Review – Conan The Barbarian #4 – The Argos Deception Part 1

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: James Harren
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Conan the Barbarian and Bêlit, Queen of the Black Coast, make a fearsome couple sailing the western ocean aboard the pirate vessel Tigress. But this is a life foreign to Conan, and he is still a young man, more used to the highlands of snow and rock than the tropical seas that Bêlit calls home. A reading of his future by the shaman N’Yaga suggests dark times ahead, but Bêlit is an irresistible force, a woman to whom Conan would readily devote his life.

Massimo Carnevale

The Argos Deception Part 1 starts with Conan still at sea with his new love Belit, and comfortable working alongside other crew members of the Tigress. One the day he sits and thinks about how his life has changed for the better since meeting his beloved Belit . As night falls upon the Argos border, N’Gora, Conan and Belit are talking about how trying to attack the port at the Messantia will be extremely difficult due to their past run ins with ship’s along that sea port. The conversation ends and a plan is laid out, Conan will act as a captured criminal since he’s wanted for his own past crimes, N’Gora will give him to Messantia guards and later on break him free as they rob the treasure of the city.

Next day Conan and company reach the Port of Messantia  in chains, as they get close to the dock’s they are met by three ships that have soldiers aboard, N’gora the proceeds to give Conan up for the bounty Messantia has put on his head. One of the guards tells N’Gora he remembers Conan killing his fellow soldiers, he threatens Conan and takes him to the dungeon. Visibly battered and bruised Conan is thrown in a dungeon until night falls, Conan again in chains starts to think, in a dream like state he envisions himself walking in the cold snow and begins to wonder to himself.  Did he make a  bad decision trusting Belit and N’Gora? Will they leave him there to die? More and more he starts to think maybe he’s losing his mind, as he continues to walk in the snow the ground gives in and he falls through some ice and into water which causes him to wake up. Just as it happens the door opens and a guard tells him he has a visitor who turns out to be Belit in disguise…

Final Thoughts: Conan The Barbarian : The Argos Deception looks to be more interesting than Queen Of The Black Coast storyline which I though was a let down especially the last 2 Issues. The Argos Deception continues Conan’s adventure with the Black Queen Belit and her crew, The Argos Deception part 1 focuses more on how Conan is slowly losing his warriors mentality since joining Belit’s crew, her influence has changed him to point where he depends on her heavily. Even putting his life in her hands in so many cases. Artist James Harren is the new artist for this issue and hopefully he will continue for the future as his artwork is reminiscent of the Road of Kings style which i think fits Conan perfectly. Overall I can say I’m curious to see how Wood is going to play this story out it has the potential of becoming a great read.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: May 16, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 – Boba Fett is Dead

Script: Tom Taylor
Art: Chris Scalf
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Chris Scalf
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Boba Fett is dead and the world is starting to learn you don’t kill someone so famous and so feared without stirring up the pot, vengeance is on the move and those who tracked him down and killed him are now facing judgement. Connor Freeman is the man on the warpath and the powers that be want him not only silent but dead and gone, unfortunately the cards are in Connor’s favor and the game continues.

Part 2 is a complete twist of sorts, we find out more about this plan and about what’s going on with Connor, unfortunately while he survived this encounter he’s not entirely all himself after the attack. The masked stranger reveals himself to Connor setting off a huge flashback of the events leading into Part 1 and elaborating on everything to the point where the story is flipped on its head for what readers thought was going on. The attack path changes course though, instead of just hunting those who started this mess it goes to Blackfel taking this situation to a whole new level against the conspiring group against Fett and any supporters.

Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 is a huge elaboration over the first issue, in some ways it would have been great to know that out of the gate but it builds up the life of Connor and the stress he was going through leading into this. The art continues the painterly qualities and intense detail throughout the book and there aren’t many instances where it stumbles, the characters are handled with care and the environments are engaging. Fans of the series really need to dive into issue 2 so they can feel the full impact of this story, one can only hope they have a miracle up their sleeve to wrap this up in 2 more issues.

Release date: May 30, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

E3 2012: The Big Games List

 

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is quickly approaching. Press conferences begin on Monday, June 4thfollowed by the show on June 5th through June 7th, expect a ton of surprises to be revealed during the show.

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2K GAMES
Spec Ops: The Line (360, PS3, PC)
Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (360,PS3, PC)

ATLUS
Persona 4 Arena (360, PS3)
Persona 4 Golden (Vita)

BOHEMIA INTERACTIVE
ArmA III (PC)
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (360, PS3, PC)

CAPCOM
Resident Evil 6 (360, PS3, PC)
Lost Planet 3 (360, PS3, PC)
DmC (360, PS3)
Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita)

CCP
Dust 514 (PS3)

ELECTRONIC ARTS
Battlefield 3: Armored Kill (360, PS3, PC)
Battlefield 3: Close Quarters (360, PS3, PC)
Crysis 3 (360, PS3, PC)
FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PC)
Madden NFL 13 (PS3, 360, Wii, Vita)
Medal of Honor Warfighter (360, PS3, PC)
NCAA Football 13 (360, PS3)
NHL 13 (360, PS3)
SimCity (PC)
Outernauts (Facebook)
World Series of Poker (iOS)

HARMONIX
Rock Band Blitz (XBLA, PSN)

LARIAN STUDIOS
Dragon Commander (360, PS3, PC)
Divinity Project

MAJESCO
NBA Baller Beats (360)
Zumba Fitness (360)

NAMCO
Star Trek: The Game (360, PS3, PC)
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (360, PS3)
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (360)
One Piece: Pirate Warriors (PSN)

NINTENDO
Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Super Mario Wii U (Wii U)

PERFECT WORLD ENTERTAINMENT
Neverwinter (PC)
Raiderz (PC)

SEGA
Aliens: Colonial Marines (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (360, 3DS, PC, PS3, Vita)

SNOWBIRD GAME STUDIOS
Eador: Masters of the Broken World (PC)

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT
PlanetSide 2 (PC)
DC Universe Online (PS3, PC)
Free Realms (PS3, PC)
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (PC)
EverQuest (PC)
EverQuest II (PC)
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (PC)

SQUARE ENIX
Hitman: Absolution (360, PS3, PC)
Tomb Raider (360, PS3, PC)
Sleeping Dogs (360, PS3, PC)
Quantum Conundrum (360, PS3, PC)
Heroes of Ruin (3DS)
Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)

TECMO KOEI
Dead or Alive 5 (360, PS3)

THQ 
Darksiders II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Metro Last Light (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)

TRION
Defiance (360, PC, PS3)
End of Nations (PC)
Rift (PC)

UBISOFT
Far Cry 3 (PS3, 360, PC)
Rayman Legends (Wii U)
Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Rocksmith (360, PS3, PC)
ShootMania Storm (PC)

ZEN STUDIOS
Zen Pinball 2 (PS3, Vita)
Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles (360, PS3, Vita)
Marvel Pinball 3D (3DS)

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Source: IGN

Review – Mind MGMT #1

Story, Art and Cover: Matt Kindt
Alternate Cover: Gilbert Hernandez
Published By: Dark Horse

The issue begins on a plane (flight 815!) where everyone from the pilot to the passengers have no memory. Not just some “what’s my name?” kind of memory loss, we are talking “the pilot doesn’t remember how to fly a plane” type of memory loss. The passengers have no idea how they got on the plane and the flight attendants don’t know why they are there. Essentially, this is a really bad situation. Flash forward two years to the anniversary of “Amnesia Flight 815” when we meet Meru. She’s a writer who has seen better days. She hasn’t written a book in two years but suddenly inspiration strikes. After listening to a news story about flight 815, which is still not understood by anybody, Meru decides her next book will be about the mysterious flight. She sets off to interview the passengers and finds a mysterious “lost” passenger, Henry Lyme. As Meru’s trek begins she learns that the story is much deeper than she thought and danger seems to be around every corner. She is quite unaware of the danger around her until she meets a mysterious stranger who warns her of what’s coming her way! Will Meru get to the bottom of this story before she is silenced forever? Probably, but I think it’s going to be a long, fun ride before she does!

This issue also features a little bonus story that explains some of the origins of Mind MGMT. This bonus story will NOT be included in the trade edition. There are a bunch of secret Easter egg type things in the issue and the first six issues will each have part of a code that, when put together, give you exclusive online content. Even though this is a way to ensure you buy each monthly comic, at least you get a little something extra and I like the creative way it’s being presented! The comic itself is intriguing and very entertaining. It has a lot of depth and if the first issue is anything to judge it by, it looks like it will be an amazing story. Secret societies, mystery, great deep characters, it has everything. This is not a light read though; it seems like it’s going to be very complex and you will really need to pay attention. This is a good thing. It’s not mindless fluff. It’s an actual, honest to goodness story, one that you will need to actually think about! Matt Kindt’s writing is flawless, telling multiple stories simultaneously. The art is also amazing. Meru’s desperation comes across loud and clear. This issue is solid and really sets up where the story is going, I can’t wait to take this ride!

Release Date: May 23rd, 2012

Links: Preview | Order | Order (digital)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – The Guild: Fawkes

Story By: Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton
Art By: Jamie McKelvie
Colors By: Matthew Wilson
Cover By: Paul Duffield
Alternate Cover By: Emma Rios and Matthew Wilson
Pinups By: Ron Chan and Jeff Carlisle
Published By: Dark Horse

Fawkes is in the midst of a breakdown. He has lost himself and is desperately trying to go back to the core of who he thinks he is. After the fallout of his relationship with Codex, he begins a soul-searching journey with(out) the help of his Axis friends. A self-proclaimed Epicurean, he looks for help in his area of study, philosophy. His Axis buddies however have had enough and are looking for a way to oust their not-so-fearless leader. Fawkes, refusing to roll over and play dead, harkens back his roots. This is not a good thing. We get to see Fawkes in his daily life, tormenting his intro to philosophy class, drinking his pain away and writing his feelings in his journal. After some soul-searching, he comes to the conclusion that in order to get back on track he must truly find himself, the real him. His approach is unexpected but will it work and will he finally find a way to erase his feelings for Codex?

Each Guild comic proves one thing, The Guild is awesome in every medium. I absolutely love that they have brought some basic philosophical concepts to the masses! As a philosopher myself I have spent years thinking (hey, that’s what we do) about how to present philosophy in a way that makes it interesting and acceptable to large groups of people. It’s such an important discipline and if comics like these cause people to learn things about Stoicism, Epicureanism and Nihilism then that’s a step in the right direction. I look forward to each Guild comic and I love how each issue focuses on a specific character. Everything in this issue is top-notch, the art, the dialog, the story and it’s a must read for new and old fans of the series!

Release Date: May 23, 2012

Link: Preview

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆