Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Star Trek: Waypoint (IDW)
Various (w) & (a)
This over sized prestige format title contains four stories from across the original time line of Star Trek, starting with the original where Bones seems to have distractions in the form of a Vulcan but it isn't Spock and he needs a drink and a chat with Captain Kirk when he comes off duty. A rather amusing tale of humanity and misplaced emotion, sadly for Bones anyway. A cracking little opener from Stephen Moonet who writes, illustrates and even letters this fun story (you guessed it) Hearts & Bones.
The second story is more than a little disappointing after such a good opening. The art is frankly terrible and the story well, OK I guess but I was so put off by the presentation that Unfathom by Corina Becko (w) and Daniel Irizarri (a) gets the thumbs down I'm afraid.
Still things pick up a bit with The Swift Spoke which is science fiction at it's weirdest and makes an interesting read if confusing for the reader and frankly the early Janeway. Bit confused about Tuvok's presence in this tale set before Voyager but then I don't know everything Trek.
The final story features everyone's favourite Klingon Worf and is set a year after the death of Jadzia and he has a visitor whilst dealing with a problem Ambassador which is merely a sideline in this sad tale The First Year.
Rating: 4 Stars.
Apparently this was a five issue mini sereis which I missed whilst ill and not either buying or reading comics. Might pick up the trade if I can.
Sunday, 28 April 2019
Star Trek: Year Five #1 (IDW)
Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly (w) Stephen Thompson (a)
At last the adventures of the "missing year" of the original enterprise begin albeit in comic book form. You will not be disappointed with the opening chapter it's all there. the original crew. Spock's clinical scientific emotionless contributions, Bones and his so human bedside manner plus a bottle of brandy, Scotty is beginning to put on weight...These are the adventures of the Star-ship Enterprise and her five year mission to explore the unknown.
The biggest stellar object ever discovered is about to to go band and the radiation will wipe out life for 10,000 light years which Starfleet obviously doesn't want to happen so here is Kirk and his crew making sure devices are put in place.
Then the problems arise don't they "Admiral" and then a plea for help from a Tholian Colony. They are the Crystalline creatures who build webs in space.
But is the Enterprise too late?
This will be a continuing series that I hope will last. Great art too!
Rating 4 Stars. It can only get better!
Jughead The Hunger vs Vampironica #1 (Archie Horror)
Frank Tierni (w) Pat & Tim Kennedy plus Joe Eisma (a)
The horror continues as Vampires return to Pops Diner and a fight ensues between Veronica and the creatures of the night. It's actually difficult to review this without giving too much away as Veronica confronts her parents about the truth behind vampires in Riverdale. After all she killed Dracula didn't she? And why do vampires seem to just disap.......
Great art, fast paced story. This second volume of Vamperonica should be on everyone's "pull list". If it isn't grab a copy now!
Rating 4.5 Stars
Queen of Bad Dreams #1 (Vault)
Danny Lore (w) Jordi Perez (a)
Last but by far from least is this comic from new publishers Vault. This is about a woman who literally chases dreams. Those figments of your imagination that either escape from or accidentally drop out of your dreams. Not totally original but good enough to produce something a little different.
Whilst our heroine Daher wipes a child's nightmare from our reality with science or is it it magic tech? That remains to be disclosed, her services become requested elsewhere.
Just like a movie a politicians son has lost a bit of his dream and Daher is the woman for the job. A spoilt brat refuses a dream scan but as we discover is far from a child. He's a 40 year old tosser with an attitude problem. Daher has to chase his dream girl. Will she return, eliminate or allow to stay.
An interesting comic that deserves a wider audience.
Rating 3.5 Stars
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
During the sixties Gerry Anderson puppet shows were all the rage. Enjoyed not just by us kids but family entertainment in an age where there were just two or three TV channels. There was Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds.
These shows inevitably generated a comic. Three in fact, the first being TV 21 the first volume of which lasted 242 issues between 1965 and 1969 before being sold to Fleetway and a new quite different comic featuring Marvel super-heroes filling a gap between Power Comics and Marvel UK.
Later issues would include Captain Scarlet and TV21 would merge with it's short lived companion title Joe 90. Lady Penelope also got her own comic for the girls.
This annual published in 1966 covered the early years and other features included My Favourite Martian (I used to love this show which was the same basic formula as Bewitched but with an alien instead of a witch) The Munsters and Get Smart. All family favourites in our household. I love these shows even now!
Of course it's the Gerry Anderson characters that were the comics enduring features! So here are some clips from Stingray for your entertainment!
Saturday, 20 April 2019
Detective Gallo and the Unholy Company (Indy/One Shot)
Greg Meldrum (w) & David Broughton (a)
Most comics I read that aren't set in in outer space tend to be set in the United States or the UK. Occasionally of course we'll be taken to fictional countries like Latveria, Wakanda or one of the Atlantis cities under the ocean depending on whether you're reading Aquaman or a Sub-Mariner adventure.
So to be presented with a story set in Spain, in particular under Franco was something different to start with when I read this comic. With a background set in the Spanish civil war that took place just before the Second World War the brutality of Franco is seen as his soldiers attack a church. Gallo is the unwilling commander but when orders are received directly from El Caudillo they must be obeyed at all costs.
In 1949 after a Franco-inspired catastrophe the country is beset with supernatural threats of which Gallo, now a detective in the Spanish police is sort of part of the last defence. However he's somewhat of a cynical old git. His sidekicks get a raw deal but despite being on the side of good there's something amiss with Gallo.
A nice one-shot well worth picking up.
Rating 3.5 Stars
Friday, 19 April 2019
Doctor Strange #25 (Marvel)
Jim Starlin (w) Al Migrom & Pablo Marcos (a)
Doctor Strange is one of the founding characters of the Marvel universe but by the late seventies was only being published bi-monthly and has always had a wee bit of trouble supporting his own comic. Sad really. Created by Stan Lee and wonderfully brought to life by the art of Steve Ditko the world of magic in the MU was given form.
However as this issue shows the magic gets somewhat complicated and if it wasn't for those old fashioned "catch up" pages I for one would have been at a total loss to understand what was going on here. Strange has been fighting a group of beings called the creators who had a device that could change reality.
After teaming with a sun turned into human form the creators become the stars and the stars human after the Doc destroys their device and with the help of Cleo rescues these followers of his as the universe of the creators dimension collapses around them.
With me so far? Except it's far from over as Strange returns to Earth to find it is a parody of it's former self and though his sanctuary still exists there is a Doctor even stranger than he resident within.
To be continued as they say. In sixty days in fact, which must have been off putting for the reader. But sales didn't warrant a monthly. This first volume of the Doctors adventures lasted 81 issues bewteen 1974 and 1987. Not a bad run really!
Thursday, 18 April 2019
At last a new British humour comic on the shelves! Older readers will remember both Cor! (1970 -1974) and Buster (1960 - 2000). The two comics merged in 1974. I still remember the free gift that came with the first issue of Cor!. Disgusting it was. The same can't be said for the content which amused me on-off for my school years as did Buster which differed from most humour titles in having adventure stories.
I can't recommend this comic enough which brings back Sweeny Toddler, Buster himself (the son of Andy Capp if he's still going in the Daily Mirror) and my favourite Grimley Fiendish the most useless master criminal in the world and from one of my childhood favourites Smash! which ran between 1966 and 1970 when it was purchased and revamped as a normal "boys paper" as these comics used to be referred to.
It's just a one-off special for now but like the Scream & Misty one this could become a regular event. Maybe one day we'll see a real rival to the Beano rise again. Who knows. For sheer nostalgia and to support Rebellions growing line of British titles and reprint volumes grab a copy from WHSmith or your local comic store whilst stocks last!
Also out this week is the latest issue of the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine and a worthy package it is with not just a magazine but a pre-packaged mini graphic novel. A new Judge Dredd adventure starts this month set in the Cursed Earth where one of the Judges who took the long walk is sending radio messages undermining the cities authorities.
Oh and there's marauders and more...
Lawless has a mega-twist in it's story line which I won't spoil here. The Dark Judges continue their genocide and Brit city sees murdering rose bushes claim a victim. Blunt II finally ends which is a good thing. Not a fan. Plus features on comics and their creators.
Finally the last of the adventure weeklies the science fiction and fantasy orientated 2000AD is also now out. Featuring Judge Dredd, Survival Geeks, Scarlett Traces, Max Normal and the Tolkienesque Kingmaker Ouroborus. Get your regular fix!
If you have difficulty in finding these comcs please go to: 2000ad.com
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Adventure Comics #400 (DC)
Mike Sekowsky (w) & (a)
Adventure Comics was once one of DC's longest running titles and should have joined the "1000! club had it not been discontinues after being turned into a "digest format". Not a fan of the latter, especially at my age. Eyes not strong enough sadly.
problem was the features constantly changed but it did have a magnificent run lasting from the first issue way back in 1935 (!) as New Comics, taking the title Adventure Comics in 1938 until the last in 1983. The title has been briefly revived a couple of times but not for long in either case.
This Supergirl adventure was from 1970 as it hit it's 400th issue and was still on sale at the regular price. Publishers had yet to increase page count for "anniversary" editions so we had a solo 22 page story with Kara.
This is a really odd adventure in that Return of the Black Flame ignores all the conventions established in Superman titles over the years. Black Flame escapes from Kandor in a spaceship to go to the planet "phantom Zone" and rescues some add choices of accomplices, Toymaster (no not the one we know), the Hook and L.Finn (a leprechaun apparently) and sets up a bizarre plan to get her revenge.
Using green kryptonite she binds Supergirl and weakens her powers further with gold kryptonite from which Kara recovers. Now we all know Gold K removes any Kryptonians powers permanently. Someone should have told the writer and the editor. But continuity in DC back then was a bloody mess which was not "sorted out until Crisis On Infinite Earths and revised in various crisis and
Flashpoints over the years.
Half-baked story if you ask me now but 1970 was my first year in secondary school doubt I would have cared much even had I collected this comic at the time. Good fun though, giant rolling pins and all. Villains had some really stupid ideas back in those days.....
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Spectre Show #1 (Independent)
Shaun Avery (w) David Broughton (a)
Having started to dip into the weird and wonderful world of independent British comics I thought it was about time to try out some of David Broughton's work. David will be known to readers of 2000AD and Countdown. I've only ever read a couple of the latter but they are worth picking up.
This was the first of several titles that arrived in the post yesterday and a good read it was to! Set in a future world where the barriers to the afterlife have broken down and ghosts are possessing the living to kill. This is a violent tale that follows some marines through the mass genocide being perpetrated by the dead.
Our heroes are a band of troopers trying to save humanity and find a safe place for refugees.. It's got a great script and the art is spooky to say the least. I shivered at the thought under the duvet as the pages turned. This one shot comic is well worth picking up.
Spectre Show is in a slightly oversized format unlike the rest of David Broughton's output which are in the traditional American comic format.
This is still available from: www.comicsy.co.uk
Rating: 4 Stars
Sunday, 14 April 2019
Marvel Team-Up (Marvel)
Eve L. Ewing (w) Joey Vazquez (a)
A week late but I finally got my copy of the first issue of Marvel Team-Up. I've never been a great fan of Spider-man and other than loving the first 36 issues by Lee & Ditko (which I have reprints of) I've only occasionally dipped into Spidey's world except for Team-Up.
One of the reasons I liked that title (and Marvel-Two-In-One) was that you got to see a lot of characters that didn't have their own titles. Two-In-One was the better of the two as I love Ben Grimm aka The Thing. I hoped this would at least recreate this wonderful comics from the seventies and eighties.
Problem for me was two-fold. I don't know what happened to Mary Jane or know how no-one knew Peter Parker wasn't Spider-Man from the Civil War which is probably the last time I read Spidey. I also knew next to nothing about this Ms Marvel either. Other than she's a (westernised) Muslim girl she seems to have the same powers as Elasti-Girl from the Doom Patrol. Maybe I'd better google her before reading the next issue.
Actually the only reason there will be a couple of "next issues" is because I've already pre-ordered them. Frankly I don't think I would have bothered otherwise. This was a "Flip" issue so you could start at either end to reach the final scene. I thought this was naff. The art's not all that great but I'll stick with it and hope it gets better. The "ending" whilst not original might have some amusing consequences.
Rating: No Stars.
Saturday, 13 April 2019
Charlton Comics were published as more as an afterthought than a thought out project just to keep the companies printing presses rolling. Despite this and the meanness of the owners paying possibly the lowest rates in the industry) and using poor quality paper Charlton managed to produce some wonderful comics over the years.
From around 1946 to 1985 (albeit with a wee bit of a gap at the end, Charlton published thousands of comics ranging from horror and mystery through westerns, war comics, cartoons, adventure and even a smattering of superheroes. The latter proved the inspiration for the Watchmen possibly the best read comic in history.
So a fanzine was more than welcome. Sadly it seems to be no more after two decades of erratic publishing.
Charlton Spotlight gives us insights and interviews with various artists writers and editors across the years of Charlton. They also take a look at the various spin offs into other companies.
For those of you who are fans of Doomsday +1 the "lost" or unpublished story sees the light of day in Charlton Spotlight #8. I lied this series which lasted just 6 issues though was revived and republished to reach #12. The next issue was produced but sadly never published as the series was cancelled.
I always thought it had the feel of one of those cartoon we used to have at teatime after school or on a Saturday morning. Those were the days....
There's quite a lot of material in the early issues about Pat Boyette who was responsible for Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt which was one hero that DC didn't end up with and has adventures with Dynamite these days. Pat "moonlighted" for Charlton as his employment as police officer forbade a second job!
But of course there's plenty more of great comics to be found in Charlton's inventory including plenty of Steve Ditko's non-superhero work in their horror comics line.
Frankly there's something for everyone. Just keep an eye out. There's some gems to be found.
There were just 9 issues of this great mag which are well worth collecting. Some creators are still at work on mags like Forbidden Gallery (ACP Comics) and The Creeps (Warrant Publishing) so pick these up if you get a chance!