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.

Subscribe? Yes

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!

Subscribe?? yes!

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.

Subscribe? Yes!

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. 

Subscribe? Yes!

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.

Subscribe? Yes!

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.

Subscribe? Yes

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.
Subscribe? Yes and no

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!)

Subscribe? Yes!

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).

Subscribe? Yes!

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