Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Comics Sept 28 2014


New Avengers 24

Namor made a choice to be the thing that was necessary and enlisted the help of probably the best possible accomplices he could have in the now eight months old New Avengers 23. The mistake the heroic Illuminati made way back in issue 1 comes to roost in their belief they were morally up to the task of saving the world and universe; most sadly surrender to the what is coming, one runs and one Namor chooses to be the thing that is necessary. Here he realizes he can't live silently with the deal he made because of the allies he chose. This is not a happy story, its not the one I expected but it was the one I was glad to get; Thanos is not a hero, never was and neither were Terrax, the mad Inhuman,Thanos' generals nor is Black Swan. The story that Hickman is finally telling is due payoff for his long set up nd the moodily colored art by Schiti. There is a sence of both menace and dark humor in this title that ove one the grim dark nature and make it more then just another anti hero tale told yet again. My only wish would be to see more of Black Swan in the story. Its seldom writers tap into how truly malicious Thanos can be but Hickman and Schiti get idisturbingly right to the point.


All New Invaders 10

Few people are talking about the Invaders and this unassuming book is doing compelling things with lesser utilized characters in the Marvel Universe and expanding the legacy of the original superheroes of WW2. James Robinson and Steve Pugh are slowly expanding the cast they are working with this time; re introducing Jim Hammonds sidekick Toro and addin a new Iron Cross as well as tying this book into the wider Inhumas story, they also recognize the developing story between Captain America and the New Avengers and reintroduces the British legacy heroes not to mention Killraven. I'm afraid this might be another title that I connect with like Fearless Averngers and Journey into Mystery that will have an abriviated run so I hope other people try out this unusual title. It's not another Avengers though it stars one of them, its a bit more like mission impossible with superheroes and manages to carriy the weight of Marvel History on its shoulders much the same as a successful Justice Society title would for the other company. Next issue promises a Namor Human Torch battle to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marvel so perhaps that may get some notice for this somewhat ignored book...


Mighty Avengers 14

This issue temporarily marks the end for this book by Al Ewing that began with the ad hoc formation of the most ethically diverse team in recent memory during the Infinity storyline. I loved seeing Luke Cage back in a regular book as well as Monica Rambeau (the second Captain Marvel now Specturm) who was one of my favorite Avengers and was a joy in a couple issues of Deconnick's Captain Marvel. Though this book will be back with the Sam Wilson's Cap after a month hiatus this is a great testament to the emotional fortitude of the cast Al is writing about in this book. Overshadowed by its big screen cousin title and its eight months later hype in my opinion this is the Avengers book to be reading. Al never failed to bring an honest smile to my face and several months back in issue ten wrote one of the best Original Sin ite in issues where the Blue Marvel becomes a god father. This book like the Invaders has a sense of history and legacy where it comes to character and like most books dealing with "lesser" characters can make actual change that will probably become lasting.


All New Ghost Rider 7

Filipe Smith is taking his hero Robbie to some very dark places in the second story arc; being a young person straddled with responciblity getting power seems to have changed his life for the better. I know that with the change I art last issue some people might be giving up given Damien Scott is so looser and different from the amazing Mr Moore but they are missing out on good storytelling here. The art is honestly not for everyone and some elements in this issue feel a bit rushed but I will say this for the story its strong enough to eked me coming back. The art has a definite street graffiti influence and given time it will develope into something people may really dig. This issue builds on the story from the first story arc and touches on the new Hyde army that Zabo seems to be working towards and on the fallout of the missing drugs from the earlier story. Oh and in the final pages next issues guest star maked his fiery appearance. Good stuff and actually pushes some interesting story buttons not explored often in superhero comics.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pull List Wednesday Sept 24, 2014


All New Ghost Rider 7

Yes I was sad when Traad Moore left this title because of the dynamic artwork he was doing but the first issue of the new artist Damin Scott last month proved a very cool surprise. It took a bit of time to warm up to the graffiti influences style but I quite like it looking at it again. This story arc promises to bring in the original Ghost Rider Jonny Blaze and hopefully will shed some more light on what the new Ghost Rider might be and what sinister side this new spirit of Vengence might just have. Filipe Smith created something successfully different with Robbie Reyes, a boy straddled with responcibility who has now come into power... I really hope that he gets a chance to tell the whole story he has planned here. I don't want to see another comic I'm digging get shelved before its time...


All New Invaders 10

This is one of the two titles out this that makes the Namor fan in me happy, he's one of the characters that really falls outside the polarized world of heros and villains in his own realm. James Robinson and Steve Pugh are doing some very fun things in this book and really the only thing missing here is a female presence among these World War Two soldiery heroes. This title is kinda a buddy bromance spy adventure story starring Jim Hammond the original Human Torch now agent of SHIELD and Namor who's living a very interesting life at the moment. This issue is the second that sees them, Bucky the Winter Soldier and still young Steve Rogers Cap fighting an army of Deathlocks who aparently are owned by an alien posing as a human. All of this seems to be leading to a war with Mars or something.



New Avengers 24

This is the one I'm probably looking forward to the most. The last issue was retry telling about all the characters that were part of the illuminati and who they are when the chips are really down and who will do what is necessary. I really love the choices Hickman made and agree with his assessment of the big players Richards, Stark, McCoy, Strange, and the Panther. This issue must introduce the new Avengers and is they are the ones on the cover well I can say I dig it. I won't say much more about it till I've read it come Thursday... Before reading issue 23 I'd have said you had me at Thanos but now well you had me at Namor....



Mighty Avengers 14

Al Ewing is making what is most often the funest of the many avengers offerings and well quite obviously the one with the most diverse cast of characters. I have always been a fan of the adventures of Luke Cage Power Man and being a horror comics kinda geek I was a fan of Blade from the old days too. This may be a book who's days are numbered in this current incarnation to be immediately replaced with Captain America and the Mighty Avengers with the same writer and mostly the same team. Maybe its not the time to jump on and read the adventures of The Blue Marvel, Spectrum, She-Hulk, the new Poweman, White Tiger, and Luke Cage but well maybe perhaps too it is the right time to do so and grab some of the back issues too. Oh and anyone that missed the Original Sin issues really they were a blast....







Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Comics Sept. 21, 2014

This week was a pretty massive one in terms of things I wish is could regularly follow... Multiversity one with Chris Sprouse, All New Xmen, Avengers (8 months later) to name just a few so I'll stick with just the two I got to pick up...

Thor God of Thunder 25

One of the two books I've read so far from this potentially very expensive week of comics. Thor 25 is the end of this volume with Odinson becoming again unworthy to wield mjolnir after what occured in Original Sin. There are two main stories in this issue framed as stories being read by the granddaughters of Thor ala Journey into Mystery. The opening tale is the origin of Maliketh which is suitably grim and dark and overall satisfying for someone who has long liked the dark elf and the second is a young Thor tale with art by Simon Bisley of Slaine and Lobo fame. That and the final couple pages that are a teaser for the new Thor series point to stories yet to come... It's been a good time to be a Thunder god fan and there seems to be no one better to write it the Aaron. Even at the five dollar price point this issue felt satisfying in art and story both. Looking forward to the mysterious woman who somehow gets the hammer from the moons surface....



The Wicked + The Divine 4

I will be honest here thought I liked the story up till this issue I was mainly getting the book for its truly georgeous artwork by McKelvie and Wilson. This issue is probably the best looking so far but this is where the slow build story wise from issue one really dug its claws into me and I know I'm hooked. So we get more of a look at some of the characters that we have been hearing about since issue one, I'm looking at you Woden and get a bit deeper into the set up for what I think will be the fireworks to come soon. Its more then just a pretty face and now I must go read deeper into issues one through three again.... Thank you Kieron and company of a very cool book....





Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wanted Dispatch Sept 13 2014


Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

I've been a fan since reading Zoo City and absolutely loved The Shining Girls so getting a chance to read an ARC of this was a pleasure. Like Shining Girls Broken Monsters is a serial killer crime novel that shows the story through many perspectives including the killer and shows how broken all the characters are in their very human ways. Lauren is one of the writers who goes outside the white western eurpean storytelling box and apparently spent a good deal of time researching Detroit, her setting, and the realities of being mixed race in a prejudiced society that thinks itself not racist anymore. Expect a full review to be coming soon. Here is a synopsis from Hachette books... It is out in the US on the 16th of September...

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams? If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe--and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world. If Lauren Beukes's internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

They do the same things Different There by Robert Sherman

Of the three books I am posting about this week this is the first of the two from my favorite dark fiction publisher from Canada - ChiZine. I'm a sucker for short fiction collections and particularly for weird fiction collections so this is pretty much my kind of thing...

Here is the synopsis and a link to ChiZine.....

Robert Shearman visits worlds that are unsettling and strange. Sometimes they are just like ours—except landlocked countries may disappear overnight, marriages to camels are the norm, and the dead turn into musical instruments. Sometimes they are quite alien—where children carve their own tongues from trees, and magic shows are performed to amuse the troops in the war between demons and angels. There is horror, and dreams fulfilled and squandered, of true love. They do the same things different there.

Robert Shearman has written four previous collections of short stories, and they have collectively won the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and three British Fantasy Awards. He is probably best known as a writer on the BBC TV series Doctor Who, and his work on the show gave him a Hugo Award nomination. His last book, Remember Why You Fear Me, is also published by ChiZine Publications.


Gifts for the one who come After by Helen Marshall

And so here is the other book coming this week from ChiZine and its another short fiction anthology of things dark and weird. And I'll leave you with the link and synopsis for this....

Helen Marshall’s debut collection Hair Side, Flesh Side earned her praise as "the new face of horror" (January Magazine). Her work has been nominated for the Aurora Award from the Canadian Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, and the Sydney J. Bounds Award from the British Fantasy Society, which she won in 2013.

Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup . . .Helen Marshall’s second collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother’s bellybutton. Death’s wife prepares for a very special funeral. In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers eighteen tales of love and loss that cement her as a powerful voice in dark fantasy and the New Weird. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving.




Monday, September 8, 2014

To rate or not to rate ...

So that is my question.... With my reviews of fiction and comics does anyone have a wish that I would take up a rating scale like a five star or a one to ten scale.... I look at these if places have them but sometimes its all I look at rather then what the reviewer in question liked... So what you think...


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wanted Dispatch Sept 6 2014

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

In terms of modern supernatural horror Robert Jackson Bennett is most likely the name that fewer people know but hopefully this book may change that. Bennett has won and been nominated for the genre literary awards like the Shirley Jackson, the PK Dick and the Edgar. His work generally crosses genre borders and is hard to really categorize; City Of Stairs is a mix of second world fantasy, modernist suspense, urban fantasy with an odd gear and steamless atmosphere of steampunk. Though surrounded by an action oriented and very entertaining aid de camp its heroine Shara Thivani is a distinctly different kind of protagonist. I plan a full review for Monday to celebrate this book and hopefully create some sales for Robert...

Here is a link to an excerpt from and a synopsis


The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available September 9th in the US (Crown Publishing) and October 2nd in the UK (Jo Fletcher Books).

Monstrous Affections edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant

So here I am at it again but I have to point out great looking themed short fiction collections (there are a couple of great looking ones coming out this month). I'm familiar with Ms Link from her own great short fiction collections so I have hopes that this will be influenced by her flavor or darkly humorous storytelling. posted up this great piece of cover artwork along with a description and table of contents which I'm copying below...

Predatory kraken that sing with—and for—their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

Table of Contents:

Paolo Bacigalupi—Moriabe’s Children

Cassandra Clare—Old Souls

Holly Black—Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind)

M. T. Anderson—Quick Hill

Nathan Ballingrud—The Diabolist

Patrick Ness—This Whole Demoning Thing

Sarah Rees Brennan—Wings in the Morning

Nalo Hopkinson—Left Foot, Right

G. Carl Purcell—The Mercurials

Dylan Horrocks—Kitty Capulet and the Invention of Underwater Photography

Nik Houser—Son of Abyss

Kathleen Jennings—A Small Wild Magic

Kelly Link—The New Boyfriend

Joshua Lewis—The Woods Hide in Plain Sight

Alice Sola Kim—Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying

Hieroglyph edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer...

This is an anthology inspired by some thoughts put forward by Neal Stephenson; I believe he had become disenchanted with the grim futures being written about by his fellow authors and posited writing more positive futures to dream bigger (higher faster better more to reference Captain Marvel.) This collection of stories taps some of the best writers in Science Fiction to imagine a better future....

Here is the solicitation from Harper..

Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration—must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: “Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place.”

In 2012, Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on “moon shot ideas” that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.