Elephantmen #0

Elephantmen #0 Cover

Nov 2006 | Image

Writing: Richard Starkings
Art: Joe Casey
Letters: Comicraft

The disturbing origins of Elephantmen taking place in a lab in North Africa.

Right from the start this book grabbed me. Nikken’s wonderful character, the gruesome progression of his experiment, and the artwork. The art is so wonderful and so detailed and it captures the dark vein of the story. I stared at a lot of panels marveling at the beauty. I am really starting to feel I need an Elephantmen poster or two.

The writing was great. I particularly like the continual Kafkaesque brainwashing belting out through loudspeakers all throughout this book. It was pretty magical. I love crazy science and stuff like this and anything that reminds me of Kafka is always a plus.

There is no sense of self outside of Mappo. No independent thought… only thoughts of Mappo. You will hear no other voice except the voice of Mappo.

Oh, Nikken. How wonderfully crazy you are with your god complex. I’d really like to see more of this guy and his crazy experiments. I can only hope this isn’t the last of him. I want to see him at it again.

I have no idea where the story goes from here. I know nothing of this series, other than the beautiful covers I had seen over the years, so I’m very happy to now have the chance to see what it’s all about. This was a great beginning and introduction for me and I look forward to more.


Savage Red Sonja – Queen of the Frozen Wastes #1

Aug 2006 | Dynamite

Writing: Frank Cho | Doug Murray
Art: Homs
Letters: Simon Bowland
Colour: Will Murai

Sonja battles some foes on a snowy battlefield and soon finds herself in the home caverns of hairy, Neanderthal-like cannibals.

Oh, Sonja. The only exposure I had to this character was that old movie. I had always been interested in seeing more of her and her world, as a change from Conan, but that never happened until I picked this book up.

Getting into it, it’s heart is the epitome of the scantily clad heroine fan service. We’re in the mountains, in a snowstorm, and while wearing a fur cloak, blown behind from the wind, of course she isn’t cold wearing a bra and loincloth of metal. I’d imagine it’d get quite cold. Such heroines have far better things to worry about than hypothermia.

Regardless of this amusingly brief irritation, I don’t particularly care, really. It just reminded me of the countless movies, books, and such I’ve been exposed to with such nitpicky flaws. An old roomy used to drive me nuts with such things, when really, it’s all about style. That Sonja is a badass should be enough to waver such frivol criticisms, but I couldn’t help but chuckle.

This has the old-school adventure I’ve missed a long time that makes me want to play a good old vanilla d&d game (or Hackmaster, the next best thing). Lots of action and fighting and the wonderful white yeti… It really goes fast and that’s the only complaint I have. All-of-a-sudden it’s over and look forward to seeing how Sonja gets out of this mess.

The artwork is rather nice, very fitting to the high fantasy theme. I particularly liked the designs of the Neanderthal-ish people and that yeti. Very, very, nice. Sonja isn’t too bad herself, either. While she’s not particularly my type, I don’t think I could say no. heh.

I hope the rest of this is hiding in one of those mailers. I really need more of this.

Wasteland #1

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Jul 2006 | Oni Press

Writing: Antony Johnston
Art: Christopher Mitten
Letters: Christopher Mitten

Some Kind of Stranger

The world is a wasteland with people struggling to survive. When Michael visits the small town of Providence, he trouble follows in his wake. The town is ruined and the people must move on to Newbegin.

Anything that remotely resembles a post apocalyptic landscape will always get my attention and this had nice cover art, too.

I’m not sure what I expected from this book, other than mediocrity. It’s difficult for me to be excited for things when so many fail to deliver. This one, however, looks very promising. I’m not entirely drawn in, though. It’s just curiosity driving me forward. I want to know more about these sand dwellers and Michael’s gift. I’m also very interested in those Sunners and this odd religion of theirs.

There’s also a story that talks about the state of the world and theories of what happened. It’s a nice background builder and has really pumped my curiosity of the world. I’m really looking forward to reading more.

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #6

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Jan 2006 | Broadsword

Created By: Jim Balent
Writing: Jim Balent
Art: Jim Balent
Colour: Holly Golightly | Nicki Riebel | Lauren Sabia | Hillary Nelson
Letters: Holly Golightly

Ghoulish Intentions

Boo Cat’s friend is hurt and she needs Tarot’s help to heal her, but it seems the two of them have a history together and Tarot isn’t very eager to help.

Licorice Dust. Add that to the list of ridiculously named characters in this book. And don’t forget Boo Cat while you’re at it. And really, who the heck sleeps like that? Tarot looks like a porn star in heat. Ugh. Even the fan service is bad.

Drop those bones! For I am the Skeleton Man..

I am actually amazed how stupid this book is. Every time I read, some new unbelievably stupid thing happens. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know how Jim does it. When I think things couldn’t get any worse, BAM!

Vampire?! Wow, that could have been dangerous! I don’t have anything to fight a vampire with! I’m glad she left!

Like I said. BAM!

Oh, and those spiders covering Licrorice Dust’s nipples are real spiders. You’d think they would have been squashed by now, but whatever. This is Tarot, after all.

I’m too tired and hungry to write any more about this, so that’s that.

End of Series: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger

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2006 – Viper Comics – 4 Issues

A primary example of a really neat idea that spirals downwards into the annoyingly painful, but there really isn’t much that could have been done about it. Having a detective believe his toy dummy is actually a person is wonderful. It’s such a great idea, but of course, it gets annoying with issues like ensuring his guns are loaded and other tasks. I realize that’s the way of things. It’s just really hard for me to look beyond that.

You really have to wonder what the Hell happened to make this guy believe such a thing and just how he manages to keep on believing. He’ll never eat his food, despite any comments of starvation, he’ll never do any tasks asked him, how can it be? I’m a bit disappointed we couldn’t see more into his mind and how he ended up that way. Though it was nice to see the scene involving Bloomberg’s paralysis with the dummy actually moving and acting on his own.

The mystery had me interested in the beginning, but the concept of a killer that harvests body parts and assembles them into a new creation isn’t a new idea, nor is half the bad police bit and girlfriend victimization. Boring. That was another big hand in killing my enjoyment.

There was a moment when my heart briefly fluttered the instant the killer was shot and he’s babbling about how the dummy couldn’t move. If I saw that dummy sitting lifeless as he always does with a smoking gun on the table next to him, I’d be raving about this book. It would have erased every negative view I’d have. That would have been wonderful. Did the dummy really fire that shot? I wouldn’t care. The questions and possibilities would have been enough for me.

I’m disappointed with this. I can’t help it. The only thing I can like at this point is the concept. Everything else just seems like a bad crime drama re-run or made for TV movie. I’m left craving something different, something more psychologically terrifying, not another crime show.

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