Sunday, 31 December 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First: The Bad Beginning Review (Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist)

The Baudelaire children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny - are suddenly orphaned when their parents tragically die in a fire. Their new legal guardian? A distant relative, the devilishly conniving Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing - not even murder most foul! - to get his hands on the Baudelaire family fortune. So begins the children’s Series of Unfortunate Events… 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Doomsday Clock #2 Review (Geoff Johns, Gary Frank)

The Doomsday Clock is ticking and only Dr. Manhattan can stop the end of the world. But first Ozymandias must find him and needs help from two of the smartest men from the universe Manhattan escaped to: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor - the question is, will either of them want to? 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Review (Matthew K. Manning, Jon Sommariva)

The Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show crosses over with Batman: The Animated Series in this dreariest of comics. Batman’s rogues start jumping into portals appearing around Gotham and get transported to the Turtles’ world – Batman and the Bat-family follow. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwnnn! 

Gawd amighty it’s a challenge to stay awake reading this one! NOTHING matters, every character plays their clearly defined role predictably, the goodies effortlessly defeat the baddies, and there are zero stakes. It’s so unimaginative and no part of this is in the least bit entertaining. The story is so lacking in anything remarkable. Donnie has a thing for Batgirl and Mikey cocks up the Batman Animated Series intro HAHA… boring, safe rubbish. 

Not that it’s a great comic either but if you’re after a better Batman/TMNT crossover, check out James Tynion IV’s version and give Matthew Manning’s feeble, tedious effort a miss.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada Review

Berlin, 1940. While Hitler celebrates conquering France, a working class German couple – Otto and Anna Quangel – mourn the passing of their son, Ottochen, who fell in the fighting. Bitterly upset at the Fuhrer, they begin a quiet campaign of civil disobedience against his Third Reich, dropping hand-made postcards with anti-Nazi slogans printed on them across Berlin. The treasonous postcards are soon noticed and the Gestapo quickly take up the hunt for the culprits – but how long can the Quangels evade capture? 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 9: Gordon at War Review (Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin)

It started with Joker pointlessly cutting his face off before his latest escape from Arkham Asylum and it ends with Jim Gordon shaving off his ‘tache and pretending he’s Batman. Yup, the New 52 line of Detective Comics sure was crapalicious! 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe Review

A crew stumble across a drifting space hulk, find Xenomorphs inside, and get picked off one-by-one. So, Dead Orbit is like every other Aliens story? YUH HUH! 

James Stokoe’s stunningly detailed art is matched only by his stunningly unoriginal Aliens story! The visuals are terrific and his Xenomorphs look awesome but, wow, did no-one point out when it was being commissioned how absolutely generic, unimaginative and archetypal Dead Orbit was?! It plays out exactly like every other Aliens story complete with cardboard cut-out “characters” for the Xenomorphs to snatch up. 

Unless you’ve never read or seen an Aliens story before, Dead Orbit is totally missable. An utterly boring and instantly forgettable comic – for fans of Stokoe’s art only.

Monday, 25 December 2017

DC Meets Hanna-Barbera Review (Amanda Conner, Ariel Olivetti, et al.)

DC superheroes go on adventures with Hanna-Barbera characters: it shouldn’t work – and it doesn’t!

Way too many of these stories were plain terrible for this whole concept to have ever been a thing. Booster Gold and the Flintstones, Green Lantern and Space Ghost, Ruff’n’Reddy (sheesh, how obscure can you get?!), Adam Strange and Future Quest, Batman and Top Cat (Dan DiDio should be banned from writing comics), Suicide Squad and the Banana Splits – poo on all of them! Arbitrary, uncreative match-ups, uninspired, forgettable tales – especially James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela’s horribly convoluted Green Lantern/Space Ghost issue – make most of this book a chore to slog through. Much of the art is equally unimpressive. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro Review

Set in Japan right after WW2, Masuji Ono, a retired artist, looks back on his life and career from when he was a celebrated painter in the pre-war years to the social pariah he now is in the post-war years thanks to his ties to imperialist Japan. Doesn’t sound like much of a story, does it? It isn’t!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Volume 1 Review (Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela)

Scooby-Doo and the gang team up with various DC characters like Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League for a series of all-ages adventures in Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Volume 1. And it’s not bad! 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Top 10 Best Comics of 2017

Here’s the rub: every time I’ve done my top 10 picks for best comics of the year since the goshdarn series started, I’ve plumped for Giant Days – with good reason, it really is the best comic in the world! So this year I’m adopting a similar view that film critics have taken with Citizen Kane and “Best Movies of All Time” lists – Giant Days is the undisputed greatest, that’s a given, so let’s just push that to the side and give something else a chance! So this year’s Top 10 Best Comics list doesn’t include Giant Days but it’s definitely my actual pick for the top spot. Onto the others!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Volume 3 Review (Peter Milligan, Paul Jenkins)

So Legends of the Dark Knight, Volume 3 is an utterly pants collection of Batman stories but was it really too much to ask that there be at least ONE good - hell, I’d take half-decent! - short in the bunch?! As it is, this is one brutally boring tale after another. This is reading as an endurance exercise against wave after wave of impossibly tedious garbage.  

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Death and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett Review

A dying philosopher attempts to smugly outsmart Death with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics before being coolly checkmated by the Reaper Man. I SEE YOU… 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss Review

“All the windows were dark
No one knew he was here
All the Who's were all dreaming
Sweet dreams without care…”

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Red Lanterns, Volume 3: The Second Prophecy Review (Peter Milligan, Miguel Sepulveda)

Of all DC’s Lantern titles, I like Red Lanterns the best - at least, in terms of concept rather than execution. Hateful monsters who spew blood, live off rage and want to kill everything AND have Lantern rings? That should be a slam-dunk of silly fun but Red Lanterns, Volume 3: The Second Prophecy (wait, what was the first prophecy…?) is unfortunately an overlong and boring read. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Superman: Action Comics, Volume 4: Hybrid Review (Andy Diggle, Tony S. Daniel)

The long and the short of this one is that Action Comics, Volume 4: Hybrid is yet another crummy Superman book to add to the teetering pile of bad Superman comics already out there!

“Hybrid” is an appropriate subtitle as this volume is made up of issues from numerous writers and artists. After Grant Morrison’s departure, Andy Diggle seemed like a promising replacement - except he jumps ship a mere two issues into his run (creators suddenly abandoning DC was an all too frequent problem in the New 52 days), leaving DC Editorial scrambling to figure out how to right the title’s course! 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Letter 44, Volume 5: Blueshift Review (Charles Soule, Joelle Jones)

Up ‘til now Charles Soule’s lesser writing efforts could only be found in his blander-than-bland Marvel work but now it’s unfortunately crept into his best ongoing and creator-owned title, Letter 44. Take the word “blue” and letter “f” out of Blueshift and you’ve got an accurate description of this fifth volume’s quality!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville #1 Review (Grant Morrison, Dan Mora)

When families start disappearing after stopping in the Pola-Cola Corporation’s Xmasville – a year-round Christmas-themed town full of Santas – Klaus and Lilli step in to investigate and kick some holly jolly butt, seasonal style!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Shirtless Bear-Fighter! Review (Jody LeHeup, Sebastian Girner)

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big (pixelated) surprise… 

The bears have invaded. Hopped up on magic bacon, with the backing of Big Toilet, they’re an unstoppable force of furious furriness – not even the army is a match for them! Only one man is naked enough to take them down, if he’ll come out of retirement for one last job: Shirtless Bear-Fighter!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Gotham City Sirens, Volume 1: Union Review (Paul Dini, Guillem March)

Paul Dini is undoubtedly one of the all-time great Batman writers. He gave us the Batman Animated Series, the first (and best) two Arkham games, a bunch of awesome Batman comics and, probably his most significant and lasting contribution to the world of Batman, co-created Harley Quinn. That said, he’s not infallible and has written his share of forgettable drek which unfortunately includes this first volume of Gotham City Sirens. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen Review

Sarah Andersen returns with another Sarah’s Scribbles book - and unfortunately it’s one too many. Looking for a series of trite, lazy, uninspired and unfunny observations, cascading one after another likes waves of diarrhea? Herding Cats is for you! 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1 by Enrico Marini Review

A woman claiming to be Bruce Wayne’s baby mama rocks up with his “daughter” demanding he cough up millions in owed childcare. And then the Joker kidnaps her. Prepare for boredom with Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1! 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Batman: White Knight #1 Review (Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth)

White Knight is a role reversal story where Batman suddenly loses the plot and gets banged up in Arkham while the Joker becomes “good” and decides to save Gotham. And the first issue is gahbage!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Confession by Jo Spain Review

Julie’s seemingly idyllic life is shattered one night when a stranger walks into her home and beats her banker husband near to death in front of her. He whispers something into his ear before giving himself up to the police and confessing to the assault – whydunit?

Dark Nights: Metal #1 Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

Choo-choo, all aboard the stupid train to HotMessville! Celebrated New 52 Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo – or “Doom Commander” and “Pain Bringer” as they’ve bizarrely nicknamed themselves here like a pair of spergy ‘tards! - reunite for the sprawling event, Dark Nights: Metal. Unfortunately the low quality that plagued the tail end of their New 52 run hasn’t improved – Dark Nights: Metal #1 is rubbish!