Sunday, 31 January 2016

Invincible, Volume 2: Eight Is Enough Review (Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker)

Teen superhero Mark Grayson/Invincible is called upon to protect the Earth from an aggressive alien - but what does it really want? Elsewhere something terrible happens to the Guardians of the Globe. But that’s not all - Mark’s gotta look at prospective colleges to go to while helping his friend Eve through a personal upset. Gee whizz it sure ain’t easy being a superhero! ... zzz… 

The Flowers of Evil, Volume 1 by Shuzo Oshimi Review

Kasuga is a schoolboy obsessed with Saeki, his classmate. One day after school he spies her gym clothes at the back of the empty classroom and steals them - but bad girl Nakamura saw him and is gonna blackmail him with his dirty secret! 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Rasputin, Volume 2: The Road to the White House Review (Alex Grecian, Riley Rossmo)

Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo’s alternate take on the life of Rasputin comes to an end in this second and final book, The Road to the White House. It picks up towards the end of WW1, just before the revolution, and, if you’re already familiar with Rasputin’s real history, you’ll know he was shortly murdered thereafter. But in this version, weirder things happen and events conspire to send him across the pond to the capitalist utopia that is America.

The Circle by Dave Eggers Review

(Some minor spoilsies ahead.) 

Mae gets her dream job of working at the world’s premier tech/internet firm, The Circle (think a conglomeration of Google/Facebook/Apple)! But after she begins working there she discovers the corporation has far wider and more sinister ambitions than she realised – they want complete surveillance everywhere, all the time. They want the world to become transparent. They want to close the circle… 

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Owner’s Manual to Terrible Parenting by Guy Delisle Review

The Owner’s Manual to Terrible Parenting is the third book in Guy Delisle’s series of humorous sketches as a “bad” parent after A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting and Even More Bad Parenting Advice - and unfortunately the schtick is starting to get old. It’s still enjoyable, it just feels a little played out at this point. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Volume 8: Lake of Fire Review (Mike Mignola, Tyler Crook)

Fuuuucking hell, this is such a needless volume! Liz is convalescing in hospital, a crazy doctor’s reanimating dead animals and Fenix camps out in the Salton Sea where dirty hippies are worshipping a Kaiju egg or something because they’re morons. Anything else? Nope! So basically a whole book full of, at best, sub-plots! 

Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 4: The Last Days of Midgard Review (Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic)

This one’s the last of Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder series but, because Marvel’s numbering isn’t at all confusing, it’s not his last Thor book so there’s no need to get all misty-eyed, Hammerheads! After this follows the two Goddess of Thunder volumes, one volume of Thors (a Secret Wars tie-in so you know it’s quality) and then the numbering goes back to #1 again for a relaunch of The Mighty Thor, which is the current ongoing Thor title. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Invisible Republic, Volume 1 Review (Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko)

In the 29th century, Earth is a distant memory. The human race has left (been forced to leave?) the planet and terraformed moons and created space stations to live on. In the dying days of a regime, Croger Babb, a reporter, stumbles across the journal of a woman called Maia Reveron written 42 years previously. She’s the forgotten cousin of the rebel leader Arthur McBride whose entries reveal a dark side to the adulated man. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Silver Surfer, Volume 3: Last Days Review (Dan Slott, Mike Allred)

Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, finds a new planet for the six billion souls he made sort of homeless in the last book in this third and final volume of the latest run of the title. But will Dawn Greenwood forgive him for keeping his past as Galactus’ herald from him (she must’ve been the only one in the universe who didn’t know that!)? 

Monday, 25 January 2016

Suiciders, Volume 1 Review (Lee Bermejo, Matt Hollingsworth)

“The Big One” has finally happened - a massive earthquake that has destroyed Los Angeles. Thirty years later, the city has become a nation unto itself, divided between New Angeles (the haves) and Lost Angeles (the have nots) after seceding from the union. In this brutal new landscape, a bloodsport called Suiciders has become enormously popular. Two heavily biologically and technically modified fighters battle to the death in an arena filled with lethal traps. One man is the people’s champion - the Saint of Suicides - but a new challenger rises from the huddled masses: Straniero. Which man will win? Let’s get rrready to ruuummmmmbbblle!!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Moon Knight, Volume 3: In the Night Review (Cullen Bunn, Ron Ackins)

The latest Moon Knight run comes to an end as yet another new creative team takes over - this time it’s Cullen Bunn writing and Ron Ackins, Steven Sanders, and German Peralta drawing. 

The first couple chapters are standalone short stories. Marc Spector/Moon Knight fights some evil ghostbusters who’re turning spirits into expensive novelty gifts, before taking down a bitter dude who’s training large dogs to attack the wealthy for being wealthy. It’s nothing very memorable. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

American Monster #1 Review (Brian Azzarello, Juan Doe)

A pair of thugs invade the home of a wealthy couple, taking them prisoner. Elsewhere, a badly-burned veteran appears in a small town carrying mad stacks of cash. What does it all mean? This is American Monster. 

Ultraman, Volume 1 Review (Eiichi Shimizu, Tomohiro Shimoguchi)

In Japan, Ultraman is almost as much of an institution as Godzilla which makes sense as they both featured guys in cheap monster outfits fighting each other while smashing cardboard cities (both were also created by Eiji Tsuburaya whose one idea in life was “let’s film guys in cheap monster outfits fighting each other while smashing cardboard cities”)!

Friday, 22 January 2016

One Punch-Man, Volume 1 Review (One, Yusuke Murata)

One Punch-Man is about a superhero who can, yes, defeat enemies with one punch. It’s also intended to be that stupid because it’s a parody of martial arts manga like Dragon Ball, etc.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Southern Cross, Volume 1 Review (Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger)

Mining’s a tough gig - especially on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons! But Amber Braith didn’t die in a mining accident - she was an administrator. How did Amber die? Her sister, Alex, sets out on the space tanker Southern Cross to claim her sister’s remains and find out for herself what happened. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 Review (Amy Chu, Clay Mann)

Like Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy/Pamela Isley is another female Batman villain who’s been given her own title because she’s apparently a good person now. And, also like Harley, the creators behind Ivy aren’t quite sure what to do with her.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Justice League United, Volume 1: Justice League Canada Review (Jeff Lemire, Mike McKone)

If you thought New 52 Justice League International was the most woeful team book DC could come up with, don’t look now - it’s Justice League United! (Am I the only one who thought this was a superhero football team when they first heard the title? It’d be so much better if it was!) 

Batman: Li'l Gotham, Volume 2 Review (Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs)

The word “seasonal” needs to be somewhere in the title of this series because for whatever reason Li’l Gotham’s mostly centred around public holidays! 

I read the first volume a couple years ago and thought it was novel to mix in seasonal comics with chibi versions of Batman and his world. The stories were fun too and I quite liked that first book. The second one though? Not at all. Maybe it’s because writers Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs have gone the usual sequel route and unimaginatively rehashed the first book’s content or maybe the stories themselves are just that much worse, but yikes, Li’l Gotham Volume 2 stinks! 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Volume 1 Review (Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver)

Well that was surprising – a Wonder Woman book that was really good! Sensation Comics Volume 1 is a collection of short stories featuring Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, the most iconic female superhero of them all and, astonishingly for an anthology, there wasn’t a crap story in the mix! 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Vertigo CMYK Review (Fabio Moon, Jeff Lemire)

CMYK stands for (C)yan, (M)agenta, (Y)ellow and Blac(K), the four colours that were the basic building blocks of comic book colouring. This anthology of original short comics from Vertigo showcases the range of comics stories from established creators and new talents across its four colour-themed sections. 

I’d hoped this book would be a step towards Vertigo reclaiming its indie comics crown that it lost years ago to Image. Maybe with the focus on new talent Vertigo are making a connection between the basic colours and them, a sort of foundation for the future of comics? Unfortunately CMYK is quite a crap collection. There are 36 stories in this nearly 300 page book so rather than try to touch on them all, I’ll just mention the ones I enjoyed. 

Think Like a Freak Review (Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt)

If I changed the title to “Think Outside the Box” you’d probably have a good idea of what to expect from this book - and you’d be right! 

Granted I’ve not read Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt’s other “Freak” books, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, but I suspect they’re just more of what’s contained in Think Like a Freak. Hey, if it ain’t broke, right? 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 Review (Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya)

I used to love Power Rangers when I was a kid - but then I turned 12 years old and lost interest for good (though last year’s dark’n’gritty fan-film starring Dawson’s Creek was surprisingly cool). Now it’s a comic by writer Kyle Higgins (Nightwing) and artist Hendry Prasetya which isn’t that bad.

Broken Telephone Review (Ryan Estrada)

A kid in an airport bathroom stall who overhears a murder. A girl in an Indian call-centre. A wanted man on the run. A riot in a prison. An American ambassador and a Russian Minister of Justice negotiating on a plane. A pair of political activists. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Secret Wars Review (Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic)

The Multiverse is doomed. 

All worlds have collided and been obliterated except for Earth-616 (the “main” Marvel universe) and Earth-1610 (the Ultimates universe) – until now. In the wake of the end of the world, a new planet appears: Battleworld. It’s ruler? Doom. Welcome to Secret Wars. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

B.P.R.D, Volume 8: Killing Ground Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)

Darryl the Wendigo is brought into BPRD HQ for some reason and then somehow escapes his cell. Shortly after, mutilated corpses start appearing everywhere. BPRD are baffled. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Superman: American Alien #3 Review (Max Landis, Joelle Jones)

Twentysomething Clark Kent wins a Caribbean holiday but something goes wrong on the way there and his small plane crashes into the sea. Luckily, Bruce Wayne’s yacht is nearby to pick up him and his pilot – and then Clark’s mistaken for Bruce!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less Review (C. Spike Trotman, Diana Nock)

Poorcraft is an edumacational comic for completely clueless people to help live within your means. It covers things like creating a financial budget, prioritising your income so that essential bills are paid first (rent/mortgage/loans/car payments), to teaching yourself to cook, finding the right place to live and how to furnish it, to keeping yourself fit and healthy, as well as avoiding modern financial pitfalls like advance payday loans. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Batman: Blink Review (Dwayne McDuffie, Val Semeiks)

Lee Hyland is a blind grifter with a superpower: when he touches you, he can see through your eyes for a time. He uses this ability to spy on his marks until they take a look at a bank statement and then he uses that info to clean them out. That is until one day his latest mark kidnaps and murders a woman, inadvertently getting Lee involved with the mob - Batman to the rescue! 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel Review

Yann Martel’s latest novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, is crap. 

It’s split into three sections set at different points of the twentieth century: 1904, 1938, and sometime in the early 1980s. Each section is set in rural Portugal and features a chimp at crucial points of the three stories. Also, I have no idea what the point of this novel is! 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Silver Surfer, Volume 2: Worlds Apart Review (Dan Slott, Mike Allred)

Yaaaayyyy, the purple-hatted one returns! It had to happen, you can’t have a Silver Surfer series without an appearance from Galactus before long, even if the Surfer is no longer his herald. 

So in this second volume, Norrin and Dawn fall in love (of course) but without him telling her of his past as the guy who led the Devourer of Worlds to claim untold numbers of lives/planets - and women always find these things out, Norrin! 

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Fade Out, Volume 3: Act Three Review (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips)

“The past is a knife…”

Though Charlie and Gil edge ever nearer to uncovering the murderer of starlet Val Sommers, with the studios owning the papers and the police, any attempt at revealing the truth would be futile and mean destruction for the pair – unless they destroy each other first!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

James Bond #1 Review (Warren Ellis, Jason Masters)

A James Bond comic written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Batman artist Jason Masters – of course it’s good! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Swamp Thing #1 Review (Len Wein, Kelley Jones)

Swamp Thing co-creator Len Wein returns to his character for a new run with artist Kelley Jones in a throwback to older comics that DC’s elderly (guys in their 40/50s) audience are sure to enjoy! Younger readers who aren’t fanboys though are probably gonna be pretty bored with this one. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

B.P.R.D, Volume 7: Garden of Souls Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)

Abe discovers just how insane his past was when he’s drawn to a remote Indonesian island with Daimio in tow. Victorian England, living Egyptian mummies, steampunk robots, a monster island, and a fiendish and utterly deranged plot to save the world through destruction and living Hyperborean vessels - oy, what an awesome comic! 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Ant-Man, Volume 1: Second-Chance Man Review (Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas)

Scott Lang is divorced, jobless, and middle-aged in a ruthless job market full of younger, more qualified people who don’t have a criminal record. More than anything though he wants to be a good dad to his teenage daughter Cassie, so he goes for the job of head of security at Tony Stark’s company to get back on his feet. Except that’s the start of Ant-Man’s BIG problems, wha whaaaa!

The Movement, Volume 1: Class Warfare Review (Gail Simone, Freddie E. Williams II)

Coral City’s riddled with corrupt cops, politicians and developers all preying on the little guy - but the people are mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore! So a small group of superpowered young people are gonna hold a couple cops hostage and…?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

B.P.R.D, Volume 4: The Dead Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)

Wow, it’s been so long, I’d forgotten how good BPRD used to be - and of course I had to go back to the start to remind myself (the current series is awful)!

The Dead is the book where the BPRD relocates to the now-familiar Colorado base - but it’s haunted! Liz, Johann and Roger meet Daimio for the first time and figure out how to exorcise the demons of their new home. Meanwhile Abe uncovers his mysterious past and visits his old house - which is also haunted (it's a horror comic, everything's haunted)! Abe’s gotta make peace with his ghost wife. 

Before Enigma: The Room 40 Codebreakers of the First World War by David Boyle Review

Following the success of his last nonfiction Kindle Single on Alan Turing and the Enigma machine, David Boyle returns to the field of wartime codebreaking with Before Enigma. This time the focus is on World War One and how the Bletchley Park in World War Two that Turing was part of came to be. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1 Review (Charles Soule, Marco Checchetto)

Thanks to a massive shipping cock-up, you can buy Marvel’s comics intended for next Weds 6 January, today on New Year’s Day! And if your local comics shop isn’t one of those who got sent their Marvel comics a week early, they’re available on Comixology and Amazon (same company, different names) right now! 

The 10 Most Anticipated Comics of 2016

There’s some interesting comics coming out this year, some delayed from last year, some planned for 2016, some that might not even come out this year still! Anyway, these are just the tip of what 2016 has to offer for comics fans.