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Review – Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1

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Ariel Olivetti Cover

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Colorist: Ariel Olivetti
Cover Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse has been on a roll as of late with the Conan franchise, each arc being better than the last. In comes new comer Fred Van Lente (Brain Boy), looking to continue the series high quality story arcs. The people of the Black Circle is Van Lente’s retelling of Robert E. Howard original story. Continue reading

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Review – Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #1

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Cully Hamner Cover

Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Leonard kirk
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Cover Artist: Cully Hamner
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #1 is an interesting comic brought to us by Dan Jolley and Artist Leonard Kirk. The synopsis for the story is goes like this Travis Clevenger may not have superpowers, but he can put a beatdown on anyone who does! Continue reading

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Review – King Conan – The Hour Of The Dragon Part 1 of 6

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Gerald Parel Cover

Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The trio of Timothy Truman,Tomas Giorello and Jose Villarrubia team up once again to bring us another one of Robert E. Howards classic’s. King Conan – The Hour of The Dragon #1 is amazingly written issue packed with lots of disposition throughout this issue, like in the past King Conan arcs it’s told in narrative form with Conan as the narrator.

This issue starts with the wizard Orastes and his Amalric’s Tarascus the brother of King Nemeda and Valerius the former king of Aquilonian reviving the ancient wizard Xaltotun. With the wizard awaken the three desperately ask for his assistances which he surprisingly accepts and they begin to devise a plan to get rid Conan. Meanwhile it is the night before battle and we see Conan asleep but is awaken by a bad dream. Two of his men who heard him screaming rush in, Conan tells them that he feels a evil presences awaiting in the shadows ready to take him. At that moment his scouts trumps sound off which states the start of the war, As he starts to put his armor the evil aura he sensed earlier comes back and it turns out to be Xaltotun who then casts a spell on Conan that paralyzes him.

Without trying to give away the hole plot I’ll just say things get real thick at the end of this issue for the Cimmerian known as Conan. Writer timothy Truman ends the issue on a cliff hanger with Conan facing impossible odds.

Artist Tomas Giorello brings his heavily shaded and detail style to this arc, like most of his work Giorello’s panels are well illustrated and consisted all throughout the issue making it easy for readers to follow.

The hour of the Dragon #1 is a great first issue and going by the trios past work together this arc is going to be just as good as King Conan – The Phoenix On The Sword.

Links: Preview Pre-Order
Release Date:  May 29, 2013

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

Review – Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher #1

Story: Richard Corben22815
Art: Richard Corben
Colors: Richard Corben
Cover Art: Richard Corben
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

A sickness resides in the house of Usher. Its history is cursed, its tenants plagued by abominable love, and it’s hallways lined with coffins and the rotted dead.

The Fall of the House of Usher #1 is Richard Corben retailing of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story, Just like the original it tells of Allen ( Narrator in the Original) experiences in the house of usher when he vists an old friend Roderick Usher. Corben stays true to the original by making it dark and creepy, like poe’s adaptation it’s about a man visiting an old friend only to find out that he’s become mentally unstable for example there’s a scene where Roderick has his sister posing nude and maliciously scold’s her the entire time, it’s a tale of obsession and how it effects your mind. While there are some similarities to poe’s version there’s also differences, one them being the fact that Corben combine another one poe’s short story The Oval Portrait which also deals with obsession

For the character design, Corben uses a caricature art style making the characters look almost clay like. His Roderick Usher who has a oversize nose that takes up half his face and big ears to go along with it. Sometimes the artwork is a little inconsistent in some panels Roderick almost looks like Hugo Strange of Batman; the color scheme throughout the comic is dark and smooth with a earth-Tone feel to it.

Final Thoughts: Because I’m unfamiliar with Richard Corben’s recent and past work, I can’t really say if this is his best or worst comic he has done, But I can say that it is a nice adaptation one that Poe fans should give a read.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date:  May 15, 2013

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
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Review – Amala’s Blade #1 ” Kick Ass Women Assiassin,Count me in!”

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Guy Davis
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

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Guy Davis Cover

 “AMALA is the greatest assassin in all Naamaron—just ask her! And she’d be even better if all these ghosts didn’t keep following her around! Naamaron is a land emerging from twenty years of civil war. To the west, in the city of Ouon, are the Purifiers, a self-made people powered by steam. To the east, in the city of Avatouon, are the Modifiers, who worship technology and implant it in their own bodies. SO FAR: Amala has just finished the Behemoth job and in the process killed the captain and commandeered the ship. Now she’s undercover on her next assignment, in a tavern deep in Purifier territory”

At the Broken Gear Tavern somewhere in the Purifier Territory, Amala who’s using the town crier as cover is listening to what looks like the town drunk tell how he killed one of Vizier’s men, a mail delivery package of Stembulbs is brought to the bar owner who displays them to everyone in the bar, at the very moment Amala notices a wanted poster of her for 1,000,000 and realizes that’s is in danger, she quickly jumps off the bar and takes cover, a fight between the men breaks out over who will take her in mean while she confronts the man who killed Vizier’s man, visibly  shaken up about what he did he tells her that he shot the man in the back and ask’s her to take  protect him but she informs him she’s there to kill him and process to cut his throat , A fire breaks out in the tavern and she escapes with the contract completed.

Meanwhile in Neutral Territory at Vizier’s palace, he and his subordinate Magister are informed of the trouble Amala has caused, they comment on how she’s putting target on her back. Which prompts Vizier to give Amala one final mission which he promises will get her killed. At Smitty’s she and Ren are doing sword training when a modifier device is giving to her, the message informs her of the mission Vizier and magister had promised, after hearing the message and receiving payment for the last mission, Smitty comments on how completing this mission is clearly impossible without help. Amala asks Ren to meet her before she takes off, there share a moment together and Ren expresses his doubts of ever seeing her again which she reassures him she will.

Traveling through mountain terrain a companied by one of the many ghost she usually sees they talk about the mission and how being able to see ghost almost got her killed last time. Nightfall comes and she takes up camp two unknown robot assassins appear ready to attack as she sleeps

Finial thoughts: Right form the jump Steve Horton gives us action, making it easy to follow Artist Michael Dialynas does a wonderful job making it so his focus on follow, more over panels with erratic poses which makes every panel look over crowded, its refreshing to see simple straightforward artwork sometimes. The world Steve Horton and Michael Dialynas bring to us in Amala’s blade #1 is filled little strings of interactions that turns explosive in the begining , but towards the end the issues focuses on Dialog and plot development for future issues , all and all its a set up issue.

Amala’s Blade seems looks to be a straight forward action/adventure story with a nonsense main character, that is reminiscent of past Dark Horse characters, I will say Amala’s Blade has caught my interest, so I’ll keep a close eye on this series as it develops before I give a real review on it

Release Date: April 24, 2013

Links: Preview | Order

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

 

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Marvel’s Sneak Peak – Guardians Of The Galaxy #1

Fans of the Guadians of the Galaxy series should be ecstatic about Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven teaming up to bring it back, the series offcially debuts next month March 27 so be on the look out.

“Some threats to all of reality prove to be bigger than even the Avengers can handle, and that’s when you call in Peter Quill’s team of space-faring heroes. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and new addition Iron Man will have their hands full as Marvel NOW! cranks up the outer space intrigue!”

Take a look at McNiven’s awsome pencil work for Guardians Of The Galaxy, i gotta say McNiven’s work looks amazing!

If you want more info click on Marvel.com for more news

Guardians Of The Galaxy #0.1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Steve McNiven
On Sale February 27

Guardians Of The Galaxy #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Steve McNiven
On Sale March 27

Marvel Sneak Peek: Nova #1 – Ed McGuinness blasts off the new Human Rocket!

Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness are teaming up for up coming Nova series, it will feature  Sam Alexander as Nova from the Avengers vs x-Men arc, details of his origin will be a mystery along with his connection to the Guardians of the Galaxy! And way Sam is worthy of legacy of the Nova Corps. All will be revealed in another one of Marvels big Comic book event of  2013.!

Each issue of NOVA includes a code for a free digital copy on the Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPad Touch® & Android devices) and in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop. Additionally, each issue of NOVA features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/news/story/19994/sneak_peek_nova_1#ixzz2Ijm3mEqG

 

Conan The Barbarian - The Death 1-3

Review – Conan The Barbarian – The Death #1-3

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

Conan The Barbarian – The Death Is a unusually story for the simple fact that Conan is vulnerable though out the arc, Struggling with his new found feelings of love and fear qualities that’s usually not shown in a Conan storyline, In the beginning of the 3 part issue Conan and Beilt along with her crew of pirates continue to sail the sea’s raising hell on all who come across the two.  One day while sailing the western ocean the a worried Belit confides in N’Yoga wondering if Conan is truly happy with her at sea. N’Yoga warns her of the death and form that moment on Belit withdraws form conan and crew, hiding away in her sleeping quarters. Meanwhile Conan and N’Gora come across a slave passenger who looks to be gravely ill, not trusting the stranger they put him back on the boat they found him in. The next morning Conan wakes up to find the slave has been killed and crew all stricken with an unknown illness, quickly he disposes the body and boat of the mysterious slave and checks in on Belit who has also fallen ill of the same sickness the crew is hit with.

As Belit lays in her death bed Conan promises to find the cure of the mysterious illness and ports at the docks of Bakal, with so much resting on his success of finding a cure Conan hits a local pub to contemplate on what he must do. After a brief encounter with the locals that was interrupted by Belit, who asks for their help to find a healer concern with her health Conan escorts her back to the Tigress not before telling him that he is free to leave her and the crew to die, for that’s not the burden she wanted for her love. Once they reach the ship the dockmaster gives Conan a hard time with the Dock saying news of Belit in town has spread around Bakal prompting Conan to pay an extra fee to stay unnoticed as he travels to the healer’s location.

There Conan meets up with a local shaman woman and is given an unknown drink that causes him to fall in a dreamlike state where he is stuck under water and has to swim ashore to a endless desert, once he awakes form his sleep the shaman asks him what did he see in his dream to which he tells her of how he was drowning in the ocean due to his armor and had to fight his way up to shore, she states that maybe the drowning and the endless desert are signifying that the weight of this quest is holding him down, he agrees and takes a walk outside to contemplate on what Belit wanted him to do which is to leave her and be free of all of it. Unsure again on what to do he goes back to the pub he had fought in earlier for a drink, again he is confronted but this time its owner of the pub who says that her mother could help him on is quest to heal everyone on the ship.

Back on Tigress he is once again confronted by the Dockmaster who this time warns Conan saying the wolves are at the gate and that Belit is a devil in the eyes of the people, angered Conan places his sword to the throat of the Dockmaster and threatens to spill his blood if he interferes. As the healer begins to cure everyone Conan and N’gora notice a crowd of hostile townsmen intended on ending Belit’s life, with sword in hand Conan and N’gora quickly get rid of them in what I say is one of the most barrack and violent skirmishes that I have seen as of late, at one point he’s hold a man he just gutted and tells the others to look at the man as he dies in his arms.

The Arc ends with Conan hearing the screams of Belit but is unable to enter the room, as he sits outside the door waiting, the healer walks out saying that she is saved and that there were complications, saying Belit was 2 months pregnant and that the baby was lost. Shocked Conan tries to comfort Belit but she doesn’t want to speak to him, as he walks out of her chambers he and N’yoga glance at one other with the narrator implying that maybe the death was not towards Belit but towards her and Conan’s relationship.

Final Thoughts: Conan The Barbarian – The Death is one of the best arcs I have read, ever since the Road of Kings Arc which was a favorite of mine , I’ve been waiting for someone to deliver another great arc and up till now I haven’t been satisfied with how arcs were written, not saying that the pass ones are terrible just that something was missing form each arc such as story and character development, but The Death in my opinion seems to cover all of those issues. Writer Brian Wood does a masterful job in this arc, the way he has Conan struggle back and forth with his emotions. Each issue shows a different side of Conan such as fear, anger, joy, love all things that make us human. To be able to include all of those things in a 3 part issue is quite a feat. Artist Declan Shalvey and Colorist Dave Stewart captures and brings all of those emotions to life with his sketch heavy style that includes alot of shading and not so much detail, surprisingly this style fits particularly well for this arc.

Conan The Barbarian - The Death 1-3

Links: Preview | Order                 Links: Preview Order                          Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: Now                     Release Date: Now                              Release Date: January 16

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

Darkhorse’s Hellboy In Hell #1 Sells Out!!!

Retailers around the country are sold out of the critically acclaimed first issue of Hellboy in Hell.

In response, Dark Horse is reprinting the acclaimed first issue. The reprint is available for reorder now, with an on-sale date of January 30, just 1 week before Hellboy in Hell #3 goes on sale.

After saving the world in The Storm and The Fury, but sacrificing himself and Great Britain, Hellboy is dead, cast into Hell, where he finds many familiar faces, and a throne that awaits him. After several years away, Mike Mignola returns to write and draw Hellboy’s ongoing story. It’s a tale only Mignola could tell, as more of Hellboy’s secrets are at last revealed, in the most bizarre depiction of Hell you’ve ever seen.

HBYIH #1 FP VARIANT FC FNLPraise for Hellboy in Hell:

“Hellboy in Hell #1 is indescribably good. No amount of hyperbole can do the book justice. Mike Mignola is back, and better than ever.” - Newsarama

“Like H.P. Lovecraft, like Robert E. Howard, like William Hope Hodgson, Mike Mignola has a unique voice and vision that many will attempt to imitate and all will fail.” - Comics Bulletin

“Unlike the homogenized pin-up art that saturates many high-profile comic books, this is a mainstream title with a truly unique vision that you won’t find anywhere else.” - Complex

“There’s no denying this simple fact: it’s great to have Mignola back at the drawing table again.” - Comic Book Resources

“The creator has lost none of his touch, delivering page after page with cinematic action sequences, haunting imagery, and inventive layouts that all contribute to the sense that Hellboy is on the cusp of something huge. The thought that we’re going to regularly see Mignola in the artist’s chair is even better.” - IGN

Hellboy in Hell #2 arrives on sale next week (January 2nd) at fine retailers everywhere.

 Retailers: Order codes can be found below and are also featured in today’s edition of Diamond Daily.

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Review – Hellboy – In Hell #1 – “Death was only the beginning”

Mike Mignola Cover

Story: Mike Mignola
Art: Mike Mignola
Colors: Dave Stewart
Cover Art: Mike Mignola
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Hellboy In Hell #1 Is the continuation of The Storm and The Fury Tales, after sacrificing himself and Great Britain, Hellboy is cast into hell where many of demons and monsters he had faced are there waiting on his arrival, Mike Mignola is back as writer and artist for this story arc.

In the beginning of the issue we see Hellboy fighting a dragon in what looks like hell, after stabbing it in the chest with a sword both him and the dragon are seen crashing into a pit, inside a unknown being grabs and pulls out his heart stating “If I’m bound for hell…I will not go alone”.  After that we see the Baba Yaga and an Sir Eric are talking about Hellboy slaying the dragon and his run in with a demon named Nimue (The one who pulled out his heart), Sir Eric tells Baba Yaga his plans of taking Hellboy with him saying that his story is not over yet, Baba Yaga warns him of what trouble it will cause once Hellboy is released and is he ready for that burden. Meanwhile Hellboy inside the pit is confronted and attacked by a collections of various monsters, with the help of Sir Eric the warlock he is saved and they teleported to what looks like a old monastery. There Hell tells him that one the demons that attack was Eligo’s a duke and knight in the living world who was shamed by Hellboy and cast down to the pit once Hellboy defeated him, the conversation is cut short when Eligo appears and attacks Hellboy pushing him through a doorway..

Final thoughts:  Hellboy In Hell #1 is a ongoing story with multiple arcs, similar to the Conan comics also release by Dark horse. New readers my not understand what’s going on in the beginning of the issue because of the multiple story arc tie-ins . Writer Mike Mignola keeps issue #1 simple and straightforward for the most part making it relatively easy to follow for new readers like myself, On the other hand hardcore fans my not like that it’s a little simplistic. In the end Mignola writing is good enough to keep the readers wanting more.

Let me say I do recommend readers to checkout  past issues so you can get a clue on certain things, besides that Hellboy In Hell has alot of potential and I can’t wait see how Mike Mignola unravels this story.

Release Date: December 05, 2012

Links: Preview | Order 

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

 

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