Friday, 21 July 2017

Britannia, Volume 2: We Who Are About to Die Review (Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp)


Antonius Axia, Rome’s first (and only) detective, is back with a new case: temple statues of the gods are coming to life and killing young nobles and a popular female gladiator is somehow connected. Can he solve the case before Emperor Nero loses patience and feeds him and his son to the lions? 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Volume 2: Head of MODOK Review (Christopher Hastings, Gurihiru)


The Unbelievable Gwenpool has nothing to do with Gwen Stacy or Deadpool; she is Gwen Poole, a Marvel fangirl from our world who has inexplicably wound up in the Marvel Universe! Using her unique inside knowledge of Marvel comics, Gwen has survived the strange and dangerous superhero landscape by deposing the giant testicle with a face, MODOK, and becoming the new head of his criminal organisation. She also has a team-up with Ultimate Spider-Man himself, Miles Morales! 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Shade, the Changing Girl, Volume 1: Earth Girl Made Easy Review (Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone)


I like to move it, move it, move it, I like to… movie it, provie it, shooo… sorry, I think my brain’s broken from too many crappy comics lately! Oh up yours Young Animal. Thank Jeebus this is the last one of these I’ve gotta endure! 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Daredevil, Volume 15: The Devil, Inside and Out, Volume 2 Review (Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark)


With his best friend Foggy Nelson dead (or is he…?), Matt Murdock breaks out of prison to pursue the killer - a trail that will take Daredevil on a tour of Europe to the puppet master behind it all. 

The second half of Ed Brubaker’s first Daredevil arc, The Devil, Inside and Out, isn’t bad. It’s well-written with Brubaker showing he understands the characters and nails their voices and it’s beautifully illustrated by Michael Lark - it just didn’t do much for me. 

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Dark & Bloody Review (Shawn Aldridge, Scott Godlewski)


Iris is a veteran of the Second Gulf War and spends his days selling ‘shine to his backwoods clientele and being a mediocre husband and father. But he’s haunted by his time in the Iraqi desert and what he and his platoon did - and the demons from that time are coming home to roost… 

I didn’t really know what to expect with The Dark & The Bloody and unfortunately it turns out that it’s a pretty crappy Southern Gothic horror, similar to Wytches and Harrow County. Neither the characters nor the story are in the least bit compelling with the whole thing tediously unfolding slowly. This person is killed off followed by another and… zzz… It took me a while to wade through because I just didn’t care! 

I suppose it’s an imaginative take on the shit America got up to in the Middle East - it’s an original premise, I’ll give it that - and the monster is visually interesting, but I found The Dark & The Bloody to be a bloody unengaging, bland horror.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Batman: The Chalice Review (Chuck Dixon, John Van Fleet)


I think Chuck Dixon might be the worst Batman writer of all time. If he’s not, he’s definitely in the running. 

Bruce Wayne discovers that he’s related to one of the Grail Knights (of course he is) and is given the actual Holy Grail by one of his descendants. Ra’s Al-Ghul and some other rogues want it - boring shenanigans ensue. 

Tedium would be an upgrade for what I felt when reading The Chalice. No idea why John Van Fleet’s art is so very black (because I’m Batman!) but I was squinting most of the time at the page right in front of me in daylight - not great. 

Predictable, uninteresting, uninspired, and absolutely pointless, it’s easy to see why this toilet paper masquerading as a comic is out of print. Let’s hear it for Chuck Dixon everybody! BOOOOO!!!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Boy's Club by Matt Furie Review


I think most people are familiar with Pepe the Frog at this point. He figured heavily in the 2016 Election as a meme and his grinning mug has become a symbol of the amorphously-defined “alt-right”. Matt Furie’s stoner comic Boy’s Club is where he originated and I picked it up out of curiosity for what the comics this character featured in were like. That was definitely one of the worst decisions I’ve made in some time - Boy’s Club is 10000% utter dogshit. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Giant Days, Volume 7 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)


I’ve just emerged from the longest dry spell of reading any quality books I’d rate four stars or above in years - it’s been over a MONTH! So thank goodness that a new Giant Days arc drops just when I think I’ve got anhedonia. Seven - SEVEN! - books in and this title is still first class all the way. HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS, YOU MAD GENIUS JOHN ALLISON!!!?! Seriously, no other comics series I’ve read has been this consistently good. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Daredevil, Volume 13: The Murdock Papers Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)


Kingpin may have been nicked but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. If the FBI Director cuts him loose, he’ll give him The Murdock Papers, irrefutable proof that the blind lawyer of Hell’s Kitchen, Matt Murdock, is The Man Without Fear himself, Daredevil! 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Lucky Penny Review (Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota)


Penny gets fired from her job and booted out of her flat all in the span of a day. Ooooh, I gets it, the title’s irooooonnnnicccc! So she moves into a storage unit and goes to work at a laundromat run by her friend’s kid brother for comedy reasons. But romance is around the corner in the form of nerdy Walter - could Penny... get Lucky, (ohohoho, nudge nudge)?! 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Star Wars, Volume 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger Review (Jason Aaron, Jorge Molina)


Rebel sympathisers are starving thanks to a planet-wide blockade by the Empire. Luke and co. plot to hijack a star destroyer to bust through and drop off supplies. The only problem is they have to hijack a friggin’ star destroyer! 

Last Flight of the Harbinger is unfortunately the worst volume yet in Jason Aaron’s Star Wars run - which hasn’t exactly been amazing either! 

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Late Show by Michael Connelly Review


Michael Connelly is labelled a “thriller” writer and it used to be an accurate description for a lot of his books. Ten years ago I loved novels like The Lincoln Lawyer, The Scarecrow and Echo Park for their fast-paced plots with Connelly throwing his characters into tense situations against murderers and sadists. Alas, that’s not the Michael Connelly of today who only seems capable of robotically churning out dull police procedurals like The Late Show. 

Friday, 7 July 2017

Mockingbird, Volume 2: My Feminist Agenda Review (Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk)


Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk’s second and final Mockingbird book is for no good reason very, very loosely tied into Civil War II. I suppose why not? This title is so directionless it’s not hard to see why it got cancelled so early on!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Moon Knight, Volume 2: Reincarnations Review (Jeff Lemire, James Stokoe)


If you’ve read any Moon Knight comics you’ll know the hero, Marc Spector/Moon Knight, is madder than a box of frogs. He’s completely crazy in the coconut! That’s what Jeff Lemire’s second Moon Knight book is all about underlining - and unfortunately not much else. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Volume 1: Going Underground Review (Gerard Way, Jon Rivera)


Hey, did you know Cave Carson has a cybernetic eye? Who fucking cares?! Certainly not me after reading this shit! 

If his abysmal Doom Patrol series didn’t underline it enough for me, Cave Carson has driven home the point that Gerard Way hasn’t the first clue how to write a decent comic. And let’s not forget his co-writer, Jon Rivera. Two Grant Morrison fanboys who desperately wish they were half as talented as him and demonstrably aren’t even close. I mean, this is straight up incompetent storytelling from first page to last. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Star Wars: Darth Vader, Volume 4: End of Games Review (Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca)


Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca wrap up their disappointingly mediocre Darth Vader run with the instantly forgettable Volume 4: End of Games. 

Maybe because it’s been ten months since I read the last book or maybe because Gillen’s failed to make it memorable, but I’ve no clue what’s going down in this one. Vader’s hunting down a rival called Cylo - who? Whatever. It’s not in the least bit interesting! Ugh, and the Revenge of the Sith flashbacks? Fuuuuck you, Gillen! 

Monday, 3 July 2017

One More Year by Simon Hanselmann Review


One More Year is Simon Hanselmann’s latest Megg & Mogg collection, full of new subversive stoner comedy stories. Like the last one, Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam, One More Year is pretty decent though unfortunately doesn’t reach the heights of Megahex. 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Unworthy Thor Review (Jason Aaron, Olivier Coipel)


Ye gods this one’s been a long time coming! THREE BLUMMIN YEARS AGO in the Original Sin event, Nick Fury whispered something to Thor who immediately became “unworthy” and therefore unable to lift Mjolnir the hammer. A lady (I won’t spoil her identity in case you’re not caught up) picked up Mjolnir and became the new God of Thunder. Jason Aaron finally reveals what Fury whispered in The Unworthy Thor - and thankfully it was worth the wait! 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Batman: The Joker's Last Laugh Review (Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty)


The Joker’s Last Laugh is down there with the likes of Going Sane and Lovers and Madmen as one of the worst Joker books ever. 

Joker learns he has a fatal brain tumor and, without getting a second opinion or questioning the verdict in any way, decides that if he’s gonna die, he’s gonna take everyone else with him. He organises a prison break (no explanation for why he wasn’t in Arkham) and uses as many supervillains as possible to wreak chaos around the world. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye Review (Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart)


This is a review of the second (and, to date, final) Seaguy arc, Slaves of Mickey Eye, but the image is of issue #1 because DC haven’t collected the three issue storyline into a book - and I can see why! In addition to Seaguy being one of Grant Morrison’s more obscure, lowest-selling titles, Slaves of Mickey Eye unfortunately isn’t very good. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator Review (Mark Schultz, Ariel Olivetti)


We had Batman vs. Predator (awful), Batman/Aliens and its sequel (both surprisingly decent), Superman vs. Predator and Superman/Aliens (which I haven’t read) - so obviously now let’s smoosh them all together into one book for no reason! With this many characters in one book, Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator sounds like the hottest of all hot messes… but it’s not bad?! 

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Unfollow, Volume 3: Turn It Off Review (Rob Williams, Mike Dowling)


And so Rob Williams and Michael Dowling’s limited series Unfollow comes to an end in their third and final book, Turn It Off. I’ve enjoyed the title up to this point, and I still liked parts of this one too, but the third book closes out the story in a birruva underwhelming fashion. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates Review


I’ve always wanted to read a Joyce Carol Oates book but never have until now - and I’m not encouraged to read any more! Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense is a collection of seven horror short stories, none of which are especially good. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Zatanna: Everyday Magic Review (Paul Dini, Rick Mays)


Everyday Magic is the most uninspired Zatanna comic ever. It’s Paul Dini on autopilot as he snoozes his way through a by-the-numbers story. Constantine’s hand is cursed so Zatanna battles a sorceress to fix him. Which she does effortlessly with no tension. The end. Wooow. 

There’s a truncated version of Zatanna’s origin included if you haven’t read it before so if you have, like me, it only makes the comic that much more tedious to get through. Also, don’t expect the art inside to be like Brian Bolland’s cover because it’s not. Rick Mays’s kiddie manga-esque art did nothing for me, accompanying Dini’s boring script to make Everyday Magic even more forgettable! 

I suppose this run-of-the-mill comic is aptly named: it is very everyday. Pointless, unentertaining rubbish - disappointing given that Dini’s usually a quality writer.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Infamous Iron Man, Volume 1: Infamous Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)


The only interesting thing to come out of Secret Wars’ finale was the question of what Doctor Doom would do next: where do you go after being God Emperor Doom of Battleworld? Brian Bendis provides an answer: become Iron Man! And it turns out to be a shit answer as Infamous Iron Man is a disappointingly crummy title.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Kill Your Boyfriend Review (Grant Morrison, Philip Bond)


A bored schoolgirl falls for a slightly older bad boy townie. Together, they go on a killing spree for shits and giggles! It can only end one way… and in Blackpool?!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Jessica Jones, Volume 1: Uncaged! Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos)


So after reading this book I can confidently say I don’t give a fudgey-fudge about Jessica Jones! 

JJ’s in prison for some reason! Her marriage to Luke Cage is on the skids and she’s hidden her baby with her ma for some reason! Intrigue? Mystery? Snores!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign Review (Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes)


Hindsight is 20/20 so it’s easy now to see the signs that portended Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid, but, in the months leading up to Election Night 2016, I don’t remember anyone seriously thinking Trump would win. She’s got this – OF COURSE Hillary’s gonna win. The infamous “grab the pussy” tape, those embarrassing debates Trump clearly lost where he looked like the barely-literate buffoon he is? Come on. It’s a formality. And Trump implying that he would contest the election results, that they’d probably be rigged, days before voting? What a scumbag – he and his racist, misogynistic supporters MUST accept the results to preserve the integrity of the democratic process!

Friday, 16 June 2017

On the Camino by Jason Review


To mark his 50th birthday in 2015, Norwegian cartoonist Jason decided to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile pilgrimage in north-western Spain. Which he does. And that’s that!

Jason is one of my favourite cartoonists but On the Camino is his weakest book to date. It’s also his first venture into nonfiction which is quite telling because his fictional comics are usually outstanding and fun to read while this autobiographical memoir is very dry, one-note and kinda boring.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

John Flood Review (Justin Jordan, Jorge Coelho)


John Flood is the survivor of a covert experiment to eliminate sleep in the organisation’s operatives. It worked – John hasn’t slept in over a decade! – but the sleep deprivation has made him a bit… strange. Though while he sees things that aren’t there, his permanently altered brain chemistry has also given him a distorted way of thinking and unique world perspective that’s turned him into a brilliant private investigator. So when a psychopathic mass murderer’s on the loose, John knows just how to catch him: he needs to find a missing cat…

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

All-New Wolverine, Volume 3: Enemy of the State II Review (Tom Taylor, Nik Virella)


This is the second book in a row where the main title – “All-New Wolverine” – has been ironically undermined by the subtitle: Civil War II in the last book, Enemy of the State II in this; “All-New” my bum! It’d be nice if Marvel’s writers could come up with original storylines instead of relying on rehashing old classics but that’s just not Marvel’s (or DC’s for that matter) style – unimaginativeness is the watchword!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Living the Dream by Lauren Berry Review


Emma and Clem are twentysomething Londoners who want to be writers. And, er, that’s it - Lauren Berry neglected to include a story in her debut novel, Living the Dream! 

Emma’s the realist of the two, working an office job to pay the rent and writing in her spare time, while Clem’s the dreamer, going full tilt at the screenwriting lark and being broke and living at home for her efforts. I’d hoped Berry would wring some humour and/or wry observations about juggling artistic aspirations with mundane office work but no such luck; all she’s got is that corporate life is fake and stupid and work is, like, shit, innit? Bah. 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 Review (Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello)


And so we come to the end of Dark Knight III. Quar and the evil Kandorians square off against Batman and co. in a final battle for the fate of Earth. Guess who wins? 

Predictability aside, The Master Race #9 isn’t a great conclusion to what was a decidedly average return to Batman for Frank Miller. Batman’s contribution to the fight was plain silly and he felt like a supporting player in his own book.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire Review


Derek Ouelette is a has-been hockey goon. Thrown out of professional hockey for allowing his rage to get the better of him, Derek lives in a small Canadian town spending most of his time surly drunk and picking fights with anybody. When his estranged junkie sister Bethy drops by, pregnant and addicted with a shiner from her drug-dealing boyfriend, the two must confront their shared past trauma together to find their future.

Yeah, fucking grim, eh? Roughneck is also Jeff Lemire’s best book in years.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Officer Downe Review (Joe Casey, Chris Burnham)


Officer Downe is the ultimate cop – an unstoppable killing machine who never rests until all the criminals are dead… or arrested, whatever! But he pisses off some corrupt animal-headed businessmen who are fed up with Downe never staying, er, down, and hire a flamboyant ninja hitman and his army of goons to take him out, once and for all!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty Review (Mike Barr, Scott Hampton)


For a Mike Barr Batman book, Dark Knight Dynasty surprisingly isn’t bad!

It’s an Elseworlds story (non-canon, What If…?-type tales) split into three parts: Dark Past/Present/Future. The quality is quite high to begin with but unfortunately gets worse as the book goes on.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente Review


In his debut novel, Fred Van Lente does Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None - but with comedians! And it’s not bad. 

Many of the characters are thinly-veiled versions of real-life comedians: there’s a Larry the Cable Guy-type, Carrot Top, Ali Wong, George Lopez, and Joan Rivers, to name a few. They’re lured to a private island owned by a famous, rich comic they all have connections to who strangely isn’t there to greet them - and then the comedians start getting killed one by one! 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Review (Joshua Williamson, Rob Williams)


This shouldn’t really be a thing. I mean, forget the Justice League, Superman alone could take out the Suicide Squad! In fact, any one member of the League could do it - Wonder Woman, Flash, Batman (most of the SS are Batman rogues anyway). The Green Lantern rings are among the most powerful weapons in the DCU! So yeah, the premise is significantly flawed to begin with. 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Batman Beyond, Volume 1: Escaping the Grave Review (Dan Jurgens, Bernard Chang)


I’m giving Rebirth every chance here. Dan Jurgens has always been a shit writer, Batman Beyond is always a shit title, but maybe - just maybe - the Rebirth version of Dan Jurgens’ Batman Beyond will be good…? Nah. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

New Super-Man, Volume 1: Made in China Review (Gene Luen Yang, Viktor Bogdanovic)


This Chinese Superman book was one of the few Rebirth titles that genuinely intrigued me, not least because it featured the only original new character in the entire line - I know that’s deliberate though, that Rebirth is about bringing back classic characters/timelines, etc. So it’s disappointing that New Super-Man follows the Rebirth trend of being unreadable drek. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Fante Bukowski Two by Noah Van Sciver Review


Fante Bukowski was one of my favourite comics of 2015 so I’m delighted that Noah Van Sciver has returned to the character for another brilliant book. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The New Avengers, Volume 1: Breakout Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch)


The Avengers disassembled after House of M. Spidey rogue Electro busts out a few dozen baddies out of The Raft. Avengers reassemble - who expected THAT? Oh, right, everyone. Was it remotely entertaining to see something that’s been done a zillion times before? Surprisingly nah. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Incal, Volume 1: The Black Incal Review (Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius)


I put off reading this one after seeing a clip a while back from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movie The Holy Mountain where a screaming naked old geezer wearing cheetah breasts squirts milk into the face of a kneeling man (for your trauma/amusement, here’s that scene), thinking that his comics were gonna be equally inaccessible, utterly incomprehensible and way too fartschool-y. And I was wrong - or at least half wrong - when it came to the first Incal book! 

Friday, 26 May 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Volume 1 Review (Dan Slott, Steve McNiven)


After J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada took a big steaming dump on Spider-Man with One More Day, Dan Slott was parachuted in to clear up their mess with Brand New Day. Which he did pretty well, largely by ignoring the preceding nonsense, though some of the retconning sticks out awkwardly - Civil War still happened but somehow nobody remembers that Peter is Spidey despite his unmasking being the most memorable scene in that dismal storyline! 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Outburst by Pieter Coudyzer Review


I do enjoy me some sad bastard comics now and then but Pieter Coudyzer’s debut Outburst was a bit too depressing even for me!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Doom Patrol, Volume 1: Brick by Brick Review (Gerard Way, Nick Derington)


An enchanted colostomy bag belches into existence The Bliznar, an anthropomorphic multi-gender entity whose left testicle is running for Mayor of Kandahar and who wants to write this year’s Christmas No. 1 jig. But a ragtag team of anti-hero pro-superhero anti-hairdressers called Bloom 50 Squad have to lose the intergalactic atomic race and lock up the evil Princess Bitchtacular before the FixFaxes obliterate the comics universe of the 12th Dimension! Better gwant up the pooble before sippy revs the teeser!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

No Good Deed by John Niven Review


The blurb for No Good Deed drew me in: Alan, a well-to-do food critic and columnist, comes across Craig, an old friend he hasn’t seen in years, and is shocked to find him homeless and living on the streets – a long way from the rich rock star he was in the early ‘90s! In an act of goodwill, Alan takes in Craig and tries to get him back on his feet – except, after briefly enjoying Alan’s comfortable life, Craig decides to have Alan’s life and schemes to take it from him. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Trinity, Volume 1: Better Together Review (Francis Manapul, Clay Mann)


Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are the Trinity, DC’s three most popular, iconic superheroes. But mixing three great tastes doesn’t necessarily make them taste great together, as Trinity Rebirth proves. “Better Together”? Ha! 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Herman By Trade by Chris W. Kim Review


A humble street cleaner, Herman has a startling secret: at night he transforms into an imposing cloaked figure who wanders the city narrating his actions and thoughts aloud! When indie film director Mio chooses to film her next project in Herman’s town, he decides to audition for a part, revealing his secret side for the first time. Herman’s life is about to change… 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Review (Sarah Vaughn, Lan Medina)


Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is another retelling of Bluebeard where a man and a woman go to some big house, the man turns out to be crazy and the woman runs away from him. Other famous versions include Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. What does Deadman/Boston Brand have to do with it? Nothing really. And that’s the book!