Archive | Comics

Crossed: Family Values No 1 Review

Posted on June 8, 2010 by

“Nothing is sacred as Crossed returns! The biggest hit horror series of the year returns with an all-new six-issue series written by David (Stray Bullets) Lapham! Set right at the start of the Crossed outbreak, this epic tale of depravity promises to shock and disturb you with even more intensity than the first series! The Pratt family lived a idyllic life on a horse ranch in North Carolina. A few generations of family working, living, and learning together. But not all things should be shared with, nor done to, other human beings. Much less your own family. Some men are just born evil, some men are turned Crossed. But which is worse? Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity.

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alanajoli

Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box Review

Posted on May 10, 2010 by

It’s hard to tell, at first, where Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box starts. The cover says it’s #1 in the series. But it looks like it has back story, or is just jumping right into the middle of the action. In the opening, we learn that Gloriana has the Ember Stone, which can allow her to turn into a creature of fire, and possibly a dragon. Finn has the Glacier Stone, which can turn him into an ice giant. Gloriana wants to unite the 13 artifacts; Finn’s duty as the Glacier Stone keeper is to stop her. But what are the thirteen artifacts? One of them appears to be Pandora’s Box, which is being sought after by a cult known as the Disciples of Adam.

With a little web research, it’s revealed that three of those other 13 artifacts are the Trinity: the Witchblade, the Angelus, and the Darkness.

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alanajoli

Trinity: Blood on Sands Comic Review

Posted on April 28, 2010 by

Top Cow has several series that expand the Witchblade universe, and over the summer, they sent me a preview of a one-shot: Trinity: Blood on Sands. It depicts a 14th century tale of the battle between the Darkness and the Angelus, balanced, of course, by the bearer of the Witchblade. Written by Philip W. Smith II and featuring art by Sheldon Mitchell, Admira Wijaya, and Tom Grindberg (some of whom team with other artists for inks and colors), Trinity deepens the Witchblade mythology a little bit in twenty-five pages and three short-story like episodes. As a stand alone, however, it would do little to draw an audience into the series. Using the current mythology in which the Witchblade can be broken into two, the one-shot features a pair of siblings who share the Witchblade, one cruel and dark and the other good and loving, a trope which, when pitted against the Witchblade storyline during the time it came out, seems too simplistic.

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Zero Hunters #2 Comic Review

Posted on April 26, 2010 by

I have to say, I’m really getting into the ZERO HUNTERS series so far. Issue #2 delves more into the character relationships and packs just as much of a punch as the first.

After downloading my free review copy, I dove right in. The panels start off with the introduction of a new member to the ZH team, Officer James Mitchell. He’s green and doesn’t believe a word of what he’s told. But that all changes soon enough after a nice little romp in a shady underground club.

As a potential sidekick he’s sharp and quick enough on his feet to keep up. Overall, Mitchell makes a nice addition to the unit, and he adds a bit of comedic relief and a contrast to Garrick. We also get to meet more of the Zero Hunters. The players are tough and like the job, and they’re a great backup for Garrick and his personal mission.

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Revere: Revolution in Silver Comic Review

Posted on April 21, 2010 by

Just before I received this comic, I read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In that book, history gets turned every slightly, so that readers can be treated to a vision of the Sixteenth President. It’s a fun game to play, which is evident by the flood of books related to this genre.

Comics, however, get to reveal Paul Revere’s secret story. His story proves equally fun.

Grant Bond’s artwork in Revere: Revolution in Silver is, for lack of a better word, wicked. His splash pages along with the sketchbook at the end of the book show an incredible range of style. He often crafted two-page splashes with incredible effect. The colors are mostly dark (red is used for blood and the British mainly). Lots of grays and blacks fill this book; however, it looks vibrant.

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Aposperos: Merchant of Souls Review

Posted on April 15, 2010 by

After a little over a year of writing RPG reviews (and one movie review), I’m dipping my big toe into comic reviews. I’m currently looking at two comics that are so off the mainstream path I find myself giddy. I love comics even though I don’t love where the Big Two have taken them in recent years. Independent writers and artists hold fresh characters that can take some surprising turns. My layout for my comic reviews will be different than my RPG reviews in that I’ll only focus on the writing and the artwork. There are more aspects–coloring, lettering, inking (or tracing according to Chasing Amy)–to comic creation; however, I will only focus on the two primary areas. Here goes.

There were moments in Aposperos (from Visionary Comics Studios) were the artwork, a style that is so far from what I like, worked for me.

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alanajoli

Tracker: First Look Comic Review

Posted on April 5, 2010 by

I have to say that teaser comics are just unfair. When I got a hold of Tracker: First Look (from the publisher, in pdf format) I saw that it was a convention exclusive, and that it didn’t have its own number on it, but it didn’t occur to me that this meant I’d be getting a sneak peak into something I might not be seeing more of. And man oh man, does Tracker look like it’s going to be a series to follow.

In the preview, Alex O’Roarke is discovered as the single survivor of a massacre on a bus. Found by his FBI agent partner Jezebel Kendall, Alex should be dead — he’s been shredded and has suffered far too many wounds to still be breathing.

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Twilight Crusade: Gabriel Review

Posted on March 30, 2010 by

“Raining Fire” is the first in the TWILIGHT CRUSADE: GABRIEL series from Moonstone and introduces us to a female embodiment of the archangel Gabriel. She’s fed up with her job, has a jaded outlook and some high powered, kick-ass weapons. I’m all for tough heroines and heroes ready to take down the bad guys, and I enjoy a complex good vs. evil story. Unfortunately, I didn’t think there was enough in the first issue to fully deliver the hard-edge and gripping storyline that it initially promises—but there is great potential here for any future issues.

An introductory page gives us some background. It lays out the story of Lucifer and the fallen angels, Michael the other archangels, and the ones that couldn’t choose a side. The latter are called the Hollow because “they were so empty of passion they couldn’t choose a side.” Being banished to earth, many of the Hollow bore children with humans. The offspring were called the Nephilim.

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alanajoli

Witchblade #134 Comic Review

Posted on March 25, 2010 by

A new three-part arc is launching on Witchblade, featuring the assassin who (apparently) attacked Sara Pezzini earlier in the series: Aphrodite IV. The green-haired, probably mechanical assassin is hunting a fleeing scientist for a shadowy organization, and after a witness sees her get shot by a space ship that then disappears, Special Cases is called in to investigate. Sara and Gleason hit a lot of dead ends with their attempts to figure out either the weaponry or where their quarry may have gone until Sara recalls a mysterious contact: Argent. After a chatty phone call in which much is revealed (except for Argent’s real identity), Sara decides to go solo and investigate on some leads without calling to let Gleason know where she’s headed.

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alanajoli

The Darkness/Pitt #3 Comic Review

Posted on March 18, 2010 by

I have to say that of the tie-ins to the Witchblade universe, the title I was least excited about was The Darkness. I’m not really a fan of following around the bad guy, and it seems like Jackie Estacado’s whole job, being the Darkness incarnate and the head of a mob family, is all about being the bad guy. So I acknowledge that I wasn’t enthusiastic about picking up The Darkness/Pitt #3 when it was sent by the publisher as a pdf download.

I’m happy to say, however, that the series really deserves a chance, in large part due to the balancing act between The Darkness and Pitt, two series that have come together for this continuing crossover.

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Zero Hunters #1 Comic Review

Posted on March 12, 2010 by

At first glance this seems like it could be tagged as “The Punisher Meets Blade,” and that’s not necessarily a bad thing because there are solid differences that give this comic its own signature stamp, so endless comparisons are not needed. In the first panels we’re introduced to William Garrick, a man that’s part of a special task force hunting “the things that aren’t human.” But he’s also on a personal mission of revenge. The opening gives enough background to get things started before the story moves into a tense and revealing action sequence.

The protagonist here has a slick “don’t mess with me” attitude and there’s a nice mixture of darkness and humor. Some of the dialogue in a few spots is a bit cliché but, because of the fast pace of the story and the composition within the panels, it doesn’t detract from enjoyment of the narrative.

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alanajoli

Witchblade #131 Comic Review

Posted on March 9, 2010 by

Back with another overdue review of Witchblade (provided for review by the publisher in pdf format). Usually I don’t comment on the alternate covers (many of them have way too much cleavage for me to appreciate), but I have to say that Chris Bachalo’s Cover B is brilliant for this issue — it’s an almost Disnified version of Sara wearing very little Witchblade armor, but she’s just so cute that her scantily clad bod seems secondary to the hair and earrings being featured. None of the covers are particularly relevant to the content inside in this issue, so the cute factor goes a long way.

Sejic and Marz continue their excellent work in issue #131, which is really a wrap-up to the “War of the Witchblades” story line. Poor Julie’s been left out in the cold, not knowing about Sara’s secret, paranormal life.

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alanajoli

The Art of Top Cow Review

Posted on March 2, 2010 by

It makes a lot of sense for a small press like Top Cow, which has a lot of great titles on the market, to put everything together into an art book and showcase some of their best pieces. In The Art of Top Cow preview that I received from the publisher, I got to see thirty images of the more than 300 pages that will appear in the final book. Two of them, unfortunately, were nearly naked images of Sara Pezzini of Witchblade that look more like pinups than gallery images; another is a Top Cow poster that features three of the Top Cow women in all their busty glory. Hopefully those three images are not representative of a large portion of the included art (though certainly part of Top Cow’s target audience will surely appreciate them — just not my part of the market share!). In the preview, some of the pieces are really quite excellent, and I’ll highlight some of them quickly here.

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alanajoli

Witchblade #128 – 130 Comic Review

Posted on February 26, 2010 by

As you could tell from my reviews of the first half of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, back in May, I was loving them. Matt would send me a new PDF from the publisher, and I’d eagerly open it to see the next installment.

Except when I didn’t. That’s right, I completely neglected to download Witchblade #128. Rather than miss the fourth issue in the saga after the download period expired, I did what any self-respecting comics reader (and reviewer) would do — I waited for it to arrive at my friendly local comic shop (FLCS) and bought that sucker. This was a good choice, because without issue #128, the rest of the story wouldn’t have come together so well. Since they’ve been on the shelves for awhile now, I thought I’d review the rest of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, and recommend that you all keep an eye out at your local FLCS for a trade collecting these six issues.

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Jason Thorson

Killing Pickman #2 Comic Review

Posted on February 10, 2010 by

Writer Jason Becker and artist Jon Rea are back with the second twisted issue of their series Killing Pickman. Slower paced and more convoluted than issue 1, this issue dives deeper into the origins of Dick Pickman’s monstrous deeds.

As Detective Zhu makes his way to Herbert West Memorial Hospital to finish the job he started in issue one, the act of killing Pickman, Mr. Pickman waxes insane to a hospital psychologist about his transformation into a malicious child killer. When Zhu arrives outside the door to Pickman’s room, gun in hand, he’s confronted by Detective Raimi. Flash forward two months and we find out that this case hasn’t been very kind to those involved with investigating and cleaning out the Pickman house. Detective Zhu is the only one who understands the literally monstrous nature of the case and he has a plan, but can he pull it off while also looking out for the best interests of his wife and their child?

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Jason Thorson

Dead Future #1 Review

Posted on January 25, 2010 by

In an era when comic books have the same relationship with zombies as ESPN has with football, it’s difficult to find something fresh about the living dead, no pun intended. However, Grim Crew’s Dead Future Issue 1 is an anthology comprised of three zombie apocalypse stories all of which offer an element of originality in this otherwise predictable comic book niche.

The first story, Real Monsters, written by Martin Brandt II and Illustrated by Paul Petyo is a tale of day-to-day urban survival in a world overrun by zombies. This segment has all the trappings of the archetypal zombie paradigm as well as a few unique wrinkles. One of these is that the living can go about their business among the living dead provided they don’t upset the zombies’ routines and that these excursions take place during the day time.

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Jason Thorson

Killing Pickman #1 Comic Review

Posted on January 6, 2010 by

Author Jason Becker and artist Jon Rea have collaborated to create Killing Pickman, a modern noire tale wrapped around serial child murder and Satanism. And honestly, it warms my heart, but please keep that between you and me.

Issue 1 starts with Detective Bill Zsu canvassing the neighborhood in which multiple children have disappeared. When he knocks on Dick Pickman’s door the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. After calling for back up a showdown ensues the results of which are six new holes in Pickman, the discovery of satanic hobbies undertaken by the aforementioned Mr. Pickman, and a tunnel in which more child victims are discovered alive. Pickman goes to the hospital and Detective Zsu goes a little crazy working the psychopath beat. Little does he know that he’s only scratched the surface of the depravity he’s just uncovered.

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Steven Dawes

Judge Dredd vs. Aliens Comic Review

Posted on November 6, 2009 by

When I was presented with a review copy of the “Judge Dredd vs. Aliens” graphic novel, I wondered if I was the best bloke for the job. My experience with both iconic characters is really one sided, favoring the aliens. I’ve known as feared the “Aliens” from a young age but my experience with Judge Dredd was very limited.

True story; in my late teens I was following in my dad’s footsteps and worked as a mall Santa Claus (I was a little young to be playing jolly old St. Nick, but they needed the help.) One day my “elf assistant” brought a stack of comic books to read over our lunch break; amongst the pile were some Judge Dredd comics. While I was a serious comic geek at the time, I hadn’t ever touched a JD comic before. Taking the opportunity I ate my Subbaro’s special of the day while reading a few comics.

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Flames

Mr. Phelps Space Detective 1 Comic Review

Posted on November 3, 2009 by

Considering I’m a huge fan of Fear Agent (Dark Horse), it stands to reason I’d be on the look-out for other pulpy sci-fi adventure “with stones”. Now I should mention right away that Mr. Phelps Space Detective is not as awesome as Fear Agent. I’m not saying it’s bad, though; oh, no, far from it. In fact, if you are looking for an action SF ka-boom fix, this should do rather nicely.

Mr. Phelps is, as the title suggests, a space detective. He also has a ship called the DeForrest (great name) and a side-kick / love-interest named Kat… who’s a cat. Well, a cat-person. Yes, a bipedal cat… person. Anyway, it all seems to make sense in the comic, which is full of space-faring adventure, explosions and people screaming in vacuum, greedy dudes named Jorge, an attack by clones, an odd device called a “hitchhiker” and lots of made up words like “skunc”, “frik’n scumlick” and “quarb”. In other words: Very, very fun.

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Flames

Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks Comic Review

Posted on October 27, 2009 by

There can be no doubt that, love him or hate him, Alan Moore is one of the greatest creative minds to ever grace the comics medium. His story-telling is so earnest, weird, kooky, slick and downright awesome all at once that it’s no wonder he’s one of the Greats. Now, I’m a Moore admirer myself, and I’m especially influenced by his earlier works; specifically Swamp Thing, Captain Britain and his many 2000 AD accomplishments. Sure, I suppose little things V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell are what people mostly know him for, but I like to think his best work was with Mighty Tharg and his humble weekly newsagent-bomb 2000 AD. And with the galaxy’s greatest comic Marvelous Moore laid upon us mind-blowing wonderment-inducing things in the form of titles such as The Ballad of Halo Jones, D.R. and Quinch, his Time Twister tales, Abelard Snazz, and, of course, Future Shocks.

Review by Steven Saunders

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