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December 27 Comic Reviews

DISCLOSURE: The following is a synopsis and reviews of this week’s comic books from multiple publishers. If you like our reviews and would like to purchase these books you can do so by visiting our partners at TFAW.com. If you decide to buy anything through our provided links we get a small commission which helps keep our website alive and running. Thanks for your time.

ACTION COMICS ANNUAL 2023 #1

This issue serves as a conclusion to a grand Superman narrative, expertly weaving together various story arcs from Johnson’s tenure, notably the Warworld saga. The narrative involves the characters Constantine, Etrigan, and Bloodwynd, whose interactions, while essential, occasionally come across as slightly over-the-top. Sister Shadow’s storyline concludes neatly, perhaps too conveniently, yet it leaves an open door for future explorations. Despite these minor criticisms, the comic stands out for its cohesive storytelling and is celebrated as a monumental Superman story that resonates both independently and as part of a larger continuum.

ALAN SCOTT: THE GREEN LANTERN #3

Tim Sheridan’s writing shines in this issue, striking a balance between the classic and the modern, and weaving earnestness with moments that verge on preachy. The issue is a captivating exploration of Alan Scott’s character, alongside Jim Corrigan, also known as The Spectre, who plays a significant role. While the plot twist was somewhat predictable from the onset, its execution is still impactful, propelling the story forward. The artwork by Cian Tormey, enhanced by the coloring of Matt Herms and Chris Sotomayor, further accentuates this blend of timeless and contemporary themes. The series promises to maintain this dynamic and intriguing momentum in its upcoming issues.

AMAZONS ATTACK #3

This issue excels in maintaining a simmering tension throughout, even amidst the overt action and developments. The narrative skillfully portrays the imminent dangers and high stakes, yet it’s the subtle, underlying sense of impending doom that truly captivates the reader. This sensation is akin to waiting for a precarious domino to topple, with the added suspense of not knowing when it will happen. This creates a compelling and exhilarating reading experience, keeping the audience on edge with anticipation.

BATMAN BEYOND: NEO-GOTHIC #6

This finale issue is a testament to high-energy storytelling, perfectly blending thrilling action with deep emotional layers. Writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing craft a dual-front narrative: Batman’s intense surface battle showcases his resourcefulness and introduces a game-changing tool that promises significant future implications. Below, Kyle and Constantine engage in a more introspective battle, deeply rooted in themes of loss, love, and grief. Their journey culminates in a poignant, tragic moment, brilliantly brought to life by artist Max Dunbar and colorist Rain Beredo. Their artistic contributions throughout are commendable. This issue emerges as a unique and unexpectedly captivating Batman tale, leaving readers eagerly anticipating the future adventures of this dynamic world and its richly developed characters.

BATMAN/SANTA CLAUS: SILENT KNIGHT #4

Concluding the season’s most unexpected crossover, this issue wraps up the battle against Krampus in a way that’s both surprising and character-centric. The resolution embraces themes of goodness and hope, creating an infectiously warm and charming atmosphere. The creative team, led by Jeff Parker, Danny Kim, and Stephen Segovia, aligns perfectly with these sentiments, delivering a narrative that’s both delightful and fittingly crafted. There’s a strong desire for this series to become a holiday staple in the comic book world, thanks to its endearing qualities and precise understanding of its unique niche.

BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #8

This issue, concluding the “Pygmalion” storyline, offers exhilarating action but somewhat loses focus on the main protagonist. The inclusion of a lesser-known Batman villain adds tension, and the detailed combat scenes are a highlight. However, the sidelining of Frank as Batman and Catwoman take center stage results in a somewhat underwhelming conclusion. The anthology shines with stories like “Here Comes Trouble,” featuring Wild Dog in a humorous, action-packed narrative that’s thoroughly enjoyable. “Communion” also stands out, especially with Gabriel Hardman’s depiction of a desperate, sci-fi infused plan. However, “Angels in the Architecture” falls flat, failing to integrate its premise, narrative, and artwork cohesively, leaving readers potentially disengaged. Overall, despite some strong entries, “The Brave and The Bold” struggles with consistency, raising questions about its value given its price.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1080

In this issue, Batman’s ongoing escape from Gotham takes an unexpected turn, marked by a significant sacrifice. The narrative undergoes a sort of soft reset, moving away from its previous heist theme and returning to a darker, more enigmatic origin story. Writer Ram V orchestrates a grim yet captivating dance, introducing new characters to the fray while temporarily sidelining others. This evolution adds a fresh layer of intrigue and melancholy to what is already considered one of the best Batman stories in recent years. The issue continues to weave a unique, somewhat sorrowful tune through Gotham’s darkened streets, keeping readers engrossed in its evolving mystery.

THE FLASH #4

This issue masterfully balances two parallel storylines: Wally West’s metaphysical journey through a newly discovered gallery and his daughter Irey’s investigation of Speed Force-related crimes in Central City. Wally’s narrative is depicted with vibrant, almost fantastical imagery, hinting at grand, yet-to-be-understood mechanisms, while Irey’s grounded, detective-style approach and her dynamic with a partner provide a more down-to-earth counterbalance. Artist Mike Deodato skillfully uses panel layouts to distinguish between the ethereal gallery and the fast-paced reality, drawing parallels that hint at deeper revelations. This issue builds on the concepts introduced in earlier volumes, suggesting that “The Flash” is set for a long and fulfilling run, delving deeper into these intriguing themes.

GREEN ARROW #7

Oliver Queen’s return to Earth marks the beginning of the second arc in “Green Arrow.” This issue focuses on Ollie’s efforts to catch up with the recent events in the DC Universe, particularly his interactions with former members of the Justice League to understand the absence of the team. The character interactions are brilliantly penned, offering engaging dialogues and dynamics. However, the anticipated meeting between Green Arrow and Green Lantern falls slightly short of expectations, partly due to the visuals. The artwork, featuring two distinct styles, doesn’t completely harmonize, though it symbolically represents Oliver’s transition from the flamboyance of superhero life to a more covert, shadowy pursuit led by Amanda Waller. Despite these minor artistic clashes, the story remains intriguing and successfully keeps this acclaimed series on its compelling narrative path.

HARLEY QUINN #35

This issue continues the trend of the current run’s somewhat chaotic and confusing storytelling. Harley Quinn #35, in particular, suffers from what feels like excessive padding, with a lot of redundant action and circular plot progression. The narrative meanders through a series of events and speculations about the antagonist, leading to a somewhat predictable revelation without significantly advancing the storyline. The overall momentum and coherence of the plot remain weak. Visually, the artwork is criticized, primarily due to an overuse of pink tones that muddle the visual clarity and contribute to the overall disorganized feel of the book. This issue, and the run in general, is perceived as a disjointed and underwhelming addition to the Harley Quinn series.

JUSTICE SOCIETY #8

This issue of “Justice Society of America” diverges notably from the ongoing narrative, focusing almost entirely on introducing a new character, Red Lantern, at the expense of previous story threads. While the connection to Alan Scott’s past adds an intriguing element, the pacing is leisurely, with prolonged action scenes and splash pages dedicated to a character about whom readers have little background information. The subplot involving Huntress’s efforts to reunite her team is relegated to the background and is overshadowed by the minimalistic introduction of Red Lantern. This issue, while visually appealing, lacks substantial content to make the serialized story compelling and may leave readers questioning the value of following the series on a monthly basis.

THE PENGUIN #5

This issue serves as a prelude to the main action, with the narrative promising that the real story will commence in the next issue. The highlight of “The Penguin #5” is the introduction of Black Spider, a lesser-known Gotham City villain now working for Penguin’s children. Despite being a relatively obscure character, the issue effectively establishes a compelling backstory and motivation for Black Spider. However, the dialogue is critiqued for its excessive implied swearing, which can be distracting. Additionally, the depiction of addiction leans towards stereotypical superhero melodrama. Despite these narrative and stylistic issues, the stage is set for an intense and dramatic return of Cobblepot to Gotham, hinting at a violent and over-the-top storyline ahead. Readers are left anticipating the end of the prologue and the beginning of what promises to be a gripping main plot.

POWER GIRL #4

This issue effectively sets the stage for an ongoing and dynamic conflict with Power Girl’s nemesis, significantly enhancing her character development. A notable aspect of this issue is the well-executed inclusion of Superman. His presence is felt throughout the narrative in various capacities, yet he never overshadows the titular character. His role is integrated seamlessly, adding depth without feeling contrived or dominating the storyline. This careful balance and smooth narrative flow contribute to an overall enjoyable and engaging reading experience, showcasing Power Girl’s strengths and unique position in the superhero landscape.

THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE: NIGHTMARE COUNTRY – THE GLASS HOUSE #6

The concluding issue of “The Glass House” is seen as a letdown, particularly in how it diverts from its initially intriguing premise and the rich character dynamics that had been developing. The heavy involvement of Dream and the abrupt resolution of multiple character arcs give the story an anticlimactic feel. The narrative seems dominated by deus ex machina elements, with the decisions of gods overshadowing the characters’ past choices and reducing their agency. Artistically, the linework is perceived as too loose, and the overall rushed appearance detracts from the series’ previously suspenseful and nightmarish tone. While there are still moments of horror and intrigue, this issue primarily functions as a setup for the next series in “Nightmare Country,” which may diminish its impact as a standalone finale. Readers might find it more cohesive when read as part of a collected edition, but as a conclusion to this miniseries, it falls short of expectations.

TITANS #6

This issue marks a significant point in DC’s “Beast World” event, showcasing an exemplary integration of the event’s storyline with the ongoing narrative of the Titans series. Writer Tom Taylor manages to weave the two story arcs together in a way that elevates this issue beyond a typical event tie-in. The connection is especially fitting given that the “Beast World” event originated in the pages of “Titans.” The seamless merging of these narratives underscores the issue’s importance within both the event and the Titans’ own story arc. This achievement highlights Taylor’s skill in narrative cohesion and raises the issue’s relevance and impact within the broader context of the DC Universe.

TITANS: BEAST WORLD #3

Despite its seemingly outlandish premise, “Beast World” excels due to Tom Taylor’s creative storytelling, reminiscent of how Bucky’s resurrection was handled in “Captain America.” Taylor demonstrates a masterful understanding of the DC Universe’s characters, blending them together in a way that appears effortless and natural. The change in artists from Ivan Reis to Lucas Meyer in this issue is initially surprising, given the importance of maintaining visual consistency in major crossover events. However, Meyer steps up admirably, seamlessly continuing the visual narrative established by Reis. The focus on the Titans in this crossover adds significant value to “Beast World,” and the cliffhanger at the end of this issue leaves readers eagerly anticipating the next developments in this adventurous and imaginative storyline.

AVENGERS INC. #4

As the penultimate issue of “Avengers Inc.,” this installment stands out as potentially the most compelling of the series. It delves deeply into Marvel Comics’ lore, unraveling nearly all the mysteries that have been threaded throughout “Avengers Incorporated.” The revelation of the true mystery behind “Victor Shade” is presented as a significant and unexpected twist. The sentiment expressed is one of regret that writers Ewing and Kirk had only a limited time to explore this inventive concept. Nevertheless, the series appears to be heading towards a climactic and memorable finale, leaving readers eager to witness how this creative narrative will conclude.

BLACK PANTHER #7

This issue presents a pivotal scene where T’Challa confronts the realization that his experiences in Wakanda have been limited to only a small portion of the country he once led. This leads him on a journey to explore a different part of Wakanda, an endeavor aimed at enhancing his effectiveness as the Black Panther. More broadly, this storyline mirrors the core theme of the entire series: the importance of broadening one’s horizons. By experiencing life in diverse parts of Wakanda, T’Challa gains new perspectives that fundamentally alter his understanding of his nation and his role as its protector. This exploration of cultural and geographical diversity within Wakanda adds depth to the character of T’Challa and enriches the narrative of the series.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #3

In “Captain Marvel #3,” Carol Danvers’ complex relationship with the magical world is explored, leading to engaging interactions with Doctor Strange and Clea. Writer Alyssa Wong excels in crafting scenes where the dynamics between Carol, Strange, and Clea come to life, with the smaller, subtler moments standing out. The artwork by Ruairi Coleman and Jan Bazaldua, along with Bryan Valenza’s coloring, adds charm and vibrancy to the superhero action. The character Bats is notably enjoyable in every scene. However, the storyline involving the Nega Bands, their connection to Omen and the Negative Zone, is less captivating and tends to slow down the narrative’s momentum. Anticipation is built for upcoming revelations that could potentially enhance these weaker aspects of the story and bring everything into a cohesive whole.

CARNAGE #2

This issue presents an intriguing concept where the chaotic serial killer Carnage constructs a conspiracy that lures in conspiracy theorists as a form of worship. However, the execution of his plan is criticized for being overly complex and less engaging. A recurring theme in the narrative is the symbiote’s impatience with Cletus, mirroring the reader’s potential frustration with the slow pace. Additionally, there are some unclear motivations, particularly regarding Flash Thompson’s hesitancy to engage in superhero activities despite his evident lack of purpose and the presence of a super-powered threat. If the series can overcome its current pacing issues, it has the potential to develop into a compelling story.

DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU: GANG WAR #1

This issue stands out as one of the better limited series tie-ins to the “Amazing Spider-Man” event. It effectively reestablishes Shang-Chi’s role and motivations, reminiscent of the Green Hornet, and places him in the midst of a conflict-ridden Manhattan. The exposition is concise, efficiently setting the stage without the need for an extensive prologue. The issue focuses on positioning Shang-Chi in situations that highlight his mastery of Kung Fu rather than his reliance on the Ten Rings. While the action sequences and some plot elements are presented in a straightforward but somewhat lackluster manner, the final page of the issue hints at more exciting developments to come. There’s optimism that the subsequent issue will build upon this foundation and deliver a more thrilling experience.

GHOST RIDER #21

The conclusion of this particular Ghost Rider series is marked by a satisfying wrap-up that sets the Spirit of Vengeance on a new trajectory. The creative team successfully ties up loose plot threads, culminating in a gratifying and celebratory finish. A notable achievement of this run is the introduction of Talia Warroad, a character praised for her complexity and depth, and hailed as one of the most compelling additions to Marvel’s roster of heroes in recent times. This closing issue not only concludes the current story arc but also sets the stage for the next phase of Ghost Rider, leaving readers anticipating the character’s future developments under a new series numbering.

IMMORTAL X-MEN #18

The finale of “Immortal X-Men #18” is packed with significant revelations and plot twists, setting the stage for the upcoming “Rise of the Powers of X.” Key developments include Mother Righteous making her move, Destiny revealing critical information, and the uneasy alliance between Professor X and Mister Sinister uncovering partial truths. The true threat to the X-Men is finally unveiled, creating a thrilling conclusion to this chapter of the Krakoan saga. The issue not only stands strong on its own merits but also serves as a pivotal moment in the larger narrative, building anticipation for the grand finale of Krakoa’s epic story.

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #14

While the storyline of “Miles Morales: Spider-Man #14” aligns with what might be expected from a tie-in issue, the artistry is what sets it apart. The line work by artist Vicentini is highlighted for its expressiveness and dynamic quality, bringing a unique energy to the comic. Coupled with Valenza’s vibrant color work, the visual aspect of this issue is lauded as exceptional, potentially warranting recognition in the realm of award-winning comic book art. The artwork significantly elevates the overall experience of the issue, enhancing the narrative and making it a standout within the series.

PREDATOR VS. WOLVERINE #4

Ben Percy’s writing in this issue is likened to a monster movie like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” focusing more on action and less on deep dialogue or character development. The comic features Wolverine in various eras, but the change in artists for each period is seen as more disruptive than beneficial. The contrast between Ken Lashley’s realistic style and Gavin Guidry’s work, reminiscent of David Aja, creates a jarring visual experience that can detract from the story. A more cohesive artistic approach, perhaps with artists of similar styles, might have been more effective in maintaining immersion in the narrative.

THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #3

This issue continues the series’ trend of being both humorous and heartfelt. Rainbow Rowell’s script skillfully juggles an increasing number of plotlines and characters while still incorporating moments of genuine humor and emotion. Andres Genolet’s artwork, particularly in the realms of facial expressions and fashion detail, is highly praised. The comic succeeds in delivering a fresh and engaging experience, living up to the “Sensational” aspect of its title and creating a memorable chapter in She-Hulk’s story.

SPIDER-WOMAN #2

Following the setup of two major mysteries in the first issue, “Spider-Woman #2” capitalizes on the “Gang War” event to create an effective series tie-in. However, the issue is noted for its lack of significant progression in the main storyline, except for a hint at the end. Despite this, the issue excels in showcasing Jessica Drew’s strengths, including her background in espionage, her sarcastic humor, and her commanding presence. Writer Steve Foxe effectively utilizes her spy skills, and her dialogue is praised for feeling natural and spontaneous. The artwork by Carola Borelli, enhanced by Arif Prianto’s coloring, is commended for its portrayal of dynamic combat scenes that reflect an evolution in Jessica’s fighting style. The series is poised to reach new heights if the narrative can advance more substantially in future issues.

STAR WARS: DARK DROIDS #5

The conclusion of the “Dark Droids” series is seen as both underwhelming and somewhat satisfying. The series, which followed the Scourge’s attempt to spread through droids and organics, is criticized for being superficial. The finale confirms the event’s lack of depth, reminiscent of L3-37’s aspirations in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” but lacking in execution. The existential and spiritual themes introduced are perceived as insufficiently explored and lacking sophistication. Spanning over two dozen issues, the story is viewed as overextended and could have been more impactful if condensed. The inclusion of major characters like Luke, Leia, Lando, and Darth Vader is thought to have diluted the series’ potential impact. While not a complete failure, with some engaging individual issues, the finale fails to provide a satisfying conclusion and leaves readers with a sense of indifference.

STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN SEASON 2 #7

This comic adaptation of “The Mandalorian” reimagines elements of the series, providing fresh perspectives on the narrative. The issue successfully alternates between character interactions and action-packed sequences, creating a compelling narrative flow. The dynamic between Din Djarin, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, and Mayfeld is particularly highlighted. Mayfeld’s character, originally brought to life by Bill Burr’s performance, is portrayed with a less sarcastic tone in the comic, offering a more direct insight into his and Din Djarin’s complex motivations. While the adaptation doesn’t fully capture the excitement of the original series, it demonstrates the benefits of exploring the story in a new medium, bringing out rewarding elements that complement the televised version.

TIMELESS #1

“Timeless” is an annual Marvel Comics one-shot that is critiqued for its repetitive formula and limited narrative significance. The issue employs a time travel theme primarily to introduce minor plot elements and preview upcoming stories in the Marvel Comics line. The execution is described as competent, with capable writing and artwork, but the nature of the comic relegates it to being more of an advertisement than a standalone story with substantial depth. The comic doesn’t quite manage to transcend its promotional role, lacking the storytelling richness that might make it more memorable or impactful as a narrative work.

X-FORCE #47

In this issue, X-Force reassembles in the Arctic to prepare for a counterattack against Orchis. The comic efficiently updates readers on the status of various team members, setting the stage for the next X-event. A new base of operations is quickly established, adding intrigue to the unfolding narrative. The focus is primarily on Wolverine, conveying a sense of urgency and impatience shared by the entire team, tempered by a commitment to their underlying mission. While the issue maintains suspense with psychic spectacles and minor confrontations, the artwork is critiqued for having an unfinished look. The series appears to be rushing towards its conclusion, potentially recycling themes from previous years, which is reflected in the quality of the storytelling by the end of the issue.

THE BONE ORCHARD MYTHOS: TENEMENT #7

This issue stands out as the best in “The Bone Orchard Mythos: Tenement” series, effectively connecting the franchise’s overarching story with the specific narrative of this series. Jeff Lemire’s writing introduces a compelling hook that compensates for earlier shortcomings. However, the issue employs a noir-inspired framing device that doesn’t fully complement Andrea Sorrentino’s artwork, especially with the use of flat, gray colors. Despite returning to Sorrentino’s signature style towards the end, the visual aspects of the issue feel slightly off. Overall, the issue succeeds in advancing the narrative, but the artwork’s inconsistency may impact the reader’s experience.

BOOK OF BUTCHER #1

Celebrating the five-year anniversary of the Slaughterverse, “The Book of Butcher” is a comprehensive one-shot that not only sets the stage for Maxine Slaughter’s next chapter but also serves as an in-depth exploration of the Order. The issue may divide readers, with its extensive details about the Order’s monstrum inhabitants appealing more to those deeply invested in the world. James Tynion IV provides a wealth of information about each monstrum, their categories, and new story revelations. The narrative woven through these entries is intriguing, offering fresh perspectives on previously one-dimensional creatures and developing the mentor-student relationships between Maxine, Cecilia, and Louis. However, the abundance of text detailing the monstrums’ lore and history can be overwhelming, potentially making it a challenging read for casual fans or those less interested in exhaustive details. While the story is compelling and the lore rich for dedicated fans, it might not resonate as strongly with more casual readers.

CODA #4

“Coda #4” is characterized by its length, which at times feels excessive, but it succeeds in bringing the story to a deeply personal level. The issue follows Hum and Serka on a journey akin to a road trip, with Serka on a quest. This adventure reveals new facets of Serka’s character and delves into the nuances of their relationship. Writer Simon Spurrier skillfully infuses a significant amount of emotion into Serka’s character, despite her efforts to appear unemotional. The conclusion of the issue is described as particularly impactful, resonating strongly due to the emotional investment built along their journey. However, the overall direction of the story remains somewhat unclear, with the potential to focus more closely on the couple and the repercussions of this issue’s events.

DUKE #1

“Duke #1” is viewed as a solid opening issue, though it may not have the same immediate impact as the early issues of the new “Transformers” series. It offers a welcome change from the less coherent narrative of IDW’s G.I. Joe series in the late 2010s, opting for a more streamlined approach to the story and characters. The issue contains a significant reveal that the review hints at, suggesting that such twists might be challenging to replicate effectively in future issues. The hope is that the miniseries will further explore the implications of this reveal and continue to build upon its engaging start.

DWELLINGS #3

“Dwellings” is praised for its unique blend of delightful and chilling elements. While not all the individual stories may connect as satisfyingly as hoped, the overall experience of reading the comic is deemed worthwhile and engaging. The series continues to entertain, suggesting that the enjoyment derived from immersing in its narrative and atmosphere compensates for any shortcomings in story connectivity. The review implies that the series offers a distinctive and rewarding reading experience that merits continued investment.

THE HOLY ROLLER #2

“Holy Roller #2” ramps up the intensity rapidly, delivering a mix of entertainment and chaos. The portrayal of the villain, who exhibits extreme bigotry and anti-Semitism, is criticized for being overly cartoonish and lacking subtlety. Despite these issues with pacing and character development, the comic features an impressive brawl scene involving sports equipment and a bowling ball, adding a unique element of action. However, this highlight is not enough to fully balance the other aspects of the narrative. The issue might appeal to readers looking for a straightforward, action-focused comic, but it may fall short for those seeking depth and nuanced storytelling.

LOCAL MAN #8

This issue of “Local Man” is highly praised for its continuous innovation and creativity. The storyline progresses Jack’s investigation and psychedelic experiences in a way that breaks conventional storytelling norms. Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs are commended for their ability to pay homage to the superhero genre while simultaneously carving out new territory within it. The review expresses anticipation and excitement for future developments in the series, suggesting that “Local Man” is setting a new benchmark for storytelling within the superhero landscape.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #115

In “Darkest Hour,” the latest chapter of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the narrative successfully manages multiple plotlines and characters, advancing the overall story effectively. Writer Melissa Flores is praised for skillfully increasing the tension and challenges faced by the heroes while also emphasizing the strong interpersonal relationships that are central to the series. Particular attention is given to a poignant moment between Aisha and Matt, which delves deeper into Matt’s traumatic experiences. The action sequences, brought to life by Simona Di Gianfelice, Raul Angulo, and Jose Enrique Fernandez, are described as dynamic and visually striking. The issue not only maintains the high stakes of the storyline but also continues to improve with each installment, leaving readers hopeful for the sustained quality of “Darkest Hour.”

NO/ONE #7

The murder mystery at the heart of “No/One” is reaching a climactic point, showcasing some of the most compelling character-driven work in the series to date. Kyle Higgins and Brian Buccellato’s script is praised for its ability to juggle a growing ensemble of characters effectively. Antonio Fuso’s artwork is noted for adding a sense of realism that enhances the storytelling. The review reflects a continued engagement with the unfolding narrative and anticipation for future developments, indicating that the series has successfully maintained its momentum and intrigue.

THE SCHLUB #5

The second-to-last issue of “The Schlub” maintains the series’ blend of action and introspection, though it is noted for being somewhat repetitive. The script by Ryan Stegman and Kenny Porter, while occasionally falling into tropes, manages to include enough unexpected elements to keep the story engaging. The artwork by Tyrell Cannon, coupled with Mike Spicer’s coloring, stands out for its dynamic and appropriately chaotic style, adding an energetic dimension to the comic.

SLOW BURN #3

Approaching the midpoint of the series, “Slow Burn” starts to converge its various plot threads. This issue delves into the backstory of a violin heist, explores Roxy’s relationship with her father, and reveals the challenges of her troubled childhood. The comic is recognized for its effective character study, despite using a significant portion of the series to develop this aspect. The introduction of what appears to be the key antagonist sets the stage for potentially explosive developments. The art style, which evokes a 1970s feel despite a more contemporary setting, is highlighted as a unique and enjoyable aspect of the comic.

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS: DRACULA #3

Martin Simmonds’ artwork in “Universal Monsters: Dracula” is highly praised, especially in issue #3, for its masterful depictions that resemble beautiful yet terrifying nightmares. The issue effectively captures the animalistic essence of Dracula and contrasts it with the more structured world of humans. As the story heads towards its climax, the interplay between supernatural and scientific elements is brought to the fore, highlighted by the distinct designs and styles of each character. Renfield and Van Helsing are given notable pages that reflect their unique roles in the narrative. However, it’s the depiction of Dracula’s menacing presence that stands out as particularly striking, capturing a sense of time and transformation that engages and captivates the reader. Simmonds’ work in this issue not only enhances the storytelling but also underscores the timeless relevance of the Dracula mythos in the horror genre.

W0RLDTR33 #6

“W0RLDTR33” continues to impress as one of 2023’s standout horror comics. Following a storyline where the world is liberated from the internet, this issue explores the societal adjustments to this new reality, alongside the sinister workings of the Undernet. Writer James Tynion IV is commended for his firm grip on the story’s universe and the well-developed characters, both heroic and villainous. While this issue may not focus as heavily on horror elements, it excels in exploring the dynamics of this altered world and the characters navigating it. “W0RLDTR33” is celebrated as a must-read for horror fans, continuing to deliver a compelling narrative and rich world-building.

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