Comic Reviews imagesCA8B4N21-300x160

Published on March 21st, 2013 | by Mike Harding

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SONIC BOOM!! Its in two parts this month!!

Welcome to another round-up of the titles that were released from BOOM studios in the past month.  It has been a busy month for Boom; they re-branded themselves, launched a new logo “We Are Boom” and released some brilliant comics.

First up is part two of Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos’ Fairy quest, the last issue ended with Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, meeting up with Peter Pan and the Lost boys, but only after BBW set off a trap that the lost boys were using to protect themselves.  The action picks up with Peter and Red bantering with each other, and Red telling him about how she is hoping to escape to Real World.

file_24_22Peter tells Red about a girl he used to know called Wendy who came from Real World, and even uses a twist on J.M.Barries directions to get to Neverland with the line “she came from back in time from the morning and past the first star on the left”.  As a big Peter Pan fan, I thought this was a really well thought out section.  What came next however, was brutal, and very creepy.  Peter decided to help Red find her way to Real World, and decides to ask someone who may know, this is the eventual introduction of Captain James Hook.  This bit is brilliantly creepy as Pan has Hook chained up in a cave balanced over some water, BOTH of his hands have hooks on them, and more disturbingly he has both his legs amputated below the knee, all this is as a result of Pan slowly allowing the Crocodile snack on him if he doesn’t do as he is asked.

As the book progresses we once again see why Ramos is held in such high regard with a beautiful page showing what makes BBW the animal he is today.  This page itself is stunning, and looks like it came straight from a Disney movie (I’m using that as a big compliment).

The duo then stumble upon Cinderella’s village, where we see exactly what happened to her following her exposure to Grimm’s machine, this is also where Red and BBW encounter Grimm and his think police.  Naturally they escape, and we then encounter an old lady living in a small cottage made entirely from sweets, after a very well written encounter with Hansel and Gretal, our heroic pair ventures into the Dark Wood.

Sadly, for now, that is where the story ends, as this is all that was written when it was launched as a Kickstarter project.  Now this is exactly why I am not a big fan of these projects, as occasionally a title is released that fans really love, and it is only a part of a story.  Wanting more I sent Mr Paul Jenkins a tweet, telling him how much I enjoyed the book so far, and asking when we could expect to see more content.  Paul kindly replied to the tweet with “Soon. Patience, grasshopper.”  I am going to take this as good news, as whilst we may have to wait, at least the book will be continuing, I only hope that Humberto Ramos is able to fit this into his seemingly packed schedule.

 

 

Next up is a new release from BOOM! Aliens vs Parker is created and written by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, drawn by Manuel Bracchi, coloured by Vladamir Popov, with lettering by Deron Bennett.  Now Paul Scheer is a comedian who has appeared in loads of American comedies, when I heard that a comedian was involved in this book my heart sank, mainly as I figured it would end up being like the Frankie Boyle “comic” that was released a few years ago.  Then I encountered another issue, this book is part one of four, so I wasn’t expecting much other than it being a set up for the remaining three issues.

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So, first page opens with ha badly drawn alien character spouting awkwardly written dialogue, the then has his head blown off and the story instantly becomes interesting.  Now lets not forget the book is called Aliens vs Parker (I’m refusing to refer to this book as AvP as those films are awful and this book isn’t), so I figured “wow, no set up, we are straight into alien killing”.

The next few pages introduce us to our main cast, as the battle against an alien horde, not all is as it seems however, but I wont tell you why as it’s too clever a plot device.  From this page onward, however, I felt the artwork stepped up a notch, and the writing became far better.

We discover that our cast are working for an interstellar delivery company (mind immediately races to thoughts of Futurama, but this is nothing like it), they are currently awaiting a new job, and get called to meet their client in deep space.  Upon arrival they encounter the USMC (I’m guessing United Space Marine Core) who take command of their ship for transport to a planet for a secret mission.  Whilst on route to the planet our hero Parker encounters the only female on the ship Presley, who he has an immediate crush on.  Needless to say the end of the book deals with the USMC going on their mission, and the delivery company deciding to do something stupid.

Now this book could be rubbish, when you sit and look at the plot it is a very by the numbers sci-fi story.  The planet that they are going to is currently being colonized, the people on the planet have gone missing, it is everything we have seen in all the space movies we watched growing up.  What makes this book different is Scheer’s comedy moments.  One of the characters is a large bloke named Lawrence, who throughout the book says the most ridiculous things, now on my first read through the book, I just thought he was meant to be extremely dumb, however, on my second read through I spotted a line at the beginning of the book in which one of the crew wonders if space is effecting Lawrence’s mind.

The interactions between the characters are well crafted, the extended cast are made to look like the stereotypes that fill up books such as this, with them being muscle-bound and aggressive.  There are great moments where they speak about previous jobs they have done, and the one they talk about sounds absurd.  When your series is only four issues long, you have to grab people’s attention or they wont bother with your book, Scheer and Giovannetti have certainly got my attention with this issue, and I would strongly recommend it.  Strangely there have been some quite negative reviews for this book, yet everyone I have spoken to who has read it, really enjoyed it.

 

 

It’s that time again, this month sees the release of Fanboys vs Zombies issue 12, now, after following Jerry Gaylord on Twitter, he told me that this issue, was full of action and would blow my mind.  Well Jerry, you were right, this is a brilliant issue, and I’m struggling to write a review that doesn’t give away any spoilers!

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First of all have to give credit to Shane Houghton, his writing has been brilliant during this entire arc, and so far, this issue is easily the best.  As always Jerry Gaylord’s artwork is superb, and I feel that I should also give credit to Dominic Stanton for his variant covers (Dominic drew the cover used in this review).  There is also a whole team of people need crediting, including Penelope Gaylord who assists with the inking, Mirka Andolfo and Andrea Dotta who provide the colouring, and Ed Dukeshire who provides the lettering.

Last issue ended with a really surprising ending, when Kurt (who lets face it, is basically an evil Robert Kirkman) shot Amanda, whom Kyle had said (as part of a test) had been bitten.  This issue picks up straight after that incident, with the group dealing with Kurt’s actions, and trying to find somewhere to treat Amanda’s wounds.

There is so much that happens in this issue that is significant, I could not spoil any of it at all, every page has something on it that is brilliant, whether it be the ongoing references to various classic fanboy movies (this issue features lots of Star Wars references), the undead citizens of Las Vegas, the evil mind of Kurt, or the revelation of the result of nuclear exposure to the Zombified victims of San Diego, and those that survived it.  There are pages of this book that left me open-mouthed, if you’re not reading this book, you should be, it is that simple.  This book is too good to spoil, Shane Houghton and Sam Humphries have created a brilliant story here, and Houghton has written an amazing script.  I know it seems that every month I refuse to say anything bad about this book, but that is because I can’t find anything bad.  I am sure there are people out there who will criticize the constant references to various movies and television programmes, who probably feel that their frequent use is a crutch that the creative team use when their story fails.  This is nonsense however, as those references make the book all that much better, as I mentioned last month there was a great Men in Black reference, and this month has a superb reference to Speed, whilst the crew drive through Las Vegas.

After twelve superb issues, I think this is easily my favorite book of the month, which is an impressive feat when you consider how much I read these days (It’s a lot, ask my bank manager). The team behind this book is great, and always take the time to thank people for their positive comments via various social media sites, which they don’t have to do, but the fact they do makes this book even better.

Once again, as always, this issue end with a great moment, which you just know is going to set up a great story.  This is the only bit I don’t mind spoiling, as the Internet has been flooded with images of the next few covers, so I will say it now, next issue, Fanboys vs Zombies…IN SPACE!!

 

 

 

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