Category: Comics

Classic Comic Covers (Joe Kubert edition)

Joe Kubert (1926-2012) was one of the most prolific artists in comics and his covers have graced an incredibly wide range of comic books over the years. Perhaps best known for his work on DC Comics’ war titles and particularly Sgt Rock, his covers are bold, powerful and extraordinarily vivid. Here are just a few of his most striking images…

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Wonder Woman/Conan #6 – Review

Wonder Woman Conan 6 coverApproaching this final issue of Wonder Woman/Conan is a decidedly bitter-sweet experience. The series has been generally excellent and, with Marvel having reacquired the license to everyone’s favourite barbarian, further adventures featuring these two characters looks rather unlikely. A shame, but let’s not dwell on what may or may not be, eh? There’s a city to save and crow-goddesses to defeat. Let’s hope Conan can figure out what on earth he’s meant to do with that mystically glowing lasso…

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DC In Crisis? – Heroes In Crisis #1 Review, Analysis and Spoilers

HIC CoverHas there ever been a more controversial event book than the current DC title Heroes In Crisis, the first issue of which dropped last week?  Having variously been marketed as an exploration of themes such as PTSD and what writer Tom King has termed the “new war generation”, a generation of men and women who have “spent their twenties overseas fighting terrorism”, as well as a murder mystery, the title was already generating a fair amount of controversy and comment with the revelation that the series would be centred around the Sanctuary, a bespoke high tech facility to which traumatised heroes can go to receive psychological treatment, and that at least one (reasonably) well-known hero would be killed off during the story. Given that build-up, is it any wonder that there’s been a mixed reaction to the first issue hitting and fans finding out the identities of some of the heroes who have been killed?

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The Ruff and Reddy Show #3 Review

The Ruff and Reddy Show 3 coverChaykin and Rey’s The Ruff and Reddy Show is one of the strangest comics I’ve ever been asked (oh, okay – volunteered) to review, but I think this might be the issue when I finally get some kind of handle on it. The last two issues have seen our titular pairing, after a long period of separation and obscurity, reunite in a bid to relaunch their careers. That it’s taken this long to reach that point is largely down to Chaykin’s decision to turn his ‘story’ (if that’s the right word for a narrative this threadbare) into a vehicle for a satirical look at the entertainment business, whose scattergun approach has yielded entirely predictably mixed results. The end of this issue marks the midway point of this story, though, and it looks light it might actually be moving a bit more purposefully. And thank goodness for that…

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Classic Comic Covers! (Carlos Ezquerra Edition)

Carlos Ezquerra died of lung cancer today at the age of 70.

He was best known as the co-creator of Judge Dredd for 2000AD and Strontium Dog for Starlord until the comic was merged with 2000AD in 1978. His art has graced a variety of comics. As well as his work in 2000AD, he has drawn strips for IPC’s war titles and has provided art for a number of collaborations with Garth Ennis including Bloody Mary and Battlefields.

His stuff is really really good. It is gritty, detailed and generally defined by a sense of muscular physical action invariably involving grim, brooding heroes. Or anti-heroes as the case may be.

His work was an integral part of my childhood. The word ‘legend’ is bandied about far too readily these days, but I think, in this case, it’s entirely deserved. Here’s why…

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Classic Comic Covers! (Kevin Nowlan Edition)

This post could quite legitimately be extremely long. I first encountered Kevin Nowlan’s cover work on The New Defenders where he was a semi-regular cover artist throughout the run but particularly in the first year or so of the title. In marked contrast to the more traditional internal art of Don Perlin and Kim DeMulder, Nowlan’s covers possessed a stylish fluidity that was utterly captivating. I’m delighted to say that Nowlan is still illustrating covers today and that means that there’s a heck of a lot of stuff to choose from when putting together this post. There’s plenty of stuff I’ve missed out. Plenty of good stuff. But this is what’s appealed to me…

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Something Fishy Going On… – The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #6 Review

Michael Cray 6 coverMichael Cray. A character I quite like trapped in a book I really haven’t. Or at least not as much as I wanted to. Up to now, Cray’s Skywatch-sanctioned missions to hunt down dark psychopathic versions of some of the DC universe’s best-loved heroes have been rushed, formulaic and consequently somewhat predictable. And dull. Will this issue – the conclusion to a two-parter featuring a genetically-altered, psychotically deluded Arthur Curry – break the mould?

There’s only one way to find out…

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The Wild Storm #13 – Review

The Wild Storm 13(This review first appeared on the Weird Science DC Comics website.)

The last month has been a Wild Storm free time, but, with last week’s issue of Michael Cray and now a new issue of the parent title on our hands, all that is over and it’s time to dive back into the rich, complex and slow-burning narrative that we’ve come to know and love. I hope that, like me, you’ve fruitfully used the month’s hiatus to meditate on the realities of life and death and the endless struggle that stretches out all too briefly before us as we shuffle through this veil of tears. Or perhaps you’ve instead been wondering just what the implications of the events of issue 12 of this wonderfully involving series will be: whether Mitch’s death will go unnoticed and/or unavenged, whether IO will be able to make use of the data they’ve just filched from Skywatch, whether Skywatch will do anything else to punish IO for its indiscretions. Or perhaps you’ve been wondering just what John Lynch has to do with any of this. If so, then welcome to issue 13. Answers await…

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Beastly! – Justice League of America #221 Review

JLA 221 cover1983 was the year I really got into comics. American comics, that is. I’d collected British comics since the mid-70s (Warlord and Doctor Who Weekly mostly – not 2000AD. Far too gruesome!), but a combination of a fairly steady UK distribution service to newsagents and the increasingly sophisticated storytelling of DC’s and Marvel’s output soon worked its magic on me. Obviously, Justice League of America was a title that appealed to me. I mean, why wouldn’t it? A diverse grouping of colourfully-costumed superheroes banding together to fight outlandish threats was right up my alley. In many respects, as a 13-year-old boy with a pronounced fondness for sci-fi and action, I was probably the mainstream comic companies’ ideal customer. Certainly, this issue is one I remember really enjoying at the time. How does it stack up now? There’s only one way to find out…

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Getting Familiar – The Unexpected #2 Review

the-unexpected-2-cover.jpgThis series surprised me last month. That first issue was a rip-roaring full tilt ride into multidimensional madness and it was populated by a range of interesting new characters who, although they spoke with the overblown idiom of most Steve Orlando creations, nevertheless managed to intrigue the hell out of me. That half of them were dead by the end of the issue seemed to me to be a bold statement of intent from the creative team. Put bluntly, these guys are not messing around. The question is… where do we go from here? For once, I have no actual idea. And I kind of like that. Buckle up then, pilgrims. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Probably…

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