Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Sunday in the Park with Boys is Jane Mai’s short comic about a time in her early 20s when she was working in a library and dealing with mental/emotional/existential problems. She likes being alone but she doesn’t want to be alone, she’s aware that she should be doing something with her life but doesn’t know what and hates that she’s standing still but can’t motivate herself to move.
A mob boss gets humiliated by The Punisher and orders a hit on him - Bullseye accepts the contract.
That’s right, it’s time for another round of the adult Marvel version of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd: Punisher (Elmer) vs Bullseye (Bugs)! And no matter how many times I see these two characters go at it, it never gets boring - it should but seeing these two lunatics battle each other is too much fun.
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
At the end of the 19th century France was consumed by an incident called The Dreyfus Affair where a man called Alfred Dreyfus was caught allegedly giving French military secrets to Germany. Robert Harris’ An Officer and a Spy, which is set directly in the aftermath of Dreyfus’ conviction, revisits the affair from the perspective of Georges Picquart, the newly appointed spymaster of French Intelligence, who discovers not only that Dreyfus was innocent but that there was a massive conspiracy behind the framing.
The Punisher is targeting mobsters - nothing new there - but, for no reason, Daredevil decides he’s had enough of Frank’s shenanigans and decides to fight him. Welcome to Daredevil vs. Punisher, the stinkiest David Lapham comic ever!
Monday, 28 March 2016
On an abandoned military base on the Pacific coast, a troubled man called Thomas has kidnapped an astronaut and tied him up. What does Thomas want and why is he doing this? To have a chat about the good ol’ days. Except for Thomas, the conversation is just beginning - and he wants to get more people involved...
Sunday, 27 March 2016
Oh girl, I’m starting to think G. Willow Wilson’s only quality work is on Ms Marvel - first that Vixen crap at DC, now “A-Force”, a ‘90s-sounding lame superhero team? Though I suppose she only co-wrote this so some of the blame goes to Marguerite Bennett.
Saturday, 26 March 2016
Wow, that SUCKED! I don’t know what it is with DC Comics but they seem to think their audience can’t get enough limb-chopping so, if that’s your thing, you are gonna love Cyborg, Volume 1: Unplugged (and no he’s not playing an acoustic session. ‘Cos his arms have been done cut off!).
Damian Wayne returned to the DC Universe in Batman & Robin, Volume 7: Robin Rises after that big brouhaha about his recent “death”. Really, DC - you couldn’t wait longer before bringing him back? I’m a Damian fan too but it kinda undermines the impact of Grant Morrison’s Batman finale - which turns out to be, inadvertently or not, actually the theme of this book.
Friday, 25 March 2016
Chester Hare is a computer programmer who’s on a deadline to get a game finished - but a cup’a coffee has other plans! Suddenly, Chester Hare is IN the computer game as a kinda hare - Chester Hare is… Bionic Battle Rabbit!
Stephen Thorn and his fiancee Catherine are broken down on the side of a dirt road when a hillbilly stops to seemingly help them out - and then murders Catherine. Ten years later Stephen’s become a bestselling nonfiction writer but he’s never moved on from his lost love. One day he hears her voice coming from a corpse - can she still be alive somehow? He sets out to find out.
Thursday, 24 March 2016
Arkon is barbarian warrior. Arkon fight! Arkon look for home – Polemachus. Arkon fight! Arkon lost on Weirdworld. Arkon fight! Arkon not find Polemachus. Arkon fight!
Matt Murdock is imprisoned on Ryker’s Island - but there’s still a Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen?! Joining Matt behind bars is Bullseye, Kingpin, and The Punisher - what could go wrong with these four in close quarters?
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Grant Morrison and Dan Mora's Klaus #4. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/klaus-4-review/
‘Cos everyyyybodyyyyy huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrtttttttttttssssssssss…. If that song were a comic, it’d be The Chairs’ Hiatus!
Mary was one half of popular indie band The Chairs but “something” happened and the band went on a break. Though she’s been keeping a low profile in a small town her former band mate Nel tracks her down and tries to reform The Chairs. But what caused their hiatus in the first place?
Monday, 21 March 2016
Youth is Wasted is a collection of short comics by Noah van Sciver taken from his series Blammo from between 2010 and 2013. And, like most anthologies, the stories are a mixed bunch in terms of quality.
The best comic here is 1999 which I’ve already read/reviewed as a standalone comic (available cheaply on Comixology - recommended!) so I won’t go into it here but I think I would’ve rated this collection higher if I hadn’t already read this.
Bruce Wayne/Batman was “killed” in Joker’s Endgame - but Gotham City can’t do without a Batman ‘cos it’s full of widdle babies! Enter Powers Corp who’ve bought up Wayne Enterprises and produced their own Mecha-Batman. And who better to step into these giant robot boots than a past-middle-aged, heavy smoker like Jim Gordon? Uh…
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Hannah’s rebel wizard dad gets into trouble at Mage University so Hannah and her fellow Rat Queens take off to help him. Nothing much happens next!
Two years ago a sexually transmitted disease turned patients into physically perfect specimens - everyone who got the STD ended up looking beautiful. Today, half the planet willingly has the disease known as The Beauty and only now are the negative side effects emerging: the beautiful people are internally combusting!
Saturday, 19 March 2016
While trying to kick a drink and drugs habit on island retreat Awkwood Rehab, wannabe-pro-musician Liam unwittingly releases his “Inner Bad” (angry, resentful memories of being bullied as a teen) which manifests itself in his reality as a giant angry kid that smashes stuff! Shy Liam must stand up to his fears once and for all to defeat the Inner Bad.
I suppose “minor spoilers ahead” but do yourself a favour and avoid this crummy novel altogether.
A dim-witted thug called Hitman Anders is taken advantage of by a receptionist and a priest as they advertise his criminal services in the papers and pocket a managerial fee. He’s sort of a PG-Hitman in that he breaks arms and legs but doesn’t kill anyone (though he has done in the past). Then one day he discovers Jesus and gives up his wicked ways. Whatever will the receptionist and the priest do for cash now? … zzz…
Friday, 18 March 2016
The Glorkian Warrior lets an alien suck his brains out because he’s a big silly billy. Then he talks to his child-friend Gonk about how his brain is in his elbow or something. They re-arrange furniture. An evil Glorkian Warrior called Buster Glark steals a box of crackers from him and… yeah, unfortunately this comic is garbage.
On the outskirts of Doomstadt, the capital city of Battleworld, the public enjoys death races featuring the Ghost Riders in the Killiseum! That’s all! Who’s gonna win? Who cares?
Ghost Racers is the kind of miniseries that would work best not as a miniseries but as a side note in a larger story. If I saw it mentioned in Secret Wars over a couple pages I’d think it was a cool detail but I wouldn’t need to know more about them. You know why? Because these guys just race. Race and fight each other. But they can’t die. No tension, no interest. But you instantly get the concept and, yes, it’s as shallow as it seems.
Thursday, 17 March 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore's The Legacy of Luther Strode #5. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/the-legacy-of-luther-strode-5-review/
Give a brain-damaged octopus a bunch of X-Men action figures and get it to tell you a story with them and it’d probably be more entertaining and make more sense than Age of Apocalypse, both the original and this Secret Wars tie-in!
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
An evil Hulk calling himself Maestro rules the Battleworld realm of Dystopia with a green fist – but an underground resistance led by the Thing plans to topple the despot.
I only read a bit of Peter David’s original Future Imperfect because I wasn’t interested enough to keep going. Hulk as a kind of barbarian king with a harem of women and a trophy room always felt like the most obvious and easy version of the character. And while that’s what we get for just under half of this newer Future Imperfect, David does enough in the second half to make this a decent comic.
Set in modern day Kiev, an elderly gardener comes to work for Igor, a lazy, unemployed young man, and his mother. Igor helps the gardener decipher his mysterious tattoo which sends the pair to the coastal Ukrainian town of Ochakov where they discover hidden secrets. But Igor finds out something else: when he puts on an old Soviet police uniform, he can travel back in time to 1957 Ochakov!
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
I knew this was going to be good from the first page:
“Kill them all.”
Garth Ennis. Darick Robertson. Nick Fury. MAX. So this is a Marvel comic that’s definitely not for the kids! It’s also fan-fucking-tastic!
Monday, 14 March 2016
In the mystical and martial arts-obsessed land of K’un Lun, the Emperor of the kingdom is selected through trial by combat in the 13 Chambers which opens every 13 years. Emperor Zheng-Zu’s rule is about to be challenged in a few days as the 13 Chambers opens once more and his estranged son, Shang-Chi, steps up to prove he is the Master of Kung Fu!
Sunday, 13 March 2016
Set in a steampunk-ish 19th century New England, two brothers, Edmund and William, create musical instruments from scrap and animal carcasses which are unsurprisingly greeted with horror by the townsfolk. They also fall in love and grow up and apart. It’s like, life and junk.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
Superhero and Justice League member Mari Jiwe/Vixen discovers her mother’s killer is still alive and sets off to Zambesi for revenge.
Yup, it’s just that straightforward for this relatively unknown DC character but I think it’s a good idea to not get too kerazy plot-wise when you’ve only got five issues to tell a story. But who the Final Crisis is Vixen? Her power is that she can say the name of an animal and temporarily gain its characteristics. Kinda like Animal Man. Exactly like Animal Man. I guess calling her “Animal Woman” was too derivative?
Friday, 11 March 2016
The city of St Barrington has two famous superheroes: Galahad, the young, social-media savvy hero with a huge following, and Nocturnus, the older, brooding superhero who lives in the shadows. The pair were once a team but had a falling out. Now, a dark secret and a mysterious villain is bringing the two together after years of estrangement – but who and why?
Thursday, 10 March 2016
Folly is a collection of short strips by obscurantist cartoonist (obscurartist?) Hans Rickheit. What is obscurantism? It’s an art style that is deliberately vague in its meaning – and, boy, does that nail Rickheit’s work!
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Bland, lifeless, comatose - all words that are far too high energy to describe AD Miller’s novel The Faithful Couple. If you think making yourself a cup of tea and then staring at a plank of wood while the tea cools before sipping it slowly is exciting, get ready for the most pulse-racing read of your life!
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
In the gamma-infected, Hulk-infested part of Battleworld known as (what else?) Greenland, the Red King is causing trouble for Emperor Doom. A gladiator version of Captain America and his Warbound, Devil Dinosaur (a red T-Rex), are dispatched to meet up with a rogue Hulk, Doc Green, to assassinate the Red King and free his hostage and Cap’s bestie, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier.
Yeah yeah yeah, I knows Johnny Boo is for the kiddles and isn’t for (supposedly) grown-up men like me but I still read it anyway. I’ve been a James Kochalka fan for years now and one thing that could definitely be called his style is the innocent, child-like look and tone of his comics whether he’s writing them for the youngs or the olds. That means that, if you’re a fan like me, you’ll always get something out of reading his comics, whatever audience he’s aiming for as they’re always pure Kochalka.
Monday, 7 March 2016
I looked forward to Gotham Academy mainly because I’m a Becky Cloonan fan who enjoyed her By Chance or Providence comics and her more recent series, Southern Cross; but I didn’t care for the series when I read the first volume. I was curious about the new Batgirl title because Cameron Stewart’s a fine artist and a decent storyteller (see Sin Titulo); but it was dreadful. The common thing tying the two titles together? The co-writer on both, Brenden Fletcher.
Sunday, 6 March 2016
Two shit tastes that taste shit together - it’s Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies!
On Battleworld there’s a region called Perfection ruled over by the Ultrons and an area called the Deadlands filled with Marvel Zombies. They’re at war because whatever the hell. Enter Hank Pym from 1872 - why 1872? Uh… He’s got to save Jim Hammond, The Vision and Wonder Man’s town of Salvation from these two dingleberry forces somehow.
Saturday, 5 March 2016
Hondo-City is the Japanese version of Judge Dredd’s Mega City One. Dredd’s Japanese stand-in? Inspector Aiko Inaba and her mentor, the Ronin Judge Shimura.
I picked this one up out of pure nostalgia. I used to read all the variations of 2000AD when I was a kid in the 90s and came across the story Babes with Big Bazookas in an issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine in 1996. Sure, the scantily-clad ladies probably cemented my memories of this comic at the time but I remember loving the art too though it’d be years before I knew the name Frank Quitely.
Adolf Hitler awakens in 21st century Berlin, his last memories being in the Fuhrerbunker 70 years earlier before the Allies broke through. Though understandably perplexed by his situation, Hitler quickly adapts and is mistaken as a Hitler impersonator, the most dedicated method actor who never breaks character. He’s put on TV where he becomes a hit politically-incorrect “comic”. Hitler once more begins his rise to power in Germany…
Friday, 4 March 2016
Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod’s Kaptara is a supposed sci-fi “comedy” that’s about as funny as watching someone die of ebola.
The series is a parody of 80s cartoons like Masters of the Universe and Thundercats though I don’t know who’s been waiting for anything like that. An astronaut called Keith crash-lands on the alien planet Kaptara after being sucked into a wormhole on his way to Mars. On Kaptara he meets character-types from the aforementioned titles as well as Smurfs parodies.
My latest review for Need to Consume was Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham's The Violent #3. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/the-violent-3-review/
In the Battleworld realm of Technopolis ruled by Baron Tony Stark, the region’s Thor, James Rhodes, must uncover the mystery of who killed Peter Urich aka Spyder-Man. But is his killer in hiding - or planning more murders?
Thursday, 3 March 2016
I thought about reviewing this the Bizarro way - one star, me hated it, etc. - but decided against it because I really liked this comic and didn’t want anyone unfamiliar with the character to think I was being sincere with my pretend-dislike. But wow, a terrific Bizarro comic - who saw that coming??
Antoine Wolfe is a paranormal detective in Holly-weird, wOooOoooOOo! There’s an anti-christ character subtly called Anita Christ, vampires, werewolves, and Lovecraftian references galore and Wolfe’s gotta do something to somehow save the world from someone!
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
I wonder how much attention DC pays to readers’ reviews - probably nowt much but they seem to have addressed two of the main complaints some people had about the first volume of Sean Ryan’s New Suicide Squad in this second book. First, there’s just the one artist throughout - Philippe Briones - as opposed to 8(!), and second, there’s just the one storyline instead of a few. Weirdly, those changes have resulted in a far inferior comic.