Comic Review – Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel Comics)

Kit has taken over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

“But I was kidding myself, it always ends up the same… with blood and death and me alone like an animal” – Old Man Logan

So, this week Old Man Logan #1 from Marvel caught my eye, written by Jeff Lemire with art from Andrea Sorrentino, colours from Marcelo Maiolo and lettering by Cory Petit. It’s another rebooted comic to fit in with the All-New All-Different Marvel universe. I knew of the original, which I’ve not read but have read a synopsis for so I kinda knew what to expect. This is old, very grumpy and very short tempered Wolverine. Do not expect a happy-clappy comic book. But is that what we’d really want from Mr Howlett? Honestly, part of me would love to see that, but only for a panel or two, anymore and it’d get a bit too weird.

So, focusing on the review of the actual comic again. The first thing I noticed was the art work. It sets the tone of the comic immediately, it looks dirty (in a very good way) and the colour pallet is dark even when the sun is out. Sorrentino and Maiolo did an excellent job here to give us dark, gritty world to delve into.

And dark and gritty it is, right from the little summary of his backstory on the first page. In a few years the villains team up and they win. They slaughter nearly every hero and take over the world. Old Man Logan is one of the few survivors, he’s given up and he’s trying to live a simple family life. Until the Hulk Gang get pissed off and murder his family. He responds as you’d expect. He murders them right back. After the events of Secret Wars Logan finds himself waking up in a full, vibrant New York City. There’s some kind of fat Spider-Man there (the one bit in this comic I didn’t get, I assume it’s a cosplayer?) and society is functioning. There are big posters of Iron Man and Captain America, as you’ve guess he’s gone back in time. It’s the present day and the villains haven’t won yet.

We’re treated to a flashback to his life before, tormented by the Hulk Gang’s flunkies and his relationship with his son. This really helped us get to know the kind of man this Logan is, we get to see him at his worst: broken and passive. He’s been broken down to nearly nothing, and from there he’s rebuilt himself into the ultimate survivor.

It take Logan a while to work out what’s going on, but once he does he knows what he has to do, prevent the villains from teaming up. Of course he rallies the Avengers and takes them down! Or… not…. Naturally he picks up the war path and sets off on what is planned to be a nice little murder spree of revenge on the villains.

Final Verdict

I enjoyed this more than I expected. It’s a lot darker than the other Marvel I’m reading which is a nice contrast. They did a great job in letting you get to know Logan, it’s also very clear he’s a very different man to the main timeline’s Wolverine. I can’t quite get over the random fat Spidey though. It would also be nice to have a few more supporting characters eventually. The art is excellent and gory (for a Marvel comic) and if you’re a fan of comic art that alone is reason to get this first issue.

Final Score – 8.5 Jars of Apple Jam out of 10!

Comic Review – Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (Marvel)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Humanity is leaving its childhood and moving into its adolescence as its powers infuse into a real hitherto beyond our reach.” – Dr Gregory Stock

Well that’s a deep quote isn’t it? And that’s how we start off the comic book I’ll review this week! It’s on the first page of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1. You may be wondering why I didn’t review The Dark Knight III this week. Truth be told you’ll find so many reviews on it across the internet it’ll be impossible to escape! I wanted to do something a little different, and the kid in me really can’t say no to dinosaurs. Or super-heroes. So a super-hero dinosaur? I didn’t stand a chance.

The comic is again a new first issue for Marvel, a nice easy series to pick up. It’s written by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, the artist was Natacha Bustos and colourist Tamra Bonvillain.

We’re introduced to our hero, Moon Girl aka Lunella, well that isn’t her hero name yet but more the name kids in school use to tease her. She’s a hyper intelligent child, bored out of her mind at the depressing easiness of school and only just about managing with her parents. When I say she’s intelligent she really is intelligent. She’s been designing a machine that detects Kree technology, she’s been investigating Inhumans and chemical clouds changing people. Out one night she comes across a Kree macguffin.

Meanwhile, millions of years ago Moon-Boy and his team mate Devil Dinosaur are out to rescue said macguffin. He’s a human ancestor (I think?) who’s been exiled by his tribe for making a deal with the Devil. Well, Devil Dinosaur. When his kind find him they attack him while Devil Dinosaur is distracted.

Moon girl and DDBack in the future, a douche-bag of a P.E. teacher takes the macguffin away from Lunella and accidentally activates it. A portal across time is created and well. We can guess how this will end. Devil Dinosaur ends up in the present! There is an instant bond between Devil-Dinosaur and Lunella, which looks like it’ll be properly explored in future issues.

The art suits the series well, there’s a lot of strong, bold colours which set a tone anyone, kids or adults can pick up and enjoy. There is just one criticism I have of it….

Current evidence indicates that even non-avian dinosaurs had feathers. Where the hell are Devil-Dinosaur’s feathers? I may let this slide as he’s clearly a unique dino, his eyes appear to be on fire after all. But still, I hope Marvel pick up on this next time, especially as the Erica Henderson managed to pick up on this in the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series.

Right, nerd rant over. Finally, as you might expect with a child as a protagonist it’s a child-friendly series. A kid can pick this up and enjoy it and as an adult the kid in me very much did enjoy this! Moon Girl and Devil-Dinosaur, like the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl are great comics to have a bit of fun with, very much accessible for kids as well as adults.

Final Verdict

This was a lot of fun, the art is bold and dramatic, and it’s a good set up. I’d like to learn more about Devil-Dinosaur who hasn’t featured much yet, but surely a sign of a good first issue is the reader wants to know more! Some adults may find this a bit too childish, but it’s a dinosaur super-hero. What else would you expect?

Final Score – 8 Killer Folk out of 10!

Comic Review – All New, All Different Avengers #1 (Marvel)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Great, she thinks I’m a lunatic. Don’t be nervous, just say something funny. SAY SOMETHING FUNNY.” – Nova doing about as well as I did when I met my now fiancé.

First things first, I’m engaged. I asked the question last weekend in the most spectacularly nerdy way I could – buy building my now fiancé a game where I ask her in the end. Bearing in mind I know nothing about programming I feel this was quite a feat! She said yes, she’s stuck with me now, success!

Anyway, you’re more interested in getting into the comic book review, aren’t you? Well now I’ve got that personal note out of the way I’ll get on into it. I’ve had a hell of a busy week with work and feeling smug, but I have managed to fit in an issue of the All-New, All-Different Avengers! Written by Mark Waid with art by Adam Kubert and colours by Sonia Oback for the main story, and Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig in the back up story, with letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

It’s yet another Marvel new starter, I picked it as I’m sure it’ll be one of their big pushes over the coming months, bringing in a lot of familiar faces into the line-up. Sort of. We currently have Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Vision, Ms Marvel and Nova. And only two of these are the ‘original’ versions of themselves. Currently wearing the titles we actually have Sam Wilson (you’ll know him as Falcon in the films), Thor – but female (actual identity is a secret), Miles Morales (started off as Ultimate Spider-Man after Ultimate Peter Parker died), Tony Stark, Vision, Kamala Khan (took over as Ms Marvel) and Sam Alexander (not the original Nova, I don’t know much about him yet!). So there you have it, it’s an All-New, All-Different Avengers, literally (not counting Iron Man or Vision).

avengersI went into this comic quite hopeful, I’ve really enjoyed this Thor and Spidey’s stories so far and I always like seeing stories mix things up a bit. And this is the ultimate mix up!

The very first page shows Ms Marvel calling Nova a jerk, standing on a huge pile of rubble, no context given, yet. The story itself begins with Captain America and Iron Man meeting up and stumbling across a huge explosion/blast of energy that Spider-Man was near. It turns out Warbringer, one of Nova’s enemies has teleported to Earth and is there to well… bring war. He happens across a potential ally is his war-bringing plans, only to be set upon by the Avengers.

After a very quick bout the story cuts away to Ms Marvel and Nova. A beast has been let loose and is on the rampage and they team up to take it on. To then VERY awkwardly introduce themselves. Nova tries to hit on Ms Marvel, he’s about as smooth as I am, which is roughly on par with sand paper.

I think there was a bit much happening by coincidence in this issue, but the character interplays were great. I enjoyed the Ms Marvel – Nova exchange a lot and I feel team up stories are usually built on these moments and on that front it’s a good start.

Final Verdict

It’s a start. I was disappointed not to see much of Thor (who has been incredibly badass in her own story!) or Vision yet, but there are only so many pages and bringing all seven characters into one issue may have been a bit much. As I mentioned I feel there was maybe a bit much happening be coincidence in this issue, but with some good writing coincidence can be fine to start a story as long as it isn’t used to end a story. I’ll give issue two and three a try most likely, it’s a fine start.

Final Score – 7.5 Awkward Pick-Up Lines out of 10!

Comic Review – Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel Comics)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

“So now I walk alone through the nameless reaches of the netherworld. Each day weirder than the last. Each new challenge liable to end with my doom or damnation or final descent into screaming madness. But you know what? I’d be lying like hell if I said I didn’t love this.” – Doctor Strange

Warning: minor spoilers.

While Adam struggles to maintain his sanity with his thesis, I’ll be stepping in to have a go at the weekly comic book review! And boy was I spoilt for choice this week! Marvel are getting into their ‘All New All Different’ series with a load of new issue #1s, designed for people to jump in on and become hooked. It certainly worked on me… Today I’ll be reviewing Doctor Strange #1, written by Jason Aaron and pencils and colours by Chris Bachalo, with inks from Tim Townsend, Al Vey and Mark Irwin, and letters from Cory Petit. This is one of the comics there’s been a bit of fuss and hype about in certain parts of the internet. Partially because Benedict Cumberbatch has taken up the role for the MCU and partially because the Sorcerer Supreme has been depicted wielding a massive axe along with his magic. This can only be a fun development.

Anyway, onto the main review. I picked this up only having a rough knowledge of Doctor Strange: He’s the Avenger with magical powers who isn’t the Scarlet Witch. That was about it. And considering the massive expansive history behind nearly every Marvel character it could have been easy for this comic to be impenetrable to new readers. But no, the first page is one of the best openings I’ve seen in a first issue for a comic book (Saga would also stand out… for very different reasons…), it gives you a narration from Doctor Strange with the background decorated with panels from his old comics. These panels are unedited so they have that cool vintage comic look about them. You get a good feel for the type of guy Steven Strange is and an overview of his backstory. Oh, and unlike Doctor Fate for DC Doctor Strange is an actual Doctor.

doc strange 2The art style naturally shifts to a more modern tone right away, Chris Bachalo’s art is top quality as you’d expect, although you rarely see the character eyes in the way they’re drawn! The story itself is pure set up, the migration before the storm as we see Strange deal with a variety of supernatural entities. We also get a feel for his place in society, unlike say Captain America he walks down the street and nobody takes notice. At least until he appears to start talking to himself and shuffling/moving in a weird way, then people just avoid him or are weirded out by him. Actually, if you see him doing that he’s likely going toe to toe with some big horrible magical nasty that feeds on our souls, but he’s treated like a crazy drunk. He makes the point that he isn’t surprised by this, and in fact if you see a drunk or a homeless person talking to themselves, give them a bit of cash, they could actually be saving you from soul devouring monsters!

We also get a look at his magical allies, his supernatural hang out bar and a feel for how magic works in this world (warning for anyone wanting to give it a go: you’ll need to drown a lot of bunnies! This is the price you don’t see Harry Potter pay on screen…)

Finally, we get an epilogue that sets up the direction of the rest of the series. Which looks very cool.

If you’re a long-time fan of Doctor Strange though, I could see this being a bit of a slow comic. It’s designed to get the new readers in and there’s a lot of getting to know the Doctor, who long term fans of course already do. That being said, it’s a very good set up and I’m sure will rock as a series, so read it anyway!

Final Verdict

Well done Marvel, I’m hooked. I’ll be following this series and if you want to get hyped for the upcoming film, like Doctor Strange or just want a superhero with more magic and less muscles then this is perfect for you!

Final Score – 9 Psyche Leeches out of 10!