Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Wed
14
Aug

Sons of Chaos a Lushly Illustrated Look at Ottoman War

Sons of Chaos hardcover

The average  person today, when asked about Greek history, will probably recall the days of Plato and Socrates -- as though the country leapt straight from the days of philosophical and mathematical breakthroughs and went straight into the 21st century.

So when I read that SONS OF CHAOS was about the Greek war for independence, I was at a loss. When did Greece belong to someone else? When did this war occur?

Surprisingly, the war was relatively recent, as historical epochs go: the 1800s, in fact. When, you know, there actually was an America, so the fact that I did not know about this is a bit embarrassing. However, when it was explained that this was one of the wars of the Ottoman Empire, that, at least, was something I had heard of, so I felt a little better.

Sun
11
Aug

For Comics Fun, Monster M.D. May Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

Monster MD preview

Dr. Wyatt Black has an unusual practice. Actually, the practice is quite normal -- he's a medical doctor. Doctor Black's patients, on the other hand, are far from normal. Many of them are beyond the pale (and, sometimes, beyond the veil). And they usually aren't the kind who can make an appointment to come into his office.

Fortunately, Dr. Black makes crypt calls.

Fri
09
Aug

Family Feud: Van Helsing vs Dracula's Daughter

Van Helsing vs. Dracula's Daughter

Throughout the course of her career, Liesel Van Helsing has run up against her share of foul creatures. But now she may have met her equal, in a battle that has been generations in coming.

When her safe house is burgled, Liesel finds herself on a two-week tear through the city, following clues and taking out demons while trying to recover that which was lost.

But while the thief has a personal connection to the stolen property, Liesel herself finds herself serendipitously in the possession of a lost family artifact when she busts up a demon-run fencing operation.

The titular conflict of VAN HELSING VS. DRACULA'S DAUGHTER doesn't quite happen in this first issue, but that doesn't mean either lady isn't in the thick of it. While Van Helsing has her hands full of hellspawn, her future opponent is making herself known to two of Liesel's friends -- visiting newlyweds, Jonathan and Mina Harker!

Tue
06
Aug

Blood in Riverdale: Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #3

Red Sonja Vampi BandV 3

Once upon a time, Riverdale was Main Street USA -- the perfect place, frozen in a perfect time. But for the past several years, the home town of Archie Andrews has become a magnet for violence and horror -- and the fans are eating it up!

The latest is this jointly-licensed property through Dynamite Comics, RED SONJA AND VAMPIRELLA MEET BETTY AND VERONICA. When the She-Devil with a Sword and the Darling of Draculon chase a chaos cultist thorugh dimensions, they are brought to Riverdale, where they must go undercover as high school students. Holy 21 Jump Street, Batman! Fortunately, they have some help blending in -- which is even harder than you might think -- with the assistance of Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, who are just as keen to find the serial killer who has been plaguing the Riverdale Police Department.

Tue
06
Aug

Gail Simone Brings the Death-Defying Devil Back to Street Level

Death-Defying Devil #1

The last time I saw the Death-Defying Devil in Dynamite Comics, he was a spirit on the level of The Spectre, able to stride down the street while looking over skyscrapers. Quite a leap from his time as Daredevil (yes, that's his real name, much like Shazam's real name is Captain Marvel, and like Captain Marvel he also had the name first), when he fought in the streets and had a band of feistly little kids as his entourage.

Well he doesn't have the entourage, but he's definitely back down to street level in this newest series, DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL, by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani.

Mon
05
Aug

Roman Dirge's Lenore Returns with New Number 1 Issue

Lenore 1 2019

When I read that this was the first LENORE issue in five years, my first thought was, "Gosh, I must have read a reprint, because I know it was only just a few months ago when I reviewed LENORE." So I looked up the review. And I looked at the date.

Tempus fugit. Which is Latin for "Life comes at you fast." The hip Roman kids used to carve #TEMPUSFUGIT on the columns of the coliseum.

So for the past five years, Lenore -- the cute little dead girl -- has been holed up in her home with her demon friend Pooty, trying not to get eaten by an insane pickle hat (not a typo) just waiting for them to open the door. Needless to say, she's very hungry now. But food will come in some of the most unexpected places.

Wed
31
Jul

Jody Houser: Taking the New Doctor Who Through All Time and Space

All of time and space? Something for your bucket list--especially if you get to travel it in the company of the immortal Doctor Who. Over the show's fifty-plus year history, the regenerating Doctor (a plot device used to cover the change of actors as the show progressed) has gone through a number of unusual and dramatic changes. But none have been more dramatic than when we met the Thirteenth Doctor, when former Doctor, Peter Capaldi, ended his tenure on the show giving way to Jodie Whittaker, the first time we have seen the Doctor regenerate as a woman (even though we knew it was possible, when the Doctor's longtime foe, the Master, regenerated as "Missy").

Tue
30
Jul

Ikari Press's Brand Has Trouble Picking a Plot

Brand 1

BRAND is one of many new independent comics coming from the crowdfunding trend that has grown up over the past two years. The brainchild of writer Antonio Brice and artist Caanan White, the comic book is mostly impeccably drawn and colored, and each individual scene is compelling in its narrative.

It's when looking at the book as a whole where things suffer.

Thu
25
Jul

ROM: DIRE WRAITHS Miniseries Reveals the Terrifying Truth of the Moon Landing

ROM Dire Wraiths

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 25, 2019) – IDW Publishing is proud to debut Rom: Dire Wraiths, a three-part comic book miniseries about Earth’s incomparable heroes – the astronauts whose mission among the stars brought them face-to-face with the Dire Wraiths, the shape-shifting scourge of the universe!


Tue
23
Jul

Boy Bond: Get to Know the Famed Double-0 From the Ground Up

James Bond Origin V1

Ian Fleming's MI-5 agent James Bond has thrilled and chilled readers and moviegoers for decades. But despite all that history, how well does anyone truly know the man?

Jeff Parker and Bob Quinn team up through Dynamite Comics to give us a Bond we've never seen before; a Bond who could be both shaken and stirred, far from infallible, hardly smooth, but very much showing that diamond in the rough quality that makes him a candidate for a new type of defense program.

When we meet Bond, he is only 17, growing up in a Britain beseiged by Nazi blitzkreigs. A student, he teaches judo on the side, and befriends a German professor who knew his mother from their years at school together. But when the professor is attacked and killed, James takes the initiative to track down the men behind it, causing him to miss his train for a class outing.

Wed
10
Jul

More of Red Sonja's Formative Years Revealed in Birth of the She-Devil #2

Red Sonja Birth of the She-Devil 2

Luke Lieberman and Sergio Davila continue adding to the idylls of Red Sonja with this second issue of BIRTH OF THE SHE-DEVIL.

On the hunt for Raka, the man who took her childhood friend Shoshanna, Sonja finds herself reunited with her foster father, Ozzyus, who has information on Raka's last known location. The reunion is far from a happy one, however, and with the flashbacks to Sonja's childhood in this the reader comes to an understanding of why she harbors such animosity toward Ozzyus -- and how it involves Shoshanna's fate!

Tue
09
Jul

Avellone's Crisis on Infinite Betties Continues at Dynamite

Bettie Page Unbound 2

David Avallone and Julius Ohta are taking the iconic Bettie Page to places she has never been before -- alternate worlds, alternate dimensions, and ultimately alternate Betties, as she races against time to stop Yog-Sothoth and the Elder Gods from invading our dimension and bringing about the end of...well, pretty much everything.

Fortunately, there's a key to stopping this invasion. More precisely, there are five keys, spread across five different dimensions. Bettie has acquired two of them, having picked up the second key in the first issue of this miniseries, where she found herself embodying a she-devil with a sword. Now she finds herself on a new planet, in a form where she's even stronger and stranger--a fanged vampire woman who can sprout wings and kick ass!

Oh yeah, and she's kind of hungry. For blood.

Tue
09
Jul

Zoetrope Introduces Thumbelina to Grimm Fairy Tale Universe with 2019 Swimsuit Edition

GFT Swimsuit Edition 2019

Gather round, children, while grandpa tells you about this thing comics used to do way back in the 1990s called Swimsuit Editions. Taking a page from Sports Illustrated, these annual books were a showcase for artists new and established to show off what they could do with the company's character by giving them the chance to do a full page shot of them at their sexiest. Marvel did it. Image did it. Omaha the Cat Dancer did it, and she was usually naked in her book so this was a step up in wardrobe. (Don't just take our word for it. ComicVine has a pretty good collection of these gems.)

Tue
02
Jul

Charlie's Angels vs. The Bionic Woman a Brilliant Idea, Poorly Executed

Charlie's Angels vs. Bionic Woman

When it comes to licensed properties, Dynamite Comics is the king, having had success with MARS ATTACKS, VAMPIRELLA, RED SONJA, THE EVIL DEAD, and many others.

But for whatever reason, CHARLIE'S ANGELS is cursed.

The first miniseries was something less than a train wreck. A train wreck, because it was a horrible mess; something less than because even a train wreck will keep your attention.

Now there's what should be a sure-fire hit--the collision of two potentially great licensed properties. Collision is the write word because, once again, train wreck. But I have to try it, because it's CHARLIE'S ANGELS VS. THE BIONIC WOMAN. Not "meets," but "versus." Which basically pits three well-trained fighters against a superpowered heroine who has fought off small armies.

Sat
29
Jun

Not All Parody is Created Equal. Trump's Titans Volume One

Trumps Titans

"You want superheroes? I'm a superhero. People tell me all the time, 'President Trump, you're better than a superhero because you're real.' I should have a comic book. It would be the best selling comic book of all time, believe me."

    -- not an actual @realDonaldTrump tweet

Since the advent of mass printing and cartooning, Presidents have found themselves lampooned through the form of the comic. In more recent decades, presidents have found themselves appearing in the comic books, either devoted to them as biographies, doing guest appearances in a famous supehero's title, or being the questionable hero of a parody, such as Solson Publications's REAGAN'S RAIDERS, which saw the Reagan administration turned into super-soldiers to take down South American drug cartels.

Fri
28
Jun

Sina Grace Spills the Tea About Marvel's Handling of Gay Superheroes

Iceman and writer Sina Grace

Sina Grace has been a focal point controversy within the comics community. Not for unprofessional behavior or for unethical crowdfunding efforts, as is de rigeur for the troublemakers these days. No, the attention on Grace has been solely because he is a gay man, writing a gay character, who just happens to be one of Marvel Comics' oldest mutants: Bobby Drake, Iceman.

Fri
28
Jun

Absolute's White Widow Absolute Fun, with Concerns

Born out of a Kickstarter crowdfunding effort, WHITE WIDOW is the creation of Jamie Tyndall and Benny R. Powell, and puts a sexy superheroine front-and-center of the action. Gabrielle Garcia has just learned she was born with a fatal disease, and that her parents arrested the disease using experimental technology from the government think tank where they worked. But when the cure began to fade, another unique treatment was applied. Only this time, her parents got caught and her father was murdered before her eyes -- but not until after injecting her with some special nanites to bond with the white widow spider DNA that had already been spliced into her physiognomy.

The result: Part Philip Wylie's Gladiator, part Marvel's Carnage, part Spider-Man. In fact, lots of Spider-Man, right down to the sticking to walls, spinning of webs, and spider symbol on the front and back of her nanotech / spider-silk armor.

Fri
28
Jun

When Spectre Needs a Detective, There Will Be Blood

Batman Detective 1006

Detective Jim Corrigan is the human host for the Spirit of Vengeance known as The Spectre. But that's a secret that someone has figured out, and they've enacted a horrific, bloody plan to separate the ghost from the host, and hiding him where the supernatural spirit cannot find him.

You would think that when one "good guy" needs the help of another "good guy," it's a simple matter. That's not the case when The Spectre is involved. Because Spectre operates on a different plain, and reports to a higher authority. So when Batman visits the scene of the crime, he finds an abbatoir of death -- a dead police and the several bodies Spectre left behind that allowed the villains to steal away Corrigan. This is not the kind of "justice" Batman can get behind.

Tue
25
Jun

With a Bullet: Cave Comics Wins with The No. Ones #1

The No Ones 1 Cave Comics

I've never heard of Cave Comics (although I've been in a few comics caves in my travels around the country). But I have heard of Jim Krueger, from the mesmerizing job he did for Marvel on EARTH X. So when my friendly neighborhood comics guy at Cosmic Comics in Belleville suggested I check out THE NO. ONES #1, I was instantly intrigued. I expected Krueger to deliver a multi-layered mystery with a mixture of distinct personalities, and I was not disappointed. Well-Bee's washed-out inks and colors gave the superhero series a gloomy tone that helped establish the mood of the story going forward.

The Bastion are the city's superheroes. They're more than just heroes, however. They're role models with a carefully cultivated public persona and canny marketing. Their brand is valuable, in both social and physical currency.

Tue
25
Jun

Animal Rights Activists Get Their Own Heroes with Black Mask's Lab Raider

Lab Raider 1

Sarah and Jeanette have a calling. They are animal rights activists, willing to take things up a notch if it comes to hurting people in their pursuit of zoological justice.

The main story sees the pair breaking into an animal experimentation lab. We don't know why they experiment on animals. We learn they've recently begun to develop weapons for the government -- "Military contract from the new administration. You know." -- but whether they were a drug facility or something else isn't really important and extraneous to the fact that animals are being hurt. Let's assume it's for funsies.

As Sarah and Jeanette make their way through the facility -- conveniently left unsecured by an insider friend -- we are shown bits of their life through flashbacks. Which gets more confusing when the flashback has a flashback. Suffice it to say we are shown that they have had deadly run-ins with hunters, and have used seduction to trap and beat seal hunters for information.

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