Wednesday 29 April 2020

Annihilation - Scourge Alpha #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a cosmic scourge takeover! A mysterious force seems to have taken over the armies of Annihulus and Blaastar as they both join forces to try and overcome them. Let's dive in!
Something comes to mind when I think the scourge and that is the Marvel Zombies. The only difference though is that the scourge doesn't seem to retain the same intelligence instead that is replaced by the inertial need to serve a higher being. They can pretty much turn others into one of them by umm... exerting tentacles out of the mouths that envelops the face of the adversaries. It does sound peculiar at first but it is done in effect that it sends chills down my spine. There are several moments which happen where it just focuses in with colours that really accentuates the horror. Oh gosh and the Revengers (not the superhero team in Thor Ragnarok)!
The writing and development accentuate the story forward with battle feeling so intense that it makes the threat real. This comes with Annihulus having to put his differences aside and quickly his former self becoming a thing of the past. The comic relief is offered none other than Nova who provides the slight respite of the incoming problem.
The standout characters come out of Blaastar and Annihulus who shows a lovely contrast between the two with Blaastar being noble in aiding Annihulus troops when wounded yet Annihulus is very much "death" to all that goodness out there. The camaraderie does have fun to it as they battle their way through the forces. 

Subscribe? Yes

This introduction to a strong crossover event shows a great offering in that Annihulus has to call upon desperate measures of his enemies to overcome an even greater enemy. 

Annihilation - Scourge Alpha #1 
Matthew Rosenberg - writer
Juanan Ramírez & Cian Tormey - artists
Federico Blee - colours
VC's Cory Petit - lettering 
Josemaria Casanova - cover

Thursday 23 April 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Mantis No 1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you origin goodness in the form of the Vision and Mantis. Let's dive in.

And so the story begins with giving us some hex realness with her amazing po-wah! It's ended with her trainer Harkness giving us chic psyches which actually befittingly and beautifully transitions into the next story in which takes place outside Earth. This employs a unique style of storytelling of origins which I really love. I'm wondering if there is actually room for characters being able to revisit their origins in a meta way which will also offer fresh insights but that's a whole other conversation.
It's pretty interesting to see Vision's origins as the original Human Torch as he was an android that was also part of the Invaders. From that, I'm not really clued up and this does offer a fresh undertaking of the origin which flows well in an Avengers comic. Same could be said for Mantis but it's only the groundworks of her origins that was placed into view but not her full. In fact, it was also in part a Skrull vs. Kree origin story which was actually something else that I was consciously aware of but did not know of how it came about.
The artwork is amazing with great visuals especially coming off the strong origin stories of the Vision and Mantis. The staffs that they hold to travel back into their times offers a gorgeous and unique way of providing hot strong semblances of art against the backdrop of space visuals.
Subscribe? Yes

The comic forms a unique form of storytelling coupled with great intergalactic visuals that offers a strong foundation for the origin stories of the Vision and Mantis. It ends on strong suspense on how the Skrull vs. Kree origin story links into Mantis's origin.

True Believers: Empyre - Mantis No 1 (originally published as Avengers Vol 1 # 133)
Steve Englehart - author
Sal Buscema & Joe Staton - artists
Tom Orzechowski - calligraphy
Phil Rachelson - Colouring
Len Wein - editor

Wednesday 15 April 2020

True Believers: Conan the Barbarian #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing Conan the Barbarian. The only Conan the Barbarian I know of is Arnold Schwarzenegger so it'll be great to delve into another reiteration of Conan.
The comic delves into the formed relationship Conan have with the leader of a tribe when he sees him pounced by an innumerate amount of enemies (three to be exact). The rest is history!

Let's talk characters! For starters, Conan is quite the character who keeps it real and I find strong admiration in his honesty, valiancy and courage which is beautifully sprawled throughout the comic. The character traits help propels the story and plot along for a poignant ending, which is solidified by his relationship of the character Olav who he helps aid in combat.

The leader Volf of the opposition doesn't seem to share these traits so it's good to see the contrast which accentuates the contrast between them. It's a shame though as this was further explored as they seem to become secondary characters going towards the end.

The art style seems great and the combat seems ruthless and should I say - ahem - barbaric with Conan's swipes and animalistic movements. Character and scenic designs are amazing with strong expressions throughout. One thing I noticed though is the backgrounds are a solid colour of different variations from green to blue to yellow. I tried to link it to what was happening in their respective panels but the mood seems quite different to even link them together.

The second half of the comic takes a turn with flying demons, twists and turns. An introduction of the Shaman and Tara seems to have thrown the comic into a whole new world with literally a history lesson as well as envisioning Conan's future too. This might actually explain the solid coloured backgrounds as a foreshadowing of the trippy adventure Conant and co take in the second half.

Subscribe? Yes!

There's a lot of character building to simply fall in love with Conan that yeah, I'm pretty much invested to see where he ends up going next.

True Believers: Conan the Barbarian No 1 (originally published as Conan the Barbarian #1)
Stan Lee - editor
Roy Thomas - writer
Barry Smith - artist
Dan Adkins - embellisher
Sam Rosen - letterer

Wednesday 8 April 2020

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Bullseye #1 (re:view)

Welcome to another world of adventure with a comic for your dollar! The story follows Daredevil as he tackles down a mysterious villain named... Bullseye!
I last read the classic tales of Daredevil in the Mighty World of Marvel in the mid-2000s and actually read each text from panel to panel with such glee. This comic was just that reminder of why I loved reading Daredevil.
The art of Daredevil's movements with that alone offers pure joy to watch him swoosh with his kick and flicks. This becomes more pronounced when he uses his environment to his aid. One scene in particular pretty much defines it for me where he uses a car to his advantage in kicking out the goon out of it. This is in contrast to Bullseye who employs more of a dramatic flair which might explain it as it comes to the final full-page panel.
It's interestingly enough my first time seeing him have a hood which actually does get caught up in the crowd. Cue the Edna Mode's no - uh - hoods!

There's so much going on in this comic with the main story, side story, back story and all kinds of story getting up in that grind. The main story I find becomes deterred slightly by the side story which almost becomes a side thought rather than an afterthought as it was such a brief moment that with one blink you'd miss it. The back story though is beautifully illustrated of how Bullseye comes about which serve to elevate the story even with so much going on in one issue.

Subscribe? Ja!

There's a lot to take away from this issue and it's left on a deafening (excuse the pun) cliffhanger!

Published: True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Bullseye #1 (originally published as Daredevil #131)
Marv Wolfman - writer/editor
Bob Brown & Klaus Janson - artists
Michele Wolfman - colorist
Joe Rosen - letterer

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Genders: Shaping and Breaking the Binary exhibition at Science Gallery (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... genders! I actually went to this exhibition some time ago but what better time (and a lot of it) to get it up in this house. Let's dive in!

The exhibition is a journey I would say into the insights of different artists as they explore gender through their mediums. It's funny as it would seem to be a transcendence from what it would stand for in society or breaking down the notions and barriers. 

The exhibition programme is done in black and white which I'm guessing purposely plays on the irony that gender is not so much of that anymore. It's not about male or female, masculinity or feminity and physical biology but rather that it goes beyond. This is shown in each artist chosen mediums to convey this that each identifies their gender such as Cibelle Cavalli Bastos's IN≠BODY: EXXO/REAL(I)T.Y #aevtardeprogram

The exhibition serves as great education and insight into different aspects of genders such as Sadé Mica's Gotta do this first and Grace in the garms which used textile clothing to bind and the chest/breast which many trans men and non-binary people used to deal with body dysphoria. 

Proving more a versatile exhibition, it not only invites attendees to view art in an open way but it also seeks to involve from the virtual reality gaming experience of Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley's WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THOSE THAT ARE NOT to the social context of the spoken and smell experience of Sarah Jury, Behrooz Shahriari and Rachel Sutela, Elvia Wilk and Sissel Tolaas's nnother.
Gotta do this first and Grace in the garms by Sadé Mica
Ties That Bind by Gaby Sahhar
WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THOSE THAT ARE NOT by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley
'... on being allergic to onions', we read Susan Leigh Star by Nina Wakeford
Milik Bersama Rekombinan (Recombinant Commons) by Mary Maggic

Thursday 2 April 2020

True Believers: Annihilation - Omega the Unknown #1 (re:view)

Another dollar for your comic! Ummm... I literally know nothing about or I could say that the character is "unknown" to me (ay? ay?? I'll see myself out). Anyway, the comic follows Omega the Unknown against a band of steel armoured/skinned (not sure which!) aliens as well as a connection he may have to a young person named James-Michael Starling.
It opens with some good ol' beat-em-up with Omega as he knocks and shoots beams from his Omega-symbolled hands which are different... So far so good. Of course, it's not all going to last and he's shut from the behind but the next bit gets interesting (and beautifully done I should say with the colours, expressions and effects). It transitions from him screaming into the young person I was mentioning earlier.
Okay, in terms of Marvel fighting weirdly shaped cycloptic steel assassins, I'd say that's the norm... but the next bit gets a bit trippy (hear me out). It transitions to James-Michael who also seemingly feels the connected pain of being shut from the behind. The parents are quickly killed off and revealed to be robots that self-destruct (umm... okay). It kind of becomes a psychological thriller (without the thriller) wherein by James-Michael confused by the statement is let into psychedelic vertigo where reality and fantasy seem to blur (beautifully done yet again with the effects for show).

More confusion ensues as a fight suddenly erupts in James-Michael's room between one of the alien-beings and Omega with James-Michael seemingly developing the same powers as Omega. So many questions! There's so much mystery that's been tantalised from the start that it left me with so many questions that wanted answers like how is Omega connected to James-Michael, who is James-Michael and why are his parent's robots???
Subscribe? Yes!

I mean there are so many questions that needed answering and the issue has done enough to fully invest in getting those answers. The issue is beautifully illustrated with colours with offerings of shadowing and psychedelia. Another thing to note is the use of description of the actions which was an interesting take as so often I usually assume the movements but of course, the actions don't usually move on pages but it's spelt out for you which I found adds another level storytelling to the issue. I also love the slight insinuation that this might all be happening in James-Michael's mind which makes it more for an even more exciting read.

True Believers: Annihilation - Omega the Unknown #1 (originally published as Omega the Unknown #1)
Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes - writer
Jim Mooney - illustrator
John Constanza - letterer
Petra Goldberg - colourist
Mary Wolfman - editor