Monday, 21 January 2019

Hulk Annual 1983 (Marvel UK)

Hulk Annual 1983 (Marvel UK)

Chris Claremont & Len Wein (w) Sal Buscema (a)

Marvel UK produced quite a number of annuals over the years a lot of which featured old Green Skin himself but this one stands out and is a reprint of the US edition The Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (1976).

A mystery villain tries to destroy the Hulk by using a series of monsters that had invaded the USA back in the late fifties/early sixties but been defeated and forgotten about. One by by one Hulk has to smash Diablo, Taboo and more until he finds the true menace...

The book is padded out with prose adventures and exercise pages. Yes you can undertake a workout with the Hulk...if you want.

The villains originally appeared in these Atlas/Marvel comics:



Sunday, 20 January 2019

Techno Freak (Sunday Lunch Comics) Out Now!


Techno Freak #1 (Sunday Lunch Comics)

John Charles & Barry May (w) Tom Newell (a)

It's only recently that I've taken any notice of the small and self and self published British scene and that was due to getting Comichaus through Previews which has returned. Now that was an  anthology comic so everything varied. Quality of writing and art varied considerably.

Enter Techno Freak which was advertised in this weeks 2000AD. I decided to check this out and ordered a copy which duly arrived yesterday in a package clearly marked "Do Not Bend" but...fortunately the comic was not damaged in any way.

This is the story of Jon Sherlock a Private Eye who is the sole surviving "Techno Freak" the rest having gone insane or worse. Hopefully that back story will be explored in future issues as we meet the cast of characters which includes Maurice the talking robot cat.

Maurice sort of narrates the story and drew me in straight away, cat-fan that I am and off we went on a mission to find his faithless ex-girlfriend for his ex-friend who stole her from him. No wonder he needs a drink.

His mate Neville is also a PI but uses more err shall we say old fashioned methods of getting information...

This is a highly entertaining self contained adventure with the nearest to a happy ending you'll ever probably get in this day and age but I will say no ore but refer you to their website for a copy.

Can't wait for the next issue.

Rating: 5 Stars (won me over with the cat)

Sunday Lunch Comics can be found here:

TechnoFreak Comic Example

TechnoFreak - Neville goes to war!

And number two is being prepared....

TF2 cover lo res proof.jpg

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Saturday, 19 January 2019

New Releases: Hawkman, Fantastic Four, Conan & Battlestar Galactica

Hawkman #8 (DC): Robert Vendetti (w) Bryan Hitch (a)

At last I'm able to go back to a normal routine of picking up new comics on a Thursday so since I'm now retired and have to budget my comic addiction much more than in the past my weekly fix is smaller and should be possible to do a review of the latest "floppies", any Trades or Hardbacks will have to wait as do back issues as I buy the odd one. Hopefully this slot will be a regular weekly feature on Howie's World of Comics.

Kicking off this week is Hawkman #8 which see's Carter Hall arrive on the Planet Krypton to have a word with himself just before the planet blows up. Hawkman has discovered his "true" origin in the last issue and has found out he was one of the Deathbringers who seek to restore their god to life with the genocide of whole worlds.

His Kryptonian counterpart has built a weapon that can stop them, But is he too late?

I have read so many "origins" of Hawkman I'm not the only one confused I would imagine. When I first read a Hawkman comic he was a policeman from the Planet Thanagar. Still things were simpler in the sixties when he was fighting villains like the Shadow Thief!

Rating: 5 Stars.

Fantastic Four #6 (Marvel): Dan Slot (w) Aaron Kuder (a)

The wedding of Ben and Alicia finally took place after all these decades in the last issue and they both look as young if not better than they did in the sixties. Time runs slower in the Marvel Universe they once told us. Yeah right! Ben Grimm fought with Nick Fury in World War Two. They both should be pensioners by now!

Still the nuptials will have to wait as Ben Grimm joins Reed, Sue and Johnny on a mission to Latveria where Galactus has returned for a repaste. His meal being life on Earth. Doctor Doom has decreed he will save the Earth on his own and closed his border to all-comers that includes our heroes not that would ever listen to the nefarious Doom.

And lo, is that a new Herald that approaches with the power cosmic?

I'm glad the Fantastic Four are back to Marvel Comics and reunited for new adventures. It's my all-time Marvel Favourite!

Rating: 5 Stars

Image result for Marvel Previews Conan The Barbarian #2 2019

Conan The Barbarian #2 (Marvel): Jason Aaron (w) Mahmud Asrar (a)

The second issue of the new series of Conan has hit stores just two weeks after the first issue and it's a jolt to the senses as it does not directly continue from the first which saw our hero helpless but in the past hunting Picts on the borders.

As he hunts and kills Picts in revenge for the death of seventeen of his men and a dog Conan finds himself in mortal combat with a giant snake which he wins and then passes out. On waking he finds himself being tended to by a Pict, the very enemies he had been killing. It seems the tribes witch-doctor had plans for our Cimmerian warrior.

All around him the Pict's view him with disdain and hatred as he is told why he has been allowed to live. Conan is to lead the tribe in battle against not one, but a whole nest of giant snakes and their queen. Conan is the one the prophesy spoke of.

A good story with great art.

Rating 4.5 Stars.

Battlestar Galactica #3 (Dynamite Entertainment): John Jackson Miller (w) Daniel Hdr & Marcio Fioriti (a)

The third instalment of the latest mini-series of Classic Battlestar Galactica continues. Still fleeing from the Cylons the fleet has allied itself with other fugitives, the alien Okaatti. The human ships are to be fitted with boosters to speed up their joint escape. Meanwhile Starbuck is prisoner of the Comitat, the enemies of his new friends and is being taken to their leader....

Actually when the inevitable happens you know you guessed right from the beginning. A bit predictable but there's still room for a twist. Two issues to go.

The third of a five part mini-series so unless your store has the previous two issues you will have to wait for the trade paperback. In the mean time here's a preview.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Friday, 18 January 2019

Marvel Feature #5 (Marvel/1972)

Marvel Feature #5 (Marvel)

Mike Freidrich (w) Herb Trimpe (a)

The two Ant-Man movies featuring the second version of the character played by former con Scott Lang has been a success a the box office and a third one rumoured to be set in the micro-verse where there are civilisations promises another hit.

However the first and (in my opinion) the greatest Ant-Man was Hank Pym whose adventures I first read in Alan Class black & white reprints back in the sties. By the time I came across Hank Pym in Marvel Comics he had become Giant Man though Jan remained The Wasp in both incarnations.

One of the villains I most recalled was "Egghead" which you can see from all the illustrations is quite indicative of his looks. Ant-Man/Giant-Man were staple features of Marvel fare in the sixties and into the seventies which is where we meet Egghead once again in Ant-Man's run in Marvel Feature.

Trapped at a mini size Henry Pym faces the dangers that the natural world has to hurl against small mammals as we see from the beginning as a hawk descends to make him dinner....

Not only does he have to escape but also somehow manges to find his way into the clutches of Egghead who now has illusions of grandeur in wanting to rule the world. There is the inevitable confrontation with traps and Henry Pym's ability to escape them and rescue the pretty lady too.

Egghead appears to die at the end and I have no knowledge of any other appearances after this but then I can' buy every Marvel comic out there so maybe a reader can tell me if he re-appears.

Ant-Man ran in Marvel Feature from #4 to #10.


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Red Sonja #25 (Dynamite) Out Now!

Red Sonja #25 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Amy Chu & Erik Burnham (w) Carlos Gomez (a)

The final issue of this series folds with a one-shot story of Sonja rescuing a man threatened by bandits and then seeking to journey with pirates. This being our Sonja, there's a lot of killing involved.

A bit of a "filler" but well scripted and with excellent art was worth a purview! Just like the previous issue was really just "treading water" as Dynamite prepare to cash in on the return of Conan to Marvel by relaunching Red Sonja with a new #1 next month.

Can't wait, and didn't. Red Sonja is always a satisfying read as is Conan. Hopefully there'll be an inter-company crossover in the not too distant future. These two barbarians are inseparable....

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Judge Dredd Megazine #404 (Rebellion) Out Today!

The latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine hits the shops today and is well worth picking up this month even if you haven't kept up with a couple of the stories. Judge Dredd appears in a one-off yarn The Red Prince Diaries which does refer to events past but is easy to follwo and there will be more.

There's an interesting chapter of Lawless in Ashes to Ashes as we find Marshal Metta Lawson tending graves and a garden many years after the events of the last issue when not only was Badrock under siege and like the Alamo the residents were fighting to the last man and the alien Khind landed. Not a bad place to start actually.

Storm Warning set in Brit City sees Psi Judge Lilian Storm investigate a new supernatural crime wave which has seen three people murdered....Green and Pleasant Land promises to be a spiffing good adventure . what!

Blunt continues for those who like it (I don't) but the Dark Judges liven things up as The Torture Garden continues with one of their number no longer missing....

There are three features introducing old and new creators and news of upcoming projects from The Treasury of British Comics many of which will (hopefully) be in my collection later this year!

The bonus content is the mini graphic novel that comes bagged with the Megazine, a translation of the famous French comic Operation Overlord published by Editions Glenat. The first of four that will accompany the Meg! Amazing story it is to!

And don't forget to pick up the latest edition of 2000AD also on the shelves today!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Starblazer: #43 & #58 (DC Thomson/1981)

Pocket picture libraries were just the thing for British schoolboys (and those who refused to grow up) as these comics were designed to fit into a blazer pocket and be read on the way to or back from school. Or in my case work.

There were quite a few of these "picture libraries" the one's I remember were war stories like Commando the only one still going and occasionally pick up if I get anywhere near WH Smiths which is not very often these days...

However there was one that bucked the war trend and that was Starblazer, a brave move by DC Thomson publishers of Commando and of course the ever present The Beano comic! Launched on the back of the popularity of Star Wars this quickly went from one a month to two and was to last from 1979 until 1991. A total of 281 issues.

These two editions are typical of the fare on offer. Nowhere World (Starblazer #43) chronicles the arrival of a dead world in the solar system that is on it's way to crash into Earth. Clearly it isn't a random event and when Earth's defence forces are attacked commando's are sent to land on this errant world and destroy the enemy before it is too late.

The inhabitants of the Planet Mongros intend to collide with Earth using their planetary force shield to knock our world out of orbit and replace it with their world in orbit around the sun.

Bug eyed aliens, robots, spaceships. It's all there and worth picking up.

Meanwhile in the slightly later Starblazer #58 sees peace and stability in the known galaxy threatened by the theft of an ancient diamond, the Pyramid of Punagaria being sent to the Concordat confirming an alliance. for the future.

This theft is part of a conspiracy to create the most powerful weapon ever made. One that could destroy anything anywhere at the whim of it's creators. Can these villains be stopped in time. Read Pyramid Power for the answer.

I will be picking more of these great little comics from time to time in the future. They are not expensive and I'm told that later issues include "fantasy adventures" which I might try out next!