part 3

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Review – King Conan: Hour Of The Dragon Part 3

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

After reading the latest issue of King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon part 3 three words came into mind, Violence, Infatuation, and betrayal. The beginning of the issue starts off with violence; we see Conan fighting for his life against a Grey-Ape of the Forest of Vilayet Sea, with the help of Zenboia. Conan was able to defeat the Grey-Ape. The fight between Conan and the Grey-Ape is a barbaric one, you can see the blood-lust in both of their eyes as the jump for each other’s throat’s; this was well depicted by Tomas Giorello.

After their encounter with the Grey-Ape, Conan and Zenboia continue to escape the dungeon; meanwhile we see Tarascus and his followers are conspiring against the wizard Xaltotun. During that time Conan and Zenboia are seen listening to Tarascus as he explains his plan of taking control of the wizard.

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With Taracus in his sights and filled with anger for what has happened to him and his kingdom Conan leaps in for the kill despite Zenboia’s warning. And again he finds himself in another violent battle only this time it’s against one of Tarascus guardsman.

After missing his chance of killing Taracus, Conan and Zenboia finally escape; But Zenboia alters the plan and insists on staying in order for Conan to escape, her devotion to keep him safe somewhat baffles Conan, to the point he promises to comeback for her as soon as he can. The issue ends with Conan sneaking his way to the Fountain of Thrallos a place Zenboia promised him a horse for his escape, That plan almost fails when the guardsman he fought earlier is there waiting for him, But this time around Conan easily defeats the guardsman and rides off.

Final thoughts: The thing that stood out me in this issue is Zenboia’s infatuation/devotion to a man she doesn’t know is somewhat bizarre, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings Éowyn relationship with Aragorn, where she was attracted to Aragorn’s heroism. The difference between Zenboia and Eowyn is that one displays more love while the other displays more devotion.

In the end the relationship between Conan and Zenboia is what keeps me hooked, I want to see how that relationship falls apart, and how it effects Truman’s version of Conan.

Links: Preview BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

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

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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike #3 A Dark Place Part 3

Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with a flashback, Pearl (of Pearl and Nash fame) has just spent a “romantic” evening with a demon, who after their romp, thinks she needs to die. After Nash fails at rescuing her, the ever gallant Spike (joined by Dru) arrives. However, more than chivalry this is mainly just coincidence, this particular demon happens to owe Spike cash and the demon’s inevitable demise just happens to save Pearl in the process. Cut to present day where Spike, Pearl and Nash just happen to run into each other but, Spike who is running low on patience, tangles with the terrible twosome. Finally away from danger, Spike and his bug crew are joined by their new mystery gust Morgan. They set off into space to their next destination, a hell mouth. The bugs are none too happy with the new plan and they do not hesitate to let Spike know; however, Spike as captain of this boat want to stay on course. Luckily the bugs suspicions have got Spike thinking and he decides to do some investigating of his own. Spike and Morgan have a long chat and she explains who and what she is, while this puts Spike at ease the bugs are still not convinced!

I think out of all the Buffyverse titles the Spike series thus far represents the feeling and voice best. I have enjoyed all the titles but this one seems to have a lot of the elements that give you that Joss feeling and this issue is no exception. Spike is really captured amazingly and perfectly. I also really love the bugs, they have a lot of personality and really add humor and heart. I really enjoyed this issue and I think fans of all things Buffy will as well!

Release Date: October 24th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #13 Guarded: Part 3

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Buffy’s in a standoff with the demon and one time ally Koh who, unbeknownst to Buffy, has turned on her and is in cahoots with Wolfram and Hart. Koh has agreed to kill Theo, creator of TinCan, the social networking site of demons everywhere as long as he is given the information on who imprisoned him a long, long time ago. Buffy, who is doing her best to reason with Koh is having no luck and finds herself in a very tense situation. Theo tells Buffy that she must leave him and destroy TinCan instead of saving him which she reluctantly does. On her new mission, Buffy finds Kennedy who has a big bump on her head courtesy of Koh’s over-exuberance. Some not too friendly words are exchanged between the two women (as well as some punches) before they devise a plan to save Theo. Will they save Theo’s life and will TinCan finally be destroyed stopping Wolfram and Hart’s evil plans (at least for now)? Most importantly, has Buffy found her new calling and will she leave saving the world in the past for the prospect of some fat paychecks?

This issue is good but unfortunately I don’t care for a lot of the main characters. Theo and Kennedy are not particularly likeable or entertaining and Koh has potential but never seems to get there. Buffy needs to find herself quick because this little girl lost act is going on too long (in all fairness she may have figured it out in this issue). Without Buffy’s supporting cast something just feels like it’s missing. There hasn’t even been a mention of Xander or Dawn. I know Spike’s off finding himself, Willow’s trying to restore magic with Angel and his crew but Buffy seems to have no one. She’s pretty much alone and it’s kind of sad. The writing and art are both very good but I think Buffy’s voice has gotten a little lost along the way. I’m not ready to give up yet but I think the comic needs a little tweaking here and there to get back on course.

Release Date: September 12th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★☆☆ 
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Review – Angel & Faith Season 9 #13 Family Reunion Part 3

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Still in Quor’toth, our rag-tag bunch has a pretty simple mission, survive long enough to save an enslaved Connor worshiping species and get to safety. Sounds simple enough, right? Faith is doubting their plan and more importantly she’s doubting Angel. She soon realizes that her brain is being jumbled by the weirdness of Quor’toth. Meanwhile, Connor is beginning to see things much more clearly and is beginning to understand his father on a different level. Just as everyone is beginning to figure everything out, hell in the name of Quor’toth breaks loose. While all of this is going on, Sophronia and Lavinia are dealing with their own version of hell back at Giles’ house as Pearl, Nash and Whistler are attempting to have a little “conversation” with them. We quickly see who is really in charge and what they are really capable of. What does Whistler want and will it even matter if Angel, Faith and the rest of the crew are stuck in Quor’toth?

This issue is excellent. There is a lot of action and both of the storylines are full and rich. Christos Gage’s writing is great and the voice of each character is just how it should be. Rebekah Isaacs’ art is brilliant, which is not at all shocking because her work is always amazing. I love both of the covers as well, Steve Morris and Isaacs really outdid themselves on these two. I’m really enjoying this arc and it’s nice to see more of Willow as her own series is going to be starting soon. I also like the comic version of Connor much more than the T.V. Connor, he’s much more likable and not nearly as annoying. This issue is a must read, next month can’t get here soon enough!

Release Date: August, 29th 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
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Review – Conan The Barbarian #6 – The Argos Deception Part 3

Massimo Carnevale Cover

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

After earning his freedom, Conan and the shaman start to head towards the dock but are met by more guards who taunt the Cimmerian. Informing him that his beloved Belit has been captured by their commander who plans to have his way with her. Unable to tell if what the solider is saying is true, the news enrages him and drives the warrior into a berserker like rage, he begins to slaughter every solider including the horse’s the men ride. After dismantling the soldiers, Conan and the Shaman rush to the docks to meet up with Belit and as they ride an unsure Conan starts to wonder if life with Belit will be worth it. For as long as he’s with her, violence and trouble will always follow him, he wonders if that is the only life a pirate can live . As his mind races with these questions and doubts, the Shaman  notices a conflicted Conan, he manages to reassure the Cimmerian that Belit has chosen him. Not moving though to cast doubt that yes violence will follow, instead sharing that if he tried to get her to understand him better life my not be as troubled what he thinks it would. At the docks, Conan notices Belit is late to the ship, he also realizes what the solider said was true and without hesitation  he takes off to save Belit with a promise of bring her back no matter what.

The Argos Deception Part #3 is relatively short, as a result this is more of a synopsis, the issue is straight forward with lots of action and I mean lots of action. One of the many strong points in this issue is the writing as the narrative monologue is great, Wood makes it feel as though someone is telling the story reminiscent to the King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword monologue’s. I mentioned in the first two reviews that this Conan seems more human, struggling with new emotions he never had deal with before, the main of which are  fear and doubt. Wood navigates the fear and doubt Conan has in the beginning into his biggest strength, examples of that are best shown when he’s told Belit is captured and when he arrives to save her. In those two particular moments, Conan’s emotions are on his sleeve and you can see he’s no longer fighting for just himself.

James Harren’s work in this issue is top-notch to say the least, Harren tells the story with a cinematic feel in each panel. He really brings strong thematic scenes from the first page to the last. Harren really nailed it on this issue is all I can really say. The action sequences and the level of detail he brings to each character in their facial expressions will not go unappreciated, particularly in Conan when his fighting. You can see the emotional rage as he swings his sword and feel the depth of what he’s struggling with.

Final Thoughts: This was a very good issue it has all the right ingredients, fans and even Non-Conan fans would like this issue with how well they pulled it off. My biggest beef is that The Argos Deception adventure was too short yet again, with only 3 parts the story seems rushed and it finishes just when it was getting good although I will say I’m interested on how the next story is going to be after this improvement from Queen of the Black Coast.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: June 13, 2012

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

 

 

 

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Review – The Walking Dead #99 – Something to FEAR Part 3

Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Charlie Adlard
Letters:  Rus Wooton
Inks: Charlie Adlard
Editor: Sina Grace
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Cover: Charlie Adlard
Published by: Image Comics

For those following, Something to FEAR has been on a streak lately, taking Rick through the new challenges of being not just a leader or guy helping them survive but instead as a visionary as well. Given all the death and trauma they’ve seen it takes more than just a guy good with a pistol to get things done and this time the group is relying on him not only to help keep them safe but to give them a place to really setup at.

Issue 99 paints the image we saw Rick talk about, settling in and forming bonds, a life and looking at a larger picture of something more in this world than just endless zombies across the land. Characters like Glenn reveal huge changes coming not only to the story but their own lives and each hit that comes in chips away at the foundation that we once knew for the group. Characters falling in love was a thing of the moment before, now it’s something they feel grounded in with a community at their fingertips, I doubt TWD team has such hope and unicorns planned for their fate though but for a moment you see everyone taking up a change of pace.

Where we go to issue 100, well it’s a bit of a given to say that Negan’s forces are mad at the recent stonewalling they’ve gotten to their efforts to breach the Hilltop and it’s about time for the payback to hit. The current issue sets up a huge pitfall for the group and it might send Rick spiraling out of control given his recent bonding as part of this community. Time will tell but it’s certainly looking like a bloodbath is coming and the happy days of sunshine and skull smashing are about to come to an abrupt stop. Lets just hope that Rick and the others can secure enough weapons and ammo for the storm given their supply issues could put them on the run if they’re caught short.

It was fun riding out the Something to FEAR story to this point although I did get derailed from the reality that this is The Walking Dead and 100 is likely to take a sledgehammer to everything we’ve seen built up over the past few issues. Also for those wondering, the art team continues to hum along with great expressions, gestures and characters through the book, the consistency seems to rarely shift in this series which is always a pleasure.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 
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Marvel unleashes What The–?! AvX Pt. 3

Marvel has been on a string of animated shorts about AvX, today marks the final installment of the What The–?! series and it’s a big one that goes out with a bang. Wolverine took to revenge against Captain America and Cyclops while he mourned Jean’s passing in a series of pranks, the outcome was unexpected to say the least and everyone soon got pulled into the mess.

Check out the video below for a look, keep an eye on Bamfas for updates as we review AvX and related side stories as well.

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