"The Walking Dead" Spoiler-Free Review: Crisis Inspires Solidarity in "No Way Out"
I first discovered the joy of comics in 1980 when some girls on my school bus brought in their father's copies of Wendy and Richard Pini's "Elfquest" and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, I've written freelance interviews and articles for "Wizard" (going all the way back to the first issue), headed up the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, served as an Eisner judge and written reviews regularly since 1999 (first for iComics.com, then moving to my own site Read About Comics).
I moved to the Washington DC area in 1974 and have yet to leave. I design and develop training for the Federal government during the day, and I've had both fiction and non-fiction professionally published. In my spare time I train for marathons and triathlons. I've promised my friends one of these days I'll run a race dressed as the Flash.
FIRST COMIC: "Elfquest" #5
FAVORITE CHARACTER: Fone Bone, Captain Britain, Rachel Summers Grey
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Kurt Busiek delivers "a fun, if not quite groundbreaking, comic" that Gary Chaloner pushes from "above average to full-on great" in "Astro City" #28.
Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli's "Amazing Spider-Man" #2 "is a strong issue that's a good jumping on point for those who have been holding back."
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's "Sex Criminals" #13 "is as exciting as it is adept at probing the insides of our newest character."
Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke's "The Twilight Children" #1 "is intriguing and spooky, but -- more importantly -- it's impeccably crafted."
Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda's "The Omega Men" #5 is "not just as good as you've been told, it's even better" in issue #5.
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Tony Daniel's "Batman and Robin Eternal" #1 "is full of so many possibilities it feels like anything can happen."
Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III's "The Sandman: Overture" #6 "is a celebration of the series... as well as a thoroughly enjoyable new chapter."
Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs' "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10" #19 "is a high point for 'Buffy' as a whole, comics or otherwise. "
"Hellboy in Hell" #8 will make readers "look forward to another trip back to Hell soon, so long as Mike Mignola leads the way."
Kelly Thompson & Emma Vieceli kick off "Viral," the second arc of IDW's "Jem and the Holograms," by impressively building on what came before.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's "The Wicked + The Divine" #14 is "not only a pleasure, it was something that I wanted without even realizing it."
Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello and Jock's "Batman" #44 "is how you pull off an over-sized issue."
Tom King and Toby Cypress' "The Omega Men" #4 is "intelligent, devious and determined to make you squirm."
"There's so much exuberance and joy in Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen's 'Lumberjanes' #17 that it just bleeds off of the page."
Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's "East of West" #20 "is a warning shot fired over the proverbial bow: ignore this comic at your own peril."
Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr's "Batgirl" #43 "continues to surprise... and delight as the action bursts onto the page."
"Forget about a new James Bond film; we have a new 'Velvet' story arc" in Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's "Velvet" #11.
"Told in a manner from which you can't look away, Steve Orlando and J.D. Faith's 'Virgil' graphic novel is an explosion of rage and vengeance."
Paul Cornell and Neil Edwards' "Doctor Who: Four Doctors" #1 "is not only a good media tie-in comic, it's a good comic, period."
Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips' "The Fade Out" #8 "is yet another twisty, intricate, keeps-you-guessing issue."
Charles Soule and Ron Garney's "Daredevil" #2 is a standard Daredevil story, but its execution makes it above average.
In "Saga" #32, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples check in with Alana and Marko, whose attempt to find Hazel is not without problems.
As "Dark Knight III: The Master Race" #2 heats up, Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson remind us that a chase scene can be just as gripping as exposition.
Jason Aaron slows down a bit in "The Mighty Thor" #2, but Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson's art continues to dazzle even in the quiet moments.
In "Ms. Marvel" #2, G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa remind us that a secret identity shared is ultimately a good thing for readers.
In "Batgirl" #46, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr mix the fantastical and down-to-earth, and the end result is a story that has a little something for everyone.
"Batman and Robin Eternal" #11 gives us the new origin for Cassandra Cain, and Ed Brisson, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Fernando Blanco and Christian Duce wisely carry much of it over from pre-reboot continuity.
In "Superman: American Alien" #2, Max Landis and Tommy Lee Edwards show us Clark's first hesitant step towards becoming a hero.
Kieron Gillen and Brandon Graham use "The Wicked + The Divine" #17 to set up some groundwork for Sakhmet, but it's only the epilogue page drawn by Jamie McKelvie that readers will talk about.
"The Twilight Children" #3 manages to get even creepier as the alien woman appears at one freak event after another, but Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke aren't tipping their hand just yet.
Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith's "Amazing Spider-Man" #4 continues a strong storyline as the Zodiac battles with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Spider-Man's allegiances are tested.
The Robins are all locked up, even as Grayson confronts Jim Gordon, but "Detective Comics" #47 comes across like less than a full chapter's worth of story in "Robin War."
Peter Milligan and Brett Parson's "New Romancer" mixes the romanticism of deceased historical figures with 21st century online dating, and the end result is intriguing, if a bit slow-moving.
Brenden Fletcher, Adam Archer and Sandra Hope plunge the school into "Robin War" in "Gotham Academy" #13, which introduces zombies to the overall story, even as the title's own plots continue to advance.
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Danny Miki hit high gear in "Batman" #47 as Jim Gordon's fight against Mr. Bloom escalates, Bruce Wayne can't avoid his past and the Gotham card is flipped.
For a double-sized issue, "Guardians of Infinity" #1 moves surprisingly slow, although Dan Abnett, Carlo Barberi and Walden Wong do deliver a fun cliffhanger.
"Gotham Academy" #12 wraps up the series' first year's worth of issues, and -- even as the students mount a rescue of Kyle from within the abandoned Arkham Asylum -- a greater danger lurks just around the corner.
"All-New, All-Different Avengers" #2 is a very standard superhero story in many ways, but Mark Waid and Adam Kubert make it stand out in one way: with Ms. Marvel vs. Nova.
Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley and Andrew Hennessy reintroduce us to the book's cast (with a few new members) in "All-New X-Men" #1, but this opening issue is almost all setup at the cost of an attention-grabber.
"Sheriff of Babylon" #1 transports you to 2004 Baghdad less than a year after its fall. Tom King and Mitch Gerads immerse you so fully you'll yearn to escape, even as you're desperate for more.