Friday, 3 July 2020

Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular




Another DC mainstay reaches an anniversary this time the Green Lantern who first appeared in 1940 in the form of Alan Scott whose ring was more magic than science though that got revised in time and had a weakness in that it couldn't effect anything made of wood. 



Eventually this Green Lantern and his universe of superheroes became Earth two as DC created a whole new generation of superheroes with Hal Jordan becoming the Green Lantern most of us are familiar today. Of course Hal went bad, mad and died, became a spirit and took on the form of the Spectre, got better and was resurrected. Quite a life really.



Then of course there are all the other Green lanterns and not just the human ones from every-bodies favourite bad boy Guy Gardiner to Kilowog and sentient squirrels in the form of the Green lantern Corps. In fact there's a whole universe of adventure built around the Green lantern concept. 

 

Sadly the Lantern franchise has had its ups and downs but remains a firm favourite of mine. If I could be a superhero I'd want to be a Green Lantern. It was certainly a childhood dream. 

This comic highlights all the main characters of the Green Lantern franchise starting with Alan Scott and finishing with Simon Baz.  Ten very worthy short stories. including a sad one set many years hence.

Rating: 4 Stars

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

DC on TV: Crisis On Infinite Earths




The latest of the DC TV crossover stories (and the longest) was a brave and surprisingly good attempt to put this complex multiverse destroying story on to the small screen. In fact considering that their budget would have been but a tiny fraction of that used by Marvel in their two part Avengers movie epic about Thanos this was quite an achievement.

As readers will be aware from previous instalments in this series of posts covering DC's current range of TV shows Crisis On Infinite Earths is my favourite comic book story of all time and I am the proud owner of not just the original series but the Absolute Slip-Cased edition.  If you want to read the original story there is a trade paperback edition readily available for the more casual reader.

 

Of course the Monitor had already appeared in the previous Elseworlds crossover so viewers knew something big was coming, but the destruction of the multiverse now that;'s something and who is the enemy? No other than one Anti-Monitor. The show does explain it's version of the origins of this crisis hijacking elements of DC's Green Lantern/Guardians mythos to do so.

In an all-out struggle, who wins: the Marvel Universe or the DC ...

However from the start and throughout there is much to be admired from the sight of a middle aged overweight Billy Batson looking to the sky and making his trademark remark "Holy Moley", through the guest appearance of Burt Ward from the sixties Batman to the eventual appearance of Lois and Clark and of course eventually the world of Smallville. 

 Superboy billboard.jpg

All of DC's TV output over the years finally tied into one coherent structure. Tremendous stuff. Of course the team chosen to take down the Anti-Monitor is limited to 7 but given all the problems the script writers and producers would have faced this, along with a couple of others on the sidelines made this a great piece of TV.

All the heroes from alternative earths finally meeting up for one fight and as in the original not everything or everyone survives but no spoilers if you haven't seen the programme (highly recommended) or as I urge you read the original first!. Both are worth the time!


And then there are the sequels.....

  

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Loner TPB (Rebellion)








































Loner was a strip that originally appeared in the short lived Wildcat comic and was carried on for a while in the Eagle when the titles were merged as is the British practice of dealing with it's failing anthologies. 

This is not a new collection from Rebellion though I did purchase mine when it came out. I read it in two sessions rather a long time apart. The reason being that though there is some imaginative work on this strip the stories and dangers do get a wee bit repetitive especially as the two thirds of the book are set on the same bloody planet!

 

And therein lay another problem. Wildcat had a rather unusual format. All the stories tied in to each other more or less simultaneously and having only ever read the first two issues and one previous collection there is rather a jolt as the survivors of Earth suddenly appear settled in this story (how?) before Loner buggers off into space to be a Bounty Hunter again.

By the time I reached this point I admit to being a little bored. As Wildcat was conceived as a kind of "junior" 2000AD of sorts it suffers very much from a lack of characterisation and even the odd mascot which comes and goes is given little chance.

The stories are one short punch-up and that's about it with our hero just scrapping through by incredulous luck or really lazy plotting.

Rating 2 Stars (Eventually disappoints)

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

New Comics: Legion of Super-heroes, From Beyond the Unknown & Doctor Who




Its been a while since I've reviewed new comics and even in doing so I'm a little late as these arrived last week but I only just got around to reading them in the Park as it happens. Such a nice day!

First up is the latest issue of the Legion of Super-heroes as our heroes find themselves under siege by the Science Police and under threat from the President of the United Planets. We find out  little more about the origin of this strange version of legion reality and discover this President has self interest at heart. A politician who only gives a  shit about themselves. Who would have guessed.....the Legions in trouble already.

For me the Jury is very much still out on this Legion revamp. I'm really unsure about the numerous revisions and there are times the wordy script gets a bit too self indulgent for my taste. 

Rating. 2 Stars (Could do a lot better!)


FROM BEYOND THE UNKNOWN GIANT #1


Of course for me the problem about how the Legion really should be is illustrated in the From Beyond the Unknown 100 Page Giant #1. Here we see the Legion in action. That would also be an iteration that most of us can relate to. I don't expect the classic sixties version. That had it's day

This comic originally produced for Walmart is a joy to read. Three new stories and three great reprints. The Green Lanterns get new opponents in the form of The Gloom and frankly I had some sympathy for their actions. Some villains are too dangerous to keep alive. The Joker for example , crazy or not should have been executed years ago. So many innocent lives would have been saved.

There's also a nice feature utilising Kamandi one of my favourite Kirby creations from this time at DC. The Butler was a sad joy to read.

Reprints include Superman/Adam Strange and Batman/Metal Men teams ups from old. There's also a nice little Alan Moore Green Lantern story featuring Katma Tui.

A title that holds promise!

Rating: 5 Stars (Great value, great stories)




Finally I got to read the final issue of the 10th/13th Doctor Who Team Up featuring Martha, Graham and the gang vs the Autons and the weeping Angels.  

My only problem is this issue ends with a scene that says "To be continued" and i#5 is advertised. I've not seen that solicited anywhere so hopefully Titan will sort themselves out.

Rating: 3 Stars

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

2000AD Sci-Fi Special (Out Now!)








































It's a great time to be a fan of British comics as Rebellion continue their publishing programme with a 2000AD Sci-Fi Special, a summer special in all but name to celebrate their twenty years of owning the comic.

Rebellion took ownership of 2000AD in July 2000 at a time when British comics had mostly wound up. For years a lonely comic on the stands with only the like of Commando to keep it company oh and of course the monthly Judge Dredd magazine. 

 
 

Since then the comic has gone on to become the foundation upon which rebellion are now constructing a gradual reappearance of British fare with not jut collected editions of our favourite stories but new magazines or specials. some of which have seen an annual publication.

2019 Specials Bundle

This special contains a mixture of new and reprint stories, all worth the price of entry in a gigantic 100 page comic. 

Inevitably starting with Judge Dredd in an inter dimensional adventure that leads him to interrogate Zombo in The Immigrant which is highly amusing. Other new stories see Shaka cross swords with gene The Hackman in Kingdom and The Red Seas vs Ant Wars. Cracking stuff.

You won't be disappointed with reprints of classic stories from Sinister Dexter, Dead World, Nikolai Danti and more. 

Rating 5 Stars Highly Recommended!

Get yours from: shop.2000ad.com

And subscribe to the Prog at: 2000ad.com subscriptions

Support British Comics!

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Judge Dredd Megazine #421


The forward march of British comics continues with the latest edition of Judge Dredd Megazine which features the third and final chapter of The current Vigilant saga. A 22 page complete story. The first two parts of this amazing story were published as American comic sized one-shots but it seems with all the specials that Rebellion are putting out every month there was no room in the schedule for this story. 

The revival of old British comic heroes and villains from the sixties and seventies will hopefully appeal to a wide age range. There are one or two that I was not over familiar with (Doctor Sin being one) but it's been a wonderful journey to see childhood heroes and more in this fight against Von Hoffman, Dr Mesmer and others to prevent evil annihilating the world. 


The recent revival of Smash as an American sized anthology gives me hope that these characters and more will appear regularly in our newsagents and comic shops. They certainly deserve to.

And of course there is a wee bonus as the usual mini-graphic novel packaged with the magazine reprints a number of origin stories as they appeared in Buster, Tiger and other old British boys papers. They were not called comics by the publishers even if we did so!

Of course the Megazine has other features including Judge Dredd with a twist in The Fugitive. Even Mega City One has a "deep state" it would seem. There's Blunt III not a strip I'm keen on but has it's fans and but at least Lawless continues at the rear. Love that strip. Mega-City meets the wild west if you are not familiar.

My advice go out and buy this. It's worth the price which isn't cheap but there is so much to read when you take into account the supplement.

Rating: 5 Stars

You can grab  the issue  or subscribe here: shop.2000ad.com

Support British Comics.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Paragon #25 (Out Now)




For any comic, let alone a small press/independent comic to last 25 issues these days is actually quite an achievement and the publisher is rightly pleased to announce this. However I only came across this by accident through writing a review of the Spence Nero Club one-shot that I had only come across by chance. 

The editor kindly offered to send me a pdf but I decided to actually order the current issue and the previous two because I do not like reading comics on the computer screen. Call me old fashioned but I am a firm believer in the print medium and will go to nerd heaven with that view.

PARAGON #23

The magazine sized comic is an anthology and like all comics of this type has variable content. However there is actually plenty to recommend this comic, the Spencer Nero stories made the price of entry worthwhile alone.

 In Paragon #23 we learn the origin of the severed head in the jar we say in the fan club one shot plus there's an entertaining three page horror story from the editor one Dave Candlish that would make any mainstream anthology. 

The Christmas edition #24 contained more of our favourite all-British hero Spencer Nero plus a story about the Bulldog that made the strip more understandable and certainly had better art than in the previous issue. There's also another worthy short story.

PARAGON #24

And so up to date with the silver anniversary issue which is worth picking up as a tryout. The double length Spencer Nero team-up with the British Bulldog was a great read and certainly the art suits the story. Eldritch The last Unicorn was also a mystery tale worthy of it's American equivalents. 

There are other stories which didn't appeal to me for one reason or another but there is more than enough worthy in Paragon for me to recommend you pick up the anniversary edition. I will certainly be back for the next issue.

Rating: 3.5 Stars 

You can obtain your copies here: www.comicsy.co.uk