30 Comics To Read Before You’re 30 Part Two

Comic Review (18).png

In part one we looked at a whole host of comics for you to sink your teeth into,

Annihilation 

Annihilation_Prologue_Vol_1_1_Textless

Marvels first big cosmic event that didn’t have the words infinity in the title. What happens when a host of bugs annihilates the universe, a rag tag band of the heroes and villains from across the universe comes together to  save the universe from annihilation.

Judge Dredd Complete Case files Volume One

judge dredd

A look at the early cases of the lawman of the future. Feel the thrill power build as you meet Judge Dredd and the world in which he lives. Read my review here.

Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes 

51GG3FKAR4L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

The first instalment of Neil Gaiman’s saga of the king of dreams and how his being impacts those both in dreams and in the waking world. Read my review here.

Project Superpowers 

2c4ab43dc130b540545e130416d55c45--comic-book-covers-comic-books

Take a great deal of superheroes from the public domain and then put them all together to form a super team, there you have Project Super Powers.

X-Men Messiah Complex

51NNIRmD3uL

Mutants are dying out, they’re an endangered species, and then suddenly a new mutant is born, and then all hell breaks loose.

Nikolai Dante Too Cool To Kill

cvr9781907519895_9781907519895_hr

A Russian rogue, realises hes Romanov Royalty… in the future. This entitles him to some pretty cool weapons tech and puts him right at the heart of a lifestyle of immense intrigue and opulent luxury, all wrapped up in a sleazy charm and vodka soaked allurement. Read my review here.

Captain Atom: Armageddon 

614242

DC’s attempt at making its Wildstorm property more accessible to readers of its mainstream DC stuff, by taking a DC hero and throwing them into the deep end of the Wildstorm universe, just before it was rebooted.

Green Hornet Year One

51QyhmmQ7oL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

A look at the first year of operations of the Green Hornet and his faithful manservant Kato as they route out crime and corruption whilst posing as the criminals themselves.

The Eternals

APR082364._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

Forgotten heroes, erased from time, woken by the call of one of their own, Old heroes reimagined for the modern marvel universe all from the pen of legendary author Neil Gaiman and drawn by the equally legendary John Romita Jr.

Scarlet Traces

61VEIwVSouL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_

The sequel to H G Well’s War Of The Worlds which sees the British Empire flourishing all with the help of reverse engineered Martian War Machines. Read my review here. 

Join again tomorrow for part three of the 30 comic books and series that you should check out before you become 30 years old

 

Comic Review: Flesh

Comic Review (16).png

Flesh was something that I wanted to take a look at, after reading the sort of sequel that takes place during Judge Dredd’s Cursed Earth Saga (which I’m fairly certain was ripped off completely to form the basis of the Jurassic Park series of films). I was intrigued to know the origin story of the dinosaur Old One Eye.

51ZPlkpxbHL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_

The story that makes up Flesh sounds like some sort of dystopian nightmare, in which the world has run out of meat based products due to population expansion and just plain gluttony on the part of humanity, but it being the future man has developed time travel. So mankind, instead of adopting a vegetarian diet, has travelled back in time to the cretaceous period in order to take advantage of man’s lust for flesh. Yes you read that right, men from the 23rd century won’t eat their broccoli so go back in time to farm dinosaurs.

oneye_flesh

The story reads more like a western rather than a sci fi dino romp, just with the part of the native American’s being played by a few rather vicious Tyrannosaurs. In particular the lead Tyrannosaur, the 120 year old Old One Eye, so named for the eye lost to one of the Dinosaur ranchers.

001-p10-flesh.jpg

Again this is Pat Mills at his thrill power churning finest, delivering the readers right into the worlds of both past and future simultaneously, which when you think merging dinosaurs with cowboys from the twenty third century sounds like a concept that wouldn’t work Pat Mills is the man to work that thing out.

The art is always something I feel a little fraudulent in reviewing, as my artistic talents stretch to bad stick men on a good day. But since I’m only going to say nice things about the work of Roman Sola, Boix and Felix Carrion, the hypocrisy seems to wane slightly, they all create a fantastic masterpiece and actually make you feel as though you’ve somehow been dropped right in the middle of both the cretaceous period and the 23rd century all in one fell swoop, they all manage to bring something to the major dinosaurs, and not to mention the horrible flying dino’s and even the Giant Spiders seem to just pop right out of our nightmares and onto the page, yes you read that right, Dinosaurs and Giant Spiders…and cowboys from the future… all in the same comic, and yet it still works.

flesh5

Given that dinosaur stories only ever seem to have one outcome the ending of the ranchers tale is only to be expected, although it does manage to have a little twist to make the last page have a bite to it. Coming from the golden age of 2000ad Flesh is really a title that you can sink your teeth into, and it has a good number of sequels for you to chew over as well.

Comic Review: Judge Dredd- America

Comic Review (17).png

For one of the seminal Judge Dredd stories, this one doesn’t actually feature old granite jaw that much its one of those pieces that immerses itself in the world of Mega City One and the wider themes that make up the world of Judge Dredd. It focuses on the Benny Beeny and his relationship with America, no not the nation , America Jara, his childhood friend and for most of his life unrequited love.

220px-Judge_Dredd_America

This storyline really is one of the big mood pieces of the big meg, it looks at the harsh nature of world of Dredd where the American Dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been stripped back to one out of three, with the majority of the population oblivious to the fact that that’s bad. It shows that the cost of Justice is the loss of liberty and that its the little people that suffer, and that the freedoms people have fought for for centuries have been boiled away to nothingness all for the promise of security. Which is a harsh reflection for the political climate of the early 21st century, written a decade before such things as the Patriot Act, or cages for Asylum Seeking Children, America highlights greatly the dichotomy and divide between freedom and security.

00.large (1)

As Benny grows older he goes into show business and America throws in with the Democrats, a democracy seeking group of underground revolutionaries, who believe in the violent overthrow of the Judges and the establishment of a new democratic government for the people, not on the people.

Judge-Dredd-America-dies-in-front-of-Liberty

John Wagner by this point is mired in the world of Dredd, having written over 12 years of Judge Dredd stories by the time America had hit the shelves, but even with new characters like Benny Beeny and America herself, Wagner manages to capture the true humanity and human cost of the world of Mega City.

maxresdefault.jpg

Colin Macneil does a marvellous job immersing us in this dark and corrupt world of Mega City and sleazy side of democracy and the activist movement, it takes a true talent to showcase the falling of liberty and Macneil is true talent.

00.large (2)

The outcome of this story is true Dredd style and is heartbreaking to read on paper but the complimentary style of prose and penciling is just so much a blend of utter perfection on page.

 

Comic Review: Harlem Heroes

Comic Review (15).png

I know nothing about sport, but Harlem Heroes is one of those titles that keeps coming up whenever you look at lists of great British comic books, and I decided to put my natural reticence about sport comics behind and pick up the Complete Harlem Heroes, and I’m glad that I did.

9266240

What you get with Harlem Heroes, is a straight up murder mystery wrapped up in the pageantry of the World Aeroball Championships. “the game of Aeroball has swept the world! It’s Football, Boxing, Kung Fu and Basketball all rolled into one! Players roar through the air wearing jet packs (controlled by buttons on their belts) and score “air strikes” by getting the ball in the “score tank”.

00.large

In the opening act The Heroes Team Bus is sabotaged leading to the death of most of the team, and leaving one member a brain in a jar. So the surviving members of the team along with a few rookies, a few veterans and few reserves try to take down the Heroes killer all whilst trying to bring home the championship back to Harlem.

This is Pat Mills and Tom Tully at their best, you can tell that they really care about the characters they’ve created here and that love is also transcribed ably by legendary artist Dave Gibbons (Of Watchmen fame) my only negative comment that I will make about this book, is that it felt as though the ending of the Hero’s saga was somewhat rushed, another thing that I hope comes one day, is a colourised version of the strip, I would love to see the world of the 2050 Aeroball Championships brought to life in colour.

Comic Review: Nikolai Dante- Too Cool To Kill

Comic Review (14).png

I hadn’t actually read any of 2000AD’s Nikolai Dante, beyond a few pages in an old prog that I picked up at a car boot sale many thousands and thousands of years ago. But because I’ve been getting into the best of British Thrill Power over the last few weeks, I thought, I can just stick with Judge Dredd and the varying spin offs, so I went right out there and picked up a copy of Nikolai Dante: Too Cool To Kill.

cvr9781907519895_9781907519895_hr

*MILD SPOILERS AHEAD*

The story follows Nikolai Dante in the future Russian Empire, the man is the illegitimate son of the patriarch of the Romanov Dynasty and lady pirate, Nikolai discovers his heritage early on, after being saved from execution by the Tsar, this half suave, half sleazy thief is dragooned into serving the crown before betraying/ seducing the Tsarina Jena Markarov and  joining his true family to become the black sheep and the new most expendable member of the Romanov clan.

The story moves with a fast pace and is ably written by Robbie Morrison who in a short space of pages manages to build the world of the future Russian empire and lend life to this larger than life Lothario and create life for a whole host of other characters that feels completely fleshed out and natural, unlike so many writers whose background characters sometimes come across as two dimensional and flaccid.

I most be honest, I really am looking forward to picking up the next 10 volumes of this series, because this sometimes sleazy, sometimes suave and sometimes chivalrous son of a Romanov has already jumped into my mind as one of the best characters in comicdom, and why with a lot of other 2000AD work proves why British is best.

The Best Of 2000 AD Part Six

The Best Of 2000 AD Part One (5).png

2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-orientated comic magazine. As a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue (known as “progs”) with over 2050 progs to date, you can bet your sweet backside that there have been some great stories out there. Following on from Part One, Part TwoPart Three (the first Dredd special) ,Part Four (The second Dredd special), and Part Five (The third Dredd special) this post is going to look at some of the stories that have spun out of 2000AD over the course of its existence.

Zenith 

zenith

Berlin, 1945: British war hero Maximan lies defeated at the feet of German ‘Ubermensch’ Masterman. His victory is short-lived, as the allies drop a nuclear bomb on their location, killing both men. Over forty years later, the world has become alltoo familiar with the existence of superhumans. Now there is only one left – Zenith – an egotistical pop star who is anything but heroic. Unfortunately for mankind, dark gods from another dimension known as the ‘Many-Angled Ones’ have sent Masterman’s twin to take over the planet and only Zenith and a small number of depowered heroes from the ‘Flower Power’ generation stand a chance of defeating him!

Nikolai Dante 

nikolai dante

Nikolai Dante: lover, thief, rogue, legend. Bio-bonded with an alien Weapons Crest which grants him amazing superhuman abilities, Dante lives life on the edge in a dangerous future Russia where Tsar Vladimir the Conqueror is on the brink of all-out war with the powerful Romanov clan. Can Nikolai remain neutral, carefree and more importantly alive, when a life-changing secret about his past is revealed?

Mazeworld

mazeworld

30 years after the British parliament suspended the death penalty, the gallows have returned and Adam Cadman finds himself being the first person to be hanged since 1964. But as his life drains away, Adam is transported to a strange, new dimension, populated by warriors and mystical beasts: the bizarre Mazeworld.

Ballad Of Halo Jones

halo jones

When Halo Jones grows bored with her life in The Hoop — a futuristic slum where jobs are scarce and excitement is non-existent — she yearns to escape and see the galaxy. But in a city where dangerous riots happen at the slightest provocation and even going to the shops is an ordeal requiring careful planning and a handful of zen-inducing-grenades, the price of freedom might prove to be more than she bargained for!

Zombo

zombo

When flight 303 crash lands on the lethal Death World known as Chronos, all is not looking good for the surviving passengers. Enter Zombo, a top secret goverment experiment,  part zombie, part human ghoul, with a taste for living flesh and aspirations of pop stardom!

The Best Of 2000 AD Part Five (The Big Dredd Special Part Three)

The Best Of 2000 AD Part One (4).png

2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-orientated comic magazine. As a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue (known as “progs”) with over 2050 progs to date, you can bet your sweet backside that there have been some great stories out there. Following on from Part One, Part TwoPart Three (the first Dredd special) and Part Four (The second Dredd special) this post is going to look at some of the stories that have spun out of 2000AD’s longest serial. A Judge Dredd story has been in 2000AD since Prog Number #2 and has even branched out into his own megazine, so here’s a look at some of the best stories to spin out from the Dredd Verse.

Mean Machine

Mean Machine

Born and raised in the Cursed Earth as a member of the notorious Angel gang, ‘Mean Angel’ (aka the Mean Machine) is one of the most dangerous criminals to ever plague Judge Dredd s Mega-City One. With his mechanical claw and head dial, which amps up his anger and aggression from Mean to Brutal, Mean Angel is one of Judge Dredd’s toughest adversaries – a headbutting psychopath with a penchant for destruction!

The Dark Judges 

The Dark Judges

Deadworld was once a planet similar to Earth, until Judge Death and his brothers Fear, Fire and Mortis deemed that as only the living could break the law, life itself should be a crime. As the Dark Judges set out to bring extinction to this parallel world, Judge Fairfax and a family of farmers attempt to escape the chaos. Is it possible for the living to evade to cold, icy grasp of Death?

Lawless

Lawless

The backwater planet of 43 Rega has spent five years recovering from an invasion of aliens known as the Zhind. isolated and a hotbed for trouble makers, Badrock is an colony township desperate for a strong law enforcer to take charge. Enter Colonial. Marshal Meta Lawson. Tough, surly and determined, Lawson seems to be ideal for the role. But is this law-woman exactly who she claims to be…?

Missionary Man

missionary man

The Cursed Earth is a radiation-wasted landscape spanning most of what was once known as America. Only the toughest of the tough, the meanest of the mean, most rotten, evil beings on the planet can survive there… Now, one man has come to bring law this unlawful place. Some say he was a Judge, most say that he’s a madman. Armed with a pistol and a bible, Preacher Cain would say that he is a force for law and order.

The Banzai Battalion 

bansai battalion

In a city like Mega-City One where 400 million citizens are crowded into huge housing blocks, free space is at a premium. Gardens, greenery and uninhabited space is extremely rare and only available for the wealthiest citizens. Naturally, these areas need to be protected at all costs – enter the Banzai Battalion – tiny droids who will take on anything that threatens their rooftop garden domain!