A few months ago Games Workshop made its first proper graphic novel debut with a title called “Maccrages Honour”. Thus as a comic and 40k fan I was pretty ecstatic. The creative team consisted of British duo Abnett and Roberts. The story is written by Dan Abnett who some of you may recognize from his work on Marvel, DC and Wildstorm titles and was illustrated by the talented Neil Roberts who is known for his cover art on a lot of Black Library books and work on the covers of British series “2000 AD”. The story is of course based in the Warhammer 40k-verse known for its dark, horrific and outright brutal setting. It revolves around the aftermath of the Battle Of Calth. The Space Marines of the traitorous Word Bearers legion led by Kor Phaeron flee from Calth after being repelled by the defending Ultramarines chapter. Not wanting to let the Word Bearers escape without retribution chapter master Marius Gage takes command of the Ultramarine’s flagship Macragge’s Honour and gives chase to the traitors he once called brother leading to an all-out battle that stretched across the warp between the two vessels.
This graphic novel as I said before is written by Dan Abnett who is without a doubt one of the most well known writers of 40k literature. He knows this universe and its characters inside out and it really shines through in this. These are the cold, zealous and brutal Space Marine’s that we should be seeing in every form of 40k literature. Their interactions and mind-set is exactly as the superhuman soldiers of the Imperium are portrayed in the books. Abnett really knocked it out of the park with this.
Next up is Neil Roberts who makes his first interior art debut. While known for his incredible cover art Roberts has never illustrated a full blown comic and this graphic novel begs the question “Why the hell not?”. The guy’s art is incredible and the vivid yet dark style fits perfectly with 40k. It does however make me wonder how Roberts who has been doing cover art for years has never actually made it to mainstream comics because this book was the perfect example of why he should! Take a look at these interiors for heaven’s sake:
All in all as a 40k fan there was not much to dislike about this.
Now onto the bad. As a 40k and comic fan I was jumping up and down with joy when the two mediums collided. However as much as I enjoyed this book Games Workshop really didn’t give a damn about making this new reader friendly.
I mean not at all. This graphic novel is completely dependent on you knowing exactly who and what you are looking at and is more of a sequel Arc for the Horus Heresy novel “Know No Fear” than a standalone novel. If you have never encountered 40k before you will be left lost by this book. This was blatantly focused on long standing fans of the franchise and while that appealed to me a great deal it is a severe deterrence to someone who isn’t familiar with the 40k-verse especially the Horus Heresy.
All in all this is a very beautiful and dynamic book but unless you’re a fan of 40k you won’t know what you are looking at.
After the last Webb movie I was a little pessimistic about seeing the new one. The 1st wasn't terrible but it wasn't amazing (hah!) either. After seeing the 2nd last night Webb may have won me over.
First off i'll talk about the good stuff. First of Electro. I know a lot of people including myself question Jamies Foxx as the choice for the electric maniac however I was very surprised to find that Foxx was an awesome Electro. In fact as villians in comicbook movies go Electro is near the top of the top ten list of villians imo. He may not have been the deepest or the most complex in terms of motivation but boy was he one of the most badass in terms of personality and ability? Hell yes. Electro was portrayed exactly how he should have been and I have absolutely no qualms about Foxx's job.
Now a lot of comic fans agreed that Spider-man was portrayed well in the first movie in terms of personality in the suit in this they took that one step further. They nailed Spider-man's wise-cracks and personality brilliantly. If you thought he was done well in the first then you're going to love how Garfield portays him in this. This film actually had some pretty good lol moments.
A fear that was on most peoples minds including my own was that too many characters might be in it and give us a replay of the horror that was SM:3. Thankfully this was not the case here. There were quite a few characters but most of them had minor appearences and for the most part their paths meshed together quite fluidly. There wasn't as much forced plot which had been my biggest fear.
Next up were the fight scenes and SFX in the trailers a couple of shots looked horrible. Even as a Spider-man fan I had to say that the SFX didn't look great from the trailer however I don't know if it was just because of the cinema or the utter scale of the scenes themselves but the whole thing looked visually stunning. They completely 100% nailed the speed and agility that our web-head is known for in comics and Electro was a complete force of a nature. In terms of raw ability he would have made MCU Thor envious. Suffice to say I was majorly impressed with the fight choreography in this. Zack Snyder had some serious competition in this flick. I would go as far as to say I got more enjoyment out of those fight scenes than I did from MoS's ones and given the scale of some of the fight scenes I get the feeling Mr. Webb may have been trying to compete with another certain Marvel film that had a large scale battle. A lot of people complain about there being too much CGI but lets be honest to get the kinda scenes we are used to seeing in comics would be impossible without CGI. Another thing I really liked about it was the 1st person shots of swing round New York it was an awesome little addition.
There's some other stuff I enjoy but cannot bring them up due to the who "No Spoilers" thing.
Now onto the things I didn't think were so good. First off Harry Osborn. Now I have no qualms with the actor I thought Dane Dehaan did a pretty decent job. My qualm was that they rushed his character a little. He should have had more time to develop maybe another movie rather than just appaering out of the blue.
Next up is the fact that Garfield plays a superior (hah!) Spider-man to Peter Parker. As I said they nailed Spider-man but they still seem to have trouble coming to grips with Peter Parkers personality for some reason. Its not an awful portrayal but its not the Peter from the comics.
My final qualm was with Peter and Gwen. Marc Webb cut Mary Jane out of this movie because he wanted to focus on development between Peter and Gwen. Which he did.......just a little to much for my taste. I understand why he did it but it was too overdramtic and soppy for my taste. Once you've seen the movie you'll understand why Webb decided to pursue that route but to me it was a little over the top.
There are one or two things I would also like to throw in here but that would violate my "No Spoilers" protocol yet again.
In my opinion this is the best Spider-man film we have had to date. Even sneaking a win off Rami's SM:2. Is it perfect? No its not there are somethings that need ironing out and rethinking imo but this movie is a very good base for what Sony plans to do (expanding the Spider-verse) and if you thought Spider-man was all laughs and jokes then you're in for surprise. This film is far darker than all of the other movies combined for multiple different reasons.
Yes, Yes I know i'm a day late! Throw me a bone!!!
Uncanny #6 (Dynamite): Emotional Manipulation Is A B****!
Styles comes to save his friends and things turn pretty ugly for the guards.
Styles's ability its a kind of telepathic thingy that plays on the emotions of his enemies. The Sargent of the guards gets a little annoyed when one of the soldiers doesn't listen properly and Styles steps in
Forcing everyone to kill each other.
Suicide Risk #9 (BOOM!): Leo Becomes Requiem
In this issue we get to see how truly awesome Leo is now he has gotten better control of his abilities. What was the military's idea to deal with him? MOAB the entire fricking town!!!!
Except things don't really go to plan when Leo basically says "How about no?". Leo's list of powers increases to molecular manipulation it seems. To quote the issue "he told the fire not to burn."
And after Prometheus turns on him we get awesome art and a pretty annoyed Leo.
And to top it off he becomes Requiem!
Executive Assistant Assassins #18 (Aspen Comics): Hand To Hand For The Win!
To sum this issue up its basically just Daffodil beating people up. First in the court room.
And then against her nemesis Chuni.
The main thing I like about this issue was not only the conclusion to Daffodil's story but also the way the hand to hand wasn't over played. It was simple and effective no fancy stuff.
Well I haven't had the time (or funding) to do this thread for the past month or so but its back!
Baltimore: Chapel Of Bones #2 (Dark Horse): Vampires Get Merced!
Henry has finally tracked down the Vampire that killed his family and suffice to say he's not a happy bunny.
After what happened to his family you can understand Henry's desire to unleash a bit of good ol ass whooping on the Vamps.
To sum this issue up......lots of Vampires that do not sparkle die very bad deaths.
Aphrodite IX #8 (Top Cow): The "Superior" Aphrodite!?
For the first time since her appearance we finally get to see what Aphrodite XV, Aphrodite IX's upgraded model is capable of and she's got a very different approach to situations to IX.
She shows herself to be far more brutal than IX......efficient but brutal
I wasn't sure about Sejic's new approach to his art since issue #6 but this issue completely sold me on the new style of inking!
Artifacts #34 (Top Cow): Ian's Back!
Top Cow really knocked it out of the park with Aphrodite IX but without a doubt one of the most anticipated events of this week from them was the return of Ian Nottingham who hasn't been seen since 2011. For those of you who are unaware of who Ian is he's an ex member of the British SAS and a genetically modified killer who makes a habit out of catching bullets. This time though we see another side of Ian. His Assassin side, the side that caused Kenneth Irons to pick him as his bodyguard and most of the Top Cow-verse to fear confrontations with him.
In this issue Ian is proving to himself that he doesn't need the Blood Sword in order to kill people and he proves that quite convincingly via assassinations, extortion and out right cruelty.
Unfortunately for them the Yakuza are the ones the psychopathic Brit turns his talents against.
and why did Ian do all this exactly? To prove he didn't need the Blood Sword yes but also to send a message to anyone who wants to challenge him in order to take it!
Apparently drawing a picture of a giant sword in the blood of his enemies across the street was a big "Come at me brah!" to the rest of the Artifacts!
Well its happened. Games Workshop have done it! They are branching out into their own series of Graphic Novels based around the Horus Heresy in the 40k-verse. Starting with Macragge's Honour.
The novel follows the aftemath of the Word Bearers betrayal and attack on Calth and the Ultramarine's retaliation against their former brothers.
In the aftermath of the Word Bearers’ attack on Calth, the wounded Kor Phaeron flees aboard his battle-barge Infidus Imperator, intent on returning to the war that now rages across the entire galaxy. But the Ultramarines First Chapter Master Marius Gage – under orders from Roboute Guilliman himself – has taken the mighty flagship Macragge’s Honour in pursuit, and the battle to come will surely be remembered for all eternity. Cut off from their Legions and with no hope of reinforcement, the crews of the two vessels stalk one another to the very edge of reality... and beyond.
The story is by industry talent Dan Abnett who's name you may recognize as he's worked for Marvel (most notably Nova), DC and Wildstorm in the past as a writer but 40k is where this guy's talent really shines through (take it fro a fan of his novels).
It is illustrated by 40k artist Neil Roberts. This guy is a stunning artist to say the least here are few interior previews we have from the graphic novel itself. Yes I said interior art!
This is the first time that Games Workshop has used its own company to print a graphic novel. The other comics and graphic novels where printed mainly by BOOM!. This project has apparently been quite a few years in the making and the novel itself is over 100 pages in length, leather-bound and includes a ton of bonus artwork and a free prequel and story about the Emperor Of Mankind. This is the initial printing in which not many will be released because they are literally made to order. Hence the stupidly hefty price tag of £75 nope I kid you not £75!!!!!!
If you are interested in what looks like a master-piece of art-work and the first of what looks like to be a whole series of comics and graphic novels from Games Workshop but are unwilling to pay the price (I don't blame you) then wait for the mass-market reprint which is going to be cheaper!
All I can say is Neil Roberts..........you are the god of interiors!
The comic based on Dan Luvisi's "Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter" has taken a leap forward with panels from the series and some promotional art being posted from Luvisi himself:
The whole series is written and illustrated by Luvisi and will be printed by Dark Horse and titled "Last Man Standing: Welcome To Amerika". Having been an avid followed of this project since it began a few years ago its great to see that this is indeed progressing into a comic series and with art like this to accompany it I can't wait to see what Luvisi has in store for us! Yet another indie series stealing my money *shakes fist*
Anyhow what are you're thoughts on the series? Will you be buying it when it comes out next year?
Now before I start this is not a hate thread or flame thread about why Superior sucks or is a terrible idea and must be scrapped. This is my view on exactly what went wrong and where.
The idea itself is not a bad one in fact I really like the concept however it has been poorly executed.
This jumped out at me big time within only the second appearance of Superior. His personality and demeanor are inconsistent. In Amazing Spider-man #700 that showed us Superior's birth we got this (see left).
Ock cradling Peter in his arms and then swearing to become Spider-man and protect the innocent. Heck I can quote from that panel "You may be leaving this world but you are not leaving it to a villain." However in Avenging Spider-man 15.1 Superior's second appearance we had this panel (see right).
We went from a repentant villain who found respect for his nemesis on his death-bed and vowed to honor his memory by continuing his legacy to a someone who suddenly doesn't seem to care about the man who's body he now has and is actively celebrating the fact he killed a man and took his life.
This personality shift happened for no reason and within the space of one issue. Why? It makes no sense. We left Superior in one place only to have him reappear straight away with a different mind-set for no apparent reason.
This is not only in the first few issues. This is going on nearly every time Superior appears under the pen of a different writer. The two main writers are of course Dan Slott and Chris Yost but we've seen him written by other people in A+X, Avengers etc... and everyone seems to be changing how he thinks and acts for no apparent reason. The only reason I can think of is that the writers do not know how to handle his character. Some are writing him as a cold calculating anti-hero (Yost), some are writing him as an almost corny 60's villain (Slott) and others have absolutely no idea whats going on (like in the latest A+X). Suffice to say no one has actually agreed on how Superior should be written and this is very degrading and also leaves the reader very confused.
The writers especially the consistent ones need to sit down and decide on how this character needs to be written because from going from this:
Is just disjointed at best. Someone seriously needs to get everyone together and set up some pre-defined parameters for writing this character properly its bordering on lazy now.
Poorly written supporting characters
Now we saw this from the beginning when we saw Mary Jane almost oblivious to Peter's change. Now due to OMD Pete's and MJ's marriage never occurred so there is a distinct possibility that she is no longer as in tune and knowledgeable as pre-OMD MJ however not noticing complete changes in his personality or choosing to completely ignore the changes entirely is just bad writing and a little disrespectful of characters that creators and other writers have put years of their time and creativity into.
Victims of this have included:
Mary Jane: The most obvious one due to her being a fan favorite and a long-standing established character
J.Jonah Jameson: Who suddenly began to endorse Spider-man getting more violent (prior to Superior blackmailing him) despite the fact that he's always been at heart a good guy. Not a guy who openly endorses people getting beaten within and inch of their lives. He's always been an ass but never an evil person.
Kaine: As Peter's clone he should know Peter better than almost anyone and being his evil clone at that should know exactly how far Peter would be pushed before becoming what Superior is and yet he seemed oblivious as to why Peter was doing what he was doing. Especially with his comment about clones. Peter was very close to Ben and Kaine knew that and yet no alarm went off at that?
Peter Parker: He was portrayed as someone who was prepared to let a child die in order to save his own life. The argument made by Slott is that and I quote "Peter is not like Steve Rodger's, he's not a saint." Which is true but that still doesn't make sense or excuse the action. Peter has put his life on the line for villains and other evil people as well as innocents in the past and yet he was willing to risk a child's life in order to save his. This is not just out of character but out-right wrong and goes against everything 50 years of story telling has tried to do. This happened for no other reason than an attempt to assert Superior Spider-man by degrading Peter.
Doctor Octopus: Otto is one of Spider-man's oldest and most dangerous foes who's intelligence and cunning has proved time and time again how dangerous he is. He is an educated man who has shown in the past the up most respect for Spider-man even saving his life during the Clone Saga when Peter was dying and he has been reduced to someone who isn't even smart enough to pretend to be Peter in public to the people who know him best? This is probably the worst one of them all.
I could list so many other characters such as the Avengers but that would take to long and you all probably get my drift by now. Suffice to say characters are being dumbed down and degraded in order to accommodate Superior when in reality it should be the other way around as it shows laziness and disrespect for said characters. Someone of Otto's intelligence should know to at least make an effort to seem like Parker. In fact the only time I have EVER seen Otto do this was here:
Aside from this instance I can't recall another moment.
Now despite all the bad stuff there is a few good moments in this idea. If it wasn't for how poorly and inconsistently it is executed it would be a very interesting and intriguing idea. There are some things i've liked about the series. The new tech is cool and even his personality on the few occasions its written right (Yost seems to be doing the best thus far). These are some of my favorite moments which to me best represent what Superior could have and by all rights should have been:
If Superior was always written like this and was portrayed as the smart, cold, calculating and cunning character he should be and his supporting cast wasn't dumbed down to accommodate him this could have been one of the best parts of Spider-History and sadly it probably will not be so.
This week I had a ball with indie comics. I had quite a few possibles but these were the three I decided on.
The Hit-List #2 (Zenescope Comics): Boom Headshot!
This week the Hit-list officially kicked off and the Assassin team making their move on the Brown House Bishops. The results are deadly and effective.
Our first assassin gets a gun pulled on him fortunately the thugs doing it are unaware of who they are threatening.
The second uses herself as bait to lure her targets in.
I could show more but heck buy the comic to see the rest of this. The last Assassin we see shall be known simply as the Honey-badger. The others all show their skills but him? Well he just does this and doesn't care about showing off.
Bushido #5 (Top Cow): More Vampire Samurai's
Well Bushido is back and with a vengeance at that. This week it we saw probably the best fight in comics in general for the week.
So while Kichiro's brother is using his Vampire stats against other Vamps whats happening to Kichiro. Well he's getting his ass handed to him by the big bad guy.
After getting smacked around for a while the two brothers double team.
What happens next is pretty awesomely brutal.
And what follows that even more so.
At the end of this issue we also see what I have been waiting for since this series started.......Ninja Vampires! Yes Ninjas who are Vampires but you'll have to buy the issue to see that mwhahahaha.
Aphrodite IX #5 (Top Cow): Say Wha!?
Yep another Top Cow title made the list this week. Aphrodite after breaking free of her programming is a little bit pissed off.
The main thing I liked about this issue was her internal monologue. Hawkins I praise your writing and of course Sejic is still (imo) the undisputed king of comic art currently!
Yet another BOOM! title. I really wanted to go for a different company this time but I bought the first issue on a whim from Comixology and it was good enough to warrant making it onto this blog. This series has only just started it is only 1 issue in with the next issue coming out next week (I think). It is written by Matt Gagnon and Micheal Alan Nelson (Supergirl) and illustrated by the very talented Brian Stelfreeze. This is primarily a Vampire series (I think I heard a few people groan then) and I know the whole-Vampire theme is getting very over used lately and has gotten a bad rep due to certain (not pointing fingers...) media incarnations but hear me out.
What Is It About?:
For thousands of years the world has been controlled by the "50 Families" a network of Vampires that basically control almost everything under the sun (oh the irony) and are engaged in an eternal conflict for territory, food etc... with each other. However the Vamps all have the classic weakness to sunlight (and by weakness I mean they go extra-crispy when they go out in it). So what do they do during the day when they can't go out and wreak havoc?
They have humans to do it for them. The Day Men. This is where the protagonist David Reid comes in. Reid is a Day Man and protector of the Virgo family more specifically Azalea Virgo. Day Men have been employed for thousands of years and while they are just normal humans thousands and thousands of years of combat training and Vampire hunting techniques is passed down to each one and Reid is no exception.
The series basically follows Reid and him doing everything in his power to allow his family to overthrow the others and become the most powerful colony in the world.
Why You Should Read It?
Although only one-issue in it has the potential to build into an incredible series. For those of you who are familiar with Lazarus it has that kind of vibe going for it and a similar concept albeit executed very differently. One thing that sets this series apart from most Vampire based fiction is that the Vamps are not the top of the food chain in fact most of them have a decent amount of fear for the Day Men and with good damn reason.
These guys are damn scary and seem to make a mockery out of Vampires despite their super-human speed and strength.
I can't even think of a comparison I can make for this series as I said prior in this post Image's Lazarus is the closest comparison I can make due to the feel of the story. Ever since I, Vampire got canceled (damn you DC *shakes fist*) i've been looking for a decent Vampire themed series which is a lot harder to find than you would think and if issue #1 is anything to judge this series on then its is going to be awesome. If you have room on your pull-list for another series and you like the look of this then DO IT! Its only 1 issue in! You have 0 catching up to do!