Reyn #6 Review

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Reyn #6

Review by Paul Bowler

Having braved the depths of the Rift and infiltrated the Venn stronghold, Reyn, Seph, and the Followers of Teck uncovered the startling truth about the Land of Fate. Now in Reyn #6 the secret history of their fabled world is revealed at last. Reyn and Seph must learn to deal with the new reality they now face, but time is a luxury they don’t have, the Venn are readying their forces to attack, and soon tragedy will strike…

Reyn #6 expands the grand scope and scale of the Land of Fate like never before as this Image Comics fantasy series, written by Kel Symons (The Mercenary Sea), with art by Nate Stockman, colors by Paul Little, and lettering and Design by Pat Brosseau, sees Reyn, Seph, and their allies confronting the out-of-this-world revelations that have turned all of their lives upside down and shattered everything they once believed in.

Reyn #6 Cover

Following on from last issues Swords and Sorcery / Sci-Fi infused game changing cliff-hanger ending, Reyn #6 keeps the shocks and surprises coming for Reyn and Seph as the hidden past of the mysterious Land of Fate becomes inexorably entwined with the present. Kel Symons continues to build the suspense, Sephs father, Adon, faces some difficult questions which even he cannot fully answer, and even Reyn’s ethereal guide Aurora mistress of Light, is unsure how to explain what the Warden of Fate is actually seeing. However, once everyone calms down and the initial shock of what their true world is subsides, its Reyn’s common sense approach and wry outlook that get things back on track. Soon the full extent of the great cataclysm becomes clear, as the past unlocks the salvation of humanity and a mission tinged with hope, destiny, and fate…

Nate Stockmans artwork makes this issue an absolute joy to behold. The Sci-Fi and Fantasy elements all fuse seamlessly together with Symons intricate narrative to bring a whole new aspect to Reyn’s world. From the spectacular views into the great beyond past the view-port, to the moments of tension between the characters, it is the spectacular way Stockman illustrates the great cataclysm itself that really earmarks this issue as something very special indeed. The sheer attention to detail and depth of storytelling in these sequences are breathtaking. Paul Little’s colors are excellent as well, bold and vibrant, every beat of the story is captured impeccably, and the lettering and Design by Pat Brosseau is also as exceptional as ever.

This issue concludes as the Venn begin their attack, the battle is furious, and a terrible loss will be suffered. Reyn #6 is another really exciting issue, it gets the new story-arc off to a great start, there are some interesting character and plot developments along the way, and the ending is certainly one of the series’ most shocking so far! Reyn #6 continue to impress with every issue, with its terrific story by Kel Symons and superb art by Nate Stockman, this sci-fi embellished fantasy adventure series is certainly one that I would highly recommended, don‘t miss it! Oh, be sure to check out the superb Reyn Vol 1: Warden of Fate Trade-Paperback (collecting issues 1-5) which is also available now, perfect for fans of the series and for new readers to catch up with Reyn’s adventures.

Batgirl #42 Review

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Batgirl #42

Review by Paul Bowler

Life’s just got a whole lot more complicated for Barbara Gordon. Her dad’s the new robo-suited Batman, her roommate, Frankie, knows her secret and wants to help Batgirl fight crime, and now Livewire is on the loose! Batgirl #42 continues the upheaval in Batgirl’s life, she’s already had a run in with the new Batman, now Batgirl’s got to contend with Livewire as well, and she’s looking to take down Batman and Batgirl in an electrifying showdown!

There’s no way Batgirl can evade the new Batman for long in DC Comics Batgirl #42, as writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher builds on the initial skirmish between Batgirl and the new Batman with another confrontation. However, Batman takes the opportunity to talk to Batgirl without the suits surveillance systems online. It seems Powers International has a policy that Gordon is clearly uneasy with, and he is willing to give Batgirl a chance. Seeing how Jim Gordon told Barbara that he was the new Batman last issue, it’s fascinating to see Batgirl interact with Batman in these circumstances while still maintaining her secret identity, and the way the discussion resonates emotionally with Barbara’s memories is handled beautifully.

Batgirl #42

With Frankie’s help, and a quick search of the web, Barbara soon gets the low down on Livewire and where to find her. Having her roommate in on her secret has its advantages. But after Frankie was injured last issue Barbara doesn’t want her doing fieldwork, so this time she provides backup for Batgirl via the com-link. Following a quick detour for some high-tech help, Batgirl is soon ready to join the fight as Batman takes on Livewire at the power plant.

The exciting story in Batgirl #42 is equally matched by Babs Tarr’s classic cartoony-style art, virtually every moment of Surge Protection leaps off the page at you in a flurry of frenetic scenes and marvellously designed page layouts. I especially liked the hazy thought-bubble-like flashback which opens this issue. Its great to see Batgirl working alongside the new Batman as well, especially as Jim gets to step outside the Bat-Bot this issue in his black and yellow trimmed Bat-EVA suit (which I actually prefer more than the robo-suit if I’m honest), while the scenes with Frankie and Barbara at the apartment are both emotional and tinged with humour.

It’s good to see Batgirl talking on this re-vamped Livewire. Batgirl crashes into the early stages of the fight between Batman and Livewire just at the right moment, the tactics that Batgirl employs quickly set the pace of the action, and the subsequent battle certainly packs an electrically charged punch. The colors by Serge Lapointe really stand out in these scenes, especially how the bright vivid tones and crackling energy highlights the kinetic action.

The new Batman and Batgirl make a good team, and I like how Batgirl gets to call some of the shots. Jim Gordon’s Batman still has a few signature Dark Knight moves that he needs to perfect, but he doesn’t do too badly – for a “rookie”! Batgirl #42 is an exciting and fun issue from Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, with great art by Babs Tarr, the team-up between the new Batman and Batgirl is really well staged, and there’s even time to include a nice surprise for Barbara Gordon in the issues closing moments. Batgirl #42 is a great issue, the Batgirl Annual #3 is also out now as well, and I’d certainly recommend them both!

 

Transformers #43 Review

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Transformers #43

Review by Paul Bowler

Cosmos takes centre stage as IDW’s Transformers #43 takes one misunderstood and undervalued Autobot, a recon mission to a Decepticon space station, and engineers a meeting between Soundwave and Cosmos… South of Heaven, written by John Barber, with art by Andrew Griffith, and colors by Josh Perez, takes this IDW series into new, and unexpected territory in Transformers #43 as Cosmos faces Soundwave alone…

Transformers #43 continues to build on the more interesting plot threads from The Combiner Wars and its aftermath. Sent by Arcee to investigate Soundwave’s new Space Station commune orbiting Jupiter, which also incidentally coincides with Onyx CEO Garrison Blackrock’s and Earth Defense Command Director Marissa Faireborn’s visit to the station. As the Decepticons and humans tour the facility, Cosmos’s stealth pant provides the necessary cover for the Autobot to get in close to the station, but Soundwave has exceptional hearing, and its not long before the Decepticon and Autobot are facing-off. But, as Cosmos soon discovers, there’s more than meets the eye going on here, because is seems Soundwave just wants to talk, and Cosmos certainly wasn’t expecting that!

Transformers #43 Cover

John Barber really gets back to the core story elements and motives that drive the characters in this issue. Cosmos’ mission serves up a bizarre situation that has the Autobot expecting the worse to happen when Soundwave tracks him down, and their initial skirmish quickly gives way to a thought provoking and enlightening exchange between the Decepticon and Cosmos. I really like how Soundwave’s viewpoint uncannily resonates with Cosmos, and how some Autobots attitudes towards little drones like D.O.C are also unsettlingly mirrored by Soundwave’s opinion of his expedient human allies.

Andrew Griffith’s art is excellent, the Transformers are all incredibly detailed, and the humans are well defined too. The exterior scenes of the Space Station look stunning with Jupiter in the background, the interiors of the station are vast and gleaming, and the chase between Soundwave and Cosmos provides some great action sequences. The colors by Josh Perez complements Griffith’s art nicely, brining added definition and clarity to every page.

Although the scenes with Cosmos and Soundwave are undoubtedly the main highlight of the issue, there’s a lot going on in the background as well to keep the plot bubbling along. The fact Mr Blackrock’s Onyx computers and operating systems are based on code derived from old Cybertronian systems doesn’t exactly bode well, there’s also some really fun moments with Laserbeak and Buzsaw, and the issues conclusion turn out to be remarkably poignant.

Transformers #43 is another solid instalment, with its concise story by John Barber and impressive art by Andrew Griffith, this superb IDW Transformers title constantly goes from strength to strength, and remains a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable series.

 

New Spectre Trailer James Bond 007

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New 007 James Bond Spectre Trailer!

spectre p

Check out the brand new trailer for the 24th James Bond adventure Spectre!

After the cryptic teaser trailer, this new Spectre trailer looks really exciting!

Bullet Gal #12 Review

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Bullet Gal #12

Review by Paul Bowler

The Reset has been initiated… Bullet Gal #12 brings this 12 issue IF? Commix prequel story arc to a sensational climax as Mitzi, our gun-toting heroine with a taste for wanton destruction and strong espresso, prepares to face Heropa’s newly augmented digital reality alongside her mentor Lee following the Reset. A new era begins with the debut of new super team the Equalizers, but dark forces are already scheming against them. Mitzi still has some old scores to settle, but some will prove far from easy to resolve. Now, with Lee by her side, and her new role with the Equalizers, Heropa’s bright new future awaits…

After the recent release of the Bullet Gal trade paperback collection: It’s Not You It’s Me, this final issue of the 12 part arc with story and pictures from Andrez Bergen, author of the noir-style superhero detective novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa, IF? Commix series Tales to Admonish, graphic novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, and the novel Depth Charging Planet Goth, wraps Bullet Gal’s prequel story up as the full ramifications of the Reset that Lee #3 (That’s our Bullet Gal’s own Lee, one of the eight identical duplicates spliced from the personality of the man who created Heropa, and he’s also Major Patriot!) has engineered to create an entirely new world for him and Mitzi while vanquishing their enemies in the process.

Bullet Gal #12 possesses an air of nervous anticipation coupled with a somewhat upbeat finality, while loose ends are gathered; characters prepare to step into a new order where the noir-shrouded streets offer untold potential for the future. As this issue of Andrez Bergen’s IF? Commix prequel series brings Mitzi’s early adventures in Heropa to a close; we experience the Reset from a dazzling variety of viewpoints and timeframes. Game changing rules are quickly established as the digital framework of Heropa embraces the embryonic code of the Reset to become a new reality. Lee’s grand design rings in the changes on a vast scale, one entwined within a loop of logic and fate that coalesces the narrative and pizzazz of the imminent press conference at Timely Tower to introduce the new order that will set the foundations of a silver age for tomorrow.

Bullet Gal #12 Cover

Having survived her recent brush with death, it is perhaps no surprise then that the Reset heralds some fairly significant changes in Mitzi’s life. Even though Bullet Gal now faces the end of all she knows and the beginning of everything she will become, Lee is there with her every step of the way, and the chemistry between them is electric. As for Brigit, the crazed French hit woman who organized the attempt on Bullet Gal’s life, well, it would seem the Reset has wrought the most ruthless and fitting revenge imaginable for our heroines arch nemesis. Mitzi may feel naked without her trademark guns, but her new role and identity as Aerialist more than compensates for any misgivings she has. Indeed, her characters new stance here makes us fall in love with her all over again, her new identity fits her like a glove, and the jetpack is an added bonus!

The distinctive look and tone of Bullet Gal is undoubtedly one of the series’ biggest factors in making it stand out from the crowd. Andrez Bergen has fashioned a striking and bold aesthetic in terms of comic book art with Bullet Gal, with a mix of vivid black and white imagery, digital photomontages, and the sublime fusion of pulp noir themes, Dadaist influences, and throwbacks to the rich history of the comic books of yesteryear, every issue has been stylishly realized. Bullet Gal #12 is the very embodiment of Bergen’s vision: whereby the sprawling code of the Reset gives way to the rain swept streets of Heropa, behind-the-scenes a new team is forged from the ashes of the old, clandestine meetings unfold, we even join an old enemy for tea, a spectacular new tower now graces Heropa’s skyline, Little Nobody also gets to join in the party mood, and villains begin plotting to scratch the sheen from this brave new world. Add in the tantalizing hints of color emerging throughout the pages of this issue, and Bullet Gal #12 rounds the series off in fine style.

With a press conference to introduce The Equalizers to the world, the stage is set, quite literally and figuratively, for the Great White Hope, Milkcrate Man, and the Aerialist to step into the limelight. So, even though it looks like Mitzi has now set aside her late fathers twin polished nickel 9mm Star Model B pistols for good, its clear Mitzi’s bond with Lee is stronger than ever, and with its breathtaking final page delivering a symbolic fresh start all that remains is for us to heed the words of “Sir Omphalos” and enjoy the view as a new era dawns…

Bergen’s phenomenal Bullet Gal prequel series concludes magnificently with Bullet Gal #12. Taken as a whole, the series has been an unqualified success. This hardboiled pulp-style adventure, with its nor-spliced digitally enhanced reality and plethora of subliminal subtexts, has been an exciting and extraordinary journey. The end is near, but the Reset has given Mitzi and Lee a second throw of the dice, and the future is now sublimely entwined in the pages of Bergen’s novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? Bullet Gal’s adventures may be over for now, but there’s still plenty to look forward to. With Bergen’s new IF? Commix 70’s style crime-saga homage Trista and Holt Vol 1 (collecting issue 1-6) and a trade paper back collection of Tales To Admonish both due for release in August 2015, with issue #7 of Trista and Holt following in September 2015, and a new novel in the works, Andrez Bergen’s distinct artistic style and storytelling will continue to bring us even more exciting characters and adventures. The future is looking very bright indeed!

Bullet Gal #12 Is Published 1st August 2015 Hard Copy $5 Digital $1 IF? Commix

FIND OUT MORE FROM IF? COMMIX VIA THEIR SITE:

iffybizness.weebly.com

Suicide Squad’ Comic-Con Trailer Officially Released

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Suicide Squad’ Comic-Con Trailer Officially Released

Suicide Squad (Joker)

Warner Bros. have now released the official version of the new teaser trailer for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Check it out!

New Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Comic-Con Trailer

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New Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Comic-Con Trailer

Batman V Superman (Supes)

Check out the awesome full-length Batman V Superman Trailer from comic-con international at San Diego! Wow, looks incredible!

The Walking Dead Season 6 Trailer!

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The Walking Dead Season 6 Trailer!

The Walking Dead S6

The Walking Dead panel at Comic Con International in San Diego, it was revealed that season six of the AMC series The Walking Dead will start on October 11th with a special 90-minute episode.

The official trailer for series six was also released, and it looks awesome!

Doctor Who Series 9 Teaser Trailer

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Doctor Who Series 9 Teaser Trailer

DRWHO S9 Preview

Vworp Vworp! Check out the new Doctor Who Series 9 Trailer!

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald’s (Jenna Coleman) adventures continue  in Series 9 of Doctor Who beginning on 19th September 2015.

Wow! I think this is a fantastic trailer for series 9, can’t wait!!

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 19th September 2015

Batman #42 Review

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Batman #42

Review by Paul Bowler

Jim Gordon’s new role as Gotham’s nano-carbon-suited Dark Knight continues in Batman #42, as the city recovers from the traumatic events of Endgame. Gordon now faces the challenges of life as Gotham’s robotic law enforcer, and more surprises await as the all-new Batman hits the streets of Gotham City…

Batman #42 mixes duelling action figures, Gordon’s new perspective of Gotham as Batman, and plenty of high-octane app driven action as Scott Snyder’s and Greg Capullo’s exciting new story-arc kicks into high gear. Its fascinating to see Jim Gordon’s viewpoint of Batman’s world, his “old person” translation of the tech and tactics continues to raise many a wry smile, but the former Marine and Police Commissioner has really stepped up following Batman’s demise in Endgame to become a corporate funded Batman, one that works inside the system in conjunction with the GCPD and the local governments for the people of Gotham.

Superheavy Part 2 continues to drive the narrative by flashing forward and backwards as events unfold. The city is still licking its wounds after the chaos inflicted by the Joker. Jim begins to find his new life as an “official” Batman to be far more complex than he first thought, Powers Corp and the GCPD are the one’s calling the shots, and as a result there are certain lines that Jim won’t be able to cross like his predecessor.

Batman 42 Cover

Batman makes a grim discovery at the morgue after Precious Precious mysteriously dies – poisoned by a high-tech radioactive implant. It would seem there have been other victims too, with implants that also gave them enhanced abilities, and the connection between their deaths provides an unsettling mystery for Gordon to mull over. Jim also attempts to hone his Batarang skills in this issue, his bond with Julia and Daryl continues to develop, and a new Batmobile debuts as another super-powered menace goes on the rampage in the Narrows.

I really like how Snyder is gradually developing this new story-arc. Gordon is striving to become the Batman he wholeheartedly believes Gotham needs, but Jim knows he’s got a lot to prove before the city will have faith in him – especially in the downtrodden communities of the Narrows. This new Batman isn’t all just about the high-tech Bat-Bot either. Jim has his own streamlined Bat-Suit for when he has to get out of the robotic-suit and work in the field as Batman, its a clever move by Snyder, and really creates an interesting spin on the new format. There’s a classic nod to the past as well; with a particularly apt use for some digital camouflage.

One notable difference I’ve found with this arc is the level of humour Scott Snyder has weaved into the narrative. It’s cleverly done, never overstated, and strikes a good balances between the wit and the big action set-pieces. The kids squabbling with the action figures and Commissioner Sawyer’s quip about the Bat-Bot being on charge are both priceless, while Gordon’s “superpower” and added incentive for giving up smoking are also nice touches, but it’s the running gag about Gordon’s Batman not having a Batmobile that really steals the show.

Batman #42 Preview (2)

Greg Capullo’s art raises the bar once more for this series, the page layouts convey the pace and tone of the plot perfectly, and the sheer attention to detail in Batman #42 is stunning. The new Bat-Suit is really beginning to grow on me now, its got so many cool abilities, and Capullo is clearly relishing every opportunity he gets to show the suit in action. None more so than here, as the Bat-Bot goes toe to toe with a Triad leader with the ability to use the very bricks and mortar of Gotham itself against Batman. The sleek black Batman Bat-Suit that Gordon wears for his EVA’s from the Robo-Bat-Suit is also superb, and I love the classic hints of yellow trim on Gordon’s suit – especially the Bat-Symbol! As ever, Danny Miki’s sublime inks and FCO’s mesmerising colors fuse seamlessly with Capullo’s art to make Batman #42 another tremendous, almost cinematic experience. Batman’s fight with Gee Gee Heung is a ground shaking smack down, the scenes in the morgue are dark and brooding, and the new Batmobile / Bat-Van is a high-tech juggernaut that packs one hell of a punch!

Batman #42 is an action-packed issue that also sets up a wealth of plot threads for the rest of this arc. It would seem “Officer Batman” has found his first super-villain. While the mysterious Mr Bloom remains an enigma for now, there is a notable scene between Gordon and one of his colleagues as they reach a new bat-understanding, and last issues jaw-dropping ending is taken a step further too – with some very surprising results!

I think I’ve overcome my initial reservations about the bunny-eared Bat-Bot’s design and Gordon taking over as Batman. Seeing Jim Gordon experiencing Gotham from Batman’s perspective feels like a breath of fresh air for the title, if anything it actually brings us closer to Gordon’s character than we’ve ever been before. Batman #42 continues to build on the foundations of this new story-arc. Sure, the tone and style is very different from Snyder’s previous Batman storylines, but quintessentially it’s still Batman at its core, and if this issue is anything to go by Gordon and the legacy of the Bat are still very much as inseparable as ever…

 

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