REVIEW: “Numbercruncher” #1

(Titan Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Si Spurrier
ARTWORK BY:  PJ Holden
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Jordie Bellaire
LETTERING BY:  Simon Bowland

Being released today, July 17th, Titan Comics new title “Numbercruncher” is not at all what you might think from the cover, but isn’t that supposed to always be the case?  What looks to be a mobster of some kind is actually a false face for the genius and inventive story that lies behind it.  This is no ‘normal’ comic, and that’s a very good thing.  Originally published in “Judge Dredd: Megazine” #306-308, this is a comic that shifts from black and white to fully colored artwork, making for a curious and satisfying read. Continue reading

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REVIEW: “X” #3

(Dark Horse Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

STORY BY:  Duane Swierczynski
ARTWORK BY:  Eric Nguyen
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Michelle Madsen

Dark Horse’s recent relaunch of the tile “X” has been a good ride so far.  I was hesitant at first, as I had not read the 90’s incarnation.  I just didn’t seem interesting to me at the time.  Beginning with issue #0, the story of our mysterious ‘anti-hero’ X is one mixed with Mobsters, heavy amounts of crime, and lots and lots of bloody violence.  Sound like a rehashed idea?  Maybe in a way it is.  Whatever it may be, it works in a way I hadn’t expected.  After reading issue #0 a bit ago, I was excited for #1’s release, and had this excitement rewarded with a high quality book.  While it seemed to step away from the ultra-violence of #0 in a way, it had the needed good set up and enough action to make it a solid beginning.  The issues to come, leading us here to issue #3 – have been a little more troubled. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #2

(Dark Horse Comics, 2013)

Reviewed by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Steve Niles, Matt Santoro
ARTWORK BY:  Dave Wachter
COVER ARTWORK:  Dave Wachter

The varied stories of the Golem have been in Jewish Folklore for centuries.  This is a common story linked from generation to generation over time, with multiple tales and takes on what we now consider the Golem – a speechless, towering ‘man’ made of mud, dirt, sometimes ash.  We’ve seen in films from many periods how this can go wrong, how a mindless creature following orders exactly as they are given can lead to a nightmarish situation – one where the creator is forced to trick the Golem into its own destruction.  This is a bit of folklore that has transcended from these old stories into a commonly shared one, regardless of the origins of this creature.  Now, here in the 21st century, there are but a small number of films or media regarding this tale.  Luckily for comic fans and history/folklore fans alike, we now have the 3 issue mini-series “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem”. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Legends of the Dark Knight” #9

(DC Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

Story One: “Dreaming He Is a Butterfly”
WRITTEN BY:  Christos Gage
ARTWORK BY:  Jheremy Raapack
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Carrie Strachan

Story Two: “Tap Tap”
WRITTEN BY:  Ray Fawkes
ARTWORK BY:  Stephane Roux

“Legends of the Dark Knight” is such a great idea – different creators from all across the comicsverse doing short Batman stories, released as a Digital First then printed in single issue collections.  Though the trend with these aims more towards a complete storyline, releasing chapters of a tale as opposed to a short comic every week, these first batches were mostly single stories. Continue reading

REVIEW: “X-Men” #1 (2013)

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Brian Wood
PENCILS BY:  Olivier Coipel
INKS BY:  Mark Morales & Olivier Coipel
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Laura Martin
LETTERING BY:  VC’s Joe Caramagna

This opening issue to Marvel’s newest X title – just “X-Men” this time around – is an interesting one, to say the least.  What you might normally expect from a first issue, and especially an X title, is a huge opener with a ton of weight and characters to toss around, with huge villains and even larger problems. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Subatomic Party Girls” #1

(Monkeybrain Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Chris Sims & Chad Bowers
ARTWORK BY:  Erica Henderson
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Erica Henderson
LETTERING BY:  Josh Krach

“Subatomic Party Girls” has quite an interesting name, and is one that might turn some people away from this title before they actually look into it.  Honestly, the title of this comic is one of the only things I found off-putting with this first issue, as what you’ll find inside is some awesome and lively comic work – fun for fans of rock ‘n’ roll, space adventures, aliens, and classic characters. Continue reading

REVIEW: “A Ninja Named Stan” TPB

(Arcana, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Mike Whittenberger
ARTWORK BY:  Delia Gable
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Delia Gable
LETTERING BY:  Mike Whittenberger

I’ve been reading a ton of very creative and unique comics as of late, and almost all of this has come straight out of publishers like Arcana – projects with all the heart and talent the creators can muster, creating millions of titles that not only tell interesting tales in an interesting way, but also comics that are so fun you lose time while reading. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Kinski” #1

(Monkeybrain Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Gabriel Hardman
ARTWORK BY:  Gabriel Hardman

Releasing this Wednesday the 15th, “Kinski” has to be one of the most subtle and curious titles I’ve read in nearly 30 years of reading comics.  While I can see someone flipping through this and not getting much out of it, I found that hidden ‘between the lines’ was an intricate character study, an engaging story that so far is totally not what would be expected. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman” #3

(Brewhouse Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Josh S. Henaman
ARTWORK BY:  Andy Taylor
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Thomas Bonvillain

One of the very first reviews posted here on Bag & Bored was for issue #1 of this title, ‘Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman’, and I’m happy to say we’ve been following it since then.  Issue #3 is out now, and I while I had some great expectations of this issue, I am very glad to announce my expectations were blown to tiny bits.  And then blown again into nothing.  I sat down with this issue and before I knew it I had read it a number of times over the course of the following three days. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Adventures of Superman” Chapter #2 (Digital Firsts)

(DC Comics Digital Firsts, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Jeff Lemire
ARWORK:  Jeff Lemire
COLOR ARTWORK:  Jose Villarrubia
LETTERING:  Wes Abbott

DC Comics’s ‘Digital Firsts’ are a short comic or chapter in a longer arc, releasing once a week and available for .99 cents.  They have titles ranging from ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’, ‘Justice League Beyond’, to a companion comic to TV’s “Arrow” and a ‘Smallville’ title continuing past the long-gone television show of the same name.  They’re usually great fun, and a nice little bit of a comic for when you want to read but not get too involved in a storyline. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Team Stryker” Web Comic

(www.teamstrykercomic.com, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

SCRIPT & ARTWORK BY:  Andrew Grieve

“Team Stryker” is a full-blown action film straight from the 80’s, blasting its way into your brain with a tongue-in-cheek cast of characters, inventive and hilarious locations and villains, and just lots and lots of explosions and gunfire.  This webcomic, which also has its first issue available in print, is a crazy mixture of film references, quirky action, and insane characters – all from the minds of Andrew Grieve and the friends he credits as co-creators. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin” #1

(Dark Horse Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Tim Siedell
PENCILS BY:  Stephen Thompson
INKS BY:  Mark Irwin
COLORS BY:  Michael Atiyeh
LETTERS BY:  Michael Heisler

“Star Wars: Darth Vader & the Ninth Assassin” is one of those Star Wars titles that stand out to me.  One, it has Darth Vader (always helpful), and two – it deals with the post-Episode 3 through pre-Episode 4 part of the Star Wars timeline – an era that has captured my attention, especially in more recent times.  I really find the younger Vader a complex and interesting character, even when played down in this first issue – which, sadly, is one of my main gripes about this first issue. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Injustice: Gods Among Us” Chapter #13

(DC Comics – Digital Firsts, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Tom Taylor
ARTWORK BY:  Tom Derenick
COLOR ARTWORK:  Andrew Elder
LETTERING:  Wes Abbott

The idea of comic books based on video games has always held a slight interest for me, much like the novels.  The only comics I’ve actually collected that are based on games were the Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles (yes, I’m a huge BioWare dork), and while some of the series for those universes have been great, a few have fallen short of my expectations.  Comics along the lines of “Injustice: Gods Among Us”, such as the series released as a lead up to the game “Batman: Arkham City”, are in a world all their own, however. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Frost: Rogue State” #1

(Monkeybrain Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Brandon Jerwa & Eric Trautmann
ARTWORK:  Giovanni Timpano
COLOR ARTWORK:  Andrea Celestini
LETTERING:  Simon Bowland

Comic titles surrounding the Afghanistan War have been popping up like crazy lately, so I wasn’t too surprised to crack open “Frost: Rogue State” #1 and find this title being set there, as well. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Polarity” #1 (of 4)

(BOOM Studios, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITER:  Max Bemis
ARTWORK:  Jorge Coelho
COLOR ARTWORK:  Felipe Sobreiro
LETTERS: Steve Wands

Max Bemis, frontman for the band ‘Say Anything’, has created and written a four issue mini-series, starting with this first issue.  I don’t know anything at all about the band Bemis is in, but I dug into this first issue sure that it wouldn’t be a problem.  Plus, with each of the four issues containing a code for a different free downloadable song from Bemis, I’m sure I can get a decent idea. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Thanos Rising” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITER:  Jason Aaron
ARTWORK:  Simone Bianchi
COLOR ARTWORK:  Simone Peruzzi
Lettering:  VC’s Clayton Cowles

‘Thanos Rising’ is a very surprising title, and one that broke my expectations wide open.  I had figured I would enjoy it, especially since the awesome Jason Aaron is on writing duties.  I found this book to be so much more than I had originally thought – so much richer in story, and a very personal one, at that. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Cable and X-Force” #6

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Reviewed by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Dennis Hopeless
ARTWORK BY:  Salvador Larroca
COLOR ARTWORK:  Frank D’Armata

When the original X-Force title was pulled from the ashes of ‘New Mutants’, I was in my mid-teens and had been a big Marvel Comics fan for quite some time at this point already.  Sure, it was mostly in the Spider-Man and X-Men universe of titles, but the beginning of X-Force caught my attention enough to buy and read the first chunk of issues. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Harbinger” #10

(Valiant Entertainment, 2013)

Reviewed by Cory Thrall

WRITER: Joshua Dysart
ARTISTS: Matthew Clark, Alvaro Martinez, Dimi Macheras
INKS: Stefano Gaudiano
COLOR ART: Ian Hannin

Pete Stanchek has had quite the life thus far.  One of three people ever to be born as an activated Psiot, and the most powerful one of his generation, this has caused him all kinds of trouble.  His powers can be a gift just as much as they can be a burden.  His story throughout this series has been a darkly sad and highly emotional (for both the characters and the reader) ride, and one that has found him and his companions in one problem and disaster after another. Continue reading