As a general rule I would prefer Thomas and/or Kane over most things
Even over P. Craig Russell? He’s like Prog in comics form.
A spy trio:
Kingsman: The Red Diamond
This was all-right, not quite as good as I thought it might be but good enough. There’s some wonderfully acid one-liners in it, like no one using the docklands cable car - that one’s entirely true! The pair of film-obsessed villains made for an effective recurring strand of comedy too.
James Bond 007: Kill Chain
Ah, another tale of James Bond, Bastard.
This is every bit as entertaining as the same team’s earlier tale, Hammerhead. It also resurrects and reboots an old enemy of Bond’s, one arguably more suited to the present era than any others.
Ah, but how did Bond become such a bastard? Funny you should ask…
James Bond: Casino Royale
This is not part of Dynamite’s reboot, instead being a straight adaptation of the Fleming novel and set in the original post-WW2 cold war era. It’s a very dense and accomplished piece of work. Calero’s art is excellent at taking the reader from point to point while suggesting so much more.
Anyone who saw the film might be surprised at how faithful a version that was, in terms of the main story points, as those are all replicated here. The difference lies in the era and style of the adaptation. It always has Bond at a distance from the reader via a lot of narration, but there’s also Bond perspective tags in certain panels, but no more than that. It ends up being more effective than you might expect.
And when it was all over? Well, Bond went back to doing what he did, with an array of entirely deserving targets…
I am re-reading Gail Simone’s “Clean Room” right now. This book’s premature cancellation is one of comics’ big tragedies of the last few years. It’s so good.
I firmly believe if this book had come out in 2001-03 it would have been widely read and held in a similar esteem as stuff like Transmet and the Invisibles and Preacher, all the stuff back then, if a step below some of them. The concept is a bit complex, the ideas are big, it takes advantage of the medium, and it’s nasty, unpleasant, and shocking in places—this used to be the kind of thing readers sought out and championed. It’s a different time now and it’s hard for a book like this to make inroads. Tastes have shifted, reader enthusiasm has waned beyond one or two books at a time, and Vertigo’s influence is nonexistent. It’s a shame but what can you do.
I thought it wasn’t canceled? Did Simone say that there would be a ‘season 2’ for it?
She did, although I think it’s natural to have a lot of doubts it’ll happen. Maybe it could like the way Paul Cornell finished Saucer Country by waiting for the rights to revert and doing it at IDW.
Yeah it looks like she said it almost a year and a half ago at this point:
Though it’s odd that she said they were already working on it.
On paper, Masamune Shirow is still working on Appleseed book 5. It’s been almost 30 years since book 4.
I wouldn’t mind if they waited for Jon Davis-Hunt to become free to draw it, but that’s probably going to be a few years.
Amazon has updated its listing on both .com and co.uk that suggests the Metal: Deluxe Edition will be an OHC!
Panini reads - I’d forgotten how much superior their Marvel trades were!
Defenders: Diamonds Are Forever
This deserves its rep. Bendis expertly flicks the story from character to character without short-changing anyone and, when the cast comprises Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, that’s no mean feat. And it’s all depicted with some lovely artwork from Marquez.
I found only one major weakness with it. Diamondback is a weak villain. He is somehow back from the dead. Somehow knows everything about all of them. Oh and he has powers too. And can out-fight everyone because he has super martial arts ability. Did I mention he also can survive crossing paths with the Punisher as he has super plot armour? Now, sure, the next volume ought to strip all of these advantages away, but right now? It comes across as overkill and unimaginative overkill at that. Still, Marquez makes it all look great.
I certainly want to see how it turns out and the next trade is due next month.
Black Widow: Volumes 1-2
The first issue of this 12-part epic is a tour de force of minimal text and maximal art, as we see Widow fight her out of a SHIED Helicarrier, be pursued in an aerial chase that spans 40,000 feet, continues at ground level and culminates in a brawl that she wins. Cue Bond-style credits.
Seriously, this is the starter that Waid-Samnee go with. It’s ballsy, ambitious and glorious.
The other smart things it does is misdirect the reader. What secret that isn’t known could cause Natasha such damage? Surely the secret will remain hidden? The answers to both questions are surprising, but also logically consistent to what the reader already knows of the character.
Like Defenders, it does a weakness in the finale where it pulls the villain appears dead and then turns up alive and well but a few panels later. Nor do I buy that Recluce is Natasha’s equal. I did like the potential idea that her mindwipe of her romance with Bucky might be undone.
While Waid’s script is very good, it’s Samnee’s wonderful story-telling that makes this run shine and sparkle. It’s also quite clear why they only did 12 issues too - they didn’t have anything left to say!
Any opinions on the Hellboy Omnibus trades?
I really want to get one but I hear bad things about Hellboy trades in general.
Also I’ve seen them in person and they all look rather messily creased.
Just read Gwenpool v4, which perhaps isn’t the best place to start the series, but it’s the only one my local library had.
Anyway, there’s some really clever 4th wall breaking stuff in here. It’s like if Animal Man starred Deadpool. I’m keen to check out the rest of the series, but sort of holding out hope it might get an OHC of some sort eventually (maybe now Gwen’s in the new WCA?).
The writers original web series Dr McNinja is a ton of fun and worth checking out as well. The whole series is available on the website. It starts out a bit rough but is always weird and fun.
Oh, I always forget Hastings did Dr McNinja. I’ve read bits of that, but it’s never grabbed me.
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy v2
I loved DnA’s run on Guardians (and Nova) back in the day and was really bummed out when it got trashed in for Loeb’s teen Nova and then thrown to Bendis once the movie got greenlit. I didn’t bother reading Bendis’s GotG but skimmed bits. It was clear that, beyond his usual problems with team books, his only real ideas for how to use the team was to keep pulling them down to Earth and shoving human super-heroes on the team as pseudo-Avengers: Space.
Gerry Duggan taking over was an intriguing move. I love his Deadpool run, but I’ve fallen out of touch with Marvel since Secret Wars and I worry that the influence of the movie Guardians (who, as much as I like, are all completely different characters to the DnA versions, even Groot) will have salted the earth for the comic.
As it is, Duggan’s achieved a nice balance. There’s definitely a movie influence - Star Lord’s obsessed with Earth music, Drax has a bit of Batista’s simple absurdity to him, Rocket’s very much Del Boy - but they feel connected enough to the “proper” versions (the DnA ones). It helps that Duggan’s picked up a load of loose ends from the DnA cosmic cycle, as though there hasn’t been, what, 7 years in the interim. Seeing Rich Rider and the Nova Corps and the Fraternity of Raptors back is great (although Duggan seems to have fundamentally changed how the Raptors work).
And yet I did often feel lost in this volume. Maybe v2 wasn’t the best place to start (again, only one my library had), but it constantly feels like it’s filling in blanks between previous stories. Each of the first five issues focuses on one character rather than the team, mostly recounting past events. Weirdly, these are taken from issues 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 of the series. I have absolutely no idea why or what was happening in the even numbered issues. I assume the main story they keep referencing? It’s confusing.
The disjointed nature isn’t helped by a changing roster of artists. Some are great (Chris Samnee), some less so. But it means there’s no cohesive feel to the book, anchoring its disparate narrative. And then on top of that, you’ve got elements from the wider MU in there, which left me a bit lost - Deadpool and Ant-Man referencing their actions in Secret Empire, Cable being asked about Infinity Stones (stones not gems now ) and Loki doing stuff in the background that may or may not be from another title (I have no idea what Loki’s deal is at the moment).
So in all, it’s kind of promising that the Guardians are getting back to their raison d’etre and only with minimal backwards synergy rewriting from the movies, but this volume doesn’t sell me on Duggan’s run or the crossover event it’s leading into.
Major Eazy collection. Only 99p plus £1 p&p from Forbidden Planet (.com).
If they’re the same as the ones I’ve got in this:
Then I’d say it’s worth a punt at £2.99. They’re pretty good once you get used to the three panel chunks storytelling. There’s some good art in it too.
Get it, all of you - it’s fantastic eazy reading.
You want to get the Library editions, but generally? DHC big trades tend to be a good quality steal.
I don’t really like big ol’ library editions (outside of my lovely Raymond Flash Gordon hardcovers) so this in-between was great news.
Just felt worrisome seeing they looked kinda worn, but good to hear.