From A Library: Blackest Night

Blackest Night #0–8 Written by Geoff Johns Art by Ivan Reis Wow, Geoff Johns really loves Hal Jordan, doesn’t he? There is no other hero more super: he’s the greatest because everyone keeps saying he’s the greatest, and no one else can do what he does. At least according to Johns. This is the equivalent of literary fellatio and it can sometimes feel too intimate to read. This also reads as rather depressing because of the inherent morbidity. To paraphrase, let’s talk about death, baby: Batman (at the time this came out), J’onn J’onnz, Aquaman, Katana, Tim Drake, Kyle Rayner’s […]

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Are comic books better with a single writer or a writing team?

I recently read the collected Captain America and Bucky: The Life Story of Bucky Barnes, which was written by Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko. Comprising Captain America and Bucky #620–624, it was a perfectly fine story – a well-told tale of how Bucky came to be Cap’s sidekick – but it seemed to lack the spark I got from reading Brubaker’s solo work on Captain America (although, saying that, I didn’t enjoy his Captain America stuff after the Reborn storyline, which I felt was a bit disappointing after his great run on the series – the introduction of the traditional […]

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Book Review: Hallow Point

Hallow Point Written by Ari Marmell Published by Titan Books I really enjoyed Hot Lead, Cold Iron, the first Mick Oberon job, so I was delighted to get a chance to review the second book, Hallow Point. Oberon is a private detective in 1930s Chicago, except that he’s not a normal bloke: he’s a former prince of the Fae (the aes sidhe) who left it all behind and came to live in our world; the presence of so much iron is unpleasant, but he puts up with it because he doesn’t want to be back in Elphame, in the Otherworld […]

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From A Library – Avengers: Endless Wartime

Written by Warren Ellis Art by Mike McKone Tblunka, capital city of Sorenia, nestled between Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. A mercenary, part of a force formed by the unseated regime trying to retake the country from the democratically elected government, shoots down something strange with ‘US Air Force’ on it. Stark Towers. The Avengers: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hawkeye, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Iron Man, Black Widow, Wolverine; the characters are introduced by Ellis in a clean, quick, efficient manner but with lovely sharp banter that essays character (Stark: ‘Captain America wants to stomp on me.’ Pepper: ‘Well, in his […]

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Comic Book Artists: Dale Keown

This series of posts is about comic book artists whose work I like. The normal pattern is that I talk about the artist’s career and mention when I started enjoying the work and include various images by the artist. However, in this case, the text aspect will be a little lighter than normal because, unfortunately, there isn’t a huge amount of ongoing series or different mini-series to discuss. Dale Keown is a Canadian artist who started working in the industry in 1986, drawing various comics for Aircel, such as Samurai and Dragon Ring. He would do various covers at other […]

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From A Library: The Perhapanauts

 The Perhapanauts: First Blood (The Perhapanauts #1–4) and The Perhapanauts: Second Chances (The Perhapanauts: Second Chances #1–4) Written and co-created by Todd Dezago Art and co-created by Craig Rousseau I love this idea: a Bigfoot, a ghost, a psychic, a chupacabra (literally ‘goat-sucker’, an animal rumoured to exist in the Americas that gets its name from what it supposedly does), plus a bloke who is a bit of a mystery, are agents of BEDLAM (Bureau of Extra Dimensional Liabilities and Management), an organisation that tries to control paranormal problems (the unknown, the unexplained, the freaky stuff, the creepy stuff) where […]

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Notes On A Film: Ant-Man

If you are even slightly pop-culture literate, you’ll know that Ant-Man was going to be directed by Edgar Wright, from a script by him and Joe Cornish; it was a project that Wright had been developing for several years, only to leave at almost the last minute due to ‘creative differences’, to be replaced by the less stylistic Peyton Reed, and with a script polish by star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay (who has written and directed many funny films with Will Ferrell). The question of ‘What if Edgar Wright had directed Ant-Man?’ hovers over the film – like a […]

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From A Library – Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter

Adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke I haven’t read the original novel but I have seen the film adaptations (Point Blank, Payback), so I can’t verify the authenticity of the job that Darwyn Cooke does of adapting Parker into graphic novel format (apart from reading the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, but that doesn’t really count). However, even I can tell the apparent authenticity of the feeling, the atmosphere, the respect for the source material that Cooke infuses this story with that make for a perfect adaptation to the comic book page. Cooke’s art is exactly how I imagine the style […]

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From A Library – Resident Alien: Welcome To Earth!

Resident Alien #0–3 Written by Peter Hogan Art/Colour/Letters by Steve Parkhouse Dr Harry Vanderspeigle lives outside the small mountain town of Patience, USA. He’s a semi-retired doctor who keeps to himself, until the local police ask him to help in an investigation – the only doctor in town has been murdered, and he’s the only other doctor in the area. The only problem is that Harry is an extraterrestrial who crash-landed on Earth three years ago; he has blended into the community while he waits to be rescued, deliberately staying out of local affairs and trying not to get involved […]

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Writer Top Five: Peter Milligan

Continuing with the theme of my favourite works by a writer I enjoy: today is the turn of Peter Milligan. The man, the mystery, the enigma (deliberate reference – see later); Milligan is an unusual writer who revels in his unusualness and intelligence and literary passions. His website is called Ineluctable Modality, which comes from a quote from Ulysses by James Joyce, meaning approximately ‘A particular form of sensory perception or mode in which something is experienced or expressed that is inescapable or unable to be avoided’. If that doesn’t give you a sense of who Milligan is and what […]

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