31 Days of Halloween Review Special: Hellboy & the BPRD #1

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By Matthew Jent Hellboy and the BPRD #1 Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi Artist: Alex Maleev Colorist: Dave Stewart Cover Artist: Alex Maleev Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Action/Adventure Publisher: Dark Horse Comics   “You’re taking Hellboy with you.” In the mid-1990s I was in high school and looking for rebellion. Something to get pretentious about. […]

Review: ‘Action Philosophers’ is required reading

Action Philosophers 10th Edition by Dark Horse.

The duo of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey have done it again in the 10th anniversary edition of their comic book series Action Philosophers. It’s available in late October from Dark Horse in a beautiful hardcover one volume edition with new cover art. This smart and witty non-fiction graphic book is the introduction to philosophy that should be required reading. I wish it had been around when I struggled through some of these works!

The series originally published by Van Lente and Dunlavey under their company Evil Twin Comics began life as a single issue comic book about Frederick Niestche, he of the “God is Dead” philosophy. The comic book proved to be so popular that the guys developed a series that was eventually distributed by Diamond. For those of you unfamiliar with the industry that’s pretty impressive for an indie company. With support and appreciation from the industry the series won a Xeric Grant in 2004, was nominated twice for an Ignatz award and lauded by the American Library Association. For Evil Twin Comics they’ve also created Action Presidents and The Comic Book History of Comics.

Review: Aurora West Rises

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By Matthew Jent The Rise of Aurora West Written by JT Petty and Paul Pope Art by David Rubin Published by First Second   “You don’t have to attack what’s attacking you.” At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Paul Pope appeared on a panel called “Middle Grade Extravaganza,” which discussed comics for a younger audience. […]

Drifter #1 [Advanced Review]: The Sky is Full of Stars and Mystery

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by Zachary Clemente Written by Ivan Brandon, Art & Colors by Nic Klein, Letters by Clem Robins, Design by Tom Muller, Edited by Sebastian Griner, Published by Image Comics. Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the […]

No Joke: The New Sabrina is Scary Good

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By Matthew Jent Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 Story: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artwork: Robert Hack Lettering: Jack Morelli Covers: Robert Hack Publisher: Archie Comic Publications, Inc.   Poor little witch-girl. Where can we start with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch? She has a history that goes back to 1962, which makes her the same age as Spider-Man. […]

I Really Hope You Read the Lead-Ins: Reviewing Avengers X-Men AXIS #1

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Have you been reading Uncanny Avengers?  You’ll want to catch up on that before reading AXIS.  I guess you probably ought to catch up on Magneto, too.  Maybe the other Avengers titles, maybe not.  I’m not remotely current, so I was scratching my head at a lot of the things going on in this comic.  Now, Beat columnist […]

Jason Aaron and Ron Garney get angry in ‘Men of Wrath’

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by Alexander Jones If Men of Wrath‘s ‘Mail of Wrath’ letters column is true, author Jason Aaron has one bleak family tree. His latest creator-owned title comes from the same deep, dark pit that birthed his previous collaboration in the space, Southern Bastards; and even if he is bringing in a different team for this […]

Annihilator #1: Where the Personal Meets the Weird

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By Matthew Jent Annihilator #1 Writer: Grant Morrison Illustrator: Frazer Irving Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher Book & Logo Designer: John J. Hill Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror   “Get this black mass on the floor.” Annihilator begins with a black hole, but the thrust of its story concerns Ray Spass (pronounced space, as in outer), a screenwriter whose […]

Bloodshed and Bikers – The Vertigo-esque World of G.I. Zombie

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Admit it, if you hear title “Star Spangled War Stories featuring G.I. Zombie,” you’re probably going to wince a little bit.  Especially given the track record DC’s had trying to push war books in the “New 52.”  Still, the writing team is Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, who usually warrant a look and you’ve got […]

Review: Spider-Man 2099 #1 — Everything new is old again

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The Marvel Universe of 2099 debuted in 1993 with four titles, one of which was Spider-Man 2099. The bulk of the series, featuring Miguel O’Hara as Spider-Man battling supervillains and the evil-future-corporation of Alchemax, was written by Peter David.

I love Peter David. He’s a wonderful writer who knows dialogue, structure, and character development. David is a superhero in his own right — when he suffered a stroke in 2012, he broke the news himself on his blog a few days later, and he’s been writing comics pretty consistently since his recovery. It’s flat-out wonderful that David is writing a Spider-Man 2099 comic in the year 2014, the actual 21st century.

ONE AND DONE: The Trouble With First Issues [The Life After #1]

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Sometimes, it’s just not fair to judge a book by its first issue. They’re just so different from what you’ll end up getting on a monthly basis. First issues have an incredible amount of work to do, work that’s extremely hard to do well in 22 pages–in fact, a lot of first issues are a […]

SIX-GUN GORILLA REVIEW: All That And More

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Let’s start with that title, shall we? Calling a story “Six-Gun Gorilla” is a bold and audacious decision, one that’s guaranteed to attract a specific kind of person and give many others pause. If you come to this book cold, you will very likely either somersault with glee or scratch your head and wonder, ‘huh?” […]

Review: Legendary Star Lord #1 – A Good Start

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Falling in line with the upcoming theatrical release of Guardians of the Galaxy, a couple of the team’s more likable (and perhaps a touch more scandalous) characters will also be seeing some center-stage comic debuts. The token human of the group happens to be one of those lucky two; Star Lord! Perhaps better known in the comic itself by his human name, the character Peter Quill will be appearing in his own reoccurring comic entitled Legendary Star Lord.

Review: Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon #1 — is it a ‘must have’?

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  By Nicholas Eskey ROCKET RACCOON #1 Writer, artist and cover: Skottie Young Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu When thinking of furry-anthropomorphic characters in comics, my mind for some twisted reason can’t stray from the darker side of the comic realm. But thankfully the only thing that happens to be foul about this certain long tailed raccoon […]

Review: ‘Comics: A Global History, 1968 to the Present’ paints a worldly picture

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by Alexa Dickman Funny story: A few weeks ago, I got a message on Facebook from an old friend from college. He asked me if I was still blogging, because the publishing company he now works for had a comics history book coming out that took a global view of comics history from 1968 onwards, […]

Review: It’s time for Marvel ocarinas

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Ocarinas aren’t just for Zelda fans any more. St. Louis Ocarinas has released an officially licensed line of Marvel ocarinas in a variety of heroes. And they were kind enough to send one to me to review! Although I don’t talk much about my musical background, I was something of a child prodigy, playing the […]