Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 12/14/2022 – 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 Danger Street #1, Invincible Iron Man #1, A Vicious Circle #1, and Gargoyles #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 #13 is one of the series’ strongest issues yet. With Cass and Steph in the middle of an actual body swap, the duo have to deal with their respective homicidal parents. While Lady Shiva immediately susses Steph’s identity, Cluemaster is too busy monologuing to realize that his daughter’s soul has been magically switched out with someone else. In a lot of way, the Batgirls’ respective situations help inform their characters even more. We see how Shiva has placed Cass in an unbearable microscope of perfection, while Steph grew up with a father who was a oafish and neglectful maniac. Jonathan Case’s artwork is a triumph as well – like most superhero comics on an accelerated schedule, the artwork of Batgirls has bounced around a lot, but Case’s work is some of the strongest we’ve seen. I honestly wonder if the creative team shooed in a Zatanna cameo just to get Case to draw her. Honestly, top notch stuff. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 4 out of 5
After two months of pomp and no circumstance, this issue of Batman Incorporated finally starts to have things click together, taking the book from a casual Gotham City offshoot into something more compelling. Ed Brisson’s script breezily unpacks a lot of key elements of this narrative, from the origin of Ghost-Maker’s secret sidekick to the tangled web of some of the other team members. John Timms’ art is the best it’s been yet, delivering some entertaining aesthetic choices at basically every turn. After this issue, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this Batman Incorporated. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5
As was the case with their previous collaborations, the only reason to read a Todd McFarlane-written and Greg Capullo-drawn comic book is for the artwork provided by the latter. Par for the course, the storyline barely holds together and has all the hallmarks of McFarlane’s juvenile style of narrative, making little sense along the way. Capullo’s artwork, which does feature inks by McFarlane, is the standout however. A master of drawing both these characters, Capullo is able to marry the visual qualities that make them both unique and fun to look. Were it not his ability to make this story compelling to look at, this would fail to live up to any kind of hype that preceded it. Luckily, Capullo is the man, he’s just chained down by a bad script. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 3 out of 5
Danger Street #1 is ultimately a very strange comic, much in the spirit of its inspiration, the indelibly weird 1st Issue Special. It introduces readers to more than a half dozen, largely disconnected plot threads focusing on some of the least-remembered figures in DC Comics’ history, and it does so in an utterly enticing fashion. What the story is about remains largely unimportant when set beside the curiosity of following such strange figures down their various rabbit holes. It’s a shaggy dog tale of exploration with no promise of a satisfying conclusion, but with an abundance of character, style, and wit to savor. Whatever comes next, Danger Street is bound to be one of 2023’s most memorable comics. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Dark Crisis: Big Bang operates on the same dream-like logic of the Golden Age. We get to see Barry Allen punch the Anti-Monitor through over a dozen different dimensions (which is probably cathartic for folks who were reading way back when Crisis on Infinite Earths first dropped) before taking him on with a multiversal team of heroes, all while taking yet another tour of various Earths. If you’re on the side of fandom that feels an infinite multiverse within DC is the right call, this will likely be a fist-pumping one-shot as we move toward the finale of Dark Crisis and DC’s next impending reboot. If not, it’s at least cool to look at. — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
Harley Quinn: Uncovered #1 is the anti-comic. Celebrating the beloved DC icon, some of the character’s best artwork is collected into an extended one-shot here loosely tied together by a “story” from Dave Wielgosz. Actually, story’s probably putting it on a little too thick given there are roughly five dialogue balloons throughout the duration of the book. In fact, I’m not quite sure what I’m even reviewing here. They repackaged covers we’ve already seen throughout the years in booklet form. Maybe they’re excited to help you make a collage or something. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 2 out of 5
I Am Batman ups the Fox family drama up a notch. When Lucius Fox arrives in town after a tragedy, secrets are revealed and frays become full-blown tears. While this series has struggled to really find an identity, I think it’s at its strongest when it focuses on Jace and his family. The creative team has done such a great job making them all feel like nuanced characters and the book is at its strongest when its a Fox family drama instead of doing its Batman but ripped out of the headlines schtick. Also, the last page cliffhanger: A+. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The end of Tom Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El series in a sense ends things much like where they began, with a good balance of strong characterization and an interesting story that digs into not just who Jon Kent is, but what it means to be Superman as well. What this issue does best is that it ties up some loose ends—rebuilding the Kent house, fleshing out the new villain Red Sin—before laying the groundwork for Jon’s next chapter (an up coming miniseries that will continue Jon’s solo adventures now that his father is back home.) It’s a strong issue in terms of structure and how it sets things up, though it’s not entirely perfect in that the cleanup does feel a bit rushed at times. Still, the book has this overall sense of the good of Superman—both the father and the son—and really, there’s not much. more you can ask for. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4 out of 5
WildC.A.T.s feels like not just a love letter to the premiere Wildstorm team, but also to the Wildstorm universe as a whole. Rosenberg and Segovia made the right choice in making Grifter the point of view character, not just due to his popularity, but his biting, edgy personality simply works here in adding some serious fun to the adventure underway. There is a lot to really enjoy here whether you’re a fan of the original team or not, and WildC.A.T.s feels like a worthy addition to the DC Universe that is also able to make light of its characters along the way. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
I hate to say it but the only good thing about Wonder Woman #794 is the appearance of Yara Flor. The rest of the issue is crammed with some clunky writing, that messy and weird Milk Xtra plot that should have died several issues ago, and frankly weird action sequences that, while the art is good, really aren’t helped by the art at all – there’s just something very weird about milk creatures (or, rather, Greek gods emerging from vats of milk.) The whole issue feels lazy and convoluted in the weirdest way and while Wonder Woman stories can, at times, be campy fun, this is just bad. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 2 out of 5
The first crossover-issu in Marvel Comics’ winter crossover-vent “Dark Web” continues the excellent story set out in Dark Web #1 – focusing primarily on Peter Parker’s role in the story. Peter possesses a lot of connections to the villains involved whether it’s the recently regressed Venom seeking his brains or Chasm’s grand machinations of revenge. Staging the various plot threads, alongside additional tie-ins like the upcoming Dark Web: Ms. Marvel, creates a puzzle-like quality to the plotting with each piece contributing to a whole not entirely witnessed in The Amazing Spider-Man. However, everything in this issue is presented with the fast-pacing and joyful indulgence that make any good crossover work, and that’s in no small part to guest artist Ed McGuinness’ impressive contributions. The action possesses abundant energy as it pulls readers eyes across the page, and Venom is particularly fun to witness as the character thrills back to its mindless early days. The Amazing Spider-Man #15 promises a lot of fun ahead in the series’ tie-ins and “Dark Web” as a complete event. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Leave it to the incomparable team-up of Spider-Man and the X-Men to blow any expectations out of the water, though that shouldn’t be surprising. Out of the many team-ups we’ve seen over the years, Spidey and the X-Men team-ups tend to have a certain magic about them, and that is no different with Dark Web: X-Men #1. The issue is entrenched in the larger “Dark Web” event and feels meaningful, but as a self-contained adventure, it still shines with humor, intrigue, and nostalgia. I say nostalgia because for fans of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends like me, this issue pretty much had me at hello. Gerry Duggan has become one of my favorite X-Men writers, in part because of how skillfully he utilizes a team’s individual and collective talents and personalities, and that’s true for this issue as well. Artist Rod Reis and letterer Cory Petit are dynamite here as well, bringing the eccentric and frightening nature of Limbo to life while simultaneously keeping things lighthearted and fun. If the goal was to get me invested in “Dark Web,” mission accomplished, and if the mission was to deliver one of my fave Marvel team-ups of the year? Well, looks like they knocked that out of the park too. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 5 out of 5
Deadpool #1 left us believing that Wade was about to give “birth” to a reincarnated Carnage, but it turns out it’s not that simple. Wade’s new symbiote hasn’t fully developed so it only gradually emerges as he and Lady Deathstrike take on The Harrower and Doc Ock in a tag team brawl. As a result, Issue #2 has some particularly graphic body horror imagery (and for a Deadpool comic, that’s really saying something!), but this symbiotic angle continues to be intriguing. — Connor Casey
Rating: 4 out of 5
Luckily, for fans of Tony Stark, Invincible Iron Man #1 from Duggan and Frigeri strikes the perfect balance between a complete reinvention and redundancy. The story is a fresh take on the beloved Avengers while staying true to his roots. The fact this creative team is able to balance the two ends in a flawless manner is stunning, making this one of the most impressive Iron Man debuts in recent memory. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Legion of X #8 contrasts its focus between two protagonists seeking to lead Krakoa toward a brighter future – seeming to exist as both a Nightcrawler and Legion series with a colorful supporting cast shared between their mixed missions. Much of this issue is spent chasing plot threads, of which there are many, forward with an abundance of exposition on Ghost Riders, Legion’s mental state, the new Black Knight, and more woven throughout. It’s a lot of reading that is helpfully accented by the aforementioned colorful cast, including the increasingly demented appearances of demonized mutants. The use of warm and witty banter and some emotional catharsis ensures that Legion of X never loses its footing as it finds its way to future highlights. –– Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Eve Ewing’s new run on Monica Rambeau reminds readers, or perhaps confirms to new ones, why this character can be so compelling, even if there’s more than the necessary amount of cameos. Ewing’s work on the series is already character-driven with enough of a plot tease for what’s to come that this first issue doesn’t feel like a total exposition dump. Artists Luca Maresca and Ivan Fiorelli are credited with pencils which seem largely to fit the Marvel house style, nothing too exciting and largely similar in nature to every other regular book from the publisher. They do have a handful of moments with unique panel layouts however, including in the final page, which they should lean into more. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
There’s a lot to love here as Greg Pak returns to the world that helped make him a legend in Incredible Hulk lore, presenting us with a Bruce Banner whose rage won’t just release a green monster but might also bring about the destruction of an entire planet. It’s clear that the writer still has a firm grasp on the character here, giving us a very different Bruce while also beginning to weave in how the other supporting characters in Banner’s life play a role on Sakaar. Placing Amadeus Cho and his relative in the driver’s seat works well here and I’m anxious to see how the rest of this series plays out. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Doom versus Ultron. A piece of plot that feels like something out of either a rom com or an 80s action flick (choose your own adventure here) and pretty much back to back action full of robots and cyborgs and explosions. There’s tragedy, a wild transformation and frankly your best bet with everything packed into this is to skip the dialogue (which is more than a little cheesy at times) and just read the narration. This a fun book, even if kind of the silliest Marvel might be putting out right now. There’s not a lot of substance here, but there doesn’t really need to be. This issue throws everything and the kitchen sink at its pages and it works. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 3 out of 5
Kicking off a new story arc, this issue almost works better if you know nothing about the Bounty Hunters series or just forget everything you experience in previous issues, as this chapter feels like it ignites an entirely new journey. What you need to know is that there are two groups of mercenaries, one working for the Crimson Dawn and one working for the Empire, that are on a collision course. As you can imagine, this results in action-packed encounters and covert tactics in hopes of pulling off the mission, which shockingly results in a relatively fun read. The less narrative exposition we have, the better, as we only need to know the bare bones of the plot to read and appreciate this adventure. This series’ strong suit has never been its interesting characters or its inventive storyline, so this issue launching a new arc means we can just appreciate the wins and ignore the setbacks, making for a shockingly entertaining read. Here’s hoping all this potential isn’t squandered in the follow-up issue. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 4 out of 5
The adaptation of the first season of The Mandalorian continues, bringing with it another authentic interpretation of the events of those debut episodes. This installment focused on the prison break which required Mando to team up with a former comrade, only for his newfound allies to have questionable intentions. The challenge with this entry is that, while it manages to deliver the dialogue from that episode, it falls short of capturing the actual inflections of the performers, with that chapter specifically featuring more humor than other entries. Without getting to hear the delivery of some of the more comedic lines of dialogue, there feels like there’s something missing in this installment, as it instead embraces the adventurous spirit of the infiltration. Still, it’s not that it’s a bad interpretation, but rather falls short of capturing the charm of the series itself. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 3 out of 5
3Keys is simply unlike anything else on the comic market today and that’s where it’s strengths really lie. Messina is able to draw some of the most out there things that you can imagine based on the premise the revolves around giant cat-men fighting creatures spawned from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft. The series is simply a blast, injecting fun into each page and giving you visuals that you can’t find anywhere else. 3Keys remains a feast for the eyes and it’s a bonkers universe that is certainly worth visiting. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
Art Brut is a trippy dive into the world of art….literally. The new Image series by W Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, and Mat Lopez follows Arthur Brut, a dreampainter called in by the Bureau of Artistic Integrity to investigate why Mona Lisa has suddenly winked and its connection to some very brutal crimes and acts of violence occurring around the world. Brut has the ability to literally enter pieces of artwork, often restoring the work to their original states, but he also seems to suffer from some form of schizophrenia, which is unfortunately played up mostly for laughs. The series has a slightly unhinged feel to it, which plays well with Morazzo’s more straight-laced style. Morazzo’s art reminds me of a more restrained version of Nick Pitarra, which helps bring an extra level of contrast to some of the absurdity taking place in the comic. Meanwhile, I enjoyed how Lopez uses a palette of monotones and beige to help separate the more mundane world from the more colorful world of art. A great debut issue that sometimes gets too caught up in using violence and mental illness for laughs. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Dark Horse Comics is focusing on the first book of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy with its Assassin’s Apprentice miniseries, though you don’t have to be well-versed in the source material to find yourself immersed in this world. Quite a bit of world-building can be found in Assassin’s Apprentice #1, though it sets about doing so mostly through dialogue, and that helps keep you bonded to Fitz’s journey through this harsh and cold world. Writers Robin Hobb and Jody Houser convey a lot of information without making you feel as if you’re flooded with exposition, and artist Ryan Kelly, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou convey so much of Fitz’s emotion and feelings without so much as a word of dialogue. It’s rough to hear Fitz demeaned by language constantly, but I understand that’s part of this particular time and world. Still, Assassin’s Apprentice accomplished an impressive amount in its debut issue, and I’m genuinely excited to see where Fitz’s epic adventure goes next. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Man’s Best Friend takes on a whole new meaning in Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #2. There’s something poetically sad about mercenaries hunting a K9 named “Business Dog.” Of course, there’s a larger lesson to be learned from the crash of an economy and society turning on itself, but the creative team behind Billionaire Island teaches that to readers in satirical fashion. — Tim Adams
Rating: 4 out of 5
Trish descends further down the rabbit hole presented by The Bone Orchard Mythos as her ongoing investigation of Jack’s disappearance and the sudden appearance of a corpse put her in a tight spot. Opening the issue with an interrogation provides an opportunity for recap and exposition, but it also makes clear that Trish has little control over her own story as everything that follows is advanced without Trish’s involvement. Her progress is guided by new mysteries and supernatural forces which she follows as if on a theme park ride; it’s only in a flashback that readers witness her making a decision, even if it seems an obvious one. This is contrasted by an increasingly oppressive atmosphere with some of Sorrentino’s most impressive spreads and splashes of recent memory. The composition of the titular antagonist in both symbols and a physical manifestation is dread-inducing and makes the rabbit hole still seem enticing, even as the characters surrounding it lie flat on the page. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 3 out of 5
The series tackling addiction, the harsh regiment we put doctors through, along with superpowers manages to knock it out of the park once again by tackling all three in this latest issue. With previous issues giving readers the “ups” of drug abuse, this latest venture buries us in the “downs” as Rose reaps what she sowed in a major way. What the issue also does is surprisingly share some worthy commentary on the young sidekick trope that has been prevalent in comics for so long, looking at the very real danger of not only the physical toll of a young crime fighter hitting the beat, but the mental one as well. With one issue left in Crashing‘s run, here’s to hoping that Klein and Beem are ready and willing to dive into a sequel. –– Evan Valentine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Dark Ride continues to be every bit as macabre and mesmerizing as the issues that preceded it. This week’s installment pulls back the proverbial curtain of the theme park and its inhabitants even further, adding some meaningful intrigue along the way. Joshua Williamson’s script is the perfect blend of bizarre and breezy, and Andrei Bressan’s art makes a casual hand on a shoulder equally as terrifying of a sight as bloody guts. Get on the bandwagon of Dark Ride, trust me. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Gargoyles show is arguably best known for its long-form Mignolian storytelling in that characters and storylines introduced in one episode may not be dealt with until much later down the road. If you come into the comic with the same mindset you have after watching the series, it’s hard to go wrong with this issue. It brings back the characters many of us spent hours watching growing up in a familiar world with a similar tone. If you’re hoping for a large reimagining or tonal shift, you may walk away from this disappointed. Either way, Weisman and company stay true to the property’s roots, and that should prove beneficial in the long run. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
Gospel #2 is an intensely dense issue and while it does take some time, some focus, and some energy to work through, it also might be one of the finest comic books out this week. Pitt and Matilde’s adventure continues, but woven within their adventure and larger quest for self is political intrigue, a little bit of the supernatural, and a bit of commentary on the intersection of faith into this – and how faith can be manipulated for the machinations of man and not god. It’s a really rich and fascinating tale and the art here is lavish as well. Yes, you have to pay attention and think your way through the Gospel #2, but it’s well worth it. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
After some pulse-pounding issues, Grim returns for a much slower story in issue #6. More seeds and mysteries are being planted for readers, especially in a prologue/epilogue side story. As usual, the art comes across wonderfully elegant when needed while also possessing an air of the spooky when called for. — Tim Adams
Rating: 3 out of 5
This one-shot may carry the “Chilling Adventures Presents” banner and the Archie Horror label but it fails to live up to that standard in the majority of its tales. Having more in common with Eerie Comics, both in form and the potential storytelling quality, this is one is only for the die-hards. Special shout out to writer Joe Corallo and artist Patrick Piazzalunga whose story “Wrath of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is the best of the lot, delivering a holiday style horror that actually feels in line with the theme and harkens toi the classic twist endings of horror anthology comics. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 2 out of 5
Hell To Pay continues to deliver intriguing surprises, saving a major curveball for last, and one that teases a much grander scope. Writer Charles Soule is clearly having fun with the scale of this era-spanning story, as well as the meta aspects that are utilized to delightful comedic effect. The amount of world-building is impressive, as it’s often done without overwhelming the main throughline of the story and the book’s two leads. Artist Will Sliney, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Chris Crank seem to be having quite the time with the supernatural and larger-than-life aspects too, and the action scenes sizzle with magic and out of nowhere hammers and shields that up the unpredictability of every throwdown. There are a few moments where characters look a little off or stilted, but those are few and far between. Despite the jumps in time I never found myself confused and always remained entertained, and this is quickly becoming one of my monthly favorites. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4 out of 5
Writer W. Maxwell Prince places himself, or at least a facsimile of himself, at the center of Ice Cream Man as the narrators contrasts the sorts of stories he wishes he could tell with those he does. The issue is visually styled in a fashion similar to “Goofus & Gallant,” with the top half of each page presenting an optimistic tale in bright, lively colors by Chris O’Halloran while the bottom fades into dull drudgery. These reflected narratives follow a few weeks in the life of Brad as he goes to work, encounters a new romantic partner, and arrives at a moment of crisis. The former is optimistic and inspiring, while the latter is cynical and saddening. Yet both lie flat on the page as Brad is made to be an opposite of himself allowing no space for nuance, and Ice Cream Man has always been a comic book interested in the nuances surrounding its dark subject matter. This approach makes clear the protagonist is not Brad, but Brad’s storyteller – the writers and artists who create him. So the focus of the story is upon what sorts of stories we choose to tell and what drives us to tell them. In this way the reflections reveal a false question and encourage readers to consider why they seek out stories like this. It’s a deftly executed maneuver in an another ambitious issue, and one capable of delivering something far more interesting than the stereotypically bland competition between hope and despair, as life lies somewhere in between. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The opening pages of Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #12 quickly address the final elements of plot and resolve issue #11’s cliffhanger to make way for the climax of this all-ages epic. Jonna’s final battle and the fate of mankind are determined in a series of Samnee’s most impressive spreads thus far, as they map the explosive terrain of this battle and the emotional terrain that shaped Jonna and her family. Even as she bellows and rages, it’s clear that her anger is tied to love and it makes for an emotionally impactful sequence that draws the personal and global together in its final moments. Readers are bound to need a few tissues when the issue arrives at its epilogue, which offers one last look around at the wonderful and often whimsical world Samnee and his collaborators created, and that the heroes of this tale fought so hard to preserve. A sweeping metaphor for defending one’s world against monsters can be read in many ways, but the profound truth made clear in the final few pages of Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is universal in nature and reminds us all why having someone to fight for is more important than the fight itself. –– Chase Magnett
Rating: 5 out of 5
Mike Mignola’s signature brand of storytelling would seem like the perfect fit for a holiday-themed tale, as he avoids leaning into abject horror and often embraces elements of the supernatural as being part of reality, so this Leonide the Vampyr one-shot could have been the opportunity to really endear audiences to the relatively new character. Instead, we’re given something that is so brief and full of so many ideas and, at the same time, ambiguous lulls that a clear vision for the experience never really comes through. That’s not to say this narrative is a failure, as each scene features all of the endearing qualities of Mignola’s writing and Rachele Aragno’s art to make for a delightfully macabre experience, we just wish there was more to this vampire story for us to sink our teeth into. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 3 out of 5
Love Everlasting #5 promises readers a turning point in its story as Joan finds herself in a new setting seeking out a therapist rather than a suitor. She meets a new person who seems to be fully aware of what is happening as artist Elsa Charettier slips between familiar time periods to display exactly how fluid this construct may be. While their resulting conversation provides a number of new hints at what is actually occurring, it ultimately doesn’t offer any distinct insight or clarity; the puzzle box at the series’ center merely grows more elaborate. Regardless of the quality of set and fashion design or the clarity of each layout, the absence of a clear protagonist and definition of the plot provides little to consider even as the story acts as though it has reached a turning point. With more questions stacked onto a formula that only varies itself slightly between issues, it’s difficult to know whether this series is going anywhere at all. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 2 out of 5
While Nathan and Marshall’s ever-evolving friendship continues to be the book’s foundation, Radiant Black has also developed a stellar supporting cast of heroes, and Radiant Black #20 starts to move them all into position for a truly epic adventure. While we’ve seen a brief team-up in the past, we seem to be heading to a massive one in the near future, as Kyle Higgins teases what’s to come thanks to a thrilling team-up with Radiant Red and Radiant Pink (and the slightest tease of Radiant Yellow to boot). Eva and Satomi bring so much charm and new energy to every scene they’re in, and artist Marcelo Costa, color assistant Rod Fernandes, and letterer Becca Carey deliver so much creativity and style with their individual power sets and how they work in conjunction with each other. The massive robot does feel a bit uneven in the second half of the issue compared to the first, but it wasn’t so much as to deter my enjoyment of the issue and having these characters all in the same place. Now that we are just one piece away from a full squad, I cannot wait to see what lies ahead, and Radiant Black continues to be one of the coolest superhero comics out there. –– Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This is everything I could want out of a crossover comic of this caliber. Not only does this issue provide a sufficient introduction (or reintroduction) into the respective worlds of the Sonjas, but it sets up an action-packed mystery involving them both. Jordan Clark, Miriana Puglia, and company’s work is incredibly spirited, filled with some lush coloring and enough promise to keep me more than intrigued for whatever’s next. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5
Asta and Harry’s relationship proceeds in a very natural fashion; readers are bound to recognize the mundane nature of “big steps” and how scary even the most stable sorts of change can seem. There’s a genuineness to the entire romance that makes it identifiable and a valuable center to the new forms of mischief coming to Patience. Even as Harry focuses on what’s going well, The Book of Love #2 introduces a number of new troubles to the town that emerge from surprising and often understated encounters. While it’s unclear how the many threads described at the start of the miniseries will intersect, the potential for drama is abundantly clear. With such a well-defined couple at the center of it all, the stakes for any disruption to this romance are heightened because it seems so real. The strength of this story about an extraterrestrial visitor remains its investment in the humanity of small town Washington. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Just when I think the “Bear” concept can’t get any sillier, the Shirtless Bear Fighter! team manages to outdo itself. Transforming Earth to “Bearth,” humans and bears procreating, a pantless Shirtless clone walking around… it’s easy enough to find something to laugh at on each page. And I must give a standing applause for the Care Bears homage. — Tim Adams
Rating: 5 out of 5
Specs #2 pulls through this week with a gut-wrenching update that proves not all wishes are what they seem. With a missing classmate on their conscience, our leads find themselves cornered time and again as they discover what it means to get what you wish for. So when the time comes to bail themselves out, well – the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ becomes truer than ever before. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
Star Trek: Resurgence #2 basks in the atmosphere of late 1990s/early 2000s Star Trek, even picking up a thread from The Next Generation by bringing back Jono, the human raised by Talarians from the episode “Suddenly Human,” now a captain in the Talarian military commanding his adoptive father’s old ship. It’s clear that Capt. Picard left an impression on him, and his presence as a more progressive (relatively speaking) voice among the Talarians adds some gray to a story otherwise lacking nuance. Despite soaking in the vibe of the Next Gen era, this issue is more action-oriented, focusing on a covert rescue mission that ends up being less undercover than intended. The visuals aren’t up to the task of depicting the action, with bodies distractingly contorted after being struck by phaser fire, inappropriately over-the-top reactions, and an at least one instance where an officer trying to shield his captain looks more like he’s going in for a hug. The twist at the end is predictably unpredictable, thanks to some foreshadowing early in the issue and Dr. Leah Brahms’ reputation for being somewhat stubborn in pursuing her research preceding her. Despite these flaws, the story holds together well as it hits on some familiar Star Trek beats. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3 out of 5
Starhenge, Book One: The Dragon & The Boar #6, like every other issue in this series, is a masterpiece of comics storytelling. It almost feels redundant to praise the writing each issue for that reason, but this issue in particular is also a master work in terms of art. There are different styles and approaches, but this is Sharpe at the absolute top of his game here with panels that are hauntingly beautiful because of how real they look and others that are hilarious and cartoony all balanced with this glorious, galactic feel. This book is an absolute feast, especially for the eyes. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Armageddon Game – The Alliance follows up its stellar debut issue focusing on Karai by switching focus to Casey Jones with a story by a different creative team. The idea behind the story is simple but solid enough. Casey has been feeling distant from his former friends and allies after recent events, and an encounter with the Punk Frogs makes him realize he’s not the only “stray” in or around Mutant Town. However, the issue gets bogged down in having Casey and the Frogs recapping everything leading up to this confrontation. The conflict itself feels off-key as Casey accuses the Punk Frogs of being “anarchists” threatening to ruin a good neighborhood, and the Frogs accuse the Turtles of being “extremists.” The story has a sweet ending, but it’s not worth the journey. There’s a backup story where the previous issue’s team picks up Karai’s story as she meets with Casey, but it’s more coda than anything else and not enough to elevate the issue by much overall. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 2 out of 5
Seeing the deadly battle between Autobots and Decepticons through the eyes of Soundwave is a nice curveball. The new alliance with Slicer makes for a touching moment, the art and colors fit nicely with what fans should come to expect out of a Transformers project, and the surprise turn for Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities for the future. — Tim Adams
Rating: 3 out of 5
Two Graves dives into a delicious new issue this week, and it unravels a a heart wrenching story about death and ghosts. As Emilia tries to figure out the thing nagging at her conscious, things get hectic with a trio appears with answers readers never saw coming. And in the end, our heroine discovers she’s quite a bit more powerful than she thought. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
A Vicious Circle #1 indulges in the too-familiar trope of killing a barely developed, innocent supporting character to motivate its protagonist in what feels like a transparent attempt to add unearned, instant emotion to the plot. It’s made more egregious by how it’s entangled in the historical oppression of Black Americans. Otherwise, A Vicious Circle #1 purposely holds back information to build a mystery while serving as a tour de force for Bermejo, allowing the master artist to showcase his versatility and skill. Those impressive visuals, coupled with a plot anchored by interesting thematic underpinnings and plenty of action, will likely be enough for readers to enjoy the issue while waiting to learn more about what’s driving Thacker and Ferris’ cycle of violence. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The plot elements brewing over the last few issues of Wynd finally come to a head with the fifth issue of Throne in the Sky. We get a battle between two of the big bads that goes in an unexpected direction (it feels like one of the villains just got a power boost that isn’t fully explained), and the subplot regarding the giant Strawberry seems to have already run its course. It all ends on arguably the best cliffhanger the series has ever produced, making it easily the best issue of this particular miniseries. — Connor Casey
Rating: 4 out of 5
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