Number of the Beast #1 (of 8) Review

Writers: Scott Beatty

Penciller: Chris Sprouse
Inker: Karl Story
Colourist: Jonny Rench
Publisher: DC / Wildstorm

After the much lauded relaunch but eventual non-emergence of Wildstorm’s biggest titles, Wildcats & the Authority, comic readers have seemingly lost confidence in the line. Great titles such as Stormwatch PHD have fallen by the wayside, and their core super-hero line has dwindled.

Number of The Beast is the last of a trifecta of series set to provide a new launchpad for Wildstorm in the Future (the first two being Armageddon and Revelations). But don’t let that you dissuade you from picking this up. I personally had no knowledge of those previous two series but found this issue to be a gem.

An unnamed city is the main stage for this issue. The cast are attending their premiere.

We’re introduced to characters Hotfoot , the Thrush, Black Anvil, Stinkbug and many other silver-age inspired characters whose mere ideals, on face value, are in complete contrast to the established Wildstorm Universe characters. In fact, if it weren’t for slight references to, and an appearance from a character from Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch: Change or Die storyline (Stormwatch vol1 #48-50) you wouldn’t even be able to tell we were in the pre-established world.

Sprouse and Story’s Perez like visuals combine perfectly with Beatty’s script, giving each of the new characters a unique look and voice. By the end of the issue, though it essentially serves as an introduction to the new players, I’m left wanting more…. luckily the series is fortnightly.

If you want fun silver-age super-hero antics, if you want to see new characters from the ground up, give Wildstorm another try and pick Number of The Beast up.

Rating: A


Screamland #2 (of 5) Review

Writers: Harold Sipe
Penciller: Hector Casanova
Publisher: Image Comics

Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Wolf-Man, the Mummy and other movie monsters are all real. They starred in their respective horror movies of the 20th century but as their acting roles have dried up, they’ve all seen a down turn in their lives.

As the issue title suggests, we’re focused on the story of the fez wearing Mummy, though he’s only seen through flashbacks. Sipe writes the story with dry humour, in a style akin to black TV comedies such as Pushing Daisies and the Riches. It’s a writing style that excels alongside Casanova’s artwork, whose sullen colours and subtle patterning bring real mood to the proceedings.

My only down point would be the size and number of panels per page. With the rest of the issues as good as it is it would have been nice to squeeze a bit more story in. But none the less this is definitely a recommended read for anyone who likes exploring outside the superhero genre.


Nova #12 Review

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colourist: Guru eFX
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Paul Pelletier’s two issue run concludes, and it’s apparent as to why he’s been moved over to the May debuting Guardians of the Galaxy series. He nails the wonder and scale of the action scenes, while simultaneously hitting all the right notes on the more intimate character scenes between Nova, former New Mutant Warlock, and Warlock’s student Tyro.

Abnett and Lanning deftly handle the script. Propelling Rider from his battle with the Transmode Virus back to the Annihilation Conquest saga finale, in a way that is accessible to new readers, unfamiliar with the characters, but never over extravagant in explanations.

In today’s prevalence of realistic, “real world” heroics , Nova’s full science fiction wonderment is a must, and this issue just proves Abnett, Lanning & Pelletier are modern masters of the sci-fi genre.


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Simon Dark #7 Review

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Scott Hampton
Colourist: Chris Chuckry
Publisher: DC Comics

Its a shame, but after a promising start Simon Dark has really been plodding along recently.

Yes, Niles makes you feel for Simon (his naivety and innocence is endearing) and Scott Hamptons almost photo realistic art is incredible, but information about the titular character is now being drip-fed, and over the issue it seems his story hardly progresses. Mix in the by the numbers, “zombie-fied” public story and sadly you have a less than satisfying read.

This modern day Frankenstein take sounds like it should be a high concept idea. I hope it climbs some more rungs up the ladder quickly.


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The Beginning

So, here’s yet another review blog to litter the Internet.

I’ll be honest and say, i’m not trying to come at this with a niche, I’ll just try and write honest reviews of comic books that are out there.