With a title like that and a the tagline: “Renegade psychic. Professional hairstylist” how could I not be intrigued? I love psychics, horror/comedies, and quirkiness, so my first thought was sign me up. But does Bob: Non Union Psychic live up to the quirky title? Read on my pretties to find out. Continue reading Advance Review: Bob Non Union Psychic #0→
Before we begin, I would like to say that I don’t really play video games. When given an Xbox controller, I’m that person who just presses buttons and hopes that I make something work. I would like to get into it, but, at the moment, it’s not really my thing. Going in, I knew very little about the Call of Duty franchise other than it being a first person shooter game that had something to do with the military.
On the other hand, I am a huge fan of Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe. My interest was piqued by him writing a new group of covert soldiers set in a semi post apocalyptic future. I may not know as much about the material it’s based on, but like Pat said to me recently, “it’s often more important to know the creator than knowing the property.” Besides, this was a prequel to the game, meaning that it had to set up the world and give backstory. With all that in mind, I dove right in. Continue reading Advance Review: Call of Duty Black Ops III #1→
Halloween is coming, and along with it, we have our ghosts and goblins, our Jack O’Lanterns, and sexy costumes that really shouldn’t be considered sexy. It’s the time of year where we all hunger for horror, whether from movies, books, or comics. It’s the time of year where we revel in being afraid. To whet our appetites for nightmares to come, I thought I’d take a look at the opening of the third volume of Colder, Toss the Bones. Continue reading Advance Review: Colder: Toss The Bones #1→
Any self respecting theater kid knows that techies make the world go ’round, and for the techies at the St. Genesius’s Preparatory High School, the job is much harder. What with the Tool Mice eating all the props, the constantly moving tunnels and worst of all; the snobby actors.
When Jory transfers to a private all boys school he feels like an outcast. His nervousness is palpable as he walks into the theater and it’s not helped by the over the top actors. They send him backstage to retrieve a prop and he stumbles across the stage hands–the animal loving Sasha, the no nonsense Aziz, the flirty builder Hunter and electricity loving Beckett–while they’re in the middle of a Tool Mice infestation. Jory figures out what the mice like and they get them somewhere they’ll be happy. With the prop in hand, Jory returns to the stage only to find that he doesn’t belong there, so he decides to join the Backstagers.
I know James Tynion best from his Batman/Ninja Turtles crossover (which, sidenote, was all my dreams come to life) and as one of the head writers of Batman Eternal. This is radically different from Batman and a testament to his versatility that he can do both and make it excellent. A lot have compared Backstagers to Lumberjanes because both are all ages, about extra curricular activities with a supernatural bend, have an emphasis on friendship and feature a diverse cast mostly of one gender; but those similarities are not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing. If you love Lumberjanes, you’ll adore Backstagers.
In this first issue, we spend most of our time with Jory as he tries to find a community. Everyone can relate to that feeling of “what if I don’t fit in?” and the anxiety of looking for a place to belong. He spends most of the issue in a constant state of nervousness and confusion, but once he finds the Backstagers, he proves himself clever and resourceful. The characterization for the rest of the Backstagers is strong, from the hyperactive Sasha to the geeky Beckett, none of the characters are forgettable. The standouts would have to be the lead actors, Kevin and Blake McQueen who may be snobs, but they’re dramatic, over the top snobs and absolutely hilarious.
Rian Sygh’s artwork perfectly complements the energetic humor in Tynion’s script. The faces and body language are so expressive and his rendering of the strange world of the backstage makes it seem lived in, giving it a personality of its own. Also, major props should be given to the colorist Walter Baiamonte for the eye catching pallet.
All in all Backstagers is highly recommended, especially for fans of comics like Lumberjanes and TV shows like Steven Universe. The characters are fun, the art is wonderful. It’s truly all ages, so you can read it, love it and then give it to your kid to love.
“Part of a long line of mystic defenders, the Zodiac Starforce is an elite group of teenage girls with magical powers who are sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures.
BY THE POWER OF ASTRA, ZODIAC STARFORCE LIGHTS THE WAY!”
In many ways, it feels like Zodiac Starforce was written for me. It’s the story of a couple of sixteen year olds, Emma, Kim, Molly and Savi, who used to fight monsters, but retired after apparently defeating a dark goddess named Cimmeria. After that, they disbanded and began to grow apart. Strange things have begun happening in the area again, prompting Kim, one of the Starforce members to investigate. The rest of the team wants to put their monster fighting days behind them, but they’re sucked back in as their leader, Emma, becomes infected with dark energy, presumably from Cimmeria’s realm.
The IDW line of Ninja Turtles has a great track record with Ninja Turtles spinoff mini-series. Every one helps to develop the world built by the main series and spotlights characters that sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Utrom Empire focused on the history of General Krang and his motivatrions. The excellent Mutanimals followed Old Hob’s rag-tag team of mutants that is almost as much of a family as the Green Machine. All of the minis make the world of the Turtles seem even bigger.
In this mini-series, Casey and April go on a road trip to learn more about the immortals that have been playing them all like a game of chess from the start. In Ninja Turtles #46 April had taken a scroll from Professor Miller just before he was killed. The scroll has references to the Mojave Desert, so she and Casey go to investigate.
The majority of this issue is character building, which is good. Sometimes Casey and April can get lost in the shuffle of the huge cast. They could use a mini series to develop their relationship. April come from an affluent family of scientists. After Casey’s mother died, Casey’s dad became an abusive alcoholic. I really like how April could come off as insensitive just by accident. They grew up in two completely different households, so sometimes she didn’t grasp the implications of what he’d said. I liked that they weren’t fighting, they were just acknowledging their differences.
After that, though, they spent a lot of time arguing, especially after Casey got into a fight at a diner. I don’t really enjoy listening to couples fighting for several pages, so it got tedious. The fighting continued until the end of the story, when they were tricked into separating by the Rat King. I was beginning to lose interest until he showed up. The Rat King, also known as the Pied Piper of Hamelin, had a fantastic introduction in TMNT #36, and I’m curious to see what he does.
Overall, I’m not sure how to feel about this issue. I’ll keep reading the mini series for the world building, but I hope Casey and April don’t spend the entire time arguing. It could get really old really quickly. Hopefully they’ll focus on finally explaining the endgame of the immortals, because they have been a fascinating and enigmatic part of the IDW universe.
Before we begin, I have a confession to make. A terrible, awful, shameful confession. Ready? Okay, I have not seen the original Star Wars trilogy the whole way through. I’ve only seen the first movie. Don’t worry, before I started this review, I turned in my geek card at the Nerd Tribunal and the ghost of Gene Roddenberry has required me to say thirty Green Lantern Oaths as penance. Now that I’ve gotten that sordid confession out of the way, let’s talk about the issue at hand.
I didn’t go into this book completely blind though. I mean, who doesn’t know the main plot and characters? You’d have to be living under a rock. From the perspective of someone looking to get into the universe, Star Wars #1 is great. There’s plenty of action, impressive characterization’s, and an awesome ending. Even I know about Luke’s relationship with Darth Vader and seeing them about to duke it out was incredibly cool. This first issue is doing exactly what it’s supposed to: get me excited to read the rest of the series. Star Wars #1 doesn’t necessarily need to give exposition about the world, but it does anyway and makes it feel organic. Going in, you don’t need to know what happened in A New Hope to enjoy the issue.
The artwork is very energetic and does a god job getting the likenesses of the original cast. The layouts are almost cinematic. I breezed through, loving every page of it. Star Wars #1 is highly recommended. It even made me want to go back and watch the trilogy. It looks like a great start to a great series.
I love the IDW incarnation of the Ninja Turtles and its talent for blending every incarnation of the concept. It acts as sort of an ultimate Turtles universe while adding enough twists and new elements to make it seem fresh. One of the best new additions to the mythos is Old Hob, an alley cat who was mutated in the accident that created the Turtles and Splinter. He started out in the series as dumb muscle, but as it went on, Old Hob has been revealed to be extremely sympathetic, clever, and bent on creating a mutant army. That brings us to this mini series, Mutanimals. When Pigeon Pete, one of their own, and Lindsay Baker, a scientist who is helping Hob with his mutant army, are kidnapped, it’s up to the Mutanimals to get them back. This comic marks the introduction of two characters, an underrated villain from the Archie TMNT Adventures who I’m not very familiar with, but is supposed to be really powerful, and a somewhat tragic villain from the original cartoon and Nickelodeon series. We also have the first official LGBT+ characters that I’ve seen in any incarnation of the Ninja Turtles. There might be others, but I can’t think of any nor have I found any via Google and TMNT Pedia. As much as I love Ninja Turtles, the cast is predominately straight and male, with only about fifteen major female characters appearing in the entire IDW series, so taking steps towards diversity is good.
Plotwise, this issue is tons of fun. I honestly can’t remember the last time an issue of IDW’s Ninja Turtles made me laugh, but this issue got me to chuckle several times, mainly because it takes the wackier characters of the universe and has them working together. It’s not completely tongue in cheek though. There are still a few sad and serious moments that took me by surprise. Well, as serious as you can be for an comic that features a gecko with a skateboard and a hermit crab dressed as a soldier. It’s fun to see these interesting supporting characters take the spotlight in their own series. The artwork is also quite good. The faces are very expressive and the colors really pop. My one criticism would be that the Archie villain that appears is supposed to run this huge corporation, but this corporation has never been brought up before. The corporation has been weaved into the mythos, even filling up a preexisting plot hole, but you’d think that a company that big would have been mentioned at least once in all forty three issues. It’s a minor thing, though, and easily overlooked.
Overall, if you enjoy the IDW series, you’ll enjoy this. It’s action packed and a ton of fun. I’m really looking forward to where this mini series is going and how it will impact the universe as a whole.