Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Animal Man, Volume 1 Review (Grant Morrison, Chas Truog)

Grant Morrison is one of my favourite comics creators - I definitely think he’s the best comics writer there’s ever been - but I don’t love everything he’s written. Case in point: his late ‘80s Animal Man series which was also his first major US title. Me no likee! 

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: Scare Tactics Review (Tony S. Daniel, Ed Benes)

Detective Comics, Volume 2: Scare Tactics is an assortment of bad Batman short stories, mostly written by Tony S. Daniel, a guy who can draw right good but cannot write right at all! 

Monday, 24 April 2017

James Bond: Hammerhead Review (Andy Diggle, Luca Casalanguida)

Spinning off from Warren Ellis’ James Bond series, creators Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida take 007 on a new adventure in Hammerhead. A villain called Kraken is targeting Britain’s nuclear arsenal with plans to wipe out London - here comes Bond to save the day! Bah da bah baah, bah da daah! 

Death of X Review (Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule)

The post-Secret Wars X-Men titles bizarrely began eight months after the Marvel Universe was put back together again. We found out Cyclops had died in those eight months and the Terrigen Mist spelled the extinction of homo superior! That was bonkers enough but why did Marvel structure it this way with the time jump? Dunno. So we could get Death of X, I guess, which takes us back eight months to show us how Cyclops died? And boy is it unnecessary and boring! 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Daredevil, Volume 10: The Widow Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

Madame Hydra is captured in Bulgaria but the local authorities won’t give the Avengers the collar – unless they give them Black Widow in exchange. The US government quietly sends someone out to capture Natasha who decides to hide in plain sight with Matt Murdock – who also has a big target on his head now that he’s the Kingpin! Ah, quiet reunions are never a thing between exes anyway!

Lot No. 249 by Arthur Conan Doyle Review

1884 Oxford and a medical student buys up a bunch of Egyptian stuff at an auction – including lot no. 249: a mummy! Shortly after, the medical student’s (laughable) “enemies” start getting attacked by a mysterious assailant. Surely it’s not the mummy, what??

Arthur Conan Doyle may have written some stonking good detective yarns with Sherlock Holmes but his attempt at horror in Lot No. 249 is pretty crap.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Who Is Oracle? Review (Shawna Benson, Claire Roe)

Oh Rebirth, you are so boring! Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (emphasis on Batgirl I guess because people like Babs and don’t give a fuuuuuck about Black Canary and Huntress – to be fair, I don’t either!) is another pile of wanky, tedious comic sludge. 

Batman: The Wrath Review (Mike Barr, Tony Bedard)

Two parents are shot on the streets of Gotham one night, leaving their son an orphan. That son grew up to be… The Wrath?!

Right: first? I’ma eat some crow! Ever since Year Two: Fear the Reaper I’ve called Mike Barr one of the worst Batman writers ever. Tony Bedard never wrote anything as heinous but he’s never impressed me either. So I’m glad that I occasionally give these bad writers a chance to redeem themselves because, credit where credit’s due, Batman: The Wrath positively stunned me with how good it was!

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville Review

If you ever wanted to read a book about a guy smelling his own farts for 160 pages, this one’s for you! “Ohh (fart), I’m (fart) China (fart) Mieville and, oooh (fart) I know sooooo (fart) much (fart) about (fart) Surrealism! (FAAAAARRRRTTT)”

Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)

Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman is apparently traumatised after her identity was stolen by the Skrull Queen in the pap that was Secret Invasion. So Jess jumps at the chance when Abigail Brand, the head of SWORD, approaches her to kick some Skrull boo-tay in revenge. And that’s all the story Brian Bendis needs for a 7-issue book!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie Review

A gold-digging man is accused of murdering a wealthy old woman who took a shine to him. He says he’s innocent but the evidence looks damning. Did he or did he not dunit? His defence lawyer sets out to uncover the truth. 

This writer - Agatha bloody Christie! - always makes me feel like a fool and I love it! She effortlessly leads me by the nose, taking me exactly where she wants me to go while making me think I’m totally in charge and know where things are going. I thought I knew where the story was headed, just like I do with every Agatha Christie story I read, and then old Aggie pulls the rug out from under me with that terrific final twist. Wrong again, buddy! And, like most twists, it seems so obvious in retrospect but there lies the genius. 

The Witness for the Prosecution was a thoroughly entertaining murder mystery with some clever misdirection and lots of great dialogue – easy to see why it was adapted for the stage and keeps being made into movies. Dame Agatha the Queen of Crime strikes again!

All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy Review (Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr.)

Batman has the opportunity to erase Two-Face’s Hyde persona leaving only the “good” Jekyll part of him, Harvey Dent. They have 500 miles to travel to get the cure. Only problem is Two-Face has placed a massive bounty on the Dark Knight’s head and all the rats have crawled out of the woodwork and are gunning for him en route! Will they make it - and will the cure work? 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Civil War II Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Marvel does Minority Report in Civil War II as a new Inhuman called Ulysses appears with the ability to see the future! The battle-lines are drawn between Captain Marvel, who wants to use Ulysses to stop future crimes before they happen, and Iron Man, who doesn’t want anyone arrested for crimes they haven’t committed yet – or might not commit at all! But after a disturbing vision of an iconic hero’s murder of another iconic hero, how accurate are Ulysses’ visions and is Tony Stark willing to risk his friends’ lives to find out?

Kiosco by Juan Berrio Review

Juan Berrio’s Kiosco is a Spanish comic but it’s wordless so there’s no translation issues! It tells the story of a man who runs a small kiosk in a park having a really slow day without customers – until a woman walking her dog appears to brighten him up.