Bruce Castle Presents: Conan vs. Zombies! The Ultimate Showdown!

Ultimate Fantastic Four #59

Ultimate Fantastic Four #59 (***)

It’s depressing to read this book and write about it. This should’ve ended after Millar left. The story is average and the art is average. But I don’t blame the creative team much. This is another Ultimatum tie-in, but again you don’t have to read it. The only important thing that MIGHT happen next issue is that Johnny comes back. But who didn’t see that coming? This series is just wandering around waiting to die. The trigger is pulled next issue and sadly, I’ll be there.

Conan the Cimmerian #6

Conan the Cimmerian #6 (***1/2)

Wow! Not much happened, that’s a first for this book. This is one of those middle of the arc issues and for some reason, it’s taking place in the penultimate chapter. I don’t know why. It was still fine enough. Conan is back home. He sees his mom again. He spends some quality time with the girl he lost his virginity to. The stage is set for next issue. Even the Connacht story is mostly uneventful. Oh well, the writing and art is handled well enough that this didn’t bother me. And if I was reading this in trade, the fact that not much happened wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.

Walking Dead #56

Walking Dead #56 (****) SPOILERS!

Has it really been five years? Good job, Kirkman! Anyway, I called it. Maggie is alive, baby! I’m a little bumbed, but Kirkman made it work. That’s what this issue is about. What happens when people think Maggie is dead? Tensions rise between the new and old groups and we continue to explore Abraham’s character. The big reveal is something we pretty much guessed already. This issue isn’t bad of course, but I have to tell you something, right? Here, I’ll end on a positive note. The last issue came out three weeks ago! Keep the less than monthly schedule coming, Kirkman!

Bruce Castle Presents: 15 Comic Reviews! I Have No Time!

Ugh! I feel like Billy! I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this but sadly it has. I’ve been really busy saving civilization lately. Hopefully the aliens and super ninjas will stay away long enough for me to write some proper reviews soon. I have to at least write long reviews for Final Crisis and Secret Invasion. Anyway, enjoy my negligence!

Mighty Avengers #19 (***1/2) That’s two good MA issues in a row Bendis! You have one more left to go. Make it count!

Conan #4 (****) Always a solid read and hey the Corben stuff is making sense now. This book looks pretty as well.

Grant Morrison Doctor Who #1 (****) I’m not a Who fan, but this is still usual Morrison excellence. It’s very entertaining forgettable fun!

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (****) A bit worse than last issue but this is still epic stuff. Plus, Perez’s art has never looked so good!

Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #3 (****1/2) What a fun series! I’m so in the mood for that new Flash comic. Go villain books!

Green Lantern #35 (****) Yeah it was too long but that won’t matter much in trade. How many origin stories have been better? Oh, and how awesome is Reis?

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3 (***1/2) More forgettable fun! Pretty art too!

Justice Society Of America #19 (****1/2) One of the most consistently great books out there right now. I like all the Eaglesham art but I don’t like waiting!

Punisher #63 (***1/2) That forgettable entertainment that looks pretty theme continues!

Secret Six #2 (****1/2) Fun! Fun! Fun! But not as great as last issue. Catman vs. Batman!

Amazing Spider-Man #573 (*****) Go JRJR go! Hooray for awesome comics! Stephen Colbert fans must pick this up!

Ultimate Origins #5 (***) Meh. I’ve forgotten it already. Weak last page!

Uncanny X-Men #503 (***) Write better Fracker! You slightly improved here, how about an extreme improvement next time?!

Astonishing X-Men #27 (****1/2) To hell with the haters! This book is awesome! I laugh so much!

Young Liars #8 (****1/2) Very interesting issue! Not as fun, but still fantastic! This is the best book you have never heard of!

Again, I’m so sorry about this crap. Hopefully I can remedy this problem and have awesome new reviews soon. Please comment if you want me to further explain my zany opinions. Sadly, I can’t show all the covers but I will give you this one!

Marvel Reveals Amazing Spider-Man's Colbert Cover

The Archives: Conan, Vol. 1: The Frost-Giant’s Daughter and Other Stories

Conan at times can be a hard character to write. You don’t want another mindless book of decapitations and naked women. There’s that side of Conan sure, but you also need some substance along with your flash. This book is phenomenal! It looks great and the story is great.

We get the lust, action, and blood along with a heart pumping, gut wrenching and roller coaster ride of a story. Conan hasn’t looked this good in years. Cary Nord’s art fits the barbarian perfectly. It’s not often that an old character feels fresh but Busiek accomplishes that here. Man even the chapter break art is done by Joseph Michael Linsner! What’s not to love about this! I don’t want to oversell it but if you’re looking for this type of book, buy this one and have a blast!

*****

The Archives: Conan, Vol. 0: Born on the Battlefield

This is a great example of how a book can be much better in trade than in single issues. I have always loved Conan as a character and I was very excited when I heard about the new Dark Horse book. I stayed on the book for quite a while, but I bailed near the end of the series. It was just too annoying for my brain to have to keep up with all these different stories. This was one of them. This trade collects issues 0, 8, 15, 23, 32, 45, and 46. I just can’t remember what happened in a story I read a year ago can you? Recently though, after reading issue 0 of the new Conan series, I was Conan inspired again. I picked up all the trades of the series and am having a blast!

This story comes to you from the brilliance of Kurt Busiek and Greg Ruth. I loved this story! I recently read Greg Pak’s Skaar Son of Hulk. I complained because there was a young Skaar introduced, and then by the end of the issue he was an adult. I thought Pak missed out on a lot of good storytelling opportunities like what is included in this book for example! This book presents the early days of Conan. From being a child to being a teenager.

This covers certain important early events in the barbarian’s life which are entertaining and at times emotional. I’m not usually a big coming of age fan, but I guess it’s awesome when it’s Conan style! Greg Ruth’s art is very stylized and I could see some people disliking it for its obscurity. But I thought it was an interesting look at Conan. I guess he usually draws horror stories which makes a lot of sense when you see it, but I thought he drew a fine Conan. And let’s not forget the masterful writing of Busiek. Who makes us love and hate characters we are barely familiar with. This book provided so many emotional ties and action scenes for the perfect blend that should be tasted when reading any sword and sandal type book. Man I loved this!

*****

Bruce Castle Presents: Will it be Sword, Shield, or Gun?

 4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf someday soon
3 stars = Recommended and maybe even trade worthy
2 and a half stars = Recommended
2 stars= Not the best, not the worst, not recommended
1 and a half star = Terrible issue and vocalize your disgust at your next social event
1 star = Awful awful awful and you may want to consider dropping this title
0 stars = Next con you attend where the writer and/or artist are present you should throw this issue in their face
 

 

Conan The Cimmerian #1– Man this book is great! It even has awesome covers from Joe Kubert and Frank Cho! I like the pretty woman on Cho’s cover, but Conan is holding an axe so I had to show the titular sword in Kubert’s cover. This again features the creative team of Timothy Truman and Tomas Giorello with some Richard Corben thrown in! This issue isn’t as cheap as issue 0, but we still get 40 pages for 3 bucks which is awesome. Oh and just some more props to the issue 0, the events in that issue actually gets mentioned in here! This issue includes some bloody action, humor, and an intriguing tale that left me pumped up and wanting more!

4 stars

Captain America #40– I’ve heard some people trash Steve Epting’s art before, but it really shines here. There is a lot of fighting in this issue and it is drawn in dynamic and engaging fashion with a wonderfully written ongoing narrative accompanying the art. The characters are again written with much care and the dialogue between the villains is especially astounding. The last page reveal was both startling and unpredictable. This issue was remarkable!

4 stars

Punisher #59This proves that an issue with no action can be more fascinating than a book that has a fight on every page. This also proves again why Ennis is the best Punisher writer. When Punisher is written poorly (as he often is), he is a Dirty Harry knockoff spouting one liners and shooting holes into bad guys, but when Ennis writes him, he can have an entire issue that is without action that leaves you astonished. Ennis is not just finishing an arc, he’s finishing his entire run on Punisher. He ties things together that were mentioned 40 issues ago. Planning is one of the most admirable qualities in a writer. Just as Brubaker mentioned that Dr. Doom device in the aforementioned Captain America issue, Ennis mentions something from the early stages of this series. This issue left me much sadder than that FC Requiem, not because of its subject matter, but because we only get one more phenomenal Ennis Punisher issue before he closes the curtain on a fantastic run.

4 stars

Review: Conan: The Cimmerian & Skaar: Son of Hulk!

Well, I guess I’m really slow on this one. Desiato and Billy already reviewed this. This makes my review near obsolete. But damn it, I’m going to review it anyway! I actually have to thank Billy on this one. His opening paragraph on his review is what hooked me, when he compared this to Conan. I have always loved Conan and….well, more on that in a bit.

This issue was awesome! A coming of age story with monsters, dragons, and gore oh my! I didn’t pick up this issue when it came out. It had sold out at my local comic shop. Thankfully, a friend of mine is an employee there and he had set aside a copy for himself but decided he didn’t really want it. Well, luckily when I went to pick up my copy of the Planet Hulk HC, he asked if I had picked up Skaar yet. He said a kid came in earlier and wanted a copy and he considered giving it to him, but that kid isn’t friends with the guy and I am so ha ha little kid! Ok, maybe too much barbarian reading today has turned me into a jerk.

Sorry to bore you guys with that story, but it seemed apropos of this review. This issue was indeed very good. I do however, have two complaints. One is that (I never thought I’d say this) Pak packed too much into this issue. I love the fact that I definitely got my money’s worth, but it seems that more stories could have been told about Skaar growing up. I guess this is a minor complaint, but it still seems a valid one to me. I suppose that maybe Pak had wanted to, but if this is indeed a maxi-series, perhaps Pak has too much story to tell to dwell on kid Skaar, oh well.

The other complaint is Garney’s pencils. His art seems to have gotten worse since the last arc of Wolverine he just did! Oh well, I heard in an interview that Garney admitted himself that the pencils were very rushed. He thought that he didn’t have a good enough feel for the character yet and that his art will improve. I can buy that, I mean most every art style changes over time, whether it be comic or cartoon. So I guess these aren’t really complaints, since there seem to be valid explanations, I guess they’re more observations. Anyway, great first issue and I hope Pak can keep it up. This definitely seems more like Planet Hulk than World War Hulk which to me is a good thing.

3 and a half stars

By Crom! I must read more Conan! I once heard a story about Robert E. Howard and his creation of Conan. I heard that when he was writing the story, that he actually imagined Conan standing over him with a battle axe forcing him to write about Conan more! That’s kind of how I feel right now. I have always loved Conan. My father has all 275 of the first series of Conan comics. I started to collect the new dark horse comic myself. Sadly, I quit reading it a little while after Busiek left in an attempt to cut back on my comics. But it seems the mighty Cimmerian could not lie dormant in my mind forever and I fear he is now forcing me to read all of his comics with his fierce barbaric rage!

This is the preview issue of the new Conan the Cimmerian comic. This is no mere promotional tool. There was actually a lot of effort put into this issue. For a five minute read, this packs a surprising amount of punch! This does an extremely good job of adapting Robert E. Howard’s poem, Cimmeria. Truman and Giorello do an outstanding job telling a simple, yet poignant story. The images of Howard’s typewriter are subtle, yet make it clear that the focus of the series will be the continuing respect towards Conan’s creator.This story has a short yet memorably gory action sequence with severed hands and extremely colorful red blood. The art is top notch and there are beautiful splash pages of moments in the previous series. This issue features 16 pages of awesome for only a buck! Inside there is a look at the first issue that features Frank Cho cover art with Joe Kubert doing a variant. If this issue is any indication of the series’ worth, I see many a fun Conan adventures in my future. By Crom! Buy this issue!

4 stars

This was a barbaric day for me indeed! Long will I remember the day I conquered Conan the Cimmerian #0, Skaar Son of Hulk #1, and the Planet Hulk HC! I’ll leave you fellow barbarians with a quote of wisdom.

“Conan! What is best in life?”

“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.”