5 Mar 2017

Mini Reviews 05/03/2017

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

Writer: Justin Jordan
Art: Ibrahim Moustafa & Jordan Boyd
DC/Vertigo $3.99

Matt C: Justin Jordan offers up a tale that has plenty of familiar elements but displays the ingenuity and ambition required to stand out from the pack. It's another case of government trained killers going rogue but this seems to be on a far larger scale than most stories of this type, and from the looks of it Jordan has the confidence and skill to pull this off. Sociopaths harnessed at young age to exploit their murderous instincts for political purposes is a great spin on the concept, and even at this stage the writer isn't shying away from the darker, more gruesome aspects of the scenario, depicted in a grim, almost matter-of-fact manner by artist Ibrahim Moustafa. Savage Things has the makings of another strong miniseries that is helping reestablish Vertigo as a real force in the creator-owned marketplace. 8/10

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Greg Smallwood & Jordie Bellaire
Marvel $3.99

James R: We now know Lemire and Smallwood's Moon Knight will be coming to an end with issue #14 and there's definitely a palpable sense of it building to a finale as Marc Spector is reunited with the disparate strands of his fractured personality before we're given a final scene that suggests a fin de siecle for Moon Knight stretching back to the character's first appearance in 1980. It's another supremely confident chapter from a grade 'A' creative team, and Lemire, Smallwood and Bellaire have taken a character that I always saw as a Batman knockoff and produced one of the most interesting books Marvel currently publish. However, when it concludes, my Marvel pull will drop down to a single title. There has been much talk of a malaise at the House of Ideas, and I find it remarkable that their policy of publishing interesting, edgier books alongside their blockbuster titles seems to be being slowly abandoned. That's a discussion for another day though - this week, Moon Knight continues to dazzle. 8/10

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
Image $4.99

Matt C: Lemire steers away from the more genre-heavy material he's focused on of late and returns to his roots for a family drama tinged with sadness and a disconcertingly clever mystery at its centre. The writer's strong talent for conveying relatable human emotion through words and action is on display here, building a compelling unit in the shape of the Pike family. While we become absorbed in their fractured dynamics it's not immediately apparent that something isn't quite right, but as things progress it becomes clearer and more intriguing. Lemire's artwork may not be 'polished' in the traditional sense but it's laden with a depth of feeling that some slicker illustrators can't get anywhere near matching. Considering his last ongoing series as writer/artist was the peerless Sweet Tooth, even though it’s not showing any obvious genre trappings at this stage, it would only be a fool who chooses to let Royal City pass them by. 8/10

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