Tag Archives: comics

Original Sin #1 Review

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Uatu the watcher, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, has been murdered.  First of all, how is that even possible?  Second, who was bold enough to kill the Watcher, and what gun was large and powerful enough to blast a hole in his ginormous head?  The killer(s) even stole his eyes.

I would say the Watcher was caught off guard, but that would be silly of me.  Uatu was the Watcher, he saw EVERYTHING in the universe.

Nick Fury is the leader of a stellar cast of heroes and vigilants, including some of my favorites such as Black Widow, Thor, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Punisher, Moon Knight, and Gamora, as they work endlessly to solve the greatest murder mystery in the history of comics.  Not just comic books by Marvel, but ALL COMICS.

Jason Aaron is the writer of this chilling eight-part mini-series, published by Marvel Comics.  Sharp dialogue with great character interactions.  Aaron created a diverse team of heroes and vigilantes, and I can’t wait to see them work as a team.  With snarks such as Punisher and Wolverine, I’m sure I’ll be laughing at some point.  Well I already did, the scenes with Punisher and Dr. Strange.  But for now, I need to focus on Aaron’s frightening script, because this is one murder mystery that is definitely getting my full attention.

The superb artwork was provided by Mike Deodato (artist) and Frank Martin (colors).  Their frightening panels match Aaron’s script perfectly.  I especially like that magnificent spread of the Watcher sprawled out on the floor with blood gushing from his eyes, and the gunshot wound to his head (I work in an ER so I’ve seen it all, nothing is gross to me).

I’m definitely going to read the entire the Original Sin mini-series.  However, I’m not going to read all of the tie-ins, just the titles I currently read.

VERDICT (drum roll please)
Original Sin is a great murder mystery that I strongly recommend.  Along with the art, the writing is sharp and gives that frightening feel that’s needed to appreciate this suspensful comic to the fullest.

I also recommend that you read Original Sin #0, it’s an introduction to Uatu the Watcher. 

Original Sin #1 gets 5/5 stars.

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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Helsing #1 Review

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Liesel Van Helsing escaped the Shadowlands, after being trapped for more than a century, and is adapting to life in the present.  Not only is Liesel an inventor and a skilled hunter, she is also the daughter of the famous vampire slayer, Abraham Van Helsing.  And Liesel Van Helsing has already proven to be a badass in this debut issue.  Helsing is a 4-part horror comic mini-series, published by Zenescope.

Liesel invents and uses her own weapons to extinguish vampires.  Her latest weapon is a gun that shoots stakes, laced with a chemical that explodes upon contact with the vampire.  The explosion emits a sunlight effect, causing an instant kill.

When her father’s diary mysteriously appears, Liesel Van Helsing travels to Italy to search for answers, starting with who sent it and why.

Pat Shand is the writer of this horror comic mini-series.  Well-written script, especially Liesel’s stern voice.  I don’t like modern-day vampire stories, I prefer the classics, vampires that only come out to play at night, and are killed by a wooden stake driven through the heart.  Shand appears to have kept the classic vampire traits and that is what hooked me to this comic.

The awesome visuals are provided by Tony Brescini (art), Andress Esparza (art), Fran Gamboa (colors), and J.C. Ruiz (colors).  I especially like the cold and eerie feeling I got while looking at Walt Melville.  It’s like a warning for me to read the rest of the series in the daylight.  But I’m not.  I’m a horror, especially classic vampire fan, so I’m not scared to read the book at night.

VERDICT (drum roll please)
If you’re a fan of classic vampire stories, or horror in general, then I strongly recommend this 4-part mini-series.  Helsing is a classic vampire story with a modern-day twist.  And I don’t mean that vampire walking around in broad daylight and taking forever to turn into a vampire twist (ugh).  I know that sentence was long-winded sentence, I just always wanted to write one.   The debut issue of Helsing gets 5/5 stars.

Elektra #1 Review

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To escape the memories of certain individuals in New York City, Elektra Natchios, or just simply Elektra, the beautiful but world’s most deadly ninja assassin, pays the matchmaker a visit and requests a contract.  The matchmaker gives her a job that no one else can come close to cashing in on, the capture of Cape Crow, an assassin that may prove to be Elektra’s biggest rival.  Not only does Elektra has to get to Cape Crow before other assassins, she also has to turn him in alive.

If you’re already familiar with this female assassin, then you know that she is no joke, and I’m more than sure that this All-New Marvel NOW! title won’t be one either.  I’ve read Elektra:  Assassin and a few issues of Marvel NOW! Thunderbolts, so I have high expectations for this new comic series.

W. Haden Blackman did a great job at setting up the story, and introducing Elektra to readers who may be unfamiliar with her.  Well-written script, especially Elektra’s sharp tone.

Unfortunately, I am not fond of the art.  I’m not saying that Michael Del Mundo (art, colors) and Marco D’Alfonso (colors) didn’t do a good job, because they did.  It’s just not for me.  It looks like a painting, and that’s not the style I was looking for in this type of comic.

Although I don’t like the art in this story, I still plan to finish the first arc.  I need to know what’s going to happen on Monster Island, and just who the heck Bloody Lips is.

Verdict (drum roll please)  
Elektra, the new comic series by Marvel, has a strong opening.  Just because I don’t like the style of art for this title doesn’t mean I’m not going to recommend it.  I recommend this title for the mature readers.  I give this issue 4/5 stars.

Deadpool vs Carnage #2 Review

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I bought this Marvel comic book for three reasons.  Deadpool, Carnage and

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the parental advisory warning on the cover.  I knew right away this title would be a good one.

Actually, I bought Deadpool vs Carnage because I read Deadpool’s ongoing monthly comic series, and I’ve read a few Carnage titles in the past.  Two murderers, both with a history of mental illness.  Jokes from Deadpool.  Promising threats from Carnage.  Violence, bloodbath, massive chaos.  You can’t ask for anything better.

Serial Killer, Cletus Kasady aka Carnage, escaped from prison, and law enforcers are unable to track down the deranged, mass murderer.  It takes a like-minded individual such as Deadpool to snuff him out.

In the first issue, Deadpool used hidden clues from the media to track down Carnage.  Clues that only someone who is light upstairs would be able to comprehend.  

In the current issue, Deadpool gets assistance from a guy who appears to be almost just as loony as Deadpool and Carnage.  I knew he was crazy when he opened the door wearing Deadpool’s costume.  I won’t spoil it.  You’ll have to read the comic for yourself to know what I’m talking about.  I promise you it’s very funny.

Deadpool vs Carnage is a violent, but fun mini-series written by Cullen Bunn.  Dialogue is both hilarious and frightening.  Character interactions are phenomenal, especially the fight scenes between Deadpool and Carnage.

Phenomenal art thanks to Salva Espin (artist) and Veronica Gandini (colorist).  Although I knew what to expect from Deadpool and Carnage, I couldn’t help but to cringe at some of the panels.  Espin killed it on the fight scenes, and Gandini bought the entire book to life with her colors.

Deadpool vs Carnage is a four-issue mini-series, so there is no doubt I will be reading the final two issues.

VERDICT (drumroll please)
I strongly recommend this funny, but extremely violent mini-series for Deadpool and/or Carnage fans, and mature readers.  If you’re not familiar with either character, this title will surely give you a taste of what you’ve been missing.

I’m giving this issue 5/5 stars.

 

Earth Dream (Vol. 1): Earth Day Review

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If you’re looking for an Earth Day activity (or even if you’re not), then a great way to celebrate is by reading Earth Dream (Vol. 1):  Earth DayEarth Dream is a sci-fi fantasy anthology that includes 11 short stories by indie writers and artists.

Earth Dream, produced by indie comic publisher, 7 Robots, focuses on social awareness.  This year’s spotlight is on the environment.  The anthology is available online every year on Earth Day, and it’s FREE.

With indie creators like Suzie and Miguel (Super Corporate Heroes), Jerome Walford (Nowhere Man) and Johny Tay (Seven Years in Dog-Land), I knew Earth Dream would be nothing less than superior.

All of the stories are wonderfully crafted, and each writer has his or her own unique writing style.  A couple of the stories appeared to be vague to me, I had no idea as to the meaning.  But that’s okay.  The art made up for it.

The artwork is stunning.  I could have used the entire anthology as a picture book.  As with the writers, each artist has his or her own unique style.  Some of the pages were so breathtaking, I had to look at them more than once.

I found the following stories to be of exceptional quality, whether script, art or both:

  • The Hole – Ireneusz Mazurek and Marek Rudowski.  Dark and creepy art.
  • Paradise Found – JTW.  First thing that comes to mind is Crayola crayons.  Bold, beautiful colors.
  • The Nature of Time – Annibal Arroyo.  Great script and art.
  • The Guardians – Recondita Rick.  Great script, Beautiful art.
  • Shangri-La – Johny Tay and Kelvin Lim.  Amazing art.  Looks like a painting.

By getting your free online copy of Earth Dream from indie comic publisher, 7 Robots, you are not only helping to celebrate Earth Day 2014, but you are also supporting the indie comic industry.  The talented creators of this great collection of short stories are from the U.S., Spain, Singapore, Canada and Poland.

For more information and to download your free copy, visit www.7robots.com/earthdream

I truly enjoyed reading Earth Dream, and I’m looking forward to reading more from these talented creators.  The indie comic market is growing, and my support for the industry is growing as well.

 

Nowhere Man (Vol.1): You Don’t Know Jack Review

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Although police drama does not fit my current personal taste, I can honestly say that Nowhere Man (Vol. 1):  You Don’t Know Jack, has definitely captured my interest.

Nowhere Man, an indie comic published by Forward Comix, is a psychological thriller that is so deep, you will need a shovel to dig your way out.

The story follows NYPD Detective Jack Maguire, and his alter ego, Zade.  Jack is the host for Zade, a mysterious agent that targets advanced weapons traffickers.  The worst part is that Jack has no control over this unknown assassin, and he does not remember any of his missions.  It is unknown how Zade claimed Jack as a host.

The mystery deepens as the NYPD gets caught in the middle of a conspiracy.  A secret military operation unfolds, and all kinds of heck break loose. 

Several characters are introduced in the story, but the main key players are:

Jack Maguire.  NYPD Detective.  African-American.  A very fine piece of eye candy.  Determined to become the police chief.  Stubborn, over-ambitious.  Reckless.  Jack has a good heart, and is determined to honor the legacy of his father.

Jack also has super-human abilities.  Notice how the bullets pass through him in the picture below.  He also has an electric charge that he can use as a truth serum.  But he doesn’t have superhuman strength.

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Rose Yancey.  Jack’s partner.  In a clandestine relationship with him.  Niece of Captain Whittaker.  I don’t trust her one bit.

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Captain Whittaker.  Temperamental, belittles Jack every chance he gets, hard to get on his good side (I don’t think he has one).  Uncle of Rose Yancey.  I don’t trust him one bit either.

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Zade.  An unknown, mysterious agent.  Assassin.  Controls electromagnetic energy, ability to hack electronic and biological networks, phases through objects, and many other hi-tech abilities.

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Jerome Walford is the writer and illustrator.  Sharp dialogue and phenomenal character interactions. 

I can say only say one word about the art.  Amazing.  Walford has proven to be a very talented writer, as well as artist.

Verdict (drum roll please)

I strongly support the indie comic market, and I will do all I can to read and give my HONEST reviews on this blog.

So with that being said, I strongly recommend Nowhere Man as a comic to read for the mature audience.

I know that I mostly give high ratings.  Well that’s because I read good comic books, both mainstream and indie comics.  It’s not often that I read a book and find that I didn’t like it.  But it also proves that indie comics are just as good, if not better than, mainstream comics.

Nowhere Man  gets  5/5 stars.

Title Discrimination in Comics

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When it comes to censorship in comic books, I often question the criteria that comic retailers use when deciding what sits on the shelf, as opposed to what is kept behind the counter.  There is a countless number of comics for mature readers on the store shelves, so what exactly is the deciding factor for age-restricted material?

I asked a comic shop owner why are there certain books kept behind the counter, when a certain other book is allowed to sit on the shelf with the rest of the uncensored comic books.  The response to the latter was pretty vague.

That was not the first time that I have asked comic shop owners or employees why

Sex, published by Image Comics
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and

Sex Criminals, also published by Image Comics
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are marked as age-restricted material and kept behind the counter, but

Crossed, published by Avatar Press
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freely sits on the shelf.

It didn’t take but a minute for me to realize why Sex and Sex Criminals are being discriminated against.  It’s because of that three-letter word in their titles.

SEX.

That’s right, comic book titles are being censored.  I haven’t been told this by anyone, but it’s pretty obvious.  I don’t know about all comic shops, so I can only rant about the few I have visited since I started reading Sex Criminals.  These books are being treated as if they are pornography, which they are not.  Although I only read the first two issues of Sex, I am not embarrassed to say that Sex Criminals is on my pulls.

If Crossed can sit on the shelf, then why can’t the two comic books with sex in the title?  That is so unfair.

I don’t know what’s currently going on in Sex, but I know that Sex Criminals is nothing to be all hush-hush about.  It is not porn or a dirty joke book.  It’s a comedy about two people who can stop time while having an orgasm.  They decided to rob a bank to save a library.  They are eventually captured by the sex police.   And there aren’t that many panels showing nude body parts.

On the other hand, Crossed is a bizarre comic about a virus that caused a zombie-like apocalypse.  This is a story of sadism, torture, rape and incest.  When humans are infected, they immediately break-out in a red rash, in the shape of a cross, on their faces.  They develop a crazed grin, and the violence and bloodshed begins.

They also turn into horny lunatics, and will have sex (rape most of the time) with anyone and anything, including children and animals.

Although the graphics speak for itself, the book has no parental advisory warning on the covers.  This is a book that sits on the shelf with other uncensored comic books.  Severed limbs are usually on the cover.

Check out the cover for Crossed Annual 2014.
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A young girl holding a severed hand.

This book sits on a shelf, at a child’s EYE LEVEL.

Now that my ranting blog post is over, I feel so much better.  In fact, I’ve decided to follow my dream and write a comic book.

The comic is about a young female that seeks vengeance on those that have wronged her.  There will be ongoing torture, bloodbath and plenty of sex.  I don’t know if the covers will have a parental advisory warning just yet, but they will definitely be sexually explicit.

To make sure that my comic book make it on the shelf with other uncensored comics, the word sex  won’t be in the title.  It will be named after the leading female character, which will be something like Cupcake, Sunshine or Bubbles.

When I wrote my review of Crossed last year, I received a couple of nasty comments that I moderated and unapproved.  I’m sure I’ll probably get some for this blog post as well.