Reset #2 of 4

Reset #2 of 4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Peter Bagge
Art by Peter Bagge

Would you allow yourself to be sent virtually back in time during your life to see how you deal with stress? Would you live your life exactly as it was or would you try and make it better or fulfill your wildest fantasies or relive them again? Well, that’s what’s happening to Guy Krause, a washed out actor who’s trying to do something until that next job comes around. Of course, there are those people who are doing the experiment and the higher-ups watching them. Add the usual politics and sexual tension and you kind of have this.

I had to read this really close but halfway through things started to catch for me. One thing that helped was that I was told some of what happened in the first issue, plus they did it with the art from the previous book, that I liked. The story was a little scattered at first though. The art had exaggerated features that really didn’t work for me with what was going on, the arms were too long and some of the other things didn’t fit. Also, it was done in black and white, which didn’t add or take away from the story.

Overall, I’m really not sure what to make of this. It’s meant to be funny and there were parts that were. But the story really didn’t flow in the beginning, which I had a problem with. Also, with what was going on, the art didn’t blend to the story. I don’t mind the longer features or rounded shapes but here, it seemed too much. But I would like to see what happens in the next issue, so it did peak my interest enough. I’d say, if you have the opportunity to get the first book, do so, and then get this one; in my humble opinion. I give this 3 caps out of 5.

King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #4 of 4

King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #4 of 4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Timothy Truman
Art by Tomás Giorello

How many of you out there have ever wondered what would happen when Conan would become king, by his own hand of course. Well, Dark Horse has given you a glimpse into that idea with their most recent issue. Here, Conan is king and retelling a story of when he first got his kingdom where a group of assassins tried to kill him in his bedchamber. Then, just for good measure while the battle was still going on, a wizard summons a demon to kill anyone close to Conan and Conan for good measure. It’s stories like this that make me happy to be a commoner.

Reading through this, the story was well laid out and easy to follow, even for someone picking up the issue cold. It was self contained and you had an idea of what happened in the first issues without being told. Looking at the art, it felt like it could draw you into the frame. The detail was there, but the colors help you keep that distinction so you don’t totally lose yourself in it. Lastly, the paneling was a little more elaborate that most of the stuff I’ve been reading but again, this worked with the story and moved it on.

This was a really well written and laid out story. It’s very easy to see Conan doing what’s portrayed in the beginning of the book, telling one of the members of his court of an event that happened when he got the thrown he was striving for all along and what happened one time. My only issue with this was that I was not told of what happened in the first three issues. That would have made this truly a top pick for me. But if you get the chance to get this, do and get the other three as well. I’m sure that it would make it even better, in my humble opinion. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Ragemoor #3 of 4

Ragemoor #3 of 4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Jan Strnad
Art by Richard Corben

I’m going to try and describe what I read in this issue so you can follow. A young lord, Herbert, is trying to protect baboons on his estate from a poacher by the name of Tristano. The butler is trying to get him to realize his other duties, like having an heir, but the butler is taking an extract of a plant that is giving him visions (with me so far?). Oh and the castle or home is alive and there are creatures living beneath it. I think that covers everything. All I could say as I was reading this was, huh?

Let’s get into the critical part of this; I’ll start with the art. It’s drawn in black and white, which adds to the ominous feeling of the story, a small plus there. The features were exaggerated to lend another bit of oddness. As for the paneling, simple basic squares and forms so they were easy to follow. Now, I have to get into the story. The biggest issue is nothing was said about the first two issues, plus what was on the page couldn’t give me enough of a back-story to have any sense of what was happening. So, me picking this up cold, I haven’t the foggiest idea what to think.

Most of the times when I get an issue in the middle of the story, either there’s a blurb on the inside cover to say here’s what happened before, not here. Reading this, I was lost from the word go. The story did move but I didn’t know the starting point or the partial destination that was at the end of the book. I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything that was said. Now, I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt that had I been given books one and two, I’d know what was happening (but I have a feeling, I wouldn’t). If you see this and haven’t read the first two leave it, in my humble opinion. I give this 2 caps out of 5.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Apart (of Me) Part 2

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Apart (of Me) Part 2
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Andrew Chambliss & Scott Allie
Art by Cliff Richards

Near as I can figure, a bit of time in the future. Buffy had retired from the vampire slaying business and was trying to live a normal life. Yet she was kidnapped in an issue before, but one of her friends built a robot likeness of her, with some of her personality. That got activated, with Spike and Andrew are searching for the real Buffy. Now, Xander, Dawn and Detective Robert Dowling are also looking for Buffy but are in a different area and dealing with zompires. They’re finding dead and turning bodies all over the place. Then the detective and Xander go off and are attacked. It reads just about as I’ve explained it.

The writing in this was a tad disjointed to say the least. Mostly because the writers know that the audience gets every issue and is up to date on everything. But for the casual reader, you’ll have a hard time following, also the reader is not told of time or location changes. That’s an issue fore me. Having said that, the art was very well done. It has clean pictures and scenes that move everything along and keep you going. The paneling is also very easy to follow.

As I said, I’m not an avid read of Buffy, not saying that it’s a bad title or anything, I just don’t read it regularly. Odds on, if I had even the first issue of this storyline, I would know more and would have liked it better. The ideas that were thrown out in this are beyond “out there” in my opinion. I would have to say that if you are a fan of the show only, don’t get this. If you’ve been following the comic and know what’s going on, you’ll like this and want to get the next issue, in my humble opinion. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5 because I think that’s how it’s meant to be written.

House of Night #3

House of Night #3
Dark Horse Comics
Written by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast
Scripted by Kent Dalian
Art by Joëlle Jones & Daniel Krall

When you were going to school, did you ever have to switch schools or move out of state to start new? What do you think you would do if that new school had classes that started at 8:00pm, they were teaching you about how to use the five elements, to control them and you’re going to die early because you are a vampyre. Someone who drinks blood, functions during the night and is being shunned by the Tulsa society that you live in. Well, meet Zoey Redbird. On top of the typical high school stuff she’s has all that do deal with too. Ahh, high school, fun times.

Now, this is based off of a novel and the story takes place in between issues. But reading this, I was able to know what was going on and follow the story; also they told me what happened before. This is a strong plus for me, because the writing was solid without it. As for the art, it truly added to the story. When they did a flashback, the art changed to represent what was being told, this really was good to help the reader transition between the two stories. Lastly, the paneling was simple and easy to follow as well.

Reading through this, I can see how people would latch on to the story and be drawn in. If you were a person in high school that didn’t fit in with the different groups and felt like an outside, you can see yourself being Zoey. Or have been persecuted for one thing or another, you can relate to her. Reading this, I could see myself checking out, not just the first two issues but the novel as well. This is something you should pick up, not just this issue but also the ones before and after, in my humble opinion. I give it 5 caps out of 5.

The Unprofessionals Chapter 2: Spiderman

The Unprofessionals Chapter 2: Spiderman
Sphinx group
Written by Colin Rankine
Art by Moreno

I just finished reading The Unprofessionals “A Sociopathic Bromance” where two detectives are investigating a murder where a person is murdered with sharpened piece of rebar fashioned into a sword. Their boss sends them to the FBI where a former detective tells them he believes this murder is the work of a copycat from a long dead hitman. There’s a bunch of other stuff that’s going on as well that’s are factors to everything going on. Once again, this is an issue that I needed to read the first one to have a full grasp of what’s going on.

Let’s start this with the art. I would say they were done with a look of watercolors and pen. It gave the story a gritty feel that you’d expect from a cop show or book, which I liked. Even the paneling pushed the story and feel of the story. For the most parts it was basic squares with a few panels larger or splashed out to add to the effect. Again, I liked this feel it was giving the story. Now, I get to the writing. There was nothing to tell me what was going on in the first book, so the reader is going in cold. Because this is telling multiple stories relating to the murder, I was lost at times because there wasn’t something to tie everything in.

Now, I like the gritty, city cop shows where the city becomes another character. Here, the writer and artist were, I think, trying to achieve this but in doing so, I think they lose something bring the reader together. Again, if they would have said what happened in the first book, I would be able to follow better. The main characters were strong but to me, the other ones didn’t have that same strength. If you want to pick this book up, I have to say that you’ll want to get the first one as well. So, you can better know what the full situation is, in my humble opinion. I give this 2.5 caps out of 5.

The Hypernaturals #6

Boom Studios
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Tom Derenick & Andres Guinaldo

Ok, let me see if I can sum this up. The Hypernaturals are a team in the distant future who defend the Quantinuum; they have different abilities, serve for five years and are selected from a bunch of different applicants (With me so far?). Now, Clone 21 is brought back to life by Chernovski so she can stop him from destroying the universe, which he’s already done. He offers to bring back her team to help her do it (keeping up?) Then the rest of the book is, what I’m guessing is after this is done and Chernovski is back because someone brought him back. There’s more to it but I’m lost at this point.

Now the art in this was well done. You have the feel for the different times just by the art. Even the cover art wants you to pick it up. With the layout, during the different times in the book, it has different paneling. This does help differentiate between the two. And now the writing, I’m thankful that I was given a little background in the beginning of the book but it didn’t help when I was in the heart of the story. I’m guessing that I’d have a better grasp if I read the first five issues, but maybe not. The story was hard to follow.

The idea, from what I can gather has promise and could go far. But to me, this needed to have better structure so the story can come out. The characters were labeled so you knew who’s who but even with that I couldn’t follow the action. I don’t think I’ve come across the concept like this before if that’s the main story, someone who destroyed the universe is remorseful and wants to correct his error. At the beginning and end, there were ads for products and services in the time that I think took away from what was going on. If you want to read this, get the first five, then this one. That would be best, in my humble opinion. I give this 2 caps out of 5.

Book Review Of The Month – Atomic Robo #3 of 5

Red 5 Comics

Writer: Brian Clevinger

Who hasn’t seen or read a buddy cop or PI story where you have two mis-matched personalities who somehow find a way to work together and accomplish what they need to do? In Atomic Robo #3, that’s what you’re getting. Or at least the foundation of what could be a series about just that. Here’s what the story is about, back in the ‘30’s, a robot named Robo who goes out to fight the urban crime in his city. He ends up teaming with Jack Tarot. Robo doesn’t know much about investigating.

Reading through this book, it was a good read. There was enough story to keep me going. There wasn’t much for the action but this is the issue wasn’t about that. It was about getting to know the main characters and lay the basis for what’s coming next. The writers of the story played it smart and kept some frames without dialog to relay a feeling and it worked. The artwork fit for the time period the story takes place and has a good feel.

Believe it or not, there’s more humor in the story than just the standard stuff you’d expect from a 1930’s robot who wants to be a gumshoe and a partner who’s seen a lot and has to train him. Wait, you don’t see that, ever. So, let’s go somewhere else with that. Imagine trying to have “the talk” with a robot, I fear having that talk with my son now! If you have children in school, this will be good for them. Pick it up or if you don’t want to find each book, get the trade. In my humble opinion, I think y’all like it. If not, let me know why.

Book Review Of The Month – Savage Beauty #1


Writer Mike Bullock

Here’s a question for you all, for your job, you got to go to the plains and jungle areas of Africa. You have to photograph the scenery and animals for a magazine (I know, sucky job all around). But you had the opportunity to stop something illegal happening. Would you? The reason why I ask is because I want you to get into the mindset of what happens in Savage Beauty, a new series from Moonstone Books. Two women take on the image of a jungle goddess to defend the people there from just generally bad people.

There’re a lot of things I liked about this book. For starters is that the two main characters have a real feel to them. They don’t show them talking to animals or something cliché, I’ll exclude the fur bikinis they are wearing. Also, how they got there makes sense, as does their fighting style when they do fight. Looking at the art, it doesn’t take you off to Africa but for what the story is, I like it. As most of us know, with any first book, everything is just being laid down and everything is going to build from there. At the end of this book, they point out this is a fictional situation but it does happen in real life and is something that needs to be addressed, I agree.

Now, there are a few things that didn’t work for me. There were no real accents to go with the characters. One character is French, but there was no change in his dialect then that of the African characters around them. Now, again, this could just be me but I like to know why your antagonist is evil. Now I haven’t met any African warlords or illegal arms dealers and really don’t want to but I want to know how they got to that level of evilness. Overall, it has potential and I’d like to see where it goes. In my humble opinion, pick it up and tell me what you think.

Book Review Of The Month – Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #4

Boom Studios

Writer: Paul Cornell

This book truly needs to be read with the first three. If you’re just coming into the series and pick this book up, you’ll be a little lost, trust me. In this story, Soldier Zero is battling Soldier One; this is the continuing fight from the previous book. The battle goes from the air to the ground and back again. Everything does come to an end but that leaves everything open for the next book and more issues for the main character to deal with.

For me, the action sequences were easy to follow and the character is one you can connect with. He is consistently talking to his armor which, quite literally, has a mind of it’s own. Living armor that talks to its host, I know it’s the premise of another comic book character but it does work here. Also, the art is not over-the-top and super realistic but it fits with this story being told and with the other books to the series. As for the writing, to me, the voice of the armor could have been a little different from the man inside of it. I will acknowledge thou, that’s just me.

Truly, this is a book that’s laying the foundation for more stories to come. That’s something that I have to remember when I reading books like this one. On a personal note, I am happy to see that they are showing some characters in wheelchairs. Sometimes, even in our society today, disabilities are not shown that often. Overall, I did enjoy it and would continue to read the series and not just because “you know who’s” name is on it. In my humble opinion, get book one and go to book four and keep going

Book Review Of The Month – Darkwing Duck Annual

How many of you remember Saturday morning cartoons or coming home from school and turning on afternoon cartoons? Well, one of those characters was Darkwing Duck from Disney and Boom Studios has released an annual that took me back to those days. Good ‘ol DW, which his sidekick Launchpad McQuack calls him, faces one of his old foes in an old school, cartoon style throwdown. I’m trying not to give too much away, even though, if you are a fan, it would be just like one of his cartoons. Just written out in a comic book form.

I really can’t say anything bad about this book. It was fun from the covers, through the two stories inside, the action, jokes, everything about it. When I was reading it, I was happy that the art is just like that of the cartoon. There’s multiple reasons for that, one I’ll get to later. As I said, it took me back to the early ’90’s when I would watch after high school . . . oh, like you didn’t do the same. But I digress, in the comic, St. Canard seems to become bigger than the one in the cartoon and has more life.

So many things are right about this. One is that it’s just like most things from Disney, it’s very family friendly. If you check the website for the free comic book day, Darkwing is going to be one. The jokes are appropriate for the whole family. Some of the jokes, the adults will get and the kids might not but that’s half the fun. The violence is at the right level. There’s already a series but if you liked those afternoons with the Disney cartoons or if you’re looking for something to get your kids into comics, this is it. In my humble opinion.

Book Review Of The Month – Crisis of Infinite Darkwings

*** Minor Spoilers
Crisis of Infinite Darkwings
Written By Ian Brill
Art Contributions by James Silvani
Reviewed By Benjamin Leff
Ok, I’ll admit, I haven’t read every book of the Darkwing Duck series from Boom Studios. It’s not that I don’t like them or I have something against the Disney character. The main reason is I haven’t had the chance to pick them up and I’m seeing that I need to start making time and money for them. I just finished reading Crisis of Infinite Darkwings and if you liked the afternoon cartoon, you will enjoy these series. No matter what your age is. All I can say is that St. Canard gets bigger and is filled with the same craziness that filled the show.

The art is spot on to what was in the cartoon. Boom Studios even acknowledges it in the beginning of the book. When you read it, you could easily take what’s on the page and put it on the TV when you’re doing your homework with a quick sandwich you threw together, getting frustrated over the fact that you have to show work in Algebra. DON’T THEY KNOW IT TAKES TOO LONG TO SHOW WORK? . . . But I digress, all of the voices match the characters. Their accents match what they all had and mixes well.

The action is the same fun that has always been a draw of the character and show. It’s very family friendly. You can see that the writers are going for all audiences. Any person can catch most of the jokes that are told. Some, if your kids get the joke, it’s not the writer’s fault. Now, here’s a challenge to any of my readers, try to look through each of the frames and try to pull out how many comic book characters and pop culture characters there are, I lost count. But, in my humble opinion, it’s a fun read to buy and read.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Driver For The Dead #3

*** Minor Spoilers
Hotwire: Deep Cut #3
Written By Warren Ellis
Art Contributions by Steve Pugh
Reviewed By Benjamin Leff
Recently, I read Hotwire Deep Cut: Book #3 From Radical Publishing. Here’s a breakdown of the story. The time is in a post-apocalyptic future where ghosts are everywhere. Cities have been able to control them, creating either antennas that put out radio waves that keep them away or with new ceramic cases that keep them locked in. The main character is Alice Hotwire who is trying to capture a dead soldier in a robot’s body carrying a woman who recently died. Hotwire is trying to do this with a group of hired security called Bear Claw trying to test a new weapon as well as stop this dead soldier.

I liked the fact that they give you a quick review of what happened in the first two books on page one to make sure you’re somewhat up to date. The art on it’s own was very well done and very detailed and the voices matched the characters with the accents matched with what was going on. But that’s about the most I can say about the book.

As I read, the story started getting disjointed and I couldn’t keep track of who’s doing what. Hotwire is jumping out of an air vehicle with two large items with equipment for her but in the next few frames, she’s on the ground and nothing is mentioned of what happened to them. My theory on something like that is if you establish something, use it. Now I did say that I liked the art, it’s the same style that’s going around. But in here it didn’t work, there’s so much going on in each frame that it becomes very cluttered and hard to follow.

In my humble opinion, I’m not expecting this to keep going but it’s a way to kill time if you want to read it.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Insurrection V3.6 #1

Insurrection V3.6 #1 of 4

Boom Studios

Written: Blake Masters & Michael Alan Nelson

Art: Michael Penick

Imagine if you will, a world where all negative things like poverty, war and pollution are things of the past. Everything is content where you are but to make that world exist, we have to take those negative things and essentially put them on other planets. Then, the people that fight those conflicts, mine the needed material are all androids or robots. How would you treat them? That’s one of the questions that comes up in Insurrection V3.6. The question gets harder when one of “them” has awareness and self-realization. The other robots and androids have their own personalities, the ability to care for each other but not to question why they are here.

This is an old thought that is brought up, if you’ve been a fan of sci-fi for any amount of time. The question though never gets old and never has a real right answer. Going through the story, I enjoyed it. The story kept me reading, wanting to see what the next move is going to be. Each character has a personality that is unique so the character stands out. I liked the art because, to me, it pulls you in. The art doesn’t dominate the story or detract from it; it fits.

This is the first of four books coming from this series and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to the main characters. Also where are the writers going to take the question I posed earlier or if it’s going to be addressed even further (since it was one of the first pages, I’d put down good money it will be). There wasn’t much humor in this but that’s to be expected with the storyline that was given. In my humble opinion, get this book and the rest of the series when it comes out.

Book Reviews Of The Month – Abattoir #3

Abattoir #3 of 6

Radical Comics

Writer: Darren Lynn Bousman

Art: Bing Cansino, Rodell Noora & Dennis Calero

Here’s a news flash, the real estate market is in the toilet at the moment. We all know this but in Abattoir from Radical Comics, it gets far worse. Imagine if you will, you’re in that field and you have to sell a home where a shocking murder suicide occurred. You really don’t want to do it, you refuse but someone else sells the house and the new tenants have the same thing happen. Then it gets better when you somehow get blamed for the murders. That’s when you know you’re having a bad day! But that’s what happens in this third book of a six series run.

For me, this registered with me. Now, I will admit, I’m not a gore fest fan. But this book plays with your mind more than showing graphic blood and guts all over the place. I liked that and one of the people who worked on this book was the director of the SAW movies. He knew what he was doing and how to work the feeling in the book. The overall look of the book puts you in a dark place where you’re not sure what’s going to happen next and at times, you wonder if you really want to turn the page or will it be too scary.

I really enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to the next three. Granted I might the snot scared out of me but it will be worth it. Each voice resonates with you. As you read you can hear the worry, fear, or determination in their voices. As I read, the art was easy to follow and I could easily see this in a small town, which makes it more frightening. In my humble opinion, get this series and don’t read it alone.