Comic Book Review – Rocket #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: Minor spoilers.

“When the vault door blew, Rocket knew it was all up” Narrator

Another Marvel film, another tie-in. With the outstanding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 now out Marvel are naturally cashing in on its success with a new series of comics of the beloved characters. Rocket naturally picks up Rocket Racoon’s story, Rocket’s character arc in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is truly great so I wasn’t able to say no. This was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Al Ewing
  • Artists – Adam Gorham
  • Colourist – Michael Garland
  • Letterer – Jeff Eckleberry
  • Cover – Mike Mayhew

Cover art by Mayhew

So what’s Marvel’s take on the lovable trash-panda? Naturally a heist. With the Guardians currently disbanded Rocket finds himself in a hive of scum and villainy in some far off planet full of low lives. Who does he meet? The ex-love of his life who got him locked up in jail a while back when he used to make a living cracking safes, relaxing on a beach, rinsing and repeating.

The issue is written in the style of a heist movie, with the quirky band of people with very specific skill sets… and an egg… pooling their talents to bust into a high tech facility and bust open an unbeatable safe, with a few unexpected twists thrown in. There’s also a narrator who provides an insight into Rocket’s inner thoughts, adding a touch of additional humour to the issue. We get to see a glimpse into Rocket’s past as well, seeing what he was like before he became a…. hero? Needless to say, he hasn’t exactly changed too much over the years.

Art by Gorham, Garland & Eckleberry

The art fits the tone of the issue. There’s a weird and wonderful cast of background alien characters, Gorham has done a great job of creating an almost fantastical setting in these weird and wonderful worlds. With the Narrator’s input a significant portion of the issue is given over to that as opposed to the regular comic panels. There’s a risk with these sorts of tropes that too much blank space is used and it detracts from the story. This is not the case in Rocket. Eckleberry manages to present the text in a simple but effective way which only adds to the story.

Right, important questions. Can Gorham draw hands? Define hand. With so many weird and wonderful aliens throughout the issue there are plenty of hands, claws, paws and everything else. Where conversations are had Gorham has done a good job of communicating through body language and adding depth to the characters. 8.5/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

This is a lot of fun. I wouldn’t expect this to reshape the foundations at Marvel but for something different and an enjoyable read I’d highly recommend it.

Score: 8.75 Raging Chicks out of 10

 

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 88 – Planet-sized James T Kirk

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about the trailers for The Defenders and The Dark Tower (we recorded really early on in the week, before the Blade Runner 2049 trailer came out).

Screentime – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

This week we were joined by Rose and the three of us chatted about the new Marvel film and sequel to the surprise hit of 2014. We go into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet skip 29:58-47:20!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam On Writing by Stephen King/American Gods on Amazon Prime/still Horizon Zero Dawn on PS4
IanThis is Memorial Device by David Keenan/watched nothing/Pokémon Red on the Game Boy Colour

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Book Review – Star Lord #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It’s not MY fault, I’m stranded on Earth with your STUPID drinking rules!.” Star-Lord

With the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 both out and a huge success I thought I’d pick up with Peter Quill in the main comics this week. Marvel are starting a new solo run with this Guardian of the Galaxy, bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Artist – Kris Anka
  • Colourist – Matthew Wilson
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
star-lord-cover

Cover by Anka

We pick things up after the events of Civil War 2. It’s not something you need to know the background on fortunately, we do find out early on though that the Guardian’s ship has been wrecked and Peter is stranded on Earth. Which he’s spending his time doing exactly what I plan to on Christmas Day – drinking far too much before lunch. He tries to make the best of things while he’s stuck on Earth by reconnecting with friends and getting out for a bit.

The scope of the comic is small, Star-Lord isn’t adventuring around the universe saving everyone but trying to cope with being bought down to Earth, literally. It doesn’t help that he is not the most popular vigilante amongst Marvel heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Zdarsky or Anka’s work before this comic, however their take on our hero trying to deal with day to day life is a great way to introduce new readers. We’re also treated to a couple of cameos which lighten the overall sombre mood of the comic.

star-lord-interior

Art by Anka, Wilson & Petit

The art at first appears simple but effective, but manages to match the fluctuating mood throughout the comic – light and fun to sombre and tense. The colouring feels very clean as well, Wilson and Anka teaming up to deliver a sense of texture and detail to the panels. Petit keeps the lettering minimalist to allow for broad and colourful scenes throughout the issue. Star-Lord also spends a fair bit of time shirtless if that’s your thing. However, although Anka and Wilson are great with chests, how are they with hands?

Can Anka draw hands? Being critical there are a couple of instances where the hands aren’t quite up to the rest of the art. That isn’t to say they’re bad as such, but simply aren’t quite as good as the rest of the art throughout the issue – one passer by caught in a cross fire and in a guest appearance by Wolverine his claws appearing to come out of his fingers Lady Deathstrike style, 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I really dug this as a start to a new series. Focusing on the small stuff and giving us a character in a more relatable environment helps make them more human and gives a surprising weight to the situation when things do go to hell. The writing and art team have also got off to a promising start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the work they can deliver.

Score: 8.75 Sarcastic Voice Messages out of 10

 

Comic Review – Secret Wars #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week saw the start of Marvel’s new Secret Wars event, an 8 issue mini series in which the regular Marvel Universe (Earth-616) and the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610) collide, heralding the end of both worlds and the multiverse itself. Amongst the new tie in series that will be coming up, several comics will revisit old defunct or What if? stories too. Secret Wars is written by Jonathan Hickman, with art from Esad Ribic, colours by Ive Svorcina and letters from Chris Eliopoulos.

“The multiverse is dying. Only two universes remain. Today, Earths collide”

Secret Wars opens in Manhattan on Earth-1610 in the Ultimate Universe, and with the universal incursion imminent Nick Fury and Reed Richards plan to strike first – to save themselves by eliminating the other Earth. Little does Fury know, Richards is working with The Cabal, a group of villains from Earth-616 including Thanos, Namor, Black Swan and Terrax, for some alternate goal. Tony Stark leads the charge, with huge ships appearing above Manhattan in Earth-616. But despite the surprise attack and the firepower, the metahumans of the Marvel Universe start to fight back and win. The X-Men, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four and an array of other characters slowly destroy the ships. But they also fear the incursion too, and Earth-616 Reed Richards (keep up) and the Fantastic Four have been arranging a ‘Resurrection Ship’ full of scientists to escape the collision of the two worlds, and to rebuild the human race elsewhere. This obviously goes wrong, and plan B seems to be to teleport certain choice heroes into the ship and escape in it. As the worlds collide, the universes glow white-hot and then die, with the final page simply:

The Marvel Universe

1961-2015

The Ultimate Universe

2000-2015

The story continues next week, but it’s a pretty explosive ending. Those who escaped on the ark/resurrection ship will presumably form the main cast of Secret Wars, including Thor, Reed Richards, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Star Lord, but where it will go from here and how it will end up is anyone’s guess. Somehow the universes will be smushed together and we’ll have a new Marvel Universe.

As a first issue this was pretty impressive. What I have read of Hickman’s work on Avengers or Fantastic Four is very much in line with this, if a little more high-concept, but I think that will be played up in the coming issues. This is an action packed introduction to the story (and the FCBD Secret Wars #0 isn’t totally necessary, though it was pretty good). To totally unfairly compare it to the start of DC’s ‘worlds colliding’ story in Convergence a few weeks ago this was a lot more fun and cohesive, but also much harder to follow if you are even a casual reader, let alone using this as a jumping on point. I dabble in Marvel, and currently only follow 3 books regularly, but consider myself to have a basic working knowledge of the universe. This was dense. Though the only thing that didn’t make a huge amount of sense to me is why Fury and Stark from the Ultimate Universe seem to be so easily and totally bent on taking out Earth-616 rather than working together to find a solution like superheroes would.

Ribic’s art was largely very strong, with the actual action and the scale of the attack looking stunning. The only shaky moments in the art were with a few of the faces of various characters, where they didn’t quite look like a face anyone would actually pull, the most obvious of which was She-Hulk about halfway through. But the bulk of the issue looks great, and Svorcina’s colours make the action and all of the many explosions look intense and vibrant.

If you’re a Marvel fan, you’re probably going to check out Secret Wars. This first issue was a lot of fun, the stakes felt high and I’m genuinely interested in where it goes next. If you don’t really follow Marvel at all… this might not make a lot of sense to you, but you may enjoy it anyway! I really did, so I’m going to see what happens to the survivors of the incursion and what sort of universe we’ll end up with at the end. Pick this up at your LCS or digitally!

Score: 8 Incursions out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 29 – 2014 Holiday Special (Not Pro-Khan)

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week was our 2014 holiday special, and by that we mean we summed up all of our favourite TV shows, films and video games from the past year into nifty top three lists and blabbed on about why we loved them all. We also read out and judged some of your favourite nerdy things of 2014 too!

Download this episode (right click and save)

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 20 – Panhandling

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it gentle listeners? Busy lives got in the way for a bit, but now we are back with a new episode for your earballs. This week we briefly chat about a couple of things we missed, like that Deadpool Blur test footage and a few things from San Diego Comic Con, while Gary lifts all the things and Adam somehow creates a wormhole from the IMAX near Waterloo station in London right to Liverpool. Or he has a brain fart and says he saw GotG at the Liverpool IMAX even though he has never actually been to Liverpool.

We had two main talking points this week. The first was last week’s Gamescom, and we talk about (amongst other things) our annoyance over the exclusivity/temporary exclusivity of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Quantum Break gameplay, the Silent Hills playable teaser, Alien Isolation and the Bloodborne gameplay footage.

Our second talking point was to briefly chat about our (spoiler free!) reactions to Guardians of the Galaxy, now that we have both seen it. Unsurprisingly, we loved it, and if you haven’t checked it out yet you absolutely should in the cinema.

Finally, we have brought back a segment from our old podcast for your listening pleasure. ‘Gary in 60 Seconds’ returns, and will be a regular feature from now on (unless people hate it, in which case we will do it even more). Pretty simple: each episode one of us will sum up everything about a particular film, picked by the other Lighthouse Keeper the episode before, in 60 seconds or less. Obviously this does mean spoilers will be included, so we will try and avoid films that are recent! This week Gary attempts to summarise ‘Machete Kills’.

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Download this episode (right click and save)