I am a massive Beatles fan and relished the opportunity to geek out with Sidebar Nation’s Swain Hunt about Dark Horse’s “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story” in a Sidebar podcast. This truly exquisite and poignant graphic novel tells the story of the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, the man who played a central role in making them icons and struggled greatly in his personal life as a closeted gay man. Written by Vivek J. Tiwary and gloriously illustrated by lead artist Andrew C. Robinson (with notable contributions by Kyle Baker), it’s one of the best things I’ve read this year. We loved the hell out of it, so check us out as we discuss the many highlights.
CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast.
I had the privilege of reading the new Image series by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly. Teased last year at Comic-Con, the anticipation and fanbase that has grown for a book that doesn’t see its first issue released until tomorrow is remarkable. The Pretty Deadly Tumblr is alive with fanart and cosplayers making plans to be Death’s daughter, Ginny, at their next con.
My Archie love has been well documented in the G3 space. However, I know there are plenty of comics readers who care as much about Riverdale as I do about zombies. Which is to say, not at all. But believe me, you don’t have to be a big fan of either to enjoy Afterlife With Archie #1, a new horror-themed series that knocked my socks off. “But E.,” you’re saying right now, “Give me one good reason to spend $2.99 on a comic about a bunch of goofy teenagers inhabiting a sanitized version of middle America.”
I’ll give you five.
I love Jonathan Crane. I love the shit outta him. So I read this comic.
It was… disappointing. To say the least.
Tomasi writes a pretty good Scarecrow but as a whole… why do I even bother with DC anymore? I’ve had it with thinly veiled cash grabs whose only purpose are to give insight into the plot of OTHER comics.
Read the full review HERE
Based on my glorious experience with Uncanny X-Force, I already knew Rick Remender was a good writer. While I have plenty of faith in his talent, I didn’t think he was so good that he could make a character like Captain America compelling.
I was wrong.
What do I mean by “a character like Captain America?” He’s as white-bread and straight-edge as it gets. While I don’t actively dislike the character, he certainly wasn’t interesting to me … until now. In just one issue, I like the guy. I may even come back around for another issue or two.
You can read my full review of Captain America #11 HERE.
Hey guys! I’m reviewing stuff again. This week is two quick reviews on Gail Simone’s slow-burn in The Movement #4 and the explosive final issue of The Legend of Luther Strode.
When The Strange Talents of Luther Strode hit the shelves last year, that book was pure energy and wildly addicting. I actually didn’t catch on to that trend until about issue five, read all of them … and squirmed until issue six came out. Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore’s Luther Strode is super intense, super violent and yet quite novel.
The Legend of Luther Strode is the second mini-series featuring Luther, Petra and a bevy of other misfits and I enjoyed it. But … I think this pony needs some new tricks because the novelty is wearing thin, even though the quality is still there. Word on the wind is we will be getting The Legacy of Luther Strode next year. I am still so going to read it, but I do hope these talented creators will bring a surprise or two.
That aside, Petra totally kicks ass in this issue. She massacres a couple of female fiction tropes which is one of my favorite things to read in the whole wide world. Not hyperbole.
Now, about The Movement. We here at the Church of Gail Simone give all available benefits of doubts and trust in her ability to weave a fine web of comic bookiness. I’ll admit, The Movement has been an acquired taste, but one that I think is well worth your time … and mine. When a writer references the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, it implies a thoughtfulness and a care for the injustices suffered by marginalized people. It’s culture in our comics … the all-to-often-ignored culture is the kind of stuff I like to read and support in our sea of escapism. I’ve still got some reservations about the art. I’d like Nicola Scott or Amanda Conner drawing these characters. Rags Morales would be a good fit, too. A fangirl can dream, right?
You can read my reviews HERE.
Seven years is a long time for a character’s story to last under one writer, but that is how long Grant Morrison has been building up to his final chapter for Batman. I have read his entire run including Final Crisis and 52, and his Batman is the only Batman I currently like. I know. I know. Some love Snyder’s Bat, and I hear Layman does a stand up job on ‘Tec.
The truth is, I don’t like Batman as a character. He doesn’t interest me. Continue reading
Just in case you happened to miss it yesterday, dear readers, I reviewed Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve #13 over at Newsarama. This was one of the first comic series that got me hooked on indie in the first place, and is well-worth looking into. Tomine is a master of his craft. You can read it in full HERE.
Just in case you fine folks missed it, last week Lindsey reviewed Paul Pope’s one-shot, The Invincible Haggard West #101. She gave it very high marks. Being that Lindz is so cool and smart, this book probably is, too. You can check her review HERE.
Then, last Wednesday saw the release of Gail Simone’s much-anticipated Red Sonja from Dynamite Entertainment. Erika jumped at the chance to let the world know it’s just as good as we thought it would be. You can read that review HERE.
Lindsey and I have full-length reviews up over at Newsarama’s Best Shots Advance column, today. She is loving the Red Riding Hood adaptation, Akaneiro. And I was super-stoked to review Greg Rucka’s Lazarus. Both comics feature female protagonists. Both comics are worth your time and money. CHECK IT.
Lindz has joined the ranks of the Best Shots Team over at Newsarama.com, and I’d say she’s doing a bang up job. CHECK IT!
If Superman is the hero whose powers we all dream of having, many more of us can probably relate to Spider-Man. Underneath it all, he’s the regular joe whose powers weren’t a birthright but bestowed by accident. Rarely do his good deeds go unpunished, and he has wrestled with the question of how to do the right thing in a world where many don’t trust him. Continue reading
Batman Incorporated boasts an entertaining story and Young Avengers is rocking the killer art. Click HERE to check out my reviews of two solid spandex reads for the week of May 29th.
One of the many reasons the art team of Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson ROCK!
Michael DeForge is either ambidextrous, or has a hulking machine of a drawing arm. I can see it now, producing multiple pages a day, and looking something like this:
Yeah. Heavy is the arm that wears the crown. Should have drawn a crown on there.
DeForge is one of the most prolific creators in the industry today. I count something like 17 projects from 2012 alone! His latest work, Lose #5, comes hot on the heels of a much larger short story collection, Very Casual, also released by Koyama Press.
The Lose series is a great look into the imagination of an amazing talent. Continue reading
Wonder Woman has been on my pull list for seven years straight. After reading Wonder Woman #20, I dropped it.
I don’t mention it in my review, but Diana was in only 8 of the 20 pages in this issue and she didn’t even make an appearance until page 5. When she does appear, her thunder is stolen almost as quickly as it appears.
I swear Brian Azzarello is mocking Wonder Woman fans.
I imagine him reading the bad reviews and angry tweets while stroking his beard and laughing maniacally. “You wanna talk shit about me, eh? Watch what I do to your beloved princess.”
The thing is … Azzarello has done very little with the character apart from having her slapped on the ass. Rucka’s Wonder Woman would have never been slapped on the ass.
My character loyalty has continued the support of this book for about a year too long. I refuse to endure another month of disappointment especially when there are many other female-led comics that are better.
Fatale is one of them. I reviewed that too.
I was so excited to read Gail Simone’s latest addition to the DC line-up, The Movement. I heard her say that it’s probably the most diversity in a DC comic … like ever. And not just racial diversity; The Movement will tout diverse perspectives, lifestyles, politics and beliefs. Hera knows the heteronormative world of mainstream comics needs some variation in perspective. I certainly have a strong desire for it in comics (and elsewhere).
The Movement #1 was not as strong of a first issue as I had hoped, but then I wonder if my expectations were unrealistically high. Were they high because I think Gail is a wonderful storyteller or because I want this book to beget more books like it thus prematurely placing it on a pedestal? Or maybe … it just wasn’t a great first issue. Either way, you can read my full review here.
Have you read it? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my review?
If you are familiar with Jane Mai already, you know that her comics are generally light-hearted and humorous with such telling titles as “Literal Poop Nightmare” and “Strippers.” For this reason it was briefly shocking to find the entirety of her full-length debut, Sunday in the Park with Boys, such a departure from what we have come to expect of her.
Published recently by Koyama Press, this 52-page black and white volume begins by transporting the reader to Jane’s past. There we find melancholy and malaise tinged with a desperation that only comes from the awareness that time may be moving on without you. Read on and see how she combats existential crises, depression, loneliness, and the weight of existence; all the expected traumas of youth. Continue reading
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal: The Last of the Innocent has been described as the most messed up “Archie” reimagining ever published, and that assessment is catnip for readers who frequent Riverdale. But this widely praised arc, trade Vol. 6 in the Criminal noir series, is much more than an exercise in taking beloved archetypes to hell. Brubaker and Phillips have crafted a harrowing portrait of unhappy adulthood and the longing for youth’s fleeting golden moments. Continue reading
Superheroes and anti-heroes lead complicated, over-the-top dramatic lives that inevitably wreak havoc on their relationships. No matter what that passionate lip-lock between Wonder Woman and Superman on the cover of Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special suggests — and enough already; we get it — the stories in this collection are not heavy on heart-fluttering moments and sexytime. Continue reading
I throw in three reviews for Chew, Batwoman and Young Avengers in this week’s Best Shots Rapid Review column. Check it.