Mini Reviews for 12/26

This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 26, 2019.

CRIMINAL #11

The heist has arrived in a tension-filled issue well worth the wait. Months of character development and slowly converging subplots provide plenty of subtle, and not so subtle, stakes for an extended sequence that quickly moves readers through both the plan and its execution with uncertainty swirling about every turn of the page. The actual pay off for this carefully constructed tower of cards comes next month, but the excitement leading to the cliffhanger of Criminal #11 is plenty exciting on its own. This is as much a thriller as a crime comic, and it shows how well Brubaker and Phillips can deliver on a moment that has been promised across so many issues (and even prior volumes of this same series). The final issue of this story will have the final say, but nothing can negate the visceral enjoyment of a well executed heist comic like this one. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

DOCTOR STRANGE #1

The newest volume of Doctor Strange promises a new twist to Stephen Strange’s career as he returns to medicine following the restoration of his hands. Unfortunately, that idea is explained without ever being made interesting or essential to the story at hand. Exposition details how this has occurred and updates the mystical status quo slightly, but the medical elements of this story are neatly separated from the action and conflicts at hand, leaving the first half of the issue lifeless. The latter half indulges in standard superhero fare, including a familiar villain, action, and cliffhanger. It’s all very paint-by-numbers and only adds a superficial coating of magic on top of the all too familiar genre affectations. Kev Walker’s layouts and designs elevates this rote runaround slightly, but there simply isn’t much of interest to work with. Any promise embedded in this new premise is forgotten and ignored, and it raises the question of why a relaunch was needed in the first place if this was all that could be offered in a new #1 issue. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 2 out of 5

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #24

The newest installment in the Zombot saga provides some excellent moments for the (relatively) new character Tangle to shine, along with a few other lesser known members of the non-zombified cast of characters. However, these are exceptions to another issue that primarily treads water. The distance traveled between the first and final pages is negligible, essentially stalling for time before a last page reveal and next month’s release of #25, which looks to be a very big issue. In the meanwhile, Sonic the Hedgehog remains a well constructed all-ages comic, but one that struggles to make each issue count in a story that is more interested in pairing its climax with a certain number than the best possible pacing. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3 out of 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *