Category Archives: Review

X-men:Grand Design #1 – Marvel- Dec.20th-2017

I didn’t have this in my pull list, and I picked it up on a whim as I liked the cover and the “old timey” vibe to it. I’m glad I did.It’s a bit pricier then your monthly books by $2.00, but it’s got a very unique feel to it, and that’s getting rarer these days. Also, if you have interest in the X-Men after the Disney purchase, and you have no desire to purchase Marvels back catalogue, this is a relatively good “jumping on” point to start from.

This first chapter was written and pencilled by Ed Piskor. Ed Piskor is someone who you might call an “Alternative artist”. He is a former student of the Kubert School ,and has done a variety of underground “minicomics”. I vaguely remembered seeing some of his previous work on a book called MACEDONIA about 10 years .He’s got an interesting style in that X-Men: Grand Design, actually felt like it was  written in the 1940’s and the art harkened back to the comic strip style popularized then.

The story itself is a pretty comprehensive “Re-telling” of X-Men lore from the very beginning. Obviously there are spoilers aplenty in these pages ,so if your new to the X-Men this may not be the best place to start your journey on their history. Having said that, if your a “X-Men completionist” this is a pretty cool gift of their history told in a very unique format. As alluded to earlier ,it feels like a 1960’s X-Men story told in a 1940’s comic strip style. Original in that aspect to say the least.

I’m not usually a fan of  comic “gimmicks”. I’ve seen enough Gatefold/Foil/Embossed covers to last me a lifetime, but the “yellowed” paper effect that they have brought to this book makes for a pretty cool reading experience. It even smells like older newsprint paper.Definitely brings a sense of history and reverence to the subject if nothing else.

If you’ve been an X-Men fan for years there’s not much new brought to this book ,other then the aforementioned presentation. I even noticed at certain points that were a few liberties taken with that documentation. Definitely more a book of “experiencing ” the X-Men then reading any new material from them. There is a neat bibliography in the back listing the timeline and issues in which these events took place.I thought that was a nice historical reference.

This book is Part 1 of a trilogy. Chapter 2 is already out, and the rest of series is expected out later in 2018  It’s not a “must have” for me at this point in time, but it was a cool read .

 

P.S Pop back by on Jan.23rd as i’ll be taking a look at IMAGE Comic’s “Days of Hate” which came out just this past week. Cheers for now.

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Marvel -Two-In-One #1 – Marvel

Marvel Two – In- One originally launched in January 1974 and was one of my favourite series(along with Marvel Team up) growing up. There was constantly new guests, so you never got bored with the line up. When they announced a new series via the “Legacy” imprint ,I knew I had to give it a shot.

Overall , I really enjoyed the first issue. There were a variety of reasons behind this. I THINK this is going to be a beginning of a return of a book I had have been waiting a few years to resurface.(that FOX sale definitely boosted the idea I suspect).I was hoping they would start off with a strong story and great art . They didn’t disappoint.

First, the story. Great dialogue from writer Chip Zdarsky. Even the minor characters got some great lines which speaks volumes to story depth. The sense of loss he was able to convey in Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm over(and this really isn’t a spoiler since it’s been over 6 months)the loss of Sue& Reed Richards and the kids was very well written.

There’s no knock down, drag out fights in this chapter really ,and that’s a good thing as it helped establish a strong, forboding mood and backbone for the series. It felt like a good first chapter of a “Homecoming” adventure, and set the tone for the story arc very well. Through a few, well placed, Flash back scenes Zdarsky got across strongly why the Fantastic Four was also known as “The First Family”. They take care of their own.

Jim Cheung on pencils was top-notch, and his attention to detail portraying strong facial expressions(and that’s saying something for Ben Grimm)helped convey the sense of melancholy and remorse that both Johnny and Ben have been feeling. Heck , the inkers also deserve kudos for some well placed shadowing during key moments.

I did have a few issues with a the book. There was a key reveal that I think could have been held off for a few issues, but I also understand they had to come strong out of the gate .To balance that, there was some pretty cool nostalgia, and some interesting Easter eggs(Who knew the car racing world had that many coincidences in it?).

I do plan on putting this book in my pull list. The first issue delivered well, and I’m interested to see where the story goes. It was released on Dec.20th so you might still find some copies on the shelf. Recommend taking a look. Was a great read.

P.S Pop back on Sunday Jan.21rst when I plan on taking a look at X-Men :Grand Design. Cheers for now.

ALTERNA COMICS – SCRIMSHAW- 1#

 

 

The world is underwater. Al Gore’s worst nightmare has come true.The ice caps have melted .Governments have fallen ,and the world is a very different place now. This is conveyed very succinctly in the first few pages. Broken politics and corporate iron fists are the voice of the day now, and that’s where the story begins.

SCRIMSHAW has kind of a swashbuckling feel to it. Somewhere between WATERWORLD,PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN with a nice undercurrent of some of Wolverines time in Japan. Writer Eric Borden is able to Mesh this together into the beginnings of an adventure where the “good guys” aren’t necessarily that good, and the bad guys need a worse name because of their actions.

Eric fleshed out the characters as much as one can in a first issue and you receive introductions to a fair amount of personalities that can expanded on in further issues. Some I found more interesting than others but time will tell whether they are intended to be bit players or main roster characters. He also provided a nice hook for issue #2 in the “There be Whales here captain!!!” vein.

Artist Dave Mim’s work reminds of a cross between Jae Lee and Whilce Portacio. Jagged and demonic, which fits nicely in with the characters of this series. The backgrounds seemed a bit too busy for me but the more I thought about it, it would make sense that the backdrops for this story would be crowded and very hustle and bustle.

This book is a 4 issue limited series and I’m going to order the other 3 parts. If I did have one suggestion for the book, it would be the lettering. The point size could stand to be a little bigger. I found myself more than once squinting to read it and you lose some story flow when you have to do that. Also, Do yourself a favour and google “Scrimshaw”. You’ll learn something new. I did.

Next Issue is out Aug.2017

Written by Eric Borden

Artist -Dave Mims

Letterer-Spike O Laochdha

Trailer Preview – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle.

 

If Sony had of just called this movie “Welcome to the Jungle “they probably would have saved themselves a tonne of grief. The word Jumanji conjures up images and memories of late comedic icon Robin Williams and that’s something that will probably not help this film. Many tweets I’ve read about these trailers have been negative .Many for no reason I feel.

The Trailer begins almost as an Homage to “The Breakfast Club” in that 4 students of diverse back grounds get to spend some time in detention. I’m not completely sure this was not a coincidence. They actually gave a little bit more away in this trailer then I wanted to see.Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to keep a surprise how people get from one place to another.

Soon we’re cranking it up with strains of Guns and Roses “Welcome to the Jungle “booming through the scenes. Guns and Roses works with practically every trailer so not reading too much into the movies quality here.

The movies stars The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), also signed on for it and he usually doesn’t do scripts unless there is something there so that interests me . Most of the Jokes in the Trailers land, and Jack Black channeling a lovely blonde seems like it might have a few chuckles from the trailer. You are, of course going to see many, many dangerous animals along the way in all their CGI majesty

I found the International Trailer did a better job of selling the movie for me.These folks seem like they had a good time making the film and poking some fun at their character stereotypes so that to me is a plus. If people go in to watch the movie without thinking of Robin Williams they will probably enjoy the movie much more. All the man wanted to do was make you smile. Why not try it?

It’s releasing Dec.22nd and will probably face some pretty rough competition at that time(The Last Jedi drops the week before) but it might be effective counter programming. I say cautiously. Domestic and International Trailers are below. Thanks for reading

Scarey

Days of Dark Fire #1 – Sinopia Comics Inc. – Review and a few thoughts

 

This book had very cool art going in, so I wasn’t really surprised when the story turned out to be pretty damn good also. By now, if you have ever heard of the X-men, you have heard of the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix. This series delves into a pretty cool saga based on the god like properties of these two Phoenixes and the followers of their faiths.

After reading a few pages of this first book I began to realize how well it flowed from scene to scene. For me, if I can imagine someone acting out these scenes on a TV or movie screen, it’s usually a positive sign to me that the dialogue is pretty good. Giovanni Smith is a great writer, who can bring together a complex story  while giving his characters dialogue that moves along the story, but develops their personalities for better or worse. Titan “Tyson” comes to mind. He’s a wise ass, but your able to see there’s good inside that character before his actions even get to that point. Can’t say enough about this great dialogue.

Artist Mike Gaughrans art  gave the story a great sense of medieval, epic adventure to it. The timing and pace of the art was in perfect synch with the emotions and dialogue that Giovanni Smiths words were trying to convey. Mike’s art has kind of a cartoonish look to it, but I say that in the best possible way. I was reminded of the old  Masters of the Universe cartoons as I was reading this book. That’s high praise for me.

I did have a few small critiques that came to mind. Melody the Amazon looked kind of masculine, and the “grackles” looked like an oversized biker gang, but those were minor details. A few other positive details I’d like to point out is the great read at the beginning of the story that fleshes out the history of the two Phoenixes and how we get to where we are at when the story began. Also at the end of the book there is a detailed map which shows this world that is being created in  detail.

Issue #2 has already been released via their website below with title #3 coming soon. Please donate if you are going to read this book. About quarter way through Volume 1 you’ll realize you have paid $4.00 for at least one book in the last 3 months that wasn’t even close to the art and story of this one…and it wasn’t 30 quality pages.  Great job guys. Cheers

Scott

https://sinopiacomics.com/comics/

 

 

A Little Off The Top- Book #1 – Lowfive Productions

 

This was a quirky book that I wasn’t sure how to take the first time around. How could you build a story around hair cutting?!….and then I thought hmm,… Edward Scissorhands. If I could broadly compare this book, it would be a cross between Edward Scissorhands, The Star Wars Trilogy and a bit of Game of thrones tossed in there.

Abigale Theodosia is an enforcer of sorts. In a land where  hair is currency,  and being shaved of all yours strips you of your dignity,  a barber can be a dangerous figure. Abigale’s bone to pick today(or hair pick if you will)is not with the fine folks of the territory she is in but with the Queen and King of this realm. It’s about her families honor though the reasons so far have not been made quite clear.

Not sure how they did it, but the creators of this concept made it work, …..and  fairly well. From a story that is well paced(Via writer Billy Martin) to art that has a “fairy tale” feel to it(via Jazz Singh) they are able to pull together a thoughtful story and the beginnings of a larger universe of “cutters”. Along the way they plant enough seeds for future chapters where the things that are alluded to before will all make sense in the end…….or at the very least give more questions to the answers.

The hook for the next issue is set up nicely, and introduces whom I think may be to this series, it’s “Obi Wan CUTnobi”(Christ, did I just write that?!).Abigale Theodosia is an interesting character .From her facial expressions right down to the flop of hair on the top of her head(think Strong guy from X-factor)she has the makings of a strong interesting character.

I’d read the second book to see where this was going as I’ve been given enough foreshadowing that I’d like to see where it’s going. Lowfive productions website is below. They’ve got some great art and a couple of podcasts if you’d like to check them out. Cheers for now

Scott

http://www.lowfiveproductions.com/

 

 

Review Nyobi #1 – Larry Higgins

I think at some point time or another in our lives we’re all been bullied. Whether it be in school ,or out , sometimes being a teen who’s a little bit different is the most lonely road to walk. For Lucas Cassie this first issue gives a hint what his life is like in spades. On my first read through this book I wondered if perhaps this abuse had been overdone? Writer Larry Higgins had the whole world seemingly kicking this kids ass.

It certainly would explain why he was pushed to his brink, even if he did have a bit of help along the way in the form of a demon(Think Venom with a suicidal wish) goading him along just when he was at his weakest. The entire undercurrent of this issue was a sense of foreboding that this was not going to end well for Lucas.

The lead character 23, year old Japanese /American” Nyobi” Lee(based on cosplayer “Emily Zombie guts”.I just found the title to my first comic:), left me with more questions than answers after this first issue. She’s a teleporter in the vein of the X-mens” Nightcrawler” but as the story progresses you can see that by using her powers she becomes fatigued very quickly. Is she pushing herself to hard , or is it something else that is wearing her out?

There’s not a lot of fleshing out of Nyobi Lees origin in the story itself, but there is a handy dandy 2 page character profile directly after the main story to help fill in the blanks concerning Nyobi’s back story and abilities. Along with that there are various art works on the last 8 pages depicting Nyobi by local artists such as Andre Boulard, David Coates and Stefanine Acking to name a few. Andre Boulard’s version of her is probably my favourite, however I would have preferred the character show more uniqueness to her costume style. The short skirt , knee high boots and pigtails seemed a bit caricature of Japanese culture.

Overall , a good first venture out with a character with a lot of potential and a storyline that has room for a lot of growth. My understanding via some research is that the second issue has already been funded on Kickstarter and may be already out. One more very necessary and classy move I noted on the back page(literally read it cover to cover , because that’s how we roll here at Scotts house of comic reviews)was the numbers for the U.S(Suicide Prevention Line) and Canada (Kidshelpphone) prevention lines.I’m reprinting them here and anyone who is reading this if you ever need them, please use them. Hell, contact me on twitter and I’ll bring you in if need be. Oh and Larry? Dad would have been very proud. Cheers

Scott

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273 – 8255

Kidshelpphone 1-800-668-6868

Writer: Larry P Higgins

Interior line work:David Coates

Cover and shading :Andre Boulard