Groom Lake #1 Review

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My latest review is up at Broken Frontier. It’s all about a unique four issue mini-series from IDW Publishing that centres on UFOs, government cover ups and all that craziness.

Written by Chris Ryall, with art by Perth lad done good, Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The first issue is released in March, but for people who find The X-Files too serious and Men In Black not gory enough, this is the book for you!

Check out my full review here.

Comic Art Exhibition

It really is a small world after all. Today at lunch, I nipped into the recently re-opened Quality Comics and happened to meet a fellow comics fan who’s just started the first comic book art gallery in Western Australia. Way to go, I say. Details are below the awesome Howard Porter JLA art. It opens this weekend and runs until March 22. Check it out if you’re a local, as we need to encourage such bold endeavours, to show people that comics really are art.

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The Darkness #75 Review

dk075_covs_page_3In what could be perceived as a stand alone tale, there is also the sense that this milestone issue for The Darkness reflects upon its past and throws it forward into a bleak future, yet one not without hope.

Writer Phil Hester seems to be enjoying himself more than usual in this issue, titled Absolute Darkness. Fans of the multitude of future X-Men stories will lap this stuff up, as will fans of The Darkness – obviously. This is the 75th issue of Jackie Estacado and his crazy adventures, if you consider all three volumes of this title since launching way back in 1996. That’s an event worth celebrating, and I have to say when the series debuted back in those wonder-filled days of the 90s I certainly didn’t expect it to last this long. I’m very happy to be proven wrong though. Over the decade it’s been published, it has gone from more than just a morose long haired hitman with evil powers book, to an engrossing world building epic.

dk075_covs_page_4This special anniversary issue basically sees Jackie peering into his future, or a possible future, as he begins to understand the powers he has could be devastating. The choice will be his. With cameos from familiar characters in the Darkness universe, Jackie is now an old man, with flowing grey hair and few friends. The world is a desolate place filled with the typical betrayals and battles that seem to follow Estacado wherever he goes.

I can’t really say much more than that, but regular readers of this title will get more out of it. However, fans of eye candy will certainly be pleased too.  With issues like this, where different artists are brought on for the celebration, the wealth of pencillers can sometimes give the book a hodge podge feel. This isn’t the case here. With only a few pages to work with each artist brings their best, and scenes are wisely chosen for each of their strengths. From Matt Timson (Impaler) to Dale Keown (Hulk) to a host of others, your eyes are treated with a variety of styles; each one a thing of dynamic beauty. 

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War of the Witchblades

Official press release below, regarding another milestone issue for one of Top Cow’s most famous titles (following The Darkness #75). 

wb125_cov_cTop Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the company’s flagship title, Witchblade, will reach issue #125 in March 2009, and the publisher will celebrate this landmark event with an oversized issue including a bonus story. Witchblade #125 brings the series’ critically acclaimed team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic together to begin the six-part story arc “War of the Witchblades” which the publishers note is the biggest and most ambitious plot they’ve attempted with their flagship character.

Following the events of 2008’s First Born, the Witchblade was split into two halves and the responsibilities split between long time bearer Sara Pezzini and newcomer Danielle Baptiste. Up to this point, Sara and Dani have worked together and developed a sisterly relationship, but that will all change beginning in issue #125. Witchblade #125, which will wrap up long standing plot conflicts Ron Marz has been adding to Witchblade since he first took over writing duties for the series in 2004 with issue #80, will begin a new era for the comic that the publisher aims to refresh the series for long-standing readers as well as make an attractive jump-on point for new readers unfamiliar with Witchblade. Sejic and Marz have committed themselves to working on Witchblade as the core creative team through issue #150. Sejic has been the regular artist for Witchblade since issue #116. Artist Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man) joins Marz and Sejic for Witchblade #125 to contribute a two-part cover variant featuring protagonists Pezzini and Baptiste. A third cover by Sejic will also be offered.

Witchblade, which has been translated to TV as TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and its subsequently successful TV series, has been Top Cow’s longest-running series. “Writer Ron Marz continues to plow up so much new ground on Witchblade that I’m beginning to suspect that rather than using a keyboard to pound out his scripts, he might actually be utilizing a 40-ton earthmover instead,” attests comic book talent Terry Austin (Uncanny X-Men). Jim Cheung, artist of Young Avengers and New Avengers comments, “With compelling stories by one of my favorite writers, and astonishing artwork that makes me want to tuck myself into a corner and cry, I can’t think why Witchblade shouldn’t be on everyone’s reading list.” Witchblade #125 will also feature a bonus story written by Rob Levin (Darkness: Butcher) and Marco Castiello (Secret Invasion: Frontline).