Thursday, July 2, 2015

Graphic Novel Review - Secret Wars Prelude

Name - Secret Wars Prelude
Published by - Marvel
Writer - Jonathan Hickman, Jim Shooter, Brian Michael Bendis
Artist - Steve Epting, Mike Zeck, Ryan Stegman, Sara Pichelli, Esad Ribic

The 'Secret Wars Prelude' graphic novel is a mixture of various issues of past comic series' which brings the concept of the mega-event to focus as well as introduces a few of the key characters to the readers. While it may not be essential to enjoy the event, it does spice up the anticipation while waiting for the main experience.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 2015 New DC Comics Ongoing Series' To Watch For

I will start off this month with a 'special feature' article, a feature dedicated to the change of DC Comics line-up in the past month. DC Comics saw the start of DC You in June, which featured the start of quite a few new ongoing series'. This proves to be a great starting point for new readers as well as overall promising stuff. Let's begin -

BATMAN BEYOND #1
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG

At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn’t the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that’s already won.
The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home – or further down the road of disaster!

BLACK CANARY #1
Written by BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art and cover by ANNIE WU

Dinah Lance hits the road! After years as a soldier and vigilante, the LAST place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into. And she just might have to – for some reason, the newly rechristened band Black Canary seems to be a magnet for trouble…and Dinah’s not gonna believe it when she finds out the reason why! Martial arts, super-spies, and rock ‘n’ roll combine, from Brenden Fletcher (BATGIRL) and Annie Wu (Hawkeye)!



CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER #1
Written by MING DOYLE
Art and cover by RILEY ROSSMO

The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across – his own dark history!


DOOMED #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by JAVIER FERNANDEZ

In this startling new series, a Metropolis U student gains the power to transform into the monstrously powerful Doomsday! The power may be the key to fixing his life, but every time he transforms he risks getting stuck forever as Superman’s most heinous adversary! How far can he go before he’s doomed?






DR. FATE #1
Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art and cover by SONNY LIEW

You thought global warming was bad? Anubis, the Egyptian Lord of Dead, is preparing the flood to wash the world away. Standing in his way? An overwhelmed Brooklyn med student who’s been handed the helmet of Fate, without an instruction manual.



EARTH 2: SOCIETY #1
Written by DANIEL WILSON
Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ

The survivors of Earth-2’s war with Apokolips find themselves on a new world, but can Green Lantern, Power Girl, a new Batman and the other heroes of Earth-2 create a new world that’s better than the last, or will their interference and good intentions doom this world, just like the old one?





GREEN LANTERN: THE LOST ARMY #1
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ

Imagine waking up in a strange place where you didn’t recognize anything, and everyone you knew and loved was nowhere to be found. Now imagine that you are a Green Lantern. The rest of the Corps is missing, you don’t know where you are and there’s not a Power Battery to be found for as far as your ring can scan. Where are you? How did you get here? Those are just two of the many questions facing our heroes.
Starring John Stewart, Two-Six, Kilowog and Arisia, and featuring a surprise guest-star we promise you’ll never predict, LOST ARMY is an incredible journey of discovery, survival, morality and heartbreak. Never has the Corps been challenged in this way – and not everyone is going to make it home!
 


 JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #1
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS
Art and cover by HOWARD PORTER

Travel even deeper into the future than before with the all-new JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001! They’ve managed to become the World’s Greatest Heroes of the 30th century, but with legions of foes gunning for them, can they stay alive long enough to see the year 3002?





JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
Written by BRYAN HITCH
Art by BRYAN HITCH and WADE VON GRAWBADGER

It’s massive widescreen JUSTICE LEAGUE action and adventure from superstar writer/artist Bryan Hitch! In this extra-sized debut issue, the League comes up against an armada of aliens heading for Earth that claims to be a peaceful religious tribe. But something sinister is lurking in their ranks...something with ties to ancient Krypton!
This amazing kick-off issue is available with seven different open-to-order variant covers by Bryan Hitch, each spotlighting one of seven core members of the JLA, plus an incredible 1:100 seven-panel foldout variant cover that presents all seven open-to-order covers together! 




MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA

Shape-shifting Martians are invading Earth – so where is J’onn J’onzz to stop them? Trust no one as the Martian Manhunter tries to stop these ruthless alien terrorists from destroying everything!






MIDNIGHTER #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art and cover by ACO

Spinning out of GRAYSON comes a solo series starring the man who can predict your every move… but no one will be able to predict what he’ll do next! A theft at the God Garden has unleashed a wave of dangerous biotech weapons on the world, and Midnighter intends to put that genie back in the bottle by any means necessary. But something else was stolen from the Garden as well…the secret history of Lucas Trent, the man Midnighter once was!



THE OMEGA MEN #1
Written by TOM KING
Art by ALEC MORGAN

The Omega Men are back in an all-new series! They’ve murdered White Lantern Kyle Rayner and now, the universe wants them to pay! Who are these intergalactic criminals – and is there more to their actions than meets the eye?






RED HOOD/ARSENAL #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by DENIS MEDRI

These brothers in arms face off against incredible odds while burning their way through the underbelly of the DC Universe – and it’s only a matter of time until they get gunned down in return!



ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN #1
Written by PATRICK GLEASON
Art by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY

The son of a Bat and a Demon, Damian al Ghul has set out to forge his own destiny – and atone for the shameful Year of Blood! Will he be aided or hindered by the behemoth Goliath? And what mysterious legacy trails behind him? Join writer/artist Patrick Gleason as he chronicles the globe-hopping adventures of ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN!




STARFIRE #1
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

From the writers of the outrageous smash hit HARLEY QUINN comes former Outlaw Starfire in her all-new ongoing series! She’s an alien warrior princess trying to find peace on Earth, and she’ll fight anyone and anything to get it!




WE ARE...ROBIN #1
Written by LEE BERMEJO
Art by ROB HAYNES and KHARY RANDOLPH

Spinning out of the pages of BATMAN! The teenagers of Gotham City have adopted the “R” and made it their own. A new Robin? No, HUNDREDS of new Robins! Don’t miss the start of this new series from rising star writer Lee Bermejo (JOKER, SUICIDERS), who also provides the covers! 



[I do have very high hopes for some of these series, let us see how well DC provides this time.]         

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Book Review - Yarrick: Imperial Creed

Book - Yarrick: Imperial Creed
Writer - David Annandale
Series - Warhammer 40,000
Published By - Black Library

 
David Annandale does it again with Yarrick. But this time it is a full-length novel instead of a short story where David delivers a story of Yarrick's youth which is filled with excellent prose and characterization, while delivering an action packed tale with twists and turns abound. His grip on the character is as strong as ever while focusing on an adventure packed with an interesting cast, political intrigue, a bit of horror regarding chaos influence on human souls and a story jam-packed with nicely written action sequences.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Graphic Novel Review - Avengers, Vol. 1: Avengers World

Name - Avengers, Vol. 1: Avengers World
Published by - Marvel
Writer - Jonathan Hickman
Artist - Jerome Opeña, Adam Kubert

Ah, the avengers' story start anew under the Marvel Now brand. But is the start as good as it promises to be? Or is it mediocre delivery in a over-hyped package? This graphic novel does start with a lot of promise, then suddenly it all becomes confusing as in the middle the conflict seems to end suddenly, which the readers find out later is just the writers method to slow the story down.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Short Story Review - Lord of the Red Sands

Short Story - The Lord of The Red Sands
Writer -
Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Series - Horus Heresy
Published By - Black Library


In my opinion, it really is hard to write a good short story. And specially hard to write one on the setting of a shared universe which already has a lot of good writers and stories as the history and expectation bogs you down. But Aaron Dembski-Bowden once again shows why he is one of the best writers currently writing for Black Library. This Horus Heresy short featuring Angron, who is musing on his reason for betrayal is a short yet tight and exquisite read which really lives a pleasant aftereffect in the mind after it is so quickly over.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Books to Look Forward to - June 2015

So Lets start the month of June this year with a post about some upcoming books that I think will be quite good.

'Finders Keepers' by Stephen King
A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes
“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.
Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.


[The first in the 'Bill Hodges Trilogy' by Stephen King was praised by many to be one of the best books of last year. While I haven't read the first one named 'Mr. Mercedes' yet, as far as I know King, I am really looking forward to delve into this series soon.]

'Storm and Steel' by Jon Sprunk
 An empire at war. Three fates intertwined.
The Magician. Horace has destroyed the Temple of the Sun, but now he finds his slave chains have been replaced by bonds of honor, duty, and love. Caught between two women and two cultures, he must contend with deadly forces from the unseen world.
The Rebel. Jirom has thrown in his lot with the slave uprising, but his road to freedom becomes ever more dangerous as the rebels expand their campaign against the empire. Even worse, he feels his connection with Emanon slipping away with every blow they strike in the name of freedom.
The Spy. Alyra has severed her ties to the underground network that brought her to Akeshia, but she continues the mission on her own. Yet, with Horace’s connection to the queen and the rebellion’s escalation of violence, she finds herself treading a knife’s edge between love and duty.
Dark conspiracies bubble to the surface as war and zealotry spread across the empire. Old alliances are shattered, new vendettas are born, and all peoples—citizen and slave alike—must endure the ravages of storm and steel.


[Another second book in a series. Another promising series started in 2014. And epic fantasy stuff to boot. What more do you want?]

'The Liar's Key' by Mark Lawrence
The Red Queen has set her players on the board...
Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed-for luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the door.
As all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key to the underworld -- so that his dead subjects can rise and rule.
 


[Yup, I am a fan of Mark Lawrence. Yup, this is his latest book. Need I say more?]




'Shadowshift' by Peter Giglio
Chet is a shape-shifter who uses his abilities to burglarize homes…
Hannah is a young girl with strange influences over inanimate objects…
Father and daughter, these supernatural misfits are bound by blood, their unfolding stories separated by time. While Chet follows a grim path, Hannah stands on the fragile precipice of hope: her mother’s faltering happiness with a kind man…the chance at a new family and a stable household…and the promise of freedom from the shadows cast by her father’s misdeeds.
But past and present are ready to collide, ushering hell home.
 


[This new release from Darkfuse has a really promising synopsis, and is also quite short in length. This promises to be a short, fun and thrilling ride.]



'Blood of The Cosmos' by Kevin J. Anderson
 The second book in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Shadows trilogy. “Anderson hits it out of the galaxy again.” —Booklist, starred review, on The Dark Between the Stars
An epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire.
The intertwined plots, overflowing with colorful ideas, a large cast of characters, and complex storylines, span dozens of solar systems, alien races, and strange creatures.
As the second book of the trilogy opens, the humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in Book One, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it’s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.


[I have yet to finish the first one of this series, but as far as I have read, this promises to be an epic and interesting read to say the least.]

'Slow Bullets' by Alastair Reynolds
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes an interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.
A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur—and for humanity—peace is not to be.
On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.
Passengers—combatants from both sides of the war—are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.
 





[To be honest, I haven't read anything by 'Alastair Reynolds' yet. But I have read only good things about him. This one was available on netgalley, I requested and was approved. Seems to be another short and fun read too.]

'The Philosopher Kings' by Jo Walton
From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato’s Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.
The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as "Pythias" in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it’s evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.
Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers--including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence--Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find—possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves "Greek." What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.
 


[Yet another second book in a series (this seems to be the month for second books). I am currently reading the first one which I got as an ARC and liking a lot.]

'Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan' by Gav Thorpe
The Phoenix Lords are demigods of battle, warriors whose legends span the stars. They are embodiments of the warrior nature of the eldar, and each walks his own path. The first, and greatest, is Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan. Since he led his people from destruction at the time of the Fall, he has guided his children, the Dire Avengers, in defending the remnants of the eldar as they plan their rise back to galactic dominance. A superlative warrior and peerless leader, Asurmen is one of the greatest hopes of the eldar race.
A stunning 224-page A5 hardback novel presented in a lavish dustjacket with internal colour section, this book is a fantastic insight into the creation of the first Warrior Aspect, as well as a snapshot of Asurmen’s current struggle against Chaos. Strictly limited worldwide to 1,000 copies and exclusively available via blacklibrary.com, it features a beautiful full-colour section with character vignettes and wargear descriptions. The savage grace of the eldar’s plight has never been represented quite so elegantly before.
 



[While this book will be released this month I don't know when I will be able to get my hands on this one. This limited edition stuff is just to expensive for me, I wish Black Library would provide some ARC's for reviewers or at least cut the price down a bit.] 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Short Story Review - The Wolf of Ash and Fire

Short Story - The Wolf of Ash and Fire
Writer - Graham Mcneill
Series - Horus Heresy
Published By - Black Library


This one tells of a tale before the Horus Heresy, even before Ullanor, a battle during the Great Crusade, of a time when Horus was an ideal son of the Emperor. It is one of the few stories featuring the Emperor and also features him in battle. While the story was a bit slow at times these two characters and the action really makes it a fun read.