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‘John Flood’ #1 opens with an intriguing premise and likeable characters

John Flood has a very promising beginning that plants enough questions to really wonder what these characters have been through and what direction they are going in. This first issue sets up more than just Flood as an intriguing character, but also his assistant Lyta Brumbaugh. She is entrusted to bring along an ex-cop named Alexander Berry on the hunt for a mass murderer that has been leaving no trace behind on a series of brutal killings. This group of three has the makings of what is sure to be an entertaining and reality-bending ride.

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‘Strange Fruit’ #1- Too Early to Judge

Strange Fruit # 1 is not a comic for everyone. It is true the artwork is beautiful, and Jones ensures each frame is well-colored and thought out. The writing, however, suffers from wanting to be everywhere at once and appears to focus on nowhere. The more difficult topics of race relations and struggles are better left for other comics. Strange Fruit # 1 may be lacking the level of sensitivity and critical thought needed for some readers on the subjects. Still the comic and story arc are in their infancy, and it would be generous to grant it more time.

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‘The Fiction’ #2 dances with nostalgic emotions

The newest issue of The Fiction picks up right where the last one left off with Kassie and Max returning to the fictional reality they ventured into as young kids. Kassie has convinced Max to aid her in the hopes of finding Tyler, one of their childhood friends, who has appeared to be taken from their reality into this fictional one.

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‘Giant Days’ #5 ramps up the drama

It’s Hall Ball (The British university equivalent to prom or homecoming in this story), and Esther, Susan, and Daisy have put on their prettiest dresses and are ready to have fun. But as usual in the topsy turvy world of Giant Days, drama ensues. On the surface, John Allison’s plot seems like soapy melodrama, and on some level it is. But he and artist Lissa Treiman infuse this college slice of life story with a dose of cheeky humor and adorable/hilarious facial expressions. Treiman also unleashes her inner 80s teen film director and draws a nine panel grid dance floor scene that acts as a climax for the issue while giving all the main characters various epiphanies. It’s a real artistic grace note for the series. While this is going on, colorist Whitney Cogar gives the dance scenes a pastel disco overlay using bright primary colors to highlight outbursts from the girls and guys. (Honestly, just Esther.)

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‘Bravest Warriors’ #34 kicks off its final arc in sci-fi style

Filled with techno-babble, expert or not so expert spaceship maneuvers from artist Ian McGinty, and Catbug non sequitur one-liner gold from writer Kate Leth, Bravest Warriors #34 is sadly the beginning of the final ride for this comic and creative team. Luckily, Leth, McGinty, and colorist Lisa Moore are going out space opera style as the Bravest Warriors travel to Plum and the merwif’s home planet of Mirvahda to save it from the Colossal Matter Shark or the not so sexy love child of Galactus and the space whales from Star Trek: The Voyage Home. Leth’s script is full of moral dilemmas and tension as the Warriors must make some tough choices in their battle against the Shark. But she offsets the space jargon and rising emotions with her usual rapid fire puns, Catbug comic relief, and some incredibly clever pop culture references.

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‘Adventure Time The Flip Side’ is the Best Kind of Nonsense

The land of Ooo tends to be a place of candy people and talking dogs. Where the normal day for our heroes Finn and Jake is to save princesses from the odd wizard, Ice King. Yet Adventure Time: The Flip Side takes the land of Ooo to new levels of adventure and nonsense. Boy is it great stuff! The whole creative team for the comic pulls a fast going, free flowing jokes and action adventure. Nothing falls flat. The writing team of Coover and Tobin beautifully work to make dialogue that is witty and entertaining between all the characters. The plotline of the adventure is pure madness, and it is a wonderful thing. The levels of utter nonsense and “What in the world is happening.” sells the humor of the whole affair. Working jointly with the writing of Coover and Tobin is the artwork of Wook Jin Clark. The art is high energy and is perfect to the storyline. Adventure Time The Flip Side is a work of art and a glorious comedy.

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Escape from reality and read ‘The Fiction’ #1

One of the great wonders as a young kid is coming across a story, a book, for the first time and completely falling in love with it. It may be the characters, the elaborate setting, or the fantastical elements of said story that keeps you coming back for more. An attachment is born, a link to a certain story that grows over time, allowing you to get lost in another world time and time again. The Fiction #1 takes this concept of the power of imagination within fictional stories to the literal level. What if you were actually transported to the very setting you were reading about and were able to interact with the characters within?

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‘Broken World’ #1 stands above the lukewarm pond of doomsday tales

This creative team and book really know how to throw their metaphorical fishing pole into the reader pond, just daring for the bait to receive multiple bites. It is only hopeful at this point that once the hook has been brought back to the surface, the journey through Broken World will turn into a real catch.

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‘Bravest Warriors’ #33 is a unique spin on murder mysteries

With its send-up of murder mysteries, interactive nature, and pitch perfect writing and drawing of characters like Danny, Catbug, Peach, Plum, and an unnamed newcomer, Bravest Warriors #33 is a highlight in Kate Leth and Ian McGinty’s run on the comic as well as a good jumping on point for Cartoon Hangover neophytes.

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‘Die Hard: Year One’ Volume 2 is a “Yippee”

In the first four issues of Die Hard: Year One, readers were let down by a plot overstuffed with characters and lacking any true resemblance of the tone of the original movies. This second volume, collecting issues 5-8, suffers a similar fate in that it fails to ignite any passion in the reader, instead going through the motions and producing an average comic book.

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‘Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John’ explores the weird side of this universe

One of the mainstays of the Bravest Warriors comics and cartoons is the Holo-John. It’s a private room in the Bravest Warriors’ hideout where you can enjoy a fun simulation of your choosing while going to the bathroom. It’s like the Holodeck in Star Trek: TNG’s immature, yet creative cousin. Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John is a special one-shot set entirely in this wonderful little room and shows its storytelling potential. The stories have their funny moments, bizarre bits (I will never unsee Mad Rupert’s drawing of Wallow in his undies.), and the best ones explore the relationship between the Bravest Warriors and various characters, including Beth’s dad, Pickle Chips, and the Holo John himself in a more metaphysical tale from Ryan Ferrier (D4VE) and Jorge Corona (Goners).

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‘Munchkin’ #5 shows the problems with time travel

Munchkin #5 truly captures the ridiculous, wonderful, and confusing parts of time travel.(Ian McGinty illustrates the confusing part in a single panel time paradox.) It is also has a good combination of over the top and witty humor for fans of all comedic persuasions. It’s a great read for anyone still figuring out what the hell happened in Matt Smith’s last episode of Doctor Who.

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‘Nightbreed’ Vol. 1- A Well Woven Tale

Nightbreed comes with dark tones and shows the icky side of humanity. It shows what happens to people who are seen as outcasts or wicked by their appearance. The gloomy settings and world spanning tale allows for the reader to grow with the narrative and want to know more about Nightbreeds. The comic holds the potential to rise to something grand in the next set of the collection.

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‘Midas Flesh’ Vol. 1 is a space fable with dark, funny edges

Midas Flesh is a high concept science fiction saga with down-to-earth protagonists from the creative brain of writer Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) and frequent artistic collaborators Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb (Adventure Time). The story is about the house shaped ship Prospect and its three freedom fighters: the human scientist Fatima, the kindly dinosaur scientist Cooper, and their straight shooting, yet intelligent leader Joey as they discover a planet completely made of gold, which supposedly has some kind of weapon that can take out the evil Federation. Midas Flesh #1 reveals this doomsday weapon to be the finger of the not so mythical King Midas, whose golden touch ended up ending life on Earth as we know because the gold particles transmuted through the air.

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‘Oh, Killstrike’ #1 is a loving parody of 90s superhero comics

Max Bemis and Logan Faerber’s satirical style in Oh, Killstrike #1 is gentle showing that both of them used to like these comics even if they weren’t the greatest and had some major problems in representation of female characters. They also poke fun at people (mostly comics bloggers) who spend most of their time bashing these easy target comics. Part superhero parody, part relationship drama, and a comedy through and through, Oh, Killstrike #1 is the perfect read for anyone who is nostalgic (ironically or not) for this era of comics.

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‘Bravest Warriors’ #32 ends summer camp on a fun note

Bravest Warriors #32 gets the whole team involve as they battle the extradimensional terror Akrothile, who was unintentionally summoned by the disgruntled summer camper Arthen. There is also the ongoing threat of Bugcat, who is trapped from his home dimension thanks to the valiant efforts of Catbug in an earlier issue. Kate Leth and Ian McGinty balance big action with character moments in this arc concluding issue along with some great comedy from Catbug.

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‘Giant Days’ #2 makes getting sick entertaining

Who knew that a comic about getting the flu could be so fun? Giant Days #2 follows the college adventures of housemates Daisy, Esther, and Susie as they deal with one of the worst things about living away from home: getting sick for the first time. However, writer John Allison and artist Lissa Treiman make this mundane immensely fun and entertaining while adding depth to the main characters and their flaws and foibles. Allison structures the plot nicely as each girl deals with a different variant of the flu that’s been going around, and they get their own subplot before dovetailing towards the end.

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Interview with ‘Bravest Warriors’ Artist Ian McGinty

This weekend at East Coast Comicon, I had the pleasure of interviewing artist Ian McGinty aka the guy who draws Catbug for a living. We talked about his work on Bravest Warriors as well as some other projects for BOOM! Studios, like Munchkin and Bill and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return and even a future animation project. McGinty has been drawing Bravest Warriors for almost a year with writer Kate Leth (Edward Scissorhands), and has co-created a couple new characters, including Bugcat (evil Catbug) and Peach, who can build giant robots and has a romantic relationship with the Bravest Warrior Plum.

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‘Bill’s and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return’ # 2 Delivers a Fair Time

Are you ready to have the most righteous adventure? In Bill’s and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return # 2, Bill and Ted work with Chuck, their would-be murderer, to improve Chuck’s life by getting him friends and a girlfriend. The comic delivers a fair time with spot on characters depiction, tender and deep character moments, and humorous artwork. However, the comic does not come without its flaws in iplot and characters. If you are willing to endure these imperfections, then Bill and Ted will provide you with a fair and funny time

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‘Hit: 1957’ #1 – The Noir Is Alive and Well

Hit: 1957 #1 Written by Bryce Carlson Art by Vanesa R. Del Rey Colors by Niko Guardia Published by BOOM! Studios Noir might be beaten & bloodied to a pulp, but in Hit: 1957 #1, it is alive and well. Seeping out of this book, really. The opening narration is wonderfully dramatic, especially if you read it with that gravelly, smoke-filled voice that’s …

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