Wednesday 30 December 2020

Doctor Strange: The End #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Doctor Strange! It's literally "the end" as he takes his final journey in life set in a dystopian future. Let's dive in!

It's most certainly a different Doctor Strange who I'm used to seeing going on wild adventures of epic proportions. It's sad to see him retiring into becoming a person who does party tricks for a living and a living joke on the internet (literally) but it's also nice to see him not lose his spark as he quickly dispatches a few thugs who plan to rob him. 

Strange's AI assistant Jenny is very sentient and forms their own mind but Strange doesn't treat them as such but more of an object which is strange seeing that he's lived in a world where AI have developed to points of being very much alive. It's interesting to see that Strange commands yet she speaks back in conversation and it was only in the last of Jenny's moment that for a fleeting moment he treats her as a being which is quickly lost when he shuts the thought down. It's funny how in the twilight years that one's thoughts have not evolved with the times but maybe it's just that he's lived in a world of magic (apparent in that Jenny seems to be the only thing that is technology in his home) that he cannot see anything past that. 

The art in the issue is very light darkness to it and it's very minimal. I thought for a second as to why it was done in this way and then I thought that it must have been that it's to accentuate the loneliness or the loss he feels that his life feels empty which he uses Jenny to try and fill those holes up.

It's a touching moment when he gathers up his friends and peers that have become a part of his journey in consummation to bring back an old friend of his Illyana Rasputin. I guess the retablo that he carries on his shoulder is a metaphor for the weight he feels in finding Illyana which is hauntingly touching. 

Illyana's return is shows charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent as she tells the celestial high beings the Living Tribunal to stick it. The ending is soooo Strange (excuse the pun) as Illyana now finds him immortalised as a statue which provides a true testament and beautiful end for the character.

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A stripped-back world with a stripped back Doctor Strange serves such tender moments in a very dystopian setting.

Doctor Strange: The End #1
Leah Williams - writer
Filipe Andrade - artist
Chris O'Halloran - colour artist
VC's Clayton Cowles letterer
Marvel - publisher

Monday 28 December 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Swordsman #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some origin realness as the Swordsman takes on the Avengers. Let's dive in!
First of the bat is the character of the Swordsman seems like quite the charmer as being the person that always "has the last word". It's quite new to see a villain take on the Avengers as they seem - umm - untrained with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver being the new members and being made work of (they are new members and apparently the team itself was in the new stages). 

With this one issue, it seems like everything I knew about Captain America sashayed away as he seems cold and callous (as pointed about by Scarlet Witch too) that it just jumps right into his indulgent selfishness but I guess it sets the journey up for the path of righteousness and redemption. It seems the Cap does care a lot about their image with no saving grace from Nick Fury in giving him some side missions to relive the glory of his shindig days.
It's such a small team with big egos with Hawkeye and Quicksilver wanting Cap out in an attempt to vie for leadership. Scarlet Witch offers fresh insight and perspective which is refreshing of a team of big heads.

Somewhat of a cathartic ending as Cap supposedly sacrificing himself so that the other Avengers don't give in to the demands of the Swordsman. I mean that's the Cap I usually see really. A selfless one at that.
Hydra has a what?? They literally have a weapon that can single-handedly take down the Avengers but only uses it to snooping purposes. Talk about trying to take over the world.

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What happened to Cap? - spoiler alert - he survives somehow or comes back from the dead like s many that they have done in the future.

True Believers: Empyre - Swordsman #1 (reprint of Avengers volume 1 #19)
Stan Lee - writer
Don Heck - artist
Dick Ayers - inker
Artie Simek - letterer

Monday 21 December 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Galactus #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! Bring on Galactus and Reed and Storm look to a normal life after Franklin becomes depowered in the Negative Zone. Let's dive in!

Gosh, it's zinger with Galactus taking on their monologue as they question the existence. It's a totally different side to the doom, hunger, thump, thump, give me food now type of being that I'm so used to seeing. It's refreshing to see a new layer of characterisation of the character which is so fitting as well. The fact that the hunger has subsided leaving the emptiness of their actions behind it. That is until Death comes knocking on the door which is exactly what they do. There's a beautiful shot of their faces halved side by side as Death joins in on the monologue which serves such sweet poetry.

Then at a switch of a button (quite literally), Nova pops in and it begins again. It does build this grandeur especially at how quick it happens and how sorry I feel for the Skrulls who were next on the list for the pecking order. It's really disturbing how unprepared they are and at how sudden that they would lose their lives at a snap of a finger. There is a beauty at the end of it like the big bang but instead of the creation of life, it's the destruction of it. 

The other half brings us to the FF as Johnny wishes wants out of the Baxter building while Reed and Susan want that same sort of normality back in their lives. It's quite interesting to see the other flip side of the coin as most of the characters want more of out of something else that they have not delved into. It does add that extra layer but Reed does point out that it won't always be like that for them and they are just destined to be the Fantastic Four. 

It's strange seeing Susan still being called the Invisible Girl in the issue even after birthing her son and forming a family life for themselves. She's not a girl, not yet a woman.

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Powerful storytelling alone from Galactus sold the issue for me.

True Believers: Empyre - Galactus #1 (reprint of Fantastic Four volume 1 #257)
John Byrne - writer, drawing and inker
Glynis Wein - colourer
Jim Novak - letterer
Al Milgrom - editor
Jim Shooter - earthling

Wednesday 2 December 2020

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Masters of Evil #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! The Avengers take on the Masters of Evil for the first time. Let's dive in!

I don't actually think I've read a comic with the Masters of Evil or don't really recall but it does remind me of the Frightful Four that takes on different iterations of the Fantastic Four so I'm guessing there some flavour to be had from the both of them. They do give the Avengers a run for their money at first but the Avengers work it out with a suggestion from the newbie in the team that is Captain America. It's actually pretty nice to see Cap in his infancy in the Avengers to leadership status.

It's funny how far they've come from skateboarding on a piece of flooring as they're being towed away on a truck:

It actually got me thinking... can two superheroes or supervillains having the same power be in the same room? I guess it's like rocking up to a party where someone else is wearing the exact same dress as you.

I did not know that the mask that Baron Zemo wears is actually glued up to their head. I always thought it was just a questionable fashion choice - a thing - but now I know it's a permanent thing. Of course, he uses the same tech to wreak havoc on the city bringing in a team of Avengers individual adversaries to play on their weaknesses (kind of like the Psycho Rangers in Power Rangers in Space). The Avengers sneakily do the switcheroo tactic and play on each others foes and you know, win the day. 

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The Masters of Evil reminds me of Scooby-Doo villains

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Masters of Evil #1 (reprint of Avengers volume 1 #6)
Stan Lee - writer
Jack Kirby - art
Chic Stone - inker
S. Rosen - letterer

Monday 30 November 2020

Iron Man 2020 #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Iron Man! An uprising of robots is rebelling and demanding their rights with Arno Stark taking the helm of Iron Man. Let's dive in!

The story itself is sort of a slow burner of an issue with several points where I just placed it down several times because I can. There are not many characters that are really likeable in the comic that allows me to be drawn into their story like Arno Stark who has their parents as robots in their home but never let them out of the house, which raises so many ethical conversations I may say but it's never really explored on a familiar level.

On the other side is the robot rebellion who demands their rights and they want it now but are blasted to smithereens before they're able to and going as far as to hold hostage. I mean there are no sides to take and this furthers Arno's argument in seeing them as just objects (sadly). I find that it does form as a missed opportunity to provide an in-depth social commentary especially we have seen androids with minds of their own such Jocasta (get that shout-out) and it's sad to see that times have not evolved since. There seems to be no moral on both sides in that innocent lives and there seems to be no consequence for the actions rather just a slug-out war. 

It's mentioned in the comics that there is a Tony Stark android that is traipsing about which I actually felt should have been left out as it would have made the ending that much stronger for the final reveal being that it would be - spoiler alert - Arno Stark vs. Tony Stark. 

I like the art styling which fits in with the technological feel of the issue which is further complemented by the panel designs to with distinguishable panels to quickly grasp the situation and make them memorable such as the televised panels which are a stream of news and social broadcasts and more of a shared panel for action-based fights. It does make it slightly easier to follow.

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I'll give it a chance seeing that it's the first issue. The second issue could take me places.

Iron Man 2020 #1
Dan Slott & Christos Gage - writer
Pete Woods - artist
VC's Joe Caramagna - letterer
Marvel - publisher

Friday 27 November 2020

True Believers: X-Men - Kwannon #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a dollar for your comic! This time I'm bringing you some action realness. Let's dive in!

There's a multi-faceted length of things to dive into from Colossus returning to his hometown, something wicked this way comes with some sinister going-on and some Cyclops jiggy jiggy action. I mean it all fits together but hey, where the Soul Skinner? You get teased and nothing but it seems Cyclops got something...

Seeing Colossus returns actually reminds me of the X-Men animated series when he returns to (currently watching it on Disney+). In both cases, it was super cute to see Colossus's interaction with their sister Illyana. It reminds me of a Christmas story I read where he was haunted by the spirit of his sister which was beautiful to read. It's so nice to see siblings have such a strong bond. 

Gosh, Cyclops really can't keep his junk in his trunk, can he? Some people have a thing for blondes and others brunettes but he has a thing for psychics. Like hun, have a cold shower (Oh wait, he literally did have a shower). Cyclops seriously needs to see a therapist as in so many issues I just see him having to deal with his emotions alone despite being surrounded by loved ones.

The obligatory X-Men random fight scene comes in the form of Kwannon as she takes down some goon in high kick-butt action. I know so little of Kwannon that I only know that she has done a body swap with Psylocke and that's that. Oh boy, look out... get it, girl!

Despite all these happenings, there's some side action from some Russain supervillains which I could possibly not comment on as I have no idea what's going on but I know that Omega Red isn't too far away!

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Where the Soul Skinner???

True Believers: X-Men - Kwannon #1 (Originally printed as X-Men Volume 2 #17)
Fabien Nicieza - writer
Andy Kubert - penciler
Mark Pennington - inker
Chris Eliopulos - letterer
Joe Rosas - colourist
Marvel - pubisher

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Strikeforce #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... some Strikeforce action! A newly formed team formed under unusual circumstances seek to uncover a mystery surrounding shapeshifting impersonators. Let's dive in!

The big opening is with the Avengers saving the day as they try and contain an airborne virus outbreak (very topical at the moment) and of course, they brought in She-Hulk when they're aware that she doesn't do so good under these conditions (look at Red Zone). But yeah, she goes berserk but ends up surprisingly doing some good in these condition in uncovering the possible source of the outbreak in the form of some heroes hiding out in the back which are the new Strikeforce team!

It's kind of a weird trip that brings in Blade who explains on the outset about an experience he had and then they hit the jungles for an adventure. To be honest, I've not read much of the Strikeforce characters in other comic book settings but they do have such camaraderie for a team that was formed off-the-bat (I guess experiences in other teams helped to make things gel a lot easier) and they work beautifully together and it's really fun to see them kick butts and it handed back to them.

There's a lot to process in the comic book and some of it we've not seen before (at one point they mention Skrulls being the potential shapeshifters) but it's written in a way that keeps it fresh and engaging. It's kind of like an action-adventure that brings on a lot of fun with a thump-fest bonus. I actually want to see more of the team as their experiences bounce off each other in adapting to their situation so quickly which is so fascinating to read.

The art style is gorgeous and even at points, I reeled from the realism of the situation. Minor small detailing was added such as She-Hulk's mouth throthing or eyes dilate from the effects of the virus which I luuuurve.

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A strong opening from a strong offering of a team as they bounce off each other with great chemistry. The cuff is given up in the first issue but the writing and art style helps propel the story in wanting more.

Strikeforce #1 
Tini Howard  - writer
Germán Peralta - artist
Jordie Bellaire - colour artist
VC's Joe Sabino - lettering and design
Jay Bowen - logo

Monday 23 November 2020

True Believers: X-Men - Moira McTaggert #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some Shatterer of Souls realness with a N'Garai takeover. Let's dive in!

This feels like a hobnob of bizarro things that happen in the issue with Cyclops yet again needing to desperately see a therapist who is conflicted with emotions after having lost one of his friends. It was a real opportunity to keep it rooted but of course, it's never that easy in the X-Men world when he releases the Kraken that is Kierrok, the Shatterer of Souls. It makes the conflict of emotions for Cyclops feel more like an afterthought. I mean I just don't understand how the rest of the X-Men could overlook his constant strong emotions which probably shaped him up to be such a buttock during the Avengers versus X-Men stint. 

Kierrok sees to remind me of the Brood which was a nefarious adversary to the X-Men but Kierrok seems more mystic than extra-terrestrial that leapt off the pages of Captain Britain. Gives as good as it fights with being able to physically take them down as well as being able to give that deep cutting speech to mentally bring down its adversary which makes for quite the cocktail of a mix. 

The MVP goes to Storm who despite her many attempts to bring Kierrok down to no avail was able to overcome her fears of her past and claustrophobia in bringing down Kierrok. Get it, girl!

Everyone in the issue seems to be getting eyebrow tips from Prof. X as they all seemed arched. Must be a secret competition in who could get the archiest of all the archiest eyebrow.  I much prefer Storm's thin eyebrows which shoot for the skies. I guess that the style of the artist like Rob Liefield's big pecs superheroes. 

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It shattered my soul

True Believers: X-Men - Moira McTaggert #1 (reprint of X-Men #96)
Chris Claremont - author
Dave Cockrum - artist
Sam Grainger - inker
Dave Hunt - letterer
Phil Rachelson - colourist
Marv Wolfman - editor

Saturday 21 November 2020

Fire Power #1 Free Comic Book Day (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... FCBD, get it! Owen got that family life going while something is brewing in the background... tea. Let's dive in!

I haven't actually read the prequel to this so just diving into the first issue does seem daunting but it's actually really quick to pick up on everything even with the quick snippet intro. Live, live, live for it. There doesn't seem much plot to it but offers a beautiful introduction to what the world surrounding Owen Wilson which offers such an insight into family life that is so fresh and endearing to read.

Owen's character is nicely built with the different interactions and the general good neighbourly feel with a good old fashion par-tay! It's pretty nice to see that he wants to drop their past in order to establish normality into the family life. Anyway, you can see the tight-knit relationship he has with his daughter which offers a very fun speed race to the supermarket. You can kind of get the feel of where this comes from when he has a heart-to-heart moment with his mother at the party. It's actually quite surprising at how much development character is put in on the contrary of what the cover is conveying but yeah, tug on my heart strings *sob sob*

The action does come in when his past catches up with him but this is probably when the art I find falters. The issue art style is very minimal at some points to focus in on the subjects which helps focus in on character development and story. Getting into the dark though looks slightly unflattering in having to squint at some points to see what's going on in the full picture. It actually does show off the "Fire Power" in full strength which contrasts neatly with the dark and it's a nice reveal to the power in the issue. Hadouken!

A ninja pops up and of course, they're quite stealthy generally speaking but the last appearance in the issue gave me the chills gave me the jeebies.

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Actually picked up the second issue!

Fire Power #1 Free Comic Book Day (reprint of Fire Power #1)
Robert Kirkman - writer
Chris Samnee - artist
Matt Wilson - colourist
Rus Wooton - letterer
Publisher - Image

Thursday 19 November 2020

Emypre: Fantastic Four #0 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... the Fantastic Four! The Fantastic Four are stranded in space and luck be the lady that they enter a barter system to try and themselves off the planet. Let's dive in!

It's kind of so much going on in the comic especially which is part of the pre-stage for the Empyre main course issue. The Kree-Skrull war is being told through an arena with a less known sibling of the Grandmaster, the Profiteer (gosh, interesting name *sarcasm*). Evil must run in the family!

The Fantastic Four are new the contenders as the Thing and Human Torch also takes on to the arena to fight the battle. The "Ready? Fight" in my mind was always said in a Bishi Bashi way. A history lesson in Fantastic Four 101 in the issue tells that that the FF actually got the Kree and the Skrulls to work together in the past against them. Lo and behold that's the same scenario that Ben and Johnny are plumped into which ultimately leads them to adopt the cuuuute Kree and Skrull children. My heart just skipped a beat.

On the Suzie side, she goes to check on her children who have actually sold on their mode of transport so they can get some chips to gamble at the local casino. It's just so weird seeing them as I remember them as wee children and oh my have they grown! Baby Valeria is no baby anymore as their livelihood away until Susan has something to say about that. I actually love - spoiler alert - that Susan actually helps them cheat their way to a gazillion winnings. Such a mum but not a mum with responsibility but being irresponsible too (I guess they need that ka-ching though).

Love the underlying compassionate message too where there should be no bystander and to take a stand for what you believe in... no, fighting for what is right. The FF essentially save the children from being slaves.

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It's a soft landing for the main course (it does feel like a FF regular issue rather than a big scale wide event though) but I'm here to see where their next adventure takes them.

Emypre: Fantastic Four #0
Dan Slott - writer
R.B. Silva and Sean Izaakse - artists
Marte Gracia and Marcio Menyz - colour artists
VC's Joe Caramagna - letterer

Friday 2 October 2020

Genesis #0 Halloween Comic Fest (re:view)

Welcome to a world of adventure with... Genesis! I've not heard of American Anthology Productions before but very excited to dive into the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Let's head straight in!

First up we have an excerpt from The Land That Time Forgot - amazing title, come get it! This is really hard to follow actually and I would probably say not a great excerpt to have chosen to lead too. There's been no standout character that captured me and there seem to be No-Prize moments when a bite in the shoulder becomes a bite on another shoulder (two snaps for attention to detail). I found that it's difficult trying to discern the expressions of the people when they're in the distance. I would have given it a chance but that snippet just doesn't do it for me. Maybe cut one title (four stories in total) from the comic would have given it more breathing space to flesh it out.
Next up, we have an excerpt from Pellucidar: At Earth's Core #1. Have no idea what Pellicidar is but I know that it does open with beautiful prose of sorts with theology, science and what have you. The artwork is amazing and it's pretty simple to follow. We find a couple who follow this Pterodactyl-looking thing and they're venturing into the core of Earth to get to Pellucidar. Lot of slay, slay, slay of creatures that resemble part of Mole Man's posse. Not much to go by but I'm living for it.
The one after is a snippet is from the Moon Maid. First thing I notice is that the art does share striking likeness as the previous snippet with the continuous fun carrying on. The creatures do resemble a purple half-human, half-goat being with no intelligence than to bludgeon and eat the flesh of their prey. Talk about being thrown into the deep end. A couple is, of course, teleported in to save the Moon Maid from such monstrous creatures but the backstory I find does not serve the Moon Maid well to the fact she persuaded someone who is close to her father to their death... The action is fun to watch though as they bounce to and throw from not a land where gravity isn't quite 100%.
Thank god - there's some humour up in this place! We seem the couple from the previous story which already puts a friendly face. There's much more fun as they take out killer parrots and the living dead. It's a bit over-the-top but I'm ba-da-ba-ba-ba I'm lovin' it. The thing here is the amount of humour in this segment for example when the main character is congratulated for getting a good shot, she replies that she was going for the one behind that one.
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I would probably have to give the first a miss and try out the other three for size.

Thursday 1 October 2020

Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight #1: Halloween Comic Fest Edition (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Goosebumps! I don't think I've touched Goosebumps for over 15 years but it still holds a very dear place in my heart. I remember reading the books in sequence (had to skip a few as the local library didn't have all of them) and finding great enjoyment in being REALLY scared. So let's dive in!
The story follows two children Mia and Ginny as they embark on a journey to find a book Ginny's been dying to find out the ending of at a bookshop that they return to at night. Nothing is always as it seems though (usually the case with Goosebumps).
The first thing I noticed it the colour palate, it seems much lighter in tone to how I remembered it as a child but it works. This is helped further by the cartoonish detail of the style of art which going through each panel real natural.
Being the first issue, there's no real threat that establishes itself during the comic but is made up by the sheer fun quality to it, such as when the two kids sneak away from their grandmother to get to the bookshop they saw earlier (something I was always told never to do as a child but I guess this might become a parable to never leaving the grown-ups!). Another fun bit is when they're passing through the backward books section with some fun deciphering what Ginny is saying.
The characterisation of Mia and Ginny is quite strong with Mia being more of a worrywart and the one that looks out for her younger sis and Ginny is the curious one who seems much braver, which could be put down to her naivety. This makes for a good read with their interactions with each other and their surroundings.

The ending introduces - spoiler alert - Slappy! Thinking about it now, he didn't scare me much as a child but he did do the most horrendous things like slapping a child (I could be mistaking him for Chucky though - not that I watched Chucky during my childhood!)

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This is clearly aimed more for the younger audiences but there are moments that were actually really fun to be had. I want to see where they go next and what Slappy is like now as he was from the many years ago when they first stepped on the scene.

Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight #1: Halloween Comic Fest Edition
Writer - Jeremy Lambert
Art - Chris Fenoglio
Colours - Brittany Peer
Letters - Christa Miesner
Assistant Editor - Chase Marotz
Editor - Sarah Gaydos
Publisher - Greg Goldstein

Dark Red #1 Halloween Comicfest edition

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Halloween ComicFest! This time I'm giving you some creepy realness as Chip has to contend to life. Let's dive in!

The writing is kept simple which I luurve so I can get to grips with the story itself. Internalised thoughts are kept to a minimum but I guess it's because of the way Chip lives a secluded life that he's able to speak his internalised thoughts without the repercussions of not having anyone around. This helps develop the characters as well as Evie who seemingly has magic powers to overproduced blood which in turn helps Chip with their sustenance. 

Not much story but a lot of setting up for later issues I'm guessing so it does make the issue feel short despite being a full-length comic book issue. There are an action sequence which comes out of the blue due to the attraction from other vampires in wanting the same drink Chip is having. There is some character development which helps I guess to jump to greater heights in the next issues since we kinda know who they are.

The black and white style does lend itself to seeing things more clear but I expected some gore but the gore is subdued which helps me to actually follow it a bit more. It tends to feel like if more gore involved would taken the focus off the characters (but that's just me).

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Set me up for that second ish, babes!

Dark Red #1 Halloween Comicfest edition (reprint of Dark Red #1)
Tim Seeley - writer
Corin Howell - artist
Marshall Dillon - cover
Mike Marts - editor

Sunday 27 September 2020

Empyre #0 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Empyre with an r! The Avengers answer a call for help on the moon and are met with an old friend and enemy. Let's dive in!
The issue despite set on the moon didn't exactly send my wig into orbit. It's overall a slow zinger of an issue but I guess everything needs to be set up despite having the "Incoming" issue to do just that. It does set up the Skrulls and Kree teaming up to exact revenge on the Cotati. It's not too strong enough of a setup to heavily invest in the Cotati whereas the Skrulls and the Kree is just second nature to me since I've read many of stories growing up.  

It's interesting to see the #0 issue is told from the perspective of Iron Man since this will be in the back Hulkling's playing field crossover event. It's clear that he does suffer from a sort of trauma brought on by memories that were implanted into him of the Skrull-Kree war but then in the middle of the issue it's a cleansing of souls when he is "baptised" by the rain of Thor. I wonder how much of this will play into the main event or even tie in. If it is a one-off thing then I would say it would have been of better use to use the panels to build up the Cotati a bit more for the main course. 
There's only a handful of characters but some immediately just head into the background like Black Panther and Captain America (I actually forgot the Cap was in the issue too). Then the reintroduction of the Swordsman is sort of a nice welcome I guess seeing it all tie in together the whole issue of the incoming war. I honestly can't see how the Avengers is able to take down 2 armies when they barely could take down a mutated Skrull in Kree armoury in this very issue combined with the might of Cotati who are deemed as pacifists. We shall see!

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Not of the strongest crossover event starter but I'll pick up the next issue to see where it takes off.

Empyre #0
Al Ewing - writer
Pepe Larraz - artist
Marte - colour aritst
VC's Joe Caramagna - letterer
Marvel - publisher

Wednesday 19 August 2020

True Believer: Empyre - Hulkling #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some Romeo and Romeo family feud as the Kree and Skrull fight over Hulkling to bring some rule realness. Let's dive in!
It jumps right into the history of the Hulkling's heritage which I'm no stranger to when it comes to Marvel history 101. It's pretty interesting to see that the Kree are, shall we say, a bit more forceful in bringing Hulkling in by stunning him so that they could do so. Umm... talk about treating the next heir with such dignity. The Skrulls, on the other hand, seems more humane in their approach in that they ask that they come with them. There's a sense of urgency as both sides close in on Hulkling and ring the alarm - the Avengers are called in to assist. This creates a perfect pace for the balance of history, action, and storytelling as they a strung together neatly. 
The standout characters for me would be the Super Skull and Hulkling. It's nice to see a different side to the Super Skrull who always seemed hellbent on bringing the Fantastic Four down so it's nice to see a touching moment between Hulkling and Super Skrull. Hulkling. Wiccan's another great character with his witty, quick jibes which brings great humour to the issue. 
The art styling is clean-cut with standout moments as the New Avengers enter the fray and a beautifully drawn double-page spread of a battle sequence taking place with a tragic moment centred smack down in the middle. There are distinct speech bubbles that I love such as ones used for flashbacks, Skrulls and Vision's speeches which create a memorable finish to the issue.

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There's so much left hanging with the ultimate cliffhanger and what will become of the Hulkling.

True Believer: Empyre - Hulkling #1 (originally printed as Young Avengers #11)
Allan Heinberg - writer
Jim Cheung - penciler
Livesay, Jay Leisten, Dave Meikis, Matt Ryan and Jaime Mendoza - inkers
Justin Ponsor - colourist
VC's Cory Petit - letterer
Marvel  - publisher

Monday 17 August 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Quoi #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you a family affair realness as Mantis returns to the planet of their former love and their son as Thanos works up a storm in the background. Let's dive in!
This is part 3 of Celestial Quest but I could kind of get the gist of what's going on... Scarlet Witch is so "over" Vision, Vision gets jiggy jiggy with Mantis and Thanos gets their freak on. It's a mellow storyline that blends Star Wars action with high galactic storytelling rooting into Mantis's past as they try and mend her relationship with her child. It's a nice departure from the clap-bang action and brings it back to a subtleness in the quiet pace of the family drama.

Vision "envisions" (hey? Uh... I'll see myself out) life in space as he tantalises on the relationship formed with Mantis and a fresh outlook in life. He talks sex ed with Scarlet Witch (the words s-e-x was said - shock, horror!) and gives no chill when describing the details to his former bar. I just don't understand in this world where android display such human emotion as Vision does (jealousy above all) that they're still so discriminated in the current stage of the world but hey ho.
Mantis is the main staple and to be honest, I've never known about her much in the Marvel Universe (which comes to show how rich the universe is I guess!) that she has such wondrous powers in that she can call upon the stars to strike down spaceships with ma-hoo-sive concussive energy blasts. Who'd that funk it?! It's nice to see the character fledged out as she catches up with her former bae the Swordsman and reconciles with her son. A gentle reminder of the very human (or alien) nature of storytelling which is beautifully done. It's kind of funny as there was an Avengers issue where both the Vision's and Mantis's origin are done in the same issue. Get that full circle!
Thanos is another character imbued with incredible powers to grant other powers. Their story fits in that I'm sure is going to collide in Mantis's path in proportionate ways especially when Death comes knocking on their door.

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It's a refreshing departure with the constant crash, clang, bang of actions as it takes it back to family drama realness.

True Believers: Empyre - Quoi #1 (originally printed as Avengers Celestial Quest #3)
Stainless Steve Englehart - author
Jorge Santamaría - pencil artist
Scott Hanna - colourist
Sharpefont's Paul Tutrone - letterer

Friday 14 August 2020

Dollar Comics: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some creepy Arkham goodness gracious me as we explore a disturbing look into Arkham Asylum. Let's dive in!
The issue explores the character of Jeremiah Arkham as they follow in the footsteps of his uncle in taking over the Asylum. It seems more of a character study than a comic book issue with moments of when I can see that Arkham becomes one with one of a "lunatic" as they try to rob someplace. Arkham pulls a psychological play on him which ultimately causes the person to pull the trigger on them. Oh, what's the saying? Takes one to know one - disturbing stuff! It does set up the rest of the issue.
Arkham's are umm... unconventional to say the least with practices that are completely inhumane. It does send complete shivers to see how disturbing their actions and how remorseless it seems in the actions in that they see no consequence of their action from forced medication or forcing someone awake just as they hit the dream state. It's nice to see some familiar faces with more of a cameo appearance from the Joker and the Scarecrow being subjected to Arkham's torments. 

And then bam! There's no Batman comic without some Robin action (excuse the pun) which is beautifully drawn but fills a kind of out of place without context which is then topped up with an appearance from Nightwing. It's quite the zinger nonetheless. I'm sure this will fit in the grand scheme of things.
The questions I had in mind was when is Batman turning up and when is Batman turning up? It's quite interesting to see Batman so powerless and a prisoner of Arkham as Arkham tries to break Batman down. It's most certainly different to the gloss comics I've come accustomed to but I welcome this to the fold with open arms. 

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It'll be interesting to see how Batman overcomes such an adversary as they are subjected to such cruel practices of Arkham.

Dollar Comics: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (originally printed as Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1)
Alan Grant - writer
Norm Breyfogle - artist
Todd Klein - letterer
Adrienne Roy - colourist
Brian Stelfreeze - cover

Wednesday 12 August 2020

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Klaw #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! Klaw makes his Marvel debut as they take on the might of the Black Panther and Fantastic Four. Let's dive in!
Black Panther gets that side hustle when he relays his story to the Fantastic Four and of course, the Thing has no chill with butting in and saying they've heard it a gazillion times in countless stories like the Jungle Book or whatnot. I mean hun, take a down a notch will ya! BP is trying to tell their story of injustice, loss and death of their father and people. 

It's kind of weird that Susan still seems like a secondary character in this issue like when they start running towards the trouble, Suzie exclaims for Reed to slow down (which is a bit weird considering that Susan has had SHIELD training during these times too according to the recent Invisible Woman run). 
Klaw is working some high fashion as he returns from BP's story sporting a new uh... claw that converts sound into physical kinetic energy which makes for high fun. Just the power to create instant runways or a dance troupe is good in my books. It's quite the nifty power to have the ability to use your imagination to create physical sound. All that for some ka-ching in getting that vibranium realness.

What I don't understand is that Black Panther could have replicated the device from Klaw after obtaining it and created defences for Wakanda. I guess it could be that Black Panther did want to replicate a device that killed their father and a lot of their people in protecting their land and people. 

The technology has most certainly come far when Susan is impressed by Black Panther's massive music system that is sporting a tape recorder. It's also nice to see the culture there too with all the fashion and dance displays (they actually get credit but a confusing one at that as "ballet" is in the title of the troupe). 
The ending got me... the Fantastic Four could be the reason why the Black Panther exists in the Marvel universe after they persuaded BP to continue on the mantle of the Black Panther after questioning whether they should continue after - spoiler alert - defeating Klaw. 

Subscribe? Yes!

It's nice to see a new setting for the Fantastic Four and Black Panther's story is quite the compelling one.

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Klaw #1 (originally printed as Fantastic Four volume 1 #53)
Stan Lee - scripter
Jack Kirby - art
Joe Sinnot - inker
Artie Simek - letterer
The Ballet Forbush Terpsichorean Troupe - native dance