Sunday, 30 October 2016

Manifest Destiny, Volume 4: Sasquatch Review (Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts)

It happens to every ongoing title sooner or later: the first crap book, and Sasquatch is Manifest Destiny’s first stinker!

The volume alternates between Lewis and Clark’s expedition in the present, 1804, and the past, 1801, where we see what happened to the previous expedition out west which left only one survivor, Captain Helm. We spend most of the book with Helm, watching his descent into madness and his group slowly dying… and that’s it. 

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Volume 1 Review (Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya)

I loved Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when I was a kid in the early ‘90s. I loved dinosaurs, robots, monsters, martial arts, weapons, magic, and somehow the Power Rangers had all of that smooshed together into each 20 minute episode! So while I don’t think much of Kyle Higgins (New 52 Nightwing, COWL) as a writer, I can’t really blame him for failing to come up with a coherent story for the new Power Rangers comic given so many bizarre elements to work with! 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Klaus Review (Grant Morrison, Dan Mora)

It’s Yuletime but there’s no seasonal respite for the put upon townsfolk of Grimsvig – the evil Lord Magnus is forcing the men to work in the coal mines on Christmas Day while the children are banned from having toys or any fun. But magic is in the air so you better not cry – Santa Klaus is coming to town! 

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet Review

I honestly feel like the requirements for getting on the Booker Prize shortlist are for the novels to: bore you to tears, make you question the very act of reading for pleasure, and make you want to strangle the author out of sheer misery - because that’s what reading His Bloody Project did to me! 

Set in the 19th century, a Scottish wanker kills some poor Scottish bastards and goes on trial. That’s the story. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler Review

Nowhere were the 1920s more roaring than in Berlin - cocaine and morphine were available over the counter and cheaper than alcohol, and everyone was escaping reality, particularly since life in the Weimar Republic, with its mass unemployment and hyperinflation, was such a nightmare! Then these drugs started to be outlawed for obvious reasons (physical/mental health damage, addiction, death, etc.) and the Nazis came to power in 1933, supposedly ushering in an era of abstinence and sobriety, mirroring their Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Wonder Woman '77 Volume 1 Review (Marc Andreyko, Drew Johnson)

Following the success of the Jeff Parker-helmed Batman ‘66 comics based on the iconic Adam West TV show, this is the comics version of the 1970s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series, Wonder Woman ‘77 - though unfortunately it’s nowhere near as good as Batman ‘66. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I Hate Fairyland, Volume 2: Fluff My Life Review (Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu)

There’s a minor spoiler early on in the review, if you care about that sort of thing. Non-spoiler review? It was a’ight. 

Ok, onto the not very spoilery review! 

Giant Days: Year One by John Allison Review

Suffering from Giant Days withdrawal, I was delighted to discover Giant Days: Year One exists! The book is three self-published comics, the first from 2011 and the others from 2013, written and drawn by John Allison which paved the way to Boom picking it up and turning it into an ongoing. And of course it’s great! 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6 Review (Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello)

The fight back against Quar and the Kandorians begins as the Kryptonite rain falls! 

The Master Race #6 is an ok issue for the Kandorians getting their arrogant butts handed to them alone, but there’s a few stupid storytelling choices made along the way that irritated me.

Head Lopper, Volume 1: The Island, or A Plague of Beasts Review (Andrew MacLean, Mike Spicer)

The Isle of Barra is menaced with hideous monsters and a dark sorcerer who wants to kill the Queen – enter the white-haired barbarian Norgal the Head Lopper and his severed talking head, Agatha Blue Witch, who’s hired to save the kingdom! Hello, Generic Fantasy Plot? We need to recycle you for this book! 

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Adventures of Tintin: King Ottokar's Sceptre by Herge Review

King Ottokar’s Sceptre is one of only two Tintin books I surprisingly never read as a kid (the other being In the Land of the Soviets) and, having read it now, I can say I didn’t miss out on anything back then!

Spidey, Volume 1: First Day Review (Robbie Thompson, Nick Bradshaw)

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know the Spider-Man origin through and through?! Of course there are. There are kids appearing all the time, totally fresh Marvel fans-to-be, who have never read a Spider-Man comic but want to know where to start. And don’t you dare tell them to go back to the beginning and read the 1960s Stan Lee comics because that’ll kill any interest they might have!

The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf Review

Riad starts school in Syria while his mother demands modern appliances for their flat, sending her husband to the city to buy a washing machine and gas stove. Riad’s father begins making connections with important officials and plans for his family’s luxury villa… 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Doctor Strange Volume 2: The Last Days of Magic Review (Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo)

The Empirikul have purged the other dimensions of magic - now it’s the Marvel Universe’s turn! With the Sorcerer Supreme already weakened, Doctor Strange faces an uphill battle to save magic from dying - but he’s not alone. The final battle between magic and science is about to begin… 

Tyler Cross: Black Rock Review (Fabien Nury, Bruno)

Tyler Cross is hired to rip-off 20 kilos of smack from rival gangsters. He becomes the sole survivor of the botched and bloody theft and makes it away with most of the heroin to Black Rock, a small mining town on the Texas/Mexico border. While he quietly tries to make contact with his employer, the corrupt town officials find out who he is and what he’s got – will he manage to survive with the drugs once again?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin Review

I thought Jeffrey Toobin’s The Obama White House and the Supreme Court would be about any conflict between the President and the Supreme Court with the focus on the most controversial policy of the last eight years, Obamacare. Instead, most of this short is about Chief Justice Roberts’ botched Presidential Oath at the 2009 inauguration – what an uninteresting subject to write about! 

Insider Baseball by Joan Didion Review

Insider Baseball is a selection of pieces from Joan Didion’s book Political Fictions. It’s about her time on the 1988 campaign trail as she followed the Democratic nomination battle which led to Michael Dukakis becoming the candidate to lose against George HW Bush. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Username: Evie Review (Joe Sugg, Amrit Birdi)

Joe Sugg is a YouTuber whose videos I never saw until after reading his utterly craptastic comic, Username: Evie, but it turns out that he makes unwatchable videos as well as unreadable books!

Ghost Rider, Volume 3: Apocalypse Soon Review (Daniel Way, Mark Texeira)

Johnny Blaze the Ghost Rider briefly suspends his campaign of hunting down all of Lucifer’s avatars to fight Hulk in New York!

Apocalypse Soon is a short one at three issues, two of which are World War Hulk tie-ins. Ghost Rider battles Hulk, there’s plenty of big ‘splosions as the Rider’s chains rips a plane in half, carries a train, and topples a skyscraper - who knew it was that powerful?! But it’s lots of noise over nothing - Johnny rides off in the end and Hulk is fine. Meh. 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Reborn #1 Review (Mark Millar, Greg Capullo)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Mark Millar and Greg Capullo's Reborn #1. Read the full piece here:

The Punisher, Volume 1: On the Road Review (Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon)

A new drug is about to hit the market turning its users into killing machines – time for Frank Castle to shoot alla the mobsters trying to sell it!

Becky Cloonan teams up with Frank’s greatest artist, Steve Dillon, for her first Punisher story, On the Road. Dammit Cloontang, why’d it have to suck!? 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Black Panther: The Complete Collection, Volume 1 Review (Christopher Priest, Mark Texeira)

I bought this one (thankfully on sale, heavily marked down) three and a half months ago and I’ve since managed to read 202 pages out of 383. That’s after numerous times of stop-start reading, forcing myself on, and I’ve only just now passed the halfway mark! This is a Marvel comic, not War and fucking Peace and yet I’ve read 600 page novels in shorter timeframes! Well, no more - I give up here and won’t torture myself with the remaining 180 pages of this absolute rubbish. 

Moon Knight, Volume 1: Lunatic Review (Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood)

Everyone knows Marc Spector is that crazy superhero Moon Knight – or do they? What if Moon Knight has been a delusion only existing in Marc’s troubled mind and he’s been locked up in the loony bin the entire time?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Omega Men: The End Is Here Review (Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda)

Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda’s The Omega Men: The End Is Here is basically the Second Iraq War... in Spaaaaaaaace! 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter Review

A Ted Hughes scholar and his two young boys grieve over the death of their wife/mother. Enter some magical realism! A Crow appears and hangs out with the sad family as they deal with their loss. 

Batman: Death Mask by Yoshinori Natsume Review

The Japanese are in town and someone’s slicing off people’s faces. Are the two connected? Yes. Time for a slightly mad billionaire to take on the foreigners - Trump Batman to the rescue! 

About the only noteworthy thing about this one is the way Yoshinori Natsume’s drawn Batman: he’s accentuated his dong AND given him a banana hammock to wear! It’s so funny to see Dirk Diggler Batman swinging into action.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Rocket Raccoon & Groot, Volume 1: Tricks of the Trade Review (Skottie Young, Filipe Andrade)

Set eight months after the end of Secret Wars (even though that detail turns out to be irrelevant), the Guardians think Rocket and Groot are dead for some reason but they’re not - Groot’s doing some kind of Memento tribute and Rocket’s ruling over an alien planet?? Oh boy… 

The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf Review

This is the first part of Riad Sattouf’s childhood memoirs, The Arab of the Future, and it is superb! With a Syrian father and French mother, the small family travels across Europe as his father gets work as an associate professor in Tripoli, Libya, during Gaddafi’s reign, before briefly jumping to Brittany, France, and ending up in nightmarish Syria under Hafez al- Assad.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Cannibal #1 Review (Jennifer Young, Brian Azzarello)

My latest review for Need to Consume was Jennifer Young, Brian Buccellato, and Matias Bergara's Cannibal #1. Read the full piece here:

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

Sabretooth: Open Season Review (Daniel Way, Bart Sears)

Almost all of the people of a small town on the shores of Lake Superior have been viciously murdered - and Sabretooth has been spotted hanging around. Has Wolverine’s nemesis gone too far this time… or is there something else more dangerous lurking in the wintry wilderness…?

Bloodshot Reborn, Volume 4: Bloodshot Island Review (Jeff Lemire, Mico Suayan)

Bloodshot wakes up on a tropical island with no memory of how he got there – no, he wasn’t on a stag do! Before he can even contemplate bronzing up that alabaster-white skin and downing some tropical drinks with tiny umbrellas, he’s quickly on the run after being shot at by Deathmate, a flying Angel of Death! He’s also not alone – meet the Bloodshot Squad, made up of earlier Bloodshot prototypes who’re also being used as moving targets! But who is Deathmate and can Bloodshot and co. survive the island and escape? 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Ultimates: Omniversal, Volume 1: Start with the Impossible Review (Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort)

The Ultimates are: Black Panther, Captain Marvel (aka Colonel Carol Danvers - so she demotes herself whenever she becomes a superhero?!), Ms America, Spectrum, The Blue Marvel, and… Galactus?! Together they solve the cosmic problems of the universe no other superhero team supposedly can.

The Ultimates is another garbage Al Ewing Marvel comic. Why do they keep putting him on team books? He can’t write them! His New Avengers and Contest of Champions books are terrible and his Ultimates is only marginally better. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Shipwreck #1 Review (Warren Ellis, Phil Hester)

Dr Jonathan Shipwright is dead. He was a civilian scientist in a top secret experimental plane that crashed. So why he is walking around? And where the hell is he?! Jonathan doesn’t know what’s going on but he knows the plane was sabotaged and he’s going to get the culprit. So begins his bizarre odyssey into this dangerous new world.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Tales of the Cosmos Review (Jason Latour, Robbie Thompson)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Tales of the Cosmos collects the backups from the Guardians of Infinity series, all of which suck! 

The ever-cliched-catchphrase-spoutin’ Thing wrestles some aliens then shows Groot round Yancy Street (sigh - this guy is such a joke), Venom and Human Torch hang out, Rocket and Kitty fight a Skrull, Gamora and Kitty fight some Chitauri - you get the idea, these are forgettable, disposable stories. 

March Book Three Review (John Lewis, Nate Powell)

I swear I’m not doing this to be “contrarian” or any of that bullshit, I’m just being honest. Don’t take my less-than-stellar rating to mean that I’m racist and against equal rights or think little of the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement. I know most of you aren’t that dumb but, y’know, this is Internetland, where stupidity knows no limit!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Gunsmith Cats, Volume 1: Burst by Kenichi Sonoda Review

Rally Vincent runs a Chicago gun shop called Gunsmith Cats though it’s more of a hobby - she makes her real money as a bounty hunter! Burst is apparently the second run of Gunsmith Cats after its first run in the early ‘90s. And it’s also a boring, boring and really boring manga!

Ghost Rider, Volume 1: Vicious Cycle Review (Daniel Way, Mark Texeira)

Johnny Blaze the Ghost Rider is still in Hell being tormented by demons – that is until he meets someone who can help him escape back to Earth! But all is not as it seems…

Vicious Cycle wasn’t bad but I’m getting a bit sick of storylines where Ghost Rider 1) is stuck in Hell, and 2) gets easily tricked by supernatural creatures into unwittingly doing whatever for them. Johnny’s really coming off as a braindead dolt who kinda deserves his repetitive punishment! 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Grizzlyshark Review (Ryan Ottley, Ivan Plascencia)

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… In a world where sharks live in the forest and terrorise tourists, two hicks called Carl and Jonbobby, along with Seabear (because bears live in the sea in this kerazy topsy-turvy world), will take it upon themselves to rid the world of the Grizzlyshark infestation of the National Parks! 

Ghost Rider: The Road to Damnation Review (Garth Ennis, Clayton Crain)

A couple of scheming angels free Johnny Blaze the Ghost Rider from Hell to stop a powerful demon, Kazann, from doing something evil on Earth before a couple of Heaven and Hell bounty hunters - Ruth the Archangel and Hoss the demon tracker-scout - do. It’s a race against time full of vagueness and half-baked ideas! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Superman, Volume 2: Return to Glory Review (Gene Luen Yang, Howard Porter)

After being blackmailed by social media villain Hordr, the world knows Superman is Clark Kent who is now on the run and depowered. Which of course means he has to become a wrestler! Oh man… 

Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm MacDonald Review

Norm MacDonald’s book Based on a True Story is a nonfiction memoir. And I am Batman, aka The Dark Knight, protector of Gotham City. Yup, neither statement is true!

Maybe he thinks his life isn’t that interesting or that it’s funnier to do it this way, but Norm has framed his memoir/debut novel with a story that resembles a cross between Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Ocean’s 11! He writes himself as a scheming conman and morphine and gambling addict, determined to borrow a million bucks from crooks, turn it into multi-millions at the casinos, and retire to a ranch. Norm MacDonald by the way is a Canadian stand-up comic best known for his stint on Saturday Night Live as the Weekend Update anchor. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Superman: Rebirth #1 Review (Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke)

Despite advertising itself as a fresh start I think Superman: Rebirth #1 is gonna be a confusing issue for new readers to jump on with, continuing as it does Peter Tomasi’s story from The Final Days of Superman. To catch those people up: New 52 Superman is dead, Superman Prime (a pre-New 52 Superman) is somehow back and, together with Lana Lang, they set about bringing New 52 Superman back to life. 

The Walking Dead, Volume 26: Call To Arms Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

In The Walking Dead, Volume 26: This Will Never End Call To Arms, Robert Kirkman does the inevitable on a couple of long-standing obvious plot-points! Eugene makes contact with a new group via his ham radio, Rick grows more as a leader and the settlements are preparing for war against the Whisperers. But the major development is Negan finally getting free and making his way to the Whisperer’s camp…