Monday, March 30, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week - 01.04.2009)





The Boys vs The G-Men!
Kirkmans new Marvel title!
'Nuff said!!

BOYS #29 DYNAMIC FORCES
DESTROYER #1 MARVEL COMICS


http://www.dynamiteentertainment.com/htmlfiles/p-C725130117953.html
- The DF page for Boys #29

http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?id=11433 - Marvel page for Destroyer #1

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scream, the IPC horror comic - 25 years old! (1984)



Although TWLB wrote about it already (see here), this is just to acjknowledge that Scream, the IPC horror comic, was released 25 years ago. Makes you feel old? Makes TWLB feel old..........

Friday, March 27, 2009

Comics of the week (25.03.2009)




Top titles for the week are Crossed #4 and Unknown Soldier #6;

Crossed #4 overcame last issues uninvolving character focussed moral dillemas and instead concentrated on good old fear and terror. It works a treat. Enough to give any comic reader bad dreams, this title is the ultimate in perverse horror and sheer terror - 'Crossed' has the fear in spades.

Unknown Soldier #6
continues the quality of this title, with its own very real take on the horror of violence, the tyranny of man and the haunting, disturbing truth about child soldiers and child abduction in Africa. Absolutley essential comic, and my title of the week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Solicitation for The Walking Dead #62 (Image, 2009)



THE WALKING DEAD #62
story ROBERT KIRKMAN
art & cover CHARLIE ADLARD & CLIFF RATHBURN
JUNE 10
32 PAGES / BW
$2.99

THE HUNT BEGINS!
It all starts here, the most explosive story-arc in WALKING DEAD history. Who lives? Who dies? Watch as our characters discover just how dangerous the Road To Washington actually is.

RETAILER WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

Review - Daredevil #117 (Marvel, 2009)



The Kingpin is back.


A slow burner of an issue, but the return of the Kingpin to New York, in an underground bar called Josie's, was priceless. You could have heard a pin drop in there. The art was amazing (as usual), whether it was portraying tension in a dimly lit bar or the confusion and stealth of an attack of The Hand ninjas in the half light with snow swirling around them, Lark and Gaudiano nailed it. There was plenty of focus on Matt Murdock and his travails, not least over the custody of his child and his relationship with Dakota, which slowed the pace down a little in the middle of the book. However, the real meat of the issue was near the end - it was a generally well paced issue, leading up to this climatic moment - when Daredevil and Kingpin call a truce, and more than that, forge an alliance.

Verdict - It took a while to get there, but this was a dark and moody as Daredevil gets. The possibilities of a Kingpin and Daredevil team-up in Hells Kitchen are tantalising. Ed Brubaker will deliver, and that is something to really anticipate. 'Return of the King' promises to be special, and this issue was really all about setting the scene, putting the pieces in place. A storm is brewing...... 7 out of 10.

Review - Unknown Soldier #6 (Vertigo, 2009)



Moses fights fire with fire and extracts a brutal revenge

Following on from last issues impending confrontation with the LRA, issue 6 of the 'Unknown Soldier' does not hold back, as Moses seeks out the LRA lieutenant, Ilakut, 'the lieutenant of children, as Moses scornfully describes him. When Moses catches up with Ilakut, it is a bloody and desperate fight, but the outcome is never in doubt. Whatever Moses has become, it is in the guise of the 'Unknown Soldier', and that is a terrifying, even terrible prospect. The 'Unknown Soldier' is an efficient and brutal killer, his sole purpose is seemingly to take down the Lords Resistance Army for their heinous crimes, particularly the abduction of children for forced conscription into the LRA. Throw into the mix the continuing presence of Agent Howl, and a snooping journalist, and the layers of intrigue mount up on top of the visceral action. There are some horrific and heart-rending scenes as the LRA lay waste to a village. The art does not hold back from showing the horror of war but does not glorify it or in any way celebrate it (a refreshing change, and in this context entirely appropriate). By the end of the issue Moses is a man with the scent of blood in his nostrils and the single minded clarity of a man with a clear purpose. We shall how this develops over the next few issues. The 'Unknown Soldier' is truly a title to savour, and for the uninititated, one to watch out for.

Joshua Dysart's 'Unknown Soldier' continues to provide an intelligent, insightful and thrilling antidote to the mainstream. This book deserves a wide audience. It is a thriller and a lesson in Western World / African politics and the dreadful wars fought within that continent. Dysart is adept at making this title a taut action thriller while delivering valuable information on what has been going on in Uganda and the DRC over the last 20 years. The fact that he devotes a page of written text at the back of the book to fill in the gaps and give a fuller perspective on what you are reading only underlines the commitment he gives to this endeavour.

Verdict - I have praised this title before, and I shall continue to do so. This is an important comic book, but more than that, it is an entertaining and informative comic book. It makes you think, it makes you feel. 9.5 out of 10.

Review - Crossed #4 (Avatar, 2009)



They're behind you!!!

Very good installment of this ultimate sex/horror apocalypse. The fear is very real. The 'crossed' are finding new ways to get sick and twisted (these are not 'zombies' - these are monsters and savages, at the mercy of their bloodlust and sexual urges) and the survivors continue to try and avoid the crossed and reach relative safety. There is a very tense scene towards the end of ths issue involving a bridge, and it is during this scene that you understand again what the sick thrill of this book is - it is the fear. The fear of the crossed turning up, chasing you, catching you...it doesn't bare thinking about (you don't have to, because Ennis and Burrows spell it out enough throughout the issues so far).

This is horror at its most distilled. Pure fear, pure horror. I have been critical of the book in the past, but when it really hits it's stride there is no other comic book out there that generates this sort of tension, fear and suspense - or the complete lack of hope (though to be fair, Ennis manages to add some real humanity into this issue, involving food, and it is jarring as it is so opposite to all the blackness swirling throughout the book).

It may not be to everyones taste, but 'Crossed' is one of the most distinctive titles out there at the moment, pushing and testing the boundaries of what is acceptable fare for comic books. It needs to be respected at the very least, but there is also a very keen understanding of horror running throughout.

Verdict - A highlight of the week. The stuff of the most terrible nightmares. 9 out of 10.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week - 25.03.2009)



CAPTAIN AMERICA #48 MARVEL COMICS
DAREDEVIL #117 MARVEL COMICS
UNKNOWN SOLDIER #6 DC COMICS

Some goodies this week. It's an Ed Brubaker double whammy, with his amazing run on Captain America continuing as the new Captain America (Bucky) faces up to his crimes as the Winter Soldier. This title is solid entertainment - great writing, amazing art - a real highlight of any week. Then, in Brubakers other title of the week, Daredevil, the Kingpin returns to Hells Kitchen and forges an alliance with Daredevil. This could prove to be a monumental clash as the team-up goes up against Lady Bullseye and the Hand. Could turn out to be a classic storyline for Daredevil........

Finally, the brilliant Unknown Soldier returns with issue 6, as Moses confronts the Lords Resistance Army, the militia comprised of mainly child soldiers. Promises to be a tense and fraught encounter.

Captain America #48 details;
http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?id=11373

Captain America #48 preview (courtesy of IGN) here

Daredevil #117 details;
http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?id=11373

Daredevil #117 preview (again at IGN) here

Unknown Soldier #6 details;
http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/comics/?cm=11381

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Comics of the week - 18/03/2009






Top titles for this week - Ultimatum #3 and Wolverine #71

Ultimatum #3 was very intense, with death literally on every page. The changes made to the Ultimate universe promise to be devastating based on this issue. How many heroes will be left? The finale seems to be the beginning of the end of 'The Ultimates', and the start of a new Superhero team emerging (the Ultimate Avengers???). Brutal, brooding and exciting.

Wolverine was just a lot of fun, lots of action, a great ending that sets up the concluding issues of the Old Man Logan storyline. Great art from Steve McNiven, and fast paced plotting from Mark Millar. A fast, satisfying read.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Review - Wolverine #71 (Marvel, 2009)



Venom, Black Bolt, Emma Frost, thrills, spills and slaughter.......

Yes, that is a Venom coated T-Rex, looking like it is hot pursuit of something. That 'something' is the 'Spidey-Buggy' (de rigeur post-super-heroes-apocalypse transportation) containing Wolverine (aka 'Old Man Logan') and Hawkeye (old and blind). It is a great start to an issue that is full of incident, with the likes of Black Bolt and Emma Frost making an appearance, and you get treated to the stunning vista that is 'Pym Falls'. You probably have an idea what that is all about. We get to find out exactly what Hawkeye has been transporting across the ravaged lands, and it is quite a surprise - this leads to a bloody finale that does not end well. I think Wolverine is due to get his claws out any time soon.

I really like the 'Old Man Logan' run - Mark Millar presents an absorbing alternative future, and the art of Steve McNiven is clean, crisp and, on occasion, stunning in some of its details (like the already mentioned 'Pym Falls') - and this issue sets up the final 2 episodes of this story very nicely.

Verdict - If you have been following this run, then this issue does not disappoint. It is not a jumping on point though. Solid entertainment. 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week - 18.03.2009)



Titles to look forward to this week;

Air #7 DC Comics
Punisher #3 Marvel Comics
Transmetropolitan #1 (Special Edition) DC Comics
Wolverine #71 Marvel Comics


The intriguing AIR #7 comes out this week at a very competitive price from DC, with a 22 page recap of the story up to that point, which should get a few more readers on board. I thought it started strongly enough, and issue 7 is certainly worth a go for the price. PUNISHER #3 (under the 'Dark Reign' banner) continues Rick Remender's impressive start to his run on the title. DC are bringing out TRANSMETROPOLITAN # 1, as part of their 'After Watchmen, what next?' campaign. Read Warren Ellis' views on that here. Finally, WOLVERINE #71 continues the very enjoyable 'Old Man Logan' storyline, which features an appearance of a Venom T-Rex.....

The Walking Dead - new teaser image, 'The Dead Do Not Hunt' (2009)

Following on from the previous teaser images for the upcoming (untitled) story arc - 'The Dead Do Not Stalk', 'The Dead Do Not Track' and 'The Dead Do Not Watch' - comes this new image, with more potential spoilers;



With the image showing Dale shot and injured, it would appear that those who watch, stalk and track the survivors are not friendly at all.

Link here for the original article from IGN

Friday, March 13, 2009

Comics of the week - 11/03/2009

















3 titles really stood out this week;


The Walking Dead #59

Issue #59 was less focused on relationships, and all about the action. As thrilling as this was, it didn't feel quite as satisfying as the last 2 issues, where the focus was more on exploring the dynamics between various characters. What 'The Walking Dead' did provide was thrills, and it looks as if issue 60 is going to provide more of the same. Review here.


The Stand: American Nightmares #1

Is this the finest comic adaptation of a book yet? Very probably. The task of bringing Stephen Kings epic apocalyptic tale to this format could have been a disaster, but this is anything but. In fact, it is a triumph of excellent artwork from Mike Perkins and superbly paced plotting thanks to the writing of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The trades for this adaptation are to be a must-have. The second chapter, 'American Nightmares', follows on from 'Captain Trips', with some of the main characters now being firmly established;
Stu Redman making his break for freedom,
Fran Goldsmith, dealing with the death of her father and the attentions of Harold Lauder
Nick Andros, weighing up his options and those of his surviving tormentor
Larry Underwood, discovering the comfort of strangers

and right at the end of the issue, saving the best until last, the blackest evil that is Randall Flagg....

A real highlight of the Marvel line-up.


Young Liars #13

Inspired, brilliant and unhinged - all qualities missing from a lot of titles, but generally never in short supply on this one. 'Young Liars' is a disorienting pleasure, giving you queasy thrills while making you question what is real within the world that Lapham populates with the likes of Danny Noonan, Sadie Hawkins and the nefarious conglomerate, Brown Bag Holdings. In this issue, Danny Noonan turns out to be some guy called Johnny Jukebox, and Sadie is actually a girl called Loreli. Well, maybe....you cannot take anything for granted with the 'young liars'. Great issue, and the pick of the bunch this week. Review here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Review - Young Liars #13 (Vertigo, 2009)



All you need to know is that if you gave up on this title in the past then give it another go - your patience and perseverance will have been rewarded. As the title hits the teens, Danny Noonan / Duoshade is now Johnny Jukebox, but he is still in a band and, apparently, still a success (just like Danny Duoshade). Now get this - Johnny loves Loreli, who bears a strong resemblance to Sadie. Random, life altering events come and go as if in a drug-induced haze (like burning down your house 'to shake things up')....but is that because they are conducted under medical supervision and intervention??? Brown Bag is watching you....

By the end of the issue, when Johnny is using peyote to try and break down what appears to be a monumental and orchestrated facade, it feels as if the series has not only come full circle but also a climax is in sight. Johnny / Danny, with a wig in one hand and a gun in his other, makes a decision which is going to effect his, and Loreli's lives forever. It may even have massive repercussions for the whole world.

This is such a brilliant issue, and the best title of the week already, because the issue spills over with smart dialogue and great art, each frame packed with tension, love, energy and LIFE. A lust for life spills out of all these pages. The book celebrates the art of staying alive and surviving, even when death is all around and closing in. More, please.

Verdict. Title of the week. Read it. If you have not read the other 12, go and find them and then read this. It is the cherry on the top so far. Who knows the truth anymore and what is real in Danny / Johnny's life? Who cares? Will we ever find out what the real truth is? Note to David Lapham - Just keep delivering the goods and you can continue spinning tales (it is a real web of deceit - metaphorically and in reality...or are the Spiders from Mars a mere fantasy??) until you decide enough is enough and you decide to tell us what the hell 'Young Liars' is about. Until then, thank you for this wonderful installment. 9 out of 10.

Review - The Walking Dead #59 (Image, 2009)



Rick, Abraham, Carl & Morgan in very real danger as the undead threat becomes unimaginable

Warning - Spoilers!!!


Much of the cover art for 'The Walking Dead' is less of a direct representation of what is going inside the book itself, rather than the cover art tending to be more representative of the general themes you will find in the 22 pages of story in that issue. This can sometimes be slightly frustrating if you are expecting the cover art to act as some kind of a trailer to the main content. An Example? See issue 54, and read the review here, but without wanting to spoil too much (and if you are reading a review for #59, surely you have read #54???) but the 'all-out action!' does not involve Sgt Abraham Ford with a guns-blazing stance, straight out of those those John Woo films, dealing furious death on a teeming horde of revenants....So you have to take the cover art with a pinch of salt - great art, but not necessarily telling the truth.

Not so with issue 59! This cover is telling you exactly what is going on in the book. Literally. The excitement and danger of the cover is replicated inside, as Rick, Carl, Abraham and Morgan make the intended stop off for supplies at Rick's former Police Station, but beyond that they then get into a whole lot of trouble very quickly as they encounter a herd. Abraham described a herd a few issues back, but seeing this mass of undead is truly unnerving. Lucky for them they just stocked up on ammo and guns.

The issue is light on dialogue compared to recent issues, but my gosh it delivers on thrills. We leave the quartet in a truly perilous situation, but with the highly capable Abraham fully in charge. However I do fear for Morgan - the guy is devastated by the loss of his son and he gives the impression that he is going to buckle in this frightening situation.

Top quality fun, and issue #60 'Surrounded' is looking likely to be just as thrilling as Rick, Abraham & company try to escape the teeming hordes.

Verdict - A quick, thrilling read. It sets issue 60 up for an exciting resolution to the survivors predicament. 8.5 out of 10

Monday, March 09, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week)



Here is what I am looking forward to this week;

RESIDENT EVIL #1 DC COMICS
STAND AMERICAN NIGHTMARES #1 MARVEL COMICS
SUPER-ZOMBIES #1 DYNAMIC FORCES
WALKING DEAD #59 IMAGE COMICS
YOUNG LIARS #13 DC COMICS

Well, it is quite a week for Zombies isn't it? What with the prologue to the video game Resident Evil 5 appearing this week (Resident Evil #1), the new Super Zombies title from Dynamite (written by Resurrection's Marc Guggenheim) and the still-on-time-in-09 'Walking Dead' reaching issue #59, we are truly spoiled for undead titles. On top of that we get the next chapter in Marvels bold and brilliant adaptation of 'The Stand' - 'American Nightmares', and finally we have David Lapham, on an upswing over the last few issues, with his bewildering and very exciting 'Young Liars' as it hits its teens. 'Young Liars' hitting puberty? Doesn't bear thinking about......

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Comics of the week - 04/03/2009




Daredevil 116 was a slow-burner, full of the death, misery and despair that Ed Brubaker serves up so well. Concerning itself with setting up the return of Wilson Fisk AKA Kingpin, the mood was sombre and foreboding as we see the tragedy behind the imminent reappearance of the former King Of New York, and the reasons behind a (likely) alliance with Matt Murdock….An issue that got under the skin of Fisk, to the point that you felt his pain when the inevitable tragedy strikes. No Daredevil, just Kingpin. Great cover art as well.

The Boys 29 was simply one of the best that this mostly excellent title has put out so far. As Hughie’s undercover mission threatens to end painfully, The Female and The Frenchman turn up, and Billy gets the unsettling truth behind Godolkins recruitment of the young and gifted. Setting itself up nicely for issue 30, this was a very entertaining read, and as a whole, ‘We Gotta Go Now’ has been one of the best arcs.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Walking Dead #59 Preview (Image Comics) (2009)



5 page preview here;

http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0903/06/imagefirsts.htm

The comic is due to ship next Wednesday, 11th March. Expect a review then.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Boys: Herogasm (2009)

This looks a lot of fun - as The Boys reach the big 30 (in terms of issues), we get a mini series spin-off from the main title, 'Herogasm', from the same creative team - here is the cover of #1 and the solicitation;



Writer: GARTH ENNIS, Penciller/Inker: JOHN McCREA, Covers: DARICK ROBERTSON

An evil so profound it threatens all mankind... the mightiest heroes on the planet uniting to defend us all... a secret crisis of such utter finality that a countdown to civil or infinite war seems unavoidable... but have you ever wondered what really happens during Crossovers? The Seven, Payback, Teenage Kix, Fantastico and every other supe on Earth team up for an annual event like no other... and where the supes go, can a certain "five complications and a dog" be far behind? Vought-American prepare to make their move, in a story that will change the world of the Boys forever: Herogasm #1.
The first-ever Boys spin-off mini-series features the pairing of Ennis with Hitman artist John McCrea and covers by Boys artist and co-creator Darick Robertson!
MATURE THEMES


due May 2009

(taken from http://www.forbidden-planet.co.uk/acatalog/The_Boys__Herogasm__1.html)

It seems to have the usual Ennis penchance for risque humour. For more details, see the link below;

http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20215