Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Doctor Who: Missy and The Monk (Big Finish Audio)


Hot on the heels of Titan's Missy comic collection comes the third volume of Bug Finish's Missy audio adventures. As usual Michelle Gomez steals the show with her wonderful portrayal of yet another insane incarnation of The Master.

As with the other volumes in this series there are three CD's with three adventures. And Missy is not alone having picked up another renegade Time Lord in her travels as Rufus Hound portrays The Monk first seen way back in the sixties with Carry On star Peter Butterworth playing the role in The Time Meddler.

By Doctor Who

The first story Body and Souless starts off with a real bang. No beginning just the middle of Missy on the run with The Monk or at least his brain in her handbag. He's not very happy about this as you might understand. They find themselves in the middle of a war as a body-less race seeks new cadavers to inhabit. With almost farcical side-switching the two Time Lords work together and fight on behalf of both sides. Who will win?

In the second tale War Seed (which ties in to the Time War) Missy returns to Earth to collect a weapon that she created for for the Time Lords but finds humanity have been using regeneration technology in her absence. What is going on and who is crying for their father?

Finally in true Carry On tradition Missy, The Monk a servant girl disguised as a Duke a mysterious woman who is not what she seems and one of the Borgias come together in this door slamming farce, Two Monks and a Mistress that entertains from beginning to end.

Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Judge Dredd Megazine #437 plus a new prog!


Not Final Cover

The latest issue of Judge Dredd Megazine hits the stands tomorrow and has begun the run down to it's Christmas issue as the three remaining on-going stories reach their penultimate episodes. However as usual the Meg starts off with a (self-contained) Judge Dredd story Scrawling The Walls which is one of the odder outings for the lawman as youngsters and political dissidents escape Megacity into what seems to be just a piece graffiti on the wall.

Next up is part 7 of The Returners a feature I actually look forward to seeing the end of. Didn't like this at all. As for the bloody Leprechaun in a me a favour. This is followed by Angelic which takes us through the search for Angel and we find yet another tortured soul. Give a man a choice..will he be friend or foe?

Tales from The Black Museum: The Electrosist shows a very different kind of haunting with an unexpected twist at the end. Mega City is just full of surprises. Of course Devlin Waugh continues with a very violent football match taking place in hell. Warhammer fans might want to think Blood Bowl. I still have that game somewhere.

There's also some interesting articles including one on Hibernia Comics who are publishing some of the lesser known British comics stories by arrangement with Rebellion. We also get further information about the revival of Monster Fun and why they decided to run with that title rather than the previous Buster/Cor arrangement which appealed to old gits like me, but cloth caps are a thing of the past and Monster Fun invites today's kids in on a level they will relate to.

Rating: 4 Stars

And as if you haven't forgotten the new 2000AD is out tomorrow and I just noticed I haven't read last weeks issue yet so a bit of catching up to do!

Monday, 18 October 2021

Fantastic Four/Inhumans: Atlantis Rising (Marvel/1995)


During the nineties I virtually gave up on collecting mainly due to the speculators who made first and other key issues impossible to find or on resale for ridiculous prices. When I retro collected a run of Avengeleyne during the late noughties I couldn't find the first issue in the runs  and Bruce the owner of the sadly defunct Avalon Comics in Battersea went out the back and dug up a metal covered first edition and threw it in for free. Those things were expensive back then.

Other than a couple of trades Death In The Family, Death  Of Superman and Zero Hour it wasn't until the boom was over and DC were published their DC One Million series that I caught the bug and returned to the hobby. I'v now collected and read quite a lot of the main image titles and frankly other than a handful of comics such as Spawn, Witchblade and the Alan Moore reboot of Supreme there was a lot of rubbish published in the nineties.

Marvels output during this period remains mostly a mystery to me me. Other than picking up the first volume of Jim Lee's Fantastic Four Reborn and Heroes Return mini-series I still haven't read much. The I saw this volume in Orbital Comics during my recent outing but at £29.50 thought it far too expensive. Found it on Amazon for half the price at just under £15 which was a lot more reasonable.

Now here I must confess I was a bit muddled in what to expect. For some reason I has Atlantis Attacks at the back of my mind and realised my error when I sat down to read it. That aside I was not disappointed. This volume collects the main parts of the crossover though not the Warlock tie-ins. I can live with that.

The story was straightforward enough. Evil witch Morgan Le Fay raises the sunken continent of Atlantis from the ocean wiping out half the Atlantean people. Meanwhile Reed Richards father manages to set off an explosion on the moon threatening to wipe out the Inhumans who now live there.

At this point neither Namor nor Black Bolt rule their kingdoms and both are exiled. It's up to the Fantastic Four then containing Ant Man and his shrinking formula to rescue Attilan and it's inhabitants. Shades of Kandor and all that.

Of course this triggers major military alerts in the USA and in NATO and the FF are invited to help out in London. The Avengers have buggered off elsewhere it would seem. They also have some odd company in toe including Doc Dooms "son" (no idea) and someone called Boris who isn't what he seems though we don't find out in this volume.

There's war brewing between all sorts including the "Genetic Council" who now rule the Inhumans though abandoned their brethren to die. Namor, Le Fay, the Inhumans and of all human nations Portugal fight over the new landmass.

It's an exiting and fairly complex adventure with repercussions which exist to this day in the Marvel Universe. Worth reading if you can get a copy of the TPB or find a run of the original issues. The influence of Image and it's "extreme art is obvious.  Namors appearance looks distorted at times as do many others in this style of art. And why did they give him long hair. Superman was given long hair as well. Was it fashion then? I've had a number one haircut since my twenties due to baldness so I don't recall!

Now need to see if I can pick up what I was originally looking for!

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Catching up with..Marvel


I gave up reading new Marvel Comics (with the exception of the Fantastic Four until #25 and a short lived attempt at Spider-Woman) after being so thoroughly disappointed with the ending of the Secret Invasion crossover. These multi-title crossovers were hugely expensive and though I enjoyed Planet Hulk, World War Hulk and Civil War (with reservations) collecting these was not just expensive but some of the "tie-ins were in name only.

Then came the lifting of the Pandemic restrictions and Panini relaunched it's comics albeit in a very different format to those I occasionally purchased previously though not for a while either. I tried both The Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Universe X-Men and to date I've kept on with these two comics returning to the world of Marvel which used to be one of my favourite fictional playgrounds.

There's been a lot of changes. Of all Marvels titles it was the X-Men I gave up on first because there was just too much to read. This current title narrows the field down for me and has a high level of science-fiction story telling plus the foray into the mystical world of Excalibur proved an interesting sideline. Trouble is there have been so many changes.

I have no idea who some of the newer possibly minor mutants are and although I had heard Doc Ock was dead I didn't realise there was a female replacement. Same for Electro. I need to read how Peter Parker got his secret identity back after the Civil War debacle. I know Mephisto was involved but there is so much out there I just didn't know where to start.

It was accidentally getting off at a wrong bus stop near a Waterstone's and decided to see what graphic novels were available. I started with Civil War II which was a very good story and and I ended up buying Infinity volumes one and two at a later visit. I would assume most Marvelites have read this excellent cosmic adventure. Both story-lines get a 5 Star Rating from me.

Then with a little birthday money and some savings I went for my first visits in a long time to the Forbidden Planet and Orbital returning with four more tomes (only one of which I had planned to buy. They didn't have the ones I wanted).  These included Avengers: No Road Home and Thor: Godbomb. I've now read these and would recommend them. I still  have Avengers: Star Brand Reborn and War of the Realms in my  reading pile along with some other items.

I have it in mind to purchase some more titles at a much slower rate for financial reason over the coming year and intend picking up Spider Island, Spidergeddon, Secret Empire, Thor: The Asgard-Shiar War and X-Men: Fall of the Shiar Empire. I would welcome suggestions from readers as to what they would recommend.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Doctor Who: Missy - The Master Plan (TPB/Titan)


If anyone ever asked me who my favourite Doctor was I would always think back to the old days of my childhood and name Patrick Troughton. His companions Jamie and Zoe were also favourites of mine. Of course there is to most people only one Master that as played by the late Roger Delgado. However times change and not only has the Doctor changed but so has the master.

Whilst Pa\trick Troughton remains my favourite classic Doctor I'm rather an fan of the much under-rated Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi who seems more in the old tradition than most of the new incarnations. However I have come to be a big fan of Missy as the female incarnation of the Master as played by the wonderful Michelle Gomez.

Wacky, fun and dangerous she has the menace and mystery of the Doctors nemesis to a tee. I've certainly loved her appearances on the TV show and am now on the third collection of Missy's audio adventures which I'll review in due course but for now Missy has a comic and that I've just read.

Originally published as a four issue mini series by British publisher Titan Comics it's now available as a collected edition which is now my favoured way of reading comics. This tells the tale of Missy impersonating the Doctor to free her former incarnation from you guessed it the time zone of the third Doctor who makes a couple of cameos.

Missy is on a mission. To save people and needs to find a piece of the Key To Time which older fans will recall from the mega-story line during the Tom Baker era.  Will her mission succeed? And why would a psychopath  want to save people? She certainly shows mercy early on.

Imprisoned in space is the original Master, well as far as we know given all the canonical revisions of late. Missy needs his help to open a door. Can her earlier incarnation really be fooled into thinking this is the Doctor? And what does the twelfth Doctor have to with all this?

A fun read which makes as much sense as Missy's humour at times but is a wonderful distraction from all the current goings on around us. Worth reading.

Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Commando #5477 (DC Thomson)


Britain's second longest running comic Commando still delivers good stories for readers young and old. I only dip in occasionally but couldn't resist this short science fiction adventure which wouldn't have been out of place in their now defunct Starblazer comic.

Set in the near future, just twenty years hence a mining operation in Colorado unwittingly unleashes an army of giant insects from thousands of feet below the world's surface. With more than a nod and a wink to  Starship Troopers these bugs are a bloody menace. Literally.

Just as the US Army decides to blast these creatures out of existence they discover some students remain trapped in the area. They can't send helicopters as that flopped when they tried to rescue some loggers. So in go the marines with (as this is a British comic) a group of out lads.

Things do not go as planned and these bugs are not totally mindless it would seem and the marines start going down not just with pincers but all sorts of excretions you really wouldn't want to think about. 

Without giving the ending away let's just say this looks like it might be an occasional series. I do hope so. 

Maybe with the current revival of British comics DC Thomson might take a gamble and launch a new adventure title. They really should consider a trade paperbacks collection of adventures from Victor, Hotspur Rover and the rest!

For now though Commando is doing fine. Their titles are worth checking out.

Rating: 4 Stars.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Bomb Scares #3 (Time Bomb Comics)


This is the first issue of Bomb Scares I've picked up from this small publisher though I have a couple of their other titles including Brawler. Just published after a Kickstarter appeal this arrived a couple of days back and I've just got around to reading this anthology of horror stories.

Lie most independent comics attempting this genre the results are mixed in both terms of stories and art. I was a little disappointed with the opening story The Book Of Daniel which despite good art and lettering went absolutely nowhere. Fortunately the next two features picked up the pace.

Gary Crutchley's Explorer and the Pig was an amusing if disturbing little short. This was followed by the much longer and quite well thought out by Christine Logan with nice art by by Denis Vermesse.

There are a total of 15 stories in this volume and rather than go through them all individually I thought I'd pick up on some of the highlights. One of the best was Jaws of Life, Jaws Of Death. Great art and story telling by Gary T Becks. 10/10 for that short. I also rather liked Tattoo which whilst probably not original in concept was well executed and retained this readers interest.

Other than Home is the sea also by Gary Crutchley with art from Brett Burbridge was also a solid old mystery tale. However I have to be honest the rest of the material did not appeal but to each his own. I certainly liked their Brawler series.

Rating: 3 Stars.