Out-Thought and Out-Played – Electric Warriors #4 Review

Electric Warriors 4 - coverThis review first appeared on the Weird Science DC Comics website over a year ago. I thought that, rather than present it here unvarnished and as it originally appeared, I’d try my best to contextualise it at least a little.

The more observant among you will have noticed that, of the many and varied comics reviewed in these pages, a fair few of them are written by Steve Orlando. This is not by accident. When I offered to review regularly for the Weird Science site, I first started out on some indie books before graduating to crossover titles like Green Lantern/Planet of the Apes and Batman/The Shadow. This last was co-written by Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando and was, although flawed, a fairly enjoyable series. It wasn’t long before I was reviewing Orlando-scripted books fairly regularly and thus, The Orlando Zone – a dedicated section of the Weird Science DC Comics podcast – was born with yours truly waffling on at far too great a length about those comics penned by Steve Orlando that no one else wanted to review. (And a fair few of them there were, too…)

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So, what’s going on?

Death Metal - 1This is a not inconsequential but fairly loaded question in these uncertain times, I suppose. It’s been a long while since I posted anything here and I thought it’d be worth just recording some thoughts about the current year of disruption and upheaval. Here goes…

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Prickly – Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 – Review

Legion of Superheroes Millennium 1 coverI’m a Legion of Superheroes fan. Issue 251 of Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes was my first ever DC Comics purchase. The sheer wealth of characters, their colourful costumes, odd names, and equally strange powers (Matter-Eater Lad? Bouncing Boy?) appealed to my sense of wonder, drama, and fun. I’ve had a soft spot for the Legion ever since. So, when DC announced that Brian Michael Bendis would take on the responsibility of penning the next chapter in the Legion’s labyrinthine adventures, I was excited. And a little concerned. That Bendis would play fast and loose with Legion continuity was certain. But how fast and loose? Would his teenage superheroes simply be 31st-century analogs of today’s ‘kids’, or would Bendis manage to give them more distinctive, unique voices? Speaking of voices, how much dialogue would there be? (I mean, I like a good bit of banter more than most – and certainly more than Jim and Eric – but even I have limits.) Most importantly, would Bendis manage to capture the sense of wonder, fun, and adventure that had so hooked me as a kid? Well…

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The Punisher (2018) #13 – Review

The Punisher 13 coverHaving caused mayhem in Hydra-controlled Bagalia, our man Frank returns to New York. Not because he’s feeling nostalgic for his own stomping grounds, you understand. No. This homecoming is because Frank’s got some unfinished business with Baron Zemo, the ruler of Bagalia who’s fled to the Big Apple. Not the cleverest of ideas from Zemo, perhaps. Let’s see how this all plays out…

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Rainmaker – The Wild Storm #17 Review

The Wild Storm 17 - coverAnother month, another stop on the John Lynch/Gen-12 reunion tour. While the general level of quality in terms of writing and art continues to remain extraordinarily high in this series, there’s little doubt that Ellis’ decision to shift focus from both the brewing IO/Skywatch war and Jacob Marlowe’s WildCAT to Jenny Mae Sparks’ Authority-building and Lynch’s trek down memory lane has resulted in a slowing down of pace and a certain structural repetition that, personally, I could do without. This issue sees Lynch visit yet another Project Thunderbook subject. Let’s see how he gets on…

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Death Metal – Death’s Head #1 (Review)

Death's Head 1 coverIt’s a bit weird seeing a character who first appeared in an issue of Transformers UK back in 1987 getting his own mini-series in 2019. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the robot bounty hunter in his publishing career. His initial popularity with Marvel UK readers earned him guest appearances in US comics like Fantastic Four and She-Hulk, but his publishing history is as much marked by near-misses and failures as it is by successes. Will this mini-series see him return to his former glory? There’s only one way to find out…

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10 Amazing Jenny Frison Covers!

Cover artI do like cover art, and one of the best in the business at the moment is the simply astonishing Jenny Frison whose work regularly graces variant covers for DC and Marvel, and has also appeared on the front of the books of indie publishers like Image, Dynamite and Boom! This post is by no means an exhaustive list of this talented artist’s work, but simply an appreciation of ten of her most striking covers. (They’re all striking, to be honest. This post could have been ten times as long and still not have exhausted the excellence of her work.) Enjoy!

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Strong and Silent – Conan: Exodus Review

Conan Exodus coverIt is tempting to read Conan: Exodus #1 quickly. There is very little dialogue and what there is is rendered as Nordic runes, incomprehensible to the young Conan leaving his inhospitable homeland and to the reader following his adventures. I would recommend taking your time with this issue, though. Writer and artist Esad Ribic’s decision to rely solely on image and layout to tell most of his story forces the reader to dwell longer on the visuals of the story and he is a good enough storyteller to make it worth your while to do so. Allow me to explain…

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California Burning – American Carnage #1 Review

American Carnage - 1 coverWhen the new wave of Vertigo titles was announced to great fanfare earlier this year, there was only one that really caught my eye. Since first encountering his writing in The Wild Storm: Michael Cray, I’ve come to appreciate Bryan Hill as a thoughtful writer of action comics and a refreshingly calm and personable presence on Twitter. And here he was being announced as the writer of a six-part mini-series dealing with themes of racial tension and violence in the age of Trump, increasingly vocal pushback against the perceived excesses of political correctness and the social justice movement, and the reemergence of white supremacy exemplified by the tragic events of Charlottesville. I was intrigued and a little worried. The potential for American Carnage to be a simplistic anti-Trump spleen-venting (the title is lifted from arguably the most controversial section of Trump’s inauguration speech) or a jeremiad on the dangers of white (gun) violence was certainly there, but Hill is a writer I’ve begun to trust, so I approached this first issue with more hope than trepidation. Let’s find out if I was right, eh?

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