Comic Book Reviews for This Week: 10/20/2021 – ComicBook.com

By Chase Magnett – October 20, 2021 11:21 am EDT
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 Catwoman: Lonely City #1, Phoenix Song: Echo #1, and Night of the Ghoul #1.
Also, in case you were curious, our ratings are simple: we give a whole number out of five; that’s it! If you’d like to check out our previous reviews, they are all available here.
Batman #115 is a book that looks pretty but has absolutely zero substance. Page after page is filled with the continued bloat and convolution that is the ill-considered “Fear State” story which with every installment is proving itself to be an extremely grandiose idea that has no hope of being executed well. Everything here is messy. Tynion can’t seem to keep focused on who the real villain is nor can he seem to keep the story on track towards a conclusion. This week, he decides to complicate things further by having Ivy be targeted by a now unhinged Simon Saint while also having Scarecrow being yet again another step ahead of everyone including Batman. There is just too much going on and anything important feels poorly jammed in. This is not a good Batman story. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 2 out of 5
There is no point to Batman/Catwoman at this point. At this point, any promise this much-hyped book had has disappeared into a disjointed and self-indulgent mess. King continues to use song lyrics as story as he slices and dices through three convoluted and confusing storylines, fails to understand the characters he’s butchering in the process, and in Batman/Catwoman #8 in particular, the art is awful. If I’m being honest, I have no idea what is even going on in this title anymore – and I don’t want to. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 1 out of 5
The latest Secret Files one-shot to spin out of DC’s “Fear State” event, this installment puts the spotlight on Sean Mahoney, the man who moonlights as The Magistrate’s ruthless vigilante hunter in the Future State timeline. In certain teams’ hands, taking on that character’s origin could have become uninteresting or potential problematic—but luckily, writer Ed Brisson and company turn it into something inspired. At the root of Brisson’s script—which expands upon a plot by him and Batman writer James Tynion IV—is a fascinating portrait of the cycles of abuse and masculinity in Gotham City, one that uses effective vignette to make readers feel for Sean, even if they don’t agree with his exact motives. The art from Joshua Hixson and the color work from Roman Stevens showcases the descent into moody brutality that hits Sean’s life, all while making some aesthetic decisions that elevate the most mundane of sequences. While it might have a bit of a learning curve for readers who haven’t yet dived into Peacekeeper-01’s other appearances, this Batman Secret Files is a compelling and entertaining one, one that will make you want to follow the titular character to wherever he goes next. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5
Sometimes crossovers can favor one side of an odd couple too heavily, but Batman vs. Bigby isn’t a terribly good Batman or Fables comic. On the Batman side of things, Bruce is in his most imposing (and unnecessarily harsh) form, which results in a number of unforced errors. As if disliking Batman weren’t enough, quick narrative sidesteps make him look terribly incompetent—waking up to find his house in disarray. Bigby brings the same overly macho attitude, something so exaggerated that it would have felt out of place even in the earliest issues of Fables when he was at his surliest. It all seems directed to keep the two great detectives at odds while nothing much happens… until the final page, at least. The story is delivered clearly with a clear mood of overt gloom infecting Gotham City, but doesn’t possess many flourishes to distract from the drag of a story on the page. It’s a long, slow sequence featuring one character Willingham has written to great effect in the past. With the Batman side of things looking no better than “War Games” and Fables failing to recapture its charm, it appears this miniseries missed its mark by many years. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Black Manta #2 is a strange book and it’s honestly a little boring, but it isn’t necessarily bad. We find out in this issue that Manta has a stone that may be awakening latent Atlantean DNA in him and thus, killing him so now he has to track down the larger stone to survive. Sprinkle in a little bit of reflection and examination about the idea of heroes and villains, some choppy scenes, and a relatively slow pace and you’ve got a book that is interesting, a bit odd, but one that may well be starting to pick up a bit of speed. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 3 out of 5
As Ram V’s run on Catwoman begins coming to a close—and the “Fear State” crossover fully rears its head in Gotham City—this issue brings an epically-constructed and largely-satisfying tale. As Selina and those in her ever-growing orbit in Alleytown join forces to protect Poison Ivy’s “soul,” their lives and the fate of the borough are put to the test. Ram V’s script is excellent as always, and the art from Nina Vakueva and Laura Braga is as well, although the switch between both of their distinct styles becomes jarring, even with the brilliance of Jordie Bellaire’s eye-catching colors. This feels like the beginning of the culmination of Ram V’s work on Catwoman, and I’m excited to see where it goes next. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
If you keep an eye on the conversation surrounding mainstream superhero comics, you’ve probably heard a lot of hype for Catwoman: Lonely City – and trust me, it is more than warranted. This week’s debut issue is stunning on every account, both for the ambitious ways it remixes the lore of Gotham City and how effortlessly Cliff Chiang realizes these ambitions. This is the kind of comic that not only deepens my appreciation for countless back issues featuring Catwoman appearances, but makes me proud of what stories superhero comics can tell in this moment. Catwoman: Lonely City #1 is like nothing else in DC’s arsenal right now, and you owe it to yourself to check it out. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 5 out of 5
For the most part, I’ve really enjoyed Adams take on bringing Wally West back into the driver’s seat of The Flash, and while the story here is a bit scattershot in terms of just how much it throws at readers, there’s a lot to love here for old school superhero fans. I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to focus specifically on Fernando Pasarin’s art here, as the artist is able to create some truly dazzling action set pieces here which have amazing amounts of detail bleeding off each page. It’s clear that the creative team is having a blast here, but the story could have used just a bit more cohesion in terms of juggling the sheer amount of characters and elements at play here. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Green Lantern #7 continues the series’ two points of view format, revealing the fate of the other Lanterns and exploring the investigation of the Power Battery explosion simultaneously. Ironically both of those plot points (and the cover’s Kilowog tease) take a backseat to more character-specific stories, and while the second half is well worth the trip, the first half isn’t quite as successful. First let’s talk the second half, where writer Geoffrey Thorne and Marco Santucci build off the compelling threads from Green Lantern #6 regarding Sinestro, Jessica Cruz, and Keli while also showcasing the sweet and familial bond between Keli and Simon. That last page hit me right in the feels, as it’s supposed to do, and the last page of the first half’s story also delivered a big reveal, and it feels like the big deal it’s supposed to be. The story that led to that revelation however isn’t as compelling, with a vagueness to it because of the whole approach to time and reality it sets up that story with. There are interesting aspects to it, but as a whole, it felt a bit cluttered and confusing, especially since there’s no clear explanation for how this is all working. Still, the end reveal is one I cannot wait to see explored in more detail, and the second half sent the issue out on a high note. Despite the bumps in the road, this was still a great issue, and the future of Green Lantern continues to shine bright indeed. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Legends of the Dark Knight #6 has two stories that follow a pattern of a classic Batman (or Batman-adjacent) villain being blamed for crimes they didn’t necessarily commit. The opening story by Becky Cloonan and Dike Ruan follows Batman as he investigates a series of brutal murders of mob family members. The second story by Matthew Rosenberg and Cian Tormey shows Batman investigating the deliberate breach of a flood wall, with Killer Croc as his initial suspect. Both stories are hurt somewhat by their similarity to the other – readers can’t help but compare the two stories simply because they have such similar starting points. Neither short story is bad, but there’s not much innovation or new ground treaded here. If you enjoy some simple Batman stories, Legends of the Dark Knight #6 is for you. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In the second of three “Fear State” tie-ins as part of the Nightwing title, Barbara Gordon takes center stage in a compelling story that answers some potential plot holes regarding the character’s time as Oracle. While these event tie-ins did take away some steam Taylor and Redondo built up prior, at least it’s becoming a worthy story in and of itself rather than standard event fodder. Both Babs and Dick Grayson are best when fighting an uphill battle, and that’s exactly where they’re left here. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
Nubia and The Amazons #1 feels like a slice-of-life issue on Themyscira before teasing the “Trial of The Amazons” event. There’s not much character development to speak of, Nubia gets little to do despite being on the title and cover, but if you love this corner of DC you’ll feel right at home. — Connor Casey
Rating: 3 out of 5
Refrigerator Full of Heads, the sequel to gruesome delight Basketful of Heads, makes a prevalent and unfortunate mistake. It takes the original story’s relatively straightforward premise and bloats it with uninteresting lore (I like to call it the Pirates of the Caribbean problem). That empty lore takes up the space previously inhabited by Basketful‘s subtext regarding male insecurities, and the bargain leaves this first issue feeling empty. There’s no tension, no hook, just going through the motions of what came before and repeating the typical failings of an unneeded sequel, and no amount of tongue-in-cheek Jaws references can cover for that. On the upside, Tom Fowler’s artwork is always delightful and fits the expected grindhouse stylings. Still, the script is a confusing jumble, and fans of the original series are bound to be disappointed. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 2 out of 5
Shazam’s four-issue mini-series ends on a surprisingly upbeat note as Billy and a future version of Black Adam finally address what’s been going with his failing powers. Batson’s humor and optimism finally get the chance to shine through and what gets teased for Teen Titans Academy sounds like it could be a lot of fun. — Connor Casey
Rating: 4 out of 5
Despite the team actually going to hell, it’s never a competition as to who is the evilest in the Suicide Squad. That would be Amanda Waller, who despite being amongst some truly despicable people, somehow comes out on top as the one you most want to see taken down. Writer Robbie Thompson capitalizes on that feeling in Suicide Squad #8, and while the book seemed like it was treading water a bit, it has its foot on the pedal and is moving in the right direction now, as we see the delicate tower of cards starting to not just fall around Waller but actively seek to take her out. The book’s turned the cast of villains into characters you can root for, and while a lot of credit goes to making Waller that much more vile, Thompson also has continued to build up the cast and explore their own self-reflections, and we see multiple examples of this here in Culebra, Match, and Peacemaker. The issue is stellar on the artistic front as well, with Eduardo Pansica, Dexter Soy, and Marcelo Maiolo delivering big action sequences with key quieter moments amidst all the chaos. Coupled with the last page reveal, Suicide Squad just upped the ante and managed to hook me all over again. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I don’t love the art in Superman: Son of Kal-El #4, but I do love the way Tom Taylor is continuing to develop this story and fully flesh out Jon Kent, both as Superman now that his father has left the world and as a man in his own right. This issue shows Jon’s growing pains as he steps into the role his father leaves behind as gives some Lex Luthor/Superman vibes in how the showdown with Bendix works out at the end of the issue. There’s a lot here that is just so well done and so good. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Suddenly, Death of Doctor Strange has become a “who’s who” of the Sorcerer Supreme’s rogues gallery. Interestingly enough, the quickest of explanations towards the beginning of the issue ensures this Dr. Strange isn’t around permanently, quickly correcting one of my biggest criticisms of the title’s debut issue. That said, the introduction of the Three Mothers here—plus the inevitable arrival of the Avengers—ensures this issue has more than enough characters packed between its covers. MacKay manages to balance this ensemble pretty well, making sure to keep the focus on the three new antagonists and Marvel’s world of magic. All things considered, this sophomore outing is paced incredibly fast and makes for a rather light read, though that’s not indicative of its quality script and lineart. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
It’s fun to throw in a little Halloween flair with Jo and Nick, but it doesn’t mesh well with what Slott is doing with the rest of the series. There are several small plots at play in this issue and the goal is for them all to work in unison. But the random assortment of ideas just makes it all feel disjointed. It’s time to start getting to the point. — Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 2 out of 5
If Phoenix Song: Echo continues the momentum of this issue’s second half and delivers on the promise it holds, we could have an amazing series on our hands. If it stays at the surface, it could still be enjoyable, but it won’t come near to what it could be. Here’s hoping the former is true because all of the elements are here for Phoenix Song: Echo to be something truly special. — Matthew Aguilar
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The end of issue #9 set up an intriguing story of Kreeve going undercover, and it’s a bit disappointing to see the tale last less than one issue. High Republic is now moving a little too quickly for its own good, but the character remain endlessly interesting, so it’s still great fodder for Star Wars fans who enjoy exploring the era. — Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 3 out of 5
Any time Throg gets together the Pet Avengers, the book is worth buying. The only downside here is that Throg’s story takes up just half the issue. When he’s on the page, though, it’s glorious. — Charlie Ridgely
Rating: 4 out of 5
At its heart, The United States of Captain America has been from its first issue a story about America itself – how it’s been fractured and manipulated, how dark our history really is, and how multifaceted we really are, including our heroes. In this final issue of the series, there is a lot that satisfies: a “truckload” of Captains America, Nazis getting punched, and America being saved, complete with hope for a brighter, more optimistic future. In a lot of ways, the book cleans up nicer than it ought to. But at the same time, it’s that hope as well as the acknowledgement that we are as a people stronger together that feels like just the message we need. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
X-Men: Trial of Magneto #3 goes entirely off the rails and reads like a jumble of random events, abandoning any sense of cohesion. The ramshackle nature of the issue isn’t helped by having two artists aboard, with the switches between Lucas Werneck and Mike Messina being glaring. There’s too much happening, and everything feels discordant and is over seemingly before it begins. The dialogue is stiff, and the reveals are likely to make eyes roll. It’s hard to figure out where Trial of Magneto will go next, given how random its plot feels thus far. Right now, it feels like an overlong and convoluted attempt to perform continuity triage on the Scarlet Witch, with this issue running in circles and inserting some irrelevant action into the proceeds, stretching the thin plot beyond its breaking point. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Aggretsuko: Super Fun Special lives up to its name with several endearing stories about our favorite red panda. As she comes up against period romances and VR gaming, Retsuko keeps her heart as pure as ever while blending jokes and gags along the way. So if you love the Sanrio mascot in any way, this special is definitely up your
alley! — Megan Peters
Rating: 5 out of 5
Ant #1 is a pretty straightforward origin story, featuring art from Erik Larsen that feels pretty different from what he does monthly on Savage Dragon. It looks like it went straight from pencils to colors, and while it isn’t as “finished” as Larsen’s usual art, it’s got a really kinetic look to it that works well in the high-intensity situations in the book. Reinventing the character, Larsen keeps the core of the original origin, but updates it for new readers and sets the stage for a new take on the character. — Russ Burlingame
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Bermuda failed to ever grab me in a major way over the course of its four issues. While I think this series has some redeeming qualities, namely with its art direction and unique world, the central story and characters never landed with me. As such, I can’t say that I outright disliked Bermuda, but following the release of this fourth issue, I can’t say that I think it’s a must-read by any means. Still, if you’re looking for something that scratches an action-focused sci-fi itch that you might have, this series could do the trick. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3 out of 5
Beyond the Breach pulls the curtain back to bring more context to its first volume, delivering an origin of sorts and an explainer of what the hell is even going on. The trouble however is that the straight man of the series isn’t nearly as compelling as their fantastical counterpart. Brisson’s work on the narrative is at its best here while artist Damian Couceiro gets the opportunity to really play with unique panel layouts and fun designs, stretching their legs into the absurdist realms that this series has teased in issues prior. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
The story of Black’s Myth builds one of the most interesting supernatural worlds that I’ve seen in the world of comics in quite some time, blending idiosyncratic beasts with some strong character work. Palicki and Cavalcanti have a clear sense of the beats that they are looking to hit with this series, and it works well. Ultimately, the biggest hindrance for the series is that lack of detail that comes from its artwork, but it doesn’t hinder readers from enjoying this unique tale. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina delves into a dark issue this week as readers watch the heroine contemplate murder for the sake of love. As Harvey’s host dishes out torture and murder with ease, Sabrina takes a road trip to take someone’s life. But when a demon interrupts her plans, things take a turn for the worst. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
These past two issues of Clans of Belari moved at such a quick pace that it was almost hard to keep up. The series felt like it was being greatly rushed, whereas the thing that I liked most about the first couple issues was how slowly it seemed to be establishing this world and its rules. With Clans of Belari now coming to a conclusion here in issue #4, I’m not sure how I feel. Although I still think this world was genuinely interesting, the story and characters suffered due to only being part of a four-issue run. I’d be more than happy to see this series come back in the future, but if it does, I hope it has more room to grow. — Logan Moore
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Dark Horse’s Critical Role comics line expands with a new miniseries focused on the Bright Queen, the ruler of the Kryn Dynasty and one of the key NPCs from Campaign 2. The issue opens with a brief history on the Luxon, the strange deity worshipped by the Kryn that is responsible for their cycle of reincarnation, before setting up the stakes of the new series – the Bright Queen and her lover Quana are tied to a new soul created by the Luxon. However, Quana is ambushed during a mission, leading the Bright Queen to personally enter the fray. For better or worse, this comic is geared primarily to the hardcore Critter, to the fan who cares about the deep lore of the series and its intriguing mysteries. While I’m personally interested in what the Luxon and the Spider Queen (a title of Lolth, one of D&D‘s oldest villains and the traditional goddess worshipped by the dark elves who rule the Kryn Dynasty), I feel that this comic might be a bit too somber and caught up in its own lore to be of real interest to the more casual fan. Luckily, Dark Horse publishes multiple Critical Role comics, so there’s definitely room for a deeper dive into the world of Critical Role and books geared for more casual readers. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 4 out of 5
With every single issue of Dune: House Atreides, I am astonished to find myself greeted by the garish metallic green narration panels that feel entirely out of place with the story’s aesthetic. They’re primarily used in this issue to make sure readers remember what’s happened thus far. This issue of the series serves as a preamble to the trial of Leto Atreides. It’s nice to get back to Dune’s signature palace intrigue. The more subtle plot helps rein in Dev Pramanik’s often confusingly jumbled panel layouts, and he does some interesting things with sinewy shadows over faces and landscapes. Unfortunately, the plot is almost nonsensical. Leto threatens to expose the Emperor’s conspiracy during open court, so the Emperor’s spymaster threatens members of the Landsraad to convince them to acquit. But that still requires a trial and likely doesn’t solve Elrood’s problems. Dune: House Atreides continues to be an uncompelling prequel. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 2 out of 5
Jim Zub returns to pen another tale of Dungeons & Dragons hero Minsc (and his miniature giant space hamster sidekick Boo), this time accompanied by artist Eduardo Mello. As our heroes return to Baldur’s Gate, the party is strained somewhat by the events of last miniseries. Luckily, there’s a new mystery to distract the group, which leads to a surprising new foe with ties to a member of Minsc’s party. This is a fun opening issue and can be enjoyed by readers of Zub’s past D&D series or newcomers to the longrunning story. I’m curious to see where this particular adventure goes as it doesn’t have any obvious parallel to a previous D&D campaign adventure. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Eat The Rich has gotten progressively better with each passing issue, as it breaks away from the predictable status quo of its first issue and starts diving into how each of these characters is a unique beast of their own. The latest entry is dripping with analogies for our modern society, with Gailey and Bak pushing forth the idea that while you might be able to make some changes as an individual, they can seem toothless in the face of a structure that grinds its victims beneath the wheel. This issue definitely feels like its setting up some curveballs for the series future and I’m anxious to see where they lead. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
The good news about Gunslinger Spawn is that it forces Todd McFarlane to immediately get into why this character needs his own series rather than guest appearances in the flagship spawn, and it’s a fine enough reason, it’s a man out of time story, this man just happens to be a hellspawn. The larger negatives of McFarlane’s writing are on full display here though as he pens the entire narrative. Artist Brett Booth really channels the ’90s linework and aesthetics of McFarlane’s early Spawn titles in a way that might have old fans cheering, with varying mileage for potential newcomers. In the end it’s another Spawn book, and that’s about all that can be said. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Ice Cream Man #26, like so many issues before it, goes all in on a single bit. In this case it involves inverting the comic book and successive panels neatly juxtaposed in vertical space. It’s a neat bit and perfectly executed here; many pages include split features that would allow a reader to match them neatly together like a puzzle. Whether it creates the intended effect of dropping is questionable as the many Ice Cream Man motifs that appear provide dreamlike distractions, but it does build neatly to a slight twist on the overall concept. The issue also addresses its theme more directly than many issues of Ice Cream Man as it considers lineage and addiction in a story that neatly poses questions, but doesn’t possess the temerity (or snark) to assume it can suggest even pithy answers in such a short space. It’s an intriguing, brief meditation. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 4 out of 5
Killer Queens pushes forward with an important issue this week as our heroes face a difficult choice. Once a high-flying escape brings out leads freedom, they must decide whether or not their mission comes before their morals. A planet under civil war rests in the balance, and the mission to bring peace ends up convoluted once a familiar face from the past shows up in a dramatic cliffhanger. — Megan Peters
Rating: 3 out of 5
It has taken King Spawn three issues to really hit its stride and not feel like a total retread of the regular ongoing series, but it has finally done it. Though some traces of where this was building before have been felt already, writer Sean Lewis and artist Javi Fernandez finally get to break open the seal of their narrative in exciting ways. The artwork in particular feels like the next level from what Spawn readers expect of this dark-and-gritty franchise, and the identity that this series has been preparing to reveal to the world is finally in view. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
Following the gut-wrenching, tense events of the Image series’ previous issue, this latest entry sees Jesse living with her creator, and while Holt writes an interesting issue, it’s in George Schall’s art that we truly see the issue shine. The use of pacing and the jaw-dropping environments drawn here truly make this issue unlike anything else on the market today, while also throwing in some big twists and turns along the way. Jesse continues to come to grips with her status as a synthetic being, with one particular scene capturing some intense emotion. Made In Korea continues to be a worthy addition to Image’s roster. — Evan Valentine
Rating: 4 out of 5
A Man Among Ye #7 featured the personality and excitement the previous issue lacked, but it still felt as though it ended too early and only part of a chapter was told. It’s a bit hard to believe at times that Anne Bonny could talk her way out of guns pointed straight at her and that she’d ignore the possibility of a bounty hunter in her midst despite that scenario being so apparent, but perhaps the latter will be resolved later by a plan not yet laid out in this issue. — Tanner Dedmon
Rating: 3 out of 5
And just like that, the Masters of the Universe: Revelation prequel wraps up with a nice little bow. There was a lot of ground to cover throughout these four issues, and Tim Sheridan and crew managed to balance it all rather well. Naturally, there were some hiccups with pacing, creating a story uneven with action and exposition throughout, but it started and ended on a high note, so that’s certainly better than the alternative. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Maw steps forward with a horrifying chapter that takes two friends down two different roads. While one heroine tries to put her finger on male oppression, the other finds herself drowning in bloodlust in the wake of their assault. And by the end, a word of warning tells readers that these leads are in for a world of trouble they never saw coming. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
Night of the Ghoul #1 is a fantastic opening chapter for a horror story. Snyder brings together all of the core elements of an engaging and chilling tale while Francaville’s art provides it all a nearly polished grittiness that fits beautifully within Snyder’s narrative. If you’re a fan of horror films and horror stories, this is a title you’ll find yourself quite comfortable with even while there’s the promise of plenty of scares coming. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 5 out of 5
If you like Killadelphia, you’re going to love Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog. Set in the same universe, the story follows the city Jimmy Sangster left—Baltimore—where we find not vampires, but demons. Jimmy’s ex Nita Hawes, as guided by the ghost of her brother, takes on the evil infesting the city. Much like the initial issue of Killadelphia was a rich and fascinating entry into both the vampire horror story of that title and issues of racial injustice and socioeconomic inequality, Rodney Barnes sets up that same thing here with Nightmare Blog. Jason Shawn Alexander’s art is also a perfect mix of realism and more fantastic elements. While this issue is a bit heavy on exposition, it needs to be and it’s a really great start to what might be a fantastic series. — Nicole Drum
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Not All Robots #3 struggles at times to keep its message consistent, but there are still plenty of great gags and laughs to be had in this issue. Not All Robots has used robots as a metaphor for toxic masculinity and its effects on society. In this issue, we examine some of the culprits who help propagate toxic masculinity – namely capitalism. Of course, along the way, the comic can’t help but dive into actual toxic masculinity as the human family at the center of the story deals with an emasculating neighbor and fermenting rebellion. The strength of this issue continues to be the comic’s throwaway gags, which help merit a re-read to catch them all. — Christian Hoffer
Rating: 3 out of 5
This week, The Orville returns to comics in The Orville: Artifacts #1, the latest two-part story set between the sci-fi TV show’s seasons. David A. Goodman, who writes and produces the show, again scripts the comic. As one might expect, that means the tone of the story and voices of the characters are identical to what fans of the series know. Here, one of Captain Mercer’s old academy teachers leverages their relationship to convince ed to take the Orville into a dangerous system searching for a lost fleet of ships belonging to a long-dead empire. The Orville has always been unashamed by how influenced by Star Trek it is, and this story is ripped right from a Next Generation episode as the overzealous researcher goes rogue and puts the entire ship in danger. There’s also an undercurrent about abuses of power as the scholar’s relationship with his alien assistant is revealed to be more morally dubious than he offers to explain. David Cabeza’s artwork is still more on-model than is necessary, but Michael Atiyeh’s coloring softens it a bit, making it less uncanny and jarring. Otherwise, Cabeza frames the story like he’s shooting an episode of a television show. It’s unadventurous by comics standards but should be familiar and fun for Orville fans. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 3 out of 5
This might be the most jarring installment of Red Sonja: Black, White, Red yet—both in narrative and in the execution of its very concept—but it still proves to be enjoyable enough. The highlights of the issue are definitely the first two stories, with “The Iron Maiden” taking an entertaining and empathetic approach to Sonja’s dynamic with those who cross her path, and “The Iron Queen” stretching the parable and myth of Sonja into some epic territory. The third story, “Cold Monger” starts off with an intriguing premise but kind of loses the plot along the way, and also takes the most by-the-numbers approach to the series’ monochromatic color palette. Overall, this is more of a mixed bag than previous installments of Black, White, Red, but it still has some highlights. — Jenna Anderson
Rating: 3 out of 5
Savage Hearts has started to feel like it’s running out of steam, which means it’s a good thing that this is the penultimate issue. I still generally like the broad ideas and themes behind this series, but I’ve struggled to see what it could be building to. The characters are fun and there continues to be a fair amount of depth to Savage Hearts, although I do wish there was something a bit more to grab me at this point in time. Regardless, I’m interested in seeing how this wraps up. — Logan Moore
Rating: 3 out of 5
Despite being the third issue, the latest in this new series might have been better served as the first. Writer Ricky Mammone has been playing with the fact that he has this world largely figured out and fully formed outside the narrative since the first pages of issue one but we finally get to see some of those seeds play out here and they’re quite enjoyable and fun. Artist Max Bertolini does his best work of the series as well, continuing dynamic action beats and a unique visual palette over all that separates this from nearly every other book on the stands. — Spencer Perry
Rating: 4 out of 5
Sleeping Beauties dishes out a delicious chapter this week filled with death, dilemmas, and daring action. As women continue to build their all-female society in another world, mankind has come together in hopes of bringing them back. A rowdy ambush leaves several dead while an expedition elsewhere ends with a new mother’s loss. And as the cliffhanger notes, Sleeping Beauties is ready to put diplomacy behind it from now on. — Megan Peters
Rating: 4 out of 5
The first story focuses on Luke Skywalker and the Rogue Squadron, exploring a story in which a talented pilot took a risky maneuver that their teammate could have handled more safely, forcing them to reconsider what it really means to be a squad. Despite this being a book geared towards young readers, fans of X-wing encounters will surely appreciate the action-packed nature of the narrative that does manage to teach lessons to younger readers without ever having to talk down to them, as there’s little about the narrative that comes across as pandering or juvenile. It’s just a good story featuring the Rogue Squadron that also happens to emphasize the importance of teamwork. The second story, however, is much more disposable, focusing on the torment Jabba the Hutt is forcing upon Ree-Yees after losing Jabba’s pet, taking him through the bowels of the sail barge. The story itself only barely manages to deliver any semblance of a narrative, instead merely being a showcase for artist Nick Brokenshire with depictions of all the unseen corners of the barge. Longtime fans might appreciate exploring those hidden chambers, especially in such a fun art style, but the actual adventure is largely nonexistent. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 4 out of 5
The final issue of the series finally brings Lina to Mustafar in hopes of finding Milo, only to realize the true plan at hand, which involves resurrecting Darth Vader into a new vessel. The previous issues in this series served as more of an anthology, allowing readers to see all manner of horror stories unfolding in the galaxy far, far away, with this issue finally paying off the overall narrative thread that set the stage for such vignettes. In this regard, the ultimate payoff was relatively lackluster, as the more varied and anthological stories were far more engaging, even if this wasn’t necessarily entirely poor in quality. It’s more that the wraparound story were the least exciting elements of each issue, so this entire issue focused on that wraparound, with only a tease of Anakin Skywalker’s ghost being the thing to excite and surprise readers. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 3 out of 5
With Bernice holding the key, or rather, the weapon, that could hold back the threats against Harrow County, she is forced to take swift action, which brings with it unintended consequences and sheds light on just how disturbing the threat was to begin with. The book continues to be a standout experience in regards to its tone, always managing to blend heart with horror in a unique and macabre blend, with this issue also coming with exciting narrative reveals to bring the four-issue conflict to a close. As a whole, this miniseries isn’t necessarily a must-read for all Harrow County fans, with the middle two issues focusing specifically and magical creatures and their conflicts, which doesn’t quite come with the same excitement as what we typically see in the series and its spinoffs, yet fans with a vested interest in such lore will surely be delighted by the creative team’s take on the subject matter. A thoughtful and creepy adventure for sure, just not necessarily an integral chapter in the overall Harrow County lore. — Patrick Cavanaugh
Rating: 4 out of 5
Having deposed Old Hob from his seat of power, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles face the daunting challenge of charting Mutant Town’s future. It’s a story about power, who wants it, and who should wield it. Leonardo is weary of the Hamoto Clan acquiring any sort of official power. Still, Raphael is willing to take on the burden of the city’s protector in his continuing quest to make up for his role in Mutant Town’s creation. But Old Hob isn’t done yet and seems to have much bigger plans in store. Sophie Campbell continues the long-haul storytelling that’s been a signature of TMNT‘s 100+ issue run with deft characterizations and thoughtful subtext. Jodi Nishijima’s clean art and Ronda Pattinson’s vibrant colors match the tone perfectly. Another solid outing for the series. — Jamie Lovett
Rating: 4 out of 5
That Texas Blood continues to be a scrappy underdog in the world of comics, packing a mean punch within every page. It’s a book where it’s nearly impossible to have expectations because no matter what you think, Condon and Phillips manage to subvert your thoughts and pivot in ways you don’t see coming. That said, Eversaul and Joe Bob’s adventure is drawing on a bit long as it’s still not wrapped up here. Instead it’s drawn out into at least one more issue, increasing the tension even more than in previous issues. This arc is setting up a pretty hefty conclusion, so here’s to it hopefully sticking its ending, eventually. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4 out of 5
Time Before Time takes a turn in issue #6 that I absolutely did expect in the best way possible. Rather than continuing to follow the ongoing events that closed out the last installment, issue #6 begins to focus on some completely different characters. Although there are some familiar faces in the book, the story that is being set up here seems like it could be going in a wildly different direction. If nothing else, Time Before Time always does a great job of keeping me on my metaphorical toes, which I continue to love. While I’m no longer certain where this series could be going in the future, writers Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville have ensured that I’ll still be reading this series as long as it continues to come about. — Logan Moore
Rating: 4 out of 5
Vinyl #5 repeats the same flaws evidenced in earlier issues: conflating mental illness with superhero motifs, treating its own premise as being the height of cleverness, presenting familiar scenes without much ingenuity. However, the end of Vinyl #5 clicks in its direct presentation of familiar scenes. Final showdowns land because these pages are well drawn and communicate some emotion this narrative has failed to deliver, and then the first joke of the entire series really lands in a laugh out loud moment on the final page. Credit where it’s due, I’m curious to read Vinyl #6 and that’s a notable improvement. — Chase Magnett
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
At last, the twist that’s been brewing since this run’s first issue takes place and though predictable, Dennis Hopeless still manages to instill a sense of surprise and suspense. Loyalty is arguably one of Aric’s most important traits so when that’s put to the test, the character finds himself at his best and that’s exactly what plays out here. It’s taking a while to get from Point A to Point B here, but at least it seems like the story is on a rebound from the past few issues. — Adam Barnhardt
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
of
Copyright 2021 ComicBook.com. All rights reserved.

source