Friday, 31 March 2017

Giant Days, Volume 6 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)

In Giant Days Volume 6, the girls deal with a burglary, a disastrous dinner party and a cranky old neighbour. Also, Susan gets sick and is nursed back to health by her pops Big Geoff, Esther gets a job at the local comics shop, and Daisy gets her first girlfriend, the wild and crazy German student Ingrid! 

X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever Review (Max Bemis, Michael Walsh)

Bailey is an ordinary high school kid who doesn’t fit in anywhere - until he discovers he’s really a mutant and belongs in the X-Men! Except his power is to explode. Once. And he can’t re-form, he just dies. He’s basically a suicide bomber who doesn’t need to strap on any explosives. So.... pretty much a worthless mutant power. Worst X-Man Ever! 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Shadowman, Volume 2: Darque Reckoning Review (Justin Jordan, Patrick Zircher)

Deadman cosplayer Master Darque wants to (sigh) take over the world – Shadowman to the rescue! …

Shadowman, Volume 2: Darque Reckoning loses the momentum set by the really good first book, instead delivering a vague and uninteresting story.

Daredevil, Volume 4: Underboss Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

A young upstart mobster makes an assassination attempt on the recently blinded Kingpin while mercenaries are targeting Daredevil – mercs who somehow know that he’s secretly Matt Murdock!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose Review (Marjorie Liu, Daniel Acuna)

What a fucking mess - I read this twice and I still don’t know what it’s about!

Natasha Romanova is Black Widow, a once-evil spy turned good superhero. Someone’s trying to kill her for reasons. Ok… She’s also done a Batman and has been collecting secret information on her superhero buddies – why? So she can sell it. Really? Or is she just being framed? No clue. Probably the latter though. She was also born in the 1920s – how is she still looking 30 then?! She also had a stillborn baby during WW2 or something – why was that detail important??? There’s a guy called Imus who can transfer his mind into robots to fight Natasha, no idea why, someone called Sumi and someone else called Maki are also “characters” apparently.

Yeah: an absolute fucking mess! But then Marjorie Liu never writes great comics. Daniel Acuna’s painted art is fantastic but damned if I know or care what Black Widow: The Name of the Rose was about!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Volume 1: Believe It Review (Christopher Hastings, Gurihiru)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a character get their own series off the back of a variant cover before but that’s what happened with Gwenpool! She originally appeared on a Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars variant cover by Chris Bachalo as a mashup between Gwen Stacey (popular at the time as Spider-Gwen) and Deadpool. Fans liked it and wanted more so Marvel obliged - and it’s fantastic?! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Red Skull: Incarnate Review (Greg Pak, Mirko Colak)

Red Skull: Incarnate is the story of how Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull, came to be involved with the Nazis. Starting in 1923 with Hitler’s failed Beerhall Putsch, we follow Johann’s brutal young life through the hyperinflation of the 1920s to the Nazis’ increasing violence against the Jews and rival parties culminating in the burning of the Reichstag and Hitler’s rise to Fuhrer – with Johann at his side. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Amazing Spider-Man/Inhumans/All-New Captain America: Inhuman Error Review (Jeff Loveness, Luca Pizzari)

(Minor spoilsies ahead.) 

A floating bird city appears above Manhattan to destroy New Attilan. Surprising how populated New York is in the Marvel Universe with so much destructive superhero bullshit happening there on a regular basis!

John Constantine: Hellblazer, Volume 13: Haunted Review (Warren Ellis, John Higgins)

Ugh, be careful what you wish for, eh? I thought a Warren Ellis-scripted Hellblazer would be a chicken dinner but it proved to be much too bitter for my taste.

Batman: Officer Down Review (Greg Rucka, Chuck Dixon)

Jim Gordon gets shot three times in the back on his birthday – Gothamites party hardcore! Catwoman’s at the scene of the crime. Whodunit - and whydunit?! 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Daredevil, Volume 3: Wake Up Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack)

Daredevil and Leap Frog tangle on a rooftop and now Leap Frog is gone. A traumatised kid holds the key – can Ben Urich get him to talk about what he saw? 

Dr Slump, Volume 1 by Akira Toriyama Review

It’s weird that I’ve never read anything else by Akira Toriyama considering Dragon Ball might be my favourite comic ever. So I picked up the first volume of Dr Slump, the series he did before Dragon Ball, annnnddd… it’s ok but definitely not of the same quality.

Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa Review

A farmer, his wife and their young son live an idyllic life on their farm in the country. Until one day three ominous horsemen appear in the hills, getting closer to the house every day. They’ve come for the boy. So begins a desperate game of cat and mouse as the farmer tries to save his son from his fate, running from the horsemen across land and sea - but can anyone outrun Death?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Batman: Absolution Review (J.M. DeMatteis, Brian Ashmore)

A terrorist bombs one of Bruce Wayne’s buildings and goes on the run. Batman chases her for years, eventually catching up to her in India where she’s trying to make up for her crimes by helping poor people. Cliché? Yup. Garbage comic? You betcha! 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Hyperion: Daddy Issues Review (Chuck Wendig, Nik Virella)

(Note: this review was put through the Ultimate Sarcastic-o-Meter machine before being posted - extraordinarily high levels of sarcasm are to be found in every line!)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Titans, Volume 1: The Return of Wally West Review (Dan Abnett, Brett Booth)

ARRRGH!!! WHY, why does (practically) every Rebirth book have to be so bad!? T’ain’t fair I tells ya (sobs)! Oh my god… alright, let’s do it again!

Monday, 13 March 2017

120 Days of Simon by Simon Gardenfors Review

Swedish cartoonist Simon Gardenfors comes up with the kind of gimmicky book concept Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace used to do back in the day: he sets up a website where strangers can sign up to offer him food and shelter for a night. He’ll travel around Sweden for 120 days staying with different people every night. The 120 Days of Simon is his account of the experiment - and it’s an ok comic. 

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut Review

Opening in 1960, former Nazi Howard W. Campbell Jr. is sitting in a Jerusalem jail awaiting trial (a la Adolf Eichmann did in real life) for his part in the Third Reich’s crimes as a radio propagandist - except he was really an American double agent, sending coded messages to the Allies through his broadcasts. But is he a hero for working to defeat Hitler or damned for furthering the Nazis convictions against the Jews in the process? 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Suicide Squad, Volume 1: The Black Vault Review (Rob Williams, Jim Lee)

I’ve now read enough of the Rebirth line to know not to get my hopes up for anything and, yup, Suicide Squad Rebirth is another dud! 

Nova: The Human Rocket, Volume 2: Afterburn Review (Sean Ryan, John Timms)

Sam Alexander is Nova the Human Rocket… in dire need of a storyline!

He keeps looking for his dad, gets momentarily drawn into Civil War II (but not really), fights Mole Monster who’s the offspring of Mole Man, then meets a classic member of the Nova Corps. Yeah, it’s really, really… zzz… 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

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

Cycle of Life and Death is so shitty it’s only fit for compost – no wonder Poison Ivy’s never had a solo title before! 

Demon, Volume 2 by Jason Shiga Review

Jimmy can demonically possess anyone he’s near when the current body he’s in dies - he’s essentially immortal! Despite being the most wanted man in America, he decides to use his new powers to get revenge on the drunk driver who killed his wife and daughter. And then he makes a shocking discovery: his little girl is still alive - and in prison?!

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck Review

John Steinbeck is one of my favourite writers. The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden - masterpieces all. Even his less “important” novels like Cannery Row and its sequel Sweet Thursday, as well as his nonfiction book, Travels with Charley, where he goes on an RV tour of America with his poodle Charley, are superb. 

Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder Review (Judd Winick, Joshua Middleton)

First Thunder is about Superman and Captain Marvel/Shazam’s first encounter. Their nemeses Lex and Sivana team up to fight them. The usual bullshit ensues. Still awake? Not for long if you read this book! 

Judd Winick and Joshua Middleton’s book is an unimpressively generic superhero comic. Winick is on autopilot hacking out a dreary by-the-numbers script while Middleton’s art makes it look like a cheap Saturday morning cartoon.

The one exception is towards the end when Billy suffers a major loss and, being a kid, has trouble dealing with it, revealing to Superman that Captain Marvel is secretly a child. That one aspect of the story was interesting but the rest of it was the usual dull “superheroes punching stuff” ad infinitum.

Superman/Shazam: First Thunder is a bland, unmemorable team-up between these two Golden Age characters – I wouldn’t bother.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood Review (Greg Rucka, Rick Burchett)

Helena Bertinelli/Huntress’ gangster pop got smoked by another gangster - Helena wants revenge, blood for blood. Yay…? 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Daredevil, Volume 12: Decalogue Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

Some Hell’s Kitchen residents form a support group in a church basement to talk about Daredevil, the new Kingpin, and how he’s affected their lives. But one of them has a terrible secret…

Friday, 3 March 2017

Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies Review (Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp)

Wonder Woman thinks someone’s fucking with her - “The story keeps changing” she chants, over and over, probably a meta reference to how her origins have changed over the years with different writers. She asks her arch-enemy Cheetah to help her figure out what’s happening, but first she must defeat an evil Swamp Thing-esque monster in Africa and get it on with Steve Trevor! 

The Fix, Volume 2 Review (Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber)

A corrupt town like LA needs inspiring, hard-working and honourable law enforcement officials to clean it up. Roy and Mac are not those dudes. They’re a pair of detectives as corrupt, if not more, as the criminals they deal with! Their boss - not the chief of police but a psychotic gangster - needs them to make LAX safe for him to transport goods through. And then Roy gets into more shit when the teen actress he’s meant to be protecting gets shot dead by burglars!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Royal City #1 by Jeff Lemire Review

The elderly father of the Pike family has a stroke, bringing his family together for the first time in years. As they gather in the dead industrial town of Royal City, the past rears its ugly head reminding them of a terrible event that happened and left them permanently emotionally scarred… 

Future Quest, Volume 1 Review (Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner)

Maybe I shouldn’t have read this as I never saw the Jonny Quest cartoon so have zero knowledge about or nostalgia for the show but the recently relaunched Flintstones comic wasn’t bad so I thought Future Quest might be ok too; nope - it wasn’t! 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Batman: Long Shadows Review (Judd Winick, Mark Bagley)

The downside to Grant Morrison’s awesome Batman run was the numerous unnecessary spin-off books made purely to capitalise on his success. Battle for the Cowl, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, Life After Death, Eye of the Beholder - just terrible, useless comics. Long Shadows is part of that garbage heap of crap.

Long Shadows is an epilogue to Battle for the Cowl, a pointless epilogue to an even more pointless book - we already knew Dick Grayson was gonna be Batman because Morrison showed us in his run! We didn’t need Battle for the Cowl and we sure as hell didn’t need Long Shadows.

What happens in this book? Nothing. Dick has doubts about being the new Batman and Penguin and Two-Face correctly suspect the real Batman has disappeared. That’s it! Nothing we didn’t see in Morrison’s run or any of the other spin-off comics. 

Batman: Long Shadows is awful, unentertaining, worthless and instantly forgettable - don’t bother.