Review: The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1

(Dynamite Entertainment – 2017)
Writer / Artist / Letterer Francesco Francavilla

Fans of hard-boiled pulp and crime-comics are in for a real treat with The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1 as renowned comic book writer-artist Francesco Francavilla brings us his distinct take on Will Eisner’s legendary masked crime-fighter The Spirit! The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1 kicks off the first part of this brand new five part mini-series from Dynamite Entertainment were Central City has been struck by a series of unexplained deaths, the Police can find nothing to connect the victims, but there is something far more sinister going on than anyone truly realizes, and its not long before The Spirit and his trusty sidekick Ebony White are on the case! Continue reading

Review: A Bride’s Story Vol. 1

Serialized in Harta (2008-Present)

Published in the U.S. by YEN Press (2011-Present)

Story & Art by Kaoru Mori

Summary: A Bride’s Story tells the tale of a beautiful young bride in nineteenth-century Asia. At the age of twenty, Amir is sent to a neighboring town to be wed. But her surprise at learning her new husband, Karluk, is eight years younger than her is quickly replaced by a deep affection for the boy and his family. Though she hails from just beyond the mountains, Amir’s clan had very different customs, foods, and clothes from what Karluk is used to. As the two of them learn more about each other through their day-to-day lives, the bond of respect and love grows stronger. [YEN Press] Continue reading

Review: Red Sonja

(Dynamite – 2017)

Writer: Amy Chu

Illustrator: Carlos Gomez

Colorer: Mohan

Letterer: Simon Bowland

Hey everyone. I’m coming back at you with Red Sonja # 1. So let’s jump in.

Not being too familiar with the comic series, I got to read this comic as a blank slate. And that was kind of fun. As a new reader, I was able to leave this issue excited to see what comes next, and can’t wait for issue number two. But getting there was a little bit of a rollercoaster ride. Continue reading

Review: Shadow Star Vol. 2

Serialized in Afternoon (1998-2003)

Story & Art by Mohiro Kitoh

Published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Comics (2001-2005; Incomplete Run)

Summary: “From a dying planet shall come the children of light…”

While on vacation on a small island, young Shiina Tamai dives under the water near an old shrine and discovers an unearthly starfish-like creature. She nearly drowns but is rescued by the silent, wide-eyed little animal, who Shiina befriends and names Hoshimaru. To Shiina’s surprise and delight, the creature changes shape, lets Shiina stand on him, and the two fly off into the clouds. But what looks to be a young girl’s ultimate fantasy soon takes a darker turn as Shiina and Hoshimaru become entangled in a struggle between rival extraterrestrial factions who battle in the skies upon huge alien beasts called Shadow Dragons, with the fate of Earth hanging in the balance. [Dark Horse] Continue reading

Review: Lonesomes #1 and #2

Writer – Ryan Little

Pencils and Inks – Eder Messias

Colors – Fahriza Kamaputra

Letters – Jamie Me

Addl. Letters – Nick Warner

Tom Auld is lonely in a way that only a young person can be lonely.  He feels cut off from his family and his peers, and the old people ,teachers, just don’t connect.  It’s exactly the kind of person that the Lonesomes appear to. Continue reading

Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep. 9

(Marvel Studios / Marvel Entertainment / Disney Studios / ABC Studios -2016)

LMD Arc – Part 1

Summary: The next arc in the 3rd season of Agents of SHIELD has begun. Daisy has returned to the agency, Ghost Rider is nowhere to be found, and a new threat has arrived: LMDs! These Life Model Decoys are android replicates of our favorite characters out to divide the team and take over the show. Led by AIDA, an android created by the enigmatic Dr. Radcliffe, the robot revolution has begun and SHIELD is at the forefront! Continue reading

Review: Jaco The Galactic Patrolman – The Complete Series

Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump (2013)

Published in U.S. by VIZ Media (2015)

Story and Art by Akira Toriyama

Summary: Retired scientist Omori lives alone on a deserted island while continuing his research into time-travel. His quiet life is interrupted when galactic patrolman Jaco crash-lands and decides to move in with him. This agent from space claims to be an elite, but sometimes it can be a little hard to believe. Can Jaco get along with the old man long enough to save the Earth from a dangerous threat? [From the back of the book.] Continue reading

Review: Revolutionaries #1

(IDW -2017)

Writer: John Barber
Art: Fico Ossio
Colors: Sebastian Cheng
Letters Tom B Long
Regular Cover: Tradd Moore & Felipe Sobreiro

From the aftermath of IDW’s REVOLUTION crossover event comes REVOLUTIONARIES #1, and the future begins here with this brand new ongoing series from The REVOLUTION creative team of John Barber and Fico Ossio. A sudden burst of Dire Wraith-like energy sets in motion a spellbinding confrontation between Mayday’s (Ayana Jones) new squad, ROM, Major Bludd and the Oktober Guard; and it provides the catalyst to bring an unlikely new team togetherÖ The REVOLOUTIONARIES! But the secrets they might uncover could well have ominous ramifications for the world, and even the entire universe itself! Continue reading

Review: Shadow Star Vol. 1

Serialized in Afternoon (1998-2003)

Story & Art by Mohiro Kitoh

Published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Comics (2001-2005; Incomplete Run)

Summary: “From a dying planet shall come the children of light…”

While on vacation on a small island, young Shiina Tamai dives under the water near an old shrine and discovers an unearthly starfish-like creature. She nearly drowns but is rescued by the silent, wide-eyed little animal, who Shiina befriends and names Hoshimaru. Continue reading

Review: The Ocean Meets the Sky

Serialization in Tsubomi (2011)

Story and Art by Keito Koume

Summary: A girl stumbles upon and accidentally awakens a robot that has been asleep for 15 years. [MyAnimeList.net]

Review: The Ocean Meets the Sky is a fantastical little one-shot that isn’t very long but manages to pack quite the punch in its 30-odd pages of story. It focuses on Tanako Umi, a 15-year old girl who discovers a robot that also looks like a 15 year old girl and has been hidden away in a school and asleep for the last 15 years. Continue reading

Column: 2016 The Year in Review(s)

  2016: For Better or Worse, the Year of the Reboot

By: Shawn Warner

     It’s that time of the year again, when everyone gets a case of short term nostalgia and finds it oh so necessary to make lists; the ten best movies, the fifty best books and so it goes. Well, not to be outdone by those list making gadabouts, I sat down to compose my list of the best comic books of 2016. Continue reading

Review: Star Trek: Boldy Go #4

(IDW Publishing -2016)
Writer: Mike Johnson
Art and Colors: Tony Shasteen
Letters: Andworld Design
Regular Cover: George Caltsoundas

Spock has been captured by an unstoppable new threat to the galaxy in Star Trek Boldly Go #4, and it’s up to Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Endeavor to save him from this deadly cybernetic race known as the Borg! Spinning out from the aftermath of the blockbusting movie, Star Trek Beyond, Kirk is now temporary Captain of the Endeavor, with some of the Enterprise’s crew in new roles, or reassigned. As the Borg sphere continues its relentless advance, war with the Romulan Empire looms, and Kirk will soon face the ultimate no-win-scenario while the fate of Spock and the Federation itself hangs in the balance. Continue reading

Review: The Comic Book History of Comics #2

(IDW-2016)

Writer and Letterer- Fred Van Lente

Art- Ryan Dunlavey

Colors- Adam Guzowski

Are you interested in comic books? Do you have an appreciation for the comic book art form, and how it came to be? If you are reading this you love comics. If you are reading this you also have a mind that whats to delve into more than just the comic books themselves. You are a high-minded sponge wanting to contextualize the books in more than its finished form. Continue reading

Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep. 8

Marvel Studios – 2016

Ghost Rider Arc – Part 8

Summary: 6 months have past since the events of season 3. SHIELD has been reinstated as an official government agency, but it’s still rebuilding and has a long way to go before it returns to glory. The world, however, believes Coulson dead and so a new Director is in charge. Daisy has left SHIELD and is now a vigilante working to help others while fleeing authorities. All the while a new supernatural entity has entered the ring: the Ghost Rider. This season tells of a family broken a part in need of being pieced back together. Continue reading

Review: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Vol. 1

Serialized in Japan in Shonen Jump SQ (2012-Present)

Story by Takaya Kagami; Art by Yamato Yamamoto

Published in U.S. in VIZ Media, Serialized Digitally in Weekly Shonen Jump (2013-Present)

Summary:

Review: Seraph of the End is quite the peculiar title. On the outset it looks really intriguing. The characters look cool, the military outfits look really cool, and then you add in vampires and demons and I’m sold. The premise is very similar to Attack on Titan, mankind has fallen and has been backed into a single city guarded by an elite military in order to keep the evil beasts out. Continue reading

Review: X-Files X-Mas Special 2016

(IDW 2016)
Writer: Joe Harris
Art: Wayne Nichols
Colors: Sebastian Cheng
Letters: Chris Mowry & Tom B Long
Cover: Menton 3

It is the season of goodwill in the X-Files X-Mas Special 20116, where a spooky seasonal box of uncanny delights and intrigue await Mulder and Scully as they investigate a school holiday pageant that becomes a Christmassy extraterrestrial mystery. Mulder must face ghosts from the past, threats in the present day, and the unexplained truths of the future. Along with Scully, and a wealth of seasonal visitors, this is one Christmas that Mulder and Scully are never going to forget – so long as they survive Christmas Eve.
FBI Agents Mulder and Scully embark on a decidedly bizarre X-File this holiday season in this year’s X-Files X-Mas Special from IDW Publishing, written by Joe Harris, with art by Wayne Nichols, colors by Sebastian Cheng, and Executive Produced by Chris Carter. Yes, the X-Files brings its own unique spin on a Christmas Carol in this issue as mysteries both paranormal and extraterrestrial collide to bring Mulder and Scully the true spirit of Christmas!

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-9-33-25-pm
Christmas Eve falls over Washington DC as a mysterious force gathers, but is this manifestation making an assessment the people of Earth over the holiday season or just gathering intelligence about special FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully? So, when a deluded Fox Mulder races to meet Scully at a children’s Christmas pageant, where events have already begun to take a bizarre turn, Scully and Mulder find themselves facing an inexplicable threat this Christmas that’s unlike anything they’ve encountered before.
From its dramatic scene setting and fourth wall breaking opening, writer Joe Harris ensures that the X-Files 2016 X-Mas Special is chock full of surprises and suspense in the truest X-Files tradition. After that uncanny start this special festive themed issue flashes back to events earlier in the day on Christmas Eve, where Mulder has accompanied Scully to a holiday market. But with Mulder acting all Ebenezer Scrooge, together with a fleeting glimpse of an ethereal figure Mulder believes could be his sister Samantha (who was abducted by aliens when they were children), the Christmas festivities begin to prove a bit too much for Mulder to stomach.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-9-33-53-pmSo, while Scully decides to accept Miss Holly’s invitation to attend a Christmas Pageant, Mulder retreats to his office back in FBI Headquarters, and it is here where this X-Mas Special really kicks into high gear. This issue features some great artwork by Wayne Nichols, especially in the sequences were Mulder is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, with Nichols brining a distinct X-Files twist on this classic tale as iconic X-Files characters and themes are deftly spliced and magically transformed as the story unfolds. I really liked how this aspect of The X-Files 2016 X-Mas Special explores the story of Samantha Mulder in a completely new and different way – and Nichols art, together with. Sebastian Cheng’s rich colors proves the perfect accompaniment to Joe Harris’ intricately plotted and emotional story.
Everything is resolved a little bit quickly at the end of the issue, but that’s just a minor point really, because the journey Mulder takes in this issue is at times actually quite moving, so it was nice to have everything get wrapped up neatly for a satisfying conclusion. The mysterious Miss Holly remains an enigma throughout, there’s even a kiss under the mistletoe, a wonderful closing scene between Mulder and Scully to enjoy, and as an X-tra special treat we also get a bonus sneak peak at The X-Files #10 (released January 2017).
From the moment you glimpse The X-Files 2016 X-Mas Special, with its brilliantly spooky looking Cigarette Smoking Man cover by Menton 3, and begin reading you’ll soon realize this is a very special and different kind of X-Files story. The tone is somewhat lighter for The X-Files than we are normally used to in IDW’s ongoing comic series, but it is Christmas after all, and you’ll soon find yourself swept along with this delightfully weird and wonderful Christmassy special form Joe Harris, Wayne Nichols, and Sebastian Cheng.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
PaulBowler-ProfilePic1Paul Bowler is a self-Confessed Sci-Fi Geek, Doctor Who fan, and Zombie Disposal Expert. He likes movies, comic books, and all things PS3. He likes to write about his interests, would love to write a novel one day, and also enjoys chatting to the many people he has gotten to know on Twitter. When he’s not busy being an Impossible Astronaut, he likes to take a break from his adventures in time and space to enjoy some of his favourite tv shows and movies, preferably with a nice cuppa tea & a sandwich! You can follow him on Twitter @paul_bowler, or find him at his website, Sci-Fi Jubilee.

Review: Let’s Lagoon Ch.51

(Young Magazine 2007-Present)

Written and Illustrated by Takeshi Okazaki

Summary: Yamada wakes up on an uninhabited island after falling off the cruise ship his class was on in the middle of the ocean during a thick fog. Alone, he begins building a raft and finding ways to survive until he discovers a female classmate has washed ashore as well. The two learn to survive together until one of their teachers washes ashore and generates animosity between the three of them. After nearly two weeks of living on this island Yamada is swept up by a fog only to regain consciousness while being rescued in the middle of the ocean 15 minutes after he had originally fallen overboard. What is this new reality Yamada finds himself in? No one believes him about the island he stayed upon with his classmate Imaise Chika and their teacher Shibata. But when Shibata shows up unscathed and with no memories of what happened it’s now up to Yamada to discover the truth for himself and find the missing Imaise. Continue reading

Review: Star Trek Boldly Go #3

(IDW Publishing – 2016)
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Tony Shasteen
Colors: David Mastrolonardo
Letters: Andworld Design
Regular Cover: George Caltsoundas

Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Endeavor pursue a deadly alien threat in Star Trek Boldly Go #3, a cybernetic race unlike anything they’ve encountered beforeÖ but a foe that’s also well known to Star Trek fans – the Borg! Following on from the events of the blockbusting Star Trek Beyond movie, Kirk is now interim Captain of the Endeavor, with some of the Enterprise’s crew either in new roles, reassigned, or deciding their future on other worlds. Continue reading