Reviews

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

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El sombraThe Moral Arc Of Eternity: Al Ewing’s El Sombra Trilogy – Part 1

(Before beginning the article, be aware there are significant and comprehensive spoilers for the phenomenal and largely unheralded books discussed here. If you would consider reading them before beginning this, for your own sake, it’s… [more]

Descender06_Review coverDescender #6: Ostracism

A significant part of the new issue of Descender takes place fifteen years before the start of our main story, on a dusty old planet named “Ostrakon”. It’s a very clever and literate reference for… [more]

David Mann dragon image 1 featuredDragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’: Fun Time at the Theatre for Fans, Not the Equal of What Came Before It.

(Note: some spoilers, particularly regarding the ending) It’s that time again: beginning its return in earnest with 2013’s Japanese release of Battle of Gods, Akira Toriyama’s Shōnen manga titan and pop-cultural gamechanger Dragon Ball continues… [more]

hell on earth2015-07-20-21h41m20s476Camerahead and Pistonhead: Hell on Earth

This film is a campy entry in the Hellraiser entry that has a few good components. Sort of. If you squint. But these sort of good moments are mishandled by the generally terrible film. [more]

L-R: Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris EvansFantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: A Retro Review

When their first Fantastic Four flick grossed more than three times its production budget in 2005, the hoped-for sequel quickly left the realm of the hypothetical for home studio Twentieth Century Fox. And with the cast… [more]

Fantastic Four 2005 castFantastic Four (2005): A Retro Review

The moment that principal photography on Roger Corman’s million-dollar production of The Fantastic Four commenced on December 28, 1992, the ultimate goal of license holder Bernd Eichinger was instantly fulfilled. His hold on the Fantastic… [more]

8House02_Review cover8House: Arclight #2: Rich in its Restraint

We should start this review by revising, in retrospect, some of the assumptions and conclusions I made about 8House: Arclight #1. For one thing, as some have pointed out, I’m not entirely sure what the… [more]

twolaneblacktop2015-08-02-20h00m24s935Blood in the Moonlight: Hannibal Season Three Episode Nine

Hannibal is frequently a praise worthy show. It must be said, however, I found myself especially impressed by its latest episode. It’s not a particularly eventful episode, by Hannibal’s standards. There are no murders, no… [more]

L-R: Carl Ciarfalio, Rebecca Staab, Alex Hyde-White, Jay UnderwoodRoger Corman’s Fantastic Four: A Retro Review

While Marvel Comics stablemate Spider-Man took a rather circuitous route to the big screen, that journey almost pales in comparison to what happened to the Fantastic Four on the way to a film franchise they could call their own. [more]

spring2015-07-20-18h53m06s053Spring: Monsters and Romance

My overall reaction to Drafthouse Film’s new release, Spring, is definitely a positive one. I’ll be interested in what the directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, will do next. They’ve directed one movie together before,… [more]

MOW_HAWKESShatner’s Man O War: A Voice is Missing

We are given Chapter 1, “How it All Began.” Opening the book we are told “in the near future, humanity has colonized the moon and Mars, but corporate greed and over reliance on technology have… [more]

STK660179No Future For You – Crossed +100

*SPOILERS for the six issue Crossed +100 storyline* Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin – Exodus 16 We all know what the post-apocalypse looks… [more]

SouthernBastards10_Review coverSouthern Bastards #10: A Force of Nature

Coach Big is dead. That fact no doubt affects people in lots of different ways in Craw County, and the larger mythic universe of Southern Bastards. But before we get to all of that, the… [more]

Rasputin07_Review coverRasputin #7: Ghosts

“Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living” -Arthur C. Clarke That’s a very interesting maxim to apply to Grigori Rasputin, particularly in… [more]

InvisibleRepublic05_Review coverInvisible Republic #5: One Door Opens… Then Ten Others

At the end of issue #5 of Invisible Republic, we’ve reached the end of the first story arc in style. Opening up its secrets like a very well-written television series, the big twist at the… [more]

title cardWorst. Episode. Ever.: “I’ve Got Batman in my Basement”

The success of Batman: The Animated Series can not be understated. Debuting on September 5th, 1992 until September 15th 1995,  the series has long been known for its dark atmosphere, in line with the Tim… [more]

image1Ernest Cline’s Armada: One Remove Too Many

At last, Ernest Cline, best-selling author of Ready Player One, has released his second novel, Armada. RPO was so fun to read, and so perfectly constructed, that its follow-up was bound to be disappointing. And… [more]

Lost_Soul_The_Doomed_Journey_of_Richard_Stanley’s_Island_of_Dr._MoreauLost Soul Tells the Story of Richard Stanley’s Dr. Moreau

Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of the great unmade films in the history of science fiction cinema, yet unlike many “unmade” films, such as Jodorowsky’s Dune, this project actually did yield… [more]

BitchPlanet01_Review coverBitch Planet Studies Exploitation With Exploitation

Bitch Planet is a comic that uses the language of exploitation, visual and verbal, to discuss the topic of exploitation. And it’s definitely well-informed on that subject. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s script is full of metaphors… [more]

Descender05_Review coverDescender #5: The Centre of the Galaxy

In the latest issue of Descender, we get a tremendous narrative “focus pulling”, showing us with absolute clarity for the first time where the story of TIM-21, Dr Quon, Captain Telsa and Driller fit into… [more]

8House01_Review cover8House Arclight #1: Graceful and Dignified Fantasy/Sci-Fi

It doesn’t take a great deal of exposition to build a completely original and engrossing science fiction/fantasy world, especially in comics. That principle is exemplified by the 8House series, the first story arc of which… [more]

Rasputin06_Review coverRasputin Is Back

Rasputin returns for its sixth issue, following one of the most dramatic and unexpected jump-cuts in the history of comics that ended the previous issue. It isn’t as if this issue walks back those surprises… [more]

sdfgA Sandman Miscellany: Sandman Overture #5 Review

One of the difficult aspects of reviewing Neil Gaiman’s bookend of his long developed Sandman conceptual universe is making heads and tails of the myriad pathways that intertwine in the grand narrative. [more]

InvisibleRepublic04_Review coverInvisible Republic #4: Get Another Source

As I’ve mentioned before in our discussions of Invisible Republic, one of the most interesting things about this book is the nature of the dramatic stakes. Nobody is fighting to “save the world” in the… [more]

SouthernBastards09_Review coverSouthern Bastards #9: Past, Present and Football

“But the Good Lord always gives us another chance, don’t he?” -Coach Big Here were are again, back in the tangled thicket of history, race, sex, sports, ribs and morality that populate the literate and… [more]