25 Oct 2016

On The Pull 26/10/2016

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: There are bunch of cool books coming out this Wednesday, and I could rattle off reasons why you should be excited by each of them, but I'm going to skip all that this week in favour of one particular issue: Vision #12. It's the finale of what has arguably been the comic of the year, a series that caught many people off guard when it first appeared at the tail end of 2015, helping to establish (alongside Sheriff Of Babylon) writer Tom King as a major talent to watch out for (and no doubt helped him nab the prime Batman gig over at DC) as he layered a story centred around Marvel's premier synthezoid with emotion and pathos. Gabriel Hernandez Walta art and Jordie Bellaire's colouring has been exceptional, providing a distinctive visual aesthetic that mixed up the emotionless fa├žade of the main characters with a genuine sense of almost accidental humanity. It's one of the best things Marvel have done in the last few years, and if for some inexplicable reason you ignored the hype and allowed this to pass you by, then you must make sure you add it to your Christmas list as soon as possible!

23 Oct 2016

Mini Reviews 23/10/2016

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: W. Maxwell Prince
Artists: Martin Morazzo & Mat Lopes
IDW $3.99

James R: The pitch for The Electric Sublime sounded like something from Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol: a mysterious event has caused the Mona Lisa to wink and artists to carry out murders, a situation that calls for Arthur Brut, a man with the ability to step inside artworks but at a cost of his sanity. I loved the concept, and writer W. Maxwell Prince deserves kudos for using a visual medium to tell a story about the power of art, but this first issue didn't land for me. Great first issues are an artform in themselves - you need to grab the reader's attention and yet promise much more to come. In The Electric Sublime, Prince holds nothing back - plot, protagonists and antagonists are all crushed in, and as a result, the book feels like it's doing too much. Martin Morazzo's art is definitely worth the price of admission, (reminding me of Ryan Bodenheim's work) but ultimately, I was hoping The Electric Sublime would be a masterpiece; as it is, it's more a preliminary sketch. 5/10

20 Oct 2016

Pipedream Indie Round-Up - October 2016

Following last week's announcement, here's the first batch of reviews delivered by Pipedream Comics for their monthly round-up. Prepare to enter the world of indie and digital comics, prepare to make some exciting new discoveries...

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin, Muntsa Vicente

Alex T: Brian K. Vaughan may be the king of comics right now with his epic sci-fi space opera Saga and his Eisner Award winning Paper Girls, but he is also a self-publishing digital comics supremo! Along with his long time collaborator Marcos Martin, they have released titles like the Eisner Award winning The Private Eye and Albert Montey’s quirky Euro sci-fi series The Universe via their Panel Syndicate website which has the unique selling point of letting you pay as much or as little as you want for their comics - meaning you can never complain about lack of value for money! Their latest series, Barrier, sees a Texan cop and a South American immigrant get kidnapped by a flying saucer in a story about both kinds of illegal aliens! Barrier started out as a tense, crime-infused thriller, with the two characters from each side of the law and the border running side by side, before a giant spaceship comes along, beams them aboard, and pushes them together in a completely unexpected manner! As such we have no idea where this story is heading long term, but we can’t wait to find out as this is the kind of leftfield storytelling you expect from a maverick genius and is definitely part of it’s appeal! But it’s not all about BKV, as Martin’s stunning artwork (brought to life by colourist Muntsa Vicente) is truly breathtaking and manages to balance the gritty world of Earth with the fantastic world of a psychedelic spacecraft to create a truly unique read from one of the most exciting comic book partnerships around. 8/10

18 Oct 2016

On The Pull 19/10/2016

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: During a much needed break from work last week I actually got to catch up on some comics and series I'd been neglecting, yet had stumped up the money for and continued to do so as the New Comic Book Days rolled onwards. It's always something of a weight on the mind to have a growing pile of unread material that builds and builds and you're not entirely sure that some of your purchases are worth continuing with. I was honestly not certain that Demonic was a series that warranted buying two issues of without properly casting an eye over - I'd checked preview pages before putting on my pull-list, don't worry! - but having caught up with it over the course of a bus ride I have to say there's something catchy about this dark, crime thriller. Kill Or Be Killed is certainly gaining plaudits for its look at moral ambiguity, potential mental illness and a small sprinkling of dark fantasy elements and Demonic is walking a similar path, but with a little more emphasis on the supernatural side of things and leaning into the super/anti-hero ball park at the same time. The hook with this title, that really sets it apart from its would be Image-published kin, is the police procedural plot which has Detective Scott Graves hiding his activities from within the department itself. There's a delicious mystery to Scott's past which has given rise to his soul-selling predicament and it seems that writer Christopher Sebela is settling us in for the slow reveal in regards to that harrowing piece of history. That same aforementioned bus journey also gave me chance to catch up on Black Panther #5 and #6 which had T'challa fighting and trying to understand the insurgents within his own country as the burden upon his soul continues to weigh heavy. This had been a title hanging on the edge of my pull-list, yet Ta-Nehesi Coates has done a superb job of balancing the political interplay of a King, his people and the viewpoints of those who would dethrone him with occasional explosive action and the odd dose of the wider Marvel Universe poking its head inside the borders of Wakanda without detracting from the main drive of the book. I'd stake a guess that the domestic troubles of this fictional nation may not have held the attention of some readers coming to the adventures of Black Panther following his appearance in Captain America: Civil War earlier this summer, but hopefully the high quality of the writing each month is strengthening the readership along with the fine art from Chris Sprouse. Suffice to say that Black Panther #7 is a sure fire lock in my pull-list tomorrow!

17 Oct 2016

Mini Reviews 16/10/2016

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: Mark Millar
Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion & FCO Plascencia
Image $3.99

Matt C: As is often the way with Mark Millar, he hits the ground running with a debut issue that’s packed with invention, emotion and another high concept that seems bullet-proof in its delivery. The thing is, many of his series soon begin to wobble towards their conclusion in an unsteady fashion, often finishing in disappointment, a complete contrast to the highs they commenced on (Huck is the most recent example of this). Of course, that’s not always the case so the hope remains that Millar can keep some narrative consistency and not let his brilliant ideas get away from him again. Reborn is promising though. The premise sees an afterlife that resembles fantasy fiction rather than the more accepted vision of Heaven, and it features an affecting look at aging and mortality, themes Millar touched on in Starlight. Capullo, along with the rest of the art team from the pre-Rebirth Batman run, provide some intense, visceral visuals, a double-page splash of an approaching orc army being particularly stunning. So, it’s an excellent start, all told. Fingers crossed it stays this good. 8/10

14 Oct 2016

Ten Forward: December 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 October issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in December 2016.

Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez & Jay Fotos
IDW $4.99

Simon M: Any time anyone asks me to recommend a series to get them into comics, my first suggestion will always be Hill and Rodriguez’s Locke & Key. This is one of my all-time favourite reads and I was left with a slightly empty feeling when it finished in 2013. But all is not lost, IDW have announced that a new one-shot is being released this December. The majority of the books have followed the Locke family during modern times, but Hill has given us glimpses of their history in a couple of other one-shot books (Open The Moon and Grindhouse). The writer has added in a recent interview that there is 250 years of Locke family history, so hopefully the plan is to explore this a little bit more. The Locke & Key series is essentially a supernatural horror based in Lovecraft's Massachusetts, where the Locke family have access to a number of magical keys that allow anything from taking memories from a person’s head to becoming a temporary ghost. Small World focuses on Mary Locke from the early twentieth century and a key that allows her to bring an incredible dollhouse to life. Now this is great news, but that is not all! Five years ago there was a failed TV pilot through Fox. It now looks like IDW are pushing a new pilot this time with Hill penning the script. Hopefully this time it gets off the ground and we can soon be seeing another comics series brought to life on the small screen.

13 Oct 2016

TEAM-UP! The PCG & Pipedream Comics

Matt C: Regular visitors to this site will know that, generally, the PCG are mainstream guys, our pull-lists comprised of books from the major publishers in the market. Sure, we can probably be a little esoteric, and we often champion titles that are far from sales juggernauts, but by and large we talk about stuff that you can readily pick up in most well stocked comic shops. We do branch out into the small press and digital arenas from time to time but not nearly as often as we’d like. Basically, there’s simply too much material coming out on a monthly basis to cover it all so sometimes it’s easier to stick with what you know when faced with a near overwhelming number of choices.

11 Oct 2016

On The Pull 12/10/2016

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: Despite a fairly big list of new releases this week, my personal pull is quite a modest affair. So, where to start? Over to Image and that man, Mark Millar, is back. This time he's got Greg Capullo joining him on his latest comic offering, Reborn. Where do you go when you die? Heaven, Hell, Bournemouth? None of the above according to Messrs Millar and Capullo. Their view of the afterlife is a more fantastic realm of dragons and airships and the continuing battle of good vs evil. When 80 year-old Bonnie Black passes she finds herself reborn in this new world, now as a sword-wielding twentysomething. She meets family and friends who have gone before and she must make her way in this strange land in search of the one person missing from her past, her husband. Visually, this looks great, with Capullo able to cut loose with some out of this world designs. It should be an entertaining read as Millar gets to create and play with a whole new world. It's been building for a while in the recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man but 'Dead No More' starts proper in the pages of Clone Conspiracy #1. Instead of having the main story run in the pages of ASM it's going to be in this five-part miniseries with regular writer Dan Slott joined by artist Jim Cheung as Spidey battles a returning Jackal. Question is, if the Jackal is back from the dead who else will turn up? This story is in canon so we'll have to read this issue before Amazing Spider-Man #20. Darth Vader #25 is the final issue of the series. It's been a consistently good read but how far can you go with this character? Probably best to quit while you're ahead. It's a 40-page giant-size issue to bring this chapter of Lord Vader's life to a close and hopefully writer Kieron Gillen will be wrapping up all the loose ends in style. While that title finishes, this week sees the return of one of Image Comics' recent hot titles. Monstress #7 reunites Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda on their popular title. Admittedly, I'm going have to re-read the first run as so much happened I've lost track. The gorgeous artwork means that it won't be a chore so I'm kinda looking forward to it. Finally, Wonder Woman #8 takes a break from the regular 'Year One' story, as does artist Nicola Scott. This issue writer sees Greg Rucka joined by Bilquis Evely as they delve into the early years of Cheetah.

9 Oct 2016

Mini Reviews 09/10/2016

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: Mark Waid
Art: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba & Edgar Delgado
Marvel $4.99

Stewart R: There were a multitude of reasons for me to not pick up this title this week: it's a $4.99 purchase, I've never had any interest in Miles Morales or Miss Marvel, I dislike the fact that young Cyclops is even in the Marvel Universe and Richard Rider will always be Nova for me. Then there were two reasons to pick up this title: Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos. The latter duo of reasons won out and truth be told this is a pretty decent debut all round. Having paid absolutely no attention to the groan worthy concept of Civil War II, I was pleased to see Waid only places occasional nods to the fallout of the event as these young heroes show their disillusionment with their elder peers in a comic book universe now tired with the destructive shenanigans of their would-be protectors. With the real world going through a period of some political turbulence and a consistent look at the widening of generational gaps (including within Marvel's own readership?) and abuse of power at multiple levels taking place, it's good to see Waid pull so many ideas and themes into a teen-centric title. There's fun to be had amongst the metaphors and serious plights, the characterisation is strong and Ramos is on fine form when some of his more recent work appeared a touch rushed if I'm honest. At a time when I'm reading fewer Marvel titles than I have in a decade, it's good to know that new books from the publisher can still strongly convince me to look at the second issue. 8/10

5 Oct 2016


Hello everyone - let me quickly introduce us before I turn things over to my son! I’m Ian and I’ve been shopping at Paradox since about 1995 (and collecting comics since 1988). My son James though has been visiting Paradox for his entire life! At first he used to come along in his pushchair and sleep but around the age of four or five he started to take an interest in the Transformers & Star Wars stuff that Andy H had on display (there was a massive Hoth Wampa at one point that James would have killed for!) After the Avengers movie came out in 2012 he began to show an interest in superheroes that has kept growing ever since. Our monthly visits to Paradox have become the highlight of his calendar and he is rapidly developing a knowledge and a passion for superhero comics that surpasses even mine! Whenever we’re in Paradox, James likes to join in when me and Andy start to chat about the state of the current comics scene which prompted Andy to ask him if he fancied giving the PCG his thoughts on DC's Rebirth. James agreed and so, with further ado, here’s he is!