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Charlie Chipman

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Kill the Minotaur #2 Review

Kill the Minotaur #2, Review

Kill the Minotaur #2 abandons readers in a nightmarish landscape, traps them with a hellish beast, and some how, manages to inspire a yearning for adventure and discovery. With great depth and excitement, this epic tale manages to entertain while invoking an insatiable bloodlust in readers. And now that the proverbial ball has started rolling, there is no turning back. Kill the Minotaur’s current momentum will certainly continue to grow, as this series is destined for greatness.

Okay, so that introductory paragraph was a bit over-the-top, but this issue – and series, for that matter – really is damn good and deserves the every word of praise that it receives.

I especially appreciate how authentic–how real–the writing feels. Whether or not the language actually is authentic matters not, because while reading through the book, I couldn’t help but feel for those trapped in the labyrinth. And that’s the whole point, right?

The story is progressing along nicely, gaining momentum, working toward a conclusion that promises to redefine the myth at hand. Both the Minotaur and the Labyrinth are truly terrifying, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for readers as we progress forward in this journey.

9
Score
Kill the Minotaur #2
The Bottom Line
Kill the Minotaur #2 abandons readers in a nightmarish landscape, traps them with a hellish beast, and some how, manages to inspire a yearning for adventure and discovery.
Yes!
The writing feels authentic, and thus, so does the terror
No...
Too many "Oh Gods" for me

Dark Days: The Casting #1 Review

As we fall headfirst into a tale older than recorded time (it seems), the light from the DCU fades away into a darkness so pure that the mere thought of something being birthed from this abyss is frightening. This deep, dense darkness threatens existence; there is a war coming.

As much as I would like to call this issue a teaser, I can’t because of the sheer amount of story that Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV have packed into this book. Dark Days: The Casting #1 does so much more than tease, it thrills. This book is a perfect prelude to what feels as though it will be a perfect event. Comic book fans rejoice; the story you’ve been waiting for is finally here…

When writing this story, I find it very hard to believe that both Snyder and Tynion weren’t reading/re-reading a good deal of H.P Lovecraft, as his influence, on this book, in particular, is obvious. The Old Gods – the looming darkness that inconspicuously runs through the veins of mankind – the curses and ancient stories – it’s all there.

With so much going on at once, pacing, in a story like this, is directly correlated to success. And as far as I am concerned, this book’s pace is perfect. At times, the writing is dense and the pages of Dark Days: The Casting #1 are weighed heavily with words. But, thankfully, readers are given enough time to process the information that they’re receiving prior to falling deeper down the rabbit hole.

I can go on and on about this book, but I’m going to stop here because I think that it is clear that I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to see what Snyder and Tynion have in store for us…

10
Score
Dark Days: The Casting #1
The Bottom Line
As we fall headfirst into a tale older than recorded time (it seems), the light from the DCU fades away into a darkness so pure that the mere thought of something being birthed from this abyss is frightening. This deep, dense darkness threatens existence; there is a war coming. Buy this book!
Yes!
Everything about this book

Regression #3 Review

Regression #3, Image Comics, Review

If you go back and read my last Regression review, you’ll see that I was concerned about the direction of this series as well as its progression. After reading the second issue, I felt disconnected – I felt as though I was missing the point. Clearly, though, I wasn’t concerned enough to give up on the series and quit reading. Going into this issue, I was leery, but overall, I’m glad that I picked this one up. Did Issue #3 redeem the series? Perchance.

Exactly what is going on isn’t clear, but in Issue #3, writer Cullen Bunn reveals information that sheds light into some of Regression’s darker corners. I welcome this light, as it has inspired me to continue reading.

I had expected the story to continue to shock me, but again, as I had referenced in my last review, Issue #1 came out swinging, and thus since then, I don’t think that Bunn has managed to raise the stakes enough. The plot is becoming darker as it thickens. But, while I am mostly pleased with this issue, I still would like to have another issue of Regression turn my stomach some before it progresses too much further.

Artist Danny Luckert does a well enough job with this one, but I prefer it when Regression’s pages are infested with bugs and littered with guts. I don’t blame Luckert for the recent lack of nasty stuff, but I certainly do prefer his more brutal work.

Issue #3 is an improvement from Issue #2, but there is still some work to do. Regardless, I’ll be reading the next issue.

7
Score
Regression #3
The Bottom Line
Regression has improved since the last issue, but I am still looking for more than I am getting. There is potential, but changes have to be made. I'm still looking for more of the intensity that the initial issue offered.
Yes!
We're getting back on track
No...
Still isn't turning my stomach
What happened to the intensity?

Green Lanterns #26 Review

Green Lanterns, Issue 26, Comic, DC, Review

Albeit entertaining, Green Lanterns #26 feels miscalculated and out of place. A whole lot of momentum was lost with this issue, and whether the series will recover relies on Green Lanterns #27. This issue is far from being ‘bad’ or poorly written, but the timing is off. Despite knowing otherwise, this issue feels like the start of a new arc rather than the continuation of one. Overall though, as a long time Green Lantern fan, I did enjoy the issue.

This issue’s pacing was slower than I prefer, but it wasn’t boring. Not necessarily action packed, Green Lanterns #26 crept along and retained interest and excitement by digging deep into the history of the GLC. Reading about Volthoom and essentially what was the birth of the GLC kept me turning pages, and smiling throughout my read.

Not knowing what happened to Simon and Jessica after they disappeared in the previous issue left me feeling out of touch with them and the story that they were a part of. Readers are promised that they’ll catch up with the newest Green Lanterns next issue, but I would have preferred a cliffhanger this issue that offered a glimpse at their whereabouts.

I can keep nitpicking, but I think I’ve made my point. I’m still a fan and plan on sticking around, this one just didn’t work for me.

7
Score
Green Lanterns #26 Review
The Bottom Line
A whole lot of momentum was lost with this issue, and while there was an interesting unloading of information, not seeing Jessica or Simon left me feeling disconnected.
Yes!
Volthoom insight
No...
No Jessica. No Simon.
We know a lot of the backstory already.

Green Arrow #26 Review

Green Arrow, the Flash, Review, DC Comics

More so than the Green Arrow/Flash team-up, I was excited to see that artist Stephen Byrne tackled the inking and coloring of his illustrations. Having one artist focus on all aspects of an issue’s art typically results in a solid end-product that rivals even the finest and most cohesive artistic collaborations. Green Arrow #26 serves as a great example of what happens when an artist is put in the driver seat and is allowed to take control of the look of a book – Green Arrow #26 is visually stunning.

As one would have guessed, there is some tension between the Flash and Green Arrow, and initially, teaming up seems unlikely. The Flash raises a good point in bringing up Green Arrow’s ‘limited abilities’ by questioning how Green Arrow could possibly help a super-powered hero like the Flash. Frankly, I agree with the Flash here and think that the Green Arrow doesn’t bring nearly as much to the table as other non-super-powered heroes like, I don’t know, Batman. Members of a team should mutually benefit from each other’s skills, and here, that’s not the case.

The idea of there being a disturbance in the Speed Force which leads to a sort of ‘leak,’ is one that I can get behind. I wish though that this disturbance would have negatively affected the Flash and rendered him weaker or slower than normal. If this was the case, the Green Arrow’s involvement would have been justified. Maybe this will happen next issue, but as of now, I’m not feeling this arc, and I’m really not looking forward to reading Green Arrow #27.

7
Score
Green Arrow #26
The Bottom Line
This issue is visually stunning, but as of now, I'm not feeling this arc, and I'm really not looking forward to reading Green Arrow #27.
Yes!
Fantastic art by Stephen Byrne
No...
Why does the Flash need help from Green Arrow?
The issue is wrapped up quickly with an unsavory ending

Deathstroke #21 Review

Deathstroke #21, Comic Book, Review

As the line on the cover suggests, Deathstroke #21 marks a bold new era for Slade Wilson and the Deathstroke series, that is if the change that has been made to this series ends up sticking for more than a few issues. Deathstroke is no longer a lone wolf – now, Slade Wilson is the member of a team called Defiance. And while I initially struggled with the thought of having a changed Deathstroke lead a motley crew of young heroes into battle, now that I reflect on the change, I welcome it.

The addition of Defiance to the DC roster, for me, comes as a well-timed change of both pace and direction for the Deathstroke series. For readers looking for a jumping on point, this is it. From here on out, however, this may not be your Dad’s Deathstroke…and that’s alright.

Without giving away too many details, there is a moment, after the typical round ‘em up the introduction where Deathstroke tells Cyborg and the Justice League to stand down from a tackling a threat and he advises that his new group will handle the situation. I like the idea of Defiance working alongside the Justice League, but I find it hard to believe that without any sort of introduction the Justice League will allow this sort of behavior from a new group.

Dabbling in the Speed Force has left Slade a changed man, and while only time will tell whether or not this new era of Deathstroke will be bold, the decision to change direction showcases confidence.

Thanks to artist Diogenes Neves, this book has a fresh, well-polished look.

As long as Defiance stays a part of the Deathstroke series, I think that it’ll go far. On its own though…well, I need to see more of the group in action before I can comment on that. Regardless, Deathstroke #21 is a promising start.

8
Score
Deathstroke #21
The Bottom Line
As long as Defiance stays a part of the Deathstroke series, I think that it'll go far. On its own though…well, I need to see more of the group in action before I can comment on that. Regardless, Deathstroke #21 is a promising start.
Yes!
There's a new group in town
Matching outfits
No...
This is okay with the Justice League?
Slade is a changed man...for now...

Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1 Review

Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1, Comic Book, Review, DYnamite

Now that the formal introductions are out of the way, and Ash Williams has stood up before a bunch of post-pubescent punks and scribbled his name on the chalkboard, school’s in session. Ash vs. The Army of Darkness has taken off, and oh what a hellacious ride it will be.

In Issue #1, Ash has officially taken on his new role as the substitute teacher of a high school World History class, and it doesn’t take long for the proverbial shit to hit the fan. As one would expect, Ash vs. The Army of Darkness #1 is filled with one-liners and zingers that only our favorite boomstick-wielding badass could deliver. Reading through this book is an extremely enjoyable experience thanks to Chris Sims and Chad Bowers’ writing. I’m unsure of how these two managed to split up the writing responsibilities, but regardless of who did what, the finished product is exactly what Evil Dead fans are looking for.

Mauro Vargas’ artwork is quirky and satisfying and fits perfectly with the script. Vargas’s work here highlights the script’s more ridiculous aspects, and overall, adds to the hilarity of the book.

From here on, I am confident that Ash vs. The Army of Darkness will continue to get better and better, and thus, it is a must-read for those who enjoy dancing with deadites and a good soul sucking…

9
Score
Ash Vs. The Army Of Darkness #1
The Bottom Line
Ash vs. The Army of Darkness will continue to get better and better, and thus, it is a must-read for those who enjoy dancing with deadites and a good soul sucking…
Yes!
Through and through, this is exactly what fans are looking for

Batman/The Shadow #3 Review

Thus far, Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder have been building towards something epic with this series, and now, after reading Batman/The Shadow #3, I know what that something is, and all I can say is wow. While the twist at the end of this issue was something that I probably should have seen coming, it caught me by surprise and left me speechless. I expected this series to be good, but damn.

So I probably shouldn’t start this part of the review with writing about the issue’s ending, but I’m going to do it anyway because the ending of this book is fantastic and I really want to write about it.  As a Bat-fan, the ending of this issue has me feeling both ecstatic and terribly troubled. In addition to an epic reveal, Orlando, and Snyder leave readers with a nightmarish scene that’s sure to rattle even the most confident of Batman fans…but that’s all that I’ll say about that, any more and the ending will be spoiled.

Both the ‘big picture’ and ‘panel to panel’ writing is fantastic, but with the creative talent behind this series, I think that comes as no surprise. This book had me both entertained and intrigued from the first page through to the last.

This issue, much like the first two of the series, is a must-read.

9.5
Score
Batman/The Shadow #3
The Bottom Line
Snyder and Orland have done it yet again.
Yes!
That ending though...

Detective Comics #959 Review

In Detective Comics #959, writer James Tynion IV gives readers a whole lot of plot that is backed by some solid character development. For some time now, Tynion has been dropping subtle hints about how this series would be progressing, and although the series is far from perfect, Detective Comics has improved greatly, and if this issue is any indication of how good future issues will be, I’m yet again interested in reading this series.

Thus far, there has been quite a bit going on between the pages of Detective Comics…well, comics, and unfortunately, the majority of these happenings didn’t keep my interest. In Issue #959, that changed.

One of the most promising recent additions to the series is the inclusion of Zatanna. I’m fond of her as a character, and even more so as a love interest. She and Bruce share some history, and seeing this history – glimpses of it at least – play out on the page is a real treat. Zatanna adds a certain richness to the series, and as I see it, her inclusion is necessary if Tynion wants to achieve the depth that he is aiming for.

Lastly, I’m very interested in seeing how things work out for Azrael, because from the looks of it, things are beginning to get hairy, and it’ll only be a matter of time before he snaps.

8.5
Score
Detective Comics #959
The Bottom Line
There is a whole let happening in the Detective Comics as of late, and in this issue, Tynion does a fantastic job keeping things fresh. Zatanna is a fine addition to the series.
Yes!
Zatanna
No...
Some sub-plots just aren't that interestin

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 Review

I feel as though Green Lantern Corps leader John Stewart is pages away from making a mistake – or two – and inadvertently destroying the bond that he’s worked so incredibly hard to build.

Okay, so maybe our fearless leader isn’t going to destroy the relationship that he’s built with the Sinestro Corps, but it appears as though he is fixating on making sure that his decision appears to be a wise one more so than he should be. I want to believe that he will keep the good of the GLC in mind when making future decisions in regards to the issue at the center of this issue, but from the looks of it, that may not happen.

More interesting, though I’ll admit not as important, is the turmoil that Kyle Rayner is causing for Soranik. He has made a mistake, and come next issue, I believe, he’s going to have to deal with it, and when he does, sparks are going to fly.

Writer Robert Venditti is doing a great job stringing readers along and keeping this series of interesting to new and longtime fans alike. With every page, I feel as though the stakes are growing higher and higher, and that is a great thing. I do feel as though he’s delaying the inevitable some, but at least he’s keeping it entertaining.

8
Score
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23
The Bottom Line
Another strong issue for the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series. Robert Venditti may be delaying the inevitable, but he's keeping each issue feeling fresh.
Yes!
John Stewart's predicament is a big one
Kyle and Soranik are pages away from clashing
No...
We all know how this is going to end, right?
General-DC Comics

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