Reviews

Reviews of comic books, graphic novels, books on comics, and other comic-related media.

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coverOn Spandex: Fast and Hard by Martin Eden

If 2012′s sales figures are to be trusted, today’s hardcore super-hero fans are predominantly reactionary creatures.

chitauriThe Avengers Versus the Space Lizard Conspiracy

May 4th was Avengers day here in the states, and I actually managed to see the film three times in the first 24 hours of its release.

CoverOn The Zaucer of Zilk, by Al Ewing and Brendan McCarthy

NB: The Zaucer of Zilk is currently being serialised in 2000AD, so please be aware of oncoming spoilers as well as the likelihood that most if not all of my presumptions are entirely misplaced.

endJustice League #1-6 Review: Not the Back-Ups, Not All the Filler Art or Teases for Future Storylines

Team books were always a challenge in the old days.

CoverOn The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln, by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud’s The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln reads as if it had been pieced together by a team of expert comic-book historians from a great mass of often incomplete and even contradictory notes, sketches,… [more]

11785998-chronicle-ver3Chronicle Reaction

I’ve just returned from watching the new film Chronicle, a superhero found footage movie from director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis.

Space Adventures 35Musings over Space Adventures #35

When I was a kid, I remember asking my dad which superhero was his favorite.

Green_Lantern_Vol_2_9The Power Ring and the Comic Book (Part 2)

Green Lantern #3 makes the Weaponers of Qward the hero’s first repeat villains, as the extra-dimensional villains create an illusion to aid them in stealing Green Lantern’s power battery.

12-6-11 CoverIdentifying the Complete Story: Diablo #1

In my last article, I discussed how Watchmen #2 was successful as an individual comic book issue by satisfying the reader with a complete chunk of story. 

1537155-zur_en_arrh_graffiti_superBuilding a Better Batman: An Introduction to Morrison’s Batman

From the first few pages of Batman #655, “Building a Better Batmobile,” Grant Morrison makes it abundantly clear to his readers that this is not your typical Batman story, nor should it be read like… [more]

Nerd_Hulk_(Earth-1610)_0002Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, Part 7: The One About Vampires

With the release of each new issue of Ultimate Comics Avengers 3, I would call up my friend Caleb (fellow contributor to Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide) and we would laugh about how far… [more]

Punisher-89The Greatest Movie in the World – Punisher (1989)

Movie audiences today take super-hero films for granted. This year alone saw the release of five super-hero films, but in 1989, they were far more rare. Yet, here is the little film that could.

dodolaHabibi: What Works and What Doesn’t

Since alternative comics creator Craig Thompson released critically acclaimed Blankets in 2003, little work has been seen from the artist until the recent Pantheon publication of Habibi this past September.

bookcover_tempeModeration: Malkasian’s Temperance

There are few works out there like Cathy Malkasian’s Temperance. A wild story about a town held together by fear of an invading, unnamed, enemy army. Blessedbowl, the society formed around this central lie/plot, is… [more]

Thor Movie picWhy Thor Soared and the Lantern Failed

Movie theaters in the summer of 2011, like most summers for the past 30-something years, were dominated by films heavy on crowd-pleasing elements, with particular attention to heavy FX content.

The Big Lie #1 coverOn The Big Lie, by Rich Veitch and Gary Erskine

Before addressing this controversial comic, let’s establish one thing: anything by Rick Veitch is newsworthy and deserving of better than being written off. Veitch is one of the legends who renewed American comics in the… [more]

Green Lantern Corps scan 6On Green Lantern Corps #1: Of the People, By the People, For the People, Screw the People

I don’t know how to write about this, and I’m extremely nervous about trying to do so. Truthfully, I can’t deny that I’m tempted not to try.

Aquaman #1 image 5On Aquaman #1, by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

It seems that Geoff Johns isn’t writing scripts anymore so much as lists. And after the fashion of the unassimilable tourist abroad, who believes that the folks around him will understand what he’s saying if… [more]

from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1, page 11Eight Thoughts on Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1-2

The right-wing media went apeshit over Peter Parker being replaced by Miles Morales, based on a single seven-page sequence (really its own short story) in Ultimate Fallout #4. Lots of people were perfectly prepared to… [more]

Deathstroke #1 - Page 1Back to Basics: Deathstroke and the Unintentional Satire

Satires can often times be complicated affairs. Every nuance and hiccup is pondered for its dual meanings. But not all satires are like carnival mirrors, some are accidental and in a manner more revealing than… [more]

Ultimates (2011) #1On Hickman and Ribic’s The Ultimates #1: Yet More Stories for Boys

On the evidence of Messrs. Hickman and Ribic’s The Ultimates #1, the fundamental concerns of feminism haven’t yet become a matter of public concern and debate on Earth 1610, or (it needs to be said) in… [more]

Legion Lost (2011) #1On Legion Lost #1, by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods

Even putting the context of DC’s “New 52″ initiative aside, it’s difficult to imagine a situation in which Legion Lost might qualify as even a barely-adequate comic. For it’s such an awkwardly and unhelpfully written book… [more]

The Living and the Dead - Page 1Something to Dream About: Jason’s The Living and the Dead

Somewhere in your comic shop there is a small section left orphaned.  It sits alone, dying like the character Cerebus was fated to: unloved, unmourned and alone.  This is the section that is often scary… [more]

Nothing is happening on this pagePut Your Money Where Your Panel Is: On Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1 is a simple story with a simple premise – introduce the character Superman, make the readers care about him, and put him in a dangerous test to set up for the next… [more]

211_batman_mask_of_the_phantasm_1024Rosebuds and Grim Reapers: Why Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the Citizen Kane of Animated Films

From the deputized FBI agent of the 1940’s movie serials to the gritty, realistic vigilante of Christopher Nolan’s films, Hollywood has portrayed Batman in a variety of ways, but none of the live-action films have… [more]