Thursday, 30 April 2015

Velvet, Volume 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men Review (Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting)

Oh hells yes, yes and more YES to this! Velvet is back and somehow the second book is even better than the first! 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Pisces #1 Review (Kurtis Wiebe, Johnnie Christmas)

I’m going to talk about the details of this comic, particularly the end, which some might consider spoilers as opposed to an actual review of the issue, so if you’re looking for a simple yay or nay on this, absolutely check it out - Pisces #1 is a winner! 

Ivar Timewalker, Volume 1: Making History Review (Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry)

Of the three Anni-Padda brothers, Ivar is definitely the most boring. Armstrong is a drunken adventurer, Gilad is a fighter - Ivar is basically a museum docent. He “walks” through time with people, showing them history, not altering it, and then doing it all over again. Well, lucky us for getting a whole series of that! 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Monster Motors Review (Brian Lynch, Nick Roche)

I really liked Brian Lynch’s Everybody’s Dead comic from a few years back (an irreverent take on the zombie apocalypse), and the Monster Motors summary made me smile because it’s so damn silly. This book stars: Cadillacula, iGor, Frankenride, Minivan Helsing, Wheelwolf, The Lagoon Buggy, The Invisible Sedan - these are literally the car equivalents of the Universal Monsters! 

Bad Machinery, Volume 1: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison Review

Jack, Sonny, Linton, Shauna, Charlotte and Mildred are six 11 year-old friends who’re about to discover that high school isn’t about lessons, homework and teachers; it’s about sleuthing, social justice, family curses, and big business football - this is Bad Machinery (a title I’ve yet to understand)! 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Lobster Johnson, Volume 3: Satan Smells a Rat Review (Mike Mignola, John Arcudi)

I’ve got a lot of respect for Mike Mignola. He’s an extremely talented artist and writer who created an original character called Hellboy back in the early ‘90s that now, some 22 years later, he’s been able to successfully build an empire off the back of. Besides the main Hellboy title and its many iterations, the extensive Hellboy universe takes in BPRD, Abe Sapien, Witchfinder, Baltimore - and they’re mostly pretty good. That said, I think Lobster Johnson is one title too many, or at least it’s a good one-off concept that doesn’t work as a series. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Uncanny X-Force, Volume 1: The Apocalypse Solution Review (Rick Remender, Jerome Opena)

You’ve read this story a thousand times before: assassins break into impenetrable place, overcome obstacles, kill target. Uncanny X-Force joins the ranks of Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts, Suicide Squad, and probably even more groups that I’m forgetting, of Superheroes What Done Kills Stuff In A Morally Questionable Team. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Batgirl, Volume 3: Death of the Family Review (Gail Simone, Daniel Sampere)

One of the downsides to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s runaway success with their Batman series has been the way the Batman editors have decided to tie in the many, less-successful Bat-titles into it in a desperate attempt to boost sales. 

Hansel & Gretel Review (Neil Gaiman, Lorenzo Mattotti)

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? Brother and sister get dumped in the woods, trail of breadcrumbs (boy, who’da thunk that plan wouldn’t work!), gingerbread house in the woods, wicked witch, oven, happily ever after (with no mention of the whole abandoning your children in the woods thing). So why did we need Neil Gaiman to retell the exact same story that the Brothers Grimm told 200 years ago? We didn’t. In fact the only difference I could spot was that he omitted any mention of a witch - here she’s just your run-of-the-mill crazy old woman who lives in a house made of sweets and eats children. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Low, Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope Review (Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini)

In his foreword (or “forward” as Marvel’s AVX would have it - I know, I know, let it go, let it goooOoOOoOoO), Rick Remender talks about his years in therapy and discovering how positive thinking changed his life. Once he started having a sunnier outlook he says he became a happier person, a better husband/father, and a better, more productive writer (the latter is certainly true - SO many comics!). The power of positive thinking. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

It Came! by Dan Boultwood Review

1950s Britain and a flying saucer crash-lands in the countryside. A giant robot emerges, intent on absorbing all the Britishness in the land. It’s up to “genius” scientist Dr Boy Brett and his plucky lady friend Doris to alert the proper authorities and see to it the unwelcome guest gets what for. Tally ho, chaps – for Queen and crumpets! 

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Volume 1: The Paradigm Shift Review (Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez)

“The impossible is always possible…” is an oft-repeated phrase throughout this story - does that include Vertigo publishing a good comic? Ah, I kid, Vertigo! … but not really. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Black Science, Volume 1: How to Fall Forever Review (Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera)

I was really, really surprised to find that Black Science was actually a pretty good comic because I’ve read Rick Remender’s Marvel stuff like Uncanny Avengers and Captain America and HAAAAATED them so much. Well, it seems his comics outside Marvel are the place to read good Remender! 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Runaways, Volume 3: The Good Die Young Review (Brian K Vaughan, Adrian Alphona)

The Runaways discover the bizarre origins of their parents’ supervillain group, The Pride, before deciding they need to confront them once and for all. But the mole in the group threatens to bring them down, while The Pride have their own insurrectionists. Whatever happens, there will be blood! 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Neonomicon Review (Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows)

Neonomicon is the sequel to Antony Johnston and Jacen Burrows’ graphic adaptation of Alan Moore’s The Courtyard, a short story by Moore from the ‘90s. If you missed it, don’t worry because The Courtyard is included in this book. This time around Burrows returns with Moore scripting the comic. 

Rat Queens, Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth Review (Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch)

Bilford Bogin, it’s been a while since Rat Queens Volume 1! 

The Queens are back and thank gods they haven’t changed. The book opens the morning after a heavy night out. They’ve got hangovers, some are embarrassed over who they hooked up with, and one of the statue’s in Palisade is missing its stone penis! Things are about to get more fun though as Lovecraftian monsters begin appearing in the sky as a damaged man attempts to wipe Palisade off the map - Rat Queens to the rescue! 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Iron Patriot: Unbreakable Review (Ales Kot, Garry Brown)

Jim Rhodes was War Machine but he changed his superhero ID to the less threatening Iron Patriot even though it kinda makes him sound even more like a tool. He’s also decided to focus his attention solely on problems in America – and it’s about goddamn time America got some superheroes of its own! All these freakin’ French and Honduran superheroes clogging up the Marvel Universe - hey, there are other countries besides France and Honduras that need superhero attention, Marvel, help out the poor Americans for once! 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Stray Bullets, Volume 6: Killers by David Lapham Review

David Lapham put Stray Bullets on hold in 2005 after the 40th issue and went to work on several work-for-hire properties over at Marvel, DC, and Avatar. These 40 issues, including the 41st which rounds out the fifth arc Hi-Jinks and Derring-Do, can be read in the massive omnibus Stray Bullets: Uber Alles Edition. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dial H, Volume 1: Into You Review (China Mieville, Mateus Santolouco)

Nelson Jent is an out-of-shape, unemployed schlub who discovers a mysterious phone booth with a rotary dial in an alley near his flat. When he dials a specific number – H-E-R-O (the letters are underneath the numbers) – he transforms into… well, any number of random whacky “superheroes” for a short time before reverting back to his normal self! With his new powers he’s going to get revenge on the bad guys who killed his buddy. 

The Tithe #1 Review (Matt Hawkins, Rahsan Ekedal)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal's The Tithe #1. Read the full piece here:

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Diamond as Big as The Ritz by F Scott Fitzgerald Review (Penguin Pocket 70s)

John Unger goes to a posh university where he meets a posh chap who takes him to his family’s posh residence – a house built on a diamond as big as a mountain! But now that John knows their family’s secret… he can never leave!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

All-New Hawkeye #2 Review (Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez)

The flashbacks continue as a young Clint and Barney live the clich̩, literally running off to join the circus! Meanwhile back in the present Clint and Kate are battling their way through HYDRA guards to investigate/sabotage their secret new weapon. But Project Communion is not what they think it is Рthe weapon is a who, not an it!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Let's Eat Ramen and Other Doujinshi Short Stories Review (Nagumo, Aji-Ichi)

Let’s Eat Ramen is the most appropriately titled comic I’ve ever read: the characters talk about eating ramen… and then they eat some! 

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Murder by John Steinbeck Review (Penguin Pocket 70s)

The four short stories in this small collection - The Chrysanthemums, Breakfast, The Vigilante, and The Murder - are set in early 20th century America, focusing mostly on rural communities.

The Valiant Review (Jeff Lemire, Paolo Rivera)

Gilad the Eternal Warrior is tasked with protecting Geomancers - mystics who “speak for the Earth” and “guide humanity to new heights” (whatever that means). But each time a Geomancer appears, so does The Immortal Enemy whose purpose is to kill the Geomancer and plunge humanity into a perpetual dark age - Gilad may be eternal but the Geomancers aren’t! Not great at his job then…

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Howard the Duck #2 Review (Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones)

Yeesh, one hit movie and the Guardians of the Galaxy have suddenly gotta be in every single Marvel comic reminding everyone they’re a Big Deal and there’s a sequel on the way! Then again I suppose Howard was in their after-credits scene so this is a callback of sorts…

As you can tell from the selfie/kissy face cover (are people still doing that? Marvel is anyway), the Guardians take over Howard the Duck for an issue, which is fine as Howard by himself is kind of a non-starter. That said, the “Guardians busting out of prison” schtick has been done to death at this point so the comic is a bit too repetitive plot-wise.

Nameless #3 Review (Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham)

My tenth review for Need to Consume was Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham's Nameless #3. Read the full piece here:

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Jupiter's Circle #1 Review (Mark Millar, Wilfredo Torres)

Mark Millar said that Jupiter’s Legacy was inspired, at least in part, by Carrie Fisher’s memoirs of growing up in the shadow of two famous parents; I’m guessing that for Jupiter’s Circle, a spinoff and prequel to Legacy, he read Full Service by Scotty Bowers, a memoir of a man described as a “sex fixer” to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. 

The Legacy of Luther Strode #1 Review (Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore)

My eighth review for Need to Consume was Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore's The Legacy of Luther Strode #1. Read the full piece here:

Alan Moore's The Courtyard Review (Antony Johnston, Jacen Burrows)

Misogynistic/racist/homophobic main character? Copious drug use? Dingy urban environment? Bad music? Monsters/horrors out of space and time? Gory violence? Yup, this is an Alan Moore story alright! 

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Sleeper and The Spindle Review (Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell)

The Sleeper and the Spindle is an illustrated short story, mashing up Snow White and Sleeping Beauty with a feminist twist - the Prince Charming character is a woman and, gasp, she kisses another woman to awaken her! Also, most of the book is characters walking across a fantasy landscape so if you’re a Tolkien fan, you’re gonna love this! 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! The Comics of Fletcher Hanks Review (Paul Karasik)

Stardust is the most remarkable man ever! He’s a Super Wizard who flies around the cosmos in a yellow condom but tends to focus his attention towards America! His powers are whatever the story demands! 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack by Andrew Schartmann Review

The 33 ⅓ series are small paperbacks, usually between 100 and 200 pages long, looking at important albums of 20th century music. I’ve read the ones about bands I love like The Beatles, The Pixies, Nirvana, and Elliott Smith, but occasionally they put out some more abstract books, like Carl Wilson’s on Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love. It wasn’t so much about the album as it was about critical taste in general and explored why so many people, himself included, have a negative reaction to Dion’s music even though most of us will only have heard one of her songs (you know the one) if any. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Southern Bastards, Volume 2: Gridiron Review (Jason Aaron, Jason Latour)

The second Southern Bastards arc, Gridiron, is told mostly in flashback. The main story is more or less frozen while we’re told the secret origins of the villain of the series, Coach Boss, instead of what happened after Earl Tubbs mumblemumble... 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Thanos Vs Hulk by Jim Starlin Review

I wonder, do Marvel’s Commissioning Editors even listen to Jim Starlin’s pitches anymore? 

Jim Starlin: “Thanos…” 
Marvel: “SOLD!”

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Stray Bullets: Uber Alles Edition by David Lapham Review

Stray Bullets: Uber Alles Edition (the subtitle is German for “above all”) collects the first 41 issues of this amazing series. I’ve reviewed #1-29 as four separate volumes so this review is for #30-41 aka the fifth story arc, Hi-Jinks and Derring-Do.