There's also two big sales on at present that have caught my eye; firstly Kieron Gillen which has all the Uber comics including all of the current season of Invasion (almost seems a mistake considering invasion isn't even finished yet). Great chance to get into the bloody conflict of WWII where genetic enhancement has really twisted things! Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga on Sale - Comics by comiXology: Web UK
The second is a Red Sonja sale, which whilst not as big and doesn't include everything, does include a large bulk of the Dynamite releases. Notably the Frank Thorne storyboard and complete stories releases in black and white (which normally retail at £50 each digitally) are heavily discounted.
Re-reading Criminal vol 1 book,story Coward in the Criminal: deluxe edtion vol 1 book. By Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillps who are the best crime writing,artist team in comics for many many years. As someone who loves noir fiction, specially criminal,heist noir by Stark,Thompson and co i love their so much.
Along with Garth Ennis fav alltime comics writer, Jordi Bernet(Torpedo,Jonah Hex) fav alltime artist i have told my local comic shop to get me anything new they do for me. Instant pre-order comics gods to me
Recently finished Superman: Red Son which was an interesting flip of the original story. Well written but the art was a bit "blocky" for my taste.
Also, Old Man Logan which was another well written story with some tough elements. I would have liked a little more background but it wasn't completely necessary (I did wonder though if (spoiler - highlight text to read): Mysterio really would have been able to fool Wolverine into killing the X-Men (especially his sense of smell). The ending was a cracker - crazy, but a cracker.
And the two Ultimates collections; an interesting "reimagining" of The Avengers story - the films would have benefited from playing closer attention.
Just started on the six volumes of Preacher and its every bit as good (in a violent, sick, funny kind of way) as I remember it being when I first bought the comic.
Will probably move on after that to something a little lighter such as good old fashioned Kirby and enjoy the two Monsters omnibuses.
At last! I've caught up on my comic reading, and thought I'd jot down a quick few titles that I have been enjoying - or that have stood out for me.
Old Man Logan - One of the many 'X' titles that do the rounds, but this one has stood out, possibly due to the stunning art of Mike Deodato. As an artist he has been around for a while, and always has produced the goods, but his art is another notch up on this title, really fitting the storyline and character. As a whole the story could easily be just another Wolverine story, but the art elevates it.
Jean Grey - Another 'X' title, but this one has surprised me by being a lot deeper than I would have given it credit for. The young Grey has been searching for a means to protect herself from the Phoenix, culminating in a spectacular showdown between mutant and celestial being. The outcome is not what was expected and leads into:
Phoenix Reborn - Only one issue out so far, but it is a five issue weekly limited series. Again, not what I was expecting but for what it is, seems to be okay. Only thing, of course is that they are resurrecting the original Jean Grey. Again. Yawn.
Birthright - An ongoing fantasy epic from Image comics, carries quite a lot of the traditional fantasy fare, but has developed it into it's own thing. Is a lot of fun, well drawn and suitably epic. It could well be comics first homegrown epic fantasy.
Uber: Invasion - Keiron Gillen continues his alternate history of World War II looking at a reality where superbeings are used as a metaphor, and replacement of the Atomic Bomb. Of course, it makes it more interesting that the Germans peaked first. This has always been one of my favourite comics and continues to be, with excellent art, well written and researched story, with twists and turns. It does have the tendency to be a bit gory in places.
Finally, The Doomsday Clock. After spending a year or two deciding how to next pick over the bones of the Watchmen, DC launches this 12 issue limited series featuring the classic characters from one of comicdom's most revered series. More, after months of teases and hints, it begins and incursion into the DC Universe proper. Only two issues so far, and it is really, really remarkably good. Set after the events of Watchmen, it sees their world crumbling into Nuclear War, the brave new age promised by Ozymandias being undermined by the revelations of Rorschach's journal. It seems that the only thing that might just save the world is Dr, Manhattan, but he is long gone and it falls to the surviving heroes to try and find him. (Guess which reality he is in?) Interestingly Rorshach is a major player, despite being killed in the original series, when addressed the twist is intriguing...
Well, Preacher (collection) started off great and continued being great right up to end - just as I remember it.
Nameless, by Grant Morrison with some lovely art by Chris Burnham (in the style of Frank Quitely) - well, if you call people being eviscerated "lovely" - was bizarre and good.
The Annihilation Conquest collection was average - but that assessment is probably down to the fact that most of the characters I barely knew; I bought it cheap and it had good reviews.
I also read through Stormwatch (Vols. 1 and 2) and The Authority (1 and 2) which showed what could happen when a group of people (or one man) has too much power. They had their moments but ultimately were nothing special - latter books were stronger.
The Wonder Woman George Perez omnibus (Vol.1) was great fun and explored a good bit of the Greek mythos. Very 80s in style and artwork but that's not a criticism.
The Mighty Thor omnibuses 2 (126-152) and 3 (152-193) finished off Jack Kirby's run (up to 179) and were fabulous - especially from the second half of the second book. Big, fantastical machines and concepts - Kirby being "Kirby" as most people know him, rather than the early stuff. Quite a wild ride in places.
But not as wild as the totally loopy Fourth World books. These four hardback volumes have been sitting on my shelf for a few years actually and for some reason I only just pulled them down and read them. I thought I knew what to expect having read Kamandi and The Demon which were written (with his creative control) around the same time, but the Fourth World stuff is totally out there. Unfortunately, as is known, he was never allowed to finish them properly (a short story, followed by the Hunger Dogs graphic novel some years later never really worked). They are considered seminal examples of his work - and certainly the artwork is pure, unadulterated fun - but the plots and the language are perhaps a little incoherent at times. Kamandi is certainly a better work in my humble opinion.
Lastly, and certainly by no means least, there is Usagi Yojimbo. Now I first heard of the ronin rabbit many years ago - back in the late 80s and dismissed it. After all, a rabbit with a sword? Too comical for me. Over the years since I've heard some good things but didn't really pay much attention. I should have...some months back I decided to try out the first volume of the 'Saga' which collects the first 22 issues of the Dark Horse published stories (the previous 38(?) were by Fantagraphics). I was blown away. There is nothing comical about this rabbit - Bugs Bunny he aint! All characters are anthropomorphised animals set in 17th century Japan and everything is treated seriously. Stan Sakai also makes efforts to give historically accurate depictions of the period (the Saga volumes refer to this in the afterwords). Of course, there is some humour, but very little. Wonderful black and white, line drawing, art and strong stories. Fantastic stuff and I have since acquired other volumes - including the "Legends" collection which contains Space Usagi staring a remote descendant of Usagi and is equally as good.
As for comics, I'm now down to just Dr Strange what with the FF still dead and Silver Surfer having ended - thankfully; I hated the art and story direction of his recent encounter. It seems that Marvel have now re-numbered all their comics on the basis that the comics have been running since their very issue. So, instead of Dr Strange starting with his own title in #169 of Strange Tales and running until #183, then staring in Marvel Premiere for 12 issues, then Master of the Mystic Arts for 81, going back to a shared title in Strange Tales 2 for 19, Sorcerer Supreme for 90 and finally the current series for around 30 issues, we're now on issue #390 something. Why can't they just leave it alone??
And for the first time in about twenty years, I took a punt and bought some new issues as an investment; Spider-Man #798 and the following couple of issues which feature a new villain (the Red Goblin). We'll see... Not received those yet from my Comic Book Guy.
Right now, Xmen Blue, Astonishing X-Men, Fantastic 2 (yeah I know Marvel 2 in one) Brothers Dracul and I guess Dark Ark.
In the past I was a kid during the JMS run on ASM back in the 2000s and subbed to that and the early days of Ultimate Spider-Man. This is my third love affair with comics, which I hear isn't all that rare.
Sin City brought me back the second time after the movie hit and was awestruck at how beautiful a comic book could be in just black and white with the right contrast.
Third time was the Green Lantern Movie and New 52 believe it or not, I just thought his powers were cool, but now it's more of the outerspace world building I like, although Green Lanterns from the last time I read it was much better then Hal and the Corps or Hal and Pals as some of us call it.
Things I've read all of from New 52, Justice League, Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians, Plain old GL, Blackest Night, (haven't read Brightest Day)
Also bought most of the Batman Graphic Novel Staples.
Here's a controversial opinion, I didn't like All Star Superman at all.
And now I'm the proud owner of Izuna in hardback! Lovely artwork!
Also Uber Invasion - really don't read this if you've not read it yet
the newest issue at last presents us the first enhanced human who actually starts to step outside of military control. Not defecting to another side but actually starting something new. Granted she was a slightly unhinged character to start with; but I think she was making strides toward viewing enhanced people as a race of their own, as a united people rather than just as a tool of war which is how most have been thus far. Indeed it makes one wonder if her legacy is going to persist. Something does have to change as I think they are fast running out of capital cities that are not reduced to rubble via halo attacks!
Picked up a few cheap graphic novels/collections recently:
The Death of Captain Marvel - written and drawn by Jim Starlin it's very much an 80s style story covering how Captain Marvel deals with his death by
The art is good and the story must have been quite powerful when it first came out but today comes across a little too preachy and sentimental.
Warlock (Complete Collection) - again written and pencilled by Starlin it collects the 1970s issues that starred Adam Warlock. A real old style "adventure" featuring one of Marvels more interesting (and tortured) characters.
Mystery in Space (written Jim Starlin and with a number of artists) collects an eight issue series that deals with the return of Captain Comet (who died before the series). Apparently it's one of the spin-offs from DCs "52" series. I knew nothing about that, or the character, but since the two issues only cost €12 I took a chance. It was a good read (and there was a quite a lot of reading to do) but also plenty of action.
Marvel 1602: New World/Fantastick Four - this was nowhere near as good as the original short series written by Neil Gaiman. The first, featuring a version of the Hulk was a good idea but weakly executed, the second was better but not that great.
Next up were a few written by Grant Morrison. Kid Eternity was an early Vertigo release (over three issues) that told the story of a young man who can summon up demons. It covers his descent into hell and his discovery of his past. Very weird!.
The first volume of JLA (nine issues) from the 90s when Morrison was brought in to kick the series into a new direction. This is very much early Morrison slightly constrained from going too crazy by DC. He confined the stories to Earth and introduced a new threat in a story that was very well told. If I can get his other issues (collected in vols. 2 and 3 I think) at a reasonable price, I will do so.
Finally I also read JLA: Earth 2 beautifully drawn by Frank Quitely it tells the story of an "anti-JLA" from a parallel universe. A fantastic story though I would have liked it to be a bit longer and cover a bit more about the parallel universe JLA.
I was disappointed with The Killing Joke. I had high hopes for this considering all the praise that's heaped upon it but in the end thought there was nothing particularly special about it. Maybe it had to be read at the time for the story to have it's full impact, but for me, merely "good" rather than exceptional.
I also managed to get a wonderful hardback copy of Ditko's The Creeper, and a collection of the stories he drew for Eerie Comics, which I've yet to read. Finally the first two Marvel, Masterworks of The Hulk - simply because of the Kirby art.
The lovely Fantagraphics collection of the first 38 issues (plus some other stories) of the wonderful Usagi Yojimbo arrived recently and I devoured that. And just yesterday I finished the third compendium of Invincible (issues 97-144) that completes the series by Robert "Walking Dead" Kirkman. This has been a very good series dealing with how a teenager/young man deals with discovering he is, well, invincible. Much of the story focuses on how it affects his personal live but there is also plenty of (visceral) action. It's also nice that Robert Kirkman ended the series in one story arc, rather than just keep it going.
Have just started on Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and it's completely mad. Brilliant, but mad.
Following up from my last post, I finished Transmetropolitan.
It's set in an unspecified future where technology has advanced to the point where just about anything is possible. Medical science has also developed dramatically. However, these advances have been used to allow people to indulge in any vice they wish - and believe me; there were some I would never have dreamed of.
The main character is a Hunter S Thompson-esque journalist, Spider Jerusalem (who also indulges in drugs, drink and the like) and vents his frustrations about the World in a column. The language and depictions of every-day life are quite explicit - this is a comic that definitely deserves it's mature rating.
Ultimately it's about Spider's attempts to expose corruption in this future world but there are parallels with the present world... It's not for the faint-hearted, but if you can see past the explicit language and events, it's well written and has a serious message to tell.
I've finished The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tom Coker. It was not quite as good as the first one - it felt a little rushed - but was still very good. Recommended. Longer review to follow!