Batman #95 Review

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Batman #95

Review by Paul Bowler

Joker War gets underway in earnest in Batman #95 as the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight prepare to square off for their greatest battle yet! The Joker’s motivations have changed. He’s gone all out to gain the upper hand, and Joker is hell bent on ensuring this will be the final chapter in their eternal conflict. Batman’s life is already in ruins and Joker War has  only just begun!

The much touted final showdown between Batman and the Joker explodes — quite literally — in the pages of Batman #95 with Part One of writer James Tynion IV’s highly anticipated Joker War. Following the shock revelation of the Designer’s true identity and Joker having now seized control of the Wayne fortune, the issue quickly establishes the dramatic shift in the Joker’s goals with an insightful flashback to Batman’s early years as he races in the Batmobiile to a previous showdown with the Joker, and Tynion skilfully uses this opportunity to tug at our heart strings as the conversation between Alfred and Batman highlights some particularly striking parallels between past and present circumstances.

Indeed, the fallout from Alfred’s death seems to permeate virtually every aspect of this issue for Batman. Never has Batman needed his oldest, most trusted friend more, and never has he seemed so desperately alone without him. As we rejoin events in the present day Tynion dramatically relays how Bruce’s fortune, Gotham, and even the law have all been taken by the Joker and turned against the Dark Knight. Even Lucius Fox has succumbed to the Joker’s influence, thus giving the Clown Prince of Crime access to all the wonderful toys, and the GCPD has been rendered powerless because of the Underwriter’s legal machinations. Everything that made Batman what he was has been completely stripped away and the Dark Knight is now effectively on the run.

Joege Jimenez’s art for Batman #95 is sumptuously rendered and vividly detailed. The opening flashback, which dovetails sublimely into a high octane Batmobile chase, together with the gloriously gloomy depiction of Gotham, the tantalising glimpse of a new Bat-Suit that’s highly reminiscent of the ice-tech look of George Clooney’s final costume in Batman & Robin (minus the nipples thankfully), and Batman’s face-off with Punchline are all action-packed moments that are beautifully realised by Jimenez’s impressive artwork and Tommy Morey’s exquisite colors. For me though the biggest highlight of the issue was the Joker splurging the cash as he returned to the very origins of the legacy of the Bat itself in the most macabre way imaginableIt! It’s a brilliant, creepy scene, and genuinely chilling. 

That aforementioned showdown between Batman and Punchline is another great moment in this issue. Although I found Punchline’s debut a few issues previously something of an anti-climax after all the hype surrounding her, she’s beginning to grow on me a little bit now, and her fight with Batman in the compromised Mini-Bat-Cave saw significant improvements in the characterisation and depiction of the Joker’s new partner.

As cliffhangers go, this issues a doozy, and I can’[t wait to see how Dark Knight fights his way out of this one! Batman #95 provides a bombastic opening salvo to Joker War and certainly gets this major DC Comics Bat-Event off to a great start. Tynion’s run on Batman continues to go from strength to strength with every issue, he’s really firing on all cylinders now, and the art team on this book is also doing a fantastic job. So, will Joker War really turn out to be this much hyped final conflict between the Joke and Batman? No, I don’t believe that for a moment either, but it sure looks like we are going to be in for a battle Royale whatever happens after the dust has settled in the wake of this epic Batman event!

Publisher:DC Comics

Writer: James Tynion IV / Artist Joege Jimenez

Colors: Tommy Morey / Letters: Clayton Cowles

Cover: Jimenez & Morey / Joker Variant Cover: Francesco Mattina

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

 

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 Review

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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1

Review by Paul Bowler

Terror strikes the Promenade in Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 leading Constable Odo to investigate a web of mystery and deceit across the station. As the crew of DS9 try to establish the cause of the explosion, Odo uncovers a wealth of suspects and motives to look into, and it quickly become apparent nothing is quite as clear cut as it first seemed…

Stalwart Star Trek writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton brings us the first Deep Space Nine comic book series in a decade, with this new four-part Star Trek series from IDW Publishing. Set against the backdrop of the darkest days of the Dominion War, the issue opens with Garak and Bashir taking one of their frequent lunches on the Promenade, but their meal is cut short when an explosion rips through the eatery. Garak saves Bashir, but casualties are high, and Odo’s brief interview with the owner who survived the blast soon finds the finger of blame pointed squarely at her rival – Quark!

Scott Tipton and David Tipton always manage to capture the tone of the Star Trek series and the character they are writing about perfectly. Indeed, they’ve done a fantastic job here in brining this slightly shadier corner of the Star Trek universe and the world of DS9 and her crew to life in the most sublime way imaginable. Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 immerses you in an intriguing tale of lies and vengeance, one where everyone seems to have a motive for murder, revenge, or just plain old greed.

Greg Scott’s distinctive, noir style artwork is well suited to the sombre, brooding atmosphere of this storyline. Page layouts are unfussy, concise and focus tightly on characters and their interactions, and all the main cast of DS9 are well represented throughout. Scott ensures scenes also reflect the essence of this Star Trek series extremely well, with colorist Felipe Sobreiro using a muted pallet of deep tones and hues to great effect to punctuate the action with subtle flourishes as Odo’s investigation progresses.

Constable Odo must find out if the attack could be terrorism, politically motivated, revenge, or just a case of someone trying to get rid of the competition. A terse exchange with a fellow cremate and vigilantism brewing in the air certainly doesn’t help matters either for Odo’s investigation as the spotlight of suspicion falls on a usual suspect to provide an intriguing cliffhanger to the issue.

So, if like me, you are a big fan of DS9’s somewhat darker, edgier tone, you are going to find a lot to enjoy here with this new series from IDW. With its gripping story by Scott Tipton and David Tipton and moody artwork by Greg Scott, Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 is great issue and a welcome comic book return for the crew of the space station on the edge of the final frontier.

Publisher: IDW

Writers: Scott Tipton & David Tipton / Artist: Greg Scott

Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro / Letterer: Neil Uyetake

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 #94 Review

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Batman #94

Review By Paul Bowler.

Joker War looms on the horizon in Batman #94 following the fallout from the Designer’s grand scheme. The Dark Knight’s life is in ruins and the ambitious rebuilding of Gotham City has ground to a halt. New forces have risen to shape Gotham’s destiny — and there’s nothing Batman can do to prevent it. Lost, without Alfred or the Bat-Family by his side, and desperate to save the woman he loves Batman now stands alone as he faces the ascension of his greatest foe — the Joker! 

The finale of Their Dark Designs unfolds with a funeral-like dirge of thunder and storm clouds rumbling over Gotham as writer James Tynion IV brings Batman’s world crashing down around him. As the realisation for the Dark Knight, Catwoman and the entirety of Gotham’s rogues  gallery that they’ve all been played by the Joker begins to reverberate across the city, Tynion continues to excel, weaving an insightful flashback to the young Bruce Wayne’s early years of training before he became the Bat into the narrative and the Designer’s machinations to bring everything full circle with Bruce’s encounter with Cassander Wycliffe Baker – the worlds greatest detective.

From there Batman #94 goes into free-fall as the Dark Knight battles back from the brink. Lucius Fox might be on hand to assist after Deathstroke’s attack, but he can’t be the ally Bruce needs right now, especially if they are to have any chance against the Joker who has just seized control of the Wayne fortune. The emotional fallout is equally devastating for Bruce, something that’s powerfully highlighted by the phone conversation between the Bat and the Cat. It’s a heartrending, pivotal moment; and something that could very well strain their relationship to breaking point.

The artistic duties for this issue are shared between Guillem March and Rafael Albuquerque. Their distinct and individual styles complement each other nicely, seamlessly bookending scenes, whilst balance the grim tone and emotional beats of Tynion’s story perfectly, and the rich colors by David Baron bring vivid clarity and tone to every page. Everything from Bruce’s flashback, to the Dark Knight’s steely determination to reach Selina, with a chilling confrontation at the hospital, and the final scenes as Batman looks to the raging heavens above  Gotham for a sign all converge to make this one of the most visually impressive and compelling issues of Batman we’ve seen so far in this run.

All in all, I think James Tynion’s first story arc for Batman has turned out really well. Their Dark Designs has ushered in a powerful, innovative and thoughtful new era for the Dark Knight. Batman #94 is a resounding finale to this saga, it rounds everything off with an emotional rollercoaster ride that will leave the Bat broken by his own design, and brilliantly paves the way for the start of Joker War!

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: James Tynion IV / Art: Guillem March & Rafael Albuquerque

Colors: David Baron / Letters: Clayton Cowles

Cover: Tony S Daniel & Tommy Morey

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

 

Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel The Last of Us Part 2

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Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel The Last of Us Part 2

I’ve been playing The Last of Us Part 2 on PS4, the eagerly awaited sequel to critically acclaimed PS3 game The Last of Us (2013) from Naughty Dog. The Last of Us Part 2 is set five years after the original games story which features dangerous journey across a post-pandemic United States overrun by terrifying mutations, Ellie and Joel have now settled down in Jackson, Wyoming.

Ellie and Dina Run For Their Lives From A Horde of Infected!

Living with this thriving group of survivors  has brought a time of peace and stability into their lives, despite the ever present  threat of the infected mutations and dangerous groups of other survivors. However, following a violent incident, Ellie sets out on a dangerous journey to carry out justice and find sone sense of closure. But as she hunts down those responsible she must confront the untold horrors of this ravaged world and the terrible physical and emotional consequences of her actions.

Driving like crazy to escape a horde of infected

I’ve been really looking forward to The Last of Us Part 2,  the original game was fantastic, and I’m glad to say that the sequel is just as good. It combines survival horror elements, stealth, and great combat with a powerful storyline full of tension, action and emotion so I thought it would be a great game to feature in some videos on my YouTube Channel. It does still feels a bit strange playing yet another game about a pandemic while we are still coping with a real worldwide pandemic like COVID 19 right now, but I’ve still enjoyed having a new game to play nevertheless. 

I’ll post more gameplay videos on my YouTube Channel as I play through The Last of Us Part 2. Please feel free to like and subscribe if you enjoy the videos, and I’d also like to say a huge thank you for all your support of Sci-Fi Jubilee and my YouTube Channel. Cheers everyone, take care, and stay safe out there.

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 #93 review

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Batman #93

Review by Paul Bowler.

Batman squares off against the Designer in Batman #93 as Their Dark Designs reaches its thrilling conclusion! In the space of a year the Dark Knight has lost more than he could have ever thought possible, and now he faces a loss so shattering it will change his life beyond all recognition! But an even greater battle awaits. Joker War is on the horizon, and Gotham will never be the same again…

It’s safe to say there’s quite a lot riding on events in Batman #93, as winter Jame’s Tynion IV wraps up his first major story arc on the title, and effectively sets the stage for the imminent Joker War. So, is Batman #93 the culmination of a grand design, or does it completely miss the punchline?

Well, fortunately Tynion succeeds in brining together the numerous tangled plot threads In Their Dark Designs Part 8 to deliver a relatively satisfying finale to the story. There is the usual sparing between villain and Dark Knight as the grand scheme is unpicked and revealed, and their showdown is as deliciously theatrical as it is theatric. We also get to learn a lot more about the mysterious Underbroker and his organisation as he assists Catwoman in completing the greatest heist Gotham has ever seen, while Harley Quinn and the Joker’s new partner, Punchline, face off in spectacular fashion.

I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed with Punchline’s much touted debut last issue. Tynion goes some way to bringing more depth to the character in Batman #93, and her scrap here with Harley Quinn positively crackles with snappy dialogue and razor sharp action. While I still think Punchline comes across like some kind of vamped up version of Gogo from Kill Bill VOL I, her motivations for being with the Joker do at least have some credence to them. I still don’t understand  why there’s been so much hype about Punchline, it all seems a bit gimmicky to me, but hey, who knows, maybe Joker War will see the character continue to evolve and really get a chance to shine?

Batman #93 features some great work  from artists Guillem March and Javier Fernandez, along with colors by Tomeu Morey and David Baron, to ensure that this closing chapter of Their Dark Designs captures the sombre, brooding tone of Tynion’s script perfectly. There’s a wonderful montage of pages that collectively flashback and forwards over events, each one highlighting  a myriad of crucial aspects, narrative threads and potential outcomes. The fight between Batman and the Designer is also equally impressive, as are the highly atmospheric scenes between the Underwriter and Catwoman as Harley Quinn’s and Punchline’s anarchic dance of violence plays out with truly shocking results.

On the whole then, James Tynion IV brings Their Dark Designs to a powerful and surprising end. Batman #93 is an exciting, action-packed issue, it goes for broke, in more ways than one, and I’ve a feeling that by the time Joker War hits the Dark Knight’s world is genuinely going to be turned upside down on all fronts.

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: James Tynion IV / Artists: Guillem March & Javier Fernandez

Colors: Tomeu Morey & David Baron / Letters: Clayton Cowles

Cover: Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey

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

Dark Knights Death Metal #1 Review

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Dark Knights Death Metal #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

DC Comics major, world changing event of the year kicks off in Dark Knights Death Metal #1, reuniting the all-star creative team behind Dark Knights: Metal and Batman Last Knight on Earth, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, for an epic encore that is sure to rock your world and the DCU to the core!

Following in the wake of Year of the Villain and Scott Snyder’s run on Justice League, Dark Knights Death Metal #1 plunges us straight into the heart of a dark new DC Universe.  The Earth has been enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, Perpetua is cutting a swathe of carnage across the multiverse, and the Justice League are now almost completely at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity clings on, battling to survive in a hellish, twisted world, while Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman have become separated and continue to fight on against the terrifying horrors of this new reality.

Dark Knights Death Metal #1 rocks right from the outset, quite literally in fact. Scott Snyder weaves an engrossing narrative peppered with intricate exposition that effortlessly draws you into this warped new reality. Wonder Woman is now Queen of the Underworld, the realm which had formally been Themyscira is now a fiery gulag, with cages and pits for those unfortunate enough to have been condemned to its depths by the Batman Who Laughs. Its great to see Diana take centre stage, the banter with her loyal ally — a rather emaciated  Swamp Thing –  is also brilliantly written by Snyder, and the build up to Wonder Woman’s eventual face off with the Batman Who Laughs leaves you in no doubt that Snyder’s firing on all cylinders here. Of course the one, true Dark Knight is waiting in the wings for his moment to strike, and believe me when Batman makes his move everyone sits up and takes notice.

Needless to say artist Greg Capullo brings every aspect of Snyder’s head-banging action-packed script to life in the most amazing ways imaginable. Capullo’s depiction of the Earth, along with its heroes and villains, warped almost beyond all recognition by the Dark Multiverse is an awe inspiring sight. You will find yourself flicking backwards and forwards through the pages as you try and process the sheer scope and scale of everything Capullo has achieved here, together with the inks by Jonathan Glapion and colors by FCO Plascencia, as Wonder Woman challenges a furious dinobot Bat-Rex, Robin’s lurk like grinning gargoyles on the rooftops, the charge of Batman’s undead strike team will blow your mind, and the Batman Who Laughs sinister delight in the chaos he has unleashed is so palpable it almost seeps from the page. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a bit overwhelming, because you’d be right. It is a little. Fear not though, for, if like me you don’t tend to read big comic book events all that often these days, Dark Knights Death Metal #1 does feature an in-depth recap of sorts around the mid-way point, so even if you’ve not read anything leading up to this event, you will be able to jump right in and enjoy it without too much trouble as Snyder has done a superb job in ensuring the big reveal of the new prisoner in the pit provides you with all the backstory you’ll need to bring you up to speed.

Events in Dark Knights Death Metal #1 also build to a thrilling, jaw dropping showdown and cliffhanger that’s so ingeniously orchestrated it will rip your synapses to shreds as it sets the stage for the conflict to come.

The hype and expectation surrounding Death Metal has been phenomenal. Some might argue the Perpetua, Dark Multiverse and Batman Who Laughs storylines have now been milked for all their worth. For me though Dark Knights Death Metal #1 delivers the goods on every level, Snyder and Capullo are on great form, it more than lives up to the hype, and looks set to change the landscape of the DC Universe by the time it concludes next year.

As we begin to take our first cautious steps out of the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown here in the UK its has been nice to enjoy some new comics again. I have to say as well that DC Comics are really knocking it out of the park right now and leading the way with some fantastic new issues and events as the comic book industry begins to restart after the shutdown. Dark Knights Death Metal #1 gets this comic book event off to a fantastic start, and it has all the ingredients that will make it a sure-fire-hit!

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Greg Capullo

Inks: Jonathan Glapion / Colors: FCO Plascencia / Letters: Tom Napolitano

Cover: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

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

 

Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel Resident Evil 3 Remake

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Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel Resident Evil 3 Remake

The Resident Evil 3 remake from Capcom is finally here! I’ve been really looking forward to this remake of 1999’s Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, and thought it would be a great chance to feature some new gameplay videos on my YouTube Channel for you.

Resident Evil 3 is set in Raccoon City amidst the nightmarish outbreak of the T-Virus created by the Umbrella Corporation. The game features S.T.A.R.S member Jill Valentine and soldier Carlos Oliveira. As if being thrown into the midst of a zombie apocalypse wasn’t enough, Jill must also confront the towering Nemesis, a hulking humanoid Bo weapon that’s armed to the teeth and powerful enough to crush anything that gets in his way!

Check out the Opening Nemesis Chase!

Set during the events leading up to and after the acclaimed Resident Evil 2 remake, Resident Evil 3 is a tense survival horror game that features intense combat, puzzles, and encounters with numerous characters as Jill battles her way across Raccoon City with the seemingly unstoppable Nemesis relentlessly hunting her at ever turn. As well as the single player game there’s also Resident Evil Resistance, an online multiplayer addition that sets a team of players against a mastermind working behind the scenes to eliminate the survivors.

I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve played of the Resident Evil 3 remake so far. There are lots of nice nods to the original Resident Evil 3 to enjoy, the storyline is really good, its plays well, looks great, and they’ve done a fantastic job with how the fearsome Nemesis chases you through the game – he’s still as scary as ever, and then some!

The Nemesis Flamethrower Fight!

It does feel a bit strange playing a game like Resident Evil 3 with everything going on in the world right now and being in lockdown here in the UK because of the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s a worrying time for sure, but on a positive note, its given me more time to spend with my family, loads more time to write, I can also box set binge myself silly to my hearts content, and now thanks to the Resident Evil 3 remake I also get more time to play games on the PS4!

I’ll post more gameplay videos on my YouTube Channel as I work my way through the game. I might do some live streams as well, so please feel free to like and subscribe if you enjoy, and I’d also like to say a big thank you for your continued support of Sci-Fi Jubilee and my YouTube Channel. Cheers everyone, take care, and stay safe.

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

Transformers Vs Terminator #1 Review

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Transformers Vs Terminator #1

Review by Paul Bowle

Skynet Vs Cyberton in Transformers Vs Terminator #1, an epic new crossover from IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics, where a lone Terminator is sent to 1984 to save Earth from a terrifying future!

This new mini-comic book series sees the Terminator going head to head with the Decepticons, to escape annihilation in the future, and potentially team up with Sarah Conner and the Autobots in the first part of Enemy of my Enemy. The creative writing talents of David Mariotte, Tom Waltz and John Barber have ingeniously spliced established legacies with a time-twisting storyline that effectively turns both franchises on their heads.

From the ravaged future of Los Angeles 2029, its clear Skynet and the Autobots have fallen before the might of the Decepticons. Fortunately Skynet (now the final remnants of the resistance), has managed to locate the last vat grown epidermal T-800 and sent him back in time to 1984. It doesn’t take long for the T-800’s path to cross Sara Conner’s, where the young waitress quickly becomes embroiled in his mission to reach Mount ST. Hilary, and alter future events by terminating the Cybertronians that have crash landed there.

The narrative and pacing were sound enough to make this first issue of Transformers Vs Terminator engaging enough. Some might baulk at the characterisation and depiction of Sarah Conner in this issue though. Her role and purpose may have been deemed irrelevant by Skynet, but there are still glimmers of the powerful warrior she was originally destined to become, and I have a feeling we will still see Sarah Conner become a force to be reckoned with as this mini-series progresses. The T-800 here is a bit of an oddity, he’s coldly logical one moment, and grinning with glee the next. Lots of familiar Easter eggs from the Terminator franchise pepper the narrative too. However, I found the scenes in the future far more engrossing than the somewhat pedestrian plotting as events unfolded in the present, and the issue felt a little disjointed in that respect as a result.

Alex Milne’s artwork is very good, along with the colors by David Garcia Cruz, and there’s some impressively staged sequences that positively leap out at you. Lots of familiar Autobot characters now litter the war torn battlefield of the future, and Skynets last stand in their stronghold against the advancing Decepticons is also brilliantly realised. I would have loved to seen more of the giant T-8000 in action here against the Decepticons, so it was a shame we only got a fleeting glimpse of it lumbering into battle. The Terminators have a mix of the Genisys / Dark Fate design of the T-800 Endoskeleton about them, which also looks really good. Some of the scenes set in 1984 do look a little rough around the edges in places, although I think that’s more to the choices of panel layout here, the rendition of the waitress Sarah Conner is spot on though, and the contrast between the future versions of the Decepticons and the more classic Transformers seen in this issue are also especially striking.

IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics uniting to bring their unique takes on the Transformers and Terminator franchises together is a clear no-brainer, in fact it makes you wonder why its taken so long for them to get around to it. I’ve always been a big fan of Dark Horse’s Terminator comics and IDW’s Transformers, so it’s great to finally see them team-up like this. The creative team has a long association with Transformers comics, but they’ve also cleverly incorporated the Terminator saga to weave a story where the T-800 travels back in time to wipe out the Cybertornians before they can jeopardise the future, whilst skilfully splicing the mythos of both properties in the process. Although Transformers Vs Terminator #1 wasn’t quite the mind-blowing start that I’d hoped for with the mini-series, the intriguing premise has me hooked, and if – like me – you are a fan of either franchise you’ll still find plenty to enjoy here as this epic clash between Skynet and Cybertron gets underway!

Publisher: IDW

Story By: David Mariotte, Tom Waltz, John Barber

Written by: David Mariotte and John Barber

Art: Alex Milne, Colors: David Garcia Cruz

Letters & Design: Jake M. Wood, Cover A: Gavin Fullerton

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 #91 Review

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Batman #91

Review by Paul Bowler

The Dark Knight squares off against Deathstroke in Batman #91 as the mysterious Designer’s grand plan begins to overwhelm Gotham. In order to help Batman save the city Catwoman will have to undertake the greatest heist in Gotham’s history. However, with Joker, Penguin and Riddler involved, and with a team of assassins on the loose Catwoman must reluctantly team-up with Harley Quinn while Batman confronts Deathstroke alone…

Writer James Tynion IV gathers numerous plot threads together in Their Dark Designs Part 6, as the pieces of the Designer’s scheme woven from the betrayal of the major players of Gotham’s nefarious Rogues Gallery of villains begins to unfold. Batman #91 starts chillingly enough. Joker has a tale to tell, one where he’s naturally the star of the show of course. It’s a glorious retelling of the Joker’s, Riddler’s, Pernguin’s, and Catwoman’s past encounter with the Designer from last issues flashback to events at Tartarus House, and its frighteningly relayed to the Joker’s captive audience. Add an intriguing phone call, together with the fact that the Joker War storyline is rapidly approaching, and this interlude with Joker clearly lays the groundwork for even darker things to come.

After reigning in Harley Quinn following her brief stint on drone duty, the primary focus of the issue is Batman’s high-octane chase and showdown with Deathstroke, Once again Tynion’s brings some superb characterisation to the fore here as Batman confronts Deathstroke with the Nightclimber, highlighting some striking parallels between them as Batman strives to make his case for saving Gotham City. Likewise, Catwoman and Harley Quinn are thrown together again and have to fight their way out of trouble. There’s a great dynamic between them too which leads to some hilarious asides and observations from Harley Quinn on the whole Bat-Cat relationship!

Batman #91’s artwork is shared between Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, and Carlo Pagulayan. Each of their distinctive artistic styles is perfectly suited to the trio of plot lines they’ve been allotted to render. The varying styles overlap nicely and don’t jar as a result, action sequences flow seamlessly alongside the more character driven moments, and the colors by Tomeu Morey accentuates the dark, brooding atmosphere of the issue perfectly.

Following Batman’s unexpected alliance with a deadly foe, everything builds to an exciting cliff-hanger as another player steps into the fray to take their turn in the Designer’s game. Although the story is starting to feel a little conventional with yet another mysterious villain seemingly knowing the Dark Knight’s every move, Tynion’s excellent writing keeps things engaging enough, the art is also very good, and the action-adventure tone ensures this is another exciting issue.

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer James Tynion IV /

Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan, and Danny Miki

Colors: Tomeu Morey / Letters: Clayton Cowles

Cover: Jimenez and Morey

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

X-Men #8 Review

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X-Men #8

Review by Paul Bowler

A deadly threat crashes to Earth in X-Men #8, brining peril to the Mutant nation of Krakoa from the farthest reaches of Shi’ar space. The New Mutants have returned from their intergalactic adventures, unwittingly brining trouble home with them, sparking conflict involving the Brood, the Shi’ar Empire, the Starjammers, and the Imperial Guard!

From the dawn of a new day on the island of Krakoa, to the chilling scenes on the fringe of Shi’ar space, and Cyclops and Havoc finding their brother Vulcan has been partying a little too hard at their lunar homestead writer Jonathan Hickman implements a slight gear shift in the overall narrative of this new X-Men series to propel the New Mutants and the X-Men into a cosmic spanning saga. With the defence of Krakoa at stake as the Brood attack, searching for the King Egg the New Mutants brought back to Earth, the Summers brothers hatch a plan to use the said egg to lead the oncoming Brood horde away into space via a Shi’ar stargate.

The action is frenetic and well rendered by Mahmud Asrar, especially the opening moments where the parasitic Brood are depicted swarming in space, initial scenes with Cyclops and Magik coordinating the defence of Krakoa are also excitingly dynamic, and colorist Leinil Francis employs a rich palette of tones and hues that nicely accentuates the action.

Considering how dramatically the Dawn of X relaunch of the X-Men range has evolved in recent issues, with the new Mutant nation of Krakoa developing its own rituals and customs, resurrection protocols, the brutality of the Crucible, and the X-Men’s plan to prevent the creation of the super Mutant killing robot, Nimrod, on the Orchis space station orbiting the sun, along with Professor X’s rather unsettling demeanour (especially the coercive manipulation of Mystique in their attempt to achieve this goal), X-Men #8 feels like a distraction – albeit an exciting one – from the core narrative Jonathan Hickman has built since the game changing events of House of X and Power of X.

For me Jonathan Hickman’s flagship X-Men book remains the pinnacle in terms of quality and good storytelling. Hickman may be acting as a kind of show runner for the entire range of X-Men comics now, but few of the other X-titles that Marvel has been churning out have really grabbed me, save for X-Force and Wolverine by Benjamin Percy. So, if you only have time for one X-Book, I’d make it Hickman’s X-Men, it was bit of a slow burn at first, but has proved well worth sticking with. The X-Men don’t necessarily feel like heroes anymore either, they are now one united Mutant nation on the living island of Krakoa, and the X-Men are certainly making the rest of the world sit up and take notice in a way that’s never happened before in the history of the X-Men. Sure, I miss the days where the X-Men felt more like a crazy mutant soap opera, but I really like how Hickman is doing something so fresh, different and innovative with X-Men right now.

In closing, X-Men #8 juggles a number of plot lines, with the Cyclops, Havok and Vulcan jetting off into space, the Starjamers runing into trouble with a Kree Accuser, and Gladiator and the Imperial Guard finding a new target to hunt. Jonathan Hickman continues to deliver engaging storylines and strong characterisation on every level, the Broods return and epic scale of the issue is impressively realised by Mahmud Asrar’s artwork, and the overall tone of the issue energetically paced. X-Men #8 might leave us chomping at the bit as wider issues are put to one side momentarily, but this unexpected jaunt into space makes for an action-packed diversion nevertheless, and the return of the Brood always provides a challenging threat for the X-Men to contend with.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Jonathan Hickman / Artist Mahmud Asrar

Colorist: Leinil Francis Yu / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover Artists: Leinil Francis Yu and Sunny Gho

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