow Ivan Fiorelli (and a variety of other impressive artists attached to the current series) to draw sprawling line ups of Marvel superheroes in a mystifying array of costumes. That certainly provides some solid pages in The Avengers #62, especially with the Avengers from 1,000,000 B.C. displayed, but it provides little return on pages of overstretched reminders, exposition, and a getting the band back together sequence. The most promising element found in the issue is that it promises some sort of ending is finally in sight for a narrative grown far too large with too little purpose. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 2 out of 5
The release of this special one-shot is presumably meant to capitalize on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but even as a standalone story there really isn’t much meat on its bone. A villain is introduced that Black Panther defeats, and T’Challa starts out first being apprehensive and then accepting his African gods. The art is standard fare, and has a leg up on the writing, which is stilted at times. — Tim Adams
Rating: 2 out of 5
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty ends its first arc with one heck of a finale, providing Bucky Barnes with the most forward characterization that he’s had since he last donned a Captain America outfit. It’s a heartbreaking turn for Bucky, but it provides him with a lot of interesting directions. While I feel like this arc was a bit rushed, I was certainly happy with the payoff. –– Christian Hoffer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Damage Control #3 really found that delightful mix of humor, endearment, and marvel cameos, and also brought Gus a few steps forward as a likable character. While he doesn’t regress here, he also doesn’t move forward, and that’s because much of issue #4 focuses on a quirky character named Eugene. While some will undoubtedly love Eugene and how he caters to a comedic sequence, the running joke and scenario he ends up in the middle of were ones of diminishing results for me personally, and quickly it became apparent that the issue was all-in on something that just didn’t click with me. Writers Adam F. Goldberg and Hans Rodionoff know how to create fun characters, and Eugene starts off that way, but then just about all of the attention moves to his orbit and that of major Marvel cameos, and while some of those are fun too, it’s almost like too much of a good thing. Despite some of those entertaining sequences and the larger-than-life fight by artist Nathan Stockman, colorist Ruth Redmond, and letterer Clayton Cowles, I was ready to skip to the end and move on about midway through. Hopefully, issue #5 can find that wonderful mix that drove issues 1# and #3, but there is fun to be had here. It just didn’t click with me. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
When read without any expectations, Fantastic Four #1 is an outstandingly sweet superhero story filled with warmth, creativity, and cleverness. However, the newest issue #1 of Stan and Jack’s foundational series is the last debut to appear without expectations. That’s bound to leave readers, myself included, torn between the quality of comics displayed and the entirely unfulfilled promise of this title and cover. The return of Marvel’s first family doesn’t feature that family, instead opting to tell a bit of prologue focused upon the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing and his wife Alicia Masters-Grimm. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ghost Rider slows to a crawl this issue, one that largely goes out of its way to make itself a shallow springboard into the next issue rather than adding some meat to its own bones. Here, Johnny finds himself falling into the same traps he always is, returning to the status quo Percy and Smith initially set out to break. Good versus evil, light versus dark, you can only talk about the topic so much before it starts to wear thin. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Legion of X opens its second story arc like a rocket, introducing new concepts, continuing past intrigues, and finding plenty of fun amongst its cast of dozens. The series still reads as sharing a very small sub-genre with Top 10 in the most complimentary fashion imaginable. It’s an incredibly busy comic book and there’s no obvious B-plot when the hero is literally transforming while reality-threatening entities are detailed elsewhere. All of these various threads reflect different scales and styles, but are told with a familiar tone of wonder and sincerity that seems to embody Nightcrawler’s concept of the Spark. Legion of X is a colorful adventure in which anything is possible and every character matters; it’s the best series the X-line has to offer in 2022. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Marauders has done a decent enough job of setting up this current story arc, but I find myself pretty bored with how things have turned out so far. Much of that is because the main characters at the center of the series are ones that we haven’t met before, which makes their plight a bit hard to get behind. Still, the story is evolving in such a way that my feeling could end up changing in future issues if all goes well. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3 out of 5
It deserves recognition that Alessandro Cappuccio and Rachelle Rosenberg were absolutely born to work on a Moon Knight series, and Moon Knight #17 is a shining example of why. Cappuccio and Rosenberg have been exceptional throughout the series, but somehow they find another bar to clear here, delivering a sense of almost menacing sleekness that just isn’t prevalent anywhere else. A series of drop-the-mic moments later and suddenly we’re in the midst of a hunter playing with his food in the most surreal and yet unconditionally Moon Knight way. Speaking of which, if Marvel doesn’t put out a “This is where I teach you why people are afraid of me” Moon Knight shirt then there just isn’t justice in the world of merch. This all moves us towards the building war for territory with the Vampire collective in a major way as well, so if you were concerned about Moon Knight losing steam, you don’t have a thing to worry about. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Sabretooth & The Exiles #1 begins with a bold thesis about overstory and understory. It separates the popular sweeping historical narratives about great men from the truth about the forgotten figures who affected real change, ensuring readers that this is the latter occurring in the shadow of Krakoa’s heights. Victor LaValle makes perhaps the most straightforward and most memorable use of the Krakoan X-Men line’s graphics and text pages in some time. Following the opening salvo, he later offers a history lesson on the cruelties inflicted on Black women in the name of science that may serve as a lesson on how writers can navigate the often muddled mutant metaphor. Compared to the focused Victor Creed character study of LaValle and Leonard Kirk’s Sabretooth miniseries, Sabretooth & The Exiles has become a full-on ensemble book. LaValle is more than capable of finding each character’s distinct voice and playing them against each other in illuminating and entertaining ways, with only a single minor off-note in Sabretooth’s dialogue marring an otherwise perfectly complex characterization. Kirk’s artwork has been undercelebrated for years, perhaps because it isn’t as flashy as some of his contemporaries. Yet his storytelling, even amid the chaotic happenings of this issue, is confident and clear. Sabretooth & The Exiles #1 is a debut that holds nothing back, setting the stage for a story as fierce and compellingly complicated as its namesake protagonist. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Dan Slott and Mark Bagley’s new Spider-Man series got off to a hot start, and issue #2 looks to raise the stakes and deliver more of the unexpected. All in all, it succeeds in both, though it is surprising that in a book that features a Spider-Powered Princess and a Kraven Spider-Man that Morlun ends up being responsible for the issue’s most impactful moment. Slott throws a haymaker with Morlun’s story, which unlike last issue’s shocking ending feels more substantial and like it will have more meaning as the series progresses. Meanwhile, Bagley, inker John Dell, colorist Edgar Delgado, and letterer Joe Caramagna seem to be having a ball playing around in this mash-up of universes, debuting several stellar new Spider-themed character designs that will likely result in another fan favorite, and my money is on Spider-Princess right out of the gate. This is likely the calm before the sheer chaos that is on the way if that ending is anything to go by, but I’ve really enjoyed this adventure so far, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
Spider-Man: The Lost Hunt is an interesting comic, one that explores that time where Peter Parker and MJ moved to Portland with Peter thinking he was the clone and thus, retired as Spider-Man with the series set to feature the untold history of Kraven the Hunter. It’s rich territory and fortunately, it’s explored well. J.M. DeMatteis does a lovely job of splitting the perspective over three characters and crafting something that’s both interesting and psychological. It feels very much like a thriller in a lot of ways and while there are moments that don’t feel particularly clear—some of that is the responsibility of the art that, while good, does have an odd flow at times—it is endlessly interesting. You can feel Peter’s turmoil and almost his PTSD while also getting the sense that this is about to be a very dangerous and shocking chapter of things. Color me intrigued and while stories that go into “untold” parts of the past can be a mixed bag, this one so far seems to be strong. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The strength of the High Republic comics so far has been the rich characters they introduce to the Star Wars universe, and this edition of the series is no different. Even when the story slows, these intriguing characters keep you invested. — Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
As was the case with the likes of Immortal Hulk, even when tying in his new Venom series to a new Marvel event, scribe Al Ewing makes it play seamlessly with the narrative he’s already telling. Bryan Hitch continues to deliver some bizarre work in the series, drawing countless symbiotes in wild ways and positions that continue to stretch the limits of what fans think of when pondering the Marvel aliens. Along with that though comes oddball moments that seem out of place and raise an eyebrow. In any event though this volume of Venom remains a fun series to read and one that pushes the character into fresh avenues of ideas. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
Beast’s heel turn is on full display in Wolverine #27 as we see the extent of his betrayal and what he has devolved Logan into upon his latest resurrection. It’s easily the goriest issue in recent memory, but unlike so many Wolverine storylines you won’t be cheering once the violence starts. — Connor Casey
Rating: 4 out of 5
X-Men: Legends #4 is likely one of those comics that some will bemoan as a story where “nothing happens,” and, in fairness, the plot is circular, but that’s not the point. Instead, Ann Nocenti uses her two issues on X-Men: Legends not to plug some hole in continuity, answering questions almost nobody was asking, but to show her skill as a satirist with a distinct and strong authorial voice. Here, she uses her co-creations Mojo, Spiral, and Longshot to update the critique of pop culture for which she created them for today’s realities, including highlighting the casual sexism of the entertainment industry and the folly of fan-driven storytelling. Artist Javier Pina does an admirable job of realizing the heightened reality of the Mojoverse, along with Mojo’s over-the-top antics and outbursts. It won’t give X-Men fans much reason to update any particular character’s Wikia page. However, it does make for the best story featured in X-Men: Legends thus far and a suitable update and epilogue to the original Nocenti and Art Adams’ original Longshot miniseries. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
David Messina’s wild ride continues, which has electric energy in both the writing and art that is infectious. 3Keys takes the approach of throwing everything with the kitchen sink and Noah and Theon’s story benefits as a result of this. Messina’s art is on point here, with the action jumping off each panel. Setting H.P. Lovecraft’s fare as the villains here helps in showing off the creator’s skills when it comes to his artwork. 3Keys is a roller coaster and its one that I can’t wait to continue riding. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
Douglas Spitzer reaches the end of his road with the stem removed from his brain and one universe saved with what it contained. Much of issue #4 reflects on the consequences and intentions behind this desperate mission. While much of the focus remains on Doug’s own romantic relationship and self-flagellating tendencies, it also opens a wider window onto the scientists making their best bet to stop this ill-defined apocalypse. While it’s interesting at points to consider the ethics involved in saving individuals facets of a massive multiverse, there exact nature of the science (and the character at its center) lacks sufficient detail and depth to make this denouement seem significant. It’s considered and competent, but lacking in drama on either of its very different scales. Perhaps that will shift with the revelation of one last leg of the mission, but it seems more likely that Astronaut Down will remain a somewhat compelling outline of a comic book series. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 3 out of 5
After Twitter was purchased by a billionaire, now seems like the perfect time for the next installment of Billionaire Island to come out. It helps to laugh during uncertain times like these, and the satirical theme of the book is represented through both the art and story. Cult of Dogs expertly addresses both social media algorithms and the dangers they pose to the general public, with fictional characters playing their parts perfectly. — Tim Adams
Rating: 3 out of 5
In the wrong circumstances or the hands of the wrong creative team, Dark Ride could easily become a gratuitous, gimmick-infused horror parody. But if these first two issues are any indication, the end result is something genuinely engrossing, bouncing back and forth in its web of horror with a a largely-effective ease. Williamson’s script makes its ever-growing ensemble of characters just bizarre, but authentic enough, and Andrei Bressan’s art balances the horror with a sense of whimsy. So far, Dark Ride is proving to be an emotional roller coaster that’s worth riding. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Things take a bit of a turn in Do A Powerbomb #6, both in how it beings and especially in how it ends, and yet I find myself no less enthralled with this one-of-a-kind story of wrestling, loss, and redemption. The continually evolving relationship between Cobra Sun and Lona will hit every father and daughter with an uppercut to the heart, and Daniel Warren Johnson, Colorist Mike Spicer, and letterer Rus Wooton breathe tremendous life and feeling into each and every scene. Then the book takes a big swing (which is saying something in a book with a premise of resurrecting loved ones through a wrestling tournament) as the issue comes to a close, and while I’m a bit unsure of how things will play out and how I’ll feel about it, this series has yet to disappoint, and I have all the faith in the world that it will surprise me yet again. Do A Powerbomb is already a modern classic and a true must-read for any wrestling fan, and I cannot wait to see how this thrilling adventure unfolds. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Milligan and Artecida saved the best for last, putting out what’s arguably the most complete issue of this Dogs of London miniseries. This fast-paced, kinetic finale makes up for the past few months when things slowed to a crawl. Even moving at a bustling pace, Milligan is able to inject the right character beats at the right times. A delightfully brutal ending. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
There’s no shortage of action in Dudley Datson and The Forever Machine #3, though the book soars most when two inventors are simply having a conversation… and one of them is a dog of course. The big ideas and concepts are what stand out most in this series, and writer Scott Snyder delivers those in spades, though equally impressive is the heartfelt dialogue of someone who has never had the chance to invent without needs being the priority as opposed to someone who had the opportunity to focus on, as they would put it, higher callings only. There are moments in the bigger battles that stand out, and all credit in the world to artist Jamal Igle, inker Juan Castro, and colorist Chris Sotomayor for creating a battle mode that makes the Power Rangers fan in me leap with glee, but the book’s most memorable moments are the conversations that dig deeper into who these people are and what pushes them forward. I could’ve done with even more of the latter and skipped some of the action, just because it isn’t quite as satisfying, but overall I like where things are going and how things shift from here. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 3 out of 5
The idea of following River years after Firefly‘s conclusion is a strong premise, but it doesn’t quite work in Keep Flying for a number of reasons. The way the story itself is structured makes for a chaotic, confusing read where it’s tough to determine what is going on at any given time. Jensen swings for the fences with some big ideas here, but the story is limited by its page count and simply doesn’t have the time to let things breathe and/or explore the heart of the familiar ship’s characters. The art by Nicola Izzo doesn’t help matters in that it can often strengthen the confusion here, as the issue itself feels wildly disjointed. There are some worthwhile moments to be found in this one shot, but not enough to outweigh its weaknesses. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 2 out of 5
The most interesting stories are those that happen at intersections, places where different genres and themes collide to take on larger issues and questions as part of the adventure. It’s that notion of storytelling within the intersection of many things which Gospel #1 exists. It reveals a tale that is much more than it initially seems – taking the threads of medieval history, the hero’s journey, issues of faith, and all out adventure to take on something bigger—namely questions of self—while providing a dreamy visual quality as dynamic as the story on the page. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4 out of 5
Kaya’s further adventures with the Lizard-Riders provides Kaya #2 with space to decompress and focus on the immediate stakes for all of its characters, rather than the wider world readers found themselves plunged into in the visually impressive Kaya #1. Readers watch the last two humans settle into a tribe not unfamiliar with their own species – the young men making power plays while Kaya and Jin imagine what tomorrow might bring. By the end of the issue, all of the named figures are much better defined as much from the action on the page as the dialogue. A hunt in the wake of flooding and lost food builds out the distinctive personalities and growing relationships marking the foundations of this first story. Craig’s depiction of the wilderness and monstrous creatures within is instantly striking and leaves readers wanting to see what more there is to be discovered behind each tree in the forest. There’s an exhilarating sense of exploration that comes with each step forward, even as politics and prophecy are discussed. Kaya remains an engaging and propulsive new series that’s bound to excite readers of all ages. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Jonathan Luna is a solid writer, but he’s especially gifted as an illustrator. The Knight and the Lady of Play is a beautiful, heartbreaking tale that feels ripped from another era. It could use a little more pace at times, but a delightful one-shot nonetheless. — Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 4 out of 5
As the grander narrative connecting Joan’s many ill-fated romances threatens to expose itself, Love Everlasting returns to its familiar formula with a love story set near the frontlines of World War I. Joan lacks her prior self-awareness and the group of soldiers who come to hear her sing (and inevitably fall in love) lack any but the broadest strokes of definition. The result is another romance comic that clearly pays homage to familiar genre elements from another era, but contributes little to the ongoing series it is attached to. Even the alterations at the very end provide little interest after following 20 pages of a story only willing to gesture broadly at concepts like love and war. Without Charretier’s distinctive depictions of such rich emotions and specific settings, there wouldn’t be much to follow in these pages. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 2 out of 5
The penultimate issue of Minor Threats has arrived, and it’s every bit of thrilling as you’d hoped. From the moment the cover opens, Oswalt, Blum, and Hepburn take readers on an insane journey only comics allow combining street-level villains with time-traveling antics and interdimensional travel. The overarching plot is a bit thin so this story is largely a padded-out scavenger hunt, but that allows for impeccable character beats throughout. An action-packed story combined with Hepburn’s ability to juggle two separate styles while jumping between timelines results in one of the most exciting indie superhero outings in recent memory. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thanks to the recent Radiant split, Radiant Black has the best of both worlds at the moment, as Nathan and Marshall both bring something unique to the series. Writer Kyle Higgins continues to flesh out both sides of this Radiant universe through the dual leads, with Marshall being the front man for the superpowered side of things while Nathan’s focus seems to be on the larger picture and what it means to the humans caught up in it all. Ideas large and small populate the issue, and artist Marcelo Costa, Inker Carlos Eduardo, and letterer Becca Carey know how to make an impact with both, though who doesn’t love a massive sci-fi robot, right? You are correct, everyone loves giant robots, but there’s substance in the layer underneath as well, and that’s where Radiant Black continues to do some of its best work. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
With the finish line in sight, Seven Sons’ writers Robert Windom & Kelvin Mao are racing to the end of their story and perhaps the best and worst qualities of the narrative are that there’s no way to predict what will happen next. Artist Jae Lee and Colorist June Chung continue to impress with their work on the series however. Lee’s paneling has evolved into a wilder style than usual as the story itself has descended into a chaotic uncertainty, a unique marriage of the visual with the subtextual that makes the final issue of this one to anticipate. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 3 out of 5
My previous complaints about Shock Shop continue to remain here in issue #3. While the ongoing stories within this series are fine, there’s just so little to chew on with each new installment that it’s hard to enjoy either tale. The format and idea behind Shock Shop is solid, but at this point, I kind of wish that the series focused on a single story at a time. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3 out of 5
Skullkickers returns for a delightful one-shot in which the protagonist mercenaries infiltrate a Hogwarts-style school to… well, wreck havoc. The comic is fast paced and full of laughs, although I felt that it could have skewered its magical school tropes a bit more. Still this is a fun return for a classic Image fantasy series, which helped launch the career of Jim Zub nearly a decade ago. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Scrapnik Island #2 splits up the heroes to watch Sonic crawl deep into the bowels of Scrapnik Island alongside Mecha Sonic, while Tails is left above. The trip below lays out the stakes and obstacles ahead, for Sonic and Tails as well as the many abandoned Badniks who have found peace in this place. It’s a familiar series of role-reversals that Sonic readers are bound to feel familiar with at this point, although the nature of the island itself suggests some upcoming changes for the broader story. The highlight of this issue is it’s opening, though, a silent sequence focused on the existence of Badnik’s before Sonic’s arrival. With a muted color palette and uniquely detailed robots, it fills these quiet figures with sympathy and makes it clear that what’s happening in this miniseries is about much more than a simple escape. That sequence alone is enough to capture the imagination of any Sonic fan and promise that Scrapnik Island will be worth following. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Specs #1 goes live this week as a tale of warning just after the Halloween season. The story begins with a word of caution as a man looks back on an event that changed their life for the worse. When a pair of magical specs appear on their doorsteps, life seems too good but our leads learn all good things come at a price. And when that price comes knocking, no one is left unscathed. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
This installment of IDW Publishing’s series of Star Trek: Alien Spotlight one-shots focuses on The Trill, with writer Jody Houser using a bonded Trill’s symbiotic relationship as a parallel for pregnancy. Specifically, the issue’s main character, Vanah, gave up on bonding with a symbiont years ago with no regrets after having a rough time in training and assuming she’d be rejected, only to be surprised when she joins with a symbiont named Vors later in life. From there, Houser uses Vanah’s story to touch on the conflicting feelings that come from an unexpected pregnancy relatively late in life, filtered through the lens of this joining, from the fiercely independent Vanah’s surprising willingness to accept the new responsibility to the insecurities of carrying a pregnancy late in life. The endgame of Vanah’s metaphorical insecurities manifests as a child antagonist that’s a bit over the top but allows the story to coalesce in joining who Vanah had been with the person Vanah Vors has become. There’s some awkward plotting in the issue, such as Vanah lamenting that she doesn’t know the names of Vors’ past hosts right after a scene in which she asks a docent about Vors’ history. Meanwhile, the artwork gets the story across, although some flashbacks struggle to convey their intent. Otherwise, the issue proves to be a thoughtful use of Star Trek aliens. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Liam Sharp isn’t writing a comic; he’s playing galaxy level chess with the creation of a master epic. This issue, perhaps more than the previous, is an incredible intersection of fantasy, history, magic and this rich, mind-boggling sense of human creation but it’s not the story that is the standout in this issue. It’s the art. Sharp is an incredible artist, but this issue is thrilling and inspires a sense of awe unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It is itself magic on the page, shifting styles, viewpoints, and all with these rich colors that pull feeling from the words that might not otherwise appear were they presented any other way. While I’ve said before, this is a story that should be all in one volume and not multiple issues, this one issue is sheer perfection as it launches things into what feels like a somehow even wilder and more impossible next level in that final page with a call for Arthur to return to defend birthright. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
Continuing “The Armageddon Game” story, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a tense, action-packed issue. Sophie Campbell’s ongoing TMNT series continues to focus on events in Mutant Town during the event, with things turning ugly after the mysterious white-masked Turtles’ attempt on Mayor Stockman’s life. Jennika and Donatello are doing their best to keep things contained and investigate the root cause, but with Donnie on the clock as the comms guy coordinating the Splinter Clan’s widespread efforts, they’re spread thin. Campbell’s scripting keeps the pace pumping, quickly jumping from one scene to the next like she’s putting out fires. Fero Pe and Rhonda Pattison prove the perfect artistic team for this, conveying the chaos effectively while walking that line of cartoonish grit that has made the IDW take on Turtles such a fine blend of all versions of Eastman and Laird’s creation. The dot shadows are a particularly inspired touch, adding extra texture to the visuals that enhance the tense mood. For a comic book event like The Armageddon Game to succeed, it requires a sense of urgency and stakes. Campbell, Pe, and Pattison offer a masterclass on how to do that without resorting to gimmicky stunts and homages in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #134. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
One might think that IDW Publishing is pushing its luck by launching The Alliance, an additional tie-in series to compliment the main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ongoing series and The Armageddon Game maxiseries during this event. However, the debut issue has plenty of reason for excitement. Erik Burnham’s script focuses on Karai, who inherited leadership of the Foot Clan from her grandfather, the Shredder. However, she hasn’t meaningfully defined her reign as anything but an attempt to continue in her predecessor’s policies and practices, a beat mirroring her lack of presence in the TMNT narrative since that transfer of power. This issue features Karai encountering some unexpected outsiders before coming to a resolution bout how she should proceed. Artist Roi Mercado and colorist William Soares bring an incredible sense of drama to a relatively small and intimate story. Mercado’s layouts and compositions have Karai bursting through panels as she leaps across rooftops, seeming to dance across the page, uncontained by its borders. Soares brings heavy shadows and a painter’s sensibility to the colors, creating cityscape backdrops that are a blur of impressionistic lights. It’s stunning work that, when paired with a compelling case for Karai as a leading character, is more than enough to justify The Alliance‘s existence. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
The supernatural elements Trve Kvlt has been hinting at through its first three issues are finally on full display with Trve Kvlt #4. While the writing keeps the same droning, nonchalant tone, there’s at least some of the same tension found back in Issue #1. Definitely a step up from the past few installments. — Connor Casey
Rating: 4 out of 5
Two Graves begins this week with a gorgeous first chapter and a cliffhanger that will make you beg for more. Filled with gorgeous coloring and prose, this gentle debut ramps up into something incredibly special by the end. A road trip to nowhere finds our leads at a crossroads, and their contradictory worlds collide in the most telling of ways. So if you are looking for Image’s next great story, well – Two Graves seems to be it. — Megan Peters
Rating: 5 out of 5
In fleeting moments, Unnatural: Blue Blood begins to capture some of the magic of its predecessor – but it ultimately gets bogged down a little too much by its more ambitious lore. Leslie, Khal, Shea, and company begin to dive even further into the conspiracy surrounding them, and readers are met with loads of exposition and largely-underwhelming character interactions in the process. That being said, there are just enough key reveals in this issue that will keep me invested in whatever’s next. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 3 out of 5
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