Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 Review

Writer: Greg Hurwitz
Artist: Jerome Opeña
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Would you like to read a comic where the Hero crash lands in the middle of New York in a strange completely enclosed, flying Machine? Where the Hero bursts out on a souped up and armoured Motorcycle, capturing the bad guys with non lethal gun weaponry?

How about a comic where the hero propels himself from a Ladder extending from a aircraft, using his momentum to knock the bad guys cornering 4×4 onto it’s side and surfing on the 4×4’s side down a main city street?

How about a comic where a the Hero gets rid of the miniature manifestation of his literal “inner demon” by flicking him out of his taxi?

How about a comic which has one of the most complimentary Writer / Artist teams in recent memory. One where the writers script leaves the artist space to make some incredibly draw dropping panels, while creating an incredible re-introduction to the Hero?

You really should see what Gregg Hurwitz and Jerome Opeña have done with the Vengeance of Moon Knight #1 you know.


Vampirella: The Second Coming #1 Review

Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Publisher: Harris Comics

Firstly, I have to admit I know nothing of Vampirella’s history or longevity in the comic world. I may well have intentionally avoided it for the overtly sexual costume and covers, having failed to notice the list of top writers who have written the character.

Well the $1.99 on the cover was enough for me to sit up and take notice this time. Harris comics (like Aspen with their $2.50 title Dellec) are trying to counter the consistent price rises to $3.99 at other companies by putting affordable comics on the shelves, and its something people who want to pay less should take notice of.

In The Second Coming, Vampirella is “a myth, a cartoon character, some sort of viral image”. In Fact, the marketing has made Vampirella a brand as popular as “Hello Kitty”. Well this is the Vampirella that Kelly Robinson-Witten knows. A viral e-mail awakens a seeming memory in her, and suddenly she starts noticing a blood red V tag all around her city. This draws her from her job at Trinidad Women’s Resource Action Center to a mysterious encounter at the local library.

Meanwhile Kelly’s Husband, workaholic Frank Witten, meets his new project manager over dinner at the underground transit system. The location is as good as any for a gateway to hell, and the dinner laced to turn Frank into a pawn for he who resides below.

Vampirella was a decent little introduction for me, I wasn’t overloaded with information about the Vampirella that came before, there was a nice little hook of familial conflict being enhanced to quite a degree and there was nothing more overtly sexual than you’ll see in some of Marvels T+ books.

The artwork by Sampere impressed, in fact it’s clarity, linework and shading reminded me a lot of Mahmud Asrar’s Dynamo 5 work, and he certainly looks like a name to be watched in the industry.

I wasn’t expecting anything from Vampirella, I got an interesting title that looks like it will pique my interest without hitting my pocket. Bonus.

Magog #1 Review

Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Howard Porter
Publisher: DC Comics

He’s a marine who was critically injured, repaired by a pseudo-god and enhanced in the process. He became a member of the Justice Society, but not a popular one. Thing is he’s military trained, not ‘Hero must not kill’ trained. This sets up collisions with not only his team-mates, but the baddest bads in the DC Universe, in theatres of war across the globe, and closer to home.

With the huge number of characters featured in JSA, Magog has not had much of a chance to be fleshed out. Things are started to be resolved on that front here, and Giffen begins to show us what rules Magog lives by. He brutally takes out young soldiers guiding the living dead of a massacred Sudanese village through the jungle, and, closer to home, trains up a friend to protect herself from her violent partner.

Aided and abetted by his former military colleague, Magog has so many wrongs he feels are going unchecked by his super-powered peers, he even goes as far as using an iPod based random mission selector to choose his next destination.

Giffen weaves into the tale details of a hi-tech arms dealer (a perfect military based story) who matches Magog’s brutality, but with less discrimination.

Magog is off to a good start, and it’s nice to see DC willing to attempt to vary their line-up by having a character at the “Punisher” end of the Good-guy scale, rather than so many of their characters having similar moralities. I’m looking forward to future issues.

Red Circle: Inferno #1 One-Shot Review

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Greg Scott
Publisher: DC Comics

The injection of characters into the DC Universe continues in the second of four Red Circle one-shot that reinvent the Archie Heroes for today.
The lone survivor of a cruise liner has been brought to hospital. His amnesia is so severe, he can’t even remember the name he uttered on his arrival, Frank Verrano. The name doesn’t appear on the cruise liner manifest, in fact the name can not be found in any search engine database. “Six Billion people on the planet and I don’t get even one hit on Frank Verrano”. And why would someone go to the effort of disguising themselves as a porter to assassinate the amnesiac? And maybe more importantly, why can the amnesiac turn into a man on fire?
J. Michael Straczynski story merges action and super-heroics with extra portions of mystery and intrigue. A guest appearance by fellow Archie Hero, the Hangman, helps us establish Inferno’s moral leanings and really brings up an air of Robert Ludlum’s hero with no memory, Jason Bourne.
Greg Scott’s artwork is very similar in style to John Paul Leon and Paul Azaceta. Heavy shadows adorn many pages, so the partnership with colourist Art Lyon is incredibly important when it comes to making a fiery character leap off the page. The partnership works so well you can feel a back-draft penetrating your eyes.
Inferno might be the co-feature of the upcoming Shield ongoing series, but it’s definitely one to watch. Jump on now with this affordable one-shot…

Dark Reign: Mr Negative #1 Review

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Gianluca Gugliotta
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The first new villain of Spider-Mans brand new day has gotten himself a tie-in mini-series and he’s pitted against New York’s new Kingpin of crime the Hood. Can the Hood and his crime syndicate take over Mr. Negative’s home soil of Chinatown?
In 2007’s MODOK’S 11, Van Lente had proven that he knew how to handle D and E list villains, and he brings this skill back to this issue and he mixes the lesser Spider-Man foes in with a tale of how new A list villain, Mr. Negative’s alter ego came to America.
Mr Negative’s current story is intertwined with Spider-Man supporting characters, and it’s Betty Brant who offers us a retrospective of his arrival. But it’s where the action kicks in that the issue really kicks into gear. A corrupted White Dragon, Scorcher, White Rabbit, Bloodshed and the Squid… You may not have heard of them but they bring great character to the story and bring us a true Battle Royale on the streets of China Town.
Gugliotta’s artwork is incredibly in tune with the words as he brings swagger to all the characters involved.
Mr Negative’s a good book to have fun with, whether you’re following Dark Reign or not.

Olympus #1 Review

Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Christian Ward
Publisher: Image Comics

Were you thinking that it’s about time that there was a new leading pair in comics? a decent duo who share lead billing, rather than a hero / sidekick affair? Well, brothers Castor and Pollux, known to some in the mythology world as Gemini, are perhaps the pairing you’ve been waiting for.
As “Hunters serving Olympus”, we’re introduced to Castor and Pollux chasing down the rogue Gregori across the backdrop of London, in an attempt to retrieve Zeus’ staff. And what’s more, they’re armed only with a hook and chain fit to drag their opponent back to the underworld.
The action of Olympus seamlessly runs from panel to panel, the fluidity enhanced by Christian Ward’s uncanny knack of capturing each panel at the perfect point in each characters motion. He treats us to crunching punches and motorcycle stunts in a truly unique style, creating focus with an incredible use of colour.
Saying that though, these characters are fully realised by Edmondson’s dialogue, which establish the brothers bond and their differences incredibly subtly but incredibly deftly. Their words exude realism and believability.
If you want to read a comic that comes across as it were a Hollywood blockbuster transposed into a 32 page form, then this is for you.
This is Hollywood action blockbuster fayre transposed onto the comic book page.

Flash: Rebirth #1 Review

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics

I was a long time reader of the Flash. I read from the issue #82 of Wally’s series through the Waid issues, the Morrison and Millar year and through the John’s issues where my interest wained, and I eventually dropped the Flash after the much-maligned “Fastest Man Alive” series started. Having started reading comics in the early 1990’s, I’ve never read a Barry Allen story except for the odd guest appearances he had through Wally’s series. To be quite honest, I would’ve quite happy for it to stay that way. Why bring back a character who has been dead for over twenty years?
Well he’s been brought back and his first issue is quite pedestrian, in fact for a whole 30 story pages I really expect a lot more the reminiscing and idolatry of Barry Allen that occurs. Yes the reminiscing comes from a variety of the Flash Alumni and other lasting DC Characters, how Barry has affected their lives and hero careers, but the actual page count left for story advancements is incredibly low. The few portents that are apparent do intrigue, and the snippets that link back through all the Flash’s previous adventures do pique the interest. It’s nice to see how the Flash lineage links together but I need more to get me coming back.