18 Nov 2017

Screen Time: JUSTICE LEAGUE

JUSTICE LEAGUE
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons
Director: Zack Snyder
Runtime: 120 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Release date: 17th November 2017

Matt C: It was inevitable Justice League was going to arrive with plenty of unwelcome extra baggage. From the lukewarm welcome that greeted Man Of Steel, through to the grimdark sludge and critical mauling of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, onto the messy, tonally-misjudged Suicide Squad, the DC Extended Universe has had a rough start, with only the enormously well-received Wonder Woman offering a beacon of hope to fledgling 'shared universe' franchise. Justice League has had a very troubled gestation, with course corrects following the reaction to BVS: DOJ, to director Zack Snyder's personal tragedy, to Ben Afleck dropping repeated hints that he's about to quit the role of Caped Crusader, rounded off by Joss Whedon's last minute appearance to finish the job and add his own stamp to the proceedings. While Marvel Studios seem to be having an easy ride both critically and commercially (and with plenty of justification), Warners must spend each opening weekend gnawing their nails to the bone, wondering whether the whole enterprise is about to come crumbling down around them. So a lot has been riding on Justice League - although perhaps not as much after the success of Wonder Woman - and for fans who've grown up on these characters, along with general audiences who can more readily connect to these brand recognition icons than the likes of Iron Man and Thor, expectations are enormously high. Can this team save a franchise, let alone a world?

16 Nov 2017

THE MINOR OPINION: Dark Nights: Metal

11 year-old James U is a big fan of comics so every once in a while we like to give you a break from the utterings of middle-aged men and allow him to tell you what's exciting him at the moment.

James U: Hi. It’s James here again and I’m back to talk about DC’s Dark Nights: Metal, the new Batman-based crossover that I’ve really been enjoying.

I’ve been enjoying it a lot for two main reasons. The main one is the return of my favourite creative team to Batman – the mighty Snyder and Capullo! But the second reason is the concept of the Dark Knights themselves. I feel as though rather than being just villains they are actually heroes who were just tortured mentally into taking the wrong path. Give them a chance and maybe they could still yet become heroes!

Although Scott Snyder is the main creator behind the story I think it was a good call bringing in other talented writers and artists for the one-shots – especially Grant Morrison for next year’s Wild Hunt! I’ve really enjoyed some of the spin-off creative teams and I would single out Williamson, Di Giandomenico, Humphries and Van Sciver for their excellent work.

15 Nov 2017

The Paradoscars 2017 - Voting Continues!

Voting in our first wave of Paradoscars nominations has been under way for a few days now, and even though there's still some time to go, certain categories already appear to have clear winners already while in others it's simply too close to call at this stage. If you've not cast your votes already, you can still do so here.

And so we now move onto the second wave of categories. While the first focused on the titles we've been picking up since the beginning of January 2017, the categories below concentrate more on the talent involved in the creation of those titles. Without these guys and gals, we'd no doubt be looking for a new hobby!

14 Nov 2017

On The Pull 15/11/2017

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. Click here for a list of the latest releases.

Andy H: As November is a five week month (well, in Comicland it is), my weekly pull seems smaller than usual and is mainly Marvel based. After last month's mahoosive Mighty Thor #700, we're back to a normal page count in #701. After the grim events of that last issue how will our leading lady and, come to think of it, any of the Thors out there, cope with the onslaught of Mangog? It's not looking good for our plucky heroes but then this story is called 'The Death Of The Mighty Thor'. Luckily Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #297 is on this week's list and that's always good for a more cheery read. Of course poor old Peter Parker is never that lucky and is now wanted by the police. After a break last issue, Adam Kubert is back on art, another reason to keep me in that cheery mood. A cracking cliffhanger at the end of Avengers #673 means I can't wait to see what happens in this week's Champions #14. The High Evolutionary is up to his old tricks again and some familiar faces may not be so familiar any more! As crossovers go, the Avengers/Champions 'Worlds Collide' run has worked quite nicely. It helps that Mark Waid writes both titles so it jogs smoothly along. I will finish outside of Marvel and pick up Unholy Grail #4 from Aftershock. In this twisted tale of the Arthurian legend we reach the point where Lancelot and Guinevere are found out and I'm guessing it's going to get messy - really messy - judging by the direction this story has taken so far.

12 Nov 2017

Mini Reviews 12/11/2017

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.

MOON KNIGHT #188
Writer: Max Bemis
Art: Jacen Burrows & Mat Lopes
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: After Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s excellent exploration into the cracked mind of Marc Spector in the previous volume of Moon Knight, I didn’t need too much convincing to take a look at this new, renumbered launch, and it was Avatar’s illustrative mainstay Jacen Burrows venturing into the Marvel Universe that proved to be the persuading factor. From Crossed to Providence, Burrows has made an indelible mark on some of Avatar’s finest comics, and his slick, detailed style, that so elegantly mixes the mundane with horror, is a great fit for this opening chapter that sees the gestation of a new nemesis for Spector. Bemis tackles the themes of obsession and perception convincingly, the only stumble perhaps being the somewhat forced transition the antagonist experiences, but it’s certainly a promising opener that embraces the crazy of Moon Knight’s world with gusto. 8/10

10 Nov 2017

The Shipping Forecast: January 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 November issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in January 2018.

THE TERRIFICS #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
DC $2.99

James R: Has 2018 peaked already? When Jeff Lemire announced his return to DC, this was the title that I was most excited about; a series that seems closest to the Fantastic Four in spirit, taking a group of DC's heroes - Mr Terrific, Plastic Man, Metamorpho and Phantom Girl - and putting them on a galaxy-spanning quest to return home. With art from Joe Prado, I am ridiculously excited for this book. Adding to my fanboy joy, Previews reveals that the story will bring in Alan Moore's Tom Strong from the America's Best Comics universe! It's safe to say that this will be a permanent fixture on my pull-list!

8 Nov 2017

The Paradoscars 2017 - Voting Begins!

We must be fast approaching the festive season as yet again we've arrived at the beginning of our annual Paradoscar voting process! Can it really be nearly a year since we announced the 2016 winners?

This will be the eleventh year we've put this out to the wider world and we'll be relying on a 'survey monkey' again to collect the votes. As we've done previously, we're breaking down the nominations into three chunks, which will appear over the course of the next couple of weeks here.

The nominations in each category have been chosen by the PCG, and obviously reflect our tastes, so while you may not see some more 'obvious' contenders present, there are still some fantastic comics, creators and more in our selections, so please cast your votes our initial six categories, listed below...

7 Nov 2017

On The Pull 08/11/2017

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. Click here for a list of the latest releases.

Matt C: I don't want to state the obvious and tell you that Mister Miracle is likely to be the best thing you read this week (even if you're not reading it - work that out!) but instead use this opportunity to highlight something I'm not unconditionally convinced is going to be awesome and instead have high hopes for. And so we turn to Port Of Earth #1, a series that takes the idea that aliens didn't invade or come in peace but turned up with a business proposition, trading advanced tech so the Earth could host a spaceport. That's a great concept, and even though I'm not too familiar with the creator's past efforts, they've caught my attention with this one. I'm quite interested in Moon Knight #188; the previous volume, penned by Jeff Lemire, was excellent, and while I have no expectations that this renumbered relaunch will be able to match that, there's an element that has me a little bit excited. No, it's not that it's scripted by Max Bemis, frontman of Say Anything (meh), it's the chap in charge of illustrative duties, Jacen Burrows, who's been Avatar Press' secret weapon for many years and, as far as I'm aware, hasn't ventured into the mainstream before now. He's worked with some of the greats - Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis and, of course, Alan Moore - so there must be something about this new Marc Spector adventure to pull him into a bigger spotlight, right? Oh, and did I tell you Mister Miracle #4 is out this week...

5 Nov 2017

Mini Reviews 05/11/2017

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.

This week we welcome Mike V onto the reviewing team...

CAPTAIN AMERICA #695
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: And so here we go again. Cap punching Nazis. Again. Same old, same old, right? Well, yes, on a surface level maybe, but wait… Has anyone else had it up to here with 2017? Does turning on the news or scrolling through social media leaving you feeling utterly deflated, wondering what the hell’s going on out there? There are a lot of things that can grind you down these days, and I do apologise for putting so much weight on the perhaps unrealistic purity of purpose of a fictional character (not really), but there is something vitally necessary right now about seeing someone stand up for what’s right, selflessly, whether it’s in the real world or imaginary. And that’s Captain America. Mark Waid gets it. He gets why this character is so important, so enduring, so essential, just as much now as he’s ever been. Waid and Samnee deliver a Cap tale in the classic mould but there’s something deeper going on, something that taps into the very core of why certain characters have lasted so long, because there are times when we desperately need to be reminded that if we know what’s right then we should stand up for it, no matter what. That may be corny, but it matters. And Captain America still matters. 8/10

2 Nov 2017

10 Years Of The PCG

Matt C: I honestly didn't expect to be writing this 10 years later.

I don't know what I expected, really. There was never a long term plan, it was just a case of putting a few thoughts into words, an extension of the monthly comic book discussions held at Paradox Comics in Poole. We had so much fun yakking about comics that I decided - perhaps arrogantly - that there may be others out there who'd want to 'hear' what we have to say (oh, and I've steadfastly avoided going down the podcast route, and I'm not changing my mind now before anyone says anything!).


Turns out there were a few folks who were willing to give our words a shot, and came back for more on a weekly basis. Not in their thousands maybe, but enough to get us thinking that this could be a meaningful endeavour, worth pursuing. And so here we are, 10 years to the day after I published the first post under the moniker 'Paradox Comics Group' (the abbreviation should have happened sooner!), and we're showing no signs of stopping just yet.