Moon Knight #1 Review

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Moon Knight #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

Moon Knight returns to protect those who travel at night with the launch of Moon Knight #1, Marvel’s brand new ongoing series from writer Jed MacKay (Black Cat) and artist Alessandro Cappuccio (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). As the first Khonshu Moon Knight has a sworn duty to uphold, this time with a slightly revised mission, and even some creatures of the night will earn protection in the Moon Knight’s dominion.

Marc Spector’s night time crusade continues apace as people seek out help for the horrors lurking in the twilight hours of their neighbourhoods from the mysterious Mr Knight at his Midnight Mission HQ. The Moon Knight prowls the rooftops and alleyways marked with his crescent moon symbol, dealing out violence and retribution to anyone, or anything, foolish enough to harm those under his protection. 

Moon Knight #1 hits the ground running and doesn’t let up for a moment as writer Jed MacKay deftly establishers a fresh take on Marvel’s most uncompromisingly complex hero. The focus on Marc Spector’s dissociative identity disorder and the numerous guises he uses to carry out his righteous mission are refreshingly underplayed, instead MacKay skilfully utilises the fascinating therapy sessions between Moon Knight and his therapist to meld exposition and narrative into a cohesive whole. Along with his therapist, Marc also shares a close bond with Reese who helps run the Midnight Mission, there are villains like 8-Ball and Vermin to contend with as well, and a strange new Doctor running the free clinic. Events also see Moon Knight inadvertently end up saving creatures of the night in this issue as well. This is the key factor that ends up putting Moon Knight at odds with other followers of Khonshu who hold an even darker interpretation of their god – Khonshu. 

The dark, noirish look of Moon Knight #1 is beautiful rendered by artist Alessandro Cappuccio, every scene is rich with atmosphere and dynamic page layouts, and color artist Rachelle Rosenberg uses a subtle mix of moody tones and swarthy shadows to heighten the books visuals even further. Action sequences are bold and in-your-face, with Moon Knight crashing through car windscreens, going toe-to-toe with adversaries in dark streets and corridors, and gliding down over the city to champion those in need. It is the conversations between Moon Knight and his therapist that really steal the show, however. There’s a distinct ‘Hannibal’ like vibe to these sequences, they draw you deeper into the story, and form many of the most compelling moments in the issue.

While all the familiar tropes we’ve come to expect from the character are apparent in Moon Knight #1, Jed MacKay does put a very clever spin on everything, and we can only hope what follows lives up to the potential set up in this first issue. There’s a lot here for longterm Moon Knight fans to enjoy, and the brief flashback to the characters origin ensures newcomers are also catered for as well. Marvel has also churned out a plethora of variant covers for Moon Knight #1 so I’m sure fans and variant cover collectors alike will be over the moon about that. A Hunter’s Moon is rising in this new Moon Knight comic book series and I’m excited to see where MacKay takes the story and the character of Marc Spector next. With all the hype around Moon Knight and the new TV series starring Oscar Isaac coming to Disney Plus in 2021, this new Moon Knight comic series is sure get spark a lot of interest in the character, and this issue certainly gets everything off to a great start.

Publisher Marvel Comics

Writer Jed MacKay / Artist Alessandro Cappuccio

Color Artist Rachelle Rosenberg / Letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Cover Artists Steve McNiven & Frank D’Armata

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1 Review

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Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

Legacies of the past and the future entwine as one in DC Comics Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1, as writer Philip Kennedy Johnson revisits Future State’s House of El as   Superman’s descendants of tomorrow face a threat established during the yesteryear of the present.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Future State for me was Philip Kennedy Johnson’s one-shot that explored the distant future of the House of El, where the legacy of the Man of Steel had merged with numerous other heroes and legacies of DC universe, and the despot villain  Prythos (Kal El’s fallen son) wished to tear down everything that his family’s heroic dynasty stands for. This special Action Comics Annual ties-in broadly with Johnson’s current “Warworld Rising” arc in Action Comics, the issue opens in the near future where a mysterious old man is telling a group of children a tale of heroes from their own future. Events then flash forward to a time of great prosperity and hope for the House of El, where Superwoman, Lady Kara Zor El, is presiding over a wedding in the House of El, but before the nuptials can be completed Prythos gatecrashes the ceremony. It falls to Brandon Kent, the Superman of this era, to protect his family and save the next generation of the House of El from the menace of Prythos – killer of Darksied and the new Highfather of Apokolips!

Philip Kennedy Johnson delivers a welcome return to the empire of the House of El which he established in Future State, and this Annual sets up a wealth of possibilities for the both the future and the present of the DCU. Tales of the House of El takes the wedding backdrop and turns it into a thrilling all-out action adventure, one laced with heartfelt emotion, a perilous voyage through the Phantom Zone, the surprise return of an old Superman villain, and there’s even a hint of redemption in the air as the story races to get to the church on time for its joyous final act.

The artwork by Siya Oum and Scott Godlewski provides us with dynamic realisation of the richly textured narrative. From the gleaming opulence of the Sanctuary to the chilling vistas of the Phantom Zone, the characters are stylishly defined, and the action sequences impressively rendered throughout. Hi-Fi’s colours are, as always, of a high standard, and every scene is awash with vibrant hues that perfectly accentuates the fine detail of Oum and Godlewski’s work.

I throughly enjoyed this exciting sojourn back to the Future State era of the House of El portrayed in Superman Action Comics Annual 2021. Whether the open-ended nature of much of what transpires in this issue will actually impact or influence Philip Kennedy Johnson’s Action Comics run, of course, remains to be seen. I for one sincerely hope these plot threads and characters are revisited again at some point. Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1 is a beautifully crafted story, one where a child’s toy becomes a treasured relic and the future personification of the fundamental  legacy of the House of El itself… hope.

Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson

Artist Siya Oum & Scott Godlewski

Colorist Hi-Fi / Letterer Dave Sharpe

Cover Scott Godlewski & Gabe Eltaeb

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

New Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Official Trailer!

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Check out the brand new trailer for Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”! Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Daniel Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as Wenwu/The Mandarin, Awkwafina as Katy, Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon, Fala Chen as Jiang Li and Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist. The film arrives in theaters Sept. 3..

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

SPAWN’S UNIVERSE #1 Review

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Spawn’s Universe #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

A bold new era for Spawn and Image Comics begins with Spawn’s Universe #1, an epic 68 page one-shot written by Todd McFarlane, that sees the official introduction to the hotly anticipated expansion of  the Spawn Universe. The world and mythology of Spawn is about to be changed forever. Spawn’s Universe #1 answers age old questions, introduce new heroes, new villains, and paves the way for three brand new ongoing Spawn titles: King Spawn, Gunslinger Spawn, and The Scorched!

From the ominous opening moments through to the action-packed set-pieces, Spawn’s Universe #1 doesn’t hold back, and Todd McFarlane’s tautly plotted script hardly lets up the pace for a moment. Hell’s Throne is empty, and with all the Dead Zone portals in lockdown, Demons and Angels cannot enter or leave the world of man. Those creatures who remain, most of them disguised in human form, are now trapped, and Spawn isn’t pulling any punches in his search for answers from them! With the seismic shock waves spreading around the globe, the narrative becomes interwoven with a thinly veiled social-political commentary as the worlds media debate the crisis, and with Marc’s help Spawn is able to ascertain that Omega Spawn didn’t die after all.

Spawn decides to go on the offensive and strikes back at the demonic factions that have united and now reside on the island where he defeated Omega Spawn. McFarlane uses Spawn’s World #1’s huge scope to send the plot and numerous character into overdrive as Angels and Demons vie for power, new villains Jericho and the Disruptor enter the fray, and Gunslinger Spawn joins forces with Spawn against their mutual enemies!

The three excellent back-up stories by Todd McFarlane in Spawn’s Universe #1 all feed into the narrative of main the storyline. Of them all, Medieval Spawn’s tale is the one that ties-in closest to the central plot of the issue. There is of course plenty of bombastic action as Medieval Spawn confronts a powerful sorcerer, but it’s also a showdown that hints at a far darker connection between past and present than we could’ve possibly imagined. The second story explores the character of She-Spawn and the secret which motivates her to be perhaps the most dedicated Spawn of all. This actually turns out to be the most moving and emotional story of this double-sized issue. Finally we have a brooding interlude with Gunslinger Spawn, a grisly tale which unfolds across four seasons, where the fearsome Gunslinger Spawn must claw his way back from a face-off (quite literally) with his arch enemies. Each of these stories bring something fresh to the table and collectively forge a place of their own in the new Spawn Universe.

McFarlane has assembled some fantastic artistic talent for Spawn Universe #1, with Jim Cheunng (main story), Brett Booth (Gunslinger), Stephen Segovia (Medieval), and Marcio Takara (She-Spawn), with inks by Adelso Corona and Tod McFarlane, and colors by FCO Plascencia, Andrew Dalhouse, and Peter Steigerwald. While I’m not usually a fan of multiple artist on a single issue, artistically their styles differ very slightly, and overall they complement each other really well. The main story is a fantastic showcase for Jim Cheunng, with chilling intrigue brewing from the outset, Spawn at his ruthless best as his quest for information intensifies, and Spawn and Cy-Gor charging into battle on the island are all just a few of the many highlights of the primary story-arc. Stephen Segovia turns in some fittingly titanic battle scenes between Medieval Spawn and a dragon riding sorcerer, while Marcio Takara’s She-Spawn faces an emotive tale of sacrifice and devotion, but its is Brett Booth’s richly atmospheric Gunslinger Spawn that almost totally steals the show out from everyone with a powerful flashback to Gunslinger’s shattering defeat and terrifying rebirth. 

Spawn Universe #1 is a momentous historical landmark in the mythology of the Spawn saga.  With a plethora of ongoing mysteries, a key piece of Cogliostro’s puzzle falling into place, the fate and roles of friends and foes alike are all caught up the swirling maelstrom of an unholy baptism at sea, and the impact of these events will no doubt reverberate for years to come. With three back-up stories accentuating the action Spawn Universe #1 is both a fan-pleasing extravaganza and the perfect jumping on point for newcomers. The world of Spawn just got a whole lot bigger and it certainly looks like we are in for one Hell of a ride!

Writer Todd McFarlane

Artists Jim Cheunng / Brett Booth / Stephen Segovia / Marcio Takara 

Inks Adelso Corona & Tod McFarlane

Colors FCO Plascencia / Andrew Dalhouse / Peter Steigerwald.

Lettering Tom Orzechowski / Andworld Design

Cover Artists J. Scott CaTodmpbell / Brett Booth / Todd McFarlane

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

BATMAN REPTILIAN #1 REVIEW

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Batman Reptilian #1

Review by Paul Bowler

A terrifying new monster stalks the darkest monsters of Gotham in Batman Reptilian #1,  DC Comics chilling new six-part Black Label series from the all-star team of writer Gareth Ennis and artist Liam Sharp. Batman used to be the most frightening thing in Gotham. Now something less than human lurks in the shadows, inflicting fear, and blood-curdling violence against the Dark Knight’s infamous Rogues gallery…

In this bone-chilling first chapter of Batman Reptilian: Quick and Dirty, writer Gareth Ennis crafts a bleak and gritty tale interwoven with an almost palpable sense of dread. The opening scenes with Batman meeting out his own brand of justice to a boxing champion who is just as handy with his fists outside the ring as he is in it, immediately sets the tone for this more downtrodden and uglier take on Gotham to what we are used to seeing in the mainstream Batman books. From here Ennis sets the Dark Knight on a path that will see him investigating a horrific  attack that spilled out from of a clandestine gathering of some of Batman’s most nefarious foes. The low-tech means Batman employs to uncover what happened during the ensuing bloodbath which followed this gathering is refreshing, to say the least, and the graphic account of events is genuinely stomach churning.

Every brooding, creepy moment of Batman Reptilian is impressively relayed by the gorgeous painted artwork by Liam Sharp. If you thought his work on Green Lantern Season 1 & 2 was out of this world, then you are in for a real treat here is well! Sharp’s depiction of the Dark Knight’s world is truly stunning, Gotham is a noirish rainswept metropolis of ebony shadows and Gothic menace. Batman’s presence is as indistinguishable as the night itself, brutally in-your-face, unflinching and striking dread into the hearts of criminals wherever he appears — quite literally in most instances. Horror is splattered with liberal abandon by Sharp throughout, brining a psychedelic quality to the Rogues gallery of villains, and the gruesome carnage they endure is visceral in the extreme.

The simple premise of having someone, or something, that’s able to strike more fear than. Batman into the hearts of those who terrorise the upper echelons of Gotham’s villains is brilliantly effective — both narratively and visually. Yet for all this issues heady mix of brutality and gore, its the things you don’t see that actually ends up being more terrifying, and none perhaps more so than that sublime final jump moment! If you like your Batman dark and grim, well, Batman doesn’t get much darker than this! Batman Reptilian has taken a long journey to reach the page, originally being written more than five years ago for the late Steve Dillon. Gareth Ennis eventually brought the story to life with the help of Dillon’s friend, artist Liam Sharp, and now this highly anticipated project has finally come to fruition. With its eerily macabre writing from Gareth Ennis and hauntingly stylish art by Liam Sharp, Batman Reptilian #1 is everything we could’ve hoped for, and it sets up a compelling mystery that’s sure to keep us all guessing every grisly step of the way.

Publisher DC Comics

Writer Gareth Ennis

Artist, colorist, and cover artist Liam Sharp

Letterer Rob Steene

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

FUTURE STATE GOTHAM #2 REVIEW

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Future State Gotham #2

Review by Paul Bowler

Jason Todd vows to carry out justice in Future State Gotham #2, no matter what the cost! As Gotham reels from a devastating tragedy Red Hood finds himself newly promoted to the rank of Peacekeeper Red in the Magistrate’s regime. With the Next Batman seemingly responsible for the attack, Jason must bring down this new Dark Knight, but he’s got to get past Nightwing and the rest of the Bat-Family first!

Writers Joshua Williamson and Demis Culver have taken the dark concept of a Gotham City run by the Magistrate’s cybernetically enhanced Peacekeepers, established during DC Comics Future State event, and elevated it to a whole new level with this Future State Gotham series. Having sided with the Magistrate to hunt down outlawed superheroes, Future State Gotham #2 has Jason Todd struggling with a crisis of conscience as his role as Peacekeeper Red brings his betrayal of the Bat-Family to the fore and forces him to fight his former allies.

Battle lines are drawn, emotions run high, and not everything is as black-and white as we’ve been led to believe by Williamson and Culver. Jason Todd’s methods and actions have always made him something of a divisive character, and never more so than here in Death by the Family. Jason seems at loggerheads with everyone and everything in this issue. Theres a brooding sense of cross and double cross as the narrative unfolds, which in turn leads to some great character beats, and even a surprise revelation when Red Hood’s secret ally finally emerges from the shadows.

The Akiria themed artwork by Giannis Milonogiannis stylishly captures the frenetic action and pace of the issue. Action flows seamlessly from one scene to the next, with the with roof-top face-off between Jason and the rest of the Bat-Family and a high-octane dash to Blackgate which culminates in a showdown with the Next Batman all just some of the many visual highlights in this issue. I’ve always been a fan of black and white artwork like this in comics, and I think it suits the Cyberpunk tone of Future State Gotham perfectly. 

Along with the major plot elements that begin slotting into place during this issue, which in turn gives a whole new context to Jason’s mission and indeed the series as a whole, there’s also a great back up story The Cavalry featuring the Next Batman by writer John Ridley and artist Oliver Coipel to enjoy. With its intricate storyline, strong characterisation and great art Future State Gotham #2 continues to impress with a striking Neo-futuristic take on the Dark Knight’s world and legacy.

Publisher DC Comics

Writers Joshua Williamson and Denis Culver

Art Giannis Milonogiannis

Lettered by Aly’s Troy Peteri

Cover Ladronn

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

THE SWAMP THING #4 REVIEW

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The Swamp Thing #4

Review by Paul Bowler.

Finding themselves still trapped in the realm of the Green, Levi’s and Jennifer’s psychedelic voyage continues in The Swamp Thing #4 as DC Comics ten-part maxi-series from writer Ram V and artist Mike Perkins delves further into Levi Kamei’s origins as the new Swamp Thing.

It is with Swamp Thing #4 that writer Ram V finally begins to hint at the events surrounding Levi’s  transformation into Swamp Thing and what happened on his trip to India to visit his dying father. Separated after the MRI scan Levi underwent to better understand his mysterious transformations into the Swamp Thing, Jenifer’s journey through the darker depths of the Green with the Floronic Man begin to take a sinister turn, while as Swamp Thing, Levi receives some unexpected help from a former avatar of the Green, Alec Holland. After the bizarre interactions with the dual aspects of Poison Ivy last issue, Levi gains far greater insight into the Green with Holland’s guidance, with his role as the new Swamp Thing, along with the cause of the contagion ravaging the Green, and the uncanny schism in which it entwines Levi’s origin as the new avatar of the Green all beginning to fall into place. Ram V cultivates an intricate balance of plot and dialogue throughout the issue. The meeting between Levi and Alec Holland is a masterclass in writing, and the revelations it brings will have you hanging on every word.

Likewise, the gorgeous artwork by Mike Perkins and luscious colors by Mike Spicer are every bit as enchanting as the narrative. We are treated to some truly spectacular vistas as Levi and Jenifer explore the Green, encountering denizens that prove to be both friend and foe, along with startling depictions of the magical and terrifying power which Swamp Thing must learn to embrace lest this seed of contagion spread to our world. This veritable tour de force of wonder and horror Perkins and Spicer craft is absolutely spellbinding, its peppered with memories from across the ages, glimmers of Levi’s past become juxtaposed with the pollination of life and consciousness, and there’s even an epic face-off with the proto-myth of first avatar which Swamp Thing has to confront as well to obtain his evergreen Nirvana. 

My Green Amaranthine Part 2 sows seeds of knowledge and foresight as Levi’s quest of self discovery comes full circle. Not everything in this issue is quite as it seems either as reality, memory and myth collide as one. Poison Ivy’s role this issue, though fleeting, is still crucial to the plot. There’s a reckoning with an old foe as well, and Jennifer’s frightening first encounter with Alex as Swamp Thing leaves Levi pondering over the terrible cost it might have on their friendship. There’s also an atmospheric coda to round off the issue that sets the stage for the two-part crossover event between Swamp Thing and Suicide Squad in August. This maxi-seres continues to go from strength to strength. With the brilliant writing and scripting from Ram V and the incredible art by Mike Perkins, Swamp Thing #4 is another enthralling chapter in this new era of Swamp Thing!

Publisher DC Comics

Writer Ram V / Artist Mike Perkins

Colorist Mike Spicer / Letterer Aditya Bidikar

Cover Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Publisher Image Comics

Writer Tod McFarlane

Art Carlo Barber / Colors Jay David Ramos & Andrew Dalhouse

Lettering Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Tod McFarlane, Bjorn Barends, Tonton Revolver

SPAWN #318 Review

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Spawn #318

Review by Paul Bowler

The cusp of a new era beckons with Spawn #318 as Tod McFarlane’s ambitious plan to expand the Spawn universe is set in motion. Everything that McFarlane has established since Spawn #300 has acted as a catalyst of sorts to prepare for this moment, and Spawn #318 diligently prepares the ground work for the debut of the new Spawn Universe with a special one-shot in June before Spawn’s world gets even bigger with the launch of three new monthly titles later in 2021.

Spawn #318 follows on directly from the titanic showdown on the island between Spawn, Medieval Spawn, Plague Spawn, and their dreaded adversary — the hulking Omega Spawn! As the dust settles over that battle Medieval Spawn helps the weakened Spawn return to his hideout so he can recover his strength. While the action is somewhat low-key McFarlane makes up for it with a wealth of strong characterisation as She-Spawn confronts Medieval Spawn, while Spawn tries to assess everything that happened on the island and deduce where all the new Hell Spawn’s originated from. There’s also the burning question of why Medieval Spawn has suddenly allied himself with Spawn after they’d previously been at each others throats to address, and the discovery of Marc’s unsettling blackout while Spawn was busy fighting Omega Spawn on the island adds another compelling mystery into the mix as well.

The art by Carlo Barber brings a stylised revamp to the whole look of Spawn’s world, one that harkens back to the original look of the series, but with a dynamic modern slant. Barber puts the characters front and centre, utilising every nuance of the exposition heavy plot to craft some intense character defining moments, with Jay David Ramos and Andrew Dalhouse colors brining vibrant clarity to each scene, and the result is an issue that’s every bit as engrossing to look at as it is to read.

Although its practically all set-up for what’s to come, Spawn #318’s powerful narrative and compelling story makes it must for fans and a relatively good jumping on point for new readers as well. Its 28 years since Spawn was unleashed on world by Tod McFarlane during that first year of Image Comics formation. The character has been an unparalleled success and is still going strong. So much so that McFarlane’s vision is now finally branching out with the launch of a new shared Spawn universe, kicking off in June with the hotly anticipated one-shot Spawn’s Universe #1, followed by three new ongoing titles, with King Spawn (starting in August) that will be a companion book to the original Spawn series, then in October we have Gunslinger Spawn #1, and finally a super-hero team book The Scorched in December.  2021 is certainly proving to be a big year for Spawn and Image Comics with the debut of the Spawn-Verse, there’s so much to look forward to, and I’m really excited to see how it all develops — especially Gunslinger Spawn with its tales of both a modern day and western era Gunslinger character!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Publisher Image Comics

Writer Tod McFarlane

Art Carlo Barber / Colors Jay David Ramos & Andrew Dalhouse

Lettering Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Tod McFarlane, Bjorn Barends, Tonton Revolver

FUTURE STATE GOTHAM #1 Review

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Future State Gotham #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

Spinning out of the success of DC Comics Future State event comes Future State Gotham, an all-new ongoing series featuring former Robin Jason Todd: AKA the Red Hood. When a disaster strikes Gotham, all evidence points towards Tim Fox, The Next Batman, and Red Hood soon finds himself enlisted by the Magistrate’s totalitarian regime to hunt down this new Dark Knight.

Following the aftermath of events in Future State, Gotham is still run by a private Police force controlled by a mysterious figure known only as the Magistrate, and the law is enforced by his ruthless Peacekeepers. Written by Joshua Williamson and Denis Culver, with art by Giannis Milonogiannis, Future State Gotham #1 kicks off with an action-packed face-off between Red Hood and the Ventriloquist who has unleashed a gigantic robotic version of Scarface on Jason Todd’s neighbourhood. 

Although costumed superheroes are outlawed in Gotham, Jason Todd has thrown in his lot with the Magistrate’s regime and works for them by hunting down the remaining heroes who dare defy the lockdown. Williamson delivers a fast paced issue, with Red Hood and Peacekeeper 3 teaming up to fight the Ventriloquist and Scarface, before a city-wide terrorist attack changes the landscape of Gotham forever. Jason is still reeling from the break-up with his on-off girlfriend, Ravager, there’s fraught clandestine meetings with former allies to contend with too, and a surprise  promotion that finds him tasked with tracking down the new Batman as Peacekeeper Red!

Giannis Milonogiannis’ Akira inspired artwork impressively captures the Cyberpunk look of this near-future Gotham. The battle with Robo-Scarface, sweeping vistas of Gotham in the wake of an explosive attack, and the debut of Jason Todd’s new costume as Peacekeeper Red are just some of the many standout moments in this first issue. I really like black and white artwork in comics — I think it adds a whole new dimension to the characters and gives the story a very dramatic, noirish feel. I also expect Milonogiannis’ Akira style line-work led to DC Comics deciding to reprint a 1996 Batman story by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo as the back-up story for Future State Gotham #1 as well.

Joshua Williamson, Denis Culver and Giannis Milonogiannis look set to craft a bold new direction for Red Hood and a thrilling continuation of Future State with this new series. Creatively it’s also very different from the usual Bat-Books, which I find both refreshing and exciting. Future State Gotham blends a stylish noir vibe with compelling action and is certainly going to one to watch in the months to come.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Publisher DC Comics

Writer Joshua Williamson and Denis Culver 

Art Giannis Milonogiannis

Lettered by Alw’s Troy Peteri

Cover Yasmine Putri

THE SWAMP THING #3 REVIEW

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The Swamp Thing #3 Review

Review by Paul Bowler.

Ram V’s and Mike Perkins new Swamp Thing ten part max-series has quickly become one of the major highlight of DC Comics Infinite Frontier initiative. The Swamp Thing #3 continues Levi Kamei’s dark journey of discovery as the new avatar of the Green following his battle with the Pale Wanderer. In a bid to understand the root cause of his frightening transformations Levi enlists the help of his friend, Jenifer Reece, while he undergoes an MRI scan which results in them both being unexpectedly transported into the Green…

“My Green Amaranthine” is an enchanting metaphysical voyage into the Green quite unlike anything we’ve seen before. Levi and Jennifer become separated after the MRI triggers a spore induced spirit quest down this proverbial rabbit hole to the Green, and writer Ram V heightens the psychedelic tone of the narrative further in their encounters with some of the realms bizarre denizens. Poison Ivy is perhaps the most intriguing of the characters Levi meets as Swamp Thing.  It seems she’s been split into to two personas that share a warped dynamic reminiscent of the relationship between the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. After a fragmenting chase Jennifer is saved by the Floronic Man, whose motives as yet remain unclear, and somewhat unsettling.

Mike Perkins artwork on this issue is phenomenal. The intricate, clinical detail of the MRI scans melds seamlessly with the ongoing narrative and mystery that has dogged Levi’s life since returning from his trip to India to visit his dying father and secure his family’s ancestral lands for Prescot Industries. His depiction of the Green is a veritable paradise of mystery, magic and beautiful vistas of rich flora and fauna. Perkins delivers a stunningly beautiful rendition of both aspects of Poison Ivy, with each of her personas shining through, the Floronic Man is ungainly and sinister, the hulking Woodewos feels more like a terrifying force of nature, and the throughout the extent of Levi’s journey colorist Mike Spicer ensures everything is awash with gorgeous tones and hues throughout. 

Although three issues in we are still really none the wiser about Levi’s origin as the new Swamp Thing, Ram V does go some way to brining everything into a sharper focus by transposing events through then prism of the Green for this issue. Fortunately there’s a familiar face waiting in the wings to help Levi understand what’s happening to him and the contagion spreading through the Green. With its intriguing storyline and outstanding art Ram V and Mike Perkins are knocking it out the park with this maxi-series. The Swamp Thing #3 is an enchanting voyage into the heart of the Green itself, and highly recommended. 

Publisher DC Conics

Writer Ram V / Artist Mike Perkins

Colorist Mike Spier / Letterer Aditya Bidikar 

Cover Mike Perkins & Mike Spicer

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook