Friday 19 June 2020

True Believers: Conan: Serpent War #0 - The Valley of the Worm (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some uuum.... worm realness as a might warrior attempts to take it down. Let us dive in!
The story is somewhat of a beautiful metaphor for a person named James Allison, who is dying, where he is transported into a dream to the land of Niord where he is engulfed in a battle between tribes. It's sad as there is a real sadness in that when an attempt to slay the worm fails, his life in the real world diminishes too which is a beautiful mirror to look at it. 
The art itself is sending my wig with the fine detailing of the abs and pecs... I mean the ferocity and savagery of the lit-er-ral slayage. I like that the women do get their hands dirty too. The art styling of what resembles Big Foot (I always knew BF existed!) calls upon the big worm who is in fact really terrifying and got my boots quaking. The detailing of the creature is astonishing!

It's kind of ironic that a whole tribe is slain in the most gruesome way bar one who is spared which equates to world peace after an agreement has been carried out between the two tribes. More to the fact that the that Gorm (the person spared) is, in fact, a woman after James astonishingly calls them an "old woman". She wasn't even sporting a bra. I never knew the #freethenipple campaign started this early and living for it!

But anyway, euphemism count:
  • Tom-toms throbbed
  • Gorm's great hole in the earth
  • From the shaft, there rose something -- inhuman
  • Hands that held the wierdling pipe
Subscribe? Yes

Asgard gets a mention! (Albeit probably not the one I'm thinking of but still!). James and I are on a first-name basis

True Believers: Conan: Serpent War #0 - The Valley of the Worm (originally printed as Supernatural Thrillers #3)
Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway - scripters
Gil Kane - artist
Ernie Chua - inker
Adapted from a story by Robert E. Howard
Marvel - publisher

Wednesday 17 June 2020

True Believers: X-Men - Kitty Pryde & Emma Frost #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some White Queen realness as the X-Men encounter the Hellfire Club in person for the very first time. Let's dive in!
I read this during my teen years so I'm very well acquainted with this issue and it also marks the first appearance of Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost! The story is a strong one as there are many different facets that come together from the projected visions Jean Grey experiences to a mysterious group that observes them that is the Hellfire Club. I love that it all ties in centrally (which will eventually lead into the Dark Phoenix saga) as I feel like what it leads to a very big sha-bang!
The themes of doing what's right against the morals as seen in Colossus is quite strong in the issue and it's a theme that crops up multiple times in the X-Men series. I love how nobility, integrity and honesty in the lines being blurred with the characters especially in characters of Colossus (ironically it's also why the relationship ended between him and Kitty due to her being underage). The theme carries over with Professor X returns as he leads with the baby basics while Cyclops argues that they've grown from their experiences on the field.

The Hellfire Club clothing line always so fierce with their period style quality to them which exude premier class to them. This is shown when Emma Frost steps on to the scene to ultimately finish the job of capturing the X-Men that her lackies failed in doing. It feels like a wonderful metaphor of sending the pawns in first but the queen being the powerful piece comes in to finish the job (like Chess which is so prevalent in the X-Men world. The society is cut-throat when she orders the execution of said lackies which really shows off her character as being one not to be messed with. 
The issue introduces the sweetheart Kitty who is just about understanding the world around her with her sparky and inquisitive nature but throws up some caution to the wind. Being so young, she does pick things up so quickly in that she steps up to go gung-ho in saving the X-Men from their chapter. It beautifully sets up a character you know is going to be full of spunk.

The issue cements the greatest love story of all time (well, except ummm... Romeo and Juliet and umm... Catherine and Heathcliff) with the development of Scott and Jean's love story. 

Subscribe? YAAASSSS!

Don't mess with Colossus as he's about to be taken.

True Believers: X-Men - Kitty Pryde & Emma Frost #1 (originally printed as Uncanny X-Men volume 1 #129)
Chris C;aremont and John Byrne - writers
Terry Austin - inker
Tom Orzechowski - letterer
Bob Sharen - colourist
Roger Stern - editor 
Jim Shooter - editor-in-chief

Friday 12 June 2020

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

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you SLAY realness as nefarious villain throw some shady illusions at Betsy to take on her brother Captain Britain. Let's dive in! 
I actually own the first two volumes of Captain Britain so this is somewhat of familiar grounds to me. The story itself starts straight off the bat into action along London's Regent Street as the Cap takes down some no-dogooders with assistance lady cop friend. I love how offbeat it seems to have this futuristic car scaling up the buildings of Regent Street but I'm living for it. 

Love that the settings are so closer to home as it moves to the South Bank where we find Brian's date interrupted by his sister and then ummm... things escalate real quick. I love how things just jump from one calm walk down the South Bank and bam! A plane crash!

The art style is beautifully drawn with the backdrops minimal at best but brings the subject more in focus such as the entrance of Dr Synne or even the walk on the snowy grounds of the South Bank. The monster illusions brought up by Dr Synne is beautifully drawn giving a frightening depth to them especially when Brian envisions what resemble hells and it's dwellers. 

Can't miss this out as Brian has a Jen Walters/She-Hulk moment:
The contrast between when Brian is hit with the illusions and slowly succumbing to it is shown in his body language and the coloured background design which is a beautiful detail to have added in.

The character of Dr Synne is really fun to watch as he randomly pops up and wrecks havoc on the Braddocks. Love his seemingly illusionary powers as he shoots these trance laser from his eyes as well as taunts Brian at every show interval. 

Love how Brian seems to have adopted the powers of a millisecond thought as Betsy hurtles towards him with an axe (she really her brothers a good run for their money with it): 
Subscribe? YAAASSS!

Brian and I are on a first-name basis.

True Believers: X-Men - Betsy Braddock #1 (originally printed as Captain Britain volume 1 #8 - 10)
Chris Claremont - writer
Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida - artists
Irving Watanabe - letterer
George Roussos - colourist
Larry Lieber - editor

Wednesday 10 June 2020

True Believers: Annihilation - Quasar #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some Hulk goodness as he's being homed at this friend's apartment while their friends feel unease and calls upon their friends. Let's dive in!
You kind of feel bad for Hulk after being 200 issues and trouble always seems to follow him. The guy can't catch a break! The story itself is ridden with subplots which ties everything together from the life of Bruce Banner/Hulk. It does play off like a soap drama with Betty Ross's marital woes coming into the fold. It's also the issue when Marvel Man changes his name to Quasar which feels like an outlier to the main story until it's strung together by Samson and General Thunderbolt.
The issue itself introduces the character of Trish to me which I believe that I've not come across with the years I've been reading Marvel. Oh boy, though when she was going through her story of having a supervillain father, losing an arm in an arranged car explosion and dabbling in the mystic arts, trouble is her middle name. Like girl get a new hobby! Love her character though despite her flaws as she offers softness and warmth which compliments the changing mood of the Hulk. 
When the Machine Man comes into play, I almost forgot how he almost looks like one of Scooby's villains and in fact, there is an unmasking to reveal that it's just a framing to get to come out to play. 

Subscribe? Yes!

Who doesn't want to see Hulk go after the Machine Man!

True Believers: Annihilation - Quasar #1 (originally printed as Incredible Hulk volume 1 #234)
Roger Stern - writer
Sal Buscema & Jack Abel - artists
John Constanza - letterer
Elaine Heinl - colourist
A.L. Milgrom - editor
Jim Shooter - editor-in-chief

Friday 5 June 2020

Dollar Comics: Detective Comics #554 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batman (and oh, Robin as well) and hear Black Canary cry. Let us dive in!
The story follows that there is some dodgy stuff going on at the pier where something is bring smuggled in or rather. Detective Sergeant Bullock steps on the scene and calls on the help of Batman and Robin. The story is intricately woven with you think you know where it is going vibe but it's not going there. The ending of this actually throws me off and creates more questions! 

The art compliments the story with his grainy grittiness quality to it. There was a very powerful moment with Batman and his assailant where it was just pure action underwater - no words - and it formed a really powerful moment in the issue.
Spoiler alert: it seems that a passport was created for someone to get them off Gotham to Naples but they already have prior deportation sentence to said country on the ship that Batman and Robin took down with Bullock. I'm guessing it was all a ruse to extend the stay in Gotham.

Bullock basically asks the question everyone's been thinking in that Robin is slightly on the young side. This is further emphasised earlier when Bruce when he was about to say that Robin is past his bedtime until he got interrupted. Jason is a young boy who wants to play video games but fights really dangerous crimes. This does play on the dynamics of Batman and Robin when they provide different perspectives on situations in the issue.

The second story is of Black Canary and Green Arrow. Black Canary's character is beautifully built and you could say that she fly the nest - wink wink. It's literally that as she lives through her mother's torment (psychic link) and trauma brought about by Pyra and she has to learn to grow from it. It so happens that Black Canary is a seamstress of fireproof material and goes hunting for Pyra. She also so happens to pick the same building that situates her own adversary Bonfire, the city's fire chief and of course, Green Arrow. She can add strong intuition on to her list of powers. 
She too has a very strong striking moment in that she lets out her Canary Cry, which is such a beautiful metaphor of her mother's scream has become a strength of power to grow from it. 

Subscribe? Yes

Bruce and I are on a first-name basis.

Dollar Comics: Detective Comics #554 (originally printed as Detective Comics #554)
Batman: Port Passed
Doug Moench - writer
Klaus Janson - artist
Todd Klein - letterer
Len Wein - editor
The Black Canary and Green Arrow: Crazy from the Heat II: The Past is Prologue
Joey Cavalieri - story
Jerome Moore - pencils
Bruce Patterson - inks
Bob Lappan - letters
Shelley Eiber - colours
Len Wein editor

Wednesday 3 June 2020

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

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! The X-women need a much-needed break from superheroing to week and untuck but it doesn't go accordingly to plan as they take on the M Squad. Hun, let's dive in!
Right off the bat, we're introduced to the illustrious Jubilee and girl, she wanna have fun and fun she is! The introduction is quite - ummm - explosive with her doing leaps and bounds with some sparkles thrown here and there to the haters when she was giving slaying in the mall. I feel like the X-Men really does need a fun character to add to the dynamic to shake things up (it's a shame where the character has been taken now). And that's where we shift to the X-Men where the X-women need that much-needed fun themselves and takes themselves to the very same mall. This is actually reminiscent of an episode I watched in the X-Men animated series where they just take a break (which doesn't always go accordingly to plan, of course. Can they ever really take a break?).
The other standout characters for me are Dazzler who single-handedly brings "girls, they wanna have fun" vibes and bringing Storm out of her shell with none other than a stripper! Get it, girl! Rogue's character is further explored which is fun to watch as the persona that she absorbed from Ms Marvel comes out to play which I've never seen before. I've seen Rogue pretty much lose it with the number of different powers she's absorbed but I've never seen her lose control to giving a different character her due. Storm makes an interesting comment which I find rings true is that for every action there is always a consequence. This is such a nice moral to have to the story.
The M Squad - OMG! Who called the discount Ghostbusters? It reminds me when Storm actually had a lit-ter-ral lightsaber battle with Calisto in the X-Men animated series. The Squad even comes with a mutant containment grid which uses what resembles photon beams. They're quite fun and of course there to give the issue more of that comedic respite. I wonder if they ever make another appearance in the Marvel continuum. 

Subscribe? Yes!

Girls, they wanna have fu-un!

True Believers: X-Men - Jubilee #1 (originally printed as Uncanny X-Men volume 1 #244)
Chris Claremond - writer
Marc Silvestri - penciler
Dan Green - inker
Glynis Oliver - colourist
Tom Orzechowski - letterer
Bob Harras - editor
Tom DeFalco - Mall manager