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Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016

Shipment was delayed and only came on Thursday. Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).


Second Sight #1

Story: David Hine

Art: Alberto Ponticelli

AfterShock Comics

I’ve been looking forward to this new baby by David Hine. The British writer tells one hell of a ghastly story. Check out his cult book, Strange Embrace and his adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs. Second Sight is about Ray Palmer, a psychic who can see bad things happening. He calls it ‘remote viewing’. 20 years ago after his first sighting, he is divorced, his ex-wife had taken out a restraining on him, his daughter is running a blog exposing society’s elites and getting into trouble. For the life of me, I don’t know why he has the same name as the Atom, but Ray looks like the burnt out hippie who runs the second hand book shop at Marchmont Street, but I could be wrong. He does remind me of John Constantine and Grant Morrison though.

And with the man in the monkey as the baddie, this is the creepiest book you will read this year (Alberto Ponticelli does a great job in the art department making sure that happens) and it is the comic of the week.

(4.5 stars)

Batman #49

Story: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV

Art: Yanick Paquette


Last reviewed this title (#45) for the 14 October 2015 edition of this column. Things are moving to a smashing conclusion in #51. Batman-Gordon is defeated by arch-villain Mister Bloom and is possibly dead (I don’t think so) and Gotham City is in chaos once again. I didn’t know Alfred is missing his right hand now. But Bruce Wayne is back and remembers he is Batman. But he does not have his full memories and he returns to the Batcave to put on a machine that could bring his memories back. But it could just kill him. You know he won’t die and it’s girlfriend Julie Madison who pressed the button to bring back the old Bruce Wayne who will not remember his relationship with her.

This issue packs more of an emotional punch than others – the relationship between Bruce and Alfred gets played out, much like Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire’s 2012 digital comic series, Legends of the Dark Knight. Yanick Paquette (Batman Incorporated) does a great job filling in for Greg Capullo. So much Batman buzz these days with Frank Miller turning in another Dark Knight Returns story – The Last Crusade and Paul Dini returning to Batman in his autobiographical, Dark Night. Snyder’s run can still hold up against these giants.

(4 stars)

The Totally Awesome Hulk

Story: Greg Pak

Art: Frank Cho


Greg Pak is one of the best Hulk writers for the last 10 years – from Planet Hulk to World War Hulk. Amadeus Cho is the Hulk now and this series is more light-hearted. Hulk smash Fin Fang Foom! And as a result caught the fancy of the alien monster queen, Lady Hellbender (very imaginative name). The She-Hulk guest-stars. Get this for the kids.

(3 stars)

Socute the Corgi #1

Kitsune: Assassin For Hire #1

Story/Art: Derek Chua

Irrational Comics

Two comics featuring dogs that could not be any more different. Socute the Corgi lives up to its name – it is very cute and it is to Derek Chua’s credit that he can come up with such a colour child-friendly comic. It teaches the value of ‘one good turn deserves another’ and I can see the merchandise Chua can produce for this for the next STGCC.

Kitsune: Assassin For Hire, on the other hand, is Chua channelling his love for Lone Wolf and Cub and other assassins for hire manga. The art is very different from Socute or even Chua’s earlier series Roleplayers, which was reviewed on 7 October 2015. It’s more nasty (tits falling out of kimono, evil daimyos getting their just deserts) and it has some stunning page layout. Page 3 is a fine example. 4 rectangle panels fill the page, one stacked on top of the other. A white fox is running through the forest to reach its mistress who is bathing in the river. The movement of the fox breaks the boundaries of the panels, and the perspective is crazy. Panel 3 makes the fox look like a huge animal while the last panel at the bottom of the page has the naked Kitsune towering over the fox. When I first saw the preview of this page, I thought both Kitsune and the fox were giants macham Attack On Titans.

Buy both e-comics at https://irrationalcomics.wordpress.com

(3.5 stars for both)



All-New X-Men #4

Story: Dennis Hopeless (that’s really his name)

Art: Mark Bagley


I don’t quite this series. The original X-Men from the past is plucked and trapped in the present, so you have young Cyclops and old Cyclops squaring it off, etc. Didn’t John Byrne do the something similar in the 1980s and that is the whole basis for X-Factor? We have since learned that Byrne did that to piss Chris Claremont off, by bringing back Jean Grey and giving Claremont the bird…So did Brian Michael Bendis have a grunge against someone when he plotted this whole premise a few years back?...

Since this is one of the few X-Men titles around, we should treasure it. The fact that this title survived shows that there are people who want a younger and the original X-Men team. Jean Grey is not in the book anymore and the Angel is going out with the female Wolverine. This issue reads like a teenage romance comic – my girlfriend thinks she is invulnerable and I am worried about her. But she is pissed at me because I worry about her…but wait, she is being beaten to a pulp by The Blob now! Mark Bagley provides the reliable art chores. Since Ultimate Spider-man ended, it’s good to see him drawing a Marvel comic again.

(3 stars)

Badger #1

Story: Mike Baron

Art: Jim Fern

Devil’s Due/1First Comics

I didn’t know First Comics is back, but it’s a good thing. I always enjoy Badger, a more fun and psychotic version of Wolverine. This new series reboots the Badger story. Instead of being a damaged Vietnam War vet, Nobert Sykes is now a crazy who has been tortured by Al Qaeda in the Afghanistan conflict. He returned to America with multiple personalities, the most dominant being the Badger, a self-styled crime fighter and a master of a thousand esoteric and arcane martial arts. Now he fights other masters of kung fu and creatures of darkness with powers of sorcery. Unfortunately, in this first issue, he is still all tied up in a mental institution. But the voices are getting stronger. Expect a breakout in the next issue.

It’s great to have co-creator Mike Baron back writing this series. Let’s hope we see more of Nexus in 2016 too. Jim Fern (co-designer of Jubilee and artist of the Vertigo series Crossing Midnight written by Mike Carey) ably illustrates Badger’s badass action. Cover by Val Mayerik.

(3.5 stars) 

Pencil Head #1

Story/Art: Ted McKeever


2016 must be the year of revivals. We have Mike Baron’s Badger and the return of First Comics. Now Ted McKeever is back after a hiatus from drawing his signature style of frantic comics. There is always a nervous energy running through his stories – Transit, Eddie Current, Plastic Forks, Metropol, The Extremist…all classics. Pencil Head marks a return of that kind of verve and sensibilities, no seen or sensed in comics these days. As proclaimed on the cover: oddball artists, twisted writers, demented editors, office politics, hamburgers and a dead stripper. The main hero is a struggling comic book artist who has to deal with his asshole of an editor who adds superhero sound effects to his pages.

(3.5 stars)

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Lim Cheng Tju is the co-editor of Liquid City Vol. 2, an anthology of Southeast Asian comics publish ...

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