26 Jun 2016

Mini Reviews 26/06/2016

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.

WONDER WOMAN #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp & Laura Martin
DC $2.99

Matt C: So here I am declaring a Wonder Woman comic as my book of the week, and while that’s not exactly an endorsement of Rebirth as a whole, it’s encouraging in its own way. Basically it’s Greg Rucka selling me on this thing; I’ll be honest and admit I don’t entirely know what’s going on here beyond what was alluded to in Wonder Woman: Rebirth issue but I sort of get the gist of the general direction its headed (I think!). Thanks to Rucka’s smart, engaging characterization and organic build-up of the plotting I’m eager to see what comes next, and Liam Sharp’s robust visuals alongside Laura Martin’s adept colouring means this a striking book to look at. Visually strong and written with intelligence and verve, this is positioning itself as the frontrunner of the Rebirth pack with relative ease. 8/10

24 Jun 2016

Ten Forward: August 2016

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 June issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in August 2016.

SUICIDE SQUAD: REBIRTH #1
Writer: Rob Williams
Art: Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion
DC $2.99

Kenny J: It's a double bill of Suicide Squad this month but it's best to start at the beginning with Suicide Squad: Rebirth setting out where DC’s group of reluctant antiheroes will be going in the near future. If one thing is certain it's that this latest version of the squad will be very similar to that being teased for their upcoming cinematic outing as Jack Flagg heads up the other crew but not necessarily leads them. With that gorgeous Jonathan Glapion and Philip Tan cover depicting the now essential Harley Quinn, holding Polaroids of Killer Croc, Deadshot and Katana, Flagg will have his work cut out trying to control this slew of villains making up the team under the writing stewardship of Rob Williams. Very much a solid DC writer and with the cast soon to be everywhere it remains to be see what surprises Williams has up his sleeve. Let's just say we haven't seen a ‘rebirthed’ Joker yet.

21 Jun 2016

On The Pull 22/06/2016

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: So, I was sold by Superman #1 last week, will I be as equally impressed as Dan Abnett and Brad Walker come together with the aim of leaving nothing but success and good reviews in the rippling wake of Aquaman #1? This is of course a magical creative coupling that I fully enjoyed back when they were working on Guardians Of The Galaxy for Marvel many moons ago, so the reunion over at DC had to have my attention. The Aquaman: Rebirth #1 issue a few weeks ago realistically just reaffirmed the generally accepted status quo with Arthur the leader of Atlantis, protector of a people who don't fully trust him, and outsider to the land-dwellers with whom he also shares a common heritage. It's been clear that Aquaman has been a very hard character for DC to sell for quite some time, and even the usual golden touch of Geoff Johns failed to light the spark with a large reading audience following the launch of the New 52 some five years ago. There'll be an added emphasis to get Arthur Curry into the spotlight now that the motion picture wheels are spinning so there's quite a lot riding on this latest endeavour. I'm expecting Abnett to hit us with an explosive start that gets the Atlantean politics churning in the background and I've hope that this could become a regular fix in my pull-list should this talented writer/artist combo recapture that aforementioned magic they experienced previously. Elsewhere around the block it's of course a Jason Aaron,/Marvel double-bill with Doctor Strange #9 and Mighty Thor #8 hitting stands while over at Valiant the penultimate chapter of Divinity II will certainly be a must read!

19 Jun 2016

Mini Reviews 19/06/2016

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.

HAN SOLO #1
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art: Mark Brooks & Sonia Oback
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: The true, ultimate key to making a decent Star Wars tie-in comic is the script and the dialogue. Sure the visuals do play a part in dropping the reader into that galaxy so very long ago and a hop, skip and jump away, but if the characters don't sound like they ought to belong in that universe it can be a jarring experience. Charles Soule nailed it in his Lando miniseries and now I can confirm that Marjorie Liu has hit the mark in Han Solo #1. Every line that Han has here sounds like it would come out of the shifty, smuggler's mouth - and sound like Harrison Ford in the process. The caginess, the bravado, the arrogance, they are all there and all pitch perfect. It's not just Han, with Leia's prickly, yet compassionate manner there to see and even newcomer, General Airen Cracken, sounds like he belongs (if perhaps his clunky name doesn't sit well in the mind). The plot also feels on point, sliding in between the events of Episode IV and V very comfortably indeed, to the point where you wonder if we might hear the term 'Ord Mantell' before the series reaches a conclusion. At the start of the review it seemed that I dismissed the visuals to a secondary concern, but when Mark Brooks gets an interior job you KNOW that the book will be a gorgeous sight and Han Solo #1 delivers the familiar visual punch that the Star Wars Universe is known for, at once fresh and intriguing, yet incredibly familiar. A great start and there's easily 12 Parsecs of running in this series' legs based on this opener (it's a measurement of distance, don't cha know!?) 9/10

16 Jun 2016

Cover To Cover: SUPERMAN #1

SUPERMAN #1
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray & John Kalisz
DC $2.99


Stewart R: Following the Superman: Rebirth prelude/one-shot from a few weeks ago, Tomasi and Gleason now drop the series debut proper in our laps, establishing this 'other', pre-Flashpoint Clark's current status quo in a world that has recently lost its Superman to 'fighting the good fight'. This writing duo take the threads of Tomasi's 'Final Days Of Superman' and Dan Jurgens' recent Superman: Lois And Clark series, and weave them together with the dark, yet colourful family drama that made their Batman And Robin run a hit a few years ago. So just how super is this book? Can old themes and new ideas be found to rejuvenate the character? Or are we perhaps looking at a kryptonite-weakened level of return?

14 Jun 2016

On The Pull 15/06/2016

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.

Tom P: Weird Detective #1 from Dark Horse is the first thing to pique my interest from this week's various offerings. This new miniseries from Fred Van Lente and Guiu Vilanova sees Detective Sebastian Greene on the streets of New York which have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, and the fact it's 48 pages for $3.99 only sweetens the deal. Next up is Batman #1, the start of a new five-part storyline from Tom King, a writer who I've heard nothing but praise for over at Marvel working on The Vision. I won't miss out on his first big solo work on Batman and you can bet I'll grab that first Vision trade when its released later this year! Lazarus #22 makes a welcome return over at Image with its next chapter titled 'Cull' - it's war for the 15 rich family's who control this scarily plausible dystopian world. DC have got one last treat for me with the Batman: Earth One Volume 2 trade paperback. In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Superman: Earth One, unmissable collaborators writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank reimagine a new mythology for the Dark Knight, where the familiar is no longer the expected in this original graphic novel.

12 Jun 2016

Mini Reviews 12/06/2016

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.

THE SIXTH GUN #50
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Brian Hurtt & Bill Crantree
Oni Press $9.99

Matt C: The supernatural Western series that first appeared on Free Comic Book Day at the turn of the decade reaches its conclusion with this triple-sized issue, and the results are, for want of a better word, satisfying. There’s a certain amount of predictability in the way the various plot threads get tied up, but that’s not necessarily a criticism as things were always bound to be headed in a certain direction. Perhaps more problematic is the way the focus has shifted away from certain characters, particularly Becky Montcrief, ostensibly the lead of the story, who has drifted into the background slightly as more colourful personalities have taken centre stage. Having said that there’s still plenty to enjoy here, not least watching Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree pull out all the stops to render a sumptuous visual mix of cowboys battling monsters and other weirdness. There’s something mythic at the heart of this tale that is very appealing, and Bunn has done some great work in making The Sixth Gun have a genuinely epic sweep to it. Not quite a finale to knock your socks off, but certainly not a disappointing end to a fine series overall. 7/10

10 Jun 2016

Screen Time: OUTCAST: Season 1, Episode 1: ‘A Darkness Surrounds Him’

OUTCAST: Season 1, Episode 1: ‘A Darkness Surrounds Him’
Cast: Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister, Wrenn Schmidt, David Denman, Reg E. Cathey
Director: Adam Wingard

Matt C: Lightening rarely if ever strikes twice and so The Walking Dead’s phenomenal success as, initially, a comic book series and then a record-breaking TV adaptation is unlikely to be replicated, but that success has undoubtedly opened the doors for further comic adaptations, the latest being another entry by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. Kirkman was crafting engaging tales prior to striking gold with a zombie apocalypse so he’s certainly not a one-hit wonder in the world of comics, but can another one of his stories make the jump to television sets across the globe and retain the elements that made the source material appealing in the first place? One episode in and Outcast makes a strong case to suggest that it can, perhaps not to the ratings-busting level of its predecessor, but maybe in a more preferable, nuanced, compelling manner, with the horror elements bolstered by a soulful exploration of the human condition.

7 Jun 2016

On The Pull 08/06/2016

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: DC's Rebirth continues this week with a few more books I used to get but lost faith with during the New 52 era. So, I will be hoping to return Aquaman, Flash and Wonder Woman to my pull-list. Each have a creative team to grab your attention. Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman which is great news and with Liam Sharp joining him as artist this could be a little gem. Dan Abnett revitalized Guardians Of The Galaxy a few years back and he could do the same here on Aquaman. Finally, Birthright scribe Joshua Williamson takes on the Flash, a character that was pivotal to Flashpoint and is playing a big part in Rebirth. To throw a little confusion into the DC mix of #1s, two titles return to their original numbering Action Comics (#957) and Detective Comics (#934), although Action does dive straight into a Doomsday story which I'm a little disappointed by as the big D was used a fair bit in the New 52. And now for something completely different: Wacky Races gets the DC revamp and becomes Wacky Raceland, a futuristic race across a post-apocalyptic world. This is not the Dick Dastardly I remember from my childhood but could be a lot of fun. Over at Marvel there's an event going on and obviously it needs a lot of tie-ins. Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man #1 is written by Christos Gage who has handled a lot of Spidey spin-offs over the years and has complemented Dan Slott's work nicely so I'm sure this will be an exciting look into the part Peter Parker plays in the summer event. And after all the hubbub of new releases it's time to relax, so I may well check out the Color Your Own Young Marvel book by Skottie Young. Now, where did I put my crayons?

6 Jun 2016

Mini Reviews 05/06/2016

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.

BATMAN: REBIRTH #1
Writer: Scott Snyder & Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin & June Chung
DC $2.99

James R: After what seems like an age of waiting, Tom King has arrived in Gotham! The breakout talent of 2016 takes over the reins from Scott Snyder in an issue co-written by the two men, and it's...okay. I think it is safe to say that King's influence will be felt more keenly when he's the sole writer as this is a by-the-numbers Batman tale. It's very much a 'state of play' issue, as Batman seeks to take down a rapidly-regenerating Calendar Man with the help of a new sidekick. It looks very nice, with Janin and Chung giving the book a very cinematic feel. I can't see that this book would entice any readers back to the Bat-books, but at the same time, there's certainly great promise in these pages  for both King's Batman and Snyder's All-Star Batman. Not the most memorable rebirth of the year, but it does enough to keep me on board for the aforementioned titles. 7/10