Archive for the ‘Comics Newbie’ Category

Comics Newbie – FCBD

Posted by Ben On June 28, 2013 1 COMMENT

For my review this week I am looking at some of the titles I picked up for Free Comic Book Day.  Before I start a quick shout out to the legends at All Star Comics. I missed actual Free Comic Book Day but those lads were nice enough to give me some titles after the fact.

The two titles I will be giving a quick fire review of are Mass Effect by Dark Horse Comics and Finding Gossamyr by Th3rd World Studios.

Mass Effect

For those out there who are not familiar with gaming, Mass Effect is a science fiction, action role playing game spanning three games. I have to admit that at this stage that I have not played Mass Effect. I bought the trilogy for my X-Box 360 and am waiting for some time off to give it some attention.

This short story comic written by Mac Walters and Jeremy Barlow follows an attempt by Jeff, a crippled pilot, to show that he is worthy of more than the equivalent of a taxi driver. Being a freebie the story is not that expansive but from my perspective it has achieved what it has intended, I now want to play the game (hurry up holidays!) and would like to read some more.

The artwork by Garry Brown was quite good. The Turian representative looks particularly cool.

For these reviews I will change my rating system. Does this comic make me want to look into the Mass Effect universe more?  The answer to that is a big Yes.

Finding Gossamyr

The second title I am reviewing is Finding Gossamyr. I do not usually start a review by talking about the art in a comic but this title is going to be the exception. The illustrator of this comic is Sarah Ellerton and I have to say it looks absolutely beautiful. I absolutely adore the art style used. It feels very Disney inspired.

The comic is written by David A Rodriguez and the story is a fantasy tale involving magic, weird and wonderful creatures and theorem solving. The story on the first read was a little tricky to follow but became clearer on a second reading.

The Volume 1 Hardcover for this book is coming out in July and I will be definitely purchasing this title.

Hope you enjoyed my quick fire looks at these two titles. Would like to hear what you thought about these two comics and any other comics you read for Free Comic Book Day. Please comment below or you can contact me via Twitter @bennykane1983.

For my next review I will be looking at A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting by Guy Delisle.

Enjoy your comic reading!


Comics Newbie – Blackacre Volume 1

Posted by Ben On June 13, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Comic Review by a Comics Newbie

Howdy comics fans. For my review this week I am looking at Blackacre: Volume 1: An Errand into the Wilderness by Image Comics.

Image continues to be my favourite comic publisher. From Alpha Girl to The Darkness to Saga (if you are not reading Saga get on it!), the comics that are coming out from Image are of a very high quality both story and art wise.

Blackacre Volume 1 comprises the first five issues in this ongoing series.

The story is relatively complex but the use of an epilogue at the beginning was a great move by the writer. The epilogue works perfectly as an exposition device so when the story kicks in a few pages in the comic I knew what was going on.

A quick synopsis of the epilogue:

  1. The USA as it known today has collapsed
  2. A shadowy well-funded group known as Excorp struck a deal with the government for some undisclosed land
  3. While the rest of the country descended into chaos, Excorp created a new secure super city called Blackacre.


For my review this week I am looking at Archer & Armstrong Issue 0 (2013), an ongoing series published by Valiant Comics.

I started my comics reading journey at a very good time as not long afterwards, Valiant came out with the Summer of Valiant Initiative which involved the release of four new ongoing series:

  1. Harbinger
  2. X-O Manowar
  3. Bloodshot
  4. Archer & Armstrong

At the moment I am reading Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong on a monthly basis and I must say that every issue I have read has been excellent. Great story telling and the artwork has been exceptional.

Archer & Armstrong is my favourite of the Valiant titles I have read so far.  The best way I can describe Archer & Armstrong is The Odd Couple + action + saving the world and it = awesome.

Archer is a naive teenager who has lived a very sheltered life in a religious compound.Armstrong is an immortal larrikin who loves a drink and a laugh and has been around since before AD 529. They run into each other not long after Archer comes to realise that his parents are not who they appear to be.

Issue 0 is written by Fred Van Lente with art by Clayton Henry and colours by David Baron.  The plot for this issue is a comic re-telling of the poem the Epic of Gilgamesh. While not a complete origin story the issue explains some of Armstrong’s history.

I really enjoyed this issue of Archer & Armstrong. Being a one-shot of sorts it did not take long for the story to kick off and Armstrong acting as the narrator to the story was hilarious. The artwork in the issue was also of a very high quality. The landscapes were beautifully drawn and the action scenes looked great (ie, I knew what was happening).

If you are interested in reading Archer & Armstrong I recommend going back and starting from issue 1 and reading through to issue 9 then reading issue 0. That being said, this issue was great.

4/5 Lukes

If you do like this issue and are interested in reading more Valiant titles, Issue 1 of the new series Quantum and Woody (The World’s Worst Super Hero Team) starts in July. So that is a good chance to start a new series from the beginning.

I would love to hear your feedback on Archer & Armstrong and any other Valiant titles. Please comment below or you can contact me via Twitter @bennykane1983.

For my next review I will be looking at Blackacre Volume 1: An Errand into the Wilderness published by Image.


Comic Review by a Comics Newbie

For my review this week I am looking at Green Arrow Year One. With the new show Arrow starting a few months ago (which I must admit I have not watched yet) there seems to be a bit of buzz for Green Arrow so I thought I would get in on it.

I came across Green Arrow Year One a few weeks ago when the great folk at All Star Comics posted that the trade was back in print so I jumped on the opportunity and bought one for myself. I must also admit that I went into reading this with a bit of trepidation after hearing on the Nerd Culture Podcast that the Green Arrow’s venture into the New 52 did not go down to well. Thankfully this series was written a few years before the New 52 (phew).

Green Arrow Year One is a limited series containing 6 issues written by Andy Diggle and Jock. You may remember these two names from my previous review of Snapshot. Green Arrow Year One is the story of how Oliver Queen goes from rich play boy with no care in the world to Green Arrow. The stories main location is a seemingly desolate island where Oliver Queen must recuperate after being left for dead in the ocean.

Andy Diggle did a great job with the story. I am not always a quick comic reader in that I usually will take a break in between issues, but this time I got through the six issues in a non-stop session lasting  just over an hour. The story was very well written and each issue kept building the story and the character of Oliver Queen. If I had been sitting on a chair while reading I would have been sitting on the edge of that chair.

The artwork of Jock was of a very high quality. A highlight in the artwork was when Green Arrow was battling with an aeroplane. Another highlight was a panel showing artistically how opium was affecting Green Arrow during his recovery. The opium related artwork reminded me of the novel Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. If you ever get the chance I highly recommend you give it a read.

I give Green Arrow Year One 5/5 Lukes. This has been one of the most enjoyable comics I have read and definitely the most enjoyable title that I have reviewed so far.

As this was my first Green Arrow read I would love to hear any suggestions for other Green Arrow stories I should sink my teeth into, as well as any feedback you may have. Please comment below or you can contact me via Twitter @bennykane1983.

For my next review I will be looking at Archer & Armstrong Issue 0 which I am looking forward to, as I have been enjoying the Archer & Armstrong series.


Comics Newbie – Dark Avengers

Posted by Ben On May 11, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Comic Review by a Comics Newbie

Before I start the review I just wanted to apologise for the delay between reviews. It has been a busy few months.

With the apology out of the way it is time for the review.

I am reviewing the Dark Avengers trade The End is the Beginning which consists of issues #175-183 (thank you to David for providing the reading material).

Prior to reading this trade my knowledge of the Dark Avengers consisted of a few views of the Dark Avengers Wikipedia page so basically I did not know anything about the Dark Avengers. After reading this trade I still do not really know much about the Dark Avengers but my curiosity is very high.

The End is the Beginning on first reading was not a simple story to get my head around. A quick summary of the plot as I understood it is:

  1. The Thunderbolts team are lost in history and are trying to get back to their own time; and
  2. Luke Cage and Skaar, Son of Hulk and the Dark Avengers in the present day are on a secret mission in the nation of Sharzhad.

Although on the first read I found the story quite complex, on a second and third read I was able to get my head around what was going on and who each of the characters were. Jeff Parker the writer of the story did a good job of intertwining the two main stories as they were moving closer together.

My favourite panel both story and art wise came on the last page of the first issue in the trade. In this panel the Dark Avengers are re-introduced to Skaar after he threw them in prison. I cannot wait to go back and read some of the past issues of Dark Avengers.

The art in this trade looked great. There were quite a few different artists involved in this trade and it would take up too much space to name them all but in summary the pencilers were, Declan Shalvey, Kev Walker, Gabriel Hernandez-Walta and Neil Edwards.

If you are a new reader to Dark Avengers I would not recommend this as a jumping on point as although I have not read any past issues I think it will be more beneficial learning more about the Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers. I think I would have been able to appreciate this trade more if I knew more.

I give this trade 2.5/5 Lukes

I would love to hear your feedback. Please comment below or you can contact me via Twitter @bennykane1983. If you have suggestions on other titles that I should read would love to hear from you.

For my next review I will be looking at Green Arrow Year One. I cannot wait to read this one I have heard good things.