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Category Archives: Comic Reviews

Review, kindly written for us by Gary Hollingsbee

Hulk’s had a difficult time of late. He’s been betrayed by his friends and shipped off across the universe where he was forced to play Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott’s epic Gladiator. Then he came back to Earth with a gang of friends to take part in Gangs of New York before, this Summer, being possessed in The Exorcist and went about hitting people with a hammer. He even ended up in a side project as Van Helsing in Coppola’s Dracula. And on top of that he’s been franchised – by Walt Disney, no doubt – into a spectrum of different colours that rival the range of Care Bears. No wonder he’s more than angry… he’s well-and-truly fed up and has dumped Bruce Banner (literally, out of his head at one of the many ends of Fear Itself #7) before going off and growing a beard. A beard? you ask. Yes a rather stylish 60s beat-like shaggy beard. He’s also gone for a Mad Max III-outfit sporting some nifty-looking necklaces. After all, he’s Hulk and he can do what the hell he likes.

Hulk’s a difficult character to sell. He’s a giant green monster who, well… smashes things. There’s only so much a writer can do to before the trope of monster-with-a-heart-who-is-misunderstood-and-smashes-things reasserts itself and the title becomes tired again. Jeph Loeb’s had some reasonable success with his multicolured War of the Hulks recently but arguably that success was down to the novelty factor and Loeb’s skills as a writer rather than anything inherent in Hulk as a character. Personally, the only Hulk I can remember enjoying was the strange black and white Rampaging Hulk title from the 1970s when I was a kid and first reading comics. Read More »

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Due to ship in the next couple of weeks (we think first Wednesday in October), The Rinse, due to some seriously plugging on my behalf, is now the fourth most Subscribed to title on my standing order list. Plus lets not forget that anyone picking up the first three issues will be entered into the draw to win the original piece of art by Marc Laming, currently on display in the shop.

Some of the comments that customers have made have included ‘better than criminal’, ‘this is why I hate individual comics, having to wait for the next issue when the comic is this good’ and quite a few ‘put me down for the rest of the run’.

A quick review by Marc Hoffman, one of the shop regulars. Read More »

As an original reader of the Wildstorm comics (from back when they formed part of Image Comics), Grifter was one of my favorite characters from the WildCATS team. On seeing that the character would be forming part of DC’s new 52 I hoped that a new lease of life would be granted to a comic that in the past had received solo outings, especially in light of the exceptionally poor pieces work produced by Wildstorm in its final years.

Unfortunately upon reading the first issue my hopes were dashed. The basis of the story would prove promising on paper; an ex-special ops turned con man is abducted and experimented on by unknown beings. However the first issue attempted to to cram all of this into the limited number of pages of the comic. Astonishingly one page half way through was devoted to recapping the events in the opening pages.
 
The dialogue is poor and far too grammatically correct to read as though someone is talking. The experiment performed by the beings leave Grifter with the ability to hear their thoughts and even the thoughts of these non humans leaves a lot to be desired.
 
I would like to say that the artwork makes up for the lousy writing but it is of an amateur standard and really adds nothing to an overall disappointing production by DC. If the new 52 was supposed to be about quality then DC has missed the mark here.
In my opinion if the first few issues of the comic told the story of one of the Grifter’s cons which turns bad when the victim turns out to be one of the previously mentioned beings would have been a much better introduction to the DC universe.
 
Personally I expect I ‘ll continue to pick up each issue out of devotion, but I expect it to go the way it has in the past and will be cancelled after 12 issues.
 
Paul Yates

Many a shop regular must have heard me on my soap box going on about artists that think they can write. Tony Daniel has been one of the chief contributors to these rants. I have frequently been less than complimentary about his run on Batman, not because it was bad, but because it wasn’t up to scratch for such a flagship title. Mind you Morrison had sucked on it before Daniels, but that’s another of my bugbears, the ability of ‘superstar’ writers to frequently churn out incomprehensible rubbish, whilst relying on previous great work to keep getting top gigs.
I’d been telling everyone to jump on board Batman now that Snyder had been moved on to it and possibly to steer clear of Detective. Well, for now at least, folks, you can pick up Detective and be guaranteed that you’ll want to see what comes next. Read More »

It feels weird reviewing a comic I’m not yet stocking, but Ian Sharman at OrangUtan Comics kindly sent me over a preview comic of their new comic, Hypergirl #1, written by Ian himself, with art by David Wynne. (Quick plug – both of these guys will be attending Demoncon2 on Nov 6th) Read More »

The debut issue of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s new creator-owned title is… well… exactly what you’d expect it to be. And yet I’m not sure what I make of it. Both creators are a solid bet and if, like me, you enjoyed their run on Daredevil or Spider-Woman, you sort of know what you’re going to get, but if you’re hoping to be startled by something entirely fresh and new, you may be a little under-whelmed. Read More »

Considering my love for the character it only seemed fair that I did the review of the re-launch of Green Arrow, albeit two weeks late. Sorry it’s short but I was trying to get the Yugi results, shipping lists and ebay stuff done at the same time. Regardless of the interiors though, how wow is the Mario Cascioli cover.

 

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avengers academy 1

Title:
Avengers Academy
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written By: Christos Gage
Art By: Mike McKone

Once upon a time there was a comic called Avengers: The Initiative which was brilliantly written and gorgeously drawn…. until Christos Gage came aboard as the new writer, whereupon it sank like a stone. Now, with the heroic age starting in the Marvel universe,  he is writing the next step of  Avengers: The Initiative with Avengers Academy (AA), a tale about a place where the next generation of Avengers wannabes can be trained, honed and even meet the Avengers maybe. Read More »

avengers prime 

Avengers Prime #1 (Siege : Aftermath)
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Art – Alan Davis
Inker – Mark Farmer

Avengers Prime sets itself an unenviable task – take the shattered relationships of its three core members and fix them to a level that allows the Heroic Age to move forward with a strong foundation.  Read More »

 

The Avengers #1
 
It has been nearly six years since Janet Van Dyne indulged in one too many Margaritas beside the Mansion swimming pool, and unwittingly brought about the disassembly of the Avengers. And now in The Avengers #1, after a Civil War, a Secret Invasion and a Siege, we have finally come full circle.
 
I was not expecting to enjoy this book, but was pleasantly surprised. Read More »