Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quick Reviews of Comics released this week (29/04/2009)

Battle for the Cowl: The Underground #1

At one point Catwoman asks herself why she is doing this. I had asked myself that very question several times through this turgid filler / spin-off / holding pattern until Bruce Wayne comes back. Is there really any point to this? Do they expect us to buy the notion of the Riddler and Harley Quinn bumping into each other in the street like 'normal' people? The flat sharing stuff? The boring Terminator style Batman.....Please......
Pointless. 3 out of 10.

Dark Avengers #4

Fist time I have read this, but is suitably daft and funny to make it fairly enjoyable. I honestly did not have a clue what was really going on, other than the Dark Avengers and Dr Doom were battling Morgana Le Fay through time. The ending was pretty impressive, but best of all was this glimpse into Englands past;

Now that got my attention. T-Rex's in the UK? 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Walking Dead - are the Hunters displaying their trophies from the 'Hunt'? (2009)


We were recently treated to the final spoiler image in the run up to the forthcoming 'Hunters' arc, starting in Walking Dead #62;

Look closer though, and you may see some clues as to the fate of some of the characters. NOTE - this is not fact, merely guesswork, speculation. In the next picture I identify 3 images (circled) that lead me to believe that the Hunters are wearing 'trophies' of their 'prey'. The 'prey' being Rick, Carl, Abraham and the rest of their band of survivors;

The following 3 images are courtesy of Hidden Robot and their fantastic Walking Dead resource;

they show 3 of the main characters of The Walking Dead, and their distinctive headgear;

Dale's Hat

Glenn's Cap

Michonne's Hood

Now, let us zoom in on the encircled images from the teaser poster;

Dale's Hat?

Glenn's Cap?

Michonne's Hood?

Could this teaser poster be a clue to what will happen in the coming months, or a total red herring?

Guggenheim talks Resurrection (again), discusses Walking Dead comparisons (2009)

Over at Newsarama, which is rapidly becoming my favourite site at the moment, we have an interview with Marc Guggenheim, as Resurrection volume 2 closes in on its debut. He talks about comparisons with The Walking Dead, where the new Resurrection series is going, and about 'Burns' and 'Road Agents', which were mentioned in Volume 1.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New solicitation for Resurrection Vol 2 #2 (Oni Press, 2009)



By Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood.

Mankind's return from the brink of alien destruction continues! The town of Red Lion, Pa., is an anomaly. A walled, fortress where rebuilding has begun and hope springs. Unfortunately, things are never that simple. Red Lion has a secret and Ben is determined to find out what it is -- or die trying.

24 pages, $3.99.

New Kirkman interview about upcoming Walking Dead arc and 'The Dead Do Not...' teaser images on IGN (plus some preview pages!)(2009)


In this great new interview we learn some more about the 'Hunters' in the forthcoming arc (starts #62), such as the fact that they are going to be 'worse' than Woodbury. There is also a preview of (what I assume to be) issue #62...and that contains good stuff like this;

See the full interview here at IGN;

Monday, April 27, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week - 29.04.2009)

Very light week coming up. The only 2 titles I am looking forward to are Phonogram 2: The Singles Club #2 and Unknown Soldier #7, though that is not a bad week due to their inclusion.



32 PAGES, FC, $3.50

Getting over an ex is never easy. When they've laid a phonomantic curse on you, it borders on the impossible. In the second of seven stand-alone stories set in a single club, PHONOGRAM's cynical heart cracks wide open. PLUS two complete back-up stories with art from EMMA VIECELI (HAMLET, COMIC BOOK TATTOO) and DANIEL HEARD (COMIC BOOK TATTOO, CHIMPLANTS)."

Unknown Soldier #7
Written by Joshua Dysart; Art by Alberto Ponticelli; Cover by Dave Johnson

The book IGN called "contender for best new series of the year," as well as the praise-winner from Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, G4 TV, The Onion, and Ain't It Cool News features a special stand-alone story: Locals believe the sub-Sahara bush that Moses now calls home to be haunted by the world's darker inclinations. But Is Moses preparing for a standoff with that evil... or is he the spirit itself?

Don't miss this special jumping-on point issue, featuring the debut of new cover artist Dave Johnson!
Vertigo 32pg. Color $2.99 US Mature Readers
On Sale April 29, 2009

The only other release of note is the Trade paperback of Guggenheim's Resurrection Vol 1;

Genres: Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure
Rating: O
Pages: 184
Format: Standard
ISBN: 978-1-932664-98-0
Diamond Code: FEB09 4410

Book Description
In development as a major motion picture from Universal Studios!

There is life on other planets. They invaded ours. Pillaging Earth for a decade. Then they vanished without explanation.


The science fiction saga that explores the aftermath of Earth's most brutal conflict starts here! For ten years the alien invaders have laid waste to our planet, but now they've vanished, leaving the survivors with two questions--"Where did the 'bugs' go?" and "Where does humanity go from here?"

It's big existential questions, edge-of-your-seat alien-fueled intrigue, and epic thrills in this collection of the original seven installments of Resurrection! (Includes issues 1-6, plus the 2008 Annual.)

Resurrection: The Insurgent Edition collects all of the black-and-white Resurrection material in conjunction with the launch of the new full color ongoing series that's now in development as a major motion picture with Universal Studios. Created by noted writer and producer Marc Guggenheim (TV's Eli Stone, Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man) and featuring moody art from newcomers David Dumeer and Douglas Dabbs, this book picks up where all the other alien invasion stories end.

It's 184 pages of existential questions, alien-fueled intrigue, and bombastic action for just $6!

This title is volume 1 in the Resurrection series.

See here for more details and 26 page preview.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Comic of the Week (22/04/2009)

Is........Kick-Ass #6

It gets the comic of the week title for several reasons:

For the humour, the art, the plotting and the twist.

For the line;

"You're not exactly Batman, Dude. All we did was follow you home"

For Kick-Ass and his lame attempts at trying to woo Katie Deauxma, that are getting more desperate and dangerous in this issue.

It is all quite brilliant.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Image of the Week (22/04/2009)

Advice to Fathers of girls? Scene from the origin of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. Taken from Kick-Ass #6 page 4, which was released this week.

Quick reviews of other comics released this week (22/04/09)

Warning - (mild) Spolilers Ahead!

Kick-Ass #6 (Marvel)

My only complaint about Kick-Ass is it's shipping - there is too much of a gap between installments. This time around we get the suitably Punisher-style origin of the 2 vigilantes, Big Daddy & Hit Girl. Cue lots of twisted humour from Millar, plenty of blood and a twist that I didn't see coming. Kick-Ass and Red Mist make their entrance later on in the issue, wrestling with the idea of a team-up with the Father / Daughter duo (I am sure in one panel there is a reference to Millers Dark Knight...). Some neat lines that are self referential, but they work. There is a point made about the role of superheroes, but nothing is too earnestly delivered - this is meant to be sick and fun and Kick-Ass #6 delivers.

Romita Jr. just nails the art on this title. It's hyper comic strip stylings, big bold illustrations and ultra violence, all delivered in well chosen colours are the perfect match for Millars wish-fulfillment superhero tale.

These are 20 or so pages of the best comic based entertainment available. There is no fat on it, its just a great title, and it maintains its quality. With the first 6 issues done, that should make a really good trade purchase. 9 out of 10.

Skrull Kill Krew #1 (Marvel)

Never read the first iteration of the Skrull Kill Krew, and after reading this, I cannot say I am that bothered. I think the concept quite funny (first wave of Skrulls were turned into cows by Reed Richards a looong time ago. Cows ended up as burgers, and whoever ate the infected meat gained Skrull powers, like shape shifting, and the ability to detect disguised Skrulls. However, the exectuion here just left me indifferent. The plotting was okay, but the character of Ryder was a bit flat. The action was okay when it kicked off, and the art had a certain cartoon vibe to it, but overall, the cover was better than the contents. There was plenty of info at the back of the book on the Skrulls and the Kill Krew origin. It's a title that you get your moneys worth on in terms of the amount of content. It was just the story itself didn't have me coming back for more. It may suit you, it may well be worth a punt for the price. 5 out of 10.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? preview at Boom! (2009)

A few pages preview of issue 1 here at the Boom! site;

Pick of the Image July 2009 Solicitations (2009)

The full list of Image July 2009 solicits is here;

These are my picks of that month;


Written by John Layman, art and cover by Rob Guillory.

It's Tony Chu's first day on the job as a federal agent for the FDA, the most powerful law-enforcement agency on the planet. He's got a new partner who thinks he knows everything, a boss who hates his guts for no good reason, and his first order of business is to eat a decomposing finger found in a fast food cheeseburger. By the end of the day, Tony will ingest rancid sushi, face Yakuza assassins and meet the girl of his dreams. It's all in a day's work for Tony Chu, in the latest chapter of Chew, a deliciously unsettling new comic about cops, crooks, cooks, cannibal and clairvoyants.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on July 1.


Written by Mac Carter, art by Tony Salmons, cover by Adam Byrne.

The nightmares of H.P. Lovecraft have leaked from his brain into the world. All that he loves, all of Providence, is at risk. His mother has emerged from her catatonic state to take charge: with the police hot on his trail, her son must flee. But the detectives are the least of his worries. While in the asylum, Lovecraft unwittingly created a hellish creature that now, beyond his control, has set its sights on Sylvia! Lovecraft won't leave town and save himself without making a stand for the only woman he's ever loved. But can he get there in time? And what will happen to him? It's the final horrific chapter!

48 pages, $4..99, in stores on July 8.


Written by Robert Kirkman, art and cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn.

The hunt continues! Who will be the next to fall?

32 pages, black and whie, $2.99, in stores on July 15.

Solicitation for Walking Dead #63 (Image, 2009)

Written by Robert Kirkman,
art and cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn.

The hunt continues! Who will be the next to fall?

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on July 15

Solicitation information from;

So...........we know this artwork, we have seen it before, but as a cover it is given a new lease of life. Simply put, this piece of art suggests someone is either dead or wounded, and whoever is at the end of those weapons is following up (mopping up?). Also, the bloody boot they look army issue? Could the bloody trail be ffrom Abraham? The fact that the solicitation states 'The hunt continues! Who will be the next to fall?' means we are going to be witness to a storyline where some of the characters die. Probably. Not long to find out, providing the 'On time in '09' manifesto continues (and it is holding up so far, a third of the way through the year). But please, don't kill Sgt. Ford!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dynamite July 2009 Solicitations for The Boys #31 & Herogasm #2 (2009)

Exciting times ahead - an absolutely genius move, getting Carlos Ezquerra on board to do the art for the new Boys arc 'The Self-Preservation Society'. The guy is an absolute legend, having done the original graphic design for Judge Dredd. Funnily enough, I will be featuring some of Ezquerras work in an upcoming feature on some of the best 2000AD stories from the past. Anyway, here are the June solicits for 'The Boys' and 'Herogasm';

Rating: MATURE
Covers: Darick Robertson
Writer: Garth Ennis
Penciller/Inker: CARLOS EZQUERRA
Colorist: TBD
Awards: N/A
Publication Date: JUNE, 2009
Format: Comic Book
Rights: WW
Age range: 16+

UPC: 725130121530
It had to happen sooner or later: the supes get mad enough to go after the Boys. One of the world's most powerful superteams decides to hit our heroes, all guns blazing, and the Female is the first to fall into their lethal trap. Meanwhile, Hughie is still plagued with doubt, and Annie finds herself on the receiving end of the worst new look ever- in THE SELF-PRESERVATION SOCIETY, part one. And this special four issue story arc is drawn by legendary artist and Judge Dredd co-creator - Carlos Ezquerra!

Rating: MATURE
Covers: Darick Robertson
Writer: Garth Ennis
Penciller/Inker: JOHN McCREA
Colorist: TBD
Awards: N/A
Publication Date: JUNE, 2009
Format: Comic Book
Rights: WW
Age range: 16+

UPC: 725130121547
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!
Things heat up at the super-retreat, as new heights of hedonism are scaled and Jack From Jupiter introduces A-Train to the depravity of "Forbidden". The Homelander, meanwhile, is indulging in a little peccadillo of his own- one that will have far-reaching consequences for the world's superhuman community. Hughie finds himself talking dirty, Payback get an offer they can't refuse- and the Boys put their own plan into operation... - Official Dynamite Entertainment site

Resurrection Volume 2 (2009)

Marc Guggenheim talks 'Resurrection' at CBR, what with the trade of volume 1 being out in America this next week, and a Free Comic Book Day release for issue zero of the upcoming volume 2 of the post-apocalyptic series;

Here is the solicitation for the first issue of Volume 2;

Resurrection Volume 2 issue 1

Genres: Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: T
Pages: 32
Format: Standard
Diamond Code: APR09 0960

Book Description
The ground-breaking series from hit writer Marc Guggenheim (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, TV's ELI STONE) returns in a new full color ongoing series!

The invasion came swiftly and without warning. But after ten years of death and destruction raining down from above, the otherworldly oppressors have vanished. Why did the leave? Why did they attack in the first place? And where do the survivors go from here? Find out in this action-packed, intrigue-fueled new series!

Preview here;

Issue 1 of Resurrection Vol.2 on sale June 10th 2009

Review - Daredevil #118 (Marvel, 2009)

Pacts forged, alliances broken, deals done, danger ahead

Warning - Spoilers!

This issue zips along with several story lines weaving in and out through the twenty or so pages. Foggy and Matt Murdock clash, with Foggy finally losing patience with the complexities of Murdock / Daredevil. The Owl, sprung from a prison transportation truck, makes deals that aim to get him back to the top of the pile in 'his' city. His final meeting is a stunning set piece, with a neat twist at the end of the issue. Kingpin, meanwhile, is struggling with his mental health, plagued by voices of his dead wife, Vanessa. Murdock is haunted by the loss of Dakota.

Daredevil is accepting of the deal he has made with his nemesis (i.e. the Kingpin), knowing that it could prove fatal for him. His desire to take down Lady Bullseye and The Hand is all encompassing. He is truly 'blinded' by his desire to destroy them. This can only end badly, there is a real inevitability about it, with new alliances being forged that are set against the Daredevil / Kingpin team up.

There is even room for a little humour - a great line delivered by Master Izo after a brief meeting with Daredevil. I will not spoil it - it is worth savouring when you get to it.

The 'Return of the King' arc has not run out of steam by a long way. By introducing The Owl, an appearance from Lady Bullseye and The Hand, and that killer line from Master Izo, the Daredevil creative team of Brubaker, Lark, Lucas and Gaudiano have produced another absorbing and exciting installment. With Andy Diggle taking over the writing duties from Brubaker soon, 'Return of the King' is a fine way for this great writer to depart a title he has truly put his mark on.

Verdict. With 2 more installments to go, 'Return of the King' will not disappoint. This issue puts all the players of this drama into position, ready for the denouement. Solid entertainment. 8 out of 10..

Here is the cover for Daredevil #119;


New Kirkman interview talking 'Walking Dead' (2009)

Some hints about the future of the title (mentions Maggie, Carl, Rick, Dale), and, in my opinion more importantly, Robert Kirkman gives the definitive answer on what happened in issue 60 with the twins and the cat....

Some spoliers, so be aware before clicking the link;

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dead Run (Boom!, 2009)

A miniseries in the vein of Mad Max? That is guaranteed to get my attention. If there is one post-apocalyptic tale to choose above all others, it has to be Mad Max 2 for me, every time. In a new 4 part mini-series from Boom! Studios, 'Dead Run', aims to capture that vibe in comic form.

At the end of the world, crime still remains a thriving industry. This means, of course, that there will always be a need for runners; those men and women entrusted with making deliveries and disposing of compromising material. A hazardous job in a hazardous environment. “Dead Run” follows the adventures of Nick Masters, a driver whose single delivery failure causes his life to be in danger. - CBR has an interview with the creative team and a 5 page preview of Dead Run #1 - Cover art previews of forthcoming Dead Run issues

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marvel Zombies 4 (of 4) July 2009 Solicitation

MARVEL ZOMBIES 4 #4 (of 4)
Penciled by KEV WALKER
Cover by GREG LAND
The Midnight Sons battle against the terrifying new mutation of the zombie virus side-by-side with…The Hood! Why does the trigger-happy Cabal member now fight for humanity? Could it have anything to do with the fact the dread Dormammu has abandoned him for a new, even more powerful minion? Or the frightening fact that the plague of undead is going to lay waste to the entire Marvel Universe?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

DESTROYER #4 (of 5) Solicitation (2009)

DESTROYER #4 (of 5)
Penciled by CORY WALKER
Destroyer at long last comes face to face with the legions of HORDE -- and buried deep within their secret base lays a threat like none Destroyer has ever faced before. This issue, the violence gets turned up to awesome. Make sure Destroyer is added to your pull list...or the next villain Destroyer murders could be YOU!
32 PGS./Explicit Content …$3.99

Due to ship July, 2009

Blackgas, Crossed and the bloody one-upmanship of Ellis and Ennis (also featuring the Jacen Burrows 'kinder trauma' effect) (2006-2009)

Check this out.

Two comic book (limited) series, written within a couple of years of each other. Both deal with apocalyptic scenarios, both written by British men who publish some of the most important and entertaining comic book titles in the US. Both of the titles in question are controversial, bloody and grim. The titles are 'Blackgas', by Warren Ellis, and 'Crossed' by Garth Ennis. The point of this post is - are these titles the product of a game of bloody one-upmanship between Warren Ellis & Garth Ennis, to produce the most hideously gory, depraved and debased comic books in mainstream US comic publishing history?

These titles share some similarities. Examples?

1) Both titles are set in an apocalyptic situation.

2) Both titles have the majority of the human race transformed into brutal, merciless killers, yet the aggressors retain some intelligence, which marks them apart from other apocalyptic scenarios where the human race is destroyed by itself (and where, typically, you would expect to see zombies as the root cause).

3) At the heart of both titles is an exploration of the unspeakable horror that humans can wreak upon fellow humans.

4) Both of these titles do not shy away from portraying the full horror of events. The weak and innocent (babies and children, as examples) are not spared the ignominy of brutal and painful violation and death. I would guess that for a 'realistic' portrayal, Ennis and Ellis are being honest in their storytelling and not shying away from detailing atrocities, and describing events how they probably would unfold. I understand that. Trust me, if you haven't read either title before, the writers and artists make you bear witness to some horrors (and it is my opinion that the titles wallow in these atrocities a little too much at times. I am thinking specifically of the ending of #1 of Crossed, and the Maternity ward scene that occurs in Blackgas Volume 2).

5) Then we come to Jacen Burrows, who is a creative link between the 2 series. As the regular artist on 'Crossed', and as a cover artist on 'Blackgas', he seems to be creating a bit of a niche for himself as an artist that deals in the detail of scenes of peril of children, as well as some of the more creatively stages scenes of death, mutilation and destruction of the human body in mainstream comics. In some of his double page spreads, there is a real 'Where's Wally' vibe to the detail, where you can pick out lots of individual scenes of murder and grief.

Whatever your opinion is of these titles, it is hard not to agree that they are certainly transgressive, and I believe that both 'Crossed' and 'Blackgas' have pushed the boundaries of the depiction of horror in mainstream comics. I would welcome any comments on what others feel about this Blackgas / Crossed & Ellis / Ennis thing. Are Ennis and Ellis on a bet or what? Does Ellis mind that Ennis seems to have taken some inspiration from Blackgas to produce Crossed? Are they all wallowing in despair and pain, like a print version of the various torture porn films from a few years back? Should we just applaud the fact that they are producing some groundbreaking horror titles? In 'Crossed' I think we have a genuinely terrifying enemy in the afflicted, i.e. the 'Crossed', but whether the whole story bears up to closer scrutiny is still unclear, several issues in (for instance, I still care little for most of the non-infected 'survivors').

links - Warren Ellis talks 'Blackgas',com_pablog/Tag,Crossed+%232/ - Simply the best review of a comic book ever, it also happens to be a review of Crossed #2. If I could choose a comic book review to take on a desert island with me (and hey, why not?) this would absolutely be the one.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Forthcoming Attractions (anticipated releases this week - 22.04.2009)

Exciting Marvel titles this week, pretty much all the way. Kick Ass #6 is probably my pick of the week just ahead of Daredevil #118, because (with Kick-Ass) you have to wait so long between issues that the anticipation gets ramped up pretty high, and the cliffhanger last time around was so good. Daredevil #118 should be pretty special as well though, with the Kingpin back in Hells Kitchen. Zombies of Mass Destruction #4 gives me my Zombie fix this week, and I am intrigued by the new team concept of Skrull Kill Krew, with its first issue out this week(and it has a really really good cover). So, my picks for this week are;

DAREDEVIL #118 Marvel
KICK ASS #6 Marvel

No doubt some or all will get reviewed here (and maybe a few more besides). Daredevil #118 at Marvel Kick Ass #6 at Marvel Skrull Kill Krew #1 ZMD #4 at Red 5 site

Daredevil #118 also has a Wolverine variant cover (why not, he is everywhere else, why not on the cover of a tile he is not due to appear in??). Despite what I see as a cynical marketing ploy of putting Marvels top (or if not top, certainly second biggest) earner on a cover of a completely different title, the cover itself sure does look pretty;

Daredevil #118 preview

Kick-Ass #6 preview

Skrull Kill Krew #1 preview

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quick reviews of other comics released this week (15/04/09)

Terminator Salvation official movie prequel #0

Great title - loved the fact that we were straight into the action, lots of John Connor, Marcus Wright and Kyle Reese, as well as introducing some of the other characters (including lots of new Terminator models and General Ashdown, who will be played by Michael Ironside in the movie). The action is well plotted, and the Terminators well illustrated, although the art did feel a little too 'cartoony', and would have worked better with more 'realistic' art. That is a very minor grumble, because overall this works really well as a primer for the film. There is also a 3 page preview of issue #1, and some sketches. Great stuff. 8.25 out of 10.

The Stand: American Nightmares #2

Another beautiful installment, as we get to meet the Trashcan Man, and all the other main characters begin to orientate themselves toward their destiny. It is hard to score this as a standalone issue, because it is an adaptation, but the plotting and art, and the extras are again superlative. 8.5 out of 10.

The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft #1

Wow. Pulp horror writer HP Lovecraft is in the grip of writers block, but things get a lot worse for him through the course of this issue (#1 of 4). Lovecraft is subject to a beating and robbery, and to make matters worse, Sylvia, the girl he loves, is in the arms of another guy who is nothing like him. Worse than this, he comes into contact with a mysterious ancient book whose curse falls on him. Said curse unleashes terrible destruction through the power of Lovecrafts imagination.

The period detail (set in the 'roaring twenties') is maintained throughout without being gratuitous or cliched. The art fits the dark, dangerous mood, with faces shadowed and craggy. The action is exciting, and the ending left me wanting more. A pleasant surprise. 8.5 out of 10.

Image of the Week (15/04/09)

What I think is important about this image is that it shows Karl is making decisions, being assertive. He is not the little boy from 15 issues ago. After all he has suffered, he is now growing up quickly, and this is also shown in the diversion tactics he employs to distract the 'herd' later on in this issue.

Taken from page 4 of The Walking Dead #60, available now.

Also, special mention for the cover of Moon Knight #29;

which is the most arresting cover image I have seen in a long time. I may even check Moon Knight out again, something I haven't done since Bill Sienkiewicz was the artist back in the early to mid 80s.