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MATT ON COMICS #003 – COFFIN HILL #3 REVIEW

By Matt onComics

Click HERE to watch Matt’s review of Coffin Hill #3

The woods of Coffin Hill offer up some old bones, but the fate of the two missing teenagers remains a mystery. Nate reluctantly accepts Eve’s help with his investigation when he hits a wall. And just as Nate and Eve rekindle their disastrous relationship, Eve’s friend Mel wakes from her ten-year catatonic state and tells Eve that more darkness than she ever suspected has awakened along with her…

More mysterious goings on in Coffin woods!

More mysterious goings on in Coffin woods!

Hey I’m Matt, the reviews I do are spoiler free for the most part (except for sequential issues where I might mention what happened previously) but I aim to give you an overview of the story/art and basic quality of the book so you can make an informed decision and not waste those precious £!!

If there’s books you’d like to see reviewed just leave a comment and I will do my very best.

Follow Matt on Twitter! – https://twitter.com/Ass_H4t
Check Matt out on Youtube! – http://www.youtube.com/user/jezzamatic?feature=watch

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Posted on December 14th, 2013
Category: MATT ON COMICS, REVIEWS
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SIX SHOOTER #008 – VERTIGO RISING!

By Daniel Cole

Daniel Cole brings you episode #008 of the Six Shooter!

Daniel Cole brings you episode #008 of the Six Shooter!

Welcome to the Six Shooter! This is a weekly column that will review six specific comics. Big new releases, small interesting titles and random curiosities. All will be looked at. The way it works is that there will be a brief review of the comics followed by our rating system. Our ratings are:

Headshot (Best of the week)
Hit
(Read)
Miss (Don’t Read)
Misfire (Worst of the week)

This week DC Comics begins its restoration of its Vertigo Imprint, as two new comics hit the shelves. Are they any good? Find out below! (Also other comics were released this week)

TOM STRONG AND THE PLANET OF PERIL #1 – VERTIGO (DC COMICS)

Hogan’s intentions maybe to deliver a tongue-in-cheek play on pulp science fiction heroes, but he doesn’t succeed.

Hogan’s intentions maybe to deliver a tongue-in-cheek play on pulp science fiction heroes, but he doesn’t succeed.

Written by Peter Hogan
Art by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Jordie Bellaire

Alan Moore’s science hero returns for an all new adventure. Co-creator Chris Sprouse is back on art and is joined by frequent Tom Strong writer Peter Hogan.

As a first issue Hogan does do his best to get everyone up to speed on the characters, but the book seems to place the reader halfway through the story. Of course a lot of Tom Strong stories have been published since he first appeared in 1999, but it may have been helpful to cater for the new reader as well as the long time fan. Key character points seem to be missing.

The actual narrative isn’t bad, but doesn’t really do anything outside of set the plot of the series in motion. The stakes are only there because Hogan tells you to care, but he doesn’t give the characters enough depth to connect to them, which is surprising as the book is one hell of an exposition trip. But Hogan’s dialogue is stilted at best (especially everything Val says) and although it maybe intentional on his part, it drags the book down.

Also when the book goes all meta it really hampers the narrative progression. Although it is a nice idea of having Terra Obsucra in the book as a chronicle for another planet, the way in which Hogan presents it is more akin to self-promotion. And the less said about what he thinks about comic book writers the better.

Chris Sprouse has little to do here. But his pencils are still extremely expressive and visually compelling. The characters look like action figures and although the world isn’t fully formed, Sprouse at least tries to detail what he can. It is his pencils that are the comic’s redeeming feature.

Hogan’s intentions maybe to deliver a tongue-in-cheek play on pulp science fiction heroes, but he doesn’t succeed. Aside from the art this is a book that has flat characters and a mediocre plot.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – MISS

COLLIDER #1 – VERTIGO (DC COMICS)

Collider #1Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Robbi Rodriguez & Rico Renzi

Collider is a science fiction comic that has a solid concept, detailed characters and some mystery.

Sometimes it seems hard for a new book to actually come across as a compelling read. But Simon Oliver effortlessly makes Collider a book you take notice of. Of course it isn’t all Oliver as Robbi Rodriguez’s dynamic art and Rico Renzi’s colours add layers to the book.

Oliver creates his world, defines his characters and sets his plot in motion with such nuance that it is impressive. Granted the exposition heavy moments of dialogue can become too much, but they are at least necessary. The characters are the most impressive things in the scripts as they walk onto the page as complete people with motivations, likes and dislikes. There is definitive effort on Oliver’s part to get the reader behind these characters; especially the books lead Adam Hardy. Hardy maybe a familiar character type, but Oliver makes him compelling as opposed to cliché.

Rodriguez gives the book a distinct look and his character work is detailed and unique. There is a lack of background detail, but Renzi deals with that. His colour work makes the book pop. It’s vibrant and gives the art a sense of depth. Renzi enhances Rodriguez’s art, and together they have created a great visual place for Oliver’s story to take place.

It has a few problems when it comes to exposition, but on the whole this is a successful book that manages to accomplish everything an issue one needs to do. Definitely a comic you should keep your eye on.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HIT

HIGH CRIMES #4 – MONKEY BRAIN COMICS

It is more than just a simple mystery tale; it is an exploration of character.

It is more than just a simple mystery tale; it is an exploration of character.

Written by Christopher Sebela
Art by Ibrahim Moustafa

High Crimes has been an intriguing comic from day one. It is more than just a simple mystery tale; it is an exploration of character.

Christopher Sebela does a lot with Zan and Mars this issue. Zan continues to be a well-rounded female protagonist. She’s intelligent, has guts and it’s refreshing to read a strong female character in this type of tale. Of course the title also looks into Mars and in this issue he comes to some realisations about his life. There is a lot of powerful emotional scenes that deal with Mars here and Sebela allows Ibrahim Moustafa to subtly depict them.

The deepening mystery of the plot continues to intrigue. A lot of elements are still in play and Sebela actually has his characters inform the plot as oppose to having the plot become the main focus. This gives the narrative a sense that there is danger and risk around the corner for Zan and co.

Moustafa is a great character artist, but his detailed backgrounds and world building are what impress the most. He is an excellent visual storyteller and the way in which he positions his panels evokes the look of a television show. This TV-esque presentation actually lends itself well to the story and gives the book an aspect of realism that is interesting. However the best piece of art is actually the front cover, which literally depicts Zan travelling in the footsteps of Mars. It is a gorgeous image and is the best cover of the week.

So, High Crimes continues to be a satisfying comic. Its character work is excellent and the narrative is engaging. The art continues to impress as well. This is definitely a book that people should checkout.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HEADSHOT

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #5 – MARVEL COMICS

After all the hype Angela finally makes her debut in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

After all the hype Angela finally makes her debut in Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis (with Neil Gaiman as a consultant)
Art by Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor

After all the hype Angela finally makes her debut in Guardians Of The Galaxy. Was it worth the hype?

The quick answer to that question is no. But that is only a snap judgement taking into account what is presented to the readers in this issue. She does little more than fight and beat Gamora, but her worth to the title will probably become evident in the next few issue. As for now her big arrival is more of a whimper than a bang.

This is actually a good thing as Bendis gets to have more time with the actual Guardians. Bendis script is extremely witty this issue and Rocket Raccoon gets some great one liners. The interplay between Rocket and Tony Stark is the best part of the issue. Bendis plays on the fact that Stark’s famous technology is light years behind anything Rocket has. It makes for some great humour. Peter Quill is still getting some great depth from Bendis, but his part in the book is to move the overall plot forward. Unfortunately Drax and Groot are neglected a bit. The appearance of Mantis was a nice addition to the comic and her scene with Quill was in keeping with the lighthearted tone of the book.

The plot directly addresses events from Age Of Ultron, which at least contextualises the importance of time being abused. The final page reveal will entice fans back, but isn’t really a surprise. But this issue is more to do with character development than plot, which isn’t a bad thing when the characters are this fun.

Sara Pichelli’s pencils are quite simply beautiful. From the little facial expression to the action poses the book just looks excellent. It’s clean, clear and dynamic. Pichelli’s art does a lot of characterisation on its own without Bendis’ script, such is the depth to her art. She is one of the best artists working at Marvel and this issue is a showcase of her talents.

With Pichelli on board Guardian’s has become an A-List book. Chocked full of character and charm, Guardians is an entertaining read from start to finish. Angela may do nothing of note here, but it doesn’t damage the book. This comic looks great and delivers action, character and above all fun.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HEADSHOT

SKYWARD #1 – ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

The main problem about the book is that there is nothing to care about here.

The main problem about the book is that there is nothing to care about here.

Written by Jeremy Dale
Art by Jeremy Dale & Steve Downer

This is a comic that is clearly aimed at younger readers, but it has the potential to be engaging to all. But it never fully realises it.

The problem is that this tale is so by the numbers that anyone could guess the outcome. From child to adult, there is little here to surprise any reader. A young man’s life is changed due to the brutality of his fathers past. It is a concept that is in many stories. Even the dog companion isn’t anything new. This would be fine if Jeremy Dale attempted to at least put his own spin on the proceedings.

The characters are little more than archetypes of this sort of tale. They lack depth due to poor dialogue choices. The script just falls flat and the plot is quite dull.

Dale’s art is a little better than his script. There is a cartoonish style to the art that is in keeping with the all-ages feel of the book. Its serviceable, but nothing more.

The main problem about the book is that there is nothing to care about here. It isn’t that it is aimed at a younger audience either, because one would assume that children would want more from their comics. It is basically a forgettable tale that uses well worn ideas.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – MISSFIRE

3 GUNS #1 – BOOM! STUDIOS

3 Guns just doesn’t seem to entice the reader into caring about what is going on.

3 Guns just doesn’t seem to entice the reader into caring about what is going on.

Written by Steven Grant
Art by Emilio Laiso & Gabriel Cassata

This is the 2 Guns sequel comic that coincides with the release of the 2 Guns film. Which perhaps explains its quality.

The thing about 3 Guns is that it reads like a TV show. The concept, script and art direction wouldn’t seem out of place on the picture box. This isn’t a bad thing by any means. Grant does a good job in setting up his narrative and reintroducing his characters. There are plenty of criminal shenanigans, double crosses and intrigue to be had. But it isn’t exactly the most satisfying read.

The characters don’t really have much in the way of characterisation and the plot constantly points out elements that we should pay attention too. The use of exposition is heavy handed at times and the villains of the piece are little more than caricatures.

This isn’t helped by Emilio Laiso’s average looking art. His layouts are the reason the comic seems more like a TV show than a comic book. The art looks like a more detailed storyboard for a film. Even the colour work is a little flat.

3 Guns just doesn’t seem to entice the reader into caring about what is going on. The presentation is mediocre and the script lacks a hook. It isn’t terrible, but ultimately this seems like more of a cash-in title than an actual sequel to the original comic.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – MISS

Verdict

So Vertigo’s return is both good and bad. Much like the week. A split down the middle in quality, but two HEADSHOTS means that we can declare this a more positive week.

Do you agree with the reviews? Did we get them wrong or right? Have you got any suggestions on what we should review next week? Get in touch in the comments section.

For more comic views and reviews follow Dan on Twitter at @gizmo151183

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Posted on August 1st, 2013
Category: REVIEWS, SIX SHOOTER
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PAPERCUTS AND INKSTAINS #008 – WHY? WHY Y? WHY WHY WHY Y?

By Robin Jones

Why? Why Y? Why why why why Y?

Hello, hey, welcome, bienvenue, guttentag, Hej, Hejsan snubben, konnichiwa and so on and so forth! Thanks for dropping by! Before I start anything, I realise that since effectively I’m reviewing things, I should really have a scoring system in place. Now rather than rip off young Dan Cole, author of our Six Shooter column and have Hit, Miss and Misfire, I thought I’d stick to the good old numbering system as if I’m honest, none of the comics you guys are going to choose for me are going to be misfires. Are they? Or is that you plan? Anyway! So last week I was in outer space with @theFatLantern looking at Oa’s finest, and this week I’m back down to earth with a bump, reading my first independant comic series. You guys had the choices, and chose away you did, finally offering me up a slice of arguably, one of the most iconic and finest comic book series of all times, Brian K. Vaughan’s Y The Last Man. I mean, it won three Eisner awards, numerous accolades, has reached many a top five in various “Best comics Ever Yo!” polls and even Stephen King called it “the best graphic novel [he] had ever read!” Therefore, I guess I better do it some justice really. No pressure…


Before getting into the deep stuff, a bit of fun! I asked the people of twitter, i.e you lot, if you were the last of your sex/gender/etc what would you do? I had a smorgasbord of humorous responses, which I would like to share with you now! Also, I would like to thank Kate Gilson (@kategilson) a prominent Tweeter from my twittersphere for sharing the question as my twitter feed exploded right after! So, here’s your answers:

@I_A_Austin – Walk around naked with a ‘see the f*cks I give’ smirk.

@Rapiaghi – Style my hair, throw on my smoking jacket and slippers. Then lock the door & read comics until someone finds me.

@Impul5se – Something a little bit like Dustin Hoffman I’d hope/presume [In relation to his role in the film Tootsie]

@gizmo151183 – Have a party then kill myself.

@alsoMike – Have lots more sex probably. :P

@vintagelaureate – Procreate. Panic.

@davidian1845 – I would enjoy a moment of knowing by default that i’m the best at everything. Best male at everything anyway…

@LeonMcKenzie76 – Cry. For months. Then embrace the reality that I can never use logic in an argument EVER again!!!

@katyclippers86 – Weep for the loss of beards for some time! Then be thankful I’d never have to listen to cricket talk again! [Felt it would be sadder if it was the other way round as she has more in common with blokes!]

@AdamJSnape – Charge people to see what a penis looks like

@Minimonnie3 – Cry cos I’m a lesbian!

@spex357 – Run

@LordLindsey12 – That is easy. I would immediately develop device/protocol for cloning myself 2 ensure species survive

@maxpark1‏@hazmatt72@JamesMorton11 – Hide!

@thomas_trotter – I’d retire myself into stud!

@Pirireis74 – Run away, I don’t have that type of energy now

@maxwellwaltzer – Take a shameless selfie, then put it on Instagram ;)

@RosaRubicondior – Hold an auction

@mellonheadgreg – Loads of alfresco masturbation.

Phil ‏@bilks – Masturbate?

There we go, general consensus would involve lots of masterbation aparently and also a lot of panic, running and hiding, for fear of being turned into studs whilst having selfies taken. Enough frivolity, back to the task at hand!

Whilst I would love to, instead of tackling the whole 60 issue monster, which I will be doing eventually, I am merely focusing on Volume 1: Unmanned. Let’s create the scene then, by the end of the first issue all mammals with the XY chromosomes are left dead at the hand of a mysterious and deadly plague. All male mammals, except the titles eponymous hero, Y or Yorick, and his capuchin monkey &…or Ampersand, are dead. The worlds population of humans was reduced by 48% instantly. This equates to 85% of all government representatives and 100% of all Jewish Rabbis, Muslim imams and Catholic priests. At the back of issue one, it also relates a vast wealth of socio-economic figures, such as percentage of agricultural workers, pilots, engineers, construction workers etc, who are left alive. Personally, I think this is a nice touch as it shows just how unbalanced our society is when it comes to gender. Gender stereotype is a major theme running throughout the story and there are many strong female voices present within its pages. We see the world through the eyes of several characters. These several central characters stories are woven together over the course of the issue, Yorick’s; his sister Hero; agent 355, an operative for the secretive government agency known as the Culper Ring; a brilliant geneticist and cloning expert Dr Alison Mann; Colonel Tse’Elon, an officer in Israel’s Defence Force and several members of the US government. We are also given several possible reasons for the plague’s beginnings; one being a mysterious amulet, known as the amulet of Helene belonging to a Dr Frozan Hamad which has the promise of a catastrophe bigger than the Trojan War if removed from Saudi Arabia; Dr Mann is carrying her own clone and gives birth at the second the plague strikes and there is strange shelling in Israel two seconds before the start of the Plague. By the end of Unmanned there is no indication as yet as to what has caused the plague, and for this I am glad. It’s good that Vaughan keeps his cards close to his chest on that one, much like writer Robert Kirkman does in The Walking Dead, where even now, by issue #112 there is still no explanation for the plague of undead! Vaughan stated in an interview for website IGN

“I feel that there is a definitive explanation, but I like that people don’t necessarily know what it is. In interviews we always said that we would tell people exactly what caused the plague. The thing was, we never said when we were going to tell. We weren’t going to tell you when we were telling you, I should say. We might have told you in issue #3. There might have been something in the background that only a couple people caught. It might have been Dr. Mann’s father’s very detailed, scientific explanation. It might have been Alter’s off-the-wall conspiracy theory. The real answer is somewhere in those 60 issues, but I prefer to let the reader decide which one they like rather than pushing it on them”

And it’s this choice I prefer, it enables the reader to make up their own mind, making the whole experience more personal. It’s your choice, your plague so to speak. By doing this, Vaughan doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence and spoon feed them an answer. This gave the series a very broad appeal amongst comic book readers and non comic book readers alike, which Vaughan had planned from the start, as detailed in this quote from an interview with Nolan Reese

“Pia [Guerra, chief penciller on the series] and I had a lot of discussions about the layouts of the page; that we would never do anything too crazy or Bendis-y, that we would just keep it nice and simple so that if you read the Sunday comics before in your local newspaper you could follow Y. We did set out to keep it accessible to people who hadn’t grown up reading comic books. It’s nice, it seems to be working and I’ve always wanted it to be one of those books that guys would pass to their girlfriends, or vise-versa, and carry into different relationships if they broke up.”

Whilst serious in tone, throughout “Y”, Yorick’s humour punctuates an otherwise bleak landscape, and there are several moments worthy of a “Tarantinoesque” tag to them, such as the above moment between a female mourner at the Washington memorial and Yorick. The Washington memorial had been turned into an ad hoc shrine for all the lost men, which is quite fitting as it’s one of the most phallic statues/pieces of architecture in the world, as Agent 355 duly notes, and whilst passing through, Yorick meets a quite hippyish woman, who talks of musician’s retreats here in the UK. She explains how it has only just hit her that the Rolling Stones are dead, and thus they list male bands who they both miss. It’s snappy dialogue, and Yorick is quick with responses throughout the volume.
There’s also an atypical dystopian gang of very angry women, known as Amazons who feel that society before the plague was a patriarchal entity, and that the oppression of women by their male “dominators” should be avenged by creating a society that eradicates the memory of men’s work. When finding out about Yoricks existence, they lead an expedition to go kill the “last of [their] oppressors.” Amongst them is Hero, Yorick’s sister.

Y The Last Man is not only a comic book fans story, but a story that has a broad appeal. It follows in the footsteps of PD James’s Children of Men, Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, I am Legend and The Omega Man (Both adaptations of Richard Matheson’s I am Legend)  and strangely, the film Hell Comes To Frogtown  staring none other than “Rowdy” Roddy Piper himself, where he’s the last man alive in a world of women and mutant frogs. In essence it is a survival story, a story of overcoming massive odds and a interesting look into the gender bias and gender politics that make up our world. I am continuing reading, as I am hooked on Brian K. Vaughan’s engaging story and would like to see how it all plays out. So. The big question on all your lips, what about the score? Well, the art is brilliant and quite stark in places, evoking feelings of emptiness and a world falling apart, the story is fantastic and punctuated with humour and genuine thought provoking questions. The characters are likeable and well rounded, there’s a lot of space for growth and development with all of them and many an unanswered backstory to explore. I am going to be bold and give Y The Last Man 9.5/10.

So that’s Y!

Until next time…

For more comic views and reviews follow Robin on Twitter at @Hulksmash1985

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Posted on July 17th, 2013
Category: Blog, NEWS & VIEWS, REVIEWS
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TRADING UP #003 – PUNK ROCK JESUS

By @Joe Molloy


Written and drawn by Sean Murphy
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

It’s surprising the idea hasn’t been used before: a reality TV show where a corporation creates a clone from DNA contained in the shroud of Turin. A teenage girl (virgin of course) is implanted with the embryo and then gives birth to Jesus Christ, Chris to his friends. Watching over them is Thomas ‘The Cemetery’ McKael, an ex-IRA assassin and high level bad ass, he is kept busy by constant attacks on the compound by the NAC (New American Christians). This is the story of Chris’s creation, upbringing and what happens when the Saviour discovers Punk Rock.

Being late to pick this comic up, I had heard how good it was. That lead to expectations about the art and particularly the story. They of course were all wrong. The story went to places I didn’t anticipate and the art was even greater than I had hoped. It was much more action packed than expected, and I didn’t think the main character would be the body-guard.

It’s surprising the idea hasn’t been used before: a reality TV show where a corporation creates a clone from DNA contained in the shroud of Turin.

My man Thomas is like an Irish version of the Punisher. He might in fact be harder than Frank Castle and is infinitely more likeable, using the trauma from years of killing to turn away from murder. But not violence. No way, he is violent as hell, and very good at it. Although he has sworn to never take another life, that doesn’t mean he won’t maim you if you make him.

My man Thomas is like an Irish version of the Punisher.

Sean Murphy  is best known for his artwork for Vertigo comics, primarily Joe the Barbarian (with Grant Morrison), Hellblazer and American Vampire. I have not read any of his stuff before, but will be rectifying that error because his art is exceptional.

Shadow is well used to create mood and he is very detailed when drawing the technical stuff, the buildings, boats and bikes that fill this script. Murphy manages to capture the flow and feel of a sketch into his finished line-work and maintains a fantastic energy to his characters as they flow through the panels. The panels themselves are great and then he’ll drop an epic splash page on you.

I would have loved the hell out of this book at fifteen and enjoyed re-reading it down through the years.

While Murphy has justifiably gained recognition as an artist, the writing here is impressive. The characters are all believable and driven by their different motivations. He captures the anger, angst and know-it-all feel of being a teenager so well. I would have loved the hell out of this book at fifteen and enjoyed re-reading it down through the years. I hope it draws some angry young punks into reading a few comics.

It also impresses as a look at a possible future,capturing that dark, anarchic edge that society gets when pushed too far. This type of ominous, near future science fiction is hard to do well as it’s closeness to our reality makes us all experts. Murphy pulls it off by only adding a few tech elements (holographic classrooms and cloned polar bears) but pushing aspects of society to their brink.


Should I buy it? This is a must buy for my money. Even if the story doesn’t interest, then there are Murphy’s epic skills as a cartoonist to consider. I’m off to buy Joe the Barbarian and won’t be making the mistake of sleeping on any of Sean Murphy’s books again.

Next time: I haven’t written about any cape comics in a while so it’s time for some superheroes. Just not the nice ones you usually read about. It’s a dark and insightful look at costumed vigilantes and what drives them in The Victories by Michael Avon Oeming.

Follow Joe on twitter @JosephJMolloy or check out his website: joeblogscomics for more comic reviews!

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Posted on July 17th, 2013
Category: REVIEWS, TRADING UP
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SIX SHOOTER #002 – MICE FACE THEIR DESTINY, ARTIFICIAL SUNS ARE CREATED AND THE RETURN OF ASTRO CITY

By Daniel Cole

Welcome to the Six Shooter!

Welcome to the Six Shooter! This is a weekly column that will review six specific comics. Big new releases, small interesting titles and random curiosities. All will be looked at. The way it works is that there will be a brief review of the comics followed by our rating system. Our ratings are:

Headshot (Best of the week)
Hit
(Read)
Miss (Don’t Read)
Misfire (Worst of the week)

An eclectic collection of books this week. From high fantasy to time travelling superheroes. That’s see how they do.

AGE OF ULTRON #9 – Marvel Comics

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Brandon Peterson, Carlos Pacheco, Paul mounts & Jose Villarrubia

We all knew there was going to be that moment when our heroes realised that killing Hank Pym isn’t the solution and that there has to be a way to put things right.

The latest issue of this bloated event essentially renders everything that has happened before it pointless. But that is what you get with time travel stories that have no real impact.

We all knew there was going to be that moment when our heroes realised that killing Hank Pym isn’t the solution and that there has to be a way to put things right. So Bendis happily delivers an issue dealing with just that. He throws in explanations about the timestream and notions of artificial intelligence, but there seems to no real thought about what the characters are saying. Add to this the dull opening segment that wastes time showing us Wolverine killing things (again) and there is nothing within these pages to shout about.

Even the art seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Pacheco’s scenes seem uncharacistically messy for someone who often has clean renderings. Peterson has little to work with and the constant images of a destroyed New York no longer have impact.

Never before has an event comic been so devoid of intrigue, intelligence and general entertainment.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – MISFIRE

MICE TEMPLAR IV: LEGEND #3 – Image Comics

Written by Bryan J.L. Glass
Art by Victor Santos & Serena Guerra

There is much to like about this tale of mice. It is an epic high fantasy and is charmingly centred on some unlikely creatures.

There is much to like about this tale of mice. It is an epic high fantasy and is charmingly centred on some unlikely creatures. Its literary influences are easy to spot, but that isn’t a bad thing.

Glass does a lot with his characters this issue as the main protagonists discuss ideas of destiny. It is an engaging coming of age tale, but it is also filled with action and adventure that will satisfy anyone. Rooting itself in familiar myths and legends only helps to enhance the overall experience. Glass just knows how to deliver on character and plot.

At his side is artist Victor Santos. His style really lends itself to the concept and tone of the narrative. He makes the mice surprisingly emotive and manages to convey much of their feelings with his pencils. His grasp of action is dynamic and he has a keen eye for detail. Serena Guerra’s colours give the book a vibrancy that lends itself to classic animation.

It is a great triumph of a book that really pushes forward both its overall narrative and its characters. Glass and Santos are a perfect pairing and they make this a joy to read.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HEADSHOT

VIRGA: SUN OF SUNS #1 – Blind Ferret Entertainment

Written by Karl Schroeder & Jeff Moss
Art by Guy Allen & Michael Birkhofer

Based on the novels by Karl Schroeder, Virga deals with fun sci-fi concepts from the use of gravity to the creation of artificial suns.

Sometimes a new comic book comes out that is a breath of fresh air, Virga is that comic. A science fiction with steampunk elements, Virga is a rewarding read from the get go.

Based on the novels by Karl Schroeder, Virga deals with fun sci-fi concepts from the use of gravity to the creation of artificial suns. In Jeff Moss and Guy Allen’s hands the source material comes alive on the page. Moss doesn’t spoon feed the reader exposition, instead he allows it to naturally flow. The time jumps are handled well and the characterisations are intriguing. Moss’ script has started a lot of wheels turning and he has created a sense of depth to the proceedings, which will draw the reader in.

Guy Allen does wonders in depicting this strange new world. His art is awe inspiring at points and his character work is just as impressive. His clothing designs are also excellent and much like Moss he has added a lot of depth to the book.

This is a comic that seems fresh and distinctive, which is a great thing in a crowded market place. Its beautifully draw and wonderfully written. Its also only a dollar on comixology so go seek it out.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HEADSHOT

MISS FURY #3 – Dynamite Entertainment

Written by Rob Williams
Art by Jack Herbert & Ivan Nunes

There is some appeal, but Miss Fury is simply a mediocre comic book.

Miss Fury is an average comic let down by some bad dialogue and tired ideas. The inherent appeal of seeing a pulp hero in the present doesn’t justify the title’s existence and our heroine has a somewhat frustrating characterisation.

Williams’ script is littered with clichéd dialogue and the overall plot isn’t exactly exciting. The balance between action and drama is okay, but it isn’t presented in an engaging way. We get to know more about our heroine, but her character in costume is a little annoying due to the bad quipping. The violence on display is in keeping with the pulp style Williams is aiming for, but the tone of the book is all over the place.

It doesn’t help that Herbert’s art is inconsistent as well. His rendition of Miss Fury is solid and the action is kinetic, but the quieter moments need work. His characterisations are serviceable at best. If anything it is Nunes colours that make the artwork. Nune gives the book the right visual tone and it is a plus that he’s on board.

It isn’t inherently bad as a concept, but the execution is lacking. There is some appeal, but Miss Fury is simply a mediocre comic book.

SIX SHOOTER rating – MISS

SHADOWMAN #7 – Valiant Comics

Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Neil Edwards & Brian Reber

The main narrative may not be original, but Jordan infuses it with enough drama to make it appealing.

Shadowman is trundling along nicely from a narrative perspective. The supernatural concept behind the series has enough about it to at least make it interesting.

However the book has a big problem. Neil Edward’s art does hinder the enjoyment of the issue. It is often messy and looks rushed in places. Reber’s colouring is flat, which doesn’t help matters. The art simply takes you out of the narrative.

It is a shame as Jordan does some interesting things here. Baron Samedi is an entertaining pantomime villain and steals the show. The main narrative may not be original, but Jordan infuses it with enough drama to make it appealing. Also there is a sense that the stakes are high and the cliffhanger will have interesting repercussion for the series.

The writing might be solid, but it can’t save the title. The art drags the book down and makes it hard to recommend.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – MISS

ASTRO CITY #1 – Vertigo (DC Comics)

Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Brent Eric Anderson & Alex Sinclair

This is one for new readers and fans. Busiek is a master craftsman showing what can be accomplished with superheroes and the medium in just one issue.

The return of Astro City has been met with excitement from fans of the original series. The legendary writer seems to be having a ball playing with his old toys and it is a treat to read.

Busiek presents us with a meta-textual narrative that focuses on the civilians as oppose to the actual superheroes. It is a nice way of introducing new readers to the concept and gets the ball rolling. Old fans will find a lot to enjoy here, but it is a refreshing surprise that Busiek delivered something so accessible for new readers. The script is filled with big ideas and concepts, but it is presented in a more personal way. Using the character narration to really define the world in which these characters inhabit.

However Anderson’s art style is a little jarring. This is mainly due to the Alex Ross front cover and the inclusion of hero American Chibi. But on the whole the art is clean and expressive. The art catches your attention in a good way, but the inking is a little off in places. Sinclair’s colouring brings the whole thing to life in a larger than life way, which works well.

This is one for new readers and fans. Busiek is a master craftsman showing what can be accomplished with superheroes and the medium in just one issue. This is impressive stuff.

SIX SHOOTER RATING – HEADSHOT

Verdict

Well three headshots means that this is a great week. Mice Templar, Astro City and Virga show off what the medium can achieve in the hands of great creators. Two books suffered from poor execution and the worst of the bunch has collapsed under its own weight. But lets declare this week a win for us readers!

Do you agree with the reviews? Did we get them wrong or right? Have any suggests on what we should review next week? Get in touch in the comments section.

For more comic views and reviews follow Dan on Twitter at @gizmo151183

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Posted on June 8th, 2013
Category: REVIEWS, SIX SHOOTER
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THE ONLY WAY IS GEEK #006 – “THOUGHTS ON SAUCER COUNTRY’S CANCELLATION…”

By Stuart Ingram

Saucer Country was plugged as a hybrid between The West Wing and The X-Files.

When launched in March 2012, Saucer Country was plugged as a hybrid between The West Wing and The X-Files. Despite it being an odd tag-line for a comic, I decided to give it a go for its intriguing premise.

Based around Governor Arcadia Alvarado of New Mexico, the comic tells the tale of her attempts to run for the presidency of the United States whilst hiding the fact she, along with her ex-husband Michael, is an alien abductee.

Based around Governor Arcadia Alvarado of New Mexico, the comic tells the tale of her attempts to run for the presidency of the United States.

As Alvarado attempts to form a political team that is able to deal with her revelation, she also hires a former Harvard professor to investigate her abduction, in the hope her political status will help prepare what may eventually become an alien invasion.

From reading Saucer Country, it is evident it was intended for a fairly long run, given its slow pace, so it must be disappointing to its creative team, Paul Cornell (Wolverine) and Ryan Kelly (Lucifer) that publisher Vertigo recently decided to cancel the title after #14.

Whilst it is certainly a shame a title with promise has been culled relatively early in its run, it is perhaps no major surprise given that the title has not built on its initial premise. From its debut issue in March 2012 to January’s #11, sales figures have dropped from 15,000 to 6,000.

Instead of dealing with the alien threat, it focuses more on UFO mythology and the historical context of alien abductions.

Instead of dealing with the alien threat, it focuses more on UFO mythology and the historical context of alien abductions. With the use of Professor Kidd and several psychiatrist sessions for Arcadia and Michael, it essentially serves as an introduction for abductions for the uninitiated. Whilst the comic has seen progress in the political journey from governor to presidential candidate, although it has been badly paced, the abduction arc has barely moved on. Whilst it is discussed at great length between the characters, readers are still awaiting any significant exposition regarding the identity of the aliens and their motives. Whilst I appreciate the need to plan out a storyline, at some point there has to be a pay-off to keep people intrigued and this never seemed to happen with Saucer Country.

The comic also suffers from changes in tone that disrupt the flow of the story. In general, Saucer Country strikes a fairly dark, intense mood however, Professor Kidd is revealed to regularly hallucinate as he speaks to what appear to be a miniature naked couple who aid him in assisting the Governor. As one might think, this does not fit in well with the rest of the comic.

Professor Kidd is revealed to regularly hallucinate as he speaks to what appear to be a miniature naked couple who aid him in assisting the Governor.

Additionally, any momentum gained is often lost during its run as it has dedicated the occasional issue to a backstory, aside from the main arc. As an example, #12 features Michael’s childhood memories of playing with imaginary fairies with a friend.

With just two more issues before cancellation, it is hard to see how much can be resolved. One assumes the alien threat will be open ended whilst the presidential race concludes. In interviews, it is hoped it will continue in some form, this is far from certain.

Rating: 2/5

You can follow Stuart on twitter @Martel_79 or check out his website theonlywayisgeek.blogspot.co.uk/ for more comic news and views!

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Posted on March 7th, 2013
Category: REVIEWS, THE ONLY WAY IS GEEK
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THE COMIC ASYLUM #006 – TOP TEN COMIC BOOK FILMS! (PART 2)

By Pete Barrington and Sean Favager

EDITORS NOTE: Sean and Pete decide to stop arguing over who should be #3 in the chart.

Another week has passed and yet another Comic Book film hit the silver screen. This time it was Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated the Dark Knight Rises. I went along with Pete on Friday with a few friends, was it worth all the hype surrounding it. Fuck Yeah! I now fully understand there is nothing to look forward to in life so I may as well try and find a girlfriend (EDITORS NOTE: Good luck with that!) have a few children (EDITORS NOTE: dear god not little you’s!!) and just give up now. I would like to review and give my opinion on the Dark Knight Rises but I’m sure wherever you are looking on the internet you will find something to do with this film. So here at The Comic Asylum we have devised a new blog for #007 in which we will discuss where the Bat franchise goes from here. Until then we will continue our run down of our favourite Comic Book Films. As good as TDKR was it isn’t on this list. This is because we stupidly came up with it a few weeks before hand but ah well you live and learn. So without further ado here for your reading pleasure is the Comic Asylums rundown of numbers #5 – #1.

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5. Watchmen

When I first heard that this film was announced, I was a bit worried.

Tagline: This city is afraid of me; I’ve seen its true face.

Pete: When I first heard that this film was announced, I was a bit worried. The graphic novel is very good and the ending is something that couldn’t really translate to the silver screen. Never mind the huge amount of material that they would have to put into the movie to make it flow as well as the novel. So as always with films, news slowly started floating around about which actor might play this character and who will be directing and as I heard more and more, I became more excited. The fact that almost all of the actors/actresses were relative unknowns at the time really pleased me as I couldn’t imagine some a-lister being Rorschach or Nite Owl, although I would have paid double to see Angelina Jolie in that yellow and black Silk Spectre II costume ……..MMMMMM……… oh sorry, anyway the director was announced as Zack Snyder who’s only work I was aware of before this was 300 and that film visually looked very good and again my expectations rose. Then after the trailer I was all ready to see it, I read the novel again in preparation as I read that Snyder said it followed the novel quite closely. The film did not disappoint at all, and to my dying day I will not understand some of the bad reviews that it got as it was the best Watchmen film that could have been. Ok they changed the ending slightly but as I said earlier, the original ending would never have worked all that well anyway. Now with all the Before Watchmen comics coming out, I would love to see some individual storylines but I doubt it. This film is without doubt, one for the die-hard fan as I and Sean both are, and that’s why it’s at number 5.

Sean: I’m going to be completely honest here. When this film was announced I was like “what the fuck are the Watchmen?” I had never heard nor read the graphic novel when this film arrived so I went in as a neutral. As soon as the opening scene starts up with the Comedian’s death to Nat King Coles ‘Unforgettable’ playing in the background I was engrossed and couldn’t peel my eyes away. Snyder does an excellent job at the beginning of the film to establish that since 1940 costume heroes have been a massive part of America, starting with the Minutemen then onto the Watchmen. There are so many brilliant shots in this opening package. The Comedian pulling the trigger on JFK, Dr. Manhattan on the moon & the man spray painting “Who Watches the Watchmen” on the shop window. What this film does differently to every other comic book film is that it’s so grown up. It’s also so easy to believe that this all happened. It’s obvious who my favourite was coming out of the Watchmen and that was Rorschach, Snyder got it spot on giving the part to ol’ Jacky boy but everyone really shines in this film, like Pete said above me Silk Spectre II wow wow wee waa! Since my first viewing the Watchmen has grabbed my attention ever since and I have been collecting the Before the Watchmen series. Might I add if you aren’t picking these up please go and have a quiet word with yourself. These are the best comics on the shelves at this moment in time and I’m going to be really upset when it’s finished, but back to the film. Snyder really does hit this out of the park, it’s visually stunning, awesomely cast and the soundtrack is brilliant. It really should be higher on the list but as a collective we have ranked it at number 5.

Favourite Scene:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ5290-0lw0&feature=relmfu

Favourite Quote: Rorschach: “Rorschach’s Journal: October 12th, 1985. Tonight, a comedian died in New York”

Random Trivia: Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never swear during the entire movie.

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4. Superman

The thing that makes Superman different from almost all other superheroes, for me, is that his alter ego is Clark Kent, whereas most other supers' alter ego is the hero.

Tagline: You’ll believe a man can fly!

Pete: OK let me start by saying that I know this is a bit of a shock to be this high up on the list and when me and Sean discussed this film, it caused a bit of controversy between us, mainly because Sean has never been a massive fan of the Man of Tomorrow but I was at the other end of the scale and was a huge fan. The thing that makes Superman different from almost all other superheroes, for me, is that his alter ego is Clark Kent, whereas most other supers’ alter ego is the hero. Kal-El is the real identity whereas Clark Kent is how Kal-El views the human race, basically a smart man, that’s a bit shy, bit slow at times but basically a decent human being. Superman invents Clark Kent as opposed to Bruce Wayne inventing Batman. The main reason I place this film so high is how Christopher Reeve plays these essentially polar opposite characters, yet while still being the same person. It’s a brilliant performance by Reeve that hands down owns that of Brandon Routh, George Reeves and Dean Cain. Whereas in those incarnations, a simple pair of glasses wouldn’t have fooled Lois Lane, but this one has to the point that you could put them in the same room and you still wouldn’t know they are one and the same (this actually happened in Superman III. Thank you for proving my point Red Kryptonite!) The second film in this series was very good too because of General Zod being a proper bad-ass but the ending to that was quite poor whereas this film is a good story, start to finish and should always be considered as the benchmark for Superman films in the future (Man of Steel, I’m looking at you!) Yes you can argue that the effects are out-dated and the acting a bit cheesy at times but you’ve got to remember that this film came out in 1978. Special effects like this were unheard of at the time, yes you can argue that Star Wars came out a year earlier but the effects and puppetry used in that film, while good, were not on the level of actually watching a man fly. Safe to see I really enjoyed this film, it deserves its place on this list. This high-up? That’s for you to decide and be sure to let me know…..and I didn’t even mention how good Lex Luthor was!

Sean: I guess with any relationship there is a bit of give and take. Here I just had to bite my lip and take it, (you do not want to see Pete upset, he throws things. I have scars.) But I didn’t want to just go into this mini review and bash this film. I’m going to put it out there, I do not like this film, I hope I never have to sit through it ever again. When Pete first even brought up this movie I wanted to fire him on the spot. But there is a reason it is on this list and not just because Pete said so. No it is here because this is where it all started for blockbuster Superhero movies. Without Superman: The Movie would we have what followed? I know it’s not as bad as the three that came after it, I’m just putting myself in the position of when this film first came out. It does deserve to be on the list whether I like it or not and that’s the whole point. This film is much bigger then myself bad mouthing it. I am hoping 2013 brings good things for the big blue boy scout, after seeing the trailer before the Dark Knight Rises I’m very intrigued.

Favourite Scene:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2yH5HFUOGg

Favourite Quote: Lex Luthor: “Look at the overgrown boy scout, Miss Teschmacher. Tell me what you see.”

Random Trivia: After the success of Rocky, Sylvester Stallone lobbied hard to play Clark Kent/Superman, but he was ultimately turned down. Stallone found out that Marlon Brando, who had casting approval, turned him down for the role, just as he had allegedly vetoed Burt Reynolds’ casting as Sonny in The Godfather.

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3. Batman Begins

What really attracts me to this movie is how real Nolan made it all feel.

Tagline: Evil fears the Knight.

Sean: In at number three is none other than Christopher Nolan’s first film out of his Dark Knight trilogy. To me this is the best origin to any superhero / comic book film ever. I really doubt this will ever be bettered. I can’t count the times I’ve sat and watched Begins, if you live in the UK you will know it’s a lot as it’s never off ITV2 (cheap plug). What really attracts me to this movie is how real Nolan made it all feel. He took this larger than life comic book character and he brought him into our world. What this film revolves around is fear, and who better to cast as a secondary villain then the Scarecrow. Cillian Murphy is really convincing as the crazed Dr. Crane testing his fear toxin on patients of Arkham Asylum. The main villain is Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul, starting out as Bruce Wayne’s mentor and father figure wanting Bruce to be by his side while he burns Gotham. As we all know Bruce Wayne has a completely different view on justice and ends up creating this symbol for his enemies to fear and the innocent people to look up to. He transforms himself into the Batman, and along with his childhood friend Rachel Dawes, Jim Gordon, Lucius Fox & Alfred, attempts to give Gotham back to the innocent. Christopher Nolan really had a tough job in bringing the Bat back and in just over 2 hours he just doesn’t bring him back, he changes the whole landscape for a movie genre. Every member of this assembled team deserves a knighthood from Bale to Zimmer, I have no flaw to this movie. In a perfect world this would be even higher but there is a reason it isn’t and I’ll go on about that below.

Pete: The film that started it all! Batman Begins showed the world exactly how Batman should be portrayed. The influence for this film was not just one story arc of Bats but many rolled into one, most notable being that of Batman: Year One, by far one of the best origin stories in comic book history, (In my humble opinion of course). Everyone knows the story of why Bruce Wayne became the Bat and the tragedy that was behind it, but this is the first time we learn how he got his skills, his fighting technique and his need to use his abilities for good and the origin of his ‘one rule’, feeling every criminal must be tried for their crimes. Although origin stories as a whole have been largely disappointing in the past (suck it Wolverine!), this one showed us that although we don’t see the iconic image, in this case, the Batman, for almost an hour into the film that we didn’t care as the story being told that leads up to Wayne donning the cape and cowl is just as intriguing as the moment he becomes Batman and starts going after Gotham’s most wanted, starting with Carmine Falcone and his stuffed bunnies business. The Scarecrow is a great choice as a villain as it would have been easy to throw in the Joker straight away as someone we all know but to give us lesser known villains in the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul was a stroke of genius as it introduced us to villains unknown and showed the limits Batman was willing to take before bigger foes came along. Sure there were things that could have been better, the static fighting moves, the gravelly voice, Katie Holmes! But all these just pale in comparison with the good parts, the training montage, the new Batmobile, Michael Caine as Alfred! If anything, the bad points just highlighted how good the good points were and didn’t detract from the storyline in any way. The film has no equal in terms of starting something from the beginning and yet we feel like we have seen no other incarnation that has gone before. The best way I can describe this film is that it isn’t a comic book film in the normal sense, but a brilliant drama/action film that is based on comic book characters and it gives you the feel that these things could actually happen in our world today.

Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF5q_4tXDLk&feature=related

Favourite Quote: Henri Ducard: “You have learned to bury your guilt with anger. I will teach you to confront it, and to face the truth. You know how to fight six men. We can teach you how to engage six hundred. You know how to disappear. We can teach you to become truly invisible.”

Random Trivia: Marilyn Manson, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor and Jeremy Davies were considered for the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.

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2. The Avengers

It was in 2008 when the buzz for the Avengers really picked up and it had us all guessing and arguing. Can it be done? Are they really doing a Thor stand-alone film? Who will play Captain America?

Tagline: Avengers Assemble

Sean: Right, I know a few people may be scratching their heads at why Avengers is so high on the Comic Asylums top ten. It’s really quite simple. For the first time in years this film made me want to go back to the cinema to watch again and again. From start to finish this movie is just really, really fun. It was in 2008 when the buzz for the Avengers really picked up and it had us all guessing and arguing. Can it be done? Are they really doing a Thor stand-alone film? Who will play Captain America? The questions went on and on so the group that debuted in 1963 was finally getting its outing on the big screen in 2012. All our questions would finally be answered and by god did they exceed our expectations. What Marvel gave us was a film that the kids loved and made adults feel like kids again. It’s very rare a film comes along that you watch with a huge grin on your face willing your favourite superheroes on to kick some ass. But this is what the Avengers does and does so well. What really sets this apart from other comic book films on the list is many if not all have that dark tone towards them, especially Nolan’s Bat franchise. Marvel steers clear of this and shouts we can be fun and make a good movie, and they are right. Not every superhero has to have a dark past or thirst for justice. Some superheroes just really want to help others because it’s the right thing to do and this is what you have with Marvel’s Avengers. A lot going into this film was can so many A-listers and out of this world characters co-exist. The answer coming out was fuck yeah! It was the best part of the film seeing these characters and egos smashing together. Be it Iron Man v Captain America, Thor v Hulk. It was all done brilliantly. A huge factor in how well this film was received was always going to be Hulk. Over the years he has always been mediocre, yet for the Avengers the studio pulls no punch in giving the viewer and fans the Hulk we have been waiting to see for such a long, long time. Ruffalo nailed it! This film made me feel like a child once again and that is the magic of good film-making, Josh Whedon has to be praised and I hope he stays on to do a sequel as do all the cast. Whoever was the person to put Scarlett Johansson in that cat-suit may I say god bless you. So at number 2 it is Marvel’s Avengers.

Pete: Quite possibly the most anticipated comic book movie of all time, with trailers and scenes that could have come straight out of a fan boys wet dream. Let’s just put this in context, in this film alone we have Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Loki, The Skrulls, and Fing Fang Foom (one for those fan boys). Now I know anyone reading this will know exactly who was in the film and doesn’t need me pointing it out. I only do it because can you imagine the sheer scale of getting all those components in to one film and not have it seem overloaded and forced. It was a miracle it worked at all and boy did it work! Generally speaking the Box Office doesn’t lie and the amount of money this film took, and is still taking is just crazy. It proves that not everyone has to love comics to love a good film. The films leading up to this were all very good in building to this climax, with little scene stealers from Coulson in each one or the post credits scene that in some cases were more anticipated than the movie itself (Captain America anyone!) The film works on many levels and every character is given their own time on screen and their own moment of glory. Everyone coming out of this film is going to have a different favourite Avenger than they did going in. I know Sean’s is Captain America, but that’s only because Scarlett Johansson’s arse doesn’t count. Mine personally was the Hulk, although he wasn’t given a lot of screen time as the Big Green, Mark Ruffalo was the best incarnation of Bruce Banner/Hulk as there ever has been on big or small screen and I really like Edward Norton’s version. The final reveal that he is in fact control of The Hulk and he actually cares for his fellow Avengers was a massive tick in my box. Although I doubt we will see another standalone Hulk film, I am very excited to see a sequel to this where he is in control for all of it, and the banter between him and Stark was priceless. Getting almost all the same cast as the prequels was a must and honourable mentions need to go to Jeremy Renner who was Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He was good and menacing in Thor but I know I wasn’t the only one who was worried when I heard he was the sole villain (sort of) for this film, but he pulled it off from the start and genuinely looked like he was going to succeed. Now I can’t talk about this film without mentioning the post credits scene with Thanos, the main big bad in the Avengers world. Now I have to admit that I’m not 100% up on the history of this guy, but needless to say, what Ive read is that he is one mean mother and I am very looking forward to seeing what they do with him, whether they wait until the sequel or introduce him in one of the other movies. From all accounts, the clues were there for his arrival, his Gauntlet in Thor and the stone in Loki’s staff all pointed to the Purple One (that’s what I’m calling him). Finally, this film may not be as dark as things that DC are throwing at us at the moment but as I said, the Box Office proves that a good action family film can still do wonders and leave people wanting more.

Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaWtOtrXtXs

Favourite Quote: Tony Stark: “You’re missing the point! There’s no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it!”

Random Trivia: The battle cry of the Avengers, “Avengers Assemble” was not spoken throughout the film. However Chris Evans would say it behind the scenes to call out the rest of cast via text message to hang out off the set.

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1. The Dark Knight

When news broke about Heath Ledger getting the role as the clown prince of crime WOW, did the trolls came out to play!

Tagline: Welcome to a World without Rules!

Sean: Did anybody else not guess what was going to come in at number one with us. It was the film that we all flocked to see when it hit the cinema. Nolan brought the Batman back with Begins. With the Dark Knight he made sure he stayed in the mainstream. He also brought someone with him too, a certain Heath Ledger. When he was first cast as Batman’s greatest foe the internet nearly shut down. It was crazy, how the hell can the guy from ‘10 Things I Hate about You’ top Jack Nicholson. Ever since Begins ended with the Batman turning over the Joker card the whole world gasped and got so very wee your pants excited to see the Joker once again. Then news broke out about Heath Ledger getting the role as the clown prince of crime. WOW the trolls came out to play I’ll pop up a couple quotes from various websites regarding his casting.

  • e-unit May 30, 2007 at 6:29 pm“fuck his gay brokeback ass. bring jack back he culd lose a few pounds but still hes not a gay f******.”
  • C M on 07-21-2006 08:22 AM“I agree w/ the lesser known actor part, but it’d be nice if they got someone who can actually act (and anybody that thinks just b/c he got an Academy award for playing a reserved belligirent is fooling themselves).”

Now these two morons were so wrong. (Why can’t trolls spell as well?) What Ledger brought to the table in Dark Knight blew everyone away. A lot of people may say his Oscar was because of his passing but that is 100% BS. Though the tragedy of his passing occurred he would have got the nod either way. I could go on and on about Ledger but he isn’t the only reason this film is number 1. It is number 1 because it’s a 10 out of 10 film. Someone said imagine Heat with Batman and that is exactly what it is. From start to finish you are hooked into Nolan’s Gotham City and his characters. Batman and the police have cleaned up the streets, there is a new D.A. coming up in Harvey Dent. The only way the mob have a chance is when the Joker seemingly forces there hand to let him join in on the game. “If your good at something never do it for free!” is what the clown prince states but we find out this villain doesn’t want money. The Joker just wants to watch the world burn. So Christopher Nolan builds a story of what one man must do to stop a man like the Joker and he tells this story superbly. Christian Bale yet again proves there is only one man to portray Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Pete: So here we are folks, the Number 1 comic book movie all time as decided by The Comic Asylum. And let’s be honest, could it really have been anything else? I dare anyone to call me out on it, seriously, if you disagree you can find me on Twitter at @Pete_the_Red or call me on 077-EAT-SHIT-ITS-AMAZING. Now with being the number one on the list, and one of the highest grossing movies of all time, brings with it its own hardship to write a review 4 years after the film has come out, every comic book movie since has incorporated something from this film to try and make their own better. Just look at how they are approaching the new Superman reboot, or how The Amazing Spiderman was much darker than any before it. Yes the story of Batman needs to be much darker than others but this film shows that the storyline and the drama behind it can easily lend itself to other films and improve them greatly. So what I’m saying is there is really no need for me to sit here and tell you why it’s so good because I quite simply don’t have to; the box office records (the Random Trivia below speaks for itself), the awards and every review of the film have done that for me. So I will try and come at a different angle that sees that this film is not a simplistic tale of good versus evil. Batman is good, yes and The Joker is evil but Batman poses a more complex puzzle than usual: The citizens of Gotham are in an uproar, calling him a vigilante and blaming him for the deaths of policemen and others, and The Joker is more than your bog standard villain. He’s a man whose actions are more fiendishly designed to pose moral dilemmas for his enemies. Heath Ledgers performance became the first posthumous Oscar winner since Peter Finch and deservedly so. When you learn that he spent 6 weeks locked in a hotel room defining the character traits he needed to bring this menace to the screen, you really understand that this young actor was driven to give the best performance possible. The Jokers make-up (also designed by Ledger) is sloppier than before, his cackle betrays deep wounds and he seeks revenge, but for what is unknown. Throughout this film, The Joker devises ingenious situations that cause Batman, Gordon and Dent to make impossible ethical decisions and by the end the whole moral foundation of the Batman legend is deeply threatened. It is normally customary in a comic book movie to maintain a certain knowing distance from the action, like you know it’s set in a world that doesn’t and couldn’t possibly exist but this film simply side steps this and fully engages us through-out and for the first time in comic book movie history, you think that this could be quite possible, and that thought alone is quite scary. Because of this you find yourself deeply concerned for the tragedy that engulfs Dent and the spectacular special effects are not allowed to upstage the natural human response to such stress and anguish felt by all. Studios are now starting to realise that these stories touch on deep fears, traumas, fantasies and hopes. And with the Batman legend, with its origins in film noir, is the most fruitful one for exploration. With his first two Batman movies, Christopher Nolan has freed the character to be a wider range of human emotion because we all know Bruce Wayne is a troubled human with a tragic past and if he was ever to be in exile from this heroic role of Batman, it would not surprise anyone what he finds himself capable of doing. And that leads us straight to The Dark Knight Rises…………………………..

Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QehZjjwb7-I

Favourite Quote: Joker: “Hey! Look at me. So I had a wife. She was beautiful, like you. Who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks. One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just want to see her smile again. I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So….I stick a razor in my mouth and do this….to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling!”

Random Trivia: Made more money in 6 days of release than ‘Batman Begins’ did in its entire domestic run!

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So there you have it from us our complete top ten films. It really is a shame we started this project before going to see the Dark Knight Rises because without a doubt it would be on this list. I hope you enjoyed reading even if you didn’t agree with everything we said. You can reach us on our new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ComicAsylum feel free to drop by and give us a like. What we are planning is a podcast, I’m just working out the best way to go about things so hopefully you’ll be able to not just read us chat shit but listen as well. Anyway until next week take care you beautiful bunch.

You can follow Sean on Twitter at @seanfav1 and Pete on Twitter at @pete_the_red or catch them on the official Comic Asylum account @Comic_Asylum

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Posted on August 2nd, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
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