Review: Sword Art Online Vol. 1

Serialized by Dengeki Bunko (2009-Present)

Serialized in the U.S. by Yen Press (2014-Present)

Story by Reki Kawahara, Art by abec

Summary: In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online-a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other-opens its virtual doors, allowing players to take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the game world by manipulating their brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience. But when the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG-a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one hundred floors of Aincrad to regain your freedom. But in the warped world of SAO, “game over” means certain death-both virtual and real… [Yen Press] Continue reading

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REVIEW: ‘Thor’ #25

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Jason Aaron
Artwork by Esad Ribic, R.M. Guera, Simon Bisley

Although technically the final issue of this glorious run, issue #25 is more of a bookend bridging one amazing chapter in the epic saga of Thor’s life to another intriguing and increasingly tantalizing chapter full of exciting potential. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘All-New Doop’ #1

(Marvel Comics, 2014)

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by David Lafuente
Color Art by Laura Allred
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Michael & Laura Allred
Variant Cover Art by Adi Granov

Throughout the midst of the entire Marvel Universe, there are some very peculiar characters that only surface every so often. One of those is none other than Doop. He is nothing more than a fun, little green floating orb that struggles with communicating and is best friends with Wolverine. The world should love Doop, but he is often misunderstood and unappreciated. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Sex Criminals” #1

(Image Comics, 2013)

Review by Franco Romualdez

Written By: Matt Fraction
Art by: Chip Zdarsky

*This Review is for MATURE READERS ONLY*

Who ever said sex wasn’t funny?

Matt Fraction proves yet again that he’s one of comics’ most entertaining and genre-defining writers; Sex Criminals #1 is every bit as great as I’d thought it would be and more. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Heartbreakers” #1

(Monkeybrain Comics, 2013)

Review by Brad Gischia

STORY BY:  Paul Guinan & Anina Bennett
SCRIPT BY:  Anina Bennett
ARTWORK BY:  Paul Guinan
LETTERING BY:  Willie Schubert

My thanks to monkeybrain comics and bagandbored.net, they’ve done my job for me this week.  Heartbreakers was originally published in Dark Horse Presents #35 on December 1, 1989, so that puts it smack in the middle of my usual era for longbox reading. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Captain America” #9

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Rick Remender
BREAKDOWNS BY:  John Romita Jr.
FINISHES BY:  Klaus Janson with Scott Hanna & Tom Palmer
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Dean White

We are breathlessly approaching the conclusion of Rick Remender and John Romita Jr’s epic opening story arc, with one issue remaining the complex multi-layered plot shows no signs of slowing. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Batman/Superman” #2

(DC Comics, 2013)

Review by Galen Garner

WRITTEN BY:  Greg Pak
ARTWORK BY:  Jae Lee

I love that this issue of Batman and Superman came out a few days after the big DC movie announcement last week at the San Diego Comic-Con. If anyone hasn’t been on the Internet in the last week then I am happy to be the one to let you know that DC Comics is going to produce a Batman and Superman movie to be release in 2015.

If the cinema versions of the Caped Crusader and the Last Son of Krypton compliment each other anything like Pak’s version, the world is in for a wonderful treat. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “Pacific Rim”

Review by Galen Garner

DIRECTED BY:  Guillermo Del Torro
STORY BY:  Travis Beacham
SCREENPLAY BY:  Travis Beacham & Guillermo Del Torro
STARRING:  Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, and Charlie Day

Warning – Spoilers!

Giant robots fight giant sea monsters!

Last night, I decided that it was time for me to go see Pacific Rim in the all and powerful IMAX Experience. I am usually a major snob when it comes to IMAX movies and reserve them for superhero movies, so I felt like I was walking on broken glass going into the theatre. Continue reading

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

REVIEW: “Justice League” #22

(DC Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Geoff Johns
PENCILS BY:  Ivan Reis
INKS BY:  Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Rod Reis

Begun the Trinity War has. Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Justice League #22 kicks off one of the most complex and multi-facetted events in recent memory. Geoff Johns takes elements from all three Justice Leagues as well as heavily mining material from the Shazam/ Black Adam back-up story that recently ended in Justice League#21. It takes a master story teller like Johns to weave a unified narrative out of so many components but he is off to an intriguing and exciting start. Continue reading

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: “Black Beetle: No Way Out” #0-4

(Dark Horse Comics, 2013)

Review by Raymond Jacques

Story & Art by Francesco Francavilla
Lettering by Nate Piekos of BlamBot
Covers by Francesco Francavilla
Series Editor:  Jim Gibbons

Let’s be clear: I LOVE FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA. That is a fact. You NEED to know that right off the bat.

And another point of interest: You NEED to love Francesco Francavilla, too! Beyond being one of the industry’s most sought after cover artists he’s also one of the absolute best comic book storytelling artists in the game. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Dexter” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Jeff Lindsay
ARTWORK BY:  Dalibor Talajic
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Ive Svorcina
LETTERING BY:  VC’s Cory Petit

When I first heard that there was going to be a comic book based on Dexter, the serial killing Miami P.D. blood spatter expert and star of books and the Showtime television series, I thought,” Why not? If Chew and The Walking Dead are such big hits dealing with equally dark subject matter then Image is going to have another successful book on their hands.” Then I heard it was not going to be Image publishing Dexter but Marvel! This book is a definite departure for the predominately super hero comic publisher but I am very happy to report it is good. Jeff Lindsay, the creator of Dexter, handles the writing on this first issue and does an impressive job; needless to say he has no problem finding the character’s voice and is quite adept at writing believable dialog for these characters he knows so intimately. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Cullen Bunn
ARTWORK BY:  Salvador Espin

This is the final entry in the Deadpool trilogy or should I say ”killology” that began with Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and then the carnage continued in Deadpool: Killustrated. The premise tying these mini-series together is Wade’s desire to remove himself from existence, since he cannot be killed for the most part; it has presented him with a rather unique and vexing dilemma. Continue reading