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.


Comics Newbie – Star Wars

Posted by Ben On March 14, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

This week I am reviewing the new Dark Horse Star Wars series by Brian Wood.

I have been a Star Wars fan for quite a few years. I have watched the six films many times and although Episodes I to III did not live up to the hype, the two trilogies rank very high on my movie lists.

When I started my journey into comics, Star Wars was a familiar franchise so Star Wars comics were always going tickle my fancy. From some research there have been many different series ranging from many different timeframes in the Star Wars universe. I have read 2 or 3 different Star Wars series and so far I have not been disappointed. If you would like to know which other series I have read let me know and I’ll reveal all.

So far in this series written by Brian Wood and art by Carlos D’Anda there have been two issues released and I have read them both.

This series is set shortly after the ending of Star Wars Episode IV and is split into three storylines:

  1. Luke and Leia’s search for a new base for the rebellion;
  2. Han and Chewie’s quest for Mon Mothma; and
  3. The consequences for Darth Vader after the Death Star was destroyed.

Of the three storylines so far I am enjoying Darth Vader’s the most. After the destruction of the Death Star, he is out of favour with the Emperor and I cannot wait to find out what he does to get back in the Emperor’s good books. That being said the other two storylines are well written and are quite intriguing. It is fun doing the voice of Chewbacca in my head.

The artwork by Carlos D’Anda is really good throughout the first two issues. I was really impressed with how both Leia and Darth Vader were drawn.

I give these two comics 4.5/5 Lukes.

This series will have a permanent spot on my pull list for quite some time.  It has been quite a popular series so far so it might be tricky to find the first two issues but never fear as you can always wait for trade.

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.

Look out for my next review soon.


Comics Newbie – Snapshot

Posted by Ben On February 19, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

This week for Comics Newbie, I am reviewing the first issue of Snapshot by Image Comics.

Since I have started reading comics I have found that Image is a great publisher for a new reader.   Jumping into DC and Marvel was a daunting task as it was tough to find a jumping on point whereas Image regularly release a new series to jump into.

Snapshot #1 is written by Andy Diggle with art by Jock (very mysterious one word name).

The story in a snapshot (pun intended) is as follows:

– Jake Dobson finds a phone in a park
– Jake discovers that the phone has one contact and a picture of a dead body
– The phone rings…

I will not reveal any more of the story as I do not want to spoil anything.

Although the idea of finding a device with a picture of a dead body is not a new one I was intrigued about where the story is heading.  I must admit though that I did not feel much sympathy for Jake as he comes off as a jerk.

I have heard that some comic readers are turned off by comics in black and white. Snapshot is a black and white comic and I believe the decision for that  is a good one so please do not let that deter you from reading. As a result, the artwork as a whole for this issue was fantastic.  A highlight of mine was a panel around the middle of the issue which showed how at a certain moment in time Jake was alone.  Great work by Jock.

I cannot wait for Issue #2 to come out in March and I highly recommend getting down to your local comic shop and picking this up.

Overall I give Snapshot #1  3.5 Lukes

For my next review I will give my impressions on the first two issues of the Brian Wood’s Star Wars series by Dark Horse Comics.

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.


Comics Newbie – Exiles

Posted by Ben On February 9, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to our new segment – Comics Newbie – where I’ll be reviewing some of the titles I’m reading as I jump into the world of comics.

For my first comic review I have read vol #1 of the Marvel title Exiles which contains Exiles #1-#4.  First off I have to thank David for suggesting this title and providing the volume to read (huzzah!).

Exiles vol #1 is written by Judd Winick and drawn by Mike McKone.

I went into reading Exiles with a lot of excitement. It is a series that I had not heard of before and when it comes to a new comic series I am like a kid in a candy store (gimmegimmegimme).

A quick summary: The Exiles are a group of characters from different Marvel universes who have been grouped together and now must roam the Marvel universes to save their own lives.

This first volume is broken down into three stories:

  1. The team coming together and character back story
  2. The first adventure
  3. A famous Marvel story mash up

The opening story of a new series must be a very tricky thing to tackle for a writer. Take too much time with exposition and you risk the comic not kick starting quickly enough, too little and the reader may not know what on earth is going on and may give up there and then. I feel that Winick got the balance right with Exiles. The characters Winick has chosen are good choices as they all relate to major characters from the Marvel U even if it is a different universe so you can feel a certain familiarly.

The art of McKone was visually pleasing. A particular highlight was a series of panels near the end of the book when two of the characters were discussing leadership of the Exiles.

The highlight of the book for me was in the Exiles’ first adventure, when it is revealed that Charles Xavier is not who you expect him to be. I love when the status quo is shaken up. I also really enjoyed some of the jokes in the book.

My only issue with the book is that the chapters were spaced awkwardly.  For better or worse I like to read a chapter take a short break and then get back into it. It gives my brain and eyes time to rest and to take in everything I have just read. Not a big issue but a slight annoyance.

The ultimate test for a first volume or first comic in a series is ‘will it make me want to read more?’ In this case it is a big yes. I cannot wait to read more stories about the Exiles and after a little bit of internet research I’ve found that I have a lot of reading ahead (hooray for my brain, but bad news for my wallet).

I give Exiles Vol #13/5 Lukes

I would love to hear your feedback on Exiles and my review. Please comment on this post, or you can contact me via Twitter @bennykane1983.  If you have suggestions on other titles that I should read I would love to hear from you.

For my next review I will be looking at the first issue of the Image Comic Snapshot.