16 Sep 2014

On The Pull 17/09/2014

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. To see what’s available at Paradox this week, click here.

Matt C: Time runs out. Or is it, 'Time Runs Out'? Details have been vague (and to be fair I haven't delved to far into potential spoiler territory) but what I do know is that this is (purportedly) what Jonathan Hickman has been working towards since Day One on Avengers and New Avengers, and possibly even before that. We seem to be jumping ahead eight months from where we were previously, and what that entails... well, I have absolutely idea, but what I do know is that Hickman's turn on Earth's Mightiest Heroes has been right up there with the best stuff Marvel have put out over the last couple of years, so I'm pretty excited to see how he's going to wrap it all up. Also of note from Marvel this week is Thor: God Of Thunder #25 which sees the final issue with the Odinson as the star of the show (for now). I have to admit, while I was bowled over by the early issues, my enjoyment had waned dramatically since then, and I think I stuck with it based on the quality of the first arc and my ongoing loyalty to the character (one of my faves) than because it was still ticking the right boxes for me. So I'm kind of glad its done and now I have a month or so to figure out whether I think Jason Aaron's likely do something memorable with the new lady Thor...

15 Sep 2014

Mini Reviews 14/09/2014

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.

COPPERHEAD #1
Writer: Jay Faerber
Art: Scott Godlewski & Ron Riley
Image £3.50


Matt C: A space Western. Not an original concept, and Faerber admits as much in the back of the book, but it is a potent genre, with a multitude of storytelling possibilities, taking a familiar template and embellishing it with more fantastical elements, keeping the core of grit and resilience in evidence, especially amongst the key protagonist(s). There is of course the potential for this approach to lead into hackneyed, uninspired territory, but fortunately Copperhead avoids this completely thanks to the engaging twists on the archetypes, the dynamic, crisp art and the sandblasted colour scheme. A great start for series with a lot of promise. 8/10

12 Sep 2014

Ten Forward: November 2014

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 September issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in November 2014.

LONE RANGER: VINDICATED #1
Writer: Justin Gray
Art: Rey Villegas
Dynamite $3.99

Simon M: Come November one of my favourite pulp characters (The Lone Ranger) returns for a four-issue limited series. Justin Gray is taking on the reins of this Western classic having just finished a long stint on another icon of the time in Jonah Hex for DC. Gray is going to delve into the depths that make the man and the Ranger. Joining Gray for this rootin'-tootin' adventure is Rey Villegas (Lady Zorro, Lady Rawhide and Bionic Man) who, while not well known, is extremely talented and his style is a perfect fit for this book. The story is going to centre on the town of Red Mesa, where the Lone Ranger and Tonto are asked to help capture a gang of vicious thieves. However things are not as they appear...

11 Sep 2014

Graphic Perception: EL NIÑO

EL NIÑO
Writer: Christian Perrissin
Art: Boro Pavlovic
Humanoids $44.95

Rob N: The first thing to say about El Niño is that it's a big towering monster of a story. Indeed, as R.E.M. might say, it's bigger than you and you are not me, and even in its minimalist digital format on my iPad it feels strangely weighty, as if they've gone and printed it on especially heavy molecules of electrically charged and magnetically ionised air, or whatever digital files of comics are made of these days. Weighing in at almost 400 pages of densely written story, El Niño isn't the sort of slim pamphlet you can happily peruse in your half hour lunch break while snacking on a sun blushed and caramelised dolphin steak with a mozzarella baguette, and believe me, I've tried. The publishers helpfully describe it as a Heart of Darkness tale, alluding presumably to the Joseph Conrad novella, but personally it puts me in mind more of Eric Ambler's classic 1939 thriller, The Mask of Dimitrios (a novel that enjoys the unusual accolade of being the book James Bond reads while flying to Istanbul in From Russia With Love) in which the protagonist hears a possibly apocryphal tale of a mysterious Keyser Soze style criminal and, fascinated by the story, proceeds to follow a trail of clues across Europe in the hope of finding out more.

9 Sep 2014

On The Pull 10/09/2014

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. To see what’s available at Paradox this week, click here.

Stewart R: It was this three page preview of Copperhead #1 at CBR that really got its hooks into me and convinced me that this is the book to look out for this Wednesday. In the space of just three pages we're introduced to the protagonist, Sheriff Bronson, given an idea of her ass-kicking abilities, an idea of the current status quo on the planet and in the town to which she's been assigned as well as fed the smallest mystery as to where the true power in Copperhead lies. The sci-fi western is having something of a golden period as a genre presently with Six-Gun Gorilla, to an extent Lazarus and of course East Of West all dipping in successfully and definitely raising my appetite for more. I'm hoping that Copperhead #1 will only make me hungrier for more and lock #2 into my pull-list with a strong opening display. Of course two of those other mentioned books also make an appearance this week and I'm always, ALWAYS excited to see Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta bring another chapter of East Of West to the shelves while Lazarus grows stronger with each issue as Greg Rucka twists the plot and shows us more of Forever's unique and violent upbringing. I'll give a final nod towards a series coming to its conclusion this week as Dennis Hopeless brings the story of his Murder-World survivors to a close in Avengers Undercover #10. There's been an unpredictability throughout Hopeless' writing on Avengers Arena through to this shortlived series and I genuinely have no idea how things will wrap up or if everyone will survive, and that's been the key to his success throughout - well done, sir!

8 Sep 2014

Mini Reviews 07/09/2014

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 - and as a small bonus, the week before from when we were busy at the Melksham Comic Convention - encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

ORIGINAL SIN #8
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Mike Deodato & Frank Martin
Marvel $4.99

Matt C: Well… that was weird. The cynical part of me knows somewhere in the remit was the desire to shoe old school Nick Fury away so that a Nick Fury more familiar to movie audiences could take his place (and I understand why even if I don’t agree with the decision), but another part of me has to marvel at the method chosen to achieve this, because – you have to admit – it’s a little bit bonkers to say the least. Sample dialogue: “Nick. Put the eyeball down. This is finished.”  That part of me admires Original Sin for doing something that doesn’t sit inside the regular ‘event book’ template, but then there’s another part of me again that has to say… this didn’t really work, did it? It does seem like an offhand, drunken idea at a Marvel retreat accidently became reality, and if it wasn’t for the pretty phenomenal art of Deodato and the fact that it’s shifted some main players about a bit, this would be a largely forgettable oddity. 6/10

4 Sep 2014

Melksham Comic Con 2014: The Voyage Home

Now we've had a chance to settle back into reality following our second visit to Melksham Comic Con, here are some thoughts on the weekend's events...
Matt C: And we’re back.

We made no secret of how much we enjoyed our first visit to Melksham Comic Co last year, so much so that begged/pleaded to be involved with the next one and, to our eternal surprise, were presented with the opportunity of hosting not one but two panels for 2014, with the con going from a one-day to two day event.

Based on that, you could probably accuse us of being a bit biased when we say we had an even better time this year, and while there is undoubtedly an element of that at play I think most of it is down to the absolutely tremendous con the organisers put together last weekend. From the guests in attendance, to the variety of exhibitors displaying their wares, to the diversity of excellent panels on offer (yes, including our own!) it was an absolute blast to attend, and by stretching it out across two days it allowed the friendly atmosphere and sense of fun to really bed itself in even more than before (no doubt helped by the inebriated mid-con silent disco on Saturday evening!).

2 Sep 2014

On The Pull 03/09/2014

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. To see what’s available at Paradox this week, click here.

Matt C: How is it September already?! Two thirds of the year down, one third to go, and already Christmas merchandise is beginning to clutter up the shelves of various retail establishments! But let's not worry about that too much now, let's instead turn our attention to this Wednesday. I guess the big release of the week is Original Sin #8, the finale to the event series, but when I say 'big' perhaps I mean it in the context of 'big disappointment' because it really hasn't made any real impact, it's just kind of just existed in a vaguely befuddling manner. Still, there's always Death Of Wolverine #1 to fill the void (thanks, but no thanks!). A debut issue I will be picking up is Ex Con #1 from, would you believe, Dynamite Entertainment. I normally don't get on with their stuff but a creator-owned crime book at $2.99 is an offer I can't (and won't) refuse. One new #1 that I think will be a risk-free purchase is God Hates Astronauts #1. I've not got all the way through the collected edition yet (I know, I know) but a new storyline released via Image is a definite must. Another book of note is Moon Knight #7. I was thinking of leaving the series along with outgoing writer Warren Ellis (the main reason for me picking it up in the first place) but I'm just too intrigued to see what new writer Brian Wood can do with the character to go just yet.

31 Aug 2014

Mini Reviews - One Week Break

A break from review-writing this week as our reviewers are enjoying a well-earned rest after overindulging this weekend at Melksham Comic Con (a report on that is due shortly). That, and they haven't had the chance to read this week's releases!

Normal service will be resumed next weekend.

29 Aug 2014

Graphic Perception: SANCTUM

SANCTUM
Writer: Xavier Dorison
Art: Christophe Bec
Humanoids $29.95

Rob N: Over the next few months we here at the PCG will be delving with our sticky chocolate-smudged fingers into the back catalogue and upcoming new releases that make up the exciting but also sometimes frustrating world of European comics. Anyone who has ever been on a spontaneous weekend break to Paris with a new girlfriend who worryingly insists on ordering the really expensive bottles of wine in a restaurant, will no doubt have stumbled on quaint bookshops during the daytime, displaying the alternative world of a comics industry that seemingly hasn't heard of superheroes. Masked men in spandex punching each other in the face just doesn't seem to do it for those curious Frenchies and their pastry-loving Italian and Belgian counterparts, and instead the comics scene across the Channel is comprised mostly of Fantasy, SF, Crime, Horror, Historical, Thrillers and so on, much like the strange world of 'books without pictures'. Where they also differ from the American market is that their output is predominantly written as standalone 'graphic novels' – a term I've never personally been very comfortable with, and yet I have to admit it seems very relevant in terms of European writers and artists.