Saturday, 30 April 2016
Eric Powell, creator of The Goon, resurrects his old publishing imprint, Albatross Funny Books, for his new series, Hillbilly, which kicks off on June 29th. This preview is a free Comixology exclusive short story that introduces the character and his world both of which are decidedly Powell-ish!
The third volume of Sex Crimz sees Matt Fraction have some kind of breakdown in the middle of the book – literally, as he writes himself into it having a convo with Chip Zdarsky - as he basically gets bored writing the series. What else happens? Jon and Suzie are being pursued by Kegelface and her cronies - still - with zero progression, and a lot of tiny, totally boring developments occur: Ana and Suzie don’t get along! Robert Rainbow’s intimidated by Rachelle’s sexual experiences! Kegelface is banging Jon’s shrink to get info on Jon! Yikes, that’s the best Fraction can muster?
Thursday, 28 April 2016
The evil Kandorians have managed to turn Lara, Superman and Wonder Woman’s daughter, against her dad – watch a super-powered teen beat the ever-loving snot out of a non-resisting Superman! Nothing more exciting than a one-sided fight… Then the Kandorians present Earth with an ultimatum: hand over Batman or humanity is wiped out. Batman bravely takes painkillers and watches Superman get beaten up. What a hero!
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Left on the doorstep of a kindly childless couple in a small American town, Huck grew up never knowing his birth parents. But as he got older everyone in the town soon realised Huck was special – special because he had super-speed, super-strength, he could jump super high, and could track anyone. Then one day
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal 10th Anniversary Special. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/criminal-10th-anniversary-special-review/
Mad Max: Fury Road was one of my favourite movies from last year - it was crazy fun and full of awesome action set pieces and characters. So I was intrigued to check out these prelude comics from writer/director George Miller and his scriptwriter Nico Lathouris and storyboard artist Mark Sexton. And then I was disappointed as, with most prelude comics, this one turned out to be total crap.
When Mike Mignola went to work on the first Hellboy movie, rather than put the comic on hiatus, he handed the reins over to a revolving door of writers and artists to put together short comics featuring Big Red. The results are collected in this large hardcover anthology, Weird Tales.
Monday, 25 April 2016
Apparently we always want what we can’t have - for Deadpool, that means dying. But what if he gets Hulk really, really, really mad - could Wade be smashed into oblivion once and for all? So begins his experiment in Operation: Annihilation!
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Rich Koslowski’s Three Fingers is an alternate history of movie toons – characters like Mickey Mouse, Porky Pig, etc. all with their names changed of course – from the Golden Age of Hollywood presented as a documentary/talking heads-style comic. And it suuuuuuuuuuuuucks!
Saturday, 23 April 2016
Welcome to the Dahl House is a collection of Ken Dahl’s slice-of-life comics from 1997-2007, most of which are really crap – and I’m a fan of lo-fi sad bastard indie comics!
A scenic Latin fishing village’s peaceful existence is disturbed when giant white orbs begin appearing. Children go blind, people go missing, and a mysterious blonde woman called Ela appears - what does it all mean?
Friday, 22 April 2016
Helen Simpson’s latest collection of short stories, Cockfosters (heh), focuses on older people in their forties and fifties, that no man’s land that’s past middle age but not yet hit decrepit old age. Cockfosters is also, like all of the Simpson collections I’ve read, really good.
Thursday, 21 April 2016
Shoot is a grab-bag of Constantine short stories from quite a few big name creators like Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Jamie Delano, Peter Milligan, China Mieville, and Dave Gibbons but the name that got my attention the most was Jason Aaron’s.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Like anyone with good taste, Robert Kirkman is a huge fan of The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente. He asked Vaughan to let Image publish a hardcover edition of the series. Vaughan would - IF Panel Syndicate could do a canonical issue of The Walking Dead (up til now only Kirkman has written for the title). The deal was done. The gorgeous Cloudburst edition of The Private Eye came out last year from Image Comics and today Panel Syndicate’s The Walking Dead: The Alien was released - and it was very good!
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Batman is infected with the Colossus virus by a mysterious enemy. The clues point to Europe - and he has one week to find a cure. The snag? Joker is also infected and holds the puzzle pieces needed to find it. Batman and Joker must work together to save each other’s lives - tick tock, tick tock!
Monday, 18 April 2016
It’s been a while since the last Aquaman book and right away you can see why - Maelstrom has the equivalent of ten issues or two volumes in one. That stockpiling tactic is something you usually see when a title isn’t selling well which I don’t think Aquaman is because it sucks. The good news is that Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier’s Aquaman series has at least gotten coherent but the bad news is that it still hasn’t grown much of a brain.
Bloody hell, X-Tinky Agenda was utter pigslop! Marc Guggenheim’s script is right down there with the Age of Apocalypse Secret Wars tie-in but Carmine di Giandomenico’s art is slightly better. Story? We don’t need no stinkin’ story, not with the X-Men! One group of X-Men are fighting another group of X-Men, yadda yadda poop. I’m so sick of the X-Morons.
Sunday, 17 April 2016
Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated artist Chris Burnham and Dennis Culver write an instantly forgettable miniseries using the same characters from Morrison and Frank Quitely’s 2001 New X-Men series and appropriating their first arc’s title. What happens in a world where the X-Men are accepted? The same thing that always happens in X-Men stories: those dumb fucks split up into factions and fight each other!
Saturday, 16 April 2016
George Orwell is best remembered for his dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four and allegorical novella Animal Farm but he was also an extremely gifted essayist. Shooting an Elephant collects some of his finest essays (along with some less than sparkling ones).
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Red Skull was sent over the Shield to die in the wastelands after leading a failed insurrection against Doom. Even though nobody’s seen him since and no-one survives the wastelands for long, Doom wants Crossbones to lead a group of supervillains - there’s half a dozen picked out but only Magneto is relevant - over the Shield to find and bring him Red Skull’s head in a box.
Wednesday, 13 April 2016
Remember when you saw The Force Awakens and C-3PO showed up with a red arm and you thought “Huh, he’s got a red arm. That’s weird.” and then instantly stopped caring? Well, thank the Ewoks we finally get to see the story behind that juicy tidbit in C-3PO’s very own one-shot comic special! Prepare for… zzz…
It should’ve been a time for celebration but Alpha and the Whisperers have brought tragedy and horror to the townspeople of Alexandria. Now, the friends and family of the victims demand action from their leader Rick Grimes - instant retaliation - especially against the one former Whisperer in their midst, Lydia, Alpha’s troubled teenage daughter. With pressure building each hour he doesn’t act, Rick turns to an unlikely advisor for answers.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
A lot of the Secret Wars tie-ins riff on well-known/popular past Marvel events/storylines - Age of Apocalypse, Civil War, House of M, Korvac Saga, etc. - but Siege doesn’t really have anything to do with Brian Bendis’ Siege book from nearly 10 years ago. That one was about Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers battling Thor and co. when Asgard was floating above Oklahoma. This one is about Abigail Brand defending the Shield (a big wall) from waves of monsters who want to kill Doom.
I’m not saying I’m an expert on werewolf stories but the most basic template I’d come up with from everything werewolf-related that I’ve seen - from comics, books, TV, and movies - is someone or a group of people hunting the werewolf who’s terrorising a town. That’s Wolf Moon, the very definition of a generic werewolf story. The human turns into a wolf during a full moon, they can only be taken down by silver bullets, all the old staples are here.
Monday, 11 April 2016
Ah, Constantine, a character DC just can’t seem to get right whether in the awful New 52 Jeff Lemire/Ray “Fawkin’ Terrible” Fawkes series or in the short-lived TV show. Well, he’s back in his latest DC You incarnation and this time they’re reinstated the “Hellblazer” into the title. He’s smoking ciggies, he’s bisexual, and he swears - Constantine’s back!
Sunday, 10 April 2016
Bill Bryson-lookalike Wilson lives alone with his puppy, narrating his life to no-one. When his father dies he decides to look for his ex-wife, in the process discovering that he has a teenage daughter he’s never met. Together they strike up a flawed plan to (illegally) reunite their family.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a turd called War of the Supermen, the finale to the awful New Krypton storyline! General Zod decides to invade Earth ‘cos he’s a prick and General Sam Lane (Lois’ pop) tries to commit genocide, also ‘cos he’s a prick. Superman flies around punching people because that’s always fascinating, some second-tier characters “die” because death means so much in superhero comics, and James Robinson does what he does best: blandly resetting things back to normal without any consequences for anything that happened before.
Saturday, 9 April 2016
10 years after Project Mayhem…
He’s called Sebastian these days. Married to Marla Singer, the two have a son, Junior. Released from the funny farm with a heavy-duty pill regimen, he works an office job, she plays the doting housewife, and both are crushingly bored. The pills keep… him… away. Except Marla’s been substituting Sebastian’s pills with sugar out of desperation for a good lay! The urge for a good fight is building again. Now “someone’s” kidnapped their son. He’s back. And this time Tyler Durden will bring about Armageddon! Rize or Die.
Friday, 8 April 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Ta-Nahisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze's Black Panther #1. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/black-panther-1-review/
Batman and Robin return to Gotham after a year away and relieve their stand-in protector: a reformed Harvey Dent! But after a series of low-level criminals are knocked off in suspicious circumstances, has Two-Face also come back?
Thursday, 7 April 2016
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, IT’S A COMICS BIO OF EDVARD MUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Geddit? ‘cos The Scream!)
Spider-Island is the Battleworld realm of the Spider Queen where she’s turned all its denizens into spiders – except for the resistance, led by Agent Venom/Flash Thompson. Venom discovers the heroes’ minds can be severed from the Queen’s if their bodies are transformed and sets about turning everyone he can into different monsters. Meet vampiric Captain Marvel, Lizard Hulk, and the glorious return of Cap Wolf! Elsewhere, Mayday Parker battles brainwashed Avengers to fill up space!
Steven Weissman’s Barack Hussein Obama is a short collection of one page/four panel gag strips where “Obama”, “Joe Biden” “Hillary Clinton” and other political figures do mundane, stupid things for no reason - comedy, I guess?
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
One of the many things I liked about The Force Awakens was how, even though the old favourites - Luke and Leia, Han and Chewie, the droids - returned, the new characters and their stories were just as exciting to see as the classics. Everyone fell in love with Oscar Isaac’s dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, including me, so I was delighted to hear that he was getting his own comics series - and then I read the first issue. Oh…
An undercover spy is on a mission to stop bad guys from doing bad stuff – this story is a recording of her mission, her Black Box.
Sounds vague and generic? Well Jennifer Egan switched things up by writing her story on Twitter! That’s right, each line is a separate tweet making up a whole story. It’s also written in my least favourite style, the second person. This means that everything refers to you. You think. You do. You are. You know. You You. You You You. YOU!
The Allan kids, Geoff and Vivian, are learning the family trade: monster hunting. Elsewhere, one of Frederick Allan’s enemies has returned for revenge and the kids discover a dark secret about their pa…
What the hell happened to this series?! The first volume was so good - the second one’s garbage! And why’s it taken nearly a year to come out? Oy…
Tuesday, 5 April 2016
Megahex is hysterical - I loved this comic. It’s a stoner comedy that you don’t need to be a stoner or high to enjoy and there are some big belly laughs in this book.
Ostensibly parodying Jan Pienkowski’s Meg & Mog kid’s books, Megahex stars Megg and Mogg, a witch and a cat who’re boyfriend and girlfriend, and their housemate Owl, a six foot humanoid owl, whom they torture mercilessly. The book is made up of strips of varying lengths from one pagers to longer stories, most of them purely comedic but some dealing with more serious themes like depression, growing up, and trying to make something of yourself.
Monday, 4 April 2016
Small town America, 1988, and it’s the very early morning after Halloween. Four newspaper girls out delivering see black hooded figures skulking around the neighbourhood and discover a flying saucer in a basement. Then everyone disappears like it’s the goldurn Rapture and pterodactyls are appearing in the skies! Did someone say armour-wearing Rastafarians? And look - a flying ball of stuff that makes you relive your entire life! Makes sense to me! Wait, what’s going on again…?
Sunday, 3 April 2016
Phew, how do you make a four issue miniseries feel like twenty? Hire Marguerite Bennett, the hack who also co-wrote A-Force, to script it!
I read Neil Gaiman’s 1602 about ten years ago but I remember it being ok. The concept was putting Marvel characters into Elizabethan roles, similar to the ones they have in the present day. Angela is cast here as a hunter of “witchbreed” (mutants); I haven’t been reading her solo series so I’m not sure, but is that what she does these days - hunt mutants? That’s pretty shitty if it is.
An American Blackhawk helicopter goes down in the Eastern Afghanistan mountains but her crew survive. They meet up with the British forces they were going to relieve and discover a horrific new threat: shuffling hooded undead figures, their eyes and mouths stitched together, who can’t be stopped with bullets. How are they gonna make it out of there alive?!
Friday, 1 April 2016
Hell’s Kitchen, the 1970s: Irish and Italian mobsters, dirty streets, crime, money, power (you can practically hear Gimme Shelter fading in)… now imagine the mobsters have vaginas! Whaaaaaaaaaa… Mind. Blown.