Saturday, 31 October 2009

Blackest Night: Superman #3 - Mini Review

As it's Halloween today I'm going to stick to that theme and do a mini review of the Superman tie-in for the biggest undead comic event of the year; Blackest Night.

Issue 3 completes a strong tie-in mini-series with a strong final action packed issue. This series in my opinion has been much stronger than the Batman Blackest Night mini. Robinson does great work writing the Superboy character the same way G. Johns does in Adventure Comics, which is basically a young man struggling with his identity. Psycho-Pirate is a great choice of villain for this series due to his control of peoples emotions which links back nicely to the Lantern Colour's Emotional Spectrum. Krypto and Ma Kent are especially awesome in this issue and all the villains are dealt with nicely wrapping up the series but still at the end leaves room to connect back into the main Blackest Night event. Eddy Barrow Barrows work has been fantastic for this series and is fast becoming one of may favorite DC pencilers.

4 out of 5.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween guys & girls! Anyone doing anything special? Halloween parties and costumes maybe? Myself, my girlfriend and a few friends have booked a tour for tonight of a haunted manor house and woodland. Looks pretty spooky and silly so should be fun. Here's a little clip of what it's all about. Have a great time whatever you do?

Thunderbolts #137 - Review

Thunderbolts #137 - Review

Rick Remender
PENCILS: Mahmud Asrar

Sometimes it’s nice to get a one and done superhero tale and this is exactly what this book is. I have not been reading Thunderbolts since Warren Elis left but this was any easy issue to jump onto as Rick Remender steps into the role of writer as Andy Diggle moves over to Daredevil . The reason I decided to pick this up was as a fan of the Iron Fist and Luke Cage characters I was intrigued to see them team up against Norman Osborn and his Thunderbolts, I have enjoyed some of Remender’s work in the past so decided to give this a shot.

The story goes that Iron Fist has been captured by the Thunderbolts by orders from Osborn which we see in a nice action packed flash back. Norman’s idea is to capture as many hero’s as he can and use his new toy in order to mind control them and eventually replace his bickering Thunderbolts team. Now the nice little twist that Remender writes into is that some of the Thunderbolts have figured out Osborn’s scheme and are obviously not to happy about it, their mission then becomes to mess with Osborn’s plan and help Iron Fist and his would be rescuer Luke Cage escape.

I feel Remender writes the Thunderbolt characters very well, I had no prior knowledge of any of these characters except for Robert Kirkman’s Ant-Man and they were all enjoyable to read, especially Ant-Man who provided the main comic relief for this issue in the way Spider-Man would in a New Avengers book.

The art is good looking nothing if nothing spectacular, but suits the feel of the book nicely.

If you want a bit of Iron Fist & Power Man team-up action with a few laughs along the way and a nice one and done superhero tale, check this issue.

3 out of 5

Today I've mostly been listening to...The Datsuns - Harmonic Generator

So the new Internet provider is up and running and hopefully the Gremlins are gone from my PC.

Because of this I am now in a good mood and have been in need of some proper rocking tunes to match my mood. So I dug out The Datsuns self-titled debut album, first released in 2002, as it rocks hard, very hard! I'd forgotten how good some of these tunes were. Whatever happened to this band?

'Harmonic Generator' was one of the singles from that album and also one of it's best songs. Here's the video so you can join me in my rocking happiness, enjoy!

Marvel Previews - Comics on sale 4th November

Click the links below to be taken to the preview of your choice.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Communication breakdown!

Sorry i haven't been around lately guys, my computer wont let me view web pages for more than a few seconds most of the time before shutting down! Very annoying. I'm trying to get that sorted while also using all my free time looking for a new job. I'm not sure how long I'll be out of the game for but I'll do my best to keep checking in on everyone else's blogs/ sites etc when I can and when I'm back I'll be sure to let you all know and look forward to catching up on reading and chatting to you guys about all the comic goodness I've missed.

See you soon.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Haunt #1 - Review

This title has been highly anticipated to say the least, you all know that. What you want to know is if it’s any good, and judging by other reviews on the net you’d probably be inclined to think this book was terrible, well you know what, I thought it was great. Here’s why:

The two lead roles for this story are brothers who lead very different lives but are both really captivating characters. One is very depressed priest named Daniel Kilgore who seems to have a lot of women issues, firstly for being in love with his brothers girl, secondly as he has a tendency to visit prostitutes.

The other brother, Kurt, is a Special Ops type action hero who gets killed on a mission (during some great action scenes). What we learn throughout the issue is that Daniel is now being haunted by his dead brother who urges Daniel to visit Amanda, whom it seems they were both in love with, as Kurt believes she may be in danger.

While Daniel stays at Amanda’s house it is raided by some nasty looking guys out to kill the girl, they start shooting and the ghost of Kurt merges with Daniel just as he is about to be shot and together they suddenly take on the ghostly monstrous appearance as seen on the cover. Cool stuff.

The idea of this book came from both Robert Kirkman and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane with the actual series being written by Kirkman, with layouts by Greg Capullo, Pencils by Ryan Ottley, and inks by McFalane.

I really like Kirkman’s script, the dialogue is realistic and sharp but the art on this title is the real star, it just looks fantastic. Ottleys pencils especially. It’s also worth noting that this is a $2.99 book but this has a glossier paper that is slightly heavier than normal with a really nice feel and it makes the art and coloring extra bold to look at.

I thought this was a brilliant first issue and I’m definitely on board for future issues, I’m really unsure why it has received such negative comments elsewhere as I think the execution of this book and its creators was fab. It seems a lot of people had problems that the story was not very original and there have been a lot of comparisons to Spawn but I’ve never read a Spawn book so can't comment there. All I know is this book is fun and cool and has action and espionage and really looks amazing. I say sod everyone else and pick it up.

4.5 out of 5

This weeks FREE Comics from Marvel.Com

Great set of Free comics this week from Daredevil #116 is one of the single best issues of any comic I have read this year, X-Men Forever has been a cool new series and worth checking out and I'll be having a read of Dark Wolverine #75 as I've heard some good things about that series. Just click the links guys.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Planet Hulk DVD artwork by Alex Ross

Looks pretty sweet dont ya think?

Here's the trailer below too if any one hasn't seen it. I didnt read Planet Hulk but this cartoon looks quite cool. I'll definately check it out.

Blackest Night in January and the end of Batwoman?

An interesting 10 Questions with Dan Didio this week as he actually gives some great answers to the Newsarama reader questions.

One of the things we learn is that in January there will be a break from the main Blackest Night mini series (to allow Ivan Reiss enough time on the art duties) but we will still be getting plenty more Blackest Night action. The following one shots have be announced to resurrect certain DC titles in the Blackest Night theme. The titles are:

The Power of Shazam! #18 is being written by Eric Wallace.
Catwoman #83 is going to be written by Fabian Nicieza,
Suicide Squad #67 is being written by John Ostrander.
The Question #37 is Greg Rucka.
Phantom Stranger #42 is Peter Tomasi.
Weird Western Tales #71 is Dan DiDio.
The Atom and Hawkman #46 is Geoff Johns.
Starman #81 is James Robinson.

I think this sounds pretty cool, and there are some good writers involved, though no artists confirmed yet.

Also reading I noticed that it seems Batwoman will no longer be the headlining star in Detective Comics from January. I was not aware of this and am pretty gutted as the creative team on that book have been great and done excellent work with the character. However, is a solo Batwoman series a possibility somewhere down the line?

“ Nrama: The cover to January's issue is Batman instead of Batwoman, so is that when Batwoman steps out of the comic? Is she completely out of the picture at that point?” “DiDio: I think we'll be still seeing her appearing in the series. As a matter of fact, you might be seeing her appear in a couple of the Batman series at the start of the year, and then it's going to be hard to contain her just as a guest star appearance. I feel that she's really proven herself as a solo star.”

If a Batwoman solo series is coming out I hope its still Rucka and Williams so they can continue the great work they have started.

Check the full interview HERE.

Hex's Pull List - 10/14/09

Adventure Comics #3
Green Lantern Corps #41
Red Robin #5
Secret Six #14 (maybe)

Deadpool #900
X-Men Forever #9

Nice light week for me so I'm also going to pick up some old issues of Avengers Initiative and Amazing Spider-Man that I have missed to get me up to date.

What are you guys picking up?

More mini-reviews

Batman and Robin #5

A definite step down in artwork from last issue, the details and faces of characters didn’t look as good. Jason Todd is back to his red hair, oh and SPOILERS! it was him under the Red Hood. That was a bit disappointing for me as I thought Morrison was going to throw a curve ball in there and shock us with that one, but unfortunately no. I’m really not keen on the way Morrison wrote Jason Todd as being like a whiney kid in this issue, moaning that the helmet is giving him spots! I didn’t like that. I’m personally still holding out for Jason Todd to redeem himself as the good guy who died as a hero, but I don’t think it will ever happen (damn you Winick!). Scarlet however, the Red Hood’s new sidekick is a great new character, and this issue has a lot of focus on her, which is to its benefit.

3 out of 5

Cable #19

This is one of the worse issues in this Cable series I have read. It’s the continuation of what seems like a very silly story arc which sees Hope, Cable and Bishop battling against old X-Men foes the Brood, what the point is….I don’t know. There was some very strange stuff that I really couldn’t get my head around, for instance; Cable got swallowed by a giant space whale and Hope fights off a space shark with rockets coming out of it’s ass, all while floating in a giant green oxygen bubble in space! I think writer Duane Swierczynski may be on acid, maybe if I took some Id get it but you guys should def avoid this.

Oh, I should mention the art too… its pretty crap.

2 out of 5

Deadpool #16

This is the second part of the current story arc but you can easily jump on here, I did. All you need to know is that Deadpool wants to join the X-Men and we start this issue with Deadpool being refused entry from Cyclops. After being persuaded by Wolverine that it’s safer to have Deadpool under watch on Utopia and Dazzler pointing out the fact that calling Utopia a Mutant Haven but refusing Deadpool entry is a bit hypocritical, Cyclops decides to send Domino to invite Deadpool back. Hilarious scenes follow and Deadpool fans and X-fans should def give this a pick up. Highlight of the issue is when Deadpool dons his x-uniform he’s made and states “BOOM!... even has my name on the back!”. That cracked me up. Art is fantastic, and the cartoony element suits this book really well.

4 out of 5

X-Men: Second Coming - Begins March 2010!

Comic Book Resources have published a real in depth interview with the current X-Franchise creators on next years big X-event; “X-Men: Second Coming

What’s it all about? CBR have the rundown:

“In March of 2010, Cable and Hope return to the present. Kicking off the final chapter in the Messiah Trilogy, "X-Men: Second Coming" was announced today at the Diamond Retailer Summit. It's a multi-part crossover that begins in the "X-Men: Second Coming" one-shot, then runs through issues of "Uncanny X-Men," "X-Men: Legacy," "X-Force" and "New Mutants," before ending in June with another one-shot. CBR News spoke with writers Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Matt Fraction, Mike Carey, and Zeb Wells and Editor Nick Lowe about the crossover.2
Chris Yost told CBR. "I think you'll finally see some answers to questions that were posed way back in Messiah Complex,” "Who, and what, is Hope? What does her return mean to the X-Men?"

"You'll see new books being born and existing books being redefined," Mike Carey said. "As with 'Messiah Complex,' I hope it will feel like the natural playing out of elements we've been building for a long time. You'll suddenly see the relevance of a whole lot of stuff." – This is really interesting – What titles will be changed, which titles canceled and which new ones will be born out of this x-over?

One of the titles that will definitely be ending for its creators (and perhaps disappearing from shelves altogether) is X-Force. CBR wrote:

“For Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, "X-Men: Second Coming" is doubly satisfying because not only is it the final chapter of the Messiah Trilogy, it's also the final chapter in their run on "X-Force." "Chris and I have had a plan from the beginning of what we wanted to do with this team. We knew what the last page of our last issue on the title looked like," Craig Kyle said. "This is going to close a chapter for us, and like our run on 'New X-Men,' it's exciting because we planned for it and knew it was coming. We've been talking with everybody for about a year and a half now about how we wanted to go out, and it's going to be in a blaze of glory.”

I’m really happy an end is now in site for the Messiah Complex, I’ve really enjoyed the previous chapters and have been following Hope’s journey in the pages of Cable so I cant wait to see how this plays out and what Hope’s true powers are. Xciting stuff!

To read the full article click HERE, and be sure to check back and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Matt's Mini Reviews

Green Lantern #46

One of the issues of the year for me, Doug Mahnke and Geoff johns are a total dream team for this series. This is just as good as the Black Hand issue from a few months ago, but this time we switch the focus to Sinestro and get some big ballsy action as he battles Mongul to reclaim leadership of the Sinestro Corps. We see an unlikely alliance between Hal Jordan and Sinestro to battle the greater evil and it works well, none of the characters lose face. The artwork from Mahnke is pure awesome especially the fight scenes. This issue was all killer and no filler. Must pick up!

5 out of 5

Spider-Man Clone Saga #1

I went into this issue not knowing anything really about the infamous Clone Saga, and I finished it not wanting to know any more. The story was bland and the art wasn’t to my taste, the action parts were just ridiculous. The villain of the issue (Kaine) somehow manages to get a car, climb up a water tower and throw it at Parker & Reilly (Pete’s clone) while they argue on top the roof of a Hospital (and they are both really whiney!), I’m pretty sure the water tower was thrown at them too at some point, but I was sort of skim reading book by this point. The dialogue and art were nasty and reminded me why I stopped reading comics in the mid 90’s. It was $3.99 too. Ouch.

1 out of 5

X-Force #19

All the females’ characters still look exactly alike, and all the male characters still look female. Every character has ridiculous butt muscles and…. well you get the point, the art is horrible, but I still like this book, the story just keeps me interested. In this issue we deal with X-23’s escape (last issue she was kidnapped by her creators), and there is some good action and interaction between X-23 and her assistant escapee. It should be noted that the whole time x-23 is battling her captives and trying to escape that she is carrying her dismembered arm that was sawn off and the end of last issue! It’s both totally ridiculous and bad-ass at the same time. I like the story and characters used in this book, it’s just a real shame everyone looks like a wax work she-male.

PS. Check out the ridiculous wings on Angel on the cover above, that's exactly the sort of shit I'm talking about with this art, over the top and ugly. Angel doesn't even make an appearance either.

3 out of 5

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

This weeks FREE digital comics from Marvel

This week’s FREE digital comics and previews from are as follows:

Just click the title of choice to be linked to the issue.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Hex's Pull List - 10/07/09

Batman and Robin #5
Batman Annual #27
Cable #19
Dark Reign List Secret Warriors
Deadpool #16
Ghost Riders Heavens on Fire #3
X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1
Haunt #1
Sweet Tooth #2
War Heroes #3

Haunt #1 has been getting terrible reviews, mainly for the many comparisons to Spawn, but I have never read Spawn, I like Kirkman and I liked the preview pages so I'll give the first issue a go.

I was planning on waiting on the trade for Sweet Tooth but I enjoyed the first issue so much I kinda cant wait another 6 or 7 months for that trade to appear.

War Heroes #3 is finally here! I think the last issue came out about a year ago or something. If not it feels like it. But I loved the first 2 issues and love Millar (especially his independent work) so I'm really looking forward to this and as you can see above it has an awesome cover.

What are you guys geting?

Birthday Post - We're gonna party like it's 1983!

So I'm 26 today (unfortunately), and it got me wondering about what was happening in our favourite comic books 26 years ago in 1983, the year I was born. How different were things in the Marvel U and DCU back then compared to now? Perhaps not so different at all, in fact it seems a certain Geoff Johns may be very fond of some of the DC issues released this year! Have a look below at some covers from our favourite titles released back in 1983 to see for yourselves. I think I picked some cool covers so I hope you enjoy them too. And please let me know if you own any of these books, I'd love to know some more about the stories inside. Enjoy.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Dan Didio & Philip Tan take over on Outsiders

Does anyone care, is anyone still buying this book?
I like Philip Tan's art. That's all I can really say about this news right now. The only thing of Didio's I think i've read is his Metal Men story in Wedneday Comics which was okay.

Here is what Dan D had to say:

“This is an exciting time for me both personally and professionally. I have been a fan of The Outsiders since their inception and with Pete Tomasi moving on to some very exciting projects in 2010, I have been afforded the opportunity to work with some of my favorite characters. Most importantly, this also gives me the chance to work with the immensely talented Philip Tan, and together I hope we can meet and exceed all expectations for this series.”

Philip Tan says?

“I have orders from Dan to hunt down and skewer anyone who buys comics and doesn’t pick this up in January.

Seriously though, I can’t be more excited! Batman and the Outsiders is actually the first DC book I ever bought (and got stolen)! It will be a challenge to pick it up after Peter and Fernando’s run and continue to entertain, but Dan and I are extremely confident that we will be able to create some very exciting visual stories! There are tons of ideas that we want to play with! It is not only a huge honor for me to work on Dan’s first monthly book, but I’m also insanely giddy about being able to be creatively involved on a whole new level with this project, a level that I have never experienced!”

Anyone excited, sad.... bothered?

Superman: Secret Origin #1 - One of the most important Superman comic books of all time

Why is Superman Secret Origin #1 one of the most important Superman comics ever? Please read on for my thoughts and be sure to comment after and let me know what you think of this article and the comic itself.

With his work on Action Comics, writer Geoff Johns made the Man of Steel feel human again, which is a big deal for me as a reader as Superman can seem so ‘Super’ at times it can be hard to relate. The character work he did captured both Superman & Clark brilliantly (especially his relationship with his father), and that is why Johns Superman work contain some of my favorite comic book stories ever.

Gary Frank who did the pencils for the majority of John’s Action Comics run emphasized Superman’s human side and drew Superman very much like the Christopher Reeve incarnation from the motion pictures, which being a huge fan of those films, really made me connect with the story a little more as the stories really felt like the Superman I knew and love, mine and my generation’s Superman. In my opinion he is the best Superman artist I have ever seen, so who better to create this book along with one of the best Superman writers?

This mini series; Superman: Secret Origin was highly anticipated by myself, other fans and critics alike, while a lot of people have mentioned that we all know Superman’s origin as the last son of Krypton, I don’t know much about his time in Smallville and I feel a lot of today’s younger comic readers might not either. I have never read any of the old Superboy or Legion of Superhero comics of Clarks days growing up in Smallville (I know there is the TV show, but I’m not a fan, comics is my superhero medium of choice), or any other comics of Superman’s early adventures as to be honest a lot of them were written many years ago (decades even) and I find that material extremely hard to read as it is far too… dare I say it; ‘corny’. Those stories were written for their time which is fine, but we are in a new century now, the times and writing styles have changed. Why is Superman the biggest superhero in the world? Well the great thing about this comic is it makes Superman important again TODAY, for a new generation of readers.

The young Clark in this series feels more human to me as a character than ever, I mean the first page drags you straight into Clark’s headspace at the time of the story by asking the biggest question in the universe; “Why are we here?” It’s a question everyone can relate to and has asked themselves at some point. Clark in this story is in a difficult period of his life. He is just about starting puberty, is getting interested in girls, and has to deal with everyday life at school and the strange powers that begin to appear. In this issue we see Clark’s strength accidently causes a friend to break his arm while playing football, and his heat vision nearly burns down the school when he has his first kiss with Lana. On top of all these problems (some more normal than other’s) Clark then discovers his true origin and the fact that he is not only adopted but an alien from another planet that has now been destroyed (again I’m sure we can all relate to feeling different growing up, maybe not this different but hopefully you get my point). This is a lot for any kid to take, and the emotion from Clark is conveyed masterfully by Johns and Frank.
There is a scene where just after Clark learns about his true origins, he runs away into the fields of his parent’s farm utterly devastated. After Clark stumbles Pa Kent catches up with him and they embrace. Clark is scared and tells his Pa that he doesn't want to be different and that "I want to be Clark Kent. I want to be your son." to which Pa Kent responds "Clark…you are my son." It’s a really beautiful moment and I literally had a lump in my throat. It’s drawn from a birds eye view which reminded me of the funeral scenes for Pa Kent at the start of ‘New Krypton’ some months back, also beautifully drawn my Frank. Geoff Johns conveys to his reader that Jonathon Kent really is Clark’s hero and a lot of what makes Clark ‘Superman’ is drawn from Jonathon’s influence and his special relationship with his son, and that’s why I really look forward to more of this issue. That’s why this origin story will be different; it will be remembered for the great relationships John’s has further explored with the characters. And even after only one issue, I feel it will gone on to be one of THE classic Superman stories that will be referred back to and enjoyed for years to come, I believe in the artistic team and their grasp of the main character that much. Johns & Frank are telling the tale of the farmer’s boy from Smallville who grew into Superman, the greatest superhero in the world, showing how his loved ones guideded him on his journey and helped mould him into the hero and icon he is today.

Thats why I belive Superman: Secret Origin #1 is one of the most important Superman comic books of all time. So what do you guys think?

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Web #1 Review - save your money.

The Red Circle one shots were very mediocre but I thought I’d at least give the new creative teams a try for the first issue of the ongoing series, but unfortunately they couldn't hook me in.

It’s a shame because The Web One Shot performed the best out of the 4 Red Circle One Shots released so I had good expectations for this issue but it was a totally boring . I can’t even really remember what happened except that we find out The Web is in love with his dead brother’s girlfriend, and then....nope it was so dull I forgot.
The cover is deceiving as you hope the art is going to be as cool as that, not so I'm afraid, it's just regular cartoony superhero stuff. Not bad, just not very good.

The Hangman backup was just as useless as it just re-hashed all the info we learnt about him and his powers from the previous Hangman One-Shot. Avoid this and save your 4 dollars for something a bit more exciting folks.
Hex's score: 1 out of 5.

Marvel Previews - 10/07/2009

Next week's Marvel previews are here courtesy of Marvel & Comic Book Resources. Click the links below to be taken to the preview of your choice.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Batman Annual #27 - Preview

Check out the first four pages of Batman Annual #27 HERE.

What's it about?

'Writer Fabian Nicieza and artist J. Calafiore present a tale of a murdered priest. A desecrated grave marker. A kidnapped child. A secret key. A mystery whose solution could upset the world order. For Batman and Robin to stop the rampage of a zealot named Amon, the Sixth Sinner, they first have to halt a deadlier foe intent on making sure Amon succeeds. To end the killer’s mad scheme, Batman faces Azrael, Death’s Dark Knight. “The Eighth Deadly Sin” continues in DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11 and sets the stage for this month’s premiere issue of the AZRAEL ongoing series. '

If your a fan of Grant Morrison's Batman run like me, this issue will no doubt have caught you attention as it continues the adventures of the new Azrael; Michael Lane, previously Morrison's '3rd Ghost of Batman'!

'The Phantom' TV series first trailer!