Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Witchblade #174 Advance Review

Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Laura Braga

Will Sara reclaim the Witchblade? Read on to find out.

The official description from Top Cow:

Is the Witchblade out to reclaim Sara as its rightful host...or is it out for revenge?

The first arc of the new creative team comes to a close and it does so in a very explosive way. The encounter between Sara and the Angelus was inevitable though well worth the wait. Calling this an exciting issue would be an understatement as the encounter between these two Witchblade wielders made for extremely entertaining reading.

Since returning to the series Ron Marz has reminded me of why I loved the character in the first place. He's also made this opening arc extremely new reader friendly as having missed the last few arcs prior to this I was personally happy to easily jump into this one. With this issue in particular however Marz gives a dynamic conclusion to Born Again with the dialogue and action being very dramatic throughout. Though obvious he also ends the arc in a brilliant manor allowing even newer readers to flow smoothly into the next issues anniversary story.

Laura Braga has been the true gem of this creative team with the artist consistently producing phenomenal artwork. The way that she's able to give intense and exciting action sequences in a smooth and sleek style is truly breathtaking with it's dynamic flow also being captivating. She also does a terrific job of giving intensity to the Sara/Angelus encounter with the facial expressions throughout adding a lot of drama and realism. Added to this we have yet more wonderful colours from Betsy Gonia with her vibrant pallet giving the perfect finishing touches to a perfect issue.

Witchblade's first arc under the creative team of Marz and Braga ends on a high with the explosive and intense events being mesmerising. Highly recommended.

10/10


Preview




Witchblade #177 is on sale tomorrow.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy 75th Batman!


Today marks 75 years since the first appearance of Batman in the pages of Detective Comics #27. Since then he has become a world wide name and my personal favourite superhero. Due to this it would be bad if I didn't at least give a mention about the Caped Crusaders big day and though it may also be Mothering Sunday it's definitely also the day of the Bat.

If you want more Batman talk from me check out an Unleash the Fanboy article I did a few weeks ago on the Dark Knight turning 75 titled BATMAN: 75 and Doing Fine!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

The first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The trailer sees a bit of TNMNT action whilst also showing other characters including April O'Neil.


My Thoughts


I have been very wary about this latest film version featuring the heroes in a half shell as with Michael Bay producing it could either be brilliant or disastrous. Following this trailer I'm still not completely swayed as to believe that this will be excellent, but it has shown some whit and humour giving some promise. One thing I can say is that I look forward to seeing it either way.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in cinemas August 8th.

Hercules Trailer

Hercules is a film that has taken a back-burner to the likes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and many other films. I however am very excited for this upcoming film and after seeing this trailer I am even more so.


My Thoughts


I love these kind of trailers as though they don't really give a lot of premise or set-up they also don't allow your expectation to go into over gear, simply teasing you (hence the term teaser). Having not read the comic that this film is based on I'm not overly sure on what to expect but one thing I'm sure about and that is that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnston will be awesome as the legendary demigod.

Hercules is in cinemas July 25th.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

I've not been overly active on my blog recently and I apologise for that. Due to my work at Unleash the Fanboy as well as my day job I have been finding it hard to find the time to post extra reviews and content and with there now being a backlog of stuff to addit's became harder. I do however hope it have my Quick Fire Ratings back up soon (over a months to come in the next couple of weeks) as well as the odd review.

Anyway click the image bellow to check out my review for Captain America: The Winter Soldier at Unleash the Fanboy.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Aphrodite IX #9 Review

Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Stjepan Šejic

Will a issue without any narrative be good? Read on to find out.

The official description from Image:

“DANGERS OF THE DESOLATE ZONE”
The ninth issue of APHRODITE IX finally reveals what the numbering system really means. Plus, Aphrodite XV’s design and build reveals more about Aphrodite IX’s future—and her past—than she could ever anticipate.

Aphrodite IX is a series that I truly can’t get enough off, and though there may be a few series that I say this about Aphrodite IX is one of the few that validate this reason the most. The sheer scope of the series is breathtaking with Aphrodite IX’s struggle for the truth giving a very humanised tone to what is otherwise a tremendous sci-fi series.

Matt Hawkins is taking a bold step with this issue by making it his first issue to have now narrative whatsoever. Now there are many writers who have do this on a regular basis so why dose this class as bold step. It does so as Hawkins is a writer renowned for his tremendous narration, being very outspoken for his reasoning of using it so frequently. Hawkins does however prove that he can write a story void of narrative with this being a smooth flowing exciting and emotional development point for Aphrodite IX. Hawkins also introduces more characters related to Aphrodite IX with the speculation of what will happen next having me more than excited.

Stjepan Šejic never fails to produce immense artwork on this series and his new style has really grown on me over the last few issues. The sheer detail of his art is simply outstanding with the crisp lines and intense layout giving a smooth flow to the story. Šejic also shows intensity in many other forms as besides the layouts the powerful facial expressions and energised action sequences also inject plenty of intensity. Despite all this it’s still the vibrant and glossy colours that I love most about Šejic’s art with this in particular being a plus to his new style.

Hawkins and Šejic continue to give us amazing issue after amazing issue and with this series crawling to it’s finale you’d be a fool to miss a single issue. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9.5/10


Preview



Sunday, 9 March 2014

Witchblade #173 Advance Review

Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Laura Braga

Will Sara get her job back? Read on to find out.

The official description from Top Cow:

BORNE AGAIN

Even without the Witchblade secured to her wrist, Sara Pezzini cannot escape the corrupting influence of the gauntlet.

Witchblade has been going from strength to strength as of late, with the return of Ron Marz giving a terrific twist to the story whilst also retaining the classic Witchblade feel. This story itself also gives mystery and excitement and with the introduction of a villains along with the speculation of what might happen it is definitely a good time to be a Witchblade fan.

Ron Marz yet again gives a exciting and intriguing script, as although he didn't manage to match last issue he still managed to amaze. The only real trouble I had with Marz' script in this issue was that he was trying to do too much, with the pace being a little to quick. In saying that the character dialogue along with the overall tone remains brilliant, with the passion that he shows in Sara's attempt to get her job back adding some tension and drama as well. Marz also does a terrific job of teasing the future of this series, with the mysterious nature of the Witchblade adding a lot of suspense.

Laura Braga has been one of the best new talents to have entered comics over the last few years with her Witchblade art never failing to impress. The sheer detail and style of Braga's art is simply amazing and added with her smooth layouts it gives a vibrant feel to the issue. Braga also shows the intense moments perfectly with the characters facial expressions, and especially Sara's giving a lot of tone and realism to the story. Combine all this with the equally fabulous colours from Betsy Gonia and the artwork of Witchblade is something you'll love time and time again.

Witchblade continues to astound as despite the fast pace it managed to show great characteristics as well as tease the future of the series perfectly. Highly recommended.

Rating: 8/10


Preview




Witchblade #173 is on sale 12th March.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Punisher #2 Review

Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Mitch Gerads

Has Punisher found his new best friend? Read on to find out.

The official description from Marvel:

For years, The Punisher has waged a war on crime in New York City with an array of very large guns, but a lead on a major source of drugs, weapons, and more has set his many sights due west. NOW! Frank Castle's in the City of Angels, looking to give the devil his due. Things aren't all they appear, though, with a highly trained military hit squad hot on Frank's tail. Caught between a posse of Punisher predators and targets of his own one-man-war, Frank's manifest destiny may be a shallow grave!

We're seeing the Punisher go down a very different route than he normally does in this series, and although this may have ruffled the feathers of some fans I myself think it's been a brilliant development. The way that Punisher is getting out and about and being less of a brooding character has been fantastic, as although you don't want him going too far in the opposite direction it's realistically be hard to operate out of L.A. otherwise.

Nathan Edmondson continues to give is the kind of dark and mysterious series that Punisher needs, with his tactical approach taking making Punisher deadlier than ever. What has intrigued me the most however is the way that Edmondson shows Punisher as a character, as during this issue and the last we see a more carefree nature, with the act of taking in a coyote being something I don't think he'd have done a few years ago. On top of this Edmondson continues to build a lot of suspense with the Howling Commandos and the new-old villain who appears at the end adding a lot of tension.

Mitch Gerads has been simply killing it with the art on this series, as despite being initially sceptical about how he'd fare I have to say I'm gladly surprised. The roughness along with the layouts gives a lot of depth and definition to this take on the Punisher. Gerads also gives us yet more explosive action with the characters reactions and facial expressions also adding a punchy tone. I did however question the decision to give Frank the kind of mask he was wearing in this issue, as despite the fact that it may not have been Gerad's fault rather Edmondson and that he needs to keep his face hidden due to his more outgoing stance, I thought it looked rather stupid.

Punisher continues to amaze me and with the villain who appeared during the cliffhanger I for one will definitely be rushing to get the next issue. Highly recommended.

Rating: 8/10

Harley Quinn #3 Review

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Chad Hardin

What will Harley get up to on Valentines Day? Read on to find out.

The official description from DC Comics:

It's Valentine's Day, and Harley is getting depressed watching happy couples walk by. Will a special gift from Poison Ivy turn things around for Harley?

So far Harley Quinn has been a very fun series, giving the kind of energetic alternative that the New 52 has needed for a while. Due to this it' the perfect series to tell a Valentine's story during, and given Harley's recent experience with heartbreak there is a lot of possible ways this story could have gone.

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti give us a simple yet another amazing one-shot story, with these quick tales being enjoyable to read. There is however a small part of me that wishes that there'd be more of a continuous structure, as despite there being the continuous threat of the bounty that's on Harley's head, it appears to be quite random. Though in saying that this is rather fitting for Harley. Conner and Palmiotti also utilised the Valantine's theme perfectly, utilising Poison Ivy's cameo from last issue in a subtle yet effective way.

Chad Hardin's art on this series has been simply amazing and one of the things that I've enjoyed the most. The sheer detail of Hardin's art is simply wonderful, with his unique and smooth flowing layouts giving depth and tone to this quirky story. Hardin also showed the emotion and excitement in this issue perfectly as well, with both the characters facial expressions and the action giving some definition. Combine all this with the splendid colours from Alex Sinclair and this is a comic that visually should please everyone.

A fun Valentine's story that'll appeal to any Harley Quinn fan with it also having it's usual lively tone. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9/10

Friday, 21 February 2014

RoboCop (2014) Review

Having been a huge fan of the original film I was both excited and sceptical when they announced a reboot. Initially my expectations were relatively high (as expected), but as more and more news came out I lost faith along the way.

I can however put all that to one side now, as having finally seen the film I can make my final judgement. I’ll start off by saying that this is a completely different film, and I mean completely. The concept is the same, but the story, feeling and tone of the film is completely different. Due to this it’s slightly hard to review this film, as on the one hand there’s the film as a stand alone feature, and on the other there’s the comparison to the original.

Taking the viewpoint of a stand alone instalment this was overall very good film, having some epic moments. It is however not without it’s faults, with it’s main one being the lagging first hour. Like most I enjoy good story build-up, but in this film they went a little over the top. Fair enough the emotional tone means that there needs to be some degree of story depth, but at the same time it could’ve easily been cut down by at least 15 minutes. Going from negative to positive, the action was definitely worth the wait, with RoboCop showing a more tactical approach that gives an intense and exciting result.

Comparing it to the original gives a completely different response. RoboCop himself had a lot of changes, as despite there being references to the original he was overall quite different. In the original he was devoid of emotion from the start, regaining it along the way. In this film however he retains emotional function, with it not being removed until a considerable time later. I personally preferred this, as it gave more depth and resolve to the character, but this was probably one of the few changes I enjoyed as a fan. One of the changes I disliked was the suit, as although the black suited the bike, I overall prefer the silver with black trim. Despite all this the overall comparison doesn’t ruin the film and there are things that’ll appeal to long time fans.

Casting choices can make or break a film, though in this case it had a fairly neutral effect. The leading role of RoboCop was filled by relative unknown Joel Kinnaman, as despite not surpassing Peter Weller he did do a great job of giving the character depth needed for this story. The rest of the cast consisted of quite a few well known actors with Michael Keaton playing OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars, Gary Oldman playing Dr. Dennett Norton (the scientist who invents RoboCop) and Samuel L. Jackson as a TV presenter named Patrick "Pat" Novak. All these big named did a great job, but it’ be Oldman how’d do the best, as he showed the characters frustration brilliantly. The overall best performance came from Jackie Earle Haley as Rick Mattox, proving to be the perfect rival for RoboCop.

The big up point for this film had to be it’s CGI. This was the only reason that RoboCop needed a reboot, as despite the dated special effects from the original not being bad, I’d be nice to have a slicker more futuristic look, and we definitely got that. Everything technological wise looked amazing, with everything from the drones to the ED-209’s having an impact. The thing that impressed me the most however was the way they showed Alex’s lack of body outside the RoboCop suit, and along with Alex’s reaction this gave a great insight into just how much this character has lost.

RoboCop is overall a decent reboot, as despite not being anywhere near the same league as the original there are some moments that will appeal to fans of the original. Due to this it gets a recommendation, but don’t have your hopes too high.

Rating: 6/10