Friday, 31 January 2020

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: Best of the Best Review (Brian Reed, Roberto de la Torre)

The ironically named “Ms Marvel: Best of the Best” is not a marvel-lous read let alone best of anything; whether she’s a “Ms” or a “Captain”, this is another terrible comic starring Carol Danvers!

Nothing But the Night by John Williams Review

A young man is traumatised by what he saw his parents do one night when he was ickle. Oh you, it wasn’t THAT, they weren’t “hugging” in a special way! But what was it? The mystery slowly unravels in Nothing but the Night...

Thursday, 30 January 2020

The Dead Hand, Volume 1: Cold War Relics Review (Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney)

The Cold War ended in 1991 – except in the small quiet town of Mountain View. A town which houses a terrifying secret: a rogue Artificial Intelligence with access to all of Russia’s nukes! The town’s inhabitants must keep the truth from the AI so it doesn’t retaliate – and then one day an outsider appears, threatening to destabilise everything and possibly end the world!?

James Bond: Kill Chain Review (Andy Diggle, Luca Casalanguida)

Russians are trying to break NATO – Bond’s gotta keep the alliances “bonded” together (arf)!

Following their first excellent Bond outing, Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida reunite in Kill Chain. It’s not as good as Hammerhead but it’s a fine spy thriller nonetheless.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Batman and the Justice League, Volume 1 by Shiori Teshirogi Review

A Japanese ninja kid goes to Gotham to investigate his parents’ deaths a year after they supposedly perished in a factory explosion (I’m guessing they shockingly somehow survived). Meanwhile Joker’s begun marketing an energy drink called Gaia Juice that turns the drinker mean - ooo, what a naughty ickle boy! Batman’s gotta etc.

Infinity Countdown Review (Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder)

I know, I know, Marvel and this fucking word “Infinity”, eh? So characters are running around chasing after the Infinity Stones AGAIN before Thanos blah blah blah - Marvel don’t have new ideas any more!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Death or Glory, Volume 1 Review (Rick Remender, Bengal)

Glory’s pa needs a liver transplant. Luckily her ex is in deep with the mob and she knows about a cash drop she can heist - but things don’t go quite so peachy. I know, shocking right - who knew ripping off gangsters would land you into a whole world of hurt??

The Terrifics, Volume 1: Meet the Terrifics Review (Jeff Lemire, Evan "Doc" Shaner)

I’ve figured out what DC’s “New Age of Heroes” line is: a series ripping off Marvel properties! That joke Damage was their shitty Hulk while The Terrifics are their equally shitty take on the Fantastic Four.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Murder Book Review (Ed Brisson, Simon Roy)

Murder Book is a collection of short crime comics written by Ed Brisson and drawn by a number of artists. Some of ‘em are good, some are meh and overall it’s not a bad read!

Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith, Volume 2: Legacy's End Review (Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli)

Darth Vader hunts down a Jedi librarian and someone else is trying to assassinate him – just another day in the life of the Dark Lord of the Sith!

Sunday, 26 January 2020

My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies Review (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips)

Two junkies in rehab fall in love and get back into the habit. But one of them isn’t who they say they are…

Tomboy, Volume 1: Divine Intervention by Mia Goodwin Review

16 year old Addison’s world is turned upside down when her boyfriend is murdered. Which of course means she has to become a... celestial avenger… ?!

Mia Goodwin’s Tomboy is laughably bad and I didn’t enjoy reading it at all. After a certain point, the amount of nonsense that had piled up actually gave me a headache!

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney Review

Frances is bisexual and used to be in a relationship with her bestie, Bobbi. The two perform spoken word poetry in Dublin and their literary circle enters the orbit of Melissa, a thirtysomething writer, and her actor husband Nick. As the group become friendly, Frances starts an affair with Nick. Drama inevitably ensues!

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley by Kim Deitch Review

Kim Deitch has always been a rambling storyteller which sometimes isn’t bad when the myriad digressions his tales take are entertaining; but when they’re not, like in the case of The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, it can make for utterly tortuous reading.

Friday, 24 January 2020

Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War Review (Duane Swierczynski, Jason Pearson)

After a particularly nasty blowout south of the border down Mexico way, Deadpool is hauled in front of a US Senate committee where he’s questioned about similar shenanigans he may or may not have been involved in during Reagan’s years. But is Wade telling the truth or just another bunch of tall porky chimichangas…?

Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha! Review (Akira Toriyama, Dragongarow Lee)

A teenage Dragon Ball fanboy dies trying to get a closer look at a girl in a short skirt and gets reincarnated as Yamcha (a very minor character in the saga). True to form, now as Yamcha, the teenager lusts after hot girl Bulma and tries to use his fanboy knowledge to get into her pants. Finally, a Dragon Ball book for creepers!

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Justice League: No Justice Review (Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson)

For some reason mystery, wonder, wisdom, and entropy are manifested as titans who want to crush planets. Guess what the Justice League have to do? That’s right, say it with me: punch dem. Yaaaawn. Yep, it’s another impossibly bad Justice League book!

Beverly by Nick Drnaso Review

When I first flicked through this one it looked like a short story collection. Then I started reading it and I realised – oooh, it’s all connected (albeit tenuously at times) by a single character. Beverly? Nope – a blonde teenage girl called Cara. There is a character called Beverly but I won’t give away any spoilsies here…

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Heroes in Crisis #1 Review (Tom King, Clay Mann)

Superheroes lie dead in the fields surrounding an isolated Nebraska farmstead: Wally West Flash, Hotspot, Blue Jay, Arsenal, all of whom were being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Sanctuary. An unlikely figure - Harley Quinn - sets out for vengeance against the killer… Booster Gold?!

Analog, Volume 1 Review (Gerry Duggan, David O'Sullivan)

On the face of it Analog is a futuristic noir about your stereotypical private detective-type - trenchcoat, booze, clipped narration, dame troubles - who does shady stuff for shady types. That’d be ok by itself but Gerry Duggan tries to do more and ends up with a muddled mess of boring nonsense instead.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton Review

Set on an English country manor estate in the early 20th century, the wealthy Hardcastle family are throwing a party for their friends. Except tragedy is about to strike: their returning wayward daughter Evelyn will die at 11pm – whodunit? The murderous Footman stalking the grounds, the mysterious Plague Doctor haunting the shadows, or any number of suspicious guests with questionable motives? Aiden Bishop, a man without a past, sets out to solve the case. And then a strange thing happens after Evelyn dies: the day repeats itself. Evelyn dies again and again at the same time and Aiden wakes up each day in the body of a different host. As much whadafuq as whodunit, Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day meets Quantum Leap in Stuart Turton’s The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Mister Miracle #1 Review (Tom King, Mitch Gerads)

I don’t know what it is but I can’t seem to get on with anything by Tom King outside of his Batman, which I love. Though critically acclaimed, The Vision and Omega Men both left me unimpressed – and so it goes with Mister Miracle, at least if this first issue is anything to go by.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Hit-Girl, Volume 2: In Canada Review (Jeff Lemire, Eduardo Risso)

The boilerplate for the least remarkable superhero story is always: hero fights gangsters because crime bad. And that’s the essence of this new Hit-Girl series. First she went to Colombia to stop faceless gangsters from criming; now she’s doing the same but in the snowy Canadian north. The question is: when is it meant to be interesting??

Batman: Damned #1 Review (Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo)

Batman: Damned #1 kicks off DC’s new Black Label imprint where fans can see their favourite characters - though it’s mostly Batman - engage in more adult content. Which apparently means full frontal shots of Bruce Wayne’s junk! Yeah, that’s definitely what’s been missing from the main Batman title… and it’s also the sole reason why copies of this issue are going for bonkers money on eBay as DC have said they’ll censor that panel in future printings.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Freaks of the Heartland Review (Steve Niles, Greg Ruth)

Good art, crap writing/story, there’s a reason why you’ve not heard of this one - I feel like this is essentially what 90% of my comics reviews boil down to. And it also applies to Freaks of the Heartland!

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Volume 4 Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Oscar Bazaldua)

Oh thank god it’s over! Brian Bendis finally delivers the mercy kill to his aimless, tortured Miles Morales run and it’s as bad as the last few books have been! It was fantastic under the Ultimate banner but the series has never been good post-Cataclysm and I’ve only been reading out of the vain hope that the series will return to its past glory (spoilerz it DIN’T!).

Saturday, 18 January 2020

James Bond: The Body Review (Ales Kot, Luca Casalanguida)

The name’s Bland. James Bland. At least it is when Ales Kot is writing him!

Bond fights an assassin. Then a terrorist. Then some Nazi arms dealers. He chills out with some lady in the mountains. He fights another bad guy. And that’s James Bond: The Body. Still awake? Me too - barely.

Normal People by Sally Rooney Review

Oooof. Alright - a disclaimer before I start. Normal People by Sally Rooney is superb. I’m gonna gush about this one (warning to those in the splash zone!) and I honestly feel that the less you know about it, the better the experience will be for you. So, to those of you who’re thinking of reading it, don’t bother with any reviews about the book - just read it. It’s a contemporary story about a boy and a girl who fall in love. That’s all you need to know. And when you’re done, come back and we can hi-five each other in joy over its excellence!

Friday, 17 January 2020

Damage, Volume 1: Out of Control Review (Robert Venditti, Tony Daniel)

Damage is DC’s poor man’s version of Hulk. The only difference is that he can just hulk out for an hour every 24 hours and the person he is when he’s not Damage has less personality than a brick. There’s no story either, just a series of characters lining up to hit and get hit by Damage: Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Gorilla Grodd. Anyone looking for anything – literally anything resembling something worth reading – would be better off reading a takeaway menu instead. Y’know, something with a little more depth.

Old Man Hawkeye, Volume 1: An Eye for an Eye Review (Ethan Sacks, Marco Checchetto)

Did somebody say “pisspoor unnecessary prequel”? No? Well, Marvel’s gonna give you one anyway - here’s Old Man Hawkeye!

Set five years before Old Man Logan, Hawkeye’s out for revenge hunting down baddies for his fallen buds. Also Bullseye’s hunting Hawkeye because he broke the law (even though he seems to have no regard for it himself) and so’s Venom. Get ready for six issues of mindless idiocy!

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume 2 Review (Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette)

I feel like Kevin Sorbo yelling out stage directions: DISAPPOINTED!

Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume 2 is your run-of-the-mill Wonder Woman/superhero story: a Nazi superwoman threatens Paradise Island – Diana’s mom gotta punch her; Doctor Psycho’s up to no good – Diana’s gotta punch him. Hmm…

Oblivion Song, Volume 1 Review (Robert Kirkman, Lorenzo de Felici)

Giant monsters walk the land while small groups of humans try to survive - Oblivion Song is basically Image’s answer to Dark Horse’s BPRD: Hell on Earth, and, like that series, it’s pants!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard Review

Historian Mary Beard covers the first 1000 years of Roman history, from its humble beginnings when (supposedly) Romulus killed his brother Remus before founding what would become the city of Rome, to around the time when Christianity sunk its fangs into the empire to become its main religion, in SPQR. It sounds exhausting and I’m here to tell you that it’s even worse in the reading! I got through the whole mammoth affair but it wasn’t worth it.

Gideon Falls, Volume 1: The Black Barn Review (Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino)

A ritual killer’s doin’ his thang in the small town of Gideon Falls. A Catholic priest is dispatched to replace the previous Father who recently died in strange circumstances. A mental patient with a face mask wanders the city collecting “special” pieces of garbage. Both priest and nutbar have visions of a black barn. *Yawns* Oh, what does it all mean?

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

So Buttons: Man of, Like, a Dozen Faces Review (Jonathan Baylis, Dean Haspiel)

Jonathan Baylis’ collection of slice-of-life comics, So Buttons: Man of, Like, a Dozen Faces, reminded me of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, wherein our man related autobiographical stories drawn by a variety of artists. They’re not as interesting as Pekar’s comics – Pekar was just a better writer – but there are some fun gems amidst some dross.

The Walking Dead, Volume 30: New World Order Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

Rick and his jolly band come across a new group: the Commonwealth! And so begins the same old story – can they trust them or is they nutballs?

Monday, 13 January 2020

MIND MGMT, Volume One: The Manager by Matt Kindt Review

A plane full of people suffer collective amnesia. A village where people are constantly making pots for no reason. A small town wiped out in an inexplicable massacre. Writer Meru decides to follow the strange trail of events for her latest book to answer the question at the heart of this dark mystery: who is Henry Lyme?

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente Review

Some comics professional got murdered at San Diego Comic Con - whodunit?

The real question is: who cares? Because Fred Van Lente’s novel The Con Artist is utter rubbish - a failed attempt at a nerd-flavoured murder mystery that only ever bores.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Batman: The Court of Owls Saga Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)

One of the major (and fair) critiques of Batman is that Bruce Wayne could do more good for Gotham with his billions of dollars than he ever could as a masked vigilante. So in this book he puts his money to work, rejuvenating the impoverished areas of the city… and inadvertently awakening a secret society of homicidal lunatics called The Court of Owls who’ve ruled Gotham from the shadows for years! And the only person to thwart their plans? Superman Wonder Woman Green Lantern Literally dozens of other characters Batman! Hand meet gauntlet – this is The Court of Owls Saga!

Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Volume 7: Scarlet Samurai Review (Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato)

Like he does, Logan’s putzing about Japan waiting for the latest Marvel hack to give him something to do, when he stumbles into the midst of a gang war: the Silver Samurai’s manufacturing a new illegal drug, Regenix, that temporarily gives users a healing factor like Wolverine’s, and Gorgon wants control of the supply because of an ages-old feud between his people and the Samurai’s. Oh man, Logan’s in yet another shite comic!

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Hellboy: Krampusnacht Review (Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes)

This won Best Single Issue at the Eisners this year – what a thin year it’s been for quality comics! Hellboy: Krampusnacht isn’t bad but it’s your standard Hellboy story: Big Red goes someplace spooky to punch a monster. He’s done it a hundred times before and he does it again here with no variation to the well-defined formula. What so impressed everyone??

Kick-Ass, The New Girl: Book One Review (Mark Millar, John Romita Jr)

An ex-soldier in need of cash decides to do the sensible thing and dress up as Kick-Ass to rob some gangsters. Why Kick-Ass – why not other less embarrassing masked superheroes like Batman or Spider-Man? Because Mark Millar doesn’t own those characters. What? You thought the premise of a Mark Millar comic WOULDN’T be arbitrary nonsense?!

Friday, 10 January 2020

The Fix, Volume 3: Deal of Fortune Review (Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber)

I wonder if Nick Spencer was hungry when he was thinking of naming his main characters in The Fix? Roy = (Chicken) Roy(ale), Mac = (Big)Mac/Mac(‘n’cheese), and Pretzels. I rewatched Pulp Fiction for the umpteenth time this past weekend so it’s probably that brilliant conversation between Jules and Vincent that’s making me think this (Royale with cheese! What’d they call a Big Mac? Le Big Mac).

Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt Review

Lisa Hanawalt’s best known for designing the look of the Netflix show Bojack Horseman, which is mostly superb (season four jumped the shark). Her comics though? Bah. No - just terrible!

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso Review

Calvin takes in his old high school friend Teddy who’s suffered a breakdown after his girlfriend Sabrina went missing and is feared dead. And so begins a strange odyssey through American life in 2018…

Thanos, Volume 3: Thanos Wins Review (Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw)

Thanos: a giant purple monster with a thing for power gems and a love of hot skeleton pants Death. In a stunningly original turn, Donny Cates writes a story where, thanks to a power gem, Thanos chases after Death’s love. Did I say original? I meant unimaginative!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer Review

Mrs Armitage, the wife of a successful screenwriter and producer, is having a breakdown. Her marriage is a wreck and she’s discovered that having one child after another hasn’t given her the fulfilling life she wanted. Where’s a pumpkin shell when you need one, eh?

Despicable Deadpool, Volume 3: The Marvel Universe Kills Deadpool Review (Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne)

Deadpool wants to die so he puts a $20 million bounty on his own head. You mean like in the Daniel Way run when Deadpool also had a deathwish? Yup - even Hit Monkey makes a (pointless) cameo! Despicable Deadpool? More like Derivative Deadpool! But no, Despicable is definitely apt - this book is so bad!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Cloud Hotel by Julian Hanshaw Review

In Julian Hanshaw’s brief intro he mentions that Cloud Hotel was inspired by an incident in 1980 where, as a kid, he and his family encountered a spaceship in the English countryside. For realsies. O-k...

Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: God of Magic Review (Donny Cates, Gabriel Hernandez Walta)

Stephen Strange is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme because a giant floating tiger’s head told him so. Makes sense to me - and I’m completely brain dead! Then who’s the new big magic cheese? Loki, who just happened to be hanging around the giant floating tiger’s head when the arbitrary decision was made (a colossal HINT as to how this farce plays out). So Stephen becomes a vet… no, this is not a comedy.