Sandman: Overture #2
Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III deliver a gorgeous book that still doesn’t justify reviving the series. The main problem with this story is, well, it’s just not terribly interesting unless you’re deeply in love with Sandman. Gaiman’s coasting, but at least Williams isn’t; the art is beautiful and almost makes this worth buying on its own.
Tomb Raider #2
Gail Simone and Nicolas Daniel Selma continue Lara Croft’s adventures in raiding. Unfortunately, the art just doesn’t match the script: Selma’s art is good, but it’s just too simple and clean for the horror story Simone is telling. Still worth a read, however.
The comic book based on an ’80s goof continues! Tommy Lee Edwards and Noah Smith honestly need to nail the pacing of this book; it starts fast and gets a little too chatty when it should have more action. But it’s still a fun read, regardless, and Dan McDaid’s art is perfect for the book. If you’re looking for an action book, or something to fill time until the good Terminator book from Dark Horse has another issue, this should do the job.
Aron Warner, Philip Gelatt, and Brett Weldele continue their stories of, well, people nobody wants dumped on a space station. It’s a promising idea, but it’s mostly used here for a mystery story that isn’t terribly compelling. Hopefully the ideas will start gelling into a better whole soon; if nothing else, the premise is great.
King Conan: The Conqueror #2
Timothy Truman and Tomas Giorello continue adapting The Hour of The Dragon. Most of this book is taken up with an elaborately gory fight as a slave gallery learns the hard way that you don’t try to put Conan in chains. It’s not Brian Wood’s take on Conan, but it’s a fun throwback for those looking for iron-thewed fantasy comics.
Elfquest: Final Quest #2
Wendy and Richard Pini work on finishing up their fantasy series. Honestly, this remains largely for fans of the original books and no one else, but it’s quite action packed and surprisingly gory in places. Although you’d think an elf stabbing some dude in the crotch would do a better job of it.
The X-Files: Conspiracy #2
Paul Crilley and John Stanisci finish out IDW’s road-trip crossing over all their other licensed properties. It’s actually a bit of a bust, in all honesty: For such a high-stake story, it’s got a rather low-stakes feeling to it. Still, it’s fun to see the X-Files team back in action, even if it is mostly the Lone Gunmen.
Serenity: Leaves On the Wind #3
Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty continue their story of Serenity and everything going to hell. Essentially, River wants to rescue all the other kids like her in that creepy top-secret facility you might remember from the movie. Mal is grouchily amenable, but he’ll need some help, and you can probably guess who that help will take the form of if you’re a fan of the show. It’s a solid issue, but one can’t help but feel it’s a bit too loaded with fan service; it might have been nice to just see the new crew dealing with problems before swinging right into a huge arc. Fun if you’re a fan of the show, however.
The spoiled starlet turned superheroine continues struggling for redemption in this series with… mixed results. Bryan Glass and Victor Santos actually tell a one-off tale of Furious going toe-to-toe with a misogynist serial killer. Subtle it isn’t, but then, this book isn’t terribly subtle in the first place. But it is an interesting superheroine story, and something off the beaten path in a well-trodden genre.
Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Marcus To step up their story of an Internet activist implementing actual change. Or trying to, anyway. It’s a pretty solid espionage thriller, but it’s not terribly clear where it’s going or why it’s using the political content it does. Still fun, however, and that’s what matters.
Halo: Escalation #4
This is a solid, but not great, SF action book from Chris Schlerf, Ricardo Sanchez, and Rob Lean. It does introduce some intrigue elements which will hopefully pay off, but for now, this is largely for those who can’t wait for the next game.
Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #5
If there’s a moral to Dan Jolley, Leonard Kirk, and Robin Riggs’ finale to this smart, gritty miniseries, it’s this: Never, ever, piss off Travis Clevenger. To say anything else would spoil it, and you’ll want to go in cold. Highly recommended.
Eternal Warrior #7
Greg Pak and Robert Gill amp up their story of the Eternal Warrior as he fights through 4001 A.D., and it’s a fun, fast-paced story that’s willing to be both serious and just a little goofy. It’s one of the more engaging fantasy books on the stands right now, and highly recommended.
Captain Midnight #9
Joshua Williamson and Fernando Dagnino start a new arc in the pulp hero’s adventures. Honestly, this book is a bit tonally off; it wants to be superheroic, but the gore and straight-up murder is straight out of the old pulps. It continues to be a solid book, but one can’t help but think it needs to choose a tone and stick with it: Is it a modern superhero book, or a throwback?
Mass Effect: Foundation #9
Mac Walters and Tony Parker spend a little time with a scientist Salarian. Honestly, this is one of the stronger books in the mini because it deals, rather directly, with Mordin’s complicated feelings towards the Krogan and the genophage. It’s a treat for fans, and a welcome step up for the book.