Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer
Check out the official Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer!
Ben Meares, BOOM Studios, Cenobites, Christian Francis, Christopher Sebela, Clive Barker, comics, Hellraiser, Hellraiser Bestiary, Hellraiser Bestiary #6, Hellraiser Bestiary #6 Review, Horror, Mark Miller, Matt Battaglia, Peter Bergting, Pinhead
Hellraiser Bestiary #6
Review by Paul Bowler
The final chapter of the Hellraiser anthology gathered in Hellraiser Bestiary #6, presents us with three of the most disturbing and visceral fables of horror based on Clive Barker’s Hellraiser mythos so far by this series, in a spellbinding issue of darkness that will rend your imagination until it drips blood red with the majesty of the Cenobites legacy of pleasure and pain. This innovative new anthology series from BOOM! Studios, with its devilish mix of talented writers and artists, has taped a fresh vein of horror that invites us to solve the darkest secrets of the lament configuration puzzle box and explore the blood spattered sights that await us in Hellraiser Bestiary…
The first story in this issue, A Place for Everything, written by Christopher Sebela (Dead Letters), with art by Matt Battaglia, is the unsettling tale of a hoarder whose obsessive compulsion brings dire repercussions for those she loves more than life itself. Christopher Sebela skilfully builds this sombre, heartrending tale, one that unfolds as this poor elderly woman looks back on the tragic events that have shaped her life, as her vain attempts to escape from the past becomes overrun with the clutter she obsessively gathers, until it threatens even her loving family. Matt Battaglia’s art captures the mood and tone of this story perfectly, and the resolution will sear this woman’s horrifying index of terror into your imagination long after the outcome is revealed…
Ben Meares and Christian Francis introduce us to a scientist who is hell bent on solving the mysteries of the puzzle box. The Science of Madness is a wickedly inventive tale where a scientist has only three days left to discover the secrets of the puzzle box even though it defies all manner of rational explanation. The art for this story by Peter Bergting builds on the drama wrought by the scientist’s frustration, before the solution which finally presents itself delivers a most unexpected climax, one that even confounds the Cenobites themselves!
The Hunted: Part Six concludes Hellraiser Bestiary in fine style, as Pinhead finally confronts the mercenaries who stole his pins. Writers Ben Meares and Mark Miller have certainly given Pinhead a tough time over the course of this story, now at last we get to see the payback for all the suffering he’s endured, as Pinhead takes on the leader of the mercenaries in a secret underground vault in the very heart of the Vatican City itself. I’ve really enjoyed this six part story by Meares and Miller, it’s been unflinchingly violent and blood thirsty at times, and it’s been fascinating to see how Pinhead has coped with the dire situation he suddenly found himself in. The Hunted: Part Six features great art by Carlos Magono, from the action-packed showdown in the vault, to the thrilling moment Pinhead is reunited with the pins so savagely stolen from his flesh, Magono’s art for this storyline has made every fiendish moment a delight to behold, and the colors by Matt Battaglia ensures this instalments looks incredible with his stunning use of tone and shade throughout. The conclusion sees Pinhead returned at his very best, and the new décor he chooses for the new Bestiary is most fitting…
Hellraiser Bestiary has been one of my favourite titles over the last few months. Each issue has featured some great stories and excellent artwork, making them all superb additions to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser legacy, and I certainly hope that we get to see another Hellraiser anthology series from BOOM! Studios.
Andrez Bergen, Bullet Gal, Bullet Gal #8, Bullet Gal #8 review, Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth, Heropa, IF? Commix, Mizi, Tales to Admonish, The Crime Crusaders Crew, Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?
Bullet Gal #8
Review by Paul Bowler
After ringing in the New Year with a psychedelic-techno-induced glimpse into the dark wonderland of Heropa’s origins, Bullet Gal #8 pulls us back from the rabbit hole to relative normality, as Mizi’s life hangs by a thread while two newcomers with vengeance in mind stalk the streets of the noir shrouded metropolis of Heropa. Bullet Gal #8 is the new issue in this prequel IF? Commix book series from Australian author Andrez Bergen, the writer of the critically acclaimed superhero noir-themed detective novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? , IF? Commix series Tales to Admonish, and the graphic novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat. Following the release of his new novel Depth Charging Planet Goth, Japan based writer and artist Andrez Bergen’s latest offering from IF? Commix, Bullet Gal #8, will be published in print form in January 2015 in Australia.
While last issue led us outside the box to explore the secret digital reality of life in Heropa, think hardboiled pulp-style adventure entwined within an eclectic noir-spliced version of the Matrix films, Bullet Gal #8 returns to the here and now to deliver a brooding tale of revenge and justice while Mizi clings to life in hospital after being gunned down by Brigit’s hoodlums. This issue also introduces two new characters, the honest no-nonsense cop Bob, and his loyal partner Irv Forbush. Meanwhile, Lee, the man with seven identical duplicates, has to deal with the police investigation into recent events, and Mizi’s life slowly ebbs away in hospital at deaths door – or perhaps not?
Blind Side is a deeply evocative and intense issue of Bullet Gal from Andrez Bergen. The introduction of one-eyed cop, Bob Hahn, finds the dedicated law enforcer tracking down and dealing with the hoods that ambushed Bullet Gal – cutting her down in a hail of bullets and leaving her for dead in the gutter while the Police turned a blind eye. Bob Hahn’s lone trek through Heropa’s dark streets, taking in cruel graffiti, gives us a fascinating insight into this character. His world-weary understanding of how this vast metropolis woks, its history, and the justice he ultimately meets out to Mizi’s assailants is honed by a time-worn matter-of-fact simplicity that gets the job done in this city where trust is a currency of little worth for those noble enough to clear up the mess the Capes leave behind.
The clandestine meeting between Lee and Detective Hahn in Heropa’s Memorial Hospital is a stylishly crafted moment between the honourable eye-patched cop and the enigmatic doppelganger. Bob offers Lee a candid report detailing the “felons” demise, however, the detective also managed to gain information about the person behind the hit; the French “Femme Diabolique” Brigit, the lover and personal assassin of the ruthless crime boss Sol Brodsky. The tension between Lee and Bob is almost palpable, it seem to hang in their air like a cloud of cigarette smoke, and the uncanny symbiosis of their professions is portrayed as a necessary – though clearly unpalatable – alliance between those who must walk this blurred line of the law in order to bring justice to Heropa’s streets.
Detective Hahn’s assumption, that Birgit is the real driving force behind Sol’s empire, is also bang on the money, and reinforces the deadly Femme Fatales position as a major player in the shady echelons of Heropa’s underworld. We also get to see Detective Bob Hahn’s partner, Irv Forbush, towards the end of this issue. They clearly share a strong bond, its evident they’ve worked together for a long time, and Forbush’s wry sense of humour polarises his view of Capes like Lee while simultaneously ribbing his boss over his visual impairment and lack of business acumen. Bob and Irv are a great double act, their banter is snappy, and their introduction here certainly makes them a welcome additions to this IF? Commix titles diverse cast of characters.
Andrez Bergen’s art for Bullet Gal #8 continues to push this series striking visuals to a whole new level of excellence. The stunning use of bold black and white imagery, a haunting blend of stylish photomontage and subtle digital enhancements, makes this one of the most impressive issues of Bullet Gal to date. With its Dadaist influences and diverse pulp-noir themes Bergen’s work continues to impress on all levels. The bird feather that tumbles softly down the front cover exemplifies this, coaxing the imagination, it delicately passes unseen through the finer subtexts of the issue, before drifting back into view in time for the beautiful postscript that elegantly embodies Bergen’s artistic vision in the gleaming aesthetic of a single teardrop on the cusp of death.
This issue wraps things up with a quick round-up of the reviews this innovative IF? Commix series has received, along with a reminder of where it all began – the cover for the novel Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? Finally there’s also Post To Pistolero, along some words from the writer and artist himself, Andrez Bergen, in Soapbox D’Andrez, a Bullet Gal pin-up by artist Joe Badon, and great back cover by L .@ .K.art. 2015 has already gotten off to a great start for Andrez Bergen with Bullet Gal #8, and with the 340 page Bullet Gal trade paperback collecting the entire series, It’s Not You It’s Me, from North American publisher Underbelly already in the works, there’s never been a better time to check out Bullet Gal’s thrilling prequel series from IF? Commix.
Bullet Gal #8, is published in print form in January 2015 in Australia, along with the digital version, and available direct from the IF? Commix website.
FIND OUT MORE FROM IF? COMMIX VIA THEIR SITE:
New Trailer For The Walking Dead Season 5 “Another Day”
Check out the new promo trailer Trailer For The Walking Dead Season 5
Tune in to the midseason premier of The Walking Dead, Sun, Feb. 8th
& The Walking Dead Season 5 also returns in the UK on Mon, Feb 9th
Batgirl, Batman, Batman Eternal #41, Batman Eternal #41 review, comics, Gotham, Harper Row, James Tynion IV, Joe Quinones, Kelsey Shannon, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes, Red Hood, Red Robin, Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley
Batman Eternal #41
Review by Paul Bowler
A new threat menaces Gotham in Batman Eternal #41, as the children infected by the nano-swarm are drawn to a warehouse, where assembly has begun on a giant transmitter. It’s up to Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Harper Row to investigate and stop whoever is controlling the nano-controlled teens before the device can be activated.
With Batman busy dealing with the Riddler, Batman Eternal #41, finds Red Robin and his allies tackling the threat posed by the nano-tech virus in this fast-paced story from writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script by Kyle Higgins, and consulting writers Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley. From its chilling opening moments, the terrible power of the nano-swarm is finally revealed, and even Gotham’s protectors are unaware of the terrible danger they now face.
The spotlight falls on Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Harper Row this issue as events focus on the victims of the nano-virus and the way they are being manipulated into building a strange device in an old warehouse. I really liked these opening scenes as Red Robin takes charge, he even keeps Batgirl and Red Hood in line, but it is the moments between Red Robin and Harper Row that really shine here. Harper is understandably worried her brother, Cullen, is also affected and inside the building. The way Red Robin persuades Harper to remain on the roof and monitor the situation is handled really well, and the advice Red Robin offers Harper is especially heartfelt and poignant.
Though initially I felt the art by Joe Quinones with colors by Kelsey Shannon seemed a little too bright and breezy, after a few pages Quinones’s bold lines and sharp attention to detail soon won me over, and together with Shannon’s vivid colors, this issues art actually really suited the nano-tech slant and themes of the story perfectly. This issue features some really inventive panel layouts as well: the stakeout merges seamlessly with the view from Red Robin’s binoculars, the brief interlude with Spoiler was also exciting, and the battle in the warehouse were Red Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood make a valiant stand against impossible odds is a kinetic flurry of dynamic angles and inter-cutting perspectives.
The Swarm also features the surprise appearance of a Bat-Villain, one whose there to see the nano-tech is used to its full potential, and someone that also coincidentally has a tenuous connection to the technology used to hypnotize Jim Gordon. Its clever how these throwaway remarks all tie into the major events that kicked off Batman Eternal, the ongoing sub-plot with the nano-swarm now makes a lot more sense as well, especially now that we are beginning to see how it actually slots into the overall scheme of things.
While I’m not entirely sure Batman would approve of Red Hood going all ballistic during the fight inside the warehouse given the age of the targets, despite the fact he uses rubber bullets, this issue of Batman Eternal is an action-packed spectacle that still finds time to squeeze in one last big surprise. With the nanites set to tear the Narrows of Gotham apart, a life changing decision will be made, and a new hero will rise to defend Gotham City. Batman Eternal #41 is a cracking issue of this weekly DC Comics series, with great story, art, and lots of surprises, it’s certainly an issue not to be missed.
Batman, Batman Eternal, Batman Eternal #40, Batman Eternal #40 Review, Catwoman, comics, Davide Furno, DC Comics, Edward Nygma, James Tynion IV, John Kalisz, Kyle Higgins, Paolo Armitano, Scott Snyder, The Riddler, Tim Seeley
Batman Eternal #40
Review by Paul Bowler
The stakes are raised even higher in Batman Eternal #40, especially now that Batman no longer has the assets of Wayne Enterprises at his disposal. Given access to the Dark Knight’s secret weapons and resources by an unknown backer, a group of Batman’s deadliest foes are now ready to embark on a violent crime spree in Gotham. Having followed Riddler’s clues to his hideaway on Miller Mountain, Batman confronted the Riddler, but determined to avoid returning to Gotham at all costs Nygma detonated explosive charges and caused an avalanche. Now while Batman and Riddler battle to survive against the elements, Catwoman decides on a new course of action; and Vicky Vale must confront the treacherous intern Patrick in the offices of the Gotham Gazette.
Events really kick into high gear in Batman Eternal #40, in this action-packed issue by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script by Ray Fawkes, and consulting writers Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley, as the specially chosen members of Batman’s rogues gallery prepare to unleash carnage on Gotham while the Dark Knight finds himself locked in a deadly battle for survival with the Riddler as conditions on the mountain deteriorate.
Turn and Turn Again begins as Penny Two’s voice crackles over the airwaves following the avalanche, the bleak mountainside seems unsettlingly still, until Batman finally responds. Batman and the Riddler have been engulfed by the avalanche that Edward Nygma triggered; now Batman must help his old foe as they attempt to escape from the mountain. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, the group of Batman’s enemies can hardly believe their luck as they begin planning how to use the Dark Knight’s secret arsenal which has just been handed to them on a plate. Now that Catwoman runs more of city than anyone could ever know, Gotham’s new Kingpin of crime decides she wants no part in the proposition which she, and her former associates, have been offered via the speaker system by their mysterious benefactor. However, Catwoman soon discovers that life at the top in Gotham City can be brutal and deadly!
The Art by Davide Furno and Paolo Armitano captures the harsh frozen landscape of the mountain scenes perfectly, and you really get a sense of the danger Batman and Riddler face. The gritty urban environment of Gotham provides a stark contrast to events on the mountain, Furno and Armitano do a good job with these scenes featuring lots of Batman’s villains, and the tense excitement of Vicky Vale’s plight is another highlight of this issue. John Kalisz’s colors are also extremely good, brining added depth to every scene, particularly those on Miller Mountain.
There are some great scenes between Batman and the Riddler too, and it seems the Riddler’s not about to divulge his secrets anytime soon. We get to see how tough and resourceful Vicky Vale is when Patrick tries to kill her at the Gotham Gazette, and the subplot with Catwoman also develops an interesting, spoiler themed, twist that is sure to lead to some big developments down the line.
Batman Eternal #40 is another terrific instalment of this weekly series from DC Comics. This tautly plotted issue continues to build the mystery and suspense. It seems we are growing ever closer now to finding out who has been messing with Batman and secretly orchestrating events in Batman Eternal. With all hell breaking loose on Gotham’s streets, a short interlude with Jim Corrigan, and the final moments hinting that even darker times await Batman upon his return to Gotham, Batman Eternal #40 is an outstanding, and great looking issue.
Justice League United #7
Review by Paul Bowler
The Infinitus Saga continues as the Justice League United fight alongside the Legion of Super-Heroes against the shape-shifter Byth to decide the fate of the young alien Ultra who could grow up to destroy the 31st century. The JLU and Legion of Super-Heroes travelled to the Moon of Ryngor in the Polaris System where Byth captured and gained control over Ultra. The innocent alien was forced to open a rift in space, unleashing a fearsome army of Wraths. Now as Byth and his allies, Black Mass, and the newly resurrected Hawkman – who is also under Byth’s influence – escaped with Ultra, the JLU and the Legion must find a way to stop Byth from taking Ultra into the rift and save the universe as the Wrath’s advance into inhabited space.
Justice League United #7 sees this time-warping intergalactic team-up between the Justice League United and the Legion of Super-Heroes really hitting its stride, as writer Jeff Lemire pulls out all the stops for this third part of The Infinitus Saga. Now the initial differences and misunderstandings between the JLU and Legion of Super-Heroes has been resolved, the battle against Byth steps up a gear as their forces unite against the shape-shifter.
Despite their best efforts, and Equinox’s attempt to reach the child, Black Mass teleports Byth, Ultra, and Hawkman to safety, while the Legion and JLU suddenly find themselves beamed to Rann. While this opening skirmish is over relatively quickly, this slight pause in the action does give Jeff Lemire a chance gather everyone together and explore their characters a little more as they regroup and plan their next move. The sheer number of characters in this issue is quite staggering, yet Jeff Lemire somehow manages to give most of them a share of the limelight, while also establishing some great banter between them as well.
Justice League United #7 is a fine looking issue as well, the pencils by Neil Edwards are really good, the characters are all well defined, Jay Leisten’s inks with Keith Champagne accentuate the action nicely, and colorist Jeromy Cox dazzles with some gloriously vivid tones during the exciting battles and outer space sequences. The scene where Martian Manhunter attempts to use his telepathic connection with Ultra to reach the child after he has been captured are in stark contrast to the kinetic energy of the action scenes, and serves to really highlight the youngsters turmoil as J’ohnn and Byth vie for control in the psychic void between worlds.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and I’m really pleased to see them back in action. Its also nice to see the Justice League United working so well with the Legion, they are shaping up to be a great team already, and the Legionaries even provide those unable to survive the vacuum of space with flight rings so they can join the battle.
Justice League United #7 closes with some spectacular scenes in deep space as the JLU and Legion of Super-Heroes set out to save the universe. Justice League United has taken a little while to find its feet, but things seem to be settling down now, and this issue is a very positive step in the right direction. I have to admit, the scenes were the JLU and Legion soar into space to fight the Wraths and rescue Ultra really made me smile. I’m loving this story with the Legion, I’d forgotten how much I’d missed them, and I hope the Legion of Super-Heroes will get their own title again one day. Justice League United #7 is an excellent issue, The Infinitus Saga is shaping up to be a really good storyline, and I look forward to seeing how this issues exciting cliff-hanger is resolved next issue.