Sunday, 30 September 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 5

The Incredible Hulk #177 to #179

Having lost his own series, Warlock suffers the indignity of having to share his climactic moment with the Hulk. Let’s be honest, if Hulk is even on the A list he’s near the bottom of it. He’s a difficult character, although some writers have managed to find something interesting for him to do, but it takes some effort to wring interesting dramatic goals from his ‘Hulk smash’ persona.

One solution is to drop him into utterly bizarre situations (ie, Planet Hulk), and that’s what’s happening here.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce

I've reveiwed this novel for The Zone. I enojyed this one quite a bit: it was multi-layered and emotionally complex, and it used the super-natural intelligently. I particularly liked the clever way that sub-plots articulated the theme of the importance of fantasy - that was very cleverly done.

I liked the book and it's a positive review, but there were things I didn't like about the book. The review gently chides Joyce over the fantasy theme (I think the quotations over-egged the pudding) but I didn't end up mentioning my main problem with this book. I wasn't a small thing either - although on the whole I think it's a good book, comfortably 4 stars - and so you might think it would be worth mentioning.

In the end however, I couldn't make it work and the reason why is a small lesson in reviewing.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 4

The Power of Warlock #3 - #8

So, my plan was to blog about this issue by issue, maybe every day and have a bit of fun with it. That was the plan. But as the great Ayrshire poet and chain of bottle stores in New Zealand reminds us, the best laid plans of mice and men oft gang aglay, and mine seem to go aglayer and ofter than most.

Partly this is because of my busy metropolitan life style that keeps me away from the keyboard with thrilling man-about-town antics. Partly it’s because these comics rapidly descend in quality – and let’s face it, the first few were not a towering achievement of the arts. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love cheesy 70s Marvel – that’s why I read these things – but this is terrible, even by their standards!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 3

The Power of Warlock #1 and #2

I am beginning to see the folly of writing about a comics series without a scanner! In the weekend, I might have another look and see if it can extracted from behind the second-hand kitched cabinets crammed haphazard into the back lounge. On the other hand, Andrew Rilstone manages it - maybe I've just got to grit my teeth and carry on. [Eagle eyed readers will have spotted that the scanner issue has since been resolved. At the time of writing, kitchen cabinets remain uninstalled. - PH 9 October]

Because the splash at page that opens issue sums up everything about this series: The High Evolutionary, seen from a low angle, making him look huge, gazes out of his space-station window. A rocket shoots out of the atmosphere of an Earth-like world, the Counter Earth of his own creation.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 2

Marvel Premiere featuring Warlock #2

The issue starts with Warlock crashed to the (Counter) Earth like a falling star. He’s found by four kids who look a lot like kids on our familiar Marvel Earth and speak like... well, not kids anywhere, but like but 70s era Roy Thomas hipster kids.

Thanks for the lesson in civil rights, cool Dave!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 1

I pre-ordered this weeks ago and it's finally arrived! I've been wanting to read this volume for forty years, because an issue of Jim Starlin's Warlock - Stange Tales #180, in fact - was the first actual American comic I ever saw. I'd seen things like the UK reprints, but never an actual small-size full-colour book. I'm pretty sure my brother Matt bought it - it's the sort of Heavy Metalish thing he likes.

I never read the rest of the series, although I've read a few other bits and pieces where Warlock plays a part - some of Starlin's other Thanos stories, mostly - so I'm, quite excited about it! 

Since we've had a bit of blog lull, I've decided to blog about this issue by issue as I read  it. Has this classic Marvel cosmic bollocks still got what it takes? Let's find out!