Saturday, 31 January 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

XO Manowar, Volume 8: Enter: Armorines Review (Robert Venditti, Diego Bernard)

Yikes, XO Manowar has gone downhill lately! It used to be a great series. The first four volumes were awesome because they were this self-contained, compelling narrative of Aric fighting the alien Vine to free his enslaved Visigoth people. 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Deadpool's Art of War Review (Peter David, Scott Koblish)

Deadpool decides to write a Marvel version of Sun Tzu’s classic, The Art of War. He advises Loki on these ancient lessons which helps him finally take over Asgard and invade Earth. What that actually means in practice is that this is a generic Loki beats Thor until Thor beats Loki storyline with Deadpool popping up in the background to recite lines from The Art of War. It’s as bad as it sounds. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Jupiter's Legacy Volume 1 Review (Mark Millar, Frank Quitely)

1930s: Sheldon Sampson leads a group, including his brother Walter and girlfriend Grace, to an island that doesn’t appear on any maps and that he’s only seen in his dreams. They find it and gain superpowers from aliens - as you do. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Punisher, Volume 2: Army of One Review (Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon)

Before I get into the review, let’s talk about Garth Ennis’ sense of humour: sometimes it’s a bit much, I agree. As big a fan as I am of the guy, I gave up on Preacher because the “jokes” just weren’t landing. I didn’t laugh at the guy who discovered he was gay after he was raped; I didn’t laugh at the “retarded because of inbreeding” descendant of Christ - but Ennis kept hammering these “jokes” over and over and over again until I gave up on the series in disgust (though I did laugh at Arseface!). 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Petty Theft by Pascal Girard Review

Petty Theft sees cartoonist Pascal Girard in a bad place. He’s nearing 30 and wants to run a marathon to mark the milestone – but during a run one day he smashes his foot against a rock and throws his back out! His girlfriend of 9 years breaks up with him leaving him temporarily homeless and living in the spare room of a married friend with a new baby. He’s also giving up cartooning and thinking of once more taking up a “real job” like construction. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Here by Richard McGuire Review

Richard McGuire’s Here looks at a corner in a living room through the ages. Using the same angle throughout, McGuire shows us what the corner looked like from millions of years ago to thousands of years in the future with everything in between. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown Review

Brain dead? Want to be? Here’s Red Rising!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Sandman, Volume 2: The Doll's House Review (Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Jones III)

What do you do when you encounter a run of bad comics? Return to the ones you’ve read and loved before for a re-read! So it’s doubly disappointing when a comic you thought you enjoyed way back when turns out to be kinda crappy – even more so when it’s an acknowledged classic like The Sandman! 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Batman: Through the Looking Glass Review (Bruce Jones, Sam Kieth)

I’m not sure when or even why Lewis Carroll came to be so closely associated with Batman but today there’s a very strong Wonderland presence in Gotham thanks to the character of Jervis Tetch aka The Mad Hatter. To be fair to ol’ Jervy, he’s had his moments. In New 52 The Dark Knight Vol 3: Mad, we got an enthralling Hatter origin and a thrilling Batman tale, and his part of the Arkham City video game was easily one of its highlights, not to mention quite atmospheric. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Batman Beyond 2.0: Rewired Review (Kyle Higgins, Thorny Silas)

Terry McGinnis is a young man juggling a superhero alter-ego alongside studying at university and girl troubles. He battles an electric supervillain while trying to live up to a father-figure’s hopes for him. Terry McGinnis is… Spider-Man! I mean, Batman Beyond! 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Hawkeye Vs Deadpool Review (Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli)

It’s Halloween and a hacker steals the personal information of numerous SHIELD agents, stores it on a thumb drive, and drops it into Deadpool’s bag of candy. Some brainwashed men dressed as Marvel superheroes try to steal it back and Clint Barton aka Hawkeye gets involved. It’s up to Clint, Wade and Kate Bishop (the other Hawkeye) to make sure the information doesn’t get into the hands of the mischievous Black Cat.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Trees, Volume 1 Review (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard)

Ten years ago alien life made contact with humanity - by putting what look like giant waste pipes all around the planet and every so often pumping toxic waste out of them! But that was it. They didn’t bother making “first contact” or talking to us because it seems like we don’t interest them. As it says in the opening monologue, “we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe but that they did not recognise us as intelligent or alive”. Instead, Earth is to be their alien landfill - what else would you expect from misanthropic Warren Ellis? I love it! 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games Review (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)

The Locke family kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, are slowly recovering from their father’s brutal death and settling in to their Lovecraftian manse which is located in, funnily enough, Lovecraft, Massachusetts. But their new friend, Zack Wells (because he lived in a well, geddit?!) aka Lucas “Luke” Don Caravaggio (Worst. Character Name. Ever.) is killing people because he has a plan for the Locke kids that nobody knows anything about but it’s bound to be creepy. Also: more magic keys!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Mind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate Strangers Review (Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo)

Elle is a beautiful young woman from a wealthy family who is suddenly struck down on the subway and is now in a coma – whodunit and why?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Star Wars #1 Review (Jason Aaron, John Cassaday)

It was probably the explosive teaser trailer for JJ Abrams’ Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens that appeared at the tail end of 2014 that helped, but it was announced weeks ago on several comics sites that Jason Aaron and John Cassaday’s Star Wars #1 was going to be 2015’s biggest selling single issue comic. Today when I went to two comics shops? Cleared shelves. And I know they were ordering in bulk! Jackpot, Marvel! 

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso by Stan Sakai Review

Senso is Usagi Yojimbo crossed with HG Wells’ War of the Worlds – ok, why not?

Monday, 12 January 2015

The Sixth Gun, Volume 7: Not the Bullet, But the Fall Review (Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt)

Becky, Drake and co. return to Brimstone, the town where their journey began a year ago (in the story – the series has been going on for several years at this point) to make their next move. Meanwhile, General Oleander Hume’s mother, the Grey Witch Griselda, sends her snakemen army led by the former Pinkerton Jesup, who also has the healing gun, to take Becky and Drake’s remaining five guns. Our heroes begin the fight of their lives as all hell breaks loose and the beginning of the end of The Sixth Gun kicks off!

Batman Vs Predator Review (Dave Gibbons, Andy Kubert)

I mention a couple spoilers in the review but here’s the only spoiler you need to know: this comic is pants! 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Henshin by Ken Niimura Review

Ken Niimura, the artist of Joe Kelly’s brilliant I Kill Giants, has put out his own book made up of 13 short stories called Henshin (Japanese for “transformation”) - and it’s rather good! 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Trillium by Jeff Lemire Review

In the 38th century humanity is on the ropes. A sentient virus called The Caul is wiping us out and only a few thousand humans remain, pushed far away from Earth in a desperate bid for survival. On a distant planet called Atabithi, botanist Nika Tensmith believes she has found the cure in a native flower called Trillium but needs to win over the inhabitants, who protect their crop within a temple compound, to harvest enough for a cure. 

Life of a Counterfeiter by Yasushi Inoue Review

This book collects three short stories by the renowned Japanese novelist Yasushi Inoue: Life of a Counterfeiter, where a man commissioned to write a biography of a famous artist finds himself instead drawn to the artist’s friend and forger’s life; Reeds, where a journalist explores memories of his childhood, in particular why his aunt was ostracized; Mr Goodall’s Gloves, where another journalist sent to report on Nagasaki after the atomic bomb explosion becomes side-tracked with memories of his grandmother after seeing the grave of Mr Goodall.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Ant-Man #1 Review (Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas)

Like the re-launched Guardians of the Galaxy comic familiarising readers in advance of the movie, Ant-Man gets a new Marvel NOW! title six months before we see the (pun not intended) big screen Ant-Man in theatres this July. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 Review (Ryan North, Erica Henderson)

Few spoilers in this review so deal with it - or don’t! Nuts to you, nuts for everyone! 

Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince Review

Liz Prince kisses her boyfriend's hand, then turns it over and kisses the other side – she calls it “corn on the cob kisses”! Liz’s cat Science sits on the bed while she and her boyfriend smooch – what a lil perve! Liz’s boyfriend puts Cheerios in her underpants – because her butt might be hungry! Being in love is nice, yaaaaay!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fish + Chocolate by Kate Brown Review

Kate Brown’s Fish + Chocolate collects three darkly dramatic short stories themed around motherhood, specifically single mothers, and their complex relationships with children. The Piper Man is a modern day reworking of the fairy tale, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, as a strange silent man appears and leaves with most of a town’s children, who willingly follow him. The Cherry Tree looks at a musician whose creative ambitions clash with her responsibilities as a mother. Matryoshka is a harrowing sequence where a woman who recently miscarried battles through her grief alone in her flat. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tell Me Something by Jason Review

A poet turned pickpocket stumbles across a photo of his beloved, long since gone, in the wallet of his latest mark. As he decides to visit his former love, he discovers her home life with her abusive husband is a miserable one and the circumstances of their breakup wasn’t as it seemed. Will the two find happiness together a second time - or is their love doomed forever?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Manifest Destiny, Volume 2: Amphibia & Insecta Review (Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts)

Lewis and Clark continue their treacherous mission through the uncharted new world after the events of the first book tell them there’s more than just native Americans out there waiting for them. As well as their crew, made up of soldiers and criminals, they’re joined by the French survivors of the La Charette settlement and Sacagawea, an Indian warrior and guide. As they sail downriver, their craft gets snagged on an underwater arch and they’re stranded, surrounded by a giant man-eating frog and deadly giant mosquitoes! 

Friday, 2 January 2015

What a Life!: Selected Short Stories by J B Priestley Review

What a Life! was part of a large bundle of books from my pop at Christmas this year. Besides reading and enjoying JB Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls in high school, I have no interest in reading anything else by him ever again but my dad’s a big fan and he wants to “educate” me on Priestley’s writing, so I decided to give his chosen offering a shot. Otherwise I’d never have read this because, unfortunately but expectedly, it sucks! 

The 10 Least Anticipated Comics of 2015

Holiday season may be over but the forthcoming year of comics releases has a lot of turkeys on their way. Here are ten of the worst that I think are going to stink up the joint something fierce:

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma by David Boyle Review

Alan Turing was a notable philosophical/mathematical figure in the advancement of computers and artificial intelligence. Known for his contributions at Bletchley Park (Britain’s codebreaking headquarters) during World War 2, Turing worked on cracking the Nazi’s Enigma code which was used in transmissions between the U-Boats and Nazi command. At Bletchley, he developed enhancements to a Polish bomb machine, which decrypted messages, to create the bombe, a machine that found the settings of Enigma.