11 Feb 2016

Screen Time: DEADPOOL

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J.Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Briana Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, Greg LaSalle
Director: Tim Miller
Runtime: 108 minutes
Certificate: 15 (UK) / R (US)
Release Date: 10th February 2016 (UK) / 12th February 2016 (US)

Stewart R: "Deadpool? As a movie?! No, that'd be too crazy! Impossible to write and then direct! It'd have to be an R rating, where's the bankability? Who'd even want to see that??"- some Hollywood execs somewhere, circa 2004

"Deadpool? As a movie? After good money was put into Wolverine: Origins and we got that mush in return? How'd you even go about undoing that Wade Wilson nonsense?!" - some Comic book movie fan somewhere, circa 2009

"Deadpool? As a movie? Yeah, it works pretty damn well! Will likely be a big hit!" - Stewart R, PCG headquarters, circa February 2016

9 Feb 2016

On The Pull 10/02/2016

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: One of those odd weeks where, despite a reasonably packed new release list, my pull isn't too big. Not to panic, still got some good reading to look forward to. Issue #1s are thin on the ground this week but Vertigo have one I will be checking out. The Dark & Bloody is a six-part mini written by Shawn Aldridge with art by Scott Godlewski (artist on the excellent Copperhead). A returning Iraq veteran falls on hard times and turns to running moonshine in the backwoods of Kentucky. Being Vertigo there's bound to be something dark and scary lurking in the woods somewhere and it looks like there is. The South seems to be on the rise at the moment (in comics) with a fair number of titles set there, Southern Bastards definitely topping the list. Slipping away from the darker side of comics it's time for issue #2 of Harley's Little Black Book. This time the lovely Ms. Quinn teams up with Green Lantern for some cosmic shenanigans. More messing about can probably be found in Spider-Man/Deadpool #2. Joe Kelly has always been a writer that can deliver lighter moments in comics and Ed McGuinness has a great take on Deadpool. Not sure how long this 'team' book will last but should be fun while it does. This issue we get Spider-Man x2 as Miles Morales joins the not-so-dynamic duo. Returning to the slightly grimmer side of comics I'll be picking up Old Man Logan #2. Logan continues with his plan to change the future because we all know a clan of hillbilly Hulks is not something we would want ahead of us! Still at Marvel, Mark Waid's run on Avengers (do I have to call it All New All Different Avengers?) picks up the pace as a villain is revealed and this issue has a really cool cover. While I'm not 100% sure what's going on in Injection, it's a must read. Issue #7 features a man having an affair with the ghost of his dead girlfriend. Warren Ellis rocks! Stick The Autumnlands #9 and Harrow County #9 on my pull and it should be an entertaining week of reading.

7 Feb 2016

Mini Reviews 07/02/2016

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.

Writers: Kelly Thompson & G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jorge Molina & Laura Martin
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: There's something about Singularity's insistence on getting the A-Force band back together which is brilliantly exciting and allows Thompson and Wilson to get the most out of their confident, headstrong cast. The clashes between Medusa and Jennifer, then the pair with the younger Nico, are great fun, their voices all ringing true and their eventual agreement and coming together having a genuine sense of fluidity and spontaneity. The trouble I found was the eventual spinning of the spotlight to Dazzler as her involvement really feels forced and her character redesign feels similarly forced in its punkish, counter-culture-but-it's-pop-culture mould. Molina's art is once again a sight to behold, here delivering terrific scenes of a gigantic Antimatter causing trouble in New York before the action switches to Japan and a superb four-panel page which shows his arrival at a wedding and the menace therein. Strangely, there appear to be two pages - when Captain Marvel gets a look in - which I initially swore to be illustrated by Paul Davidson, as they look different to the rest of the book and remind me of his style, but with no mention of him maybe I'm just looking at these things too hard. In any case, I know now that I won't need to be looking too hard for a premium feel, huge fun, high action book from Marvel month on month as I seem to have found it with A-Force! 9/10

4 Feb 2016

The Road To True Believers Comic Festival 2016

Matt C: Around a decade ago, when the Bristol Comic Expo was the main destination for British fanboys and girls to make their pilgrimage on a yearly basis, you could guarantee there would be a strong attendance by the PCG (or whatever we called ourselves in those days) as it was our rare opportunity to indulge in our passion with a bunch of fans, creative types and those in between (some of whom have since gone on to secure regular work with the Big Two). But the Bristol Expo saw a change of leadership before it gradually imploded, not able to keep up with the growing number of other comic conventions springing up across the country. Obviously time and money mean the PCG are only able to make a handful of excursions per year – London Super Comic Con, Thought Bubble, our beloved Melksham Comic Con – and often it’s a case of who can make it when, so perhaps gone are the days of seeing us out in force at one of these events. But that’s okay, we’re getting older and life can often get in the way of such plans, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still keen to get out there whenever we can and see what’s happening. Which leads us to the True Believers Comic Festival.

2 Feb 2016

On The Pull 03/02/2016

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.

Kenny J: New York obviously isn't big enough for two versions of Spider-Man. As Peter Parker flits around the world, tending to matters of science and international business, those who miss the teenage angst adventures of Spidey can hopefully take a little solace in Miles Morales. Like the Ultimate book before it, Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli bring us a wall-crawler for the 21st century and to be honest I think I prefer it. I'll definitely be taking a look at Spider-Man #1 this Wednesday to see what will befall Miles now Bendis has the toys from both universes to play with. The third instalment of Uncanny X-Men also hits stores this week. The second issue was better than the first and I'm hoping this new one continues in that vein. It was great to see Mystique and this team consists of some of my favourite X-Men. I just hope there is enough of an intriguing story to come back for a fourth chapter. Even if Marvel are once again decimating their ranks I need some mutants in my life! One book that is nowhere near being dropped is Doctor Strange. I have said it before but it needs reiterating that this is by far the most fun and imaginative book I’m reading at the moment. It seems Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo are having a blast making it. Add to that a slowly unfolding but gripping storyline and this is my must read recommendation.

31 Jan 2016

Mini Reviews 31/01/2016

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.

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Ryan Kelly, Nick Filardi, Lee Loughridge, Matt Wilson, Emma Price
Image $3.99

Stewart R: There'd been quite a bit of buzz about this book before its arrival - following Spurrier on Twitter will have helped my exposure, but a fair few people and sites were offering up praise outside of the retweets I was seeing. As I sit here to write this review I'm realising just how well Spurrier has woven a narrative around Louise which flows freely, swirling around her far past, her recent past and her troubled present in captivity. From aspiring London street-musician to black ops grunt in a clandestine squad; it all holds together very well indeed thanks to Spurrier's fine grip of characterisation and a slightly more measured approach to his dialogue than we've seen in previous works. Series such as The Spire and X-Men Legacy saw his hand for brain-fart psycho-babble (a compliment, I assure you!) come to the fore, but here there's a more minimal approach to the interactions which still shine with heart. Kelly needs to be applauded on this effort too as the reader clearly gets to see Louise's girlfriend show frustration and doubt in regards to their relationship through her facial expressions, while Louise remains oblivious to the fact. Once things push onto the militaristic aspect of the book, Kelly busts out a fine depiction of cool-headed confidence in the team that Louise finds herself embedded within. Things are left in a precarious and intriguing spot which absolutely guarantees a second chapter lock in to my pull-list. We do drum on about this all the time but Image really is the place to go for consistently good first issues. 9/10

26 Jan 2016

On The Pull 27/01/2016

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: Looks like January is finishing on a high as the last week of the month gives us a pile of good reading. There seems to be something on offer from all the publishers with Image leading the way. Black Magick, Chew, East Of West, Monstress and Saga are just the tip of the pull-list iceberg. First on my pull is the excellent Southern Bastards #13. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have kept the quality of this title at the highest level from issue #1. I never quite know where the story will go but with every issue I feel I've had another piece of a puzzle given to me even though I've no idea what the finished picture will be. Issue #13 features more of Coach Boss and the Running Rebs as they play the most important game in Craw County history and I'm guessing we'll see more action off the field rather than on. Sadly, I've let my reading slip behind recently but I'm looking forward to catching up with Black Magick, Deadly Class and will more than likely want to try out the new title from Simon Spurrier and Ryan Kelly, Cry Havoc #1. Over at Dark Horse I quite fancy checking out the Hellboy Winter Special. It includes three short tales from quality writers but I'll be honest and say it's the art of Tim Sale that has really grabbed my attention. Also this Wednesday is the final part of Twilight Children from Vertigo as Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke wrap up this gem of a miniseres. Vertigo really seemed to recover some lost ground last year and this series has been just one of the reasons why. The 'All New, All Different' Marvel continues apace as Wolverine returns to his own ongoing series. Of course our Wolvie is (still) dead so time for Old Man Logan to step up and stake a place in the MU. OML artist Andrea Sorrentino is joined by writer Jeff Lemire. Now, in the present, Logan may have a chance to alter his past to change the future. Ouch, too much talk like this is going to give me a headache!

24 Jan 2016

Mini Reviews 24/01/2016

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.

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Juan Doe
AfterShock Comics $3.99

James R: I was sold on this by Brian Azzarello's name alone - as the co-creator of the magnificent 100 Bullets and the highly underrated Spaceman, he's a writer that is incapable of producing a sub-par title. He's also given the new Dark Knight series a shot in the arm after some great work on Wonder Woman, and as such I had some high expectations for this new title. The first issue hits the ground running and sees Azzarello right back in the pitch-black groove of 100 Bullets. He takes one of Tolstoy's two story tropes - a stranger comes to town - and uses it to introduce us to the dark underbelly of a nameless small American town. The town is populated by a host of unsavoury characters, and a new arrival in the shape of a hulking, horribly scarred, military veteran. What does he want? What ties does he have to a recent bank job? Knowing Azzarello, the truth, as it unravels, will be hugely entertaining. It's a fine looking book to, with John Doe's distinctive pencils blending nicely with a beautiful use of colour to give things an atmospheric, neo-noir feel. I love it when a book grabs me straight from the first issue, and American Monster has some terribly good potential. 8/10

19 Jan 2016

On The Pull 20/01/2016

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: AfterShock Comics are the new kids on the block as far as publishing is concerned but their creative stable is already nothing short of impressive. This week is the start of another new title from them, this time by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Juan Doe. One man arrives in a small Midwestern town and takes on the gang controlling it. Hailed a hero, the story then looks to take a turn as we see the real motive for this mystery man's actions. American Monster #1 could be ideal for fans of Southern Bastards, so that's me signed up then. That man Rick Remender is back again with a new miniseries, this time from Dynamite Entertainment. Devolution #1 sees mankind, in fact every living creature on the planet, devolved into a prehistoric state. Of course we need some heroes of the piece and it's up to them to see if there is a way to return the world to its natural state. The series features some cracking covers by the talented Jae Lee. Thanks to the medium of comics, certain TV series live on and continue to have great runs. One being Buffy, which is out this week, and another is Jim Henson's Storyteller. This title only appears now and again but is always worth a look. The last miniseries featured stories about witches, this time it's dragons. Single issue stories, beautifully told by different creative teams, make for a great read. Silver Surfer #1 is back, again! The creative team of Dan Slott and Mike Allred worked wonders on the last series and they're back for more, so if you enjoyed that it's definitely worth jumping back on board for this latest run. After exploring the universe, this #1 brings the Surfer and his companion, Dawn Greenwood, back to Earth. Now, it's a sad but true fact that I still haven't watched the Agent Carter TV series but I'm always hearing good things. So I will have to check out Captain Marvel #1 as it's written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, producers of Agent Carter and writers of the excellent Reaper TV series (is it really eight years ago?). Finally, I need a dose of mayhem to finish my pull-list so it's over to Skottie Young and I Hate Fairyland #4. As ever, a fairly eclectic batch of comics to work my way through, but that's what makes it so much fun!

17 Jan 2016

Mini Reviews 17/01/2016

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.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Esad Ribic & Ive Scorcina
Marvel $4.99

Matt C: It’s been epic, it’s been ambitious, it’s even been unwieldy at times, but although there’s still plenty going on in this fantastic finale, it brings its focus down to a more personal level as Jonathan Hickman concentrates on the greatest rivalry in comics – between Doctor Doom and Reed Richards – and the results are thrilling to say the least. As they trade words we get some of the finest dialogue we’ve ever heard coming from these characters’ mouths, and the way the writer strips everything down to an emotional level, with guilt and admissions flying thick and fast, is something else. Without giving too much away, where the long lead-up to this conclusion across various titles over the last few years has had a pessimistic tone of near hopelessness, with certain individuals compromising themselves for what they believed to be the greater good, the conclusion itself offers up something far closer to an acceptance of personal failings and how that can be transformed into hope and optimism. Cynics may bemoan how much (or even how little) the consequences of this ending affect the wider Marvel Universe, and how it’s not quite the reboot many speculated it would be, but they’re sort of missing the point: we’ve seen a writer tackling these iconic characters in a bold and daring manner, on his own terms, and in the process he’s created something quite spectacular, a story that, no matter what retcons occur after, works as a hugely impressive whole, and is arguably one of the finest examples of superhero storytelling so far this century. It will endure because it’s been scripted with tremendous imagination and insight, and because the artistry on the pages from the entire creative team has been provocative and breathtaking. It’s unlikely that we’ll see an event book as accomplished as Secret Wars any time soon, but the fact that we have seen it, and it ended in such as satisfying fashion, should be applauded. 9/10