“Wolverine may be dead… but what will happen to his mortal remains, encased in something as rare and powerful as Adamantium? The battle for control of this valuable artifact has begun! But why does it matter so much… and why is a war brewing in Logan’s name? Death is on the books for a dozen heroes and villains, and Mystique is playing chess with them all, including X-23, Sabretooth, Daken, Lady Deathstrike and more! Murder, mutilation, betrayal and trauma… none will be spared!
Mystique’s endgame is now in final swing – everything is exactly how she planned in this penultimate issue!”
2015’s Wolverines series reaches its issue 19 mark (released May 2015), and features the writing talents of Charles Soule. Interior artist for this issue is the talented Ariela Kristantina, and the particularly eye-catching cover art is courtesy of Juan Doe – which really does sound like a bit of a pseudonym, doesn’t it?
Related Link: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/52933/wolverines_2015_19
They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous they’re sheer suicide! Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they’re being interrogated about their mission – and about who’s pulling the strings behind this illegal operation.
Written by Adam Glass, Suicide Squad hit their fourth outing in DC’s big The New 52 relaunch campaign, the first issue debuting a very different team, never mind a very different Harley Quinn!
Whilst Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty handled the interior art, the ever talented Ryan Benjamin was tasked with coming up with the particularly eye-catching first issue cover art, showing the new look Quinn at her finest!
Every now and then I’ll pick up a comic book to read, though I have to say that these days it is pretty few and far between. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of some of the graphic novels I did in fact encounter over the last couple of months…
Preacher: Dixie Fried (Volume 5) (1998)
After destroying the headquarters of the all-powerful Grail conspiracy and freeing his hard-drinking vampire pal Cassidy from its dungeons, the Reverend Jesse Custer is about to reunite with his straight-shooting girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and resume his hunt for answers from an elusive God – provided that Tulip forgives him for leaving her behind during his little rescue mission.
But getting those answers will mean delving into the hidden mind of Genesis, the angel/demon offspring that has fused itself to Jesse’s soul, and that will require some serious spiritual excavation – the kind that only real, down-home black magic can offer. Luckily, Cassidy happens to know a voodoo priest in New Orleans who can help unlock the Genesis memories in Jesse’s head. In the same breath, unluckily, Cassidy also has a cult of bloodthirsty vampire wannabes in New Orleans after his head!
Even after all of these years Preacher still holds up as a thoroughly entertaining ready, a seriously black comedy drama that doesn’t care what sacred religious cow it touches, or in most cases, bruises. Twists and turns a plenty, weird and generally terrifying characters and situations, both subtle and not so subtle bits of injected dark humour, and just all in all a very engaging and gripping story, from start to finish.
And needless to say, Volume 5 (Dixie Fried) in this saga by writer Garth Ennis doesn’t disappoint in any of the above regards.
At the same time, artist Steve Dillon produces some fantastically detailed and emotive visuals to back up this great read, making Preacher: Dixie Fried a good recommendation to any of your not easily offended comic book reading friends.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preacher_(comics)
X-Men: FF (2012)
When the Future Foundation discovers a distress beacon from another dimension, they turn to the heroes best suited to help: the X-Men! But these are strange times for both teams: the X-Men are aligned with their arch-nemesis Magneto, while the FF has forged an uneasy alliance with their own eternal enemy, Dr. Doom. When the two teams hop dimensions to rescue Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend, sea captain Lee Forrester, they encounter dinosaurs, alien invaders and an old friend in Skull the Slayer. But what is the greatest threat? The dinosaurs? The aliens? Or Doom and Magneto?
Plus: the mutant super heroes meet the new Ghost Rider!
Collecting X-MEN (2010) #15.1 and #16-19, the X-Men: FF trade paperback is written by Victor Gischler and illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mirco Pierfederici and Will Conrad.
The Ghost Rider meet-up aside (which feels like a forced exercise in padding to be quite honest), the X-Men: FF story arc turns out to be a hugely entertaining one, delivering a solid story that has all the hallmarks of action, adventure, humour and big fight scenes that you have come to expect from a great X-men comic book tale. There is plenty of “screen time” for all the involved cast members (both X-men and Future Foundation) and as per usual the interactions between the various team members, not mention the teams themselves, make for an engaging read.
(And besides, who doesn’t like a story set in a dinosaur-filled, lost Savage Land type setting anyway?)
Visually I have to say that I enjoyed the pages from all the artists involved, with all three art teams delivering work that is stylistically fairly similar, thus making the story feel a little less disjointed than what it could have (a problem often encountered with multi-artist story arcs). The colouring throughout is gorgeous, as expected from one of these top shelf franchises, and overall I have to say this is an enjoyable read to pick up if you have some spare time on your hands.
Obviously not a very deep, dramatic or seminal story being told here, but pretty damn good entertainment nevertheless!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men
Iron Man: Extremis (2005)
Extremis is a 2005 six part story arc from writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov that sought to redefine the character into a more modern day setting. It’s an extremely popular Iron Man story and indeed, elements from the arc were lifted to form the basis of the excellent Iron Man 3 movie.
Whilst this story of a virus capable of creating incredibly powerful superhuman subjects which after sabotage is set on a direct collision course with a greatly outmatched Iron Man is certainly entertaining and makes for a great tale, I have to say, I don’t quite get why it is such a highly regarded Iron Man arc. I do get the fact that it serves the purpose of redefining a more modern Iron Man quite well, but I have to say that for me it felt like more of a throw away story arc than anything else – and the often forced dialogue didn’t really help its case either.
On the art front Adi Granov’s visuals are amazingly detailed and gorgeous to look at, but in the same breath suffers from the problem most photo realistic artists suffer from – panels appear very static and it is difficult for a reader to get much in terms of action and movement out of it.
Still, it was a good read and on the whole the art IS gorgeous, making it a certainly recommendable read, particularly for those already heavily invested in the Iron Man universe.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremis
I recently picked up on some mixed bags of comics on sale at one of our local book stores, delighted to find them stuffed with an assortment of 1990s’ comics, from the likes of Dark Horse, Image and one or two other smaller houses. Unfortunately for me, there also happened to be a couple of issues of Boof in there, which is a bad thing because I’ve been introduced to Boof before.
The story revolves around a bad tempered, stubby caveman-like alien warrior who crash landed here on Earth, hailing from the planet Smashmouth. He teams up with a local kid and the kid’s mangy mutt and from there on they go through a couple of pretty mundane adventures, usually involving some sort of fight scene, a big misunderstanding thanks to the language/culture barrier, and quite often Boof ingesting faeces along the way.
It’s not pretty. At the time Image was making hand over fist in terms of money, and so they launched quite a lot of titles to cash in on their strong sales, with Boof being their shot at a humour comic aimed at kids and immature comic book readers. The immature part they got right, with Beau Smith’s stories being an absolute pointless waste of time, not being even remotely funny, completely missing any sort of attempt at satire or parody, not to mention so completely stuffed with poop, fart, and piss sequences that one fails to see any audience actually picking up on this one!
And don’t get me even started on the ridiculous dialogue and “catch” phrases.
The artwork is handled by John Cleary, who attempts to emulate Todd McFarlane’s drawing style but then exaggerates it to the max. The result is certainly not pretty and is often quite difficult to look at. I can’t really praise it to be quite honest, no matter how hard I try.
The verdict. If you’ve never had a run-in with Boof from Image Comics before, then consider youself lucky and definitely steer far away from any bargain bins where this might be lurking in.
It’s plain old dumb.
Writer Raven Gregory with the help of artist Vic Drujiniu and Zenescope Entertainment unleashed the four part Zombie miniseries The Waking early 2010.
From their release note: In the big city, four police detectives investigating two routine murders discover that the victims of these crimes are coming back from the dead in search of those responsible for their murders. Now the detectives are in a race against time to find the source of the recent “wakings.” Meanwhile, a father with an incredible ability must choose between avenging his daughter’s death or losing her forever.
Zenescope Entertainment tries something new by stepping away from their usual Babe in Lingerie format of cover artwork and instead employ the fantastic David Finch to paint up this eerie and atmospheric bit of hauntingly beautiful cover art.
Issue 11 of the 2006 Checkmate comic book series from DC Comics, entitled “Corvalho Part One”, sees Fire, currently the Black King’s Knight, trying to break free from Amanda Waller’s blackmail in a move that will shake the agency from top to bottom. Outside of that, Checkmate is drawn into the politics of Santa Prisca which appear to have possibly been manipulated by Bane. Friction begins to rise as the other three Royals suspect Waller has a hand in things she should not.
Written by the team of Nunzio Defilippis, Greg Rucka and Christina Weir, with interior pencils from Steve Scott, Issue 11 is wrapped in the fun “burnt through” cover courtesy of the always hot Fire and artist Jesus Saiz:
Dark Horse is known for its endless series of mini-series spun out of movie franchises, and over the years, Star Wars certainly proved to be one of their best cash cows. Of course, this means ever longer series titles as you keep having to reach for a new one after every three or four books!
Issue 2 of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi – Redemption carried the chapter entitled The Search for Peace, written by writer Kevin J. Anderson. The synopsis (per solicitation) reads as follows:
Guilt-ridden, Ulic Qel-Droma hides from his past on the frozen world of Rhen Var. Meanwhile, on Exis station, Nomi Sunrider calls together the Jedi Knights to discuss the future of the Republic. After hearing so much about Ulic and remembering him from her childhood, Vima Sunrider decides to go in search of him. When Hoggon discovers Vima on his ship, he is astounded to learn that the mysterious stranger he took to Rhen Var is in fact Ulic himself.
While the pencils and inks for the interior work was handled both by artist Chris Gossett, painter Igor Kordey was approached to come up with the covers for the series.
And as you can see for yourself, he very much delivered with this stunning piece of art for issue 2!
Justice League Dark was a fantastic new addition to the Justice League franchise, thrown into the mix as DC went fist first into their big 2011 “The New 52” relaunch shake-up.
Officially, the Justice League Dark is a branch of the Justice League dedicated to dealing with mystical and supernatural threats. Its founding members include Deadman, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Shade the Changing Man and Zatanna – in other words featuring a lot of characters who previously only appeared in the sister DC/Vertigo Universe!
2012 saw the release of Justice League Dark Annual #1, which continued the story being told in #13 of the main series, basically seeing the the Leaguers finish their quest for the Books of Magic. Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Mikel Janin, artist Ryan Sook was approached to produce this fantastic piece of cover art to wrap it all up in.
Private detective Sara Pezzini’s recent exploits have had an unintended, but not all together negative side effect – she’s now actually getting paid to investigate paid supernatural cases! However she may make an enemy of another one of Chicago’s supernatural agents in the process. Meanwhile, all around her forces move in a much larger, sinister symphony…
Written by Tim Seeley and with art from the team of Diego Bernard and Fred Benes, it was left up to artist John Tyler Christopher to come up with this fantastic, negative space inspired and detailed piece of comic book cover art: