Best Comics of November: Including Mutants & an Ex-Slave Girl
Once a month the amazing staff at 8th Dimension Comics selects a pile of the best new releases for us to peruse and judge. Unfortunately, we're just barely missing the release of the KISS/Archie Comics crossover, but you can be sure we'll be bringing you our thoughts on that in December.
One of the things that 8th Dimension prides itself on is appealing to all ages, rather than the jaded comic fan only in it for angst, blood and Starfire's chest baubles (guilty). Super Dinosaur from Image is now available as a trade, so we caught up with the story of a boy genius and his nine-foot T-Rex in an exoskeleton. (He controls his giant robot arms with his little bony arms, which is absolutely adorable.) While the dinosaur name puns get a little eye-rolling and the comic uses the word "awesome" like Playboy uses nipples, it's still a fun little action comic that is sure to thrill anyone.
Rating: 7 of 10
More of a glimpse at some of the stories we can look forward to in the coming year from Marvel than a real story. Still, it's got its moments. Two agents break into the sanctum of Uatu the Watcher in order to download his observations while he is in a regularly scheduled trance. Scanning through his memories of past, present and future, we see some adventures with Nova (meh), a new Scarlet Spider series set in Houston (awesome!) and our favorite, a return to the Age of Apocalypse where the last five humans make up a mutant death squad led by William Stryker under the mantle of Prophet.
Rating: 6 of 10
We were kind of underwhelmed with the new Shade series that 8th Dimension passed us last month, though we did have to admit that beheading your title character on the last page was pretty clever. It all turned out to be an illusion anyway, and then we're right back to the overly melodramatic melancholy of the Shade along with a few good panels of gun fights and supernatural battles. Honestly though? We're going to get our paranormal fix in the pages of Justice League Dark.
Rating: 4 of 10
We've spent too much time in the world of DC lately, and we have to confess that most of what went down in X-Men land after the decimation of Earth's mutants we know only from Wikipedia synopsis. In the new Uncanny X-Men, Cyclops has gathered together pretty much the most powerful mutants around, including Magneto and Colossus, who has acquired the powers of the Juggernaut. Their goal is twofold: to serve as Earth's protectors, and to remind humanity that pissing mutants off can result in the plural of Holocausts. As a comment on current events...it's pretty off the charts.
Rating: 7 of 10
We'd like to take back every mean thing we said about Moon Knight in our article thanking the gods that certain Avengers were being left out of the new movie. MK, Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter and the Black Widow infiltrate a drug ring, only to find out that the narcotics are actually the ground up bones of Cthulhu, which grant super strength and endurance when smoked. That sentence alone makes the book worth buying, but there is plenty of awesome action and Moon Knight really takes center stage, donning his mask and a white tuxedo before launching the bad guy out of a window with a flying kick while he was on fire.
Rating: 9 of 10
Though we still prefer it to the Shade in order to appease the paranormal junkie within us, Justice League Dark is moving at the pace of a snail with a club foot. Three issues in, and we're still in the stage where we're trying to get all the different members in the same room to fight a threat that damn near killed Superman and Wonder Woman, and hasn't really done a whole lot since then. It might be time to switch back to Witch Doctor, but we'll give the book another month to make something happen.
Rating: 5 of 10
Batgirl continues to surprise us with its depth and relevance. Barbara Gordon is still on the trail of Mirror, an insane psychopath whose mission in life is to basically destroy any hope of salvation, a mission he took on after watching his wife and daughter burn to death after he was pulled to safety. The madman continues to outwit Batgirl at every turn, but we've been promised a final showdown in the next issue. We can't wait.
Rating: 8 of 10
Selina Kyle is messed up...seriously messed up. So far she's boning the Batman, getting her best friend murdered for helping her fence her thefts, and just all around acting like Courtney Love would if heroin gave you ninja skills. If Batgirl is all about a woman coming to terms with her past damage, then Catwoman is the tale of someone being eaten alive by them. It's a painful, beautiful process to watch unfold on the page.
Rating: 9 of 10
This series is so good we're surprised it doesn't leap off the page and headbutt us. Jason, Roy and Kori continue deep in the mountain citadel where Jason's assassin teachers have been murdered. To continue in, they must each leave their most precious memory as collateral, and when we look into what those memories are, it simply blows the mind. Kori's most precious memory is from her time as a slave girl. Offered a modicum of sympathy by one of her captors, she burns him alive. Roy's offering is a surprise counseling session from Killer Croc, who refuses to kill Roy in a fight when he realizes that he's just using the battle as an elaborate, passive-aggressive attempt at suicide. Killer Croc, for God's sake! He eats people for fun and prophet and even he thinks Roy needs some help.
As for Jason...he voluntarily leaves his memory behind instead of retrieving it, and it will break your heart to see him do it. The Outlaws may be the biggest collection of superheroic neuroses assembled since the Watchmen, and for our money their adventures are the best thing in comics right now.
Rating: 10 of 10
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