Sunday, 11 December 2011

Death of Spider-Man

Death of Spider-Man- By Brian Michael Bendis

Death sells; this is something comic publishers learned quite some time ago and by God they’ll milk it for as long as they still have characters left to kill. The death of Ultimate Spider-Man has been particularly controversial for a number of reasons, first and foremost because as a general rule resurrection doesn’t happen in the Ultimate universe so Peter Parker is more likely than not gone forever. Secondly Marvel had the gall to replace him with someone who isn’t white, and every closeted racist knows that any new character who isn’t a white male is just the writer trying to be PC.

But we aren’t here to talk about the new Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales (whose first few issues are out now); we’re here to talk about Peter Parker.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Orc Stain

Orc Stain Volume 1- By James Stokoe

The problem that seems to plague the majority of comic artists today is a lack of individuality. Very few artists can be distinguished from the pack and often they can only be noticed because they’re noticeably bad as in the cases of John ‘lines everywhere’ Romita Jr. and Greg ‘porn-tracer’ Land. The modern ‘good’ artist is expected to be able to draw panels that are reasonably fluid and characters that are expressive enough to not look like robots (unless of course they are robots) but they aren’t expected to show any real flair.

I’ve been griping to anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in the same room as myself and a comic for years now that there doesn’t seem to be a single artist around with the sheer creativity of the likes of Jack Kirby. Then I read Orc Stain.

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Return of Bruce Wayne

The Return of Bruce Wayne- By Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison is a controversial figure in the comic industry. There are figures who are more unanimously hated like Joe Quesada, former Marvel Editor in Chief and the mind behind Spiderman’s marriage destroying deal with the devil in One More Day, but no one brings in equal amounts of praise and criticism quite like Morrison. Except maybe Mark ‘look at how controversial I am Millar, but that’s a whole other topic.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Girl Comics

Girl Comics- By Various

Recently it occurred to Marvel Comics that they are somewhat of a sausage-fest, the vast majority of their writers and artists, including all of their big names, are men. The same can be said of Marvel’s characters, one only needs to look at the current Avengers line-up and its single female member to see that women aren’t that well represented by the company. With the 30th anniversary of the first appearance of She-Hulk, Marvel’s most consistently successful and popular heroine, Marvel decided to celebrate in style with the ‘Women of Marvel’ banner, putting the spotlight on its sadly overlooked creators and characters. At the heart of this idea would be a three issue miniseries made up of over a dozen (18 to be exact) short stories by a variety of female writers and artists, Girl Comics.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Morning Glories Volume 1

Morning Glories Volume One- By Nick Spencer 

After two reviews of Marvel comics and one DC comic it seemed right to take a look at someone other than the big two, which brings us to Image Comics. Image Comics have a pretty bad reputation left over from the 90’s, mostly due to printed abortions like Youngblood which came to embody the worst aspects of the dark age of comics. But Image’s reputation is undeserved, despite those dark early days the company has gone on to publish some excellent creator owned comics that might never have seen print without Image.

And so we come to Morning Glories.

Monday, 28 March 2011

One week hiatus.

Due to various factors the blog will be delayed by one week.

Check in next Monday for a review of 'Morning Glories: Volume One'!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Superman: Earth One

Superman: Earth One- By J. Michael Straczynski

In 2009 award winning writer J. Michael Straczynski left Marvel Comics, for whom he had been writing since 2001, and began working for rival company DC. Straczynski’s stint at Marvel was highly successful, his long run on Spiderman is considered by some fans, including myself, to be one of the best Spiderman runs ever and the same can be said for his Thor run, which in my own humble opinion is one of the best runs on any ongoing series in the last decade.

And what of Straczynski’s work at DC? Well, between leaving Marvel and coming to DC something appears to have happened to Straczynski, as if a part of himself were lost along the way. Straczynski took over writing duties for both Superman and Wonder Woman’s monthly ongoings and by god was the comic community excited. Then they came out.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Avengers Assembled: Part Two

Secret Avengers - Volume 1: Mission to Mars- By Ed Brubaker

Secret Avengers - Volume 1: Mission to Mars

Those of you who read and paid attention to part one of this review may have noticed that despite Steve Rogers forming an Avengers team he wasn’t actually a part of it, his successor as Captain America, Bucky Barnes, was. So now you might be asking yourself, ‘Well then, what’s Steve doing?’ The answer is simple, not all the threats to the world can be punched in the face by the Avengers, some of them have to covertly punched in the face, hence the Secret Avengers.  

Designed to be a shadowy black-ops counterpart to the Avengers, the Secret Avengers are a pre-emptive strike force, eliminating potential threats before they get out of hand and New York becomes a battle ground for the thousandth time. Just behind the main Avengers book this title was the second most exciting book in the re-launch as far as I was concerned and unlike Avengers this book hasn’t let me down.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Avengers Assembled: Part One

In early 2010 Marvel published the 4 issue event ‘Siege’, a story that ended an almost decade long saga of storylines, largely focussed on the Avengers, which had begun with ‘Secret War’ back in 2004. The villains that had tormented the Marvel Universe were vanquished, at least for the moment, and the Heroic Age began. 

Along with the arrival of the Heroic Age the various Avengers books ended and the Avengers franchise was re-launched, heralding the first time in over five years that new readers come begin reading Avengers books without fear of stifling amounts of continuity. In this two part first review I’ll be looking at the first volumes of each of the four current Avengers ongoing series, Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Academy and Secret Avengers.

The problem is that this jumping on point is only of any use if any of the new books are any good, so the question I intend to answer is “are any of the Avengers books worth reading?”

Avengers Volume 1- By Brian Michael Bendis