Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Originally published serially as Superman: Confidential, this is a story from Superman’s early days when he’d only just appeared and didn’t know the extent of his vulnerabilities yet. A shady casino owner called Anthony Gallo comes to Metropolis with his lucky giant hunk of green crystal and the Man of Steel has his first encounter with Kryptonite.
Monday, 30 May 2016
After being frozen during the closing days of WW2, Captain America/Steve Rogers was originally defrosted in the early ‘60s; in Captain America: Man Out of Time, Mark Waid and Jorge Molina reimagine his origin, defrosting Cap in the 21st century - with mixed results.
A presidential campaign where one of the candidates is a female demagogue suspected of embezzlement, campaign fraud, and corporate corruption and the other is a male demagogue and an anti-intellectual loudmouth pandering to the lowest common denominator on a zero substance platform backed by the forces of darkness - it’s
Sunday, 29 May 2016
February 2004, ten months after the fall of Baghdad. US Military contractor Chris Henry is training new Iraqi police and then discovers that one of his trainees has been murdered. Teaming up with local cop Nassir, who has his own set of problems involving some dead American soldiers in his basement, Chris and Nassir must navigate through the chaotic power vacuum that is Iraq post-US invasion. Elsewhere, a young Iraqi woman called Sofia is trying to control the disparate criminal elements, determined to do whatever it takes to seize power of her country.
Saturday, 28 May 2016
Selina Kyle/Catwoman is living the high life abroad until a failed robbery leaves her tapped out - she needs money and that means going back to Gotham City. She just needs one big score to get her liquid again but that means hitting up the Falcone crime family for $24 million. Mee-yow - for that kinda cash, someone’s gonna get hurt, and not everyone’s lucky enough to have nine lives!
In 2002, CARE International invited Bill Bryson on an eight day trip to tour its humanitarian work in Kenya with him writing it up into this, Bill Bryson’s African Diary (something of a misnomer as Bryson only visits Kenya). The entire proceeds of the short book will go to help the kinds of people depicted inside it - and it’s a wonderful read too!
Friday, 27 May 2016
Captain America and Black Widow! Clones! Cosmic cubes! Alternate dimensions! Evil corporations! How does any of this come together into a coherent storyline? It doesn’t!
Thursday, 26 May 2016
The New 52 exploded like a giant stink-bomb in September 2011, a line-wide reboot tying their DC, Wildstorm and Vertigo characters together into one overloaded, incoherent universe, and, spitting in the face of 70+ years of continuity, reset their numbering back to #1. The desperate move put DC ahead of Marvel briefly before readers realised from the shoddy quality of too many of the comics that DC didn’t know what they were doing and then sales tapered off; the New 52 died quietly in the summer of 2015 amidst indifferent yawns.
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Larry Ferrell is the dying billionaire inventor of Chirper (fictional Twitter) and, in true Willy Wonka fashion, decides to give away his fortune to 140 random people (because there’s 140 characters in a tweet, I mean, “chirp”). These selected few receive a “140” app on their phones instantly entitling them to roughly $130 million each and a ride to Ferrell’s private island in the Bahamas to celebrate in style. However, if one of the 140 dies, their share is distributed equally amongst the survivors and, theoretically, the last man standing would receive billions. Let the murder games begin!
My latest review for Need to Consume was Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Howard Porter's Scooby Apocalypse #1. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/scooby-apocalypse-1-review/
The Art Operatives protect art from people who want to steal and destroy them, literally taking the subjects of the paintings out of the canvas into real life and putting them into a kind of witness protection! But one day nearly all of the Art Ops disappears suddenly and it’s down to the Art Ops head’s son, Reggie Riot, to partner with a superhero character to save the Mona Lisa from destruction.
Monday, 23 May 2016
Josh Jaffe is a middle-aged recently laid-off father of two who can’t find employment. What he has got though is a bad knee, bad back, acid reflux, a receding hairline and trouble in the sack. His wife works as a makeup artist on a superhero TV show, just about keeping their heads above water. Josh’s brother sees him stuck in a rut and gives him a special new energy pill, Jacked, to help him out. Except now Josh suddenly has super-strength/hearing/focus. But superheroes aren’t real… are they?
The title of Eduard Morike’s “classic” novella, Mozart’s Journey to Prague, makes you think it’s about something - the great composer’s journey to Prague, for example - but it’s not really about anything at all.
Sunday, 22 May 2016
Oh, thank god it’s over! Ed Brubaker’s 100+ issue run on Captain America ends on yet another sub-par volume, this time co-written by Cullen Bunn. It’s a shame because there were a lot of highlights during the run like re-introducing Bucky in the Marvel Universe as the Winter Soldier, the death and rebirth of Cap, and Red Skull got up to some fun shenanigans. But this last book is just generic and uninspired.
Because they can get away with it I guess, the policemen of America have their convention in Hawaii - and a buncha supervillains tag along to try and blow them all up. Batman, Robin and the Spirit to the rescue!
Saturday, 21 May 2016
The Thors are Doom’s Battleworld police-force made up of every incarnation of Thor from Ultimate Thor to Beta Ray Bill, to Old Thor, Frog Thor, Destroyer Thor and even Groot Thor (“I Am Thor!”). But on a world where multiple versions of the same person can exist, there are many Jane Fosters out there too - and someone is killing them all. The Thors must stop a serial killer who is murdering the same person over and over.
This should be called The Blah Fox because that’s all I felt after reading it: blah!
Set in 1883 Iceland for no reason, a dickhead hunts a rare blue fox in the snow, eventually shooting it. Cut to a different time for no reason and we’re introduced to a dead girl called Abba who had Down’s Syndrome. Then it’s back to the present where the dickhead is covered in snow after his shot caused an avalanche. Mamma mia, what the hell’s the story, my, my, what a crappy novel!
Friday, 20 May 2016
You know the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf fairy tale? Prepare to be bored as it gets reimagined - yes, it’s one of those books from the tiresome revisionist fairy tales subgenre - with the roles reversed as the Wolf is being put upon by the Three Little Pigs.
Thursday, 19 May 2016
This is a collection of Twitter images from the hashtag #YouHadOneJob accompanied by “hilarious” one-liner commentary from Beverly Jenkins.
Hold onto your sides for pages and pages of signs upside down, road lines painted weirdly, products incorrectly packaged, misprints, and labels upside down. The inflatable monkey whose tail was stuck on the front was kinda funny and I liked the misprinted Samsung ad which was meant to say “The Pen is Mightier Than the Finger” and instead said “The Penis, Mightier Than the Finger”, though I wonder if the sign had been graffitied/photoshopped. And you’ve gotta feel for the residents of FLICK DRIVE…
In another life…
Peter and MJ are married with a young daughter, Annie May. But the world they live in is without heroes. Anyone with powers must lie low and society is ruled over by a tyrannical supervillain called Regent, who absorbed all of the heroes’ superpowers. Peter retires Spider-Man and maintains a low profile to keep his family safe from Regent’s attention. But when Regent threatens his family Peter is reminded of his sacred vow: with great power comes great responsibility. Time to renew them, Spidey!
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Darwyn Cooke passed away this past weekend and, like a lot of people who were familiar with the man’s name and his work, I wanted to read something of his in memoriam. I thought about re-reading his best known work, New Frontier, or one of his Parker adaptations (his best books in my mind) - and then I saw this double-sized issue of Solo on Comixology, the DC series from ten years ago where each issue was handed over to a creator to do with as they please.
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Almost every time they’ve played each other the Craw County Runnin’ Rebs have beaten their rivals, the Wetumpka County Warriors, thanks in part to Coach Big, the Rebs’ long-time defensive coordinator. Following the brutal murder of Earl Tubb on the orders of Coach Boss, Big is ashamed to be in league with Boss and chosen suicide. Now it’s homecoming week and once more it’s the Rebs vs the Warriors - and, denied Big’s knowledge and experience, Coach Boss is due a reckoning… in more ways than one.
Back in 2013 and 2014, Superman and Batman turned 75 to much fanfare. This year it’s Wonder Woman’s turn… and Plastic Man’s.
Monday, 16 May 2016
Wow, these latter-day Ed Brubaker/Captain America books are garbage, aren’t they? I think this arc is supposed to be about Cap’s continued battle against Bravo and the new Hydra Queen except they’re barely in it. Instead Volume 3 is a bland story featuring even more obscure, uninteresting characters nobody cares about.
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo...
A new drug originating from Germany floods British junkies’ veins, killing them viciously.
… bah da bah baah, bah da daah…
After avenging a fallen 00 agent in Helsinki, James Bond aka 007 heads to Berlin to teach the Krauts a lesson!
… bah da DUH bah da DUH ba da dada!
Saturday, 14 May 2016
I bought a buncha Top Shelf comics recently and I’m really coming to appreciate how bad some of their catalogue is. The Homeland Directive is yet another jaw-droppingly shite piece of work that I’m stunned anyone read and thought “That’s AMAZING - people need to read this, let’s publish it!!”
While tracking Luke Skywalker, the mysterious Rebel pilot who destroyed the Death Star, Darth Vader encounters a fleet of X-Wings. After an intense dogfight, Vader crash-lands onto the desolate planet Vrogas Vas. It’s a prime opportunity for the Rebels as they swarm to the planet’s surface: Vader is down and he’s all alone - now’s their chance to kill the Empire’s most feared enforcer! But they’re about to learn that he’s not trapped in there with them, they’re trapped in here with him…
Friday, 13 May 2016
Thursday, 12 May 2016
Mike Mignola drawing Batman? Automatic sale! So this one is from November 1993, around the time Mignola began his first Hellboy book, Seed of Destruction, and then everything changed for him after that. This comic - Legends of the Dark Knight #54: Sanctum - is basically a dummy run for Hellboy with Batman as the protagonist.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Hey guys, did you know that some of us don’t have or want kids and that’s ok? I had no idea anything quite so obvious needed to be stated but see how quickly I did that, Julian Hanshaw? Didn’t need a 150 page book to draw that shit out!
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Cap has a nightmare where he regresses back to his pre-super soldier form - and then it happens in real life! And of course that’s when Hydra’s Serpent Squad choose to attack with madbombs - what’sa wimpy Steve Rogers gonna do?!
Monday, 9 May 2016
Buh… wha… Greg Rucka… wrote a... GOOD comic…?! What am I saying, I’m losing my edge! Noooo….. NO - credit where it’s due and Black Magick was great! (Goes to lie down)
If you were hoping for some kind of story referencing Doc Ock’s fate regarding the whole Superior Spider-Man storyline like I was, you won’t find that in The Arms of the Octopus. Instead it’s a weak irrelevant crossover between Superior Spider-Man, Indestructible Hulk and All-New X-Men wherein a time-displaced young Doc Ock appears in the present temporarily. But writer Mike Costa won’t even commit to too much Doc Ock in the main story, shunting him off to the side so we can focus on the far less interesting Dr (Hey) Jude!
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Drug dealers apparently have street dates for their products and are busy shipping a new drug called EMC to meet them but not if Frank can shoot them all in the face first!
Wyaaaaaa, it’s a Chewbacca (minus Han) solo comic!
Set in the wake of A New Hope, everybody’s favourite Wookiee crash-lands on some backwater planet while headed back to Kashyyyk on an important personal mission. As he figures out how to get his ride working again (it’s not the Falcon), he meets Zarro, a young girl who asks for his help in freeing her dad and people from enslavement. Chewie and his laser crossbow to the rescue!
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Happy Free Comic Book Day everyone! This is one of Marvel’s two offerings this year and it’s the one that teases their summer event, Civil War II. Writer Brian Bendis has talked about how the title is a bit of a misnomer (and from what I’ve seen of it so far, he’s right) but it was latched onto because of the name recognition of both Mark Millar’s bestselling book and the big Cap movie that’s currently making their studio a butt-load of money!
Cap’s being targeted by another blast from the past. This time it’s a fellow soldier and former ally called Bravo that got left behind on a WW2 mission and has somehow survived to the present day - and is now allied with Hydra!
Friday, 6 May 2016
I’ve been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it at least a couple of years ago now - Grant Morrison reuniting with his Seven Soldiers/Batman Inc. artist Yanick Paquette for a Wonder Woman original graphic novel? Score! Was it worth the wait? Absolutely – it was positively Wonder-ful!
Have you ever looked at the X-Men and wished you were reading a book of worse, derivative X-characters in even more convoluted storylines instead? Well good news because Marvel has the group for you: the Inhumans!
“They fell to Earth; they changed the world. Now, Black Bolt and the Inhumans get UNCANNY!” - that’s one of the dumbest taglines I’ve ever read. “They fell to Earth” - what?! And what does it mean that “the Inhumans get uncanny”? Know what other series has the Uncanny label? X-Men. Know which title Marvel are trying (and failing) to replace X-Men with? Inhumans. That’s probably what “the Inhumans get uncanny” means - how desperate. They REALLY want people to equate the Inhumans with the X-Men and it’s not happening at all.
Thursday, 5 May 2016
I’d hoped Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam would be as funny as Simon Hanselmann’s first book, Megahex, but it turned out to be a big of a letdown unfortunately.
Science is a lie, mythology is real and magic keeps the world turning – no it’s not a Fox News broadcast, it’s Phil Hester and John McCrea’s latest comic, Mythic! Mythic Lore Services are the guys behind the scenes fixing the magical problems of the world while keeping it all hidden from humanity. Now someone is taking out all of the Mythic teams around the world – someone determined to bring about Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse!
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
What is it with Kieron Gillen and armoured characters? After thoroughly trashing Iron Man with his (overlong) run, he’s now doing the same with Darth Vader - someone stop him!
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
The Man with No Face is set post-Civil War/Death of Captain America and Bucky Barnes, the former Winter Soldier, is now (temporarily) Captain America. And a pretty crap one too - Sucky Barnes is the new (at the time) Craptain America!
Monday, 2 May 2016
She travels a broken United States helping the weak and exploited through extreme violence. If you have a problem and no-one else can help, and if you can find her, maybe you can hire… Revenger!
Sunday, 1 May 2016
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars is an example of concept over story. The concept: Deadpool was secretly in the original Secret Wars from 1984. The story: uh… wanna hear the concept again?!
Cap’s hunt for his former sidekick turned ex-brainwashed Soviet assassin, Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, has led him to London. Bucky’s targeting his former handler, General Aleksander Lukin, who’s Odd Couplin’ it up with Red Skull, Cap’s nemesis, in his old Ruskie coconut! Also included are more characters wearing flags, a chap with a skull mask, zeppelins, and a giant robot. Ah, superhero comics, you crazy mistress!