Sunday, 13 October 2019

Harley & Ivy meet Betty & Veronica TPB (DC)


Harley and Ivy meet Betty and Veronica (DC)

Paul Dini/MarcAndreyko (w) Laura Braga/Adriana Melo (a)

Sticking to the theme of inter-company mash-ups Archie and DC Comics got together to produce a charming meeting between the worlds of Gotham and Riverdale.  Harley & Ivy go all "swampy" and head to Riverdale to save the local swamp from a spurious and environmentally damaging building project being undertaken by Hiram Lodge.

The ideal opportunity arises for Holly & Ivy as the Lodges hold a costume party for Veronica and her friends as part of the launch. Enter Catwoman who Archie hits on and and the magic act just happens to be Zatanna of the Justice League. Throw in Sabrina and things all get a little, shall we say messy.

Harley & Ivy are being hunted down by Gotham's B-list gangsters and Reggie goes all Joker on everyone. Confused pick up this volume collecting all six issues of the mini-series. It's full of fun and surprises and is pure escapism!

More Archie/DC crossovers please!



Saturday, 12 October 2019

Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB (Dynamite)

Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB (Dynamite)

Tim Seeley (w) Rapha (a)

Regular readers will know I'm a great fan of inter-company crossovers they usually make for interesting and sometimes highly entertaining stories. This collection of the five issue mini-series from Dynamite is an oddity in itself. Chaos Comics went under in 2002! Their main character Lady Death remains owned by her creator Brian Pulido, briefly re-appearing under the also defunct Crossgen label but continues to be published by Coffin Comics. Pulido's latest enterprise.

Dynamite grabbed the licence to publish these characters (heroes is really not the right word except for Chastity) who were if I recall correctly were revived by Devils Due another company that's had it's ups and downs.

In many ways I had thought this line had run out of steam to be honest with only Chastity having any life left in comics and currently has her second series coming out from Dynamite. I did pick up a collected edition of the introductory series which was a bit "meh" to be honest and other than Chastity have ignored Dynamites Chaos output until now though I missed the Alice Cooper crossover which may have been amusing...

The main problem with this current revival for me is that Evil Ernie isn't evil enough and Lady Hel is no replacement for Lady Death. I found the story hard going and confusing. I have read several Hack/Slash comics some of which are good I have to say but like the Chaos characters have their limits. The art was a little disappointing and lacked the epic scope needed for a story around a war with the Devil himself.

Personally I think Dynamite should cut it's losses and concentrate on Chastity, though Purgatori being such a duplicitous bitch may prove a good opponent for Vampirella.

Chastity could do with some exposure via Vampirella. Just saying....

As they used to say in our school reports "could do better".


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Justice League Trade Paperback Vol #3 (DC)

Justice League TPB Vol #3 (DC)

Scot Snyder & James Tynion IV (w) Various (a)

Having been out of touch with the DC universe for a while it was grabbing a copy of this collection of issues of Justice League (#13 - 18 plus Annual #1) as it gives one a sort of overview of what's been going on . There's Lex Luthor's "Legion of Doom", the Joker, Brainiac up agianst the Justice League, the Green Lantern Corps and the New Gods. Throw in secret vaults on the Planet Thanagar and you have one hell of an epic.

It seems Luthor wants to revive some being called Perpetua who is imprisoned behind the Source Wall which if successful dooms the entire universe though Luthor thinks he can gain out of this.  And what part does the eighties hero Starman play in all this?

Legends and mind trips, battles and the falling apart of alliances make this a grand cosmic story that motivated me to order the next volume out in November.

The DC universe will never be the same again and again and ..... that's why I like DC, ever changing, ever developing in crisis after crisis and I haven't even got to the Doomsday Clock yet. Watch this space, just got the first volume.

In the meantime start catching up with DC in this fast paced and intriguing volume!

And place an order for the next volume.......

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Our Fighting Forces #138 (DC/1972)

Our Fighting Forces #138 (DC)

Various (w) & (a), Joe Kubert (cover)

Grabbed an unread back issue at random whilst my cake was in the oven this afternoon (yeah really, cooling as I type) which turned out to bis little gem I purchased a while back. This comic was part of a whole range of war comics produced by DC at the time and from the days when various genres including horror, mystery and love anthologies were still on the stands.

The Losers were the main feature in this period a "ragbag group of DC characters like Captain Storm (presumed dead in this issue), Johnny Cloud an air ace along with Gunner and Sarge. Not sure of the origins of the last two maybe a more knowledgeable reader can enlighten me!

Talking of enlightenment one reader complained in his letter about not just the "death" of captain Storm but the fact (shock horror) he had been replaced by ...woman! This was the seventies but even so it should have been common knowledge that women played a brave an active role across all theatres of war, especially in occupied Europe.

Now I'm not particularly "woke" as the young generation refer to these days but women have played major roles throughout history in military affairs and every other field of human endeavour.

As for the main story pretty average set in the North Sea during the Blitz looking for a mystery raider. The rest of the book is mildly entertaining and the last story very "American" for want of a better expression.

This comic is really for the fans of the genre. I bought it mainly because of the Joe Kubert cover. I love his art.

Oh and later issues show Capt Storm seemed to get better!


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Chastity #1 (Dynamite)

When I returned from a break collecting comics around 1998/9 I came across a lot of unfamiliar stuff including the world of Chaos comics which I did buy into for a while. I even took an interest in the rebooted Lady Death at the ill-fated Crossgen line. But of all their characters only Chastity the reluctant punk vampire attracted my reader loyalty.

It was probably the more down to earth stories that I found interesting (fascinating as the rest of the output by Chaos could be. And this latest outing, the second from Dynamite seems to be in this vein as a search for a job turns into something unexpected.

Oh and she goes around killing vampires.....

Worth tracking down Chaos back issues. They should at reasonable prices in back issue bins:

Chastity: Lust For Life Chastity: Rocked

Chastity: Theatre of Pain

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Previews Picks October 2019


It's that time of month again as we delve into the pages of previews the comic shops catalogue to see what takes our fancy for items coming out in December. Of course it's all a bit like being in a sweet shop we want it all (or lots of it) if we are honest but that's not possible as budgets are limited and there just isn't enough time to read it all!

One other problem is the weakness of the pound which means comics are very nearly the same price in dollars as they are in pounds. Rickety old pensioners like me have to be careful. My wants are bigger than my means so what's caught my attention this month?


From DC comes yet another "Black Label" item, Wonder Woman; Dead Earth. I no longer buy the monthly adventures and miss the Amazon Princess so this four issue mini series is a great chance to see Diana in action again.  According to the solicitation:-

When Wonder Woman awakens from a centuries-long sleep to discover the Earth reduced to a nuclear wasteland, she knows she failed. Trapped alone in a grim future, Diana must protect the last human city from titanic monsters while uncovering its secret of this dead Earth-and how she may be responsible for it.

Good enough for me and will be joining The Inferior Five (two issues this month),  The Legion of Superheroes, John Constantine: Hellblazer and Superman on my pull list. Brian Michael Bendis starts Superman this month. Worth a try I thought!


Next up is Marvel which is really taking advantage of it's renewed Conan licence and being a fan I've ordered them all including the first two issues of Conan Serpent War


Along with the Conan titles The Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy make it to my pull list this month though Guardians gets dropped after this storyline for economy reasons. Don't stop reading it on my account...


Dynamite are stretching my budget with their ever expanding range of Vampirella and Red Sonja related titles. The six issue crossover with Archie sees their adventures with Betty and Veronica continue with #7. Sigh I'm a sucker for these ladies. There is also a reprint of Vampirella #2 the Warren edition from 1969 which I'm picking up.

So these join Vampirella, Vengeance of Vampirella, Red Sonja/Vampirella, Red Sonja and Chastity on my Dynamite order this month!


One last vampire joins my order this month, Vampironica from Archies  wonderful Horror line.  Great stuff!

Other comics I chose this month were from IDW Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek Year Five!

Go where no man has gone before with the original crew of the Starship Enterprise. What's not to like.


Friday, 4 October 2019

Battle Chasers Anthology (Image) (Out Now)

Battle Chasers Anthology TP

Battle Chasers Anthology (Image Comics)

Joe Madureira (w & a) Munier Sharreff (w)

After years of meaning to read this comic I finally got around to buying the collected trade paperback that was released by Image this month. I was surprised that this comic only lasted 9 issues. It had a great mix of sword & sorcery with a little science fiction presented in a Disney/Manga fusion that was quite appealing.

Sadly the story is somewhat unfinished and ends up going nowhere. Pity.  Battle Chasrs had a lot of potential from what I saw though the manga orientated extras were regretable in my opinion.

Worth reading with great art for a fantasy adventure but is an epic that never quite got off the ground. Shame it will never be completed.


Sunday, 15 September 2019

Howie's World of Comics will be returning soon!

First of all an apology to readers for the break in blogging which has been due to a number of factors including I hate to say a distraction from reading comics almost completely for a while.  As readers will probably know I have been seriously ill and am still recovering though I am now able to get out and about i have also developed other interests in my enforced retirement.

I have a huge pile of comics, magazines, fanzines and annuals to read and review probably getting on for a couple of hundred as although I haven't been reading as much in the form of comics of late I haven't stopped buying them except now for back issues as pension requirements draw in my spending. I have had to cut new titles to the minimum especially with recent price increases.

Nevertheless despite my renewed interest in music, reading thrillers and learning new skills in the kitchen in the form of Indian cuisine and now baking cakes at least once a week my retirement looks less bleak then it once did.

I also have to admit I would have started blogging earlier but was totally pissed off to see all the Dynamite material disappear from my posts. Over the next week or so I'll be deleting all these reviews. Sad really I gave these comics very positive reviews being a big fan of Red Sonja and Vampirella of which I am a bit of a completest when it comes to collecting.

I'll be writing to Dynamite when Howie's World of Comics is back up and running asking for publicity material/previews to be sent for use on this blog. With this in mind I've published the blogs pageviews counter (see sidebar) which isn't too bad for a total amateur like me!

When I relaunch in a couple of weeks time (or sooner if I can get my act together and find a new look for the blog I like I hope you will join me for comics related fun. I might even see you at the London Comics Mart in October (health willing). Look for the guy with a wheely thing and a black hat!

Meanwhile something I came across on You Tube that hadn't had many hits and stars the late, great Adam West.

"I will return!"

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Beryl the Peril Annual 1969 (DC Thomson)

Beryl the Peril was a tearaway tomboy character that was a regular feature in The Topper, a weekly comic for boys and girls and is one I fondly remember from the sixties. The Topper was an oversized almost "broadsheet" sized comic along the lines of The Beezer. It's stable mates included the better known Dandy and Beano of which the latter has managed to survive until this day.

Like many strips this changed over the years. When I was a nipper Beryl's antics would earn her a good whacking with a slipper. of course political correctness has ended such practices but it was a fate suffered not just y her but Dennis the Menace and many other comic book characters over the years.

Mind you they usually deserved it..

Beryl had her own annuals which appeared every other year between 1959 and 1988. I had a couple of which this was one. A collection of strips featuring Beryl and her misadventures. Oh what fun.

Sadly The Topper like most British comics have long gone and Beryl is now part of comics history.

Mind you now that Rebellion is gradually reviving IPC/Fleetway material maybe DC Thomson will consider their back catalogue of not just humour comics but adventure titles such as The Victor and Hotspur which were on my reading list way back then......


Thursday, 6 June 2019

Previews Picks June 2019


The latest issue of Previews is now available with orders due in (in my comic shop anyway) by June 16th so whats to choose for this month.


DC has nothing new of interest to me though they are launching a new Batman/Superman title it's focus on the "Batman who Laughs" is not of interest for me personally.  The number of DC titles I am ordering reduces further this month as I stop Batman and and the Outsiders which I find a huge disappointment. As a big DC fan I continue to be disappointment by their current output.


Marvel on the other hand has been of renewed interest of late as the Fantastic Four return as do a slew of Conan titles. Of particular interest this month is Marvel Comics #1000 a bit of a constructed title to jump on the sales boom DC made with both Action and Detective Comics passing the 1000 mark. However these titles were continually published.

Nevertheless I'll be picking up a copy. Sad fan-boy that I am even in my sixties!


There's more additions to the world of Conan as Valeria is next up in the Age of Conan mini-series. If it's as good as the Belit one we're in for a treat. There's also a one shot Conan the Barbarian: Exodus one-shot chronicling an early "untold" story of when Conan left Cimmeria. Both up for grabs on my pull list!


Of interest from Dynamite is the  Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB. I've read a few of Tim Healy's comics featuring the duo and was a fan of Chaos back in the day. Chastity was always my favourite. However these characters sans Lady Death (who survives with Brian Pulido, her original creator) are now owned by Dynamite so I'm going to pickup this volume. Might be fun.

Don't forget the latest Red Sonja, Vampirella both in their solo comics and their team up with Betty & Veronica all continue this month!


Ten years ago Archie Andrews walked down memory lane first one way (ending up marrying Betty) and then the other (marrying Veronica). It was this series that revived interest in these characters and eventually led to their updating, a wonderful slew of horror orientated adventures and of course the terrific Riverdale TV series, (I'm about to start the boxed set of season 2).

It also circumvented the question of who Archie will go for in the end. Mind you another story line saw him marrying Veronica of the Pussycats. Currently in his regular comic Archie has copped off with Sabrina (the witch).... Still the TV series resolved the question of "Betty or Veronica" for me. It has to be Veronica!

Pre-order Archie The Married life 10th anniversary mini series. Should be fun!


Last but by far from being the least is a comic from British publishers Rebellion. Last year a one-shot The Vigilant surprised fans with the revival and updating of old British comic heroes. Now they are back and Rebellion own a lot more back catalogue. Can't wait to get this.

Vigilant: The Legacy in stores August 2019!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Comic Sales Top 30 (Ending April 2019)

The April sales of comic books in North America have just been published. The new top 30 are published below which shows Marvel gaining traction over DC after a strong showing by the latter last month. As expected Marvel's mega-event War of the Realms is the top selling book for the month but the second issue is already in 4th position so sales are expected to drop.

Just as a reminder British sales are not included and they add a further 10% to the market. Other sales outlets are also not included in this chart which only includes Direct Sales to specialist comic shops.

 1. War of Realms #1 (Marvel)
 2. Symbiote Spiderman #1 (Marvel)
 3. Batman Who Laughs #4 (DC)
 4. Immortal Hulk #16 (Marvel)
 5. Batman #69 (DC)
 6. Batman #68 (DC)

 7. Thanos #1 (Marvel)
 8. Heroes In Crisis #8 (DC)
 9. Web of Venom Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel)
10. Amazing Spider-Man #20 (Marvel)
11.Amazing Spider-Man #19 (Marvel)
12. War of Realms #2 (Marvel)
13. Detective Comics #1001 (DC)
14. Detective Comics #1002 (DC)
15. Justice League #22 (DC)
16. Justice League # 21 (DC)
17.Avengers #18 (Marvel)
18.Venom # 13 (Marvel)
19.Amazing Spider-Man #18. HU (Marvel)
20. Amazing Spider-Man #19. HU (Marvel)
21. Fantastic Four #9 (Marvel)
22. Green Lantern #6 (DC)
23. Superman #10 (DC)
24. Uncanny X-Men #15 (Marvel)
25. Uncanny X-Men #16 (Marvel)
26. Detective Comics 1000 (DC) *
27. Star Wars #64 (Marvel)
28. Major X #1 (Marvel)
29. Spider-Man City at War #2 (Marvel)
30. Action Comics #1010 (DC)

Marvel released twice as many titles as DC which partially accounts for their dominance of the market. A total of 5.84 Million copies were sold. Marvel had 50.7% of the Market whilst DC managed just 25.89%. Image came in third place with a little over 7%. The smaller publishers accounting for the rest.

Detective Comics #1000 was the top selling comic in March shifting over 500,000 copies. A further 45,000 were ordered in April

The highest selling comic from another company was Walking Dead which ranked #31 with a revived Spawn title at #44 both from Image. The 300th issue of Spawn is solicited in this months Previews (see tomorrows post). Of other publishers Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Boom! charted at #78 and their Firefly title came in at #88.  The only other three top 100 titles not from the big two were from Image.

On a personal note only three of my purchases reached the top 30 of these I no longer read Heroes in Crisis as it is so dire. But a pre-order is an order so I'm stuck with it.  Still it's finished now. Avoid the trade if tempted. It's really not worth the trees.

The Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and the three Conan titles from Marvel remain high on my reading list and all made the top 100. Red Sonja, despite being a cracking read languishes further down the chart at #136. Fans of Conan should add this to their pull lists. Dynamite's rendition is worth buying.