Saturday, April 30, 2016

REVIEW: Ragnarok #8

Writer and artist: Walt Simonson
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: John Workman

Caveat: I'm a fan of Walt Simonson, so this'll probably end up being a fairly biased piece.
He's been a part of some of my favorite comics, starting with Marvel's old school Star Wars book, through the classic 1980s X-Factor and latter day works like Judas Coin (which I say very nice things about right here). A fine resume to be certain, but arguably Simonson's finest work is his epic run on Marvel's Thor. In addition to gracing readership with creations like Malekith, Beta Ray Bill, Skurge with a machine gun, and Frog Thor, that particular stretch of comics spotlighted how adept a storyteller Walt Simonson is. 

IDW is doing The Allfather's work in bringing us Walt Simonson's Ragnarok, which spins the tale of undead Thor in the ruins of Asgard after the Norse apocalypse.
If that hook doesn't sell you on this book, you must hate fun because this comic is a nonstop action-packed thrill ride.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

REVIEW: Rough Riders #1

Creator & Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Patrick Olliffe
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Review: Art Bee

Once again my LCBS owner has talked me into purchasing and reviewing a comic book. Rough Riders #1 was featured and highly recommended by Shawn, owner of Comics Cubed in Kokomo, IN. After finishing this jewel, my eyes are opened. This story of historical fiction blended with some steampunk qualities is something very special.

This is the story of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt before he was ever the President of the United States. If any readers are not familiar with history, allow me to briefly educate you. On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine, a US battleship, was attacked and sunk near Havana, Cuba. The ship had been sent to protect U.S. citizens and property after anti-Spanish rioting in Havana ( During the war Teddy Roosevelt resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to form his own voluntary cavalry group called the Rough Riders, which included a diverse group of cowboys, miners, law enforcement officials, and Native Americans (

Saturday, April 16, 2016

REVIEW: Aliens: Defiance #1 ashcan

Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: Tristan Jones
Review: Will Dubbeld

Aside from Star Wars, the Alien franchise might be one of my favorite science fiction mythos, due in no small part to HR Giger's hellish conceptual designs. As such I've made a hobby of collecting books, bits of memorabilia, and of course comic books related to the franchise.

Except anything Prometheus related, because screw that piece of crap . . .

Aside from a Marvel adaptation of the first Alien film, Dark Horse Comics has been the sole license-holder for comics set in the Alien universe as far as I know. For over 20 years now DH has been printing Alien books and they are, with few exceptions, phenomenal books. A new series drops soon and the LCS was giving out free promo ashcans, prompting me to sidle up to the bar and check out the wares.

Aliens: Defiance takes place between the first and second Alien films and in true to form franchise setup involves some hapless fools exploring a derelict spaceship. The hapless fools in this case are a Colonial Marine named Zula Hendricks and an accompanying group of Wetland-Yutani security drones.

No mention of them preferring to be called Artificial Persons.

This time around the derelict in question is floating near Earth's Luna Base and is a Seegson hauler called the Europa, and it doesn't take long for Zula and her band of Synthetics to discover they are not alone aboard the Europa.
And by that I mean our familiar xenomorphs pop in and start eviscerating.
Chances are the Weyland-Yutani company is to blame . . .

I'm not sure if this is a standalone prelude for the series or a preview of the first issue, but I'm in either way. It's got the claustrophobic feel of an Alien movie and the art is reminiscent of Ron Cobb's concept work for the first movie.
We also get a fan-service appearance from Ripley's daughter Amanda, which makes me curious if they'll attempt to dovetail (or shoehorn, as you will) the series as connective tissue to the Alien: Isolation video game.

At this point in the history of our pop culture, I'll not attempt to convince anyone to buy this book. You either like the Alien franchise or you don't, and if you're unaware of it, I'm not entirely sure what to say other than "get on it."
Fans of the series are a sure sell if you've explored the Alien comicverse. The preview reminded me of the 1st Alien comic miniseries and a bit of the Aliens: Earth War comic, both high points in my opinion.
Bug hunt or not, I'll stick with this chickenshit outfit for the duration.

Friday, April 8, 2016

REVIEW: Spirit’s Destiny #1

Writer: Dorphise Jean
Pencilers: Zack Dolan, Edwin Galmon, Saint Yak, Richard Perotta
Review: Will Dubbeld

Writer/creator Dorphise Jean contacted me some time ago about a review for her indie book, Spirit’s Destiny, and I readily agreed. Always willing to lend a hand to the small press, I was pleased to recently receive a digital copy in my mailbox, and off we went. I hadn’t done any background research into the book and was therefore able to approach it with a fresh mind.
Was it a superhero book? A horror book? I plunged in and soon discovered it may be neither, or a little bit of both.

Spirit’s Destiny opens with teenage heroine, Destiny, awaking from a nightmare, or perhaps vision, depicting a costumed ne’er do well creeping into his infant daughter’s room.  He gets into a fracas with the child’s mother, but not before injecting the baby with some strange fluid.  I love that the book cold opened with a very well choreographed fight scene/dream sequence before snapping us into Destiny’s regular, everyday routine.

The book’s second act shows us a bit of teenage Destiny’s archetypical school life (best friend, hot guy, bitchy rival girl) and some interaction with her mother, who grounds her for treating Bitchy Girl to a right cross.
I didn’t see that coming, and it pinned down Destiny’s character in one panel. Well done.

Friday, April 1, 2016

REVIEW: Batman Beyond Unlimited #1

Batman Creators: Bob Kane & Bill Finger
Story: Adam Beechen/Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
Art and Cover: Dustin Nguyen, Norm Breyfogle
Colors: Andrew Elder, Randy Mayor
Review: Daniel Simpson

When Batman Beyond first came out as a cartoon series it was met with, at least from my point of view, criticism. Here was this new Batman that had a suit that could fly, and all this tech that seemed it fit better on Iron Man than on Batman, but slowly it won me over. As a cartoon series it rewrote the Batman mythos and as a comic series it could do, the exact thing. Terry McGinnis is an awesome Batman and brings a level of snark to the Dark Knight that he has never had before. If you are unfamiliar with the Batman Beyond universe here is the skinny: The story takes place in 2019, Terry McGinnis is Batman, Bruce Wayne has basically taken Alfred’s role staying in the bat cave with Ace the Bathound, Barbara Gordon is the police commissioner. There are several different gangs that call themselves the Jokerz. All caught up? Good.

This comic just jumps right in the storyline starting out with Batman trying to stop one gang of Jokerz from robbing an antique magic shop. They are from Star City and are the second out of town group to try to vandalize Neo Gotham.