Quick & Dorky Reviews: Issue #1 (Collector's Edition)

It was only a matter of time before I decided I couldn't keep my trap shut about all these comics I read. Nothing has changed much from the old Comics With Steve bits except that I came up with a better name for the reviews feature.

Yeah. I'm crafty like that.

So, sit back and enjoy. I should say that I cannot cover everything I read and sometimes you may just get the text equivalent of a grunt, nod, or primal shriek of terror.

Please note that the scores, while not arbitrary in scoring, are arbitrary in "type". I figured "why not?" and all that. Hey, it could be worse. It could be space herpes.


tnboys14cover.jpg The Boys #14
(Dynamite Entertainment)

This is the explosive conclusion to the "Glorious Fiver Year Plan" arc, and I can safely say it was some damned fun reading. Ennis still manages to carry the story well, going just far enough to entice that sick side we love to indulge as well as not go TOO far and just look kinda retarded (some of Chronicles of Wormwood comes to mind). I finally got used to fill-in artist Peter Snejbjerg's work and actually enjoyed it. However, the fact that Darick Robertson does the first couple of pages throws me off. Why not just have Peter (who has a way different style) do the whole issue? Ah, well. A solid, fun filled, blood soaked installment, to be sure. I'm hoping the next arc kicks sweet ass.

12 Molotov cocktails out of 14.

foundation1cover.jpgThe Foundation #1
(BOOM! Studios)

Billed as being kinda like the X-Files or something, I didn't really have any pre-conceived notions going into this because I never listen to all that pre-release hype anyway. I especially don't these days now that I don't have to.

Anyhow, The Foundation seems to be about people (part of-- DING! Very good! The Foundation) who make sure events happen they way they are supposed to, with this issue being primarily an interesting and intriguing narrative explaining what's up. I like it. In fact, I would like to know more. Give me more. Also, give me more Chee, who's retro styled artwork fits this title perfectly, and I don't even know what's going to happen yet. All i know is Chee does some great stuff. Come on, you creative bastards: bring it.

5 predestination monkeys out of 6.

swordofredsonjadotg4.jpgSword of Red Sonja: Doom of the Gods #4
(Dynamite Entertainment)

The last issue of a slaughter-o-rama four-issue micro-epic concerning the return of seminal baddie Thulsa Doom. I really like how he's on Sonja's tail now, and of course the ass-handing is in abundance. Lui Antonio and Will Murai craft a visual masterpiece that really sets the bar for pulp action fantasy comics. I love it. And let's not forget Lieberman and Ryker's tight, albeit derivative, script. Honestly, I don't give a shit if it's somewhat derivative-- it's still quite fun and though this mini-series will win no awards, it still deserves a Hyrkanian thank you note.

4 she-devils out of 5.

northwind1cover.jpgNorth Wind #1
(BOOM! Studios)

Oni Press has Wasteland, and it's good... even though I stopped reading it for some reason at some point. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I love snowscapes and chilly climes. Maybe I wanted it to be drawn better, or have more of a Mad Max meets The Day After Tomorrow setting (like North Wind seems to have). Maybe I don't actually know. Not that I dislike Wasteland, mind. Regardless, the idea of a "frostfell" (to gleefully rip a D&D term) post-apocalyptic world, especially one where most of those soul-sucking Hollywood types are about as useful as frozen pizzas (a step up, I bet) just really tickles my Interest Lobes-- you don't want to know where those are located, okay?

Taking place around 200 years after the world goes to winter wonderland shit, this issue fluidly sets up our main protagonists, the villains, a possible hero (or anti-hero) or two and the makings of a straight-to-the-gut yarn. David DiGilio and Alex Cal look like they are crafting a fine tale complete with excellent art and great scripting. Well done so far, guys.

4 ice tigers out of 5.

warhammer40kcloodandthunder2cover.jpgWarhammer 40,000: Blood and Thunder #2
(BOOM! Studios)

I've always had a serious soft-spot for Warhammer (both Fantasy and 40K) Orks. Da Ladz are always a grottin' hoot to see in akshun, you know? BOOM serves up some more Warhammery madness with this new mini-series, this time centred on Orks and a surviving "pet" Tallarn Imperial Guard Colonel (who you could say is "a lucky little shite"). This is the most brilliant BOOM Warhammer offering thus far, and Abnett and Edginton are in top form in Da Writun Departmunt. Give those boyz some squigs. The art has a nice quality to it, being action-oriented and "comic-booky" enough to allow the humour to shine through all the war-ridden muck that our fave Galaxy of Eternal War in known for. Whether you have been painting things red to make them go fassa since you were 11, like me, or are new to the insanity of life in the 41st millennium, you simply cannot go wrong with this series. The only thing that might detract readers is the Ork Boyz talking like they do-- as drunken English football hooligans. I find it to be rather cute. WOTCHA LOOKIN AT DEN? GIT TO ET, YA MANGY GIT!!!!

Eleventy-five Gorks out of Two, Six and a Second of Mork.

northlanders2cover.jpgNorthlanders #2
(DC Vertigo)

I wasn't all that impressed with #1. And #2, although it improves story-wise, isn't THAT much better. This is not to say Northlanders is terrible or anything. No, this doesn't even come close to the ineptitude of *gasp!* One More Day. Northlanders just isn't very... great. Allow me to briefly justify my opinion before you beat me with those sticks. See, I was under the impression that Brian Wood was some sort of genius writer-- at least, that's what all my friends who read DMZ tell me. I'm not going to deny that this guy has talent and skillz, but he certainly can't make a blood n' guts "Viking Tale" stand out. Once again, it's not bad. If marauding reavers is your thing then you will get some enjoyment out of this series. I did. It's just not stand-out impressive. It might get that way, though, so I'll keep reading. One of the things that bugs me is the dialogue. It seems too contemporary for my tastes. No, I'm not saying they should sound all douchey like Thor does under certain writers, I just mean it seems like it can be straight out of Deadwood at times. I've noticed a need to do this these last few years; in order to make everything more "edgy", no doubt. Oh, and for you pervonauts, you get to see some bewbs in this issue. Huzzah, right? That's what makes it all adult!

All in all, not bad. I feel it could be better, and the art is kind of boring. It reminds me of Prince Valiant. And though that's not a bad thing at all, I'm not reading Northlanders to read Prince Valiant. Edgy Prince Valiant? Something like that. The art is edgy Prince Valiant. Man, I hope the artist never reads this... It's not as if it's terrible or anything (wow! deja vu...). I mean, it works, it looks nice. Maybe it's how the colours play out. Maybe that's what makes it boring. Anyhow, I'll keep up with this series (like I said) and see how it all goes. I bet I'll be eating any words of negativity in the future, and I couldn't be happier if I did.

3 bloody swords out of 5.

evildead1cover.jpgThe Evil Dead #1
(Dark Horse Comics)

Man, they're going to milk those daemon udders of Evil Dead until they can be milked no more, aren't they. Milk, milk, milk, milk, milk-- well, you get the picture. This latest comic incarnation of The Evil Dead is an "expansion" (their words) of the original movie/s. It's basically the same story, with some new things added to make it "kewler" and some "added scenes" so you don't feel as if you flushed your three bucks down the asshole of Hell. Ugh. To be honest, I didn't really need to read yet another re-hash (Re-Ash?) of Evil fucking Dead. The Dynamite comics have been great because they present new stories and such. But this... This is just the same damned story but slightly remixed. I don't know how anyone patted themselves on the back over this one. Evil Dead fans should enjoy it a bit, though, and I don't think it's a complete waste of time... completely, anyway. If you dig seeing the movie in pretty painting format with some added Deadite goodies, then by all means rush out and buy this. If you are like me and don't feel the need to read ANOTHER version of the orginal movies and would rather wait for the re-boot or whatever, then you might want to sit this one out. I will read the second issue, though. You know. For Science.

2.3 chainsaws out of 5.

kodt134cover.jpg Knights of the Dinner Table #134
(Kenzer & Company)

Yet another fantastic issue of KoDT. Nothing more to say other than that the conclusion to the Thanksgiving Day boardgame inanity at Weird Pete's gets wrapped up in hilarious fashion and the boys plan their, uh, plans to foil BA's killer temple. Laughs all around. Outstanding. Gamer's Rant at the Movies covers Last Starfighter and is a riot as well as touching (and I won't even press charges!). Great content all around!

10 skeeter-blockades out of 10.

fearagent17cover.jpg Fear Agent #17: Hatchet Job (1 of 5)
(Dark Horse Comics)

Holy shit, this was an awesome issue. No if, ands, or buts, either. If you like pulpy, hardboiled sci-fi with stones, then you need to be reading Fear Agent. If not-- Jesus Christ, what the fuck is wrong with you? Without a doubt one of the top five titles on the market today, Rick Remender's baby keeps on smacking around its eager readers with aplomb and attitude. This new arc takes you on a ride that is sure to change things for our hero Heath Huston and the man who's currently courting his (ex) wife. Hell, it'll probably change everyone involved in one way or another. Fear Agent #17 is a strong blend of action, pulp sensibility, and inter-character drama. And that's not mentioning the killer art, which will grab your eye balls and make sweet love to them.

Pick it up. You won't be sorry. And don't make me make you sorry, neither.

20 Jimmy-kicks outta 20.

bprd1946no1cover.jpg B.P.R.D. 1946 #1
(Dark Horse Comics)

If you are a BPRD / Hellboy fan, then you may already know that 1946 #1 is an excellent piece of fiction. No surprise, really, what with the incredible team involved: Mignola and Dysart tearing it up on writing duties and Paul Azaceta taking no prisoners on the art. Now, I understand that Azaceta did the art on the series Talent, (which wasn't bad a bad series; though nothing amazing like everyone likes to say) and I will say straight up that his art is well placed here. It engulfs you right away, immersing you a deeply into the story as the writing itself. Then you have Josh Dysart, who wrote the best comic run of 2007: Conan and the Midnight God. He and Mike Mignola make an astounding team, providing one nail-biter of a spine-tingling moment at the end of a great opener to this story. And what's the story? Glad you asked. Essentially, it's about how Professor Bruttenholm and associates investigate some of the sinister occult Nazi doings in 1946 post-war Berlin. It has mouthy soldiers, creepy Soviets, and plenty of other dark malignant things to draw you in and never let go. The only disappointing thing about this issue is that I didn't have #2 sitting around to read MORE. I need more NOW. This is some captivating, soul-catching material, kids. Read at your own risk.

12 teacups out of 13.

judgedreddmegazine266cover.jpg Judge Dredd Megazine #266

Ahhh... Judge Dredd. My love for him knows bounds, much like my love for The Meg. This month's issue is blisteringly hot, kicking off new stories for all!

The opener - Judge Dredd, of course - is tip-top with Wagner and Fraser at the helm. What I did for Chrissmas brings back PJ Maybe, notorious serial killer and currently Mega-City One's Mayor. It would seem that he misses all the killing he's been too busy to do while improving the Big Meg. A little paranoia later and... presto! One thing I really loved about this one is how it was mostly narrated by PJ, complete with misspellings and poor grammar.

Armitage returns in Dumb Blond, setting up for what looks to be a good arc with plenty of that Brit-Cit violence we all known and love. And what's this at the end with Treasure Steel? She's sure to be borked off over that! Drokkin' 'ell.

Bob the Galactic Bum in The Piker = Good times. I so do enjoy these romps.

Tempest is new, and in the story Here Comes Trouble we are introduced to new characters; specifically a con man. Really, the "main character" doesn't show his face until-- well, you'll see. I'm itching to see more of the undercity action. It's looking good so far.

The features in this Meg are top quality, as usual. A particular stand-out is part one of the two-part interview with zarjaztic legend Alan Grant. I never knew he spent time in the clink! No wonder his prison stories are so damned good. Well worth the read.

Overall, a drokking stellar Meg with few, if any, flaws.

29 out of 30 years, creep.

redsonja27cover.jpgRed Sonja #27
(Dynamite Entertainment)

First off, I frickin' LOVE the Dan Panosian cover. LOOOVE it. I wasn't familiar with him, but he's now one of my all-time fave cover artists. Instantly. Bravo, Dan. As for the issue itself, Oeming and Reed fail to disappoint. No real shock there. I would say that the series has improved since Brian Reed has come on, but it could also just be that some new blood was needed. Mike Oeming has always been awesome on Red Sonja, so it may be just that. Homs is flawless as usual, too. I can think of few artists as good as him on a consistent and regular basis. He brings these fantastic stories to life something fierce. And then there's what's going on in the story-- it's a great continuation of a great arc. Yeah, I'm a bit behind and I have #28 sitting right here. Time to get to it.

6 severed heads out of 7.

That's it for this installment of Quick and Dorky Reviews. I hope you garnered some kind of... something... from it. Notice there's no review of the latest Conan issue. Never fear, I have something special planned for my Conan obsession. Looking at my desk here I can see the stack growing with new things to read and blabble about. I'll try to get another bit up soon!


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