Sunday, 30 April 2017

27, Volume 1: First Set Review (Charles Soule, Renzo Podesta)

Rock star Will Garland damages his hand and can’t play guitar anymore. Desperate for a cure, he seeks out a mad scientist with a demented plan to harness the power of 9, a number representing creativity itself, to somehow fix Will’s hand. Except things go wrong and the 9 set out to kill him instead! 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Green Arrow, Volume 2: Island of Scars Review (Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt)

I requested Green Arrow Volume 2 before reading Volume 1 otherwise I wouldn’t have requested it - that first book is DIRE! But I’m glad of my impetuousness (for once!) as Island of Scars turned out to be miles better than the first volume and not a bad comic considering Rebirth’s overall quality!

Batman of the Future Review (Hilary J. Bader, Rick Burchett)

Batman of the Future is the first Batman Beyond book, spinning off from the late ‘90s animated TV show and, like every other Batman Beyond book, it sucks!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Green Tea by J. Sheridan Le Fanu Review

A clergyman drinks green tea, inadvertently opens his “third eye” and starts seeing a small monkey with glowing red eyes (the Devil, it’s implied). And that’s Green Tea by J. Sheridan Le Fanu! Absolute rubbish. 

It’s written in a plodding, dreary Victorian style which you can’t help but notice given how little actual story there is. I couldn’t believe that all there was was some dull clergyman wigging out over hallucinations! I guess the subtext might be the author’s xenophobia/fascination about the East (green tea is drunk a lot in countries like Japan)? But what the hell, did Le Fanu think Japanese people wander about seeing Satan monkeys everywhere?!

Green Tea is garbage Victorian “horror” that's not even remotely interesting – don’t bother. Le Fanu’s lesbian vampire novella Carmilla is a much better read instead.

Marvel Zombies Review (Robert Kirkman, Sean Phillips)

Robert Kirkman writes a Marvel version of The Walking Dead with Marvel Zombies, and, like a lot of The Walking Dead, it’s pretty bad!

I like how Kirkman launches straight into it. There’s a little bit of text at the start with some nonsense about how everyone became zombified but it’s basically Marvel hero zombies trying to eat the few survivors from start to finish. They wanna eat Magneto, Silver Surfer and Galactus (Galactus usually hungers – now HE’S the food! Boom… boom…) – yeah, the already thin “story” gets stale real quick. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas by Penelope Bagieu Review

Penelope Bagieu’s California Dreamin’ is a biographical comic about the early life of Ellen Cohen aka Cass Elliot of ‘60s group The Mamas and the Papas. It’s not a bad read but it definitely has its flaws. 

Batman: The Cat and the Bat Review (Fabian Nicieza, Kevin Maguire)

This is the second time in a week that my comics beliefs have been shaken! First Mike freakin’ Barr and Tony Bedard’s The Wrath turns out to be a great Batman book, and now Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza - whom I previously thought couldn’t write a good comic unless someone talented did it for him and left the credits blank so he could write his name in - has written a brilliant Batman comic with The Cat and the Bat! I wonder if I’ve somehow suffered massive head trauma sometime last week and forgotten it and that’s why these books seem awesome to me… 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Moonshine, Volume 1 Review (Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso)

Prohibition-era America and the mob grows rich bootlegging illegal hooch for the thirsty populace. Up in the Appalachian Mountains, Hiram Holt brews the best damn ‘shine in the States and Joe Masseira, mob boss of Noo Yawk, wants to sell it - but Holt ain’t interested. So Joe sends Lou Pirlo to convince him to do business with him… it’s eye-talian gangsters vs yee-hawin’ hillbillies in Moonshine! Also, werewolves. 

Batman/Aliens 2 Review (Ian Edginton, Staz Johnson)

Batman fights Aliens again – this time in Gotham!

Ian Edginton and Staz Johnson’s crossover sequel to the surprisingly decent first book is also… surprisingly decent! Story-wise, the title and cover say it all: Batman tangles with Xenomorphs. It’s not the most cerebral of plots and it shouldn’t be. But the action scenes are well-done in that the fighting is imaginative and exciting and the art is suitably dynamic – I definitely wasn’t bored reading this.

It does go off the rails in the third act though once the stereotypical shady government person starts doing insanely stupid experimental things with the Aliens that’s just begging for trouble. As soon as I saw what Batman would be fighting - on an oil rig in the sea for some reason! – I knew this book was one issue too long.

Otherwise, while Batman/Aliens 2 isn’t the most intelligent or memorable of stories and easily has its fair share of cheese, it’s not a bad comic either – a mildly entertaining Batman outing that delivers on its premise!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Animal Man, Volume 1 Review (Grant Morrison, Chas Truog)

Grant Morrison is one of my favourite comics creators - I definitely think he’s the best comics writer there’s ever been - but I don’t love everything he’s written. Case in point: his late ‘80s Animal Man series which was also his first major US title. Me no likee! 

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: Scare Tactics Review (Tony S. Daniel, Ed Benes)

Detective Comics, Volume 2: Scare Tactics is an assortment of bad Batman short stories, mostly written by Tony S. Daniel, a guy who can draw right good but cannot write right at all! 

Monday, 24 April 2017

James Bond: Hammerhead Review (Andy Diggle, Luca Casalanguida)

Spinning off from Warren Ellis’ James Bond series, creators Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida take 007 on a new adventure in Hammerhead. A villain called Kraken is targeting Britain’s nuclear arsenal with plans to wipe out London - here comes Bond to save the day! Bah da bah baah, bah da daah! 

Death of X Review (Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule)

The post-Secret Wars X-Men titles bizarrely began eight months after the Marvel Universe was put back together again. We found out Cyclops had died in those eight months and the Terrigen Mist spelled the extinction of homo superior! That was bonkers enough but why did Marvel structure it this way with the time jump? Dunno. So we could get Death of X, I guess, which takes us back eight months to show us how Cyclops died? And boy is it unnecessary and boring! 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Daredevil, Volume 10: The Widow Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

Madame Hydra is captured in Bulgaria but the local authorities won’t give the Avengers the collar – unless they give them Black Widow in exchange. The US government quietly sends someone out to capture Natasha who decides to hide in plain sight with Matt Murdock – who also has a big target on his head now that he’s the Kingpin! Ah, quiet reunions are never a thing between exes anyway!