Supreme: Blue Rose #1
Warren Ellis (w), Tula Lotay (a)
Chris says: Image Comics have had a lot of success in reviving Rob Liefeld’s discarded ’90s properties and giving them a fresh coat of paint. It started with Prophet, continued with Glory, and now it’s Supreme’s turn. Oh sure, there’s been a few missteps and hiccups along the way, but this is definitely not one of them … Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay cleverly pick up the story of Supreme by not featuring the title character at all. Instead we’re introduced to Diana Dane, a troubled reporter who has been hired by a mysterious benefactor to unlock the secrets of Ethan Crane (Supreme). It’s an interesting premise and reminds me of how Joe Keatinge began his still-overlooked run on Glory. As always, Warren Ellis writes a fine comic, and that’s cause enough for celebration – but the real star on display here is art wizard Tula Lotay. It’s incredible to see Tula blossom and emerge on the page as the revelation she is. Eagle-eyed readers will have seen her work before and taken note, but for those who are new to it, they’ll be wondering where she came from and how she got this good. Ultimately everyone has their secrets, and that’s a lot of what this book is about. It’s about the shadowy world that exists above (and below) our own; about the personal shadows we can all find ourselves in; and it’s about what happens when someone starts shining a light into those dark corners. I can’t praise this book highly enough – I would’ve slowly kept thumbing through it just to drink in the sumptuous art, but it’s all in service to a story I’m more than keen to follow over the months ahead. Supreme is more than just a title, it’s a mission statement – get on board!
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection Vol. 1
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (w) Paul Pelletier, Brad Walker & Wes Craig w/Carlos Magno (a)
Liz says: Here’s the thing: I am going to be upfront and admit that I kinda/sorta haven’t actually read much of this book, BUT… I have been dying to read this book. The Dam Abnett and Andy Lanning run of GOTG has been out of print for years and ever since the movie was announced I’ve been pining to get my hands on it. This is the run that people always recommend to me as the ideal entry-point (along with Annihilation, War of Kings, Thanos: Imperitive… pretty much any tie-in penned by Abnett and Lanning) to the Guardians team. And just in time for the film, it’s finally back on the shelf.
The reason this stuff is so exciting to me is that I doubt there would be a Guardians of the Galaxy film coming out without it. Back in the late noughties, these guys completely reinvigorated the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe with their funny, over-the-top take on these heretofore largely overlooked space misfits. I have heard nothing but high praise, and with my GOTG craving at an all-time high I can’t wait to sit down with this nice hefty first volume (issues 1-12), almost as much as I can’t wait to see the film this week. On all fronts, I have a lot to look forward to!
The Goon #46
Eric Powell (w/ a)
Karl says: I haven’t read a Goon comic in a while, so this came as a nice surprise when I found it lurking in among this week’s comics. Eric Powell’s unique style of artwork really brings the grim, gothic, noir world of Frankie and Goon to grisly life.
This issue, the first part of the Occasion of revenge storyline is a belter. A lengthy, wordy exposition involving some sinister priests (aren’t they all) and a sociopathic femme fatale lead us eventually to our two heroes, in the bar, as usual. A crowd of psychopathic ne’er-do-wells are gathering, all of whom bear some grudge against Goon. Some beautiful silent pages take us to a showdown, vintage western-style, and the tale plays out. Many old familiar faces show up and there is a sweet conclusion, with a nice sting in the tail setting us up for the next episode, and I’m looking forward to it.
Ted McKeever’s The Superannuated Man #2
Ted McKeever (w /a )
Thomas says: It’s a comic by Ted McKeever and that should be all you need to know but since most people seem to prefer super heroes over that ever increasingly illusive intangible that is ‘good comics’ I will force myself [I laugh] to get on my high horse and activate my comic-shop-clerk-snobbery-mode; this is another great comic by one of the best creators in the business today. I couldn’t tell you exactly what is going on in this comic but it’s still just the second issue so there will be time to find out and unlike most of the garbage that we peddle on a daily basis I was hooked immediately from the very first issue.
It’s black and white, which will unfortunately turn many people away but trust me, McKeever’s inks are worth the price of purchase alone plus, there’s a talking Rhino. Check it out instead of the latest Super-Spider-Aqua-Bat-Quinn. You won’t be disappointed though you probably will ‘cause you’re not as great as me.
By: Brian K. Vaughan (w), Fiona Staples (a)
Rossetti says: I’ve never had a drug addiction, but I imagine it feels similar to my thirst for Saga. First and foremost, this issue continues Saga’s trend of impressive story telling; a plotline that actually progresses issue to issue without baffling you or leaving you wanting, and individual character plotlines that are of equal relevance and interest (I can’t be the only person who fast-forwarded past most of Sam and Frodo’s screen time in the Lord of the Rings). But the most impressive part of this week’s Saga is the artwork. The cover is probably one of my favourites to date, the internal artwork is absolutely delicious and don’t get me started on the colour palettes.
Saga is love, Saga is life, and if it’s not already in your reading list you should rectify that immediately.
Youth is wasted
Noah Van Sciver (w /a )
Camila says: Great little collection of shorts by Noah Van Sciver, hand-picked out of the pages of Blammo and assorted anthologies.
It’s a pretty diverse selection and a perfect example of how much interesting work is being produced out there that deserves a whole lot more people to read it. This is underground comics for today’s generation in its best form!
This week, we shoot for the stars and tackle the two bands of misfits that have called themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy.
We begin our intergalactic journey with Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrows Avengers Vol. 1, and our introduction to the diverse assembly of Vance Astro, Yondu, Martinex & Charlie 27 in their battle against the Badoon.
Rocketing to the 90′s, we look at GOTG by Jim Valentino, with the team finally getting their own title, facing the ramifications of the present days heroes of the MU.
In the wake of the waves of Annihilation, we look at GOTG by Abnett & Lanning, featuring an all new team of oddballs, on a road to Knowhere.
Our final book, is GOTG: Cosmic Adventures, bringing the team into the Now!
We are also pleased to present our review of the Marvel Studios film based on the comic, and the first in it’s exploration of the cosmic catalogue!
Life With Archie #36
Paul Kupperberg (w), Pat & Tim Kennedy (a)
Chris says: Although the ‘Big Two’ may grab the headlines more often, no one has made a more concerted effort to promote diversity and change across their line than Archie Comics. Under the stewardship of Jon Goldwater, and with top-flight creators like Dan Parent and Roberto Aguirre-Sacas at the helm, Archie have made Riverdale a place that better reflects the world today while maintaining the core values they’ve always ascribed to. They’ve even introduced some more mature elements for those who want them, with books like Afterlife With Archie, and the upcoming Sabrina and Dark Circle titles. This week, however, saw the beginning of the end for Life With Archie, as our red-headed hero faced his final moments at the barrel of a gun … Originally started as a magazine-format series, Life With Archie took the approach of a soap opera, looking at what might have happened if Archie had grown up to marry either Betty or Veronica. Over the last 3-4 years the book has explored these opposing scenarios and given long-time readers the opportunity to see Archie Andrews mature at last – and it all culminated with issue 36 this week. While this is only one possible future for Archie and the gang, it deftly merged the two storylines that have been running through the book since the beginning and provided a poignant end to the life of Archie. It’s heartening to know that even in death, Archie is more alive than ever!
Star Trek Starship Collection #25
Thomas says: Not a comic and, of course, I have picked an issue of this series before but I’m thoroughly enjoying the increasing level of detail in the thin magazines that come with the excellent little models. Anyone who has bought anything from Eaglemoss before knows just how little substance is to be found in most of the accompanying material but this series keeps improving with each issue and is actually starting to feel as though the format/budget is beginning to hamper just how much detail they can cram into each one. A fantastic look into the design process of an effects based TV show.
Through the Woods
Faber & Faber
Liz says: On the recommendation of one of my colleagues, I had a flip through Emily Carroll’s new book, and needless to say I’m impressed. Through the Woods is a collection of beautifully illustrated short horror stories that will haunt you long after you’ve finished them. They remind me of the supremely creepy fairytales my parents used to read to me as a kid (the ones that kept me up at night quivering in bed, convinced every shadow was about to materialize and murder me. Thanks, Mom and Dad). Carroll’s work became famous online and you can sample it here with the superb and disturbing Face All Red, which is collected in this edition; it should help you decide whether or not you’d like to own a lovely hardback filled with her eerie brand of folklore.
Silver Surfer #4
Dan Slott and Michael Allred (w), Michael and Laura Allred (a)
Will says: The Silver Surfer returns with his companion Dawn Greenwood for the start of a new story arc. This time the two meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and although a brief encounter, is plenty to keep us getting excited for the upcoming movie. This issue also greets us with a cameo from a long time favourite of mine, Doctor Strange, who never fails to entertain with his articulate mannerisms. The writing is consistently humorous with a hint of mystery, which overall delivers a peaceful and easy read. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. However it is Allred’s artwork that entices me to buy this series. I fell in love with his work ever since reading Vertigo’s iZombie and have consequently been looking forward to any of his future work. It is great to see his warm and colourful interpretations of our many loved characters from the expansive Marvel universe. A great issue for those already reading Silver Surfer, but also to those new to the series.
Kek-w (w) Shaky Kane (a)
Karl says: Once again into the Shakyverse! The stunning opening page of this wild new romp has a man falling from the sky, the real mystery being that he has been drowned! Enter our hero and his sidekick and we’re off on a crazy nightmarish adventure featuring an array of villains who appear to have been ordered from the advert pages of a silver age comic.
Captain Dino finds himself up against most of the Universal Monsters, Sea Monkeys and a mad criminal mastermind, how can he make it through all this? The script and dialogue are in a very pulp/ noir style and this works perfectly with Shaky’s dynamic artwork. For fans of The Bulletproof Coffin and That’s because you’re a robot this comic is a real treat! BAM!!
This week, we go further down the spiral with Grayson #1, fight off infection with Spread #1, bury the truth with Daredevil #5, swing back with Spider-man 2099 #1, fall for the silver screen with Reel Love #1, and much more.
Keeping with the movie mumblings, Robin give’s his verdict on the latest installment of the cinematic simian series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Chris reports on some early footage of the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy.
Justin Jordan (w), Kyle Strahm (a)
Chris says: There’s a lot to like about Spread. From a cursory glance you can see it’s a rich and visually interesting world brought to vivid life by the art of Kyle Strahm and Felipe Sobreiro – but as you start to probe beneath the surface there’s even more to discover. What at first seems like a blend of Lone Wolf & Cub crossed with John Carpenter’s The Thing and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, quickly exposes its potential for so much more. In comics terms, it takes the kind of global outbreaks seen in The Walking Dead and Crossed, then gives them a fresh spin with plenty of room to shock, surprise and terrify you. If you’ve read any of the Luthor Strode books, then you already know how great Justin Jordan is, but if this is your first experience with his work then I’d recommend giving it a chance. Jordan plays with the ideas of name and identity just as easily as he conjures up some of the gross ideas brought to life by co-conspirator Kyle Strahm. In short, it’s another great Image #1 that deserves your support and attention. Comics can be a tough business, so when something good comes along you need to grasp it with both hands. You can hear more about the book and what’s coming up in my interview with Justin Jordan here.
Tim Seeley & Tom King (w), Mikel Janin (a)
Liz says: To quote the Midnighter: Damn. That was pretty cool. I’ve been looking forward to Grayson. A lot. I love the character to bits, but it’s been a while since I actually looked forward to his titular book. While the new 52 Nightwing book wasn’t wholly objectionable, it suffered from the same limitations that most of DC’s current output does. Safeness. Sameness. If I had to pick a word: Dull. That’s why Grayson feels like such a breath of fresh air. Taking one of DC’s most beloved and established characters and turning his status quo upside down in a meaningful way was a bold, unexpected move and frankly the last thing I’ve come to expect from DC these days. So, y’know, touché. To lay out the premise, Dick Grayson is presumed dead by everyone but Batman, who gave him the dangerous mission to go undercover as a double-agent for shadowy international espionage agency Spyral. Writers Tim Seeley, Tom King and artist Mikel Janin prove right away they’re up to the task of taking Dick into unexplored territory while keeping his personality intact. Dick’s dialogue retains it’s quippy light-heartedness as he goes through with his mission, and along the way we become acquainted with his super-cool new spy toys, teammates and setting. And there’s a great cameo from Midnighter! It’s all very fun, but there is a lot of information to take in along the way. And since Spyral aren’t the only ones Dick is working for, there may be a major conflict of interest coming up. How’s that for a first issue?
Metabarons Genesis: Castaka
Alexandro Jodorowsky (w), Das Pastoras (a)
Adam says: If there is a single publisher whose output is consistently worth examining with each and every release, it might just be Humanoids. Stunning, artful classics (and instant classics) of the European/Continental persuasion, their books feature a sensibility unlike anything else in contemporary comics publishing. Another lovingly produced, limited and numbered edition, Castaka sees Jodorowsky team with Das Pastoras, whose style is perfectly suited to presenting a thoroughly brutal and emotive prelude to The Metabarons. For those who enjoyed his recent one-shot on Thor: God of Thunder, this might be a perfect sampling of his long-form storytelling.
Ricky Miller (w), Julia Scheele (a)
Avery Hill Publishing
Camila says: Metroland #1 was one of the four new titles launched by Avery Hill last Friday. It’s the first issue in an ongoing series, and it did exactly what a first issue must do – introduced characters, set the tone, and left me dying to find out who those people really are and how the story is going to unfold.
It is filled with music references and I’m pretty sure there’s some time-travelling going on, possibly through the bathroom mirror of a London club I used to know really really well, just like a sci-fi ode to pop culture (or maybe the other way around?).
Waid (w), Samnee (a)
Robin says: Power Man & Iron Fist. Spider-man & Human Torch. Archie & Jughead. Some of comics greatest bromances. But, if you ask me, they pale in comparison to the greatest bromance of them all: Nelson & Murdock.
With issue five, the formula one car that is Mark Waid & Chris Samnee’s* Daredevil, pulls in for a pit stop, and we take a moment to catch up on the “Death of Foggy Nelson”.
Before relocating to San Francisco, Matt & Foggy take a stroll through Central Park, discussing the recent outing of the hero’s civilian identity, and the repercussions it will have on those around him: those he loves the most. Forget Karen, Elektra & Milla: Matt’s heart belongs to his best friend.
The Foggy cancer storyline has been incredibly well handled (see the back up in Issue 26 of the previous run), with the real world weight of the illness in a world where “I’d have to take off my shoes to count the number of times Spider-man has been dead”, never being played cheaply, given an easy out with a miracle cure, or blasted away by a ray gun. Yet, given the potential for an overly sombre tale, the team brings to this one-and-done issue the same, swashbuckling, humour & suspense that has made the Waid/Samnee run a hit to date.
Comics being comics, we know that eventually Foggy will recover, and the team even wryly acknowledge this, but this issue delivers real heart that even Daredevil wouldn’t know is lying. Matt gives Foggy a taste of the life that he has chosen, but allows him a hero in a way that Daredevil could never be: making him to be a true man without fear. Matt may be the face & Foggy may be the brains, but there’s a reason that it will forever be Nelson & Murdock.
This week, we shoot for the stars with Rocket Racoon #1, ride solo with The Legendary Star-Lord #1, make our move with Robocop #1, upscale with Enormous #1, kick out the jams with Exit Generation, & much more!