Friday, 20 April 2018

Superman: Action Comics #1000 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Lee)

80 years ago Superman was introduced to the world in Action Comics #1 - and we’ve been yawning ever since! 

Just kidding – Superman’s my favourite superhero after Batman - but I know a lot of people think he’s boring because he’s essentially a cross between a near-invincible god and a bland boy scout, and what the hell is interesting about that? Well, unfortunately Action Comics #1000 isn’t going to convince the naysayers otherwise and even a huge Superman fan like me found it to be a disappointing read. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3: Infinity Quest Review (Gerry Duggan, Marcus To)

The Guardians is questing for them Infinity Stones but oh durn here come the new Nova Corps to pick ‘em up! And the new Corps has problems - not only are they seen as a joke after losing Thanos in transit, they’re also riddled with Shi’Ar spies! Former 30 Rock actor turned Nova Corps bossman, Scott Adsit, press gangs our heroes (and Ant-Man for some reason) into the Corps to root out the traitors. Also, some weirdo called Adam has just woken up from his golden cocoon… 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Volume 5: Lost in the Plot Review (Christopher Hastings, Gurihiru)

The Unbelievable Gwenpool has been one of my favourite Marvel titles of the last couple years. It’s an original, playful, imaginative, creative, and really fun read - essentially an anomaly for superhero comics! So it’s disappointing that the final book is crap.

Gwen decides to prove her worth as a hero by using her meta comic book powers to defeat Doom once and for all, then decides to be a villain by robbing a sky casino with Batroc, and then it’s over in a jumbled mess of forgettable gubbinz. Hmm. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel Review

In 1986, 20 year-old Chris Knight walked into the Maine woods and didn’t emerge for the next 27 YEARS! He made camp at a hidden spot near a place called North Pond and survived by repeatedly burglarising the surrounding cabins, most of which were uninhabited for much of the year. Astonishingly, he wasn’t caught until 2013 and up until then had become a local legend dubbed the North Pond Hermit. Journalist Michael Finkel interviewed Knight several times while he was awaiting sentencing and the end result is The Stranger in the Woods, as near a full account of Knight’s years in the wilderness as any we’re likely to get. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: Riders in the Sky Review (Gerry Duggan, Greg Smallwood)

The gang be a-hunting them pesky Infinity Stones (doesn’t it feel like that’s what they’re always doing when they’re not heisting?) but only in the last chapter of the book. The rest of Volume 2 fills in the blanks from the first. Revealed!: why Gamora is fixated on the Soul Stone; how Groot lost his groove; why Drax is suddenly a pacifist; and who da hell is that Shi’Ar Raptor hungry for Star-Lord’s pair of Nega-Bands?? 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Gyo by Junji Ito Review

Japanese scientists in WW2 plugged up some animals’ mouths and anuses and attached them to mechanical legs which operated on the creatures’ built-up gases. Years later, fish have become fused with this tech and have invaded the mainland.

Yes. That is actually the actual story of this actual book. SO many questions. How did tech from WW2 survive in working order at the bottom of the sea for so long? Who fused them to fish? Why have the legged fish chosen to invade now? What’s their goal – why invade land, why target humans? If the hosts are dead, who’s steering them? How does this outdated tech know how to do sophisticated things like hide behind/steer around obstacles? 

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley Review

It’s 20 years after Charles II’s Restoration and the old poleaxe is still seeking revenge against the surviving men who caused his pappy’s head to be separated from his shoulders (aka the fallout from the English Civil War). Two of the judges who found Charles I guilty of high treason have fled to the New World. Naval officer and future celebrated diarist Samuel Pepys decides that his annoying half-French brother-in-law, Baltasar “Balty” St. Michel, should be the man to bring the judges back, mostly as it gets him out of his hair! But Balty soon discovers that there’s more to his mission in the colonies than simply hunting down a couple of old men… 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Fantastic Four: 1234 Review (Grant Morrison, Jae Lee)

While Reed Richards is Deep In Thought, Victor Von Doom tries to dismantle the rest of the Fantastic Four - but is Reed as oblivious to Doom’s machinations as he appears? 

I’m definitely not a Fantastic Four fan but Grant Morrison is my favourite comics writer so curiosity drove me to check out this relatively obscure book from way back when he worked at Marvel before he began his DC tenure. So is 1234 any good? Eh… s‘ok. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Ms. Marvel, Volume 7: Damage Per Second Review (G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa)

It inevitably happens to every long-running series and Volume 7: Damage Per Second is unfortunately where Ms Marvel’s quality falls down. And it falls HARD - this is the lamest thing I’ve read in a long time! 

The first issue is literally Ms Marvel lecturing the reader on how and why they should vote. I couldn’t believe how tedious and preachy it was. You know what I look for when I pick up a superhero comic? To be talked down to like an idiot! 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1 by Frank Miller Review

Frank Miller has a well-earned rep for delivering his projects late. Remember the ultra-crappy 300 sequel, Rise of an Empire, from 2014? Wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t – I saw it and I barely remember it! But that movie was based upon Xerxes, this comic, the first chapter of which has only just been published – 4 years after the movie was released!! I honestly thought Miller had scrapped the book entirely after missing the deadline by so long and the lacklustre response to the second movie effectively killed any remaining interest in the 300 franchise, but here it finally is. So was it worth the wait? Hell’s naw! This. Was. SHITTTTYYY (kicks comic into a pit in slo-mo)!

Monday, 9 April 2018

Deadpool vs. The Punisher Review (Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez)

Frank Castle follows the mob’s money to their head accountant, The Bank, and plans to deal organised crime a lethal blow by taking him out. The Bank also happens to be bros with Deadpool. Because see title of book. That’s right, it’s time for yet another “Deadpool Vs…” book and this time Marvel’s ever-popular chimichanga-chompin’ clown takes on ol’ grimpants skull-tee himself, The Punisher!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Nova: Resurrection Review (Jeff Loveness, Ramon Perez)

Legendary Nova Richard Rider returns to the Marvel Universe in Nova: Resurrection. But how did he escape the Cancerverse - and if he made it out, did anything else creep back with him…? 

Nova: Resurrection reads kinda like Green Lantern: Rebirth in that the Novas Corps are like Marvel’s Green Lantern Corps and Rich Rider is Marvel’s Hal Jordan - the best known character who wore the mantle, died, and got brought back. Except Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez are both better storytellers than Geoff Johns so Nova: Resurrection is a finer book than Green Lantern: Rebirth - though not by much. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Communication Breakdown Review (Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder)

I’ve not been keeping up with the Guardians of the Galaxy comics for a while now because Brian Bendis was writing them up until recently and that dude’s MO is to write a really strong first volume then tank the series for the rest of his run - which is exactly what he did with Guardians! Now that Bendis has left Marvel, Gerry Duggan’s taken over the title and… written the best damn Guardians comics ever?! Seriously, Communication Breakdown might be my favourite Guardians book to date! 

Monday, 2 April 2018

She-Hulk, Volume 1: Deconstructed Review (Mariko Tamaki, Nico Leon)

She-Hulk, Volume 1: Deconstructed takes its premise from Civil War II so if you’ve not read that event and wanna avoid spoilsies, check that out before this.

Years ago I used to think indie comics creators would write better superhero comics if given the chance. I’m pretty much completely turned around on that idea now, especially as indie comics creator Mariko Tamaki has written such a fucking awful She-Hulk here! 

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Jessica Jones: Alias, Volume 4 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos)

Behold: the depressing origin of Jessica Jones! Plus: her traumatic past with Killgrave the Purple Man revealed! Yes, it’s a Marvel comic! 

I knew it – I knew there was a great Jessica Jones book to be had somewhere! The first one was ok, the second and third were entirely superfluous (Jessica looks for a runaway teen girl in Vol 2; Jessica looks for a drugged-out runaway teen girl in Vol 3), but this fourth one is where it’s at.