Ohio

Ohio begins with a funeral and ends in murder. What happens in between is as depressing as a high school reunion, but man, Stephen Markley’s writing elevates the wrist-slashing fatigue into a Stanley Kubrick-like, art-house style circa Clockwork Orange. Still, Ohio is 500-page work that feels like it takes all four years of the riding…

Slugfest: Marvel vs DC

Looking back on 50 years of comic book history, Reed Tucker unleashes his story of the ultimate cosmic combat where punches and fights and battles were not limited to the four-color world of super-heroes and god-like deities, but instead happened between the editors and creators of the two biggest and best of comic book champions:…

The Big Picture

Ben Fritz of the Wall Street Journal loves movies. He is passionate about the experience of communally watching a film, the unique ability for artists to tell their stories, and the Hollywood business machine behind it all. But man, he hates franchise features. From Marvel and DC to Star Wars and Star Trek to dinosaurs and robots,…

A Journey Into Mystery

Odin, “Seasons of Mist” Sandman #26 When Neil Gaiman included Odin, Thor, and Loki into the “Seasons of Mist” storyline for his seminal Sandman series, he scripted characters that were worlds different then their archetypes present over in Marvel Comics. Even though Walter Simonson introduced truer Norse myths into the Thor comic during his incredible…

Sandman: Endless Nights

An extremely uneven collection both in story and art. Seeing as how Neil Gaiman, who created both Sandman and his brethren the Endless, wrote all seven chapters, this can be frustratingly odd, as Gaiman usually brings his a-game. However, one can look at this collection with the understanding that he, along with some of his…

A Surfboard is way cooler than a Police Call Box

Fun. Pure, undiluted, make-you-smile fun. How’s that for a review on Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer: New Dawn graphic novel? The Surfer has always been a personal favorite. Be it Stan “The Man” Lee and Big John Buscema’s angst-ridden late sixties run, or the Jim Starlin-Ron Marz-Ron Lim galaxy-crushing saga from the eighties/nineties. But…

Thor: The Dark World, perhaps?

Marvel Comics in the early- to mid-eighties was undergoing a transformative time of progressive change. Frank Miller was redefining Daredevil and placing the blind hero up against ninjas. Denny O’Neil catapulted Tony Stark into the ravings of serious alcoholism forcing James Rhodes to wear the suit in Iron Man. Chris Claremont and John Byrne were…

No Poison in this Sequel

Sometimes, sequels can be better than the starting off point, a fact that many Marvel movies can attest, as the origin-telling, that whole world building, has been set and accomplished. The sequel, if done properly, allows the protagonist to grow; to breathe and evolve. Success to Matthew FitzSimmons, then, as his second Gibson Vaughn novel,…

Jungle Action… via le Carre

The comic-industry tradition of inviting a celebrated author from outside the medium to craft and guide stories in the hopes of adding a new direction to an older, existing character and, more importantly for the business, of capturing the attention, and funding, of a new audience has met with mixed responses over the years. However,…