15 Jan 2017

Mini Reviews 15/01/2017

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.

JESSICA JONES #4
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Gaydos & Matt Hollingsworth
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: More superb character work really elevates this title up to the same level as its predecessor. There’s believable, authentic emotion coursing through the book, the interactions between the main players feel genuine and therefore more affecting. It’s not primarily a character piece though, and as if to emphasise that, the plot throws in a very clever twist that is perfectly timed, opening up a new set of possibilities while amending our perspective on what’s come before. And just when you think you’ve sussed where things are going now, Bendis shows he still has more than a few tricks left up his sleeve. Gaydos and Hollingsworth bring warmth and grit to the visuals, and really, if you have an interest in the darker, more ‘adult’ corners of the contemporary Marvel Universe, then Jessica Jones should really be on your pull-list. 9/10

13 Jan 2017

Ten Forward: March 2017

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the ten titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the January issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in March 2017.

ROYAL CITY #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
Image $4.99

James R: March looks like being a great month for comics, and this for me is the standout book. Jeff Lemire is not only a long-standing, firm favourite of the PCG, but he's arguably in the form of his life at the moment, writing and drawing some of the best books out there. Royal City marks a return to the lo-fi storytelling of Essex County, the book that really established him as a phenomenal talent. It centres around Patrick Pike, a fading novelist who returns to his home town and finds both his family and the town itself struggling to survive. This is the first book that Lemire has written and illustrated since the peerless Sweet Tooth and the terrific Underwater Welder. 'Fevered anticipation' doesn't begin to cover my excitement for this - it may be early days, but I feel this could be the highlight of the year.

12 Jan 2017

Cover To Cover: GOD COUNTRY #1

GOD COUNTRY #1
Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw & Jason Wordie
Image $3.99

Stewart R: Through all of the craziness that was Buzzkill and then The Paybacks, there ran sensitive, thoughtful looks at the human condition. Buzzkill took a hard look at the price of addiction, The Paybacks took a tongue-in-cheek look at the cost of doing good deeds and the corruption of authority. Now, wordsmith Donny Cates and pencil master Geoff Shaw have kicked off their new Image series God Country with a debut that feels calmer, slightly more grounded while still producing the crazy wonder and vibe of a fantasy comic. Stepping away from cityscapes and the cramped corners of civilization, we're coaxed into the wilder expanses of the Texan counties as Roy Quinlan has to cope with the pressures of family life and the heavy emotional yoke of his father, Emmett's worsening Alzheimer's disease.

10 Jan 2017

On The Pull 11/01/2017

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: Well, it looks like everything is back to normal this week. New comics arriving on Wednesday and a whole bundle of great titles to choose from. While I'm generally a massive fan of John Romita Jr, his take on Batman didn't quite grab me. All-Star Batman #6 has Jock taking over the art chores from JRJR, enough reason for me to pick this issue up. After his great run on Detective Comics with writer Scott Snyder, who wouldn't want to see Jock return and illustrate the Dark Knight as only he can? Storywise we have Bats heading to Alaska to prevent Mr Freeze creating a new Ice Age. Brrrr! I think James Bond: Felix Leiter #1 is a great idea. The recent Bond titles from Dynamite have been popular and the idea of giving his US counterpart a miniseries just seems the natural way to go. With the top notch creative team of James Robinson and Aaron Campbell involved (plus Mike Perkins providing cover art) it has a real chance for success and is worth the time of any Bond fan to check it out. This week we also have Southern Bastards #16 by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, which means more from the villain of the piece, Coach Boss. A must-read for me. Russell Dauterman returns to art duties in Mighty Thor #15 (another Jason Aaron title). Thor still has her hands full with Malekith and his forces but now it looks like she'll be going toe to toe with the Shi'ar Empire as well. I'm never sure where Aaron is taking this character but I've not been disappointed yet and look forward to seeing where the title goes next. Inhumans Vs X-Men #2 continues the friction between the two groups. Better than I expected and beautifully drawn by Leinil Francis Yu, I'll stick with this series and see how it leads into the X-Men relaunch in a few months time. Finally, Justice League Vs Power Rangers #1! Yes, you read that right. It's the crossover we've been waiting for... possibly. Written by Injustice scribe Tom Taylor it could be worth a look. It's Morphin' Time!

8 Jan 2017

Mini Reviews 08/01/2016

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.

HAWKEYE #2
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Leonardo Romero & Jordie Bellaire
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: Clearly the creative team have hit the ground running here. An impressive debut is followed by an exuberant second issue that captures the spirit of the recent volumes of Hawkeye perfectly so it feels like a continuation of what’s come before rather than a jolting ‘new direction’. That’s not to say the creative team aren’t making this their own, because Thompson has blatantly got a bead on Kate Bishop - how she operates, how she interacts with others, how she can worm her way into the hearts of everyone she runs into – and Romero visually acknowledges the work Aja and Perez have done before without losing any of his own stylistic verve. And of course Jordie Bellaire brings every panel to colourful life, her workaholic tendencies not diminishing her skill one iota. This series is confirming what many of us suspected: Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye doesn’t need the help of her more famous namesake to shine. 9/10

3 Jan 2017

On The Pull 04/01/2016

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.

Matt C: Based on his work over the last 12 months with both creator-owned projects and the stories he's told within the Marvel Universe, Jeff Lemire is in pole position as far as I'm concerned when it comes to writing gigs (and we can extend that illustrative gigs too, based on After Death!). This of course means both Moon Knight #10 and Old Man Logan #16 will sit atop of my first pile of comics in 2017, the former delving into the fractured sanity of a vigilante, the latter focusing on the damaged survivor of an alternate timeline, trying to make his way in a new future, determined that mistakes he's witnessed before don't happen again. Another character that Lemire briefly made his own - Kate Bishop - makes a welcome second appearance in her own title (Hawkeye), the debut issue indicating that she no longer needs to share the limelight with Clint Barton. The Odinson continues to progress towards some sort of redemption (presumably) in Unworthy Thor #3, while Image has some stalwarts in the shape of Saga, Black Science and Autmanlands to round off this week's pull for me.

2 Jan 2017

Mini Reviews 01/01/2017

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 - in this case, following the festive holiday break the past TWO weeks! - encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

HULK #1
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Nico Leon & Matt Milla
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: This is an iteration of Shulkie we’ve not seen for a while, leaning more into her ‘savage’ origins rather than the smart, sassy portrayal that has come to define the character. It feels necessary as, while recent series have been vastly entertaining, they’ve never stuck around for too long. That’s not to say this series will have longevity but it’s adding an element that, at least for the moment, builds on what’s come before but takes it down a new path. Last time I saw She-Hulk she was presumed dead, but skipping Civil War II means I missed out on her being in a coma when Bruce Banner was killed by Hawkeye (huh?) so there’s a bit of catch-up required, but fortunately not too much. Basically this is Jennifer Walters dealing with the trauma she experienced while also reeling from the death of her cousin, the trouble being she can’t progress past the ‘anger’ stage of grief without losing control and unleashing the monster within. Tamaki captures the vulnerable side of Jennifer well while Leon brings an emotional sophistication to deceptively simple images that’s reminiscent of Fiona Staples’ fine work.  It’s an unexpected but hugely promising debut, staying true to the character while at the same time doing something different. 8/10

25 Dec 2016

Mini Reviews - A Christmas Break

There comes a time when even the PCG must submit to traditional festivities, so while there may be no new reviews this week we will return at the start of 2017, so please allow us to wish you, our readers, a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!

24 Dec 2016

Ten Forward: February 2017

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the ten titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the December issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in February 2017.

FOREVER WAR #1
Writer: Joe Haldeman
Art: Marvano
Titan $3.99

Stewart R: Forever War sits easily in my Top 5 favourite books list. It is simply terrific science fiction. The story follows scientist turned interplanetary infantry man William Mandella as he battles a faraway enemy and the effects of relativity on his life and loved ones as he continuously returns home from distant battle to find a world he no longer recognises and a conflict that has morphed a hundred times during the course of one transit. Haldeman wrote the book during the 1970s as a reflective piece commenting at the time on the Vietnam War, but its insight into feelings of isolation in the face of change and progress still resonates in this 21st century landscape. The book was adapted into a graphic novel in the 1990s, but Titan will be the first to translate and publish in English so it really is time to get on board with one of the truly great sci-fi stories.

20 Dec 2016

On The Pull 21/12/2016

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.

Stewart R: As this troublesome year draws to a close and the political landscape around the globe continues to shift and shake in the face of churning conflicts, attitudes and fears, it's interesting to see how comic books are turning their gaze over such issues in greater frequency. Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine's Divinity started off simply as an alternative look at the Space Race, folding things into the Valiant universe and unleashing characters of unknown power and moral standpoint upon heroes such as X-O Manowar and Ninjak. Now hitting the third arc with Divinity III: Stalinverse, Kindt looks set to offer an alternative view of the modern world from a USSR-driven communist slant where the Soviet Union conquered the entire planet and the heroes are now all firmly loyal to Mother Russia. I've loved the previous two arcs to Divinity and cannot wait to see what transpires through this new book which is clearly crying out to be read... or is that 'Red'??  I'm also very excited for the third chapter of Matthew Rosenberg's 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank to finally get its time of the shelves and in willing hands this Wednesday as it feels as if the break between issues was perhaps a little too long considering the very strong start that the series received. A healthy dose of humourous dialogue and an unpredictable plot is just what's needed during these dark days of Winter! My final nod this week goes in the direction of the tumultuous seas where the violent waters can occasionally run red with blood... I'm of course suggesting that we cast a line out and fish ourselves up a copy of Hook Jaw #1 from the creative minds of Simon Spurrier and Conor Boyle. Pirates, marine scientists, the US Navy, the CIA and one shadowy, stealthy, top-of-the-ocean-food-chain predator all thrown into the mix! What more could you ask for??