Our Rating

Welcome back to PRESSED TO THE 9’s, our look at some of the best indie comics available at your comic shop NOW! This week in our 9/10 rated lineup you’ll find X-O MANOWAR #45 and THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE: SECOND LIVES #4 (both from Valiant), DOCTOR WHO: THE FOURTH DOCTOR #1 from Titan, and DREAM POLICE #8 from Image/Joe’s Comics! Let’s get started with…

X-O MANOWAR #45 (Valiant) – Robert Venditti has been pointing to this moment for some time, when the Vine have to choose one final time between peace and war. Commander Trill is willing to do anything…and his followers are willing to do anything…to sway the rest of the Vine. Robert Gill’s artwork (with Ulises Arreola’s colors) bring this message home powerfully as everything comes to a head here. Bringing the Vine to Earth was as huge risk, and we’re about to find out if that risk pays off…or if it will literally explode in the faces of everyone on Earth! 9/10

THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE: SECOND LIVES #4 (Valiant) – This second volume of DOCTOR MIRAGE has something few mini-series manage to accomplish – a well-written and executed final chapter. All too often, a mini-series either appears rushed or seems to have dragged on past its expiration date (pun not intended).  Not so here – this arc was paced perfectly from the first panel of issue #1 to the very end here in issue #4. That’s thanks to a great script by Jen Van Meter and exceptional artwork by Roberto De La Torre with Al Barrionuevo (with additional inks by Brian Level and colors by David Baron). I can’t wait to see more from this team…and this title…in the future. 9/10

DOCTOR WHO: THE FOURTH DOCTOR #1 (Titan) – My favorite Doctor gets his own title, and issue #1 is a great starting chapter for the Doctor portrayed by Tom Baker. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith have gone to a Buffalo Bill show (with the real Buffalo Bill, of course) only to find a danger that is also out of another space and time. An entire generation of American fans were first introduced to the Doctor with THIS Doctor, and I can’t imagine a comic title more welcome than this. Thank you to Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeby for a great script and spot-on artwork by Brian Williamson (with colors by Hi-Fi). 9/10

DREAM POLICE #8 (Image/Joe’s Comics) – The search for Seargent Thursday’s original partner has led to the most dangerous place in the Dreamscape, the Verge. What lies beyond that? Secrets that may shake up everything we’ve known in this series so far. J. Michael Straczynski has taken the basic detective trope and set it on its ear, carrying us further and further into the strange world of nightmares. Sid Kotian’s line art (with colors by Juan Fernandez and Hi-Fi) captures this otherworldly existence perfectly. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen a chapter of this great story – glad to see it pick back up where it left off so well. 9/10

That’s it for our Pressed to the 9’s list for this week…don’t miss out on our 10 SPOT and GREAT 8’s lists to see more of the very best in indie comics!

The Breakdown

Ed is a long-time comics collector, going back to the days when comics were only 12 cents. He reviews DC titles and a variety of Indie publishers here at TMStash.

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