Monday, July 20, 2015

COMICS READING FOR JUNE: “Unputdownable”


* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

HOW I RATE THE COMICS VIA THE ALAN MOORE SCALE
*****     Watchmen, Miracleman, V For Vendetta
****      From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Fashion Beast, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first two series)
***        Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**         Promethea
*           LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD (or lower) any of his non-comics stuff

1. Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #2 (Image, 2015) *****
Writer/artist: Bob Fingerman
2. Sticky Nonsense (Square Peg, 2012) *****
Writer/Artist: John Ken Mortensen
Post-it notes seem so innocent, but not in the hands of this Danish artist, who creates tiny horrific images torn from the nightmares of Maurice Sendak and HP Lovecraft.
3. Delusional (AdHouse Books, 2013) *****
Writer/Artist: Farel Dalrymple
Assorted bibs and bobs from my favourite alternative artist. Delightfully unsettling.
4. Sauce Or Mustard? (Angus and Robertson, 1951) ****
Writer/Artist: Emile Mercier
One of Australia’s most idiosyncratic comic book artists of the 1940s became a regular newspaper gag cartoon writer in the 1950s. While his art is great, some of the jokes don’t translate well to my 21st century tastes. I scored this book cheap in a second-hand store near Albury-Wodonga, which makes me pretty happy.
5. Everything Is Teeth (Knopf, 2015) ****
Writer: Evie Wyld/Artist: Joe Sumner
A poignant reminisce about summers in Australia and the fear of sharks. And also what a dick “shark hunter” Vic Hislop was.
6.-37. Irredeemable Vols. 3-10 (BOOM!, 2009-12) ****¾
- originally published in Irredeemable #9-37, Irredeemable Special #1, Incorruptible #25-26 (BOOM!, 2009-12)
Writer: Mark Waid/Artists: Diego Barreto, Peter Krause & friends
38. Doc Weird’s Thrill Book! #2 (Pure Imagination, 1987) **
Writers/Artists: Wally Wood & friends
Late 1940s/early 1950s sci-fi and war reprints from smaller publishing houses. The fact that it features early Wood art is the only thing to recommend this comic.
39.-46. Incorruptible Vols. 2 & 3 (BOOM!, 2010) ****
- originally published in Incorruptible #5-12 (BOOM!, 2010)
Writer: Mark Waid/Artists: Horatio Domingues & Juan Castro (Vol. 2); Horatio Domingues & Juan Castro & Michael Babinski, Marcio Takara (Vol. 3)
The flipside to Irredeemable sees Max Damage, one of the world’s worst super-villains turn good when faced with true evil in The Plutonian. It’s an intriguing tale about redemption and trying to do the right thing after years of NOT doing the right thing, but there’s something icky about cheering on a guy who was shagging an underage sidekick for years. Ewwwwww.
Also, having read Irredeemable, this series feels vaguely irrelevant now. I doubt I’ll pick up the last four volumes.

47. Totentanz (self-published, 2012-15) *****
Writer/artist: Marcel Ruijters
48. #takedown (Pikitia Press, 2015) ****½
Writer/artist: David Blumenstein
49. Good Dog Whiskey (self-published, 2014) ***¼
Writer/artist: K. Kobi
Reviews HERE.


50. The Standard #1 (Comix Tribe, 2013) ***½
Writer: John Lees/Artist: Jonathan Rector
Yet another “gritty” take on the superhero genre, but at least this one shows promise. The Standard was the first superhero, but when he retired, his sidekick took over the role. Now, The Standard is a reality TV star, endorsing perfumes and anything else on offer. And then he gets killed. Will the original Standard return to find his killer? Like I said, intriguing. Scottish-born Lees wrote the creepy and excellent And Then Emily Was Gone, so I have high hopes for this series. Rector’s art is patchy, depending on who he’s swiping from, but I’m here for the story, not the artwork. I’m tempted to contribute to Lees’ Kickstarter project and buy the swish hardcover version of the series.
51. Attack On Titan #1 (Kodansha Comics, 2010) ****
Writer/artist: Hajime Isayama
52.-56. The Sixth Gun: Days Of the Dead (Oni Press, 2015) ****
- originally published in The Sixth Gun: Days Of the Dead #1-5 (Oni Press, 2015)
Writers: Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt/Artist: Mike Norton
57.-62. Wytches Vol. 1 (Image, 2015) *****
- originally published in Wytches #1-6 (Image, 2015)
Writer: Scott Snyder/Artist: Jock
63. Comix Book #1 (Marvel/Curtis, 1974) **½
Writers/artists: various
64. Jeremy Brood: Relativity (Fantagor Press, 1982) ****
Writers: Jan Strnad & Richard Corben/Artists: Richard Corben (w/- Stan Dresser)
An extremely rare limited-edition hardcover fell into my possession for next to nix, so I finally reread this flawed sci-fi tale for the first time in 33 years. Love the art, but the story is unfinished, which is an amazing rip-off. A truncated conclusion appeared in Fantagor Presents years later. One day I’ll be able to afford to find out how this tale ends.
65.-66. Freaks #1-2 (Monster Comics, 1992) *****
Writer: Jim Woodring/Artist: F. Solano Lopez
A pitch-perfect adaptation of Tod Browning’s classic horror film. Beautifully illustrated by Lopez. Just about perfect.
67.-71. House Of Mystery Vol. 1: Room & Boredom (Vertigo, 2008) ****½
Writers: Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham/Artists: Luca Rossi & friends
72.-74. RASL Vol. 1: The Drift (Cartoon Books, 2008) ***½
- originally published in RASL #1-3 (Cartoon Books, 2008)
Writer/artist: Jeff Smith
Another classic Rachel Rising-style indie comic – great story, great art...took me 10 minutes to read three comics. I’m glad I picked this up for only $2.50 on eBay. I would’ve been pissed if I’d paid full price for this book.
75. Action Comics #591 (DC, 1987) ***½
Writer: John Byrne/Artists: John Byrne & Keith Williams

Classic Byrne work as he continued his innovative reinvention of Superman into a pretty cool character. Guest-starring the Legion Of Super-Heroes, Krypto and Superboy??? 

Wytches...extremely nasty.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kirby gets heavy

ART by Jack Kirby first commissioned by the CIA (!) in 1979 has finally been coloured and will appear in an upcoming issue of HEAVY METAL. Full story at:
http://io9.com/behold-the-psychedelic-glory-of-jack-kirbys-argo-art-i-1712647027

Saturday, June 13, 2015

KYE ep. 40: The lost art of comics zines


IN WHICH I talk about comics zines, including some classic ones from the 1970s and early 80s that I picked up for a buck apiece at Elizabeth's Bookshop on Pitt Street, Sydney.
I then segue into a review of the more notorious mid-90s comics zine/magazine Subliminal Tattoos, published by the infamous Robet Dupree (aka "KOOL Man"). Lots of sleazy commentary for your aural enjoyment.
You can download the 30-minute podcast HERE.





Monday, June 1, 2015

COMICS READING FOR MAY: “Hard times"



* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

HOW I RATE THE COMICS VIA THE ALAN MOORE SCALE
*****   Watchmen, Miracleman, V For Vendetta
****     From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Fashion Beast, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first two series)
***      Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**       Promethea
*         LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD (or lower) any of his non-comics stuff

1. Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #1 (Image, 2015) *****
Writer/artist: Bob Fingerman
It’s back and I am sooooooooooooooooo happy! Even if I DIDN’T win that damn competition Bob was running.
2. Nailbiter #12 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Joshua Williamson/Artist: Mike Henderson
3.-4. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4-5 (Marvel, 2015) *****
Writer: Ryan North/Artist: Erica Henderson
The unexpected best comic Marvel is producing this year.
5. Jupiter’s Circle #2 (Image, 2015) ****½
Writer: Mark Millar/Artists: Wilfredo Torres (interior); Frank Quitely (cover)
6. The Black Hood #3 (Dark Circle Comics, 2015) ****½
Writer: Duane Swierczynski/Artist: Michael Gaydos
7. The Fox #2 (Dark Circle, 2015) ***¾
Writers: Dean Haspiel & Mark Waid/Artist: Dean Haspiel
8. Chrononauts #3 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Sean Murphy
9. Copperhead #7 (Image, 2015) ***½
Writer: Jay Faerber/Artist: Scott Godlewski
10. Guardians 3000 #8 (Marvel, 2015) *
Writer: Dan Abnett/Artists: Nico Leon (interior); Gerardo Sandoval (cover)
So that’s it??? Eight issues and we’re done? And the only thing resolved is that this storyline was just some lame lead-in to Secret Wars? Fuck you, Marvel!
11. Rocket Racoon #11 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writer: Skottie Young/Artists: Jake Parker (interior); Skottie Young (cover)
And another Marvel series bites the dust, this one with more of a whimper than a bang. At least Marvels’ fuckery is saving me money in the long run.
12. God Hates Astronauts #8 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Ryan Browne/Artists: Jordan Boyd (interior); Ryan Browne (main covers)
13. Black Science #14 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Rick Remender/Artist: Matteo Scalera
14. Howard The Duck #2 Marvel, 2015) ****
Writer: Chip Zdarsky/Artist: Joe Quinones
15. Guardians Of The Galaxy #26 (Marvel, 2015) ***
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Artist: Valerio Schiti
I just don’t care anymore. Such a shame.
16.-17. Marvel Universe Guardians Of The Galaxy #3-4 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writers/artists: various
18. C.O.W.L. #10 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel/Artists: Rod Reis (interior), Trevor McCarthy (cover)
It’s sad to learn this is the penultimate issue. Seems quality writing and art doesn’t always save an Image title from cancellation.
19.-27. Neverwhere #1-9 (Vertigo, 2005-06) ****¾
Writers: Neil Gaiman (novel); Mike Carey (adaptation)/Artist: Glenn Fabry
A near-perfect comic version of Gaiman’s acclaimed novel.
28. Solo #5 (DC, 2005) *****
Writer/artist: Darwyn Cooke
I can’t get enough of Cooke’s retro art. And he’s not a bad writer either. So this special devoted to Cooke was a joy to read. Maybe he should try his hand at some Marvel characters one day.
29. Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly, 2015) ****¾
Writer/artist: Adrian Tomine
He takes years between issues, but it’s always worth the wait. Arguably, Killing And Dying – about a stuttering, untalented wannabe comedienne – is the best short story Tomine’s ever created. The only reason this issue loses a quarter star is the fact that when I pay more than $10 for a comic, I don’t want 4½ blank pages in the middle of a 42-page magazine! But I forgive Tomine his sins. I hope he makes lots of money from this comic to pay for his expanding family.
30.-31. Mind MGMT #32-33 (Dark Horse, 2015) ****½
Writer/artist: Matt Kindt


32.-61.Seven Soldiers Of Victory Vols. 1&2 (DC, 2011) ****¼
- originally published in Seven Soldiers Of Victory #0-1, Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Klarion The Witch Boy #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1-4 (DC, 2005-06)
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artists: various
After the clusterfuck that was The Multiversity, I’d lost faith in the magician. But reading this earlier, sweeping series starring a bunch of C-listers and reimagined B-listers made me a Morrison believer again. Sure, the tale is convoluted, confusing in parts and resolved in a way that I didn’t quite understand (with too many rabbits pulled out of too many arses for my liking), but damn! I enjoyed the ride.
Some of the miniseries were fantastic in their own right, particularly Klarion (creepily illustrated by Frazer Irving) and Frankenstein (strong, visceral artwork by Doug Mahnke). Other series didn’t do quite so well, but only the unnecessary reimagining of Mister Miracle failed to impress me.
All in all, a fine effort by Mr Morrison and friends, showing he can juggle multiple characters and complicated story arcs without disappearing up his own sphincter.
62. The Multiversity #2 (DC, 2015) ***
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Ivan Reis & friends
I have no fucking idea what happened here.
63. Velvet #10 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artist: Steve Epting
64.-65. Marvel Previews: Secret Wars #1-2 (Marvel, 2015) **½
Writers/artists: various
Here’s my not-so-secret message to Marvel. Go fuck yourselves.
66.-67 Stray Bullets: Sunshine And Roses #3-4 (Image, 2015) *****
Writer/artist: David Lapham


FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2015 (listen to my podcast about it HERE)
68. 2000AD (Rebellion) *****
Writers/artists: various
69. And Then Emily Was Gone #0 (Comix Tribe) *****
Emily writer: John Lees/Artists: Iain Laurie (interior); Ryan Stegman (cover)
Oxymoron writer: Tyler James/Artist: Alex Cormack
70. The Tick (NEC) ****
Writers: Jeff McClelland, Benito Cereno/Artists: Duane Redhead, Les McClaine
71. Comics Festival! 2015 (Toronto Comics Art Festival) ****
Writers/artists: various
72. Terrible Lizard (Oni Press) ***¼
Writer: Cullen Bunn/Artist: Drew Moss
73. Savage Dragon Legacy #1 (Image) **¾
Writer/artist: Erik Larsen
74. The Stuff Of Legend (Th3rd World Studios) **¼
Writers: Mike Raicht & Brian Smith/Artist: Charles Paul Wilson III
75. Dark Circle Comics (Dark Circle) **
Writers/artists: various
76. Legendary Comics (Legendary) *
Writers/artists: various
77. Secret Wars #0 (Marvel) *
Writers/artists: various
78. Avengers (Marvel) *
Writers/artists: various
79. Divergence (DC) *
Writers/artists: various
Fuck Marvel and DC.

80. Freaked (Hamilton Comics, 1993) **¼
Writers: John Clark & Gary Leach/Artist: Steve Stiles
I didn’t mind this cult film when it came to video – starring Alex Winter, the unsuccessful half of Bill & Ted – but this adaptation is pedestrian.
81. Fanboy #5 (DC, 1999) ***¼
Writer: Mark Evanier/Artists: Sergio Aragones & friends
I’m not a fan of Evanier’s writing and I gather he’s a bit of a dick in real life, but I love Aragones’ art and this particular issue of this odd miniseries is a hoot. A bunch of legendary Batman artists – including Dick Sprang, Neal Adams and Frank Miller – contribute two pages each as Fanboy Finster teams up with the Dark Knight in a wacky fantasy tale. Fun stuff.
82. The Worm (Slab-O-Concrete Publications, 1991, 1999) ***
Writers: Alan Moore (story); Jamie Delano, Steve Moore, Garth Ennis, Andrew Cartmel, Hilary Robinson (script); Artists: 125 British cartoonists, including Grant Bisley (cover), John Bolton, Charlie Adlard, Kevin O’Neill, Bryan Talbot, Glenn Fabry and Paul Grist
Add an introduction by Neil Gaiman and you have the greatest collection of British talent ever assembled in one venue for one cause. This was a fund-raiser held in 1991 to create “the longest comic strip in the world”, done to aid the Cartoon Art Trust.  Eight years later, more money was raised when the project was turned into this book. The story is kinda wish-fulfillment fantasy – the idea of the everyman cartoonist travelling through (and recording) history, being abused and exploited by big business, then breaking free to create a better world where cartoonists are exalted as gods. Weird, big-concept stuff...as you’d expect from Alan Moore. Its’ a patchy-but-worthy project.
83. Injection #1 (Image, 2015) **½
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: Declan Shalvey
More middling drivel from Ellis. Can do better.
84. Mythic #1 (Image, 2015) **
Writer: Phil Hester/Artist: John McCrea
A mythical version of Men In Black. Pedestrian and trying too had to be “quirky cool”. Give it a miss.

85. Retro Sci-fi Tales #2 (Dark Oz, 2015) ***½
Writers/artists: various
86. Decay #19 (Dark Oz, 2015) ****
Writers/artists: various
I’m always happy to support local comics if they’re good, and these two anthologies have much to recommend them. Retro Sci-fi Tales had plenty of lost dinosaurs, marooned astronauts and sexy moon babes to entertain me, my fave strip being “Marilyn On The Lost Planet” (written by Darren Koziol and drawn by good-girl artist extraordinaire Michal Dutkiewicz).
I don’t normally buy Decay, but this ish had me salivating as it brought back a ton of classic 80s Aussie characters, most written and drawn by their original creators. The Southern Squadron, Dark Nebula, Greener Pastures, Hairbutt The Hippo... A lot of fond teenage memories there.
These comics are full colour, published on high-quality paper and are well worth seeking out. You can buy them direct from www.darkoz.com.au.

87. Silver Surfer #11 (Marvel, 2015) ***¾
Writer: Dan Slott/Artist: Michael Allred
If this was the last issue of this run, then the series went out on a high. It will be missed.
88. Nameless #3 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Chris Burnham
89. Bitch Planet #4 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick/Artist: Robert Wilson IV
Naked women shower scenes! Boo-yah!
90. Deadly Class #12 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Rick Remender/Artist: Wes Craig
91.-102. Hard Time: 50 To Life & Hard Time: Sixteen (DC, 2004, 2012) *****
- originally published in Hard Time #1-12 (DC, 2004-05)
Writers: Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes (uncredited)/Artist: Brian Hurtt
This certainly wasn’t the last series Steve Gerber wrote before his untimely death in 2008, but it’s arguably his finest work (Howard The Duck, notwithstanding).
Ethan, 15, is sentenced to 50 years’ jail for a high school prank gone horribly wrong. He quickly makes plenty of enemies, including the Aryan Brotherhood and an insane fundamentalist Christian inmate. But Ethan has a secret – a powerful entity that lives within him that comes alive at night to do his violent bidding. This intense cross between TV’s Oz and DC’s own Johnny Thunder works incredibly well, mainly due to Gerber’s funny, powerful dialogue. Thankfully, he doesn’t write in that exhausting purple prose he used at Marvel in the 1970s. The writing here is more subtle, nuanced and, dare I say it, realistic. Hurtt’s artwork is great (as always). This is a hidden gem of a series that deserves more consideration from fans and critics. It’s tragic that Gerber was still peaking as a writer before he passed away. He deserves to be remembered for more than just a talking duck.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

QUICK ZINE REVIEW: Catwoman 75


BATMAN'S biggest love interest and one of his most fascinating foes/allies, Catwoman, is 75 years old this year. But, for some strange reason, DC isn't celebrating the occasion.
So Jennifer Wu decided to do something about it by putting out her own zine, Catwoman 75, which a friend bought at the recent zine fair at Sydney's MCA.
It's a brief read (mainly drawings in the 24-page B&W A5 zine), but I liked the look of it (not surprising considering Jen's a graphic designer by trade).
If you want to pick up your own copy...well, good luck. This was a limited run of 30 copies, but Jen may have a few spares floating around.
Contact her by heading to www.jenniferwu.com.au or email her at hullo@jenniferwu.com.au.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

KIRBY YOUR ENTHUSIASM, ep. 39: "Not crossovers, just cross"

IN WHICH Dann discusses how Marvel and DC drove him into the arms of Image courtesy of their endless, pointless crossovers and "big events".
He then gives a belated summary of his Free Comic Book Day scores earlier this month.
It's a touch over 30 minutes of comicy goodness and it can be downloaded HERE



Monday, May 11, 2015

COMICS READING FOR APRIL: “Hot-blooded”



* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

HOW I RATE THE COMICS VIA THE ALAN MOORE SCALE
*****   Watchmen, Miracleman, V For Vendetta
****     From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Fashion Beast, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first two series)
***      Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**       Promethea
*         LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD (or lower) any of his non-comics stuff

1.-2 Children Of Fire #1-2 (Caliber Press, 1993) **¼
Writer/Artist: Brian Michael Bendis
Bendis is clearly a better writer than an artist.
3. Eating Raoul (Mercury Film, 1982) ***
Writer/artist: Kim Deitch
This is an oddball tie-in to promote the bizarre indie comedy of the same name. I remember seeing the first chapter published in Heavy Metal. The story is pretty damn strange and I’m tempted to track down the movie now, especially as it stars one of my fave actrines Mary Woronov.
4.-21. Vampirella Crimson Chronicles Maximum Vol. 1 (Harris, 2008) **½
- originally published in Vampirella #1-2, 8-9, 11-37 (Warren, 1969-74)
Writers/artists: various (interior); Jim Silke (cover)
I’m not sure why I bought this B&W collection...probably ’cos it was selling cheap on Lone Star. I went into reading this book with some trepidation as I always considered Vampirella a badly written T&A horror series. It certainly kicks off that way with the goofy introduction stories written by Forrest J. Ackerman. But once Archie Goodwin comes on board, the storyline kicks into gear and the quality of writing improves dramatically with the alien bloodsucker Vampi battling the evil Cult Of Chaos, whose members worship a demonic bible known as the Crimson Chronicles. Vampi is aided by a drunken magician called Pendragon and is pursued by relentless vampire killers Conrad and Adam Van Helsing. Goodwin’s strong scripts are brought to life by Jose Gonzalez’ exquisite artwork. His splash panels of our scantily clad heroine each issue are beautiful and he gives the supporting cast real character. Goodwin ties in Vampi with the Dracula mythology, then turns it on its head by having a newly-brought-back-to-life Drac repent for his past sins and try to be good. It’s an interesting journey as he tries to mend his evil ways, but keeps failing. Goodwin’s departure from the strip sees the quality of storytelling plummet, particularly the run of Flaxman Loew, who dumps the Van Helsings and reduces Pendragon to a drunken bum cracking bad puns. Even Vampirella’s ongoing struggle not to kill people for their blood – which gave her a noble, tragic quality – is summarily dismissed by Loew, who has Vampi killing bad guys willy-nilly. It’s a complete destruction of Goodwin’s carefully laid foundations and helps leave a sour note as this collection comes to an end. Only the artwork of Gonzales (and later Jose Ortiz) salvages something from the godawful scripts. Goodwin’s return to the helm in the final few pages gives hope that Vampirella was set to return to its former glory. But as it’s unlikely I’ll never pick up Volume 2, I guess that will have to remain a mystery to me.

22.-27. Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1: The Tomorrow People (Marvel, 2001) ***¼
- originally published in Ultimate X-Men #1-6 (Marvel, 2000-01)
Writer: Mark Millar/Artists: Adam & Andy Kubert, Art Thibert, Danny Miki
28.-34. Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1: Power And Responsibility (Marvel, 2002) ***½  
- originally published in Ultimate Spider-Man #1-7 (Marvel, 2000-02)
Writer: Bill Jemas & Brian Michael Bendis/Artists: Mark Bagley, Art Thibert, Dan Panosian
Someone once said that the origin of Spider-Man was told by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 in 12 pages. Bendis and Jemas take SEVEN ISSUES to reach the same spot – welcome to 21st century comic book storytelling. But it’s still kinda fun to go on the journey.
Not the same for Millar’s flawed take on the X-Men. The most annoying subplot in his uneven book is the fact that Cyclops is a turncoat who betrays the X-Men’s peaceful principles, joins forces with Magneto’s terrorist organisation and is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds (if not thousands) of people. Yet all is forgiven and he’s allowed to rejoin the X-Men at the end of this arc. Stupid! That said, the terrorism angle and post-terror attack clampdown on ordinary people’s civil liberties is ominous when you think this was written before 9/11. Mutants are openly hunted by Sentinels approved by the Federal Government. Replace the word “mutant” with “Muslim” and you have a chilling prophecy of the post-9/11 western world. That said, this book isn’t one of Millar’s finest moments.

35.-36. The New 52: Future’s End #47-48 (DC, 2015) ***½
Writers/artists: various
Wait...wait...I got through 48 issues...four friggin’ months...and the series ends...exactly where it started? With nothing resolved?! Fuck you, DC!!!
37. Guardians 3000 #6-7 (Marvel, 2015) ****
Writer: Dan Abnett/Artists: Nico Leon (interior); Alex Ross (#6 cover); Gerardo Sandoval (#7 cover)
38. The Black Hood #2 (Dark Circle Comics, 2015) ****½
Writer: Duane Swierczynski/Artist: Michael Gaydos
39. Gonzo (Abrams ComicArts, 2010, 2012) ****
Writer: Will Bingley/Artist: Anthony Hope-Smith
A cracking biography that inspired me to seek out more of Hunter S. Thompson’s work (on film and in written form).
40.-41. Stratu’s Diary Comix (self-published, 2015)
Writer/artist: Stratu
Read my thoughts about this comic HERE.
42. Secret Identities #3 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writers: Jay Faerber & Brian Joines/Artist: Ilias Kyriazis
43. Copperhead #6 (Image, 2015) ***½
Writer: Jay Faerber/Artist: Scott Godlewski
44. Revival #29 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Tim Seeley/Artist: Mike Norton (interior); Jenny Frison (cover)
45. The Fade Out #5 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artist: Sean Phillips 
46. Jupiter’s Circle #1 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Mark Millar/Artists: Wilfredo Torres (interior); Frank Quitely (cover)
A first part of this lovely 1950s noir tale serves as an excellent prelude to Jupiter’s Legacy. The retro art of Torres is a joy.
47. The Fox #1 (Dark Circle, 2015) ***¾
Writers: Dean Haspiel & Mark Waid/Artist: Dean Haspiel
48. Chrononauts #2 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Sean Murphy
49. Howard The Duck #2 Marvel, 2015) ****½
Writer: Chip Zdarsky/Artists: Joe Quinones & Joe Rivera
50. Kaijumax #1 (Oni Press, 2015) ****¼
Writer/artist: Zander Cannon
Godzilla meets Oz. Very frightening. Very good. The scene where the monster prison inmates are working out using gym equipment that resembles cities (to crush) or ships (for lifting) was very clever.
51. Guardians Team-Up #4 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writer: John Layman/Artist: Otto Schmidt

52. Guardians Of The Galaxy #25 (Marvel, 2015) ***
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Artist: Valerio Schiti
53. Legendary Star-Lord #10 (Marvel, 2015) ***
Writer: Sam Humphries/Artists: Paco Medina & Juan Vlasco  
I am so over The Black Vortex crossover.

54. Guardians Of The Galaxy: Best Story Ever (Marvel, 2015) ***
Writer: Tim Seeley/Artists: Reilly Brown, Iban Coello & Jacopo Camagni
It wasn’t.
55. Rocket Racoon #10 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writer: Skottie Young/Artists: Jake Parker (interior); Skottie Young (cover)
56.-57. Bedlam #10-11 (Image, 2013-14) ***
Writer: Nick Spencer/Artists: Ryan Browne (interior); Frazer Irving (cover)
58.-59. Arthur Suydam’s Demon Dreams (Pacific, 1984) ***¼
Writer/artist: Arthur Suydam
60. Intense! #2 (Pure Imagination, 1993) ***
Writer/artist: Basil Wolverton
B&W reprints of public domain Wolverton stories from the 1940s and 50s. Fun stuff.
61. God Hates Astronauts #7 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Ryan Browne/Artists: Jordan Boyd (interior); Ryan Browne (main covers)
62. Black Science #13 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Rick Remender/Artist: Matteo Scalera
63. The Multiversity: Ultra Comics (DC, 2015) ***
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Doug Mahnke & friends
What? The? Fuck????
64. The Woods #12 (BOOM!, 2015) ***
Writer: James Tynion IV/Artist: Michael Dialynas
65. Southern Bastards #7 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Jason Aaron/Artist: Jason Latour
66. Gotham By Midnight #5 (DC, 2015) ****½
Writer: Ray Fawkes/Artist: Ben Templesmith
67. Dream Police #6 (Image, 2015) ***½
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski/Artist: Sid Kotian
68.-69. Justice League #32-33 (DC, 2014) ***½
Writer: Geoff Johns/Artists: Doug Mahnke & Heith Champagne
The Doom Patrol joins the New 52. And Lex Luthor joins the Justice League. Intriguing. Pity it all means nothing now that DC is rebooting (again) for Convergence and Divergence.