Weekly Comic Reviews: 2/1

Alright, it’s time to break down our favorite comic books of the week. If you haven’t visited us before, you should know that we usually only review Image books, because let’s face it…I’m pretty tired of hearing about DC’s New 52 and Marvel’s “Avengers vs. X-Men”. But we might have a surprise publisher in the “Book of the Week”. So, without further ado, I present your weekly reviews for February 1st.

Damaged #5

Lapham | Manco

If you’re not familiar with this Radical Publishing series by now, then I suggest you sprint down to your local comic shop and beg for the whole run while it’s still available. This is one of the newest books to grace the offices of UTF, and I gotta say, it’s easily one of the best.

But for those of you who aren’t familiar, allow me to do a quick recap… Frank Lincoln is an old warhorse of San Francisco’s Organized Crime Division. He leads a special task force that targets the usual suspects from the underbelly of society, but it has a particular interest in a group of Russian mobsters who’ve entwined themselves with the city’s politicians. With an election looming on the horizon, the Mayor has decided to unseat Lincoln from his position, replacing him with a much younger lawmen named Jack Cassidy. But just as Jack is about to assume the mantle, Frank’s older brother, Henry, swings into town on a spree of vigilantism. A dark, sordid history unfolds in the pursuit, causing all of the players involved to question their allegiances.

Phew…now that I’ve given you a bit of backstory, let’s get into this latest issue. This one was easily one of the best so far, and that’s saying a lot, considering that the past four issues have been pretty damn exceptional. Frank’s finally taken Jack up on his offer, and visits his home for a nice quiet dinner. It seems to be a cute, quaint retirement for the older Lincoln brother, until Wendy reveals that he’s been paroling the streets late at night, hunting for Henry and his accomplice, Isaac Lordsman. Before Jack has a chance to confront the subject, he’s whisked away on a hunt to find corruption in his police force, which leads him to one of Lordsman’s own hunting grounds. I won’t give away anything else, but suffice to say that this issue was bad ass.

I know at first this book might seem like a typical “Brothers at War” type of story-line, and it is, but it manages to be so much more than that. The subtelty and grit of Leonardo Manco’s artwork matches Lapham’s script perfectly, and I think the condensed 6 part mini-series format saves the story from any type of lulls. It’s around 30 pages, which is a good bit more than the usual printed book, but it flows seamlessly from beginning to end. So, you must be wondering what score we’ve given them this week. Well, in our humble opinion, Damaged #5 gets a


Invincible #88

Kirkman | Ottley

I know this might be a little shameful to admit, but I’m a fair weather Invincible fan. I’m not saying I don’t pick it up, because I will from time to time, but it’s not a permanent book on my pull list…but that’s all going to change. I’ve decided to give this book its fair share of attention, beginning with #88.

This issue starts with an old fashioned stand off in the middle of space, just out of Earth orbit. Mark and Thragg are at one side, trying to protect our planet from destruction, while Allen and Oliver threaten them with the Scourge Virus. They stand at odds with each other for a good chunk of the issue, trying to reach a diplomatic solution in order to keep the Earth safe from an epidemic. Eventually the situation rolls out of control and one of our heroes falls victim to the disease…

Well, if there’s one thing I can say about Invincible, is that it’s always a clean, crisp book. While Ryan Ottley’s art isn’t ‘stunning’ in the traditional sense, it’s perfect for telling the tale of young Mark and his world-saving affairs. It really jumps off the page in the latter half when there’s more sky-blazing action, but I have to admit, sometimes Kirkman’s cumbersome dialogue can weight it down.

All in all, this is another good read…certainly nothing mind-blowing, but a fun, quick book.