Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #1

Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #1
Boom Studios
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Piotr Kowalski

Louisiana is known for many things, voodoo and dark magic is one of them. In 1945, a group of men went in to the Bayou and encountered a zombie who was protecting another. He fights them off but is not able to stop them completely. The hunting party sees the other zombie and hang her. During this same time in Boston, a Senator Emory is leaving an outing with friends. He heads to a brothel to meet his favorite. As he walks through the other women who offer their services, the madam tells them the Senator is already taken.

Going through this, I could see the two different stories that are separate but you could see some a thread of commonality, but not enough for me to not get a tad confused while reading. As for the art, it worked for this story. Detailed enough for you to see the different locations but just off enough to know this isn’t normal. Paneling was well done. You didn’t get lost in the pictures and that helped the story flow. Lastly, the cover art matches the art of the story, a personal like if mine.

This is an odd one for me to review. Even though there was no traditional heads up in the beginning of the book, you do get a little idea of what’s going on because of a storyteller giving a hint of the overall situation. Because there was no real connection between the two stories, I saw it as two stories. Also, it wasn’t enough information for me to want to keep reading. What was there was good though. Hence, my issue. I would say read this one in the store, wait for #2 to come out and read that one. If it makes more sense, get both, if not leave them there. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5.

Florida Supercon 2014

This has been about the fourth year that I’ve gone to the Supercon in Miami. The first four times, you could see the growth until last year, they grew out of the location they had been at for years and they needed someplace that was bigger. This year, they moved to the Miami Beach Convention Center. They were able to bring in big names in Comic books, wrestlers, actors and other people in the sci-fi world. From last year to this year, they made a lot of improvements and still need help in others.
Let’s start with what almost everyone who comes to a convention deals with, traffic and parking. Now, I’ll say that this issue was far better than it was last year. But again, there were backups. I took the interstate in and went on main roads to get to the convention center when I got close. As I got close, you could see the backup start. I got stuck waiting around 9:45ish, and didn’t get parked until about 10:30ish. This can’t be blamed fully on those who were running the convention because from what I could see, it looks a little like the streets around were not designed to have a mass of people come in at once. But they could have had someone directing the traffic close to the parking areas to keep things moving.

Once I got inside, I could see a big improvement. Last year, I could barely move in the isles trying to get to someone or somewhere. This year, they had a lot more space and it was used well. You could move around, get up to tables and get your autographs and talk to the people. Also, last year, it was hot in the dealer room because the AC wasn’t working either at all or not up to the level needed. At this convention center, the AC did what it was supposed to, you stayed cool but not too hot or cold.

There may have been one or two instances where I’ve gone to a convention and did not have a positive experience with a celebrity. This year, there were no issues at all. I talked with the usuals in my area, Allan Bellman, Jose Delbo and George Perez, they are always willing to talk and tell you stories. This year, there were more big name wrestlers and comic book people. I had the chance to talk to Jerry “The King” Lawler and Ted Dibiase Sr. Both were very approachable. Now, I have to admit, there was one person I geeked out for, Caroll Spinney is the muppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. When I was talking to him, my son was looking at me like, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.” What can I say, I couldn’t help it. But he was also approachable and looked like he was enjoying the attention.

Now, I did have a chance to talk to a person who ran a panel and he had a different story. From what he told me, if you host three panels, you get a full pass. But since he was hosting only one, he had to pay for his ticket and parking. He wasn’t too happy about it; I haven’t had a chance to talk to management. What I can report is that I too had an issue getting my media pass. So overall, there are still areas that need work but some major areas have been addressed. In my humble opinion, go next year and we should see more areas get better. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

The Answer! #1

The Answer! #1 of 4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Mike Norton

If you’ve ever solved a rubic’s cube or some other 3 dimensional puzzle, you had that rush of excitement and accomplishment. What if when you did that, you were given another game or the next level opened up to you? Do you continue or just stop there. For Devin MacKenzie, it was keep going after she received a puzzle ball from her mom. After solving all the problems online, a man dressed in black with an exclamation point on his face shows up and tells her to come with him, if she wants to live (I’m glad that I never got that big into them). And that’s how things start for “The Answer!”

Looking this over, I have to say that the art was just right for this story, detailed and real enough to have to think it could happen but just off enough to allow you to know something’s different. The paneling was a good blend of basic squares to splash pages and minor frames here and there. I have to say this about the writing, you feel Devin as she’s telling you what’s happening to her. The Answer has his own feel, as do the other characters that are used. This is one of the main things I look for when I read.

This was an interesting read and something I hope Dark Horse continues after the four issues. This has a different feel to a told story. From start to finish, you have this constant building of excitement and uncertainty that keeps you turning each page. If the writer keeps this going through the rest of the issues, “The Answer!” will be a success. I really can’t find anything wrong with this; they let us know of time shifts and who each character is. In my humble opinion, pick this one up and keep going until the end (whenever that might be). I give this 5 caps out of 5.

Garfield #9

Garfield #9
Written by Mark Evanier & Scott Nickel
Art by Andy Hirsch & Gary Barker

In this offering of Garfield we have two stories that are told. One is how Odie gets lost fetching a stick. A boy who lives with his father who’s not so keen on dogs, then Odie kind of gets the boy in trouble, can Odie save the day (insert ominous music here)? Next, it’s a story about the “Pet Force” when “The Fearsome Four” are sent to capture them by Vetvix. Can the “Pet Force” fend off their attackers, can they stop Vetvix’ plan to save the day and their planet, well if I tell you then I break my rule about spoilers.

If you’re a fan of the comic in the papers, you’ll appreciate the fact that the art is the same. I’m guessing they artists are devoted to what Jim Davis. It has the same feel, look and style as what Jim puts out. The paneling is basic and very easy to follow. Everyone who’s reading this should not get lost. Now, I’m guessing the writing was not for me because most of the jokes were a little too simple for my tastes. It doesn’t mean that they weren’t funny, but I like the version that’s in the papers that is a little more grown up.

As I just alluded to, this comic is not meant for the diehard fans who have every book put out about our favorite fat, orange cat. This is meant for the young reader to introduce them to reading comics and also to Garfield. But that’s not to say that this wasn’t good. Again, I have to say this is a little below me. So, if you have children and you’re looking to start them on something easy to read that they would find funny, this would be it, in my humble opinion. I would give this 4 caps out of 5.

Todd #1

Todd #1
Sphinx Group
Written by Ken Kristenson
Art by M.K. Perker

Can you imagine that you have a neighbor whose child is so ugly; he constantly wears a paper bag over his head (insert Beautiful People or Cody Rhodes jokes here for you wrestling fans)? The other local kids are constantly picking him on, not to mention no one treats him with any respect including his parents? Now you have that, let’s throw in a serial killer who is killing children and the kid with the bag on his head is blamed. Welcome to Todd’s world, not only the ugliest kid in the world, he’s got all this other stuff to deal with too.

The art for this was just what was needed to portray this world that Todd lives in, bright, detailed and just enough off to let you know things are messed up. The paneling was easy to follow because it was standard squares; the story was able to flow from frame to frame. Ok, now the writing. The story itself was easy to follow and didn’t have any holes to get lost in. The characters each had their own distinct voice and characteristics, which was good to see.

Now, I’m really still trying to figure out of I like this book or not. Here’s my issue, this particular book is like a lot of TV sitcoms from not too long ago where nothing positive could happen to the primary character of that weeks story. That’s the only thing I was getting from this book, everyone kept putting Todd down and he accepted it, it’s not to my taste. Now, I know this is just the first issue and they didn’t finish the story, so there could be more and things might brighten up for Todd, but I don’t know if I want to keep reading to find out. In my humble opinion, I’d say thumb through it at the store, if the art or something else catches you, buy it. I give this 3.5 caps out of 5.

Star Wars: Purge, The Tyrants Fist Part 2 of 2

Star Wars: Purge, The Tyrants Fist Part 2 of 2
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Alexander Freed
Art by Marco Castiello & Andrea Chella
In this book, we are picking up after the end of “Revenge of the Sith.” The Empire is sweeping across the galaxy, sometimes they’re welcome, other times they met with resistance. This is what’s happening on planet Vaklin where the Jedi are held in high prominence that the locals forming insurgencies and are resisting; they are led by Jedi Knight Cho’na Bene. The Emperor needs to send in his top enforcer (guess who), Darth Vader to quell these and get the local population under control. Now, Vader tries the typical military attempts that keep failing, so he calls upon Oniye Namada of the Imperial Security Bureau to help and she brings a new strategy.

The look of this book is spot on. The art is solid throughout and it takes you away to this other planet and time. The paneling shifts a couple of times from having boarders to just lines separating the pictures, in this case it was not a distraction but I don’t think that it helped the story. Thankfully Dark Horse understands that you might see a book and not had the chance to read the first one because they made sure you were up to date on the story. I thought the writing brought the story out. It was a little slow in the beginning, but the way it was told, it need to be written in that way.

Overall, I liked this story and need to read the first one. I like the idea of seeing how the Empire spread and how the Jedi were almost wiped out of the history books (Almost like our own history). When I was reading this, I felt as though I was in these places, feeling my freedoms slipping away and the things I know to be true wiped off of the planet. In the end you and the characters have to make the decision to either succumb to this force or go silent to live. Get this and the first one, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Adventure time with Fionna and Cake, #1 of 6

Adventure time with Fionna and Cake, #1 of 6
Written by Natasha Allegri
Art by Natasha Allegri

For those of you who don’t have children or are fans of Cartoon Network, let me fill you in on Adventure time. In short, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic land of Ooo. The TV show has different characters but in this book, the main characters are a 14-year-old girl and her shape-shifting cat who go out to rescue baby fire lions (don’t ask) from the Ice Queen. When going out to fight she saves a fire character. This is the book in a nutshell. Did I mention that I’m not a fan of the show?

From the few episodes that I’ve seen, this book plays out like the show. The art is very basic and flows through the frames. You can follow the story pretty much without the text. The writing is simple and there isn’t much. But here, it works because the art truly does carry the story. The paneling is simple squares and fit with what the story. There is a second story at the end where the main character and a couple of her friends are going after a sweater thief. Now with that, they had a different artist and I don’t think it carried well with what was going on.

This is one that I had to put my personal feelings aside about what is on TV and go with what I had in this book. So having done that, I think this was a different way of looking at an end-of-the-world story. Each character was unique and felt like it had it’s own place and story to tell. But it was on the fringes of crazy for me, and not in the good way. I would say in my humble opinion, if you have children who are fans of the show or if you like it, get this book. If you want to try something different, check it out. If not, don’t get it. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia

The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia
Written by various writers
Art by various artists
Dark Horse Comics

25 years ago, a video came out that took over the nation. Everyone wanted to get it and had to get it. Those who didn’t have a Nintendo, had to get one, just for this game. The Legend of Zelda came out and the rest, as they say, is history. A bunch of games, a few cartoons, books and comics later, it’s still going strong. Well, Dark Horse has put the complete history up to now in this trade. It covers the whole history from the original 8-bit game to what’s out there today.

This book is an amazing thing to behold. Each page shows the evolution of the characters, creatures, lands, weapons, you name it. This to me was fun and it showed me more insight into the game than I thought I wanted to know but it was a lot of fun to read. Some of the creators were interviewed as well and they talk about what their contributions were and how amazed they are that the game and story is still going strong. At the end of the main book, they have a manga story with link that is just as fun to read and will take you away back to the world of Hyrule.

This is a huge book for me to review and I enjoyed all the time I put into reading it. It brought me back to sitting in front of my TV with my mom, who loved the game too (what does that say), playing on the original game system and losing time and myself into the game. I never would have realized how big that gold cartridge would become. This book would be good for any hardcore gamer, Zelda fan and others as well. But a lot of people are going to love this, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Abe Sapien #1

Abe Sapien #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Art by Sebastián Fiumara
If you’re looking for a job with decent benefits, you may want to look into applying at the B.R.P.D. because there’s an opening there. Abe Sapien has run off after being in a coma for a few months. No one knows why or where he’s going. Not to mention, this is a time when a boat load of monsters are popping up all over the place. People all over the place have their theories or heard rumors, but nothing certain. Later on, we find Abe hobo’ing somewhere, listening to what to all these tales of other homeless men on what could be going on. I’ll leave it here; you know my thoughts on spoilers.

The writing was solid. This issue gave me enough information to know what’s going on in the world without knowing everything, something I truly want in a first issue. Also, we don’t know what’s going on with Abe, why he left, where is he going, again to make you wonder. As for the paneling, standard squares which is the style for this world. Simple, easy to follow for anything with these characters and it’s best to keep to the same style. The art was also the same used for other books in this world. It was gritty, just off enough to let you know it’s not here.

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this. They show Abe as having the same personality that he’s always had, a thinker but they did show that he can hold is own in a fight on land if he needs to. Something I personally haven’t seen before. Also, you see how the people take care of each other, people are looking out for Abe and it’s not the people you’d expect. I have a strong feeling this is going to be another successful line from this universe. If you are in a store or on their website, get this book, in my humble opinion. I give it 5 caps out of 5.

Deathmatch #4

Deathmatch #4
Boom Studios Comics
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Carlos Magno

I’m pretty sure a lot of us thought bout this. Imagine if a boatload of Superheroes or Super villains were pulled out of comics, books and popular culture, thrown into an arena and forced to fight to the death. They have no memory of what occurred outside the arena all they know is that they need to fight one-on-one combat until there is only one person left. But what happens when some of the contestants start to realize that things are not right and are trying to escape or just to shut down the system. This is the premise for Deathmatch.

The art was gritty, somewhat raw; I think to give an overtone of the feeling going on in the arena and in the “locker room.” There were times when this helped and added to what was going on but other times it took away from what was going on. To go along with that, the paneling was easy to follow, it did not have any weird shapes or an odd flow patterns. Now the writing was a bit difficult for me to follow. The story, to me, seemed choppy at times. The characters were difficult to follow. But I was able to get through and see what was going on after a bit.

This is one where, again, if I would have read the first issue or issues, I might have a better idea of what was going on. But Boom chose not to tell us or remind us what happened before, a pet peeve of mine. Also, some of the characters resembled others from different companies. I don’t know if this is by design or not (on a personal note, they copied one of my favorite characters which I don’t mind too much). But the premise is good and you have to wonder, are they going to get back to their homes? Is there a true villain? What brought them here? There are ups and downs on this. In my humble opinion, read the first books then, get this one. Don’t pick it up cold. I give this 3 caps out of 5.

Aliens vs. Parker Book #2 of 4

Boom! Studios
Written by Paul Scheer & Nick Giovannetti
Art by Manuel Bracci

Most of the best decisions men have made have involved a beautiful woman, that’s when we really think things through before we take any course of action (yeah right). This is what happens with Parker. He stole a shuttle (keep in mind, he’s not a pilot) to follow a woman and the space marines, that was book one. Then, crash lands on a planet. Looking for her, he and the rest of his space delivery crew come across a deserted base and decide it would be a good idea to check it out. In so doing, find a bunch of dead bodies and what’s killed them. You can guess what happens from there.

I think I’ll start with the writing this time; each character had their own personality and “accent.” Also, they acted like a bunch of people that were thrown into a situation that they are no where near prepared for, it was well done. The art gave the feeling that, even though there are funny parts to this, it was still a gritty situation and dangerous. This really worked well and added to the story. Lastly, the paneling was for the most part very well done. Though there is one bit where two of the characters are crawling through an airshaft that the sequence seems out of order. Other than that it worked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this little bit of sci-fi humor. The characters were well laid out; these guys are in no way heroes or want to be. They were still cracking jokes when things were happening. Also, the writers made sure you were aware of what happened in the book before, another thing I like. I think this is going to be a fun read and I could even see this being turned into an animated DVD once everything is said and done with the series. If you get the chance, get this, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Captain Midnight #0

Captain Midnight #0
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Victor Ibáñez & Pere Pérez

Imagine, if you will, being inspired to become a pilot because of a WWII hero who disappeared back in 1944, joining the Navy, excelling, studying everything you can about your hero and following in his footsteps? Then when you’re doing patrol in the Bermuda Triangle, his plane comes flying right at you. This is some of what happens in Captain Midnight, the latest offering from Dark Horse. Where an Allied war hero comes to our time and wants to finish his last mission. The only issue is everyone else is trying to stop him, even our government. This is why I don’t fly around Bermuda.

Looking at just the art, it truly fits on what the story is telling. It doesn’t drag the story or take away from what is being said. Also, with the detail, you feel like a part of the story. The writing also takes you away to this not to far away place in 2013, you feel a part of what’s happening. Also, the writer made sure to give you a heads up on the back story, just in case you didn’t get the preview on Free Comic Book Day. Lastly, the paneling was able to guide you through the story as well.

My son and I got the sneak peak in the issue that was given out on FCBD and I was looking forward to this coming out. I like how they hint about what’s going on but don’t tell you everything. It keeps you interested and wanting more. Also, the story could fit in our time. It could possibly happen, adding to the draw. Not to mention, this deals with one of my favorite times in history, WWII. It adds a new level that’s fun and could get people interested in learning more. In my humble opinion, I’d say pick this one up and most likely, you’ll be picking the rest of the series. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Fanboys vs. Zombies #15

Fanboys vs. Zombies #15
Boom Studios
Written by Shane Houghton
Art by Jerry Gaylord

So, we still have nerds, geeks and techno-weenies fighting off zombies. In this issue, they’re up on a space station where they can be cured. There’s only one problem with that, one gets loose and another can’t be found. And so the zombie virus still spreads. Then as people try to not kill the zombies, so they can be save. And, as you can imagine if you’ve seen just about any zombie movie or read any zombie book, people start dropping like flies. There are bad days, then there BAD DAYS! Of course I would say something like; “It can’t get worse.” but that always invites trouble.

The writing for this was well done. Each character, I could hear their own voice, their own accent. Also, the statements worked too for the situations they were in, my only issue is you’re not made aware of what happened the last book. I liked the art because it was detailed enough to give a good feel but off just enough to help you know things are not quite right. Speaking of the art, the cover art will draw you to this book and matches the art inside of it, I like that. Lastly, the paneling was laid out in a way that you could easily follow the story but different enough to keep your interest.

I liked this book because it had the right amount of humor to match the situation. It didn’t take itself too seriously. I could see some of my comic book geek friends making comments trying to avoid every space or zombie cliché. Also, the situations that these characters get into makes sense for what is in the story. Even though it’s a tad tongue-in-cheek, what happens works. You could read this and almost say, “I know that guy.” I would get this book and a few back issues to know what’s going on, in my humble opinion. I give this 4 caps out of 5 for the reason I pointed out.

Polar: Came from the Cold

Polar: Came from the Cold
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Victor Santos
Art by Victor Santos

What happens to old spies when they retire? It’s been the topic of movies, comics and shows everywhere. Here, we have the Black Keiser, a retired agent trying to live out the rest of his days in peace. Yet one group, Damocles is trying to kill him because they’re cleaning out. Killing all of their old agents to prove they can close old cases. When everyone’s out to kill you, what do you do? Sit back and let them come if you’re so tired, run and try to stay ahead of them, or turn and fight and take out those who are trying to kill you? Guess what he does? This was a different style of book that I’ve reviewed before. It was an actual book but don in a black and white style with red highlights. For this story, it fit and worked.

It showed the basic “black and white” of this character’s world. As for the paneling, there were times when I kind of got lost in which way the writer wanted me to go but only a few times. There’s not that much dialog here but, it wasn’t needed. What was said by any character was what needed to be said and that’s it. No exaggeration, no forcing it in, just let the scene speak for itself.

I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect when I opened this up. The art was a little exaggerated and not the style that I like but when I got into the story (after about three pages) it made sense and flowed from there. Keiser is a character that you can feel that he’s done with that old life and is just trying to move on. You feel how Damocles is trying to prove what they are, by any means necessary. In my humble opinion, get this. If they have any more after this, get them too. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Star Wars Legacy #1: Prisoner of a Floating World

Star Wars Legacy #1: Prisoner of a Floating World
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Corrina Bechko & Gabriel Hardman
Art by Gabriel Hardman

138 years after we are introduced to the Star Wars universe, things have not quieted down. There’s still corruption, and underlying Sith presence and everything you’d expect to see with anything Star Wars. Everything starts off with the ruling triumvirate trying to setup a communication net. The team trying to do this is ambushed by a Sith lord who cannot stop a communication droid from grabbing a lightsaber and heading out into space. After being shot down, it lands into the hands of Ania who finds the lightsaber and wants to sell it to get out of what she considers a miserable life. Trust me; this is a very condensed version of what’s going on.

Ok, the art is typical for the Star Wars comics that I’ve read over the time Dark Horse has been putting them out. It works for all the stories they’ve produced, and it does here too. The paneling is the standard square, boxy style. Again, in this form it makes sense and it works. It doesn’t take away from the story and allows everything to flow. Now, for the writing, it was kind of disjointed. They’re trying to start this story with three different perspectives, one of Ania, the other from a governmental one and the last from the outpost where the communications array was to be set. You have to work to keep track and they don’t let you know when a change is coming.

Beyond the fact about the writing, some of the things I like are the fact that you’re told some but it didn’t go far enough. Also, in the first sequence you see Storm Troopers being used, why? Wouldn’t they be something from a time that the universe would want to move past? Ania is One of Han Solo’s descendants but the fact that she has royalty and Jedi, she’s just a junkyard owner and junk dealer. How did this happen? There’s not enough to give me a good foundation to what’s happening. In my opinion, if you’re a diehard Star Wars fan, get this. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5.