G.I. Joe Toons

For those of you that have been disappointed by the new live action G.I. Joe film, you have other options. You can check out Resolute, the multi-part series penned by Warren Ellis with a great anime look, or you can watch the short videos below. The two part G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra Island uses the original action figures, vehicles and playsets to great effect. It has a host of characters appearing, bad guys screaming like girls, and shows the difficulties of navigating a self-destruct system. It’s somewhat amusing and does remind me of my youth playing with my toys in the backyard. Ah, good times.

Berserker #2 Review

Berserker #2 Cover BThis is without a doubt the bloodiest comic you’ll ever read. If you’ve seen Punisher: War Zone or Midnight Meat Train recently, this will be right up your alley. It’s received a fair amount of press due to it’s blood soaked pages. However, if that’s all this series had to offer it wouldn’t be worth reading.

You can read Berserker #0 for free on Top Cow’s website to give you an idea of what it’s all about,, but here’s the lowdown: Farris Jorn and Aaron Bural are two wild and crazy guys – literally. Jorn ripped the head of his fellow Marine while in Afghanistan, and upon returning home killed his boss. Bural didn’t fare any better, and tore his beloved girlfriend apart with his own hands.

Apart from their superior strength, and frequent need to wash their clothes, the pair have no clue as to why they’re doing this. This second issue is set right after the events of the first. After freaking out his lover Eva at  their workplace, Jorn is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up he sees Clint, the buddy he killed back in Afghanistan. Agent Rowena from Midgard is chasing Jorn in order to recruit him into her mysterious organisation, before their competition Asgard does. Meanwhile Asgard is head hunting Bural, who in turn is receiving his own visions of the dead, namely his girlfriend Courtney.

Bural then gets interrogated before snapping and Jorn does the same after being approached by Rowena. That’s when things get real messy. Or messier.

We don’t know much more than when we did from the last issue, save from the fact that the people chasing down the two berserkers are, “well-funded, private mercs.” The Norse mythology aspect of the story has yet to unravel, and right now the series has as many questions as spilled intestines in its pages. However writer Rick Loverd has obviously crafted something big, and is just choosing to leak out small details every now and then. Hopefully this strategy keep us as curious as the two main characters to know exactly what’s happening to them and why. The men on the run angle of this issue works and the desperation of the pair (though they never meet) is apparent.

Jeremy Haun’s art is just what it needs to be – gory and raw. I imagine he’d need a shower after drawing each issue. Haun is also more than just a man who knows how to depict anatomy from every conceivable angle – inside or out. He also does a brilliant job with the emotional complexities of the characters, from rage to fear to confusion. Dave McCaig’s colours add the necessary pop at all times.

Make no mistake, this is a title for mature readers. At this point it is crying out for more depth. I don’t know how much longer this series can sustain such a bloodbath without building upon the story, but as I said, hints are starting to break through thanks to Loverd’s handy work. I just hope that Berserker becomes known for more than just its use of the colour red.

It’s difficult to choose somewhat restrained preview pages, devoid of blood and guts, so here you go.

Berserker #2 2

Berserker #2 3

Berserker #2 4

Tracker: First Look Review

Tracker: First Look CvrOn sale in October is Tracker: First Look, which is a peek at Top Cow’s new mini-series, Tracker which launches in November. This First Look was previously only available at last month’s Comic-Con. At the Cow panel at the Con it was mentioned that Tracker would be a new look at werewolves, with serial killers thrown in. Now with this special issue we get the full story, or at least the beginning of it.

It opens with Agent Jezebel Kendall (cops never have boring names in fiction, do they?) arriving on the scene of a bus crash. She wonders why a Federal Agent like herself has been called to a traffic accident until she looks inside the bus and discovers not only a mass of mutilated bodies, but also a survivor. The survivor is an agent too, and it appears the reason he alone survived the “Blue Line Massacre,” is more than just luck. Alex O’Roark returns to work nursing a cane and tender ribs and is put on the case of the massacre – the work of a serial killer called Herod. O’Roark knows what he’s doing as he’s the tracker of the title.

There’s only 10 story pages in this preview book, but it’s certainly  a meaty start. Writer Jonathan Lincoln introduces us to not only O’Roark, but his girlfriend, boss and fellow cops, all while creating distinctive voices for them all. There’s no big reveal of Herod or the werewolves that are hinted at, but there’ll be plenty of time for such when the series kicks off proper. Francis Tsai’s art works well, and his colouring deserves to be mentioned. From the red glare of the bus massacre to the bright lights of the police precinct and hospital he makes each scene diverse enough to be interesting, and it’s all entwined with a subtle painterly approach.

Rounding out the extra pages are a few words from the 3 guys behind HVE, or Heroes and Villains Entertainment. In the new tradition of Top Cow aligning themselves with outside story developers, HVE appear to be men after my own heart and mention their love of Star Wars, Street Fighter 2 and Halo. Lincoln also mentions his love of werewolves and ends his text page with a powerful summary of Tracker’s premise – “A good man wakes up with blood on his hands.” Nice.

Also included are 3 pages of character summaries and a neato mini-poster of the cover, which reminds me of Ash from the Evil Dead films. Lastly writer of the excellent series Impaler, William Harms gives a one page intro to his new series, also aided by HVE, called Epoch. At the Cow’s Con panel Epoch was described as a “supernatural Fight Club,” with a bunch of diverse mythological creatures laying the smackdown on each other. Sounds good to me.

Only in the Comic-Con exclusive of Tracker: First Look are 7 pages of The Darkness/Pitt x-over by Paul Jenkins and Dale Keown. All I can say is that it looks very appealing, thanks to Jenkins and Keown, and that book hits shelves on August 26. As for Tracker, it’s off to a good start. I’m intrigued by the concept and O’Roark seems to be a great protagonist. Cops chasing serial killers we’ve all seen before, but not like this. With a new twist on the hairy moon howlers, the lone man who knows how to destroy them and the psycho Herod, who’s described as, “Hannibal Lecter with fangs,” this looks like a story worth following.

Tracker: First Look 1

Tracker: First Look 2

Tracker: First Look 3

Tracker: First Look 4

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 Best Seller

Archaia are obviously pleased as punch to share this with the world. It’s great news for creator David Petersen too, as his fantasy epic starring mice and assorted creatures flies off the shelves. Press release below.



Archaia is proud to announce that Archaia’s own Mouse Guard Vol. 2: Winter 1152 by David Petersen has debuted at #4 on The New York Times Hardcover Graphic Books Best Seller List, week ending August 1.

The rankings on the list, according to The New York Times, “reflect sales of graphic novels, for the week ending August 1, at many thousands of venues where a wide range of books are sold nationwide. These include hundreds of independent book retailers (statistically weighted to represent all such outlets); national, regional and local chains; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; university, gift, supermarket, discount department stores and newsstands. In addition, these rankings also include unit sales reported by retailers nationwide that specialize in graphic novels and comic books.”

“I am amazed and honored that Mouse Guard Vol. 2: Winter 1152 even made a list like The New York Times Best Sellers,” said Petersen. “I’m already proud of the work I did on this book, so to see the fans are eager to read it only makes the whole experience more fulfilling and I thank them for that!”


“To keep this one short and sweet, Mouse Guard exemplifies all things Archaia strives to be with every single title,” said PJ Bickett, president of Archaia. “David deserves every accolade and praise and he has paved the way for what a successful Creator title should represent.”

Also available from Archaia are previous Mouse Guard titles Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152 and the Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game. For a complete list of Archaia’s Graphic Novel Backlist, see pg. 199 in the August 2009 issue of Previews catalog.