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: Do You Like Your Zombies Mild Or Etreme? – Spoilers!

Crossed #2 (of 9)

Crossed #2 (****)

What do you want in a zombie story? Memorable characters and/or memorable “Holy shit!” moments. This book still lacks the former, but makes it up in spades with the latter. Last issue’s review I wrote about how this isn’t a zombie story, it’s an Ennis zombie-esque story. These characters are very different from your traditional zombies. Do zombie tales contain bodies crashing down on Earth from a flying plane? Nope. What about zombies talking, planning, and eating each other? Didn’t think so. Again, this book will challenge you. There is another moment in here that will stop you for a moment before you can continue. It is very disgusting, but the world can be too, right? I’m still waiting for the character stuff and more of the “Ennis touch”, but there was a concept in here that just caught me off guard. So, a guy gets shot by the Crossed. He’s getting patched up by the token medical survivor. Our two main characters are studying the Crossed’s movements hoping to stop an attack. What do they see? A bunch of them circle jerking (Pardon my French) onto something. What is it? Bullets! The survivor that was shot turns. How fucking crazy and cool is that?

Walking Dead #55

Walking Dead #55 (****)

It’s always hard to review this book because Walking Dead is one big epic story. I can never really say “nothing happened” or “the story sucks” or whatever. I just have to report on things, which is the reason for the spoilers, and express what I liked and what I disliked. Ok? So this issue has a lot of mind fuck stuff that has been present since Lori died. Remember the phone issue that broke your heart? Well, Rick still has the phone and he still talks to Lori. So we get the sad crazy stuff, the survivors sleep, and they also get some supplies. And then of course there’s the WTF ending. Kirkman is a master of these and they mostly occur in Walking Dead. So since this review is spoilerific, Maggie is (Hanging? Hung?) dead. Well, I guess she could be alive. She could have been up there for five seconds I guess. See? This series used to be realistic, but ever since the fucking Governor came back I never know! Anyway, Kirkman did say at the beginning of Letter Hacks, “it’s time to start killing characters again! Yay!” Too bad. And that’s it, that’s the issue. See? Not much happened, but it was all great and I can’t wait for the next issue. Oh and did anyone notice that the last issue only came out two weeks ago? Yay! Keep it up Kirkman!

Bruce Castle Presents: Post-Apocalyptic Comics

Wolverine #69

Wolverine #69 (****)

Ok, so I absolutely love this arc. But I was a little disenchanted this time. Why? Probably because it was about two months late. I have the urge to play the “not much happened” card, but I believe my disappointment was because of the wait and this installment certainly wasn’t packed with much info. This is the traveling issue. Millar speeds Wolverine and Hawkeye’s journey so that we can get a proper finale. But that haste comes with a price. There are several interesting visuals including Loki’s skull, the Venom Symbiote attached to some rock, and the Red Skull’s visage added to Mount Rushmore. I’d like to know the story behind those wouldn’t you? I wish there was some mini to accompany this story but I highly doubt that will happen. So what did I like about this issue? Millar made Moloids scary as hell! The conclusion promises that we’ll find out what changed Wolverine next issue (I’m guessing he let the animal out and killed a hell of a lot of people including possibly someone he loves) so I certainly want more. And of course the best thing about Old Man Logan is the art. Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines and even Morry Hollowel have created one of the most beautiful post-apocalyptic worlds ever!

Walking Dead #54

Walking Dead #54 (****1/2)

Sweet fucking Christmas there was a lot of F words in here! That doesn’t bother me but I think it will bother some. I believe the extra swears were due to the new character, Abraham. Honest Abe is one of three new survivors. There aren’t any big events in this issue, but there is a lot of zombie killing! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen much of that in WD. Our heroes haven’t had to rough it out in the open thanks to their cozy prison (Prisons are cozy right?) so they got soft. Abraham and Andrea have an interesting exchange here. I hope Andrea doesn’t cheat on Dale, who appears to have a peg leg in this issue. Did he have that before? I believe this was the end of an arc, but Kirkman manages to stay away from his usual shocking conclusion. It’s refreshing.

Bruce Castle Presents: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Final Crisis Revelations #3 (of 5) (Cover A)

Final Crisis: Revelations #3 (*****)

Do you know what the last Final Crisis tie-in was before Revelations #3? Revelations #2! But you know what? It doesn’t matter because all of the FC books (except Requiem) have been fantastic! This issue continues that. This book is biblical both in its literary tone and scope. This is so much more than a “street” book. A friend of mine recently complained about how weak Spectre was and why isn’t God doing anything to help. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the absence of God in most works of fiction. Satan is always aiding his cronies but God rarely helps out his. I always think about the finale of the original Omen. When Gregory Peck’s character is about to kill the Antichrist and says “God help me”, he is then shot dead. The Devil seems to be running rampant all over the DCU. Hopefully God will get off his cloud and help out. Anyway, this book is phenomenal and I highly recommend it even if you’re not reading Final Crisis.

Crossed #1 (of 9)

Crossed #1 (****)

Whew, this book is tough. I’ll start the review with a warning; this book is not for the squeamish. I’m way too desensitized for my own good but this stuff is hard even for me. I have to praise Jacen Burrows for his brutal and memorable art. There are two pages in this issue that I guarantee you will have to pause for a moment before continuing. There have been a few zombie stories that weren’t with zombies like 28 Days Later, but it was always hard to tell the difference. In this issue alone, Ennis has already made these creatures unique. They aren’t mindless beasts, they think, they plan, they work together, and they use weapons. They’ll do anything they can to inflict as much harm as possible. I have two complaints about this book but I have good excuses for them. Why does this book have to cost 4 bucks? Because there aren’t any advertisements and hey, you got an issue 0 for one dollar. It doesn’t seem like much happened in this issue. That’s true, but the characters were fleshed out and we know exactly what’s happened since issue 0. As with all great horror stories, this has to have great characters, we still have eight issues to get that. Hopefully we’ll get more character stuff and I know we’ll be informed about those cross rashes. So please, if you like Ennis, if you like horror, or if you want to challenge yourself, pick this book up.

Walking Dead #53

Walking Dead #53 (****1/2)

Slow down Kirkman! Things have been moving very quickly with this book. It would have been nice to get a little more Rick and Carl alone time. There are a lot of goods packed in this issue alone. Mysteries established 30 issues ago were dealt with, a lot of reunions, and something else at the end that is pretty intriguing and slightly frustrating. This was a fantastic issue, but I wish Kirkman would spread things out a bit more. I guess he’s just pleasing all the fans who complained about all the time spent in the prison. Oh and it will be interesting to see how long Kirkman will stay on this “everything is on time” schedule. Hopefully it will last but I doubt it.