Slam! #4

Must be something in the water recently, as this is the second Boom! comic I’ve read that explains how to play roller derby. Of course, since that’s the setting of Slam!, it’s essential information, and it leads into something of a change-of-pace chapter. You can see the opening pages here: Now that we’ve gotten to know the characters, particularly the core duo of Jennifer and Maisie, this issue switches to action, showing the reader what it would be like to […]

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Giant Days #24

As in the previous issue, Giant Days #24 continues exploring what it means to be an adult and take care of yourself, this time through contrast. Susan’s terribly sick and has lost her voice. Her dad, a handyman from Northampton, comes to take care of her. He winds up staying, as the girls like being taken care of, perhaps too much. He cooks for them, takes them to the movies, and helps them figure out what’s happened to the next-door […]

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Batgirl #8

The newest take on Batgirl began at the end of 2014, when Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr gave us a Barbara Gordon who dressed realistically (colored Doc Martens-looking boots!), moved somewhere hip, went to college, and made new friends that represented a more diverse society. It was a breath of fresh air for the well-known-but-derivative hero. But there’s been another line relaunch since then, and Rebirth brought Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time, Goldie Vance) on as writer. […]

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Lumberjanes #35

I wasn’t expecting to see such a well-done sporting explanation in this comic. There’s a great rundown of the basics of roller derby here, which I would have expected instead to see in Boom!’s title Slam! In the latest chapter of the series, written by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh and illustrated by Carolyn Nowak, the campers have made a bet with a renegade group of sasquatches. The beasts have taken over the yetis’ tree house, and the only way […]

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Usagi Yojimbo #158-160

Stan Sakai’s samurai rabbit has been a part of comics for over 30 years, longer than a number of readers have been alive. It’s easy to take it for granted as a result, but every time I read an issue, I’m impressed by the clarity of the stories, the insight into the characters, and the accomplishment of the artistic storytelling. The most recent three issues, all stand-alone stories, cover a range of emotions, too, demonstrating the wide scope of what […]

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Spell on Wheels #5

The crime caper/road trip/family of witches story wraps up successfully. The three young women confront their burglar (who’s also a manipulative, jealous ex-boyfriend), but first, there’s time for a magical fashion change, because even when you’re fighting for justice, you should feel good about how you look. We find out who’s behind the plot to steal their artifacts. We knew the ex was trying to gain his own power — and how timely is a plot about a pouty white […]

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Angel City #5

Angel City #5 is packed with action, gearing up for the conclusion next issue. Dolores’ attempt to solve her friend’s murder takes a back seat to staying alive, as crooked cops and gangsters sent by studio bosses are both after her for not shutting up and leaving well enough alone. (No matter the era, someone always wants the strong women to sit down and be quiet.) As the issue opens, she’s been framed for someone else’s murder, sending her fleeing. […]

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Mockingbird: I Can Explain

It’s rewarding to see how comic creators who didn’t grow up in the medium can take long-running characters (who often have been dragged in so many directions over the years that there’s no personality left, or they’re a mass of contradictions) and find fresh, modern new approaches to them that make them fascinating. That’s precisely what Chelsea Cain does with Bobbi Morse, Mockingbird, in this five-issue collection. Mockingbird: I Can Explain contrasts hugely with the cash-grab Mockingbird: Bobbi Morse, Agent […]

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