linked up vol.9

*Friday, time to share some links. Some i do comment, some not. Some lead to german internet presences.

[# Die schönsten Comics, die ich kenne (12): „The Fantastic Four“ # 41 – 51 (ii)](http://blog.montyarnold.de/2017/02/28/die-schoensten-comics-die-ich-kenne–12-the-fantastic-four–41–51-ii/)

[# China’s zombie factories and unborn cities](http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170223-chinas-zombie-factories-and-unborn-cities)

Dark Horse taxes my wallet this fall:
[# Dark Horse Publishes The Art Of Rick And Morty In September](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/28/dark-horse-publishes-art-rick-morty-september/)
[# Dark Horse To Publish Art Of Over The Garden Wall In September](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/28/dark-horse-publish-art-garden-wall-september/)
[# Dark Horse Announces Go Team Venture!: The Art And Making Of The Venture Bros.](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/27/dark-horse-announces-go-team-venture-art-making-venture-bros/)

[# Two Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby Artist’s Edition volumes in one year?](http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5792cac24346d164eb0cf6ad2&id=d70f593984&e=2b9c931aaf)

[# Sneak Peek At Samurai Jack Season 5](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/23/sneak-peek-samurai-jack-season–5/)

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linked up vol.9

*Friday, time to share some links. Some i do comment, some not. Some lead to german internet presences.

[# Die schönsten Comics, die ich kenne (12): „The Fantastic Four“ # 41 – 51 (ii)](http://blog.montyarnold.de/2017/02/28/die-schoensten-comics-die-ich-kenne–12-the-fantastic-four–41–51-ii/)

[# China’s zombie factories and unborn cities](http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170223-chinas-zombie-factories-and-unborn-cities)

Dark Horse taxes my wallet this fall:
[# Dark Horse Publishes The Art Of Rick And Morty In September](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/28/dark-horse-publishes-art-rick-morty-september/)
[# Dark Horse To Publish Art Of Over The Garden Wall In September](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/28/dark-horse-publish-art-garden-wall-september/)
[# Dark Horse Announces Go Team Venture!: The Art And Making Of The Venture Bros.](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/27/dark-horse-announces-go-team-venture-art-making-venture-bros/)

[# Two Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby Artist’s Edition volumes in one year?](http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5792cac24346d164eb0cf6ad2&id=d70f593984&e=2b9c931aaf)

[# Sneak Peek At Samurai Jack Season 5](https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/02/23/sneak-peek-samurai-jack-season–5/)

comics [26/2016]

  Bird Boy vol.1: The Sword Of Mali Mani (2016)

birdboy1

The first volume of Bird Boy was a surprisingly good read! Yeah, it’s fast and you have some story beats laid out in the first couple of pages, but the presentation, the details and the path that is taken to reach those story beats set it apart from similar works.
The masks the tribesmen are wearing are my favorite thing to look at. It is a sign of how vulnerable the people are that they have to transform themselves into beasts. When a bear attacks them, it looks like he is doing battle with a pack of wolves rather than humans. The fear of the woods, into which the ancient hero Mani Mali ventured to save the people, is also a great metaphor for how we lost part of our connection to nature, how we put on masks and make noise to intimidate it. Even the animals in the book are wearing masks and instead if blood, parts of the forrest they come from flows out of their bodies when it’s hurt.
This thing is magical and i wish i could read the second this afternoon.

  Batman: Ego and other stories by Darwyn Cooke (2016)

batmanego
Everybody who likes Darwyn Cooke’s work and Batman can grab this without any thought. Cooke’s Batman stories seem to use the characters portrayal from the animated series, which i believe he worked on. This collection also includes Selina’s Big Score, which is a neat story but would have worked better for me if it was not set in the DC Universe. It’s a good heist story, but Seline Kyle does not fit in for me.
It is sad that we lost a creator who deserved a run on Batman if he so decided. This collection gives a great and affordable overview of Cooke’s work as an artist and writer.

  Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw no.11 (2016)

autumnlands11
There was another panel i’d like to post, but this just encompases the “fuck yeah” nature of the issue. We get a few answers but a bag of new questions is being delivered too.
And i enjoy the coarse language to much….

  Rumble no.11 (2016)

rumble11
Do yourself a favour and get Rumble. It might be a power fantasy story, but it is seasoned with metaphors of real life issues and how we try and hold back progress. It is a story about growth, leaving save zones but not to conquer and poison oneself with further sins, but to grow ones hearts. And James Harren’s artwork, perfectly capturing the madness of the proceedings.

  Transformers vs. G.I. Joe no.13 (2016)

transgoe13
One of the most innovative comics of the last few years has come to an end. And what an end it is.
While tying up everything, Tom Scioli and John Barber leave behind a sandbox that has more than enough stories left to explore.
This comic made me stop talking to certain people because their never ending complaints about this comic. Yeah, the art might be a deal breaker, but i always saw it as an homage to the design of the toys, evoking the stories we played out with them as kids.

  Jupiter’s Legacy vol.2 no.1 (2016)

jupiterslegacy2.1
It’s back! Took me a while until the series grew on me, but Mark Millar is someone who’s work gets tainted by the hand that wields the quill.
But it did not have the impact i anticipated. There is the great bit at the beginning about how Hutch got his power-rod from his father, which showcases Millar’s strength: no unnecessary weight. A father who realizes this is probably the last moment of quality time he has left with his son leaves him a legacy before opening the door to face his fate.
The rest of the issue is set-up for the things to come.
This is complaining about high standards, but Quitely’s art seems rushed and devoid of backgrounds. But rushed art by one of the greatest is still great art, and if the rest of the run comes out on time, i’ll take it.

  Black Panther no.3 (2016)

Blackpanther3
As a white, middle european male i don’t feel
Like having a right to talk about this book.
It is a great take on not only T’Challa, seeming lost between his life as king and superhero but how he lost sight on what is going on in Wakanda. And while he is searching for clarity, new powers are forming, trying to regulate their circumstances.

|quick reviews|

  Rai no.14 (2016)
Great issue, Father seems to have enough of trying to get the humans on new japan in line through guidance, and starts the first approach.

  Dark Knight III – The Master Race no.5 (2016)
Drawn out and not entirely necessary continuation of the Dark Knight Returns? To a degree, but there are some moments in this series, two in this issue in particular, that make the reader utter a “fuck yeah”.

  Power Man and Iron Fist no.5 (2016)
The Heroes For Hire are back! Great fun story coupled with Sanford Greene’s energetic and fluid artwork.

  Wonder Woman no.1 (2016)
I’ll wait for the first trade before i say something stupid. (It feels like the people working on the title are also clueless about what to do with Wonder Woman, but i’m sure Greg Rucka has a mastertape.)

  Ultimates no.8 (2016)
This title….this team should be the Avengers and everybody else should wear the dark/secret/all-new/now-with-25%-more-deadpool Avengers designation.

  Teen Titans no.21 (2016)
Monsiour Mallah and the Brain seem to have been shipped (that’s what the young people say these days, right?).

  Uncanny Avengers no.10 (2016)
I should have reserved my happiness about Hank Pym’s return because what happens here was telegraphed a few issues ago, i just did not want to believe it.

  Aquaman no.1 (2016)
Good start, but like with Wonder Woman, i’ll wait a few issues until i make my last call because again, feels like it’s burned all the creative juice in the first few pages.

  Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur no.8 (2016)
Freaky Friday with Dinosaurs. I wonder how this might enrich the relationship between the titular characters. Also, Marvel Boy is a creep.

  Doctor Strange no.9 (2016)
As much as i like the series and how this arc came to it’s end, i wonder how it will continue once the movie release date is around the corner.
But for now, the good Doctor has to not only solve the problem with the Inquisition but also some nasty business he kept locked up in his basement.

  Mighty Thor no.8 (2016)
While i dig the mortality aspect of the book and how it is a ticking time bomb, i’m not sure if Jane Foster is aware of the situation. But then, i guess it’s the same thing with the Flash, he’s only as fast as the story demands.

  Civil War: Choosing Sides no.1 (2016)
The Damage Control story was fun. The rest….SHIELD should be abandoned or given back to Steranko and Hickman for an overhaul.

  Web-Warriors no.8 (2016)
Heard this series will be cancelled later this year. Which is sad because it is a fun read.

  Jem and the Holograms no.16 (2016)
The Dark Jem arc is over, and so is Sophie Cambell’s tenure as artist on the title. It feels oddly like a built in jumping off point, bit i’m looking forward to what is in store now that the cards have been shuffled. This book is like watching a more contemporary saturday morning cartoon.

  Nighthawk no.2 (2016)
Again, a title i don’t feel like i should have an opinion about. But i like how it is asking questions and portrays the motivations some people have in real life.

  Captain America – Steve Rogers no.2 (2016)
So, the explanation for the Hail Hydra! moment is here. And it is solid, at least for me. I must admit that i was a bit offended by it, but i speak comics, there is probably a plan behind it.
Cap will make sure there will be some cracked Skulls as retaliation.

comics [25/2016]

    Usagi Yojimbo no.155 (2016)
Usagiyojimbo_155
Man, Usagi Yojimbo has become a port in the storm of comic reading. This issue continues the trend of solid entertainment. Usaginis drafted into a series of murders in a temple. Stan Sakai’s artwork has become kind of “sketchy”, rather “raw” for me, not bad, it is the natural evolution of Stan Sakai’s artwork, and it makes our favourite ronin seem older and in the context of the mystery killer, enhances the eerie situation.

    Divinty II no.3 (2016)

divinityii_3
I understand the less pleasant things people say about the first and this Divinity series, and while this one seems to inform us about the limitations of Myshka and Abram’s abillities, it is also a sci-fi tale about being careful what you wish for, how our need for perfection and order causes even more chaos than we experience without our interference. Also, how will this series end? Myshka will most likely not go into a self imposed exile like Abram did at the end of the first series.
I like the rather clean artwork because it helps anchoring the story of two almost almighty beings in conflict with each other.

    Rai no.14 (2016)

Reading this series knowing what is happening in the current Valiantcomics event, 4001ad, makes the events even more impactful. Father, the artificial intelligence governing the now airborne nation of japan connected with the citizens through an avatar, Rai. And while the Rai this issue opens with tries to appeal to humanities compassion and goodwill, Father has already decided that the hand he extends should form a fist.

    Rumble no.11 (2016)

Do yourself a favour and get Rumble. It might be a power fantasy story, but it is seasoned with metaphors of real life issues. It is a story about growth, leaving save zones but not to conquer and poison oneself with further sins, but to grow ones hearts. And James Harren’s artwork, perfectly capturing the madness of the proceedings.

    Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw no.11 (2016)

There was another panel i’d like to post, but this just encompases the “fuck yeah” nature of the issue. We get a few answers but a bag of new questions is being delivered too. And i enjoy the coarse language to much….

    Power Man and Iron Fist no.5 (2016)

Great issue! Yeah, the “see a story from different perspectives” trick might be one of the oldest in the book, but it works with the humorus nature of the story. With all the Civil War shenanigangs it’s good to read a nice street level story. (I just hope Danny gets a motivation beyond “i just want to do cool shit with my pal Luke”.)
Sanford Greene’s artwork is so fluid!

copyright lies with the respective owners, photos taken for review purposes

comics! [24/2016]

  Kill Six Billion Demons will be released in a printed edition in september! It’s a great looking webcomic that started last year and tells a complex story in beautiful artwork and hilarious backmatter.
[link]

  Panels has a neat article why reading comics/books could be akin to time travel. Or boil space time like Grant Morisson once said.
[Panels article]
[boiling space time]

 reviews

  Space Mullet vol.1 (2016)

A great read! It’s an 80s buddy movie in space. But it is not just action, there is also heart. Now, some storybeats might be foreseeable, but that does not matter because it works like a well oiled machine.
[link to webcomic]

spacemullet

  Weird Detective no.1 (2016)
I’ve read part of the issue when it was released in the Dark Horse Presents anthology series and it caught my attention then.
The story revolves about a truly weird detective, that from trying to do his job with the least resistance suddenly turns into a super cop. The bulk of the story follows his monologue, which the reader needs to comprehend some of the special abilities that are employed.
The artwork is sketchy and somehow “feverish” but enhances the atmosphere of madness that slowly descends.
Looks awesome when a guy gets pulled into his….i let you discover that.

weirddetective1

  Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2015)
I had this in my reading pile for to long. Mike Mignola tells a Batman Elseworlds story that is looking for his equal. Names and previous histories do not protect anybody in this version of the Batman mythos and end with the Dark Knight being more than just a protector at the gates of gotham.

batmangotham

Comic Reviews 43/52 (2015)

  • East Of West no.21 (2015)
  • Transformers vs. G.I. Joe no.9 (2015)
  • Atomic Robo and The Ring Of Fire no.2 (2015)
  • Karnak no.1 (2015)
  • Book Of Death: The Fall Of X-O Manowar no.1 (2015)
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire no.4 (2015)
  • Weirdworld no.5 (2015)
  • Ivar, Timewalker no.10 (2015)
  • Usagi Yojimbo no.149 (2015)
  • aama vol.3: The Desert Of Mirrors

East Of West no.21 (2015)

As much as dig this title and enjoyed reading this issue i wish it would adopt a european model of being published once a year in a thicker volume. Hickman’s work is a good example what is wrong wih comics, it’s a business that requires constant output. But a running series that is not Saga will fade from readers attention, so it is a necessity to crank out fresh number ones, each one crushing the bones of its predecessor.
Did i mention that it is a neat issue that sets up the next stage of the conflict between the nations? The art is great as always. I like how the characters seem to look like further evolved humans from fairy tale.
But reading it collexted certainly helps with keeping one in the loop.


Transformers vs. G.I. Joe no.9 (2015)

Why are there still people out there complaining about this comic? If it is not for you, either don’t read it or don’t talk about it. Hmm, that is an advice i could use.
Anyway, we get to see what happened while the Transformers where still hibernating aboard the Arc and what it meant to humankind, as well as the history of a certain character’s family.
As always, it is presented in a dreamlike quality, that tikes time to adapt to, but once you’re settled is very enjoyable.
Not for everybody, but if you have no idea about both franchises and are not big on mainstream comics, then this has been made for you!


Atomic Robo and The Ring Of Fire no.2 (2015)

As enjoyable as ever. The creators have grown since the first Atomic Robo issue, which was already a very enjoyable read. With the odds as high as in this arc, you can’t help but wonder how everybody will make ot out of it, and in what state they will find themselves.
But first, it’s boat and Kaijus.


Karnak no.1 (2015)

From the company that publishes Star Wars related comics comes a completely new and unique character!
What, he’s been around since 1965?
Inhumans? Lets call Mr. Ellis and gove him a five issue run on the guy, we’ll figure out the rest afterwards.

That is how i imagine the meeting regarding this book. And while it is enjoyable to see Warren Ellis do the Moon Knight with another character it feels like a repetition with the Spider Jerusalem of philosophy-level set to eleven. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but i wonder if it is the result of expectations. Ellis writes him, so he has to be.
But in the hands of a lesser writer, the story of a guy who can dismantle a steel door with the touch of his nose would have been a less good comic.
And the art in it reflects Karnak’s internal state. Fluid, but firm. A non-newtonian fluid.


Book Of Death: The Fall Of X-O Manowar no.1 (2015)

Valiant is on fire! I apologize for ever doubting the need of new Valiant comics!
Like every other Fall Of title, this one deals with the end of a major character from the Valiant universe. And Aric’s end is a very emotional one. Even after his death, he is still protecting his people, but this time not only with his fists, but also with the wisdom that he gained through the ages.
This book had it all, great art, action and emotions.


Star Wars: Shattered Empire no.4 (2015)

Phew, that issue a calming one. And it might even reveal an interesting link between what we see being done to Poe Dameron in the movie and what his Mother brings home with her from a trip with Luke Skywalker.
This mini-series might have been a miss with some people who thought it centers around the lives of the main cast from THE TRILOGY, and in some instances we get a small amount of time with them, but the main story, which it is only showing a few glimpses of, is about how the war is only the beginning of change, there is more work ahead once one faction has lost more than the other, and there is guilt about not having the strenght to continue the fight once the war is over.
Or i’m just interpreting what i want into it.


Weirdworld no.5 (2015)

The gift that keeps on giving. If it the price point wasn’t so high.
Weirdworld was a great tie-in title to Secret Wars. And seeing Crystar is such a great moment. Michael Del Mundo’s artwork is beautiful to look at, and enhances the “weird” nature of the comic. It is sad to see it end so abruptly but they are already setting up the coming ongoing series, which i am looking forward to.


Ivar, Timewalker no.10 (2015)

Looking for a clever book that is also funny? Look no further! From the beginning, Ivar, Timewalker has been a joy to read. It also is a showcase in how tight the Valiant ship is run, plucking characters and events from rich timeline that has been established over the last years.
And there are dinosaurs in it. Unusual dinosaurs.


Usagi Yojimbo no.149 (2015)

A great issue. As usual it is about honor and duty in the days of the samurai, but this time it is also a comment on consumerism, individuality, greed and how all those factors blind ones judgement.


aama vol.3: The Desert Of Mirrors (2015)(engl. version)

While advancing the story only by a small bit, the penultimate volume of aama packes quite a punch. aama is out and about, showing us some disturbing creatures that wear the faces of their pray chasing after the protagonists, and a few pages later puts them into one of the most calming environments i have ever seen in a comic.
The end of this volume leaves Verloc with a clearer state of mind. He has to work through a few personal things in this, and its interesting to witness the process.
He has a goal and the means to achieve it. But is that a good thing?

picture © lies with the respective owners

Comic Reviews 41/52 2015

  • Penultimate Quest vol.3 (2015)
  • Superman – The Dark Side Of Apokolips (2015)
  • Mythic no.4 (2015)
  • Justice League no.44 (2015)
  • Rick and Morty no.6 (2015)
  • Hellboy In Hell no.8 – The Hounds Of Pluto no.2 (2015)
  • Book Of Death: Fall Of Harbinger no.1 (2015)
  • 8house no.4: Yorris pt.1 (2015)
  • Contest Of Champions no.1 (2015)
  • Doctor Strange no.1 (2015)
  • Buddy Cops no.1 (2012)
  • We Stand On Guard no.4 (2015)
  • Lando no.5 (2015)
  • Star Wars no.10 (2015)
  • Copra no.24 (2015)

Penultimate Quest vol.3 (2015)

I stumbled upon Penultimate Quest last year through Lars Brown’s Kickstarter campaign for vol.2 (vol.1&2 can be read at larsbrown.com), and am glad i discovered a very interesting story about video games, philosophy, magic and to a certain extent, religion. The religious aspect bothered me a bit and paints the ending black and white.
Also, the tone changes with volume 2 but stays consistent from there on.
But if one can look over that, it is a great read that i can only recommend.

Superman – The Dark Side Of Apokolips (2015)

Not exactly a comic, but a neat way to get younger kids to read. Back when i was starting school, i wasn’t a big reader. I dug comics, but could not read through a book. A hybrid such as this one might have helped ease me into reading instead of having to force myself to read later in life.
A neat thing is the backmatter, which engages the reader to discuss events from the book.

Mythic no.4 (2015)

So far Mythic has been a rather slow read. Good, but a title that would have worked better at Vertigo years ago, and will surely read a lot better once there is a collection out.
But this issue was great because of the ending. Can’t help myself, but Anatol cracked my emotional center.

Justice League no.44 (2015)

Glooowfingr! He’s the man, the man with the moebius chair!!!!
I’m currently not that smitten with what DC Comics is putting on shelves. But this arc of Justice League is fun. There is a rather big twist in this issue, but the next reboot is probably already on someone’s desk, so who knows.
This arc is a solid superhero epic, it hits all the beats but feels a bit to excessive at times.

Rick and Morty no.6 (2015)

Since a lot of people recommend the show, i read the latest issue. It is exceptionally entertaining.
Andrew MacLean art is always great to look at and the story is….well, something else. If it fits in your plans and you dig 80s action movies, this is a rigged bet.

Hellboy In Hell no.8 – The Hounds Of Pluto no.2 (2015)

This is one of those comics that is wasted on me. It is great how all the story threads weave a tapestry at the end and i think i even got some of the themes and ideas that are conveyed through the artwork.
But ultimately i feel like a caveman who’s banging rocks together (rather tries to eat prehistoric feces, one of the guys that natural selection was invented for).
What i like in particular is, that despite all the things Hellboy encountered, at his core he is still the blue collar paranormal detective he started out as.

Book Of Death: Fall Of Harbinger no.1 (2015)

I’m not well versed in the Valiant Universe, but so far everything i’ve read since the relaunch has been of consistently high quality.
It’s the same with this title. Even if one isn’t in the loop on the Harbinger story, the basics have been laid out, which gives it a nice density, which combined with the great art make this a great comic experience.

8house no.4: Yorris pt.1 (2015)

The series is continuing its streak of greatness with this issue.
This part of the story goes into a whole new territory, and I’m looking forward to how all the world’s will come together in the end.
The backmatter of the issue was a blast to read because I got to learn about two creators that worked on a lot of things I enjoyed.

Contest Of Champions no.1 (2015)

Ok, this book is a „who would beat who“ conversation between the Collector and the Maestro, but i guess we’ll get a lot of alternate universe characters like Hydra-Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy!
This made the comic for me. But does it make it worth the price? My wallet says no.
Doctor Strange no.1 (2015)

As much as I liked this reboot it reminds me of the first arc of Jason Aaron’s Thor. Something extremely dangerous is rampaging about the realms and its next target is the protagonist.
But that is not all there is, Strange lost his grey temples, and gets to wield magical weapons. Which is great, but he also mentions that his hands are still suffering from the nerve damage, even in his projected form, but should he use heavy weapons then? Nitpicking, I know. Another nitpick is that he mentions in how bad a shape he is, but looks rather healthy.
This is the first time that I liked Chris Bachalo’s art from the start. Usually I can’t focus on his work. What is a bit strange is that three inkers worked on the title.
Let’s see where the journey leads us.

Buddy Cops no.1 (2012)(one-shot)

With Dark Horse releasing a lot of single issues on comixology I remembered that I wanted to read this since it was mentioned on the Noncanonical Podcast back in the day.
It is a blast! Great art and fun stories. Worth your time and money.

We Stand On Guard no.4 (2015)

This issue might be a slower one, but nonetheless like its predecessors, it captures a contemporary feeling about the nature of war and that the strong are bullying others under the guise of protection.

Lando no.5 (2015)

A great ending. Very emotional and revealing a lot about Lando, fleshing him out for the new canon. I must admit that it dragged a bit in the middle, but i’m glad i stayed around.
Star Wars no.10 (2015)

Luke is being trained for gladiator fights, Chewie and C-3PO are on his way to rescue him while Han and Leia escape from the Empire with the aid of Han’s Wife Sana. And there is a shocking revelation about the Millennium Falcon!
I really like Star Wars. Stuart Immonen’s artwork is awesome and the story feels like „proper“ Star Wars. Can’t believe we’re already at issue no.10.
Copra no.24 (2015)

This issue ends arc four(?) of Copra. It was a blast reading it. There is so much consideration going into every issue, making it feel like a very well prepared meal. Like Hellboy, it is wasted on a simple mind as mine, but i enjoy it nonetheless.
Big things seem to be in store for the Copra team in the next arc.

52comics [17]: Dark Ages

image

written by Dan Abnett
drawn by I.N.J. Culbard
published by Dark Horse Comics 2015

The medieval world is locked in war. As a godless mercenary company slogs across Europe in search of sustenance and coin, they encounter a demonic force born not of hell, but of somewhere else entirely!

I enjoyed the hell out of this thing! It’s one of those comics i could not put down until finished.
Now, one could say that the story and art are rather simple, but Mr. Abentt and Culbard put just enough details into the story to make your brain go places.

©lies with the respective owners