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.