16 Jan 2018

On The Pull 17/01/18

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Jo S: Much of my list this week is played for laughs - maybe something to do with cheering myself up on a gloomy January Wednesday! Jimmy’s Bastards is multiple kinds of wrong but its non-PC humour is a real tonic. I continue to enjoy the Deadpool Vs Old Man Logan dynamic as this odd couple entirely fail to work together harmoniously. A few of my regular books have reached an end recently and so there’s a Welcome Mat out for a couple of new titles on my pull-list. I'm giving Days Of Hate #1 a try - the striking cover caught my eye and Ales Kot’s name sealed the deal; the blurb doesn't give very much away but hints at a future world in crisis and two people torn apart by circumstance. I'm giving Ice Cream Man #1 an opportunity to impress too - I like the idea of themed done-in-one horror stories and the sickly sweet style reminds me of the pink frosted donut theme running through my favourite horror comic, Plastic. The third newbie for my list is The Further Adventures Of Nick Wilson #1. What happens when you lose the superpowers that defined you and set you on your career path? Washed up and approaching his 30s, Nick needs to find his purpose, in spite of all the baggage he's carrying from his former life; this one looks like it should be a giggle.

14 Jan 2018

Mini Reviews 14/01/2018

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

MISTER MIRACLE #6
Writer: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads
DC $3.99

James R: At the halfway point of Mister Miracle, it's interesting to read something that's already accepted as a modern-day classic - each issue has been so assured, the monthly instalments cement its reputation, whilst leaving me thrilled as to just where this series might be heading. Issue #6 isn't the zenith of the series (issue #5 currently holds that honour for me) but it is still a remarkable book, with Scott Free and Big Barda fighting their way through New Genesis whilst discussing redecorating their home, their deeds treated as commonplace as a supermarket shop. It's not always mentioned how funny King's scripts are, but there's a slew of great moments in the issue, my personal favourite being the guards who continue to squabble over the theology of the New Gods. Mitch Gerads continues to redefine the nine-panel grid, doing some phenomenal work with fixed perspectives and collapsing space. This book is a continuing joy to behold; by now you should be on board with this series, but if somehow you're holding back, the message is simple - believe the hype. 9/10

12 Jan 2018

The Shipping Forecast: March 2018

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the January issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in March 2018.

OBLIVION SONG #1
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Lorenzo De Felici & Annalisa Leoni
Image $3.99

Kenny J: As he takes away a thirteen year run on Invincible with one hand, Robert Kirkman gives with his other hand in the form of a new longform comic tale, Oblivion Song. After an unknown multi-dimensional disaster destroys Philadelphia, a single man returns to ground zero again and again. Kirkman has experience in delivering bleak, shock-filled stories over many years, but where The Walking Dead is grounded in the real world, albeit infested with zombies, Oblivion Song will feature otherworldly monsters and desolate cityscapes, a fact that can be seen in the preview pages of Lorenzo De Felici’s beautiful art. I will always check out a new Kirkman book but this one has me particularly excited with its promise of a new epic saga written by one of my favourite creators.

9 Jan 2018

On The Pull 10/01/2018

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Andy H: This week I'm probably most excited to read X-Men Gold Annual #1. There's not a lot of information out there but as it's an Excalibur story, my nostalgia alarm is making all sorts of noise. The fact the cover is drawn by Excalibur supremo Alan Davis is more than enough to part me from my pennies. X-Men Kitty, Rachel and Kurt reunite with Captain Britain and Megan to celebrate the arrival of their baby but I can't help thinking there's a twist in there somewhere; we shall see. Hard to believe this issue marks the 30th anniversary of Excalibur. Set several years before the events of 'Old Man Logan', Old Man Hawkeye #1 (must have taken some time to come up with that title!) takes us back to the possible future and focuses on the former Avengers archer. Hawkeye is looking for revenge but must work fast, before he goes blind. Art by Marco Checchetto looks gorgeous. The first issue of Witchblade did enough to get me back for Witchblade #2, as Alex deals with her death and rebirth as the new host of the powerful, mystic artefact. Peter David returns to my pull-list as he brings old and new together in BSG Vs BSG #1. How will the modern incarnations of Battlestar Galactica react when they meet their '80s counterparts? This could get confusing but so much fun! Gabriel Rodriguez continues his sword and sci-fi series with Sword Of Ages #2. Always great art and his writing is proving to be pretty good too.

7 Jan 2018

Mini Reviews 7/12/18

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

BATMAN #38 
Writer: Tom King 
Artist: Travis Moore 
DC $2.99 

James R: Another week, another great book from Tom King. Once again, he delivers the goods with Batman, and once again, it's another fine 'done in one' issue. This one will really hit the spot if you're a fan of Batman being the 'World's Greatest Detective' - we find him tracking down the murderer in a crime that has echoes of the tragedy that made Bruce Wayne Batman. What's so good here is King's economy - he does an awful lot in a very short period of time. Not only do we get a rattling good detective story, but we get another take on the unique psychological state of Bruce Wayne. Travis Moore has the unenviable task of following Clay Mann, but he does a nice job with this issue. 2018 starts just how 2017 left off; with Tom King bringing us some exceptional comics. 8/10

2 Jan 2018

On The Pull 03/01/2018

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.


Jo S: It’s my 'Big Week' with a crate full of my favourites all making their way around again and a few shiny new ones to brighten up that first dark few days of the year. Hotly anticipated in my ‘faves’ pile will be Hawkeye #14. Kelly Thompson is my current hero of choice; this series hasn’t missed a beat throughout and the previous instalment, pushing together Clint Barton and Kate Bishop and then watching with glee as the two sparred and sparked, managed to take it up a notch further. I’ll also be indulging my taste for Thompson with Rogue & Gambit #1 in the hopes that she can give the same magic twist to characters I’m less familiar with. Next up, no sooner have I been grumbling about how the first Phoenix Resurrection: The Return Of Jean Grey contained no Phoenix and no Jean Grey than - whoosh, kaboom! - here’s the second issue, hopefully with all the red-headed flamey drama I’ve been looking forward to. Also nominated in the category ‘Most anticipated issue #2’ is Cynthia Von Buhl’s Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini; as an erstwhile amateur magician’s assistant, this tale blending the history of Conan Doyle and Houdini with a detective mystery is right up my street. Van Buhl’s burlesque style dares to bare, and the combination of detective noir, feisty girl hero and sceptical approach to mysticism and magic makes this an intoxicating mix for me. The second part of Ed Piskor’s history of the X-Men arrives this week: the first was fascinating in its detail and yet managed to be a captivating story at the same time so I’ll make time to delve into X-Men: Grand Design #2 even though it’s back to work this week. I’m doing a bit of homework too in preparation for the incoming Black Panther movie; Rise Of The Black Panther sounds like a good place to start so I’ll take that too this week. January is the darkest time of the year but I’m planning to keep it warm and well lit with comics!

31 Dec 2017

Mini Reviews 31/12/2017

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan & Rachelle Rosenberg
Marvel $4.99

Jo S: I am absolutely kicking myself with this one - I let my excitement run away with me and read a few tweets extolling its virtues before reading the book itself, which left me in totally the wrong frame of mind for the actual tale told here. Matt Rosenberg writing Jean Grey is THE perfect combination for me and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this. Add a flamey lenticular cover and a set of wowed up reviews and... well, that was a lot to live up to, I guess. Don’t get me wrong, this is good - really, really good - but, um, SPOILER: this comic promises two leading entities, Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force, and… well… they’re not here! Not yet at least. What we do get is a very mysterious introduction involving hovering kids and psychic injury, followed by further intrigue, wherein the X-Men’s investigation splits them between several sites around the globe, fighting mysterious, familiar yet impossible, foes. My excitement has morphed then into near painful anticipation as it looks as if I will yet have to wait for the Rosenberg-Grey team-up I’ve so longed for, and to see whether Yu’s flamey-ness is up to the mark. Bring on issue #2 and quickly, please! 8/10

24 Dec 2017

Mini Reviews 24/12/2017

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

TALES OF SUSPENSE #100
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Travel Foreman & Rachelle Rosenberg
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: I love Matt Rosenberg’s writing and would probably read pretty much anything he wrote now: that guy could write the instructions for wiring a plug and do it with wit and pace (hey, there’s a challenge!) so there was no way I was going to miss this one. Worth it for the letters page alone - do NOT skip that if you pick this up - this book writes the bereaved Clint Barton in a darkly humorous mode, as he sets out to investigate the murders of a series of members of a very familiar list: all people that Natasha Romanoff, herself recently murdered before the eyes of the world by Hydra-Cap, wanted dead. Barton’s investigative style is not subtle, and he wreaks something of a trail of havoc before finally making some progress - and running across another of Nat’s former loves, Bucky Barnes. I feel duty-bound to mention that I had a small issue with some of the artwork, specifically the action scenes, which somehow lacked dynamism for me. Foreman’s crowd scenes and, when teamed with Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours, his flames and explosions are superb: the fight scenes just felt like the safety rehearsal rather than the real thing. 7/10

22 Dec 2017

The Shipping Forecast: February 2018

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the December issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in February 2018.

YOUNG MONSTERS IN LOVE #1
Writers: Various
Art: Various
DC $9.99

Jo S: Yes, it’s a shameless pitch for the Valentine Geek dime, with a mid-February anthology featuring all the green, undead, tentacled, assembled-from-spares, twisted, tortured, cursed, gruesome, gothic, psychopathic or just downright unappealing DC unfortunates, all lovingly displayed in a plush box embossed with your sweetheart’s… Actually, there’s no box, but there will definitely be monster-lovin’ goodness, with some adorable talent on the roster: Paul Dini, Jeff Lemire, James Robinson and more will be grabbing their strawberry scented pens and putting little hearts on their ‘i’s, and art from Kelley Jones, Guillem March and Frazer Irving, among others will surely have our geek hearts beating a little faster. The cover is a great start: Swamp Thing has sprouted roses to impress his paranormal paramour, their embrace uninterrupted by the entrance of Frankenstein’s Monster; on seeing his bride in those mangrove root arms, you can almost hear his heart breaking. Or, if not his heart, the heart he happens to be using at the moment.

19 Dec 2017

On The Pull 20/12/2017

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Andy H: Mention 'chip' to me and I'll be at the front of the queue. You can imagine my surprise though when I discovered that the latest chip on my radar was in fact a writer and not a potato-based delight. Luckily Chip Zdarsky has proven to be a winner and Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man has become a permanent fixture on my pull-list. This week issue #298 continues the 'Most Wanted' arc as Peter Parker finds himself locked up. Another, hopefully, hot potato from Chip hits the shelves this week as Marvel Two-in-One #1 reunites Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm. Hoorah! Enticingly titled 'The Fate of the Four' you can't help wondering if this will lead to the return of a certain fantastic foursome but, before we get too sidetracked at what could be, we get to enjoy the Fantastic Two. Zdarsky has a great talent for dialogue and I can only imagine that this should be perfect for the banter between the Torch and the Thing. If you want an added incentive to give this a look, then how about Jim Cheung on art? Yes, true believers, this book has a real buzz about it. While I may not follow Hellboy on a regular basis, I have been known to dabble and Hellboy: Krampusnacht makes the shortlist as Adam Hughes provides the art for this one-off story written by Mike Mignola. Champions #15 concludes the 'Worlds Collide' crossover with Avengers and it's been a fun, nerve-jangling ride as Mark Waid has really put our heroes through the wringer. It's great to read a crossover that has one writer, and the quality has really shone through here. Over in the pages of Mighty Thor #702, Jason Aaron is also putting the heroes to the test as Mangog continues to cut a bloody path through Asgard. Phew! Some great reading to look forward to over the Christmas break. For now though, it's off to the local takeaway as for some reason I'm suddenly craving chips. Can't think why. Ho Ho Ho!