Sunday, 31 May 2015

Abe Sapien, Volume 5: Sacred Places Review (Mike Mignola, Scott Allie)

Wow. WHAT happened?! When did Mike Mignola start churning out such cruddy comics? Is it the demands of putting out so many comics each year for so many titles that’s finally done him in? Is Scott Allie to blame? Either way, I don’t remember disliking Mignola’s books quite this much before, especially not Abe Sapien, my second favourite character in the Hellboy universe. But. Wow. This fifth Abe book is complete and utter shit! 

The Realist by Asaf Hanuka Review

The Realist is a collection of Asaf Hanuka’s weekly strips from Israeli newspaper The Calcalist, translated into English for the first time. 

Wytches, Volume 1 Review (Scott Snyder, Jock)

Spooky spoilers ahead. Well, not really. Spooky that is.


But seriously, I do get very deep into the comic so if you’re just wondering whether I’d rec this or not, my answer is not. However if you’ve read it and want to see what I thought, carry on, though I expect it’ll be like Saga where everyone loves this and I’ll be in the corner, arms crossed, tut-tutting like a grump! 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Volume 3: Game Over Review (Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber)

Boomerang’s complex plan involving the rare portrait of Doom sans metal mask concludes - except the Sinister Six aren’t above backstabbing each other as Shocker, possessing the head of Silvio Silvermane, vies for control of the mob and the others look for ways to ditch everyone but No. 1 for a fortune. These supervillains, right?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Rocket Girl, Volume 1: Times Squared Review (Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare)

Rocket Girl is Dayoung Johansson, a 15 year old cop from the future (2013) travelling back in time to 1986 to stop evil corporation Quintum Mechanics from committing crimes against time just as they invent the world’s first time-travel machine. And, yes, she has a rocket pack! 

Savage Wolverine, Volume 4: The Best There Is Review (Jen Van Meter, Gail Simone)

Savage Wolverine, a title that only made sense in the first book because Wolverine was in the Savage Land, is now the book that’s basically a collection of “Wolverine stories set in the past because everyone in the present is pretending he’s dead”. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll Review

I’m looking through a window at some trees in the early evening, the trees becoming darker and darker, and I feel something despite myself - the DNA starts moving, remembering a time when the darkness of the trees meant danger. Emily Carroll plays off of those primal fears in the folkish horror stories of Through the Woods, which also warns “It came from the woods. Most strange things do.”

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: Guardians Disassembled Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Bradshaw)

I’m always floored when I read a Brian Bendis comic, not because they’re so good (they’re usually always average at best) but because he’s able to string together book-length “stories” with almost nothing of importance happening to anyone or even going through the trouble of constructing a plot! 

The Mercenary Sea, Volume 1 Review (Kel Symons, Mathew Reynolds)

When I’m reviewing a book I’m usually thinking of different scenes, visuals and dialogue that stood out for me; when I think about The Mercenary Sea I just want to take a nap! 

Genesis Review (Nathan Edmondson, Alison Sampson)

A Christian architect called Adam becomes frustrated with his faith and his job and decides to kill himself - but his suicidal jump off a building doesn’t kill him. Instead he awakens in a hospital bed, practically healed except for a scar. And then he discovers he has powers to mould the world according to his imagination and will - for better or worse. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

You Don't Say by Nate Powell Review

Nate Powell’s best known for being the artist on March, the ongoing autobiographical comic of civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis, though you might also know him as the author of Swallow Me Whole. You Don’t Say is a collection of his short comics from between 2004-2013, some previously published, some not, and I really want to say it’s a great book because it has some comics in here that are excellent, but I found the whole thing very uneven. 

The October Faction, Volume 1 Review (Steve Niles, Damien Worm)

So, that was the best Constantine comic I’ve read in years! 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Black Science, Volume 2: Welcome, Nowhere Review (Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera)

Black Science and Deadly Class were the two books that convinced me that reading Rick Remender wasn’t a total waste of time – and then I read the second volume of Black Science. Well… at least there’s still Deadly Class!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A-Force #1 Review (G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett)

“If women ruled the world…” - we’ve all heard variations of that sentence, right? There’d be no war, no pollution, everything would make more sense, etc. Well, Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson give us the Marvel version of what a female-led society would look like - and it’s not bad! 

HOWEVER: are you reading Secret Wars? If the answer is no (and, cards on the table, I’m one of those people as well because event comics always suuuuuck) then you might be a little lost with A-Force. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler Review

Set (and written) in the late 1930s, Charles Latimer is an English mystery novelist who learns about the roguish life of Dimitrios after he’s taken to view his corpse in the morgue. Murder, slavery, drugs, gambling, prostitutes – Dimitrios had his fingers in a lot of pies! Latimer becomes obsessed with the man’s life and decides to write a biography of the chap, following in his footsteps as he meets Dimitrios’ former criminal associates to build up a portrait of the complex figure. But Latimer’s journey gets the attention of some shady figures with their own interest in “Dimitrios”…

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Rumble, Volume 1: What Color of Darkness? Review (John Arcudi, James Harren)

I’ve been reading Hellboy and his expanded universe books for years now and, since seeing John Arcudi’s name listed as co-writer alongside Mike Mignola’s on quite a few comics, I’ve wondered how big an influence Arcudi is on Mignola’s scripts. Because Mignola can write (and of course draw) really, really good comics but he collaborates most frequently with Arcudi on BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) and, man, those books are mostly sucky! 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Bad Break by Philippe Riche Review

Bad Break starts out interestingly as a mysterious man with bandages on his face searches for his wrecked car in a scrapyard run by a blind man, who’s busy drowning kittens. In the car is his locked briefcase and heavily tattooed men with guns are after him. What’s in the briefcase and why is he being hunted for it? Sounds promising, no? 

Savage Hulk, Volume 1: The Man Within by Alan Davis Review

X-Men #66 from 1963 is included at the back of this trade but I’d recommend reading that issue before Alan Davis’ four-issue Savage Hulk arc as Davis’ comics are a sequel to what happens in that issue. A summary of X-Men #66 is: Professor X is in a coma, Banner built a device that could help him, X-Men and Hulk battle in Vegas, everything’s wrapped up neatly by the end. 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Walking Dead, Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

Writing “spoilers” for a review of the 23RD VOLUME in a series seems a bit pointless, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’re considering reading this and have read the past 22 volumes, why are you reading a review BEFORE reading the book itself? You’re gonna read it whether or not it’s good. You’ve read 22 volumes, you’re in this ‘til the bitter end like me, which means you’ve read the book and know what happened. Other people reading this review, they don’t care about spoilers, they’re probably just killing time at work. 

Bodies Review (Si Spencer, Tula Lotay)

Four detectives, four different eras, one murder victim, same MO, same location - appearing to each detective. Who killed John Bull? 

Bodies is a very tricky murder mystery to unpack and puzzle out but I will say it’s the first Vertigo book in some years that I really enjoyed. That comes with some caveats but, all said and done, it’s a fine comic. 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Winter Soldier: The Bitter March Review (Rick Remender, Roland Boschi)

The Bitter March opens in classic James Bond style with spies and henchman chasing one another on skis across snowy mountains – you can practically hear the classic theme playing! It’s 1966 and agents Nick Fury and Ran Shen are on the hunt for two Nazi scientists who’ve been kidnapped by HYDRA for their Alchemy Formula (aka the Infinity Formula that kept old Nick looking so youthful for so many decades). But the Soviets want the formula for themselves and have dispatched their most lethal agent: the mythical Winter Soldier.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Batman '66 Volume 2 Review (Jeff Parker, Ty Templeton)

Gosh darnit, old chum…

Endgame: The Calling Sampler Review (James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton)

12 meteorites crash in 12 different locations on Earth. 12 kids from 12 ancient lineages are sent in to a tournament or something to save the world. Why kids? Why only one representative from each lineage? Who cares, it’s yet another shitty Hunger Games cast-off – it’s Endgame: The Calling!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Black Widow, Volume 2: The Tightly Tangled Web Review (Nathan Edmondson, Phil Noto)

Minor spoilers ahead, I guess, so… yeah!

When she’s not avenging, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow is still doing missions on the side for money to pay off her conscience for the bad things she did way back when - but this second volume shows Nathan Edmondson’s already run this idea into the ground.

Mythic #1 Review (Phil Hester, John McCrea)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Phil Hester and John McCrea's Mythic #1. Read the full piece here:

Chrononauts #3 Review (Mark Millar, Sean Murphy)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Mark Millar and Sean Murphy's Chrononauts #3. Read the full piece here:

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet Review (Matthew K. Manning, Luciano Vecchio)

I didn’t realise this wasn’t a comic when I requested it. Superman and the Poisoned Planet is a prose novel aimed at younger readers with some full page illustrations chucked in.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Red Sonja, Volume 1: Queen of Plagues Review (Gail Simone, Walter Geovani)

While I’ve never heard of Red Sonja before, one look at the chainmail bikini and the sword tells you everything you need to know – she’s Conan the Barbarian without the Y chromosome! As for the story, there are nuances but it’s basically Red Sonja saves a kingdom from an invading army, ie. the standard fantasy hero storyline. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Return of the Living Deadpool Review (Cullen Bunn, Nik Virella)

Spoilsies for anyone who hasn’t read Night of the Living Deadpool - if that’s an issue, read that book first, then come back for this! 

Hinterkind, Volume 1: The Waking World Review (Ian Edginton, Francesco Trifogli)

Hinterkind is the uneasy spawn of Sweet Tooth and Fables, both Vertigo books that were popular so Ian Edginton decided, why not smoosh them together? … Because you get Hinterkind, that’s why! 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Adventures of Superman, Volume 1 Review (Jeff Parker, Chris Samnee)

Like Batman’s Legends of the Dark Knight, Adventures of Superman is the digital series of shorts where you can see these iconic characters wearing those famous shorts (their new 52 outfits are sans outside-pants)!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Miracleman, Book 3: Olympus Review (Alan Moore, John Totleben)

That’s it, I give up! I’ve struggled for two weeks to get through this third and final book in Alan Moore’s Miracleman trilogy and I can’t do it; it’s too depressing. I gave up on page 62, just over the halfway mark(!), but I’m going to review it anyway partly because not being able to finish the book says something about it in itself but also because the 62 pages I read were some of the worst comics pages I’ve ever read. 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Storm, Volume 1: Make It Rain Review (Greg Pak, Victor Ibanez)

Like Cyclops and Magneto, Storm is the latest X-Man to get her own solo series – and it’s not bad!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Grayson, Volume 1: Agents of Spyral Review (Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin)

If you haven’t read Forever Evil (lucky devil!) and don’t want to be spoiled, skip ahead a paragraph.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy Review (Charles Soule, Tim Seeley)

Usually the rule is that the event comic is a pile of crap while some of the tie-ins are surprisingly decent, even good. I’m not sure about the other spinoffs but The Logan Legacy tie-in to the Death of Wolverine manages to be even worse than the underwhelming main event. 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Gotham Academy, Volume 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy Review (Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher)

When the New 52 launched three and a bit years ago, one of the biggest complaints was the lack of variety in the lineup - it seemed like DC was catering solely for thirtysomething white males who only wanted to see violence and women dressed in as little clothing as possible. And of course lots and lots of Batman! 

Deadly Class, Volume 1: Reagan Youth Review (Rick Remender, Wesley Craig)

San Francisco, 1987, and Ronald Reagan has ruined Marcus’ life. Reagan’s healthcare cutbacks meant suicidal schizos were set free on the streets, and one such sufferer decides to end their life by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge - shame Marcus’ folks were directly in the drop zone! Suddenly orphaned, teenage Marcus is living on the streets when he’s approached to join a secret underground assassin’s school: the King’s Dominion School of the Deadly Arts. Marcus’ dream of assassinating Ronald Reagan begins to take solid form… 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Desolation Jones: Made in England Review (Warren Ellis, JH Williams III)

Los Angeles, the city of angels, is full of ex-spooks. Former secret government agents who’ve done, and had done to them, terrible things and are now living out their early retirement years in LA - unable to leave. Jones is one such ex-spook, a survivor of the mysterious Desolation Project in England, who also freelances as a covert detective. 

FCBD 2015: Divergence #1 Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

Happy Free Comic Book Day everybody! 

DC’s offering this year was Divergence #1, a collection of three shorts featuring their iconic trinity: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. And, true to the title, they all showcase a new direction for the titles - though some are more compelling than others, and technically the Wonder Woman one is a Justice League storyline but whatevs! 

Batman: Earth One, Volume 2 Review (Geoff Johns, Gary Frank)

The main DC universe is Earth-0, which is where most of DC’s comics take place - Earth-One is one of dozens of parallel universes within DC’s Multiverse where the characters you know and love are different. Earth-One’s Batman is much less accomplished than the regular Batman though this is an origin series so he’ll get there eventually! 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Palookaville #22 by Seth Review

Seth is back with Palookaville #22, the series that started out as regular single issue comics and has since began appearing as beautifully produced hardcovers. The latest “digest” (as he’s now taken to calling them) features Clyde Fans, Part 4: 1975, a photo essay on his wife’s business Crown Barber Shop (which he helped design), and Nothing Lasts, Part 2, a stream-of-consciousness-type memoir of his childhood. 

Nightwing, Volume 3: Death of the Family Review (Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows)

It’s Nightwing’s turn for a Death of the Family tie-in - and it might be the worst of the bunch (though I’m betting Ann Nocenti’s Catwoman ultimately scoops that prize)! 

Suicide Squad, Volume 4: Discipline and Punish Review (Ales Kot, Patrick Zircher)

I guess DC were aiming for the Fifty Shades crowd with the subtitle: “Discipline and Punish”? The only thing masochistic about Suicide Squad is that I keep reading the series even though it’s never been good, including this one!