Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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Jericho

January 11, 2009

Well thanks to Stu.Art I am now addicted to another series, and guess what number crunchers cancelled yet another great show. Yep, I’m talking about Jericho. A good series has good characters and good plots. A great series has great character centric plots. Why can’t more writers churn this stuff out and why is it that when they do some idiot in an office decides lets cancel it. If you haven’t seen it i totally recommend it.

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Comic of the Week

November 3, 2008

There were so many comics running for Comic of the week, But Thor 12 took the title. JMS is one of my favourite writers and one of the few reasons that I am still with Marvel. Yes i know that cover is from the American Thor 12 but it is a nice cover. Now to the meat of it, why is this comic of the week. Well for one reason and one reason only. Thor was one of Captain America’s closest friends, Thor goes to Cap’s grave and using Mjolnir envokes Steve’s vow, that nothing not even death shall seperate us if the call is answered, and with a mighty roar of “Avengers Assemble” the shade of Cap is brought from the lands of the dead. Thor asks Cap does he want revenge and if so Thor will be the instrument of his revenge. Cap tells Thor no and explains what the fight was about, it was never about Steve Rogers or Captain America it was about what America meant and the errosion of that meaning. And that Steve/ Cap just wanted peace. So in one of the most touching moments in comics, Thor gives him his moments peace and short circuits all electrical devices capable of transmission, TV,Radio,Internet for exactly 60 seconds. It was a true dust moment I can tell ya

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Hulk Re-watched

October 19, 2008

Well thats the fourth time I have now watched the Hulk, And it’s still as impressive as the first time. One small thing that it’s taken me four watches to acknowledge. Emile Blonsky aka the Abomination in the film is Russian Born and brought up in the UK. Serving with the Royal Marines he was seconded to the United States for their special mission. Ok so far, but the scene where he is in full dress uniform talking to General Ross, quite clearly shows him in a US army uniform. Now when your seconded to another countrys military you wear your own uniform. Error or Lazy editing you decide

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Reviews

October 19, 2008

Well for me over the last two months there has only been one real head and shoulders comic that I’d like to review, Be warned total spoilers ahead

As this issue opens, we see a man named Shelton being taken by two shady looking characters in plaid suits  into a sleazy sex club in an unidentified red light district.  Shelton is uncomfortable, begging for help, but the identical twin thugs try to talk him into calming down.  One of them says that “the boss” isn’t all that frightening, and how he says nice things about Mr. Shelton all the time.  He turns to his brother for backup, but the other man states, “I’ll be honest…  When he talks I’m mainly trying to figure some way not to soil myself.  I’m doin’ the therapy work for it, but there it is.”  HA!  Shelton is led into a dark, bare room, with only a wooden crate on the floor.  A voice emanates from the box…  “Know who I am?”  Shelton nervously says that he does, and the voice asks why Shelton helped to steal from him.  Shelton babbles that he knows he shouldn’t steal from the boss (called “Junior”) and the hidden boss agrees, and then asks him a horrible question.  “You have wife, daughters.  They die, or you die.  They die or you die.”  Shelton screams to kill his family instead, and Junior drags him bodily into the crate, hissing “That is choice everyone makes.”  That… was creepy.

Somewhere else, an expensive car races through darkness, as Floyd Lawton and Thomas Blake go somewhere at ridiculous speed.  Blake xplains that something bad happened in Africa, and we see a flashback of the Catman in action.  “Lot of men died ugly, and were left to rot.  And worse.”  Lawton snorts, and almost laughs.  “I have it on good authority that guys die all the time.  You asking me to believe you care?”  Blake quietly answers, “No.  I’m saying I DON’T care.  I’m saying I’d do it again.”  As Catman contemplates retiring  they stop by a tiny convenience store, engrossed in conversation, and completely miss the gang of thugs trying to rob the place.  Blak explains that life feels like something’s missing in his life, and Deadshot picks out ice cream.  A skinhead pops up, puts a gun to Lawton’s head and screams for them to put their hands up.  “You ain’t the contemplative type, Blake,” replies Deadshot.  Heh.  We are treated to a brief shot of Junior’s lackeys coming in to clean up their boss’s mess, and he replies that he has the information they need.  “Know who is transporting her.  Six individuals, not serious threat.”  Uh oh…

Back at the grocery, Floyd and Thomas continue talking, and Deadshot suddenly realizes.  “It’s that girl!  That Huntress broad.”  The best part is watching the skinheads scream at them, as the two men calmly have their discussion about chicks and ennui with guns to their heads.  Lawton continues with his Huntress theory, explaining that “It’s the closest thing you can get to doin’ it with Batman.  Hold that thought.”  Deadshot whirls, grabs the gun, and breaks the thug’s nose with his elbow.  “You don’t respect ME, fine.  But you will $&@$ing well respect the GUN.”  Floyd shows the idiots how it’s done, explaining as HE robs the grocer, taking all the cash  and an armload of smokes  and Deadshot and Catman prepare to leave.  Catman feels obligated to step in and save the day, though, and rips the thugs nearly to pieces with his claws.  “Yep.  Guess the Justice Legaue oughtta be callin’ any day now, General Glory,” replies Deadshot from the door.

Back at their lair, the House of Secrets, Scandal continues trying to drink herself to death, only to find that Ragdoll has arranged for a birthday party for her.  A stripper pops out of a cake dressed as her dead lover, and Scandal’s drunken mind hallucinates as she recieves a pretty awkward lapdance.  She imagines Knockout talking to her, and wonders how.  “Because you’re stupid drunk, silly…  Or, perhaps it’s because I am a New God and death alone cannot extinguish what burns within me.  Or perhaps I am a woman in love.”  Scandal finally starts to sober up, pushing the stripper away.  “She’s gonna kill us all,” says Deadshot.  “Not me,” replies Catman.  “I brought the ice cream.”  Ha!  Scandal smiles at her idiot partners, shakes off her stupor, and tells them that she has a mission.  The Six  are to transport the Tarantula, but the mission is a bit funny.  Just as she points this out, Catman gets a call from the Huntress ( warning him to not take the gig.  She warns him that the Six are dead if they cross swords with Junior, and hangs up.  Speaking to the darkness, Huntress explains how much she hates doing what she just did.  “A bloodbath is coming, Huntress,” replies The Batman from the shadows.  “None of us are getting out of this with clean hands.  Least of all, Thomas Blake.”

Part Two

And Secret Six #2 delivers on every level.  Beyond the intrigue and Mad, Mad, Mad World-esque story arc, Gail tells an engaging story on every single page.  Whether it’s Bane, Ragdoll, and Deadshot talking about Scandal’s love life , or Batman and Catman discussing the ingredients of Mexican food while duking it out on the rooftops of Gotham City, Gail can write dialogue that has you both on the edge of your seat, and rolling on the floor.

Her Batman is one of the most human I’ve seen in a while.  Instead of nabbing Catman, and putting him away, he’d rather pay the Secret Six to not do the job they’ve been hired to do.  Coming out and saying he cares for everyone regardless if they are a homicidal maniac or friend is about as close as we are going to get to seeing a Batman who is in touch with himself.

It is interesting that Simone pairs Batman against Catman instead of Bane – or maybe it’s not, considering the other Cat in Batman’s life is currently on a hospital table with a big hole in her chest.  Regardless, Tom Blake’s bravado plays perfectly against Batman’s no nonsense “don’t make me kick your ass” attitude.  And their fight isn’t too bad either, ultimately ending in a tie, because Catman let Batman get a few hits in.And lets not forget that Catman was created way back in the 60’s as the perfect foil for Batman, so all in all the fight that most of us sixers have been waiting for was actually very well paced and entertaining

The rest of the Six don’t fare as well as Catman, as they end up in a spot of trouble trying to break the Tarantula out of Alcatraz. I’ve come to appreciate the current incarnation of Bane, and like his screwed up philosophy on life, even if it means giving the opponent exactly what they need (in their ornament-things).  Scandal is the tragic character in the group, and I have a feeling she’s going to get out of her funk before the story reaches its conclusion. Deadshot, well, he’s just this guy…

By far the creepiest character is Ragdoll.  This is one messed up mo’fo’, and in Gail’s hands he moves from homicidal looney to scary “put the lotion in the basket” territory.  While I can’t wait to see what comes out of his mouth next, I’m also cringing every time I see the specialized Ragdoll font because I know it is giving me another glimpse into the mind of madness. If you get the chance head over to newsarama and listen to the interview with Gail (and forgive the interviewer for saying how much he loves the series and not spotting that the girl in green isn’t enchantress but is in fact cheshire doh!!!!)
As I mentioned earlier, there is a very Mad, Mad, Mad World vibe to this arc, but it is probably a more accurate homage to Cannonball Run as the Six now have to get their prisoner from one coast to the other, anyway they can, while avoiding a whole army of villains hell bent on killing them, thanks to the war cry of some dude under a hood.  At the moment I have no idea who the mysterious Junior is, but I have a feeling when he is finally unmasked, we’ll all go “wha-huh?  I never expected that.

The art by Nicola Scott is, once again, out of the ballpark.

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Weekends round up and pick of the week

August 25, 2008

Well Saturday saw us all descend on the central bar to wish Dave Bath a happy birthday. I don’t know about anyone else but i was well and truly slaughtered.

This weeks pick of the week is my LTD edition

Gravel Never a dull day

I have all these as solo trades but i couldn’t pass up the chance to get them all in one with it being limited to 2000 worldwide and signed

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New Books (and a few old ones)

August 16, 2008

Storm of Iron is an older book, but this book leads directly into the ultramarines omnibus and as such deserves a mention. Graham McNeil is one of the black library’s finest writers and he doesn’t fail in this drop down drag ’em out sci-fi battle. The Hordes of Chaos have descended on Hydra Cordatus and a scratch defence is hastily erected. This book has it all Heroism, Courage, Disgrace, Defeat. The very fact that Graham Mcneil treats all characters with respect and gives each of them a valid part to play on his stage makes him one of my top 5 authors.

Now, after Storm of Iron I picked this book up and considering that it’s three books in one and about one of the chapters that when I worked for Games Workshop I absolutely despised I thought I may be a bit disappointed. For me the very subject matter of the ultra marines didn’t fill me with excitement. They don’t have the nordic influence of the Space Wolves, The inherent creepiness of the Dark Angels or the Noble but savage vamipiric nature of the Blood Angels. But then I started to read and realised that unlike every other chapter of the Space Marines they see themselves as the protector of man, and also with some sadness that man has a inherent nobility of character that because they are lesser mortals makes it all the more special.

This book for me cements why Graham Mcneil is a talented author. His ability to make you feel for both the supermen and the normal man is amazing.

Right, back to the book. The trilogy follows Sergeant and then Captain Uriel Ventris as he is thrust into more and more dangerous missions. From the Necron warriors to the horrors of the Tyranid to exile and death quest in the eye of terror.

This is the latest book from Graham Mcneil, it follows the furthering adventures of Captain Uriel Ventris.

This is a hard book to quantify, it has all the usual work that makes me rant about Graham Mcneil, but then it has me wondering, Could he have made a successful horror writer. I don’t know if he intended it or not but there are one or two shudder moments where you pause and go phew I am in the room and not in the book. There are parts that remind me of Japanese Horror, and I suppose that’s a plus sign, but I like My Sci-Fi Dark but also Sci-Fi. Now don’t get me wrong I loved the book and I loved the fact that these characters are true hero’s and when the mission is concluded you grip you hand and go yes, So in conclusion I did like this book.

For years I avoided the single issue books that made up this anthology, I never seemed to have the time or the cash to spend on it. But when your feeling down and need something to read this was that book for me.

It is written By Dan Abnett & Mike Lee, and let me tell you this, if you purchase any book that I recommend let it be this series. Dan Abnett is a superb writer (and I’m biased) but apart from the sensational Fell Cargo, i had never been drawn to his fantasy side. What a schmuck I was. Malus Darkblade is evil, sarcastic, self serving and those are all the reasons that you’ll love this book. Dan (whether intentionally or unintentionally) had me laughing all through this book. Don’t get me wrong, this in itself is not a comedic book, but rather a book of dark fantasy. But the one liners, the snide banter. The Character reminds me of My Mate Gez.

Malus is a typical Dark Elf, evil conniving, sarcastic and those are his good points, After being possessed by the demon Tz’arkan he is given a stark choice recover 5 items of legendary power or loose his soul.

This continues the adventures of Gez (sorry Malus). I can’t say too much about this book or the fifth book in the series without spoiling it but in short Malus Darkblade must foil his brother to retrieve a sword, look for the usual dark humour,the biting comments and the dark fantasy that Dan Abnett does so well.

The fifth book of the series. I must point out that I love this series and the only bad point was the flips to the current day, but hey I’m not an author who’s sold millions and writes some of my favourite comics, but it’s just a niggle. Malus sinks further into depravity and his year is almost up, follow Malus as he battles to save his soul, Make some money and further his rise into the ranks of notoriety

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Apology

August 14, 2008

Well I have been tardy lately. In my defence I have been busy organising cymru con, speaking to writers and artists. checking out venues and hotels. And had the mother of all virus’s visited on me this week. I will hopefully be back up and running this weekend