Saturday, 31 March 2018

Cochlea & Eustachia #1 by Hans Rickheit Review

A man with a teddy bear head kills a bird, removes a key from its chest to open a door in his face to a labyrinthine house containing a corridor filled with thousands of lobsters, strange plants, corpses hanging from the ceiling, a large room full of batwinged creatures and a pair of near-naked twins called Cochlea & Eustachia. Yup, it’s a Hans Rickheit comic alright!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Doomsday Clock #4 Review (Geoff Johns, Gary Frank)

It’s that time of the bi-month again as Geoff Johns and Gary Frank return with another unexciting and unnecessarily ponderous instalment of their Watchmen sequel, Doomsday Clock! So is it good yet? Nah. In fact I think this is the weakest issue so far. 

Doomsday Clock #4 is all about the new Rorschach, Reggie, with Johns showing us how he’s currently doing in Arkham Asylum, courtesy of Batman, and how he did in the Watchmen world in still another mental home (ol’ Reg had a breakdown after his parents died in Ozymandias’ alien monster scheme). 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

My Hero Academia, Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi Review

Kids with superpowers go to superhero school to be taught by existing superheroes how to be superheroes. So it’s the X-Men? Yup. Except way shittier! And that’s My Hero Academia! Boo! I give it an F! 

It really is that derivative, at least going by this first volume. Creator/writer/artist Kohei Horikoshi basically rips off the X-Men. He calls mutations/superpowers “quirks” in a feeble attempt to make it seem less blatant but that’s about the only thing different he brings to the table. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Baking with Kafka by Tom Gould Review

An orangutan wins the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry - OUTRAGEOUS! The errors commonly made by inexperienced murder-mystery novelists - WAHAHAHAHA! The health hazards of becoming an author - the money and fame?! HILARIOUS!!!!?2o29289qwr

Friday, 23 March 2018

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Review

Conor’s got quite the chipper existence: his ma is dying, his da lives in America with his new family, he’ll probably wind up living with his hated grandma and he’s getting bullied at school. As if that wasn’t bad enough he begins to be visited every night at seven minutes past midnight by a monster who’s going to tell him three stories. After that, Conor’s got to tell the monster one - a true story, about something that Conor’s been avoiding. This book is also based on an idea by author Siobhan Dowd who died of breast cancer before being able to realise it so Patrick Ness stepped in to write it. Cripes. Don’t read A Monster Calls if you’re looking for a pick-me-up! 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Swamp Thing: The Dead Don't Sleep Review (Len Wein, Kelley Jones)

The dead may not sleep but you will if you read this booooorinnnnggg Swamp Thing book! 

I’m sorry to speak ill of the recently deceased but Len Wein (RIP) was not a good writer. He wrote in this clunky, corny (oh lordy, SO CORNY!) ‘70s style which was heavy on the exposition, none of which added anything to the already piss-poor narrative. He’s hopeless at dialogue too - all the characters here sound like moustache-twirling pantomime villains. 

He didn’t have any good stories to tell in this one. Some zombie fights Swamp Thing for, somehow, two entire issues, then Anton Arcane takes Swampy’s powers to try to take over the world or something crap like that. It’s sad to read, honestly, because it feels like DC gave Wein this gig out of pity. 

Couple Wein’s ‘70s writing with Kelley Jones’ ‘90s-style art that’s going for horror but comes off as laughably silly as Wein’s dumbass script and you’ve got one helluva anachronistic read for this 2016 comic. 

I could go on but it isn’t worth it. Nor is reading it! Do literally anything else but read this utter garbagefest of a comic. DC should be embarrassed they published something this bad. Then again, they’re DC = (Colour Hair) Don’t Care. And neither should you!

Monday, 19 March 2018

All-New Wolverine, Volume 5: Orphans of X Review (Tom Taylor, Juann Cabal)

Lost a loved one to a Wolverine? Join the Orphans of X! The aim? To hunt down and kill all Wolverines using material gleaned from the magical Muramasa blade, that neutralises the Wolverines’ healing factors. 

So does they do it - nuh buh muh huh guh? Sorry, my brain shut down at the astoopidity of that question! The real question should be: is it at least a somewhat entertaining read before Laura and co. inevitably beat them? Eh, kinda… 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 2: Revelations Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Miles and a newly-resurrected Peter Parker take on a newly-resurrected Green Goblin - AGAIN! - before Miles finds out his girlfriend Katie Bishop’s “shocking” family secret. And speaking of secret, Secret Wars abruptly puts an end to this series, forcing Brian Bendis to awkwardly slam the brakes on his (admittedly absolute shite) storylines. Ta-da…

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson Review

Penguin seems to release a new range of dinky paperbacks every year now for one flimsy reason or another. This Penguin Modern series is to celebrate Penguin Modern Classics’ 50th Anniversary or something - meh. I guess these tiny books do serve as fairly decent amuse-bouches of a writer’s style but, as someone familiar with her books, Shirley Jackson’s The Missing Girl isn’t the best representative of her excellent craft.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch Review

Vampiric witches are preying on London’s most gifted jazz musicians – Peter Grant, the Fuzz’s newest (and only) apprentice magic cop, is on the case! 

Moon Over Soho is a bit of a disappointing follow-up to Ben Aaronovitch’s spectacular Rivers of London and I think I know why. Rivers of London had two barnstorming storylines running parallel throughout – the Mr Punch murders and the River Gods’ gang warfare – as well as Peter learning about the hidden magical side of London; there was never a dull moment as Aaronovitch jumped from one to the other. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagame Review

Single dad Yaichi’s estranged gay brother recently passed away. In the wake of his death, his burly, friendly Canadian husband, Mike, has come to Japan to finally meet his brother-in-law and niece for the first time. Mike’s presence forces Yaichi to confront his own deeply-buried prejudices about gay people, as well as address his strangely emotionless and lonely life. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Volume 3 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Nico Leon)

It’s time for another edition of Brian Bendis Attempts To Obliterate My Interest in Miles Morales! In (good grief) Volume 3, the increasingly uninspired writer finds the laziest pseudo-storylines on which to hang his copious amounts of uninteresting, soapy melodrama!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Arkham Asylum: Living Hell Review (Dan Slott, Ryan Sook)

A crooked banker (is there any other kind?) thinks he’s being clever by having his trial moved to Gotham where he’s found not guilty by way of insanity. Except in Gotham? The crazies go to a place called Arkham Asylum, a Living Hell that makes Federal prison look like a cakewalk!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Volume 2 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Nico Leon)

Hmm. Yeah, unfortunately the post-Secret Wars Miles Morales stuff isn’t an improvement over the post-Cataclysm crap. Event comics have completely ruined this character. And if that wasn’t enough, here comes another one in the form of Civil War II to compound the fuck-up! Jesus, what a mess Brian Bendis ended up making of poor Miles’ series. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

The Walking Dead, Volume 29: Lines We Cross Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

Ah, the reliable roller-coaster of quality that is The Walking Dead! After the spectacular rush of Volume 28 comes the expected long, tedious build-up to the next bit of excitement with table-setting being the order of the day in Volume 29: Lines We Cross. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Spider-Men Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli)

Because bullhonky, Mysterio somehow creates a device that opens a portal to the Ultimates universe where (I think 616-Universe) Peter Parker gets zapped and meets Miles Morales aka Ultimate Spider-Man. They have some conveniently book-sized ‘ventures before the status quo is reinstated. And that’s Spider-Men. Any good? Nah. NEXT! 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Superman, Volume 2: Trials of the Super Son Review (Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason)

The second Rebirth Superman book surprisingly didn’t suck - it’s definitely a step up from the derivative Terminator-ripoff first volume - but Trials of the Super Son still never rose above middling. 

This one is a mish-mash of rando stories. Clark, Lois and Jon go to the local fair where Lois makes Clark promise not to Superman all evening so they can have a family night out together butguesswhathedoes… In another story, Superman, Jon and Krypto somehow get transported to an island full of living dinosaurs and World War 2 pilots where they fight a giant white gorilla - it’s fair to say that one’s a fucking mess! 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 1: Revival Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Weeellll, it had to happen eventually didn’t it? Brian Bendis’ surprisingly-consistent run of near-faultless Miles Morales comics comes to an end with this newly-renumbered title launched in the wake of the Ultimates event, Cataclysm. Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 1: Revival is unfortunately pretty crap. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Home Crowd Advantage by Ben Aaronovitch Review

The Home Crowd Advantage is a Peter Grant short story that apparently takes place between Book 1: Rivers of London and Book 2: Moon Over Soho, though, having just read the first book, I’m not sure if it has any bearing on the second; it reads like a standalone for anyone who’s familiar with this world. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Volume 5 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

I thought the ending to the last book was abrupt - this book opens with the words “One Year Later”!!

As you can tell from the homage cover to John Romita’s iconic art, Miles has given up being Spidey. His family is completely ruined - the price of being a superhero is just too high. But, dammit, the world needs Spider-Man and everyone from his bestie Ganke to Spider-Woman Jessica Drew is out to convince Miles to put the web-shooters back on and start saving people again! 

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch Review

Peter Grant is the London Metropolitan Police’s newest recruit, hoping for a fun, rewarding placement that’s not gonna stick him behind a desk filling out endless paperwork. Which he almost gets until a chance encounter with a ghost one night in Covent Garden introduces him to Detective Chief Inspector (read: Most Powerful Wizard in Ingerlund) Thomas Nightingale, the head - and up to that moment, the only member - of the Met’s secret paranormal branch. Together, the sorcerer and his apprentice set out to stop the malicious spirit of Mr Punch (yes, the puppet!) from murdering Londoners and resolve a turf war between the Thames river gods. 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Volume 4 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Miles continues to learn the ropes (or should that be webbing?) of being Spider-Man as he encounters the tiresomely inevitable Spidey rogue, Venom, and realises that With Great Power Comes Great Tragedy… 

Volume 4 is another homer for Brian Bendis and co. in their amazing Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man run! I really enjoyed seeing the Ultimate versions of familiar characters like the mercenary Betty Brant, the embarrassingly chic Ben Urich and the surprisingly likeable Jonah, whose crusty exterior has softened in the wake of Peter Parker’s death.