Monday, 25 February 2019

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

Striking when the iron’s hot, Frank Miller follows up 300 20 YEARS after it was first published with Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander - and it really wasn’t worth the wait. It’s such a rubbish sequel. And so confusing! I had no idea what was going on and had to do my own research to understand what Miller should’ve been able to convey if he were still a competent storyteller. 

The Magic Order Review (Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel)

The Magic Order secretly battles threats to humanity and keeps the peace - until now. A renegade group of magicians led by the evil Madame Albany is challenging the current Order, headed up by the patriarch of the Moonstone family, for power, and removing anyone in their way via the mysterious and deadly assassin, The Venetian. But do the Moonstones have a trick up their sleeve to prevail against this seemingly unstoppable onslaught…? 

Venom, Volume 1: Rex Review (Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman)

Eddie Brock’s having some trouble with the Symbiote again. I know, jesus, every fucking Venom story is the Symbiote tussling with its host, whether it’s Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, yo’ momma’s fat ass whoever! Venom turns to a Vietnam vet called Rex for help and the secret history of the Symbiotes is revealed as a new big bad appears to fight Denim. Ah, Eminem - remember when he was cool? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out his song for the Venom movie. 

Home After Dark by David Small Review

Set sometime in the 1950s/60s, 13 year old Russell Pruit and his father set out to make a new life for themselves in California after Russ’ mother leaves them in Ohio. But will life be any better on the West Coast? 

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Inner Room by Robert Aickman Review

A little girl is given a doll’s house for her birthday. And, because this is a Robert Aickman short story, it turns out to be haunted! Wooooooo, spooky stuff! 

I like the idea of the story, which has a kind of Russian nesting doll structure to it, and aspects of it as well, like the hidden room that can be seen from the outside but not found within. And the final act was suitably creep-tastic. 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Criminal #2 Review (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips)

So if you read the first issue and you’re reading the second, you’re gonna be wondering what the fuuuuck is this? Because Ed Brubaker totally ignores the Lawless storyline set up in issue one and tells a completely new storyline in Criminal #2: Bad Weekend! 

Superman: Action Comics Volume 1: Invisible Mafia Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Patrick Gleason)

Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
What? No, it’s Brian Bendis’ third Superman collection! 
Wait, did you say “turd”? Because, yes, this is another terrible Bendis Superman book! 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami Review

Published as its own dinky lil book in celebration of the author’s 70th this year, Haruki Murakami’s Birthday Girl (previously published in the Birthday Stories anthology) is about a waitress who, on her 20th birthday, takes dinner to the reclusive restaurant owner who lives above her workplace - a person who isn’t quite who he appears to be at first… 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

A Walk Through Hell, Volume 1: The Warehouse Review (Garth Ennis, Goran Sudzuka)

“A walk through hell” pretty accurately sums up the experience of reading most of Garth Ennis’ recent output: his second World of Tanks book, the DC books Dastardly and Muttley and Sixpack and Dog-Welder, his other Aftershock book Jimmy’s Bastards, which was a book-length Viz joke, and now this one! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Flashpoint Review (Geoff Johns, Andy Kubert)

Flash’s mom was murdered when he was a kid so he decides to travel back in time and stop the killer. Except messing with the timestream has kinda caused everything to get fucked up - oopsies! Who’da thunk it?! Really, superheroes have just gotta get over their tragic backstories and move on… 

Monday, 11 February 2019

Gun Theory Review (Daniel Way, Jon Proctor)

Gun Theory - the theory of… guns? Can you have theories for things that categorically exist?? So basically the book has a cool-sounding but nonsensical title! 

A hitman whose speciality is his forgettable appearance is remembered by a girl during a job - a girl he lets live. Kicking himself afterwards, he decides to go back and “clean up”. Only she’s not the helpless woman he thinks she is.... 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Smashed by Junji Ito Review

Smashed is the latest collection of short horror mangas by acclaimed (though I don’t know why!) creator Junji Ito, none of which were especially good! I won’t go through each and every one in this bumper book but no single story stood out over the others - they were all pretty dumb! 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Inuyashiki, Volume 2 by Hiroya Oku Review

After a meh first volume, the series starts getting interesting as a nemesis for our titular hero is introduced: Shishigami, a sociopathic high schooler with the same crazy machine superpowers as Inuyashiki - only he uses them for evil, not good! 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Picnic in the Storm by Yukiko Motoya Review

A lonely housewife takes up bodybuilding. A shop assistant tries to find the perfect outfit for a customer she never sees who’s locked in the fitting room. Broken umbrellas make people fly in typhoons, small musical instruments fall out of straw husbands and women duel with their male partners in the night - this is Yukiko Motoya’s short story collection, Picnic in the Storm! 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost Review (Charles Soule, David Marquez)

Me dudes, get ready to pick your jaws up off the floor: y’know the most recent time Wolverine died? TURNS OUT HE DIDN’T REALLY DIE! I know, what a shocker! Marvel killed off one of its most popular characters - what a bold choice BUT NOT REALLY WHAAAAA

Monday, 4 February 2019

The Lydia Steptoe Stories by Djuna Barnes Review

Obscure 20th century writer Djuna Barnes wrote three stories under the pseudonym Lydia Steptoe from 1922 to 1924 and they’re collected in this dinky little paperback apparently for the first time. And they suck! 

Tony Stark: Iron Man, Volume 1: Self-Made Man Review (Dan Slott, Valerio Schiti)

After over a decade of writing Amazing Spider-Man, Dan Slott’s finally left the character behind and jumped onto the MCU’s foundational character, Iron Man. Slott is a very inconsistent writer who can occasionally turn out some great books, like his early work on Superior Spider-Man and Silver Surfer, but can also quite easily churn out complete rubbish – and unfortunately the latter applies for Tony Stark: Iron Man, Volume 1: Self-Made Man. 

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Mis(h)adra by Iasmin Omar Ata Review

Mis(h)adra is the autobiographical story of a young Middle Eastern student struggling with epilepsy. The title refers to two Arabic words: “mishadra”, which means “cannot”, and “misadra”, which means “seizure”. There isn’t really a story. The author’s stand-in, Isaac, suffers from epilepsy and… by the end, he’s still suffering? 

Friday, 1 February 2019

Violenzia and Other Deadly Amusements by Richard Sala Review

Richard Salad (I know his surname’s “Sala” but autocorrect changed it to “salad” and it made me laugh so I’m keeping it in!) makes macabre, spooky comics but this time he mixes in some cheesy action with his Violenzia stories.