Our Rating

The indie scene has some truly amazing titles, and even more must-read books that we could get to in our “10 Spot” feature. THAT’s why we have PRESSED TO THE NINES, books that rated a 9/10 on our review scale that are at your local comic shops NOW! Let’s get started with…

ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER #3 (Valiant) – This tie in to the amazing ARMOR HUNTERS event at Valiant stands well on its own as Generation Zero is on center stage (along with what remains of the Renegades) in fighting off the swarm that has been send by the Hunters to “decontaminate” Earth…in other words, to kill all human life and let the world start over! The battle is intense, and at times just a little on the squeamish side as the “bugs” go into some interesting places…but the story itself is riveting.  Another great tale from Joshua Dysart, with equally wonderful artwork by Robert Gill (with colors by Romulo Fajardo).  9/10

SHELTERED #11 (Image) – This series continues to pick up steam as it begins the move to an endgame.  The bodies have been piling up, with serious fallout from the most recent shooting.  Can Victoria escape and take her story to someone who can end all this? Will the local police ever investigate those missing delivery men? And, what happens to this strange youth-led society as everything continues to fall apart? Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas are making better and more intense stories with each issue.  This is a series that troubled me with it’s kids-kill-all-the-adults premise when the first issue appeared…but it has become must-read material that I grab as quickly as possible when a new chapter arrives.  Easily 9/10

IMPERIAL #2 (Image) – Mark is getting the inside scoop on what makes Imperial what he is today (hint: it’s in the crown)…but there’s a lot more to this hero, who seems to have forgotten what it’s like to be human.  What’s Mark to do…and how does he balance all this super-hero-in-training stuff with his upcoming nuptials? One word…S’Mores! This is a definite walk outside the usual superhero box, scripted well by Steven T. Seagle and illustrated beautifully by Mark Dos Santos. 9/10

THOMAS ALSOP #4 (BOOM!) – Ground Zero in New York has more than one secret…a long-ago cursed ship found underneath the site, combined with a spell from an unexpected source, has trapped the souls of thousands of victims from the tragedy of 9/11.  This book, centering on “the Hand of the Island”, naturally would explore some 9/11 theme given the Manhattan setting…and it is handled about as respectfully as one could hope given the circumstances.  Whether it is “too soon” (or whether it will ever be anything but “too soon”) may be in the eye of the beholder, but I will say that the story is exceptionally well written by Chris Miskiewicz with stunning artwork by Palle Schmidt.  9/10

That’s it for “Pressed to the Nines” for this week – but we still have the “Great Eights” to go! And, keep checking back with TMStash throughout the week for all your news, reviews and commentary!

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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