That death wish collection is mighty tempting
I’ve been slagging Marvel’s for too long now, I only buy when there is absolutely no other option, bar that it’s OHC or bust.
After all the talk around here about it, this looks a safe bet:
It’s well worth it.
Thanks Ben, have ordered.
I hadn’t even heard of that book. It sounds worth going in blind though, so that’s my copy ordered.
Does anyone know if it’s a complete thing or the start of something?
It’s the start of something.
The only reason I know of it is it’s gotten some great reviews in the New Comics thread as the issues came out.
That and less than £9 is worth it.
Had one of those days today when several orders arrive at once.
I’ve read The Wake and Chrononauts before but White Knight has put me in the mood to revisit some of Sean Murphy’s greatest hits.
Looking forward to tucking into everything else for the first time.
It is really good. Unpleasant, unnerving, and incredibly captivating.
Two books, poles apart in nature:
Hookjaw: Classic Collection
Let’s go with the fun stuff first. A shark that bloodily dismembers its victims is fun? Oh yes.
Then there’s Mills’ intro where he explains that it was a requirement of the strip that the shark kills at least one victim a week, preferably the more bloody the better. Way back when in quaint, sleepy 1976 Britain this was only ever going to end one way: Much to the kids’ irritation, the adults banned it.
Some of the imagery is stunningly brutal, like a panel where a plane cockfit is found, the window has sheared off allowing Hookjaw to clamp around the pilot, all we see is arms and lower body - the rest is all in Hookjaw’s mouth!
A good amount of restoration has been done here - it’s not perfect, but the material is over 40 years old. As you might also expect the economy of the story telling is sky high - it only had three pages a week but it did a hell of a lot with them. Book size is in the plus OHC, sub Absolute range. Unlike some of their output this Titan edition is well worth the money.
So what puts the horrifying antics of a killer shark with a plus double digits death toll in the shade? This. This is a far more sombre and serious book, though most of the contributions have a lightness of touch that only enhance their impact.
Like any anthology, some stories will work far more effectively for you than others. For me, the first few racked up three hits to the heart straight away, Gillen’s inspired intro being one of them. Alan Moore’s tale could have been more raging, more fiery but that would have made it less effective. Instead its quiet denunciation of the soulless politicians clamouring to escape the actual consequences of their policies and actions is made more so by it not being the central aspect, no, that’s on the lives lost - or, ‘if Einsten’s right’, perhaps not.
It shouldn’t matter how many work or not, this is a way to contribute to a more than worthy cause and enjoy some wonderfully innovative stories. Don’t say you weren’t warned - some of these will wreck you emotionally.
Comics do not get any better than this! Yes, it’s a Masterchef line but for these books? Oh, it’s more than warranted:
Punisher: The Platoon
I’ve put off this reading this, not because of fear it wouldn’t be excellent but because I knew it would be so very excellent that I would no longer have that first experience of reading it after doing so and so it proved. It is absolutely superb work.
It fits in seamlessly with all of Ennis’ other Punisher Max stories, yet brings a new dimension to it all - the sequence where he and Randall are forgoing screwing a whore like the rest of the group because they’ve each got someone back home really stands out, as does Randall’s closing speech at the end, where he considers who Castle could have become. It all renders the Punisher a far more tragic character than he has likely ever been perceived as.
Parlov’s art is page after page of perfect imagery. Full page panels are used with a strategist’s care and put to tactical end - that of telling a story that utterly immerses you. One of Ennis’ strengths as a writer is to transport you to a world you do not necessarily wish to go to, yet once there you are spellbound what happens next, whatever it’s nature. For a war story, it is a particularly effective skill - for you would never want to live in the world of Vietnam, yet it is important that historical reality is known about.
This is six issues from one of the best collaborative pairings in the business. Sadly, I’m not sure there is many more stories of Frank Castle for Ennis to tell, nor of Nick Fury, for My War Gone is a definitive story for the character if ever there was one. No, I think it’s past time for these two to do a creator-owned series.
One last tip: Buy the Panini paperback, it’s a quality book. If Marvel are smart enough to eventually do an OHC I’ll buy it, but until then, the paperback is excellent.
Batman: White Knight
It might not have originally been part of DC’s Black Label but as a statement of intent for how they see it working this is both hard to beat and very exciting for the future. In just seven issues, Murphy spins a narrative that coves more than a year, while also examining the past and future of not only the Joker and Batman, but Gotham City and the Waynes.
Put that way, the ambition sounds ludicrous yet Murphy nails it. Part of what makes it work is he doesn’t take the inversion of the two characters too far. Batman never becomes entirely villainous, the Joker / Napier is never going to entirely be a good guy. At the same time he makes some very smart observations on the nature of both characters and progresses them both in a way the story simply couldn’t do if it were a mainstream Batbook. No, only by being in its own, enclosed world can this story really fly.
Nor is it just story that’s superb, nope - Murphy’s art and the way he visually structures this dense tale is equally excellent. The idea of a reformed Joker harnessing social media is both very wry and bang-on target.
In fact, if subsequent stories for the Black Label aren’t up to the challenge of following this, DC may regret tagging it as such. If the books are up to that challenge, we’ll be in for some great times.
Deadpool: World’s Greatest v1
I’m way behind on Deadpool - in fact I think this is the first post-Secret Wars Marvel trade I’ve bought.
Anyway, this is just the Duggan run (now missing Posehn) continued, but with new status quo, as Deadpool is running a Merc outfit of D-listers in his costume. The real appeal here for me is that one of them is Stingray. I was a little worried that he’d just be a punchline, but Duggan actually treats him (and the rest of the Mercs for Money) with respect. In fact, Stingray comes out of this really well, especially in the back-up story by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. He’s made the butt of a joke (stopping a jet ski with his face) and the rest of the group laugh at him. But he’s secure enough to not care. We get to see his wife Diane, who’s also secure and not your typical fretting superhero wife, he has kids now and even an underwater Batcave. I never would have expected that the series where Stingray got a decent shake would be Deadpool.
I do have a little problem with this OHC though - it’s pretty short. It’s got 7 issues of the main series, then a collection of solo back-ups for the Mercs, which are mostly fine. But it’s rounded out with an issue that’s entirely in Spanish. It’s not the first time Marvel’s done this and I really don’t see the point. You’ve just sold me a story I can’t read for no real reason. Anyone fluent in Spanish buying this volume can presumably also read English, so they’re not really gaining anything. It’s not like it adds any authenticity to its Mexican setting, given it’s done by the usual creative team and not a Mexican writer and artist (as far as I can tell - there’s no explicit credits for it).
That aside, I enjoyed this and I’m going to try and catch up to the end of Duggan’s run soon.
Want absolute Wonder Woman for £17? Or the Manapul Flash Omnibus for £16?
Thanks for posting that. Absolute Wonder Woman was a ridiculous deal.
The thing is, they posted that ‘power hour’ last night and it still seems to be going!
£50 for this as well
I’m wavering over both of these
Feel like I’d just be buying them because they are cheap
I liked Azzarello’s run on WW and Chiang & Adkins art is incredible, fantastic character designs. But I’ve already got it in singles and not sure I need to double dip on it.
Manupal’s Flash looked good with some creative panels and layouts, but it was pretty average writing.
However those prices are so tempting.
Yeah, it was pretty standard writing.
But their handling of Gorilla City and Barry in some aspects almost reached sublimity at points.
The introduction to Solovar in particular was amazing.
This. I was wavering over the big Xmen book too then realised there was no point as I don’t really give a damn about them.