Sunday, 31 July 2016

Swamp Thing: The Root of All Evil Review (Grant Morrison, Mark Millar)

They’re definitely not anymore but back in the 1990s Grant Morrison and Mark Millar were besties - Millar was even Morrison’s protege! - and the two wrote comics together. Comics like Swamp Thing... which turns out to be a long, long way from either writer’s best work! 

Avengers A.I., Volume 1: Human After All Review (Sam Humphries, Andre Lima Araujo)

Spinning out of Age of Ultron, this is Avengers A.I, an Avengers squad made up mostly of robots: Hank Pym, the human genius of the group who created Ultron; The Vision, an android created by Ultron; Victor Mancha, Vision’s brother; a Doombot (because why not); and a new character called Alexis. They must defeat the evil Dimitrios, a futuristic AI inhabiting an Iron Man armour!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Bedlam, Volume 1 Review (Nick Spencer, Riley Rossmo)

10 years ago Madder Red terrorised the city of Bedlam before he was stopped by superhero The First. Now, a new serial killer is in town and a reformed Madder Red decides to help the cops catch him - but does he secretly have a different agenda? 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Hellboy: House of the Living Dead Review (Mike Mignola, Richard Corben)

In 1956, Hellboy was sent to Mexico to investigate a series of mass killings – he then disappeared for five months. The first part of Hellboy’s long “lost weekend” was covered in Hellboy in Mexico (a short story that appeared in The Bride of Hell and Others) where Hellboy teamed up with luchadores (masked Mexican wrestlers) to fight vampires; the story of what Hellboy did next in those five months continues in House of the Living Dead. 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Captain America: Sam Wilson, Volume 1: Not My Captain America Review (Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna)

Hurrah, Rick Remender’s finally left Captain America! So is Nick Spencer’s series better? Nah, unfortunately it’s the same shit quality with a different writer. 

Sam Wilson is Captain America (though hopefully not for much longer) and is looking for some random granny’s grandson who’s been taken by the Sons of the Serpent. Wow, really - that was the best they could come up with?! Meanwhile, the Serpents have become a business consulting company, Serpent Solutions, in a clumsy critique of the 1%. Boredom ensues for the entirety of the book and then it’s over. 

Project Superpowers: Blackcross Review (Warren Ellis, Colton Worley)

Like last year’s Supreme: Blue Rose, Warren Ellis takes an obscure superhero title and does some weirdness with it - this is Project Superpowers: Blackcross! 

In the small town of Blackcross, a man douses himself in petrol, strikes a flame, and walks into a lake, burning. Elsewhere, bodies are found with the American flag carved into their chests and six random people feel like they’re being haunted - by superheroes?! 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

We Are Robin, Volume 1: The Vigilante Business Review (Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona)

There’s a scene in Batman: Endgame where Batman saves a kid from a Joker zombie mob - who knew THAT was the impetus behind this We Are Robin series?! Unsurprisingly, the flimsiest of premises makes for a pretty crap book. 

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli Review

I wish I was more interested in reading about science because every time I hear about a science story or read a random article in New Scientist, I’m always impressed – science is great and my knowledge of it is pitifully lacking. But when it comes to tackling even a 200 page science book, I know I’m setting myself up for a fall and I inevitably abandon it. Still, as Carlo Rovelli writes, “It is part of our nature to long to know more, and to continue to learn”, and it’s good to get out of our comfort zones and try something different, which is why I gave this book a shot – and I’m so glad I did because I loved it!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Deadpool: Monkey Business Review (Daniel Way, Carlo Barberi)

A legendary gun-for-hire is in New York City, killing targets and making Spider-Man nervous. Also Deadpool’s in town to have a team-up for shits and giggles and eat tons of hot dogs for the same reason. But if this super-assassin isn’t the Merc with a Mouth, who could it be? It’s a monkey, but not just any monkey: Hit-Monkey! 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Giant Days, Volume 3 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)

Giant Days gets political as cub reporter Ed Gemmell unearths scandal involving the Student President! As a new election brews, Susan becomes obsessed with toppling future toff Presidential Candidates – to the detriment of her relationship with McGraw. Who can rescue her from the mysterious Night World? Esther! Who can rescue Susan and Esther from the mysterious Night World? Daisy! 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Power Man and Iron Fist: The Comedy of Death Review (Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez)

The former Heroes for Hire office manager, Jennie Royce, is accused of murdering one of their old foes, Crime-Buster - but Danny Rand/Iron Fist knows she’s innocent and sets out with his new partner, Vic Alvarez/Power Man, to find out who’s framing her. 

The Sequel by RL Stine Review

Zachary Gold wrote a bestselling debut novel about a doctor who experimented with his brain and accidentally gained superpowers. Now he’s finding it hard to write a follow-up and what’s worse is a strange man is claiming his book was plagiarised from him, word for word! But that’s only the beginning of Zachary’s weird journey… 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Snotgirl #1 Review (Bryan Lee O'Malley, Leslie Hung)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung's Snotgirl #1. Read the full piece here:

The Fix, Volume 1 Review (Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber)

Want to be a successful criminal in America today? Be a cop! The public think you’re a hero, you have access to contraband and all sorts of equipment, contacts and info, and hell, these days you can even kill a black man over nothing ON CAMERA and you’ll get a paid vacation and be back on the streets in no time with zero repercussions! 

In The Fix, Roy and Mac are two crooked LA cops who’re in deep with a local mob boss and need to get something through LAX for him. The only thing standing in their way? A sniffer dog called Pretzels. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Flash: Rebirth Review (Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver)

Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, is back after sacrificing himself in Crisis on Infinite Earths more than 25 years ago – and PAUSE! Didja know that? Do you know anything about the Flash? Do you even LIKE the Flash? Because, and this is important: if you know nothing about the Flash, you will be utterly baffled with The Flash: Rebirth – this book is by a huge Flash fan for the Flash fans. If, like me, you think Flash is horribly dull and just a red dude who runs real fast, this book won’t convince you otherwise. It’s 100% fan-service. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Giant Days, Volume 2 Review (John Allison, Lissa Treiman)

The delightful saga of first year uni students Susan, Esther and Daisy continues with our heroes shopping for budget dresses to the ball, fighting the evil Shaw family in Susan’s hometown of Northampton, and Daisy helping Esther revise for her winter exams. Meanwhile, Susan and McGraw give in to their badly-hidden desire for one another while poor Ed Gemmell sees his unrequited love for Esther continue unrequited as his Gothic beloved falls for a blandly hot invigilator. And why’s Daisy suddenly using American football lingo?!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume 1 Review (James Tynion IV, Freddie Williams II)

It’s time for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover which means someone’s been fucking with a portal causing the Turtles to wind up in a different universe - it happened when they crossed over with the Ghostbusters and it’s happened again with Batman! This time Shredder and the Foot have also gone through the portal and allied themselves with Gotham City’s villains - Batman and the Turtles must team-up to defeat them because that’s what they do! 

Clean Room, Volume 1: Immaculate Conception Review (Gail Simone, John Davis-Hunt)

Chloe’s fiancé committed suicide after discovering the dark secrets of a Scientology/cult-like group called the Honest World Foundation headed by the charismatic and mysterious Astrid Mueller. Now Chloe wants answers for why her husband-to-be chose to die, what this organisation is really about… and what is the Clean Room? 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs Review (David Hine, Mark Stafford)

1690. A frozen wasteland. A departing ship of vagabonds leaving a child behind to die, the boy’s face hidden. A terrible storm that sinks the ship and all its crew leaving behind a message in a bottle - a message of a terrible injustice. A hanging corpse. A frozen mother in the snow, her baby still alive somehow. A kind man and his wolf bringing in the boy and the baby into their caravan – a new family formed. What an opening chapter! 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Drax, Volume 1: The Galaxy's Best Detective Review (CM Punk, Cullen Bunn)

Drax’s purpose in life has always been to kill Thanos for murdering his family; except he’s always been distracted with guarding the galaxy! Now that he’s on a brief respite from the team, he can finally get back to killing Thanos – that is after he solves the case of the missing kids on some random planet he’s stranded on... But THEN he’ll get around to killing Thanos… yeah, that’ll definitely happen soon…!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin Review

Set in the early 1980s for no discernible reason, a young Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson scholar called Ronald Hastie spends his summer in Paris working at the world-famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop. He meets an eccentric playboy who reveals that he not only possesses the presumed-destroyed first draft of Jekyll and Hyde but also has Stevenson’s original, unpublished manuscript, The Travelling Companion. And as Ronald learns of the true inspiration behind Jekyll and Hyde, something evil stirs within him…

The Violent, Volume 1: Blood Like Tar Review (Ed Brisson, Adam Gorham)

Ex-junkies Mason and Becky are both now clean and, with Mason recently released from prison, the two are trying to be good parents to their young daughter Kaitlyn while holding down jobs. But the cost of living in Vancouver is high, their income is low, and the temptations of the old life are always one bad day away – and bad days are coming. When Becky falls off the wagon and goes missing, Mason inadvertently loses custody of their daughter and begins the search for his wife – a search that will take him to places you can’t come back from… 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware Review

Laura Blacklock is a travel journalist given a career-boosting opportunity to cover the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise liner headed to see the Northern Lights. On her first night there she meets a mysterious woman in the cabin next to hers, cabin 10, and then later hears a scream and the sounds of a body being dumped into the sea, seeing what she thinks is blood on the neighbouring railing. Except the cabin is empty and no-one on the ship matches the woman’s description. A heavy drinker and using prescription pills for anxiety and depression, as well as dealing with the trauma of a recent home-invasion, is Laura imagining things – or is there a murderer on board? 

Batman: Imposters Review (David Hine, Scott McDaniel)

Groups of Batman and Joker fanboys – Jokerz and Guardian Batmen – battle in the Gotham streets while an imposter Joker and Batman look on. Why? Because this is a tie-in to the multiplayer first person shooter, Gotham City Imposters. 

Video game tie-ins are pretty much always crap, and Batman: Imposters is no different. Then again GCI isn’t really meant to make sense, it’s just WB cashing in on the popularity of Batman and FPS games, mashing the two together to allow players to run around Gotham shooting guns. So whoever wrote this was never going to produce anything worthwhile and it’s David Hine who’s gotten saddled with the thankless and uphill struggle of making something out of this nonsense. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Giant Days, Volume 1 Review (John Allison, Lissa Treiman)

Giant Days follows three first year students at university: Daisy, home-schooled and naive, the youngest of the group; Esther, a Goth chick who looks identical to Nemi and is getting over her recent breakup with her high-school boyfriend; and Susan, the mother of the group and a med student. In this first book, they get sick, deal with obnoxious lad students running an offensive website, and celebrate Daisy’s 18th. 

Ringside, Volume 1: Kayfabe Review (Joe Keatinge, Nick Barber)

Dan “The Minotaur” Knossos is a retired wrestler looking for his estranged ex-boyfriend Teddy, a search that takes him down into the depths of the criminal underworld…

Monday, 11 July 2016

Ms Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous Review (G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa)

8 months after the last volume…

The end of the world came and went with Secret Wars leaving Earth more-or-less the same as it was before. Also intact is G. Willow Wilson’s Ms Marvel series which thankfully remains awesome! 

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Volume 5 Review (Ron Marz, Cully Hamner)

Legends of the Dark Knight really has become the dumping ground for awful Batman stories. There’s nothing in this half-assed collection that’s worth reading by anyone, Batman fan or no. 

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Iron Man: Industrial Revolution Review (Fred Van Lente, Steve Kurth)

Iron Man Legacy was a short-lived series that explored earlier episodes in Tony Stark’s life, usually involving retcon craziness. This 2011 book, Industrial Revolution, is set in 1984 when Tony was apparently broke and living on the streets of LA, but also features the villains of 2003’s Runaways, The Pride, as well as 2005’s Illuminati – so simple! …

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Black Knight: The Fall of Dane Whitman Review (Frank Tieri, Luca Pizzari)

Dane Whitman is the Black Knight and now ruler of New Avalon on Weirdworld. But the Uncanny Avengers want to take away Dane’s sword for reasons and he doesn’t want to give up his sword. Dunce battles dunce until stupidity triumphs! 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Batman & Robin Eternal, Volume 1 Review (James Tynion IV, Tony Daniel)

Years ago Batman & Robin/Dick Grayson worked a case on a human trafficker known only as Mother who “made” children into sleeper agent assassins. Now, Dick learns Mother never went away and that Bruce actually hired her to provide him with an “heir”! But which Robin is the sleeper agent and why would Bruce do this? 

Black Widow: Kiss or Kill Review (Duane Swierczynski, Manuel García)

Black Widow’s been working a US Senator and now he’s dead. His journalist son goes hunting for answers – except Natasha’s been framed! Black Widow goes after “Black Widow” in Kiss or Kill! 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Deadpool, Volume 2: End of an Error Review (Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish)

End of an Error (I see what they did there) collects just three Deadpool issues but one of them is the massive 25th Anniversary issue so you still get a full-length volume.

Plutona Review (Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox)

With Plutona, Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox basically took Stephen King’s The Body and tweaked it slightly to make the dead body a superhero - and that’s it really! That said, while unoriginal, it’s not a terrible read.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Daredevil, Volume 1: Chinatown Review (Charles Soule, Ron Garney)

Charles Soule and Ron Garney have the difficult task of following-up Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s years-long acclaimed run on Daredevil and, unfortunately, they bungle it.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Perchance To Dream: Selected Stories by Charles Beaumont Review

Charles Beaumont was a writer on the original Twilight Zone TV show who also wrote weird/fantastic short stories which are collected in Perchance To Dream. It’s easy to see why Beaumont isn’t nearly as famous as Richard Matheson, another Twilight Zone writer, because his stories are TERRIBLE.

Invincible Iron Man, Volume 1: Reboot Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Madame Masque/Whitney Frost is stealing powerful magical relics from around the world - but why? Iron Man/Tony Stark must team up with an unlikely partner in the post-Secret Wars Doctor Doom (who looks VERY different now!) to stop her - in a swish new armour of course!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ordinary Review (Rob Williams, D'Israeli)

A single dad wakes up to find everyone in the world has superpowers - except him. 

The premise is kinda interesting but unfortunately the execution isn’t. The story becomes the Hollywood cliche of the father trying to find his son while the superpowers aren’t anything anyone who reads Marvel/DC regularly hasn’t seen before already. The ending is very rushed too with everything wrapped up too neatly given the “global chaos” that’d been unleashed just a handful of pages earlier.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Tales From Beyond Science Review (Mark Millar, Rian Hughes)

Tales From Beyond Science is an anthology of short comics that originally ran in one of 2000AD’s publications from the early ‘90s, written by Mark Millar, John Smith and Alan McKenzie and drawn by Rian Hughes. 

Planet Hulk Review (Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan)

The Illuminati banished Hulk to a remote alien planet called Sakaar far away from Earth where he would no longer have to worry about hurting anyone or being hurt back. He would finally have peace and might find happiness there. Yeah, right! Tony Stark and co. were wrong - Sakaar is ruled over by a cruel Red King who enslaves Hulk to be the star attraction in his bloodsport. But these aliens have never come across anyone quite like Hulk before… 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Catwoman, Volume 6: Keeper of the Castle Review (Genevieve Valentine, Garry Brown)

I’d have put money on Genevieve Valentine’s Catwoman being head and shoulders above Ann Nocenti’s appalling run because nothing - nothing - could be THAT bad… and I’d have lost that money - Catwoman still sucks!

In a Glass Grotesquely by Richard Sala Review

Richard Sala’s work is very uneven - for every great book he puts out (Delphine, Cat Burglar Black, Groon Grove Vampires, The Hidden) he’ll release something mediocre or crap (Mad Night, Chuckling Whatsit, Peculia, Grave Robber’s Daughter); unfortunately In a Glass Grotesquely is the latter. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Dark Night: A True Batman Story Review (Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso)

In 1993, Paul Dini was living the dream. A lifelong Batman fan, he was a writer on the landmark TV show, Batman: The Animated Series, receiving critical acclaim and working for the likes of Steven Spielberg at Warner Animation. But he wasn’t happy. A loner by nature, he had low self-esteem and was making himself miserable chasing beautiful but shallow starlets who only gave him the time of day because of his connections. And then one dark night he was brutally mugged, almost dying from the encounter. Dark Night: A True Batman Story is an autobiographical comic that explores this time in Dini’s life and what Batman meant to him in the aftermath of such injustice. 

Hillbilly #1 by Eric Powell Review

Eric Powell’s new series is set in a mythical old South filled with giant warped creatures, magical entities, and enchanted weapons. Through the gothic countryside backdrop walks Rondel, a blind man wielding the Devil’s Cleaver, accompanied by Lucille, an enormous talking bear. Together they hunt witches and such. This is Hillbilly.