Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 6: Patience Zero

Madcap has returned! And he's mad as hell!

Things seem to not be going Deadpool's way right now. His marriage is falling apart. His Avengers team has been disbanded. And the Mercs for Money are making money, just without Deadpool.

Now with the return of Madcap, things have gone from bad to worse. The former resident of Wade Wilson's head seeks revenge on Deadpool. The fiend has unleashed an incurable plague upon his daughter and members of Agent Preston's family. In order to save them, Deadpool just may have to make a deal with the devil...

Then jump ahead to the year 2099. The Deadpool 2099 saga comes to an end. Which of his daughter winds up with the mantle of Deadpool? Where is Deadpool's bride Shiklah? And what does the Immortal Iron Fist have to do with any of this?

This volume was not as good than the last. Things aren't great for Deadpool and I like my Deadpool to be a little more upbeat.  If I wasn't used to a funny Deadpool, then this would be great as it's quite gritty and dark.

I know things aren't supposed to be great for Wade Wilson. He's like Charlie Brown in a self-deprecating manner in which everyone thinks he's a real blockhead. He never can get ahead and if Deadpool does, he's quickly snapped back to reality.  But I read books with the Merc With a Mouth when I need a pick me up and this did not do the job. 

It's not the worst thing I've ever read by Gerry Duggan. It's just not my favorite either. The artwork by Scott Koblish on the on the hand was pretty awesome and that cover of Madcap bursting through some dude's chest is pretty wicked.

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mata Hari #1

The Mata Hari.

She might not have been the most successful spy during World War I. She was however the most notorious. And she was in reality nothing like she appeared.

The five-issue miniseries by Dark Horse, Mata Hari seeks to blend the truth with the myth and the legend of the exotic dancer turned double agent for both the German and French intelligence communities. The world knew her as a mysterious object of sexuality and lust from the Orient of India, Malaysia, and or one of numerous far off Polynesian ports of call that she would claim to hail from. In reality, she was a Dutch aristocrat named Margretha Zeele (later marrying and taking the name MacLeod) who's family went from rags to riches.

The task of separating the fact from fiction rests with Emma Beeby. The Survival Geeks writer does this by writing the story from both Mata Hari and MacLeod's point of view. In the very first panel, the main character is portrayed as a naked prisoner writing her memoirs. It appears that the reader is going to get the real story after nearly a century of legend. However, the story of Mata Hari jumps from time period to time period quite often. Her life is  never truly in order and possibly never true at all. The entire world was the daring spy's stage and she often played her audience for fools. 

Issue #1 wasn't a bad read and it wasn't difficult. I actually don't mind the time jumps as I think that the historical figure of Mata Hari is really two people anyway. As a child she was the little princess or Margretha MacLeod, a pampered child who never had to want for anything. But once her dreamworld of wealth came crashing down, I believe that the young woman left that persona behind in order to forge a new one of wealth, beauty, and desire. Hence, Mata Hari was born. But as with any time you create a new character, it takes a while to form a coherent backstory and that's why nobody truly knows the facts about Mata Hari.

There is a running scene throughout this issue as Mata Hari offers herself to the Hindu god Shiva. I'm not sure where Emma Beeby is going with this part of the story. Is she signifying  Mata Hari's willingness to make deals with the powers that be to enact her own desires of revenge and fame? Or is this just another facet of the myth of Mata Hari? We have 4 more issues in which to find out...

This series promises to be as mysterious and alluring as the real MacLeod herself. On the cover, Deep State's Ariela Kristantina pencils Mata Hari in her iconic temptress costume. Her right hand beckoning a hapless mark for a night of passion and information. But if you notice her left hand. it clasps a dagger, ready to eliminate any loose ends once she gets what she wants. 

It's a lustful man's folly and Mata Hari knows how to manipulate it to her own benefit.

Mata Hari promises to be a historical thriller full of death, espionage, and sex. Lots and lots of sex. One thing for sure, this book was quite titillating both figuratively and literally. This first issue was heavy on backstory with not much in terms of cloak and dagger. I am sure that's coming in the next issue. Or as Mata Hari would call it- the second act!

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 8 out of 10. 

Review originally published February 19, 2018 at

Friday, February 16, 2018

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Book One (Family Comic Friday)

Welcome to Family Comic Friday. 

Every week, I review books that are fun for the whole family. Not every book I review is rated E for Everyone. But that doesn't mean that the books I review for FCF can't be enjoyed by all. 

Case in point is today's book selection: Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension, Book One. This book from Titan Comics is based on the long-running British television show of the same name. When Doctor Who debuted in 1963, it was intended as an educational kids show. The formula for the show varied every other story between historical tales and wild science fiction adventures. The historical episodes would teach children about Marco Polo, the Roman Empire, and other historical figures. The sci-fi episodes would have the Doctor fighting scary monsters with science, math, and technology. 

The monsters episodes proved to be more popular pretty quick. History would still play a factor since this was a show about time travel. Only now instead of visiting Winston Churchill to help defeat the Nazis, the Doctor would go back in time to 1944 to help save England from the Daleks. 

With all the monsters, over time, Doctor Who would garner a reputation of being scary. But that hasn't stopped the beloved series from being a weekly treat for family Saturday night viewings. As former Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat puts it, 'of course Doctor Who is a children's show but that doesn't mean that it's childish.' With testimony like that from one of the experts, I made my decision- this is a perfect read for a Family Comic Friday!

In this collected work from Titan Comics, when a mysterious ship crashes in London, the 12th Doctor rushes to the scene- only to come face to face with his daughter, Jenny! The Doctor's daughter has sought him out to warn him of a mysterious white hole of light that has swallowed up one of the Time Lord's former companions, Captain Jack Harkness. 

If appears that this mysterious energy source isn't just gobbling up former travelling buddies of the Doctor. It's also turning the Doctor's friends into monsters. From all of the Doctor's timelines, none of the Doctor's friends and enemies such as Madame Vastra, Rose, Bill, even the Cybermen are safe from this anomaly of space and time! But what if the Doctor falls victim to this strange force? If one of the 12th Doctor's former selves succumbs to this white hole, is that the end of him as well?

You don't have to be a long-time fan of Doctor Who to fully enjoy this volume. But it really helps. I am not as knowledgeable in the Titan Comics adaptations. So my familiarity with the comics only companions was pretty weak. I guess that balances out in the long run.

I've read a couple of Doctor Who crossovers in which he meets some if not all of his former selves. They're pretty good but they don't have the heart, humor, or fun as The Lost Dimension does. This first volume collects the first 6 chapters of The Lost Dimension was written by a trio of different writers. Nick Abadzis (Laika), George Mann (Warhammer 40,000), and Doctor Who journeyman, Cavan Scott each craft a pair of stories. Yet, I felt like each chapter was seamlessly crafted by just a single writing entity. That's a sign of a great story-writing team.

I felt the same way about the artwork of this book. Motherlands' Rachael Stott and Adriana Melo (Witchblade) trade off on the art duties and it was flawlessly good. 

There's a lot of questions that remain such as who is behind this time anomaly? Can the Doctor's friends be cured? And when does Book 2 come out?

I can only answer the last question. Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Book 2 drops on March 20th, exactly one month after Book 1. So I don't have to wait very long to find on what happens next. All of the individual issues that make up volume 2 have already been released. I could get those, but I think that would be a little bit of a cheat. 

The comics that make up The Lost Dimension are not rated. However, in the spirit of the television series in which in is based, this book is for suitable for kids but it's not an immature book. The action, thrills, and humor can be enjoyed by all ages. Some of the science and physics might need an adult to help interrupt. As for the monsters, it's a tad scary but so are other family classics like Snow White and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Book 1 debuts in stores on February 20th, 2018.

This volume reprints the following: 

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Alpha, The Ninth Doctor Special, The Tenth Doctor #3.9, The Eleventh Doctor #3.10 and Jenny, The Doctor’s Daughter Special #1 & #2.

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.

Review was published concurrently on

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Unlimited Access #4

After 3 issues full of members from both the DC and Marvel Universes taking up residence in worlds that were not their own, it finally happened... the Amalgam Universe has returned! Only this is a different mix-up of heroes unlike those unveiled in the previous DC/Marvel cross-overs. 

Since the main baddies of this story are Darkseid and Magneto, the Amalgam characters that are introduced are mostly taken from the X-Men and JLA. I really liked the new Amalgam baddies- the Brotherhood of Evil Gods! 

I'm kinda glad that Karl Kesel decided to come up with his own Amalgam characters and not use the ones created by Ron Marz and Peter David. It helped a story that seemed to be getting a little stale and off the rails somewhat.

This issue marks the general end of the DC and Marvel crossovers. There might have been one or two one-shots still to come after this. But that was pretty much it. Now with Disney in charge of Marvel, it is probably a long shot that any such crossover between these two powerhouses will occur again any time soon.

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Young Monsters In Love #1

Leave it to DC Comics to not just provide it's devoted fan base with a Valentines Day special! A sappy love fest of unrequited romance between two unlikely paramours just will not do for DC! Nope! Instead, DC Comics has issued a holiday special devoted to cupids and chocolates starring some of it's most popular supernatural characters.

Why use monsters in a Valentines Special? Part of the quirky fun of many B-movie horror films is when the beastly main character falls in love with a beautiful damsel in distress. King Kong falling for Faye Raye. The Creature From the Black Lagoon lusting after Julia Adams. And who can forget Tor Johnson's deformed Lobo saving Loretta King from a deranged Bela Lugosi in Bride of the Monster? Creatures of the night and romance are B-movie box office gold!

While Young Monsters In Love #1 may take it's inspiration from the schlock horror films of the 50s and 60s, this special is full of A-list talent. It features over a half dozen stories written by some of the best comic book talent in the industry, topped off by Batman: The Animated Series' Paul Dini. Jeff Lemire, Steve Orlando, Phil Hester and many more craft stories of love, loss, and monsters. 

Some highlights include:

  • 'Heart Shaped Box'- A House of Secrets quality story in which Swamp Thing enacts revenge against a team of mercenaries that interrupt Swampy's V-Day plans with a lady botanist.
  • 'Be My Valentine'- Deadman helps a bullied child get some revenge against those who made it the worst Valentines exchange party of all-time.
  • 'Dear Velcoro'- One of the Creature Commandos receives a Dear John letter in-between missions in Nazi Germany.
  • Monsieur Mallah goes shopping for his Valentine, The Brain, by robbing a Lexcorp research facility in 'Visibility.'
  • 'Pieces of Me'-Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. pens a letter to his Bride, highlighting the complicated history between the two lovers.
  • And in 'Nocturnal Animal', Kirk Langstrom struggles to battle his own personal demon, the Man-Bat, in the light of his crumbling relationship with his wife Francine.
DC has a habit of turning one or two of their featured holiday stories into miniseries or regular titles. If the pattern continues, I hope that the powers that be will offer more Paul Dini penned Deadman adventures. I know that there's currently a Deadman miniseries written and penciled by Neal Adams. It's good, but Dini's take gave the character of Boston Brand a warmth and life not seen in over 30 years. 

Overall, Young Monsters In Love was an unexpected delight. I didn't learn about this special until just a couple of weeks ago. Every story was masterfully written. The artwork was varied but brilliantly crafted by talents such as Guillem March and Kelley Jones, whose 1950s sci-fi movie inspired poster cover was so very retro and awesome!

The only thing that I wasn't a fan of was the price. With a cover price of $9.99, that's still pretty lofty, even if this was an 80-page giant. But I am a sucker for holiday specials of any type and what was inside the cover was flawless fun! 

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.

Review originally published February 13, 2018 on

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Batman: The Black Casebook

Relive the stories that inspired Grant Morrison's Batman: R.I.P. 

This collection of Batman tales are from the much maligned period of the mid-1950s to early 1960s when Batman went sci-fi. Battling robots, aliens, and mad scientists, those episodes kinda went against the core essence of the Caped Crusader. 

Fans mostly hate that era. I for one am okay with it as a whole. My biggest complaint is that several of these stories cheat by using elements that weren't there but suddenly are now for Batman to solve the big mystery. Poor editing, rush jobs, or the writers praying that the readers were too stupid to know any better??? Your guess is as good as mine. 

There's a few classics in here such as 1964's 'Robin Dies At Dawn.' Plus the first appearance of one of my all-time favorite mischief makers, Bat-Mite, occurs within the adventures contained in The Black Casebook.

Featuring a foreword from the mastermind of Batman: R.I.P., I don't recommend that you skip it. It provided me with some much sought after answers to lingering questions I had after completing R.I.P. However, Grant Morrison tends to give away the plot to some of these classic stories. So, It might not be a bad idea to wait until afterwards to read Morrison's essay.

Worth Consuming!

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.

Unlimited Access #3

Time is getting even more jumbled as the original Avengers take on the original line-up of the Justice League of America. 

Meanwhile, Access discovers who is behind this time caper and it's in my opinion the most unlikely super villain team-up of all: Magneto and Darkseid.

Their goal: to destroy the Marvel Universe.

I call the pairing of Darkseid and Magneto unlikely because of Magneto's desire to destroy the Marvel Universe. I would understand why Magneto would want to kill all the humans. But wouldn't his beloved fellow mutants get wiped out as well?

As for Darkseid- what does he have to gain with all of this? The Lord of Apokolips won't go to the bathroom if there's nothing for him to benefit from it. So what's his deal?

The plot is getting kinds thin. The action is top notch especially the battle between Justice Leaguers and Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But it's just not enough to save this issue.

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars.