Wednesday, 31 August 2016
The second volume of Sam Wilson: The Worst Captain America is entirely filled with the even crummier Avengers Standoff event. Pleasant Hill is a seemingly-idyllic 1950s-style American small town – but something’s not right. Beneath its sunny exterior lies a dark secret – and Sam Wilson’s gonna find out what it is!
Tuesday, 30 August 2016
The ruler of a kingdom dies leaving the courtiers squabbling over who should take over. Then a sorceress appears, scattering everyone, and whoever makes it back to the castle… becomes ruler, or something?
Monday, 29 August 2016
Just when I’d written off Jeff Lemire he comes out with a really good superhero comic - and of course it’d be for a fellow Canuck like Wolverine!
Old Man Logan is the best Wolverine story bar none. Originally a standalone (and I know this is a DC term but it’s fitting) “Elseworlds”-type story by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven from 2008-09, the character and world was revisited in a Brian Bendis-written miniseries during last year’s Secret Wars and now it’s an ongoing.
Lunella (like lunar = Moon Girl – that’s the level of obviousness we’re operating at here) is supposedly a genius nine year old inventor. And PAUSE! The problem with writing a genius-intellect character is that the writers have to convince you of the character’s extraordinary intelligence and neither Brandon Montclare nor Amy Reeder achieves this. Six pages in, they demonstrate their own stupidity by dropping a clanger that completely shatters the flimsy illusion that Lunella is a “genius”.
Sunday, 28 August 2016
The New Mutants are: Cannonball, Sunspot, Magma, Magik, Dani Moonstar and Karma aka the X-Men’s B-team aka who?! When one of their team goes missing, they set out to find her in a remote town – and guess who’s awaiting? Legion! It’s six versus however many dozens of personalities are inside David Haller’s whacked-out mind!
Saturday, 27 August 2016
Mark Grayson/Invincible and his ma are still reeling from the revelations about his pa Omni-Man. But Mark hasn’t got much time to reflect with aliens invading and high school graduation ahead. Being a teen superhero, eh?
James Robinson’s pitch for a new Scarlet Witch series isn’t the strongest: er, just have her wander the Earth, fighting evil spirits and such? Its arbitrary, uninspired nature is why this first volume doesn’t leave much of an impression.
Friday, 26 August 2016
The bad news is the Unbearable Squirrel Girl and Howard the Fuck are in this comic. The good news is that this is a Marvel version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None so there’s a possibility we might get to see them killed!
Think of a clichéd LA noir plot: missing persons, shady organisations, stake-outs, private dicks with drinking problems, the occasional gun-fight; that’s Scene of the Crime!
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Ten years ago they saved the world during a crisis-level event. Today this small team of superheroes live on a farm near a small town with no memory of how they arrived there but they do know one thing: they can never leave. Wha’ happen?!
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Lone Wolf and Cub are a disgraced samurai and his infant son travelling through Edo-period Japan (sometime between 1603 and 1868) working as a sword-for-hire. He kills lots of people, some of them try to kill him and his boy and fail (that’s not a spoiler, there are several more books after this so of course he’s in no real danger), and that’s about it!
In his reprinted article from April 1991 for the now-defunct Spy magazine, How to Fool All of the People, All of the Time, John Connolly eviscerates Donald Trump’s public image, revealing the con-man lurking behind the visage of success. And it’s an entertaining read!
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Superheroes are integrated into Pleasant Hill alongside supervillains which can only mean one thing: big pointless battle! Sigh… Avengers Standoff ends as poorly as it started!
Monday, 22 August 2016
I get that Howard the Duck is meant to be a “lame (duck) character” (sorry that was a Chip Zdarsky-level joke) but does his series have to be actually lame? The first Howard the Duck volume (numbered “Volume 0” because Marvel can’t do anything simply) wasn’t great but it was ok - this second one though (Volume 1)? Pee-yew!
Sunday, 21 August 2016
An artist who draws a crap duck painting then sells the pastel-splattered rag underneath it as the real art, a fat guy who likes Cheetos, a wizard who summons a lemon instead of a demon thanks to cursive (the cartoon on the cover), and what do the buttons on Darth Vader’s chest really do? These are the one-page cartoons of Jim Benton most of which are pretty meh, though a few aren’t bad.
Saturday, 20 August 2016
Welcome to Pleasant Hill, a perfect, 1950s-style small town complete with its own malt-shop straight out of Archie! The people here are friendly, Mayor Maria Hill is organising fun events like the forthcoming air show, Dr Erik Selvig keeps everyone healthy, and nothing bad ever seems to happen. But the community seems a little too idyllic for some... And the residents can’t ever leave or remember much of their pasts - what the Jiminy Cricket is going on?!
Friday, 19 August 2016
In the eight months since Battleworld, Cyclops has died - somehow, somewhen, by possibly someone (the suddenly-lethal-to-mutants Terrigen Mist might’ve got ‘im!). In his wake are a gang of mutant idiots wearing Cyclops masks calling themselves the Ghosts of Cyclops, causing havoc wherever they appear. It’s up to the teenage time-displaced All-New X-Men - including the young Cyclops - to stop them. Not enough Cyclops mentions in this paragraph? CYCLOPS!
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy: New Guard, Volume 1: Emperor Quill Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti)
Brian Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy might’ve been relaunched with a slightly different lineup - Kitty Pryde is wearing Star-Lord’s clothes and Ben Grimm aka The Thing is there for no reason - but it’s the same repetitive bullshit storylines as before. A powerful alien wants to destroy things - Guardians gotta punch them ‘til they stop! Then, immediately after they stop the powerful alien by out-punching them, another powerful alien appears that they have to stop with punching! I think it’s time Bendis left this title.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Being a teen is restrictive but for Anda, when she logs into Coarsegold, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), she’s free as her avatar. And then she meets Raymond, a player her age from China, and her world, online and offline, changes.
Set in 1970s In-ger-lund, two teenagers - Vic, the confident, handsome ladies’ man, and Enn, his awkward, inexperienced friend and our narrator - go in search of a house party and find one. But is it the right one? And who are all these strange girls?
Monday, 15 August 2016
The Colder Trilogy draws to a close with Toss the Bones as Declan and Nimble Jack face each other for the final time - but who will walk away?
The theme of this collection of Wonder Woman short stories is essentially peace and unity. And it starts well with Diana, as a UN ambassador, trying to broker peace between two warring African factions. Except Ares, the literal God of War, appears and Diana fights and defeats him, showing how useful and unavoidable conflict can sometimes be.
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Sabretooth’s taken control of the Hand, the most powerful Japanese ninja clan, and Wolverine’s killed one of its members posing as a politician. Now the authorities, along with the new Silver Samurai, are after Wolverine. Snikt ‘em all, bub-san!
Saturday, 13 August 2016
Who Killed Kurt Cobain? asks the title and the following comic answers what everyone already knew: Kurt Cobain. I thought with the subtitle, The Story of Boddah, that Nicolas Otero would try to frame it as Cobain having a split personality (Boddah was Cobain’s imaginary childhood friend) with “Boddah” taking over and “killing” Kurt, kinda like a Fight Club interpretation. But no, Boddah’s a supporting character who appears throughout, chatting with Kurt but not really playing a major role in anything.
Hercules wants to be taken seriously as a hero so he’s given up the sauce. Shame that change doesn’t make him any more interesting to readers! New gods called The Uprising Storm are fighting old gods and Herc’s gotta put these young whippersnappers in their place to prove that the olds are classics for a reason… zzz….
Friday, 12 August 2016
I gets into some spoilers in this one so fair warning. The short version of this review is that Dark Matter is pants and pretty stupid for a wannabe smart sci-fi novel – don’t need much grey matter between your ears to read this drek!
What a complete and utter shitshow!
X-Men hasn’t been good for a while but Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos’ Extraordinary X-Men is the lowest it’s been in some time. (Deep breath)...
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Harvey Dent’s split personality might be cured if only the Dark Knight can get him somewhere fast before his evil side dominates. Except Bruce is too late - Harvey’s taken a hit out on him and every crazy is crawling out of the woodwork to claim the reward. It’s a race against time on the road trip to hell for Two-Face and the Goddamn Batman!
After being persuaded to give university a second chance, Esther triumphantly returns to Sheffield with Susan and Daisy for the tubthumpin’ second year. And then they realise they got nowheres to live! Oh ladies. Classic Gigantic Hays! While Susan joins Tinder in the vain hope of getting over McGraw, Esther falls for a student film director and becomes the leading lady in his movie. This is Giant Days Volume 4… aannnnd ACTION!
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker's The Black Monday Murders #1. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/black-monday-murders-1-review/
I get into some spoilsies later in the review so I guess “be warned”. The short version of this review is that the book is overrated, boring and poorly written and I wouldn’t recommend it. Ok, on with the review proper!
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Hellboy was sent to Mexico in 1956 to investigate some mass killings and then went missing for five months. These stories cover Hellboy’s “lost weekend” south of the border.
Disappointingly, Hellboy in Mexico is mostly reprints of stuff that’s appeared in previous better Hellboy books. The original Hellboy in Mexico story first appeared in The Bride of Hell and Others while House of the Living Dead originally appeared as its own volume.
Sunday, 7 August 2016
A mysterious figure suggests Harley become a supervillain therapist and, because there’s no story otherwise, she sets out to do exactly that! But who is this person and are they setting her up for something more sinister…?
Saturday, 6 August 2016
Clark Elwood travels to the remote mountain town of Lame Dog to find his beloved Kito. But after he discovers that the place has a dark secret, will he survive the terrible Rat God?
This is the first comic I’ve read that’s written by Richard Corben - usually I read comics he’s only drawn - and Rat God isn’t a bad effort but it is an overly perplexing one.
Friday, 5 August 2016
18 months, guys - 18 TREELESS MONTHS!!! That’s how long I’ve been hankering for more Tree-y goodness since the first book dropped into me grubby reading mitts! So now that the second arc is complete is Two Forests as grand as the first? Nope - but it’s still good!
Marvel have a buncha weird oddball characters sitting around not doing much so why not lump them together into a team and pretend they’re important to have around? That’s basically the idea behind Howling Commandos of SHIELD, a “spooky” Marvel team book comprising: Dum Dum Dugan (a Life Model Decoy that is), zombie Jasper Sitwell, Hit-Monkey, Man-Thing, Warwolf, Teen Abomination, Orrgo, Vampire By Night, and Manphibian.
Thursday, 4 August 2016
Maestro (the bearded Hulk) wants to rule the shattered ruins of Battleworld because he’s nothing if not persistent - he wanted it during Secret Wars and he still wants it after it’s turned to shit! What a moron. Except he’s enslaved to The Collector who’s using a magical McGuffin to have godlike powers to kidnap Marvel heroes and make them battle one another pointlessly. You’d never know this was all because of a popular game called Contest of Champions would you, the story is so solid!
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
My latest review for Need to Consume was Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Kill Or Be Killed #1. Read the full piece here: http://www.needtoconsume.com/comics/kill-killed-1-review/
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Cletus Kasady/Carnage discovers there was a sole survivor to his first mass murder so he decides to finish the job - except she’s posing as a mine supervisor in West Virginia as bait for the FBI lying in wait. Will the Feds finally capture Carnage? Of course not but Marvel would like to pretend there’s some tension to this pap!
In the early hours of 3 July 2010 near Newcastle, Raoul Moat, a 37-year-old bodybuilder/mechanic, recently released from prison, shot his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend with a sawn-off shotgun before going on the run; his ex would survive but the boyfriend died. Moat would go on to shoot a police officer (who survived but was permanently blinded – unable to cope with his disability, he committed suicide two years later) before being cornered by police after six days and killed himself with a shotgun blast to the head.
Monday, 1 August 2016
Batman’s unrelenting search to find a way to somehow bring his son back from the dead has led to Damian’s corpse being stolen by a succession of supervillains for an unknown purpose. All roads lead to Apokolips as Batman, in the Hellbat suit, and joined by Jason, Tim, Babs, Titus and Cyborg, launch a daring rescue to save Damian from under the nose of Darkseid and his demented son Kalibak in Robin Rises!
Nimble Jack is dead, the Nightmare World is closed off and Declan and Reece are enjoying life together with Declan curing mental illness wherever he goes. Until a figure from Declan’s past returns, upset that the lack of crazy is causing his horrific crop to wither and die. He is Swivel, a finger farmer from the Nightmare World, and he is here to harvest.